Release Blitz: Ripped by Linden Bell

Ripped
(Mars Fitness #1)
by Linden Bell
Date Released: April 7, 2023

About Ripped
Sometimes heartache is a blessing in disguise.

I thought my life was perfect. I lived with my amazing boyfriend. I worked with my ride-or-die best friend. I was on track to made-it-ville.

Then I came home one day to find my boyfriend sleeping with my best friend.

Now I’m lost with no one to turn to except Donnie, the silver fox who lets me crash at his house until I can figure out what the hell went wrong and how I’m supposed to fix it.

But once I’m there, I’m not sure I want to leave.

Donnie’s a lot older than me and he’s still grieving the death of his husband. My life is a trash fire and my career is non-existent. He’s a svelte spin instructor and I’m a film geek. We couldn’t be more different, but we need each other like we both need to breathe.

So maybe my boyfriend sleeping with my best friend wasn’t the worst thing to happen. Maybe it was the best. It brought me to Donnie.


Ripped is an age gap, nerd/jock, opposites attract MM romance between roommates who cuddle on the couch while watching classic movies. Expect steamy shower rooms, teary confessions, disapproving family, and brand new starts. It is the first book in the Mars Fitness series and can be read as a standalone.

CW: off-page sudden loss of a spouse, off-page homophobia, cheating secondary characters. Happily ever after guaranteed.




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An Excerpt from Ripped
I give the kitchen one last wipe down, then make myself a mug of chamomile tea and bring it upstairs with me. I stop on the second-floor landing. The door to the guest room is open and the light is still on. When I peek inside, I find Connor lying on his side in the middle of the bed, on top of the covers.

He looks so small like that, so defenseless and vulnerable. This big guy, all curled up, his thick thighs tucked against his chest. His dark blond hair is all tousled and his lip is pushed out in that pout.

I set my hand on his shoulder and give him a shake. “Connor.”

His eyes flutter open and reveal light brown irises that remind me of caramel. Warm and sweet and comforting. He stares at me, but I’m not sure if he sees me at all.

“Come on, let’s get you under the covers.” I set my mug aside and tug Connor to his feet.

He moves slowly, loose and languid. He’s probably on the edge of unconsciousness. I get him onto the bed, head on a pillow, and drag the covers over him, making sure they’re wrapped snuggly around him. When I turn to go, his arm shoots out from under the bedding and latches onto my wrist.

“Don’t leave.” His words are slurred with fatigue, but the neediness in them is as clear as a bell. It echoes through me and I can’t tell whether I’m reflecting what he’s projecting or whether I need that comfort too. Either way, I can’t leave him.

I climb onto the bed next to him, the thickness of the covers separating us. Connor immediately molds himself to me, head on my shoulder, arm flung across my body. He rubs his cheek back and forth, breathing in deep like he’s filling himself up on my smell. When he sighs, all the tension melts away and he’s heavy and soft on top of me.

His weight… I close my eyes as my body pushes through the murkiness of a four-year slumber. His hair tickles my chin, his chest rises and falls against my side, his arm is heavy on my stomach, his hand is curled possessively around my hip. I haven’t slept next to anyone since Roger. Hell, I haven’t held anyone as closely as I’ve held Connor since then either.

My brain dumps barrels and barrels of oxytocin into my system, the entire stockpile over the last four years. It feels so goddamn good to have Connor on me, touching me, curled up around me. My skin is all sensitive and tingly. My muscles are liquid like I’ve had a deep tissue massage. And my dick… Christ, my dick roars to life.

I’m hard, achingly hard. From something as simple as having a guy cuddle me in bed. We’re both fully clothed. There’s a thick blanket between us. But all my dick cares about is that I have a man on top of me and it feels fucking good.

Connor is already asleep. He was out the second I laid down with him. The ten extra minutes I stay there are for me. Only me. I let myself enjoy his weight, the softness of his hair, the scent of Mars’s locker room soap that still clings to his skin. I let myself soak it all in, as much of it as I can get, until I’m almost falling asleep myself.




About Linden Bell

Linden Bell writes romance that heats you up and makes you smile. She's a lifelong fan of romance novels and the happily ever after.

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