Archive | December 15, 2016

Fall with Me (Sixth Street Bands #2) by Jayne Frost Release Blitz & Rafflecopter giveaway 12/15/16

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Book Title: Fall With Me (A Sixth Street Bands Novella)
Author: Jayne Frost
Genre: Romance
Release Date: December 15, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

As the bassist for the band Caged, the last three years have been one, long non-stop party. Sure, I’ve had some regrets. Everyone does. But getting trapped in a relationship isn’t one of them. I know good and well what happens when the attraction fades. I’ve seen it first hand. Love is a zero sum game, so why play? As long as I’m upfront about my feelings, no one gets hurt. Besides, I’m never in one place long enough to worry about tomorrow.

That is, until the band decided to take an extended hiatus in our hometown. That’s when I met Melody Sullivan. She’s the full-package. Whip smart and beautiful, with enough determination to take on anything life has in store. And the best part? Melody shares my philosophy on the fleeting nature of attraction. She doesn’t buy into the whole “happily ever after” crap anymore than I do. We’re perfect for each other. For now. And now is all I want.

With the expectations off the table, I can let my guard down and enjoy her company until the spark dies. And we both know it will. In a week, or a month. But until then, we’ll just keep having fun. The good kind, with lots of sex and no strings attached. And when it’s time to move on, we will. No drawn out goodbyes and no remorse.

That’s the plan, at least.

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meet the author

I guess I should start with the basics: the backstory. I was born and raised in California. At this point, I’m usually asked what it was like to grow up near the beach, but sadly, I don’t know. I grew up in the “other” part of California. Perfect for an aspiring writer, if you ask me. You learn a lot about keeping yourself busy when the nearest house is a mile away…and it belongs to your grandparents.

I spent all my time with my nose in a book, living vicariously through the characters, until I wrote a book of my own. I was ten at the time. It was a scintillating piece that cast the family pet as the protagonist.

By the time I went to high school, I moved on to romance. Why? Because I met my very own prince charming. I wrote love poems in my journal about the green-eyed boy who stole my heart. He promised, the way all storybook heroes do, to sweep me away and take me on a grand adventure. And he did.

We picked up and moved to the Lone Star State and began the story of us. The best stories begin without a road map or a compass. Veering off course makes the journey so much more interesting.

True to form, just when I thought my life was set, we started the next adventure. I traded in my cowboy boots and followed my green-eyed boy to Las Vegas. My home will always be in Texas, but my heart is anywhere that he is. Our beautiful daughter made the journey with us. Our son stayed in Texas, to write his own story.

Somehow, in the midst of the chaos that is our life, I find time to write. Writing is what I love. I might stray from romance every now and then if that is what moves me…but I always come back. Some of the stories don’t seem romantic at all. They are gritty stories about flawed characters that find each other and hold on tight. Those are the stories that speak to me. Because that’s life. I believe that every story should have a happy ending—even the difficult ones.

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THE AFFAIR, an Erotic Short Novella by J.C. Valentine & Rafflecopter giveaway 12/15/16

The Affair, An Erotic Short Romance

by J.C. Valentine
Publication Date: December 13, 2016
Genres: Adult, Novella, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

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Synopsis: While the husband is away, the wife will play…Bradley is a good man. He’s loyal and loving and a great husband and father. But the spice is gone from our marriage. It’s time to liven things up a bit.

I’m done being good. Done following the rules. I’ve spent half my life playing wife, mother, chauffeur, and maid. Now, it’s time to play the vixen. It’s time to reclaim the woman I used to be—the woman I was always meant to be. It’s time to shake things up.

Warning: This book is short and filled with dirty, steamy sex. It’s going to speak to your adventurous side, the side of you that craves a fantasy. So, if you’ve ever wondered what if, then this is the book for you. It requires an open mind, so read it till the end. You won’t be sorry.

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EXCERPT

I’ve never done anything like this before. Me, a married woman with kids, sitting alone in a hotel bar drinking cheap, bubbly champagne from a fluted glass.

The last time I had champagne was at my wedding twelve years ago. I was younger then, able to stay up past midnight without looking like something death ran over. I had a better body then, too. No stretch marks. Tight stomach. Twenty pounds lighter. My boobs were fantastic, too, defying the laws of gravity. Certainly no need for the uncomfortable underwire pushup from Victoria’s Secret to make them look good.

But I digress.

I’ve never deliberately sat in a bar waiting for someone to notice me. A nice someone. Someone with dark, kind eyes that hold an edge of danger. Someone that lights that fire in my belly from just a look, the barest touch.

After popping out two kids and spending the last seven and a half years running endless errands and performing maid duties in exchange for a weekly romance novel stipend and the occasional functional haircut when time allows, I’ve missed that feeling. You know the one—excitement, flare, burning desire. I’m at the point in my life where I need to reclaim a part of myself. That part that needs to be reminded she’s still a woman. A woman with needs. With desires. With dreams and passions and a zest for life.

That’s why I’m here tonight. While my children play gin rummy and eat far too many sweets with my in-laws, I’m on a mission to rediscover the vibrant, sexy, confident woman I used to be.

ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

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CELEBRATE: A Love Brothers Holiday Anthology by Liz Crowe & Other Release Blitz & Rafflecopter giveaway 12/15/16

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Book Title: Celebrate! A Love Brothers Holiday Anthology
Authors: Liz Crowe, Desiree Holt, Lexi Post, Kate Richards, Cecilia Aubrey & Chris Almeida, Deanndra Hall, Melissa Keir, Mia Koutras, Deelylah Mullin, Anne L. Parks, Paige Prince, Melissa Robitille, Jamie Salisbury, M.A. Stone, Lacey Wolfe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 15, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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CELEBRATE with the Love Brothers this holiday season!

Join 16 best-selling, award winning authors as they bring their own unique stories to this critically acclaimed, Amazon best-selling, family saga-style romance series by Liz Crowe.

Everything from breweries, wineries, distilleries and race car drivers, to EMTs, Olympic athletes, cops, and serious second chances—PLUS a brand new Love Brothers story from Liz herself—can be found in this amazing collection of novellas from some of your favorite romance story-tellers.

Available December 15, 2016 everywhere ebooks are sold, the CELEBRATE Anthology is the perfect holiday romance reading treat—and is only around for a limited time.

Don’t miss your chance to feel the holiday love—Love Brothers style!

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meet the author

Liz Crowe

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, Liz Crowe books are unique and told with a fresh voice. Her 30-book backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

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Desiree Holt

A multi-published, award winning, Amazon and USA Today best-selling author, Desiree Holt has produced more than 200 titles and won many awards. She has received an EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and many others including Author After Dark’s Author of the Year. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The London Daily Mail. She lives in Florida with her cats who insist they help her write her books, and is addicted to football.

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Lexi Post

Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education teaching courses about the classical literature she loved, but romance was her first love. So she married them. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a sensuous experience with a “whole lotta story.”

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Kate Richards

Kate Richards divides her time between Los Angeles and the High Sierras. She would gladly spend all her days in the mountains, but she’d miss the beach…and her very supportive husband’s commute would be three hundred miles. Wherever she is, she loves to explore all different kinds of relationships in her stories. She doesn’t believe one-size-fits-all, and whether her characters live BDSM, ménage, GLBT, spanking, or any other kind of lifestyle, it’s the love, the joy in one another, that counts.

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Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey

Six years ago, our paths crossed in a most serendipitous way: through online role play. As funny as it may sound, we were “married/mated” by the group’s owner and from day one, we knew we just clicked. After a few months of writing some pretty hot fanfiction, we decided it was time to write about our own characters. Without a second thought, we embarked on this (crazy) joint writing adventure and Chris Almeida & Cecilia Aubrey were born. Since then, we have written 15 books in our Countermeasure Series (Romantic Suspense), and a novella in the A.W.E. Crew Series (Military Romance) published in Desiree Holt’s Omega Team Kindle World and plan to write our own brand of hot & spicy romance for many years to come. You can find out more about us and our books here:

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Deanndra Hall

Deanndra Hall writes stories in a world she knows well, with characters that are as fun, kinky, and crazy as she is. Although she’s an international bestselling author, she works and lives in far western Kentucky with her partner of 30+ years and three crazy little dogs. She’s written for business, industry, religious institutions, non-profits, and owned her own graphic design business, as well as working as a fiber and textile artist. Her personal best was 26,000 words in one day, but she advises against that – it took her the next three days to pry her swollen eyes open. When she’s not writing, she can be found working out at the local gym, hiking, kayaking, reading (of course), or working on a healthy recipe. And wherever she is, chocolate is sure to be nearby.

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Melissa Keir

Melissa Keir has always wanted to be an author when she wasn’t hoping for a career as a race car driver. Melissa doesn’t believe in down time. She’s always keeping busy. Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a book reviewer, owner of a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice. She loves to write stories that feature happy endings and is often seen plotting her next story.

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Mia Koutras

Mia Koutras lives in the Greater Toronto Area with her wonderful husband and two amazing children. When she’s not educating students on the brilliant imagery and symbolism in Shakespeare’s great tragedies—while they not so covertly tap away on their cell phones to make plans for lunch and after school—she’s concocting story lines and character sketches in her head, just waiting for the moment to commit them to paper and hard drive. Mia can be found online at:

Facebook | Twitter | E-mail: miakoutras@gmail.com

Deelylah Mullin

Deelylah Mullin began her writing journey as a child. Since Fourth Grade Writers’ Group, high school creative writing classes, and even more creative writing in college (the first time), she’s been working to hone her craft and tell her stories. Back in the day, those stories used to be horror. Now, they’re diverse in genre, but almost always with a romantic twist. She’s spent twenty-four years teaching high school and college English/composition courses, professionally edited since 2012, and is in semi-retirement to chase her own dreams.

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Anne L. Parks

Anne L. Parks is the author of nine books, including the Return To Me series, and the Tri-Stone Trilogy. Married to the Navy – well a Commander in the Navy – with a background in law, it’s not surprising she was drawn to writing romantic suspense and legal thrillers. Currently residing in the Washington D.C. area, she loves spending time reading, doing yoga, mountain biking, and keeping track of four kids. And drinking wine.

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Paige Prince

Paige Prince is the alter ego of Rhyann Harris, erotic romance author, editor, drinker of coffee, and binger of Netflix. Based in a suburb of Houston, Texas, Paige is happily married to her very own romance hero, and they’re raising their very own little heroine. Or hellraiser. They’re not entirely sure which side she’s chosen yet.

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Melissa Robitille

Melissa Robitille is an author, editor, book formatter & cover designer, and when that doesn’t keep her busy enough she also designs websites, cooks, sings along to everything and dances, too. She writes everything speculative fiction – fantasy, science fiction, horror, paranormal romance, paranormal noir, urban fantasy, you name it – and will have 2 novellas in boxed sets as well as 4 short stories in anthologies under her own name this year alone, as well as several books published under pen names.

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Jamie Salisbury

Writing romance stories with passion and sass, Jamie Salisbury has seen several of her books soar to #1 on Amazon. She’s written as long as she can remember. Her books are all self published. Music, traveling and history are among her passions when not writing. Her previous career in public relations in and around the entertainment field has afforded her with a treasure trove of endless story ideas.

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M.A. Stone

M.A. Stone has had magical stories in her head, ever since she was a little girl devouring her favorite Stephen King or Laurell Hamilton novel; she figured if they could write up amazing stories about amazing people and places, well then so could she. She’s had three books published so far, a short story in a novella and is set to release books four and five in the next year. When’s she’s not arguing with her characters or figuring out storylines in the shower, she’s raising up her four AMAZING (and interesting ) children, binge watching stuff on Hulu, making blankets and trying to schedule date nights with the love of her life. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her family, her overly-emotional pitt bull, a flock chickens named after characters from the movie Friday, and a duck named Ricky.

You can reach her at:

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Lacey Wolfe

Lacey Wolfe has always had a passion for words, whether it’s getting lost in a book or writing her own. Her goal as an author is to have a romance for everyone, whether it’s sweet, sensual, or spicy. She’s had several books on the Amazon best seller lists. When she isn’t writing, she can be found running, talking to her pets, spending time with her family, or lost in some sort of craft. She takes kindly to anyone who feeds her cookies.

Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their herd of cats, and one black lab who rules the house.

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Hurricane in Paradise by Deborah Brown Cover Reveal & Rafflecopter giveaway 12/15/16

COVER REVEAL

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Book Title:Hurricane In Paradise
Author: Deborah Brown
Genre: Mystery
Release Date: December 15, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Set against the steamy backdrop of Tarpon Cove’s sun-kissed, tropical waters, sexy sleuths and best friends Madison and Fab are at it again dealing with the occasional dead body. Hidden just below the surface of the small town lies an underworld, one steeped in deceit, corruption, and deadly secrets. It’s only a matter of time before Madison and Fab find themselves on a collision course with the police, who consider them likely suspects in a murder.

Ride along on their adventures when the duo realizes that a family member is missing and pull themselves away from all jobs to track him down. Theories: walked away, freak accident, kidnapped? If so, then why no ransom demand?

Hurricane in Paradise is book ten in the thrilling and humorous provocative Paradise series, which finds the two waist-deep in mystery and romance. It is a smart, adventurous read that delivers heart-thumping, non-stop action. Join Madison and Fab as they solve the most twisted of cases, through unconventional ¬– and highly entertaining – measures… sometimes in flip-flops.

excerpt

Chapter One

A gust of wind blew the front door open, sending it ricocheting off the wall. Creole stumbled into the entry, his black hair whipping around his face. A crack of thunder boomed behind him, announcing the fury of the rapidly approaching storm. “Madison Westin,” he barked, sounding like an angry dog. “What in the hell are you still doing at home?”

Dropping a small bag at the bottom of the stairs, I watched as my boyfriend veered left, going into the kitchen, dripping wet from the sheets of rain slamming the house in all of Mother Nature’s ferocity. The wind’s howling sounded like someone screaming at times.

Luc Baptiste was his birth name, Creole the undercover moniker he used in his employment as a Miami detective, but only a handful of people actually knew that little fact. He stood over six feet, his muscles accentuated by his soaked t-shirt. At the moment, he had a two-day scruff of beard and his eyes were an irate blue; when they turned a deep cobalt, I knew he was more than mildly annoyed.

Another bolt of lightning flashed through the garden window. I counted under my breath and listened until thunder rocked in the distance, the eye of the storm getting closer. It was just beginning to make its presence known.

“You need an umbrella.” I watched as he shook the water off like a wet animal. “The news said the hurricane won’t make landfall until tonight.”

He scowled, looming over me, his brows pulled together. “You promised you’d be going with Fab and Didier to Miami.” He tugged on a tendril of red hair that had escaped my hair clip.

When I first moved to the Florida Keys, living by myself got old––fast. So, when Fabiana Merceau showed up one day with her suitcases, she caught me off guard, but I was happy to have her move in and had never been sorry that she became a permanent fixture. Not long after, Fab met her supermodel boyfriend, Didier, and decided, without a word to the man, to go to the hotel where he was staying, pack up his belongings, and unpack everything into the closet upstairs. Didier was a quick fit as a friend and family member. And nice to look at over morning coffee, or any other time. It made life easier that we had erratic schedules and were rarely all in the house at the same time.

“I didn’t make any promises.” I tried not to flinch at the weaselly tone in my voice. “No one asked my opinion, or I would’ve told all of you that I didn’t want to go anywhere.” I tossed him a towel from a stack that was going into the Hummer if I got scared enough to change my mind and leave. “The news always over-dramatizes the weather reports. It’s only forecast to make landfall as a category two. If it turns out to be a ‘rain event,’ they’ll still close the roads and take their time in reopening them, leaving us hanging out for several days since there’s no way to sneak back home with only one road in and out of the Keys.” I tried not to roll my eyes when, upon hearing the word “sneak,” his dark scowl returned.

“You’ve lived here long enough to know the back side of the storm can bring the most damage.”

I ignored his lecturing tone. I didn’t think now was the time to tell Creole that I wasn’t aware there was a difference. I’d ridden out a few hurricanes, often in the dark, the electricity not able to handle the onslaught, and when the sun came out again, the only damage left in their wake were piles of leaves and tree branches. I’d thankfully never experienced one of the more destructive ones.

Tarpon Cove sat at the top of the Florida Keys. The last damaging hurricane to roll through happened before my arrival. The old timers liked to say, “It’s been a damn long time since we had a direct hit.”

Lightning skated across the sky in non-stop action, the wind shrieked, and the lights flickered.

“Let’s go.” He reached for my wrist and pulled me into his arms, lifting me slightly, just enough to draw me against his chest.

My fingers curled into his thick, dark hair, and I traced a line over his lips and ran my hand over his jaw, feeling the scratch of rough stubble. He tilted his head and kissed me, then gave a low growl and deepened the kiss.

“What about the cats?” I took a moment to appreciate the muscled chest resting under my fingertips. “Fab texted an address on Ocean Boulevard, which makes it a good bet that it’s a five-star hotel. Good luck sneaking Jazz and Snow in. I don’t know what kind of traveler Snow is, but Jazz will meow loudly enough to make his presence known. I’m not leaving them behind. I don’t understand people who do that.”

Snow, my long-haired white cat, had been pregnant when I first rescued her from life with fifty other unrelated felines. Thankfully, she’d only had two kittens—a boy and a girl. Neither looked remotely related. They had both been adopted by my friend and employee, Mac, who was eager to become a new cat mom. My only condition was that they be spayed or neutered; all three went to the vet on a discount plan.

Jazz, my hundred-year-old, long-haired black cat, had adjusted quickly to getting a trophy girlfriend in his old age. A few sniffs, a handful of hisses, and they were sleeping together.

“One of Didier’s designer friends offered up his beach-front digs.” Creole made a face, which usually made me laugh; instead, I returned a half-hearted smile.

Creole shook his head; he’d made up his mind that we were leaving, and he was not letting me talk him out of it. He crossed the kitchen and retrieved the cat carrier sitting on the floor by the island. He scooped up Snow and stuck her in first, followed by Jazz. Since they had both been rudely woken from sleep, it took him less than a minute, neither meowing, even when the door banged closed.

Our eyes flew to the garden window over the kitchen sink, where the pelting rain had picked up speed, sounding like gravel was being thrown at the glass. The winds ramped up to a yowl that steadily grew in intensity.

“We should stay.” I avoided eye contact, knowing he’d veto the idea, but I had to suggest it.

“We are not going to be one of those couples that makes the news because we had to be plucked off the roof. How would I explain being so stupid to my boss? Remember him? Chief Harder? And in the next breath, I’d have to justify the squandering of county funds on my rescue.”

“Take off your clothes.” I stared up into his deep-blue eyes and winked. “I’ll toss them in the dryer. Unless you want to drive to Miami in wet clothes?”

He peeled off his shirt, followed by his jeans. I openly stared while he undressed. “I know what you’re up to.” He shook his finger at me. “It’s not going to work. I’ve got a change of clothes upstairs.” He turned out of the kitchen and took the stairs two at a time.

The wind continued to grow, the storm beating the sides of the two-story Key West-style house that I had inherited from my Aunt Elizabeth. A sizzle of lightning strikes followed by an ear-splitting crash had me running to the French doors that led to the pool area. Flicking on the outside lights, I peeked out, and immediately noticed that the palm that had stood in the far corner since before my aunt bought the house now lay on its side, a row of flower pots crushed under its weight where it had landed perilously close to the pool.

“That could have been worse,” I muttered to myself. I didn’t like leaving the house to fend for itself any better than leaving the cats to do the same. I crossed my fingers, certain I had nothing to worry about; the house had withstood many pounding storms, never sustaining more than minor damage.

“Ready?” Creole called from the bottom stairstep, my suitcase in one hand.

“Am I following you?”

“Nice try.” He laughed. “You and the cats are riding in my truck; that way, I can keep an eye on you.”

Happy not to be driving in the pouring rain, I gave in and crossed the room, picking up the small tote lying on the floor next to the banister.

meet the author

Redhead. Long legs. There’s nothing like a strawberry-lemonade in summer. Favorite activity: Filling my pockets with seashells. An avid rule follower when eating Animal Cookies: Broken ones get eaten first, match up the rest, duplicates next, line them up favorite to not, least favorite go first. South Florida is my home, with my ungrateful rescue cats, and where Mother Nature takes out her bad attitude in the form of hurricanes.

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FEAST OF LOVE by Ceri Grenelle Release Blitz & Rafflecopter giveaway 12/15/16

Feast of Love

by Ceri Grenelle
Croft Holiday Series
Publication Date: December 12, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Menage, MMF, Romance

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Synopsis: Armie Croft just lost the last of his vision due to a degenerative disease, something that proves problematic as he bangs his head against the side of the JCA pool during a late night swim. Leighanne Misra, the nighttime lifeguard, jumps in to rescue him, followed by Mitch Karmi…who is wearing a suit and has no training when it comes to performing CPR. Soon after laughing at Mitch’s soaking wet clothes, and double checking to make sure Armie is alive and well, a steamy connection is forged between the three acquaintances.Mitch wants to hide their ménage from the public, much to Armie and Leighanne’s dismay, but he negotiates and asks they at least have the week leading up to the first night of Hanukkah to themselves. The three lovers are stronger together but sometimes you never truly appreciate what you have until you’ve lost it.

EXCERPT

Armie woke with the acute awareness that he was somewhere he’d never been before. The sounds were all wrong to be his apartment or sisters’ houses or even Dearborne’s back room where drunks sometimes slept the night off. No, this place sounded almost cavernous, the ambient noise bouncing off hard surfaces with nothing to absorb them. He stretched his hand to his right and came up against a soft surface. He was lying on a couch. That wasn’t ominous; that wasn’t a reason to start panicking. There was a blanket covering him; thick, felt like wool. Serial killers wouldn’t cover him with a woolen blanket, nor keep him unbound. A self-deprecating thought shamefully struck his mind, bringing on another familiar wave of helplessness.

“They would once they realized you were pretty much feeble,” he muttered.

“Oh, you’re awake!”

Armie went for the voice swinging, but in his panic he forgot he was lying on a couch and rolled onto the floor. He landed on his back, knocking the wind out of him.

“Armie, Armie, it’s good. It’s Leighanne. You’re at Mitchell’s apartment.” She grabbed his hands, stilling his frantic and probably ridiculous-looking arm waving.

Leighanne, shit. He was okay. This was fine. Disgustingly embarrassing, but fine.

She rubbed his hands between hers, soothing and calming, bringing him back down to reality, explaining what had happened the night before. “You were drunk, and we were worried about you getting home on your own, so we brought you here.”

Right. He’d made a fool of himself at Dearborne’s as well. There was no way the old man wouldn’t call Ophi and Nettie about his antics now. The town was too nosy for its own damn good.

“I went to the bar to have a few beers¼”

“By a few, I think you mean nearly ten shots and five beers according to a text we got from Dearborne after bringing you here.” She stroked his cheek with her knuckles, the bones tripping over his stubble. “You’re a crafty drunk, ordering from different bartenders so they can’t tell how much you’re drinking till it’s too late.”

“Yeah, call me the master,” he mumbled. He felt for the couch’s edge and hauled himself up from the floor to sit. The cushion dipped next to him, and Leighanne’s spicy scent suffused his senses. He could only be grateful Mitch hadn’t seen his swan dive.

Armie rubbed his eyes. They were gritty. Even though he couldn’t use them, they still collected moisture overnight that crusted in the morning. Annoying, really. “Shit.” He didn’t say anything else, thoroughly self-conscious, even more so than he had been at the JCA. “I should go.” He looked up, hoping to be facing in her direction.

Armie remembered what it was like to speak to a blind person, back when he could still see. They didn’t look directly at him, slightly off centered sometimes. It had been odd, but worse, it had made Armie feel pity for the person. He never wanted Leighanne to feel that way about him. “Thank you for rescuing me. Again. Where’s Mitchell?”

A voice from across the room echoed, coming closer as he spoke. “You both need to start calling me Mitch. I never considered myself a Mitchell.”

“I like Mitchell.” Leighanne’s lilting tones. Her voice was so musical. “It sounds classic.”

Mitchell hummed at the compliment, and Armie heard skin sliding against skin. Was he touching her? Had they done something together? Of course they had. Judging by how they had felt at the JCA, they were both extremely witty and smart and accomplished. Of course they’d be together. Armie couldn’t hold back his sigh at another missed opportunity. He should have gotten over himself back in that locker room, should have given in to what he’d wanted. But the fear and the shame had been too strong, to the point where it was almost all he felt nowadays.

Armie cleared his throat. “Thanks, Mitch, for taking care of me.” The words felt like shrapnel in his mouth. “Is my phone here? I should call a cab.”

“Uh¼”Leighanne hesitated a second. “Yes, your phone is here. But we want you to stay for breakfast.”

“I don’t want to intrude.”

A big hand, Mitch’s hand, squeezed Armie’s shoulder. “You wouldn’t be intruding. In fact”—he slid the hand up the side of Armie’s neck and into his curls, playing with the strands and rubbing them against the shell of his ear—“we’ve been waiting to get you alone again since the locker room.”

Armie didn’t have to guess at Mitch’s meaning. The heat had been off the charts. Maybe they’d waited for him. Maybe they still wanted him. That would be too much to hope for. “Can I get a toothbrush and a shower?”

“Only if you stay for breakfast,” Leighanne said, the hopeful tone in her voice so endearing.

“Yes, I’ll stay.”

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ABOUT CERI GRENELLE

I’ve always had an active imagination. An imagination that usually took form in the way of zoning out in the middle of conversations. I eventually decided it was time to share my daydreaming with the world and began to put my musings on paper. It started with Harry Potter fanfiction and grew from there.

I am currently living it up in Northern California after a big move from New York City. And by living it up I mean staying home with my cats, obsessively watching episodes of my favorite TV shows, all of which are extremely geeky, and simultaneously reading the next book on my reading list. I do all this while trying not to pig out on unhealthy snacks. As you can tell, I lead a busy life.

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