friends to lovers

Blog Tour: Cutie and the Beast (Cipher Office #3) by M.E. Carter

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Welcome back to Weight Expectations, where the unexpected is likely to happen.

Cutie and the Beast, an all-new roommates-to-lovers romantic comedy from M.E. Carter, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!

Welcome to the Cutie and the Beast Blog Tour stop. What an absolutely delightful story from the lovely M.E. Carter! I so enjoyed reading about Abel, Elliott and their girls finding a happy ending together. Make sure you read my review below and check out not only the other goodies in this post, but go check out other SmartyPants Romance releases available now! Happy reading. ~ Amber

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Living with her mother seemed like a good idea at the time. But Elliott Donovan’s living arrangements are not working for her anymore. Desperate to get back on her financial feet after a divorce and out from under her mother’s thumb, Elliott takes a job in the child care center at Weight Expectations, a local gym.

It has everything she needs – family friendly hours, more pay than she expected, and a super cute trainer who just happens to have part of his house for rent.

Abel DiSoto was living the good life until his wife walked out taking half of the family income with her. The blow to his ego was bad enough, but after a fire at the gym scattered Abel’s clients, and consequently his commissions, he’s stuck figuring out how to make ends meet, too. Renting out the master suite of his house to his new co-worker seems like an easy solution. They’re both mature adults, they both have eight-year-old daughters, and their work schedules coordinate so they can lend each other a helping hand to ease the burden of single parenthood.

The only downside? Living like a blended family when you’re not actually a family can present some challenges.

Welcome back to Weight Expectations, where the unexpected is likely to happen.

‘Cutie and the Beast’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book #3 in the Cipher Office series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy TODAY or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2RnGgqQ

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2tt0Az5

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/38oFcda

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2NI0xqc

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2NLdj76

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amber-review 4.75 Stars

A truly lovely story from start to finish! Cutie and the Beast had heart, humor and just the right balance of realism to help you connect with the characters. Abel and Elliott go from strangers to roommates to friends and then lovers, all while balancing single parenthood. The pacing of this story was so spot on and not rushed. While there might have been an insta comfort between the pair, I liked that their connection was more organic. Both are dealing with daughters that are high energy, but thankfully Ainsley and Mabel are quickly bffs in every way. The conflicts the couple encounter were believable, and the way Abel and Elliott worked through things to find their HEA was as well. M.E. Carter knows how to craft a total feel good read!

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Excerpt

In my haste to not be late, I barrel right into a woman coming through the front door.

Grabbing her arms to steady her from falling, I apologize profusely. “I’m sorry! I didn’t see you. Are you all right?”

Smiling tightly, the blonde isn’t thrilled a random stranger practically ran her over. But she’s polite anyway. “I’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure? You aren’t hurt?” I don’t think she is, but sometimes I don’t know my own strength.

This time her smile is a little more genuine. “I’m sure. You sure are in a rush.”

Letting go of her arms, I feel like she needs an explanation other than me racing around like an idiot. “I’m the one parent who has a tendency to be late for school pickup. The lady at the front desk gives me a nasty evil glare if she has to call me.”

This woman, whose name I still haven’t bothered to ask, laughs and I’m struck by how cute she is. She’s definitely a few years older than I am, but not by much. There’s nothing about her that necessarily stands out in a crowd, but her smile is genuine. This is a woman who likes to laugh and have fun. I always gravitate toward those people, which gives me a fleeting thought: I should have noticed my ex-wife hardly ever smiled for real. Laughing was even rarer unless it was at someone else’s expense. Those should have been easy indicators she wasn’t the one for me.

“Parker Elementary?” the blonde asks.

“Yeah.” I give her a quizzical look. “How did you know?”

“Do not mess with Ms. Alexander’s routine. She will cut a bitch.”

My laugh comes easily, and I find myself hoping this woman is a new member. She’s funny. I love it when clients have a sense of humor. Offering her my hand, I introduce myself. “I’m Abel. Trainer here at Weight Expectations and father of Mabel in second grade.”

She places her cold hand in mine. “Elliott. Interviewee for the childcare position and mother of Ainsley, also in second grade.”

“Ah! Well it’s nice to meet you. Fingers crossed I’ll see you here later as a fellow employee. And if not here, at Parker Elementary as a fellow parent. Hopefully not in Ms. Alexander’s line of sight.”

Elliott holds up her gloved hands and crosses her fingers around each other. “Wish me luck. Now run fast.”

About M.E. Carter

My name is M.E. Carter and I have no idea how I ended up writing books. I’m more of a story teller (the more exaggerated the better) and I happen to know people who helped me get those stories on paper. I love reading (read almost 200 books last year), hate working out (but I do it anyway because my trainer makes me), love food (but hate what it does to my butt) and love traveling to non-touristy places most people never see. I live in Houston with my four kids, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who was just a twinkle in my eye when I came up with my pen name. Yeah, I’ll probably have to pay for his therapy someday for being left out.

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Find M.E. Carter online

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2ly7Fu3

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2lzBqdQ

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2k4SZCf

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2k1O4Sx

Website: https://www.authormecarter.com/

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New Release & Review: Spike By Love (Bellevue Bullies) by Toni Aleo

Spiked By Love is HERE!!! Guys this story is so everything! It’s got friends to lovers angst, Assassins world humor and passion, and all the things I love from a Toni Aleo story. I absolutely loved reading Ally and Asher. Check out my review below and go spend some time with my favorite Nashville families. Happy release Toni!

Happy reading GBR friends. ~ Amber

 

Friends to lovers hockey romance!
Spiked by Love by Toni Aleo is available now!

Amazon — https://amzn.to/33JZkoQ
Universal — getbook.at/SpikedbyLoveTA
Apple — https://apple.co/2SYA1f6
Nook — http://bit.ly/38X3tb2
Kobo — http://bit.ly/390pZ2L


Allison Titov and Asher Brooks have been best friends their whole lives. Brought up together as part of the Assassins family, they might as well be related. But… Ally has never felt anything sisterly toward Asher.

In love with Asher since she was a teen, Ally has gone pro at keeping her feelings a secret. It’s been easy…as long as he’s stayed halfway across the country at college and she has a volleyball to slap her frustrations out on. But now, he’s home. And having his quick wit, heart-filling laugh, and adorkable smile so close is going to test her like never before.

After being dumped by his fiancée, Asher is at a loss what to do next. He craves stability, but with an unexpected kiss, Ally might as well have spiked Asher in the face with a volleyball. Now he’s faced with the dilemma of his life. Does he keep Ally in the friend zone, or does he take the ultimate risk for love?

If they’ve learned one thing growing up in the glow of hockey greatness, it’s that you can’t win it all if you don’t play the game. And by serving one hell of an ace into the middle of Asher’s safe little life, Ally is ready to claim victory.

STANDALONE!
Friends to LOVERS

Nashville Assassins: Next Generation folks at Bellevue Bullies

amber review 5 Stars

Let me start by saying I love a friends to lovers story almost as much as a second chance romance. In Spiked By Love, Toni Aleo makes a return to the Assassins World in this next generation story set amidst her Bellevue Bullies backdrop. This time it’s Allison Titov and Asher Brooks taking center stage. Ally and Asher are the best of friends, but when feelings get real can they see what everyone around them already see?

From the go these two are thick as thieves and have been since childhood. They get each other in a way others just don’t, and neither wants to admit their feelings even when the rest of the world scoffs at their adamant stance that they are ‘just friends’. I am so happy that Toni told this story in dual pov, because the reader needs to see how much they both are fighting their feelings. I was yelling at the both of them reading this because they just needed to take the leap and act. But then Ally can’t hold back anymore and Asher is stunned stupid. Asher’s got some struggles with expressing his feelings, well really with owning his feelings; and he hates when others tell him how he feels. I thought this was just a good time of an angsty “I know what I feel and want, so get on the same page with me so we can be happy” story. And as always the supporting characters in our Assassins world were present and accounted for, bringing all the drama and hilarity that this fan loves!! Great job as always Toni!!

Now…who’s forever are we getting next?!  

About the Author:

My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?

Connect with Toni!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonialeo1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ToniAleo1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/toni_aleo/
Intagram: https://instagram.com/tonialeo1/
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2yGqqR6

New Release & Review: Brooklynnaire by Sarina Bowen

Today we are excited to celebrate the new release from Sarina Bowen, BROOKLYNNAIRE was absolutely fantastic!! We have the buy links, an excerpt as well as my review. So if you enjoy hockey romance, workplace romance or friends to lovers this one checks all those boxes! Happy reading! Laters, Amber

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You can get your copy at Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Google

A sexy new standalone from USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen.

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’tdo is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?

amber review  5 Stars

Wowza!! Sarina Bowen outdid herself with this addition to her Brooklyn Bruisers series. I absolutely adored every word of Nate and Becca’s story!! I loved how she began the story and then interspersed flashbacks of their meeting, so you got such wonderful character and couple development. It was one of those “falling for the co-worker”, best friend troupes that I so enjoy. These two made such sense together, and watching Becca fight it and realize that she really did love Nate was so good. But Nate, oh my sweet, funny, geeky Nate; this man did it for me. He may have had his awkward moments, but when he showed his caring side and more importantly that dirty talking side? Well, let’s just say Becca wasn’t the only one needing fresh lingerie!! HA! I definitely want more of this series Ms. Bowen!! 

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Excerpt

Nate 

I grab a towel off a waiting stack of them and toss it onto the edge. “You can sit and put your feet in.”

She’s wearing a short little knit dress that’s been making me crazy all evening, so it would be easy enough for her to strip off those stockings, sit on the towel, and drop both feet in.

And that’s what she does. She eases one stocking down over a smooth knee and tugs it off.

I don’t want to stand there staring like a middle-school boy. Okay, I do want to. But I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. So I go over to the sound system instead, and I set my phone on the speaker and cue up a really old playlist. One she’ll recognize.

When I turn around again, she’s seated on the towel, both legs hanging down into the churning water. “Ah. Wow.” She looks up at me, her eyes sparkling. “Nice place you got here.”

“Isn’t it?” I toe off my shoes and kick them to the side.

The first song comes on, and it’s a Macklemore tune that we used to play far too often in our first office. Rebecca laughs immediately. “You didn’t! I haven’t heard this playlist in forever. But I’ll bet I still know every transition. Lady Gaga is next.”

“She sure is.”

Rebecca kicks her feet, making a splash. “I have a little confession to make.”

“What’s that?” I loosen my tie and slide the knot out.

“Well…” She grins up at me. “I used to have a crush on you. Back in the early days.”

My hands freeze on the tie silk. “Get out of town. You did not.”

“No, I really did.” Her cheeks are pink. “That first year especially. But you were taken, and you were my boss. Those two things made it pretty easy to tamp down, when you’re a practical girl like me.”

I walk over and drop down beside her, my back to the water, though, because I’m still wearing trousers and socks. “So how does that work, exactly?”

“What?” She gives me a sidelong glance, but then looks away again and won’t meet my eyes.

“How do you stop wanting someone? I’m a practical person, but I don’t see how that makes it any easier. Nothing seems to mute the raging attraction I have for you.”

Her chin turns quickly toward me, and I seize the opportunity to kiss her. And it only takes one kiss—one slide of my lips over hers, and I’m on fire again.

We’re facing opposite directions, so it’s awkward as hell. But I don’t even care. I take greedy sip after greedy sip of her mouth, until she pulls back to stare at me. Her color is high and her eyes are bright and happy. “This is like Twister.”

“It’s better,” I correct. Lady Gaga comes on, just as Becca said she would. “Are we getting into this pool or what?”

Becca kicks a foot in the water. “I’m tempted. But I don’t have a bathing suit.”

“Oh, snap.”

She smiles and shakes her head. “Are you really getting in?”

“We don’t have to.” I’m never going to pressure her.

Her fingers trail across the surface of the bubbling water. “But this is an adventure, right?”

“Right.” I stand up and remove my socks. She’s watching me. And I can’t read her expression. “What?”

“Just wondering what else you’re going to take off.” She smiles.

“Come here.” The order rolls off my tongue.

But Rebecca doesn’t blink. She gets up and turns toward me, curiosity in her eyes.

“You tell me. What am I taking off?”

She puts two hands tentatively on my chest, and I make myself be patient. Everything I ever wanted is on the other side of this moment. I just need us to break through this awkwardness—the “will we or won’t we” tension.

Her fingers find the top button of my shirt. “I’m not getting in the water unless you are.”

That’s a compromise I can live with. I find my lower shirt buttons and work upwards, until we meet in the middle. She pushes the two halves of my shirt apart and runs a hand down my bare chest.

My inner caveman stands up and cheers.

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