Monday, June 27, 2016

Meet Nicole Bennett and Drew Jaymes from Racing Hearts by Ryleigh Renee

Nicole Bennett and Drew Jaymes were first loves back in the day. Years later, they have the chance to reconnect. You can read their story in Racing Hearts, the latest book by Ryleigh Renee. 

Now, in this exclusive interview, you can get to know these two, and then be sure to purchase their story on Amazon.

Your story began when you were both quite young. What can you tell us about it?

NICOLE: I was quite young actually. I had just returned to the states after finishing my studies at an all-girls’ boarding school in Great Britain. 

DREW: We met at a party. Some socialite or other. I saw this gorgeous creature and was so thankful my friend Dixie introduced us. Having grown up in Peach Valley, I knew all the other girls there. I have a way with the ladies you could say. 

NICOLE: That’s not what everyone else in town says. {laughter}

Okay, you met each other. What was your first impression?

(Nicole and Drew look at one another) 

DREW: Okay, I’ll start. The first thing I noticed were her eyes. I’d never seen eyes that color before. They weren’t blue. They’re aqua. As she looked at me, it felt like she was looking inside me. Made me a little nervous. 

NICOLE: You were nervous? You’re never nervous. 

DREW: I knew I wanted to meet her. I can’t put into words what it felt like when we met. And then she spoke. She has the most beautiful accent I’ve ever heard. 

NICOLE: Oh, that’s so sweet. I thought I could listen to your southern drawl forever.

Nicole, what was your first impression?

NICOLE: I was completely petrified! I looked at him and couldn’t believe how beautiful he was. 

DREW: Beautiful? Really? {sounding horrified} 

NICOLE: She did say my first impression. {more laughter} Being raised in England and not being around boys, I truly didn’t know how to act around them. Oh, we had a few times at school where boys came so we could learn to dance, but when I saw his bright blue eyes, I knew he was nothing like the blokes over there. {looking at Drew} I couldn’t believe how handsome you were. 

DREW: Much better!

Alright, obviously this attraction grew. Tell me about that first summer.

NICOLE: I totally convinced myself I was experiencing a school-girl crush. Here was this dashing young man, quite a charmer, who wanted to spend time with me. I have to say, socially I was quite awkward. I thought for sure Drew would come to his senses and send me on my way. 

DREW: You were a very cute socially awkward. All I can remember from that first moment was, I have to spend time with this woman. She looked at me with such innocence.

What do you mean by that?

DREW: I had a bit of a reputation. Trust me, I never should have been at that party. All those innocent socialites! By the way, not a single one of them was innocent! But Nicky, she looked at me and there was no judgment, no condemnation. I didn’t have to prove anything. It was almost like she needed something within me.

Something within you?

Drew: Her eyes always held a sadness within them. At least in the beginning. I could tell that she had something inside her beautiful heart that didn’t belong there. Such a deep sadness. 

Nicole looks down embarrassed. 

Drew: Nicky just wanted to belong. I understood it because it’s something I also wanted. Her grandmother wasn’t the nicest person. She was the only family she had left and yet had no time for her. Over that summer, just the 2 of us, she just started opening up to me. I felt honored and humbled.


Nicole: My grandmother so loved her only child, my father. His death broke her heart. I was so young when my parents passed that I barely remember them. I do remember my father buying me a pony shortly before their accident. I remember how deeply my mum loved me. I wanted my grandmother to comfort, but in her grief, there wasn’t anything left for a young girl. Her housekeeper, Emma, provided me with hugs and such when they passed. Then, my grandmother became quite angry about something and said I couldn’t stay in Georgia. So, I was sent to England and only returned during summers and the Christmas holiday.

That must have been difficult for you.

Nicole: I didn’t know what else to do, so I excelled in my studies. My father was a very prominent lawyer. I took an interest in it. Pursued it. But that summer, encountering another orphan who had such a different outlook and upbringing; I just wished for that. Drew wouldn’t talk about his parents’ passing. Just said it was the hand he was dealt and he grabbed life whole heartedly. He found something else he loved and put his heart and soul into that. Watching him drive a race car one day I remember thinking, I want to just let go like that. Then, we were just sitting around one afternoon and I began talking about feeling unloved. Like no matter what I did, I couldn’t make my grandmother love me. I remember him telling me I was beautiful inside and out and if she didn’t love me, it was her loss. 

Drew: I said that? 

Nicole: {Looking lovingly at Drew} You did. It felt like the first time someone understood me when I didn’t even understand myself.

You spent that summer together. Something happened. Care to elaborate?

Drew: Well, I had no idea what happened. I mean, we had this connection. Then, we made love. It felt like nothing I’d ever felt before. I knew she was innocent. And, I truly felt horrible after. 

Nicole: Horrible?! That night was wonderful! 

Drew: I mean the next day. Nicky is Peach Valley royalty. Losing her innocence to someone like me hit me hard. I mean, I was the town bad boy. Someone no one wanted their daughter with. And, this amazing experience happened. I mean, it wasn’t sex. It was … beyond that. Her grandmother wasn’t happy I brought her home. Thank God she didn’t know I’d made love to her! She refused to let Nicky leave the house. Next thing I knew, Nicky was gone. Wanted nothing to do with me. She left for college and wouldn’t take my calls. 

Nicole: Communication was a problem for us. I ended up thinking he had sex with me for money. That he needed a sponsor to get into a race coming up. Since I’d never known how to be in a relationship, I felt dreadful. Rather than deal with it, I left. Wanted to put the whole thing behind me. So I did.

So, until you saw each other 11 years later, you didn’t know anything about what the other was doing? 

Nicole: Just like I did with my grandmother, I focused on my studies. I figured Drew was in Peach Valley, so I never went back. I couldn’t face her because of the disappointment she’d have for me being with the one person she told me I couldn’t. I couldn’t face Drew because I’d felt shame. Shame with myself for falling in love when I knew I was unlovable. My parents were the last time I’d truly felt love and their passing broke my heart. But it was nothing compared to my broken heart when I left Georgia to go to Harvard. 

Drew: I have to confess. I knew where she was and what she was doing. I focused on other things, but I needed to know she was safe.

Your grandmother’s passing brought you back to Georgia. What went through your mind coming back to a place you never wanted to?

Nicole: I dreaded it! Our only communications were cards at Christmas. Like I said, I wasn’t taught communication in relationships. When I’d been notified of her death, I knew I had to go back. She was the only family I had left. My intent was to go back, bury her, say good-bye and since I didn’t have anything holding me there, get rid of everything. Her mansion never felt like home to me.

You remained quite composed during the funeral.

Nicole: It never felt like burying a loved one. As I said before, I never felt she loved me. I was just her last connection to her son Nicholas. And having all the townspeople offering condolences was quite tiring. I knew it would be quite a task to handle her personal affairs, but I’d no idea. Getting through everything in probate was going to take quite some time.

You went to see her. Why?

Drew: I wish I could say for sure. I just wanted to. I mean, she was back. She’d been so lost 11 years ago that I just wanted to be there for her, you know. Then I saw her and felt like I’d been hit with a sledgehammer. Man, I thought she was gorgeous before. And those eyes of hers. She had no idea what to do. And, her heart of gold wouldn’t allow her to be disrespectful of her grandmother.

You were engaged then, weren’t you Nicole?

Nicole: {Drew groans} Neal is a very nice man {she scolds Drew} 

Drew: Like I said, she has a heart of gold. I mean, no man is worthy of her. 

Nicole: Except you, of course {she teases with a smile} 

Drew: Of course {laughter}

So, you met her fiancé?

Drew: Yeah. Nice is not the word that comes to mind. I mean, the guy was trying to be all prim and proper. What was up with that? 

Nicole: Neal is a very nice man. He just thought he had to make it in my world. {Drew grumbles} Drew, be nice. 

Drew: The guy just rubbed me the wrong way. Seriously, the guy not liking me is one thing. But Dix? 

Nicole: He apologized for that. You have to remember, he knew nothing of my life in Georgia, or Great Britain for that matter. All he knew was my family had been one of the founding members of Peach Valley. Since I didn’t speak of my distaste for the world my grandmother so reveled in, he considered me high society. But, you did grow to like him after all. 

Drew: I stole his girl, I kinda had to.

You had a little legal trouble at the time of the funeral. What happened?

Drew: A little? Hell, the whole town was ready to string me up! Some guy I barely knew gets the crap beaten out of him and all fingers point my way! I mean, I’m back in town a couple months and it was right back to how it was when I was growing up. If someone needed to take the blame for what went wrong in that place, it’s Drew Jaymes.

What happened?

Drew: I left Peach Valley shortly after she did. I felt lost. Didn’t know how I’d messed up. I just didn’t feel a fight in me anymore to keep brushing off everything, you know? But, I still had the house my aunt raised me in. She’d passed away a few years before and left me the place. I needed to clear my head. The only thing that helped me do that was racing. Pushing my car to her limits. Feeling the power in my hands. 

Nicole: It’s also the only time everyone in town didn’t look down on him. He could drive like no one had ever seen before. He was their hero. 

Drew: Yeah, until some guy gets beat up and bam! Sheriff Brown decides to arrest me.

And you were with him when he was arrested, right?

Nicole: Yes. I tried to diffuse the situation. Drew was tired of how he’d been treated all those years. When they told him he was being arrested for attempted murder, he lost it a bit.

You two had a little excitement once all of that started.

Drew: That started us on an adventure no one would’ve guessed. I mean, I couldn’t just let them arrest me. I had to do something to get away. And, seeing Nicky trying to defend me while the handcuffs came out, I did kinda lose it. She was my only hope. Just like that summer 11 years ago, she didn’t see me like everyone else always had. I latched onto that and it just exploded from there.

And you became his defense attorney? But, you’re an assistant DA.

Nicole: Drew was so lost. I knew he couldn’t have done what he was being accused of. When he first asked me; well begged me actually, I could only see his love of life. I couldn’t bring myself to think his hurting someone else with the man I knew him to be. 

Drew: Nicky believes in the justice system. She always believed the system would work. I was so afraid with everything against us, she was going to lose that hope. Her belief in justice being blind. And, there is no defense attorney around who would’ve ever done what she did. I even expected a guilty verdict!

And, you made it through the trial. But, it didn’t end there.

Nicole: No. I have to say, I was on an emotional roller coaster. I went from complete elation with finding the proof Drew was innocent to crashing down. 

Drew: It probably didn’t help you having all those espressos! 

Nicole: It was a little more than that.

Can you explain?

Nicole: I think the challenge for me was I knew I still loved him. Neal was so angry I’d taken on the case. But, I just wouldn’t give up. Neal knows this about me from working in the DA’s office with me. Justice is blind. I knew in my heart Drew was innocent. And, I pushed myself further than I’d ever done before. But, I didn’t want to still be in love with him. I was engaged to be married. I still felt this connection to Drew, but I felt like, at times, he didn’t take his case seriously. I wanted to distance myself. Drew, however, had other plans. 

Drew: I did take my case seriously. But, I can see where I didn’t come across that way. I mean, I knew Nicky had Neal in her life. I knew she was engaged. All I could think of was, my case is what’s keeping her in my life. I didn’t want her to leave again. So, I guess, I was doing all I could to prevent the inevitable.

With your case won, you didn’t need her as your attorney anymore.

Drew: No, I didn’t. But, because she went so far above and beyond with the proof needed to get me acquitted, and I knew someone had set me up to take the blame, I went to her and asked her to help me find that person.

And you did, right?

Nicole: Yes. My objective was to help him one last time. I gave him 48 hours. My heart was breaking. I wanted to be with him, but just couldn’t. I guess I still felt the shame my grandmother must have had with my being with the town bad boy. But, it set off such a firestorm of events. 

Drew: It did. Nicky is the smartest woman I’ll ever know. Had I known all we were going to face, maybe I wouldn’t have asked her to help me. But, I was still so desperate to keep her in my life.

And you had some amazing adventures from there.

Drew: It went at mach speed, and for me, that’s saying something! Part of me wishes it didn’t have to be so … exciting; but then we never would’ve made it back to each other if we hadn’t. 

Nicole: Drew, I don’t think we should give any more away. 

Drew: Right. So, Racing Hearts will give all the exciting details of everything we went through with a little bit of romance along the way.

Thank you both for your time. As Drew said, Racing Hearts is their story filled with romance, intrigue and adventure. I know you’re going to love it.

Also check out an excerpt here.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bad Boys After Dark: Mick by Melissa Foster with giveaway

BoysAfterDark Blast

bad boys after dark mickBad Boys After Dark: MickThe Bad Boys are a series of stand-alone romances that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger Love in Bloom series. .

Indulge your inner vixen...
You asked for naughtier lovers, with the same fierce loyalty as The Bradens - Meet the Bad Boys... Four sinfully sexy, uber alpha brothers, about to fall head over heels for their leading ladies.

Everything's naughtier after dark...
Amanda Jenner is done being a boring-man magnet and has finally taken control of her love life. As any smart paralegal would, she's researched the hell out of how to seduce a man. She's waxed, primped, and ready to put her newfound skills into action--and a masquerade bar crawl is the perfect venue for her solo coming-out party.

Entertainment attorney Mick Bad lives by two hard and fast rules. He never mixes business with pleasure, and he doesn't do relationships, which makes the anonymity of a masquerade bar crawl the perfect place for a onetime hookup.

Amanda thinks she's hit the jackpot when she bags a tall, dark, and sinfully delicious masked man--until she discovers the man she's made out with is her off-limits boss. Mick's already crossed a line he can never uncross, and one taste of sweet and sexy Amanda has only whet his appetite. When Mick offers to give Amanda a lesson in seduction--no strings, no regrets, and for goodness' sake, come Monday, no quitting--the tables turn, and Mick's totally unprepared for the lessons this sweet temptress provides.

Read an excerpt:
LURED BY THE pulse of sex and anonymity, Amanda Jenner moved through the dusky bar, brushing against silk, satin, cotton, and flesh, each graze feeding the adrenaline coursing through her veins. Blue lights misted over sweaty strangers lost in the seductive bump and grind of foreplay and hoping for a night of erotic pleasure. If Amanda tried hard enough, she could smell tomorrow’s scent du jour—regret. Tonight she had no room for the confidence-crushing worry of what tomorrow would bring. She scanned the crowd, as she had in the previous three bars, immediately dismissing anyone who wasn’t in costume. Her world was full of boring men who excelled at wining, dining, and boring her to sleep. Ten years of romance novels and movies had led her astray, looking for the elusive needle in a haystack. She’d led herself astray, always the careful thinker, careful dresser. Or as her younger sister, Ally, would say, Careful kisser, careful lover. Ally, however, had taken charge of her sex life—and she’d found the perfect man.

Now it’s my turn.



Dylan (coming soon)
Carson (coming soon)
Brett (coming soon)

More After Dark books:

The AFTER DARK series are part of the LOVE IN BLOOM big family romance collection. Each book may be read as a stand-alone novel, or as part of the series.

melissa fosterMelissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary CafĂ© and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

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Wild Rider by Lydia Pax is now available!

Wild Rider


Beretta drives me insane for all the wrong reasons.

It’s not just how his jaw-dropping warrior’s body makes me ache so right.

He’s an apex alpha in a world of testerone-fueled badasses, and he makes me feel safe when I know I’m not.

Safety with a badass outlaw like him is like strapping yourself to a mast in a hurricane, but that doesn’t stop me from holding on for dear life.

We can’t ever be together; there’s too much pain in our history.
Even so, I’ll be damned if my body doesn’t light on fire when he’s near.

Maybe, even if he’s a killer and an outlaw…he’s just who I need.


My outlaw brothers and I were born bad. We fight, we ride, we steal, and we kill.

There’s nothing else I know. Then I met Helen.

Those hips that make my body quake. Those soul-stealing kisses.

I need to have her as much as I need the next beat of my heart.

But, danger surrounds me. The only way I can protect her is to make her my old lady.

She doesn’t understand. I don’t give a damn.

I’ll make her mine whether she likes it or not.

Read an excerpt:
She froze. The way the lot was arranged, she had come across him almost suddenly, leaving only ten feet of clearance between him and her. The second she decided she would run—that’s when he snatched her. 
Nobody moves that quick, she thought, stunned at how he had turned and closed the distance in such a short time. One second he hadn't even been looking at her—and the next, his hands were on her.

She looked up into his eyes. Time felt like it stood still. They were dark, swirling pools of emotion—not quite rage, not quite lust, not quite concern, not quite anything except for unique. For some time—maybe five seconds, though it felt like five hours—her body responded only to those eyes. A sensual, furious heat filled her, and her breath caught.
It was Beretta. 
That man? That dream of a biker who had swept her off her feet, who'd been everything she'd wanted, who'd made her nights hotter than the sun and had made every last breath feel like she was breathing into him, who had spun her mind into a web of ecstasy so dense that she never thought she'd leave? 
He stood in front of her now, bloody, holding her, looking down at Helen with confusion and recognition both.

Then, the stark, horrific reality caught up with her senses. This man had a hold of her, and he wasn't letting go. He was armed. He was huge. And no matter how handsome he was, he was covered in blood—and probably not from some benign accident either.

“Helen?” He smirked. “I forgot you were a nurse.” 
Hearing his voice did all kinds of things to her body, none of them particularly complimentary given the danger he presented. Her heart raced faster, stomach fluttering like a bird's wings.

Buy links

About Lydia Pax

Lydia Pax loves to write stories featuring hot alpha badasses falling in love with strong, smart women in the midst of a ton of excitement, turmoil, and intrigue. Life is strange, beautiful, and wonderful, but sometimes it can be a little too boring. Her stories spice the day up with enough heat to need a cold drink nearby as you read and always close with a HEA.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Read an excerpt from Racing Hearts (Michaels Legacy) by Ryleigh Renee

Racing Hearts

Drew Jaymes was Peach Valley, Georgia's bad boy. Orphaned at a young age and raised by his aunt, he dreamed of racing, his passion. Until he met a young woman with bright aqua eyes. One summer with her, and he thought his whole life changed.

Nicole Bennett was part of a founding family of Peach Valley. An emotionally cold grandmother was the only family she had after her parents died in a car accident when she was just five. Her young life was spent in an all-girls school in Great Britain. Returning to Peach Valley before heading off to university, she met and fell in love with the town bad boy. She lost her innocence and her heart in a barn during a rainstorm. A young man who’s heart belonged to racing cars. Believing Drew’s love wasn’t real, she ran off to university and left Peach Valley, never wanting to return.

Eleven years later, the death of her grandmother brings her back to the one place she never wanted to return to. Seeing the man who broke her heart all those years ago wasn’t something she’d ever planned on either.

Drew returned to Peach Valley after a long absence to compete in a race. When he’s charged with attempted murder, he turns to the only person who can help him: Nicole. She’s a successful assistant district attorney up north, and he wants her skills on his defense. Nicole didn’t buy into all the town’s hatred of him that summer long ago. Her belief in him during the trial of his life was what he needed. Little did they know this trial would take them on bold adventures and reveal secrets long buried.

Is it possible for first loves to become a love of a lifetime? Can they make it past everything their families have kept secret? Can Nicole show a town stuck in the 50’s they’d been wrong about the bad boy all along?

Read an excerpt:
Somewhere between the soundness of sleep and consciousness, she breathed in his musky scent and sighed. The chilliness of the night had caused her to snuggle close to him, his free arm wrapped around her, holding her near. 
Her mind was filled with ever-familiar dreams of that night long ago. How she longed to feel safe and secure in the envelope of his embrace throughout the night over the many lonely nights she slept alone. 
She again sighed softly at the cozy feeling flowing throughout her being. 
Her soft sighs flowed through him like music. During the night, she had snuggled close, bringing her face near his as it rest beside his chin. Her body half atop his, her left leg between his, her cuffed hand resting at his chest. 
His mind asked him if he were dreaming, having her so near, listening to her soft coos. He licked his lips as they imagined tasting hers. 
Her soft breaths at his neck sent an electric current through him. His hand linked to hers was close enough for him to reach up and softly caress her cheek. Her soft moan from his touch had him wanting more and more to taste her soft lips. 
He softly brought his lips to hers in a tender kiss as she continued to slumber. 
She was experiencing the most wonderful dream. She lie warmly in his embrace. Surely she was in heaven when she thought she felt his touch at her cheek. She couldn’t prevent the soft moan from escaping. She wanted the dream to last forever when his lips softly touched hers. How long she had wanted to taste his kiss again. 
Desires ran throughout his being when she responded to his kiss. When her hand rest at his cheek and she deepened the kiss, he felt an explosion from within his very being. 
How could the kiss of one woman ignite his very soul to life? His free arm that had encircled her, reached up to sift through her hair. 
Their kiss grew and filled with passion, her entire insides felt like a bowl of Jell-O. His hand tangled in her hair as it held their lips together. 
She was brought from her dream to the reality of the moment when she tried to pull her handcuffed hand free to encircle him. She pulled free sharply. 
The abrupt halt left him feeling dazed as he looked up to see her looking down to him. 
“Nutters! What do you think you were doing?” she demanded. 
“I’m sorry. When I woke up, you were cuddled up so close, I couldn’t help myself.” He gave her that devilish smile of his. 
“I was not cuddled up,” she stammered. “And … and, even if I was, that doesn’t give you the bloody right to take advantage of the situation!” 
He combed his free hand through his sleep tousled locks. “I said I was sorry.” His smile angering her more.

Find Ryleigh Renee on Amazon.