#Featured “Heart of Stone: Emery & Jackson Book 1” by Chiquita Dennie

Heart of Stone 1 cover

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Emery Stone has a secret. If all goes as planned after she leaves her cheating ex-boyfriend, she can make sure no one ever finds out. Determined to keep love at bay, she’s resigned herself to a life of no strings attached, but just as she settles on her new loveless path, her heart is put to the test – again.

Jackson Pierce is all for a good time with a gorgeous woman, but Emery isn’t like other women. For the first time in a long time, he’s found someone he can’t stop thinking about and can’t wait to get to know better. The only problem is she’s built walls around her heart and no amount of promises or long, lust-filled nights will convince her to let him get closer.

As Emery and Jackson try to find a balance between what they want and what they need, they find themselves up against people from their past and forced to face the truth, no matter what the cost.

Is their relationship strong enough to survive the obstacles life places in front of them?

Standalone novel in the Heart of Stone series between 3 best friends searching for love, happiness and healing. HEA, Steamy Romance.

Order of series
Heart of Stone Book 1 (Emery and Jackson)

Heart of Stone Book 1.5 (Emery and Jackson) Valentine’s Day Short

Heart of Stone Book 2 (Jordan and Damon)

Heart of Stone Book 3 (Angela and Brent)

Heart of Stone Short 3.5 Bottoms Up Jessica and Joseph

Heart of Stone Book 4 (Jessica and Joseph)

FREE at time of posting!

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#BookTour “Missing Colors: A Novel” by Lana Orndorff


General Fiction

Date Published: August 25, 2020

 Publisher: Three South Press

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Friends since childhood, Logan Ritter and Hunter James are now only held together by family ties and a history of codependency. Logan is a doctoral student and teacher who wraps himself in work, Hunter’s parents, and his other long-time friend, Missy. Meanwhile, Hunter, struggling to balance his summer undergraduate courses, a part-time job, and his ever-increasing alcoholism, becomes obsessed with a misguided young woman he’s never met. As their university town experiences unprecedented fear in the summer of 2002, each man’s life becomes blurred by self-absorption, assumptions, and full-on delusions. When faced with some undeniable truths, Logan and Hunter must decide how to untangle themselves from the false realities to which they’ve been clinging.


 

EXCERPT

She and Hunter had a minor dislike for one another due to both of their strong personalities, but we all hung out in high school anyway. Before the girlfriends, the career choices, and the stress of being an adult, it was me and my two best friends, who, together, gave me everything I needed. Missy was my rock, holding me steady and providing me with support that I can never fully thank her for. Hunter was the scissors, cutting jokes, farts, and tension. He made us laugh. To complete the metaphor, I guess that made me the “paper” of the group. The bookworm. The smart one who maintained an A average for me, and a C average for each of my friends. Many of our nights were spent with the two of them individually coming up with ridiculous plans to start a band or to steal some liquor from Missy’s parents’ prized, but locked, collection. Things were different then. Missy was right: we were different then.

“What were you doing this time last year?”

“What?” Missy’s randomness still throws me off sometimes.

“Think about it. What were you doing with your life this time last year?”

“Finishing my Masters thesis on The Canterbury Tales?” Not sure if I’m right, my answer comes out like a question.

“Exactly. And what was Hunter doing?”

“I don’t know. Tell me.”

“How the fuck should I know? He was probably sitting on his grungy couch drinking vodka from a plastic handle.”


 About the Author

Lana Orndorff works as a freelance writer and lives in Chicago with her husband and son. Missing Colors is her debut novel. As a reader and writer, she prefers beautifully tragic stories that fracture her heart. Because of this, her husband rarely takes her book recommendations.

 

Contact Links

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Purchase Link

Amazon 

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#Spotlight “His Inherited Princess (Royal House of Saene Bk 2)” by Empi Baryeh

His Inherited Princess

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Welcome to the sovereign Kingdom of Bagumi

The Kingdom of Bagumi is one of the last intact African monarch states. Treaties and alliances over several centuries have ensured their continued dominance in the region.

Each generation of the powerful and proud Royal House of Saene is bound by loyalty to their family and duty to protecting their nation.

However, soon, long-trusted traditions come under attack and change becomes inevitable, especially when love clashes with duty.

The long-standing, distinguished Royal House of Saene is about to be rocked by three sexy, determined interlopers. Princesses Amira, India and Isha may have to choose between sacrificing their hearts or their kingdom.

A spoilt princess and a commoner…a match made online.

A widowed princess and a reluctant king…a match shrouded in suspicion.

A crusading princess and a freedom fighter…a match built on conflict.

~~~

The Royal House of Saene: Princess India

India Saene, Princess of Bagumi, must enter a marriage alliance to save her kingdom from an economic crisis. Tragedy strikes when her husband of a few hours is killed in an accident on the way to their honeymoon. She recovers from a coma two weeks later to discover she has been inherited by her husband’s younger brother!
Sheikh Omar El Dansuri has never wanted to be king, nor does he desire a wife. However, when his older brother dies, he not only becomes the future king of Sudar, but he also inherits his brother’s bride through an age-old tradition. Falling for the headstrong India is out of the question especially when evidence points to her as his brother’s killer.
Neither India nor Omar wanted this marriage, but the passion that burns between them cannot be denied. When India’s secret is revealed, will either of them survive the consequences?

GET YOUR COPY

~~~

Felicia’s Review

5/5 Stars!

India Saene feels she’s fallen down a patriarchal rabbit hole when she wakes from a coma to find herself married to her husband’s brother, Omar, the new would-be king. A tragic car accident only hours after her wedding has left the independent, educated woman a widow… and an inherited wife.

She’d agreed to the first arranged marriage out of service to her country, but she’d had no say in the second. To complicate matters, she can’t leave the marriage without devastating her country and insulting her husband’s country, and Omar finds evidence his brother’s death may have been murder… and India could be involved.

Explaining to Omar why she looks guilty would put others in danger and India isn’t prepared to do that. But danger is closer to her than she realizes.

India is also intensely drawn to and developing feelings for Omar… two things she hadn’t had for his brother. Finding he has feelings for her doesn’t lessen India’s misery.

As Omar works to clear India’s name, he’s blindsided when he’s challenged for the throne by his uncle.

India and Omar are great characters who maybe both have a bit too much pride. They can’t move forward without dropping their guard and it seems near impossible for them. This sensual romance is a bumpy ride with a couple of plot twists you won’t see coming, and a good case of crazy for the books.

Book two in the Royal House of Saene series delivers mystery, suspense, and romance and I highly recommend it!

Enjoy!

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#Spotlight “His Defiant Princess (Royal House of Saene Book 1)” by Nana Prah

His Defiant Princess

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Welcome to the sovereign Kingdom of Bagumi

The Kingdom of Bagumi is one of the last intact African monarch states. Treaties and alliances over several centuries have ensured their continued dominance in the region.

Each generation of the powerful and proud Royal House of Saene is bound by loyalty to their family and duty to protecting their nation.

However, soon, long-trusted traditions come under attack and change becomes inevitable, especially when love clashes with duty.

The long-standing, distinguished Royal House of Saene is about to be rocked by three sexy, determined interlopers. Princesses Amira, India and Isha may have to choose between sacrificing their hearts or their kingdom.

A spoilt princess and a commoner…a match made online.

A widowed princess and a reluctant king…a match shrouded in suspicion.

A crusading princess and a freedom fighter…a match built on conflict.

~~~

The Royal House of Saene: Princess Amira

Princess Amira Saene has always done the right thing when it came to her beloved Kingdom of Bagumi. Yet her unorthodox online relationship with a man across the sea has derailed her from cultural norms. After a year of communicating, the man she’s developed feelings for comes to visit.
Jake Pettersen never thought he’d meet the woman of his dreams, much less online. Flying thousands of miles to West Africa to meet her verifies that the feelings he’s developed are real. Too bad her family doesn’t think he’s worthy of her.
When Jake learns that Amira has been betrothed, he must decide whether to fight for her or accept the loss for the sake of her homeland. Is their happiness worth the devastation of her country?

~~~

Buy Links

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Barnes & Noble

Angus and Robertson

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iTunes

Waterstones

~~~

Felicia’s Review

5/5 Stars!

After traveling five-thousand miles from Vermont to West Africa to meet the woman he’s spent the last year getting to know online, Jake Pettersen is more than a little shocked to find out she’s a royal princess.

Enjoying being a regular person with Jake, Amira Saene hid her true identity, never being able to confess her lie of omission even as Jake’s arrival to the kingdom of Bagumi grows closer.

Not getting the meeting or greeting he’d hope for from the woman who’d stolen his heart, the young dentist soon learns his lack of wealth or status… or royal blood makes him unworthy of Amira in every way.

End of story, right?

Not even close.

Accompanied by his best friend and business partner, Calvin (whom I absolutely adored!), Jake stays and continues his vacation and chaperoned time with Amira.

It’s obvious the feelings Jake and Amira have for each other are real, and just when it looks like they’ll figure it all out, drama and conflict arrive together, and we’ll call them Duak—a prince and future king of a neighboring country.

Every story has that character you want to punch in the face, and in this story it’s Duak.

But even with the dark shadow Duak casts over the story… and Jake and Amira’s chance at happiness, help shows up from the unlikeliest of places and takes this read in another direction.

Will these two walk away from each other or is what they have worth fighting for? Amira will learn a lot about herself and the people she loves the most, but it may be too little too late.

His Defiant Princess has just the right amount of sweetness and spice, but it’s the romance that makes this read shine. This couple spent their online time really getting to know each other, sharing things they shared with no one else. Their hearts connected long before they met.

Amira and Jake are strong, well-developed characters. Jake isn’t diminished by the reversal of power, instead, he rises to the occasion. They have a great supporting cast, with Amira’s brother, Zareb, and mother, Queen Zulekha, as standouts. And, of course, Jake’s BFF, Calvin. (Did I mention I adore him?)

Pay a visit to the kingdom of Bagumi where the women are fierce, the men are protective, and the last thing you want to do is cross a member of the Royal House of Saene.

Enjoy!

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#TeaserTuesday “Engaging the Enemy (The Bourbon Brothers Book 3)” by Reese Ryan

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ETE 3 Final

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The Bourbon Brothers are back!

🥃Enemies-to-Lovers

🥃Fake Fiance

🥃On Sale April 1

𝘼𝙣 𝙖𝙢𝙗𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙙𝙤 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙞𝙩 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙭𝙩 𝘾𝙀𝙊𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙮 𝙛𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙛𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙘é 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙙𝙝𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙣𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙨𝙞𝙨.

🥃PREORDER: https://amzn.to/2Twl99J

🥃GOODREADS:  http://bit.ly/2CfcwFH

🥃#GIVEAWAY:  http://bit.ly/EngagingGiveaway

🥃#REESERYAN Updates: http://bit.ly/2xITS6k

“Talk to me, Kayleigh.” He needed to see the depths of those brown eyes to make sure he hadn’t sabotaged the progress they’d made. He gently lifted Kayleigh’s chin, and her gaze met his. “Why are you suddenly so agitated?”

“It’s nothing. I…” She sighed heavily as she slipped her hand from his. But rather than pulling away, she clutched his shirt with both hands and lifted onto her toes. Her eyes drifted shut as she pressed her lips to his.

***

Kayleigh Jemison was sure she’d lost her freaking mind. She was kissing Parker Abbott. 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺.

Parker seemed stunned at first. He’d gone still, allowing her to take control. But then his strong hands drifted to the back of her neck. His thumbs rested against her cheekbones as he kissed her.

The kiss started off tame and sweet as they felt each other out. But their tentativeness slowly gave way to the heat growing between them. He sucked on her lower lip before tilting her head, sliding his warm tongue inside her mouth and gliding it against hers.

She welcomed it with an involuntary sigh.

Parker was an excellent kisser. She could add that to the long list of things about him that surprised her.

He’d been utterly adorable as he’d struggled to learn to dance. But as they danced to a slow song together, in full contact, hips in motion, his lean, fit body pressed to hers, she couldn’t help wanting him to kiss her again. Something she’d fantasized about since he’d kissed her at his parents’ house.

The memory of that first kiss often flooded her brain, the sensations washing over her with the same intensity they had that day. Each time, she dismissed the prospect of repeating their mistake.

It was a colossally bad idea that would only complicate their arrangement. Yet she couldn’t help wanting him.

 #EngagingtheEnemy #ReeseRyan

#Review “The Plastic Seed” by Maisie Porter

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3.5/5 Stars!

The cover of this read refers to cat and mouse games and that’s a spot-on description.

The problem is the cats are the mice and the mice are the cats, and… and…

Okay, it goes like this.

As this novella opens, it’s obvious someone is going to die.

The story progresses and things look pretty cut and dried.

They’re not.

Thirty-eight-year-old Jean Hima is bottoming out. The widow is barely hanging on to her home, job, and sanity, but she has no problem hanging on to the booze.

Jean insists she wants to make a better life for her eighteen-year-old daughter, Amy. Her lack of direction is obstacle enough, but a midwife who drinks before work and mixes up babies in the nursery, consequently delivering the wrong infant to the wrong mother doesn’t stand a chance.

The story moves forward five years to when Jean has hit the bottom and formulates a plan to pad her bank account and get revenge at the same time.

Carlana is Jean’s former neighbor and the person Jean holds responsible for her dismal lot in life.

One of three realtors in Jean’s old neighborhood, she feels it was Carlana’s behind-the-scenes machinations that kept her from finding decent housing after losing her job.

The watershed of problems after that snowballed, with the only positive outcome being Jean got sober.

But clear-headed Jean wants revenge, and the photos she’s been hanging on to for over five years are her ticket to a better life.

She has proof the now married, affluent Carlana isn’t the caring health and mindfulness coach and motivational speaker she promotes herself as, so she sets her blackmail scheme into motion.

And things got even weirder.

Such an intriguing read that kept me turning pages to see what Jean would do next… because her elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top.

But, if Jean is nuts, so is Carlana…and her husband, Evan (Him! OMG!), and her friend, Bettina.

Jean’s daughter, Amy, isn’t nuts, just preoccupied with getting anyone into bed, but by the time I got to 80% in this read, I was ready to pass out Xanax cocktails… and lobotomies to everyone!

In the blink of an eye, revenge and a honey trap both turn into murder, but who dies? You have to hang on to the very end to find out!

I stumbled with the editing a few times, having to re-read sentences again, but it didn’t diminish the story. However, the time jump near the end is jolting.

Multiple POVs give the opportunity to look through each main characters’ eyes and learn why they feel justified in their behavior.

The Plastic Seed delivers nice bait and switch scenes and good complex characters, and this crazy story of revenge and retribution is laced with humor and satire.

Enjoy!

~~~

The Plastic Seed coverTwo schemes uncoil—and, very quickly, begin to unravel—on the same day in the Australian town of West Glassport…

Jean Hima isn’t happy with the way her life has been going. First, her husband leaves her. Then, she loses her job as a midwife at the local hospital, over the easily-fixed misplacement of a baby or two…

Now, Jean is sure a snooty real estate agent is blocking her efforts to find a rental in a nice part of town.

Given possession of a batch of incriminating photographs, who wouldn’t begin thinking about a little life-restorative blackmail?

Written in three acts and covering a quarter of a century, The Plastic Seed is an environmental thriller that explores the hypocrisy of some aspects of the philosophy of wellness. This novella is part satire of the human potential movement, and sincere testimony to the ability of humans to face facts when given no choice.

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Purchase Links

mybook.to/theplasticseed

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#BlogTour “The Plastic Seed” by Maisie Porter

tour banner

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The Plastic Seed coverTwo schemes uncoil—and, very quickly, begin to unravel—on the same day in the Australian town of West Glassport…

Jean Hima isn’t happy with the way her life has been going. First, her husband leaves her. Then, she loses her job as a midwife at the local hospital, over the easily-fixed misplacement of a baby or two…

Now, Jean is sure a snooty real estate agent is blocking her efforts to find a rental in a nice part of town.

Given possession of a batch of incriminating photographs, who wouldn’t begin thinking about a little life-restorative blackmail?

Written in three acts and covering a quarter of a century, The Plastic Seed is an environmental thriller that explores the hypocrisy of some aspects of the philosophy of wellness. This novella is part satire of the human potential movement, and sincere testimony to the ability of humans to face facts when given no choice.

~~~

Purchase Links

mybook.to/theplasticseed

~~~

Author Bio Maisie Porter

Maisie Porter works as a professional photographer in Australia, with wide experience covering weddings, though she has neither abducted nor been abducted by any competitors. No Reception is Maisie’s first novel.

Social Media Links

Twitter  

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#ReleaseBlitz “Misadventures in a Threesome (Misadventures Book 20)” by Elizabeth Hayley

Misadventures in a Threesome by Elizabeth Hayley

Release Day: 19th March

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

#MisadventuresinaThreesome #WaterhousePress #ElizabethHayley

***MISADVENTURES ARE STANDALONE ROMANCES THAT CAN BE READ IN ANY ORDER***

Synopsis


Jasmine Pritchett needs a job. A pathway to financial independence. When Transform, the local gym, initiates an expansion to offer fitness classes, she sees her opportunity. Armed with several instructor certifications and even more persistence, she finds herself interviewing for the job in front of two of the sexiest men she’s ever laid eyes on.

Maddox Gibson craves control. He’s been trying to regain his zest for life since being discharged from the army, and with the help of his best friend, Wilder Vaughn, he’s worked his way from rock bottom to find happiness as a successful gym co-owner. Wilder lives life like his name implies—wildly—and without Maddox’s rigid temperament to keep him grounded, his lighthearted impulsiveness could very well get him into trouble.

When these two beefy best buds invite Jasmine into their friendship, sparks fly quickly, and Jasmine tries to convince them she can be so much more. To both of them. Can Jaz, Mad, and Wild figure out how to navigate a polyamorous relationship without destroying their friendship…and their hearts?

****

Misadventures is a romantic series of spicy standalone novels, each written or co-written by some of the best names in romance. The stories are scandalous, refreshing, and, of course, incredibly sexy. They’re the perfect bedside read, a ‘quick blush’ for the reader who loves a page-turning romance.

Meet The Author
Elizabeth Hayley is actually “Elizabeth” and “Hayley,” two friends who love reading romance novels to obsessive levels. This mutual love prompted them to put their English degrees to good use by penning their own. They learned a ton about each other through the process, like how they clearly share a brain and have a persistent need to text each other constantly. They live with their husbands and kids in a Philadelphia suburb. Thankfully, their children are still too young to read.

#TeaserTuesday “Engaging the Enemy (The Bourbon Brothers Book 3)” by Reese Ryan

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Engaging the Enemy 2 teaser

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The Bourbon Brothers are back!

🥃Enemies-to-Lovers

🥃Fake Fiance

🥃On Sale April 1

𝘼𝙣 𝙖𝙢𝙗𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙙𝙤 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙞𝙩 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙭𝙩 𝘾𝙀𝙊𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙮 𝙛𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙛𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙘é 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙙𝙝𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙣𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙨𝙞𝙨.

🥃PREORDER: https://amzn.to/2Twl99J

🥃GOODREADS:  http://bit.ly/2CfcwFH

🥃#GIVEAWAY:  http://bit.ly/EngagingGiveaway

🥃#REESERYAN Updates: http://bit.ly/2xITS6k

“So, where were we?” Kayleigh seemed distracted and her hair looked even wilder than it had when she’d disappeared behind the curtain. As if she’d just tumbled out of bed and she hadn’t been alone.

He swallowed hard, fighting off the image of Kayleigh in bed that immediately filled his brain.

𝘍𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘗𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘳𝘍𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴

“I’d offered you fifty percent more than the assessed value.”

She froze for a moment, cocking her head before a smirk curled one corner of her mouth. “I remember now. You asked what figure would make me happy, and I said—”

“I know what you said, Kayleigh, and it’s unacceptable.”

“Then buy someone else’s building instead.” She stared at him defiantly.

The number-one rule of negotiating was be prepared to walk away. Every salesperson understood that. But his family hadn’t given him that option. This building had once belonged to his mother’s family. They’d run a tiny café here, and now his father wanted to help his mother reclaim a portion of her family’s history by creating a flagship restaurant here, branded with the King’s Finest name.

It was going to be a surprise. His mother didn’t know, but his father had already purchased the two other buildings on the block and made the sellers sign confidentiality agreements. But without Kayleigh’s building—the cornerstone of the entire project—it simply wouldn’t work.

Closing this deal was the leverage he needed to make his father realize that naming his older brother, Blake, as his successor at King’s Finest, simply because he’d had the good fortune to be born first, would be a grave mistake.

Blake was a good person, a great brother and an excellent operations manager. But neither Blake nor their brother Max possessed the killer instinct the CEO position called for. His sister, Zora, did have that killer instinct. More so than he, perhaps. But what she lacked was the ability to control her emotions. With Zora, everything was personal. She was much like Kayleigh in that way.

He had to have this building, but Kayleigh didn’t know that. So maybe if he showed her that he was willing to walk away, she’d come to her senses.

Parker stooped to pick up his attaché. “Sorry we couldn’t come to an agreement. Maybe it would be better if we went with new construction in that shopping center. I’m sure my brother will give us a good deal.”

Parker crossed the room under Kayleigh’s cold stare, waiting for her to stop him.

She didn’t.

He turned the doorknob and stepped one foot onto the sidewalk, the bell jingling above him.

Still nothing.

“You really don’t have anything else to say?” Parker turned back to her.

“Don’t let the doorknob hit you where the good Lord split you.” She grinned, her eyes shimmering with amusement.

 

 #EngagingtheEnemy #ReeseRyan

#TeaserTuesday “Engaging the Enemy (The Bourbon Brothers Book 3)” by Reese Ryan

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Teaser Tuesday

~~~

The Bourbon Brothers are back!

🥃Enemies-to-Lovers

🥃Fake Fiance

🥃On Sale April 1

𝘼𝙣 𝙖𝙢𝙗𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙙𝙤 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙞𝙩 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙭𝙩 𝘾𝙀𝙊𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙮 𝙛𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙛𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙘é 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙙𝙝𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙣𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙨𝙞𝙨.

🥃PREORDER: https://amzn.to/2Twl99J

🥃GOODREADS:  http://bit.ly/2CfcwFH

🥃#GIVEAWAY:  http://bit.ly/EngagingGiveaway

🥃#REESERYAN Updates: http://bit.ly/2xITS6k

Parker Abbott pulled into the parking lot of the two-story building that had definitely seen better days.

Better decades even.

He parked, turned off the engine and groaned.

Kayleigh.

His high school nemesis and the one person in town who was most likely to head up the Parker Abbott not-a-fan club.

Usually he enjoyed negotiating deals for their family-owned distillery. But the thought of negotiating anything with Kayleigh made a knot form in his gut.

Perhaps because, deep down, he still saw her as the girl with curly pigtails and thick glasses who had once been his closest friend. Until a falling-out had made them bitter adversaries.

Parker heaved a sigh, pushed open the car door and climbed to his feet.

Waiting five more minutes, or even five more days, wouldn’t make the task ahead any easier.

Parker straightened his tie and grabbed his attaché from the back seat of the car. He wasn’t that preteen boy with a killer crush on Kayleigh Jemison anymore. He was a goddamned professional, and he was going to act like it, even if it killed him.

As Parker approached the shop, he caught sight of Kayleigh’s shock of coppery-red curls through the window. She was gorgeous, as always, with her honey-brown skin and expressive coffee-brown eyes.

Kayleigh was laughing with a customer, but as she waved goodbye to the woman, she caught a glimpse of him standing outside, gawking at her.

Her deep scowl and hard stare confirmed exactly what he’d expected. Kayleigh Jemison was going to give him hell.

He reached into his pocket, flipped the top on a tube of antacids and popped two into his mouth.

 #EngagingtheEnemy #ReeseRyan