Book Announcement: All Played Out by Cora Carmack


From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack, comes the highly anticipated fourth standalone title in her Rusk University series, All Closed Off! A passionate story and journey, get ready to be mesmerized with Stella’s story! All Closed Off is coming your way May 1, 2017!

Cover design and photography by Kelsey Kukal-Keeton at K. Keeton Designs.

Release Date: May 1, 2017
Genre: new adult contemporary sports romance
Status: book 4 of the Rusk University series

Summary:
Stella Santos is fine.

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.

But none of that matters because she’s just fine.

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.

Vulnerable.

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Preorder links coming soon!
Add All Closed Off to your Goodreads TBR!


Don't miss all of Cora's Rusk University titles! 
This is a companion series so they can be read as standalones or as a series. You choose!


Book 1: All Lined Up

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Book 2: All Broke Down

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Book 3: All Played Out

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About the Author:
Cora Carmack is a twentysomething New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twentysomething characters. Raised in a small Texas town, she now lives in New York City and spends her time writing, traveling, and marathoning various TV shows on Netflix. She lives by one rule: embrace whatever the world throws at you and run with it (just not with scissors).

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Excerpt: Twist by Kylie Scott



Author: Kylie Scott
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher:  St. Mratin's Griffin
Genre: adult contemporary romance
Status: book 2 of the Dive Bar companion series

Summary: From New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott comes the second sizzling stand-alone novel in the Dive Bar series!

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot bearded bartender Joe Collins only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, fascinating, and pretty much everything he's been looking for in a woman—except that she lives across the country. Soon they're emailing up a storm and telling each other their deepest, darkest secrets...except the one that really matters.
When Alex pays Joe a surprise visit, however, they both discover that when it comes to love, it's always better with a twist.


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Exerpt:
I watched the streetlights cast shadows on the angle of his cheekbone, the furrow of his brow. Strange how his manly beauty had grown on me, redefining or rather stretching my usual boundaries.

Perhaps some people’s allure came from the inside out. A good thing. Their ways and their words did the wooing instead of their physical appeal. Not to diss Joe’s impressive physique. As nice as a pretty face was, though, the personality, the person beneath the skin, should matter more. Anything else was pretty shallow and unlikely to last. Guess that was the difference between my scratching an itch with a stranger and the way this man had me tied up in knots. And not even neat, sea-worthy knots. I’m talking, haven’t washed or brushed your hair in foreverand there’s a big old mess back there.

Shit.

At the bar, he’d flirted with me. Full-on flirted with me, his supposed platonic friend who was not his type. No way did I know what to do. Normally Valerie would be first on my hit list of people to call. But she’d just tell me to jump him, regardless of what else was going on, or any possible consequences. Plus, with him beside me it would be kind of uncool. But a couple of whisky sours or no, I was pretty certain I hadn’t imagined his interest.

As Mom had always said, however, best to be sure.

“What are the renovating plans for tomorrow?” I asked.

“Rip out the old fittings and prepare the space for new.”

I nodded. “So we’ll be doing some pounding and screwing?”

“Ah, yeah.” The man cast me a look out of the corner of his eye. “Sound okay?”

“Absolutely. Can’t wait to get my hands back on that big hard hammer.”

“Great,” he said, throwing me another questioning look.

I gave a nice bland smile.

Yeah, pal. Two could play at the what-the-fuck-is-going-on flirting game. I turned in my seat, all the better to face him. “Did you want to bang, Joe?”

“What did you say?” Wide eyes flashed my way.

“Like I did on that wall today. That was fun,” I said with all due sincerity. “Will we be doing more of that?”

A pause. “Sure.”

“Awesome.”

Another quizzical look.

“Something wrong?” I inquired politely.

“No.” His Adam’s apple dipped as he swallowed hard, shifting in his seat, gaze decidedly unsure. The poor fool couldn’t begin to understand the crazy he’d unleashed with his little taunt. Get rough with the man? My starved libido was well beyond the rough-and-tumble stage. No more hiding or denying, sticking to the sidelines of life. It was my time to step forward and be brave. When it came to Joe Collins, I was more than ready to say yes.

“I just . . .” he started. “Never mind.”

Neither of us spoke as he pulled into a parking space a short walk down from the hotel. I leaned over, placing my hand on his denim-covered thigh. The muscle tensed beneath my fingers. Shame on me for straying a little close to his loins.

“Thanks so much for tonight, Joe. I’m so glad we decided to be friends. Because you, sir, make a great friend.”

“Right. Good.” A frown. “How much did you have to drink again?”

“Not nearly enough. Quick, let’s get to my hotel room so I can have more!” I threw open my door.

“Okay.” Hands stuffed in his pockets, he followed me inside, lingering a step or two behind. Guess he didn’t like it when people’s moods got all mixed up and mercurial either. Funny, that.

I nodded to the dude at the front desk and pressed the button on the elevator. It opened immediately. Mirrors and old-timeylooking wooden framing decorated the small space. We both leaned against the back wall as it slowly ascended.

“Yeah, sure can’t wait to do some banging, and pounding, and screwing around with you, Joe.” I smiled. “Sound good?”

He just gave me a dry look from his superior height. All confusion gone from his handsome face. Confined spaces only made him seem bigger, even more imposing than usual. No way, no day, however, was I crawling back into my shell or turning into a shadow. We’d agreed to work on our issues, so fine, I was putting it out there.

Still, my bravado was fading, I could barely meet his eyes. The man affected me in all the ways.

“It’s hard, no pun intended this time, because sometimes it feels like you want to be just friends,” I said. “But then other times you flirt with me and I honestly don’t know what’s going on. No huge surprise there, I know. Social awkwardness is my jam. But I thought I mostly understood where you were coming from.”

A ding from the elevator and the doors opened at our stop. I walked out, his bearded hotness following slowly behind, stalking me almost. For certain his usual cool, easy-going-guy persona was missing in action. The man radiated tension, intensity, even.

And if he didn’t, I definitely did.

Inside the hotel room I went for mood lighting, only turning on the table and bedside lamps. I rubbed sweaty hands against the sides of my pants. “What you said back at the bar about me getting rough with you, however. Now, that almost sounded like a dare.”

“Did it?”

“It did.”

Arms hanging loose at his sides, he just watched me, saying nothing. Jerk.

“So tell me.” I stood at the foot of the bed, facing him. Every part of me was wired, wide awake. “What’s going on, Joe?”

His shoulders rose and fell on a deep breath. “I realized something tonight.”

“What?”

“That I was falling into old habits. Doing what was easy instead of doing what I wanted.”

“Huh?”

“It was just before you spilled ice on that guy’s pants.”

“Sure. I can see how you’d be seduced by my smooth moves,” I said, voice filled with much doubt. My insides were ready to spontaneously combust. I swear I could feel sweat breaking out all over me, the man was just that hot. Also, my nerves were on high alert.

One corner of his lips tipped up. “You know how you said you weren’t jealous?”

“Yes?”

“Well, I was.”

Wow. I had nothing.

“This is the part where you’re supposed to admit you were jealous too,” he supplied.

“I didn’t think it needed to be said. I’m not that good a liar.”

“True,” he said. “Anyway, I made the pass at you and then I was leaving it up to you to figure out what you want. To be brave and make the next move.”

Softly, I laughed and shook my head. Men were such idiots.

“Make the first move? This isn’t a game. As I said last time the subject of sex came up, previous hurt feelings, etc. It’s going to get complicated.”

“Yeah, probably,” he said, voice deeper than I’d ever heard it.



About the Author:
Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/.

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Review + Giveaway: Avenged by Amy Tintera



Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: ARC, ALA mw
Status: book 2 of the Ruined trilogy

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Summary:
In the sequel to Ruined, the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen come together in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister Olivia from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory. 

But their fight has only begun. Olivia is determined to destroy everyone who acts against Ruina, but Em isn’t as sure. Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. And now that Cas has taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.


Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, Em faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.

Review: Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren



Rating: 5 stars
Pub Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: contemporary romance
Format/Source: Kindle ebook, purchased
Status: book 3 of the Beautiful series

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Summary:
A bombshell bookworm. A chronic Casanova. And a lesson in chemistry too scandalous for school.

When Hanna Bergstrom receives a lecture from her overprotective brother about neglecting her social life and burying herself in grad school, she’s determined to tackle his implied assignment: get out, make friends, start dating. And who better to turn her into the sultry siren every man wants than her brother’s gorgeous best friend, Will Sumner, venture capitalist and unapologetic playboy?


Will takes risks for a living, but he’s skeptical about this challenge of Hanna’s…until the wild night his innocently seductive pupil tempts him into bed- and teaches him a thing or two about being with a woman he can’t forget. Now that Hanna’s discovered the power of her own sex appeal, it’s up to Will to prove he’s the only man she’ll ever need.

Review + Giveaway: Geekerella by Ashley Poston




Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: young adult contemporary romance, retellings
Format/Source: arc, from the publisher
Status: standalone

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Summary:
Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad's old costume), Elle's determined to win unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons before he was famous. Now they re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he's ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. 


Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.