The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter Excerpt

The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers #1)
Gena Showalter

Release date: March 31, 2015

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past.  And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…
Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.

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When she’d proudly proclaimed herself healthy, he’d almost pulled her flush against him and kissed her. But she’d looked vulnerable and hauntingly fragile, and he’d found the strength to walk away instead. The need to protect her, even from himself, had proven stronger.
Now, here she was, on the bed, looking as healthy as she’d claimed.
He shut the door and moved into her line of sight.
She gasped with surprise—and pleasure? “Jase!”
He paused long enough to ask, “How are you feeling?”
Warmth bloomed in her baby blues. “Totally racer ready. Just waiting for my discharge papers.”
“Good.” He closed the distance, cupped the back of her nape and pressed his lips to hers.
She opened with another gasp.
No turning back now.
His tongue thrust against hers, and hers reached tentatively for his. A groan escaped her, enthralling him, and just like that, he lost track of his surroundings, his intention to simply taste. His mind centered on only one thing: hearing that sound again.
He urged her to her back, kissing her as if he would die tomorrow. As if she were the last girl he’d ever see. As if her lips held the answer to every question he’d ever asked. Supple and willing, she reclined for him. Her arms wound around his neck, bringing him with her, so that the hardest parts of him were lined up with the softest parts of her. All the while their tongues rolled and thrust in a white-hot tangle.
He tasted mint and cinnamon, a hint of strawberries. A heady combination, addictive when it should not have been. He’d tasted all three flavors before, but they’d never made him feel as though he was floating… melting from the inside out.
He could be locked away for the rest of his life, he decided, but it wouldn’t matter because he’d experienced this one perfect moment. Not even Daphne had affected him this strongly—and with so little. But then, her kisses had been those of a teenager in puppy love. This one came straight from a woman with passions as intense as his own.
Everything he’d felt for Brook Lynn since moment one consumed him, raw and carnal as she arched her back and rubbed her chest against his. Softness without the barrier of a bra, two little beads abrading deliciously…only the thin material of her shirt covering her.
He clutched at her pillow, nearly ripping the material in half, and lifted his head to ensure she could read his lips. “Be still,” he told her. If she kept moving like that, the experience would end in mere minutes. “Please.”
“Can’t,” she rasped, her fingers applying pressure at his nape, urging him back down.
Her eyes were glassed with passion-fever, her cheeks even rosier than before. Her lips were red and swollen, moisture glistening over them.
“Damn, you’re beautiful.”
“And you’re wasting precious time.” She stopped trying to force him down and sat up, thrusting her tongue in his mouth, as if she’d been starved for him and could not live another second without this.
When she fell back, he went with her, her willing captive. Her nails raked down the ridges of his spine, and he cursed the shirt that prevented skin-to-skin contact. The urge to climb on top of her, to pin her down with the full bulk of his weight, teased him. He would put his hands on every inch of her, strip her, caress her nakedness and drive her to the very edge of release. And the sounds she would make…he would swallow them all.
A low, possessive growl rose from deep in his chest. He’d never heard it before. Not from anything human. It should have scared the hell out of him, but it merely urged him on. He put one of his knees on the bed—on the gurney.
The gurney.
They weren’t just in a public place, but in a hospital. Anyone could come in. Anyone could sneak in behind him, attack him.
Jase jolted back, severing contact. His body shouted a protest, his hands closed so tightly he would have sworn he’d cracked the bones. He struggled to catch his breath, to stay in place, away from her. Have to stay away from her. How had she made him forget his surroundings, even for a second?

About Author
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.


Cookie Cutter by Jo Richardson ARC Review + Song Playlist

Jo Richardson is very much inspired by music while she writes her stories.
I'm very excited to share with you the song playlist for Cookie Cutter!

I Want Crazy – Hunter Hayes

High Hopes – Kodaline

Resolution – Matt Corby

Best Day of my Life – American Authors

All I Want – Kodaline

Let Her Go – Passenger

Peace – OAR

I Choose You – Sara Bareilles

Love Runs Out – One Republic

On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons

Listen to the music HERE:

Some of my favorites are on this list...Sara Bareilles, One Republic, American Authors! I had a lot of fun listening to them all! ~ Grace

Title: Cookie Cutter
Author: Jo Richardson
Release Date: March 23, 2015
Publisher: Little Bird Publishing House

Iris Alden and Carter Blackwood couldn't be more different. Change-averse Iris likes her life neat and organized, while Carter's itchy feet mean he doesn’t plan to stay in the same place for long.

When Carter moves into the house across the street from Iris, to renovate it, she fights the disruption it causes in her life. Before long, though, it's not simply the house Carter's rebuilding, but Iris's heart, too.

Read an excerpt here:

Source: ARC provided by author
This is my honest review
Rating: 4 Stars - Loved

Life in the suburban town of Spangler may seem all cookie cutter on the outside, but the people living there are every bit as unique. There is Iris Alden, a divorced single mom who tries to keep life and work balanced day to day while raising her teenage daughter. Carter Blackwood is the handsome, new house-flipper who just moved in across the street. He’s about to shake things up in Iris’ life. Then there are the neighbors, who are all so quirky and full of surprises!

If I were to categorize this story, I would put this on the romantic comedy and women’s fiction shelves. There were several parts that made me giggle, and the romance is very sweet and slowly unfolds. This story mainly focuses on Iris and her trying to handle things when life doesn’t go the way she expects it to go. She’s dealing with her ex, the teen angst surrounding her daughter, her suddenly awkward work situation, and bake lots of cookies! Does she even have time for some well-deserved romance? He might be in town temporarily, but Carter thinks this new friendship with Iris might be worth exploring. This story is told from alternating point-of-view, which I appreciated. Carter is a very observant neighbor. I also liked getting to know him a little more through his past and his current struggles.

Cookie Cutter is a light and fun read that easily flows. The angst is not too over the top. I think everything wraps up too quickly in the end; however, this story will pull at your heart a little and reflect that sometimes change can be a good thing. Overall, Cookie Cutter made me smile!

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About Jo
A movie fanatic, a writer of stories, a lover of life.

Jo grew up in Maryland with four siblings, three parents and an endless number of cousins within the vicinity – but it was too cold up North for this thin blooded girl. So today, she lives in Florida with her two girls and a husband that shares her same sense of humor and basic take on life as we know it.

Life is too short to put dreams on the back burner.

Jo tells contemporary stories with romance, humor, the supernatural, the paranormal, suspense, mystery, action and anything else she can think up.

In 2012, she wrote Cursed be the Wicked, a character driven, paranormal mystery romance that was picked up by Soul Mate Publishing and released in March of 2014. Jo has also written a couple of short stories as well, and her most recent full length novel, Cookie Cutter, released through Little Bird Publishing in March of 2015, broke into the top 100 contemporary romantic fiction category on Amazon during its first week of publication.

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*Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy the book using the link, I will make a small affiliate commission