Blog Tour! A BROKEN SOUL by JESSICA PRINCE

Title: A Broken Soul
Series: The Pembrooke Series (Book 3)
Author: Jessica Prince
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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He’s terrified of loving her.
She’s terrified of losing him.

synopsis

He’s terrified of loving her.

Quinn Mallick already had his happily-ever-after, and in the blink of an eye it was ripped away from him. Now he’s content to walk through the rest of his life carrying the weight of that guilt on his shoulders. He’s convinced he doesn’t deserve a second chance. But when the town’s beautiful dance teacher turns her sights on him he finds himself questioning everything.

She’s terrified of losing him.

Lilly Mathewson’s once quiet, predictable life has been turned on its head. Feeling alone and adrift, she finds her comfort in the most unexpected of places. Falling for the town widower was never part of the plan, but there is just something about the temperamental man she can’t seem to let go of.

What started as two grieving people leaning on each other has quickly turned into something neither of them expected. Lilly is ready to take the next step, but how do you move forward when the man you love refuses to let go of the past?

He has a broken soul. She has a broken heart. And the only way for them to heal is if they do it together.

***This is Book 3 in the Pembrooke series, a spin-off of Wildflower. They are interconnected standalones.***

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excerpt

“So what about you? Have you always wanted to dance?”

Her voice went soft, her expression wistful. “Yeah. I’ve been dancing since I was about eight. I started a little later than most, but once my mom put me in classes, I was hooked.”

“You’re amazing,” I found myself admitting. “Why didn’t you go to New York or something like that?”

Her face flushed, and something told me it wasn’t from the wine this time. “You’ve seen me dance?”

“Yeah. Last week. I was getting in my truck after grabbing a coffee. The blinds to the studio were open and you were in there by yourself.” I stopped, thinking back to the sadness on her face that morning. “You were…”

“Crying,” she whispered, and although she still wore a smile, I could see the sadness had returned. “Yeah. You kind of caught me on a bad day.”

Suddenly I was aware of what I must have been putting my loved ones through, because even though I knew it wasn’t fair, I wanted to push her to talk about whatever was bothering her. Instead, I ignored that curious niggling in my gut and said, “You know, I might not be as good a listener as you are, but if you ever need to talk…”

“Thanks,” she smiled. “It’s okay. I’m okay. I just got some bad news the day before.” She stopped long enough to inhale deeply before she continued. “My dad’s sick. Cancer. I found out about it the day before.”

“Christ,” I hissed. “Lilly, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s all right. I was struggling with how to cope, you know? I couldn’t imagine…” Her voice cracked and her throat moved as she swallowed. “I still can’t imagine not having him, and knowing he’s going to die… it really fucking sucks.” When she let out a self-deprecating laugh, it took everything I had not to jump across the table and wrap my arms around her. I’d never felt more out of my element with a person before, yet, at the same time, I could relate to her better than most.

“I went down to the studio before it opened and put on the music and just… escaped for a little while. I’ve always used dancing as a way to escape. When I was little, I had trouble in school. I’m dyslexic and it took a while for the doctors to be able to diagnose it. I know it’s not really a big deal, but when you’re in elementary school and have trouble reading, well, let’s just say the kids can be real assholes.

“My mom enrolled me in dance classes and I discovered that when I was moving, when the music was playing, all the mean things those kids said about me just… disappeared. It was my escape, to this day it still is. So, to answer your question, that’s why I never wanted to pursue something like New York. It might sound weird, but what I do now, when I dance, even when I teach my kids, it’s all for me. If I tried to join a company, everything I did would be for them. Doing what I do now, I don’t have to answer to anybody. I don’t have to worry about the routines becoming monotonous. I get to leave my head for a while and not worry about the outcome. Does that make any sense?”

I hardly recognized my voice, the sound rougher, almost jagged as I said, “It makes perfect sense.” I had no clue what was coming over me, why I was reacting the way I was, but I couldn’t stand to see that heartache in her eyes any longer. Standing from my place on the floor, I held my hand out to her. “Come on. I want to watch you dance.”

“What? Now?” she asked incredulously. “You want to watch me dance right now?”

I gave a casual shrug and let my lips curl up in a grin. “Why not? You got other plans at the moment?”

“Well… no, but—”

“Perfect, so nothing’s stopping you.” She didn’t seem convinced, and for reasons beyond my comprehension, I wanted nothing more than to see this gorgeous woman dance. So, I pushed.

“Come escape with me for a little while.”

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FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

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JessicaPrince

Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.

Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says.

In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.

Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.

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Blog tour! LION EYES by CASEY PEELER

 

 

TYKE
It’s all I ever loved,
All I ever wanted.
Football is it for me.
The lights, the turf, the feel of the ball in my hands,
There’s nothing that means more to me.

But then, I meet Rilla James.
It’s a game changer right from the start.
Now, all I want is her,
Everything about her.

RILLA
It’s a love-hate relationship.
I love the excitement, the thrill of the game,
But despise everything it stands for.
The day the game took away someone in my life,
Everything changed,
For the better.
And I couldn’t be happier.

But then, I meet Tyke she Jamison.
It’s a blitz right from the start.
Now, I’m questioning it all.
Maybe I could get used to life under the lights,
With him.

Playlist

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“Ohmygosh, RJ! This is beyond good,” Laney says as slaw and chili run down the side of her mouth. I start to laugh then take another bite of my double cheeseburger with extra bacon.

“Told ya. Guess you’ve got a perk having a local as a roomie,” I say.

“Dang right I do,” she says as the bell chimes on the door swinging open.

I glance over my shoulder because more than likely it’s someone I know, but when I see him I give a huff and an eye roll. I turn around, trying to avoid him like the plague. Why is he everywhere today? He’s the last person I ever wanted to run into on campus, and on my first day here, I can’t escape him. I can’t believe I agreed to see him again tomorrow. Mental note – leave extra early in the morning.

“Did you see who just walked in?” Laney whispers.

Rolling my eyes yet again, I respond “Yeah, so what?”

“So what? Are you kidding me? Do you have a set of ovaries? He’s like hot tamale h-o-t!”

“He’s not my type,” I state flatly. Laney takes her burger, places it on her plate, crosses her arms and stares at me like I’m completely full of it.

“Yeah right! You can say what you want, but that boy is like fine as crystal and what I wouldn’t do to take a sip out of that glass.”

“Laney! Are you kidding me? Just because he’s got a six pack and can throw a ball doesn’t mean he’s God’s gift, ya know.”

“You’re not serious are you?” She looks at me, trying to figure me out.

“As a heart attack. Do you know where you chose to go to school?” She looks confused. “Look, not only do we have a nice little Division I football program on campus, but this county is like high school football dynasty. They don’t lose around here.”

“Huh? You lost me.”

“Okay, take this in for a second. Him coming to play here has nothing on the other talent I’ve seen growing up. Two of our four schools bring home state titles each and every year. It’s a way of life around here. From August to December everyone eats, breathes, and sleeps this sport. It’s not just a Saturday game here, it’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in this town. It just depends on if you’re a pee wee or a Charlotte Lion. He better be thankful that Coach Porter gave him a shot because word on these country streets is that he didn’t have anywhere else to go, and his time was up at that no-name junior college. He either had to take Blue Ridge’s offer or kiss the draft goodbye.”

Laney looks at me and suddenly I realize who’s standing right beside me. Oh well. I call it like I see it.

“So what’s the word on the streets, RJ?” he questions, looking down at me, and I do what I always do. I shoot straight.

“That you did something really stupid, and Coach Porter is the only one willing to give you a shot on the field in three years. You think this is the armpit of football hell, but you’re really surrounded by a piece of football heaven. You’re just too damn arrogant to realize it.” Standing, I look at Laney, “You ready?” She doesn’t say a word, her mouth is wide open and she looks down at her unfinished burger. “Hey Hazel! I’ll bring your baskets back in the mornin’.” She smiles and I walk right past him and out the door. Now let’s see if he shows in the morning. Touchdown, RJ.
 

 

Casey Peeler grew up in North Carolina and still lives there with her husband and daughter.

Growing up Casey wasn’t an avid reader or writer, but after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston during her senior year of high school, and multiple Nicholas Sparks’ novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.  That love ignited the passion for writing several years later, and her writing style combines real life scenarios with morals and values teenagers need in their daily lives.

When Casey isn’t writing, you can find her near a body of water listening to country music with a cold beverage and a great book.

Connect with Casey

 

Blog Tour! ONE CAREFUL OWNER by JANE HARVEY-BERRICK

 

 

 

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Take me, all of me, broken and in pieces, or say to hell with me.”

WARNING!
This book will break your heart!
From the best-selling romance author of THE EDUCATION OF SEBASTIAN comes a sexy, heart-breaking and heart-warming story about one man and his dog. (Standalone)

Alex is lost and alone, with only his dog, Stan for company. He doesn’t expect kindness from anyone anymore, but sometimes hope can be found in the most unlikely places. He has a second chance at happiness, but there’s a dark side to Alex, and a reason that more than one person has called him crazy.
Single mother Dawn is doing just fine. Except that her ex- is a pain in the ass, her sister isn’t speaking to her, and her love life is on the endangered list.
At least her job as a veterinarian is going well. Until a crazy-looking guy arrives at her office accompanied by an aging dog with toothache. Or maybe Alex Winters isn’t so crazy after all, just … different.
Dawn realizes that she’s treated him the same way that all the gossips in town have treated her—people can be very cruel.

Contains scenes of an adult nature.

This is a standalone novel with no cliff-hanger.

 

“I had a really nice time today, Alex. We both did.”

He nodded slowly, seeming to ponder my words.


“Nice. Nice?”


“You don’t like that word?”


His reply wasn’t acerbic, if anything, he sounded thoughtful.

“I haven’t had a whole lot of nice.”

I wondered if I should take his words as an opportunity to dig deeper, but he seemed more closed off now and a little sad, and I didn’t want to spoil such a lovely day.


“Nice is good,” I agreed evenly, and was happy when he forced a small smile. “Thank you—for everything.”


I leaned across to kiss him on the cheek, surprised by my own boldness. His eyes widened and he sucked in a quick breath.


Was the world still spinning or had time frozen as we sat there, creatures in the dark our only witnesses?


Is love a disease? An affliction? Or is it something catching? Can you catch love, can you hold it in your hands, can it be communicated like a plague? Or is it like an infectious laugh that makes your eyes water and your stomach hurt, even though the joke isn’t funny?


I’d begun to believe I was immune to love—the kind that exists between a man and a woman. Instead, I’d been gifted an ocean of love for my daughter. I thought perhaps that had filled me full, leaving no room for other love. Other loves.


My lips tingled from the roughness of his day-old stubble.


And is it love when you want someone’s smile as much as you want their body? When their laughter softens your words to a prayer?


My heart began to race.


Or is it sheer animal lust, a torrent of hormones assaulting your blood, heating you from the inside out?


He reached out to touch me, questions in his shadowed eyes as he cupped my cheek. I sighed and leaned into him, eyelids fluttering.


My mother always says it’s the softness of men that she loves most, because it’s at the center of them. Their outsides are hard with muscle; their bodies large, larger than hers—or mine—heavier, stronger. So when a man’s touch is soft, when his fingers drift across your skin like sunbeams, then you’re seeing into his soul.


I never understood. I never believed her.


Until now.


So gently, so very gently, he pressed his dry lips against mine, and I wrapped my arms around his neck, kissing him back.


He tasted of coffee, and he smelled like sunshine and pine forest.


Gentleness turned to want, and want turned to need, and I thought my mother was wrong. I wanted to feel the strength of his body surrounding me, on top of me. I wanted to feel his hardness against me, inside me. I was wearied by supporting the weight of my family alone. I wanted someone to carry me. For just a little while. A single moment.


The wooden arm of the chair pressed into my ribs as I leaned across, and I tried to ignore it. But Alex lifted me onto his lap, shocking a gasp out of me that ended with a soft laugh, because maybe he’d read my mind, because maybe he wanted the same things I did. And then we were kissing again. Again and again for the longest time, hesitance turning to urgency, and long languid kisses to heated mouths and hot sighs.


My fingers fumbled to find the hem of his shirt as I floundered my way down his chest, sliding my palms across warm skin that left shivers in their wake. I started pushing the material upward, and Alex leaned forward and dragged the shirt off, tossing it to the ground impatiently.


All day, I’d longed to touch, yearned to taste, feared to want. I was tired of caution, weary of wading through life alone. If this was just one night, I’d celebrate it forever, and if it was more … well, that was a bridge still to be crossed, a land waiting for discovery.


My hands swept down his back, reading his skin with my fingers as if sight didn’t exist, while we continued to kiss, tongues tasting, learning and teaching. I gripped his biceps, my fingers digging into the ridge of muscle, shuddering with pleasure as he cupped my breast with one hand, the other anchored behind my back to stop me from falling.


Too late.


I’d already fallen for Alex Winters, man of mystery, animal lover, gentle soul, wounded warrior in the battle of life. Or maybe that’s just life. We’re all survivors, one way or another.

 

 

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Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).
She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk1CyB8c0xA )
Author Links

 

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Blog Tour – I SEE YOU by MOLLY MCADAMS

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Title: I See You
Author: Molly McAdams
Genre: New Adult

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synopsis

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ powerful new novel offers one of the most memorable love triangles in fiction since Twilight—perfect for fans of New Adult fiction like Jamie McGuire, Abbi Glines, and Tamarra Webber.

What if…
Aurora Wilde’s life feels like a series of what ifs, forks in the road, and doors unopened. What if she hadn’t gone to the party that night? What if Jentry Michaels hadn’t captured her interest, or disappeared the next day? What if Declan Veil hadn’t been there to sweep her off her feet?

And as she goes down the list to make her perfect forever, Aurora is happy with her life and a future that seems completely secure. Until, one day, suddenly it’s not. Now she’s stuck between the man who has been there for her and the one she never stopped thinking about.

As the consequences of each of her choices comes to a head, Aurora begins to realize that, sometimes, one tiny decision can ripple through a life and change everything. But when what once felt like a safe and reliable future becomes something else, will Aurora have the courage to make a final decision that could alter the course of her entire life?

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excerpt

He reached for me, but I shot my hand out in a silent plea for him not to. I was already shaking from keeping myself from him. I didn’t want to think about what I would do if he touched me now.

The past was standing right in front of me, begging to be seen. As if I had ever stopped seeing him. As if I had ever pulled myself from the embers of that night. That night was a dance of flames that had no ending, only respites. One touch from him and those embers would roar to life again, burning hotter and higher.

I wanted it.

I couldn’t allow it. Not now, not with everything going on.

I dropped my head and took quick steps to leave the closet, but Jentry’s arm shot out to stop me, his hand curled against my waist possessively.

“Aurora—”

“Don’t. Please don’t.”

He ignored me and pulled me against him so my side was pressed to his chest. My body trembled as those flames got higher. But with the flames that guilt grew and grew, threatening to cripple me.

“You hurt, I hurt,” he reminded me. “And, Aurora, seeing you like this and not being able to fix it is killing me. I’m sorry for what happened. I’m so damn sorry, and I’m sorry I wasn’t here sooner.” Each word was laced with pain, echoing the aches in my heart and my soul. “But you are out of your mind if you think it was easy for me not being here. I have regretted letting you go, every minute of every fucking day. If I could do that first night all over again I would, and I would’ve been there for you. I would have been here.”

The tears that had filled my eyes finally slipped free at his words and the memory of that night. “But you did let me go, and no matter how much we beg time to reverse, it won’t.”

His body deflated against mine as regret leaked from him. “No, it won’t. But I’m here now. I’m here, and we’re going to get through this.”

So much indecision and confusion wove through me. Wants and needs at war with one another as they had already been for an agonizing amount of time.

My heart had bled out through each battle until I’d made a life-changing decision, a decision that Declan and I didn’t speak of, and one that Jentry still didn’t know. Now any move I could make from here on out would be the wrong one. I was sitting in a minefield, waiting.

Just waiting.

“I tried to forget that night,” I whispered before I could stop myself. “I tried to forget you, but somehow you embedded yourself so deeply into my soul in just one night, that forgetting you—forgetting that night—was impossible. I don’t need a lifetime with you to know that no one and nothing will ever compare to what’s between us. But it’s too late for anything involving us even if it’s just us getting through this, because that night and you are now some of my biggest regrets.”

playlist

Want to know how the music matches to the book?
Here are the songs linked up to the parts of the story!

Tonight – Mitch Lee, ft. Jocelyn Alice [Ch. 5: end of]

Whisper – Chase Rice [Part II]

Come Wake Me Up – Rascal Flatts [Ch. 6: Jentry’s POV]

9 Crimes – Damien Rice [Ch. 9]

Fallout – Marianas Trench [Ch. 10]

Over You – Ingrid Michaelson, ft. A Great Big World [Ch. 11]

Playing With Fire – Thomas Rhett, ft. Jordan Sparks [Part III]

Good To You – Marianas Trench, ft. Kate Voegele [Ch. 13: end of Aurora’s POV/beginning of Jentry’s POV]

With Love – Christina Grimmie [Ch. 20 – Ch. 21: Aurora’s POV]

Powerful – Major Lazar, ft. Ellie Goulding, Tarrus Riley [Part V: first half]

Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard, ft. Marketa Irglova [Part V: second half]

Foolish Games – Jewel [Ch. 22: second half of Aurora’s POV]

Don’t Go – Jake Coco, ft. Caitlin Hart [Ch. 23: second half]

Perfectly – Chelsea Lee, ft. Jason Reeves [Ch. 25: first half]

We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off – Ella Eyre [Ch. 26: second half]

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author

molly-mcadams

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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Blog Tour – MEGA BALLS by ERIN NOELLE

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Title: Megaballs
Author: Erin Noelle
Genre: Sexy, Fun, Contemporary Romance

Megaballs ebook

Erin Noelle is bringing us a Sexy, Fun, Contemporary Romance!
Get ready for Finley and Teague – and find out if she slaps him or rings his MEGABALLS!

Synopsis

I’ve got 99 problems but money ain’t one. Though a sister with cotton candy for brains, a spatula-wielding six-year-old niece with a British accent, and the mysterious businessman who left me that damn ticket are all currently vying for the top spot.

When I became the sole winner of a $270 million Megaball jackpot, thanks to a sexy stranger who left a lottery ticket instead of paying for his meal, my entire world flipped upside-down.

Now, with money-sucking vultures, douchebags by the dozens, and a horde of total hotties just waiting to get their mangy paws on my newfound fortune, I set out to locate the man who gifted me the winning ticket–to properly thank him.

However, when I finally find the cocky, self-absorbed business tycoon, Teague Goodman, I’m not sure whether I want to slap him… or ring his MEGABALLS.

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excerpt

Without any uncertainty, she strips out of her clothes and leaves them on the floor next to mine, then smiles brilliantly up at me in her bra and panties, her quiet confidence a major fucking turn-on. “What now, bossypants?”

“The rest of it,” I order, my hungry gaze roaming up and down her curvy frame. “As much as I’d love to rip that lace from your gorgeous body with my own hands, that’s gonna have to wait until next time. Now, get naked and climb your cute little ass up in my bed. Where you belong.”

“Already so confident there’s gonna be a next time, huh?” she purrs.

A feral growl rumbles in my chest. “Naked. Bed. Now.”

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review

This book… THIS BOOK!!! I have to tell you, you will LOVE MEGABALLS! Yes this book is a bit different than books Erin has given us before (umm although I feel like we say that for a LOT of her releases!), but just like every book Erin has ever put into our greedy little hands the writing is superb and you will NOT be able to stop turning those pages! It is full of wit and humor and you will find yourself with a HUGE smile on your face throughout the entire book. The characters are AMAZING – each one having more personality than the last! I promise you Erin will take you on a fun, fast trip with Megaballs full of hilarity, family and sweet moments to put the strawberry on the cake

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Author

Erin Noelle

Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and three fur babies. When she’s not reading or writing romance novels, she enjoys winning at cards and board games, awkward people-watching in public places, and doing cartwheels at the most random times. She’s usually barefoot, is never without a song in her head, and currently holds the title of World’s Best Procrastinator.

Her titles published include the Book Boyfriend Series, Dusk ‘Til Dawn Series, Luminous Duet, Fire on the Mountain series, and numerous standalone books that range from New Adult to Contemporary romance. Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list as well as the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100. You can follow her on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/erin.noelle.98, on her website @www.erinnoellebooks.com, on Twitter @authorenoelle, and on Instagram @erinnoelleauthor.

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Release blitz & tour! SHATTERED BY LOVE by DANI RENE

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ONLY $0.99 until August 28!
FREE ON KU

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Synopsis:

The boy from the wrong side of town.
The girl who stole his heart.

Jayce
For five years, I’ve lived with my choice.
Pain. Regret. Heartache.
A shattered soul.
She was my salvation. My love. My world.
Until I let her walk away.

Ivy
For five years, I’ve lived with my secret.
Hurt. Remorse. Sorrow.
A shattered soul.
He was my life. My love. My world.
Until he let me walk away.
Broken hearts, shattered by love.
Secrets. Deception. Lies.
Can shattered love be mended?
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Video Trailer:

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Blog tour – ANTI-STEPBROTHER by TIJAN

anti stepbrother book tour

Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous,
and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Anti-Stepbrother is NOW AVAILABLE!

Get Your Copy TODAY:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bH3TEZ
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bOSoib
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Yg47GW
Nook:  http://bit.ly/22Vj7dD
Kobo:  http://bit.ly/24CzWcI
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/1WGmyFl
(September 12th delivery)
Add Anti-Stepbrother to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/1UCNF0f

anti stepbrother cover

synopsis

He told me to ‘settle, girl.’
He asked if ‘something was wrong with me?’
He said I was an ‘easy target.’
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Okay, yes I was a little naïve, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what would happen if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

anti - stepbrother teaser 1

excerpt

He wasn’t looking at me any more. I wasn’t even sure he was really in the room.

I needed to leave this alone. He had given me the clues—looking away, his jaw clenching, pain like I’d never heard from him sounding loud and clear. My instincts were telling me to shut up, but I couldn’t. I had this burning need to know more about Caden. I needed to get in there, past his walls, and I wanted to understand him.

I wanted to help him.

Caden was hurting, and I wanted to take that away.

“What happened?”

Caden turned his gaze to me now, and I felt branded by the pain I saw. His eyes were stricken. “Does it matter?”

“No.” My breath caught and held in my chest. I wanted to go to him, but I also wanted to slink away. I was stirring up his pain, but I had to know. “What happened, Caden?”

“Why do you have to know?”

“Because it’s hurting you.”

I made a decision, though I had no idea what the ramifications were going to be. I stood, my legs going numb and my stomach clenching, and I moved to his side. He leaned back, his head falling to the couch, and he watched me.

The need to ease some of his hurt outweighed the fear of what would happen next. Swallowing tightly, I stepped over to straddle him and sat down.

“What are you doing?”

He asked that softly, still holding his beer. I took it from his hands and put it on the stand next to the couch. Then I just sat there. He had to do the rest. I’d already made the first move.

I glanced down at his hands, feeling like an idiot. “What happened?”

“Why are you pushing this?”

I looked back up to find confusion warring with need in his eyes. He wasn’t pushing me away, so I sank further into his lap.

“You haven’t told anyone else about this.” It wasn’t really a question, but I saw the confirmation in his eyes. My chest tightened, thinking about whatever secret he held. “Please tell me.”

“No.” He shifted forward, and I braced myself, expecting him to push me away. He didn’t. His hands grasped the backs of my legs and lifted me so I was more fully on his lap.

I could feel him between my legs, and my breasts almost pressed against his chest. I waited. I wanted to see what else he’d say

“But not because I don’t want you to know,” he added. “Because it’s not my secret to tell.”

I nodded, my stomach doing somersaults now. “That makes sense. I can respect that.”

And there we were. His hands cupped my ass, and the pain in his gaze became something darker, something I felt too, something that began to turn off all rational thought.

“What are we doing here?” he questioned, his voice like a caress in itself.

I leaned forward, my gaze lingering on his lips. “I didn’t really think it through.”

“And now?”

“Still not thinking it through.”

“You’re okay with that?”

In that moment, the truth exploded in me. I wanted him. I wanted this—but it was more. I needed this.

I didn’t answer.

I closed the distance between us.

antistepbrother

author infor

tijanI didn’t begin writing until after undergraduate college. There’d been storylines and characters in my head all my life, but it came to a boiling point one day and I HAD to get them out of me. So the computer was booted up and I FINALLY felt it click. Writing is what I needed to do. After that, I had to teach myself how to write. I can’t blame my teachers for not teaching me all those years in school. It was my fault. I was one of the students that was wishing I was anywhere but at school! So after that day, it took me lots of work until I was able to put together something that resembled a novel. I’m hoping I got it right since someone must be reading this profile! And I hope you keep enjoying my future stories.

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