Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Why Sports Heroes Make the Best Book Boyfriends


Giveaway Alert!


Hey everyone! I’m Rachel Van Dyken, author of over eighty (holy crap) books in multiple genres, one of my favorites being, sports romance! My latest book, Risky Play, is about two broken main characters who find themselves on a last minute holiday to Puerto Vallarta. 

Pro Soccer player Slade Rodriguez is trying to lay low after finding out his girlfriend and his ex teammate hooked up behind his back, for over a year. Licking his wounds he changes teams and moves to Seattle, but isn’t ready to settle down yet. Needing time to himself, he gets on the first jet out. He sits next to Mackenzie Dupont on a plane and is immediately intrigued, especially since a few hours into the plane ride, they have single engine failure. She asks him what one thing he would do different. And they kiss. Once the plane safely lands, to protect his own identity, he gives her a fake name, Hugo. What he doesn’t realize is she’s famous in her own right, so she does the same thing. After all, she’s running away from a broken engagement. What follows is a whole lot of steaminess and taking chances with a complete stranger assuming that it’s just that, a one night stand, a two night stand. Whatever it is, Mackenzie's obsessed with "Hugo's" intense golden gaze, the eight pack helps, and the fact that he seems genuinely interested in everything she says. He promises the universe he’s going to keep her, but sometimes the universe is against us. Tragedy strikes and they go their separate ways only to meet again in Seattle, this time, sparks fly and not the good kind The "I want to kiss you, then strangle you, then kiss you again" kind.

I love writing sports romances because I think it adds this extra layer of pressure from the press to act a certain way. Not only does Slade have to deal with paparazzi but he has pressure to perform, to lead his team to the championships after training with another team. I think it brings in so many details from behind the scenes that we never think about when watching sports on TV. I’m fully dedicated to interviewing real athletes (and my last sports romance I interviewed NFL players). This time I wanted to focus on a sport that isn’t as huge here as it is internationally and really do it justice. These athletes eat, sleep, and breathe their sport, there isn’t a lot of time for a personal life and if you do have one, the balance is always going to be a struggle (not to mention the fact that Slade is still mourning). In this book, I wanted to introduce a really strong female character that wouldn’t let Slade project all those feelings and basically Mackenzie is the type of girl that doesn’t put up with his crap. I think it's important to have strong female characters that women can look up to. I love that during the entire journey my heroine doesn’t give up. She knows her worth and demands that Slade recognize it too.

All in all it was such a fun book to write, I can’t wait for everyone to read it! 

***
RISKY PLAY



What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.


Excerpt: Risky Play by Rachel Van Dyken

I was kissing her again.

Maybe it was because it had been months since I’d had a decent kiss, since I’d jumped into the arms of anyone who didn’t know me by name.

I could be Hugo for a few days.

Hugo seemed spontaneous.

Hugo seemed relaxed.

Hugo seemed fun.

I sure as hell needed some fun.

I broke away from her kiss and trailed my fingertips down her chin. “So, now that we’ve established the plane didn’t crash and we’re here side by side, what did you have in mind?”

Ashley grinned up at me, her eyes a bit hesitant as she looked from me to the ocean. “Well, I’ve never gone cliff diving, I heard there’s a great place close by.”

My eyebrows shot up. “No offense, but you don’t seem like a thrill seeker.”

She laughed. I decided I liked the way her laugh relaxed me, made me respond with a smile and a need to kiss her again. “I’m not, trust me.” She sobered a bit. Her lips turned down.

I wanted nothing more than to press a soft kiss to the corner of her mouth just to see if it would it make it decide to smile in my direction again.

“But it would be fun, I need fun.”

I sighed heavily and looked at my feet. When the hell had I ever looked away like that? “That makes both of us.”

“Great!” She walked ahead of me into her penthouse suite, which matched mine even in color. I suddenly wondered what she did for a living. I mean I could afford it because I had been the highest paid soccer star in Europe for the last ten years.

The place was around three grand a day.

I eyed the large master suite as she ran around and then held up her hand. “One sec, I’m going to change into a suit, alright?”

“Great.” I smiled reassuringly. It would give me time to look around, not that I was stalking her, but I could never be too careful. I was still surprised she didn’t recognize me. And I knew when she did, this little facade, this freedom I felt in my chest, the easy way she let me breathe around her? It would go to hell, and I’d need another escape.

I thumbed through a few of the magazines on the table, and dropped the last one down just in time to hear the sliding bathroom door open and see a goddess emerge.

A one-piece swimsuit covered her body. It had a plunging neckline that showed off two generously sized breasts, and I immediately regretted not telling her who I was.

Because clothing tended to get pulled off, not put on, when I was in the room.

I eyed the scrap of material she called a swimsuit, my eyes raking over her muscular legs, her curvy body.

“Unless you’re jumping naked, you should change too,” she pointed out, then cleared her throat and looked away like she was insecure. Damn, the woman could make a man cut his own heart out for a taste of her special brand of sin.

I peeled my shirt off over my body and shrugged. “Ready.”

Her eyes went so wide I had to fight not to laugh.

I knew what she saw.

I had Instagram pages dedicated to my eyes alone, don’t even get me started on my abs.

Eight.

Tight, packed abs, all tanned and golden like I was the sun god himself.

“Uh, right.” Her cheeks brightened as she clasped her hands together. “Let’s go!”

I checked her out the entire time she walked ahead of me, and when she caught me staring I just shrugged and said, “Next time wear more clothes if you don’t want me to look.”

“You should talk,” she fired back.

“Misunderstanding.” I grinned. “I wanted you to look.”

She slapped a hand against my bare chest.

I laughed, and then grabbed her hand and kissed her fingertips. “You ready to jump off a cliff with a stranger you’ve kissed twice?”

“Once,” she corrected with a whisper. “I kissed you, you kissed me, we’re even.”

The doors to the elevator opened as I whispered under my breath. “Not for long.”

***


About the Author
Rachel Van Dyken is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and #1 New York Times bestselling author known for regency romances, contemporary romances, and her love of coffee and Swedish fish. Rachel’s also recently inked a deal for her Wingmen Inc. series—The Matchmaker’s Playbook and The Matchmaker’s Replacement—to be made into movies.

A fan of The Bachelor and the Seattle Seahawks (not necessarily in that order), Rachel lives in Idaho with her husband, a super cute toddler son who keeps her on her toes, and two boxers. Make sure you check out her site, www.RachelVanDykenauthor.com, and follow her on Twitter (@RachVD).

Social Media Links
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4882127.Rachel_Van_Dyken




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Monday, March 18, 2019

Just Swipe Right

With: Allie York

Congratulations to "Bn100", the winner in Allie's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!

Hey everyone! I’m Allie and I’m here to share my newest release, Just Swipe Right, the third book in the 425 Madison Avenue Series. When Lauren Helms came to me with the idea for a multi-author series, I was onboard immediately. With the release of this book, I can say, unequivocally that this is the best project I’ve ever been part of.


Just Swipe Right is the cute little story of Eliza and Murphy. Sparks fly between the tenacious advice columnist and the new chef in town, but they aren’t the only sparks flying. Online dating comes with a whole new set of challenges and these two learn that swiping left and right is more than just a split-second decision.

Book Info
Magazine columnist Eliza Donovan let her sister sign her up for a dating app which is so not her thing. Chef Murphy Cormac needed a dramatic change, so a big city move leaves him looking for love. An unexpected match has Eliza and Murphy questioning whether or not it is meant to be. Fans of love triangles will love this quick and will they, won’t they read. The third book in the highly anticipated 425 Madison series is now live! Read JUST SWIPE RIGHT by Allie York today.

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on KindleUnlimited


Eliza

My life is perfect. I have a luxurious apartment and my dream job. I also have a sister willing to sign me up for a dating app against my better judgment. I promise her one week before the app is deleted forever.

All it takes is one week before I’m matched with two amazing men and my perfect life becomes a perfect disaster.

Murphy
I needed a drastic change and I got it. My move from the middle of nowhere to the city lands me in a classy part of town with an upscale job. All I need is a personal life to match. So, I join the masses and download an app.

A match with the woman of my dreams has me considering a future. The only problem is that I’m not the only one wanting to make her mine.

After all, 425 Madison Avenue is the perfect place to fall in love.

*Each story is completely standalone.



Giveaway:
Allies is giving away a $10 Amazon card and a copy of Sit: The Shores book one to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry!

Author Info
Allie is a mom and dog groomer by day. At night she is posted at her laptop writing or reading in a cozy corner. She has a soft spot for gooey romance, over-creamed coffee, and anything cute and furry.



About the 425 Madison Series

Welcome to 425 Madison Ave the perfect place to fall in love. Nine delicious romances set in fast-paced & sexy NYC just waiting for you to read.

The series features stories from some of your favorite romance authors: Leigh Lennon, MK Moore, Allie York, Aubree Valentine, Kay Gordon, Lauren Helms, Sylvia Kane, Katy Ames, and C. Lesbirel.

Join these authors as they come together, each with a standalone romance for you to enjoy.

Featuring some of readers' favorite tropes: second-chance romance, best friends sibling romance to a good ol' enemies to lovers romance. We've got you covered with a sports romance, a fake relationship and even an ugly duckling or two. Don't forget a brother's best friend and falling for your soul mate. Maybe a little love triangle as well. Each tale offers you something new, something different. After all, 425

For more information, visit the series website ➝ www.425madisonseries.com

Follow the series on Facebook ➝ https://www.facebook.com/425MadisonSeries

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 19th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Soccer Player and the Single Mom


Hello everyone! I’m stopping by to share my latest book release with you, THE SOCCER PLAYER AND THE SINGLE MOM. It’s a sweet, small town romance with plenty of love and laughter to go around.

He wants back on the field, she needs a paycheck. Stuck together, Scott and Felicity come to realize what they’ve been missing all along...and that maybe opposites do attract.

Read on for an excerpt and your chance to enter to win my blog tour prize pack, including a $15 gift card to both Amazon and Starbucks. Good luck, and enjoy!

THE SOCCER PLAYER AND THE SINGLE MOM

For most women, working for a sexy soccer star would be a dream come true. All except
single mom Felicity Shaw. She has no interest in playing personal assistant for a
stubborn, injured playboy—no matter how nice his abs are. But with bills piling up and
mouths to feed, she can’t say no to the job.

That’s when it gets interesting.

The last thing Scott Gillie wants or needs is a persistent and entirely too distracting PA
while he’s recuperating in his small hometown. Unfortunately, it’s not up to him. Then
Felicity and her son end up temporarily moving in—all thanks to his meddlesome
grandmother. Now temptation is right across the hall and it’s driving Scott crazy.

His only option is to fight fire with fire.

He never expects Felicity to do the same.




KYRA JACOBS is a multi-published author of romance and fantasy. Fueled by caffeine and funny memes, she weaves humor and chaos into tales of love and relationships. Away from the keyboard, Kyra is a devoted soccer mom, loves to garden, and is an avid college football fan. She and her family call Indiana home.


Ways to Connect with Kyra:

NEW NEWSLETTER: http://eepurl.com/bY_hL5

Excerpt:

“Aw, Mom.” Tyler’s shoulders sank for a moment, then the boy perked back up. “Did you hear what Scott said? Dr. Bedi was one of the best.”

“I did. Now lie down so the poor man can get some sleep. I’ll be there to tuck you back in in a minute.”

And there’s my cue. Scott gathered his crutch while Tyler did as his mother asked. No doubt about it, those two had a special bond. The realization brought with it the ache of his own loss, far less potent than it’d been when he was twelve, but still there nonetheless. Scott gave Tyler a fist bump then made his way to the door. Felicity followed him into the hall, pulling the door shut behind them.

“Did he wake you?”

“Yeah. Said he had a bad dream. No big deal.”

“Sorry about that. He was asleep when I…” She sighed. “It’s been a really long day.”

Felicity’s gaze slid to the bathroom at the end of the hall, and she chewed at her lower lip. He wished she wouldn’t, because it had him considering her lips and how kissable they appeared to be. Her cinnamon and vanilla scent wrapped around his senses, teasing them, luring him in.

Before he knew what he was doing, Scott took a step closer. “Really, it was no big deal.”

She looked to him, pupils darkening in the dim light at the shrinking space between them. He knew he shouldn’t, knew he should keep his distance and keep things purely platonic between them, but all he could think was that he’d go mad if he didn’t get one small taste of her.

Her gaze slipped to his bare chest, and Felicity swallowed loudly. Heat spread through his veins. Still, she held her ground. Scott took another step closer, growing more and more intoxicated by her scent. His attention shifted from the endless depths of those brown eyes to her lips, now slightly parted. Just one kiss, he told himself as her eyes drifted shut.

Just one…

He brushed his nose alongside hers. She drew in a soft breath.

…tiny…

His lips feathered across hers. Felicity angled her face toward him.

…kiss.

“Mom?”

The door behind them creaked on its hinges, and Felicity’s eyes went wide. She withdrew as though bitten by a snake and took a hurried step back as Tyler’s profile came into view.

“What are you guys doing out here?” he asked, rubbing his eyes.

“Nothing,” she said in a squeak. “I was, um, just thanking Scott for making sure you were okay earlier, sweetheart.”

Nothing? Scott wet his lips, still tingling from where Felicity’s had pressed against them. The kiss might have been brief and sweet, but “nothing” wasn’t how he would describe it.

“Now, go back to bed and wait there for me,” she continued, her voice stronger now. “If you get up again, we’re going to have words.”

“Fine.” Tyler’s shoulders slumped as he walked away, the door left open and forgotten. Probably a good thing, as Scott’s body foolishly wanted another kiss. His mind, however, knew better.

Felicity met his gaze, a delightful flush tinting her cheeks. “Anyway, thank you again for sitting with Tyler. I’m sure it meant the world to him.”

The world to him? Scott shook his head. He wasn’t used to playing the role of protector against dark shadows and creaky floors. At home, it was just him in his apartment, getting ready for the next day, the next practice, the next game.

Which is the way it needs to be, he reminded himself. Just him, getting ready for the next day. Alone.

The last thing he wanted was to mislead Felicity, and another kiss might do precisely that. So rather than pull her out of Tyler’s view and pick up where they’d left off, he started for his room with a nod.

“Like I said, no big deal.”

Contemporary Romance from Entangled Bliss, releasing 3.11.19

Buy Links:


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Friday, March 15, 2019

SALVATORE


Congratulations to "Colleen C.", the winner in Cecy's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!

There are men you stay away from. Men that you know from that first moment you see them are dangerous.

There are also men that despite the warning they emit, there’s an allure. You’re drawn to them, the promise of lust too great to ignore. Salvatore is one of those men.

Most men like a describe I caution you to keep your distance from. Those instincts to run and hide are just. But those few men, those that something deep within you tells you there’s more to them than muscle and brutal strength are worth that second glance and maybe a little more.

I loved HBO’s the Sopranos. I was one of those people who never missed and episode—so taken by the storytelling and superb acting, that when Sunday night arrived, I scrambled to get everything done so I could just sit and watch the dirty and shocking of it all.

The Sopranos had everything you wanted in a show, everything but one truly good guy worthy of hero status. Let’s be real. No one was a decent person on that show. Everyone had their own agenda, be it commitment to the Family or the purely selfish drive to survive.

When I started developing Salvatore, I wanted—no, needed—that anti-hero so sexy you couldn’t walk away from despite the lethality that comes from belonging to the underground world of organized crime. I also wanted someone you could root for, dirty talk and arrogance aside. What better way to do that than to make him fall for the good girl with an even better heart?

Adrianna is a high school counselor who is working with Apollo and Gianno, Salvatore’s young brothers who Salvatore has guardianship over. When the young men start getting in to trouble at school, Adrianna tries to reach out to Salvatore to no avail. Adrianna doesn’t want to lose another child to the system and decides to confront Salvatore directly. Below is the scene of their first meeting and one of my favorite moments between them.

Excerpt:

I drive my trusty white Volkswagen Beetle through one of the rougher sections of the city, but when my navigation system takes me past the area and into one of the more up and coming neighborhoods, I’m more than a little surprised. I find a spot across the street from the building when I realize the underground garage is strictly reserved for its residents.
Perhaps it’s better. It might be a nice neighborhood, but I avoid garages at all costs. I make my way quickly across the street, shuddering when the brisk air smacks against my legs and billows my skirt. I stop in front of the main door. Unlike the other mailboxes, the Romero residence isn’t marked by a name. But I have the apartment number and that’s all I need. That, and access to the lobby, which I quickly gain when an older woman slips out.
The building can’t be more than a few years old, something I find confusing. If Mr. Romero can afford something this upscale, I don’t understand why he isn’t more invested in his brothers’ futures.
I tried calling him to warn him that I was stopping by, only to hear a deep male voice on the voicemail say, “You know what to do,” followed by a beep. The blatant arrogance in his tone shocked me and left me with an impression that this so-called guardian is nothing more than a thug. But given where he and the boys live, I can only determine he’s too caught up in himself to worry about those who clearly need him as a role model.
I slip out of the elevator and hurry to apartment 4B, stopping only to text Jalisa and let her know I arrived. I take a breath before knocking, reminding myself I’m a strong, educated woman despite my young age, and that there’s no reason to be intimidated. When only silence greets me, I tell myself I can’t just give up. This boy needs me, so I knock again. By my third knock, I’ll admit, I’m discouraged. How can I help Apollo if his one parental influence is constantly unavailable? I knock again, this time harder. If this Salvatore guy is truly a PR rep who works evenings, he should be home―
The door swings open. “What the fuck?”
My eyes widen at the bulk of muscle standing at the door. This man is at least six-two, shaved head, wearing black boxers that fall slightly below the “V” at his waist, exposing a set of abs hard enough to grind diamonds, and arms and legs that belong on a seasoned wrestler.
Now would be a good time for that confident young woman to make an appearance―the one who came here―the one whose jaw isn’t dangling to her toes―the one who no longer has glasses strong enough to see into orbit, or teeth so bucked they end in another zip code.
The man’s tight face and stance relax as he leans his shoulder against the door frame. His brown eyes rake the length of my body, the intensity in his stare forceful enough to tug off my clothes. It’s not until his attention returns to my face that I catch his approving nod and subtle smile. “Nice,” he murmurs.
My face heats, which I absolutely hate. My skin is so fair, there’s no masking the blush that follows. I lift my chin. “Shouldn’t you put on some clothes?” I ask, well aware my voice is shrill and quivering.
“I would, but then it will block the view of the goods you can’t seem to get enough of,” he says, adding a wink.
It’s the wink that’s my undoing. Okay, that and those broad shoulders, and strong jaw, and Channing Tatum-esque face. Who am I kidding? It’s the whole package. This man is what some might call more than a little attractive.
“I . . .” It’s the only thing I manage to say. By now, it’s obvious I’m gawking at him.
“Look, gorgeous,” he says. “I’ve had a long night. Either leave your brochures and get going, or give me a reason to let you inside.”
My jaw pops open when I realize he’s mistaken me for a Jehovah’s Witness—and a slutty one at that! Maybe Tamira had a point about me wearing “church” clothes. “I don’t have brochures,” I stammer.
“Good, don’t read that shit anyway―”
“My name is Adrianna Daniels. I’m the guidance counselor at Apollo and Gianno’s school . . .”


Sound good? The rest gets even better! Be sure to check out Salvatore. Like Adrianna, you won’t be able to resist.

Giveaway:
Many thanks to Just Contemporary Romance for hosting me today. Leave a comment and tell me what you think of my favorite scene. One lucky commenter will win an  eBook copy of Salvatore.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 16th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

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