What is (un)breakable all about?: The Blurb

Hi everyone!

I posted this already on Day 13 of the countdown, but I’m doing this here, too. :) Below is the blurb for the second book in the Gezellig series, (un)breakable.

Lorin Perez’s life is finally back on track after almost losing it six years ago. She knows meeting and dating sizzling hot professional rugby player Spence Clarke is a huge part of her healing process. But with her father starting a new family, she decides to follow her best friend Caitlin to UK–Spence’s home country–and start a new life.

However, moving to UK brings certain complications in the form of Gezellig band member Nigel Whitmore, a.k.a. the one who didn’t follow through three years ago. And even though Lorin is very clear about her no commitment rule, Nigel ignores this and pursues Lorin like never before.

Caught between the man who made her feel safe and the one who makes her feel alive, will she finally be able to set her heart free and make the right choice?

What do you think? Will you be on #TeamSpence or #TeamNigel? Excited already to share this story with everyone! :)

Anyway, next week, The Real Score, goes on blog tour again. Watch out for giveaways and freebies!

 

Lots of love, xx,

Kesh

 

Countdown to Gezellig 2: 30 Days to (un)breakable

Hi, hey, helloooooo!

First off, happy Independence Day to the Filipinos out there, wherever you are :) It’s another holiday, so I may have a little bit of time to spare before I sit down and face some of my work backlog (actually writing this in an almost deserted office, awoooo).

So based on the title, you read it right: after a few months of delay, the second Gezellig story, (un)breakable, is finally coming out! Mark your calendars: it’s going to be out on July 16, 2014! :) (If you’re curious why on this date, all I’d say is that it’s a fangirl reason. That’s all. *zips lips*)

A bit of info on this book (some of which you probably know already if you follow me on Twitter):

  1. It’s definitely much longer than The Real Score. – Gezellig 1 is 42,102 words. (un)breakable is pushing 60k++ words, and I honestly wanted to compute how many % longer that is, but I’ll leave that to you. The mathematical side of my brain at the moment isn’t working too well. (Excuses.)
  2. It’s not about Marcus and Caitlin, but they’re in the book. – This one focuses on Lorin Perez, Caitlin’s best friend and a true-blue Gezellig fangirl. Of course a Gezellig member is involved (Nigel Whitmore, blue-eyed cutie), but to make things more fun, we add a rugby player to the formula, Spence Clarke (HOT. Haha). Who knows, there might be a wrestling match between these two men to win Lorin’s heart, I don’t know, haha.
  3. It’s only going to be out on ebook format… for now. – Well, yeah. There’s that. For now. Maybe if I get a whole boatload of requests for a paperback, we’d do one, but for now, it’s only going to be out as an ebook. :)

So… how would this countdown go?

Each day starting June 16, I will be posting stuff relating to the story. It could be Nigel’s Word of the Day, a song in the book’s playlist, a tutorial about rugby (Spence tells me to orient you guys on this — he’d do it himself, but he’s tied up in training, haha), a cover reveal, character profiles, etcetera, etcetera. There would be a whole week when The Real Score will be made free for readers along with another paperback giveaway (yay!).

The countdown rounds up in another giveaway! It’s not just the e-book; I’ve got some pretty neat stuff to include in the package, so please do join when this happens :) I’m still trying to get a blog tour organized, but if that doesn’t happen, if you’re a book blogger and you’re interested in reviewing or featuring the book in your blog, I’m open to send you guys an advanced reading copy :)

So there. Book 2’s going to be out on July 16, and I’m sooo nervous and excited and I’m just a bundle of emotions right now so I’d curl into a ball like a cat. (Or you guys could just give me hugs. That would work, too.)

Check back here, on Twitter, or on my Facebook page as we countdown to #GZLG2Unbreakable :D

Kesh., xx

#buqosteamyreads Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway: Lights Off by Asha Carpio

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For another stop of the #buqosteamyreads here we focus on Asha Carpio’s Lights Off. :)

About the Book

Lights Off

Broadway Star Olivia Rivera knows exactly what she wants: fame, successful career, and to prove herself. She even has a “script” to get this: find the next big thing, grab it, then move on to the next one. 

Her plans get shaky when the sultry and equally ambitious Jacob Pecson makes a surprise comeback in her life. Jacob knows exactly what Olivia wants, and he has a mission of his own: to turn her life around. 

With their paths crossing again, Olivia finds herself troubled as she rekindles her fire with Jacob. Will Olivia finally give in to what her heart desires or will she runaway again this time?

Excerpt:

“Olivia.”

I would’ve recognized the voice anywhere. In Barcelona, in Venice, in London, in Taipei, in New York—in every city that I went to in the past three years, it was the only voice that I wanted to hear amidst the crowd’s cheer every time that I took my final bow.

“JACOB! I thought you weren’t coming!” Marian told him. He gave her one of his boyish smiles, the one that made the girls fall for him back in college.

He moved closer to me, making butterflies form in my stomach. He looked so much different now. He was wearing a light blue long sleeved shirt, his muscular arms clearly under it. Last I heard, he was doing mixed martial arts during his free time – not that he had many. After all he was managing the accounts for his family’s advertising and public relations agency and he was also spearheading the expansion of the firm in Malaysia.

He looked lean but muscular, but his face remained the same. His dark eyes, full lips, and strong jaw had turned him into one of the heartthrobs. He was the guy that any girl would kill for, and now he’s also one of the most eligible bachelors of Manila.

I can still remember how those lips tasted, how I felt when they touched every inch of my body. Three years and all I could think about was his body against mine. I didn’t realize that I was staring a bit longer than I intended until a playful smile formed on his lips.

“Hey, we’ll just meet you there,” Marian told me. She exchanged knowing looks with Poch before they scampered to leave the room with Elle.

When I heard the door close, he moved towards me and by instinct, I stepped back.

“You were good out there,” he told me. He gave me a kiss on the cheek. “I got these for you by the way.”

“Thanks,” I replied as I tried to mask the confusion. I haven’t seen him in four years and I was pretty sure that I wasn’t his favorite person. Especially not after what I did. I took the bouquet of white lilies from him. “What are you doing here, Jacob?”

I tried to sound friendly, to not let my guard down but as he stepped closer to me, I can’t help but think about what we had. Or rather, never had. Jacob had that effect on me—he broke my walls down once, making me vulnerable. That was my biggest mistake by far.

“I came to support you, just like old times. Besides, I handled the publicity for your show,” he said in an as-a-matter-of-fact tone.

I was a good actress. I was so good that I even won a Tony last year, but my feelings kept betraying me at the moment. I could tell that he was watching my every move, waiting for my response but I didn’t have any.

“Great job,” I said, faking a smile.  When we parted ways, I told him that it was fine, that we would remain friends. It was only now that I’ve fully realized that what I told him was bullshit. I’m not fine. I was never fine after what happened.

“Who are you dressed up as?” He asked me, his eyes surveying my body. He was looking at me keenly. His eyes travelled from my neck to my legs, lingering on my thighs and at the curve of my waist. His stare made me melt inside.

“Velma Kelly,” I answered. “You?”

“Peter Parker, Broadway edition,” he grinned as he tapped the glasses that he was wearing. Though dressed as a geek, Jacob still looked hot. I remembered how he would often dress down when we were doing rehearsals and still, heads turned when he passed by. He can basically wear a garbage bag and still look incredibly sexy.

“Anyway, it was nice of you to drop by.” I reached out for my blue clutch from the dresser and started to walk towards the door, hoping that Jacob would take the cue and leave. Being alone in a room with him was never a good idea. Besides, I had no plans of repeating history, anyway.

“I am pretty sure that your stage manager said that you had twenty minutes to spare,” he said. His voice sounded gruffer than I last remembered but it still had that hypnotic effect on me. He looked at his watch, before adding, “I still have fifteen minutes.”

“I wanted to go in earlier. Why don’t we talk outside?” I suggested. We both knew that this was a lousy excuse, but I didn’t have anything better to say.

“But I don’t want to share you, Olivia.” he told me. He walked closer, with only a foot between our bodies. He smelled like clean aftershave and mint, making my knees go weak. “So how about this, dinner is on me tomorrow. All you have to do is say yes.”

“I have a thing tomorrow,” I lied. I managed to walk past him and headed for the door, trying my best to ignore the feelings stirring inside. Before I could head out, he grabbed me by the hand which caused me to lose my balance. I nearly tripped but he caught me, pulling me close to him.

Get Lights Off over at Buqo:

Also, join the giveaway! Click here for the Rafflecopter link.

 

 

 

#buqosteamyreads Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway: Heat of the Moment by E.A. Martelle

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Welcome to another stop of the #buqosteamyreads here at Fun to Live the Illusion. Today, the spotlight is on E.A. Martelle’s Heat of the Moment. Let’s dig in:

About the Book

Heat of the Moment

 

She needs the diversion…

Noelle Sanchez is looking for a distraction from the pressure of organizing a company-wide event and her recent heartbreak after a two-year relationship. She gets more than what she asked for in Aiden, the smoking-hot bartender at the resort where she and her colleagues are staying for the next two weeks.

…then Mr. Sex on Two Legs arrives.

Aiden Bennett has been on fire since the day he first saw Noelle. He tries to pursue her, but she turns the tables on him and amps up the heat, leading to one night of mind-blowing sex and an insatiable craving to take care of her. But before he can tell her the truth about himself, she discovers his identity.

Will one lie be too many for Noelle whose trust is already damaged, or will Aiden manage to win her trust…and maybe her heart?

Excerpt:

Aiden wasn’t the type of person to get distracted at work. He had built Island Paradise Resort from the ground up, and he always took pride that it turned out to be more of a home than just a piece of property he inherited from his parents. With over eight people under his wing, Island Paradise was home to each and every one of his employees, and all of them depended on him.

Aiden cursed himself for not being at the reception desk when the group checked in. The woman who made his senses go haywire talked to Cheryl at the front desk and checked in their group for the next two weeks. The second they left and headed to their cabanas, Aiden asked Cheryl about the group and learned her name—Noelle Sanchez. She was part of the HR team that made arrangements in behalf of Invictus. He said a silent prayer of thanks for the interesting turn of events.

Aiden caught Joe looking at him quizzically. Joe was one of the waiters at Café Mirasol, the resort’s main restaurant, and he had been working there for the past three years. Aiden pursed his lips, threw the wet rag in the sink, and turned the faucet on. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

Joe shrugged and rearranged shot glasses on the counter. “Nothing much, boss. You just got that look on your face that says you got hit hard in the nuts,” he replied, then chuckled.

“Something funny?”

Joe grinned. “I don’t want to sound like I’m meddling in your personal life, boss, but I’d say it’s about time you devoted some time to it. You work too hard.” He nodded towards the direction of the beach where the woman still lounged. “She seems like a nice person.”

“You talked to her?” Unbelievable. Why did it seem like he was the only person in their resort who hadn’t spoken to her yet? Damn, he had to ramp up his game. Fast.

Joe was about to reply when the woman in question stomped back into the shade of the resort. Her long hair waved behind her like a dark flag as she made a beeline to the bar and sat on one of the stools just a few meters within Aiden’s reach. Her face was a mixture of anger and sadness.

The lanky waiter winked, gave Aiden a thumbs-up sign, and sauntered to the kitchen.

Aiden turned his attention back to the woman in front of him. She was even more breathtaking up close. With her sunglasses over her head, he was able to see her strong profile—a delicate jawline, pert nose, high cheekbones, and almond eyes framed by incredibly long lashes. She was also wearing a low-cut, see-through floral dress. Underneath the flimsy clothing was a hot red bikini. Aiden sucked his breath when she leaned on the counter, unconsciously giving him an enticing view of the valley between her breasts.

“I’d like a margarita, please,” she said without even looking up. She clutched her cellphone in a death grip while reading something on it.

He found it unusual for anyone to be in a sour mood while in a peaceful place. One of the things he loved about owning a resort was its close proximity to the ocean. There was something peaceful and calming about the area, and he had made it a point to enhance that feeling by creating a place where people can relax and leave their worries behind.

But the lady in front of him paid no attention to the serene atmosphere, or to the fact that she was in an upscale resort-hotel. Aiden wanted to know what ticked her off. More importantly, he wanted to make her smile.

“Did you have lunch already?” He tried to play it cool by heading over to the other side of the counter to put away the shot glasses Joe had been cleaning.

She had a puzzled look on her face. He tried to curb his compulsion to kiss those full lips.

“You don’t want to drink an alcoholic beverage on an empty stomach. Trust me; you’d get drunk faster than you could say ‘I shouldn’t have had a margarita on an empty stomach.’” It wasn’t one of his wittiest lines, but a smile peeked out from the corner of her lips. He felt like shaking his fist in triumph.

“You got me. I guess I just wanted to do something bad for a change, like get crazy drunk. I feel like I’m too much of a goody two-shoes.” She glanced at her cellphone and her expression darkened once more.

He leaned over the counter and glanced at the phone in her hands. “Guy problem?” He hoped not.

She sighed, blowing a lock of hair away from her face. He found the gesture to be quite endearing. “I wish it wasn’t.”

“Tell you what, sweetcakes.” He pulled out a bottle of champagne from the shelf and a couple of fruit juices from the fridge. “I’ll fix you a Mimosa to help get you out of that rut, but you have to promise me you won’t feel bad about yourself just because some jerk had balls for brains.”

That made her smile. He poured the concoction in a tall glass and garnished it with a slice of lemon on the side and a cocktail umbrella. “You should smile more often…” He let that statement hang for a bit, hoping he made the right cue.

Her blush showed through the slight tan on her flawless face. Oh boy, was he a goner.

Get Heat of the Moment over at Buqo:

Also, join the giveaway! Click here for the Rafflecopter link.

Disclaimer: All books in the #buqosteamyreads bundle are for 18 years old and above only. :)

#buqosteamyreads Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway: Inappropriate Entanglement by D. R. Lee

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Welcome to another stop of #buqosteamyreads over at Fun to Live the Illusion. :) Today we feature D.R. Lee’s Inappropriate Entangelment. 

Disclaimer: All books under the #buqosteamyreads bundle are for 18 years old and above only.

About the Book

Inappropriate Entanglement

On their first meeting, she ordered him to strip.

Kaye is the independent and workaholic creative director of an ad agency. She’s been single for five straight years but she still isn’t so keen on joining the dating pool anytime soon. Unfortunately, Matt, a hunky client she needs to please and appease, has other plans.

On their first meeting, he stripped.

Excerpt:

“Where are the models?” I asked.

“Oh, uh, they’re waiting for you in the lounge,” the receptionist supplied.

I was scheduled to meet the prospective male models for the ad campaign for which I prepared a presentation, and because I was already late, I was positive they’ve been waiting for me.

I easily spotted three men sitting by the lounge. One was fiddling with his phone, another was reading on his iPad and the third one was reading a newspaper. I’ve worked long enough with models to pick them out in just a glance. If their tall height and trim builds didn’t give them away, their stylish clothes did.

Two of the men instantly stiffened when they saw me, but I wasn’t in the mood for niceties. I stood in front of them, crossed my arms on my chest and scrutinized each one. I had to find a man that would serve as the face for top clothing company Onyx Apparel. I was already late and I intended to do this efficiently.

Hmmm… The first one looked too young. His build was perfect but he looked too much like a teen heartthrob. The next one was too thin, and he simply didn’t exude the manly vibe that I was looking for. The third one — as soon as I laid eyes on him, he looked up from the newspaper he was reading and met my stare full-on. I was pretty sure he couldn’t see my eyes as I was wearing dark sunglasses, but his stare was intensely penetrating. I involuntarily gulped and had the urge to look away. I knew then and there that I’ve found the man for the job.

“You,” I pointed to him. “Stand up and come with me.”

Stamping down the attraction that was creeping under my gut, I quickly shuffled on my feet and walked away, fully expecting him to follow my lead. When I looked back, he just stood there looking confused. As much as I liked watching the dumbfounded expression on his face, I didn’t want to be delayed further.

“Well? Aren’t you coming?” I scoffed.

My voice seemed to have broken his confusion, but he didn’t say anything. He just slung his gray backpack on his right shoulder and walked on.

A few minutes later, we were inside the confines of my office. I took up my position behind my desk and took off my sunglasses. As soon as I turned my attention to him, I instantly felt like I’ve been sucker-punched. If he was a looker under the tinted lenses of my sunglasses, he was even more stunning under bright lights.

The hard planes of his face were finely sculpted and refined. His head was shaved but surprisingly, he looked good. His eyes were the lightest shade of brown and they were framed by thick, dark lashes. His nose was straight and aristocratic, and his lips looked luscious and inviting.

You’d think after working with models for three years in an ad agency, I would’ve been desensitized to gorgeous people. Hell, after the first year of being star-struck with the models and celebrity endorsers, I’ve began seeing them like mannequins. I thought I’ve seen them all. But this one… He was different.

The curious thing was that he wasn’t even doing anything except stand there with his backpack slung on his right shoulder. However, his mere presence was making me all too conscious of the sparkly tingles erupting in my stomach.

I had to bite my lower lip to keep my composure intact.

When his eyes strayed to my lips, I felt my breath involuntarily hitch.

I knew I was gawking at him. And I knew that he knew I was gawking because one curious eyebrow rose as he stared defiantly back at me. A small smirk also tugged at the side of his lips in amusement. His stare was unabashed and so intense that I just had to look away after I felt heat creeping slowly on my cheeks. Although I may have found the perfect man for the ad campaign, I just wasn’t so sure I could handle him. Then again, he didn’t know that and I wasn’t too keen on letting it be known.

I cleared my throat and took a deep breath before speaking.

“What’s your name?” I’ve dilly-dallied long enough. It was time for business.

“Matt,” he replied curtly.

“Alright, Matt, I’m Kaye, the Creative Director in charge of the campaign for Onyx Apparel. I’m already late so we’ll take care of the trivial things later. For now, put down your backpack and strip.”

“Excuse me?” He looked surprised, but amusement still lit up his eyes.

“I said strip. I need to see your build,” I explained, trying to sound professional.

Matt smiled and shook his head slowly as if in disbelief while he dropped his bag to the nearby chair. I could tell he was trying to suppress a grin. I was a little intrigued about what it was exactly that he found so amusing, but I reined in my thoughts and did not say anything.

Matt ever so slightly tugged at the hem of his black V-neck shirt before slowly pulling it up. All the while, he kept his gaze locked straight at me. I gulped. Those eyes should be illegal. He sported a small smirk while he slowly lifted up his shirt as if he was the star in a strip-show.

Oh, Lord…

He was like unwrapping a Christmas present that I really badly wanted, but can’t get my claws on.

Off with the shirt, dammit!

When the shirt was finally off, I shamelessly gaped.

Holy David Gandy and the awesomeness of a thousand flying bacon! Those pecs! Those well-defined abs! I had to bite my cheek to stifle a squeal. He was perfect. His body was well-toned but not too bulky, and he had the right buns in all the right places.

I’m not a perv, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy his impromptu strip show and subsequent half-nakedness. In my defense, I am only human and thus weak against the personification of lust.

Oh, and what do you know, he has a tattoo. It was an intricate tribal tattoo covering his left shoulder and spilling unto his chest. It was mesmerizing to say the least and I felt a strong impulse to touch it. Unfortunately, before I could act on my abnormal impulses, I heard him speak.

“Um, do I need to…?” He pointed to his belt buckle.

Oh, yes, please… 

Get Inappropriate Entanglement over at Buqo:

Also, join the giveaway! Click here for the Rafflecopter link.

#buqosteamyreads Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway – Change of Plans: Getting Under My Ex by Miel Salva

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Welcome to another stop of the #buqosteamyreads here at my blog. This time it’s for the Seduction Bundle, and we feature Miel Salva’s Change of Plans: Getting Under My Ex. I’m so excited for Miel! It’s her first published work :)

Disclaimer before we get under the spell of Miel’s book: All books under the #buqosteamyreads tag are for 18+ only. 

About the book

Change of Plans

How do you get over an ex you have to face after all these years? When fate brings Elissandra Marquez home for work, she expects all her plans to fall into place. But as she comes face-to-face with her old flame, it seems that her plans need a little changing.

Mark Pelaez is ready to break free from corporate slavery and build his own wealth. But just as he prepares to leave his post, he is tasked with one assignment that may change his mind. Will getting over–or even under– their ex change their plans?

Excerpt:

Mark was on his way to work, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel and nodding his head to the beat of TQ’s ‘Westside’ when he got a call from an officemate, Ian. He didn’t bother lowering the volume when he answered the phone. “‘Sup, dude? If you say you miss me, I’m gonna break your neck when I see you,” he joked.

He heard his pal laugh. “Dude, if there’s someone missing you right now and might just break your neck the moment you come in,that’s Dave. Where the hell are you anyways?”

He snorted at the statement. “Almost there.” From the street he was driving by, he could already see their building. “What’s the fuss about? He found porn magazines on my desk or something?” he laughed.

“No, dumbass, the HR Director is already here.”

Hardly unfazed by the news, Mark turned the corner going to the office. “Ah, no wonder he’s stressed out.”

“Yes. And get this… Miranda Douglas came with her secretary,” Ian told him eagerly. “And when I say ‘secretary’, think about your office-wham-bam fantasies,” he quipped. By the sound of his voice, he knew the guy was grinning from ear to ear.

“Really?The long-haired drop-dead gorgeous, honey-skinned female wearing glasses, tight skirt, high heels and with a pair of nice legs and big boobs?” Mark asked non-stop with a face-splitting smile. He had been told by a good friend before to never lower his standards. And he has stayed true to his guiding principle that every girl should meet his ‘requirements’.

“Dude, and then some,” Ian confirmed, adding to Mark’s growing curiosity.

Unnecessarily, he stepped on the gas harder as soon as he passed by the ticketing booth and drove into the building’s upper parking spaces. “Nice. Let me see for myself then. By the way, did Dave say anything about booking another room for the extra person?”

“Nope. Sexy-tary is actually a certified Filipina and has a relative here. Says she’s staying with her aunt,” Ian reports. “But hell, if she has no other place to stay, I’d offer my house.”

“You mean your mom’s house,” Mark pointed out and heard a vicious curse on the other line before they ended the call laughing, just as he switched the engine off.

Before getting out of his car, he checked his reflection to make sure his hair was gelled into his staple messy but sexy style aka after-sex hairdo and yes, the females liked it too so he kept it that way.

As soon as he reached the fifth floor, he scanned his badge and the door clicked open.  He pulled it and started to rap loudly. “To my peoples if you with me where you —What the hell?” he stopped performing his entrance number featuring his latest last song syndrome when he came face-to-face with a deserted floor.

“Wait up, Sir!” a voice called him from behind and when he looked back towards the door, a delivery guy from Yellow Cab was catching his breath. “Delivery for Sandie Mar—?”

“There you are!” Dave’s voice thundered across the empty wing and grabbed Mark by the arm. “Go get your laptop and proceed to the pantry,” he ordered.

“There’s pizza waiting for a certain Sandie—“ He reasoned. He knew everyone on the floor, Miranda included because her profile was sent to all the HR staff. So he had a pretty good idea that Sandie was the girl that Ian referred to.

“Yeah, yeah… I’ll take care of that,” his manager muttered. “Laptop.Pantry. Now,” were his last words and Mark reluctantly obeyed thinking there will be more chances to meet with Sandie the Sexy-tary soon anyways. There was no need to rush.

From the end of the hallway going to the pantry, Mark saw her ushering the pizza guy into the room and the way she moved with both precision and grace even in stilettos made him nod. And though she wasn’t donning a skirt to show her legs contrary to what Ian told him, the tight leggings clung to her slim legs like second skin, accentuating her shapely bottom and she earned a nod and a smile from him. As he got nearer making sure she wouldn’t notice how he studied her, there was another nod, smile and a lick to his lower lips when he got a subtle glimpse of her cleavage hiding beneath a white blouse topped with a cardigan. He has to give her credit. Not every woman could pull off a hot look just by wearing casual attire and this female even came from a thirteen to sixteen-hour flight to boot.

Get Change of Plans: Getting Under My Ex over at Buqo:

Also, join the giveaway! Click here for the Rafflecopter link.

#buqosteamyreads Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway: Old Enemies Make The Best Lovers by Kate Sebastian

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Last stop of #buqosteamyreads Sizzling bundle here at Fun to Live the Illusion, and featured today is Kate Sebastian’s Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers. Disclaimer: all books in the #buqosteamyreads package are for 18 years old and above only.

About the Book

Old Enemies Make The Best Lovers

Christy Martinez may have been a nerd and the number one victim for the mean girls in her high school, but she’s since grown up, gone to college, and carved out a successful career for herself. Now in her late 20s, she’s put high school behind her, only to be blindsided by a blast from her past.

She and her friends have planned a much-needed vacation, but she finds out at the last minute that they’ll be joined by uber rich and gorgeous Kyle Quinto. He just happens to be the guy who played a cruel trick on her in high school, breaking her heart and making her a target for bullying in the process.

Can Christy forgive and forget? Because Kyle is a whole lot of hot.

Excerpt Reveal

Christy cursed as she tried to maintain her hold on the bags of groceries she’d bought on the way home while fumbling her key into the lock on her apartment door. Then she heard her mobile ringing from somewhere in the depths of her purse, and that started a whole new round of cussing. Finally getting the door open, she quickly dumped the groceries as well as the laptop and folders she’d brought home from the office on the kitchen counter in order to rummage through her bag for her mobile.

She found the offending device right after the damned thing had stopped ringing, but blew out a breath of mixed frustration and relief when she saw it had just been Tracy, her best friend, who’d been calling. She’d been worried it was the office again, with yet another urgent matter that had to be seen to before she could eat her dinner.

She had pulled out her bluetooth headset and was just about to return the call when her phone buzzed in her hand and started ringing again. “Hey, Trace,” she said, moving to the groceries she’d abandoned in her rush to answer the phone and starting to sort through them and put them away. “What’s up?”

“Christina Marie Martinez, you’d better not still be at work!” her friend mock-scolded over the phone. “It’s almost 9 o’clock! I swear, you need to get yourself into Workaholics Anonymous or something.”

“Relax,” she said. “I just got home. I’m putting some groceries away, then I’m heating up a late dinner.” She cast a guilty look at the stack of paperwork and laptop she’d left by the groceries and decided not to mention that she’d planned on a working dinner that night.

“Girl, this is exactly why you haven’t had a man in, like, forever. You don’t get out of the office enough!”

“It hasn’t been forever,” Christy argued, knowing it might as well have been. In the three years since her last relationship had ended, she’d had two promotions, but lately she’d been relying a little too heavily on her battery-operated boyfriend, a sure sign it was probably time to start dating again.

“Whatever,” Tracy retorted. “If that asshole Mark hadn’t gotten a complex about how you were smarter and more talented than he was and started chasing after the bimbos in his office—”

“Ah, what was it that you’re calling about, Trace?” Christy hastily cut in, knowing her friend would happily go on for half an hour or more on the topic of her ex unless her rants were nipped in the bud. “I’m kind of hungry, and you’re keeping me from my dinner.”

“Oh, right!” There was a pause. “Well, um, it’s about this weekend.”

“What?” Christy groaned. It was a long weekend, and she, Tracy, and Tracy’s boyfriend Victor had been planning to take a trip to Cape Santiago, a beach town they’d first visited together in college and had continued to return to every couple of years. “Don’t tell me you’re flaking on me! I mean, I know I’m going to play third wheel to you and Victor, but I swear, you’ll only have to see me at meal times, and not even then if you want to make a date of it or something.”

“No, no—nothing like that! It’s actually great news! Victor came home with the news that an old college friend of his offered him a stay at a five-star resort. It’s just past Cape Santiago, and when we said we’d be going with a friend, he agreed to book a second room for you in addition to the honeymoon suite—the honeymoon suite!—for Victor and me.”

Christy chewed on her lower lip at her friend’s words. “That’s great, Trace,” she said slowly, heading for the couch and sinking into it. “But I don’t think I can afford a stay in a five-star resort with just a week’s notice.”

“Christy, that’s the thing—we’re getting to stay there for free!” Tracy laughed. “Victor’s friend owns the resort, or his family does, anyway, and he said that the rooms he reserved for us didn’t have bookings scheduled and were unlikely to get any at this late date. I was calling to tell you so we could cancel our reservations for that other resort.”

“Hmm.”

“What? That’s your disapproving ‘hmm,’ I can tell.”

“What’s the catch, Trace?”

“Why does there have to be a catch?” Tracy hedged.

“Okay, out with it,” Christy said, knowing that tone in her friend’s voice.

“Well,” Tracy said, drawing out the word, “I also called to tell you that Victor’s friend would be there this weekend too.”

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