Unmasked by Helen Hardt

6 out of 5 stars

Oh Helen, you continue to outdue yourself EVERY SINGLE TIME! Your words mesmerize me and hold me captive constantly. I’ve seen a lot of reviews that give away too much of the story, and I absolutely will not ruin any part of this amazing and entrancing story.

You definitely can’t just jump right in with this book. You have to start from book 1 because it’s a continuous story. I guarantee you will fall hard for Helen, her words, and her characters. You definitely won’t be able to put anynof these books down when you start. You’ll be turning pages at the speed of light!! Do yourself a favor and pick up this series. You won’t be disappointed!

Oh Helen, you continue to outdue yourself EVERY SINGLE TIME! Your words mesmerize me and hold me captive constantly. I’ve seen a lot of reviews that give away too much of the story, and I absolutely will not ruin any part of this amazing and entrancing story.

You definitely can’t just jump right in with this book. You have to start from book 1 because it’s a continuous story. I guarantee you will fall hard for Helen, her words, and her characters. You definitely won’t be able to put anynof these books down when you start. You’ll be turning pages at the speed of light!! Do yourself a favor and pick up this series. You won’t be disappointed!

Unmasked (Blood Bond Saga Vol 4)

by #1 New York Times Bestselling author Helen Hardt

Release Date: 29th January

Genre: Romance/vampires

#Unmasked #BloodBondSaga #WaterhousePress #HelenHardt

Goodreads

Vampires can’t levitate. At least that’s what Dante Gabriel always thought, until he finds himself floating above his bed along with his lover, Erin Hamilton. As he continues to exhibit unusual powers, more memories from his time in captivity surface, leaving him fearing what he might have done while imprisoned. When a new and unexpected temptation arises, he finds himself unable to resist.

Erin aches for Dante and wants more than anything for him to find peace. As they uncover clue after clue in their attempt to find the missing women and solve the puzzle of Dante’s past, she is more determined than ever to put an end to their struggle, even if it means putting herself in harm’s way.

After an ominous visit with Bea, the voodoo priestess, Dante knows what he must do, and he must do it alone. First, though, he will make Erin truly his and take the sustenance he needs to get him through his next battle. But will his love for her be enough to save him when his nemesis is finally unmasked?

Unmasked OUT NOW!

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Interested in other books in the series:

http://www.helenhardt.com/book/

Not started the Blood Bond Series, grab Vol 1 today

Unchained (Blood Bond Vol 1) Available Now!

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2OccbIv

Print: https://amzn.to/2pJXH7R

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Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GR_Unchained

Synopsis

Vampire Dante Gabriel is starving. What he craves is red gold—human blood. After being held captive as a blood slave to a female vampire for years, he has finally escaped. Unchained at last, he follows his nose to the nearest blood bank to sate his hunger.

ER nurse Erin Hamilton expects just another busy night shift…until she finds a gorgeous stranger vandalizing the hospital blood bank. Though her logic tells her to turn him in, she’s pulled by stronger and unfamiliar emotions to protect the man who seems oddly infatuated with her scent. Chemistry sizzles between them, but Dante, plagued by nightmares of his time in captivity, fears he won’t be able to control himself…especially when he discovers a secret she doesn’t even know she’s hiding.

Interested in other books in the series:

http://www.helenhardt.com/book/


Meet the Author

#1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Helen Hardt’s passion for the written word began with the books her mother read to her at bedtime. She wrote her first story at age six and hasn’t stopped since. In addition to being an award winning author of contemporary and historical romance and erotica, she’s a mother, a black belt in Taekwondo, a grammar geek, an appreciator of fine red wine, and a lover of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. She writes from her home in Colorado, where she lives with her family. Helen loves to hear from readers.

Visit her here: https://www.facebook.com/HelenHardt

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Hardt & Soul

Deal With The Devil by Meghan March

6 out of 5 stars

Meghan March has struck again!!! Seriously I have no clue how this woman blows my mind with EVERY SINGLE WORD!! This book is beyond words. It’s pure perfection. Meghan is the queen of alpha males, and good God help me try to resist Jericho Forge!! *cue hot flashes *. You will need an air conditioner in the dead of winter to cool off while reading this. Consider that your warning! 😉😉

India and Jericho will hold you in a trance until the very last word. Sorry, but this review is completely spoiler free because I refuse to ruin anyone’s experience while reading this book! Meghan keeps you on your toes with every twist and turn. It is so worth every second spent reading this masterpiece. I can’t wait for the next book!

I also listened to the audio book. It’s definitely worth it if you like to listen to your books. Personally, I absolutely love audio books because it helps to really immerse you completely in the story.

From New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller

Meghan March comes the first book in a new riveting romance trilogy

filled with international high-stakes, dangerous hidden agendas,

and—in true March fashion—plenty of twists and turns.

ABOUT THE BOOK

DEAL WITH THE DEVIL

Forge Trilogy, Book #1

Red Dress Press | On Sale: January 15, 2019

BOOK TEASER:

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes the story of the ruthless, calculating billionaire Jericho Forge. India Baptiste, his latest prey, is now caught in the high stakes game that has become her life since colliding with Forge, and she’ll need the luck of the devil to survive. India Forge’s life is now part of Jericho Forge’s calculated game.

COVER BLURB:

“You can put that man in a suit, but he’ll never be tame.”

One look at Jericho Forge and I knew the rumors were true. He was a predator, and he had set his sights on me.

I knew better than to bet more than I could afford to lose that night. I knew better than to bet myself. But desperation leads to bad decisions, and I thought there was no way I could lose.

I was wrong.

Now I have no choice but to make a deal with the devil.

Book 1 FB Spoiler Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/790140534687700/

Book 1 Buy Links:

Official Trilogy Landing Pages:

RELEASE BLITZ & TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY

Giveaway Details: Enter for your chance to win one of five signed copies of Deal with the Devil!

Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5ef7d5454/?


Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

You can find her online at: MeghanMarch.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Meghan March LLC | Red Dress Press

Publicity Contact: Donna Soluri | meghanmarchmedia@gmail.com

Review – Make You Mine by Tia Louise

6 out of 5 stars

Hands down a 6 star read and my now #1 Tia Louise book! I love every single book Tia has ever written but this one just owned me and my heart and soul! Second chance, friends to lovers, military ;all my favorite tropes in one perfectly written book.

This is a grab a box of tissues, a comfy blanket, and comfy spot read that you won’t put down until the last word. It will grip your heart and consume your. You’ll feel like you’re part of the story. I just really can’t say enough to do this book justice. You have to one click and experience every single emotion that Tia brings your way. An absolute MUST READ!!

(Brother’s best friend, forbidden love, small-town, military second-chance romance.)

A promise written on a coaster.

A lost night in a dark room.

Grayson Cole was my brother’s best friend.

He was all of my firsts.

Then he went away…

Drew Harris was just a kid, a senior in high school, my best friend’s little sister.

They said she was too young to know her feelings.

I was too old to have them, so I left to join the military.

Four years passed.

Loss, injury, angry words I can never take back…

I’m home, but I’m not the same.

Neither is she.

Now she’s a woman with flashing blue eyes, long blonde hair, and gorgeous curves.

Still, she’s the same sweet smile, the same sassy mouth…

I could never say No to her before.

I should for her sake.

She deserves better than what I’ve become, scarred and damaged.

“They told me to stay away from you.

I went away to try… God, I tried.

Now everything has changed. I’m back, and

I’ll do whatever it takes to make you mine…”

Add to Goodreads:

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“Your daddy’s right.” Gray looked at me with tortured blue eyes that contradicted every word he said. “You’re so young. You don’t know what you want.”

I only kissed him again, crawled onto his lap again, put his hands on me and made us forget my disapproving father, my overprotective brother. Neither of them had been there for me the way Grayson always had.

“I know what I want…”

About the Author:

Tia Louise is the USA Today best-selling, award-winning author of When We Touch, the “Bright Lights,” “One to Hold,” and “Dirty Players” series, and co-author of the #4 Amazon bestseller The Last Guy.

After being a teacher, a book editor, a journalist, and finally a magazine editor, she started writing love stories and never stopped.

Louise lives in the Midwest with her trophy husband, two teenage geniuses, and one grumpy cat.

Also by Tia Louise

Books in Kindle Unlimited:

Stand-Alone Romances

When We Kiss, 2018

Save Me, 2018

The Right Stud, 2018*

Hit Girl, 2018

When We Touch, 2017

The Last Guy, 2017*

One Immortal, 2015

One Insatiable, 2015

(*co-written with Ilsa Madden-Mills)

Books on ALL Retailers:

The Bright Lights Series

Under the Lights (#1), 2018

Under the Stars (#2), 2018

The Dirty Players Series

The Prince & The Player (#1), 2016

A Player for A Princess (#2), 2016

Dirty Dealers (#3), 2017

Dirty Thief (#4), 2017

The One to Hold Series

One to Hold (Derek & Melissa), 2013

One to Keep (Patrick & Elaine), 2014

One to Protect (Derek & Melissa), 2014

One to Love (Kenny & Slayde), 2014

One to Leave (Stuart & Mariska), 2014

One to Save (Derek & Melissa), 2015

One to Chase (Amy & Marcus), 2015

One to Take (Stuart & Mariska), 2016

SIGNED COPIES: http://smarturl.it/SignedPBs

Connect with Tia:

Website: Http://www.AuthorTiaLouise.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tia-louise

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Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/AuthorTiaLouise

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authortlouise

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTiaLouise

Amazon Author Page: http://smarturl.it/TLMAA

Book + Main: https://bookandmainbites.com/tialouise

Never miss a New Release!

1-Sign up for Tia’s Book News: http://smarturl.it/TLMnews

2-Get Exclusive Text Alerts and never miss a Sale or New Release: Text “TiaLouise” to 64600*

*Max 6 messages per month; HELP for help; STOP to cancel; Text and Data rates may apply. Privacy policy available, allnightreads@gmail.com.

Review – The Princess, the Prick, and the Priest

1 MILLION STARS!!!!

ELLA FRANK HAS ROCKED MY WORLD ONCE AGAIN! This series is one of my favorite EVER! ELLA CAN DO NO WRONG. YES, I KNOW IM WRITING IN ALL CAPS! THAT’S HOW EXCITED I AM.

Get ready to go on our final ride with the Prick, The Priest, and The Princess! BTW, this is a spoiler free review. You need to read every word from book 1 one to the last word of the final book. These books cannot be read as standalones. FYI.

This book was all I expected and more. Ella always brings the fire, the love and the unexpected. By far one if my absolute favorite series ever.

Confessions: The Princess, The Prick, and The Priest, a fun, flirty story in the contemporary MMM Confessions Series from USA Today bestselling author Ella Frank is available NOW!

Everyone said our love wouldn’t work.

That it was too hard, too complicated, too messy.

Oh how I enjoy proving everyone wrong.

My men are smart, sexy, sophisticated—

and most of all, crazy about me.

The only problem is trying to explain

that to my big, opinionated Italian family.

But after all we’ve been through, we deserve a

happily ever after. And if there’s one

thing I know about my guys, they always

manage to have a few surprises up their sleeves.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RMsInf

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ConfessionsPPP

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2LWbQHs

Start the series with Confessions: Robbie today!
Amazon:http://amzn.to/2HdQ7IU

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/confessionsrobbie

Add To Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EWp3Aq

CHAPTER ONE

I’m not sure why everyone dreads their thirties.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s going to be

the best decade ever ~ Robbie

Six Months Later…

“LOVERS, I’M HOME,” Robbie Bianchi called out to his boyfriends, as he juggled several shopping bags in one hand and kicked the front door shut behind him. He stuffed his car keys into the pocket of his shorts, and as he evened out what he was carrying, he took the stairs that led him up to the first floor of their new home.

With the same smile on his face that he’d left with that morning, Robbie headed across the hardwood floors past the dining room, and into the kitchen, where he spotted a note waiting for him: We’re upstairs, princesse. Come find us when you get home.

Robbie grinned at the messy crown drawn above the i in princesse, but then quickly did as he was told. With one hand on the steel rail, he took the stairs two at a time, and as he reached the second floor where the bedroom was located, he walked inside to find it empty except for the fish swimming around the tank that lined the wall facing their bed.

Dropping his shopping bags on the end of the mattress, Robbie headed up to the final floor, where he knew his men were waiting for him. He opened up the glass door that led to the penthouse deck, and when he stepped outside and the warm rays washed over him, Robbie took in a breath of fresh air.

Ah, he’d always loved summer. Everything about it. The sun, the smell of the freshly cut grass, and the clothes—or lack thereof—Robbie thought, as he reached for the edge of his white tank top and drew it over his head.

As he tucked it into the back of his shorts, Robbie scanned the wide deck, his eyes roaming over the wooden slat floor, the hot tub over in the corner, and the glistening water of the lap pool surrounded by the potted greenery bordering their rooftop oasis.

This space had been the final selling point with all three of them when they’d made the decision to leave the condo after what had happened there with Jimmy. It was the perfect place for Julien to relax and do his yoga, for Priest, who loved a good soak to clear his mind, and for Robbie, for whom it was all about the calm he got from finally seeing his men happy and at peace. And that was exactly how he found one of them right now. There, stretched out on one of the sun loungers, was the brand-new reason that Robbie loved summer—an almost-naked Julien Thornton.

Dressed in tight, black, barely there swim shorts that left little—okay, nothing—to the imagination, the only other thing Julien was wearing was a pair of Aviator sunglasses. His rich, olive-colored skin was glistening with water droplets as he lay sprawled out with his hands behind his head, and oh my God was he a feast for the eyes.

As Robbie walked to the end of the lounger, his eyes roamed up Julien’s toned legs to his muscular thighs, and ended at the bulge that tight material was cupping like a glove.

Oh yes, this was hands down the best part about summer now, and luckily for Robbie and Priest, tanning was a favorite pastime of their seriously sexy Frenchman.

Bonjour, princesse.” Julien’s honey-toned voice wrapped around Robbie, informing him that he’d been caught staring. But he didn’t care—not one little bit.

“One second, please. I’m concentrating here,”Robbie said, his gaze trailing up all he could see to finally land on Julien’s face. “Now, sorry, what were you saying?”

Julien chuckled as Robbie walked alongside him. “Bonjour, princesse.”

“Oh, yes,” Robbie said, and bent down to brush a kiss across Julien’s lips. “Bonjour, Jules.”

Robbie went to straighten, but before he got too far away, Julien took hold of the back of his neck and craned up for a deeper kiss. Robbie’s lips parted, and Julien slipped his tongue inside, making Robbie’s cock jerk to attention, as he braced his hand on the back of the lounger and sank into the deliciousness that was all Julien.

About Ella:

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips.

Connect with Ella:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ella.frank.31/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EllaFrank2012

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellafrank1/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ella-frank

Stay up to date with Ella by joining her mailing list: www.bit.ly/1hEYtgn

Join Booke & Ella’s Naughty Umbrella: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheBrellas/

Website: https://www.ellafrank.com/portfolio

Review – Unleashed by J. L. Drake

6 out of 5 stars

6 stars!!!!

What can I say? Ever since the day I’ve met Jodi Drake’s work, I was hooked like an addict needing their next fix. I absolutely can’t get enough. This book was so worth the wait and it was PURE GOLD!!! It doesn’t get much better than this.

Be prepared to feel every possible emotion and go on the roller coaster ride of your life!!!! You never know what will be thrown at you next. That’s another thing about her books- you NEVER no what’s coming next. Unpredictability in a book is everything!

If you’re looking for a dark series that will rock your freaking world, then you need to start binging from book 1. This author never disappoints. Be advised : you will be in a severe hangover after reading this!

Trigger

Tess was under the Devil’s watch while I suffered behind bars with my demons…

The ace in my pocket brings power, and the temptation to flip overwhelms me.

I’m playing chicken with the reaper, and it’s only feeding his thirst.

The smell of blood is a drug. It fuels me. Consumes me.

I am lost.

Tess

The Devil stole me, but I refuse to belong to someone else.

I’m a fighter.

I will do whatever it takes to get back to my family.

Treachery and betrayal surround us.

The only way out is to turn the greatest loss into the greatest victory.

Buy Links:

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TRIGGER (Devil’s Reach, 1)
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DEMONS (Devil’s Reach 2)
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Rafflecopter Direct Link:

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The morning came too quickly. I blinked my eyes to focus and swung my feet to sit up. Once the doors scraped open on the tracks, I made my way downstairs, signaling to my men I was skipping breakfast and headed in the opposite direction.

The line for the phone wrapped around the corner and down the hall, but one look at me, and most scattered. My reputation in prison had traveled far.

I caught the eye of a Stripe Back I sent here last year. Kale had murdered a gas attendant for his initiation and tried to pin it on Morgan, who happened to be there at the same time. With a little pressure, I got the proof I needed to clear Morgan’s name and sent Kale away for life.

It didn’t help that I spread some rumors so he would become someone’s bitch in a matter of days.

“Nice limp.” Rail nodded. “Rough night under the sheets?”

Kale shot him a death look but was more focused on me.

“Tell me something.” He rubbed his crew cut and leaned against the wall. “How is it that you’re in here while your old lady is shackin’ up with your old man out there?”

Rail shifted and blocked the view of the guards while Brick appeared from the cafeteria and stood on the other side. I stepped up closer so we were nose to nose, and slapped my hand down on his pencil dick.

“I will be out of here before your next date with your cellmate,” I twisted him tighter in my grip as he struggled to keep his composure, “peeling the clothes off your sister, just like I did the night you were sentenced.

He tried to lunge, but I squeezed with all my might. He stifled a scream as his veins bulged. He couldn’t afford to get put in the hole again, and he knew I knew that.

“Vineyard!” a guard yelled. “Do we have a problem here?”

I raised my hands and stepped back. “Just getting reacquainted with an old friend.”

The guard gave a red-faced Kale a questioning look. “That true?”

“Yeah,” he muttered.

“Good. Move on, then.” He waved us off as I stood back in line for the phone.

Three rings after I stated my name to the stupid recording, someone finally answered.

“Helmond’s Bar, Peggy speaking. Trigger, is that you?”

Why is she questioning me?

“Peggy, get me Morgan.”

“Oh, my God, Trigger! I thought maybe it was Brick or Rail. It’s been so jacked up without you here—”

“Peggy,” I snapped, “where’s Morgan?”

“No clue. I figured you had him dealing with somethin’.”

“Find me Cooper.”

“Do you know how hard it is to run this bar myself? The till doesn’t add up right. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Morgan keeps throwing Tess in my face. He really can be an asshole—”

“Peggy!” I shouted, and a guard glared at me.

“Cooper.”

“Fine!” she huffed and screamed for Cooper, who must have been in the bar, as he yelled back at her. “Trigger is on the phone.”

There was bickering before he tore the phone away from her.

“Hey, man, you okay in there?”

“Where is Morgan?” I didn’t have much more time. “I don’t know. He left the day before yesterday, said he’d be back tomorrow. Maybe his dad is back?” Morgan wouldn’t leave unless something came up, but why not tell Cooper or Cray?

“You heard from Links yet?” he asked. The bar must have picked up, because he started yelling over the noise.

“No. You?”

“He was here poking around yesterday, but he wouldn’t share anything.”

Really?

“Find Morgan.” “Yeah, boss.”

I hung up and went to find Brick. Something didn’t sit right.

About AUTHOR:

Bestselling author J. L. Drake was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, later moving to Southern California where she lives with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing, she loves to spend time with her family, travelling or just enjoying a night at home. One thing you might notice in her books is her love for the four seasons. Growing up on the east coast of Canada the change in the seasons is in her blood and is often mentioned in her writing. An avid reader of James Patterson, J.L. Drake has often found herself inspired by his many stories of mystery and intrigue. She hopes you will enjoy her stories as much as she has enjoyed writing them.

Links:

Website: http://bit.ly/JLD-web
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/JDL-newsletter
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BookBub: http://bit.ly/JDL-bookbub

Review – More of You by A. L. Jackson

More of You Cover

More of You by A.L. Jackson

My rating: 6 of 5 stars

When you begin and end a book in tears, you know it’s one that spoke to your soul. More of You by AL Jackson spoke to my soul. Sang to my soul. Shattered my soul. Slayed my soul. This story was my soul. So STUNNING! I LOVED IT!!! Second chance romances are my weakness, and More of You was my KRYPTONITE. PURE ROMANCE GOLD.



”You are beauty looking back at me.”

More of You is so much more than a romance. MORE of EVERYTHING. It’s poetry—dreamy lyrics that come to life. It’s a story of regret and retribution, sacrifice and selflessness, and faith and forgiveness. It’s an emotional journey of fated friends and forever soulmates who lost their way. It’s a stunning, suspenseful, and soulful second-chance romance that grabbed me from the first page and never let go. I never let go.

”You took my heart when you left.”

“And I left mine with you.”

This is the story of two fractured and fated soulmates who became lost along the way until a collision of past and present brings them together. Jace and Faith. Beauty and Beast. So perfect together. So meant to be. Faith is an old soul who has lived a thousand years, so gorgeous and so giving, a beacon of light in the dark. Jace, I fell for this broken and big-hearted man right away, a beautiful beast with a vulnerable side that shows as he finds his light, his Beauty. I felt the forever love of Faith and Jace. I felt the pain of these characters as if it were mine. A broken hero and heroine that broke me yet melted me. Again and again.

I’d been lost for years. And with her in my arms? The only thing I could think was that I’d been found. Rescued.

The element of suspense fused with the feel-worthy writing makes this story a force to be reckoned with—UNFLINCHING and UNSTOPPABLE. You’ll hang off the emotional edge. This tender and thrilling tale tears your heart wide open and shakes every emotion out of you until you’re exploding. An EMOTIONAL EXPLOSION. Your heart will shatter into a million pieces and slowly be pieced back together again—maybe a few times. You can’t help but be ALL IN. More of You makes you feel every word in a story that’s everything you’d want in a romance. Heady. Hypnotizing. Heartfelt.

”What do you see in me?”

“Everything.”

There’s beauty bound to the words AL Jackson pens to life, the kind that makes you take deep breaths and tear up with not just the sad words but all the words. Words that take my breath away. Words that hold all the emotion. So powerful. So passionate. So poignant. I get all teary-eyed when AL Jackson’s soul-clenching words fuse with my heart and soul; I can’t help myself. I read her words with tears of sorrow and swoon. Poetry on pages with the power to touch every emotion. Oh did More of You touch me so much!

”You’re ruining me. Ruining every single thing I’d forced myself into believing.”

“You ruined me a long time ago.”

More of You is so beautiful, so broken, so breathtaking, and so brilliantly told. This book broke me in the best and most beautiful of ways. Toward the end, I felt each word through the tears. Words that stole my soul, stomping on it with each breath My heart bled for this book. My heart beat out of my chest. My heart was hit so hard, it spun right into my soul. Sweetness and sorrow. A story that shattered me, made me swoon and swept me away into its world. A.L. Jackson has written another stunning and soul-shattering romance that shoots sparks straight through the heart. More of You, with its meaningful and memorable characters, is a story that stays with the heart and soul long after the last page. Sheer brilliance from beginning to end. So heartbreakingly beautiful. So EVERYTHING.

”I think I’ve loved you since the day I met you.”

Another TOP 2018 & LIFETIME READ from the amazing AL Jackson!!!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 but worth all the beauty and beast stars

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My daddy warned me never to fall for a boy like Jace Jacobs . . . 

The second I saw him walk through the door, I knew he was trouble.

A gorgeous rebel with a bad attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder.

My heart warned me. I didn’t listen. I saw something protective and good beneath the fierce, tough exterior.

I fell hard and fast.

He promised we’d be together forever, and then left me with a broken heart.

Now, ten years later, Jace Jacobs is standing at my door.

Sexier than he’s ever been.

Provocative and commanding.

Successful and powerful.

The man I always knew he would become.

But I promised myself I’d never lose my heart to him again.

Even time couldn’t dim our chemistry. One glance of his intense eyes, and I become weak. One brush of his hand, and he brings me to my knees.

Little do I know, Jace holds the key to everything I’ve lost and everything that threatens my future.

Now he will either save me, or he will break me all over again . . .

More of You – a Confessions of the Heart second-chance, stand-alone romance

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More Of You Teaser

Review – Priest by Ella Frank

6 out of 5 stars

Wow. Really, what can I say? I always know that when I dive into an Ella Frank book that I’m in for one heck of a ride! This series has just built more and more leaving you yearning for more. This is yet again another series that I don’t ever want to end. Ella is famous for that. There aren’t many authors that I would be happy to have book after book of the same characters but Ella is my unicorn author. This series simply proves what I mean. I still want more of every book she’s written.

Now to the story. Oh Priest, you delicious alpha stubborn man. I love you so freaking much. I loved learning so many details about what formed him into the man he is today. Let’s just say you can love to hate him at times because he is as stubborn as they come.

The dynamics between the 3 of them start falling into place, but not without ups and downs. Be prepared to laugh, cry, swoon, and throw a temper tantrum. It will all be worth it in the end. I promise!!

Confessions: Priest, book three in the steamy contemporary MMM Confessions Series from Ella Frank, is available NOW!

I am complex.

My love is all-encompassing.

And when it comes to my heart, there is only one rule:

Don’t mess with what’s mine.

Until the age of seven, I was Joel Alexander Donovan, son of Jimmy.

The man who terrorized a town and made its citizens fear

the very ground he walked on. Including me,

the day I realized that ground ran red with blood.

At age eighteen, I became Priest.

A man without a past.

A man determined to right the wrongs of my father.

A man who never believed anyone could love the son of such a monster.

But then a thief stole my heart.

A sweetheart lit up my world.

And I forgot for a moment you should never turn your back on your enemy.

And thus begins a lesson to those who would seek to harm: Never underestimate what the Priest will do to protect the Princess and the Prick.

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CHAPTER ONE

CONFESSION

My name is not Joel Priestley.

My name is Joel Alexander Donovan.

And a long time ago, I was taught that things

aren’t always what they appear to be—and neither are people.

JOEL PRIESTLEY, A.K.A Priest, sat behind the wheel of his Aston Martin with his hands at the ten and two positions and his seatbelt fastened. He’d been sitting like that for the past thirty minutes or so. Ever since he’d pulled the vehicle into its designated parking spot alongside his and Julien’s—his husband’s—black Range Rover.

Sinatra had been keeping him company, as Priest tried to block out the phone call he’d made back in his office to Henri. But no matter how loud he played the charismatic crooner, nothing seemed to lessen the impact of Henri’s words and the way they had made Priest’s stomach coil.

“Nice to know you can at least follow an order if it’s to keep those you love safe… Be careful; keep an eye out…”

And that was what he’d been doing for the past thirty minutes or so. Sitting in his car, with his eyes trained on the rearview and side mirrors, as his paranoia over what used to only exist in the shadows began to slowly creep back out into the light of day.

Priest gritted his teeth and reminded himself that Jimmy wasn’t out of prison just yet and likely wouldn’t be for some time. He wasn’t about to appear out of thin air to exact absolution for what he believed was Priest’s biggest crime—abandonment. But that didn’t mean Jimmy hadn’t reached out to the others to find him. To track down the son who had turned his back on his family if, and when, he walked free.

Priest cursed and slammed the heel of his palm against the steering wheel, then he reached for the seatbelt’s release, and as it retracted across his chest, he reached up and shoved it off his shoulder where it caught. As it snapped into place, Priest pulled the handle of the door and got out of the car. He needed to get upstairs. To get inside a locked lobby, where a security guard walked the halls, and his condo had a deadbolt on the front door. It was one of the main reasons he’d been interested in Logan’s place to begin with. The additional barriers between him and those he loved—and anyone who may want to hurt them.

Julien had already texted to let Priest know he and Robbie arrived home safely. But as of yet, Priest hadn’t heard anything from Robbie, their boyfriend. Not that he’d expected to. The last image Priest had of their princess was an ashen face and betrayal in those usually bright blue eyes, and Christ, Priest wished he could erase that picture from his mind.

The three of them had been making such headway lately. They had moved past the getting-to-know-you, comfortable stage of their relationship, and had been thisclose to slipping into that space where the heart and soul of the one whose body you were worshiping was coveted.

But that had all changed now. The truth about his father having wiped out any trust he may have built with Robbie, judging by the expression on his face before Priest had left the brewhouse.

All the joy, and all the happiness, the closeness the three of them had been reveling in, had been smothered by the dark cloud that descended on them, and Priest had a feeling it was going to take a lot of explaining on his behalf before they could get out from under it—if they ever could.

Priest jabbed the button of the garage elevator, and when the doors slid open, he ran his key fob over the panel and hit the floor button. He leaned against the back wall and shut his eyes, and as the elevator ascended, he wondered how he was going to explain all of this to Robbie.

He’d only ever had to do it once before. Only ever found one other he deemed important enough to share this side of himself with. And he’d been just as apprehensive, just as sick to his stomach, at the thought of revealing all to Julien, as he was heading up to face Robert Bianchi.

Priest walked down the hallway toward their condo like a man heading toward his execution—or the execution of their new relationship—and when he got to the front door, he paused before entering.

Scanning the hallway, he looked to his left, where their neighbor lived on the other side of the corridor, before he took a final glance back in the direction he’d come. Once he was satisfied there was no one about, he unlocked the door and headed inside.

The first thing he noticed upon entry was how quiet it was. Lately, when he’d arrived home from work, the TV was on and there was the sound of someone doing something or other in the living room or kitchen. But not this afternoon.

Right now, the place felt more like a library. The kind of space where you should tiptoe and whisper in case you offended whoever was inside—provided there was someone there to offend in the first place.

But that was just his paranoia creeping in again. Of course someone was inside—two someone’s, in fact. Julien had told him so, and when Priest stepped out of the short hallway, he spotted his husband immediately.

Julien was curled up on the couch with a blanket over his legs and his phone in hand, and the second Priest moved into view, Julien’s legs came out from under him and he got to his feet. He dropped the phone on the cushion beside him, and as the blanket fell from his lap, it crumpled to the soft rug without a sound.

Julien rushed around the couch and hurried over to Priest, and when he reached him, Julien took his face between his hands and pressed a hard kiss to his lips.

Mon Dieu, Joel,” Julien said. “I’ve been a mess worrying over you. I’m so glad you’re home.”

Priest wound his arms around Julien’s waist, anchoring himself to the man who understood him in ways Priest had never imagined possible. “You don’t know how much I needed to hear that.”

Julien trailed his fingers down the scruff on Priest’s cheek and frowned. “Was there really any doubt?”

Priest shut his eyes and let Julien soothe him in the way that only he could. His touch, his words, this man’s mere presence—they were all vital to Priest’s survival. Priest let go of Julien’s waist to cover the hand still cradling his cheek.

There were so many things he needed to say: “I’m sorry”or “You were right.I should’ve told Robert about this the second I found out.”But right then, all Priest could manage was: “There was no doubt. Not about you. Never about you.”

Julien’s eyes softened as Priest’s shifted over his husband’s shoulder to the closed door of their bedroom. “Is he still here?”

Oui.”

“I…” Priest paused as he searched for the words. “I wasn’t sure that he would be.”

“I wasn’t either,” Julien admitted, and when Priest locked eyes with him again, Julien added, “He’s been in there since we got home. Hasn’t said a word.”

“That was more than an hour ago.”

Julien nodded. “I know. But he made it very clear he wasn’t ready to talk about things yet.”

Not knowing what to say to that, Priest put his keys on the coffee table, and Julien placed a hand on his back.

“Listen, he’s processing right now. What he found out about Jimmy… It’s a lot, mon amour.”

“It’s more than that, Julien. You saw his face when he found out.”

Oui, I did. I also spoke to him in the car on the way home.”

“He thinks I lied to him. Doesn’t he?” When Julien didn’t reply, Priest ran a hand through his hair. “Fuck,” he said. “Fuck. I should’ve told him about all of this before he moved in.”

“And when should you have done that? At CRUSH? On our first date with him? Or maybe the second, when he had dinner here? I’m surethat would’ve made him feel right at home. There hasn’t been a good opportunity. You know that,” Julien reminded him, and touched his fingers to the sleeve of Priest’s jacket. “He just needs time to—”

“No,” Priest said, shaking his head. “Time gives people a chance to distort things. To make them doubt what they once believed. You and I know that better than anyone. I won’t have him doubting this. Doubting us, Julien. Not because of fucking Jimmy. I’m going to go and talk to Robert, and he’s going to listen, and then the three of us are going to sit down and discuss this.”

Something flashed in Julien’s expression, but instead of saying what was on his mind, he let go of Priest’s arm and said, “Okay.”

Priest narrowed his eyes in question, but Julien remained quiet. So Priest turned on his heel and headed toward their bedroom to track down their boyfriend and try to make things right again.

About Ella

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips.

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Review – Filthy Lies by Raine Miller

FL

Filthy Lies by Raine Miller

My rating: 6 of 5 stars

AHHHH! I can’t stop smiling. I can’t stop sighing. I can’t stop swooning. I can’t stop feeling and loving Filthy Lies! Ever since I met Naked over four years ago, the first book in The Blackstone Affair series by Raine Miller, I’ve been bewitched! I’ve loved this series from the very first page—from Ethan and Brynne to James and Winter—and will never get enough! Heart meets heat in Filthy Lies, a deliciously dirty, decadent and heart-stopping sensation that will render you breathless, addicted, and aching for more.


Winter Blackstone was my kryptonite.

I was so CONSUMED with this romance! I nearly 5 starred Filthy Lies from its enticing and intoxicating Prologue alone that had me screaming for more! This story sparks with sexual tension. The build-up is fire that blazes through the body. So off-the-charts hot. So delicious and divine. A slow burn of scorching desire and soul. I scorched and I swooned. Filthy Lies lit my body, heart, and soul on fire! I BURNED while devouring this book! So heady. So hot. So heartfelt. So everything. I MELTED FOR MORE.

I was so lost in him. I always had been.

This story is SEXY with strong characters that captivate from beginning to end. Raine Miller has written one of the hottest and heart-pounding heroes along with one of the kindest, biggest-hearted heroines ever.I wanted to be Winter Blackstone, a woman I had to admire and one I wished I could be. James is as caring as he is dominant and delicious. I adored Winter and James’ melt-my-heart romance so much—the steam, the struggle, the swoon, and the forever love of soulmates that shines bright—that I didn’t want it to end. I was WHOLEHEARTEDLY ENAMORED with this heartfelt hero and heroine with history who ENGRAVED MY HEART.

”You’re a saint and I’m a sinner.”

The off-the-charts chemistry, the pent-up passion, the promise of more, the love that was buried but brought to life, the sexy and swoon, and heart and soul make Filthy Lies the PERFECT ROMANCE. I LOVED being wrapped up in Raine Miller’s words again. Raine Miller’s writing is always superior—stories like Filthy Lies I’ll always blindly one-click because this author is a master storyteller that slays romance! Just YES!!! Spellbinding, sinfully sexy, and soul-stirring, Filthy Lies is a can’t-put-down story that swept me away where I’m basking in the most blissful of book comas. ROMANCE BLISS!!!

”Tell me right now what you want, Winter.”

“I want you.”

Hands down, Filthy Lies is a TOP 2018 and MUST-READ ROMANCE!

💋💋💋💋💋💋 fierce, forever, and fated kisses

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On the day I turned fifteen years old I knew I loved James Blakney. There was a look in his eye that told me he’d finally noticed I existed in a realm beyond best-friend’s-much-younger-off-limits-don’t-even-think-about-it-little-sister. Call it womanly intuition, despite the fact I was barely qualified for being an actual woman at just fifteen—and only in the biological sense—but still, I knew I loved him.

What I never expected from him was a proposal of marriage nearly eight years later. I know it’s not supposed to be a real marriage, but James is certainly making it feel that way.

He’s also hiding something from me.

But I’ve hidden the truth from him as well.

Lies.

So many filthy lies.

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Review – A Girl Like Lilac by Victoria L. James

A Girl Like Lilac by Victoria L. James

My rating: 6 of 5 stars


Less worrying, more living.

Have you ever read a book that has moved you so much and means more than you can pen into words? I’m just a girl, crying into her kindle, mourning the end of a story I wanted to feel forever. Victoria L. James wrote such a stunning story of forever love that there are not enough words to express my love for A Girl Like Lilac. I was MESMERIZED—so UNEQUIVOCALLY MOVED—by A Girl Like Lilac., a story I LOVED so much! This tale took my breath. Took my soul. Took my heart. Took all of me. A Girl Like Lilac. is so broken and beautiful—I was BESOTTED with this book!

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Once I started this stunning story, I didn’t want to stop. I knew right away that this story was SPECIAL; A Girl Like Lilac is the kind of story that sticks, the soul-stirring type that stays long after the last page is turned. I knew this tale would hold my heart in its hands forever, and I would let it take my heart as its own because A Girl Like Lilac OWNED ME and MY HEART FROM THE START.

I was a Hunter by name, sure. But for Lilac Clarke, without even realising it, I’d become a protector at heart.

What an aspiring novel with an engaging voice, a powerful and poignant plot, and some sensational and soulful writing! A Girl Like Lilac paints a pretty picture where each emotion is a color, so bold, so beautiful, and so bright. This tale is flawlessly executed with characters that are caring, charismatic, and compelling. I adored this hero and heroine so much! Lilac is as beautiful and bold inside as she is outside. Toby is a knight in shingling armor, the definition of hero, as cute as he is kind. Lilac and Toby are both so beautiful and brave with hearts of gold. They melt together and are true soulmates. I felt their connection course through the pages, penetrating me everywhere. It felt like this hero and heroine lived a thousand lives together.

”I’m not worth that kind of trouble.”

“You’re worth a war, Lilac.”

As this story told its truths, bits of wisdom dispersed through the pages, I felt wiser. I found myself clapping for justice against injustice. I found myself high-fiving the strong hero and heroine in my head . . . so many times. I found myself crying for words that spun my soul around, nearly knocking my heart out of my chest, a heart that beat for every word of this beautifully broken book. I found every feel in a story that is EVERYTHING!

”It will always be you, Lilac.”

A HEARTBREAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL coming-of-age journey, A Girl Like Lilac sparks with magic, hugging the heart while singing to the soul. A Girl Like Lilac is one of the most EXQUISITE and EXTRAORDINARY love stories I’ve ever met! This story made me melt . . . made me break . . . made me think . . . made me feel. I cried tears of joy and tears of sorrow. A Girl Like Lilac made my HEART BLEED and my SOUL SOAR, and I can’t stop feeling this romance. This beauty in words will hug me for life.

”You look like a man who’s been to war.”

“You were worth every second of it.”

Somehow . . . some way . . . Bryan Adams’ Robin Hood lyrics played in my head while reading, so perfect, so perfect for this journey.

Oh you can’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for
I can’t help it there’s nothin’ I want more
Yeah, I would fight for you
I’d lie for you
Walk the wire for you, yeah, I’d die for you
You know it’s true
Everything I do

Oh, I do it for you

This is a top 2018 and lifetime read! A Girl Like Lilac is YA AT ITS BEST! All the amazing stars already! All the first and last kisses! All the things!

There’s a pleasure to being alive few of us notice, no matter how long we live.

💋💋💋💋💋💋 first and forever kisses

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The first time Toby Hunter got arrested for defending Lilac Clarke’s honour, he was only fifteen years old, but he’d loved her from behind his black-rimmed glasses for as long as he could remember.

With a desperate need to protect her from a distance, one arrest turned to two, two soon turning into three, and before Toby knew what was happening, the sleepy village of Southwold was turning against him for daring to stand up for a girl like Lilac.

Beautiful Lilac with her flowers in her hair, her camera in her hands, and her sweet, pink, sugary-lipped kisses.

They could hate him for loving her all they wanted. Toby was a boy who did what was right, not what was easy, and he was always going to grow to be the man willing to give her what she deserved.

Even if that meant losing Lilac forever.

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Victoria L. James is a teenage girl stuck inside a thirty-something-year-old’s body. A Corona and nacho appreciator with a ridiculous obsession for all things Rocky Balboa, she currently lives in Yorkshire, England, with her husband and two baby boys. Having had a strong passion for words and stories going as far back as she can remember, she credits her love of literature to her Grandma Bess who taught her that you don’t need a lot of money to travel to different worlds, experience new places, and live a thousand lives.

She currently writes on her own as Victoria L. James, with her friend L.J. Stock on the Babylon MC Series, and is due to publish her Vicki James collection in 2018. To keep up to date on her latest news you can join Victoria’s FB reader group for exclusive material.

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Review – Broken Love Story by Natasha Madison

6 out of 5 stars
6 stars
I’ve come to expect nothing but greatness from Natasha Madison, but every time she still blows my mind. This book will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, heartache, lies, betrayal, and all consuming love. One of the most beautifully emotional stories of the year. Natasha can do no wrong!
Watching these 2 battle through loss, heartache, and the ultimate betrayal was gutwrenching and so worth every second. The way they navigate life and do it together all the while slowly building that slow burn will take your breath away. When we get to their HEA, it’s like fireworks on the 4th of July, a true celebration of freedom from the hurts of the past.
I really can’t say enough to express how much I love this book and these characters, but also Natasha! She has once again proven why she is one of my top must read authors!!

Samantha:

I had the perfect life; a husband who loved me, and two kids who were my world.

Until someone else answered his phone and my perfect life shattered.

When he died, I was left with answers he couldn’t give me and a box full of lies.

He left me broken.

Blake:

I fell in love when I was fifteen, knowing she was the one.

For five years, she was my everything—my every breath, every heartbeat, every thought.

She made me promise to move on, promise to find love again, but I broke those promises because I can’t move on.

Two broken souls brought together by tragedy and heartbreak.

Can a broken love story be fixed?

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Perfect Love Story – Available Now – Kindle Unlimited

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Unexpected Love Story – Available Now – Kindle Unlimited

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Samantha

Standing in front of the full-length mirror in my room, I smooth down my black skirt. My blond hair is tied up in a ponytail, my cheeks are sunken in more than normal, and the blackness around my eyes indicates I haven’t slept well since this whole thing happened. Since I found out that not only did my husband die, but that he also married someone else.

I sit on the made bed and look down at my wedding band. My thumb of my right hand touches it, and the lone tear that falls out of my eye lands straight on it. “Mommy.” I look back at Lizzie, who is standing in the doorway wearing a black one-piece dress similar to mine with ballerina flats.

My mother-in-law went shopping yesterday and bought us all new outfits for today. “We need to put our best foot forward,” she said as I watched her walk in with the six bags. “We can’t let people talk.”

I turned around and walked out of the room, going upstairs. Shutting myself in my bathroom with my back against the door, I cried quietly, trying to hide my sobs. “We can’t let people talk,” I whispered to myself. The hatred I had begun feeling when I remembered my husband.

Lizzie walks to the side of my bed and sits next to me. “I hate this dress,” she says when I put my hand around her shoulder and bring her to me, kissing her head.

“I know, baby,” I whisper, “but after today, it’s going to be all over.”

“That’s what Grandpa A said.” She mentions the name she calls my father-in-law. Grandpa A because you can’t get better than an A.

“Is everyone ready?” I hear Ethan yell from downstairs. “The limo is picking us up in twenty.”

“Let’s go, baby,” I tell her, getting up and holding her hand while we walk downstairs. My in-laws are both sitting in the kitchen. My mother-in-law in a black skirt and top while my father-in-law has on a black suit. “Where is Daisy?” I ask them.

“Elliot is upstairs changing her. She spilled milk on her dress,” Judy tells me, looking at Lizzie. “You look like such a big girl.” She blinks her tears away.

Elliot comes down the stairs with Daisy on his hip, smiling at me when he walks in. “Okay, you girls go sit in the living room while us grown-ups talk,” my father-in-law says, and the girls both know to leave the room. When he knows they are both out of earshot, he starts. “Today is going to be tough, tough for us all, but we have to stand together. We have to be the family that we are.” I lean against the counter while he talks. “The situation with the other one has been taken care of, and she has been served papers.” I look at him and then at Elliot and Ethan, both of them looking down when our eyes meet. It’s almost as if they feel guilty for meeting this woman. My father-in-law continues, “After all this is done today, we are meeting with the lawyers in person, so we can go over the will, start the paperwork for the insurance, and make sure she doesn’t touch a thing that belongs to him.” I stop listening at this point, turning to look out the window at the backyard.

The swing set that he built in one day to make sure the kids could use it when he left the next day. The patio set he had delivered to us, so I could have somewhere to sit while I watched the girls while he was living with another woman. I shake my head, walking out of the room. I sit on the couch, and the girls come to sit next to me, one on each side. “Today is going to be really hard,” I whisper to them, “but we have to be strong for Daddy.” They both look at me, their eyes exactly like their father’s. “But, if at any time, you need to leave or you need me… I don’t care who is talking to me or who is around; you come and get me.”

“Grandpa A said we had to sit and wait,” Daisy whispers just as Elliot comes into the room and kneels in front of us.

“What is this meeting about?” he asks, smiling at us. The circles around his eyes are just as black as ours. He hasn’t left our house since this happened.

“Mommy said if we need her that we can go to her,” Daisy says, looking at him and then me, “even if Grandpa A said no.”

He leans in, whispering, “You can come to me too, and I’ll make sure that you get Mommy.”

“Okay,” Lizzie and Daisy both whisper at the same time, and then the doorbell rings.

We get up, put our jackets on, and one by one file into the black limo that has come to take us to the funeral home. We arrive before everyone else. “We get an hour with him, and then they will open the door,” Adrian says as Judy grabs her tissue and dabs her eyes.

I look around the funeral home. I’m not sure what I’m looking for, not sure where he is. I haven’t seen him since he kissed me goodbye four days earlier. His last words to me were, “Call you when I can.” That phone call never came.

I follow my in-laws to the big brown door that is closed. “I want to go in before the girls.” Everyone turns to look at me.

“We can keep them in the lobby,” says the lady who greeted us at the door. She told me her name, but I just didn’t listen.

I nod at her as she turns to ask the girls if they want hot chocolate. Daisy’s eyes get big as Lizzie turns to look at me. I nod my head, giving her permission, so she can go with the woman.

The doors open, and I don’t even know what to expect. I’ve never been to a funeral. Never known anyone well enough to pay my last respects. Judy and Adrian walk in first, followed by Ethan, and Elliot waits with me. I step foot into the room, and it’s so cold that I shiver. The smell of flowers hits me right away, making me turn my head. The number of flowers and wreaths shocks me; the whole room is almost full. Some wreaths blocking others. Rows and rows of brown chairs line the room, all facing toward the front of the room. My eyes land on the brown wooden casket at the front of the room. The open half showing you the white satin inside. I walk down the aisle toward him, and then my eyes land on him. Eric. I can’t take another step forward because my knees give out, and I fall. Elliot isn’t fast enough to hold me up, and my knee lands with a thud. But the pain doesn’t matter because nothing could take the place of the pain in my heart. The sound of wailing fills the room as I look up at my dead husband.

I feel arms around me; I feel myself lifted; I feel myself almost floating. He isn’t the Eric who kissed me goodbye; he isn’t the Eric who I made promises to; he isn’t the Eric who made all my dreams come true. This isn’t him.

The man with makeup caked on his face isn’t my Eric. My sobs overtake my body as I look at him, expecting him to open his eyes. Expecting something, anything but this. “I want the casket closed,” I say, my voice soft. “I want it closed.”

“Samantha,” my father-in-law starts, “it’s—”

I shake my head. “I don’t want the kids to see him like that,” I say softly. I know that for me they wouldn’t even consider it, but for the girls, they would move heaven and earth. “They need to remember him alive and smiling, not like that,” I say, pointing at the casket.

“Dad,” Ethan says after me, “I agree.”

“Me too,” Elliot says from beside me. “Close it.”

He just nods at us, then walks to the man standing in the corner. The man looks at him as they have a hushed conversation and then just nods his head. “Do you need some water?” Ethan says to me, and I nod. I don’t bother listening to what else he says; instead, I get up and go to the casket. Standing before the brown box, I look at him, really look at him. You see some bruising under the makeup, and his nose is a little swollen. His hands are folded over his stomach, resting on his black suit. The suit he wore when we got married. Why? I ask him in my own head. Why did you do it? I ask him, hoping I can hear him whisper something to me, whisper anything back. To answer my questions, to give me something; anything to make me understand why he did what he did. Why he left me with so many fucking questions and not one answer.

The man comes over to close the casket. Eric’s face disappears slowly, the shadow filling his face till the casket finally shuts. “I’m sorry for your loss,” the man says, nodding at me. “If at any time you want it open, we can open it back up.” I turn around now, looking at the chairs that will fill up as soon as the people start coming in. Ethan consoles my mother-in-law, and Elliot stands where we were just sitting, his hands in his pockets.

“I’m getting the girls,” I tell them and then walk out with my head held high but my shoulders slumped. Defeated is a word that you use so many times not really understanding what can actually defeat you. I know now, my husband dying, him cheating on me, my kids without a father, my dreams of growing old with him gone. Beaten straight down to my core, straight down to my bones.

I walk over to them as they look up. “Let’s go, girls,” I tell them as they both get up and walk to me. Lizzie takes one hand, Daisy takes the other, and we walk back into the room that holds a piece of our hearts. The room where their father lies, with no answers and no tomorrow.

We stand in that room for four hours while people come up to me and give me their condolences. I nod my head and play the part of the grieving wife. I am the grieving wife, but I’m also the wife whose husband didn’t love her enough to just be with her. The wife who knew her husband was slipping away but couldn’t catch it in time. The wife he said he would love and protect. The wife who stands here between his girls wishing that for one second he suffered horribly. The wife who has to pick up the fucking pieces and lie to her girls about what a great guy he was. The wife who, at the end of the day, just wasn’t good enough.

We listen as people tell us how amazing he was, how much he loved his family, and how much he loved his girls. The whole time, I’m yelling on the inside, ready to stand in the middle of the room, throw my head back, and yell at the top of my lungs. But I don’t do what I want. I don’t tell them what a fraud my husband was. I don’t tell them that it was almost all lies. I don’t tell them that the day he died, they called his other wife and not me. I don’t tell them that I wasn’t the one with him when he died.

I stand here thinking about this other person—his other wife—and wonder how she would handle this. How she would be with my in-laws. Would she just let them control her and do everything for her? Would she want it to be open and weep for him beside the casket instead of standing next to it?

I look around the room at all the people who came to pay their respects, and my eyes find someone I’ve never met before. Someone I’ve never seen before, and our eyes connect. His green eyes stare into mine as I watch him nod to me and turn to walk out. As he walks out of the crowded room, I strain my neck to watch his back. I don’t have long to think because Elliot comes up and whispers, “It’s time.”

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

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