Saturday, March 25, 2017

BLITZ - Sugar, We’re Going Down by M.H. Soars


Sugar, We’re Going Down
M.H. Soars
(Love Me, I’m Famous #2)
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
EMOTIONAL. CAPTIVATING. SEXY.
The long-awaited story of the incorrigible bad boy rockstar and the feisty woman who brought him down to his knees.
They say nothing compares to the first kiss. That sentence needs to be amended. Nothing compares to the first kiss from Oliver Best. I knew in the moment our lips touched that the cocky rockstar would be forever imprinted in my mind. I also knew that loving him would be my destruction. And yet, love him I did.
Oliver Best, former rockstar, heir to one of the largest fortunes in Great Britain, and the country’s most infamous bad boy.
Saylor Blue Carter, college drop-out, lead singer of a struggling band, not a penny to her name.
When they met, it was hate at first sight. Oliver was an arrogant ass. Saylor was a cold hearted bitch. These were the thoughts they had for each other. Until that kiss. That life altering, earth shattering, nuclear kiss. They knew what that kiss meant. They knew anything between them would be explosive and without hope for a happily ever after. So they vowed to forget, they tried to stay away. But now with their best friends’ wedding approaching, all bets are off.
*This is Part One of a 3-Part story.
EXCERPT:
I brace myself for the impact, but as soon as Oliver turns around and my gaze collides with his electric blue eyes, I know I’ll have to bring my A-game if I’m to survive being near him. I haven’t seen the man in six months, but just being under his scorching gaze is enough to make me relive our fiery kiss and crave for more. I’ve never felt this crazy fixation for anyone before. It’s like an ice cold fever that won’t quit, a yearning that makes by body tingle all over in anticipation.
Oliver’s gaze skates over my body deliberately slowly, and a satisfied grin is plastered on his smug face when he focuses on my eyes again.
“Hello, there,” he says.
“What are you doing here?” I snap and my rude reply earns me a frown from Sebastian. Shit, I really need to work on tempering my bitchiness when I’m nervous.
Oliver chuckles. “I see you’re still mad at me. I’m kind of honored.”
I cross my arms in front of my chest and bite my tongue to keep from saying anything else that will give away how much Oliver is affecting me.
Someone touches my arm and with a side glance I see it’s Liv. “Be nice, Blue. I can’t have my maid of honor bickering with the best man.”
My shoulders sag as I let out a heavy sigh. I’ve never been part of a wedding party before so I have no idea how much interaction there is between the maid of honor and the best man. I hope it’s minimal. Oliver keeps staring at me like he can read my mind. It’s unnerving.
“I gotta make a call.” I turn on my heel and walk away, trying to keep my steps slow and relaxed. But all I want to do is sprint back to the house. That’s how badly Oliver’s presence is turning my head around. I hate this.
Once inside, I veer to the powder room. The make-a-call excuse is terrible, but I need a moment to recover. Inside the small room, I stare at my reflection in the mirror and count to ten in my head. I tell my heart to calm the fuck down and to stop galloping at full speed. I feel like a teenager suffering from her first crush and that’s not an emotional state I want to revisit.
I splash cold water on my flushed face and redo my loose braid. After taking a couple of deep breaths and squaring my shoulders, I can almost pretend I’m ready to go back out. I refuse to let Oliver’s presence keep me from spending quality time with my best friend.
I place one foot out of the door when his voice startles me. “How was that call?”
I jump on the spot, placing a hand over my chest. “Jesus. Did you follow me?”
Oliver is leaning nonchalantly against the wall with his arms crossed. I notice for the first time what he’s wearing, a black T-shirt that highlights his muscled chest and arms. He is also blonder than I remember. But it’s his devious mouth that makes me lose the ability to form coherent thoughts. God, I want to kiss him again.
He pushes himself off of the wall and moves closer. I hold my ground, feigning a pissed off stance. He can’t know how much I crave his nearness.
“What if I did?” he whispers in my ear, making my skin break out in goose bumps.
“I’d say I don’t appreciate stalkers.”
Oliver takes a step back and stares at me. I wish I knew what he is thinking.
“You’ve changed your hair. I kind of liked the mermaid colors.”
I touch my white blonde locks before narrowing my eyes at Oliver. “Did you just follow me to comment on my hair?”
“I want to clear the air around us. I know that we started on the wrong foot—”
“You don’t say,” I cut him off and Oliver flattens his lips.
“But we’ve ended on a very interesting note,” he finishes his sentence with a smirk.
I cross my arms and keep on glaring at the infuriating man. “Don’t get any fancy ideas. That kiss meant nothing and there won’t be a repeat.”
He steps into my personal space again. “Are you sure? I thought that was a wicked kiss. It’s definitely worth an encore.”
I push him away. “It’s been months. Get over yourself. Don’t you have a line of ravenous groupies dying for your attention?”
“Ravenous groupies?” He chuckles. “The images you paint in my head, Saylor. Then you blame me for getting fancy ideas.”
“Listen, Oliver. I don’t know how long you’re in town for, but I would like for us to try to act amicable whenever we’re forced together thanks to our friends’ wedding. So you’d better quit with the sexual innuendo.”
Oliver sighs loudly like what I just asked him is a huge, inconvenient favor. “You’re killing me here, Saylor. Do you know how hard it will be for me to look at you and not want you?”
I suck in a breath as my heart lurches in my chest. It takes me a moment to find my ground again and answer him.
“Try your best,” I say, my voice thin and without substance.
Oliver reaches out and takes a strand of my hair, letting it slide through his fingers. I remain frozen on the spot.
“Maddening, but I will.” He drops my hair and takes a couple of steps back. “And since I’m being completely honest here, I’m seriously considering making California home.”
Oliver goes back to the party outside, leaving me alone to digest the news. Why does it bother me so much that he wants to move to the same state as me? It’s not like we’ll ever see each other besides when we’re doing wedding stuff. What annoys me the most is how my heart hasn’t gotten the memo yet that Oliver is a bad idea. It celebrates furiously in my chest, like it has just discovered how to beat.


Author Bio:
M. H. Soars always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would become an author. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first novel, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.
M. H. Soars resides in Florida with her husband and baby daughter. She is currently working on the Arcadian Wars series, and the Love Me, I’m Famous series.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

COVER REVEAL - Claimed By Power by Zoey Ellis

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Claimed By Power
Zoey Ellis
Publication date: April 3rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Not all angels are angelic…
Thea Robinson has never needed anyone’s charity. Sure, her impoverished existence isn’t desired by most, but her ability to manipulate people’s emotions helps her to blend into the shadows of an unforgiving city. When hideous creatures threaten her life, a surly but gorgeous stranger shows up revealing a world she didn’t know existed. She refuses to put up with his rude, arrogant attitude, but how do you dismiss a warrior angel? And does she really want to when his stormy gaze sends delicious thrills straight to her core?
Cam is one of the most ruthless Power angels in the fight against evil. His devotion to kill demons has made him a celebrated warrior in the Angel Realm, even though his motivation stems from grief. When he is assigned to train and protect a half-angel just coming into her abilities, his rage is unparalleled. Until he realizes Thea isn’t like any others. She stirs a carnal passion in him that he can’t shake. He never counted on her being so beautiful… so fierce… so most definitely his.
Claimed by Power is the first book in the Empire of Angels series, a paranormal alpha angel romance series. If you’re a fan of alpha heroes, powerful heroines, paranormal worlds and falling in love, Zoey Ellis’ riveting, sexy tale is perfect for you.
About the end: Although this book can be read as a standalone, Cam and Thea’s story does continue over the next two books.
Sexual scenes and strong language included. Not suitable for readers under 18.
EXCERPT:
“What exactly are my powers?” Thea asked
The angel stood up. “Not now. It’s time to go. You have your answers.”
Frustrated, she exhaled loudly. She went to her wardrobe and grabbed a bra, top, and another pair of jeans. The angel turned away, allowing her to dress. She eyed him from behind. So angels were real. And they were handsome and powerful and stern. Nothing like she would have ever imagined them to be. He couldn’t even crack a smile and yet mocked her like a child. Were all angels like that? Maybe he didn’t like humans.
“At least tell me why they sent you,” she said, smoothing down her top. “Why you?”
“Why not me?” he said, almost in a growl. “Who would you prefer?”
“I don’t know,” Thea said, lifting her shoulders. “Someone able to smile once in a while?”
He turned to face her, his plain expression flavored with annoyance. “I’m not here to entertain you. You need someone to train you and help you learn how to control your abilities. I’m the best there is. You should be honored.”
Thea shook her head, annoyed. Trained? Like a puppy? Not happening. Especially not by this man, who’d been abrupt with her from the start, despite his careful treatment of her wounds. “I should be honored? Honored that I was attacked by those creatures? Honored that I almost got ripped apart? Honored that you had to come and save me, a poor damsel in distress?”
His face hardened with each word she said, but she couldn’t give a fuck.
“I don’t need to be saved by a warrior who can’t stop the horrors happening in this city every day. Or by a God that keeps himself hidden from those he’s supposed to inspire? People are raped and drugged and killed every day; where are you then? Where is He then? I’ve gotten this far without the help of you or God, and I’ll be fine to continue without you.”
The angel’s stance didn’t change. The only indication of his agitation was in the grounding of his jaw. “You’re being irrational. If I was able to find you here, the demons will find you here. You cannot escape them. Pack. Now.”
“No.” She grabbed her phone. “You go. Thanks very much, but I’ll be fine.”
With a low grunt of frustration, the angel grabbed her around the waist quicker than she would have thought possible. He flew up to the ceiling, his rock-like arm digging into her stomach, pressing her against his chest. He swept his free hand over the length of the room. The room began to glow and then burst into flames, smoke eating up the remaining air.
“No!” She struggled to get out of his arms while her home and everything she owned burned.
He leapt out of the window, holding onto her as he flew over the city.


Author Bio:
Zoey Ellis spends her most of her time thinking up stories that explore how love and romance can be tested by the darker side of our personalities and the heart-wrenching challenges that must be overcome for love to win, even if two people belong together.
A lover of the fantastical, Zoey enjoys how intense and vast the challenges can be for couples in the paranormal romance genre. Her goal is to build a body of work depicting thrilling, fantastical romances between demanding alpha heroes and fiery heroines hoping the love they make will scorch ereaders and melt hearts. With a soft spot for angels, dragons and alpha shifters, Zoey blends her love of a Happy Ever After with strangely unique worlds and complex plots.
If you're interested in hearing about Zoey's new releases first, as well as her bonuses and giveaways, sign up to her newsletter.

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BLITZ - A Star to Steer Her By by Beth Anne Miller


A Star to Steer Her By
Beth Anne Miller
Published by: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.
But I will take this journey.
Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.
I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.
Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can’t be together.
When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.
EXCERPT:
I was standing alone at the helm, under full sails and a glittering sky, guiding the ship unerringly across the endless black sea with only the stars to guide me, like the sailors of old. It was amazing. This was why I was here, why I’d gone ahead with this semester at sea, even after everything that had happened. Because I loved the sea, and wanted it to be a part of my life.
I returned my gaze upward, focusing on my guide star.
“‘And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.’”
The low voice came out of nowhere. I spun to the right, where I could just make out the vague outline of someone leaning against the stanchion that held Speedy the motorboat suspended at the stern.
“Tristan?” As soon as the question left my mouth, I rolled my eyes in the darkness. Of course it was him.
“Aye, it’s me.”
“How long have you been standing there?” I hissed. “And where the hell did you come from?” I’d been at the helm for at least half an hour, and I knew he hadn’t been there the whole time.
There was a flash of white in the darkness as he grinned. “I’ve been here for about five minutes. You were so focused on staring up at the stars that you didn’t see me. I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“So instead, you just lurked in the dark until you could scare the hell out of me. Makes sense,” I muttered, trying not to be too thrilled that he’d chosen to hang out up here with me. “What was it that you said, anyway?”
“It’s from a poem. The full verse is:
“‘I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.’”
His lilting accent gave the lines a musical quality, and a shiver ran down my spine. “It’s beautiful,” I said, “and perfectly describes the way I feel. You didn’t write that, did you?” Because it would be supremely unfair for him to be kind, gorgeous, athletic, musically brilliant, and a poet, too.


Author Bio:
My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. I soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led me to a college semester aboard a schooner. I returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug I couldn’t quite shake.
In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I explored with my first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into my new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, 2017). A native New Yorker, I work in the publishing industry and am always looking ahead to my next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship. You can find me on the web at www.bethannemiller.com

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Cover Reveal for THE NEGOTIATOR by Avery Flynn


Tasty Book Tours Presents....


THE NEGOTIATOR
A Hot Romantic Comedy
Avery Flynn
Releasing April 24th, 2017
Entangled Select


Wanted: Personal Buffer

Often snarly, workaholic executive seeks “buffer” from annoying outside distractions AKA people. Free spirits with personal boundary issues, excessive quirks, or general squeamishness need not apply.  Salary negotiable. Confidentiality required.

Workaholic billionaire Sawyer Carlyle may have joked he needed a “buffer” from their marriage-obsessed mom, but he didn’t need a waiting room filled with “candidates” to further distract him. (Thanks, bro.) But when a sexy job applicant shooes his mom and the socialite in tow out of his office, Sawyer sees the genius of the plan. And the woman. In fact, Miss Clover Lee might just get the fastest promotion in history, from buffer to fake fiancĂ©…

This “free-spirit” might look like hot sunshine and lickable rainbows, but she negotiates like a pitbull. Before Sawyer knows what hit him, he’s agreed to give up Friday nights for reality tv, his Saturdays for flea markets (why buy junk still baffles him), his Tuesdays and Thursdays for “date nights” (aka panty-losing opportunities if he plays his cards right). And now she wants lavender bath salts and tulips delivered every Monday?

Yup, she’s just screwing with him. Good thing she’s got this non-negotiatable six-weeks-and-she’s-gone rule or Sawyer may have just met this match…



When Avery Flynn isn't writing about alpha heroes and the women who tame them, she is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. She has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and has a slight shoe addiction. Find out more about Avery on her website, follow her on Twitter, like her on her Facebook page or friend her on her Facebook profile. Also, if you figure out how to send Oreos through the Internet, she’ll be your best friend for life. Contact her at avery@averyflynn.com. She’d love to hear from you.




COVER REVEAL - CROSSING THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid

CROSSING THE LINE
Cross Creek Series, book 2
by Kimberly Kincaid

Paperback Release & Cover Reveal - Kristen Ashley's THREE WISHES

Three-Wishes-RDL banner    

THREE WISHES is now available in paperback for the first time! This heartwarming and epic love story from New York Times bestselling author, Kristen Ashley, returns with an amazing new cover!

And that’s not all!

THREE WISHES is being re-released in eBook form with beautiful, new formatting! So make a wish, grab your copy, and prepare to fall in love all over again!

    Three-Wishes-cover
When Lily Jacobs was born, she inherited Fazire – a genie. Her family had three wishes and they’d only ever used one so Fazire was stuck in the human world. This worked since he’d become a member of the family anyway.
Even with a genie, Lily's young life wasn’t perfect. To escape the kids making her miserable at school, Lily buried herself in romance novels. One day, when the teasing was just too much, she used one of her wishes. She told Fazire she wanted to find a man like in her books and she made the most complicated wish Fazire had ever heard. Her wished-for man had to be impossibly handsome, virile, fierce, rugged and ruthless (amongst a dozen other things).
He also had to think she was beautiful and he had to love her more than anything in the world.
Nathaniel McAllister wasn’t born to a life where there were such things as genies granting wishes. His life was filled with drugs, crime and neglect. He was running errands for a gangster before he was in his teens and, even though life and hard work led him to wealth and respectability, he always knew, deep down, he was dirty. When Nate met Lily he knew he was no good for her but as virile, fierce, rugged and ruthless as he was, Nate was no match for the pull of sweet, innocent Lily.
Unfortunately, Lily’s wish included that she and her hero go through trials and tribulations to test their love. And Fazire wasn’t only a good genie, he loved Lily – so he gave her exactly what she wanted.

Order THREE WISHES here!

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * GooglePlay *iBooks* Kobo

    Three-Wishes-RDL teaser  

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

  EXCERPT: Nate didn’t know what he wanted but whatever it was, it certainly was not Georgia. He was saved from answering Victor when he spied a youth wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, the hood worn up even though it was a warm day. The boy was slouching down the pavement, head bowed, hands in the front pocket of the sweatshirt, his head swinging this way and that, looking for his mark. Nate’s guard, already on alert—always on alert—went into overdrive. Nate’s eyes narrowed as he watched the youth, and Victor started to get into the Rolls. Then, as expected, the boy darted toward his target and Nate heard a woman’s outraged cry. “Hey!” she yelled. He watched the boy snatch the woman’s purse, his body tensing for action. And then his eyes moved to the woman and uncharacteristically, he froze. “Hey! He stole my purse! Stop him! He stole my purse!” she shouted. Nate vaguely registered she was an American tourist. Nate also absently noticed that no one moved to assist. In that brief moment in time, Nate was too busy drinking in the vision that was her, he himself didn’t move a muscle. She was tall, incredibly tall. And curvy, delectably curvy. She had the most unusual colored hair. Hair that he knew from vast experience living in a house with Laura and Danielle for years came through a supremely talented and expensive stylist’s hands. And she had an exquisite face, flawless skin and a bearing that was extraordinary. She had been given a wide berth around her even on the crowded pavement. Not because she was screaming her head off but instead because she was majestic, radiant, elegant… Untouchable. In a stupor from simply looking at her, the boy with her purse charged right by Nate. Not in a stupor, she realized no one was going to help her, gave up screaming and charged right after the boy. At the noise, Victor turned away from the car and Nate shifted to watch in astonishment as she deftly and agilely dodged the crowd, her long legs a match for the short boy. Then Nate watched in stunned surprise as she jumped onto the thief’s back with a graceful leap. Everyone stared in shock but no one lifted a finger except a few started to take photographs. “Give me back my purse, you thug!” she shouted. Wrapping her long legs around her prey, one arm around his neck, she slapped him around the head with the other hand. The thief staggered back then he staggered with intent and slammed her against the side of the building. Her head snapped back and cracked against the stone so loudly Nate could hear it from where he stood twenty paces away. At the sound Nate jerked out of his stupor and forged forward.  

  Kristin Ashley - headshot

About Kristen Ashley: Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen's Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning. Nothing's changed. Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she's blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.  

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart

A Thousand Letters by [Hart, Staci]

Amazon


A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart 


Sometimes your life is split by a single decision. 

I’ve spent every day of the last seven years regretting mine: he left, and I didn’t follow. A thousand letters went unanswered, my words like petals in the wind, spinning away into nothing, taking me with them. 

But now he’s back.

I barely recognize the man he’s become, but I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid. 

Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his eyes. Maybe if things were different, we would have had a chance. 

One regretted decision sent him away. One painful journey brought him back to me. I only wish I could keep him.

*A contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion*



Staci Hart

http://stacihartnovels.com/


Jen's Review 4.5 Stars

Great story! I really enjoyed this one 

Wade and Eliott were together since they first laid eyes on each other. They knew it was forever even when she was 15 and he was 16 - but when she was 17 and he 18, they were both too young to start a new life together. 

7 years later - the unexpected happened and Wade came home from the Army . He knew it was going to be hard with his dad being sick, but he also knew it was going to be harder being around Eliott. 

Eliott was BFF with Sophie and her little sister Sadie - both sisters to Wade. And their dad, Rick was her Mentor - She learned everything from him. Her own family was mean and selfish, but she had learned to deal with them by not letting their words or actions get to her. 
Instead, she focused on things that made her happy. And Rick had taught her about Poetry. 

This book was deep - the whole family's feelings towards Rick were raw and seeing him slowldyingng and no one able to do anything was hard. (Especially when I was reading at work on every break and lunch :) ) 

Wade was hard to read about too - He had so much emotions and everything piling up on his shoulders, it's no wonder he didn't know what to do or how to feel - 

This was a sweet story - I enjoyed reading this one a lot :) 


Excerpt Reveal for WALK OF SHAME by Lauren Layne


The City's HOTTEST Cold War!


WALK OF SHAME
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing April 18th, 2017
Loveswept


Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.



Georgie

Tuesday morning

Let’s talk about five a.m. for a second.

Also known as the worst hour of the day, am I right?

Here’s why:

If you’re awake to see five in the freaking morning, it means one of a few things, all of them heinous.

Scenario one: You’re on your way to the airport for an early morning flight. Heinous.

Scenario two: You’ve been out all night, and now your vodka buzz is fading, and you’re just sober enough to realize that the rest of your day will likely involve Excedrin, carbs, and indoor voices. Heinous.

Scenario three: You’ve got a crap-ton on your mind, and you’re lying awake in bed, staring at the ceiling, hating your life. Maybe hating yourself a little bit, I dunno, who am I to judge? Heinous.

Now brace yourself, because scenario four is the most heinous of them all: You’re awake at five a.m. because you’re an uptight prick whose schedule is even more rigid than your posture, and your life is an endless string of working out, the corner office, repeat. You’re also likely the type of person who subsists on protein shakes and kale smoothies, and you have been known to utter the phrase the body is a temple, thus solidifying what we already knew about you.

You have no friends.

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

See, it’s five a.m., and I, Georgie Watkins, am . . . kind of excited about it.

I know. I know. Four months ago I’d have bet my favorite vintage Chanel bag that there was exactly zero chance I’d actually look forward to the ghoulish hour of five in the morning.

And yet here we are.

I guess you could say there’s a scenario five on reasons to be up this early.

“Good morning, Ramon,” I sing, pushing through the revolving doors of the luxury high-rise on 56th and Park, the place I call home.

The concierge/security guard/all-around good guy glances up and gives me a friendly smile. “Ms. Watkins. Good morning.”

Usually the massive front desk is a bustling, busy affair. Starting at around seven, an army of well-dressed concierges will be smoothly facilitating the needs of impatient residents, as tiny dogs let out sharp, high-pitched barks of greeting from their Louis Vuitton carriers.

But that’s later.

Right now, the luxurious lobby is mostly silent, with just the lone overnight guy working the front desk, holding down the fort until the day guys arrive to handle the morning crush.

My new Tory Burch clutch tucked into my armpit, I hold up the box in my hands and waggle my eyebrows. “Brought you something.”

Ramon’s smile grows wider, brown eyes lighting. “My wife says you’re going to make me fat.”

“Tell Marta that the dad bod is totally in style right now,” I say, setting the box of donuts on the counter and lifting the lid. “Unless, of course, you don’t want a maple bacon donut?”

Ramon is already reaching inside the box, shaking his head in reverence as he lifts the sugary treat. “Still warm.”

“Well, technically the shop doesn’t open until five, but I’m such a loyal customer, they let me in a bit early,” I say, surveying the array of donuts and trying to decide if I’m in a chocolate kind of mood or if I want to risk the powdered sugar one.

Since my Alexander McQueen minidress is black (the archnemesis of powdered sugar), I reach for the chocolate as I set my clutch on the counter and fish out my phone: 4:58 a.m.

Two more minutes.

“How’s Marta dealing with the pregnancy of baby number three?” I ask, taking a bite of the donut and shifting attention back to Ramon, who’s already polished off his donut and is contemplating a second. I nudge the box toward him.

“She’s good,” he says. “Excited that we’re finally having a girl.”

“A girl!” I say, reaching across the counter and squeezing his massive forearm. “Congratulations, I hadn’t heard!”

“Just found out yesterday,” he says with a happy smile, apparently deciding that the occasion calls for another donut.

“Oh my gosh, I have the perfect baby gift,” I say, nibbling at a piece of my donut. “I saw this adorable Burberry onesie in Bergdorf’s the other day, with this precious little red bow—”

“Yes, because that’s what every infant needs,” a low voice interrupts. “A four-hundred-dollar piece of fabric that needs to be dry-cleaned. Don’t be ridiculous, Georgiana.”

I don’t have to look at my clock to know what time it is.

Five o’clock.

On the dot.

Not even bothering to turn around, I roll my eyes as my red nails tear off another piece of donut and pop it into my mouth. “Ramon, do you think you could talk to maintenance about adjusting the temp? It just got a little cold in here.”

Ramon’s been working here long enough to know my request isn’t for real. He’s not even paying attention to me. He’s already set his donut aside and has straightened up, practically saluting the newcomer.

“Mr. Mulroney. Good morning, sir.”

“Mr. Ramirez.” The voice is low and serious, a touch impatient, although not quite rude.

You know that adage that you catch more flies with honey? I’m not so sure it’s true. I bring donuts to the front desk guys just about every morning, and they adore me. I know they do.

But they respect him.

Giving in to the inevitable, I finally let my eyes flick to the side, my gaze colliding with a stern brown scowl.

I put on my widest, sparkliest smile, only because I know it drives him crazy.

As always, I see a muscle in his jaw twitch as I flutter my eyelashes.

“Good morning, Andrew,” I say sweetly.

“Georgiana.”

I resist the urge to roll my eyes. Only my late grandmother has ever called me that, and I’m pretty sure that’s because I was her namesake. Everyone else calls me Georgie. Well, okay, not everyone. Ramon and the other guys still insist on calling me Ms. Watkins, but I’m working on it. See: daily donuts.

I smile wider and push the box in Andrew’s direction. “Donut?”

His lip curls. In case you haven’t already gotten a read on this guy, he’s the type that sneers at donuts.

He lifts a boring black travel mug. “Already have my breakfast.”

“Blended-up quinoa sprinkled with a few bits of spinach and pretension?” I ask.

“Whey powder protein shake.”

“Sounds immensely satisfying.”

He takes a sip of the nastiness and watches me with cold brown eyes. “The body is a temple, Georgiana.”

There it is.

Full circle to my above commentary about what sort of people are up and about at five a.m.




Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 



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