Review: Face-Off at the Altar by Toni Aleo

 

REVIEW:
This story was not really what I expected at all and I will do my best to give you what you need to possibly give yourself the opportunity to experience the it without giving too much away. First of all, let me say that things are not always what they seem. I started off the story being righteously pissed off at Markus for his past actions right along with Mekena. The prose was particularly powerful in the expression of her anger. After the truth is revealed, my feelings definitely changed to a myriad of emotions that ranged from rage to sadness but not in the same context. It’s sad that sometimes family members are who make your life the hardest. Mekena and Markus had a lot of healing to do in order to be in a healthy relationship independently and as a couple. Their journey was interesting. I laughed. I cried. I felt. Needless to say, the characters were dynamic, complex, and flawed. The plot deals with some very sensitive issues in a powerful way. I was impressed by how they were handled. All in all a strong showing by the author. Safety: There is a perception of cheating that gets clarified. If this is a big thing for you and you need more details, I’m willing to provide more info through PM. There is rape. There is emotional abuse.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
FINAL RATING: 4 Stars
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Markus Reeves is sucking. Big-time. Toiling away on a minor-league hockey team hundreds of miles away from home, he’s watching his dreams of an NHL career fade away. Add in the lingering guilt he has over the dramatic demise of his relationship with college girlfriend, Mekena, and he’s a mess on and off the ice.

 

But the family of his heart, the Sinclairs, won’t let Markus suffer any longer. When he arrives himself back in Nashville for a trial run on the Assassins, it feels like his life may be making a turn for the better. If only he could get Mekena to forgive him…

 

Mekena Preston has been hurting since fleeing Nashville following the horror of Markus’s betrayal with her sister. Now a professional photographer, Mekena finds herself in the same place at the same time with Markus to celebrate Lucy and Benji Paxton’s wedding. Neither of them has been able to move on—and they’re starting to wonder if they really want to.

 

They’re headed for a face-off at the altar unless they can confront their past and unearth the truth about what really happened on that fateful night.

 

 

“You are, by far, the most patient man I know.”
Baylor grimaced as she took Dawson from Markus’s outstretched hands. He smiled as Dawson looked at him innocently. He knew the little guy didn’t mean to puke all over him and he wasn’t upset, but he was trying to figure out a way to get to the house and shower before he had to talk to Mekena. He highly doubted that baby puke would be an aphrodisiac. Maybe it would be? Huh.
He wasn’t going to try, though.  
As Baylor cuddled Dawson against her, Markus waved her off. “It’s no big deal. He’s a baby.”
She smiled shyly. “Yes, but Ashlyn pooped on you too.”
He grinned as he shrugged, trying not to laugh. It was a tough rehearsal for Dawson, Ashlyn, and Markus. Puke and poop were big-time stars during the hour of watching the Sinclairs and Grace Justice try to put together a wedding. He wasn’t sure what was funnier, Jace glaring as Jordie walked with Avery, or Ashlyn farting and then realizing she had just shit all over him. It was a toss-up, but then Dawson decided to puke down the front of his shirt, and he figured he was now a substitute for a baby rag. “I volunteered.”
“Still, we’re really sorry,” Avery said, holding Ashlyn close as she rocked her back and forth. “I understand if you don’t want to watch her ever again.”
“Nonsense,” he said, laughing as he tucked his hands into his pockets and looked around. He spotted Mekena at the front of the altar, taking pictures of random things. He wasn’t sure if she was done, but maybe he could slip away. “How much longer until y’all are done?”
“We’re done, but Lucy and Benji have some pre-wedding pictures they’re having done with Angie.”
“So Mekena isn’t done?”
Avery smiled. “Nope, she’s got a bit.”
“Can you pass a message for me?”
“Sure.”
“Let her know that I went back to the cabin to shower and clean up?”
“Yeah, of course. I’ll tell Jace to tell her since I’m taking Ashlyn to bed.”
“Cool, thanks,” he said, kissing her cheek and then Baylor’s, before rubbing Dawson’s head. “I’ll see you guys in the morning.”
Before he could get far, though, Baylor smiled. “Thanks again.”
“Anytime. I mean that.”
Avery smiled. “Thanks.”
“Also, good luck,” Baylor added.
Flashing them both a big grin, he nodded. “I need it.”
Heading out the back, he made it back to the cabin quickly. When he entered, though, Mr. Right was sitting on the windowsill howling. “Whoa, man. What’s up?”
Meoooooowwwwwwww, he wailed, with his mouth wide open as his hair stood on end.
“Bro, I don’t know what to say. I don’t speak your language. Are you singing? Do you want me to sing too? Meoooowwwwww,” he said, and Mr. Right looked back at him, almost with a glare. “We should add some beat to that and make a remix,” Markus joked as the cat wailed. Deciding that was a good idea, he pulled out his phone and started to beatbox as the cat wailed, recording it on his SnapChat. The cat must have realized what he was doing because he looked back, scowling, and Markus hid his phone. He didn’t want to admit it, but Mr. Right kind of freaked him out.

 

 

 

My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?
Author Links

 

Review: Until Ashlyn by Aurora Rose Reynolds

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4.5 stars. Let me start by saying that I was utterly hooked by this story. It was the first time I’d read the author and the OTT, possessive, sexy, dirty talking Dillon did it for me. I’m usually a little apprehensive about Vegas wedding stories, feeling that they are overdone lately. In this case, Vegas isn’t so much the center premise as it is a brief starting/setup point. I liked the couple’s exchanges from the beginning because though there was an attraction, it was tempered by animosity until the other was afforded the opportunity to prove themselves. They challenged one another in ways that seemed to strengthen their individual characterization. They were absolutely scorching together. The plot was good and the story written well. Safety: There were some significant issues with another woman causing drama.There is the threat of rape. There is abuse.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

My review (with details in the hidden spoiler tag) can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1841742640

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BRING ON THE BOOM!

Meet Ashlyn & Dillon in Until Ashlyn.

NOW AVAILABLE

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Blurb

Dillon Keck knew Ashlyn Mayson was drunk when she suggested they get married. He knew he should have taken her back to their hotel room and put her to bed. Instead, he did what he had been craving to do since the moment they met.

 Claim her as his.

 Waking up married in Vegas isn’t something Ashlyn Mayson ever thought would happen to her. Having Dillon, her boss, a man she thinks is a dick, insist they stay married is absurd, but every time he touches her, she gets lost in him and wonders if maybe they are meant to be together.

But someone isn’t happy for Dillon and Ashlyn and their new found romance, and they’re willing to do anything to keep them apart. Even commit murder.

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

Ashlyn

“Hey, Mom,” I greet, tucking my phone between my ear and shoulder as I shove another dress and matching heels into my suitcase. I smile while I do, because Dillon will likely flip his lid when he sees my choices in attire for the weekend, but there is not one damn thing he can do about it since we won’t be in the office. So technically, his stupid rules don’t apply.

“Are you all packed?”

“Almost,” I sigh, looking at the clock and realizing I only have ten minutes to finish before my cab is set to arrive. I wasn’t planning on going to Vegas for the dental convention, but Dillon insisted he needed me with him, and like an idiot, I agreed.

“Is Dillon picking you up?”

“No, I’m meeting him there. His flight left a couple hours ago.”

“Oh.” She lets out a defeated breath. “Is it just you and him going?”

“I hope so. I swear if the Wicked Witch shows up, I’ll sell her on the strip to the highest bidder, or pay someone to take her out to the desert and drop her off,” I grumble, digging under my bed for my tickler—just in case of an emergency.

“Call me if you need an alibi.” She laughs, and I smile, shaking my head, because I know she’s not lying; she would find a way to be my alibi if something happened.

“I’ll call,” I mutter, heading to the bathroom so I can gather my shower supplies.

“Dillon’s so nice,” she says quietly, and I grit my teeth.

Dillon is annoying, bossy, and… fine, he can be nice sometimes. Plus, he’s uber-hot, but I hate him. Okay, I don’t hate him… but I really, really want to.

“How long are you going to be gone for?” she questions, breaking into my internal rant.

“Just four days. My flight gets back Monday night around seven.”

“Promise you’ll call everyday and check in.”

“I’ll call or text,” I agree, grabbing my cosmetics case from under the bathroom cupboard, filling it with all of my makeup.

“Please try and have some fun while you’re there. Make Dillon take you out to a nice dinner or dancing.”

Snorting, I mutter, “Sure, Mom. I love you. I’ll message when I land.”

“Okay, honey, and don’t forget your dad and I leave Monday for Florida and we’ll be gone for three weeks.”

“I haven’t forgotten. Have fun, kiss Grandma and Grandpa, and tell Dad I love him.”

“Will do,” she promises softly before I hang up and shove my cell into my back pocket. Looking at the clock I let out a quiet curse, getting my ass in gear to finish packing so I don’t miss my flight.

~*~*~

 

Dragging my bag behind me toward the reception desk, I’m stunned by how many people are here wearing nametags stating they’re attending the dental convention. Dillon mentioned this weekend is one of the largest gatherings of dentists in the United States, but sheesh, this is crazy. Finally making it to the front of the line, I smile at the cutie behind the desk.

“How can I help you, gorgeous?” he inquires once I’m close, and I set my purse on the counter and pull out my ID, handing it over to him.

“Hi, I have a reservation.” I yawn, covering my mouth while I listen to the sound of slot machines going off in the distance. I love the slots—or penny slots to be exact, since I’m too chicken to play the real ones.

“I’m sorry, but there is no reservation under your name. Are you sure you’re staying with us?” he asks, handing me back my ID, and I frown.

“I’m positive. It may be under my boss’ name, Dillon Keck. He made the reservations,” I say, and he starts to type again then smiles.

“Got it. I see here that Mr. Keck has already checked in and requested we give you your own key to the suite upon arrival.”

“Uh… what?” I blurt, feeling something close to dread fill my stomach. “Are you saying he’s staying in that room too?”

“Yes, it’s a suite with two kings.”

“I don’t care how many kings are in the room. It’s one room. Right?” I panic, leaning half over the counter, trying to see his computer screen. “Please tell me you have another room available?”

“I’m sorry, but we’re completely booked. This is one of our busiest weekends of the year.”

“Of course it is.” I shake my head. “Can you recommend another hotel nearby?”

“Sorry, but I really doubt anywhere else has an opening.”

“Oh man… oh man,” I breathe, squeezing my eyes closed. “It’s not a big deal. You can share a room with him. You’re an adult, and it’s not like you even like him, right?” I whisper, balling my hands into fists.

“Um, so do you want me to get you your key?” Opening my eyes, I nod once and his face softens. “Call down and check. Sometimes we have people call off their reservations last minute. You never know. Something might open up between tonight and tomorrow.”

“Sure, I’ll call,” I agree, wondering what the hell I did to deserve this kind of karma as I wait there for the room key.

Standing in the hall outside the door to our room ten minutes later, I pause with my key card in my hand, not sure if I should knock or just go in. I seriously cannot believe Dillon booked us in a room together. Actually, I can believe it, because I think he gets off on annoying me.

“Screw it. It’s my room too,” I mutter to myself, shoving the key into the card reader, watching the light turn green. Pushing down on the handle, I turn, using my shoulder to hold the door open while I drag my suitcase into the room, fighting with its weight as the door closes, trapping it half way through.

“Shit!”

Turning my head, I look over my shoulder and almost fall on my ass when my eyes find Dillon standing in the middle of the room, completely naked, with a pair of boxers in his hand. His once long hair now short and wet, and a tattoo I didn’t know he had along his muscled ribs on his side.

“Oh, my God,” I breathe, turning quickly while attempting to shove my suitcase back out of the room. I totally did not need to know Dillon looks hotter without clothes than what my mind had made up, and believe me—my mind had unfortunately tormented me with thoughts of him naked many times.

“Christ, you’re a mess,” is muttered from behind me while a very strong arm wraps around my waist, lifting me off my feet, and my suitcase is tugged from my grasp. Before I know it, my suitcase and I are both in the room and the door closes with a soft hiss, trapping me inside.

“Please tell me you’re not still naked,” I whimper, squeezing my eyes closed, feeling his arm release me and his heat leave my back.

“I’m not naked.”

Opening my eyes, I close them again when I see he’s only got on a pair of form-fitting black boxers and nothing else. “Put some clothes on.”

“Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a naked man before.” He chuckles, and the sound of his laughter makes my teeth grind and my hands drop to my sides.

“I don’t want to see you naked.” I glare at him while he buttons up a pair of dark slacks that fit him perfectly.

“You could have avoided all of this if you had knocked.”

“Really?” I raise a brow. “You could have ‘avoided all this,’” I make air quotes, “and gotten me a separate room.”

“They messed up the reservation.” He shrugs like it’s no big deal, and I feel my eyes narrow further.

“You should have called to tell me that, so I could have—”

“You would have avoided coming,” he cuts me off. “If you knew we were sharing a room, you would have found an excuse, and I need you with me this weekend.”

“Whatever,” I grumble, knowing he’s right. I would have canceled the trip if I knew we were sharing a room, even knowing that being here is a great way to build connections with other dentists. Especially, if I want to open my own practice in the future. “We need to set a few ground rules.” I cross my arms over my chest while I watch him walk across the room toward the bed near the window.

“Later.” He picks up a dark-blue, almost black, dress shirt and starts to put it on, which is unfortunate, because now that I’ve seen him shirtless, I’m thinking he should never cover up again.

“No, now,” I growl, annoyed with myself for being attracted to the dick.

“Later.” He holds my glare. “Right now, you need to get dressed. We have reservations in forty minutes.” He takes a seat on the side of the bed and starts to put on his shoes.

“What?” I look at the clock on the wall. It’s after seven at night and I’m exhausted. All I want to do is climb into bed, order room service, and watch some bad TV.

“We have a reservation in forty minutes,” he repeats, then stands. “The restaurant is twenty minutes away, so you have twenty minutes to get ready, unless you want to wear that.” He motions to my sweats, flip-flops, and hoodie. “I suggest you change.”

“I hate you.”

“So you say,” he says, just barely loud enough for me to hear, as he goes to the dresser, picking up his watch and putting it on.

“What did I do to deserve this?” I shake my head, pulling out my hair tie and running my fingers through my knotted hair.

“You may want to hurry.”

Holding his eyes for a minute, I give up my glare then drag my suitcase to the middle of the room and unzip it. After pulling out one of my favorite “going out” outfits along with my makeup bag, I go to the bathroom and try to slam the door closed, but it’s on one of those thingies that prevents me from doing that, which pisses me off even more.

“Stupid door. Stupid dick,” I mutter once the door is closed, then get to work on making myself look halfway decent.

Twenty minutes later, I look at my refection and lean forward, putting my face an inch from the mirror, and use my dark-red lipstick for the final touch on my dramatic makeup look. Since I didn’t have time to do anything with my hair, I brushed it out and put it up in a bun on top of my head then pulled out a few pieces to frame my face. Looking at my now blonde hair, I smile. I wasn’t sure I would like having blonde hair but Kim insisted it would look great on me, and she wasn’t wrong. Standing back, I place my hands on my hips and take myself in. My black sleeveless-top, with triangles cut out of the center of the chest and sides, is sexy but classy, and my red skin-tight pencil skirt, with its slit up the thigh, shows off just enough skin to draw attention while leaving everything to the imagination.

Slipping on my black, pointed-toe, four-inch pumps, I open the door to the bathroom, and mutter toward where I know Dillon is sitting, “Let me just change my purse and we can go.”

“You’re not wearing that.”

“Pardon?” I ask, pausing in my squatted position in front of my open suitcase to look at him.

“You’re not wearing that outfit. Go change.”

“I’m not changing.” I stand, moving to the desk so I can transfer what I need from my bag to my clutch. Hearing no reply, my eyes move to where he’s sitting on the edge of the bed, and I feel my skin warm up and butterflies take off in my stomach as our eyes lock and his darken.

Licking my lips that have suddenly gone dry, his eyes drop to my mouth and his jaw clenches. “I’ll meet you downstairs.” He stands abruptly and moves past me out the room quickly, letting the door close behind him with a swoosh without another word.

“What the fuck was that?” I ask the door, gaining no reply—not that I need one. I know exactly what that was; I just have no idea what to do with it. Dillon has always acted professional with me. There has never been a time that I’ve seen him look at me like he’s interested, but the look in his eyes a moment ago was primal and not one an engaged man should give another woman, or a boss should give his employee, ever.

Shaking off the strange feeling in the pit of my stomach, I finish changing out my bag then leave the room and make my way through the casino and into the lobby. Not finding Dillon inside, I head outside to the area the cabs and limos pick up and drop off, and spot him standing with a group of people. I’m not surprised he’s surrounded by a gaggle of women and a couple of men. He tends to draw attention wherever he goes, and it’s something else that annoys me. I hate being the center of attention, and I don’t really like people who need it to feel important. Needing a minute to get my head together, I stop a few feet away and tuck my clutch under my arm.

“Where you going, gorgeous? ‘Cause wherever it is, I’m there,” a drunk guy, who can’t be much older than twenty-one, slurs, stumbling up to me. His clothes are rumpled, his hair in disarray, and if he wasn’t such a mess, he’d be cute. But sadly, sloppy drunk works for no one.

Ignoring him, I untuck my purse, open it, and pull out my cell phone, knowing better than to engage with men like him in his current state.

“So you’re to good for me?” he slurs, snatching my cell out of my hand, and my eyes fly up.

“Give me my phone,” I say evenly, holding out my hand, and his eyes travel the length of me and his face scrunches up.

“Ho here thinks she’s too good for me.”

“Mike, come on. Give her the phone and let’s go,” someone says off to the side, but I keep my eyes on Mike, with my palm out toward him. My dad insisted I take martial arts with Jax when I was little. I hated it; I wanted to be a ballerina, not a ninja, but he was adamant about me being able to protect myself. Over the years, the skills I learned back then have come in handy, like now, when all I really want to do is kick the crap out of Mike but know better. One of the first things I was forced to learn was control, to never lose my temper. The second thing I learned was to keep my eyes on my enemy at all times. I was never really good at either, but I still got a black belt in the end.

“Mike,” I say softly, taking a step toward him. “I’m going to ask you nicely, once, to give me my phone. If you don’t, I swear to God I will unleash the Kraken, kick your ass in front of your friends, and send you home crying to your mother.”

Laughing, he looks around then his eyes widen as they move behind me. I really, really want to know what he’s looking at, but I refuse to turn my head and give in.

“Give her the phone.” The deep rumble of Dillon’s voice sends a chill down my spine. I’ve only heard him pissed a few times, and I know he’s pissed right now without even looking at him.

“I… I… w-was just playin’ man,” Mike stutters out, tossing my phone toward me. Missing my hands and causing my phone to crash to the ground, and my nostrils to flare as it shatters at my feet.

“Oh, shit. Oh, Christ. I’m sorry.” He drops to his knees and begins gathering the pieces of what used to be my phone then tries to get up, but falls face forward into my crotch, causing me to stumble back.

“I can’t believe this shit,” Dillon grumbles, catching me before I fall, then tugs me out of the way as Mike’s friends decide to finally step in and pick him up from the ground. “You had to wear that outfit.”

“You can not be serious right now?” I hiss, swinging my head back and finding him glaring down at me.

“Deadly.”

“Let me go.” I try to get free, but his hand on my waist tightens as his eyes leave mine. Swinging my head in the other direction, I find one of Mike’s friends standing a few feet away with my phone, looking anywhere but at us, and Mike off to the side, puking in a trashcan.

“Let me go,” I repeat, and his arm tightens for a moment before he finally lets me loose. I really want to scream or throw a fit, but instead, I calmly take my clutch and open it, holding it out toward the guy and letting him dump the now useless pieces inside. “You need to get him some Gatorade and toast,” I tell him, nodding toward Mike.

“Um, yeah sure. Than…” his words taper off, and the smile that was forming on his lips slides away as he looks over my shoulder. Rolling my eyes, I watch him turn quickly and go to Mike to help carry him away, feeling Dillon get close once more.

“Limo’s waiting,” he mutters, placing his hand against my lower back, making me tense.

“I’m not going.” I try to step away, but his hand slides around my waist, bringing my side into his middle.

“You are.”

“I’m not.”

“You are,” he growls, leaning forward, close… way too close.

“Fine, you want me there? I’ll go, but just so you know, I plan on getting completely wasted, so you have just become my chaperone for the evening.”

“You’re not getting drunk.”

“Wasted, not drunk. And you better make sure I don’t do anything stupid.” I pat his chest, ignoring his flashing eyes. With that, I step out of his grasp and start toward the line of limos then turn to look over my shoulder at him, realizing I have no clue which one to go to.

Smirking, he crosses his arms over his chest and raises a brow. “What’s wrong, blondie? Confused?” His mocking tone and the look of triumph in his eyes does it. I turn on my heels and head to one of the limos with the driver standing outside leaning against it. The moment the driver spots me coming in his direction, his back leaves the car and his eyes rake over me, making my teeth snap together.

“Can I help you, Miss?”

“Ashlyn Mayson, get your ass back here,” Dillon snarls behind me, making my palm itch to smack him.

“I’m sorry, pumpkin. I thought you said this was our limo.” I fake pout, turning to look at him and tossing my head to the side for good measure.

“Christ, you drive me fucking insane.” He walks to where I’m standing, tagging my hand, and then starts to drag me with him, grumbling under his breath.

“You know all I want in this whole wide world is to make you happy, pumpernickel,” I whine, batting my lashes while watching his jaw tic.

Leading me toward another limo with a driver holding the back door open, he growls, “Behave.”

“I swear I’ll be your good girl from now on if you don’t spank me,” I stage-whisper, and his hand spasms in mine as a smirk forms on his lips.

“You don’t behave, I’ll bend you over and tan your ass right here.” His words ring through my ears, making my insides liquid, and then I hear the sound of a male chuckle as I’m gently forced into the back seat of the dark limo before I can reply.

“You’re such a jerk,” I hiss, adjusting my skirt as I move across the leather seats.

“You started the show we put on. I just ended it,” he mutters, sitting down across from me and unbuttoning his suit jacket.

“You started it with the whole ‘blondie’ thing.” I cross my arms over my chest and glare at him.

“Can we not do this tonight? Can we get along for one damn evening?”

“You tell me. I’m not the one who’s bossy and annoying all the damn time.”

“No, you’re just crazy.”

“Crazy?” I snort, and his lips twitch ever so slightly. “I’m not crazy.”

“Babe, you told that kid you were going to unleash the Kraken on him then went on to tell his friends to get him Gatorade and toast. You’re the definition of crazy.”

He may have a point, but instead of agreeing with him, I turn my head to look out the window and watch the city of Las Vegas slide by.

 

~*~*~

 

“Turn it off. Turn it off,” I croon sleepily as my hand sweeps out in the direction of the noise blaring from the alarm, missing it over and over as the beeping continues to torture me.

“Jesus, shut that shit off.” An arm comes from around me, and silence fills the room as my body freezes and my eyes spring open, only to close again when the room spins.

“Oh, God, why are you in my bed?” I hiss, trying to calm my stomach that feels like it’s getting ready to empty.

“You’re in my bed,” Dillon grumbles, sliding his arm around my waist, pulling my ass back into the crook of his thighs.

“Why am I in your bed?” I breathe as bits and pieces from last night flash through my mind, and none of them are good. None of them at all.

“You wanted to cuddle.” He buries his face in my neck then moves his hand up to cup my breast. I know I don’t have any clothes on when I feel the hair from his thighs tickle mine and his finger runs over my nipple. Oh, God. A memory of me telling him we have so much in common while we both got naked for bed fills my mind, and then another one pops in and my hand flies up to my face.

I force my eyes open, trying to focus, and see it there—the small, plain, white-gold band from the memory of him sliding it on my finger.

“We got married?” I shout, pulling his hand from my breast.

“We got married,” he agrees, not sounding upset, but instead, almost proud.

“Oh shit!” I fly out of the bed and trip over our clothes scattered across the floor, feeling him catch me right before I land on my face.

“Ash, calm down.”

“Calm down? Calm down? Are you insane? We got married last night. Married, Dillon. I got married to a man who is engaged to another woman!” I yell, then cover my mouth. “Oh, God, I’m going to hell. I’m so going to hell for this.”

“I’m not engaged,” he says calmly, giving me a shake.

“I know your fiancée!” I screech, attempting to get away from him, only to have him hold me tighter.

“I’m not fucking with Isla. Now stop with the crazy.”

“You’re not with her?” I stop, and he runs a hand through his hair.

“No,” he states, holding my stare, and my body uncoils just slightly.

“Fine, I’m not going to hell.” I move away from him and resume pacing. “We need to find an attorney. I saw loads of advertisements on the strip. We’ll get one and get this taken care of. It’s no big deal. People get married in Vegas everyday then get divorced. We will just be one of the ninety percent,” I ramble while pacing.

“We are not getting an annulment.”

“Annulment, right.” I snap my fingers. “That’s even better. No one has to know about this.”

“Listen to me.” He grabs onto my shoulders, giving me a shake, and my eyes focus on his. “We are not getting an annulment, or divorced. We got married and are staying that way.”

“Oh, God, you were drugged.” I rest my hands against his chest and drop my voice, “Don’t worry. We’ll go to the hospital and they’ll give you something. Once you’re better, this will all be taken care of.”

“Jesus Christ.” He rubs his hands down his face, tilting his head back to look toward the ceiling. “I’m married to a nut.”

“Hey, that’s not nice.” I plant my hands on my hips. His head drops, his eyes scan the length of me, and I realize I’m naked… that we’re both completely naked. “Dillon.” I take a step back when his eyes meet mine, and his arms swing toward me. “What are you doing?” I shriek, sidestepping him, only to stumble onto the bed, where I attempt to roll. But he flips me to my back, his giant body moving between my legs, and his hands pin my wrists to the mattress over my head. Panting, I look up into his beautiful blue eyes.

“We are not getting a divorce,” he snarls, leaning down so his face is mere centimeters from mine.

“Be rational.” I lift my hips and my arms, trying to throw him off. “You’re obviously on—”

Before I can say more, his head descends and his mouth is covering mine, stealing my breath along with my soul. The feel of his lips, the taste of him on my tongue, ignites something deep inside of me, and I kiss him back with everything I am. Ripping my mouth from his, I pant, “Please let me go.”

“No.” The word sounds almost primal, and I lean up, placing my mouth back against his.

“Please, I want to touch you.”

Groaning, his hands release my wrists, and my palms fly to his chest and slide up and over his shoulders, pulling him closer to me as my legs wrap around the back of his thighs. He kisses me again, this time using his tongue and teeth to torture me in the most beautiful way possible.

“How is it possible you taste as good as you look?” he questions, pulling back, but I have no answer for him. He tastes amazing and having him covering me, his hardness pressing against my softness, is making my brain short-circuit. Palming my breast, he slides his thumb over my nipple, causing my hips to jerk forward. Rolling us again, he settles me on top of him, palms both my breasts, and then leans up, pulling my right nipple into his mouth, releasing it with a pop. “When did you get these?” he questions, flicking the tip with his tongue.

“When I was thirteen.” I smile, and he smiles back then moves to my other breast, doing the same, only sucking harder, almost punishing.

“When?” he asks again, and I know he’s asking about my nipple piercings. I got them with my cousin April a few years back. I wanted a piercing, but needed to be able to look professional to the outside world, so I got both my nipples done with simple, almost elegant-looking gold barbells.

“Three years ago,” I breathe as he tweaks the tiny piece of metal.

“Before me.”

“What?” I try to focus, but every time he touches me, my body gets hotter and my focus depletes. Grabbing my hips, he tugs me forward, dragging my wet center along his length.

“Soaked.” He nips my nipple then wraps his hand into the hair at the back of my head, taking control of my movements as he pulls my mouth to his and thrusts his tongue between my lips. Lost in his kiss and the feel of him between my legs, so close to where I need and want him, I squeak when he flips us over and slides down my body, not giving me a chance to think as his mouth covers me.

“Dillon.” My hands move through his hair and my hips lift off the bed, offering myself up to him without thinking about anything but the way his tongue, lips, and teeth feel as he fucks me with his mouth. “Oh, God. Oh, God, I’m going to come,” I pant, feeling my toes curl into the bedding and my hands grip his hair. The touch of his finger rimming just the inside of my entrance sends me over, shouting his name as I go.

Feeling him kiss my inner thigh then my belly, over my breasts then shoulder, I come back to myself lazily.

“Tell me you want me.” Looking into my eyes while his hand moves between my legs and his fingers slide though my folds, I know I’ll give him anything. “Tell me you want me as badly as I want you.”

“I want you,” I hiss, feeling the very large head of his cock at my entrance, and then watch his eyes drop between us before my eyes do the same, and I know I need to tell him. “I—”

Oh, God, too late… way too late. I bite my lip as he fills me, stretching me.

“Tight, so goddamn tight.” He pushes in farther and his jaw clenches.

“Hold on. Please, hold on,” I breathe, and his body stills above me as his eyes search mine.

“What’s wrong?”

“I just need a minute.” I squeeze my eyes closed, feeling like an idiot.

“Baby.” His fingers slide along my jaw and cheekbone, into my hair. “Do you want to stop?” he asks gently, making tears sting my nose.

“God, no.” He feels good, so good. But he’s huge, way bigger than any of my toys. “You’re just big. So big.” I wiggle my hips and he hisses out a breath, grabbing my waist.

“Don’t say that shit when I’m inside of you,” he groans, dropping his forehead to mine.

“I have to tell you something, but please don’t be mad.”

“Christ, what now?” He pulls back, gritting his teeth.

“Stop being a jerk and let me talk.” I smack his shoulder and he looks down at me, thrusting in another inch.

“Never mind. I don’t want to know.”

“What?” I moan, wrapping my legs around his hips as he slides in a little more.

“If it’s going to piss me off, I don’t want to know.” He slides out then back in, and my back arches off the bed as his thick cock fills every inch of me.

“You’re such a dick!” I cry out as he tosses my leg over his shoulder, changing the angle of his thrust.

“I don’t give a fuck about that either.” He drops his mouth, covering mine and stealing my reply—not that I have time to think about that as his mouth leisurely travels down my neck to my breast, which he pulls and sucks until I’m once again shouting his name and hearing mine groaned from his lips as we both come.

About the Author:

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

Website: http://aurorarosereynolds.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aurora-Rose-Reynolds

Twitter: https://twitter.com/auroraroseR

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Review: A Harmless Little Plan by Meli Raine

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While the story comes together well in this final book, I felt it was missing something for me. In some ways it felt like the issues were addressed only on the surface level, at least when it comes to our heroes. They experience betrayal but the details are vague. Their resolution feels less like a “want to” and more like a “need to”. I really liked where this was going but was left with a lack of fulfillment. Especially without a epilogue to catch us up. I will say that I still enjoyed myself, especially as the pieces were coming together. The plot was not realistic to me, but entertaining nonetheless. The characters were interesting but felt underdeveloped. The writing, pace, and imagery were strong. Really good series overall. Safety: There is rape and abuse. No others for the heroes while they are together. The hero was with others while they were apart.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

FINAL RATING: 3 Stars

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About A HARMLESS LITTLE PLAN (Harmless #3)

Turns out there was a second video from that awful night four years ago. Mine wasn’t the only tape.

Too bad mine wasn’t the worst.

Drew can’t protect me no matter how hard he tries, but the roles are flipped now. I have to help him, but I’m not wired that way. Not anymore. That one night changed me more than anyone knows.

More than anyone could predict.

Three men think they’re above the law. They’re right.

But I’m willing to go beneath the law to make sure they never harm anyone else. Their threats don’t scare me.

When you have nothing left to lose because someone took it all away, you create the most dangerous creature imaginable.

Me.

Game over.

* * *
A Harmless Little Plan is the final book in the political thriller/romantic suspense trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.

Get your hands on A HARMLESS LITTLE PLAN (Harmless #3):

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Need to catch up? Grab the first two books in the trilogy, A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME and A HARMLESS LITTLE RUSE now!

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About A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME (Harmless #1)

Four years ago I lost my virginity on live, streaming television.

Too bad I wasn’t awake for it.

The video went viral. Of course it would. A Senator’s daughter on camera? Wouldn’t you click “share”? Besides, that’s what three of the four guys in the video did.

Share.

They shared me.

But that fourth guy? The nondescript one in the background in the upper left corner of the screen, just sitting on the couch? The only one who did nothing?

Not one single thing.

That was my boyfriend, Drew.

And that was the last time I saw him.

Until today, when my father—now on a path to the White House—hired him as head of security for my new team as I return home after four years of “recovering” in an undisclosed location that involved white lab coats, needles, pills and damage control.

You see, the other three guys never went to jail. Never had charges pressed.

Never faced consequences.

Until today.

Game on.

* * *
A Harmless Little Game is the first in this political thriller/romantic suspense trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.

Add A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME to Goodreads!

Get your hands on A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME now:

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aharmlesslittleruseAbout A HARMLESS LITTLE RUSE (Harmless #2)

She has no idea what she’s doing. Loose cannons never hit their targets.

And they take out plenty of collateral damage.

Four years ago Lindsay experienced the unspeakable right before me, and I couldn’t stop them.

But that’s all changed now.

When her father, Senator Bosworth, contacted me to ask — demand — that I protect her, it was a second chance. A shot at redemption.

An opportunity to right an unspeakable wrong.

Controlling Lindsay as she seeks her revenge on the monsters who hurt her won’t be hard.

Containing my own out-of-control feelings for Lindsay and keeping up this ruse of cold-blooded distance will be.

Even harder than admitting to her what really happened that night four years ago.

It turns out I don’t have to, though.

Someone else did it for me.

And I’ll make sure they regret it.
* * *

A Harmless Little Ruse is the second book in this political thriller/romantic suspense trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine, and is entirely from Drew’s perspective.

Add A HARMLESS LITTLE RUSE to Goodreads!

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About Meli Raine

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them.

Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

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Review: Riddick by Kathy Coopmans

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3.5 Stars. Sometimes love forces you to make difficult decisions that cause a hurt unlike any felt before and evil shamelessly manipulates the beautiful bond formed when two people are meant to be. That is what Cora and Riddick experienced, but time did not dull what they once felt. While the plot seemed a bit of a stretch, it was quite entertaining. Riddick, a former bad boy turned police officer, has kept the Cora-shaped space in his heart vacant, even when he thought his love was gone forever. Cora has not been able to move on from the man that gave her something so very special when he gave his love. The reunion is very touching. It was refreshing to read about a tough guy that was not afraid to be open about his feelings. All his friends knew about Cora! Cora was portrayed well in her responsibilities with plenty of development to flesh out her character. Though it wasn’t as visible with Riddick, I was still able to get a good sense of who he is. The pacing flowed for the most part with a few instances that did not transition as well. The prose was average for me with some areas strong and clear while others not. The cross best friend conflict felt poorly set up but it has potential. There was enough substance for me to be interested in continuing. All in all a good read. Safety: There was one other man for the heroine during the separation. It is unclear if there were other women for the hero. However, I would suppose so. The hero is so devoted to his love that I did not find it difficult to accept as an assumption. Even more so when he thought her dead. No rape but the threat of it. Yes to abuse.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

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Riddick by Kathy Coopmans is NOW LIVE!

Are you ready?

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Blurb

She told me Heaven would knock on my door one day.

That I would be swept away from the hell I lived in.

She was right about one thing and so wrong about the other.

Heaven came in the form of an angel just like she said.

Beautiful.

Perfect.

An angel.

And then.

My life became hell.

She disappeared. Vanished.

I left. Went to war. Killed. All for her.

Every face was the man who took her.

Every dream filled with her.

For twelve years I existed in hell. Breathed in the fires from down below.

Until her, the woman on the beach outside of my home.

Captivating.

Enchanting.

Mesmerizing.

It couldn’t be my Cora, my angel, my heaven on earth.

She was dead.

Wasn’t she?

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Excerpt

 Jesse’s threats should make me want to shut my mouth; they don’t. I’ll make all the noise in the world to find out why I feel like I’m being dragged to my death. Oh God, please tell me they do not know!

Without warning, Cutter grips me by my hair, yanking me out of my spot in the corner. My backside is landing on the rough gravel with a solid thud. The sharp stones are penetrating through the flesh on my back. I scream out in agony as this man bores his fingers into my cheeks, digging into my skin enough to draw blood with his fingernails penetrating through my flesh. They’re going to kill me.

“You’re finally getting a chance to get out of here. If you fuck this up, I’ll kill him. Do you get me?” What? I ignore his comment about leaving here. That rolling in my stomach starts to turn, spinning out of control until it crashes into my chest, making it hard for me to breathe. I know exactly whom he’s referring to, and the thought makes me want him to stick his dick in my mouth so I can bite the repulsive little thing off. He’s talking about Riddick. Cutter nods my head for me using his greased, stained hands, his fingernails so dirty I gag at the sight. Those hands that make me cringe every time they touch me leave my face and go right back to my hair, where he pulls me behind him across the lot while I stifle my cries of pain. Not from the gravel clawing and embedding into my skin. From the words he spits out like it’s an everyday occurrence to threaten me with the only thing that can plunder my soul. This is the first time he’s physically hurt me, which makes me realize that whatever I’m here for is the worst kind of bad.

My life is not my own anymore. It belongs to my brother, and I’m a nut job because of it. I live inside my own head, talk to myself, pretend like I’m carrying on a conversation with the one person I want with me all the time. Riddick. I stare at walls for hours upon hours of the day and night, daydreaming of a better life on the ocean, where I can roam freely. Feel the wind swaying in with the tide, my hair blowing back away from my face as I breathe in the salty air. These conscious fantasies are a young woman’s fairy tale we all wish to come true. Riddick knows how much living on the ocean means to me. He is going to kill them for thinking they can put their slimy hands on me. This will be the end to the street fighting gang war my brother seems to think he’s the king of. People stay clear of Jesse Barrick for a reason. He’s maniacal crazy. Certifiably teetering on the edge of insanity. And whatever his reasons are for mistreating me have crazed him out to the point where I’m tumbling over the edge first.

Book Trailer

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About the Author:

Kathy Coopmans

Amazon Best Selling Author Kathy Coopmans, lives in Michigan with her husband Tony where they have two grown sons.

After raising her children she decided to publish her first book and retiring from being a hairstylist.

She now writes full time.

She’s a huge sports fan with her favorite being Football and Tennis.

She’s a giver and will do anything she can to help another person succeed!

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