Finding Freedom by Lynn Burke

Finding Freedom
Found by Fate 2
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2016
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Keywords: Erotic, Romance, Contemporary, Menage, Novella, Series
Tessa’s life beneath the strict rules of her parents’ cultish church leaves her longing for independence. Her boring, small-town checkout lane job barely covers the bills, let alone fulfill her wants and desires.
Until the weekly visits of god-like Trent and Brody have her dreaming of a Tessa sandwich with both sensual men as her bread.

Fantasies may be a pastime of the wicked, but when Trent asks her on a date—with both him and Brody—Tessa decides to take a chance, knowing the purity of her soul is at stake. Will these two men be her ticket to freedom – or her one way trip to eternal damnation?

Towel wrapped around me, I peeked out the bathroom door into Trent’s dimly lit bedroom. A T-shirt and shorts lay on his massive, king-sized bed.
I tugged the shorts up my damp legs, but couldn’t get them over my bum. More tears pricked as I cursed my too-much body. Trent’s shirt hung to the middle of my thighs. It would have to do.
Trent lounged beside the blazing fire pit. The sound of trickling water drew my attention to the right. Brody stood beneath the outdoor shower, his round, bite-able backside flooding my mouth with drool.
Tearing my gaze off him, I ambled over toward Trent. He patted the couch beside him, and taking care not to reveal my too-much, naked bottom half, I settled on the cushion and allowed myself another peek at Brody.
“Hot, isn’t he?”
Trent’s low, murmured words whipped my head around. “What?”
“Brody.” He continued to stare at his friend, a smirk on his lips, lust in his eyes. “Just look at that ass.”
Unable to help myself, I did as told while trying to wrap my mind around what Trent had said—and the unmistakable desire in his gaze.
“What do you think, Tessa?”
I swallowed and laced my fingers together in my lap. “I think he’s beautiful.”
Trent made a sound of appreciation in his throat as Brody turned, closed his eyes, and tipped his head back, running his hands through his hair.
My focus zoned in on his long, flaccid penis. Cock, my whore-mind whispered. I laced my fingers tighter and forced my attention on Trent.
He met my gaze and grinned. “Quite the temptation, isn’t he?”
“Enough to make me burn in hell,” I admitted with a whisper.
What people are saying about this title:
“This book is hot!!! The passion between these three is off the charts sexy!! I mean what girl wouldn’t want two men lusting after her?? I need more!!” – Alpha Book Club
“I loved the interaction between the heroine and her two sexy guys.” – London Saint James

“Wish I could be the cheese in this sandwich – 5 stars” – Goodreads Review

An ecopy of Finding Freedom and a $10 Roane Publishing gift card!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code. No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

Happy Book Birthday to Secret Yearnings by @lollytova #giveaway


I’m thoroughly chuffed to be sharing in fabulous book birthday for my good friend Lolly. I’ve enjoyed her writing for several years now, and it’s about time everyone else did, too. Check out what this wonderful author has to say about her latest masterpiece. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom.


Consider stumbling upon your best friends making love, and from that moment onward being consumed by a frightening new attraction for them that drives you to distraction. That’s what happens to my heroine, Sasha Mooney, and during the course of the story she’s forced to decide whether she’s the third wheel or third lover.

While the story is packed with plenty of hot sex, there’s also romance. Secret Yearning pays homage to the friends to lovers troupe, but spices up this old chestnut with a menage relationship.

Psst…isn’t this cover awesome!!!!!


After Sasha Mooney’s latest doomed relationship fails, her best friends, Kate and Justin, drag her off for a long weekend in a remote cottage to celebrate her thirtieth birthday. Only, the new romance between Kate and Justin highlights Sasha’s loneliness—and jealousy—and she can’t help but crave the return of their cozy, platonic threesome.

Whichever way Sasha turns, she stumbles across Kate and Justin making love, and soon she’s consumed by a frightening desire for both of them that isolates her further.

When a morning alone with Kate leads to a romantic encounter, Sasha’s guilt and self-loathing spiral out of control. She’s crossed a line and quickly hurdles another when Justin walks in on her in the shower and sparks fly. With hopes of salvaging her friendships fading fast, Sasha’s options don’t look pretty. Either she risks Kate and Justin’s contempt by admitting her feelings for them both, or she respects their new relationship and walks out of their lives for good.

Remember Me

To celebrate release day, I have a fantastic competition for you.

Giveaway Information:

One (1) digital copy of Secret Yearning by Lolly Tova

One (1) bespoke pendent by Joanne Galbraith

Giveaway Pendent

Winner will be drawn on Tuesday 19th May 2015

To enter, click on the link below.

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Lolly Tova

Lolly Tova writes contemporary and fantasy erotic romance.

Lolly is a West Country girl living in London, England, who regularly breaks the cardinal rules of city life by making eye contact with strangers and wishing passers-by a good morning.

By day, Lolly helps to shape the next generation of art masters. By night, she crafts her erotic flights of fancy, which are slightly kooky, a lot quirky, and a smidgen dark and disturbing when the wind blows in the right direction.

Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter | Website/Blog | Goodreads

Fall into Fantasy #giveaway #yalit #nalit

FIFG large

It’s that time of year again already, can you believe it! If you like to read, this is the giveaway event you won’t want to miss. Dozens of authors of adult, NA, and YA fiction have put together some badass prizes that will be up for grabs from October 17th to the 31st.



For a chance to win a signed paperback copy of the second book in my Mortal Machine trilogy, Midnight Dawn, along with loads of other YA/NA books, you can get your name in the hat by entering the YA/NA rafflecopter below.

If you like more mature content, there’s also an adult giveaway.

Hell, why not enter both?

The links are below, or you can click the logo above to see the form on the host site.


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Love’s Sorrow on Tour #romance #historical #giveaway


Today I bring you the latest sweet romance by my Pen Sisters’ bud, Terri Rochenski. I’m excited to be part of her virtual book tour, and wish her much success with this lovely. Check it out, and don’t forget to enter her giveaway.


Title: Love’s Sorrow (Means of Mercy #1)

Author: Terri Rochenski

Publisher: Roane Publishing

Release Date: April 21, 2014

Keywords: Sweet, Historical Romance



Hired as a nanny for her cousin’s children, Anne Tearle finds security and a loving family. The children are a dream, but London society is a world of its own, one where a displaced farm girl has no business being. But, wealthy rake, Gavin MacKay, helps her to see associating with the upper class might not be as horrid as she first assumed.

 Like all things worthwhile, love comes at a price, and the cost soon bestows more anguish than joy. Lost, but not undone, Anne must find the courage to begin life anew, or succumb to sorrow’s unrelenting waves of grief.


Purchase Links




Tracey Hanlon PhotographyTerri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

 Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads


Add Love’s Sorrow to your TBR list on Goodreads:


Enter to win a signed paperback of Love’s Sorrow, a $10.00 Amazon gift card, and a Love’s Sorrow swag pack

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We walked through the nursery door, and two small redheaded boys bounded across the floor, throwing themselves at Joanna.

“The red hair comes from their father,” she said with laughter while pulling the children from her skirts. “Adrian is three and Algar one. Boys, this is your cousin, Anne.”

Adrian peered up at me, brown eyes wide, while his younger brother toddled off.

“Hello, Miss Anne,” Adrian said.

An overwhelming desire to scoop him into my arms tempted me to kneel, but such a display of affection might have been unwanted. Entwining my fingers before me, I opted for a smile. “Hello to you, Master Adrian.”

“Mariella is the boy’s nursemaid,” Joanna said.

A small blond girl, not much older than myself, grabbed Algar and brought him back to his mother’s side. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Anne.”

“I look forward to spending hours with the three of you.”

“We’ll undoubtedly have a wonderful time of it, for both boys are quiterambunctious and amusing.” Mariella ruffled Adrian’s red curls.

Joanna snickered. “Why, they’re perfect little angels, I am sure, but I’m afraid Anne will be much too busy for the remainder of the day to find out for herself.” She bent to give her children another peck on their plump cheeks and, grasping my elbow, turned to the door. “Come along, Anne. We’ve a busy afternoon ahead of us.”

The master bedroom was the final stop on my tour. Shades of blue cloth decorated the windows, walls, and furniture, giving the space a similar feel to the drawing room.

I ran my hand down a velvet drape. “Every room is so rich in colour. Nothinglike Aunt Martha’s.” My arm dropped, and I spun to face her.” I don’t mean to say Aunt Martha’s home is dull.”

“I’m sure you didn’t.” Joanna smiled.

“It’s just, well…” I bit on my lower lip.

“You needn’t explain yourself to me, Anne. Now,” she motioned towards the door, “let’s see about a nice hot bath and some clean clothing.”

A hot bath. The thought sent pleasure through me, although heat flooded my cheeks. Doubtless my stench overwhelmed her senses. At least the other frock in my sack had been laundered a few days prior. It would have to do until I could make myself some proper servant attire.

Eliza, and another young girl in a striped apron and white cap, dumped pails of steaming water into a tub that sat in the centre of my new room. I stepped forward to assist, but Joanna placed a hand on my arm.

“Helen,” Joanna spoke to the maid I had not yet met, “this is my cousin, Miss Anne Tearle. I put her in your charge.”

“Miss Tearle, how do you do?” Helen turned her green eyes towards me and bowed the slightest bit.

“Fine, thank you, but please, call me Anne.”

She glanced at Joanna before nodding her consent.

“When you’re finished bathing,” Joanna said, turning to me, “look in the wardrobe and you’ll find a small assortment of underclothing I took the liberty of buying for you. And, I’m sure we’re almost the same size, so I’ll have Helen lay out one of my day dresses. We are going to take a short trip to my dressmaker, Mrs. Brody, and get you measured and fitted for more suitable garments.”

My mind froze in confusion, but a quick stream of words tumbled from my mouth a second later. “I have another dress besides this one, and whatever aprons…well, I can’t afford much, but if you would—”

“Anne—” Joanna squeezed my arm as a smile lit her face “—I insist.”

Realisation dawned and I nodded, turning away so she wouldn’t see the tears welling in my eyes. She didn’t want to be seen on the streets of London with a young woman of my standing. What lady wanted to traverse the City with another in rags? Under different circumstances, I might have enjoyed wearing a real day dress, but not that day.

Happy Book Birthday to Darkside Sun! #nalit @EPembrace

As with every exciting date I’ve ever put on my calendar, this one seemed a mile away for so long I wondered if it would ever get here, and then WHAM! here it is lickety-split and I’m left wondering how I’ll ever finish up my to-do list before showtime.

All of the roughly one million editing passes are done, and with an anxious heart, I let Darkside Sun out into the world today. It’s been an awesome ride with all of the staff at Entangled Publishing, especially my kickass editor, Tracy. You rock!


My book tour begins tomorrow. And…get this…for the next two weeks, you can pick up a copy of Darkside Sun for only…wait for it…

99 Cents!

Wow, right? For less than the price of a small coffee, you can escape reality for a few hours, maybe have a few laughs, a few tears, and maybe swoon a little. Mmm, Asher. *sigh*

Even better, to celebrate the launch, I’m also giving away a $25.00 gift card from either Amazon or B & N to knock a few more books off your TBR list, a sun charm necklace, and a signed bookmark. Check out the link below for a chance to enter.

Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Website

Never heard of Darkside Sun? Well, let me introduce you.

Darkside_Sun_FinalAddison Beckett tries hard to pretend she’s normal, but she’s far from it. Since she was six years old, she’s seen the world around her unraveling, as if someone is pulling a thread from a sweater and it’s all slowly coming undone. When she ignores it, it goes away, so that’s what she does.

Enter her arrogant-but-hot professor Asher Green. He knows all about her special brand of crazy. In fact, he might be just as nuts as she is. Asher insists that the dead from a parallel dimension are trying to possess the living in this one. And since Addison seems to be the only one who can see these “wraiths,” she just might be the key to saving the world.

Addison wants nothing to do with Asher or his secret society, The Mortal Machine. But as their animosity grows, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between them. And when she discovers that Machine laws forbid her from touching him, she realizes that’s all she wants to do.
Stop the wraiths. Break the rules. Save the world. All in a day’s work.

Normal was overrated, anyway.

Praise for Darkside Sun:

“I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Jennifer Armentrout. It definitely reminded me of her books (great characters, humor, amazing sexual tension). She is one of my favorite authors so that is about the highest compliment I can give. Just read it!”

“Overall, Darkside Sun is a paranormal NA story with an original premise, an excellent writing style, a fast and constant rhythm, great characters and a lot of adrenaline. Just so you know, I can’t wait to read book two.”

Intrigued yet? Maybe you’d like to check out an excerpt? Click here to read chapter one.

If you’d like to pick up a copy, check out your favorite retailer at the links below, and thank you from the four corners of my heart for stopping by to help me celebrate today.

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Click the link below for a chance to win:

  • $25.00 gift card from Amazon or B & N (winner’s choice)
  • Sun charm necklace
  • Signed bookmark

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Ginormous book & swag #giveaway

You would not believe how much stuff there is up for grabs on the Fall into Fantasy blog hop.  Tons of authors and bloggers have put together a whole heap of books and swag that you can get your hot little hands on.  I have a copy of Stone Chameleon amongst the goodies.

Click the logo below to check out the details.

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How do I enter to win?

Well, it’s simple.  Just click the link below and choose any number of ways to enter.

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Perry Road by Emi Gayle is here! #yalit #giveaway

Perry Road is Now Available!

Release News! Perry Road, the first in the Revolution Series, by Emi Gayle released September 3, 2013

perf5.250x8.000.inddPerry Road
Revolution Series
by Emi Gayle
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Target Reader: New Adult/Young Adult
Keywords: Dystopian
Paperback, EPUB, Kindle


In 2132, “We the people …” means nothing, and it hasn’t for a hundred years.

Like all the citizens of the American Union, eighteen-year-old Erianna Keating is not to ask questions. She is not to believe anything except what the A.U. tells her. More importantly, she’s not supposed to know what she doesn’t know, nor that she’s a pawn.

Like everyone else, though, she is, and like everyone else, she is a hundred percent oblivious to what’s going on.

Or is she? Are they?

Erianna thinks going to Perry Road and joining the national registration program is her next step toward adulthood; the 2132 candidates for adult-classification, though, are in for a big surprise. Especially Erianna.

Thanks to Zane Warren, an awkward but hot guy who won’t shut up about a history that doesn’t—or shouldn’t—matter anymore, Erianna will know. Will learn. That includes finding out what actually happens after registration and doing something, anything, about it.

Fixing what went wrong, what caused the U.S.A. to split into two countries, though, is not on Erianna’s bucket list, but as she faces her future, she must decide whether to fall in line with the American Union’s plan for her, or to consider that Zane might not be wrong, and the time for revolution begins now.


What are people already saying about Perry Road?

“This one, by far, is Emi’s best. Of anything she’s written.”
— Julie Reece, author, Crux

“I really hope [this] stirs up controversy and changes some youngsters thinking. God knows we could use that today in this society!”
— Terri Rochenski, author, Eye of the Soul

“… this was a total pleasure to read.”
— Kelly Said, author, Tidal Whispers & Make Believe

“… [this] will inspire an extreme diversity of opinion. It kept me involved and interested throughout, and I love novels that make me question my current understanding/viewpoint on life.”
— Amaleen Ison, author, Remember Me

About the Author

EmiGayle-1225-500pxI had a really great bio in my head around midnight one night …. right before I fell asleep and it disappeared into the nothingness of unconsciousness. Bummer. So here’s something less well thought out.

I want to be young again, so I’m kinda sorta living it again. At least on paper. You see, I write paranormal romance. Now, that stuff can get really hot, and really gritty and well … mine does. But! My characters are teenagers, 18 and under. Like I was once … and want to be again.

Why would I want to be a teenager again? Geez. Because! If you met the man of your dreams at 14 was engaged to him at 19 and married him at 20, wouldn’t YOU want to do all that over again? Especially if you were still in love with him? I mean, c’mon! It’s love! That’s why I write, too.

You see… just because you pass a certain age doesn’t mean you forget what it was like to be 14, 15, etc. Actually, because I kinda grew up with my husband, we both still feel like the 14 and 17 year old kids we once were. So that’s where I’m coming from. You might think it’s totally lame, but you know what? That’s ok! Maybe you’ll like my other me instead. 😉


Which I could be. Don’t want to be. Really, really, really don’t, and staring at Cam in her new clothes without holes, her clean hair cut by a professional and the fact that she’s my friend reminds me why: Flukes are poor. I should know. My mom is one.

The animation keeps going as if it’s really trying for me—not that it can. I drop my P-Comm to my leg just as dark words appear on screen. My heart picks up speed, and a tingly tension takes over.

“Well?” Cam asks.

For some reason, I don’t want her to know. I want to find out by myself if I’m going to get a real life, or if I’m destined to wear hand-me-downs from twenty years ago until I’m ninety. I want to prepare, to plan, to cry if we don’t get to go together, or if I’m not like her.

I’m not, of course—in any way like her. Who am I kidding?

After what seems like hours, but is only seconds, I say, “Nothing.”

“Damn.” She throws her arms up in the air. “Figures. And it’s almost five. So, you know, I gotta go. Mom’s sure I’m going to be chosen to pop out babies, like she is, so she wants to make sure I know how to cook before the fake chefs get ahold of me to ‘teach’ me.” Cam gives me a dramatic eye roll and places a hand to her forehead. “Like, oh, my Oz, Eri, you know? We have people to cook for us for a reason. Duh! If I learn to cook, what job am I going to give someone like your mom, you know? And why would I get picked to be fat and ugly when I look like this?” She bats at her blonde curls.

Wanting to change the subject—to anything but the woes of Cam’s perfect life—I walk to her, give her a hug and a quick pat on the back. “I’ll … call you when I get it, ‘kay?”

“You better. We only have two days to shop for the perfect outfit. Why couldn’t your birthday be October twenty-ninth instead of December?” She snatches up her coat—preparation for the winter blast that will tear into uncovered skin. “And … you’re not a fluke. You will get in the white house, and when January first comes, we’ll be official!” She boogies her way out, hips wiggling. For someone who’s not happy about the prospect of becoming a baby factory, she’s awfully chipper.

I know it’s because she’s waiting to hear my fate. To prove I’m not a fluke. To validate my relevance as her friend—the one girl Cam can give backhanded compliments, and, for that matter, insults all day long, and still walk back in with a smile as if nothing happened.

Cam walks through the hallway and says goodbye to my mom who’s probably still working at her makeshift office in our miniature kitchen—trying, I assume, to avoid the whole days’ events. As much as Cam wants me to not be a fluke, my mom wants me to be one. If I’m like her, nothing will change. Like Cam, I’ll be the same old Erianna, just one day older and as useless as all the other flukes in the world.

The front door opens and closes, and I move to the window. Once Cam disappears from view, and only then, I turn over my P-Comm and touch the one message that sits inside.

The one that says: “Invitation for Erianna Price Keating.”


Running from September 2 – October 10, with a plethora of prizes! Or, if you just can’t wait, below, you can buy it now for just $2.99!  Please click the following link for a chance to win.

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{Release Day} Rise of the Magi #giveaway

Rise of the Magi

It’s finally here!  Rise of the Magi, the final installment of Lila’s story, is now on virtual shelves everywhere.  I hope you love it as much as I do.

Today kicks off my month-long blog tour.  To see all of the amazing folks who are participating, please click my tour button above.

First, Lila faced the Glass Man, the egocentric king of the fae who had been hunting her since she was thirteen.

Second, Lila dealt with the Shadowborn and the near-loss of Liam.

Now she’s about to discover her entire purpose, why she lived the horrors she did, like losing her entire family and what the prophecy about her is really about.

Here’s the deets on the book, and at the bottom, check out the giveaway.

RiseOfTheMagi-Book-CoverBack of the Book

In a battle of wills, who is strongest? The one who hates or the one who loves?

In a test of faith, who will fight the hardest? The one who has everything to lose or the one who believes only in herself?

For Lila Gray, the answer is both. For the Magi, the questions are pointless since they can’t lose, and they’ve been waiting since before Lila’s birth for this one moment. Lila only needs to find them to understand her entire purpose in life. This time, though, instead of protecting her people, Lila may be leading them all, including her unborn child and the man she loves, to their deaths — and not by accident.

In the ultimate trial of heart and soul, and the conclusion to the Lila Gray series, Lila will learn that the greatest weapon of war is herself, with one ultimate unknown. For which side will she fight?

Series:  Lila Gray, book #3

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Publisher:  J. Taylor Publishing

Keywords:  fae, faeries, elves, selkies, fantasy, urban fantasy, romance, romantic, dryads, paranormal.



What can you win?  Only the entire set of Lila Gray paperbacks.  Signed.  Neat, right?

What do you have to do?  Simply click on the rafflecopter link below and follow the instructions on the page.

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Thanks for stopping by to help me celebrate this epic day where Lila and Liam’s story is finally all told.  Here are some links if you would like to pick up a copy.

PURCHASE LINKS | Barnes & Noble | iTunes


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{Blog Tour} Purely Relative by Claire Gillian


Thank you for hosting me on my blog tour and for giving me the opportunity to share my latest book:  Purely Relative, a follow-up to my debut, The P.U.R.E.

Chronologically, Purely Relative takes place between the next to last chapter and the final or epilogue chapter of The P.U.R.E. The novella explores those first few months of the heroine, Gayle’s unemployment and her rapidly developing romance with Jon, a former co-worker. The theme is family–how totally over the top they can be, but how we love them anyway, despite our reluctant front row seats.

I’d love to give away a FREE ebook copy of Purely Relative to one commenter who answers the following question:

Was your first meeting of your significant other’s family a hit or a bomb? What would they say?

Here is more information about the book:

PurelyRelative_ClaireGillian_tagged_smaller Blurb:

Unemployed and living far from home, Gayle Lindley is nevertheless lucky to be alive after narrowly escaping her murderous ex-employer. She’s also thankful to the boyfriend gods for having blessed her with a former co-worker. Jon Cripps is brains, brawn and bedroom-certified, all in one delectable package. Life is finally on the uptick.

…Or so Gayle thinks until Jon pops the big question—no, not marriage, but meeting the rest of his family. What he neglects to mention is his loose familial definition also includes the parents of his ex-fiancée. And too bad Gayle has already met one sibling while engaged in a vigorous mattress inspection with Jon. Everyone will think she’s a man-stealing hussy!

As Gayle tiptoes into the bosom of Jon’s extended family, she is deluged with more secrets than even her curious nature can absorb. But the drama hits hardest when Jon, mysterious as ever, drops a bombshell that threatens to unravel every single stitch of progress she has made with him and his … ‘interesting’ relations.


Hey buddy! How’s DC? Has Gayle said ‘yes’ yet?

I paused to wink at Jon. “If he only knew, eh?”

~The P.U.R.E.

11 Months Earlier…

MOST PEOPLE THINK meeting your boyfriend’s family is a hallmark of commitment. I’d have rather been committed than go to the Cripps’ for a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. Oh, I loved a gluttonous turkey feast as much as anyone. The meal wasn’t the problem. Wondering how much Jon’s sister, Jenny, had shared about the night she met me kept me on a steady diet of fingernails and nerves.

Catching me and her little brother going at it in her guest bedroom probably wasn’t the best way for him to announce he’d traded in his longtime family friend/fiancée for some short blonde chick with a fat ass. I didn’t steal him from Thalia. He told me I didn’t. At least I hoped I hadn’t.

Jon assured me Jenny would never share something like that with their parents, but I wasn’t so sure. I could totally see her telling Jon’s mother, “And she had her legs wide open while Jon did his nasty business in my guest bed. My. Guest. Bed! Jon never would have done something like that if he’d still been with Thalia. He had manners until he met that Gayle slut!”

I shuddered and contemplated my lipstick shade. Harlot Red or Porn-Star Pink didn’t seem to be wise choices, nor did going natural.

“Gayle, are you about ready? We don’t wanna be late for the turkey carving.” Jon’s far-too-cheerful voice bled through my bathroom door.

Why was he so unaffected and happy? Didn’t he know they were probably going to hate me? In addition to not being Thalia, I was also responsible for getting him fired from the firm we both used to work for.

“Almost!” I opted for the peachy-pink shade called “’Virgin’s Blush” and had to laugh as I applied the color to my significantly less-than-virginal lips. “Coming! Coming!”

I slipped out of my bathroom and into the living room where Jon sat on my sofa tapping away on his smart phone. Thank goodness I was more interesting than whatever he had loaded. His eyes led a reconnaissance mission up and down my body, lingering at his usual spots of interest—my legs and my boobs. The man’s libido existed in a constant state of revving or fast idling. I had every confidence he’d nab the ass as we walked out the door.

“Okay, so your brother and your sister will be there, and your mom and dad, of course. Who else, did you say?”

He took his time shutting down his phone and stashing it in his back pocket, the hesitation I knew so well on display. He wasn’t sharing everything. “Um, there’s been a last minute addition to the guest list. I’m sorry. I didn’t know until right before I came over here to get you. I don’t want you to freak out any more than you already are.” He handed me my purse and headed to the door.

I froze in place. “Whoa! You can’t just drop that on me, then move on without sharing the rest of it. Who are the other guests?”

The turn he made to face me seemed deliberately slow, like he was plotting how best to word his disclosure. “Uh, my sister’s fiancé.”

I crossed my arms. “Mmm-hmm. And?”

“A couple of old family friends.”

My breath caught in my chest. “What family friends?”

“Sophia and Alex. Friends of my parents. They were supposed to go on a cruise but cancelled at the last minute.” He tugged at the cuffs to his shirt, but wouldn’t meet my eyes.

“Sophia and Alex who? Milano?”

His head shot up and he met my gaze. “Uh—”

“Thalia’s parents?” My voice had risen an octave with each successive question. I didn’t have much range left.

“Yes.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Thalia won’t be there, just her parents.”

His Swiss-cheese manner of conversing with me earned him no diplomacy points.

“Her parents. They know you aren’t engaged to their daughter any more?”

“Of course.”


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About the Author:

Claire Gillian is the pen name for a number-crunching executive by day. By nights and weekends she writes smart, witty stories for smart, witty readers. Her debut novel, The P.U.R.E. released in April 2012 and its sequel, Purely Relative, is hot off the press as of April 30, 2013. She also writes fifty shades of naughtier stuff under the pen name of Lila Shaw, but please don’t tell her mother.  No matter which name she uses, Claire is happiest penning romance drenched in humor with a dash of intrigue and loads of spice.

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