excerpt, Upcoming release

Excerpt: I’ve Got This (Joy Universe Book 1)

IveGotThisFS_v1I just can’t help it—I sing loudly to myself and the cars around me as I drive to work. Well, considering the speed traffic is moving at, it’s unlikely anyone in those cars can hear me, but I like to think that maybe I’m brightening someone’s morning with my off-key warbling along to the radio. Everyone should be as happy to face the morning as I am.

Admittedly, I have a pretty great life. I’m thirty-seven and have great parents who live far enough away that I don’t have to see them too often. I’m also financially independent, with friends around the country—the world, actually, thanks to my employer’s propensity for hiring talented people from around the globe—and generally get along with everyone. I can recognize the good things about myself—and the not-so-good things, but why would I want to tell you about those?  Let’s call it confidence. I’m confident in myself. And that means that most mornings I wake up happy to face the day.

Some people hate their jobs. Not me. I’ve worked damned hard since graduating college, and now I’m in the enviable position of being an assistant director at the second-largest entertainment complex in the world—the youngest ever assistant director. For those of you who don’t know, that’s Joy Universe, a resort and theme park complex in southern Georgia , not far from the Florida  state line. JU has four theme parks, twenty-six resorts and three campgrounds, and a shopping and entertainment village that rivals anything on offer anywhere else.

The downside? The complex is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, except for the town that was established to provide housing and services for staff. It’s called Joyville, and is now a thriving small city, actually beginning to attract residents who don’t have any connection to JU—although, as a long-term resident myself, I don’t know why. Still, the University of Georgia  recently decided to build a campus in Joyville, so I guess it’ll keep on growing.

I’m just turning in the entrance of the JU complex when my phone rings, cutting off the musical talents of whatever pop star the radio was playing. I flick a glance at the in-dash display.

Fuck.

It’s Dimi, my assistant. He’s an ambitious overachiever, so he usually beats me to the office, despite the fact that I get there at seven thirty and he’s not required to start work until eight. The point is, he knows exactly when I’m due to arrive, so the only reason for him to call is if there’s an emergency.

I’m just about to hit the button to accept the call when sirens shatter the morning calm.   peek in the rearview mirror shows two police cars, lights flashing, tearing around the corner from the highway. They zip past me as I answer. “Are those sirens for us?”

“Murder at Tiki,”  Dimi says tersely.

Double fuck.

A horn blares through the speaker, and Dimi swears. He’s in his car, probably headed from the office to the resort. We don’t get deaths too often, let alone murder—on average less than five deaths a year in the whole of JU, which considering how many million people visit each year is pretty amazing. Most of the deaths are from natural causes—like heart attacks—or accidents because people don’t follow safety instructions. Only twice in the history of the complex, which is fifty-seven years, has the fault for a death been found to lie with JU. Murder is even less common—in the last ten years that I’ve been working here, we’ve had one. Our security in the parks and the village is intense, and in the public areas of the resorts too, but there’s only so much we can do in the guest rooms.

“I’m five minutes away,” I tell him, hanging a U-turn. It’s a lie, or would be normally, since Tiki Island Resort is halfway across the complex from where I am now, but I don’t plan to adhere to the posted speed limit. Thank God it’s early and there’s not too much traffic on the complex roads. “Tell me what you know.”

“Not much, sorry, Derek,” he says. “Resort housekeeping got a call about thirty minutes ago from one of the deluxe bungalows, requesting a linen change, so they sent a housekeeper over. We’re not entirely sure of the details from that point, because the night manager says she’s hysterical, but apparently there’s blood everywhere, a dismembered body on the bed, and another guest acting like nothing’s wrong.”

Fuck fuck fuck. Could this get any worse? Our housekeepers for the deluxe bungalows are pretty unshakable. They see a lot of weird shit, because those rooms go for over a thousand bucks a night and rich people can be eccentric—hence the reason nobody batted an eye at the request for a linen change before seven in the morning. But a dismembered body… yeah, that could freak out even the most jaded housekeeper.

“Is the situation contained?” The road is completely clear, so I press down on the accelerator. Our security team actually monitors the roads for speeding drivers, since guest safety is one of our highest priorities, but security should already be aware that we have a grisly murder on our hands and will likely not stop me from getting there as soon as fucking possible.

“As much as it can be. The housekeeper hit her panic button and got the hell out of there. Security found her about twenty feet away, hiding behind a tree. They say she was pretty composed when they first got there, but then fell apart. They’ve got eyes on the door and have quietly evacuated the guests on either side—thank God it wasn’t a standard room.”

Hell, yes. Standard rooms at Tiki are in long buildings and share walls with each other, whereas the deluxe bungalows are completely separate and actually have about fifteen feet of space between them. If this had happened in a standard room, JU policy dictates that security would have had to evacuate the entire building—fifty rooms, and up to two hundred guests. A nightmare.

I turn down the side road that leads to Tiki and one of my other resorts. Dimi’s car is about a hundred feet ahead. “I’m behind you,” I tell him. “See you soon.” I disconnect the call.

So what exactly do I do that I love so much, even on a day that starts with a murder? Well, JU is divided into five administrative districts, four of which include parks and a bunch of resorts. The fifth also has resorts, but instead of a park, it includes the village—which is officially called Joy Village, but we just call it the village. We’re real creative like that. Each district is managed by a JU assistant director—that’s me. They tell us the districts are of equal importance to JU, but that’s bullshit. Mine, I’m happy to tell you, is the most profitable. I look after six resorts and Planet Joy itself, home to Joy Bear, the space-traveling cartoon bear that started the whole Joy Incorporated crazy journey. Joy and her zany spacefaring  friends can be seen every day at Planet Joy, along with a variety of other characters and experiences Joy In . has developed over the last fifty years.

That’s what the marketing brochures say, and my team and I do our damndest  to make it true. Especially when shit goes wrong.

My phone rings again.

Quadruple fuck.

The director.

I answer immediately. “I’m about a minute from the resort, Ken,” I tell him, because of course he knows what’s going on. Anytime the police are called, an alert is sent to his assistant. Calling the cops because of murder would have had her interrupting him no matter what time it was or what he was doing, even if it was his sacrosanct weekly golf game—which thankfully isn’t today.

“What do you know?” he demands. He doesn’t like negative headlines associated with the complex, and murder tends to be the most negative of all.

I run down the situation quickly, finishing just as I turn into the Tiki driveway with a little too much speed and pull the car to a stop right behind Dimi and the police cars in the forecourt. “I’m at the resort—I’ll call you back as soon as I have more information.” That isn’t exactly the truth. I’m planning to call him back when I can tell him the situation has been resolved. Hopefully that will be soon, or else he’ll be calling me again.

He hangs up without answering—such charming manners—and I leave my car, tossing the keys to the valet because I know there’s a busload of guests due from the airport soon. I wonder if the cops will let us move their cars? I catch up to Dimi quickly, and we stride together into the lobby, where we’re met by the assistant manager, Carol, who looks a bit frazzled. She’s technically not even supposed to be on shift yet—hell of a way to start the workday.

“Derek, thank God! This way.” She races toward the north door, and Dimi and I jog along with her.

“Do we have the guest information?” I ask, and she fumbles in a pocket and pulls out a sheet of paper. I frown, because I was expecting her to say it had been sent to my virtual inbox. The JU staff app on my smartphone means that all information can be flagged for my urgent attention right from any computer terminal hooked up to the intranet—which is all of them.

Dimi takes the paper and flashes me a glance that clearly says he’s on it. We’ve worked together long enough that he knows I’m thinking about staff refreshers on properly using all the tools available to us.

He reads aloud from the paper as we run past the main pool. At this time of morning the lifeguard is not yet on duty, so it’s pretty much deserted. “Peter and Kylie Rutherford, married, repeat guests, and members of the Forever Joy vacation club. There’s no past incidents on file. Both late forties, in on April 20 and due to check out tomorrow. Deluxe dining plan for both of them, and they’ve charged several bottles of high-end wine to their account, as well as a considerable number of purchases in the parks and the village.”

There’s a crowd around one of the deluxe bungalows up ahead. What looks like most of the resort’s security team, the night manager, the not-yet-on-duty resort manager, and four cops. We skid  to a halt among them.

“Gentlemen, you can’t be here,” one of the cops says, but Link, my manager, looks so relieved to see me, he’s on the verge of tears.

“This is our assistant director,” he tells the cop.

“Derek Bryer.” I offer a hand. “What are we doing here?”

“Officer Higgins,” the cop says, shaking my hand briefly. “The plan is to break through the door and neutralize whoever’s on the other side. Do you have the guest information? The assistant manager was going to get it.”

I frown again, because any of the security or management employees standing around would have been able to access the guest profile from their JU-issued tablets. The cops shouldn’t have had to wait. Dimi hands Officer Higgins the printout Carol gave us, then pulls out his tablet and taps at the screen, probably making notes about the staff training I’m going to insist on. I turn to Link.

“Where’s the housekeeper who found the body?” The answer had better be that she’s in the staff room with one of our staff EMTs, and a doctor and a counselor on the way. “Oh, and what’s her name?”

“It’s Maya. She’s over there.” He points about fifty yards away, where a middle-aged woman in a housekeeping uniform is sitting on one of the benches the resort has scattered around for guests to sit and enjoy the scenery. I mentally add management training to my list. Sure, Link’s shaken up, but dealing with a crisis is something he’s been trained for, and there’s a process for a reason. At least there’s an EMT with her.

“Do you need me here, or can I go talk to her?” I ask the cop, and he shakes his head.

“She’s pretty shaken up. We couldn’t get anything out of her,” he warns me, but I wave him off and shoot Dimi a look. He nods, and I know he’ll monitor the situation and call me over before any action can take place.

I approach the bench slowly, making sure to make noise as I walk. No way do I want to scare a woman who just found a dismembered body. Also, no way do I want to be dealing with a lawsuit because of her trauma. JU is going to do everything possible to make sure she can sleep at night.

The EMT looks up. “Derek’s here,” he tells the woman softly, and she turns her head to look at me. She’s shaking, and her eyes are red-rimmed and puffy.

“Hey, Maya,” I say, speaking just as softly as the EMT, whose name tag says Pat. “Shit start to the day?” I hold my breath, wondering if maybe that was crossing a line, but she huffs a watery laugh. “Can I sit?” I give her the control in this situation—something I learned in one of the many management seminars I’ve been on.

She nods, and I perch on the bench beside her. “Is there anything I can get you?” I start, raising an eyebrow at Pat. He shakes his head slightly, telling me that Maya’s basically okay and doesn’t need to be taken to the hospital. Maya is looking at her hands in her lap, but she answers me.

“I just want to go home.”

“Yes,” I assure her. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to drive, though, so we’re going to have a car take you, and someone will bring your car back to you. First, I’d really like it if you let the doctor see you—she should be here soon.” She’d better be here soon. If it turns out that Link and his team haven’t called her, there is going to be a serious management reshuffle at the Tiki Island Resort.

“I spoke to her on my way here,” Pat says. “She’ll be here any moment.”

“Well, in that case, why don’t you and Maya head back to the staff room? You’ll probably meet her in the lobby. As soon as she’s seen you, you can head home. Take the rest of the week off, with pay, and we’ll have a chat with you later about when you think you want to come back to work.”

Maya sniffles, then nods. “Thank you,” she whispers.

I reach out to pat her hand, but stop, hovering midair. Who knows if she wants to be touched right now? “Don’t thank me. I’m so sorry this happened to you. We’re going to do anything you need to make you feel comfortable at work again.”

She grabs my hand and holds on tight, giving me a tearful look. I squeeze her hand. This has to be so hard for her—I mean, a dismembered body? Really?

Crap. The cops are going to want to talk to her.

“Maya,” I begin hesitantly, “the police are going to have questions for you.” Her grip tightens, threatening to bruise. “I’m going to tell them you’ve left, whether you’re still here or not.” The pressure on my hand lessens, and blood rushes back to my fingers. “Hopefully they’ll be so busy today they won’t come to you at home, but they will eventually want to talk to you. They don’t know anything about what’s happened.” Yeah, pretty sure that was crossing a line, but probably not as much as what I’m about to say. “Is there anything you can tell me that I can pass along, maybe get you a reprieve?”

Her nails are digging into my skin, but I figure I deserve it. She takes a deep, shaking breath.

“She opened the door in her nightie,” Maya whispers, her voice shaking. “I couldn’t see into the room, but it was dark. She told me she needed the bed changed, then went into the bathroom. I walked into the room and went to turn on the bedside lamp. It was… sticky.” Her voice breaks, and Pat frowns.

“Maya, you don’t have to say anything else,” I assure her. The rest seems pretty self-explanatory, really. She nods again, and I tip my head at Pat.

“Come on, Maya, let’s head back to the staff room. I’ll make you a nice cup of tea while we wait for the doctor.” He helps her up, and I squeeze her hand one last time before I let go.

“I’ll check in with you later in the week, Maya, but if there’s anything you need, just call.” I pull a card from my wallet, one of the ones with my cell number on it. “Call me direct.” She takes it and clutches it to her chest, and Pat leads her away toward the main building.

I watch them go for a moment, then jog back over to where the cops seem to be preparing to break into the bungalow. They’ve been joined by a few more of their colleagues, which I assume is the reason this is taking so long.

“Did she say anything useful?” Officer Higgins demands. I don’t love his tone, but I guess he needs to know.

“She’s been deeply traumatized, Officer.” I keep my voice level. “The door was opened by a woman, I assume Mrs. Rutherford, who asked Maya to change the bed and then went into the bathroom. The lights weren’t on when Maya went in, but she turned on a bedside lamp—she said it was sticky, I assume with blood. I don’t know if the lamp is still on.”

The officer grunts, and I make a mental note of it. I’m not that impressed with him—for one thing, I just sent his only witness away, and he doesn’t even seem to have noticed. Dimi taps at his tablet, probably making an actual note. It’s kind of scary the way he and I think so much alike. I probably won’t be able to keep him as my assistant for too much longer—he needs to be promoted soon, or he’ll be headhunted away from JU. Losing him will be hell.

The officer sighs and looks at his watch. “We wanted to wait for the detective to arrive, but he said not to, so I guess we better get in there.”

Yeah. Definitely not impressed.

Things move pretty quickly after that. I’m glad, because the later it gets, the more guests will be wandering around. Carol has pulled herself together enough to go and get a master key for the bungalow, so the cops don’t have to actually break down the door. They stand there in all their gear, counting down with their fingers, and then swipe the card. The lock disengages, they shove the door open, and they’re bursting into the room with shouts of “Police!” and “Hands up!” I wince and glance around to see if the noise attracted any guests.

Within a few minutes they have Kylie Rutherford in handcuffs and are escorting her out to the cars in front, while yet more cops arrive, one who quickly takes charge, and some with tackle boxes full of equipment. Someone is here from the medical examiner’s office, too, I guess to remove the body parts, since it’s pretty clear Mr. Rutherford is dead. Unlike the suites in the main hotel building, the bungalows are open-plan, and I manage to sneak a peek through the door before the cops usher me away. It’s gruesome, and I wish I’d managed to restrain my curiosity. Even though I knew he was dismembered, I was still expecting to see a body. I’m not going to be able to look at raw meat for a while—just thinking about it turns my stomach.

Dimi is totally on top of things, as usual, and has given orders to the valets to direct the cops to the resort’s west parking lot, which is not only closer to the bungalow and more convenient for them, it’s also not at the front entrance of the resort. It’s very bad for business when guests arrive and see a half dozen police cars parked out front. He’s also talking to HR about getting Maya whatever services she needs—a counselor, for one thing.

I gather Link and Carol together. I’ve already sent the night manager home with a reminder to schedule a session with one of our staff psychologists. “Right,” I tell them. “Today is going to be a shit day. Do I need to call people in to cover for you?”

Link gulps and looks me in the eye. I hope he knows that if he tells me he’s not up for dealing with this, I won’t fire him. Maybe give him a less stressful job, though. My resort managers need to be able to deal with anything, and it’s not like he was the one to walk into that room.

“I’m fine,” he says. “I can work today. We’ve already relocated the guests who were in the nearest bungalows. They’ve been upgraded to executive suites in the main building, and their stay has been comped.”

I nod approvingly. True, those guests really haven’t been inconvenienced, but we want them telling their friends how amazing their stay was, not that they were roused from sleep because someone was murdered.

“I’ll call in one of the off-duty concierges to act as liaison with the police and ensure they have everything they need,” he goes on. “And make sure that security set up a manned barrier around this area. I’ll put on more staff to deal with guest questions, too, and… and… and all the guests will receive a free drink at the resort bar tonight.”

I clap him on the shoulder. “Good idea. Make sure all the staff know not to talk about this—the official line, whether to a guest, their family, their friends, and especially to the media, is that there was a situation, the police were called, and any questions are to be directed to them or the media office. Got it?” Fuck, the media will be all over this. I can’t believe they’re not here already—how am I so lucky?

Link and Carol nod, and I decide they can probably handle things. “Call me if you have any questions or anything comes up that might possibly become a problem later. We need to stay on top of this. The bungalow will probably be a crime scene for a while, so have someone rearrange reservations if necessary—no guests are to stay in this area until you have my go-ahead.” I smile, although it’s the last thing I want to do. We may end up having to tear down this bungalow. People can be weird about rooms that were the scene of grisly murders—and other people don’t want to stay in them.

Link and Carol nod, seemingly buoyed up and ready to take on the challenge of the day. As they head back toward the main building, talking quietly, I pull out my phone and call Ken.

“Derek, you’d better have damn good news after making me wait so long,” he tells me, and I take a breath.

“The police have arrested one of our guests, who has allegedly murdered her husband.” I rush on, not wanting him to dwell on that. “The scene is secure, and not too many guests have realized yet that anything is going on. The cops will be here for a while, though, and we’ve taken steps to ensure guests are disturbed as little as possible.” What else does he need to know?

“Is this going to look bad for us?” he demands.

“No.” At least, I hope not. “I don’t know why she killed her husband, but at this stage it looks to be something between the two of them. We were just unlucky that she chose the resort as the scene of the crime. The staff have been very thorough in ensuring all guests are happy.” That’s true, anyway. Well, except for Peter Rutherford, poor bastard. And Ken really doesn’t need to know that my staff need refresher training on how to cope with an emergency. That’s for me to take care of.

“Okay. Kim is waiting for your call. I want a full report by noon, and updates until this is resolved.”

By “resolved” he means when JU is completely freed of any connection to the police or the murder—which will be a while, with the way legal proceedings go. He won’t actually read the reports, anyway—his assistant might, but in general anytime Ken requests shit like this, it’s because he wants to cover his own ass. But that “okay” is the important part. The rest is just routine boss douchery.

“No problem.” I make sure to smile so it will show in my voice. He hangs up. Yeah, that’s how he always ends calls—total douche, right?

I call Kim, the chief media liaison, next. There are a few alerts on the JU app, indicating my attention is needed, but no red flags, thank God. The rest can wait—it’s not like my morning isn’t completely fucked, anyway.

“Derek, talk to me.” Kim is one of my favorite people at JU. She’s no bullshit, no-nonsense, and because my district rarely causes any problems for her to deal with, she’s always happy to go out of her way to help me. With her backing, we’ve had some really spectacular media coverage of events at Planet Joy and my resorts.

“Babe, I got a dead man who was chopped up by his wife, and a housekeeper who’s gonna have PTSD,” I tell her bluntly, trying not to dwell on what my words actually mean. Work first.

She sucks in a breath. “They said murder, but… what do you mean, chopped up? You’re exaggerating, right?”

I deliberately don’t close my eyes, not wanting to see that image again. “Kim, I wish I was. I got a look into that room, and I’m pretty sure we’re gonna have to bulldoze it, because there’s blood everywhere. The dead man was in pieces, piled up on the bed. I’m gonna be sleeping with the light on for weeks, and I knew what to expect.”

“Right.” She shifts directly into superhero mode. “No one talks about this—not to their spouses, friends, priests, and sure as hell not the media.”

“Done. I’ve reminded the manager, but I’ll have Dimi send a memo to all staff and nudge the manager to reiterate it in the morning meeting.” Speaking of Dimi, he’s coming toward me, moving fast and with an oh shit look on his face.

How many fucks am I up to now? Oh, right. Quintuple fuck.

“Great. I’m calling the police now to see what they’ll tell me, and I’ll talk to legal too, see if someone there knows anyone they can lean on. If anybody gets anything out of the cops on site, pass it along ASAP, yeah?”

“Got it,” I tell her, now slightly distracted.

“As soon as the cops give me the all clear, I’ll issue a statement to the press. It won’t say much. In the meantime, do you have the resort guests under control?”

“Yes. Management here is on it, and I’ll be overseeing things personally.” I hope. Unless whatever has Dimi so freaked is going to take over.

“And HR is looking after the housekeeper?”

“Yeah, Dimi spoke to them already, and I’ll follow up in a bit. I’ll also check in with her.” Dimi comes to a stop beside me.

“Emergency,” he says quietly.

Sextuple fuck. What could be more of an emergency than this? “Kim, I gotta go. Something’s come up. We keep each other in the loop, yeah?”

“You bet. Talk later.” She ends the call, presumably off to work her magic, and I turn my full attention to Dimi.

“What?”

He sucks in a deep breath. “We have no performers for Planet Joy today.”

Fuuuuuuuuuuck.

 

Release date: September 24, 2019

All retailers: https://books2read.com/u/3npOLK

excerpt, Promo

Excerpt: The Athlete and The Aristocrat

1539759739

Sometimes love takes balls.

Newly retired championship footballer Simon Wood is taking on his next challenge. His plan for a charity to provide funding for underprivileged children to pursue football as a career has passed its first hurdle: he has backers and an executive consultant. Now it’s time to get the ball rolling.

Lucien Morel, heir to the multibillion-euro Morel Corporation, is shocked—and thrilled—to learn his father has volunteered him as consultant to a fledgling football charity. Better yet, the brains behind it all is heartthrob Simon Wood, his teenage idol and crush.

Although Simon and Lucien get off on the wrong foot, it’s not long before they’re getting along like a house on fire—sparks included. But with the charity under public scrutiny, can their romance thrive?

Excerpt:

NOT FIDGETING was hard.

That’s stupid, he told himself. He was Simon Wood, for fuck’s sake, a championship professional athlete. He’d been in more high-pressure situations than most people would care to even imagine—on the pitch, in the locker room, in the media spotlight. He was used to being nervous, and not since he was nineteen had he felt the urge to fidget.

This was more important than anything else he’d done, however, although he’d never say so to the millions of football fans around the world, many of whom either idolized or loathed him. But it was. As much as he’d always loved playing football, his career as an athlete was never going to be forever, and while it brought entertainment and pleasure to many, ultimately that had been fleeting. This, though… this could last a long time and benefit a lot of young people.

So Si made a concerted effort not to tap his fingers on the chair arms as he sat in the executive reception of the Morel Corporation in Paris. It was a fantastic coup to have even gotten this appointment with Édouard Morel—most applications for charitable funds went through the Morel Foundation’s director—but once Si had retired and made the decision that this was what he wanted to do next, he’d called in just about every favor he’d ever been owed and leaned on a few contacts he’d made in his playing years just to get this meeting. The Morel Corporation had been his top pick when he’d been compiling a list of possible backers because Édouard Morel was known for following through on promises to charities and for generosity. He needed the older man’s full backing, including his contacts and influence, not just to be one of many charities on the Foundation’s list.

“Monsieur Wood?” Si looked up as the extremely elegant executive receptionist came toward him, her professional smile just that tiny bit more than it should be. He was used to that, of course, from both women and men, and any other time he may have considered signaling that he was open to her offer, but not today. Not here. He would do nothing to bollocks up this meeting.

He kept his smile as neutral as possible as he stood. “Yes?”

“If you come this way, Monsieur Morel will see you now.” Her manner slipped back to purely professional. His message had obviously been received.

Taking a deep breath and trying not to be obvious about it, Si followed her down a hallway. At the end was a set of double doors, and with each step closer, his heart pounded a tiny bit louder in his ears. Relax, Si. You can do this.

They reached the doors, and the woman—she’d told him her name earlier, but he couldn’t for the life of him remember it—knocked once before opening one and poking her head in. A moment later she opened both doors wide and stepped back, motioning for him to enter.

“Thank you,” he said, his throat suddenly dry, and walked past her. He heard the doors close behind him, but his focus was on the man rising from a fancy chair behind the big desk across the room. “Monsieur Morel, I’m so pleased to meet you,” Si said as he crossed the space between them, hand outstretched. “I’m Simon Wood.” He knew the man spoke English, which was a great relief since his French was not good and mainly limited to the sort of slurs that could be used against opponents during a football match.

“I recognize you,” Édouard Morel replied, smiling broadly. “I am not so great a sports fan as my son, but even I could not fail to know who you are.” He shook Si’s hand and gestured for him to sit, while Si wondered if the comment about not being a great sports fan meant he was screwed.

Only one way to find out.

“I must confess, I am very curious about this new venture you wanted to speak about. I am not in the habit of funding new businesses, but several people insisted I must see you.”

Oh, bloody hell. It sounded like Morel was setting up for a refusal already, and Si had only introduced himself!

“It’s not exactly a new business,” Si said, forcing the words through his suddenly too-tight throat. Morel raised an eyebrow, his expression skeptical… and just like that, Si was in his zone. The nerves fell away, the worry disappeared, and he was hyperfocused, completely intent on the end goal.

He knew he was speaking, knew he’d taken out the business plan and was making his presentation, but he wasn’t sure exactly what he said. He felt confident, though, sure of every word and action, could judge Morel’s reactions and change tack as required.

And those reactions weren’t always positive. “I do not spend charitable funds on games,” had very nearly pulled Si out of his focused state.

Finally he sat back in his chair, awareness widening again as Morel flipped once more through the business plan for the program. He’d made his pitch. Now to see if it had worked.

Morel looked up, and Si’s gut clenched. “You have secured 25 percent of the funding required for startup and the first year?”

Si nodded. “Yes. There are various grant organizations across Europe that have indicated they would be happy to support the program. I can’t officially apply for them until we’re up and running, of course, but I’ve been assured the funds will be allocated when I do. That will account for 5 percent. The other twenty is coming from me.”

Morel seemed impressed by that. “Really? Twenty percent?”

“I was very good at my job, monsieur, and not as foolish with money as some might assume footballers are. I strongly believe that this program can do a lot of good, and I’d be an idiot not to put my money where my mouth is before looking for funding.” Was that too aggressive? Maybe he should have just shut up.

“Very well.” Morel put the business plan down and sat back in his superfancy chair. “I will not lie—I have never been inclined to support sports charities. I believe money is better used on basic necessities and education.” Si’s stomach sank. “However, you have made a very good point that sometimes young people have different priorities and that life cannot just be about necessities. Pleasure is important too. So here is what I propose. You have 25 percent of funding already secured. The Morel Corporation—not the Foundation—will fund an additional 60 percent of what you need for the first five years of the program, with an option to review then.”

Si wanted to leap up and scream in victory. Sixty percent was more—heaps more—than what he’d hoped for from Morel, and a five-year commitment? Outstanding! Instead, he smiled broadly. “That’s very generous of you, sir. Thank you. You won’t regret this.”

Morel held up a hand. “I am not finished. You have an MBA and an excellent understanding of football and the needs of young players, but I believe no actual experience with running a business or charitable endeavor?”

Where’s he going with this? “That’s correct, sir, and why the plan”—he nodded to the bound document on the desk—“allows for the hire of an experienced business manager.”

“But surely those funds can be put to better use? Let me instead propose this. My son, Lucien, will consult on the setup of the program, train you to run it, and oversee operations for the first five years. His time and expertise will be an additional part of the Morel Corporation’s contribution.”

There was a roaring sound in Si’s ears. Morel was giving him an executive consultant? Si couldn’t claim to be current on who all the movers and shakers of the business world were, but Lucien Morel appeared in the business news almost as often as his father. Having his knowledge and expertise attached to the program would be…. Si couldn’t even think of a word to describe how good.

Belatedly, he realized Morel was still speaking.

“… and so I will personally provide the final 15 percent of funding that you require.”

Si blinked. “I…. Sorry, could you repeat that?” He knew it was less than professional, but he needed to hear the words again.

Morel smiled. “I said, I am aware that it may prove difficult to obtain funding from other organizations with a Morel representative overseeing operations, so I will personally provide the additional funds. No insult to you, but with the size of the contribution the Morel Corporation is making, I would feel more comfortable to have Lucien involved, and if that requires an additional contribution from me….” He shrugged, a very Gallic gesture, and Si nodded. Christ, was it Christmas? His birthday? Every good day he’d ever experienced rolled into one? There could be no other explanation for the level of good fortune he was in receipt of today.

He stood when Morel did. “I will have Lucien’s assistant contact you to arrange an appointment, but here is his information. His name is Paul.” Si took the offered business card, feeling rather numb, shook the man’s hand, and left the office. He walked down the hall, nodded to the receptionist, rode the lift down thirty floors, and left the building. It wasn’t until he was out on the busy Paris street, faced with several hours before he needed to be at the airport for his flight home, that it hit him.

He’d done it.

Twenty years of wondering, of wishing, of thinking maybe one day. The scrupulous efforts to put money aside during his early playing days, when teammates his age were blowing thousands—sometimes millions—on posh houses and cars, holidays abroad, and designer gear. The years of scraping out time to study for his degrees in addition to his grueling training, match, and publicity schedules.

It was all paying off. He’d had the business plan, and now he had the funding too.

And an executive consultant of the like he could never have dreamed of hiring.

Si laughed out loud as he walked down the street, everything seeming bolder, brighter, happier.

He loved Paris.

 

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Friends with benefits never looked so tempting…

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Stand-alone Novella

Samantha Hasting is a woman sick of living in a rut. Her whole life revolves around her work and her best friends. Wanting to meet new people—including a man who makes her heart beat faster—she signs up for online dating.As Sam embarks on her dating adventures, her best friend—and friend with benefits—Levi is her constant, a shoulder to cry on and buddy to laugh with. It’s only after she meets and starts dating Jack that she realizes maybe Levi means more to her than she’d thought. Maybe the man who makes her heart beat faster was right there all along.

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MISS FIX-IT IS LIVE!

A hot cop, a handywoman in killer heels, and a not-so-idle threat… it’s going to take more than a pink hammer to fix-it.

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Stand-alone Novel

Veronica, a self confessed girly-girl, often finds herself labelled a bimbo—and just doesn’t care. An ex-economist turned handyperson, Vee is not afraid to be female, period. So what if it happens to be in a male-dominated industry?
When Vee threatens a client with a hammer to ward off his wandering hands, she finds herself at the local police station facing charges of assault. There she meets Detective Cole Samuels, and the sparks thrown off by their mutual animosity are combustive. They quickly become involved in a hot and heavy relationship, leaping one hurdle after another. Things finally seem to be working out when Vee’s workplace is vandalized, a message left… and suddenly, that crank call and the near-miss with the crazy driver don’t seem to be harmless incidents anymore. Vee’s stalker rapidly escalates in violence, leaving Cole determined to find him before Vee gets hurt….

Continue reading “MISS FIX-IT IS LIVE!”

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It’s LIVE!!!

A cleaner, a football player, and a drug scandal… who said wishes don’t come true?
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Stand-alone Novel
Social misfit Jessamy James pays the bills with a cleaning job so she can do what she really loves—tell stories to children. When she meets NFL superstar Nathan Powell while scrubbing unknown substances from his kitchen floor, Jess is as wary as she is confused. Never has she met a man with so much trust in the world, and he’s never met anyone he couldn’t charm. Outwardly, they’re complete opposites, but Nathan is intrigued by Jess’s reclusive attitude, and she’s drawn to his open personality. The attraction between them is inevitable.
When Nathan is dragged into a drug scandal, Jess is caught up in the media storm and finds her own vocation slipping through her fingers. As they struggle to clear his name and rescue both their careers, Jess and Nathan discover that sometimes all you can do is wish upon a shooting star.

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Title: Wild Hearts

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 10, 2018
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
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This sexy cowboy is out of his element. He doesn’t want commitment, but Jodie Ellison is a force of nature who can’t be ignored.
 
Jodie Ellison loves wild parties, chaotic fun, and spontaneity in her hometown of Ocean City, Maryland. With her writing career and waitressing job not quite paying the bills, Jodie desperately needs a new roommate and finds herself in a nightmarish situation when her roomie turns out to be a disastrous choice.
 
The wild and unruly Levi Creed is a little bit rebel and a whole lot of sexy. When he moves in next door to Jodie, things get a bit tumultuous thanks to a squawking parrot and a dangerous fire pit. It seems like Levi’s adorable Texan drawl and perfect body can’t possibly win over Jodie… or can they?
An undeniable chemistry simmers between the unlikely pair. The beach babe and the sexy cowboy soon find themselves asking: Can they tame their wild hearts and commit to the blossoming romance between them?
Plus, more importantly, I don’t want this flaunty cowboy to think I’m interested or something. I mean, what kind of man walks around Ocean City with an open plaid shirt? What kind of man puts a fire ring in his front yard to cook dinner?
I’ve been down the hot-bod-guy road before, and it didn’t turn out great. He seems nice enough, it’s true. But he’s got that swagger about him, and I’ve seen that before. Something tells me Levi Creed isn’t an innocent Texan boy. Something in his eyes, in his posture, in his everything screams rebel.
True, the last time I fell for a six-pack abs guy was at beach yoga, and the guy wasn’t quite wearing a cowboy hat. But still. I know his type. A hell of a lot of fun… but a hell of a lot of trouble too.
The fire looks nice and inviting, but I’ve been burned before. I have my writing career to focus on. I don’t need to end up in the burning embers again.
“Never mind,” I say, and Levi stays put for a moment before smiling, tipping his hat at me like I’m some southern belle, then heading back into his apartment. He emerges ten minutes later with what looks to be some steaks. He sets up some kind of rack over the fire, and the smell is heavenly. I bury my nose in my computer, though, determined to get some work done.
When he’s done cooking, he ambles back in his apartment, and I figure I won’t see him again.
Fifteen minutes later, though, he comes out with a plate. “I don’t want to distract you, but I had an extra and thought you might be hungry.”
“Smells good. Thanks,” I say, realizing I am actually quite hungry.
“One word of warning. More than one lady has fallen head over heels for me because of my amazing steak cooking skills. Eat at your own risk.”
My mouth opens to spew some witty response, but I’ve got nothing. He winks at me, hands the plate to me, and once I take it, he spins on his boot and walks away, no further questions or comments.
I stare down at the plate, a fork and knife included. There’s a heavenly smelling steak with a salad. Sebastian climbs up on my lap, pawing at the plate, almost choking himself on the harness in the process.
The man might have odd fashion choices, a southern drawl, and a bit of overconfidence, but ten minutes later when the steak’s been devoured, I decide he can definitely cook a damn steak—and maybe Levi Creed as a neighbor has its benefits.
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Lines in the Sand, Book 1
Inked Hearts
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A high school English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay’s the English teacher cliché; she love cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe.

She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, and Bob; and their Mastiff, Henry.
Lindsay’s goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows she’s done her job.
Lindsay’s hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

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“HE LOVES LONG, LOVES HARD, BUT HE DOESN’T LOVE EASY.”
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Title: Mute
Author: ML Nystrom
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: March 3, 2018
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
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Katrina Vega is set on one thing: finishing college. She’s determined not to let anything or anyone distract her, especially not hot brooding bikers. On her mission to stay focused, she doesn’t expect to be pulled into the fold of a motorcycle club, let alone into the arms of Alec “Mute” Stillwater.
Unable to keep her guard up, Katrina soon discovers that beneath the hard and rough exterior of a family she’s grown to care for, there’s also loyalty and passion she’s envious of. But falling for the club’s enforcer will not only threaten her plans but quite possibly her life.

 

 

Mute observed the bar as he always did, drinking coffee, and looking for problems. He already could feel the new help was going to be one. All night he had watched her, slipping through the crowd, deftly avoiding eye contact, staying out of people’s way. She seemed to want to melt into the background, and in some ways that made her the perfect employee. One who would do her job and get things done with no muss or fuss. She didn’t dress to impress, wearing jeans and plain T-shirt, simple sneakers, hair up in one of those stretchy things. It was hard to tell if she wore makeup or not.
When he had first walked into the bar, he’d been angry. Brick had called for a church meeting at the Lair earlier, and all the ranking members and officers had to be present. The older man had shown his frustration, banging the gavel repeatedly to maintain order at the formal meeting. There was bad business going on around town, rumors of drug running, even though the club had gotten out of that shit years ago. Brick and Betsey had worked hard to get the club out of the one-percenter limelight and into legit businesses without feeling the loss of income, but people had long memories when it came to the bad stuff. He’d spent the afternoon searching corners with a club prospect, hanging around, looking for leads. Nothing. It was hard enough to make himself understood, let alone get anyone to communicate with him, and the prospect was either too scared or too stupid to try.
When he’d arrived at the bar tonight, he’d slumped heavily into his spot at the bar and tapped at the new girl for his coffee. She looked at him like she was ready to run out the door. Real pretty eyes, but fuck this shit! His patience was at an end. He stood up and thumped the bar again, knowing his frustration was showing and he was taking it out on an innocent girl. Betsey was there in an instant, talking fast and light, pouring his coffee. The girl settled and went back to work, steadily if uneasily.
Too soft, thought Mute. Pretty girl but too soft for the life. Probably not stick it out. Leave in a week.
 
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ML Nystrom had stories in her head since she was a child.  All sorts of stories of fantasy, romance, mystery and anything else that captured her interest.  A voracious reader, she’s spent many hours devouring books; therefore, she found it only fitting she should write a few herself!ML has spent most of her life as a performing musician and band instrument repair technician, but that doesn’t mean she’s pigeon-holed into one mold.  She’s been a university professor, belly dancer, craftsperson, soap maker, singer, rock band artist, jewelry maker, lifeguard, swim coach, and whatever else she felt like exploring.  As one of her students said to her once, “Life’s too short to ignore the opportunities.”  She has no intention of ever stopping… so welcome to her story world. She hopes you enjoy it!

 

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Author: Dahlia Donovan

Title: The Lion Tamer
Series: The Sin Bin, Book 6
Genre: Gay Romance
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
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All other links: books2read.com/liontamer

One dominant Marine.

One troubled rugby player.The Sin Bin will never be the same.

Gray Baird’s to-do list for the year includes starting a restaurant, claiming his submissive, and keeping his nosy friends out of his business. He has his work seriously cut out for him.Scottie Monk prides himself on bullying his way through problems—and sometimes even people. His life is spiralling out of his control, but he refuses to break. The last thing he expects is to find peace in the confines of submission.


One man will try to tame a lion.One man will try to heal.

And both men will have to join forces to deal with a toxic family and invasive paparazzi.

The Lion Tamer is book six in Dahlia Donovan’s international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.

It is recommended that readers have read at least The Royal Marine and The Unexpected Santa prior to reading The Lion Tamer.

 

Wanting to impress his new backers, Gray got to work preparing a truly impressive spread with boeuf bourguignon toast, prime rib sliders, and whisky-glazed wings for starters, and a brown butter roast chicken with smashed potatoes for the entrée. Akash had brought over a selection of cakes; he’d be providing desserts for the restaurant for the foreseeable future. There were also potential future menus on paper to show the owners.
Fuck me.
This felt like more work than boot camp—it isn’t, but it sure as fuck feels like it.
“Oi. Gray? You in here?” Caddock barged into the kitchen. “We’re all seated out there. Scottie’s late—as ever. You ready to feed the ravenous horde?”
“You’ve got to stop reading Francis’s novels. Scottie’s only late because he decided to try to drink us all under the table again. He’s probably still sleeping it off.” BC strode in behind his friend. They both started towards the platters lined across one of the counters, only to freeze in place when Gray scowled at them. “Bugger. You ever consider refereeing? You’ve got the ‘punish the naughty rugby boys’ look down perfectly.”
Punish the naughty boys?
They’ve no fucking clue.
If they only knew….
Deciding not to go for the easy joke, Gray closed the two former rugby players out of his kitchen. He didn’t want them to get an early sampling of the food. His reputation preceded him, and they went without an argument.
When the server borrowed from the nightclub arrived to help him, Gray managed to get all the starters plated up without any trouble. He followed the waiter out into the restaurant to find the five rugby players waiting, seated around one of the larger tables. A slightly bleary-eyed Scottie took one look at him, muttered a few creative curses, smacked a laughing Caddock on the head, and bolted from the dining room.
“Well, he handled that as brilliantly as expected,” Remi, the lone Frenchman amongst the group of friends, remarked caustically. “Should someone retrieve him? I’m not in the mood to cater to the Monk temper today.”
“Bloody Frenchie,” BC muttered. “I am not sodding it.”
“Me either,” Caddock chimed in readily.
Gray exchanged a knowing look with Taine, who was the only serious one amongst the five, perhaps outside of Remi. “I’ll hunt the rabbit.”
“He’s sodding terrifying,” BC whispered to Caddock, eyes darting toward their new chef. Gray chuckled darkly. “Are we sure he wasn’t an assassin?”
“Just a marine.”
“They’re never just marines.” Remi met Gray’s stony gaze without flinching. “I doubt assassin is the right word for a decorated marine sniper and sergeant major.”
Interesting.
It sounded as if Remi had done a bit of research on him. Background check, maybe? It wouldn’t have been all that difficult to find a bit about his service history. The vast majority of his deployments before and after becoming a drill instructor were likely declassified.
With a nod to Remi, Gray made his way out of the restaurant. He blinked in the rare spring sunlight. His eyes quickly adjusted to allow him to spot Scottie, leaning against a nearby wall and muttering to himself.
“You’ve been avoiding me.” Gray walked purposefully forward until the toes of his shoes almost touched the edge of Scottie’s trainers. “Did I scare you?”
“Hardly.” Scottie tilted his head to scowl at him. “Fuck off. My head’s still killing me.”
“What do they call you rugby boys? Lions? Is that it? You’re no fucking lion. You’re a kitten who’s barely off his mother’s milk.” Gray easily dodged the clumsy punch thrown his direction. Even without his thirty-plus years of military experience, avoiding the swing of a drunken man required little effort. “C’mon, kitten. Didn’t your mom tell you not to roll around in the dirt?”
“She called me her little fucking bastard and told me to drink bleach.” Scottie jerked his shoulders up in a hard shrug. “Didn’t learn much from the twat or anyone else in my family, come to think of it.”
“So? Want a medal?” Gray used his forearm to pin Scottie to the brick wall behind him. “Want a fucking trophy for surviving? Guess what? They don’t hand them out. I should know. I’d be first in line to receive one. You don’t get a pass from common courtesy because life hasn’t been fair. You’re not the only human being to survive a childhood of abuse and pain. Get the fuck over yourself.”
“I’m not a fucking kitten.” Scottie tried to shove him away, but Gray held him still. “What the fuck do you want?”
“Well, you’re certainly not a lion.” Gray bent forward to drag his nose along the side of Scottie’s neck, biting him just above his collar. “No, not a lion. You also still reek of booze. Forget to shower this morning?”
“Fuck you.”

 

Gray couldn’t resist a smirk when the evidence of Scottie’s arousal pressed against his leg. “Get back inside for the tasting, kitten. We’ll finish this later.”
 
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Other Books in The Sin Bin Series
The Wanderer
Book 1
The Caretaker
Book 2

The Royal Marine

Book 4

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The Unexpected Santa

Book 5

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Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.

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Title: A Whole New Life
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 24, 2018
Cover Designer: Soxsational Cover Art
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A handsome deputy who’s not looking to settle down.
A mysterious woman who’s on the run.
When Deputy Henri Gunther realizes there’s so much more to waitress Jenna Trippleton, his simple small-town life explodes right open. With her safety and freedom at stake, Jenna must decide whether she can put her trust in the one man who’s promised to protect her.

 

 

“You have a great day as well. And watch out for those ghosts up at the bed-and-breakfast.” He winked at her.
“What ghosts?” she asked, confused.
“Didn’t anyone tell you? The Bakker place is supposed to be haunted. Stories have been circulating about that for over a hundred years.” Henri smiled at her.
“You don’t really believe such things, do you?” Jenna scoffed. She’d lived through real hell; ghost stories weren’t going to scare her.
Deputy Hotty kept smiling and handed her his card. “My cell number is on there. You never know when you might want a deputy to come save you from the big bad ghosts. Of course, you can feel free to call me for anything else you might need as well.”
Oh my God, he really is flirting with me, Jenna thought to herself. Outwardly she tried to remain cool as she took his card. “Thank you, Deputy, but I stopped believing in ghosts a long time ago.”
“Why is that?” he asked.
“The living people around me turned out to be scarier,” Jenna answered before thinking. Damn her too-honest mouth sometimes, it always had gotten her into trouble.
Henri’s eyes seemed to focus a little more after her response. “I’m sorry. Still, keep my card and give me a call sometime. I’m good at all sorts of things, not just protecting people from ghosts.” With one final smile and wink, he walked out to join his fellow officers.
Anna came up behind her as she still held his card in her hand. “Looks like you have a new admirer. Mind you, he might be the biggest flirt in the town, but I don’t know if I’ve seen Henri Gunther go full out like that for attention since he was in high school, and even then he didn’t have to work hard. Girls practically threw themselves at him then—well, until Stacey landed him.”
“And now? No Stacey or women throwing themselves at him?” Jenna couldn’t help but ask. She was going to remain single—she didn’t need the hassle of a relationship, let alone one with a cop and apparently the town lothario—but she still couldn’t help wanting to know. Something about that man got to her. Maybe it was the sadness behind the flirting baby blues, the hint of depths unknown she could see in his eyes.
“Seems like he may have a little interest being returned? Well, I’ll give you a brief run-through on Henri Gunther. Gorgeous, as anyone with eyes can see, and so can he. Back in high school, he was a big shot football player who dated the head cheerleader. Then in the last game, he broke his leg and ended any hope of a college career. Stacey had been banking on him leaving town and taking her with him. When he decided to stay and try out for the police force, well, she took off with one of his friends from the team who was headed to Iowa State. Broke poor Henri’s heart,” Anna explained.
 
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Sheri Velarde lives in New Mexico with her husband and their two dogs.
Being an avid reader since an early age, Sheri wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to pursue her dream of writing for a living. Sheri specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it. She writes everything from sweet romances to horror stories sure to scare you.
In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, watching movies, playing games, and hosting intimate dinner parties.
Sheri is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website www.authorsherivelarde.weebly.com.
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He says he’ll catch her, but will she let herself fall?
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Author: MV Ellis
Title: Catching London
Genre: Rock Star Romance
Release Date: February 17, 2018
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
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 Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2BxohWf 
All other links: books2read.com/catching

He’s not looking to change his bad boy ways.

Arlo Jones is a badass millionaire rock star with the world at his feet. He lives the “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” lifestyle to the max, and believes in working hard and playing harder. He’s a man who always gets what he wants, especially when it comes to women. Until he meets London.

She’s a damaged dancer not looking to fall.

All London Llwellyn wants is to rebuild her life following the tragic car accident that robbed her of her fiancé, and ended her career as a professional ballet dancer. She’s working two jobs to scrape together the cash to set up her own studio, and reinvent herself as a photographer. The last thing she wants is to get involved.

Arlo promises to always be there to catch her, but can London trust him enough to let herself fall?

 

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MV ELLIS knows what it’s like to fall head over heels in love with a badass musician. She followed her heart halfway around the world to be with one. She moved from London to Sydney after a steamy holiday romance with a sexy bass player in sultry Brazil.
Twelve years, two children and a dog later, and she’s still smitten. All this with a guy she sat next to on a bus for 36 hours! She has toured internationally as a “WAG,” and her experiences inspire her writing.
Ellis’s love of romance began when she was 11 years old, after a summer spent secretly reading her auntie’s books. She’s been a sucker for an alpha hero and strong heroine ever since.
An avid reader, Ellis always knew she’d write a book of her own one day. She was right about that. Following a career spanning advertising, marketing, and social media, she finally wrote Catching London in 2017.