✍🏻 A.L. Jackson’s Never Look Back is almost HERE. Who’s ready and needs a sneak peek? ✍🏻

Never Look Back

An Enemies-to-Lovers, Close-Proximity, Second-Chance Romance from A.L. Jackson

Coming August 29th

Tension bound the room, and few words had been said, everyone’s attention rapt on the duel going down.

Jarek tried to keep his expression neutral, the pompous prick with his slicked back black hair and his careless confidence that had been given to him through his name rather than earned.

Like he was confident I would let him reach out and take what was mine.

Not ever again.

Even with the pungent arrogance, I saw the tick of his jaw, the flinch of his eyes, the sheen of sweat that hinted at the edges of his brow and glimmered beneath the dull lights from the chandelier that hung from above.

He glanced at his dwindling chips.

“Your father-in-law would be proud. If only he could see you now.” I couldn’t help but taunt it as I rocked back in my chair. I did my best to ignore the presence that hovered over him from behind.

A presence that fanned out and teased me like a sinful, decadent dream. A dream that had once been so beautiful it’d coerced me into believing there just might be something better in this life than depravity and greed.

I glanced up in time to catch the worry that riddled those fire-agate eyes. The golden green with flecks of red that were begging for something she didn’t deserve to be given.


I tore my attention from the lure of hers and watched as redness clawed at Jarek’s throat before he started to push in the chips to meet the bet.

Aster gripped him by the shoulder. “Jarek, don’t do this.”

I had to wonder exactly what he had riding on the line. Why he was there. Why I could feel the chinks in his armor coming apart.

Flinging off her hand, he cut her a hard glare.

“Don’t,” he warned.

The word was coated with his humiliation. With desperation.


There was the chink.

Weakness wept through the powerful persona.

Reluctantly, Aster withdrew her hand, and her delicate throat trembled as she swallowed. She lifted that stoic chin that I’d caressed more times than I could count.

Okay, fine.

That was a goddamn lie because I remembered every fucking touch. Every glance. Every broken promise she had made.

Jarek met my stare as he pushed nearly the rest of his chips into the pot, raising me by a thousand.

I raised him another ten.

How far are you going to go, asshole? Whatever you have, it’s mine.

A soft sound of pain wheezed from Aster’s chest. A heave of distressed air.

My gaze followed to where the black dress she wore dipped low between her tits. My heart fisted when I saw what she wore around her neck. It was a star-shaped necklace, dangling down to kiss her cleavage.

I nearly cracked. Lost the control I was holding onto.

It had to be a joke.

A taunt.

A fucking cruel, sick twisted one, the girl coming down here and parading it like a slap to my face.

It made my teeth clench and the fury I was barely constraining flashfire through my veins.

I tore my attention from her when Jarek spat, “Fuck,” under his breath.

He still clutched his cards, refusing to give up the fight.

Haille laughed, the sadistic fucker enjoying this far too much. He looked at Jarek. How the hell he knew him, I didn’t have a clue, but I didn’t believe in a coincidence quite this big. He pulled his cigar from his mouth and jabbed it Jarek’s direction. “It seems you’re in a small predicament, Mr. Urso. Are you already going to walk? And here I thought you were going to bring something interesting to the table.”

Jarek all but growled, and Aster’s gaze darted between the three of us. Nerves flew from her soft, caramel flesh. That face carved of perfect lines and smooth skin tightened in dread.

He’d brought something interesting to the table, all right.

“Just cut your losses, Jarek.” She begged it quietly, but I heard the strength behind it.

Jarek roughed his hand down his pompous face, and he turned to look at the necklace around Aster’s neck as if it could be a solution to his issues.

Aster gasped, and her hand came up to protect it. Tears sprang to her eyes. She took a small step back. “No,” she wheezed, like it would physically pain her to remove it.

I wanted to jump to my feet.

Take hold of her and demand answers.

Demand to know why.

Why had she done it if she could stand there and look like there was a piece of her that was broken.

Anger and confusion had me in a stranglehold.

Old grief I’d buried deep that was clawing to the surface.

“Give it to me,” Jarek grated.

“No.” My voice cut through the dense air.

A roll of thunder.

The tolling of a challenge.

Aster froze. Her stare landed on me.

It was pain.

A plea.


It only made the sickness thrum harder.

I looked to Jarek.

“The girl.”

The stake came out without thought to repercussions.

Without rationale.

No sense.

Just revenge.

I wanted what never should have been his.

A gasp rocked from her, and she stumbled back farther.

Jarek’s eyes sharpened to blades, and there was no question he wanted to reach over the table and choke the life from me.

My fingers itched.

I hoped he tried.

I gave nothing. No smile. No sneer. Just the quiet hatred that emanated from within. The fact I intended to take everything from him.

I’d known one day I would. I just hadn’t anticipated the opportunity would present itself so soon.

He blinked then jutted his chin at the dealer for the exotic chip.

The one that signified he would hazard my proposition.

It wasn’t rare. A bid made for a beach home. A family heirloom. Something that couldn’t be replaced. Here, fortunes were won and lost.

“What are you doing? I am not for sale.” Aster’s voice was aghast. Horrified and filled with disgust.

“He’s bluffing, Aster.” Jarek tossed in the chip.

It was the first time I let myself fully look at her. To sit back and take her in like she was mine to take. Sickened terror ridged her gorgeous face because I was pretty sure she knew this wasn’t close to a bluff.

I couldn’t do anything but crack a grin. “It seems you are tonight.”

Then I laid down my cards.

A straight flush.

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“My heart in my throat for most of the book and she just did NOT disappoint! At all!”

— The Masque Reader

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Pre-order a Never Look Back Release Box – includes a signed paperback, premium merchandise, and goodies! This box is packed with the cutest merch and I CAN’T WAIT for you to see what’s inside!!! It is all SO PERFECT!

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Signed Falling Stars Alternate Cover Set & Huge Goodies!

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A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, BLEEDING STARS, FIGHT FOR ME, CONFESSIONS OF THE HEART, FALLING STARS, and REDEMPTION HILLS novels. Watch out for her upcoming stand-alone, NEVER LOOK BACK, releasing August 29th!

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter https://geni.us/ALJacksonBookClubB  or text “aljackson” to 33222 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

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✍🏻 I’m currently reading Penelope Ward’s Moody. Talk about an intriguing story thus far. Want a sneak peek? Check it out HERE. ✍🏻

Title: Moody
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 22, 2022
From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.
The day I showed up to Dax Moody’s sprawling home, I had no idea what was coming.
As a traveling massage therapist, I was used to entering the houses of strangers.
But this assignment was different from any before it.
From the outside, I’d correctly assumed the owner was rich. What I didn’t realize was that he would be younger than I’d imagined, single, stunningly gorgeous, and mysterious.
Despite the fact that Dax had booked a massage, it never actually happened, since our first appointment was unexpectedly cut short by a comedy of errors.
Certain I’d never see him again after that day, I’d done nothing but think about the captivating man.
To my surprise, he called a second time. That appointment, we talked a lot, developing a stronger connection. But once again, there was no actual massage.
The man I now affectionately called “Moody” kept calling me to come back.
It took three times before I finally gave him the massage he’d ordered. Let’s just say it was challenging to keep things professional. I was extremely attracted to Dax, and by that time, I was falling hard.
Eventually, I’d find out why he’d been so aloof, the reason why he and I could never be together.
Our story was supposed to end there, but it didn’t.
Instead, I was left perpetually longing for a forbidden man.
**No Amazon e-book preorder. 
Will go live on/around release day
Copyright © 2022 Penelope Ward
“What do you do exactly?”
“I…stand beside you and rub my hands into your skin and work to get some of the knots out of your muscles.”
He shook his head. “No. I meant, what do you do? Is this your full-time gig?”
Is that an insult? “Yes. I went to school for massage after college, and I make a good living. Being a massage therapist is not something you do on the side. It’s a great, fulfilling career in and of itself,” I said defensively.
“I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t.” He fidgeted with his watch, which looked like it cost more than my car.
I blew out a breath. “I do have other aspirations, but this pays the bills and allows me to put some money away, too. I’m currently saving for a trip to Europe.”
“I see.” He stared out the window, almost looking as though he wanted to escape.
What’s with this guy? “Look…I can leave if you’re not comfortable.”
“No.” He walked over to a cabinet and took out a bottle of some kind of liquor. “I just need something to take the edge off.” He poured himself a glass of amber-colored liquid.
I stared at his big, masculine hands. “Well, this is a first.”
“A first what?” he asked.
“The first time a client has ever had to relax before a relaxing massage.” When I laughed, I accidentally snorted.
His eyes narrowed. “What the hell was that?”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to snort. That happens sometimes when I’m nervous. It just comes out.”
“Why are you nervous?”
“Maybe your attitude is rubbing off on me.”
He chugged the alcohol and slammed the glass down. “I’m sorry. I don’t know how to relax. It’s my nature. Even when I’m supposed to be freaking relaxing…the thought of relaxing stresses me out.”
I nodded. “That’s actually a real thing. It’s called relaxation-induced anxiety.”
He chuckled. “Thanks for the diagnosis.”
“I used to be like you. I’d get panic attacks from the quiet when I tried to meditate.”
He licked the side of his mouth. “I suppose that defeats the purpose.”
“Exactly. And sitting still, like in the hair salon or dentist’s chair, used to make me panicky when I was younger.”
“Younger? You’re pretty young. How long have you been doing this massage thing?” he asked.
“A couple of years.”
“What made you get into it?”
“I wanted to make people feel good. And it doesn’t bore me. I never have to be in one place.”
“Does it pay well? How much of the fee do you get to keep?”
My eyes narrowed. “You ask a lot of questions.”
“Well, maybe I need to get comfortable with you before I let you put your hands all over me.”
For some reason that comment rubbed me the wrong way. Let me put my hands on him? As if it was a privilege? (As if he could read my mind and sense my attraction? Ugh.)
I raised my voice. “I thought you told the company someone recommended me. Why are you so apprehensive?”
“Okay.” He sighed, scrubbing his hand over his face. “Let’s get this over with. What do I do?”
Jesus. He’s wound tight. “Take off your shirt and lie down on the table. You can leave your pants on or take them off.”
He let out a guttural laugh. “Take my pants off?”
“Yes. That’s actually customary. But it’s always the client’s choice. I can leave the room, if you wish, while you undress. There’s a towel to cover yourself. But you can totally leave your pants on, too.”
“I will be leaving my pants on, thanks.”
“Okay. Just make sure you take the stick out of your ass one way or the other.”
He glared at me but finally cracked a slight smile. I’d take it.
I laughed. “In all seriousness, just breathe. That’s all you need to worry about.” I took a deep breath in, willing myself to take my own advice.
Dax slowly pulled his shirt over his head, once again granting me a view of his rippled muscles. There wasn’t an inch of anything soft on his body. I turned away suddenly when I caught my eyes lingering a little too long.
He then lay down stomach-first on the table and within seconds, I heard the pitter-patter of paws and the clanking of a metal collar coming from down the hall.
A large English sheepdog pushed through the door and entered the room, barking profusely at the sight of me. Then he jumped up on the table and landed on Dax’s back.
“Damn it, Winston!” Dax yelled.
I didn’t even know a dog that big could jump so high. The dog shot me the evil eye.
This house is just full of welcoming people.
“Hello,” I said awkwardly.
He growled. It seemed Doggy was just as extra as his owner.
“Get off me, you fluffernutter!” Dax groaned.
The dog kept growling at me while I covered my mouth to keep from laughing. “Why is
he so angry?” I asked, trying to stifle my amusement.
“He’s protective to a fault. He was napping upstairs when you arrived. I hoped he’d stay sleeping. I hadn’t planned on him coming down, although I should’ve.”
Dax sat up and somehow got the beast of a dog off him. He hopped down off the table. “I’ll be right back,” he said, guiding Winston out of the room and down the hall.
The sound of the collar disappeared into the distance.
Left alone for a moment, I exhaled and wandered over to a shelf that displayed various things, including a large, white seashell that seemed completely out of place, given the room’s otherwise masculine vibe. It was beautiful. Remembering what my mother had told me when I was little, I lifted the shell and placed it against my ear in an attempt to hear “the ocean.” Met with the ambient noise that resonated from within, I closed my eyes and smiled.
“Please don’t touch that,” Dax called from behind me.
Shaken by his abrupt tone, I jerked, and the shell slipped from my fingers and crashed to the ground.
He let out a jarring shriek.
My hands shook. “I’m so sorry… I…” I bent to clean up the pieces, but he bolted to stop me.
“Don’t touch anything!” His tone was grating.
“Why? It’s my fault,” I insisted.
“Please just get up,” he commanded in an even harsher tone.
Burning with embarrassment, I stared down at the mess. That’s when I realized something had fallen out of the shell.
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a
television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son,
and beautiful daughter with autism.
With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over thirty books. Her novels have been translated into over a dozen
languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.


✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 5 ⭐️ Review: J.T. Geissinger’s Pen Pal ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Tropes: romantic suspense, paranormal-esque, horror, alpha hero, dom-sub, insta-attraction

“We’re magnets who don’t want to be magnets, pulled together by invisible elements beyond our control.”

If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you know that I tend to write essays. In fact, a very popular author recently said, “Professor A, you write theses for your reviews.” Well, I’m certain that my review for J.T. Geissinger’s Pen Pal will be one of my shortest. It isn’t because I disliked the book; instead, it’s because this book holds some serious secrets. To write about anything related to the story or characters would be to give up the book’s character potentially. Pen Pal is haunting, emotional, terrifying, erotic, stupifying, and beautifully written. It is a departure from Geissinger’s recent fare which may confuse her usual reader base. But don’t miss this book. Let me say that again: DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK. Geissinger is playing with the idea of romance and forever in Pen Pal that will test your faith in the happy ending. It’s there, so you need not worry about it. However, it’s presented to its readers within a different framework. And that’s exciting. It makes reading romance fresh. I’ve been a devoted J.T. Geissinger fan, and after reading Pen Pal, that won’t change. In fact, it pushed her up my list of favorite authors.

In love and romance,

Professor A

✍🏻 This one. THIS ONE! Get ready. You may not be ready for J.T. Geissinger’s Pen Pal. ✍🏻

I’ll wait forever if I have to.

Pen Pal, an all-new riveting dark story full of twists and turns from international bestselling author J.T. Geissinger is live now!

The first letter arrived the day my husband was buried. It was postmarked from the state penitentiary, and contained a single sentence:

I’ll wait forever if I have to.

It was signed by Dante, a man I didn’t know.

Out of simple curiosity, I wrote back to ask him what exactly he was waiting for. His reply?


I told the mystery man he had the wrong girl. He said he didn’t. I said we’d never met, but he said I was wrong.

We went back and forth, exchanging letters every week that grew increasingly more intimate. Then one day, the letters stopped.

When I found out why, it was already too late.

Dante was at my doorstep.
And nothing on earth could have prepared me for what happened next.

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About J.T. Geissinger
J.T. Geissinger is a #1 internationally bestselling author of twenty-seven novels. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold over five million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages.
She is a three-time nominee in both contemporary and paranormal romance for the RITA® Award, the highest distinction in romance fiction from the Romance Writers of America®. She is also a recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book and the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy.
She’s a Southern California native currently living in Nevada with her husband and rescue kitty, Zoe.

Connect with J.T. Geissinger
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✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 5 ⭐️ Review: Kennedy Ryan’s The Close-Up, a Hollywood Renaissance/Hoops novella ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Tropes: second chance romance, brother’s rival, forced proximity, soulmates/fated

“It feels like it started when I was born, and everything in my life brought me to him and him to me — like all the times we were apart were held breaths, and here together, in each other’s arms, we can finally breathe.”

I’ve been sitting in reflection after reading Kennedy Ryan’s The Close-Up a few days ago. Firstly, if you have not yet read her Hoops series, seriously, what are you waiting for? To this day, and I believe it has been two years, Long Shot still sits in my soul. I will never be over that book and its siblings. Kennedy Ryan has this immense capacity for storytelling. She is easily one of my top three writers in romancelandia. From her style to her character development to her story flow, she owns me as a reader. I knew The Close-Up would have Kennedy Ryan’s magic sprinkled all over it, and I was absolutely correct in that. I mean, what’s not to love about a story set in her Hoops and Reel worlds? To revisit old friends who still hold portions of your heart and soul is decadent. To read the marriage of these Kennedy Ryan worlds is divine. And that isn’t even the best part of this book.

Kennedy Ryan writes the h*ll out of MMC. Seriously. She has this talent for writing masculine heroes who humble themselves in adoring their heroines. Let me say that again for the people in the back: if you want to read a man who knows to his toes who he is and one of those things is both an alpha and submissive to love, then you MUST…honestly, I implore you…you HAVE to read The Close-Up or any other book Kennedy Ryan has ever written. Her male characters, especially in The Close-Up, live their truth while loving and living for the women they adore. In this newest book, it’s Nazareth. This man. THIS MAN, y’all, is pure romance male character heaven. He has confidence and a sense of self and a strong call to duty and a fierce determination to have Takira. For goodness sakes, he calls her Kira. He loves her in her truth. He accepts her as she is. And he dotes on her knowing she doesn’t need it, but that he wants to give it to her all the same. I’m not over the way that Naz loves Takira. I’m not over how all of Ryan’s other male characters love their significant others too. These men advocate for the women they love; they are alpha enough to potentially steal their voices. Yet, this never happens in a Kennedy Ryan book. Her MMCs, ones such as Naz, amplify their women; they give them the full breadth of space to soar. And that, my friends, is the reason I shed tears during my reading of The Close-Up. This is profound for the world we live in where TikTok and other media show us men who minimize women in relationships. 

Amplification of voices is the key to changing the world. Kennedy Ryan does this stoically in The Close-Up, not just through the support of the MMCs, but also through Takira’s $exuality. There is a fluidity here that scorches the pages of this story, but it also provides an opportunity to recognize the spectrum of $exuality. Ryan offers an opportunity to consider more than the binary presented in many romances. In doing this, she allows us to accept this more, create more space for it in romancelandia, and ease people into greater acceptance. This message isn’t overt; Ryan has seamlessly woven it through her story. Don’t miss it, though. Because, again, it’s an opportunity to expand the world of romance and, by extension, our world. 

Kennedy Ryan is a master storyteller. Even in short form, she weaves magic into the written word. I HATED leaving Naz and Takira and the rest of their Hoops and Reel crew. Kennedy Ryan’s gorgeous style coupled with her capacity to draw characters that steal hearts makes her a must-read.

In love and romance,

Professor A

✍🏻 Go, go, go and grab Kennedy Ryan’s The Close-Up RIGHT NOW! ✍🏻

What began as a tiny flame when we were young now threatens to consume us.

The Close-Up, an all-new riveting and emotional Hollywood Renaissance/HOOPS novella from New York Times bestselling author Kennedy Ryan and 1,001 Dark Nights is available now!

I met Nazareth Armstrong when I was eighteen years old. From the beginning, my brother warned me to stay away from him. Told Naz to stay away from me.

Our hearts didn’t listen.

I shared one magical night under the stars with my brother’s rival, thinking it was the start of a once-in-a-lifetime something.
But one awful moment ended it all.

Years later when we meet again, we’ve both pursued our dreams, lived a little, found success…but never found love. What began as a tiny flame when we were young now threatens to consume us. I’m more drawn to Naz than ever, but his complicated history with my brother makes whatever this could be…nearly impossible.

But Naz accepts impossible as a dare.

Through his clever maneuvering and dogged determination, I find myself on a yacht with him and his friends cruising through the Mediterranean. It’s a whirlwind set ablaze. Away from reality, surrendering to the tender heat of his touch, I forget that everything could burn.

*This is the love story of Takira, who first appears in Reel, book 1 of the Hollywood Renaissance series. Characters from the HOOPS series also make appearances, but you do not have to read any of those books to enjoy this one.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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About Kennedy Ryan
USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Kennedy Ryan and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Cosmo, TIME, O Mag and many others. A RITA® and Audie® Award winner, Kennedy writes empowered women from all walks of life and centers those who have found themselves perennially on the margins of traditional storytelling.

Her Hoops Series (Long Shot, Block Shot and Hook Shot) and All the King’s Men Series (The Kingmaker, The Rebel King and Queen Move) have been optioned for television.

An autism mom, Kennedy co-founded LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable initiative, and has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for autism families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.

Connect with Kennedy
Text KennedyRyan to 797979 for release alerts!
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✍🏻 Grab Smartasses, the anthology sure to make you laugh today, tomorrow, and beyond.✍🏻

12 nerdy heroes!
All the feels!

Smartasses, an all new hilarious rom-com collection featuring sexy nerds falling in love from 12 bestselling authors, is now available!

Because what’s hotter than a sexy nerd?

Twelve of your favorite Rom Com authors bring you a new anthology
celebrating geeking out and falling in love.

Featuring Smartass Stories by:

Avery Flynn
Erin Mallon
Helena Hunting
Jana Aston
Jiffy Kate
Karen Grey
Kayley Loring
Krystyna Allyn
Penny Reid
Sara Ney
Sonali Dev
Susannah Nix

Fall in love today for 99 PENNIES!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3vjxI8y
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***Smartasses Anthology is available for 99 cents until August 30th!

✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4.5 ⭐️ Review: Adriana Locke’s Fling, book 2 of the Carmichael Family series ✍🏻

Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️

Tropes: friends to lovers, fake relationship, forced proximity, soulmates

So let’s get all of the good stuff out of the way when talking about Adriana Locke’s Fling:

*it has some fire, but if you’ve read Adriana Locke, you know she doesn’t smut all over her books. She doles it out and balances it well with her characters’ stories.

*I just can’t with this Carmichael clan. I mean, all of these characters feel familiar, yet different. I will not mention the youngest Carmichael because apparently he’s taken up space in other reviews. However, Locke has taken the most unlikely of wizened guides and gifted him with the wisdom to share with her MMC, Maddox. But, honestly, he isn’t everything. Instead, the Carmichaels are the foundation for every character we’ve met thus far. Each of them brings an angle to the story. I know Maddox is Locke’s fav to date. And I imagine others will choose the brother I refuse to name here as their favorite. Personally, I cannot WAIT for the reclusive Foxx’s story. 

*Ashley is the every person FMC. She’s independent, compassionate, and intelligent. She’s also fun-loving and sensual. Yet, like most of us, she’s a little bent from a messy relationship with her father. As we know from the real world, daddy problems often breed relationship issues, and she has this in spades before her relationship with Maddox. What I love about Fling is she breaks this pattern with Maddox, once the two of them realize that relationships are messy even if you adore your partner. Her life has been messy, yet Ashley perseveres, thanks to two best friends and an insightful mother. This is also what I love about her characterization: the strong female bonds that heal the wounds of patriarchy. 

*Ashley and Maddox are a perfect combination of fun, feral, and fabulous. Seriously. These two heat the pages of Fling. They make you laugh with their banter. They are also believable as friends becoming more. I know that isn’t a popular trope for many, but Locke writes it well. This is another shade of the trope much like we were gifted with Moss and Brooke. From the very beginning of this book, you want Ashley and Maddox to be end goals, and it never feels manufactured. It absolutely makes sense even if you know they should have figured it out sooner. But people are dumb, so this type of story works. 

*Oh…and there are pigs. Ashley and Maddox swim with the pigs in the Bahamas. What’s not to love about that!

*And…who is the mystery person sending texts about penguins and flamingos? I have a suspicion but I’m impatient for the texts in Jess’s story, the next book of this series.

Now, if I have any criticism, it’s the insertion of Eton to complicate Ashley and Maddox’s journey. I would have preferred if Locke had developed his interruptions more. This is the one aspect of the story that felt manufactured to create the inciting incident to trouble their relationship. It did not feel as organic to the story as I think it could have been had Eton hounded Ashley more. It was the one miss for me in Fling.

Honestly, reading Fling feels like going home. Adriana Locke has found her magic treasure chest of stories in romancelandia, and she continually gifts pieces of gold from it with her stories. Don’t miss out on Maddox and Ashley. Fling brought a big smile to my day. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

✍🏻 Maddox and Ashley are HERE! People…people!!! You will ADORE these two! Run and grab Adriana Locke’s Fling TODAY! ✍🏻

FLING by Adriana Locke

Release Date: August 15th

Genre/Tropes: Contemporary Romance

Grab your suitcase and prepare for the time of your life in this swoony tale that’s as hot as the tropical destination itself. Fans of runaway brides, close-proximity, one-bed, and friends-to-lovers tropes will fall hopelessly in love with this fling-to-forever romance.


Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3881pl1

Amazon Universal: https://geni.us/FlingLocke

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I realize that a social media post isn’t the usual way to secure a date to your honeymoon—for obvious reasons—but here we are.

My wedding was canceled. What’s not canceled is the nonrefundable, ten-thousand-dollar all-inclusive vacation at a luxury resort, and I’m not about to let it go to waste.

I’m packed and ready to hit the beach. ButI can’t deny that it might be more interesting to honeymoon with someone.

Since my track record of picking dates isn’t exactly golden, I’ve done something that I hope I don’t regret. In a moment of weakness—mixed with panic and fueled by margaritas—I agreed to let my friends choose someone to go with me.

It’ll be a blind date / postnuptial vacation—without the nuptials. A few fun days in paradise with no expectations. No obligations.

Before you say, “pick me for a free vacay!” a few things to consider …

The perfect candidate will be single. He won’t talk too much on the plane. And he’ll be able to leave town quickly.

He will also be okay with sharing a bed. It’s a honeymoon suite, after all.

If you want to be considered, email Rebecca and Sara your application at the address below. (Get creative. There’s a free vacation on the line.)

Wheels up next week!

Godspeed, honeymooners.

Grab your suitcase and prepare for the time of your life in this swoony tale that’s as hot as the tropical destination itself. Fans of runaway brides, close-proximity, one-bed, and friends-to-lovers tropes will fall hopelessly in love with this fling-to-forever romance.

About the Author:

USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.

She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.

Connect w/Adriana:

Website: https://adrianalocke.com

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/booksbyadrianalocke

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Charmed by You, an all-new must-read novella set in the Stark Security world from New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner and 1,001 Dark Nights is available now!

Read my 4 ⭐️ review HERE.

Former vigilante-for-hire Simon Barré has one steadfast rule: stay far away from celebrities. Too bad Simon’s first assignment at Stark Security is to protect A-list actress Francesca Muratti. He can’t even turn down the assignment, as that would be violating his second rule—never fail a woman. Now he finds himself up-close-and-personal with a high-maintenance diva whose flash and sass drives him crazy—but whose touch he undeniably craves.

The world might believe that Francesca Muratti leads a fairy tale life, but the truth is far darker. For years, she’s kept a horrible secret about her best friend’s death. Now someone is threatening to kill Francesca if she doesn’t reveal all. She needs protection, but there’s no way she’s going to tell the sexy Stark Security agent what she did or why she’s being threatened. Which means that in order to survive and protect her secrets, Francesca must pull off the biggest acting job of her career: she’s going to have to let Simon close, but not let him see her true heart.

**For fans of J. Kenner’s Stark Security series, Charmed By You is book nine in that series.**

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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Keep reading for a look inside Charmed By You!

He didn’t want to like her.
He really, really, really didn’t want to like her.
She was a self-involved, conceited, money-hungry star who lived in a fantasy world and didn’t know a damn thing about real people or real problems. Just like every other actor in this fucked-up town.
He knew it. Was certain of it. He was familiar with the type, after all. Hadn’t they destroyed his childhood? Ripped away his fiancée?
Oh, yeah. He knew better than to like or trust this breed, and Francesca Muratti was no exception. She was just one more spoiled actress who’d caught the eye of a nut job with a grudge against spoiled actresses.
And yet…
He bit back a grimace, hating that he had to acknowledge those two little words. And yet…
And yet this spoiled, insufferable star was willing to put her life on the line to keep her fans happy.
This self-involved woman who made a living play-acting actually understood that the only reason she could enjoy the privilege of the life she had built was because she’d been lifted onto her pedestal by those fans. More than that, she not only understood it, but she was willing to risk literally everything to offer her thanks to those fans the only way she knew how—by being there for them.
He didn’t have to like her. Hell, he didn’t like her.
But he damn well respected her.
“All right,” he said, hopping down from the buffet and moving to stand opposite her across the table. “We’ve settled that you’re going to the con.” He glanced around the room, making sure no one intended to keep up the argument. When all remained silent, he nodded. “Good. That means we’re to the final point on today’s agenda.” He met Francesca’s eyes. “Who sent the note? And what does he want you to reveal?”
He kept his attention locked on her, so there was no missing either the way her eyes widened just a hair or the slash of fury that cut across her undeniably beautiful face.
“Do I need to write you a song?” she snapped. “Do a tap dance? Or maybe you want me to tattoo the answer on my forehead. Some asshat wants me to say some magic words or else he’s going to kill me, and I. Do. Not. Know. What. They. Are.”
A tear snaked down her cheek, and she swiped it away, the gesture both angry and impatient.
“I can’t tell what I don’t know.” She spoke directly to him, and he took the challenge, moving closer until he was breathing her air and could smell the lilac in her perfume.
“That’s kind of my point, sweetheart,” he said, studying her expression. Every tiny tick, every movement of her eyes. “I think you do.”
“Excuse me?” She glared at him. The kind of look designed to melt a lesser man.
Too bad for her, he wasn’t a lesser man. “You heard me,” he repeated.
Sparks flew from her eyes. Not literally, but he could damn sure imagine them. He said nothing. Just looked back at her mildly, keeping his own temper in check. He was an expert at not showing his feelings, and that was a skill that would come in handy with Francesca Muratti. Probably more than his dead-on aim with a pistol.
With a huff, she turned to face Ryan, then Damien. “Assign another agent, or I’m firing the lot of you.”
“And here I thought you liked me. What with convincing them to let you go to the con.”
She whirled on him. “You insufferable prick. Don’t you dare—”
“Frannie. Calm down.” Damien’s voice was low. Reasonable. And Simon was absolutely positive that was the wrong approach to take.
“Are you fucking kidding me, Stark? The man just called me a liar to my face. I have no idea—zero theories—as to what’s going on, and he’s accusing me of…well, fuck him. Fuck all of you. Dammit.”
She blinked, her lips pressed tight together as she spun away, giving all of them her back. And for a moment—a very, very fleeting moment—Simon had the urge to put his hands on her shoulders and tell her that it would all work out.
“Frannie,” Damien said softly, “we’re going to get to the bottom of this.”
Her shoulders shook, and as much as she grated on him, he also knew that she was truly afraid. And because he was a damned idiot, his heart softened a little. At least until she spoke again.
“I don’t want him here.” The words were low. Barely audible. “He’s an arrogant prick, and I don’t want him in my home. For that matter,” she added, turning to look at Damien and Ryan in turn, “I don’t want anyone here. I got some stupid note, and I freaked, okay? But I shouldn’t have, because there’s nothing for me to tell. Nothing. Which means it’s a prank. A joke. I’m safe. So go. All of you.” She shifted, eyeing everyone in the room. “Go on,” she snapped, her voice rising. “Get out of my house.”
Nobody moved.

About J. Kenner
J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over one hundred novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.

JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A six time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy) and in 2017 for Wicked Dirty in the same category. Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development as a television show.

Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.

In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.

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