Shacking Up, a Sensational New Romance by Bestselling Author Helena Hunting

Blog Tour Banner for Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

It’s HERE!

SHACKING UP

by Helena Hunting

Publisher: SMP Swerve

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

eBook Price: $3.99

Paperback Price: $15.99

Audio Price: $23.99

About Shacking Up

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

Read my Review of Shacking Up and Add it to Goodreads HERE!

Buy Links

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Shacking-Up-Helena-Hunting-ebook/dp/B01N0Z4VSD

B&N: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shacking-up-helena-hunting/1125454600?ean=9781250133328

iBooks: itunes.apple.com/us/book/shacking-up/id1193305884

Kobo: www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/shacking-up-3

Google Play: play.google.com/store/books/details?id=KATdDQAAQBAJ

Audible: www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Shacking-Up-Audiobook/B0722D5HF2

About Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Follow Helena

Website: helenahunting.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/helena.hunting69

Twitter: @HelenaHunting

Instagram: www.instagram.com/helenahunting

Author Q & A

  1. Describe Shacking Up using no more than 140 characters (a la Twitter).

Sexy, quirky, with enough sexual tension to light your underwear on fire.

  1. Where did you get inspiration for the character’s names, particularly Bancroft aka Bane?

Once I met a police officer (I wasn’t doing anything illegal) who introduced himself as Bancroft. I thought that was his last name, so I sassily introduced myself by my last name as well. Then he corrected me, telling me that his first name was Bancroft, and I felt obviously ridiculous. He was a mammoth man. He practically had to duck through doorways, so I put that one in the name bank for a rainy day. I also thought it was rather hilarious that it could be shortened to Bane—as in the bane of my existence, which we know Bancroft certainly is not. Ruby is a spunky name and I thought reflected the heroine’s fiery personality.

  1. Shacking Up is hilarious! How easily does the banter between the characters come to you? Do you ever struggle writing the humor in your books?

With Ruby and Bane the banter came easily because there weren’t a lot of social constraints or limitations for them. At the beginning, they’re working under the premise of a business arrangement, so the pressure is off and Ruby isn’t really one to hold back. Neither is Bane for that matter. I have such a fun time creating off the wall, sometimes sexually tense scenes, especially with these two.

  1. Do you ever make yourself laugh when writing a scene?

Yes. I feel weird saying that, but there are times when I’m imagining what is happening as I’m writing and thinking “this is just ridiculous”. My hope is that if I think it’s ridiculous, so will other people, and it will inspire the same reaction. Francesca certainly helped make it a lot easier to fit in fun, light-hearted situations.

  1. What inspired Bane’s exotic choice in pets?

Ferrets are freaking adorable, but they are menaces if they’re left to their own devices. They’re also a lot like dogs and cats, but they require a different kind of care, the fact that they’re illegal in NYC also helped. As for Tiny—I think a lot of people would be reluctant to take care of a giant spider, no matter how cool they are as pets. I felt like both of them would lead to some funny situations.

  1. The heroes in your Pucked series are all hockey stars, and Bane in Shacking Up is an ex-rugby player. Is it safe to say you have a thing for athletes?

I guess you could say I have a fascination with athletes. That level of physical fitness takes an extraordinary amount of discipline, plus STAMINA!!! More than just being an athlete, I have an affinity for heroes who show loyalty and determination and who are just as much about brain as brawn.

  1. Ruby is a bit of a rebel, defying her family to go after her dreams. What do you love most about her?

I love that despite things not always going her way, she refuses to take the easy way out. Our paths are not always linear and Ruby is very willing to make concessions where she needs to in order to prove to herself and her family that she can attain her goals.

  1. Why are Bane and Ruby so perfect for each other?

They’re both very goal oriented people with the same core values. Ruby is a firecracker and Bane needs someone with that level of sass to challenge him. For Ruby, Bane is an inherent caretaker, BUT he tries not to force that care on her which is something she can appreciate.

  1. Are there any books or authors you’re really excited about right now?

I’m excited for Ann Marie Walkers BLACK TIE OPTIONAL. I recently devoured Jana Aston’s Grind Me Series and Debra Anastasia is writing the most awesome book right now, and I can’t wait until it’s ready for public consumption.

 

Release Boost: PENALTY, a Sexy Football Romance by Jacob Chance

Boost Banner for Penalty, by Jacob Chance

PENALTY

Author: Jacob Chance

Genre: Sports Romance

RELEASE BOOST!

Release Date: May 12, 2017

About PENALTY

He’s the bad boy quarterback of Boston University’s football team. As the son of a former NFL player, he’s showered with attention and praise twenty-four-seven. One flash of his smile and all the girls fall at his feet – or should I say to their knees?

And then there’s me.

Brady Lincoln is the last person I want attention from. He’s the kind of guy my father warned me about. His play on the field is legendary and his play with the ladies, even more so. I’ve managed to stay off his radar until recently.

What happens when the cocky quarterback breaks all the rules to win my heart?

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34648055-penalty

PURCHASE LINKS – 99c for a limited time

US: http://1click.bz/PenaltyUS
UK: http://1click.bz/PenaltyUK
CA: http://1click.bz/PenaltyCA
AU: http://1click.bz/PenaltyAU

Free in Kindle Unlimited

MY REVIEW OF PENALTY

PenaltyPenalty by Jacob Chance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

PENALTY is a sweet, steamy new adult sports romance by Jacob Chance, who shows us his lighter side with this tender and heartwarming story. As usual, Jacob brings the heat, making Penalty a sexy, fun, easy read without suspense or over-the-top drama. It’s a coming of age story for the heroine, Harlow; and a coming-to-maturity story for its cocky quarterback hero, Brady Lincoln.

Brady is intrigued by Harlow’s unpretentious innocence and her resistance to his usual charms. Harlow is overwhelmed by Brady’s attention, certain that pursuing a relationship with him would leave her heartbroken. After all, Brady is a “player” in every sense of the word: amazing on the football field and legendary in the bedroom. He enjoys a life of excess without commitment; Harlow is his opposite, a quiet, studious young woman who longs for stability and security. As they say, opposites attract; and it’s powerful, undeniable attraction that ultimately leads Harlow to give Brady a chance at romance.

Naturally, there’s a twist. Jacob is famous for tossing in plot twists you never see coming, and Penalty is no different; it’s a sharp punch to the gut that will leave you reeling for a bit. I’m still shaking my head over it, and also over the fact that when the twist is revealed, Harlow’s reaction is utterly over-the-top. Alas, no spoilers here, you need to read Penalty for yourself to see how everything works out for this unlikely but loveable couple.

If you enjoy quick and easy, fun and sexy sports romance, with minimal drama, limited suspense, but lots of emotion, don’t miss this latest release by one of my favorite new authors.

View all my reviews

AUTHOR BIO

Jacob Chance grew up in New England. He’s a martial artist, a football fan, a practical joker and junk food lover.

An author of erotic thrillers, he plans to write many more sexy, suspenseful stories.

AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jchanceauthor
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/103288340096103/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JChanceAuthor
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/jacobchance
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/jchanceauthor
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cAyr6L
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jacob-chance

GIVEAWAY

There is a giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed paperback of Penalty (one winner, open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba3ffd551570

Book Review: Strawberry Kisses (Rocky Harbor #2) by Marianne Rice: A Beautiful Story of Healing Hearts

ABOUT STRAWBERRY KISSES…

Rachael Riley is back home in Rocky Harbor, but she’s not the same woman she once was.

After being rescued from an abusive relationship, Rachael is nothing more than a shadow of her true self. The only place she manages to find some degree of comfort is in the kitchen, hiding behind her apron as she continues to shut everyone out. Her foster sister knows that the real Rachael has been broken and reaches out by signing her up for self-defense classes with the hope of getting her outgoing, confident and nosey older sister back.

Jake Morgan has done more than his time and is finally free of his past…

Teaching self-defense is Jake’s way of giving back, compensating for what has been taken away from him years ago. He’s well aware that most women in his class have a backstory and avoids getting emotionally involved by keeping his distance—until a beautiful, blue-eyed woman walks in. Jake is instantly drawn to Rachael and sees the inner confidence she tries to hide behind her blonde bangs and hunched shoulders.

Wanting to know the story hidden behind those blue eyes, Jake sets out to break down every barrier Rachael has built…

As Jake helps Rachael find the strength she once had, a secret of his past is revealed and threatens to ruin the safety they have found in each other. There’s more connecting them than just their mutual attraction. Once their pasts finally collide, revealing a devastating truth, Jake’s feelings and commitment toward Rachael is put to the ultimate test.

There is no guarantee when it comes to love, but sometimes all a broken heart needs to heal is sweet strawberry kisses…

BOOK REVIEW

Strawberry KissesStrawberry Kisses by Marianne Rice
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Strawberry Kisses is the second standalone in the Rocky Harbor Series. Like book one (Staying Grounded), it’s a heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) story; the emotional journey of two damaged souls desperate to feel whole again.

Rachael Riley is silently dealing with the haunting aftermath of an abusive relationship and years of estrangement from her adoptive family. Having returned to Rocky Harbor a shadow of her former self, she longs to regain the confidence she desperately needs to declare her independence from the past and turn her passion for baking into a self-sustaining business.

Jake Morgan, Rachael’s new self-defense instructor, is struggling to atone for the rebellious, irresponsible actions in his past; actions which led to a prison stint in the aftermath of a devastating family tragedy. With the end of his parole in sight, he’s eager to put the past behind him. But, unfortunately, he’s forced to face the consequences of it every single day; and as such, he can neither allow himself to forgive or forget.

The last thing Rachael wants is another relationship, but she finds it impossible to resist her attraction to Jake. Jake understands her reluctance, but his need for her is too powerful to ignore. Sparks fly, walls go up, but meddling family and friends intervene, encouraging them to take a chance with each other. So they do. And it’s joyful. Until it isn’t.

Just as Rachael is ready to let go of her demons and allow herself to fall in love, her past comes back to haunt her in a tragic twist that will tear your heart — and their relationship — apart. I cried, more than once, but fortunately, I know that the author loves to write happy-ever-afters. Once I picked myself up off the floor, my sense of hope was restored, and I was rewarded with a perfect conclusion, along with an intriguing set-up for the next book in the series. And if the first two books are any indication, it will be another inspiring story based on a family I’ve grown to love.

Marianne tackles difficult subjects with remarkable ease, blending humor, wisdom, and tenderness that instills a sense of hope for that happy ever after. She perfectly describes the beauty of small-town coastal Maine, an idyllic backdrop for the healing message of her stories. Although I’m not a huge fan of third-person POV, it works well in this series, allowing deeper insights into each character. The only thing missing for me – and it’s simply a personal preference – is some spicy sex. It’s implied, but the curtain closes before the real action begins, and I find that a teeny bit frustrating. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of heat and the promise of more, behind those closed doors.

If you love redemptive love stories with humor, heart and a healthy dose of heat, pick up Strawberry Kisses today.

View all my reviews

ABOUT MARIANNE RICE

Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, relaxing with fancy drinks and romance books. Connect with her on Facebook or visit her website at http://www.mariannerice.com/

BUY STRAWBERRY KISSES: http://amzn.to/2qj4BmH

ADD STRAWBERRY KISSES TO GOODREADS

Book Review: BUNS (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton – Coming Soon!

Coming May 23rd from bestselling author

Alice Clayton…

BUNS

Hudson Valley Series #3 (may be read as a standalone)

Front book cover, BUNS, by Alice Clayton

ABOUT BUNS

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

My Spoiler-Free Review of BUNS

Buns (Hudson Valley, #3)Buns by Alice Clayton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grab yourself a copy of this sweet piece of sexy deliciousness on release day if you can.

BUNS is a perfect summer read for romance lovers who enjoy alpha hotness, heroine snarkiness that’s full of heart with a side of steamy, spicy heat. This book has it all, and in my opinion, is the best Hudson Valley novel yet.

Alice Clayton has an uncanny ability to write nuanced, and not-so-nuanced, dialogue that perfectly captures the mood, be it deeply sweet, intensely sexy, heartbreaking, or hilarious. Her characters – primary and secondary – virtually leap off the page and make a beeline for your heart; and they stay there. Her setting descriptions bring the story to life in brilliant color and texture that engages all your senses. Add her sense of humor and ability to craft scenes that are poignant, personal, sensual, and often outrageously funny and you have an unforgettable story. BUNS is a book I will read time after time because it evokes and strokes every emotion.

You NEED Archie Bryant on your hot-as-hell alpha, slightly broken but persistent, romantic hero list. He finds his match in Clara Morgan, the successful Boston designer hired by Archie’s father to update Bryant Mountain House, a formerly regal Catskills resort that’s seen better days. Archie, ever the traditionalist — and a stubborn one at that — takes a great deal of convincing, and the process is an uphill battle that’s often hilarious. The pace is perfect. Told in alternating POV, every scene is perfectly crafted to drive the story to its epic conclusion.

Alice Clayton fans will be delighted. New readers will be addicted.

Note that although BUNS is the third book in the Hudson Valley Series, it works well as a standalone. However, if you didn’t get enough of the crazy-hot cast of characters in NUTS and CREAM OF THE CROP, you’ll want to read them as soon as you finish this sexy, sweet fictional masterpiece. I don’t know if additional books are coming from the Hudson Valley, but I hope so, and I’ll be waiting with my finger on the one-click button when they do.

Add BUNS to GOODREADS

Pre-Order BUNS on Amazon*:

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2pFCIUB

Print:  http://amzn.to/2qBu86w

Audible: http://amzn.to/2pFtjwk

*Affiliate Links; also available for pre-order from other retailers.

View all my reviews

Provocative (White Lies Duet, #1) by Lisa Renee Jones: New Release Blog Tour

SBPRBanner-PROVOCATIVE-BT

Provocative

(White Lies Book One)

by Lisa Renee Jones

Release Date:  April 18th

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Provocative Final Border 4.07.17 PM

Book one in the sexy and intense new White Lies duet by Lisa Renee Jones!

 There are those moments in life that are provocative in their very existences, that embed in our minds forever, and sometimes our very souls. They change us, mold us, maybe even save us. But some are darker, dangerous. If we allow them to, they control us. Seduce us. Quite possibly even destroy us.

The moment I walked into Sonoma’s Reid Winter Winery and Vineyard and made eye contact with Faith Winter for the first time was one of those moments. Provocative because I know at least one of her secrets, of which, I suspect she has many. Provocative because she believes I was a stranger to her when we met, but I am not. Provocative because I sought her out, with no intention of touching her. But now I have. Now I want her. Now I have to have her. But that changes nothing. It doesn’t change why I came for her.

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

Hi, everyone!

I’m so excited that PROVOCATIVE is available now! Just a few notes: if you order PROVOCATIVE this week only you will get $1 off and it will only be $2.99 – I will be increasing this price at the end of the week! You’ll also receive the FREE novella Rebecca’s Forgotten Journals (these are NEW journal entries) in the back of your copy!

PS – if you missed your chance to receive any of my bonus scenes from Amy & Liam, Chris & Sara, or Ella & Kayden, this is your last chance to get them! Register your order of PROVOCATIVE here – http://bit.ly/2pkQ49b and you’ll receive them early next week!

Check out the Trailer: http://bit.ly/ProvocativeTrailer

READ CHAPTER ONEhttp://lisareneejones.com/duet

 Available Now

Check out my 5-star Review HERE

Read PROVOCATIVE Today!

Amazon US:  http://amzn.to/2oQf8nK

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/30ESH1

B&N: http://bit.ly/ProvocativeBN

iBooks: http://bit.ly/ProvocativeiBooks

Kobo: http://bit.ly/ProvocativeKobo

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34602810-provocative

Elegant handsome man in suit.

Book two: SHAMELESS will be out on July 11th!

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/ShamelessAmazon

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/ShamelessAmazonUK

B&N: http://bit.ly/Shameless_BN

iBooks: http://bit.ly/ShamelessiBooks

Kobo: http://bit.ly/Shameless_Kobo

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34602828-shameless

GIVEAWAY

Prize: $100 Amazon gift card!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series. Suzanne Todd (producer of Alice in Wonderland) on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense. Sara’s character is strong, flawed, complex, and sexy – a modern girl we all can identify with.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, Lisa 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 presently working on a dark, edgy new series, Dirty Money, for St. Martin’s Press.

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.

Lisa Renee Jones Author Pic

CONNECT WITH LISA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLisaReneeJones/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kWFra1

Twitter: @LisaReneeJones

Stay in touch with Lisa by joining her mailing list:

http://lisareneejones.com/newsletter-sign-up/

Website: http://lisareneejones.com

Provocative (White Lies Duet, #1): A Seductive, Suspenseful New Romance by Lisa Renee Jones (Review)

PROVOCATIVE, book one in the sexy and intense new White Lies duet

by

NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author Lisa Renee Jones is here! 

Front Cover, Provocative

 

 About PROVOCATIVE

There are those moments in life that are provocative in their very existences, that embed in our minds forever, and sometimes our very souls. They change us, mold us, maybe even save us. But some are darker, dangerous. If we allow them to, they control us. Seduce us. Quite possibly even destroy us.

The moment I walked into Sonoma’s Reid Winter Winery and Vineyard and made eye contact with Faith Winter for the first time was one of those moments. Provocative because I know at least one of her secrets, of which, I suspect she has many. Provocative because she believes I was a stranger to her when we met, but I am not. Provocative because I sought her out, with no intention of touching her. But now I have. Now I want her. Now I have to have her. But that changes nothing. It doesn’t change why I came for her.

Get your copy of PROVOCATIVE Today!

Special $2.99 release week price – will increase to $3.99 next week!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pwYkCT
B&N: http://bit.ly/ProvocativeBN
iBooks: http://bit.ly/ProvocativeiBooks
Kobo: http://bit.ly/ProvocativeKobo
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34602810-provocative

Book two:

SHAMELESS will release on July 11th!
Pre-Order notification: http://bit.ly/2nocwgZ
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34602828-shameless

Teaser from Provocative

My Review of PROVOCATIVE

Provocative (White Lies Duet Book 1)Provocative by Lisa Renee Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nick Rogers:
A hot, take-no-prisoners, alpha male attorney — nicknamed “Tiger” because he won’t hesitate to rip out his opponent’s throat. A commitment-phobic, career-focused sexual dynamo who’s as powerful in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom. A man in pursuit of the truth about his father’s mysterious death. A man who becomes obsessed with his number one suspect…

Faith Winters:
A beautiful heiress fighting to save her father’s legacy, a historic winery in Sonoma, California. An artist who’s willing to sacrifice her art to save her father’s legacy from foreclosure after her mother’s sudden death. A woman powerfully, passionately drawn to the Tiger. A woman with layers, consumed by a man determined to unwrap them; and, if necessary, willing to use them to destroy her.

Secrets. Betrayal. Danger. Steaming hot sex. A mystery, wrapped in a conundrum, steeped in an enigma, set in the wine, art, and financial worlds of San Francisco and Sonoma. Characters that draw you in, electrify you and arouse you in more ways that one. An undercurrent of suspense woven into every scene.

What’s not to love? Absolutely nothing, except I want the sequel. Yesterday.

Provocative, Book 1 of the White Lies duet, is a scorching, suspenseful work of literary art. It is Lisa Renee Jones at her best (although her Dirty Money Series is still in the running). It is riveting, addictive, erotic and deeply mysterious. It also has one hell of a cliffhanger, but fortunately, book two releases in July. Given the set-up in book one, the second half of this story will rock your world and leave you hanging on every word from beginning to end. Do yourself a favor and read it now, then pre-order book two, Shameless, as soon as it’s available. I can’t wait.

View all my reviews

Just Like That: A Sweet, Sassy and Sexy New RomCom by Nicola Rendell (Excerpt and Review)

 

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Book Cover, Just Like That, by Nicola Rendell
AP new - synopsis.jpg

“I bet I can untangle you.”

At an airport baggage claim, Penny Darling looks up from her knotted mess of ear buds to find the sexiest hunk of man she’s ever seen. He’s got a military haircut, a scar through his eyebrow, and he’s rocking a pastel pink dress shirt like only a real man can. But Penny is on a man-free diet so she leaves the airport without succumbing to his delicious double-entendres…or his dreamy dimples.

PI Russ Macklin can’t take his eyes off Penny. As she sashays out of the airport with hips swaying and curls bouncing, he suspects they may share more than just sweltering chemistry. That suitcase she’s rolling along behind her? It looks a lot like his.

Because it is.

When he tracks her down, he holds her bag hostage in exchange for a date. Their night begins with margaritas and ends in urgent care, and Russ proves that Cosmo’s theory about a very particular type of orgasm was oh-so-wrong.

In Penny, Russ finds a small-town sweetheart with a very naughty side. For the first time ever, he’s thinking about picket fences. Penny finds in Russ a loving, caring man who understands the power of massaging showerheads.

But Russ is only in Port Flamingo for a week. They agree it’ll be a fling and nothing more. Because really, they can’t fall ass-over-teakettle in love just like that…

Can they?

99k words. HEA. Dual POV. No cheating.
Featuring a big drooly dog named Guppy.

 

Penny

There’s all sorts of sexy Russ-rustle-rustling as he tries on his clothes. It takes all my willpower to stop myself from running over to his changing room and pressing my eye up to the slats like I’m looking through a peep hole. He slings his shirt over the top of the changing room door, then steps out of his shoes and socks. I can almost hear a drumroll in my head and then it happens: his suit pants fall to the ground.
Maybe today’s boxer briefs are light gray, like a sporty heather gray, because that would just be…
I grab a random black dress off the rack and dash into the second changing room. As I shut the door, I hear Maisie saying something like, “Boy, I sure could use some help with all these sunglasses, ahem-ahem.” But I ignore it. As the rustling next door continues, I unfasten the knot on my sundress and let it fall from my shoulders, so I’m standing in my bra and panties in front of the very unflattering full-length mirror. I’m hoping it’s unflattering. It damned well better be unflattering. But then I notice a very faint bruise on my hip, in exactly the pattern of his fingers as he gripped me last night. I slide my fingertips along it and turn to warm caramel inside.
“What kind of movie is it?” I ask him as I finagle my hands through the spaghetti straps above my head and tug the new dress down over my body. It’s a size too small and hugs me like shrink-wrap.
“Romantic comedy.” His zipper slides up. “Workplace romance.”
Oh, God.
I shimmy into the dress and stare at my reflection. There are times in my life when I am acutely aware of that devil-angel-shoulder situation, and this is one of them. Looking at myself in the mirror, and I can almost see the two of them in position. The devil is a real vixen. Combat boots, and a raspy, sultry voice. No bullshit and a very respectable smoky eyeliner. She likes her music feminist and her tequila straight. On the other shoulder sits the angel. She’s a dead-ringer for my fourth-grade librarian. She smells like mothballs, her lipstick flakes off when she talks, and she’s big into smooth jazz. I hate her. Also, she’s pretty much always exactly right. Double-demerit.
The angel says, “Penelope Eloise Darling. Why can’t you find yourself a nice man with a steady job? That eHarmony questionnaire doesn’t take that long. Just think: you could find a nice Baptist minister in Tallahassee! At least you’d live in the same state!”
I suck in my stomach so hard that I feel dizzy, and try to pull up my zipper. Not even close. I cinch the fabric shut with one hand, suck in harder, and give it a yank. It bites into me, and I stretch the dress to the side as far as I can, testing the tensile strength of 1% spandex to its limit.
The devil takes out her hip flask and downs a pull of tequila while she considers her black nail polish. “Fuck that noise, Pen. You want him, take him. Boom. Done.”
The zipper finally cooperates. I don’t even look like myself, this thing is so tight. I spin slightly and look at my ass, over my shoulder.
Which is when the door squeaks open. I fully expect it to be Maisie, brandishing her Kindle and saying something like, “I knew I’d seen that jawline before,” but it isn’t. It’s him.
“Oh, fuck. Sorry, I thought this was my…” He trails off.
The desire ricochets between us like a pinball trapped at the bottom of an arcade machine. He’s in shorts that fit him like a glove, and a soft navy T-shirt, with a vintage Pac-Man logo, washed out and faded. And he’s found a hat, like a super-stylish baseball hat with mesh on the back. Plus, flip-flops.
I thought he was handsome before, but this, this… Casual, and carefree, and look at those shoulders. Peeking out from the sleeve of the T-shirt is the bottom edge of his tattoo on the curve of his massive bicep.
Here lies Penelope Darling, who died of a swoon.
He lets out a breathy, quiet whistle. “I’m buying that for you.”
The way he talks, that dominance, makes me feel like I’m some new but treasured thing. I’m not used to it, but one thing is for sure: I like it. Except even in my haze, it’s the angel that answers first. “No, no, no. I’ll never wear it.”
“I don’t care.”
Frivolous retail purchases especially for me? “We…should get to work.”
His eyes move up and down over me again so deliciously slowly that I feel a shiver up my spine. “I’ll show you getting to work.” He takes a step toward me, and runs his hand up the side of my dress.
I grab ahold of the hanger rack behind me as my knees start to get a little wobbly. “I’ll take you to the boardwalk first. Rides. Ball-and-hammer. Funnel cakes.” He’s reducing me to bullet points. I can’t even string two nouns and a verb.
He pulls his hand away with a frustrated grunt. “Fine. But I’m buying it for you. No arguments. Got it?” he says finally, and then heads back to his changing room.
The devil turns to the angel, who’s got her lips in a tight, prudish line. But the devil?  She gives zero fucks, and she raises her hip flask to me. “Here’s to romantic comedy.”
Toodles, Man Wagon.


 

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Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a Ph.D. in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.
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My Review of Just Like That

 

Just Like ThatJust Like That by Nicola Rendell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been a die-hard Nicola Rendell fan since Professed, one of the sexiest debut novels I’ve ever read. Since then, I one-click her new releases as soon as they’re available for pre-order, because I know I’ll want to read every book more than once. Nicola has a fresh, lively writing voice and a genuine talent for balancing just the right amount of heat, heart, and humor in a story that engages readers from beginning to end.

If you love explosive chemistry; dominant, drop-dead-sexy, passionate heroes; sweet, quirky heroines; and big, goofy, drooling, gassy dogs you will love this story. Even if you’re not a fan of “insta-love,” Just Like That will convince you to suspend disbelief. I happen to believe in “insta-love,” because I’ve experienced it; so I didn’t have to stretch my imagination too far to convince myself that Russ and Penny are a match made in heaven.

But, as always, there are obstacles to overcome. They have to convince themselves to follow where their hearts lead. And as usual, our hero has a secret. He’s holding back his true identity, for plausible reasons, but since all relationships depend on trust, it’s a secret that could unravel their relationship altogether. And then there’s the fact that they only have a week together to go from a casual fling to a happy ever after.

Their romantic journey goes from hot to hilarious in a heartbeat, thanks to an unfortunate seafood incident, a disastrous trip to an Urgent Care center, a batch of suspicious “candy,” and an enormous dog with digestive issues. Because of the compressed timeline, and the use of alternating points of view, the story moves along quickly, which fits the story perfectly. My one critique is that Nicola delivers a twist at the end that defies logic. It was a distraction that didn’t add to the story, but as a writer, I know that the characters speaking into our heads don’t always apply logic. In fact, they rarely do. It’s a sweet, happy twist, however improbable, and that’s just fine with me.

I’ll read Russ and Penny’s story again and again whenever I need a healthy dose of erotic, alpha male sex; a little bit of angst, enough to twist my heartstrings; and a load of laughs at our hero’s expense. These well-developed, loveable characters will stay in your heart long after you’ve read their story; and you just might believe that lasting love can happen Just Like That.

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