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Friday, 26 February 2016

☀ Never Say Love: Never Say Never [1] - Carly Phillips & Lauren Hawkeye

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour to celebrate the release of Never Say Love, a Hot Contemporary Romance by NYT Best Selling Authors  (, CP Publishing, 244 pages).

This is the first book in the Never Say Never series.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below.  Read the first chapter with Amazon Look Inside.

Synopsis | Teaser | About the Authors |

Synopsis

Bound by a vow with his friends, hotel tycoon Nathan Archer refuses to settle down and tie the knot. His only commitment is to bachelorhood. Granted, that contract was made when he was 15 years old… and in a treehouse. Still, a promise is a promise. And Nate takes his promises seriously.

But when cute little Eleanor Marshall walks back into his life, this blast from the past is no longer the timid little girl he used to know. When Ellie propositions him for a night of sizzling, unattached sex, Nate can't refuse. Besides, it's only one night. And Nate is never going to settle down.

Never say never…

Teaser: Excerpt

Prologue


15 Years Earlier

     The gash on his cheek hurt like hell.
     Nate Archer traced his fingers over the fresh wound and his fingers came away slightly sticky. Shame coiled in his belly as he padded barefoot into the shallows of Ruby Lake, scooping up handfuls of icy cold water to rinse the blood and sweat from his face.
     He could see his buddy Chase’s house from here, could view the beams from flashlights already arcing through the treehouse where he and his best friends planned to spend the night.
     Chase, Lucas, Gavin—none of them would comment on the cut on his cheek, the split in his lip, or the swelling around his eye.No, they wouldn’t say a word, but they would see it. And they would know that not only could bad-ass Nathan Archer not protect his mother, he couldn’t even keep himself safe from his asshole stepdad’s fists.
     Nate straightened and waded out of the water, working his wet feet back into his black canvas Converse sneakers. Shielding his eyes against the last blaze of the fading sun, he looked back to the treehouse, to the shadows moving inside.
     Part of him, a really big part, wanted just to take off. To run away from shitty small-town Ruby Beach and never return. The ache to escape the fucked-up circumstances of his life called to him, a seductive whisper that was almost impossible to ignore.
     But he couldn’t. No matter how good it sounded, he just couldn’t run. Though he was always pissed off that his mom didn’t leave his stepdad and get them both the hell out of there, the fact remained that if Nate took off, Hannah Archer would have no one. The knowledge weighed him down as he trudged across the rocky beach to the fence and gate that surrounded Chase Marshall’s yard.
     Standing with his hand on the gate, he stopped for a second, closed his eyes and listened to the familiar sounds of his three best friends. They’d been friends since eighth grade, were sixteen now, and as close as brothers.
     If he left, they’d follow.
     He wouldn’t ruin their lives by making them chase after him. So it seemed that, for now at least, he was stuck.
     Spirits slightly lifted by the laughter of his friends, Nate reached for the gate latch that he’d opened a thousand times over the years. Swinging open the heavy wood, he pushed through, then shouted when he collided with something solid.
     “What the—” Nate reached out and grabbed hold of … a person, his grip landing on soft upper arms. The scent of ripe strawberries hit his nose, and he knew it was Ellie Marshall before he made out her features in the fading light.
     “Shit!” The sunshiney blonde glared up at him, a finger reaching up to shove her thick plastic-framed glasses back up her nose. “Watch where you’re going, Nate!”
     “Better not let your parents hear you talking like that, Blondie.” Nate arched an eyebrow at Chase’s baby sister, younger by two years, and much of his anger at his stepdad dissolved.
     Especially when she saucily planted her hands on her hips and glared at him.
     “Where’d you learn to talk like that, anyway?” he asked.
     “From you and my dopey brother, duh.” Ellie hiked a thumb over her shoulder, gesturing in the direction of the treehouse. “Gavin and Lucas are already here, cackling over some magazine with boobs.”
     “Ellie.” Nate wasn’t the type to get embarrassed by the female body. In fact, he was the first of his friends to have gotten his hands on a pair of tits, thanks to Janey Bloom, a girl in their class who liked to put out. But hearing Chase’s younger sister toss out the word so nonchalantly had the barest hint of a flush creeping into his cheeks. “Don’t talk like that.”
     Ellie rolled blue eyes, the color of Ruby Lake on a bright summer day, then shoved her hands into the pockets of her jeans, looking up at him. Nate squirmed a bit under the assessing glare. Yeah, he was the badass of Ruby Beach High, but he’d always felt like this smart girl could see right into him.
     Ellie’s smirk died as she took in the cuts on his skin. She hissed in a breath, rising onto her toes with a hand outstretched to touch.
     “What happened, Nate?” The tips of her fingers were cool on his heated skin. Though his instinct was to jerk away, instead he found comfort in the simple touch.
     But only for a moment. Then the raucous laughter of his friends from up in their treehouse broke through the calm, and Nate jerked back from Ellie’s curious touch, the aching humiliation of his stepfather’s beating back in full force.
     “None of your business.” He shrugged his shoulders with irritation, now doubly embarrassed because he’d found some comfort in the innocent caring of a kid. Worse, she was Chase’s little sister. “And don’t ask me to explain,” he said, anticipating her next response. “You’re too young to know.”
     As he’d expected, Ellie bristled.
     Truth was, at fourteen years old, she was the smartest, most mature person he knew, and that included all of the so-called adults in his life. But lately he’d started having these weird dreams about her. Like, kissing dreams.
     Nate liked kissing just fine, but again, she was Chase’s babysister.
     He didn’t even need a warning from his friend. He was warning himself. Hands off. He didn’t have to be told—he wasn’t good enough for her, and he never would be.
     “You guys are such assholes.” Ellie narrowed her eyes at him, her slender fingers curling into fists. He felt exactly like what she called him, but instead of showing it, he smirked, nodding at her in dismissal.
     And when that strawberry scent lingered in his nose as he walked away, then climbed the sturdy ladder to the treehouse, well, no one had to know but him.
     “What’s up, bitches?” Wincing as the forced grin tugged on the cut in his lip, Nate swung himself through the trapdoor in the floor.
     His body ached as he clambered through, taking his usual spot on top of the pile of sleeping bags in the treehouse, the word sounding super juvenile. The wooden structure perched in the sturdy oak tree was more like their fortress. The four of them had spent countless hours here over the years, and now that they were juniors in high school, it was still where they gathered to hide away from the adults and talk about important things. Mostly about sex.
     Nate reached for the small cooler shoved into the corner and fished out a dripping can of Dr. Pepper. It wasn’t until he’d cracked open the lid that he realized how silent the others had become.
     He looked up, glancing at each of them in turn. Chase, with the same blond hair and blue eyes as his sister, had grown up in a strong nuclear family. And even if his mother had a stick up her ass and a problem with Chase’s lower class friends … Chase had a good life. He’d never known Nate’s kind of pain. Gavin was Nate’s partner in crime when it came to being bad, and Lucas was the one who hid his brains behind black clothing and an emo haircut, but neither of them had ever been beaten.
     He knew each of them as well as he knew himself. And as he weighed their stares, he knew that this time they weren’t going to stay quiet.
     “Dude.” Lucas ran a hand through hair dyed raven black.“Why does your mom stay with him?”
     He didn’t ask why Nate stayed with his mom. They all already knew. They’d probably do the same for their own mothers.
     “Dunno.” Nate shrugged, uncomfortable, even under the familiar stares of his best friends.
     “When we were kids, your mom was awesome.” Gavin, the biggest of them all and star of the football team, frowned. “She would have done anything for you. So why is she letting Tom beat the shit out of you now?”
     “I—” Nate swallowed thickly. Now that they were asking, it was hard to answer. “She used to be… different. She changed when she met Tom.”
     Tom. The man who had charmed his mom with the attention she hadn’t received in years, not having dated since Nate’s real dad had died. But that sweet attention, the flowers and fancy dinners and jewelry, had so gradually and insidiously changed into shouts and fists that it was hard to say when life went to shit.
     Yeah, marriage to Tom had changed his mom. Had changed him. He was never going to make the same mistake. Nothing good could come from tying himself to one person forever.
     “I’m never getting married.” The words came out more viciously that he’d intended, but none of the other guys appeared shocked.
     In fact, as he watched he saw first Gavin, then Lucas, and finally Chase all nod in turn.
     “I’m with you.” Gavin’s face looked like it was set in stone, but there was the barest hint of something in his eyes that told Nate that the other guy was serious. “Never.”
     “Me, either.” Lucas, too, seemed determined.
     And Nate felt… well, he felt a lot of things, most of which had to do with a bonding with these guys he called his friends. They got it. They understood. A big lump rose in his throat, but he swallowed it back. He wouldn’t admit a thing. He wasn’t a freaking girl. “No marriage, no way. I don’t care how big her boobs are.”
     They all snorted with laughter. Finally Chase, well-adjusted Chase, held his hand out. “Let’s make a pact. All of us, we’ll remember this night. We’ll remind each other. Marriage is bad news.”
     “Yeah.” Gavin nodded, placing his hand on top of Chase’s.“Let’s swear it. None of us will get married. Ever.”
     “Are girlfriends okay?” Lucas held out his hand, then snatched it back. “’Cause I’m not vowing to keep my dick in my pants forever, no matter what you old ladies think.”
     Nate rolled his eyes.
     “Girlfriends are fine.” Chase scowled at Lucas. “Just no rings. Are you in or not?”
     Lucas nodded, contemplating, then placed his hand on top of the pile. “’Kay, I’m in. No weddings here either.”
     The three boys turned to look at Nate, whose throat felt strangely thick. This—this was what mattered. Friendship. It would last longer, be stronger than any stupid wedding.
     Finally, slowly, he placed his hand on the very top of the pile. He felt strength emanating from the heat of his friends—they were stronger together. They always had been.
     “No weddings,” he agreed, his mood as solemn as the words he spoke.
     “Never.”

Never Say Love
Available NOW!

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About the Authors

Carly Phillips | Lauren Hawkeye |

After a successful fifteen-year career with various New York publishing houses, and over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels published, N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips is now an Indie author who writes to her own expectations and that of her readers.

She continues the tradition of hot men and strong women and plans to publish many more sizzling stories.

Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She's a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. I n addition, she's a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.

Follow Carly Phillips:

Visit the author's blog Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on Google+ Visit the author on LinkedIn Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads Visit the author on Pinterest Visit the author on tsu Visit the author on YouTube
New York Time and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Hawkeye never imagined that she'd wind up telling stories for a living… though when she looks back, it's easy to see that she's the only one who is surprised. Always "the kid who read all the time", Lauren made up stories about her favorite characters once she'd finished a book… and once spent an entire year narrating her own life internally. No, really. But where she was just plain odd before publication, now she can at least claim to have an artistic temperament.

Lauren lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her husband, two young sons, pit bull and two idiot cats, though they do not live in an igloo, nor do they drive a dogsled.  In her nonexistent spare time Lauren can be found knitting, reading anything she can get her hands on, or sweating her way through spin class. She loves to hear from her readers!

Follow Lauren Hawkeye:

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