New Release: Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan

QUEEN MOVE BY KENNEDY RYAN

“This thoroughly modern soulmate story blew me away!” 
— Talia Hibbert, USA Today bestselling author
 

Queen Move, an all-new passionate and unforgettable friends-to-lovers romance from RITA® Award-winning and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kennedy Ryan, is available now!

The boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have…

Dig a little and you’ll find photos of me in the bathtub with Ezra Stern.

Get your mind out of the gutter. We were six months old.

Pry and one of us might confess we saved our first kiss for each other. 

The most clumsy, wet, sloppy . . . spectacular thirty seconds of my adolescence.

Get into our business and you’ll see two families, closer than blood, torn apart in an instant.

Twenty years later, my “awkward duckling” best friend from childhood, 

the boy no one noticed, is a man no one can ignore.

Finer. Fiercer. Smarter. 

Taken.

Tell me it’s wrong. 

Tell me the boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have. 

When we find each other again, everything stands in our way–secrets, lies, promises.

But we didn’t come this far to give up now. 

And I know just the move to make if I want to make him mine.

**QUEEN MOVE will have the special release week price of $3.99. After that, the price will increase.**

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EXCERPT

 “You’re fucking brilliant.”

“Huh?” Ezra asks absentmindedly, paying more attention to the flame under his pan than to my compliment. “What’d you say?”

“I said you’re brilliant.” I hold up the iPad I’m using to read his manuscript. “Your book, the YLA story, is incredible, Ez.”

“Oh. Thanks.” He flashes me a smile and then goes back to his French toast. “The key to getting this right is the milk-to-bread ratio.”

I hop off the counter and walk over to stand beside him at the stove. “Would you forget about your French toast for a minute and listen to me?”

“But it’s stuffed French toast.” He takes the pan off the burner and pulls me into his arms. “And I could listen to you all day. What were you saying? Something about me being a handsome, sexy genius?”

“Um…those weren’t my exact words.” I laugh up at him.

“I could have sworn that’s what you said, and I’m never wrong.” He slides his hands over my ass in a pair of his boxer shorts. “Some even say I’m fucking brilliant.”

“They probably just like your big dick,” I whisper and blink up at him as innocently as I can manage.

“I get that a lot.” He drops a kiss on my head and turns back to his French toast. I lean down to rest an elbow on the counter and watch him work. 

“A lot?” I ask teasingly. “Have there been a lot?”

He pauses mid-toast-flip and slants me a glance. “Are you asking how many people I’ve had sex with?”

“I mean, it’s none of my business. If you don’t want to—”

“Eight.”

Eight?

Lord above, only eight?!

“Oh.” I straighten and rest my hip against the counter. “What a, um, single-digit number that is.”

“What about you?”

What about me? I’m tabulating years of hook-ups, one-night stands, fuck bois and carrying the one.

“If you don’t want to,” he says, cracking an egg into a bowl, “it’s fine. I don’t care how many people—”

“I don’t know.”

He glances up from whisking eggs, a small frown puckering his dark brows. “You don’t know what?”

“My number. I don’t know how many people I’ve been with.”

He resumes whisking, his frown clearing. “Oh.”

The whisking eggs and whirring refrigerator are the only sounds in the kitchen. I’ve never been embarrassed by my choices. I enjoy sex. I’ve had it with a lot of people. People I really liked…or tolerated…but didn’t want to commit to. I’ve always been safe and never mean about it. I was upfront, and when someone wanted more, I let them know “more” wasn’t an option.

“I just never…” I cross my arms over my stomach, fold one bare foot over the other. “I haven’t been interested in committed relationships. There hasn’t been anyone I wanted that with.”

“Tru.” He stops whisking and gives me the full impact of his undivided attention. His eyes are placid blue. No shadows or undercurrents. “I don’t care.” Ezra pushes the bowl aside and faces me. “But there is something I feel like we should be clear on regarding how you’ve handled sex in the past.”

Here we go.

“You’ve never wanted to commit before,” he says.

“Right. I’ve never wanted any strings attached.”

“I know I said we could be just sex, no emotional attachments.” He shoves his hands in his pockets. “But I feel like I have to be honest with you. Having you back in my life has been…it’s been exactly what I need, and what I felt last night… I’ve never felt that way before.”

I’m not even sure my heart is beating, but it also feels like there’s a tumult in my chest. “What are you saying, Ez?”

His mouth flattens into a hard line and his jaw hardens to stone. “I want strings.”

“Y-you do?”

“I want strings.” He links our fingers, strokes his thumb across my palm. “Ropes, if necessary. I want anything that keeps you with me and me with you and tells everyone else don’t even think about it.”

I’m stunned and incredibly turned on, but that doesn’t take much where Ezra’s concerned.

“You…you do?” I ask faintly…again.

“I wouldn’t do well sharing you.”

 

ABOUT KENNEDY RYAN

A RITA® Award Winner, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.

Kennedy and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour and many others. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but has a special passion for raising Autism awareness. The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has appeared on Headline News, The Montel Williams Show, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for ASD families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.

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Review: The Switch by Beth O’Leary

I really enjoyed reading Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, an entertaining story about a grandmother and granddaughter who decide to “switch” lives for two months with the grandmother moving into the granddaughter’s loft apartment in London while the granddaughter moves into the grandmother’s cottage (and takes over all her grandmother’s activities) in Yorkshire. This is so much more than a simple “changing places” story — it tackles grief and its consequences, losing oneself in work (and other people’s expectations), frustrated dreams, etc.

Loved the multigenerational cast of characters and all the situations they got themselves into. Highly recommended! 

By the way, check out Beth’s other book (which I also enjoyed), The Flatshare.

New Release: Baby I’m Yours by Carrie Elks

Title: Baby I’m Yours

Author: Carrie Elks

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: Feb 12, 2020

Cover Designed by: Najla Qamber

Two tiny lines that change everything…

Doctor James Tanner is gorgeous, successful and decisively single.

He’s also a widower with a broken heart.

When he meets a beautiful woman on a fateful night out, their chemistry shocks him to the core.

Harper Hayes is irresistible. 

With her pink-tipped hair and tantalizing smile, she makes him forget all his pain.

One night together won’t hurt, will it? 

One night to get her out of his system. 

Then he’ll leave in the morning without a backward glance.

But actions have consequences, and this one will change their lives forever.

And when Harper sees those two little lines she knows exactly what that means.

Now she just needs to find her baby’s father.

What a shame she doesn’t even know his name…

Buy Links 

AMAZON US LINK: https://amzn.to/35F6taf

AMAZON UK LINK: https://amzn.to/35F6taf

AMAZON UNIVERSAL LINK: http://mybook.to/BabyImYours

GOODREADS LINK:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48672424-baby-i-m-yours

BEGIN THE SERIES WITH LET ME BURN (Angel Sands Book 1) for FREE in KU: mybook.to/LetMeBurn

Excerpt 

“I’m sorry I walked out that night,” he said when he closed the break room door behind them. “I don’t usually do that kind of thing.”

“Walk out after a night of amazing sex?” She raised an eyebrow.

“I meant having the amazing sex in the first place. But yeah, I don’t usually walk out without a word either.” He shook his head. “It was an asshole thing to do. The least I could have done was taken you to breakfast.”

“Don’t worry. Breakfast was included with the room. And it isn’t your midnight ghosting I wanted to talk about.”

“It isn’t?” 

“Nope.” She glanced at the door, as if to make extra sure it was closed. “Look, this is embarrassing and not at all how I imagined spending my day. I’d assumed I’d never see you again, and I was okay with that. Or as okay as you can be after waking up to an empty bed.” She took a deep breath. “So anyway, the thing is, I didn’t give you an STD that night, but you did give me something.”

“You think I gave you an STD?” He shook his head. “I couldn’t have.” She was the first person he’d had sex with in three years. “You’ve got the wrong guy.”

“I haven’t.” She pulled her lip between her teeth, her gaze meeting his. “It wasn’t an STD you gave me, James. It was a few extra sperm; I’m pregnant.”

Advance Praise For Baby I’m Yours

‘It had me smiling a lot and crying quite a bit too, definitely one that you should get ASAP..’ – A Book Lover’s Emporium Blog ★★★★★

‘A story that will touch your heart and have you cheering for James and Harper until the very end!’ – Merry, Booksprout reviewer ★★★★★

‘Baby I’m Yours has just shot straight to #1 as my favourite book in this amazing series!’ – Clare, Goodreads reviewer ★★★★★

‘One click this you will not be disappointed.’ – Mrs Kebab’s Book Blog ★★★★★

‘Grabbed my heart. Love this series. So ready for more’ – Teresa, Goodreads reviewer ★★★★★

About The Author

Carrie Elks writes contemporary romance with a sizzling edge. Her first book, Fix You, has been translated into eight languages and made a surprise appearance on Big Brother in Brazil. Luckily for her, it wasn’t voted out. Carrie lives with her husband, two lovely children and a larger-than-life black pug called Plato. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found baking, drinking an occasional (!) glass of wine, or chatting on social media.

FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/CarrieElksAuthor/

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WEBSITE: https://carrieelks.co

Review: The Winter Companion by Mimi Matthews

Title: The Winter Companion

Author: Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: 11 February

Available for preorder

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Yet again, Mimi Matthews delivers a deliciously addictive and wonderfully written love story with The Winter Companion. This time, we delve into the lives of Neville Cross and Clara Hartwright. If you’ve been following the Parish Orphans of Devon series, then you’ve already had glimpses of Neville. Of all the boys (now men) who’d grown up together in the orphanage, I was always most curious about Neville, especially considering the injury he’d sustained from his fall from the cliffs. We get more insight into his life and how his BTI has affected him and the choices he’s made along the way.

With the coming Christmas holidays as the backdrop, Matthews sets the stage for a very nice slow-burn love story. We have Neville, painfully shy at times and more at home outdoors than in drawing rooms making small talk, and Clara, a paid companion to Mrs. Bainbridge who longs to learn and know more–but held back because of her gender and a secret from her past. Already from their first meeting, thanks to an elderly pug called Bertie, we know that Neville and Clara are meant to be. The question is how will it come to pass. And their path to love is very satisfying.

There are so many things that I loved about The Winter Companion: the richness of the setting, how Matthews weaves in the cast of characters we recognize from previous books in the series, how even the secondary characters come across as fully realized people and not simply as props… I could go on. But the most important factor for me in loving this book was how Matthews writes about Neville and his brain trauma injury. Gaining insight into how it has affected his life and how he’s tried to deal with it…as well as the initial resentment he felt at being the one left behind…made me as a reader feel such empathy for him and gave me a better understanding of why Neville never strayed far from the abbey.

I also enjoyed that Matthews allows us time to get to know Neville and Clara. They’re complex characters and having the chance to find out how life’s experiences made them who they are gave even more depth to their story.

If you like historical romance, then I think you’ll love the Winter Companion. For me, reading this book was pure pleasure. Highly recommended!

Book Blitz: Love and Hiplife by Nana Prah

LOVE AND HIPLIFE BY NANA PRAH

Lamisi Imoro will do anything to complete her PhD before the extension is up. It doesn’t matter who dies, leaves her high and dry, or hates her guts, she’s on fire. But, her supervisor wants to prove just how much he’d love to see her fail by throwing obstacles to thwart her from reaching her goal. Desperate for help and nowhere else to turn, she’s forced to ask for the assistance of the hiplife artist who once saved her from a nasty fall. She finds that their scorching attraction is a problem and is determined to tamp her rising emotions because nothing will stop her from getting what she set out to accomplish.

Blaise Ayoma is on the verge of taking African Francophone countries by storm with his new style of music. Learning how to sing in French without butchering the beautiful language is harder than he thought. Multi-linguist, Lamisi is the key to his success. When his presence in her life puts her in danger, will he end the budding relationship in order to keep her safe?

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ABOUT NANA PRAH

Nana Prah first discovered romance in a book from her eighth-grade summer reading list and has been obsessed with it ever since. Her fascination with love inspired her to write in her favorite genre where happily-ever-after is the rule. She is a published author of contemporary, multicultural romances. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s reading, over-indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family.

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A TASTE OF HER OWN MEDICINE BY TASHA L. HARRISON

A TASTE OF HER OWN MEDICINE

BY TASHA L. HARRISON

“He looks like he could plow my north field without a horse.”

Sonja Watts needs to re-enter the workforce after divorcing her husband of thirteen years. Taking the advice of her sister Birdie and her best friend Estelle, she signs up for a six-week course for entrepreneurs; hoping that she will learn everything she needs to know to build a business to support herself and her kids.

On the first night of class, Sonja is able to ignore the fact that most of the students were younger than her by ten years or more. It was what she expected. But when the instructor walks in, she debates packing up here new twelve hundred dollar laptop and walking out.

Sonja couldn’t remember the last time she looked at a man with little more interest than she give a sturdy dining room table. She was just disinterested.

But wow, did Atlas James grab her interest.

Atlas hasn’t been interested in dating since he moved back home California. Adjusting to new found success in the town where everyone sees him as that big, geeky guy who cut grass for pocket change when they were in high school has been awkward. Aside from a couple of one night stands, he hasn’t really wanted to pursue a relationship with anyone until sweet, shy Sonja signs up for his class.

Compact, curvy, and juicy in all the right places, being in the same room Sonja Watts ignites all of those giddy feelings he felt when he had his first crush. He wants to know her and he’s pretty sure she wants to know him — despite the age difference that she seems to be so fixated on.

With her future riding on the success of her new business, Sonja has no time for distraction. Will she be able to keep her eyes on her own paper or will they remain glued to Atlas’s biceps and thick thighs?

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chapter one  

Sonja

The strip of shops, eateries, and galleries in The Village of West Greenville were dark and quiet when I pulled my Subaru into the parking lot a few blocks away from The CoWorking Spot. In the last few years, this part of town had experienced some growth with the arrival of a few restaurants and specialty shops. But that was just a handful of businesses; most of which closed at or around six o’clock, leaving the streets quiet on a late summer evening. I took advantage of this moment of quiet. Closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths to settle the nervous butterflies in my stomach.

About a month ago, I allowed myself to be convinced to sign up for a six-week entrepreneurship course— something I’ve been regretting since the day the payment cleared. 

What makes me think I could run my own business? 

The only thing I’d managed in the last ten years was a household, and occasionally, the front desk at my ex-husband’s real estate offices. Those skills didn’t necessarily translate into the sort of hustle one needed to be an entrepreneur. But at the time, my sisters Birdie and Agostina, as well as my friend Estelle, made it seem like a great idea to start a business with the skincare products I made from the herbs and medicinal flowers in my garden. And I agreed. Or maybe the gallon of wine I drank that night agreed because now that I was sitting in my car with my brand new laptop, in a brand new laptop bag, I wondered if I’d temporarily lost my mind.

The Bluetooth in my car announced that I had an incoming call from Estelle Murphy.

“Hello?”

“Get out of the car, Sonja,” she ordered. 

“Why did I let you talk me into this?” I groaned and opened the car door, slightly annoyed that she knew me so well. 

“Because you’re more than ready for it. We’ve gone through this. Get out of the car, and I’ll walk down there with you.” 

“Okay. I’m coming.”

I’d arrived a good forty minutes early, mostly because I needed to stop by Ink Blue Yoga to get a pep talk from my Estelle. 

Ink Blue, Estelle’s yoga studio,was one of my favorite places. The front windows went floor to ceiling, which made the interior look and feel bright and warm. The smooth, shiny hardwood floors were warm in the winter months and cool in the summer. They welcomed bare feet and I almost wanted to drop my bags, strip down and get in a few vinyasas. Estelle was good at this business thing and was brilliant at getting her studio seen. If I checked our town’s hashtag on Instagram on any given day, her yoga studio always showed up in the top nine. 

“Hey, Soni,” my friend said and gave me a knowing look as I came in. “Amelia?” 

The woman sweeping at the far end of the studio looked up.

“I’m going to walk Soni down to the The Coworking Spot. I’ll be right back.”

“No, problem. I’ll get everything set up for the six-thirty class.” 

She grabbed two bottles of water out of the cold case near the cash wrap and handed me one. I opened it and followed her back out to the sidewalk. 

“Okay,” she said. “Out with it. What are you feeling right now?”

I gnawed on my bottom lip. “I’m nervous.”

“Be specific.”

“I’m probably going to be the oldest person in the class —”

“And that matters because…?”

“It makes me feel self-conscious. It’s been years since I’ve been in a classroom. I’m not sure if I can learn everything I need to know to make this thing work.”

“Sonja, you’re one of the smartest people I know. You’ll be fine.”

“How can you say I’ll be fine? It took me six days to figure out how to use this fucking computer you made me buy.”

Estelle laughed at me, and I joined her, realizing how pathetic I sounded. Doing something new was always scary. But it had been so long since I’d done anything new that this felt huge. She grabbed my hand as we walked the remaining two blocks to the building that hosted The Entrepreneur Academy.

“There’s no need to be intimidated by anything you’re presented with today. You’re there to learn, and the instructor is there to teach you. Who’s your instructor again?”

I laughed and rolled my eyes. “You sound like you’re escorting your kid to their first day of elementary school.”

“Aren’t I?” she joked.

I pulled up the email they sent me after I registered for the class. “My instructor is someone named Atlas James. You know him?”

Estelle gasped, and her steps faltered a bit. “Yeah… yeah, I know him.”

“What was that reaction about?” 

“Uh, nothing. Atlas James is … he’s an amazing teacher. I learned a lot from him.”

“Yeah, but you gasped.”

Estelle cleared her throat and smirked. “You’ll see.”

We arrived at the doors, and I turned to her with a smile. “So, I’ll meet you next door when the class is over so we can have some drinks?”

“Oh, most definitely! Relax, and have fun. It’s not nearly as hard as you think it will be. Especially not with Atlas teaching. I think you’re really going to enjoy yourself.”

I rolled my eyes. “Bye, Estelle.” 

Still laughing at my friend, I went inside the coworking space that doubled as the Entrepreneur Academyclassroom on evenings and weekends. From what I read online, the two people who owned the business and ran the programs were dedicated to helping an underserved group of entrepreneurs get a foothold in the economy growing in Greenville. The businesses that students started after attending the Academy were conscientious and interested in blending into existing community. That was precisely the kind of business I wanted to build; one that felt so familiar that my customers could easily imagine the hands that made the products and feel connected to the process. 

I’d entered on the street level across from the Village Journal into a small lobby and seating area. 

“Hi!” a young girl sitting behind the desk said with a smile. “Welcome to The CoWorking Spot. I’m, Chloe. Can I help you?”

“Uh, yes. Hi, Chloe. I’m here for the Entrepreneur Academy Course?”

“Ah, yes. Could you just sign in for me? They’ll be meeting in the Community Classroom at the big table down there,” she said, jerking her thumb over her shoulder. “But you’re a little early, so feel free to grab a cup of coffee and look around or just hang out up here. Atlas is around here somewhere.”

“Okay, thanks,” I said as I signed in.

When I was done, I adjusted my bag on my shoulder and made my way down the steps to the Community Classroom. The big table was in an open area, with about ten or fifteen chairs around it. The group was far smaller than I anticipated it would be, and for some reason, that made me feel even more nervous. That and the fact that this Atlas person was somewhere in the building and if no one else arrived soon, I would be the first to meet him. All that tittering Estelle had done on the sidewalk made me wonder what the hell I was in for.

After choosing a seat on the far end of the table away from the big screen TV  as the place to drop my laptop bag, I went back up to the lobby to grab a cup of that free coffee the girl at the desk had offered me. I was still considering the dark, strong-smelling brew when a young man bounded up the stairs. 

I swear my mouth went so dry that my tongue stuck to the roof of it. 

“Hi!” he said cheerily, his lips splitting into a grin that lit up his face. And Jesus Christ was it a gorgeous face. He had smooth dark skin and the sort of distinctive features that were so unusual that it was hard to look at him without really staring. Full lips, a broad nose, and bedroom eyes with thick lashes that squinted when he smiled like he was doing now.

“Hello,” I managed to croak, unable to tear my eyes away even though he was standing next to me now, and I had to look up, up, up to meet his gaze. This man was tall and built like he could plow my north field without a horse, with shoulders that he could probably throw a woman-sized stack of potatoes over. And by woman-sized, I meant me. I would like to be that woman-sized sack of potatoes.

That thought startled me. I couldn’t remember the last time I looked at a man with little more interest than I gave a sturdy dining room table.

“Trying to get that last dose of caffeine in, huh?” he said casually as if his deep baritone wasn’t designed to disintegrate my panties the moment he opened his mouth.

“Uh, yeah. I usually try not to drink coffee this late. It tends to mess with my sleep, but I’m not usually out after this hour, so—” 

What the hell was I even saying? Why was I talking about my caffeine intake like some old lady who needed to be at home before nine to make sure she took her remedies?

“I hear that,” the young man said as he tore open two sugar packets with the edge of his bright white teeth. His tongue swiped at a loose granule, and my pussy clenched like I knew how that tongue would feel between my thighs.

Look away, Sonja. Look a-damn-way. 

He gestured at the still empty cup in my hand with the carafe of coffee in his hand, offering to fill it up.

“Yes, please.” I held out the paper cup in my now trembling hand. “Thank you,” I said once it was filled and finally turned toward the coffee station to add some sugar and cream. 

“No, problem. I’ll see you down there,” he said, a smirk in the corner of his full lips. 

“Oh! You’re here for the Entrepreneur Academy thing?”

He pivoted around the corner to make his way back down the stairs. With his eyes on me, his smirk shifted into a smile. “I’m the instructor,” he said just before he disappeared from view.

“Holy fuck … that’s Atlas James?” 

“Yes, ma’am, it is,” the girl behind the desk said with a wistful sigh.

Leaving the cup of untouched coffee on the bar, I ducked into the nearest bathroom to call my so-called friend. Her self-satisfied giggle met my ears when she finally decided to pick up the phone. 

“Really, Estelle?”

“What? 

“You could have warned me that my instructor was a real-life action hero, so I didn’t embarrass myself by drooling and blubbering like an idiot.”

“You drooled and blubbered like an idiot? That’s surprising. I didn’t think he would get that much of a reaction out of you.”

“And what the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Sonja,” she began gently. “I’ve known you for almost nine years, and I’ve never heard you so much as sigh at the sight of a pretty man. Even men that are universally handsome never seemed to move the meter for you.”

I scoffed. “Yeah, well, Atlas James sure as hell did.”

“Mmmhmm… six weeks of class with him was not an unpleasant experience.” 

“Estelle! You’re happily married!”

“I’m married, not dead, Sonja.” 

“I get that, but…”

“Yes, I allowed myself to enjoy his personage, then I went home to my husband. And since you no longer have one of those, none of that should matter to you.”

“I have no intentions on—”

“I gotta go. The six-thirty power hour is about to start. I’ll meet you for drinks, and we can talk about how Atlas made you squirm in your seat for an hour and a half.” Then she hung up before I could respond. 

I glared at my phone’s darkening screen for a moment and tried to figure out if there was a way that I could sneak downstairs, grab my new bag and twelve-hundred-dollar laptop, and duck out before the class started. because I couldn’t sit in the same room with that man. Hell, maybe I didn’t need to grab my stuff. Estelle could drive me home. My kids were there, so I didn’t need to worry about how I would get in. I could pick up my bag in the morning or some other time when I was sure he wouldn’t be here. Then I would quit the class because a woman my age should not be subjected to a man that young and that fine for six-long weeks without any sort of satisfaction. 

Satisfaction? I mean, seriously. What satisfaction did I want from this man? And more importantly, what satisfaction would he be willing to give? Did I want to know? Goddamn, he had successfully scrambled my brain. This was not right or okay.

I glanced in the mirror and smoothed my hand over my newly cropped hair. Around the same time that I allowed myself to be convinced to sign up for this course, my sister Agostina thought it was a good idea to chop off all of my hair. “A woman who cuts her hair is about to make big changes in her life,” or some foolishness she’d parroted from a mindfulness blog she read. Initially, I thought the cut looked cute. Fun. Now I just looked like a middle-aged woman who’d lobbed off her hair and dyed it to hide the grey.

I sighed and shook my head at myself, then turned on the water to wash my hands. I was making too big a deal out of this. He probably didn’t even notice that I’d drooled over him. I wasn’t unattractive, but I’d long ago realized that I’d become invisible to a specific type of man and definitely a certain age bracket. Atlas James fit that demographic. Yeah… I was worried about the wrong thing. 

By the time I made my way out of the bathroom and toward the low murmur of conversation in the Community Classroom, I’d convinced myself that I was overreacting. I’d only assumed that he had noticed me noticing him. That didn’t make it true. 

And I believed that until I realized that my bag had been moved to a seat other than where I’d left it. It was now in front of a chair closer to the middle of the table…

Right across from where Atlas was setting up his laptop and unloading his backpack. 

I glanced toward the place I’d left my things and saw that two girls were huddled there now. How wrong would it be if I put on my mom-voice and bullied them out of their seats? 

“Decided against the coffee?” Atlas asked, pulling me out of my reverie.

“Uh… yeah. I had a couple of sips, but I’m jittery enough. It would have been a mistake.”

“I probably should have done the same, but you know…Y.O.L.O.”

I cringed inwardly. “Yeah…Y.O.L.O.,” I echoed then pulled out the chair. 

My son used that horrible slang phrase when he was in middle school. Was this Atlas in the same age bracket? Now I felt a little gross about lusting over someone who was probably only a few years older than my high school-age son. 

Yuck

I laughed at myself again. Unloaded my bag. 

Stay on task, Sonja.

“Okay… It looks like everyone is here!” Atlas said. “Let’s get started.” He clapped his hands together and moved toward the front of the room. “Welcome to The CoWorking Spot. I’m Atlas James, and I’m going to be your instructor for this cohort of the Entrepreneur Academy. A little bit about me…Yes, my name is really Atlas, but I don’t think my mother named me that in anticipation of me having shoulders big and strong enough to carry the world on them, but it helps that I grew into it.”

We all laughed at that, and he seemed to relax a little bit. “I’m a business coach for creative people who want to use their talents to make money. I’ve been at that for a little over six years, and before that, my best friend and I built a tiny home in a step-up panel truck and I traveled to every state in the continental US. I have two degrees, business and MBA in marketing, both of which used to build and run this business. Now…” He looked from one end of the table to the next, and then his eyes settled on me. “I’d like to get to know all of you.”

My mouth suddenly went dry, and my nipples drew up into tight little buds against the thin silken fabric of my bra. I folded my arms, leaned forward on the table, and prayed that he didn’t ask me to go first. Nothing but squawking high pitched sounds would come out of me if he did. 

Atlas smiled at me then turned his attention to one of the young girls at the far end of the table. 

Thank God

“You there in the pink sweater. State your name, state your business.”

Everyone at the table was at least ten or more years younger than me. They had internet jobs that I’d never heard of before — like social media manager and content strategist — that they’d joined the Entrepreneur Academy to grow. None of them had a business that sounded anything like mine. 

“And what about you, Miss…” Atlas pushed up the sleeves of his henley and pointed at me.

My brain short-circuited. 

“Sonja…” I stammered. Yes, that’s my name. “Sonja Watts and I want to open an online store to sell natural soaps, essential oils, hand, and body cremes, and maybe teas using recipes created by my Gullah grandmother.”

The room fell silent. 

“Excuse me…Sonja?” one of the girls at the end of the table began. She was sitting across from the girl in the pink sweater. I think her name was Ashley.

“Yes?”

“What is a Gullah exactly? You mean, like Gullah, Gullah Island? That show that used to come on Disney?” Ashley asked with a giggle that her friend in the pink sweater echoed. 

Atlas turned his attentions to Ashley and regarded her for a long critical moment. “Gullah people are Coastal Carolina African Americans who have maintained most of their West African culture, to include language and traditions,” he explained finally. “They practice a lot of holistic medicine through cherished recipes passed down through generations.” He looked at me again, his eyes soft and…was that appreciation I saw there? “I imagine your business will be no different than someone starting their own beauty brand.”

“I imagine so…” I said, feeling for the first time in an hour that I was right where I was supposed to be.

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ABOUT TASHA L. HARRISON

Often accused of navigating life without a filter, Tasha L. Harrison has managed to brand herself as the author who crafts characters and stories that make you feel all of the feels. She writes African American, interracial and intercultural erotica and erotic romance with heroines just as brazen, emotionally messy, and dramatic as herself and heroes that love them anyway.

She lives in Upstate South Carolina with her handsome hubbie, two not-so-smallish men, and one super needy boxer dog. When she’s not writing filth, she’s riding around with the top down on her Jeep Wrangler, Amber, blasting Southern Rock and pretending she’s in love with the mountains when she really misses the ocean.

She also edits romance and erotica because love stories are her business.

Tasha’s work and information on her editing rates and services can be found at tashalharrison.com.

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Review: In Black & White by Nia Forrester

Nia Forrester never fails to create realistic portrayals of love that I always find so beautifully written. She never disappoints. And this is definitely true in her latest, In Black & White

Set in a leafy suburb of Philadelphia, we’re immediate dropped into what is every parent’s nightmare–the disappearance of a child. In this case, it’s the disappearance of 18-month-old Samara, the daughter of interracial couple Noah and Dana. Samara’s abduction and the subsequent fallout around it mark the beginning of a fascinating story that is in parts mystery and a thoroughly modern story of a love on the rocks. 

Forrester is a master at crafting three-dimensional characters. Dana and Noah are no different. From the first chapter when we learn the status of their marriage, we are given a very realistic, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes frustrating portrayal of a couple who come from different worlds. Noah is the product of privileged, old Pennsylvania money. Dana is his polar opposite–raised in a working-class neighbourhood in Baltimore by her grandmother and her older sister, she has struggled to get used to the life of privilege being Noah’s wife affords, especially since her skin color will always mark her as out of place in the world that Noah comes from. One of the aspects I loved about In Black & White is how Forrester deftly takes us through the couple’s history and its relevance to their separation. These snippets of their shared past help the reader understand who Dana and Noah were when they first met and what attracted them to one another as well as what has driven them apart. 

This is not a sugar-coated, fantasy-laden love story, so if that’s what you’re looking for, then this isn’t going to be the book for you. But if you’re in the mood for a very realistic look at a modern love and marriage, racial and socioeconomic differences (and how it can make or break a couple), and how the disappearance of a child can unveil secrets, then you’re going to love In Black & White.

Highly recommended! 5 stars.

REDESIGNING HAPPINESS BY NITA BROOKS

REDESIGNING HAPPINESS BY NITA BROOKS

Real life is a work in progress… #DesignYourLife

It wasn’t easy for Yvonne Cable to get over a heartbreaking relationship and revamp her life. But now the once-broke single mom is Atlanta’s most sought-after interior designer—and one-half of the media’s hottest power couple. She and her celebrity fiancé, Nathan, are a perfect, practical match, on—and off—camera. And with their new home improvement reality show the object of a fierce network bidding war, there’s no limit to how far they can go . . . 

But Yvonne is stunned when mogul Richard Barrington III unexpectedly makes an offer for their program. He’s the man she thought left her for a more successful woman. And he’s the father of her son—though he didn’t know it until now. Richard wants to get to know their boy, and Yvonne agrees, though she’s wary. Yet little by little, she’s finding it hard to resist the responsible, caring man Richard has become. But when a scandalous leak puts everything Yvonne’s worked for at risk, she’ll have to look beyond surfaces to come to terms with who she is—and discover what she truly wants.

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ABOUT NITA BROOKS

A reading addict, self-professed connoisseur of home improvement shows, and a collector of teapots, Nita Brooks resides in South Carolina with her family. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter at @AuthorNitaB.

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New Release: Temptation by Chiquita Dennie


TEMPTATION BY CHIQUITA DENNIE

Age ain’t nothing but a number.

Gabriel McCollough is the star basketball coach, Top draft pick that played in one season and retired from the game of basketball from a injury and the twenty-five-year-old alpha male every young woman in town can’t help but like.

Desiree Spence is a good teacher, a good person, a quiet, reserved soul, but a chance meeting with a handsome coach, ten years her junior, tests her limits and stirs up a controversy she could’ve ever anticipated.

He wants her. She wants him. Everyone in their lives is against their relationship.

Will they give into societal pressures or follow their hearts’ desires?

Note: Chiquita writes stories with explicit language and adult content.

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Prologue: Desiree

“Do you, Desiree Spence, take Gabriel McCullough to be your lawfully-wedded husband?” the pastor asked. He looked between Gabriel and me as we stared into each other’s eyes. Gabriel’s touch was reassuring; his eyes alone seemed to undress me, as though it were just the two of us standing there. 

That was the moment we’d been waiting for. After multiple obstacles and breakups, I realized I needed to put myself first and not let other factors define my happiness. Gabriel showed no signs of hesitation in marrying me, and I appreciated his strength and motivation. 

Over the past year, I’d taken a new job at East High School after leaving my old job as a substitute teacher. I’d dealt with David’s betrayal and getting fired. My family stood by me—even though my father wanted to kick his ass. Hearing the gossip around town helped my decision to start over in a new townand make new memories. What I didn’t expect was to encounter an overwhelmingforce that turned my life upside down—thissmooth, charismatic charmer with rich,milk-chocolate skin and dimples, with a small scar next to his mouth. Some people might have been put off by it, but in a weird way, it made him even sexier to me. Standing tall, at around 6’3”, he had broad shoulders and thick, muscular arms that brought me comfort every night in bed—not to mention Gabriel’s soft, oval, dark-browneyes that hadme melting in the palms of his hands. I loved climbing onto him every chance I got. Feeling his hands running up anddown my back brought chills to my spine. 

We waited before having sex again until the wedding night. It was Gabriel’s idea, and after the shock wore off, I remembered he always put my needs above his own. 

David could never compare to Gabriel; many times, David came off as selfish, making plans that revolved around his own needs. He liked to show off to our mutual friends and make himself seem bigger and more important than anyone else. I could count on my one hand how many times he got involved in the community.

After several nights of tossing and turning and yearning to have Gabriel by my side, I couldn’t wait to get him alone and try something new. The church we picked out was beautiful, with its fine crystal-and-gold window trimming. Flowers adorned each row, and thanks to the high ceiling, the church choir sounded exquisite as they performed one of my favorite songs, Tamia’s “Spend My Life with You”.

“Baby, you, all right?” Gabriel asked and squeezed my hands tighter to pull me out of my trance. 

A part of me felt nervous; my stomach was doing somersaults and my hands were sweaty; I was about to become someone’s wife. I looked around the room at my family, and my best friend, Sidney, as she rocked her newborn baby and my goddaughter, Coco, to sleep. If I hadn’t listened to Sidney that day and interviewed for the job, I wouldn’t have met my future love, my backbone, best friend, and my weakness. 

“Excuse me, Pastor,what did you say?” I asked as our guests laughed at me for zoning out during my wedding. 

“I asked, do you take Gabriel to be your wedded husband, to have and to hold, through sickness and in health, till death do you part?”

“I do,” I answered, giving Gabriel a coy smile.

“I do,” Gabriel answered huskily.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife, and you may kiss the bride.”

I heard everyone shout and cheer before we even kissed.I caught a glimpse of Gabriel’s mother and sister, whispering back and forth; apparently, his mother was not the least bit interested in what was going on at her son’s wedding. I was amused by her long, sleeveless black dress and black sunglasses. Of course, she dressed like it was a funeral, instead of our wedding day. I was not surprised she showed up—just surprised she didn’t stop the wedding. 

I had a great relationship with his father, grandparents, and friends. His mom thought I was the devil, and she had tried her best to keep us apart—even conspiring with his ex-girlfriend to break us up, and then trying to convince him to play basketball again and quit teaching.

Gabriel lifted my veil and stared into my eyes as the tears slowly slipped down my cheeks. Standing on my tiptoes, I met him halfway, and our mouths sealed our vows. It was a sensual, pulsating kiss that had my juices flowing. I was ready to take him into the bathroom for a quickie.

“I love you, Mrs. McCullough,” he said.

“I love you too, Mr. McCullough.”

He gently wiped the tears traveling down my face.  “How does it feel to marry a man 10 years younger than you, babe?”

“Like I have a lifetime to share new memories—”

The church doors opened, and a familiar voice cut me off. “Desiree!”

“Da—David?” I stuttered, shocked at his interruption. 

ABOUT CHIQUITA DENNIE

Chiquita is an Author and Entrepreneur. Born in Memphis, TN, and currently a Los Angeles CA native. Her background in film/tv has taught and shaped her passion for writing with her debut romance novel Antonio and Sabrina Struck In Love. Favorite genre to write Contemporary Romantic Suspense. Since its debut, fans have embraced the unconventional love story of Sabrina Washington and Antonio De Luca. Amazon Best Seller in Italian, African American Drama,and Multicultral Romance. Check out her other work in Erotic, Paranormal and Women’s Fiction under amazon.com/kekerenee.

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New Release: Torn by Brooklyn Knight

ABOUT THE BOOK

I did not tell her the truth about what I really am…

The circumstances surrounding our introduction are unimportant. The only thing that matters is that Sasha Wilcox is my mate and she belongs to me. A night of unbridled passion sealed the deal, but before I could tell her the truth, she was gone. Days have turned into weeks and there is no way I can be without her. I must find her and bring her back to me. No one will stand in my way, especially not the one man who thinks he can steal her from me, Stefan Miller.

I want him so badly, and I have no idea why…

The last thing I should be doing is thinking about Remi Moretti: the green-eyed Italian man who kidnapped me and held me hostage for three days in Tuscany. I want to say that I feared for my life while under his guard, but that would be a lie. The truth is, in a moment of… weakness, I gave my body to him. He set it on fire, but I escaped, and now I need to move on with my life with Stefan, a great guy, who will make a great boyfriend. But why do I crave Remi’s touch? Why do I smell his intoxicating essence every time I breathe? And why do I sense his presence, even though he’s in Italy, and I’m in Miami?

**READER ALERT**
This story contains extremely passionate and descriptive sex scenes. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18 years, or those who may be offended by somewhat graphic descriptions of sexual encounters. This story also contains scenes which include expletives. Brooklyn’s characters exhibit real emotions and desires, and though she is their creator, she is also very sensitive to their needs and wants, and works in partnership with them to create their unique HEAs.

Publication Date March 21, 2019
Series Alpha Series #1
Genre Multicultural & Interracial Romance, Paranormal Romance, Werewolf & Shifter Romance, Romance
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Amazon eBook | Amazon Paperback


ABOUT BROOKLYN KNIGHT

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Brooklyn Knight is a romance enthusiast who lives in the island of Bermuda and has been writing stories since she was a little girl. Over the years, her gift for designing and bringing characters to life has evolved, and she enjoys creating vivid, memorable characters and unforgettable situations. Her characters are thought-provoking and evocative; and they will draw emotion out of you like water from a well.


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