Top Secret by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy ~ Cover, Blurb and Chapter Reveal!

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Bestselling authors Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy return with their first Male / Male romance in 3 years.

LobsterShorts, 21
Jock. Secretly a science geek. Hot AF.

LobsterShorts: So. Here goes. For her birthday, my girlfriend wants…a threesome.

SinnerThree: Then you’ve come to the right hookup app.

LobsterShorts: Have you done this sort of thing before? With another guy?

SinnerThree: All the time. I’m an equal opportunity player. You?

LobsterShorts: [crickets!]

SinnerThree, 21
Finance major. Secretly a male dancer. Hot AF. 

SinnerThree: Well, I’m down if you are. My life is kind of a mess right now. School, work, family stress. Oh, and I live next door to the most annoying dude in the world. I need the distraction. Are you sure you want this?

LobsterShorts: I might want it a little more than I’m willing to admit.

SinnerThree: Hey, nothing wrong with pushing your boundaries…

LobsterShorts: Tell that to my control-freak father. Anyway. What if this threesome is awkward?

SinnerThree: Then it’s awkward. It’s not like we’ll ever have to see each other again. Right? Just promise you won’t fall in love with me.

LobsterShorts: Now wouldn’t that be life-changing…

 

Q&A about Top Secret:

Q: Have we met these characters before in another book?
A: No! These guys are brand new, and we can’t wait for you to meet them.

Q: Is this story MM? Or is it a MMF / MFM / menage?
A: This book is MM.

Q: Is this a love triangle story?
A: Not really. You’ll see.

Purchase Links

Apple: https://geni.us/TopSecretApple

Kobo: https://geni.us/TopSecretKobo

Nook: https://geni.us/TopSecretNook

Goodreads: https://geni.us/TopSecretGoodreads

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Chapter One

Keaton

“Look,” Annika whispers in my ear. Under the table, her small hand squeezes my thigh, while her cheek gently nudges my chin toward the doorway. “He’s cute.”

“Subtle,” I tease before giving the object of her attention a cursory glance. He’s just a tall guy with brown hair, nothing special as far as I can tell. “How about we save this conversation for later?”

She rolls her eyes. “We both know there won’t be a conversation, Keaton. You like playing along, but you won’t actually go through with it.” This time she forgets to lower her voice.

“Go through with what?” one of my frat brothers asks from across the table. Tanner, Judd, and I had popped into the campus Starbucks for a caffeine fix after practice. Annika’s next class is directly across the street, so she’d come to say hi before class.

“Nothing,” I tell Tanner.

If you can call your girlfriend wanting a threesome with another dude “nothing.”

Yup, my girlfriend wants a threesome. And here I’d thought that, after six years together, Annika couldn’t surprise me anymore.

She and I have been inseparable since junior year of high school. I know every last detail about her, from her food preferences to her pet peeves. I know she gets anxiety in long lines, that she sneezes any time she gets a whiff of cinnamon, that she loves the beach but hates skiing.

What I didn’t know was that my girlfriend fantasizes about threesomes. The first time she brought it up, I thought she was kidding around. Annika Schiffer, heiress to a home-furnishings fortune, wants to bang two guys at the same time? Yeah right.

My girl is the president of her sorority, wears a pearl necklace (and not the fun kind) on a daily basis, and made me wait until we were eighteen to lose our virginities to each other. Don’t get me wrong—she’s not some uptight rich bitch with a stick up her butt. She’s fun and warm and fierce when someone tries to mess with her or her loved ones.

But she’s also… I’ll just say it: vanilla.

I didn’t think she was serious about the threesome thing until last week, when I’d asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she brought up the idea again.

I move my lips to her ear so Tanner and Judd can’t overhear. “Don’t you worry, babe, there’ll be more than just a conversation,” I rasp.

She shivers, and then flashes me a dazzling smile. Her face is flawless. Classic features, pouty lips, and smooth skin that’s just the right amount of dewy. She works hard and spends a lot of money for that skin. I’ve been in her bathroom at the sorority house, so I’ve seen all the products she puts on her face to keep it looking so perfect. Not to mention the monthly facials, which require her to fly to New York every month because this little college town we live in doesn’t have a “competent aesthetician”—her words, not mine.

It helps that her father owns a helicopter that can accommodate her monthly treks. I’m not one to judge, though. My dad has his own jet.

“I can’t wait,” she says before hopping off my lap. “Come over tonight after practice, okay, baby? I have to go to class now.”

“I’ll see you later.”

“Bye, boys.” Annika’s hand flutters in a wave on her way to the door.

“Later!” Tanner calls after her. And if I’m not mistaken, he takes a longing look at her ass.

“Dude,” I say. “If you’re going to eye-fuck my girlfriend, you could at least be subtle about it.”

“Why?” Tanner argues. “She’d be flattered. And you should know how good you’ve got it. Besides, I’m harmless.” He flashes me a big smile. “What are we doing this weekend, anyway?” Tanner asks. “The Presidential Dance-off, right?”

I shake my head. “That’s, like, in two weeks, man.”

“Really? Why did I think it was sooner?”

“Because you’re stupid,” Judd offers helpfully.

Tanner gives him the finger, before turning back to me. “Do you know what you’re doing for yours yet?”

I have no clue. And no, dancing isn’t an actual requirement for our fraternity’s presidential race. But it used to be. A few decades ago, the candidates running for frat president decided a dance-off was the only way to decide who was more fit to lead. Hence, the Presidential Dance-off was born. On our living room walls, there are old photos of well-dressed men with slicked-back hair and girls in poodle skirts on their arms.

My fraternity has long-held traditions that began well before the invention of the red Solo cup. But these days, Alpha Delta has evolved. Or devolved, depending who you ask. Instead of perfecting his twist and his mashed potato, the presidential candidate is expected to dazzle the other members by planning a kickass event. I’m talking epic. Monumental. The kind of party that will be remembered for years to come.

Although, like dance moves, I’m not entirely sure that party planning is a solid indicator of what makes a good president. Sure, frats throw a lot of parties, but there’s a social committee for that.

The role of president is actually pretty lame, according to Reedsy, our current prez. He pulled me aside after I threw my name in the race and admitted that it’s a boring gig and that I should reconsider. “So much fucking responsibility on your shoulders, dude,” he’d bemoaned.

For a moment, I’d almost bailed. To be honest, I’m only running because my dad was president of Alpha Delt in his heyday, and my granddad before him. But that’s also the reason I couldn’t bail. My father would lose his shit if the Hayworth legacy ended with me.

So I have ten days to plan a legendary party.

“Maybe I can just hire an event planner?” I suggest.

“No way.” Judd’s response is immediate. “If that fuckhead Bailey finds out, he’ll have you impeached.”

“You can’t impeach someone until he’s elected,” Tanner points out.

Still, I don’t want to be accused of cheating. What a pain in the ass this whole thing is. “We can brainstorm about this on Sunday night. We have a game to win on Saturday.”

“Oh, we’re going to win,” Tanner promises.

But I’m not so sure. Not only am I worried about the Northern Mass offense, I think my father is driving up for the game. So winning isn’t even enough. If the Northern Mass players aren’t crying into their helmets after the fourth quarter, my father will still give me hell at brunch the next day.

And here I thought weekends were meant to be relaxing.

“Fine,” Judd says. “We’ll talk about your campaign after the other meeting on Sunday night.”

“What other meeting?” I search my brain and come up empty.

“Pledge Committee,” he says, gulping the last of his coffee.

Oh, phew. “I don’t have to go to that one. I’m not on PC this year.”

“But I sent you that email?” Judd whines. “I told you I need you there. Initiation night is coming up and my committee is lame.”

“Who’s on it, anyway? What do you have planned?” Note to self: be conveniently unavailable on Sunday night. There is no way I’m sitting on the Pledge Committee again. Dealing with last year’s pledge class was a total pain in the ass.

“There’s Ahmad, who’s smart but boring. Paul, who’s just boring. Owen, who’s fun but not exactly creative. And Paxton, who’s just a tool.” He sighs. “Whatever. At least Bailey isn’t on it this time. Remember what a buzz kill he was last year? I fucking hate that guy.”

No big secret there. Judd’s had it in for Luke Bailey ever since the guy rushed Alpha Delt sophomore year. And say what you will about Judd, but he’s not an asshole unless he feels you’ve given him a reason. He’s a bro to the core—he believes in male bonding, high fives, and, in his mind, a friendship isn’t official unless you’ve bled together, partied together, and nursed your twin hangovers the morning after.

Luke Bailey doesn’t subscribe to this philosophy. The moment he scoffed at Judd’s attempt at a fist bump, he earned himself an enemy in Judd Keller.

Since then, their tumultuous acquaintanceship has only gotten worse. Luke is a cocky ass when he wants to be, and Judd hates feeling like he’s being mocked or judged.

Oh, and then Bailey banged Judd’s ex. So there’s that.

“You exert too much mental energy on that guy,” Tanner informs Judd. Tanner’s a psych major, so he’s constantly dishing out (pretty good) advice that everyone mostly ignores. “Holding onto anger isn’t conducive to robust mental health.”

“First of all, say the word robust one more time and I’ll clock you. You know how I feel about that, bro.” Indignation flashes in Judd eyes. “And second of all, Luke Bailey screwed my girlfriend! I’m never not gonna be angry at that prick.”

Ex-girlfriend,” I hedge, but it earns me a deep scowl from Judd. The two of us are teammates, and I do feel loyalty to him, but I’m also not afraid to call it like it is. “You and Therese were broken up for months.”

“Me and Therese are never broken up. Sure, we take short breaks, a hiatus or two. But she’s my girl,” Judd says tightly. “Everybody knows that.”

“Bailey says he didn’t,” Tanner says.

“That’s bullshit. He’s a liar. And now he’s trying to screw K over!” Judd growls. “He joined the presidential race to get back at me. I just know it.”

“You think?” Tanner looks skeptical. “Because that would be sociopathic lengths to go to just to spite you.”

“Yeah,” I agree with a chuckle. “Bailey’s a prick, but I can’t see him taking on the huge responsibility of running a fraternity just to flip you the metaphorical bird.” Although if I’m being honest, I don’t know why Luke Bailey is running for prez. The guy hasn’t shown much interest in frat activities since he joined us.

“He totally would,” Judd argues.

“Hey, we got class now,” Tanner reminds our sulking buddy. “We should book it over there.”

“Fine.” Judd scrapes his chair back and gets to his feet. His cloudy gaze meets mine again. “I’m serious, man. Bailey is bad news, and we need to kick his ass in this campaign. There’s no way I’m letting him be our president.”

“Don’t worry. He won’t be.”

Once my friends are gone, I let out a tired sigh. I don’t particularly care about Judd’s beef with Bailey at the moment. I have a football game to win, a campaign to plan, and a father to impress.

And a girlfriend to please.

I go up to the counter to get a refill, then settle in my cozy corner of the coffeehouse and open the app I downloaded last night. I hadn’t lied to Annika earlier—her birthday request is in the forefront of my mind. I just need to do some investigating first.

Welcome to Kink!

Add a profile pic.

Add bio.

I’d wanted to fill all this out last night, but my frat brothers suckered me into an epic session of Red Dead Redemption that lasted till three a.m. Now I quickly scroll through the camera roll on my phone until I find a suitable one. It’s of Annika and me, taken in Easthampton last summer. She looks smokin’ hot in a teeny string bikini, and my abs are looking tight, if I do say so myself. I crop out our faces and load the photo.

I skip the bio for now, because I’m feeling impatient. I want to see what this app has to offer more than I want to break my brain thinking of one hundred and forty-five characters to describe how my girlfriend wants to bang two men at the same time.

Actually, that’s pretty much the gist of it.

Still, I’m curious to check out the goods. Kink is more hookup app than dating app, and I’m pleased to discover it lets you search for users who’ve expressed interest in certain arrangements.

I click on the threesome box in the search section. There are an eye-opening number of options, combinations that hadn’t even occurred to me. Annika wants another guy, though, so I ponder the easiest combos.

m/f/m

m/m/f

My finger hovers over the m/f/m button. The other option means the men are allowed to touch, I think. It’s the moment of truth. Some guys would hate this idea. I don’t, though. I’m a scientist. Experimenting is what I do.

I even dreamt about sex with men once. Or twice. I never mentioned that to Annika. But why would I? I’ve also dreamt of meeting a dragon who smoked clove cigarettes. The things my brain invents while I’m sleeping aren’t newsworthy.

But I’d be lying if I said that Annika’s shocking birthday request turns me off. I’ll try anything once. And the app lets you click as many boxes as you want. So after looking over my shoulder once more just to make sure nobody I know is watching, I tap both options and usher in the possibility of taking a walk on the wild side.

The threesome has to be with a stranger, though. I’m certain that any one of my frat brothers would be down to help me give my girl a night to remember. Well, except Dan, who’s only down for dudes. And, well, Bailey, who thinks I’m an ass. I think he’s an ass, too, so I guess we’re even.

But I can’t do this with someone I know. What if the whole night is awkward as fuck? If it’s a brother, I’ll still have to live with him. If it’s a teammate, I’ll still have to see him in the locker room.

And then there’s the opposite scenario. What if it’s not awkward as fuck? What if I like it a whole lot?

Yeah, I don’t want my buddies judging me. A stranger for the win, then.

I lean back in my chair and start swiping.

About The Authors

Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.

The Ivy Years is her college hockey series. Centered around the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college, The Year We Fell Down began breaking hearts in March, 2014. There are three novels and a novella in the series so far. See http://www.sarinabowen.com/TheIvyYears for updates.

HIM is a bestselling sexy, sporty hockey LGBT novel co-written with Elle Kennedy.

For lovers of angsty snowboarders, Sarina also writes the Gravity series, featuring snow sports heroes.

Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, six chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.

She would be honored to connect with you at http://www.sarinabowen.com.

Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

 

 

 

 

 

Making Up by Helena Hunting ~ Cover Reveal!

Making Up, an all-new laugh-out-loud romantic comedy standalone from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting is coming July 16th, and we have the smoking hot cover!

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Cosy Felton is great at her job—she knows just how to handle the awkwardness that comes with working at an adult toy store. So when the hottest guy she’s ever seen walks into the shop looking completely overwhelmed, she’s more than happy to turn on the charm and help him purchase all of the items on his list.

Griffin Mills is using his business trip in Las Vegas as a chance to escape the broken pieces of his life in New York City. The last thing he wants is to be put in charge of buying gag gifts for his friend’s bachelor party. Despite being totally out of his element, and mortified by the whole experience, Griffin is pleasantly surprised when he finds himself attracted to the sales girl that helped him.

As skeptical as Cosy may be of Griffin’s motivations, there’s something about him that intrigues her. But sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas and when real life gets in the way, all bets are off. Filled with hilariously awkward situations and enough sexual chemistry to power Sin City, Making Up is the next standalone in the Shacking Up world.

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Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2GEt63s

AppleBooks: Coming Soon!

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/MakingUp

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About Helena

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

 

Connect with Helena

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The Candle Palace by Devney Perry ~ Cover Reveal!

 

 

Sometimes a single flame can ignite a love that lasts a lifetime. 

Milo Phillips knows the meaning of pain. Suffering through
the most intense physical agony of his life, he’s confined to a hospital bed to bear it alone. More than once, he wishes he’d died in the explosion that melted and mangled his skin. Darkness consumes him, snuffing all the joy in his life and leaving an empty hole in its place.


But one day, a flicker of light sneaks into his hospital room, driving away some of the hopelessness. For the first time in months, pain isn’t all he feels.

The flicker’s name is Sara Foster, his new nurse. Milo just hopes that Sara can see past his scars. Because underneath, his heart has begun beating again just for her.
 
PRE-ORDER NOW
 
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Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.

 

Exquisitely Broken by M. Jay Granberry ~ Cover Reveal!

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Title: Exquisitely Broken
Author: M. Jay Granberry
Series: 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Day: June 11, 2019
Cover Designer: Najla Qambers

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Exquisitely Broken is a second chance romance set in the glittery world of Las Vegas, Nevada.Four years ago, one bad decision irrevocably destroyed a six-year relationship. There are some mistakes you can’t get over, somethings that an apology can’t fix.Sinclair James walked away from Jacob Johnson with her heart in pieces and her pride in shreds. She took the pain of betrayal and harnessed it, turned it into a bestselling album that changed her life. She was no longer the girl defined by what she didn’t have because she had everything, money, fame, an award-winning album. But there was always something missing. Some small shard of what use to be.

Now she’s back, her band unknowingly signing a yearlong residency to work for a new hotel on the Las Vegas Strip and subsequently Jacob Johnson.

Back in the same city, working for the same hotel, sparks that had died to embers suddenly burst into flame. Jacob finally has a second chance to remind Sinclair just how good they were, just how good they can be again.

This time he refuses to her go. He can’t. He works to prove to Sinclair he’s worth a second chance. That sometimes love can be enough to erase a disastrous past and embrace a promising future.

History seems to repeat itself as outside forces seem determined to keep them apart. But in the end their love proves strong enough to overcome the past and blaze the way for their future.

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PRE-ORDER Megan

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M. Jay Granberry is first and foremost an insatiable reader.Among her favorite things are classic fairy tales, smutty books where characters have heart, old lady sweaters (preferably chunky knit), gift baskets (giving not receiving), and charcuterie trays (green olives, smoked cheese, and Genoa salami).She is a true Las Vegas native, the one in Nevada not New Mexico, and to answer the most frequently asked questions about growing up in Sin City…

  • No, she doesn’t live in a hotel.
  • No, she has never been a stripper although she does know some.
  • Prostitution is absolutely illegal in Clark County (Las Vegas)!
  • And what happens in Vegas does indeed stay in Vegas.  
  • M. Jay earned a degree in words and stories, and after fifteen plus years of doing everything other than writing, she penned her first novel.

Giving a voice to characters, that are strong yet fragile, that are sometimes uncomfortably real, that express love in dirtiest ways with the sweetest sentiments is honestly a dream come true.Megan-3

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Angel by Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine ~ Cover & Blurb Reveal!

ANGEL

Book Three of the Fallen Angel Series

An MM Rock Romance

 ELLA FRANK    BROOKE BLAINE 

ANGEL AMAZON

Cover Design by Hang Le
Photography by Eric Battershell

USA TODAY bestselling authors Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine conclude the story of sexy Fallen Angel rockers Viper and Halo in ANGEL.

As Fallen Angel embarks on their worldwide Corruption tour, frontman Halo is forced to deal with his newfound fame, as well as his intense feelings for his bandmate, Viper.

Because now Halo has everything he ever dreamed of and one surprise he never expected: a boyfriend.

And Viper has the one thing he never thought he wanted but found himself chasing down: a relationship.

From the very beginning, they were drawn to each other, but can these polar opposites find lasting love, or will their flame burn out?

ANGEL is the third book of the Fallen Angel Series and should be read following HALO and VIPER. Halo and Viper’s story concludes in ANGEL.

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PRE-ORDER ANGEL’S book now!

ANGEL (Fallen Angel #3) is out 4/25/19… and it can be all yours here:

ANGEL (Fallen Angel Book Three)

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2SOZtQI

Amazon Universal: mybook.to/AngelFallenAngel

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43900256-angel

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Start the series today!

HALO (Fallen Angel Book One)

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Etgv2W

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/HaloFallenAngel

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43900158-halo


VIPER (Fallen Angel Book Two)

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2HkSdKl

Amazon Universal: mybook.to/ViperFallenAngel

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43900250-viper

 

 

 

N9NE: The Tale of Kevin Clearwater by T.M. Frazier ~ Cover Reveal!

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Nine: The Tale of Kevin Clearwater, the highly anticipated new standalone from USA Today bestselling author T.M. Frazier is coming June 18th and we have the sexy cover!

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Nine lives.

Nine inches.

One chance to make her his.

Preppy’s brother is about to live up to the family legacy in more ways than one.

This is the story of Nine, The Tale of Kevin Clearwater.

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Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CWvzF7

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2HZ2zka

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/N9NE

Nook: http://bit.ly/2uNFgS6

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Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2U1ObOV

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‘wrongside 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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Connect with T.M. Frazier

Facebook: http://bit.ly/TMFRAZIERBOOKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JWHAv8

GoodReads: https://amzn.to/2OjmESr

Join Frazierland:http://bit.ly/frazierland

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/t.m.frazier/

BookBub: https://bit.ly/2xtlQ4u

Twitter: @TM_Frazier

Stay up to date with T.M. by signing up for her mailing list: http://bit.ly/TMFrazier Website: http://www.tmfrazierbooks.com

For Text Alerts: TEXT “TMFRAZIER” TO 77948

*Standard text messaging rates apply*

 

Bad Saint by Monica James ~ Cover, Blurb & Excerpt Reveal!

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BAD SAINT
Volume One
Monica Jamesz
Release date: May 6th 2019
Series: All The Pretty Things Trilogy, Volume One
Genre: Dark Romance
Cover Designer: Sommer Stein— Perfect Pear Creative Covers

Synopsis

I was kidnapped on my honeymoon by three masked men.

Blindfolded.

Bound.

Destination unknown.

I was told to stay silent and abide by their rules. But they didn’t realize I wasn’t a victim…not anymore.

The open sea was my backdrop for nine torturous days. During that time, glimmers of my fate were revealed by a man with the mysterious chartreuse-colored eyes. He should have scared me, but he didn’t.

He intrigued me. And I intrigued him.

He punished me when I didn’t listen, which was every single day. But beneath his cruelty, I sensed he was guarding a grave secret.

I was sold.

And in a game of poker, no less.

My buyer? A Russian mobster who likes to collect pretty things. Now that I know the truth, I only have one choice.

Sink or swim.

And when one fateful night presents me the opportunity, I take it. I just never anticipated my actions would leave me shipwrecked with my kidnapper.

He needs me alive. I want him dead.

But as days turn into weeks, one thing becomes clear—I should hate him…but I don’t.

My name is Willow.

His name is Saint.

Ironic, isn’t it? He bears a name that denotes nothing but holiness yet delivers nothing but hell. However, if this is hell on earth…God, save my soul.

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Pre-Order Links

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UK

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Australia

Kindle: https://tinyurl.com/y4nuggl3

Canada

Kindle: https://tinyurl.com/y2b7du7b

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Excerpt

The pillowcase and gag are certain to kill me soon, and if not, my racing heart will give out in next to no time. Arms link through mine from behind and help me stand. I know it’s the American. His fragrance gives him away. I stand wearily, but I will stagger to my death before anyone carries me.

“Ten steps,” the American whispers from behind me. I flinch at his muffled voice through the pillowcase. He stands at my back, ensuring I don’t fall. I could mistake his actions for him giving half a shit, but it’s clear that wherever I’m going, they need me alive. If not, they would have killed me already.

This isn’t a robbery. It’s a kidnapping.

Once I shakily descend the ten steps, my feet hit the sand, and in any other circumstance, I could appreciate the softness between my toes. But when I’m pushed and shoved as the American no longer seems to be near, all I can appreciate is that I’m not dead—well, not yet anyway.

Through the pillowcase, I can hear the gentle lapping of the ocean against the shore, but it’s none the wiser that three criminals are about to use it to aid in changing my world forever. When my feet tread water, I jolt with the sudden fear that they’re going to drown me. But that doesn’t make any sense.

If I’m going to survive this, I have to keep my head clear.

“Boat. In,” says someone, maybe Russian two or one. They all sound the same.

I’m yanked up—someone pulling on my floppy arms while the other lifts my legs—and I feel like a chew toy being ripped into two. Once I’m dragged onto the boat, I’m directed on where to go as someone shoves me in the back, screaming at me in a language I don’t understand.

I’m then forced down some stairs where I lose my footing and fall flat onto my stomach. Grunting on impact, I instantly search around, hoping to distinguish where I am—I’m in the bottom of the boat. The galley.

“Stay,” someone commands, ensuring I be the good dog they clearly see me as being.

Fuck them.

I rise slowly, using my hands as eyes as I feel my way around blindly. I need to find a weapon. One small enough to hide. Blood is seeping into my eyes from the wound on my temple, so I close them because I can’t see through this thick pillowcase anyway.

My fingers come into contact with what feels like a small torch. Not the weapon I had in mind, but it’ll have to do.

I’m interrupted when I hear someone tsk me before I’m being dragged by my long hair and hurled against what feels like a cushioned bench seat. The pain in my head just amplifies. “Arms behind. Hands together.”

I shakily comply, sobbing around the gag.

He reaches around me, and when the unmistakable feel of metal snaps around my wrists, I know my freedom is dwindling by the second. He yanks at the handcuffs to ensure they are tight. They are.

My breathless panting reveals my fear, but when I feel the predatory touch at the back of my calves, I freeze. Two hands glide up and down my flesh, humming in satisfaction. He’s on his knees before me.

Oh, god.

“You pretty.” His English is broken, but I’m not lost in translation. I know what he wants.

“We going to have fun, and it’ll be our secret.” Next, I feel a wet tongue lap its way up the side of my calf. The smell of cigarettes and sweat has my stomach roiling.

Adrenaline takes over, and I attempt to kick him, but he’s too fast, chuckling as he pushes down on my ankles. He then begins to bound them with coarse rope.

Once he tugs at my restraints, it sounds like he stands. I try to kick my feet out, but they’re tied to something hard beneath me. I’m bound. Hands and feet. And gagged. I’m not going anywhere.

“She tied up?” I almost sigh in relief when I hear the American. He was the only one who showed me an iota of mercy. The other two scare me. The American doesn’t.

“Yes, like a present. You want to unwrap her?”

I suddenly feel so objectified and dirty and attempt to recoil, but I can’t move. My heart is racing, and my breathing is uneven. The tears have long dried as I’m awaiting their next move.

“Shut the fuck up and let’s go.”

That was not the response I was expecting. The Russian laughs.

“Calm down, неудачник.”

“Fuck you. Up on deck now.” The American talks big and seems to be calling the shots. I wonder who he is?

My only clue to what’s going on is what I hear, and before the hatch closes, I’m presented with clue number one. “Be in Turkey soon. I hope you don’t get seasick, Saint.” Then the hatch closes, leaving me with the sound of the muted voices above me.

Turkey? Why are we going there? But more importantly, I just uncovered the name of my American captor…Saint.

Ironic, isn’t it, that someone who bears a name denoting nothing but holiness can deliver nothing but hell.

Bon voyage.  

BadSaint_FullCover_LoRes

About Monica James

Monica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson.

When she is not writing, Monica is busy running her own business, but she always finds a balance between the two. She enjoys writing honest, heartfelt, and turbulent stories, hoping to leave an imprint on her readers. She draws her inspiration from life.

She is a bestselling author in the U.S.A., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, and the U.K.

Monica James resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her wonderful family, and menagerie of animals. She is slightly obsessed with cats, chucks, and lip gloss, and secretly wishes she was a ninja on the weekends.

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