Saturday, October 21, 2017

Release Blitz & Review ~ Champagne & Forever by Andrea Johnston

Today we have the release blitz for CHAMPAGNE & FOREVER by Andrea Johnston! Check it out and grab your copy today!

About Champagne & Forever

You’re cordially invited to the wedding of Bentley Sullivan and Piper Lawrence. Sometimes the princess really does marry her prince.
Twenty years ago, I fell in love with my best friend’s brother. It doesn’t matter that I was only five years old, he was it for me. Ben says a single kiss changed it all and I suppose he’s right.
I’m looking forward to raising my glass of champagne and toasting our forever.
Happily ever after does exist.
Champagne & Forever is part of the Country Road series and may contain spoilers of books 1-3 of the series

Get your copy today or read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

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Excerpt

“Babe, do you know where my anti-frizz serum is?”

“Piper, why would I know where that is? I don’t use hair products.”

“Ben.” She sighs. It’s a sweet sigh with a smile as she approaches me. Once her hands wrap around my waist, I mimic her move, tug her to me, and lower my lips to hers. After a few dozen kisses that leave her panting, I pull away and allow her to continue speaking. Instead, Piper stands before me, her eyes closed and her lips lifted to a smirk.

“You had something to say, babe?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah. How do you do that?”

“What’s that?” I ask as I walk to the refrigerator and pull out a bottle of water, opening it and quickly finishing half of it off in one gulp.

“Kiss me stupid. I know I had a question, but you do that and I forget my own name.”

“Piper Sullivan.”

“Gosh, I love when you say that.” Piper walks up to me and steals the bottle of water from my hands, taking her own sip before handing it back to me.

“Only seven days. Anyway, you were asking about hair products. I don’t know where any of that is, but if it’s a serum, my sister probably has it. Witchy powers and all that,” I tease.

Piper smacks my arm, which causes me to fake a flinch and turn my back toward her as though I’m protecting myself. “Be nice; that’s my best friend you’re making fun of.”

“Oh, come on. If I can’t make fun of my own sister, what’s the point of having her? Besides, you know she’s been a little on edge lately. More so than usual. Are you sure we should’ve asked her to sing at the wedding?”

 

I loved this addition from Andrea. It was just what was needed after Martinis and Moonlight. It was great seeing the events leading up to the wedding from everyone's point of view. That twist had me wanting to skip to the end to see what the outcome was. Thankfully Andrea told me to just keep reading and that's what I did.

Giveaway

About Andrea Johnston

Andrea Johnston spent her childhood with her nose in a book and a pen to paper. An avid people watcher, her mind is full of stories that yearn to be told. A fan of angsty romance with a happy ending, super sexy erotica and a good mystery, Andrea can always be found with her Kindle nearby fully charged. Andrea lives in Idaho with her family and two dogs. When she isn’t spending time with her partner in crime aka her husband, she can be found binge watching all things Bravo and enjoying a cocktail. Nothing makes her happier than the laughter of her children, a good book, her feet in the water, and cocktail in hand all at the same time.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Excerpt Reveal ~ A Little Too Late by Staci Hart

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A Little Too Late, an all-new romantic standalone from Staci Hart is coming October 24th!

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A Little Too Late by Staci Hart

Publishing Date: October 24th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

I wasn't supposed to fall in love with the nanny.
When my wife left, she took the illusion of happiness with her, and I've been caught in a free fall ever since. For nine long months, I've been fighting to figure out how to be a single dad, how to be alone.
For nine long months, I've been failing.
When Hannah walked through the door, I took my first breath since I'd found myself on my own. She slipped into our lives effortlessly, showing me what I've been missing all these years. Because Hannah made me smile when I thought I'd packed the notion of happiness away with my wedding album.
She was only supposed to be the nanny, but she's so much more.
The day my wife left should have been the worst day of my life, but it wasn't. It was when Hannah walked away, taking my heart with her.

Excerpt:


Hannah
The first time I saw Charlie Parker, I didn’t see one thing at a time; I saw all of him. It was an assault on my senses, an overwhelming tide of awareness, and for a moment, the details came to me in flashes over what was probably only a few seconds but felt so much longer.
His hair was blond and gently mussed, his face long and nose elegant. I could smell him, clean and fresh with just a touch of spice I couldn’t place. I tipped my chin up—he was tall, taller than me, and I hovered just at six feet—and met his eyes, earthy and brown and so deep. So very deep.
And then he smiled.
He was handsome when he wasn’t smiling. He was stunning when he was.
I was so lost in that smile, I didn’t register the flying gob until it whapped against my sweater. Tiny splatters of something cold speckled my neck.
This was the moment the clock started again, and the sweet serenity slipped directly into chaos.
A blond little boy looked up at me from his father’s side with a devilish gleam in his dark eyes. The spoon in his hand was covered in blood-red jam and aimed at me like an empty catapult.
Several things happened at once. Charlie’s face morphed into embarrassed frustration as he reached for who I presumed to be his son. The boy—Sam, I guessed from the names I’d been given by the agency—spun around lightning fast and took off down the hallway, giggling. Another child began to cry from somewhere back in the house, and a bowl clattered to the ground, followed by a hissed swear from what sounded like an older woman.
I glanced down at the sliding, sticky mess against my white sweater and started to laugh.
Charlie’s head swiveled back to me, his face first colored with confusion, then in horror as he looked at the Pollock painting on my sweater.
“Oh my God,” he breathed, his apologetic, wide eyes dragging down my body. “Jesus, I am so sorry.”
I was still laughing, almost a little hysterical. I couldn’t even tell you why.
I waved a hand at Charlie, and he took my elbow, guiding me into the house as I caught my breath. Another crash came from the kitchen, and a little girl came toddling out into the entry, leaving powdery footprints on the hardwood.
Charlie’s face screwed up. “Sam!” he called, stretching the word, a drawn-out promise of consequences.
A riot of giggling broke out in the kitchen.
We both snapped into motion. I followed him as he scooped up his crying daughter and stormed toward the kitchen. The little girl watched me over his shoulder with big brown eyes, her breath hitching in little shudders and her small finger hooked in her mouth.
Charlie stopped so abruptly, I almost ran into him.
When I looked around him and into the kitchen, my mouth opened. I covered it with my fingers as laughter bubbled up my throat.
A bag of flour sat in the middle of the floor, the white powder thrown in bursts against the surrounding surfaces and hanging in the air like smoke. The floor next to the bag was the only clean spot, shaped like a small bottom—the little girl’s, I supposed. A bowl lay upside down, its contents oozing from under the rim and slung in a ring from ceiling to cabinet to floor, as if it had completed a masterful flip on its way to its demise. And in the center of the madness stood an older woman with flour in her dark hair and dusted down the front of her. Clutched under her arm was a wriggling Sam, offending spoon still in hand.
Her face was kind but tight with exasperation. “Please tell me this is the new nanny,” she said flatly.

“I doubt we could convince her to stay at this point,” he said with equal flatness.
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Preorder Today!

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2iZfozn
Amazon will be live October 24th, sign up here to get an email reminder: http://stacihartnovels.com/get-the-newsletter/

About the Author

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. 
From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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Cover Reveal ~ RIPPLES by Aleatha Romig

ARE YOU READY FOR MORE TONY RAWLINGS? RIPPLES IS COMING ON OCTOBER 31!

   

RIPPLES

A Consequences Novel

By Aleatha Romig
Release Day – Oct 31, 2017
Standalone

You don’t have to read the Consequences series to enjoy this stand-alone novel, but if you know Tony Rawlings, you know that disappointing him isn’t an option. Imagine being his youngest daughter...imagine telling him the unimaginable...

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

Sometimes ideas find you, and dreams begin as nightmares. Sometimes the truth that has been kept hidden is the key to opening a door you never knew existed.

“You might not know me. I’m the baby of the Rawlings family, the princess, the daughter who came along later. I’m not like my older siblings, successful at everything they touch. My mother and father have provided me with every luxury as well as their unyielding love and support, but I’m not spoiled. I’m also not content. By example, my parents have shown me how love should be. I don’t know their past, and that doesn’t matter. I know what I’ve seen—two people devoted to one another.

I don’t believe that I’ll ever find that kind of love, the kind that forgives and accepts all. And as my life falls to pieces and I travel to visit my family to face their disappointment, I’m not even looking for it.

I’m looking for an escape...from my life as a Rawlings...from the pressure to achieve and not let others down. I dream of the time I can live for my own desires without the expectations that come with my name.

I don’t find what I’m seeking...it finds me. Or should I say...he finds me.

This time is different. I have a family who will search for me and find the answers. Little do we know—any of us—that my father set my journey into motion long before I was born.”

"Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects." ~Dalai Lama

Ripples (Unabridged Version) is Natalie’s story, the youngest of Tony and Claire’s children—their baby. This story first appeared in shorter form in Glamour: Contemporary Fairytale Retellings. Due to the length restriction of each novella in that anthology, many scenes in Ripples were shortened or omitted for that anthology. This unabridged edition is the entire story—double in length and—a full-length novel.

Please enjoy this Consequences novel along with special appearances from your favorite Consequences characters.

PRE- ORDER NOW

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Print US


 
Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she's not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams! Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha's twisted style with an increase in heat. In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016. 2017 brings Aleatha's first "Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha" with PLUS ONE, a fun, sexy romantic comedy. Aleatha is a "Published Author's Network" member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Lisa Renee Jones is back with a sexy, stunning STANDALONE: DIRTY RICH ONE NIGHT STAND!
 
BOOK INFORMATION
TITLE: Dirty, Rich One Night Stand
GENRE: Contemporary Steamy Romance
RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2017

ABOUT THE BOOK
DIRTY, RICH ONE NIGHT STAND.
That's all it was supposed to be. Her. Him. Pleasure. And then a fast goodbye. He's a stranger. And yet, he's not. She knows him even though he doesn’t know her.
He's the powerful attorney, now world-renowned after coming off the trial of a century which was publicized across the country. And I'm one of the reporters that sat in his courtroom.
I watched him, studied him, got to know him from afar which isn't hard since I know his exact brand of confidence, arrogance, and wealth.
I know his type. I've dated his type. Which is why when I happen to come face to face with him, when sparks fly and heat simmers between us, I know what happens if I say "yes" to Reese Summer. 
I know he'll taste like sin and sex, even before he kisses me.
I know he'll feel like pleasure and passion, even before he touches me.
I know he'll demand more than I wants to give, and yet, because I dare to give myself to him, the result will be deliciously hot.
I know that I will not leave his bed without being utterly, completely sated. 
And I know that I will leave the next morning anyway.
And so, I do. 
And so, he follows.
And as chase begins my question becomes: Is Reese Summer THE one or is he really just a dirty, arrogant lie that should have stayed a one night stand?
BUY LINKS:
Amazon US ➜ http://bit.ly/DirtyRichAmazon
Amazon CA➜ http://bit.ly/DirtyRichAmazonCA
Amazon UK ➜ http://bit.ly/DirtyRichAmazonUK

EXCERPT
“You’re as perfect as I knew you would be,” he says, his voice managing to be both sandpaper and silk on my nerve endings, as he adds, “and almost as naked as I want you to be.”
The idea that he has wanted me as much as I have wanted him does funny things to my stomach, but more so, delivers an unexpected wave of illogical vulnerability. This is sex. The end. I don’t want or need to feel anything more. I want and need him naked and fucking me now, fast, hard. That’s safe. Desperate to find that safe place, to shift the control from him to me, I push to my toes, my breasts molding to his chest, and press my lips to his lips. They are warm, and he is hard everywhere I am soft.
And his response to my kiss, the answering moan I am rewarded with, is white-hot fire in my blood that he ignites further with a deep, sizzling stroke of his tongue. He slants his mouth over mine, deepening the connection, kissing me with a fierceness no other man ever has, but then some part of me has known from moment one that he is like no man I have ever known. Which explains why he is everything I want. And nothing about this night is what I expected, any more than this man is anything I can control.
But there is something intensely arousing about the idea of trying.
As if claiming I am reaching for the impossible, he molds me closer, his hand between my shoulder blades, his tongue playing wickedly with mine, but I meet him stroke for stroke, arching into him. He cups my ass and pulls me solidly against his erection. He wins this one. Now I am the one moaning, arching into him, and I welcome the intimate connection. I burn for the moment he will be inside me.
But I also want him to burn for this just as much as I do, and I need to touch this man. Really, really, need to touch him. My hand presses between us, and I stroke the hard line of his shaft. Reese tears his mouth from mine, pressing me hard against the pillar supporting the window again, and when his hands leave my body, when his palms press to the concrete above me again, I sense his withdrawal is about control. I was winning. I confirm that as reality when our eyes lock, and the dash of fire in his eyes is lit by one part passion and one part challenge.
“If I slide my fingers between your legs right now,” he says, “are you wet for me? Are you ready for me?”
“Why don’t you find out for yourself?” I dare him, testing him, pushing him.
AUTHOR INFORMATION
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.
In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is also the author of the bestselling the bestselling DIRTY MONEY and WHITE LIES series. And will be publishing the first book in her Lilah Love suspense series with Amazon Publishing in March 2018.
Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.
Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on Twitter and Facebook daily.
AUTHOR SOCIAL LINKS

Cover Reveal ~ The Other Brother by Meghan Quinn


THE OTHER BROTHER
By Meghan Quinn
Release Day  - Nov 2, 2017
Standalone

I got the call. The dreaded call every child fears. My dad wasn’t well, and the man who had always been my everything needed me. 

There was only one thing to do; pack up and head back to my hometown. I had finally made my dream life in the city with the great job and loving boyfriend. But was there really a choice not to go? 

I found a wonderful job, a quaint house to rent, my boyfriend was working on joining me in Binghamton, and my favorite pizza place was only miles away. Life was good. 

Until I met my neighbor. 

It's been three years since I'd seen Aaron Walters, and my God is he all kinds of sexy gorgeous. Figures. He was supposed to be my forever, the man I grew old with, but he had different plans. How can a man who ripped my heart apart still trip me up? How can he make me still want him now more than ever?

I’m tempted, I’m drawn toward him, I’m completely and utterly unaware that I’m dating his biological brother.

Now two men own my heart. The question is, which brother will I choose?



 

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.
Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.
Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Release Blitz ~ DRIVE by Kate Stewart


We're celebrating the release of DRIVE by Kate Stewart!


Contemporary Romance
Stand Alone
Designer: Q Designs
Scheduled to release: October 17, 2017

PURCHASE HERE:
Paperback US: http://amzn.to/2wSsOj4

BLURB:

Music . . . the heart’s greatest librarian.

The average song is three and a half minutes long; those three and a half minutes could lead to a slow blink, a glimpse of the past, or catapult the soul into heart-shattering nostalgia.

At the height of my career, I had the life I wanted, the life I’d always envisioned. I’d found my tempo, my rhythm. Then I received a phone call that left me off key.

You see, my favorite songs had a way of playing simultaneously. I was in love with one man’s beats and another’s lyrics. But when it came to the soundtrack of a life, how could anyone choose a favorite song? So, to erase any doubt, I ditched my first-class ticket and decided to take a drive, fixed on the rearview.

Two days.

One playlist.

And the long road home to the man who was waiting for me.


EXCERPT:


Breathe. Breathe. This is in the bag, Stella. You can do this, so do it.


I clicked on the camera and quickly glanced at my notes.

One minute.

Electricity shot through my veins and seeped through every pore, reminding me that this was it.

Thirty seconds.
I took a sip of water and set it beside my laptop as I waited.

Ten seconds.
A flicker of doubt processed for mere seconds before I wiped it away.

Five.
I expelled a stressed breath, clicked Go Live, and addressed the camera.

“Womanizer, bully, genius, recluse, and the world’s greatest MC. Even with all those labels, Phillip Preston, also known as Titan, is still a bit of an enigma. Despite the universe he’s constructed with storytelling lyrics, he’s always left it up to us to decipher his truth from his fiction. He burst onto the music scene fifteen years ago, an underdog in the belly of rap, with chaotic and desperate rhymes that resonated and pushed him into an unexpected level of stardom. With one hundred and eighty million records sold, he still holds his title as heavyweight and remains a household staple for his die-hard fans, collecting an army of new followers over the past two decades. I must admit, I was a bit intimidated when I sat down with him this past weekend in his Chicago fortress. I, like millions of others, am a huge fan of his genius. The simplicity of our surroundings in his home studio was shocking, to say the least. The feeling was a bit clinical and there were no platinum records on his walls, no personal photos, and there was no hint of the history he’d made as the world’s most notorious rap star. He sat in a leather chair next to his soundboard, water bottle in hand, and spoke about his love of rap, while subtly redirecting questions about his personal life—though we know he recently broke up with his long-time girlfriend, Jordan Wilson.”

My eyes nearly watered as I watched the live view box tick to a hundred thousand. I had a hundred thousand people watching my podcast in a matter of minutes. I took a deep breath.

“But it seemed my reputation had preceded me because when I sat down with the rap mogul, Phillip appeared ready for the firing squad. We dueled well as I asked the hard questions—the questions of a fan. Questions I know so many of his loyal listeners want answers to, and I think you’ll be surprised to hear his answers. So, without further ado, take a look at my exclusive with the man behind the myths. Feel free to form your own opinions, but above all, remember it’s the music that matters most.”

I linked my pre-recorded interview and watched the ticks explode as soon as his face hit the screen.

That was the moment my career peaked.

With pride, I watched my interview with the white whale, the Moby Dick of the music industry. Gorgeous, brilliant, and highly elusive, Phillip Preston was the hardest artist to get personal with in an interview. And I was the woman he reached out to, to break his silence about his road to success, his parents, his ex-wife, and finally—after some careful eggshell coaxing—he spoke about his recent relationship. He had delivered to me, on a silver platter, highly personal details about his life where so many other journalists had failed, and it was nothing short of miraculous.

It was my greatest accomplishment as a music journalist. I was flying, soaring as my phone began to blow up with message after message. I hadn’t told a soul, not a single person about my exclusive. I was high on adrenaline when the notifications began to ping on my phone. A hundred, two hundred messages, and then I saw the viewer ticks had jumped drastically to half a million. Half a million! I laughed out nervously and checked Phillip’s social media. He had just posted my podcast link to our interview. My jaw dropped. He had over eighty million followers on one forum alone.

And the viewer counts just kept rising. I had done it. I gasped when the ticks went past a million.

A million people were watching my podcast.

A million people were watching my podcast!

“AHHHHHH!” I screamed to no one as I looked around the vacant room. I raised both hands in the air when the ticks rolled past two million. “Oh my GOD!” I shot up from the desk, my eyes full of incredulous water.

I’d never had more than a million views. Ever. And those took months to accrue. It was the greatest career high of my life. I looked back down at my phone, anxious to talk to someone, anyone. Lexi’s middle finger popped up on the screen, and I couldn’t resist answering her call.

“AHHHHHHHH!” I screamed into the phone..

“Stella?”

“Yes! Is it good? You think I asked the right questions? I edited for like nine hours.”

“What?”

“What do you mean, what? Titan’s interview.”

“You interviewed Titan?”

A small amount of my excitement dispersed. “Yours was the wrong call to answer.”

“You fucking interviewed Titan?”

“Yes. I wanted to surprise everyone.”

“And you didn’t bring me?”

“Sorry. I’ll feel guilty later.”

“Yeah.” Her voice dropped. I heard a toilet flush. “Yeah, Stella, that’s so cool.” Another toilet flushed.

“Where are you?”

“I’m in the bathroom at the Marquee.”

“Okay. Well, I’m buzzing right now, woman. Like, literally, my phone is exploding. Five million hits, Lexi. Five million!”

“I’m so happy for you, Stella.”

I frowned. “Yeah, with that amazing monotone, I can tell.”

“I’m so sorry.” And then her voice broke. My best friend doesn’t cry. Ever.

“Oh, shit. What’s up?”

“I’ll call you back, okay? I don’t want to ruin this.”

“You aren’t ruining anything. You couldn’t ruin this. I promise. I’ll be high for days. So, tell me. Why are you in the bathroom?”

“I’m on a blind date. He took me to a wedding.”

“Okay. You need an excuse? That’s not like you. You’re ballsy. Just give him your usual, it’s not me, it’s you.” I chuckled because she’d used it in front of me on a bass player with a cowlick and halitosis.

“Stella.”

I knew that tone. That tone was the bearer of bad fucking news.

“What? Say it.”

“It’s his wedding.”

I eyed the clock while I zipped my suitcase. I had an hour and a half before my flight. I was cutting it close. “Whose wedding?”

“Stella.”

“I know my name. Damn, who—” Realization struck and my heart met the floor. I stayed mute while she rambled on nervously.

“What are the odds? What are the goddamn odds? I don’t know what to do. Do you want me to leave? There’s no handbook for this. Did you even want to know this? That he’s married? I can’t believe I just watched him get married! Who in the hell ends up at their best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s wedding? I couldn’t not tell you.” She sniffed as the toilets repeatedly flushed around her.

“Stella, please say something.”

I pressed the sting back. “I’m alright, of course. I’m fine. Why are you crying?”

“I don’t know.” She sniffed. “Ben called me last night, and things are just so fucked up, and today this shit happens, and I know you’re happy. I know you are. But . . . I mean, this is—”

I put my hand up as if she could see it. “Don’t tell me anything else, okay? I’m good.” I looked at my reflection in the mirror from the bed into the adjacent bathroom. Nothing had changed. I wasn’t leaking. I was fine. “I’m okay. I’m glad you told me. I have to leave for the airport now, or I’ll miss my flight.” A slew of questions was on the tip of my tongue. Did he look happy? Was she beautiful? And more questions I hated myself for that Lexi would never be able to answer. Still, my head and heart refused to keep those questions bottled.

Was she prettier than me? Did he look at her the same way? Did he propose to her with half his heart? Did he think of me when he did it? Was any part of him thinking of me now? Was I in his dreams the way he drifted through mine sometimes?
All my thoughts were selfish. All of them. And of all the thoughts I could have had that day, self-loathing was not the one I expected to nudge its way front and center. I forced myself to speak.

“Stay.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, of course. I’m fine.”

“This freaky shit always happens. Always with you.”

“I know.”

“It’s like karma or God or someone hates you. It’s so fucked.”

I laughed ironically, though inside my heart was pounding.

Silence passed over the line as we both waited for some sort of solution that wasn’t coming.

“Stella, God, I’m so sorry.”

“About what? Stop. You know I would have told you if the situation were reversed. I should go. Love you.”

“Love y—” I hung up the phone before she could finish, frozen in the middle of the hotel room.





About the Author:

Kate Stewart lives in Charleston, S.C. with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. A native of Dallas, Kate moved to Charleston three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, and declaring it her creative muse. Kate pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it's what she loves as a reader. A lover of all things '80s and '90s, especially John Hughes films and rap, she dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity only and does a horrible job of playing the ukulele. Aside from running a mile without collapsing, traveling is the only other must on her bucket list. On occasion, she does very well at vodka.

Contact Kate- Email-authorkatestewart@gmail.com

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