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The Extra Shot April 22, 2018

The Extra Shot April 22, 2018

Welcome to The Extra Shot, a weekly Sunday post featuring EXCLUSIVE content from Authors who have books releasing in the near future.  

Books I Love A Latte is a book review blog focusing primarily on the romance genre, fiction, and women’s fiction. In addition, we periodically review products to keep you organized and more productive as writers and readers.  

Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits. 

Today you’ll find an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from The Blood Reaver by USA Today Bestselling Author Barbara Devlin to jump start your week along with a fabulous giveaway too! This is the sixth book in the Pirates of the Britannia series where the Pirates of the Coast crossover into The Pirates of the Britannia. Discover a whole lot of goodness in this new adventure.

One quick note, the pre-order price of The Blood Reaver releases is $2.99 so be sure to one-click your copy now readers, release day is April 24th!

Be sure to stop by the blog tomorrow for my review on The Blood Reaver, you don’t want to miss this exciting installment in the Pirates of the Britannia series!

Official Back Blurb:

After her father and her older brother die of an infectious fever, and an unscrupulous sea captain abandons Rose Armistead in Port Royal, Jamaica, she must find safe passage home.  When she meets a handsome mariner with his own ship, in an establishment of ill repute, she pays him to carry her, her mother, and her younger brother to Charles Town.  But the man she considers her savior hides a dark secret, and it may destroy her.  Can Rose accept her man’s true identity and find love?


When a beautiful woman walks into the most notorious brothel in Port Royal, Turner Reyson, a cunning pirate known as the Blood Reaver, offers his assistance, because he wants her in his bunk, but he conceals the nature of his business, as he casts off.  At sea, Rose displays a peculiar ability to spot prize and booty, and his suspicious crew declares her the Lady of Fortune, which places her in a perilous position, when they insist on keeping her aboard ship.  Playing two sides of the same coin, Turner must win his woman or risk mutiny, which would endanger her and her family.  Can the Blood Reaver save Rose?


Chapter One


March, 1680


It was not the most ideal introduction, to meet a beautiful young woman at the wrong end of a three-barrel flintlock pistol, which she stole from an unoccupied table, while the owner got his nutmegs sucked.  Garbed in a fancy blue dress, with a matching ruffled contraption on her head, she did not belong in one of the most violent brothels in Port Royal.  Biting her bottom lip, she adjusted the gun in her grip, belying the fact that she possessed little if any experience with weapons, and crept further into the whorehouse.

“Hello.”  Her hand shook, as she took aim at the crowd, in general.  “I do not wish to be rude or cause trouble, but someone stole my trunk, which was sitting in front of this fine establishment, while I asked for directions, and I would like the return of my belongings, please.”

A fiddler screeched a bawdy tune, as several cup-shots took a flyer with a rough collection of three-penny uprights, in the back.  At the bar, Turner Reyson, a pirate known on the high seas as the Blood Reaver, studied the pretty bit o’ fluff, while everyone else ignored her, downed his rum, dragged his sleeve across his mouth, and navigated the tables, to get a closer look at his potential prey, given he had yet to fill his bed.  Just as he drew near, she cocked the pistol, pointed toward the ceiling, closed her eyes, scrunched her face, and pulled the trigger.

The shot echoed, and she started and shrieked, as quiet fell on the bordello.

Halting in his tracks, he snickered and waited to see what she did for an encore, but if she were half as spirited between the sheets, he would be a happy man.

“I beg your pardon.”  She cleared her throat, as he moved behind her, for close inspection.  From beneath her bonnet, he spied sweet little brown curls at the nape of her neck, and his fingertips itched to toy with a thick lock.  “I am so sorry to disturb you, but I must have my things.”  She stepped forward, and Turner splayed his arms to part his fellow buccaneers.  “Now, my mother and my brother wait for me, outside, and I cannot leave without recovering my property.”

“Watch out, men.”  Turner chuckled, given the chit’s moxie.  “I would rather set sail on a Friday, with a Jonah, than tangle with an armed, angry woman.”  To hoots and hollers, he raised his hands.  “Come on, swabs, humor the little lady.”

In unison, the motely crew of raiders and whores parodied his stance and howled with laughter.

“But, I am serious.”  She peered over her shoulder, and he glimpsed glorious blue eyes and lush red lips he could not wait to sample.  “I must recover my trunk.”  She waved the pistol in the air.  “Whoever took it should be ashamed, because it is wrong to steal.”

“Can you describe the item in question?” a grey-haired salt asked, in a mocking timbre.

“Yes.”  The pistol fired, and she screamed, when a lantern shattered above the bar, and Red Doyle, the bartender, ducked for cover, along with everyone else.  In that moment, she glanced at Turner.  “Did I do that?”

“Aye.”  He nodded and bit his tongue against a guffaw, as she struggled with the weight of the weapon, and he did not want her angry with him.  “Be careful, before you hurt yourself or someone else.”

“Oh, dear.”  With a lethal pout, which he wagered could bring the most ornery pirate to his knees, she addressed Doyle.  “I hope you are all right, but I seek my trunk, which is made of camphor wood, with red painted leather, featuring floral motifs, and the initials RA on the top.”

“Lady, Skip Peterson has it, and he’s over there.”  Doyle pointed to the offending party, and she marched forth, with Turner in her wake.  “He’s the one in the floppy black hat.”

“Aw, come on, Doyle.”  Perched atop the trunk in question, Skip pounded his fist on the table.  “Finders, keepers.”

“How dare you take my things.”  The fascinating creature stomped a foot.  “You could at least display a modicum of contrition, because you stole my trunk, and I insist you give it back, this instant.”

“Oh?”  Skip stood and rotated to face her.  “Who is going to make me?”  He surveyed her from top to toe, and Turner could almost read the thief’s thoughts.  “You?”

“Peterson, carry the trunk outside, and put it where you found it.”  Turner folded his arms.  “Now.”

“I didn’t know she was with you, Reyson.”  Peterson scratched his temple and shuffled his feet.  Then he smacked another tar.  “Here, now.  Give me a hand with the lady’s trunk.”

“You swiped it.”  The burley swab chuckled.  “So, you may ask my arse, because it is not worth the fight.”

“Oh, all right.”  With a grimace, Peterson hefted the fancy coffer.  “Where do you want it?”

“Where I left it.”  Despite her frippery, the wench showed courage, as she tapped her foot.  “And have care with my property, as the trunk was a gift from my father.”

“My lady, I am your most humble servant.”  Of course, Peterson taunted her, but she appeared oblivious.  “What else do you require?  Shall I wipe your—”

“Please, do not be crude, as I would conclude this most irksome business, posthaste.”  At the entrance, Peterson continued outside, but she paused, set the weapon on the table, from where she claimed it, faced the crowd, and smiled.  “Thank you, so much, for your cooperation.  You have been very kind.”

To Turner’s disgust, a couple of buccaneers actually stood and saluted her.  As she stepped into the sunlight, a cheer erupted from the brothel, and he cursed under his breath.

At the roadside, a portly woman withered beneath a frilly parasol and fanned herself, while a young lad lingered at her side, and both eyed Turner with a healthy dose of scrutiny absent in their fetching relation, to her detriment, because he presented a very real threat to her.

Without acknowledgement, Peterson dumped the chest and brushed past Turner, and he gave his attention to the skirt.

“I see you found your things.”  The scamp scowled at Turner.  “Who is this gentleman?”

“I am no gentleman.”  Turner actually took offense to the mere suggestion, as it left a foul taste in his mouth.  “And you should not insult me, when I extended my support to the lady.”

“Oh, I almost forgot about you.”  She blinked.  Now that hurt, because he had no trouble filling his bunk.  “Clinton, mind your manners, because this gentle—nice man supported my cause, and I owe him a debt of gratitude, which we are honor-bound to discharge.”

“I have no interest in your gratitude or your honor.”  At the end of his tether, Turner folded his arms, planted his feet, and wondered how long it would take him to get between her thighs.  “Well, are you going to tell me your name, or am I to guess?”

“Forgive my impudence, sir, but it has been a rather taxing day, and I am a tad out of sorts.”  She squared her shoulders.  “I am Rose Armistead, this is my mother, Bettine Armistead, and this is my brother, Clinton Armistead.  We are pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“I am not.”  Clinton narrowed his stare.  “And I shall be hanged before I claim otherwise.”

Clinton.”  As her cheeks shaded red, Rose compressed her lips and then met Turner’s gaze.  “My apologies, as my brother has been unwell and is still recovering.  To whom do I owe my thanks, good sir?”

“I am neither good nor a sir, and you would do well to remember that.”  Just as he prepared to inform her of his true occupation, he reconsidered his tack, given his pirate name would inspire more fear than confidence.  “I am Captain Turner Reyson.”

“A captain?”  Rose clasped her hands beneath her chin and bounced on her toes.  “Can it be possible that fortune smiles upon us, after our difficulties, of late?  Are you by chance master of a ship, Captain Reyson?”

“Aye.”  He nodded once, more than a little confused by her expression, as he revisited the niceties and the proper address she would expect from a regular seaman.  “I command the Malevolent, Miss Armistead.”

“Mama, our prayers are answered.”  To his surprise, Rose briefly clasped his forearm and then withdrew.  “Captain Reyson, might I hire you to take us home, to Charles Town, in His Majesty’s Province of Carolina?  I can pay you well.”

“I am not a transport service, Miss Armistead, though I might be persuaded.”  In truth, the idea appealed to him, because a lot could happen in the close confines of his brigantine, and he needed the money, but there was another reason that swayed his position.  If he sailed north, he could launch a surprise attack, given most pirates embarked from the south, on a galleon loaded with gold, bearing east from the Spanish Main.  “First, I would know how you arrived in Port Royal, because you do not belong here.  And if I were to deliver you home, what would you pay me?”

“Ours is a sad tale, Captain Reyson.”  With her hand, she shielded her face, and he admired her flawless skin of pure ivory.  “My family journeyed to Alicante, so my father could open new trade relationships for Charles Town.  During our stay, he became ill with an infectious fever, which later struck my elder brother, and both perished.”

“I am sorry to hear that.”  Given the vast markets exchanged in the Spanish port city, he concluded her family must possess great wealth, which further stimulated his interest.  “So, what brought you here?”

“Although my father arranged return passage, we missed the departure, due to his failing condition, and I was left to secure alternative travel for myself, my mother, and my younger brother, after burying our loved ones, in Spain.  On the recommendation of an acquaintance, we hired Captain Donat.”  With a trembling chin, and a furrowed brow, she frowned.  “After paying full fare, for three passengers, we set sail aboard the Sea Serpent.  A sennight into the voyage, we discovered the captain carried human cargo, which we do not support, so he put us off in Port Royal, while he conducted business, and refused to refund any portion of our money.  Thus, we are at your mercy, and I beg you to consider my request.”

“What did Donat charge to deliver you from Alicante to Charles Town?”  Turner mulled the possibilities and associated cost.  Since he missed his last mark, due to foul weather, he had to find something to satisfy his crew’s thirst for booty.  “And what sort of accommodations do you require, because options are limited aboard the Malevolent.”

“We will take whatever you provide and be glad of it, Captain Reyson.”  Rose reached for her mother’s hand.  “And we paid five pounds sterling, each, for myself and for my mother, and two pounds and ten shillings for Clinton, as is the usual rate, or so I am told.  However, I am unwilling to pay more than half, up front, given Captain Donat took advantage of us, so I shall remit the remainder of our fare upon our arrival in Charles Town.”

“You are a shrewd negotiator, Miss Armistead.”  As much as he hated to admit it, she gained a measure of respect, because she did not cower in the face of adversity.  Where most women would cry and yield to hysterics, in similar circumstances, Rose simply sought another course of action, which included the none-too-smart but audacious invasion of a whorehouse rife with cutthroats and pirates.  “Allow me to suggest the Port Royal Inn, where you can take rooms for the night and enjoy a decent meal.  In the morning, meet me at the docks.”

“Does that mean you will help us?”  Given her smile, there was little he would not do for her, and he promised to weigh anchor in her, no doubt, uncharted territory, before the journey’s end.  “You will take us home?”

Inclining his head, he winked.  “Miss Armistead, you got yourself a ship.”



Starting April 24th for a limited time you can one-click

the Brethren of the Coast and set sail on a fabulous adventure.

Hurry, the offer won’t last long!





Coffee With

Authors Dish



USA Today bestselling, Amazon All-Star author Barbara Devlin was born a storyteller, but it was a weeklong vacation to Bethany Beach, Delaware that forever changed her life. The little house her parents rented had a collection of books by Kathleen Woodiwiss, which exposed Barbara to the world of romance, and Shanna remains a personal favorite.

Barbara writes heartfelt historical romances that feature not so perfect heroes who may know how to seduce a woman but know nothing of marriage. And she prefers feisty but smart heroines who sometimes save the hero before they find their happily ever after.

Barbara is a disabled-in-the-line-of-duty retired police officer, and she earned an MA in English and continued a course of study for a Doctorate in Literature and Rhetoric. She happily considered herself an exceedingly eccentric English professor, until success in Indie publishing lured her into writing, full-time, featuring her fictional knighthood, the Brethren of the Coast.

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Come as you Are by Lauren Blakely -Review and Excerpt

Come as you Are by Lauren Blakely -Review and Excerpt



The Whole Latte

Come as you Are by Lauren Blakely is the perfect book if you love a billionaire romance that’s full of witty dialogue, with strong and sassy characters, and a story that creatively infuses a few genres, then this book is for you! 

Flynn  Parker is tired of women dropping themselves at his feet. Literally. They will stop at nothing to win the billionaire. But hey, there is more to this sexy, nerdy man than just his bank account. He actually wants someone to appreciate him for who he is, not what he has. When he encounters a woman at a masquerade ball she will leave him longing for more. Is it possible she doesn’t know who he is? Could he have found the one?

Sabrina Granger is a woman who will protect those she loves at all cost. When her mother walks out on her, she will learn that the only person she can count on is her brother. When a trip down the isle is suddenly called off, Sabrina will  have to find the courage to move on while doubting what went wrong. Will she learn to open up and trust again? When she meets a masked man, he will unlock her hidden desires and push her to be courageous. Will she welcome the reveal of his true identity? Will it destroy her future?

When a buissness opportunity threatens to expose their connection, Sabrina and Flynn will need to decide what matters more, business or pleasure. Can they come to a mutual decision? If they do, they just might discover that sometimes wishes do come true and fairy tales aren’t just bedtime stories.

Don’t miss this sexy romantic comedy that is sexy, spicy, and makes a perfect bookcation!

Scorchin – Caution, may lead to unexpected need to turn on the A/C.

I received this ARC for a fair and honest review. Please note that the flames represent the heat factor.



✮✮✮COME AS YOU ARE is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

From #1 NYT bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes a sexy new standalone romance!


The door crawls shut.

Inch by inch.

A slow-mo door.

I have no patience for its theatrics. I kick it shut, eager for the next part of the evening to begin.

Her laughter sounds across the library and echoes off its dark wood shelves bursting with books. A leather couch takes center stage, flanked by a mahogany table.

“Are you in a rush to read something?” she asks coyly.

Her voice turns me on. It’s like bourbon and honey. A little throaty and husky, but with sweet undertones. Funny, how when you can’t see someone’s face—at least not all of it—your other senses heighten. Your ears work harder, homing in on the voice, or you zoom in on the eyes. Hers are warm hazel with flecks of bronze and green.

“Why, yes, I was looking for a particular book.” I stroll to the bookshelf along one wall, running my fingers across the spines, from old hardcovers like Tess of the d’Urbervilles to modern thrillers from the likes of Clive Cussler to non-fiction reads on the habits of highly effective people. “I thought if you wanted to go to the library you’d want to read. Naturally.”

“Of course. Read me a story. A bedtime story.” She leans against the wall next to a writing desk with a green lamp on it, the kind that has one of those chains you pull down to turn it on. She goes with the moment, and this night seems like role-play with her. I half want to understand who she is. But in a way, I’d rather experience everything she seems to want to give. Her body. Her mouth. Her mind. Whoever she is here in the library is as real as whoever she is behind the mask. My mission is to make sure she gets everything she wants.

I grab the nearest book and crack it open. It’s a James Patterson. “Once upon a time, there was a woman at a party who wanted to be kissed,” I say, walking to her, the pages open.

The angel raises her hands to her hair and sweeps off the headband that holds her halo. She tosses it to the desk. “That sounds like a very scintillating tale.”



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✦The audiobook is narrated by Sebastian York and Andi Arndt! ✦








✮✮✮ COME AS YOU ARE and enter to win the ultimate gift! ✮✮✮

Let’s celebrate the release of Flynn and Sabrina’s New York romance
with a must-have stylish NY Kate Spade Tote with matching journal ($225 value),
perfect for the writer inside all of us!


About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 90 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In April she’ll release COME AS YOU ARE, a sexy new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!


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Happy Book Birthday Too Hard to Resist by Robin Bielman

Happy Book Birthday Too Hard to Resist by Robin Bielman

Too Hard To Resist by Robin Bielman (Wherever You Go Series) is the latest installment in a romance that finds friends in an office romance story, and it’s wickedly delicious. I love when a story makes me have all the emotions! It’s a must for your book library. The entire series is a must! 

Madison Hastings is having the dating blues and her temporary work gigs are becoming frustrating. When will she meet the right guy? Will her next job be the one to finally promise a permanent position? When a unique opportunity lands in her lap that combines both, she decides to take a leap. Is this the beginning of a new woman ;)? Without spoiling it for you, Robin gives new meaning to blind dates and dating habits 🙂

What would you do if your friends thought your dating life could be better? Would you change your job if they thought your approach was a bit unconventional? What if it meant you could finally find your happy-ever-after?

Elliot Sax is on the corporate fast track, but his record for retaining assistants is at an all time low. When his latest temp arrives, he’ll discover that not only is keeping her going to be a challenge, but letting her go would be the biggest mistake of his life. What’s a guy to do when he falls fast and hard for his assistant? Let the office shenanigans commence! Secret exchanges and a few rendezvous lead to some seriously funny moments in this story. Be sure you’re not drinking a beverage while reading!

If you haven’t read the two other books in this series, you don’t need to worry. This book can be read as a standalone. With an underlying theme that friends protect, defend and support get ready for a lot of interaction with previous characters. Do you have a favorite?

Again, this story has it all from the wicked banter, an intense slow burn between Madison and Elliot that is sure to ignite a few e-readers, and a plot that moves fast and smooth. Would you risk your career for an office romance? What would you do if your friends questioned everyone you dated? If you thought Mateo and Levi had that sexy swagger, readers it’s time to meet Elliot.

Get your copy here:


Lips Close to Mine

Talk British to Me

Scorchin – Caution, may lead to unexpected need to turn on the A/C
(Note the number of flames reflects only the heat factor)

I received an advance copy from the publisher for a fair and honest review.



Author Info:

When not attached to her laptop, USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman can almost always be found with her nose in a book. A California girl, the beach is her favorite place for fun and inspiration. Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts most of her story ideas.

She loves to frequent coffee shops, spend time with her husband and two sons, and play sock tug of war with her cute, but sometimes naughty, dog Harry. She dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers. To keep in touch sign up for her newsletter on her website at

Cover Reveal for Without Promises by Delancey Stewart

Cover Reveal for Without Promises by Delancey Stewart




WITHOUT PROMISES (Under the Pier Book 2)

by Delancey Stewart

Cover Reveal: April 16th

Release Date: May 21st

Genre: Contemporary Romance




Add to Goodreads:

















Each book in the Under the Pier series is STANDALONE:

* Without Words

* Without Promises




“I’m not big on labels, but there are a few that fit me (not necessarily in this order. Or maybe in this order):

– wine drinker (and wine geek)

– mother of small boys

– military spouse

– writer

– chocolate eater

– ice cream addict

I write about emotional connection and intimacy, and love giving readers smart, sexy books to curl up with.”




Delancey Stewart is an award-winning author who writes romantic fiction with humor and heart.

Stewart has lived on both coasts, in big cities and small towns. She’s been a pharmaceutical rep, a personal trainer and a wineseller.

A wife and the mother of two small boys, her current job titles include pirate captain, monster hunter, Lego assembler and story reader. She tackles all these efforts at her current home outside Washington D.C.






Facebook Readers Group: Delancey’s Fancies

Twitter: @DelanceyStewart





The Extra Shot – April 15, 2018 Taryn Leigh Taylor

The Extra Shot – April 15, 2018 Taryn Leigh Taylor

Welcome to The Extra Shot, a weekly Sunday post featuring EXCLUSIVE content from Authors who have books releasing in the near future.  

Books I Love A Latte is a book review blog focusing primarily on the romance genre, fiction, and women’s fiction. In addition, we periodically review products to keep you organized and more productive as writers and readers.  

Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits. 

Today we’ve got an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Playing for Keeps by Taryn Leigh Taylor to jump start your week along with a fabulous giveaway too! 

One quick note, the pre-order price of Playing for Keeps is $3.49 so be sure to one-click your copy now readers!

Official Back Blurb:

The stakes are high when you’re playing for keeps…

Pro hockey player Eric Jacobs should be focused on rehabbing his knee and getting back on the ice where he belongs. Then his grandmother sells the family bakery without telling him, and the gloves come off. He’s not losing his childhood home without a fight—but the new owner is proving as stubborn as she is gorgeous, and it’s throwing him off his game.

Rebecca Callahan is searching for her passion, and she’s determined not to let her lack of baking experience stand in the way of making her new business a success. Especially not with the former owner’s handsome grandson just waiting for her to fail. If she’s going to make him eat his words, she needs to keep her mind on the bakery and stop imagining Eric’s sexy abs as dessert.

Now Rebecca and Eric are facing off in a battle of wills, but will giving into the heat between them be a recipe for disaster, or the icing on the cupcake?



“Can I try?”

He turned to face her fully, resting an elbow on the top of the stick. She didn’t want to notice the snug fit of his grey t-shirt over his incredible chest, but she couldn’t help herself.

“Why?” Suspicion made his voice flat.

“You said this is your passion.” She shrugged. “Maybe hockey is my passion, too.”

Rebecca didn’t suppose he meant his skeptical face to look cute, but it kind of was.

“Besides,” she went in for the kill, “you wouldn’t have any pucks if I hadn’t burned those cupcakes.”

“Well, personally I don’t understand how hitting things with a piece of wood could be your passion,” he chided, “but help yourself.”

She followed his head tip to find an old garbage can full of hockey sticks to her right, tucked beside the building. Grabbing one, she marched over to join him in the center of the tarmac.

“Whoa there, slugger.” Eric grabbed the stick from her and walked back to the garbage can. “As a rule,” he said over his shoulder, shoving the stick back in and picking a new one, “you don’t want the stick to be taller than you.”

He came back and held his selection in front of her. His knuckles brushed her arm as he measured, and she stiffened at the contact. It came just a bit above her armpit.

“That one’s close. Since your shoes are kind of like being on skates.”

She accepted the new stick. It felt awkward in her hands. “Okay, coach. What do I do?”

“Well, first of all, this isn’t golf. You’re going to want to spread your hands apart and choke up on the shaft.”

Her inner teen boy snort-laughed at the instructions. “Say what?”

He rolled his eyes at her childishness, but the corner of his mouth tugged up as he stick-handled a cupcake into place in front of her.

“Now you want the puck, or in our case, the cupcake, more in the center of the blade,” he instructed.

“That’s the curvy part?” she clarified, waggling her hips a little as she got set to take her shot. The sudden weight of his hand on her lower back made her freeze in place.

“Still not golf,” he reminded her, and his deep voice unleashed a shiver down her spine.

Had she been standing this close to him the whole time?

Eric removed his hand and took a step back, readjusting his grip on his hockey stick. “So now you just shift your weight, flick your wrists, and follow through by pointing the toe of your blade at whatever you’re aiming for.”

His demonstration ended with another snipe to the top left-hand corner. Hers…rolled harmlessly on the pavement, stopping two feet in front of her stick.

She expected a joke then, but instead his face was earnest and encouraging. “Not bad.” He stick-handled another cupcake in front of her. She forced herself to focus on the task at hand, instead of wondering how his hockey skills might transfer into…other areas. Rebecca had always been a sucker for a man who was good with his hands.

“This time, stand a little closer, put your weight on your back foot to start.”

She followed his instructions, and her cupcake rolled all the way to the wall this time.

“Yeah! Yes. That’s what I’m talking about!”

Rebecca returned his high-five. She was a little surprised at the pride tingling through her limbs. It was such a silly little accomplishment—flinging a cupcake at a wall with a stick. And yet, Eric’s patient tutelage and genuine joy in her triumph made it feel like a big deal. It was the same way she always felt when tackling something new, only…more somehow. It was kind of nice celebrating an accomplishment with someone else. Dangerous. But nice.

Kind of like his smile, she decided, as her eyes dropped to his mouth. He seemed really close again. Or was she the one moving forward? His shoulders were very broad, and she had to tip her head back to meet his eyes. Even in her three-and-a-half inch heels she wasn’t tall enough to kiss him. He’d have to lean forward a bit and—

A loud crash broke into the moment, and Rebecca whirled around to face the big dumpster in the far corner, heart jack-hammering at the weird scrambling sound emanating from behind it. Eric barely glanced over at the source of the noise, although he seemed to be breathing heavier than normal, too.

“Probably just Mario.”


“Our alley cat.”

“You have a cat?”

“Not really. I mean, we’ve never seen him. Just hear him out here foraging sometimes. He likes cake.”

She watched in fascination as he scooped up a cupcake with his stick, bounced it on the curve—the blade, she corrected herself—a few times, and then lobbed it gently in the direction of the dumpster. It fell neatly between the wall and the big bin. There was a scuffling sound—a big hungry cat who wasn’t overly picky about whether or not his dinner had baking powder in it, she surmised.

Rebecca flushed a little at the show of skill. It was kind of…hot, the way he wielded his stick. She cleared her throat and shoved her mind back to more innocuous things. “So why did your grandma name him Mario?”

 “Uh. Actually I named him.” Eric’s blush spread up his neck and reddened his ears. “Mario LeMeow. You know, like Mario Lemieux…played center for Pittsburgh? Hockey legend?” he added, when Rebecca shrugged uncomprehendingly at the name. “But, you know, with meow. Because cat.”

Rebecca couldn’t fight the smile that dawned. “That’s pretty much the most adorable thing I’ve ever heard.”

Eric frowned, and the disgruntled look on his face knocked cat names down to second place on the adorable list. “Just shoot, wouldja?”

Playing for Keeps releases on digital retailers everywhere on April 24th.









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Coffee With Taryn Leigh Taylor

Authors Dish

Taryn Leigh Taylor: 
Taryn Leigh Taylor likes dinosaurs, bridges, and space, both personal and of the final frontier variety. She shamelessly indulges in cliches, most notably her Starbucks addiction (grande-six-pump-whole-milk-no-water chai tea latte, aka: the usual), her shoe hoard (I can stop anytime I…ooh! These are pretty!), and her penchant for falling in lust with fictional men with great abs (yum!)

She also really loves books, which is what sent her down the crazy path of writing one in the first place.









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Misadventures with a Rookie by Toni Aleo: Blog Tour Review and Giveaway

Misadventures with a Rookie by Toni Aleo: Blog Tour Review and Giveaway

The Whole Latte

Misadventures with a Rookie by Toni Aleo is a hockey romance that sizzles! Get ready to meet a hockey player who will discover that he’s finished with one-night flings if he can just have the hot new ice girl. Will his reputation kill any chance of exploring his desire? Will his reputation ruin everything? Let the games begin.

Bo St. James has worked hard to move past the one thing that could’ve been a game-changer and forced her to stop pursuing her dreams. Thanks to a tight-knit family, she’s been able to overcome obstacles and find a path to give her the life she’s wanted. Unfortunately she will make a snap judgement regarding a hockey player, but is he just like all the others? What will happen if she gives in to those desires?

Gus Persson is living his dream, playing hockey and has the hots for the new ice-girl. What will he do when he finds out she’s not interested in his pick-up lines or charm? It will take a little convincing for him to win her over. Despite the rejection, he can’t shake her from his thoughts. Will his reputation kill the spark before it has a chance to burn?

If Gus and Bo can rise above their fears and their past, they will discover a love worthy of a happy ending. A strong and supportive family means everything to both of them, will they win them over?

It’s time for another misadventure with this Rookie and dive into a great book adventure. This story has great dialogue, a unique plot twist, and tackles certain social stigmas with grace. It’s an emotional roller coaster too so hang on for the ride and grab a few tissues.

Scorchin – Caution, may lead to unexpected need to turn on the A/C.

I received this ARC for a fair and honest review from Bare Naked Words and the Author.


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Buy Links

Amazon ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ Google Play ~ Kobo 

Meet The Author
My name is Toni Aleo, and I’m a #PredHead, #sherrio, #potterhead, and part of the #familybusiness!

I am also a wife to my amazing husband, mother of a gamer and a gymnast, and also a fur momma to Gaston el Papillion.

While my beautiful and amazing Shea Weber has been traded from my Predators, I’m still a huge fan. But when I’m not cheering for him, I’m hollering for the whole Nashville Predators since I’ll never give my heart to one player again.

When I’m not in the gym getting swole, I’m usually writing, trying to make my dreams a reality, or being a taxi for my kids.

I’m obsessed with Harry Potter, Supernatural, Disney, and anything that sparkles! I’m pretty sure I was Belle in a past life, and if I could be on any show, it would be Supernatural so I could hunt with Sam and Dean.

Also, I did mention I love hockey, right?

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