Compromise Me #2
By: Samanthe Beck
Releasing November 21, 2016
A Compromise Me novel by USA Today bestselling author Samanthe Beck
Laurie Peterson assumes her impulsive one-night stand with sinfully sexy Sheriff Ethan Booker is the biggest surprise of the year…until her bakery burns down while she’s basking in the afterglow. It looks like her dreams are up in smoke, but then Ethan proposes a deal too tempting to resist.
Ethan has no intention of settling for a one-night stand with Laurie. Nor does he want anything to do with the women his wealthy family wants him to meet. Not when he’s waited ten years for his chance to make his move. His deal might have strings—and Laurie may not know the stakes—but nothing will stop this sexy cop from staking a real claim on her body and her heart.
She turned on less than steady legs and walked to the other side of the room, feeling the weight of his stare on her the entire time. Once there, she planted her feet hip’s distance apart, bent from the waist, and rested her forearms on the bed. “I trust this is interesting enough for you?”
His footsteps fueled her adrenalin. She lowered her head to the mattress, and lifted onto her toes.
“It’s definitely a start. Hand me my belt.”
She raised her head as a hundred imaginary feathers fluttered down her spine. “Your...what?”
“My belt,” he repeated. “It’s right beside you.”
“Give it to me, and you’ll find out.”
If she wasn’t in the mood for this, all she had to do was say so. Booker would let it go, without question. Even knowing this, backing down felt too much like surrender. She handed the strap to him, but couldn’t help adding a caustic comment. “Who would have guessed there were fifty shades of Sheriff Booker?”
His soft laugh stirred invisible molecules in the air around her. “I would never do anything so conventional. Besides”—he folded the belt in half and ran the edge along the back of her thigh—“I think you secretly prefer gentle.”
“I told you before, you don’t have to be gentle with me.”
“You’re tough, huh?” The edge of the belt tickled her skin again.
She faced front and held her position. “That’s right.” Dammit, she was her own worst enemy.
“Okay, tough girl. Be still.”
Wine lover, sleep fanatic, and USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy contemporary romance novels, Samanthe Beck lives in Malibu, California, with her long-suffering but extremely adorable husband and their turbo-son, Hud. Throw in a furry ninja named Kitty and Bebe the trash talking Chihuahua and you get the whole, chaotic picture.
When not clinging to sanity by her fingernails or dreaming up fun, fan-your-cheeks sexy ways to get her characters to happily-ever-afters, she searches for the perfect cabernet to pair with Ambien.
Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS
Date Published: November 9, 2016
Raised in a dysfunctional family, Cassandra Devlyn Ferguson has tried to leave the past behind and carve out a new life with her husband, former Black Ops specialist, Sean Ferguson. Her family's shady business dealings never involved her, and she intends to keep it that way.
Sean wants nothing more than to be a devoted, loving husband. But his new job sends him to the front lines at some of the world's most dangerous spots. For years, he's blamed his Irish wanderlust for the risks, but the truth is ' he enjoys the rush of adrenaline danger brings. When the Devlyn family's mistakes come looking for Cassie, it's up to Sean to bring her home safely.
The one positive? Cassie knows all about her family's true nature and is willing to walk away from everything to stay with him. The negative? Someone wants them dead and will stop at nothing to keep all the skeletons in the closet.
Born in the North, raised in the South, Nancy S Reece grew up surrounded by books. Now living with three horses, three dogs, three cats, two children, and one very supportive spouse, when she isn't writing, Nancy can be found wandering old abandoned buildings looking for inspiration.
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Women's Fiction / Humor
Perfection is a Barbie doll, and, unless you're looking for a guy with a fake smile, a hard head, and no genitalia, then you're better off NOT being perfect―Single Chicas
Single Chicas is a collection of stories about modern Latinas being in, out, and around the zany hurdles of relationships. One woman receives strange calls from a lonely soul, another seeks advice on how to love herself, and another wakes up in a parallel universe to a man she's never met. These chicas will make painstaking effort to survive the complexities with humor and grace.
Once again, López dazzles audiences with her brilliantly candid craft. Smart, witty, and funny, these stories will explore the true endurance of singlehood.
#1: My Brother's Funeral
I'll never forget the day my brother gave me a stroke. Of course, being that he was my little brother, a stroke should've been classified a recurring condition by then. Instead, the most he had ever given me was a chronic eye twitch, which, now that I think about it, may have been an indicator of an on-coming stroke. But, yes, it was definitely a stroke I had when Benito (I always called him Benny) came over that day to tell me he was getting married.
My brain blew a short and my whole body went numb. I think, at one point, the world before me was engulfed in a white flash, and then somehow I ended up on the floor. When I finally got the feeling back in my jaw, the only thing I could muster to say was: "Are you a moron?" The clear answer was "yes." He was a moron. Getting married? Was he out of his freaking mind? Oh, hell yeah! Let's put aside that he was only 19, not even old enough to drink, for god sakes; let's put aside that he'd only known the girl for 6 months, at most; let's even put aside how annoying the girl was and how I couldn't stand her. Why in the hell would he want to hang himself like that? Had he forgotten that marriage is basically a prison? Had he not paid attention to all the disaster stories I'd told him? Broken marriages from all around the table, starting with our parents and going all the way to our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, to damn near everyone else we knew. It all ended the same: divorce, the blissful release from a life sentence.
"Why, Benny, why?"
"Oh, Bea, don't you even start," he retorted with a dismissive wave of his hand. "I don't want to hear your putdowns on marriage…again. I've heard them over and over and over."
"Well, have you heard that marriages basically suck the big weenie?"
"I believe I did hear that from you, yes."
"Well, then tell me why? Why the fuck would you do something like that!?" Oh, I could feel my poor blood pressure rising. Good grief, the boy was going to give me a heart attack. I tried taking in a few calming breaths, but the whole thing was basically useless. I was in total freak-out mode. "C’mon, Benny, tell me, please, because I'm not understanding here. What, did she pull that voodoo-hoodoo crap on you? Did you crack your head on something? Have you just completely lost your mind? C'mon, you gotta give me something here."
With an easy shrug, he said, "Oh...you know."
"No, I don't know!" Okay...one, two, three...breathe. I shot him a stern glance and asked directly, "Did you knock her up?"
He looked at me accusingly, his dark eyes narrowing. "You would think that, wouldn't you?"
"Well, I don't know what else to think."
Benny shook his head with a petulant eye roll. I know that eye roll. It's the same one he pulls whenever someone tells him to pick up his socks or wash his hands. In a huff, he simply stated, "No. I didn't knock her up."
"Because she's just..."
"What? Say something."
"You know..." At a loss for words, he paused then added, "she's just so...you know...great."
A literary master at work here. "Great? What's so great about her?"
He shrugged his shoulders.
"That's a good answer," I inserted wryly.
"Well, I can't think with all these questions," he snapped.
"I'm sorry, do you need a minute? I mean, I know I'm throwing really hard questions at you. Worse than poking your nose or scratching your balls, evidently."
"Why you gotta be like that, huh?"
"Hey, I'm not the one ruining my life here. I'm not the one going after those little titties."
Pulling his "talk to the hand" gesture, Benny turned to walk away.
"Furthermore," I continued, following on his ass, "she calls you forty times a day, she has you running to her every time she cries at all hours of the night, and she's dragging you to all these girly places you wouldn't be caught dead in, even if you were dead. Plus, she's annoying, she's rude, she's just plain crazy. Face it, she's nothing but a big, bi—"
"Okay, Bea, that's enough!" he yelled, twisting around to face me. For a long time, he stood there staring down at me, his nostrils flaring, his jaw tightening. I could tell he was getting pissed. What guy wouldn't? I was basically pointing out that his girl was wearing his huevos like a necklace.
"Look, bottom line: she treats you like a slave. She will ruin your life. She's gonna suck you dry 'til there's nothing left of the old Benny. Seriously, get out of this thing and go live your own life. C'mon, before it's too late."
He stood there in brooding silence for a moment, his gaze lingering on his sneakers. Then, looking back up at me in resignation, he said, "She really wants this."
"What do you want?"
"I want to make her happy."
"But what's gonna make you happy?"
Biting his lower lip, my brother shifted awkwardly, his head hung low. He had no words.
"She's already started planning with her mom," he shot out, tearing his eyes from the floor.
"Who cares!? Just don't do it."
"But I already told her I would."
"Oh, god!" My frustration had mounted to unbelievable heights. Oy, there go those chest pains again. The boy was definitely killing me here. But what else could I do? I swear he was as loyal as a dumb dog, and he was bound and determined to live out his days with his tail between his legs. I knew then that he wouldn't back out on her for any reason. Not even if she was kidnapped, I don't think (although that was an idea that crossed my mind.)
I stood quiet for a moment, taking long calming breaths. Then I looked up at him, disappointment drawn on my face, and said, "You're making a big mistake."
That day I told my brother not to expect me at his funeral.
Sandra C. López is one of today's influential Latina authors in Young Adult literature. Her first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college. Since then she has published several other books, including the Single Chicas series. She was named as one of "2011 Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch" by Latino Stories, and her book, Beyond the Gardens, was a Silver Medal winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards in Multicultural Fiction and a finalist in the Int'l Latino Book Awards. Art, literature, and travel are her passions, and she aims to keep doing them as long as she can.
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Two years after the avalanche everyone thought had claimed her life, Ruby Prescott returns to the remote Alaskan town of Love. And no one is more ecstatic than her husband, Liam, and their young son.
Even if amnesia has robbed Ruby of her memories, she's soon woven back into the fabric of their lives.
As they celebrate the holiday season, Ruby is falling head over heels for the man she's told was the love of her life. But she can't escape the feeling that there's something Liam is keeping a secret.
Will the return of her memories tear them apart for good—or will this be a Christmas she'll never forget?
After two years of mourning the loss of the love of his life, Liam gets the shock of a lifetime - Ruby is alive, just can't remember him or their life together. This is the basis for a different, unique kind of second chance story as Liam and Ruby are trying to find out will the new memories be enough to build a future on, or are the shadows of the past always going to be around.
I can't imagine the agony and angst Ruby must live with, knowing that everyone else has a point of reference that she has no clue of. Her struggle was well described without giving it the spotlight in the story. Her uttermost faith in God, and trusting Him to guide her through the struggle, the maze her life turned into, was admirable and her way of dealing with the hurdles were logical and real.
Liam and Ruby were both characters easy to like, they both seemed straightforward and uncomplicated, but deeper waters were running there. As they reacquaint themselves with the other again, not all the revelations are perfect and pleasant and they have to find a balance and compromise to move forward, to find peace.
I admired their faith, their trust in God, the love for the family and community is apparent. The emotions were high as expected with this kind of storyline, but the overly emotional moments less frequent as people started to understand the challenges the family faced with their new chance to do life with Ruby again.
From sweet fun with the family to tender love in the romance, Christmas traditions, and Alaska life, the story takes a journey that will test the faith, but through the fire delivers with a new hope and an even better chance for the future if you just hold on to your convictions and make few adjustments on your priorities.
~ Four Spoons
“I will pay you to sleep with my wife.”
Jarrah Miyan, a young half-caste aboriginal man, is supposed to seduce a white woman into an affair so her greed-driven husband can gain full control of her inheritance, including the rare collection of black opals she keeps under lock and key. When he walks into the study to meet the poor chit he’s to take advantage of, he expects to find an aging woman who smells of stale perfume and gin. Who he finds though is the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on—the same woman whose pale thighs had been wrapped around him just a few hours earlier as she’d begged him to give her pleasure.
After their night of passion together, Emily Holtz doubted she would ever see Jarrah again. To have him standing before her now, asking for employment at her cattle station, was not a situation she had prepared herself for. She agrees to hire him on one condition. He has to spy on her husband and get her the incriminating evidence she needs to apply for a divorce. She’s spent years in a miserable arranged marriage, and she’s desperate to escape. But her husband is a dangerous man, and he will stop at nothing, including murder, to get what he wants.
As they begin to develop feelings for each other, Jarrah worries about what will happen when Emily discovers that he’s been working for both her and her husband. Not that they could ever really be together, as society would never accept that.
Content Warning: contains sex, strong language, and some violence
Genre(s): Historical Romance / Interracial Romance
Lifting the pillow to his nose, he breathed deep the sweet scent he knew to be Emily’s. His senses instantly responded, his groin aching for the mere touch of her skin against his again.
“My husband and I don’t share a room, Jarrah,” she remarked from the doorway, forcing him to turn around suddenly. “You’ll find no trace of him in here. If you wish to search through his belongings, then you’ll have to go down the hallway.”
“I have already inspected his room,” he replied, placing the pillow neatly back on her
“Then what are you doing in here?”
He walked toward her, his steps measured. “I want to know who you are. I want to know why a woman as beautiful as you was burdened with a husband who doesn’t love her.” Stopping before her, he lifted his hand to her face, his fingers caressing the soft skin of her cheek. “And I want to know what sort of business requires your attention at such a late hour?”
Emily took a step back from him. “You’ll find none of the answers you seek in this room, Jarrah.”
“Then why don’t you tell me what I want to know, Emily?” Jarrah begged, aching to pull her back to him. “Please.”
He watched the beauty of her face as she smiled slightly at him, and for a moment, he thought she might tell him at least some of her secrets. Slowly, she shook her head.
“You don’t want to hear what I have to tell you,” she said firmly as she went to walk past him and into her room.
His hand came out, gripping her elbow, stopping her. “I want to know where you were tonight,” he said again, more insistent this time.
“Why?” she asked, her stare holding his. “Why would you care how or where I spend my nights?”
He felt as if he were drowning in the greenness of her eyes, a feeling so very unfamiliar to him. How was he to explain to this woman that he did in fact care quite a lot about her whereabouts when he didn’t even understand it himself?
“Because…” He paused, knowing what he was about to admit. Never before had he allowed himself such a familiar feeling toward any woman. He hadn’t intended to now either, but studying Emily’s slightly freckled, pale skin, her brilliant red hair highlighting her exquisite features, Jarrah knew he could no longer deny what he was feeling. Letting out a steadying sigh, he knew he had little choice but to tell her the truth. “I care because I don’t want you visiting other men and luring them into your bed.”
She raised her brow, her expression unfaltering. “And is that where you think I’ve been the last couple of hours? Trying to lure men to come home with me?”
Faye Hall's passion driven, mystery filled books are set in small townships of North Queensland, Australia during the late 1800's.
Each of her novels bring something symbolically Australian to her readers, from Aboriginal herbal remedies, to certain gemstones naturally only found in this part of the world.
Each of her books tell of a passionate connection between the hero and heroine, surrounded and threatened by deceit, scandal, theft and sometimes even murder.
These romances swerve from the traditional romances as Faye aims to give her readers so much more intrigue, whilst also revealing the hidden histories of rural townships of North Queensland.
Faye finds her inspiration from the histories of not only the township she grew up in, but the many surrounding it. She also bases most of her characters on people she has met in her life.
Faye was able to live her own passion driven romance, marrying the love of her life after a whirlwind romance in 2013. Together they are raising their 9 children in a remote country town in northern Queensland, Australia.
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Forbidden Men #9
By: Linda Kage
Released November 17th, 2016
Don't you just hate it when someone destroys all your carefully made plans?
I mean, I had goals: college to graduate in one semester, a future I was working hard to reach, and an image of myself I wanted the world to see. My life was stacked into these precisely placed blocks. But then Colton Gamble came along and knocked them all askew.
I hated how he messed everything up, how he could hog all my attention whenever he was around, how he made my pulse quicken--but only because he ticked me off...not because I was attracted to him. Oh! And I hated how he knew how attractive he was too, the shallow, full of himself, doesn't take no for an answer, too-flirty, too cocky, extremely irritating jerk.
The boy had all the qualities that turned me off. Or so I thought.
One night he wasn't quite the brainless, over-confident jerk I usually took him for.
One night, he took care of me when I was at my lowest. He opened up to me and made me open up to him.
Now I'm learning maybe he's not what I first thought he was. And maybe I'M not what I first thought I was. Maybe it’s okay to rearrange a couple of my perfectly set blocks. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop worrying about what I’m afraid everyone else will think and finally reach for something I really want. It’s possible some of my plans need to be destroyed, and Colton Gamble is exactly the kind of mess I need in my life.
What do you think? Should I give him a try?
Desperately seeking your advice,
“Juli can’t stop staring at you tonight.”
“Juli?” That name perked me to immediate attention. “Julianna’s here?”
I followed Asher’s gaze to a dimly-lit table in the back corner that bordered the dance floor. It was empty save for one individual, one of the loveliest individuals to grace the planet.
I have no clue how she did it, but Julianna Radcliffe always managed to look equal parts disdainfully untouchable and wet-dream sexy.
Tonight, her dress was pure sin. She wore a long, strapless light gray number that had a front slit, exposing a perfectly toned leg most the way up her thigh and a bustier top that hugged proud, ample breasts. The paleness of her dress made the tone of her skin appear even darker than usual, which made my stomach knot with tension because I yearned to investigate all that dark-dark skin, see how it felt under my hands, how it tasted against my tongue, how it trembled when I stroked it.
Yet I knew without a shadow of a doubt there was no way that would ever happen, because that lady right here was a ball breaker. You could tell it by the straight-backed, poised way she held herself, as if she might as well be behind a boardroom table, doling out punishments to her inferior insubordinates, and by the way she had no tolerance for stupidity or players. I swear, her stare alone could shrivel a guy’s family jewels to impotent nothingness. I usually had the itching urge to cover my junk whenever I talked to her.
And yet she was an irresistible challenge to idiots like me. Not just because she was model-worthy stunning, which she was. Nothing on her was ever out of place; it always struck me with the urge to mess her up…in the best ways possible. But because I felt the need to be the exception to the rule, the one who got past her defenses and scaled that impossible mountain.
I glanced at him, forcing my brain back to the problem at hand, that being Julianna and her inability to take her eyes off my newly married brother. “Hasn’t it been months since you and she were over?” I asked, confused.
He sent me a sharp glance. “Over? We never started. There’s nothing to be over. Juli and I didn’t even finish the one date we went on.”
Asher sniffed. “Well, it looks as if she’s still willing to finish it.”
“Dammit.” Brandt glanced toward his wife. “I hope Sarah doesn’t see her watching me. I don’t want anything upsetting her on our wedding day.”
Asher shook his head. “So, why’d you even invite Juli?”
“I work with her.” Brandt moodily tugged at the collar of his tux.
It seemed odd to me that someone so classically beautiful worked in a nightclub as a bartender. To me, Julianna clearly belonged on a runway, displaying the latest fashion, or--
“It would’ve been strange to invite everyone else and leave her out. Besides, we’re still friends. She’s probably my favorite coworker.”
“Hey,” Asher muttered, offended since he occasionally bartended at Forbidden with Brandt too.
Brandt rolled his eyes. “You don’t count.”
But that only seemed to confuse Asher more. “Why don’t I count?”
Ignoring him, Brandt brought his hand up to his mouth so he could chew on his thumbnail. “We need to distract her somehow. Someone needs to...” Trailing off, he turned slowly toward me, and the intent in his gaze was pretty damn clear.
I paused mid-sip. “Wait, what? You can’t possibly want me to distract her?”
Linda Kage grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and nine cuckoo clocks.
Her life's been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing's always been a major part of her world, and she is so happy to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS
With two kids and an active life, widow Faith Dustin only wants peace and quiet for Christmas. But her snowy Pine Gulch ranch is nothing but chaotic. All that keeps Faith going is her helpful neighbor, cowboy Chase Brannon. He's always been "good ol' Chase," her faithful friend. Until he kisses her under the mistletoe…
Years ago Chase blew his chance with the woman he's loved since childhood. Now he's determined to step out of the friend zone…and into the role of husband. But the scared and stubborn Faith won't let herself fall. With Christmas just days away, Chase will need all the magic of the season—and the help of her two matchmaking children—to unwrap a second chance at love.
There's nothing better than your dearest oldest friend, they are always there for you. But if that person also happens to love you, is the possible chance of romantic relationship worth to risk the friendship? Faith didn't think so when it came to Chase.
I found this story somber, and more than that, the romance left me wanting, for me it felt incomplete as it was, even with the epilogue. And that made me little sad because I had set such a high hopes for this Christmas novel.
The friendship between Faith and Chase had been tested through fire over the years. That was solid, unwavering, something you could always count on. And the way Faith acted, Chase was a saint. So understanding, kind, giving, generous, patient, tolerant, you name it.
And I understand the fear Faith was facing, considering all the loss in her life, the possibility of loving again was terrifying to her. What I really didn't like in the story was the matchmaking Faith was doing. Boldly pushing Chase to another woman, again and again even after his feelings towards Faith were clear. The was so disrespectful and rude, I couldn't get over it. Thankfully for Faith, Chase is a better person than I am.
There's children, puppies, horses, and Christmas cheer. All the trimmings to a wonderful celebration. But the story mostly focuses on the inner battle Faith is having about not wanting to love again or change anything on the relationship she has with Chase, thus, there's no development of the relationship in the tale, but lots of woman's melancholy battle of moving on with life after series of devastating losses in her life.
So along these lines, it does give a different kind of Christmas story, more fitting to the women's lit than romance genre. But the children are cheerful, there's good will towards the neighbors, there are puppies born, Christmas wishes comes true, and lots of good eating around the family table, while pondering about life and the future and change and possibly even romance...
~ Three Spoons
I Wish You Were Mine
By: Lauren Layne
Released February 2, 2016
A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage.
Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.
Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.
“You seriously didn’t have to hire movers,” Mollie said for the hundredth time as she watched two burly dudes easily maneuver yet another stack of boxes to Jackson’s guest room.
Jackson pointed at a barstool. “Sit. Relax. Want a beer?”
“No, I still need to unpack,” she muttered, reluctantly plopping onto the stool.
“Have a beer, Molls. Unpacking your nightstand contents isn’t like operating heavy machinery,” he said, going to the fridge and pulling out two beers.
“Clearly you don’t know what’s in my nightstand.”
Jackson lifted his eyebrows. “Exactly how big is your vibrator?”
“I meant I have like a zillion books.”
“Which are not breakable,” he said, handing her a beer. “And is that a no on the vibrator?”
She gave him a look as she took the bottle from his hand. “I just want to state for the record that I have moved several times, on my own, without the help of movers, and I could have done it again.”
“Moving yourself is for college kids. You’re an adult. Hire movers.”
“No, moving yourself is for people without extra income,” she said. “Snob.”
“So what was the plan?” he asked, tipping the bottle to his lips. “You were just going to maneuver all those big-ass boxes around with those skinny sticks you call arms?”
“Don’t be silly. I was going to hire some big beefy dudes from campus to help me. Perk of working at a university.”
Jackson was about to set his bottle on the counter but his hand froze, just for a second, and Mollie felt a sting of regret as she realized she’d inadvertently hit a nerve. Not so long ago, Jackson Burke had been absolutely the type of muscled guy friend who’d’ve been really helpful to have around on moving day. Her eyes flitted to his shoulder. Now he was the guy who wouldn’t be doing any heavy lifting for a long time. Maybe ever.
She looked away, her brain scrambling to come up with a quick subject change.
Only maybe that wasn’t what he needed—for people to dance around his injury like it was the elephant in the room. Physically, he was on the road to recovery. He needed to get there mentally as well.
“You said the other night that it didn’t hurt,” she said. “Was that a big macho man moment?”
He stared at the counter. “I’ve told you. It’s fine.”
She rolled her eyes. “Please. Be a little more vague and manly.”
“Well, what do you want me to say, Molls?” he ground out. “That the pain wakes me up at night? That any motion more vigorous than brushing my teeth hurts like hell?”
“Are you going to physical therapy?” she asked, purposely ignoring the wounded-bear routine. That might scare off other people, but she was made of stronger stuff. Knew him better.
He looked away.
He shrugged. “What does it even matter? All the PT in the world isn’t going to help me play football again.”
“Well, gosh,” she said dramatically, “you may as well be dead.”
Jackson was in the process of taking a sip of beer and choked. “Jesus. You are such a smart-ass.”
“I’m just saying, you have a lot going for you,” she said, gentling her tone. “You don’t need a football in your hand or to help a girl move to be an amazing guy.”
“Yeah?” he said as he leaned on his forearms across the counter. “Want to tell me more about how I’m an amazing guy?”
If I did, I might never stop.
Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.
In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.
In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.
For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!
Author Links Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest
This cowboy can handle the heat…
For cowboy and firefighter Jake Ramsay, Christmas at Thunder Mountain Ranch is all about family, food and celebration. Okay, and maybe a chance to run into his high school sweetheart, singer Amethyst Ferguson. Six months ago, they had a scorching-hot, wild reunion…and this cowboy can't wait for another chance to play with fire.
Now their sexual attraction is an insatiable, five-alarm blaze that's only grown more addictive. But Amethyst has career dreams that don't include Jackson Hole, Wyoming, or a "relationship." Whatever this is between them, however real it feels, it can never become anything more. Once Christmas is over, Amethyst must walk away…even if they both get burned.
What a lovely Christmas time at the Thunder Mountain Ranch. I have enjoyed every book in the series, they are full of a family of heart, cheer and jubilee of life, steamy romance, and enticing, charming characters. And Cowboy Unwrapped doesn't disappoint either.
The connection between Amethyst and Jake is scalding hot, the innocent high school attraction has turned into a fervor of desire and they are more than willing to act on it. But when it comes to making their relationship into more than that, that's where they have a difference of an opinion.
The story is a well-balanced mix of Amethyst and Jake getting it on and getting to know each other better,
family Christmas activities, visiting on the ranch and getting to know Amethyst's family better. I love how everyone is connected to the Thunder Mountain ranch one way or the other.
The future is on the display, how, when, and where will Amethyst go about her music career and will Jake, a relationship and a possible family have room in her future dreams and plans.
Ardent and earnest fling turns into a thing, the feelings grow deeper yet do the emotions have a say when pondering about the future goals and dreams? Is this just a sexy fling heating up the snowy holidays, or do they have something worth building upon, worth making a plan for a more permanent solution with deep grown affection?
Entertaining, alluring, intriguing, imaginative story of Amethyst and Jake heating up the Christmas holiday while making some serious future decisions
~ Four Spoons
Countdown to a Christmas Baby
After Vivian Grainger buys him at the town's charity bachelor auction, Nick McKenna feels obligated to provide his carpentry skills. He'll help the bubbly blonde construct her dream spa and beauty shop in time for Christmas but the burly cowboy won't be sticking around.
When he realises Vivian is pregnant, though, everything changes. Seeing the joy she brings to everyone around her despite the difficulties she's overcome, it's clear to Nick that Vivian and her child are what's missing from his life.
As they build her dream shop together, Nick will do his best to build a path to Vivian's heart.
A very cute and sweet story filled with good deeds, Christmas cheer and a small town that will pull together to support their own.
I liked the tone of the tale, when the whimsical moods of the pregnant Vivian and the grouchiness of Nick put together, there were lots of smiles while I was reading the book. Vivian is filled with the sunshine and positive thinking, hope for tomorrow, and faith in God's guidance. Yet she has a weakness to think lose her faith in Nick and fumbles to think the worse of him couple times causing stress and trouble.
Nick is a complex person. His former relationships have given him a reputation, and by helping Vivian he is determined to change his stature in town. He is all about good deeds, sacrificing for others and taking care of Vivian. The feelings they have for each other grow slowly on the side with baby G, as the spa takes form and the town prepares for the new business.
The devoted relationship between Nick and Vivian is steadfast and true. They rely on their faith in God, as they are building their future, their relationship, and preparing the world Baby G will be born into. The kindness is overflowing, the charm has no limit, the tender feelings are fragile but taking a steady root. A delightful and gentle story that put a smile on my face and underlined the upcoming holiday season's true meaning in a beautiful way.
~ Four Spoons
A Sexy Standalone Romance
By: Melissa Foster
Releasing November 9, 2016.
World Literary Press
He wore the skin of a killer, and bore the heart of a lover...
There's nothing Truman Gritt won't do to protect his family--Including spending years in jail for a crime he didn't commit. When he's finally released, the life he knew is turned upside down by his mother's overdose, and Truman steps in to raise the children she's left behind.
Truman's hard, he's secretive, and he's trying to save a brother who's even more broken than he is. He's never needed help in his life, and when beautiful Gemma Wright tries to step in, he's less than accepting.
But Gemma has a way of slithering into people's lives and eventually she pierces through his ironclad heart. When Truman's dark past collides with his future, his loyalties will be tested, and he'll be faced with his toughest decision yet.
TRUMAN GRITT LOCKED the door to Whiskey Automotive and stepped into the stormy September night. Sheets of rain blurred his vision, instantly drenching his jeans and T-shirt. A slow smile crept across his face as he tipped his chin up, soaking in the shower of freedom. He made his way around the dark building and climbed the wooden stairs to the deck outside his apartment. He could have used the interior door, but after being behind bars for six long years, Truman took advantage of the small pleasures he’d missed out on, like determining his own schedule, deciding when to eat and drink, and standing in the fucking rain if he wanted to. He leaned on the rough wooden railing, ignoring the splinters of wood piercing his tattooed forearms, squinted against the wetness, and scanned the cars in the junkyard they used for parts—and he used to rid himself of frustrations. He rested his leather boot on the metal box where he kept his painting supplies. Truman didn’t have much—his old extended-cab truck, which his friend Bear Whiskey had held on to for him while he was in prison, this apartment, and a solid job, both of which were compliments of the Whiskey family. The only family he had anymore.
Emotions he didn’t want to deal with burned in his gut, causing his chest to constrict. He turned to go inside, hoping to outrun thoughts of his own fucked-up family, whom he’d tried--and failed—to save. His cell phone rang with his brother’s ringtone, “A Beautiful Lie” by 30 Seconds to Mars.
“Fuck,” he muttered, debating letting the call go to voicemail, but six months of silence from his brother was a long time. Rain pelleted his back as he pressed his palm to the door to steady himself. The ringing stopped, and he blew out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d trapped inside. The phone rang again, and he froze.
He’d just freed himself from the dredges of hell that he’d been thrown into in an effort to save his brother. He didn’t need to get wrapped up in whatever mess the drug-addicted fool had gotten himself into. The call went to voicemail, and Truman eyed the metal box containing his painting supplies. Breathing like he’d been in a fight, he wished he could paint the frustration out of his head. When the phone rang for the third time in as many minutes, the third time since he was released from prison six months ago, he reluctantly answered.
“Quincy.” He hated the way his brother’s name came out sounding like the enemy. Quincy had been just a kid when Truman went to prison. Heavy breathing filled the airwaves. The hairs on Truman’s forearms and neck stood on end. He knew fear when he heard it. He could practically taste it as he ground his teeth together.
“I need you,” his brother’s tortured voice implored.
Need me? Truman had hunted down his brother after he was released from prison, and when he’d finally found him, Quincy was so high on crack he was nearly incoherent—but it didn’t take much for fuck off to come through loud and clear. What Quincy needed was rehab, but Truman knew from his tone that wasn’t the point of the call.
Before he could respond, his brother croaked out, “It’s Mom. She’s really bad.”
Fuck. He hadn’t had a mother since she turned her back on him more than six years ago, and he wasn’t about to throw away the stability he’d finally found for the woman who’d sent him to prison and never looked back.
He scrubbed a hand down his rain-soaked face. “Take her to the hospital.”
“No cops. No hospitals. Please, man.”
A painful, high-pitched wail sounded through the phone.
“What have you done?” Truman growled, the pit of his stomach plummeting as memories of another dark night years earlier came rushing in. He paced the deck as thunder rumbled overhead like a warning. “Where are you?”
Quincy rattled off the address of a seedy area about thirty minutes outside of Peaceful Harbor, and then the line went dead.
Truman’s thumb hovered over the cell phone screen. Three little numbers--9-1-1— would extricate him from whatever mess Quincy and their mother had gotten into. Images of his mother spewing lies that would send him away and of Quincy, a frightened boy of thirteen, looking devastated and childlike despite his near six-foot stature, assailed him.
Push the buttons.
Push the fucking buttons.
He remembered Quincy’s wide blue eyes screaming silent apologies as Truman’s sentence was revealed. It was those pleading eyes he saw now, fucked up or not, that had him trudging through the rain to his truck and driving over the bridge, leaving Peaceful Harbor and his safe, stable world behind.
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women's fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page.
Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Folly and Forever
Omega Mu Alpha Brothers #3
By: Kimberly Loth
Releasing November 16, 2016
Bethany McAlister loves that house more than life itself and will do anything to keep it. Even if she can’t begin to afford the taxes on it.
When a notice arrives informing her that her house is about to go to auction she desperately takes on a roommate, but gets a surprise when the dead sexy Jamie Green shows up on her doorstep to take her spare room.
Jamie brings not only much needed cash, but more problems than Bethany cares to take on. But then he presents a proposal that can fix both their problems—get married.
Will she say yes and risk her heart or no and risk losing her home that means so much to her?
In the backseat his dog, Hexa, whined. She could see the yard. He let her out, and she rolled around in the grass. At least she’d be happy here. He opened his trunk and stared at the house. The waves crashed behind it, and the air smelled of salt. Yeah. He’d love it here.
The house was three stories, painted a soft yellow with green accents. Three porches framed the massive stairway that lead to the front door. Most of the houses on Folly Beach had garages under the house and the front door on the second floor.
Before heading up the stairs, he stepped back and snapped a few pictures with his camera. That would be for him. To document his time here. He hoped this would be a good several months. They’d be hard, but rewarding. He looked down at the paper in hand. Bethany Davis was his new roommate.
He left Hexa in the yard and headed up the stairs to the double glass front doors. No privacy there. He rang the bell and saw a flurry of movement, and the door opened. He found himself face-to-face with a woman who was five foot nothing, with ice blue eyes and a messy brown knot on the back of her head. She must be Bethany. Her wide eyes opened even wider when she looked him up and down and checked out his two suitcases. She was cute, but not his type. Thank goodness. He couldn’t afford distractions, and in spite of his recent efforts, he wasn’t too good at avoiding them.
“Um, come in,” she finally said. “The bedroom is around the corner.” She wouldn’t look him in the eye, and he was instantly curious. Her posture indicated confidence, but the lack of eye contact did not.
He whistled for Hexa and dragged his two suitcases into the house. He waited for his dog and then shut the door. She made a beeline for Bethany, and jumped up on her, putting her paws her shoulders. Dobermans weren’t heavy, forceful dogs, but Hexa was tall. His cheeks flushed with embarrassment. Good way to meet his new roommate. She’d be liable to kick him out now.
He dropped his suitcases to rescue her. To his surprise though, she was laughing, and instead of pushing Hexa away, she got on the ground to play. She didn’t even look up at him.
He glanced down, and without meaning to, right into her shirt. She had nice cleavage, but he closed his eyes. He did not come to Charleston to get involved with another woman. Besides, she totally wasn’t his type. He preferred his women tall and blonde. At least that's what he told himself. Maybe Miss Bethany would be more distracting than he originally thought.
“Are you okay with her? I’m going to put the suitcases in the bedroom.”
She nodded and pointed to the open door, off the foyer.
The old house had white pinewood floors and light blue walls. It seemed to have a beach theme, with shells scattered on the side tables. An old southern staircase led up to the third floor.
He hauled his suitcases into the bright and spacious bedroom with a balcony. His face fell when he saw the bed though. It was a tiny daybed, clearly meant for a child. There was no way his six-foot-four body would fit on it. He snapped a few pictures of the room and sent a quick text to his assistant. She’d order him something decent to sleep in.
Hexa barked, and he went out to investigate, but both Hexa and Bethany were gone. He walked past the stairs and into a living room. In the kitchen Bethany was sitting on the floor with Hexa, doing tricks for treats.
“She’s well-trained,” Bethany said, keeping her eyes on the dog. This would not do at all. He couldn’t live with her if she wouldn’t even look at him. Well, he could, but it wouldn’t be very fun.
“Yeah, she is.” He crouched down next to Hexa in the hopes that he could at least get another glimpse of Bethany’s eyes.
She kept her hands and gaze on Hexa. “It was nice of you to bring in Jamie’s stuff for her. Is she here yet?”
He creased his eyebrows. “I’m Jamie.”
Bethany continued to pet Hexa and then stood slowly. She opened and closed her mouth. Then she looked him in the eyes for the first time. Her pupils were huge, nearly causing the blue to disappear. “I’m sorry. I told the agency I would only accept females. I think there has been a misunderstanding. You can’t stay here.” She reached around him and reached for her phone.
He grabbed her hand. The one with the phone. He needed to reassure her that he wasn’t dangerous. Her hand was ice cold, and she sucked in a hard breath.
Kimberly Loth can’t decide where she wants to settle down. She’s lived in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Utah, California, Oregon, and South Carolina.
She finally decided to make the leap and leave the U.S. behind for a few years. After living in Cairo, Egypt for 2 years, she's decided to go to the Far East and currently calls Shenzhen, China home. She loves romantic movies, chocolate, roses, and crazy adventures.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
A GIFT AS BIG AS TEXAS
Molly Griffith is ambitious and only wants to give her little boy the opportunities she never had. Which means moving to Dallas, no matter what Chance Lockhart says! Though being with the handsome rancher does make the idea of small-town life more tempting…
Molly has always gotten under Chance's skin, and now that he's bonded with her little tyke, he can't imagine Bullhaven Ranch without them. But the single mom is so focused on her big-city fairy tale, she could miss Chance's offer of the most important gift of all—the love and support of a real family.
A story delightfully filled with Christmas cheer, one adorable little cowboy, and sizzling chemistry between the hero and the heroine.
I loved the energy between Chance and Molly, it was nearly visible as they were in the same room, so obvious to everyone around them. I also enjoyed the connection between Molly's son and Chance, there was something really special about those two together.
Chance was easy going, kind, generous to the fault, with a big heart and honest to the bone. He said it as it was, he did everything he could to help people he cared for, and stood for his convictions.
Molly is a survivor. She has faced a lot and made a difference in her life. And she is willing to do anything to better her son's life. I had a little hard time to understand her, or should I say relate to her priorities, that were money and more money will make a better future. And she seemed to be willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of making more money.
But when the rich and famous makes an attempt to pull her into their games and shenanigans she has to figure out fast what is important to her and what is she willing to do to advance her career.
Lots of Christmas baking (that I loved!), cute as a button three-year-old cowboy preparing for the holidays, and sensual, ardent romance mixed with pondering of values and ethics. I like it when the story makes me think and evaluate my own beliefs.
~ Four Spoons
Hollywood Hearts #1
By: Belinda Williams
Releasing November 10, 2016
CAN AN AVERAGE GIRL SURVIVE HOLLYWOOD?
Ally Valenti doesn’t belong in Hollywood. Not like her friend and actress, Lena Lyons. Lena’s convinced Ally to pursue her dreams of fashion design, starting with some gowns for the awards season.
Which Ally will get around to creating as soon as she can stop looking at Jacob Swan, Lena’s latest co-star. Not that she’s staring. Ally’s skeptical of anything celebrity and it’s not like she’d be pathetic enough to fall for a Hollywood heartthrob.
Then Ally learns there’s more to Jacob than his good guy, all-American persona. She finds herself torn between the desire to get to know him better and her determination to stay out of the limelight.
Of course the media has other ideas—and someone doesn’t like all the attention Ally’s getting. When threats aimed at destroying her fashion career go too far, Ally’s convinced she’s living in crazy town.
The sensible thing would be to retreat home before it all ends in spectacular fashion. But will Ally be leaving more than her dreams behind if she says goodbye to Hollywood?
This glamorous, fast-paced contemporary romance that will make you smile, is perfect for fans of Rachel Gibson, Victoria Dahl, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Liliana Hart.
“Is it true?”
I winced and moved the phone away from my ear. At eighteen, my youngest cousin could still occasionally be painfully teenaged. For reasons that continued to elude me, Bella and I had formed a strange sort of sisterly bond. “Hi, Bella,” I said when it was safe to bring the phone back to my ear.
“Ally, don’t mess with me. Are you seriously in LA?”
“What?” she screeched. I directed a pained look in Lena’s direction while she continued. “I go away for the summer and you just up and leave? How could you?”
“You were at summer camp.”
“I could have come to LA with you!”
I sighed. “No, you couldn’t. You’ve still got to finish senior year. Besides, it was kind of a last-minute thing. When Lena—”
“Bella! Watch your mouth!”
I heard her take a deep breath. “Sorry. I’m just not sure I believe you, Ally.” I didn’t miss the note of contempt in her voice. “When Mom told me where you had gone, and who you are supposedly with, I didn’t believe her. I mean, come on, my mom calls social media ‘social medium’ and thinks Twitter is ‘tweeter.’ Personally, I think you’re having some sort of mid-life crisis.”
I couldn’t help myself and smiled. Aunt Lisa’s appalling lack of knowledge of all things twenty-first century was pretty funny, but I sobered at the thought my teenage cousin considered me old enough to be having a mid-life crisis. Arabella obviously didn’t remember Lena because she had only been a toddler when Lena lived in Providence. And maybe I was closer to middle age than I wanted to admit. “I’m hanging up now,” I told her. “Call you back on Facetime.”
I ended the call before she could protest and turned to Lena. “Bear with me, please?”
“Of course. You know I love your family.”
“That makes someone,” I muttered as I scrolled through the contacts in Facetime. “OK, here goes.”
After a brief wait, Arabella’s face came up on the screen of my cell phone.
Upon seeing me, she crossed her arms and shot me an unimpressed look. She had the same shoulder-length dark loose waves I had, but was one of the few members of our family blessed with Uncle Tony’s bright blue eyes.
“Ooh, you’re in a cab,” she drawled.
“It’s not a cab.” Tired of her sass, I pointed the phone at Lena.
Lena waved and her perfect red nails glinted under the car’s interior light. “Hi, Arabella. Nice to meet you.”
In the split second it took for all the color to drain from Bella’s olive complexion, she managed to draw another breath.
“Oh my fucking God, it is you!”
I jolted in my seat at her crystal-shattering pitch and quickly lowered the volume. Alright, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Her eyes rounded in a sort of mad haze. “When Aunt Rosa told me Ally had a model friend in high school, I didn’t believe her. You’ve got to admit it is pretty hard to believe because Ally’s not the popular type. I mean, as if! Ally’s one of the most boring people I know—no offense, Ally.”
I saw Lena’s lips quirk and I opened my mouth to put a stop to my youngest cousin’s observations, but I was already too late.
She continued with the force of a freight train. “I don’t know if you know this, but all Ally ever does is work and I’m pretty sure she hasn’t been out with a guy in like forever. Even Aunty Rosa says Ally needs to get out more. So it’s pretty hard to imagine someone with your talent hanging out with her, but then I guess she can be kind of fun. I mean that’s why everyone asks her to babysit all the time, the kids just love her and—”
“Bella!” I managed to interrupt finally. “Thank you for the honest character assessment but I think you might be boring the most famous actress in Hollywood.”
Belinda Willliams is a marketing communications specialist and copywriter who allowed an addiction to romance and chick-lit to get the better of her. She was named a top ten finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Award in both 2013 and 2014.
Her other addictions include music and cars. Belinda’s eclectic music taste forms the foundation of many of her writing ideas and her healthy appreciation for fast cars means she would not so secretly love a Lamborghini. For now she’ll have to settle with her son’s Hot Wheels collection and writing hot male leads with sports cars.
Belinda lives in Sydney and blogs regularly about writing and reading at www.belindawilliamsbooks.com
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Welcome Home for Christmas
A Hero's Welcome #4
By: Annie Rains
Releasing November 8, 2016
The bestselling Hero’s Welcomes series continues with a juicy Christmas romance set in Seaside, North Carolina, where a bustling military base keeps this small town stocked with dedicated, lovable heroes.
Three-hundred-and-sixty-four days a year, Allison Carmichael doesn’t mind being single. It sure beats dating another loser, and it keeps her heart safe. Then there’s that three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth day: Christmas Eve, the traditional time her entire family gathers together—and gangs up on her, demanding to know when she’s going to get married. This year, she swears, is going be different. And that’s why, at a charity auction she’s throwing on-base, she buys herself a man.
Sergeant Troy Matthews insists that he’s not for sale. His time is, though, and he’s happy to donate it. Happier still when he learns the identity of the winning bidder: the redhead with the killer good looks and smart mouth who runs the veteran’s center. Allison needs Troy’s help to fool her family into believing they’re an item, and he’s all too happy to indulge her. But by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, their little charade is working a little too well . . . because Troy’s falling head over heels.
Welcome Home for Christmas was a heartwarming, sweet, fun, and well-written story with just enough turmoil to balance all the Christmas cheer. It has a dangerous mystery to solve to give it some spice, it has Christmas family drama like most of us have, it has goodwill and helping hands to spread the love to those in need, but mostly it has steaming hot romance, flirting, amorous play, and romantic moments that melts your heart.
Troy is so easy to love, he is fun-loving, flirting, and a protective hunk who is sweet and kind to children. What's not to love,right?! Allison is a sweet lady with heart of gold. Because of her mom, she is little too focused on the negative aspects of people's personality, not trusting her instincts when it comes to men.
The character development in this story was logical, real and tangible. I love how the author did it, so well immersed it into the tale, yet so obvious you couldn't miss it. Both leading characters have 'flaws' that they have to work on to make the relationship function, but they are willing to step up and make it happen.
One of the social aspects of the story was the children's home and the kids desire and need for forever homes. So fitting to be delivering the review on the World Adoption day, as my heart went out for the little ones having such a desire for someone to love them. The other social matter, taking care of our veterans, is as important and it also happens to be the veteran's day in the States.
I love the author's voice, her way of delivering the tale makes it so enjoyable that the time flies by while you read and you are reluctant to leave the world she created. Allison and Troy stole my heart with the inspiring, fervent, and wistful tale with so much love and passion, not only in between themselves but also for taking care of those in need, the perfect Christmas story message indeed.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
“So there’s one thing I now know about you. You’re a good liar.” Allison folded her arms at her chest.
“Good, maybe. But I value honesty. Sometimes lying to someone is for their own good, though. A little white lie never really hurt anyone. Here’s one for you,” he leaned in closer and lowered his voice, “I have absolutely no interest in dating you, either.”
Her cheeks flushed.
“And I don’t think you’re the most beautiful woman in this room, and the thought of taking you out does not appeal to me whatsoever.” He shook his head. “Nope, not one little bit.”
She smiled. “Now I know two things about you. You lie well and you’re a smooth talker. So, do you agree to my proposal?”
Troy could just say yes, but he was enjoying engaging her in a conversation. “You know, when I was kid, Christmas was always magical. I’d sit with the toy catalog and create this huge, mile-long list of the things I wanted. I never got so excited about a pencil and paper.”
“Did you get everything on the list?” she asked.
“So your family had money?”
He nodded. His family practically owned the town he’d grown up in. He didn’t know what it felt like to want for something until his cousin Dale had died in 9-11, the deciding factor in him joining the military. “I figure the more money raised for those kids, the better their Christmas will be.”
“That’s my goal. I want this to be the best Christmas Mercy’s kids have ever had.”
“So, if I have to take you out . . .” He trailed off, smiling at her.
“We’re just going to talk. Have a meal or something together. No kissing, no handholding.”
Troy held up his hands. “I’m an honorable guy. I don’t force myself on women. Truth is, I usually have to fight them off.” He winked again.
“And you can’t act like that when you meet my mother.”
“Like what?” he asked.
“All flirty and charming. She’ll never believe that I’d fall for someone like that.”
He tried not to take offense because no matter what she was saying, she was attracted to him. He could see it in her dilated pupils and the way her chest rose just slightly under her racing pulse. “No? What kind of guy exactly would you fall for?”
Allison looked around the room. There was still a nice-sized crowd laughing and mingling. Christmas music filled the merry air. “I wouldn’t fall for any kind of guy right now. That’s why I’m pretending with you.”
USA Today Bestselling Author, Annie Rains, is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads