Sunday, April 23, 2023

Once Rejected, Twice Shy Tour and Giveaway

 


Once Rejected, Twice Shy

Faerell Book 1, Rejected Mates Collection

by TJ Bell

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance 

Faith Calhoun was almost forty when she walked in on her husband screwing someone else.

Talk about a terrible way to end what had admittedly not been an iconic decade of her life.

After serving him divorce papers—on her birthday—she heads straight to her favorite bar, where the ultra-hot bartender plies her with drinks to take the edge off.

They end up tumbling into bed together.

That part’s not bad—in fact, it’s really, 
really good—except in the morning, he rejects her too, and somehow, that rejection is even worse than the first one. Especially when he insists he needs to remain in her life to ensure she’s protected.

From what? Her gossipy neighbors?

Oh, and let’s not forget all the strange occurrences that are getting harder and harder to explain away.

First, there’s a wolf in her house. A real, live, 
massive wolf. Then the house is attacked and nearly destroyed by some unknown—and unseen—enemy, and, get this, the wolf saves her. Then the bartender tells her he’s a wolf too. It’s like something out of her favorite shifter romance novel—except she’s living it!

And then there’s the icing on the cake: Mikail, the bartender-slash-wolf, tells her she’s a faery princess.

Maybe this week isn’t so bad after all.

If you overlook the reason he kept her identity a secret: the enemies she didn’t know she had want to kill her, and now that she’s been outed.

Her bad week is about to get a whole lot worse.


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She rubbed her head. “I need a change.”


“Getting divorced isn’t change enough?”


“That’s only the tip of the iceberg. I need to do something else.”


“Like what?”


Why did Mikail ’s voice suddenly sound sharp? 


He swept her empty glass off the counter, replacing it with a fresh mojito. 


She stared at the hazy liquid and did not sip. “I should probably slow down.” Then again, it was her birthday, she had nowhere to go but home to an empty bed, and Uber was just one press of a button in an app away and—she lifted the glass and gulped.


“Good thing you have such high tolerance,” Mikail noted.


It was true; she had always been able to drink anyone under the table, including her husband, who had been so impressed by that feat that he’d asked her out. Their first date had been to a sports bar on dollar-shot night. 


“God, I don’t want to think about him.”


“Then don’t,” Mikail suggested. 


“I never brought him here,” she noted. That had been Luke’s choice, not hers. She glanced around at the slightly cheesy tropical decor. Luke liked sports bars and martini bars, and this place did not remotely fit into either of those categories. 


“There were so many signs,” she murmured, and apparently, she was going to think about him after all. 


“Faith, love, you don’t have to rehash—”


“My ability to win at drinking games was what attracted him to me,” Faith cut him off. “How is that a solid basis for a long-lasting relationship? And considering what I know about his family and his upbringing, dating me in the first place was nothing more than an act of rebellion.”


“If that were the case, why did he ask you to marry him?” 


She shrugged. “Who knows? I was good in bed? I was fun at parties? I looked good on his arm at charity events? Although I doubt it was that last one, since attractive socialites are a dime a dozen in his circles.”


“Maybe he really did love you,” Mikail suggested, although did he really just wince as he said it?


“He cheated on me. That isn’t love. That’s rejection.” 


“That’s—”


“I said I don’t want to talk about it.” Okay, that was harsh. She was the one who brought it up, after all. “Sorry.”


“Don’t apologize. You’re in a bad place right now. Letting out your frustrations in this way is far better than the alternative.”


“What alternative?” 


Mikail’s gaze shifted to the side for a moment before he became fascinated by scrubbing the bar top. “There are lots of alternatives,” he finally mumbled.


“You’ve been in my shoes,” she said so abruptly he startled before glancing down at her feet, which were encased in a super cute pair of lime-green sandals she’d splurged on as a birthday present to herself.


“They’re a bit small for me, although plenty sexy enough.”


She laughed while resisting the urge to fan herself with the cardboard coaster, the only thing within reach that would remotely provide a cooling bit of wind.


And there went that chilled breeze again, swirling across the back of her neck and dropping the temperature enough that she wasn’t fidgeting in her seat. 


Weird, although she shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. This was Louisiana, after all. Cool breezes were not commonplace. 


He thinks my shoes are sexy


Faith’s taste ran to not-conservative footwear, which her husband more often than not found distasteful. He’d never told her the shoes made her sexy, not even on their wedding day, when she’d worn white heels with tiny blue bows on the back and ankles straps covered with tiny pearls. 


“I mean…” She flapped her hand, like that would somehow help her form the right words. “You’ve had your heart broken.” She narrowed her eyes. “You’ve been rejected. Like I have.”


He wouldn’t look her in the eye, which told her all she needed to know: the sympathy he doled out was real. 


Her relationship was in the toilet. Even if Luke got down on his hands and knees and offered to perform cunnilingus every day for the rest of her life, she wouldn’t take him back. She was done. Closing that chapter. Moving on.



And it was her birthday. Forty. A big deal. The start of a new decade.


Fresh, new beginnings.


She should celebrate. Do something spontaneous.


Or do someone


TJ Bell is the naughtier alter-ego of romance author Tami Lund (although you should totally read Tami Lund’s book too, because they are really, really good). She writes paranormal, all the time. Her heroines are tough, even if they are broken, and her heroes tend to have a heart of gold under all that alpha. Hell, sometimes they aren’t even alpha at all; after all, who doesn’t love a solid beta hero?

When she isn’t writing snarky, steamy books, TJ Bell likes to take long walks on the beach with a tall glass of wine… oh wait, wrong bio. But still true.

TJ Bell lives in the (sometimes) beautiful state of Michigan, USA, where the weather is glorious approximately 30% of the time, with her even-more-snarky husband, snarky-in-training (and progressing impressively) teenage daughter, and her dog, Kaya, who wants to know if it’s dinnertime yet.


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1 comment:

  1. You are o-FISH-ally the best! I reel-y want to thank you for the post!

    ReplyDelete

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