Release Week Blitz: Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

This post contains not only an excerpt from Nicole Jacquelyn’s new book Unbreak My Heart but a Top Five List with Jacquelyn AND a giveaway (hosted by Forever Romance). Be sure to scroll down to enter the giveaway as well as read the excerpt and Top Five List.

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 Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

On Sale: June 7, 2016

Formats: Trade Paperback & eBook

Price: $14.99 USD

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SYNOPSIS

What do you do when your soul mate marries your best friend?

If you’re Kate Evans, you keep your friend Rachel, bond with her kids, and bury your feelings for her husband. The fact that Shane’s in the military and away for long periods helps-but when tragedy strikes, everything changes.

After Rachel, pregnant with her fourth child, dies in a car accident and the baby miraculously survives, Kate upends her entire life to share parenting duties. Then on the first anniversary of Rachel’s death, Kate and Shane take comfort in each other in a night that they both soon regret.

Shane’s been angry for a year, and now he feels guilty too – for sleeping with his wife’s best friend and liking it…liking her.  Kate’s ability to read him like a book may have once sent Shane running, but their lives are forever entwined and they are growing closer.

Now with Shane deployed for seven months, Kate is on her own and struggling with being a single parent. Shane is loving and supportive from thousands of miles away, but his homecoming brings a betrayal Kate never saw coming. So Kate’s only choice is to fight for the future she deserves – with or without Shane…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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When Nicole Jacquelyn was eight and people asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she told them she wanted to be a mom. When she was 12, her answer changed to author. Her dreams stayed constant. First, she became a mom, and then during her senior year of college–with one daughter in first grade and the other in preschool–she sat down and wrote a story.

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EXCERPT

I don’t remember the drive to the hospital or even where I parked that afternoon. I can’t recall what the nurse looked like as she searched for Rachel’s name in their computer system or the walk toward the room where I waited for someone to speak to me.

The first thing I remember clearly is the white-haired doctor’s kind face as he sat down across from me, and the young chaplain’s small smile as he chose the chair to my left. Their words became a litany that I would hear in my dreams for years.

My Rachel was gone, but her son was alive and in the NICU.

“Is there anyone you’d like for us to call? Any family or friends that you’d like to be here?”

The question jolted me out of the fog that seemed to be getting thicker and thicker around me. Dear God.

“I’ll make the calls,” I answered, looking blankly at the wall. “Can I have some privacy please?”

“Of course. I’ll be right outside if you need me,” the chaplain answered, reaching out to pat my hand. “I’ll take you up to the NICU when you’re ready.”

The room was silent after they left, and I fought the urge to scream at the top of my lungs just to hear it echo around me. I understood then why people hired mourners to wail at funerals. Sometimes the lack of sound is more painful than the anguished noise of a heart breaking.

My hands shook as I pulled my phone out of my front pocket and rested it on the table in front of me.

It only took a moment before the sound of ringing filled the room, and I rested my head in my hands as I stared at the name across the screen.

“Hello? Kate? What’s wrong?”

“Shane—” I said quietly, my voice hitching.

“What? Why are you calling me?” His voice was confused, but I could hear a small thread of panic in the urgency of his words.

“I need you to come to Tri-City Hospital,” I answered, tears rolling down my face and landing on the glass screen of my phone, distorting the letters and numbers.

“Who?” His voice was frantic, and I could hear him moving around, his breathing heavy.

“Rachel was in an accident.” I sobbed, covering my face to try and muffle the noise.

“No,” he argued desperately, as I heard two car doors shut almost simultaneously. “Is she okay?”

I shook my head, trying to catch my breath.

“Kate! Is she okay?” He screamed at me, his anguished voice filling the room as I’d wanted mine to just minutes before.

“No,” I answered through gritted teeth, feeling snot running down my upper lip as I heard him make a noise deep in his throat. “She’s gone.”

He didn’t say a word, and less than a second later, the connection was broken.

I rubbed at my forehead, trying to convince myself that it was all just a nightmare. Where was I supposed to be? What was I supposed to do now? My best friend in the entire world was there in that hospital, but not really. I couldn’t bear to see her. I couldn’t help her. Where the fuck was I supposed to go?”

I made my way to the NICU as quickly as I could, and within minutes, I was holding my new nephew in my arms. The nurses told me that he’d passed all of his tests with flying colors, and I was in awe as I sat down in a rocking chair, cradling him to my chest.

“You sure got a shitty beginning, little man,” I murmured against his fuzzy scalp, rocking back and forth gently. “I’m so sorry, buddy. You’re probably missing your mama and that warm bubble you’ve been in for so long. I can’t help you there.”

I sniffled, closing my eyes as tears rolled down my cheeks. My whole body ached, and even though I had that little boy in my arms, the whole day seemed like some sort of surreal dream, foggy in some parts and crystal clear in others. I wanted to hop up and take his sleeping, little form to Rachel, to tease her about the weird Mohawk thing he was sporting and make joking comments about how men always seem to sleep through the hard parts of life. I wanted to see her smile proudly at the sturdy boy she’d produced and grumble that I was hogging him.

I wanted everything to be different.

I hummed softly with my eyes closed for a long time, holding the baby close to me. It was quiet where we sat, nothing breaking up the stillness of the room until I heard someone open the door.

“There he is,” the nurse murmured from the doorway.

My eyes popped open to see Shane’s ravaged face just feet from me. He looked like he was barely holding on. I swallowed hard as his red rimmed eyes took in his son carefully before rising to meet mine.

“Is he okay?” he asked thickly, searching my face. I’d never seen him so frightened.

“He’s perfect,” I answered, my voice throbbing with emotion. “The nurses said he’s a rock star.”

He nodded twice, reaching up to cover his mouth with his hand, but before he could say another word, he was stumbling and falling to his knees with an almost inaudible sob.

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Top Five List

Favorite Fictional Boyfriends

  1. Ty Walker- Kristen Ashley “Lady Luck”
  1. Dean Robillard- Susan Elizabeth Phillips “Natural Born Charmer”
  1. Isaiah Washington- Willow Aster “In The Fields”
  1. Kona Hale- Eden Butler “Thin Love”
  1. Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent- Lisa Kleypas “Devil in Winter”

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Release Week Blitz: Size Matters by Alison Bliss

 

SIZE MATTERS by Alison Bliss

Series: A Perfect Fit, #1

On Sale: November 29, 2016

Mass Market: $5.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

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Size Matters, #1

On The Plus Side, #2

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Synopsis

The rules of (fake) engagement . . .
Leah Martin has spent her life trying to avoid temptation. But she’s sick of low-fat snacks, counting calories, and her hyper-critical mom. Fortunately, her popular new bakery keeps her good and distracted. But there aren’t enough éclairs in the world to distract Leah from the hotness that is Sam Cooper – or the fact that he just told her mother that they’re engaged . . . which is a big, fat lie.
Sam sometime speaks before he thinks. So what started out as defending Leah’s date-ability to her judgmental mother soon turned into having a fiancée! Now the plan is to keep up the fake engagement, stay “just friends,” and make Leah’s family loathe him enough to just call the whole thing off. But Sam has an insatiable sweet tooth, not only for Leah’s decadent desserts but her decadent curves. Her full lips. Her bright green eyes. Yep, things aren’t going quite according to plan. Now Sam has to convince Leah that he’s for real . . . before their little lie turns into one big, sweet disaster.

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About The Author

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Alison Bliss grew up in Small Town, Texas, but currently resides in the Midwest with her husband and two sons. With so much testosterone in her home, it’s no wonder she writes “girl books.” She believes the best way to know if someone is your soul mate is by canoeing with them because if you both make it back alive, it’s obviously meant to be. Alison pens the type of books she loves to read most: fun, steamy love stories with heart, heat, laughter, and usually a cowboy or two. As she calls it, “Romance…with a sense of humor.”

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Excerpt

Leah Martin nearly choked on her beer.

“What do you mean just pick one?” Her eyes scanned the entire bar before settling back on her friend. “Pick one what?”

“A guy, of course.”

Yeah, because it was just that simple. For Valerie, maybe. Even though they were close in size, Valerie always wore her weight better and turned heads everywhere she went. It probably helped that she had expressive doe eyes, wavy platinum-blond hair, and looked more like a cutesy toy poodle any guy would give their right testicle to take for a walk.

“I hate to tell you this, Val, but that only applies to women who look like you.” If Leah had to classify herself in that same frame of reference, she’d accurately describe herself as a Bulldog. Not only did she have the breed’s innate stubborn streak, but she also had the matching broad shoulders, wide hips, large chest, and—if she didn’t lose a few pounds—probably the same short life span. “Hippy brunettes with body image issues and smudged eyeliner don’t get the luxury of just pick one.”

“Oh, shut up,” Valerie said, rolling her eyes. “Your eyeliner looks fine.”

Yep, that about sums it up. My eyeliner is the only thing that looks decent on me tonight.

The little black dress she wore was just that—too little—and was slowly squeezing the life out of her. Especially after packing on ten extra pounds in the last few months. The sheath of fabric clung to every curve, as well as every bulge. Thank God they lived in Texas instead of Alaska or an Eskimo might’ve mistaken her for a seal and tried to skin her.

“So what’s your pleasure?” Valerie asked, not giving up. “Plenty of gorgeous men in here tonight.”

“Sure, if I squint.”

“Okay, stop being negative. You’re gorgeous, and lots of men love curvy women. I should know. Now pick one.”

No point in arguing with her. Once Valerie set her mind to something, she didn’t stop until the mission was accomplished. But the only time Leah had ever had her pick of anything was when she stood in front of the doughnut case at work, deciding between a chocolate éclair or a cream cheese danish.

“How am I supposed to know who to pick? It’s not like they wear signs on their foreheads saying, ‘I dig fat chicks.’”

Valerie shot her an exasperated look. “We’ll just establish a baseline for the kind of guy you want.”

“The kind of guy I’d want wouldn’t be hanging out in a bar called Rusty’s Bucket. In fact, I wouldn’t be here either if you hadn’t forced me to come.”

“Leah, you got dumped. Happens to all of us sooner or later.” Valerie’s voice softened as she reached for Leah’s hand. “It sucks, I know. But you’re always at work or upstairs in your apartment, which means you never leave that damn building. It’s not healthy. You can’t hide out forever.”

“I’m not hiding. I’ve just…been busy. I never imagined I’d be this swamped only a month after grand opening, and I’ve had to put in a lot of extra hours.” Leah caught Valerie’s I’m-not-buying-it expression. “Come on, Val. The wedding is tomorrow night. Everything has to be perfect because…well, you know.”

Valerie rolled her eyes. “Why does it even matter?”

“Because my reputation is at stake. It’s my cake the happy couple will be stuffing into each other’s mouths. They can choke on it for all I care, but it’s going to be the tastiest damn wedding cake they’ve ever eaten while keeling over. Everything has to go as smoothly as possible, and I have a million things to do before tomorrow night. I still need to—”

Valerie raised her hand to stop her from continuing. “What you need is a break. Let’s find some guys to dance with and have a few hours of fun before you lock yourself up in the cave again. Just humor me, okay? Now, what would say your dream guy’s most attractive quality would be?”

Leah sighed. “A pulse.”

“No vampires. Check. What else?”

“I don’t know. This is stupid.” Leah caught the disappointment in Valerie’s eyes and groaned. “Okay, fine. I guess I’d want…”

Her gaze sifted through the crowd, landing on two men at the bar. While the one standing motioned to the bartender, the other rolled up the sleeves of his blue button-down shirt, drawing Leah’s attention to his tanned, muscular forearms. When he finished, he bumped his elbow against the other man’s ribs and said something that made them both laugh. The warm, amused smile he wore sent a zing of pleasure through Leah, like she’d been given a intravenous shot of serotonin. Him. I’d want him.

 

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