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#BlogTour “Making Whoopie” Genre: Marriage of Convenience, Romantic Comedy by Author Erin Nicholas is Available Now! @ErinNicholas @Jennw23

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If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen…

Making Whoopie, an all-new not-to-be-missed marriage of convenience romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas, is available now!

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This marriage of convenience is about to get sticky.
Getting hitched for the health insurance is not Jocelyn Asher’s idea of romance.

But the hospital quote has really frosted her cookies, and suddenly, “I’m rich. We should just get married,” sounds a whole lot more swoony.

Especially when the man proposing is this gorgeous. And takes her to parties featuring champagne and petit fours. She’s a sucker for anything with bubbles or icing. And just like that she finds herself married to a near stranger.

Grant Lorre is usually allergic to spontaneity.

So why did he ask the beautiful small-town baker he had a one-night stand with to marry him? Somehow watching her lick batter off a whisk–not a euphemism–made a wedding and a little fraud seem like a sweet idea.

They’ll just play house and make some whoopie–pies, of course–for a few months and then move on with their separate lives. Until then, bring on the cream filling. And that is a euphemism.

But as things heat up even outside of the kitchen, they quickly realize there’s no recipe to follow when it comes to love.

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3cK6Ova

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3h9K7nt

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/makingwhoopie

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3cJ0iEZ

Add MAKING WHOOPIE to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2MEFxj8

Excerpt

No one fell in love over cheesy potatoes.

That was ridiculous. There was nothing sexy about cheesy potatoes. Or potatoes without cheese, for that matter.

But lust? Well, that was a possibility. Apparently.

Because watching Grant Lorre eat cheesy potatoes across her best friend’s mother’s dining room table was making Jocelyn Asher hot.

Of course, Maggie McCaffery’s cheesy potatoes were award-winning. Seriously. She’d taken home the purple ribbon four times from the Dubuque County Fair and twice from the Iowa State Fair. And Grant seemed to agree that they were delicious. He’d made a sexy groaning sound when he’d first taken a bite, and Josie had been mesmerized as his lips closed around the tines of his fork. Never mind how her heart rate had picked up when he’d turned the fork and licked it.

She was a mess. Purple ribbon or not, Josie was pretty sure that getting worked up over watching a man eat potatoes meant she was hard up.

She took a long drink of iced tea and tried to remember the last time she’d had sex. If she wasn’t forgetting anyone—and how sad would that be—the last time had been with Ben Davis. After Kara Davis’s, now Tibbin’s, wedding.

Last week Kara had been into Buttered Up, the bakery where Josie worked with her best friend Zoe, to order a miniature version of her wedding cake to celebrate their first anniversary.

Josie sighed. That had to explain the sexy potato thing going on across the table. It had to.

But then Grant laughed at something Aiden, his best friend and Zoe’s fiancé—yes, it was one big happy group at this table—said, and Josie felt her neglected lady parts clench. Yeah, it wasn’t the potatoes.

Thankfully.

Kind of.

As weird as getting turned on by potatoes might be, it might have been preferable to being turned on by the man who had been coming into the bakery nearly every morning for the past two weeks, but hadn’t so much as asked her to have a cup of coffee with him.

He’d asked her if the blueberries in the muffins were locally sourced. He’d asked her if they had any gluten-free cinnamon scones. He’d asked her for a lemon slice for his cup of hot water. But that was pretty much the extent of the things he’d asked her over the course of the time they’d known each other.

Oh, and he’d caught her when she’d fallen off a ladder. Twice. Very gallantly.

He’d swept her up before she’d hit the floor. Like a freaking knight in shining armor.

But both times he’d simply set her on her feet and gone on with his day.

She, on the other hand, was now getting hot and bothered by side dishes.

ErinNicholas-2About Erin Nicholas

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.

Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).

Connect with Erin

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2R88arL

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2QLd1Pr

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2ty1w5k

Instagram: http://bit.ly/36NqV9y
Website: http://bit.ly/2FM3Doo
Stay up to date with Erin Nicholas by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/38a5Fv5

 

#BlogTour ~ “Married With Me” A With Me In Seattle Universe Novel by Author Bailie Hantam, Genre: Contemporary Romance, Released on June 22nd 2020! Available Now! ~ #AuthorBailieHantam @MyGltyObsess @bemybboyfriend #LadyBossPress






Title: Married With Me: A With Me In Seattle Universe Novel
 
Author: Bailie Hantam 
 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
 
Release Date: June 22nd 
 
 
 
 
COVER
 

 

 

BLURB



Married With Me – A With Me in Seattle Universe Novel



She’s the one girl who’s off limits. He’s the one she’s always wanted.



From the moment, Justin Ellis reunites with his best friend’s little sister in Las Vegas, his world is turned upside down. Angela is beautiful and smart and everything he wants. But they cannot have more than their week-long fling before they both go back to their lives in Seattle.

Deciding to give her brother’s best friend a Vegas experience was probably not Angela York’s smartest move. Especially since she never really got over her school girl crush on him. And why, oh why, did the Vegas experience have to include a drunken night at a wedding chapel.

Will they see that they are meant for one another? Or are they headed straight for divorce?




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THE COLLECTION

 

 
 

 

ABOUT BAILIE



2019 Debut Author, Bailie Hantam, hails from sunny South Africa. She has been writing stories from as early as she can remember. After finally deciding to take it seriously five years ago she finally hit publish in March this year. She writes both Contemporary and Paranormal Romance and the world of Romantic Suspense in 2020.





She is blessed to have a very supportive family who have encouraged her every step of the way. She’s a series binger (of both books and screen); a stationary hoarder and an avid reader. When she’s not writing you can usually find her curled up next to her two border collies either reading or writing in her journal.




BAILIE’S LINKS

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 





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#BlogTour ~ Two to Tangle by Kris Jayne, Series: Thirsty Hearts; Book 6 Genre: Contemporary Romance is Available Now! ~ #AuthorKrisJayne #TwoToTangleBlogTour @rrrpromotion @readreviewrpt


Two to Tangle by Kris Jayne
 
 
Series: Thirsty Hearts; Book 6
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 
Follow the Author
 
 
 
Family betrayal haunts new love …
 
Delilah Johnston and Griffin Kelso ring in the New Year with revels and romance. But once the champagne runs dry, the differences between them crash the party.
 
With a divorce, raising her daughter, and a corporate job in the rearview mirror, forty-something Delilah is ready to indulge herself with passion and a new life. Yes, she agreed to help her ex-boss Griffin launch his new business, but that’s temporary. The tantalizing heat between them, however, isn’t – or so she hopes.
 
Nearly ten years her junior, Griffin jettisons his playboy ways and sets his sights on Delilah. He aims to build a personal legacy with her by his side. But when his father’s health problems – and the older man’s scheming wife – call him home, he can no longer ignore the betrayal and pain of the past.
 
He finds refuge in the always willing and wise Delilah. But the more he leans on her, the more she wonders: when is it her turn?
 
Family drama knocks the couple off course into a tangle of secrets. Can Delilah and Griffin find a path forward together? Or will a disconcerting revelation divide them forever?
 

 

 

 

 

#BlogTour for: “In The End” A Quarantine Romance, by Author Tarrah Anders,  Genre: Romantic Suspense is Available NOW!

 

Title: In The End: A Quarantine Romance
Author: Tarrah Anders 
Genre: Romantic Suspense 
 
 
 



Amazon 





Blurb 


 Kendall Jameson was traveling when the outbreak started. All she knew was what she heard on the radio. There was a virus, a sickness being spread across the country, and everyone was running scared. On her way home, she makes one last stop to see her best friend and by fate or chance or by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, she finds herself quarantined inside by a sudden military presence.



She doesn’t carry the virus, and as far as she knows, neither does anyone else in the facility but the men guarding the store doesn’t seem to care and she knows they’re not letting her go anywhere anytime soon.

Levi James never expected that his National Guard unit would be ordered to confine over two hundred civilians inside a retail store, but orders are orders. He’s here to do a job. That’s all these people are, until he meets her.



They connect instantly over their similar surnames and the comfortability while getting to know one another.

Instant attraction sparks and their forced confinement gives them the chance to become more than strangers, even more than friends.



When Levi starts to feel sick, he worries he might be the threat they’re all so worried about. But Kendall refuses to leave his side.



If this is really the end, she wants to spend it with him.



Will they be separated and lose one another forever, or can they overcome the virus and live to fight another day?

 

 

 

 
About Tarrah Anders 
 
I am a contemporary romance author who is all about the feels, with the twists of sexy mixed in between. I have been writing since before I can remember.  Writing has always been a passion, that was kept it under wraps, stayed on the back-burner and never vocalized or followed through with my desire to be a writer, until I read a horrible book and thought: ‘I could do better than that!’
I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but living in beautiful San Diego with my little family while working during the day as a social worker working with the homeless.
 
My writing style is that I try to write realistic characters and situations. I want my books to be relatable and not to create too many eye rolls.
Thematically, the novels are friends to lovers, random hook-ups and office romances mixed with a whole lot of fun in the middle.
 

 

Available NOW! ~ “Easy To Remember, A Boudreaux Universe Novel,” by Author Bailie Hantam, Genre: Contemporary Romance,  Series: The Agency #1, #BlogTour #NewRelease

 
* BLOG TOUR *
Title: Easy To Remember: A Boudreaux Universe Novel
 Author: Bailie Hantam 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: The Agency #1
Publisher: Lady Boss Press
 
 



 



 
Wanting to expand his reach, Simon Danbury takes his Lift seminars to Africa. And what better place to start than small town South Africa.

Can the man with no future save the woman without a past?

At seventeen, a tragic accident left Mila Evans, orphaned, with no memory… of either her life before her accident or her true self. Moving forward with life, Mila chose to ignore anything and everything before the accident. Never attempting to even try to remember her past life. That is until she met Tariq and simply living no longer suited her. Tariq made her feel, but more than that he pushed her out of her comfort zone, pushed her to want to remember…

A stupid mistake ruined Tariq’s career as a musician. Since then, he has worked hard as a field agent with Ward Security. There was no need to dwell on the stupid things he did when he was young; Tariq is now saving lives… Making a difference. Until Mila steps into his life and reminds him of his true passion: His love of music and performing.
A threat to Mila will force them to either confront their pasts or sacrifice their future together…
 



 

 
 
 
Excerpt
 
Tariq smiled down at her. “Good choice.”
“You’re not intimidated?” Those expressive green eyes were filled with such excitement, that even if he was, he couldn’t let her down.
“Not in the slightest.” It wasn’t his first choice, but he could do a good Julio if he needed. He could even do the Spanish accent . He narrowed his eyes at her. Yeah, he may just do that.
She nodded; her eyebrows raised. “I’m impressed.” 
He walked ahead of her before taking her hand to lead her to the centre of the stage. Mila took a deep breath and looked directly at him. 
Tariq closed his eyes as the intro to the song started. He sang the first line, looking directly at her. Her mouth fell open. It was good to know he surprised her. Clearly, she didn’t suspect he could sing. He sang the final line to the audience before turning to her. 
Mila lifted the mic to her lips, and Tariq struggled to keep his head in the game. She sang the first of Dolly’s lines and then it was his chance to drop his jaw to the floor. She turned to the audience, as if singing directly at them. She had voice training , that much he could tell. At the chorus she turned to him. Their gazes met . Nothing beyond the two of them and the song existed.
With the next solo section, he couldn’t take his eyes off her while he sang. He wanted to be singing directly to her. The lyrics , some private communication between the two of them. Her solo section was the same. He heard the words and couldn’t imagine anyone else saying them to him.
As the second chorus played, they stepped closer to one another, their bodies merely inches from one another. She closed her eyes as she hit the high notes then rested them back on him. He took her free hand during the refrain. The musical interlude passed with them breathing hard, eyes fixed on another. Tariq didn’t know what was happening but singing with her was about more than music and lyrics. 
They shared a connection, a scary one. One he should run away from, but that wasn’t an option. He took a deep breath for the final chorus. They were smiling at each other. Whatever was going on, it was intense. But they were enjoying it. He hadn’t enjoyed music in so long, and it was because of her. They took another step toward each other as they sang the last line of the song, ending with them within kissing distance. 
Instead he dropped his mic and whispered in her ear. “Wanna get out of here?”
 
 
About Bailie Hantam 
 
 
2019 Debut Author, Bailie Hantam, hails from sunny South Africa. She has been writing stories from as early as she can remember. After finally deciding to take it seriously five years ago she finally hit publish in March this year. She writes both Contemporary and Paranormal Romance and the world of Romantic Suspense in 2020. 
She is blessed to have a very supportive family who have encouraged her every step of the way. She’s a series binger (of both books and screen); a stationary hoarder and an avid reader. When she’s not writing you can usually find her curled up next to her two border collies either reading or writing in her journal.
 
 





 

#BookTour ~ “FarmBoy” An Opposites Attract Romance, by Author Kayt Miller Genre: NA Romance, is Available NOW!

Title: FarmBoy: An Opposites Attract Romance
Author: Kayt Miller
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: April 18, 2020

 

 

Justlovemybooks.com blog – “This is an author whose name I have come across many times but haven’t read. I’m so glad I read her. I will be looking back at her catalog for more.”

World of Books 65 – “This is my first book by Kayt Miller but it won’t be my last. There was just something about Farmboy that grip me from the start.”

E&A Book – “This is the first book I have read by this author and I was blown away. A slow burn romance that gives you all the feels, with characters that you can’t help but love. I enjoyed it from beginning to end.”

 

 

Isabelle “Izzy” Harmon is home again. Literally. After landing her first teaching gig, Izzy has found herself sleeping in her old room on an ancient twin bed that squeaks whenever she moves. Sure, she loves Honeywell, Iowa but part of her wanted to move to civilization rather than return to her old life after graduating from college. Farm life is in her blood but so is the man who lives next door. It’s too bad he never saw her as more than his best friend’s little sister. 

 

It’s true what they say… distance makes the heart grow fonder and four years away did nothing to quell the way Izzy’s heart rate doubles whenever he’s nearby. She hoped to get over it, but things don’t always work out the way we hope. 
 
Nashville “Nash” Watson never left. His goal of playing baseball in the majors flew out the window the second he found out he was going to be a father. No regrets, though, because Nash figured he’d return to Honeywell, Iowa to farm his family’s land. It was the only thing he knew for sure. Well, that and he’s never falling for another woman again. Ever. 
 
Never say never, Nash.
 
Due to sexual content and adult themes, this book is suitable for readers 18+.

I grew up in the midwest with a loving family including three brothers, one sister, and my parents who always fostered my creative side. I earned my bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University, then I was off to the Savannah College of Art and Design for graduate school. After that, I returned to Iowa for work which led me, once again, to ISU for my master’s degree in education.
I love to read and one day I was searching for a book. A book about a certain type of woman and a specific kind of man and I couldn’t find it so, I wrote it. I called it Game Changer and it couldn’t have been a more appropriate title. It changed my life in many ways. While my real job is teaching young people, my fun job is conjuring up characters and situations to write about. 
 
My goal, as a writer, is to write stories that relate to all of us, to make readers laugh and maybe cry sometimes. I hope my readers can escape into a fantasy, one that’s actually possible. Sure, some of the stories could be dubbed “Insta-love” stories but that’s okay. I fell in love with my husband pretty damn fast and with my daughter the second I saw her. So, it’s a thing, I swear.
HOSTED BY:

 

“Catch Twenty Two” by Marie James (Westover Prep; Book 2), Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance, is Available NOW! #BlogTour #RecentlyReleased

Catch Twenty Two by Marie James
 
 
Series: Westover Prep; Book 2
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
 
Follow the Author
 
He can’t stand anything about her, but can’t keep his hands off of her.
 
Frankie
 
I wasn’t looking for him.
He found me.
With his sexy smirk and irresistible body.
 I wanted nothing to do with someone like him.
Judgmental and brooding.
So full of himself.
But now, I’m stuck playing the fool.
Falling for him.
And losing at all.
If only for one night.
 
Zeke
 
Stuffy, rich, entitled.
The kind of girl that gets what she wants.
When she wants it.
And I want nothing to do with her.
Yet, I can’t stay away.
I’m drawn to her kindness and compassion.
Her beauty.
She holds me when the pain won’t subside.
And now, if I can help it, I’m going to hold on to her …
 
Forever.

 

 

 

Blog Tour For: “Reluctantly Alpha” by Ruth Cardello, The Barrington Billionaires, Book 8 OUT NOW!

Blog Tour, Reluctantly Alpha by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Ruth Cardello
The Barrington Billionaires, Book 8 OUT NOW!
FREE with KindleUnlimited
reluctantly alpha
Connor Sutton never had a problem attracting women. Tall, blond, easy-going . . . all he had to do to get them into his bed was to stop saying no. He never wanted to be rich or famous, but when his sister married a billionaire, he became both. To fit into the Barrington clan, he had to make a lot of changes and although being rich is nice. . . all it takes to make him happy is a loaded pizza and a cold beer.

 

Until he meets Angelina Kroll and discovers what it’s like to want someone he can’t have. Then she’s all he can think about.

 

As a hardworking, single mother, the last thing Angelina is looking for is a fling with a movie star, especially gorgeous, broody Connor Sutton. She gave up believing in happily ever after a long time ago. When she’s unexpectedly fired, Connor offers her a job that’s impossible to refuse.

 

He’s not the man she thinks he is.

 

She’s not the woman she’d hoped to be.

 

 

They’ve both left behind more than they wanted to.

 

Will they discover fitting in doesn’t have to be all or nothing?

 

Can they be rich . . . and happy too?
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Add to your Billionaire bookshelf
Save on your Wishlist
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The Barrington Billionaire WORLD
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Book 1: Always Mine
Book 2: Stolen Kisses
Book 3: Trade it All
Book 4: Let It Burn
Book 5: More Than Love
Book 6: Forever Now
Book 7: Never Goodbye
Book 8: Reluctantly Alpha
Ruth Cardello hit the New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers Lists for the first time back in 2012. Millions of sales are evidence that her books are akin to potato chips, addictive from the first one. She has created a multi-series billionaire world with a combination of escapism and realism that has gained her a faithful following of readers.
RUTH CARDELLO

 

What Kindle Reviewers write about her:
“Wow, hot at every page. Heart-stopping, fear raging, mind blowing wonderful.”
“I’m a true fan of Ms. Cardello. I ran on to her first book a few years back and have been hooked ever since. I could go on and on about the story like of this book, but I’m not. All of her books are total page turners, unique, heart-wrenching, and I love them all. There isn’t two alike in the bunch and I feel like i know the characters personally. I personally read 97 authors books. And I buy every book they put out. This author is in my top 10. Great job and keep them coming.”
“Love this series. Got me to start reading again. I look forward to the next book. Thank you for giving me the love of reading back.”
Ruth Cardello was born the youngest of 11 children in a small city in northern Rhode Island. She spent her young adult years moving as far away as she could from her large extended family. She lived in Boston, Paris, Orlando, New York–then came full circle and moved back to New England. She now happily lives one town over from the one she was born in. For her, family trumped the warmer weather and international scene.
She was an educator for 20 years, the last 11 as a kindergarten teacher. When her school district began cutting jobs, Ruth turned a serious eye toward her second love- writing and has never been happier. When she’s not writing, you can find her chasing her children around her small farm or connecting with her readers online.
Connect with Ruth
Twitter: @RuthieCardello
Email Notice of New Releases: ruthcardello.com/contact/
Thank you for touring with Jo&Isa♡Books Promotions
THANKS 1

 

 

 

Blog Tour: “Wild One” (Kings of Bourbon Falls; Book One) by author Lynne Leslie, Romantic Suspense is Available NOW!

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Title: Wild One
Author: Lynne Leslie
Series: Kings of Bourbon Falls; Book One
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 5, 2020

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Blurb

Five bad boys who’ve sworn bachelorhood. Five feisty women about to challenge them.
The Kings of Bourbon Falls are about to learn that when it comes to games of the heart, these ladies are all-in.

“Emmy Lou Graves is back.”

That’s all it took to turn my world upside down.

Twelve years ago, Emmy fled Bourbon Falls and the scandal surrounding her family, changing the course of both our lives. Left with a broken heart, I chose bachelorhood vowing to never give my heart again.

Until she struts into my distillery wearing those familiar red cowgirl boots.

Emmy Lou’s all grown up with the same wild that drew me to her still running in her veins.

But in a small town filled with old money, secrets don’t stay buried forever. Emmy Lou’s return for the truth has my protective instincts coming out to play and before long I’m trying to tame that wild once again.

This King of Bourbon Falls is about to come out with a winning hand.

Buy-Links

Amazon UShttps://amzn.to/2WNa5Ds

Amazon UKhttps://amzn.to/32mSJyD

Amazon CAhttps://amzn.to/2NkJHOf

Amazon AUhttps://amzn.to/33xBf41

Apple — https://apple.co/2WPZ2Jy

Nook — http://bit.ly/WildOneNook

Kobohttp://bit.ly/WildOneKobo

Excerpt

I park my Jeep in an empty spot in front of the huge building. After shutting off the engine, I rest my wrists over the steering wheel as I gaze out the window. It’s been a long time since I’ve stepped foot into Devils Mark Distillery. Atlas used to bring me here all the time, giving me tours, his voice full of excitement at the legacy he would soon inherit. At one time, I was sure I’d be by his side while he took it over. Until one night twelve years ago when my world was turned upside down.

It’s been just as long since I’ve seen Atlas in person. I’ve kept up with him in the Bourbon and Billionaires magazine. It’s rare that they have an issue that him or one of the other guys isn’t in. You can also find them in newspapers, online articles, or anywhere else people want to report about someone so important. The entire shit is a conundrum to me. The lifestyle is something a woman could only dream of. Luckily for me, I gave up on dreams a long time ago.

I figured it would make it easier if I could keep up with him. Watch as he took the bourbon world by storm. It didn’t take me long to realize what a mistake that was. Each time they pictured him with another woman, my heart cracked a little more. Until nothing was left but tiny shattered fragments. My heart still beats in my chest, but there’s nothing left of it anymore.

I flip the visor down so I can practice my smile in the mirror. After a few useless attempts, I smack it up with a frustrated growl.

No way do I want him to think I’m still holding on to something toward him. That shit sailed a long time ago. Particularly the week after I left, when I heard rumors that he fucked Alicia Barnes, my sworn archenemy. The girl who made my life a living hell throughout middle and high school. No doubt, he made sure the shit was plastered all over his social media just for me. It wasn’t enough that it was in words, though. He had to make sure pictures accompanied them. Pictures with enough evidence that it was hard to dispute the claims. Hell, they even made sure the more explicit ones ended up in my inbox. Never in my dreams, did I think my Duggie could be that cold, but I realized he stopped being my Duggie that night at the falls when he fucked me against his truck like I was just a warm pussy to slide into. That was when a chunk of my soul withered away.

The purr of an engine pulls me from my thoughts, and I glance to the left.

A leggy blonde steps out of the Porsche and readjusts the skirt that has ridden up. I pull in a sharp breath as recognition hits. Tabitha Warner. Real Estate heiress and Atlas James’s Friday.

I couldn’t find much about their relationship, much like the other six women. Just that all the names could be tied with Atlas and that each of them is never with him any other time of the week besides a specific day.

A woman for every day of the week.

I close my eyes as my heart pinches. Resting my head against the steering wheel, I debate on turning around and leaving. Not just this distillery, but also Bourbon Falls and never looking back, but no matter how tempting it is, my father deserves the justice that he never got while he was alive.

My lip curls as I think about everything I’ve dug up over the last few years since dad was killed in prison.

I lift my head and glare at the huge bay window looking over the parking lot. Something tells me it belongs to the man I loathe to lay my eyes on.

Steeling my spine, I yank the keys from the ignition and step foot into the sweltering heat.

This town is full of secrets and I’m going to dig them up whether or not they want to be found. Those secrets and the people hiding them are the reason my father went to prison for crimes he didn’t commit and there’re crimes he was eventually killed him for. I won’t stop until everyone involved is exposed. Their money doesn’t mean shit to me. I’m only going to give Atlas a heads up because of everything we once were to one another. What he does with the news is up to him, but I hope he stays out of my way and let me do the job I’ve been doing for a long time now.

I pull open the door that has the Devils Mark Distillery logo on it and step into the familiar building. The distillery is made up of four connected warehouses. One for each operation—the stills, the barrels, the fermentation, and the labeling. The front building that I walked into holds the guys’ offices, the tasting rooms, and conference rooms.

I stop at the round desk that has a plaque stating ‘Receptionist’ on it. The woman with the headset glances up with a plastic smile, holding up a finger and resumes her conversation with the person on the other end of the phone.

Once I catch pieces of her personal conversation, I roll my eyes and decide to find Atlas’s office on my own. It shouldn’t be hard. I imagine he took over the office his dad and grandfather both used.

Her voice is high-pitched as she hollers at me to stop, but I just hold up a hand and continue walking. If Atlas doesn’t want someone barging up to his office, maybe they should hire a better receptionist to make sure that doesn’t happen.

My lips twitch at her impatient huff.

My red boots clang against the steel steps leading up to the loft that holds their offices. The pretentiousness of it makes me want to roll my eyes. Arnold James, Atlas’s grandfather, always had a Lord of the Manor vibe to him. It made me want to roll my eyes the first time I met him. After everything I’ve found out, he also thinks him and the rest of the good old boys are untouchable because of the money they have. Little do they know; they haven’t had little Emmy Lou Graves nipping at their heels.

The entire network of men makes me sick. I can only hope that Atlas isn’t like that. A lot can change in twelve years, though, so I’ll not hold my breath.

I’m lifting my hand to knock on the office door when it’s pulled open before my knuckles connect with the wood.

The stench of sex causes my nose to wrinkle and my booted feet to take a quick step back.

The pang to my heart is harder to ignore this time.

Tabitha hasn’t caught sight of me yet, but Atlas has. His eyes flash too quick for me to pick up the emotion. Hardness settles on his face and a lazy smirk graces his lips. He holds my eyes as he grabs her by the ass and pulls her to him.

I fold my arms over my chest and lean against his door jamb with my feet crossed at the ankles. I raise a brow, urging him to continue while I pretend that watching this isn’t killing me inside.

And here I thought I was over this man I no longer recognize.

He slides his tongue into her mouth, his hands clenching on her ass as he pulls her closer, his eyes never leaving mine. I don’t give him the satisfaction of knowing the little display he’s putting on for my sake is making me feel anything other than indifference.

I hurt him when I left twelve years ago and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s holding a mean fucking grudge. It’s what all these men do. I grew up around them from the time I was a little girl until we were all eighteen. I’ve seen the way they treat someone on the other end of their grudge. It’s not pretty, which is why I’m not surprised by the show he’s putting on now. The only advantage I have is that he doesn’t realize he can still get under my skin.

After what feels like hours, they break apart. Tabitha runs her hands over her hair, and when she turns my way, I wince at the hopeful look in her eyes. When I glance at Atlas, I can tell he spotted it too and a moment of regret crosses his face reminding me of the boy I used to know. My Duggie would have never callously used a woman like that before. Of course, if he was still my Duggie, we’d probably be married with a passel of babies by now.

Tabitha’s face heats with embarrassment as she scurries from the room with a muttered, “Excuse me.”

Atlas ambles back behind his desk and takes a seat, stapling his fingers together on top. “What can I do for you, Emmy?”

I stroll into the room, my hips swaying with each step, and take a seat in the leather chair in front of his desk. I cross one bare leg over the other, satisfaction flaring when his eyes follow the move. That is, until his eyes trail up the rest of me, pausing on my ample chest underneath my tight black tee, and making their way to my face.

Fire dances across my skin.

“I came to give you a heads up.”

Atlas leans back in his chair and laces his fingers behind his head. “For?” he drawls.

“I’m getting to the bottom of what happened twelve years ago.”

“Say that again?” he growls, leaning forward, hands once again clasped together on his desk.

“I’m going to find out what happened twelve years ago,” I repeat slowly. “We both know my daddy was innocent of what they accused him of.”

“You can’t be sure of that.”

My feet drop to the floor, and I lean forward resting my elbows on my knees. “Come on, Atlas. Give me better credit than that. You think I’d be back in this fucking town without proof?”

“What kind of proof?”

“Money trails.”

He snorts. “That doesn’t prove shit, Emmy, and you know it.”

I stand and brace my hands on his desk. “No. What I know is that those money trails lead right back to the fucking old money network that runs this damn town. They lead right to your father’s feet,” I snarl.

His eyes widen, my words catching him off guard. I want to laugh. Surely, he can see that even his father fucking stinks. This whole goddamn town does.

I sigh and sit back down. “Look, I just came here to give you a courtesy heads up. I’m going to be digging and there’ll be people who don’t want what I find to get out. Including the families that belong to you and the other four guys that now own this place with you.”

“You’re going to stir up a damn hornet’s nest, Em.”

I shrug. “Wouldn’t be the first time in the last twelve years.”

He lifts a brow, but I’ve had enough of being in his presence. Every time I look into his emerald eyes, I’m reminded of things that are better left in the past.

“There’s a lot about me you don’t know anymore, Atlas,” I reply. “I’m not the soft, naïve girl I was twelve years ago.”

His face hardens. “If you have proof of something, take it to the police, Emmy.”

I snort. “And have it thrown in the trash because these people own the police? No thanks. I can handle it.”

His eyes run down my body, this time in contempt. “Sure you can.”

Clucking my tongue, I stand and turn toward the door. Before I get there, I look back over my shoulder and admonish him. “You know that you should never judge a book by its cover, Duggie.”

He shrugs. “Yet it’s done every day.”

I roll my eyes and continue to the door.

“And Emmy?” he calls.

I pause with my hand on the door.

“It’s Atlas,” he states coldly.

Turning to look at him one last time, I run my eyes over him, taking in the features that are the same yet so different from the boy I knew so long ago. There’s a coldness to him that was never there before. A hardness that I’m familiar with seeing in my job. Though if I’m honest, it’s the empty eyes that get to me. They remind me so much of the men he swore he never wanted to be.

“I can see that,” I reply softly.

I watch my words hit their mark before I walk out the door.

At least now I understand the boy I loved so fiercely is long gone. The man behind that closed door is a stranger I’m glad I don’t know.

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Author-Bio

Author Bio

Mom. Fiancee. Wine Drinker. Hot Mess. Even bigger Walking Disaster. Fluent Sarcasm Speaker. Word Writer. Collector of Readers Hearts. Taco Lover. Book Nerd.

Lynne lives in the quiet country with a bossy mister and two little divas. If you don’t catch her with her nose in a book or her fingers scribbling on paper, she’s usually right in front of the television with her family. She loves anything that glitters and has a weird habit of collecting pens. She thinks seafood is disgusting, beach sand is the devil, and Tom Hardy is life.

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