#PromoTour “Love is” by Tia Kelly

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LOVE IS

BY TIA KELLY

A different kind of love story.

Diane Collins has big plans for her life, and hoops star Warren Scott is not among them. He doesn’t want to be the face of the NBA, and she doesn’t care that he is. His reluctance to be part of the limelight disarms her and the two embark on an unlikely friendship that becomes an even unlikelier romance.

Soon, his life is her life – filled with VIP treatment, parties, and luxuries beyond Diane’s wildest imagination. But Warren is harboring a secret, and once it’s revealed, Diane’s decision to stay or go could change the very fabric of who she thought she was.

LOVE IS – ON SALE FOR ONLY 99¢ FOR A LIMITED TIME!

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EXCERPT

Making her way around the small group behind her, Diane returned to her seat near the windows that gave her a view of the New Orleans-bound plane that was still grounded.

She reached for the magazine inside her LeSportsac tote bag and flipped through the pages of Essence‘s June edition. The “True Love: The Myths, the Reality” article caught her eye, but first she wanted to see what tips were in the new issue’s other article about being single and satisfied. That particular slogan beneath the picture of Iman with her NBA player husband and daughter and the big, bold letters staring back saying “We Are Family!” contradicted the “single and satisfied sentiment.” If anything, their happy faces made her feel alone and disappointed.

A low grunt beside her got her attention, and she looked to her left to see a man trying to get comfortable in one of the seats. His long frame poured into the aisle in front of them as he shifted his stiff, magnificent body, making his unusual length stand out even more.

A family with two young children stopped in front of her and the stranger. The mother held on to a Polaroid camera and one of the kids clutched a piece of paper and pen.

“We hate to bother you, Warrior, but do you mind?”

The guy wore a scowl on his face as he took the piece of paper and scrawled his name across it.

“No pictures, if you don’t mind. I’m just trying to spend some quality time with my lady before our flight,” he said in a voice so low that it was barely audible.

The group moved on, and Diane sighed with relief after noticing no other stragglers threatened to invade their space, and she kept her own curiosity about him in check. He was a man that clearly wanted to be left alone, but that was until she was dragged in to fight the imposition his celebrity caused him. Turning the page, she mumbled to her seatmate, “Your lady?”

“They usually leave me alone if I have company.”

She smiled, not able to resist the urge to tease him. “Glad to know I could be of assistance. By the way, I’d be highly upset if after all I did to save you from your fans my man happens to forget my birthday this year.”

He laughed. She placed the magazine on her lap and turned to get a good look at him. He kept his head down, but she still noticed the intensity in his golden brown hazel eyes beneath thick, dark brows. A passerby called out, “The Warrior.” With his head still bent, she saw his softened face transform with another type of discomfort. A group of young men repeated the nickname, and the guy beside her clenched his jaw. Strong, angry nostrils flared above full lips, and for some reason, Diane felt the need to protect him.

Her soft voice broke the tension, and she placed her hand atop his forearm. “I take it you would rather they don’t recognize you.”

“Right now just isn’t the best time for me.”

“You must be pretty famous. People are whispering and staring at you.” Diane watched the corridor fill with people slowing down just long enough to get a glimpse of the Warrior as he waited at the gate.

He shrugged and shifted again in his seat, not saying anything, but also not moving to get from under her touch.

A gate attendant appeared and offered him two small white flight pillows. He struggled as the attendant watched without offering any more help that might invade this man’s space. On instinct, Diane reached to help, placing the pillows behind his back, pausing to ask if that was any help. When he nodded, the attendant returned to her post at the counter.

His laborious effort of pointing behind him was just as uncomfortable for her to watch. “Landed on my back during last night’s game.”

“Game?”

He smiled and laughed again.

“What’s so funny?”

“You’re refreshing.”

“No. I’m just confused. Would it be safe to assume you are referring to basketball?”

He nodded.

“No need to tell me more. I don’t follow sports, so any conversation about teams and the like would be wasting your time and mine. But I do hope you find relief soon.”

The Warrior smiled and signaled to get the gate attendant’s attention.

“Your ticket?” he asked Diane.

“My what?”

He pointed toward the sign with their destination and flight number nearby. “Are you going to New Orleans, too?”

“Uh, yes.”

He stared at the ticket before handing it to the attendant. “There was a mix-up when my lady and I made our travel reservations. Is there any way you could seat her beside me in first class?”

Turning back to Diane after the attendant walked away, he offered a stiff shrug. “Like I said earlier, I hurt my back in the game and now the spasms are killing me. I just want to rest during the flight. Do you mind sitting with me? That’s the only way I can make sure whoever has that seat doesn’t work my nerves the next few hours.”

Diane looked back at the uniformed woman that was still smiling and typing on the computer terminal in front of her. “Why me?”

He lifted his head, and once their eyes met, Diane felt herself drawn to him. Just as he opened his mouth to speak, the attendant returned holding a new ticket out for Diane to accept.

“Mr. Scott, we’re about to start boarding, but I’m willing to allow you and your companion early entry so you can get situated. Please follow me.”

Diane paused, but he nodded after standing, and gestured for her to follow. Collecting her belongings and his small bag, she walked with him toward the jet bridge.


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ABOUT TIA KELLY

Tia Kelly is the author of contemporary and women’s fiction. She is known for her candid way of capturing life, love and relationships… one story at a time.

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#AuthorSpotlight – Tia Kelly and “The Breakup Plan”

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I am happy-dancing and thrilled to welcome one of my favorite authors to Nesie’s Place today – Tia Kelly! Her Women’s Fiction and Romance always have the perfect blend of  conflict/attitude/spice for a satisfying HEA! Today, we’ll learn a few things about Tia and her latest release, The Breakup Plan.

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Welcome, Tia! I can’t believe it’s been five years since I read my first Tia Kelly book – Yours. How long have you been a writer?

All of my life, but kindergarten dreams probably don’t count. I started writing professionally twenty-five years ago.

How long did it take you to write your first book?

The process of writing my first book, which was traditionally published, took a few years.

How many books have to written so far?

Twenty.

Twenty? I only have fifteen, how did I miss books? I must investigate!

Pantser or Plotter?

Whew, that’s a tough one. I’m a combination of both. It all depends on what phase I’m in during the writing process.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I’ve been blessed to having experienced both sides of publishing. I’ve learned a lot as an indie and even more through traditional publishing that has carried over into my indie career.

What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?

I love writing both women’s fiction and contemporary romance. I’m a lover of sports and music, so that often trickles into whatever I’m writing. I also like writing stories that show the many layers of a character, so my work is often a hybrid of the two genres.

Where do you get the most writing done?

That depends on the story I’m working on or the scene. I get a lot of work done in my office, but if I need the type of inspiration that comes from observing people, I’ll venture out to a local coffee house. The conversations buzzing around me pumps blood into my story.

What’s your favorite genre to read?

Do I really have to pick a favorite? That’s a tough one. Women’s fiction and romance will always be at the top of the list, but if it’s a good story – no matter the genre – you’ll find me jumping in.

What are you reading now?

Believe Bigger by Marshawn Evans Daniels. Love every single part of it. I listen to the audiobook then go back to read what I listened to with my highlighter and pen in hand.

Do you venture into other genres other than your preferred?

I do, except for the creepy stuff. Blood and scary things are not my thing in real life or on paper.

Favorite beverage to read with?

There was a time when I loved reading with wine, but now it’s all about water.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it??

I’d love to live without it, but I manage a few clients and their brands so I rely on it. In addition to the boutique public relations and marketing company I just launched to help other authors, I have clients that are social media and brand influencers. It probably sounds odd since I am glued to my phone at times just for them, but I’m low key when it comes to my own social media activity. I prefer to keep it to a minimum. It also helps me to stay focused on my writing when I do.

How were you inspired to write your latest book?

Like Avery, I was once an assistant to a few sports agents. The first agent I worked for was a former NBA player who taught me how things should go from the athlete’s perspective. The other was a lawyer turned agent, similar to Drew’s background. It was from those experiences and a few agents I met over the years that stuck when I developed Drew’s character.

Thank you for spending a few minutes on the blog, Tia. Do you have any advice for new authors?

Trust your voice.

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Many thanks to Tia Kelly for visiting with us today! Scroll down and check out The Breakup Plan, her latest release. Fans familiar with Tia’s work will recognize more than a few faces in the story. Can you say Wilkersons? 😀  The Breakup Plan is available through Kindle Unlimited and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of the book and a $25 gift card!  FD

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meet drew.Drew T1

Drew Wilkerson is a dangerous man. Not in the physical sense. Well, yeah, technically it could be related to something physical, but he’s the type of man that could get away with the most ratchet of offenses and walk away from the incident both unscathed and with two more women fighting to give him some.

Six three. Runner’s build. Colgate megawatt smile with the charm to match. Can wear the heck out of a suit, jeans, basketball shorts… damn near anything and everything. After-hours radio voice. Hell, any time is the right time for that voice. And did I mention the brother has blue eyes? Drew says they’re hazel, but if that’s the case, it’s not the usual green-meets-brown version. When he wakes in the morning, all you see in them is a sea of crystal-blue depth. Piss him off and they remind me of steel. Whether you want to say they’re hazel, blue, gray-blue, or whatever, those bad boys are intense. Staring into them for more than five seconds will pin your ass to a wall so fast you’ll want to cosign turning over all your good credit for anything he could ask for. Although that wouldn’t be necessary.

Did I mention he’s loaded? Just dropped seven figures on his crib in Philly (and before you assume, I’m not talking about low, barely-reaching-million-dollar-status numbers, either), and that’s before the contractors were instructed to turn it into the home of his dreams.

– Avery Coleman

meet avery.Breakup Plan Teaser 2

My Avery. I turn around to see her standing in the entry to my room, but she brings a smile to my face simply from the sound of her voice and the warm vanilla bean and coconut scent filling the air. She never can decide which is her favorite smell, and to be honest, I like the combination on her.

The smile on my face is there because I haven’t hugged my girl in weeks, and I’ve missed her, but it doesn’t take long for it to slip off.

“Hey.” She pauses mid-stride toward my open arms and frowns. “You okay?”

I should probably explain. I didn’t expect to see Avery looking the way she does. I’ve seen her hair in countless ways, from her usual Freddie on A Different World go-to style, to weaves, to bohemian braids hanging past her ass, to the small cornrows on the side with a mass of curls piled high on top vibe she’s going for now, so her curly ’hawk look doesn’t surprise me.

It’s seeing the roundness of her adorable caramel apple cheeks slimmed out and revealing a hint of cheekbones, making the diamond and pearl studs I gave her stand out a little more. Hell, it makes even her mouth look…

Sh*t, I don’t have time for a sexual harassment lawsuit, so I better not say. But what I can mention is the mustard tank she has on shows off shoulder blades that are more defined than the last time I saw them, when she wore a single-shoulder gown to a fundraiser a few months back.

And her waist. Jeans hug curves, but these curves aren’t hers. She still has one of those asses folks sing about, saying a beat was made for, but that’s not why I sometimes catch myself staring at her.

I do just because she’s Avery.

– Drew Wilkerson

Breakup Plan cover

 

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READ AN EXCERPT

“Drew. What are you doing in here?”

“It looked pretty chill and inviting, so I thought I’d hang out in here away from the activity.” There is some truth in that. The lounge in the ladies’ room has seating that should be in someone’s living room. Running a hand down my face, I nod toward one of the chairs. “Have a seat.”

She stands, rooted in place, drying her hands on a paper towel.

“Please,” I add.

Her heels click softly against the floor tiles as she makes her way to the deep purple velvet loveseat, where I sit on the edge, taking me back to our night in New York in the back seat of the SUV. When she takes her seat, I can see the relief on her face and have to restrain myself from massaging her feet again.

“Hey.”

She keeps her arms folded firmly across her breasts and stares at me.

So I stare back.

I know Avery, but she’s also an open book. This whole defiant stance isn’t for me, it’s about her. Avery doesn’t trust herself right now. The longer I look at her, absorbing everything about her like I usually do, the sooner she’ll cave. She always does.

A couple of minutes later, she lowers her arms to relax her stance. Finally. Progress.

Except something happens that I didn’t expect. I cave right along with her. The confusion in her eyes, the sweetness in her face—all that sucks me in and takes me back to what we shared when I last saw her.

Our faces creep closer and closer, and without thinking, we share another kiss.

Her splayed hands across my chest push back, and abruptly our kiss ends. She fingers the edge of her mouth to clean up her lipstick and shakes her head. “You have to leave.”

“Leave?”

“Drew, I’m getting married tomorrow. This. Us. This can’t keep happening.”

T4 The Breakup Plan

ABOUT THE BREAKUP PLAN

A man without a plan is a shell without purpose.
Which is why when I sat down nine years ago and put pen to paper, mapping out a ten-year plan, I meant business. Everything that could set me up for a lifetime of joy had to go down on the list, and every day, I worked my ass off to fulfill it.
Open my own sports agency. Check.
Earn first million by my thirtieth birthday. I did that a week before I turned twenty-six.
Negotiate the most lucrative contract in Major League history. Did that, too. Then went and broke my own record. (Thanks, big bro!)
I could go on, but this isn’t about bragging. It’s me admitting that in the midst of drafting something that helps shape and mold much of my success, I still made a costly mistake.
One day I realized all those entries with corresponding check-marks are pointless if I don’t factor into the equation the most important goal of all. Avery.
Perhaps way back then I wasn’t ready to see how much my best friend of fifteen years deserved that number one spot in my life. Maybe I was blind, since the whole “settle down and get married” scenario wasn’t my thing. But now that I’m aware of the role I need her to fill in my life, there’s no such thing as letting go until I can convince her to be mine.
Her being about to marry someone else does make winning her heart a little bit dicey. But if there’s anything you should know about me, it’s that I always play to win. And losing Avery is nonnegotiable.

The Breakup Plan
A Best Friends to Enemies Romance

He ruined her wedding day and he’ll do it again until she’s his.

~~~

ABOUT TIA KELLY

Author avatar

Tia Kelly is the author of contemporary and women’s fiction. She is known for her candid way of capturing life, love and relationships… one story at a time.


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#Teaser “The Breakup Plan” by Tia Kelly

T4 The Breakup Plan

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The Breakup Plan by Tia Kelly

A Best Friends to Enemies Romance

He ruined her wedding day, and he’ll do it again until she’s his.

~~~

A man without a plan is a shell without purpose.

Which is why when I sat down nine years ago and put pen to paper, mapping out a ten-year plan, I meant business. Everything that could set me up for a lifetime of joy had to go down on the list, and every day, I worked my ass off to fulfill it.

Open my own sports agency. Check.

Earn first million by my thirtieth birthday. I did that a week before I turned twenty-six.

Negotiate the most lucrative contract in Major League history. Did that, too. Then went and broke my own record. (Thanks, big bro!)

I could go on, but this isn’t about bragging. It’s me admitting that in the midst of drafting something that helps shape and mold much of my success, I still made a costly mistake.

One day I realized all those entries with corresponding check-marks are pointless if I don’t factor into the equation the most important goal of all. Avery.

Perhaps way back then I wasn’t ready to see how much my best friend of fifteen years deserved that number one spot in my life. Maybe I was blind, since the whole “settle down and get married” scenario wasn’t my thing. But now that I’m aware of the role I need her to fill in my life, there’s no such thing as letting go until I can convince her to be mine.

Her being about to marry someone else does make winning her heart a little bit dicey. But if there’s anything you should know about me, it’s that I always play to win. And losing Avery is nonnegotiable.

– Drew Wilkerson

~~~

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#Teaser “The Breakup Plan” by Tia Kelly

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He ruined her wedding day, and he’ll do it again until she’s his.

The Breakup Plan

by Tia Kelly

A Best Friends to Enemies Romance

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#Teaser “The Breakup Plan” by Tia Kelly

Breakup Plan Teaser 2

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The Breakup Plan by Tia Kelly

A Best Friends to Enemies Romance – On Sale TONIGHT at 10 PM (EST)

http://www.tiawithapen.com

A man without a plan is a shell without purpose.

Which is why I sat down almost nine years ago and put pen to paper mapping out my ten-year plan. I meant business. Everything that could set me up for a lifetime of joy had to go down on the list, and every day I worked my ass off to fulfill it.

Open my own sports agency. Check.

Earn first million by my thirtieth birthday. I did that a week before I turned 26.

Negotiate the most lucrative contract in Major League’s history. Did that, too. Then went and broke my own record. (Thanks big bro!)

I could go on, but this isn’t about bragging. It’s me admitting in the midst of drafting something that helps shape and mold much of my success, I made a costly mistake.

One day I realized all those entries with corresponding checkmarks are pointless if I never factored into the equation the most important goal of all. Avery.

Perhaps way back then I wasn’t ready to see how much my best friend of fifteen years deserved that number one spot in my life. Maybe I was blind since the whole settle down and get married scenario wasn’t my thing since, well, forever. But now that I’m aware of the role I need her to fill in my life, there’s no such thing as letting go until I can convince her to be mine.

Considering she’s about to marry someone else does make winning her heart a little bit dicey. But if there’s anything you should ever know about me is that I always play to win. And losing Avery is non-negotiable.

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#BookBlitz “The Breakup Plan” by Tia Kelly

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Standalone: Yes

Publication Date: September 12, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance, Women’s Fiction

Breakup Plan coverA man without a plan is a shell without purpose.

Which is why I sat down almost nine years ago and put pen to paper mapping out my ten-year plan. I meant business. Everything that could set me up for a lifetime of joy had to go down on the list, and every day I worked my ass off to fulfill it.

Open my own sports agency. Check.

Earn first million by my thirtieth birthday. I did that a week before I turned 26.

Negotiate the most lucrative contract in Major League’s history. Did that, too. Then went and broke my own record. (Thanks big bro!)

I could go on, but this isn’t about bragging. It’s me admitting in the midst of drafting something that helps shape and mold much of my success, I made a costly mistake.

One day I realized all those entries with corresponding check-marks are pointless if I never factored into the equation the most important goal of all. Avery.

Perhaps way back then I wasn’t ready to see how much my best friend of fifteen years deserved that number one spot in my life. Maybe I was blind since the whole settle down and get married scenario wasn’t my thing since, well, forever. But now that I’m aware of the role I need her to fill in my life, there’s no such thing as letting go until I can convince her to be mine.

Considering she’s about to marry someone else does make winning her heart a little bit dicey. But if there’s anything you should ever know about me is that I always play to win. And losing Avery is non-negotiable.

The Breakup Plan.

A best friends to enemies romance.

He ruined her wedding day and he’ll do it again until she’s his..

Breakup Plan Teaser 2

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EXCERPT

She sits down on a padded wicker loveseat. Instead of going to a chair, I sit beside her. Close enough that her thigh brushes against mine a few times. Avery shifts to balance her plate and scoot away a few inches, but my proximity leaves little room for her to go.

“Tell me about the email.”

Her feigned interest in the food on her plate distracts me from the conversation. Avery was once a self-declared foodie, but this new version of her makes no sense, and coincides with him.

I slice a piece of sausage and drop it on her plate between the quinoa and blueberries she must have requested but has understandably lost interest in. “Try it.”

“Drew.”

Forking two of the pieces off my plate for myself, I chew and nudge her again. “Eat.”

“Stop talking with food in your mouth.” When she rolls her eyes and smirks at me, I know I’m making progress.

“I will if you eat that,” I say, pointing my fork at the sausage. Chef Laurel flew selections like this organic sage chicken sausage in just for Avery. He would likely grunt if I wanted something from the Whole Foods around the corner from my house. And I’m the one paying him. She has to know it. I know I do. Chef Laurel is wrapped around this woman’s finger, almost as tightly coiled around it as me.

Nah, there’s no way she could have anyone else as twisted around that pinky as tight as me.

Avery just has this effect on people. Even random strangers love doing things for her, because she’s always so giving of herself, and cares without expectation. Avery also adores Chef Laurel, and when he prepared a meal once with this sausage from whatever city we were visiting at the time, Avery made it known for an entire week straight how much she loved it. To thank her for appreciating his food, Chef often sends for it just because he knows how much she enjoys it.

And like the voice of temptation, it’s my duty to remind her of these things. “You know you want to.”

The corner of her mouth twitches until she graces me with a sweet smile. “I do.”

“I know. Here.” I add a full link and one of my pancakes to her plate.

To my surprise, she doesn’t protest anymore. I do catch a moment of remorse after her first bite, but by the second one, she’s forgotten all about the pile of quinoa on her plate.

“Mmmmm.”

This is where things get uncomfortable. Not like it was beachside yesterday—I’m talking about the way she just woke up my penis with that moan, like she did the other night. It doesn’t help that her head rolls back, as she has no shame indulging in what is obviously a rare moment of ecstasy—hair falling back over the sofa cushion, that sensual neck of hers daring me to move closer for a nip, and those brown eyes damn near rolling back into yesterday do me all the way in.

So how do I handle it? I take some more food off my plate and give it to her. You think I’m going to pass up the chance at watching someone as beautiful as Avery damn near have an orgasm over some buttermilk pancakes and maple syrup?

Avery takes another bite of my pancake and follows it with a quick swipe of the tongue to catch a drop of syrup hanging on to the edge of her bottom lip.

“What did the email say?”

Huh? I blink to shake the trance she put me in. “Oh. Donovan approved the budget and next month’s shooting schedule.”

Whatever I said instantly robs Avery of the blissful expression on her face that I was enjoying with her. I’ve heard about sexual encounters that fizzle with a quickness, so I’m guessing this would be the food version.

“What?” I ask.

Setting her plate down on the table in front of us, Avery starts to move in careful, measured ways. “Next month?”

“Why is that a surprise? You’re the one that drafted the schedule.”

She nods, and when she bites on her lip, I know whatever she’s about to say is not going to be good. “About that.”

Leveling my eyes on her, I put my plate down then drop an arm across the back of the sofa. “Avery.”

“I was hoping we could discuss this when we got back to Philly, but I guess I might as well tell you now.”

“Tell me what, Avery? Just spill it.”

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The Breakup Plan by Tia Kelly – On Sale this Wednesday at 10 PM (EST)

http://www.tiawithapen.com/books

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Giveaway

Prize: The Breakup Plan (signed copy) & $25 Gift Card

End Date: October 1, 2018 at 12:00 AM

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Author Bio

Tia Kelly is the author of contemporary and women’s fiction. She is known for her candid way of capturing life, love and relationships… one story at a time.

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#Teaser “The Breakup Plan” by Tia Kelly

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He ruined her wedding day, and he’ll do it again until she’s his.

The Breakup Plan by Tia Kelly

A Best Friends to Enemies Romance – Coming Soon September 12th

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“Wrong Time, Wrong Place” by Tia Kelly

Wrong Time Wrong Place cover

Wrong Time, Wrong Place

by Tia Kelly

Genre: Women’s Fiction/African-American/Romance

2.99 at time of posting!

Dominique always hoped her best friend Taj would have been a part of her happily ever after before discovering his girlfriend was expecting his first child.

Dominique moved on – until she catches his now-ex dishing the dirt on Pro Wives, a reality show that made his ex a celeb in her own right, and at the basketball player’s expense.

Although Taj hurt her years ago, Dominique believes there’s more to the story his ex is painting. She decides to investigate the matter, but the sparks that ensue while cameras are rolling end up being a little too hot to leave on the cutting room floor.

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“Taste for Love (The Wilkersons Book 3)” by Tia Kelly

For #ThrowbackThursday I’m sharing some of my favorite past reads WITH review!


“Taste for Love (The Wilkersons Book 3)”

by Tia Kelly

Genre: Women’s Fiction/African-American

Release Date: April 8, 2014

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Rochelle “Shelly” Gauthier is no stranger to loss. Hurricane Katrina taught her that in the blink of an eye, you can lose everything and everyone who matters most to you. So being cast out of the Wilkerson clan for betraying her cousin Kenneth, his fiancée Paige and their best friend Carlos only resulted in her being exactly how she always knew she would wind up anyway: alone.

Carlos Ortiz, on the other hand, is alone by choice. Or so he tells himself. When Shelly makes an unexpected request for help from the Wilkersons, Carlos recalls a time when fate put him in a position where he had no choice but to accept Shelly’s assistance.

Now he must decide whether what he feels for her is a sense of obligation, or something else.

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Felicia’s Review

April 19, 2014

5/5 Stars!

Perfection!

I read TFL in one evening. After I finished, I immediately went back and re-read the last 40 pages. Then I just sat there – it wasn’t at all what I expected. It was BETTER.

Rochelle Gauthier messed up bad. Her dealings with Trent and leaks to the media have landed her outside of the Wilkerson family…and totally alone. Damaged, but determined, Shelly regroups and focuses on her lifelong dream. She reaches out to Lourdes for help with capital for her new cafe. Lourdes, in turn, approaches her sons with the request that they vehemently refuse. However, having seen a different side of Shelly during a tense situation involving Melody, Carlos relents and agrees to be the point-man for the group and oversee the venture.

It is the beginning of everything.

The beauty of the story is watching the relationship between Shelly and Carlos form, change and grow. They each have to confront the demons of the past and make peace with it, and while it’s not easy, they accomplish it in their own way, but they’re never far away from each other when they do.

Carlos, Carlos, Carlos. Seeing him lose it when Melody got hurt was surprising…but nice. The vulnerability was a great touch. And it’s impossible to miss the fact that he noticed how in control Shelly was. He’d always known she was tough. Watching him go from tolerance to acceptance, to love…WHEW! *Fanning* I like my Alphas strong and commanding, but not every woman wants (or needs) to be clubbed over the head and dragged by the hair into the cave. She just might be the one with the club. Love worked him over and he never saw it coming. And OH-EM-GEE – he cut his hair! I remember when my husband cut his hair – I was like, “HA! HA! Gotcha now!”

Shelly was amazing. Her back story defined her and made it easier to understand her. Life had been so cruel to her, she tried to keep her defenses up to keep from letting anyone in. It brought to mind a line from Angels in the Outfield when George Knox (Danny Glover) tells JP, “You can’t go through life thinking everyone you meet will one day let you down.” She believed that no matter how much anyone professed to care about her, they would walk away. Carlos kept coming back. I don’t even believe they were aware how much they were changing each other…and for each other, but Carlos realized it first.

Loved seeing the Wilkerson’s take the steps to heal old hurts, move forward and just LIVE. Jeremy…whoa! Where did that attitude come from? Melody pulling out the ear devices and turning her back? Priceless! KW and Paige are making progress as a couple, Paige has taken great strides as a woman, and who knew she could be a BFF to Shelly??? Didn’t see that coming!

My one issue with the story? IT ENDED TOO SOON! I WASN’T READY! *sighs*

Reading a Tia Kelly novel isn’t entertainment, it’s an investment of trust. We’re trusting the author to lead us on a journey where we have as much to lose as the book’s protagonists. We’re trusting her to bring us all through…a little worn…a lot weary, but unscathed and whole – pumping our fists in the air screaming, “YES!”

So far, so good.

KUDOS!

Enjoy!