Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Blitz: The Boys Next Door by Rosalie Lario

The Boys Next Door by Rosalie Lario
Publication date: September 1st 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Life just got a bit more complicated…
After a heartbreaking betrayal, Lexi Ferrell is determined to get far away from her small hometown. So when she scores a scholarship to a prestigious law school in Miami, she jumps at the chance to live right on South Beach. Sun, sand, and an endless stream of beautiful people: who could resist? But her apartment complex provides far more than she asked for…in the form of two yummy new neighbors.

Matt Eisler and Ben Santos are best friends. Nothing could tear them apart...or so they thought. But when Lexi enters their life, neither one can resist wanting to make her his own.

Torn between the hot surfer boy and his exotic Latino roommate, Lexi vows to stay away from them both. But as she soon discovers, Matt and Ben are impossible to resist. And they’ll take her any way they can get her…even if it’s together. Could the three of them ever make it work? Because now that she’s experienced one night of unforgettable passion, the last thing she could ever do is choose between the boys next door.



Excerpt #1
Several hours later, after calling my parents to let them know I arrived safely and unpacking all my belongings, I get ready for the party. Cora and I share a bathroom, and it’s not very big, but the water flow is decent, and it’s light and airy from the jalousie window that faces a patch of overgrown bushes. The downside is the warm stickiness seeping in through the louvers; my skin feels clammy even while under the spray of the showerhead.

This climate is going to take some getting used to.

Giving up the fight against the humidity, I crank the window open to allow the sunshine in, then shampoo my hair. Sudden pressure builds up behind my eyes, surprising me. I’ve kept a tight rein on my emotions these past few months, knowing I’d fall apart otherwise, but with this big move, everything is starting to catch up with me. As beautiful and exotic as it is down here, it feels so strange. I’ve never been more aware that I’m doing this alone.

I miss Eric.

Maybe not him so much as the idea of him. I miss the comfort of knowing I had someone by my side, someone I was going to marry and grow old with, and someone who supported me.

Until I realized it was all a lie.

The tears spill over, slowly rolling down my cheeks, and it pisses me off. I swore after the first two weeks I would never again cry over that jerk. Though I can justifiably reason that I’m also crying because I’ve left the safety of my parents’ home for the first time, I don’t want to give in to these feelings building up inside.

Wiping my tears, I slather some conditioner into my hair and stick my head under the thick spray. I don’t hear the voice until it’s close by.

“That’s what I told her,” says the male voice. It’s rich and deep, with the slightest hint of an accent that causes an automatic tremor along my spine. Given where we are, I place it as a Latin accent. “I don’t think she heard me.”

Frozen in place, I watch as the profile of a man appears in front of my window, no more than ten feet from where I stand in the shower. He’s ambling along the edge of the bushes, speaking into a sleek cell phone. He doesn’t notice me.

Holy mother of god.

He’s beautiful. Like Hollywood beautiful. No, Adonis beautiful. His deliciously tan skin is highlighted by the fact that he’s wearing nothing more than a pair of gray and white patterned board shorts, revealing gorgeous muscles and rippling abs. His dark hair curls the slightest bit along the nape of his neck, and his lips are firm and full.

My body reacts to the sight of him, the muscles in my abdomen coiling with heat and tension. Do they make them all like this in South Beach? If so, I should’ve moved here long ago.

Absently playing with the string of his board shorts, he laughs into his phone. “I’m trying to get used to it.”

A hint of some exotic-scented flower drifts into the shower. It smells wonderful, but lucky me, I’m allergic to about every type of plant there is, so it’s no surprise when I let out a sharp sneeze.


He freezes, and his gaze moves to me. His eyes widen, trailing downward as he turns to face me straight-on.

Mortification sets in when I realize what he has a view of. The bottom of the window sits below my shoulders, but he’s tall and can undoubtedly see several inches below that.
Oh, god. With a delayed response, my hands move up to cover my breasts.

Hot Guy notices and, phone still to his ear, releases a slow grin. “Things are definitely looking up, though.”

My skin grows hot, and I feel a blush burn my cheeks. I stiffen my spine and shoot him a glare, then move my arm to cover my breasts so I can use the other hand to crank the window shut. “Jerk.”

His rumbling chuckle drifts in for a second before the frosted glass cuts off his view.

Excerpt #2
A startled burst of laughter tumbles from my lips. I cover my mouth and turn to the small group who’s stopped right in front of us. Two pretty girls with string bikinis, a brunette and a bottle redhead, surround a guy with honey-toned skin and the most spectacular abs I’ve ever seen. My eyes get stuck there for a moment, memorizing the lines and angles of his ripped muscles. Then I notice his gray and white patterned board shorts, and it hits me where I’ve seen them before. My gaze shoots higher, and my heart gives a sickening lurch.

Dark hair, full lips, molten chocolate-brown eyes and a too-beautiful-to-be-real face.


It’s the guy from earlier, from outside my window. 

His gaze on Cora, he says, “Cora,” in the same tone she used. Then his eyes move to me, leisurely looking me up and down, and he gives me a slow grin. “Shower Girl.”

Mortification sets in as I realize, not only is he acknowledging that horrible, embarrassing situation, but also he’s seen my naked boobs. I stifle a groan.

Jeez, kill me now. 

Cora gives a baffled look from Ben to me, but I’m frozen in place, eyes locked on him as if he’s cast a spell over me. Not even the woefully obvious jealous glares of the two girls flanking him can tear my gaze away. There’s something about him, something arrogant yet mesmerizing.

Finally, I recover enough to snap at him about his rude address. “A nice guy wouldn’t mention something like that.”

One of his thick, straight brows lifts. “Good thing I’m not a nice guy.”

He reaches his hand out for a shake and, like a mindless idiot, I take it. The moment our hands clasp, a bolt of electricity slides through my body, coalescing right between my thighs. I take a shallow, uneven breath. My body doesn’t care that this man isn’t a nice guy. It doesn’t care what he is.

Uh oh.

I didn’t come here looking for trouble, but it looks like it’s found me anyway.

Excerpt #3

Matt and I stand and paddle some more, continuing to take in the ocean life until my arms grow sore. When I roll my shoulders to ease the ache, he notices. “Ready to go back?”

“I guess so.” Part of me would like to stay out here forever. “It’s so peaceful here.”

“I know.” He grins. “Well, we can go out whenever the water’s calm. My cousin owns a surf shop in town, so I just borrow the boards from him.”

“I’d love to do this again soon,” I tell him. Honestly, I can see myself becoming addicted to this hobby.

We paddle back to the shore, letting the gentle wave guide us in the last twenty feet or so, and I hop off and drag the board on land. Across the street, the night scene is picking up. Salsa music blares from one of the restaurants, and the low, steady chatter of people talking and celebrating drifts over on the wind.

Cora might try to drag me out tonight. If so, I’m going to have to turn her down. The craziness of this past week has left me exhausted. All I want to do is climb into bed and sleep for twelve hours.

Setting the oar on the board, I dig through my bag for a towel. I wipe off the ocean spray and turn toward Matt. “Thank you so much for inviting me—”

He closes the distance between us and grasps my face, pressing his lips to mine before I can process what he’s doing.

I freeze at the unexpected contact. His lips are warm, and when my mouth goes slack in surprise he takes that as a cue to briefly flick his tongue inside. It’s a sexy move, and my body responds to it, leaning into him. Before I realize it, my lips move against his, and suddenly we’re kissing for real, our tongues tangling together. It’s soft and hot, and so different from the only other boy I’ve ever kissed that it majorly turns me on.

A quiet sound escapes my throat, and I realize I’ve dropped my towel on the sand. He realizes it too, because his hands slide from my face and down my arms, and he pulls me in closer.

Excerpt #4
Matt turns to me and says, “Lexi, I want to talk about what happened between us a few weeks ago.”

My body stiffens and I suck in a breath as he turns to face me.

A slow smile transforms his features, and he reaches a hand out to cup my cheek. “You’re so difficult to read sometimes.”

“I am?” This comes as a shock to me. Here I’ve been terrified I was too easy to read.

He nods. “Sometimes I think you like me, that you’re interested in being more than friends. But other times, I don’t know.”

“I …” Blinking, I admit, “I don’t know what I want.”

“That’s okay. I know what you went through with your ex. I know how that probably affected you.” His eyes softens, and his voice drops to a whisper. “I want you to know that I’m interested in you. Definitely as more than friends.”

“I know,” I whisper back, then he’s there in front of me. His mouth lowers to mine. I consider drawing back, but before I can figure it out, his lips are on mine, soft and pliant. They coax my mouth open, and his tongue slips inside.

Waves of erotic pleasure glide through my body, meeting right at my hardening nipples and between my thighs. He deepens the kiss, and I barely notice the bottle dropping from my hand to the sand. Caught up in the kiss, I return to reality when he drops his own bottle and closes his hands around my thighs, lifting me to straddle his hips. The thickness of his arousal grazes that sensitive spot between my thighs through our clothes, and suddenly I’m all too aware of what’s happening.

“No.” I tear away from him, almost collapsing as I drop to the ground and stumble backward.

“What?” His expression is tortured. “What is it, Lexi? You’re not a virgin, are you?”

“Huh?” A shocked laugh tumbles from my mouth. “N-no.”

Sighing, he rakes a hand through his hair. “Then what?”

My chest is tight and my stomach rumbles like I’m about to throw up. I can’t keep doing this anymore. I can’t. “I … something happened with Ben.”

Matt stops cold, his eyes going wide in disbelief. “Ben? My roommate Ben?”

“Yes.” Shame spirals through me as I scrub my hands across my face. ”We didn’t mean for anything to happen. It just did. And now I’m so confused.”

He’s silent for a long time, so long I finally get the nerve to look him in the eye. His brows are scrunched together, and he looks bewildered.

“Did you two sleep together?” he finally asks.

“No!” I start toward him, but stop once I realize what I’m doing. “No, we didn’t. We kissed.”

And other things, but I’m not about to go into specifics with him, that’s for sure.

He shakes his head. “When?”

“I-Islamorada. That night you crashed early.” Suddenly cold, I wrap my arms around my waist. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t want to keep it from you, but I didn’t know what to do.”

He glances over the ocean, scrubbing his hand through his hair, then turns back with a sigh. “I don’t know what to say.”

His perplexed tone makes me want to cry. I could have avoided all this had I been honest. Better yet, had I honored my vow to stay away from boys this year. Instead, I’ve screwed it all up, and I’ve hurt a genuine and sweet guy.

I hope I haven’t ruined a friendship as well. I know firsthand what it’s like to lose a friend to betrayal. It sucks. I still miss talking with Amy and hanging out with her. If my friendship with Matt and Ben ends because of my stupid indecision, it will devastate me.

Oh shit, Ben is going to kill me when he finds out.

Suddenly, I have to get away. I have to flee.

“I’m so sorry, Matt.”

Turning on my heels, I race through the sand.

Excerpt #5
            Ben and Matt are nowhere to be found, but I do my best not to notice that as I drink a glass of water. I’m sort of feeling like an idiot for what went down with Matt earlier.

No, strike that. I’m definitely feeling stupid about it.

I all but told Matt I’d be interested in doing both of them.

Jeez. It’s a miracle he didn’t walk away from me right then and there.  

Part of me wants to slink home in shame, but the rest of me is determined to enjoy this party. School is getting more brutal, so lord knows when I’ll go out again. Besides, once I see Matt, I’m going to summon the courage to approach him and let him know I didn’t mean what I said.

At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

It’s well past midnight, and I’m starting to get tired, but the party shows no signs of winding down. To many of these people, it’s probably still early. When the bars stay open until five in the morning, bedtime on party nights like this tends not to arrive until after the sun has already come up.

I was smart enough to switch to water a few drinks back, so I’m out of the drunk zone and into the buzzed phase when a pair of strong arms close lightly around my shoulders. I shoot around to see Matt standing right in front of me and Ben directly beside him. They are both still bare-chested, and they look too delicious for words. My pulse immediately shoots through the roof, and my stomach erupts in a volley of nervous fireworks.

“Hi,” I squeak.

“Come hang out with us,” Matt murmurs, his voice low and hypnotic.

When my gaze darts to Ben, he gives me a hint of a smile and reaches out, grabbing my hand in his.

What is going on?

The fact that they’ve both approached me at once is beyond unnerving.

Swallowing hard, I search out Cora in the crowd of people. She’s totally engrossed in Robby, which makes me relax by a margin.

“Really?” I ask, my shaky voice betraying my nerves.

When Ben turns with his hand firmly in mine, I have no choice but to follow as he guides me through the courtyard and down the path leading to his unit. Matt falls in place beside us, waiting until we slip out of view of the pool to take my other hand in his.

Okay … what is happening?

My confusion is eclipsed only by my nervousness. My whole body shivers with anxiety and anticipation. This whole interplay is new, and I don’t know what to make of it.

We reach the door to their apartment, and Ben turns the knob, leading me inside before releasing my hand. Matt’s body is like a wall of heat at my back, and I’m hyperaware of Ben’s every movement right in front of me. He moves to the living room and, helpless to resist, I follow along.

It’s a mirror to the living room in mine and Cora’s apartment, except the d├ęcor, which is a study in masculine effortlessness. Though the room is dark, there’s enough moonlight streaming through the window for me to make out the black leather couch, the steel-and-glass coffee table, and a wide flat screen mounted on one of the otherwise bare walls. My attention isn’t on the furniture, not when Ben and Matt are sucking up all the air in the room, leaving me lightheaded.

Ben turns to face me, and the look of feral intensity on his face makes me draw up short.

I laugh nervously. “Um, you guys are sort of scaring me—”

He sweeps me into his arms before I can finish and lowers his lips to mine, swallowing my startled gasp. His tongue flicks out against mine, but I’m too shocked to respond, or even move.

Finally, breaking out of my daze, I pull back slightly to look into his eyes. They’re dark and deep and filled with erotic promise, but I’m also all too sensitive to Matt’s presence. When I turn my head to gaze questioningly at Matt, he slides up behind me and sets his hands on my hips, lending me warmth as he bends to whisper in my ear, “Sorry. We didn’t mean to scare you.”

“I don’t understand,” I whisper back, trailing my gaze back and forth between them.

I mean, I do understand, but I can’t believe it. Am I dreaming?

Ben’s hand cups my cheek, turning my head so our eyes meet. “You want me, don’t you?”

His direct question shocks the hell out of me. Powerless to resist, I give a wooden nod.

“And you want Matt,” he says straightforwardly, his chocolate gaze boring into me.

Oh, god. Mortification winds through me. “I …”

Ben’s lips move down to graze lightly along mine. “So we’re giving you what you want.”

Holy crap. My mind is blown. I can’t think straight. Fumbling for words, I manage a weak, “But— ”

Matt’s arms close around my waist, and his chest touches my back. When his lips press against the side of my neck, my legs turn to jelly. If not for the support of his arms, I’d fall right to the ground.

“Don’t over think this,” Matt whispers to me. “Just feel. What do you want?”

His words take me back to my thoughts earlier in the night. I came down here to have new experiences, to live a little. What better than this, something I’ve secretly been dreaming of for months?

That slightly rational part of me screaming, “Bad idea,” can shut up.

“I want this.”

Ben’s eyes grow hooded, and he lowers his mouth back to mine. His lips are like liquid fire, burning me from the inside out, and when Matt’s hands travel up my body, closing around my breasts, my last bit of fight melts away.


Rosalie Lario is the award-winning, paranormal romance author of the Demons of Infernum and the Fallen Warriors series. Rosalie double majored in Anthropology and Classics as an undergraduate student, and briefly considered becoming an archaeologist before realizing they don’t actually live the life of Indiana Jones. So what was a classical geek armed with a lot of useless knowledge to do? Become a lawyer, of course!

After attending law school in Florida, she practiced real estate law for several years before finally admitting to herself that negotiating contracts wasn’t  nearly as fun as dreaming up stories. She never imagined all the mythology she studied would one day make the perfect fodder for the paranormal romance stories she now dreams up!

When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family in their home state of Florida

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