Loving Cassie by Jacinta Howard

 

LOVING CASSIE BY JACINTA HOWARD

Cassandra James thinks she has her place in the world all figured out. But an unexpected betrayal forces her to ask if her “free black girl” vibe is a myth, or worse, a mask to hide herself from the world.

Bam Mosley, keyboardist for the alt-soul band, the Prototype, knows who he is. He just wants to make good music and see the people he cares about win.

Then he meets her.

Sure, Cassandra is gorgeous and smart, with hypnotic eyes, but his bandmate’s sister wasn’t supposed to be this…disruptive and break down all his defenses.

She sees what he hides from everyone else. He allows her to take off her mask.

But is their connection powerful enough to survive life’s low notes? Or maybe the true test of love is knowing when to let go…

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Excerpt:

Kennedy was shaking me awake way before I was ready to function.

“I’m up,” I croaked, to get her to stop jerking on my shoulder. I buried my head in her comforter, struggling to push myself into consciousness. It felt like my body was filled with concrete. Probably because I was operating on a little over two hours of sleep, messing around with Bam.

Bam: A sudden impact or occurrence.

His face crowded into my brain, his lips on my ear, beard scratching my skin, his skilled hands on my body. I ran a hand down my face, like that would erase the memory, or my attraction to him. I could still smell him in my clothes from last night. I heard Kennedy already rustling around and finally pushed myself to set up, blinking sand out of my eyes.

She was rummaging through her bag, and looked up at me. She smiled sleepily.

“We can crash in the van,” she informed me, yawning. “The guys never make us drive.”

Probably another southern thing I wasn’t privy to living in the Midwest. I nodded, rubbing my eyes as I swung my legs over the twin sized bed, standing and heading into the bathroom. When I came out a few minutes later, Kennedy was fully dressed, lugging her bag into the living room.

“They’re outside,” she said quietly, moving further down the darkened hallway. I saw light peering from the kitchen. Pepper was already up?

I headed back into the bedroom and dressed quickly, throwing on a pair of leggings, a t-shirt and shoving Bam’s hoodie over my head again after I brushed my teeth and washed my face. I pulled my skull cap on and rolled my carryon out of the bedroom.

“I can’t believe you’re awake,” I greeted Pepper, who was standing in the living room, wearing a lavender jogging suit, her hair hanging down the middle of her back in one long braid. She looked as if she’d been up and at it for hours.

“Had to see my grand-girls off,” she said smiling.

I released my bag, moving to hug her. Her embrace was warm and comforting when I inhaled her.

“You come back sooner. Not later. Understand?”

I nodded, hugging her tight. “Definitely.”

“I mean it, Ru.” Her voice was firm and I nodded again.

“I promise.”

“Remember what I told you. Take care of you too,” she said gently in my ear.

I felt tears welling in my eyes when I nodded again. “I will.”

Kennedy and Pepper exchanged their good-byes and then we were pushing through the front door less than two minutes later. The air was crisp, the sky still dark because even the sun couldn’t be bothered to make an appearance yet. The van was parked at the curb, engine humming quietly, billows of smoke exiting from the rear exhaust pipe because of the temperature.

My eyes immediately landed on Bam at the rear of the van, standing next to Travis as they hoisted Kennedy’s bags into the back. He was wearing a navy blue thermal and a pair of gray sweats and he looked so good, I almost tripped on the steps leading down to the sidewalk. I exhaled, catching myself, and dragged my carry-on behind me, the wheels extra loud on the concrete because it was so early and still outside. Bam looked up at me then, his gaze connecting with mine. He smiled a little, and my stomach tightened. I looked away.

“Y’all can go on and get in. The heat’s on, so it’s warm,” Travis told us, his eyes on Kennedy, who was standing at the curb shivering as they loaded the bags.

“Right on,” I said, starting toward the doors.

“Cupcake.”

It was Bam’s deep voice calling me. I hesitated for a second before turning and looking at him. A half-grin was on his face when he jerked his head, beckoning me to him. I chewed on the inside of my lip, staring at him while I debated. He chuckled.

“C’mere, Cassandra.”

Reluctantly, I made my way to the back of the van.

“I got the rest,” Bam dismissed Travis, his voice early morning gruff, which was insanely arousing.

“Aight.” Travis smiled at me before loping around to the driver’s side.

I stood there toeing the gravel and stuffed my hands into the oversized hoodie I’d decided I was stealing and taking back home with me because it was so comfortable.

“After careful thought and consideration, I’ve decided that last night was a mistake,” I declared in a rush before he could speak. Better to just get it out there so that my entire trip wouldn’t be ruined with weird awkwardness.

Bam grinned at my announcement, hoisting Kennedy’s second bag into the back, biceps flexing.

“You did, huh?”

“Yes.”

“I called you after you left.” He looked over at me as he effortlessly picked up my heavy shoulder bag.

“I turned my phone off. What were you gonna say?”

“That I hope you don’t think last night was a mistake.” He smirked and grabbed my other bag, arranging it in the back so that it fit with the others.

“I prolly shouldn’tve let things go that far.”

His eyes had turned serious when he turned to face me, shutting the back doors. I stayed quiet, mostly because it was difficult to speak when Bam was looking at me the way he was.

“Me askin’ you to come over wasn’t about that. I just wanted your company.”

His gaze was zeroed in on mine, his chocolate eyes tired but full of heat.

“But I’m not gonna front. Our chemistry is unreal, Cass. I got carried away.”

I drew in a breath at his admission. Bam didn’t talk like a boy. He tucked his hands into his sweat pockets, his eyes never leaving my face.

“It’s not just on you. I’m the one who got carried away.”

“And now you’re shook.”

His tone was matter-of-fact. I looked down at the oil stained gravel, shaking my head in denial.

“I’m not ‘shook.’ I just think we need to chill.” I looked up at him again. “Don’t you?”

“No.”

I tilted my head to the side. “So you’re sayin’ you wanna be my rebound? Because that’s what it would be.” I exhaled, staring at the ground again. “I don’t have the head space, or the emotional capacity or fortitude to deal with… anything.”

“Emotional fortitude?”

When I looked up again, he was biting on the inside of his lip, holding back a smile.

“Don’t make fun of me. I’m trying to be real here.”

“I’m sorry.” Only he didn’t look sorry at all because he was still grinning. “You’re just super cute.”

He squinted at me like he was trying to figure out how it was possible, or where I came from, and grabbed the bottom hem of my hoodie, pulling me closer slowly, like he was giving me a chance to pull away if I wanted to. I didn’t.

“You have too many women,” I accused tilting my head up to meet his eyes, ignoring the way my heart was racing standing so close to him. He smelled like soap and detergent, and man. “Not that I care. I’m not here for this anyway. I just wanted—” I stopped and shook my head, sighing, looking across the street at Pepper’s neighbor’s house, shivering a little in the cold.

“You just wanted what?”

“To breathe…”

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ABOUT JACINTA HOWARD

A longtime journalist and lifelong music lover, Jacinta Howard lives in the Atlanta area. She is the author of new adult, women’s fiction, and contemporary romance, a USA TODAY HEA Must-Read Author and a two-time RONE Award nominee.

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Mindf*ck by Danyell A. Wallace

 

MINDF*CK BY DANYELL A. WALLACE

Clayton had it all: good looks, star soccer player, and the unlikeliest girl of his dreams. Life wasn’t good. It was great. Until a family tragedy strikes and shatters Clayton’s world as he knows it, along with his memory.

As Clayton struggles to put the pieces of his life back together, his beautiful, brown-skinned guardian angel with the wavy hair and soulful eyes is with him the entire way. But who is she? He may not know her name, but her face and the way she fills his heart are definitely unforgettable.

Find out what happens when life as you know it is turned inside out and you’re forced to put the pieces back together, one memory at a time.

Welcome to MindF*ck!

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ABOUT DANYELL A. WALLACE

Danyell A. Wallace was born in Alaska and is currently living in Alabama. She’s a mom to three awesome kids, and a wife to an incredibly supportive husband. When she’s not using her imagination to write very adult, very sexy books, she’s reading, spending time with family and friends, watching football, and catching up on TV shows that she has saved on the DVR.

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Know Your Place by Shelly Ellis

Success didn’t come easy for three best friends from the streets. And now dangerous choices and reckless desire will push their bond to lethal limits.

A stint at the Branch Avenue Boys’ Youth Institute taught Ricky, Derrick, and Jamal to unite when the going got tough. But fallout from their very different adult lives is making loyalty something they can’t afford–and igniting drama they never saw coming . . .


Arrested during a city-wide raid, Ricky must inform on D.C’s drug king pin, Dolla Dolla–and find the woman who loved and betrayed him. But revenge is a slippery slope that’s putting a target on his back . . .

Institute head Derrick hopes reuniting with his fiancée will keep his secret affair with a colleague in the past. Unfortunately, one of his students is hiding Dolla Dolla’s major stash–and Derrick’s attempt to do the right thing will have shattering consequences . . .


Jamal’s backroom deal with D.C.’s corrupt mayor is giving him everything he thought he wanted: money, power, and women. But murder and the unexpected return of the woman he’s always loved is getting him in way over his head. His attempts to manage the damage will put him and his friends at killer odds to be the last man standing . . .

Chapter 1

Derrick Miller stared down at the two open suitcases in front of him, closed his eyes for a few seconds, and slowly opened them again.

It was insane but, in the back of his mind, he had hoped they would disappear. Maybe the suitcases—one filled with multiple stacks of hundred-dollar bills bound neatly with multicolored rubber bands, the other stuffed with packs of white powder that was more than likely cocaine—were figments of his imagination, mini mirages right here at the Branch Avenue Boys’ Youth Institute dormitories.

But of course, they weren’t; the suitcases didn’t shimmer then disappear like a waterfall floating in the desert. They were still there with their lids yawning open, and what they contained was bared for all the world to see.

This was real, too real for Derrick’s liking.

“Come on, man! We gonna be late,” someone shouted in the hallway, shaking Derrick out of his stupor.

His eyes darted to the dormitory’s open door as two boys jogged by, probably on their way to their morning classes. Derrick’s eyes snapped back to the suitcases. He couldn’t leave them here. He certainly couldn’t let any of the boys at the Institute see them. He didn’t know whom they belonged to, but he suspected Cole, the student who was assigned to the bunk where he’d found the suitcases, knew who the owner was. He’d talk to Cole later, but his first mission was to find a place to hide these damn things.

Derrick quickly flipped both of the lids closed, zipping each of them with shaking hands. He grabbed the handles and yanked them off the bed. They landed on the linoleum floor with a thud. They had to weigh about a hundred pounds each.

Derrick gritted his teeth as he lifted the suitcases and lugged them to the door, one in each hand. He walked straight down the hall to the stairwell. A few students eyed him curiously. Several boys had a questioning look on their faces, probably wondering what the Institute’s director was doing, carrying luggage down the hall in the middle of the day like he was heading to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport fifteen miles up the road.

“Hey, Mr. Derrick!” one of the boys—dark skinned and stocky—called out as he held open the stainless steel door for him. His dark eyes dropped to the suitcases. “Damn, those look heavy! You need some h—”

“No!” Derrick barked between bursts of breath.

The boy’s ready smile disappeared.

“I mean . . . I mean, no. I-I got it. Th-thanks for asking though,” Derrick stuttered with a slight grimace.

The boy nodded just as Derrick disappeared into the stairwell and made the slow trek down the stairs to the floor below. With each step, the suitcases felt heavier and heavier. Sweat erupted on his forehead and rolled down the bridge of his nose. The short bursts of breath came out faster, making a faint whistle between his clenched teeth. The tendons and muscles in his arms started to jitter. His heart was beating fast from the stress and the strain. When he finally pushed the steel door open and reached his office, he didn’t lower the suitcases to the floor as much as hurl them.

He shut his office door behind him, locked it, and looked around frantically for a place to hide the suitcases. The office didn’t have a storage closet and the suitcases certainly wouldn’t fit in any of his cabinets or shelves. The only spot where they could possibly fit was a corner beside his file cabinet. He shoved them both into the dusty, dark space.

By now, not only was his brow sweaty, but pools of sweat had also formed under his armpits. His palms were slick with it. Sweat even dripped down his back and the crack of his ass.

When Derrick finally finished shoving the suitcases into the hiding space, he dragged across the floor a potted fiddle-leaf fig tree his fiancée, Melissa, had given him for his birthday to add a little softness to his sterile office. He set it in front of the suitcases. He then stood back and surveyed his handiwork.

It was a questionable hiding job—the plant barely provided any coverage—but it would have to do for now.

He flopped back into his rolling chair and let out a slow, long exhale. It took another ten minutes for his heart to finally return to its normal pace, for his hands to stop shaking.

How the hell did those things even get here?

How had the boys managed to smuggle something so heavy and massive into the dorms, right under the noses of the instructors and security guards? When had they done it? It must have been recently because the suitcases certainly would have been noticed during their weekly inspections of the boys’ bunks and lockers. Had someone else brought them?

Cole knows all the answers, he thought, staring at the fig tree. And that boy better tell me the damn truth!

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About Shelly Ellis

Shelly Ellis is a NAACP Image Award-nominated women’s fiction/romance author and creator of the Gibbons Gold Digger and Chesterton Scandal series. Her fiction writing career began when she became one of four finalists in a First-Time Writers Contest when she was 19 years old. The prize was a publishing contract and having her first short-story romance appear in an anthology. She has since published several novels and was a finalist for 2015 NAACP Image Award in the Literary Fiction Category, a three-time finalist for the African American Literary Award in the romance category (2012, 2016, and 2017), and a finalist for the 2015 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in Multicultural Romance category.

She is married and lives in Prince George’s County, Maryland with her husband and their daughter. Visit her at her web site http://www.shellyellisbooks.com.

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A Taste of Passion & Ambitious Seduction by Chloe Blake and Nana Prah

A Taste of Passion by Chloe Blake

The exquisite night Maya North spends with a seductive stranger is the perfect prelude to her new life in Paris as co-owner of a French vineyard. Until she discovers that her mystery lover is her new business partner, Nicolas Rayo—and he’s trying to buy her out. That’s when the LA corporate consultant decides it’s war—even if her heart says Nic’s the one…

Ambitious Seduction by Nana Prah

Heir to his family’s international empire, Leonardo Astacio chose to make his name in the legal arena. Now he’s up for a partnership and must work with his competition, ambitious attorney Kamilla Gordon, to win their firm a deep-pocketed client. In Aspen, the simmering attraction they’ve been fighting boils over. But when they uncover corruption that reaches to the highest levels, can passionate rivals become lovers for life?

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ABOUT CHLOE BLAKE

Chloe Blake can be found dreaming up stories while she is traveling the world, or just sitting on her couch in Brooklyn, NY. When she is not writing sexy novels, she is at the newest wine bar, taking random online classes, binge watching Netflix, or searching for her next adventure. Chloe has published two erotic novels under the pseudonym Chloe Blaque. Readers can find out more about Chloe and her books from her website at http://www.chloeblakebooks.com.

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ABOUT NANA PRAH

Nana Prah first discovered romance in a book from her eight grade summer reading list and has been obsessed with it ever since. Her fascination with love inspired her to write in her favorite genre where happily-ever-after is the rule.
She is a published author of contemporary, multicultural romances. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s, reading, over-indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family.

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The Southern Seduction Series by S. Taylor

HONEYDEW (BOOK ONE) & I’M YOURS (BOOK TWO) BY S. TAYLOR

Stand-Alone: yes
Series: Southern Seduction
Publication Date:  February 7, 2019
Publisher: Garden Avenue Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Erotic
Tropes: Insta-love (Honeydew and I’m Yours), Blackmailed into marriage (Honeydew)

Honeydew
ISBN: 978-1-940636-78-8 (Ebook edition)
ISBN: 978-1-940636-80-1 (Paperback edition)

I’m Yours
ISBN: 978-1-940636-75-7 (Ebook edition)
ISBN: 978-1-940636-79-5 (Paperback edition)

Release Blitz: February 21, 2019


Southern Seduction series by S. Taylor

Honeydew

Clarisse Jordan is a young single mother, who after the death of her fiancé, poured blood, sweat, and tears into her business, Honeydew Café, to provide for her children. A catering gig for successful and super sexy Dylan Price is the opportunity of a lifetime. But she quickly learns that Mr. Price is interested in more than her Southern cuisine. He has his sights set on her.

Dylan has been in love with Clarisse for years and would do anything to have her—even if it means forcing her into marriage. Lucky for him, the instant chemistry between them is hotter than a mid-summer day beneath the Georgia sun.

Yet Dylan is not completely honest with Clarisse, and when she learns the painful truth, will their love affair end? Or will they be able to find their way back to each other?

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Read an Excerpt

It’s only been a few years since I buried the love of my life. I hear the word marriage and it pulls me from my thoughts of Frost, and I pay close attention.

“I think that’ll be enough time to plan, wouldn’t you agree?”

“To what?”

“Clarisse, were you not listening to me this whole time?”

I shake my head, not caring that I give myself away. Shit, this whole situation is new for me. It’s not every day a girl gets a blackmail or a proposal—I need time to process.

“I said, we’ll marry at the end of the month. That gives enough time to plan.”

“What?!”

“If I knew I could get away with it, I’d marry you with the hour. I think four weeks is reasonable, and I’m not pushing the date out longer,” he says with finality.

I don’t even protest, really. What would be the point? He continues, noting his mother will arrive next week—maybe sooner—to help with the planning.

“You’ve already told her?” My eyes, I know, are wide as saucers.

“Of course not, but I know Delta Price, and when I tell her we’re getting married, she’ll be on the first thing smoking.”

“Are you going to tell her I was with Frost?”

His handsome features soften, and my heartbeats start to quicken with worry of what she’ll think of me, jumping from one friend to the other. Even if they lost touch, Dylan and Frost shared a bond of friendship. He must know what I’m thinking. “She already knows of you and the twins. She was at the funeral.”

“Oh,” I whisper.

“We won’t have time right after the wedding for a honeymoon. I have some business to wrap up in New York, so we’ll go there instead, me, you, and the kids. I’ll take you on a proper honeymoon after I finish my business.”

“What if my business won’t allow me the time off to travel to New York or wherever else?” I press my lips and raise an eyebrow, challenging him.

He only smiles and continues laying out the details.

“Honeydew will be our primary residence. I’ve always loved the place and having a family to share in my joy is what I want.”

“I sure hope it stays that way, because I am building a business, let’s not forget.” I can’t hold my tongue on this matter, and have no problem reminding him at every turn. The only reason I’m allowing him to force my hand is to keep my business and my kids’ home. I’m giving up my freedom, but not my independence.

“I want to kiss the fire right off those soft lips.” He licks his and smiles at me.

I’m equal parts pissed and equal parts aroused. Pissed, because he’s smiling as if I’m an adorable child throwing a fit, and aroused because…well that’s what Dylan Price does to me. I stand, needing to get away from him, because if I don’t, I will turn into a child throwing a fit.

I don’t make it far before being spun around, and my mouth devoured by Dylan. He holds my face captive between strong hands. Dylan tastes amazing. His lips are fast becoming addictive. I soften into him against my will. I want to rage and fight, but how can I when he smells and tastes so delicious?

Soft pulls on my lips end an extremely heated exchange. “Your business will always be important. Don’t forget that.” He takes a few more pulls from my mouth. “Let me give you something else to never forget.”

I’m Yours

Peggy Jordan had long ago closed the door on her heart’s desires, accepting she would never have a loving husband and family of her own. Then a friend asks her to care for an orphaned little girl, and she meets the child’s last living relative. With him, her patience is tested, her desires are unleashed, and she gets the first taste of a life she’d always felt was out of reach.

Years ago, Trevor Duncan left Savannah and vowed never to return. He traveled to remote corners of the globe, helping people, and helping himself to countless women in emotionally-empty relationships. A phone call in the middle of the night changes his entire life. He has a niece who needs him, and when he meets the woman caring for her, he’s consumed with having her all to himself.

Their desire is strong. Their love is instant. But can they learn to trust each other and survive the road to happily-ever-after?

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Read an Excerpt

I’m passing the broom in my kitchen, attempting to clean up as much of the flour from my homemade pie crusts and pizza dough as I can. It’s another pizza and movie Saturday, and Trevor hasn’t come over with Adeline yet. I check the time again and it’s almost noon.

Clarisse’s nanny will be here around two with the twins for the play date. Adeline has been so excited for this day all week. Before they took off last night, she promised to go to sleep fast so morning could come quicker.

When Trevor wasn’t at my door bright and early with Adeline and a cup of Starbucks coffee, my first thought was to text him. Instead of, Are you still coming? I texted, Missing my morning cup of Joe. I have yet to receive a reply.

After putting away the broom and dust pan, I walk over to the work desk in the corner of my kitchen and grab my cell from the charger. I pull up Trevor’s number, ready to call, when a hard knock to the front door startles me. I power walk to the front entry and open the heavy wood door. Adeline rushes in and hugs my legs so tight, as if she didn’t just leave me last night. Her hair is all over her head, and she’s wearing rubber boots with her night clothes.

She looks a hot mess. I hold her face in my hands and lift it so I can see her expression. “Is everything okay?’

“No,” Trevor answers.

“What happened?” I ask.

“Water pipe broke sometime in the middle of the night.” He’s holding a cup of Starbucks coffee. I’m guessing he saw my text. I smile and take the cup. “We woke to water everywhere this morning. I’m thankful it only reached the top of the baseboards. Hate to think what could have happened if it touched the wall plugs in that old house.”

My blood runs cold and I feel lightheaded at the thought. I recall when I first laid eyes on that old house, I questioned Trevor’s logic. Here he is with enough money to purchase three of my houses with no discomfort, and he settles on renting a small, old house.

“‘It’s my first home. We don’t need much, and it’s temporary,’” he had told me, and I realized Trevor was no typical rich asshole.

I hold Adeline tight and move from in front the door. I’m squeezing her, repeatedly kissing her cheek, grateful to see her face. When I think I’ve composed myself, I pull back and ask her to head upstairs so she can cleanup and dress before her play date. She runs up the stairs to her room, and I rush into Trevor’s waiting arms.

I’m holding him a little awkward because of my coffee cup, but Trevor has me completely engulfed in a strong embrace. “What are you going to do?”

He takes a breath before answering. “I reserved a room at a hotel in town.”

“Why?” I give him a confused look. “You know you can stay here. Adeline has gone through so many changes. Her room is familiar, and we have a routine.” I smile before adding, “The two of you are here over ninety percent of the day anyway.”

Trevor gives me a smile and I pray he agrees. I make one more attempt at getting my way, but this next statement is equally as true as the last. “I’m so happy you and Adeline are safe. To even give the smallest of my energy to the thoughts of what could have happened… I want to lock you both away so you’re safe forever. Right now I need you to say yes, Trevor.”

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ABOUT S. TAYLOR

S. TAYLOR discovered a love of storytelling at the age of twelve. She would entertain her cousins with exciting adventures and tales of young love, which changed over the years from telling tales at sleepovers to writing several short stories. For S. Taylor writing remained a hobby until 2009 when she decide to share this love with others. She writes love at first sight romance novels full of passion, erotic moments, and emotional conflicts with a satisfying happily ever after ending. She is a Texas native, wife, and busy mother of five daughters. She spends her free time mediating sibling arguments, relaxing with yoga, and discovering new and tasty vegan dishes she enjoys cooking for her family.

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A Lesson on Love by Sharon C. Cooper

A LESSON ON LOVE BY SHARON C. COOPER

Some lessons are harder to learn than others.

Jerry Jenkins is a player. He loves women. Curvy women. Soft women. He’s unapologetically drawn to full-figured women. With all the beauties in the world, he has no intention of settling down with just one. Not until Rayne Ellison moves in next door. But the curvaceous beauty doesn’t fall for his charm. Still, she’s the only woman who has him willing to shred his bachelor’s card.

If there’s one lesson single mom Rayne learned over the years, it’s to avoid players. Been there, done that. Barely survived. No way will she fall prey to another ladies’ man. She has one focus—raising her daughter, but there’s something so magnetic about Jerry. Rayne agrees to be friends, but nothing more. At least that’s what she tells herself.

When tragedy strikes, Rayne is ready to give up, but it’s Jerry who keeps her afloat. He breaks down her defenses and, in the process, gives her a lesson on love.

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ABOUT SHARON C. COOPER

Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic – loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award – Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit http://www.sharoncooper.net.

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Love Grind by Shelly Ellis

Love Grind by Shelly Ellis

She’s used to baring it all . . . but baring her heart is a whole different story

Down on her luck and broke, Jennifer Dudley long ago traded dancing in the chorus line for swinging from a stripper pole to make ends meet. She’s hoping an offer to come back home and teach dance at her old performance academy will be the opportunity she needs to fix her life. When she moves in with and falls for a software developer with brains, a boyish smile, and muscles, she decides she might be well on her way to a second chance at success—and love. But her X-rated past may come back to haunt her, compromising her newfound happiness and hurting the ones she loves the most.

 

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AMAZON

Add on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2WGSJYC

ABOUT SHELLY ELLIS

Shelly Ellis is a NAACP Image Award-nominated women’s fiction/romance author and creator of the Gibbons Gold Digger and Chesterton Scandal series. Her fiction writing career began when she became one of four finalists in a First-Time Writers Contest when she was 19 years old. The prize was a publishing contract and having her first short-story romance appear in an anthology. She has since published ten novels and was a finalist for 2015 NAACP Image Award in the Literary Fiction Category, a three-time finalist for the African American Literary Award in the romance category (2012, 2016, and 2017), and a finalist for the 2015 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in Multicultural Romance category.

She is married and lives in Prince George’s County, Maryland with her husband and their daughter. Visit her at her web site http://www.shellyellisbooks.com.

CONNECT WITH SHELLY ELLIS

AUTHOR SITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Tell-Tale by Danielle Allen

Tell-Tale by Danielle Allen

True, I’d been nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous—to have the conversation with him. I knew he was going to think I sounded crazy. I knew he was going to think I was crazy. But I’d nervously fretted about my feelings for him for years. My nerves had sharpened my senses—not destroyed or dulled them. And above all was my ability to listen.

I’d heard all the reasons why we shouldn’t be together. I know I’d given every excuse in the world, every excuse from heaven to hell as to why we couldn’t be together. But my feelings wouldn’t go away, so… how does that make me crazy?

Listen! Sanely and calmly, I’ll tell you the whole story.

** Tell-Tale is a contemporary romance inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart **

AVAILABLE ON:

AMAZON

Win the Danielle Allen “Poe Box”

Includes Tell-Tale paperback and Edgar Allan Poe paraphernalia (US only)

Enter to Win

ABOUT Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen is a novelist, professor, and life coach. Living authentically has been the key to her living her best life. With a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Human Services, Danielle plans to pursue a Ph.D. in the very near future. Helping people better understand themselves so they can become the best version of themselves is one of her passions. Writing contemporary romance novels that change the status quo of the genre is another.
Danielle Allen is the author of the Back to Life Series (Back to Life, Back to Reality, Back to December), Love Discovered in New York, Autumn & Summer, the Heartache Series (Heartache, Heartfelt, Heartless*), Work Song, The One Series Duet (The One and After The One), Nevermore, The Art of Being, Disasters in Dating Choose Your Dating Adventure (Disasters in Dating, Brink of Disaster: This One, Brink of Disaster: That One), Broken Clocks, Sweatpants Season, Cuffing Season, and the upcoming The Women of V Series.

CONNECT WITH DANIELLE ALLEN

AUTHOR SITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | BOOK + MAIN | NEWSLETTER | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Trois by Brooklyn Knight

Trois is the exciting conclusion to Brooklyn Knight’s The French Connection series; A BWWM, Multicultural & Interracial Romance. It is currently on sale now in eBook and paperback format.

ABOUT THE BOOK

He has three days to save her…

Dylan Hamilton has waited two years for this day to arrive; the day when Laila Renaud will become his wife. But the morning after his nuptials, he awakens, drugged and confused, only to discover that she has been snatched from his bed. And according to the man who has taken her, he has a limited amount of time to get her back. The clock is ticking… When Stefan Miller finds three Italian gangsters sitting in his suite the morning after Dylan’s wedding, it’s confirmation that his worst fears have come true. His brother’s antics have finally caught up with him and everyone else, including his love-interest, Sasha, who has been held ransom. Now with the clock counting down, he and Dylan must come up with a plan to save the women from impending doom.

Theoretically, it’s a simple operation: Get Stefan’s brother! Engage Dylan’s mob-boss of a mother! Save the girls!

But the rescue effort doesn’t go as smoothly as planned, especially when the puzzle pieces of Dylan’s traumatic past begin to connect. And especially when Stefan discovers that Sasha has fallen under the curious spell of her green-eyed kidnapper.

 

 

Series The French Connection, Book 3 of 3

Publication Date January 4, 2019

Publisher Independently Published

Print Length 260 pages

Genres BWWM Romance, Multicultural & Interracial Romance, Contemporary Romance

Add on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43313848-trois

EXCERPT

Dylan

A persistent pounding on the door ripped me out of sleep. I stirred, extra groggy from the fact that Laila had interrupted my slumber to talk about my parents and the announcement of her pregnancy. Her questions about my mother and father had angered me, but I’d hidden it from her, but when she’d told me she was carrying our baby, any negative emotions I’d been harboring fled.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

I reached over to the nightstand and gripped the clock, squinting. “It’s five-thirty,” I said to Laila. I reached over to pull her close, but when I realized the place in which she was laying was empty, my eyes popped open.

Bang! Bang!

“Lai…” I called into the darkness. My eyes shot to the en-suite bathroom, noticing the light bleeding from beneath the closed door.

Maybe she’d gotten up to use it. That was what happened to pregnant women. They peed more and they started throwing up. The sound of water running down the drain confirmed my suspicions.

The banging sounded again and I threw my legs over the edge of the bed, holding my head. That was when I realized the banging wasn’t only coming from the door. An aggressive thud was pounding against my brain, and I wondered what it could be from.

I looked at the empty glass on the night table and my brows drew. I turned to the door. “Who is it?” I shouted.

“Open the door, man!”

I stretched the tightness out of my limbs and made my way over, wondering what in the world would have Stefan so uptight and hammering my door down at such an ungodly hour.

“Lai,” I called again.

Still no answer.

I frowned, peeked through the peephole, and then stood back.

Stefan’s voice emitted from the other side of the barrier, and I couldn’t help but notice the alarmed edge in his tone.
I unlatched the door and ripped it open. Without hesitation, Stefan sprang inside, his eyes as wide as saucers.

“Stef, what the hell –”

“Where’s Laila?” He pushed past me and started searching the room as if he was looking for treasure.

I frowned, trying to understand what he was talking about, all the while, trying to ignore the throbbing in my head. “What do you mean, where’s Laila? She’s in the bathroom.”

Without saying anything, Stefan dashed for the bathroom and ripped at the door.

“What the hell are you doing?” I demanded rushing after him, I pulled him by the arm.

He ripped his arm away from me and glared at me. His eyes seeped with anger.

I grimaced. “What’s going on?” I demanded.

“Laila isn’t here,” he spat out.

My neck jerked forward. “Of course she is, she’s in the bathroom,” I reminded him. “She’s pregnant.”

Stefan rolled his eyes towards the ceiling and covered his face with his hands. “Jesus Christ…” he muttered.

“That’s not quite the response I was expecting,” I admitted trying to quell my frustration.

Stefan spun around and gripped me by the shoulders. “Dylan, Laila isn’t here,” he said again. Forcefully.

My body turned rigid. “What the hell do you mean –”

“Your boy, Anthony Moretti, the guy you told me not to worry about…”

He was talking, but I’d already ripped the bathroom door open, almost taking it off the hinges. I looked into the room, my eyes shifting frantically, searching for my wife who, true to Stefan’s word, was nowhere in sight. The only sign of movement was the water spilling from the gold faucet and disappearing down the drain.

My chest heaved and I stumbled until I had no choice but to lean over the basin. Water from the tap splashed onto me. Everything was spinning like it would in a funhouse, yet there was no doubt in my mind, I was in a house of goddamn horrors.

“Where’s my wife?” I gripped my temple before pulling myself away from the basin and storming through the Presidential Suite. I ransacked the place. I tore through every room, tossing the furniture like it was plastic. I marched out to the pool and scanned the area. With each examination, the fact that she was nowhere to be found pushed me further over the edge of sanity.

I screamed her name into the emptiness.

No answer.

Stefan paced the floors next to me. His hand was clasped over his mouth. His eyes were narrow with rage. “He took Sasha too,” he muttered.

I spun around to look at him. “Who took Sasha?”

Stefan turned his eyes on me. “Fucking Moretti.”

I looked at the carpet, trying to make sense of what he was saying. “How do you know this?”

“Because I woke up in the middle of the night to Moretti and his boys in my goddamn room, and that’s when he told me. Silas…”

“What the hell does he have to do with this? I swear to God, I’ll kill him!” I listened, my entire body shaking as Stefan revealed the things Moretti had told him. Then he handed me the man’s business card, his despicable name embossed and emboldened.

Three days.

Moretti was demanding that we came up with two million euros in three days.

An angry breath escaped my nose. “Fine,” I spat. “He wants it in three days, he’ll have it three hours.”

Stefan nodded, realizing that my transferring the funds into Moretti’s account was the only way to put a stop to what was happening.

I raced around the room, looking for my cell phone. After a few minutes, which felt like a few hours, I found it on the floor underneath shards of a vase I’d destroyed.
I instructed SIRI to call my accountant and waited, operating on threads of patience, for him to pick up.

It went to voicemail.

I cursed.

“What happened?” Stefan asked, dry-washing his hands.
I gripped my bottom lip between my teeth and didn’t respond. Instead, I called the number again, this time taking care to punch each digit in manually.

It rang six times before clicking over to voicemail. In a fit of rage, I pitched the phone across the room and took my sweaty hair into my hands.

“Fuck!” My voice almost made the Swarovski chandelier hanging above us to crash to the floor.

Stefan raked his hands through his afro and pulled out his own cell phone.

“Who are you calling?” I asked, shoving my hands on my hips.

“It sure as hell ain’t my investment banker,” he muttered. “The hell if I have two million goddamn euros sitting in an account.” He pressed the phone against his ear. “I’m calling my brother.”

“If you don’t have it, he sure as hell doesn’t,” I spat. My eyes burned and I rubbed them, trying to erase the sensation.
I needed to slow down.

I needed to calm down and think rationally.

Ma belle fille and Sasha had been abducted. I had no idea how it had happened or when. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I couldn’t remember much of what had transpired over the course of maybe three or four hours.

Stefan turned away from me and I listened for a second as he threw a slew of curse words into the cell phone receiver.
I pinched the bridge of my nose, trying to practice my solution-focused mantra, the one I used every day at my firm.

“I need to call Moretti,” I mumbled to myself. My cell phone, now shattered on the ground, would be of no use. I rushed to the landline on Laila’s side of the bed and tried to ignore my heart, crushing inside of my chest. I held the business card Stefan and given me and tried to steady my shaking hands as

I dialed the numbers.

Within seconds, Moretti answered.

I dropped onto the bed and pressed the phone hard against my ear. “Tell me this is a fucking joke!” I shouted into the phone.

“Dylan Hamilton.” The sound of his vocals made me want to spit.

“Where is my goddamn wife?” He’d barely finished his greeting before I was barking the demand. “I swear to God, I’m two seconds away from alerting INTERPOL. They’ll have you apprehended and your ass will be in jail quicker than you can fucking blink!”

“A few things,” Moretti responded casually. “INTERPOL is not a threat to me. Yes, I have been barred from various jurisdictions, but that does not inhibit my movements. Surely, you are aware of this. Secondly, if I were you, I would think long and hard about alerting anybody about anything. Your precious wife and her friend would be dead before the authorities ever caught up with me and my men. And thirdly…” he sighed. “You should practice being less emotional. You are a savvy business tycoon who cuts million-dollar deals by the hour. You, of all people should know that emotion has no place when it comes to business. Let us talk like the adults that we are.”

I gritted my teeth and tried to settle myself as best I could. In some ways he was right. My only concern was getting my wife and Sasha back. If that meant playing Moretti’s sick game, I should at least hear the rules.

Grab your copy of Trois today!

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon http://bit.ly/TroisBook3

Paperback https://amzn.to/2QlHuAr

 

ABOUT BROOKLYN KNIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brooklyn Knight is a romance enthusiast who lives in the island of Bermuda and has been writing stories since she was a little girl. Over the years, her gift for designing and bringing characters to life has evolved, and she enjoys creating vivid, memorable characters and unforgettable situations. Her characters are thought-provoking and evocative; and they will draw emotion out of you like water from a well.

Website http://www.brooklynknightauthor.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18133571.Brooklyn_Knight

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New Release: Baby It’s Cold Outside by Keke Renee

Baby it’s Cold Outside by Keke Renee
Published December 21, 2018 by 304 Publishing
A Christmas Short Erotic Story

Synopsis:
 
Lainey has a big Christmas surprise for her boyfriend, but before she can reveal her secret,
she’ll first have to see her way past several unwelcome obstacles.
 
Andre, a busy Mayoral candidate, wants nothing more than to spend Christmas Eve with the
woman he loves, but a freak snowstorm leaves him in a compromising position with his ex.
 
Between the blizzard, a mysterious photo, and growing suspensions that someone familiar
may be sabotaging the couple, it’s all Lainey and Andre can do to keep their heads on straight
and their hearts in the right place.
 
Can this couple overcome the obstacles in their way and find their way to a much deeper
connection?
Warning: Erotic Romance, Short Christmas Story with HFN.
 
 
Author Bio:
 
Chiquita is an Author and Entrepreneur. Born in Memphis, TN, and currently a Los Angeles CA native. Her background in film/tv has taught and shaped her passion for writing with her debut romance novel Antonio and Sabrina Struck In Love. Since its debut, fans have embraced the unconventional love story of Sabrina Washington and Antonio De Luca making Antonio and Sabrina Struck In Love an Amazon Best Seller on the charts in Italian Drama, African American Drama. More to come from 304 Publishing Company a brand new home for indie authors.
Also, follow her other Author page, Keke Renee, and catch her latest releases for Erotic, Dark, Paranormal Romance.
 
 

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