Twisted Pain by Lisa DeMora #ReleaseBlast @MariaLisadeMora @OnceUponAnAlpha

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Synopsis

Legends are born from moments like these. Folktales spun around a single point in time so perfect, you can almost hear the click resonating through the universe as things align.

George Bell, aka Twisted, knows the odds are against him. Have been all his life. Born in a Louisiana bordello, raised around the rough and rowdy men of a motorcycle club, he’s never been the lucky type. But he believes luck can change, so when fate gives him a glimpse of breathtaking beauty, he’s more than willing to roll the dice. Chancing upon what could be the woman of his dreams, he’s prepared to push this streak as far as he can.

Penny Dane’s background gives her an edge in the life she’s chosen to lead. Raised in a can-do family, she’s resilient, rolling with life’s punches and landing on her feet. But, when the past holds painful secrets—when a single misstep can turn deadly—can she trust the passion this man stirs in her?

On the surface, Bell and Penny don’t work. Their mismatched worlds are too different. But like a backwater bayou, what you see is not the whole story, there are mysteries buried underneath. Penny is the red-haired beauty caught up in a web of lies. Bell is like no one she’s ever met before. The problem is, he knows it.

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Tossing his cards onto the pile of cash and markers on the table, Po’Boy laughed when he said, “I’m out, brother. You either got the best hand in the world, or the worst, and I can’t fuckin’ tell. Either way, I’m fucked, so I’m out.”

Twisted smirked, his head tipping back, teasingly flashing his cards. “Wanna see my hand, brother?”

“Fuck no.” Po’Boy pushed the pile of winnings across the table towards Twisted, laughing harder when some of the money and papers fluttered to the floor. “You’re a rat bastard, you know that?”

“Yeah,” Twisted said fondly, pausing in his efforts to scrape things together. “Ralph,” he said, hoping the other man understood the emotion behind his words, “fucking pleased you chose to come on this journey with me, brother.”

Ralph Lewis, Po’Boy, shook his head. “Wouldn’t have it any other way, George.”

Nearly seven years ago, Papaw had come to the whorehouse and torn the blinders off George’s eyes, forcing him to see the layers of wrongness that surrounded him. How his mother didn’t take the part a parent should, not protecting him from anything. Loved him in her way, but her way was so far off the beaten track, sane folks couldn’t see her from where they stood.

He and his grandfather had tried several times to pull Freddy out of the mess at the whorehouse, but his younger brother was resistant. And, even from the outside, it was clear that his life was very different than what George had experienced. The favored son, Freddy had cars and flash to toss around, money earned by the women of the house on their knees and backs, and him uncaring. Using and spending, and going back to the well for more.

At eighteen, George had patched into the club as a prospect, proud as fuck of the emblem on his back from day one. It had taken him the two intervening years to convince his grandfather he knew what he wanted. Two years of listening to stories about the brotherhood until the desire to belong was like a living thing in his gut. Two years of seeing how each man supported the whole and wanting to have that even more than he wanted to breathe. Two years of preparing and training for that moment when he would finally belong.

Prospect patch pinned into place by Whitewall, his grandfather’s second and the vice-president of the club, George was warned from the get-go that his path would be harder than any other prospect because no member would be willing to give an inch just because of who he was. It had been a fucking miserable ten months, but he’d done it. Done everything asked. Clubhouse cleanup after parties, scrubbing up puke and piss, and worse. Done to breed deep respect for the house, not tasked as punishment and he got that, an understanding that helped to lighten the load.

Each thing asked of him he approached the same way, twisting it in his head until he could see the good. He became whatever his brothers needed. If a member needed someone to ride in the back of a truck to help hold a bike upright, George was your man. In the rain. During a thunderstorm. With a leaky bucket of mudbugs beside his ass. It didn’t matter. None of it mattered, because George would be there. Doing it not to brown-nose, but because it showed he had that member’s back in anything. Wanting the brotherhood that came right alongside the responsibility to assist wherever possible.

Incoherent’s normal prospect period was a year and a day, with that last day promised to be hell on earth. Papaw pushed for the full time served, but his own officers overruled him, making it their choice to bring George into the fold early. George hadn’t understood what was up when Whitewall had called him into the big room behind the bar during what should have been an officers-only meeting.

The room was huge. Vaulted ceilings lifted overhead, no rooms above so less chance of listening ears. The high ceilings meant they had room to install fans in here, and had, George balancing at the top of a wobbly ladder while wielding an electric drill and screwdriver. Comfort for the people in the room meant they could spend less time thinking about the heat, and more time applied to solving problems and issues within the club. A willing service, from him to the patch holders, flesh dues paid eagerly.

Whitewall called him in, but didn’t give him a reason or a task, so George waited, standing alongside the door, shoulders to the wall, trying hard to ignore the arguments flowing back and forth across the table. Highest ranking members at the national level, the men were discussing the merits of raising their member dues. As someone voiced an especially lame argument for the increase, George couldn’t help the shifting expression on his face. Startled when his Papaw barked his name, he ripped his gaze from the floor in front of his boots to lock onto the old man’s face.

“George. You got somewhat to say, boy?”

About the Author

Raised in the south, MariaLisa learned about the magic of books at an early age. Every summer, she would spend hours in the local library, devouring books of every genre. Self-described as a book-a-holic, she says “I’ve always loved to read, but then I discovered writing, and found I adored that, too. For reading … if nothing else is available, I’ve been known to read the back of the cereal box.”

A hockey fan, hiker, gamer, and single mom of a special needs son, she embraces her inner geek and has been working in the tech field for a publishing company for a couple decades.

Music is a driving passion, and she says, “I love music of nearly any genre — jazz, country, rock, alt rock, metal, classical, bluegrass, rap, hip hop … you name it, I listen to it. I can often be seen dancing through the house in the early mornings. But I really, REALLY love live music. My favorite thing with music is seeing bands in small, dive bars [read: small, intimate venues]. If said bar [venue] has a good selection of premium tequila, then that’s a plus!”

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“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Off Key by C.J. Martin #PreOrderblitz @OnceUponAnAlpha

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One Agreement. Two friends. Three Rules.

No one gets hurt…

Brandon Kresge has it all. A hot music career. An even hotter body. And tons of adoring fans willing to…yeah. By all appearances his life is perfect. But appearances aren’t always what they seem.

Years of experience have made him skilled at hiding the truth. From the media. From his friends. From his band mates. But all that changes when he meets her. She breaks down every one of his barriers and leaves him stripped bare.

Brynn Richer doesn’t have her life figured out, but then again, how many twenty-three-year-olds do? All she wants is to dance, a decision her mother is adamantly against. But despite the cards being stacked against her, she moves to New York City to pursue her passion. One crazy decision causes her path to intersect with the sexy, troubled lead singer of Wreckless Abandon. She knows this man will break her, knows she should steer clear of him, but she’s powerless to resist him.

What happens when lines between friendship and love are blurred? What happens when rules are broken and they are forced to choose? Can they work through their struggles to find their happily ever after or are some things too hurtful, too damaged to be fixed?

This is a standalone novel with an HEA. It contains mature themes, strong language and sexual situations, and is intended for mature readers.

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CJ Martín lives in Pennsylvania with her wonderful husband and her adorable (sometimes infuriating) dog, Albert. She is an avid reader and has been known to spend her days ignoring her responsibilities while engrossed in a good book. She enjoys traveling and yoga.

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The Other Brother by Heather Knight #BookTour @OnceUponAnAlpha #Giveaway

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Synopsis

A political marriage to the young brother of the famous General Barry, a leader known his ruthless brutality, is the last thing nineteen year-old Bianca Mason wants. But an alliance with these men will keep her father’s citizens safe from the endless Barry raids and be another step toward the return of modern civilization. Unfortunately, Bianca puts the entire treaty in jeopardy when she confesses a traumatic personal secret to her intended groom, and he refuses the marriage. Desperate to keep the peace, she gratefully accepts when another brother steps in to take his place.

Kent, the other Barry brother, is known for his strong leadership ability, fair treatment of his troops, and brilliant military strategy. He is also a known for his burn-scarred face and his reputation as a sadist. When confronted with the disintegration of a much-needed treaty, he grudgingly steps in and marries Bianca, a girl traumatized by long-ago assault who doesn’t like to be touched.

Kent must teach Bianca, as only he can, how to surrender herself fully, trust in him completely, and become the woman he needs. Only then can they both find happiness.

This dark romance novel contains mature situations and sensitive subject matter, and contains triggers some readers may find discomforting. It is a work of fiction and is intended for adult readers 18 and older.

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CHAPTER ONE

SEPTEMBER 14, YEAR 03, (Four Years after the Ash)

“I don’t know if we should get married.”

“I understand.” Colonel Kent Barry clenches his hands into fists and looks out the window. The right side of his face flushes, and the mottled burn scars on the left side of his face pull the corner of his mouth down slightly. “I am not an attractive man.”

My heart sinks. “You think I mean your scars. It’s not that at all.”

“Right. Fine. Now, if we’re done here…”

Shit. “It’s not you. It’s me!”

“Jesus. Are you kidding me?” He looks like he’s going to throw me out. I clench my toes, my fingers, my face. Everything.

“No!” My face is hotter than a volcanic pit. “Your brother broke off our engagement because I told him something. It was enough for him to risk the alliance and literally flee the city. You shouldn’t have to marry me and then find out.”

His eyes flicker, and he just stands there staring at me like he expects me to continue. You don’t just throw stuff like that out there and not explain.

I shake ever so slightly, and I feel like I have bees in my stomach. I never talk about what happened. It’s too private, too hideous. But like I said, I can’t marry him without telling him first. I pick at my thumbnail and hope—pray—I don’t die from the shame. “I was fifteen. Just a couple months after Yellowstone erupted. Right when things were getting bad, you know?”

He nods curtly.

The bees in my stomach morph into hornets, and the glue that holds me together begins to crack. I fold my arms over my chest. “A gang came through our subdivision. They were looking for food, guns, stuff like that. I tried to hide, but they found me.”

“They hurt you?” He says this guardedly, like he’s afraid to say the word.

I shake harder and I want to run away, but like that day four years ago, there’s no place for me to hide. “There were five of them. They held me down and raped me.”

He swears under his breath, and I know what he’s thinking. I’m dirty.

“I don’t like to be touched,” I say before he can speak. “I don’t care how hard you try or how gentle…I’m always going to hate it. If you marry me, you’ll be stuck with someone who will never want it. So you and your brothers really need to think. Just how bad do you want this alliance?”

“So you’re saying you’re not going to…”

Startled, I look up and shake my head. “No, that’s not… I’ll do whatever you want. I wouldn’t cheat some guy out of… It’s just, I’m no bargain.”

He’s silent. I can’t tell what he’s thinking, but he’s definitely evaluating the situation. I can practically hear him tick.

“That’s why Nico broke our engagement. I told him.”

He frowns. “You’re very honest.”

What I am is a goddamn human sacrifice. “I’m never going to be happy. That’s just how it is. But other people can be. If this brings peace between the territories, I’ll do it. I’ll do whatever I have to do.”

He looks away, and I can see the no in the stretch of his neck.

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Heather Knight doesn’t go for billionaires with helicopters or country club fellas who sip Moscow Mules by the pool. She likes her men Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to know. She began reading romance when she was thirteen and apocalyptic fiction during college. She’s combined her love for the two genres in her new adult romance series, which is set shortly after a catastrophic worldwide event. Her books push the boundaries of both romance and erotica and are classified as Dark Romance.

Heather lives in the Mid-Atlantic with her own bad boy and dreams of one day leaving that snow behind forever.

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Lured by My Master by Jenna Jacob #ReleaseBlitz @JennaJacob3 @OnceUponAnAlpha

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How far would you go for love? Would you strip away your defenses? Confront your fears? Unlock your darkest secrets? Risk your heart without any promise of tomorrow?

I, Cindy Noland, ER Nurse have fallen crazy-in-love with sinfully sexy Dr. Samuel Brooks, only to discover he’s been hiding a kinky alter ego: Master Sam. Confronting him tossed me into a mysterious new world that incited my every fear, made my heart race, and left me questioning everything I knew about myself. Now I have only two options: gather the pieces of my heart and walk away, or lay my soul bare to venture into the sensual unknown with a man whose heart might never be mine?

Just how far would I go for love?

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Bestselling Author Jenna Jacob’s erotic romance comes from the heart of submission. With over twenty years’ experience in the dynamics of the BDSM lifestyle, Jenna strives to portray Dominance and submission with a passionate and comprehensive voice. Her stories will make you laugh, cry, and may leave you with a better understanding of the fulfillment found in the BDSM power exchange.

A married mom of four grown children, Jenna and her husband lives in Kansas. Her passions include her family, reading, camping, cooking, music, and riding Harleys. She loves to make people laugh with her outgoing and warped sense of humor. If you’re looking for hot romance with a kinky twist, pick up one of Jenna’s books.

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Seaside Lovers by Melissa Foster #PreorderBlitz @OnceUponAnAlpha @Melissa_Foster

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Seaside Summers is a series of stand-alone romances that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger Love in Bloom series.

“You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that’s fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won’t want to stop reading. Every book’s a winner!” New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely

In SEASIDE LOVERS

After months of long-distance communication, actress Parker Collins and artist Grayson Lacroux finally plan to reconnect in the seaside town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. But Parker never shows, and weeks pass without a word, leaving Grayson to believe he’s misinterpreted their budding relationship.

Parker has been running on autopilot ever since she lost her friend, mentor, and the only family she’s ever known, Bert Stein. Armed with junk food, tequila, and her big, lovable dog, she’s prepared to hole up and mourn–and determined to mend a fence Bert had never been able to with his estranged and bitter brother. But Parker didn’t count on the sinfully hot artist she’s been fantasizing about for nearly a year walking in on her grief-induced drunken night.

When Grayson stumbles across Parker, he has no idea what to make of the gorgeous blonde who blew him off despite the heat sizzling between them. But that doesn’t stop him from feeling protective of the woman who’s consumed his thoughts for months, and when he learns of Parker’s plans to confront an angry old man, he refuses to leave her side. As Parker’s past unfolds, they’re led on an unexpected journey of discovery. Their connection deepens, and late-night fantasies become passionate realities, until good intentions spark painful secrets, threatening the love they’ve found.

***

Seaside Summers is part of Melissa Foster’s bestselling Love in Bloom series. All Love in Bloom books may be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, or as part of the series.

SEASIDE SUMMERS

Seaside Dreams (Bella)

Seaside Hearts (Jenna)

Seaside Sunsets (Jamie)

Seaside Secrets (Amy)

Seaside Nights (Sky)

Seaside Embrace (Hunter)

Seaside Lovers (Grayson)

Seaside Whispers (Matt)

***

Read the complete LOVE IN BLOOM series:

SNOW SISTERS

THE BRADENS (at Weston, CO)

THE REMINGTONS 

THE BRADENS (at Trusty, CO)

THE BRADENS (at Peaceful Harbor)

SEASIDE SUMMERS

WILD BOYS AFTER DARK

For a complete reading guide, family tree, checklists, and more, visit Melissa’s website.

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Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

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“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Leopold by Renna Peak & Ember Casey #ReleaseBlitz @EmberCasey @RennaPeak @OnceUponAnAlpha

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When I accidentally wished for my own Prince Charming, I never expected him to actually show up. Not here in South America–not at the crappy charity clinic where I work.

But life never is as simple as making a wish—and while Prince Leopold is definitely charming, he’s also cocky. And arrogant. And a huge playboy. He’s everything I’ve promised myself I’d stay away from.

So why can’t I seem to resist him?

There’s no way Prince Leo is actually interested in a normal girl like me. No way he’ll ever be able to overcome his womanizing ways to be the prince of my dreams. And the more time I spend with him, it’s clear he has almost as many secrets as me.

I’m only sure of one thing—if I give him what he wants, he’s going to break my heart.

This is Part One of a six-part contemporary romance serial by bestselling authors Renna Peak and Ember Casey.

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“Don’t do this,” she whispers, shaking her head.

“Do what?” I ask, my voice just as soft.

“This.”

Her hands are braced against my chest, and I’m acutely aware of every single one of her fingers. I want to tighten my arms around her. To pull her snugly against my chest and whisper soft things into her hair. I want to do other things, too—my cock is definitely responding to her nearness—but I restrain myself on all counts. The rain continues to beat down overhead, and another rumble of thunder makes the window shake.

“Why shouldn’t we do this?” I ask her softly.

I’m close enough to smell her hair, and the scent is heavenly—like summer and fresh air and something distinctly feminine. It seems unlikely that Elle wears perfume, so this scent is entirely her, and it takes every ounce of will in my body not to lean my face down and inhale deeply.

She takes a deep breath as if composing herself. If the lights were on, I’d tilt her face up toward mine so I could see the expression in her eyes—but then again, if the lights were on, she wouldn’t be in my arms now.

“I don’t do this,” she says. “And I certainly don’t do it with men like you.”

“Like me?”

“Princes,” she says. “Or with men I’ve only known for two days. I hardly know you. You hardly know me. I don’t care if you say I’m not a diversion. We’re still basically strangers. And you’re here to oversee my work, which makes you practically my boss—which makes this inappropriate.” She takes another deep breath and rushes on. “You’re also my patient—and you’ve had a head injury, which means you should be lying down.”

“Well, if you’d prefer to go back to the gurney—”

“You need to refrain from all activity. Anything that increases your heart rate is absolutely out of the question.”

I smile, though she can’t see it. “I’m afraid it’s too late for that.”

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AboutTheAuthor

Ember Casey

Ember Casey is a USA Today bestselling author living in Atlanta, Georgia in a den of iniquity (or so she likes to tell people). When she’s not writing steamy romances, you can find her whipping up baked goods (usually of the chocolate variety), traveling (her bucket list is infinite), or generally causing trouble (because somebody has to do it).

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Renna Peak

Renna Peak is a contemporary romance author living in Spokane, Washington. When she’s not scheming her next plot twist, she enjoys gardening, paper crafts, collecting office supplies (she has a major colored-pen problem), and hanging out with her four children.

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl