Spotlight and Sweepstakes: Sit, Stay, Love by J.J. Howard

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Title: Sit, Stay, Love Author: J.J. Howard Format: Paperback and eBook, 256 pages Published: January 26, 2016 by Scholastic Paperbacks ISBN: 0545861578

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Synopsis:

Cecilia Murray has been wishing for a dog for as long as she can remember. And when a cute pug named Potato is brought in to Orphan Paws, the shelter where she volunteers, she knows he is the dog she’s been waiting for. There’s just one problem: Eric Chung — a popular, arrogant boy from school — adopts Potato first. What’s worse, he hopes to train the little tater to become a show-dog superstar. Cecilia knows that Potato is not cut out for a life of sparkly collars and snobby judges, so she sets out to sabotage Eric’s plans.
But the more time Cecilia spends with Potato and Eric, the more she questions everything she thought she knew about dog shows … and a certain cute show-dog trainer. Can Cecilia save Potato — while also listening to her heart?

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About the author and where to find her:

J.J. HowardIf you’re looking for J. J. Howard, you’ll probably find her in Central Florida, but she wishes you’d find her in New York City. NYC, along with books, TV, music, coffee, and her mini-dachshund Willow are on top of her list of favorite things.  By day she teaches English and Humanities at a small private high school, and by night she writes, edits, or Netflixes.  Howard’s debut YA, That Time I Joined the Circus, tells the story of Lexi, who accidentally joins the circus (and falls in love) while searching for her missing mother. Her second YA, Tracers, follows Cam, a NYC bike messenger who meets a beautiful stranger named Nikki who pulls him into the world of parkour. Her debut MG, Sit, Stay, Love is coming from Scholastic on January 26, 2016.

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Review, Excerpt, and Sweepstakes: Extreme Honor (Book #1: True Heroes) by Piper J. Drake

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Title: Extreme Honor Series: Book #1: True Heroes Author: Piper J. Drake Format: Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages Published: January 26, 2016 by Forever ISBN: 1455536040

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Synopsis:

David Cruz is good at two things: war and training dogs. The ex-soldier’s toughest case is Atlas, a Belgian Malinois whose handler died in combat. Nobody at Hope’s Crossing kennel can break through the animal’s grief. That is, until dog whisperer Evelyn Jones walks into the facility . . . and into Atlas’s heart. David hates to admit that the curvy blonde’s mesmerizing effect isn’t limited to canines. But when Lyn’s work with Atlas puts her in danger, David will do anything to protect her.  Lyn realizes that David’s own battle scars make him uniquely qualified for his job as a trainer. Tough as nails yet gentle when it counts, he’s gotten closer to Atlas than anyone else-and he’s willing to put his hard-wired suspicion aside to let her do the same. But someone desperate enough to kill doesn’t want Lyn working with Atlas. Now only teamwork, trust, and courage can save two troubled hearts and the dog who loves them both . . .

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review:

Atlas is an exceptionally trained Belgian Malinois who lost his handler in combat.  Since the loss of his friend and partner, Atlas has shown little to no interest in participating in life.  In fact, despite some very significant efforts, Atlas is wasting away as a result of his grief. 

Evelyn Jones is an exceptionally trained dog trainer/handler who has been given the opportunity to work with Atlas.  Atlas is not yet past his prime and the military is most interested in seeing him go back to work.  Work won’t be possible if Evelyn can’t break through Atlas’s grief and encourage him to work again.  From the moment she meets him, Atlas responds to Evelyn in a way no one has seen since he lost his partner.  Atlas likes Evelyn and within just a few minutes of their meeting, the big dog is responding to the trainer.

David Cruz has an affinity with dogs and, given his own military background has a particular skill set qualifying him to work with military dogs like Atlas.  David has worked with Atlas before but has had no luck in getting the grieving dog to respond to him.  Though David isn’t thrilled about an outsider coming in to work with Atlas, even he has to admit, the woman’s got game.  David is forced to recognize Atlas’s quick acknowledgement of Evelyn and her presence has a clear impact on the dog.  In fact, within just a day or two, Atlas is hesitant to leave Evelyn’s side and is becoming far more active than he has been in months. 

For a few brief moments, Evelyn and David both feel like Atlas’s situation is getting better.  Unfortunately, it’s not.  Oh, he is certainly responding to training but he also carries with him evidence of an ugly plot that not only got his handler killed but will also threaten the lives of man, many active duty men.  The men running the plot are desperate to keep their plans well-hidden and that means tying up any and all loose ends that could expose them.  Evelyn, David, and Atlas are all loose ends.  Over the course of just a few days, Evelyn is attacked, David is damn-near run down, and the men they can find to talk to refuse to do so.  Every near-miss makes David and Evelyn more determined to get to the bottom of the plot so they can not only be free and clear from the personal danger but also to understand what happened to Atlas’s former partner, and protect Atlas.  Complicating the entire situation is the intense attraction between David and Evelyn; Evelyn wants to be closer to David while David struggles to remain a gentleman and not take advantage of a vulnerable woman.  As their situation becomes more intense so does the attraction.

The Bottom Line: For a fist in a series book, Extreme Honor is a decent read.  Drake has a lot of ground work to lay for the future of the series as well as telling Evelyn, David, and Atlas’s story.  For the most part, everything comes together in a pleasing way.  Though I liked David and Evelyn well enough, the star of the show for me is Atlas.  Drake has done an excellent job of creating a real character with Atlas, one who feels and responds to loss and love just as intensely as his human counterparts.  I became quite invested in Atlas and found myself rooting for him more than for David and Evelyn.  I knew the humans would end up with an HEA but the dog, not so much.  Overall, I can’t say I am over the moon about Extreme Honor but I also recognize it is the first in a series and that book isn’t always the strongest in a series.  I read the excerpt from book two at the end of Extreme Honor and I will definitely be back for more.  🙂

5

Teaser:

Her heart rate had picked up, fluttering at the pulse point under his touch.

“Yeah?” The urge to slide has hands over more delicate areas grew and he couldn’t help running his thumb along the inside of her arm.

Awareness grew in her gaze and she bit her lip as she nodded.

He leaned toward her, focused on her plump lip caught under her teeth.

“What else do you like?”

She opened her mouth to answer but he didn’t plan to let her get a word out. Maybe later. He bent his head to capture her lips.

And seventy five pounds of fur jumped up on his side.

“The hell?”

Lyn gasped. “Atlas!”

Af.” Mindful of the dog’s injury, Cruz gave Atlas a gentle shove.

The dog dropped back to all fours, his tongue lolling. Looking from him to Lyn and back again, Atlas lay back down on his belly.

Jealous. Damn dog was jealous

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About the author and where to find her:

Piper Drake Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) began her writing career as “PJ Schnyder” writing sci-fi & paranormal  romance and steampunk. She has recently received the FF&P PRISM award for her work as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award.   Now, PJ is exploring the complexity of romantic suspense, incorporating her interests in mixed martial arts and the military into her writing.

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Cover Reveal: RoomHate by Penelope Ward

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Synopsis:

Sharing a summer house with a hot-as-hell roommate should be a dream come true, right?  Not when it’s Justin…the only person I’d ever loved…who now hates me.  When my grandmother died and left me half of the house on Aquidneck Island, there was a catch: the other half would go to the boy she helped raise.  The same boy who turned into the teenager whose heart I broke years ago.  The same teenager who’s now a man with a hard body and a hardass personality to match.  I hadn’t seen him in years, and now we’re living together because neither one of us is willing to give up the house.  The worst part? He didn’t come alone.  I’d soon realize there’s a thin line between love and hate. I could see through that smug smile. Beneath it all…the boy is still there. So is our connection.  The problem is…now that I can’t have Justin, I’ve never wanted him more.

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Additional Books by Penelope Ward:

Stepbrother Dearest

Amazon http://amzn.to/1mFNMeg

B&N: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG

ITunes: http://bit.ly/YER0mT

kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs

Gemini

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgk1SE

B&N: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD

iTunes: http://apple.co/1QTaONj

kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu

Jake Undone (Jake #1)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dJrHBC

B&N: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6

iTunes: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8

kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M

My Skylar

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obOG2F

B&N: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi

iTunes: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR

kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB

Jake Understood (Jake #2)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GFdves

B&N: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z

iTunes: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC

kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk

Sins of Sevin

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Qryeok

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1YrHjDx

iBooks: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg

B&N: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE 

kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D

Cocky Bastard

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1DW9XpB

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1WwPzkC

iBooks: http://apple.co/1J7vbN0

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY

About the author and where to find her:

PENELOPE WARDPenelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 10-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: Reign (Book #1: Sin City Outlaws) by M.N. Forgy

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reign coverTitle: Reign Series: Book #1: Sin City Outlaws Series Author: M.N. Forgy Published: January: 2016 by M.N. Forgy ISBN: 0986411744

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Synopsis:

As the president of the Sin City Outlaw Motorcycle Club, I fuck as hard as I ride and rarely go to bed alone. The women are fast and the violence is intense.
I excel in both. People either respect me or fear me. I’m not arrogant. It’s just the truth. I was a king, reigning over Vegas without complication, until one gorgeous sheriff made everything fall apart.  When I saw her, I became a Neanderthal, wanting nothing more than to be between those legs.  I guess that’s where I went wrong, because my reality was shot to hell real fucking fast. One kiss caused her to step over that blue line. One night in her bed made me a traitor.  And now… we’re both screwed.

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Excerpt from Reign (Book #1: Sin City Outlaws Series):

“Really? You got me donuts?” I arch a brow, dropping the lid. He turns, a mischievous smile fitting his face. “Don’t all cops like donuts?” he jeers. I roll my eyes, placing my hand on my hip. “That’s so stereotypical,” I huff. “Oh, really?” he replies, grabbing the box off the table, a smug smile still on his face. “I’ll get rid of them then.” “No, wait!” I nearly trip over my feet trying to grab the box of donuts. He holds them higher than me and smiles so big I think I see two dimples. Really, he’s pulling the notorious bully move holding them just above my reach? Why am I attracted to him again? “I thought you didn’t like them,” he taunts. “I do like them. A lot, actually.” I cross my arms, my cheeks flushing. My dad used to always take me to the local bakery to get donuts on the weekends. I would get whatever I wanted—usually anything with sprinkles—and we would drop the rest off at the department. What can I say, embrace your stereotypes. “So, it’s true. Cops love donuts,” he states arrogantly, sitting the box back down.

REIGN M.N.

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About the author and where to find her:

m.n. forgy bioM.N. Forgy was raised in Missouri where she still lives with her family. She’s a soccer mom by day and a saucy writer by night. M.N. Forgy started writing at a young age but never took it seriously until years later, as a stay-at-home mom, she opened her laptop and started writing again. As a role model for her children, she felt she couldn’t live with the “what if” anymore and finally took a chance on her character’s story. So, with her glass of wine in hand and a stray Barbie sharing her seat, she continues to create and please her fans.

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Review: SEAL Brotherhood: Lucas (Book #1: Band of Bachelors Series) by Sharon Hamilton

 

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Title: SEAL Brotherhood: Lucas Series: Book #1: Band of Bachelors Author: Sharon Hamilton Format: Kindle Edition, 250 pages Published: October 19, 2015 by AL Publications ASIN: B012RJMMUC

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Synopsis:

Special Operator Lucas Shipley thought his troubles were past him, when he discovers they’ve only just begun. Recently separated from his wife of five years, he gets some unwelcomed news. He thought his living arrangement, with four other separated or divorced buddies from SEAL Team 3, was temporary. Now, he understands he has to move on with his life.  Marcy Gelland is one of the smartest, most successful realtors in San Diego County. She’s hired by Lucas’ soon-to-be ex-wife to help her liquidate their joint holdings and help orchestrate a speedy departure from Lucas’ life. Based on what Marcy’s been told, Lucas deserves any amount of pain she or her client can dish out to him.  But when they are left alone together in the remote Northern California woods, they ignite a personal bonfire that threatens to burn down the whole forest. Marcy is forced to see she has been misled.  Amidst the backdrop of hardened bachelor SEALs with their unsolicited, anti-long- term relationship advice, and a criminal gang operating nearby, Lucas must do what he’s always done and never gotten proper credit for: be the hero that saves the day.

Source: Netgalley/Publisher

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

Lucas Shipley is just about the dumbest smart person you’ve ever met.  Oh, he’s got the brains and the brawn to be a successful SEAL team member but when it comes to women, his head is planted firmly up his ass.  His wife has kicked him out, he’s living with four other busted-relationship Team members, and he finds the new realtor totally hot.  Yeah, ‘cause Lucas totally needs to get involved with a woman right now.

Marcy Gelland is very good at her job and isn’t at all put off by Connie Shipley.  Oh, Connie’s a piece of work alright with her anger, big mouth, and generally foul demeanor but she has two properties that need to be sold and Marcy is used to dealing with embittered wives and husbands.  Connie wants both properties sold and she doesn’t care what Marcy has to do to get them sold.  Oh, and if Marcy can find a way to make the sale of the properties really, really hurt her soon-to-be ex, all the better.  Though Marcy is willing to sell one of the properties, she isn’t exactly sure if Connie has the legal right to unload the other.  A meeting with the infamous Lucas Shipley and a visit to the other property will certainly help clear up matters.  What ensues is a roller coaster ride of crazy . . . .

By chance, Lucas and Marcy end up at the second, very secluded property at the same time.  Lucas has every intention of seducing Marcy and Marcy is along for the ride.  What neither expected is the intense and very real connection that seem to develop in a short amount of time.  Before either knows what hit them, they have agreed to a long-term commitment which means Marcy has to bow out of selling the property(ies), and learn to live her life as the partner of a SEAL team member.  Intent on making things right, Marcy intends to fully disclose her relationship with him as she turns over the property listing to another agent.  Though Lucas advises Marcy to keep her mouth closed where his ex is concerned, Marcy has some pesky morals (Now!) and feels she must do the right thing.  Unbeknownst to Marcy, Lucas’s ex has already made sure Marcy has been terminated and Lucas has been called away for an operation.  WOW!!  Marcy’s life went from awesome to awful in the span of twenty-four hours. . . . .Little does she know, it’s going to get far, far worse before it gets better.

The Bottom Line:  This is my first Sharon Hamilton read and I’m pretty sure it won’t be my last.  I liked both Lucas and Marcy from the very beginning and really wanted their relationship to work out.  To be sure, the cards are stacked against them between Lucas’s seriously dangerous job, his bat-shit crazy soon-to-be ex-wife, and Marcy’s involvement in their lives and divorce. Not to mention, the crazy awful drama that goes down in the last third of the book.  Lucas’s life and many of his SEAL Team brothers’ lives are threatened, Marcy is not just threatened but harmed, and one of Lucas’s properties is burned to the ground.  I like the way this book is split up with most of the action rolling over you in a big wave in the last third of the book.  The first two-thirds deals primarily with character development so by the time I got to the final third, I was totally invested in the characters.  There are a few loose ends in this read that bugged me.  For example, why didn’t Marcy’s friend Devon ever share her good news, what happened to the supremely wretched soon-to-be ex-wife, and what happened to Lucas’s kids?  Even with the loose ends, I still very much enjoyed this read.  Lucas pulls his head out of his ass and Marcy makes lemonade out of lemons so all is right in the end, just the way I like my reads to be. 🙂

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Excerpts and Sweepstakes: The Union and The Ruins (Books #1 and #2: The Union Series) by T.H. Hernandez

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Title: The Union Series: Book #1: The Union Author: T.H. Hernandez Format: Kindle Edition, 325 pages Published: November 18, 2014 by T.H. Hernandez ASIN: B00P0D4VHU

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Synopsis:

After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.  Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.  When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.  Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.

The Union - Teaser 1

Excerpt from The Union (Book #1: The Union Series):

Once the sun rises, I can make out trees in the distance. Real trees with leaves, which means there must be water nearby. I’m not sure Ruins water is safe to drink, but I do know I’ll die if I don’t drink something.

Even though I’ve been walking for hours, the trees don’t seem to be getting any closer. My legs have taken on a sponge-like quality and I stumble, but manage to stay upright. If I fall, I may never get up again.

I’m almost to the trees. They’re only a little farther now.

There’s no water here. How can there be trees without water?

Despair overtakes me and I drop down, pounding my fists on the barren ground. I stuff a soft green leaf in my mouth, seeking moisture, but my mouth is so dry, I gag on the pieces, tearing my throat like shards of broken glass.

My head spins as I lie on my back and struggle to form coherent thoughts. I take a deep breath and tell myself to think. Think is such a strange word.  Think, think, think. It doesn’t even sound English.

Shaking my head to clear my mind, I try to pull myself together, remembering where I am and forcing myself to focus on my immediate situation. What do the Buddhists call it? Being mindful.

My brain works to form rational thoughts, but there’s nothing rational about this. I left home to find my place in the world, is this really where my search was supposed to lead me? It’s more like a cruel joke. If I was on a date with destiny, it just took a bizarre turn into a twisted ending I never saw coming.

God, if only I hadn’t gone to the park that night, none of this would’ve happened. I begin to cry. For my family and friends who will never know what happened to me, and for me. I’m not ready to die, I’m only 17.

I can’t help wondering if I would have spent so much time agonizing over my future if I’d known I’d be dead so soon. If I’d known, maybe I’d have done everything differently. Now I know my future. My life ends here. Alone. In the Ruins.

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Ruins Cover

Title: The Ruins Series: Book #2: The Union Author: T.H. Hernandez Format: Paperback, 412 pages Published: June 16, 2015 by T.H. Hernandez ISBN: 0990868842

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Synopsis:

Heartbroken, grief-stricken, and wracked with guilt, seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor returned to the Union, leaving behind the boy she loved.  Now, she and her friends must find a way to do the impossible – warn the citizens of the Union about an impending rebel attack without alerting the government and risking retaliation against her friends in the Ruins.  When every move Evan makes is thwarted, it soon becomes clear she’s being watched. Faced with a daily fight to stay one step ahead of her pursuers, she returns to the Ruins. But life in the Ruins has its own dangers, and soon she’s fighting a different battle – to stay alive long enough to discover the truth.

The Ruins - Teaser 1

Excerpt from The Ruins (Book #2: The Union Series):

Lisa opens the door still in her pajama pants and a tank top. Jack’s behind her in nothing but a pair of sweatpants. I raise an eyebrow in silent judgment. How could she have Jack spend the night with Colin here?

“Where’s Colin?” she asks, looking past me.

“What do you mean, where’s Colin? Isn’t he here?”

“No. He never came home last night. I thought he was with you.”

You were with me.”

“No, I mean after we separated. I figured he showed up at your place.” Her cheeks turn bright red.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” My hands ball into fists of anger at my sides. “You can’t really be that…” I bite off the words. It’s not my place to share how Colin feels about her.

“He probably left with one of those girls we saw him with,” she says.

I push into her apartment and find Colin’s duffel bag on the floor where it’s been since he began camping out on her couch last week. “So, he just blew off his train?”

“Maybe,” she shrugs.

“Not likely,” I say, stalking back outside, unease gnawing through my stomach. If all this other shit wasn’t going on, I could chalk it up to Colin getting laid, but I can’t shake the feeling something isn’t right. I’m halfway to Bryce’s before I realize that’s where I’m headed. Hopefully he takes me seriously.

My fast walk turns into a jog as I cover the remaining three blocks and two flights of stairs down to the apartment he shares with Jack. I’ve only been here once before, but I think I remember which one it is. I lift my hand and knock on the pale blue door then pace the small empty concrete porch. Thirty seconds pass before I knock again, louder and longer this time. Still no answer. I’m beginning to think he’s not here when the lock clicks and the door cracks open.

Bryce swings the door wider, and my eyes zero in on a bare chest. My gaze drifts from his firm abs and pecs up to meet a pair of gray eyes, squinted against the morning light. Confusion fills his features as he stares at me.

“Colin didn’t come home last night,” I blurt out, my voice breaking.

His gaze rests on my face for a moment before circling the room, reminding me we’re being monitored. “I’m sure he’s fine, but let me get dressed, and we’ll look for him.”

Stepping inside, I close the door and bounce on the balls of my feet while I wait for him. The place is decorated in neo-classic guy. A fireplace and hearth runs the length of the front of the apartment, and opposite that is a solid glass wall overlooking a weedy, overgrown garden. The limited furniture is a jumble of chairs, a couch, and a couple of mismatched tables littered with empty beer bottles.

Bryce dresses in record time and takes my hand, pulling me outside. He leads the way to the depot to catch a train back to the nightclub. “I want to retrace his steps after we left,” he says. “He might’ve just found some company for the evening.”

“That’s what Lisa said, but I think there’s more to it.”

“It’s no secret how he feels about Lisa. He might’ve just wanted to get away for the night.”

“But his bag is still at her place. He would’ve had to come get it before catching his train.”

The nightclub is deserted with the exception of a handful of staff still cleaning up. Bryce walks up to a lanky guy pushing a broom. “Can I talk to the manager?”

A woman in her mid-thirties approaches us a few minutes later, wiping her hands on an apron. She sweeps a chunk of blond hair out of her face with the back of her wrist. “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, I’m Detective Cooper,” Bryce says, flashing his credentials. “We’re looking for a friend. He was here with us last night, but we’re not sure what happened to him.”

She glances between me and Bryce. “Did something happen to him?”

“That’s what we’re trying to find out. Can we take a look at the security feed from last night?”

“Sure,” she says, inclining her head. “Come on back.”

We follow her past the bar and into a small office beyond the kitchen. “Here,” she says, indicating a chair in front of a display screen.

Bryce sits and she shows him how to move through the video files. Bryce locates the one time-stamped from when we were here and forwards through frame-by-frame. I see us leaving for the night and Colin dancing with the girls, getting another drink, dancing some more, then about an hour later, Colin walks toward the exit alone. A guy in a sweatshirt, hood pulled up, hands shoved into his jeans pockets, approaches Colin. They appear to exchange words. Colin nods before following the guy out the front door.

“What the hell?” I ask. “Who was that guy?” Terror sweeps through me, turning my blood to ice. “And where the hell is Colin?”

“I don’t know,” Bryce says, reaching over to squeeze my hand. “But we’ll find him, I promise.”

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: Dolce (Book #2: Love at Center Court Series) by Rachel Blaufeld

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Title: Dolce Series: Book #2: Love at Center Court Author: Rachel Blaufeld Print Length: 296 pages Publisher: Rachel Blaufeld Published: January 21, 2016 ASIN: B01A8UKW5Y

 

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Synopsis:

“Who just stole my thunder across the Hafton airwaves, you ask? Right now, right this very second, listeners, I have Hafton’s one-and-only, the main man with the ball in hand, Blane Steele is in the studio. Mark my words—he’ll not only steal the ball, but your lady’s heart too. Watch out, gentlemen, the Stealer is in the house!”  — Sonny Be Knocking Boots, Hafton Radio 96.9  Coed antics.  Chaos.  Angst-ridden twists in fate.  Caterina is an intern. Sonny is her shock-jock boss. And Blane is a good-hearted baller…except when he steps on the court. Between on-air dares, an evil feminist professor, a straight-shooter of a coach, and rumors from the league surrounding Steele, these three are destined to screw it all up.  Rather than a love triangle, this is a friends-to-lovers story where the disc jockey acts as the catalyst, and a basketball player finds his life transformed when center court intersects with love.

dolce teaser RB

Excerpt from Dolce (Book #2: Love at Center Court Series):

“I’m not doing anything. I’m hanging with a friend.”

Almost instantly, the spark winked out in her eyes. “What?”

Most girls would have bitten their tongue off rather than respond to the friend comment, but not Cate.

She glared at me. “You’re making my head hurt. You’re nice, and we’re friends. Then you wrap your arm around me, hug me tight, chat about porn, and ask me out for a drink, which seems like more than friends. And now we’re back to being friends again.”

“It’s complicated, like you said, with Sonny and the radio station. I’ve never done this before, actually liked someone or been intrigued. Whatever this is.”

“Well, I guess there’s a first time for everything.”

“It’s fucking just my luck, you know,” I said, shaking my head sadly. “I meet someone like you when Sonny throws down the gauntlet, and I can’t mess up because I’ve got Coach breathing down my neck. Everyone’s watching me. It’s been all eyes on deck since last season, when I decided to finish school before I go pro, and do what’s right. I must be jinxed or some shit.”

“Exactly,” Cate said firmly. “I may be all ‘I am woman, hear me roar,’ but I’m not about to trash your career over a silly friendship. You do what you need to do.”

She stood on her tiptoes, grabbed my shoulders, and placed a quick kiss on my cheek. “Take care of yourself, Blane. See you around. Thanks for walking me.”

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About the author and where to find her:

rachel blaufeldRachel Blaufeld is a social worker/entrepreneur/blogger turned author. Fearless about sharing her opinion, Rachel captured the ear of stay-at-home and working moms on her blog, BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and inventing a product, often at the same time. She has also blogged for The Huffington Post, Modern Mom, and StartupNation.  Turning her focus on her sometimes wild-and-crazy creative side, it only took Rachel two decades to do exactly what she wanted to do—write a fiction novel. Now she spends way too many hours in local coffee shops plotting her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end lusciously.  Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs. Her obsessions include running, coffee, icing-filled doughnuts, anti-heroes, and mighty fine epilogues.

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