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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway - XO by Melissa Jane

Release Date: October 2, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance Standalone

Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Second Chance, Bully

Cover Design: Opium House Creatives

Photographer: David Wagner

Model: Matyas Nagy


I swear to God, Jacob Lynch, if I ever see your arrogant, smug face again, I’ll ruin your manhood with a swift knee.

You were the glorified football captain, the heartthrob, the most popular boy in school and yet suddenly you vanish leaving all your horrid friends pointing the finger at me, circling like hungry vultures to see if I would break.

They just didn’t know that I already had. Daily. For months I cried for you. You. Broke. Me.

You taunted and tormented me for years until you finally convinced me to fall in love with you. You said, “Nothing can ever tear us apart.”
And I believed you.

But you lied.

And then you left.

Without a word, without a touch, without a sound.

You. Just. Left. Right when my world fell to pieces, you lit the match and watched from afar, as what remained went up in flames.

So, if I ever do see your stupidly handsome face again, you’ll be nothing more than the boy I used to know. The boy who broke my heart and crushed my soul all in a single day.

Because Jacob Lynch… I have no more XO’s to give.

No longer yours,


P.S. I hate how much I still love you.



“Wait!” A wide-eyed Vicki clutches Jacob’s arm. “You two know each other?”

Staring into the eyes of my arch-nemesis, I’m first to reply. “Unfortunately, so.”

“This shit is just too weird. I mean, here we were just talking about how the bride and groom parties are secretly… hashtag not-so-secretly, planning a pre-wedding orgy, and how you and Jacob are the only ones unattached, and yet you actually know each other.” She claps her hands together in excitement. “So, now, you can both join the orgy.” She laughs hysterically at the out-of-hand orgy joke, completely missing the social cues.

“What part of unfortunately did you not understand, Vicki?” But it’s too late, she’s already trotting over to Jase to tell him of her excellent news. I sigh. “What the hell are you doing here, Jacob?”

“I could ask you the same thing,” he says in a less accusatory tone.

“I’m the maid of honor.”

“I’m the best man.”

“Well, this is shit!”

“Is it?”

“Isn’t it?” I grunt in frustration. “I… this… this can’t… Vicki!” I yell across the room, finally earning her attention. Her smile fades, and as she glances between us, she finally realizes there’s history between Jacob and me, and it may not necessarily be a good one. “Vicky, I’m sorry, I have to leave.”

She reaches for my hand. “No, don’t go.”

“I have to.”

“Why? Because of Jacob?”

“Yes. No. Yes! I just… I just can’t be in the same room as him.”

“Rosie, please don’t go,” she pleads, seeing my distress. She wants to make right whatever she thinks is happening, but she has no clue to the extent of pain that’s been dredged up just by seeing his face.

“I have to go.” Grabbing my jacket, I wrap it around my shoulders and head to the door.

“Rosie, wait,” Jacob calls, and I know the whole room has stopped what they’re doing to watch the soap opera unfold.

Ignoring him, I push through the restaurant door and hit the street, my legs working overtime to get me as far away as possible.

“Rosie,” he calls again.

“What?” I yell, spinning on my heel to face him. He’s closer than I expect him to be, already practically in my lap. “What the hell can you possibly have to say to me after all this time, Jacob? What, huh?”

He goes to answer but unlike me, he appears lost for words, almost as if he’s staring at a ghost. “It’s good to see you,” he finally says, the five words completely catching me off guard.

I laugh incredulously while taking a step back ready to put as much distance as possible between Jacob Lynch and me. “Yeah? Well… it’s not good to see you.”


Despite already emptying my first bottle of wine, I’m still trembling, my stomach twisting into over-zealous boy scout knots. Glaring at the rapidly depleting second bottle, I wish I’d thought ahead and grabbed a third. Swiping the glass off the counter, I resume my pacing, mumbling under my breath at how life can go fuck itself. And Jacob fucking Lynch can go fuck himself while he’s at it.

Son of a bitch!

Except his mother isn’t a bitch. She’s a fucking angel.

Stupid… motherfucker!

Nope, that’s even worse.

The anger I feel at seeing him again has now morphed into green Hulk mode with the fact that I can’t think of a suitable cuss name to call him while I pace out my rage.

“How can you allow this to happen?” I ask the world. “Is this some sort of joke to you? Is this a ‘Hey, we haven’t fucked with Rosie Reign in a while. Sic the Hellhounds, a.k.a. Jacob Lynch, onto her!’ type of bullshit? ‘Cause I’m not interested. Do you hear me?” I yell, looking up at the ceiling like somehow the world is going to deliver me an answer. My high-heel tip snags the corner of the rug, causing me to stumble and lose balance, wine spilling over my hand. “Don’t you start on me,” I warn, slumping onto the couch to remove my suddenly painful stilettos.

My cell chimes, so I swipe it off the coffee table and narrow my eyes to view the name, blinking twice to clear the drunken blur.

Vicki: Babe, are you okay?

Me: Fine.

Vicki: I’m sorry. I just can’t believe you two know each other. Seriously fucking bizarre. Want me to come over?

Me: No. Just want this night to be over.

Me: Vicki?

Vicki: Yeah, babe?

Me: I can’t be your maid of honor. I’m sorry.

Vicki: Whatever it is, we can sort this out. How badly could this guy have hurt you? All I’m saying is no rash decisions.

How badly?

I scowl at the message like it can see me. I take a few more gulps of wine before doing something I haven’t done in almost ten years. I don’t care if it’s not his number anymore. I don’t care if he stopped answering back from this number the day he left town. Scrolling through my contact list, I find his name, my heart pounding at the sight of it.

I type the message hoping it will make me feel even the slightest bit better. But when I hit send, the message falls in line with fifteen unanswered others I’d sent ten years ago.

I don’t feel any better.

I just feel like I’m further infecting a wound.

Staring at the message, I sloppily finish the rest of my wine. Instantly, I’m riddled with regret and not just because brunch is scheduled tomorrow and I’m going to have a wicked hangover, but because I wish I could take back what I’ve written. It’s not like he’ll ever see it but putting it out there in the world makes it somewhat real.

But those eight words will sit in limbo, a purgatory, just like my heart.


One of Five ARC's for XO

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b1257f8d521/?

About the Author

Melissa Jane is a writer of strong Alpha's and feisty heroines. Her love for action and romance means she puts her characters through some epic adventures and compromising situations, all with a healthy dose of uncontrollable passion.
Residing on the beautiful beachy Gold Coast in Australia, Melissa enjoys the year-round sunshine with her gorgeous husband and even more gorgeous furbaby, Pocket-the-Yorkie.
When she's not working, you'll often find her with a glass (ahem...bottle) of Sauvignon in hand, seeking out adventure with her just-as-crazy friends.

Connect with Melissa

Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2lISiPk

Facebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2m93Zz8

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2kC5LYY

Release Blitz: The Billionaire Book Club by Max Monroe

TBBC - RB Banner

It’s going to take a strategic attack from more than a couple brilliant minds to win her affection, but luckily, I know exactly where to find the right guys for the job…

The Billionaire Book Club.

The Billionaire Book Club, an all-new hilarious romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Max Monroe, is available now!

TBBC Official Cover (new)

The Billionaire Book Club Questionnaire

#1: Who is your least favorite character in the book?

Me—Caplin Hawkins. I am an absolute idiot.

#2: Who is your favorite character?

Gorgeous, addictive, insanely challenging Ruby.

She’s smart, driven, self-confident, and so beautiful, she makes my chest ache.

#3 What is your biggest takeaway from the story?

Ruby Rockford and I are meant to be.

I just have to prove it to her.

For the entirety of my adult life, I’ve been content.

Content in my single lifestyle, content in my stressful-but-extremely-successful job as the main corporate counsel for almost every Fortune 500 company in North America, and content in my playful, spontaneous ways.

I had no idea it was possible for someone to change my mind.

The endless women and work are no longer enough, and just as Ruby Rockford told me—it’s about time I grow up.

It’s going to take a strategic attack from more than a couple brilliant minds to win her affection, but luckily, I know exactly where to find the right guys for the job…

The Billionaire Book Club.

It’s safe to say that I, Caplin Hawkins, the man most women would call The Ultimate Player, have finally met my match, and man oh man, has my end game changed.

I’m coming for you, Ruby.

And soon, you’ll be coming for me, too.


Download your copy today for only 99 CENTS or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

(99¢ Release Week Only)

Amazon Worldwide: https://amzn.to/2lLQLbr

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2MGEbFV

About Max Monroe

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.

Connect with Max Monroe

Stay up to date with Max Monroe by joining their mailing list today: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/newsletter

Excerpt Reveal & Giveaway: Aces High by M. Never

Release Date: September 25, 2019
Cover Design: Sara Eirew
Models: Lucas Bloms & Jacqui Pogue


I have two weeks left to live.
Two weeks to come up with one hundred thousand dollars.
Two weeks to convince the woman I love she loves me too.
When The Bowman passed away — my dead father’s best friend and bookie — the payoff arrangement he made with my loan shark died with him.
Now, I have two weeks to cough up the money or else.
The only silver lining? The Bowman’s death brought Liv, his daughter, back into my life.
Ten years ago, all she wanted was my love. What she got was a broken heart instead. But time apart and grief do strange things to people, bringing them together in unexpected ways. Like drunk and horny and naked in your bed.
Now I’m in a race against time, fighting for the woman I want back, all while trying to figure out exactly how to stay alive.
Life, I tell ya. It can sure deal one hell of a mutherfkn’ hand.



Liv The sunlight is trying to disintegrate me.
At least that’s how it feels.
My eyes are too sensitive to the light, and the brightness is enhancing the throb in my head.
I’m dying. It’s official.
When I shift on the mattress, I realize I have no idea where I am, but I do recognize the man next to me.
Fucking shit.
As I gaze at his blurry face, it all comes rushing back to me. The funeral, the alcohol, the drugs, the sex. Oh god, all the sex.
My stomach turns, and I’m not sure from what exactly — my whorish ways last night or the tequila churning in my intestines.
This is a fucking nightmare. Where in the hell is my head? All my good sense? I know. It flew right out the window after my father’s death. I’m a fucking mess. And he knew it. I stare at Damon sleeping soundlessly next to me, dead to the world. His dark hair is sticking up all over the place, his strong jaw is fixed, but the softness of his feathery eyelashes offsets the ruggedness of his beautiful face. If Damon has always been one thing, it’s beautiful, in a high-end model, drop-dead gorgeous type of way. The intimidatingly attractive type of way. And nothing has changed. He’s just gotten better with age, and when I saw him yesterday, all hell broke loose inside me, a clashing of conflict in my chest. So many warring emotions battled to take control.
I’m heartbroken.
My father’s gone.
My best friend.
My biggest cheerleader.
My biggest pain in the ass.
I was messed up from the moment our eyes met.
And now here I am waking up next to the man I have tried to forget over the last ten years. Who’s sleeping peacefully, naked, with his limbs wrapped around me. Keeping me warm, and god, how do I even admit this, making me feel safe. We were friends once. And for a split second in time, almost more.
The thought of that memory is painful. Still fresh, even though it happened a lifetime ago.
Every moment I’m conscious and sober is painful.
Of everything I have endured in my life, losing my father has been the worst of the worst. The most fucking devastating. For as long as I can remember, I felt like I didn’t belong. Felt like I was an outsider everywhere except with him. He accepted me. He loved me. He supported me.
And now all of that is gone.
My eyes begin to water as the sobering truth of the last three days sets back in. I’m spiraling back into that dark place that’s empty and numb. That’s isolating.
It’s a hole I can’t climb out of, and spending the night with Damon only dug it deeper.
I have to get out of here. I have to escape. Looking at the clock on the nightstand, I realize I need to go. It’s eight thirty, and I have a meeting with my sisters and my father’s lawyer at nine.
“Shit.” I shimmy out of Damon’s death grip, careful not to wake him. That’s the last thing I need. A morning after confrontation. I just want to get the hell out of here and hope he forgets I even exist. I’m praying the abrupt disappearance will send him the right message: Don’t call me, I’ll call you.
I literally slide off the bed doing my best ninja impression. Naked, with my head splitting, I crawl around the room collecting my clothes. They are strewn everywhere. I survey the damage from last night as I dress. There’s two empty tequila bottles, a dozen and half lime rinds, and a knocked over shaker of salt. I take a pinch between my fingers and throw it over my shoulder. I don’t know who spilled it, but better safe than sorry. That’s all I need, my luck going down the toilet.
Once I’m dressed, I steal one last look at Damon still sleeping soundly. So many conflicting emotions. It’s a war zone inside my chest. We may not have seen each other in a decade, but that doesn’t matter one bit. Damon La Rue has been a hazard to my heart since I was seventeen years old. And now at twenty-seven, he’s still an emotional risk. Even if he is older, supposedly more mature, and an even better kisser now than he was back then. Like, how is that even possible?
Lots of practice, my subconscious sneers.
I say a silent goodbye to Damon and crawl out of the room with my shoes in my hands. Once in the hallway, I tiptoe down to the elevator, hitting the button like a crazy woman, so close to an escape I can taste it. When the doors ding open, I hop inside and inhale a sigh of relief. Success.
“Liv?” I pop open my eyes when I hear my name, and there is Damon standing in front of me with a pillow covering his private parts. Shit, shit, shit. The doors close, saving me, stealing my chance to respond.

Preorder Links

Amazon Universal: https://geni.us/aFys

Available Now

Snowfall: A Slashes in the Snow Prequel
Amazon Universal: https://geni.us/ARyv4ac


One of Five ARC's for Aces High

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b1257f8d520/?

About the Author

M. Never resides in New York City. When she's not researching ways to tie up her characters in compromising positions, you can usually find her at the gym kicking the crap out of a punching bag, or eating at some trendy new restaurant. She has a dependence on sushi, a fetish for boots, and is stalked by a clingy pit bull named Apache. She is surrounded by family and friends she wouldn't trade for the world and is a little in love with her readers. The more the merrier. So make sure to say hi!

Connect with M. Never

Newsletter Sign Up: http://bit.ly/2HaWbW2
Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2sTlbdq
Facebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2rOfcqV
Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2sQHKAf
Goodreads Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2snbu60
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2tKXh0N
BookBub Author Page: http://bit.ly/2wGdgjg

New Release Blitz: You Can Have Manhattan by P. Dangelico

 You are cordially invited to the worst wedding of the century!

You Can Have Manhattan, an all new standalone contemporary romance by @pdangelicoauthor is LIVE!

Download your copy today:


Sydney Evans is no stranger to hard work. It’s the one constant in her life. And with no family or friends to speak of it’s been easy to pour everything she has into her career as general counsel for Blackstone Holdings.
She wants for nothing. Until her boss offers her a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. All she has to do in return is marry his good-for-nothing son.
Scott Blackstone used be a party whore. Pardon, party animal. He hasn’t been that guy in a long time though. Not since he moved to Wyoming, bought a failing cattle ranch, and turned it into a profitable business.
All is good. Until a phone call from his father threatens the quiet, simple life he’s built. Marry or lose everything. And to a woman who can’t stand him, no less. Well, Scott is not going down without a fight. He’s never going back to Manhattan. Not if he can help it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

New Release Blitz: Fighting Absolution by Kate McCarthy

"She's a combat medic.  He's SAS, and her best friend.  They weren't supposed to fall in love."

Fighting Absolution, an all-new standalone, contemporary romance by USA Today Bestselling author @authorkatemccarthy is LIVE!
Download your copy today:

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/FightingAbsolution

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2NZNUco

At fifteen, Jamie Murphy finds herself broken and alone, convinced she doesn't need anyone.
Until she does.

Bear is the boy behind the fence, the one who was there for her when no one else was.
Until he's not.

Left with nothing, Jamie joins the army hoping it will give her purpose. The last thing she expects is the best friend from her past to reappear in the dusty plains of a war-torn country. No longer the boy she once knew, Bear is now a man: big, bearded, and SAS—one of the army’s elite.

Soon Jamie finds herself not only fighting against her enemies, but her feelings for a man who left her once before. Can she risk losing him all over again?

Fighting Absolution is a 130k friends to lovers romance. It features characters from Fighting Redemption, but is written as a standalone.
You don't have to have read Fighting Redemption in order to read this title. However, should you wish to read both books, then it is suggested you read Fighting Redemption first.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Book Blast: Back in Bliss - Nights in Bliss, Book 9 by Lexi Blake (Writing as Sophie Oak)

Back in Bliss

Nights in Bliss, Book 9

Grab your copy today!!

Re-released in a second edition with new content.
Logan Green is back in Bliss, but only for a few weeks to help out at the sheriff’s office. Everything changes when Seth Stark strolls into town with Georgia Dawson on his arm.
Seth’s arrival is anything but a happy accident. He always dreamed of a big house on the river and a wife he could share with his best friend, Logan. After building a software empire, his only goal has been to make that dream come true. He just needed the perfect woman.
Georgia is still haunted by the dark, troubled man who saved her life. She can’t get Logan out of her head. Her boss brought her to Bliss to help him decorate his new summer home, but when Logan Green walks through the door she discovers Seth has something different in mind.
Seth has a plan for their mutual happily ever after, but he never dreamed that coming home would put all their lives in danger.


Chapter One
Georgia Ophelia Dawson looked at her boss and gave him what she hoped was a brilliant smile. He was the best man she’d ever met, and he deserved this huge crowd that obviously idolized him. They admired him for his brilliant mind, but she was falling for the softer side of the man. “You know Seth Stark is a big deal.”
Seth turned to her, the lights of the stage shadowing his face. He was so sweet, and she couldn’t imagine how he was going to walk in there and talk to five thousand stockholders, but she’d made sure he looked damn good. His Armani suit fit him perfectly, and he’d been shined to a brilliant jewel. He was quite hot once she’d forced him to trade his glasses in for contacts and gotten him into the right clothes. And the man liked the gym. She hadn’t had to fix his lean, six-foot-two-inch muscular body.
Seth’s lips quirked up. “You make me feel that way.” 
She kind of sort of loved him. But she still couldn’t get freaking Logan Green out of her head. Why was she stuck on a small-town deputy when she had a sweet-as-pie, brilliant billionaire in front of her? 
Not that Seth was interested. 
It was her damn brothers’ fault. They’d recently gotten married. To the same woman. Natalie Buchanan-Dawson hadn’t had to choose between super-brilliant Chase and sweet, stable Ben. She had the best of both worlds. Georgia was starting to think she wanted the same. 
She winked at Seth as his name was announced on stage. The crowd went crazy, applauding and shouting. Seth had made everyone there a ton of money. He was smart and had a business head that blew her away, but still he needed her. 
Yet even as he walked away, she remembered another type of power. It was the image she saw every night right before she went to sleep. 
Logan Green looking down at her, his eyes smoldering with will. 
You will never pull that shit again, Georgia. I’ll put you over my knee. Do you have any idea what I’ll do to your ass?
God, she could still hear his voice, see that handsome face staring down at her. She’d been working for Seth for eight months, living in absolutely no sin with him for seven, and she wondered if she could make it happen between the two of them. 
She watched him as he started to talk about the new products they would be launching soon. He was confident and strong, like Logan. He’d built a whole company, a ridiculously successful business. Seth Stark was brilliant. He didn’t truly need her. If she walked away, he could find another admin. 
Had Logan found another sub?
“Hey, baby sister,” a deep voice said. 
Georgia gasped and turned, her whole heart coming to life. “Win!”
Winter Dawson stood in front of her, looking perfect in his ridiculously expensive suit. He was like all of her brothers—handsome and confident, completely alpha in every way. Win Dawson had never sat up at night wondering if there was a place for him in the world. He went out there and made one. “Hello, sweetheart. How are you doing?”
She winced inwardly. He was asking that because he knew she’d lost pretty much everything. Their distant and unloving father had finally decided to cut her off financially, and she’d been left with nothing. Her other siblings had trust funds from their mothers, but her mom had been a stripper the elder Dawson had hastily married and divorced, so there were no funds waiting for her. 
She gave her oldest brother what she hoped was a winning smile. “I’m great. I love New York.”
She loved parts of it. She loved the city and the rhythm she felt when she walked the streets of Manhattan. There was a pulse to the city that invigorated her. It started in her toes, and after a while, she was filled with an energy she’d never known in LA. 
So why did she miss small-town Willow Fork? It was the ass end of the world, but while she’d been there she’d been necessary for more than filing paperwork and keeping an appointment book. She’d helped her brothers Ben and Chase track down a crazy, psychotic asshole who liked to sell women into slavery. Oh, sure it had been a terrifying experience, but she’d felt necessary for about two minutes. 
“I’m glad to hear it,” Win said, holding his arms open. She didn’t hesitate. She walked into her oldest brother’s arms and gave him a bear hug. “I missed you, brat.”
She squeezed him tight. “You know, I know what you mean by that.”
Her brother was a Dom. He was into all things BDSM, and he meant something different by the word “brat.”
I will slap that ass silly, brat. Do you know what I want to do to you?
Logan Green had been a Dom, too. There was no way to mistake his domineering nature, the way he oozed authority. He’d been the one to pull her out of the fire, to hold her close when the going had gotten tough.
And he’d been the one to walk away. 
“I assure you I didn’t mean it in anything but a sibling way.” Win frowned down at her. “Look, you need to tell me what Ben and Chase let you do because I didn’t beat the shit out of either one of them in deference to the whole ‘finding someone crazy enough to marry them both’ thing. Don’t get me wrong. I like Natalie a lot. She’s a great girl, but I question the sanity of anyone who willingly marries Chase. Seriously, I sent in a shrink.”
“Nat is perfectly sane.” Nat was so awesome it hurt. 
“That’s what the shrink said, but I think Ben and Chase paid her.” Win was six foot forever and towered over her. His normally hard expression softened as he stared down at her. “I’m worried about you, baby sister. Why don’t you come back to LA with me? You can be my assistant.”
And not be with Seth? The idea made her stomach turn. God, eventually Seth was going to get his head out of business and he would find a girlfriend, and Georgia would have to watch them. The girlfriend would almost certainly make her move out, and then she wouldn’t be able to sit on the terrace with Seth and have her coffee in the mornings, and they wouldn’t sit together at night and have a cocktail.
“Georgia? Are you all right?” Win stared down at her. “You went pale. Have you been eating properly? We can leave right now if you like. I can have you at my place in Malibu in a couple of hours. You don’t have to work at all. You can go back to your acting classes. I’ll take care of everything.”
That was Win. He strode into any situation and took care of things. And the problem with Georgia Ophelia Dawson was that she’d been allowing it to happen all of her life. She’d always had someone to take care of her. It was nice to take care of someone else for a change. Yes, she lived in Seth’s house and cashed his checks, but she had a job and responsibilities. It was a lovely thing. “I like it here.”
“Then why did you go pale? Is it the Stark kid? Because I can handle him.”
That was the last thing she needed. She wasn’t about to send sweet Seth into a confrontation with her claws-and-fangs eldest brother. “Seth is great, and he’s not a kid.”
Cool gray eyes rolled. “He’s twenty-six, Georgie. Trust me, he’s a kid. I’m thirty-seven. Everyone looks like a kid to me.”
She wasn’t sure Win had ever been a kid. He’d been forced to watch out for them all at a very young age. Still, she felt the need to defend her boss. “Well, at twenty-six you weren’t in charge of a multibillion-dollar business.”
“No. It was sad. Mine was only multimillion,” he replied with the patented Dawson sarcasm. “It took me another ten years to get to a billion.”
Georgia shrugged. “Well, I guess Seth is smarter.”
His face fell. “Shit. You like him.”
“Of course I like him. He’s my boss,” she said as quickly as she could. She had to throw him off the scent right freaking now. 
But Win was a wolf who rarely lost his prey. “No, sweetheart, this isn’t about a boss. You think I don’t hear that sigh in your voice? I’ve been your big brother for a very long time. That was the sigh you used when Brad Pitt came on screen or that idiot high school boyfriend picked you up. That sigh isn’t about how much he pays you or how he treats you on Secretary’s Day. How did he treat you on Secretary’s Day?”
“God, Win. You’re like back in the fifties, you know. I’m his assistant. It’s Administrative Professional’s Day, and he was very nice. He took me to lunch at Cipriani and then we saw a show.” She didn’t mention the pashmina he bought for her or the way he’d brought her breakfast in bed. It wasn’t like he cooked it or anything, which was good because he couldn’t cook to save his life, but he’d placed it all on a nice tray. 
Those icy eyes of his grew grim. “So he wants you, too.”
At least she could be totally honest, and it would save Seth so much trouble. “I like him a lot, but our relationship is not like that. I…god, this is stupid. I like him. He doesn’t like me. I tried to kiss him one night and he said no.” She’d had too much champagne at a gathering, and she’d kissed him in the back of the limo. He’d been a perfect gentleman, hugging her and saying all the right things, but she’d been in her own bed the next morning and they hadn’t talked about it since. 
He didn’t want her. Seth would end up with someone sophisticated and smart and very, very beautiful. 
And she would spend the rest of her life pining away over men she couldn’t have. Maybe she should go back to California. 
“Georgia!” Gus, Seth’s driver, called out. He was standing backstage with the rest of Seth’s staff. He always invited staff to these things since one of the ways he paid them was in stock. His staff members were also his shareholders, and they tended to love him for that. Gus’s daughter was in college thanks to what Georgia had come to think of as the “Seth Stark college fund.” “Come on. He’s trying to get you onstage.”
Seth’s voice came over the loudspeaker. “Come on, Georgia. Don’t leave me hanging out here. I swear, people. She really does exist. She’s the best assistant in the world, and she’s also gorgeous. I do not deserve her.” 
“Just boss and employee, huh?” Win said with a frown. 
How did she make him understand? She probably couldn’t. Win believed what he wanted to believe. “He’s like this with all his employees. In some ways, we’re his family. I have to go. Dinner tonight? You’re paying or it’s fast food, and even then, you’re probably paying.”
He ruffled her hair like he had when she’d been a kid and he’d been the only father figure she could count on. “Of course. But I should warn you, we’re all in town.”
She felt her eyes widen. “All? Like Ben and Chase and Mark and Dare?”
A ridiculously predatory smile lit her big brother’s face. “All of us.”
Shit. That didn’t bode well for someone, and it was probably her. Her brothers only tended to get together when they were plotting. But hey, she would likely get some good meals out of it. And hopefully Nat was around and they could do some shopping with Ben’s MasterCard. Yeah, she would take that. She could use some shoes. And clothes. And a new handbag. Visions of Chanel danced through her head.
Sometimes she missed being wealthy. 
“Georgia? They are starting to believe you’re a figment of my imagination. Stock is going down as we speak,” Seth said over his mic. 
“I have to go. See you later.” She gave her brother what she hoped was a saucy smile, but all she could think was that once again her big brother thought she needed rescuing, and this time he’d brought in the big guns if he’d managed to get Mark and Dare and Ben and Chase all in the same room at the same time. She’d fucked up in their eyes, but then that seemed all she was capable of. She rushed to get to the corner of the stage. She couldn’t leave Seth out there alone. He liked to call out his employees for recognition. 
He was the best boss ever. 
He was watching for her, his face frowning in consternation. He smiled as she came into view, his hand coming out to pull her onstage. She let him drag her forth and turned her head toward the bright lights. She’d been on stage enough to know how to handle them. She didn’t blink, merely gave the unseen crowd a brilliant smile. 
“See, I told you I have the most amazing assistant. Couldn’t do it without her.” He brought her hand to his lips, kissing it gallantly. She didn’t take it personally. He was an affectionate man. She winked his way and waved to the crowd. 
This, at least, she knew how to do. Smile and try to look pretty. 
It was all she was good for. 

* * * *

Seth Stark took a long breath before he pushed through the conference room door. Georgia was taken care of. She was off to Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany with Nat Dawson, and then the two women would have an early dinner at Cipriani where the maître d’ was waiting to treat them like queens. It would keep both women out of the way for hours. The men he was meeting had made sure of it. Of course, they had their reasons. None of the five Dawson brothers wanted their baby sister around for this takedown. Seth was sure they thought they didn’t want her around because she would object to their interference in her life. Soon they would be happy they’d made arrangements for her to shop with her sister-in-law for different reasons—so baby sister didn’t watch as they were all taken down a peg or two. 
Seth Stark didn’t play games and he didn’t allow anyone to push him around, least of all the men who would one day be his brothers-in-law. 
Begin as you mean to go.If he showed one ounce of softness, they would be all over him like a pack of wolves.
He was about to show them who the fucking alpha was. 
They all turned in their chairs and he was faced with five Dawson wolves. Winter, the oldest, ran his own communications firm. DawComm had, at one time, belonged to Win’s father. Win had won it over in a slick hostile takeover that had left his father blindsided and his business gutted.
To Win’s left sat Ben and Chase Dawson. Trust fund private detectives, former SEALs. Ben was frowning, but Chase had an air of amused expectation about him as though he was looking forward to the upcoming drama. Across the table from the twins sat Mark and Dare. Mark was the older of the two but only by ten months. They were currently on a Delta Force team, and Seth had insider information that they were being recruited by the CIA. They were the easiest ones to take down, but in the end, he’d managed to find something that would force every one of them to back the fuck off. 
Of course, he could be wrong and this could be a friendly “get to know you” meeting. He gave them his best “geeks are harmless” smile. He’d learned that being underestimated was sometimes his best maneuver. “Gentlemen. It’s nice to meet you all.”
Maybe they were here to check him out and they wouldn’t give him hell. He would wait and see. He never played cards he didn’t have to. 
Win Dawson leaned forward, a menacing smile on his face as Seth sat down. “Thank you for agreeing to meet with us. Now, this is going to go one way and only one way. You are going to fire Georgia, and I’m taking her back to California with me.”
Excellent.They were good cards. He really wanted to play them. He frowned, hoping he looked worried and a bit scared. “I don’t want to fire Georgia. She’s actually quite good as an assistant.”
A low huff came from Win’s chest. “I’m sure she’s perfectly atrocious. Georgia doesn’t take anything seriously. Look, I’m not stupid. None of us are.”
“I don’t know that I’d say that, Win,” Ben Dawson said with a frown. 
Ah, a crack in the brotherhood. Ben hadn’t wanted to play it this way. He would have made a bet that Ben Dawson would be the softest of the five. It was good to know his instincts were perfect. 
Win ignored his younger brother and plowed straight ahead with the surety of a man who always knew what he was doing and always got what he wanted. “Georgia has never been organized a day in her life. She rarely looks up from doing her nails long enough to do more than text her friends.”
“You haven’t been around her lately,” Chase said with a shrug. 
“Yeah, because Georgie got serious all of the sudden,” Mark broke in. He was all shoulders and bulky arms. “I don’t buy it. She goes from acting classes to being some tech guru’s secretary? Not in this lifetime. She’s fucking him. She’s his mistress, and no man is going to fuck my sister over.”
Ah, the military contingent. A sense of peace settled over Seth. A lot of men got a rush of adrenaline before they went into battle, but for Seth there was always a sweet contentment that came with knowing he was about to dismantle someone’s life. 
“Win is right. She needs to be home,” Dare said. “She’s not that smart when it comes to men.”
“She’s Georgie, Dare. She’s not all that smart about anything,” Mark said with a shake of his head.
And he was done playing around. Seth smacked a fist on the table and let go of his affable-geek persona because no one, not even her brothers, was going to insult his lady. “If I hear you insult Georgia’s intelligence one more time, Mr. Dawson, we’re going to fight, and you won’t like how I fight.”
Mark turned on him, canines bared. Yeah, he was going to be a peach of a brother-in-law. “Somehow I think we’ll manage, Mr. Businessman.”
“She’s not dumb,” Ben insisted.
“She’s not.” Win seemed determined to placate the most reasonable of his brothers. He sent Ben a long look, and Seth wondered how it would feel to be able to communicate with someone through a single look. Ben settled down. “She’s not dumb, but she can be a bit naïve. She claims that she’s not sleeping with him and there’s nothing between them. Is that true, Mr. Stark?”
“I’m not sleeping with Georgia.” He let a sigh of relief run through the crowd. He found it deeply interesting that Ben alone seemed upset by the news. And then Seth dropped his hammer. “I’m not sleeping with her yet. The time isn’t right.”
He stood because this wasn’t as much fun as he’d thought it would be. He meant to marry Georgia Dawson, and now all he could think about was the fact that she seemed to love her brothers. He wasn’t sure why, but she did, and she would be upset if she knew they were all fighting. 
He didn’t like it when Georgia was upset. 
Seth made his way around the table, placing a file folder in front of each Dawson brother. “Gentlemen, if you would care to open the folders in front of you, we can begin.”
Win pushed his away, a stubborn look on his face. “What the fuck is this, Stark? This isn’t some business meeting. I’m not in negotiations with you. I’ve come to take my sister home, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.”
“What the fuck is this supposed to mean?” Dare held the contents of his folder up. He and his brother Mark were a very simple fix. His folder contained one phone number, a match to his brother’s. 
Seth settled back into his chair. It was time to get comfortable. “That’s the phone number to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States. I recently did some programming work for the Pentagon. They were grateful. I have dinner with the old guy now and again. He’s a nice man. Reminds me of my grandfather.”
Mark rolled his eyes. “Awesome. You have a phone number. Good for you, buddy.”
“This is stupid. I’m getting Georgia. I’ll drag her home if I need to.” Win started for the door. 
“Brother, I would sit down if I were you. I think the little shit is serious.” Chase frowned. “Is this what I think it is?” He held up a crystal-clear photograph of himself sitting at his computer desk, his back in full view. 
“That was taken with a high-powered rifle from a building one block down from your office in Dallas. As you can see, there is a sniper position that works for your desk.” He’d learned from Georgia that Chase was the smartest of all her brothers but had a paranoid streak that went a mile wide. 
“Motherfucker. He’s going to snipe me.” Chase sat back, his hand slapping at the table. “I like him. You have my full support. Get at her, man.”
Dare stared down at that number. “Are these ways you’re planning to get rid of us? Is he serious?”
Seth shrugged casually. “Perhaps I’m not completely serious about taking out Chase. But I will spend an enormous amount of time and effort pointing out all the ways his security plans don’t work. He’ll be like the little Dutch boy trying to plug all those leaks with too few thumbs.”
“Dude, I told you I’m good. You’re mean. We’re going to get along nicely.” Chase grinned, the only one in the room who seemed to be having a good time. “How are you going to kill Ben?”
Ben held up his note. It was blank. “I’m nothing to any of you.”
“You’re the reasonable one,” Seth explained. Ben was deeply simple. If logic didn’t work, he knew who to talk to. “And I do have a plan to deal with you. If you give me trouble, I’ll talk to your wife.”
Ben paled. “I’m with Chase. Go get Georgia. Don’t look at me like that, Win. Nat can be brutal when she wants to be, and she won’t like us pushing Georgia around. They’ve got that whole ‘girl power’ thing going.”
“She’s your sub. Tell her what to do,” Win shot back. “Or have you two taken her collar? Do you understand the Master-sub relationship? Has Julian Lodge gone soft? What the fuck is he teaching you?”
“Yes, Julian is such a softie,” Ben replied, rolling his eyes. “There’s a reason you’re not married, you freak. Keep it up, Win. I want to see how Seth handles you.”
“I still don’t know how this phone number is supposed to scare me.” Mark seemed to struggle with the concept. Maybe they weren’t as smart as he’d imagined. 
“Dude, he’s going to call the big brass and get you kicked off Delta Force.” Chase shot his brother the finger, and for the first time in his life, Seth was genuinely happy he was an only child. The level of testosterone in the room was ridiculous, and the brothers looked like they were going to start throwing punches any minute. 
“He can’t get me kicked off.” Dare stood up, leaning over the table. “Now he might have been able to get a sad little SEAL kicked out, but we all know you guys take it up the ass from anyone.”
Ben got up, too, proving the reasonable guy could only be pushed so far. “I have something I’ll shove up your ass, Dare.”
“Shut up, all of you.” Seth had been forced to shout down protesters before. He could handle this crew. He turned to the Delta contingent. “I assure you if I call and offer the United States military my expertise at no charge, with the only codicil being you and your brother’s immediate forced retirement, you two will get kicked to the curb.” He turned his gaze on the former SEALs. “Don’t think I can’t take care of you two. I can make Natalie think I am the greatest human being in the world. I recently set up a fund for victims of human trafficking. I endowed it with fifty million dollars and set her up as an advisor. I intend to let her know about the new charity this evening. Who is she going to think is best for Georgia?” And Win. Win was the hard case. Win was the one who wouldn’t go down easy. “And you. Please read that file because I set that up so carefully. I want you to understand how far I’m willing to go.”
Win’s face was red, his whole body stiff and stubborn, but he sat back down and the rest of the pack seemed to take their cue from him. The whole group calmed, a détente obviously reached. Win opened his folder and began to read. His was the most convoluted, complex plan, but he would get the gist quickly. 
Seth waited and wished Logan was here. Logan Green was his best friend despite the time and distance between them. They’d bonded at a young age. He’d been older than Logan, and it might have meant something if they’d met at Seth’s school in New York. But in Bliss, those months didn’t mean a thing. Bliss, Colorado, had been his sanctuary, the one place where he could be a kid, and Logan had been his brother in every way but blood. He’d spent each school year working hard so he would be allowed to spend the summer and Christmas break with his granddad in Colorado. If he’d earned even one B, his parents would have forced him to stay in New York and spend the summer with a tutor. Seth Stark had graduated with a perfect GPA. He’d been a National Merit Scholar and gained every academic award his private Manhattan high school had offered, and all because he wanted those months of freedom with his brother. 
He was too close to having the family he wanted to screw it up now. He’d found the right woman thanks to someone named Kitten. He wasn’t going to allow Georgia’s brothers to fuck it up for him. 
And he wasn’t going to let Logan fuck it up either. 
Win Dawson took a long breath and closed the file. “This is a long line of dominoes you’ve set up, Stark.”
Seth had known Win wouldn’t need a lengthy explanation. “Yes and they end in my hostile, but easy takeover of DawComm. I estimate it will take about ten months and a hundred and fifteen million or so, but I can have your company if I want it. I suppose you understand that I wouldn’t keep you around.”
He could see the minute Winter Dawson decided to take him seriously. “What do you want?”
That was the easiest question he’d had all day. “I want Georgia. I intend to marry your sister. I intend to make her my queen, and I won’t allow you to come between us.”
Win frowned. “Wait. You want to marry her? You’re going to marry Georgia and take care of her for the rest of her life?”
“That’s what marriage means.” His parents’ marriage had been a piece of shit, a cold contract between two wealthy people. Seth’s marriage was going to be different. It was going to be about passion and love and friendship, and it was going to be the slightest bit illegal because he wanted a threesome and he intended to have it at any cost. 
“Why the fuck didn’t you say that?” Mark asked, rolling his eyes. 
“If you’re willing to marry her, we’ll welcome you with open arms, man,” Dare said. 
“It’s not as simple as that,” Ben broke in. 
“She’s in love with Logan Green.” Chase neatly summed up what should have been his problem. 
“I’m counting on it.” If she didn’t love Logan, nothing would work. 
Win groaned and let his head hit the desk. “God, I don’t get the ménage thing.”
Mark and Dare shared a high-five. “We do.”
“Oh, because you’re so fucking original,” Chase said, shaking his head. 
“We’re the originals,” Ben agreed. 
He must be in love if he was willing to deal with these insane idiots, but they weren’t exactly scaring him off. Family was important. He should know since he’d never truly had one. But a man couldn’t pick his family. It tended to be thrust upon him, and the Dawson brothers were going to be his. Luckily, Logan seemed to have liked at least a couple of the Dawsons.
And if Logan hadn’t wanted Georgia, he would sell his company stock for a penny. 
Georgia was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. She was curvy and sexy and had a submissive streak that Logan would need. Seth required it, too, but not the way Logan did. Seth would be utterly content to quietly top her without ever acknowledging who was in charge. He would smile and tell the world that he was pussy whipped and happy to be so. 
Win’s eyes narrowed, and Seth realized this wasn’t over. “How are you going to handle the whole acting thing?”
The rest of the room groaned. 
“She’s still auditioning occasionally. I’ve taken care of it. She was cast in an off-Broadway play, and I managed to get it shut down.”
Ben frowned. “She got cast and you shut it down?”
“The director is known for fucking his actresses and tossing them aside. He cast her as Lady Macbeth. Do you honestly see her doing Shakespeare? And it was, shall we say, a nontraditional version with an enormous amount of nudity.” That director had recently left New York when it had become apparent to him that he wouldn’t be hired here again. Seth had made damn sure of it. 
Ruining the lives of those who truly deserved it was his gift, and he genuinely enjoyed doing it.
All five brothers froze, predatory eyes zeroing in. 
“Yes, I felt the same way,” Seth explained. “He was using her because she’s gorgeous and naïve, and so fuckable it hurts.”
“Not to sound like my sister,” Mark began, “but ewwww.”
Seth shrugged. They should get used to it. “I think she’s the most beautiful woman on the planet. I don’t intend to allow others to use her. She’s actually a quite horrible actress. She’s brilliant at improv, but if you give her a few lines, she turns into a robot. I could get her parts on Broadway, but I haven’t figured out how to bribe the entire world to say she’s good. She would get her feelings hurt, and I won’t allow it.”
“You’re a manipulative little shit,” Win said with something akin to respect. 
He wasn’t that freaking little. He was six foot two, and he might not be the bulkiest guy, but he was strong. He worked out every day. He couldn’t help it that the Dawson brothers were overgrown Neanderthals. 
Logan was bigger than he was. Logan was more masculine. What if Georgia only wanted Logan? Sure there had been that one night when she’d tried to kiss him, but she’d had a bit too much to drink and he’d been playing a long game.
If he’d slept with her that night, she would have run the next morning, or she would have stayed but for the wrong reasons. 
He stared at Win. Win was the hardass. The others would fall in line if Win gave the okay. 
“I’m going to marry Georgia, and I’m going to share her with my best friend. I’ll do it whether you like it or not. If you try to come between us, I’ll bury you. I’ll play it smart. She won’t know what’s happened, and she won’t believe you when you try to tell her what I’ve done.”
Win’s eyes narrowed, and he saw the shark that lurked beneath Winter Dawson’s three-piece suit. “If I want to, I’ll make her believe.”
“Do you want to start a war with me? Perhaps you could win, but your sister would lose a man who would die for her, a man who firmly intends to put her first, to take care of her. Make no mistake, I am in love with your sister.”
Win studied him, the silence heavy in the room. After a long moment, he held out his hand. “Welcome to the family, Seth. Good luck with her. You’re going to need it.”
He was suddenly surrounded by Dawsons. They slapped him on the back and started telling all kinds of stories about Georgia’s childhood and the trouble she’d been.
He listened, enjoying the feeling of being accepted, but it was hollow without his brother by his side. 
Unfortunately, his “brother” was twelve kinds of fucked up. Logan was in a bad place, and it was up to Seth to bring him out of it because his long dark period was starting to look like a permanent state of mind. He couldn’t lose Logan like this. And he wasn’t about to lose Georgia. 
Seth was going back to Bliss, and this time he would never leave. 
And he damn straight wasn’t going alone. The plan was already in motion. He was hours away from the call he’d been waiting for, and then he would take Georgia and start his real life. 

Copyright 2019 Lexi Blake