Release Day Blitz Heartbeats by Jenna Kendrick (excerpt)

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 HEARTBEATS

JENNA KENDRICK

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 03.13.18

Heartbeats Cover 

 Cover Artist – Dianne at Lyrical Lines

 

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When Andrew Palmer and his husband decide to expand their family, they use a surrogate to carry their baby. On the day they get the happy news they’re expecting, Andrew is blindsided when Mason asks him for a divorce and moves out, taking their daughter with him. Instead of counting down the days until the twins’ birth with his partner, Andrew’s fighting for every moment of time with his daughter and readying himself to become a single father.

Orphaned at a young age, Bradley Stern has always wanted a family to call his own. He’s done everything possible in preparation to become a single father including finding a surrogate to carry his child. Knowing he’s going to have two babies to care for means double the love, and he can hardly wait the last few months for his twins to be born.

When Andrew and Bradley each get a call about a tragic car accident and premature delivery, they discover their surrogate has promised the twins to both of them. As they wait for paternity results and watch the babies struggle to survive, they turn to each other for comfort. Only one man will walk away with what both want most, but now he’ll also take the other man’s heart, as well.

 

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EXCERPT

 “Surely you can tell me something. How are my babies?” Bradley raked his fingers through his hair, barely resisting pulling it out by the handful. No telling what it looked like, but he left it firmly attached to his scalp.

“Mr. Stern, as I’ve already said, someone will be out for you shortly.” The NICU nurse’s voice straddled a fine line between professional courtesy and annoyance. “Now, are you going to wait patiently, or do I have to ask security to escort you out of the hospital?” As he turned away, the glass divider between the info desk and the waiting area rattled with more force than the last time he’d demanded answers. Too bad, because he wasn’t budging until he knew what was happening to his twins and their surrogate.

For all that the hospital had tried to create a welcoming environment, the empty waiting room stank of lost hopes, stale coffee, and the astringent smell that lingered in all hospitals. If he sat, he’d be swallowed up by the despondency that clung to the chairs. Instead, he walked. Fourteen steps up the hall, fourteen steps back, just far enough for it to be considered pacing and not hovering. He’d practically worn a trench into the hardwood floor. It’d been hours already—he glanced at his watch—no, more like twenty minutes. No wonder the staff was losing patience. Time was standing still.

His mouth opened in an overly loud yawn that had him looking right and left with embarrassment, but it was too early for anyone other than hospital staff to be milling about. The inscrutable nurse didn’t even look up from her computer screen.

The adrenaline rush from racing to get here battled with the exhaustion of having been awake for over twenty-four hours. After a long week in New York City filled with frustrating meetings and high-profile events with Uncle Richard and his merry band of blowhards, he’d been unable to stand one more night there. Every car horn and squeal of brakes from the street below set him on edge, and come morning, Richard would have one more piece of business, one more person he needed to meet. Any excuse to keep him nearby and try to wear him down. He’d just wanted to get home to his mountain, treacherous roads in the middle of the night be damned, and he’d called down for his Tesla Roadster before he so much as loosened his tie. Halfway to Egremont, he’d received the call that had him veering east to Springfield.

The same refrain haunted him as it had the rest of the drive. I’m not ready. I’m not ready. Never mind that this was the culmination of a long-held dream. Making lists of baby supplies and everything he needed to decorate the nursery was a far cry from having checked so much as a single item off said lists. But none of that was important right now. He’d deal with the nursery and all the rest once he knew his babies were well.

They’re not ready, either. He’d been reading about fetal development week-by-week throughout the pregnancy, not that he could recall a single useful fact right now. Fingernails and blinking—the parts he’d been so excited about a couple days ago—suddenly took a back seat to lung development. He swallowed the knot in his throat and reached into his pocket. No. Already a hair’s breadth from losing his shit, Googling worst-case scenarios wouldn’t help him avoid being kicked out of the hospital for causing a disturbance.

Stomping feet and labored breaths caught his attention as two men ran down the hall. One pointed at the chairs, then approached the nurse’s station, quietly giving his name. His companion, jacket wide open and sweatshirt clearly inside-out, looked around the area wide-eyed before lurching across the hall to the restroom.

“Did you see where my brother went? A little bit taller, a lot less handsome?”

There was no reply from the nurse. Bradley glanced over to see the man staring back at him quizzically. He pointed at the bathroom just as the door opened.

The brother was indeed taller, by at least a few inches. But his dark blond hair, bright blue eyes, and muscles for days rendered him a hundred times sexier than the first guy.

Judging from the greenish cast to his skin, he was also either hungover or sick. Bradley stepped away in distaste, leaving the other men to melt into the chairs of despair while he resumed pacing. Fourteen steps up the hall. Turn. Five, six, seven—

The door to the unit opened. “Who’s here for the Penn twins?”

—Eight, nine. Wait. Penn.

Bradley hurried over to the man in bright blue scrubs. The surgical mask tucked under his chin pulled his ears forward, giving him a slightly elfin appearance. Or maybe lack of sleep and stress were making Bradley as fanciful as the giraffes and elephants painted on the walls.

The nurse gave Bradley a welcoming smile. “You the new dads?”

Bradley looked to his right, only then noticing the tall guy had also approached.

“Oh, we’re not together,” he said. Being together with someone wasn’t in the cards for him. His heart was taking a big enough risk letting children in, much less a partner.

“We ask that only parents come into the unit for the first visit. Which one of you is the father?” He looked expectantly between the two men.

“I am,” they both replied at the same time.

 

 JennaCorkscrewFullScreen

 Jenna Kendrick writes contemporary, new adult, and paranormal romance about smart guys with a propensity for snark. Jenna went to a small college in the woods of Western Massachusetts, where she alternated between bare feet and hiking boots and used dining hall trays as a mode of transportation in the winter. She fell in love with creative writing after writing a satirical essay to get out of yet another literary analysis assignment. Unable to choose a coast or climate zone, she bounced around the country before settling in Upstate New York. She lives with her husband and several furry creatives, some of whom think of her desk as their own.

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A VVivacious Review: Stuck with You (Reinvented #1) by Jenna Kendrick

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Rating: 3.75 Stars out of 5

 

stuck-with-youSeth and Jamie are handcuffed together thanks to a Sociology project their eccentric professor, Dr. P thought up. But being at someone’s side 24×7 has never been easy but as the project takes Seth and Jamie through various highs and lows, it might soon become a hurdle to just get past the next minute let alone 5 days.

 

Jamie has secrets that he wants buried but when temptation in the form of Seth Lerner is just at the end of the tether, how long can Jamie keep his secrets safe… Meanwhile Seth has a list of issues a mile long and all this change in routine is throwing his tics into overdrive, he really has to evaluate if the hurt waiting for him at the end of his tether is worth it?

 

This book is nice, awesome and good depending on how far along you are into the story. I am a little miffed with the ending which is reflected in my rating. I personally didn’t think the ending did justice to the wonderful story up until that point. Up till the point the book was ending there was this richness to all the moments described in the book and because of that the ending felt particularly rushed. This appears to be the first in a series, so maybe the author plans to revisit this couple, in that case I can maybe excuse the ending.

 

This story is the kind that starts out a little awkward but then becomes better and better with every page you turn. But I loved the way this story progressed, the somewhat awkward beginning helped put the spotlight on the MCs.

 

Seth and Jamie were the best part of this story. Despite substantial side characters, it was clear that the stars of this story were Seth and Jamie and I loved their development. The fact that the author managed to give us a clear view of who, these two were as individuals despite their unique circumstances was quite commendable. I understood how painful it could get to be in Seth’s head and how much he hurt at the thought that everyone who he had ever loved him left him. Simultaneously it was easy to see how Jamie was using intimidation to keep everyone at bay but what I liked most was how every time he seemed to be falling back on his old tactics he made a conscious effort not to.

 

The premise and the plot are brilliant. The plot allowed the author to introduce many facets of the MCs’ personalities relatively quickly and the whole scenario of being stuck to another person kind of accelerates the intimacy which was just helped along by the patience with each moment is written.

 

Personally the book is amazing and has a lot of potential and if the author decides to write more about Seth and Jamie, it would be beyond awesome.

 

Cover Art by Jenna Kendrick. The cover was okay.

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 164 pages
Published January 8th 2016
ASINB01AD8M7SG
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesReinvented #1

In the Spotlight: Stuck With You by Jenna Kendrick (excerpt and giveaway)

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STUCK WITH YOU

JENNA KENDRICK

M/M ROMANCE

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AMAZON GLOBAL

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The Assignment: Discover if forced proximity leads to increased intimacy by being handcuffed to a partner for five days.

Jamie O’Connor’s closet is tightly closed and full of secrets. Attending college on a baseball scholarship, he’s hiding an injury along with his sexuality. A college degree is the key to escaping his family’s oppressive expectations. Until he graduates, he needs to play ball, both on the field and off. Being partnered with an openly gay classmate for a sociology project threatens to put more than just his free college ride at risk.

Seth Lerner’s closet is empty, but that’s because his baggage is always right by his side. Managing his severe ADHD while trying to overcome an earlier setback leaves him little time for any kind of social life, much less a relationship. He certainly can’t afford the distraction of falling for his closeted project partner.

Neither Jamie nor Seth plan on letting this assignment get in the way of their objectives. But secrets come out and goals change when you’re stuck together.

EXCERPT # 1

The finest denim-clad ass Jamie had ever seen brushed past him, and Jamie almost dropped his textbook. He should be used to this reaction by now, but every glance at Seth Lerner caused him to lose all sense.

Seth went to his usual seat, one row ahead and three chairs over. Jamie was fascinated by the precise way Seth always lined up his blue pen and two highlighters, one yellow and one green, to the left of his composition-style notebook. While almost everyone else in the class typed their notes directly into a computer, Seth wrote his by hand. Once everything was aligned to his satisfaction, he pulled the earbuds out of his ears and bent over to shove his phone into the front of his backpack and zip it resolutely away. This was Jamie’s favorite part of Seth’s pre-class ritual, as Seth’s shirt rode up enough to give Jamie a glimpse of dimples and the faintest smattering of light brown hair at the top of his ass.

Jamie adjusted himself under the guise of settling into his seat. The stadium seating of the Kellogg 2A lecture hall sucked for a discussion-based class of only 30 students, but he was grateful for the long tables that ran the length of each row, hiding both illicit cell phone use and erections. He’d spend the majority of class half-hard, attuned to Seth’s every movement. The precision of Seth’s placement of his textbook to the right of his notebook belied his almost incessant leg-bouncing and finger tapping. More than once, Jamie had needed to borrow Christian’s class notes because he’d gotten too caught up in the rhythm of the song that obviously flowed through Seth’s body. Not that he ever admitted to Christian why he’d been unable to keep up with the professor’s lecture. After all, Jamie was straight.

Seth, of course, was oblivious to Jamie’s attention. Jamie had chosen his self-assigned seat with care, able to view the object of his attention throughout class without being obvious about it. If Seth ever felt as if he were being watched, he certainly never turned around or gave any other indication of paranoia. Good thing, too, because awareness would ruin the fantasy forever. Jamie could barely admit his interest to himself; he’d never be able to work up the courage to confess to anyone else. Especially not Seth himself. And he’d be more apt to walk across the quad naked than to act on his desire.

As the room filled with students, Jamie pulled his attention away from the way Seth’s wide shoulders narrowed to his lean torso and forced himself to focus on the front of the lecture hall. Dr. Pulaski was running late, as usual. She often left a discussion question on the board to get the class thinking and talking. But what did she mean by the single word she’d written today?

“Tethered? I didn’t see anything about bondage in the syllabus,” someone behind him said, accompanied by loud laughs from his friends. Donny Stewart had a joke for everything. If it could be at someone else’s expense, even better.

“It could mean the baggage we all carry with us,” a girl in the front row offered timidly. Mary, Marjorie—her name was something like that. Jamie had seen her waiting up for Seth outside the lecture hall and walking around campus with him, but for some reason they never sat together in class.

“You mean the baggage you’re carrying around your hips?” Donny’s sycophants laughed long and loud at his quick comeback. Hadn’t these idiots dished out enough of this shit in high school?

“More like the helium balloon that is your brain, Stew.” Jamie fired back. Few people stood up to Donny because they feared being the next victim in his crosshairs.

Seth turned in his seat to see who’d spoken. Jamie was startled as they made direct eye contact for the first time. The depth of Seth’s chocolate brown eyes captured him to the point that he almost missed Donny’s retort. Shit, if that asshole caught him making goo-goo eyes at a guy, not even Jamie’s status as pitcher and captain of the baseball team would save him from becoming a target of his bullying.

“Are lame comebacks what you’re pitching instead of baseballs these days, Windup? That’d explain why you’re not making it into the strike zone.” And sometimes even being a jock wasn’t a safety net. Especially a jock having a crap season and trouble performing up to expectations.

Jamie forced himself to look away from Seth and lean back casually in his seat, hoping the rest of the class thought he was just too cool to continue engaging with Donny. He was spared any further embarrassment—of the inappropriate attraction or sports performance varieties—by the belated entrance of Dr. Pulaski.

“Sorry I’m late, gang.” Dr. P greeted the class with the same refrain every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Jamie wondered how she’d react if they all recited it to her en masse one day. “The daycare center was a madhouse, and Lily was clingy.” She talked about her daughter at every opportunity and often raced across campus to the nearby daycare center between classes and office hours.

She dropped an oversized tote on the floor next to the podium with a heavy thud and removed her silly hat with the strings and pompoms. “So let’s get started. I didn’t leave you much to go on today, so I’m figuring either you all spent the last ten minutes on Snapchat—“ She looked up from where she’d been setting out her lecture notes and glared in Donny’s direction. “—Or making inappropriate comments.”

Everyone laughed, including Jamie. Although not part of his major, Sociology of Emotions was his favorite class this semester. He rolled his shoulders, ignoring the dull ache that was a constant companion, and settled in to enjoy the hour.

stuck-with-you-teas-3

EXCERPT # 2

Seth looked over at Jamie as they crossed the once-again hushed campus, students breaking off from the pack as they approached their own dorms. After taking off in his usual rush, Jamie had shortened his strides to match Seth’s, but his long fingers repeatedly squeezed around the hat he continued to hold as if barely containing his temper.

“Mari was only taking a wild-assed guess.” Seth attempted to break the silence. Jamie glared at him and picked up the pace.

The short walk felt like a death march. Seth’s thoughts kept cadence. Left foot, Jamie’s voice in his head whispering “I’m gay.” Right foot, a reminder of how conflicted he’d felt all day, wagging his tail like a puppy at Jamie’s praise and then feeling like he’d soiled the carpet when that affection had been withdrawn. This was why he didn’t do people. Except Mari. And she’d turned on him, too, and gone out of her way to turn Jamie against him just when Seth’s tail started twitching again.

I’ve spent too much time with Grand’s dogs.

They climbed the three flights of stairs to his room, and Jamie shifted his feet impatiently while Seth shoved numb fingers into his jeans pocket. Nerves and cold made him drop the key. With a grunt, Jamie bent to retrieve it, then hip-checked Seth aside to insert it into the lock. He pushed the door open so hard, it bounced off the wall, and he raised his arm in time to prevent it from hitting his face on the rebound. Seth was leery of entering the room with the clearly angry guy, but Jamie didn’t give him any choice, tugging him inside before slamming the door shut.

“Jamie, I’m sor—“

Jamie pushed him roughly against the back of the door. Seth’s head hit with a crack. Oh, shit! As he raised his arms to defend himself, Jamie’s lips crashed against his own. Seth’s breath left him in a whoosh, sudden fear replaced just as quickly with excitement. Jamie’s tongue dove into Seth’s mouth, its hot sweetness bringing his entire body to attention. When Seth tilted his head to a better angle, Jamie slid his hands up Seth’s arms and drove his long fingers into his hair, forcing him to stay still as Jamie tasted and explored, nipping Seth’s lips with his teeth, stroking Seth’s tongue with his own. If their first kiss had been a shy hello, this was an entire conversation. Jamie’s hands enveloped his head like a helmet, palms cupping his jaw on both sides and thumbs stroking over his cheekbones while his fingers rubbed gently at the spot where Seth’s skull met the door, soothing the hurt. His hands were icy from the snowball fight, and Seth shivered.

The goosebumps on his skin increased the sensation as Jamie’s body pressed against him. Even wet and chilled through, feeling the hardness of Jamie’s jeans-covered cock acted as a match to kindling, instantly heating him up. He wanted to move, to get more of that delicious friction, but squeezed between Jamie and the door, all he could do was feel whatever Jamie chose to allow him. With Jamie’s hands holding his head still, the only place Seth could rest his own within the confines of the tether were around Jamie’s neck.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jenna Kendrick writes contemporary, new adult, and paranormal romance about smart guys with a propensity for snark. Jenna went to a small college in the woods of Western Massachusetts, where she alternated between bare feet and hiking boots and used dining hall trays as a mode of transportation in the winter. She fell in love with creative writing after writing a satirical essay to get out of yet another literary analysis assignment. Unable to choose a coast or climate zone, she bounced around the country before settling in Upstate New York. She lives with her husband and several furry creatives, some of whom think of her desk as their own. This may be why Jenna’s developed a sudden urge to write about shifters.

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