Series: A Circle of Justice Novel
Author: L.P. Dover
Genre: Romantic Suspense
A killer . . . that’s what I am.
It’s what I do.
It’s what I live for.
I’m no longer the Preston Hale everyone knew. I left that life and the people in it a long time ago the second I made my first kill. I wasn’t going to give in, but when I heard the screams there was no going back.
It triggered the pain, the need.
I knew what I had to do, and I did it well. But I never expected for Emma Turner – the only link to my past – to come back into my life.
She triggers a different emotion inside me, something I hadn’t ever felt.
It’s not a want to kill . . . but a need to CLAIM.
When I got downstairs to the dining room, Glenn and Wade were already there, speaking to each other in hushed tones by the large window. There were shiny plates on the table, with all sorts of silverware around them. Start from the outside and work your way in, was what I was told when it came to using the various forks and spoons. Give me just one of each and I’d be happy.
It wasn’t long before Glenn noticed me at the door and the conversation ceased. “Emma, you look lovely tonight,” he announced.
I smiled. “Thank you.”
He beckoned me over to the table and Wade held out a seat for me. I sat down and he took the one on the right, while Glenn sat on my left at the head of the table. There was only one other place setting and it was across from me.
“Wine?” Glenn asked, holding up the bottle.
I nodded. “Sure.”
He poured me a glass and I took a sip. It tasted like heaven, all fruity and crisp. It was so good I had to take another sip, and another, while we waited on the special guest. Not even a minute later, the dining room door opened and a man walked in. Only, he wasn’t just anyone.
It’d been eight years and he’d surely changed, but there was no mistaking those gray eyes. His hair was the same light brown, and mussed up like all the guys did their hair these days. However, his body looked totally different. His cream colored, long-sleeve sweater hugged a set of muscular arms, and his face was more rugged, covered in a five o’clock shadow.
I almost choked on my wine. “Oh my God.” Is it really him?
“Emma, are you okay?” Wade asked, his voice low.
“Yeah,” I whispered. “I’m fine.”
I waited for Preston to look at the table, and when his gaze finally caught mine, he paused for a slight second. In his face, I could see the friend I lost so long ago, but it vanished quickly.
Glenn and Wade both stood when Preston approached, and I shot up out of my seat, bumping the table with my jerky movements. Glenn grinned at me and then at Preston. “Preston Hale, I’d like you to meet Emma Turner. She’s my assistant. Emma, this is Preston Hale, a close family friend. His father is one of my dearest friends.”
Preston held out his hand and looked at me as if he’d never laid eyes on me before. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Was he being serious? I shook his hand and made sure to put a little extra squeeze in there for good measure. “Meet me? Surely, you remember who I am.”
Glenn’s eyes went wide. “Wait. You two already know each other?”
I nodded. “From college.” I was about to add before he up and left without a trace, but thought better of it.
Glenn chuckled and smacked a hand on Preston’s shoulder. “Well, isn’t this a small world? You’ll have to tell me some stories on this one.” He nodded my way.
Preston’s jaw clenched. “Can’t. Don’t remember her.”
My mouth dropped open; it was like being punched in the gut and slapped in the face, all at the same time. No words would come out, so I sat there with a lump in my throat. In college, he’d been a close friend. I sang with him in his band, Silent Break. We connected on stage in a way I’d never felt with anyone. I cared about him, and had even been ready to take the next step in our relationship right before he up and disappeared. I never got to tell him how I felt. Now he looked at me as if I was a stranger.
The room fell silent. I wanted to say something, but I bit my tongue. It was going to be the longest dinner of my life.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.
Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can’t forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.
Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over twenty novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed & Dangerous series, the Royal Shifters series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.
L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
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USA Today Bestselling Author J.L. Berg’s first YA title, THE TATTERED GLOVES, is available now! We love Willow’s story so much. Find out more about THE TATTERED GLOVES below!
About THE TATTERED GLOVES
Don’t look up.
Never make eye contact.
Those were the words I lived by growing up, the words that protected me in an unsafe home. But words are only letters and eventually even they couldn’t keep his hands off me.
Hoping to leave behind the shattered life of my past, I find myself in a boring, small town, with an aunt I’ve never met and at a school I loathe.
But soon I learn, not everything in this world is as black and white as I’ve determined. Sometimes those we are so quick to judge often need a second, third or even fourth time to make a first impression.
And often, there are friendships and even love waiting just around the corner, if we are brave enough to take the first step.
Am I brave? Or will I hide behind these tattered gloves of mine forever?
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My normally quiet nature seemed to take a backseat when it came to this guy. He made me angry, flustered, and… something else I couldn’t put my finger on.
No, that wasn’t it.
“What is your problem?” I blurted out, chasing behind him.
“My problem?” he asked, spinning around to face me.
Suddenly, he was too close. I could feel his breath on my face, his presence looming over me.
I took a step back.
He seemed to notice the unease settle around me, and a bit of the edge he carried chipped away.
His next words were said with a slightly softer quality. “Look, maybe we got off on the wrong foot. I didn’t mean to sound so harsh, but if the store doesn’t do well, it’s on me. My dad thinks it’s a waste of time.”
“And you don’t?”
I didn’t know what a rich, popular kid wanted with an old bookstore, but I kept my mouth shut.
He shrugged. “We have nothing in this crummy town, not even a movie theater. Last month, I wanted to see the new Marvel movie, and my friends and I had to drive thirty minutes away just to see it.”
“Haven’t you ever heard of Netflix?” I asked.
“It’s not the same as seeing it on the big screen.”
“I wouldn’t know,” I replied.
“What?” He grinned. “You’ve never been to a movie?”
The way he said it was meant as a joke, but all laughter died when I shook my head.
“I mean, I’ve watched several on TV but never at a theater,” I answered, not able to meet his stare.
“I thought you were from the city.”
My eyes flew up to his.
“Oh, so you really did think you were invisible. That doesn’t work around here, Mittens.”
My brows furrowed as I tried to figure out what he meant until he pointed to my gloves.
“My name is Willow,” I corrected.
Sam just kept smiling.
“Word of advice, Mittens. The less you try to be invisible, the less interested people will be.”
I let out a heavy sigh, snatching the remainder of the books from the counter.
As he’d reminded me earlier, I wasn’t being paid to mess around.
And I sure as hell didn’t need life lessons from an over privileged daddy’s boy.
I hated this place.
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About J.L. Berg
J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series, The Walls Duet, and the Lost & Found Duet. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she’s not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.
From New York Times Bestselling author Liliana Hart, comes SWEET SURRENDER, a sexy new novella filled with suspense in her MacKenzie Family Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!
A brisk March wind blew through Surrender.
“Being a cop doesn’t mean I crave donuts.” Grant Boone glared out the window toward the bakery across the street.
Cooper MacKenzie snorted, “You were a cop.”
Grant’s hands fisted in his lap and his gaze dropped to stare at them as the familiar anger raged through his body. His light brown hair, which was long overdue for a cut, hung down to hide his expression. He knew Cooper hadn’t meant anything by it, but damn, the words still pierced him like a knife to the gut.
“My mistake,” he said. “I was a cop.”
“Come on, Grant. You know I didn’t mean it that way. Hell, you’re still the best there is. Your chief will wake up and realize his screw-up before long. Though I’ve always thought you and the city would clash before too long. Hell, look at you. You look like you walked out of one of those Marlboro commercials. What the hell is a country boy like you doing in Detroit anyway?”
Cooper wasn’t the first person to tell him he didn’t belong in the Motor City. But he’d served the city with a purpose. He’d worked undercover, and he’d been an asset to the force. It wasn’t often they came across a six-foot-five, two-hundred-and-forty-five pound bruiser to work the biker bars and clubs.
“There’s no going back, Coop. I gave that shithole city the best years of my life. And for what? A forced retirement under a cloud of an internal affairs investigation.” Grant set his coffee on the desk and knuckled his eyes. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d slept a full night through. God, was he tired.
About SWEET SURRENDER:
It’s been twelve years since Liza Carmichael stepped foot in Surrender, but after her great aunt’s death she has no choice but to return and settle her estate. Which includes the corner bakery that’s been a staple in Surrender for more than fifty years.
After twenty-five years on the job, Lieutenant Grant Boone finds himself at loose ends now that he’s retired. He’s gotten a number of job offers—one from MacKenzie Security—but he’s burned out and jaded, and the last thing he wants to do is carry the burden of another badge and weapon. He almost turns down the invitation from his good friend Cooper MacKenzie to stay as their guest for a few weeks while he’s deciding what to do with the rest of his life. But he packs his bag and heads to Surrender anyway.
The only thing Boone knows is that his future plans don’t include Liza Carmichael. She’s bossy, temperamental, and the confections she bakes are sweet enough to tempt a saint. Thank God he’s never pretended to be one. But after he gets one taste of Liza and things start heating up in the kitchen, he realizes how delicious new beginnings can be.
About Liliana Hart:
Liliana Hart is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author in both the mystery and romance genres. After starting her first novel her freshman year of college, she immediately became addicted to writing and knew she’d found what she was meant to do with her life. She has no idea why she majored in music.
Liliana is an avid reader and a believer in all things romance. Her books are filled with witty dialogue, steamy sex, and the all-important happily-ever-afters her romantic soul craves. Since self-publishing in June of 2011, she’s sold more than 1.2 million ebooks all over the world.
From New York Times Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes THE ONLY ONE, a sexy new standalone novella in her One Love Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure you grab your copy today!
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I was taken with her the moment I sat down at the table next to hers at the café on a street corner in Barcelona. Her warm eyes met mine, and I wasn’t able to look away, so I didn’t. When her almond cake arrived, she arched an eyebrow, and said, “You’re admiring my dessert.”
I laughed. “I don’t think it’s the dessert I’m admiring. But I have been hoping you’d want company to help devour it. May I join you?”
She nodded and I moved to her table. She picked up her fork and said, “It’s made with caramel—my favorite. And it’s divine. By all means, let’s devour.”
“I’m a big believer in the consumption of sweets.”
“We have a saying in America. Eat dessert first,” she said.
I lifted my fork and took a bite of the Tarta de Santiago. “I like this saying. Can you appoint me a temporary American?”
She tapped my shoulder, something that shouldn’t have turned me on, but somehow it did.
“There. Done. By the power vested in me, I’ve declared you able to eat dessert first.”
“I must tell you a secret. I already possessed the ability,” I said, and she laughed, a pretty sound, like bells.
And I was halfway to hooked. Maybe it was her confidence. She seemed a few years younger than me, but there wasn’t a shred of shyness or insecurity about her. Her wit was intoxicating, and so was her beauty.
When we finished the almond cake with the caramel layer on the bottom, I was certain of two things—I didn’t want to let her get away, and I needed to see her again. “May I take you to dinner?” I asked.
She said yes.
But we didn’t wait till dinner. We spent the afternoon together, wandering around the city, strolling through the side streets, ducking into the churches and buildings and seeing the sights she wanted to explore.
All the while, I learned more about her. That she’d studied European History in college, that she’d loved traveling across the continent these last few months, and that she was looking forward to her job on Wall Street at Smith and Holloway Bank when she returned to the United States.
Mostly, she added. She was mostly looking forward to it.
“This trip is my last hurrah before I enter the working world,” she told me.
Lauren Blakely brings us the perfect little second chance romance with The Only One.
In this standalone novella we once again see sexy chef Gabriel and Penny from the animal rescue. They knew each other ten years ago… had a magical time together… thought it meant something — and then nothing. Penny never heard from him again. And now, here she is face to face with the guy who destroyed her. And wouldn’t you know, she needs him. No, not THAT kind of NEED! But needs him to pull off the charity gala for her animal rescue! Doesn’t it just figure? The one person you want to duck and cover and run and hide from is the one person you need to stand there and face. And not only face but actually rely on!
Watching them figure out what kept them apart all those years ago and then rekindle their relationship just warmed my heart. This quick read is chock full of sweet and spicy — which makes complete sense since Gabriel is a chef and they both love dessert 😉
I definitely recommend this one!
I received a complimentary copy of The Only One.
About THE ONLY ONE:
From the New York Times bestselling author of THE SEXY ONE comes a romance about fate and second chances.
Let’s say there was this guy. And he gave you the most mind-blowing night of sex in your life. And you never saw him again.
Until ten years later.
Now, it turns out he’s the ONLY ONE in all of Manhattan whose restaurant is available for my charity’s event.
The trouble is, he doesn’t recognize me.
This woman I’m working with is so damn alluring. The first time I set eyes on her, I’m captivated and I can’t get her out of my mind. Even if it’s risky to tango with someone I’m working with, she’s a risk I’m willing to take.
The trouble is, she won’t give me the time of day.
But I’m determined to change that.
Praise for Lauren Blakely and THE ONLY ONE:
“An extraordinarily dreamy love story that will melt your heart!”
~Beneath The Covers Book Blog
“This is an epic second chance romance that filled my heart with love, hope and longing.”
~5-Stars! Two Book Pushers
“Lauren has knocked this one out of the park and down the street into the kitchen of Rocco DiSpirito. This book is smart, sexy, and full of surprises with characters you can’t help but fall in love with. I want to find my very own Gabriel now. A sexy man with an accent who can cook for me. Who could ask for anything more?”
~Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews
“Insanely romantic and so genuinely charming…”
~Fresh Fiction Reviewer
About Lauren Blakely:
Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US over three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1.5 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With thirteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like BIG ROCK, MISTER O, WELL HUNG, and THE SEXY ONE which were all instant New York Times Bestsellers. In January she’ll release FULL PACKAGE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter.
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About INK EXPOSED
The Montgomery Ink series continues with the brother that deserves a second chance, and the woman who has always loved him.
Alex Montgomery lost his first love and then proceeded to leave himself in the bottle. Only he and his ex-wife truly know why he fell so hard and so fast down a path he never thought he’d take. Now he’s clean, out of rehab, and learning how to be a Montgomery once again—a task that isn’t quite as easy as some of his family assumes.
Tabby Collins is an honorary Montgomery and the organizational mastermind behind Montgomery Inc., the family’s construction company. She loves her planners, friends, and a certain dark-haired man who’s never given her a second glance.
Alex is slowly re-immersing himself back into the world, but the demons he faced before aren’t out of the picture, and he’ll have to learn to rely on others to make it out whole. When Alex discovers that Tabby’s life is in danger, he not only finds a way to help her but also learns the true woman behind the soft smiles he’s always seen. Their romance won’t be an easy one, but nothing this passionate and heart-pounding ever is.
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About Carrie Ann Ryan
Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.