Friday, April 28, 2017

Unsteady by Melissa Collins Release Blitz with Review and STEAMY Excerpt


Happy Release Day!
Unsteady by Melissa Collins
A stand alone, M/M romance
IS NOW LIVE!
Free to read with Kindle Unlimited
Grab your copy here -- AMAZON

Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pair Creative Covers
Photography: Wander Aguiar at WANDER AGUIAR :: PHOTOGRAPHY
Models: Jacob Cooley and Ryan Dick

BLURB:
Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid
and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But
when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to
handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving
them lonely once again.
A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond
exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one
person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the
only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure
depends on one thing.
Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?

Join me on Facebook where you will find a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Melissa Collins Author Page




Jude hands down stole my heart in this book. For some reason I was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. He was sexy, lost but confident, helpful and drained, also thoughtful and loving. Yeah I know that seems like it was a lot but if you read his story you would definitely relate. He had enough love to show for him and Micah combined.

Jude for the win!!!!!


EXCEPT 

“Thirsty?” I asked, sarcasm hanging heavily in the air as I scanned the six drinks in the middle of the table.

Shrugging, he shot me a nasty look, making it very clear he didn’t need my approval to shoot back the double bourbon sitting in front of him. “This one’s for you,” he spat, sliding the other bourbon to me as he chased his with his beer. “And you,” he said, far more kindly than I liked to Brandon, moving the remaining one to him.

“Yeah, sure,” Brandon answered, swallowing the amber liquid in a hasty move. He coughed, and I relished in the burn I knew he was feeling. Served him right for acting like an ass tonight, well, every day, but mostly tonight. “But only one.” His voice cracked as he flipped the empty tumbler over onto the table. “I’m a fairly shitty person sober,” he acknowledged, shooting me a kind look, his eyes softening. “But I’m an even shittier drunk. I’ll stick to these for the rest of the night,” he noted, raising one of the Buds the waitress dropped on the table a few seconds ago.

Micah nodded, his lips sealed over his beer as if his life depended on it. It was a fleeting glimpse, but a dangerous one nonetheless. His eyes changed, darkened and focused as he polished off his beer in less time than it took me to wrap my fingers around my own. “I’m good with this for now,” I answered, turning away the bourbon.

“Suit yourself.” Micah grabbed my refused glass before I could think better of declining it. The booze was gone before I could say he shouldn’t have another so soon. When he slammed the glass on the table and raised his arm to swipe it against his lips, I caught a glimpse of his prosthetic arm.

Fucking hell, even that was sexy as fuck. Dark black titanium, it was sleek and provocative, even. He caught me staring and lowered his arm immediately. Just as I was about to say something, ask him to slow down, he signaled the waitress. Thankfully, this time he only ordered a bourbon and a beer for himself. With the warning that he shouldn’t drink so much on the tip of my tongue, I paused, thinking about the pain he might be trying to numb.

He’d fought in a war.

He’d lost a limb.

He’d come back home, back to me, looking for something.

I doubted he’d find it in the bottom of that glass, but there was no way I was going to judge him for needing a little time away from his demons.

“Hey there, boys,” a soft voice crooned from over my shoulder, pulling me away from the imagined visions of Micah at war—here and abroad. “Care to join us again?”

“Well, who am I to say no to that?” Brandon’s response was sly and filled with the promise of something wicked. He did nothing to hide it from her, or from us.

“What about your friend?” the woman asked, tipping her head to Micah. “She’s out there waiting for you.” Across the dance floor, her friend was swaying back and forth, smiling, waiting for the three of them to join her once again.

After a quick look my way, Micah lifted his glass to his lips. His tongue slipped out of his hot mouth a split second before the cool glass pressed there, making my head swirl with visions so erotic even I couldn’t put them to words. “I think I’ll sit this one out,” he rejected politely.

“Suit yourself.” Brandon smiled as he wrapped his arm around the woman’s narrow waist. “More for me,” he whispered over his shoulder as he walked away from us.

When they were both out of earshot, and the music had started thumping once again, I asked, “Didn’t want another go with her?” I did my best to swallow the bitterness of my words with the swig of beer I’d just taken. But rather than hovering above us, a yellow cloud of anger, so thick you could barely see, the words sat like a ball of disgust, twisting my gut into a knot I wasn’t sure I’d be able to unwind.

He glanced out at the trio dancing as if he actually cared what they were doing. “Eh, she’s just not my type,” he said, his voice taking on a playful lilt.

“Oh yeah?” I laughed at his explanation. “How’s that?”

Bracing himself against the table with one arm, he leaned forward, his lips pulling into a wide grin. “Too much tits,” he said. And then he pitched his voice lower to add, “And not enough cock.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Rose for the Billionaire by Jeannette Winters Release Blitz

Release Blitz, A Rose for the Billionaire: Book Six by Author Jeannette Winters

hosting A ROSE COMPRESSED
A Rose For The Billionaire the final book from the, Betting On You Series by Jeannette Winters is NOW LIVE!
Download your copy HERE

A ROSE NOW LIVE 1 compressed

pink rose compressed Book Description

Doug Atwood is determined to help his fellow servicemen cope with PTSD so they can return to a normal life and their loving families. The one thing he never had.

Rose Davis wants to be respected as a woman with her own hopes and dreams. She is a trusted, capable, registered nurse in a busy emergency room. No one ever questioned her judgement, except her family.

Rose’s family intrudes once again in her personal life by setting her up with Doug, her brother’s friend. This time she decides to play along and beat them at their own game.

One innocent kiss changes all the rules and ups the stakes. Will their passion crumble the walls they’ve built around their hearts or will their own demons consume them?
A Rose for the Billionaire cover
Add A Rose For The Billionaire (Betting on You #6) to your TBR shelf on Goodreads

#Giveaway

Complete Betting On You Series Signed Paperbacks. Open internationally. Check out Joandisalovebooks pinned post.

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Other Books in this series
FREE & LIVE BETTING YOU compressed

Book 1: The Billionaire’s Secret FREE to download

US http://amzn.to/2aJYD56 UK http://amzn.to/2fWzLu8

Book 2: The Billionaire’s Masquerade

US http://amzn.to/2bdj5wS UK http://amzn.to/2fWFG1Y

Book 3: The Billionaire’s Longshot

US http://amzn.to/2b6qNJX UK http://amzn.to/2gkZc5m

Book 4: The Billionaire’s Jackpot

US http://amzn.to/2aDWEMR UK http://amzn.to/2fWGe8g

Book 5: All Bets Off

US http://amzn.to/2aDWtkL UK http://amzn.to/2fw1pNK
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pink rose compressed Author Bio

jeannette-pic

Jeannette Winters is a romance author mixing heart, intrigue, and the steamy pleasure of a Billionaire romance.

Jeannette grew up in a large family, number ten out of eleven children, eight of them being older brothers. She quickly developed a great sense of humor, mostly from necessity. One of her greatest joys is sitting on the porch where they were all raised and hearing the stories from years gone by. Quietly laughing to herself, she notices how they embellish the stories more and more each year.

Storytelling was passed down from her grandfather and mother. Jeannette caught the bug at a very young age. If she didn’t have her head in a book, then she was off somewhere with a notebook, jotting down stories of what she would write if one day she became an author. Although the notebook may have vanished, the stories are still vivid and waiting for the right time to be told.

Despite having an amazing family, there have also been some sorrows in her life, including the loss of loved ones. Over the years, Jeannette has spent countless hours volunteering for different organizations and acting as a caregiver to those most dear to her. As a result, supporting the elderly became of utmost importance.

pink rose compressed Connect with Jeannette

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Author-Jeannette-Winters-698597960237044

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GoodreadJeannetteWinters

Author Amazon: http://bit.ly/JeannetteWinters

Website: http://www.jeannettewinters.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWintersAuthor

Newsletter Signup: http://www.jeannettewinters.com/contact.html
Thank you for touring with Jo&IsaBooks
https://www.facebook.com/JoandIsalovebooks/


Virgin For The Trillionaire by Ruth Cardello Release Blitz

Prince Ballasare Stephan Demande needs a bride before his thirtieth birthday or he’ll lose his crown. Unlike their barbarian twin island, Rubare Virgina’s royal family is above kidnapping and murdering as a means of choosing their queens. Historically, they’ve cultivated their own selection, ensuring the purity and perfection of each. Prince Ballasare wants more, so he comes up with a plan. It’s genius really. He invites three hundred of the most beautiful and intelligent virgins from around the world to his island under the guise of attending a conference. Those who are willing to stay and participate in a series of tests are offered a chance to win one million dollars. He can only imagine the joy that the woman he chooses will feel when she discovers he and his title are the real prize.

Jessica Quincy is at a crossroads career wise. She hadn’t expected anyone to actually read her blog posts about her lonely life. She certainly hadn’t expected Virgin Territory to go viral. But who can stay a virgin forever? And what does a woman do when she’s no longer what she’s made a career out of writing about? She takes a risk, that’s what. Jessica attends a conference that promises to end with one participant winning a million dollars. Any ex-virgin could start over with that kind of money.
She makes him laugh.
He scares, infuriates, and totally turns her on.

Unfortunately, on Rubare Virgina, being chosen by a sexy prince can have deadly consequences if you haven’t updated your blog.


Like the first novella trilogy, Taken by a Trillionaire, these novellas are escapism fantasy. If you are looking for a historically accurate representation of a monarchy or a serious depiction of how royals maintain their bloodlines, neither trilogies are for you. If you love larger than life characters and fun storylines that take you to exotic places with sexy alpha men, then welcome to our imaginary kingdoms. The men are insanely rich, the traditions are potentially deadly, and the sex will leave you craving a night on this dark isle.

Available now to Pre Order!
Virgin for the Prince - J.S. Scott
June 6, 2017

Virgin to Conquer - Melody Anne
July 3, 2017

On sale for only 99C - Limited time only!
Taken By a Trillionaire

Three New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.
One wild project.

Taken by a Trillionaire is an escapism fantasy that was born at a party at RWA. Over cocktails, J.S. Scott, Melody Anne, and Ruth Cardello laughed as they plotted this book with the help of two industry friends, Chris and Brian.

If you are looking for a historically accurate representation of a monarchy or a serious depiction of how royals maintain their bloodlines, this may not be the book for you. If you love larger than life characters and fun storylines that take you to exotic places with sexy alpha men, then welcome to our imaginary kingdom: Rubare Collina. The men are insanely rich, the traditions are potentially deadly, and the sex will leave you craving a night on this dark isle.

If you’ve ever fantasized about what it would be like to be swept off your feet—or tossed over a prince’s shoulder and taken—then you’ll enjoy our trilogy.

Novella One: Xander by Ruth Cardello

Royal Prince Xander Demande needs to choose a wife before his thirtieth birthday, or he will lose his crown. His list of potential candidates is long but shortens to one woman after a brief encounter with the socially inept, but beautiful and brilliant, Dr. Reanna Fielding. She never thought Prince Charming would come for her. He never thought any woman would melt his heart. Love makes its own rules, but will it save her when she defies not only him but the laws of his kingdom? In Rubare Collina, a marriage proposal can be a dream come true—or a death sentence.


Novella Two: Bryan by J.S. Scott

Get married . . . or die. Prince Bryan Demande was left with only two unpalatable choices. When he decides to take his chances rather than marry, his father and the busybody royal adviser take matters into their own hands.

Like it or not, Bryan is delivered a kidnapped bride, and it isn't a woman who's a total stranger. She's an American female who has haunted his dreams for the last five years, the only woman who has ever wanted him without his trillions of dollars or his royal title. Suddenly, marriage doesn't look like such a bad option to Bryan, but he'll have to convince his angry, kidnapped, bride-to-be that she belongs with him.



Novella Three: Chris by Melody Anne

Christopher Demande wants nothing to do with marriage and is willing to renounce his title to the throne to prove it. That is until he meets independent Adara Burnadette and decides he must have her. Unfortunately, Adara is opposed to marriages of convenience. So what does a young prince do when his chosen bride refuses his proposal? He kidnaps her of course.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Unsteady by Melissa Collins Cover Reveal and Pre-order Links


Happy Cover Reveal Day!
We are so excited to share this amazingly HOT cover with you!
Unsteady by Melissa Collins
Release date: 4/28/2017
A stand alone, M/M romance
Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pair Creative Covers
Photography: Wander Aguiar at WANDER AGUIAR :: PHOTOGRAPHY
Models: Jacob Cooley and Ryan Dick
BLURB:
Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid
and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But
when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to
handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving
them lonely once again.
A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond
exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one
person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the
only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure
depends on one thing.
Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?
Pre-order Unsteady today for a special price of $2.99!
Grab it here --> Amazon
As an extra special treat On Solid Ground is FREE!
Grab it here --> Amazon
And! You can catch up with Dax and Beck in On Higher Ground for only 99 cents!
Grab it here --> Amazon
Join me on Facebook where you will find a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Melissa Collins Author Page
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Royal Affair by Marquita Valentine Blog Tour with Review

SBPRBanner-RoyalAffair-BT.jpg

Title: Royal Affair

Author: Marquita Valentine

Publication Date: April 18th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

RoyalAffairCover

Royal Affair, a sexy all-new STANDALONE from Marquita Valentine is available now!!!


A sheltered princess goes wild—and makes the best mistake of her life—when she falls for a roguish reporter in this fun, sexy romance from the bestselling author of Royal Scandal.
Online muckraker Brooks Walker has a reputation for exposing the political elite. Now he’s set his sights on the Sinclair siblings, who’ve been embroiled in their fair share of drama ever since their exile to North Carolina. But Brooks has never been afraid to get his hands dirty—until he meets a royal wallflower at a charity ball who makes him reconsider everything. Is Brooks feeling guilty because he knows all the sordid details of her family’s history? Or because he’s putting their relationship first, before his journalistic integrity?
As the “spare” twin, Princess Charlotte has always been the responsible one. So when her sister finally agrees to fulfill her duty as queen, Charlotte gives herself permission to break a few rules by flirting with the very off-limits CEO of Walker Media. Brooks is the worst sort of man to start an affair with, but Charlotte just can’t help it. The trouble is, since she’s no good at playing games, soon she’s tiara over heels in love. And when Brooks comes clean, Charlotte must decide whether his confession is worth a royal pardon.

Excerpt:

“I see.” He kisses me again, tenderly. Sweetly. It’s so confusing that I turn my face away from his.

“What do you see?”

“That you’ve been neglected more than I thought.”

“I don’t want your pity.”

He nuzzles the side of my neck, his mouth going lower and lower. “The last thing I feel for you is pity. Show me how you feel, Princess. Take my cock and put it where you want it the most—your hands, your pussy, your mouth … your ass.”

“You are so naughty,” I gasp, and he laughs.

“I came prepared for that, too,” he says in a low voice. “Up to you, though. Everything we do tonight is up to you.”

“Then I want to do this.” Guiding the head of his cock into me, I pause and say, “You’re very big.”

“All the better to fuck you with,” he says, but for some reason, he pulls out. “A real cock is a million times better than a magic wand.” He winks at me, and I want to sink into the mattress. Leaning over, he grabs something above my head before looking at me again. “What?”

I scowl harder at him, even though I’m very pleased he remembered protection when I didn’t.

Gosh, Charlotte, could you be any more idiotic?

“Don’t quote fairy tales to me.”

He drops his head beside my ear and whispers, “You love fairy tales, sweetheart.”

“But you did some creative talking and added a vibrator to it!”

“I can always go home.” After tearing open the package, he rolls the condom down his hard length. He strokes himself, his big hand wrapped around his large cock. My core pulses and throbs in anticipation.

Mesmerized, I lick my lips. “No.”

RoyalAffair-AN

REVIEW


Charlotte and Brooks? Why not....

No one puts his Princess in a corner.

This is a modern day fairytale continued with a twist. Never have a villain looked so good and acted like a prince and arsehole at the same time. Charlotte gave him life but he also gave her the strength in which she needed to exile her inner demons and live out her fantasies.

I loved them together but boy did Imogen work my nerves ten times over. IJS, it was like, "Dang let Char live". 

I am addicted to The Sinclair's and can't wait for ex-PM to get what is coming to him. Dang , now I have to wait some more.

Read Today!

Google Play: https://goo.gl/f6M9ym
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/6m3Q0v
blogtour

About the Author:

Marquita Valentine is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Holland Springs and Boys of the South series.

Since first taking the plunge in July of 2012 to self publish, Marquita Valentine has appeared on the Top 100 Bestselling Ebooks Lists on iBooks, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes&Noble. She's been called "one of the best new voices in romance" (Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews) and her books have been accused of being "a sexy, fun, and slightly addicting contemporary read" (The Book Queen).

When she's not writing sexy heroes who adore their sassy heroines, she enjoys shopping, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. Married to her high school sweetheart, Marquita lives in a seriously small town in the south with her husband, two kids, and a dog.


Connect with Marquita:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Royal Affair by Marquita Valentine Release Blitz

SBPRBanner-RoyalAffair-RB.jpg

Title: Royal Affair

Author: Marquita Valentine

Publication Date: April 18th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 RoyalAffairCover

Royal Affair, a sexy all-new STANDALONE from Marquita Valentine is now LIVE!!!


A sheltered princess goes wild—and makes the best mistake of her life—when she falls for a roguish reporter in this fun, sexy romance from the bestselling author of Royal Scandal.
Online muckraker Brooks Walker has a reputation for exposing the political elite. Now he’s set his sights on the Sinclair siblings, who’ve been embroiled in their fair share of drama ever since their exile to North Carolina. But Brooks has never been afraid to get his hands dirty—until he meets a royal wallflower at a charity ball who makes him reconsider everything. Is Brooks feeling guilty because he knows all the sordid details of her family’s history? Or because he’s putting their relationship first, before his journalistic integrity?
As the “spare” twin, Princess Charlotte has always been the responsible one. So when her sister finally agrees to fulfill her duty as queen, Charlotte gives herself permission to break a few rules by flirting with the very off-limits CEO of Walker Media. Brooks is the worst sort of man to start an affair with, but Charlotte just can’t help it. The trouble is, since she’s no good at playing games, soon she’s tiara over heels in love. And when Brooks comes clean, Charlotte must decide whether his confession is worth a royal pardon.
RoyalAffair-AN

Read Today!

Google Play: https://goo.gl/f6M9ym
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/6m3Q0v
rdb

About the Author:

Marquita Valentine is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Holland Springs and Boys of the South series.

Since first taking the plunge in July of 2012 to self publish, Marquita Valentine has appeared on the Top 100 Bestselling Ebooks Lists on iBooks, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes&Noble. She's been called "one of the best new voices in romance" (Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews) and her books have been accused of being "a sexy, fun, and slightly addicting contemporary read" (The Book Queen).

When she's not writing sexy heroes who adore their sassy heroines, she enjoys shopping, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. Married to her high school sweetheart, Marquita lives in a seriously small town in the south with her husband, two kids, and a dog.

Connect with Marquita:

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Traveller by HJ Bellus Release Blitz




THE TRAVELLER by HJ Bellus
Genre: Contemporary Romance




Hart Richards has never found home.

Sure, he was raised in a house...but it was far from a home.

He thought he’d found it in the Army, only to have his world shattered along with his band of brothers.

Hart settled in a small-town in Montana until the inevitable happened.

The call he dreaded the most...


His mom was dying and he needed to return to the place he grew up.

Leaving his business behind to his best friend Cub, he set out on a long road trip back to Nashville.

The endless road, his only solace as the miles ticked by.


His soul in his pocket travelled aimlessly…

Hart had no idea what was waiting for him back in Nashville. The Traveller’s adventure may turn into his reality. 


AUTHOR NEWSLETTER: http://bit.ly/HJBnewsletter

WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER: http://bit.ly/2pnfVdv

— NOW LIVE! —


— COMPANION NOVELS —
Also available on KINDLE UNLIMITED!

#1 Royal Atlas | #2 Gravity 


— EXCERPT —

Londa, who I’m sure used to wipe my nuts clean, sends me a wink while balancing a tray of drinks. Then Liza, who I’m also sure cleaned my crack, hugs me, but I do my best to follow the queen to the bar. I saddle up to a stool while she rounds behind the bar. She goes straight into bartending mode while checking on the rest of the bar. Her entertainment is up on the stage singing away, the crowd is legit, and she’s slinging out drinks.

Peaches slides me a whiskey neat then another. Before I know it, the tip of my black work boot is tapping to the country music blaring throughout the small, crowded bar. Being perched at the end of the bar where the waitresses put in orders has its own perks.

Hello, cowboy boots and shorty shorts while slinging drinks. My mind eases, wiping away all the worries and real life stress as each drink goes down. Peaches leans in every once in awhile letting me know my drink tab, but I just wave her on like I’m going to pay. Her pussy jokes are about to backfire and I smirk as I down the fourth drink.

“Excuse me.” A shoulder nudges mine.

When I look up to the movement, I come eye to eye with a raven-haired beauty. I’m clearly in her space, but the foggy cloud in my judgment is overpowering. She’s pretty, like a shiny nickel pretty.

I stare like a stark ass fool. Her emerald eyes hypnotize me something fierce. I should speak, but it seems all I can do is stare. I know what Tristan, the well-hung hero in the romance books, would do and I know what that badass biker, Trace, would do, yet, I just stare at her, getting drunker on her looks.

“Sit up.” She bites down on her bottom lip to stifle the rest of her message.

I guess dickhead, asshole, or fuckface would follow, but she refrains from using any of these terms all the while plastering on her poker face while trying to get more drinks from the bar.

“Help me.” I can Goddamn right sit up on my own, but her touch would be nice.

“Okay.” She shakes her head, apparently not amused by me.

That’s when I see her tits and my God are they a perfect set of tits. Motherfucking titties. I need my palms, lips, and mouth on those arts of perfection. It’s all about admiration for the perfect work of art. I’m all about being a professor of art and respecting the subject.

My clear admiration of the beauty before me is abruptly interrupted when the stool my ass is perched on is kicked out from underneath me. My ass lands hard on the wood floor. Peering back up at her I finally catch a smile gracing her lips.

“Did that help?” she asks, picking up her tray filled with drinks.

“Got the job done. I guess.” I stand slowly, cupping my nuts and hoping her next move isn’t to jab me there.

Peaches’ cackles join the conversation. “See you met Vannie, Hart.”

I narrow my eyes at the dark-haired goddess. “Vannie. Nice.”

She rolls her eyes with no desire to entertain me any longer. Her ass is entertaining enough as she sways out onto the floor. I’m a tall man, easily over six feet, and this woman in front of me is tiny in stature, but her attitude more than makes up for it.

“Leave her alone.” Peaches places another whiskey neat in front of me.

“She’s the one that knocked me on my ass.” I pound the entire drink in one long gulp since Little Miss Hot Ass killed my buzz.

“I’m serious, Hart. She’s a roamer. Don’t know her story, but if I had to guess it’s as dark as her black hair.”

“What? Did you hit on her and she turned you down?” I smirk over the glass.

Peaches shakes her head, but she has a glimpse of a smile dancing on her face. “No, too young for me. She’s my best worker so don’t scare her off, asshole.”

“Whatever, Cougar Cakes.”

The band up on the stage isn’t half bad even though country music tends to make my ears bleed. They’re upbeat with an original sound and music. I notice three or four big suits enjoying a drink and listening while tapping their fingers on the table.

I slow down on the drinks knowing my limit. Drinking was my one vice to get me through life after returning home from my deployment. Our band of brothers was hit hard. We had lost a handful before we returned. I saw shit I can never forget. Booze numbed that ache until Izzy came screaming into our world. Then it was all her and keeping up the bed and breakfast I’d bought.

It was a fixer upper at best and super cheap, but it was more therapy to restore and turned out to be a profitable business even though at one point I could only afford air to eat. It was all worth it. Cub and his family now run it for me. They own it. I left the papers behind because I knew he’d never accept.

I’m a roamer like that. My heart grows wild and the desire inside me flairs up with the need to move on. I’ve quit wondering when I’ll strike gold in life and find the one person or place that can keep me rooted. Instead, I float with the breeze and enjoy life as it comes.

“Thank you, everyone. Up next for your entertainment is the very talented Miss Savannah Ray.”

The voice booming over the microphone catches my attention. I look up to see the girl Peaches calls Vannie take the stage with a guitar strapped to her front. I have no idea how much time has floated since our first encounter. She’s changed into a white sundress with dainty straps. Her feet are covered with worn, brown cowboy boots.

She’s pulled her hair up into a ponytail. Her defensive, badass aura has disappeared leaving behind a timid woman up in the spotlight. No band members surround her. It’s just her up there.

“Watch this.” Peaches nudges me in the shoulder.

The moment Vannie opens her mouth, magic happens. Her voice is haunting, delicate, soothing, and beautiful. I’m in awe of the way she sings into the microphone, blocking out the rest of the bar. It’s by far the best voice that’s ever graced my ears.

It’s my new favorite song even though I have no idea what it is. The bar grows eerily silent with everyone hypnotized by her honey-laced voice. The blush that creeps on the apples of her cheeks is adorable. She ducks her head once the song is finished and the bar goes wild with cheers. Some even stand on their feet cheering away.

She removes her guitar for the next song. I recognize it since it’s been played on the radio several times. “Let Her Go” by Passenger has never sounded so seductive. Her voice controls the entire song with her hips swaying softly from side to side. She never makes eye contact while deep in the lyrics. It’s as if she’s pouring all of her soul into the words.

Song after song streams from her and never once does the bar go back to socializing. She keeps their attention the whole time. You could hear a pin drop between songs.

“Thank you.” She drops her head and moves off stage.

Peaches hollers out last call and then sits next to me with a drink in her hand. “So, what do you think now?”

Too stunned to talk, I remain still and quiet.

“Well, that’s a first, somebody finally shut you up.”

“She’s so different up there.” I point to the empty stage.

“Yeah.” Peaches nods sipping from her drink. “Like I said, I don’t know her story, but could guess she’s street smart, but shy when it comes to being on the stage.”

“She’s fucking talented. Why hasn’t she been scooped up yet?” I ask.

“She doesn’t want it.”

“Why?”

Peaches doesn’t get the chance to reply before we’re interrupted by Vannie herself.

“Hey, need help closing up?” She tucks her hands into the front of her shorts pockets.

She’s changed again. Odd.

“You can head home, Vannie, got it covered here.” Peaches hops from the stool and hugs her. “See you tomorrow night.”

“Okay, thanks.”

I don’t miss the fact that she doesn’t make eye contact with me this time. You’d think I had on an invisibility cloak, but it doesn’t stop me from studying that sweet little ass as she waltzes off. She stops near a table, sets down her guitar, and proceeds to put a hoodie over her head. Her dark hair blends into the material of the pitch black hoodie making her allure all the more powerful.

“Vannie,” Peaches hollers out.

She pivots slowly, grabbing her guitar once again and giving Peaches her attention.

“You get your car fixed?”

Shyly she shakes her head.

“Girl, I’m going to beat your ass.”

“I’m only five blocks away.”

“It’s dark. You’re young and gorgeous. I don’t care how close you live.”

Without thinking, I hop up from the stool. “I’ll walk her home.”

“No.” Vannie’s defensive attitude flairs right back up with no hesitation.

“Hey, I’m a good guy.” I hold up both of my hands. “You can even frisk me to make sure I don’t have any weapons.”

I wink at her. I’m beginning to think she has no personality at all. But her voice just a few minutes ago convinced me otherwise.

Peaches convinces Vannie that I will be walking her home. “I’ll apologize in advance, Vannie, but Hart is a good guy. You shouldn’t be out there walking alone.”

“I’ve seen scar…”

Peaches lays her hand on Vannie’s forearm. “I’m sure you have, doll, but not a hair on your head is getting hurt on my watch. Now get going, you two.”




— ABOUT THE AUTHOR —

HJ Bellus is a small town girl who loves the art of storytelling. When not making readers laugh or cry, she's a part-time livestock wrangler that can be found in the middle of Idaho, shot gunning a beer while listening to some Miranda Lambert on her Beats and rocking out in her boots.