From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.
Growing up, the three of us were friends.
He was the nerd.
I was the playboy.
She was the beauty.
Deep down, I only ever wanted her. I kept it inside because Rory and I made a pact that our friend, Amber, was off-limits.
I went off to college, and he got the girl.
Amber never knew how I felt.
They were together for years—before he broke her heart.
Through it all and across the miles, she and I casually stayed in touch.
When my job sent me to Boston for a three-month contract position, Amber let me stay in her spare room.
Still reeling from her breakup, she’d sworn off men.
One night, I opened her computer to find the shock of my life. She’d hesitantly contacted a male escort company. Afraid to date and get her heart broken again, she was looking for sex with no strings.
Every emotion imaginable ran through me: protectiveness, jealousy—curiosity.
Amber had chosen Gentleman Number Nine and sent him a message.
She opened up to him, confessing, among other things, her physical attraction to her friend—me. But she considered me off-limits—and she thought I was a manwhore. (Ironic, considering the circumstances.)
Eventually, she set up a date to meet Gentleman Nine at a hotel.
When she showed up several nights later to meet him, she was stunned to see me standing there—with an offer I hoped she wouldn’t refuse.
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a seventeen-time New York Times bestseller. Her novels are published in over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world. Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 13-year-old girl with autism and a 12-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.
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Other standalones from Penelope Ward:
Stuck-Up Suit: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Natalie Berensen has one short summer to ace her writing class and convince her parents she’s not a hopeless screw-up. No more changing her major once a month, taking time off to travel, or random friends-with-benefits. She doesn’t have time for distractions or hook-ups, not even if her longtime crush is in town for the summer and living in her basement. Who cares if he’s a snowboarding god with six pack abs and a hashtag devoted to his apparently magical penis? She’s not interested.
Until she is.
Ben Easton’s focus and self-discipline is legendary. He’s built a career as a professional snowboarder by training harder than anyone else on the mountain and steering clear of anything that doesn’t take him one step closer to his goal: Olympic gold. Then his best friend crashes in the half-pipe and Ben drops everything to take care of him. No more training. No more competitions. No more snowboarding. It’s over.
He’s back in Boulder to help with Adam’s rehab, not fool around with his little sister’s best friend, no matter how much he loves her laugh or the way her ass looks when she walks up the stairs. There’s no way in hell he’s going anywhere near Natalie.
Until he does.
Contains: a grumpy guard cat with a taste for blood, discussions of Ents as phallic symbols, and plenty of sexy times.
Dropping In by Carrie Quest
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Natalie never seems to settle. Her parents want her to be their choice for her future. She wants to choose on her own. Whether it be who she settles with, or her career, she wants control of that decision.
Ben comes after a self imposed sabbatical. He is helping a friend heal. He is also trying to come to terms about what he will choose for his own future. Right now it is uncertain.
These characters seem to have a lot in common. The sparks fly off them right from the start. While the pace moves along rather quick, the romance snuck right in with some heat that punched. I was very pleased with the banter, and it was an easy yet comfortable read. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. I give this one a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!
***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.
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Gabriel Power came to Sochi with two goals: win a medal and track down his ex-girlfriend so he can finally explain the truth about the scandal that came between them. Once that’s done, he’s going to disappear. Snowboarding’s bad boy is tired of the phony photo ops set up by his media mogul father. Getting hounded by reporters and pretending to date supermodels while running errands for Power News cost him the only girl he’s ever loved, and now it’s time to walk away.
Quitting his father will be easy. Bailing on snowboarding will be slightly harder. Getting Belle to forgive him may be impossible, but he has to try.
Isabelle Garland’s Olympic dream died the night a drunk driver plowed into her car and crushed her leg. Sochi was supposed to be her moment of glory, but instead she’s limping around the Village trying to dodge the snowboarder who broke her heart and avoid the interviews her pushy sister-slash-manager insists are vital for building her brand. Belle doesn’t want a brand, she wants a life. Preferably one far away from the rude reporters who keep trying to get America’s Skating Sweetheart to cry on camera by asking how it feels when your entire life is snatched away in an instant.
(Spoiler: it feels like s***. Also, she’s more snark than sweet these days.)
When she runs into Gabe in the basement of her hotel, Belle’s first instinct is to flee. Too bad they’re trapped in a freezing storage room together with no way out and only their chemistry to keep them warm…
Bailing Out by Carrie Quest
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Gabriel and Isabelle have a hot and tainted history. There were too may factors that interfered where they did not belong. Now, trapped together in Russia, they get another chance to clear the air.
Isabelle AKA "Belle" has had too many hard knocks in recent years to believe that Gabe would want to get back together. Then the chance arises to find out just what really broke them up last time. After finding out the truth, can they both learn to forgive?
This was such a fast paced, but really hot story. I loved the characters right from the start. They seem like they are better together than apart. This was a great intro to the Snow-Crossed Lovers series. I am very excited now for the next installment!
***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review.
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Piper Easton is a fixer. As a teenager she took over running the house when her mom got sick, and when her snowboarder brother was injured, she found the top knee guru in town and finagled a same-day appointment. She’s got an exclusive internship lined up in Europe and she’ll be leaving as soon as she watches her brother Ben win a gold medal. She just has to clean up one last mess: the way her stupid heart jumps whenever her ex-boyfriend appears. She and Adam are friends now, that’s it. That’s all they can ever be.
But maybe a few benefits aren’t out of the question. Just until their trip to the Olympics finishes and they both go their separate ways. Surely the problem will be fixed by then.
Adam Westlake had two true loves: snowboarding and Piper Easton. He lost them both and now he’s broken. The scars from where they cut his skull open are no longer visible, but the traumatic brain injury means it isn’t safe for him to ride again and he hasn’t spoken to Piper in eighteen months. Not since he got out of the hospital and fled Colorado, terrified he wouldn’t be able to resist strapping on his board when the snow started falling. He’s been chasing summer around the world ever since, until a lucrative offer to report on the Olympics brings him home to face all the temptations he left behind.
He might be able to summon the willpower to stay off the mountain, but Piper? She’s irresistible.
Contains: sex as an Olympic sport, dirty dancing while wearing eye goggles, ninety-nine penis balloons, and a blowjob rudely interrupted by a devil in feline form.
Carrie grew up in Vermont, spent her college years in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, and now lives in New Zealand with her husband, two smallish children, and a gaggle of very badly behaved animals. She writes love stories that will make you laugh and reads enough romance to swoon on the regular.
About The Dating Debate:
Nina Barnes thinks Valentine’s Day should be optional. That way single people like her wouldn’t be subjected to kissy Cupids all over the place. That is, until her mom moves them next door to the brooding hottie of Greenbrier High, West Smith. He’s funny, looks amazing in a black leather jacket, and he’s fluent in Harry Potter, but she’s not sure he’s boyfriend material.
West isn’t sure what to make of Nina. She’s cute and loves to read as much as he does, but she seems to need to debate everything and she has a pathological insistence on telling the truth. And West doesn’t exactly know how to handle that, since his entire life is a carefully constructed secret. Dating the girl next door could be a ton of fun, but only if Nina never finds out the truth about his home life. It’s one secret that could bring them together or rip them apart.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book is not for anyone who has to get in the last word, but it is for all book nerds, especially those who live next door to so called unapproachable gorgeous guys. There’s no debating the chemistry.
Excerpt from The Dating Debate:
“So, this whole dance thing?” West picked up a fork, took a bite of rice, and stared at me like he was waiting for me to give him an easy out. Not going to happen. Mess with a smart girl and suffer the consequences.
“You started it,” was the most amusing response I could come up with.
“No.” He shook his head as if trying to emphasize his response. “You started it when you invited me in for dinner.”
“Why? Because I knew you’d rather eat dirt than join us for rice? That’s your fault for being a suck-up and carrying my mom’s food.”
“I was being nice,” he shot back.
“No good deed goes unpunished.” I batted my eyelashes at him. “Besides, I was going to help her before you rushed over.”
He looked at me like I was crazy. “So I shouldn’t have helped your mom, but it’s okay for you to shove Cole off on Vicky.”
“Please. He’s a nice guy. She’ll fall for him...maybe because he’s the total opposite of you.”
He pointed his fork at me. “Where do you get off judging me?”
“I’m not judging you. I meant you’re all black-leather- jacket-brooding loner guy, and he’s Mr.-Happy-Sunshine- everyone-is-my-friend.”
“Fine. Mr. Sunshine is out of the way now, so there’s no need for us to go to the dance.”
“Nice try,” I said. “We’re going to the dance.”
“Because you said we were,” I said. “And lying is never acceptable. Don’t stress about this. I’m not proposing we run off to Mexico and get matching his-and-her tattoos. We’ll just go to the dance together. No big deal.”
“Right. Nothing is ever that simple.”
The Dating Debate by Chris Cannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Nina thinks that certain holidays are just a bunch of hooey. She knows from personal experience that some relationships never work out. Instead, she tries to debate her surly neighbor and finds she may be attracted to him.
West is not sure what to make of his neighbor. She seems like an attractive person. She just always seems to take the opposition's position. Why do some women do that?
This was a book that had me laughing out loud at parts. These characters were fun to read. They do seem like opposites attract. The part where they compliment each other with their issues is a bonus.
***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publisher.
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About Chris Cannon:
Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts.
She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at www.chriscannonauthor.com.
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