Tag: Giveaways

Sunday Spotlight: The Immortal by Gena Showalter

Posted January 16, 2022 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. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: The Immortal by Gena ShowalterThe Immortal by Gena Showalter
Narrator: Max Bellmore
Series: Rise of the Warlords #2
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
Length: 11 hours and 16 minutes
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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter delivers The Immortal, the second dark and sexy book in her Rise of the Warlords series, featuring a cold, merciless assassin and a stubborn harpy warrior... one fated to die by the other's hand.

Halo Phaninon, assassin of gods, is as cold and merciless as a machine. For victory, he crosses any line. When tasked to kill twelve of mythology’s fiercest monsters in twenty-four hours, Halo eagerly accepts. Except, each morning he awakens to the same day, forced to relive new horrors. Only one other person retains their memory—the beauty who threatens his iron control.

Ophelia the Flunk Out hates her disaster of a life. She’s the family disappointment, a harpy warrior without a kill and powerless—or is she? Nearly every night she’s doomed to repeat her own murder, but each morning she arises to spar with Halo, the ruthless warlord increasingly determined to save her…and lure her to his bed.

Halo’s insatiable desire for the stubborn Ophelia drives him wild…and he only craves more. If he remains in the time loop, they stay together. But if he escapes, they lose each other forever.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

A faraway realm Long ago

“Emotions are our greatest enemy.” With an unhurried stride, the headmaster paced before his charges. Students of the Order. The train of his voluminous black robe dragged behind him.

The most notable acolyte—Four—stood shoulder to shoulder with nine others in a perfectly straight line. Each boy wore a colorless tunic and loose pants; each kept his eyes focused ahead, chin up, hands locked behind his back and bare feet pressed to¬gether. None dared to take more than eight inhalations per min¬ute. The allotted amount.

Though a mere twelve years in age, Four already towered over the others. As the son of an eight-foot-tall war god, he might grow bigger than even the headmaster. If that happened…

Headmaster dies screaming.

The stern, merciless male possessed crimson skin and obsid¬ian eyes without any whites; the instructors were exact copies of him. Their only differences came from the symbols etched into their faces. Symbols that glowed when they contemplated any kind of punishment.

Headmaster never ceased glowing. “Say it,” he commanded now.

“Emotions are our greatest enemy,” the boys echoed in unison, monotone.

Four meant those words with every fiber of his being. What he wouldn’t give to rid himself of any softness. To no longer suffer the torment of grief and loss. Perhaps then he might fi¬nally forget his tenth birthday. The day invaders murdered his mother and carted him to the Order.

Here, orphaned children of “myth and legend” learned to assassinate kings and gods. The best executioners received rewards. Those who floundered were often used during target practice.

“Today, you will prove you mean what you say.” Headmaster continued his unhurried back-and-forth stride, drawing out the suspense. Testing his students, always testing. In the empty white room, his footfalls proved silent. “Shall I tell you how?”

“If you wish, Headmaster,” the boys responded, again in unison.

Four’s stomach churned, bile singeing his chest. He’d felt sick all morning. Even before he was summoned from his quarters—a small cubicle containing only a bed, nightstand, and handful of books he’d received for exemplary behavior. A sparse prison he’d come to appreciate. The less you owned, the less others could use against you. But not by word or deed did he reveal his physical discomfort. He knew better.

What would Headmaster force the students to endure today? Or worse, to do?

His skin glowed brighter as he passed Four. Five, the boy to his right, released an almost imperceptible whimper.

In a blink, the headmaster returned to the lad.

Four didn’t move. He willed his heart to maintain a slow, steady beat, lest a glaze of sweat dampen his skin, giving him away.

Headmaster purred, “Are you afraid, Five?”

Each student was known only by a number. A reminder of a terrible truth: we are easily replaced.

“No, sir,” Five said, but a slight tremor proved him a liar. “I fear nothing.”

“I’m not certain I believe you.” Headmaster lifted an arm and snapped his fingers. “But there’s a way to learn the truth.”

Instructors observed the proceedings from the back wall, lined up just like the students. A lone male eased into motion, closing the distance to stand beside his superior. Dread gave the sterile air a sharp bite.

“Whip him,” Headmaster ordered. “He’s to receive twenty lashes. If he makes a noise, cut out his tongue. If he sheds a tear, blind him.”

No one in the room revealed an outward reaction as the instructor padded behind Five. But inside, Four waged a fierce war. He liked the boy and protected him whenever possible. Of the ten students in their group, Five was the kindest. Unlike the others, he shared his rewards, no matter what they happened to be. Food. Soft blankets. Special weapons. But Five was also the weakest among them, and he was about to suffer untold agonies. Could he maintain his silence until the end of the whip-ping? Could anyone?

As the instructor unhooked a barbed rope from the belt of his robe, Four fought the urge to safeguard his friend. He knew better. He’d made this mistake once before, with another student. The moment he had intervened, he’d made everything worse. At least Five wasn’t being given an animal to raise and later kill.

The first strike landed with a whoosh. Relief sparked as silence stretched. The second and third strikes fell. Five did well, his face remaining a blank mask.

Headmaster leaned down, putting himself at eye level with his victim. “With every lash, you are being rid of your secret shame. Thank me for this opportunity.”

“Thank you, Headmaster.”

Whoosh. Crack.

Whoosh. Crack.

After the seventh strike, Headmaster slowly slid his attention to Four. He canted his head, staring hard. The symbols in his skin glowed brighter and brighter.

Four revealed nothing.

“Tell me what you think of Five’s situation,” the evil male cajoled.

“I cannot.” The calmness—the coldness—of Four’s tone chilled even him. “I think nothing of his situation.”

“Is that so?”

Whoosh. Crack. Whoosh. Crack.

Calm. Steady. Breathe in, out. “That is so.”

After searching Four’s face, Headmaster withdrew a dagger from a hidden pocket of his robe and offered the hilt. “Kill him.”

Four blinked twice. “Sir?”

“You will kill Five, or I will kill you. The decision is yours. You have one minute to decide.”

As Four held the male’s gaze, he knew two things with ab¬solute certainty. If he hesitated to do this, he would die today. If he revealed a single emotion, he would want to die.

With iron resolve, he accepted the weapon, his grip steady. He stepped backward and to the right, moving between the instructor with the whip and Five. Staring at his back—at the blood wetting his tunic.
I can do this. Four had delivered many deaths the past two years, his kill list more than double the length of anyone else’s. But then, he was born for this. And yet…

He felt as if a part of him died each time he stole another’s life.

Would he act anyway? Oh yes. Without hesitation.

Four stepped forward. Mere inches separated his chest and the ravaged back of his newest target. He reached around and gripped the boy’s chin, angling his head to the side. With his free hand, he pressed the tip of a blade into the upper dip of Five’s sternum.

A mewl of fear escaped his friend, and the churning in his stomach intensified.

“Your time runs out,” Headmaster stated.

Four blanked his mind, a grueling skill he’d worked hard to perfect. One by one, his thoughts faded to the background, his emotions dulling until he felt nothing. Only a cold, gnawing void. He calmed, and his breathing evened out. This? This was nothing. A single death among hundreds.

As the boy opened his mouth to protest or plead, Four met Headmaster’s obsidian gaze—and plunged the dagger deep. He twisted his wrist at the end. Bone cracked.

Five stiffened against him, choking sounds leaving him. In seconds—an endless eternity—he collapsed, crashing to the floor.

Blood spurted from the wound, splattering the motionless body, the floor. Four…didn’t care. He survived, whatever the cost.

One day, things would be different. Until then, Four could only bide his time…

Warm liquid pooled around his feet, and his inner cold thawed fast. The sickness returned to his belly.

“What is this I smell on you, hmm? Fear?” The headmaster swooped in and ran the tip of his nose across Four’s neck while inhaling. “No, not fear, but something.” He straightened and motioned to the instructor with the whip. “Give him twenty lashes.”

Reveal nothing. “Thank you, Headmaster.”

Already in position, the instructor struck without delay. Whoosh. Crack.

Pain splintered through Four, shooting across each of his limbs.

Whoosh. Crack. Whoosh. Crack.

He held Headmaster’s gaze until the end—and smiled. “Thank you again, Headmaster.”

Scowling, the male grazed two black claws across his cheek. “Whatever you’re feeling will boil over as soon as I turn up the heat.” Walking away, Headmaster spoke to the instructor. “Give him twenty more.”

Excerpted from The Immortal by Gena Showalter, Copyright © 2022 by Gena Showalter. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

Rise of the Warlords

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: January 2022

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 Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld, Otherworld Assassins, and Angels of the Dark series, as well as two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine. She was interviewed on Nightline and has been mentioned in Orange is the New Black. Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees.


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Monthly Reads: December 2021

Posted January 5, 2022 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

It’s a new month so we’re back with a list of our Monthly Reads to share with each of you. This is where you’ll see what each of us has read and what our favorite books and our least favorite books of the month are. Check it out.

Casee

I had a pretty good reading month in December. I read and listened to some really good books.

The Wedding by Julie Garwood (reread)(audio) | 5 out of 5
Wicked Ride (Realm Enforcers #1) by Rebecca Zanetti | 3.75 out of 5
Wicked Edge (Realm Enforcers #2) by Rebecca Zanetti | 4.5 out of 5
Wicked Burn (Realm Enforcers #3) by Rebecca Zanetti | 4.25 out of 5
Hold on to Hope by A.L. Jackson (reread)(audio) | 4.5 out of 5
Wicked Kiss (Realm Enforcers #4) by Rebecca Zanetti | 4.25 out of 5
Wicked Bite (Realm Enforcers #5) by Rebecca Zanetti | 4.75 out of 5

My absolutely favorite of December is Wicked Bite by Rebecca Zanetti. I loved Bear and Nessa. They were two amazing characters. I also really enjoyed listening to audiobooks. I love The Wedding by JG & the audio just made it that much better.

Holly

I only managed to finish 11 books in December and every single one of them was a re-read. Reading slumps are the worst.

Fairytale Come Alive (Ghosts and Reincarnation #4) by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3) by Ilona Andrews (audio) (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Chronicles #4) by Ilona Andrews (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Sweep with Me (Innkeeper Chronicles #4.5) by Ilona Andrews (reread) | 4 out of 5
Getting Read (Getting Some #3) by Emma Chase (audio) (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountains #2) by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Own the Wind (Chaos #1) by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
The Secret (Highlands’ Lairds #1) by Julie Garwood (audio) (reread) | 5 out of 5
Alpha & Omega (Alpha & Omega 0.5) by Patricia Briggs (reread) | 5 out of 5
Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Repeat by Kylie Scott (audio) (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Little Fire (Warriors of the Five Realms #1) by Hollee Mands | DNF

I’m not going to list a favorite or least favorite this month since they were all re-reads. I wanted to like the Mands novel, but the writing was very frustrating.

Giveaway Alert

Three lucky winners will choose their prize (one book) from any of the books we logged this month. If you want to be entered to win, leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite – and least favorite – reads of the month were.

Monthly Reads: December 2021

So…what was your favorite read of the month? And your least favorite? Use the Gleam Widget to enter! Good luck!


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Monthly Reads: November 2021

Posted December 1, 2021 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 10 Comments

It’s a new month so we’re back with a list of our Monthly Reads to share with each of you. This is where you’ll see what each of us has read and what our favorite books and our least favorite books of the month are. Check it out.

Casee

Reading wise, November was not much better than October for me. I read four books. Two were rereads. :O

Annihilation Road (Torpedo Ink #6) by Christine Feehan | 3 out of 5
The Bride (Lairds’ Fiancées #1) by Julie Garwood (reread) (audiobook) | 5 out of 5
The Secret (Highlands’ Lairds #1) by Julie Garwood (reread) (audiobook) | 5 out of 5
Immortal’s Honor (Dark Protectors #14) by Rebecca Zanetti | 4.25 out of 5

My favorite book of the month was Immortal’s Honor by Rebecca Zanetti. I also absolutely adored the two JG books on audio.

Holly

I didn’t have a lot of reading time, but I listened to a lot of audiobooks in November. Most of them re-reads, since those are easier for me to listen to when my brain is engaged elsewhere.

Unzipped (Lucky in Love #4) by Lauren Blakely (audio) | 3.75 out of 5
Silent Blade (Kinsmen #1) by Ilona Andrews (reread) | 3.5 out of 5
Silver Shark (Kinsmen #2) by Ilona Andrews (reread) | 3.25 out of 5
A Mere Formality (Kinsmen #3) by Ilona Andrews (reread) | 3.5 out of 5
Fated Blades (Kinsmen #4) by Ilona Andrews | 4 out of 5
One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3) by Ilona Andrews (audio) (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Chronicles #3) by Ilona Andrews (audio) (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews (audio) (reread) | 4 out of 5
White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews (audio) (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews (audio) (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) by Ilona Andrews (audio) (reread) | 3.75 out of 5
Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews (audio) (reread) | 4 out of 5
Stay (WAGs #2) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy (audio) (reread)
The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1) by Sarina Bowen (audio) (reread) | 3.75 out of 5
The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2) by Sarina Bowen (audio) (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Blonde Date (The Ivy Years #2.5) by Sarina Bowen (audio) (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years #3) by Sarina Bowen (audio) (reread) | 3.75 out of 5
The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4) by Sarina Bowen (audio) (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Boyfriend (Moo U #1) by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5
Extra Credit by Sarina Bowen (anthology) (reread) | 4 out of 5
Priceless (Rylee Adamson #1) by Shannon Mayer | DNF
One Night of Sin (After Hours #1) by Elle Kennedy | 3.75 out of 5
One Night of Scandal (After Hours #2) by Elle Kennedy | 3.5 out of 5
Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3) by Lauren Layne (audio) (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Getting Played (Getting Some #2) by Emma Chase (audio) (reread) | 4.5 out of 5

My favorite read of the month was Fated Blades by Ilona Andrews. The world-building was fantastic and I loved both main characters. Honorable mention goes to Boyfriend by Sarina Bowen. My least favorite was Priceless by Shannon Mayer. The writing was all over the place and I didn’t connect with the characters. I ended up DNF’ing it.

Giveaway Alert

Three lucky winners will choose their prize (one book) from any of the books we logged this month. If you want to be entered to win, leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite – and least favorite – reads of the month were.

Monthly Reads: November 2021

So…what was your favorite read of the month? And your least favorite? Use the Gleam Widget to enter! Good luck!


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Sunday Spotlight: Someone Perfect by Mary Balogh

Posted November 21, 2021 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 6 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. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Someone Perfect by Mary BaloghSomeone Perfect by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott #9
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: November 30, 2021
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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Sometimes, just one person can pull a whole family apart. And sometimes, it just takes one person to pull it back together. For fans of Bridgerton, New York Times bestselling Regency Romance author Mary Balogh shows how love truly conquers all in this new Friends of the Westcotts novel.
As a young man, Justin Wiley was banished by his father for mysterious reasons, but now, his father is dead, and Justin has been Earl of Brandon for six years. A dark, dour man, he, nonetheless, takes it as his responsibility to care for his half-sister, Maria, when her mother dies. He travels to her home to fetch her back to the family seat at Everleigh Park.
Although she adored him, once, Maria now loathes Justin, and her friend, Lady Estelle Lamarr, can see, immediately, how his very name upsets her. When Justin arrives and invites Estelle and her brother to accompany Maria to Everleigh Park to help with her distress, she begrudgingly agrees, for Maria's sake.
As family secrets unravel in Maria's homecoming, Justin, too, uncovers his desire for a countess. And, while he may believe he's found an obvious candidate in the beautiful 25-year-old Lady Estelle, she is most certain that they could never make a match...

Excerpt

SOMEONE PERFECT – Excerpt

The grass had been newly scythed and looked neat and smelled heavenly. Then, however, the four large flower beds, which, long before Estelle was born, had been cut into the lawn with geometric precision to form four diamond shapes in a larger diamond formation, had ended up looking sadly ragged in contrast. She could have waited for the gardeners to get to them, as of course they would, but she liked doing a bit of gardening and was out here now pulling weeds and cutting deadheads from among the flowers and dropping them all into the basket she carried over her arm. And what a difference the pulling and cutting had made! The flowers in the three beds she had already done were looking considerably brighter and more fully alive again, and now this one did too. She stood back on the grass to admire her handiwork. But something caught the edge of her vision as she did so, and she looked across two large diamonds to the drive beyond.

A horse and rider were just coming into view, and for a moment she brightened with the expectation that Bertrand was returning from his visit to the vicarage in time for tea. The rider was not Bertrand, of course. He had walked into the village. It was the Earl of Brandon, and now Estelle could not even pretend to be away from home. He had seen her. So had his dog, which took a few menacing steps toward her across the lawn before stopping abruptly at something the man had said. She heard the low rumble of his voice but could not discern the actual words.

How very mortifying and unpleasant. Estelle was terribly aware of her ancient cotton dress, faded from innumerable washes and much despised by her maid, who always told her it was too old even for the ragbag. But it was cool and comfortable and was kept strictly for chores such as this one. Her straw hat must be almost as antique. Its brim was limp and shapeless and wonderfully effective in shading her face and neck from the sun. Her gloves were large and elbow length and bright green and ugly. But they kept her fingers and forearms from being pricked, and they kept the dirt from getting beneath her fingernails and the sap from staining her hands. Her shoes . . . Well, the less said about her shoes, the better.

She set down her basket, pulled off her gloves, and dropped them on top of the dead blooms and weeds. She could not do anything about the rest of her appearance. Let him think what he would. She did not much care about his good opinion anyway. She made her way toward him, skirting about the flower beds and eyeing the dog warily. It was panting, its tongue lolling out of its mouth. It was looking at her as though it would be happy to make her its afternoon tea if only its master would be obliging enough to ride out of sight for a few moments.

The man looked as morose as ever. Oh, it was wicked, perhaps, to have taken him in such thorough dislike. No, it was not. He had done nothing to make himself likable. Quite the opposite.

“Captain will not hurt you,” he told her.

“Not when you are here to call him off,” she agreed.

“Cap,” he said. “Shake.”

And the dog, still panting, still gazing intently and hungrily at her, sat on its haunches, lifted one of its giant paws, and dangled it toward her.

Oh dear God.

But he had done it deliberately to disconcert her— he man, that was. To make a cringing female out of her, as he had done by the river. How she wished now that she had left her legs dangling in the water and merely tossed her head— and her hair— in his direction. And raised one haughty eyebrow.

She took a few resolute steps forward, grasped the dog’s paw in a firm clasp, and shook it. It was gigantic. It could flatten her with one swat. And it had lethal-looking claws. Was that what one called them on a dog? Or were they nails?

“How do you do, Captain?” she said before looking up at the earl. Man and dog suited each other. He was gigantic too. And he had those huge hands, neatly gloved at the moment and holding the reins. “How do you do, Lord Brandon?”

He removed his hat. “I wondered, Lady Estelle,” he said, “if I might have a few words with you and Viscount Watley.”

From SOMEONE PERFECT published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Mary Balogh.

 

Wescott

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: November 2021

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 Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh's Headshot

Mary Balogh is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Slightly novels: Slightly Married, Slightly Wicked, Slightly Scandalous, Slightly Tempted, Slightly Sinful, and Slightly Dangerous, as well as the romances No Man's Mistress, More than a Mistress, and One Night for Love. She is also the author of Simply Love, Simply Unforgettable, Simply Magic, and Simply Perfect, her dazzling quartet of novels set at Miss Martin's School for Girls. A former teacher herself, she grew up in Wales and now lives in Canada.


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Sunday Spotlight: Dirty Deal by Mira Lyn Kelly

Posted November 7, 2021 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 6 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. 🙂

Mira Lyn Kelly is a new-to-me author. I’m such a sucker for Single Dad romances, I had to add this to my list after reading the blurb.

Sunday Spotlight: Dirty Deal by Mira Lyn KellyDirty Deal by Mira Lyn Kelly
Series: Slayers Hockey #5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 19, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 190
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Fatherhood blindsided me.

There I am, working to get a rise out of my cranky little rule-following, fun-wrecking, soon-to-be ex-neighbor when my one-night stand from last season shows up… in labor.

Next thing, I’m a single-dad begging for a crash course in caring for this tiny miracle from the neighbor who loves to hate me.

Turns out, Nora raised half her siblings.

She knows things.

And I know my son needs her.

Unfortunately, she’s not impressed by my NHL career, my legendary charm, or the rumors surrounding the size of my stick (all true btw).

But I’m not trying to impress her. Not anymore. I can’t.

I’m asking her to help me out, because my son deserves better than some player who hasn’t even had a chance to read the manual yet.

Which means no matter how hot I find her spitfire mouth and those rules she doesn’t break… Nora is off-limits.

Excerpt

©Mira Lyn Kelly

Dirty Deal Excerpt

I know I should knock my shit off and hit the sack. With back-to-back games the last two days and not enough sleep before early skate this morning, I’m wiped.

But this is more than Nora’s said to me at one time since… Well, since she stopped talking to me except to tell me to turn the volume down— easier said than done when you’ve got five hockey players over watching a game. Or to wake me at the crack of dawn when I didn’t even get off a plane until two a.m. to let me know that my mailbox is overflowing, or tell me I parked in the wrong spot, or that I can’t hold the elevator with my gear when I need to run back to my apartment for three damn seconds because I left my keys in the door.

I’m a child. I know. But only with Nora. And only because those hot, red splotches on her cheekbones are so much better than that nothing look I get from her when I’m behaving. That bland, disinterested glance sucks. Especially after the way she used to look at me.

Yeah, it was only a week, nearly five months ago when she moved into Diane’s. But from the first time our paths crossed, that wide smile and quick laugh had me looking closer, lingering to chat with her when I’d normally keep moving. I found myself drawn into conversations with her I’d still be thinking about when I hit the ice or the weight room, or when I was supposed to be paying attention to a trainer, reporter, or my brother. And the way she looked at me? I’d be thinking about those shy glances and warm blushes when I crawled into bed at night. Wondering why I hadn’t made a move already.

But then it was too late. Everything changed in a blink, and Nora wasn’t interested in me at all. Not even as friends, and I’m friends with everybody.

I should have let it go and forgotten about her, given her a nod when we passed in the hall, and stopped looking for something in her eyes that said the connection was still there. But I didn’t. Instead, I started trying to get something else.

A reaction.

Damn, Nora gives good reaction. Hot and sharp. Whip quick with a sting you’re not likely to forget.

“I’ve got more important things to do than watch you standing around in a towel.”

“Nice as the scenery may be, though, right?” I ask, wondering if I can get a laugh out of her. A smile. Get her into bed. Nah, zero chance of that. But maybe another scowl, at the very least.

She looks me over from top to bottom and back up again. Jesus, the feel of her eyes on me is—

“Whatever.”

And that flat, bored tone? Color me impressed. Because I know for a fact, this body— in a suit, in running gear, in beat-up jeans and a T-shirt —trips her up. Five months ago, it made her blush and stammer. Three, I’d still catch her eyes where they weren’t supposed to be.

Now, in a towel? Yeah, she’s a little liar.

But I like it. Even if she can’t stand me.

 

Slayers Hockey

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: November 2021

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 Mira Lyn Kelly

Author Photo

Mira Lyn Kelly is a USA Today bestselling author who writes sizzling love stories with hot, possessive heroes and heroines who give as good as they get. A hardcore romantic, stress baker, and housekeeper non-extraordinaire, she met the love of her life while studying abroad in Rome...only to find out he lived right around the corner from her back home. She now resides with her husband in Minnesota.


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