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
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“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.
Author Links

 

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.

View all my reviews

Foster-An-Author Monday: A Spotlight on Indie Author S. H. Pratt

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It’s Foster An Author Week!

This week, I’m delighted to feature indie author S. H. Pratt during

the annual Foster An Author Campaign hosted by Jo & Isa Love Books!

Each day I’ll feature one of the author’s books or book series,

giving passionate readers an opportunity to discover some great new reads!

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Let’s Start with a Giveaway!

Enter to win any e-book by S. H. Pratt, every day this week!

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Meet S. H. Pratt

Color photo of author S. H. PrattA native Montanan, currently living in Olympia, Washington, I am the mom of three profoundly gifted children who take my lack of sanity as a challenge to make me sane.

I began writing in high school. I stopped writing to pursue my education but quickly realized I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up… I still don’t know. So I decided to find a “real job”. Over the course of the next twenty years, I tried everything from barista, to a restaurant manager, to a purchasing agent and an administrative assistant to the owner of a fire truck construction company and everything in between.

I returned to writing in 2012. By the time I worked up the nerve to attempt self-publishing, I’d amassed a stack of rejection letters and seven complete manuscripts. The first three books that I wrote after ‘growing up’ a bit were published in paperback only and only to those who special ordered it. It will never be printed or released again due to the nature of my mental state when I wrote it. I was in a very bad place, emotionally, and those three books were my therapeutic catharsis. The first book I wrote and subsequently published was Always My Love and it was more of a homecoming, the characters involved, a withdrawn and wary writer (see what I did there?) goes back to her version of “home” which is her best friend/cousin. I wrote the cousin based on my own best friend/cousin and from there I wrote of new beginnings with the cousin’s friend who gives the author a reason to see “home” differently. It was another way to heal emotionally.

I prefer to write contemporary romance with a heavy emphasis on psychology and the emotions of my characters. I feel that if my reader can feel what the character feels and can identify with it, I’ve done my job. After Always My Love, the books that I’ve written have been a different sort of therapy. They touch on issues such as: spousal abuse, cheating, date rape, PTSD and a myriad of other hot button topics that I’ve seen first-hand in my life via my siblings and other experiences. I love to do the research involved with deep psychological issues and creating the character that everyone loves to hate. The stand alone book I love the most is Shy of Tomorrow. It just touches a place in my heart where books live as it’s about a librarian who finds more than she bargains for in the aisles of the library. One other thing that I simply love to write about is multiples. So far, five of my eleven books have either twins or triplets, with six more WIPs actively being worked on with twins or triplets. As for a muse… life inspires me.

Follow the Author…


Website:
http://shpratt701.wix.com/books-by-s-h-pratt

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/shpratt701

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SHPratt701

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/shpratt

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/s.-h.-pratt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SHPratt

Newsletter Sign-up: http://eepurl.com/bamfsD

Tomorrow — as Foster An Author Continues, check back for an Overview of S. H. Pratt’s Green Brothers Series.

See you then!

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Writer’s Wednesday Spotlight & ARC Giveaway: DELVE, by Jacob Chance

A B&W photo of a couple kissing, with a quote from DELVE, by Jacob Cjance

This week’s Writer’s Wednesday Author Spotlight is on Jacob Chance, author of steamy, suspenseful erotica. Jacob and his brother, Logan, collectively known as the Brothers Chance, are both indie authors, new to the scene and wildly successful. Links are included so you can meet both of them and join in the fun on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Jacob’s debut novella duet, QUAKE (#1) and QUIVER (#2) took Amazon — and readers — by storm. Coming up next is DELVE, another scorching hot novella featuring characters from the first two books.

Unbridled desire … for his best friend’s younger sister.

What could possibly go wrong?

DELVE will arrive on your e-readers on OCTOBER 20th.

A Sneak Peek at DELVE

→ Add to your TBR:  ‪https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31848108-delve 

Synopsis

Book Cover, DELVE, by Jacob ChanceHe was my brother’s best friend and seven years older than me.

He was a tatted up bad boy, indulging in one night stands like they were going out of style.

So why did I want to tear his clothes off every time we got within five feet of each other?

She was only eighteen years old when we met for the first time.

She was a good girl who avoided guys like me, but that didn’t stop me from picturing all the things I wanted to do with her– do to her. She was too young though, and my best friend’s baby sister. I couldn’t let things go where I wanted them to. I couldn’t touch her–couldn’t taint her with my darkness. I knew it could never happen. It would never happen…but it did.

*DELVE is a standalone novel that features characters from QUAKE and QUIVER*

A photo of an athletic man, with a teaser from DELVE, by Jacob Chance

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Enter to Win an ARC of DELVE!


Add DELVE to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31848108-delve

Add DATE ME (by Logan Chance!) to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31851488-date-me

Like Our page: www.facebook.com/LoganandJacob

Comment on this post when done.

Tag and friend and SHARE.

** The ARC Winner will be asked to post a brief REVIEW on Amazon – every word helps your favorite authors! **

About Jacob Chance…

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

A writer of erotic romance, QUIVER is his second release and is the follow up to QUAKE. DELVE is a spin-off from that series, releasing October 20th.

Jacob plans on writing many more  sexy, suspenseful stories and to branch out to other genres.

Follow Jacob

Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/LoganandJa…

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/jchanceau…

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrotherChance

Spotify – Jacob’s Play List https://open.spotify.com/user/sunsh…

The Brothers Chance – Links

Pinterest Link: https://www.pinterest.com/thebrothe…

Chance Promotions: https://m.facebook.com/chancepromotions/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/b-M4_v

Website: http://brotherschance.wixsite.com/brotherschance

The QUAKE Duet…

QUAKE

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29506340-quake

Amazon: http://amzn.to/29yVyBt

Book Trailer: 

Synopsis

Book Cover, Quake, Jacob ChanceFrom the first moment I saw Janny Moore’s sparkling eyes and luminous smile, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of getting to know her…

Watching.

She’s everything I need in my life, now I just have to convince her.

She’s never set eyes on me, she has no idea I exist…

But she will.

Read my review of QUAKE here: 

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1580056748

Photo of a couple in bed with a teaser quote from QUAKE by Jacob Chance

Photo of a couple in a deep kiss, with a quote from QUAKE by Jacob Chance

QUIVER

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30763635-quiver

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2c8LDnG

Synopsis

Book Cover, QUIVER, by Jacob ChanceThey met under the most unusual circumstances and fell deeply in love. Their relationship thrived, despite all the secrets Kyle kept from Janny. When the sordid details of his betrayal were revealed in the worst way possible, he had to fight to win her back.

Now Kyle’s in the battle of his life and the obstacle in their path might be impossible to overcome. Will they continue working together and face the problem head on or…

Will this be the one thing their love can’t survive?

Read My Review of QUIVER here: 

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1695504165

A photo of an intimate couple with a quote from QUIVER by Jacob Chance

A photo of a sexy couple with a teaser quote from QUIVER by Jacob Chance