Spotlight – Got It Bad

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Kellan might not have the mob ties his brothers do but that doesn’t stop him from being a bad boy …

*****

Got It Bad

Bad Boys Gone Good series

by Christi Barth

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

Kellan Maguire’s on the run from the mob, living a secret life. The only bright spot is his U.S. Marshal handler. Yeah, he wants to handle her….a lot. And in spite of all the rules it would break, Federal Marshal Delaney Evans secretly fears she’d risk everything for one night with Kellan. Even though Delaney’s career, her entire world, could implode if she admits how important he is to her. And all that is before the biggest complication of all hits…

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

*****

Excerpt:

Kellan clasped a thin bracelet around her left wrist. A silver key and a heart-shaped lock dangled from it. “This is my way of saying thank you. A reminder that you’ve got my heart all locked up now.”

All that thick blond hair hid her face as she stared down at her wrist wordlessly. For a while. For too long. Long enough that Kellan focused on the rushing of the river and the squawk from ducks at its edge.

Shit. Was it too much? Had he pushed too fast?

Delaney slid out of the chair to her knees. Then she threw her arms around his neck, locking her crossed wrists at the back of his head. “Thank you. I . . . I never planned on having someone feel like this about me. I was sure I didn’t want it to happen. But I’m genuinely thrilled to hear you say all this.”

Never planned on—what did that mean? How many secrets had she still not shared?

This near whisper of an admission sounded as if it was wrenched from deep inside of her. Pushing for more seemed like a sure-fire way to set off one of their old habitual fights. And Kellan was damn pleased that it’d been a while since they’d fallen into that trap. They deserved one of those OSHA safety signs—It has been 10 days since our last incident. “Any time I can provide a thrill, I call it a good date.”

“I’m truly touched. I wish I had something to give you. For making me feel so special.”

“No way. That’s like writing a thank you note for a thank you note.” On the other hand, he could press his luck a little more. Because Delaney was damned hard to read. “You could maybe let me know if and/or when you feel the same way.”

Her eyes flew wide open. “Can’t you tell?”

Maybe? The thing was, “maybe” didn’t cut it. Kellan needed to know. “I don’t like to raise at the poker table unless I’m damned sure of what I’m holding—and what everyone else is holding.”

“Oh, for God’s sake.” Delaney rolled her eyes and dropped her head back. But to Kellan, her oh-so-habitual look of annoyance was simply adorable. “What is it with men? Not every analogy has to come down to poker or The Godfather.”

“That movie actually never played in my house. I guess now I know why.”

“Ironic.” Delaney wriggled up against him. Then she kissed him, slowly. Softly. When she started to pull away, Kellan tightened one arm around her waist. Okay, sort of her waist. More that he started there before immediately moving down to anchor his hand on her sweet ass. Then he took charge of the kiss.

He liked to take charge in the bedroom. And, surprisingly, his hard-as-nails, normally take-charge marshal seemed to relish it when he did. Just more proof that they were right for each other.

So Kellan drew out the kiss. Kept it soft. Tender. Romantic, to suit the day and the setting. He wanted Delaney to go back over these kisses, these stolen moments, a hundred times a day on all the days when they were stuck hundreds of miles apart. Until he figured out a way to keep them together.

There had to be a way.

*****

Author Info:

USA TODAY bestselling author Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

Website | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page  | Facebook   | Instagram

*****

Giveaway:

2 Series Blankets, Mug and Notebook

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4cf78adb703/

*****

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Spotlight – Vampires Like It Hot

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Sands is a favorite for those who like their heroes a little … long in the tooth 🙂

*****

Vampires Like It Hot  

Argeneau Series

by Lynsay Sands

Genre Adult Paranormal Romance

Publisher Avon Books

Publication Date September 18, 2018

Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands brings the heat in this new Argeneau novel, as one woman is rescued by an irresistible immortal …

“Vampires…”

When Raffaele Notte pulls a barely dressed, disoriented woman from the ocean, the last thing he expects is for her to utter that word. The immortal has come to the island resort to help his cousin, but now, it seems, there are rogue vampires dining on unsuspecting tourists. And he soon realizes that not only is Jess a target, she’s also the life mate he’s been waiting for…

Vampires are real. Jess would’ve never believed it until she saw them with her own eyes. She knows she has to get off the island, and her gallant rescuer has offered to help. There’s something about Raffaele that’s unlike any man she has ever met, and his touch sends pleasure through her that is beyond all imagining. But when Jess discovers who he really is, will she risk life as she knows it for a chance of forever by his side?

Amazon https://amzn.to/2PbetXK

Avon Romance https://goo.gl/XCzggZ

Barnes & Noble https://goo.gl/8xs1ot

Google Play https://goo.gl/ZkKND5

iBooks https://apple.co/2wyb8KC

*****

Excerpt:

“It’s a woman.”

“Who is she?”

“She’s wearing a life jacket.”

“What happened?”

“How did she end up in the water?”

Raffaele shook his head at the rapid-fire questions shot at him by Zanipolo and Santo as he carried the woman out of the water. Rather than answer, he merely said, “Bring my clothes, please,” and walked past them, heading for the resort buildings.

The men had already gathered his clothes for him on the way down, so merely fell into step on either side of him as he walked.

“Is she alive?” Zanipolo asked with a frown, leaning slightly in front of Raffaele to look at the woman in his arms as they walked,.

“Yes,” Raffaele said quietly. “I think she has just fainted from her exhaustion.”

“Are you taking her to the resort clinic?” Santo asked as they reached the rows of lounge chairs at the head of the beach.

“No. I want to look her over myself first,” Raffaele said solemnly.

“Why?” Santo asked at once.

“Two reasons,” Raffaele responded as they made their way out of the rows of chairs and reached the concrete paths leading to the various resort buildings. Much to his relief the paths were pretty much deserted at this hour with most people already in bed, or situated in the bar enjoying the entertainment. There were only one or two guests making their way to their rooms and they paid them no attention.

“What is the first reason?” Santo asked as they approached the paths around the pools.

“I want to look her over for bites,” Raffaele admitted.

“Bites?” Zanipolo asked with interest. “What makes you think she might have been bitten?”

“Because when I asked her if she’d fallen off a boat or cruise ship, she said no, she jumped, and when I asked why, she said—” he glanced around to be sure no one was near enough to hear, and then lowered his voice anyway as he finished with “‘—vampires.’”

“Bingo,” Zanipolo said with grim satisfaction as they got past the pools and approached their building. “She’ll be able to tell us where the vampire nest is and how they operate. It’s got to be some kind of dinner cruise or something. Or it could be a day cruise. She could have had to swim a long way.” He frowned over that briefly as they reached their building and walked along the open hall to the stairs, and then asked, “What is the second reason you want to examine her before we take her to the resort clinic?”

“When I got to her she was beyond exhausted,” Raffaele said as they started up the stairs. “Her words were slurred and she could hardly keep her eyes open. I thought it would be easier all around if I read her mind to see what had happened, and took control of her to drag her in.”

“And?” Santo prodded as they exited the stairs at their floor and started along the hall to their room.

Raffaele was silent for a minute, having trouble accepting what he was about to say himself, but when they reached the door to their suite and Santo pulled out his key card to unlock the door, Raffaele swallowed and said in almost a whisper, “I couldn’t read her.”

Santo had got the door unlocked and started to open it before Raffaele spoke, but now he stiffened and turned sharply to peer at him with amazement. “What?”

Raffaele merely nodded.

“Score!” Zanipolo shouted gleefully. “Didn’t I tell you? I told you! Didn’t I? Hot resorts are the way to go to find our mates! I so toldyou that!”

“Yes, you did,” Raffaele admitted with amusement as Santo pushed the door open for him to carry his life mate into the room.

“And he’ll remind you of that every day for the rest of his life,” Santo said dryly as he let the door close, locked it, and then hit the light switch, turning on the overhead light.

“Sì, I will,” Zanipolo agreed gleefully, moving to Raffaele’s side to peer down at the woman he held. Eyeing her almost reverently now, he whispered, “Cugino, your life mate is very pretty.”

“Yes, she is,” Raffaele agreed solemnly, his gaze sliding over her as well. Her lips were full and looked soft, her nose straight, and while they were closed now, he knew her eyes were large and lovely, and an eggshell blue. Her hair, of course, was wet, but appeared to be a dark brown.

“What is her name?” Santo asked, moving closer to look her over as well.

Raffaele stiffened at the question. “I don’t know her name,” he admitted.

“You didn’t ask her?” Santo asked with surprise.

Raffaele shook his head.

“Are you kidding me?” Zanipolo asked with disbelief. “You finally meet your mate and you did not even ask her name?”

Raffaele opened his mouth to respond, but was forestalled when the woman in his arms suddenly began to shriek and thrash wildly about.

*****

Author Info:

LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at www.lynsaysands.net.

Website http://www.lynsaysands.net/news.html

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynsay-Sands/125138040836322

Twitter https://twitter.com/lynsaysands

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33889462-immortally-yours

Amazon http://amzn.to/2CYW63A

*****

Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of VAMPIRES LIKE IT HOT by Lynsay Sands, we’re giving away a paperback copy of Twice Bitten!

http://bit.ly/2wraXAW

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Twice Bitten by Lynsay Sands.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 9/28/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.

*****

Click on the banner below to check out the rest of the tour

Spotlight – Take Me Again

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I’m super excited to share some surprise book news!!  Take Me Again, an all-new, sexy contemporary standalone from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips, is coming January 2019. Get ready to meet her swooniest hero yet.

*****

Take Me Again

by Carly Phillips

Coming January 2019

Cover Design: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs

Photographer: Sara Eirew, Sara Eirew Photographer

Blurb:

Sebastian Knight has a talent for closing the deal-in the boardroom  . . .  and in the bedroom.

He’s used to getting what he wants . . . but she’s going to make him work for it.

Sebastian Knight is a closer. Be it a real estate deal or the woman of his choice, everything he wants is his for the taking.

Sexy and irresistible,  a wink, a smile, or a handshake always seals the deal.

Until everything unravels around him.

After Ashley Easton’s social climbing mother married into the Knight family, Ashley knew better than to get involved with sexy, trouble making Sebastian Knight but their attraction is undeniable, their chemistry intense, and in a moment of weakness, she turns to him, a mistake that cost her her home and her family. After she was sent away, she swore she’d never come back.

Sebastian never expected to see Ashley, the one woman he’s never been able to get over, again.

When she walks back into his life at the worst possible time, more beautiful than ever, he’s ready for a second chance. She’s sassy and sexy everything he’s ever desired. And she’s back for good. Except Ashley wants nothing to do with the playboy who broke her heart. Too bad his sex appeal makes it harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

Sebastian Knight might have a talent for sealing the deal but this is one game he’s going to have to work to win.

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DbFN7l

iBooks: https://apple.co/2pnBhsC

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

Nook: http://bit.ly/2xz3jFj

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

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2PRmp10

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2plVcIh

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2xBRvBU

*****

Author Info:

Carly Phillips is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carly-phillips

Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2QyGiLl

Instagram: https://instagram.com/carlyphillips

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2Nk4bID

Stay up to date with Carly by joining her mailing list: http://www.carlyphillips.com/newsletter-sign-up/

Sign up for Text Updates of New Releases: http://tinyurl.com/p3upm5s

Join Carly’s Addicts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CarlysAddicts/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/carlyphillips

Website: www.carlyphillips.com

Blog:  http://www.carlyphillips.com/blog

*****

Book Review – Until We’re More

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Until We’re More

Fighting for Her series

by Cindi Madsen

Chelsea is smart, funny, gorgeous, and the best friend I’ve ever had. Ever since she left, I’ve been a wreck. I’ve been focused on keeping my family’s MMA gym afloat while I train and coach fighters, anything to not miss her more. But now she’s finally back, along with her grumpy, possessive cat, and things are weird between us.

By weird, I mean I can’t stop thinking about her in that way. She’s in the room next door, and it takes all my control not to storm in there, sweep her up, and bring her back to my bed. Even stranger, I’m pretty sure she’d be into it.

And this time, I’m not going to stop fighting until we’re more.

Madsen perfectly captures Liam and Chelsea’s conflict.  They both are struggling with their attraction but their friendship is so massively important that just the thought of endangering that is unthinkable.  And she makes sure that readers get that – we understand how they support each other and how they suffered with the recent distance in their relationship.  But sometimes things are bigger than you can control and even though it takes a while they finally give in … and it is wonderful.  For a while 🙂

As is probably evident, there is a bit of back and forth here that might get old for some readers but for me Madsen uses it to really bring home how important this decision is for them.  It would normally bother me, and I did want to smack them (especially Liam) more than once, but it works for this story.  So while it may be a slow burn romance, Madsen makes sure that the journey is full of humor, cuteness, and touching moments to keep readers going.  Before she turns on the steam!

 

Spotlight – Reid

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This one is getting a whole LOT of 5 stars reviews … and I’m looking forward to getting my own copy so I can find out why!

*****

Reid

Vested Interest #4

by Melanie Moreland

Release Date: September 17, 2018

Blurb:

A child, abandoned and unloved.

A teen, adrift and disregarded, using his superior tech skills for the wrong intentions.

A young adult, his future overshadowed by his prison record, his life an endless loop of loneliness.

Until he is given a second chance and a new life emerges.

A career he once thought he could only dream of, surrounded by people who show him that family and home aren’t simply words.

And a girl who shows him the greatest, most complex code he could ever write.

Love.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40600876-reid\

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/Reid_VI

Apple, Kobo & Nook: https://books2read.com/ReidVestedInterest

Also available in the Vested Interest series: 

#1 BENTLEY: https://books2read.com/u/m2o2RG

“I loved this book… [it] is everything I want in book 1 of a new series and then some.” – Shh Mom’s Reading

#2 AIDEN: https://books2read.com/AidenVestedInterest

“I just couldn’t put this book down. I became so fascinated by the plot and the characters that my fascination was actually bordering on obsession.” – MammieBabbie

#3 MADDOX: https://books2read.com/MaddoxVestedInterest/

“A 5-star story that made me read for hours . . . A romantic suspense that had me intrigued from the very first page read.” – TDC Book Reviews

*****

Excerpt:

“Oh hey, Reid. Come in. I’m running late.”

Disappointed at her casual greeting, I followed her down the hall. Her ass looked especially pert and full today. I wanted to cup it. To grab her and kiss her, and grind my erection into her so she knew what she was doing to me. To prove how I was feeling was anything but casual. Instead, I set down my bag, trying to appear nonchalant. “Am I interrupting?”

“No, I’m taking my class. Do you need in this area?” She indicated the empty space behind her.

“No, um, I can start anywhere.”

She lifted a bottle of water, taking a long swallow. The action caused her throat to work, and I was fascinated watching the pull of her muscles. When a small river of water escaped the bottle, racing down her neck and disappearing into her neckline, I was certain I whimpered. Her expression never changed.

“How about I start at the door?”

“Sure. I’ll be here.” She pointed behind me. “I poured you water. I know you like ice.”

“Thanks.”

I opened my bag on the counter, making sure I had everything I needed. I carried the control panel to the door, along with the contact and other items I would need. The music started up again, and I glanced down the hall, freezing. My eyes widened when I realized what class she was taking. One, until this moment, I didn’t know existed.

Not yoga or one of the jazzer-whatever classes.

Pole dancing.

Becca was fucking pole dancing in front of me.

I stared as she went through some moves, seemingly forgetting I was even in the area. I knew my mouth hung open. I knew my dick lengthened.

I knew I was fucked.

She was elegant and graceful, a blur of movement as she twirled and arched.

Wicked and tempting as she wrapped her legs around the pole and bent backward. The bow of her back was mesmerizing as she hung upside down with only the strength of her legs holding her in position.

I had to turn away, fumbling with the items in my hands. I shut my eyes, counted to ten, and reached for the drill. I needed to concentrate.

Except my gaze drifted back to her and I stared for endless moments, caught up in her actions. She hung on the pole using only her hands, her legs split and wide, balancing. She transitioned into a spin and moved onto yet another seductive move.

I dropped the control unit, annihilating it when the drill landed on top. Cursing, I picked it up, grateful I always carried a spare. In the kitchen, I dug the other one from my bag, then desperate to cool off, grabbed the glass of water she had for me and drank it down. I leaned against the back counter, watching Becca’s mesmerizing form.

She did a series of moves, ending with a one-legged spin, her arms controlling the motion. When she was done, she bent low, one leg around the pole, her arm locked in position. Her hair dragged on the floor, her other arm stretched back, highlighting her curves. Her face tilted in my direction, and our eyes locked across the room. Her chest heaved, mine matching her breathing without thought. A slow, sexy smirk split her mouth.

“You like that, Reid?” she asked, her voice a throaty purr.

The entire week crashed down on me. The worry, disappointment, and frustration made me react. I didn’t care about her father’s views, her ideas of convicts. I didn’t care we needed to talk. It didn’t matter. All that mattered was touching her. She knew what seeing her would do to me. She did this deliberately to provoke me.

It was my turn. The only thing standing in my way was the counter.

I was going over it.

*****

Author Info:

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.

Melanie is represented by Flavia Viotti at Bookcase Literary Agency. For any questions regarding subsidiary or translation rights please contact her at flavia@bookcaseagency.com.

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2wlWE1z

Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2wOwbdJ

Newsletter: http://www.subscribepage.com/melaniemoreland

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2vrs5oY

Book+Main: http://bit.ly/2AuWp4S

Plus, visit Melanie’s website to learn more about ALL of her books! https://melaniemoreland.com/books/

*****

Giveaway:

$50 Amazon Gift Card & Signed Paperback Copy of Reid

https://gleam.io/VXrkv/reid-vested-interest-book-4-release-giveaway

*****

Spotlight – Wild On My Mind

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This is Kerr’s debut novel and it is very much a charmer.  I am SO looking forward to finding out what awesomeness she has in store for us next!

*****

Wild On My Mind

Where the Wild Hearts Are

by Laurel Kerr

Blurb:

Love runs wild at the Sagebrush Flats Zoo, where a motley crew of big-hearted animals helps the most unlikely couples find love.

When Katie Underwood discovers a litter of newborn cougar cubs, the last person she expects to come to the rescue is her former crush—and high school nemesis—Bowie Wilson. The worst part? He doesn’t seem to remember the trouble he caused her.

As a single father and owner of a cash-strapped zoo, Bowie struggles to balance budgets while raising his preteen daughter and a host of rascally animals. He considers himself lucky when Katie agrees to lend her talents to a publicity campaign in support of the zoo’s animal rescue programs—until he learns just what she’s planning…

This time, Katie is determined to resist Bowie’s charm. But a lovelorn camel, a matchmaking honey badger, and a nursemaid capybara have different plans. Can they and the rest of the zoo’s menagerie help Bowie break through the barriers surrounding Katie’s heart?

Love can’t be tamed…

Amazon:  amzn.to/2MwJeW0

B&N:  bit.ly/2KucfRt

Apple:  apple.co/2Nianwu

Kobo:  bit.ly/2MLVhT2

IndieBound:  bit.ly/2MNncSp

*****

Excerpt:

“What are you working on?”

Katie tilted the screen in Abby’s direction. “A new website. Do you want to see what I’ve done so far?”

Abby nodded eagerly. As Katie flipped through the unfinished pages, the girl leaned close.

“That looks so awesome!” she said.

A smile spread across Katie’s face. Sharing her work with a tween was completely different from showing her old, grouchy boss. Abby squealed constantly and even clapped her hands twice. She pointed at the screen, excitedly giving suggestions. Some, especially her personal stories about the animals, were great. Katie’s fingers flew across the keyboard as she felt a rekindling of her old excitement for web design. In fact, she and Abby were so engrossed in the website that they didn’t even notice when Bowie woke up.

“How long was I out?” he asked. Katie turned to see him sitting upright on the air mattress, rubbing the back of his head. The gesture caused his already dishev­eled shirt to hike up, revealing several inches of nicely toned abs. It also had the side effect of flexing his right bicep—his very nice, very muscular bicep.

Katie’s stomach flip-flopped. The man was seriously attractive.

Even a model would have trouble pulling off sexy dishabille so effortlessly. Sleep had cured Bowie’s drawn features and dark circles. The fact that he wasn’t fully awake only added an element of intimacy, despite Abby’s presence. His black hair stood up in uneven spikes, making Katie want to smooth it down…and not just because it looked messy.

Bowie wore the sexy look well—too well.

Katie didn’t want to feel that slow, pleasurable tug again. It had muddled her mind in the past, and she didn’t want to start gazing at him with pup­pylike adoration, especially now. She was having enough trouble trying to figure out her career path without adding distraction into the mix—especially distraction of the male variety.

She was an adult. She understood the pull of sexual attraction and knew how to prevent it from turning into infatuation. She certainly knew not to mistake it for love.

“It’s six thirty,” Abby chirped happily, bouncing up from the floor. “I gave your breakfast to Katie. I’ll go grab another bagel.”

She bounded from the room with the energy only someone under the age of thirteen could possess. Bowie yawned and stretched, showing even more of his stomach muscles. Halfway through, he must have realized that his shirt had slid up, because he stopped and yanked it down.

Pity. Although, really, wasn’t that what Katie wanted?

“You should have woken me,” he told her, standing up.

She shrugged. “You looked like you needed the rest, and I was on a roll with the website.”

Bowie shifted uncomfortably and said gruffly, “Thanks, but you didn’t need to do that. I’ve run on little sleep before.”

“No biggie. So have I. And I had plenty of fuel.” Katie gestured to the two empty cans of Red Bull beside her.

“Did the cubs wake up for a feeding?”

She nodded. “They drank like champs.”

“So what were you and Abby looking at when I woke up?”

Katie got up and handed him the laptop. “She was helping me put together information about the animals for the website. What do you think so far? I’ve kept it professional and user-friendly. We can add some flashier features, but I think the portal should be streamlined.”

“This looks great,” Bowie said, the enthusiasm in his voice sounding legitimate. “You accomplished all this last night?”

A part of her thrilled at his words. Even long after Katie should have known better, she’d yearned for his and Sawyer’s respect. Suddenly, her dad’s words from yesterday popped into her mind. Was a part of her still trying to prove herself? Is that why she wanted a flashy job so badly? To have something to brag about? To automatically impress people?

Before Katie could reply, the door opened, and Lou entered. He walked a little stiffly but was still steady on his feet. She wouldn’t call him frail, but he didn’t quite fit the category of robust either. Lou glanced back and forth between her and Bowie, and Katie didn’t like his speculative look. Both the elderly zookeeper and her mother were a little too eager for them to work together. Thankfully, Lou didn’t make any comment. Instead, he just greeted them cheerfully.

“So how are my charges this morning?” he asked.

“They’re good,” Bowie told him. “Katie said they took their bottles well last night.”

Lou turned toward her. “So, you stayed the whole night. Couldn’t tear yourself away from the little critters, could you?”

“Nope, especially when they were curled up in little balls next to Sylvia. Plus, Bowie looked like he was on his last legs, so I thought I’d give him a few extra hours of sleep.”

Lou’s eyes gleamed at her last comment, and Katie nearly winced at her blunder. She did not want to encourage the elderly vet’s matchmaking.

“Would you like to help me weigh the cubs and check them over?” he asked.

Katie nodded eagerly. “I’d love that.”

“I’ll be out feeding the animals,” Bowie said. “Let me know if you’re too tired to drive home, Katie. Lou can watch the cubs, and I’ll give you a lift.”

“I’ll be fine,” she told him, surprised by his offer.

He gave her a close look. “Are you sure? It’s not easy staying awake after an all-nighter.”

“It’s not my first,” Katie said. “I’m wide awake.”

Bowie nodded and was starting to leave when Katie thought of something. “This is most likely nothing, but I thought I heard an animal last night. It was probably just my imagination.”

He immediately turned around, his voice resigned. “What did you hear?”

“A chittering sound,” Katie said, and then, as best as she could, she mimicked it.

Bowie exchanged a look with Lou. Then both men said simultaneously in the same exasperated tone: “Fluffy!”

“Who’s Fluffy?” she asked.

“The zoo’s honey badger, but he isn’t a true badger. He’s more closely related to a weasel or a marten,” Bowie answered.

Katie had never heard of the creature, which surprised her. “What part of the world are honey badgers from?”

“Africa,” Lou answered before he turned to Bowie. “You better get Abby before she leaves for school.”

“Abby?” Katie asked in confusion.

Bowie nodded at Lou before turning to her. “Abby is the only person who can catch Fluffy.”

“Honey badgers are ornery critters,” Lou said, “but Fluffy has a real soft spot for our girl.”

Bowie scowled. “It’s those honey-covered larvae that she sneaks him.”

*****

Review:

I really enjoyed how well Kerr captured Bowie’s growth since school and Katie’s struggles not just coming face to face with him after all these years but also with the long term effects her high school years had on her.

Bowie had his reasons for doing the things he did (in addition to being a stupid teenager) but he didn’t really understand exactly how damaging his actions were.  Now the dad of a preteen daughter it hits home a little too hard exactly what he did.  But the years have also turned him into a stand-up guy and he’s not going to hide from it.  Hopefully, though, he can prove to Katie exactly how much he’s changed.

I can’t imagine how hard it was for Katie to meet Bowie again.  High school can be bad under normal circumstances and truly awful when you find yourself a target.  But she handles it with class.  She doesn’t let him completely off the hook but she keeps her sense of humor about her when she goes about getting her revenge.  Revenge that has her spending time with Bowie and his endearing family, both two legged and four.  Before long she’s finding them all pretty hard to resist.

If the zoo’s misfit animals don’t steal your heart, then Bowie’s cute-as-a-button daughter definitely will.  They provide a little extra charm to be the backdrop of an already delightfully irresistible guy who is trying really hard to prove that he deserves a second chance.  Full of humor and fun, with the right amount of heartfelt moments and even a little suspense mixed in, Kerr delivers an absolutely adorable read that I found pretty darn hard to put down.

*****

Giveaway:

Enter to win one of 5 copies of Wild On My Mind

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7693/

*****

Spotlight – Shameless

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I love a story involving a best friend’s sibling and the potential issues that might come out of it.  I’m super excited to see where Lynn goes with this one.

*****

Shameless

by Cherrie Lynn

Genre Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher Entangled Amara

Publication Date September 10, 2018

Blurb:

It’s a vacation Meredith Taylor will never forget. A sunny beach, good friends and good times. But when she overhears a couple having a passionate interlude on the balcony above her one night, she can’t get the man’s sultry voice out of her mind. Especially when she figures out exactly who that man is…

Cameron Moore always had an eye on his best friend’s little sister but considered her strictly off limits, choosing to satisfy his lust elsewhere. Now Meri seems to want to annihilate every wall Cam’s put up against her. The beach is hot, the drinks are cold, Meredith is irresistible, and something has to give. Will it only be the walls between them, or their hearts as well?

Amazon https://amzn.to/2wiIux3

Entangled Publishing https://goo.gl/N8jvB7

Barnes & Noble https://goo.gl/igLnmw

Kobo https://goo.gl/8pehDK

iBooks https://apple.co/2Puxs0B

*****

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Meredith Taylor was deep into her third beer when the moaning started.

She narrowly avoided choking on the gulp she’d just taken and wondered if she’d really heard what she thought she’d heard. Seven stories below and perhaps fifty yards in front of her, the Gulf of Mexico was a flat black oblivion in the night, but even with the unrelenting white noise of the waves washing ashore, the sounds of pleasure were unmistakable.

Someone on one of the balconies above her was getting it on. Or they were about to.

Meri set her beer down on the table beside her and stared wide-eyed at the ocean with blind concentration, straining her ears. Ordinarily, she would think of herself as a moral person, one who would, under normal circumstances, discreetly excuse herself and allow the couple above to carry on with their carnal activities without worry for a secret audience. It was after two in the morning, after all—they probably hadn’t counted on anyone being awake and watching waves nearby.

But Meri had muted that inner moral person with more than her usual dose of alcohol. So fuck that. She stood, moved to the railing, and silently cursed the incessant wind for its rushing in her ears. Or maybe that was her buzz. Or whatever.

Even with it, though, she could hear clearly enough.

“Oh God,” a feminine voice purred from above.

Yeah, yeah, Meri thought. You gotta do better than that, honey. Give me something to work with here. She smirked to herself, turning and leaning her back against the railing. Hopefully it wouldn’t give with her weight…she could just see the headlines now: Vacationer Falls to Her Death During Voyeuristic Acrobatics. Were you a voyeur if you could only hear the sexual encounter? She made a mental note to Google that later. God, sexual frustration had turned her into a perv.

More moaning. Male and female. He sounded kind of hot, which was good. The last guy she’d been with—she refused to allow herself to think about how long ago that had been—practically sounded like a woman when he came. That was a thing with her now…she loved manly male voices. Rich, deep, dark, shivery male voices. Since that incident, she judged each and every voice she heard from a potential suitor on its likelihood of sounding like a dying cat in the throes of passion. The one above her now…zero percent chance. In fact, she could close her eyes and imagine that murmuring voice in her own ear, hot breath tickling there, hot fingers trailing down her neck, her breast, to tease her nipple into aching attention, and she didn’t even have a face to put with it.

But that was the beauty of the situation, wasn’t it? He could be anyone she wanted him to be.

Cameron’s face floated through her thoughts, never an image to be muted by alcohol. God forbid she have any respite from that one. Even on this trip, Cameron Moore was an ever-present fixture. As her brother Dane’s lifelong best friend, he’d been that fixture further back than her memory could reach.

She didn’t want to think about him.

Except for a murmur here and there, she couldn’t hear much anymore. What were they doing now? Was he inside her yet? Maybe they were only in the foreplay part of their lovemaking session. Meri imagined clothes being pushed aside for teases and kisses and caresses. The woman still mewled her approval of whatever he was doing to her, but her sounds weren’t the staccato moans of fucking. No, they were still playing, by Meri’s guess, not having made it to the good stuff yet.

Long-term couple or onetime hook-up, they were lucky. Meri swigged her beer and stared sightlessly at the patio door leading into her bedroom. They weren’t out here alone in the middle of the night, letting the waves lull them into a melancholy that really had no place on a fun-filled, friend-packed summer vacation at the beach. But insomnia was a familiar if unwelcome companion of hers, no matter the occasion. And she’d figured it would be better to stare at the waves than the ceiling above her bed. And maybe a little self-medication wouldn’t be unheard of, hence the beer. Who knew she’d have some unsuspecting company?

Despite not wanting to think about Cam, he invaded Meredith’s thoughts anyway. It was a vicious cycle. Having been friends with her brother for so long, her brother with whom she was very close, Cam was simply always there. In just about every conversation, at every get-together, and now, this summer at least, on vacation, too. The man was inescapable.

But who’d want to escape that? He was built like a god. A personal trainer, he all but lived at the gym. Tattoos meandered down his shredded arms and torso. Dear God, she kept up her gym membership just to be able to ogle him, and he often stopped by as she huffed it on the elliptical to chat or give advice or convince her to let him train her.

She always turned him down. He would probably kill her.

Okay, so she had a crush on the guy. It wasn’t a big deal. She’d always kept him at arm’s length, but sometimes gave in to temptation and let her darkest fantasies out to play. Fantasies starring Cameron Moore. He was hot, so who could blame her?

And why did her thoughts keep going to him and not to the goings-on above?

“Yes. Oh yes, baby.” That was distinct. The woman again. Then, two long, loud moans harmonized and stole Meri’s breath away. Oh. If he wasn’t in her before, he’s in her now. Sliding in slowly, by the sounds of it, savoring it, making her feel every inch. And judging by the woman’s little cries of “More, more, oh God, more!” there were many thick inches to feel. Jesus. Meri swiped at a trickle of sweat at her temple, then trailed her cold beer bottle down the side of her neck. It left a shivery trail in the sticky summer heat clinging to her body.

Her thighs trembled. Those sounds…the man…his rough, primal groaning, his growling, more groaning, damn, his dirty-sweet sex talk. She couldn’t actually decipher any of his talk, but it had to be dirty and sweet. She would not allow herself to believe otherwise. She caught a few of his guttural curses, though, and her knees grew so weak she dropped into one of the chairs and crushed her thighs together, unsure if she was trying to encourage the building ache between them or fight it. It just seemed so…so wrong, so naughty, to get off on someone else’s pleasure when they didn’t even know she was there.

But she couldn’t leave. Couldn’t stop listening. Had she no damn shame?

Just one time, she thought desperately, be wrong. Be naughty. Her body didn’t need any encouragement, her pussy clenching regardless of her permission. With every sound that guy uttered, it clenched harder.

Hell, it seemed the hottest sex she’d ever had was someone else’s. She didn’t think she’d ever been this responsive, not with the three lovers she’d taken in her life. Not with their flesh-and-blood hands on her. But these hands, these phantom hands she only imagined, that disjointed male voice coming from above…oh God. Her blood felt like thick lava in her veins, and it was pooling, weighing her down in her pussy and her nipples and a few other erogenous zones she hadn’t known she had. Even her mouth felt numb and tingly. She tasted something sweet and forbidden at the back of her throat and swept her tongue across her needy lips.

Her hand trailed down the thin cami she wore, noting how tight and peaked her nipples were, down farther, toward her boxer shorts. Inside, she was so wet.

Should she? No. She shouldn’t.

But she was so wet. So needing to feel what that woman was feeling, even though her hand would be a poor substitute.

She parted her legs.

Would she let someone fuck her out here where anyone could hear? Would she even want that, knowing there were creeps like her around? Listening, invading her and her lover’s privacy, getting hot, getting themselves off to her pleasure…

Would she let Cameron, if he ever decided to show the slightest bit of sexual interest in her?

Meri opened her eyes, not even realizing she’d closed them. Her fingers brushed her thigh and, imagining it was Cam’s fingers, that small contact sent a jolt through her. The waves went on forever out on the beach, oblivious to her moral quagmire. Her sharp arousal. The Gulf was as black as Cameron’s hair. The sky was as dark as his eyes—the sky, yes, because of the stars, because she could swear that his eyes had lights in them…

She’d let him. The more she thought of it, the more certain she was.

The couple fucked on, the woman’s cries sharp and quick. Meri slid her fingers into her drenched panties. Talk to her. Talk to me. Let me hear you.

The rumble of the man’s voice reached her above the cacophony of the waves and her own pleasure, almost as if he had heard her thoughts. “Do you want to come?” A shiver went through Meri. Her pussy clenched helplessly. Yes. I want to come.

“Yes,” the girl pleaded. “Yes, make me come, make me come, make me come…” The chant died out, blown away by the wind. Did he have her against the wall? On the floor?

“The wall,” Meri whispered to herself. That’s how she would want it. Against the wall, because she’d never had it there. Cam was definitely strong enough. Yes, he could put her back to the wall and fuck her silly, that hard, muscular ass pumping into her while she clung helplessly to him. Like a rag doll. Invaded. Overwhelmed. God, she wanted that. With someone who sounded like the man above her, not someone who caterwauled.

Her fingers slipped easily against her slick, swollen clit. Ohhh. Did the guy up there go down on his lady, by any chance? Out here with the wind and the waves and the moon and stars as witnesses, did he spread her open wide and lick and suck her? Was that what Meri had heard earlier? As her finger drew lazy circles on her clit, she dreamed of Cam’s mouth on it. Hot, wet, making her hotter and wetter. She would drip for him before he would take her. Yes.

This was so fucked up. But thinking it only made her burn more brightly. She wanted to bare her skin to the wind. She wanted to taste the salt of the ocean as the dark waters engulfed her naked body. She wanted the moon to cast her skin in silver light and black shadow.

And she wanted someone to share that with, to taste those shadows. It wasn’t so much to ask.

No longer lazy, no longer soft. She worked herself feverishly, building the ache, giving over to it, even allowing a whimper when the woman’s cries were high. Yes, he was getting her there. He was getting Meri there. So close. So close. Her pulse throbbed thickly throughout her entire body. Coming. The wave peaking, cresting, starting to curl deliciously in her belly…

“Cameron, Cameron! Oh yes, yes, yes…”

Meredith Taylor’s eyes shot open. Her orgasm burst inside her, wracking her with cruel, guilty pleasure, but her heart crashed and burned in a fiery death.

Cameron.

She’d been imagining him, but he’d really been there. Only not with her.

*****

Author Info:

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author CHERRIE LYNN has been a CPS caseworker and a juvenile probation officer, but now that she has come to her senses, she writes contemporary and paranormal romance on the steamy side. It’s *much* more fun. She’s also an unabashed rock music enthusiast, and loves letting her passion for romance and metal collide on the page.

When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, listening to music or playing with her favorite gadget of the moment. She’s also fond of hitting the road with her husband to catch their favorite bands live.

Cherrie lives in East Texas with said husband and their two kids, all of whom are the source of much merriment, mischief and mayhem.

Website  https://www.cherrielynn.com/

Facebook http://facebook.com/cherrielynnauthor

Twitter http://twitter.com/cherrielynn

Goodreads https://goo.gl/PHc4df

Amazon https://amzn.to/2PxxLI2

*****

Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of SHAMELESS by Cherrie Lynn, we’re giving away for a $25 Amazon gift card!

http://bit.ly/2N8hCqJ

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open internationally. One winner will be chosen to receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Entangled Publishing.  Giveaway ends 9/16/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Entangled Publishing will send one winning prize, Pure Textuality PR will deliver the other. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.

*****

Click on the banner below to check out the rest of the tour

Spotlight – The Firefighter’s Pretend Fiancee

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Readers are luh-ving Victoria James’s new story.  If you are in the mood for a second chance romance then this just might be the one for you!

*****

The Firefighter’s Pretend Fiance

Shadow Creek, Montana Series

by Victoria James

Genre Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher Entangled Bliss

Publication Date September 10, 2018

Blurb:

Leaving Shadow Creek nine years ago was the hardest thing Molly Mayberry’s ever had to do…except maybe returning. She’s never regretted her choice, but a chance of a lifetime position at the local hospital means going home and facing her past, including her shrew of an estranged mother and the fiancé she ran out on. Ben Matthews is still the sexy, sweet man she left behind…and apparently still her fiancé.

Ben has been doggedly pursuing the position of fire chief since he was a teenager. There’s just one problem—he has to show his boss he’s ready to settle down. No matter how silly the condition, Ben will make it happen. And apparently so will his brother when he opens his mouth and decides to tell everyone Ben and Molly are engaged. Now the one woman he never stopped loving is living with him in a fake relationship, driving him crazy. Pretending only reminds him how right they were once, but if Ben gives in to the heat building between them, heartache is sure to follow.

Amazon https://amzn.to/2LxOFDj

Entangled Publishing https://goo.gl/Dm1fMn

Barnes & Noble https://goo.gl/VMQG7H

Kobo https://goo.gl/DnMzDa

iBooks https://apple.co/2wfFYIM

Each book in the Shadow Creek, Montana series is STANDALONE

* Christmas with the Sheriff

* The Baby Bombshell

* The Doctor’s Redemption

* Baby on the Bad Boy’s Doorstep

* The Firefighter’s Pretend Fiance

*****

Excerpt:

Prologue

Molly Mayberry knew she was living her best life.

She was twenty and had just completed her second year of med school. Some called her a genius, but she had always just thought of herself as a hard worker. She’d finished high school by the time she was fifteen and had completed her undergrad by eighteen. Not having a social life helped—except this summer, everything had changed for her. She had met a guy—no, a man—who saw her for more than just some weird, smart girl; he got her on every level.

She was going to marry Ben Matthews. They were going to have two or three children. They were going to buy a ranch house with a view of the mountains. They would raise their family in Shadow Creek, Montana, because it was idyllic, filled with old-school, American values. People greeted each other on the sidewalk, helped a neighbor in need, and believed in community.

Ben and Molly were destined to live happily ever after.

She tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear and waved to Ben when she spotted him entering the fairgrounds. He was pretty easy to spot, with his height and athletic build. He was one of the town sweethearts. Their small town did like to play favorites, and he and his brother, Finn, were amongst them. Their father was the local fire chief, and both boys were following in their father’s footsteps. That seemed to add to their appeal. She knew full well that half the single female population thought of Ben and Finn as the hottest catches for miles around. She had to agree. But for some reason, gorgeous, sweet, fearless, Ben had sought her out. Though they had only been dating for three months while she was home for the summer, she knew he was her soul mate.

“Hi beautiful,” he said, shooting her that grin that made her giddy and kept her smiling as she fell asleep at night. He leaned down to give her a kiss that was respectable enough for a public display, but hinted at what she knew would come later, in private.

“Hi,” she said, still holding on to him.

He took her hand and they started walking amongst the crowds where all the food vendors had lined up alongside booths with various craft items and local artisan products. They spent the day holding hands and walking and talking and eating. He shared his pumpkin pie, and she shared her fries and gravy. He won her a giant stuffed bear at the ring toss, and they kissed on the Ferris wheel as dusk settled and enveloped them, making everything surreal.

Molly had always wanted to go to the Harvest Festival Twilight Dance, and this would be her first time attending. After many wardrobe changes, with her sisters’ approval, she’d finally settled on a navy sundress with a cropped matching cardigan and sandals. She was pretty sure Ben, who was three years older than her, had attended the dance many times before, but she wasn’t worried or insecure. He made her feel like she was the only woman in the world. He pulled her close on the makeshift dancefloor, under the umbrella of twinkling white lights and starlit sky. He smelled crisp and clean with a hint of citrus. He led them to the corner where they were partially shielded by a grouping of aspen on the outskirts of the grounds.

The teasing sparkle that she was used to seeing in his eyes changed, and he looked serious as he raised his hands to frame her face. She tried not to audibly sigh out loud. She was vaguely aware that she was naive and inexperienced compared to him, but he never made her feel that way. He made her feel like they were both incredibly in awe of each other, of this special love they’d found.

“I knew the minute you spilled your coffee on the front of my shirt outside of the library that you were special. I knew by the end of our first date that I loved you. And I know now that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I know you still have years left of school, and I’m not working full time yet, but I’m yours, if you’ll have me. I haven’t got a ring yet because I want to save enough to get you the one you deserve to have. So I guess what I’m asking is—”

She didn’t wait for him to finish. She jumped into his arms and said yes. She said yes to whatever he was offering because she felt the same way. They were young, and they had their whole lives ahead of them.

He spun her around, and they laughed and kissed.

She held on to him like they would have a thousand tomorrows.

She held on to him with the belief that life would play out exactly as they wanted, like their sheltered world could protect them from the gut-wrenching heartache that the real world could lash out, without any warning.

Molly held on to Ben that night, certain nothing could ever tear them apart, certain that love could conquer all, and that the good guys always won.

*****

Author Info:

VICTORIA JAMES is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.

In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.

Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after’s for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.

Sign up for Victoria’s Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming releases and exclusive giveaways, follow her blog for daily antics and insight into her daily life, and get to know her on twitter and Facebook. She loves hearing from readers!

Newsletter  http://forms.aweber.com/form/53/897084453.htm

Website http://www.victoriajames.ca/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/victoria.james.7146557

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/vicjames101/

Twitter https://twitter.com/VicJames101

Goodreads https://goo.gl/Ua2bJE

Amazon https://amzn.to/2PCvjzU

*****

Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of THE FIREFIGHTER’S PRETEND FIANCE by Victoria James, we’re giving away for a $25 Amazon gift card!

http://bit.ly/2PaFmeG

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open internationally. One winner will be chosen to receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Entangled Publishing.  Giveaway ends 9/14/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Entangled Publishing will send one winning prize, Pure Textuality PR will deliver the other. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.

*****

Click on the banner below to check out the rest of the tour

Spotlight – Under Control

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If I’m stuck in an elevator, I really hope this firefighter is there with me!

*****

Under Control

Boston Fire series

by Shannon Stacey

Genre Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publisher Carina Press

Publication Date August 28, 2018

Blurb:

From New York Times bestselling author SHANNON STACEY…

Meet the tough, dedicated men of BOSTON FIRE—and the women who turn their lives upside down.

When faced with the opportunity to change shifts while staying in the same house, veteran firefighter Derek Gilman jumps at the chance. His new schedule means not working Saturdays, which means more time to spend with his two kids. His divorce may have been amicable, but being a firefighter and a single dad is a lot to juggle. And when fate brings a gorgeous, wealthy woman into his life, he’s pretty sure he can’t handle more than he already is.

Olivia McGovern loves plans. She planned to start her own business and planned its growth. It’s earning her seven figures now, but her personal life simply doesn’t exist. Getting trapped in a broken elevator figures in exactly nowhere, and freaking out in front of a sexy firefighter definitely isn’t on the agenda. Especially not one with two kids and an ex.

What would have been a random incident with an attractive stranger becomes something more when a charity event brings them back together. They’re from different sides of the tracks, literally—with friends, family and careers to consider. But as Derek and Olivia are discovering, chemistry doesn’t allow for plans, and love doesn’t bother with logistics.

Don’t miss the entire Boston Fire series by Shannon Stacey! Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Fully Ignited and Hot Response are available now!

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Google Play  |  iBooks

*****

Excerpt:

A woman stepped out of an office ahead and turned, walking ahead of him in the same direction. She was notable for two reasons. One, she wasn’t looking at a cell phone. That in itself was enough to make her stand out in this crowd.

But it was her looks that captured Derek’s attention. He only got a glimpse of her profile before she turned, but she had delicate features and dark blond hair drawn up off her neck in a loose bun. Her navy suit looked as if it had been tailored specifically for her body, and the coat flared slightly, accenting the curve of her hips. Her legs were long, and his gaze lingered on her calves before sliding up to the soft spots behind her knees that were playing peekaboo with the hem of her skirt.

And he’d never realized how sexy the click of high heels on a marble tile floor could be. When he was a kid, he’d hated the sound because the high heels usually belonged to an angry teacher he was following down the hallway to the principal’s office. But following this woman as she walked down the hallway with long, confident strides was a hell of a lot more enjoyable.

Of course, she reached the elevator just as the door opened and a man stepped out. Because he’d slowed to leave enough space to appreciate the view, Derek knew there was a good chance the door would close before he reached it and there was no way in hell he was taking the stairs if he didn’t have to.

“Hold the door, please,” he called as the woman stepped in and pushed a button on the panel.

She looked up at him and he saw the hesitation in her body language. She didn’t want to, but he watched the fact he was a firefighter register, plus it would be rude to pretend she hadn’t heard him after making eye contact. He smiled as she hit the button to hold the doors.

“Thank you.” The button for the lobby was already lit, so he stepped back as the doors slid closed.

She only nodded and pulled her phone out of the back pocket of the leather journal she was holding, which was stuffed with notebooks and paper from the looks of it. But Derek could see her reflection in the highly polished metal door and she was looking at him. And not a quick glance to make sure the stranger was staying on his own side, but a lingering look.

He should say something, but he wasn’t sure what to say, since women wearing power suits in the Back Bay were way out of his league. The floors were ticking past like seconds on the clock, though, and he was running out of time.

She was taking a step forward, probably in anticipation of reaching the lobby level soon, when there was a grinding sound and the elevator lurched to a stop. Off-balance, she stumbled and—thanks to good reflexes and maybe some good luck—he ended up with an armful of beautiful woman.

Apparently he was getting an extension.

She tilted her face up to him, and he saw the distress in her pretty greenish-blue eyes. “What’s happening?”

“We stopped,” he said, hoping she’d find the obvious answer funny. In his experience, humor relaxed people. She didn’t even crack a smile, and he cleared his throat before continuing. “There are a few reasons it could happen, but the system probably has a problem or a malfunction somewhere and it shut the elevator down to be safe.”

“This is not safe.” She wasn’t in a full-blown panic, but her anxiety practically crackled around her, and she was clutching his arm so tightly he could feel her grip through the heavy bunker coat. “And what do you mean by a malfunction? So something could be more wrong than the fact we’re not moving anymore?”

“Everything’s fine.” He had to let his arms fall away from her as she backed away, wincing a little. “Are you hurt?”

“No.” He wasn’t reassured by the quick way she said it, as if it was a reflex and maybe not the truth.

He pulled out his phone to send a quick group text to Danny Walsh—Engine 59’s LT—and Rick Gullotti. Elevator’s stuck. Why? Then he peeled off the heavy coat and tossed it on the floor, dropping the helmet on top of it while she sent a text message of her own to somebody. “We’re okay in here. Just try to stay calm and we’ll be out in no time.”

“Stay calm,” she muttered as her phone vibrated and she sent another text. “That’s easy for you to say. Being brave in the face of death is part of your job.”

That was a little dramatic, but she wasn’t totally wrong. About his job, anyway. “You’re not facing death. I promise.”

His phone vibrated with a response from Walsh. Working on it. Stand by.

The woman’s face was slightly flushed. “Shouldn’t you… I don’t know. Go up through the ceiling hatch and climb up the cable or something?”

Derek managed—barely—not to laugh outright at her, but he couldn’t hold back a short chuckle. “I’m a firefighter, not John McClane.”

“Who’s John McClane?”

Oh, she did not just ask that. “The greatest action hero of all time? The guy from Die Hard?”

“I’ve heard of those movies, but I’ve never seen any of them.”

If he’d needed any more of a definitive sign this woman wasn’t his type, that was it. There were six movies, so she had to work at not seeing any of them. “You’re missing out. So, what’s your name?”

“Olivia.”

“Pretty name.” Classic and elegant, and it suited her. “I’m Derek.”

“Can you pry open the doors?” she asked, clearly not in a place to be distracted by small talk.

“With my bare hands?” He held them up, showing off his lack of tools. “I work out a little, but not that much.”

Her gaze flicked over his body, and he stood up straighter and sucked in his gut. Not that there was much to suck in, but he wasn’t in his twenties anymore. Hell, he was barely still in his thirties. “You work out more than a little.”

Her tone of voice made it sound like just an observation, but he didn’t miss her gaze lingering for a second on his chest or the way her eyebrow lifted as her mouth curved into a hint of a smile. She wasn’t flirting, but she liked what she saw and he’d take the win. He’d need all the ego boosting he could get once the other guys started giving him shit for having to rescue him from an elevator.

Then she shifted her weight and, when she winced again, Derek gave her a stern look. “You’re hurt.”

“No, I’m not. I twisted my ankle a little when the elevator stopped.”

“You need to get those shoes off and let me look at it.”

She laughed and shook her head. “I don’t care how nice this elevator is, I am not touching the floor with my bare feet.”

Derek picked up his coat, letting the helmet roll free, and—with a flourish—spread it over the floor in front of her. “Your carpet, milady.”

*****

Author Info:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author SHANNON STACEY lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and off-roading with her friends and family. You can contact Shannon through her website, www.shannonstacey.com, as well as sign up for her newsletter.

Website http://www.shannonstacey.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/shannonstacey.authorpage

Twitter https://twitter.com/shannonstacey

Goodreads https://goo.gl/h4Z1wW

Amazon http://amzn.to/2Fu9RbN

*****

Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of UNDER CONTROL by Shannon Stacey, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!

http://bit.ly/2LyyGp5

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Carina Press.  Giveaway ends 9/11/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.

*****

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Spotlight – Love Like Ours

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I absolutely LOVE Melissa Foster’s books.  And if you haven’t read this series, you can enter to win a copy of book 1, The Real Thing, below and book 2, Only You, is ON SALE for $0.99 (KINDLE | PAPERBACK)!

*****

Love Like Ours

Sugar Lake #3

by Melissa Foster

Releasing September 11, 2018

Montlake

Blurb:

One wrong move, and she meets a guy with all the right ones…

Talia Dalton lives her life on cruise control. Despite her successful career as a professor, she prefers protecting her broken heart to taking chances. She’s calm, cool, collected, and steady. Until the morning she takes her eyes off that familiar road and almost runs over the sexiest man she’s ever seen. It may not be the best way to start the day, but it might be the type of shake-up she needs.

Male dancer Derek Grant has goals, and nothing is going to get in the way of achieving them. As a graduate student and the sole caretaker of his ailing father, he hasn’t much time for relationships. Then Talia crashes into his life. Sweet, pretty—and so buttoned-up that he can’t wait to help her cut loose.

For Derek, falling in love was a beautiful accident waiting to happen. And it might be exactly what Talia needs—if she’s willing to let go of the past and embrace every surprise Derek has to offer.

LOVE LIKE OURS is being published by Montlake (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE Kindle ereader app to read it here, or order the paperback.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39330581-love-like-ours

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/203560-sugar-lake

LOVE LIKE OURS Buy Links:  KINDLE | PAPERBACK

*****

Excerpt:

“You’re in for it now!”

She shrieked and ran across the snow. He darted after her, but she dashed through the gazebo, scooped up a handful of snow, and tossed it at him. It hit him square in the face, and she gasped.

“Sorry!”

He teasingly growled and made a huge snowball, lightly packed so as not to hurt her, and stalked toward her.

She stumbled backward, waving her hands. “No, please!” she said between laughs.

Her killer smile was almost enough to stop him in his tracks. “Oh yes, Parking Lot Princess. You are mine!”

She grabbed another handful of snow and lobbed it at him, missing by a mile. Then she sprinted away. He took off after her and she turned, tripping over her own feet. He lunged, catching her in his arms, but their momentum sent them both to the snow. She landed on top of him, both of them laughing. Molly whined and licked their faces.

Her teeth chattered. “Sorry!”

“Hell, Talia. I’m not.”

Her eyes widened, then brimmed with heat again, dark and alluring as they skimmed over his face and lingered on his lips. Her body sank exquisitely into his. Even separated by coats and clothing, she felt incredible. Molly lay in the snow, watching them as if she felt the unbelievable moment, too. When Talia’s eyes found his again, they were like windows to her soul. Every sexy thought was right there on the surface, so tempting he was about to lean up and take a kiss, when she suddenly schooled her expression, as if she’d just realized she’d shown her true emotions, and rolled off him.

She lay on her back beside him, staring up at the sky, breathing heavily.

He leaned over her and gazed deeply into her troubled, beautiful eyes. Whatever this was between them was magnificent and stronger than anything he’d ever felt, but the caution in her eyes won again. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cross a line. It’s been a long time since I’ve”—wanted to kiss a woman—“felt whatever this is between us.”

She pressed her lips together, and as he backed off, she grabbed his sleeve and said, “Me too. It’s been a long time.”

Man, she was so close, her desire evident in her tight grasp on his sleeve and the longing look in her eyes, but the tentativeness was still there, brimming before him. He swallowed his desires and went for levity.

“Do you have an ailing family member you’re caring for, too?”

She shook her head. “I have fear of the unknown, trust issues, and a full life.”

“Is that all?” He helped her to her feet, both of them smiling with his tease.

Molly got up, wagging her tail.

Talia’s teeth were still chattering. He put his hands on her arms and rubbed them, itching to pull her against him and heat her up with a scorching-hot kiss. Instead he took her hand and said, “I’ve got something to warm you up.”

“Um . . . ?” Her cheeks pinked up again.

He chuckled. “Yeah, that, but since we’ve already tabled the good stuff . . .” With Molly in tow, he led her to where his backpack lay in the snow. He dug out the thermoses he’d brought and handed her one. “It’s not as fun, but this should do the trick.”

She pulled her hat a little lower on her ears. “What is it?”

“Tuxedo mocha. Have you ever had one?”

She shook her head, wrapping both hands around the warm thermos. “Thank you for not making me an alcoholic drink the other night, by the way. That was really nice of you to remember.”

“You’re hard to forget, Talia.” He loved the sultry look that earned him and had to distract himself before he made the mistake of tasting that look. “I shouldn’t have waited so long to give this to you. The whipped cream and chocolate curls are probably melted.”

“You had me at whipped cream.” She took a sip and closed her eyes, moaning appreciatively. “Holy cow,” she said breathlessly. “This is heaven in a cup.”

He clenched his jaw as his mind chased that moan down an X-rated path. “It’ll be even better next time, when I make it fresh for you.”

“Next time?” she asked, and took another sip.

The tip of her tongue swept over her lips, seriously testing his ability to hold his tongue. He shouldered his backpack and took Molly’s leash from where it dangled out of Talia’s pocket. As he hooked it onto Molly’s collar, he said, “How can I help you step out of your comfort zone and get over all your hurdles if we don’t see each other again?”

*****

Author Info:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

Author Links:   WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

*****

Giveaway:

Win a Paperback Copy of THE REAL THING

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c81382/

*****

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