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All posts for the month November, 2016

#ReleaseBlast #Giveaway When the Clock Strikes Twelve (Maine Attraction #3) by Elisabeth Grace

Published November 30, 2016 by ashleyzwonderland

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When the Clock Strikes Twelve (Maine Attraction #3) by Elisabeth Grace
Publication date: November 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance

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Max and Chloe had prepared themselves for a short trip to Aspen after celebrating Christmas in his Manhattan penthouse. It was the perfect opportunity to finalize their wedding details and get in a few runs on the snow-covered slopes. Being born and raised in Maine means Chloe’s no stranger to snow, but when a blizzard hits all their plans go awry. The result is something that will change both of their lives forever.

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USA Today Bestselling author, Elisabeth Grace, has a hot spot for alpha males and a soft spot for happily ever afters. She lives outside of Toronto, Canada with her husband, two small children, and killer cat. Her theory is that Satan himself spawned the white furball. She’s almost always eaten a chocolate bar before 10am (don’t judge) and has a mild, but healthy obsession with model David Gandy. 😉

If you’re a lover of romance novels, hot sex in obscure places, alpha males, and a little LOL on the side than you may enjoy her work!

She LOVES talking with fellow readers about books! If you’re the same she encourages you to reach out to her via one of her social media links!

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#ReleaseBlast #Giveaway Ink Exposed (Montgomery Ink #6) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Published November 29, 2016 by ashleyzwonderland

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Ink Exposed (Montgomery Ink #6) by Carrie Ann Ryan
Publication date: November 29th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance

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The Montgomery Ink series continues with the brother that deserves a second chance, and the woman who has always loved him.

Alex Montgomery lost his first love and then proceeded to leave himself in the bottle. Only he and his ex-wife truly know why he fell so hard and so fast down a path he never thought he’d take. Now he’s clean, out of rehab, and learning how to be a Montgomery once again—a task that isn’t quite as easy as some of his family assumes.

Tabby Collins is an honorary Montgomery and the organizational mastermind behind Montgomery Inc., the family’s construction company. She loves her planners, friends, and a certain dark-haired man who’s never given her a second glance.

Alex is slowly re-immersing himself back into the world, but the demons he faced before aren’t out of the picture, and he’ll have to learn to rely on others to make it out whole. When Alex discovers that Tabby’s life is in danger, he not only finds a way to help her but also learns the true woman behind the soft smiles he’s always seen. Their romance won’t be an easy one, but nothing this passionate and heart-pounding ever is.

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Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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#ReleaseBlast #Excerpt #Giveaway Fire in You (Wait for You #6) by J. Lynn

Published November 28, 2016 by ashleyzwonderland

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Some are born with fire in them.

✮✮✮SECOND CHANCES, HOPE, & RED-HOT CHEMISTRY… FIRE IN YOU, the final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Wait For You World is here! Don’t Miss Brock and Jillian’s passionate and richly moving story in this standalone contemporary romance!✮✮✮

Let the FIRE IN YOU burn and grab your copy today!

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Fire in You (Wait for You #6) by J. Lynn
Publication date: November 28th 2016
Genres: New Adult Romance

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From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…
Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.
She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.
Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.

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Making my way through the narrow pathways between the tables, I headed back toward the bathroom. Only once I pushed open the double doors and stopped in front of the water-spotted mirror did I realize I’d left my purse at the table, so there’d be no reapplying my lipstick.
I pumped soap onto my hands and waved them under the facet. Water flowed, washing away the suds as I slowly lifted my gaze to my reflection. Normally when I looked at myself, I didn’t really pay attention longer than was necessary to put makeup on without ending up looking like a tutorial gone wrong.
Standing here now, I really looked at myself, though.
I used to wear my hair up all the time, but I’d stopped doing that every day. My hair now hung in waves and the ends curled over the tips of my breasts. I also used to have heavy bangs, but thank God they were long gone. I’d finally learned how to put on eyeliner. That was another miracle. The slight flush of my face darkened my naturally tan skin. My lips were fuller and my nose straight.
My hair was parted to sweep to the left so it shielded my cheek…and my cheek didn’t look that bad, especially considering how it looked the first time I’d seen it after…after days in the hospital.
Hell, my entire face had been one hot mess.
There was a deep indentation in my left cheek, almost like an icepick had been shoved in there, and as I stared at my right jaw line, I was still amazed by what reconstructive plastic surgeons could accomplish. Half my face had literally been pieced back together with an iliac crest graft with a reconstruction plate and a crap ton of dentistry to give me back a full set of functional teeth.
Plastic surgeons didn’t have magic wands, but they were magicians. If you weren’t looking at me straight on, you’d have no idea that my right jaw was thinner than my left.
You’d have no idea what had happened to me that night.
Now I stared back at myself just like I had done that night, six years ago, standing in a bathroom, mere minutes before my entire life came crashing down.
It wasn’t that I hated the way I looked now. The fact that I was alive meant I was one of those rare, walking and breathing statistics.
But even knowing how lucky I was didn’t change the fact that I felt…deformed. That was a harsh word to use. I didn’t like to whip it out often. Doing so on what was so far a pretty good date was probably not a good idea.
Taking a deep breath, I shook my head. I didn’t need my thoughts going in that direction tonight. So far, the dinner had been amazing. Grady was nice and he was cute. I could maybe see myself going out with him again, to an art exhibit, and maybe coffee.
And that was what had freaked me out.
I was not going to let living freak me out.
Nope.
I could give him a chance and not worry about whether or not I was settling.
Turning from the sink, I dried my hands and then readjusted my hair so it fell forward, over my left shoulder and cheek. I walked out of the bathroom and into the narrow hall, gaze trained on the floor as I took about two steps before I realized someone was standing right outside the door, leaning against the wall. Before I nearly plowed into him.
Gasping, I took a step back. All I could see were finely cut black trousers paired with…with old black and white Chucks? What an odd combination, but those shoes reminded me of…
I gave a little shake of my head and stepped to the side. “Sorry. Excuse—”
“Jillian.”
I stopped.
Time stopped.
Everything stopped except my heart, because it was suddenly pounding in my chest too hard, too fast. That deep, rough voice. I recognized it all the way to my very core. Slowly, I lifted my gaze, already knowing what I was going to see but refusing to believe it.
Brock Mitchell stood in front of me.

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Order a digital or paperback copy of FIRE IN YOU by Jennifer L. Armentrout, writing as J.Lynn, AND fill out THIS FORM by December 3rd, and get an exclusive bonus scene-an Epilogue featuring POVs from all the major couples throughout the Wait For You World!
FIRE IN YOU will be available in paperback and eBook November 28th, 2016!
Just enter your name, age, email address, and the order number from your digial or paperback order receipt at https://a.pgtb.me/M7KhMCto receive your exclusive FIRE IN YOU bonus scene! All entrants will receive the bonus scene on December 5th, 2016 through email using the email given when the entrant filled out THIS FORM.

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# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.
She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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#ReleaseBlast #Excerpt The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld #12) by Gena Showalter

Published November 22, 2016 by ashleyzwonderland

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The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld #12) by Gena Showalter
Publication date: May 31st 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance

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Can Beauty tame her Beast?

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he’s back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he’s unable to withstand the touch of another…and he’s quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she’s taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she’s plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she’ll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

Includes Q&A featuring J. R. Ward, Jeaniene Frost, Nalini Singh and more!

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Baden reached the keeper of Defeat’s door and knocked hard enough to crack the wood.
Note to self: Buy a new door.
“Coming, coming.” A patter of footsteps rang out and the door swung open, revealing Strider’s mate, Kaia. She greeted him with a dagger in hand, her mass of red hair anchored in pigtails, her eyes bright with fury.
She’s armed…a true threat. Kill her!
Baden did his best to ignore the beast, staring over Kaia’s shoulder. He scanned the room, checking for hidden threats out of habit. Well. Her decorating style could probably be classified as a hoarder died here. “Did you reach your sister?”
“Yep. She’ll meet you at Downfall in an hour.”
“Thank you.”
“Save your thanks and do me a favor.” She gave the hilt of her dagger a kiss. “Next time you’re with Hades, demand to know each of William’s hideouts.”
The urge to protect suddenly overwhelmed him. Protect William? Or Hades?
Both. Destruction snarled inside his head. They are mine, and I will annihilate anyone who even thinks to harm them.
His mouth watered. Her blood, I’ll taste it. His hands itched. Her bones, I’ll break them.
As a predator, Kaia sensed his intentions and reacted accordingly, crouching, readying for attack.
Rational thought intruded: No, no. Not her.
But Destruction had already pulled back his fist to strike. At the last second, Baden regained a semblance of control, raining the fury upon the wall with punches and kicks.
The beast roared as more and more of Baden’s friends sprinted from their rooms, grabbing hold of him to try to stop him.
They dare try to restrain me?
Again, the beast was able to overtake him, flinging one warrior after another across the hall.
He laughed.
“How do we corral him?” someone shouted.
“Keeley.” Torin’s voice poured over the intercom. “You’re needed in Strider’s room. ASAP.”
“No time. We need Katarina,” a female called. “She calms him, I think.”
A handful of warriors rushed him at once, tackling him to the floor, but again, flinging them away wasn’t difficult. Power expanded his limbs, reinforced his bones. He was able to work his way to his feet.
I might fall, but I’ll never stay down.
A grinning blond stepped into his path. The male named Strider. Killing him would be a pleasure.
Baden screamed at Destruction. He’s my friend. They all are!
“Hey! Over here.” One of the women said, “I’m going to rip you a new asshole—in your face.”
Not my friends, Destruction told Baden as he grabbed her by the neck and lifted her off her feet. Anya. Destruction had made of point of learning the identities of the residents. Know your enemy…
“No!” Lucien shouted, tackling him from behind.
The goddess of Anarchy twined her legs around Destruction’s neck and, as he stumbled, squeezed with surprising strength.
From the corner of his eye, he spotted Katarina and the one named Ashlyn rounding the far corner. Both females stopped to gap at him. He paused, he wasn’t sure why, giving Baden the opportunity to regain a bit of control. Not enough to claim ownership of the body, but enough to slow him down as their wills clashed. He bellowed to the rafters.
“Run, Ash and take the girl with you,” Maddox demanded. “She’s only making him worse.”
Katarina…leave?
Baden and Destruction worked together to pull Anya off their shoulders and drop her. They sidestepped Lucien and stalked to the woman who’d haunted them. The woman who belonged to them. If only for a little while.
“Go!” multiple voices screamed at once. The warriors were giving chase, trying to beat him to the object of his fascination.
Ashlyn attempted to tug Katarina away, but Katarina shook off her hold and stepped forward. Toward him.
The moment she reached him, she framed his face with her delicate hands. He had to crouch to allow the action, which wasn’t exactly a prime position to mount a proper defense—but worth it.
“What’s wrong with you?” she asked.
He drew in a breath, his usually useless lungs suddenly infused by the sweetness of her scent…as if he were coming back to life. “They are threats.”
“Wrong. There are no threats here.”
“They are threats,” he insisted.
She brushed her thumbs over the rise of his cheeks, gentle, so gentle, and yet still the action stung. But he didn’t pull away. The air between them thickened and crackled with awareness. He liked it.
The others stopped their pursuit and maintained a proper distance, whispering with incredulity.
“Is this really happening or am I hallucinating?” someone asked.
“Does the human have a magic hoo-ha?”
“You have a job to do,” Katarina reminded him, ignoring the others. “Why don’t you go do it, and I’ll take care of the threats here?”
He snorted. “You’re not strong enough.”
That earned a raised brow. “So you’ve told me.”
“Dude. Isn’t she married?” Kaia asked.
He snarled at the Harpy, though his gaze remained on Katarina. She’d lost weight and looked more fragile than ever, and yet her beauty took his breath away.
Breath he now needed to survive?
“Baden,” she said.
“Destruction,” he corrected.
“Since he’s affected by you, I’m willing to bet you’re affected by him. Why don’t I call you Baduction?” She smiled at him, inviting him to play with her. “And a hat tip to you. If your newest job is to stare at me, you’ve got it nailed.”
He didn’t know how to play, but he liked seeing her like this. Happy rather than despondent.
He shouldn’t care what she felt. Caring left him vulnerable.
He scowled at her. “Stay out of trouble today.”
“I will, but not because you ordered it. Because I’m a girl and girls are made of—”
“Sugar and spice,” he interjected, remembering the rhyme. Boys were made of snakes and snails.
“Wrong. Girls are made of vodka and ice. The two combined increase our tolerance for masculine nonsense.”

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Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs.

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#ReleaseBlast The Hitman’s Property (A Bad Boy Mafia Romance #2) by Tia Lewis

Published November 22, 2016 by ashleyzwonderland

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The Hitman’s Property (A Bad Boy Mafia Romance #2) by Tia Lewis
Publication date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Dark Hitman Romance

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I’ll go into the depths of Hell just to protect her.
As a hitman, my life is simple and about one thing only—kill my mark. Women are just a bonus. They don’t govern what I do or who I kill.
I don’t do emotions. I don’t talk about my past. And I certainly don’t fall in love.
At least until I rescued Tess.
I never thought I’d fall for a woman like her—blonde, beautiful, petite, and with mesmerizing blue eyes that see right into my tainted soul.
But when she’s threatened, my protective instincts kick into overdrive.
She’s mine. She belongs to me.
The Russian mafia is getting more desperate to get her back, and I’ll be damned if I let her go. I’ll risk my life a thousand times over, and I’ll take down any f*cking bastard who stands in my way.
Even if the consequences end up deadly.

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Tia Lewis is a romance author from the Midwest who writes about smart, sexy, sassy women and hot, possessive alpha males. Her favorite bad boys to write about include sports players, mafia, bikers, billionaires and the bad-ass next door. You can find her cooking, reading, or traveling when she’s not busy working on her next release.
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text LEWIS to 31996!

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#CoverReveal Tied by Jacob Chance

Published November 21, 2016 by ashleyzwonderland

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Tied by Jacob Chance
Publication date: December 20th 2016
Genres: Erotica, Contemporary Romance

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Seven years is a long time to wait to be with the person you know you were meant to be with. My patience has reached its limit. Kenna McKenzie needs to be mine forever and I’m not waiting any longer. Fate has thrown too many obstacles in our path already. The sooner I permanently tie her to me, the better…then I can tie her to the bed for a wedding night I’ll make sure she never forgets.

Join Derek, Kenna and all their friends for a wild and thrilling wedding weekend in Sin City. What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, but you never know who might be there…
watching.

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Jacob Chance grew up in New England and still lives there today. He’s a martial artist, a football fan, a practical joker and junk food lover.
A writer of erotic romance, QUIVER is his second release and is the follow up to QUAKE.
Jacob plans on writing many more sexy, suspenseful stories and to branch out to other genres.

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#Teaser Ink Exposed (Montgomery Ink #6) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Published November 21, 2016 by ashleyzwonderland

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Ink Exposed (Montgomery Ink #6) by Carrie Ann Ryan
Publication date: November 29th 2016
Genres:Contemporary Romance

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The Montgomery Ink series continues with the brother that deserves a second chance, and the woman who has always loved him.

Alex Montgomery lost his first love and then proceeded to leave himself in the bottle. Only he and his ex-wife truly know why he fell so hard and so fast down a path he never thought he’d take. Now he’s clean, out of rehab, and learning how to be a Montgomery once again—a task that isn’t quite as easy as some of his family assumes.

Tabby Collins is an honorary Montgomery and the organizational mastermind behind Montgomery Inc., the family’s construction company. She loves her planners, friends, and a certain dark-haired man who’s never given her a second glance.

Alex is slowly re-immersing himself back into the world, but the demons he faced before aren’t out of the picture, and he’ll have to learn to rely on others to make it out whole. When Alex discovers that Tabby’s life is in danger, he not only finds a way to help her but also learns the true woman behind the soft smiles he’s always seen. Their romance won’t be an easy one, but nothing this passionate and heart-pounding ever is.

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Alex Montgomery didn’t need a drink.
But he fucking craved one.
This feeling wasn’t new, of course. The craving was always there. It burned in his gut, spiraled up his spine, and parched his throat. It clawed at him, seduced him, rammed into him like it couldn’t help itself. It was like an angry linebacker, screaming in one ear while a seductive temptress whispered sexy innuendos in the other, both of them telling him to just take one drink.
It would only be one drink, they taunted. Just one.
Only it never ended at one drink.
Because Alex was an alcoholic. He hadn’t had a drink soothe his parched throat, or tried to drown his demons in over a year. He still couldn’t quite believe it sometimes, and yet, other times it felt as if it had been so much longer. Sixteen months sober, but an addict nonetheless. No matter how many days passed and how many drinks he didn’t imbibe, he’d always be an alcoholic. That was something he’d learned to face over the past few months, but sometimes knowing it didn’t make trying to live a normal life any easier.
“You’re here early,” Marie Montgomery said as she made her way to his side. He’d been standing outside even in the cold Denver air, but his mother had found him anyway. He loved the scent of mountains and comfort that seemed to permeate his childhood home, and just looking at the woman who’d raised him made him feel that much closer to what he’d lost…and that much farther away from where he’d started.
His mother had aged well, he thought. To the point he wasn’t sure she’d aged at all. If her genes were what the family could go by when they got older, then most of his siblings were going to look just fine as they entered their fifties and sixties. Alex had probably pickled his liver during his depression so he figured it probably wouldn’t be quite the same for him. He’d more than likely end up harder-edged than his already edgy siblings. But that had been his choice at one point, and then out of his hands after he’d fallen too hard. Now, he’d face the consequences of his decisions. And it was about time he faced the aftermath according to his sponsor and therapist.
His mother wrapped her arms around his waist and held on tightly. He ignored the way his stomach tightened, and hugged her back, the action almost rusty. It hadn’t been easy these past few months to remember how affectionate his family had once been with him. He’d pushed them all away over time, and he was just now learning how to come back—if there were a way to come back. When he closed his eyes and inhaled the scent that had once calmed him, he prayed that one day he’d find himself tranquil again.
He used to drink to forget, and then, because he didn’t know anything else, he’d kept drinking. But now, he needed to remember, damn it.
He kissed the top of his mother’s head since she was so much smaller than he was and took a step back. She was a few inches shorter than all of her sons and even a couple of inches shorter than her three daughters. How Marie Montgomery had been able to raise eight kids as well as all of their friends who’d come to their home day after day was beyond him.
“I’m glad you’re here, though.” She patted his chest and looked up at him with worried eyes. She always held that worry now; and he knew it was his fault that it was there.
“I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” he said honestly. His mother’s eyes softened, and he figured he’d said the right thing. “I know the family dinner starts in a couple hours, but I wanted to come early and see if I could help.” Though their family was considered huge in this day and age, the immediate family members all lived within thirty minutes of each other in the Denver suburbs. Some of them had moved away for a year or two for school or life, but they’d all come back to Denver in the end. Once he’d gotten out of rehab, he’d considered moving away and starting over, but he’d just be hurting those who had loved him through all his crap. They’d stayed with him, pushed him toward the decision he’d had to make for himself, and now, he was glad he’d stayed in the city.
At least, that’s how he felt in that moment. With the way his mind kept going in a thousand different directions, he could change his mind again soon.
Since his parents were ecstatic that all of their babies were so close, they held family dinners twice a month. Sometimes, they made it happen more often; sometimes, they could only get everybody together once, but all of Alex’s siblings tried to make it when they could. Add in the fact that the rest of his family had been having children at an alarming rate recently, and their family dinners were always loud, full, and exhausting.
Once again, he ignored the tightening in his stomach.
I can do this, he told himself again.
He’d been normal once. He could try to at least play at being normal again.
“Anyway, you could have come right into the house, Alex,” his mother continued. “You didn’t have to come in through the backyard. You could have just come right in through the front door. No need to even knock since you’re one of my babies. Since the chemo and radiation treatments are over, your father wasn’t taking a nap like he used to.”
Alex’s father, Harry, had battled prostate cancer the year before when Alex had been going through his own self-induced downward spiral. Alex hadn’t been in any shape to be the kind of son Harry needed when he’d faced death and won. Thankfully, Alex had four other brothers who were far stronger than he was, and three sisters who kicked ass at anything they did.
“I wanted to walk the long way before I made it inside.” He shrugged, and she gave him a curious look. He sighed and pointed to one of the picnic tables on the large patio his father and his brother Austin had built over a decade ago. Austin was a few years older than Alex and had always been good with his hands. Yet it had been the next two siblings in the line, Wes and Storm, who had joined Harry in his construction company. While Austin had opened his own tattoo shop with their sister, Maya.
“I brought my camera in case you wanted photos or something and figured I’d see if anything caught my eye out here.” He didn’t look in her direction as he said it, suddenly self-conscious. He was a photographer and photojournalist by trade, but he’d lost many of his contacts when he found himself at the bottom of a bottle. He’d spent the past year trying to atone for his sins, making new connections and repairing the ones he’d broken, but he wasn’t quite there yet.
His mother put her hand on his forearm, and he looked down at her again. “I think that would be wonderful. Nothing formal I suppose since we didn’t warn anyone, but I’d love some shots of the family being who they are and just enjoying themselves. You were always talented at capturing that.” Tears filled her eyes, and she blinked them away, though not fast enough for him not to feel like a heel for putting them there. “I look forward to seeing what you come up with. You’re so talented.”
He nodded, swallowing hard. Maybe one day he wouldn’t feel like a stranger in the home he’d grown up in, but today wouldn’t be that day. Hell, he felt like a stranger in his own skin, let alone allowing space for anyone else to see who he was.
He didn’t even know who he was anymore.
“Mrs. Montgomery?”
Alex turned at the sound of the soft voice behind him, his heart suddenly beating just a bit faster, though he didn’t know why.
Tabitha moved toward them, a hesitant smile on her face as she studied him and his mom. She wore her light auburn hair up high in a ponytail, but he was pretty sure at one point she’d been blonde. Though it might have just been a trick of the light. If he were honest with himself, he couldn’t quite remember much of the past couple of years. She was a little above average height and all legs—legs he’d checked out more than once in the past year.
But he’d always pushed those thoughts aside, just as he would now. He was in recovery, damn it, and though he was past the year mark that most people suggested addicts wait to start a relationship, he knew that Tabitha wouldn’t be the woman he started up with once he was ready.

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carrieann
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Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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