Monday, August 14, 2017

Release Blitz: Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

   

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go. *** Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

 

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | iBooks | B&N

         

Prologue

Logan

Some men think with their cocks. You know the type. Quick smooth-talkers, shifty eyes always scanning for a nice pair of legs, a set of full tits, or a tight arse they can pant after. Other blokes think too much with their brains. You know that type too. Annoyingly careful, slow-moving, constantly parsing their words like they already know whatever they’re saying is going to come back and take a bite out of them. I’m not either of those. I always go with my gut. When it clenches with a warning, I act—no hesitation. When it tugs and nudges, I pause and reevaluate. When it twists and writhes, I know, guaranteed, I’ve cocked up big-time. My gut is my best friend, my conscience, my most lethal asset. And it has never let me down. It’s my gut that drags me to her door. That roots me in place as I knock. That gives me the words—pleading, unfamiliar remorseful words—I’ll gladly say to make this right. To get her back. Because while my gut is brilliant, sometimes I can be a real fucking idiot. Yesterday was one of those times. “Ellie. It’s me—open up, we need to talk.” I sense movement on the other side of the solid oak door—not in sounds or shifting shadows beneath it, but more of an awareness. I can feel her in there. Nearby and listening. “Go away, Logan.” Her voice is tight, higher-pitched than usual. Upset. “Ellie, please. I was a twat, I know . . .” I’m not keen on begging from the hallway, but if that’s what it takes . . .  “I’m sorry. Let me in.” Ellie is difficult to anger, quick to forgive; she just doesn’t have it in her to hold a grudge. So her next words fall like an axe—cutting my legs right off from under me. “No, you were right. The princess’s sister and the East Amboy bodyguard don’t make sense—we’ll never last.” Did I actually say that to her? What the fuck is wrong with me? What I feel for her is the one thing in my life that makes sense. That matters. But I never told her that. Instead . . . instead, I said all the wrong things. I brace my palm against the smooth wood, leaning forward, wanting to be as near to her as possible. “Elle . . .” “I’ve changed my mind, Logan.” If a corpse could speak, it would sound exactly like my Ellie does now. Flat, lifeless. “I want the fairy tale. I want what Olivia has . . . castles and carriages . . . and you’ll never be able to give me that. I would just be settling for you. You’ll never be able to make me happy.” She doesn’t mean that. They’re my words—the insecurities I put on her—that she’s hurling back in my face. But God, it fucking hurts to hear. Physically hurts—stabbing deep into the pit of my stomach, crushing my chest, grinding my bones. I meant it when I said I would die for her . . . and right now, it feels like I am. I grab the doorknob to walk inside, to see her face. To see that she doesn’t mean it. “Ellie—” “Don’t come in!” she screeches like I’ve never heard her before. “I don’t want to see you! Go away, Logan. We’re done—just go!” I breathe hard—that’s what you do when pain wrecks you, breathe through it. Then I swallow bile, straighten up, turn around and walk down the hall. Away from her. Just like she wants, like she asked. Like she screamed. My brain tells me to move faster—get the hell out of there, cut my losses and lick my wounds. And my heart—Christ—that poor bastard’s too battered and bloody to say anything at all. But then, just over halfway down the hall, my steps slow until I stop completely. Because my gut . . . it strains through the hurt. Rebels. It shouts that this isn’t right. This isn’t her. Something’s off. And even more than that . . . something is very, very wrong. I glance up and down the quiet hall—not a guard or a maid in sight. I look back at the door. Closed and silent and still. Then I turn and march straight back to it. I don’t knock, or wait, or ask for permission. In one move, I turn the knob and step inside. What I see there stops me cold. Because whatever I was expecting, it sure as fuck wasn’t this. Not at all . . .         Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine. WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER | TWITTER | GOODREADS | READER FAN GROUP

Friday, August 11, 2017

Blog Tour: The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

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The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas Publication Date: August 8th, 2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

The Forbidden, an all-new story from Jodi Ellen Malpas is available now!!

TheForbidden
Annie has never experienced the 'spark' with a guy-that instant chemistry that renders you weak in the knees. That is, until a night out brings her face to face with the dangerously sexy and mysterious Jack. It's not just a spark that ignites between them. It's an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.
Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who's had such a powerful impact on her must be dangerous. She has no idea that he belongs to another. That he's forbidden.

💛 A Note From The Author 💛

  “The Forbidden” is exactly that. Not allowed. Prohibited. Banned. At least, that’s what society says. But what about your heart? It took a massive leap of faith for me to put these words on paper. I’ve always said that I write what my heart tells me to write, not what people want me to write. Never has my own motto been so significant in my writing career. I questioned my sense when I came up with the idea of The Forbidden. Then I reminded myself of my motto, of my heart’s desire, and my heart really wanted to tell this story, despite knowing that it might not be what people expect from me. I couldn’t let my fear of the taboo subject matter dictate my writing. So I dove right in—no holding back, no inhibitions, no softly-softly approach. The Forbidden is controversial. I’ve no doubt it’ll cause debate, and I’m cool with that. As a writer, you accept that what you send out into the world is going to be picked apart, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. This story is about the conflict. The feelings. The questions. It’s about the heart ruling the head. I ask you to go into it with an open mind, and please remember that it is a story. One of passion, of love, and of heartache. It’s about falling in love with the wrong person at the wrong time. Because it happens. Every single day. But above all of that, it’s about being true to yourself and your heart. It’s about finding your soulmate and fighting for them. It’s about standing by what you believe in. And we all believe in true love.
JEM x
JEM-TF-AN

Read Today!

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/1qjL9E

Photo of sensual kissing couple About Jodi:

Jodi Ellen Malpas wrote her debut series, The This Man Trilogy, in secret, worried about what people might think if they knew what her imagination was capable of. She was shocked herself. But she finally found the courage to unleash her creative streak and self-published THIS MAN – the first book of the This Man Trilogy – in October 2012. She took a chance on the story with a hero who soon became one of modern day fictions most prolific alpha male characters. Jesse Ward – also affectionately known as The Lord of The Manor, sparked incredible reactions from women across the globe and catapulted Jodi into the world of women’s fiction. Jodi went on to self-publish the second book in the trilogy, Beneath This Man in Jan 2013, just before Grand Central Publishing, part of the Hachette Book Group, picked up the popular trilogy and the unknown Jodi. The third book of the trilogy, This Man Confessed, took Jodi to the top of the bestsellers lists, earning her the proud title of #1 New York Times Bestselling Author. This Man has since been voted one of the top romance novels of all time. With so much love, enthusiasm and a thirst for her words from her readers, Jodi suddenly wasn’t afraid of her imagination anymore. She went on to write The One Night Trilogy with the delectable and mysterious Miller Hart, and stole the hearts of her readers once again. Her first stand-alone novel, THE PROTECTOR,  released in September 2016 and has since been nominated for a Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award. Jodi’s next stand-alone novel. THE FORBIDDEN, is set for release in August 2017. All seven of her published novels have hit the New York Times best sellers list – as well as the Sunday Times list and various international best seller lists. Her work is now published in over 24 languages across the world. Jodi was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys and a beagle. She is a self-professed daydreamer, a mojito addict, is famous for her obsession with Converse, and has a terrible weak spot for Alpha Males. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters has become her passion – a passion she now shares with her devoted readers JEM LOGO - Copy

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Release Blitz: Wicked Wish by Sawyer Bennett

  Jorinda Pearce thought she did everything right – graduated from college, married her long-time sweetheart, established a career. But what does she have to show for it now? A degree she doesn’t use, a job she hates, and an ex-husband that broke her heart. Looking for a long overdue adventure, Jorie takes a walk on the wild side and attends a masquerade event at The Wicked Horse Vegas. It’s exactly the escape she’s looking for, and even better, she can explore anonymously. Drawn to the man masked in black leather with the body of a god, Jorie finds the greatest pleasures of her life at the hands of a stranger. Walsh Brooks is the most sought after man in The Wicked Horse. Sex is nothing but a game to him and he’s the type that will always leave at the end of the night without looking back. Unfortunately for Walsh, there’s no way he can walk away from the mysterious green-eyed beauty behind the mask of sapphire feathers, because he knows exactly who she is. Jorie is his best friend’s little sister and there’s not another woman in the world that’s more off limits.    

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  “Want another drink?” I ask Micah as he lounges on my couch and takes the final swallow of his scotch. He flew in about an hour ago, and we’re waiting for Jorie to arrive to go out to dinner tonight. My nerves are on edge. I definitely want another drink. “Nah, man,” Micah says as he pushes up from the couch and moves to take his glass back into the kitchen that opens straight from the living room. “Tonight’s not about getting drunk. It’s about hanging out with my two favorite people in the world.” I smile at him and nod, my stomach clenched. “But just so you know,” he says with a laugh. “Jorie’s my first favorite, you’re my second.” “As it should be,” I reply, and hope that sounds casual enough. Micah rinses his glass out and sets it on the counter. As he walks back into the living room, he says, “And besides… I figure tomorrow night, you and I are going to hit the town, right?” “You know it,” I say as I push up from the chair, head straight to the wet bar, and replenish my vodka. There is not enough alcohol in the world to get me through this weekend. I take a healthy slug as soon as I cap the bottle. “Dying to go to The Wicked Horse,” Micah says with excitement in his voice. “Want to meet Jerico, too. He and I have been emailing about testing out some more of my designs in his club. Plus, you and me, dude… we haven’t had a woman together in a long time. Your stories about the stocks… we’ve got to hit that, man.” My shoulders tighten and my gut rolls with nausea. How in the fuck I am going to weasel out of this is beyond me, but I’ve got to figure something out. I don’t want another fucking woman other than Jorie. “Walsh?” Micah says in question, and I turn to look at him. “We good with going there tomorrow night?” “Damn straight we are,” I say with a smile. “A night of debauchery for the both of us.” Fuck, fuck, fuck. Just then, the elevator doors give a slight hiss as they open, and Jorie is standing there. She looks fucking amazing, wearing a dress done in large black-and-white zebra stripes that’s loosely belted around her waist and comes down to her knees. She’s got on a pair of sexy-as-shit taupe heels to go with it and my mouth waters as I take in what they do to her legs. Hair in that sleek, angled bob that hangs halfway in between her jaw and shoulders, and that thick crop of bangs straight across her eyebrows make her green eyes brighter than ever. I swallow hard and try to appear casual. Her eyes go immediately to Micah, and she gives a squeal of excitement. He rushes to her, picks her up, and swings her around. The skirt of her dresses rises a bit in the back, and I look away guiltily. “God, I missed you, squirt,” Micah says with a choked voice. My guilt intensifies over the naked display of love and affection he has for his sister. Jorie’s voice quavers with equal love. “I missed you, too.” She hugs him hard and looks over his shoulder at me. Her eyes are wary and nervous. When Micah releases her, I step up and casually say, “Got a hug for me?” It’s a shameless move to touch her, but not something that would raise Micah’s eyebrows. I’ve hugged Jorie a million times over our lives together growing up. “It’s good to see you again,” she says to me as she walks into a very brotherly hug. I make the mistake of inhaling her scent, and I’m hit with a jolt of lust for her. After we quickly release each other, she steps back and surveys my apartment as if it’s her first time. She told Micah we met for breakfast one day, but he sure as shit doesn’t know I’ve fucked her on almost every piece of furniture in this apartment. He’ll never know she went to her knees right where we’re standing in front of the elevator and swallowed every drop of cum I gave her. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I have an overwhelming urge to fake a stomachache, a migraine, a goddamn stroke for all I care at this moment, and beg off from this entire weekend. Instead, I put a smile on my face and tell them, “Come on. We’ve got prime seats in Moulineaux tonight. I’ve not eaten there yet, but heard it’s amazing.” Jorie smiles back at me before turning to hook her arm through Micah’s. She leans over and puts her head on his arm as she’s too short to reach his shoulder. They both stroll into the elevator. This night can’t get over with fast enough for me.                 Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions. A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone. Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two. WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | BOOKBUB | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | INSTAGRAM 

Blog Tour: The Contract Series by Melanie Moreland


Today we are part of the feature blog tour for THE CONTRACT series by Melanie Moreland! You can grab The Contract now, and the recent novella in the series, The Baby Clause 2.0. Buy links, and teasers, for each title are below.

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The Contract by Melanie Moreland

Available Now!

Blurb

A tyrant by day, a playboy by night. That is the reputation that precedes Richard VanRyan. He lives life the way he wants, no concern for the opinion of others. He cares for no one, is completely unrepentant, and he has no desire to change his ways.
Katharine Elliott works under Richard as his PA. She despises him and his questionable ethics, but endures all the garbage he sends her way, because she needs the job. Her end goal is far more important than the daily abuse and demands she tolerates from her nasty tyrant of a boss.
Until the day, he asks her for something she never expected. A new role with a personal contract — fiancée instead of PA.
What happens when two people who loathe each other, have to live together and act as though they are madly in love?
Sparks.
That’s what happens.
Can the power of love really change a person?
Will they survive the contract?
What do you do when the one person you hate the most becomes the one person you can’t live without?

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Purchase Now

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EXCERPT

“You don’t expect me to sleep in your room,” she stated, sounding relieved.
I smirked at her uncertainty. “Miss Elliott, this is a business arrangement. Outside these walls, we will appear as a couple. We’ll hold hands, stay close, do whatever other couples do who are in love.” I waved my hand in the air. “In here, we are real. You have your space; I have mine. I won’t bother you. I expect nothing from you.” I couldn’t help the dry chuckle that escaped. “You didn’t really think I’d want to sleep with you, did you?”
Her head snapped up, and she glared at me. “No more than I’d want to sleep with you, Mr. VanRyan.” Turning on her heel, she marched down the hall, her footsteps small thumps on the hardwood floor.
I followed her, still smirking. When we reached the living room, she whirled around, her eyes flashing.
“You asked me to do this, Mr. VanRyan. Not the other way around.”
“You agreed.”
She crossed her arms, anger pouring off her body. “I’m doing this, because at the moment, I have no other choice. Your decisions have directly affected my life, and I’m trying to keep up. I hate lying, and I’m not a good actress.”
“What are you saying?”
“If you’re not even going to attempt to be polite, or at least be a decent human being, this isn’t going to work. I can’t turn off my emotions that quickly.”
I pulled on my stubborn cowlick in vexation. “What do you want from me, Miss Elliott?”
“Could we not at least try to get along? Surely we can find something we have in common and engage in a conversation without your veiled insults and holier-than-thou attitude.”
A grin tugged at my lips. I was catching another glimpse of the backbone in Miss Elliott.
I tilted my head. “I apologize. I’ll try to do better. Is there anything else you want since we’re putting everything on the table?”
She hesitated, her fingers worrying the ugly shirt she wore.
“Spit it out.”
“You can’t, um, you can’t mess around while we’re doing . . . while we’re together.”
“Mess around?”
She looked everywhere but at me. “You can’t sleep with other women. I won’t be humiliated like that.”
“So what you’re saying is: I can’t fuck anyone?”
Her cheeks were so red I thought her head would explode; however, she straightened her shoulders and looked right at me. “Yes.”
This was too fun for me.
“Yes, I can fuck around?”
“No!”
“No fucking,” I enunciated the last word.
“No.”
“You expect me to remain celibate the whole time?” I asked, now incredulous.
“I will be, so I expect you to do the same.”
I snorted. “I doubt it’s anything new for you.”
She threw up her hands. “That’s it. You want to fuck someone? Go fuck yourself, VanRyan.”

PURCHASE THE NOVELLA

Purchase Now

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Melanie Moreland - Bio: New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them. While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip. Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.
AUTHOR LINKS:

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Chapter Reveal: In the Crease by Toni Aleo





















Coming August 22nd
































Jensen Monroe is a unicorn. As handsome as any model, as polite as can be, a goalie of unmatched skill, and the best friend anyone could ask for. But he longs for a particular special someone to make his life complete. He’s been in love with Wren since he was a teenager, but as his best friend’s sister, she’s always been off-limits.

Wren Lemiere has prided herself on being a love ’em and leave ’em girl her whole life. She’s all about equal opportunity in the battle of the sexes. Why should guys like her brother and his best friends get to be the only ones allowed to play the dating game? One wrong move, however, and she finds herself in violation of her own rules.

In need of a fake husband and baby daddy for her unexpected bundle of joy, Wren finally accepts Jensen is the logical one to ask for help. Except he has a counteroffer…one with so many strings attached, they may just find themselves wrapped up in ties that bind. Forever.















Prologue

Five months earlier…

Wren Lemiere felt awful.
The kind of awful where you felt like you were dying.
Not that she had ever been the victim of an almost-death, but she was pretty sure it felt like what she was feeling.
Why she came back home to Colorado when she was this godforsakenly sick was beyond her, but then she hadn’t felt like death when she got on the plane. It was once she got off and for the following three days that the death hit her. She didn’t know what was going on, but she just wanted some drugs to make the excruciating nausea go away. That was all. Just some drugs.
Holding her face in her hands, she inhaled a deep breath before letting it out in a whoosh, begging the turning of her gut to stop. She wasn’t sure what she ate or what bacteria she picked up, but when she found out whatever did this to her, they would suffer. Slowly and painfully. It was probably Vaughn, her brother’s best friend. He was a walking cesspool. Ugh. She had never been so sick in her life, she swore it, but then again, that time she had the flu, she was sure she’d thought the same.
Either way, she was dying.
Plain and simple.
“Ugh,” she moaned as she swallowed back the bile that was threatening to come up her throat. When the door opened and the doctor stepped in, she cried out in relief. “Please, give me something. Anything. Knock me out if you have to.”
Ryan Churner laughed. They had gone to school together, dated briefly, but they’d been just kids. Now, he was married and happy—with lots of kids of his own. Wren, though, was living the single, carefree life. Much to her mother’s dismay. Her mother wanted grandbabies, and since her brother, Wells, was gay, it was easy to say it was Wren’s job to give her mother babies. Which was not going to happen. Wren would suck as a mom. Plus, she couldn’t find a decent guy to love her large ass. So that left her brother, and Wells could adopt. Yeah, he should do that. Take some of the pressure off her. She needed to call him about that.
“I’m afraid there are no drugs for what you have.”
Wren threw up her hands. “It’s a virus?”
He laughed. She didn’t like the sound of that laugh. Or the way he said, “Um, no.”
Her face wrinkled in confusion. “Then, what?”
He grimaced a bit before looking up at her. His dark blue eyes held her gaze as a grin pulled at his lips. “When was your last period?”
She shrugged. “Like six months ago. I have polycystic ovary syndrome, though.” She added while pointing at him, “Not sure that’s in my chart.”
He nodded. “It is, but I hadn’t realized it had been that long.”
“Yeah.” She had maybe two periods a year, possibly three. It was a problem, but her problem. One she was blessed with when she was younger. Her PCOS kept her a little on the thicker side and also wreaked havoc on her hormones, but she managed. She wasn’t going to let it bring her down or dwell on it. She already did that enough.
“Okay, well, are you in a relationship right now?”
She shook her head. “No.”
“Are you sexually active?”
“Always,” she said with an exaggerated wink. Then she paused. “Wait, I’m not hitting on you.”
“I know.” He laughed and she grinned, though, it was brief before she felt a wave of queasiness. “But your pregnancy test came up positive.”
Wren could only blink as her body went cold. She started laughing because surely, she’d heard him wrong. “You weren’t this funny when we were younger.”
“I’m not joking.”
“I’m sorry?”
“Your pregnancy test came up positive, but sometimes with PCOS, you can get a positive result. So I want to do an ultrasound.”
“For what?”
“To see if you’re pregnant.”
“Pregnant? Me?”
“Yes.”
“But…really?”
“Yes,” he said with a smile before he stood, walking to the door. “Well, usually when you have sex, a baby can be made as a byproduct of all that passion.”
“But…” She trailed off, her heart jumping into her throat. Surely that wasn’t the case. She couldn’t be pregnant. They’d used protection. “I have sex with condoms, and I’m on birth control.”
“Are you consistent with your birth control?
She shrugged. “Sure.”
He raised an eyebrow. “That’s not believable, Wren.”
Her face wrinkled more as he called out to the nurse. Sitting there, she tried to remember when this could have happened. She was home last month and had seen him…a lot and all of him, but they’d used condoms. Hadn’t they? Shit.
Soon a cart was brought in, and she was asked to take off her pants. It was all a blur, lying there with a drape over her bottom half and Ryan shoving some damn probe up inside her. Staring at the ceiling, she didn’t know what to think. She hadn’t even thought this was a possibility. With her PCOS, it was supposed to be hard for her to get pregnant. Not to mention, she didn’t want to be a mom. She would suck as a mom. And he would suck as a dad. They were selfish.
“Yup, there it is.”
Turning her head, she looked at the screen to see a little peanut. Seriously, a peanut, or at least, that’s what she assumed it was. But in the middle of the peanut was a little flicker. It was so small, almost undetectable, but she was sure she could see it. Was that the heartbeat?
“That’s it? I’m pregnant?”
“You’re pregnant.”
Blinking hard, she gasped. “Oh, fuck.”

~*~

“I’m pregnant.”
The words felt funky.
“I am pregnant,” she said to her reflection in the rental car’s visor mirror. “We’re having a baby.” She tried saying it while waving her hands. But that felt weird too.
Holy shit, she was pregnant.
She was almost thirty. She had a good job, and she was in a good place. It was not even the least bit expected, nor was it good timing since she wasn’t thirty yet, nor was she married. But it was fine. They would get a quickie marriage, and bam, they’d be good. No one would have to know she was pregnant before they decided to elope. It would be fine. Everything would be fine; her inheritance wasn’t in jeopardy.
But, shit, she didn’t want to move back to Colorado. She would have to because he wouldn’t be able to leave his job. He owned the damn firm, while she was contracted by the Nashville Assassins, the professional hockey team back in Nashville, Tennessee. Her gig was awesome, so damn awesome, and she loved it, but it wouldn’t work. She’d have to be the one to move. Damn it. She’d finish out the season for sure, but that meant she couldn’t sign the five-year extension that was sitting on her desk back home. With the lovely bonus that was going to pay off her car early. Damn it.
She wasn’t sure how he was going to take it, but they were good. They had known each other their whole lives. Been fucking for years, so it was time. She loved him. Ish. Kinda. Well, obviously a little since she continued to sleep with him, but he was a cool dude. And even if marriage was the last thing she wanted, she knew she had to do it.
She needed the money from her inheritance that her dad was holding, which had been passed down from her grandfather. When she turned thirty in October, it would be hers. The only catch was she couldn’t have a baby out of wedlock before she was thirty. It was stupid, and it was barbaric in her opinion. But it was what her grandfather had written up, and her father was standing behind it. It was annoying, to say the least, but if she wanted to pay off all her debt and live pretty damn comfortably for the rest of her life, along with providing a comfortable life for Wells, she had to do what she had to do.
She just hoped he didn’t let her down.
Getting out of the car, she swallowed hard as she walked toward the doors that read Washington, Fieldsman, and Barnes. When she opened the door, she was greeted by the receptionist, and Wren shot her a quick, curt smile. She was nervous. Why was she nervous? Crap, was she going to puke?
Yup.
Dipping into the bathroom before his office, she threw up the rest of her guts and sat there shaking her head. “You’re lucky I love you, kid.”
Wow, that was quick.
Wren had never seen herself as a mother. She’d thought she was going to grow old with lots of money and dogs. She hadn’t seen love or babies in her future. She’d seen lots of fucking, but that was about it. She didn’t have the best luck in love and really hadn’t imagined this coming, but now, she saw herself holding a baby.
Problem was, she still didn’t see him in her picture.
But that would change…right?
Surely.
Crap.
Washing her mouth out and then popping some gum, she walked out of the bathroom and right into another person. “Ah!”
“Crap! I’m sorry, Wren.”
Wren clammed up. Shit. “Hey, Shanna. What you doing here?”
“I had to see Bradley. What are you doing?” her best friend for her whole life asked.
Dammit, Wren hated lying to her.
“I have a meeting with him. He has to go over my contract for the Assassins.”
Shanna lit up. “Cool! Are you still coming for dinner tonight?”
Wren was shaking. Why was she shaking? Shit. “Shan, I texted you. I had to move my flight up, remember?”
“Oh, yes. My bad. Next time.”
“Of course,” she said before Shanna embraced her. Squeezing her eyes shut, Wren knew she would have to tell her. But Bradley had wanted to keep them under wraps. Plus, Wren knew how overprotective Shanna was of her baby brother. Wren had known better, but the dude was hung like a horse and hot to boot. She just hoped she wouldn’t lose a friendship over this. But Shanna would be excited. They’d be sisters like they’d always wanted, and there’d be a new baby. Shanna would love that.
Right?
Right.
Don’t freak out. This is fine.
Saying goodbye, Wren waved as she walked toward his office before knocking on the door. “Come in.” As she opened the door to the huge, posh office, he stood behind his desk, looking every bit as gorgeous as the day was long. His suit was pressed and clung to him. His blond-brown hair was brushed to the side, while a bit of stubble dusted his jaw. She only saw it because the sun was kissing it, shining on it ever so sweetly. He was a good-looking man, beautiful even, but still, she couldn’t see herself married to him. Shit.
Wren smiled though, and when Bradley looked up, heat filled his gaze. “Hey, you.”
“Hey,” she said, shutting the door as he came around the desk to her. Gathering her in his arms, he kissed her hard on the lips, dipping her back slightly as she clung to him. This had to work. He was a great guy.
Pulling back, he kissed her nose. “You look hot.”
She laughed, waving him off. “I look and feel like death.”
“Still?” he asked, concern filling his handsome face. He was a year younger than her, and growing up, they’d called him the baby. Though, he didn’t look like a baby. When he had first kissed her, eons ago, she hadn’t expected it. And even though they had both been with other people over the years, they somehow always gravitated back to each other.
Always.
But that was about to change.
“Yeah. I went to the doctor today.”
Moving his thumb along the inside of her palm, he smiled. “Is it contagious?”
She shook her head, her face filling with heat. “No.”
“Oh, good,” he said, gathering her in his arms and pressing his lips to hers. “So we can take this discussion to the couch.”
She stopped him as he tried to pull her to where she knew they would likely have all kinds of hot sex, but she needed to get this out. “Not yet.”
His brows pulled together. “What’s wrong? Don’t feel up to it?”
She swallowed hard. “It’s not that. It’s…um…” Inhaling deeply, she met his gaze. The gaze she had known her whole life. Though right now, she felt like she was going to puke, her nerves were so bad. “I’m pregnant.”
She watched as his eyes widened, his jaw dropping before he dropped her hands. “Pregnant?”
“Yeah.”
He only blinked. “Is it mine?”
She nodded. “You’re the only guy I’ve been with for the last six months.”
He blinked once more, his eyes burning into hers. “Are you sure?”
She gave him a deadpan look. “I think I’d remember if I happen to fall, pussy first, on a cock other than yours.”
He didn’t laugh like she wanted, nor did he look her in the eye. Instead, he chewed his lip, looking anywhere but at her. “So, no other chance it isn’t mine?”
Her brows drew in. “It’s yours, Bradley.”
Turning his back to her, he walked away, going to the windows as he looked out of them, his hands folded across his chest. “I didn’t expect this. We used condoms.”
“I know.”
“And you’re on birth control, I thought.”
“I am, though I don’t take it as often as I should.”
He looked over at her. “So you trapped me?”
She glared. “You’d better be joking.”
He didn’t answer; he just looked away as her heart started to speed up.
This didn’t feel right.
As he started to pace, she watched him, her blood beginning to boil. She didn’t like his comment, nor did she like the way he wouldn’t look at her. Clearing her throat, she watched him as she said, “Okay, well, I know this is a lot at once, and it’s a lot for me too. But we have something that could pose an issue—my inheritance.”
His face wrinkled up as he snapped, “How does that have anything to do with me?”
She glared at the side of his face. “It has to do with you because your baby is inside of me, and I’m not thirty yet. So if I have this baby before I turn thirty and I’m not married, I’m fucked.”
“Then don’t have the baby.”
Her jaw dropped. Actually dropped, almost catching flies. “Excuse me?”
Still looking out the window, he shrugged. “Go get an abortion.”
“What?”
“Listen, I don’t want this. I don’t want a kid, and fuck, this is going to mess everything up.”
Her heart was in her throat. “Mess up what?
Turning to her, he yelled, “I’m marrying fucking Fieldsman’s daughter.”
It was as if he’d hit her. Reaching out, she braced her hand on the window. He had been seeing the girl, but he swore it wasn’t serious. They were just cool; it was business as he said. But marriage? “What? You said you didn’t want to get married.”
“I know, but I have no choice.”
“You do. You can marry me and help out the mother of your child.”
“No, I can’t. I was going to tell you tonight, that we had to break this off. For good.”
Drawing in a breath through her nose, she shook her head. “Wow.”
“Yeah. So listen,” he said, walking around her and to his desk, but she didn’t move as the tears gathered in her eyes. “Go get an abortion. It’s for the best. Here, this should cover it.”
When she opened her eyes, he was filling out a check before holding it out to her. Shaking her head hard, she muttered, “I don’t want your money.”
“Take it, Wren. Please. I can’t have this fuck up what I’ve got going for me. I’ll have more stock in this firm once I marry her.”
Her lip started to tremble. “But I’m having your baby.”
“I don’t want it,” he said simply. “I don’t want any of it. She will get pissed. She’s already so jealous and thinks I’m fucking around.”
“You are!”
“I know, but not anymore. So, please, get rid of it.”
“I can’t.”
“Wren, come on!”
“You can’t do this. We’ve known each other our whole life.”
“I understand that. So please do it.”
“No.”
“Don’t be stupid, because I’ll deny it. You fuck around. Everyone knows it, and I’ll deny the kid is mine. You’ll have to take me to court to prove it. But by the time that happens, you’ll already have it before your thirtieth birthday, so you’ll be fucked anyway. Just do the right thing. Get rid of it, Wren.”
She wouldn’t let her tears fall. Not for this fucking douche. “I thought I knew you, you selfish asshole.”
The words didn’t even faze him. He glared at her. “I thought I knew you. How could you let this happen? We were never serious. We were just fucking.”
Looking down at the ground, she bit into her lip to keep the tears from falling. Yeah, he was right, but she thought she’d meant more to him than just a fuck. “Just fucking, huh?”
“Yeah, it isn’t like we love each other. I mean, come on. You’re not even my type.”
“Your type?”
“Wren, come on,” he said simply, holding his hands out. “You’re not trophy wife material.”
She was going to deck him. “I can’t believe this.”
“Just take the check.”
He held it out once more, and her eyes landed on it through her tears. She should take it. It really was the only option, yet she knew she couldn’t.
Meeting his gaze, she swallowed hard as she shook her head slowly from side to side. “No.”
“Wren, don’t be an idiot.”
“No.”
“You’re being fucking stupid—”
Standing erect, she stepped over to him, her eyes burning into his and completely cutting off his words. She was sure her eyes were full of heat, full of rage because his words shook her. To the core. She wasn’t sure who this man was, but he sure as hell wouldn’t be the father of her child. Over her dead fucking body. “Fuck you, Bradley. I don’t need your money or even you. So. Fuck. You.”
And with that, she walked away.
With no clue what she was going to do now.
Except for the certainty that she wasn’t killing her baby.














My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?


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