Quick Book Review: Winning! A Guide to Games That Never Were by Brandon Barrows

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Photo via Goodreads.

This novel was a short, funny twist on gaming guides.

Every game in this book does not exist, which makes this book quite amusing. It is explaining cheats and how to progress through these games that were never made. Clearly some of these stories were parodying certain games on the market today, and that made it so much better. I have a few times where I wanted to chuckle at the stories and how they explained their games.

I definitely enjoyed this book! It’s a short, cute read and it is definitely more of a comedy book. People who are fans of video games would appreciate this book a lot more than the average reader!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

NO JOCK RULES – Exclusive Excerpt and Release Party!

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Today we have the release day blitz of No Jock Rule by Ashley Erin! We’re so excited about this fantastic new release. Check out the release day festivities and grab your copy today!

Title: No Jock Rule

Author: Ashley Erin

Genre: Sports Romance

 

NO JOCK RULE Synopsis:

Nella Anderson isn’t your typical college student. She has a secret, one she can never share.

With secrets come rules.

Rules set by others.

Rules set by herself.

Nella’s rule is simple. No jocks.

Carter Jacobs doesn’t make keeping her rule easy, but she’s determined not to break it.

 

Carter refuses to let women get the best of him. He’s seen the fallout and learned early on that you can’t fully trust anyone. Giving someone his entire heart is not an option. Nella has captured his interest, but he keeps himself at a distance.

 

An online friendship, identities unknown, has Nella and Carter unwittingly trusting each other.

Secrets are uncovered, identities revealed.

 

Rules are meant to be broken, can they handle the consequences?

 

Ashley Erin Bio:

Ashley Erin lives in Alberta, Canada where winter and summer compete to take over. She wears flip flops as soon as it’s above freezing, because her hatred of socks outweighs her dislike of snow. Her boyfriend stays with her despite a penchant for adopting rescued cats and dogs without permission. Their two dogs and four cats are spoiled rotten. When Ashley isn’t writing, she is reading or working with horses.

Ashley is a self-published author of contemporary and new adult romance. Follow her on Facebook to keep up with her current and upcoming releases.

 

Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4cf78adb518/

 

Buy Links:

Amazon | BN |

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Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@Ashley_Erin21/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorashleyerin/

Website: http://www.ashleyerinauthor.com/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bVGEsz

Excerpt:

BNA3668: Where are those tickets hidden?

CTJ2176: I’m not telling you.

BNA3668: No one has been able to find them yet, and I desperately want to go.

CTJ2176: They haven’t been hidden that long.

BNA3668: One clue.

CTJ2176: Okay, let’s make a deal, the concert is mid-September and it’s sold out. If I give you a clue and you find them, you take me.

BNA3668: . . .

BNA3668: . . .

BNA3668: Deal.

CTJ2176: They’re tucked behind a sign, but the edges are sticking out.

BNA3668: That’s a good clue.

CTJ2176: I want to meet you . . .

April Anthology Book Review: A Cup of Roses, Stories by 8 Writers by Fiona Gold Kroll

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Photo via Goodreads.

Book Review
Book Title: A Cup of Roses, Stories by 8 Writers
Book Author: Fiona Gold Kroll, Ruth Frankel-Graner, Gerda Frieberg, Carol Green, Sam Hoffer, Raizie Jacobson, David Rapoport, Jenny Roger.

Introduction: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. As per usual, I was having a particular type of book craving – today it was anthology, and an overall short read. A Cup of Roses filled the bill, so I decided to pick it up and got so hooked I finished it in one sitting.

Review:

This anthology holds many different types of stories – humor, religion, drama, romance, food, history, joy, poetry, tragedy and so much more. For being so little, you wouldn’t expect much of an impact, but this book really had me interested and wanting more.

The book is incredibly easy to read, and each story is not to short but also not to long. The individual stories each have their own focus, none of which really seem connected. This helped me out when I began to get bored with a few of the short stories – each one had it’s own plot it centered around and did not depend on the others. These standalone stories are all well written, and are all written in different writing styles (since there are many authors that created this anthology).

Was this book my top, all time favourite anthology? No. Did it rank high? Yes. While it doesn’t get the gold, it definitely gets second place in my books. While the book didn’t wow my socks off, it did give me an interesting perspective into many different aspects of the writers lives/imagination. I wasn’t expecting to have to think or have my opinions rattled with this book, but it does just that. And as a reader and reviewer, I love a book that makes me think and form different opinions – or just gives me insight into something I haven’t thought about before.

I don’t have any recommendations for how to make this little series of stories better. It’s perfect in it’s own little way. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to read an anthology that doesn’t have one clear focus (and doesn’t have a connection between all of them). It’s great for a rainy day, a small lunch break, a school project, or just as a different type of read.

Would I want more from these authors? Absolutely. I enjoyed each story – while not all of them had my hooked to every word, they were all beautifully written and well thought out. I didn’t want to put the book down, I had to keep going (which is rare. Often I can set a book down and forget about it for a while, but I didn’t want to leave this book behind. I had to finish it).

Overall, this was an incredible read. I enjoyed each story, I felt educated, and the book made me think.

Four out of five stars.

MORE THAN A FEELING by Erika Kelly – Excerpt!!

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From the award-winning author of TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT comes the final full-length standalone contemporary romance in Erika Kelly’s red-hot Rock Star Romance series, MORE THAN A FEELING. A steamy and emotional story about a loner rocker finding his perfect duet, MORE THAN A FEELING finds the perfect pitch and will leave you with more than a song in your heart! Grab your copy of MORE THAN A FEELING today!

 

 

About MORE THAN A FEELING:

From the award-winning author of TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT comes the final story in her red-hot Rock Star Romance series, about a loner rocker finding his perfect duet.

When Cooper Hood left Snowberry, Montana ten years ago, he swore he’d never go back to the town that painted him with the same brush as his addict mother. But right in the middle of his band’s national tour he gets a call to come home: his mom’s got a whopper of a secret to reveal.

Daisy Charbonneau’s in trouble. The talent she hired for her resort’s annual Huckleberry Festival just bailed on her, and she’s desperate to find a replacement act. Luck turns her way when she discovers her high school crush is back in town—and he happens to be a rock star.

As they work together, a crush deepens into so much more, but who falls in love in two weeks?

Especially when Cooper’s never coming back to town, and Daisy’s never going to leave it.

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Order MORE THAN A FEELING Today!

iBooks ** Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** Kobo

Add to your Goodreads

 

EXCERPT:

Your Excerpt for your post is below and IS included in your HTML document.

Daisy’s fingers trailed across his shoulders as she breezed past him. Her warm vanilla and honey scent swirled in her wake, and he felt like that boy all over again who’d lived in a state of hyperawareness around her. The boy who’d noticed the way her dark hair pooled onto the desk as she’d hunch forward to write, her fingers curled around a pencil. The way the tendons in her neck strained when she’d hit and held a high note. Her burst of laughter in the music room had made him stop whatever he’d been doing just to witness her joy.

He’d hoarded all those images, those sacred moments, to pull out and comfort him as he lay alone in the dark woods, waiting for his home to be safe enough to go back inside.

She would never know it, but she’d been his saving grace.

Taking her seat across from him, she set two little pots on the table. Her vivid blue eyes sparkled in the candlelight.  “Try this.” She held a spoon out to him.

Letting her feed him was just too damn intimate, so he took it from her and fed himself. Creamy dark chocolate filled his senses. “Mousse?” Although it was denser, the chocolate more velvety. Richer. “It’s good.”

“It’s a Pot de Crème.” She scooped another mound for herself. Turning the spoon upside down, she brought it to her mouth, closing her eyes when her tongue touched the chocolate. She moaned, and her tongue swept across her bottom lip.

Desire surged through him, and he couldn’t help wondering if she’d look like that in bed. If she’d go all slack and dreamy-eyed when he sucked a nipple into his mouth.

His blood rose at the image of Daisy naked beneath him, back arching, her hands digging into his hair, holding him to her as if she never wanted him to go away.

She opened her eyes and licked the damn spoon. “I had my mom make it just for you.” The silky fabric of her shirt draped over her breasts, accentuating their round fullness. Desire pulsed through him.

Jesus, would you stop already?

“Let’s try this one.” She slid the edge of her fork into the cake, a cream-covered strawberry sliding out. “It’s my favorite.” The Montana sapphire studs glittered in her ears, and her lush mouth curved into a smile. His dick went hard.

He accepted the fork, but even when the cake and cream hit his tongue he couldn’t taste a thing. Because the only thing in his mind, heart, and body was the primal, urgent need to taste her.

All that teenage longing came roaring back. He wanted her more than ever. And not because she was beautiful and had a body his hands were dying to explore, but because every single cell in his body reacted to her. Wanted her. Yearned for her.

And this was why he’d never come back to Snowberry. He didn’t want to yearn for the things he couldn’t have. Didn’t want to wait for his mother to give him a crumb of her attention. Didn’t want to be around these people who’d only ever looked at him with disgust.

“What do you think? Delicious?” Daisy’s voice yanked him out of the negativity.

And he was damn glad. Because his past didn’t matter anymore. He was a man now. He’d made his way in the world. And he had a chance to be that man around Daisy. His gaze on her mouth, he said, “Hell, yes.”

more than a feeling series

And don’t miss the first three standalone titles in The Rock Star Romance Series!

YOU REALLY GOT ME

I WANT YOU TO WANT ME

TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

 

 

RAFFLECOPTER:

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OTE3MmMxYTA5NWI0YjhkMjZkNWU0YzM1M2E1YzU2OjM2Ng==/?

 

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About Erika Kelly:

Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life–she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter Signup ** Erika Kelly Goodreads

WRITE NAKED by Jennifer Probst – Excerpt!!

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WRITE NAKED: A Bestseller’s Guide to Writing Romance and Navigating the Path To Success by Jennifer Probst is now LIVE!
 
This is a new nonfiction book aimed at writers of romance and women’s fiction, intermingling writing exercises, strategies and tips with personal essays on the writing experience from one of the star romance writers today.
 

Purchase now:

Amazon:  http://bit.ly/WriteNakedAMZ

B&N: http://bit.ly/WriteNakedBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/WriteNakedKOBO

iBooks: http://bit.ly/WriteNakedIBOOKS


Blurb:


Learn how to transform your passion for writing into a career. New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Probst reveals her pathway to success, from struggling as a new writer to signing a seven-figure deal. Write Naked intermingles personal essays on craft with down-to-earth advice on writing romance in the digital age. Probst will teach you how to:
  • Commit to your current work-in-progress, get focused, and complete it on schedule
  • Reveal raw emotions and thoughts on the page to hook your readers
  • Assemble a street team to promote and celebrate your books
  • Overcome writer’s block with ease
  • Develop themes that tie together your books and series
  • Write the most difficult elements of romance–including sex scenes–with skill and style
Regardless of the genre, every novelist faces a difficult task. Creating authentic characters and an engaging plot are challenging enough. But attempting to break into the hotter-than-ever romance genre, which is constantly flooded with new titles and fresh faces? It can feel impossible. This is where Probst’s Write Naked comes in. To survive–and thrive–you need the help and wisdom of an expert.

Written in Probst’s unmistakable and honest voice, Write Naked is filled with the lessons and craft advice every writer needs in order to carve out a rewarding career.


————-
AUTHOR INFORMATION:


BIO:
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

Website:  www.jenniferprobst.com
Facebook Fan Page:  https://www.facebook.com/jenniferprobst.authorpage
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/jenniferprobst
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2965489.Jennifer_Probst

WRITE NAKED – EXCERPT

Success means different things to different people. It also changes like a moving target, depending on your current situation. For me, success once meant quitting my day job to write full-time. Then it became hitting a best-seller list. As time passed, success began to morph into a combination of stellar sales, name recognition, steady releases, and big money. It was exhausting. And I was the source of my own exhaustion. The funny thing about being successful is how the ground beneath you doesn’t feel as solid anymore. This makes absolutely no sense, since technically I achieved financial security and discoverability—two huge elements of every hardworking author’s dream. Yet, I still couldn’t control any of my books’ successes. I couldn’t make them hit a best-seller list and I couldn’t stop any of them from making the top of the chart one day and sliding into total obscurity the next. That’s just something you have to learn to be okay with. The good and bad, up and down, success and failures. If you want to be a career author, you will still feel vulnerable, afraid, and sick to your stomach even with success.

I learned one valuable lesson that helps me get through it all. I focus on the work. I focus on my writing, day in and day out, and when I struggle, I dig deep and write even more. That’s how I put the voices to rest. I know I’m not a one-hit wonder or a fraud. I know I’d still be writing if I hadn’t made money, because it’s a calling and a gift. I also learned to be professional. I changed from the kind person who said yes to everyone, signed contracts without fighting for better clauses, and agreed to write too many books in too short of a time into the type of person who thinks like a businesswoman and makes hard decisions.

This means saying no. This means hurting feelings. I always remain kind, but now I ask questions. I decline offers. I’m careful and much more protective of my time, because as many wonderful people as there are, there are still people out there who, like vampires, will drain your creative well dry.

Just know there are both positives and negatives that come with everything in this life. You will need to be willing to look at the world—and your career—in a different way. Think of the tortoise and the hare. Man, it’s fun to win the medal and have everyone celebrate you. But when the cheers disappear, and it’s you alone with your book, you need to have the foundation and stamina of the tortoise.

Then you’ll earn more than a million dollars.

You’ll earn some damn peace and happiness.

Saving Mercy by Abbie Roads

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SAVING MERCY Synopsis:

He’s found her at last…

Cain Killion knows himself to be a damaged man. His only redeeming quality? The extrasensory connection to blood that he uses to catch killers. His latest case takes a macabre turn when he discovers a familiar and haunting symbol linking the crime to his horrific past—and the one woman who might understand what it means.

Only to lose her to a nightmare


Mercy Ledger is brave, resilient, beautiful—and in terrible danger. The moment Cain finds her the line between good and evil blurs and the only thing clear to them is that they belong together. Love is the antidote for blood—but is their bond strong enough to overcome the madness that stalks them?

Trailer Direct Link:  https://youtu.be/FDuuI7KtiBc

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://hyperurl.co/SMAm1227

iBooks: http://hyperurl.co/SMiB1227

Barnes and Noble: http://hyperurl.co/SMbn1227

Google: http://hyperurl.co/SMgoo1227

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30612669-savingmercy

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Abbie Roads Bio:

Abbie Roads is a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. By night she writes dark, emotional novels always giving her characters the happy ending she wishes for all her clients. SAVING MERCY is the first book in her new Fatal Truth Series of dark, gritty, romantic suspense with a psychological twist.

Links:

Website: http://abbieroads.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AbbieRoadsAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Abbie_Roads
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DangerouslyDarkDarlings/ 

Giveaway:

– Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a8323af84/

 

Excerpt:

“Do you remember where you are?”

“Ward B of The Center of Balance and Wellness. The name doesn’t fit. It should be called The Center of Indifference. No one here cares—except for Liz. You know Liz?” He opened his mouth to answer, but she bulldozed over him, her words coming out in a rush. “She looks like Nurse Ratchet, but her personality is all Mary Poppins. She always lets me stay up past lights-out since it’s the only solitude to be had in the whole place. Once, she snuck a cupcake in on my birthday. Now isn’t that sweet? She—” The words were speeding out of her mouth.

Not that he was complaining. He preferred her hyped-up over out-of-it, but she might backslide if she didn’t stay somewhat calm. “Whoa whoa whoa. Slow down. Take a breath. We’ve got all the time in the world here.” Had to be the meds or lack of meds—some strange part of the withdrawals—causing her diarrhea of the mouth.

She grabbed in one good breath, then tossed off again. “You know there aren’t many people to talk to in here.” She turned her voice down to a whisper. “Everyone’s crazy. I mean really crazy. Certifiable. It’s hard to carry on a rational conversation with someone who keeps talking to the demon that lives in their ankle. You ever have that happen? Where you’re talking to someone and all of sudden they lift their foot up in front of their face and start having a conversation with it? It’s a bit off putting, if you know what I mean.”

Her expression was full on seriousness, and he probably shouldn’t laugh—definitely he shouldn’t—but couldn’t help it.

A smile—no, it wasn’t quite a smile—tipped the corners of her mouth, giving her a look that said she was thinking about something pleasing.

“We’ve hit a new phase of your withdrawals. Speed talking.”

“Oh, my. Your voice. Wow. It reminds me of dark chocolate, a hot bath, and sex and—”

“Apparently your mental filter is malfunctioning.”

“—sweaty, dirty, hard fucking.”

Holy Christ. Just the words sex, sweaty, and dirty had his dick going all skyscraper inside his jeans, but when she said hard fucking—he blacked out for a moment. When his mind came back online it decided to flash him images of what sweaty, dirty, hard fucking would look like with her. Her nipples brushing against his chest as he rammed into her with a pace and depth and exuberance he’d never experienced.

He needed to change the subject, but couldn’t remember how to get his mouth to form words. He might’ve swallowed his damned tongue.

 

“Why do you suppose your voice sounds like sex on a summer day? It’s because I’m horny. I haven’t had sex in five years. That’s a long time you know. I have needs.”

He finally figured out how to flap his lips, while making sound to form actual words. Maybe he’d had a stroke. “Jesus Christ woman.” The words exploded out of him. “You’ve got to stop talking about sex.” He scrubbed his hand over his eyes, trying to wipe out the mental images that still played. “You’re speaking every single thought that floats into your mind. No goddamned censor. It’s gotta be the meds or the shock treatments causing it. Something.”

Her bottom lip pushed out in an utterly inappropriate—but adorably kissable—pout. “I don’t see anything wrong with talking about how I feel. Maybe that’s why I can’t get out of this place. I won’t open up. Won’t let Dr. Payne-in-my-ass into my mind. Maybe if I—”

“Christ on a crapper. You’ve got to stop for a moment.” She opened her mouth to argue—he cut her off. “I need you to listen for thirty seconds. A minute tops. Then you can talk about sex, Dr. Payne, and your feelings all you want.”

“You can’t go putting sex, Dr. Payne, and my feelings in the same sentence. Wrong. So wrong.”

“Won’t argue about that. But I need you to keep your lips closed.”

Pain pinched her features as she lifted her hands, placing them over her mouth. It should have been a comical gesture, but all he could see was her hurting. It had been five days since Dr. Payne had injured her and the fact that her body still suffered scraped his justice bone. If he ever got the guy alone, he just might uncage that part of himself that thirsted for blood.

He cleared his throat and emptied his mind of those thoughts. “There’s some things you need to know right now. Important things. Like you’re not at The Center. You’re safe in a cabin in Southern Ohio. You’ve been withdrawing from the meds for the past two days. Your short term memory is shit from the shock treatments. I’ve been taking care of you the whole time.” He spoke the sentences as if there were a list he’d memorized—probably because he’d said the same thing so many times before. “That’s why we keep having this same conversation and you can’t remember it.”

She lifted her hands off her mouth. “Cool. That works for me. Never liked that place.”

Ooo…kkaayy… She obviously wasn’t fully grasping reality. “You’re not going to remember any of this are you?”

“Probably not. Not when I’m feeling half drunk.” She put her hand back over her mouth, but her eyes sparkled with laughter.

She might be more coherent, but she definitely wasn’t fully functional. “I just want you to know. You are safe here. I won’t let you go back there. And I won’t hurt you. I would never hurt you.”

Maybe Never by Sadie Allen Blog Tour & Excerpt!!

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Maybe Never Synopsis:

One golden boy… 

Judd Jackson had it all—star football player with a college scholarship, perfect family, tons of friends, and a beautiful girlfriend. He was the most popular guy in town … until a family secret burned it all to the ground. Now, he’s the object of scorn and ridicule, and the only thing he has left is his scholarship and counting down the days until he can leave town. 

One goal-oriented girl… 

Sunny Blackfox was alone in the world, but she had big plans and big dreams to keep her occupied. She didn’t have time for anyone in her life. That was, until she came to the rescue of the boy she always had a thing for. 

They have everything going against them, but maybe, if they are lucky, they will make it out of town after graduation together … or maybe never.

 

Authors Bio:

Sadie Allen lives in Texas with her family and her dog Penny. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, catching up on her favorite shows, or chasing her family around the house.

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Rafflecopter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4cf78adb516/

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2lQgYUq 

Amazon CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06W5QVRKB

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06W5QVRKB

Amazon AU – http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06W5QVRKB

B&N – http://bit.ly/2lBpMeB

Kobo – http://bit.ly/2miJrjp

iBooks – http://apple.co/2lLrgoo

 

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsadieallen/ 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorsadieallen 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/writersadie 

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/writersadie 

Excerpts:

I checked on the two men who were drinking coffee and topped them off before grabbing the silverware basket and a stack of paper napkins. Then I settled into a back booth and began rolling the silverware in the napkins and piling them on the table. That was when the bell above the front door jingled, and I looked up from my task to see none other than Judd Jackson standing in the doorway.

My heart started beating overtime, and my hands lost their rhythm, making a compete mess of the silverware in front of me.

Judd was scanning the diner. His eyes hadn’t made it to my corner yet, so I just sat there and stared at him. He was still wearing the clothes he wore to school: a black T-shirt that stretched taut over his chest and biceps, under a faded leather jacket, faded jeans, and a pair of black Nikes. He was tall, six-foot something, and his shoulder-length golden hair was pulled back into a ponytail.

I loved his hair. It wasn’t exactly straight, and it wasn’t exactly curly. I guessed it was kind of wavy, and it looked amazing when he had it up in one of those man buns.

When he started to grow it out last summer, I thought the school had changed the dress code just so he could have that hairstyle. Now it was something Asher and his friends mocked. I was glad he kept it, despite what those jerks said to him about it.

Finally, those blue eyes landed on me, and when he smiled, I forgot to breathe for a second before answering him with a smile of my own. The boy was just too gorgeous for his own good.

As he approached the table, I sat up straighter, anticipation tingling along my skin and making my fingers feel almost numb. Why was he here? Did he come looking for me? I wasn’t sure he even knew I worked here.

“Hey, stranger.”

“Hey, Judd.”

There was a beat of silence as we just looked at one another, Judd with his hands jammed in his pockets, and me still sitting in the booth, the bundled mess of napkins and silverware in front of me.

“What brings you to Sally’s?” I finally asked.

The middle school girl in me was chanting, “please say me, please say me,” while my practical side wanted to slap her across the face and tell her to get ahold of herself.

“Thought I’d come by and talk to Sally,” he said with a shrug. His smile slipped a little, and his brows scrunched together, making a dent form between them.

I could feel myself deflate a bit, but my curiosity was curtailing the disappointment I felt.

What did he need to talk to Sally about? Everyone, of course, knew who Sally was. Her personality was as big as her hair, and she had been running this diner since Kennedy was in the White House.

“Here, let me walk you back to the kitchen. I’m sure she’s almost finished with the chili for the dinner crowd.”

I slid out of the booth and led him around the corner and back toward the kitchen. I could feel his eyes on my back, and it almost made me stumble a few times.

I opened the swinging door and called out, “Hey, Sally! Got a visitor,” as I guided him through the doors and into the kitchen.