“Stay With Me” by K.L. Grayson
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Rule number one for a professional matchmaker?
Don’t fall in love with your client.
I screwed that up when I fell for my best friend, Reid Fortino. He’s gorgeous, successful, and sexy as hell. I figured it would be easy to find him a match—and save the family business at the same time.
But the more time I spend attempting to find the perfect girl, the more I realize how much I want him for my own. What’s the harm if we give in for just one night?
I should have known that would never be enough.
Now I’m on the verge of losing my job and my heart.
We were an imperfect match from the start, but I don’t know how to let him go.
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Cover Design: Perfect Pear Creative
Cover photo: Nicole Ashley Photography
About the authors:New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Corinne Michaels is the author of nine romance novels. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love. USA Today Bestselling Author Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak. Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.
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It all started with a sexy selfie.
Texted to the wrong number.
Not my finest moment—but I have nothing to be ashamed of.
She thought I was no better, and I quote, than the knuckle-dragging douche-bags she was never dating again.
It was a stupid dare from a girl I’d met online, but since she’d given me a fake number, I didn’t feel bad that my interests were suddenly focused elsewhere—on the fiery and sharp-tongued, Peyton that I found myself sparring with over text for the rest of the evening.
The following day, my case of mistaken identity came back to bite me in the banana.
When I strolled into the office, I was introduced to Peyton as the new client I needed to win over. The Peyton, in case you’re not tracking.
And let’s just say she had my full attention.
Beauty? Oh yeah.
And the best part? She hated me on sight.
Dear God, do I love a challenge.
Let the games begin.
“Please stop being so good at this,” I half whisper, half whine.
“I’ll see what I can do,” he says, his lips moving to my throat, and I shudder against his hot breath.
**Preorder your copy now, and don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads list!:
“Aphrodite’s Tears” by Hannah Fielding
Blurb: In ancient Greece, one of the twelve labours of Heracles was to bring back a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides. To archaeologist Oriel Anderson, joining a team of Greek divers on the island of Helios seems like the golden apple of her dreams. Yet the dream becomes a nightmare when she meets the devilish owner of the island, Damian Lekkas. In shocked recognition, she is flooded with the memory of a romantic night in a stranger’s arms, six summers ago. A very different man stands before her now, and Oriel senses that the sardonic Greek autocrat is hell-bent on playing a cat and mouse game with her. As they cross swords and passions mount, Oriel is aware that malevolent eyes watch her from the shadows. Dark rumours are whispered about the Lekkas family. What dangers lie in Helios, a bewitching land where ancient rituals are still enacted to appease the gods, young men risk their lives in the treacherous depths of the Ionian Sea, and the volatile earth can erupt at any moment? Will Oriel find the hidden treasures she seeks? Or will Damian’s tragic past catch up with them, threatening to engulf them both?
She and Damian ascended slowly, holding the dive rope and stopping at intervals along the way, a barrage of bubbles breaking the surface as they finally rose to the top. They were helped into the boat and were immediately surrounded by the other divers, who were all talking at once, everyone wanting to have a look at the antique finds. ‘Thavmahsios, thavmahsios, wonderful, wonderful,’ they cried out as they examined Damian’s Roman seaman’s knife, and a perfectly intact drinking cup with a rudely fashioned face leering from its side. When Stavros saw that Oriel’s amphora had an unbroken seal, he laughed, eyes twinkling. ‘We need to celebrate, and we’ve got the wine right here!’
‘Not sure what it’ll be like after two thousand years,’ said Damian, throwing down his mask. ‘I’ve heard Cousteau talk about trying some from an amphora he’d raised from a wreck near Cap Ferrat. It tasted worse than vinegar, and there was no alcohol left at all. But this one might be worth a toast, I suppose,’ he added with a lopsided grin.
‘Wait a minute, everyone,’ laughed Oriel. ‘Not until it’s been properly cleaned and documented. I don’t want anyone touching that seal!’
‘How’s the wreck looking?’ asked Mohammed, the keen young Algerian diver who was due to go down next.
‘Most of the artefacts are embedded in the calcite that’s formed around the wreck,’ answered Damian. ‘It’s going to be impossible, working underwater, to extract them without breaking them. I suggest you only pick up the smaller, accessible items for now.’ He turned to Oriel. ‘I propose we cut the wreck into blocks of about two hundred pounds apiece, which is the maximum our winches can raise.’
‘I think that’s the only course open to you,’ agreed Oriel. ‘So long as all the necessary drawings, maps and photographs have been made first. There’s a lot to do before we can even think of carving up the argosy.’
Damian nodded and said to Stavros, ‘This is such a big job, I think we might have to ask Vassilis and his crew to help us bring the big pieces up.’
‘Yes, he’s just bought some sophisticated equipment from America. He was boasting about it at Manoli’s last night,’ Stavros told him.
As the next pair of divers were being seen off, Damian turned to Oriel. ‘I take it that Vassilis looked after you well at the temple site yesterday?’
‘Yes, he’s very thorough. I was impressed.’
Damian glanced at her. ‘Not too impressed I hope,’ he said, devilment in his eyes. He paused, then added: ‘You did well down there. There’s something methodical in how you work. Good under pressure too, I’d guess. Not a thermokéfalos hothead like Spyros over there. He’ll need to be watched.’
Oriel glanced over at the wiry young Greek who was showing off, arms gesticulating wildly, his excitable voice rising above the laughter of his diver companions. She was glad to have an opportunity to turn her face away so that Damian couldn’t see the pink hue rise in her cheeks. There was something very intoxicating about approval, and she felt a heady warmth at the remarks he’d made about her.
**Aphrodite’s Tears is out in paperback on 25th January for £7.99.
**About Hannah Fielding: Having already had huge success as one of the UK’s leading romance authors with total sales of over 130k, Aphrodite’s Tears follows the award winning success of Hannah Fielding’s previous novels Burning Embers, Echoes of Love, Masquerade, Legacy andIndiscretion. Echoes of Love won Romance Novel of the Year at the IPB Awards in 2012, Burning Embers was Amazon’s book of the month in 2011, and Hannah’s novels have been translated into 13 languages. With its spectacular setting and deep emotional drama, Aphrodite’s Tears will appeal both to fans of her backlist, as well as lovers of atmospheric travel writing including Santa Montefiore, Penny Vincenzie, Victoria Hislop and Lucinda Riley.
Egyptian by birth Hannah is fluent in French, English and Arabic and has lived all over the world. She currently lives between her writing retreat in the South of France and her rambling family home in Ireland. Hannah’s grandmother, Esther Fanous, was the revolutionary feminist writer in Egypt during the early 1900s and helped found the Women’s Wafd Central Committee in 1920.
Today is the cover reveal for Something Just Like This by Tracy Krimmer. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.
Love? Second chances? That crap is for romantics, not realists like Juliette. She has a bad attitude about love and an even worse one when it comes to second chances. And she may dress like an elf for a few weeks out of the year, but that doesn’t mean she loves Christmas.
Stability? Purpose? Landon is surfing a pleasant wave of both until he’s fired. Devastating news from his sister certainly doesn’t help. At least he has the holidays to look forward to.
When Landon shows up at the mall and Juliette prevents a disaster, he can’t stop thinking about that sweet elf. Juliette doesn’t believe in the spirit of Christmas, but she can’t help but wonder why Landon was in her line that day. Could Landon deserve one of those second chances she’s so unwilling to give?
You can find Something Just Like This on Goodreads
You can pre-order Something Just Like This on Amazon for only $2.99 through February 15.
It will be available in Kindle Unlimited after release day.
Excerpt Something Just Like This by Tracy Krimmer
“Don’t be a Grinch!”
“Huh?” I lift my gaze and my best friend and co-worker Carly stands in the doorway, the smile so bright on her face it almost blinds me. “What do you mean don’t be a Grinch?”
“Oh, you know,” she says as she makes her way into the room, planting herself in my chair. “Like you are every holiday season.”
“I’m not a Grinch.” Maybe I am. I try my best not to show it. It’s possible I don’t have a convincing poker face. Poker was never my game, anyway.
“You most certainly are. Every Christmas party you sulk at the table drinking gin and tonic and refuse to join in on anything. This year, you are in. You’ll be the life of the party.”
“Over my dead body.”
“Shit, Jules, your stiff body would be a better time than you are alive at these functions.”
She’s right, and I know it. Why is she always right? I want to take offense but it’s no secret I’m not Christmas’s biggest fan. I may be the only elf working at the mall that despises it. The elf job isn’t for me, though. I do it for others. That’s festive, isn’t it? Isn’t Christmas about giving? I do plenty of that.
“Leave me alone. And why are you so bubbly? Did you drink a bottle of bubble bath or something?” I grab the container of pens, staples, and paperclips out of the box and place them on the desk. This is much easier to deal with than the picture of my family with our fake smiles.
“Oh, I don’t know.”
She dots her face with her fingertips, moving them around from one side to the other. Why is she acting so weird? “Wait.” I stop when I see it. “Are you wearing an engagement ring?”
She squeals and pops out of the chair, rushing over to show me. Her hand misses smacking me in the face as she shows off her princess cut ring, sparkles and all. “Pretty.”
“Pretty? Are you kidding me right now, Jules? This ring is gorgeous and fit for the fairest princess in the land.”
“Which is you, I assume.”
“What crawled into your pants this morning? Or should I ask who didn’t? Another bad date, huh?”
I shrug, not in the mood to discuss my date with Romeo. No joke. My cousin Dana claimed she found the perfect guy for me, and I said yes to a blind date. His name was Romy, like Mira Sorvino in that movie Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion. I’d only ever heard the name Romy from that movie. It turned out he used Romy as a nickname for Romeo. Yeah. Dana set me up with a Romeo because of course we’d be Romeo and Juliette. Barf. I don’t even spell my name like the Shakespearean character, and the last thing I would ever do is poison myself over a man. Dana had her fun. I did not. She’s never setting me up again.
“Let’s say I got home very early, watched an entire movie, and was asleep by ten.”
“Ouch. That is a bad date.”
About the Author:
Tracy Krimmer loves coffee, popcorn, Drew Barrymore, and the movie Saving Silverman. She enjoys reading great books (of course) and writing realistic characters for you to enjoy. When she listens to music she prefers the 80s and 90s music she grew up on. In a typical day you’ll find her writing at one of her favorite spots–on the couch, at the kitchen table, or at her favorite hometown coffee shop.
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Something Just Like This. One winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift card.
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“Playing House” by Laura Chapman
She’s a work in progress. . .
Bailey Meredith has had it. As an assistant at a prestigious interior design firm, she’s tired of making coffee and filing invoices. She’ll do just about anything to get out from under the paperwork and into the field for real experience. Then she sees an ad for a job that seems too good to be true.
He’s a fixer upper . . .
Wilder Aldrich knew she would be perfect for the crew the moment he saw her. His hit home improvement show only hired the best, and Bailey had potential written all over her. It isn’t just her imaginative creativity and unmatched work ethic that grabs his attention. There’s just something about her.
With chemistry on screen, it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly behind the scenes as well. But with Bailey’s jaded views on romance and a big secret that could destroy Wilder and everyone he cares about are either of them willing to risk it all for love?
“PLAYING HOUSE” EXCERPT
Keeping a close distance, she followed Waverly up the cracked path to the house. Bailey took quick mental notes of her surroundings. The exterior needed a lot of work. The sagging roof missing gutters made her think they’d find the inside in similar disarray. They stepped through the front door, nearly tripping over Wilder Aldrich, who was measuring the entryway.
“Hey!” He sprang to his feet and out of their way. “What did I tell you about waiting until I gave you the all clear?”
“You were taking for-frickin’-ever, and some of us were freezing our tits off.” She pursed her lips and took on a warrior stance, seemingly daring him to say something else.
Conceding victory to her, Wilder turned and flashed an apologetic grin at Bailey. “Hey.” He offered a hand. Warmth permeated through the thin material of her glove. “Welcome to Casa de Waverly.”
Giving him a smug grin, Waverly sipped her coffee and faced Bailey. “Do you have a smart phone?”
Bailey stared blankly for a second, still dazzled by seeing Wilder up close. But she quickly snapped to attention and dug her phone out of her coat pocket.
“Good,” Waverly said after inspecting it. “While you’re on the job, I’d like you to snap some photos for our social media accounts. I’ll want to vet everything before we post it, but we need to start building the buzz for the next season while we’re filming. In exchange, we’ll cover your phone payments to take care of your data usage. Understood?”
“I can do that.”
“Good. Now . . .” She pulled out her own phone. It was the latest model that had come out on the market a month ago. With all of its reported bells and whistles, it put Bailey’s poor phone to shame. “I’m going to make a quick call. I’ll be back in a few minutes, and we can get started on,” she gestured around her, “this mess.”
She spun on her heel and waltzed out of the room, cooing into the phone.
Wilder cleared his throat, and Bailey turned to give him her full attention. She estimated he was only a couple of years older than herself—maybe in his late twenties or early thirties. He looked younger in real life than he did on TV. He was leaner and a little shorter—though she still had to crane her neck a little to meet his gaze.
He was also more handsome. Not the GQ model, your tongue-sticks-to-the-top-of-your-mouth kind of sexy. But he was hot in the same way the guy you sat next to in Chemistry was. It was enough to distract you from formulas and Bunsen burners every so often, but not enough that you’d ever set the lab on fire or forget to finish your final exam.
So far, he seemed much more serious. Where was the guy who scared Waverly with a stuffed dummy in a closet in the last episode she’d watched before calling an end to the marathon?
He was, she realized, studying her every bit as closely, with those hazel eyes speckled with green. Noting that, she didn’t feel quite as rude taking mental notes on the man in front of him.
At least she looked good. She’d laid out three outfits that morning in the hotel room. The first was a long, silky turquoise tunic that she’d paired with a pair of black leggings and knee-high boots. It was similar to the clothes Waverly favored on screen—only hers weren’t name-brand knockoffs. Then she had the casual jeans, a gray T-shirt that she could dress-up with a navy blue blazer. And there was option three: dark-wash, fit jeans, a chambray shirt, and a scarf. It was an ensemble that fell somewhere in the middle. It was the one that looked the most like her when she inspected herself in the mirror.
It was the one that felt most like her now in the middle of the foyer.
She wondered what he saw when he looked at her. Did he see a confident young woman ready to tackle major projects adeptly? Or did he see someone who was desperate to create, no matter what happened? Both were correct, but which one shone through right now?
Like a light switch, that triggered something in her. She offered her hand again. “We haven’t officially met. I’m Bailey Meredith.”
HOW IS PLAYING HOUSE DIFFERENT FROM YOUR OTHER BOOKS AND WHAT MADE YOU WRITE IT?
Playing House marks a bit of a change for me as a writer. Though it still carries the comedy—and hopefully whimsy—of my previous books like The Marrying Type and the Queen of the League series, this story is different. It focuses primarily on the love story in line with contemporary romances. Plus it’s steamier—there’s no fading to black here. (Sorry, not sorry, Mom and Dad.)
That’s why I’m calling it a sexy romantic comedy. You’ll still find laughs and giggly situational elements, but there are also a few scenes that made me blush to write.
I didn’t add these scenes to be gratuitous by any means, or because I was trying to be edgy. I just realized—once this story came to fruition—that it called for some spice. Because sometimes when a woman cares for a man, and he feels the same admiration for her, they want to express it in a physical sense.
As a reader and writer, I was raised on great love stories told by the likes of Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, and Judith McNaught. Not only were they some of my favorite writers, but they also became my teachers. It felt like a natural profession to shift my writing more squarely under the romance umbrella, because these stories are among my favorite. That’s not to say I won’t return to another chick lit story or sweet romance in the future. But right now, my current roster of books to-write tends to lean in this direction. It’s been a lot of fun.
As for why I felt the need to write Playing House in particular . . .
The idea for Playing House came to me the weekend after I published First & Goal, the first book in the Queen of the League series, back in September 2015. I was attending a conference in Indianapolis for my day job at a museum. My co-worker and I, by mutual agreement, kept our TV tuned into HGTV whenever we were in the room. When we weren’t in lectures or meetings, we were in front of that TV. It amounted to hours and hours of home décor, home purchasing, and so on. At a certain point, I started to wonder . . . how much of it was real? The work, the relationships, all of it—how much of it is true and in the moment, and how much is manufactured for TV?
And I let my imagination wander.
By the end of the weekend, I whispered to my co-worker that I was pretty sure I had an idea for my next stand-alone novel. So I did what I always do when I have a story idea. I obsessed about it and researched it. I ended up reading blogs and message boards to answer some of my questions about what happens when the cameras are off. I also watched way more hours of some of my favorite HGTV shows like Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, and House Hunters. By the time National Novel Writing Month came around in November, I had the gist of my story.
Even with all of my watching and reading, the characters and situations are original in Playing House and it is a work of fiction. I did not use any of the real-life stars as inspiration, nor did I take any true stories and make them my own. The only thing I really stole was the consistent element I saw throughout every post: most of the work happens when the cameras are off and there’s always more to the whole story than what we see on TV.
I hope readers will enjoy reading about the world in Playing House as much as I did imagining and writing it.
**About the author: Laura Chapman is the author of First & Goal, Going for Two, Three & Out, The Marrying Type, and Playing House. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. She loves talking to readers. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also get the latest news from her website, blog, and monthly newsletter.
This month, during the Playing House blog tour, you can enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of 1 free Audible copy each of The Marrying Type, First & Goal, Going for Two or 1 $20 Amazon gift card.
**Click HERE to enter the giveaway!
Like I’ve mentioned before, there will soon be changes to Chick Lit Goddess! Since one of my Christmas gifts was an upgrade to my WordPress hosted website (read about my Christmas gifts HERE), I can now add all the buttons, widgets, themes, and everything else I could imagine.
Right now I’m in the middle of setting up the new layout, and I can’t decide which one I like. I didn’t know how difficult this would be, nor do I want to be changing it all the time — I want to be known for a certain layout, colors, and design. I am the Chick Lit Goddess, hear me roar! One thing I can tell you is that I have decided what the main colors will be, (my wedding colors if this give anyone a clue).
What I need help is on knowing what you, the reader and faithful follower would like to see more/less of? What widgets, apps, and/or links would you like to see?
Any advice, comments, or ideas would be most helpful!