[Review & Excerpt Tour] 1001 Dark Nights: The Prince by Jennifer L. Armentrout

From #1 New York Times Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, comes THE PRINCE, a new novella in her Wicked Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!

From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a new story in her Wicked series…

She’s everything he wants….

Cold. Heartless. Deadly. Whispers of his name alone bring fear to fae and mortals alike. The Prince. There is nothing in the mortal world more dangerous than him. Haunted by a past he couldn’t control, all Caden desires is revenge against those who’d wronged him, trapping him in never-ending nightmare. And there is one person he knows can help him.

She’s everything he can’t have…

Raised within the Order, Brighton Jussier knows just how dangerous the Prince is, reformed or not. She’d seen firsthand what atrocities he could be capable of. The last thing she wants to do is help him, but he leaves her little choice. Forced to work alongside him, she begins to see the man under the bitter ice. Yearning for him feels like the definition of insanity, but there’s no denying the heat in his touch and the wicked promise is his stare.

She’s everything he’ll take….

But there’s someone out there who wants to return the Prince to his former self. A walking, breathing nightmare that is hell bent on destroying the world and everyone close to him. The last thing either of them needs is a distraction, but with the attraction growing between them each now, the one thing he wants more than anything may be the one thing that will be his undoing.

She’s everything he’d die for….

 

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Jennifer L. Armentrout’s THE PRINCE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

August 15th

A Beautiful Book Obsession – Review

Besties, Books & Sunshine – Review & Excerpt

TheReadingRealtor – Review & Excerpt

Crazy Love 4 Books – Review & Excerpt

Garden of REden – Review

JordansBookReviews – Excerpt

Literaria – Review

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Stuck In Books – Review & Excerpt

What’s Your Story Reviews – Review & Excerpt

The Cover Contessa – Excerpt

August 16th

A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars – Excerpt

Blushing babes are up all night – Review

Books & Other Pursuits – Excerpt

ClaryNathanWill – Review & Excerpt

East Coast Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt

I Smell Sheep – Excerpt

Krystal Loves Books – Review & Excerpt

Perpetual Fangirl – Review & Excerpt

Readers Live A Thousand Lives – Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

Zili In The Sky – Review

August 17th

Ali’s Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

Books are My Life – Review & Excerpt

Desperately Seeking HEA’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

K-Books – Review

Little Red Reading Hood – Review

Reads All the Books – Review & Excerpt

Then There Were Books – Excerpt

Words are Life – Excerpt

Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt

August 18th

a GREAT read – Review & Excerpt

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Cinta Garcia de la Rosa – Excerpt

Greyland Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Lisa Loves Literature – Review & Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt

Simply Crystal – Excerpt

The Cozy Reading Corner – Excerpt

The Fancy Nerds – Review & Excerpt

August 19th

Alphas Do It Better Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Declarations of a Fangirl – Review & Excerpt

Kiss and Tell Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Literary Misfit – Excerpt

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Saga Lux Spain – Review & Excerpt

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

Vera is Reading – Excerpt

August 20th

A Chick, Her A Dog and A Blog – Review & Excerpt

Books 2 Blog – Review & Excerpt

FOUR CHICKS FLIPPING PAGES – Review & Excerpt

Ginreads – Review

Incidental Inspiration – Review & Excerpt

JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC – Review & Excerpt

Lo’s Lo-Down on Books – Review

The Blonde Book Lover – Review & Excerpt

Wicked Reads – Review & Excerpt

YA FANTASY WORLDS – Review & Excerpt

August 21st

A Fortress of Books – Review & Excerpt

Book Bite Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Friends Till The End Book Blog – Excerpt

Julalicious Book Paradise – Excerpt

Kalli’s Book Nook – Review & Excerpt

Milky Way of Books – Excerpt

Nerdy Soul – Review & Excerpt

Onceupon_a_bookdream – Review & Excerpt

Ruby’s Books – Excerpt

Take Me Away To A Great Read – Excerpt

August 22nd

3 degrees of fiction – Excerpt

All Things Dark & Dirty – Review & Excerpt

Book Butterfly in Dreamland – Review

Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt

Love Between The Sheets – Review

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Review & Excerpt

The Bo0ki3 – Excerpt

The Heathers’ Blog – Review & Excerpt

Travels N Reads – Excerpt

What’s Beyond Forks? – Review & Excerpt

August 23rd

A British Bookworm’s Blog – Review

Book Crook Reviews – Excerpt

Book Enticer – Review & Excerpt

Dark Faerie Tales – Review & Excerpt

KsiążkowaPasja – Review

Literary Dust – Review & Excerpt

Mama Reads Blog – Review & Excerpt

Pages to Explore – Excerpt

The Book Dutchesses – Review & Excerpt

August 24th

Alpha Omega & In Between – Review

Book Mania – Review & Excerpt

Buttercup’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Cupcakesandbookshelves – Review & Excerpt

Fictionally Sam – Review & Excerpt

Never Sleep Book Blog – Excerpt

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

Romance Schmomance – Review & Excerpt

SA Clayton – Excerpt

The Lux Fangirl – Review & Excerpt


 About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

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[Book Review] 1001 Dark Nights: The Prince by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Syn

She’s everything he wants….

Cold. Heartless. Deadly. Whispers of his name alone bring fear to fae and mortals alike. The Prince. There is nothing in the mortal world more dangerous than him. Haunted by a past he couldn’t control, all Caden desires is revenge against those who’d wronged him, trapping him in never-ending nightmare. And there is one person he knows can help him.

She’s everything he can’t have…

Raised within the Order, Brighton Jussier knows just how dangerous the Prince is, reformed or not. She’d seen firsthand what atrocities he could be capable of. The last thing she wants to do is help him, but he leaves her little choice. Forced to work alongside him, she begins to see the man under the bitter ice. Yearning for him feels like the definition of insanity, but there’s no denying the heat in his touch and the wicked promise is his stare.

She’s everything he’ll take….

But there’s someone out there who wants to return the Prince to his former self. A walking, breathing nightmare that is hell-bent on destroying the world and everyone close to him. The last thing either of them needs is a distraction, but with the attraction growing between them each now, the one thing he wants more than anything may be the one thing that will be his undoing.

She’s everything he’d die for….


QS

Publication Date: 14th August 2018
Page Length: 125 pages
Characters: Caden, Brighton


Review

*I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Usually, Novellas don’t pack much punch but this one has it but by the bucket load. It may only be 125 pages long but soooo much happens. I really needed this to be longer. I need more!

The story follows Brighton who you may remember from the Wicked Saga, 2 years after the queen has been sent back to the other world. We get to see a little bit from Ivy, Ren and of course TINK! Who if you ask me is the star of this series?

Jen really knows how to craft swoon-worthy male characters, the Prince is no exception, while I may have hated him with a fiery passion when I read the Wicked Trilogy, I couldn’t help but start to really like this guy.

I could go on for ages but I don’t want to give away any spoilers, if you loved Wicked then you will love this!

My Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

[Book Review] Boy Toy by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

Syn

A brand new romantic comedy from your favorite snort-laughing duo!

Liam

The moment Sadie Matthews walks through the daycare center door, I feel my world tilt in her direction. Again. I fell for her when I was fourteen, and I’m still not over her. Problem: she still thinks of me as a teen she used to babysit. But I’ve learned a few things about pleasing a woman in the last fifteen years. I can’t wait to show her how good it could be. I need to move quickly before I lose her again. This is more than a game to me, but I still plan to win.

Sadie

I’ve just survived the worst year of my life. As a single mom of twin toddlers, I don’t have time for a man. I barely have time to finish a thought. Who knew that Liam McAllister would grow up to be so devastating? He’s everything my husband was not: tall, built, and willing to have a tea party with my girls.

I can’t possibly get involved with him. He’s too young for me. Too handsome. But he’s so persuasive…


QS

Publication Date: 14th August 2018
Page Length: 451
Characters: Sadie, Liam


Review

*I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Yes, it’s Sadie’s turn! I’ve been waiting really impatiently for this one ever since ever since Man Card and it was flipping fantastic!! So worth waiting for. 

Sadie is attempting to get back in the dating game when she bumps into the boy she used to babysit at the nursery where her twins go. Liam is no longer the 14y ear old kid she remembers, he’s full grown and devastatingly handsome. 

The attraction between these two is intense! It’s seriously hot. I really liked the storyline of older women, younger man it made a refreshing change from the norm. I loved Liam he is just great and he’s definitely a guy that a lot of Mom’s will swoon over, hell I thought he was swoony with Sadie’s girls and I don’t like children so that’s something! 

I was so pleased that Sadie finally found someone that appreciated her and that she got the happy ending she deserved. 

I’m so hoping for another book… maybe one about Sadie’s Sister? 🤞🏻

My Rating 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


Pre Order Here:

Amazon  ♥ iBooks NookKobo

[Blog Tour] Book Review: Bossy Nights by Liv Morris

Bossy Nights, an all-new “sizzling and sexy” office romance, from USA Today bestselling author Liv Morris is available NOW!

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I’ve landed in New York City with my resume in one hand and my V-card in the other. The resume? I’ll give to any man on the street. The other? Well . . . I won’t settle for anything less than lightning bolt chemistry and so far no one has flipped that switch.

Until I meet Barclay Hammond, CEO of the most prestigious publishing house in NYC and the city’s most eligible bachelor.

He’s commanding.

Charming.

Gorgeous.

And my new boss.

The raw attraction between us is off the charts. Late nights together in the city, the looks he gives me across the boardroom table make him impossible to resist. I want him to be the one and he wants me too…

There’s only one BIG problem. Sleeping with your boss is strictly forbidden at Hammond Press.

Who knew losing it would be so complicated?

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Grab your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2uR2Yx5

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/BossyNights

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/bossynights

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Excerpt

“Where are we going?” She turns a curious eye toward me, tilting her head to the side. I glance over my shoulder as I guide her a few steps away and around a corner.

“Trust me?” She nods, and I point to the closed door in front of us.

“The cloakroom?” she asks with a teasing smile.

“Shush,” I whisper, twisting the handle to see if it’s locked. It moves in my hand. I’m in luck.

I open the door wide enough for us both to slide inside, then leave it cracked a few inches so a sliver of light streams in. Aside from a few empty hangers on a rod, the room is bare.

“What are we doing in here?” Tessa asks, but her eager eyes give her away. She wants me as much as I want her.

“I need something from you before we join the others.” I lean forward and speak into her ear.

“What’s that?” she breathes.

“This.” I place my hands on her back. She shivers at my touch, following with a sweet sigh. My fingers trail over her velvety skin, lingering at the simple hook connecting her lone strap. If only we had more time. “Your skin’s so smooth and silky.”

I bend down and kiss her lips, and she returns it with a passion matching mine. Tessa links her fingers behind my neck, and we are lost in each other. Minutes later, when we both need to draw in a breath, I move my lips down her neck and over the exposed curves of her breasts.

“I want to taste all of you,” I say against her skin, and feel her pulse racing like mine.

Dropping to my knee, I bring my hands to the back of her toned legs, and trace the delicate skin behind her knees. Her muscles flex and release in anticipation. With a feather like touch, I inch up her thighs, finding the lacy edge of her panties. “Has anyone touched you here?”

“No one,” she blows out between labored breaths. She gazes down at me with eyes full of desire, but there’s a tentativeness in them I can’t ignore. My touches, and the promise of more between us, are new and unchartered territory for her.

I rise to my full height, changing our position. Looking down at her, I wonder if this beautiful woman is ready for what I want to do to her and what we can be together. I have to ease her into things, build her confidence. It should be her decision to freely give into the passion and trust me. Let me make her mine. I won’t push her from the base of the mountain to the peak in one night.  

“I want to be the first. Are you okay with that?” I run my fingers over the curve of her shoulders.

“Yes, please,” she begs.


Review

This was a fairly entertaining read. The romance a bit fast for my normal liking but it didn’t hamper things too much.

I liked Tessa, she was sweet and innocent typical girl from the South, she was a little naive at times but mostly pretty sensible. Barclay was kind meh he didn’t really excite me, intact I thought he was a bit boring most of the time. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two if them though and I thought that he was really good to Tessa, he didn’t rush her into anything she didn’t want to do and he tried to be the good guy.

Overall this was a nice light romantic read.

My Rating 3/5 🌟🌟🌟


Meet Liv Morris:

USA Today bestselling author Liv Morris resides in Manhattan with her first and hopefully last husband. She received a degree in communication from the University of Maryland. Liv has published many short stories for her Love in the City series (now a box set) and is featured in numerous anthologies.

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Connect with Liv:

Facebook | Facebook Reader Group |Amazon |Bookbub|

Twitter |Instagram|WebMailing List

 

[Book Review] Bad Boy Rich by Kat T. Mason

Syn

He called himself Bad Boy Rich.
The baddest boy in town.
Not my town, but the land of Hollywood.
A place where dreams come true, or—become your nightmare.
I was stuck somewhere in the middle.

After losing her job and forced to provide for her sick mother, Milana is offered the role of a lifetime—PA to the famous Emerson Chase—and dives head first into the world of the Rich…

Wesley Rich.

A self-proclaimed bad boy.
The ultimate heartbreaker, and—he’s Emerson’s ex-fiancé.
A lethal mix that Milana should stay away from.

Driven by sex, jealously and mind games, they form an obsessive love.
But everyone knows bad boys don’t play nice.
They play rough.
They get dirty.
And they’ll break you in the worst possible way.


QS

Publication Date: 24th July 2018
Page Length: 400
Characters: Milana, Wesley


Review

*I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Oh jeez, this book really wasn’t my cup of tea. 

There was so much wrong with it and for once I know exactly where to start and it’s with this paragraph here: 

“He was awesome…except for when he got into a mood and acted like an overly hormonal teenager with a brooding face. And his obsession with my whereabouts and responding to his messages. Now that I think of it, it was borderline creepy. 

But the best-sex-you’ve-ever-had outweighs creepy by a longshot. This is what happens when your boyfriend is insanely sexy and has the stamina of a wild stallion. Your vagina becomes a bossy bitch and boy did she boss me around”

So by this logic, as long as the sex is great it gives a guy carte blanche to behave like an utter bell end?? It’s disturbing that she things like this and it gives a really bad message, I’m so sick of reading books where this sort of mindset is the norm. 

The story didn’t get better from this point it actually got worse. Thinking back this should have been a DNF because I wasted a good 3 hours reading this. Like it could have been redeemed if there characters and gotten their shit together before the last 3 pages of the book. 

I’m so done. 

My rating 1/5 🌟

[Book Review] Flip Trick – Amo Jones

Syn

I did something I had never done before. 

I had a one-night stand. 

Then in true me fashion, I left my phone at his house during my desperate venture to escape.

I tried hard to ignore the texts sent to my best friend’s phone…

Amethyst: Sup, these selfies are cute as shit, but your lips looked better wrapped around my…

I did NOT text him back. 

I DID vow to never speak of him, or that night again… 

I’m Amethyst Lily Tatum, and up until this point, I’d managed to maintain a fairly low-key life. I’m what you would call a socially unacceptable hot mess. Instead of partying, I’m skating, flipping ollie’s over guys who loved to underestimate me. Then I started college, met a wild girl who I would soon call my best-friend, had my first drunk one-night stand, left my phone at his house, and then, when I finally managed to meet my mom’s new boyfriend, I found out that my one-night stand, was now my new stepbrother. 

QS

Publication Date: 2018
Characters: Amethyst, Maddox

Review

*I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

You know that feeling when you read the blurb of the book and you get really excited to read it because it sounds so good but then you read it and all you excitement is crushed because the story actually sucked…. Well that was this book. 

My man beef is with Maddox, he is just vile, don’t get me wrong I like a bad boy just as much as the next person but this guy was borderline abusive for no apparent reason. I don’t understand how he was suppose to be attractive when his personality was so ugly. 

I liked Amethyst in the beginning but second she got with with Maddox she became a winey self absorbed girl who could barely function without him! Hello this is the 21st century, its fine to wallow in that shit for a while but then you pull on your big girl panties and move the hell on, no guy is worth almost killing yourself over. 

There’s a whole twist at the end but it was so bored with the two main characters that I didn’t  care what was happening to them anymore. 

My Rating: 2/5 🌟🌟

[Book Review] The Four Day Fling by Emma Hart

Syn

The Four Day Fling by Emma Hart

A standalone romantic comedy of epically awkward proportions, from New York Times bestselling author, Emma Hart. 

Imagine this. You’re ready to leave after a one-night stand, and you’re figuring out how to—shock horror—leave your number and ask him to be your fake boyfriend for your sister’s wedding this weekend. When he wakes up. Well, that happened to me. And over coffee and omelets, I found myself a date. 

Which was how I ended up arriving at the wedding with a guy I knew nothing about. I didn’t know his last name, or how we met, or how long we’d been dating. I didn’t know where he grew up, what he’d majored in in college, or how many siblings he had. I sure as hell didn’t know he was Adam Winters, hotshot hockey player—and not only my father’s favorite player, but my little nephew’s freakin’ idol. Which means I’m in trouble. Big, big trouble. My mother is suspicious, my sister is bridezilla on crack, and my grandpa will tell anyone who’ll listen about his time in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Four days. I have to keep this up for four days, and then Adam and I can return to our regular lives, where we don’t have sex whenever we’re alone and my family aren’t interrogating him over his intentions with me. 

At least, that’s the plan. And we all know what happens to those.


QS

Publication date: 24th July 2018
Page Length: 219
Characters: Poppy, Adam


Review

*I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

This book had me chuckling from page one, its feel good, it’s funny and so entertaining. Poppy’s level of sass is of epic proportions, I loved her. 

Her family, on the other hand, particularly her mother is a complete nightmare and I completely understand why needs booze to get through her family gatherings.  

I loved Adam and her together, he just got her snark and threw it back at her, their banter is really what gave this book most of its humor and the ending just had all of the feels! It’s everything a rom-com should be. 

I don’t have anything negative to say because I thoroughly enjoyed this one, its the first book by Emma Hart that I have read so I’m really excited to check out more of her work! 

My rating 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


Author Bio

EmmaHartEmma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages.

She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs.

Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud.

Yes, really. She’s that sarcastic.

Connect with Emma:

Facebook |BookBub |Amazon US|Amazon UK|Goodreads

Stay up to date with Emma by joining her mailing list today:

https://www.emmahart.org/newsletter


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Download your copy today!

Add to GoodReads:https://bit.ly/2JtdUWV

[Release Day Blitz] Flip Trick by Amo Jones

Flip Trick, an all-new standalone bad-boy romance by Amo Jones is NOW AVAILABLE!!

 

I did something I had never done before.

I had a one-night stand.

Then in true me fashion, I left my phone at his house during my desperate venture to escape.

I tried hard to ignore the texts sent to my best friend’s phone…

Amethyst: Sup, these selfies are cute as shit, but your lips looked better wrapped around my…

I did NOT text him back.

I DID vow to never speak of him, or that night again…

I’m Amethyst Lily Tatum, and up until this point, I’d managed to maintain a fairly low-key life. I’m what you would call a socially unacceptable hot mess. Instead of partying, I’m skating, flipping ollie’s over guys who loved to underestimate me. Then I started college, met a wild girl who I would soon call my best-friend, had my first drunk one-night stand, left my phone at his house, and then, when I finally managed to meet my mom’s new boyfriend, I found out that my one-night stand, was now my new stepbrother.

*this is a standalone novel*

 

 

Grab your copy Today!

Amazon –  mybook.to/FlipTrickAJ

Nook – https://bit.ly/2uIpWGt

iBooks – https://apple.co/2Lt5lzL

Add to Goodreads – https://bit.ly/2IwiZkW

 

 

 

About Amo Jones

Amo Jones is a small country girl totally winging this author thing (she’s probably doing it all wrong). She likes cake, loves wine, and her religion is magic. She’s a profound work-a-holic, but when she’s not writing, you can find her chilling with her kids & partner at the nearest beach, with a cocktail in her hand.

New Zealand is not a state of Australia and rugby is the best sport ever played.

Follow Amo Jones

Website: http://www.amojonesbooks.com/

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

Join my Wolf Pack: https://www.facebook.com/groups/10114

Twitter:https://twitter.com/authorAmojones

Instagram: thatcrazykiwiauthor

 

[Cover Reveal] Crew by Tijan

Today I’m excited to bring you the cover reveal for Crew by Tijan!!!

Drum Roll Please…… 🥁

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CREW FULLWRAP SIZED2.0

Summary

To survive where I live, you have two options.

You can be a Normal—a cheerleader, jock, member of the debate team, or on the yearbook committee. You pretend everything is normal.

Or you can be crew.
You insult us? We hurt you.
You hurt us? We reallyhurt you.
And if you f*ck with us, we will end you.

My name is Bren.
I’m the only female in the Wolf Crew—the best, fiercest, and most dangerous crew there is—and we have a rule: There’s no falling in love.

Well… too late.

 **Full-length novel. First book in a YA Series. This book is dark, violent, and not for the faint of heart.** 

CREW FB BANNER

Links

Available for a limited time across all platforms. Then, it will enter KINDLE UNLIMITED. For those of you unfamiliar with KU, please see the informational post below.

Paperback: preorder will be up soon! 

Tijan’s Reader group

Date August 27

This is 100% a new series from TIJAN. All new characters in the Tijanverse and is intended for mature audiences only.

CREW teaser

What is Kindle Unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription that allows you to access a large selection of titles from the Kindle Store. … You can keep up to ten titles to read on any Amazon device or Kindle reading app and there are no due dates.

TIMETOFIGHTTEASER

 

[Release Day Promo & Excerpt] The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen

Accidentals by Sarina Bowen is out today!! 

SUMMARY

 A YA novel from USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth.

I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face.

My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong.

When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost.

Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul.
There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love.

My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.

audio

 LINKS

 SARINA LINKS

2 Righteous Ending


Excerpt

After the last course—chocolate mousse—the three of us go tripping back across the cold lawn in the dark, Aurora in the lead. I’m the tiniest bit tipsy and wearing heels. So naturally I stumble on a frozen clod of snow and nearly fall. But Jake catches my hand to steady me. “Thanks,” I breathe.

Curiously, his warm fingers remain curled around mine until we reached the door of Habernacker.

I try not to feel ridiculously excited about it.

He lets go when we all reach the third floor. When Aurora opens the door, he follows us inside until we all collapse on the S.L.O., with me in the center.

“Oh! I forgot to steal my plate,” I realize.

“Me too.” Aurora sighs.

Jake reaches into his jacket and pulls out a plate.

“Well done, Mr. Jake!” Aurora laughs. “The party in the annex starts in fifteen minutes.” She heaves herself off the squishy couch. “I have time to redo my makeup.”

I watch her walk over to the stereo, where my phone is already ensconced, and turn on our Christmas playlist. Then she grabs her makeup bag off her desk and leaves the room.

When the door clicks shut, neither Jake nor I speak for a moment. The low chords of a Straight No Chaser song play through our little speakers.

Suddenly, it’s awkward. We’ve been circling each other for a while now—since the night he was trying to be nice and I wrecked it.

“You’re probably sick of a cappella by now,” I say, just to find something to talk about.

But Jake turns slowly toward me and says something unexpected. “Rachel, I need to ask you a question.”

My stomach does a little flip flop, and I turn to face those blue eyes I love so much. “What?” I whisper.

“Well…” He clears his throat. There is a very long pause, during which I hold my breath. “Will you come skiing some time?”

I exhale. “I guess so?” Another beat of silence passes. “That was your big question?” I ask, feeling like I’ve missed something.

His color deepens. “Well, no. I just…” His brow furrows, as if he’s trying to explain some point of astronomy. I love his look of concentration. I’ve missed it.

Jake’s blue eyes lock on mine, and I see how our own orbits might finally collide. This time, I will not send the moment winging back into space. Instead, I lean an almost imperceptible degree in his direction.

And that’s all it takes.

Reaching up, Jake cups his hand to the side of my face. I’m still processing the sweet touch of his fingers when he leans in farther, his lips brushing the sensitive corner of my mouth. His eyes are tentative, seeking permission. My heart thuds with expectation.

And then—finally—Jake kisses me for real. We come together the way a well-timed drummer kicks into the chorus of a song—swiftly, and without hesitation.

We broke apart a moment later, eyeing each other while I try not to smile. “Can I do that again?” he asks, his voice rough. “That was my real question.”

“Well, since you asked so nicely…”

Jake makes a low noise of approval, then draws me closer. I reach up for the back of his neck, my fingers grazing that golden patch of skin I’ve always wanted to touch. He kisses me again, his arm finding the velvet waist of my dress and encircling me.

My heart flutters, but not from fear. Warm lips tease mine gently apart. And when his tongue tangles with mine, I lose myself.

He tastes like champagne. Everything is wild and sweet, until the moment Aurora’s voice rings out. “Ay, caramba!”

I feel an unwelcome rush of cool air between us as Jake retreats.

“Ididsay I was going into the bathroom, right? And not on a trip to Fiji?”

Neither of us says a word; we only look sheepishly at Aurora.

“Just to be clear, now I’m ducking into the bedroom for my coat, which only takes a second.” She steps into the bedroom, and I hear the rustling of fabric. Then she peers dramatically around the door frame. “Good listening! Now I’m going to the party. Will I see you both there? Don’t answer that. We’ll speak later.”

Jake laughs. “Sorry, Aurora.”

“I’ve seen worse.” She departs, the door closing behind her.

And now I’m self-conscious. Rising, I decide to fiddle with the music playlist. “Do you want to go to the party?”

“I’ll go. But I’m not great at parties. It’s all shouting over the music, drinking warm beer out of a plastic cup.”

“Then let’s not.” My fingers shake as I adjust the volume. I go back over to the sofa and sit down.

“So.” He clears his throat. “Where are you going for break?” As he asks, he takes one of my hands in his, massaging my palm with his thumb.

His light touch is so distracting that I almost forget to answer. “Kansas City,” I manage. “To meet my grandfather for the very first time.”

“Um, what?” He squeezes my hand.

So I tell Jake the embarrassing highlights of my weird story—that I hadn’t met Frederick until this past summer.

“Wow. I’m sorry,” he says.

“Don’t be.”

“I guess I’m not that offended now that you wouldn’t introduce me. If the normal waiting period is seventeen years.”

My laugh begins with an unladylike snort. Ah, well. “With me it’s just all soap opera, all the time. Believe it or not, a year ago I was really a boring person.”

“I don’t see how.” He regards me with darting eyes. “You look beautiful tonight.”

“It’s Aurora’s dress,” I whisper.

But Jake doesn’t seem to care. He slips his arms around my waist. Scooting closer, he slides his lips from my forehead, down my nose and onto my mouth. And we begin again.

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