Tycoon by Katy Evans
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tycoon, an all-new standalone from Katy Evans is LIVE!!!

Tycoon Amazon

He wasn’t always this rich. This hot. This difficult.

Aaric Christos was a guy who protected me. Wanted me. Maybe even loved me.

That man is gone.

In his place is the most powerful real estate tycoon in the city.

He’s a cold, ruthless, aggressive businessman.

The only one who can save me and my startup from ruin.

It takes every ounce of courage to put my pride aside and ask for his help.

I didn’t expect him to offer it easily.

And he doesn’t.

Instead, he vets me harder than he’s vetted anyone.

Don’t invest in what you don’t know, he says.

He’s assessing every piece of me, to the point I’ve never felt so bare.

I yearn for the boy I once knew, whose touch once craved me.

Putting it all on the line will be worth it, I tell myself.

Until I realize—too late—that some risks are not worth taking.



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About the Author:

Katy Evans is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her debut REAL shot to the top of the bestselling lists in 2013 and since then 9 of her titles have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages across the world.


Connect with the Author:



Twitter @authorkatyevans

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Stand by A.L. Jackson

 STAND is now live!

A Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel

Don’t miss out on the unforgettable romance readers are raving about!


“6 Devastatingly Beautiful and Brilliant Bleeding Stars but Worth the Whole Constellation.

I felt every burn…every blaze…every beautiful and brilliant word…I FELT IT ALL. ”

~Karen, Bookalicious Babes Blog

From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes the next seductive, unforgettable Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel…
Zachary Kennedy has never been known as a fighter, but he’ll never regret fighting for her…
I’m Zee Kennedy.
Quiet. Reserved. Predictable.
When my brother died, everyone thought I was just the good guy who stepped up to take his place in the band.
No one knew what I was hiding. The one thing I’ve been fighting for.
For seven years, I’ve never lost focus.
Not until one chance encounter with Alexis Kensington.
Now she’s become my greatest temptation.
I knew better than to touch her, but now that I’ve had a taste, I can’t get enough.
Her kiss becomes my air. Her body my salvation.
She needed a savior and somehow she became mine.
Taking her was a betrayal. But keeping her means risking everything.
One look at Alexis Kensington, and I know she’s worth the fight.
Will my past continue to keep me down or will I finally find the strength to pull myself up and Stand


Grand Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card + First 5 Bleeding Stars Novels Signed


Celebrate the Release!

A.L. Jackson Reader Hangout ►

Stand Read-Along ►

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installment STAND, coming Spring 2017.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter or text “aljackson” to 24587 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.
Connect with A.L.

Reader Group:
Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
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Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor


RELEASE DAY BLITZ & BOOK REVIEW: Love Me In The Dark by Mia Asher




Two strangers in Paris …
One passionate, earth-shattering kiss.

He was the artist upstairs
with the tantalizing smile and laughing eyes.

He was the devil inviting me to sin,
seducing me to dance in the bright moonlight.

He was desire and need.

When he touched me, my body sang.
My soul came alive.

But I belonged to another man,
and he didn’t want to let me go.




Melanie’s 5 Star Review:

Mia Asher is the queen of love triangles. She has made this her own brand, one that cannot be replicated or compared. Love Me In The Dark is her latest release and once again she has drowned us with crippling angst and tempted us with a most sinfully sensual love story, enough to make anyone self-combust. I read this in one sitting, my heart beating wildly making it feel like it would jump straight out of my damn chest. It’s utterly addictive; a guaranteed roller coaster ride which you’ll never want to get off of. All hail the queen bee of love triangles, she has done it again with what I personally feel as her best work yet.

The level of anxiety that this book caused me was straight up, unhealthy. Though this love triangle made it easy for me to choose who our heroine would end up with, I loved that Mia threw in a healthy dose of scandal; a forbidden twist that I didn’t see coming. This to me is the ultimate prize for a masochistic reader like myself. I was both turned on and appalled. A confounding feeling much like what Valentina must have felt throughout this book. Our heroine, once a naïve, happy-go-lucky girl now looks at the mirror and doesn’t recognize herself other than being William’s trophy wife. Dressed always to impress with a list of charity galas to plan, Valentina suddenly begins to realize that the life she’d always imagined isn’t quite what she had hoped for. Working through their marital woes, she and William make plans to spend some time together in Paris. What isn’t surprising is William’s sudden change of plans when he’s needed to stay in the states for work matters. But what is surprising and as luck would have it, Valentina doesn’t go running back home instead she decides to stay in Paris to think things through and to find herself. It’s not so much what she finds in Paris but rather who.

Sebastien has felt immense loss, the kind where you’re  surviving  through life but without real purpose. The pain he feels is thunderous and worth a sheet of tears to rain down on him. Valentina and Sebastien are both stifled by the dark and it isn’t until they lay eyes on one another that the light begins to seep through the cracks. There was an inexplicable connection between them that draws them together and once they give in to this force, the light that shines on them become so blinding it set the pages on fire.

You will not be able to help but sympathize and at times empathize with the characters. You’ll fall in love with Sebastien as heart achingly easy as Valentina did. You’ll revel in the beauty behind the love and the connection that they share with one another, trusting in the promises of second chances. If I could close my eyes and wish on a falling star, I’d have wished for a bit more. Even a couple more chapters or an epilogue perhaps. I was left still hungry for more of Sebastien and Valentina. So, Ms. Asher if you are reading this I am on bended knees (Boyz II Men style) asking you to make this wish come true. Guess this is the problem all authors runs into when they’ve drugged up their readers, they’re always going to want just a bit more. Love Me In The Dark was written to evoke a myriad of emotions out of its readers and let me tell you, Mia Asher superbly delivered.

We Like It Big Tunes:

La Vie en Rose

Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose

When you kiss me, Heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose

When you press me to your heart
And in a world apart
A world where roses bloom

And when you speak
Angels sing from above
Every day words
Seems to turn into love songs

Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose

Goodreads Links:

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Free in Kindle Unlimited

About the Author:

 I’m a writer, a hopeless romantic, a wanderer, a dreamer, a cynic, and a believer. And, I might be a bit crazy – but who isn’t?

I believe in happy endings however I know that not everyone is lucky enough to get one, but such is life. I think fine lines exist to be pushed and possibly crossed.


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RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Joy Ride by Lauren Blakely



From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes a steamy new standalone rivals-to-lovers romance…



Now available on all retailers!Get ready for the ride of your life, and grab your copy today!



✮✮✮ JOY RIDE is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

From the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of FULL PACKAGE and BIG ROCK, comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy…

Let’s be honest, ladies. A good man is a lot like the perfect car. You want a hot body, an engine that purrs, and superior performance under the hood…for the best joy ride of your life.

I’m at your service. Ready to go all night long.

But then a wildly sexy brunette appears in my life and throws a wrench in all my plans. She’s fiery, she’s talented, she’s gorgeous, and I’d really like to know what makes her engine hum.

Henley also happens to be my biggest rival, and now we’re forced to work together every day on the most important custom car build of my career. The trouble is I can’t quite figure out if she wants to kick me in the lug nuts or beg me to give her a good, hard fuel injection. Until one night that question is answered on the hood of a sports car when she calls out my name three times. And we can’t seem to put on the brakes.

If sleeping with the enemy is a bad idea, how much more dangerous would it be to fall in love with her?


You can find this sexy standalone romantic comedy available across all retailers now!

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✦The audiobook will be narrated by Sebastian York! Link coming soon!






“If I was going to place a bet on an author to consistently deliver a FANTASTIC romance time and time again, I would put all my money on Lauren Blakely. She always writes amazing comedic romances—they are sexy, entertaining and always original. Consider me a fangirl.”

~Mary, Harlequin Junkie


“At some points during my read, I would have to remind myself to breathe. I was so utterly consumed with what I was reading, with the compelling chemistry between Henley and Max . . . The S. E. X. Was. Soooooo HOTT. I’d argue it was Blakely’s best writing by far.”

~Jess at joandisalovebooks





“The dynamic between Max and Henley is addictive, and the story line in Joy Ride was down right juicy! I can’t wait for you to read it.”

~Angie, Angie & Jessica’s Dreamy Reads



Add it to Goodreads here!



And don’t miss Lauren Blakely’s other standalone Romantic Comedies!





✮✮✮Enter to win this amazing JOY RIDE GIVEAWAY!✮✮✮

Celebrate the release of JOY RIDE with this amazing giveaway!

The JOY RIDE giveaway is filled with:

Kate Spade Patton Leather Tote and Kate Spade Desktop Planner ($325 value)

$50 Gift Card to Bath and Body Works

$50 Gift Card to Amazon



About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy-five times, and she’s sold more than 1.5 million books. In May she’ll release JOY RIDE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!


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BOOK REVIEW: Before I Ever Met You by Karina Halle


I first met William McAlister when I was just a teenager.

He was handsome, had a beautiful wife and was on the verge of success, having just joined my father as his business partner. Mr. McAlister was full of smooth charm, but back then he was barely a blip on my radar. Just a family friend.

Fast forward ten years: I’m 25 years old and a single mom trying to make things right for her seven-year old son. I’ve made some mistakes, grappled with my demons and now I’m back in the city of Vancouver, getting a second chance at a better life.

I’ve started by working for my father’s production company as an executive assistant. My first day on the job and I already know I could have a promising career there.
That is until I see Will McAlister for the first time in a decade.

Now recently divorced and as sophisticated as always, Will has gone from being my father’s friend and business partner to something so much more.

We’re both older, for one thing, and he just oozes this worldly confidence and stark sexuality. Combined with his tall, muscular build and sharp suits, strong jaw and bedroom eyes, Will has turned into one hell of a distraction.

A distraction I’m having a hard time staying away from, considering his office is right across from my desk and I work with him in such close proximity.

But it’s just a harmless crush, right?

It’s just an innocent fantasy of screwing him on his desk, right?

It can’t ever be more because he’s my father’s best friend, business partner, and my boss.



Melanie’s 4.5 Star Review:

I knew I needed this book before I even had it because the blurb alone just about set my heart on fire. Karina Halle’s Before I Even Met You was everything I could have ever hoped for. This was packed full of romance turning readers like myself into mush. It won major swoon worthy points with just Will McAlister alone. The guy had me looking like that heart eyed emoji. So many moments had me sighing and gushing. This was THE perfect weekend read and honestly would make for the perfect work week pick me up as well. It is guaranteed that this will brighten your day.

Karina Halle’s writing is indisputably one of the best out there. What I love most about her work is that someone, somewhere has somehow lived what she’s written. Her writing is honest and easy to relate to but yet they all have enough fictional power to make you believe in magic. Before I Even Met You was another to add to that list. The heroine, Jackie Phillips has had a rough go due to a decision she decided to make 7 years ago. Though she painfully pays for it in many ways, that decision also gave her the most precious gift of all—Tyson her 7yr. old son who has got to be one of the most adorable, lovable fictional kids I’ve been introduced to. I mean this kid deserves his own book one day.

Finding herself suddenly catapulted back into her childhood home after being estranged from her parents, she struggles with regret and frustration over her past. She is determined to find her way and to land on her own two feet, she takes a job at her father’s film company, Mad Men as an Executive assistant to Will McAlister. Will flippin’ McAllister who is 16 years her senior who also happens to be her father’s much younger friend and business partner. A recently divorced Will who himself had been burned in one of the worst ways imaginable. He too finds himself back in a city he thought he’d left behind. With both Jackie and Will finding themselves in situations they’d never anticipated, they quickly collide into one another’s lives and find reprieve when in each other’s company. What unfolds between them is one that could only be written in books but one that we should all be so lucky to experience.

I admired Will’s tenacity and Jackie’s fortitude. I was on board with Will’s natural ability to bring Ty into the fold, never once being asked to. He is one of the good guys and one that Jackie so deserved to have in her life after everything that she had to give up. There were so many heartwarming moments that Jackie and Will shared, moments that begin to creep into your heart as well. I also loved that Ms. Halle threw in some light hearted scenes which made me laugh out loud—it was yar. And let me just say that the epilogue was EVERYTHING! Every friggin’ thing you could wish for – I was beside myself with glee!

While the blurb may lead you to believe that this is just another taboo romance—a much older man who happens to be her father’s friend, Before I Ever Met You is far from it. This was so much more. It’s full of heart and inspiration. This is through and through a love story. A story of a second chance at love with the right person. A story of finding redemption and salvation through sincere and worthy love. I recommend this book to my fellow hopeless romantics. If you’re looking to get lost in the clouds, this is it. Not to mention, you will WANT to meet Will “Hung” McAlister and experience just what he has to offer.

Music To My Ears:

In the morning when I wake
And the sun is coming through,
Oh, you fill my lungs with sweetness,
And you fill my head with you.
Shall I write it in a letter?
Shall I try to get it down?
Oh, you fill my head with pieces
Of a song I can’t get out.
Can I be close to you?
Oh-oh-oh-ooh, ooh
Can I be close to you?
Ooh, ooh.
Can I take it to a morning
Where the fields are painted gold
And the trees are filled with memories
Of the feelings never told?
When the evening pulls the sun down,
And the day is almost through,
Oh, the whole world it is sleeping,
But my world is you.
Can I be close to you (Ah)?
Ooh (aah), ooh (aah).
Can I be close to you (Ah)?
Ooh (aah), ooh (aah).
Can I be close to you (Ah)?
Ooh (aah), ooh (aah).
Can I be close to you (Ah)?
Ooh (aah), ooh (aah).
Can I be close to you?
Ooh, ooh.

Buy Links:

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ & BOOK REVIEW: Betrayed by Lies by Rebecca Shea

Betrayed RDL Banner


Fall into the deliciously dark world where the line between good and evil becomes blurred.


USA TODAY bestselling author Rebecca Shea brings you the third title in her thrilling and sexy romantic suspense Bound & Broken Series, BETRAYED BY LIES.Grab your copy of BETRAYED BY LIES today, and don’t miss the first two books in the series, BROKEN BY LIES and BOUND BY LIES




From the USA Today bestselling author of the Unbreakable series, comes a sexy, heart-wrenching novel…Betrayed by Lies.

As an ATF agent, bringing down the Estrada cartel has been my sole mission. I’m a skilled agent, determined and fearless, but a relentless pursuit and a willingness to risk everything almost killed me.

A year later, when an opportunity in Los Angeles presents itself, I jump at the chance to start over and rebuild the career and life I almost lost.

Kate Stevens was not part of my new plan. I never expected she would be the one to save me from my past. She was exactly what I needed—smart, beautiful and independent. I finally have a future I look forward to.

Only nothing in my life ever goes according to plan. Losing Kate is not an option, but fate seems poised to ruin me, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.

Melanie’s 4.5 Star Review:

I didn’t know what to expect from Betrayed by Lies but all I knew was that I was absolutely flippin’ ready for Sam Cortez. It’s been almost a couple of years since Bound by Lies so I was overly anxious to find out what was to become of Sam and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the approach that Rebecca Shea took. Unlike the other two previous books in this series, Sam and Kate’s story isn’t strung together by lies and deceit. Rather it’s filled with a sense of healing and affection. It is fast paced, with an evolving story line from one chapter to the next. It’s a “when you know it, you just know it,” love story.

There was no holding back between Sam and Kate—they were passionate about one another from the very moment they met. This undeniable fire that blazed between them was conveyed not only with words but through the physical intimacy they shared. I didn’t anticipate how crazy hot it would be between the sheets with these two! I honestly don’t know how my smoke alarms didn’t go off with the amount of heat burning through the pages. My poor thighs quivered like I was lifting hundred pound weights above my head. I kept thinking, “damn Rebecca Shea, you need to retitle this book from Betrayed by Lies to Betrayed by Thighs” cause seriously the thigh clench was real and I could not for the life of me wait for my husband to get home (A bit TMI there. Sorry not sorry.) Don’t get me wrong, this book isn’t littered with useless sex scenes that would eventually drive you to boredom. All it needed was 1 scene to make it count and ya’ll…. Ms. Shea? She Made. It. Count! Line, hook, and sinker… Perfect swish into the net from the 3 point line as the buzzer sounds kind… Yep, totally made it count.

While I must admit that the literary masochist in me craved for a little more angst, I also felt that the direction this book took was perfect for Sam. Having endured so much his whole life, he really just needed something to finally go right in his life. Kate Stevens was the game changer. She came into his life at just the right time, to finally give Sam the peace and the happiness he’d been searching for since he’d been pulled away from the people he loved most at such a young age. It was gratifying for me to see his life finally fall into place.

Betrayed by Lies is so unlike what I had thought it would be. It was an enjoyable, fast read with a much sexier and lighter feel than what I’ve come to believe from this author. It was a nice change done for the right character. Sam Cortez seemed to always be the pawn, the one who always seemed to lose more than the others and for him to finally come out the victor makes this fan girl very, very happy.


Amazon ** iBooks ** Barnes & Noble ** Kobo ** Google Play





She shakes her head and laughs. “I don’t judge. It sounds to me like your therapy has helped you see what it is you need versus what you thought you wanted, and I’m so happy you’ve recovered from your injury and you’re able to return to work. So many agents aren’t as lucky as you.” There’s a spark of sadness in her eyes. A look that only the friends and family of those in law enforcement get when they think of those who aren’t as fortunate as I am.

I nod in agreement. “Which is why I was excited to take this opportunity here in L.A. with your brother. He’s giving me another chance to prove myself. California is a fresh start for me.” I smile at her and she smiles in return, and it’s soft, caring, and does things to me that I’m not sure I’m ready for.

“So what do you do?” I ask, turning the questions on her. I’m done spilling my garbage. I want to hear about her.

She drops her eyes from mine and takes another drink of wine before resting it on her thigh. “I’m an attorney. I do corporate law, mostly negotiating and reviewing contracts. It’s extremely boring to someone who’s not interested in legalese, but it keeps me busy and it pays well.” She shrugs.

“Do you ever end up in court?”

“No. Ironically, if there is ever litigation, we typically hire outside counsel. Sounds weird, doesn’t it?” She scrunches her nose up and smiles.

“Not really.” I shake my head. “I get why. You’re an expert at what you do. The attorneys you hire are experts in litigation. Everyone does what they do best.”


Our conversation slows, but it’s not uncomfortable in the silence. We both relax in the quiet and jut ‘be’. There’s something to be said for that level of comfort when you’re in the presence of someone else.

“So, when do you think you’ll be moving in?” she asks.

“I’m having some stuff delivered this weekend, so I hope Saturday is okay?” I raise my eyebrow at her, hoping it’s not an inconvenience.

She smiles. “Saturday is perfect.”

“I’m still waiting on a truck from Phoenix, so that’ll be sometime next week, but I’m ready to get out of that hotel. Speaking of that hotel, I really should get going. It’s getting late, and I didn’t mean to keep you up.” I stand up and she follows suit. We both carry our empty glass and beer bottle to the kitchen, and Kate swipes something off the center island.

“This is the key for the house.” She dangles the ring on her pointer finger. “You can have your alarm system installed anytime. If you need anything secured before then, I have a safe and an alarm on this house. You’re welcome to keep anything in here.”

“I appreciate that.” The soft tips of her fingers brush against my palm as she places the key in my hand.

“See you Saturday,” she says, her voice barely above a whisper.

“See you Saturday,” I return. For the first time in a long time, I have something to look forward to.



And don’t miss the first two books in the Bound & Broken Series!

BROKEN BY LIES is just $.99 for a limited time only!




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Author Photo - Rebecca SheaABOUT REBECCA SHEA:

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven) and the Bound and Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies). She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons’ football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.



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the hot shot AN





TheHotShot Amazon-2First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

Melanie’s 4-Star Review:

Why is it that the connection is that much more explosive when two people who are polar opposites end up falling for one another? In Kristin Callihan’s latest release, The Hot Shot, that’s exactly the sort of love affair we get. A feisty, no nonsense heroine who is looking for a long lasting relationship matched with a famous pretty boy quarterback who lives for hook ups – things definitely get interesting as their instant connection muddle their preconceived notions about one another. Though this is a slow burning love story, I loved that both Finn and Chess didn’t hide what they were feeling. There was no beating around the bush and I thought this was utterly refreshing—especially for a story line that’s so full of angst.

I must admit that things didn’t really start revving up for me until the halfway point. Even though I did appreciate that Finn and Chess developed such a solid friendship before actually hooking up, I found myself feeling super impatient—I just wanted them to get down to business! I think I felt such frustration because I knew just how amazing they would be together in a romantic, intimate setting. And you know what? I was totally right on the money! Chess and Finn were downright combustible. They were just so naturally connected to each other. I sensed it and I loved it.

Finn’s vulnerability didn’t stop him from being so open about his feelings for Chess and the different ways in which he showed it pretty much turned me into a puddle of goo. He was so gosh darn sweet—like down to the bones, SWEET! Finn is tested every single time Chess pushes him away due to her fears—fears that stem from an early age being raised by flighty parents. But Finn manages to break down her walls, making her realize just how solid and genuine his love for her is. Their intimacy far surpassed what I’d expected. Holy mother! The thigh clench was real. So, so deliciously hot.

The Hot Shot is a definite must read for sports romance fans, for slow burning romance fans, for Kristin Callihan fans, for fans of this standalone series… For those who love a good romance in general. There is no question. You will positively enjoy the characters and their journey towards their happily ever after.


AMAZON | iBooks | B&N | KOBO | Paperback





Grumbling, I toss on some black lounge pants and my oversized Tulane t-shirt and head to the drugstore.

My head throbs by the time I get there, and my insides are writhing. I rest my hand against my lower stomach and grab a basket before calling James to complain.

“I swear,” I tell him as I grab a bottle of painkillers. “It’s like this entire day has been cursed.”

He snickers. “Curse. Get it? Curse?”

I roll my eyes, even though he can’t see me. “Laugh it up. Meanwhile, it feels as if someone is playing Battleship in my uterus.”

“Poor Chessie bear. At least we know why you were in such a foul mood.”

A flush washes over my cheeks. “Yeah.” Lie. Lie. Lie. A tub of salted caramel gelato makes its way into the basket.

“Tell me you’re getting some gelato,” James says.

I smile. “Just grabbed it.”

“Salted caramel?”

“You know it.”

I find the feminine products aisle and search for my brand. “I’m going to go home, take a long bath with my gelato, and forget this fucking day.” Forget Finn. “And then I’m going to go on Amazon and buying a freaking year’s supply of tampons so I don’t have to make these kinds of emergency runs anymore.”

A low, deep chuckle rumbles from behind me, and all the tiny hairs lift on my arms.

“But you’ll still need your gelato,” a familiar—fuck me, seriously?—voice points out.

My insides swoop even as my cheeks burn.

“Who is that?” James asks in my ear.

I slowly turn on one heel. “The plague,” I say, glaring up at Finn Mannus’s smiling face.

“From asshat to plague.” Finn scrunches up his brow. “I’m not sure if that’s a step down or a tie.”

“Who is that?” James nearly yells now.

I don’t take my eyes off Finn. “I’ll call you back.”

James’s squawks of protest cut off as I hit the end button.

“Are you stalking me, Mannus?”

Finn a rests his hands low on his lean hips. “Having a healthy amount of conceit myself, I have to admire yours, but no, buttercup. My buddy Woodson lives a few blocks away. It’s poker night. I’m stocking up on beer.”

It’s only then I notice a twelve pack tucked under his other arm.

“And tampons?” I ask, with a pointed look around the aisle we’re standing in.

“Not tonight,” he says easily. “Though we used to keep a pack of them back in college. Light flows were perfect for stopping up bloody noses.”

A snort escapes me. “Now there’s a visual.” Somehow, I’ve taken a step closer to him. He’s freshly showered, the golden brown strands of his hair still damp at his temples. And I wonder if he’s just come from the gym or practice. “So back in college you went and bought these tampons?”

“Nah,” he says with a cheeky smile. “I’d ask one of the girls hanging around to get me some.”

“Of course you did.” My nose wrinkles with annoyance.

“Give me a little credit, Chess. I’d buy them now if I had to.”

“Hmm…” I eye him, trying not to return his smile. If only because it’s more fun when he teases. “So why are you in this aisle now, if not for potential nosebleed needs?”

“That’s easy.” He steps closer, a warm wall of muscle and clean scent. “I heard your voice.”

For a second I just blink. “You recognized my voice?”

His gaze darts over my face as if he’s trying to get a read on why I’m gaping at him. “Not to be…ah…rude, but you’re loud when you talk on the phone.”

“Yeah, but… You recognized it.” We’d only just met. It occurs to me that I’d recognized his both times he’d snuck up on me. Then again, his voice is distinctive, flowing like hot honey when he’s relaxed or hammering down like iron to rock when he’s taking command of a situation.

A soft flush of pink tints the tips of his ears. If I wasn’t staring at him, I might have missed it. He shifts his weight. “Was I not supposed to?”

“No. Yes.” I shake my head and laugh. “I don’t know.”

He grins then. “You’re cute when you’re flustered.”

“I’m not flustered.” I am.








Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.