Awaken My Heart
Tangled Hearts #3
By: Maria K. Alexander
Releasing May 10, 2017
The Wild Rose Press
Lies have a way of coming back to haunt you—a lesson Ashley O’Neil learns the hard way when she runs into the man she shared a steamy night with over fourteen years ago. Now tangled in a web of deception, she’ll need to right a wrong and chance losing her heart to the very man she deceived.
An unexpected encounter with the woman he had a one-night stand with has thrown Detective Nick DiFrancesco for a loop. Recently divorced, he’s cautious around women, but one look at Ashley has him considering taking a chance. Until he learns her secret…one that impacts him where it counts most—family.
When Nick’s drug trafficking case goes south, a lead puts him in Ashley’s path. With his family in danger and his heart on the line, he’ll need to fight for justice and risk it all to the woman he’s never forgotten.
She licked her lips. “Is that an order, detective?”
The corner of his mouth lifted. “A request.”
When his gaze slid to her lips, Ashley felt the tingling in the pit of her stomach move lower.
He stepped closer until his shoes brushed the tips of hers. “Twice in two days.”
She could smell the musky male scent of him, sexy and pungent. “What?”
“It’s the second time in two days we’ve run into each other,” Nick said.
“Coincidences,” Ashley said.
“Or a sign you should go out with me.”
Oh, how she wanted to. It would be easy to give in to him, to slide her hands up his firm chest, and lose herself in his embrace. In heels, she was only a few inches shorter, and her mouth was dangerously close to his.
She sucked in a breath. “I told you, I can’t.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
“It’s the same thing.”
“It’s not, and you know it.” He leaned closer, and his warm breath brushed her face. “You can’t tell me you don’t feel what’s happening.”
She lifted her chin and stared at warm brown eyes. “I don’t.”
How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
This is the third book in my award-winning Tangled Hearts series. Each book is a stand-alone story focusing on different members of the DiFrancesco family. I created the family when I wrote my very first book (the one under my bed ☺). The heroine from that unpublished book is best friends with Kate DiFrancesco, who is the spirited heroine from Untangle My Heart, the first book in the series. I like to think of the series as a nod to my Italian background. The stories are rich in tradition, many of which are part of my own Italian upbringing. Nick DiFrancesco, the hero from Awaken My Heart, is the oldest DiFrancesco and his story is my favorite to date. I’ve loved his character from the start and thoroughly enjoyed writing his happily-ever-after! Nick is recently divorced from a popular girl he dated on and off in high school. She was popular, shallow, obnoxious…basically everything Ashely (the heroine from Awaken) isn’t…which is why she’s perfect for Nick!
Name three things on your desk right now.
Coffee cup, to do list, The Pocket Book of Positives (we can all use a lift each day!)
What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
Reading, baking, Jazzercise, relaxing at the shore (beach), watching a movie with my family
A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.
Can she right a wrong & chance losing her heart to the man she deceived? AWAKEN MY HEART #TBR #mustread http://bit.ly/2p55aLA
What are you favorite types of stories to read?
Reunion/second chance at love, friends to lovers
What 5 things should readers know about you?
I’m goal-oriented, driven, a perfectionist, think cake is an acceptable breakfast food, played the piano from 3rd to 12th grade.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
It’s a second-chance at love romance set in Philadelphia. Detective Nick DiFrancesco is down on his luck. His drug-trafficking case went cold, his kids blame him for his divorce, and he’s one step-away from moving in with his parents to save money. When he runs into Ashley O’Neil, a girl he had an affair with over fourteen years ago, he’s reminded of their steamy night together and wants to see her again. Little does he know she’s kept a secret from him—one that impacts him where it counts most…family. But when a lead in his case puts him in Ashley’s path, they’ll need to set aside their painful past in order to fight for justice and risk it all for love.
A romantic at heart, Maria K. Alexander spent hours as a young girl getting lost in and wishing to be one of the heroines in the stories she read. Books gave her the ability to go to another world where she loved meeting new characters, learning about their problems, and watching them fall in love.
Maria is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules.
You can keep in touch with Maria at her Website.
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