My #NewRelease FRIEND ZONED is out now!

I’m so excited to share that my latest novel is now available! It’s very special to me because it’s the first contemporary romance I’ve ever written. As some of you may know, most of my books have been paranormal romance. But I got the itch to write something completely different, and this story is a result of NaNoWriMo a couple years ago. I love writing diverse books and trying to write outside the box. I fell in love with these characters. And I hope you do, too!

I give you …. FRIEND ZONED.

friend-zoned-ebookAll’s fair in love and war until one person gets stuck in an arranged marriage.

Catherine ‘Cat’ Marek has a sociology paper due on dissecting the laws of attraction. Project Panty Drop will case study two different men; one she’ll go after in person and the other she’ll attempt to charm online. Hiding behind her beauty, she tries to cover up her true geeky side, and the fact that she’s partially deaf.

Jaidev ‘Jai’ Sankar needs to knock out a paper for his online sociology class. After an encounter with the Texas Tease, Cat Marek, he decides Project Friend Zoned will be the ultimate topic, proving a guy can remain in the friend zone with a girl he finds attractive.

As Cat puts the moves into overdrive, Jai finds it harder to remain in the ‘friend zone’ with her. The only thing keeping him from letting go is the fact his hardcore Hindu parents have a wedding scheduled for him. When neither can resist their attraction, the fight no longer becomes about their papers, but about the freedom to love each other.

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excerpt

Her face haunted me. The adorable dimple pitted in her cheek caught my eye first. Sexy full lips that folded into a gorgeous smile just about took my breath away. I did my best not to continuously stare at her, managing to throw just a few glances here and there hoping she got the message. But she didn’t take the bait. Instead, she gave me a ‘too good for you’ glance while she plowed down a server on her way to the bathroom, probably to restock the toilet paper in her bra.

The Texas Tease, I called it. Lots of girls at UT had it—this one in particular—in spades. Shorter than my normal tastes, her alluring doe-eyes caught me off guard. The memory of her petite frame sashaying as she worked those sexy, black pumps played on a loop in my head. Along with the way her long, brown hair bounced with every step like a damn shampoo commercial.

She drove me insane, and I didn’t even know her name. At least Mick confirmed she was a student at UT, apparently in one of his Economics classes.

She intrigued me, sitting in a sports bar drinking beer while her prissy friend sipped wine. I even caught her glancing at the Longhorn game on the big screen. A cute girl who likes beer and football? Every guy’s dream. If only she weren’t a snob. But, I’d put her in her place. And I had the perfect plan.

The ring of my Skype alert disrupted my plotting. Incoming message from Kanti, my best friend.

Kanti: Hey …

                                                    Me: What’s up, brat?

Kanti: You busy?

                                                     Me: Never too busy for you.

Kanti: Stop with the sugar, you’re giving

me diabetes.

                                                     Me: LOL Better get used to it.

Kanti: Ugh. Don’t remind me. Quick, what

do you want for your birthday? You got the

new Mortal Kombat release already?

                                                       Me: Yeah, of course I do. But you don’t

have to get me anything. You know that.

Kanti: I can’t NOT get you anything.

                                                       Me: Tell me you talked to your parents and

the wedding’s called off. That would be an

awesome present.

Kanti: Seriously? You know that isn’t even

in the realm of possibilities. So shut it.

                                                        Me: I can dream, can’t I?

Kanti: Yeah, and I know what you do in

those dreams. Not even going there.

                                                         Me: You’re such a bitch. Why do I love you?

Kanti: Because we’re best friends.

                                                          Me: Well, there’s that.

Mick yelled through the door. “Jai, you comin’ down or what?”

“In a minute,” I replied.

                                                           Me: I gotta go. Kegger tonight and we’re

hosting.

Kanti: Email me and let me know what to

get you.

                                                           Me: Fine.

Kanti: LOL Kiss Kiss

                                                           Me: Whatever. LOL TTYL

I closed the lid on my laptop as Mick flung the door open.

“People are starting to arrive. You’re on keg duty first.”

I tossed him a nod. “Yeah, I know. I’m coming. Just finishing up some notes on my Sociology project.”

“I thought you dropped that class?” He folded his arms, leaning against the door-frame.

“I was going to until Professor Wilkinson agreed to let me take it online, since it’s the same time as my cinematography course.” I pulled out a notepad. “What’d you say that chick’s name was again? The one we saw at the bar today.”

“Catherine Marek. But I think she goes by Cat.” Mick shrugged. “Why? I thought you said she was a snob, and you weren’t gonna pursue her?”

“Oh, I’m not. I got my sights set on another girl I’ve been talking to for a little while. But I think that Cat chick will make for a perfect target on my sociology paper.” I wrote down her name and underlined it five times. “I’m calling it, Friend Zoned.”

Mick laughed. “Oh, this ought to be good. What’re you gonna do?”

“It’s what I’m not gonna do that’s going be the best part. I’m going to act like I’m interested, then when she takes the bait, I’ll friend zone her. I’m going to prove that a guy can be sexually attracted to a girl who’s interested in him and still remain only friends. I’ll be the best ‘friend’ she’s ever gonna have.”

abouttheauthor

Wren hails from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where beer and cheese are their own food groups. But a cowboy swept her off her feet and carried her below the Mason-Dixon line to Texas, where she promptly lost all tolerance for cold and snow. Fueled by coffee, dreams, and men in kilts, Wren promises to bring you laughter, sexy fun time, and action that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The easiest way to her heart is anything to do with the Green Bay Packers, Doctor Who, or Joss Whedon.

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#NewRelease Spotlight: STAR SPANGLED COWBOY, by Paige Warren

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Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Release Date: July 25, 2016

Genre(s): Western/Interracial/Military

Heat Level: 3

Combat-wounded vet, Tyson Braxton, feels like half a man since losing his leg in Afghanistan. After returning to the family ranch, he wonders what any woman would see in him now. His scars and self-doubt run deep, and while feeling desperate, he hires a prostitute to ease his sexual tension.

Dacey Morgan has lived a life of horror since the age of seventeen when her pimp lured her into a life of prostitution and depravity. She wants out, but the last girl who tried to run ended up dead in a ditch. So, Dacey tries to do what she’s told—but she has one guilty pleasure, her two nights a week she gets to see Tyson.

Dacey longs for the day she’s free to love the man she’s falling for, but she knows that freedom will come at a cost.

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Evernight    Amazon    All Romance    Bookstrand

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EXCERPT

Dacey Morgan straightened her mini skirt and tugged her shirt down to showcase the girls a little better. It wasn’t her first time coming to Braxton Ranch, and she doubted it would be her last. Tyson Braxton had left the sleepy little town of Silvercrest at the age of eighteen with a determination to save the world, and he’d returned eight years later a broken man. She didn’t feel sorry for him, but her heart did ache for all that he had suffered. If an hour spent in her company could ease his loneliness—and a little something else—then she was all for it.

Her phone rang, and she pulled it from her small purse. Carlos flashed across the screen, and she stuck her tongue out at her phone before answering.

“I’m at Braxton Ranch,” she said. “You know I have a standing appointment here every Tuesday and Friday.”

“I told you there was a party at the edge of town, and I needed everyone there,” Carlos said. “You know what happens when you defy me.”

Her stomach clenched. Yeah, she knew exactly what happened, but it would be worth it just to spend some time with Tyson. She might have to charge him to keep her pimp happy, but it didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy the man’s company. He treated her like fine china and not like a crappy Styrofoam plate. She was trailer trash and a whore to boot. No one showed her the least bit of kindness, except Tyson Braxton.

“I’ll come to the party when I’m finished here.”

“No. You’ll go home after you’re finished there and you’ll wait for me. I mean it, Dacey. Don’t defy me on this or your punishment will double.”

She knew she could survive his punishments, but double wasn’t something she looked forward to. If he wanted her home after she was finished with Tyson, then that’s where she would go. Her heart thumped in her chest as she clutched her phone.

“I’ll go home,” she said. “Now I need to go. He’s waiting for me.”

Carlos hung up on her, and she slid her phone back into her purse. Her hands trembled a little as she thought about what was going to happen after she got to her trailer, and then she blew out a breath to calm her nerves. The last thing she needed was for Tyson to know what was going on. He might be broody and antisocial, but he also had a sense of right and wrong, and she had no doubt that he would try to protect her. It wasn’t his battle to fight. It was hers.

She pinched her cheeks to add a little color to her face and then carefully walked across the gravel drive to the wide front porch. Her heels sounded like gunshots as she walked up the steps and approached the wood door. Even though Tyson has always told her she could walk right in, she’d never felt comfortable doing that. Pressing the doorbell, she waited for him to answer. There was a bit of cussing on the other side of the portal and then the door was jerked open.

Tyson scowled down at her, his chocolate eyes narrowed and his lips pressed tightly together. Shoving the door further open, he practically jerked her into the house. Dacey stumbled a little on her heels, but before she could topple over, Tyson wrapped an arm around her waist and hefted her over his shoulder. He slammed the door shut, slid the bolt into place, and then carried her to the kitchen with a halting gate.

Dacey clutched at his sides, the thin material of his wife beater warm to the touch. His boots scraped against the hardwood floors. Tyson dumped her onto a wooden chair, and she pushed her hair out of her face. He’d made dinner?

“I thought you might be hungry,” he said as he claimed the seat across from her. “You’re too damn skinny.”

Her cheeks warmed, and she looked down at her plate. He’d filled it with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a biscuit. It wasn’t her fault she didn’t have much weight on her. After Carlos would take his cut, she would be barely left with enough to keep the utilities turned on at her trailer. Thankfully, she owned the rusted piece of crap, so she didn’t have to worry about rent, but running water and electricity were necessities, as was the small window unit she had in her living room.

Dacey took a hesitant bite and then closed her eyes as the flavor of the crisp chicken exploded on her tongue. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d eaten anything so good, and she wished the moment could last forever. Her stomach rumbled in appreciation as she took another bite, chancing a glance at Tyson. His mocha skin looked even darker against the white tank.

“You didn’t have to make me dinner.” She swirled her fork through the mashed potatoes. “But thank you. It’s really good.”

 

About the Author

Paige Warren spends her days weaving tales about alpha male cowboys and the women who love them. There’s nothing hotter than a man in tight Wranglers and a pair of well-worn boots. You have to admit, there’s something sexy about a man who knows how to use a rope!

A cat lover, she has more than one furbaby running around, keeping her company in the wee hours of the morning as she tries to find just the right way to say “His skin gleamed, the early morning rays caressing his sun bronzed flesh, as he studied her from beneath the brim of his Stetson.” Or, you know, something similar.

When Paige isn’t dolling out tons of affection on the furbabies, or slurping down a pot of coffee (Yes! A whole pot!) so she can get in her daily word count, she enjoys reading and watching movies – romances, usually.

Paige’s Website     Facebook     Twitter

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