Happy Hour by Piper Rayne

**Review at the bottom
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Happy Hour, an all-new hilarious enemies to lovers romance from USA Today bestselling duo Piper Rayne is LIVE!

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The perfect man for her is the one she hates most. #gofigure

Dating is hard.

Dating in your thirties is even harder.

Dating in Chicago is harder still.

I haven’t given up on finding my happily-ever-after, but in the age of swiping right and Netflix and chill, I’m wondering if everything is as temporary as my marriage turned out to be.

Truth is, there is one guy I can’t get my mind off of.

Roarke Baldwin has salt and pepper hair I’ve dreamed of running my hands through and I’m pretty sure that if I checked he really does have a six pack of abs underneath his suit. And I’ve always wondered what that stubble on his face would feel like between my thighs.

The problem? He’s the one man I hate more than my ex-husband…

His divorce attorney.

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Download your copy today!

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Start the Series of Standalones today with Manic Monday!

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About Piper Rayne:

Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two USA Today Bestselling authors for the price of one. Our goal is to bring you romance stories that have “Heartwarming Humor With a Side of Sizzle” (okay…you caught us, that’s our tagline). A little about us… We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We’re both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We’re both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.
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Connect with Piper Rayne:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PiperRayne/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorpiperrayne/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PiperRayneRocks

www.piperrayne.com

Review:

This duo never ceases to amazing me and this is my favorite book in this series. Hannah is closed off since her divorce, and of course Roarke was her ex’s divorce attorney so she blames him for how it all turned out. Roarke will have you swooning though from the very beginning and he only gets better throughout this book.

This book will have you laughing at parts, and will make you cry from happiness at others. And you can’t do without Chelsea and Victoria, and some appearances by past book characters as well (IE Jaeger for one). Hannah is trying so hard to resist Roarke’s charms and yet you see her slipping and him worming his way into her heart in the best possible way.

This is all told from Hannah’s POV and we really do need ALL of her thoughts to really understand where she is coming from. Her friends give her the best advice and it is nice to see her willing to take chances. This is a series you definitely want to check out. You will pick it up and want to keep reading until the very end.

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Broken Love Story by Natasha Madison

**Review at the bottom

 

 

 

 

Samantha:

I had the perfect life; a husband who loved me, and two kids who were my world.

Until someone else answered his phone and my perfect life shattered.

When he died, I was left with answers he couldn’t give me and a box full of lies.

He left me broken.

 

Blake:

I fell in love when I was fifteen, knowing she was the one.

For five years, she was my everything—my every breath, every heartbeat, every thought.

She made me promise to move on, promise to find love again, but I broke those promises because I can’t move on.

 

Two broken souls brought together by tragedy and heartbreak.

Can a broken love story be fixed?

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

 

 

Samantha

 

Standing in front of the full-length mirror in my room, I smooth down my black skirt. My blond hair is tied up in a ponytail, my cheeks are sunken in more than normal, and the blackness around my eyes indicates I haven’t slept well since this whole thing happened. Since I found out that not only did my husband die, but that he also married someone else.

 

I sit on the made bed and look down at my wedding band. My thumb of my right hand touches it, and the lone tear that falls out of my eye lands straight on it. “Mommy.” I look back at Lizzie, who is standing in the doorway wearing a black one-piece dress similar to mine with ballerina flats.

 

My mother-in-law went shopping yesterday and bought us all new outfits for today. “We need to put our best foot forward,” she said as I watched her walk in with the six bags. “We can’t let people talk.”

 

I turned around and walked out of the room, going upstairs. Shutting myself in my bathroom with my back against the door, I cried quietly, trying to hide my sobs. “We can’t let people talk,” I whispered to myself. The hatred I had begun feeling when I remembered my husband.

 

Lizzie walks to the side of my bed and sits next to me. “I hate this dress,” she says when I put my hand around her shoulder and bring her to me, kissing her head.

“I know, baby,” I whisper, “but after today, it’s going to be all over.”

 

“That’s what Grandpa A said.” She mentions the name she calls my father-in-law. Grandpa A because you can’t get better than an A.

 

“Is everyone ready?” I hear Ethan yell from downstairs. “The limo is picking us up in twenty.”

 

“Let’s go, baby,” I tell her, getting up and holding her hand while we walk downstairs. My in-laws are both sitting in the kitchen. My mother-in-law in a black skirt and top while my father-in-law has on a black suit. “Where is Daisy?” I ask them.

 

“Elliot is upstairs changing her. She spilled milk on her dress,” Judy tells me, looking at Lizzie. “You look like such a big girl.” She blinks her tears away.

 

Elliot comes down the stairs with Daisy on his hip, smiling at me when he walks in. “Okay, you girls go sit in the living room while us grown-ups talk,” my father-in-law says, and the girls both know to leave the room. When he knows they are both out of earshot, he starts. “Today is going to be tough, tough for us all, but we have to stand together. We have to be the family that we are.” I lean against the counter while he talks. “The situation with the other one has been taken care of, and she has been served papers.” I look at him and then at Elliot and Ethan, both of them looking down when our eyes meet. It’s almost as if they feel guilty for meeting this woman. My father-in-law continues, “After all this is done today, we are meeting with the lawyers in person, so we can go over the will, start the paperwork for the insurance, and make sure she doesn’t touch a thing that belongs to him.” I stop listening at this point, turning to look out the window at the backyard.

 

The swing set that he built in one day to make sure the kids could use it when he left the next day. The patio set he had delivered to us, so I could have somewhere to sit while I watched the girls while he was living with another woman. I shake my head, walking out of the room. I sit on the couch, and the girls come to sit next to me, one on each side. “Today is going to be really hard,” I whisper to them, “but we have to be strong for Daddy.” They both look at me, their eyes exactly like their father’s. “But, if at any time, you need to leave or you need me… I don’t care who is talking to me or who is around; you come and get me.”

 

“Grandpa A said we had to sit and wait,” Daisy whispers just as Elliot comes into the room and kneels in front of us.

 

“What is this meeting about?” he asks, smiling at us. The circles around his eyes are just as black as ours. He hasn’t left our house since this happened.

 

“Mommy said if we need her that we can go to her,” Daisy says, looking at him and then me, “even if Grandpa A said no.”

 

He leans in, whispering, “You can come to me too, and I’ll make sure that you get Mommy.”

 

“Okay,” Lizzie and Daisy both whisper at the same time, and then the doorbell rings.

We get up, put our jackets on, and one by one file into the black limo that has come to take us to the funeral home. We arrive before everyone else. “We get an hour with him, and then they will open the door,” Adrian says as Judy grabs her tissue and dabs her eyes.

 

I look around the funeral home. I’m not sure what I’m looking for, not sure where he is. I haven’t seen him since he kissed me goodbye four days earlier. His last words to me were, “Call you when I can.” That phone call never came.

 

I follow my in-laws to the big brown door that is closed. “I want to go in before the girls.” Everyone turns to look at me.

 

“We can keep them in the lobby,” says the lady who greeted us at the door. She told me her name, but I just didn’t listen.

 

I nod at her as she turns to ask the girls if they want hot chocolate. Daisy’s eyes get big as Lizzie turns to look at me. I nod my head, giving her permission, so she can go with the woman.

 

The doors open, and I don’t even know what to expect. I’ve never been to a funeral. Never known anyone well enough to pay my last respects. Judy and Adrian walk in first, followed by Ethan, and Elliot waits with me. I step foot into the room, and it’s so cold that I shiver. The smell of flowers hits me right away, making me turn my head. The number of flowers and wreaths shocks me; the whole room is almost full. Some wreaths blocking others. Rows and rows of brown chairs line the room, all facing toward the front of the room. My eyes land on the brown wooden casket at the front of the room. The open half showing you the white satin inside. I walk down the aisle toward him, and then my eyes land on him. Eric. I can’t take another step forward because my knees give out, and I fall. Elliot isn’t fast enough to hold me up, and my knee lands with a thud. But the pain doesn’t matter because nothing could take the place of the pain in my heart. The sound of wailing fills the room as I look up at my dead husband.

 

I feel arms around me; I feel myself lifted; I feel myself almost floating. He isn’t the Eric who kissed me goodbye; he isn’t the Eric who I made promises to; he isn’t the Eric who made all my dreams come true. This isn’t him.

 

The man with makeup caked on his face isn’t my Eric. My sobs overtake my body as I look at him, expecting him to open his eyes. Expecting something, anything but this. “I want the casket closed,” I say, my voice soft. “I want it closed.”

 

“Samantha,” my father-in-law starts, “it’s—”

 

I shake my head. “I don’t want the kids to see him like that,” I say softly. I know that for me they wouldn’t even consider it, but for the girls, they would move heaven and earth. “They need to remember him alive and smiling, not like that,” I say, pointing at the casket.

 

“Dad,” Ethan says after me, “I agree.”

 

“Me too,” Elliot says from beside me. “Close it.”

 

He just nods at us, then walks to the man standing in the corner. The man looks at him as they have a hushed conversation and then just nods his head. “Do you need some water?” Ethan says to me, and I nod. I don’t bother listening to what else he says; instead, I get up and go to the casket. Standing before the brown box, I look at him, really look at him. You see some bruising under the makeup, and his nose is a little swollen. His hands are folded over his stomach, resting on his black suit. The suit he wore when we got married. Why? I ask him in my own head. Why did you do it? I ask him, hoping I can hear him whisper something to me, whisper anything back. To answer my questions, to give me something; anything to make me understand why he did what he did. Why he left me with so many fucking questions and not one answer.

 

The man comes over to close the casket. Eric’s face disappears slowly, the shadow filling his face till the casket finally shuts. “I’m sorry for your loss,” the man says, nodding at me. “If at any time you want it open, we can open it back up.” I turn around now, looking at the chairs that will fill up as soon as the people start coming in. Ethan consoles my mother-in-law, and Elliot stands where we were just sitting, his hands in his pockets.

 

“I’m getting the girls,” I tell them and then walk out with my head held high but my shoulders slumped. Defeated is a word that you use so many times not really understanding what can actually defeat you. I know now, my husband dying, him cheating on me, my kids without a father, my dreams of growing old with him gone. Beaten straight down to my core, straight down to my bones.

 

I walk over to them as they look up. “Let’s go, girls,” I tell them as they both get up and walk to me. Lizzie takes one hand, Daisy takes the other, and we walk back into the room that holds a piece of our hearts. The room where their father lies, with no answers and no tomorrow.

 

We stand in that room for four hours while people come up to me and give me their condolences. I nod my head and play the part of the grieving wife. I am the grieving wife, but I’m also the wife whose husband didn’t love her enough to just be with her. The wife who knew her husband was slipping away but couldn’t catch it in time. The wife he said he would love and protect. The wife who stands here between his girls wishing that for one second he suffered horribly. The wife who has to pick up the fucking pieces and lie to her girls about what a great guy he was. The wife who, at the end of the day, just wasn’t good enough.

 

We listen as people tell us how amazing he was, how much he loved his family, and how much he loved his girls. The whole time, I’m yelling on the inside, ready to stand in the middle of the room, throw my head back, and yell at the top of my lungs. But I don’t do what I want. I don’t tell them what a fraud my husband was. I don’t tell them that it was almost all lies. I don’t tell them that the day he died, they called his other wife and not me. I don’t tell them that I wasn’t the one with him when he died.

 

I stand here thinking about this other person—his other wife—and wonder how she would handle this. How she would be with my in-laws. Would she just let them control her and do everything for her? Would she want it to be open and weep for him beside the casket instead of standing next to it?

 

I look around the room at all the people who came to pay their respects, and my eyes find someone I’ve never met before. Someone I’ve never seen before, and our eyes connect. His green eyes stare into mine as I watch him nod to me and turn to walk out. As he walks out of the crowded room, I strain my neck to watch his back. I don’t have long to think because Elliot comes up and whispers, “It’s time.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
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REVIEW

This book is heartbreaking and yet heartwarming at the same time. Samantha finds out a truth she never knew when she finds out her husband died…he had another wife. Blake wants answers from Samantha for his sister. And yet somehow they both need the other, and we get this nice slow burn friendship. Two unlikely people who never thought they could move on. (Blake lost the only woman he ever loved). And yet they slowly became the others whole world without even knowing it. Blake and Samantha both started to live again, and I very much enjoyed that journey.

This is told in dual POV and both stories are so heartbreaking and you cry with them. Blake at the grave of Frankie and Samantha at night when she doesn’t think her girls can hear her, both just break you. And yet, you want more then anything for them to be happy and really live again. I love watching this story unfold.

I love Blake’s family. His parents, sister, nanny, everyone. And while we have the enemies in the story, it gives you something/someone to root against and honestly added a nice touch to the story, and I think that is really what brought out all the emotions and STRONG reactions, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is the first book I have read by this author, and since I see this says book 3 I didn’t feel lost once and so this is a complete standalone.

The Downside of Love by Meghan Quinn

**Review at the bottom

 

 

This isn’t a story about a love triangle. There is no triangle involved.

This isn’t a story about an accidental pregnancy. Although having a baby with her . . . I would.

This isn’t a story about lies and deception, even though at times I’ve lied to myself.

No, this is my story.

A story about sacrifice.

A story about a man who fell in love with the wrong girl.

A story I wish I never had to tell.

This is a story about the true meaning of the downside of love.

 

AVAILABLE NOW

AMAZON | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucked away at the base of the Rocky Mountains lived a little boy with one singular dream: leave this broken and battered home and become someone.

Be somebody’s hero.

That boy was me—Colby Brooks. Except I’m not that same little boy anymore.

My dreams might still be the same, but my reality isn’t.

I’m smarter. Stronger. A man.

And I learned a long damn time ago, the only way to achieve my dreams was to avoid distractions—at any cost.

Focus. Resolve. Determination.

But all it took was one single night. One night and my entire life…changed.

One night had me colliding head first with the biggest distraction of my life; Rory Oaks.

Smart. Charming. Beautiful.

Rory changed everything.

Quickly, my one-track mind started to bend.

Each kiss faded decade-long dreams.

And with one single incident, I fly off course.

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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REVIEW:

I didn’t know what to expect when going into this book, but I loved every minute of this one. With how book 1 ended I was so curious how we got to that point. This book gives us all the AMAZING details. And while it may not have gone how one would expect, that was one thing I loved about it the most. It took us on an unexpected and loving journey. I don’t want to give away anything so that makes this review even harder to write. But Rory has such a big heart and I can’t help but love her.

This is told in dual POV and man does it make you fall in love with him and see how big his heart truly is, and how hard his life was growing up. And like always, you can’t help what your heart wants and we can fight things all we want, but sometimes things are meant to be. I feel like Rory helped him find his purpose in life. That it was more then just the military…yes, that may be your life but it doesn’t have to be ALL of your life.

This was an emotional journey and you really need to go into this one with an open mind, and I guarantee by the end your heart will be 100% on board.

Crave by Adriana Locke Cover Reveal

 

Who is ready to meet Machlan Gibson?

This STANDALONE novel in the Gibson Boys Series from USA Today Bestseller Adriana Locke will be coming to your Kindle soon. We don’t have a firm release date yet, but we’re hearing it should be the first of August. (Is it the first of August yet?)

What does Adriana have in store for us in Crave? Check this out:

Synopsis:

Hadley Jacobs is over Machlan Gibson.

Sure, she’ll always be a little weak to the dimple in his right cheek and the way his five o’clock shadow makes him ruggedly handsome. But that’s not enough to cover every other thing about him because they all drive her nuts. Like how he’s won’t admit he’s wrong even when he knows it and how he drives his stupid car a million miles an hour on wet asphalt. As she rolls back into town and takes a seat at Crave, she won’t take the bait. She’s over him. Mostly.

Machlan isn’t over her.

It’s not because he hasn’t tried. He reminds himself over and over that she’s not the girl for him. After all, she drives him insane with her sassy attitude and the way she calls him out on everything. She beats him at poker, even though she doesn’t know the difference between a straight and a flush, and when she looks at him with her bright, blue eyes, it’s unnerving. When she climbs onto that bar stool and orders a drink, he puts it in front of her and ignores the sparkle in her eyes.  He’s not over her, but she won’t know that.

But she does know that. And he knows she’s not as over him as she’s pretending to be. When life forces their hand this time, there’s more on the line than a pile of poker chips. It’s their forever.

 

Coming Early August 2018

 

While we wait for this release, we can “get to know” Machlan through his Spotify playlist here. AND you know you need to add it to your To Be Read List.

Amazon Alert

There’s a great giveaway associated with this cover reveal too! A signed paperback plus two $10 gift cards. Book money, anyone? LOL!
$10 Gift Card to Winner’s Choice of Store

 

 

As a side note, if you haven’t met the other Gibson Boys, you really (really!) must. They’re small town. Blue collar. And totally, absolutely delicious. Check out Adriana’s Amazon Page and look up Crank, Craft, and / or Cross. All can be read as standalone novels and all are available in Kindle Unlimited.

Adriana’s Amazon Page

http://www.adrianalocke.com

 

The Evolution of Us by D. Nichole King

**Review at the bottom

Title: The Evolution of Us

Series: The Us Series #2

Author: D. Nichole King
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Blurb

Love.

They say
it’s blind.
That you
don’t choose who you fall in love with.
They say it
creeps up on you when you least expect it.
They say it
doesn’t let go.
I wish it
were that easy.
I’ve been
in love before, and it happened the way they said it would.
For a
while, it was easy and full of bliss.
Until he
uttered those damn three words, and all hell broke loose.
I don’t
blame him for leaving.
Love is a
beast, waiting to devour you at the first sign of weakness.
That’s what
they don’t say.
It’s been
four years, and a lot has changed.
I never
expected to see Jake again,
but here I
am, staring into those gorgeous eyes like they still belong to me.
See, I’m
Finley May Norwood, the girl who pushes love away when it becomes too 
much.
Now, Jake’s
engaged to someone else, and I’m too late.
If only my
heart could accept that.
It simply
doesn’t.
Love. Be
damned.
Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Playlist
Also Available
99c for a limited time
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Author Bio
I’m pretty
sure I drink too much Pepsi. I’m also pretty sure that somedays it’s what keeps
me sane. Well, Pepsi and writing, that is.
I’m a
dreamer, an inspirer. I find beauty in weakness, brokenness, and heartbreak. In
life, and joy, and happiness. These moments don’t define us, but the choices we
make in these moments do.
I write
about these moments. About the choices we make and the paths we tread. About
the circumstances that make us who we are and the experiences that will lead us
to who we will become.
I write
about life. Love. Pain. And hope.
Author Links
FACEBOOK
Giveaway
Review

I don’t even know where to begin with this book…to me the first book (this one can be a standalone) made me cry for a very different reason then this one did. I have been IM-patiently waiting for Finley’s story ever since I read Ali’s book and it was worth the wait.

I do not want to give away any piece of this story though, this is one you have to experience yourself and just sit down and submerge yourself in and the feels will be there, and the tears will come. And you get watch Finley learn to really figure herself out and it is the best possible journey we could read about.

Now, Little Finn and his drum set was amazing and I cracked up each and every time. His character is just so fun and I love Finley with him and how she spoils him, shows how good of a mom she would be someday.

This is really a book that you will leave feeling satisfied and also not ready to let go. Finley and her struggles are ones anyone can identify with and you feel like you are on this journey with you. I loved every single moment of this book and could read it again and again!

Wingman by Katie McCoy

**Review at the bottom

Title: Wingman

Series: Rascals #2

Author: Katie McCoy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 25, 2018
Blurb

Chase McKenna is the hottest
bartender in the city… and he knows it. Sexy, charming, and abs for days? It’s
no wonder every girl who walks through the doors is panting for him.

Except me.

I’m stuck crushing on my perfect boss, who has zero idea I’m even alive. I need
a plan to catch his attention… and who better to teach me the tricks of
seduction than Mr. Panty—Dropper himself?

The rules are simple: no strings, no stress, and definitely no feelings. But it
turns out, Chase is way more than I bargained for, and as for the sparks flying
between us…?

You can’t teach chemistry like this.

Soon, we’re throwing our lesson plan out the window — and our clothes right
after it. We’re breaking all the rules, and my heart’s on the line, but now I’m
wondering…

Must all good flings come to an end?

Find out in the hot new romance from Katie McCoy!

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Available at other retailers soon
Also Available
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Coming Soon
Releasing August 20, 2018
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
SOULMATE
Releasing October 15, 2018
TROUBLEMAKER
Releasing December 10, 2018
Author Bio
Katie McCoy is a self proclaimed sushi addict, Cardinals baseball fanatic, and lover of all things theatrical. A St. Louis native transplanted to Brooklyn, she acts, sings, and shakes her booty when she isn’t writing books about hot men and the girls who love them.
Author Links
Review

I LOVE a good friends to lovers romance and this one did not disappoint. Kelsey wanted Chase to help her gain some confidence as she has had a crush on her boss for 4 years. But when one thing leads to another, we all knew what was coming. But I loved that of course neither of these characters did…and let me tell you, it was fun to watch it all play out.

Chase was hurt in the past and vowed to just have fun with women…Kelsey knew this going in. But you know, the heart wants what the heart wants. And sometimes you don’t know what you have until you lose it. These are all things that we get to read about and honestly is a realistic thought.

This is told in dual POV and I am so glad that we get them both. If we only had Kelsey’s side, we would never see all of his conflicting emotions, etc and they definitely add a nice element to this story. And I love their group of friends (which some are his fellow owners). All the guys have such different personalities and I love that Chase knew how each one would deal with him before they did. With Kelsey, we really just had her and her best friend Alex, but you know, that was all that was needed. It all played out perfectly and I loved it.

Counterfeit Boyfriend by Cindi Madsen

**Review to follow during blog tour

Today Cindi Madsen is joining us to share the release day bltiz for COUNTERFEIT BOYFRIEND, her new contemporary romance! Check it out and grab your copy today!

Title: COUNTERFEIT BOYFRIEND

Author: Cindi Madsen

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Counterfeit Boyfriend:

My twin brother’s talked me into a lot of crazy things, but taking his place on a road trip with his girlfriend so he can party with his friends is a whole new level of insanity. What’s even more insane is I somehow find myself agreeing to it—thanks, alcohol, guilt, and bribery. I’m determined to undo the arrangement, but then I meet Gwen, this sexy redheaded hurricane of energy and brains.

And then she kisses me. Just like that, I’m driving her up the coast, on our way to a wedding with a mess of complications. With each hour and each stop, I’m falling harder and harder for a woman who doesn’t know my actual name.

I’m trying to do the right thing. Or the lesser of the wrong things. All my life I’ve had to clean up my brother’s messes, but for the first time ever, I’ve landed the upper hand in one of our switcheroo schemes. Now I’ve just got to come clean and convince Gwen that I’m the brother she should be with.

 

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I peeled back the covers and sheet and helped her into bed. Her red hair splayed out on the pillow, a stark contrast to the white. Man, she was pretty. Considering she’d told the hotel clerk that she was taking advantage of me, she was also slightly delusional.

“Evan?”

It stung every time she used my brother’s name. But again, no one to blame but myself. “Yeah?”

“Come cuddle with me. My eyes don’t need to be open for that, and it’ll help me fall asleep. Right now I’m in that weird in-between phase.” Her words came out slurred and sluggish. “Like I can’t fully relax even as the medication is trying to pull me under, so I’m just in limbo. I hate limbo.”

The oxygen drained from my lungs. I didn’t know if I could be as strong as I needed to be if I crawled into that bed.

Her arm swung out, sweeping the air until she made contact with my wrist. I could’ve easily resisted the tug, but I didn’t want to.

“Just a sec,” I said.

“Did you say sex?”

I bit back a groan—she wasn’t going to make this easy. I kicked off my shoes, considered taking off my jeans and then decided that’d only ensure my failure to behave, and climbed in next to her.

Rustling came from her side, and the next thing I knew, she’d thrown her bra and shorts out of the bed, leaving her in only her shirt and… I resisted looking, even though it was all I could think about.

I wasn’t Superman; I was a fucking saint.

My sainthood was tested when she snuggled up to me, resting her head on my shoulder and hooking her leg over both of mine. Having her next to me was the sweetest kind of torture. Her warm breath hit my neck a mere moment before her soft lips.

She was definitely initiating, and I was definitely turned on. But I was also definitely shutting it down. Since I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, especially after that ridiculous comment about being disappointed, I gently shifted, pulling her back against my front. I couldn’t do much about the hard-on. Her ass was right there. A choked noise escaped my mouth as she wiggled against me.

Taking shallow, tempered sips of air, I dragged my fingertips over her arm and back up. Over her shoulder and down her spine.

Her breathing slowed; mine quickened.

Her body relaxed; mine tensed.

She let go and let sleep take her; I clung on to consciousness, soaking in the way she felt in my arms.

Hadn’t I already accepted the fact that I was going to hell for this? Paving my way with every stolen look, kiss, and touch?

I settled my hand on her hip and kissed the back of her head.

If so, let me burn.

 

About Cindi:

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband, three children, and one overly-dramatic tomcat.

You can visit Cindi at: www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books. Follow her on Twitter @cindimadsen.

 

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