Hold Me Now by J.H. Croix ~ Release Blitz

HOLD ME NOW
J.H. Croix
Release Date: October 19

A brand new firefighter series from USA Today Bestselling Author J.H. Croix!

He’s my new roommate.
I can’t stand him, and he can’t stand me.

Russell Dane thinks he’s all that. Maybe’s he’s so hot he should come with a too-hot-to-handle sign, but he drives me crazy. Not the good kind of crazy either.

He thinks women shouldn’t be firefighters, he’s obnoxiously overprotective, and I can’t stand him. Unfortunately, my body is not getting the memo, but I’m stronger than a few confused hormones. Right?

It wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t have to work together, and if he wasn’t my boss. It definitely wouldn’t be so bad if he hadn’t gone and kissed me.

Russel & Paisley’s story is perfect for readers who love small town romance, hotshot firefighters, sassy tomboy heroines, roommate romance, frenemies to lovers, hate to love, slow burn, emotional romance with a dash of angst, plenty of steam and swoon, and a broody, protective hero.

Buy Links

Apple: https://apple.co/3wiND6j

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

Nook: https://bit.ly/3xc4Myg

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3zqrftI

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3cC9DkE

Review

Feels 3
Storyline 3.5
Steam 1
Overall Rating 3.5
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Ladyballs

Russell is a firefighter in Alaska and lives in a house his mother owns. It’s two separate apartments that share a kitchen. Paisley is an Alaskan transplant firefighter who recently moved there. She doesn’t have luck finding much as far as living but does get referred to a place where she only has to share the kitchen with someone.

Paisley and Russell work together and for some reason, they do not get along. I still don’t understand the real reason they did not get along. Paisley finds out that Russell is her new roommate. While they don’t get along at work, they are attracted to each other and now have to live together. There is another storyline dealing with Paisley’s brother and to to be honest, I don’t know why it was included.

I couldn’t seem to connect with this story and skimmed more than once. I did not feel the spark between these two. Their sexy scenes were not steamy enough for my liking. It was just an ok romance for me.

Meet J.H. Croix

USA Today Bestselling Author J. H. Croix lives in a small town in the historical farmlands of Maine with her husband and two spoiled dogs. Croix writes steamy contemporary romance with sassy women and rugged alpha men who aren’t afraid to show some emotion. Her love for quirky small-towns and the characters that inhabit them shines through in her writing. Take a walk on the wild side of romance with her bestselling novels!

Connect with J.H. Croix

Website: https://jhcroixauthor.com/

Newsletter: https://jhcroixauthor.com/subscribe/

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jhcroix/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JHCroix

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/3mCNoye

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9972333.J_H_Croix

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-h-croix

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CroixCrew

Save Me by Stacey Kennedy ~ Blog Tour w/ 4.5 Star Review!

Save Me, an all-new intriguing and steamy standalone romance in the Phoenix Book series from USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy is available now!

From USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy comes a captivating romance set in the exclusive world of the Phoenix club, where sizzling fantasies become reality…

Can this fantasy last forever?

Reporter Hazel Rose has a new assignment: locate the masked man in a photograph taken at the Phoenix sex club and snag an interview with him. The only problem? She recognizes him as her new roommate, Kieran Black. The elusive mystery man she’s been lusting after for months. But her biggest problem is that there’s no way Hazel could ever talk to Kieran about a secret sex club. His smile alone makes her blush. And after being beaten down by an emotionally cruel ex-boyfriend, Hazel has never really regained her self-confidence.

Kieran loves his sex dirty and his relationships brief. A child of a terrible divorce, Kieran has never seen the point in commitment. But suddenly, all his of best friends are getting married, and he’s beginning to realize how empty his life is. As Kieran and Hazel are both forced to attend wedding celebrations, he starts to learn more about his quiet roommate. When she explains her past struggles with relationships, he offers her a trade. He’ll fulfill all of her wildest sexual fantasies if she’ll help him understand how to be the type of partner a woman wants in a relationship.

Hazel knows this sizzling fantasy with Kieran isn’t supposed to last, but she quickly finds herself falling for the sweet, caring Kieran who is much better at relationships than he believes. But when Hazel’s job invades her personal life, she’ll have to decide what’s more important. A career that hinges on revealing Kieran’s identity or a fake relationship that is starting to feel very real…

Grab your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WuY0Hc

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

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Wi8f1L

Nook: https://bit.ly/3sQ2GTL

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3zni2BY

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3sQ2S5r

Add to Save Me to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3ylp5cV

Review

Feels 2
Storyline 4.5
Steam 4
Overall Rating 4.5
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Ladyballs

This is the 3rd book in this series. It’s a standalone and a great book! Reporter Hazel’s next assignment is to find out the identity of the hunky masked man in a picture taken at a rumored sex club. Only when she see’s the picture she absolutely knows who that masked man is! Kieran is a hot, alpha firefighter who runs a foundation for kids. He is the masked man in the picture and member of the sex club. He’s also Hazel’s friend and new roommate.

Put all this together and it gives you one steamy book! Hazel and Kieran both have issues with relationships. They are living together and she is trying to keep his identity hidden, but these two realize the growing attraction between them.

This book has it all…drama, angst, love, friendship and it’s all wrapped up in a steamy, hot bow! Their chemistry is off the charts and I loved watching these two overcome obstacles and come together. I also loved seeing Kieran’s dual life. One as a firefighter putting out fires and the other life as a sex club member starting fires!

Start the series now!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3k3koxC

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

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Zt2H2D

Nook: https://bit.ly/33h9Vb9

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3hobPvr

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2ZqBBJC

About Stacey Kennedy

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

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

Connect with Stacey

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2GndEc8
Website: http://bit.ly/38IpidY
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/30UzJIw
Facebook: http://bit.ly/38IX6au
Twitter: http://bit.ly/38I0Zgc
GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2sXZlYo

Stay up to date with Stacey by joining her mailing list:

http://bit.ly/38L2R7T

Three Little Words by Madison Park ~ Release Blitz w/ Excerpt!

NOW LIVE! Three Little Words by Madison Park is available now!

Will I whisper those three little words she wants to hear? Or will I break her heart and mine?

Title: Three Little Words
Author: Madison Park
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: October 13, 2021

BLURB

While my crew at West End Prep is comprised of the ridiculously attractive and wealthy, I stand apart as filthy freaking rich. 

My name is Preston Castillo, and I’m the leader of the West End Prep’s Elite. With senior year about to begin, my friends and I are looking forward to doing what we do best. 

Partying. 

Getting girls.  

Spending boatloads of cash. 

I get what I want when I want it. No questions asked. Sure, I’ve been known to be cold. Heartless. Cruel. But lately, Aubrey has managed to break through my icy facade. She’s one of the few girls in my inner circle, and has been one of my closest friends since we were playdoh partners in crime in daycare. 

Over the summer, we had a great time jet-setting off to Paris. But it was there I realized she wants to be more than friends. Knowing what’s at risk, I’m not ready to make a decision like this. But when fate steps in to deliver a cruel surprise, I’m left fearing there won’t be enough time to show her how much she truly means to me. 

Will I whisper those three little words she wants to hear? Or will I break her heart and mine?

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/3uNvptD
UK: https://amzn.to/3afGQ3F
CA: https://amzn.to/3BmYEWH
AU: https://amzn.to/2YqdaOT
B&N: https://bit.ly/3mqjVII
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3AkxQVu
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3oK8uOK
Books2Read: https://bit.ly/3FD5JFa

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59238323-three-little-words

REVIEW

Feels 3
Storyline 3.5
Steam 1
Overall Rating 3.5
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Ladyballs

For me, this book was all over the place and I had a hard time following all of the storylines. Preston is one of a group of very rich, spoiled kids that go to an elite school. All of the kids in the group have more then one issue stemming from divorced or cheating parents. Pres is the dirty dog of the group and treats girls like dirt…plain and simple. He is crude and rude and I’m not sure how his friends put up with them.

Aubrey is head over heels in love with Preston and those feelings were confirmed on a Paris group trip. Evidently they grew very close and spent a ton of time together. I got a little lost here. Aubrey only referred to fragments from this trip and thought he had feelings for her. Clearly he didn’t…or just didn’t know it then?

After summer, they are back in school getting along but sometimes they get so mean and nasty with each other I had to look back a few pages to see if I missed something. It was hard for me to follow and not clearly written. There were way too many moving parts with all of the friends’ and families’ issues in this book. I didn’t know where to look first. Too many things were popping up with other characters that it distracted me from Preston and Aubrey. This group is highly dysfunctional and I’m not sure why some are even friends…very odd dynamics.

I wanted to love this book…I really did. Perhaps if the author had kept most of the focus on Aubrey and Preston and gave us more background, maybe I would have liked it more. I felt like there was just too much going on with everyone. I think these other storylines needed their own books rather than too many details in this story.

EXCERPT

I survived the first week of school. I hitched a ride with Lawrence and Victoria every day. Mark headed to school by himself every morning and avoided me like the plague at home and in school. I still don’t know what’s really eating at him, but my twin superpowers tell me that he’s pissed off at my dad more than he misses him. I hear footsteps pass by my bedroom door and shout.

“Hey.”

“No,” Mark responds.

“Please?” I plead.

The doorknob turns and Mark is standing in the doorway with his shoulder resting against the doorframe.

“What?” he growls.

“I’m sorry.”

He crosses his arms against his chest, purses his lips and raises an eyebrow at me.

“Apology accepted.” He says giving me a wink. “I’m heading out. We’ll talk later, okay?”

I nod. He turns and walks out of the bedroom toward his room. My cell phone rings, and I grab it then lay on my bed.

“Hello.” I greet, placing the call on speakerphone.

“Hey, Bree, are you meeting us for brunch?” Addie asks.

“Oh, hey, Addie, yes. Where are we meeting?”

“Victoria said we’re meeting at The Blueridge Grill.”

“Got it. What time?”

“Eleven.”

“I only have an hour to get ready.”

“Tiffany insists that you dress to impress. There are always some cuties hanging out there.”

I huff and shake my head. Addie is talking about married men with wives and their children. Addie, real name Addison, is my dazzling redheaded bestie, with sky blue eyes that light up the night sky. She’s never dated a guy in our high school and only lusts after married men. She’s an old soul and loves eighties music. She refuses to let me give myself to just any guy at West End Prep. Yes. I’m a virgin. Our conversations over the phone at night are about setting up a website to sell my virginity to the highest bidder. She’s definitely not all together, but she’s a really smart businessperson. She has men lined up for me. I’m not thrilled about her moral convictions, but she wouldn’t hurt a fly.

“It’s brunch, Addie and, um, that’s your territory. Addie?”

“Yeah?”

“Can we talk for a minute, you know, like on a serious note?”

“Sure. What’s wrong?”

“You know I’m here for you if you ever need me, right? I mean, I get really nervous when you talk about all these men you’ve been with. I’m scared for you. I worry.”

“You don’t have to worry. If my mother doesn’t worry, why should you?”

“That’s just it, Addie, your mother’s not doing her job. I want to be there for you, but I just don’t know how. I’m really afraid someone’s wife is going to hurt you.”

“I’ve had to fight off my mother’s boyfriends for years. Don’t worry so much, okay?”

“No, it’s not okay. I don’t want you to get hurt. Promise me you’ll stop dating older men and at least try to date some guys your own age.”

“Where is this coming from? Are you jealous?”

“Addie, don’t,” I clip. “Don’t do that. We’re friends and I love you.”

“Well, then I’m lucky someone loves me. Just look cute, okay? Try it. You might like it,” she insists.

Her voice cracks and my heart breaks. I change the subject to avoid hurting her feelings any more than I probably already have.

“Me? I always look impeccably cute, but you, I’m worried about you, you know that, right?”

Addie chuckles nervously.

“Yes, I know, but I’m smart, Bree. No-strings attached, gifts and money and I don’t have to give my heart to anyone. Can’t beat that.”

“You have your own money. You don’t need anything from those married men.”

“I need peace of mind. I don’t get it at home, Bree. I’m ignored by my mother and chased by her boyfriends.” There is silence on the other end of the phone. I can hear her exhale and that’s my cue to stop talking. “Are you coming or not?”

“I’ll be there.” I end the call and throw my cell phone on the bed.

Now…to find something to wear is another story. I rummage through my closet, placing my fingers along each velvet hanger trying to find something to wear. I place my finger on a short, red maxi dress. Grabbing it, I place it on the hook on the back of my bedroom door. I smile for a moment and remember the red bathing suit I wore at the beach in Paris.

My toes were nestled in the warm sand as tiny pebbles slid in between them. Pres was in the water with the guys horsing around, making a fool out of himself. He jumped on Lawrence’s back, then lifted his hand in the air and waved at me. I give him a half smile and he jumped off Lawrence’s back and ran toward me.

“Hey, are you okay?” he asks.

“Yeah. Are you having fun?”

His lips curved into a warm smile, then he scanned my body with his eyes.

“What are you doing?” I asked incredulously.

“I like red. It’s my favorite color, especially when it’s wrapped around your body.”

“Oh really?” I said flirtatiously. He leaned in, then grabbed me by the waist, lifted me up into his arms and ran toward the water. “Pres, no!” I screamed wrapping my legs around his waist. “Please…” I begged. He stopped right at the edge of the water.

“If I let you go, will you get in the water with me?”

My eyes grew wide. He placed me down and glanced up at me. He knew I was about to run like hell. My instincts kicked in and I turned and ran away. He chased after me and I laughed until he grabbed me by the waist again, lifted me and tossed me into the water with him. We laughed like we did when we used to play hide and seek in Central Park West.

My pulse races just thinking about him. I sit on the edge of my bed for a moment remembering our time together. Now, it’s back to basics, just friends, part of the crew, even though, it’s not what I want. He has an agenda this year and I’m not part of it. He didn’t even message me once when we got back from Paris. I was just Bree to him again and I guess that’s all I’ll ever be.

MEET MADISON PARK

Madison Park is enjoying the second part of her life! She loves writing romance books and is passionate about all things love related. Madison lives in Putnam County, New York with her youngest son. When she’s not writing, you’ll find Madison shopping for shoes and makeup! The addiction is real. Makeup is a must and pink lip gloss is her favorite! She never leaves home without it. You can find Madison on Facebook. She loves to interact with her readers so please reach out to her. She’s currently making an Instagram, Goodreads and Twitter account. Stay tuned for more from Madison Park Books, Romance Author. Madison Park, Writing Stories from The Heart.

CONNECT WITH MADISON

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Madison-Park/e/B09HJBK7L7

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100072011390007

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Madison-Park-Romance-Author-108113518268218

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/madison-park

Broken Sparrow by Chelle Bliss ~ Release Blitz

A chance encounter. An unlikely hero.

Broken Sparrow by Chelle Bliss is now live!

Morris has always dedicated himself to his brothers in the Disciples MC, choosing the freedom of the open road over the monotony of family life. But a chance encounter with a single mother on the run causes his protective alpha instincts to kick into overdrive.

Alice Sparrow thought she had planned her escape perfectly, but everything that could go wrong, did. Bank account emptied. Broken-down car. No place to stay. But when she bumps into a handsome biker, she doesn’t have the luxury of walking away from his help, especially when she must keep her daughter safe.

What is supposed to be a simple act of kindness quickly turns into something bigger and more complicated than either expects…especially when it comes to matters of the heart.

Broken Sparrow is a steamy age-gap, single mother, hot biker standalone romance that’s guaranteed to bring the steam and the feels.

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Audible, Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/394koKl

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3AaYqBp

Nook: https://bit.ly/2Xen7hN

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2XenfOj

Google Play: menofinked.com/bs-gp

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3kaGz89

Audible: https://adbl.co/39OK2mO

Narrated by: Jason Clarke & Samantha Brentmoor

Meet Chelle

Chelle Bliss is the Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of Men of Inked Series and Misadventures of a City Girl.

She’s a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, coffee fiend, ex-high school history teacher, and currently lives near the beach even though she hates sand. Chelle loves spending time with her two cats, alpha boyfriend, and chatting with readers.

Connect with Chelle

Website: menofinked.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164384.Chelle_Bliss

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chelle-Bliss/e/B00FIPAHYQ/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorchellebliss1

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorchellebliss/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChelleBliss1

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/chelle-bliss

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/chellebliss10/

Other: https://bingebooks.com/author/chelle-bliss

Book+Main: https://bookandmainbites.com/chellebliss/bites

Text BLISS to 24587

Under Pressure by Bella Matthews ~ Blog Tour w/ 4.5 Star Review & Excerpt!

Is it possible to meet the right person at the wrong time?

Under Pressure, an all-new hilarious and emotional sports romance by Bella Matthews is available now!

I had my friends. I had football. I had a future I was set on, until her.

Eleanor Kingston was the girl. The one I’d choose if I could, but all I had to give was

one night. My life had been decided for me, my future predetermined. There’s no room left for football or love.

If you get only one life, how hard would you fight to live it on your own terms?

I had my family. My career was set. I was back to begin the life I was meant to lead when I met him. We promised each other no tomorrow, no names, only one night. But fate had other plans. Sebastian Beneventi may think he’s protecting me, but I’m no damsel in distress.

No more running, it’s time to fight for what I want for a change.

Grab your copy today!

FREE in Kindle Unlimited

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

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

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3xln0hz

Review

Feels 2
Steam 2
Storyline 4.5
Overall Rating 4.5
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Ladyballs

This was a solid storyline I had not read before. Mafia meets sports. Lenny is a funny, strong, independent woman who is about to take her place in the family business. Front office for a football team. Sebastian is a hot, alpha male with a huge heart and a football star. His family business is mafia. He is expected to finish football and take his rightful place. He does not and has never wanted that but due to a small promise his father made his fate is sealed. Until he meets Lenny. Lenny and Bash meet and have a crazy one night stand. A night neither of them will forget anytime soon.

They reconnect a few months later under crazy circumstances. It was so much fun watching these two come back together and the supporting characters…especially her family…are hysterical. There are some pretty funny scenes as well as some steamy ones. There is an underlying story having to do with Sebastian and his mafia ties but I don’t want to really give anything away. However, by the end all loose ends are tied up and all is explained. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to seeing more about the other characters in the book!

Excerpt

July

“Max, I get it. I’ll be back in Philly in time for dinner tomorrow night.” I glance over to my best friend, Juliette, who’s patiently waiting for me to get off the phone. “Right. Dinner is at seven. Family dinner.” I roll my eyes, even though my oldest brother can’t see me. Probably better that way. “Love you too. Okay, see you then.” I end the call and slide the phone in the pocket of my shorts.

“Finally, bitch!” Jules wraps her arm around my shoulder and squeezes right before she stumbles in her stilettos. We may have pre-gamed a little too hard with the vodka before we left the condo. “You should have told Maxie-poo to pull the massive stick from that tight, firm ass of his and relax for one goddamn night like you’re going to. You’ve been back in this country for less than two days. The Kingstons will have their hooks in you soon enough. Monday, you belong to them. Tonight, I call dibs on my ride or die.”

The two of us continue down the sidewalk toward our favorite beach bar. O’Malley’s has been a landmark here since before either of us were born. It’s one of those bars where labels peeled off beer bottles line the ceiling. If you wear open-toed shoes, you know your feet are going to be touching liquids far worse than spilled booze all night.

This place is always so crowded, it’s necessary to be at least a little bit buzzed before you walk through the doors.

It’s fucking fabulous, and I love it.

“Love you, Jules,” I tell her as we walk past the line of people outside of the bar, waiting to be let in, and right up to the bouncer she’s been sleeping with all summer.

Jules is not just pretty, she’s gorgeous. She’s five foot ten with beautiful blonde hair and stunning brown eyes. Graceful and refined, she can bring a man to his knees with one look. She’s dabbled in modeling, but nothing keeps her attention for too long. So, I’m not surprised when the bouncer—who looks like The Rock and Vin Diesel found a way to procreate and he was the uber gorgeous offspring—can’t take his eyes off my bestie as soon as he sees her strutting toward him. “Hey’ya, handsome.” She leans in and gives him a quick kiss on the cheek. “You on the door all night tonight?”

“Nope. I’ve got another hour, maybe two, then I’m off.” He leans in closer to Jules. “And you know, my favorite thing to do when I’m off is get you off.”

Jules pulls on his shirt before kissing him again as she starts to walk past. “Come find Lenny and me when you get off work, and maybe I can help you with that.” She grabs my hand and pulls me behind her into the bar.

“You ditching me in an hour, Jules?” I ask, already knowing the answer.

She smiles her megawatt smile. “Maybe two. At least you’ll have the condo to yourself. Shawn’s place is just down the street, so we usually go there.”

I don’t bother telling her that her condo is a half block from here. Not exactly what I had in mind for tonight, but oh well.

O’Malley’s has a back room where there’s always a hot new DJ spinning the newest music. They usually have the wall open, giving easy access to the outdoor bar complete with a sand-covered dance floor. You’d think that would be the room to be in, but Jules and I love the room you step into as soon as you walk through the front doors. We have ever since we got our first fake IDs three years ago.

There’s just something about the vibe in here.

The bar is dark and packed. The lights are low, and the volume is loud. The music they play in this room is classic eighties bar music. “Sweet Caroline,” by Neil Diamond, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” by The Charlie Daniels Band, and “Lola,” by The Kinks are just some of the house faves that get every person in the room singing along. It’s a rite of passage to come to this place, and I couldn’t be happier to be here tonight.

Jules turns to me and grabs my other hand. “Listen, I’m gonna do a lap and see who we know and who to avoid. Will you get our drinks?” She spins away without another word. This is our routine. She scopes the place out, and I fight to get the bartender’s attention.

I make my way to the front of the bar on the left. It may take a thrown elbow or two, but I get there. Getting the bartender’s attention is another story. With guys twice my size standing on one side of me and a girl—whose boobs are showing so much, I think the string bikini I wore to the beach today may actually cover more than her shirt does—on my other side, I may be screwed.

Once the bartender is finished serving the double Ds, I yell out, “Excuse me,” and wave the cash in my hand before dropping it back down on the bar and blowing out a frustrated breath.

I’m getting one night of freedom before I’m summoned back home. One night before I become another cog in the Kingston empire. The position my brother offered me in the family company is my dream job, but it comes with strings . . . My family is overbearing on a good day, obnoxious on a normal one, and I can’t even describe how they are on a bad day.

And now, I’m going to be working with them every day.

One of the reasons I moved to another country to go to college was to take control of my own future. My own life. Now, I’m voluntarily placing control over my career into my brother’s hands. But tonight is mine to control, and I might be clinging to that.

I need one more night before I go home and face them all.

Please don’t let my one night be a total wash.

“Want some help?” A sexy voice asks, coming from the guy standing next to me.

I turn my head and get my first look at him since noticing the overall height of the group of guys he’s with.

I nod my head. “Apparently, you need to have your boobs hanging out if you want to get his attention.”

This guy is tall. Well over six feet, maybe six-five or six-six. His dark hair is messy, like he’s run his hands through it too many times. His blue eyes are crystal blue, and whoa, momma, is he built. He looks familiar, but I can’t place him right away. “Yes, please. I’d love some help.”

He leans forward on the bar and calls out for the bartender, who immediately turns around.

What the hell? Am I invisible?

When the bartender leans his elbows on the bar and asks, “What can I get for you?” I’m partially relieved and partially annoyed.

I yell across the bar, “One Jack and Coke and one Corona and lime, please.” Once he walks away, I turn to fully face my helpful stranger. “Thank you.”

The bartender comes back, and my new friend drops a twenty down before I can, then pushes my drinks toward me. “Jack and Coke and a beer. You here with someone?”

I glance around the room, looking for Jules. “I am. My best friend and I came together.”

A giant ginger of a man throws his arm around Mr. Mysterious. “So did this handsome guy. It’s his birthday too. Wanna give him a present?”

The handsome guy throws an elbow in the ginger’s side. “Back off, Murph.”

Murph backs up into the rest of the group they’re with, and the other three turn around.

I glance around at the giants surrounding these two and realize precisely why Mr. Mysterious looks so familiar. One of those giants is Declan Sinclair. The championship-winning quarterback for the professional football team my family owns.

I quickly clock them all.

Brady Ryan is here. He’s the quarterback for the Kroydon University Crusaders. He’s most likely going to be up for the Heisman this year. Last season, he threw for 4,500 yards, 310 completed passes, 402 attempts, and 23 touchdowns.

That makes the ginger giant Aiden Murphy, who averages 12 tackles per game and 1.8 tackles for loss per game.

I’m guessing, judging by who the others are, that the dirty blonde military-looking guy is Cooper Sinclair. He was a force to be reckoned with as a tight end in high school before he decided to forgo college and his potential football career to go into the Navy. I probably wouldn’t know this if his father wasn’t the head coach for my family’s football team.

This brings me to my mystery hottie.

Damnit.

Sebastian Beneventi.

I know there’ll be a file sitting on my desk with his information when I start work next week. I’m the numbers girl. Analytics are my jam. I’m kind of a savant. For the past three years, my brother has asked my opinion on players’ stats. The first time, I was only in my first year at Oxford, and I began unofficially working for the team.

Now that I’ve graduated, it’s official.

And working on stats for the scouting department is at the top of my to-do list.

I shake myself out of my stupor and try to shut off my computer-like brain. I told Max once that I think like the terminator. It all just comes to me like a computer read-out—name, height, weight, stats. I don’t have an eidetic memory, but my brain is pretty amazing.

When this guy smiles, it transforms his entire face. “I’m Bash.”

“Elle.” That’s all I give him, not ready for the night to go the way it would if this group of guys knew who I am.

The bimbo from my other side bumps into me, causing me to trip and fall into Sebastian as Jules’s whiskey sloshes down the front of my shirt. “Sorry,” I utter as Sebastian steadies me with both arms. I slam back Jules’s Jack and Coke before dropping it back on the bar.

Crystal blue eyes travel up and down my body before settling on my face. “I was wondering if you were the whiskey girl or the beer girl.”

I push the lime down into my bottle of Corona, holding my thumb over the lip before I put it to my lips and drink. When I pull it away, I lock eyes with his. “I’m the beer girl. The whiskey was for courage.”

Sebastian turns and orders two more Jack and Cokes before passing one to me. He clinks his glass with mine. “To courage.”

“To courage,” I toast. Maybe this night won’t be a total wash after all.

About Bella

Bella Matthews is a Jersey girl at heart. She is married to her very own Alpha Male and raising three little ones. You can typically find her running from one sporting event to another. When she is home, she is usually hiding in her home office with the only other female in her house, her rescue dog Tinker Bell by her side. She likes to write swoon-worthy heroes and sassy, smart heroines with a healthy dose of laughter thrown in.

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