After We Fall by Melanie Harlow

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Jack Valentini isn’t my type. 

Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.

Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.

But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.

His huge, hard muscles.

Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.

And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.

But he’s wrong.

I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.

I was so excited to start this book. I mean, its Melanie Harlow. What is not to be excited about? But then, I met Margot. And I loved her from the first page. Side note: I think she should have thrown an entire bakery.

As I read along, I found myself genuinely liking so many aspects. I also loved how the author ties in many real world issues, without it making the story negative or a downer. I was beyond impressed.

Margot and Jack meet because Jack has his farm with his brothers, but they are in need of a bit of a makeover. Margot is called in because she runs a PR company. Jack is not open to any of Margot’s ideas or plans for the farm, even though her ideas are excellent. Jack just wants to run his organic farm and be left alone. The author flawlessly ties in a concept that is very prevalent today, which is where is our food coming from. We get to watch Margot learn from Jack, and I like that while the characters touch on an important subject, it doesn’t overtake the story.

I truly enjoyed the progression of Margot and Jack’s relationship. It was so effortless, even though both were making an effort. There is a scene in this story, where Jack and Margot are having dinner and Jack is realizing that he is enjoying himself. Margot can talk to him, and he can open up to her without really thinking about it. I loved that their story was portrayed this way because it felt right for the characters. Jack does have a lot going on in his head, but I loved that Margot is never really trying to “fix” him. She’s just there for him.

I loved this story. If you read “Man Candy”, we do see glimpses of Jamie and Quinn here. However, you don’t need to read “Man Candy” to understand this book.

I thought Melanie Harlow did an incredible job with this book. I loved seeing Margot and Jack’s story; it was flawless. Even though our characters come from totally different worlds and have different personalities, everything just fits. I cannot recommend this story enough.

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After We Fall by Melanie Harlow: EXCERPT REVEAL

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After We Fall by Melanie Harlow
Publication Date: November 28th, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis:

Jack Valentini isn’t my type.

Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.

Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.

But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me for ten days, and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.

His huge, hard muscles.

Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.

And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife three years ago left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.

But he’s wrong.

I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.

“Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be even better after we fall.” —Unknown

Excerpt:

“Wow,” she said, shutting the screen door behind her. “That was close. Thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome.” I crossed my arms, wishing I’d thought to grab a shirt. “Want to tell me what you were doing out there?”

Her cheeks colored. “Um, I was taking a run.”

“Up a tree?”

She laughed nervously. “No. Well, I didn’t start out in a tree. That happened later.”

I cocked my head, unable to resist giving her a hard time. Not so sure of yourself now, are you, Barbie? “Oh yeah?”

“Yes. See, I left the cottage I’m renting without using the bathroom by mistake,” she began, twisting her fingers together, “and I was planning on running a loop around the farm, but it’s bigger than I thought.”

“Ah. So you were looking for a bathroom in the woods?”

“Well, yes.” She swallowed. “Sort of. But then I heard a splash and saw you…” Her cheeks were practically purple now.

I played dumb. “Saw me what?”

“Saw you naked, OK?” she blurted, throwing her hands up. “I admit it—I saw you naked.”

I had no hangups about nudity, but I was damn serious about my privacy, and about people sneaking up on me. But her embarrassment was funny. The two times I’d seen her before, she’d been so polished and poised. It felt good to put her in her place a little. “So you climbed a tree for a better view, is that it?”

Bowing her head, she dragged the toe of one shoe across the wood planks of the porch floor. “Something like that.” Then she looked up at me. Took a breath. “I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I was—I mean, I got—I couldn’t—” She sighed, briefly closing her eyes. “I have no excuse. Will you accept my apology?”

She was prettier without makeup, I decided. And the way she wore her hair off her face emphasized the wideness of her eyes, the angle of her cheekbones, the arch of her brows. Her lips didn’t need all that glossy crap, either. They were a perfect rosy pink, and I wondered if they’d feel as soft as they looked.

Fuck. I hadn’t kissed anyone in three years.

Clearing my throat, I took a step back. “Yeah. It’s fine.” Now get out of here.

She didn’t move. “So you’re not going to fire me?”

“I never hired you.”

“I know. But I really want this job. I think I can help, Jack. I know I can.”

“Suit yourself. I want nothing to do with it.” My name on her lips was trouble. Needing some distance from her, I started walking toward the dock to get my shoes and socks, but she followed me. God, she was a pest. It reminded me of the way Steph used to tag along after the boys when we were kids, wanting to get in our games.

“Are you going to be like this the entire time I’m here?” she asked.

“Like what?”

“Moody and uncooperative?”

“Probably.”

“Why? Do you hate me that much?”

“I don’t hate anybody. I just don’t see why we should pay some city girl who’s never set foot on a farm to advise us.” We reached the dock, and I leaned down to get my stuff.

“I’m not even asking to be paid, so piss off!” she shouted, her voice carrying on the water.

I straightened. “Oh, you’re working for free?”

“Yes!”

“Then you’re an idiot. Or so rich you don’t need the money.”

“I’m not an idiot,” she said through clenched teeth.

“So you’re rich, then.” I don’t know why I was being such an asshole. But for some reason, I did not want to let her see another side of me, or see another side to her. “I should have guessed.”

She crossed her arms. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means you look like you’ve led a charmed life. Like you’ve had everything you’ve ever wanted handed to you. Like you’ve never gotten your hands dirty.”

“So get them dirty.”

I almost fell off the dock. “What?”

“Get them dirty. Teach me about working this farm. I want to learn.”

Was she serious? The last thing I needed was to drag her ass around all day, explaining things. Or stare at her ass all day, imagining things. But one look at her defiant face and I shook my head. “Why do I feel like if I say no, you’ll just keep bothering me?”

She smiled and clasped her hands behind her back, rocking forward on her toes. “Because I will. I don’t like being told no.”

“Of course you don’t.” Jesus, she was trouble. A bad apple—smooth and shiny on the outside, spoiled rotten on the inside. But for no good reason, I found myself giving in. “Fine. Go change your clothes.”

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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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Hit The Spot by J.Daniels- EXCERPT REVEAL

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hit-the-spot-ebook-coverIs this love or just a game?

Tori Rivera thinks Jamie McCade is rude, arrogant, and worst of all . . . the sexiest man she’s ever laid eyes on. His reputation as a player is almost as legendary as his surfing skills. No matter how her body heats up when he’s around, she’s determined not to be another meaningless hookup.

Jamie McCade always gets what he wants. The sickest wave. The hottest women. And Tori, with her long legs and smart mouth, is definitely the hottest one. He knows Tori wants him-hell, most women do-but she won’t admit it. After months of chasing and one unforgettable kiss, it’s time for Jamie to raise the stakes.

Jamie promises that soon Tori won’t just want him in her bed, she’ll be begging for it-and he might be right. Somehow he’s found the spot in her heart that makes her open up like never before. But with all she knows about his past, can she really trust what’s happening between them? Is Jamie playing for keeps or just playing to win?

This book can be read as a stand-alone.

Book 1–Four Letter Word

 

 

 

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EXCERPT

 

 

Tori froze a foot away, blinking at me. She didn’t speak. If she had a reason for coming in here, it looked like that reason just left her. She seemed lost.
“Legs,” I probed, when she kept with the staring and not speaking routine.
“Mm?”
“What are you doin’ in here, babe?”
I had no fucking idea what was going on, but unless Tori wanted to watch some chick grind all over me, she needed to get what she came for and step out.
She wet her lips. I watched her neck work with a swallow.
“You showed me your dick,” she stated.
I felt my mouth twitch. Fuck yeah. Breathing a laugh, I relaxed back onto the bench, arms spread behind me and hands gripping the black leather cushion. I tipped my head to the side. “See that impression is stickin’,” I said. “What’s that got to do with this?”
“You showed me your dick after I flashed you. That was your move.”
“Yeah.” I nodded. What the fuck was she getting at?
Tori smiled. Her sin-colored lips stretching slow. “This is mine,” she said, lifting her shoulders as if this shit she was declaring wasn’t a big deal, which it sure as fuck was.
This is hers…Oh, fuck me.
Fuck. Me.
Tori moved closer. Whatever smirk I was wearing pulled from my mouth. That pressure built again, in my chest and lower. I shifted on the bench.
“Legs,” I warned, my voice vibrating in my throat as I watched her walk toward me. “What’d I say about takin’ this shit places you can handle? Did you think this through?”
I was willing to bet she didn’t. If she had and knew how this could play out, with her bent over and me buried deep, she wouldn’t be back here.
“Shh.” Tori stopped in front of my knees. “If we talk, I won’t go through with this,” she admitted, sounding anxious. “And I doubt you’d be chattin’ up the girl who was supposed to be in here, so quit it. Just sit there. Shut up. And keep your hands to yourself.”
“You know what you’re doin’?” I asked, looking up at her. “’Cause in this room I’m allowed to touch, babe. Rules are out there.” I tipped my chin at the door, keeping her gaze. “Not in here. In here, I’m participatin’. You don’t like that deal, you better quit now and think of another move, ’cause the second you start takin’ shit off, Legs, I’m on you.”
“Then I guess I don’t need to worry,” Tori shot back, speaking with confidence and smiling again. The fuck did that mean? My brow tightened. “Say again?”
“I don’t need to worry ’cause I’m not taking anything off, meaning you won’t be on me. I’m just dancing.”
I stared at her for a beat. Then a laugh rumbled in my chest as I thought about how fucked she was.
“What?” she asked, tilting her head all cute. “This is a really good move.”
“Know it is. Not laughing ’cause of that.”
“Then why are you laughing?” She brought her hands to her hips and studied me, looking on the verge of an attitude. Her eyes narrowed. “If you think I need to take my clothes off to win this bet, then you are mistaken, Jamie McCade. I know how you feel about me in this uniform. This is gonna kill you.”
“Legs, hate to tell you this, but you’re wrong, babe. You gotta worry.”
“And why’s that?”
I dropped my arms and sat forward, elbows resting on my thighs. “You start dancin’ on me and I’m touching you,” I promised, watching her blink. “You start dancin’ anywhere in this room and I’m touching you. You don’t gotta strip, babe. I just threw that out there ’cause that’s where I thought this was headed. Telling me you’re makin’ a move and you’re makin’ it in a strip club, figured you’d be taking shit off, but honest to God, it don’t matter. Like I said before, rules are out there. Not in here. Only way I’m keeping my hands to myself is if I’m fuckin’ dead.”
“These are my rules,” Tori countered, bending down to get closer. “And unless you want me to holler out for my new friend with the gold tooth who looks like he eats narcissistic assholes for breakfast, I suggest you follow them, Jamie.”
I chuckled, knowing who she was talking about. Dude made sure I was clear on a few things before letting me back in here.
Something I wasn’t sharing with Legs. “And what are these rules, babe?” I asked.
She straightened and snapped, “I already told you. Sit there and shut up.” Tori put her hand on my shoulder and shoved, pushing me back until I was pressing against the bench again. Then keeping her grip there, she swung her knee up, braced it on the leather, and lowered herself onto my lap, lifting her other knee and boxing me in with it.
I pulled in breath through my nose and curled my hands into fists on the cushion. “And the touching?” I asked, voice strained as I stared at the shape of her tits.
They grew closer as she leaned forward, her hands shifting to hold on behind me, and my gaze snapped up to meet hers when her face got an inch away.
“Beg for it,” she whispered.
My eyes flickered wider. Hers brightened with impending victory.
No shit. Tori was gonna let me touch, but I had to call it. I had to let her win.
I had to fucking beg.
Jesus.
Why’d she have to be so good at this shit?
I steadied my gaze, telling her as my head tilted back, “Think I’ll just enjoy the ride.”

 

 

 

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logo-rectangle-1-2400-x-1025J.Daniels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, the Alabama Summer series, and the Dirty Deeds series.

She would rather bake than cook, she listens to music entirely too loud, and loves writing stories her children will never read. Her husband and children are her greatest loves, with cupcakes coming in at a close second.

J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.

Sign up to receive her newsletter and get special offers and exclusive release info: http://authorjdaniels.com/newsletter/

Twitter | Instagram | Website | Facebook | Amazon Author Page |Goodreads | Reader’s Group

 

 

Crazy for You by Heatherly Bell

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Fallon McQueen needs a date to a wedding…yesterday. The pickings at the speed dating events she’s attended are slim indeed. She has someone very specific in mind…

And then she meets…Santa Claus.

Jack Cooper was simply trying to do a good deed and now he has a hot but crazy blonde asking him to be her date to a destination wedding. 

But if Jack is going to help, they’re going to do it his way…

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So this was my first book from this author but it definitely will not be my last. This book was easily one of the funnest books I’ve ever read. I know that might sound silly, but this book had me captivated throughout.

One thing I truly adored about this book was that the characters did have real issues in their life, but it didn’t overtake the story. For example, Fallon is divorced and she needs the date for her ex-husband’s wedding. I think in some stories, there might be a lot more about the divorce and feeling slighted, but the author doesn’t include that here and I appreciated that.

Jack has lots of issues himself, but again, they don’t overshadow the rest of the story. These things are simply a small part of the character, but not the entire character. I also felt like even though this book is fast-paced, we learn a lot about the characters. We see what makes Fallon and Jack tick. We see how they relax. We see their true feelings on a variety of topics.

I feel like I say this a lot, but Fallon was one of my favorites. I loved her and Jack a ton. I think one of the main things I loved about these characters is that they aren’t that young anymore. They certainly aren’t old, but they are old enough to have a certain amount of confidence and gusto that isn’t necessarily as believable in younger characters. One example of this is when Fallon is asking Jack to go to this wedding with her. She’s barely met him and she just throws it out there.

This book does have a Christmas setting, and I really enjoyed being transported into a Christmas wonderland in the town of Starlight Hill. I always love a small town Christmas environment and this book definitely delivers on that front.

I would absolutely recommend this book. I was captivated within the first couple pages and I could not put this book down. I kept finding myself coming back for more and more. This story maintains depth while keeping things light and fun. An absolute star in the Starlight Hill series.

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Prude by Jordan S Gray

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Prude by Jordan S Gray

Rebecca Washington is a girl in control. Well, at least when it comes to acing her college classes. The rest of the time, she seems to be at the mercy of everyone else. Like when she’s dumped in front of her peers, hit on right afterwards by a jerk for some stupid bet, and then paired up with the same jerk for a lit project.

In order to maintain her perfect GPA, Rebecca will need to give a stellar presentation while ignoring the prodding eyes that will be staring at her. When her partner, Derek, starts to ease her fears of public speaking with his laid back attitude, she’s forced to confront her new feelings about him and his charming smile. Rebecca knows falling for a guy who teases her for being a prudish nerd can only end badly, but what if it’s just another thing out of her control?

So I am seriously loving this story. When the book begins, we meet Rebecca aka Becca being publicly dumped by her boyfriend of 6 months, Sean. Its sad to see Becca go through that but I thought it was a genius way to start the story. It really sets the tone for the rest of the book.

Becca is a very serious, somewhat quirky, 20 year old. She’s still a virgin and has never even had a true first date. Part of why her relationship with Sean fell apart is because she didn’t like Sean touching her, he had bad breath, etc. One thing I really liked about Becca’s character is that, as the story continues, she is figuring out what she likes. As a reader, I kept thinking it was a blessing that she and Sean broke up, but Becca was still sad. Even though many people tell her that Sean is a jerk, I don’t think she actually knew anything different. She seemed to somewhat allow the lines of friend and boyfriend blur a bit.

Becca and Derek meet after her breakup, when he’s basically bet that he can’t get her number. She thinks he’s a jerk (rightly so) and then ends up having to be his partner in a British Literature class.

I loved the dynamic between Becca and Derek. He teases her quite a bit, but I never really felt like he was mean to her. It was just good natured flirting, which Becca does not even remotely pick up on. Another aspect I really loved about Derek was that he was just natural. This book reminded me a lot of my own college days and his character is the quintessential college guy. Funny, boyishly charming, flirty, cute, endearing.

If you love New Adult books, you will love this book. In all honesty, I think the vast majority of readers would enjoy this book. It was written well and the characters are refreshing and fun.

Carny by Simone Sowood

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Carny by Simone Sowood

Different town every week means a different woman in my bed.  No complaints here.  That’s how I f*cking want it.

One look of my handsome smile has them weak in the knees.  One touch of my rock hard muscles has their panties dropping.  One night of pounding with my pierced, tattooed c*ck and they beg me to stay.

But when the weekend’s over, I move on to the next town, and next woman.

Until Emily.

One look at the beautiful blonde and I know she’s the one I want in this town.  One taste of her innocence and I need more.

The last thing she wants is anything to do with me; she know’s I’m nothing but trouble — until a fight with her parents pushes her straight into my arms.

I’ll be damned if I’m letting her walk away, no matter what her rich parents think of their precious princess with a bad boy.

I finally have a woman I wanna keep.  I’m not letting her go now.

*** A steamy STANDALONE contemporary romance with a smoking hot alpha. No cliffhanger, no cheating, and a guaranteed happily-ever-after.***

This book is like a dream come true for me. I absolutely adore carnivals and I have always loved them. Its easily the best time of the year when they come to town. So getting to read a love story involving the carnival was absolute perfection for me.

Our story starts with Emily and Steel meeting at the carnival in Colmar, North Carolina. Emily’s father is a fairly big deal in the small town and he constantly is reminding Emily that her actions affect his reputation. So when Emily meets Steel at the local carnival, she is more than receptive to him.

One thing I really liked was how Steel could be somewhat harsh, in terms of his language and being very frank about what he wanted. But at the same time, he showed that sweeter side with Emily. He didn’t have a problem telling Emily how he felt about her, even when she thought it was a line he used on everyone.

I liked Emily a lot. I could definitely align with some of the feelings that Emily had because her parents really did run her life. You could tell she felt trapped but didn’t really know what to do or how to even express herself properly. Mind you, Emily is only 20 years old, and Steel is 27.

I also really loved the interaction between Steel and Emily. They talk and I enjoyed how matter-of-fact that Steel was with her. When she is frustrated over the situation with her parents, he just tells her how it is. Its not sugar-coated, but its also not mean. Its the facts that Emily really does need to hear. I think when you’re in a situation and you don’t know how to get out of it, things can feel a lot worse than they are.

This book was really enjoyable. I love how Simone Sowood can give us a complete story without making things drag out. She keeps the story on pace and moving, so it was easy to keep reading and not realize that any time has passed at all.

Christmas on Pointe by Samantha Chase

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Christmas on Pointe by Samantha Chase

It’s Christmastime again in Silver Bell Falls and the whole town is getting in the spirit to help ballet teacher Abby Foster achieve her dream of opening her own dance studio!

Dancing has been Abby’s dream for her entire life – but more than anything, she wanted that dream in her beloved hometown of Silver Bell Falls. Teaching ballet to children at the community center is fine, but she’ hoping for so much more – her own studio, her own business…not to mention maybe meeting Mr. Right and having a family of her own. For almost a year, she’s been picturing Dean Hayes in that role and if he wasn’t such a darn recluse, maybe she’d have a chance.

Solitude and Dean Hayes have always gone hand-in-hand. It wasn’t by choice, but because of circumstances beyond his control. And once again, things are out of his control when he finds himself being named permanent guardian for his five year old niece just in time for the holidays. Dean had always imagined that he’d have a family of his own someday, just not quite like this. With the support of his hometown friends, he knows he’s going to be okay. But it’s Abby’s help with his niece that’s making the biggest difference.

This isn’t the Christmas either of them has planned, but maybe it’s the chance for the most perfect one yet!

I wish Silver Bell Falls was a real place. After reading this book, I have fully embraced the idea of moving there and living with these happy and kind people. Why isn’t it a real place?

This book starts out with a sort of tragic beginning. Dean, our hero, has learned that his sister has passed away and now he will be the guardian of her daughter, Maya. Dean is quite solitary and is completely overwhelmed by this huge change in his life. But the friends he has in Silver Bell Falls won’t let him down, and immediately swoop in to help. That includes Abby.

Abby is one of my favorite characters. I feel like I say that a lot, but I just really loved her. One thing I loved about how her character is written is that while, as a ballet dancer, she is graceful and poised, she’s the same way in her everyday life. Some of Abby and Maya’s interactions are so sweet, but yet effortless.

One thing I really liked about Dean’s character is that he’s a man, and makes some of the mistakes that men make, but yet he was still very different from other characters I’ve read. Dean really had no disillusions about who he was, or what he wanted. As he and Abby become more serious, Dean is actually the one who is more forthcoming about what he wants and how he feels. I always find that to be a refreshing change.

If you’re looking for a fantastic holiday read, this would be it! The people we meet in Silver Bell Falls are kind and compassionate and Abby and Dean bring the holidays to life with their love story.