July 29, 2016

REFRESH by S. Moose • RELEASE DAY BLITZ, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY





Title: Refresh
Author: S. Moose
Genre: New Adult/Romantic Suspense
 Release Date: July 25, 2016



Blurb

What's left when perfection is gone?

Perfection slipped through Caroline Spencer's fingers. One moment she had it all, and then it was gone. All she has left are her memories, her pain, and her close friends.

And Mason Ryan was not part of her plan--wasn't even on her radar. After all, he was her husband's best friend. But now that her husband is gone, he's the only person who understands her, feels what she feels, and knows her inside and out.

Together, they try to rearrange the shattered pieces of their pain.

Sharing their grief pulls them closer together--closer than either of them want to admit and Mason won't allow himself to fall for his best friend's widow. Ultimately, he's holding the one secret that will destroy Caroline--a secret he cannot even bear himself.

Will they find a way to refresh their lives when the pain of the past won't dissolve?





Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / iBOOKS 

Review by: Leeann 

This is a story about best friends to lovers.  Mason and Caroline have know each other for years. They grew up together. Caroline was married to Masons  best friend and fellow cop.
But when Caroline husband is brutally murdered she turns to none other than Mason for support.  

When they both become targets of whoever murdered her husband, secrets come out and they learn very quick that they have no idea who to trust. 

This book was short and it felt like the author had to cram alot into a short time. In saying that it was still enjoyable and entertaining. The support characters keep things interesting any the mystery builds and the when the mole is revealed all hell breaks loose. 

The storyline had good bones but I felt like their could have been more added to make it come across as less rushed. 


3.5 Stars 







Excerpt

"Let me add," she says with a smirk, "sex and Mason are like desserts."

"What?" I burst out laughing.

"Now listen to me. Sex and Mason are like desserts. There are many sides of Mason and sex consists of different positions all of this like dessert. You see a dessert case and there's everything from fruit tarts to red velvet cake to brownies."

"I'm getting hungry now, thanks."

"Oh shut up," Tonya laughs and continues with her ridiculous explanation. "These two things go hand in hand. So you can take your time and look at these yummy desserts the way you look at Mason and sex and then when you're ready you'll pick the best most delicious dessert and boom, you and Mason will be having boom boom time."

"I can't even with you." I laugh and wipe my tears from laughing so hard. "You're too much."
"Dessert equals Mason and sex. Remember, variety and different tastes!"



Author Bio


S.Moose is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, living in Webster, NY with her family, friends, and shorkie, Charlie.

A 2011 St. John Fisher graduate, S.Moose loves to read and write. She enjoys getting lost in the fictional world and creating a place where readers can fall in love and swoon over the cute boys she brings to life. When she isn't in her room in front of her computer or a book, she is with her family and friends being silly and enjoying life. She's romantic at heart and loves anything with a happily ever after.



Author Links

Giveaway

July 28, 2016

Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe • BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

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Ready the Pickles,  Keane Morgan is finally here!

Meet Keane in this STANDALONE romantic comedy!
(No Prior reading required)

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BUY NOW!!

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Blurb


Keane Morgan wouldn’t return any of my calls or texts, and I was pissed as hell about it. I didn’t want to drive from Seattle to L.A. with the guy any more than he wanted to drive with me, but I had no frickin’ choice in the matter--at least, not if I wanted to use his brother Dax’s coveted parking spot at UCLA.


Okay, so it turned out Keane was objectively gorgeous, and, fine, pretty funny, too. But did he have to be so damned in love with himself? I mean, jeez, the cocky way he flashed those dimples was just so orchestrated. And, honestly, what kind of guy uses the phrase “baby doll” with a straight face? Oh, that’s right: the kind of guy who’s a male stripper.


Yup, the cocky jerk turned out to be Seattle’s answer to Magic Mike, a stripper known as “Ball Peen Hammer”--which meant Keane Morgan was emphatically not the kind of guy I’d ever fall for.


Not. At. All.


No freakin’ way.


Well, until Keane convinced me to fall for him, that is.


Which I did.


Hard.

Review by: Stacey 

Wow!!!! OMFG!!! I just finished Ball Peen Hammer by the amazing Lauren Rowe & I'm embarrassed to say that this is my 1st book I've ever read by her. Why? Cuz I love to read and can't believe I have never picked up a book by her....I love love loved this book hard!!!!  And I can't wait to start her series...ok with that said let me tell you Keane aka The infamous Ball Peen Hammer was soooo fun to read....his sayings, one liners were hilarious like wtf??? He has me laughing so hard my kids were like what are u laughing at!!! And Maddy oh I just loved her!!! She was sweet, innocent but boy did she have a inner spit fire....she too had me laughing but my heart also broke for the broken girl!!! All in all this story is one I HIGHLY recommend!!! It's a sexy, funny, witty, can't stop reading kinda book so yeah get on it and you won't be disappointed!!!

Lauren...I love u girl and the icing on the cake was meeting you at Naughty Girls!!! You are a absolute doll & I just want to thank you for sharing your awesomeness w/ the world!!! Keep writing & know your story touched my heart and I can't wait to see you again!!!


5 Stars 


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Excerpt
As they exchange information, I make my way to the end of my aisle and loop into theirs, not taking my eyes off Baby Face the whole time. Shit. This dude’s hunting Maddy so hard, it’s making my blood boil. Jesus, he’s going full-throttle rifle on Maddy’s ass right now, completely foregoing his crossbow altogether.
When I reach the two of them in the middle of their aisle, I shuffle past the dude and stand next to Maddy, shoulder to shoulder, and then, on a sudden impulse, put my arm around her shoulders and squeeze her tight, making her wobble in place at the unexpected jolt to her balance. “Hey, sis,” I say, squeezing her like a rag doll. “You totally fell down on your candy-acquiring duties.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” She subtly wiggles out of my grasp. “Brian and I got into this hilarious argument about the best candy bar of all- time, and—”
“And I’m totally right,” Brian says, cutting her off, and they both chuckle at some inside joke.
“No, I’m totally right,” Maddy corrects.
Brian smiles at her. “I’ll actually be down in L.A. in a month. How ’bout I call you then?”
“Great.”
“Nice to meet you, man,” Brian says, looking at me. He nods but doesn’t put out his hand.
I nod back.
Brian strolls away, buys a Snickers bar and a can of Red Bull, and leaves with a little wave to Maddy.
The minute he’s out the door, Maddy takes a giant step away from me, her face etched with annoyance. “What was that?” she asks.
“What?”
“That weird thing you just did?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Maddy puts on an exaggerated scowl, like she’s Hulk Hogan eying an opponent. “’Hey, Brian,’” she says in a low voice, clearly intending to imitate me but sounding more like Arnold Schwarzenegger imitating Maddy imitating me. “’I’m Maddy Milliken’s bodyguard and I’m going to beat you the hell up now,’” she adds.
“What are you talking about?” I say, chuckling.
Maddy pauses, assessing me, and finally shrugs. “Nothing. I guess I imagined it.”
“Imaged what?”
“Your weird... I dunno... vibe.”
“Oh, well, yeah. I was worried about you.”
“Worried about me? I was standing in a minimart, buying candy. Pretty low-risk activity, I’d say.”
“Uh, you absolutely were not standing in a minimart, buying candy—you totally fell down on that job, dude. You were standing in a minimart, getting picked up by a douche. And second of all—”
What?”
Shit. What the fuck am I doing? I’ve got to stop this shit right now. “Don’t get riled up, baby doll,” I say in my most soothing voice. “All I’m saying is you took so damned long in here, I started thinking maybe the store was getting robbed or you’d fallen into the toilet or something.”
Maddy twists her mouth. “Brian didn’t seem the least bit douchey to me.”
I shrug.“What gave you the impression he’s a douche?”
“Just a figure of speech. So are you gonna do the job I hired you to do or not?” I motion to the candy rack. “‘Cause based on your performance thus far, you’re totally fired.”
“And I wasn’t getting ‘picked up,’” Maddy says, her tone full of indignation. “Brian’s brother goes to UCLA. Can’t I talk to a helpful, nice guy without it being some sort of a sleazy pick-up?”
“Sure you can. However, in this instance, you were talking to a helpful, nice guy who was picking you up so he can bone the living fuck outta ya.”
Keane.” Maddy’s cheeks burst with color. “Don’t say that. Oh my god. You’re insane. Brian was just being helpful, that’s all.”
“Yeah, so he can bone the living fuck outta ya.”
“Stop saying that. Please. It’s offensive and absolutely not true. This topic of conversation is officially over.”

About the Author
Lauren Rowe
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USA Today and internationally bestselling author Lauren Rowe lives in San Diego, California, where, in addition to writing books, she performs with her dance/party band at events all over Southern California, writes songs, takes embarrassing snapshots of her ever-patient Boston terrier, Buster, spends time with her wonderful family, and narrates audiobooks. Much to Lauren’s thrill, her books have been translated all over the world in multiple languages and hit multiple domestic and international bestseller lists. With enticing characters, enthralling situations and a general love of romantic fiction, Lauren has created a world of her own, full of wit and sensual desire.


GIVEAWAY
Signed Paperback of Ball Peen Hammer




THANK YOU!

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July 27, 2016

This Is The Route Of Twisted Pain by MariaLisa deMora • RELEASE BLITZ & REVIEW

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Synopsis

Legends are born from moments like these. Folktales spun around a single point in time so perfect, you can almost hear the click resonating through the universe as things align. George Bell, aka Twisted, knows the odds are against him. Have been all his life. Born in a Louisiana bordello, raised around the rough and rowdy men of a motorcycle club, he’s never been the lucky type. But he believes luck can change, so when fate gives him a glimpse of breathtaking beauty, he’s more than willing to roll the dice. Chancing upon what could be the woman of his dreams, he’s prepared to push this streak as far as he can. Penny Dane’s background gives her an edge in the life she’s chosen to lead. Raised in a can-do family, she’s resilient, rolling with life’s punches and landing on her feet. But, when the past holds painful secrets—when a single misstep can turn deadly—can she trust the passion this man stirs in her? On the surface, Bell and Penny don’t work. Their mismatched worlds are too different. But like a backwater bayou, what you see is not the whole story, there are mysteries buried underneath. Penny is the red-haired beauty caught up in a web of lies. Bell is like no one she’s ever met before. The problem is, he knows it.


30171930 

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Review by: Erin 

This story was incredible. These characters will grab you and pull you in and won’t let go. The storyline was phenomenal. I love the direction the story took. Twisted is an awesome character. I love everything about him. He is my dream man. HOT, protective, lust inducing, dirty talking, tattooed man. Penny is my new favorite female character from this author. My god that woman is tough. She has her sweet, soft side. But she has a fierce determination about her. She won’t be pushed to the side like a frail woman. She is all in, b*lls to the wall. This story has it all. Enough drama to keep you hooked, enough spice to light you up, and an incredible amount of emotion that just seems to pour off the pages. I fell in love with Twisted, Penny, and Po’Boy immediately and I know you will too. This book will take you on a ride you won’t ever want to end. 

5 Stars 



Excerpt

Tossing his cards onto the pile of cash and markers on the table, Po’Boy laughed when he said, “I’m out, brother. You either got the best hand in the world, or the worst, and I can’t fuckin’ tell. Either way, I’m fucked, so I’m out.” Twisted smirked, his head tipping back, teasingly flashing his cards. “Wanna see my hand, brother?” “Fuck no.” Po’Boy pushed the pile of winnings across the table towards Twisted, laughing harder when some of the money and papers fluttered to the floor. “You’re a rat bastard, you know that?” “Yeah,” Twisted said fondly, pausing in his efforts to scrape things together. “Ralph,” he said, hoping the other man understood the emotion behind his words, “fucking pleased you chose to come on this journey with me, brother.” Ralph Lewis, Po’Boy, shook his head. “Wouldn’t have it any other way, George.” Nearly seven years ago, Papaw had come to the whorehouse and torn the blinders off George’s eyes, forcing him to see the layers of wrongness that surrounded him. How his mother didn’t take the part a parent should, not protecting him from anything. Loved him in her way, but her way was so far off the beaten track, sane folks couldn’t see her from where they stood. He and his grandfather had tried several times to pull Freddy out of the mess at the whorehouse, but his younger brother was resistant. And, even from the outside, it was clear that his life was very different than what George had experienced. The favored son, Freddy had cars and flash to toss around, money earned by the women of the house on their knees and backs, and him uncaring. Using and spending, and going back to the well for more. At eighteen, George had patched into the club as a prospect, proud as fuck of the emblem on his back from day one. It had taken him the two intervening years to convince his grandfather he knew what he wanted. Two years of listening to stories about the brotherhood until the desire to belong was like a living thing in his gut. Two years of seeing how each man supported the whole and wanting to have that even more than he wanted to breathe. Two years of preparing and training for that moment when he would finally belong. Prospect patch pinned into place by Whitewall, his grandfather’s second and the vice-president of the club, George was warned from the get-go that his path would be harder than any other prospect because no member would be willing to give an inch just because of who he was. It had been a fucking miserable ten months, but he’d done it. Done everything asked. Clubhouse cleanup after parties, scrubbing up puke and piss, and worse. Done to breed deep respect for the house, not tasked as punishment and he got that, an understanding that helped to lighten the load. Each thing asked of him he approached the same way, twisting it in his head until he could see the good. He became whatever his brothers needed. If a member needed someone to ride in the back of a truck to help hold a bike upright, George was your man. In the rain. During a thunderstorm. With a leaky bucket of mudbugs beside his ass. It didn’t matter. None of it mattered, because George would be there. Doing it not to brown-nose, but because it showed he had that member’s back in anything. Wanting the brotherhood that came right alongside the responsibility to assist wherever possible. Incoherent’s normal prospect period was a year and a day, with that last day promised to be hell on earth. Papaw pushed for the full time served, but his own officers overruled him, making it their choice to bring George into the fold early. George hadn’t understood what was up when Whitewall had called him into the big room behind the bar during what should have been an officers-only meeting. The room was huge. Vaulted ceilings lifted overhead, no rooms above so less chance of listening ears. The high ceilings meant they had room to install fans in here, and had, George balancing at the top of a wobbly ladder while wielding an electric drill and screwdriver. Comfort for the people in the room meant they could spend less time thinking about the heat, and more time applied to solving problems and issues within the club. A willing service, from him to the patch holders, flesh dues paid eagerly. Whitewall called him in, but didn’t give him a reason or a task, so George waited, standing alongside the door, shoulders to the wall, trying hard to ignore the arguments flowing back and forth across the table. Highest ranking members at the national level, the men were discussing the merits of raising their member dues. As someone voiced an especially lame argument for the increase, George couldn’t help the shifting expression on his face. Startled when his Papaw barked his name, he ripped his gaze from the floor in front of his boots to lock onto the old man’s face. “George. You got somewhat to say, boy?”

About the Author

Raised in the south, MariaLisa learned about the magic of books at an early age. Every summer, she would spend hours in the local library, devouring books of every genre. Self-described as a book-a-holic, she says “I’ve always loved to read, but then I discovered writing, and found I adored that, too. For reading … if nothing else is available, I’ve been known to read the back of the cereal box.” A hockey fan, hiker, gamer, and single mom of a special needs son, she embraces her inner geek and has been working in the tech field for a publishing company for a couple decades. Music is a driving passion, and she says, “I love music of nearly any genre — jazz, country, rock, alt rock, metal, classical, bluegrass, rap, hip hop … you name it, I listen to it. I can often be seen dancing through the house in the early mornings. But I really, REALLY love live music. My favorite thing with music is seeing bands in small, dive bars [read: small, intimate venues]. If said bar [venue] has a good selection of premium tequila, then that’s a plus!”


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The Matchmaker's Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken • REVIEW/EXCERPT TOUR

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Wingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.
Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her. But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away. Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AU

Review by: Gina 

Another amazing story from Rachel Van Dyken!!! An enemies to lover's story that will have you laughing out loud and swooning at the same time. My favorite part of this book was all the hilarious banter and sexual innuendos!!! It was pure entertainment!!! Rachel Van Dyken...I now crown you the queen of hilarious banter! 

The story revolves around Lex and Gabi. They have known each other most of their lives but despise each other. They are forced to work together when Lex is forced to  train Gabi on becoming a Wingman. Lines are blurred, secrets come out, feelings are revealed and someone is bound to get hurt. 

I loved the story line. It was a lot of fun to read. An enemies to lovers story is always entertaining and the author did not skimp on the entertainment. It was such an enjoyable book to read. Lex stole the spotlight in this book...of course! He was just everything...smart, sexy, cocky but has a big heart! Gabi was great too. She was confident, independent, and very prideful. Those are things I admire in a heroine. 

Overall, this book was amazing! Perfect for when you need a good laugh out loud book! Everything from the writing to the storyline was perfect! This is a must read book!

5 Stars 

Review by: Tracy

Matchmakers Replacement is the second book in the Wing Man series. This time it's Lex's turn. Except Lex is the villain, or so that's what Gabi thinks. But as time goes on Gabi starts changing her views and Lex may not be that bad boy she thought he was. But to Lex, Gabi is off limits, a big fat NO. So what happens when two wingmen start to have feelings  for each other?
I don't know how Rachel Van Dyken does it but she managed to write yet another amazing story. Now I haven't read everything by her (insert gasps here), but everything I have read has been an exceptional read. 


5 matchmaking stars


Review by: Amy C 

"You succeeded the minute you walked into my life and threw me on my ass. Failure isn't really an option where you're concerned." ...because the Lex, Gabi, Ian triangle continues!! These three are hilarious. Strong and determined meets manipulative and assertive. E verbal sparing is unreal between Gabi & Lex and drew me in further and further into this story. Sexy Lex and innocent Gabi have met their match in this book. The game is on and may the best win!!

Wingman Inc. has a new suitor, Gabi Sava... She's not new to scene but new to the world of persuasion and match making extraordinaire. Shes cute and very determined to take this new feminine side of wingman Inc. everywhere it's never been before....one hitch, Lex. He's not sure she has what it takes to seduce even their pickiest clients and deliver that spark that has made their business successful.  Ian is wrapped up in all things Blake so he's distracted and isn't watching as the sparks aren't just flying between Gabi and her clients, but now their starting to fly towards someone she's always wanted but never expected.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this series and the story theme that it represents. It's cute, fun and edgy full of quirks and deliciously addictive banter between characters. They are as close as brothers and sisters, yet have the sparks to change all the rules that were firmly put in place. Great addition to an already fantastic series!! 

4.5 Stars 







  TAKE A LOOK AT THE EPIC COVER HERE

 
EXCERPT:

I hated him. HATED him. Hate, hate, hate. I chanted the words to myself that very next morning as I stomped toward his ridiculously expensive house, next to the ridiculously nice lake, with his ridiculously loud red Mercedes parked out front. Jackass. I’d be doing society a favor if I set it on fire. Seriously. The thing was probably filled with so much bodily fluid and disease that if he got in a car accident he’d infect the entire freeway and start a citywide epidemic. I shuddered. I compartmentalized Lex into two boxes. The first box was Childhood Lex, the friend who used to hang out with Ian and me before he moved across town, never to be seen again. He used to ride with me to school, and when I was sick he gave me my own box of Kleenex—never mind that he stole it from his teacher’s desk. The point is, Childhood Lex was a keeper. Box number two? Asshole Lex, also known as the version I was walking toward. The Lex I met when I was eighteen, who momentarily stunned me speechless with his godlike beauty, had been a figment of my overactive, sad, hormone-riddled imagination. On the outside? The perfect man. With a brooding and sultry smile. Biceps the size of my head. Who gave me the distinct feeling that if I ran my hands over his buzzed hair I’d orgasm before he even touched me. Whatever. I was over it. So over it. A lot of people had stupid crushes when they were eighteen, right? Now all I saw when I looked into his stormy blue eyes was syph or the clap, and that was being generous. The dude was a walking STD and seriously tried every nerve I had. He was an ass. Plain and simple, no sugar coating. He was the type of guy who’d tell a chick that she looked fat in a dress or who refused to share the communal breadbasket. See! He couldn’t even adhere to typical manners during mealtime! Just thinking about him had me tied up in knots. Last year, when I went shopping and stupidly invited Ian along—which of course meant Lex had to come—I was told in no uncertain terms that if I would just stop drinking chocolate milk in the morning I’d be able to fit into a smaller size. He’d smiled. His dimples had deepened. He’d even crossed his arms as if to say, Look, I did you a favor, pat me on the back. Instead I had kicked him in the balls and tried to give him a black eye, clocking Ian in the face. My point? Lex. Was. The. Devil. I made a point of only hanging out with Lex when absolutely necessary, and even then I almost always had Ian as a buffer. But now that he was playing love nest with my ex-roomie, Blake? Well, I was on my own. Lex opened the door after my third aggressive knock. Black sweatpants hung low on his hips, a vintage Mariners shirt fell open around his neck, and he was wearing black-framed glasses that made his eyes more appealing than should be legal. “Sunshine,” he said, his smirk deepening as he crossed his burly arms over his chest. “Dickhead.” I smiled sweetly. “New glasses? They look thicker than last time.” “Better to see you with.” He leaned forward, his eyes narrowing into tiny slits. “There they are.” He reached for one of my boobs. I slapped his hand away so hard my palm stung. “Probably not the best way to treat your new male clients.” He shook his hand and turned towards the living room leaving the door wide open. Manners were completely lost on him. Gritting my teeth, I slammed the door behind me and took off my shoes because I knew if I didn’t he’d give me hell. He was a freak like that. For as much ass as he got, it was shocking how much Lysol he used around the house. His clothes were never wrinkled; everything was pristine. Even his breath. Damn him. He drank coffee like a Starbucks employee but never had coffee breath. It was almost painful, staring him in the face, knowing that everything on the outside appeared perfect—but didn’t match the inside at all, not even close! Beauty like Lex’s was dangerous and wickedly tempting, like something out of a paranormal romance novel. Sometimes, at night, when I dreamed of Lex getting hit by a car, I imagined him as a vampire roaming the streets in his favorite black sweats, shirtless, shimmering under the streetlights, just waiting for whores to line up so he could take a few bites. A pencil flew by my head. “Yo.” Lex’s eyebrows shot up. “We have a lot of work to do if we’re going to get you ready for the next two clients. Daydream about chicks on your own time.” “I’m not a lesbian.” He bit on his bottom lip, sinking back in his chair as his eyes slowly roamed from my mismatched socks all the way up to my head. “Okay, whatever you say, Gabs.” I will not commit homicide. I will not commit homicide. “You know,” I said as I tossed my purse onto the table, “it’s offensive that you assume all lesbians dress like crap.” So what? I was wearing a ratty white T-shirt and ripped jeans, and I was pretty sure I still had mascara on from the night before. It was my Lex repellant. He hated sloppiness. “Offensive.” He nodded. “Also true . . .” He used the spare pencil from behind his ear to slide my purse over to the farthest side of the table. “It wouldn’t kill you to wear something other than jeans and T-shirts, Gabs.” He sighed. “Say it with me: dresssss—” I grabbed the pencil from his hand, broke it into two pieces, and handed them back to him. “I wear dresses, just not for you. Dresses are your kryptonite, especially short black ones. I refuse to be a part of your ‘shower time.’” He snorted. “You wish.” “Yes. Every night when I go to sleep I pray for Lex to dream of me while he jerks off because yet another girl refused to follow his instructions in bed : ‘Damn it, use the manual!’” I said, using my best imitation of Lex’s voice. I’d only heard him shout instructions to a girl once, and it had scarred me for life. What the hell are you doing? Do I look like I’m satisfied? There’s a diagram! Ugh. Lex rolled his eyes. “Very funny, and the manual is there for a reason. Do you even know how many chicks get confused when I call out sexual positions? It’s like, get there faster, you know?” My feelings were torn between fascination and disgust. “So,” I changed the subject. “Let’s train, because I have about ten years worth of Organic Chem homework.” Lex sighed and held out his hand. “No.” I crossed my arms. “I don’t need help.” Okay, I needed help, desperately needed help, and Lex wasn’t just passably smart but a certified genius, at least when he applied himself. I refused to ask him to go over my homework just because Organic Chem was, to me, like reading a foreign language. He cleared his throat. I didn’t move. Finally, he stood, slowly walked over to the end of the table, and fished the chem book from my oversized purse. “What chapter?” “Lex—” “If I’m teaching you Organic Chem, at least say Professor Lex.” “Listen very closely, Lex.” I went over and jerked my book out of his hands. “I didn’t need your help last year when I almost failed biology, and I sure as hell don’t need your help now. Let’s just get this training done so I can go home and suffer in silence, alright?” “Fine.” He dropped my book against the table and then, without warning, grabbed me by my shoulders and pushed me against the counter that bordered the kitchen. My butt hit the cupboard . “Up until now we’ve been helping people find their perfect match. Basically acting like a wingman so that the idiots of this world see the girl who’s been standing in front of them all along .” Why was he standing so close? Did we have to be touching? I told my body not to respond to his proximity, but Lex was magnetic, even if every part of him was evil. My brain was having trouble functioning while his large palms were pressed into the tops of my shoulders. “Okay.” I swallowed. “And now that you’re allowing guys to become clients of Wingmen Inc., I basically do the same thing. Give them confidence, help them capture the one girl who’s always seen them as the friend—or worse, who they’ve been invisible to.” “What’s that like, I wonder?” Lex still didn’t release me. “Being invisible . . . Maybe next time a dude ignores you, take notes.” And another insult. “Lex.” I huffed out a breath. “Just get on with it.” “Right.” His eyes momentarily locked on mine before he rubbed the bridge of his nose where his glasses were perched. It was not sexy. It wasn’t. Really. That. Sexy. “So whenever we take on a new client, we give them a list of questions, meet them in a public place, and then use the power of human emotions like jealousy and curiosity to get the other person interested. That’s where you come in. If another girl sees our client as desirable, he becomes desirable.” “That easy?” “Sort of.” Lex leaned forward. “But you can’t suck.” “Suck?” “At anything.” His lips hovered near my mouth. He was starting to freak me out. I wanted to run away, but I was pinned. “Lex, if you kiss me I will bite your tongue off. I swear.” “If I was actually kissing you”—Lex released one of my shoulders and placed a finger against my mouth—“you’d know it. This, my frumpy friend, is training.” His lips descended. They pressed against mine, then pulled back. “Yeah.” He shook his head. “Gabs, you’re going to need to open your mouth a bit more. Guys are stupid. They always assume that more tongue means better kissing, when the opposite is true, but you still need to have your lips parted, not locked down like Fort Knox.” “What’s happening?” I tried to push away from him. Lex rolled his eyes. “Gabs, believe me, this is all business. You can even keep your hand on my junk the whole time.” “What!” I roared. “So you know without a doubt that nothing about you turns me on.” He grinned menacingly. “Seriously, I don’t mind.” “I do!” “Hey!” He chuckled. “I was just trying to help.” “Grabbing your penis is not the answer, Lex!” “Weird, because it so often is.” “I hate today.” “Is it the rain?” He frowned. “It’s not—” “It is.” “Stop that!” I shoved him. “Hurry up and grade my kissing skills so I can go home and study.” “Kissing, hand holding, hugging, cuddling, laughing, winking—just a few things you need to master.” He was firing off so many horrible, body-numbing words. “Just hurry up,” I grumbled in a defeated voice as I tried to block out the fact that he was a good-looking ass who offended me with every single breath he took. “Ah . . .” Lex held up his hand. “One never hurries a kiss.” “What about a passionate kiss?” “A passionate kiss isn’t hurried, it’s frenzied. Damn, don’t you know anything?” Heat swamped my cheeks. “How many guys have you kissed, Gabs?” “Plenty!” Five. I’d kissed five. “You blush down your neck when you lie.” Lex cupped my chin and then brought his lips down against mine again. “Part.” Sighing against his mouth, I relaxed my lips while his slid across. He pulled back, wearing a frown of irritation. “A bit more, Gabs. Guys want access.” I kept my eyes open. So did he. I didn’t want him assuming I was into it, which was probably his exact line of thinking. Only keeping my eyes open was an entirely raw experience, watching him watch me while I felt him. I shivered. “Cold?” That stupid smirk was back. “Frigid.” I glared, putting myself down before he had a chance to. “You read my mind.” He nodded seriously. “Now stop being a bitch, and let me teach you how to kiss.” “I know how to kiss!” I don’t know what came over me—maybe it was the need to prove myself, or possibly it was just stress over the entire situation. Needing to stay in school and hating that he was the answer, I wrapped my arms around his neck and jumped, my hips colliding with his as I mauled his mouth with as much passion as I could conjure up, this time closing my eyes and putting everything I had into it. With a growl, Lex pushed me back against the countertop. As my butt collided with the edge, his tongue plunged into my mouth and his hands dug into my hair, pulling it free from its ponytail while he changed positions his lips demanding a punishing kiss from a different angle as his he gave my hair a harder tug back. I grasped at his T-shirt, pulling him closer and nearly falling backward into the sink. And then, just when I was in danger of losing myself to the kiss that would probably be the best kiss of my life, I bit down on his bottom lip. That move didn’t work out the way I’d planned, not at all. In my head it was smart. I’d piss him off, get him to pull back and leave me alone. It did nothing of the sort. Nothing of the sort at all. With a hiss he pulled back, fire blazing in his eyes. For a split second that seemed to go on for an eternity, he hovered and I waited, both of us on the edge of something. He wet his lips, I mimicked the movement, and then, like a snake, he struck. His mouth fused to mine in a punishing kiss, one that bruised my mouth while imprinting its essence on my soul.    



rachelborderRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers! Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866! You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. 

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