Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog 's Reviews > CANVAS

CANVASCANVAS by Jacob Chance

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I have always loved Jacob Chance! But this book..... can you say bookgasm at its best. I was getting hot and I swear my kindle was smoking! To say I love this book is an understatement! I enfin loved this book!
You would be a fool if you do not one click! This Jacob's best work today!

The characters are hot and relatable. The plot/story was so, so good!

I'm so trying hard not to give anything away because you need to read for yourself!

This book deserves more than 5 stars!!




View all my reviews

Disowned (Allegiance Series Book 1) by Sarah Addison-Fox

Disowned (Allegiance Series Book 1) by Sarah Addison-Fox



About the Author:
Sarah Addison-Fox is a New Zealand-born home-schooling mother of two who loves action-packed, clean, fantasy with strong heroines. She has an astonishing amount of nail polish, has all her creative writing credentials shoved in a drawer somewhere, and has a husband who, after 27 years, can still make her blush. When she’s not working on her Christian YA fantasy series, Allegiance, she can be found fangirling on Goodreads or sending GIFs on Twitter.


About the Book:
Two countries, two choices, one life

When Kyraenean slave Celeste risks her life to reach the free nation of Etraea, a country filled with technology and wealth, she unknowingly sets off a chain of events that will change her life forever.

After escaping her new owner, Celeste awakens in the home of an Etraean soldier, sworn to protect the fragile peace.

For Corporal Mick Haynes, life is simple. Follow the rules, do your job and work your way up the ranks. Getting shot and finding a wanted slave at his family's farm wasn't part of the plan.

When a Kyraenean bounty hunter locates Celeste, Mick's loyalty will be stretched to the limit.

With war on the horizon, Celeste faces two impossible choices. Both securing her freedom, but both at a cost she could never have imagined.

Will Etraea provide the freedom she's longed for or shackle her to an entirely new master?



https://www.amazon.com/Disowned-Allegiance-Book-Sarah-Addison-Fox-ebook/dp/B0755SZWXZ/
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/disowned-sarah-addison-fox/1127021376
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/744767

Today Author J.S. Scott has a Brand new Surprise release Damaged!: A Walker Brothers Novel: (The Walker Brothers Book 3).

 

Damaged!: A Walker Brothers Novel: (The Walker Brothers Book 3) 

The final book of the Walker Brothers Trilogy!!!

What happens when your entire future is destroyed in moments?

Dane

My
name is Dane Walker, and I'm entirely, irrevocably damaged. I lost my
whole life in the plane crash that killed my father and left me scarred,
both physically and emotionally, barely clinging to life in a hospital
as the sole survivor of the accident.. I wasn't fit to function in the
city, so I moved to my own private island in the Bahamas to lick my
wounds alone.

I'd spent my adult life building up my solitary existence on Walker's Cay.

I was fine with being by myself.

I was resigned to my fate.

But then I met her.

My brothers sent her; I wanted to send her away.

But...I couldn't.

Something
about Kenzie Jordan reminds me of myself. She's broken just like me. I
want to save her from whatever secrets she's hiding. She was handed a
pretty raw deal in life, and she's the strongest woman I've ever known.
I couldn't leave her alone on the streets somewhere, so I decided to
keep her, even though it costed me my peace of mind.

Sure, I
wanted Kenzie in my bed. The white-hot chemistry has been there since
the moment I saw her. But she leaves me craving something...more.

I thought I was helping Kenzie...until I wasn't.

Turns
out, we may end up saving each other. She's the cure for my profound
loneliness. Can a messed up, solitary man like me ever be enough for a
woman like her? I hope so, because I don't plan on ever letting her
go...





Amazon
CA amzn.to/2wFzKiJ




Amazon
UK amzn.to/2xPjiSb




Amazon
AU amzn.to/2jIvVIz











NEW TO THE SERIES?, DOWNLOAD THE FIRST TWO BOOKS NOW. 


To
celebrate the release of DAMAGED!, Author J.S. Scott is giving her fans
the opportunity to download the first book in the series for FREE!! 
****This offer is valid for a limited time only.
 RELEASE!   








AMAZON AUDIBLE http://amzn.to/1P2Ij9Z


AMAZON PRINT  http://amzn.to/1RjIZZ8



PLAYER!   










J.S.
Scott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy
romance. She's an avid reader of all types of books and literature.
Writing what she loves to read, J.S. Scott writes both contemporary
steamy romance stories and paranormal romance erotics. They almost
always feature an Alpha Male and have a happily ever after because she
just can't seem to write them any other way! 









Blog Tour for ROCK ME.

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Rock Me, a sexy new standalone from Carly Phillips is available NOW!

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Rock Me
by Carly Phillips
Publication Date: September 19th

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Bodyguard Bad Boys … Sexy, Hot, and oh so protective!
A pop star in danger.
Her reluctant bodyguard.
A past they can’t deny.
Summer Michelle is on the verge of ultimate fame.
Ben Hollander has sworn off mixing business with pleasure.
But keeping his hands off of the sexy songstress is easier said than done and once the threat is neutralized, will she choose fame over love?

Excerpt:



Her heart was pounding hard in her chest, the thunderous live applause still echoing around her and the rush of success and pride in overcoming what could have been a disaster, had her soaring.

“Did you see that?” she asked Ben. “My earpiece went dead and I nailed it anyway!”

“You totally did,” he said, a huge grin on his face that let her know he understood what a huge moment this was.

She squealed in excitement and threw her arms around his neck, needing to share her exhilaration. Their gazes met and locked, the air around them suddenly crackling with tension and sexual need even Ben couldn’t deny.

She knew what she wanted, knew there was no better time to go about it. Her gaze fell to his mouth and she pressed her lips against his. He jerked in surprise then groaned, thrust his hand beneath her hair, holding her against him as he slid his tongue past the seam of her lips and kissed her back.

He might think he wanted to keep his distance but his body was demanding they get close, his mouth gliding back and forth over hers, razor stubble bristling her cheeks in a sweet burn and his tongue delved deep. Against her stomach, she felt the hard press of his erection, causing desire to sweep over her in waves.

No wonder she hadn’t found a guy she wanted to keep in her life. No one could live up to Ben.

He kissed like he wanted to possess her.

Own her.

Keep her.

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Read Today!

Google Play: https://goo.gl/mzf1ZA
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/cyYexn
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Meet Carly Phillips:

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Connect with Carly:

Sign up for Carly’s Newsletter at: http://www.carlyphillips.com/newsletter-sign-up/
Sign up for Blog and Website updates at: http://www.carlyphillips.com/blog
Sign up for Text Updates of New Releases: http://tinyurl.com/p3upm5s
Friend Carly on Facebook: www.facebook.com/carlyphillipsfanpage
Hang out at Carly’s Corner! (Hot guys & giveaways!) http://smarturl.it/CarlysCornerFB
Instagram: https://instagram.com/carlyphillips
Twitter: www.twitter.com/carlyphillips
Website: www.carlyphillips.com

Cover Reveal for ​ALL OR NOTHING.

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All or Nothing an all-new, steamy MM romance by Felice Stevens is coming October 3rd!

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All or Nothing
by Felice Stevens
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Cover Designer: Reese Dante
Photographer: Golden Czermak of FuriousFotog
A past he couldn’t forget
Adam Barton is living his dream of working as a firefighter in his small Texas town, but a tragedy from his youth continues to haunt him. He decides New York City is the perfect place to start a new life and joins the FDNY, living and loving his own way—no strings and nothing personal. Until he catches sight of Rico Estevez, the sexy chef with the mysterious smile who rocks his world. After one explosive night together, Adam craves another….And then another. The more he and Rico are together, the more Adam wants him.
A future he never imagined
Rico Estevez is living a lie. For years he’s hidden his sexuality, afraid to hurt the career of his politically ambitious father. He’s the perfect American―the best schools, top of his class and most importantly, to his father, a successful businessman. Who needs a boyfriend when sex is so easy to find? Starting a torrid love affair with Adam Barton isn’t a problem; neither one is looking toward forever. But Rico’s father is about to get the chance of a lifetime and Rico feels forced to play by his rules.
Rules are made to be broken
Adam proves more unforgettable than Rico ever imagines, but he gives in to family pressures above personal desire. When a fire reunites them, both men discover their passion for each other hasn’t died; rather it’s stronger than ever. Want turns to need and something more dangerous to their hearts—love. Adam and Rico know if they want to have it all, they can let no one and nothing stand in their way of a life together.

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2w36d31


Start the Series of Standalones Today!

Learning to Love
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2xMHO6c
The Way to His Heart
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2hdUCrB


About Felice:



I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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Connect with Felice:

Stay up to date with Felice by signing up for her newsletter here:

Book Blitz for Mended by J.L. Drake







Title: Mended
Series: Broken Trilogy #3

Author: J.L. Drake

Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 2, 2015




Blurb


Savannah
takes control…



Tired of all the lies and deception, Savannah Miller must learn to face life on
her own. As she seeks to find out who she really is, she still is still
burdened with the fallout from past traumas that left her broken.



Her fragile hold on her new life slowly gives her the confidence to move ahead.
What she really needs is right in front of her—Cole Logan is patiently waiting
for the right moment to prove his love.



But her past isn’t finished with her yet…



Are Savannah’s strength and Cole’s love enough to vanquish the shadows, or will
those who mean them harm succeed in preventing the mending of their shattered
souls?














Purchase Links



AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU



Free in Kindle Unlimited












Also Available







AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU


Free in Kindle Unlimited









AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU



Free in Kindle Unlimited






Author Bio


Bestselling author J. L. Drake was born and raised in Nova
Scotia, Canada, later moving to Southern California where she lives with her
husband and two children.

When she's not writing, she loves to spend time with her
family, travelling or just enjoying a night at home. One thing you might notice
in her books is her love for the four seasons. Growing up on the east coast of
Canada the change in the seasons is in her blood and is often mentioned in her
writing.

An avid reader of James Patterson, J.L. Drake has often
found herself inspired by his many stories of mystery and intrigue.




She hopes you will enjoy her stories as much as she has
enjoyed writing them.



Author Links




Release Blitz for Dear Captor by Liz Lovelock






Title: Dear Captor
Series: Letters in Blood #1
Author: Liz Lovelock
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Release Date: September 20, 2017





Blurb

Dear Captor,



You’ve stolen me.

You’ve spilled my blood.

You’ve brought me pain.

But what you’re yet to realize... I’m a fighter.

I’ve been broken before.

I’ve even at one point lost the will to live.

So now you know… this information I gift to you.

I’m ready for you, so do your worst.



Sincerely,



Elenore





**Dear Captor explores themes that may be considered triggers for some**















Purchase Links


AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU









Excerpt


Prologue

What’s in a
name?
Usually,
parents name their children with a special kind of love in their hearts. Not
mine though. They didn’t want me, or at least, that’s what they kept telling
me. They only ever wanted to inflict pain. I was nobody until the woman next
door gave me the lovely name Elenore. She cared for me when my own parents
didn’t or wouldn’t.
Every
single day I wished to be taken away from what I endured. Anywhere would have
been good. I would have sold my soul to the devil himself back then, and I’d
willingly do it now. Give my living essence to breathe, to live on. My entire
childhood was a survival story, and now I have another.
So much
blood. Everywhere I look, there are dark pools of solidified blood stuck to the
walls, the floor—my entire cell is covered. The girls who came before me are no
more. Their stories are over. It was gruesome, the stuff of your nightmares.
Not me,
though—he kept me.
One letter
changed my destiny of certain death. It was never in me to give up easily. I’ve
always been a fighter. He never saw me coming, and he never knew my strength.
He was not what I expected either.
His
strength.
His
calmness.
Or his
kindness.
He was my
captor . . . 








Coming Soon


Releasing October 18, 2017

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU



Releasing November 15, 2017

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU




Author Bio


Liz is from
bright and sunny Queensland, Australia. She has always been a reader. When she
was little, she’d be up late reading Garfield
and Asterix comic books and also Footrot Flats. When Liz hit high school,
they gave her Tomorrow When the War Began
by John Marsden, and from there her love of books continued to grow.

Liz keeps a
notebook and pen beside her bed for when those late-night ideas pop into her
head, plus she’s a stationery addict and loves pens, notebooks, and, well,
anything stationery.


Author Links

Chapter Reveal for Jillian Quinn.



























































































Every Princess needs a Prince Charming…

When a masked girl throws herself at Shawn Finch at a costume party, the hotshot football player assumes she’s just another girl trying to get his attention. Except she’s not just any girl. She’s his Cinderella, the nameless girl in the pale blue dress who got away.

Desperate to find her, Finch searches for his mystery girl with no luck. So, it must be fate when Finch’s grade point average drops and the school assigns him a tutor not knowing they just handed over his Cinderella.

After having a crush on Finch since the first time she spotted him on campus, one kiss was all she’d ever wanted. But Finch has other plans once he discovers the truth about his tutor.




























Chapter One

Ella

Most days, my house feels like a prison.
Today is one of them. Ever since my father’s sudden death over two years ago, my stepmother and her annoying daughters have done everything in their power to make my life a living hell.
Locked away, like a family heirloom stored inside an old trunk, I see how much hatred these women breed. My father would roll over in his grave if he knew how I live, all because Clarissa is even more selfish and spoiled than her daughters. With only a few more months until the end of the school year, this is my life until I can make my escape.
Anastasia flings open my bedroom door and waltzes inside with a sour look on her face. She scans the floor and what’s left of my belongings, before her eyes eventually land on me. I don’t miss her scowl as she appraises my floral comforter, the one thing I have left from my mother.
“Get your lazy ass out of bed, Ella.” She says my name with such disdain that her words slice through me, cutting deep. “Mother says you have chores to do.”
“That’s no different than any other day,” I spit back. “Who else would clean up after you?”
She snickers, throwing her hands onto her wide hips. “At least you’re good for something other than taking up space. We can’t have you lounging around here all day doing nothing. You have to earn your keep.”
I get up from the bed, irritated and still half asleep. “This is my house, Anastasia. Not yours.”
She points a long, bony finger at me and digs it into my arm. Her French tip hurts as she presses it into my skin. “Now, that is where you are wrong. This is my mother’s house now, which makes it mine. If it were up to me, you would be out on your ass, but Mom likes having a maid.”
I let out an exaggerated sigh. How much more of this can I take? I can’t afford to live on my own. Clarissa pays my tuition at Strickland University, the one luxury I have left, and I wouldn’t dare do a thing to jeopardize getting far away from this torture.
Unlike my stepsisters, who drive Mercedes’s, I ride three buses to get to school. It takes me hours to get there, but at least I get to leave this hellhole a few times a week in hopes of making something of myself. I’m counting down the days until I graduate. As of today, I have one hundred days left.
Natasha strolls into my room with a bucket in hand and a mop in the other, dressed in vintage Chanel, of course.
My mother had worn plenty of it before these cows had ransacked this house and took every piece of clothing and jewelry she had of value. The only thing spared from my stepmother’s fire sale was a gold heart charm necklace my father had given me on my thirteenth birthday. One side of the heart had belonged to him and the other to me.
I’ve kept it hidden under a loose floorboard under my bed. It’s the one place none of them would ever bother to look. They’re too lazy to get on their hands and knees. Instead, they make me do all the work. Every morning, I wake to one of them screaming from the bottom of the stairs, Get down here and make us breakfast, Ella or Clean the dishes, Ella or Get the stain out of my Prada bag, Ella.
They always have some request, leaving me little time to study, which is why I spend my afternoons tutoring students in the library. I get extra financial aid for helping out, but I mostly do it to give myself a reprieve from my jailers.
“Get to work, Ella,” Natasha says, shoving the bucket and mop into my chest. “If you want that dress for the party tonight, you have to earn it.”
It takes every ounce of strength I have to hide my smile. Just thinking about the masquerade party at the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house sets fire to my skin. Shawn Finch will be there. He’s gorgeous, the starting tight end for the Strickland Senators, and has big, strong arms that I want to touch every time I see him in the library.
He’s always failing at least one class because he’s too busy hooking up with girls and partying. From what I’d heard, he just manages to pass with the help of our tutoring staff. I would have killed to be his tutor last semester. Instead, I was stuck with some jerk from the hockey team. I even offered to trade Mandy, but she was too busy batting her eyelashes at Finch to consider my offer to switch. She practically had their wedding planned out in her head, and he didn’t even pay attention to her.
Guys like Finch are untouchable. You have to be part of the sport's elite on campus to get anywhere near them. That’s why I jumped at the chance to go to this party tonight. I’m friends with Tori Reynolds, girlfriend of Sebastian Prince and the captain of the football team. He’s a big deal at our school. Tori invited me before I left class yesterday. She’s normal, like me, and nothing like most of the elitist snobs at Strick U. I guess we bonded over our mutual dislike for snooty people, and now, we’re acquaintances—maybe even friends.
Because of Anastasia and Natasha are always sticking their nose into my business, I have no friends other than Tori, no prospect of a boyfriend, and absolutely no life. I’m the house bitch, the girl who scrubs the floor, washes clothes, and cooks meals. This is my life for a little while longer. At least I get to go to the party tonight.
“Don’t look so excited,” Natasha yells, as I walk past her to deal with my chores. “Just remember we will be at the party, too.”
“I haven’t forgotten,” I say, keeping my eyes focused on the long hallway in front of me with one goal in mind.
“And don’t you dare think of speaking to us. You don’t know us, and we don’t know you. Got it? You will never be one of us, no matter how hard you try,” Anastasia says in a harsh tone.
I stop at the top of the staircase and spin around to face them. “I don’t want to be like you or your friends. I just want to go to the party.”
Natasha clicks her tongue. “Figures you would make friends with someone like Tori. She’s another one who is way out of her league.”
“You’re just jealous because you want Bash and can’t have him.”
Anastasia snorts. “I’ll have you know we’ve already had him.”
Staring at Anastasia and then Natasha, I’m confused until I realize what she means and want to vomit.
“Being a whore isn’t exactly something to brag about, Sis,” I say, laughing to myself, as I turn around to go downstairs.
“You will pay for that! Just wait and see, Ella.”
I have no doubt my loving stepsisters and their equally bitchy sorority sisters will make this night harder for me. At least I get to wear a mask and pretend I am someone else for the night. If it were any other frat party, I probably would skip it. I get enough weird stares pointed in my direction because of the hand-me-downs I have to wear to school, let alone the looks I would get if I were to attend a party in the same clothes.
Tonight, I get to wear one of my mother’s dresses, as long as I finish my chores and homework. That was the deal I had made with Clarissa. Both of which were a given. I already have a perfect grade point average and cater to their every need.
One night. That’s all I want. One night to feel normal again. Maybe I’ll even get the kiss I think about when I see Shawn Finch on campus. Maybe, just maybe, I will get my wish.
* * *
As promised, Clarissa hands over one of my mother’s gowns. It’s floor length, made of white satin with a light pink chiffon overlay, and hugs my curves perfectly. I remember my mother wearing this dress to parties when I was younger. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be just like her. She reminded me of a princess the way she would spin around in her dresses and dance in the living room with my father.
My mother was so full of life until she’d gotten sick. Like me, she had long, blonde hair that curls at the ends and denim eyes. It wasn’t long after my mother’s passing that Dad met Clarissa. She was everything he needed her to be—until she wasn’t. I swear he died from a broken heart. Either that or my Bitch Mother poisoned him.
Staring in the mirror, I smile and think of my parents. I can almost see them here, standing at my sides, as they see me off. If my mother were here, she would have done my hair and makeup. Instead, I had to watch a few YouTube videos to learn how to create a smoky effect that makes my eyes pop, even with the mask on my face. With my hair already curled naturally, it didn’t take much to give my hair some extra volume.
For once, I feel pretty and worthy of a man like Shawn Finch. I only have to get him to notice me. This dress should do the trick. Or so I hope.
I take my time in these heels, careful not to fall down the stairs face first, keeping my fingers crossed that I will see Finch at the party. My jaw hurts from smiling so much, but one evil stare from Clarissa is enough to wipe it from my face.
Anastasia and Natasha stand at her sides decked out in black couture gowns they either stole from my mother or used my inheritance to buy.
“You have a curfew,” Clarissa says, folding her arms across her chest, giving me her best bitch face. “I want you in this house by midnight and not a second later. Do you understand?”
I hold my tongue and nod.
“Answer me, child,” she says, with anger in her voice.
She has hated me since the day she set foot inside this house. I was an inconvenience to her, another person in the way of my father’s money. He owned an investment firm before Clarissa sold his shares to some of the board members. Now, I have nothing. No parents. No money.  And no way out of here.
“I will be home before curfew. I promise.”
She flashes a closed mouth smile and walks away without another word. Natasha steps toward me, followed by Anastasia, each of them now at my sides, making me uncomfortable.  
Natasha tugs at the spaghetti strap on my right shoulder, while Anastasia clutches the other. Before I can stop them, I hear the sound of the fabric tear. The straps fall forward and hang loose, almost bringing tears to my eyes that I force back.
“What is wrong with you?” I shout so loud my voice echoes off the vaulted ceiling in the living room.
“Oops!” Natasha covers her mouth with her hand, her brown eyes wide in mock surprise.
“Our mistake,” Anastasia says, this time pulling at the pink overlay. One side rips and then the other, as Natasha helps her ruin my dress.
I’m defenseless against them. If I act out, my stepmother will punish me. She will lock me in my room and throw away the key, same as she does during winter and summer breaks from school. That’s why I have excelled so much in my studies. I spend countless hours a day with no TV, cell phone, or the Internet. Books are my only source of entertainment. So, I read a lot and take extra classes when I can afford to layer on the heavier course load.
As much as I want to cry, I have to stay strong and deal with whatever comes next.
“You think you’re so fucking smart, don’t you, Ella?” Natasha flicks her dark hair over her shoulder and grins like the Cheshire cat. “You think you can call us names and get away with it. Well, you are not getting anywhere near that party if we have anything to do with it. We don’t need you embarrassing us in front of our friends.”
Anastasia steps on the hem of my dress, holding me in place. I turn to walk away from them, but my plan backfires, the bottom of the dress tearing apart from Anastasia’s stiletto.
Staring down at the dress, I cover my mouth to stifle my sobs. But no tears follow. I never let them see me cry. I never have, and I never will. They don’t deserve my tears. It would only give them more power over me. Unlike their mother, mine was sweet and kind to everyone. She raised me to show people the same kindness, which is why I normally remain quiet around my stepsisters.
Lately, they have made it harder to control my anger toward them. Graduation is so close. Only one hundred more days before I can start living again.
“Looks like you can’t go to the party,” Natasha says, twirling a dark curl around her index finger with a satisfied smile.
“You can’t stop me from going,” I shoot back.
“Oh, we can and we will, Little Orphan Ella.” Natasha eyes me up and down, giving me her usual look of disapproval. “We have the Delta Sig guys wrapped around our fingers. They will do just about anything Kappa girls tell them. And, if that means keeping the help out of a party, then you can bet your ass they will listen.”
“You’re such a bitch, Natasha.” I pivot my body between them. “You, too, Anastasia. I have never done a thing to either of you to deserve this.”
My stepmother would slap me across the face if I ever spoke to her the way I do the girls.
“You exist. That’s enough for us,” Anastasia says, rolling her eyes at me.
We have a quick stare down before Anastasia turns on her heel and strolls toward the front door, beckoning Natasha to follow. For pretty girls, they have such foul attitudes that make them far less attractive. How they even manage to get the guys at our school to talk to them amazes me. But I guess money goes a lot farther than I think.
I had money. Well, my father had money. Now, I have nothing. Even so, I will never belong in the inner circles at the prestigious Strickland University. A former rich girl is not enough to become one of them.
The second the door slams behind my stepsisters, shaking the house in its wake, the first tear slides down my cheek. I wipe away a streak of wet mascara from my face. Even with the girls gone, I cannot risk Clarissa seeing me cry. She would point and laugh, all while enjoying every second of my humiliation.
I run out the front door, as fast as my feet will allow, through the garden on the right side of the mansion, the tears falling faster with each step toward the gazebo out back.
Once I reach the wooden structure, I stop to catch my breath and grab hold of the rail, as I step up and onto the platform. My father was good with his hands, despite being such a brainiac. He had built this for my mother for their wedding. I come here whenever I need a break from life. It reminds me that I once had a normal life, full of love and warmth. Not all people are as cruel and hurtful as my stepfamily.
I shake my head when I take in the sight of what Natasha and Anastasia have done. They trashed my dress. Pieces of fabric hang down at different places, the material tattered and frayed. After years of envisioning what it would be like to go to a party dressed as a princess, this is not even close to what I had imagined. There’s no way I can go to the party looking like I found this in a dumpster.
Sitting on the bench, I clutch my stomach from the pain that comes with each scream that escapes my throat. I’m never this emotional. I never let them get to me. But this night was important to me. It was my one shot at talking to the guy I have liked for as long as I can remember. All I want is one kiss from the man of my dreams. That’s enough to satisfy my craving for Shawn Finch. The mask would serve as my shield, my only way to protect my identity.  
“What’s all the crying about?” I hear a woman say, scaring the life out of me. “Pretty girls like you shouldn’t be all alone and screaming to the high heavens.”
No one ever comes back here. My body goes into overdrive thinking about all the possibilities until I look over my shoulder and see an older woman. She’s in her sixties or seventies. It’s hard to tell with the dim light that washes over the dark property.
Wiping the water works from my cheeks with the back of my hands, I peek over at her. She steps up and into the gazebo, uninvited.
“Who are you?” I choke out, not the least bit frightened by a woman her age. She seems pleasant enough, even if she’s trespassing on private property.
“Your new next-door neighbor. I moved in last week.” There’s a Southern twang to her soft voice that reminds me of my father. My dad’s side of the family is from the Southern parts of the United States, and she sounds just like them, which puts me even more at ease with her.
“How did you get back here?”
She shrugs, unaffected, and leans her back against the wood. “I walked from my house. I’ve done it every night since I moved in. You have a lot more land on this side of the fence and a lot more to look at.”
“I don’t know about all that,” I say, sucking down the tears. “The garden is pretty barren now that my mother is gone and the landscapers are no longer around to keep up with the maintenance.”
Why would Clarissa hire someone when she has me to trim the rose bushes or mow the lawn? I am the maid, gardener, chef, and butler. If they can dream it, I can do it.
“Someone is keeping up with it,” she says, pointing out the obvious.
“Tending to the yard is one of my chores,” I admit.
She shakes her head in disapproval. Thankfully, she doesn’t go any further. I hate telling strangers about my situation, so I usually avoid conversations altogether. It’s also the reason I have no friends. How could I ever tell anyone about what goes on around here? It’s too humiliating to say aloud.
“What is your name, girl?” Her voice is soft, inviting.
“Ella,” I choke out, “Ella Fitzgerald. What’s yours?”
“Katherine Feighry, but everyone calls me Mrs. F. You never told me why you were out here crying.”
She reaches out to touch my arm, and for some reason, I let her. It’s nice to have someone comfort me. I sure as hell don’t get that at home and can use all the love and affection I can get—even if it’s from a stranger.
“There’s this guy…Well, I was supposed to go to this party, but my stepsisters ripped apart my dress. I was looking forward to going.”
“Then, go,” she says without hesitation. “Nothing is stopping you. Don’t let those girls get in the way of your plans.”
I frown at her words. “Easier said than done. I have nothing to wear, and there’s no way I will get in with what I have on.”
The woman releases her grip on me and stands, holding out her hand to me. “Come, darling, let me fix you up.”
I glance up at her, confused. “I don’t understand.”
“I have a dress for you to wear. You will love it.”
I narrow my eyes at her. “You do?”
She nods. “Yes, and it’s perfect for you.”
I set my hand in hers, nervous about where she’s about to take me. But I am desperate and in need of her random act of kindness. Maybe I will even make it to the masquerade party. Maybe I will get my kiss from Finch.






















Jillian Quinn is the international bestselling romance author of the Face-Off Series, the upcoming Men of Honor Series, as well as other sexy, sporty standalone romances.

Jillian loves sports, bad boys, dirty talkers, strong females, and books with plenty of heat—all of which you will find in her books. As a lover of all things bookish, she has a serious book hoarding problem and runs a blog in her free time. When she’s not reading, writing, or blogging, she’s obsessively fangirling over hockey players and can be found wherever she can catch the next hockey game.




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Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog 's Reviews > CANVAS

CANVAS by Jacob Chance My rating: 5 of 5 stars I have always loved Jacob Chance! But this book..... can you say bookgasm at its best. ...