Cherished By You (LITC, #4) is LIVE + Excerpt!

 Title: Cherished by You (Love in the City #4)
Author: Steph Nuss
Release Date: Oct 7, 2015
Find on Goodreads

“Move in with me,” he said. 

Being cherished is how Tessa Wilder always imagined falling in love. But for years, she’s always gone for the wrong guys. Now that she’s fallen for one of the good ones, she fears rejection.

“I can’t,” she replied.

Justin Jameson quit looking for a woman after being used so many times for his brains. A bit of an introvert and completely oblivious to women’s advances, he can’t even see that his friend cherishes everything about him.

When Tessa needs a place to stay, Justin’s the first to offer her a room. Hearts are opened; feelings are ventured. They’ll finally know what it’s like to be cherished in the city until one moment threatens the relationship they’ve built.

“I can’t lose you.”

I spent the morning at work searching online for apartments, which caused a ball of anxiety to tighten in my stomach as reality smacked me in the face. I knew living in the city was expensive, but I didn’t think it was that expensive. I’d found studio apartments, where the bathroom and kitchen were practically in the same room, and I still couldn’t afford them. I was one second away from a cry fest when Justin Jameson and Carter Jennings walked into Elly’s psych clinic for lunch. Just the sight of Justin in his professor ensemble brightened my day. He paired brown loafers with khaki pants that hung from his lean hips. The navy blue sweater vest over his light-blue plaid button-down highlighted his wiry frame and made his hazel-blue eyes pop against his tan skin. His long, sandy blond hair was pulled back into a low ponytail, his normal work style. To some, his appearance probably wasn’t sexy in the slightest, but it was one of my favorites.    
Ever since Carter had moved back to the city last year, he and Justin spent most of their lunch breaks at Elly’s clinic. It wasn’t too far away from NYU, where they both taught. Now that Carter and Elly were married and expecting their first child together, not a day went by that he missed having lunch with her.
“Hey, Tessa,” Carter said, placing their bags on the table in the lobby.
“Hey, guys,” I said, smiling politely. I was in no mood to have lunch with anyone, even my friends, so I decided to forgo the sandwich I’d packed and continue apartment hunting. “Elly’s last patient just left, so she should be out in a minute.”
“Okay,” Carter said, taking a seat. He started unpacking the lunch he’d brought, a smile proudly stamped across his face. Justin sat across from him, doctoring his sandwich with dressing.
Elly soon appeared in the lobby, rocking an adorable black dress that slightly hid her baby bump. “Hey, guys!”
“Hey, babe,” Carter said, as Justin offered her a silent nod.
She immediately greeted Carter with a kiss and plopped down in the seat next to him. “What’d you bring us today?” she asked, rubbing her belly.
“A turkey sub without mayo this time,” he replied.
“Oh good, because Baby Jennings is not a fan of mayonnaise,” she said with a cringe as she unwrapped the paper. “Did you get the vinegar and oil and oregano?”
Carter laughed. “Of course.”
“I love you,” she said, offering him another kiss. She turned her attention toward me and smiled. “Tessa, are you going to eat with us?”
I sighed and shook my head. “Nah, I’m not really hungry.”
“How are you not hungry?” Elly asked, before taking a bite of her sub.
Well, I wasn’t eating for two, and the reality check of apartment hunting had completely stolen my appetite.
“What are you looking up on there?” Carter asked, nodding toward my computer.
Leaning back in my chair, I gazed over at my friends and confessed. “Trey wants to move out and get a place with a friend, but I told him they could have my place and I would find something. So, I’m apartment hunting now.”
“Are you having any luck?” Elly asked.
“Not really,” I said gravely. “Even the crappier places I’ve found are on the higher end of my budget. I had no idea how expensive apartments were now. Living under rent control will do that to a person.”
“You know, I could give you a raise,” Elly said, smiling genuinely. “But you’ll probably just say you don’t need one, so why don’t you move in with us for the time being?”
“No, I don’t deserve a raise, and I couldn’t do that to you guys. You just got married a few months ago, and you have a baby on the way. Thanks for the offer, but I just can’t.”
“Okay,” Elly said, rolling her eyes. “But the offer still stands. You’re always welcome.”
“I know,” I said, turning my attention back to my computer screen. I decided to widen my search to other boroughs, so I began looking there while they ate in comfortable silence.
“What about Paige?” Elly asked. “She has a spare bedroom at her place.”
“You lived with Paige back in college,” I stated. “You really think she wants a roommate now? She couldn’t wait to find her own place once you guys graduated.”
“True,” she said.
“Speaking of Paige,” Carter said. “Where is she? She usually has lunch with us.”
Paige had texted me earlier, saying she had a lunch meeting for work. Elly and I shared a glance, and then she turned to Carter and sighed. “She had a work lunch she had to attend today, and she’ll probably have them until the baby arrives. She’s avoiding me now that she knows I’m pregnant.”
“Are you serious?” Carter asked, brows furrowed.
“Carter,” Elly warned, shaking her head.
“Whatever,” he stated, taking a bite of his sub. “She needs to get over whatever issues she has with babies. Everyone loves babies.”
“Some people prefer a child-free lifestyle,” she continued. “We’ve talked about this.”
“I know, but she’s one of our friends,” he argued. “All I’m saying is that she shouldn’t feel the need to avoid us for nine months.”
Elly smiled at him and then playfully took a bite of her sandwich and asked with a mouthful, “Can we please drop this so I can go back to enjoying my lunch?”
“Yes,” he laughed, placing a chaste kiss on her cheek. “Fuel up, babe.”
I laughed as I scrolled through the apartment listings. I’d been spoiled for too long, and now I was paying for it. I worked full-time as Elly’s receptionist, and I still couldn’t afford any of these places. I couldn’t imagine what dump Trey and Josh would’ve ended up finding on their measly part-time paychecks.
“Move in with me.”
Turning my head back toward the table, I looked up in shock and found Justin staring back at me. “W-what?”
“I said, you can move in with me.”
I couldn’t possibly live with Justin Jameson, especially not after the sex dream I had starring him the night before. I had the world’s biggest crush on him, and it’d somehow moved into wet dream territory. How the hell was I supposed to live with him?
“I can’t,” I said shyly, shaking my head. “I-um-I don’t know if I can aff—”
“I have an extra bedroom,” he explained. “I’ve never had a roommate before, but I think we could make it work. Plus, I think I speak for everyone when I say I can’t let one of my friends live in a box just because it’s in her budget.”
Great. Now, I’m his charity case.
“Thanks, but I don’t think I can afford even half your rent.”
Justin lived in a nice condo near Washington Square. The building had a doorman and included amenities like a spa and housecleaners. It also had a five-star restaurant and a lounge in the lobby. I probably couldn’t even afford a third of the rent at a place like his.
“You wouldn’t have to worry about rent,” he stated, his smile widening. “I bought the condo years ago, so it’s mine now.”
Of course, he had it paid off already. Justin came from ridiculously smart, rich parents who authored science textbooks now. Apparently, they’d been genius scientists back when he was younger, but they’d since retired to write. He never talked about them and we’d never met them. All I knew was that they passed all of their intelligence on to him, which led to Justin entering college at the age of fourteen. Now, after acquiring several doctorate degrees in various fields, he was 30-years-old and already tenured at NYU.
I didn’t even graduate high school.
“I can’t just live with you for free,” I said, feeling my cheeks heat with embarrassment.
“Why not?” he asked earnestly.
Carter and Elly quietly watched us as if they were watching a tennis match, back and forth, with considerable interest.
“I-I don’t know,” I stuttered, nervously playing with the buttons on my keyboard. “I would feel like I owe you, and I don’t want to be some charity case.”
Justin sat back in his seat and gave me a smirk. “You’re no one’s charity case. You’re my friend.”
My heart sank at the mention of our friendship. Sadly, friends were all we’d ever be.
Get over it already, Tess.
“If it makes you feel better, we can split the utilities or groceries or whatever,” he said, before popping a chip in his mouth.
I watched as he chewed, smiling back at me, and the knot of anxiety that had settled in my stomach quickly crawled up into my throat. His sweetness was one of the things I loved most about him. He would do anything to help anyone. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. But God, it would be impossible to live with him, feeling the way I did about him.
Justin was a man of habit: he wasn’t too keen on change. So, the fact that he even offered me his guest bedroom was a huge step for him, especially since he’d never had a roommate. We were opposites in almost every way. He came from money and intelligence; I came from parents who abused drugs and alcohol. He had several academic degrees; I only had my GED. Where he was the silent observer of our group of friends, I was our social butterfly, always chatting away and eager to go out and have fun.
For years now, I’d believed he deserved a woman more like himself, but my beliefs couldn’t deter my feelings for him. He had no idea how I felt about him, and I chalked it up to his obliviousness to women and the effect he had on us.
“I think this is perfect!” Elly cheered. She gazed over at me excitedly, and I sent daggers her way. She knew how I felt. She knew he favored consistency. Yet, she was encouraging this living arrangement.
“What do you say, Tessa?” Carter asked with a smile.
The three of them stared at me, silently begging for my answer. Justin looked slightly amused, as if he couldn’t figure out why I even had to think about it. Carter appeared as eager as his wife, which made me question what he knew about my feelings toward Justin. Elly’s gaze never waived, pleading with me to agree.
So, I did.
“Okay,” I replied, nodding stiffly.
“Yay!” Elly squealed, clapping her hands. “When can she move in, Justin?”
He laughed, smiling back at me. “As soon as you want. The room is already furnished, but you’re welcome to change anything and make it your own.”
You’re welcome to change anything. Who was this guy and where did Dr. I-Hate-Change go?
“Thanks,” I offered. “I really appreciate it.”
“Maybe we can help you move in this weekend?” Elly suggested.
“No,” Carter rebuked, shaking his head at her. “You will not be helping with anything. You can just sit back and relax with our baby.”
“I’m pregnant, Carter; I’m not debilitated!”
“I know,” he said, sliding his hand over her bump. “I just don’t want anything to happen to either one of you. You can just order us around while we move Tessa in. How does that sound?”
“Perfect!”
“Great,” Justin muttered, unenthusiastically. “Just what we want—a woman ordering us around.”
“Don’t act like you don’t like it, Jameson,” Carter teased, wrapping his arm around Elly’s shoulders and pulling her closer. He placed a kiss on her temple and then stood from his seat. “We should be getting back to work.”
Elly pulled him back down for a longer kiss and then swatted him on the butt. “Okay, I’ll see you later. Love you.”
“Love you,” he said, smiling down at her.
Justin cleaned up the table, discarded their trash, and then came over to my desk and leaned up against it. “So, are we moving you in this weekend then?”
I sighed. “Yeah, I think the sooner, the better. You know teenagers. They want their independence. The sooner I’m out, the quicker Josh can move in.”
“I understand,” he laughed.
Gazing into his beautiful, bright blue eyes, I smiled. “Thanks again for offering me your spare room. I probably would’ve ended up in a box in the Bronx again.”
“You deserve much more than that,” he replied. Then he pushed away from my desk and walked toward the door with Carter. “See you later, roomie!”
Laughing, I waved at them as they exited Elly’s clinic. “Bye, guys!”
Once they were gone, Elly rushed over to my desk and perched on the edge, wearing a huge grin and laughing. “This is probably the best thing that could’ve ever happened to you!”
“No, it’s not,” I muttered, rolling my eyes. “How am I supposed to live with him, Elly? I’ve been in love with him for years, and he doesn’t even know it! He completely ignores any of my advances or flirting.”
“Justin’s introverted,” she explained. “I think once you move in with him, you’ll see a totally different side of each other, and I mean that in a good way. He’s really quiet when we’re all together, but one-on-one, I think he’ll open up to you. He may act like he’s oblivious, but no guy can live with a woman he’s not related to and not think about having sex with her.”
“Oh my God, I never even thought about all the crap he’s going to learn about me. Like my period schedule. Am I supposed to keep my tampons in his bathroom or hide them in my bedroom? See, nothing in his place will be mine! Everything is his because it’s his place that he bought! Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“Yes,” she sighed, rolling her eyes. “And I think you’re freaking out over nothing! Justin is an adult. He knows you have a period. Leave your tampons wherever you want. It’s not like he’s going to have the nerve to tell you to put them somewhere else.”
When I just stared at her, she continued. “I about choked on my food when he said you could move in. This is progress for him, Tessa! He’s never had a roommate before, so he wouldn’t have offered if he didn’t want you there.”
“You know, I’m really starting to hate this positive, no worries side of you,” I mumbled, shaking my head.
“Hakuna matata!” she cheered with a little shake of her hips, causing us both to break out in laughter.
The Love in the City series is about a group of friends looking for love in New York City. Each book is about a different couple, so they can be read as standalones. The stories are told from both the female and male point of views, and they all end in happily ever afters, no cliffhangers here! Finally, all the book covers are different colors to represent a certain awareness or cause that is referenced in each book. Grab the first book in the series, Wanted By You, for FREE today!

 

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ONE: Cover Reveal + Pre-Order

I’m so thrilled to be part of a collection of short stories with so many awesome authors, and today is our cover reveal done by the talented Sara Eirew! The collection will release September 1st, 2015! My contribution is from the Love in the City gang, so if you’re anxiously waiting for Tessa and Justin’s story, you’ll want to check out their prequel in ONE as well as the other short stories by the authors listed below! Also, be sure to sign-up to participate in a share giveaway to win a $10.00 Amazon gift card by clicking here!
Blind Date by Emma Hart ~ Blind Dates are the work of the devil… especially when your date could be the devil. My name is Bee Donnelly, and I’m a serial one-nighter. Carter Hughes is tonight’s Kryptonite.
One Night with Harrison by Heidi McLaughlin ~ Alicia Tucker has had her eyes set on Harrison James from the beginning and all she wants is one night to prove she’s the one for him.
A Vegas Love by Jillian Dodd ~ Boy (so freaking hot) meets girl. On that drunken night, they hook-up (twice), then decide to party in Vegas, and end up getting married. Consummate said marriage (quite a few times) then girl sneaks out in the morning.
Lucky by JM Darhower ~ One night. That’s all Maddalena Bazzoli has left before family duty kicks in. Tomorrow, she’ll be a committed woman, so tonight? Tonight she’s getting lucky and throwing caution to the wind.
One Taste by LP Dover ~ All Luke wanted was one night with the girl he wanted, but didn’t deserve. When he finally gets her, one taste might not be enough. Unfortunately, it’s all he’s going to get.
Before the Wreckage by Melissa Collins ~ It’s been eighteen years since David Andrews has seen Grace McCann. One night she’s in his dream and the next she’s in his reality.
Hold It Against Me by Alivia Anders ~ Alyssa Grace is determined to settle an age-old score, one that Mason Weston will never forget. They say the easier way to get something out of your system is to indulge in the fantasy.
Prelude by Anna Cruise ~ After a fight with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, the last thing Nash needs is a mysterious stranger knocking on his door in the middle of the night. Because as beautiful as she is, their encounter will only be a prelude to much uglier things headed his way.
Thou Shall Not Fall in Love by AO Peart ~ What happens when a frustrated-with-her-love-life professional matchmaker meets a committed-to-celibacy divorce attorney? An explosive and delicious mixture of wild sex and brazen humor neatly wrapped in a friends-with-benefits agreement.
Quintessence by Cameo Renae ~ One night. One stolen moment. One complete stranger. One bite. That’s all it took to change Kate’s life forever.
A Frigid Encounter by Jennifer Foor ~ A winter storm brings a woman and man together during dire circumstances.
One Night Wife by Kelly Walker ~ Cole wants one night with a pretty face before he deploys with his unit in two days, but the last thing he expects is for his childhood crush to open the door. With only one night to spend together, can they make up for a lifetime of missed opportunities?
Only Once by Julia Crane ~ With only months to live, Meghan Clarke throws caution to the wind when she meets an arrogant stranger who makes her feel more alive than she has in years.
A Night Worth Dying For by Lizzy Ford ~ In a city at the mercy of a serial killer, Alicia Donovan takes a chance on a handsome stranger – and will never be the same again. Erotic thriller.
Finding Skye by Morgan Black ~ Skye Kellan just wants a body to snuggle up against during the lonely nights that remind her of a dark past. One night with a potential client, is exactly the release she needs. No nightmares when you don’t sleep, right?
Shattering all the Rules by Savannah Rylan ~ A rare night off. A girls night out. When Simon meets Carolina, neither can deny themselves any longer, and both decided it’s time to shatter all the rules.
Press Your Luck by SE Anderson ~ Marko Veltriv is used to getting what he wants, but there’s always been one thing he knows even he can’t have. Coogan MacNeal is a stranger with a dangerous temptation–one night, indulging in his risky fantasy. How can Marko possibly resist?
Surprised by You by Steph Nuss ~ Tessa Wilder is in for a night of surprises when Justin Jameson offers her a ride home.
Preorder ONE today for just 99 cents! 
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Seven 11 Blog Hop: Naked

Seven 11 blog hop

Happy Saturday, everyone! It’s Seven 11 Blog Hop day, and I’m so thrilled to share a teaser from Tessa and Justin’s story, Cherished By You (Love in the City, #4)! I’ve had so much fun writing them! I promise to have a definite release date for the book and preorder links soon (once I actually finish writing it)! Stay tune for all that good stuff; I will post it here first! For now, enjoy a glimpse into their story:

       Standing before me with the towel still knotted at his waist, the boyish grin on his face grew. “Shower’s all yours.”

“Thanks,” I noted, fully composed.

       “No problem.” He started toward his room, but stopped halfway down the hall and glanced over his shoulder. “Do you mind me asking, what were you doing?” 

I crossed my arms over my robe and shrugged nonchalantly. “Just dancing.”

       “Naked?” he asked curiously, delighting in my discomfort. “In the apartment?”

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GIVEAWAY: The one-year publication of Fantasized By You (Love in the City, #2) is coming up on July 14th, and I’m giving away a signed paperback copy on Goodreads! Click here to enter (open internationally)!

Don’t forget to check out the other authors’ posts this month by clicking on their names listed below! Lots of great giveaways going on as well! Be sure to enter!

Justine Winter

Heather Hildenbrand
(Instagram giveaway for a $70 Amazon GC)

Felicia Tatum

Kayla Smith 
(Happy Book Birthday to Kayla! Return to Pandora releases today! Join her release day party!)

Amanda Aksel
(Giveaway for an ecopy of The Commitment Test)

Our very own, Amanda Aksel is turning 30 today as well! Happy Birthday, Amanda; hope you have an awesome day! To help her celebrate, please consider donating to her charity of choice by clicking here! The money raised will fund clean water projects in developing countries, so you’ll be giving to a wonderful campaign!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend,

Steph

Seven 11 blog hop

iBooks Preorder: Pleasured By You (Love in the City, #3)

Do you remember that New Year’s one-night stand discussed in Fantasized By You (Love in the City, #2)? Well, now you can read about it! Fletcher Haney is now available for preorder on iBooks as is a sample, Pleasured By You (Love in the City, #3), so you can get a little preview of his and Bayler’s sexy time if you’re too excited to wait until release day on March 20th!

Don’t forget to join the release day party and invite your fellow book lovers for lots of fun giveaways and author takeovers from a handful of my favorite writers!

And remember, Wanted By You (Love in the City, #1) is still FREE for a limited time on Amazon, iBooks, and Kobo! So, please share with all of your reader friends so they can fall in love with the Love in the City gang! Speaking of fans, if you haven’t joined Nuss’ Navy, you’ll want to do so now! There are lots of teasers for Pleasured By You posted in the group, and I’ll be doing special giveaways exclusively for the group when March 20th comes around!

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A Cherry-Poppin’ Giveaway!

I met Lauren from CherryRed’s Reads before my first book came out, and she has continuously supported me as a friend, fellow book lover, and book blogger ever since! She’s so passionate about reading, and she helps me get all the NYC stuff in my books correct and showers me with NYC pictures for inspiration; I don’t know what I’d do without her and I cannot thank our friend, Heather, enough for introducing us!

CherryRed’s Reads’ Facebook page just hit 500 likes, and to celebrate, Lauren’s giving away the first signed set of Wanted By You (LITC, #1) and Fantasized By You (LITC, #2) from my Love in the City series plus a I Heart NY tee!

To enter, click on the picture below, and you’ll be directed to Lauren’s blog where you can check out her cherry-poppin’ reviews of both books as well as enter to win these precious beauties! Thank you again for being such devoted book lovers and good luck!

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Thank You

I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for making this month so special for me as a writer. Both Wanted By You and Fantasized By You are listed as best-sellers on Amazon, and that just seriously blows my mind! I’ve also ranked on iBooks, and it’s all because of YOU, so thank you all so very much!

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iBooks US Paid

iBooks Australia Free

iBooks Australia Free

All of your reviews, comments, and messages have been read, and I love hearing from you guys so please keep ’em coming! Thank you so much for all of your support! I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you’re all falling in love with the Love in the City gang! I love them, and I’m so thrilled that most of you feel the same! 

To all of the book bloggers who have participated in my blog tours and helped get the word out about my series, thank you all so much! I’ve said this in my acknowledgements, but I feel the need to say it again, you’re seriously the best pimps a girl could have! Thank you for all the hard work you put in to running your amazing, creative book blogs! 

To all of my readers, thank you, thank you, thank you! Word of mouth is the best way to get a book out there, and when I hear that you recommended my books to a friend and they loved them, it’s seriously the best feeling in the world! You all have such a passion for reading, and I’m so happy you’re sharing my books with your fellow book lovers! I owe all of the achievements mentioned above to YOU! So, thank you for loving what I do and loving my characters and their stories! It truly means the world to me! 

I don’t have a release date for book three yet, but when I do, you’ll be the first to know. And I promise, everything you’ve been wanting to read about will happen in book three! I couldn’t leave you all hanging like that! *wink*

There’s still ONE DAY LEFT to enter my Fantasized By You blog tour giveaway for a chance to win signed paperbacks and gift cards! So, if you haven’t entered or know someone who hasn’t, please share the giveaway with them; the more, the merrier! Plus, who doesn’t love signed paperbacks and gift cards?! Click here to enter!

Thank you, again, for being the awesome readers that you are and for making this month the greatest month in my writing career! I hope the rest of your summer is amazing, fun and safe! I’ll be spending the rest of mine outlining and writing and I can’t wait!

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