Release Package: Hurt by Lydia Michaels

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Title: HURT
Series: The Hurt Series #1
Author: Lydia Michaels
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Dark Romance
Release Date: May 21, 2019

 

 

Award Winning Author, Lydia Michaels, enters the world of DARK ROMANCE with an unforgettably suspenseful psychological thriller!
 
IT’S GOING TO HURT…
 
Callan MacGregor might speak with the eloquence of a Scottish poet, but a hard life has turned him into a merciless killer. With a first-hand account of hell, he trusts nothing and no one but the hollow hurt tortured into his bones. Sacrificing all, he must escape Scotland to survive.
 
Emery Tanner is captivated—to the point of obsession—by the stunning Scotsman tending bar at the Imperial Hotel. With as many dark secrets as he has scars, she hungers to know every exquisite inch of him, but her shy nature leaves her tongue-tied. Despite her sense that innate kindness rests beneath his savage surface, Callan MacGregor is a man to approach with caution—if not fear.
 
When tragedy strikes and Emery’s world is shattered, she learns just how ruthless Callan can be. Violence has shaped his soul and love has always led to loss in both their broken lives. But as secrets are exposed, they find truth within the hurt and awaken a desire to become whole once more.
 
WARNING: HURT is a Dark Romantic Thriller and contains multiple scenes of violence. It is not intended for sensitive audiences or readers under the age of eighteen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


“Hurt is a masterpiece. Easily one of the best books I’ve ever read. I will never forget it.” —New York Times Bestselling Author Pam Godwin

“A Home Run!” —Author Michelle Windsor

“Raw and Beautiful! Hypnotic and Haunting! Hurt will absolutely WOW you!” —Blushing Babes Are Up All Night

“A Masterpiece!” —Author Haylee Thorne

“This is Lydia’s first dark romantic thriller and I pray it will not be her last!” —AJ’s Book re-Marks

“You haven’t read dark like this. To find such tenderness amongst all of the filth lies and horrors set Lydia’s writing apart from the rest.” —Author Andrea Bills

“Devastatingly beautiful story!” –Author D.D. Lorenzo

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
Lydia Michaels is the award winning author of over 35 romance novels. She is an iBooks Bestsellers and her work has been featured in USA Today. She is the two-time winner of the Author of the Year Award from Happenings Media [2018 & 2019]. In 2015 she won The Best Author Award from The Courier Times. She is a five time nominee for the prestigious RONE Award. Her books are intellectual, emotional, haunting, always centered around love. 


Lydia Michaels loves to hear from readers! She can be contacted by email at Lydia@LydiaMichaelsBooks.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Tour Package: Mythic by Ambere Sabo

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Title: Mythic
Series: A Silent Sons MC Series
Author: Ambere Sabo
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: May 16, 2019

 
 


 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I’ve hidden who I was from the world for so long. Never making friends. Having nothing more than flings or one-night stands. I thought it was the only way to protect myself. If no one knew the real me, who I really was, then I had nothing to worry about.
 
All of that came crashing down around me when I made saving Lilly my life’s mission. I wouldn’t let the cartel or Enterrador take another person from me.
 
I didn’t expect to fall for him.
 
He was only supposed to be a means to an end. Someone who could show Enterrador all he’d been blind to for so many years.
 
If only I would’ve known the outcome…
 
Would I have told them who I was?
 
Probably not, but I would’ve done a hell of a lot better job at guarding my heart.
 
Now I’m living on borrowed time. Can he look past everything that’s happened between us or will I die never earning his forgiveness?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ambere is a dedicated mama of three munchkins. Who currently lives in North Texas, having moved from her home state of Arizona. Ambere spends her days working in the medical field while writing in most of her spare time. She enjoys being with her family, weekend barbecues and reading whenever she can steal the time.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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REVIEW : A Redo (Sterling Shore #6) by C.M. Owens

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A Redo (Sterling Shore, #6)

  

A Redo
 Sterling Shore #6
 C.M. Owens
May 24th 2015

 

Allie Thrash

Wren Prize is the asshole who got me pregnant seven years ago. And gave me a false name. And walked out of the hotel without a backward glance. Sure, I know I wanted to have sex just as much as he did, but I didn’t want to be tossed aside like garbage the second it was done. I also wasn’t planning to get pregnant.

Now, after seven years of hating the jerk, I’m living in his city, because it’s a small world and I found him by accident. Yes, I realize how crazy that must sound, but my luck is just that bad. The problem is, the Wren Prize of today is not the Wren Prize I’ve envisioned castrating all this time. And I hate that I can’t hate him the way he deserves to be hated. In fact, I’m terrified I might just be stupid enough to be falling for him.

Wren Prize

A daughter. I have a daughter. And I’ve missed over six years of her life because I decided to go for the world’s biggest jerk award. I’m supposed to be the cool-headed one, the mature one, the one everyone goes to for advice. Yet I’m the one who fucked up the most. Sadly, I don’t even remember that night. Too much fun, too much sun, and way too much booze.

It’s hard to ask for a second chance when you don’t even remember the first chance you had. And every time I’m around Allie, even when she’s casting me glares that prove she wants me dead, I can’t help but wonder what that night was like. Well, what it was like before I ruined her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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REVIEW : Slip of the Tongue by Jessica Hawkins

Title :

Slip of the Tongue

Author :

Jessica Hawkins

Series :

N/A

Release date : February 25th 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :

Sadie Hunt isn’t perfect—but her husband is. Nathan Hunt has her coffee waiting every morning. He holds her hand until the last second. He worships the Manhattan sidewalk she walks on. Until one day, he just…stops. And Sadie finds herself in the last place she ever expected to be. Lonely in her marriage.When rugged and sexy Finn Cohen moves into the apartment across the hall, he and Sadie share an immediate spark. Finn reveals dreams for a different life. Sadie wants to save her marriage. Their secrets should keep them apart, not ignite a blistering affair. But while Sadie’s marriage runs colder by the day, she and Finn burn hotter.Her husband doesn’t want her anymore.The man next door would give up everything to have her.

Review :

What an emotional rollercoaster-ride! WOW! This book brought up more emotions inside me than I ever expected to exist. After reading the blurb I was exited to start reading this book as the blurb in general doesn´t sound like a book that doesn´t already exist. But it has this special tone which tells you: there is something special about this book! And yes, my gut was right: because this is what I got.

A special book!If you are looking for one of these books with these relationships we all love, but if we are honest to ourselves, would never exist in real live-this is not the book for you. Because this book is real. And raw. And honest. And soooo……full of life. It makes you feel a hundred different emotiones while being pushed into a seat of a train that takes you through a lot of different stages of relationships.
Relationships that are not perfect. Relationships that are like I probably mentioned 20 times before, REAL! I love the characters, I love the way they interact, I love the way the story develops.
So yes, if you want something like this:
Jessica Hawkins and “Slip of the tongue” is the book for you!
reviewed by

Tour Package: Mythic by Ambere Sabo

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Title: Mythic
Series: A Silent Sons MC Series
Author: Ambere Sabo
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: May 16, 2019

 
 


 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I’ve hidden who I was from the world for so long. Never making friends. Having nothing more than flings or one-night stands. I thought it was the only way to protect myself. If no one knew the real me, who I really was, then I had nothing to worry about.
 
All of that came crashing down around me when I made saving Lilly my life’s mission. I wouldn’t let the cartel or Enterrador take another person from me.
 
I didn’t expect to fall for him.
 
He was only supposed to be a means to an end. Someone who could show Enterrador all he’d been blind to for so many years.
 
If only I would’ve known the outcome…
 
Would I have told them who I was?
 
Probably not, but I would’ve done a hell of a lot better job at guarding my heart.
 
Now I’m living on borrowed time. Can he look past everything that’s happened between us or will I die never earning his forgiveness?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ambere is a dedicated mama of three munchkins. Who currently lives in North Texas, having moved from her home state of Arizona. Ambere spends her days working in the medical field while writing in most of her spare time. She enjoys being with her family, weekend barbecues and reading whenever she can steal the time.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Release Package: Reverence by Ady Anes

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Title: Reverence
Series: Scandalous Series (standalone)
Author: Ady Anes
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Cover Design: Pink Ink Designs
 
 

 
 
 
 

 


Diego Lobos is every mother’s dream. He’s handsome, smart, athletic, and well-mannered. Diego attends an Ivy League college and manages to keep a near perfect GPA. Mothers want him as their future son-in-law. Girls swoon at the mere mention of his name. Guys want him to be on their team. Everyone wants to be friends with Diego Lobos.

He’s the guy everyone loves… And rightly so. But is he right for me? Can Diego fill the voids within me? Those vacant spaces that have been dark and empty for so long that I’d forgotten they existed until he stepped into my life… Diego is charismatic, charming, and genuine. He’s sexy without being an arrogant ass.
 
What more can a girl ask for? In my dark world I need more. I have a need most can’t fill. I demand certain expectations that have guys cupping their balls and running in the other direction. Yes, I’m broken but I refuse to part with the little bit that’s left of me.
 
Love me or hate me. I don’t care. But everybody loves Diego… So why would he work so hard to be with someone like me?
 
**Contains mature content. May contain subject matter that triggers**
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prologue – Desirae

My birthday is in three days! Just three days! In three days, I will be fourteen! A lot’s happening for me this year. I’m entering ninth grade. The boys will finally notice me because I have an awesome rack. At least that’s what they say. I’ve heard them whisper it to each other. The morons forget to close their mouths and turn when I look their way. They’re too lost in my perky tits. But I don’t mind. This year I’ll be damned if they tease me about my freckles. This year I won’t be boyfriend-less. This is my year.

Daddy has another of his business functions tonight. I know we live in like a freaking mansion, but I don’t understand why he always throws his parties here. It makes Mother extra OCD and the staff mean as hell. But I’ll suffer through tonight because in a few nights Daddy is throwing me a party! The house will be filled with my friends and anyone else who wants to enviously join. I might throw them out. Or I might let them stay so they can tell all their friends how effin’ awesome my party was. Decisions… Decisions…

But first I must get through tonight. Daddy’s functions are so stuffy and rarely have kids my age in them. I prefer to be the only non-adult in the place. Usually when someone comes with their parents they’re absolute shitheads about everything. They act all stuck up like this is their place and they’re too good to even look my way. Humph. Don’t even care if one of them attends tonight. Can’t ruin my mojo. I’m in my happy place. Only three days!

Janet enters my room from the servant’s entrance. I scowl in disapproval. She knows that’s my pet peeve. They all still must knock like they would if they were entering Mother and Daddy’s room. Janet curls her lip. She doesn’t think much of me. I’ve never really done anything to sway her one way or another, but it does bother me some. Why do the servants of this place act so hostile? If I was a spoiled brat, I’d totally understand but I’m not. No really, I’m not. I try to do and get things without their assistance. I’m self-sufficient considering my parents globe trot without me all the time. I’m alone so often that I don’t even expect anything from anyone during Christmas.

“Your Father has provided you this dress to wear for the evening Miss Desirae. I trust you can get yourself ready before the main course.” She places a white dress on my bed then stalks out of the room as if it had been me who’d inconveniently summoned her. Seriously, what is it with these people? And since when does Daddy dictate what I wear to his parties? I have a specific section in my massive closet dedicated to clothes that are approved by Mother.

My eyes travel over the dress. It really surprises me to see something so simple yet sassy resting before me. The white dress and cute bow in the front scream innocence but the strapless top and short length whisper young woman. I’m not sure which role Daddy wants me to present more tonight. I need to balance both sides carefully until he communicates his expectations. Daddy always has an agenda. He’ll whisper the plan to Mother and she executes to a tee. I haven’t always liked what he’s instructed her to do but Mother always obliges and never complains which means I must do the same.

The white satin material softly kisses my skin as I shimmy into it. The sweetheart neckline makes my boobs pop out. I try pushing them back in, but the dress is too tight at the waist. The large bow only calls out more attention to my girls spilling out. I would’ve never picked something like this for myself. I know my limitations with my freckled skin and busty chest. I try not to cringe. I really do… but the dress barely covers my ass. Forget innocent. This is borderline trashy-cute. My foot taps nervously as I stare at the girl in the mirror. Am I really going to wear something like this out of this room?

I grab the house phone not caring if they whisper about me. The phone makes several clicking sounds before someone answers.

“Yes” Janet barks into the phone. Does she know it’s me calling? What if she’d answered the phone to Daddy or Mother like that? She wouldn’t be working here for long if that was the case!

“Did Daddy offer any alternatives? This dress is a bit short.” I hate the way my voice quivers a bit at the end, but the truth is that I feel immensely self-conscious in this dress. There will be grown men mingling with Daddy and Mother. I don’t like the way they stare at me sometimes. This dress will only make things worse.

“Your Father is already on his way up to see you” Janet haughtily replies, “I suggest you finalize whatever else you have left to do.” She doesn’t wait for my reply. She just hangs up on me.

My shoulders droop. Can I even sit in this dress without revealing too much thigh or cleavage? Mother is going to throw a fit! She hates it whenever someone else gets more attention than she does. I scurry into the bathroom tying my hair up into an elegant knot with loose tendrils falling onto my shoulders. Mother says men always love a woman with a few loose strands. It shows her quiet wild streak while screaming self-control.

Makeup takes a little longer to do. I begrudgingly apply concealer because Mother balks at my attempt with sheer foundation. The sheer foundation blends with my skin but still shows some of my freckles while the concealer makes me look like I have an entirely new face. I like my freckles but apparently no one in high society does.

“There you are” Daddy stalks into my room without knocking. I smile politely at him glad that I’d put on the dress first and did my hair and makeup afterwards. This order only spells disaster but Daddy’s walked in on me, in only bra and panties, on one too many occasions. Now that I’m turning fourteen, I promised myself since I can’t lock the door that I would dress first no matter what. Daddy’s carelessly flung comment about me needing to work out more because I’m becoming too curvy and soft in unattractive parts not only hurt but I burned with humiliation for days afterwards. Why was he looking at me like that anyways?

“You appear presentable” he states in his businesslike tone. I inhale slowly, deeply; knowing tonight is all business and no fun. I won’t be able to get away early and go to sleep. Daddy will show me off like he does Mother and all his other worldly possessions.

“Thank you” I reply knowing he expects it, “Where would you like me this evening?”

“I want you to meet some special people tonight. I expect you to be on your best behavior and assist me with finalizing the contract. This is the one I’ve been working on for over a year. Your Mother’s tried to win him over, but she’s been unsuccessful in her endeavor. I expect you to shine like a diamond tonight.”

“Of course, Daddy” I smile. It hurts like hell to keep up the fake expression plastered on my face, but my night is only just beginning. Guess there is no other choice regarding my dress.

Daddy holds his arm out expecting me to loop mine into his like a perfect young lady would. I pull my shoulders back, straighten my spine, and hold my head high knowing that the moment we step down those stairs all eyes will be on us. Daddy expects perfection from me in all areas of my life; from academics, extracurricular activities, community service, and right down to the prized only-child role.

We’ve barely descended halfway down the stairs when my body wants to scream mutiny. I’ve learned to trust my instincts. My heart hammers violently against my ribcage, my fingers close into a fist against my thigh, but no one will see or notice these things. My gaze remains forward, my breathing even and under control. This indifference is what I’ve been taught all my life. I look around until I find the source of my unease; an older man with salt and pepper hair, light facial hair, and great taste in designer suits. If my eyes aren’t deceiving me, he’s wearing a Canali wool twill suit that puts almost every other gentleman’s attire to shame.

“Mr. Pearce” Daddy greets the intimidating man. People give this man a wide berth. His gaze alone can cause heart failure. “I’d like you to meet my daughter, Desirae.”

Although this isn’t the right moment, it’s nice to hear the slight tremble in Daddy’s voice. This man makes him nervous. Daddy mentioned he’d been trying to woo him for a while now but how much is at stake? Is Daddy at risk of losing something or does this man have that much to offer?

“Exquisite” Mr. Pearce replies. His eyes peruse every inch of my body. I stare at the floor unable to meet his gaze. This man sees too much. He paralyzes with just a look from his black eyes. I kid you not. The man’s eyes are all black, no iris color; all pupils.

“Does she meet your approval sir?” Daddy asks him. He shifts side-to-side while Mr. Pearce slowly walks around us. Why does Daddy care if I meet the man’s approval?

“And you’re absolutely certain she’s untouched?” His deadly voice makes my blood turn cold. I look at Daddy panicked at what they’re discussing. We’ve barely made it to the bottom of the stairs before this man pounced. Mother has everyone corralled in the main area but she’s watching for us from a distance. The one time I need her to make eye contact with me and she’s busy playing hostess to the other guests.

“The paperwork I provided you is legitimate. Hymen intact. Pure.” Daddy replies.

Bile shoots up my throat like an out of control roller coaster. I take small even breaths trying to appear unaffected. I can’t vomit in front of this man. I can’t pass out either! Hymen. I should know that word. Something niggles at the back of my mind, but I can’t quite place it. This conversation is important.

“If everything is as you say” Mr. Pearce steps closer. “Then the executed contract will be delivered to you first thing tomorrow morning and your application to Champion’s will be approved.”

“Thank you” Daddy breathes with relief. He pushes me toward Mr. Pearce. “Do everything he says. I expect your obedience and utter perfection.”

“If she’s worthwhile, I will make her a repeat and reward you with each satisfactory union.” Mr. Pearce adds. “Of course, that isn’t in our original agreement and I’ll decide what the form of payment will be each time afterwards… but I’m usually a good judge of the finer things.” He eyes my body from head to toe once again but doesn’t complete his sentence.

I see dots dance in front of my face before a painful pinch to my inner arm snaps me out of my fainting spell. “You will not pass out.” Daddy hisses in my ear.

Mr. Pearce escorts me to one of the guest rooms on the second level of a place I used to consider safe. Mother watches him take me away. I’m terrified and in shock while Mother appears angry and ousted.

“Don’t mind her” Mr. Pearce motions towards Mother “She’s upset more with herself than with you. She doesn’t have the stamina and drive like I know you will. She envies your youth and beauty. We’re going to have so much fun together.”

Each word flays me. They know exactly what’s going to happen, but they failed to let me in on the plan. Something bad is about to happen, with their consent. I numbly enter the room. I shouldn’t be in here alone with him, but my parents have allowed it. My mind screams to shut off. Be a good girl; be Daddy’s perfect girl…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ady Anes is a dutiful wife and mother in real life, but a dirty girl between the pages. Her love for reading transfers into her passion for writing. She always has stories floating in her head, ready to pour onto blank pages. Ady has a killer sweet tooth, loves music and sports, and names her kids and fur babies after fictional characters.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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7th Annual Mental Health Awareness Month Book Fundraiser

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Welcome the 7th Annual Mental Health Awareness Month Book Fundraiser benefiting the Keith Milano Memorial Fund at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 
 
For the 7th year, an amazing group of authors have generously agreed to donate a portion of their May sales to the Keith Milano Memorial Fund.
 
Here is how you can help raise money and awareness for mental health:
 
You can purchase a book from the amazing books listed below! We hope you will #1click4charity a number of these amazing books! Please note that although below are Amazon Kindle links, the portion of sales is from any platform: digital, print and audio.
 
Share the image below or any of the custom photos the participating authors share on social media to raise awareness and to show your support.
 
Make a tax-deductible donation directly to the Keith Milano Memorial Fund at AFSP.
 
Thank you in advance for your support as we work to bring mental illness out of the darkness.


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⭐¸¸.•*¨*•⭐ Participating Authors and Novels ⭐¸¸.•*¨*• ⭐
 
      The Dance      
      

      
      
          

      
      
      

            
      

      
      
      
      
      
   

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140 Adams Ave Suite B-12
Hauppauge NY 11788
 



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REVIEW : Him and I (Together Duet #1) by Melody Eve

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Him and I (Together, #1)

  

Him and I 
  Together Duet #1
  Melody Eve
 June 5th 2018

 

Love is a risk.

Roman has never been willing to take those odds, until now.

A beautiful stranger, overheard telling the desk clerk she’s on her honeymoon alone, arouses something in him. Something primal. Something protective. He finds himself doing and saying things he swore he never would in an effort to understand the pain in Aria’s sensual eyes.

His scars are so deep, they may never heal.
His need for control is ingrained.
His desire for her is unparalleled.

The challenge of winning her may be the biggest risk of all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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REVIEW : Second Chances (Dreams Come True #2) by Emma Nichols

Title :

Second Chances

Author :

Emma Nichols

Series :

Dreams Come True #2

Release date : February 29th 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :

It began with the tragic death of his parents when he inherited the modern art gallery. It continued every day when he looked in the mirror and saw a monster where a man should be. He’d tried everything without success. Then he happened upon her, his cure, the one who could give him a second chance at life, love and happiness. After years of repairing what her father destroyed during his drunken rampages, opening a shop for repurposed and redesigned furniture seemed a natural progression for Marisa. When Sebastian hired her, she finally had a chance to get paid to do what she’d done for years for free. It seemed like a win, until he proposed. The moment they met, Sebastian was drawn to her. Of course, losing everything in thirty days if he didn’t marry was a huge incentive. So he asked and she refused. An experienced negotiator, he never gave up when he had his heart set on something. For Marisa, marriage wasn’t on the table and love wasn’t negotiable. Still, always quick to see the best in others, she looked at him and saw a project, her ultimate redesign. Maybe even Sebastian deserved a second chance.

Review :

In Emma Nichols “Second Chances”, the reader will find so many clichés that at first you will think this is not really original or new – but after a few chapters you will notice that the author did a small miracle with all those clichés and managed to create a really sweet and deep story.

I really liked her writing even if there were a few flaws in there that catch my eye … like a business card that is never given away but suddenly is in the hands of the other person – or a person waving with her hands during talking while waiting to get an x-ray because of a possible broken arm.
And maybe the biggest flaw of all that the reader never really gets a more detailed explanation on what it is that makes Sebastian think he is a monster (other than the fact that his uncle is to blame)
But honestly? Even if that might sound bad on any other book with a more flat storyline but in this book there is so much depth that it survives those flaws easily. There is so much from Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella in this book that it almost hurts (in a good way) …
Such a shame I did not read the first book so far
Please enjoy this fairytale in modern design
reviewed by

Blog Tour – A Five-Minute Life by Emma Scott

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A Five-Minute Life by Emma Scott

Release Date: May 16th, 2019

A Five-Minute Life, an all-new standalone new adult romance by International bestselling author Emma Scott.

Thea Hughes has five minutes to live.

A car accident stole her parents and left her with the second-worst documented case of amnesia in the world. She now has only minutes of experiences, of consciousness, of life…before her memory is wiped clean. The once effervescent artist with a promising future is reduced to scribbling with pens and paper, living an empty, quiet life, three hundred seconds at a time.

Jim Whelan is on autopilot.

A foster kid shuffled around the system since birth, he’s lived his entire life without knowing love…and it’s taken its toll—until he learned to fight back, carry his armor, and keep his head down.

Working as an orderly in the Blue Ridge Sanitarium, deep in Virginia countryside, Jim looked up…and found Thea.

When Thea has the chance to break free of her five-minute prison with a risky, experimental surgery, it could lead them both to an epic love they never thought possible… or one that could require the ultimate sacrifice.

A stand-alone, new adult romance.

Download your copy today or Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2EaBVBk

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/AFiveMinuteLife

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2DlYSRY

Excerpt:

“Marc Antony,” I said and nodded at her drawing. “Part of your Egyptian studies?”

Thea leaned her cheek on her folded hands like she was warming herself before a fire. “Marc Antony is part of the romance. A love story with Cleopatra. He went to war for her. Died for her. When they told her he was dead, she put her hand in a basket with an asp. Can you imagine? Loving someone so much that the thought of life without them is too unbearable?”

“No,” I said. “I can’t.”

Her gaze dropped to my hand on the table and her fingers reached to trace the scars on my knuckles.

These tell a story, don’t they?” She traced one of the fine lines. “You put your hand in with the snakes, too.”

I nodded slowly, savoring the feel of her warm skin on mine. “So the bullies would leave me alone.”

“And did they?”

“Eventually.”

“I’m glad.” She put her hand in mine completely, her fingers wrapping around and holding tight. “I’m being too… something. Personal. Delia would throw a fit, but I feel like…”

“Like what, Thea?”

“Like I have to hold on to this moment, you know? Or you… I don’t even know you and yet I don’t want to stop talking to you.” Her hand squeezed mine. “I don’t care if you have a stutter, but please keep talking to me, Jimmy. Okay?”

My mouth went dry at the nameless desperation in her eyes.

Jesus, does she know she’s trapped? She can’t. Impossible…

“I won’t,” I said. “I’ll talk to you every day. I promise.”

Thea breathed a small sigh of relief and released my hand. “Thank you, Jimmy. That makes me feel better.”

With a final smile—a parting smile, I realized—she took up her pen and then froze.

She’s resetting.

Confusion passed over her features. She looked up at me, flinching a little to see a big man in close proximity. I instantly leaned back to give her space.

“How long has it been?” she asked.

“Two years,” I said, my voice hardly more than a whisper. “But the doctors are working on your case.”

“Yes, they are.” She smiled hesitantly and found my nametag. “I’m Thea Hughes.”

Seven. Seven times now.

“Jim Whelan,” I said.

She offered her hand. Again. I took it robotically, enduring her one-pump shake. Again. Her fingers didn’t linger in mine but released immediately, the way you do with a stranger. Again.

“Nice to meet you, Jim Whelan.”

Fuck. I can’t do this.

I rose to my feet. “I have to get to work.”

Her face fell. “Oh. Bummer. Will I see you again?”

I could promise her I would, but she wouldn’t remember. There was no promise. I could tell her the sky was falling or my name was Abraham Lincoln and she wouldn’t know the damn difference. It’d vanish, like every other word we’d ever spoken to each other. I vanished every time her reset hit and was recreated over again in Thea’s eyes. I could be whatever I wanted; whomever I wanted. And yet she was the one woman I might’ve had a chance to be myself with.

The terrible irony of it was like copper in my mouth.

“Sure, Miss Hughes,” I said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

About Emma:

Emma Scott is a bestselling author of emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy emotionally-charged stories that rip your heart out and put it back together again, with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy her novels.


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