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Showing posts with label Sneak Peek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sneak Peek. Show all posts
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

GIVEAWAY: The Jackal by J.R. Ward is LIVE!

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sinner brings another hot adventure of true love and ultimate sacrifice in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world.  THE JACKAL (on-sale August 18; Hardcover; Gallery Books), the beginning of a new series set in the underground prison where only the most dangerous vampires dwell.  Read an excerpt below and enter for a chance to win a hardcover copy!


Enter to win a hardcover copy -- HERE
JR Ward giveaway


AVAILABLE NOW! 
Amazon Kindle: https://amzn.to/3aCZ1j9


Synopsis: 
The location of the glymera's notorious prison camp was lost after the raids. When a freak accident provides Nyx clues to where her sister may still be doing time, she becomes determined to find the secret subterranean labyrinth. Embarking on a journey under the earth, she learns a terrible truth - and meets a male who changes everything forever. The Jackal has been in the camp for so long he cannot recall anything of the freedom he once knew. Trapped by circumstances out of his control, he helps Nyx because he cannot help himself. After she discovers what happened to her sister, getting her back out becomes a deadly mission for them both. United by a passion they can't deny, they work together on an escape plan for Nyx - even though their destiny is to be forever apart. And as the Black Dagger Brotherhood is called upon for help, and Rhage discovers he has a half brother who's falsely imprisoned, a devious warden plots the deaths of them all...even the Brothers.

Sneak Peek at THE JACKAL: 

Western New York State, Present Day

The whole “life is a highway” metaphor was so ubiquitous, so overused, so threadbare and torn-patched, that as Nyx sat in the passenger side of a ten-year-old station wagon, and stared at the moonlit asphalt trail cutting through brush and bramble in west-ern New York State, she wasn’t thinking a damn thing about how sim-ilar the course of roads and lives could be: You could get sweet-sailing easy declines of coasting. Bad, bumpy, rough patches that rattled your teeth. Uphill hauls that you thought would never end. Bored stretches between far-apart exits.
And then there were the obstacles, the ones that came from out of nowhere and carried you so far off your planned trip that you ended up in a completely different place.
Some of these, both in the analogy and in fact, had four legs and a kid named Bambi.
“Watch out!” she yelled as she clapped a hand on the steering wheel and took control.
Too late. Over the screeching of tires, the impact was sickeningly soft, the kind of thing that happened when steel hit flesh, and her sister’s response was to cover her eyes and tuck in her knees.
Not helpful considering Posie was the one with the access to the brake pedal. But also completely in character.
The station wagon, being an inanimate object set into motion, had no brain of its own, but plenty of motivation from the sixty-two miles an hour they’d been going. As such, the old Volvo went bucking bronco as they left the rural byway, its stiff, cumbersome body heaving into a series of hill-and-dale dance moves that had Nyx hitting her head on the padded roof even though she was belted in.
The headlights strobed what was in front of the car, the beams point-and-shooting in whatever direction and angle the front grille hap-pened to be thrown in. For the most part, there was just a leafy morass of bushes, the green, spongy territory a far better outcome than she would have predicted.
That all changed.
Like a creature rising out of the depths of a lake, something brown, thick, and vertical was teased in the verdant light show, disappearing and reappearing as the shafts of illumination willy’d-their-nilly around.
Oh, shit. It was a tree. And not only was the arboreal hard-stop an immovable object, it was as if a steel crank-chain ran between its thick trunk and the undercarriage of the station wagon.
If you’d steered for a collision course, you couldn’t have done a better job.
Inevitable covered it.
Nyx’s only thought was for her sister. Posie was braced in the driv-er’s seat, her arms straight out, fingers splayed, like she was going to try to push the tree away—
The impact was like being punched all over the body, and there must have been a crunch of metal meeting wood, but with the airbags deploy-ing and the ringing in Nyx’s ears, she couldn’t hear much. Couldn’t breathe well. Couldn’t seem to see.
Hissing. Dripping. Burned rubber and something chemical.
Someone was coughing. Her? She couldn’t be sure.
“Posie?”
“I’m okay, I’m okay . . .”
Nyx rubbed her stinging eyes and coughed. Fumbling for the door, she popped the release and shoved hard against some kind of resistance. “I’m coming around to help you.”
Assuming she could get out of the damn car.
Putting her shoulder into the effort, she forced the door through something fluffy and green, and the payback was that the bush barged in, expanding into the car like a dog that wanted to sniff around.
She fell out of her seat and rolled onto the scruff. All-four’ing it for a spell, she managed to get up on to her feet and steady herself on the roof as she went around to the driver’s side. Peeling open Posie’s door, she released the seat belt.
“I got you,” she grunted as she dragged her sister out.
Propping Posie against the car, she cleared the blond hair back from those soft features. No blood. No glass in the perfect skin. Nose was still straight as a pin.
“You’re okay,” Nyx announced.
“What about the deer?”
Nyx kept the curses to herself. They were about ten miles from home, and what mattered was whether the car was drivable. No offense to Mother Nature and animal-lovers anywhere, but that four-legged scourge of the interstate was low on her list of priorities.
Stumbling to the front, she shook her head at the damage. A good two feet of the hood—and, therefore, engine—was compressed around a trunk that had all the flexibility of an I beam, and she was hardly an automotive expert, but that had to be incompatible with vroom-vroom, home safe.
“Shit,” she breathed.
“What about the deer?”
Closing her eyes, she reminded herself about the birth order. She was the older, responsible one, black-haired and brusque like their father had been. Posie was the blond, good-hearted youngest, who had all the warmth and sunny nature that their mahmen had possessed.
And the middle?
She couldn’t go down the Janelle rabbit hole right now.
Back over at her open door, Nyx leaned in and moved the deflated airbag out of the way. Where was her phone? She’d put it in a cupholder after she’d texted their grandfather as they’d left Hannaford. Great. Nowhere to be found—
“Thank God.”
Bracing her hand on the seat, she went down into the wheel well. And got a palm full of bad news.
The screen was cracked and the unit dark. When she tried to fire the thing up, it was a no go. Straightening, she looked over the ruined hood. “Posie, where is your—”
“What?” Her sister was focused on the road that was a good fifty yards away, her stick-straight hair tangled down her back. “Huh?”
“Your phone. Where is it?”
Posie glanced over her shoulder. “I left it at home. You had yours, so I just, you know.”
“You need to dematerialize back to the farmhouse. Tell grandfather to bring the tow truck and-”
“I’m not leaving here until we take care of that deer.”
“Posie, there are too many humans around here and—”
“It’s suffering!” Tears glistened. “And just because it’s an animal doesn’t mean its life doesn’t matter.”
“Fuck the deer.” Nyx glared across the steaming mess. “We need to solve this problem now—”
“I’m not leaving until—”
“—because we have two hundred dollars of groceries melting in the back. We can’t afford to lose a week’s worth of—”
“—we take care of that poor animal.”
Nyx swung her eyes away from her sister, the crash, the crap she had to fix so goddamn Posie could continue to give her heart out to the world and worry about things other than how to pay the rent, keep food on the table, and make sure they had such exotic luxuries as electricity and running water.
When she trusted herself to look back without hurling a bunch of be-practical f-bombs at her fricking sister, she saw absolutely no change in Posie’s resolve. And this was the problem. A sweet nature, yes. That annoying, bleeding-heart, emphatic bullcrap, yes. Iron will? When it came it down to it, boatloads.
That female was not budging on the deer thing.
Nyx threw up her hands and cursed—loudly.
Back in the car. Opening the glove box. Taking out the nine milli-meter handgun she kept there for emergencies.
As she came around the rear of the station wagon, she eyed the re-usable grocery bags. They were crammed up against the bench seat as a result of the crash, and it was a good news/bad news situation. Any-thing breakable was done for, but at least the cold items were clois-tered together, united in a fight against the eighty-degree August night.
“Oh, thank you, Nyx.” Posie clasped her hands under her chin like she was doing a devotional. “We’ll help the—wait, what are you doing with the gun?”
Nyx didn’t stop as she passed by, so Posie grabbed her arm. “Why do you have the gun?”
“What do you think I’m going to do to the damn thing? Give it CPR?”
“No! We need to help it—”
Nyx put her face into her sister’s and spoke in a dead tone. “If it’s suffering, I’m going to put it down. It’s the right thing to do. That is the way I will help that animal.”
Posie’s hands went to her face, pressing into cheeks that had gone pale. “It’s my fault. I hit the deer.”
“It was an accident.” Nyx turned her sister around to face the station wagon. “Stay here and don’t look. I’ll take care of it.”
“I didn’t mean to hurt the—”
“You’re the last person on the planet who’d intentionally hurt any-thing. Now stay the hell here.”
The sound of Posie softly crying escorted Nyx back toward the road. Following the tire gouges in the dirt and the ruined foliage, she found the deer about fifteen feet away from where they’d veered off—
Nyx stopped dead in her tracks. Blinked a couple of times. Considered vomiting.
It wasn’t a deer.
Those were arms. And legs. Thin ones, granted, and covered with mud-colored clothes that were in rags. But nothing about what had been struck was animal in nature. Worse? The scent of the blood that had been spilled was not human.
It was a vampire.
They’d hit one of their own.
Nyx ran over to the body, put the gun away, and knelt down. “Are you okay?”
Dumbass question. But the sound of her voice roused the injured, a horrific and horrified face turning up to her.
It was a male. A pretrans male. And oh, God, the whites of both his eyes had gone red, although she couldn’t tell whether it was because of the blood running down his face or some kind of internal brain injury. What was clear? He was dying.
“Help . . . me . . .” The thin reedy voice was, interrupted by weak coughing. “Out of . . . prison . . . hide me . . .”
“Nyx?” Posie called out. “What’s happening?”
For a split second, Nyx couldn’t think. No, that was a lie. She was thinking, just not about the car, the groceries, the kid who was dying, or her hysterical sister.
“Where,” Nyx said urgently. “Where’s the camp?”
Maybe after all these years . . . she could find out where Janelle had been taken.
This had to be Fate.
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Early Review: The Rivals by Vi Keeland

It’s hard to say anything was the "Best of the Year" in the year that most of us want to forget. The Rivals by Vi Keeland finally gives 2020 something we want to remember and cherish! The Rivals will release on 7.13.2020! Check out my spoiler-free review below. Read an excerpt here.


Vi Keeland Book Cover



BLURB

The feud between Weston Lockwood and me started at the altar.
Only neither of us attended the wedding, and the nuptials happened decades before either of us was born.
Our grandfathers had been best friends and business partners, at least up until my grandfather’s wedding day—when his bride-to-be blurted out she couldn’t marry him because she was also in love with Weston‘s grandfather. 
The two men spent years fighting over Grace Copeland, who also happened to be their third business partner.  But in the end, neither man could steal half of her heart away from the other.
Eventually, they all went their separate ways.  Our grandfathers married other women, and the two men became one of the biggest business rivals in history.
Our fathers continued the family tradition of feuding.  And then Weston and I did, too.
For the most part, we kept as much distance as possible.
Until the day the woman who started the feud died—and unexpectedly left one of the most valuable hotels in the world to our grandfathers to share.
Now I’m stuck in a hotel with the man I was born to hate, trying to unravel the mess our families inherited.
As usual, it didn’t take long for us to be at each other’s throats. 
Weston Lockwood was everything I hated: tall, smart, cocky, and too gorgeous for his own good.  We were fire and ice. 
But that shouldn’t be an issue. Our families were used to being at war. There was just one minor problem, though.   Every time Weston and I fought, we somehow wound up in bed.




PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon Live Release Alert: https://www.subscribepage.com/i6h3o5 or text BOOKS to 77948 (US only)

Spoiler-free review of The Rivals
The RivalsThe Rivals by Vi Keeland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Vi Keeland Romance

If you think this cover is hot wait until you read Vi Keeland’s sexiest book to date. I loved this story so much!!! Spoiler-free review to follow!

Update:
Pack your bags. You're going on a sexy trip to The Countess hotel, with Weston and Sophia. Holly hell, The Rivals, by Vi Keeland, is downright addictive and seductive! This book is unputdownable. The Rivals is everything that you want in a romance - a solid story, fantastic characters, combustible attraction, and flirty fun. The Rivals is Vi's sexist book to date. I love it when Vi spices things up, and spicy definitely works for Weston and Sophia. I think she took this one to ghost pepper habanero spice level! This rivals-to-lovers romance is dirty, sexy, perfection peppered with a little sweet fun. I can't give enough love to Vi's books. The Rivals is going on my best of 2020 romance book list. July 13th release.

AUTHOR BIO

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.


AUTHOR LINKS
Vi Keeland picture

Sneak Peek: The Rivals by Vi Keeland

Are you excited about Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, The Rivals? Check out this SNEAK PEEK.  This romance book is going to heat up your summer reading list! 


Vi Keeland book

EXCERPT REVEAL
Title: The Rivals
Author: Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 13, 2020

BLURB

The feud between Weston Lockwood and me started at the altar.
Only neither of us attended the wedding, and the nuptials happened decades before either of us was born.
Our grandfathers had been best friends and business partners, at least up until my grandfather’s wedding day—when his bride-to-be blurted out she couldn’t marry him because she was also in love with Weston‘s grandfather. 
The two men spent years fighting over Grace Copeland, who also happened to be their third business partner.  But in the end, neither man could steal half of her heart away from the other.
Eventually, they all went their separate ways.  Our grandfathers married other women, and the two men became one of the biggest business rivals in history.
Our fathers continued the family tradition of feuding.  And then Weston and I did, too.
For the most part, we kept as much distance as possible.
Until the day the woman who started the feud died—and unexpectedly left one of the most valuable hotels in the world to our grandfathers to share.
Now I’m stuck in a hotel with the man I was born to hate, trying to unravel the mess our families inherited.
As usual, it didn’t take long for us to be at each other’s throats. 
Weston Lockwood was everything I hated: tall, smart, cocky, and too gorgeous for his own good.  We were fire and ice. 
But that shouldn’t be an issue. Our families were used to being at war. There was just one minor problem, though.   Every time Weston and I fought, we somehow wound up in bed.




PRE-ORDER LINKS


Amazon Live Release Alert: https://www.subscribepage.com/i6h3o5 or text BOOKS to 77948 (US only)


EXCERPT

Sophia

“What the hell?” I pressed the button on the elevator panel a second time. It illuminated, yet the car continued to sit there. So I jabbed my finger at it a third time. Finally, the doors started to glide closed. Just as they were about to shut completely, a shoe blocked them from closing. 
A wingtip shoe. 
Weston’s smiling face was there to greet me when the doors bounced open. 
My blood was near boiling. “So help me, Lockwood, if you try to get in this car, I can’t be responsible for what happens to you. I’m not in the mood anymore.” 
He entered the elevator anyway. “Come on, Fifi. What’s wrong? I’m just playing around. You’re taking things way too seriously.” 
I counted to ten in my head, but it didn’t help. Fuck it. He wanted to get a rise out of me? He was going to get one. The doors slid shut again, and I turned and backed him into a corner. Seeing my face, he at least had the decency to look a little nervous. 
“You wanna know what’s wrong? I’ll tell you what’s wrong! My father thinks I’m inept because I don’t have an appendage dangling between my legs. The man I spent the last eighteen months with was cheating on me with one of my cousins. Again. I hate New York City. I despise the Lockwood family. And you think you can get away with anything you want just because you have a big dick.” I jabbed my finger into his chest and punctuated each staccato word with another stab.  
“I’m  
Tired.  
Of.  
Men.  
My father.  
Liam.  
You. 
Every single fucking one of you. So leave me the hell alone!” 
Frazzled, I turned back around and waited for the door to open, only to realize we hadn’t started to move yet. Great. Just fucking great. I jabbed the button a few more times, closed my eyes, and took deep, cleansing breaths as we started to move. Halfway through breath three, I felt the heat of Weston’s body behind me. He had to have moved closer. I continued to try to ignore him.  
But the fucker still smelled good.  
How the hell could that be? Whose cologne lasted for—what had it been now?—twelve hours? After the gauntlet run he’d sent me on across town this morning, I probably smelled like BO. It pissed me off that the asshole smelled...fucking delicious.  
He moved closer, and I felt his breath tickle my neck.  
“So,” he whispered in a gravelly voice. “You think my dick’s big.” 
I turned and scowled at him. While this morning he’d been clean-shaven, he now had a five o’clock shadow all along his chiseled jaw. It gave him a sinister look. The suit that hugged his broad shoulders probably cost more than Liam’s entire sweater wardrobe. Weston Lockwood was everything I hated in a man—wealthy, good looking, cocky, arrogant, and fearless. Liam would hate him. My father already hated him. And at the moment, those were actually Weston’s strong points.  
While I struggled with my body reacting to his scent and how much I liked the stubble on his face, Weston slowly reached out and put a hand on my hip. At first, I assumed he thought he needed to steady me, as he had when I’d wobbled in the bar. Had I wobbled again? I didn’t think I had. But I must’ve. 
Though when his hand glided from my hip around to my ass, there was no misunderstanding his intention. He was not trying to help me stay on my feet. In my head, my immediate reaction was to scream at him, but somehow my throat felt too clogged to speak.  
I made the mistake of looking up from his jaw into his blue eyes. Heat flickered, turning them almost gray, and his eyes dropped to my lips.  
No.  
Just no. 
This was not happening.  
Not again. 
My heart thundered in my chest, and the blood in my ears roared so loudly I almost didn’t hear the ding of the elevator announcing that we’d arrived at my floor. Thankfully it snapped me out of whatever moment of insanity I’d slipped into.  
“I…I need to go.” 
It took all of my focus to put one foot in front of the other, but I managed to walk down the hall and make it to my room.  
Though… 
I wasn’t alone. 


AUTHOR BIO
Vi Keeland Books

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.


AUTHOR LINKS

Friday, May 1, 2020

SNEAK PEEK from The Hunter by LJ Shen.

Check out this SNEAK PEEK from The Hunter by LJ Shen! I can't wait to read this new standalone romance on May 11th.  
Cover model: Christian Hogue.
Sneek Peek

Check out this SNEAK PEEK from The Hunter by LJ Shen! 

The Hunter, an all-new must-read standalone contemporary  romance from USA Today
bestselling author L.J. Shen is coming May 11th and we have your FIRST look! 

“Sailor Brennan?” the man—not
boy—asked flatly, his eyes raking me head
 to toe like I was a call girl he’d just opened his door for and discovered was not up to his standards.
I felt my body stiffening in defense and shook my
head, ridding myself of the weird hold his looks had on me.
“Yeah.” I reared my head back so I could take more
of him in, and also because I couldn’t tell if the need to head-butt him would arise. This guy was a complete stranger, after all. “Can I help you?”
“I’m Hunter Fitzpatrick.” He pointed at himself,
his smirk a perfect, well-practiced half-moon with the right amount of teeth-to-dimple ratio.
I blinked at him, waiting for further explanation.
“And…?” I frowned when it became obvious his statement was also meant to serve as some sort of clarification.
His eyes inched wider in surprise, but he soon arranged
his features back into a flaccid expression and cleared his throat.
“Can we talk somewhere?”
“We are talking somewhere.” I took my AirPods out, dropping them into my front pocket. “Right here. And if you don’t tell me what it’s about, I’m afraid I’ll have to turn around, get into my car, and drive away.”
“I’m afraid I’ll have to block your way out of here,
if you do that.” He dragged his fingers through his tresses, each golden hair submitting to the movement, like a gust of wind swiping a wheat field.

Want more? Continue reading here: https://bit.ly/3d0o2VB

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Be notified FIRST when The Hunter is live: http://bit.ly/36MnmAQ

Synopsis: 

Boston’s debauched elite is going
up in flames, and it’s the Fitzpatrick family that set it on fire. 

Hunter

I didn’t mean to star in a sex tape, okay?
It was just one of those unexplainable things. Like Stonehenge,
Police Academy 2, and morning glory clouds.
It just happened.
Now my ball-busting father is sentencing me to six months of celibacy, sobriety, and morbid boredom under the roof of Boston’s nerdiest girl alive, Sailor Brennan.
The virginal archer is supposed to babysit my ass while I learn to take
my place in Royal Pipelines, my family’s oil company.
Little does she know, that’s not the only pipe I’ll be laying…

Sailor

I didn’t want this gig, okay?
But the deal was too sweet to walk away from.
I needed the public endorsement; Hunter needed a nanny.
Besides, what’s six months in the grand scheme of things?
It’s not like I’m in danger of falling in love with the appallingly gorgeous, charismatic gazillionaire who happens to be one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors.
No. I will remain immune to Hunter Fitzpatrick’s charm.
Even at the cost of losing everything I have.
Even at the cost of burning down his kingdom. 
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Sneak Peek: My Favorite Souvenir by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Read chapter one of My Favorite Souvenir by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland. This new romance book is sitting at the top of my Best of 2020 romance book list! April 27th release.


E-ARC INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY —> https://bit.ly/earcgiveaway

New books Amazon
My Favorite Souvenir
Release date: 4/27/2020
A Contemporary Romance Novel
New York Times Bestselling Authors Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

EXCERPT REVEAL:
“Good afternoon. You’ve reached the Four Seasons Resort, Vail, Colorado. How may I direct your call?”
I took a deep breath. “Hi. I checked out early this morning. My reservation was for ten days, but I only wound up staying two nights. Is there any chance you might still have my room available? Or any room, for that matter? My flight was canceled because of the storm.”
“Let me take a look. What’s your last name?”
“Appleton.” I shook my head. “Actually, the reservation was under Ellis. My fiancĂ©’s last name.” Or ex-fiancĂ©. But I’d let her call me Mrs. Ellis at this point if it meant I could have a place to sleep tonight.
“Give me one moment and I’ll check.” 
“Thank you.”
I sat down in the lobby of the Best Western, the third hotel I’d been to in the last two hours. It was dumb of me to check out this morning. Though, at least I was consistent. After making the bad decision to go on my previously planned honeymoon alone, I’d brilliantly decided to check out only two days into the trip…without looking at the weather report for Vail. When I arrived at the airport, I had no idea that a blizzard was on the way. But the airline had assured me my flight was still scheduled as planned. And they’d kept their word right up until five minutes before we were supposed to board, when they announced a two-hour delay. Two hours turned into three, and three turned into five, and when we hit six hours of sitting on uncomfortable plastic seats outside the gate, they finally admitted it wasn’t going to happen. Every other flight had been canceled by then. And now, every hotel seemed to be full.
The hotel operator came back on the line.
“Hi, Mrs. Ellis?”
I cringed at being called that, but answered anyway. “Yes?”
“I’m sorry. After you checked out, your room was rebooked. We’re actually sold out for the night because of the storm.”
I sighed. Of course you are. “Okay. Thank you.”
This was just my luck lately. I called four more hotels, until one said they might have a few rooms available. Apparently they had guests that hadn’t checked in yet and were in the process of making calls to confirm whether they would still be arriving today. Rooms would be freed up on a first-come, first-served basis. So I decided to take a chance and head on over. It was already seven o’clock at night, and there was no point in sitting here anymore. Surprisingly, Uber was still running, even though the airport had called it quits hours ago. 
Out front, the snow was coming down hard. A giant SUV with snow chains on the tires pulled up in front of the door. I couldn’t check the license plate or get a look at the make and model of the vehicle since it was covered in snow, so I walked over to the car and motioned for the driver to roll down the window. 
“Are you Hazel?” the older woman behind the wheel asked.
I smiled. “Yes.”
“Heading over to the Snow Eagle Lodge?”
“Yes, please.”
Even though the next hotel was only two miles away, it took fifteen minutes to get there. By the time we pulled up, the conditions were almost white-out. It couldn’t be safe driving in this anymore.
“God, it’s really terrible out here,” I said as I pulled up the hood of my jacket. “Be careful driving tonight.” 
“Oh, I will, honey. The next place I’m driving is home. I only picked you up because you were on my way. Good thing you’re at your hotel now. No one is going to be on the roads tonight anymore.”
Great. This place really better have a room for me. 
As I climbed out of the SUV, a gust of snow smacked me in the face, despite the fact that we were parked under the building’s overhang. The wind made it look like someone had shaken a snow globe, hard. Inside the hotel, I wiped flakes from my eyelashes and glanced around the lobby.
Oh no.
This didn’t look good. A line of at least thirty or forty people snaked five rows deep, waiting to get to the reception desk. I sighed and wheeled my luggage to behind the last person. More than half an hour later, I finally reached the front. 
“Hi. I called earlier, and the person I spoke to said some rooms might become available, that you were going to contact guests who hadn’t showed and see if they were still coming?”
The woman nodded with a frown. “Yeah. I can put you on our waitlist. But we’re still making calls, and to be honest, it’s not looking too good.”
My shoulders slumped. “Okay. Well, I guess please add me to your wait list.”
The woman lifted a clipboard and set it down on the counter. She thumbed through a few pages and turned it to face me, pointing at the next available line, which was two from the bottom of the page. “Just add your name and cell phone number.”
I scribbled both and let the pages above the one I’d been writing on fan back into place. Noticing the sheet at the top looked just like the one I’d signed, five or six pages down, I glanced through all the papers. There had to be at least a hundred names and telephone numbers.
“Are these all on your waiting list?”
The hotel clerk nodded. 
“How many people haven’t checked in?”
“I think about a dozen.”
Oh God. This really wasn’t good. But maybe people had just added their names and left, like in a packed restaurant. Maybe the bulk of people ahead of me on the list had found other hotels.
Turning around, whatever hope I’d talked myself into immediately deflated. Every seat in the lobby area behind me was taken. Some were even sitting on the floor, leaning against their luggage. With very few options, I wandered over and found an empty space on a carpeted area of the floor, not too far from the concierge desk. Though I knew it was futile, I took out my iPad and continued to search for a hotel with availability. Even if I found one, getting there would be a miracle on its own at this point.
The nearby concierge desk had been empty while I scrolled and made calls, but now two women walked over. One I recognized as the manager, since I’d spent a half hour staring at the people behind the front desk while I’d waited in line. The other had on a nametag and held a clipboard. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation from where I sat.
“These seven we still haven’t reached,” the manager said. “All of the other rooms have been checked in, or we’ve reallocated them to people from the waiting list.”
The employee flipped through the pages and looked around the full hotel lobby. “Jeez. And this storm is supposed to stick around for days.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a guy standing on the other side of the concierge desk. His back was to the ladies talking, but he craned his neck, and I thought he, too, might be eavesdropping. Figuring he was probably just as bored as me, I went back to my iPad search—until a few minutes later when I noticed him scribbling something with a pen on the inside of his hand. 
What the hell is he doing?
He wrote for a few seconds and then seemed to go back to eavesdropping. The manager had walked away, leaving the employee to make her phone calls. She hung up from one call and dialed again. 
“Hi. This is Catherine from the Snow Eagle Lodge. I’m trying to reach Milo or Madeline Hooker.” 
The minute she said the names, the eavesdropper scribbled on his hand again. 
Catherine continued leaving her message. “I just wanted to confirm whether you’d still be arriving this evening. Your reservation is guaranteed, so we’ll hold it as long as you need. However, if the storm has perhaps caused a change in your travel plans, we do have a long wait list of guests who could use the two rooms you have booked. My number here is 970-555-4000, if you could please return my call at your earliest convenience. Thank you.”
The same thing went on with the next two calls. Catherine left a message and the eavesdropper scribbled. Curious about what he was up to, I kept my eye on him. After the hotel clerk finished making her calls, she went back to the front desk. Eavesdropper picked up his backpack and casually strolled down a nearby hallway. I leaned to watch where he was going, and he eventually pulled up his hood and exited out a side door I hadn’t even noticed was there. 
I thought it was odd, but I figured the show was over. 
But a few minutes later, a guy with the same ski jacket walked through the front lobby door. He pulled his hood down, and I got a look at his face for the very first time.
Damn, he was handsome. Medium brown hair that was kind of shaggy and needed a cut, full lips, hazel eyes, and tanned skin. His warm skin tone really stood out against the pasty color of most people in Colorado this time of the year, including me. It was a shame I loathed men right now, because he was seriously gorgeous. He dusted some of the snow from the shoulders of his jacket and went to wait in line. It was much shorter now, with only two men in front of him, mostly because people weren’t braving the storm anymore. I had no idea what possessed me to do it, but I decided to get up and wait behind the guy. Maybe I was imagining things to keep myself entertained, but I had the distinct feeling he was up to something.
When it was his turn at the front desk, I moved as close as I could to listen without seeming like a stalker.
“Hi. I’m checking in,” the man said.
“Great. What’s your last name, sir?”
He cleared his throat. “Hooker. Milo Hooker.”
I squinted. The guy was totally full of shit. I knew it! 
The unsuspecting hotel clerk punched a bunch of keys on her keyboard and smiled. “I have your reservation right here. Two rooms for two nights, breakfast included. Is that right?”
“Uhhh…” The guy nodded. “Yeah. I booked two rooms. But it turns out I’m only going to need the one.” He looked over his shoulder. “Looks like you won’t have a problem filling the other one, though.”
She smiled. “No, we definitely won’t. I’ll just need a credit card and a picture ID please, Mr. Hooker.”
I waited. This was the moment of truth. If he wasn’t actually Milo Hooker, he was going to have to make up some excuse. 
The guy reached into his front pocket like he was going to pull out his wallet. For a second, I thought I might’ve been wrong, but then he pulled out a wad of cash.
“I lost my wallet on the slopes today. Luckily, I had some cash sent over through Western Union before the storm got too bad. Can I just pay cash?”
The young woman hesitated. “You don’t have any ID at all? I’m not supposed to check people in without photo identification.”
Fake Milo poured on the charm. He leaned forward and showed off a set of cavernous dimples. “We could take a selfie together?”
The woman giggled. She actually giggled. “Let me just check with my manager.”
She disappeared into the back and returned with the manager a few minutes later. 
A crazy idea popped into my head. She said there were two rooms… I made a spur-of-the-moment decision and approached the counter.
“There you are, Milo.” I rested my hand on the guy’s shoulder. “My flight was canceled. I hope they still have our rooms.”
Fake Milo turned and looked at me with his brows furrowed. 
He was going to blow it if I didn’t do something, so I turned my attention to the two hotel employees. “My brother and I booked rooms here for two nights, but I was trying to get out before the storm. Obviously I had no luck. I spent the entire day in the airport. Please tell me you still have my room? I’m dying for a hot bath.”
Milo looked at me, then the hotel employees, then back at me. I smiled and arched a brow. For a second, I almost felt bad for the guy. He looked so bewildered. Since he still seemed to be at a loss for words, I figured I should continue talking. “We went skiing early this morning and had our backpacks stolen. Between that and the storm coming, I figured it was a sign that I should get back home early. Apparently Mother Nature had other plans. We should have two rooms—Milo and Madeline Hooker. Someone actually just left me a message on my cell asking us to confirm. Her name was Catherine, I believe.”
The desk clerk nodded. “That was me. The storm has a lot of people stranded here unexpectedly without rooms, so we were checking in with guests that hadn’t arrived yet.”
The manager looked back and forth between Fake Milo and me. “We’ll have to take a hundred-dollar deposit for incidentals on each room since you don’t have a credit card.”
I smiled. “Of course.”
She nodded to her employee. “Check them in. It’s fine.”
The man next to me still had his mouth hanging open. So I dug into my purse, being careful not to show my wallet, which was supposed to have been stolen, and scooped out all of the cash. 
“How much are the rooms?” I asked the clerk. 
“Let’s see. With tax, they come to three-hundred-and-forty-two dollars each, for the two nights, and then we have to collect the hundred-dollar deposit.”
Shit. I didn’t think I had that much cash. I counted the money in my hand and slid it over in front of Fake Milo. “Can you spot me forty dollars? You know I’m good for it, bro.”
“Uh, yeah. Sure.”
After we paid and got the room keys, we walked side by side to the elevator bank in silence. It wasn’t until we were alone and the elevator doors slid shut that Milo turned to me. “What the hell just happened?”
I laughed. “We just got rooms, that’s what happened.”
He shook his head. “But who are you?”
“I noticed you standing near the concierge desk and eavesdropping while she called the guests who hadn’t arrived yet.” I reached forward and took the man’s hand, opening it to display blue ink. “You wrote down the names of the guests. I thought it was odd, so I followed you to the front desk to see what you were up to. When you made up that bogus story about losing your wallet so you could justify not having any ID, I knew you were full of shit.” I shrugged. “When the woman said there were two rooms on the reservation, I saw an opening and took it.”
“How did you know I’d go along with it?”
I smiled. “I didn’t. But that’s what made it so much fun!” I covered my chest with my hand. “My heart feels like it’s trying to ricochet out of my ribcage at this moment. It’s been a long time since I did anything risky like that.”
His eyes roamed my face. I got the feeling he still wasn’t sure what to make of me, even though I’d just explained what I’d done. He looked down at my lips, which were still curved in an excited smile. 
“Why is that?”
My forehead wrinkled. “Why is what?”
“Why’s it been a long time since you’ve done anything risky? It looks to me like you enjoyed it.”
I blinked a few times, not having expected a question that would tug at my heartstrings, and my smile fell. “I don’t know. I guess I kind of turned into a different person over the last few years.”
Fake Milo’s eyes locked with mine. We’d gone from pulling off a crazy stunt and laughing, to an odd seriousness. His eyes flickered to my lips and back once again. “That’s a shame. You have a great smile.” 
Warmth spread through me, and I couldn’t seem to unlock my eyes from the stranger’s—at least until the elevator dinged and the doors opened on the third floor. 
“This is us,” he said. “Rooms 320 and 321.”
“Oh. Right. Okay.” I stepped out and followed the signs to our rooms. Since we were, of course, family, they’d put us right next to each other. We stood a few feet apart as we opened our respective doors. As my lock unlatched and I turned the handle to go inside, something dawned on me. 
“I almost forgot! I owe you forty dollars for the room.”
He smiled. “Don’t worry about it.”
“No, don’t be silly. I just didn’t have enough cash and didn’t want to hand the woman a credit card when we weren’t supposed to have ID. I’ll just throw my bag in the room and go downstairs to find an ATM. They must have one somewhere.”
“I thought you couldn’t wait to take a hot bath, or was that part of the act?”
I laughed. “No, it actually wasn’t. I wasn’t lying when I said I spent the entire day at the airport. A hot bath sounds pretty amazing right about now. But I can grab your cash first. It won’t take me long.”
Fake Milo scratched at the stubble on his chin. “I’ll tell you what. I’m going to take a quick shower and then go downstairs to the bar for a drink. Take your bath. You can find me there afterward to give me the money.”
“Okay.”
We looked at each other for a moment. 
“Alright, well, enjoy your soak, sis.”
I smiled. “Thanks, Milo. I’ll see you later.”

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BLURB
My planned trip for two unexpectedly turned into a trip for one.  Rather than let my breakup get me down, I packed my bags and decided a week at a luxury resort was just what I needed.
But one calamity after the next, and suddenly I was stuck without a hotel room, along with a few hundred other people.
It looked like my fancy vacation was about to turn into me sleeping on the hotel lobby floor.
Until I overheard a gorgeous man pretending to be someone he wasn’t in order to steal a reservation from a guest who hadn’t shown up yet.
When I realized there were two rooms, instead of calling him out, I pretended to be his sister. That’s how the story of “Milo and Maddie Hooker” began. 
We were the Hookers.
My depressing trip quickly made a U-turn into an adventure.  
My fake brother spent the next few days showing me around his hometown. When it was time to leave, neither of us really wanted to go yet. 
So, instead of flying back to our respective homes, we ventured on a road trip. 
At every stop, we’d pick up souvenirs.
But as hot as our chemistry was, we never crossed the line.
Milo knew I’d just come out of a tough relationship and didn’t want to mess with a vulnerable woman.
So instead, at the end of our trip, we made a pact to meet again in three months.   
It was always my intention to meet him.
But when I got back home, reality hit in a big way.
And I worried I may have lost my handsome stranger forever.
Was there a place for him in my future?
Or had the memory of him just become my favorite souvenir?

ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Author image of Vi and Penelope

PENELOPE WARD:
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism. 

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

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VI KEELAND
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author.   With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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