Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Cover Reveal: Like You Care (Devilbend Dynasty #1) by Kaydence Snow

Check out the HOT cover for Like You Care by Kaydence Snow! Like You Care is book 1 in the Devilbend Dynasty. Get ready for all kinds of twisty, angsty feels!!! #ComingMay7th

Cover designed by Sara Eirew


I am nothing.
Nobody.
I'd rather be invisible than deal with what happens on the days my classmates decide to acknowledge my existence.
But then Turner Hall shows up - all cool confidence and witty banter - and all of a sudden I don't want to be invisible any more. I want to be seen.
I want him to see me.
I'm not who he thinks I am but I'm starting to suspect he's not all he says he is either.
Just my luck that he starts to make friends with my tormentors. How am I supposed to tell him who I really am? How am I supposed to show him my true face? What if the boy I'm falling in love with decides I'm nothing too?
*Like You Care is a part of the Bully Me Anthology. In the Bully Me Anthology, this was a 30k novella. This is now the complete book.*
★ ★ Pre-Order LIKE YOU CARE for ONLY 99 Cents Now!!! Price will go up on release day. ★ ★

Add to Goodreads: bit.ly/LYC-GR






Kaydence Snow has lived all over the world but ended up settled in Melbourne, Australia. She lives near the beach with her husband and a beagle that has about as much attitude as her human.

She draws inspiration from her own overthinking, sometimes frightening imagination, and everything that makes life interesting – complicated relationships, unexpected twists, new experiences and good food and coffee. Life is not worth living without good food and coffee!

She believes sarcasm is the highest form of wit and has the vocabulary of a highly educated, well-read sailor. When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, planning when she can write next, or reading other people’s writing, she loves to travel and learn new things.

FOLLOW KAYDENCE

Cover Reveal: A Slice of Love by Teagan Hunter




Release Date: April 16


Jonas Schwartz isn't just good at playing football. He's also good at playing hearts and four years ago, he played mine like it was the easiest game of his life. 


Brokenhearted, I ran off to art school, swearing to forget about my one-off secret weekend with the star quarterback.


I'd heard whispers about his injury, but I never expected Jonas to return to our hometown to rehab his knee, and I certainly never thought he'd show up on the other side of my door with a pizza in hand.


He looks good. Better than before.



Whatever--I'm over him. 


I've completely moved on.


I just wish my heart would get the memo...


Add to your Goodreads TBR List!




Meet Teagan Hunter

I'm a Missouri-raised gal, but currently live in North Carolina with my US Marine husband and 9-year-old dog. I spend my days begging him for a cat, and I survive off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When I'm not writing, you can find me binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural and One Tree Hill. I like cold weather, buy more paperbacks than I'll ever read, and I never say no to brownies.

Writing is my passion, and this is just the beginning of my journey.


Connect with Teagan Hunter

➜ Website: www.teaganhunterwrites.com 
➜ Facebook: www.facebook.com/teaganhunterwrites 
➜ Instagram: www.instagram.com/teaganhunterwrites 
➜ Newsletter: www.teaganhunterwrites.com/newsletter
➜ Reader Group: http://bit.ly/TeagansTidbits


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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: Dirty Hookup (Slayers Hockey #2) by Mira Lyn Kelly




Title: Dirty Hookup
Series: Slayers Hockey #2
Author: Mira Lyn Kelly
Genre: Hockey Romance
Release Date: March 31, 2020

Blurb


One look and I
know… this chick hates me.


I should walk away, find some puck bunny to gleefully sit on my lap and tell me
what a big, hot, hockey stud I am--totally true, BTW. But there’s just
something about this feisty redhead I can’t let go. She’s got an edge to her
that’s sexy as hell and a smart mouth that’s been tying me up since the night I
met her.

She tells me to forget it, we’re not happening. But this isn’t the kind of
woman a guy ever forgets. Especially when the air starts to sizzle and pop
every time we get within ten feet of each other. She’s in my head and under my
skin, and all I can think about is the way she looked at me that one time. Like
she already knew how it could be between us.

I’m not the kind of guy a girl like her takes home… But maybe I want to be.





Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

B&N / KOBO / APPLE BOOKS




Trailer




Excerpt

Unfreakingbelievable.
Ducking around a corner, I press my back to the wall and suck one shaky breath after another until the spots behind my eyes finally clear, along with any wayward thoughts about a third Slayers hockey player needing a bed in the ER.
I can’t believe it.
After all these years.
Quinn O’Brian.
Two feet in front of me. Giving me that same smile. The one that put my belly into free fall the first time I saw it. Left me breathless. And then less than a day later, left me humiliated. Devastated. Working up fantasies about the wrath I’d rain down on him if I ever saw him again.
So much for that badassery. My knees barely held me when I looked up to find those stupid sea-green eyes twinkling back at me like some Disney hero come to life.
Stupid eyes.
Stupid shoulders and muscles-everywhere body.
Stupid sandy blond hair standing up like some foolish girl just had her hands in it for the last hour.
And that introduction.
Blowing out a breath, I shake my head.
He didn’t even recognize me. Though why I ever thought he might is beyond me. Six years later and I’m still reading more into that night than there ever was. More into those soul-deep stares and slow touches. More into those tender words that turned out to be total lies.





Author Bio


Hard core romantic, stress baker, and housekeeper non-extraordinaire. Mira Lyn Kelly is the USA TODAY bestselling author of more than a dozen sizzly love stories with over a million readers worldwide. Growing up in the Chicago area, she earned her degree in Fine Arts from Loyola University and met the love of her life while studying abroad in Rome, Italy… only to discover he’d been living right around the corner from her back home. Having spent her twenties working and playing in the Windy City, she’s now settled with her husband in Minnesota, where their four amazing children and two ridiculous dogs provide an excess of action and entertainment.


Author Links

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: Attracting Aubrey (Gone Wild #3) by Avery Flynn

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Read for a great cause and help those in need!
Attracting Aubrey, a not-to-be-missed standalone romantic comedy from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Avery Flynn, is available now, and Avery is donating all royalties from Attracting Aubrey this month to Feeding America‘s COVID-19 Response Fund!

Attracting Aubrey Cover

I never dreamed I’d meet my celebrity crush while stealing every single pair of my best friend’s pants.
Trust me, my life is not that wild. In fact, the most excitement I usually get is running my fan-favorite Insta thirst account featuring butt-tastic pics of Hollywood superhero Carter Hayes. So, imagine my shock when, in the middle of the cruise ship hallway, I realize the guy whose shirt I'm stuffing slacks inside of is Carter disguised as a tourist. How I manage not to faint dead away, I've got no clue.
When word leaks that Carter might be on board, he asks me to help him maintain his cover. There’s no way I’m gonna say no to that. I just don't share that I’m the anonymous woman behind the fan account that reported sighting him onboard. No biggie. Right?
However, when things between us go from friendly to hot to OMG-I-can’t-keep-my-clothes-on-around-him, all I can do is hope he never discovers my secret. You see, somewhere along the way, Carter went from an untouchable movie star to the man I’m falling for.

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Download your copy today!
Food banks need our help now more than ever. Together we can make a difference. Find your local food bank —> https://bit.ly/2UFZ7ii
Add Attracting Aubrey to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2T5i5A4



Disclaimer: I received an Advance Reader Copy at no cost from the publisher/author. All opinions in my review are my own. 

Avery Flynn is one of my go-to authors so I knew that I had to read this book. I was immediately drawn into this with the synopsis and after the first page, I already had a smile on my face. 

The writing quality is top-notch and just what I expect when I pick up a book from Avery Flynn. She flawlessly weaves humor, heat, and passion into her stories. 

I really loved Aubrey and Carter's characters. They were easy to connect to and identify with. Since this is such a short book, a novella really, the characters are missing some of the depth that I am used to when I read one of Flynn's books. There are enough stepping stones to cement each character's basic backstory and desires but it ends there. I just felt like I wanted more. And while the characters had nice development for what the author shares with us about them, they still felt very bare bones. 

Carter and Aubrey do have some nice chemistry. They meet in a totally humorous situation and their connection is immediate. What I didn't care for in terms of the romance was all the instalove. I am not a fan of instalove and I much rather a couple get to know each other for more than a few days before they profess their love for one another. It wouldn't have been so bad if we got more scenes with them spending time together that wasn't between the sheets. Instalove aside, Carter and Aubrey definitely had an attraction and a connection. 

I really loved the premise for this story and the plot develops nicely. The one thing that I would have changed about the book would be the length. I think that if this had been a full novel instead of a novella then it would have been perfect. Keeping the length so short really isn't doing the story any favors. It's still a good read, I just think that it could have been fleshed out a little more. 

Overall, this was a quick, steamy, and entertaining story that was so much fun to read. That is one of the qualities that I love most about Avery Flynn's books is how she makes each story fun and they always put a smile on my face. While I very much wish that the story had been longer with some more depth, it is still a satisfying read. 

Excerpt

This was beyond a doubt the weirdest experience Carter Hayes had ever had and he'd once spent six hours on a green screen sound stage wearing a CGI suit and pretending to fight a one-eyed zombie giant with poisonous farts.
When he'd turned the corner and found the cute blonde giggling to herself as she pulled one pair of pants after another out of a suitcase, he thought she might be a little touched, as his grandmother used to say. When she held one pair up in the air and declared she was freeing Grace's sexy thighs, he figured she was drunk already. And just when he thought it couldn't get more bizarre, she managed to pull him in as an accessory to pants theft and now she wanted him to shove four pairs of pants down his shirt?
This was a mistake. It would only draw attention to himself when he was supposed to be observing others, not be observed. The last thing he needed was for anyone to realize that he wasn't mild mannered dental laboratory technician Carter Van Stettle from Iowa. This cruise was his opportunity to prove to indie-darling director Kennedy Howard that he could disappear into a part, that movie goers could look up at the big screen and see him as anyone other than The Admiral.
He was all ready to return the pants to their rightful owner and be on his way. It was the smart thing to do. Then, the thief beside him said please and, well, one could only play the most debonair superhero to ever top the box office for so long before some of the character stuck to them. He stuffed the stupid pants up his shirt and tucked the hem of it into his shorts to keep them from falling out. The special effects team on his last movie would have laughed their asses off, but the pants' paunch effect was actually pretty good.

About Avery Flynn

avery-flynn-about-300x300

USA Today bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.
She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staff knew her by name.
Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Connect with Avery
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2tQuAFa
Website: http://averyflynn.com
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2t4AZfO
Facebook: http://bit.ly/36mEonK
Twitter: https://twitter.com/averyflynn
GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2f1waY4
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2tVmpr8
Join the Flynnbots: http://bit.ly/2RVELjM
Stay up to date with Avery by joining her mailing list:
http://averyflynn.com/newsletter/

Monday, March 30, 2020

Release Blitz: Frat House Confessions: Brody (Frat House Confessions #3) by Bethany Lopez


Today we are celebrating the release of of FRAT HOUSE CONFESSIONS: BRODY by Bethany Lopez. It is a contemporary romance, standalone title you won't want to miss. Purchase your copy now. Enter to win a giveaway of each title in the series here.


Frat House Confessions: Brody 
by Bethany Lopez
Contemporary Romance

She’s looking for someone with a rich character, not bank account…

Emma’s life has not been easy. Rather than using her disadvantages as a crutch, they have fueled her passion for helping others. She believes in working hard, loves her brother unconditionally, and has no time in her busy life for a certain cocky playboy who has obviously never been denied a thing in his life.

He’s searching for something, but isn’t sure what…

Brody may come across as a fast-talking rich boy with a sweet car. He’s secured a position in the hottest frat on campus and has the attitude of a guy who’s never known what it’s like to go without. So, yeah, it’s a pretty accurate description. But there’s more to the youngest Temple brother than meets the eye.
When Brody keeps showing up in Emma’s world, her initial assumption is that he’s still playing games. As his confessions come to light, Emma starts to see beneath the surface. Will it be enough to change her perception of him? And will she be able to teach Brody that love is worth more than all his money can buy?

CLICK HERE to enter to win a signed paperback of each title in the series (Includes FRAT HOUSE CONFESSIONS: RIDGE, WES and BRODY)

Purchase Now!

Add the book to Goodreads

GET THE PREVIOUS TITLES IN THE SERIES



FRAT HOUSE CONFESSIONS: RIDGE is available now and only 99 cents!!


FRAT HOUSE CONFESSIONS: WES is available now!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Bethany Lopez is a USA Today Bestselling author of more than thirty books and has been published since 2011. She's a lover of all things romance, which she incorporates into the books she writes, no matter the genre.
When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with family and traveling whenever possible.
Bethany can usually be found with a cup of coffee or glass of wine at hand, and will never turn down a cupcake!

AUTHOR LINKS:

Friday, March 27, 2020

Blog Tour & Review: Ruling the Princess (Sexy Misadventures of Royals #2) by Christi Barth

RulingthePrincess_blogtour

Today we have the release blitz for RULING THE PRINCESS by Christi Barth! Check it out and grab your copy today!

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Title: Ruling the Princess
Series: Sexy Misadventures of Royals #2
Author: Christi Barth
Genre: Contemporary Romance

I’m thrilled that my first trip back to my homeland, after years in exile, is for an assignment from the prime minister. Even better, the job's to put Princess Genevieve in her place...by cutting off her cash flow. Spoiled royals—even drop-dead gorgeous ones—don't do anything to deserve their wealth and status. Hell, they don't do anything. She's fighting me tooth and nail, of course. The only way to stop her arguing is, well, to kiss her.

And I can't seem to stay away from her. Now I see a whole different side to the princess—and not just because I've gotten her clothes off. But I was put on this assignment for a reason… Those outside the castle want to see the Princess discredited and push their own agenda, and I may have just given them all the ammunition they need.



Each book in the Unexpectedly Royal series is STANDALONE:
* The Princess Problem
* Ruling the Princess


Get Your Copy Today!
Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Google | Kobo | Universal

Catch Up On the Series:Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks



Disclaimer: I received an Advance Reader Copy at no cost from the publisher/author. All opinions in my review are my own. 

This was a darling little story about royals that I was delighted with. This is actually the very first book that I have picked up with a royal trope despite them being all the rage at the moment. 

One of the things that I really liked about this book is how authentic it felt. I suppose that no one really knows what daily life is like for a royal unless you are indeed a royal, but everything felt very realistic. The author really did a nice job of distancing the royal characters from their titles and allowing the reader to see the person underneath the title. I really appreciated that. 

The characters in this book are all very likable, but I don't think that I connected with the main characters as much as I would have liked to. I really loved all the secondary characters and I think that they really made the book stand out. I really loved all the family relationships and friendships displayed in the story. I haven't read Kelsey's book yet but I am definitely feeling the need to read it after finishing this book. And I am honestly quite excited about Christian's book to release. 

The romance in the story was satisfactory but it didn't really push the envelope by any means. While I enjoyed the romance, I wasn't very invested in it. I can't put my finger on why but I just felt a little disconnected from the romance in the story. 

The plot of the story was very entertaining and I enjoyed it quite a lot. It was very unpredictable and extremely fun. It certainly kept my interest. There were a few plot points that I wish would have been elaborated on but I was generally pleased with the story. 

Overall, this was an adorable story with a very likable cast of characters. The story is very fun and will put a smile on your face. I am looking forward to the next book in this series!

About the Author

ChristiBarth-amyjphoto-680x1024 (1)

USA TODAY bestseller Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

Connect with Christi:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter




Release Blitz & Excerpt: Dagger (Vegas MMA #1) by S.L. Sterling


Title: Dagger
Series: Vegas MMA #1
Author: S.L. Sterling
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 27, 2020



Derrick

I'd been fighting all my life.

Making it my career choice seemed...logical.

Sticking to what I was good at seemed...illogical as often as I ended up in the ER.

Then my occupational hazard began to feel like more of a perk when I met, Katy. She was a night nurse at the ER I frequented. She could barely hide her contempt for me, which naturally made the curvy brunette with long wavy hair all the more irresistible.

𝙉𝙤𝙬 𝙄 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙄 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣 𝙖 𝙛𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙚𝙧.

Katy

They called him Dagger, for the looks he gave.

He knew I hated him on sight, but still, he teased me and tried to sway me.

There's no way it would work. I was on the run and still healing from a relationship with a 'roid-raging powerlifter. No way was I going to give it a go with someone trained to cause pain for a living.

Then my ex tracked me down. And suddenly, having a fighter in my corner didn't seem like such a bad idea.







NEW RELEASE GIVEAWAY!

I am super excited that Dagger is finally LIVE! 

To celebrate I want to gift one lucky person my entire backlist! Yes, you read that right! 

Books will be sent directly to Kindle (Dagger excluded). For your chance to win all you need to do is sign up for my Newsletter, easy peasy!

List of Titles

It Was Always You
Bad Company
On A Silent Night
Back to You this Christmas
A Kiss Beneath the Stars
In Your Arms
His to Hold




Chapter 1

Dagger

I sat and looked up at the clock that hung on the pale-yellow cement wall. My head was pounding, and a pool of blood was building on the floor in between my feet. The wait times here were getting ridiculous. It was a good thing it wasn't a matter of life or death, I thought to myself. I had been waiting for over two hours before they had finally acknowledged I was even in the waiting room.

It was busy tonight; not as busy as some of the other nights I had been here, but that’s what I get for having to come into the emergency room on a Friday night. At least I made it through registration where they had taken my blood pressure and other vitals, and listened to my heart, then the blond behind the desk sent me here, into this hellhole of a waiting room. Across the way a child cried out and I glanced around at the other patients who sat there waiting, just like me, to be seen by the next available doctor.

While I waited, I thought back to the first time I had come walking in here and chuckled to myself. It had been a bad fight that night and I was a fucking mess. At that time, I was still an amateur in the ring and hadn't quite learned the concept of blocking.

The nurses who were on that night had taken one look at me as I walked through the door and had rushed me in to see a doctor. There was no messing around, none of the now usual “go sit in a corner and wait.” Both of my eyes were swollen shut, my nose was bloodied and broken, I had a mouth full of blood from a cut on my inner cheek, and a large gash on my head, and I was clutching my side as if I had been shot. I was sure they thought so too, due to the blood-soaked shirt I had been wearing. They had cleaned me up a little, and within minutes, I was on my way down for a CT scan and X-rays to make sure I didn't have any type of brain trauma or broken bones.

Once all the results were in and I had been stitched up and put back together, they had released me. Shortly after that visit I had become a regular and normally came in with the same type of injuries on a monthly basis. Apparently, you become less of an emergency once they find out that you are doing this to yourself, and now they make you wait. 

"Hey, Dagger. Another fight I see. Tell me you at least look better than the other guy?" one of the regular night nurses said as she walked by, handing me a clean towel to hold to the cut above my eye. "Make sure you're keep pressure on it. That will help stop the bleeding."

"I know, I know. This isn’t the first time this has happened you know." I grumbled nodding and held the clean towel she had given me up to my eye. I took the other blood-soaked towel and dropped it into the bin labeled bio-hazard. I sat back against the chair, ignoring the sharp, agonizing pain that shot down my back. There were times lately I felt as if I were being punished for the choices I had made in life. It wasn't my fault I had grown up fighting in the streets. Besides, having a drunk of a father at home, I'd had no choice but to learn how to defend myself at a young age, first from him, and then from the others who picked on me and stole what little lunch money I had. However, if I hadn't learned then, I probably wouldn't be sitting here now. Instead I would have become some nameless victim and my body would have been found facedown in a ditch or back alley somewhere.

Regardless, fighting was now in my blood, so it was no surprise I had made a career out of it. Becoming an MMA fighter was probably the best thing I could have done. I was good at what I did, one of the best in the area, as a matter of fact, and it paid the bills. However, it just so happened that this career choice also came with a lot of injuries. Good thing I was a tough son of a bitch.

"Still kicking ass and takin’ numbers, huh, Dagg?" Bree, one of the nurses, said as she entered the room carrying a clipboard. Bree had looked after me the last few times I came in. "Come with me. I had a feeling you might stop in tonight. We haven't seen you in a while, I was getting a little worried," she said as she pulled open a curtain to one of the little exam rooms and patted the paper-covered bed.

I listened to the familiar sound of paper crinkling beneath me as I took a seat and groaned from the pain shooting up my back again.

"I'm just going to take your temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation, but you probably know the drill by now." She smiled.

"Yep, sure, use and abuse me, just like all the pretty girls." I chuckled and extended my free arm so she could put the cuff on while continuing to hold the towel up to my head. One thing about head wounds: they bleed like a bitch.

I let her do her thing, watching the monitors on the machines. "Why are you here, Dagger? Everything is normal, same as it always is."

"I missed you ladies here at the good ole’ emergency room. You guys always take such good care of me, and being a single man, a lady’s touch is always nice. Plus, my coach dropped me off here and made me come in." I winked at her as she tore the cuff from my arm and smirked.

She pulled the towel away from my head and checked out my face. Taking her gloved hand, she gently touched the cut above my eyebrow, causing me to jump. She pushed my hand back up, so the towel rested against the cut again, and went to a drawer and pulled out a couple of bandages.

"For the time being I will butterfly suture this until you see the doctor. It should help stop the bleeding a bit. You'll probably need stitches again."

"Yeah, as you can see, that is the same as always too," I said, looking her in the eyes as she looked over my face again. I flinched this time as she touched another spot under my left eye. I had taken a left hook to that cheek; hadn’t even seen it coming until I felt the hit.

"That is probably going to be a lovely shade of green and purple in the coming hours."

She pulled the towel down away from my face and examined the gash closer this time. "Yep, you are going to need stitches. Hold still, this might sting." She smiled at me, while placing the bandages across the gash. I shrugged it off as if I didn't care that I needed to be sewn back up, but, honestly, I hated stitches, and Bree knew it.

Bree was always good to me, and she gently fastened the gash closed with the bandages. "However, this time you should probably come in and have us remove the stitches, instead of doing it yourself." She tsked. "It says here that you left with twelve last time, but you never came back for your follow-up." 

"Yeah, yeah. I know, I was short on time." I said, standing up. It was the same lecture as the last time and the time before that. I had become good at removing stitches on my own.

"Every time you remove them on your own, you risk the fact that the wound may not be closed properly and subjecting yourself to infection," she scolded.

"Well, what can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment." I shrugged, smiling.

"Don't flash me that sexy smile of yours. It’s serious." She frowned at me and muttered something under her breath as she marked something down on my chart. "All right, you know how it goes now. Take a seat out there." She pulled the curtain open, signaling for me to go and sit down. 

"Yep, I know how it goes, go wait and you'll call me as soon as there is a room ready." I grabbed my sweatshirt and walked out into the waiting room. I suddenly realized I spent entirely too much time here. I practically could have done the full check-in myself.

I was just about to head over to where I had been sitting but noticed my seat had now been taken by an older man, and the room was twice as full than it was when I had left. I walked across the room and grabbed a different seat over in the corner, off by myself. This time when I sat down, the pain in my kidney area was bad enough that it ensured me I would probably be peeing nothing but blood in a few hours. Sadly, I knew that feeling too. Guess I probably should have told Bree about the multiple kicks and punches I had endured to that area tonight as well, and perhaps she might have sped things along.

I shrugged off that thought and threw my sweatshirt on, pulling the hood up over my head to cover my eyes. The least Bree could have done was pass me a couple of pain pills on the sly, and she might have if I had told her I had a headache. I felt like shit, and the last thing I wanted was to have a bunch of people sitting and staring at me as if I were some monster out of a movie. Few people in the area new who I was, and I didn't want them to think I was just some looser who had lost in a street fight. I had too much pride to allow them to think that. I would never waste money on a stupid street fight.

The longer I sat there leaning up against the wall using my hood as a pillow the more comfortable I became. Finally, the pain in my back settled and I was just about to fall asleep when I heard another familiar voice call my name.

"Mollie, is that you?" I asked as I pulled the hood off my head and carefully rubbed my half-swollen shut eyes.

"Yeah, Dag, it's me. Come on, handsome, let's get you looked after, shall we?"

I stood up, blinking hard trying to see where I was going. I walked toward the door to the exam rooms, right where Mollie stood. I smiled as I approached her. I had seen her plenty of times here before as well. "Hey, Mollie, are you finally showing your old pal to a room?"

"Yeah, come on, you poor thing," she said, her voice full of pity, grabbing my arm and walking beside me to keep me from banging into things. "Just a warning, I'm not your nurse tonight. You've got the new girl, so make sure you're on your best behavior and that you treat her nicely, okay, Dagger?"

"I'm insulted! When have I ever been mean?" I asked innocently enough to make her laugh.

Even though I couldn't see it, I could imagine her rolling her eyes at me. "When aren't you? You're always impatient, snappish, and the looks you give are enough to knock people to their knees," she said as she pulled the curtain back for me to enter the little cubicle of a room.

"The look you’re referring to is part of my charm," I answered, sitting down on the table. "Really, though, the attitude is just because of the pain, Mollie. You guys poke and prod around; it hurts more than the actual fight," I argued, defending my behavior.

She placed my chart in the holder on the wall and went to pull the curtain across. "Well then stop the fighting and be nice, Dagger. The girl looking after you tonight is new here and she isn't used to you yet. She's a sweet girl, so don't give her a hard time. Her and the doctor should be in very soon," she said as she pulled the curtain back across the doorway and left the room.

I sat there for a few moments until the pain got so bad I had to lay back. I pulled my sweatshirt over my head and kicked my feet up on the gurney, resting my arm across my abs, and closed my eyes. Seconds later, I balled my sweatshirt up and shoved it under my head to use as a little pillow and laid there staring up at the ceiling. I could barely wait to see what little mouse of a girl they sent in to take care of me. If Mollie had warned me to be on my best behavior, this girl must be weak.

Within minutes, a woman walked into the room wearing cute purple scrubs and carrying a clipboard. She didn't greet me or look at me; she just walked over to the wall and removed my chart, setting it on the counter. I couldn't help but check her out; she had an ass that any man would be foolish to forget. When she looked at me, I felt my pulse start to rise. She had gorgeous glass-blue eyes and long, dark eyelashes, perfect lips, and the cutest nose. Her hair was pulled back in a messy ponytail. She sat down and slipped on a pair of frameless glasses and started going over my chart.

"Could you please remove your T-shirt so I can hook you up to the monitors. If we must shave you, we will," she said, showing me a razor blade.

"No need," I answered as I pulled my shirt over my head. I watched her eyes dance over my chest. I wanted to see if there was any reaction from her, but she just went about her business placing the electrodes on my chest, then she pressed a few buttons and the monitors started to beep. As her fingers grazed over my bare chest, lead to lead, the steady beeping from the machines started to get faster, the numbers climbing.

"Are you feeling okay?" she questioned as she continued to attach the pads and fiddle with the wires. I had been through this a thousand times—it was all just part of the protocol—but this time it was my attraction to her that was causing the machines to go haywire.

"Yeah," I said, swallowing hard.

"Whoa!" she exclaimed as the numbers continued to climb. "Something here has got to be defective." She rested her hand against my chest. "You're sure you feel okay?" she asked as she fiddled with the leads for another few moments before taking her hand off me and searching through the drawers for something.

I watched as the numbers on the machine instantly started to fall. She turned back to me and placed her hand on my chest, prepared to replace one of the leads, and the numbers started to climb again. She removed her hand again from my chest and watched as the numbers fell. A soft smirk floated across her lips, and that was when she realized that it was her that was making my heart rate go crazy. Her cheeks flushed and her eyes met mine as she rested her palm against my chest again. 

"Perhaps you should stop touching me," I teased, grabbing her hand that was still resting against my chest as she watched the monitor.

She smirked at my comment and rolled her eyes. "Did you at least win your fight?" she asked, studying the injuries on my face. Then she looked at my back and ran her fingers over the bruising that I was sure was already starting to show in my kidney area. The machines started beeping wildly again, and without even waiting for my response, she started writing her notes.

"Why is there is no mention of trauma to the kidney area on the forms?" she asked impatiently.

"There is no mention because I didn't say anything," I grunted as she lightly pressed in the area. "Oh and I won. The other guy looks way worse."

"Well, then I'm glad I'm dealing with you and not him then." She kept her head down and continued making notes, studying the monitor. "Any other areas of injury you're not telling us about?" she questioned, those glass-blue eyes glaring at me.

I was going to say something smart, but when I saw the fire in her eyes, I decided to shut up and just shake my head. I didn't need another fight on my hands tonight.






S.L. Sterling was born and raised in southern Ontario. She now lives in Northern Ontario Canada and is married to her best friend and soul mate and their two dogs. 


An avid reader all her life, S.L. Sterling dreamt of becoming an author. She decided to give writing a try after one of her favorite authors launched a course on how to write your novel. This course gave her the push she needed to put pen to paper and her debut novel "It Was Always You" was born. 

When S.L. Sterling isn't writing or plotting her next novel she can be found curled up with a cup of coffee, blanket and the newest romance novel from one of her favorite authors on her e-reader. Her favorite authors include Kendall Ryan, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Lauren Blakely, Alessandra Torre and Willow Winters. 

In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, sunny destinations, spending quality time with family and friends and of course reading.




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