April 22, 2019

RockStar Book Tours : Pirate's Pleasure by Lisa Kessler

















Title: PIRATE'S PLEASURE (Sentinels of Savannah #3)
Author: Lisa Kessler
Pub. Date: April 22, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 357
Find it: GoodreadsAmazoniBooksB&NKobo

No one steals from this pirate... 

John Smyth has survived mutinous pirate crews, wars, and the passage of centuries by keeping his life as he did his ships, organized and well stocked. But when his crew is tasked with stealing Pandora’s Box for the government, it opens a door to destruction, and her name is Harmony Andrews.

Harmony is a risk-taking investment broker by day, and a thief by night. As a member of the underground Digi Robins crew, she steals relics to sell on the dark web and donates the money to people without insurance who need life-saving medical treatments. After taking a box from the docks in Savannah, she finds herself being hunted on multiple fronts, but she never expects the chaos trailing her to lead directly to her boss, the sexy, infuriating John Smyth.

The fearless thief has tangled with the wrong pirate, but he will be forced to choose: will he keep his heart safe at port, or follow it into the storm of pleasure.

Grab the first 2 books in this companion series!




EXCERPT

She frowned. “I’m not going anywhere until I know what’s going on. Why are we running?”
He finished on his phone, lifting his gaze level with hers. “Are the relics you sell donated to your charity?”
She sighed. No sense lying now. “Not exactly.”
“You steal them.” For some reason he didn’t look shocked or judgmental.
“You don’t seem surprised.” She crossed her arms. “Why is that?”
He flashed his cell phone in her direction. A black and white low-resolution picture of her wearing her black beanie filled his screen. The beanie she wore the night when she snatched the box from the docks.
John’s voice dropped to an urgent whisper. “The government agent who sent me this picture just texted me because he saw us enter your building together. You have something he would very much like returned.”
“How…” Her voice trailed off, mind racing. Why would a government agent have John’s cell number? Unless they figured out where she worked. And if they did, why was John helping her instead of turning her in? Her jaw went slack for a second. “Why are you telling me this?”
“I’ve been asking myself that same question.” The Lyft pulled up before he could finish. They got into the back seat and John glanced her way. “We’ve worked together for five years, and I never knew…” He shook his head. “You’re the reason. The project I needed to work on, the one that would keep me away from the office––was you.”
“What?” She frowned. “Are you an undercover agent or something?”
“Something.” A muscle tensed in his cheek as he stared out the window. “The agent asked me and my crew to locate a missing relic. When I agreed, I didn’t realize it was stolen by you.”
Sweat broke out under her arms, her pulse racing. “Are you going to turn me in?”
“No.” He took her hand. The simple touch warmed her in a very non-businesslike way. His gaze locked on hers. “But we’ve got a lot to talk about.”
She had a million questions about his dealings with the government. Why would an investments broker moonlight helping the government recover historical artifacts?
Before she could spit out a single question, the Lyft driver pulled up in front of a gorgeous mansion on Chippewa Square in the historic district of Savannah.
Savannah was built around the park-like squares, but this one was probably the most popular with tourists since Forrest Gump came out. People of all ages flocked to Chippewa Square to sit on Forrest’s park bench for photos, but locals knew the bench didn’t exist. Magic of Hollywood props.
A couple was snapping late night selfies as she got out of the car. The mundane, normal event seemed surreal right now.
She glanced over at John as he punched in a code to open the iron gate in front of a three story mansion. “Do you get tired of the constant flow of tourists in the square?”
He opened the gate, his hand resting at the small of her back as he guided her inside. “No. Most of the ghost tours have told such salacious stories about my house that I probably don’t need the alarm system. No one would dare enter.”
She raised a brow. “Your house is haunted?”
He chuckled following her up the front steps. “Only by me.”
He unlocked the door and deactivated the alarm before stepping back to allow her to pass by. Her eyes widened as the heels of her flats clicked along the hardwood floor. The ceilings were at least twelve feet high, with elaborately carved crown molding that came together in the corner––she squinted up at it. It looked like a…
“Figurehead.” John pointed at the object of her attention. “It’s from the Sea Dog.”
“Isn’t that one of the pirate ships that sank near the mouth of the Savannah river?”
“Yes.” He nodded. “My friend Colton built a full-size replica of the ship, I opted for a smaller reminder.”
She raised a brow. “Reminder of?”
He blinked like she’d broken a spell of some sort. He cleared his throat. “Sorry.”
Without answering her, he led her into an expansive sitting area with giant mahogany pocket doors. She walked into the room, and he rolled them closed behind her.
John approached, gesturing to an antique sofa upholstered in deep purple velvet. “Please, sit.”
She did, staring at John, trying to figure out why he’d brought her here. Time to stop dancing around the gigantic elephant in the room. “Why aren’t you turning me in?”
He sat in the chair across from her and loosened his tie, popping the top button of his dress shirt. “I suppose I’m hoping I can convince you to return the item you took from the docks. I might be able to negotiate clemency on your behalf.”
Harmony eyed him for a moment, her thoughts racing at breakneck speed. “The Sea Dog was a pirate ship.”
His brow shot up. “I’m not sure what that has to do with returning the stolen relic.”
She crossed her arms. “You weren’t shocked when I told you I stole the artifact we’re trying to sell.” She pointed to the figurehead at the corner of the room. “I think you admire pirates.”
There was that belly laugh from him again. Her bloodstream warmed, and this time it had nothing to do with wine. He rolled up the cuffs of his dress shirt, with a light in his eyes she’d never seen before.
“Admire isn’t the word I would choose.” He settled back into his chair, one leg crossed over the other, and resting his chiseled forearms on the armrests. For a second, he looked every bit like the rogue pirate king on his throne. “I suppose I brought you here hoping I could get you out of this mess. Purely selfish on my part. I can’t take time off from Privateer Capital unless I have someone I can trust at the helm in my absence.”
“You said I was the reason you were taking time off, remember?” Harmony tipped her head, pondering. “Wait. You still trust me after finding out I stole something valuable from the government?”
The corner of his mouth quirked into a crooked smile. “You’ve never stolen from me.”
She leaned in closer, baiting him. “How do you know?”

The playful light in his eyes dimmed into the meticulous employer she’d worked with for the past five years. “Because I’ve seen every scam, and I look over every deal. No one steals from me.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She's a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

You can learn more at http://Lisa-Kessler.com and subscribe to her newsletter HERE!





Tour Schedule:

Week One:

4/22/2019- Splashes Into BooksReview
4/22/2019- Lone Tree ReviewsExcerpt
4/22/2019- Books A-Brewin'Excerpt
4/22/2019- Read Your Writes Book ReviewsExcerpt

4/23/2019- AURELIA LEOExcerpt
4/23/2019- Dena Garson-Real... Hot... RomanceExcerpt

4/24/2019- Novel NoviceExcerpt
4/24/2019- Angel's Guilty PleasuresExcerpt
4/24/2019- Books a Plenty Book ReviewsSpotlight

4/25/2019- BookhoundsExcerpt
4/25/2019- Romantic ReviewsExcerpt

4/26/2019- Em & M BooksReview

4/26/2019- Stormy Vixen's Book ReviewsReview


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1 lucky winner will win a $15 Amazon GC, International.

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Xpresso Book Tours : The Starfarer by Petra Landon


The Starfarer
Petra Landon
(The Araloka Chronicles #2)
Publication date: November 16th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
A feisty farmer with a dangerous heritage and a mysterious starfarer from a mighty race engage in a delicate dance of love, faith, longing and survival, while the sector burns around them!
A powerful entity readies to join the brutal war in Sector Araloka. The Ur’quay’s return to their old stomping grounds will have repercussions for the sector — affecting the present, changing the future and shining more light on the past.
Sila
Sila Gatherer hides a deadly secret on a rural planet. Until an accidental encounter with an alien starship changes her life. Threatened, exiled and adrift, Sila must learn to survive far from home and everything familiar.
Zh’hir
Star Captain Zh’hir Mu’raat is Ur’quay – legendary starfarers renowned as warriors and explorers. On a desperate mission to a distant corner of the galaxy, his world collides with Sila’s. Thrown together, the starfarer and his accidental captive forge an extraordinary bond.

The farmer & the starfarer

Drawn to each other despite the odds, Sila and the Star Captain must fight for a future together as the war, her ability, Ur’quay tradition and a complicated legacy test their faith. When a powerful foe threatens their new coalition, they race against time to unravel a centuries-old secret. With the fate of Sector Araloka and the Ur’quay at stake, can the starfarer follow his heart or will history repeat itself again … 
Author’s Note : This is the second book in The Araloka Chronicles, a collection of SciFi Romance & Space Opera with swashbuckling adventure. The story is standalone, though the reader’s experience will be enhanced if the books are read in order.


EXCERPT:

After what seemed an agonizingly long wait, Sila sat up cautiously, her wary eyes on the prone male lying a few feet away on the ground. She watched him silently, only moving when his breaths appeared unchanged to her untrained eyes. Clasping the blanket more securely around her, she turned towards the shower enclosure. In the end, she could manage only a few steps from the bed before a calloused palm encircled her ankle. Sila glanced back with a frightened gasp. The male lay in the same posture as before but now his strange gold eyes were open and staring up at her, their glitter pronounced despite the diffused light. The hand she had noted relaxing by his side now held her by the ankle in an implacable, but not ungentle, grip. She tugged her captured foot experimentally; his response was to squeeze it gently without letting go. He said something undecipherable to her in his deep, growly voice with the guttural notes. But with her translation device pinned to her drying work-suit, Sila could not comprehend him. Ensnared by the strange unblinking eyes, she shook her head frantically to convey that she did not understand him. Letting go off her ankle, he propelled himself fluidly off the floor in a move that had Sila taking a wary step away from him. He made no move to come closer, staring down at her from his greater height.
“Sit” he growled in Alliance Standard, pointing at the bed and Sila found herself perching nervously on it.
He shot her a last look before striding away to the enclosure. Before Sila could contemplate making a move, he strode back to hold his hand out to her. The open palm with the web-like spikes between the fingers held the translation device. He had retrieved it from her work-suit, Sila surmised. This time, she knew why he offered her the device. Retrieving it gingerly off his palm to hold it loosely in her fist, she pondered where to pin it on the blanket she wore in lieu of clothes.
“Going somewhere?” the Ur’quay male inquired.
At his words, she turned her attention back to him. The device, Sila realized, seemed to work just fine in her fist.
He stepped back from her to meet her eyes. “Before, when I stopped you” he clarified patiently. “Where were you going?”
“Umm … just to the”, she gestured towards the shower enclosure, “to get my clothes.”
He cocked his head, the mysterious unblinking eyes studying her. “It is not dry yet. Use the blanket for now.”
Sila hitched the blanket about her shoulders nervously, wishing she could read his expression more clearly. It was too dark to discern much except the glint in his eyes when he occasionally came into the path of the light seeping through the open archway.
“Would you like more illumination?” he offered.
Sila hesitated, conscious that all she had on was a blanket. She’d much prefer to be properly clothed before facing him in brighter light.
“I can see as well if not better in the dark” he said, the guttural tones even.
Sila flushed, perfectly comprehending what he meant to convey to her. Strange as it was, the Ur’quay seemed to share her ability, except it was clear that this male possessed formidable control over his mind. Much more than her, who he seemed to read like a book. Sila, never having met anyone with this advantage over her, didn’t know what to make of it — whether to be excited by the prospect, particularly when she had thought herself to be different from everyone, or afraid of his ability to read her mind.
“You’re reading my thoughts again” she stammered out, a tad accusingly.
“Did I not ask you to protect them, Terran?” he growled back in response.
Unlike everyone else she had met in her life, Sila did not have to work to block him from her mind. He was an absolutely blank slate — she could hear nothing and sense nothing from him. Since stepping foot on this starship, her mind had been uncluttered, with only her thoughts for company. As far as Sila was concerned, it was the only saving grace of her entire ordeal.
She glanced away, to pluck at her blanket again. “I don’t know how to.”
Sila sighed, unutterably candid. On this topic, evasiveness would serve no purpose. “Not with you. You seem to hear my thoughts no matter what I do.”
“I will teach you” he declared.
Sila stared up at him, rendered speechless by his offer.
“Do not worry. The blanket covers you well.”
Before Sila could respond, he said something inaudible and the lights in the room brightened. Though not as harsh as the previous cell, it did allow her to clearly note his expression. She stood up to face him, blanket clutched tight. For the first in their acquaintance, she allowed her eyes to wander over him without fear. The large expanse of muscled bronze skin seemed flushed, a stark contrast to the scales on his lower body. His eyes studied her damp hair unblinkingly with an expression Sila found hard to decipher.
“When will you send me back to the other cell?” she inquired diffidently.
He cocked his head, clearly puzzled. “The other cell?”
“The one where I was before. This one is much nicer.”
“This is not a holding cell” he growled in outrage, the glitter in his eyes pronounced. “This is my rest-chamber” he informed her through gritted teeth.
Despite the growls and palpable ire, he was careful to keep his distance. It reassured Sila immeasurably. Some of her natural effervescence reasserted itself.
“Rest-chamber? Oh, you mean this is your room. It is very nice — much warmer than the cell, with a really nice shower. Thank you for letting me use it.”
For the first time since she’d met him, he looked uncomfortable.
“I apologize, Terran. We are not used to prisoners on this starship and did not anticipate that your species needs warmer temperatures and more frequent sustenance than us.”
“Oh, I thought perhaps you did not feed your prisoners” she remarked guilelessly.
The unblinking eyes zeroed in on her. “Ur’quay are signatories to a charter on the treatment of prisoners of war. We do not believe in starving them” he informed her regally.
Sila stared at him, slack-jawed in shock. “Am I … are you saying that I’m a prisoner of war?”


















An avid reader all her life, only recently has Petra allowed her own imagination to run riot. She loves to travel and reads everything she can get her hands on. Her idea of a good read is one where the story and characters linger, long after the book has been set aside. She strives to write fantasy with vivid characters and elements of adventure, mystery and romance juxtaposed together, since those are the tales she has enjoyed the most over the years. To share the stories swirling in her imagination is a labor of love and a lifelong dream come true for Petra. 

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Xpresso Book Tours : Lead The Way by Brittany Carter


Lead The Way
Brittany Carter
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: April 22nd 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Fresh off the high of college graduation, Melody James is back in her Podunk town. She needs a job, but first, she’ll spend a lazy summer with no agenda at all.

But life’s got other plans for Melody, ones she’d sooner ignore. When the next-door neighbor passes away, his son returns home to take care of his affairs. Thane Cohen hasn’t been home in ten years. The last time he was, someone accused him of murdering Melody’s parents. Now, after major efforts to recover his self-worth and start a construction company, Thane wonders if enough time has passed for him to clear his once good name.

At the time of the murders, Melody was the only person who didn’t believe Thane was responsible. But how could she even suggest otherwise when just about everyone in town was convinced of Thane’s guilt? Her brothers would never allow it. With nothing to lose before, Thane packed up and left, leaving the town and Melody behind. Now that he’s back, rekindling an old flame in Melody and proving his innocence are critical.

When several car windshields get broken and fires start unexpectedly, the world inside their little town is tossed upside down. With Melody’s brother against her, and Thane fighting every attempt she makes at breaking down his walls, Melody’s push for answers leads her to a frightening conclusion. Thane may actually know more about her parents’ death than she was lead to believe. Can she trust him, or has everyone else been right about him all along? Only time will tell if she can let love lead the way.



*Author previously wrote under the name, Alla Kar


EXCERPT:

One side of his mouth curled for a nanosecond. “You need to leave. Your brothers are gonna catch you.”
She placed the carrots in her hand on the table behind him. “You’re not scared of my brothers.”
“I’m not. But they’ll tan your hide if you get caught over here.”
She shrugged. “I’m not scared of my brothers either.”
His gaze dropped to her lips, and her heart began to patter. Thoughts drifted from her head, taking away her ability to speak. She leaned forward; one palm rested against his wide chest. Suddenly, he shifted, grabbed her waist, and placed her on the table behind them. With one hand on either side of her hips, he leaned forward. He smelled woodsy, like rain, earth, and man. It intoxicated her brain, filling her body with raging feelings. Feelings she’d never had before. Not once had Lucas ever made her feel so alive without touching her.
Her mouth watered as he neared, his lips only a hairbreadth away from her own, the minty smell of his mouth had her head gone. His unruly hair was messy from the rain, and she reached up with her other hand to run her fingers through it.
He caught her wrist; his thumb ran three slow circles around her pulse. Kiss me … please. She had no idea why her body betrayed her so easily. The tip of his tongue ran across his bottom lip. Melody couldn’t look away from it, even when he took his other thumb and ran it across her bottom lip. The tension weighed heavily down on her chest, begging for a release.
Just one kiss would cure her, right?
A deep grunt left his throat, and she just knew he’d kiss her. She knew he would lean down and put her out of her misery. Only one more inch and …
“Go home,” he whispered against her mouth.
Her heart sank with embarrassment. Rejection clogged her throat. She wanted to crawl into the dirt and die. Turning her head, she looked down at the shed floor. She was stupid for going over.
Melody jumped down from the table, stopping at the door. “I know you didn’t do it,” she whispered. Thane leaned over the table again, palms flat against the wood, his eyes fixated on her. “You don’t know anything, Melody.”

















Brittany Booker Carter previously writing as Alla Kar. I'm a Christian, lover or romance, a wife and mother to a wild-child! 

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April 21, 2019

Audiobookworm Promotions : Home Fires by Jana Richards


Author: Jana Richards

Narrator: Steve Wojtas

Length: 2 hours and 34 minutes

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Released: Aug. 1, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance



 
Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War II, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she'd fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiance's mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son. Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he's a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is - especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg. Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?


 

 



When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist, and in 2018 “Lies and Solace” won Best Contemporary romance in the I Heart Indie contest. In her life away from writing, Jana is an admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their geriatric Pug/Terrier cross Lou. Jana loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

Narrator Bio

For over ten years, Steve Wojtas has voiced everything from audiobooks in the genres of non-fiction, horror, and romance, national television campaigns for Disney and Quicken Loans, to corporate narration for Google, Adobe, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft. He obtained and MFA in Acting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied speech through Shakespeare. He has appeared at numerous Shakespeare festivals as well as Chicago PD & Chicago Fire on NBC, and Proven Innocent on FOX. He lives in Chelsea, MI with his wife, Shannon, one year old daughter, Lily, and their retired greyhound, Boondocks. He can be contacted through his website at www.stevewojtas.com

Website

 
Giveaway
Giveaway: $15 Amazon Gift Card
Home Fires Giveaway: $15 Amazon Gift Card



Apr. 21st: Lone Tree Reviews

Apr. 22nd: Jazzy Book Reviews

Apr. 23rd: The Book Junkie Reads . . . / Romance Novel Giveaways

Apr. 24th: Turning Another Page

Apr. 25th: T's Stuff

Apr. 26th: Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm

Apr. 27th: Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author The Book Addict's Reviews / Nerdy Dirty and Flirty





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April 19, 2019

Xpresso Book Tours : Biker Baby by Penny Dee


Biker Baby
Penny Dee
(Kings of Mayhem MC #3)
Publication date: April 19th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I was about to make a huge mistake.
And when I say huge, I mean, approximately ten inches’ worth of mistake.
But after the week I’d had, this was just what I needed. A night of big bad mistakes with a big bad biker. 
Honey Scott 
Finding out your boyfriend is a cheating loser is a real buzz kill. Finding out you’re actually the other woman, is devastating. Call it temporary insanity, but I decide the best way to get over the loser I’d dated for two years is to get under a biker with tattoos, dimples and a hard body he knows how to use.
He’s going to make everything better with numerous mind-blowing orgasms. But just for one night.
Except one faulty condom means my one-night stand isn’t so one-night after all. 
Caleb Calley 
After a night of insane sex, the beautiful blue-eyed brunette gave me the slip. And even with all the women on offer afterwards, I can’t get her off my mind. So when she turns up at the Kings of Mayhem MC compound I’m quick to give her a second night of amazing sex and crazy orgasms. But this time, I’m not ready to let her go.
There’s just one problem— she’s not interested.
But if she thinks she’s going to give me the slip again, then she’s got another thing coming. I know she is keeping a secret from me but I don’t care what it is. I want her and I’m going to make her mine. 
Biker Baby, book three in the Kings of Mayhem MC series. 
Please note: you must be 18+ to read and due to the content there may be triggers.

EXCERPT:

“That bitch!” Autumn seethed, taking a sip of her hot chocolate. We were sitting on her couch, the one I would be sleeping on until I got my bed and furniture back. “I always knew you couldn’t trust the little thief.”
“Caleb seems to think he can get my things from her,” I said, leaning forward and taking my peppermint tea from the coffee table. I took a sip of the minty water and savored the sweetness on my tongue. It was the only thing I could keep down, and thankfully, it also calmed my nausea.
“I don’t doubt it, he seems very . . . capable.” She looked at me over her mug and I could see the twinkle in her eyes. “Did you tell him about the baby?”
I glanced away. “No.”
She gaped at me. “Honey!”
“I know. I should’ve told him but—”
“But—?”
“I got distracted!”
She gave me an unimpressed look. “That is the worst excuse ever. You got distracted? By what, his big cock?” When I glanced away again she tsk-tsk’d and shook her head. “You ho.”
I gave her a pointed look. “Speaking of hoes, how was your night?”
She shrugged it off as if it was nothing. “It was . . . you know . . . it was okay.”
She tried to sound nonchalant, but her voice raised an octave, so I knew she was lying.
“Just okay?” I eyed her suspiciously because she wouldn’t look me in the eye. “Oh my God, you like him!”
Again, she tried to downplay it. “Of course I like him, I let him inside my vagina. Three times, to be precise.”
“But you like like him! I can tell.”
She avoided making eye contact with me and busied herself picking at the cushion on her lap.
“Don’t try to deny it. I’ve been your best friend for too long. I know when you like someone.”
She sighed. “Okay, so I like him.”
“But?”
“I don’t know. I guess I just didn’t expect to like him.”
Autumn had trouble with commitment.
“So are you going to see him again?”
“Don’t try to change the subject,” she said, cocking an eyebrow. “We’re talking about you telling Caleb about the baby you’re growing in your womb.”
I bit my bottom lip.
“You know, maybe I don’t need to tell him,” I said.
Autumn looked at me like I was crazy. “You’re joking, right?”
“Why do I need to tell him? I don’t need some guy to help me with this. I’m quite capable of raising this baby on my own.”
“He’s not just some guy, he’s the baby’s father. And don’t you think he deserves to know?” Seeing the pained look on my face, she gave me an empathetic look. “Look, you of all people know how hard raising a kid by yourself can be.”
She wasn’t wrong. My childhood had been a disaster thanks to my hair-brained, selfish mother. It was the kind of childhood that made you not want to have children. I saw firsthand how easy it was to crush someone’s self-worth and confidence. My childhood was lonely. I grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in Vegas with a mom who was always out cruising the casinos and bars for her next meal ticket.
I spent most nights home alone, and on one of these nights, after watching a Martha Stewart show about cupcakes, I decided to learn how to bake. Mom wasn’t home to supervise or to tell me how to do things, and one time my eight-year-old self almost burnt down our tiny kitchen. But thanks to some fast thinking I was able to stop a disaster from unfolding. Although, the stench of burnt cake and wax paper was hard to get rid of. Not that Mom noticed when she got home hours later, reeking of booze and too drunk to care.
By the age of nine, I was an enthusiastic cupcake baker who knew her way around the kitchen. Money was tight. So I would use the walks home from school to wander through parking lots of the casinos looking for spare change so I could buy ingredients for my next baking adventure.
I was also really good at English, so at school I started my own essay writing service, selling five-hundred words for five bucks. Some weeks I made up to twenty-five dollars, which meant I could afford to buy some baking books and experiment with different recipes and ideas.
My mom made my childhood lonely and sad, but her abandonment gave me the love of baking, and as a result, a rewarding career.
And probably the best mothering skills in the world.
Because I wasn’t going to be anything like her.
I took another sip of my tea. “I want to tell him. I do. But I just don’t know how to do it.”
“Stop having sex with him would be a start.”
“I’m serious, Autumn. I don’t know how to bring it up.”
“So am I.” She gave me a stern look. “You need to go over there right now and tell him you’re having his baby.”

















Penny Dee writes contemporary romance about rockstars, bikers, hockey players and everyone in-between. She believes true love never runs smoothly, and her characters realize this too, with a boatload of drama and a whole lot of steam.
She found her happily ever after in Australia where she lives with her husband, daughter and a dog named Bindi. 


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