Thursday, May 31, 2018

EXCERPT: Unexpected Love Story by Natasha Madison

Love Series Book 2
By Natasha Madison
Release Day – June 5th

When one man’s death exposes a complex web of lies, three couples discover the true meaning of love, loss and redemption.


I was the strong one, they said, until two words brought me to my knees.
It was a secret I didn't share with anyone. A secret that made me promise I’d never fall in love.
I no longer wanted that white picket fence of every woman’s dreams.
Until the unthinkable happened.

I thought I had it all with the best medical practice in the state and the woman of my dreams.
I wore a smile on my face every single day.
I couldn't wait to watch her walk down the aisle and start our forever, except she never did.
My runaway bride made me realize love isn't worth it.

What happens when your dreams unexpectedly come true?

This is the story of unexpected love.


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“I’m going to the restroom.” I giggle to Dawn, who nods her head at me. Making my way through the crowd of people around the bar, I bend my head to watch my feet. Walking into the dim hallway, I smash into a man who has just come out of the bathroom. His arm automatically flies to wrap around my waist and bring me against him. His smell intoxicates me further, and I giggle as I try not to fall. I put my head back, looking up at him, and my smile gets even bigger. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going.” I look up into his blue eyes, and he smiles down at me.

“It’s my fault.” His voice comes out deep. “I should have looked right and left when I walked out of the bathroom.”

I throw my head back and laugh. “I get it. Like crossing the street.”

He loosens his hold on me, and I step back, finally taking him in. His hair is cut short on the side, the top longer. His t-shirt looks like he is bulging out of it, especially his biceps. Ink decorates both arms to his wrists. His jaw looks chiseled, his nose perfect. I don’t know if it’s the booze talking or not, but this man is fucking perfect. “Are you here for the convention?” I ask him, and he nods.

“Are you?” He puts his hands in his back pockets.

“No, I’m a nurse over at the hospital,” I tell him as someone walks by me and nudges me with their shoulder, sending me flying into him again. “Sorry.”

“You’ve fallen into my lap twice now, and I still don’t know your name.” He smiles at me, holding my arms in his hands.

“I’m Jane,” I tell him, hoping he gets the joke. “Jane Doe.” This time, he is the one throwing his head back and laughing.

“Well, Jane Doe, I’m John.” He holds out his hand, and I take it in my hand, shaking it. “John Doe.”

“I think we’re related somehow.” I smile at him, and this time, his eyes go serious.

“I really fucking hope not.” He takes a deep breath.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” I say, dropping his hand. “Excuse me.” I look down and then back over my shoulder once I walk away to see him staring at me. “Enjoying the view?”

“More than you fucking know.” He smiles, and I push open the bathroom door, whispering, “Holy shit,” the whole time.


I watch Jane Doe walk into the bathroom, thinking this night just got a whole lot better.

When we first arrived an hour ago, even with a large crowd I spotted her. My gaze found her right away, and then she moved her hips, and I just couldn’t look away. It was as if fate handed her to me when she smashed into me.

I look toward the bar and then back at the bathroom door as I list the pros and cons of staying and leaving in my head. Everything tells me this is a bad idea, but I go with my gut, which brings me back to the women’s bathroom door. I lean against the wall, facing the door, one foot on the wall, and both hands in my pockets. I haven’t done this in forever. I was never a one-night stand kind of guy, but something tells me not to walk away.

The door swings open, and there she stands. If I thought she was good looking through the crowds of people in the dim light, then nothing compares to her standing in the fully lit bathroom. Her blond hair falls down her back and her blue eyes shine with mischief. Her neck bare and white gives me the sudden urge to bite her. “You waiting for me?” she asks, walking to me.

“I wanted to know if maybe you wanted to grab a drink.” Her citrus smell hits me in the stomach. Fresh and clean. “I was thinking,” I say, tracing my finger down her cheek, “we could maybe go over our family tree.”

Her hands go straight to my waist as she leans into me. “Let’s go have that drink.” She winks at me, walking away from me as I follow her to the bar. “What are you having?” She turns to ask me.

“Scotch on the rocks,” I yell to the bartender, who then looks at her. “I’ll have the same,” she says.

“So.” She leans in, the noise of the bar drowning out her voice. The bartender returns with the two scotches and places them in front of us.

“Put it on my tab,” I tell him, and he nods his head. I pick up the glass, holding it in front of me. “To long-lost family.”

She picks up her glass. “To living in the moment.” I clink her glass in a toast, then she drinks a sip and looks at me. “Are you married?”

I shake my head. “Nope. Single. You?” I ask her. Even though I want to do this, I don’t want to cross that line.

“Always single.” She smiles, taking another sip, this time longer. “So, John”—she looks at me, stepping into my space—“there is just one more question that needs answering.”

I down the scotch, not even hissing when it burns my throat to my chest and then straight down to my stomach. I place the glass on the bar. “Do you want to go someplace where it’s quiet?” I ask her. She nods and smiles at me. It’s a smile that I’m not sure I ever want to see go away. It’s a smile that lights up her whole face. I don’t know if it’s the booze or not, but I’m not ready for it to be over just yet.

“I just have to tell my friends I’m leaving.” She points behind her and goes to tell them something while I close up the tab. A couple of women look over her shoulder, waving their hands at me, and one high-fives her. She shakes her head, laughing, while she walks back to me. “So where to?” she asks me. I grab her hand and walk outside to the building next door. “Well, that wasn’t too far.”

I guide her to the elevator and press the button standing next to her. I’m nervous; I haven’t had sex with someone new since Bethany and that feels like forever ago. I start thinking about different moves when the elevator dings, and the doors open. She steps in before me. “What floor?” she asks.

“Twenty-seven,” I say, and she presses the button. She leans on the wall while I lean on the other across from her. “I don’t usually do this.”

The little minx smiles at me. “A one-night stand or sex?”

I smile at her. “Very funny. A one-night stand.”

She stands straight and walks over to me. Her hands go straight to my chest, causing my heart to beat faster. “Well, then”—she inches closer, her hands moving to my neck, and my hands going to her waist, pulling her close to me, “let me start then.”

She goes on her tippy toes, and something in me takes over. I turn her so she is the one against the wall now. My hand runs over her bare neck, coming up to cup her chin. “I’m the one driving this car,” I tell her right before I hear her breath hitch and my mouth crashes into hers. I taste the scotch on her when her hand touches my cheek, and I angle my head to get more of her. To get all of her. The elevator dings, letting us know we are on our floor. Our lips separate from each other as our chests rise and fall rapidly. I hold out my hand, and she places hers in mine. As soon as our fingers intertwine, I pull her out of the elevator before the doors shut us in. She laughs as she follows me, and I make the mistake of looking over at her, seeing her with her hair going everywhere, the smile on her face, and the twinkle in her eyes. I make sure to remember it all.


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...

RELEASE DAY: Envy by Dylan Allen


Envy, an all-new emotional and romantic standalone from Dylan Allen is now LIVE!


If envy is a sin, then let me be damned.
Graham was born to be a star.
Once upon a time, that star shone only for me.
Now, I have to share him with the rest of the world.
For a while, I thought I could do it. Because, beneath the hypnotic smile, gorgeous body and God-given charm that made him famous, I still caught glimpses of my best friend.
Of the boy who called me sunshine and loved me.
I wore that love like a crown . . . until he placed it on another’s head.
Losing him was agony, distance felt like the only cure.
When tragedy reunites us after years apart, it only takes one touch to erase the past. Just like that, I'm back in his arms.
He promises this time will be different. But I’m afraid to believe him.
Because behind his star’s blinding brilliance is a darkness that doesn’t want to let him go.
I know a star that bright can’t belong to just one person, but my jealous heart doesn’t want to share him.
I want all of him . . . even if wanting what doesn't belong to me leads me to ruin. 


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I went into Envy slowly. I always enjoy Dylan Allen’s books and they honestly end quicker than I am ready for. I would stop and in between readings and this book made me think about my dreams and my hopes when I was younger and how my life turned out. Envy started deep and meaningful conversations between my husband and myself.

I really struggled at first with Graham’s mother. I couldn’t understand how or why a mother could... I’ll stop there because spoilers. Graham’s momma totally redeemed herself in my eyes at the police station. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of a situation. They are lucky she did. She ended up being stronger than I ever imagined.

Dylan Allen immediately captured my attention with her amazingly descriptive language. I could envision exactly what Graham was seeing, experiencing, and feeling those early years. The description of the lake area and how he would read with Apollo was incredibly heartwarming it and set the tone for the whole story to come.
Most Swoonable Quotes:

“I’m here to win you over and then ride off into the sunset with you.” SWOON

“Who wants safe when you can have the thrill of loving someone so much it aches when you’re not together?” YES!!!!! This just makes my heart happy!!

“I don’t want you to run after me, baby, I want you to run beside me.” YES! This just encompasses what we all want in a relationship.

I can’t recommend this book enough!! I loved the writing and steady flow of life over the years. I love how we see how people do things for the love of their family, giving up their wants and needs and putting others needs in front of their own. My heart aches throughout this story. Seeing a relationship build over the years out of love and adoration made my heart swell. This is a truly beautiful story!! I hope everyone read and falls in love with Apollo and Graham’s journey. Let me add that Apollo seriously kicked butt! My love for her grew to new heights by the ending.

I just have to add at the ending that I am so proud of this author. I've watched her writing grow over the last year or two. Her writing is beautiful and so creative. Thicker Than Water was one of my absolute favorites but this one is super close to overtaking it!

I received an ARC of this book with the hope that I would leave an Unbiased Opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that... my opinions.


About Dylan
Dylan Allen is a Texas girl with a serious case of wanderlust.

A self-proclaimed happily ever junkie, she loves creating stories where her characters chase their own happy endings.

When she isn’t writing or reading, eating or cooking, she and her family are planning their next adventure.


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Book+Main: dylanallen

COVER REVEAL: Only Him by Emery Jacobs

Release Date: June 20, 2018
Cover Design: Amy Queau / QDesigns
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Model: Jase Dean


How could he walk away from the one he promised to love forever?
I believed him.
I trusted him.
I loved him.
I, Emmie Carmichael, am an optimist. If life throws me lemons, I make lemonade. I believe everyone deserves a second chance, and happily ever after isn't just for fairy tales. It exists in the lives of real people, including me - at least that's what I believed until my now ex-husband spoke the two words that sucker punched me into reality.

No more sunshine and rainbows for this girl. Now now, not ever.

Beau Matson is the last guy I need in my life. He's dark, secretive, and insanely sexy. Plus, he has issues, and I mean real issues: his business is failing, he's afraid of commitment, and I think he may be a stalker. But, when I stare into his eyes, all his faults fade away and it feels like he can take my broken pieces and make me whole again.

He doesn't believe in love, and I don't believe in forever - at least not... Until Him.



“Excuse me, excuse me,” I call out. What the hell is wrong with this guy? I know he hears me, but he continues to walk away without even a glance back.
“Hey!” I holler, sounding a bit irritated. Beau finally stops walking and turns to face me.
Piercing silver eyes meet my gaze as his right hand grips the back of his neck. He shakes his head a couple of times before rubbing his jaw.
We stand here in the middle of a mostly empty parking lot without either of us saying a word. Feeling a bit uncomfortable, I pull my eyes away from his. My gaze travels quickly to his hand on his jaw. I’m usually not a hands kind of girl. But for some insane reason my focus is on his damn right hand. It’s big, and probably strong. The calluses on his fingers reveal years of manual labor. God, I bet he’s good with those hands. I push that thought from my mind as I allow my eyes to drift over his body, which is a mistake because his jeans are not only snug around his ass, but also around his…I immediately drop my eyes toward the ground. My face flushes as heat shoots through me. What is wrong with me? I obviously don’t get out enough. This is the reason I need to have sex—it’s been far too long and it’s starting to show.
I quickly jerk my head up so my eyes are back on his face.
“Hi.” I fold my arms across my chest and take in a deep breath.
He nods while still rubbing his jaw. Can he not speak?
“I’m Emmie Carmichael, and you are?” Even though I know exactly who he is, I’m still going to press him to introduce himself to me.
“Matson, Beau Matson,” His voice is deep and gruff. Silver eyes watch me as I continue to force this uncomfortable conversation.
“Oh, you must be Leo’s brother.” For some odd reason, I keep up the charade of not knowing who he is, and then I move closer to look for any resemblance between him and his brother, but there is none. Beau is tall and broad, where Leo is thin and lanky. Beau’s skin is a deep olive color and Leo is fair. Beau’s hair is short and brown where Leo’s is long, dark, and messy.
“Yep, Unfortunately…” He smirks, or is it a grin? Whatever it is, it sends a chill up my spine.
“You say that like it’s a bad thing. Leo was courteous this morning when he picked up my Jeep. He was a perfect gentleman. Well, except for the cigarette hanging from his lips. But I ignored it because I needed his help. Anyway, I like your brother. And it seems like he’s good at his job. At least from what I could tell.” Oh, crap. Now I’m rambling and he probably thinks I’ve got a thing for his brother. Which I don’t. Dammit! I’m so bad at this. Or maybe I’m just bad at this with him. Because normally people don’t have this kind of effect on me.
“I’ll be sure to let Leo know he needs to lose the cigarette.”
Geez, I hope I didn’t get him in trouble. I need to shut up and go back inside where I can function without making a fool out of myself.
“No, I didn’t mean it like that. The cigarette was fine. Really, it wasn’t a big deal.” I smile and then continue. “So, what was the problem?” He looks over his shoulder at the truck waiting for him at the curb and I catch a glimpse of his profile. Strong jawline, slight bump in what was probably once a perfectly straight nose, and just enough scruff to give him a rugged sexy look. For some reason, he looks oddly familiar.
His gaze returns to mine before he answers my question with a question. “The problem?” He narrows his eyes.
“My Jeep? What was wrong with it?”
“Right, your Jeep. It was the battery.” He steps back, distancing himself from me. It’s obvious he’s itching to leave.
“It’s fixed—new battery? Oh, wait, I need to pay you. Hold on just a sec.” I turn to head back into the office to grab my…Crap! All I have is a credit card and that’s not going to work. I stop after just a couple of steps and glance back toward Beau. “Can I stop by the shop in the morning and pay you for your services? I don’t have any cash.”
“Yes, new battery, and there’s no need to go out of your way. I left the bill and keys with your receptionist, so you can put a check in the mail.”
“Are you sure? It’s really not out of the way.”
“Yeah, mailing it will be good.” He turns to walk away—again—and I notice someone in the passenger seat of the truck waiting on him. Maybe that’s why he’s in such a big hurry—because he’s not alone.
“Wait, just one more second,” I plead because I need to know if we’ve met before—other than me checking out his ass earlier today at the automotive shop. That doesn’t count. I mean, it does, but he doesn’t need to know I think he has an amazing ass.
“Yeah?” he says as he glances back at me.
“Do I know you from somewhere? I mean, have we met before…because you look kinda…”
“No, Ms. Carmichael. We’ve never met,” he cuts me off without hesitation.
“Please call me Emmie,” I tell him as I scan his face one more time. I tap my finger on my chin and then continue, “Are you sure? Because I swear I’ve seen you somewhere before.”
“I’m positive,” he says before cutting his eyes away from me. He rubs his jaw and shakes his head again. Then he does something so unexpected. He swiftly moves toward me and leans in close to my face with his mouth so near I can feel the warmth of his breath on my neck. “I never forget a face, Emmie,” he says smoothly. And oh, how I love the way my name falls from his lips. I close my eyes and take in his nearness. I quietly inhale all that is Beau Matson—the smell of motor oil combined with a deep woodsy scent, the slow steady breaths that continue to brush against my skin, and the roughness of his five o’clock shadow as it grazes my face.
“I’m sure you’re right,” I whisper softly.
Beau pulls away from me and I open my eyes in time to see him walking away. I’m confused about what just happened. But I dare not question it because having Beau that near me, even if it was only for him to whisper those six words into my ear, was worth every second.
“Thank you again!” I yell as he walks away from me. God, I’m such an idiot. What am I thanking him for? Dropping my Jeep off or nearly giving me an orgasm just from leaning into me and whispering my name near my ear? And what did I do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing but stand here. This is a prime example of why I’m alone.


One of Five ARC's for Until Him

About the Author

Emery grew up in Southern Arkansas and has lived most of her adult life in Northern Louisiana. She spends her days working as a Nurse Practitioner in rural health and her nights reading, writing, and occasionally sleeping.
She loves real life romance…lots of angst and heartbreak, but always a happy ending.

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