Just Keep Sweet By Melissa Brown ♥ Blog Tour

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Just Keep Sweet

Just Keep Sweet (Compound Series #3)

by Melissa Brown

Release Date: June 21, 2016

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SYNOPSIS
Obstacles.
So many obstacles. Nothing but obstacles.
Months ago, I agreed to help Aspen Black take down the Prophet of the FLDS—to prevent her daughter from being married at an early age, and to save innocent lives from systemic abuse on the compound.
The obstacles in this case are mounting, as are my feelings for Aspen. The tension between us is palpable and I know there’s more to our connection than the increasingly difficult case at hand. But, she’s not only married to the Prophet’s brother, she’s equally devoted to her faith. Two obstacles that just may be insurmountable.
But, no matter what happens, I will close this case.
Even if it kills me.

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EXCERPT
After receiving a text the following morning from Aspen, I hauled myself to the station at the ass crack of dawn, the adrenaline of anticipation overpowering the pull of grogginess and the desire to stay in bed a couple more hours.
“Seriously?” asked Megan, the receptionist, looking at me over her reading glasses. She let out a yawn behind her hand as she waited for my response.
I froze. “What?”
“You’ve never been here this early … like ever.” She laughed, holding up the hot pink clock from behind her desk.
“And how would you know that?” I flirted, waving the clock away until she placed it back behind her desk. “You’ve only worked here for five minutes.”
Megan had moved to Arizona a month before and was still adjusting to the area. She was originally from Chicago and had a serious accent—like those guys in the “Da Bears” skit on SNL.
God, I’m old.
“Big case?”
“You know it.” I winked, and she blushed. She’d had a crush on me since the first day we met when I winked at her casually and her cheeks turned a deep red. Since then I was guilty of manipulating that crush for my own gain.
I’m an asshole sometimes.
Leaning in, I lowered my voice and pretended to look down her shirt for a brief second. Her cheeks grew darker. “Listen, um …” I looked around the office. “The case I’m working on is highly sensitive and the girl coming in is from the local FLDS compound—”
Her mouth dropped open. “Oh my God, seriously? I haven’t seen one yet.”
I cringed at her phrasing, which was new for me. Just months ago, I wouldn’t have flinched—hell, I said things like it—referring to the members of the FLDS as if they were animals at the zoo, a spectacle to be observed. Aspen changed all that. They were people. People who needed my help.
“Yeah, well, don’t stare, okay? Just direct her to my office as quickly as you can. The sergeant isn’t exactly a fan, if you know what I mean.”
“Got it.” She nodded, aiming to please me.
“Thanks.” I offered one more empty wink and strolled to my office, leaving the door open in anticipation of Aspen’s arrival. Before I had the chance to log my password into my laptop, I heard the alluring tone of her voice.
“Detective?”
Within seconds, I’d hopped to my feet and crossed the room, wrapping my arms around her and pulling her tight. She tensed at my touch which, although it hurt my ego slightly, reminded me that our relationship was supposed to be a professional one. I released her from my grasp, stepping back and holding my hands in the air.
“Sorry, I just—it’s just so good to see you.”
The corners of her lips turned up, and her normally pale cheeks turned a deep shade of pink. “No, no, it’s all right. It’s wonderful to see you, too, you have no idea … I’m just … Well, I’ve never been one for hugs. My mother used to tease me about it all the time.”
“So in other words, it’s not me, it’s you?” I asked with a nervous laugh.
“Something like that.” She smiled, showing her teeth. Something she didn’t do often. They were bright white and straight, especially for someone who couldn’t possibly have had braces growing up.
Am I really falling over myself because of an impressive set of teeth? What the hell is wrong with you, Cooke? Get your shit together.
For the briefest of moments, I studied her … this young woman standing in my office, trying to figure out what it was that made me feel this way in her presence. I certainly didn’t the first time we met. I couldn’t quite put my finger on when she started to creep into my subconscious. Her hair was a generic shade of brown, pulled back into a long braid that hung to her waist. She was wearing the traditional FLDS thick cotton dress that covered every inch of her body. And her feet were covered with worn sneakers. From a distance, there was nothing remarkable about Aspen at all, really.
But there was more to her, and I knew it. Her eyes were a deep aquamarine, so brilliant in color that I would have thought they were colored contacts if I didn’t know better. Her strong eyebrows only served to pronounce those eyes further. Her skin was clear and pale, like that of a porcelain doll and her lips were, despite never being covered with makeup, a dusty shade of pink. They were full and plump, waiting to be kissed. More than her beautiful face was everything that made her Aspen. Aspen was stubborn, clever, and determined … everything Elizabeth called me on a daily basis. Cut from the same cloth. Perhaps that, ultimately, was the reason I was so drawn to her. Or maybe I simply wanted to protect her.
Nope, couldn’t be it. I protected women every day on the job; it was more than that. It had to be. It was her.
Shaking off my mounting attraction, I got down to business. I wasn’t doing either of us any favors by acting like a stupid-ass teenager in her presence.
“Did you bring the note? Is there anything we can use?”
Aspen reached into her bag, nodding. “Yes, but I’m not sure. I’ll leave that to the expert.”
 I studied the note, rage building in my gut with each sentence. So much condescension and entitlement in one little piece of paper. When I reached the part about myself, I could feel my neck grow hot. There was no way he could know of my attachment to Aspen, but I felt as if he could read my mind. It creeped the shit out of me.
Aspen could read my face. “There’s nothing, is there?”
I shook my head, feeling defeated despite the anger flaring in my gut. “I’ve spent some time on our database, and it looks as though a few of the prophet’s customers in the ledger have quite the record.”
“Record?” she asked, following me to my desk. I pulled a chair around for her and gestured for her to take a seat as I finished logging into my laptop.
“Criminal record … some were busted for drugs, one was arrested for indecent exposure.”
Aspen knitted her brow. “What is that?”
“It’s when you show your naked body to someone unsolicited and in public.”
Aspen recoiled as if she’d tasted a sour lemon. “Who would do that?”
“Who would pay to spend time in the prophet’s room of horrors? We’re dealing with some fucked-up characters, Aspen.”
“Good point.”
“Sorry about the language.”
She shook her head and grinned. “I don’t even notice it anymore.”
I gritted my teeth. “That might not be such a good thing, Little House.”
“Hm.” She bit her bottom lip and looked down at the floor.
“What?”
“When you first called me that, I despised you for it. You were making fun of me and I knew it. It was infuriating. But now …”
I swallowed hard, looking into her eyes, overwhelmed by their subtle intensity. “Yeah?”
“You have no idea how nice it was to hear it again, to be here with you. I feel safe again, even though I know I’m not.” She shook her head. “Not in the slightest.”
“You will be,” I said with determination. “I’ll make sure of it.”
Aspen tilted her head to the side, studying my eyes as she narrowed her own. “I believe you.”
A knock at the door startled us both. Aspen jumped in her seat, and I clutched the arm of my chair as I looked up, hoping I wouldn’t see Sergeant Ross beneath the doorframe. Instead, I saw another member of the FLDS, a woman I’d never seen before.
“Holly?” Aspen said, confusion in her voice.
The young woman, not much older than Aspen, had deep blond hair and dark eyes. Her presence was meek, unassuming, like most of the women I’d encountered from the compound. Her mouth was dropped open as she stared at us.
“Aspen?” she asked, looking as confused as Aspen sounded. “What are you doing here?
 

GIVEAWAY

AUTHOR PROFILE

Melissa BrownMelissa Brown was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois and is the mother of two fantastic kids. She’s an avid reader who enjoys making handmade gifts for her family and friends, as well as baking and painting. Melissa has an unhealthy obsession with pop culture. She speaks fluent movie quotes from the 1980s (John Hughes = genius), reads celebrity gossip magazines and never misses an episode of Scandal. She enjoys writing contemporary romance, romantic suspense and young adult novels.

All of Melissa’s books are currently available exclusively through Amazon.com and are part of the Kindle Unlimited Program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Can’t Take The Heat By Melissa Brown ♥ Release Blitz

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If You Can't Take The Heat

If You Can’t Take the Heat

by Melissa Brown

Release Date: February 16, 2016

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SYNOPSIS

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Whitney Bartolina gets what she wants. At just thirty-four, she’s worked her way up from mailroom coordinator to casting director at a major Los Angeles television network and had a string of steamy flings, most recently with movie star Nolan Rivera. But when two of the contestants she casts on a new reality cooking show turn out to be as talented in the bedroom as they are in the kitchen,
Whitney may have finally bitten off more than she can chew. Conducting auditions across the country and looking for a bit of fun after Nolan, Whitney finds it in Chicago with Charlie Hutchins, a deliciously handsome British rugby-player-turned-chef whose spicy Szechuan beef is only the start of his sizzle. Then, in Montana, close encounters with sexy but mild-mannered cowboy and restaurateur Wes Rancourt leave her mouth watering for more. Back in LA for filming, Whitney soon finds herself caught in a love square with Charlie, Wes, and Nolan, who’s stopping at nothing to win her back.
Will she jeopardize her career by mixing business with pleasure, or can she turn up the heat without getting burned?
 
EXCERPT
Whitney stood to the side and observed as Wes shot round after round with his other pistol. When he pulled back the targets, they were covered in bullet holes, all in the exact center target.”Holy crap, you’re good,” she said as they walked back to his car.

“Lots of practice.”

“What else are you good at?” she asked, unable to deny the chemistry between them. They still hadn’t kissed and it was driving her mad. She wanted him. Desperately.

“I guess you’ll have to wait and see.” He smirked, approaching the passenger door.

“You Mr. Rancourt, are a tease.”

He opened her door slightly, then closed it again. With a devilish grin, he pressed her into the harsh metal. Her body tingled as his fingers traced a line from her ear to her chin as he stepped closer, leaning down to graze her lips with his own. Taken slightly by surprise, since she’d expected him to tease her as he had the night before, Whitney was slow to react, but soon found herself wrapping her arms around the broad muscles of his back. She opened her mouth, allowing him to deepen the kiss. With a new sense of urgency, his tongue stroked hers, sending shots of electricity and desire to the tips of her toes. His hands moved to cup her cheeks and she dug her fingertips into his firm shoulders. Together they moved so that Whitney’s back was pressed to the passenger door of his car, with each stroke of Wes’ strong tongue, her ass pushed gently into the black finish until finally they came up for air.

“Tell me again what a tease I am,” he whispered, kissing her gently on the nose.

“Whoa.” It took every ounce of energy within her not to pant all over him. He was driving her wild.

“Worth the wait?” he whispered into her ear.

“Hell yes.” She smiled, placing her hands at the base of his neck.

“When can I see you again?”

“Do we have to go over this again?” Whitney tugged gingerly on his collar, pulling him in for another peck on the lips. “You can see me now. Watching you shoot that gun was a freaking aphrodisiac.”

He smiled. “Again, tempting…but not yet.”

Still holding on to his collar, she threw her head back in frustration. “You’re trying to torture me, aren’t you?”

Suddenly serious, Wes smoothed her hair down and rested his hands on her shoulders. “Not at all.”

“Then what is it?” Didn’t he want her as badly as she wanted him?

“Maybe I like keeping you in suspense.”

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I noticed.”

“And it gives us something to look forward to”—he trapped his lower lip beneath his teeth—”next month in Los Angeles.”

Whitney’s stomach did a gigantic flip flop. “You’re gonna do it?”

Wes nodded slowly. “I have to see you again. It’s not a choice. It has to happen.”

He pressed his lips to the exposed skin of her neck, sucking gently as his fingers weaved through her hair.

Pure. Torture.

“My hotel isn’t far away. Pleee-eease reconsider.”

Wes said nothing but continued to lick, kiss, and suck at her sensitive skin. She wanted nothing more than to pull him into his car and straddle him right that second, but maybe he was on to something in delaying their gratification. The anticipation of seeing him again, of waiting until the next time they could be intimate was intoxicating in and of itself.

“Believe me, beautiful. When I get to L.A., I look forward to seeing you more than anything. Anything at all. And I promise you, just like before, it’ll be worth the wait.”

Whitney scoffed playfully, climbing into the SUV, planning her cold shower back at the hotel. She wondered how she could possibly last a month without having Wes in her bed. She wanted that cowboy more than she wanted just about anything else. But he was determined to drive her wild by making her wait. He was such a freaking tease, a hot, sexy-while-firing-a-gun tease.

Even before she stepped out of his car and he kissed her goodnight, she was counting down the days until the semi-finals. When she’d reached her hotel room and stripped herself of her clothes, she finally figured out the exact time she’d have to wait. It was twenty two days until she’d see her sexy cowboy again. Just twenty-two days.

Who was she kidding? That would be over three weeks of agony. Her mind raced with thoughts of Wes above her, below her, behind her. On the bed, in the bathtub, on the freaking floor…

“To hell with the shower,” she said, closing the glass door and marching toward her suitcase. “I need my vibrator.”

 

AUTHOR PROFILE

Melissa BrownMelissa Brown was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois and is the mother of two fantastic kids. She’s an avid reader who enjoys making handmade gifts for her family and friends, as well as baking and painting. Melissa has an unhealthy obsession with pop culture. She speaks fluent movie quotes from the 1980s (John Hughes = genius), reads celebrity gossip magazines and never misses an episode of Scandal. She enjoys writing contemporary romance, romantic suspense and young adult novels.

All of Melissa’s books are currently available exclusively through Amazon.com and are part of the Kindle Unlimited Program.

 

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Mother Before Wife By Melissa Brown ♥ Blog Tour

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Mother Before Wife

MOTHER BEFORE WIFEby Melissa Brown

Release Date: February 4, 2016

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SYNOPSIS

 

Secrets.

So many secrets. Nothing but secrets.I started another life with a new husband, thirteen new sister wives and a new
place to call home.

But the secrets weigh on me, on all of us.

And every secret leads back to the Prophet the, self-proclaimed, mouthpiece of
God. The man I’ve worshiped since childhood, the man we obey without question.

And he’s the man who will destroy us all.

I must reveal his secrets.

Prove his betrayal, his lies and his deceit.

I will not be silenced, no matter how hard he tries.

And I will never give up. Ever.

 
EXCERPT
The Prophet linked his hands behind his back, tilting his head a bit as he studied me. “The cake is delicious. Did you make it?”
“I’m glad you enjoyed it, but no, Sarah is the baker of the family. I do make a delicious roast chicken.”
“I should like to try it sometime.”
“I’d be honored.”
Another pause, and my heart raced. There had to be a reason for this conversation. Perhaps he would explain his actions, although the chances of that were slim. The Prophet answered to no one. Who was I to think he’d feel any obligation to explain himself to me?
Get a grip, Aspen. You’re nothing special, just a woman, like any other on this compound.
“My mother is certainly taken with you.”
“Thank you. I like her very much.”
The Prophet stared back at the bench where Jorjina was watching birds chirping from the tree above her. “Well, she always has liked Paul’s wives.”
“Excuse me?” I asked, wondering if I’d misunderstood his last statement.
“How’s your dog?” he asked, clearing his throat. When he turned his attention back toward me, his face hardened.
“Scout?” I asked, my throat dry. “He’s fine. He’s off playing with Jeremiah, I’m sure. They’re attached at the hip.” I attempted to divert the conversation in another direction, but I failed.
“Yes, your boy seems rather attached, doesn’t he?”
“They’re the best of friends.”
“You know, I was surprised to see the dog off the grounds of his home. Is he allowed to roam?”
“No, sir, he normally stays in our yard. Someone left the gate open and he just got out, I guess.”
“Ah, I see.”
“I’ve asked my sister wives to double-check that they always lock the gate, so it shouldn’t happen again.”
Please understand what I’m saying. Please don’t punish my family for what I saw . . . what I think I saw.
“I should hope so. It would be a shame if he wandered away; it seems your little boy would surely follow. You said yourself they’re attached at the hip.” He tipped his head forward and raised both eyebrows. “Am I making myself clear?”
Jeremiah? No! Don’t you touch my baby!
I swallowed hard as sweat popped out on my forehead, my neck, my hands. The Prophet was threatening me, threatening to harm my little boy. In sheer panic, I gave the only answer I could possibly offer.
“Yes, sir.”
“Good.” He clasped his hands together. “Now, I believe I’ll have another slice of cake.”
He stared at me, waiting for me to serve him. I was nothing if not perceptive to expectations. The Prophet had threatened me, and then demanded dessert. His eyes were dull and lifeless, as if threatening to harm my child was just another part of his daily role as Prophet.
In that moment, something shifted within me. If the Prophet felt the need to threaten me, to threaten the life of my youngest child, then he was up to no good. This became quite clear.
And at that realization, I grew angry. Furious.
For weeks, I’d hoped that I was wrong, that I misunderstood. But I knew without a shadow of a doubt that if I’d misinterpreted what I’d witnessed, then there would be no need for the warning that had just taken place.
So I harnessed my bravery within, took a breath, and looked him square in the eye. “Of course, dogs do have minds of their own, don’t they?”
The Prophet’s jaw tensed and his Adam’s apple bounced as he swallowed. “I suppose they do.”
“We try to control him, but he’s just an animal, after all.”
The Prophet stared at me in silence.
“I’ll get that cake for you,” I said with a nod, and went to retrieve a plate with the largest piece I could find as my heart pounded furiously in my chest.
As I walked back to join him, I felt strong, powerful. I’d called his bluff and gotten away with it.
Or had I? Panic replaced my confidence as my heart continued to thump so hard within me that I felt my lungs could deflate completely. The pressure within my chest was almost unbearable.
What on earth did I just do? Have I put my baby at risk? What kind of mother am I?
Apologize, Aspen. Repent! Make things right!
I returned to the Prophet, placed the plate in his hands, and opened my mouth to speak. Before I could utter a single syllable, he gripped the plate with one hand and my forearm with the other. He squeezed hard, painfully, and I gasped.
“Watch your step, Aspen. Your life can change in an instant.”
“Yes, sir.” I looked around the yard to see Paul watching my interaction with his brother. A concerned and confused look crossed his handsome face as he studied me.
Keep sweet. Keep sweet. Keep sweet.
“If you’ll excuse me, I should join Paul and my sister wives.”
“Of course.” The Prophet nodded, releasing my arm and turning his attention to the cake on his plate. He glanced down and smiled. “Ah, a corner piece. My favorite.”
He plunged his fork into the thick icing and placed the large bite of cake in his mouth, such a carefree action considering the tension that loomed between us just seconds before. While I required every ounce of strength within me to join my husband and appear unruffled, the Prophet had no trouble going about his business and enjoying his dessert.
A disturbing thought came to me as I walked to join Paul. Perhaps I don’t know the Prophet at all.
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Wife Number Seven (Book #1)

Amazon | Barnes & NobleHis Only Wife (Book #1.5)

Amazon

AUTHOR PROFILE

Melissa BrownMelissa Brown was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois and is the mother of two fantastic kids. She’s an avid reader who enjoys making handmade gifts for her family and friends, as well as baking and painting. Melissa has an unhealthy obsession with pop culture. She speaks fluent movie quotes from the 1980s (John Hughes = genius), reads celebrity gossip magazines and never misses an episode of Scandal. She enjoys writing contemporary romance, romantic suspense and young adult novels.All of Melissa’s books are currently available exclusively through Amazon.com and are part of the Kindle Unlimited Program.

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Wife Number Seven By Melissa Brown ♥ Blog Tour

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TITLE: WIFE NUMBER SEVEN
AUTHOR: MELISSA BROWN
RELEASED: JULY 21st
Lipstick. Bright, red lipstick. Nothing but lipstick. Even though it’s against our faith to wear a color that screams of sexual promiscuity and deviant behavior, I’m not allowed to protest. But, I want to. So badly.
You see, there’s more to me than the braid that spills down my back. More to me than the layers of heavy fabric that maintain my modesty. And so much more than the oppressive wedding band that adorns my finger–the same band that each of my sister wives wear. So much more. To protest would be sinful. I must keep sweet, that is my duty.
So I’ll wear the lipstick. I’ll do as I’m told. And I’ll do my best to silence the resistance within me, to push him from my mind. If only my heart would do the same.

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Wife Number Seven By Melissa Brown ♥ Cover Reveal

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TITLE: WIFE NUMBER SEVEN
AUTHOR: MELISSA BROWN
RELEASE DATE: JULY 20TH

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Sorority of Three : Freshman 101 by Melissa Brown ~ Release Party~

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SORORITY OF THREE: FRESHMAN 101 BY MELISSA BROWN ~ COVER REVEAL~

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Title: Sorority of Three: Freshman 101

Author: Melissa Brown

Release Date: April 6, 2014

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And you thought the hardest part of freshman year was scheduling…
Sunny McCormick is in love with love. She’s cute, romantic and convinced her Prince Charming is out there somewhere.
Grace McCarrion has never been in love. She’s shy, reserved and her own worst critic.
Claudia Mansour isn’t sure she believes in love. She’s confident, beautiful and hard to impress.
They’ve decided to go against the grain and, rather than pledge the Greek system at the University of Illinois, create an unofficial sorority of their own.
This is their story. The ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, the romance and heartbreak.
Welcome to freshman year

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As we entered the kitchen, I saw Trevor. When our eyes met he smiled, and his brown eyes widened. They were so beautiful. My heart started to thump in my chest, but I tried my best to ignore it. This was my chance and I wanted to take it.

“Hey, Trevor,” I said with excitement.

“Hi, Grace,” Trevor stammered as he slowly eased over toward me. “You look awesome!”

His words were slurred. Crap, he was trashed. And it was only ten o’clock.

“Do you wanna go outside with me?” he asked as he placed his hand on my shoulder, just trying to stay upright.

I eased my arm around him so he wouldn’t fall into the kitchen counter. Desperately, I glanced at my friends for help. My face probably looked pained; I was sure my forehead was creased with worry. We hadn’t planned for this scenario.

They looked somewhat concerned, but Sunny gave me a look urging me to go with him.

Finally I said, “Sure, maybe for a little while.”

He gave me the widest grin and it made me feel a little better. Claudia quickly slipped a beer into my free hand and smiled at us as we walked onto the balcony.

“I’m so glad you came tonight,” Trevor said with a goofy smile.

“Same here.”

As I searched for something to talk with him about, he leaned in closer, his face suddenly serious. “You are?”

“Yeah. Why do you seem so surprised?”

“Because I dig you, Grace. I dig you big-time.”

Wow.

“Really?” I was stunned. All this working up to telling him how I felt, and he already felt the same way?

“Hell, yeah,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck. “I got here early, just so I wouldn’t miss you.” He put his hands on the railing to stabilize himself, while keeping his eyes on me.

Well, that explained why Trevor was so drunk already. At least I didn’t have to Google A.A. when I got back to the dorms.

Strangely enough, my neck wasn’t sweating. My pulse was starting to even out, and there was no sign of a panic attack on the horizon. Maybe this dating business wasn’t so difficult. Maybe it just took a few cocktails to help everyone loosen up. Maybe I could like a guy, maybe I could relax enough to actually date.

As I opened my mouth to respond, Trevor doubled over, clutching his stomach.

I screamed as he fell to the floor. He grasped my legs tightly as he heaved and vomited, right onto my brand new ballet flats.

Oh. My. God.

authorprofileblue

6457549

I have always been fascinated with books—-ever since I was a little girl sitting in front of my record player, following along with my huge 12×12 storybooks.
I love books—everything about them. I love reading them, being surrounded by them in bookstores and libraries, and most recently, writing some of my own.
Bouquet Toss,Champagne Toast and Unwanted stars are available in ebook on all platforms and paperback via Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Picturing Perfect was signed by Montlake Romance (a division of Amazon Publishing) and is available only on Amazon.com
A new series called “Sorority of Three” is also coming in spring of 2014!
Sorority of Three:Freshman 101 will be available April 6th.

 

Visit me on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/MelissaBrown