Blitz | The Last Beekeeper by Rebecca L. Fearnley

The Last Beekeeper
Rebecca L. Fearnley
Publication date: April 20th 2022
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult

Solma is a fighter. Trained by her village Steward to protect their community from the predators of their harsh world, she is fierce and loyal. But how can she protect her friends and family from crop failure and starvation? With flying insects extinct for over a century, nowhere on the forsaken continent of Alphor is safe and Solma is terrified her little brother, Warren, will be one of the next to die. The villagers cling to life, waiting for the Earth Whisperers—mysterious nomads with a strange magic that helps plants grow—to arrive.

But then Warren finds something. Something impossible. When the first bee in a hundred years crawls out of the earth, Warren forms a strange bond with the creature and Solma fears he might have a new power. One that leaders of Alphor would kill for. As she and Warren fight to keep the bee secret and safe, word of this miracle sweeps the continent. Allies and enemies alike descend on the village. Some demand the bees for themselves, others want to destroy the colony to level the odds. When words become threats and then violence, Solma and Warren are caught in the conflict, and now it isn’t just the bees in danger.

When whoever controls the bees controls the world, how will Solma and Warren know who to trust?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

The insect—for it can only be an insect—wanders groggily over the mound, seems to contemplate her fingertips for a moment and then clambers aboard.

Its feet are so light, she can barely feel them. She holds the creature up to her face, frowning as it waggles its antennae. Its gold-and-black striped body gleams in the sun, fuzzy to the point of ridiculous, with delicate gossamer wings and antennae that twitch curiously. Solma stares.

“What is it, d’you think?”

It isn’t a beetle. Solma knows that much. Warren’s pulling at her fingertips, straining to see. Solma suppresses a smile and holds the creature out so he can get a better look. Warren’s eyes widen.

“That’s a bee!” he whispers. Solma scoffs.

“No it isn’t,” she laughs, ruffling his hair. “It can’t be, can it? There ain’t no more bees.”

No one has seen one in over a century. This can’t possibly be a bee.

Still. What’s the harm in letting her brother hope?

She watches it wriggling on her finger. She can feel it now if she concentrates. The lightest brush of life against her skin. It buzzes its wings half-heartedly and Warren grins with delight. Solma can’t help grinning, too. It’s been such a long time since she’s seen him smile.

“Why don’t it fly away?” Warren asks. “You think it’s sick?”

Solma gently cups her other hand over the insect and draws it close to her chest. Could it be sick? The thought makes her sick, too. The summer skies have been empty of flying things for such a long time that suddenly she can’t bear the thought of this one falling ill. It buzzes against her again, shuffling down her finger and into her palm, as if accepting the safety she’s offering. Its little body thrums, begging protection.

“Maybe it is sick,” Solma concedes, then balks at the stricken look on Warren’s face. “We’ll save it,” she says without thinking.

It’s a daft thought. She doubts they can save it. If it really is a bee, it’s the only one she’s ever seen. Where can it possibly have come from?

Author Bio:

Rebecca has been obsessed with two things since she learned to walk and talk: stories and animals. Luckily, the two seem to be very compatible. Rebecca writes stories set in strange worlds filled with bizarre creatures, strong female characters and magical powers. She started her writing career as a poet, performing all over the country and publishing her first collection, Octopus Medicine, with Two Rivers Press in 2017.

In addition to writing, Rebecca is also a teacher and, in 2018, decided that she wanted to write quality books for the young people she works with. Her books tend towards themes of respect for the environment, protecting the planet and the new generations challenging the old to face up to their mistakes.

She lives in Reading, UK, with her unusual family, which includes herself and her partner, a friendly little mini-lop rabbit (called Cleo) and a gregarious and feisty quaker parrot (called Maya).

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest


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Blitz | Virtual Reality Bites by Ava Wixx

Virtual Reality Bites
Ava Wixx
Publication date: April 19th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Science Fiction

What happens when a romance author agrees to test romance tropes in virtual reality?

Following divorce number two, Zoe Woods is jaded, bitter, and unable to write her latest novel. For an author whose brand is all about finding true love, that’s kind of a problem.

Desperate to revive her romantic optimism, Zoe accepts an offer from an unlikely place to beta test virtual reality romance tropes. Unfortunately, Zoe jumps in too fast, and instead of a fun romp in virtual Romancelandia to rekindle her creativity, she finds one debacle after another.

Regretting her choices, Zoe realizes nothing is ever what it seems when it comes to love and romance and fantasy vs real world. The only thing she does know for sure is that virtual reality definitely bites.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

“What the hell is going on?” I danced from foot to foot as if I could keep my private bits blurry by not remaining still. In theory, it could work, but I was pretty sure I’d have to do my little embarrassed jig a lot faster.

Xander cupped the back of his neck, his eyes darting everywhere but on me. “I was getting to this part. To simplify it for you, this is like the setup part of a video game where you get to pick your main outfit for your avatar, gear up, and—”

“I don’t play video games! I’m not you and Adam! Just tell me how to not be naked right now, Xander!” It might have been virtual reality, but I didn’t want to be standing around sans clothes regardless. It simply felt too real, which meant the accompanying mortification was as well.

“Picture yourself in clothes.”

Squeezing my eyes shut, I imagined my favorite comfy jeans and a soft, navy-blue T-shirt.

“Are you doing it?”

“Yes.” I glanced down the length of my still very naked body. “Why isn’t it working, Xander? Are you … you’re punking me, aren’t you? This is like that time you walked in on me when I was getting out of the shower when I was seventeen.” Anger surged through my veins, heating my blood, scorching away all traces of embarrassment. Balling my fists at my sides, I marched toward Xander. “This is not funny. At all. Asshole. And I swear on all that is holy that if you don’t—”

“It’s not my fault!” Xander stumbled back a few steps. “You have full control of this!”

“Then why am I still naked? Huh?”

“I-I don’t … hold on a second.” He pixelized briefly before vanishing.

I spun in a circle. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” I stood there naked and alone, not exactly sure if the alone part was an improvement. “I should have at least gotten a towel,” I grumbled. “Not even romance heroines drip dry straight out of the shower. There’s no way I did this to myself.” I wrung out my hair, the simple act miraculously evaporating all moisture from my tresses. Huh.

Author Bio:

Ava Wixx escaped into books at a young age and decided to stay there. It was only a matter of time before she was driven to create her own fantasy worlds from fear of running out of places to explore. Reader, writer, dreamer … Ava only toils in reality when absolutely necessary. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, and spoiled mini-poodle.

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Review | Breakable Things by Katie Wismer

Our lives are made up of delicate, fragile pieces. Time, memories, ever-changing versions of ourselves.
Things so easy to break. To waste. To lose.

Breakable Things is an open letter to the small, sometimes seemingly insignificant pieces of our lives that oftentimes turn out to be what’s most important in the end.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Having read all of Katie Wismer’s poetry collections I would definitely say that there is a progression from the first to this one and this one is by far her best in my opinion. All of them deal with different stages in life, or different situations. While all of them have resonated with me, this one was the easiest for me to identify with. The different sections of the collection tied together well, while obviously being different stages of not only life, but a transition and adjustment to changes in life.

Happy reading!

Review | Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Shortcuts

Celebrate the beloved Jim Henson fantasy film with stories from inside the magical walls of the labyrinth! Featuring fan-favorite characters like Ludo, Hoggle, Sir Didymus, and the Goblin King himself, this compilation showcases imaginative tales from critically acclaimed writers and artists alike, including Jonathan Case (The New Deal), Delilah S. Dawson (Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma), Gustavo Duarte (Bizarro), Roger Langridge (Snarked), Katie Cook (Star Wars: ABC-3PO), Jeff Stokely (Six-Gun Gorilla), and many others. Collects The Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Special, The Labyrinth 2017 Special and two never-before-seen stories!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Being an 80s baby, Labyrinth was a staple of my childhood and beyond, so when I saw new comics coming out featuring our favorite bad boy goblin king as well as stories simply set in the world or about side characters I knew I wanted to pick them up. I realized that I hadn’t yet picked this one up so had to give it a read. I really enjoyed all the different voices and perspectives in each story, some related to the time when Sarah is in the Labyrinth and some in completely different times or parts of the Goblin kingdom. I didn’t love all the different art styles, but that is personal preference – in all of the stories the vibe and feeling of the world was accurate and fit perfectly into the world created in the movie. I think most lovers of Labyrinth would enjoy these little snippets into the world of the goblins and Goblin King.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Big Wild Love Adventure by Julianna Keyes

Big Wild Love Adventure
Julianna Keyes
Publication date: June 20th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

After being ditched at the altar, Emmy Shaw’s heart, like her dented food truck, is definitely not open for business. Deeply in debt to her parents and evicted from her apartment, she takes a friend’s drunken dare and fills out an application for a new dating-adventure reality show. She never expects to be chosen—or to get a chance at the show’s huge cash prize, which could put her life back on track.

But when she’s abandoned in the middle of the jungle two months later wearing only a bathing suit and a backpack, she wonders if being on the show might be even worse than the #emmytrashtruck hate brigade she left back home. Then she meets her fellow cast members—including sexy, inscrutable Wes—and starts to reconsider, wondering if maybe money’s not all she stands to gain from this experience.

After a year of abysmal failures, this summer of cave treks, jungle hikes, impromptu talent shows, and a sexy flirtmance turns out to be just the thing to help Emmy rebuild her shattered confidence. She signed up for the show to hide from the mess her life had become, but this escape from reality might be just what she needs to find herself.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks


Author Bio:

Julianna Keyes is a Canadian writer who has lived on both coasts and several places in between. She’s been skydiving, bungee jumping and white water rafting, but nothing thrills—or terrifies—her as much as the blank page. She loves Chinese food, foreign languages, baseball and television, though not necessarily in that order, and writes sizzling stories with strong characters, plenty of conflict, and lots of making up.

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Blitz | First Comes Love by Rachael Brownell

First Comes Love
Rachael Brownell
Publication date: April 14th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

For lovers of second chances, small town romances, and happily ever afters…

Chloe

They say everyone has one true love, one person who was made just for them. A person they were meant to spend the rest of their life with. Who souls are intertwined.

For me, that person was Wyatt.

Our love was perfect. When we were together, nothing else mattered. Not college. Not our parents. Because our relationship wasn’t about anyone else.

We had big plans for our future together.

The thing about life… it doesn’t always go as planned.

It’s been five years since I’ve been home. Since I’ve laid eyes on the only man I’ll love in this lifetime.

And in a town this small, there’s no chance I’ll be able to avoid him for long. Or anyone else from my past.

Addison

From the moment I first laid eyes on Adam, I knew I was in trouble. There was a tension between us, chemistry I couldn’t deny. The way he was looking at me, as if he could see straight into my soul, sent my heart into overdrive.

After an hour together, I knew. He was the one. The one who would make me want to change everything. Who could make me believe in love again. In the idea of happily ever afters.

And he did.

His love and two tiny pink lines were about to change my entire life.

The thing about life… it doesn’t always go as planned.

I’ve been here before. It was the worst experience of my life and I’m not sure I’ll survive this time.

Amazon

EXCERPT:

Flipping my light on, I lift my window and slide out onto the roof of the porch. Looking over the edge, my eyes meet Wyatt’s and realize how real his fear is. His eyes are wide, and his hands are shaking as he grips the sides of the ladder, his foot poised on the bottom rung.

“I’m right here. You can do this. I promise,” I say with confidence.

Nodding, Wyatt slowly climbs the ladder, his eyes never leaving mine. Once he’s safely on the roof, he scrambles through my window, sitting on the floor inside my window. Climbing in behind him, I find him panting heavily, a panic attack on the horizon.

Holding him in my arms until he calms down, I rub my hand up and down his back and kiss the top of his head. I’ve had one panic attack in my life, and it wasn’t pleasant. If I had known that this would send him spiraling into one, I never would have asked him to do it. I would have found another way.

“I’m sorry,” I say when his breathing finally returns to normal.

“There’s nothing to be sorry about.”

“Um, yes there is. I pushed you to climb that ladder. If I had known—”

“It’s not something I’m proud of, but heights scare the shit out of me. They always have. I don’t know why but there was going to come a time I was going to have to face that fear, and tonight turned out to be the night. At least it was for a good reason,” he replies, tucking a piece of hair behind my ear.

“Oh yeah? I’m a good reason.”

“The best reason. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, Chloe. You have to know that by now. I love you.”

And just like that, my world turned upside down. All it took were three little words.

He’d never said them before, but I knew how he felt. I felt the same. Falling in love with Wyatt had been easy. We’d been together for four months and I’d fallen for him a little more each day. It was the little things like the way he looked at me or how he showed me he cared.

Tonight, on the floor of my bedroom, I fell the rest of the way. I knew he was the one. We were meant to meet, to find each other. One night changed everything for both of us.

“I love you too,” I reply, pressing my lips to his.


Author Bio:

Rachael Brownell is an Amazon bestselling author of contemporary, New Adult, and YA romance.

She lives in Michigan with her husband, son, snuggly dog, and hateful cat. She moonlights as a bartender a few days a week (her excuse to get out of the house and socialize) and writes full time. She published her first novel in 2013 and since she’s released more than 30 additional titles.

Rachael writes all kinds of romance – dark, sexy, sweet. She started her career writing young-adult romance and as she matured, so did her characters and her writing. These days, Rachael writes steamy, new adult romance. Her favorite tropes to write are small-town and friends to lovers.

When she’s not hiding in her office, writing her next novel, you can find her hanging out with her family, watching her son play baseball, or running on the treadmill at the gym (though she skips more days than she goes).

Website / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Instagram / Pinterest / Newsletter


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Blitz | Head over Feet by Whitney Dineen

Head Over Feet
Whitney Dineen
(Seven Brides for Seven Mothers, #5)
Publication date: April 23rd 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

*All books in this series read as standalones.

Princess Aubrey of Malquar has loved Grady Basset since they were kids. She followed him and her brother around wherever they went; she wrote his name in her diary repeatedly; and she even practiced saying her name with his last name—for years.

Only once has Grady shown any romantic interest, and things did not turn out well.

As the son of the king’s secretary, Grady grew up playing with the royal children. He’s known them his whole life, and while he’s drawn to Princess Bree, he knows that there’s no way they can be together. The princess’s station is too far above his.

As the captain of the royal yacht, Grady sees Bree often, but in recent months the princess has been rude, belligerent, and an all-around pain in the butt. When unforeseen circumstances have Grady and Bree spending time together on her family’s island, things really start to heat up.

Will Grady finally give Bree a chance? Will it be too late?

Find out in the deliciously fun fifth installment of the Seven Brides for Seven Mothers Series.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

As Lu gets up to welcome another guest—one I didn’t know was coming—I pull the window sheer to the side and watch as none other than Grady Basset strolls up the front path. He’s carrying a bouquet of yellow tulips. What in the world is he doing here?

I’m torn between running out the back door and confronting the man who’s been a thorn in my side since, well, forever. Leaving would be the nicest thing I could do for everyone, but suddenly I’m not feeling very generous.

I stride toward the entryway like a general marching onto a battlefield. My shoulders are squared, and my jaw is sticking out so far it leaves the living room well ahead of the rest of me. Lu yanks the front door open. “Grady! We’re so glad you could make it.”

He’s about to hand her the flowers when he sees me. “What are you doing here?” His tone suggests that he’s as happy to see me as I am to see him.

“Why am I here?” I put my hands on my hips in fury. “What are you doing here?”

“I was invited.” He dismisses me and turns to Lu, offering her the bouquet.

“I was invited, too.” Then I tell my soon-to-be sister-in-law, “You didn’t mention that Grady would be here. Why is that?”

Before she can answer, Alistair comes out of the back room. He immediately takes in the scene but doesn’t seem eager to explain himself. I should have known this was his doing. “Grady, Bree, we’re so glad you could join us.”

“Yes, well, I’m thinking about leaving,” I blurt out.

“Please, let me do the honors.”

Grady turns and is nearly out the door when my brother says, “Children, is there any chance you two can act like adults long enough to enjoy lunch? There is a perfectly sound reason we asked you both here. It has to do with this petty feud you have going on.”

“Petty feud?” I sputter. “The man picked me up and threw me off a boat. Off a boat! That’s not petty, that’s … that’s …” Words escape me. Barbaric? Contemptuous? Illegal? Apparently, words don’t escape me, after all.

“It’s the only sensible thing to do when you’re being harassed by an annoying child who refuses to grow up.” He has no right to be mad at me. I’m the injured party here.

I square off and face him, my hands firmly on my hips. “I’m sorry, Grady.” I’m not and nothing in my tone suggests I am. “Are you, or are you not, the ship’s captain?” Before he can answer, I tell him, “You shouldn’t be entertaining women on my family’s boat while you’re on duty.”

“I had your brother’s permission. I did not need yours.” His face turns an unnatural shade of red.

Instead of commenting, I abruptly turn toward my brother. “Let’s get this over with. I have a million things I’d rather be doing than wasting my time here.” Like tending to a den of vipers. I was not raised to be so rude, but Grady Basset brings it out in me.

Lu leads the way into the dining room. I follow begrudgingly, wishing custom and courtesy didn’t dictate that I walk in front of Grady. I can’t stick my tongue out at him when I’m in front of him.

Once we’re all seated and the champagne is poured, Lu raises her glass. “Alistair and I were hoping the two of you would…”


Author Bio:

Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order.

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.

Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Can’t Wait Wednesday | 4/13

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. In this weekly post people share a book that they’re excited about being released.

Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple who live in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is rich; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.

One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage is not as perfect and placid as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she uncovers eerie, darker truths that turn a tale of voyeurism and suspicion into a story of guilt, obsession and how looks can be very deceiving.

With his trademark blend of sharp characters, psychological suspense, and gasp-worthy surprises, Riley Sager’s The House Across the Lake unveils more than one twist that will shock readers until the very last page.

Happy reading!

Cover Reveal | Reasons Why Not to Date Public Enemy CEO by Melanie Munton

Reasons Why Not to Date Public Enemy CEO
Melanie Munton
(Shell Grove, #1)
Publication date: June 21st 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

What happens when the most hated man in town goes after everyone’s favorite girl-next-door?

Reason #1: Big, bad CEO Aiden Beaumont wears his grumpy mask every day like a badge of honor. Mia Sparks wants nothing more than to honk his nose or throw a pie in his face, à la The Three Stooges, just to see if he’s capable of smiling. Unfortunately, she can’t. Because he’s technically her boss, and she’d like to keep her gig at the new five-star beach resort for longer than two weeks.

Reason #2: Everyone in her small hometown of Shell Grove, SC hates the man. He brought big business to their little beach town, and as far as her fellow citizens are concerned, that makes him the devil incarnate. But he won’t be staying forever, which works for Mia. She doesn’t go for the flashy city types anyway. She’s quite happy living her quiet life in Shell Grove. The faster the cranky—albeit stupidly hot—CEO is out of her life, the better.

Reason #3: Every time Aiden frowns at her, it hits her like a thousand-watt smile. He has a language all his own, and it’s starting to make way too much sense to her. She can’t avoid him in a town the size of a postage stamp, and it finally hits her that…she doesn’t want to escape him. This always-irritated, too-serious businessman couldn’t possibly be the stable safe haven she’s been looking for. Could he?

Aiden knows there’s a million and one reasons to stay away from the sugary sweet Mia. But who runs away from sunshine after living their entire life in a secluded cave? And when someone from her past unexpectedly emerges and tries to drive a wedge between the two of them? All bets are off. Aiden has never lost a fight in the boardroom, and he’s not about to lose the fight for the woman he wants to deserve. He just has to prove to her that he’s not the PUBLIC ENEMY CEO everyone thinks he is.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order


Author Bio:

Melanie grew up in the Midwest, but she loves living in the Southeast (where the beaches are!) now with her husband and daughter.
Melanie’s other passion is traveling and seeing the world. With anthropology degrees under their belts, she and her husband have made it their goal in life to see as many archaeological sites around the world as possible.
She has a horrible food addiction to pasta and candy (not together…ew). And she gets sad when her wine rack is empty.
At the end of the day, she is a true romantic at heart. She loves writing the cheesy and corny of romantic comedies, and the sassy and sexy of suspense. She aims to make her readers swoon, laugh out loud, maybe sweat a little, and above all, fall in love.
Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub


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Blitz | One Bossy Proposal by Nicole Snow

One Bossy Proposal
Nicole Snow
Publication date: April 8th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow returns with a hilarious office romance where two archenemies who drive each other crazy pretend they’re madly in love.

Strange men do funny things when you score the last cinnamon roll.
Sometimes he rages about the high crime of jacking his precious pastry.
Sometimes he offers you ludicrous bribes to buy it back.
And sometimes—after shattering your faith in humanity—you find out he’s your new boss.

I’m not laughing.
My sweet tooth betrayed me and Lincoln Burns is one bad sugar rush.
A coldhearted grump. A mile-wide ego. An eligible bachelor who doesn’t “do” dating.
Did I mention Mr. Congeniality runs a fashion empire with weddings in its sights?
Of course he does.
And, of course, weddings make me gag after my ex made my heart roadkill.

Every instinct I have screams run.
But money talks, and Lincoln’s deep pockets roar.
One big fat bonus proposal lures me into his world.
Somehow, our vicious fights become vivid flirting.
His secrets thrill me in the worst ways.

Then he makes a second proposal.
Pretend we’re engaged. Smile for pretty photos like we’re soulmates. Dress up like we’re actually getting married.
Oh, how I wish cinnamon rolls came with warnings.
It’s all sticky sweet heaven until you catch feelings for the bossman from hell…

Full-length enemies-to-lovers romance loaded with uh-ohs. Office banter, pastry mischief, slow-burn spice, plus one bossy suit who might stop stomping around long enough to realize he’s falling hopelessly in love.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Anna Patel calls a marketing meeting on Thursday and asks me to sit in. Of course, there’s a vacant chair beside Nevermore.

I hesitate a second too long, leaving an opening for this junior copywriter to step past me toward the seat. I can’t even remember his name.

Jake? Jeremy? James?

He’s a newer kid, and he’s damn near undressing her with his eyes so obviously that if she ever looks up from her laptop, she’ll feel buck naked.

The punk thinks he’s sitting beside her.

Like hell.

I speed up, stepping behind him and grabbing his shoulder.

“Why don’t you take the seat beside Miss Patel? I may need to talk to my assistant.” It’s not a question. My words are professional, but my tone is barbaric.

I’ve never felt so uncivilized in the office, and fuck, it has everything to do with the hot prick of jealousy coursing in my veins.

“Oh, sure thing, Mr. Burns!” he says, fear flashing in his eyes before he scurries off without looking back at me.

That’s what I thought.

I sit down beside Dakota, grateful she’s oblivious to my territory marking.

Until she laughs, leans over, and whispers, “Behave.

“Why?” I ask, flashing her a clueless look.

“You practically gave the poor guy shell shock.”

I’m not sorry.

He should be scared when he tries to usurp the boss’ seat—or his woman. Let him drool over a hundred thousand other beautiful women in this city.

“You’re welcome, Nevermore. From the looks he gave you, I think he writes angsty poetry about you. If he’s able to write at all. Is he any good?”

I’ve never noticed his work when he’s assigned to a less pressing line under Anna. Hell, like most new hires, I half forgot he even worked here until now.

“He’s where he should be, I think. We don’t collaborate a ton,” she says diplomatically, hiding a rosy blush on her cheeks.

“He should do more writing and less eye-fucking,” I growl in her ear, leaning close.

What the hell is wrong with me?

My nostrils flare at her scent. It’s bad enough that I practically tossed the boy on the floor, and now I’m low-key smelling her like a Neanderthal with a rose.

“Mr. Burns, shut up!” she hisses.

I can’t help smirking as her green eyes roll with shock.

“Did you see how he looked at you?” I whisper, undaunted. “If he was looking for his muse, it damn sure wasn’t interested in PG-13 poetry.”

She’s bright red but she grins.

“You’re such an idiot. Jim does not write poems about me. I doubt he even reads anything that isn’t a bargain thriller. I mean, that’s usually what he’s got his nose stuffed in during lunch.”

Her quip shouldn’t make me happy. At least Nevermore isn’t impressed with his reading habits.

“Takes one to know one with writers, I guess. You are a Poe and a literary princess,” I tease.

Her eyes lock onto mine harshly.

“Boss, I will stab you with my pen,” she whispers.

“Doubtful.”

Author Bio:

Nicole Snow is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. She found her love of writing by hashing out love scenes on lunch breaks and plotting her great escape from boardrooms. Her work roared onto the indie romance scene in 2014 with her Grizzlies MC series.

Since then Snow aims for the very best in growly, heart-of-gold alpha heroes, unbelievable suspense, and swoon storms aplenty. With over a million books sold, she lives for the joy of making two people fight with every bit of their soul for a Happily Ever After.

Current fan favorites include her Enguard Protectors series, accidental love novels, plus long beloved MC romance thrillers like the Grizzlies and Deadly Pistols.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub


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