Lacey Benoit is in need of a fresh start. Her best friend, Dr. Zoe Millis, has been begging her to make the move from Maine to California. Taking a leap of faith, Lacey does just that.

Living in San Diego definitely has its perks, such as, sunshine and beaches. The best part of moving to the west coast, however, is that Steven is still on the east coast. Catching your almost husband having sex with one of your bridesmaids on your wedding day would make even the strongest woman jaded. Therefore, Lacey has sworn off men for a while, especially men who travel a lot that have easy access to loose women.

When Lacey meets the new enforcer for the San Diego Scorpions, she thinks she might be in trouble. But she is determined to fight her attraction to the sexy NHL hunk. And she is successful…for about a day.

Excerpt from The Enforcer

(Lacey meets Jody for the first time)

Holy shit on a shingle! Lacey shook his hand and then just stood there and gawked at him. His 6 foot 3 inch frame held his 230 pounds perfectly. He had the lightest blue/grey eyes she’d ever seen. His sandy blonde hair looked like he’d just run his fingers through it, spiking it in the front. He had a crooked smile and a crooked nose to go with it. You could tell this man’s nose had been broken once or twice or six times. But it worked for him. His grey t-shirt had the team logo on it and fit like a second skin. Then she got to his jeans. Jeans? Jeans sounded so innocent, but there was nothing innocent about the way his jeans hung on those hips. Those jeans looked like they were honored to be on him. I know I would be, Lacey thought. He…was…absolutely…stunningly…delicious. Delicious with a capital D!

Jenn’s Review of The Enforcer
This book was really unexpected for me.  The whole don’t judge a book by it’s cover or the title is clearly ENFORCED in this book.  I was so surprised by the story that unfolded before me. I’m a huge hockey fan so I had really high hopes for a good read that included some good hockey moments. 
The book revolves around Lacey our heroine.  Lacey is a a strong take no crap kind of girl.  Well at least she is now after getting burned by her ex-fiance!  Wow what a great guy Steven was… Lacey has decided she’s finally going to give into her best friend Zoe and move to California.  Upon arriving, Zoe is quickly sucked into the life surrounding the Scorpions. Specifically their newest trade Jody LaGrange.  Lacey has sworn that anything she is looking for is just causal.  Yeah well she does try her hardest… 
Jody LaGrange has just been traded to the San Diego Scorpions, as the new guy he has to fit in.  A condition of the team is that they all see the teams therapist Dr. Millis.  Since she takes her appts in her home to make the players more comfortable, he’s greeted with the stunning beauty that is Lacey Benoit… Jody doesn’t know what it is about Lacey but there is instant attraction and appeal their from the moment their eyes meet… Well that and the attire that she is wearing during their first meeting might have him a little excited! 
I’m not a believer in love at first sight, and though Jody’s instant attraction and feelings toward Lacey are evident they take their time getting to know each other better.  Jody might be a brut and a fighter on the ice, but off the ice he is a teddy bear… He is super romantic and pays very close attention to everything Lacey desires and enjoys… He really was the perfect man, even if he was possessive and a little domineering.  He knew his faults and made moves to work on them.  He didn’t have the best family life and he’d been handed a few broken hearts in the past.  He’s a hockey player so you’d expect women to throw themselves at him, but Jody wanted to settle down and find his dream girl… 
Their were some really hot and steamy moments that weren’t off the charts but were just enough.  But the sexual tension and build up really kept you wanting more… 
I could go on and on about how great Jody was, but I think you get the picture.  Their were some surprises throughout the book.    The supporting roles by Zoe and Vlad are complimentary and we get just enough of them to want more… Which set her up for the next book perfectly!  Zoe and Vlad have some serious off the charts tension going on and I found myself wanting to tell them to get a room and get it over with, but their are reasons that cannot happen so I cannot wait to see where this goes in the next book. 
Nikki does a fantastic job developing the relationship of these two characters.  The flow of the story was natural, though a little drawn out at times, it was still rock solid for a first time author!  I give The Enforcer a  solid 4 stars and I am really looking forward to more from this author… 

About the Author:

I am a hockey fan (Go Flyers!) who loves to read. And now I am enjoying writing. What do I write about? Hockey and men. Really, is there anything better?

I live in Hammonton, NJ with my husband of over 18 years. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth it.

I have a B.S.B.A. in Human Resources and work for a law firm in Philadelphia.

Favorite Books: Pretty much anything with strong characters. I also love some supernatural thrown in and anything that involves a hockey player!

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Can a guilty conscience keep wounds from healing?

Fine arts major, Candace Parker, grew up with a mother who thinks image is everything, and her daughter’s perfection will never be good enough. About to graduate college and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, Candace decides it’s time to let go and have a little fun. But fun is short-lived when a brutal attack leaves her completely shattered.

The memories that consume and torment Candace are starting to destroy her when she meets Ryan Campbell, a successful bar owner. He feels instantly connected and tries to show her that hope is worth fighting for. But is Ryan harboring his own demons? As walls slowly begin to chip away, the secrets that are held within start to become painful burdens.

At what point do secrets become lies?

(17+) This book contains mature subject matter that is not suitable for those under the age of 17

Jenn’s Review of Fading
I wasn’t sure what to think about this book after reading the synopsis.  I was expecting to be emotionally wrecked after reading this one, but honestly that wasn’t the case.  I have to admit that I did cry around 11-12% into this book and it was really emotional.  After that their was a large section of the book that just didn’t do it for me at all.  At the halfway point of the book it picked back up again when Ryan entered the picture…   
So let’s talk about Candace our heroine. I have to say that I wasn’t fond of her character. Yes I understand that she has had a tough life and her family sucks. Hands down probably some of the worst ever… Candace is studying the Arts and wants to be a professional ballerina which her family feels is a terrible career choice (they are rich and pretentious).  They even try to force her hand at a different path, which doesn’t go over well.  What I didn’t like here was that she seemed to use this dysfunctional family life as a crutch to her problems in establishing relationships.  It just didn’t fit. She had such loving relationships with Jase, Mark and Kimber, so it sort of didn’t make sense when she kept telling Ryan she didn’t know what she was doing.  It confused me.  I’m not sure that I ever felt that she truly healed from everything that she went through.  I felt like the last 50% she was trying but not sure she ever got to that point. I didn’t like that she turned away from the girl that she considered to be like a sister.   When you go through something traumatic like she did, wouldn’t you embrace the person that you felt closest too? I loved Kimber from the beginning and I was really sad to see how little she was mentioned in the rest of the book.  

What I did like about Candace was the way she embraced Ryan. Even though she was terrified, when she fell for him she fell hard and it was consuming, which is how love should feel…   

Ryan is a sweetheart and though it was predictable who Ryan was, I was totally shocked at how loving and tender his character was.  He was the biggest and most welcome surprise for me in this story.  Ryan had a horrible background and he had some demons that he faced.  Despite his issues growing up Ryan really made something of himself.  He is a successful bar owner and he really has grown into a good man.  I loved Ryan’s family, even with the issues of the past his mother came out on top and she was so caring.  They invited Candace in with open arms.  When Ryan opens up and exposes all his demons to Candace I wanted for her too come forward at that time with her own.  I so desperately wanted her to open up and be honest with him so he could help her move past her fears.  He was there for the long haul that was obvious.  He loved her almost from the moment he laid eyes on her.

Their was a lot of detail that surrounded the ballet part of the story, though that was an important part of her life, it was described a few times in detail and it was a bit redundant.  The details sometimes distracted from the main focus of the book.

The supporting cast Jase, Mark and even Roxy were great.  I loved that they were so supportive of Candace, and did everything they could to help her.  They were true friends that stand by you through anything, even bad decisions.  

There are some really beautiful moments in this story, I can’t give away too much detail but when you read it I think you will recognize them.  Ryan’s tenderness and loving touch, were enough to pull it around in the end… That last 50% really did make me happy… 

I sort of wished that this book would have been written in alternating POV.  Since the prolog started out from Ryan’s POV I was hoping that it was going to continue to be that way… That prolog will grip you and suck you in. 

Overall the story was really well written, and the editing was really good, which is sometimes rare for a first time author… E.K. Blair did her homework where that was concerned.  I am giving this one 3.5 stars, for a first novel it’s a great effort! I really like her writing style and I really loved Ryan a lot.  


I had a bunch of experts to pick from and this happened to be included.  This was one of those scenes that was highly emotionally charged and happened to be one of the scenes I really liked a lot.  Enjoy! ~ Jenn

Candace in the Rain

As I drive, reality slowly starts creeping back in, and the weight in my chest returns. The thunder continues to rumble, and I feel like the weather fits my mood perfectly. The clouds open, and the rain begins to crash down on my windshield. I turn my wipers on high, but I struggle to see the road ahead. I pull into one of the empty parking lots on campus to wait until the rain lightens up. While sitting in the car, I listen to the rain beating violently against the steel.

For some reason, I get the urge to get out of my car. I open the door and step out into the rain. Closing the door, I lean against the car, and within seconds, I’m drenched. The beating of the raindrops against my delicate skin feels good, almost painful in a way—but good. I lean my head back and feel the pellets as they strike my face. I enjoy the biting sensation. With my eyes closed, I just stand there, wishing I could live here, in this vacant lot, alone, focusing on nothing more than the stinging pleasure of the storm as it batters me. Knowing that this will soon end, that the sun is lingering behind the clouds and I will be faced with the hell that is my life, my body slides down the side of my car, and I sit in a puddle of water on the dirty ground and cry.

Why didn’t I fight more?

Fading by E.K. Blair book trailer from Novel Idea Inc. on Vimeo.

Author Links:

Twitter: @EK_Blair_Author



Blog Tour: Falling into Us by: Jasinda Wilder


When Kyle Calloway died, he took a part of Nell with him. She wasn’t the only one left to pick up the pieces, however; Kyle’s death left a gaping hole in the hearts and lives of his parents and his older brother Colton, and ultimately broke the will of the girl he loved.

Becca de Rosa is Nell’s best friend. When Kyle died, Nell was so devastated that no one could reach her, not even her best friend Becca. As she tries to help Nell through her grief, Becca’s own life is thrust into turmoil, and everything she knows is changed.

Jason Dorsey asked Nell out the week after her sixteenth birthday, but that date never happened. Instead, he ended up going out with Nell’s best friend, Becca. He had no way of knowing, then, how that one date would send him on a life-long journey with Becca. He had no way of knowing the tragedies and triumphs he would experience, or that in Becca, he might find the love of a lifetime.


Toski’s Review of Falling into Us
I was given an ARC thru my blog in return for an honest review–

Let’s be honest- I was LUCKY enough to be the reviewer on my blog because I had read Falling into you. I was scared when I realized this was a side by side novel and NOT Colt and Nell’s story but her BFF Becca and Kyle’s BFF Jason..

I had NO reason to be nervous.. To say this book was amazing is an understatement. I felt every word, every emotion, every single chapter. I was sucked in from chapter one.

It starts at the point of Nell ditching Jason’s date because Kyle really “liked” her- we knew that from Book 1.. This goes into him asking Becca out and their budding relationship. I *almost* loved them more than Kyle and Nell.. But I can’t love anyone more than COLT. ;) BUT Becca and Jason- ARE HAWT. STEAMY. AND I AM STILL FANNING MYSELF. WOW.

Becca- The unknowingly beautiful smart girl who has loved Jason since they were in 4th grade will show you a side of her you have no idea exists and Jason Dorsey- is an amazing man. What he grew up with could have ruined who he was but instead- it drove him to greatness. That is a lesson for all of us.
You get 8 years of their life.. And THANK YOU JASINDA WILDER for giving me more Colt and Nell. I needed them. I had to know they were ok and where they went with their story.

There is parts of this book that absolutely SHREDDED my heart. I cried 3 seperate times- for 3 seperate situations. And those 3 – HURT. Reliving Kyle’s accident hurt just as bad the second time from a different POV but it also gave you some closure on “why bad things happen to good people” scenario. Sometimes life has really really terrible situations .. But if those didn’t happen – you wouldn’t end up where you are or even who you are.

I gave this book 5 HUGE stars. It was LONG (and I am not complaining) – it left me completely fulfilled with all the storylines and I was ok to be done with them. That’s a great feeling and honestly RARELY happens.

Thank you Jasinda for yet another A-mazing story that touched my heart and showed me a honest never ending TRUE love.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading.

​Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre.

She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio.

You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake.
Jasinda is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.

Grand Prize Giveaway:    Kindle Paperwhite 
First Place Winner:  $100 Amazon GiftCard
Second & Third Place: 2 Signed Paperback Copies of Falling Into Us

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When it rains it pours….

Hard-nosed and self-reliant Dallis O’Brien has had her fair share of devastation. Her father’s tragic accident sparked what seemed like a domino effect of heartbreak and loss. Unable to shake the fear of enduring any more pain, she builds walls around her heart, hoping to heal on her own.

Dallis’ road to recovery is disrupted when she meets Grayson Rivera, a tattooed, coffee shop owner who, by appearances alone, isn’t her typical match. Stubborn and hesitant to let him in, Dallis finally succumbs to Grayson’s persistence, where he challenges her to face her loss while also having the walls of her heart broken down. With Grayson’s assistance, Dallis must decide if she is willing to learn how to be weak in order to be strong.

Tonya’s Review of Shattered
Where shall I begin? This book was so heart wrenching and heartwarming all at the same time! How much heartache can one person withstand before shutting completely down and cutting everyone off? How can anyone be expected to feel anything after all that has happened? Is it possible to get past everything and move forward and live a normal life? 

Dallis is a damaged soul after suffering two horrible losses in a short period of time. She builds up walls to keep people from getting through and to guard her heart from any more pain. She couldnt handle another loss and it seems as though every time she is happy something horrible happens. It’s almost like shes waiting for the other shoe to drop at times. Keeping people at a distance is what works best for her. One double date at a coffee house and everything changes. 

Colby is a pompus jerk who thinks of nothing but himself and what he wants. He is her rock at times but is it really for her? Or is it to further his own agenda?  He’s a spoiled rich kid who can’t understand why Dallis won’t take advantage of his money and reputation and become a trophy wife even though she has explained to him numerous times that she was raised to be self-sufficient. Colby can’t understand why Dallis isnt ready to marry him after 3 years together. She knows why but can’t seem to admit it to herself. Dallis’ best friend Miranda is always there for her and will drop everything to help Dallis and her family. Miranda knows Dallis needs her space but she also thinks it’s time to move forward. 

And then there is Grayson, the beautiful tatted up, blue eyed “Barista Boy”.  I’m a sucker for tattoos so I knew I’d love him from the start. Grayson is the owner, manager, and barista boy at the coffee shop Dallis and Colby have their fateful double date at. When he calls and sets up a remodel with Miranda and Dallis it’s not just for a change for the coffee house, he wants to see Dallis again. Even though she keeps declining his invitations to lunch and such, Grayson doesn’t back off. This sexy, sweet, kind, and patient man knows a thing or two about what Dallis is going through and how to get her past all the grief and fears that are holding her back from being completely happy. Can he break down the walls Dallis has built so high? 

Oh I really enjoyed reading this one!! Dallis comes off as sort of a cranky bitch at first, with good reason of course. But once she loosens up and gets past all the bad things, she really is a sweet girl. Colby is just a jerk. Sure he helps her through some rough times and he’s a shoulder to cry on but he doesn’t really seem to care what is really going on with Dallis. I mean really? After everything she just went through and hes more worried about getting married?? Jerk. And now we come to Grayson. Oh Mr. Rivera is so swoon worthy!! Tattoos, blue eyes, straight forward, and oozing confidence. Yes Please!! If it wasn’t for him pushing Dallis to do things she wasn’t ready to do, she would still be stuck in her shell letting her grief eat away at her. He knows just what to say and do and how far to push her to get her to feel again. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to smack a few people at times, but in the end I loved it! 4.5 Stars for Shattered by CC Brown!!      

Buy Shattered here:
AMAZON  |   B&N 

Shattered Book Trailer


 About the Author:

Just a book reading, writing loving, mommy and USMC wife! :)

I love to write, even if it isn’t what is conventional and makes everyone feel giddy inside. I usually pull from dreams, or ideas that just thrust themselves into my head. I have what some would describe as a dry sense of humor, and I think its conveyed in my writing. I like to think I am a kick ass chick, but I can also be sensitive. I’m learning to grow thick skin, and in this field, it is definitely needed!

I won’t put anything out that I am not absolutely proud of, but like E.L. James said, “I can’t own people’s reactions to it.” Thanks for reading my work… I do appreciate it!


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Little Black Book Blog
The Little Black Book Blog

Blog Tour:Bad Things By:R.K.Lilley

click image above for full tour schedule


Danika hasn’t had an easy life. Being insanely attracted to bad boys has never helped make it easier.

One look at Tristan, and every brain cell she possessed went up in smoke. This man was trouble with a capital T. It was a given.

She knew better. Bad boys were bad. Especially for her. Considering her history, it was crazy to think otherwise. So why did crazy have to feel so damn fine?

For as long as she could remember, Danika had been focused on the future with single-minded purpose. Tristan came along and taught her everything there was to know about letting go, and living in the present. She fell, hard and deep. Of course, that only made her impact with the ground that much more devastating.

Carrie’s Review Of Bad Things

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, but let me just say I’m in love, and its all because of Tristan Vega!! He has became a member of my BB list top 5!! I had to fan myself! 

This book is about Danika and Tristan both dealing with trust issues,and broken hearts.Their chemistry is off the charts, but Tristan doesn’t want a committed relationship.Danika isn’t into the whole friends with benefits type of thing!

When these two meet I felt their connection immediately Danika a nanny and college student who meets Tristan through the family she lives with. Tristan stays with them for a few weeks until his apartment is ready. Tristan is in a rock band and the manager just happens to be who Danika is a nanny for.

Tristan wants to show Danika there is more to life than studying,and staying home.He introduces her to his world and the sparks fly from there! The back and forth battle these two have to not give in is hot, I mean steam rolling off my kindle! When they do I swear you know they are made for one another. Two broken people helping each other heal. Danika loses her Mom, and her Dad turns abusive, so she leaves it all to start a new life. Tristan broken hearted from a cheating fiancee,and losing someone he loves dearly.

I love everything about these two! I love the way they fight,makeup and do it all over again..If you have read the Flight series we only get a glimmer of these two..Im so happy we got an entire book.This squeezed my heart so tight and I couldn’t put it down. There are times you want to slap Tristan, but I promise you the minute he opens his mouth you will love him again!

My rating is 5 Shiny Huge stars! I am so happy there will be a second book! One is not enough after you meet Tristan Vega! I love him and Danika and cant wait to see what else is in store for these two..Meet Tristan everyone, you wont be sorry! This story is HOT! Loved it from start to finish. Thank you R.K. Lilley for sharing them with us!

Buy Bad Things here:

About The Author:

R.K. Lilley lives in Colorado with her husband and their two beautiful sons. She’s had a lot of interesting jobs, from being a first class flight attendant, to being a stablehand, but swears she never knew what hard work was until she had children. She’s been addicted to both reading and writing fiction since she can remember. She loves to travel, read, hike, paint, game, watch anime, and make the most of every single day. She is the author of the erotic romance novels In Flight, Mile High, Grounded, and the novella, Lana.

Tour Hosted By:


Title: Unbreakable

Author: Rebecca Shea

Expected Release Date:  July 30, 2013

Genre:  New Adult/College/Coming of Age   

Cover Created by: Sarah Hansen Okay Creations

Cover reveal organized by: Shh Moms Reading
Jessica Harper is the epitome of perfection. She’s a good daughter, makes excellent grades, and always strays on the safe side of life. The last thing she thought would ever happen was falling in love with her best friend’s brother. But sometimes fate just has a way of bringing two people together.

Wide receiver for the University of Arizona, Gabe Garcia, seems to have it all. When his feelings for Jessica come to surface, Gabe will give up everything to be with her.

But what happens when a tragedy abruptly changes the course of your life? For Jessica and Gabe, everything they thought they knew about each other will be questioned. Sometimes, there are scars in life that are cut too deep to completely heal.

Will their love prove to be unbreakable, or will it shatter and prove fate is just another lie?

*This book contains mature subject matter and is not intended for those under 17 years of age.*  

Teaser from Unbreakable

I stand there, nervously tugging at the hem of my top when he stands and walks toward me. Pressing his body flush against mine, grabbing my hips he whispers, “Miss me already?” He’s so close I have to tilt my head to look up at him. Timidly, I slide my hands up his bare chest and around the back of his neck. With piercing eyes he stands staring down at me intently. My breathing is shallow, and nerves swarm in my belly as I gently pull him down to me.

Looking up at him, I close my eyes as he presses his lips to mine. Slowly he moves his lips back and forth across mine. His tongue finds the smallest opening and urges my lips apart, and his kiss becomes more intimate. I gasp as he alternates between light, gentle and intense, deep kisses. My legs shake slightly as my body is overcome by the intensity of this moment. We are both breathing erratically when he drags his lips away from mine.

“I should go,” I say in a hush.

Pressing one last kiss to my lips he whispers, “I don’t want you to.” I reach behind me grasping the doorknob, “I know, but I need too.” I slip out of Gabe’s room and cross the hallway back to mine.

Watch the Book Trailer

About the Author:

Rebecca Shea lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family and her first “kid” her beagle, Miles. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for reading and books. Rebecca spends her days working full-time in the financial industry as a marketing manager. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her boys football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margarita’s, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever after’s

BLOG TOUR – Carry Your Heart by Audrey Bell


Champion skier Pippa Baker lost everything in the avalanche: her boyfriend, his best friend, and her will to win. After a year of grief, she returns to competition. She finds more than buried memories and steep slopes in Utah. 

She finds Hunter Dawson, a heartbreaking daredevil with the gold medals to prove it. And she finds that his reputation doesn’t stop her from falling hard, and that her heart might not be as broken as she once believed. 

But, Hunter has scars and memories too—scars that make him believe falling in love might hurt too much, scars that make him run. Pippa knows how much love hurts when it’s gone. Will she stop herself before she’s in too deep? Or will she let herself fall? 

This is a new adult, contemporary romance novel.

There is nothing better than starting a book that you have never even heard of, know nothing about, and have zero expectations — and absolutely fall head over heels in LOVE with.  Carry your Heart – BLEW ME AWAY

This is a story about Pippa, a professional skier, who had endured a horrible tragic accident a year earlier. An accident that had taken two very important people from her life.

Finally, after a whole year – she decides to try and get back to skiing and heads to Utah to train. At the airport she meets a cocky, arrogant, and of course absolutely gorgeous guy name Hunter Dawson.

Hunter, a snowboarder, is heading to Utah as well and their first encounter leaves Pippa with a bad taste in her mouth about what kind of guy Hunter Dawson is. He is so witty and full of one-liners that I instantly fell in love with his broken bad boy self. My view of him was- if you smashed Jack F’n Carter(The Perfect Game) and Ian Sterling (True Love Story) into one smart mouthed, womanizing, irresistible person- his name would be HUNTER DAWSON. And I was completely smitten with him.. 

Pippa has a lot to overcome thru her training process. Not ust dealing with an injury but also emotionally scarred – it isn’t an easy task for her. Hunter and Pippa start a unlikely friendship and their story grabs you up and does NOT let go.  

Will Pippa ever heal completely? Can Hunter be her “fix”?

My rating of this book 5 FIVE HUGE STARS. I couldn’t get enough of them. I felt every emotion. I was invested 100%. I didn’t want the end to come and when it did – I was left completely utterly satisfied. This isn’t a hot steamy erotic book at all- and I didn’t miss or need that. The wrap up of the story didn’t leave you desperate for another.  It ended at the exact right timing..
Carry your heart- Carried my heart all the way throughout.
Thank you to Audrey for sharing such an amazing story that truly touched my heart.

“I’m going to grab a drink,” I say, badly wanting something to ease the nerves and excitement of being back here. The last time I saw most of these faces was at Ryan’s funeral. I shake that unpleasant, searing memory. Parker had been a pallbearer. Joe had practically collapsed outside of the church. I shudder. Center myself in the present.
You’re in a bar. Almost a year later. 
I look around for a bartender, and find Laurel instead.
“Hey!” she slurs enthusiastically.
“Hey, Laurel.”
“Lucky break today, huh?” she asks.
“Yep. You okay?”
She rolls her eyes. “Fine. I was so fucking pissed.”
“It happens to everyone,” I say with a shrug.
“Not to me,” she tosses her hair. “So, you’re like back or whatever? For real?”
I nod. “I’m back.”
Hunter leans further on the counter and looks down, past Laurel to me. “How’d you do?” he asks. His eyes are locked intensely on mine. It’s a gaze that I can’t hold for long.
“Third,” I say.
“Not bad,” he smiles mischievously. “Told you I’d pray for you.”
Laurel shakes her head as if she’s noticed that Hunter and I are talking for the first time. “Oh. Hunter, this is Pippa.”
“Hey,” I say.
“We know each other,” Hunter says automatically.
“How?” she demands.
“We were on the same plane here,” Hunter says. He watches me. He answers Laurel’s question, but his eyes don’t leave me. “Philly, can I get you a drink?”
“Ah…” I glance at him and at the bartender and at Laurel.
“Her name is Pippa,” Laurel says.
“What do you like?”
“Gin and tonic.”
He grins. “Country club girl, huh?”
Laurel looks at him and scowls. “Hunter, don’t leave without me. I’m going to say hi to all of my friends.”
She disappears over to Brooke and a few of the men’s Alpine skiers. I watch her, curiously, while a few of the male skiers let their eyes roam over me. They’re not checking me out. It’s more of a haunted look. Like, I’m the ghost of a bad memory they try to forget everyday.
They were the ones who were Danny and Ryan’s best friends. The guys they grew up with, fought with, all of that stuff.
And I’m the girl who somehow didn’t die when both of their buddies did. I swallow. I know they can’t look at me without thinking of them. I know that’s true for so many people here.
“Hey,” Hunter says softly, getting my attention. He has a beer and my drink.
He pushes the glass towards me and leaves a twenty-dollar bill on the bar.
He steps closer, sits down on a stool near me, and leans close, so I can feel the heat of his body and smell his aftershave. I like being near him. It’s warm. It feels dangerous.
“So are you always this happy with third place?” he teases.
“No. Not usually.”
He nods. “Better than second.” He rubs his chin. “Someone once told me that there’s nothing worse than fourth place, because you’re the best person not to get a medal. But I don’t think that’s true. I think second is the worst.”
I nod. “You finish second a lot?”
He laughs. “Nah. I finish first or I don’t finish at all.”
“You race?”
“Used to,” he nods. “Not anymore. I do some freestyle stuff, half-pipe.” He smiles. “I actually started snowboarding because I hated racing—when I skied. When I was a little kid.” He bites his lip and cocks his head. “But, I like to compete. Plus, I wasn’t any good on skis.” 
“I doubt that’s true.”
“No, it is…” he shakes his head. “I raced your ex-boyfriend for a while. Danny?”
I nod. “Oh, yeah?”
“Back in middle school. Ryan, too. Ryan was fucking good. Everyone always told us to try and do it like Ryan.”
I flutter my eyelashes briefly, remembering how quick and graceful Ryan was. Even my dad, who knew little about competitive skiing, said so when he watched him race.
“The Snow Cat.”
“Ryan the Snow Cat. That’s what Danny called him—always landed on his feet.”
Hunter nods.  “You don’t want to talk about this.” He moves a little closer.
“We can talk about it.” I don’t mind telling Hunter about them—he barely knew them and he seems barely curious.
“But you don’t want to.” His hair is combed back, in soft dark waves, and his eyes are big, green and glassy. The color of celery. He lifts the dark Budweiser bottle to his mouth and takes a long sip of beer. God, he looks good.
He wipes the back of his mouth with one hand, a lazy, athletic gesture that makes me look at lips, soft and…shit, Pippa, you cannot be doing this right now.
I finish half of my drink in one swallow.
“Yeah,” I say. “Nervous.”
He raises an eyebrow. I wish I could do that. “Yeah? Do I make you nervous, Pippa?”
I blush. Stupid admission. Yes. “You’ve decided to call me Pippa?”
He smiles. “I feel weird buying someone named Phil drinks.”
“Ah, got it.”
He leaned forward onto his arms. I smell the alcohol on his breath; he’s more than a little bit tipsy at this point. “So, did you feel it change?”
“I didn’t feel anything change.”
“When you finished third,” he bites his lip and slides even closer to me. He leans and whispers in my ear. “You know, nobody feels sorry for you anymore. Now that they think you might be in the way again.”
I look back, over the people I know, and then up at Hunter. “Everyone here is an adult. We all want the same thing. We know that.”
He laughs. “You think Laurel’s going to go quietly if you keep beating her?” He shakes his head. “I saw you go today. You weren’t even trying. If I could see that, then I’m sure everyone else could”
“I was trying.”
“Not like you used to.”
“You never saw me ski before, so…”
“I know what playing scared looks like. Trust me. I was that guy for a long time,” he nods. He looks down at the bar.
“What’s your point?”
“Nothing.” He shrugs: “You seem like a cool girl. And I know what it’s like. One year I was the down on his luck kid and everyone was happy to see me win. The next year, I was just the competition. And I couldn’t figure out why people I thought were friends weren’t my friends anymore. Things change when you win. When it’s you, you’re the last person to realize what’s happening.”
I nod. “Oh, and you’re just looking out for me?”
“You don’t have to believe me.”
“No,” I say. I step back. “I never said I didn’t believe you. Thanks, I guess.”
“Laurel hates your fucking guts, by the way.”
“Yeah. So I’ve heard.”
He shrugs, not saying anything back to me.
“So, what’s your deal with her? She’s your girlfriend?”
He takes a long sip of beer, buying a little more time. He swallows and smirks. “I guess it depends on whether you want to come home with me.”
A flush rushes to my face. I didn’t think I seemed that easy. Or like I wanted him that badly. “Excuse me?”
“Do you want to come home with me?”
I stare at him. “How much have you had to drink?”
“Not that much,” he shrugs. “Interested?”
“No,” I say indignantly.
“Yeah, then, sure. I guess she’s my girlfriend.” I stare at him for a few seconds.
“What? Changed your mind?” he asks wickedly.
“No.” I shake my head. “Have fun.”
“I’ll try, Philly.” It really doesn’t seem like he cares that I’ve said no, and he definitely doesn’t care if I’m pissed off. But I am pissed off—both by the question and by the fact that he’s leaving with Laurel so soon after asking me if I wanted to go home with him.


Audrey Bell lives in New York City, where she indulges her SoulCycle addiction and expresses her passionate hatred of the 6 Train. You can find her reading in Central Park, overcaffeinating at Starbucks, or trying to kidnap her neighbors’ Maltese puppy. She loves hearing from readers

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Title: Animate Me
Author: Ruth Clampett
Publisher: Clampett Studio (self-pub)
Release date: May 1, 2013
Age Group: New Adult/Adult 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Animate Me is a fun and sexy contemporary romance.

Love struck animator, Nathan, has set his sights on Brooke, the Director of Development at their animation studio.

He has worshipped her from afar for years and even created a comic book heroine named B-Girl in her likeness. When their paths cross he seizes the opportunity to make a good impression. As they grow closer a serious hindrance looms…her dwindling romance with Arnauld, head of the animation studio.

When Arnauld realizes that Nathan is threatening his relationship with Brooke, he goes after him and it sparks an outrageous uprising at the studio. Havoc ensues from antics only a building full of creative cartoon people can create. In the midst of the drama Brooke has to decide whether to follow her heart or risk her impressive career, while Nathan pulls out all the stops to “woo” his girl. The conclusion has you cheering for our unlikely hero to capture his B-Girl’s heart…while he wins our hearts as well.

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Jenn’s Review of Animate Me

I have to say that when I did this cover reveal I was really excited about the book.  It’s one of the most unique covers and the story that lies between the pages is just as unique… and surprising.  I was sort of expecting this story to be childish in a sense.  I know that sounds stereotypical, but seriously it’s a book about animation.  This book was anything but childish in fact it has hot and steamy moments that were completely unexpected!  The book is completely told from Nathan’s POV and I think that she did an amazing job with it…
I love love love Nathan!  He like the super geek, knows a lot about everything and is the best animator at the studio.  He’s the sit in the corner and people watch kind of guy, always taking the backseat but yet he was very popular in his group.  He was strong and weak all at the same time.  He was picked up most of his life as you could imagine, no real girlfriends to speak of except one he had in college… that went nowhere and only lead him to believe that he wasn’t good enough… Awe you want to totally give this guy a hug and tell him to pick up that chin because his talents alone are amazing let alone his personality and his tenderness and romantic side… He was swoony in a geek chic kind of way… 
Brooke was just a force to be reconned with in this book.  She comes out as the strong one but Nathan sure does discovery her vulnerabilities.  I was surprised at her in every turn, she liked control that was kind of evident but she was also willing to give it up, when it fit the moment.  
I was really surprised at so much in this book.  It really caught me off guard at times.  There is a story behind why their is a coffee cup on this cover with an adorable drawing, and when you read it to find out you will be doing the “aaawwwweeee….” Nathan sure is a charmer, which is what I never expected.  When things turn upside down and go completely AWOL, for Nathan and Brooke it gets down right UGLY and you will see who will stand by who in the end… The antics of his co-workers are classic and will have you laughing out loud! 
I really adored this book beginning to end.  I have only one small complaint and that was that it was just a bit too long. The editing is SPOT on and the story flows so well and the character development is really good… I would have liked to see a few things done differently but that’s just me personally… I couldn’t put it down honestly and wanted to be able to stay up all night reading it… 
I highly recommend this one if you want a totally different storyline.  The book revolving around animation was completely unique and something I haven’t seen done before.  The illustrations throughout the book were so cute…. I give Animate Me 4.5 stars for creativity, good story line and sweetness factor… 
Read about Nathan and Brooke’s Adventures:

About the Author

Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director, Bob Clampett, has spent a lifetime surrounded by art and animation. Graduating from Art Center College of Design with a BFA in photography, Ruth opened her own Design/Photography studio and also taught photography at UCLA. In 1993 she joined Warner Bros. almost fifty years after her father left the studio and worked her way up to VP of Design for the WB Studio Stores. Now operating her own studio as the fine art publisher for Warner Bros. she has had the opportunity to know and work with many of the greatest artists in the world of animation and comics.

After telling stories visually her entire life and a fan-girl at heart, Ruth was introduced to the on-line world of fan-fiction and started writing stories inspired by the colorful people and events in her life. Over two million hits, and thousands of reviews later, Ruth is publishing her first novel, Animate Me, a contemporary romance set in the animation world. She lives in Los Angeles and is heavily supervised by her teenage daughter, lovingly referred to as Snarky, who plans the summer around their yearly sojourn to Comic Con.


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BLOG TOUR: DARK DAWN BY Melissa Brodsky & Nicole Andrews Moore


In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth, and everything in between. The In-between was unplanned, unexpected, and unwelcome. Every action causes a reaction and when mankind was born, so were the Fae. Suddenly it was up to Heaven to save Earth. God created Angels to right his wrong, to save human kind. A deal was made, an agreement of sorts. The Angels would protect humanity from Fae domination and destruction, and in return they would have inhuman strength and immortality. Thus a time of angels swooping in to save humans from free will, bad decisions, and big mistakes began. They protected humans from the Fae who intentionally enslaved them, leaving shells of humans, or worse, leaving nothing at all.

Even God doesn’t always learn from mistakes. Angels were given freedom of choice. Some Angels chose wrong. When some of them spread their wings, they went too far, and just as Icharus was punished for getting too close to the sun, they were punished for getting too close to mankind.

So they fell. Falling was the easy part.

Excerpt from Dark Dawn

It was late afternoon when they returned and it was Anna’s restlessness that caught Seth’s attention. The rest of the Guardians went to their rooms to unwind, but Anna was pacing on the roof. Instead of settling into their office, as he normally did, Seth walked the extra steps to discover what was troubling Anna. This was completely unlike her.

“Anna,” he said calmly when he reached her.

She whipped around. Her wings were unfurled and twitching nervously. The rustling of her feathers concerned him. When he saw the look in her eyes, he was even more disturbed. “Why?” She asked as her eyes darted about…up at the sky, then over the edge of the roof, back to Seth and all around. “Why are we not permitted to form attachments? Why can we not…be friends with humans?” The frustration in her voice was evident. “Why, Seth? What is so wrong and different about us that we can’t be around His other creations?”

Seth slowly came closer. He feared she was about to cry. In all their years of communal living, he had seen her cry…never. She hadn’t shed a tear over wars. She had seen countless horrific events pass, yet this was the first time anything had ever seemed to get under her skin and affect her.

“There’s nothing wrong with us, Anna. You know that. We simply shouldn’t be distracted. Attachments create distractions; they make us weak. We would be inclined to put the good of the few above the needs of the many. That isn’t our mission. No entanglements. No distractions. These rules were created for a reason.” He spoke in gentle soothing tones. It was obvious his words fell on deaf ears.

She shook her head. “We weren’t supposed to live together. We were supposed to be scattered about the globe. Instead, you decided that we should act as one. If that can change, if the Father can understand the rationale for that change…maybe there could be more…”

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Cover Reveal- If Forever Comes by A.L. Jackson

Title: If Forever Comes (Take This Regret #2)
Author: A.L Jackson
Expected Release Date:  September 12, 2013
Genre:   Contemporary Romance
Cover reveal organized by: Shh Moms Reading


If Forever Comes, the final chapter in the New York Times Bestselling Regret Series (Lost to You and Take This Regret). 
Christian Davison’s life is complete. With a ring on Elizabeth’s finger and his daughter at his side, he’s ready to run headlong into their future. 
Elizabeth Ayers never believed she would again find this kind of joy—the joy of a family and the wholeness found in the touch of the man she’s always loved. 
Their love is intense and their passion only grows as they set out to rediscover each other.
But life is never easy. 
Rocked by the unforeseen, Christian and Elizabeth will find themselves fighting for the one thing they hold most important—family. 


I stood in the hush of the darkened room, the long drapes pushed to the side as I leaned with one hand pressed to the wall just at the side of the window. I stared out, watching as winter pressed down on the city. Snowflakes fluttered toward the ground as they were set free from the inky sky. Through the haze, lights glimmered, and far below, the city was still alive even though night had grown late.
My past seemed to echo from the streets, the memories so thick they almost seemed alive.  
I looked over my shoulder and let my eyes wander over the one who inhabited them all. 
Elizabeth lay facing me, twisted just to the side, her blonde hair spread out over the pillow where she rested her head. Her chest lifted and fell in a slow cadence, her soft breaths released into the air. 
The deepest kind of devotion quickened my heart and pumped fiercely through my veins. 
Sometimes it was hard to believe we’d come this far, that this beautiful girl lying across the room from me had been strong enough to forgive me for the greatest mistake I’d ever made, that she was good enough to look past my failure, and that she had the capacity to lie there now, lost in sleep, free of fear and full of love. 
A wistful smile tugged at my mouth as my gaze traveled over her perfect body. She wore a short nightgown, the creamy material bunched up over her hip, the length of her legs fully exposed. One arm was draped over her head, and the other was stretched across the sheets in the spot where I had held her in my arms as she’d fallen asleep. 
Emotion squeezed my lungs, knocked at my ribs, just as strong as the desire that lifted in a crushing swell before it settled as a subdued ache in the pit of my stomach.  
Elizabeth would never stop stealing my breath. 
Only because she possessed my soul. 
As if she felt the intensity of my stare, she stirred. Those brown eyes blinked open as she adjusted to the dimness in the room. A soft, sleepy smile crept to her lips when she found me watching her in the shadows. She ran her hand over the sheets on my side of the bed. “What are you doing way over there when you’re supposed to be in bed with me?” she whispered.
“Just thinking.” 
She lifted up onto her elbow. “And what are you thinking about?” 
My mouth tipped up in a slow grin as I made my way over to her. She rolled onto her back just as I crawled over her, bracing myself on my hands and knees. 
“Thinking about you. What else would I be thinking about?” I trailed the back of my index finger down her cheek and along the underside of her jaw. At her chin, I twisted my hand to drag my fingers all the way down her neck to the cleft between her breasts. 
A soft breath parted her lips. 
“You consume me, Elizabeth,” I said. “Every second.” 
Trembling, she reached up to cup my jaw. “Always.” 
That word shot straight through me, her touch a firestorm that singed me from the inside out.
And she had it right. I wanted her. Always. 
I pressed my hands into the bed on either side of her head, dipped to caress her mouth with mine in the same second her fingers wove through my hair. I could feel her heart hammering, pounding just as hard as mine, this thrum of need spinning through us with the slightest touch.
It’d always been that way. 
I rocked and Elizabeth moaned, our bodies pitching and lifting and seeking, the soft skin of her inner thighs like strokes of fire as they brushed against mine. Our tongues caressed and every last inch of my body hardened.  
God, there was nothing in this world that felt so good. 
I pulled back, one hand gripping the fabric at her hip as I searched her face. 
“Elizabeth, I don’t want to wait. I know that’s what we planned, but being here, in this city, it just makes me think of all the time I wasted, and I don’t want to waste any more.” 
Shock rolled through her, and brown eyes snapped up to lock on mine. “What do you mean?” 
“All of it, Elizabeth…waiting to get married…waiting to add to our family. I want it all…and now…because I want it with you.”
“Don’t say anything now. I just want you to think about it.” 
She grabbed my face. “I don’t need to think about it. I’m ready for this. Ready for us to move on.” 
Relief and joy escaped me in a throaty groan. It was all I wanted, to spend my life with her, to spend it with our daughter, to live for my family, to watch grow.
“Oh my God, Elizabeth.” I dropped to my elbows, brought us closer, our kiss frenzied between our words.
“I love you so much…so much.” 
I sucked at her bottom lip, kiss her at the edge of her perfect mouth, dropped to feast along the line of her jaw.
My nose got lost behind her ear, in her hair, in the softness of her skin. 
I burned. 
Elizabeth arched, silently begged.
I rose to one elbow and grabbed her left hand, kissed the ring she allowed me to place on her finger. “Forever,” I promised against it. 
Her heart thudded a little more. “Forever,” she said.  
And I couldn’t wait for forever to begin. 

About the Author

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled and When We Collide.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves. 


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