✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 5 ⭐️ Review: Hope Ellis’s Been There Done That – LIVE! ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As I jumped into Hope Ellis’s Been There Done That, a SmartyPants Romance, I went in curious. I mean, in looking at her GoodReads profile, this is the only book attached to her page. Without any background, you hope for the best obviously. Given the other authors in the SmartyPants Romance universe, I expected insightful, nuanced storytelling, grounded by the Green Valley community surrounding the beloved Winston Family. After reading Ellis’s book, I realized very quickly that you get this and so much more. Nothing makes me more joyful than reading a first-time author (to me and maybe others) and getting my “socks knocked off” because that is INDEED what Ellis has done with this first book in the Leffersbee series. 

Ellis coins this romance a second-chance romance. And it is that. As I was reading this story, my brain ran over this idea of second-chance romance. What makes a story that uses this trope successful? What allows us to surrender ourselves as readers to the idea that two people separated in their youth could and would find each other again, igniting a latent love? I realized that, for me, for this trope’s believability, I need this type of story to be a slow burn. I become inflamed when a heroine (or hero) jumps quickly back into a relationship with a past love especially when their counterpart broke their spirit. This type of story requires a careful plodding that quietly and insistently builds the chemistry to a point where it must be satisfied or the story will lose its power. Acting upon this too early removes the needed development of their reunion, and waiting too long loses readers. In my opinion, there is a fine line in developing this trope, and Hope Ellis writes this brilliantly. Zora, the heroine of Been There Done That, is an empowered woman. She’s independent, intelligent, and insightful. When Nick, her childhood love, returns and seeks her out after breaking her heart and soul twelve years prior, if she had run straight to him, the story would have muddled its message of control and balance. As Ellis draws these two nearer to exposing their truths, in a way, Ellis replicates her message. Nick breaks their coupling twelve years earlier for reasons related to control. Ellis crafts their journey towards reconciliation and redemption slowly so that her characters can evolve and accept their truths. It’s a lesson for her readers. As Nick and Zora find their way towards each other, they find more of themselves and an equity in their relationship that might not have been there previously. Ellis’s conjuring of this second chance trope is perfectly balanced that the reader feels satiated with Zora and Nick’s eventual coupling. 

As well, Hope Ellis’s biography notes that she is “a behavioral outcomes researcher by day.” Her profession clearly influences the tertiary plot of Been There Done That. Beyond the developing romance of this book is a motif about healthcare. As an academician, Zora’s story includes us in discussions about the current healthcare system in the US. Her work and her conversations with Nick allow us access to its problems. Even more, Ellis’s dextrous characterization of Zora to take on this system’s ills does two things: it acknowledges Ellis’s insertion of herself into her storytelling which allows us insight into her own occupational challenges and it lends a gravity to Nick and Zora’s romance, making Been There Done That more intentional in its creation. This book is more than a Penny Reid-inspired romance; it’s an admonishment to “fix the system” of its problems. While Nick Armstrong/Rossi has the means and power to effect some change, Ellis also shows us a “lay person’s” effect too. There is clear craftsmanship in this discussion throughout the story. Even more, it’s timely given how our world is currently handling the COVID-19 crisis. At the very least, Ellis’s story is a magnifying glass for a national and global problem.

Beyond Ellis’s careful handling of this story’s second chance trope and the reconciliation of her characters, along with a secondary message about the fragmented and complex healthcare system, we find Ellis the wordsmith. I’m a fiend for good prose. When authors have the capacity to engage a reader with the way in which they string words together into sentences, paragraphs, and pages, I fall. I love a storyteller who finds words that infuse emotion without needing to describe the emotion. There were so many moments in this book when I appreciated Ellis as a writer. From her play on the movie ideal of Nick and Nora as Nick and Zora to sentences that emoted the challenges of this couple, there is an intentionality in Hope Ellis’s writing that manifested a romance that felt intentional. I think that’s the difference between someone who quickly writes a book for the masses and someone who recognizes a story as a purveyor of thought and truth. If Been There Done That is Hope Ellis’s first book, then she hit a triple that turned into a home run on her first at-bat.

This is what I know after reading Ellis’s book. She MUST write more. Specifically, I NEED more books in the Leffersbee series. There are more stories to tell about Walker, Leigh, and Tavia. She has piqued my curiosity and earned herself a new fan. I haven’t even touched on the diversity of this story, it’s brilliant connection to Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers, and it’s insistent that independence is found in both the power of the individual and the completion of the self in a great love. Those are all AMAZINGLY worthy topics to consider for this book and more of what you will LOVE about it. If you are a Penny Reid fan, Jackson James is here in all of his glory (dear LORD, I need this man’s story), and we earn more of the Leffersbee family. However, if you are a Hope Ellis fan (or a new reader), then you are in for the best treat of second chances and sultry homecomings.

In love and romance,

Professor A 

✍🏻 As a debut author, Hope Ellis’s first book, Been There Done That, is a DREAM. SmartyPants Romance is so LUCKY to have had her join their crew of talented authors. Read this book. It will knock your socks off. ✍🏻

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Been There Done That, an all-new second-chance romantic standalone by debut author Hope Ellis, is LIVE!

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Theirs was a forever kind of love, until it was stolen.

ZORA LEFFERSBEE’S once perfect life is no longer perfect. Her tenure at the University is in question, funding for her employees uncertain, and her faux-fiancé, Jackson James’s unpredictability is wearing on her last nerve. Just when Zora is convinced things can’t get more complicated, life proves her wrong.

What the heck is he doing here?

NICK ROSSI’s complicated life is still extremely complicated. He’s used to fighting for everything he has, but he’s also used to winning. Now a man of power and influence, his return to Green Valley after so many years hasn’t gone according to plan, especially with the woman he’s always wanted.

She can’t know why I left, or why I’m back.

A powerful woman intent on righting the wrongs of the world, Zora doesn’t have time or energy to deal with the man who broke her young heart.

A powerful man intent on righting the wrongs of the past, Nick can’t help wanting to protect Zora, even if his devotion is unrequited.

‘Been There Done That’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #1 in the Leffersbee series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy TODAY!

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About Hope Ellis

Hope Ellis is a health outcomes researcher by day and writes romances featuring sexy nerds by night. She hopes to one day conquer her habit of compulsively binge-watching The Office.

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Find Hope Ellis online

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✍🏻 It’s finally here! Nikki Sloane’s The Redemption is LIVE! If you have been waiting for Mcalister Hale’s story, grab it now!✍🏻

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“I excelled at many things, but the one thing I hadn’t mastered was losing with grace.” Macalister Hale

The Redemption, book four in the Filthy Rich Americans Saga, by USA Today bestselling author, Nikki Sloane, is LIVE!

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Once, the name Macalister Hale was uttered in the boardroom with respect. Now, it’s whispered in disgrace at cocktail parties hosted by Boston’s elite.

Scandal nearly destroyed me, but the one thing larger than my infamy is my bank account, and I’ve learned money can solve anything.

Well—almost anything.

Sophia Alby’s preferred currency is secrets and the way she trades information puts Wall Street to shame.

This girl charges into my life and claims a partnership can restore my reputation. My downfall was swift, but with her, my climb to redemption will be greater.

Our arrangement is professional. Appropriate. It has to be, because she’s half my age. But it doesn’t stop me from wanting . . .

To move on. To control and indulge in her. To hear the name Macalister Hale echo in her breathy moans.

But I can’t. Giving in to temptation led to my undoing before, and I won’t survive it a second time.

To the rest of the world I’m the villain, but to her? I’ll be the hero.

The Redemption is book four in the Filthy Rich Americans Saga and is Macalister Hale’s story.

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Download your copy today!

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About Nikki:

USA Today bestselling author Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there.

Now she lives in Kentucky, is married and has two sons. She is a three-time Romance Writers of America RITA© Finalist, a Passionate Plume winner, a HOLT Medallion finalist, and couldn’t be any happier that people enjoy reading her sexy words.

Connect with Nikki:

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✍🏻 Blog Tour & Excerpt Reveal: Jiffy Kate’s Beef Cake —> Jiffy Kate hit it out of the park with their second Donnery Bakery book ✍🏻

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I was all in with this slow burn romance that had me laughing and swooning from cover to cover” –Author Andrea Johnston

Beef Cake, an all-new small town contemporary romance from Jiffy Kate, is available now!

Read my 4 1/2 ⭐️review HERE.

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If opposites do actually attract, then Gunnar Erickson and Frankie Reeves take the cake.

Frankie Reeves is complicated, even though she won’t admit it. She fills her days working as an ER nurse, taking care of her mom, and searching for the father she never knew. Anything else has no place in her perfectly compartmentalized, purposefully simple life. Attachments? No thank you. She has no time for that.

Gunnar Erickson recently moved to Green Valley to train at Viking MMA with his brother Cage. Being the youngest of the Erickson clan, he’s always felt like he has something to prove, and now that he’s finished with college, it’s his time to shine. But before he can step into the ring, a freak accident sends him to the ER and into the care of one Frankie Reeves.

While he’s immediately smitten, she pretends to be unfazed by this six-foot-three, two hundred and thirty-pound beef cake. Gunnar sets out to prove to Frankie that, not only does she like him more than she wants to admit, but he’s not the uneducated, brute she assumes he is. To Frankie, he’s the worst kind of complication, but that doesn’t make it easy to stay away.

‘Beef Cake’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #4 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy TODAY!

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Excerpt

“I wanted to see you,” I admit. There’s no sense in beating around the bush. If she doesn’t know I’m into her, then I really need to reevaluate my strategy, or up my game.

Opening the door, she turns her back to me and I see the way her shoulders lift then fall, and when she speaks, she sounds distracted. “Can you just—I can’t deal with this. I don’t have time to deal with you, okay? I’m not interested. Leave me alone.”

I feel my entire body deflate. She wants me to leave her alone, I’ll leave her alone. But since we’re here, talking, and this might be my last chance, a part of me I can’t ignore wants to make sure her disinterest isn’t because I’m a fighter.

“Okay. Fine. But do you mind if I ask why?” I get the feeling she has her guard up all the time. I get it, I do. She’s a beautiful woman, but it’s got to be exhausting. Somehow, I’d still like to prove that it’s not necessary with me.

She slowly turns back around. “Why what?” It’s obvious she’s trying to avoid answering, so I spell it out for her.

“Why aren’t you interested?” I ask, keeping it casual and relaxed as I take a step back until my back is flush with the side of the truck. I don’t want her to feel threatened or pressured, but I do want her to talk. So, I’m hoping if I give her a little space, she’ll open up.

“You can be honest, it’s cool.” I shrug. “I’m just looking for some constructive feedback here. So, do you not find me attractive?” I ask, unable to keep from smiling. “Or are you just not into blondes? Or muscles?” I continue, trying a more playful approach, and it works. The side of her mouth pulls as she fights back a smile, her cheeks heating.

“I—you know I find you attractive,” she mumbles reluctantly, the stain on her cheeks warming to red.

I nearly sigh in relief but stop myself, because this means her disinterest has its root in my fear. “Frankie,” I continue softly, “is it because I’m a fighter?”

Her gaze cuts to mine and she presses her lips together, and that’s all the answer I need. My stomach drops.

We stand there like that, watching each other, and she sways toward me, her eyes conflicted.

“Listen,” I tell her, sighing, putting my hands in my pockets. “Go on one date with me, pretend I’m a lawyer, a doctor—”

She snorts, rolling her eyes. “I wouldn’t go on a date with a doctor either.”

“Fine, pretend I’m a window washer.”

Now her lips twist to the side to hide a new smile.

“I promise I won’t talk about MMA or cage fighting. Just one date. If you’re still not interested, I’ll leave you alone. And I’ll leave you alone now if that’s really what you want. All I’m asking for is a chance . . . and a date.”

She eyes me and I can tell she’s giving it some thought, which is hopeful.

Patiently, I wait for the final verdict, hoping it’s not a no.

“You’re incredibly persistent.” Still struggling with her smile, she sighs in mock exasperation.

Am I proud of the fact I’ve convinced her to give me a shot in such a short time? Yes. And no. Yes, because I set out to do something and nothing makes me happier than accomplishing a goal. No, because I hate that I had to do it in the first place. I’ve never had to convince someone to talk to me or go out with me. But her misconceptions about me based on what I do don’t sit right.

Thumbing my bottom lip, I give her a smirk. “I’ve been told my persistence is an attractive quality.”

She finally—fucking finally—fully smiles, and it’s everything. The sun, the moon, the stars. I swear it just lit up this dark-as-fuck parking lot. “Is that so?” Her tone is different. She’s losing the chill and I’m thinking there might be a warm, soft center under that thick layer of ice.

And, fuck if I don’t want to find out.

“Tomorrow morning,” she announces, interrupting the fantasy of her curves under my hands.

Wait. What?

“Morning?” I ask, not sure I heard her correctly. With the blood leaving my brain and flowing to my dick, it’s possible I wasn’t paying attention.

Crossing her arms, she copies my stance, leaning against her car. “Yes, tomorrow morning. Daisy’s Nut House. If we’re doing this, we’re doing it on my terms, and I’m busy. That’s my only offer. Take it or leave it.”

I get the feeling she thinks her offer is going to scare me off or change my mind, but she’s badly mistaken. “Tomorrow morning,” I confirm. “What time?” She could tell me two o’clock on the moon and I’d make that shit happen.

“Seven.”

Again, the quirk of her head tells me it’s a challenge. One I gladly accept.

“I’ll be there at six thirty,” I counter.

There’s an air of skepticism whirling around, but I’ll be happy to see her look of surprise when I’m sitting in the parking lot of Daisy’s Nut House tomorrow morning when she arrives. Shit, I might drive over there now and sleep in the truck, just to make sure I’m early.

Her laugh, although disbelieving, is music to my ears. It might also be my new favorite sound.

Shaking her head, she gets into her car without another word and I stay put, watching her buckle up and drive off. I’m pretty sure she stops and looks back at me before turning out on the street. Could be my wishful thinking, but I’m going to roll with it.

About Jiffy Kate

Jiffy Kate is the joint pen name for Jiff Simpson and Jenny Kate Altman. They’re co-writing besties who share a brain. They also share a love of cute boys, stiff drinks, and fun times.

Together, they’ve written over twenty stories. Their first published book, Finding Focus, was released in November 2015. Since then, they’ve continued to write what they know–southern settings full of swoony heroes and strong heroines.

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Find Jiffy Kate online

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✍🏻 Blog Tour & Excerpt Reveal: Stacey Kennedy’s Loving Liv. Have you downloaded your copy yet? ✍🏻

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Maybe the best way for two broken people to find true love is to jump headfirst into the deep end of desire.

Loving Liv, an all-new sizzling, passion-filled BDSM standalone romance in the Gone Wild series by USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy, is out now!

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USA Today bestselling author, Stacey Kennedy, returns to the passion-filled world of Club Sin and Dirty Little Secrets with this new novella featuring a slightly flawed Dom who has seven days–and seven very steamy nights–on a Caribbean cruise to convince a way-too-innocent woman from his past that maybe the best way for two broken people to find true love is to jump headfirst into the deep end of desire.

Liv Sloane needs a vacation. After her cheating ex broke her heart–and their engagement–Liv never fully recovered. In fact, she’s spent the past two years avoiding romance at all costs… with the exception of that sizzling one-night stand she can’t seem to forget. So when her friends from college suggest a reunion cruise, Liv knows a relaxing week of sun, sand, and beach reads is exactly what she needs to clear her mind. But when they board the ship, Liv is hit with two surprises. Her friends accidentally booked a singles cruise, and her one-night stand is waiting on deck.

Miles Schantz has spent the past six months thinking about Liv. As a Dom at one of the hottest sex clubs in Las Vegas, Miles has his pick of women… so why can’t he get Liv out of his head? When he receives an email asking him to join Liv on a cruise, he can’t believe his luck. But when he meets her on board–and she’s completely unaware of her “invitation”– Miles has to come up with a new plan. Six nights of no-strings-attached passion. Six nights of wild fantasies, sexy games, and forbidden adventures. Six nights to show Liv that she belongs with him…

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Download your copy today!

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About Stacey Kennedy

Stacey Kennedy is a USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romances full of heat, heart, and happily ever afters. With over 50 titles published, her books have hit Amazon, B&N, and Apple Books bestseller lists.

Stacey lives with her husband and two children in southwestern Ontario—in a city that’s just as charming as any of the small towns she creates. Most days, you’ll find her enjoying the outdoors with her family or venturing into the forest with her horse, Priya. Stacey’s just as happy curled up indoors, where she writes surrounded by her lazy dogs. She believes that sexy books about hot cowboys or alpha heroes can fix any bad day. But wine and chocolate help too.

Connect with Stacey

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✍🏻 I love when the writing community uses its craft to help others. With Avery Flynn’s Attracting Aubrey, you can help Feed America. Grab your copy today and help others too! ✍🏻

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Read for a great cause and help those in need!

Attracting Aubrey, a not-to-be-missed standalone romantic comedy from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Avery Flynn, is available now, and Avery is donating all royalties from Attracting Aubrey this month to Feeding America‘s COVID-19 Response Fund!

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I never dreamed I’d meet my celebrity crush while stealing every single pair of my best friend’s pants.

Trust me, my life is not that wild. In fact, the most excitement I usually get is running my fan-favorite Insta thirst account featuring butt-tastic pics of Hollywood superhero Carter Hayes. So, imagine my shock when, in the middle of the cruise ship hallway, I realize the guy whose shirt I’m stuffing slacks inside of is Carter disguised as a tourist. How I manage not to faint dead away, I’ve got no clue.

When word leaks that Carter might be on board, he asks me to help him maintain his cover. There’s no way I’m gonna say no to that. I just don’t share that I’m the anonymous woman behind the fan account that reported sighting him onboard. No biggie. Right?

However, when things between us go from friendly to hot to OMG-I-can’t-keep-my-clothes-on-around-him, all I can do is hope he never discovers my secret. You see, somewhere along the way, Carter went from an untouchable movie star to the man I’m falling for.

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Excerpt:

This was beyond a doubt the weirdest experience Carter Hayes had ever had and he’d once spent six hours on a green screen sound stage wearing a CGI suit and pretending to fight a one-eyed zombie giant with poisonous farts.

When he’d turned the corner and found the cute blonde giggling to herself as she pulled one pair of pants after another out of a suitcase, he thought she might be a little touched, as his grandmother used to say. When she held one pair up in the air and declared she was freeing Grace’s sexy thighs, he figured she was drunk already. And just when he thought it couldn’t get more bizarre, she managed to pull him in as an accessory to pants theft and now she wanted him to shove four pairs of pants down his shirt?

This was a mistake. It would only draw attention to himself when he was supposed to be observing others, not be observed. The last thing he needed was for anyone to realize that he wasn’t mild mannered dental laboratory technician Carter Van Stettle from Iowa. This cruise was his opportunity to prove to indie-darling director Kennedy Howard that he could disappear into a part, that movie goers could look up at the big screen and see him as anyone other than The Admiral.

He was all ready to return the pants to their rightful owner and be on his way. It was the smart thing to do. Then, the thief beside him said please and, well, one could only play the most debonair superhero to ever top the box office for so long before some of the character stuck to them. He stuffed the stupid pants up his shirt and tucked the hem of it into his shorts to keep them from falling out. The special effects team on his last movie would have laughed their asses off, but the pants’ paunch effect was actually pretty good.

About Avery Flynn

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USA Today bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staff knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Connect with Avery

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✍🏻 Have you made it back to Logan’s Beach yet for Pike? It’s still LIVE and still ready for you to download your copy of it TODAY! Still need more proof that this is a 5 ⭐️ read, check out the excerpt here! ✍🏻

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“T.M. Frazier sucks me in every time with her incredible storytelling.”- Meghan March, New York Times bestselling author

Pike, the first dark and fast-paced story in The Pawn Duet from USA Today bestselling author T.M. Frazier, is available now!

Read my 5 ⭐️review!

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I was raised by the violent laws of the streets, spilling blood without the hindrance of useless emotions or connections.


Unfeeling. Unloved. Alone.

My life was perfect.

Until her.

While on a manhunt for a mysterious enemy, one hellbent on taking both my business and my life, I find Mickey. She’s covered in mud, rambling nonsense, and clearly out of her mind.

She’s also a distraction I don’t need.

That is until I discover a connection between the girl and my enemy.


Mickey isn’t a distraction anymore.

She’s the perfect weapon.

One I’ll use to exact my revenge.


The plan is an easy one, but there’s something about Mickey that’s making it more and more difficult. 


A familiarity I can’t place. A need I can’t explain.


A want I have to deny.


After all, she’s not mine to keep. She’s a tool. My pawn.

My sacrifice.

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Download your copy today!

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Pre-order Pawn, the stunning conclusion, today!

Releasing April 28th

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Excerpt

I raise the gun in both hands, aiming it at his chest. “I have to go. You can’t stop me,” I say, with all the resolve I have left. “You’re going to trade me and ambush them, but don’t you think they have the same plans for you? I have to go, and that way, fewer people will die. YOU won’t die. So, just let me leave. I have a plan. It will work. I’ll take them down for both of us.”

“No.” Pike looks from me to the gun. “And as I’ve told you before, you’re not going anywhere.” His words are dark and menacing. An amused smile turns up the corners of his lips.

It’s infuriating. He’s infuriating.

I straighten my shoulders. “What’s so funny?” I ask, swallowing down the rising fear in my throat. I remind myself of one important fact to keep from choking on that fear.

I’m the one holding the gun.

Instead of freezing or retreating as one would do in this situation, Pike takes a bold step forward, catching me off guard. I stagger backward, but I’m not fast enough. He reaches out, and at first, I think he’s going for the weapon, but he doesn’t. He confuses me as he wraps his hands around mine, tightening my grip around the gun. He lifts my hands and bends slightly at the waist, forcefully pressing the barrel against his forehead. “You wanna shoot me, Mic? Then, fucking shoot me,” he dares, with wild blood shoot eyes.

My mouth drops open, but words don’t come out. I expected Pike to defend himself. To come at me. To step aside and let me leave, even though it was the least possible of all the outcomes. I didn’t plan for this.

I can do this. I have to do this.

“Not what you were expecting?” His tone is both mocking and rage-filled. “I know what that pretty brain of yours is thinking. You want me to attack you and make pulling the trigger easier on that conscious of yours.” He bites out a laugh. “Not gonna happen. If you want to do this, I’m not going to stand in your way, but you’re not fucking leaving either. So, come on. Shoot me. Go ahead. Do what you planned to do.” His eyes narrow with determination. My hands shake in his. “Pull the fucking trigger!”

The air around us is thick and charged. My skin breaks out in a sheen of sweat. My adrenaline spikes and I feel all too alert. Too aware of what’s taking place between us.

I grip the gun tighter and gaze into his dark eyes, his pupils are large and covering every hint of color within them. Behind the anger and determination, there’s something else that I didn’t expect. Something that I’m all too familiar with. Hurt. Pain that mirrors my own. Desperation that calls out to me like a piece of my soul trapped within Pike.

“Shoot me!” he cries, his face red with anger, teeth bared like a wild animal. “Fucking shoot me!”

With those words, my fiery resolve dissolves into ash.

I step back, needing to put some distance between us, but Pike doesn’t have the same thought. He follows me backward, keeping his grip tight on my hands and the gun between them.

“I…I can’t do this,” I whisper, releasing my grip on the gun.

Pike releases his hold on me, catching the gun before it can fall to the floor.

Shit.

I look to the window, but it’s too high, and Pike is directly in front of the only door. There’s no escape. So much for being brave. Instead, I’ve signed my own death warrant. My heart races erratically with the realization that this is it. It’s over.

I’m over.

“This was a really stupid fucking move for someone who claims to be so smart, ” Pike sneers. He raises the gun.

I pinch my eyes shut, waiting for the feel the bullet of his wrath to pierce my skin. I hear a thud, and my eyes fly open and land on the carpet where Pike’s tossed the gun to the floor.

My eyes meet his in silent question. Why?

He answers by charging, a one-man stampede I can’t avoid as he barrels toward me. His chest crashes against mine, and my head connects with the wall with a thud that rattles my bones. I’m dizzy as fear lands in my gut like a ball of fire. My pulse races as his closeness consumes me. The smell of cologne and cigarettes lingers between us—a trace of whiskey on his breath.

“You’re going to regret not pulling that trigger,” he sneers. The darkness in Pike’s eyes tells me that, gun or no gun, I’m not getting out of this unpunished.

Or possibly even alive.

I swallow hard.

He cages me in with his hands against the wall beside me, engulfing me in the heat and rage radiating from his hard body. I feel his heart beating fast beneath his chest now pressed against mine. “What to do with you now?” Pike muses, his breath ragged. His voice full of promise and warning. He brushes his lips over my temple. I tremble at the contact. “You’re going to pay for that little stunt, Mic.”

He’s close. Too close. I’m entirely rigid, frozen in place. This wasn’t supposed to happen. How did I let this happen? I’m the most terrified I’ve ever been, and yet there’s something else I can’t understand. Something else between us that’s charging the air, causing me to shake, and it’s not just from fear. Hatred mixed with need. The yearning I’ve denied for him is no longer lying dormant. It’s as real as the ache growing in my stomach, the wetness between my thighs. If I thought the room felt charged before, it’s damn near on fire now. The flames of desire and hate lick at the walls around us, setting everything ablaze, making the small room feel smaller, closing in around us.

My nipples harden as they brush against his chest. I suck in a gasp.

He doesn’t miss my reaction. He looks to where my nipples are straining against my shirt with heated eyes.

The only sound in the room is our mutual heavy breathing as he slowly pulls his gaze from my chest. His eyes lock on mine. For a few seconds, we just stare at each other—foreheads lined with confusion and anger.

A silent dare.

My mind, on the other hand, is anything but silent.

“Should I kill you or fuck you?” he muses. And I’m honestly not sure what scares me more. His anger or his desire. He brushes the backs of his knuckles against my jaw. “Maybe, both.”

“What do you—” I don’t have time to finish my question because his lips are on mine. He hoists me in the air, and my legs wrap around his waist on instinct.

It’s an angry joining of clacking teeth and biting lips. A war we are still fighting both with each other and ourselves. He growls at me when I pierce his lip, drawing blood. He licks the blood with his tongue then kisses me again, this time harder. A punishing kiss that has me growling at him in return. His coppery blood on my tongue tastes like victory. He licks his way between my lips, pushing his tongue into my mouth, licking and devouring with rough determined strokes. With a jerk of his hips, he presses the massive erection beneath his jeans between my legs, the pleasure that courses through me has me momentary seeing stars. I grind down on him in return.

He hisses in response, baring his teeth against my lips. “You’re going to pay for that, Mic,” he warns, taking my mouth in another kiss that has us grunting and growling at one another like starved animals fighting over the last scrap of food. But neither of us is about to give up. He pushes me back onto the bed, falling with me over my body, my legs splayed on both sides of his hips as he presses his cock again between my legs. I arch my back, needing to feel more. Needing for there to be nothing between us but desire. For each other, and to win. But, this is no longer a game we’re playing. It’s a battle. A war neither of us can win.

But, one in which we will both go down fighting.

T.M.Frazier

About T.M. Frazier

T.M. (Tracey Marie) Frazier never dreamed that a single person would ever read a word she wrote when she published her first book. Now, she is a five-time USA Today bestselling author and her books have been translated into numerous languages and published all around the world.

T.M. enjoys writing what she calls ‘sexy wrong side of the tracks romance’ with morally corrupt anti-heroes and ballsy heroines.

Her books have been described as raw, dark and gritty. Basically, what that means, is while some authors are great at describing a flower as it blooms, T.M. is better at describing it in the final stages of decay.

She loves meeting her readers, but if you see her at an event please don’t pinch her because she’s not ready to wake up from this amazing dream.

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✍🏻 Blog Tour & Excerpt Reveal: Erin Nicholas’s Sugarcoated, Book 1 of the Hot Cakes series of standalones. If you haven’t grabbed your copy, do it today! ✍🏻

Sugarcoated - BT Banner.jpg

“You can always count on Erin Nicholas for fun, sexy contemporary romance.”―Melissa Foster, New York Times bestselling author

Sugarcoated, an all-new sexy and laugh-out-loud standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas, is out now!

Read my 4 ⭐️review HERE!

Sugarcoated300

She’s his best friend’s little sister. He’s known her all his life. He’s practically part of the family. There is nothing either of them could do to surprise the other at this point.

Then she showed up in his bedroom in lingerie and asked him to take her V-card.

Now, that was a surprise.

Aiden is pretty sure Zoe was equally surprised when he told her no.

To say that he didn’t handle it well would be a massive understatement. Almost as massive as the amount of work he’s going to have to do now to convince her that he wants her. Forever.

Right after he tells her that he’s bought the company that’s her bakery’s biggest competitor.

Maybe if he tells her he’s in love with her first, that will help sugarcoat the whole we’re-rivals-in-business-now thing.

So, first “I’m in love with you”, then “take off your clothes”, then “I’m now your business adversary”.

Piece of cake.

Sugarcoated - AN

Download your copy today!
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Excerpt:

“What?” she asked, her eyes wide and blinking. “You thought I’d just be waiting around for you to come back?”

“Yes!” It was the wrong answer, he knew, even as he said it. But it was true.

“You are so full of yourself!” She frowned. “You actually thought I’d be waiting around, pining for you, didn’t you?”

Maybe not crying herself to sleep every night, but thinking about him? Yeah. Fuck. He hadn’t been able to get her out of his mind for more than a few hours at a time. “It’s only been five months,” he said. “Is it really crazy for me to think that you didn’t get your virginity ‘taken care of’ yet?”

“Exactly! It’s been five months!” she said.

“You went twenty-five years without sex, and you couldn’t go five more months?”

“Well, it’s not like you gave me an IOU!” she shot back. “I had no idea when you were coming back, and I assumed your answer would have still been no. So yeah, I moved on, Aiden.”

“Who was it?” he asked, noting his tone was suddenly a little ominous.

“I’m not telling you that.” She looked at him like he was insane.

“Tell me, Zoe.”

No.”

“I’ll find out. This is Appleby. I’ll probably know by the end of tonight.”

“You won’t.” She lifted her chin. “I can promise you that.”

“Bet I do.”

“Why do you really even care? Now you don’t have to do it.”

“Because you’re mine.”

Yeah, shit. See, he’d known that was the wrong answer to give. Guys didn’t go around claiming women like they were property or possessions. He knew that. He’d never had that urge before. This woman was strong and independent and confident and certainly didn’t need him for anything.

But the idea of another man touching her, seeing her naked, making her feel the ultimate pleasure, made his blood boil.

She stood, just staring at him. Then she picked up a cake ball. And threw it at him. It hit him square in the red tie and bounced back onto the table.

“You’re a jerk.”

Yeah, maybe he was. A nice guy would probably just take all her explanations and excuses about why they shouldn’t be together and admit his idea was crazy.

He didn’t say anything. He didn’t wipe away the sticky crumbs the cake ball left on his tie. He picked up the ball and rounded the worktable.

Her eyes widened, and she backed up as he came closer. He kept going. Until her back was against the front of the fridge.

He didn’t say a word as he stopped right in front of her, lifted his hand to cup her face, and leaned in.

Aiden ignored her hands on his chest. She wasn’t pushing. She wasn’t pulling him closer either, but she wasn’t trying to get away. She wasn’t lifting her knee to his balls. She wasn’t saying no.

He stared into her eyes for a long moment. She could stop this. He knew she knew that.

She didn’t.

So he kissed her.

About Erin Nicholas

ErinNicholas

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.

Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).

Connect with Erin

Website: http://bit.ly/2NkB2uF
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✍🏻 Staci Hart’s Mum’s the Word is coming March 31st. I’m reading the ARC right now, and I cannot put it down. Preorder your copy and get ready for a steamy, “Romeo and Juliet” story! ✍🏻

Mum’s The Word, the third in the Bennet Brothers series from Staci Hart, is coming March 31st. Mark your calendars and get ready to fall in love with Marcus & Maisie!

Falling in love with a Bennet is not an option.

My mother has summoned me home to take my place at Bower Bouquets, and as the heiress, I’m expected to do as I’m told. I’m expected to sit by her side as she does her best to decimate the Bennet family and their flower shop, Longbourne. I’m expected to play by her rules, or she’ll ruin me too.

But the day I crash into Marcus Bennet changes everything. And the kiss seals the deal. If my mother finds out, I’ll lose everything—my family, my life, my security. Worse, she’ll make sure the Bennets pay for my mistakes.

Falling in love with a Bennet is not an option. But I might not have a choice.

Pre-order your copy of Mum’s the Word from your preferred retailer today!

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Want something to read while you wait? The first two standalone books in the Bennet Brothers series are both LIVE!

Everyone hates parts of their job.

Maybe it’s the paperwork. Maybe it’s the day-to-day grind. Maybe it’s that client who never knows what they want, or the guy who always cooks fish in the microwave.

But not me. I love every corner of the Longbourne Flower Shop, every flower, every petal, every stem. I love the greenhouse, and I love Mrs. Bennet, my boss. I love creating, and I love being a florist. I don’t hate anything at all.

Except for Luke Bennet.

The Bennet brothers have come home to help their mom save the flower shop, and Luke is at the helm. His smile tells a tale of lust, loose and easy. He moves with the grace of a predator, feral and wild. A thing unbridled, without rules or constraint. When he comes home to save Longbourne, I almost can’t be mad at him. Almost.

He doesn’t remember that night I’ll never forget. That kiss, touched with whiskey and fire. It branded me like a red-hot iron. But it meant nothing to him.

Everyone hates part of their job, and I hate Luke Bennet.

Because if I don’t, I’ll fall in love with him.

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They say there’s no such thing as perfect.

But I’ve built my life to perfection—the perfect boyfriend, the perfect apartment, the perfect career planning celebrity weddings. My job—my only job—is to make sure every event is absolutely and completely perfect.

What’s not perfect? Kash Bennet.

And I wish I didn’t find that so appealing.

I could have told you every perfectly imperfect thing about the gardener at Longbourne. Like his hair, lush and black and far too long. Or his nose, the flat bridge of a Greek god, bent a little like it’s been broken. Or his size. Beastly. Roped and corded with muscles, gleaming with sweat and peppered with dirt. There’s no escaping him, not if I’m going to use his family’s flower shop for my events.

But nothing is what it seems. And in the span of a heartbeat, my perfect life is turned inside out. They say the best way to get over somebody is to get under somebody new. When Kash offers his services to the cause, it sounds like the perfect plan.

What’s not part of the plan? Falling in love with the gardener.

But they were right—there’s no such thing as perfect.

And I’m the fool who finds out the hard way.

Amazon | AppleBooks | Kobo | B&N | Google

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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✍🏻 Award-winning Kennedy Ryan has a book sale for you. Hook Shot is on sale for $2.99. This book is heaven because Lotus and Kenan are the couple you can’t help but fall for. Grab this sale price now! ✍🏻

★ ★ ★ SALE ALERT ★ ★ ★

HOOK SHOT is the kind of novel you read and flip to the beginning to read again.” — Lexi Ryan, New York Times bestselling author

Hook Shot, a deeply emotional standalone from RITA® Award-winning and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kennedy Ryan, is on sale for a limited time! 

Download your copy today for only $2.99! 

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Divorced. Single dad. Traded to a losing squad.

Cheated on, betrayed, exposed. 

My perfect life blew up in my face and I’m still picking up the pieces.

The last thing I need is her.

A wildflower. A storm. A woman I can’t resist. 

Lotus DuPree is a kick to my gut and a wrench in my plans 

from the moment our eyes meet.

I promised myself I wouldn’t trust a woman again, 

but I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want Lo. 

She’s not the plan I made, but she’s the risk I have to take.

A warrior. A baller. The one they call Gladiator.

Kenan Ross charged into my life smelling all good, looking even better and snatching my breath from the moment we met. 

The last thing I need is him.

I’m working on me. Facing my pain and conquering my demons.

I’ve seen what trusting a man gets you.

I. Don’t. Have. Time. For. This.

But he just keeps coming for me. 

Keeps knocking down my defenses and stealing my excuses 

one by one.

He never gives up, and now…I’m not sure I want him to.