Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Coming October 9th
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The whole world might be in love with him. But all he’s ever loved is her.
Grant Turner’s name is synonymous with football. The fans and media can’t get enough of the player known as The Invincible Man, a nickname he earned while growing up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the country and the nickname he’s kept by being one of the best players in professional football today. No one can take him down. He’s unstoppable.
But even a suit of armor has its weak point, and Grant’s has always been Ryan Hale.
They were a couple of kids when they fell in love, and just when it looked like the happy ending neither expected was within reach, Ryan disappeared. No explanations. No good-byes.
Grant coped by throwing himself into the game for seven years, and he’s finally moved on. Or so he thinks.
When she walks back into his life, all of those feelings come crashing back, despite the warnings in his head that tell him she’ll leave him again. Grant can withstand the league’s toughest defensive line, but he’s always been weak where she’s concerned.
No man can take Grant Turner down.
But one woman certainly can.
One woman will.
Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.
Luscious Luke Rossi has been banished to Team Vino to learn how to be the team player his boss wants. Once there, he finds he’d rather play on Jac Bishop’s team. But a labor dispute and a boss who only wants a yes-man forces him to leave Jac’s side.
As the daytime exercises give way to nighttime passions, Jac learns there’s more to life than a nine-to-five existence. But resigning her job and moving to a farm hundreds of miles from Luke could spell doom for the couple. Their affair will require teamwork of a different kind.
For Jac, the looming question is whether her budding relationship with Luke will thrive or die on the vine.
Footsteps echoed near the doorway to the dining area only an instant before the owner of them walked through.
She’d been instantly smitten with the man when Bella had introduced her to him last month. The attraction blossomed to life again. Luca Rossi was panty-dropping, ovary-exploding handsome. Bella’s nickname for him was well deserved. Luscious Luke, indeed. His short, dark brown hair curled and waved as if it had a mind of its own. Bright, inquisitive eyes didn’t seem to miss anything as he glanced around the room. His gaze slid past her, lighted on Jules, who remained standing next to her, then returned to Jac’s face.
A slow, sexy grin tugged the corners of his mouth. A faint shadow of stubble emphasized more than hid his square jaw. It was a strong face . . . perfect in the way it was put together.
After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue a vocation as a romance author.
Maybell Fairweather was the girl of my dreams.
Always smiling brightly, she kept going, despite the names her classmates called her behind her back.
She was completely my opposite in every way.
Because this is the story of how I ruined her.
Based on a true story. Standalone Romance. No cliffhanger.
“It’s so peaceful out here,” she whispers.
“Yeah … I love it.”
“I just wish I could get up and stand under the trees. Just for a little while.”
I sit up and look at her, waiting until she opens her eyes. “Just standing or more?”
She smiles as she cocks her head towards me. “And maybe dance a little. If I could.”
The left side of my lips perk up into a smile. “You can.”
I get up from the bench, stand in front of her, and hold out both my hands.
“What are you doing?” she asks.
“Take my hands.”
“Why?” She looks at them tentatively.
“Just take them.”
It takes her a while to agree, probably because she’s scared. But there’s no reason to be. I won’t let her fall. I never will.
I pull her up into standing position.
“Hold onto me for support,” I say, and then take a step back until I’m so far back she has to come to me. “C’mon. Don’t be scared. I’m here.”
One, two, three. Hop. Her leg sways, but she stays put, putting every ounce of weight on my arms.
“Again,” I say, taking another step back and tugging her with me.
She goes along with it, taking another step of blind faith.
I never take my eyes off her as she continues to hop closer to me. Not even when we reach the center of the field. Leaves are scattered all around us, and when the wind blows a cascade of more leaves follow. Some drop on her head, making her giggle as she brushes them off.
Still, I can’t stop looking.
I’m no longer afraid or embarrassed about it.
I simply am … in love.
“What now?” she asks.
I pull her as close as I can so I can wrap both my arms around her. “Put your arms around my neck.”
She complies, her fingers lacing behind my neck. I can feel the warmth of her skin against mine, and as I soak in the heat of the sun I feel invigorated, strong. Strong enough to carry her across the ocean and back.
In one go I lift her up, her cheerful squeal creating goosebumps all over my body. Then I start to move my feet, one by one, until I’m no longer just walking … Until I’m dancing in a whirlwind of leaves … dancing with her in my arms.
The beauty of this place fades in comparison to her.
And even though I adore every inch of her presence, I do not deserve her.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t fulfill her dreams.
Her smile is wide, her teeth sparkling in the light of the sun. She looks so happy. Happier than I’ve ever seen her, and it fills me with something I’ve never experienced before. Hope.
After spinning and circling around for so many times, my head is getting dizzy, so I slowly come to a stop and admire the renewed look on her face. Her rosy cheeks. Her tousled hair floating in the wind. She leans away and grabs my hands as I pull her back to the seat once again.
Falling in love with your boss's wife is never a good idea, especially when you're a mobster.
Mia Corrado can't remember the last time she had sex with her husband, Nicky. He's been preoccupied with his job as the head of New Jersey's most powerful crime family, and all of the wild oats he sows on the side.
When Nicky tells Mia he's too busy to attend her college reunion, and wants to send one of his underlings to accompany her, Mia is completely fed up.
Until she discovers it is Luka Russo who will be escorting her. He's handsome, charming and sensitive, definitely not the typical mobster.
Mia is completely captivated by him.
And Luka is just as smitten with Mia.
But if they act on their feelings for each other Luka may end up sleeping with the fishes.
What I think might be a quiet day turns out to be anything but. As soon as the boss enters our small office I can see he’s got something on his mind. The lines etched on his forehead are more prominent than usual and his lips are puckered.
I know better than to ask what’s wrong. He’ll tell me when he’s ready. Then he’ll make me solve whatever difficulties he’s dealing with.
That’s the way it works in this business. As the underboss I’m the one who makes all of the boss’s problems go away.
Nicky likes to keep his legitimate business, the Pizza King, separate from his not-so-legal business dealings, so the office we use for our mob activities is located in a strip mall between a nail salon and a copy shop. Our front is a real estate office, but we never actually have any listings or sell houses. But we do have a broker, who makes a nice salary for sitting out front and handling any walk-ins or phone calls.
Nicky takes a gulp of his black coffee before he turns his attention to me.
“There’s something I’d like for you to do.” He points a finger at me. “You’re the only person I can really trust.”
Good morning to you too. “Anything. You know you just have to ask.”
A few months ago someone tried to whack Nicky. Luckily the shooter botched the hit. We all thought the Philly-South Jersey crew was responsible, but we haven’t found any proof yet.
Maybe Nicky discovered something and he’s ready for retaliation.
“I’d like you to escort my wife to her college reunion.”
That’s completely out of left field. “What?”
“Her reunion,” he repeats a little louder, as if hearing him was the problem.
The problem is the request is ridiculous. As fond as I may be of Mia, babysitting his wife isn’t in my job description.
“Why can’t you accompany her?” I realize my question may come across as insubordination, which is definitely frowned upon in our line of work, but his request goes above and beyond my job requirements.
Break a guy’s legs; that’s something I can do in my sleep. Take his wife to some dance; I don’t think so.
“I don’t remember this being a democracy. I give the orders and you carry them out. That’s the way this thing of ours works.”
I blow out air hoping to make his request somehow magically disappear. No such luck. He’s looking at me with anticipation.
“When is her reunion?”
“Labor Day weekend.” He gives me a sly grin.
He’s been talking our ears off about going to Tampa for the holiday weekend to spend time with his new comare. Apparently she’s a hot young nurse and he’s crazy about her.
Even though it’s common for guys like us to have mistresses it’s not something I approve of. I’ve never been a believer in multitasking, especially with affairs of the heart.
I believe a man should cherish the woman he has at home, especially if she’s the mother of his children.
On this point I differ from nearly all of my friends. Most of the guys in our crew want to have their cannoli and eat them too.
“It’s the whole weekend?” I ask.
He nods. “Bookman is a small town. The hotel was sold out, but I was able to talk the owners into renting Mia one of their suites. It has a separate bedroom and you get the sleeper couch in the living room.”
I remember driving through Bookman once on my way to Old Town. I blinked twice and missed the place.
“Why do you need for me to go with her?”
“Because I said so. Isn’t that reason enough?”
“Of course, but is there anything specific I should be doing while I’m there?”
He nods. “You need to make sure no one touches Mia. Capisce?”
“Do you really think that’s going to be a problem?” Not that I don’t think his wife is an attractive woman, but she seems to be devoted to Nicky.
The two of them were high school sweethearts. They’ve been together for years.
“I attended one of my high school reunions.” He holds up his index finger for emphasis. “I know what goes on. A lot of reconnecting with old flames. I don’t want any of those guys even thinking about reconnecting with Mia.”
“Got it, boss.”
“If anyone lays a hand on my wife, make sure he loses his hand. If anyone puts any other body parts where they don’t belong make sure he loses those too.”
He makes a point of staring at my crotch, as if I’d engage in any type of indiscretion with his wife. I value my job, and my body parts, too much.