Book Review – Dominik

Tags

, , ,

Dominik

Arizona Vengeance, Book #6

by Sawyer Bennett

I built myself up from nothing. A product of the foster care system, I learned early on how to fight hard to get what I want. Whether it was starting my first company in college, earning my first billion, or buying my first professional sports team, I know how to get what I want, when I want it.

Until now.

Willow Monahan is fierce, independent, and hot as hell. She also takes great pleasure in shutting down my advances. The younger sister of one of my star players, Willow intrigues me to my very core. And while she may have willingly given me her body, she is hesitant to offer up more. Now I’m on a mission to find out why.

I’ve decided to approach my desire for Willow like I’ve approached much of my life; with persistence, determination, and a whole lot of that Dominik Carlson alpha charm. Buying a hockey expansion team, building the Arizona Vengeance from the ground up, and bringing home a championship may prove to be an easier feat than winning Willow’s heart.

But I’ve never been a quitter.

Willow Monahan… I’m coming for you.

(*WARNING: REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS*)

I’m not a fan of romances that involve commitment-phobic characters but I think that Bennett does a decent job with both Dominik and Willow. With Dominik’s past in foster care you can understand his difficulty in making a connection with others. (Although, I was a little turned off with the way the story begins since he is actively pursuing Willow but sleeping with other women … I mean I get that they both have the whole “it’s just sex” mentality buuuut that’s a bit of a turn-off in a romance for me, which may be why I have problems with these kinds of books.) While Willow’s issues seem a bit more everyday, that doesn’t make them any less real for her. No one likes to be hurt and she’s still young, with a busy life, so a relationship probably isn’t high on her list regardless.

Even though it may have taken me a bit of time to get into their relationship (since early on, it revolves around “just” sex – albeit HAWT sex), once they start to actually get to know each other a little more and make that deeper connection, it definitely picks up for me. I enjoy Dominik as a dominant but caring person. He may be a bit Alpha but it works for him and he tempers it with moments of giving, of himself and his power/money. Willow is a little more prickly, and may be a little off-putting for some, but once you accept that about her all the decisions she makes works for her character.

Not my favorite of the Vengeance stories, but definitely one that should be read (and based on the reviews, will appeal to many). I especially enjoyed the opportunity to see more of the guys, their SOs, and how they are become a family not just a team.

Spotlight – Once in a Blue Moon

Tags

, ,

Amanda Ashby’s latest is getting a whole lot of really great reviews – get your copy to find out why!

*****

Once In a Blue Moon

A Belles of St. Clair Novel

by Amanda Ashby

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

Florist Laney George has a successful business, amazing friends and big, big dreams––oh, and a broken heart. But she’s working through that last one. Then the man she hoped to never see again shows up––and Laney’s carefully ordered plans are experiencing technical difficulties.

Celebrated Author Adam Fitzpatrick planned to be in St. Clair for no more than a day. Sign the books, and get out. Same story, different day. What he didn’t count on was Laney George, who happens to be the star of his somewhat fictional tale. She broke his heart years ago, and he’d gone a bit mad. Okay, maybe a lot mad––and he put everything in his book, never imagining it would be a world-wide best seller.

Now that he’s seen her again, he wants answers. But it isn’t just her that draws him in. It’s the town, something is happening and for the first time in years…he can write again. If only he could convince the woman who hates him most to start a new chapter in their story.

Order Your Copy Today

Catch up on the Series Today!

*****

Excerpt:

He lowered his phone to where a scruffy tan-and-white face glared at him. His breathing quickened in a way that had nothing to do with exercise. If Violet was here, Laney couldn’t be far away. He scanned the area, hoping for a ash of auburn hair. Nothing.

Did that mean Violet was lost?

Laney had made her feelings about him perfectly clear, but he could hardly leave the dog out here on her own. He crouched down and held out his hand. Violet’s dark eyes narrowed as she bared her small teeth. A low growl came from her throat. It was at odds with the dandelions threaded through her collar

“Don’t tell me you’re running away again?” he said in a coaxing voice, his hand still out.

“Ruff.” Violet stood her ground. Adam’s mouth twitched as he reached for a stick. Obviously, this wasn’t going to be a straightforward rescue mission.

“You’re right. I said some things. Some bad things, but I’m sure we can work through it. Here, look. Want to fetch?” He threw the stick. Violet didn’t move.

Was it possible for a dog to give him an eye roll?

“She doesn’t like that game,” Laney’s voice said from somewhere behind a scraggy shrub. Heat washed over him as he twisted his head, once again searching for her.

“Isn’t it built into their nature? A hunter and gatherer gene? And where are you? Are you hiding up a blossom tree again?”

The leaves rustled, and she appeared. Silken copper hair tumbled down her shoulders, and her yellow dress left her arms and legs bare. When he’d first met her back in San Francisco, she’d been pale. But now she was tanned. Tiny freckles were spread across the bridge of her small nose and her exposed shoulders. Being outside suited her.

“As surprising as it sounds, I don’t always climb trees to hide from people,” she said, seemingly oblivious to the effect she was having on him. Her arms were full of branches. She marched over to a red wagon.

“So, I’m special?” He moved toward her. Why was he flirting with her? Because he had a death wish?

“Should I list the ways?” She arched an eyebrow to suggest her list wouldn’t be positive. “And there’s nothing strange about Violet not chasing sticks. After all, humans are vastly different. Why can’t dogs be as well?”

“I stand corrected,” he said as Violet sniffed one of the branches hanging off the cart.

“Good. Maybe it will teach you not to judge my dog.”

“Working on it,” he said. At least he hadn’t mentioned the nail polish or the flowers this time. Then he frowned. “What are you doing out here?”

“Foraging.” She brushed down the skirt of her dress. Leaves and twigs fell to the ground, and she slung a leather satchel into the cart before gripping the handle. “A florist’s life isn’t all hothouse orchids.”

She tugged the cart in the direction of the inn. He considered his original plan to walk home through the woods. Who was he kidding? He was born and bred in the city. He’d get lost, only to be discovered four years later with a beard down to his knees and the ability to build a hut from a log and an elastic band.

He followed, trying not to be mesmerized by the way the sunlight bounced off her hair, turning it to flaming colors of amber and red as it fell around her shoulders. His fingers twitched, wanting to plunge into the glossy strands. To push them back from her face and claim her mouth.

Ignore it.

Stepping to the side, he kept walking, staying just out of hair-touching distance. It was safest for everyone.

*****

Author Info:

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age. Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

*****

Giveaway:

$20 Amazon Giftcard

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4cf78adb890/

*****

Spotlight – Dominik

Tags

, ,

Oh, I’ve been waiting for this story since the first time he showed up in a book!

*****

Dominik

Arizona Vengeance, Book #6

by Sawyer Bennett

Release Date: February 18, 2020

Blurb:

I built myself up from nothing. A product of the foster care system, I learned early on how to fight hard to get what I want. Whether it was starting my first company in college, earning my first billion, or buying my first professional sports team, I know how to get what I want, when I want it.

Until now.

Willow Monahan is fierce, independent, and hot as hell. She also takes great pleasure in shutting down my advances. The younger sister of one of my star players, Willow intrigues me to my very core. And while she may have willingly given me her body, she is hesitant to offer up more. Now I’m on a mission to find out why.

I’ve decided to approach my desire for Willow like I’ve approached much of my life; with persistence, determination, and a whole lot of that Dominik Carlson alpha charm. Buying a hockey expansion team, building the Arizona Vengeance from the ground up, and bringing home a championship may prove to be an easier feat than winning Willow’s heart.

But I’ve never been a quitter.

Willow Monahan… I’m coming for you.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CV3yy0

B&N: http://bit.ly/2UAYadu

Apple: https://apple.co/2YMfYRY

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2thztHb

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2YQeMgk

Print: https://amzn.to/2O8f6UK

Audible (Narrated by Christian Fox and Erin Mallon): https://adbl.co/2tkUOPT

*****

Author Info:

Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released multiple books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active daughter, as well as full-time servant to her adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or even better, both.

Sawyer also writes general and women’s fiction under the pen name S. Bennett and sweet romance under the name Juliette Poe.

Facebookhttp://bit.ly/Sawyer_FB

Reader group: http://bit.ly/Sawyer_NEP

Twitter: http://bit.ly/Sawyer_TW

Instagram: http://bit.ly/Sawyer_IG

Book+Main Bites: http://bit.ly/Sawyer_BM

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/Sawyer_GR

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Sawyer_AMZ

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Sawyer_BN

BookBub: http://bit.ly/Sawyer_BB

Newsletter: http://sawyerbennett.com/signup

Master Blogger List: http://bit.ly/Sawyer_Bloggers

*****

Giveaway:

A signed paperback of DOMINIK and an Arizona Vengeance tote, pillow, 
mug, & sticker

https://sawyerbennett.com/giveaways/giveaway-dominik/

*****

Spotlight – Her Homecoming Wish

Tags

,

*****

Her Homecoming Wish

by Jo McNally

Blurb:

She’s ready to shed her good-girl ways…

“You’re all about following the rules now?

“Pity.”

Mackenzie Wallace hopes there’s still some bad boy lurking beneath single father Danny Adams’s upright exterior. Being the proverbial good girl left her brokenhearted and alone in the past. Now she’s back in town and wants excitement with her high school crush—not love. Dan knows their connection runs deep, despite Mackenzie’s protests. But will their new personas work together—especially when Dan’s secret is exposed?

*****

Excerpt:

Dan returned, thankfully ending the conversation. He handed her a glass, but it wasn’t beer.

“I thought you might want some water to hydrate yourself from all your…uh…activity.”

“In other words, you agree I’ve had enough beer tonight? You’re right—this is not a typical Friday night for me.” Remembering she was here to start a more fun-loving life, she lifted her chin. “At least it wasn’t before tonight.”

Owen leaned forward to make himself heard over the music. “Hey, Dan, you bike, right? A bunch of us are going to do the loop around the lake Sunday. Wanna join us?”

Mack’s eyes went wide. “Dan, you still have your motorcycle? I used to love the way that thing rumbled…”

Kiara’s eyebrows rose, and Mack realized she sounded gushy. But she hadn’t thought of Dan pulling up behind the liquor store on that dark red Harley of his in a long time. He’d been every teenage girl’s bad-boy dream—handsome, reckless and restless. She used to run to the back window when she heard him coming, just to watch him pull that helmet off and run his fingers through his hair, wearing those tight jeans.

Was it hot in here, or was it her memories that were heating her up right now? She gulped down the cold water, nearly emptying the glass in one pull. Dan was saying something. Oh, damn. Dan was talking and she wasn’t even listening…

“…think Owen’s referring to bicycles, not motorcycles.” He nodded toward Owen. “I’ve got Chloe this weekend, so I’ll have to pass.” His mouth slanted into a half grin as he turned back to Mack. “But yes, I still have the old Harley. It’s been in mothballs for a few years, but I can’t seem to part with that last vestige of my misspent youth.”

That bad boy might still be in there…

“You know, I’ve never been on a motorcycle. You should give me a ride sometime…”

Dan coughed and the others laughed. That wasn’t the kind of ride she’d meant, of course. Or was it? Rather than apologize, she just met his gaze and shrugged.

There was a spark of something in his eyes. Interest? He closed them and shook his head, as if chasing away whatever thoughts she’d put there.

*****

Author Info:

Jo McNally lives in upstate New York with 100 pounds of dog and 200 pounds of husband – her slice of the bed is very small. When she’s not writing or reading romance novels (or clinging to the edge of the bed…), she can often be found on the back porch sipping wine with friends, listening to an eclectic playlist. If the weather is perfect, she might join her husband on the golf course, where she always feels far more competitive than her actual skill-level would suggest.

*****

Book Review – The Sweet Spot

Tags

, , ,

Who’s looking for a little taste of sweetness to get them thru the weekend?

*****

The Sweet Spot

Love Is … Book 1

by Cassie Cross

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

Lexie James spent years dreaming about opening her own bakery. She’s invested every penny she’s ever saved—and some other peoples’ pennies too—into making that dream come true. The Sweet Spot is thriving thanks to her dedication and penchant for perfection, but she’s lonely and Hunter, the gorgeous guy who owns the gym across the street, is a nice distraction.

Hunter Elliott is Lexie’s high school crush. The timing’s never been right for the two of them, but when he notices that all work and no play makes Lexie a stressed-out overworked mess, he stages an intervention. He’s determined to show her that she can be successful and have a life.

First, he needs to help her find that sweet spot between business and pleasure…

Get Your Copy Today!

*****

Review:

While there aren’t a lot of pages, I felt like Cross did a pretty good job of giving her readers a couple of interesting characters and a satisfying story. Lexie is too involved in her business for her own good, sacrificing the rest of her life – friendship, family, and romance. It’s going to take something pretty drastic (and a kind, caring hottie) to get her to change … luckily that’s just what she gets.

I was pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed The Sweet Spot. For being so short, there was still a decent amount of time spent getting to know the characters and having them develop their relationship. It helped that Lexie’d known Hunter forever but it still flowed very well from our meet cute moment with him to the happy every after ending. And while there were a couple of times that I just knew were going to turn into a big drama party, Cross kept everything real instead, with just a minimal amount of (believable) trouble coming Lexie’s way. I’ll definitely be checking out more from this new-to-me author.

*****

Author Info:

Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80’s sitcoms.

Connect with Cassie:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CrossWrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cassiecrosswrites/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cassiecrosswrites

*****

Spotlight – Temporary Wife Temptation

Tags

,

*****

Temporary Wife Temptation

by Jayci Lee

Blurb:

Much more than he bargained for…

“You want me to find you a wife?”

“No. I want you to be my wife.”

Garrett Song is this close to taking the reins of his family’s LA fashion empire…until the Song matriarch insists he marry her handpicked bride first. To block her matchmaking, he recruits Natalie Sobol to pose as his wife. She needs a fake spouse as badly as he does. But when passion burns down their chaste agreement, the flames could destroy them all…

*****

Excerpt:

Garrett resisted the urge to glance over his shoulder to check on her. Natalie was a grown woman and he didn’t need to protect her from being swarmed by admirers. Besides, she was the one who had proposed they refrain from other relationships, so she wouldn’t do anything to hurt his reputation or hers.

Earlier, at her apartment, he’d caught fire at the sight of her in her little black dress. It was demure compared to the one she’d worn at Le Rêve, but it hugged her hourglass figure and highlighted the curves underneath just enough to tease his imagination.

He walked to the bar for his Scotch and grabbed a flute of champagne from a server on his way back. As he’d anticipated, Natalie was now surrounded by a group of men and he lengthened his strides to reach her.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, sweetheart.” He pressed a light kiss on her lips and handed her the champagne.

“Thank you.” She leaned her head against his shoulder when he pulled her to his side, playing her part like a pro.

“Natalie was just taking us to task about USC’s new head coach. It seems neither he nor I truly understand college football,” said one of Mike’s college friends.

“Is that so?” Garrett raised an eyebrow at her and she shrugged.

“Taking you to task is a bit harsh.” She hid her grin against the rim of her champagne flute as she took a long sip. “It’s just that I have a better understanding than you guys.”

The audience winced and guffawed at her cheekiness. As Natalie continued with her lecture, all the men listened intently, as did Garrett. She was funny and down-to-earth, and her mind was quicker than lightning. Lost in her words, Garrett belatedly noticed the crowd had grown. Her champagne glass was depleted and her smile was becoming strained.

He leaned down close to her ear. “Tired?”

“And hungry.”

“All right, gentlemen. I’m whisking away my date now. I’m tired of sharing her.”

When the crowd finally dispersed, Natalie slumped against him with a groan. “I need food, champagne and somewhere to sit.”

A server walked over with a tray of bacon-wrapped shrimp and Natalie snatched a couple of them. She popped one in her mouth and mumbled around her food, “Not necessarily in that order.”

Garrett laughed and guided her toward the French doors leading out to the garden. Natalie ate every single hors d’oeuvre she met along the way and finished another glass of champagne.

“Holy cow. Is everything really, really delicious, or am I just famished? I would totally go back for that crab cake if my feet weren’t screaming at me to get my butt on a chair.”

He glanced down at her zebra-print high heels. They did amazing things for her legs but didn’t look remotely comfortable. “There’s a bench around the corner.”

“Oh, thank God.” She kicked off her shoes as soon as she plopped onto the seat.

Garrett shrugged out of his jacket and draped it around her shoulders before sitting next to her.

“Thank you,” she murmured, gazing at the garden. “It’s so beautiful out here.”

“Is it?” He and Mike had grown up tearing apart that very garden, but Garrett had never sat still and taken it all in, like they were doing now. “I guess you’re right.”

Mmm-hmm.”

He studied her profile, her high, regal cheekbone and the graceful curve of her neck. Half of her hair had escaped the loose knot behind her head and fell down her back and shoulders. He wanted to sweep aside her hair and feel the softness of her skin, which he absolutely should not do.

“So how do you know so much about college football?” He tore his gaze away from her and stared at an old maple tree ahead of him, hard enough to make his eyes water.

“Long story.”

“We’ve got time.” He made a show of checking his watch. “I’ll give you ten minutes.”

Her laughter filled the garden, then ended on a wistful sigh. “My dad and I, we weren’t very close. The only time he didn’t mind my company was when we watched college football together. He was a huge fan. I don’t think he even noticed I was sitting there half the time.”

Garrett understood what that felt like. As soon as he finished graduate school, he’d thrown himself into his work. It was satisfying in its predictability and it created a common ground for him and his father. His dad had stepped down from the CEO position when his mom died, but returned to Hansol a few years later as an executive VP.

“I thought if I learned enough about the sport, he’d like me a little better.” Her shrug told him it hadn’t worked, but Natalie told her story without an ounce of self-pity—like she owned her past, hurt and all. His respect for her deepened. “But soon I noticed I wasn’t faking my enthusiasm anymore. I’d grown to love the sport. Who knew it’d come in handy at an intimate birthday party for a hundred people?”

“You certainly won over quite a few of them.”

“I did?” Her eyebrows shot up in genuine surprise.

He huffed out a laugh. “Why did you think that crowd was hanging on to your every word?”

“Watch yourself, Garrett Song.” Natalie narrowed her eyes and pointed a finger at him. “I know where you live.”

He snatched her hand and tugged her to her feet. “Yes, and you’ll be living there with me starting Sunday.”

“Ugh.” She hooked an index finger in each of her shoes, not bothering to put them back on. “Do you ever stop thinking about work?”

“Yes.” He cocked his head and pretended to consider her question. “But only when I’m thoroughly distracted.”

Her lashes fluttered and color saturated her cheeks, and his gut clenched with heat. She could definitely become his most dangerous distraction.

*****

Author Info:

Jayci Lee writes poignant, funny, and sexy romance. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. She is semi-retired from her 15-year career as a defense litigator, and writes full-time now. She loves food, wine, and travelling, just like her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal. She hopes her books will do the same for you.

*****

Book Review – An Everyday Hero

Tags

, , ,

Laura Trentham, the author of The Military Wife, is back with an emotionally charged novel about redemption and second chances. In the vein of Josie Silver’s One Day in December, AN EVERYDAY HERO explores the challenges of a relationship and ultimately discovering that love…and joy is worth fighting for. 

*****

An Everyday Hero

Heart of a Hero series

by Laura Trentham

Blurb:

At thirty, Greer Hadley never expected to be forced home to Madison, Tennessee with her life and dreams of being a songwriter up in flames. To make matters worse, a series of bad decisions and even crappier luck lands her community service hours at a nonprofit organization that aids veterans and their families. Greer cannot fathom how she’s supposed to use music to help anyone deal with their trauma and loss when the one thing that brought her joy has failed her.

Then there’s Emmett Lawson, the golden boy who followed his family’s legacy. Greer shows up one day with his old guitar, and meets Emmett’s rage head on with her stubbornness. A dire situation pushes these two into a team to save a young teenager, but maybe they will save themselves too. . . 

Macmillan: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250145550 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250145554?tag=macmillan-20

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-everyday-hero-laura-trentham/1131936712;jsessionid=B7619745B109010F501CA5500AB3BAF3.prodny_store02-atgap02?ean=9781250145550#/

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781250145550?AID=42121&PID=7992675&cjevent=1101dd10476711ea83cc00ae0a240614

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250145550?aff=macmillan

Powell’s: https://www.powells.com/book/an-everyday-hero-9781250145550?partnerid=33241

*****

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

“Disorderly conduct. Public intoxication. Resisting arrest.” Judge Duckett put down the paper, linked his hands, and stared over his reading glasses from his perch behind the bench with a combination of exasperation and fatherly disapproval.

Greer Hadley shifted in her sensible heels and smoothed the skirt of the light pink suit she’d borrowed from her mama for the occasion. “I’ll give you the first two, Uncle Bill—” The judge cleared his throat and narrowed his eyes. “Excuse me—Judge Duckett—but I did not resist arrest.”

“That you recall.” Deputy Wayne Peeler drawled the words out in the most sarcastic, unprofessional manner possible.

She fisted her hands and took a deep breath. The impulse to punch Wayne in the face simmered below the surface like a volcano no longer at rest. But ten o’clock on a Monday morning during her arraignment was not the smartest time to lose her temper, and she’d promised herself not to add to her string of bad decisions.

She sweetened her voice and bared her teeth at Wayne in the facsimile of a smile. “I recall plenty, thank you very much.”

Truth was she didn’t recall the minute details, but the shock of Wayne’s whispered offer on Saturday night to make her troubles go away for a price had done more to sober her up than the couple of hours spent in lockup waiting for her parents.

Dressed in his tan uniform, Wayne adjusted his heavy gun belt so often she imagined he got off every night by rubbing his gun. Giving him a badge had only empowered the part of him desperate for respect and approval. His nickname in high school, “the Weasel,” had been well earned.

Unfortunately, she was the unreliable narrator of her life at the moment and no one would trust her recollections. Judge Duckett, her uncle Bill by marriage until he and her aunt Tonya had divorced, rustled papers from his desk.

The ethics of her former uncle acting as her judge were questionable, especially considering they had remained close even after he’d remarried, but if nepotism is what it took to make this nightmare go away, then she wouldn’t be the one to lodge a complaint.

“A witness claimed you were sitting quietly at the end of the bar until a song played on the jukebox. What was the song?” Her uncle glanced at her over his glasses again, which made him look like a stern teacher.

“‘Before He Cheats’ by Carrie Underwood.” She forced her chin up.

His mouth opened, closed, and he dropped his gaze back to the paper. A murmur broke out behind her.

She would not cry. She wouldn’t. She blinked like her life depended on a tear not falling. Later, in the privacy of her childhood bedroom, she would bury her face in the eyelet-covered pillow and let loose.

Beau Williams, her cheating ex-boyfriend, was only partially to blame for her embarrassing behavior. It was a confluence of setbacks that had had her holding down the end of the bar. Hearing Carrie’s revenge anthem had hit a nerve exposed by the shots of Jack. Rage had quickened the effects of the alcohol, and that’s when things got fuzzy.

“Yes, well. That is a rather … Let’s move on, shall we? The witness also claims after a heartfelt, albeit slurred speech about the vagaries of relationships and how the moral fiber of the Junior League of Madison was frayed, you fed five dollars into the jukebox and played the same song for over an hour. ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline, was it?”

Ugh. She didn’t recall how much money she’d fed the machine, but it sounded like something she would do. “Crazy” was one of her favorite songs. A master class in conveying emotion through simple lyrics. She was just sorry she’d wasted five dollars on Beau. He didn’t deserve her money, her heart, or Patsy.

“No one can fault my taste in the classics.” Greer tried a smile, but her lips quivered and she pressed them together.

Her uncle continued to read from the witness statement, “You proceeded to throw two glasses on the floor, shattering them, and attempted to break a chair across the jukebox.”

She swallowed hard. A vague picture of a frustratingly sturdy chair surfaced. The fact the chair remained intact while she was falling apart had sent her anger soaring higher and hotter. A glance from her uncle Bill over the paper had her giving him a nod. She couldn’t deny it.

He continued, “A patron called 911. When Deputy Peeler arrived, he pulled you away from the jukebox and forced you outside. That’s where, he claims, you kicked him … well, you know where.”

“Wayne dragged me down the stairs—”

“Deputy Peeler, if you please.” Wayne sniffed loudly.

“As Deputy Peeler escorted me down the stairs, I lost my balance and fell. The heel of my shoe jabbed into his crotch. Sorry.” Greer didn’t make an attempt to mask her not-sorry voice with fake respect.

If she accused Wayne of misbehavior on the job, he would deny it and spin it somehow to make her look even more irresponsible. Lord knows, she’d embarrassed her parents enough for a lifetime. Anyway, seeing him rolling on the ground and cupping his crotch had been sweet payback.

“I sustained an injury where that spike you call a heel caught me.” Wayne half turned toward her.

Instead of playing it smart and soothing his delicate male ego, she batted her eyes at him. “I’m sure that’s left the ladies of Madison real upset.”

Wayne took a step toward her. “You are such a—”

The gavel knocked against the bench and her uncle stood, looming over them. “I’ve heard enough, Deputy. Sit down.”

Wayne turned on his heel and left Greer to face her uncle Bill. This was where she would promise such a thing would never happen again, and he would give her a stern warning before dismissing all charges.

“I’m striking the resisting arrest charge. It was an accident.”

Greer forced herself not to look over her shoulder and stick her tongue out at Wayne. That left only two misdemeanors, which her uncle could expunge with a swipe of his pen.

He settled behind the bench and picked up his pen, his gaze on the papers. “You will pay for any damages.”

“I’ve already reimbursed Becky.” Technically, she’d had to use her parents’ money, considering she’d crawled home from Nashville broke. “And apologized profusely. You can be assured there will not be a repeat performance. I’ve learned my lesson.”

“Good. As for the other charges…”

Her deep breath cleansed a portion of the tension across her shoulders, and a smile born of relief appeared.

“You will perform fifty hours of community service.”

Her smile froze on her face. It sounded like a lot, but she’d been stupid and immature and deserved punishment. “I understand. Clean roads are important.”

“Litter pickup? Goodness no.” He took his glasses off and smiled at her for the first time, but it wasn’t the jolly-uncle smile she was familiar with. “You have talents that would be wasted on the side of the road picking up trash, Ms. Hadley. You will spend your fifty hours working at the Music Tree Foundation.”

“I’m not familiar with it.” She swallowed. The mention of music set her stomach roiling. “Highway 45 was in terrible shape on my drive in last week.”

“The foundation is a nonprofit music program that focuses on helping military veterans and their families cope with the trauma they’ve endured serving our country. They’re in need of volunteer songwriters and musicians.”

“I can’t write or play anymore.” Her dream of hearing one of her songs on the radio had died. Not in a blaze of glory but from a slow, torturous starvation of hope. At thirty, she was resigned to finding a real job and cobbling together a normal life in the place she’d tried to leave behind.

“My decision is final. As far as I can determine, your brain—despite this lapse in judgment—is in fine working order. You can and will help these men and women heal through your gift of music. Unless you’d rather spend thirty days in county lockup?”

Would her uncle actually throw her in jail? For a month? “No, Your Honor, I don’t want to go to county lockup.”

“Good. Once you turn in your log with all your hours signed off by the foundation’s manager, your record with this court will be cleared.” He handed her file to a clerk. “Case closed. Next up is docket number fourteen.”

She stood there until he met her gaze with his unflinching one. “Go home, Greer.”

Her parents were waiting at the door to the courtroom. While they’d faced the horror of having to bail their only child out of jail stoically, her mother’s embarrassment and disappointment were ripe and all-encompassing. Greer wilted and trailed her parents out of the courthouse.

She felt like a child. An incompetent, needy child living in her old bedroom and dependent on her parents for emotional and financial support. She thought she’d hit rock bottom many times over the years, but her situation now had revealed new lows.

The silence in the car built into a painful crescendo.

“The tiger lilies are lovely this year, don’t you think?” Her mother’s attempt at normalcy was strained but welcome.

Her father’s hands squeaked along the steering wheel as an answer.

Greer huddled in the backseat and stared out the window, the clumps of flowers on the side of the road an orange blur. As a teenager, she’d chafed at her parents’ protectiveness and had wanted nothing more than to escape to Nashville, where she’d been convinced glory and fame awaited. Now she was home and a disappointment not only to her parents but to herself. Even worse, she hadn’t come up with a plan to turn her life around.

“Ira Jenkins is back in the hospital. I thought I’d run by and check on him. Since Sarah passed, he seems a shell of the man he once was.” Her mother turned to face the backseat. “Would you like to come with me? I’m sure he’d be happy to see you.”

“He won’t remember me, Mama.”

“I’m sure he will.”

Greer scrunched farther down in the seat. The last thing she wanted was to make small talk with a man she hadn’t seen in years.

“You’ll have to get out eventually and face the music.” Her mother’s smile wavered and threatened to turn into tears. “So to speak.”

Her mother was trying, which was more than could be said for Greer at the moment. Her parents deserved a better daughter. Someone successful they could brag on at the Wednesday-night potlucks at church. Not a daughter they had to bail out of jail.

“I will. I promise. Just not to see Mr. Jenkins.” Greer leaned forward and squeezed her mother’s hand over the seat, needing to give her something to hope for even if Greer wasn’t sure what that might be.

Her father cleared his throat. “You need to think about the future.”

He ignored her mother’s whispered, “Not now, Frank.”

“A job. Or back to school. We’ll put you through nursing or accounting or something useful.” He shifted to meet her gaze in the rearview mirror. “But you can’t keep on like you’re doing. You need a purpose.”

“I’ll start looking for a job tomorrow.” School had never been her wheelhouse. She’d been sure she’d make it in Nashville and had never formulated a backup plan.

They pulled up to her childhood home, a two-story brick Colonial on the main street of Madison, Tennessee. Oaks had been planted down a middle island like a line of soldiers at attention. They had grown to shade both sides of the street. It was picturesque and cast the imagination back to a time when ladies lounged on porches with their iced tea and gossiped with their neighbors to escape the heat of summer. Air-conditioning had altered that way of life.

At one time, as a kid, she’d known every family up and down the street well enough to knock on their door for help or run through their backyard in epic games of tag. Now, though, the houses were being bought up by people who used Madison to escape the bustle of an expanding Nashville. They built pools in the backyards and fences and weren’t outside except to walk their trendy dogs.

The march of progress through Madison added to her melancholy sadness. There was a reason not being able to go home again was a recurring theme in books and songs.

“We love you, Greer. You know that, don’t you?” Her mother’s voice was tight with emotion, but she didn’t turn around, thank goodness.

Her mother never cried and if Greer witnessed tears, she would burst into sobs herself and embarrass everyone.

“I know. Thanks for everything. I’m going to do better. Be better.” It seemed a wholly inadequate promise she wasn’t even sure she could keep, but it was all she could manage. She ducked out of the car and skipped around to a side door of the house that was always unlocked.

Her room was both a haven and a mocking reminder of the state of her life. Posters of album covers papered the wall behind her bed, the colors faded from the sun and the edges curling with age.

In high school, she’d gravitated toward indie folk artists and away from the commercially driven country-music machine located a few miles south. Joan Baez was flanked by Patty Griffin and Dolly Parton. Even though Dolly veered more country than Greer, no one could deny the legend’s songwriting chops. The guitar Greer had hocked for rent money had borne Dolly’s signature like a talisman. Sometimes Greer ached for her guitar like a missing limb.

The flashing glimpse of a woman in a pale pink suit stopped her in the middle of the floor. She turned to face the full-length mirror glued to the back of the closet door. God, it was like glimpsing her mom through a time warp.

Greer touched the delicate pearls that had been passed down to her on her eighteenth birthday. They were old-fashioned and traditional and stereotypical of a Southern “good girl.” Not her style. She’d left them in her dresser drawer when she’d left home the day after high school graduation.

A tug of recognition of the women who had come before her had her clutching the strand in her hand as if something lost were now found. Was it her circumstances or her age growing her nostalgia like a tree setting roots?

She turned around to break the connection with the stranger in the mirror, stripped off the pink suit, and pulled on jeans and a cotton oxford. Her mother would appreciate seeing her in something besides the frayed shorts and grungy concert T-shirts she’d lounged around in the last week. She reached behind her neck for the clasp of the necklace, but her hands stilled, then dropped to her sides, leaving the pearls in place.

She stepped out of her room and was enveloped in silence. Her father had returned to his insurance office and her mother must have set off for her hospital visit. The house took on an expectant quality, as if waiting for its true owners to return. She was no longer a fundamental part of this world. Not unwelcome, perhaps, but a loose cog in her parents’ lives.

She tiptoed downstairs to the kitchen and made herself a ham sandwich. May was too early for fresh tomatoes, but in another month or two her mother’s garden would make tomato sandwiches an everyday treat.

Craving an escape, Greer grabbed a book and settled in her favorite window seat. The rest of the afternoon passed in the same expectant silence. The chime of the doorbell made her start and drop her book. If she pretended no one was home, maybe whoever was on the front porch would go away. The last thing she wanted was to face one of Madison’s gossips masquerading as a do-gooder.

The creak of the door opening had her bolting to her feet.

“Greer? I know you’re home. Are you decent?” Her uncle Bill’s booming voice echoed in the two-story foyer.

She propped her shoulder in the doorway of the sunroom. “Letting yourself in people’s houses is a good way of getting shot around here.”

“While your mama would have liked to have shot me during the divorce with her sister, I hope we’ve made our peace.” He closed the door behind him and Greer did what she’d wanted to do in the courtroom—she threw herself at him for a hug.

He lifted her off her feet and spun her once around. Her laugh hit her ears like a foreign language. It had been too long since she’d laughed from a place of happiness.

“You could have just come out to the house. You didn’t have to get arrested to see me.” Bill let her go, and she led him into the sunroom.

“Do you want something to drink?” Greer asked, already turning for the kitchen and the fresh brewed pitcher of sweet iced tea.

“No, thanks. Mary has fried chicken ready to go in the pan, so I can’t stay long.”

Bill had divorced her aunt Tonya more than a decade earlier and married the choir director of the biggest black church in town. A scandal had ensued not because he’d married a black woman, but because he, a long-standing deacon in the Church of Christ, had converted to a heathen Methodist.

“How is Mary?”

“Always singing.” He shook his head, an indulgent smile on his face, as they settled into their seats.

His comment sprinkled salt on an open wound. She’d begged off going to church with her parents because of the questions she was sure to face and the hymns she couldn’t bring herself to sing. Some of her earlier happiness at seeing him leaked out. “Good for her.”

“I came to make sure you weren’t mad at me.”

“Why would I be mad?”

“I got the impression you expected me to dismiss the charges.” His smile turned into a wince.

“I wouldn’t have been upset if you had, but I get it. I was an idiot and deserve punishment.” She picked at the fringe on a decades-old needlepoint pillow and cast him a pleading glance. “I’d rather pick up trash, though, if it’s all the same to you.”

“It’s not the same to me.” He crossed his long legs and tapped a finger on the cherry armrest of the antique chair that looked ready to surrender at any moment to his bulk. “Do you remember Amelia Shelton?”

“Mary’s daughter? She was a couple of years ahead of me in school. We didn’t hang out or anything, but she seemed nice.” Greer couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen Amelia. Greer’s side of the family had skipped Bill and Mary’s small wedding ceremony; the acrimony between him and her aunt Tonya hadn’t faded at that point.

“Amelia is the founder and director of the Music Tree Foundation and is desperate for qualified volunteers. You’ve been playing and singing and writing music since you were knee high. It was meant to be.”

“It’s not meant to be. I’ve got to get a real job.”

Her uncle made a scoffing sound. “You’re too much like my Mary. You could never leave music behind.”

“Music dumped me on the side of the road, gave me the finger, and peeled out.” Greer shook her head and touched the string of pearls, her gaze on his polished black dress shoes. “I’m a mess, Uncle Bill. I have nothing to offer. In fact, I’ll probably make things worse for whatever poor soul I get paired with.”

She expected him to argue, but he seemed to be weighing the truth in her words like the scales of justice. His shrug wasn’t in the least reassuring. “Amelia has done something really special with her foundation. It might do you a world of good to focus on someone besides yourself.”

“Dang, that’s harsh.”

He patted her knee. “I’ve seen all kinds come through my courtroom. The ones who turn it around are the ones who quit feeling sorry for themselves.”

“But—”

“But nothing. Beau is an asshole. Not the first or the last you’re likely to encounter. Don’t you deserve better than him?”

“Yes?” She wished she’d been able to put more conviction into the word.

Beau was successful, nice-looking—even though a bald spot was conquering his hair day by day—and respected in their town. They’d known each other since high school, but had only started dating in the last year.

He was solid and steady and comfortable. Three things lacking from her life. Catching him cheating with the president of the Junior League had been another seismic shift in her world, leaving her unsure and off balance.

“If you can’t believe in yourself yet, then believe me. You are talented, Greer, and you have the ability to help people find their voice.” He slipped a card out of his wallet. When she didn’t reach for it, he waved it in her face until she took it.

A tree styled with musical symbols of all different colors decorated one side of the card. She ran her thumb over the raised black ink of Amelia’s name and an address on the outskirts of Nashville. “I don’t have much choice, do I?”

“Not if you want to stay in my—and the court’s—good graces. She’s expecting you tomorrow at three.”

“No rest for the wicked, huh?” Her smile was born of sarcasm.

Bill rose and ruffled her hair like he had when she was little. “Not wicked. Lost.”

Greer walked him out, brushed a kiss on his cheek, and murmured her thanks. She leaned on the porch rail and waved until he disappeared down the street.

I once was lost, and now I’m found. She’d sung “Amazing Grace” so many times that the lyrics had ceased to have an impact. But, standing on her childhood front porch, having come full circle, a shiver went down her spine, and goose bumps broke over her arms despite the heat that wavered over the pavement like a mirage. Her granny would have said that someone had walked over her grave. Maybe so. Or maybe change was a-coming whether she wanted to face up to it or not.

Copyright © 2020 by Laura Trentham

*****

Review:

While I absolutely AH-DORE Trentham’s small town romances, her women’s fiction books are some of the best reads out there. There’s so much believability in the characters, their situations, and the way they interact with one another. And whether it’s to make you laugh or to make you cry, she just knows how to get to the heart of things and drag the right emotions out of you without seeming to try.

I really enjoy Greer – she’s a little lost about what she’s going to do with the rest of her life. Her vision for her future is gone after it seems like her music abandons her and the last thing she wants to do is get involved in a music therapy group. Luckily, her first client is a young girl who just draws Greer to her … as does her second client, somewhat grumpy (but definitely sexy) Emmett.

Emmett is also at a loss for what to do with his own future up in the air. The loss of a leg means the loss of his career and with all he’s seen & done his feelings about himself as a good man is also in tatters. When a spitfire in a short skirt shows up at his door and doesn’t take much of his bull, Emmett slowly finds himself resurfacing from his pain and grief. And the more they go toe to toe, the more he finds himself feeling normal again … if only he can let go of the guilt.

The connections that Greer makes are so warming. I just felt myself pull for her as she slowly gets Ally to come out of her shell and start connecting to something other than anger & pain. And while it takes a different tone, her irreverent sense of humor and stubbornness also helps Emmett to start seeing more in the world than his front porch and the bottom of a bottle.

Exploring themes of healing, friendship, grief, and love, An Everyday Hero is one of the best reads of 2020. Even if you aren’t a big romance reader, there is plenty here for you to enjoy.

(Part of a series, but stands on its own.)

*****

Author Info:

Laura Trentham is an award winning romance author. The Military Wife is her debut women’s fiction novel. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraTrentham

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraTrenthamAuthor

Author Website: http://www.lauratrentham.com/

Macmillan Author Page: https://us.macmillan.com/author/lauratrentham

*****

Spotlight – Witness Protection Widow

Tags

,

*****

Witness Protection Widow

by Debra Webb

Blurb:

Can the witness protection program keep her identity secret?

After Allison James finally escapes her marriage to a monster, she becomes the star witness in the case against her deceased husband’s powerful crime family. Now it’s up to US Marshal Jaxson Stevens, Ali’s ex-boyfriend, to keep the WITSEC widow safe. But as the danger escalates and sparks fly, will Jax be able to help Ali escape her ruthless in-laws?

*****

Excerpt:

She shivered. The fire had gone out. She kept on her jacket while she added logs to the fireplace and kindling to get it started. Within a couple of minutes, the fire was going. She’d had a fireplace as a kid, so relearning her way around this one hadn’t been so bad. She went back to the kitchen and turned on the kettle for tea.

Bob growled low in his throat and stared toward the front door.

She froze. Her phone was in her hip pocket. Her gun was still in her waistband at the small of her back. This was something else Marshal Holloway had insisted upon. He’d taught her how to use a handgun. They’d held many target practices right behind this cabin.

A creak beyond the front door warned that someone was on the porch. She eased across the room and went to the special peephole that had been installed. There was one on each side of the cabin, allowing for views all the way around. A man stood on the porch. He was the typical local cowboy. Jeans and boots. Hat in his hands. Big truck in the drive. Just like Marshal Holloway.

But she did not know this man.

“Alice Stewart, if you’re in there, it’s okay for you to open the door. I’m Sheriff Colt Tanner. Branch sent me.”

Her heart thudding, she held perfectly still. Branch would never send someone to her without letting her know first. If for some reason he couldn’t tell her in advance, they had a protocol for these situations.

She reached back, fingers curled about the butt of her weapon. Bob moved stealthily toward the door.

“I know you’re concerned about opening the door to a stranger, but you need to trust me. Branch has been in an accident, and he’s in the hospital undergoing surgery right now. No matter that his injuries were serious, he refused to go into surgery until he spoke to me and I assured him I would look after you, ma’am.”

Worry joined the mixture of fear and dread churning inside her. She hoped Branch wasn’t hurt too badly. He had a wife and a daughter.

She opened her mouth to ask about his condition, but then she snapped it shut. The man at her door had not said the code word.

*****

Author Info:

DEBRA WEBB is the award winning, USA Today bestselling author of more than 150 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, the Colby Agency, and the Shades of Death series. With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood on a farm in Alabama. Visit Debra at www.DebraWebb.com

*****

Spotlight – Hot Shot

Tags

, ,

Hot Shot, an all-new slow-burn second-chance romance from USA Today bestselling author Robin Bielman, is available now!

*****

Hot Shot

American Royalty #3

by Robin Bielman

Blurb:

He believes in fate…

Here’s my plan: Crash through the ceiling of my family’s business to become the best hotelier on the West Coast. Nothing rattles me when it comes to a challenge and hard work, but when I spot my almost one-night-stand in my lobby, I’m thrown totally off my game. Alejandra is my dream girl. The one I can’t forget who got away—literally. Which might explain why I blurt out to my meddlesome, matchmaking grandmother that Alejandra is my date for her fast approaching and highly choreographed eightieth birthday party.

She’s been on pause…

Some decisions are harder than others, but agreeing to a date with Drew isn’t one of them. He’s a charming and gorgeous curveball I didn’t see coming, but the more time we spend together, the harder it is to remember to play it safe. I’ve made a promise, and even though I’m now torn, I have to honor it in order to move on from the past.

Drew feels like my future, but I’m about to put everything I want in jeopardy.

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2sgn2KW

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2QOXcI5

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Hotshotrb

Nook: http://bit.ly/33kEvhW

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Dbyk5p

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2RmRMny

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3aDzJBb

Add HOTSHOT to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2KHaXVh

*****

Excerpt:

“Is it okay if I take this seat?” a man asks. The masculine voice is deep, seductive. Friendly.

That’s what resonates deep inside me, and I don’t have to think twice about my answer. I also don’t have to turn my head to know who’s asking. “Sure.”

“I’m Drew,” he says as he gets comfortable beside me.

I take a moment to breathe in his clean, spicy scent before I look at him. “Alejandra.” “It’s nice to meet you, Alejandra.”

“You, too.” Up close, he’s even better-looking. Eyes a shade of blue-green I’ve never seen before, neat hair longer on top than the sides, broad shoulders that fill out his tailored suit coat. I’d venture his outfit cost more than my monthly mortgage.

He notices my glass of water and waves a hand at the bartender. A thick black watch peeks out from his sleeve. His hand is big, capable-looking. “Can I buy you a drink?”

With the way my pulse is racing, he absolutely can. I may need several to calm my nerves. “I think I saw a blood orange margarita on the menu.”

“Good choice.”

“Hey, Drew,” the bartender says. “What can I get you?”

“Two blood orange margaritas, please. On the rocks.”

“You got it.” He drops a cocktail napkin in front of Drew and one in front of me. “You seem to know a lot of people,” I say.

“A few. What about you?”

“I’m here with my sister and two friends. They’re on the dance floor.”

“It’s lucky I got to you before someone else, then.”

I can’t get my head down. It’s a good thing my light brown skin doesn’t give away my blush easily. Are there other people here? All of a sudden it doesn’t feel like it.

“Looks like you took one for the team,” he says next.

“What?” His knee taps mine as he swivels and nods to my boot.

Oh, that. I grin. What a nice way to put it. Not only is Drew the hottest-looking man in this bar, but he’s decided I’m caring rather than klutzy, something no stranger has done in the five weeks I’ve been injured. “Team captain right here,” I say.

“Your T-shirts have a ‘W’ on them, don’t they?”

It takes me a second to follow his train of thought. Wonder Woman. “Laying it on a little thick, aren’t you?” I tease.

He smiles and I’m hit not only with flirty intensity, but sincerity, too. He might be coming on strong, but his compliment is genuine. “Is it working?”

*****

Author Info:

Robin Bielman is the USA Today bestselling author of over fifteen novels. When not attached to her laptop, she loves to read, go to the beach, frequent coffee shops (and by frequent she means daily but she’s trying to break the habit), and spend time with her high school sweetheart husband and two sons.

Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts most of her story ideas. She writes with a steady stream of caffeine nearby (see above) and the best dog on the planet, Harry, by her side. She also dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers. Keep in touch on social! Xoxo

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2q91Q8S

Instagram: http://bit.ly/35PpBSD

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2LrutWv

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2DAPZDS

GoodReads: http://bit.ly/33zpY21

Stay up to date with Robin by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2P078fr

Website: https://robinbielman.com

*****

Spotlight – Weekend Wife

Tags

,

Weekend Wife, an all-new sassy and quirky stand-alone rom com from New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy, is available now!

*****

Weekend Wife

by Erin McCarthy

Blurb:

Billionaire businessman in need of a fake fiancée…

It should be the easiest job ever for an out-of-work actress, right?

All I have to do is pose as Grant Caldwell (the Third)’s fiancé for a fancy-pants weekend in the Hamptons. Easy. Wear designer clothing and sip champagne? Don’t mind if I do. Flirting with Grant? It’s so delicious I should be paying him.

Nothing can go wrong as long as I can just keep my hands off of him.

But that’s the hard part. And I do mean hard.

Because Grant is sexy.

And bossy.

And surprisingly sweet, a real rarity in his pretentious family.

Oops. I’m not as good at faking it as I thought. Or maybe they call this method acting. Because it’s getting harder to figure out where my character ends and I begin…

It just might be the role of a lifetime.

Download your copy today or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2vCLc3P

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3b9dbZs

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2u3DcbV

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/397Id21

Add WEEKEND WIFE to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/35JEWEF

*****

Excerpt:

I looked at Leah. “Sorry about that. I am not filthy rich.” I actually was, but I felt compelled to be modest. “I’m just rich.”

“Oh, yeah? Well… I think everyone’s definition of filthy is different.”

And just like that, Leah took an awkward moment and made it flirtatious. Her voice was low, breathy.

Green light. That’s what that was. And I was hitting the gas and plowing into the intersection.

I eyed her. “What do you know about filthy?”

I had leaned closer to her, turned slightly, my thigh brushing against the fabric of her skirt. Her lips were a ripe raspberry color and she had a divot in the base of her chin that made me want to kiss it. Her chest rose and fell beneath her tight sweater with a quick rhythm, like she was turned on. Intrigued. Contemplating her move. She opened her mouth, gaze sweeping over my lips, and for a second I thought she was going to move close enough that I could kiss her.

Instead, she held my gaze, all seduction and skill, while her hand shot out and tucked the cash into the breast pocket of my suit. She grinned and turned back to the front, smug.

Damn.

“Nice acting skills,” I told her dryly. Leah, starring in the role of femme fatale, and I’d fallen for it.

“Thanks. I’m working on eye contact.”

I was working on blue balls.

She was cute and clever. Fuck.

I knew a couple of women who wanted exactly what I did—no-strings-attached sex. No one got offended if months went by without contact and it was just as likely they would text me as I would text them. I didn’t get… ensnared. Leah could ensnare me. It might be time to send out a sexual SOS. I needed zero contact with Leah after today. She wasn’t good for my concentration. But I did admire both her boldness and her talent.

“That was savage,” I told her. “I love it.”

“I need a distraction from the fact that my ankle seems to have a heartbeat and half the ice has melted so now my sock is damp.”

Right. Her busted ankle. That was the relevant issue at hand, not my dick.

“You really should elevate your ankle. Turn a little.”

Surprisingly, she obeyed me. I dug my way through all that fabric and hauled her calf and ankle up onto my lap. I also tucked the hundred bucks back into her skirt pocket. She didn’t seem to notice and just cleared her throat.

Leah bit her bottom lip. “This is weird,” she said. “I don’t think you want my damp sock on your pants.”

There were so many things I wanted to say. All of them inappropriate as fuck.

What I settled for was, “Don’t assume what I want.”

*****

Author Info:

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written over seventy-five novels and novellas in the romance and mystery genres. Erin has a special weakness for high-heeled boots, martinis, and Frank Sinatra. She lives with her renovation-addicted husband (he built her a bar, so it’s all good!) and their blended family of kids and rescue dogs.

Connect with Erin

Facebook: http://bit.ly/39K0yDk

Instagram: http://bit.ly/37EuvCQ

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2ZWtdQT

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QtYjMD

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2uqW6Jx

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2FrgL2d

Stay up to date with Erin by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2tYmOsP

Website: https://erinmccarthy.net

*****