Book Review – Tempted by Love

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NEW RELEASE…

Enjoy heart-meltingly beautiful and toe-curlingly sexy romance in Tempted by Love, an emotionally riveting story about a man who has lost it all and carries a torturous secret, a divorced single mother who has everything to lose, and the little girl who helps them heal. Fall in love on the sandy shores of Silver Island, home to coffee shops, boat races, midnight rendezvous, and the sexy, sharp-witted Steeles.

In TEMPTED BY LOVE…

Years ago, bestselling author Jack “Jock” Steele lost his girlfriend and baby in a horrific accident that drove a wedge between Jock and his family, keeping him from sharing a devastating secret. An aging philanthropist saved him from the brink of despair, and for a decade Jock cared for his ailing friend who became his family. Now his friend has passed away and left him a fortune—on the condition that he publishes another book. Jock is floundering, unsure how to rebuild the life he’d walked away from, much less find his muse, have another relationship with a woman, or even think about having a family of his own. But he can’t get his sweet, sexy new friend, single-mother Daphne Zablonski out of his head, and her adorable toddler must know something he doesn’t, because she wraps her tiny fingers around his heart and won’t let go.

Daphne has been through the wringer with her ex-husband and doesn’t believe true love is in the cards for her. Friends she can handle, but letting a man see her mom bod naked? Especially someone as strikingly handsome and unbelievably sexy as Jock? No, thank you. Besides, she has a toddler to chase after and enough fictional boyfriends to fill her lonely nights. If only her book boyfriends could make her body tingle the way one look from her mysterious neighbor does.

As Jock and Daphne’s friendship turns to something too tempting to deny, their lives take an unexpected turn. Can a man who has lost everything find redemption with a woman who has everything to lose? And then there’s that secret…

More Steeles at Silver Island are coming soon!

MY TRUE LOVE (Jules) – Releasing 31st March 2021!
ALWAYS HER LOVE (Levi)
ENTICING HER LOVE (Sutton)
CAUGHT BY LOVE (Archer)
WILD ISLAND LOVE (Leni)

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   Apple   GPlay   Paperback

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Also available in audio!

“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” – NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely

“You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that’s fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won’t want to stop reading. Every book’s a winner!” – New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

“With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!” – New York Times Bestseller J. Kenner

7T4BWnCQ

Releasing 31st March 2021!!
My True Love (The Steeles at Silver Island, Book 2)
Embracing Her Heart (The Montgomerys Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]Can a man who resents the hand he’s been dealt and a woman who spends her days grateful for every little thing find true love in each other’s arms—or are their differences stronger than both of them? Find out in this funny, sexy, heartfelt romance, and fall in love with Grant and Jules on the sandy shores of Silver Island, home to coffee shops, boat races, and midnight rendezvous.

Even war heroes need a little help sometimes…

After spending years fighting for his country and too damn long learning to navigate life with a prosthetic leg, Grant Silver returns to Silver Island to figure out a future he couldn’t fathom without fatigues and a gun in his hand. He’d almost forgotten how a man could suffocate from the warmth and caring community in which he’d grown up, and if that weren’t bad enough, his buddies’ beautiful and far-too-chipper younger sister won’t stop flitting into his life, trying to sprinkle happy dust everywhere she goes.

As a cancer survivor, Jules Steele knows better than to count on seeing tomorrow. She doesn’t take a single moment for granted, and she isn’t about to let a man who used to be charming and full of life waste the future he’s been blessed with. She’s determined to get through to him, even if it takes a few steamy kisses…

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   Apple   GPlay   Paperback

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

Melissa also writes sweet romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

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I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

Review:

Foster is brilliant at giving her readers realistic, enjoyable characters and her latest is no different. I truly enjoyed reading about both Jock and Daphne, rooting for them page after page to figure things out so they could find a HEA.

Daphne is not confident in her appearance or her appeal to men, especially after her treatment by her ex. Jock on the other hand has no issue with telling her exactly how sexy he finds her and I so appreciate his patience, and humor, as he showed her how much he enjoyed her mom bod. She definitely caught a keeper there and eventually she starts to believe it too which was empowering for her.

If that’s not enough to make you fall for him, being there while Jock works so hard on his own troubles, trying his best to be able to be the man that Daphne and her daughter need, and opening up to Daphne, facing up to his past so he can be a part of his family again, made for a truly emotional read. There was a time or two when I teared up, more than one sigh, and quite a few smiles along the way. All hallmarks of a really good Melissa Foster book. And while there is some angst it isn’t overwhelming and doesn’t take over a truly enjoyable love story.

(Unfortunately I’m not sure that a little professional assistance wouldn’t have been a good idea for Jock. There’s also trouble with Jock’s twin, Archer, that while a long time coming hopefully will be better addressed with Archer’s POV in his own story. There’s a LOT of baggage between the brothers that needs to be properly cared for and hopefully another story will help that. Usually I’m good at just going with the flow, and it was here, but sometimes I worry that these issues are a little too easily resolved and it creates a great disservice to them.)

The start of a new series, Tempted by Love sets up lots of potential pairings and I’m SOOOO very excited to see what she does for Grant & Jules in the spring. Although this is tied into a world of different existing series, I’ve only read some of them and I had no problem jumping right in.  Don’t be afraid if you are new or missed a few – I don’t think you’ll have any trouble and I’m sure that you’ll fall in love as well.

 

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Spotlight – Hard Checked

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Hard Checked, an all-new beautifully written, second-chance-at-love sports romance that will bring all the heat and feels from Stacey Lynn is available now!

*****

Hard Checked

Ice Kings series

by Stacey Lynn

Blurb:

I’ve been checked hard into the boards, right off my skates, and I’m not only spinning out of control…

I might just be falling in love all over again.

Getting served divorce papers was not how I planned spending New Years Day.

I probably shouldn’t have gone to my favorite bar and gotten wasted trying to drown my sorrows.

I definitely shouldn’t have spent the night passed out in the bed of the bartender’s daughter, Gigi.

And the absolute last thing I should have done was let my guard down and start having fun. Now I’m thinking of her all the time… fantasizing about the things I want to do to Gigi.

I’m in the middle of the best hockey season of my life. I need my head in the game and my focus on the playoffs – not playing house with the gorgeous bartender who makes me feel more alive than I have in years.

Finding someone new so soon after a failed marriage isn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

But it just might be too late. I’ve been checked hard into the boards, right off my skates, and I’m not only spinning out of control…

I might just be falling in love all over again.

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3kf1zsf

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Xw3qit

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

Nook: https://bit.ly/3kjU0AK

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2XxnSzF

Google Play: Coming Soon!

Add HARD CHECKED to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3keNV8l

*****

Excerpt:

Another set of drinks arrive at our table, served by a pair of small hands, with a tiny little broken heart tattoo on a ring finger and dark purple nail polish.

“Thanks, Gigi,” I say, lifting my head and grinning at her.

She smirks at me. “No problem, hotshot. Dad wanted me to give you these but says it’s last call.”

“Damn,” Jason groans. “I didn’t realize it was so late.”

“You can take off. I’m good.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah.”

He turns to Gigi who’s taken our empties and is starting to walk away.

I try. I try really hard to not let my gaze drop to her short, cut-off sweat shorts, to the length of her legs beneath them. The shape of her calves or to notice the dark red polish on her toenails.

I fail.

Miserably.

There’s something so damn attractive about her petite size.

I grip my new beer bottle harder and take a healthy swig.

“Hey Gigi,” Jason calls out. “Keep this loser company for me so he doesn’t get shit-faced before practice tomorrow?”

“Me?” She’s turned, gaze bouncing from me to Jason and she frowns. “You need my help?”

“No—”

“Yes—” Jason says at the exact time I disagree.

She smirks at Jason. “Seems to me he doesn’t need it.”

“Sometimes this asshole doesn’t know what he needs.” He slaps the table and slides out, holding out his arm in a gesture for Gigi to take his spot.

“Jason—”

He shrugs and holds out his fist. “I’ll pay the tab. You get home safely, yeah?”

“Yeah,” I grumble and return his fist pump.

“And you’ll thank me for this someday, too.”

I watch him go, frowning.

What the fuck does that mean?

“I can pretend to sit here until he leaves if you want to be alone.”

Her voice does something to me. Like a bug is happily leaping in my gut when she looks down at me, all that teal hair and new nose ring and tattoo peeking out from the wide collar of her sweatshirt.

It’s the collar I’m noticing. And the tattoo.

Not the thin, white strap of her bra.

Shit.

“You can sit. Please. You want Jason’s last beer?”

“Nah.” Her nose crinkles and the soft light above the bar flints on her nose ring. I quickly look away as she slides in. “I’ve never acquired the taste for beer. No matter what kind it is, it always tastes like wet cardboard.”

“You know what cardboard tastes like?”

“Yeah. Like beer.” She grins.

I grin back.

This girl is funny. Well-traveled.

Divorced. Cute. And fun.

The exact kind of temptation I do not need in my life right now. Yet as I sit across from her, taking in every little nuance about her like the freckle on the back of her hand, that broken heart tattoo… I can’t for the life of me think of an excuse to leave.

*****

Author Info:

Stacey Lynn likes her coffee with a dash of sugar, her heroes with a side of bossy, and her wine a deep shade of red.

The author of over thirty romance novels, many of which have been best-selling titles on Amazon, AppleBooks, and Barnes & Noble, she loves being able to turn her vivid imagination into a career that brings entertainment and joy to her readers. Focused on sports romance and emotional, small-town romance, she also loves stretching herself in different genres.

Born in Texas and raised in the Midwest, she now makes her home in North Carolina and loves all things Southern. Together with her ultimate tall, dark, and handsome hero, she has four children. Her life is a chaotic mess that fights with her Type-A, list-making, neurotically organized preferences and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Connect with Stacey:

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*****

Spotlight – Kane

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Who else just AH-DORES Bennett’s hockey players?!?!?

*****

Kane

Arizona Vengeance, Book #8

by Sawyer Bennett

Release Date: September 15, 2020

Blurb:

I have a problem.

Potential problem?

I’m not really sure. Here’s the deal.

There’s this girl—isn’t that how it always starts?and her name is Mollie. I like her. I mean really like her. I hope that doesn’t make me seem less manly than my professional hockey player persona implies. But here’s the issue—she’s my best friend. The one person I can count on for everything, who’s been there with me for all the moments, big and small.

When Mollie shows up at my door, travel weary and scared following an incident with an ex, my instinct to protect her goes into overdrive. It’s then that I know she’s more than just my best friend and the skates are swept out from under me when I find out she feels the same way.

Our transition from friends to lovers to potentially something more is seamless, the Arizona Vengeance is back on the ice looking for a repeat championship, and my life has never been better. Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out, the realities of us both having careers which keep us on the road put our blossoming relationship on ice.

It feels like the game just went into overtime and I’m on the verge of either the biggest win or most disappointing loss of my life. And losing is never an option.

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

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

Apple: https://apple.co/37oDCri

Google: http://bit.ly/37owUBE

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2F8AvYo

Print: https://amzn.to/2GW6BYh

Audible (narrated by Jeremy York and Lessa Lamb): https://adbl.co/2D5AnLQ

*****

Author Info:

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Sawyer Bennett uses real life experience to create relatable stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From contemporary romance, fantasy romance, and both women’s and general fiction, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

A former trial lawyer from North Carolina, when she is not bringing fiction to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to her very adorable daughter, as well as full-time servant to her wonderfully naughty dogs.

If you’d like to receive a notification when Sawyer releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter (sawyerbennett.com/signup).

Connect with Sawyer:

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

*****

Spotlight- Temptation on Ocean Drive

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Temptation on Ocean Drive, a heart-stirring novel of unrequited love and second chances by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst is live!

*****

Temptation on Ocean Drive

by Jennifer Probst

Blurb:

Young widow Bella Sunshine-Caldwell is focused only on raising her daughter and running the family business, Sunshine Bridal. There’s no time for romance—especially with her fellow wedding planner, Gabe, whom she’s growing increasingly attracted to. He’s too enterprising to stay in Cape May for long, anyway. And too tall, dark, and handsome to be anything but a heartbreaker.

Every woman in town has her sights on Gabe Garcia. The only woman he has eyes for doesn’t seem interested. All he wants is to fall in love, be a father, and settle down. As he and Bella work together on a magical winter wedding, the distance between them closes, the nights grow warmer, and Bella might be seeing Gabe for who he really is: a man worth the effort.

But all it takes is a single rumor for these two hearts’ fragile love story to shatter. And now the happy ending Bella and Gabe hoped for is something they’re going to have to fight for.

Download your copy today or read free in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/39SrTmm

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/TemptationonODJP

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2mf4He3

*****

Excerpt:

He repeated the question. “I need to know. Why was it easier not to believe me?”

This time, she didn’t hesitate. “Because then I could pretend you weren’t the man I really wanted.”

“And do you? Want me?”

She jerked back. Her tongue slipped out to wet her bottom lip. Her voice was barely a whisper. “Yes.”

He muttered a curse. Then leaned forward, his hand cupping her chin. “I want to kiss you, Bella. I’ve been wanting to kiss you forever, but I need to know it’s okay.”

She stared at him, pupils dilated, ragged breaths panting from her lips, and he knew this moment would be carved out in his mind—the first time he saw her face reflect her open want for him. She gave a tiny nod.

He moved closer. His lips stopped an inch from hers. “No. You need to say it.”

“Yes. Kiss me, Gabe.”

His mouth covered hers.

*****

Author Info:

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She holds a masters in English Literature and lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. Her family keeps her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. Her passions include horse racing, Scrabble, rescue dogs, Italian food, and wine—not necessarily in that order.

She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, spent 26 weeks on the New York Times. Her work has been translated in over a dozen countries, sold over a million copies, and was dubbed a “romance phenom” by Kirkus Reviews. She is also a proud three-time RITA finalist.

She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

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Spotlight – The Last Man She Expected

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Oooh, enemies-to-lovers!!!

*****

The Last Man She Expected

by Michelle Major

Blurb:

How could being so wrong suddenly feel so right? Falling for her arch nemesis Isn’t going to happen.

Moving to Starlight was Mara Reed’s first step forward after her devastating divorce. But had she known she’d find Parker Johnson, her ex-husband’s ruthless divorce attorney, there, she might have gone in a different direction. Away from the big city, Mara is seeing Parker in a new light—but is it enough for her to set aside her anger?

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-man-she-expected-michelle-major/1136387499

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Man-Expected-Welcome-Starlight/dp/1335894772

Google: https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Last_Man_She_Expected.html?id=QurODwAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335894779

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488070020_the-last-man-she-expected.html

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51028677-the-last-man-she-expected

*****

Excerpt:

“Come to finish me off?” he asked as Mara Reed walked into the room.

She sniffed. “How’s your head?”

He removed the bag of peas, tossing them to the top of the dryer. “I’ve taken harder hits.”

“Not that I meant for you to fall, but I can’t say you didn’t deserve it,” she told him, crossing her arms over her chest.

He raised a brow. “That’s an interesting way to apologize.”

She gave a humorless laugh. “I’m not here to say sorry.”

Parker felt his mouth drop open. “You practically pushed me out of the bounce house.”

“Not quite. You grabbed for me and I evaded you with my catlike reflexes. Is it my problem that you’re clumsy?”

He had to admire her moxie. The moment had happened so fast, but he was pretty sure she’d given him a tiny shove when he stumbled. Not that he’d throw her under the bus by telling anyone. “If you didn’t seek me out to apologize, why are you here?”

“You took everything from me,” she said instead of answering, her husky voice laced with bitterness.

“Your anger is misdirected,” Parker said, shifting under the weight of her stony glare. “I’m not your ex-husband.” He’d represented hundreds of clients over the years, but this was the first time he’d actually been confronted outside the courtroom. He didn’t like the way Mara Reed made him feel, as if he’d been the one to cause the destruction of her marriage.

“No,” she agreed, her hazel eyes giving him a slow once-over. Despite her obvious dislike of him and the obstinate set of her heart-shaped jaw, there was no denying Mara’s beauty. She had dark hair with a few hints of burnished gold highlighting it and pale, luminous skin that would have inspired the finest Renaissance painter.

She was taller than average, something he’d al-ways appreciated in a woman given that he stood well over six feet. She’d fit perfectly with him, a thought that almost made him laugh for its absurdity. He couldn’t imagine any scenario which would make Mara want to be close to him.

“You made it possible for him to destroy me,” she said, her voice oddly devoid of emotion. He wanted to deny it, but the truth was he couldn’t remember the details of her case, especially since she’d been Paul Reed’s much younger third wife. He’d already been twice down that road with his client. It was a mental trick he employed, not allowing himself to see the opponent as a person. Mara Reed had been a name to him, an entity he’d set out to take down like he was a remote-control drone zeroing in on a target.

“It wasn’t personal.”

She flinched, and he wanted to take back the words. They were simple enough as part of his job, but he imagined they felt like salt dumped into an open wound to Mara. Despite his now pounding headache, he didn’t mean to hurt her. He understood what he did for a living and had come to terms with the man he’d become as a result, even if he didn’t always like himself because of it.

“It was to me,” she whispered and walked away.

*****

Author Info:

Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in Journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets and several well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings. Michelle loves to hear from her readers at http://www.michellemajor.com.

Website: https://michellemajor.com/

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468588.Michelle_Major

Spotlight – Secret Crush Seduction

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There’s so much about this one that intrigues me …

*****

Secret Crush Seduction

by Jayci Lee

Blurb:

She’s done waiting for what she really wants…

Aspiring fashion designer Adelaide Song wants to prove she’s more than just a pampered heiress. All she needs is a little courage—and the help of deliciously sexy Michael Reynolds, her childhood crush and her brother’s best friend. But when her secret crush turns into an illicit liaison, Adelaide realizes mixing business with pleasure spells trouble for all her plans…

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-crush-seduction-jayci-lee/1136616622

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Crush-Seduction-Heirs-Hansol/dp/1335209352

Google: https://books.google.ca/books/about/Secret_Crush_Seduction.html?id=VFhqzQEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335209351

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335209351_secret-crush-seduction.html

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51183102-a-winning-season

*****

Excerpt:

What the hell kind of boy band medley is this?

A handful of young women—much younger than Adelaide Song’s twenty-six years—were spinning around in a circle on the dance floor at Pendulum, screaming along to some bubblegum pop song. It was early in the evening, and they were sloppy drunk.

Adelaide was most definitely not in the mood to play Ring Around the Rosie at her cousin Colin’s nightclub. After the face-off she’d just had with her grandmother, she needed to lose herself in good music and dance off her frustration.

What was the Tuesday DJ doing up there on a Friday night anyway? She hunted down Tucker, the top DJ and manager-in-training, to remedy the situation.

“Hi, Tucker.”

“Hey, Adelaide. You haven’t been in for a while. How are you doing?”

“I’ve had better days.” She smiled wryly. “Why is Ethan up there? I can really do without the over-the-top pop tonight. It’s a Saturday night. Let’s get some real jam going.” Adelaide looked over her shoulder and out into the club. “By the way, where’s Colin?”

“He had a meeting and asked me to hold down the fort.” The heavily pierced and tattooed DJ stared at his shoes and fidgeted under her scrutiny. “Ethan begged me to let him play for an hour, and I felt bad for the guy. He’s a good kid.”

“A good kid who is playing Tuesday night pop on a Saturday night.”

“I got you. I’ll take over,” he said with a shy smile. “Thank you. You’re the best.”

And it was true. He was an immensely talented DJ, and he should be proud of his mad skills. Within minutes, the sensuous, liberating strains of Tucker’s magic filled the air and calmed the tremors of frustration quaking under Adelaide’s skin.

For the last two years since she’d finished her MBA, Adelaide had been begging her grandmother to let her take her place at Hansol Corporation—the family’s multibillion- dollar apparel empire—but her answer was always, “Maybe next year.” It broke Adelaide’s heart because those words really meant that Grandmother still hadn’t forgiven her for her wild years in college.

It had been a time of switching from boyfriend to boyfriend, partying too hard to care about classes and distancing herself from the family. It wasn’t until her last year in college that she’d rediscovered her thirst for knowledge. She had cleaned up her act and learned to balance her responsibilities and recreations. That was nearly six years ago. But to her family, she was still an irresponsible wild child incapable of contributing any-thing of worth to Hansol. She felt a twinge of shame at her desperate plea to her grandmother. I’m not that kid anymore.

Refusing to let herself drown in sadness, Adelaide strode to the dance floor with sharp clicks of her stilettos and headed for a corner stage raised three feet from the floor. She gripped the railing when she reached the top and exhaled through pursed lips. Then she closed her eyes and let the music flow through her. The rhythm always grew in the pit of her gut and spread to her hips, legs, then the rest of her body. When it filled her to the brim, she danced.

Everything disappeared as it always did. Her loneliness. Her insecurities. Her grandmother with her dis-missive words and disappointed eyes. They all shrank and blurred as she moved her body, carried away by the music and its beat.

Her song came on. The bass in the music shook the dance floor and pounded in her blood. Primal and raw. She closed her eyes and lifted her arms above her head, tracing the outlines of the song with her body. She no longer existed. There was the song and she was its instrument. Adelaide wasn’t there anymore. She just danced. Danced until she was erased.

She heard a rough growl from beside her. The sound merged with the music in its feral possessiveness. It wasn’t until a pair of strong hands grasped her upper arms that she realized a person had emitted the sound. A very tall, blazingly furious man person.

“Goddammit, Addy. What are you doing here?”

“Good to see you, too,” she said with cool detachment.

Inside, she shivered with awareness and need that refused to be stilled. Michael Reynolds. Her older brother’s best friend, and her first love. Unrequited, of course. He treated her like she was his kid sister for the most part. In the meantime, she was burning up from his innocuous touch.

“Let me take you home,” he said. “Your grandmother’s worried about you.”

Damn it. She wasn’t finished flushing out the anger and melancholy from her system. Her insecurities were rampaging in her mind, and she couldn’t handle any more heartache tonight. So she closed her eyes again and danced to make Michael disappear, as well.

Since he still held her arms, she placed her hands on his broad chest and assumed the junior high slow dance position. But rather than shift awkwardly from foot to foot, she swerved her body in languid waves in time with the music. Michael stood frozen for a few beats, then expelled a sound between a cough and curse.

“I’m taking you home. Now.” He abruptly picked her up off the floor with an arm under her thighs and the other cradling her back, frowning down at her with the same look everyone bestowed on her. Disappointment.

Enough.

“Stop with the Kevin Costner impersonation, and put me down,” she said, pushing against his shoulder.

“No way.” A hint of humor sparked in his eyes. “I remember how fast you can run. I’m not in the mood to chase you.”

Adelaide spied movement from the corner of her eyes. The club bouncers were heading toward them with fists clenched. They knew she was Colin’s cousin and were a protective lot, and Michael was carrying her out of the club, looking angry as hell.

“Oh, for God’s sake. I’m not a ten-year-old, Michael.” She struggled in earnest. If the idiot didn’t put her down, he would get beaten to a pulp by the bouncers before she could de-escalate the situation. “You need to put me down. I’ll walk out with you.”

“Adelaide? You all right?” Too late. Four of the loyal bouncers had surrounded them. “I suggest you get your hands off of her, buddy.”

“I suggest you go back to your posts, gentlemen.” Michael’s arms tightened around her, and a dark, recklessness entered his eyes. Why was he acting like this? “I’m escorting Ms. Song home.”

*****

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.

Author website: https://jaycilee.com

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19450142.Jayci_Lee

Spotlight – His Brand of Justice

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USA TODAY bestselling author Delores Fossen does it again, with a romantic suspense book that forces a US Marshal to confront his past—and the woman who might hold all the answers…

*****

His Brand of Justice

by Delores Fossen

Blurb :

Can he help her recover her memory before they are both killed?

The only person who knows who killed Marshal Jack Slater’s father is Caroline Moser. But the Texas profiler has no memory of the murder, her abduction…or Jack. And her witness-protection safe house has just been compromised. Now in Jack’s protective custody, Caroline must trust her ex to help her recall her past before a murderer steals their future.

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-brand-of-justice-delores-fossen/1136629388?ean=9781335136701

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Brand-Justice-Longview-Ridge-Ranch/dp/1335136703

Google: https://books.google.ca/books/about/His_Brand_of_Justice.html?id=u8htzQEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335136701

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488067587_his-brand-of-justice.html

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52515561-his-brand-of-justice

*****

Excerpt:

“I nearly got Lucille and you killed,” she said, and Caroline cursed her own voice. It was shaking, too.

Jack lifted an eyebrow. “Funny, I thought it was the shooter who nearly killed us.”

“The shooter wouldn’t have been firing those bullets if it hadn’t been for me.” She expected him to give her some sugarcoated answer, but she’d obviously forgotten this was Jack.

“That’s true.” With that hanging in the air, he waited a heartbeat. “And since I’d rather not have any more attempted murders, that means you’re going to have to let me help you.”

“You mean I’m going to have to trust Kellan,” Caroline blurted out. She was feeling a lot less shaky now.

Jack shrugged, took his hand from his pocket so he could tap the badge on his belt. “Every lawman in Texas isn’t tainted, and if you dig beneath all the anger, fear and whatever else it is you’re feeling, you’ll remember that I’m the best shot you’ve got at keeping us both alive.”

He followed that too logical minilecture with a long stare. Jack was obviously waiting for her to come to the only conclusion that she had right now.

“I’m not going to trust your brother,” she insisted, but left the rest of it unspoken—that she would trust Jack. Again, it was the only choice she had.

He nodded as if they’d just hashed that out with a heated argument. “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you safe.” He paused. “Want me to take a bullet for you to prove it?”

Jack didn’t wink, but he might as well have, because he was obviously trying to lighten things up. Trying to bring her back down and ease some of the still raw adrenaline. It was working, sort of, since it was something he’d said to her in jest when they’d been lovers. A way of letting her know that he cared that much for her.

“No,” she said, drawing out the one-word answer to emphasize it. There was a lot more emotion in her voice than she wanted as she stared at him.

Thinking.

Remembering.

Yes, definitely remembering.

That helped more than his lame attempt at cop humor. His being there helped, too, and despite everything she’d been through—or maybe because of it—Caroline wanted to step right into his arms. Those strong arms with their toned muscles. She wanted to feel the heat, and the comfort that she’d gotten there before. Jack had tugged and pulled at her in a way that no man ever had before.

Or ever would again, she was forced to admit to herself.

*****

Author Info:

USA Today bestselling author, Delores Fossen, has sold over 70 novels with millions of copies of her books in print worldwide. She’s received the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita ®. In addition, she’s had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines. You can contact the author through her webpage at www.deloresfossen.com

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/240672.Delores_Fossen

Spotlight – The One for Me

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Yesterday we did enemies-to-lovers, today let’s do friends-to-lovers!

*****

The One for Me

The Arrowood Brothers

by Corinne Michaels

Blurb:

An all new and endearing friends-to-lovers story…

Devney Maxwell has been my best friend since we were six years old, but she has no idea I’m in love with her.

Even when I’m on the road playing professional baseball, she’s my home–the only one I’ve ever known. But when I return to Sugarloaf to care for the family farm, I discover she’s trying to talk herself into a life with the wrong man … and I become desperate.

It only takes a single, perfect kiss to change everything.

I have six months to get it right with Devney–to convince her to leave this town and turn that kiss into forever.

I aim to do just that as I spend my days coaching her nephew’s baseball team, fixing up the farm, and loving her with all I have. Finally, it seems like our relationship is secure and we’ll find a way to make it work.

Then tragedy strikes … changing her life forever. She’s needed here more than ever, but as for me–there’s no way I can stay.

I know she’s the one for me, but I might have to let her go …

Download today on Amazon, Books & Noble, Kobo, Apple, & Google Play!

Amazon: https://geni.us/TOFMAmazon

AppleBooks: https://geni.us/TOFMApple

Barnes & Noble: https://geni.us/TOFMNook

Kobo: https://geni.us/TOFMKobo

Google Play: https://geni.us/TOFMGP

Audible: https://geni.us/TOFMAudible

Add to Goodreads: https://geni.us/TOFMGR

*****

Excerpt:

“Don’t play that crap with me, Sean Arrowood. I know you better. You want the wife and kids. You always have. The issue that you have is that you’re stupid.”

“Stupid?”

She nods. “Yup. S-T-U-P-I-D. And dumb.”

“They mean the same thing.”

“It required the extra punctuation at the end.”

God, I love the side of her that is smart-mouthed, fearless, and relaxed. She’s only this way with me. Or at least, that’s what I’d like to think.

The last ten years have been hard on our friendship. We both went off to college, I had baseball and she was studying. We’d see each other on breaks, but after the accident that changed the trajectory of my life, I stayed in Maine, and we rarely saw each other.

However, when I had a series in New York, Devney came. If I was in Philly, she would find a way to meet me, and I flew her down to Tampa a few times.

Now, though, I’ll be around her so much more, and I know these feelings aren’t going to go away, they’ll get stronger.

Yeah, I guess I really am stupid.

“Well, I may be stupid, but at least I’m not settling.”

She sits up, slapping her hand on the couch cushion. “Settling?”

“Yeah. You may love Oliver, but he doesn’t make you crazy.”

Devney shifts back. “You’re making me crazy right now.”

“Good.”

“You’re infuriating!”

I shrug. “You love me.”

“It helps that you’re hot.” Devney quickly covers her hand over her mouth. “I did not mean it that like that.”

I grin and lean toward her. “You think I’m hot?”

“I think you’re mediocre. God knows your harem of . . . whatever you call them . . . think you are.”

For so long I’ve fought against telling her anything about how I feel. How those women are faceless and mean nothing to me. It’s always her. Always a brunette who I seek out, hoping to find just a piece of something like her that I can cling to, but I never say it.

Then I wonder, maybe this is the perfect time. Oliver is going to propose. Oliver will marry her, and I won’t have a god damn thing to say about it because I will have never told her.

Plus, she’s drunk.

Maybe she won’t remember it.

“Maybe so, but I’m not asking them. Plus, all the girls I’m attracted to look like you.”

Devney laughs while shaking her head. “Well, it has to be tough kissing your best friend, right?”

And in that moment, I know what I’m going to do. It doesn’t matter that it’s stupid or wrong. I no longer care about her boyfriend or how this moment will undoubtedly change everything between us because she will marry him when he asks. Devney won’t falter. She’ll cling to the safe, and I am not that, but I love her.

I lean closer and her eyes study my movement. With a trembling hand, I cup her face and brush my thumb against her soft skin. Everything freezes around us as I feel the warmth emanating from her. Our breaths mingle as the distance closes. “I don’t know, but I’d like to see if it’s tough to kiss you.”

I wait, giving her one last chance to push me away, but instead, her tongue moves against her pink lips, which is all the invitation I need.

I lean in, my lips touch hers, and I know my life hasn’t just changed, it’s been completely upended.

*****

Author Info:

Corinne Michaels is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of romance novels. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love, and she enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak before finding a way to heal them through their struggles.

Corinne is a former Navy wife and happily married to the man of her dreams. She began her writing career after spending months away from her husband while he was deployed–reading and writing were her escapes from the loneliness. Corinne now lives in Virginia with her husband and is the emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun-loving mom of two beautiful children.

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Book Review – Kiss My Cupcake

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Just like one of Blaire’s cupcake combos, Helena Hunting’s book is sweetness with a kick.

*****

Kiss My Cupcake

by Helena Hunting

Blurb:

Is it possible to have her cupcake and eat it too?

Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake and cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight and his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream and bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.

From ax throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire and Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war and work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake and eat it too.

Kiss My Cupcake, an all-new laugh-out-loud standalone romance filled with witty banter and white-hot sexual chemistry from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting is available now!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LhYU0S

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

Nook: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcakeBN

Apple Books: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcake

Google Play: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcakeGP

Kobo: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcakeKobo

Add Kiss My Cupcake to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/KissMyCupcakeGR

*****

Excerpt:

I take a bite, not as big as I originally intended, because that’s probably what she expects and I want to prolong the agony of her anticipation as much as I humanly can. I intend to tell her it’s just okay, except the moment the flavors hit my tongue I groan. Loudly. “Oh my God,”I mumble, crumbs tumbling out of my mouth and sprinkling all over the counter. Which I realize is disgusting.

But Blaire doesn’t seem to care. She grins widely, satis- faction and triumph making her face even more stunning. I consider asking what this is, but decide I don’t care enough to stop eating it. There’s coffee in the icing, but it’s not overly sweet, it’s light and buttery and decadently creamy. The cake practically melts in my mouth, hints of . . . whiskey, cocoa and vanilla and with the next bite I get a hit of creamy custard with a gentle hint of . . . almond.

Blaire doesn’t seem to notice the mess I’m making. At all. She’s sucking on her bottom lip and bouncing on the balls of her feet. Her lip pops free, teeth marks still evident. “Enjoying yourself.”It’s not a question, more of an accusation.

I want to shove the rest of it in my face instead of answering, but I lift my hand to cover my mouth so I can ask a question instead of affirm what she clearly already knows. “What is it?”

A slow smirk spreads across her lips.

She doesn’t say anything right away, so I jam the rest of it in my mouth. Half of me wants to beg her for more, but I know if I do, then somehow I’ve managed to give her the upper hand. Which is ridiculous. It’s just a cupcake, and regardless of what she thinks, we’re not really competing with each other. For the YouTube thing sure, but I don’t see how she can win against me and my kickass cool bar and the axe throwing.

And now the whole live bands idea and karaoke.

The cupcakes-and-cocktails theme is cute. But that’s about all it is.

I try to keep my groan in this time, but a sound of contentment slips out.

“So you like my screaming orgasms?” she asks.

Which is when I start coughing. I also try to inhale with food in my mouth and choke. And cough some more. Blaire takes a step back since I’m spraying the counter with half- chewed cupcake. It’s a travesty because I want that all in my belly and not on the counter.

“Are you okay?” she asks when I continue to cough for another solid fifteen seconds.

“Yeah.” Cough. “I just”—cough—“didn’t expect that.”

“It’s the name of the cupcake,” she informs me.

“I figured, since you didn’t scream even once.”

“I’m not a screamer.” Her eyes flare, as if she didn’t mean for that to slip out.

Now it’s my turn to smirk. “Is that right?”

She spins around, but I can see her face in the mirrored wall in front of her. Her ears have gone red and she mutters something to herself, nabbing the box from the bar behind her. She rolls her shoulders back and turns to face me again. Her cheeks are the same color as her ears. She drops the box unceremoniously on the counter. “I figured you’d want more than one.”

“Yes. Definitely.” I nod.

“Multiples really are the best.” Her cheek tics, and the tips of her ears look as if they’re going to light on fire and take all her hair with it. I wonder how much product she uses to keep it looking so perfect and if it’s soft to the touch or not.

“I love multiples.” Both the giving and the receiving. I leave that part out, because I would prefer to eat the cupcakes, not wear them, and I feel like we’re suddenly treading a very fine line. Either that or we’ve already jumped right over it. I shake my head to clear it. “Uh, what do I owe you?”

“Those are on the house. Enjoy your night.”

Blaire usually happily charges me full price for my cupcake addiction. Although she does tend to toss in an extra one for good measure. I’m tempted to ask if I’m going to end up hogtied in the trunk of a car if I eat the rest of these, but I figure that might be pushing it. “I can’t imagine anyone has ever said no to free multiple screaming orgasms.”

*****

Review:

Hunting’s latest is full of sugary sweetness with spice thrown in to keep everyone coming back for more. While Blaire and Ronan’s story is a pretty basic enemies-to-lovers one, her writing style makes it a lot of fun.

While the characters are pretty stereotypical, they have a lot of fun together (once they get over the picking at each other) which makes for an easy read. Blaire comes out swinging when Ronan’s renovations interfere with her plans for opening her cafe, but he definitely doesn’t help smooth things over when he keeps pranking her in order to lighten her mood. Unfortunately her unwanted attraction to him, and the stress of a new business, doesn’t exactly leave her open to his antics.

Once a big chain restaurant threatens both of their businesses, they decide to put their differences aside and work together. Time spent together not only is good for their bottom line but it finds Blaire seeing a different side to Ronan. Things go pretty much as you’d expect but it’s still a lovely diversion and left a smile on my face more than once.

Although there might not be a ton of depth to Kiss My Cupcake, it is the perfect read if you are looking for something light and entertaining. The characters are cute, Ronan’s family is awesome and Blaire’s is … well, something else, and keeping the story simple means readers can just sit back and enjoy.

*****

Author Info:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy. 

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*****

Spotlight – The Ultimate Betrayal

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I’m so thrilled to have Kat Martin here today to share a bit about what it’s like to be a writer.

*****

A Character’s Voice

Hearing a character’s voice in your head is one of the strangest parts of writing. Each voice is distinct, unique to that person in some way. How does it happen?

That is a question I have yet to satisfactorily answer.

A novel is constructed by using different tools, description, narrative, setting, and dialog among them. Letting a character tell the story through his own point of view is my favorite way of crafting a novel.

Not all authors use this technique as much as I do, but for me it’s what makes the story move swiftly. As I’m writing, I hear the characters’ voices in my head, not clearly at first, but as the novel progresses, I et my writing instincts take over and listen to what the characters say, let them lead me in the direction that will tell my tale.

Once they start talking, I let them talk. Later I can use the editorial side of my brain to polish their words, make them sharper, more precise.

To practice, one day I sat in front of the post office with my car windows rolled up and tried to hear the voice of every person walking along the sidewalk. It was amazing–no two voices sounded the same!

In THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, Jessie Kegan is the daughter of a colonel, a young woman raised in a military family. Now an investigative journalist, she’s strong and determined, which I hope her voice reflects. Brandon Garrett was once a special forces soldier, which gives him vast confidence tinged with a hint of arrogance. The voice in my head reflected those qualities.

In the novel, when Jessie’s father, Colonel Kegan, is accused of treason, she’s determined to clear his name. Realizing her life is in grave danger, Jessie turns to Brandon for help. But time is running out and the game being played is deadly. Working together, Bran and Jessie risk everything to solve the riddle and confront the threat–before it’s too late.

I hope youll watch for THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL and that you enjoy it. Until next time, all best wishes and happy reading, Kat

*****

The Ultimate Betrayal

by Kat Martin

Blurb:

When investigative journalist Jessie Kegan’s father, a colonel in the army, is accused of treason, Jessie is determined to clear his name. Reluctantly, she turns to former Special Ops soldier, Brandon Garrett, her late brother’s best friend–a true heartbreaker, according to her brother.

With danger coming from every angle, time is running out and the game being played is deadly. Working together, Bran and Jessie must risk everything to solve the riddle and confront the threat–before it’s too late.

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Betrayal-Maximum-Security/dp/1335080600

B&N https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ultimate-betrayal-dwayne-t-martin/1125832346?ean=9781488056048

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-ultimate-betrayal-26

Google https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kat_Martin_The_Ultimate_Betrayal?id=GqmqDwAAQBAJ

Itunes https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-ultimate-betrayal/id1477473206

*****

Excerpt:

She yawned as she closed the door, more exhausted than she had expected. She fell asleep quickly and slept far better than she had the night before, then rose at the first gray light of dawn. She went in to shower and get ready for the day, dressed in a conservative dark brown skirt suit and heeled pumps, then quietly cracked open the door to the living room.

Bran was already up, standing with his back to her, one hand on his hip, the other pressing his cell phone against his ear. A pair of white cotton briefs that hugged his round behind was all he had on.

Jessie’s mouth went dry. His suntanned back was smooth, except for a jagged scar on one side, and ridged with solid muscle. Bands of muscle defined his shoulders and arms, and long sinewy legs tapered down to narrow feet.

She told herself to close the door before Bran caught her staring at him like a juicy piece of meat, but instead she just stood there, her heart pounding, her breathing a little ragged.

She was just pulling herself under control when he turned, the phone still pressed to his ear. Jessie froze. Her gaze shot to the heavy bulge at the front of his briefs and she felt a rush of heat so hot it made her dizzy. Muscular pecs and six-pack abs. A lean, hard-muscled chest and amazing biceps. Desire hit her so hard she swayed on her feet.

She didn’t move till Bran jerked the blanket off his make-shift bed and wrapped it around his waist, knocking her out of her self-imposed trance and flushing her face with embarrassment.

“Sorry,” she managed to breathlessly whisper, stepped back and slammed the door.

Ohmygod, ohmygod. She hadn’t felt the least attraction to a man for so long she’d forgotten what it was like. Correction, she had never felt the jolt of desire she had felt looking at Brandon Garrett. Ohmygod.

She told herself he was probably used to that kind of reaction from a woman, or at least the women who had seen him nearly naked. Jessie sank down on the bed. What could she possibly say to him? How could she explain?

But no words of explanation popped into her head.

Since she couldn’t hide in the bedroom all day, and because Bran undoubtedly wanted to take a shower, she inhaled a deep breath, opened the door, and walked out into the living room.

“Sorry about that,” she said.

He had pulled on his jeans but the rest of him was still gloriously bare. “No problem. I should have grabbed one of those terrycloth robes in the bathroom.”

She just nodded. “Yeah.” Her fingers curled into the palms of her hands as she walked past him toward the counter where he had brewed a pot of coffee.

“Mind if I use the shower?” he asked.

“Of course not. You’re paying for the room.” When he opened his mouth, she held up a hand. “Sorry, no more talk about money.”

“Exactly.”

She took a mug down from the cabinet above the sink and filled it with coffee, her hands still a bit unsteady.

“Why don’t you order us something to eat?” Bran suggested as he crossed the room toward the bedroom. “I won’t be too long.”

“Bacon and eggs?” she asked.

“Sounds great.” As he disappeared through the door and closed it behind him, Jessie sank down on one of the chairs at the dining table, coffee mug gripped tightly in her hands. At least now she knew the abduction hadn’t completely destroyed her desire for the opposite sex.

Or at least one member of the opposite sex. She grimaced. She just wished the man who had rekindled her long-dead fire wasn’t Brandon Garrett.

Bran turned on the shower, set the nozzle to cold, and climbed in beneath the icy spray. He clenched his jaw, fighting to block a memory of the look on Jessie’s pretty face when he had spotted her in the bedroom doorway. Trying to block the erection he got every time the image reappeared in his head.

Bran knew women. He knew when a woman wanted him. He swore softly, cursing the fate that had brought the two of them together, putting them both in a situation that could only get worse.

So far he had managed to suppress the desire he’d felt from the moment Jessie had walked into his office. With her fire-touched blond hair and fine features, she was beautiful. He liked her body and admired her brain. In a softly feminine way, she was sexy as hell, and he wanted her–no doubt about it.

But aside from the erotic dream he’d had about her last night, he’d been doing an admirable job of controlling his lust.

Until this morning. When the flush in her cheeks and the heat in her eyes had made it clear that the desire he felt was returned. She wanted him. Which meant he had to be the strong one because no way could he have her and just walk away.

Jessie wasn’t the type he usually slept with, women who didn’t require exclusivity and didn’t expect to give it in return.

He was fairly sure Jessie hadn’t been with a man since she was abducted. He sure as hell didn’t want to be the first, didn’t want to deal with whatever trauma she had experienced, maybe make it worse.

*****

Author Info:

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

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