Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Sale! 'Smash Into You (A Sorority Row Novel)' by Sherry Soule

Bad-Boys and Dark Secrets Are Tough To Keep

A Sorority Row Novel

Serena DuPont isn’t interested in falling in love again. Been there, done that, and she has the pulverized heart to prove it. Leaving behind those sucky romantic choices, she transfers to a new college her sophomore year. All Serena wants to do is pledge a sorority, stay focused on her classes, and swear off sexy players.

Tell that to Cole Prescott, the incredibly gorgeous complication that threatens to crush her newfound resolve. Keeping him in the “friend zone” won’t be easy, especially when the sizzling chemistry between them is so damn combustible. But that’s not Serena’s biggest problem...

While pledging Zeta Beta, her life gets flipped horribly upside down by a series of ominous threats, nasty rumors, and even blackmail. And the only place she finds comfort is in the arms of the off-limits frat boy she should be avoiding.

Unless Serena can prove her innocence to the ultra-saucy sorority that’s accused her of being involved in a lewd sex scandal, Serena is at risk of losing the future she’s fought so hard to rebuild. Resigned to the fate of the Greek gods, Serena might not be able to lie her way out of this epic disaster.

Read an excerpt:

Walking across campus at night was just plain dumb. And potentially dangerous. The streetlights flickered, and my gaze darted around the vacant parking lot.
The whole scenario was straight out of a slasher flick—idiot blonde chick alone in a deserted area of campus. I was pretty sure this was the part where the guy with the hockey mask and chainsaw showed up. Or at least that’s what my panicked brain imagined.
I kept moving toward the dorm lights that glimmered in the distance, gripping the grocery bag tightly against my side. Earlier, I’d driven to Walmart and stocked up on study munchies—whole-wheat crackers, rice cakes, and dried fruit. Plus, I’d bought a cute little potted asparagus fern, hoping a little greenery would improve the feng shui in my dorm room. Plants were like tiny pets that didn’t pee on the furniture.
When I entered the quad, which was lined by towering oaks and somber buildings, deep shadows expanded around me, unconstrained by the streetlights. The musty scent of fallen autumn leaves and freshly mowed grass wafted on the evening breeze. My gaze cut to the dorms on my left, then to my right, where the library hulked, sullen and barren.
A branch cracked in the stillness.
I glanced over my shoulder at the parking lot again. Empty. The sharp blades of grass lining the sidewalk glistened in the moonlight. I quickened my pace and shifted the heavy grocery bag to my other hip as I passed the closed administration building with its stately pillars.
Another cracking noise made me flinch and suddenly images of purse-snatchers and serial killers filled my head.
I whirled and took a few steps backward, the paper sack banging against my hip. My senses went into overdrive and I stared into the night, searching for signs of life. The campus remained eerie and still.
Footsteps pounded on the pavement behind me.
Relax. Breathe. Do not lose your shit.
“Who’s there?” My voice sounded hard and shrill. The minute the words left my lips, I felt silly for uttering them. It wasn’t as if an attacker would be stupid enough to jump out from behind a tree and introduce himself.
I tugged my phone from the back pocket of my jeans. I pushed all the buttons simultaneously, willing it to turn on. Nothing. Only a black screen greeted me.
What friggin’ good did it do me to have campus security on speed-dial when my damn battery was dead?
Maybe I’d just seen one too many scary movies. I slid the useless cell back into my pocket and speed-walked toward Stevenson Hall. My heel caught on a tree root poking through the cracks in the pavement and I tumbled to my knees, my elbows vibrating from the violent jolt. The bag fell over, scattering its contents.
“Crap,” I muttered.
As I shoved the runaway items back into the bag, the tread of boots echoed off the buildings. I scrambled to my feet, then squinted into the darkness.
The footfalls were getting louder…closer.
I turned my head in slow motion. A tall figure stepped from between the majestic oaks. Instinctively, I reached into the side pouch of my Michael Kors Monogram clutch and wrapped my fingers around a small container of pepper spray. My hand was slick with sweat as I pulled out the canister. I stared at the guy, forcing myself to take a deep breath, then another.
Breathe in, breathe out.
When the stranger stopped beneath the lamppost, the stream of incandescent light struck his body and shone on a head of unruly waves. He stood with his thumbs hooked into the loops of his jeans, with the strap of a backpack drooping from one broad shoulder. I caught the glint of a silver ring piercing his left eyebrow.
Fan-friggin’-tastic. I was alone in the quad with a dangerous-looking, pierced stranger. One who probably carried around a backpack full of paraphernalia used to torture innocent young women.
“You okay?” He took a step toward me. “You look kinda spooked—”
“Stop!” I aimed the pepper spray at him, holding one finger on the trigger. “Give me an extremely good reason not to blast you right now.”
His hands went up in surrender. “Whoa! Don’t shoot.” He gazed steadily at me, his eyes bright under the streetlight. “I’m a student here, just waiting for someone.”
Okay. So, it wasn’t an insane-asylum escapee or a bloodthirsty murderer. Only another college student. The tension in my shoulders unwound, along with the muscles in the back of my neck.
He transferred the backpack from one shoulder to the other. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
My attempt at a smile felt forced. “And I didn’t mean to almost blind you.” I lowered my arm, but kept a wary eye on the guy.
He chuckled, and the richly masculine sound melted the last traces of paranoia, though it took my frantic heartbeat a minute to settle into a normal rhythm. I so needed to relax. Restore my carefully cultivated façade.
“It’s cool.” The stranger gave me a quick once-over, and then one side of his mouth slowly curved upward. He leaned against the post, his ankles crossed, and my skin prickled under his intense gaze.
Holy hotness, Batman.
Now that I wasn’t in any immediate danger, I stared at him with bolder interest. The guy was sexy-as-sin in faded jeans, and an unbuttoned flannel shirt that offered a peek at a white tank top over toned pecs. I shifted the bag to my other hip as we gazed at each other in silence. His hair appeared silky, the ends flipping over his collar. I was mesmerized by its rich color of dark brown, and I barely resisted the sudden urge to move closer and run my fingers through its waves. But as hot as all that superb masculinity was, it also triggered a few of my internal alarms.
He tilted his head, and a frown line marred the space between his arrogant brows. “Are you sure that you’re all right?”
His voice interrupted my lusty trance, and my brain lurched back into action.
“Um…” I cleared my throat. “Yeah. Just heading to my dorm. I had to pick up some things before classes started. You know, folders and paintbrushes and stuff…”
The frown vanished and his lips spread into a panty-melting smile. Heat rose in my cheeks.
Okay, hormones, settle down.
Why was I babbling to this guy like he cared what I’d been doing? What was my next brilliant plan? Show him the box of tampons I’d bought? Maybe he’d like to see the cute gel pens I used for doodling, too?
He raised his pierced brow and glanced around, his grin teasing. “You shouldn’t be out here all alone.”
Rolling my eyes, I shoved the canister back into my purse. “Thanks for the obvious tip.”
He nodded. “Anytime.”
A redhead with pink lips and a plunging neckline bounced toward him from the parking lot and sidled up beside the delicious stranger. A short skirt clung to her upper thighs, and I couldn’t help but notice how it barely covered her butt. She grabbed his arm, tugging him closer and shot a protective squint in my direction.
He glanced at the redhead, then smiled—almost regretfully—at me. Was it my imagination, or did he seem irritated that she’d shown up?
The redhead pouted up at him, and he secured an arm around her waist. He lifted the other hand to give me a little wave. “Have a good night.”
The couple took off toward the fraternity houses for an obvious late-night hook up. He nuzzled her ear, muttering something in a low tone. She laughed, and the irritating noise reminded me of a garbage truck backing up.
Walking away, I caught my reflection in the dark glass of the freshmen dorm windows. My pale face appeared flushed, my blue eyes overly bright. A few minutes of talking with that gorgeous male specimen had filled my senses with a restless, edgy energy. But hot damn, it should be downright criminal for a guy to be that mind-blowingly sexy.
The weirdest part of the whole encounter wasn’t my overheated reaction to him, but the fact that I hadn’t looked twice at a guy since last spring when I’d had my heart ripped to pieces. Not until tonight.
A cool breeze swept my long hair into my face, and I tucked the flyaway strands behind my ears. As I passed the dorm, four girls spilled out of the doorway. All freshmen easily identified by their new backpacks, trendy graphic T-shirts, and shiny, shampoo commercial hair. One girl slung her arm around her friends’ shoulders.
At the sight of them, a raw pain sliced through my chest. My best friend and I had parted ways after high school graduation. She went to Stanford while I attended Empire Beach University in Southern California for a year. Although I made friends at my old college, I took off without a word or even a forwarding address. Now for the first time in my life, I faced the world alone.
And whenever I thought about where I’d spent my summer, it felt like I was standing at the edge of a high cliff, and the only thing left to do was jump. The worst part was I still wasn’t sure how I’d gotten there. And if I didn’t snap out of my funk, I’d end up becoming a poster child for introverts everywhere.
So why did the past refuse to release me from its grip?
Trudging toward the dorm, I sighed heavily. I reminded myself for the zillionth time that this was my fresh start. A chance to leave the old me—a heartbroken girl from Southern California—far behind. Coming to Beaumont University had been the right choice.
All around me stood lofty buildings constructed of brick and stone, crowned by shingled rooftops and spires, tradition and pride oozing from every cornerstone. I shifted my bag to my other arm and hoped the plant survived the trip.
The clock tower on the library roof rang out the hour and guided my way to the sophomore dormitory. The ivy-covered walls of Stevenson Hall, the place that would be my home for the next year, loomed over the courtyard. The open windows trickled music, punctuated with occasional bursts of laughter and conversation.
Across from the university stood sorority row. Four stately homes and one antebellum mansion—Zeta Beta House—the most popular and coveted sorority on campus. Small twinkling lights decorated the exterior and gave the mansion an elusive, mysterious appeal. Through the windows, I spotted several girls milling around, talking and laughing. As I stared at them, that cold emptiness expanded inside my chest.
Heavy footfalls thudded again. I ran like hell toward the dorm.

Buy links ~ Sale price of $2.99 through 8/30!

About the author:

Sherry Soule is an Amazon bestselling author, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s always wanted to live in a world where sweatpants are sexy, cupcakes don’t make you fat, and she can adopt every homeless animal.

Many of her books have spent time on 100 Kindle bestseller lists and have been nominated as Top Picks in the “Best Paranormal Romance” categories by sites such as The Romance Reviews, Night Owl Reviews, and the Paranormal Romance Guild.

Sherry mainly writes urban fantasy, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance set in fictional places within Northern California that feature passionate, independent female characters and sexy alpha males.

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