Ruthless King by Meghan March ~ Blog Tour w/ Reviews

Get ready for the darker and dirtier side of New Orleans with a brand new alpha romance from USA Today bestselling author Meghan March.

New Orleans belongs to me.
You don’t know my name, but I control everything you see—and all the things you don’t.
My reach knows no bounds, and my demands are always met.
I didn’t need to loan money to a failing family distillery, but it amuses me to have them in my debt.
To have her in my debt.
She doesn’t know she caught my attention.
She should’ve been more careful.
I’m going to own her. Consume her. Maybe even keep her.
It’s time to collect what I’m owed.
Keira Kilgore, you’re now the property of Lachlan Mount.

*Ruthless King is book one of the Mount Trilogy*



Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | BN | Kobo


Storyline: 5
Angst: 3
Tissue: 0
Value: 5
Panty Scorching: 5
Over All Rating: 4.25 Stars
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Robin

Lachlan Mount is the man in the shadows. He runs New Orleans but no one speaks his name. You don’t want him to know who you are. But Keira has caught his attention. Well, her husband had his attention as well as owed him a debt. When Lachlan comes collecting for half a million dollars, Keira is told she must pay or her family and friends will be in jeopardy. When Lachlan gives her the option to be owned by him to work off her debt, Keira has no other choice. Will these two be able to make this arrangement work or will Keira try for another solution?

“My body in exchange for my pride. That’s the deal I’ve struck.

I hate Lachlan Mount.

Even his name sends bolts of heat through me, spawned from wrath unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

I hate how he makes me feel.

I hate that my body responds to him.

…the voice in my head whispers one more truth.

I hate that I want him to touch me again.

I’m trying to think of how I feel about Keira, Mount and this strange arrangement they embark upon. I guess I’m throwing myself into Keira’s shoes and I’m mostly confused! I loved how domineering Lachlan could be and he’s definitely a man of mystery. The heat between Mount and Keira bounces back and forth between hatred and desire. Although Keira doesn’t like the idea of being told what to do, she definitely likes certain things Lachlan does to her at times. Bow chicka wow wow. Both of these two are stubborn and neither wants to give in. Because Lachlan never has to. He is definitely in charge even if Keira has not accepted it. I need to know what’s in the works! What’s next? Can Mount tame Keira’s fiery nature? How far is he willing to go?

This is a trilogy so we have two more books before we have Keira and Lachlan’s full story. I love books that continue on with the same characters and this one is definitely no exception. Especially with some of my favorite people from the Beneath series peeping in. Keep peeping! I LOVE YOU GUYS!



Panty Scorching-4
Value- 5
Overall Rating-4.5
eKindle Review by: Jen

Ruthless King by Meghan March has been on my radar since she first started talking about the story that kept her up all hours of the night and this Mount character that refused to be silence until his full story was told. The moment this bad boy appeared on my kindle I jumped in and forgot about life. Ruthless King gives us the first part of Lachlan Mount’s and Keira’s story. I am extremely excited to see where the second installment takes us and how the final installment concludes their story. Mount is notorious throughout all of New Orleans – some knew of him while everyone feared him. You know the saying “things that go bump in the night” well I feel like Mount is the guy behind that saying — he makes things go bump in the night—it’s his way or …there is no other way really! Mount comes looking for Keira as she is the payment he is coming to collect on. Although she had no knowledge of what her late husband did, promised or bargained behind her back- she is now the center piece in the Mount’s chess game. Whatever Lachlan Mount wants he gets and he has his eyes set solely on Keira.

Throughout the entire story there is definitely a power struggle between Mount and Keira – Keira is one feisty lady who refuses to back down or show any sign of weakness. She stands up for herself and what she wants even if it means going toe to toe with the infamous Mount. The challenge that Keira gives Mount is like a drug for Mount – he has never been challenged liked this before and wants more and more of her. Despite the epic power struggle between the two the chemistry they have is undeniable. Mount has tapped into a part of Keira’s sexuality that she had an idea existed but no clue how deep and strong it was in her. He uses this to his advantage and Keira can’t help resist the powerful sexual chemistry/ connection they both have with one another. The chemistry and sexual tension between the two is HOT!!!

I feel like the best way to describe the story without giving away any spoilers, because really you don’t want this book ruined for yourself, is that it reminds me of being on a roller coaster as it slowly progresses up a hill. As it slowly approaches the top you are left in your seat feeling all kinds of feels — anticipation, adrenaline, nerves and that moment of “ohhhhhhhhhh ssssshhh@(!*” that is what this book is like. It gives you all these feels and then gives you a bit of a book hangover while you champ at the bit for the second part of this story! Meghan I am very anxious and excited to see where you take us on this adventure and can’t wait to buckle up and enjoy the ride of Mount and Keira.




Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at



Slap Shot (Aces Hockey #5) by Kelly Jamieson ~ Release Blitz w/ Review



Title: Slap Shot (Aces Hockey #5)

Author: Kelly Jamieson

Release Date: October 17, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance


My name’s Max Hall, and I need to f***. As a pro hockey player who’s been away from the game for over a year, my libido has picked one hell of an an inconvenient time to come roaring back to life.

After my wife died from a rare form of cancer, sex was the last thing on my mind. Same with hockey, the other love of my life. Now, after fifteen months of eating too much, drinking too much, and generally just feeling sorry for myself, I’m facing a steep uphill battle to get my ass in shape and play my way back onto the Chicago Aces.

So I’m not looking for a relationship. Just sex. Yeah, I know how that makes me sound. But the truth is, I’ll never love another woman the way I loved my wife. When I meet a sexy bridesmaid at my teammate’s wedding, I decide to scratch that itch. A fling with Kendra Armstrong in her posh hotel room could be just what the trainer ordered.

Not only is Kendra smokin’ hot, she’s dynamite in bed—one of the perks of being a sex toy designer. Since she lives in New York anyway, we agree to keep things casual, no strings attached. The arrangement is perfect . . . until one of us falls in love. And it’s not me.

Kelly Jamieson’s USA Today bestselling Aces Hockey series can be read together or separately:


Purchase Links




Storyline: 5
Angst: 4
Tissue: 0
Value: 5
Panty Scorching: 5
Over All Rating: 4.5 Stars
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Robin

Max Hall has been away from hockey for over a year due to his wife’s death from a rare form of cancer. All he wants to do is concentrate on hockey but his libido is waking up after a fifteen month sleep. When he meets Army’s cousin Kendra at a wedding he gets the feeling they are on the same page. Both have decided since they live in separate cities that a casual sexual hookup will work out for both of them. Everything seems to be perfect. Until Kendra starts being a little too sweet. And tries to take care of him when he gets down. Perhaps they won’t be able to be quite as casual as Max wants them to be and it’s time to put an end to this arrangement.

“I felt things…I felt desire. I felt desired. I felt pleasure…waves and waves of hot, carnal pleasure. I haven’t felt those things for so long and it reminds me that while my heart and soul may feel cold and dead, my body is still very much alive.”

Love my Aces Hockey team! Max Hall has been on leave to recover from his wife’s death and needs to fight his way back onto the team. He wants to concentrate on hockey and protect his heart from ever getting broken again. Kendra is a fixer and typically picks the wrong guys. I love the fun, flirty interaction between the two. Both are fighters for the goals they have in life and have a strong sense of self. That’s what made their characters so likeable. Both are such good people even when they act in a way that drives you crazy…it’s understandable. It’s nice to read about second chance love and I felt low angst with this story.

Honestly, I have pretty much fallen in love with every single guy on this team. When each one finally finds his match, it’s so much fun to see them fall. Each story makes you curious how each guy will settle down and who will be able to capture their heart.


About Kelly Jamieson


Kelly Jamieson is a USA Today bestselling author of over thirty-five romance novels and novellas. She writes the kind of books she loves to read–sexy romance with heat, humor and emotion. Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. She likes coffee (black), wine (mostly white) and shoes (high!). She also loves watching hockey. She is the author of the popular Heller Brothers Hockey series and the Rule of Three trilogy. Contact her at

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Crave: Part Two by E.K. Blair ~Release Blitz


Title: Crave: Part Two

Series: Crave Duet #2

Author: E.K. Blair
Genre: New Adult Romance/Coming of Age
Release Date: October 16, 2017
Weeks became
months, and months became years. Each day nudged Kason deeper into his
addiction. Each memory of the girl destroyed fed the craving for what he could
never have again. 

Leaving a life-altering first love behind, Adaline tried moving forward to find
love and trust and happiness. Pain eventually faded, wounds slowly healed, yet
scars were forever left behind.But some scars feel like kisses.

When the shattered pieces of their hearts are forced to meet again, the two of
them must decide how much pain their love is worth enduring.

This is what happens when one person loves beyond the craving and the other
craves beyond the loving.


Purchase Links


Free in Kindle Unlimited
Also Available
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Author Bio
E.K. Blair,
takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her dynamic and intense
writing style. Noted for her ability to create fleshed-out characters that will
evoke a realm of reactions, you can be assured that her stories will linger
with you far beyond the last word.
A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.
Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.
Author Links


Crowned by Hate by Amo Jones COVER REVEAL

Title: Crowned by Hate
Series: Crowned Trilogy #1
Author: Amo Jones
Genre: Dark Romance/Thriller
Cover Design: Jay Aheer
Release Date: November 14, 2017


Some would say I have a privileged life. Daughter of the current President of the United States, wealthy, famous, and all things that some girls wish they had. 

Only I’d dream of having a simple life. A life where I wasn’t marrying the scariest man I have ever met. Well, I thought I had just met him, but it turns out, there’s so much I don’t know about myself. That’s all thanks to a past so twisted, so warped, that no amount of money, or presidential status could wipe it clean. 

I’m the rebel child. Or as some may see it, the disappointment. I’ve never cared about expensive wedding gowns, or how much someone paid for a tailored suit. I don’t care if your wedding dress is from Walmart, or if it’s from some fancy, upscale designer line. 

So why am I marrying the devil dressed in a thousand-dollar 

I’m about to find out how I got here. To marrying one of the most powerful men in the country. The road to finding out, though, is paved with darkness, painted with the blood of innocents, and it leads my ass straight to hell. Only this hell is a multi-million-dollar penthouse suite in New York City where Bryant Saint Royal, sits on his throne. 
Pre-order Links
99c pre-order only price!
Author Bio

Amo is a full-time writer from New Zealand who loves long romantic walks to the wine cellar. 

She loves to write like how she lives, hanging on the edge of insanity with a wine glass in one hand and her morals-or lack thereof- in the other.

Those are not my monkeys, I swear….
Oh those hellhounds? Yeah, those are mine.
Author Links

Sightlines by Santino Hassell ~ Blog Tour w/ Review & Excerpt



Title: Sightlines (The Community #3)

Author: Santino Hassell

Release Date: October 9, 2017

Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance


Chase Payne is a walking contradiction. He’s the most powerful psychic in the Community, but the least respected. He’s the son of the Community’s founder, but with his tattoo sleeves and abrasive attitude, he’s nothing like his charismatic family. No one knows what to make of him, which is how he wound up locked in a cell on the Farm yet again. But this time, the only man he’s ever loved is there too.

Elijah Estrella was used to being the sassy sidekick who fooled around with Chase for fun. But that was before he realized the Community wasn’t the haven he’d believed in and Chase was the only person who’d ever truly tried to protect him. Now they’re surrounded by people who want to turn them against their friends, and the only way out is to pretend the brainwashing works.

With Chase playing the role of a tyrant’s second-in-command, and Elijah acting like Chase’s mindless sex toy, they risk everything by plotting a daring escape. In the end, it’s only their psychic abilities, fueled by their growing love for each other, that will allow them to take the Community down once and for all.

SIGHTLINES is out 10/9/2017 from Riptide Books.

Subgenres: m/m paranormal romance; psychics; finale.

Purchase Links




Storyline: 5
Angst: 4
Tissue: 1
Value: 5
Panty Scorching: 5
Over All Rating: 4.5 Stars
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Robin

Chase Payne is one of the most powerful psychics in the Community. But he’s also kind of an asshole. He’s part of the founding family but he gets very little respect. Now he’s being held at the Farm while they figure out his part in Holden’s defection and his lover Elijah is being held as leverage. Elijah has always thought what he had with Chase was just for fun. But now he realizes that he cares more for Chase than he ever realized. And they will need to rely on one another to figure out a way to survive the Farm with their minds intact.

“…the very notion of leaving the Community or defecting had caused his throat to close up and his body to all but shut down. Of all the Pavlovian responses that could have been programmed into him, Jasper had chosen to make Chase think – really think – he’d die if he left the people who’d raised him.”

Wow….I loved finally getting inside Chase’s head. Chase and Elijah are being held at the Farm where the Community does NOT trust them. Poor Chase. He’s spent most of his life being tortured and experimented upon. He really doesn’t trust that anyone cares for him. Even Elijah. I loved all of the political drama between the Ex-Comm and The Community and the little band with Holden, Six, Nate, Trent, etc. You think it’d all be straight forward but nooooooooo. My favorite part is the connection between Chase and Elijah and how that connection just grows and grows. I think I could read more about the psychic community and different families and little groups that have formed. Color me intrigued!

This can’t be the end of this series! There are so many loose ends and ways this story can turn. What about all of the different psychic families out there? Inquiring minds must know!




Elijah was so fucking beautiful it sometimes hurt to look at him.

When Chase and Richard walked into his room, Elijah was asleep in the bed. Ashen, gaunt, with dark circles shadowing his eyes, but there was no changing his thick shiny hair, the long eyelashes, or the way his full pillowy lips parted in sleep. His sleek body and elegant limbs—how looking at him just made Chase want to pull him close. Protect him.

“Is he sedated?” Chase asked roughly.

Richard walked around the bed, his impassive face unchanged even as he dragged two fingers along Elijah’s cheek. “No. He’s sleeping.”

“Yeah, I’m sure he’s pretty exhausted.” Anger boiled inside of Chase, threatening to spill over and expose itself to Richard. And that couldn’t happen. This had been his idea. His plan. “But at least it doesn’t look like your creepy clones put their hands on him.”

Richard flicked another look over Elijah. “The staff was informed that he wasn’t to be physically touched.”

“Yeah? Why didn’t they get that directive last time around?”

“Because last time I didn’t know my foolish son was in love with him.”

Chase raised a brow. “And that activates your care factor?”

Irritation lit Richard’s expression, the first sign of life since they’d walked into the room. “It’s time to leave your bitterness in the past if you’re going to be part of this. Whatever perceived failings you think I had as a father—”

“You mean treating me like a science project while you raised your other son? Those failings?”

Richard’s lips pursed, and he inhaled deeply, slowly. “Chase.”


“It’s time you leave your resentment toward me in the past, as well as your jealousy of Holden.” When Chase’s lips twisted into a snarl, Richard raised a cautioning hand. “Let’s be blunt, Chase. I bet on the wrong horse when it came to my family. Twice. But now it’s over, and you’re the one who’s here. And I’m rewarding you for it.” Richard waved his hand toward Elijah without looking at him. “If what you thought was favoritism of Holden was at the root of your distrust and animosity, rest assured there is no need to feel anger anymore. I am focused on you. And soon, your Elijah will be as well.”

Chase could only stare at his father and experience an inferno of rage like he had never felt before. But he kept his body still and his lips in the same mocking expression, because Richard would expect nothing else.

“Enjoy,” Richard said. “And learn to be gracious.”

He swept from the room with another penetrating glare, and twisted the lock behind him. It was a pointless gesture considering the staff all had keys to the doors, but the implication was clear. He’d just given Chase permission to “enjoy” his “reward.” In less than a minute, he’d relegated Elijah from a member of the Community to a sex toy. An object. Someone lesser than him, than them, and therefore not worthy of humanity.

How had Chase not seen his father for what he was? How the fuck had he thought . . .

The sound of Elijah whimpering in his sleep wiped all Chase’s chaotic thoughts away. It was ridiculous how any word or movement or breath from Elijah captured him so completely, and how even now there was no changing it. Whatever was between him and Elijah, and whether it was solely on his side or not, it wasn’t going anywhere.

About Santino Hassell

SH photo

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Connect with Santino Hassell

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Monster by Marni Mann ~ Release Blitz w/ 5 Star Review!


Title: Monster

Author: Marni Mann

Publication Date: October 12th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Monster, an all-new dark romance from Marni Mann is LIVE!

“Because I came from you, does that mean I’m capable of killing? That I’ll be addicted to blood? That I’ll get off on torturing people?”

The kid had questions.

I didn’t blame him.

He’d only heard one side, and it wasn’t mine.

“Why did you hate my mother?”

Now, that was a story worth telling.

But, to do that, I had to bring the kid back to the very beginning.

When the killing and the blood and the torture had all started.

When I was truly happy.

When I was first called a Monster.

Monster is a follow-up to Animal. Animal must be read first.


Monster is an extremely dark novel. There are strong sexual themes, drug usage, physical and sexual abuse, and torture that could trigger and/or cause emotional suffering.

Read Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Add to GoodReads:



Panty Scorching- 5


Angst- 2



Overall Rating- 5

Received an ARC for review

Reviewed by Joanna

Dang it… I don’t know where to start… Okay… Let’s me start at the beginning… because the ending would skew my review…So I will save that for the end.

This story is about a few characters… it goes from “Past” to “Present”. The “Past” is letters written from “Shank”, to his son “The Kid”. A son that Shank never claimed was his.

You find out how Shank got the boy’s mother pregnant…well…we all know how that happens…but it just fills in blanks and answers some unanswered questions that we had after we read the first book in this series ANIMAL. So if you haven’t read that yet, go do it now. You will be happy that you did. I read Animal, and I’ll be damned if I can remember some of the stuff that I needed to remember for this story. So I may have to go back and reread the ending of it… so I won’t be so “F’n” confused.

Then, the “Present” is a story about Huck, who is a HOT AS HECK hunk in the story… he saves a woman, Arin and falls for her. Huck allows Arin to work in his brothel, but not selling herself, to do office work.

Now, the question you may ask… How do all of these people tie together? You have to read the book and find out. I am not going to give anything away.

Let me tell you though, if you read Animal, and could handle all the DARK AND CRAZY in that story… you will be able to handle Monster. It is just as messed up and dark!

Good luck… the only complaint for me is I don’t have the memory of an elephant anymore and I can’t remember how someone ties into the story…So I am going to have to go back and reread the first book to get more questions I have answered.

But all and all…Still love this crazy as “F” author… and her writing style. Sexy and DARK… perfect combination.



Release Day Blitz .jpg

Read Animal Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Add to GoodReads:

About Marni

Best-selling Author Marni Mann knew she was going to be a writer since middle school. While other girls her age were daydreaming about teenage pop stars, Mann was fantasizing about penning her first novel. She crafts sexy, titillating stories that weave together her love of darkness, mystery, passion, and human emotion. A New Englander at heart, she now lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband and their two dogs who subsequently have been characters in her books. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop working on her next novel, she’s scouring for chocolate, sipping wine, traveling to new locations, and devouring fabulous books.

Connect with Marni





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From This Moment by Melanie Harlow ~ Blog Tour w/ 5 Star Review & Excerpt!


From This Moment, an all-new sexy and emotional standalone from USA Today Bestselling author Melanie Harlow is available NOW!


From This Moment by Melanie Harlow

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publishing Date: October 10th, 2017

It was like seeing a ghost.

When my late husband’s twin brother moves back to our small town, I want to avoid him. Everything about Wes reminds me of the man I lost and the life we’d planned together, and after eighteen long months struggling just to get out of bed, I’m finally doing okay. I have a new job, an amazing support group, and a beautiful five-year-old daughter to parent. I don’t want to go backward.

But I’m drawn to him, too. He understands my grief and anger and guilt like no one else—and I understand his. Before long, that understanding becomes desire, and that desire becomes uncontrollable.

He says he doesn’t care what people think, and love can never be wrong. But life has taught me its cruelest lesson–love doesn’t always win.

If only my heart would believe it.



Storyline: 5
Angst: 4
Tissue: 3
Value: 5
Panty Scorching: 5
Over All Rating: 4.5 Stars
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Robin

Hannah is struggling day after day following the unexpected death of her husband. Doing everything on her own after thinking she had found her partner in life. When Drew’s twin brother Wes moves back home, it’s utter pain to just see him. Will this confuse her five-year-old daughter Abby? Will it set her back into a depression to be around someone who looks exactly like her dead husband? But then the unexpected happens…she feels attracted to Wes. What does she tell her heart about her desire?

“Did she even want me around? Tonight had seemed comfortable enough – maybe a little tense at start, but I felt like she was able to smile and relax a bit. And I loved that she felt close enough to me to break down a little. To tell me what she was feeling. It felt like trust, and it had made me want to wrap my arms around her and hold her tight, tell her I missed him too, but everything would be okay.

But I hadn’t. I couldn’t. She wasn’t mine to touch that way – she never had been.”

I’m getting so emotional thinking of this story. Hannah has lost her husband and she’s been through so much just being a single mother to her daughter without a whole lot of support. Her journey without real family to lean on and feeling inadequate to provide the nurturing her daughter needed. When Wes comes back to town I just wanted to open his eyes to everything that’s been happening while he’s been away. You would think love and attraction would be a good thing. I really channeled my inner Wes and wanted to punch a whole bunch of people. Why do I feel so violent? Poor Hannah seemed to have suffered some perception issues which any type of adversity would set her off. And her crying would get me crying and it was just one big sobby mess. But what I’m trying to say is I loved this beautiful story. Loved the complicated characters. Loved the messed up romance. Just loved it.

If you love those heartrending, emotional love stories, you need to read about Hannah and Wes. This is kind of a second chance romance that never really was that romantic the first time around. The one you let get away.





“Want to go out in the canoe?” he asked.

“Okay.” I ditched my flip-flops on the small, beach-level deck, and we set our wine glasses and the bottle on the deck’s little round table. Wes was already barefoot. Together we dragged the forest green canoe from the tall beach grasses on the side of the deck down to the water’s edge and tipped it over.

“Let me rinse it out a little,” Wes said, frowning at the dirt and spider webs inside. “Want to grab the paddles? They should be in the shed.”

“On it.” I went to the small shed on the embankment, opened it up and grabbed the oars, which stood in one corner. On the shelves were life jackets and sand toys and deflated rafts that probably had holes in them, and scratched into the wooden door among other graffiti was WP + CB. Huh. I’d never noticed that before. Who was CB? I glanced over my shoulder at Wes, who’d taken off his T-shirt and tossed it onto the sand.

My stomach full-out flipped.

Quickly, I shut the door to the shed and brought the oars down to the canoe.

Wes stood up straight and stuck his hands on his hips. He wore different sunglasses than Drew had worn, more of an aviator than a wayfarer. The body was similar, though Wes’s arms seemed more muscular, especially through the shoulder. Other things were the same and caused a rippling low in my body—the soft maroon color of his nipples, the trim waist, the trail of hair leading from his belly button to beneath the low-sling waistband of his red swim trunks. In my head I heard Tess’s voice. Arms. Chest. Shoulders. Skin. Stubble. Muscle. The smell of a man. The solidity of him.

“What’s the law on drinking and canoeing?” he asked.

What’s the law on staring at your brother-in-law’s nipples? I wondered, swallowing hard. What was wrong with me?

“I think we’re okay,” I said, handing the oars to him. Our hands touched in the exchange. “Let me grab our glasses.”

“Perfect. If you hold them, I’ll take us out.”

I retrieved the wine glasses from the table and walked carefully across the sand to the lake’s edge, taking deep, slow breaths. A sweat had broken out across my back. I was wearing a swimsuit beneath my cover up, a modest tankini, but I didn’t want to remove it. Wading ankle deep, I attempted to step into the canoe, but it wobbled beneath my foot.

“Whoa.” Wes took me by the elbow and didn’t let go until I was seated at one end, facing the other. “Okay?”

I nodded. Despite the heat, my arms had broken out in goose flesh.

“All right, here we go.” As he rowed us away from shore, the breeze picked up, cooling my face and chest and back.

“Drew and I used to have canoe-tipping contests.”

I snapped my chin down and skewered Wes with a look over the top of my sunglasses. “Don’t even think about it.”

He just grinned, the muscles in his arms and chest and stomach flexing with every stroke of the oars through the water. Momentarily mesmerized, I allowed myself the pleasure of watching him. It was okay if we were both thinking about Drew, wasn’t it?

In fact, it was only natural that I was intrigued by the sight of Wes’s body. He was my husband’s identical twin, for heaven’s sake, and I missed his physical presence in my life. I missed looking at him naked. I missed feeling the weight of him above me. I missed the feeling of being aroused by him, of my body’s responses to his touch, his kiss, his cock.

Deep in my body, the rusty mechanism of arousal creaked to life. My nipples peaked, my stomach hollowed, and something fluttered between my legs.

Oh, Jesus.

I sat up straighter, pressed my knees together, and closed my mouth, which I realized had fallen open. Hopefully I hadn’t moaned or anything. After another sip of wine, I turned my head and studied a freighter off in the distance. My heart was beating way too fast.

It’s only natural. It’s only natural.

Wes stopped paddling and set the oars in the bottom of the canoe, their handles resting against the seat in the middle. “We’ll have to bring Abby out here.”

“Definitely.” Did my voice sound normal? “She’ll love it. Here, want this?” I held his wine glass toward him and he reached out to take it. His fingers brushed mine, and I pulled my hand back as if the touch had burned me.

“Thanks.” He tipped the glass up then looked along the shore. “I’d like to find a place on the lake. Maybe not along this stretch of beach, though.”

I caught his meaning and smiled. “A little too close to home?”

“Yeah. But I don’t want to be too far away. I’d like to get a boat too.”

“What kind of boat? Drew always talked about it, but we never quite settled on one.”

“Not sure. Maybe just a little fishing boat, something to ski behind.”

“That sounds fun. Drew loved to ski.”

“We’ll have to teach Abby.”

I laughed. “You, not we. I managed to get up and stay up a few times, but I am not the expert.”

“You can teach her to cook, I’ll teach her to water ski.”

“Deal.” Separate activities seemed like a good idea.

“Breakfast was incredible.”

“Thanks.” I tucked a strand of hair that had escaped my ponytail behind my ear, but the wind blew it right back into my face. “I really like working there. I’m so glad Georgia suggested it to me.”

“How long have you been there?”

“Since spring, when they got busy. I’m not sure what I’ll do this winter when it slows down. I’m dreading it, actually. Abby will be in school full time, and it will just be me at home alone.” This was something else I hadn’t talked about with anyone, how worried I was that the gray skies and cold weather and silent hours would set me spiraling into depression. “I always thought I’d have another baby to take care of, but life saw things differently.”

“You’re still young, Hannah.”

I shook my head. “I’m really not. And I feel even older than I am.” Please don’t go Grief Police on me and tell me I’m being ridiculous, I begged him silently. This isn’t the life I chose. It was handed to me and I’m doing the best I can.

But he didn’t say anything more, just sipped his wine and looked out at the horizon. I was grateful.

“What about you?” I asked. “Think maybe you’ll get married now that you’re back? Have a family? Abby won’t have any siblings so she needs some cousins.”

“That seems to be a popular topic of discussion around here,” Wes said, shaking his head, “but I really have no idea.”

“Small town. We like to know everyone’s business.” I smiled. “Hey, what about CB? I saw your initials carved with hers on the door of the shed. Maybe she’s still around.”

He groaned. “Is that still there? Jesus. That had to be twenty years ago.”

Hugging my knees, I leaned forward. “First love?”

“Not even.” He hesitated, as if he were trying to decide whether to confess something.

“Come on,” I cajoled, carefully reaching out of the canoe, and splashing water toward him. “Tell me. I’ve been spilling my guts for an hour.”

“First kiss.”

I squealed. “And?”

He cringed. “It’s too embarrassing.”

“Wes, I had a completely humiliating breakdown in front of you last night. I got snot on my arm.”

“This is worse.”

“Get it out. You’ll feel better.”

“Let’s just say it was a very awkward, very fast experience.”

I gasped. “You lost your virginity to her?”

“No. Just my dignity.”

Laughing, I tilted my head back and felt the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and something like joy in my heart.

It had been a long time.

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About the Author

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak. Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

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