Release Blitz

Title: Ash: Westside Skulls Motorcycle Club
Series: Westside Skulls MC Romance Book 4
Author: Jessie Cooke
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: August 20, 2018
Ash, an enforcer for the Westside Skulls, returns home to New York for his father’s funeral. He hadn’t seen him in five years thanks to a combination of events that sent him out to California and a whole new life. Ash…or Asher Bennett IV, as he was known in New York, hailed from an uber-rich family and for a few years after graduating for college, worked on Wall Street…before ending up in California, in a leather kutte on the back of a Harley. Ash just wanted his father’s funeral to be over so he could escape his gold-digging stepmother, his snobby teenaged sister and the plastic, fake people of his childhood once more. 
The past hurts, and it only gets more painful at the graveside when he comes face to face with his past…Mackenzie, or Mack as he always called her. 
Mack was the girl he’d loved since he was thirteen years old, and the woman who had stood him up at the altar five years ago.
Ash’s father’s death leaves him juggling his life as a Skull, his past with Mack, and the possibility of a future with his teenaged sister who wants nothing more than to escape…the same way he did, and a stepmother who will do anything she can to make his life hell. 
Of course, when it rains, it pours and in the course of dealing with club business…tragedy strikes, and Ash has to either learn to reign in his notorious temper…or risk losing everything.
Climb on the Harley with Ash and Mack and take a wild ride that will leave you wondering what’s around the next bend in the road…and gasping for breath when you get there.
 
* * *
 
Book 4 in the Westside Skulls MC Series. 
This is a Standalone Romance Novel but characters from the previous stories in this series appear in this and future books in the series. 
HEA and No cliffhanger. 
Intended for Mature Readers.
 
* * *
 
The Westside Skulls MC Series is about members of the MC club, their friends and associates. 
Each story, while focused around one main character, is not necessarily about a Westside Skulls club member, but the story is related to Skulls members and the club.

The early morning light streamed in through the beautiful stained glass of the cathedral windows and the sun’s rays bounced off the white and gold coffin, making it look almost ethereal. Ash sat stoically, hating the tie that was choking him, the suit he hadn’t worn in over five years, the shoes that were pinching his toes…but most of all, hating the fact that his father was inside of the coffin. It was a beautiful coffin, made to impress…not the dead guy of course, but everyone else. That was what his stepmother Allison did best…impress. She’d impressed his father when she was just a twenty-five-year-old barista and he was a forty-year-old multi-millionaire, recently widowed and left alone to raise a twelve-year-old boy. Asher Michael Bennett III had been a hard man to impress, so Ash supposed he should give her credit for that at least.
He wondered what his father was wearing inside that fancy coffin. He’d be willing to bet the old man was the best-dressed man in the room. Allison would know that everyone who was anyone in Manhattan would be at the funeral, and it would never do for the guest of honor to be wearing anything less than Armani’s finest.
Ash could hear the whispering and shuffling as the cathedral filled up behind him. He didn’t need to turn around to know that the guest list would read like the who’s who of Manhattan Island, and he didn’t care to see any of those faces. It was why he lived in California, in the Central Valley…in a motorcycle club. He’d had his fill of these people for the first twenty-three years of his life, and the only person he still had any respect for after all those years was the man who was lying in the casket up at the altar. That respect was the only thing that brought him back…that, and Sledge. He smiled when he thought about his oversized friend. Sledge had ridden hard with him for three days so they could get there on time. He’d set his alarm and woke Ash up that morning. He’d ordered Ash a beer from room service with his breakfast because even though Ash wasn’t much of a drinker…he was going to need at least one to get through the day. And then, he’d gone back to his own room to spend the day sleeping, watching television, and smoking. Sledge wasn’t about to show up in a church full of what he still referred to as his “mortal enemies.” They were a clique of rich kids that they had both gone to private school with their entire lives. They were the bitches and bastards that had terrorized Sledge almost to the point of causing his suicide. Sledge told people that Ash saved his life in high school, but in Asher Michael Bennett IV’s mind, it was the other way around.
Ash’s blue eyes left the coffin and moved to the flowers…thousands of them that would all be carried out to the gravesite and left to die alongside the man being buried today. Tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of flowers. He wondered if anyone there found it the ridiculous and practically obscene waste of money that it was. His father wasn’t impressed with things like that…but this party wasn’t really about him. This party was about Allison…and of course, Charlie. Charlie might be the only person there that Ash was interested in seeing. He wasn’t sure. He hadn’t seen her in five years and then she’d been a cute little ten-year-old with pigtails. She was fifteen now and sadly, according to the emails and phone calls from his father, Charlotte Joanne Bennett was rapidly becoming as superficial as her mother Allison. Ash supposed he was partly to blame for that. The day he’d left New York, his little sister had begged him to take her with him. She’d cried and held onto him until his father had to peel her off. Ash tried to maintain a relationship with her after that, but she refused to talk to him on the phone and she hadn’t answered a single one of his text messages or emails.
Ash reached up and tugged at the Windsor knot that felt like it was choking the life out of him. But in truth, it wasn’t the knot or the tie…it was this place and the people, and the thought of the best man he ever knew being closed inside of a box and put into the ground. He hated that, and he just wanted it to be over. He wished that he’d stayed behind at the hotel with Sledge. His big friend had always been the smarter of the two of them.
Somehow, he made it through the church service. It was long and drawn out, and there were way too many speeches. These people loved to hear themselves talk and they loved showing off their new designer funeral clothes even more. He managed to sneak out of the church and into the family limousine without having to come face to face with anyone. He knew his time was coming, though. He’d have to stand in a line at the graveyard to receive condolences and then he’d have to suffer through the reception afterward at the mansion, but then it would be over, and he could go back to California and his real life and his real family.
The door to the limousine was pulled open and a teenage girl with long, straight blonde hair and crystal blue eyes slid in. She was dressed to kill in a navy-blue Burberry suit and she was on her phone. She didn’t even look across the seat at her brother and Ash had no idea if she even knew he was in the car. Seconds after Charlie, Allison entered, riding high on a wave of Gucci perfume…and on her phone as well. Allison, unlike Charlie, did make eye contact with Ash, and her dark green eyes, which used to be brown before the contacts, said everything he needed to know about how happy she was that he showed up.
The door was closed, the limo started up, and Ash sat in silence on his side of the huge car, practically melting into the soft leather. Finally tiring of the sight of the two women chatting on their phones like they were on their way to a party, he closed his eyes and leaned his head back into the seat. He tried to draw up images of things that made him happy. His Harley, his brothers, the club, and the gym where Wolf had begun letting him take boxing lessons from one of Jacob Wright’s teammates, a guy named Jagger who played a guitar and sang like his namesake Mick Jagger and fought like a champ in the cage. The guy was fun as hell to be around and since things had been quiet around the club for a few months, Ash was enjoying the larger-than-life stories Jagger had to tell.
He felt the limousine slowing down and he opened his eyes. His sister’s large blue ones were locked into his as soon as he did. He managed to find a smile and he said, “Hey, Charlie.”
With no expression at all on her beautiful face she said, “It’s Charlotte.”
“Sorry. Hi, Charlotte.” She stared at him, like she was studying his face and then turned to her mother, who was still on her phone and said:
“Is this dolt going to open the door and let us out of here or what?”
Ash felt a pang in his chest. He blamed himself for Charlie, at least a little bit. He reached across the table in front of him and using the handle that was within her reach, he opened the door and pushed it open. His little sister looked at him like he was a circus freak with two heads and then looked at her mother, who sighed and rolled her eyes. The driver appeared in the doorway then, but not soon enough to escape the wrath of the spoiled teenager.
“Jeez, thanks for showing up,” she said, to the man that was old enough to be her grandfather. Ash’s dad insisted on manners from the time that Ash was old enough to remember. When he was four years old he was taught to say please and thank you to the staff. He knew that Charlie had been taught the same. Somewhere along the way she’d decided that she was above all of that, and Ash was sad for her because of it.
The driver helped her out of the car and Allison finally ended the call that she was on by saying, “Gotta go, I’ll call you later. Of course we can do lunch tomorrow. Mwah!” As she slid toward the door she looked at Ash and said, “Your tie is crooked.” The Gucci perfume that had wafted in with her didn’t leave when she did, and Ash felt like he might gag on it before he hit the fresh, cold air and sucked in a lungful. The limousine was the first in line of many and the rest of the guests seemed to be holding back until the “family” made their way to the huge canopy and took their seats in the front row. Ash sat next to Charlie, but she looked straight ahead, not just ignoring him, but going out of her way to do so.
The graveside services were as long and boring as the church service had been. His father would have hated it. He would have thrown a joke or two into one of his speeches and he would have jazzed up the music. He would have made people feel like no matter how sad they were that their loved one was gone, there was hope left for the future. That was what his father did, he lifted people up. The one mistake that he’d made in his life was sitting two seats away, and although she was a bad one, Ash couldn’t hold it against him. He’d made a bad choice in women a time or two himself.
The priest finally stopped talking, the boring music quit playing, the boring people stopped giving their fake speeches, and it was at last time to stand in line and accept their fake regrets. It was the first real look that Ash had gotten of the guests. Up front and moving through the reception line like royalty were the “society people.” There wasn’t a wet eye in the bunch as they offered their stiff handshakes and stiffer condolences. A little further back were the executives that worked for his father in his textile company. The Bennett money went back for centuries and the company was almost as old as that. Those gentlemen, and one lady at least, seemed genuine in their grief and condolences. The next wave of people was extended family members, cousins and aunts and uncles that Ash hadn’t seen in years if at all. They weren’t much looser than the first wave of rich people had been…at least not with him. He did notice a few of them being overly friendly with Allison. That probably meant his father had left her in charge of the fortune and they were hoping to get what they likely thought of as their fair share.
The last wave was a mixture of loyal staff and old friends that didn’t fit in the society set. As Ash was accepting the condolences from the first one, a man who had served as his father’s mechanic for as long as Ash could remember, he suddenly realized that Charlie and Allison were no longer standing next to him. He glanced to his right and saw them being escorted back to the limousine by the driver. Words couldn’t describe the sheer disgust he felt for them both at that moment. He swallowed the bitter taste in his mouth and continued accepting condolences until the line was gone and so was the limousine. Chuckling to himself at the stupidity of it all, he walked over to where his father’s white casket now sat, waiting to be lowered into the ground. He put his hand on top of the blanket of flowers that covered it and finally let the tears that he’d been holding back all day, fill his eyes.
“I’m pissed at you, old man. You were too fucking young to die. Who has a fucking stroke and dies at fifty-six years old? You were Asher Michael Bennett the fucking Third, man! You were supposed to live forever. You were at least supposed to live until I found the right woman and had you a couple of grandkids…until I finally did something worth all that pride you always had in me.” He reached up and wiped a tear off his face. “I love you, old man. You won’t be forgotten, I promise you that. I know you’re in heaven so I’m not sure if we’ll be meeting up again someday…but if I don’t make it up there, I’ll be drinking a toast to you where I’m at.”
“And where might that be?” Ash froze at the sound of the voice. It was soft, sultry and the last voice he ever wanted to hear again in his life. Even Allison’s was preferable, and that was saying a lot. He ground his jaw and turned slowly around with his eyes still on the ground. As he moved them up past a pair of black-and-white heels, delicate white ankles with a blue rose tattooed on the outside of the right one, sculpted calves, sexy knees, and three inches of muscular thigh before the bottom of her black skirt interrupted them, he realized that even now she still set his blood on fire. Her hips were still wide and her waist small. Her breasts were perfect. He couldn’t see that in the coat she wore over her suit now, but he knew what they looked like…and they were perfect. The skin on her neck and face was still flawless. Her golden-brown hair lay in waves all over her head and down her back and her hazel eyes were still the prettiest thing on the east coast. But when Ash looked at her now, it was like staring into the eyes of a snake.
“Hello, Asher.”
“Mack.” Mackenzie Foster had at one time been the love of Asher’s life. She was the basket that he’d put all of his eggs in…and then that basket had fallen to the cement and it was all over. He’d found himself sifting through the slimy shells, and trying to find the pieces of his life. Like Humpty Dumpty, he’d never been able to put them back together again…so he’d done the next best thing, he’d left.
“I’m sorry about your dad.”
“Thanks, but not to be rude…why are you here?”
She flinched, almost like he’d hit her in the face. “I cared a lot about your dad.”
“Oh…I didn’t know that caring about people meant showing up to you.” He hadn’t meant to do this. Hell, he just hadn’t expected her to show up. The one time he’d staked his whole future on her showing up, she’d bailed. His rudeness wasn’t driving her away, though; instead she nodded, like she understood, and said:
“I’ve missed you, Ash. I tried to call you after you left…”
“Changed my number.”
“Yeah, anyways. It’s good to see you, I’m just sorry it’s under these circumstances.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry too. Look, I better get to the reception…” He realized as he was talking that all of the cars had left. Allison…the bitch…had left him stranded in a graveyard.
“I can give you a ride,” Mackenzie said, as if reading his mind. He used to think she could do that since she always seemed to know what he was thinking, or how he was feeling. It used to give him a warm, comforting feeling, like they were soulmates. Now, it just felt intrusive and it annoyed him.
“I’ll call an Uber.”
She looked hurt again. Too fucking bad. “Ash, it’s been a long time…are you ever going to forgive me?”
“No. I’m not.” He took out his phone and as he headed toward the road where his ride should still be parked he texted Sledge. “At the cemetery. Heading to Last Call in the Village. Meet me there?”
The text he got back in return was swift and to the point. “OMW.”
Ash ordered an Uber on his app and then stuck the phone into his suit jacket. He was almost to the pavement when curiosity got the better of him and he looked back over his shoulder. Mackenzie was still under the canopy, standing next to the coffin with her face buried in her hands. There was still a piece of his heart that beat for her; it pissed him off, but he’d learned to live with it. What he couldn’t learn to live with was the woman who abandoned him at the altar on the very day their life together was supposed to begin.

 

Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them.

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Release Blitz

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“Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow are a match made in heaven. Five-Sweet-Stars for this unforgettable collaboration!” –A.L. Jackson, New York Times bestselling author

Hold You Close, an all-new second chance standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Corinne Michaels and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow, is available now!

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Synopsis

From NYT Bestseller Corinne Michaels & USA Today Bestseller Melanie Harlow, comes a second chance standalone romance.

Ian Chase broke my heart at seventeen, and I’ve spent the last eighteen years hating him for it.

He makes it easy, with his smart mouth and playboy lifestyle—which I unfortunately have to observe since he lives behind me. Every time I see him climbing out of his pool, practically naked and unreasonably sexy, my blood boils.

I’ve always loved to loathe him.

I never planned to need him.

***

London Parish is my little sister’s best friend, not that it stopped me from falling for her.

Our history is complicated. The only thing we have in common is being godparents to my sister’s three adorable kids—until our lives are changed in one tragic moment.

Now we’re trying to raise the children we love, mourn an unthinkable loss, and fight an undeniable attraction.

My life is already upside-down, and the last thing I need is for old feelings to resurface.

Because I’ll never be able to keep her, no matter how hard I try to hold her close.

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Download Your Copy Today!

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About the authors:

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Corinne Michaels is the author of nine romance novels. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife.

After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love.

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USA Today Bestselling Author Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

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Connect with Corinne:

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Sale Blitz

Sarah Robinson’s sexy NUDES is on sale! Be sure to grab your copy by August 26th!

About NUDES:

Praised by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely, as “Passionate, emotional and uplifting!”, contemporary romance author Sarah Robinson brings readers a new standalone novel set in the glamorous hills of Hollywood and tackling challenging themes like the intersection of sexuality and female empowerment.

Ben Lawson is making a comeback…
After a few tabloid headlines, they think they know me. They don’t know a damn thing. As CEO of a movie production company, I’ll show them who I really am when we hit it big at the box office. My ex thought her smear tactics would ruin me, but I’m unbreakable. Rising from the debris, I swore I’d never let a woman distract me like that again. But then, my leading actress walked on the set and changed everything.

Seductive, sexy, and unapologetic, Aria Rose could break me. I wanted to help her, protect her…love her. Instead, I destroyed her.

Aria Rose is baring it all….
I knew better. I knew not to trust another Hollywood heartthrob with a reputation like his. He was my boss and became my ruin. I should have stayed far away from him. Ben Lawson promised me the world. He even promised me his heart.

But he destroyed everything–my heart, my career, us.

 

Get Your Copy Today:

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

Exclusive Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

 

Aria woke with a jolt, looking around the dark bedroom. As her senses slowly began to adjust, she looked for the source of whatever had disturbed her. Her cell phone vibrated against the surface of her nightstand, the screen lit so brightly it cast a square light onto the ceiling above.

Yawning, Aria grabbed for it. She glanced over at the man in bed next to her, her heart filling with warmth at the sight of his sleeping form.

Finally focusing on her phone, she realized she had dozens of missed texts, calls, and emails.

“What the hell?” she whispered to herself, sitting up.

Aria, are you awake? WAKE UP NOW.

Don’t look at the news. We need to talk. 911.

Is that you on E! News? Did you allow that?

OMG, ARIA! WHAT THE HELL?

What did you do?!?! This is career suicide!

Her heart began to race, panic swarming her every cell as she quickly clicked out on a website link her best friend sent her. A photo popped up, and then another, and another, and another, and Aria knew exactly what she was looking at.

Herself.

Nude.

Aria could barely breathe, trembling as she searched social media and entertainment news sites. The photos were everywhere. She was everywhere. Her breasts, her body, her love life on full display for the world to see.

It would have been bad enough if they’d just been images of her posing, but these were pornographic. These were her in her most intimate moments with a man she’d…

A sob stuck in her throat. Did he do this?

She looked at the man still sleeping beside her, fear gripping her heart.

This couldn’t be happening.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Two Months Earlier

 

“Wait until you meet our lead.” The heavyset producer’s eyes glinted with excitement as he spoke. He brought a sandwich up to his lips, taking a bite and continuing around a mouthful of food. “She’s only had small roles up until this film, but she’s up-and-coming. No doubt about it. Aria Rose is poised to take the world by storm come Oscar season.”

Ben didn’t reply, too distracted watching the producer trying to wipe a blob of mayonnaise off his tie. Arthur Atwood was a large man with a messy comb-over and an ill-fitting suit, which must have been a deliberate choice since Ben knew Arthur made a handsome salary.

Is he licking his tie?

His new right-hand man was actually licking mayonnaise off his tie. Not a good sign. Ben made a mental note never to ask Arthur to have a meeting over lunch at his desk again.

“Bugger, it’s in there good,” Arthur muttered in his thick English accent, dropping his tie and slapping his hands on his knees. “All right. Enough of that. Ready for a tour of the studio?”

“Very,” Ben replied, balling up the parchment paper his own sandwich had been wrapped in and tossing it into the wastebasket beneath his desk. He stood, rolling his shoulders and stretching his neck from side to side.

They’d spent the morning touring the corporate offices on the lot of Shepherd Film Studios where Ben would be officially starting in two weeks as the company’s new chief executive officer. He had agreed to come in on Friday to tour everything and meet the crew on their final day of filming—but the pressure was already on.

One of the oldest movie production companies in Hollywood, Shepherd Film Studios was well respected, but struggled to adapt to new changes in the industry—the rise of streaming services, quicker distribution on the internet, and other changes that appealed to younger generations.

Maguire Industries had recently purchased the studio and placed Ben in charge to fix that. He had one year to prove to the board at Maguire that he could turn Shepherd Films back into a thriving production company or they’d dismantle the company and sell it off for profit.

He was Shepherd Films last resort, and thank goodness, too. No one else in Hollywood was desperate enough to throw him a lifeline. Being an embarrassing public spectacle for the last two years had been by far one of the biggest setbacks in his professional life to date—and his personal life was to blame.

Fucking divorce.

“Have you seen any of her movies?” Arthur held the door to the office open for him, and together they headed down the hallways of the main offices. “She’s a bombshell—literally one of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen.”

“Aria Rose?” Ben replied, racking his brain for a mental image of the actress. “I’ve seen a few. Very pretty. She’s very talented but never been a lead.”

Scarlet’s Letters is her first starring role, and she’s perfect for it. We can watch the dailies from today’s filming, and you’ll see what I mean. We were really lucky to score her for this film.”

Ben had wondered about that, too. Aria wasn’t necessarily A-list, but she was an up-and-coming fan favorite among millennial and younger generations. Her social media attention was nonstop, and there was an almost cult following to her that had made Hollywood execs begin to take notice. Yet, he’d seen the budget this morning. She was being vastly underpaid for this film, and he wasn’t sure why.

They passed the guards at the front desk of the main offices and stepped out into the sun. “How did your team manage to sign her?” Ben asked.

“Sheer luck, I’d gather. She was following the script around—or so I heard. Determined to be part of it, though I can’t say why exactly. The script is great—historical World War II romance with a Hester Prynne theme—and we’re already getting some Oscar buzz from it. Still, it’s a long shot, and it’s nothing like her previous films.”

Ben pulled a pair of sunglasses from his suit pocket and placed them over his eyes. The bright Los Angeles sun was beating down on them as they climbed onto a golf cart to traverse the large lot to the studios. “Sounds like we’re the lucky ones, then.”

“You’ve got that right,” Arthur agreed, taking the driver’s seat since Ben was still mostly unfamiliar with the area.

A few minutes later, their golf cart pulled up outside a large warehouse-type building that read STUDIO E in large black letters across the top. Ben climbed out and followed Arthur to a small door off to the side, a red light lit above the door.

Arthur pointed to the light. “That means they’re filming, so not a peep.” He placed a finger to his mouth, indicating they needed to be quiet.

Ben nodded, and they entered the building only to be immediately shrouded in darkness. It might be his first day at Shepherd Films, but Ben was no stranger to movie sets and felt immediately at ease as they carefully made their way over to where the camera crew was.

Ben’s father, Roger Lawson, was a highly sought after cameraman who’d taken a career most people overlooked and became the best. He’d taught Ben to do the same—excel in everything by putting his whole heart into every project, no matter how small or large. As a young boy, he’d spent many a summer day with his father at work, learning the business of not only filming, but creating movies, in general.

Newly thirty years old, Ben had spent the last decade putting his father’s words into practice, rising through the ranks to become one of the hottest names in film production. He only wished his father was still alive to see his ascent, or at least, he had wished that until his ex-wife smeared his name through the tabloids during their divorce.

Never fall in love with an actress. The one rule his father had told him before he died that Ben had ignored. Lesson learned.

“Am I to be punished for helping a fellow human being?” A strong female voice broke through the silence around them.

Ben stepped around a crowd of onlookers to see the set. Behind him was an entire crew, and not a single dry eye. The emotion on everyone’s face surprised him. Following their attention to the main set, he saw the set was a bedroom. Sitting on the edge of the bed was a tall, broad-shouldered man with his head in his hands, wearing a soldier’s uniform from the 1940’s.

In front of the downtrodden soldier was a statuesque blonde, her hair flowing down her back in one long, chunky braid. Pieces of her golden mane escaped the braid, framing her face and highlighting her soft, pink cheeks. Pale blue-gray eyes brimmed with tears as she folded her hands over her heart.

“I won’t lie, James,” she continued, her voice softer now. “I can’t.”

The soldier suddenly stood, gripping the woman by her upper arms. “You have to lie, Anna. Your life is at stake—my life, our life. You’ll be imprisoned, and everything we’ve dreamt of will be over.”

She steeled herself, her jaw tightening. “If this is real…if our love is real…then we’ll survive this. Without the lies, the tricks, the falsehoods. We can survive this, James.”

Ben felt a swelling in his chest, a lump in his throat. He wasn’t even sure what the storyline was about, and yet, he was captivated by the woman in front of the cameras. Her presence was powerful…she was powerful.

“No, Anna.” He dropped her arms and stepped back, a look of disgust on his face. “We can’t survive this. Not if you choose their lives over mine…over ours.”

The blonde shook her head slowly, her hand now on her stomach as if she might be sick. “You can’t mean that, James. You can’t make me pick between loving you and my purpose in life.”

“It’s them…or it’s me. Now or never, Anna.”

Ben focused on the actress’s face, expecting to see her acquiesce to the steely-delivered ultimatum. Instead, her chin pushed up and she inhaled deeply. Everything about her posture and stance screamed strength, and yet, in the exact same moment, those blue-gray eyes ached with pain. Ben nearly forgot he was watching actors because her portrayal was so genuine…she was so genuine.

“Goodbye, James.” Her voice was gentle, but resolute.

The soldier’s nostrils flared angrily, before he slowly shook his head. “Goodbye, Anna.” With that, he walked out of the door and left her standing alone in the bedroom.

She waited a moment, staring after him. Her hand slowly lifted to her lips, covering her mouth as a loud sob ripped from her throat. In an excruciating display, her body dipped forward slightly before completely crumpling in on itself. She fell against the edge of the bed, sobbing into its sheets, as the lights on set dimmed.

“Cut!” the director yelled. “Holy fuck. That was amazing, Aria!”

The blond actress pushed up off the bed, smiling and wiping the tears from her cheeks. Everyone in the studio erupted into applause, and Ben joined in. She deserved every second of it after that performance.

A surge of excitement ran through Ben’s body—he could do this. With acting like this, there was no way their movie wouldn’t be a success. There was no way he wouldn’t be able to bring this studio success within the year with a film like this.

“Hey, Russell,” Arthur called out to the director and ushered Ben over to him. “Meet our new studio head, Ben Lawson.”

Ben extended a hand to the grungy looking man with long, curly black hair to his shoulders. “Good to meet you, Russell.”

“Please, call me Russ. I’m Russ Rains, director. I’m sure you’ve heard of me.” He donned a cocky smile. Metal and bracelets around his wrists made a clanking sound as they shook hands—a not too unusual fashion choice in this city.

“I have,” Ben admitted, though he didn’t really like this man’s ego already. It was certainly nothing unusual in Hollywood, and Ben had met the type many a time before. Russell Rains was a legitimately well-known director with several big box office hits under his belt, though it had been many years since his last. “Your work is amazing, Russ.”

“Thank you, Benji,” Russ said with an obnoxious chuckle. “Come on. Let me introduce you to our leads.”

“I’ll meet you back at the office,” Arthur told Ben. “Have fun on set!”

Ben followed Russell onto the bedroom set where the actress he’d been so captivated by was hugging the soldier who’d just broken her heart.

“You were amazing, Travis,” she said to him, pulling back from their embrace to smile at him.

Something inside Ben stirred—irritation, anger? He wasn’t sure, but he didn’t like seeing the man’s arms around the beautiful blonde.

“Sweet pea, come meet our new studio head,” Russ called out to Aria, who visibly bristled at his demand. Ben made a mental note to ask about the director’s dynamic with the actors later. “This here is Benji.”

Ben Lawson,” Ben corrected the director, extending his hand to the woman.

“Aria Rose,” she replied, taking his hand with a gentle squeeze. Her fingers were small and warm around his, and there was something sad about letting go. “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Lawson. This is my co-star, Travis Peters.”

The soldier shook his hand next. “Good to meet you, sir.”

“Please, call me Ben,” he instructed them both. “Travis, you were fantastic. And, Aria, I have to admit that your performance just now was incredible. I was unbelievably moved.”

Her pale pink cheeks darkened as she looked down at her hands. “Thank you.”

“I have no doubt this movie will be phenomenal.”

Russ slapped a hand on Ben’s back. “Hell, yeah. That was our last scene, so we’re officially wrapped.” The director stepped away from them and yelled to the entire crew. “It’s a wrap, fuckers!”

Ben didn’t even cringe at the man’s abrasiveness this time.

The crew clapped and cheered, and everyone was hugging and high-fiving each other. A swarm of people came onto the bedroom set to congratulate Aria, pushing Ben backward as he watched her gracefully accept their praise.

In fact, he couldn’t take his eyes off her, and it only had a little to do with how unbelievably attracted he was to her. As he stepped to the side, he watched how she smiled, laughing and embracing her co-workers. It was captivating. Aria commanded a room, not just when she was acting, but as herself. Her eyes danced and shone as she spoke to the crew and other actors, her smile wide and transformative.

He felt drawn to who she was, not just what he saw, and it was intoxicating. Though, what he saw was certainly breathtaking. Gorgeous wasn’t enough to describe this woman, or the way her long neck dipped into thin shoulders and a deep collarbone. Her breasts pushed against the dark red dress she was wearing that highlighted her hourglass silhouette, and her golden braid hung down over her shoulder with a weight and visible softness he’d never seen before.

Someone bumped Ben’s shoulder as they rushed in her direction, bringing Ben back to reality. What the fuck am I doing? He was barely six months out of a long divorce and had sworn off women entirely for now. And an actress? That was not happening. No way would he repeat his previous mistake twice. Not to mention that he was her boss, essentially, and that it would be a major conflict of interest. That was even assuming she was single and interested in him, which…

Why am I even thinking about this? Ben shook the thought from his head, unsure when the last time was that he’d ever felt this foggy-headed over a woman.

Aria’s laughter peeled through the air just then, melodic and joyous. Ben swallowed hard, shoving his hands in his pockets and heading for the door. He had to get out of there. Now.

He wouldn’t let himself fall for another actress, not even one as beautiful as Aria Rose.

About the Author:

Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in forensic and clinical psychology. She is newly married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.

Subscribe to her newsletter at http://www.subscribepage.com/sarahrobinsonnewsletter

Visit the author’s website for more information about Sarah and her books: http://booksbysarahrobinson.net/

 

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Release Blitz

Title: Irish
Series: Reed Security Series
Author: Giulia Lagomarsino
Genre: Contemporary/Security Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2018
Derek “Irish” Cortell. Badass close protection agent. Sexy, panty-melting smile. Superhero? There’s something strange about the men at Reed Security. When socially awkward Claire Grant works up the nerve to talk to Derek in the grocery store, it opens up a whole new world for her in which her fantasies are becoming reality. Yes, she’s a librarian. Yes, it’s quite possible she’s immersed herself in too many books, but her eyes couldn’t possibly be deceiving her. Could they? Though Claire and Derek seem to have your typical romance, there is nothing typical about Derek or the people he works with, and soon Claire will find out just how super Derek really is.

   “Not a chance in hell. I happen to like my hands wrapped around your juicy ass.”
She reared back and looked at me in horror. “You think my ass is juicy?”
   “Uh, you’ve seen it, right? It’s big and perfect for me to grab onto.”
She struggled to get down and then pushed me away and stalked out of the water. “I can’t believe you just said my ass was big,” she yelled over her shoulder.
   I stood there a minute trying to figure out what the hell I said that was so wrong. She had the most gorgeous ass I’d ever seen. Didn’t all girls want a big ass like that Kardashian woman? I ran after her and gripped onto her arm, swinging her around to see me.
   “I like that your ass is big.”
   She burst into tears and I stood there with wide eyes, wondering what I was supposed to do. There was a reason I didn’t date women. I didn’t know what the hell to say to them on the best of days. Sex was easy. Please them and they’ll be screaming your name the whole night. This…this was totally foreign to me.
   “Having a big ass is a good thing. Men like to know they have something to grab onto. Besides, we want to know that you’re sturdy enough that we won’t break you when we fuck you.”
   She looked up at me through her tears and cried even harder. “So, now I’m sturdy? Like a tree? Next thing, you’re going to tell me I have big thighs.”
   “Big? No, definitely not big. They’re thick and muscular.”
   “Thick?” She spun away from me and ran for the beach blanket, grabbing her stuff and throwing it in her bag.
   “I like that you’re not a stick,” I said, trying to fix this before I totally fucked up the rest of our day. “If I wanted a model, I would go find one. But those women are all beauty and no brains.”

 

   She sniffed and wiped at her face. “Well, I’m glad to know that I’m thick like a tree, I have a big ass, and apparently I don’t have beauty, but I have brains.”
  
I’m a stay at home mom that loves to read. Some of my favorite titles are Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Horatio Hornblower. I started writing when I was trying to come up with suggestions on ways I could help bring in some extra money. I came up with the idea that I could donate plasma because you could earn an extra $500/month. My husband responded with, “No. Find something else. Write a blog. Write a book.” I didn’t think I had anything to share on blog that a thousand other mothers hadn’t already thought of. I decided to take his challenge seriously and sat down to write my first book, Jack. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed writing. From there, the stories continued to flow and I haven’t been able to stop. I hope my readers enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them. Between reading, writing, and taking care of three small kids, my days are quite full.
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Release Blitz

Title: Buried in the Cushions
Series: The Running Experiment Book Two
Author: Kristann Monaghan
Genre: Humor, self-help
Release Date: August 16, 2018
From the hit blog The Fat Girl Running…
Buried in the Cushions is the continuation of my journey as The Fat Girl Running, taking on such subjects as Elvis, Comic-Con, Disneyland, family reunions and even the Big C…
Cancer.
My take-no-prisoners storytelling is brutally honest, dangerously funny, and absolutely authentic. In this collection of blogs, I don’t hesitate in putting my life out there. I continue to struggle with putting down the Skittles, body issues and getting buried in the cushions of my couch.
 
I am Kristann Monaghan.
I am The Fat Girl Running
And I didn’t die today.

Secretly a Disney villain, Kristann began writing her blog (www.thefatgirlrunning.com) as a way to chronicle her weight loss journey. She never dreamed she would soon have over 1K followers on both the blog and on social media. When not avoiding deadlines and stalkers, Kristann can be found in the mountains of Arizona either doing activities that do not require pants or working as a nurse by night. She is currently hoarding Skittles and books in preparation for the apocalypse. Join her and BFF as they plot to take over the world…
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Book Tour

Title: Rules of Friendship
Author: C.A. Harms
Genre: A Friends-To-Lovers Standalone Romance
Release Date: August 6, 2018
As a guy, the number one rule to being best friends with a girl should be simple…
Never, and I do mean never, fall in love with her. 
Oh and you should never fantasize about her either.
Believe me, that situation can get messy really fast and leave you with nothing but one hell of an awkward mess on your hands—literally.
Reese and I have been through everything together; our bond is deep. But I am going down fast, and I fear there is no way to stop it. I spend most of my time hiding my body’s reaction to her because like I said: just friends.
But things are changing. We are changing. 
 
I no longer see her as just Reese, my best friend. When I look at her now, I see a gorgeous woman that takes my breath away. I see my future. But what if she doesn’t see me the same way? 
 
I can’t risk losing her… 
 
The fear of screwing everything up is excruciating. So that’s why I have chosen to stick to the rules. The Rules of Friendship that is. 
 
She was off limits. Plain and simple. 
 
But then in she walks wearing her tiny shorts and those tight tops. Come on, a guy can only have so much restraint before he caves…

C.A. Harms is like any other addicted reader. She enjoys happy endings and HEA love stories. She hasn’t always been a lover of Romance and had once been addicted to a good Mystery. Just recently she has taken on a new liking and now is a full blown Romance novel addict.
 
She lives in Illinois and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. You will always find her with her kindle or paperback in hand as it is her favorite pass time.
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Release Blitz

Title: One Stormy Night: a Kissing Frogs prequel
Author: Kim Deister
Genre: Contemporary/Historical/PNR/18+
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Cover Designer: Kennedy Kelly of Cover Crush Designs
Everything happens for a reason. Even a curse…
Finneas O’Malley is not a man built for love. He could never love a woman more than he loves the adventure and danger of a life at sea, the freedom to chase the wind wherever it takes him. The lure of a foreign land, the danger of a battle at sea, the exotic lasses he beds… how could any man turn away from that?
But when Finn wrongs Siofra, all of that changes. Curses. Magic. Centuries of being beholden to a vengeful fae who wants nothing more than to destroy him. Can he find a way to break the curse? Will he find the very thing he once scorned?

I was born and raised in a tiny town in the wilds of northern New York, a pretty, little college town called Potsdam. I grew up in a family of lawyers and teachers and bucked all the traditions. Before becoming a writer, I spent a lot of years wearing combat boots in the US Army. I spent most of my time in boots working as a Signals Intelligence Analyst (no jokes!) and a linguist. I also worked as a tech writer, an entirely different kind of writing, for Corning Glass Works. Now, I’m an Army wife and a mom to four sons.  Over the years, our Army life has taken us all over the place and I have been lucky enough to work and live in some pretty amazing places.  Now we live in Hawaii, just minutes from the beach!
I am a writer thoroughly in love with words. Reading them, writing them… I love that words can take you outside of your world and let the unimaginable become imaginable. When I’m not writing or lounging on the beach, I’m probably somewhere with my nose in a book.
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