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Kismet – Serendipity Book 2 by Carly Phillips

Serendipity Book 2
NY Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips


Time has changed the girl he left behind—
and the sexy woman won’t fall into his bed so easily.

Lissa Gardelli’s journalism career is about to take a big leap forward, thanks to scoring an interview with Wall Street wonder, Trevor Dane. There’s just one hurdle: keeping her identity a secret until she gets in the door.

Trevor Dane has arrived—corner office, seven-figure income, and women at the snap of his fingers. A profile piece in the News Journal is just icing on the cake. Until he lays eyes on his interviewer, the high school sweetheart who’s haunted his dreams for ten long years.

The sparks between them still burn, and business quickly ignites into pleasure. But Lissa is keeping one last secret…one that could either solidify their reunion, or drive them apart—for good.

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Lissa is both excited and nervous to begin her series of articles for the News Journal. Her first story is Trevor Dane, the thing is they have history and she’s not sure how he’ll react to her.

Trevor didn’t take seeing her well at all, but after his initial shock he actually spoke with her and learned about her just as she was learning about him. He was surprised when she paled at the thought of shopping for formal dresses for two of their evenings together. He calls his mother to find out all about Lissa’s marriage and divorce. Now he needs to apologize and maybe just maybe he’ll get a second chance, with her.

This is a favorite scene.

Lissa felt her face flush hot with embarrassment and awkwardness. “So you found out all about my life and realized I couldn’t really afford a new wardrobe for the weekend. You felt sorry for me and sent these clothes over?” Her voice rose along with her mortification.

“Hey, that’s not it.” He sat down beside her, close enough so their legs were touching. “It’s more like I got a shocking lesson in making assumptions.”

She swallowed hard. “You thought I lived well off the Banks money.”

“Well, I assumed that if the guy was doing the right thing by marrying you after he—” He caught himself before saying knocked you up. “After he got you pregnant, then he would treat you right after he split up with you, too.”

“You know what they say about someone who assumes things,” she muttered.

To her surprise, he laughed. “Yep. And an ass certainly describes how I acted today. So maybe the clothes were an apology, too.”

Lissa didn’t know what to do with this kinder, gentler Trevor, and part of her wondered if that wasn’t his intention. To keep her off balance, guessing, unsure of herself during the time she was with him. To her dismay, she realized she didn’t know him all that well anymore.

“I’m sorry things have been so hard for you.”

She forced a smile. “I managed.” She’d also put herself in the position of having to marry Brad, but it didn’t seem smart to get into the specifics of their past right now. “Thank you, though.”

“You’re welcome.”

“And thank you for these.” She swept her hand toward the bags surrounding them on the bed.

“That was my pleasure.” His smile warmed her straight down to her toes.

She was trying really hard not to think about the fact that they were sitting in a hotel room alone on a king-sized bed, but it wasn’t easy. Trevor’s pants-clad thigh touched her bare one, and she could swear she felt the heat of his skin through the material. When she inhaled, he smelled deliciously male and need rose quickly.

It had been so long since she’d had a man’s arms around her, a man who made her feel good and wanted. Unlike her ex, Lissa had remained faithful in her marriage, and her one short relationship afterward had left her cold and wondering whether she’d ever feel real desire again.

Well, now she knew. She ought to be surprised that it was Trevor who’d awakened her long-dormant hormones, but she wasn’t. Not really.

Lissa pulled in a deep breath and forced herself to continue the conversation. For all she knew, she was the only one feeling the heat, and she didn’t want him to think she’d misinterpret a kind gesture for anything more. She knew how he felt about her.

His first unguarded reaction had shown his true emotions, and though he was trying to be nice now, she knew the resentment still lurked below the surface. She couldn’t let herself think anything else was at play, or she’d be risking her heart. She was sure Trevor’s was locked up tight, at least to her.

“How did you know my size?” she asked.

He shrugged. “I asked my secretary to guess. Some of the things will have to be returned.”

She nodded. “I look forward to trying them on.”

“I look forward to seeing you in them.” His gorgeous eyes sparkled at the thought.

“What time should I be ready tonight?”

“I’ll pick you up at seven.”

Lissa shook her head. “I’ll meet you there.”

This wasn’t a date; it was business. She couldn’t let him play the gentleman and go through the motions. It would only make her want things she’d never have.

He scowled. “I don’t mind picking you up.”

“There’s no need for you to treat me like a date. I’m a journalist writing your story,” she felt compelled to remind him. Or maybe she needed to say it out loud for herself. “The Waldorf, correct?”

He nodded, but she could see from the stiffness in his shoulders he wasn’t happy with her suggestion.

“Great,” she said, rising from the bed. “I’ll see you there.”

He rose and stood way too close. “You’ll see me, all right,” he murmured too enigmatically for her liking. Reaching out, he placed his fingers beneath her chin until she looked directly into his eyes. “We have a lot to catch up on.”

He tipped his head, and her stomach did a nervous roll as his lips came closer to hers. A yearning the likes of which she’d never felt before rose up to greet him. But instead of touching his mouth to hers, he placed a kiss on her cheek, his touch too short to make any promises yet too long to mean nothing.

He stared at her for a long while afterward as if studying her.

She curled her hands into fists at her sides, her heart pounding, her body responding in ways she’d long forgotten. Her breasts grew full, her nipples peaked, and dampness pooled between her thighs.

“See you later,” he said in a deep voice, gruffer than before.

“Bye,” she whispered, unable to form a coherent thought. And though he hadn’t really kissed her or touched her at all, heat licked at her from the inside out.

Oh boy, was she in trouble.
Carly Phillips. Kismet-Carly-Phillips (Kindle Locations 278-320). Kindle Edition.

The charity fundraiser becomes the catalyst of a possible new start for Trevor and Lissa but they still have much to work out. Trever especially has to realize that Lissa has a daughter by someone else and he’d have to accept both of them. They’re a package deal.

I love the way this story progresses. There’s laughter, tears, romance and plenty of sizzle!

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming soon!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Serendipity – Serendipity Series Book 1 by Carly Phillips

Serendipity Series Book 1
NY Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips


He’s from the wrong side of the tracks.
She lived in the house on the hill.
Now their fortunes have reversed…
but their long-ago attraction still burns.

From high school golden girl to wife of a high-powered New York attorney, Faith Harrington lived the dream. Until divorce and her father’s imprisonment for fraud left her with almost nothing. Now she’s back in her hometown to redesign her life, and not every face is friendly. Least of all the town rebel, whose memory lingered long after they shared one searing teenage kiss.

Ethan Barron is a bad boy. Was. Was a bad boy. Now a man—a very rich man—he quietly buys the old Harrington mansion to thumb his nose at Serendipity and the people who looked down on him. But until he reconciles with his brothers and builds a life, the victory rings hollow.

Faith had been a rich girl ripe for rebellion, and his shamelessly stolen kiss still burns in his dreams. Only a fool would risk feeding town gossip by asking her to redecorate the house she grew up in. But Ethan never did choose easy. Not when the hard way promises a much sweeter—and hotter—reward.

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Ten years after leaving Serendipity, Ethan Barron is back. He’s successful now and he’s purchased the landmark house in town. His goal is to make amends with his brothers Nash and Dare although he’s not sure how to go about that.

Faith Harrington is also back in town.  However her circumstances are far different from Ethan’s. Her father apparently had been scamming everyone for years, the law finally caught up with him and now he’s in jail. Everything sold for restitution. She’s staring at her old home remembering the past, when Ethan is approaches her. He doesn’t recognize her at first, but when he does memories come flowing back.

For Faith her divorce and subsequent settlement means she can open her Interior Design business, and hopefully be a success. She will need clients though, and her father pretty much destroyed all the goodwill there might have been in this small town.

This is just one of many favorite scenes.

Awareness and definite remembrance flickered in her gaze. He was struck by how those amber eyes still provided an open window to her soul. When he was younger, he’d been captivated, mesmerized by how pure and untouched she appeared compared to the girls he normally hung around with. Girls with a harder edge, willing to give it up to anyone but especially to him because he had a reputation for being bad and had no problem living up to it.

She’d been different. Special. Another reason her rejection had stung so badly.

Looks like I’m facing another unresolved piece of my past, he thought, disgusted with himself for still caring. Although to be fair, she’d only been sixteen and a good girl at that. No way would she have put out for anyone, let alone him.

She shifted on her high-heeled sandals.

Uncomfortable or restless to leave? Ethan chose the former. He’d like to think he’d gotten to her—the same way she’d gotten to him. Inside his skin just as she had way back when.

She flipped her glasses back onto her face. “Okay, I think we’re finished reminiscing. You go home to your place.” She gestured up the hill. “I’ll go back to mine.”

“And where would that be?” All he knew of her family now was that her father was in jail, and her mother lived on the other side of town, a comedown for a woman with her attitude and former wealth.

He hadn’t known the princess was back here at all. Apparently, Anna had chosen to omit that bit of information.

“I’m renting a place over Joe’s on Main.” She tossed her hair in a way that indicated her new digs were no big deal.

He knew better. Joe’s was the local bar where guys like Ethan used to hang out. But he knew not to pity her. “Interesting,” he said instead.

“What is?” She pursed her glossed lips.

Definitely not a deliberate move but seductive nonetheless, and he longed for a hot, wet taste. Wondered what might have been if she’d given in to temptation all those years ago.

But this was now, and her question still hovered between them. “It’s interesting how the mighty have fallen.” No pity, just truthfulness, he thought and held her gaze, not backing down. S

he raised her chin a notch. “Like I said, you don’t know me at all.”

“Then fill me in.”

She exhaled a puff of air and paused. Probably trying to decide how much to reveal, a feeling he understood too well.

“I came back for a fresh start,” she said at last. “I’ll be opening an interior design business in town. What about you?”

He shrugged. Easy enough question. “I own a weapons software development company.”

Her mouth opened, then closed again.

“Nope, didn’t end up in jail after all,” he said, catching the shock that had registered on her face.

“I didn’t think—”

He folded his arms across his chest. “Yeah, you did.”

The first hint of a smile pulled at her lips. “Okay, so maybe I would have thought that, but you buying this house gave me a clue you’d turned things around.”

A hint of admiration touched her voice, and though he appreciated the sentiment, he didn’t deserve it. He’d still screwed up a lot of people’s lives. But recent years had been better. He’d gone to college on the Army’s dime and put his affinity for computer simulation gaming to good use. After two tours of duty overseas, he’d ended up working at a military base Stateside in the management information system department doing software-related work and dabbling in his own development work on the side.

Upon graduation, he’d taken a job with Lockheed but had chafed under their restrictions. He turned independent contractor, picked up a few contracts that enabled him to support himself, and within a few years, he’d perfected a system that revolutionized the capabilities of the country’s next proposed fleet of military jets. He’d sold his system to the government, netting him a small fortune and enabling him to buy her old house.

None of which she’d care about. “And what were you doing here?” he asked, moving the subject away from himself.

They both knew he meant the land, the property, and specifically, her old home.

She swallowed hard. He had no doubt the subject was a painful one. “I came to look,” she admitted. “To remember.”

He nodded in understanding. Her family’s fall from grace couldn’t be easy for her, yet she’d come back.

Maybe they had common ground after all, he thought, finding a more than grudging respect for this woman and her strength. She was right. He hadn’t known her then. Didn’t know her now either, but suddenly, he wouldn’t mind rectifying that fact. If he had the time or energy to invest in someone who wasn’t family-related.

He didn’t.

“Look, I really need to get going,” she said. “The heat’s killing me. I only meant to take a short walk through town. Next thing I knew, I ended up here.”

As if on cue at the mention of the sweltering weather, he caught the bead of sweat trickling down her throat, her chest, disappearing between the swells of her breasts, visible beneath the silk top she wore under her jacket.

He swallowed a groan. She was dangerous, all right. But he couldn’t let her walk back in those ridiculous shoes, and she’d overheat in the damn clothes. “Come on. I’ll give you a ride back to town.”

She shook her head. “I appreciate it, but—”

“It’s hot as hell, and I’d bet my last dollar your feet are killing you. So come on.” He waited for a deliberate beat. “Unless you’re afraid to be alone with me, princess?”

Her breath caught in her throat, and a slow but knowing smile tilted her lips. “You know I’m not.”

That quickly, they were back ten years, and he was daring her to climb on his bike. And she had. She’d been afraid of him, and he knew it, but she’d accepted the challenge, and he’d never felt anything like it.

He wanted to experience that same rush again. Wanted to feel her arms wrapped around him and her body pressed against his, trusting him to keep her safe. But most of all, he wanted to feel her fingernails digging into his skin—and not because they were riding a motorcycle. He remembered thinking that if the bike had gotten her that worked up, he could only imagine what she’d be like during sex. He’d wondered if she’d scream when he pounded into her and made her come. Hell, he’d been so hard for her on the ride, he’d barely been able to see straight to drive. He’d tried to ease the ache she’d caused. And of course she’d turned him down for that.

He couldn’t deny she affected him still.

He turned toward the car before she could notice. “Come on and I’ll drive you home.”

“One question first.”

He gritted his teeth and glanced over his shoulder. “What?”

“Do you even remember my name? Or am I still just that spoiled princess to you?”

Oh, he remembered. He just liked “princess” better. But from the determined look on her face, his answer mattered.

As if he’d forget. He’d taken a philosophy class his senior year in high school. The perky cheerleader had also been in that class, one of the few sophomores there. They’d been given an assignment to explore the meaning behind their names. For once, he hadn’t cut class, and he’d been there the day she’d had to discuss hers. Her name had everything to do with unquestioning belief and complete trust. Something that no one had ever had in him. Ironically, he couldn’t remember what the hell his name meant, but he recalled hers.

“Well?” She tapped her foot impatiently.

He shook his head and let out a groan. “Get in the car . . . Faith.”
Carly Phillips. Serendipity (Kindle Locations 87-153). CP Publishing. Kindle Edition.

There is definitely an attraction there Ethan wants to explore. For Faith, she needs to find her way and her true self.

The catalyst for Ethan to get even a meeting with his brothers, comes as quite a surprise for all of them. Faith witnesses the beginning of it and even though it ruins what might have been a sizzling evening, it is truly a turning point for all of them.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Coming soon!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Just Another Spark – Kingston Family Book 8.5 by Carly Phillips

Just Another Spark
Kingston Family Book 8.5
NY Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips


He’s a rock star wanted by millions.
She’s a wife willing to fight for their love.

Rock star Dash Kingston is finishing the last leg of his band’s U.S. tour. Exhausted and ready to be home, he can’t wait to see his girl. Time zones, show times, and the demands of his career have made married life harder than expected. Even knowing the rock star life wouldn’t make their relationship easy.

Cassidy Kingston thought she was ready to handle being married to a man idolized by women everywhere. She believes in their love even though the separations when the band is on tour can be torture. But the paparazzi and media don’t make their time apart easier and the gossip headlines hit her harder than they should. She trusts her husband even if she misses him like crazy.

When rumors surface that Dash is seeing someone, what’s a girl to do? Surprise her husband and remind him of what he’s been missing. Except you know what they say about the best laid plans.

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Cassidy knows not to listen to the gossip channels or read those papers. She knew when she married Dash Kingston there would always be someone out there twisting the truth into something unrecognizable.

This tour however had been harder, they are both having problems connecting. Opposite coast time differences, schedules, even just sleeping has interfered with them having a conversation more than hello and goodbye.

It’s a surprise for Cassidy when her brother, Axle the group’s drummer, manages a quick trip home. She enjoys a meal with him before he has to leave again, reassuring her that Dash is missing her just as much as she misses him.

He does some finagling with his agent and flies home on the family jet after the weekend’s concerts. Unfortunately, fate has something else in mind.

This is a favorite scene.

She should be finishing up soon, so I’ll drive you to the apartment and you can surprise her when she gets home.” Dash had a house in the Hamptons before he married Cassidy and, after, they’d purchased an apartment in the city for her convenience when K-Talent took over office space there, as well.

“Okay, perfect. That’ll give me a few hours to set the scene for when she gets home. I’ll order in dinner and flowers, get the table set, light some candles …” He nodded in approval of his own plan. “I can give her the ultimate surprise.”

Xander chuckled. “Dash Kingston, one-time playboy, is a romantic. Who knew?”

If his brother wasn’t driving, Dash would be tempted to slap him in the head. Instead, he folded his arms and leaned back against the seat, allowing his body to feel the exhaustion from all the sets and the five-hour trip.

*     *     *

MURPHY’S LAW, CASSIDY thought, as she dragged her weary body into the elevator of the New York City apartment she and Dash owned. If it could go wrong on set today, it had. From the broken air conditioner, to not enough extras showing up for a crowd scene, to one of their primary co-stars showing up drunk, the day had been an exercise in patience.

They’d had to sober up the actor with coffee and water and shoot scenes out of order until he looked and sounded ready to tape. Even so, when his time had come, he’d needed too many takes to nail his scenes. No air-conditioning in the summer meant she’d sweat like crazy until the repairman had finally fixed the issue and the stars of the movie had not been happy with the increasing temperature. Cassidy wasn’t sure how she felt about being a producer.

She’d started as a creative director at K-Talent. The first year had been a learning experience but she’d soaked up the information. On the company’s one year anniversary, Sasha and Xander had offered her a position as head of Film and Television, making her Sasha’s right hand. They’d always worked closely together, so the job was perfect for her. She’d also been able to pick projects and run them by Sasha. This past year, she’d moved into production and the truth was, Cassidy missed her former role.

She’d hoped to be home by six for a change. Instead, she stepped out of the elevator a short time after 9:00 p.m. on the penthouse floor. If anyone had told her when she and Sasha were sharing a small place in Los Angeles, one day, she’d be married to a rock star, living in the lap of luxury, and a producer in a film production company—she’d have laughed and called them crazy.

Yet, here she was, ready to walk into the luxurious apartment she and Dash had decorated together, alone, while her husband was clear across the country.

Despite the tour, everything in their lives should have been perfect. She was confused as to why it wasn’t. From the time they’d gotten together, he’d been true to his word. He and the guys had cut back on the amount of time the band traveled. Twice in almost four years wasn’t much to ask and the first time the band went on the road, she and Dash had talked often. They’d FaceTimed, and phone sex had been fun and constant.

This tour was different because they had no time for each other and that wasn’t the life she’d signed up for. If she was going to be married, she wanted a husband she felt connected to. The physical miles apart she could handle, but she hadn’t been prepared for the emotional distance she felt now.

She let herself inside and smelled something delicious. The lights were on in the kitchen and dim flickering shadowed the wall in the dining room visible through the kitchen pass-through. She wasn’t worried because a burglar didn’t make dinner or light candles, and her stomach did a flip at the possibilities waiting for her.

She strode into the main area of the apartment and there was her husband lying down on the couch, eyes closed, obviously out cold. She took in the dining room table that had been set with their dishes, not paper plates, silverware and water goblets. A bottle of wine chilled in an honest-to-goodness wine bucket he must have borrowed from a restaurant, and she’d bet the ice inside had melted. Like the candles had burned halfway down.

Her heart dropped at the sight. She wished he’d called instead of surprising her but even if she’d known he was here, there was no way she could have left the set.

She stepped over to the sofa and looked down at his sleeping form, taking in the features she adored. His dark lashes lay dark against his skin and she saw the deep circles beneath his eyes, telling her how hard he’d been working and the late nights the band had been keeping. But that had been true of the last tour, so what had changed?

Her. The answer slammed into her and her chest squeezed tight. She worked longer hours. She didn’t have time to take his calls. Yes, he was extra busy, too. But her life had gotten much busier, to the point where she hadn’t been able to fly out for a visit as she had a couple of years ago.

She sat down beside him, her hip nudging against his, making room for herself, and his eyes fluttered open. “Cass.” He pushed himself to a sitting position.

“Hey, stranger.” She smiled softly. “I am so sorry I’m home so late. I had no idea you’d be here.”

He treated her to his dimpled grin. “I wanted to surprise you. Xander let me know you were hung up at work, but I hoped you’d get here in time to enjoy some of this.” He gestured to the romantic atmosphere he’d set for them.

She sighed, letting her disappointment show. “Isn’t this just like the way things have been going for us?” Tears filled her eyes, taking her by surprise.

“I’m sorry, too. Our opening act is being sexually harassed by her manager and she won’t let us report it. Not until the tour is over. It’s complicated with the guys, especially Jagger, but I’ve been around overtime to make sure she’s never alone. But I swear, Cass, no matter what the tabloids say—”

She placed her finger over his lips. “I know. If you had to tell me, that would mean I didn’t trust you, and I do.” No matter how she’d felt when she heard CGC’s reporting and seen the photos, in her heart, she knew he’d have a legitimate reason.

He took her hand and pulled her on top of him, letting her position herself before he took her mouth with his. The moment his lips touched hers, everything turned right in her world. He kissed her for a long time, his tongue sliding against hers, his teeth nipping, his lips gliding, never coming up for air until she broke the kiss.

“I just need to breathe,” she said, laughing. Reaching out, she wiped his damp lips with her finger.

“Breathing’s overrated.” He threaded his fingers through her hair and tugged on the long strands. “Are you hungry? The food I ordered in is cold, but we can heat it up again.”

She shook her head. “I grabbed a sandwich from craft services. What about you?”

A sheepish look crossed his face and his cheeks flushed. “I got hungry and ate.”

She shook her head and groaned. “I don’t blame you,” she said, touching her forehead to his. Without warning, she yawned, the day that had started at 5:00 a.m., catching up with her.

Dash reached around and slapped her ass, causing her to squeal. “Okay, up you go. Let’s go to bed.”
Carly Phillips. Just Another Spark (Kindle Locations 195-241). CP Publishing. Kindle Edition.

It truly wasn’t either of their faults that they are exhausted and only manage to sleep.

As the tour ends and that one really big problem gets handled, Cass tries a surprise of her own.

I love this couple. They are both strong and so totally in love with each other.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Just One Taste – The Kingston Family Book 7 By Carly Phillips

Just One Taste
The Kingston Family Book 8
NY Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips



One grumpy billionaire.
One sassy-sweet​​​​​​​ supermodel.
Add in a tropical private island paradise.
What could go wrong?

As owner and CEO of Dirty Dare Spirits, thirty-three year old, Asher Dare has it all. Money. Power. Women whenever he wants. A private island retreat when he doesn’t. People he trusts? He can count those on one hand. When one of his best friends asks a favor—hide his twenty-one year old, supermodel sister, on the island until a scandal blows over—Asher can’t say no. But he doesn’t have to like it.

Model, Nicolette Bettencourt always acts with decorum. Yet through no fault of her own, scandal seems to follow her every move. When nude photos surface, the uproar puts her family business at risk. And forces her into hiding with Asher, the hottest—and grumpiest—billionaire she’s ever met.

Under soothing tropical breezes, Asher discovers that Nicolette is nothing like the spoiled brat portrayed in the tabloids. She’s warm, sexy, and a temptation Asher must resist at all costs—or he risks betraying his closest friend, bringing a powerful political dynasty to its knees… and losing the woman he loves.


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As this book opens Nicolette ‘Nikki’ Bettencourt finds her privacy has been violated in the worst possible way. Photos of her sleeping, her own bed, are all over the internet. Even worse her mother and father are less than supportive more concerned with her father’s career. Her brother Derek is the one who steps up to get her away and out of the spotlight. He calls his friend Asher and asks him to take her to his island retreat. Asher Dare is the only one Derek would trust to keep his sister safe, and the island is secure.

Asher isn’t going to turn his friend down, but he isn’t so sure Nikki is as innocent as Derek claims. Too many incidents over the years she claims she knew nothing about. He knows he’s in trouble when he sees her at the airport. It’s been years since he’s seen her in person, and she’s grown into a gorgeous woman. He would have to remember not only their age gap but also the trust Derek has in him.

On the flight, Nikki tries to get to know Asher a bit and he discovers that she’s a lot smarter than he thought she would be. He does stop the questioning at bit rudely stating he has to work. As a result, she pretends to sleep for the rest of the flight.

Once on the island, she’s determined to relax and try to ignore her attraction to Asher. She heads to the beach, unaware that Asher is having trouble keeping his attention off her as well. To the point he gives up and joins her on the beach.

This is a favorite scene.

He didn’t know her well, but she was more than his preconceived notions based on another woman from another time in his life. Even his stubborn, arrogant ass could admit that.

“Come on, join me!” Nikki called, waving an arm to get his attention as she drifted toward deeper waters.

More at ease now that his attention had drifted off her soft skin and ripe curves, but uncomfortable with how far out she was floating, he rose. Pulling off his shirt and tossing it on the chair, he strode down to the ocean, wading in to get close to Nikki.

“It’s warm!” Her head bobbed above the water, but he was relieved to realize her feet were still on the floor, letting him relax.

He drifted closer and she splashed him, the flying droplets hitting him in the face. He sputtered and rubbed his eyes to relieve the sting of the salt.

“Oops!” Her green eyes twinkled as she laughed. He shook his head and surprised himself by splashing her back. A water fight ensued and even his head ended up soaking wet. He ducked under and came up laughing, shocking the shit out of him. When was the last time he’d played, let alone had fun? Even his recent trip to Vegas with the guys had been more about watching than actually indulging in anything more than a drink or two.

He glanced at the cause of his un-Asher-like behavior. Nikki stood in the water, catching her breath, a big smile on her face. Her hair was slicked back, making her green eyes even more prominent against her olive skin.

God, she was gorgeous. Against his better judgment, and contrary to his plans and the promises he’d made, his cock once again reminded him he desired this free-spirited girl. And that was the thought that stopped him. Not just his promise to her brother, though that was a huge consideration, but she was too damned young. Talk about a scandal waiting to happen.

But dammit, she made him feel young and alive. Not that thirty-three was old, for Christ’s sake, but he still had twelve years on her.

“That was fun.” She took a few steps back and bobbed in the water.

He ran his hand through his hair and nodded. “Yeah, it was,” he said, unwilling to burst her happy bubble. She had too much worry on her shoulders and deserved to forget her troubles. But it was time for him to rebuild some walls.

“I’m going to go back–” He was cut off by the sound of Nikki’s scream and he rushed up to her. “What’s wrong?”

She looked at him with wide eyes, frantically waving her hands. “I think I was stung on my leg. I want to feel for it but I’m scared what I’ll find.”

“Don’t touch,” he instructed. “It’s probably from a jellyfish.” And if so, there was every chance she still had tentacles in her leg. Not that he’d tell her that yet.

Her eyes opened wide. “Please don’t say you have to pee on me,” she muttered.

He felt his lips lift. “No. That’s an old wives’ tale. Come on.” He bent down, picked her up, and carried her out of the water. “I’m going to bring you inside. We’ll take a look at it then.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her head against his chest. Trusting him. He wondered how she’d feel knowing he found her soft sighs and curvy body, cold from the water and trembling against his chest, too damned arousing.

He began the walk back to the house when Corey came rushing toward them. “What’s wrong?” the other man asked.

“Nikki was stung by a jellyfish.”

At Asher’s words, her grip around his neck tightened.

“I’ll go grab the first-aid kit from the shed,” Corey said.

“No. I’ll take her inside.” Although first aid was part of Corey’s job, Asher didn’t want the other man’s hands anywhere near Nikki’s skin.

Corey lifted both arms, palms out, in a sign of hands-off. He obviously got the message.

Knowing that the pain of a sting could be excruciating, Asher made a beeline for his bathroom, where he had a kit beneath the vanity.
Carly Phillips. Just One Taste (Kindle Locations 616-650). CP Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Nikki and Asher find themselves getting closer and while Asher may have some reservations by the time his family arrives for their anniversary celebration, they are more than just friends. She even gets him to bring home a stray dog she couldn’t leave behind at a beach.

The time on the island has Nikki making decisions about a career change and Asher thinking of a long-term relationship.

Of course, the Dare family is instrumental in helping solve the mystery of the photos taken of her and also opens the door for at the very least a job interview.

In spite of the seriousness of why Nikki’s on the island, this book is fun, flirty, romantic, and sizzling.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

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Coming Soon!


Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Just One Kiss – The Kingston Family Book 6 by Carly Phillips

Just One Kiss
The Kingston Family Book 6
USA Today Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips


It was supposed to be one fun night of hot sex.
It turned into a second. Then a third.
Now Mother Nature is having the last word—
with a secret baby surprise!

Jade Dare has done everything in her power to overcome her mother’s unstable influence. Changed her name. Became a success. Vowed never to risk passing on the potential for inherited pain. What has it gotten her? One fiancé who wanted her for money. A second who cheated on her with his brother’s wife.

Now she’s sworn off men. Or at least off serious relationships. But when the chance to indulge in a one night stand with a man she’s secretly fantasized about arrives, she jumps in. Only to land heart-first into a case of the feels she can’t bring herself to trust.

Knox Sinclair always suspected he liked his brother’s fiancé a little too much, that’s why he kept his hands to himself. But with ties broken and Jade all too willing, a no-strings-attached night sounds like a damned good idea.

Except one night isn’t nearly enough. But while Knox is busy convincing Jade they have a chance at forever, the past is planning one last parting shot.

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Jade Dare and Knox Sinclair have an unusual past, her fiancé had an affair with his wife. Now Knox’s sister Holly is getting married, and she thinks her brother and Jade would make the perfect couple.

Knox accompanies his sister to A Bridal and Wedding Expo where Jade as event coordinator at the Meridian Hotel is manning a booth. Holly wants the Meridian as her venue, so they end up browsing brochures until Jade frees up. At that point Holly puts forth a dinner to discuss things. We all know this is a set up.

After Holly leaves them Knox brings up the past, something they’ve never really discussed.

This is a favorite scene.

“Theo can be charming—I’m sure that’s the man you first met.” Knox paused, gathering his thoughts. “But deep down, he’s an insecure little boy.” He leaned his elbows on the table and steepled his fingers. He’d given this question a lot of thought. “From the day Theo’s mother married my father and they moved into our house, Theo was jealous of me. If something didn’t come easily, he looked for someone else to blame. Very often, he chose me. That was ironic because sports were more his thing than mine, at least back then.”

Jade blotted those sexy lips with her napkin and placed it on the table. “I’ve seen him in action,” she murmured. “When he had a bad game, he’d blame everyone else—his teammates, the coaches… even a fan once.” She shook her head. “He always had excuses, never taking accountability for anything he did.”


She tipped her head to the side, her eyes unfocused, as if remembering. “I remember the time the coach benched him for a whole period. He’d missed a save and blamed it on the defenseman screening him so he couldn’t see the puck. Theo had been livid. Then again, so was the coach.” She cleared her throat. “It became my job to soothe his anger so he didn’t lose his position on the team.”

Knox recalled that moment. Rumors were that the owner was thinking of sending Theo down to the farm team for a while, until his attitude improved.

Theo couldn’t risk that. He’d told Knox that Jade Dare made him appear important. His engagement to her would make him look like a man willing to commit, on and off the ice, making changes the team’s management would approve of. Jade brought him respectability with her family name.

Knox grimaced, remembering. Far be it for his brother to actually put in the work to make himself respectable. He looked up at the woman sitting beside him. Jade had obviously fallen for Theo, unaware of his true nature.

“It sucks that you had to deal with his behavior. Theo is a piece of work,” Knox admitted. “He thinks things come easily to me. And yes, I worked for the team out of business school, and when Dad died, I inherited it. But I inherited a team that hadn’t made the post-season in years. I’ve worked hard to build a championship organization.” He shook his head in disgust, thinking of his brother. “It’s always been a constant argument with him about how life is unfair. The less often I see Theo, the better.”

Her features grew soft with understanding. “And your wife? I mean ex-wife?”

He raised an eyebrow. Jade was digging deep, but then, he’d done the same. “Celia was different when we married. My dad had just passed away and I was in a bad way. She was there. But once she was exposed to having a lot of money, she changed. She wanted more. I tried to be available to her despite how busy I was between taking over the team and settling my father’s estate. No amount of time together ever satisfied her. She wanted to be my focus all the time.”

Jade twisted her lips. “It doesn’t seem like she went about getting your attention in the best way—not if she wanted to keep you as her husband.”

He rolled his eyes. “Yeah, well, that ship has sailed.”

If Celia hadn’t cheated, Knox would never have considered ending the marriage. He’d seen how his parents’ divorce had hurt his father, and his dad had raised him alone until Theo and Holly’s mother came along. Knox had been determined to make his marriage work, but infidelity was something he just couldn’t overlook. It helped that, by the end, his heart hadn’t been engaged for a long time.

He studied the woman beside him. She ran her finger over the rim of her water glass, deep in thought.

“What about you?” Knox asked. “Are you over Theo?”

She lifted her gaze, her eyes locking on his. “Are you kidding? I was over him the day I found out.”

He leveled her with a knowing stare.

“Okay, fine.” She held up both hands in submission. “It took a long time to get over the hurt, but I really believe it was the pain of being duped and cheated on that stayed with me. Not to mention, it reinforced the fact that I don’t trust my judgment when it comes to people. Especially men.”

He winced at her admission but she obviously believed it was the truth.

“Anyway, once again, my brother came to the rescue. Zach assured me that I’d dodged a bullet. And that, in short, is why I am on an official man fast.”

Knox jumped on her statement. “What’s a man fast?”

“I’ve decided that there’s no place for a man in my life. I’m done with relationships.”

“After what you’ve been through, I can understand that. And honestly, I can relate, too.” But he was attracted to her.

She had an outgoing personality, which was always a turn-on for him, a curvy body he longed to touch with his hands and his mouth, and full lips he was dying to kiss.

“Jade,” he said in a gruff voice meant to let her know things between them had taken a more sensual turn.

“Yes?” Her eyes were open wide.

“I’m not looking for a relationship, either.” He picked up her hand and settled his thumb on the rapidly beating pulse in her wrist. “But I do want you.”

Her lips parted and a small puff of air escaped. “But my man fast…” She said the words without any heat behind them.

He grinned. “Change the definition. You’re now purging relationships from your life. That leaves wiggle room for many, many other things.”

She widened her gaze, her eyes dancing with delight. “It does, doesn’t it?”
Carly Phillips. Just One Kiss (Kindle Locations 439-485). CP Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Things between Knox and Jade heat up very quickly and neither of them can resist the pull.

Around them more their attraction draws some unwanted attention. Jade’s ex Theo starts calling Jade and she ignores his calls. Knox’s ex Celia shows up at his apartment and he puts her in her place. These things add some intrigue and drama to this budding relationship that they’re not calling a relationship.

I laughed, cried, and held my breath as this story unfolds.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Body Heat – The Simply Series Book 4 by Carly Phillips

Body Heat
The Simply Series Book 5
USA Today Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips


NYC summer days are hot. Nights are even hotter…

Not much has stirred Detective Jake Lowell’s interest since a perp put a bullet in his shoulder, killed his partner, then walked on a technicality. Until an sexy waitress at a tiny neighborhood café catches his eye.

Physical therapy is the last thing on Jake’s want-to-do list, but he needs it to get back on the street and track down the killer. But what’s a guy to do when he meets his new PT—and it’s his smoking hot café angel?

Working two jobs, Brianne Nelson never expected to do more than fantasize about Mr. Tall, Tanned & Gorgeous. But when her new private PT client turns out to be the man who fuels her fantasies, she realizes she’s going to be seeing a lot more of him—in the flesh—than she bargained for.

It’s not long before skin-on-skin contact turns into a hot summer fling. But the killer Jake is after isn’t going down without a fight and more than their hearts could get caught in the crossfire…

This title was originally published in 2006 by Harlequin Blaze. It appears here in its original glory, without substantial revision.

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Detective Jake Lowell injured his shoulder in a set up that killed his partner, unfortunately the perp got off on a technicality and now he wants to make it right. He wants an extended leave to gather information to recapture the man, so he’s been telling everyone he doesn’t need physical therapy.

His sister Rina is a recent widow and Jake meets her at least once a week for dinner and drinks The Sidewalk Café. This particular day she’s late, and he indulges in his favorite pastime watching the beautiful waitress. He should ask her out, but he doesn’t want to ruin the fantasy he’s build around her.

When Rina finally arrives, she again gets on him about physical therapy before dropping the bomb that she’s going away for the summer and needs him to stay at her penthouse to take care of her dog Norton. She also has another surprise in store for him on the day she leaves.

Brianne Nelson is the waitress Luke goes to the café to watch. The waitressing is her second job, the one she needed to keep her gifted brother in private school and then on to college. Her brother would be starting Sanford in the fall and Brianne would love to move to the west coast to be close to him. It’s just not an easy thing to do.

Her profession is as a physical therapist and Rina has hired her to get her brother ready to return to work. She also offered her a room in her penthouse for the summer and a salary that will guarantee she can move west to be near her brother. The thing is Rina didn’t tell her brother. Oh, and from seeing them in the cafe she thinks Jake is her boyfriend.

This is a favorite scene.

When she remained silent, he groaned and dropped his hand. “Okay, let’s back up and try this again. I didn’t know Rina was expecting company. Hell, I didn’t know you and Rina even knew each other.”

Without his touch, she was able to focus a little more. “We met last week. And Rina’s not expecting me exactly, her brother is.”

He raised an eyebrow in definite surprise. “He is?”

“I assume so. Rina said she’d let him know I’d be coming. I’m Brianne Nelson.” Good manners dictated she extend her hand for a greeting. Self-preservation demanded she never touch him again. Considering he still stood in a towel and nothing more, Brianne figured she’d be forgiven for her lapse in social graces.

“Brianne,” he murmured. Her name seemed to roll off his tongue. “Beautiful. It suits you.”

“Thank you.”

He nodded. “So tell me, why do you think Rina’s brother is expecting you?”

Brianne narrowed her eyes. Wouldn’t Rina have mentioned she’d hired someone as her brother’s physical therapist? Or was their relationship so shallow, they didn’t discuss anything of emotional importance? Somehow, she didn’t think so. Brianne had sensed a depth to Rina, an innate sense of decency and caring. Much as Brianne would have enjoyed disliking the other woman, she just couldn’t, which suddenly made this conversation even stranger than it already was.

She opted for minimal explanation. “I’m a physical therapist.” She didn’t like the speculative gleam that came into his eye.

“I thought you were a waitress.”

Belatedly, she realized she knew no more about him than when she’d walked in, and she disliked being at a disadvantage. “You know, this has become a very lopsided conversation. You know my name and occupations, but I know nothing about you.”

“You know how I look fresh out of a shower,” he said with a grin. “And that’s an awful lot more than I know about you.” He seared her with his deep eyes and a meaningful glance.

“That isn’t what I meant.”

He shook his head and laughed. “Sorry. Let’s start over.”

“We tried that already.” She folded her arms across her chest—to cover her body’s reaction to his heated stare and to ease the slow-building ache in her breasts.

“Then, let’s do it till we get it right.” He extended his hand.

In his eyes, she saw a definite challenge, as if he knew how much his touch affected her and dared her to grasp his hand, anyway. She had grown up with a younger brother and had learned to never back down from a dare. She steeled herself and placed her hand inside his.

“Jake Lowell,” he said. “Nice to meet you, Brianne.” He curled his large fingers around her smaller hand. Although she thought she’d been prepared, the connection between them was strong and sure—heated in a distinctly physical way and warm in a purely seductive one.

Without warning, his words registered; Rina had mentioned her brother’s name. Brianne took a shocked step back. “Jake Lowell? You mean to tell me you’re the one who needs therapy?” He grinned, and the air left her lungs in a rush. “You’re Rina’s brother?” she managed to ask.

“I’m Rina’s brother, in the flesh.”

His grin grew wider. Her gaze fell from his smile to the towel tucked in so that it looked about to fall open at the slightest provocation. She had no doubt that what lay beneath that towel was as incredible as the rest of him. She swallowed hard.

He wasn’t Rina’s boyfriend. He was Brianne’s fantasy man. And she was his very own physical therapist, for as long as it took to both convince him to accept her help and bring him to full recovery. Fainting sounded good about now.

“And you’re the surprise gift Rina said she’d leave for me while she was gone.”

“Gone?” He’d mentioned something about a limo earlier, and Brianne’s mouth grew dry.

“To Europe for the summer.”

“You have got to be kidding.”

He shook his head, looking more amused than she’d have liked. More of his earlier words came back to her. “You said she’s gone and I’m the surprise gift?”

“Apparently so.”

“What the hell do you mean I’m a gift?” Anger and betrayal oozed inside her, and seemed destined to grow. “Physical therapy isn’t a gift; it’s a necessity.” And Rina had seemed to understand that.

She’d cared about her injured brother and wanted to speed his recovery despite his reticence, something Brianne could relate to. Her brother Marc had been a frail child, prone to illness and broken bones. Their parents hadn’t appreciated having their extreme fun curtailed, and often had to hire a private physical therapist to rush his recovery.

Brianne had been fascinated by the seemingly magical healing powers the therapists had possessed, prompting her to follow in their footsteps. And though Marc had eventually outgrown his childhood weaknesses, Brianne had never forgotten. Hence her desire to work with kids at the Special Kid Ranch, a place where she could heal children while they remained with their families.

Family. The word brought her back to Rina’s ploy. Fury settled inside Brianne, and she felt as if she’d been punched in the stomach. She curled one arm around her waist for support. “Why in the world would she play this kind of game?” Brianne asked aloud, anger simmering.

“Oh, I can venture a guess.”

He gestured back and forth between the two of them, and Brianne slapped her hand against her thigh and whirled around, starting for the door. Then she turned back again, not one to leave without letting her feelings be known. “Let me tell you something. I resent being taken advantage of. I take my job and my skills seriously. I’m not interested in some sort of matchmaking scheme.” At least, that’s what her mind insisted. Her rapidly beating heart begged to differ.

“Knowing Rina, it could very well be a scheme.”

He stepped closer again, so close she felt his body heat.

“I wish you would stop doing that.”

“How else can I prove you wrong?” His hand touched the pulse point in her throat, and she knew he felt it beating rapidly.

“Wrong about what?” she asked.

“You are interested.” His voice dropped a seductive note.

“I’m about as interested as you are in need of therapy.” She wondered briefly if he was involved in his sister’s game, but his shock at seeing her here seemed so real, she dismissed the notion. She might not be able to blame him, but she was furious just the same.

“Then, I guess we have something in common.” He reached for the corner of the towel hanging over his neck.

“What are you doing?”

“Making a point. See this?” Before she could argue or stop him, he lifted the towel high enough to reveal fading bruises across his powerful chest. “It was injured and my mobility’s limited…” he lifted his arm, squinting as he moved, stopping obviously because of pain and an inability to go farther, “which means I am in need of physical therapy. So by your own admission, that means you, Brianne, are most definitely interested. In me.”

She opened her mouth, then closed it again, her thoughts reeling, her heart pounding. He’d been injured, and she couldn’t believe how knowing that affected her. She wanted to comfort him. To heal him. To make him all better.

She didn’t want to pull her gaze from the faint bruising on his chest and shoulder, but dropped her eyes only to find herself focused on the towel barely covering his waist. Obviously he was serious, and Brianne forced her mind to the task at hand. She needed the money his sister had offered too much to walk away.

If she saw this job through to the end, she could afford to move west, even if she didn’t get offered a job at the Ranch just yet. Working with Jake posed a challenge, but she’d never been a quitter, not even at the roughest, most exhausting points in her life. So what if she’d been manipulated into this job?

She pushed aside the hurt and anger and even managed to swallow some pride. He hadn’t set her up; his sister had. But the benefits would be all hers in the long run, and that’s all that mattered. She’d continue as planned, take this job, move into this apartment and rehabilitate this man’s shoulder.

Oh Lord, what had she gotten herself into?
Carly Phillips. Body Heat (Kindle Locations 351-422). CP Publishing. Kindle Edition.

While Jake does give in to the therapy, there is also the intense attraction between them. I love the banter between these two, and the antics of Norton the dog too.

This is a fun and suspenseful read with plenty of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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Just One Dare – Kingston Family Book 5 by Carly Phillips

Just One Dare
Kingston Family Book 5
NY Times Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips


A one night stand with no names exchanged.

Four years later, she comes face to face with her baby’s father again.

Aurora Michaels isn’t the same girl she was that spring night. No longer homeless and living in the back room of a diner where she worked, she’s now a member of the wealthy Kingston family. She has her daughter, a career and has adjusted to her new normal.

Billionaire Nick Dare is a man who takes charge. He runs the hotel arm of the family empire and his life revolves around business and travel. A quick stop at his brother’s movie premier has him doing a double take.

The woman who haunts his dreams is there. He’s been given a second chance and is determined to make the most of it.

When he learns about their daughter, Nick becomes a man on a mission. Aurora and their child are his. Even if he has to knock down Aurora’s emotional walls to prove it.

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This book opens as Aurora is getting ready to attend the premiere of the film acquired by K-Talent Productions starring Sasha Keaton her sister-in-law, and Harrison Dare. Her sister-in-law Cassidy Kingston is the director. There’s already Oscar buzz about it.

This is fun to watch as her daughter Leah tries to get involved. She’s such an active little girl and dress-up is lots of fun.

As she’s waiting to head to the seats with her family, she spots Harrison Dare with his brothers. Harrison calls them ‘The Dirty Dares’. When one of them turns and looks at her, she loses it and runs to the ladies room. Her one-night stand with no last names is Nick Dare, he’s Leah’s father.

When Nick sees Aurora he’s not letting her get away again. Unfortunately they don’t have time to talk and there’s a lot to talk about. Beginning with how she’s related to the Kingston’s. Was everything she told him years ago a lie?

Things get a bit crazy since Cassidy goes into labor, but the family stays for the film and took off quickly to the hospital afterwards. Not to be distracted from his goal, Nick gets Aurora’s address from Harrison via Xander.

When Nick shows up the next morning, he gets a couple of surprises. One is welcome, the other is not.

This is a favorite scene.

A little while later, dressed in a pair of oversized sweatpants she’d stolen from Dash, rolled down at the waist, and a top she hadn’t realized had shrunk in the wash, she made her way downstairs. If Leah hadn’t already been calling “Mommy,” Aurora would have changed shirts but her munchkin was hungry, and that always took precedence…unless she wanted to hear, I’m starving, over and over again.

Aurora set all the ingredients on the counter. Leah was mixing the batter, doing her best to slop the mix over the sides, or at least that was the way it looked. Aurora resigned herself to a good, long cleaning of the counters.

“That looks finished. Come wash your hands.”

Leah bounced over to the sink and stood on the stool that let her reach the faucet more easily. Once her hands were washed and dried, Aurora grabbed her mug, and poured herself a cup of coffee. A little caffeine always helped her get the day started.

As Aurora went to take a sip of her coffee, Leah asked, “Did you meet the prince last night, mommy?”

At the question, Aurora all but spat the liquid out of her mouth. Before she could answer—not that she had a reply, because what could she call Nick—the doorbell rang.

“I’ve got it!” Leah yelled and disappeared through the kitchen entryway.

“Leah do not open that door!” Aurora yelled, just as the beep beep from the unset alarm signaled her daughter had done just that. The beeps were meant to let Aurora know if anyone entered or exited the house without her knowledge.

She ran, skidding to a halt at the open door where Leah stood facing Nick. “Hi, Mister. You’re a stranger. I’m not allowed to talk to you,” she said, then shut the door in his face.

NICK STARED AT the shut door in shock. A little girl had answered. He pulled out his phone and checked the text from Harrison again, comparing the number on the house to the address on the screen. It matched.

He was still confused as shit when the door opened again, only this time Aurora stood in the entrance. Her cheeks were flushed and her hair was tousled. After-sex hair, as if a man’s fingers had spent hours messing up the long strands. Nick’s stomach churned at the possibility that there might be a guy inside—a father to that adorable girl, and maybe even a husband to Aurora.

“Nick, what are you doing here?” she asked, her voice strained.

“I asked Harrison to get your address from Xander.”

She closed her eyes and shook her head but didn’t say a word. The little girl had disappeared.

“I thought we could talk,” he told her.

She narrowed her gaze, her hand still on the door. “You said you’d call.”

“I couldn’t wait. And to be honest, I didn’t trust you not to blow me off. Not after the way you ran from me last night.” He decided to go for honesty, because she looked ready to follow her daughter’s lead and slam the door in his face. “I didn’t want to lose touch with you again.”

“Mommy, you said you’d make pancakes!” The voice who’d called him a stranger shouted, this time much louder.

“Come in,” Aurora said, obviously resigned.

What the hell? Was it that bad to see him again? He followed her inside and she closed and locked the door behind him. “Leah has a bad habit of answering the door without me being there. I’m trying to break it, but she’s strong-willed.”

“Like her mother?” He really wanted to know about the little girl’s father but couldn’t figure out how to ask.

Aurora stared at him, a wealth of emotion in her eyes. He had no idea what was going on.

Footsteps stomped towards them and the child stopped next to Aurora, tugging on her too-large sweatpants. Men’s sweat pants, Nick thought, and his stomach cramped even harder.

Her top, however, was another story. It was short and tight, allowing a strip of skin to show above the drawstring of the pants.

“Mommy, pancakes please!”

Nick got his first real look at her daughter. Blonde hair like Aurora’s, a little curlier and more out of control, framed her tiny face. Her features were delicate and she was adorable. And her eyes—

His breath left him in a rush as he took in those indigo orbs so common in every branch of the Dare family. “How…how old is she?” he managed to ask.

Aurora had gone pale. “She’s five,” she whispered.

Nick didn’t need to do the math. No wonder Harrison had asked him how long it had been since that summer in Miami Beach. His brother worked with the Kingstons. No doubt he’d met Aurora and her daughter. But without the knowledge that she’d been with Nick, the color of the little girl’s eyes could be chalked up to coincidence. Until Nick’s reveal last night.

“Why’d you let the stranger inside, mommy? Didn’t you tell me about stranger danger?” Leah asked.

Nick bit the inside of his cheek. The kid was a spitfire.

“He’s not a stranger, honey. Mommy knows him from when I used to live in Florida.” Aurora held his gaze as she spoke, until he felt the child staring at him and he dropped his eyes to look at her.

“What’s your name?” she asked him.

“I’m Nick. What’s yours?” He was surprised he could speak, considering how dry his mouth had become.

“I’m Leah. Do you want pancakes? Mommy, please, you promised and the batter’s ready.”

He glanced over and Aurora gave him a little nod.

“I’d love to have pancakes,” Nick said to his daughter.

His daughter. Holy shit.
Carly Phillips. Just One Dare (Kindle Locations 388-437). CP Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Nick knows beyond the shadow of a doubt Leah’s his daughter. Now he just has to win over her mother and make them a family.

There is a little problem with Aurora’s neighbor though. He’s a single father that seems to have his eye on Aurora.

Plenty of ups and downs, with fun and sensuous moments as well.

I can’t wait for the next book, but first I need to go back and get Just One Wish!

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Just One Spark – The Kingston Family Book 4 by Carly Phillips

Just One Spark
The Kingston Family Book 4
USA Today Bestselling Author


He’s a playboy rock star living the rock and roll dream…
Until a very real baby scare threatens to bring it all crashing down.

Dash Kingston has learned his lesson and knows his hard-partying lifestyle needs to change. To clean up his playboy image, he needs a fake girlfriend.

There’s just one problem: the perfect woman for the job is a gorgeous blonde who once aroused not just his body but his emotions, sending him running. And leaving her to wake up alone.

For the band’s sake, Cassidy Forrester agrees to play the girlfriend role, but she’s not going to fall for Dash’s charm or sex appeal ever again.

Except this Dash Kingston swears he’s a changed man, and he’s out to win Cassidy over – for good. But only a fool would make the same mistake twice, and Cassidy refuses to let their spark burn her a second time.

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Dash Kingston, rock star, musician, song writer is waiting for the results of a paternity test and his band’s manager thinks it’s a perfect time for a party. NOT.

With so much on his mind he sneaks from his house to his brother’s just down the road for some peace. Unfortunately, the rest of the band follows him, leaving Cassidy alone to wrangle the groupies and the entourage. His future sister-in-law Sasha will have none of that and goes to collect her from the fray. Cassidy’s their new drummer Axel’s sister and the group’s personal assistant for now, until her new position with Harrison Dare’s production company begins.

No one knows about Cassidy and Dash’s one night. Dash proved he could be a real jerk by leaving while she slept. All because he couldn’t handle the feelings he suddenly had.

With the paternity suit behind him, an interviewer goes after the band with off limits questions leading Naomi, the band’s PR person to suggest that Dare needs a down to earth, steady girlfriend. The person she’s eying for that job is Cassidy. Axel is not a fan of the idea, but Cassidy seems willing to at least discuss it.

Instead of discussing it in front of everyone, Dash orders the car to stop and takes Cassidy for ice cream to figure it out.

This is a favorite scene.

Needing a minute, she picked up a menu and looked through the choices. “Are you eating lunch first and then dessert?” she asked him.

“Nope. Pure decadence for me.” His eyes twinkled with amusement at his deliberate choice of words. “But feel free to order food first.”

“Decadence sounds perfect.” She shook her head at herself for getting into sensual word games with the man. “I mean, you’re right. A time like this calls for ice cream.”

“Glad we’re on the same page.”

A waitress stopped at their table. “Hi, folks. Are you ready to order or do you need … more … time?” Her voice trailed off and her eyes grew wide as she obviously recognized Dash.

“Cass?” Dash asked, calling her by the shortened name he’d used that night.

She swallowed hard. “I’m ready to order.”

The waitress had pulled herself together, obviously instructed to behave around celebrity guests. She politely waited.

Cassidy’s choice was easy. “I’ll have the Forbidden Broadway Sundae.”

Chocolate blackout cake, vanilla ice cream, and hot fudge topped with whipped cream. Her stomach rumbled with delight at the thought. That thought of the treat bolstered her nerves when deciding what to do about Naomi’s proposition.

“I’ll have the same thing.” He winked at Cassidy and she frowned.

“What are you up to?” She narrowed her gaze at him. “The word play, the winking. You won’t get anywhere trying to charm me into being your pretend girlfriend, you know.”

What she’d come to think of as his fake smile slipped. “It’s a habit.”

“Well, break it when I’m around. If I’m even going to consider this ludicrous plan, I want to be around someone real. Not a rock star with a massive ego he wants to project to the world.”

He nodded and she was shocked he hadn’t reared back at her insult.

“You know that’s one of the things I like about you,” he said.

“What’s that?”

“You don’t take my bullshit.” He shrugged. “The only other people who treat me like a regular guy are my family. It’s refreshing.”

“Glad I can surprise you. Now tell me. Are you seriously considering this plan?” Because to her surprise, she was considering saying yes. Axel had always been there for her, and if acting the part would help not just Dash but the group as a whole, she’d do it.

Dash blew out a long breath, picked up a spoon, and twirled it around. “I hate either of us being pushed into a situation we don’t want.”

“Wow. Tell me how you really feel.” She swallowed over the sudden lump in her throat. “You don’t want to be my boyfriend, real, fake, or otherwise. Got it.”

He blinked, drawing her attention to those long, fringed lashes any woman would kill to have. “Dammit, that’s not how I meant it.” He leaned closer so only she could hear.

Unfortunately for her, the scent of his cologne was potent and arousing, and she squirmed in her seat. This man was the whole package, and it wasn’t fair to the average people walking the earth.

“At first I thought Naomi was nuts, but the more I think about it, I realize she has a point. Which is why she’s paid the big bucks to come up with solutions when one of us gets into shit. And let’s face it. I’ve gotten myself into a pretty deep hole. One I want to get out of.”

He looked around and slid his arm behind her as he spoke. “I’m tired of the life I’ve been living. I don’t want to wake up hungover or, worse, still drunk. I hate the groupies and don’t want strange women pawing me. I want to focus on my music, my family, and my future.”

She studied him up close, stunned by his admission. “Dash Kingston wants a normal life?”

“As close to normal as I can get knowing I have to be on the road at times. But yeah. Why is that so surprising?” He hadn’t moved, and his warm breath fanned her ear as he spoke, making it difficult for her to concentrate.

“Because you’re you? A rock star who can’t stand to be in the same room the morning after with a woman you slept with the night before? Does that sound normal to you?” She was obviously still hurt. So sue her. She was human.

“I’m sorry for that and I will make it up to you.” He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear that must have fallen from her ponytail, causing a ripple of awareness to cascade through her. “Despite me being a complete asshole, I’m still asking if you’ll do this for me. Be my girlfriend.”

Between his nearness, his masculine, sexy scent, and the warmth of his body, her nipples grew tight, as if they were saying yes even as every other part of her body screamed no. Don’t be an idiot. She was too susceptible to this man’s charms, which meant he’d hurt her again. She just knew it.

But she understood why the charade was necessary, and if she could remember it was pretend, she’d be fine. Her brother had just joined the band, and if they could get past this rocky period, he’d have another chance at a career with a massively successful band. They’d always looked out for one another, and despite his wariness about her being Dash’s so-called girlfriend, she was an adult who made her own decisions.

“There are some ground rules you have to agree to before I say yes,” she said.

“Name them.”

She sat up straighter in her chair. “One, no cheating. I don’t care that we’re fake,” she said, whispering the word. “The world will think it’s real, and I refuse to be made a fool of.”

“Agreed,” he said too easily.

She narrowed her gaze. “That means celibacy, in case you aren’t thinking things through,” she whispered.

He angled even closer. “I’ve been celibate since our night together. Next rule?”

What. The. Fuck?

With his thumb, he pushed her chin upward, closing her mouth, which she hadn’t realized she’d opened in surprise. Now wasn’t the time to dissect that statement or even decide if she believed him.

She attempted to unscramble her brain and get to her next rule. “When we break up, I get to be the one who dumps you. Again, I won’t be humiliated.”

“Deal.” Again, no hesitation.

Before she could try and come up with another rule to cover her ass, the waitress arrived with their sundaes. “Here you go.”

Dash straightened and waited while she placed their desserts in front of them. The huge metal bowl contained way too many scoops of vanilla ice cream on top of the chocolate blackout cake and so much whipped cream she’d be digging to get to the cake.

“Wow.” She picked up the cherry on top and popped it into her mouth, closed her lips, and pulled at the stem. “Mmm.” She closed her eyes for a brief moment because she loved cherries, and when she opened them, a heavy-lidded Dash was staring back at her, desire in his gaze.

Desire she recognized, having seen that look on his face once before, which led to her final rule. “I know we have to do PDA, but we are not sleeping together again.”

An amused smile lifted his lips. “Unless you change your mind and give me permission.”

Arrogant man. And wasn’t that part of his appeal? “I won’t,” she insisted.

Ignoring him, she took the long spoon and dug into the decadent dessert, shoving a huge scoop into her mouth because she didn’t want to discuss this subject anymore.
Carly Phillips. Just One Spark (Kindle Locations 376-436). CP Publishing.

Of course, there are going to be many ups and downs with this. Some caused by that road manager who just can’t seem to stay out of things. There are some things meant to stay private and that gets totally violated.

I love the way this plays out. Cassidy and Dare are truly meant for each other. They just have to figure out how to make it work.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!


Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Just One Chance – Kingston Family Book 3 by Carly Phillips

Just One Chance
Kingston Family Book 3
NY Times Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips



He thought she was the one . . .
until she walked away.
Now she’s back and he wants her more than ever.

As a former Marine, Xander Kingston’s writing keeps him sane. Bonus? His thrillers made him one of Hollywood’s most desired screenwriters – and also introduced him to a fledgling starlet who broke his heart. With his close-knit family in New York, Xander returned home and found peace. Until Sasha Evans shows up at his Hamptons retreat. Now an A-Lister, she’s as beautiful as he remembers. And just as dangerous to his heart.

Sasha learned from watching her mother to never sacrifice her dreams for anyone—only to discover how empty life could be without the man she loved. Now cast in Xander’s latest movie, she needs his insight to play the part, but secretly hopes for a second chance.

Xander has built emotional walls to keep Sasha at a distance, but their physical attraction can’t be denied. When a stalker’s threats intensify, Xander moves Sasha into his house to keep her safe. Before long she’s back in his bed and making inroads in his life.

But when the danger passes and the movie wraps, Sasha and Xander face a familiar choice—put career first or give love a fighting chance.


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Xander Kingston’s latest book is being made into a movie. It will be filmed in New York City and he will be on set as a consultant. This one is important since the main character is getting a new love interest, the first since his wife died. The actress who was to play the part backed out and her replacement, Sasha Evans has a history with Xander. She broke his heart, her career first and foremost always.

While Xander knows she will bring the audience, he’s not looking forward to seeing her and intends to keep his distance. But she shows up on his doorstep looking to clear the air and learn more about her character before filming starts. Against his better judgement Xander agrees to meet her in the city for dinner. Once they actually get to their table the meal and talk went well, but a bit of chaos ensues as they are leaving.

This is a favorite scene once they reach the hotel.

He exited the car first. She slid across the seat and stepped out, accepting the hand he offered. Xander Kingston was nothing if not a gentleman.

Then he slammed the door shut and she forced herself to meet his gaze. His closed-off expression told her all she needed to know, and she had no intention of prolonging the inevitable.

“Thanks for dinner and the information about Amanda. I’ll see you on set,” she said, turning to go.

“Wait.” He touched her shoulder, and she glanced back. “I’ll walk you to your room.”

She had no desire for a long goodbye. “Thanks but I’ll be okay.”

He raised an eyebrow. “You hoped for the same thing when we left the restaurant. Humor me,” he said, gesturing for her to go first.

She knew better than to argue, and they headed inside the hotel, walking through the lobby. They reached the elevators, and he stood beside her as she pressed the up button.

She glanced at him. “I’m sure I can get to my room without a problem.”

The doors opened and he stepped inside along with her, subjecting her to his heady body heat and scent in the enclosed space. With a deliberately loud sigh, she pulled her keycard from her purse and watched the floor numbers go upward, waiting in silence while wishing this awkwardness would end.

She had nothing to say and clearly he didn’t either. His one-word curse earlier had been enough.

The elevator stopped, the doors opened, and she strode to her room. She opened the door, planning to turn and tell him to leave, but the sound of familiar voices distracted her.

In the suite sat Cassidy with Rebecca and Dina Addams, her publicist, who was located in LA but had come to the city for meetings this coming week.

“What’s wrong? What is everyone doing here?” Sasha entered the room and Xander stepped in behind her.

“It’s about time you got back! Since when don’t you check your phone?” Rebecca asked.

“I… We were busy talking. What’s going on?” Sasha glanced at her team.

Rebecca, a dedicated career woman at sixty years old, still looked closer to fifty. She wore her hair in a short bob and was the epitome of New York chic. Dina was in her early forties, dressed like she was twenty-five, and handled some of the most famous people in Hollywood.

“Shut the door,” Dina said. Xander immediately let go and the door closed behind him.

Whatever was going on, Sasha didn’t want him as an audience and turned his way. “As you can see, I’m here and I’m safe. You can go now.”

His scowl deepened and Dina spoke. “Let him stay. He’ll be on set. He should know what’s going on.”

“What is going on? Is someone going to tell me?” Sasha strode over to the cocktail table by the sofa and put her purse down before leveling her team, one by one, with a hard stare.

Cassidy looked the most worried.


Her friend sighed. “I ordered dinner, and while I was waiting, I took a shower. When I came out, a note had been slipped under the door. I thought it was a bill they’d put for you to look over even though we weren’t checking out soon.” She twisted her hands in front of her.

“It wasn’t?” This came from Xander.

Sasha had almost forgotten he was there. Almost.

“No, it wasn’t.” Dina, who stood by the window, stepped in closer. “You received a note,” she said to Sasha.

“Can I see?”

The other women looked at each other before Dina pulled a sealed plastic bag from her tote. “Just preserving evidence as best I can,” she said.

“Evidence?” Sasha took the bag and looked at the paper with the words You’re Mine on the page. Each letter, individually cut out and pasted on the paper, had a different computer font.

“Jesus Christ,” Xander said from behind her, his big body vibrating with anger.

“Someone sent this to me?” she asked, unease rippling through her.

“Yes,” Dina said.

Sasha blew out a long breath, trying to be rational. “Okay, well, we all know celebrities get notes from obsessed fans all the time. It doesn’t mean–”

“It means someone reached your floor and got as far as your door. Which is why I said you need security,” Xander all but growled in her ear.

“We’ll get to that,” Rebecca said.

Dina cleared her throat. “Unfortunately, this isn’t the first note you’ve gotten that has this … possessive tone.”

Sasha’s mail was sent through Dina’s agency. They vetted each piece and forwarded on to Cassidy what was important. It helped keep both Sasha’s and Cassidy’s life manageable and the crazies at a distance.

“How many more notes has she gotten?” Xander stepped around Sasha and pulled the bag out of Dina’s hand.

The publicist shifted from foot to foot in her expensive heels. “We run her social media accounts, and I have someone pulling the messages and actual fan snail mail as we speak. But quite a few.”

Anger and concern rushed through Sasha. She paid these people to handle things and report back to her. If they didn’t, how could she know she was safe? “Why wasn’t I told about them?”

“For the reason you just mentioned. Our clients get these kinds of emails, snail mail, and direct messages often,” Dina said. “The only time we bring them to their attention is if the contents seem dangerous or it escalates. Otherwise, there would be no point in us handling things for you.”

Her reasoning made sense but Sasha wasn’t completely satisfied.

“I don’t like this,” Xander muttered. “Not after today.”

“What happened today?” It sounded like all three women asked the same question at once.

Xander folded his arms across his broad chest. “Someone recognized her, which led to autographs and photos. After we ate dinner, she was surrounded on her way out of the restaurant. A guy grabbed her and tried to pull her away.”

“Xander wrapped an arm around me and we made it to the car that Cassidy arranged for us.” Sasha hadn’t been as freaked out by the incident as he had, mostly because she’d been in those situations before. But now? “Do you think it’s the same person? The guy who grabbed me and the one who left the note?”

“Serafina is within walking distance,” he said of the restaurant. “It could be the same person. Or it could be two different people.” He’d begun pacing back and forth in the suite.

Although the room normally felt big, with his long strides and large build, the area seemed to shrink, and she grew more aware of him. It didn’t matter that there were three others in the room. Xander took up all her oxygen.

“Either way, I don’t like this.” He turned to face her. “I’m calling a friend of mine who runs a bodyguard business. Alpha Security is the best and I’m bringing them in,” he said.

“I—” she began.

“Not up for argument.” Xander had an obstinate expression on his face as he interrupted her and his determined gaze met hers.

She shrugged. “I was just going to say I have a company on retainer. I don’t plan on being stupid with my safety.”

Dina cleared her throat. “Your firm in LA is solid,” she said. “A lot of my clients use them.”

Xander glared at her. “Alpha is excellent and they’re local. Dash uses them, and if they’re good enough for the Original Kings, I feel comfortable hiring them for Sasha.”

You feel comfortable? Why are we considering your feelings? And why is everyone talking around me instead of to me?” Sasha glared at Xander, the person she was most upset with, the memory of his reaction to their kiss still lingering along with the hurt she felt at his rejection.

“Excuse us a minute,” she said to everyone else in the room before grabbing his hand and pulling him into the bedroom, slamming the door shut behind them.
Carly Phillips. Just One Chance (Kindle Locations 657-722). CP Publishing.

Not really liking the options, Xander insists Sasha come stay at his Long Island home. His security is excellent and the added men from Alpha Security would have no problem keeping an eye all around.

They find there’s more than just a few things from this stalker and he’s definitely escalating. Finding this person isn’t going to be easy and while Sasha is mostly accepting of the additional security, she’s also straining at the bit.

Being alone together has both Xander and Sasha remembering how good they are together. Sasha just has to convince him she’s not the same person she was and her goals are different now. She just needs a plan.

Suspense, intrigue, action and a romance that builds to some sizzling heat. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!


Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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Just One Scandal – Kingston Family Book 2 by Carly Phillips

Just One Scandal
Kingston Family Book 2
NY Times Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips


A jilted bride. Her brother’s ex-buddy. An affair would be crazy…right?

Chloe Kingston’s life is exactly how she needs it: safe and stable. Right up until her reliable, low-risk fiancé jilts her on their fairy-tale wedding day. As she works her way through the reception champagne—and wonders where she’s going to live—she stumbles into her brother Linc’s ex-best friend.

If only Beckett Daniels were hideous. But he’s not. He’s everything her erstwhile groom was not. Hot. Sexy. Dangerous. And she’s just buzzed enough to want all that Greek-god gorgeousness to show her the kind of fun she’s been missing.

Beck thrives on calculated risks, but taking advantage of Linc’s little sister isn’t one of them. What he can do is haul her tipsy, tulle-clad, tempting little butt to the bridal suite to sleep it off. Then move her into his spare room—which has the satisfying side effect of driving her brother crazy.

They can’t remain platonic roommates for long. Not when the sexual attraction sizzles out of control. But when tragedy threatens Beck, pain from his past reminds them both that life doesn’t come without risks…and this time, they’re gambling with their hearts.

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Chloe Kingston was left at the alter, her family of course is supporting her, but she kicks them all out. She proceeded to enjoy the reception with her close friends and gets just a bit tipsy. In the lobby asking people to come and dance she encounters Beckett Daniels and his brothers. She thinks he looks familiar but can’t quite place him.

Beckett knows exactly who she is. When he realizes none of her family is around and she’s not married and more than a little tipsy, well he can’t very well leave her defenseless wandering the hotel. He gets her safely to her suite but instead of leaving stays the night to be sure she doesn’t get sick.

Of course the first person to bang on the door in the morning is her brother Linc. Once upon a time he and Beckett were best friends, now they’re business rivals and not friendly ones.

This is a favorite scene.

He closed his eyes and listened to the rhythmic breathing Chloe had fallen into and drifted off to sleep. Beck wasn’t sure how much time had passed when loud knocking sounded, waking him from a not-so-great sleep.

He glanced around the room, taking in his surroundings and remembering where he was and who was in bed beside him. Thanks to his remaining above the comforter, they hadn’t rolled against each other during the night, but she had moved closer and he inhaled her fragrant scent.

The knock that must have woken him sounded again.

Chloe groaned and shifted to her side. No doubt she would be hurting this morning.

The pounding continued and Beck slid out of bed, heading for the door to ask housekeeping to come back later. Who else could be there at this hour? He wasn’t about to open the door, either. Neither he nor Chloe was dressed.

“Chloe? Open up!” a familiar male voice called out as Beck touched the doorknob.

Linc. Well, this was about to get interesting. Not caring what Linc thought, Beck drew a deep breath and opened the door for his former friend.

Linc took one look at Beck and his mouth opened in shock. “What the fuck are you doing here?” Before Beck could answer, Linc brushed past him and walked into the outer room of the suite. “I swear to God if you took advantage of my sister, I’ll kill you.”

Beck let the door shut behind them before turning to Linc with a scowl.

Meanwhile, Linc’s hands curled into fists at his sides, reminding Beck of how he’d taken a swing at Linc after finding him in bed with Jenna. “Taking advantage of women is more your style than mine.”

Linc jerked at the insult. “This isn’t about what happened back then. I left Chloe here against my better judgment, and it turns out I was right.” Linc’s gaze raked over Beck’s lack of clothing. “Where’s my sister?”

“In bed.” Beck couldn’t help tossing out the words that would rile Linc up more. But before he could react, Beck continued. “You’re just damned lucky I was there to make sure she got up here safely.”

Linc’s jaw locked in place, and he visibly drew a calming breath. “She’s not safe if she’s with you.”

Beck laughed but it was harsh. “It’s not like you were there to look out for her.”

Linc stepped forward, clearly planning to swing, and Beck was ready.

“Linc, stop!” Chloe’s voice had both men turning toward her.

She’d obviously found the hotel robe before coming out here, because she was tying the belt around her waist as she stood there, facing them. Her hair was a wild tangle around her face, and despite the crying jags last night, he’d obviously managed to clean her up fairly well. There were black circles under her eyes, but her cheeks weren’t smudged with makeup. Just flushed with embarrassment but still just as attractive, if not more so now that he saw her softer, real side.

“Are you okay?” Linc stepped toward her but she held him off with her hand in the air.

She nodded. “I’m fine. What are you doing here?”

He narrowed his gaze. “I think the better question is what are you doing with him?”

“If you must know, I drank too much and he … umm … helped me up here.” Her cheeks burned brighter and she couldn’t meet Beck’s gaze.

“That better be all he did,” Linc muttered. “Come on, Chloe. Let’s go.”

“What?” She straightened her shoulders.

“You can come stay with me and Jordan until you get yourself sorted out.”

She shook her head the way she had last night when Beck had suggested nearly the same thing. “No. You two have a baby on the way. You’re new as a couple. You need your time together. I won’t be a third wheel. And before you say Mom’s, I won’t go there, either. Or Xander’s or Dash’s place. Just no.” She wrapped her arms around herself, looking lost.

Most likely because, as she’d told Beck, she’d given up her apartment and really did have nowhere to go.

“You can stay with me.” The words were out before he could stop them or even think them through.

But he had to admit Linc’s horror-filled expression made the offer worth it. “I have plenty of room at my place and you won’t be in the way. You can stay until you make a plan of your own.”

Chloe shot him a look filled with surprise and some gratitude. “I–”

“No. He’s just using you to get back at me,” Linc said. “I won’t have it.”

Chloe drew herself up tall, and Beck knew immediately Linc had made his final mistake.

You won’t have it? Well, it’s not your decision to make.” She strode up to her brother and got in his personal space. “I don’t know what went on between you and Beck and I don’t care. What I do know is that he was there for me last night, and since he’s still willing to help, I’m going to take him up on his offer. Now it’s time for you to go.” She turned away from Linc, strode to the door, and held it open.

Linc briefly closed his eyes, then opened them again. “I’m sorry. I know it’s your choice, but please let your family be the ones to help.”

She shook her head. “I need time to sort out my life without anyone else telling me what they think is best.”

“I understand that but with him? Not to mention, I came to tell you that the society pages of the papers and social media sites picked up the story.” His tone gentled as he broke the news.

“Great.” She pressed her hands to cheeks that had flushed in embarrassment. “So now I’m a public laughingstock.”

Linc shook his head. “I’m sorry. Since Dad died and some asshole named you the Kingston heiress, people have kept an eye on your engagement.”

Beck felt sorry for her, being in a spotlight she hadn’t asked for, but it came along with her family’s wealth.

“Well, I’m taking my honeymoon time off from work, so that should help me stay out of sight and make people forget about me. Now, go home to Jordan. Please.” She swept her arm toward the hallway.

Linc shot Beck a warning glare before walking toward the door. He braced a hand on the frame and turned. “Chloe, I love you and just want what’s best for you.” And Beck isn’t it resounded without him saying the actual words.

“Then let me make those decisions for myself,” Chloe said, and Linc finally listened to her and walked out the door.
Carly Phillips. Just One Scandal (Kindle Locations 327-379). CP Publishing.

Chole moves in with Beck and even though she asks he refuses to tell her what happened between Linc and him.

Chloe also tells him about her discontent with her job, wanting to do more than the conservative décor required by Kingston properties. She’s designing a room for a prestigious contest. If she wins her career will go in a whole new and exciting direction.

Then of course we have the attraction that is so very apparent right from the beginning. They both do they’re best to deny it, but eventually they have to give in or go insane.

Plenty of laughter, tears and sizzle in this page turning read.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

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Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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