Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Love So Irresistible Review Tour


Join us in celebrating the release for the next book in The Lawson Brothers Series, LOVE SO IRRESISTIBLE!


Title: Love So Irresistible (Lawsons #3)
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Cover Designer: Lindee Robinson Photography

Book Description:
All former Navy SEAL Mason Lawson craves is solitude. Unfortunately, his new neighbor won’t allow him the peace he so desperately needs. Between the traffic and the music, Mason is constantly on edge—not exactly what the doctor ordered for someone recovering from a bullet to the leg. However, when he finally has enough and confronts his neighbor, nothing can prepare him for how hot he’d get for the teacher next door.

Piano teacher, Skylar Jernigan, loves everything about the town of Jessamine—from the quaint Main Street shops to the people who own them. Unfortunately, once she’s chewed up and spit out by her sexy neighbor, Skylar begins to question her decision to move to a new town. Until, that is, she learns he’s suffering from a war wound and refuses to have anything to do with his family.

Now, Skylar is determined to help Mason recover—mentally, physically and socially—until he turns the tables and sets out to seduce Skylar right out of her meddling ways. Only seduction turns into something more and soon, Mason can’t stop looking for excuses to be with her. But when the Navy wants Mason to reenlist for a dangerous mission, will Skylar be too irresistible for him to leave?


Globug's Review

So far Mason is my favorite Lawson brother. In just the first few pages you're going to think he's the biggest bag of assholes you've ever met and then two pages later he will own your heart. Mason is still recovering from a gunshot wound from the war but it's not the physical wounds that really challenge him the most. He suffers from PTSD and struggles being around groups of people. Coming from a large family, they have been included in the list of people he tries to avoid. Even his twin brother gets very little face time.

Mason's new neighbor Skylar is a music teacher. She teaches from her home which means she has become a daily nuisance. The noise finally pushes Mason over his limit and he's determined to face off with the devil next door. But hell reaches him first. When he finally comes back to his senses he's lying on the ground being caressed and soothed in the lap of an angel. I fell in love with Skylar's character immediately.

Skylar is the most generous woman. She also has a pretty unique background. She's kind and patient and exactly what Mason wasn't looking for but desperately needs. The question is will he allow her to be what he needs. Skylar isn't one to put up with Mason's attitude. She may be the type to kill 'em with kindness but she can also put Mason in his place when he's giving her shit. The desire between them grows rapidly and I gotta say I really enjoyed the heat. I was so surprised by how sensitive and sweet Mason could be and that he actually really loves music. The fact that he has a service dog was an added bonus for me. I love dogs and believe they truly bring happiness and healing to people.

Mason's demons come to haunt him and threaten everything he's built with Skylar.  I was so moved when his buddies from the VWF come to support him. The time comes when Mason has to choose a new path and accept that he can't return to his old life or loose the one person that has brought him happiness and a new meaning to life. You are going to be so happy with the path he takes. I was over the moon with the epilogue that jumps ahead to where life takes them in ten years.

We get to know a little more about the other Lawson brothers as well which will keep me coming back for more. You really can't go wrong with any of Marquita Valentine's books. I'll read everything she writes.
Favorite Quotes

"I know who you are," he groused. "You're the one violating the Geneva Convention by torturing me with music--and I'm being generous with the desciption." Loc117

It tore at her heart, ripped it to pieces... so she left it, right there beside him in case he needed the parts to mend his. Not with romantic love-- she didn't know him like that. Loc 142


 About the author:
New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.

Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Love So Irresistible Release Day Blast


Join us in celebrating the release for the next book in The Lawson Brothers Series, LOVE SO IRRESISTIBLE!


Title: Love So Irresistible (Lawsons #3)
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Cover Designer: Lindee Robinson Photography
Pre-Order Love So Irresistible:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1ClaVFg


Book Description:
All former Navy SEAL Mason Lawson craves is solitude. Unfortunately, his new neighbor won’t allow him the peace he so desperately needs. Between the traffic and the music, Mason is constantly on edge—not exactly what the doctor ordered for someone recovering from a bullet to the leg. However, when he finally has enough and confronts his neighbor, nothing can prepare him for how hot he’d get for the teacher next door.

Piano teacher, Skylar Jernigan, loves everything about the town of Jessamine—from the quaint Main Street shops to the people who own them. Unfortunately, once she’s chewed up and spit out by her sexy neighbor, Skylar begins to question her decision to move to a new town. Until, that is, she learns he’s suffering from a war wound and refuses to have anything to do with his family.

Now, Skylar is determined to help Mason recover—mentally, physically and socially—until he turns the tables and sets out to seduce Skylar right out of her meddling ways. Only seduction turns into something more and soon, Mason can’t stop looking for excuses to be with her. But when the Navy wants Mason to reenlist for a dangerous mission, will Skylar be too irresistible for him to leave?

Excerpt:
“I bought too many, so I thought I’d share the extras with you,” Skylar said. Her explanation sounded perfectly reasonable to her, even if her reason for being on Mason’s front porch was entirely unbelievable.

She had caved, faster than a sandcastle taking on high tide.

Mason stared at her as if he couldn’t quite comprehend what she was saying. “That’s a hell of a lot of crab for only being extra.”

“My eyes were bigger than my stomach.” She held out the large bag of crabs to him. “And I can’t resist a sale.”

He leaned against the doorframe, his light hair pulled back off his handsome face. She studied him for a minute, taking in his blue t-shirt and loose jeans. He was too skinny for the jeans, but the t-shirt stretched out rather nicely over his shoulders and the indentions on each side of his hips were not hard on the eyes at all.

“Anything else you can’t resist?” he asked and she jerked up her gaze, blushing hotly at being caught ogling him.

“Beer?” She held up the six-pack. “Fat Tire was on sale, too.”

He narrowed his sexy, blue eyes at her. “You’ve already eaten?”

She shook her head. “Not yet. I need to search for a recipe for the crabs I kept for myself. I’ve never cooked them before.” The crabs moved in the bag, and she almost dropped them. The cold had kept them immobile, but the longer she stood in the heat…the more awake they became.

Stepping to one side, he motioned for her to come inside. “Might as well eat with me. I already have a recipe,” he said as he closed the door behind her and started for the back of the house. Instead of using his cane, he limped as he walked and Bomber stayed at his side.

“I can just write it down,” she said, following him.

He tapped the side of his head. “Secret family recipe.”

She laughed. “But I’ll see what you use.”

“You won’t know the exact amounts and that’s important.”

Mason’s kitchen was huge, with stainless-steel appliances and more cabinets than anyone could ever need. In the center stood a large island with a prep sink and a butcher-block top.

“Really nice kitchen,” she said, admiring the wavy glass in the doors of the nearest cabinet.

“I like to cook.”

“You do?”

“I like to eat,” he said, as if that explained everything.

“Who doesn’t?” she replied.

“Lately, I haven’t.” He turned around and leaned against the counter. She set the bag of crabs in the sink and the beer on the island.

“Do your meds make your appetite go away?” They had for her dad, in those awful, final months. He’d practically wasted away to nothing. Maybe that was why she wanted to help Mason so badly. She didn’t want another person to just waste away, especially if she could help. Mason didn’t have cancer either.

He nodded stiffly. “You’re the first person to ask me that…besides my doctor.”

“The alcohol doesn’t help.” She wasn’t stupid. She’d seen the half-empty bottles and had smelled it on his breath. “It’s a good thing you exercise or you wouldn’t look like you do.”

She half expected him to take offense, but he only lifted a brow and said, “How do I look exactly?”

“Like a man who used to take care of his body.”

His lips thinned. “How is the air working in your house?”

“Like a freezer.”

“Good thing?”

“Very good thing. I actually wore pajamas to bed last night,” she said. “But I’m going to have to bring you a lot of noise-cancelling headphones in order to pay you back. They had to replace the entire thing.”

“What did you used to wear?” he asked with a grin that almost made her forget her own name.

He would focus on that. “Nothing. I mean…” She narrowed her eyes at him. “Don’t try to change the subject. I will pay you back.”

“Crab and beer are a good start.” He pushed away from the front of the island and opened a deep drawer, pulling out a large pot and handing it to her. “Fill this halfway up with water and put it on the stove to boil. Gas burners okay for you?”

“Yes. I have one, too.” She took the pot and filled it, then set it on the stove and turned on the gas while he poured in a dash of vinegar and sprinkled in some spices. “What’s next?”

“We fix the sides—I’m thinking fries and hushpuppies.”

She glanced at the crabs and shivered. They were moving more vigorously now. “What about them?” She whispered the last word.

“We’ll get to them in a minute.” He nodded to the right. “There’s a bag of potatoes in the pantry. Get those out and we’ll make fries.”

Thankful for something else to do besides worry about the stupid crabs, she hopped right to it. “I guess this is as good of time as any to confess that I’ve never cooked live seafood before.”

“Figured as much.”

She glanced up into his blue eyes. “I can do whatever I need to in order to cook them.”

“I’ll take care of the crab.”

How could something so simple, and about cooking of all things, make her want to swoon?

He touched her face, starting at her cheek and ending up at her lips. His thumb brushed her mouth. The smell of liquor wafted over her. “You’ve been drinking.” So that explained his easygoing mood. It wasn’t her presence. “Did you take your meds with it?”

“Always do before bed.”

She frowned. “That’s not safe, Mason.”

“You’re worried about me?”

Instead of answering, she nodded.

“Why?”

“Because we’re neigh—”

“Don’t.” His thumb made another pass, and she shivered again. This time in pleasure and not fear. His touch was making her weak in the knees. “The real reason, Skylar.”

“Because when I saw you on the ground, I thought that if anyone needed love, it was you.

“Not that I’m in love with you. I meant a neighborly type of love. Love for fellow man type of love,” she added. “What would Jesus do love.”
 About the author:
New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.

Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

LIFT: Authors Raising Autism Awareness

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It's week two of LIFT: Authors Raising Autism Awareness!
More than 50 authors are banding together this month, donating their great work, and increasing awareness and acceptance for those living with Autism.
This Week's LIFT Authors
The Rafflecopter is loaded with e-books, signed paperbacks, swag and gift cards from these amazing authors! Make sure you enter!
We are highlighting The Autism Society this week. With more than 50 years of service to the autism community, they are one of the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization. Please consider supporting their efforts!

 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Teaser Blitz ***Love So Irresistible***



Blurb:
All former Navy SEAL Mason Lawson craves is solitude. Unfortunately, his new neighbor won’t allow him the peace he so desperately needs. Between the traffic and the music, Mason is constantly on edge—not exactly what the doctor ordered for someone recovering from a bullet to the leg. However, when he finally has enough and confronts his neighbor, nothing can prepare him for how hot he’d get for the teacher next door.

Piano teacher, Skylar Jernigan, loves everything about the town of Jessamine—from the quaint Main Street shops to the people who own them. Unfortunately, once she’s chewed up and spit out by her sexy neighbor, Skylar begins to question her decision to move to a new town. Until, that is, she learns he’s suffering from a war wound and refuses to have anything to do with his family.

Now, Skylar is determined to help Mason recover—mentally, physically and socially—until he turns the tables and sets out to seduce Skylar right out of her meddling ways. Only seduction turns into something more and soon, Mason can’t stop looking for excuses to be with her. But when the Navy wants Mason to reenlist for a dangerous mission, will Skylar be too irresistible for him to leave?



Pre-Order Love So Irresistible:
iBooks:http://bit.ly/1DCUiIq
Kindle: http://amzn.to/17RQZkA
Nook: http://bit.ly/18bjb21


About the Author:

New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.

Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.





Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Series COVER REVEAL

We're revealing the covers for the THE BRIDES OF HOLLAND SPRINGS Series by Marquita Valentine! Aren't they gorgeous?!

Title(s): The Billionaire Bride, The Temporary Bride, The Forgotten Bride, The Christmas Bride
Series Name: Brides of Holland Springs
Author Name: Marquita Valentine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Covers Designed by: Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations


The Billionaire Bride (The Brides of Holland Springs, Book 1)-May 7, 2015
It’s not easy being the woman most likely to be married to a fortune hunter, but Kate Von Lichtenstein has a plan to deter even the most determined gold digger. She’ll take a page right out of her favorite historical romance novel - with her own unique spin. She’ll marry a man of her choosing before the public gets wind of how much money she actually inherited from her grandparents. And who fits the bill better than the sexy and charming American businessman, Noah Sawyer?

After selling his share of the successful tech company, Noah Sawyer lost everything when an unscrupulous realtor stole the money he intended to use to purchase a huge swath of land worth millions. So, when a chance meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding with a hot brunette turns into a mutually beneficial business arrangement, Noah jumps at the chance to salvage his business.

However, the sexy land developer has no intention of his marriage to Kate being in name only…
Goodreads
iTunes Preorder

♥♥♥


The Temporary Bride (Book 2)-May 12, 2015
Haven Crawford needs a husband—but only temporarily—in order to keep her grandparents’ inn in the family. Her well-meaning, but old-fashioned grandparents’ will requires her to marry if she wants to keep running Chesson House. But, the last person she’d ask to help is her childhood enemy, Heath Ambrose. Unfortunately, he’s the only one she can trust to keep his promise to divorce her and not take the inn when he leaves.

Star catcher, Heath Ambrose needs relief from his meddling mother and the jet-set lifestyle that accompanies his sudden rise to fame as the face of the newest national baseball team, the Greenville Pirates. As the last single Ambrose sibling, his mother is determined to marry Heath off, but he’s not ready to settle down. Especially not after watching the woman he loved run off to Scotland with another man. So when Haven proposes, Heath jumps at the chance for some peace in his life.

Only a temporary marriage to Haven is anything but peaceful—not to mention that they can’t keep their hands off one another. But, when the will’s conditions have been fulfilled and baseball season starts up again, will Heath and Haven be able to say goodbye when hate turns to love?

Or can temporary turn into forever?
Goodreads
iTunes Preorder


♥♥♥


The Forgotten Bride (Book 3)-May 19, 2015
Luke Ambrose, a sexy former reality television star, has returned to make a home in Holland Springs—this time as the newest doctor for the town’s local clinic. But, he has no intentions of reopening old wounds by getting anywhere near his ex. Only, fate has other plans…

After a freak car accident, Lily Sawyer wakes up in the hospital, remembering two very important things about her life. One, she’s a dance teacher. Two, she’s married to her high school sweetheart, Luke. Only, she can’t figure out why he’s so distant.

Unable to abandon Lily in a time of crisis for the second time, Luke pretends to be the husband she needs until reality replaces fantasy and neither of them can deny the passion threatens to consume them.

But, when Lily begins to regain her memory, will she leave him once again, or give their love the second chance it deserves?
Goodreads
iTunes Preorder

♥♥♥


The Christmas Bride (Book 4)-December 1, 2015
Navy SEAL Logan Ambrose has come home for the holidays, ready and willing to propose to his longtime girlfriend and leave the military. Only, the homecoming he expected is suddenly derailed when he discovers her in bed with his best friend. So, what’s a guy to do, but head home, get drunk… and wake up married to a woman he doesn’t recognize.

Willow Vaughn has been in love with Logan forever, but when he left town, she gave up hope of ever making him hers. So, when fate strikes and the two run into each other in Vegas, Willow jumps at the chance to be with him. But,never in her wildest dreams did she expect to wind up married to the hot military man.

This should be easy to explain to their families…only, the two of them are not sure what to say or do—stay married or pretend the whole thing never happened?
Goodreads
iTunes Preorder


About the author:
New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.

Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Collision by Evie Harper **AVAILABLE NOW**

•°*°• NEW RELEASE •°*°•
Collision #1 (Portland Street Kings) by Evie Harper Author

#OneClickNow #NewRelease #ItsLive




It's Live!!! Get CLASH now!!


AVAILABLE NOW





Synopsis

Clash (verb): to conflict, disagree.
It might be fair to say that I despise Macy Carrington. She slings insults with precision, not caring about the destruction she leaves in her wake. We clash in a battle of wills every time we’re around each other, and yet… I still fantasize about being lodged deep within her body.

Clash (verb): to come together or collide.
I have never encountered someone that grates me the way Cal Carson does. His pompous, arrogant demeanor. A holier-than-thou attitude. Any interaction with “Saint Cal” ends in a verbal clash of epic proportions, and yet… there’s no one I’d rather have in my bed than him.

Clash (noun): a battle, fight or skirmish.
Her breathy moans mingle with the sound of our flesh coming together, clashing with the silence that surrounds us, dispelling any notions I once had about Macy Carrington.
Maybe I can break down her walls if we can call a truce to this battle.
He whispers filthy words in my ear, provoking feelings I never knew were possible. The burning desire in his touch clashes with everything I once believed about Cal Carson.
Maybe he can be the balm I need to soothe my broken soul, if only temporarily.

**Clash is the first book in this Legal Affairs trilogy and is releasing on 4/7/15. Grind will be released on 4/21/15 and Yield will be released on 5/5/15.


About the Author:
 photo SawyerBennett_zps59043f28.jpg
USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn't have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.





Defining Love Cover Reveal & Giveaway

CR Banner - Defining Love

This is a serial romance told in 3 parts. Each volume will be released a week after the previous. Wondering why? Read the exclusive interview with answer HERE.


Title: Defining Love (Volume I, II & III) 
Author: Elizabeth Reyes 
Genre: NA | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: TBD
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00037]
AddtoGoodreads
Synopsis

Being friends before becoming lovers makes for stronger relationships.

Aaron and Henrietta can certainly attest to this. It takes time to develop the kind of deep relationship each is in. Both are committed and fiercely loyal to a lover they each consider their best friend.

Then one night Aaron and Henri meet.

After a single conversation, neither can explain the profound connection they’re feeling. Is it intrigue? Lust? How can one chance meeting—one conversation–possibly have them questioning everything they ever believed about love?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00037]
AddtoGoodreads
Synopsis

Denial is a dangerous part of desire.

Aaron offers Henrietta a position at his business and she takes it—despite the intense connection they felt the day they met. While neither can deny they're feeling something, both are in committed relationships with someone they love profoundly. Neither would ever dream of acting on something that's clearly just a physical attraction.

But sometimes your mind takes longer to accept what your heart already knows . . .

 
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00037]
AddtoGoodreads
Synopsis


Their hearts have belonged to their significant others for years . . . and then they met each other.

Doing the right thing means cheating is not an option.
 
So it's time to decide.
Should Aaron and Henri stay with the ones they love or take a chance on something so extraordinary it's impossible to even explain—understand.
 
Making such a life-altering decision is truly scary.
But even more scary than that?
Regret.

Defining Love. Which is the forever kind?

About Elizabeth Reyes
Elizabeth ReyesUSA Today Bestselling Author, Elizabeth Reyes continues to answer to her calling on a daily basis. Since releasing her debut novel Forever Mine (Moreno Brothers #1) in 2010 she has now published 9 full length novels total and fast at work on the next. The excitement her Moreno Brothers, 5th Street, and Fate series have garnered has far exceeded her wildest dreams. It is with as much excitement that she'll continue to put out books related to these series as well as introduce brand new ones very soon. In 2014 she will take her next step in the exciting world of writing and publish her first traditionally published book with Simon & Schuster/Atria. But she will continue putting out self-published books as well.
Giveaway (2)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 6, 2015

LIFT- Authors Raising Autism Awareness

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April is Autism Awareness month, and the romance reading community is celebrating!
1 in 68 children is diagnosed with Autism every year, making it the fastest growing and one of the most prevalent developmental disabilities. Authors Ginger Scott and Kennedy Ryan have organized a MegaGiveaway called LIFT featuring more than 50 authors to raise awareness and acceptance! Each Monday in April, a new rafflecopter will go live, loaded with e-books, audio books, swag packs, signed paperbacks and gift cards from these amazing authors doing their part to LIFT4Autism. (scroll down for this week's rafflecopter!)
And there's LIFTWear - 4 styles to choose from! All proceeds from the LIFT t-shirts will go to a national autism organization. Order t-shirts HERE until MONDAY, APRIL 13!

LIFT tshirt
Good luck and #LIFTOff!
 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NEW Covers and Excerpt from upcoming release of FURY

The much anticipated release of Fisher Amelie's third standalone installment of The Seven Deadly Series, FURY, finally has a release date! Stay tuned below for the reveals of her new covers for VAIN and GREED, a chapter from FURY, as well as the heart-stopping trailer for FURY, due out May 4th, 2015.

Prepare Yourselves.

About FURY:
Revenge is an euphoric thing. Trust me on this. Nothing compares to the release you get when you ruin someone’s life. When they’ve stolen important things. Things that didn’t belong to them. Things I revel in making them pay for.
What? Have I offended you? I’m not here to appeal to your delicate senses. I have no intention of placating your wishes or living within your personal belief system nor do I care if you hate me. And you will hate me. Because I’m a brutal, savage, cold-blooded murderer and I’m here for my revenge.
I’m Ethan Moonsong...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most sacrificing man to the most feared and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.


Fury May 4
 

The new cover for the first standalone in The Seven Deadly Series, VAIN.

Vain_New

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble

The new cover for the second standalone in The Seven Deadly Series, GREED.

greed_BookCover5x8_BW_380

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble

And now for an excerpt from FURY, due out May 4th, 2015...

I heard a snap and the light cracked on, piercing through my closed lids. My head pounded and I groaned then rolled over, pulling my cover over my head to drown out the source of my pain.
“Get up,” a deep voice commanded. “Get up,” he continued, kicking my shoe.
“Dad,” I rasped. “I’m hungover and feel like shit.”
He was silent for a moment so I pulled the cover down just enough to see his face. He was not amused.
“Ethan, watch your language, get your butt up, and find a job.” I didn’t answer him. I had nothing to say that would please him. “And while you’re at it, stop this ridiculous drinkin’, son.”
I sat up, ran my hands through my long black hair and wrapped the length around my fist. I sat back against the wall, reveling in how cool it was, and tried not to vomit.
“Did you see them today?” I asked him, unable to help myself.
My dad removed his hat and leaned against the jamb, scrubbing his face with his free hand. “You like to torture yourself,” he said, shaking his head then sighing. “You remind me so much of your mama.”
The mere mention of my mother sent me spiraling down once more in depression. We’d lost her a few years before and I was still in agony. That, coupled with the fact that Spencer Blackwell stole my girl right out from underneath my nose, was enough for me to drink to excess every night. I hate him.
“Are they,” I swallowed, afraid of his answer, “are they together now?”
My father sighed again. “Ethan, get dressed.”
“Are they?” I asked again, letting my hand drop to my side. My hair slid with it and cascaded down my back.
“You are a stubborn boy. Yes, okay? Yes, they’re together. All the more reason to move on, son.”
My body suddenly weighed a thousand pounds and I felt my head reeling. So it was true then. They were together and they would probably get married and I was going to have to sit there in that godforsaken small town and watch it all happen. I was going to get a front row seat to my own misery.
I nodded once, rested my hands on my knees for a brief moment, then ran past my dad, shouldering him as I did so and nearly knocking him over before making it to the small bathroom across the hall and retching everything in my stomach into the toilet.
My dad stood in the bathroom doorway shaking his head in disappointment. When I was done, I fell back into the wall. That look shamed me to my core. Any time my dad felt let down, I felt the weight of my disgrace so heavy the only thing I could think to dull the ache was to drink myself into a stupor. It was a vicious cycle.
I let my hair cascade over my face. I heard the old wood floor creak beneath his feet as he left without another word and jumped when the front door slammed. My eyes closed as my head pounded.
The claw foot tub sat to my left so I leaned up and turned on the water, slowly removing my clothing one piece at time. Each movement felt like a hammer slamming into my head.
“God,” I groaned. “I am an idiot.”
I stood then stepped underneath the warm water and just stood in silence, letting the water absorb into my hair and seep into my skin. I breathed in the steam deeply. I was miserable. Not just physically but my heart was the heaviest it’d felt since my mom passed and I had no one to blame but Spencer Blackwell for that.
The asshole who rode into my life under the guise of helping his sister only to yank what I thought was a stable foundation right out from underneath me. He stole from me, a bona fide thief, and I wanted to make him pay. No, I needed to make him pay.
But how?
I finished showering and threw a towel around my waist, stepping from the tub and toppling onto my bed when I reached my room and fell to sleep, not even bothering to dress myself. I fell quickly, fantasizing about my revenge.
I must have slept for hours because when I woke, it was pitch black outside. I rolled onto my side and checked my alarm clock. Eleven o’clock. Perfect timing, I thought.
I sat up and tucked my towel around my waist a little tighter, stood and went straight for my dresser. I grabbed a pair of boxers and socks and put those on before heading for my closet and tossing an old, worn pair of jeans on, a thermal and an old tee. I brushed my teeth, grabbed my wallet and keys, threw on my boots and headed toward my piece of shit truck.
I knew exactly where I was going because it was where I planned on going every night until I forgot about Caroline Hunt.
My truck started but barely and I tore out of our driveway not bothering with my seatbelt, kicking up dust and rocks as my tires spun against the loose gravel. I’d replaced my stereo because I couldn’t stand radio, at least not Kalispell radio, and plugged my phone into the audio cable. Bastille’s Dreams remake blasted and I turned it up, letting the painful lyrics wash over me, fueling my desire to get plastered as quickly as possible.
I entertained myself with thoughts of strangling Spencer Blackwell with both hands then beating the crap out of him with my fists. Bastard. I pulled into the local pub and put my piece into park before tucking my left foot into the emergency brake.
I disconnected my phone and the stereo went silent, reminding me of how alone I really was. I turned the engine off and absolute silence surrounded me. I couldn’t take it. My door creaked with age as it swung open and I slammed it shut, unable not to. The fury raging in my blood was more than I could contain.
Before heading inside, my hand went to the empty space between the cab and the bed and searched for the bottle of whiskey I always had wedged in between. I took a large swig, not wanting to spend too much of my savings on the liquor inside the crap establishment. After all, I was going to need it. Revenge was a costly business.
I took one more swig for good measure and wedged it back in its usual place then wiped my mouth on the back of my sleeve. My hair swung heavy in my eyes. It was still a little wet from my shower and I thought about tying it back with the extra leather tie I usually kept in my glove compartment but thought better of it. It helped me hide and I wanted to hide.
I looked around me. The lot was full but I only recognized a few cars this time which was good because I had no intention of making conversation. Regardless, most of Kalispell had stopped trying because I’d rarely done any responding since Cricket cut out my fucking heart and ate it raw. The hair was only insurance.
I took two deep draws of air, gulping it down, desperate for it to soothe me but, of course, it didn’t. I let each escape my lips in shaky breaths and clenched my fists over and over before deciding to head inside.
My boots crunched the gravel beneath my feet as I headed toward the door. When I entered, I ducked my head toward the floor and let my hair cover me, not that it did any good other than to conceal me. I could still feel the heat of their stares, though, still feel the pity in their gazes. I wanted so badly to yell at them to fuck off but I kept as much composure as possible. I couldn’t get kicked out of the only real bar in Kalispell.
I picked a stool at the end of the bar, the same stool I always did in the corner and in the back because it was dark. I sat and met Vi’s eyes. She sauntered over to me, placing her elbows on the bar top, giving me a clear view of her generous chest. I held back my eye roll.
“Hello, darlin’,” she drawled. “You look like shit.”
“The usual, Vi,” I told her as quietly as I could.
“How ‘bout a kiss then first?” she asked, leaning in a bit more.
“Christ, Vi, how many times? Huh? Just get me the gosh damn drink.”
She laughed. “Already worked up then, I see. I like it,” she said, winking.
Vi, or Violet, was thirty-nine years old, had lived in Kalispell her entire life, and had worked as a bartender for over fifteen years. I could tell at one time Vi had been a beautiful woman but I could also tell she had heard many hollow promises from equally hollow men and that she obviously believed them all. Otherwise, why would she still be there? I watched her tired eyes and her slightly too-forced smile. She had the look of someone who used to be chased but had graduated to the chaser. She looked miserable.
She left and returned with an empty glass and a bottle of Jack. She set the glass on the bar and filled it to the brim. She was being generous. She was always this way. She told me once she hoped I would drink it all away and decide to take her up on her offer. I told her that would be a cold day in hell, to which she only laughed.
“Drink up, buttercup,” she said, smiling lasciviously.
“I will,” I told the bar top.
I watched the world around me through the breaks in the hanging strands and six glasses later, I was starting to finally feel numb. I lifted my head a little feeling slightly relieved, feeling like I could breathe a little deeper now that the ache wasn’t so severe. I continued to search the crowd, not knowing who I was really looking for.
A quiet but persistent nagging awareness took residence in my chest for some unknown reason as I watched a girl dance on her own in the middle of the dance floor. Others around her paid no attention to her but she was the first person my eyes were drawn to. I studied her.
Her hair was tucked into a blue scarf, little tendrils peeking through and grazing across her neck whenever she moved. She was extraordinarily tall and her hips and rear end were more indulgent than I’d ever considered before. She turned slightly, giving me her silhouette. Her stomach was flat and her breasts were full. She was beautiful, I could tell, even if I couldn’t see her fully through the low lights.
“Jeez,” I said, swiping a hand down my face. “I’ve had too much.”
But I still couldn’t stop watching her. She wore worn jean cut offs, a fitted button up with the sleeves rolled up her forearms and ankle boots. She rolled her shoulders playfully, enticing someone she knew just off the dance floor. Another girl joined her side and they did the robot. She threw her head back and laughed.
This shocked me almost sober. “That laugh,” I whispered to myself. “That laugh,” I repeated. I knew it but couldn’t quite place it.
She took her friend’s hand and twirled her around the floor vivaciously. She was so full of life. So my exact opposite.
She lightheartedly skipped in place and raised an arm in salute to her friend before turning toward me.
That’s when I got a good, clear look at her. I gasped out loud and placed my hand on the back of my head, my elbow on the bartop, ducking my head down lower to hide myself further.
Please, please, please do not recognize me, I thought, still watching her from the corner of my eye.
She stood two seats down from me. “Vi!” she said, laughing a little. “Vi!”
Vi turned toward her. “Hey, baby! What’ll it be?”
“Can I have a water, please?” she asked, sitting down and releasing a breath of exhaustion. She continued to smile, though, and it ate a little at my gut.
“Of course,” Vi answered and started to pour water into a clear plastic cup. Vi’s eyes pinched a little. “Hey?” she said.
“Yeah?” she asked.
“How come I never see you drink anything harder?”
Her face fell a little but picked right back up. No one would have noticed it but me. “I’ve never had good luck with alcohol,” she admitted a bit sadly.
Vi was quick enough to recognize something there that didn’t want to be said and let it go with a nod, handing over the water without another word.
“Vi!” someone else called out and she walked their direction.
She took a long drink from her water and set it down, turning toward the crowd and surveying the dancers. A small smile tugged at the corner of her mouth, some private joke she shared with herself.
I looked on her for a long time. Long enough for my heart to calm itself. Long enough to struggle with myself in an internal argument. Finally, I decided that I wasn’t watching her because I found her attractive, though I knew she was. Only that I was wondering what she was doing there.
She turned around in her seat after catching her breath and glanced at me. For a moment, I believed she didn’t recognize me but I was wrong. A second scan confirmed it for her. She leaned in and narrowed her eyes. Shit.
Ethan?” she asked. “Is that you?”
“Hello, Finley,” I answered.

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FisherAmelie   About Fisher Amelie: Fisher Amelie resides in the South with her kick ace husband slash soul mate. She earned her first 'mama' patch in 2009. She also lives with her Weim, 'Jonah', and her Beta, 'Whale'. All these living creatures keep the belly of her life full, sometimes to the point of gluttony, but she doesn't mind all that much because life isn't worth living if it isn't entertaining, right? Fisher is the author of The Seven Deadly Series, The Sleepless Series, and Leaving Series, and was a semi-finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award.