Tuesday, December 31, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Restore Me (A Kin Series Book 2.5) by Jennifer Foor

Title: Restore Me (A Kin Series 2.5)
Author: Jennifer Foor
Expected publication: January 15th 2014

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Joey's POV during the events on Replace Me

We've heard Shayne and Lacey's side of the story, but now we get to here how Joey felt about everything that surrounded him finding love. 
This isn't the exact story as you've already read, due to Joey having lots of secrets and problems to overcome.

The first books in the series links are as follows:

A Maryland native who spends most of her time
devising a plan to live off the land on some remote island, where no one will ever find her.

She is a married mother of two kids, who may or may not drive her completely bonkers. In her spare time she enjoys shooting pool, camping and spending time with friends and family.

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Release - Music of the Soul by Katie Ashley

Title: Music of the Soul (Runaway Train #2.5)
Author: Katie Ashley
Published: Dec. 30, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

4 1/2 Star Review: The Ballad by Ashley Pullo

Title: The Ballad
Author: Ashley Pullo
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 2, 2013

noun \ˈba-ləd\
: a slow popular song that is typically about love
: a kind of poem or song that tells a story 

The Ballad is a Modern Romance designed to involve the reader in the authenticity of life, love and all things in between.

Chloe LeGrange is a singer/songwriter guided by her internal rhythm and raw emotions. Adam Ford is a sexy attorney, disciplined and emotionally guarded. Her impulsive behavior is counter-balanced by his calm composure, but a stable relationship can often divert one’s own path to self-discovery.

The Ballad is written in the unique narrative style of Chloe’s witty approach to life, with unpredictable crescendos and intimate verses. 

Does love follow a formula? 

Join Chloe and Adam on their journey through the picturesque streets of Brooklyn, so passionate and real that a simple love story becomes a romantic ballad.

Buy Links 
The Ballad

The Intermission


Q & A

When did you become an author? I have always been a storyteller, but I became an author when I hit “publish” on July 2, 2013.

What is your writing process like? I’ve written a couple of screenplays and tend to use the same technique for my novels. For me, it begins with the characters. I develop them to the point where I know their secrets, their psyche and what clothes are hanging in their closets. The characters need a place to live outside my head so I create a visual setting based on what I know. The last step is the dialogue, or script. Yes, my characters are given a script and and they almost always follow it. I never force a plot, I'd rather have a theme and a distinctive style.

Where do you draw inspiration? Mostly from music, sometimes from television characters. I also people-watch and combine people I know into a singular character. Oddly, I get a ton of ideas in my sleep or in the shower, maybe because these are the only places my children don’t bother me.

Do you have a favorite author? Andre Gide. He’s dead, so he won’t appreciate my shout-out. Gide’s subject matter is considered vile and risqué, but his style of writing is amazing! He perfected mise en abyme by giving the reader stories within a story, on top of a story and after a story. And that dude rocked the ellipse. As far as contemporary authors, I love John Green. His characters are impeccably developed and relevant to several generations. Check out Will Grayson, Will Grayson... genius!

What is the best compliment someone can give you? That I'm a genius. Joking. That I look like Charlize Theron. Honestly, the best compliment is being appreciated for my style of writing. That truly makes me proud.

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"I received a complementary copy of The Ballad in exchange for an honest review."

I was completely taken off guard by this unique ballad of life.  Author Ashley Pullo amazed me with her incredible written skill as she unfolded the story of Chole’s and Adam’s life.  The idea of telling the love story of how it came to be in reverse was masterful to say the least.  We always seem to read the story of how the characters meet and fall in love but these characters are already in love and we get to see how it progressed from the present to the past.   Each chapter is a pivotal moment in Chole’s life.  Some perfect and some not so much.  The Ballad is a beautiful tell of all those special life moments that make up are life’s story, our own Ballad of Life.

Author Ashley Pullo writes real characters that could easily be you or me.  Chole is vibrant, talented, and passionate about her life, so much that she has her own ballad to go with her life’s moments.  She is by no means perfect and faces things in life that are common to the everyday person.  It was so wonderful to see and read a moment in my life and have it jump off the page at me.  I had to stop and laugh at one point and say “my God she is writing my life”.  Chole is you, she is me and is every woman living her day to day life as a mom, wife, sister and friend.

Now let’s not forget are hunky hero, Adam Chole’s other half.  Adam is intense, serious, kind and completely head over heels in love with Chole.  He may have his own way of showing it, but the intensity in his eyes is all the emotion Chole needs for him to express his desire for her.  And boy does he express it. Whew, is it getting hot in here?

When I was done reading The Ballad I wanted to grab Ashley Pullo and just hug the stuffing out of her.  She got this story right!!!  It may not be my life word for word but I can so closely relate to it that it will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Chole’s Ballad is perfection at its best and I can’t wait to see what is in store for her and the many other characters in Intermission.

Join the blog tour - Sign up link Blog Tour SIGN UP for Intermission by Ashley Pullo

Friday, December 27, 2013

Audio Blog Tour Saved by One, Shared by Two by Sylvia Ryan (4 Star Review)

Title: Saved by One, Shared by Two (Audio Version)
Author: Sylvia Ryan
Genres: Erotic Romance
Categories: Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Erotic Elements: Menage (M/F/M)
Publisher: Siren
Release Date: 7/1/2013
Heat Level: Sizzling

Survival...that's all Julia was hoping for when she set off alone. The EMP left nothing working, and civilization crumbled rapidly. Her plan to flee to safety failed and she lay dying when Arden found her. He brought her home and saved her life.

Julia has no choice but to wait out the winter with sweet, sexy Arden and his seductive best friend, Ben. She tries to ignore the sexual tension and constant temptation of living with the men, but eventually she gives in to each man's seduction.

When both men come to the realization that they are in love with Julia, their lifelong friendship prevents them from competing for her. So, a deal is struck between them. She will accept and love them together, or not at all.

Buy Links:

Also available on iTunes

Sylvia lives the life of an ordinary wife, mother and professional in Midwest Suburbia, USA. She reads voraciously and loves to lose herself and fall head over heels for the alpha males in the novels she reads.When she gets the chance to shed the prim and proper persona of average wife and mother, her secret identity, Sylvia Ryan, emerges. This alter ego strives to write original ideas in extraordinary settings for her readers to remember long after the book has been read. Her dream is to transform her racy thoughts and naughty nature into tangible works of erotic fantasy for others’ secret identities to enjoy.

Link to tour -

 "I received an audio book in exchange for an honest review.”

Saved By One and Shared By Two was an unexpected delight to listen to.  The narrator Rex J. Silverton has one toe curling voice.  He makes each character stand out on their own by giving each one their own character voice.  Not many male narrators can do this so I do be we have found a real talent in Rex.   

Let me start by saying that I loved the background of this story.  It is something new for me and I feel it worked wonderful for this love story. 

Julia is the perfect heroine in my eyes, she not only kicks butt with a sassy attitude, but she also wants to be that loving and submissive wife

Arden and Ben are perfectly imperfect.  Both ranchers with their own delicious qualities that leave you panting.  I swooned time and time again with each sweet thing they did for Julia no matter how insignificant it may seem.

The story really makes you think about what could happen in the real world today and what would become of us as a society.  This maybe a love story with some hot smexy bedroom and kitchen scenes but it is about a world disaster that could become a reality.  Sylvia Ryan didn’t miss a beat with this story and I was really impressed with her choosing such an intriguing way to bring this love story to life. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Monsters in the Dark series by Pepper Winters

monsters blitz 2
We are thrilled to present to you International Best Selling Author Pepper Winters and the Monsters in the Dark series.
Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1)
Words CAN.NOT describe what a beautiful, emotional, gut-wrenching, soul-searching kind of read Tears of Tess was for me. ~ Jacqueline's Reads
“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect. Then it all changed. I was sold.” Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility. For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world. But lusty paradise is shattered. Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror. Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold. Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?  
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On Sale Now for 99¢

Amazon Worldwide

Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2)
Wrenching,emotional,terrifying and triumphant...a dark and suspenseful page turner! ~Jona, Goodreads
I have simply fallen in love with these characters, and their beautifully tragic story. ~Lauren, Goodreads
“All my life, I battled with the knowledge I was twisted… fucked up to want something so deliciously dark—wrong on so many levels. But then slave fifty-eight entered my world. Hissing, fighting, with a core of iron, she showed me an existence where two wrongs make a right." Tess is Q’s completely. Q is Tess’s irrevocably. But now, they must learn the boundaries of their unconventional relationship, while Tess seeks vengeance on the men who sold her. Q made a blood-oath to deliver their corpses at Tess’s feet, and that’s just what he’ll do. He may be a monster, but he’s Tess’s monster  
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Now Available!

Amazon Worldwide | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Coming Soon in early 2014 - The conclusion to Quincy and Tess' Story
Twisted Together (Monsters in the Dark #3)
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“After battling through hell, I brought my esclave back from the brink of ruin. I sacrificed everything—my heart, my mind, my very desires to bring her back to life. And for a while, I thought it broke me, that I’d never be the same. But slowly the beast is growing bolder, and it’s finally time to show Tess how beautiful the dark can be.” Q gave everything to bring Tess back. In return, he expects nothing less. Tess may have leashed and tamed him, but he’s still a monster inside.
About the Author
avatar FB Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex. She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. Her debut book Tears of Tess is followed by Quintessentially Q and Twisted Together. You didn’t think Q could stop so soon, did you? Her other two titles, Last Shadow and Broken Chance will be coming soon.  
Connect with Pepper
Blog | Twitter: @pepperwinters | Facebook | Email: | Goodreads

Thursday, December 19, 2013

4 Star Review of Perilous Promises by Christi Williams

Buy Links Amazon  Torrid Books

Rating: Sensual Romance - Controversial
Her ex-husband wants to rescue her. Her brother wants to rescue her. Her co-workers want to help rescue her. Her daddy wants to rescue her. She can survive anything except the men who love her! 
Perris Dalton doesn't need a man. She left southwest Wyoming broken, so transformed by fighting cancer even her big hunk of a lawman couldn't make love to her. Now she's back. Her new job is to mitigate conflicts with raptors at a power plant's coal mine. There's no reason for her path to cross her ex-husband's. But when an environmental demonstration inexplicably centers in on her, Sheriff Noah Dalton steps in, confident he can win back the woman who once walked out on him.
As the demonstration spirals into personal attacks, Noah, Perris's father the sheep rancher, and her brother the college student, hatch a secret plot to protect her. In an epic contest of wills with a lone woman survivor determined to solve her own problems, and three modern Western heroes just as determined to show their love by saving her, all hell starts to break loose.

Perilous Promises is a refreshing realistic romance, full of imperfect characters with real life problems. 

The opening of the story really had me in shock and I had to stop and think, put myself in Perri’s shoes and ask how I would deal with a horrible decease like breast cancer and a suffocating husband.  What really broke my heart was how much her husband Noah loved her.  He loved her so much that he was able to see there was a problem, he just couldn’t figure out how to fix it, so of course he blames himself. 

Now don’t get me wrong I loved both these characters though at times I could just throttle Perri.  She obviously is a very independent well educated woman, but her stubbornness really got in the way of her love for Noah.  She loves him so very much but I think the cancer took a good part of both of them in the fight to survive it.  This I can relate to.  My husband currently has stage 4 cancer and is facing a long battle ahead.  We are only 2 months into his treatment and the effects although may not be visible now to just anyone, I can already see a difference in my husband.  It is heartbreaking and the feeling of not being able to help or cure him just rips my heart out. 

So in many ways it was very easy for me to relate to Noah’s character and understand his side.  This is what made the book work for me.  I have never been able to relate to the male character in a book so closely.  Author Christi Williams did an absolutely fabulous job at expressing what a spouse goes through during the fight for your loved ones life.

But wait, there’s more.  Not only do we get deep, complex characters but also a story outside their romance.  This is where you get to see the more protective side of Noah and Perri’s struggle to allow him to protect her.  And let’s face it this woman needs the protection from the loony protesters at the mining cave. Whether she wants it or not.

Perilous Promises takes readers on a long, and sometime frustrating journey but one that shows the emotional fight against cancer as well as the physical.  But most importantly that yes there is an answer to the “What now?” after you have won the battle. 

Christi writes HEA fiction with settings and characters of modern Wyoming. Her heroes and heroines struggle with today’s issues. But the men and women in her writing leave a big footprint, because their personalities and their solutions to problems hark back to the iconic days of the Code of the West.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blog Tour - Dear Emily by Trudy Stiles

For more fun & giveaways, come join our Facebook Release Party & Blog Tour Event ~ Sunday, December 8th 7-9pm EST – CLICK HERE

Happy Release Day to Trudy Stiles for her debut novel "Dear Emily". Make sure to check out the TRAILER, TEASERS & enter the GIVEAWAY for a Kindle HDX below!

Now Available

Author: Trudy Stiles
Book Title: Dear Emily ~ Series: Forever Family #1
Genre: New Adult/Romance

Two women. Carly & Tabitha. Both have suffered life-altering events that have left them both traumatically damaged.
Carly Sloan’s life was perfect until the night her security and innocence was torn from her. The vast repercussions from that horrific night threaten to destroy her stability and her chances for a happily ever after. Kyle Finnegan comes into Carly’s life at the height of her turmoil. Can he help her find what she desires most?
Tabitha Fletcher, on the other hand, has suffered from a very young age. She has been hiding from her past, which was full of abuse, loss and turmoil. She has been so brutally damaged that she has very little hope of redemption. The revolving door of men only leads her deeper into misery.
What circumstance brings these two women together unexpectedly and can they help each other heal? And will they each find what they need?
This book is not suitable for young readers. It is intended for mature adults only (18+). It contains strong language, adult/sexual situations, non-consensual sex and some violence.


Dear Emily from t. h. snyder on Vimeo.


About the Author:

Trudy Stiles is a New Adult author, avid reader, mom to two beautiful children and married to the love of her life. She just wrote her debut novel, "Dear Emily, and cannot wait to share it with everyone.
You'll know that she's writing when you see her plugged into her laptop with her earbuds and she always has a playlist ready for her writing sprints.
When she's not writing, she's carting her children to their various activities while avoiding any kind of laundry or housework. She also loves to run along the boardwalk of the beautiful New Jersey shore.
She's always been an avid reader and frequently escapes into the fictional worlds of the many characters that she has come to love. Well now there are some fictional characters in her head dying to get out!
This first story is called "Dear Emily" and will begin the "Forever Family" series.
Twitter: @trudystiles
Author page on Goodreads:

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Promo Tour - The Ever Trilogy by Jasinda Wilder

 Forever & Always  and After Forever
(The Ever Trilogy)
Jasinda Wilder
Expected Release: Dec. 20th, 2013
Hosted by: The Book Avenue
Join the Release Party Here

Buy Links


These letters are often all that get me through week to week. Even if it’s just random stuff, nothing important, they’re important to me. Gramps is great, and I love working on the ranch. But…I’m lonely. I feel disconnected, like I’m no one, like I don’t belong anywhere. Like I’m just here until something else happens. I don’t even know what I want with my future. But your letters, they make me feel connected to something, to someone. I had a crush on you, when we first met. I thought you were beautiful. So beautiful. It was hard to think of anything else. Then camp ended and we never got together, and now all I have of you is these letters. S**t. I just told you I have a crush on you. HAD. Had a crush. Not sure what is anymore. A letter-crush? A literary love? That’s stupid. Sorry. I just have this rule with myself that I never throw away what I write and I always send it, so hopefully this doesn’t weird you out too much. I had a dream about you too. Same kind of thing. Us, in the darkness, together. Just us. And it was like you said, a memory turned into a dream, but a memory of something that’s never happened, but in the dream it felt so real, and it was more, I don’t even know, more RIGHT than anything I’ve ever felt, in life or in dreams. I wonder what it means that we both had the same dream about each other. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. You tell me.

~ ~ ~ ~


We’re pen pals. Maybe that’s all we’ll ever be. I don’t know. If we met IRL (in real life, in case you’re not familiar with the term) what would happen? And just FYI, the term you used, a literary love? It was beautiful. So beautiful. That term means something, between us now. We are literary loves. Lovers? I do love you, in some strange way. Knowing about you, in these letters, knowing your hurt and your joys, it means something so important to me, that I just can’t describe. I need your art, and your letters, and your literary love. If we never have anything else between us, I need this. I do. Maybe this letter will only complicate things, but like you I have a rule that I never erase or throw away what I’ve written and I always send it, no matter what I write in the letter. 

Your literary love,




~ EVER ~

My twin sister Eden rode in the seat next to me, listening to music, the volume turned up so loud I could make out the lyrics, tinny and distant but totally audible. In the front seat, Dad was chattering into his cell phone as he drove, discussing whatever a Chrysler senior executive discussed at ten o’clock on a Saturday morning. Something more important than his daughters, clearly. 

Not that I would have wanted to talk to him, even if he’d been off the phone. Well, that wasn’t completely true; I would have wanted to, but I wouldn’t have known what to say to him if he’d been willing to hang up the phone for ten seconds. He’d always been a workaholic, always on the phone or on his laptop, in his office at home or at the Chrysler headquarters. But up until last year, he’d spent time on the weekends with us. He’d taken us to dinner or to the mall. Movie night once a month, Sunday evening, on the big home theater screen in the basement. 

And now? 

It was understandable, I reasoned. He’d lost her too. None of us had been prepared—no way to prepare for a freak car accident. But after we’d buried Mom, Dad had thrown himself into work more obsessively than ever. 

Which left Eden and me to fend for ourselves. Of course, he’d done the parentally responsible thing and gotten the three of us individual therapy sessions twice a month, but I had quit going after a few weeks. There hadn’t been a point. Mom was gone, and no amount of talking about the stages of grief would bring her back. 

I had found my own way of dealing with the loss: I’d found art. Photography, drawing, painting, anything hands-on that let me shut down my mind and my heart and just do. Currently, I was into oils on canvas, thick glops of vivid colors on the matte white surface, spread around with a bristly brush or bare hands. It was cathartic. The reds would smear like blood, the yellows would blot like sunshine through a window; greens were delicate and crusted like sap-sticky pine needles, blues like cloudless skies and deepest ocean and oranges like sunsets and tangerines. Color—and the creation of something beautiful from emptiness. 

In my more philosophical moments, I thought maybe painting appealed to me because it represented hope. I was a blank canvas, no thoughts, no emotions, no needs or desires, just a square of white floating through a loud, chaotic world, and life would paint me with color and substance, smear and spread and colorize me. 

I found myself needing more tactile sensations, though. Just before I’d packed for this three-week summer camp up at Interlochen, I’d spread newspapers on the floor of my art room over the garage, laid a huge twenty-by-twenty canvas over them, and tossed mammoth blobs of paint down. I’d used my hands to spread it around it arcs and whorls and streaking lines, then added another color and another, mixing and daubing, smashing gouts together with my palms and tracing delicate lines with my fingertips and aggressive sunburst rays with my palms. 

I didn’t know or care if I was any good on an objective level. It wasn’t about art or expression or any of that. It was avoidance at best, if Dr. Allerton’s therapy speak could be believed. Apparently the staff at Interlochen thought I was something special, because they’d been enthusiastic about having me in the program for the summer.

As long as I had plenty of time to paint, I didn’t really care what they wanted from me, or for me.

Lost in my thoughts, I tuned out Dad’s incessant chatter and Eden’s sullen, plea-for-attention silence, wondering if I’d get a chance to try ceramics or sculpture at Interlochen. My junior high’s art program had been pathetic at best. I may have been only fourteen—fifteen as of yesterday—but I knew what I liked, and handfuls of cracked old watercolor paints and hopelessly mixed-up oil paints weren’t it. They didn’t even have access to clay, much less a kiln. I couldn’t even get lessons on stretching my own canvases. 

Being more mature than your age kind of sucked, I reflected. People either overestimated you and didn’t give you any room to be a kid, or they ignored what you were really capable of and treated you like a child. I’d begged to go to a private arts academy for high school, but so far Daddy was putting his foot down, insisting Eden and I go to the same school, and Eden was set on going to the local high school because their strings program was one of the best in the state, and apparently Eden was some kind of cello virtuoso. Whatever.

I’d demand private lessons, then. Or an art tutor. For now, Interlochen would have to do.

After an interminable drive, Daddy pulled the Mercedes SUV to a gentle stop in front of rows of rustic cabins, finally ending his phone call with a touch to his earpiece. 

Eden cast a glance out the window and snickered. “That’s where you’re going to stay for three weeks?”

I followed my twin’s gaze to the cabins. They were tiny…nothing but little wooden huts in the forest. Did they even have indoor plumbing? Electricity? I shuddered, and then stuffed it down, putting on a game face. “Apparently so. It could be worse,” I said. “I could be stuck at home all summer, doing nothing.”

“I’m not doing nothing, Ever,” Eden snapped. “I’m taking private lessons with Mr. Wu and fitness training with Michael.”

“Like I said, stuck at home.” I tried to hold on to the hauteur, even though I didn’t entirely feel it. I was going to miss my sister, and I knew I’d be homesick within days. But I couldn’t say any of that. Talking about one’s emotions wasn’t the Eliot way, not before Mom’s death, and certainly not after. 

“At least I’ll have plumbing, and cell service.” 

“And no life—”

“Ever. Enough.” Dad’s voice, raised in irritation, silenced us both. He hit the button to pop open the hatch. 

Eden’s gaze reflected her own conflict. She wanted to hold on to the argument, because it was easier to snipe and bicker than to admit how scared she was. I could see that in her and feel it in myself. Our identical green eyes met, and understanding was achieved. Nothing was said out loud, but after a moment, I hugged Eden and we both sniffled. We’d never been apart before, not more than an hour or two a day in our entire lives. 

“You better not let Michael make you skinnier than me,” I said.

“Like that’ll ever happen.” She groaned. “He’s gonna try to kill me, not that it’ll make a difference.”

Eden was slightly heavier than I was, not by much pounds-wise, but enough so that it resulted in a much curvier shape, and she was sensitive about it. Being mercilessly teased all of eighth grade hadn’t helped much, so she was determined to get fit over the summer and show everyone in ninth grade how different she was. I had argued that the other girls were just jealous because Eden had tits and ass and they didn’t, but it had fallen on deaf ears. She’d convinced our father to hire her a personal trainer for the summer. Never mind that she was only fourteen and far too young to worry about bullshit like slimming down, but neither Dad nor I had been able to change Eden’s mind.

It was part of Eden’s grief, I knew. I painted and drew and took pictures, Eden played the cello. But it was deeper than that for Eden. We were nearly identical images of our mother, dark hair, green eyes, fair skin, fine features, beautiful. I was closer to looking like Mom, slim and willowy, while Eden had gotten more of Daddy’s genetics—he was short and stocky, naturally muscular. Eden wanted to remember Mom, to be more like her. She’d even taken to bleaching her hair, the way Mom had. 

“We’ll miss you, Ev,” Dad said, twisting in the seat to meet my eyes. “It’ll be too quiet around the house without you.”

Like you’d notice, I wanted to say, but didn’t. “I’ll miss you too, Dad.”

“Don’t be a hooligan,” Eden said, an inside joke of ours, referring to our maternal grandfather’s favorite phrase.

“You either. And seriously, don’t go too crazy with this Michael dude. You’re not—”

Eden stuck her fingers in her ears. “LA-LA-LA-LA…I’m not listening!” she sing-songed. Removing her fingers, she said, “And seriously yourself, don’t start.”

I sighed. “Fine. Love you, ass-head.”

“You too, butt-face.”

Dad frowned at us. “Really? Are you two teenage girls or teenage boys?”

We both rolled our eyes, and then embraced one more time. I leaned forward and hugged Dad from between the seats, smelling the coffee on his breath. Then I was out of the car and opening the trunk hatch and trying to juggle my purse and suitcase while closing the hatch. With a final backward wave, Dad and Eden were gone and I was alone, completely alone for the first time in my life.

A few feet away, a boy my own age was standing in the swirling, left-behind dust. He had a huge black duffel slung over one shoulder, and he was standing with his spine as straight as the pine tree trunks rising all around. One hand was shoved into his hip pocket, and he was toying with the strap of his bag with the other hand. One boot-clad toe was digging in the dirt, twisting and scuffing as he peered at the rows of cabins. 

I couldn’t help sneaking a second look at him. He wasn’t like any boy I’d ever seen before. He looked to be about my own age, fourteen or fifteen, but he was tall, already almost six feet, and he was muscled more like an adult than a teenager. He had shaggy black hair that needed cutting, and the fuzzy scruff of a teenage boy hoping to grow a beard. 

Until that moment, I’d never really had a crush before. Eden talked about boys all the time, and our friends were always going on about this boy or that boy, gushing about first kisses and first dates, but I had never really gotten too into all of that. I noticed cute boys at school, of course, because I wasn’t dead or blind. But painting took up most of my time. Or, more accurately, waking up each day and not missing Mom took up most of my time, and painting helped that. I didn’t have much brain space left for thinking about boys. 

But this boy, the one standing six feet away from me, looking as nervous and out of place as I felt. There was something different about him. 

Before I knew what was happening, my traitorous legs had carried me over to stand in front of him, and my traitorous voice was saying, “Hi…I’m Ever Eliot.”

He turned his eyes to mine, and I almost gasped out loud. His eyes were pure amber, rich and complex and piercing. “Um. Hi. Caden Monroe.” His voice was deep, although it broke on the last syllable. “Ever? That’s your name?”

“Yeah.” I’d never been self-conscious about my name before, but I wanted Caden to like my name as much as I liked his. 

“It’s a cool name. I’ve never known anyone with a name like that before.”

“Yeah, it’s unique, I guess. Caden is cool too.”

“It’s Irish. My dad’s name is Aidan, and my Gramps’s name is Connor, and Great-Gramps’s name was Paddy. Patrick. Irish names all the way back to my more-greats-than-I-can-remember Gramps, Daniel.”

“Was he, like, an immigrant?” I flinched at the way I had unconsciously used “like” as a filler. So much for sounding smart.

“Well, all of our families were immigrants at some point, right? Unless you’re Indian, that is. Native American, I mean.” He rubbed the back of his neck, and his cheeks flushed red. Which was sinfully adorable. “But yeah, Daniel Monroe was the first Monroe to come to America. He came over in 1841.”

I racked my brain for the significance of that date. I’d learned about it in my World History class last year. “Wasn’t there this big thing in the 1840s? With Irish people coming to America?”

Caden set his duffel on the ground. “I think it was something about potatoes. A famine, or something.” 


A long, awkward silence stretched out between us.

Caden broke it first. “So. Ever. What do you…do?”


He shrugged, then waved at the cabins and the campus in general. “Art-wise, I mean. Are you a musician, or…?”

“Oh. No, I’m an artist. I guess they’d call it a visual artist. Painting, mostly. For now, at least. I like all sorts of stuff. I want to get into sculpture. What about you?”

“Same, although I draw more than anything.”

“What do you draw? Comic books?” I regretted that last part as soon as it came out of my mouth. It sounded judgmental, and he didn’t seem like the comic book type. “I mean, or—animals?” That was even worse. I felt myself blushing and wishing I could start over.

Caden just looked confused. “What? No, I don’t draw any one thing. I mean, I do, just…it’s whatever I’m working on. Right now I’m trying to figure out hands. I can’t seem to draw hands right. Before that it was eyes, but I got those down.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean—I’m an idiot sometimes, I just—” I was only making it worse now. I grabbed my suitcase by the handle and lugged it around, facing away from him. “I should go. Find my cabin.”

A sun-browned hand took the suitcase from me and lifted it easily, which was ridiculous, since it weighed at least fifty pounds and I could barely move it. He had his duffel bag on his shoulder and my suitcase in one hand. “What number are you?”

I reached into my purse and unfolded my registration printout, even though I knew the cabin number by heart already; I didn’t want to seem too eager. “Number ten.”

Caden glanced at the numbers on the nearest cabins. “This way, then,” he said. “I’m in twenty, and these are four, five, and six.”

I cut my eyes to the side, watching the way his bicep tensed as he walked with the heavy suitcase. “Isn’t my suitcase heavy?”

He shrugged, which made his duffel bag slip, and he hiked it higher. “A little. Not too bad.” 

After a too-short walk, we came to cabin number ten. I couldn’t figure out how to delay him without sounding clingy or desperate, so I let him set my suitcase just inside the squeaky screen door, then waved as he shouldered his bag and strode off, rubbing the back of his neck in a way that made his bicep stand out.

I watched him go, and then realized several girls were clustered around the screen door as well, ogling him. “He’s hot!” one of them said. They asked me who he was.

I wondered if the strangely possessive feeling in my gut was jealousy, and what I was supposed to do about it. “His name is Caden.”

For the first time in a long time, my mind was occupied with something other than painting. 

That afternoon there was a get-to-know-you thing, which was stupid, and then dinner and some free time, all of which passed in a blur. I didn’t see Caden again that day, and as I slid into the thin, uncomfortable bunk bed, I wondered if he was thinking about me like I was him. 

Somewhere out there, maybe a boy was thinking about me. I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to mean, but it felt nice to imagine. 

Follow the Promo Tour tomorrow to read Chapter Two

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading. 

Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre. 

She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio. 

You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake. 

Jasinda is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.