Review: Fighting Shadows

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Title: Fighting Shadows (On the Ropes #2)

Author: Aly Martinez

Genre: New Adult Romance

Heat-o-meter: R

Rating: A

1

I come from a family of fighters. I always thought I’d follow in their shadows, becoming unstoppable in the ring. That changed the day I saved the life of a woman I loved, but could never have.

My brother hailed me as a hero, and my reward was a wheelchair.

Paralyzed, my life became an inescapable nightmare.

Until I met her.

Ash Mabie had a heart-stopping smile and a laugh that numbed the rage and resentment brewing inside of me. She showed me that even the darkest night still had stars, and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.

I was a jaded asshole who fell for a girl with a knack for running away. I couldn’t even walk but I would have spent a lifetime chasing her.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting the shadows of our past.

Fighting to reclaim my future.

Fighting for her.

2

This book ROCKED!!!! Another home run for Aly Martinez. Haven’t read Fighting Silence yet? WHY NOT?!?!?! You don’t HAVE to read it before reading this book, but I recommend it. Flint is a great hero. He is bitter and broken when the book starts and you feel for him even when he’s an ass. Ash is amazing. She is so upbeat even though her life is crap. Watching them grow up throughout the book is so beautiful and at times heartbreaking. This book is filled with growing up, sweet romance, and humor even in a tough situation. I am dying to get my hands on Quarry’s book now as well! If this series never ends, I would be happy!

Excerpt

Chapter One

Flint

I remembered it all.

I heard the gun.

I felt the bullet.

I saw her fall.

In less than a second, my life as I knew it was over.

But, unquestionably, I would do it all over again.

For her.

“Flint!” Eliza cried from underneath me.

It wasn’t the way I had dreamed of at least a million times over the years. Her voice hadn’t broken in ecstasy. She hadn’t called my name as I’d been claiming her as my own, nor was it followed by confessions of love and declarations of forever. Instead, there was a sharp ringing in my ears and a tsunami of tears welling in her deep-blue eyes.

My heart was already pounding, but the earth-shattering pain on her face spiked my pulse even higher. I knew I had been hit, but that wasn’t what scared me.

“Are you hurt?” I rushed out.

“I’m fine,” she choked around a sob. As much as I hated to see her cry, the weight of my world disappeared with only two words.

“Are you sure?” I studied her, but she was focused on something else completely.

Peering over my shoulder, she lifted her hand off my back. Blood dripped from her fingertips to the floor.

“Oh God!” she exploded, scrambling from under me.

“I’m okay,” I tried to reassure her, but as I attempted to push up off the floor, I knew my words were in vain. I was nowhere near fine. “I’m…” I started, but the thought was stolen from my tongue. Pain overtook me, causing me to collapse face first to the ground where Eliza had just been lying.

I desperately tried to keep myself from passing out, but it was a battle I was quickly losing.

“Flint. Stay with me. Just hang on, please,” she said calmly, kneeling beside me. But as soon as she sat up, her true emotions were revealed. “Help him!” she cried. “Please, God, someone help him!”

My mind was drifting, rendering me unable to focus, but even amongst the chaos of Eliza pleading for help and security rushing into the room, I somehow homed in on the announcer’s voice on the television blaring in the background.

“I really expected more from Till Page in the ring tonight,” he said.

It was then that I was reminded of a pain far worse than any bullet could inflict.

Till.

Her husband.

The father of her unborn child.

My brother.

He deserved her, but damn it, so did I.

My eyes never left hers as her screams drifted into silence.

***

I awoke to a searing pain in my back, and panic immediately flooded my thoughts.

“Eliza!” I screamed as loudly as I could, but it came out as nothing more than a gurgle.

“I’m right here.” She appeared at my side. “Oh God, Flint. Don’t do that again. You have to stay awake.” She began smoothing my hair down.

“Eliza,” I repeated when further coherent thoughts failed me. I was terrified—I knew that much. But my mind fought to catch up and answer the why. “Are…are you hurt?”

“No. I’m fine,” she assured me, leaning down and kissing my temple—a gesture I would have killed to be able to return.

Instead, I blindly reached out to the side, searching for her hand. “Stay with me.”

Firmly grasping my palm, she vowed, “I won’t leave you, Flint. I swear.”

If only she’d meant those words in the way I would have liked. However, right then, as I lay facedown, bleeding on the carpet of an upscale Vegas hotel floor with a bullet in my back, I would take it.

It wasn’t enough.

But it would have to be.

She isn’t mine.

She never was.

As she whispered soothing words into my ear, I went willingly into the darkness.

***

I slowly roused back to consciousness. I couldn’t quite figure out where I was or why my throat felt like I had swallowed a truckload full of burning embers. Even through my grogginess, I could feel an ache in my back. It wasn’t until I spoke that I realized how fucked I truly was.

“Ewliz.” What the hell? “Elyz.”

“Oh thank God!” Eliza cried, suddenly appearing at my side.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I tried to pry my eyes open, needing nothing more than a glimpse of her dark blues. They held no superpowers, but I still believed they could heal me with a single glance. Hell, just knowing she was there with me worked miracles.

I tried to fight, but I couldn’t seem to convince my eyelids that light wasn’t the source of all evil.

“Shh. It’s okay. Just relax,” she whispered, reading my struggle. “Are you hurting? Do you need more pain medicine?”

“Nup. Juz you,” I said drunkenly.

“What’s wrong with him? Why can’t he talk?” Quarry whimpered from somewhere nearby.

I’d never forget how he sounded in that moment. His voice shook like that of the frightened child he never got to be. He might have only been thirteen, but he hadn’t been a boy in a long time. Just like Till and me, he’d been forced to grow up too soon. Hearing the inflection of fear in his voice cleared my groggy mind.

“Em good, Q,” I slurred on a laugh, even though nothing was remotely humorous about the situation.

I was lying facedown on a hospital bed, drugged out of my fucking mind, and pining over my brother’s pregnant wife. The same woman who was the closest thing to a real mother I’d ever known. The levels of fucked-up could not even be described.

On second thought, maybe laughing really was the right response.

My brother, Till, was quite possibly the best man I had ever met. He was only six years older than I was, but as far as I was concerned, he had always been a father to me. Lord knows that the man’s DNA I carried was not. My mother was a work of art, but my father was in a category all of his own. Clay Page was the reason I was lying in that bed and recovering from a bullet in the back, the reason Till had almost lost his wife and unborn daughter, and the reason Quarry had almost been kidnapped.

All I had left in life were my brothers, and in turn, I had Eliza.

If I could have been half the man Till was, I would’ve been better than ninety-nine percent of the male population walking the planet. God, I wanted to be as selfless as he was. But I wasn’t even close. Instead, over the years, I’d become increasingly jealous of his life and the way Eliza loved him. Sure, they had their fair share of problems, but they always weathered the storm together, never wavering in their devotion to each other. Only a year earlier, my older brother had suddenly lost his hearing—something that would have easily sent a lesser woman running for the hills. But not Eliza. She gave him unconditional love, and it stung so fucking much to watch her give it to him.

The older I became, the more I found myself consumed by guilt and anger. Guilt because no two people had ever deserved each other more. And anger because, despite knowing that, I wanted to shove my brother out of the picture completely. I wanted to own Eliza Reynolds Page in every possible way, but especially in the way where she never left me and loved me forever.

I wanted the comfort and security only she could offer me.

“Eliza?” I called as I went back to battle against my eyelids and was finally victorious. I was greeted by the sight of Till holding her tight, his arms folded around her swollen stomach.

“Hey, bud,” he cooed, visible relief washing over his face.

But I didn’t have eyes for him. Eliza stood in his arms with tears flowing in a steady stream down her cheeks.

My lips twitched in the most unlikely of smiles.

She always cries.

“You ’kay?” I mumbled.

“I am. Thanks to you.” She took a step forward, joining our hands.

I laughed, using our linked knuckles to rub her belly. “How’s ma baby?”

“What’d he say?” Till asked.

Eliza removed her hands from mine long enough to translate for him through sign language.

I attempted to roll over so I could have the use of my hands to communicate with him, but I was stilled by the sudden shouts.

“No!” they yelled as I tried to push up on the bed.

“You can’t move… I, um, I mean you shouldn’t move.” Eliza squatted down in front of me.

I lifted a hand to wipe her tears away. Her eyes were red and puffy, but as she brushed my short hair off my forehead, she’d never looked more beautiful. Her fingertips trailed over my skin, soothing my aches from the outside in.

“Let’s get you some more pain medicine.” She grabbed a red button off the corner of my bed and pressed it repeatedly.

I wasn’t in any real pain, but within seconds, my entire body relaxed even further.

She remained squatting in front of me, and her tears began to dry while she whispered soothing words I couldn’t quite make out among the myriad of beeping monitors. It didn’t matter what she was saying though.

She was there.

With me.

For me.

My vision was blurry, but time stood still as I stared into her eyes and slurred the words I had absolutely no business saying.

I had been harboring them for years. But no matter how I tried, no amount of time made them right.

“I love you, Eliza. Soooooo. Fuuucking. Mush.”

Even drugged out of my mind, I knew that my admission was going to do more harm than good, but that didn’t slow the words—or the pain.

Maybe, if I just told her how I felt, I could let it go. Move on to a day when I wasn’t teased by the unattainable. It was a grand idea, but fruition was a different story.

She replied, “I love you too,” but I knew she didn’t understand.

In that second though, I needed her to understand. It wasn’t a choice.

For her.

Or me.

“No. I loooove you.” I exaggerated the word but not the truth.

“Shh,” she whispered, resting her hand on my cheek. “I love you too, Flint. We all do. Just go to sleep.”

We all do.

They wouldn’t after I was done. I was sober enough to realize that.

“No. Lizen to me. I…love you. Like Till loves you. Like…I-want-to-have-sex-with-you love you. Really. Gud. Sex.” I laughed.

“Oh fuck,” Quarry groaned.

“And marry you, and…” I stopped to lick my dry lips before spewing the ultimate slap to my brother’s deaf ears. “That should be my baby, not his.”

“Oh fuck,” Quarry repeated.

“Uhh…um…” Eliza stuttered, looking up at Till, who was standing only a few feet away.

“What? What’d he say?” Till asked, stepping forward.

“I said I’m in love with your wife!” I yelled for some unexplainable reason.

Well, maybe only unexplainable to them; I understood my frustrations completely.

Till needed the chance to hate me. He had given me everything in life and provided for me even when he’d had to sacrifice himself. I owed him the truth about the way I felt about his wife. Regardless that it proved what a dirt bag I truly was.

I lifted my one free hand in the air and began to sign out the letters, but Quarry stepped between Eliza and me and forced my hand against the bed.

“Yep. That’s enough. Go to sleep, asshole.”

“He needs ta know. Tell him fur me.”

Quarry lifted his hands and signed to Till without words. He said he loves us all, and then he got all weepy and called Eliza mommy. I’m just trying to keep him from embarrassing himself. That’s all.

“Dat’s bullshit,” I replied when he finished.

“We love you too, Flint. Get some rest,” Till said, folding his arms across his chest, not buying into Quarry’s explanation.

“No! I said, ‘I love her.’ Eliza.” I began to point in her direction, but Quarry once again slapped my hand down.

Turning his back on Till, he leaned into my face. “Shut your goddamn mouth. I’m trying to help you here.”

“I love her,” I repeated for the umpteenth time.

Eliza wedged her way back to my side. “No, you don’t. You’re just drugged up right now, Flint.”

“Bullshit,” I declared adamantly.

Drugs didn’t cause the way I felt any more than they could fix it. I’d have been a junkie long ago if there were something that could’ve quelled the burning in my chest every time I saw her with Till.

“This isn’t somethin’ new, Eliza. I think about you when—” I’d started to spill all of my embarrassing secrets when Quarry’s hand slammed over my mouth.

“I said, ‘Shut the fuck up,’” he seethed.

“Stop cussing,” I mumbled from behind his hand.

He looked to Eliza. “Can you press that button again? Maybe see if he’ll pass out.”

“What the hell is going on?” Till snapped from behind us, losing his cool with being in the dark.

Nothing. He’s acting like a bitch. Just doing my job as his little brother to protect his manhood… or something like that, Quarry signed then flashed Till a tight grin.

“No, I—” I started, and his hand once again landed over my mouth.

Quarry gave Eliza an impatient glare.

“He has a few more minutes before the pain pump will give him any more meds,” she answered, frazzled by my confession.

And just that small reaction to my admission hurt more than whatever the hell was happening on my back.

“Well, I’ll just keep my hand right here until it’s time,” Quarry hissed at Eliza.

“Um, I’m gonna step out and get some water,” she announced uncomfortably.

“Eliza, wait,” I tried to shout, but Quarry wasn’t lying about not removing his hand. “Get off me.” I weakly swatted it away.

Glancing back at Till, he lifted a finger in the air to signal one second. Then he turned back to me. “Shut up. Shut up. Shut. Up. You’re in love with her, fine. Now, shut up.”

“Not until he knows,” I replied.

“Go to sleep, Flint. If you still want to make this mistake when you wake up, I’ll sign it out to him myself.” He urged me with a hard stare.

I was tired. Sleep didn’t exactly sound like torture. I’d been sitting on my feelings for Eliza since I was twelve. What was one more night?

“I would take her from him,” I declared as my lids began to droop.

Quarry busted out laughing. “Then, when you wake up, I’ll sign out your warning. Oh, look! Time’s up.” He grabbed the red button and gave it a push.

I moaned as the glorious burn of the medication hit my vein.

“Thank God,” he breathed as I drifted off to sleep.

When I awoke some hours later, my determination to tell Till had fortunately disappeared.

Unfortunately, so had my desire for Eliza to know.

But the truth was out.

As the embarrassment set in, I tried to convince myself that maybe it was for the best that she knew how I felt.

It wasn’t.

It was a hell of a lot worse.

5

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Teasers

Review: The Elements of Chemistry

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Title: The Elements of Chemistry 1-3 (1: Attraction, 2: Heat, 3: Capture)

Author: Penny Reid

Genre: New Adult romance

Heat-O-Meter: R

Rating: A+

1

Part 1: Attraction

One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.
Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family’s billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.
When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good? Continue reading

Blitz: Magnificent Ruin and a GIVE AWAY!!

MagRuin

WELCOME to the Release Blitz and Giveaway for MAGNIFICENT RUIN, a New Adult, Romantic Suspense novel by Alison Foster.

We’re celebrating the release with an awesome giveaway with lots of gift cards and books.

To make things even better, the book is on sale for $0.99 for ONE WEEK only!

ADD TO GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23249905-magnificent-ruin

1

Everybody tells me to stay away from him. But some impulses are too strong to fight.

What if you could save somebody by loving them?

My name is Taylor Donahue and I’m about to make the biggest mistake of my life.

I’m faced with a mystery that starts on a breathtaking Greek island with a sexy, yet notorious bad boy, Tomas Keller. He’s as hot as the sun and as hard to catch as the wind. His lies are as beautiful as his truths are painful.

His is a world of dark secrets. This much I know. He digs into my soul more than any man ever dared to before. Every step away from him makes me fall ever deeper into the web of his mysterious life. I can’t get him out of my mind.

The mystery of the missing girl and the rage of a murderous mob boss threaten his very existence, but I can’t help but play with his fire. Tomas is bigger than life. Danger follows him like a deathly shadow.

How do I stop him from getting under my skin?

*Content Warning: this book contains explicit language and sex.*

 

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Short Excerpt

We walk barefoot on the soft sand side by side, holding our shoes in our hands. The beach is deserted. Two old pedal boats sit forgotten by the edge of the water. My skin shudders and I get goose bumps as Tomas’s arm brushes against mine in the warm, calm night.

“It’s perfect here,” I say, when he comes to a halt to stare at the dark sea.

He has brought a bottle of red wine which we have decided not to open until after the swim.

Tomas quickly takes off his shirt, taking my breath away. He’s a shining excellence under the pale starlight. He’s a hypnotic specimen of muscle, smooth skin and radiant confidence. I doubt there’s been a single moment in his adult life he didn’t know he was destined to make women lose their minds.

“Well?” he says, a slight impatience on his gorgeous face.

I shake my head before I remove my blouse pulling it over my head. I’m in my bikini now and although he’s seen me in it plenty of times in the sunlight, I blush a little now in the starlight.

I step in the water cautiously, checking the temperature. It’s not too cold but it’s not warm either. It will take a while to get used to the temperature.

Or it would have if Tomas didn’t decide to lift me up and throw me several feet forward and under the water.

“What the hell?” I say, rising onto my feet. Only my head is above water.

“You should embrace the unexpected,” he says.

“And you should not expect so much,” I say.

“That’s the problem, Taylor,” he says, wrapping his strong arms around my waistline. “You’ll never be ready to walk straight into the deep.”

My heart stops as he leans in for a kiss. He’s actually kissing me and I didn’t have to initiate it. It’s all him.

His powerful chest rises and falls rhythmically against my body as his tongue explores my mouth hungrily. His right hand moves to the back of my head, pulling my wet hair in a tight grip.

I wrap my arms around his neck, lifting one leg to force his hips closer to mine. The world vanishes in the darkness and the salty fullness of his lips. I want nothing more than to taste him.

He untangles his lips from mine, gently tracing my face with his fingertips. “Are you sure you want this?” he says, breathing unevenly.

It takes me a second to make up my mind. “I do,” I say. “I want this.”

“I’m not so sure.”

“Why?”

“Because you deserve better.”

“It’s not a freaking marriage proposal,” I say, growing more and more eager for his touch. “I understand that. And you’re better than you think.”

I hear a faint laughter and I can’t tell if it’s because he thinks he’s not better at all or because he likes the sound of need in my voice. Either way, I don’t care. His body doesn’t lie. He’s totally and completely in this moment with me, hyperventilating and getting incredibly hard underneath his swimming trunks. So hard I can sense his erection even without touching it.

His need for me goes beyond the physical evidence. I feel something real in him, something real about the moment we’re sharing. And as his fingers travel up and down my arm, giving me tiny goose bumps again, I know that what I want more than anything else is to fall in love.

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Review: The Girl I was Before

THE GIRL I WAS BEFORE by Ginger Scott is finally here! Check out the review and giveaway below!
THE GIRL I WAS BEFORE (Falling #3)
 NA Contemporary Romance
Scheduled to release: June 23, 2015
BLURB:

I’m the selfish one. I suppose that’s the nicest thing people say about me. I’ve heard the other things, too. “Paige Owens is a pretty girl with nothing else to offer. She’s just a good time at a party. She’s stupid, heartless, cold and useless. All she cares about is getting a guy to look at her. Why would anyone want to be her friend?”

Some of those things are true. Others were true. They’re all hurtful.

None of it matters.

I’m ready to make the hard choices. I’m ready to face the consequences. I’m ready to be the girl I was before, and I’m done being the one who lost her way.

I’m ready to become the girl Houston Orr sees when he looks at me.

Houston isn’t a star athlete. He doesn’t play in a band. He’s never going to be president, and his life is so far away from simple and easy it isn’t even funny. He wasn’t part of my plan. But I’m starting to think plans are overrated, and maybe our stories are what we make them. And mine depends entirely on me, and the choices I make…starting now.

Houston is my fairytale. He’s perfectly imperfect. He’s poetry and life. He’s truth and heartbreak, all rolled up in a tall body with dark hair, broad shoulders and green eyes that lull me into submission. He’s nothing I ever thought I wanted, but the very thing I need. He’s the only guy I’ve ever really loved, and he thinks I’m a princess. I fell into him, and now I’m holding on.

But sometimes life takes away our ability to choose. Sometimes…things aren’t in your control. Sometimes, it hurts to be selfless. My only hope is that when it comes time to choose, I get it right.

Welcome to my once upon a time and wish for happily ever after.

2This book series has become one of my favorite New Adult series! If you haven’t read the first 2 in the series, go get them! They are a great blend of angst, heart, and romance. Now, about this book specifically, Ginger Scott managed to do something amazing. She made me like a character that I hated for 2 books. Paige was ‘that girl’-you know, the mean girl from school who made your life miserable? Yeah, that’s Paige. Even when this book begins, I didn’t like Paige. But, somewhere along the journey, I found that I kind of liked her. It was a slow transition and I didn’t even notice it! But, to me, that is amazing writing ability!
Houston is probably one of the most amazing book boyfriends. He is not an alpha male at all. He is smart-a computer engineering major!-funny, and caring. Its so refreshing to read a story with a NON alpha male hero. He was the greatest person for Paige because they were so different! She is certainly a dominate personality, and he was totally okay with that! He was great at supporting her and that is a neat relationship to read about!
7

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About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling author of eight young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, Wild Reckless and The Girl I Was Before. A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com. When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce
Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

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Release Day: The Girl I was Before

THE GIRL I WAS BEFORE by Ginger Scott is finally here! Check out the excerpt and giveaway below!
THE GIRL I WAS BEFORE (Falling #3)
 NA Contemporary Romance
Scheduled to release: June 23, 2015
Wanna know my thoughts on the book? You have to wait until June  27th! I will post my review then 🙂 
BLURB:

I’m the selfish one. I suppose that’s the nicest thing people say about me. I’ve heard the other things, too. “Paige Owens is a pretty girl with nothing else to offer. She’s just a good time at a party. She’s stupid, heartless, cold and useless. All she cares about is getting a guy to look at her. Why would anyone want to be her friend?”

Some of those things are true. Others were true. They’re all hurtful.

None of it matters.

I’m ready to make the hard choices. I’m ready to face the consequences. I’m ready to be the girl I was before, and I’m done being the one who lost her way.

I’m ready to become the girl Houston Orr sees when he looks at me.

Houston isn’t a star athlete. He doesn’t play in a band. He’s never going to be president, and his life is so far away from simple and easy it isn’t even funny. He wasn’t part of my plan. But I’m starting to think plans are overrated, and maybe our stories are what we make them. And mine depends entirely on me, and the choices I make…starting now.

Houston is my fairytale. He’s perfectly imperfect. He’s poetry and life. He’s truth and heartbreak, all rolled up in a tall body with dark hair, broad shoulders and green eyes that lull me into submission. He’s nothing I ever thought I wanted, but the very thing I need. He’s the only guy I’ve ever really loved, and he thinks I’m a princess. I fell into him, and now I’m holding on.

But sometimes life takes away our ability to choose. Sometimes…things aren’t in your control. Sometimes, it hurts to be selfless. My only hope is that when it comes time to choose, I get it right.

Welcome to my once upon a time and wish for happily ever after.

Excerpt
I like you. I don’t wanna like you. But I do.
I have been repeating her words in my own head since I heard them. I’ve been saying them like a mantra because of that part of me that doesn’t want her to like me either. Because if she likes me, then maybe how I feel is okay too, and maybe acting on it is okay, and then shit gets real. What does that even mean? Shit gets real? Shit gets hard—that’s what it means.
Real hard. I have to make time for someone else; I have to take a leap of faith and risk that my world will fall apart again. That’s what that means.
“I like you too, Paige,” I whisper. “And fuck if I don’t want to. But I do.”
I take a few seconds to jog in place, stretching my neck from side to side like I’m about to step into a fight. Maybe I am. But fuck it, shit got real a long time ago. What do I have to lose now?
“I’m not looking, I swear,” I say, keeping my eyes at the floor as I barge into the bathroom. I cannot believe I’m doing this.
“Out!” she yells from behind the shower curtain. “Not even funny. Not even clever. Out, you fuck
stick, out!”
Her anger makes me laugh, and fuck stick? Really?
“I have to brush my teeth. We’re pushing it close on time. I’ll be fast, and I’ll keep my face forward. I swear,” I say.
I’ve already brushed my teeth, but she doesn’t know that. I turn on the water and load up my brush. I hear the curtain slide behind me, and I know she’s looking at me. I don’t have to turn around or look into the reflection to know what her face looks like—her brow is furrowed and her lips are tight, and she’s making sure I’m
keeping my promise. Don’t worry Paige; I won’t look. But I know you want me to. I’m spitting into the
sink and reaching for the towel by feeling, careful not to glance up, when I hear the water switch off and the curtain slide open. There’s no towel near her or the tub; I know it because I see them hanging on the rack several steps
away. She’s cheating.
I notice her shape move into my periphery to my right, and I glance briefly to catch her hand reach for the towel. When I see her back is to me, I go ahead and look long enough to take a mental picture. Her hair is soaking wet and dripping a line
down her perfectly sun-kissed skin, a trail of water I let my eyes follow down her shoulder blades, to the small of her back, to an ass that is so perfect I wish I were the kind of asshole who would reach out and smack it at a time like
this. I just hold my breath and memorize it instead. I turn back to the sink, lay my towel down, and move to leave.
“You looked,” she says, and I pause with my hand on the doorknob, the curves of her body now
ingrained in my memory. I smile.
“Yeah, I did,” I say, before stepping into the hallway and shutting the door behind me.
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Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling author of eight young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, Wild Reckless and The Girl I Was Before. A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com. When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

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Jack has some ‘splainin’ to do! Dog trainer Callie Lassiter’s normally well-behaved Great Dane Jack has run off and done the wild thing with the neighbor’s dog and now she’s pregnant. It must be puppy love!

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Review: Fate’s Love by L.A. Cotton

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Title: Fate’s Love (Fate’s Love #1)

Author: L.A. Cotton

Genre: New Adult Romance

Heat-O-Meter: PG-13

Rating: 8

1

When you meet that one person in the world meant for you… you should hold onto them.

Olivia Bannon walked away.

Twice.

When 17-year-old Livy meets Ethan, she can’t deny their inexplicable connection. Lost in his dark, intense eyes and smile-to-die-for, Livy never thought she would feel like this. It almost makes her want to break her childhood vow, but Livy knows happily ever after is just an illusion, and despite her heart wanting Ethan, her head is telling her to stick with the plan. The one that doesn’t include falling in love. Period.

Eight years later, Livy finds herself back in her hometown. After the way she left things, the last time they were together, Livy is anxious about seeing Ethan again. It shouldn’t come as a shock to discover he has finally moved on—but it hurts. A lot. Accepting that she will never get the chance to put things right isn’t easy, but it’s not until life comes crashing down around her that Livy realizes what she could’ve had. Left broken, alone, and depressed, only one person can pull her out—the guy she thought she’d pushed away one too many times.

Livy has finally realized that you can’t fight fate… Some things are just meant to be. Is this finally her time to get it right, or has Livy missed her last chance with Ethan?

2

This was a sweet romance. I always love a good, old fashioned romance. Ethan was a great character. His sweetness and honesty was so endearing! He was so supportive even when Livy made it VERY difficult! The book spans 8 years of their lives, and it really keeps you engaged!

There is a lot of teenage angst in this book. I think it was realistic given that the book starts with Livy and Ethan in high school. This is a straight forward, angsty romance and sometimes, you just need that! Nothing supernatural, no serial killers to run from, no cheating. It is just a pure romantic story about 2nd (3rd, 4th) chances for love!

3

Livy was seriously annoying at times. I did understand her hesitance for relationships but she was seriously getting on my nerves!!! Ethan was so amazing there were times I could not figure out why he hadn’t given up on her years ago! She was difficult to like at times.

6

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