#Promo #Excerpt #Giveaway Claiming the Maverick’s Heart by Debra Holt

Published April 27, 2017 by ashleyzwonderland

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Claiming the Maverick’s Heart by Debra Holt
Publication date: October 1st 2016
Genres: Romance

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“He’s back.”

Words Macy Donovan hoped to never hear.

Trace Cartwright was the maverick rodeo cowboy who broke her heart, leaving her on the steps of the church on the eve of their wedding. Now he’s returned to build his home and to lay claim to her heart … again. Macy barely survived the broken heart the first time. Does he think he can walk back into her life and take up where he left off?

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Well, she was a take charge kinda gal now wasn’t she? The girl Trace Cartwright had left behind would have shrunk away into a dark corner to lick her wounds. But that’s not who she was anymore. Her eyes flew to the rearview mirror. Then her brain took over, and she spun the truck into a U-turn at the end of Main Street…good ting the sheriff was looking the other way. The element of surprise was on her side, and she would use it.

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Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!).

When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs…to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.

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#TTT Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

Published April 25, 2017 by ashleyzwonderland

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

I’ve never joined is this weekly meme either but I thought I would give it a try.

Here are my answers (in no particular order) to this week’s question

1. Cheating – I absolutely loathe it. There’s just no excuse for it.

2. Animal Harming – I will burn your house down if you even think of harming an animal. Period.

3. Zombies – They creep me out and I have no interest. The only zombie book I’ve read and enjoyed was Alice in Zombieland but the author did a different take on the usual and it was actually interesting. Otherwise, CREEPY!

4. Time Travel – I’d feel like I was on some type of high and wouldn’t be able to understand.

5. M/M, F/F, etc. – Anything involving something other than one M/F is just a turn off for. I don’t like to share and it’s just not my cup of tea.

6. Historical – The only time I will RARELY make an exception for this is if it’s a western. Otherwise, they’re not for me.

7. Sci-Fi – Again, not my thing. I’ve tried and they just don’t hold my interest. I usually end up confused.

8. Parenthood – With the type of books I read, I just don’t find a place for it. I like sexy times and a child just turns that off.

9. Insta-love – When the characters meet and are already planning the reading by chapter 5, it’s a no go for me. I do like some semblance of real life to my books and this shit just doesn’t happen.

10. Religious – Joyce Meyer is one of my favorites, but I just don’t like it in my fiction books.

Whew! This list was harder than I thought it would be. Do you share any of my turn offs? What are some of yours?

#IMWAYR It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Published April 24, 2017 by ashleyzwonderland

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!

I’ve never joined in this before but I thought it would be a fun idea to maybe help me keep up with what I need to read. Let’s see how it goes.

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I’m in a bookclub on Facebook and this month’s book was Elemntary, She Read. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped. I didn’t really care for the main character but I’m still looking forward to the rest of the series.
Mollie Cox Bryan is one of my new favorites and when I saw she had a new book, No Charm Intended, coming out in her Cora Crafts series I knew I had to read it. It was an overall enjoyable read although a little confusing at times with so many characters. I did enjoy seeing the crossover of Sheila and her daughter from Cox’s Cumberland Creek series. Reviews to come soon.
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After reading No Charm Intended, I decided to catch up on the Cumberland Creek series by reading the next one on my list. I just started it so I don’t have a real good opinion of it yet.
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I have quite a few Netgalley reviews I need to catch up on and a blog tour for a new series by Melissa Foster coming out in May. These are tentatively what I’ll be reading next.
Crossing Hearts

Death by Chocolate Lab

Kale to the Queen

Kneaded to Death

Purr M for Murder

Bayside Desires

#Review #Excerpt #Giveaway Truly, Madly Whiskey by Melissa Foster

Published April 21, 2017 by ashleyzwonderland

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Truly, Madly Whiskey by Melissa Foster
Publication date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC
My Rating: ★★★★

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A new sexy standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster.
Eight months is a long damn time to have the hots for a woman who keeps a guy at arm’s length. But Crystal Moon is no ordinary woman. She’s a sinfully sexy, sass-mouthed badass, and the subject of Bear Whiskey’s midnight fantasies. She’s also one of his closest friends.
Just when Crystal thinks she has her life under control, scorching-hot, possessive, aggressive, and fiercely loyal Bear pushes all her sexual buttons, relentless in his pursuit to make her his.
The more Bear pushes, the hotter their passion burns, unearthing memories for Crystal that are best kept buried. But there’s no stopping the collision of her past and present, catapulting the two lovers down an emotional and sexually charged road that has them questioning all they thought they knew about themselves.

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“Really, Bear. I can drop you at your place before I go to the fabric shop.” Crystal started the car, feeling more in control than she had inside the shop. She hated the way she’d frozen up when things had gotten hot between them. She wanted him. After putting herself through three years of therapy, dealing with not only the trauma of the attack, but the bullshit with her mother and the loss of her father, she was sure she could handle anything. She’d dated other guys since she’d left college without issue. Why did it have to be different with the only guy she wanted to be close to? It pissed her off that her past still owned a piece of her, and she needed to get over it before Bear got fed up and walked away for good.
“I have to go to the store anyway.” He flashed one of his smiles. “We might as well go together.”
“You need to go to the fabric store?” she said flatly, knowing he was bullshitting her. She realized her car smelled different, cleaner. The seats were shiny, the dashboard dust free. “Did you clean my car?”
“Detailed it,” he said casually, as if he did this type of thing every day. For all she knew, he did. “Changed your oil, topped off your fluids. You really need to do those things every three thousand miles.” He touched the doll hanging from her rear view mirror. “I dusted off this, too, even though I’m a little worried that it’s a voodoo doll.”
She wasn’t about to tell him it was a worry doll that she loved more than life itself.
“Bear.” She couldn’t suppress her smile about the voodoo doll as she drove toward the store. “You really need to stop acting like you have to take care of me. I appreciate you handling the inspection, which I’m paying you for, by the way. But you don’t have to do all these things for me. I already like who you are.” Even if I have a hard time showing it.
“I know you do,” he said, as cocky as ever.
Why is that such a turn-on?
“I didn’t do it to get your attention. Shit, six three, two thirty.” He flexed his biceps and winked. “You’re sitting next to Peaceful Harbor gold, baby. I’ve got your attention.”
She couldn’t suppress a laugh. “That you do, and probably half the women in this town.”
“Only half?”
He kept her laughing the whole way to the fabric store, and it was just what she needed. It really had been a long day. They’d hosted three parties, and one of the mothers was just about the most obnoxious woman on earth. She’d pushed her daughter toward pink frilly outfits for the first half hour, when all the little cutie had wanted was to dress up as a skateboard princess. Gemma realized Crystal was going to strangle the wench, and she’d calmly suggested the woman head down to Jazzy Joe’s for coffee. The rest of her day hadn’t been much better. Plus, she’d spent the morning overthinking everything about her relationship with Bear, which was probably why she’d freaked out when she’d really been dying to kiss him.
She parked in front of the fabric store. There were some things that just didn’t fit in the world as Crystal knew it, and Bear Whiskey clad in a tight black T-shirt that said Whiskey Bro’s across his massive chest, a pair of snug, low-slung black jeans, and leather boots strutting into Jennilyn’s Fabric was on the top of the list.
She pulled her list from her bag as his eyes coasted over the store. What was he thinking, coming with her? That was dedication she could not ignore. The epitome of commitment.
That is Bear.
My Bear?
She toyed with that as he draped his arm over her shoulder. She wondered what had taken him so long. She’d expected him to do it the second she’d stepped from the car, but he was probably in shock that they were actually going to a fabric store. She smiled to herself as he leaned closer and rubbed his nose along her cheek.
“Can I help you?” she asked with a laugh.
“You smell like jelly beans, and I happen to have a thing for sugary goodness.”
“You can’t seriously have that good a sense of smell.”
He pressed an unexpected, and deliciously warm, kiss to her cheek and reached into her purse, withdrawing a bag of jelly beans. “Hoarding? Or were we going to hide these later in your body and let me find them?” He moved his mouth beside her ear and whispered, “Blindfolded. With my hands tied behind my back.”
He nudged her deeper into the store. Holy crap. She’d stopped walking. Was she breathing? And was that a thing? Blindfolded? Hands tied behind his back? Oh, the control that would give her. She’d be at no risk of being overpowered. But would she want that much control? She imagined herself lying naked on her bed, watching as his greedy mouth moved over her breasts, down her belly, and she felt herself go damp.
No, no, no.
Ice cream. Ice baths. Cow poop!
Her body continued vibrating from the inside out. This was bad. Really, really bad. Like a virus she couldn’t shake. She needed an anti-Bear pill. Stat!

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Oh, Melissa Foster, you’ve done it again!! You’ve sucked me in and sent me on a roller coaster of emotions.

If you’ve read Foster’s other work, you’ll notice right away that this book is darker in style. The characters are rougher around the edges and the story is more somber.

Bear and Crystal are first introduced in Tru Blue. (Note: You don’t have to read Tru Blue first unless you want Tru and Gemma’s backstory.) Bear is instantly attracted to Crystal, but Crystal wants nothing to do with Bear…or does she?

Crystal is one of those characters that you like one minute and who can irritate you the next. She’s had a rough life and she doesn’t like getting close to people as she feels they only leave her or let her down in the end. This caused me to feel like she was playing with Bear’s emotions, wanting him one minute and pushing him away the next.

Bear, who has his fair share of pain in his life, must have the patience of Job. He wants Crystal the moment he first sets eyes on her, and is preparing to wait and do whatever it takes to have her. Although he’s known as a badass biker, he shows his softer side with Crystal. While I liked the more sensitive side of him, there are places in the story where I wish he’d shown more of his alpha side.

All in all this was an overall great read. While I had a few issues with the characters, the story line was awesome and the romance was HOT! I’m looking forward to read the next one to find out more about the rest of the Whiskey family.

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Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

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#Excerpt #Giveaway Bayside Desires (Bayside Summers #1) by Melissa Foster

Published April 20, 2017 by ashleyzwonderland

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Bayside Desires (Bayside Summers #1) by Melissa Foster
Publication date: May 9th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance

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Fall in love at Bayside, where sandy beaches, good friends, and true love come together in the sweet small towns of Cape Cod.

BAYSIDE SUMMERS is a series of standalone steamy romance novels featuring alpha male heroes and sexy, empowered women. They’re fun, flirty, flawed, deeply emotional, always passionate, and easy to relate to.

“With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!” -NYT Bestseller Julie Kenner

“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” -NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely

In Bayside Desires…
As the co-owner of Bayside Resorts, Rick Savage has a fabulous job working with his best friends and brother, and a thriving business in Washington, DC, which he’ll be returning to at the end of the summer. Spending time with his family is great, but being back on Cape Cod has unearthed painful memories. When sweet, smart, and overly cautious Desiree Cleary moves in next door, Rick is drawn to the sexy preschool teacher, and she just might prove to be the perfect distraction.

Running an art gallery was not in preschool teacher Desiree Cleary’s plans, but after being tricked into coming to her impetuous, unreliable mother’s aid, she’s stuck spending the summer with the badass half sister she barely knows and a misbehaving dog. If that’s not frustrating enough, she can’t escape the sparks igniting with her strikingly handsome and pushy neighbor, Rick, who makes all her warning bells go off.

Passion ignites as Desiree and Rick spend long summer nights sharing heartfelt confessions and steamy kisses. For the first time in years Rick is enjoying life again instead of hiding behind mounds of work miles away from his family. Desiree has touched him in a way that makes him want to slow down. Only slowing down means dealing with his demons, and he isn’t sure who he’ll be when he comes out the other side.

All Bayside books can be read as standalone novels or as part of the series:
Coming Soon…
Bayside Heat
Bayside Escape
Bayside Passions

Bayside Summers is part of the Love in Bloom romance collection by New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. While each book may be read as a standalone, you might enjoy reading the entire Love in Bloom series. Characters from each sub-series appear in future books. Visit Melissa’s website for family trees, series checklists, and more.

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Desiree clearly stood at the end of a jetty at Indian Neck Beach, watching three brawny guys race around Cape Cod Bay on Jet Skis while she FaceTimed with her best friend, Emery Andrews. She had known Emery since first grade, and she was the only person who would understand why, after driving for more than twelve hours, Desiree was standing on that jetty, pretending to be on vacation, instead of facing the woman who had summoned her to Wellfleet.
“I should have come with you,” Emery insisted. “You’re at the beach, and I’m stuck here teaching yoga and Pilates to people who go home and eat entire pizzas afterward. Not that I’m only thinking of me. I’m just saying. I could be your backbone when you see your mother. You know, make sure you don’t wimp out on telling her how cruel it was to go months without any contact and then send you that email.”
Emery had a right to be upset. She’d been there for Desiree for more than twenty years, picking up the pieces of Desiree’s broken heart after short, awkward, visits with her mother. Lizza Vancroft had been breezing in and out of her life since Desiree was five years old. Desiree was used to hearing from her mother only once or twice a year, but her most recent email had taken the cake. She’d read the cryptic message dozens of times, as concerned as she was annoyed. I need you to come to Wellfleet and run my art gallery for the summer. It might prolong my life. She hadn’t even known Lizza was ill, much less owned a gallery and had been living in the States.
“I’ll be fine,” she said, though she wasn’t sure she believed it. After Desiree’s parents had divorced, Lizza had taken off to teach overseas with Desiree’s half sister, Violet, leaving Desiree to live with her father. Some small part of her was still waiting for her mother to make amends for leaving her behind. “I just need a few minutes to get my head on straight before facing her.”
One of the Jet Skis headed directly for another, swerving at the last second to avoid a collision. “Holy cow. Someone is going to get killed. Look at these guys.” She held up her phone to show Emery the crazy Jet Skiers. “Who does that? It’s so dangerous.”
“Hot Jet Skiing guys who thrive on danger. My kind of guys, and your perfect distraction.” Emery waggled her brows.
“I don’t need a distraction. Lizza is almost a stranger to me. It’s like I’m waiting to get bad news from someone I met a few times but don’t really know.”
“I know. Your mother is as flighty as a fairy, and I’m sure right now you wish you were wired like her and Violet instead of being responsible and organized to the nth degree, like your father,” Emery said. Spot-on, as always. “Then you could be the one who was living overseas working with one nonprofit or another without Internet or a care in the world, like Violet, instead of procrastinating the unleashing of a nest of demons you’ve spent years tamping down.”
“You’re so dramatic.” Desiree smiled, thankful for Emery’s teasing.
She had no idea whether Violet would be there when she arrived. Though she and Violet had grown up on opposite sides of the world, they had spent a few weeks together at the Cape each summer with their grandmother. At least they had until they were teens and one or the other had found better things to do, most years whittling those weeks down to just a few days. They’d kept in touch only sporadically during college, and before their grandmother’s funeral last winter, it had been more than three years since Desiree had seen Violet or their mother. But that didn’t mean Desiree hadn’t always wished for a relationship with her sister, despite how different they were.
“That’s why you love me.” Emery flashed a cheesy smile. “Seriously, though. You need to just go see Lizza and get it over with. And you should probably be glad I’m not there. Because as far as I’m concerned, her email was infuriating, unfair, and heartrending.” Emery’s eyes narrowed. “I’d like to give her a piece of my mind.”
“So would I,” Desiree admitted. “But I won’t.” A breeze swept off the bay, lifting the ends of her dress. She pushed it back down, catching a glimpse of one of the Jet Skiers slowing to watch her. As if she wasn’t nervous enough today?
“I know. You’ve got the biggest heart on the planet. We need a plan. You do best with plans.” Emery tucked her brown hair behind her ear and leaned closer to the screen, like she was sharing a secret. “Tonight, after you get your heart torn to shreds, since I’m not there to help heal your mama-wounds, please get yourself a nice bottle of wine and a big man. I promise that will help ease whatever pain she throws your way.”
“Don’t you mean a big bottle of wine and a nice man?” Desiree asked, as the Jet Skier who was watching her broke away from the others and sped past.
“Definitely not. You don’t need a nice man. I know you think you want romance and all the mushy stuff like flowers, candy, and midnight walks.” Emery flashed her don’t-even-try-to-tell-me-otherwise scowl. “But trust me. You need a man who takes control, whose kisses turn you inside out and make you forget about your crazy mother.”
She wrapped her arms around her middle, listening to the roar of the lone Jet Ski cutting tracks in front of her and wondering about kisses that turned a woman inside out. She had yet to experience anything like that, but Emery talked about them like she’d had enough to share. Maybe it was time to expand her horizons.
“Hello?” Emery said. “Think you can look at me and stop watching the hot Jet Skiers for two minutes?”
Desiree laughed. “Like you’d ever look at me instead of a guy? Besides, I’m only watching one, because he’s watching me. The other two are long gone.” She held up her phone again, showing her the hot guy with dark hair keeping time with her as she paced the jetty.
“God, you’re so lucky. Go take hot Jet Ski guy for a ride and show up late to see Lizza.” Emery waggled her brows. “For all you know, she’s not even at your grandmother’s house waiting for you.”
That was true. Lizza and Violet still hadn’t replied to her messages. But that didn’t change the fact that Desiree wasn’t a jump-in-the sack with a stranger kind of girl. “That’s just what I need. A reckless adrenaline junkie before seeing Lizza. No thanks.”
Emery turned away from the phone. “I have to go. My date is here.”
“You have a date? With who?”
“One of the reckless, adrenaline-junky Jericho brothers. I’ll let you try to figure out which one.” She blew Desiree a kiss. “Listen, babe. Take my advice. Bang the Jet Ski guy; then you’ll be nice and relaxed when you see Lizza. Call if you need me. Love you!”
Desiree ended the call, and the guy trailing her on the Jet Ski zoomed past. He made a sharp turn and headed back, eyes locked on her, making her heart race. Maybe letting loose for a night was just what she needed. One night of uninhibited anything would be a first. The Jet Ski turned again, taking another, faster pass, the hot guy’s eyes still trained on her. Butterflies took flight in her stomach. He was obviously interested. Maybe…
He turned again and headed straight toward the jetty.
Straight for her.
Oh God. How long had she been staring at him? What was I thinking?
She tried to act casual, looking at the boats, the sky, anywhere but at the man on the machine as she made her way along the rocks toward the beach. He fishtailed, spraying water in her direction. She shrieked and turned away as water rained down on her.
No, a reckless man was definitely not what she needed.

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Melissa writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Readers adore Melissa’s fun, flirty, and sinfully sexy, award-winning big family romance collection, LOVE IN BLOOM featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, Seaside Summer, Harborside Nights, and the Wild Boys After Dark. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website. Visit Melissa on Facebook or her personal website.

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

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#CoverReveal #Giveaway Spells to Die For (Witch’s Brew Cozy Mystery #2) by CC Dragon

Published April 18, 2017 by ashleyzwonderland

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Spells to Die For (Witch’s Brew Cozy Mystery #2) by CC Dragon
Publication date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Cozy Paranormal Mystery

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Claudia Crestwood and friends are back again for more mystery, murder, and magic!

New witches are welcomed to town. Even invited to a coven meeting. Then deadly spells turn up missing from the family collection—was it the rival witch or the one who turned up dead? Either way, Claudia needs to retrieve the spells and solve the murder…

With a competing coven growing and a new werewolf in town, Claudia has her hands full. Add in the personal secret she’s still trying to uncover plus her first magical ball and she needs all the help she can conjure!

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*Contains affiliate links*
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A loyal Chicago girl who loves deep dish pizza, the Cubs, and the Lake, C.C. Dragon is fascinated by mysteries, sleuthing, as well as the supernatural. The southern connection comes in because her sister moved down there and the material was too fun and entertaining not to set a series there.

C.C. loves creating characters, especially amateur sleuths who solve crimes in their spare time. A coffee and chocolate addict who loves fast cars, she’s still looking for a hero who likes to cook and clean…so she can write more!

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Win $25 Amazon Gift Card, Signed copy of the book of your choice, and a CC/Cheryl Dragon swag pack! Ends April 30, 2017. Open to US residents only.

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The Boy Next Door (Off-Limits Romance #2) by Ella James

Published April 17, 2017 by ashleyzwonderland

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The Boy Next Door (Off-Limits Romance #2) by Ella James
Publication date: May 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance

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The boy next door. That’s what he was. Dash Frasier—my hero from the day we met, when I was six and he was nine. His sister was my best friend, the three of us one happy crew. Then one sweaty summer night changed everything.

No one understood me like Dash. No one made me feel so loved. That’s why, when he skipped town, it wrecked me.

Now I’m older. Wiser. I’ve just snagged my dream job, writing at a film studio. The lead animator on my project? You guessed it.

He’s not the boy next door. Not anymore.

I’m guarding my heart this time.

But Dash has secrets that could break us both.

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Ella James is the USA Today bestselling author of sixteen teen and adult love stories. She’s an angst-a-holic who loves exploring difficult situations and the emotions of the people caught up in them. Also, smut. But always, always romance.

Ella’s obsessions include vanilla cream soda, hiking, other weird, crunchy things like rock collecting, and the antics of her three little monsters.

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