Author: Casee

Giveaway Winners!

Posted August 3, 2020 by Casee in Giveaway Winners, Giveaways | 2 Comments

May 2020 Monthly Reads Winners

Wendy
Kim
BN

June 2020 Monthly Reads Winners

Kareni
Kim
BN

 

May 2020 Sunday Spotlight Winner

Glenda

June 2020 Sunday Spotlight Winner

Isabella

July 2020 Sunday Spotlight Winner

JenM

Congratulations to the winners! Please email contests at thebookbinge dot com so we can get your prize emailed.


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Sunday Spotlight: Say No More by Karen Rose

Posted August 2, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 1 Comment

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Say No More is the second book in KR’s Sacramento series. I really enjoyed the first book, so I’m looking forward to this one. Karen Rose is literally the master of romantic suspense. If you haven’t read her yet, I highly suggest that you do.

Sunday Spotlight: Say No More by Karen RoseSay No More by Karen Rose
Series: Sacramento #2
Also in this series: Say You're Sorry (Sacramento, #1)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 11, 2020
Format: Hardcover
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 544
Length: 24 hours
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

Mercy Callahan thought she'd escaped the cult decades ago, but its long fingers are reaching out for her again in this electrifying novel in the Sacramento series...
Seventeen years ago. That was the last time Mercy Callahan saw Ephraim Burton, the leader of the twisted Eden cult where she was raised. But even though she escaped the abuse and terror, they continue to haunt her.
When her brother Gideon discovers new evidence of the cult's—and their victims'—whereabouts, Mercy goes to Sacramento to reconnect with him. There, she meets Gideon's closest friend—homicide detective Rafe Sokolov. From Rafe, she receives an offer she never knew she needed: to track down Ephraim and make him pay for everything.
But Ephraim, who had thought Mercy long dead, discovers she is in fact alive and that she is digging around for the cult's secrets. And now he'll do anything to take her back to Eden—dead or alive.


 

Excerpt

Amos Terrill rubbed his thumb over the lines of the script he’d just carved into the lid of the hope chest. He was almost finished with it, this special project on which he’d been laboring for the past five months, mostly in secret. He’d made countless hope chests, coffee tables, kitchen cabinets, armoires, and jewelry boxes over the thirty years he’d lived in Eden. All of them had been gifts for the membership or items to be sold to bring money into the community coffers.

This was the first time he’d ever made something for himself. Something he didn’t intend to share with anyone.

No one except his Abigail. His heart.

A splinter caught at his thumb and he pulled it out, sucking at the small wound before returning to his task. He could sand the hope chest later. He didn’t have much more time to himself. Everyone knew he stopped working at suppertime, and then people would start dropping by.

Amos, can you fix this? Amos, a minute of your time? Amos, need a pair of strong hands to help with… It didn’t matter what. It was all the same after thirty years.

He picked up the detail blade, his favorite of all of his carving tools. He’d brought it with him to Eden, when he was young and full of hope, ready to change the world.

Now he knew the truth and every day had become a struggle, each harder than the day before.

He had to stay positive. Had to keep smiling. Had to stay patient. Had to nod and pleasantly reply that all was well when he was greeted in passing.

In other words, he had to lie.

He finished carving the last word and took a look at his work. It had become something of a trademark, a personal signature he’d added to all the larger pieces of cabinetry he created.

The words were carved in a scrolling, old‑fashioned script: Surely Goodness And Mercy Shall Follow Me All The Days Of My Life. Psalms 23:6. Anyone in the community would think it simply a beautiful Bible verse, one that matched the song that used to be in his heart.

But it wasn’t. It was a tribute. Penance, even. His way of trying to make it up to a beautiful little girl whom he’d failed. So utterly.

Mercy. He thought of her often, especially after the birth of his Abigail, whose name meant father’s joy. As with most things in his life, Abigail’s birth had been bittersweet, losing her mother just minutes after they’d held their baby for the first time.

He’d thought he’d lose them both. Like he’d lost his first family. Mercy. Gideon. Rhoda. Dammit, Rhoda, I’m so sorry. You tried to tell me, but I wouldn’t listen.

He hadn’t wanted to listen.

But now he knew the truth and he needed to get Abigail out. To safety. To freedom.

He wouldn’t fail her like he’d failed Mercy, Rhoda, and Gideon.

He picked up the hope chest and turned it over effortlessly, a lifetime of woodworking giving him more strength than most men. He began to carve his true signature into the base of the chest, no larger than a dime. A small olive tree with twelve branches. It was exacting, but, at the same time, something he could do with his eyes closed, he’d done it so many times.

“Papa!”

Amos startled, the knife in his hand skipping over the wood, and pain ripped into his finger. “Ugh!” he cried, unable to stifle the sound. “Papa?” Abigail bounded into his workshop, with the same energy with which she tackled everything else in her life. “Tackled” being the operative term. Abigail never walked when she could run, never sat when she could stand. Never whispered. Ever.
His lips curved up into a smile even as he grabbed a clean rag to press to his finger.

“Abi‑girl,” he said with genuine warmth. Abigail was the only one who could summon anything close to happiness for him. She was the only thing that was real and had been for the past six months. Ever since Amos had witnessed Brother Ephraim calmly breaking the necks of Sister Dorcas, her husband, and their sixteen‑year‑old son, three of the dearest people in the world. Amos’s throat burned every time he remembered Brother Ephraim so carelessly tossing their bodies into an unmarked grave.

After which Ephraim had returned to tell the membership that Dorcas and her family had chosen to return to the world after the untimely death of their dear Miriam.

Miriam, who’d walked around with shadows in her eyes. Who, the last time Amos had seen her, had been bruised and bloody and begging to die.

Sister Dorcas had begged Amos for his help. Please help us get her out of here. Please.

Amos had done his best, or he’d thought so at the time, working through the night to fashion a hope chest similar to the one he was now building for Abigail. It wasn’t ornate and hadn’t had a false bottom, but it had been large enough that Miriam had been able to hide inside. Her father and brother had hoisted the hope chest into the bed of Brother DJ’s truck when no one was around to see their muscles strain under the added weight. Miriam was supposed to have climbed from the back of the truck and run for freedom the moment that Brother DJ had slowed enough to make it possible.
But it had all been for naught. Miriam must have been attacked by an animal because her body had been returned to them, too damaged to be identified. And, as punishment for their part in her escape, Sister Dorcas, Brother Stephen, and their son, Ezra, had been murdered in cold blood.

I failed them, too.

But he would not fail again. He would not fail his Abigail.

Sacramento

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: August 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Karen Rose

Internationally bestselling, RITA-award winning, author Karen Rose was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She met her husband, Martin, on a blind date when they were seventeen and after they both graduated from the University of Maryland, (Karen with a degree in Chemical Engineering) they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Karen worked as an engineer for a large consumer goods company, earning two patents, but as Karen says, “scenes were roiling in my head and I couldn't concentrate on my job so I started writing them down. I started out writing for fun, and soon found I was hooked.”

Her debut suspense novel, DON'T TELL, was released in July, 2003. Since then, she has published more than fifteen novels and two novellas. Her twenty-second novel, SAY YOU'RE SORRY, will be released in 2019.

Karen's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, London's Sunday Times, and Germany's der Spiegel (#1), and the Irish Times, as well as lists in South Africa(#1) and Australia!
​​
Her novels, I'M WATCHING YOU and SILENT SCREAM, received the Romance Writers of America's RITA award for Best Romantic Suspense for 2005 and 2011. Five of her other books have been RITA finalists. To date, her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

A former high school teacher of chemistry and physics, Karen lives in Florida with her husband of more than twenty years, two dogs, and a cat.


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Books to Binge On: August 2020

Posted July 30, 2020 by Casee in Features | 3 Comments

Books to Binge On

Our Books to Binge On feature is pretty simple in its purpose. Every month, we put together a monthly new releases list of books that we’re all looking forward to. These are the books that we can’t wait to read and want everyone to add to their monthly binge-reading lists. Here are the books that we plan to binge on in August of 2020.


Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart.

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart.

Casee: I wasn’t crazy about Sapphire Flames, but I still can’t wait for this one.

Holly: Catalina isn’t my favorite Baylor, but I’m still excited for this book.


The Jackal (BDB: Prison Camp #1) by J.R. Ward

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sinner brings another hot adventure of true love and ultimate sacrifice in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world.

The location of the glymera’s notorious prison camp was lost after the raids. When a freak accident provides Nyx clues to where her sister may still be doing time, she becomes determined to find the secret subterranean labyrinth. Embarking on a journey under the earth, she learns a terrible truth—and meets a male who changes everything forever.

The Jackal has been in the camp for so long he cannot recall anything of the freedom he once knew. Trapped by circumstances out of his control, he helps Nyx because he cannot help himself. After she discovers what happened to her sister, getting her back out becomes a deadly mission for them both.

United by a passion they can’t deny, they work together on an escape plan for Nyx—even though their destiny is to be forever apart. And as the Black Dagger Brotherhood is called upon for help, and Rhage discovers he has a half-brother who’s falsely imprisoned, a devious warden plots the deaths of them all…even the Brothers.

Casee: What can I say? I just can’t quit this series.


Say No More (Sacramento #2) by Karen Rose

Mercy Callahan thought she’d escaped the cult decades ago, but its long fingers are reaching out for her again in this electrifying novel in the Sacramento series…

Seventeen years ago. That was the last time Mercy Callahan saw Ephraim Burton, the leader of the twisted Eden cult where she was raised. But even though she escaped the abuse and terror, they continue to haunt her.

When her brother Gideon discovers new evidence of the cult’s—and their victims’—whereabouts, Mercy goes to Sacramento to reconnect with him. There, she meets Gideon’s closest friend—homicide detective Rafe Sokolov. From Rafe, she receives an offer she never knew she needed: to track down Ephraim and make him pay for everything.

But Ephraim, who had thought Mercy long dead, discovers she is in fact alive and that she is digging around for the cult’s secrets. And now he’ll do anything to take her back to Eden—dead or alive.

Casee: I’ll read anything this woman writes.


Disorderly Conduct (The Anna Albertini Files #1) by Rebecca Zanetti

Bullets and Kisses Can Burn

The last person Anna Albertini expects to see in an orange jumpsuit in District Court—a place she SO doesn’t belong as a new prosecuting attorney—is Aiden Devlin, the man who’d saved her life when they were kids. For years, she has dreamed about him. Now here he is—his eyes blue, his chest wide, and his hands in cuffs.

Sure, Aiden says he doesn’t want her help, and his ties to a deadly motorcycle club should give her warning. Yes, her new boss is a sexy Italian bad boy who might be using the case to climb to the top. Plus, the detective assigned to the case, with his green eyes and broad shoulders, wants her to stay out of his way.

With so much testosterone surrounding her all of a sudden, most women would find it hard to concentrate. This might be why the case leads Anna to yelp during a spa appointment, fall out of a tree, and chase a naked old man around the courtroom. It’s a good thing Anna learned a long time ago to be her own hero, no matter how fast the bullets fly or the kisses consume.

Casee: This is a new series that sounds really interesting. I’m looking forward to reading it.


Truth (Betrothed #10) by Penelope Sky

I had no idea she was going to tell Damien.

If I did, I would have stopped her.

I would have told her the truth myself.

Now I’m afraid I’m going to lose her…and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Casee: This is another series that I can’t quit. It drives me crazy.

 


You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers.

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy.

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

Holly: This book was set to be released earlier this year, but publication got pushed back. The blurb has me intrigued, and this excerpt definitely makes me want more.


The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

Holly: This sounds so cute. I haven’t read O’Leary before that I remember, but this is going to the top of my wishlist.


The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea (Embraced by Magic #2) by Kerrelyn Sparks

Four sisters have become queens, rulers of all that Aerthlan’s two moons embrace. The last sister will forge her own path . . .

Signs and Seals

Raised on the magic-seeped Isle of Moon, Maeve is used to unusual powers–and the way they fuel the politics of her world. But when she discovers an ability to shape-shift at will, she knows who she wants to share it with first. Brody, the enigmatic, infuriating shifter-spy has always made time for Maeve. But it’s been almost two months since she’s seen him. And though no one else believes Brody is in danger, Maeve is more than ready to rescue him herself.

The rumors Brody’s investigating are terrifying: a secret army of magic-users, in the service of the cruel Circle of Five. But when he uncovers the identity of one of the Five, the mission becomes personal. Cursed as a boy by the Sea Witch, Brody can spend only two hours a day in his human form, a restriction that limits his future and muzzles his heart. Plus Maeve teases him for being such a pretty doggy instead of appreciating his manly charms. To win his freedom, he must take on a terrible disguise. And when Maeve finds out, she’ll unleash a tempest like no other . . .

Holly: I’m behind in this series, but I’m looking forward to this one.


Metal Monkey (Elemental Love Book 1) by Brooklyn Knight

Yukio

Why do I want her so badly? Opposites aren’t supposed to attract – not in my culture; but I can’t dismiss the immediate attraction that fell upon me the minute I laid eyes on her. Otoosan, my father told me a woman would come, but he couldn’t have meant her. He was talking about Megumi, the woman who’s been bred to be on my arm. She’s a Dragon and I’m a Tiger – it’s a match made in the stars.

But Riyah…

I can’t stay away from her, no matter how hard I try. She’s a Monkey, but these feelings have me wondering if love is strong enough to overcome tradition.

Riyah

He’s sensual and enigmatic. He’s also short-tempered and hasty and clearly doesn’t know what he wants. He blames everything on his Tiger, but I don’t even know what that means. I didn’t come to Japan looking for a love – there’s a ton of self-work for me to do; but whenever Yukio steps into my space, his aura is too much to disregard. Still, even though the draw is undeniable, something doesn’t seem right. There’s a war going on in his mind and I refuse to become a casualty.

I have to avoid him, even if it takes every ounce of strength I can muster. His Tiger may be on the prowl, but this Monkey is cunning.

Holly: I’m not going to lie, it was the cover of this one that caught my eye. Still, a forbidden, opposites attract novel is just what I’ve been looking for lately.


A Winning Season (Wickham Falls Weddings Book 10) by Rochelle Alers

Sliding home…for a lifetime

The girl next door…

Or a grand slam love?

Baseball ace Sutton Reed’s returned home triumphant after years in the majors. When he moves next door to a troubled young man, he’s determined to help—for the boy’s sake and for the boy’s gorgeous older sister, Zoey Allen. After sacrificing everything to keep her family together, Zoey has no time for romance…even with a hometown hero. But will this unlikely combo be the home run love story they all deserve?

Holly: I am a total sucker for baseball books. It’s been a minute since I read a Special Edition, but I think it’s time I dive back in.


The Way Forward (Heart of Colton Book 1) by Eliana West

The small town he couldn’t wait to leave is calling him home…

Dax Ellis returns to Colton, Mississippi, a changed man. He traveled the world, earned a fortune, and made a lifetime of memories, but now he longs to put down roots. Time hasn’t been kind to his hometown, and Dax wants to help—if only he can convince everyone he’s not the same petulant boy he used to be. Especially the one woman who has every reason not to trust him.

Librarian Callie Colton cherished summers with her grandparents, in the town her ancestors helped build, in spite of the boy who called her names. Now that Colton is her home, life is quiet until Dax returns…and, along with him, ugly letters on her doorstep. He may still have the power to hurt her, but she’s not the same scared little girl she used to be.

And soon Dax will have to face his past to find a way forward for the relationship they were cheated of once before.

Holly: I’ve been off contemporary romance for the past few months. Lately I’ve been craving sweet, small-town romances, however. I haven’t read this author before, but I’m intrigued by the blurb.


Scandalous Secrets: A Novel (Jackson Falls #2) by Synithia Williams

Can they do what’s right…without betraying their hearts?

Senatorial candidate Byron Robidoux always does the right thing. And, after years of focus and dedication, his life and campaign are going exactly to plan—until a blackmailer jeopardizes everything. No one is supposed to know that thirteen years ago, Byron told a lie to protect a college friend. And now that lie could destroy his career…and threaten the woman he never stopped loving.

Zoe Hammond hardly recognizes the refined and handsome politician Byron has become. The last time she saw him, he was the friend who saved her life by claiming to be the father of her unborn baby. For that, she’d do anything for him. Except Byron’s world of wealth, reputation and deceit isn’t a place where Zoe or her daughter belong. But when a menace from the past comes calling again, staying with Byron is best for them all. And, as the searing attraction between them builds, they soon realize some things are worth fighting for…especially love.

Holly: I love it when a friend steps up for a single mother.


The Single Mom’s Second Chance (Sweet Briar Sweethearts Book 7) by Kathy Douglass

She could use a shoulder to lean on…

Facing the fight of her life after a cancer diagnosis, widow Roz Martin is forced to ask her estranged brother-in-law to help care for her children. Being there for his nieces and nephew is a no-brainer for gym owner Paul Stephens. But being there for the woman who’d betrayed him by marrying his half brother is hard. Especially when he discovers the feelings he once had for Roz never died…

Holly: SINGLE MOM ROMANCE. I seriously need this in my life.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month? Share in the comments!


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Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

Posted July 27, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

I’m not going to lie, this series was pretty awful. I was reading it and wondering why I kept moving onto the next book. I just kept thinking that the series had to get better. Yeah, that was a no-go.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Convict Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #0.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 1, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-half-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

The day I meet Hero Miller I know he’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met before. Sheltered and raised around no one but my family all my life, his darkness draws me in.
He was raised with violence, it oozes from deep within him. I was raised by the bible my naiveness to save him proving just that.
He scares me and excites me all at once. He’s obsessed and guarded. He protects me and hurts me. He pushes and I pull, but only because he doesn’t think he’s good enough.
His warnings are clear. He tells me about his past, and the people he’s killed. He tells me about the things he wants to do to me…about the things he will do if I stay.
The goodness in me wants to cure the stain of dark on his heart, but I’m not strong enough. The closer I get to Hero the further I get dragged into his darkness and eventually it starts to swallow me whole.
Murder. Crime. Money. Sex. It surrounds us, and when Hero’s past comes barreling towards us it won’t be him that pays the ultimate price..it will be me.
**This is book one in the Broken Heroes Series. It contains a happily ever after and is a complete standalone. It contains dark themes such as dubious content, sexual themes, violence, and swearing.**

Hero Miller takes one look at his tutor and falls instantly in love. Like love at first sight. For real. Elyse is sheltered. She grew up in a “spare the rod, spoil the child” household. She’s finally gotten away from her parents. Living the college life has been a dream come true for Elyse. When she meets Hero, she’s instantly enamored but she knows he’s not the one for her. Or so she thinks.

This book really had no substance. Hero did what he wanted, when he wanted. He locked Elyse in his bedroom “for her own good” when he was trying to protect her. It was maddening. And she just kept going back.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Protect Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 23, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 228
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-star
Series Rating: two-stars

Damon Rossi is a ruthless leader, and an even more ruthless man to my body, and heart. The moment I meet him I know he could kill me with nothing more than his hands. He controls the room, demands attention and when my brother is murdered for a debt he owes I’m forced into his protection. But that doesn’t mean he has to care about me.
Or pretend he values my life, which he doesn’t.
He’s a savage, over the top, and scary as hell, and even as I’m pushed further and further down the rabbit hole and into his dark dangerous world of criminals, thieves, and sex. I cling to him, knowing he’s the only one that can protect me from them all.
And yet when secrets are exposed, and lines are crossed Damon proves to me just how deep his protection for me goes… but his protection comes with a price that I cannot afford, and so I become his property making the chances of escaping this dark world slip further and further away from me.
Damon might protect me from his enemies but who’s to protect my heart from falling for him?
**This is book two in the Broken Heros Series. It contains a happily ever after and is a complete standalone. It contains dark themes such as dubious content, sexual themes, violence, and swearing. Do not read this book if you dislike antiheroes.*

When Keira’s brother is murdered, she goes to the one man that her brother trusted. Damon Rossi. He’s an alpha asshole to her from the beginning and she just falls into a puddle at his feet. I honestly don’t know why she even fell for him. His character did not improve at all.

Overall, I didn’t like Keira because she was a doormat and Damon was just a miserable piece of work.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Keep Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Pages: 157
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-star
Series Rating: two-stars

She was my enemy… I was her new captor….
She was the enemy…a tiny little temptress of a woman that made my blood sing for vengeance. I should be punishing her…breaking her from the inside out after finding her in my father’s clutches.
But when I discover the truth that she is just as much as a victim of my father's wrongdoings as I am I can’t follow through.
I know then that I can’t break my little mouse...not after she’s lured me in with her big blue doe eyes, and strawberry blonde hair, and those pink painted lips that beg to be kissed again, and again.
I don't think things can get any better...but then she makes me an offer I can't refuse… her body, her virginity, and her complete submission, and she wants only one thing in return: help finding her sister.
What she fails to realize is that even after helping her find her sister I can't just let her go she knows too much, she's become a liability...but I have a plan to make certain she’ll never leave or escape me.
A plan that involves me filling her womb with my filthy seed until I make certain a piece of myself stick, and then I’ll make her the Queen of the Rossi Empire by putting a ring on her finger.
**This is book three in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. It is a full-length novel that contains NO-CLIFFHANGERS, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers. If you don't like alpha's, possessive and controlling over their leading ladies then skip this one.**

This is probably my favorite book in the series, which isn’t saying much. I really liked Xander and how unapologetic he was about his shortcomings. He was also an ass, but he never tried to be anything else. I really liked Ella too. I thought she was one of the stronger heroines in the series.

With all that, it was still over the top bad. Like how bad can Xander treat Ella before she decides to throw in the towel?

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Guard Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 2, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 294
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

She was a tiny little lamb that claimed my heart with one fearful look.
I was her captor, the man responsible for breaking her, for preparing her for auction.
She was taken, plucked right off the street and brought to me to be sold at the next auction.
Rescuing her from my men was never part of the deal, and neither was bringing her up to my room.
Yet, night after night I did this, refusing to give up the way she made me feel. When I’m with her I feel less like a monster. I can remember the man I used to be before the mob got to me, before all the bad tainted my soul.
But wanting her is forbidden, and keeping her unthinkable. If they find out what I’m doing they’ll kill both of us.
And still…
I want to save her.
I want to love her.
I want to cherish her.
When the time comes will I be able to let her go? Or will I risk both our lives for a love that I may not deserve?
**This is book four in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. It is a full length novel (85k+ words) that contains NO-CLIFFHANGERS, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers. **

Violet is on the block to be sold at a slave auction. Ivan is in charge of the auction. When he’s called down to the cells after being told one of the girls is refusing to eat, he’s instantly drawn to her. Too bad that isn’t enough for him to rescue her.

I hated this book. Ivan was a total asshole. He kept taking her back to her cell and told her that he couldn’t help her. But he could fuck her. Oh and Violet is Ella’s sister (see above).

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Tame Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 26, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Pages: 258
Add It: Goodreads
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dnf
Series Rating: two-stars

She was a broken angel that had the light beat right out of her.
I was the man responsible for her life, her protector…
Rescued by my brother and shoved into my arms I never expected to fall for the fragile woman, with soft eyes, and lips that begged to be kissed.
I know what she saw when she looked at me, a ruthless fighter, a man with a broken past, too far gone to be reached, sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness.
Still, somehow her light reached me, the innocence inside her called to me and the moment her soul touched mine I was tamed, ensnared in her love.
But love comes at a cost, and in our world, you pay with your life. With all the danger surrounding us, I don’t know if I can protect her. Not only from myself, but also from a past that refuses to let go.
**This is book four in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. This is a full length novel. It contains NO-CLIFFHANGER, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers.**

This book was a big fat DNF for me. I couldn’t stand the hero. The heroine was actually tolerable, but I still don’t know what she saw in him. That seems to be a recurring theme in this series.

Rating: DNF.

The Rossi Crime Family

one-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Posted July 19, 2020 by Casee in Features | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I’ve known Farrah forever. I met her way back when the Judith McNaught Bulletin Board (JMBB) was a thing. I’ve followed her writing career since its inception, though I am ashamed to say I haven’t read more than two or three of her books. I’m determined to change that with The Boyfriend Project. This book sounds like my cuppa and I’m really excited to try it.

Sunday Spotlight: The Boyfriend Project by Farrah RochonThe Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
Series: The Boyfriend Project #1
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: June 9, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
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USA Today bestselling author Farrah Rochon launches a new series about three young women who become friends when the live Tweeting of a disastrous date leads them to discover they've all been duped by the same man.
Samiah Brooks never thought she would be "that" girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she's been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other "girlfriends," London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status . . .
For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she's always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there's no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?


 
 

Excerpt

Chapter One

“Alexa, play Drake.”

Releasing an intentionally loud, dramatic sigh, Samiah Brooks lolled her head toward the opened bathroom door and called out, “Don’t just tell it to play a certain artist, Denise. Tell it what song you want it to play.”

Muffled footfalls shuffled across the bedroom’s alder hardwood floors. A moment later her sister appeared in the doorway.

“I don’t know any Drake songs. That’s why I asked the damn Alexa thingy.” Denise lumbered into the bathroom, plopped onto the toilet’s closed lid, and palmed her substantial belly. The opening bars of Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” began streaming through the HD speakers discreetly positioned throughout the condo. Denise pointed upward. “Is that him? Is that Drake?”

“Yes.” Samiah sighed again. She capped her Fenty Beauty 410 foundation and traded it for the liquid eyeliner. Tugging her lower lid downward, she muttered as she swiped the thin brush along the rim of her eye. “You know you can’t fake this kind of thing, right? Your students will see right through it.”

“Shows how much you know. I’ve been faking it for years. No one’s caught on yet.”

Samiah glanced over her shoulder and grinned. “Make sure you don’t say that around your husband.”

“Oh please.” Denise batted the air as she adjusted her position on the toilet seat cover. “He knows I sometimes have to fake it with him too.”

“Dammit!” Samiah nearly poked herself in the eye with the eyeliner brush. She swung around and glared at her sister. “You said that shit on purpose.”

“What?” Denise asked with wide, guileless eyes. Her knowing smirk nullified her weak attempt at innocence.

“If I gouge myself in the eye with this thing, I’m telling Mama it was your fault.”

“She’d never believe you.” Her sister gestured to the array of palettes scattered across the leathered granite vanity. “Why didn’t you get all dolled up before you went out with me? You wait until we get back to pull out the heavy artillery?”

“Jealous?”

“As if. I can barely remember to pack lip balm in my purse.”

Samiah tsked as she used the smudger brush to blend the shadow into the crease of her eye. “Master the smoky eye and you can conquer the world.”

“Is that your new motto?” Denise said with a snort.

She cocked one perfect brow as she peered at her sister through the mirror. “As someone who hasn’t worn a fully made-up face since cassette tapes were still a thing, you can’t grasp just how difficult it is to achieve this look.” She turned, closed her eyes, and pointed at her eyelids. “Girl, do you see this blending? I honestly just want to stare at myself in the mirror all night.”

Samiah dodged the incoming bath puff, pitched with precision by her National College Softball Championship–winning older sister.

“Hey, help me pick out something else to wear. I’m not feeling the silver dress anymore. It’s too dressy for the club Craig and I are going to tonight.” She pushed down on Denise’s shoulders when her sister tried to rise. “You stay here. I’ll bring the outfits to you.”

Samiah made her way to the bedroom’s huge walk-in closet and slid the knotted pine barn door—the deciding factor in buying this condo—to the side. She stepped in and thumbed through her dresses.

“What about that blue one you wore to your classmate’s wedding a few months ago?” Denise called. “What was her name? Tabatha?”

“Tamyra.” Samiah grimaced, recalling that night. She’d spent much of the wedding reception getting hit on by Tamyra’s sexagenarian uncle, whose fake silk shirt seemed to lose more buttons as the night dragged on. She’d spent the next morning scrubbing a stain from the bustline after he’d sloshed her with his Jack and Coke while pressing her to dance to an Isley Brothers tune from the midseventies. Samiah doubted she’d ever wear that dress again.

“Not that one,” she said. In fact, if Denise wanted it, she could have it.

She settled on dark blue skinny jeans and a red cowl-neck sweater, which seemed more appropriate for this evening’s amended plans and the unseasonable nip in the air on this mid-August night. Austin usually felt like a sauna until at least late September.

Originally, she and Craig were supposed to start their evening with dinner, but he’d texted just as she was leaving work to tell her that he’d gotten caught up at the office and wouldn’t be able to make it downtown until late. He’d offered to call and cancel, which was the least he could do since she had been the one who’d spent a half hour on the phone securing the dinner reservation.

Samiah would be lying if she said she wasn’t annoyed. She’d been looking forward to returning to the Asian fusion spot where they’d had their first date. The restaurant continued to generate an insane amount of buzz around town and reservations weren’t easy to come by.

But she wouldn’t bitch about it. At least not too much. Joining Denise for beef patties from the Jamaican food truck down the street, along with Amy’s Ice Cream, had soothed the sting of missing out on good sushi. And the night was still young. She and Craig would enjoy a little late-night noshing and gritty blues music at the new club that had recently opened on Sixth Street, the epicenter of Austin’s nightlife.

She unhooked a faux suede cropped jacket from the hanger and held it up just under her chin.

Come to think of it, each of her four dates with Craig had been at a club or bar on Dirty Sixth, as some locals called it. Granted, she was the one who’d suggested they go to this new blues club, but only because it was the first thing that came to mind on such short notice, and Craig never seemed to have any suggestions. Next time she would propose something with a different flair, like exploring the caverns in Georgetown or hiking in Bastrop State Park.

“Let’s see what you’d say to that,” Samiah murmured as she returned the jacket to the hanger.

A couple of the guys she’d dated in the past had been surprised to learn that, despite her sharp business attire, perfectly styled hair, and always on-point makeup, she was an outdoors girl. Hell, it had surprised her too. Samiah had grown up in Houston’s Third Ward. The closest she’d ever gotten to the outdoors was eating a sandwich on a bench in Moses LeRoy Park, with the traffic from I-45 whizzing overhead. But in the years since she’d moved to Austin, she’d acquired a taste for the unique adrenaline rush one received at the completion of a hike to the summit of Mount Bonnell or a bike ride through Zilker Park.
She tried to picture Craig trotting up the rocky terrain of the Texas Hill Country in his loafers. The image refused to even take shape in her mind.
Maybe they could compromise and go to one of those indoor rock-climbing places. At least there would be air-conditioning. Craig would insist on air-conditioning. And no bugs.

Are you sure about this guy?

Samiah quashed her pesky inner voice that had started making an appearance more frequently than usual. Craig wasn’t perfect. No one was perfect. But at least he was employed, had manners, and could sorta tell a decent joke when the occasion arose.

Okay, fine. So his sense of humor left something to be desired. Was that a good reason to write someone off? If she wanted a laugh, Netflix provided a vast selection of comedy specials to choose from. Having a sense of humor had fallen several notches on her list when it came to attributes she required in a significant other.

A lot had fallen off that list. These days, a full set of teeth and a playlist that consisted of something other than the Isley Brothers would earn you at least a wink.

Craig might not be her ideal Mr. Right, but he was right enough.

The sound of her sister’s distinct laugh drew Samiah’s attention. “What are you cackling about in there?”

“Just something on Twitter. This poor woman is on the absolute date from hell.”

“And she’s tweeting about it?”

“Yes. In real time. It’s like watching a train wreck.” She heard Denise’s footsteps padding toward her. Her sister’s extremely pregnant belly appeared before she did. “Apparently, the guy she’s with thinks he’s the answer to every woman’s dream. The lines he’s trying on her are sooo tired.”

Been there. Done that. Got the ticket stub, T-shirt, and bad memories to show for it.

“Listen to this,” Denise said. “So, this fool told her he works in clean energy and is all about the environment, yet he’s driving a Mercedes SUV. Not a hybrid, but a gas-guzzling SUV.”

Samiah frowned. A tiny knot formed in her stomach, but then she reminded herself loads of people drove Mercedes SUVs.

“Oh, and get this. His Benz? It’s a rental.”

“How does she know it’s a rental?”

“Hold on, let me scroll up.” Her sister paused for a moment. “Okay, here it is. She said she knew it wasn’t his the moment she got in because she’d rented that exact Mercedes from a luxury car dealership in Round Rock to impress people during South by Southwest last year. She got a discount because it has a cigarette burn on the passenger seat. The exact cigarette burn his has.”

Samiah’s hand arrested on the faux camel leather jacket she was about to pull from the hanger. “Did she mention a color?”

“No. I’ve been refreshing my feed like a crazy person, but she hasn’t updated her timeline in the last minute.” Denise looked up from the phone, a wide grin on her face. “This is why I love Twitter.”

“To read about bad dates between two people you don’t even know?”

“Yes.” Her sister’s unapologetic response would have elicited a laugh from Samiah if she wasn’t so busy trying to quell the manic butterflies whirling in her belly.

Stop being ridiculous. Plenty of people who work in clean energy probably drive a Mercedes SUV with a cigarette burn on the passenger seat.

“Did I mention the tweet about his apartment?” her sister asked. “He told her he lives in those fancy apartments up near the Domain, but this girl happens to know the property manager there. She had her friend run his name and, of course, the fool was lying about that too.” Denise laughed again. “He messed with the wrong one.”

The unease that had settled in the pit of Samiah’s belly began to blossom.

“Oh, she tweeted again!” Another laugh. “Now he’s trying to woo her with his favorite dish.”

“The volcano sushi roll,” Samiah said, barely able to get the words past her clenched jaw.

Her sister’s head popped up. “How’d you know? You’re not even on Twitter.”

Samiah jerked the jacket loose and flung the hanger on the floor.

“Oh, shit,” Denise said. “Don’t tell me…”

But Samiah didn’t have to tell her anything. She could tell by her sister’s horrified expression that she’d figured it out.
She pulled on her jacket and stuffed her feet into her favorite quarter-strapped heeled boots. She’d be damned if she walked in there looking like an enraged, spurned woman. Or worse, some wounded animal. She would burst through those doors showcasing her fabulousness. Let that bastard see what he would be missing out on for the rest of his sorry-ass life.

“Where are you going?” A thread of panic lined the edges of Denise’s voice.

“They’re at the new restaurant a couple of blocks away,” Samiah answered. “The same place we were supposed to go tonight.” She stopped short. “He used the reservation I made. Son of a bitch. I was on the phone for a half hour trying to get that reservation.”

“You mean he had the nerve to bring another woman to a restaurant in your neighborhood? He must have balls of steel.”

“I wouldn’t know.” And thank God for that.

She’d actually considered Craig a gentleman because he hadn’t tried to get her into bed on the first date. Of course, he’d tried on each subsequent date, but Samiah had made a promise to herself long ago not to give up her goodies until she was good and ready. The fact that it had never felt right should have been her clue that something was wrong. Apparently, her vajayjay had sensed he was a rat long before she had.

“And just what do you plan to do when you get there?” Denise asked as she followed her back into the bathroom. “Beat him up in the middle of the restaurant?”

“I won’t lay a hand on him. I just want to see his face when I walk in.”

Her sister looked down at the phone and gasped. “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

“What?” Samiah ran to her side.

“Another girl just tagged herself on the Twitter thread. She’s been dating this Craig guy too.”

Samiah didn’t just see red; she saw a burst of fiery crimson.

“This is like that TV show. You know, the one where the people meet online but you don’t know if they’re telling the truth about who they really are? What do they call it?”

“Catfishing,” Samiah hissed.

She’d been catfished. Or, at the very least, scammed into believing Craig was something he definitely was not.

A combination of mortification and rage congealed in her blood. Every single time she heard one of those stories, she’d felt sympathy for the poor, unsuspecting fool who got caught up in it. But that sympathy always came with a heavy dose of judgment. She couldn’t understand how anyone could be so gullible. Never could she imagine that she would become the victim of some slick-tongued, rental car–driving asshole’s scam.

“I’m not sure going to that restaurant is a good idea,” her sister said. “Maybe you should take some time to cool off.”

“Nope.” Samiah unwound the silk headscarf from around her head and used a wide-toothed comb to release her flat-ironed hair from the wrapped style. She parted it on one side and let the soft locks fall to just under her chin in a sensible yet sexy bob. Because, yes, she was determined to look like a queen when she cursed Craig’s lying, three-timing ass out.

She left the bathroom and, with one last look in the full-length cheval mirror she’d inherited from her grandmother, grabbed her clutch from the dresser and stalked out of her bedroom.

“What time is Bradley coming to pick you up?” she asked her sister.

“In another half hour.”

“This shouldn’t take long, but if I’m not back by then, use your key to lock up.”

“Don’t get yourself arrested,” Denise called from the condo’s front door. “And text me as soon as you get back.”

Samiah stuck a hand in the air and waved in answer as she marched down the hallway and into the elevator. She concentrated on taking deep, calming, cleansing breaths as she traveled from the twenty-first floor to the lobby without interruption.

She exited her building and started down Nueces Street, arriving at the restaurant in minutes. She spotted Craig’s clean-shaven head at a table in clear view of the entrance. Couldn’t the bastard at least try to be discreet? This place was steps from her home. She could have strolled by at any time.
Samiah told the hostess she was meeting friends. The young girl didn’t even question her as she invited her in. She made a beeline for Craig’s table, sidling up to him with a bright smile.

She infused as much cheer into her voice as she could muster and said, “Well, I guess your work meeting got canceled, huh? Lucky you!”

He jumped at the sound of her voice and looked up at her over his shoulder, his eyes wide with an oh shit, I’m caught look.

She hit him with a super sweet grin.

That’s right, bitch. You’re caught.

Samiah looked to the woman sitting across from him. The red globe over the light fixture that hung above the table cast a rosy glow across her light brown skin. Her reddish-brown hair was done up in thick box braids and she had cheekbones Samiah would sell her soul for.
“Hi.” She extended her hand with a genuine smile. “I’m Samiah.”

“Taylor,” the woman answered with matching politeness. “I thought for a minute that you were London.”

Samiah nodded toward the phone sitting next to a half-eaten plate of sushi. “Is London the other woman on Twitter?”

Taylor nodded. Amusement glittered in her light brown eyes.

“Twitter?” Craig asked, his sweat-slicked forehead scrunching up in confusion. “What’s going on here?”

“Your lies are catching up to you,” Samiah answered. She nodded at Taylor, who’d propped her elbow on the table and now perched her chin on her closed fist. “Let me take a stab at this. He invited you to go out to a club after dinner, but just gave you a lame-ass excuse for why he needs to cut the night short.”
“His mom is sick,” Taylor said, biting her lip to contain the smile turning up the corners of her mouth.

“Ah, yes, I’ve heard about his sick mama. Actually, I’m his sick mama. He’s supposed to meet me in another half hour.” She tilted her head to the side. “I wonder who played the sick mother when he fed me that line on our first date.”

“That would be me.”

The three of them turned as a statuesque woman with rich brown skin, a head full of enviable coily, natural hair, and shoes to die for approached the table.

“At least I think it was me. Hello all, I’m London.” She plunked her hands on her hips, her wry smile directed at Craig. “The Internet is amazing, isn’t it? One of my fellow Walking Dead tweeps retweeted this hilarious first date from hell into my timeline. Imagine my surprise when it turns out to be the exact first date I had, down to the volcano sushi roll.”

“You have to admit that sushi roll is amazing,” Samiah said.

“Incredible,” London agreed.

Taylor pushed her plate toward them. “It’s the best. Dig in, ladies.”

They’d started to garner attention from the other tables. A number of people were openly staring, and the hum of whispers filtered in from various corners of the restaurant.

“I haven’t had dinner yet,” London said. “Should we order another?”

“Okay, now, wait a minute.” Craig put both hands up. “Let me—”

“Shut up.” Samiah cut him off. “You don’t get to speak here.”

“Come on, Sammy.”

“Shut. Up.” If he knew how close she was to elbowing him in the throat, he would walk out of here without saying a word. The grip she had on her rage was tenuous at best. “And don’t call me that stupid nickname. My name is Samiah.”

“That’s a beautiful name,” London said around a mouthful of sushi.

“Yes, it is. So is that jacket,” Taylor added. “I love the way it cinches a bit at the waist instead of being all boxy.”

“That’s the reason I bought it,” Samiah answered, looking down at her jacket. “Hey, are you ladies up to listening to some blues music? My ‘date,’” she said with an eye roll, “was supposed to take me to that new club on Sixth. I’d hate for this makeup to go to waste.”

“Oh, I don’t blame you,” London said. “That smoky eye deserves to be seen. I end up looking like a raccoon whenever I try for that look.”

“I can give you some tips,” Samiah offered. “It’s all in the primer you use.”

“All right, enough of this.” Craig pushed his chair away from the table and stood. “I can explain—”

Samiah whirled on him. “Read the room, Craig. Read the fucking room,” she snarled, unable to pull off the blasé pretense a second longer. She was hurt and upset and ready to lay into this asshole. “You’re caught, you lying piece of dog shit. Your stupid little game is over.”

The other patrons weren’t even bothering to hide their interest now. Even the waitstaff had stopped what they were doing. All eyes were on them, but Samiah was too incensed to care about the scene they were causing.

“I don’t know how many other women fell for it, but it’s over.” She jabbed her finger against his chest. “Lose my number. If you try to contact me again, I’m calling the police.”

“Same goes for me,” London said as she pulled Craig’s chair to the side of the table to get closer to Taylor’s sushi roll. Taylor passed her a new pair of chopsticks from the container in the center of the table and slid the soy sauce closer.

“The number I gave you was a fake, so I don’t have to worry about hearing from you again,” Taylor said. She tossed her napkin on the table and joined Samiah. Folding her arms across her chest, she said, “Make sure you fill up your Benz before you return it to the car rental place. They charge an arm and a leg if you bring it back on empty.”

His eyes widened. “How’d you know?”

Samiah had to refrain from punching him in the gut. “You’re pathetic,” she spat.

“Can I get a to-go box?” London called. “Also, add another volcano roll to the order. He’ll pay for it. His cheap ass still owes me from our last date.”

“Oh, let me guess,” Samiah said. “He forgot his wallet at work?”

“And the Apple Pay on his phone was acting up,” London said with a nod. “He isn’t very creative, is he?”

Two women at a nearby table laughed out loud. One of them held up a phone to snap a picture.

Great.

Samiah turned back to Craig. “You are a horrible person, and your jokes are corny. I wish nothing but the worst for you.”

A waiter arrived with a black paper bag and handed it to London. She stood and motioned for Samiah and Taylor to walk ahead of her.

“Don’t I get a chance to explain?” Craig called.

“No!” the three women said in unison as they marched out of the restaurant without a backward glance.

The Boyfriend Project

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: July 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Farrah Rochon

A native of south Louisiana, USA Today Bestselling author Farrah Rochon officially began her writing career while waiting in between classes in the student lounge at Xavier University of Louisiana. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree from Xavier and a Masters of Arts from Southeastern Louisiana University, Farrah decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a published novelist. She was named Shades of Romance Magazine's Best New Author of 2007. Her debut novel, Deliver Me, the first in her Holmes Brothers series, garnered rave reviews, earning Farrah several SORMAG Readers' Choice Awards.

Farrah is a two-time finalist for Romance Writers of America's RITA Award and has been a Romantic Times Book Reviews Reviewer's Choice Award nominee. In 2015, Farrah won the Emma Award for Author of the Year.

When she is not writing in her favorite coffee shop, Farrah spends most of her time reading, traveling the world, hanging around on Twitter, visiting Disney World, and trying to attend as many Broadway shows as her budget will allow. An admitted sports fanatic, Farrah feeds her addiction to football by watching New Orleans Saints games on Sunday afternoons.

Farrah is represented by Evan Marshall of the Evan Marshall Literary Agency.


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