Book Review – Wanting More

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This is my first book by Elle Keating but hopefully it will NOT be my last!

*****

Wanting More

Dangerous Love series

by Elle Keating

314 pages, Dual POV

Contemporary romance set in and around Philadelphia area

Blurb:

Carina McGinnis knows Josh Graham is trouble. Being attracted to a man who most likely has a turnstile at the entrance of his bedroom can only end in heartache, something Carina never wants to experience again. If she doesn’t want a repeat of what happened last summer, it’s best Carina keep what’s left of her heart safely out of Josh’s reach.

Josh Graham doesn’t do sweet. He goes for one kind of woman. The kind who never ask for more than he can give. Sex without strings, feelings and emotional baggage is safe. But from the moment Josh meets Carina his number one rule is quickly forgotten, forcing him to face his past and take a leap of faith for that one woman who will always want more.

Though part of the Dangerous Love series, Wanting More can be read without
reading the first two books.

Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/authorellekeating/playlist/4odaviYJYskUQreTlM7lks

Amazon: http://bit.ly/WantingMoreKindle

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

Kobo: http://bit.ly/wantingmoreKobo

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/wantingmoreGR

 

*****

Excerpt:

Josh

I’ll just have to have enough control for the both of us.

That’s what he had promised her. That he would be a gentleman. Which meant that he couldn’t touch her, think of her anymore, at least not in the way he craved. He would friend zone her. He had girlfriends. Mia and Erin were proof that he could have a relationship with a woman and not want to get in her pants. He could do this.

Then why the hell was he so nervous?

He gripped the white bag and rounded the corner. The playground came into view and he increased his pace. He could hear screams coming from his right. And then the distinct sound of a rubber kickball being bounced against cement. Josh was on his way to the front entrance when he saw her through the black iron fence. Standing in the doorway to what looked like a classroom behind her, Carina was in full teacher mode. A little girl was looking up at her and saying something. He couldn’t make out her words but whatever she had said made Carina smile and then she positioned the girl so her back was to her. Seconds later Carina was gathering the girl’s blonde curly hair in one hand and securing it with a hair tie. After a quick tug to her pony tail and a smile from her teacher, the girl skipped away in the direction of the swings.

Josh could have stared at Carina all day, watching her do her job, a job she seemed to enjoy, a job that made her smile. He loved her smile. Especially when she didn’t think anyone was watching. Her silent confidence, the way she appeared to be so relaxed in her own skin, captivated him. She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and scanned the playground. And that’s when she spotted him. Caught him, was more like it, staring at her through the iron bars. His throat went dry and his brain went to mush. The bag in his hand felt like it weighed a thousand pounds, as if reminding him why he had come.

She walked across the playground and with each step his heart beat faster. He urged himself to calm the fuck down. Because if he couldn’t do this, how the hell was he going to get through this weekend? Alone with her in a car for two and a half hours. Alone with her in a hotel room where there may only be one bed. The visual made his breathing hitch. He would take the floor. Scratch that. He would take an ice-cold shower and then sleep on the floor. She could have the bed. That king-sized bed all to herself, her wrapped in white sheets, warm and…

“Josh, what are you doing here?” she asked.

He swallowed hard and barely managed to raise the white, now grease stained bag until it was level with his face. “Have you eaten lunch?” he asked. It was a miracle he could get the words out.

Um…not yet. Was just about to go inside and eat at my desk. I brown bagged it
today.”

“I think I can do better than that. Do you like roast pork sandwiches?”

She eyed the white bag. Luckily, his fingers had stopped trembling. “Is that a
Di’Nic’s bag?”

He nodded. “There’s a roast pork sandwich in here with your name written all over it if you agree to eat lunch with me.”

Her brow raised and she crossed her arms over her chest. “Is it fully loaded with peppers, cheese and horseradish?”

She liked messy sandwiches. She was too good to be true.

“Absolutely.”

Her lips curled to form a mischievous smile. “Okay. But you better have lots of napkins.”

Josh pulled a fistful of napkins out of the bag and displayed them proudly. “I think we’re covered.”

“Alright. Meet you in the park across the street?”

He smiled at her, causing her cheeks to pinken. She then turned and walked back into the school building.

Alright, the hard part was over. She had agreed to lunch. He had gotten through it. All that was left to do was convince himself and to prove to Carina that they could be friends. And that because they were just friends, she didn’t have to worry about this weekend. As her friend, he would escort her to the baptism. As her friend, he would parade around as her boyfriend to help ward off Eric fucking Ross. As her friend, he would keep her company and turn back into the old Josh, the one who was easygoing and took pride in being a smartass.

Friends.

Yep, he could do this.

No problem.

~

Carina

She loved a messy sandwich as much as the next girl, but her appetite was shit right now. Carina forced down another bite and tried not to stare at Josh as he withdrew two bottles of root beer from the bag. As the muscles in his arms flexed beneath his thin cotton t-shirt. Or how nice his ass looked in his jeans. Or how his hair flopped…

“So I thought it was best that I just put it out there.” He set the bag down next to him on the park bench.

She stopped imagining how soft his hair would feel between her fingers. “Put what out there?”

“Well, I think we’re stuck with each other,” he said, opening one of the root beers and handing it over to her. His fingers brushed hers as she took the bottle. Her face was burning up.

“I didn’t really give you a choice. I kind of roped you into this baptism thing. Don’t you think?”

“I’m not talking about the baptism, Carina.” He twisted off the cap to his root beer and took a swig.

“Then what do you mean?”

“I mean…Mia is your best friend. Mia is one of my closest friends. Which means I think it’s inevitable. We’re going to have to become friends.” The root beer almost came up. Friends? This guy had kissed her, sucked on her nipples, and had his head between her thighs. She knew that she wasn’t his type, that he didn’t want anything remotely resembling a relationship with her, but how the hell was she going to be friends with him now? He flashed her a smile that made her want to squirm in her seat, but by the grace of God she remained still.

“Um…do you think that’s even possible? We…uh…”

“I think I’m a pretty good friend. Mia and Erin would vouch for me. Just ask them.” His mind was made up. Friendship was all he had to offer. And Carina didn’t need to ask Mia if Josh could fulfill that role. He had shown her that he really was a nice guy. A devoted grandson. Erin’s man of honor. A guy who wouldn’t think twice about beating the piss out of someone who got a little handsy at a club.

A guy who could be both brooding and sweet.

And he was now her friend.

Because that was all he was capable of.

“Well, it’ll be a first for me.” Carina took a bite of her sandwich and then a sip of her root beer.

He wiped his sinful mouth with a napkin and smirked. “What will be?”

“Being just friends with a guy…one who has seen my hoo-ha.”

He chuckled. “Hoo-ha? That’s what you call it?” he asked, glancing between her legs. His heated stare made her legs cross and her head go places it shouldn’t. And throughout it all, his smirk remained.

“Uh…yeah. What would you call it?” She suddenly felt parched and drained her soda.

His eyes narrowed and his jaw clenched. “Do you want me to be honest?”

She set her empty bottle on the ground beneath the park bench. “Friends are supposed to be honest with each other. Right?”

His smile evaporated and he bit his lip. Which was one of the sexiest things she had ever witnessed in her life. She wanted to bite his lip. His tongue. Every fucking inch of him. “I’ll tell you what I would call that part of you…and then we will become friends. Agreed?” he asked, his voice now gruff, no longer playful. His smirk had also failed to return.

Her heart hammered in her chest, as she was remembering how he had taken her in that office. His lips sucking her clit. The sounds she made. The groans he had allowed to escape as she rode his face. “Yes. Friends,” she said.

He stared at her for a few seconds. The silence wasn’t awkward, but intoxicating. She felt dizzy and overheated. And so damn wet. “That area between your thighs, where I licked you, inhaled you, tasted you…that was heaven, Carina.”

Jesus Christ!

Now it was her turn to bite the shit out of her lip.

His eyes darkened as they traveled to her mouth and then he said, “Carina, finish your sandwich. Your lunch hour is almost over.” He retrieved the remainder of his sandwich and took a bite. Numb, she did the same. And thought about the weekend she was about to spend with him.

As friends.

*****

Review:

I’ll admit that this book had a big strike against it from the beginning – I am NOT a fan of manwhores, redeemable or not.  But Keating definitely shows her skill because Josh is pretty darn appealing regardless of his … racy history.  He’s decided that it is a good coping mechanism for his tragic past.  It makes sense but in the hands of a less skilled writer he might have still been off-putting for me.  Instead I understood how his awful parents and a devastating loss created the man he is today.  But he also has a loving grandmother and awesome friends who provide him the support he needs, especially when he reaches the point that he starts looking at things differently.

Carina is coming out of a disastrous relationship, only to discover that her ex is also her new boss.  And the man is truly horrible – threatening and obsessed.  When she asks a guy she just met to pretend to be her boyfriend, it kicks off a series of events that she could never have expected.  Even as she recognizes that Josh is not for her, and vice versa, the attraction between them proves hard to resist.

I would have expected the back and forth between the two to get old after a while – Carina is not a one night stand kind of girl and Josh isn’t into relationships – but it works here.  Their conflicting emotions are very real and their struggle feels true.  And while Carina’s ex is an awful, awful person, he wasn’t too mustache-twirly as a villain.  Instead he’s a good catalyst for some of the interactions between Carina and Josh, and definitely amps up the ending.

Wanting More is an emotional roller-coaster, with wonderfully addictive characters and a storyline that will keep you reading late into the night.

(Note: This is my first time with this series and I think that Keating does a really good job of explaining how everyone relates to each other.  There are some references to what happened in the first two stories that would make more sense to returning readers but they don’t really impact the enjoyment of this story … I’m just curious enough to add her other stories to my TBR pile 🙂 )

*****

Author Info:

Elle Keating is the author of romance novels with sexy heroes and fierce females. Her first book, Thrill of the Chase (Dangerous Love, #1), was published by Forever Romance’s digital imprint, Forever Yours, in 2015. Cut to the Chase (Dangerous Love, #2) soon followed. Most recently, Elle self-published a standalone novel, Keeping His Commandments.

An avid reader of gritty, dark romances, her favorite authors include Pepper Winters, Penelope Ward, and Anna Zaires.

When she isn’t torturing her heroes and heroines (don’t worry, there’s always a happily ever after), Elle is a public school administrator and enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children in New Jersey.

Website: www.ellekeating.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorellekeating

Instagram: www.instagram.com/elle.keating

Email: authorellekeating@gmail.com

Additional titles by Elle Keating:

Thrill of the Chase (Dangerous Love, #1)

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/thrillGR

Amazon: http://bit.ly/thrillofthechase

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

Cut to the Chase (Dangerous, #2)

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/cuttothechaseGR

Amazon: http://bit.ly/cuttothechaseAMZN

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

Keeping His Commandments

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/commandmentsgr

Amazon: http://amzn.to/commandmentsEK

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

*****

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Spotlight – Broken Heartstrings

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This one is in my TBR pile and I’m looking forward to starting it soon!

*****

Broken Heartstrings

by CC Dragon

Genre: MM Romance

Blurb:

True love hurts. Jeff and Ben had it and lost it over a decade ago…

When Jeff is outed and attacked, the country music super star has to face his family and his choices under huge public scrutiny.

Jeff and Ben, his former producer, had a plan to come out and deal with the haters back in the day. Then tragedy struck Jeff’s family and changed everything—except the feelings. Jeff stayed in the closet and Ben walked away.

In the wake of the outing and press, Ben walks back. But why?

Revenge? Gloating? To make peace?

Or maybe for a second chance…

Note: This is a sweet m/m romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38483877-broken-heartstrings

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2HbDIGw

*****

Author Info:

A loyal Chicago girl who loves deep dish pizza, the Cubs, and The Lake, CC Dragon is fascinated by the metaphysical and paranormal.  She loves creating characters, especially amateur sleuths who solve mysteries. A coffee and chocolate addict who loves fast cars, she’s still looking for a hero who likes to cook and clean…so she can write more!

Website: www.ccdragon.com

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/752998138081518/

Google +: http://tinyurl.com/ccdragong

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorccdragon

Amazon Page: http://amzn.to/2C3DLlb

*****

Book Review – Should’ve Been You

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Should’ve Been You

A Man Enough Romance

by Nicole McLaughlin

Childhood neighbors get a chance at love in Should’ve Been You, an achingly romantic novella in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series!

National Guardsman Jase Beckford wants to live a quiet life raising cattle and taking care of his mother. His childhood friend and neighbor Hannah is still his best friend, but when he walks into the Walters house one morning and sees her twin sister Becca for the first time in five years, he wonders if he missed out on something special.

Becca Walters has nursed a secret crush on Jase since childhood, but he always preferred Hannah, so she buried her feelings assuming her sister and Jase would one day turn their flirtation into a real relationship. And this Christmas, she is anticipating a proposal of her own, so Jase’s reappearance in her life doesn’t mean anything. Much. Okay, maybe more than Becca would like to admit.

However, when Becca’s sister gets engaged to someone who’s not Jase, Becca and Jase find themselves spending more together. And when secrets are revealed, suddenly those dormant feelings come back to life; but is the possibility of something between them worth risking the happiness of everyone they love?

I know that there are quite a few people that didn’t feel this book because of the triangle between Jase, Becca, and Hannah.  But it really felt pretty true to life to me.  It’s so easy to understand why Jase and Hannah kept moving along in a kind of limbo, especially when everyone seems to expect them to be a couple at some point.  Plus those old habits and feelings are pretty hard to turn off.  It does seem like Hannah takes advantage of him but part of that are her issues just as much his.  With his abusive background it’s easy to imagine why he would be drawn to someone that he can take care of and protect.

Poor Becca never had a chance while the two of them are dancing around the what-could-be’s of their relationship.  Especially once we find out some of the tricks Hannah used to keep him as hers.  There’s a lot of hurts and history and hang-ups at play but it is satisfying when they finally get things figured out.  Unfortunately the timing is pretty darn bad.  Or good depending on how you look at it 🙂  I’m curious to see Hannah’s story because she definitely didn’t play well here, but we also get glimpses of some issues that explain things some.  Not that it excuses her actions but it at least shows a reason for the things she does.

There’s a decent amount of drama with all of the misunderstandings and miscommunication, but it helps to deliver an enjoyable secret crush/friends (kinda) to lovers romance.  I was so pleased when Jase and Becca finally figure things out and some decades old feelings finally get their chance to shine.

Spotlight – Something Just Like This

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Now that Valentine’s Day is over, maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a new book boyfriend … this one is getting perfect reviews!

*****

Something Just Like This

by Tracy Krimmer

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Age category: Adult

Release Date: February 14, 2018

Blurb:

Love? Second chances? That crap is for romantics, not realists like Juliette. She has a bad attitude about love and an even worse one when it comes to second chances. And she may dress like an elf for a few weeks out of the year, but that doesn’t mean she loves Christmas.

Stability? Purpose? Landon is surfing a pleasant wave of both until he’s fired. Devastating news from his sister certainly doesn’t help. At least he has the holidays to look forward to.

When Landon shows up at the mall and Juliette prevents a disaster, he can’t stop thinking about that sweet elf. Juliette doesn’t believe in the spirit of Christmas, but she can’t help but wonder why Landon was in her line that day. Could Landon deserve one of those second chances she’s so unwilling to give?

You can find Something Just Like This on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36424492-something-just-like-this

You can buy Something Just Like This on Amazon for only $2.99 through February 15: http://smarturl.it/SJLTAmazon

It is available to read with Kindle Unlimited.

*****

Excerpt:

We’re nearing the front of the line, and I’m grateful everyone seems to be quick with their requests of Santa. Santa and the elves win points for their efficiency.

“Uncle Landy, my tummy hurts.”

And there it is. I’m not surprised she’s complaining about her stomach, but I’m a little shocked it took this long for it to bother her.

“Maybe we should head home.” I hate to say it, but it’s the best option.

“No!” The disappointment spreads across her face like a storm rolling in at fifty miles an hour. “I want to see Santa. You promised.”

Her hands are pressed against her tummy, and her face is a shade whiter than a ghost. If we don’t make it to the front of the line in a matter of minutes, she’ll leave a present right in the middle of the North Pole.

“Abby, I think maybe we should do this another time. I’ll make it up to you.” I hate being the bearer of bad news but I’m sure she feels terrible. I have to hand it to her for sticking it out, though.

“Noooooo.”

I can’t stand it when she cries. Sometimes it’s annoying, other times, like now, it’s sad and makes me sad, too. I know how bad she wants this, and it’s hurting her that it may not happen.

I crouch down next to her, allowing the bags to roll off my arms and onto the ground. I take a hold of her hands. “Abby, listen to me. That cinnamon roll was a little too much to eat. You should get home and rest. Standing in line won’t make you feel any better. Lying down will.”

She doesn’t answer me, only stares at me with those big eyes, her painted-on smile now erased and carved into a frown. Her skin is becoming paler by the second, her huge eyes now drooping. I know this look. She’s about to lose it.

“Here!” An arm swooshes past me with a bucket. As soon as it reaches Abby, she throws up right into it.

When Abby finishes bringing up her dinner and the Cinnabon, I pull her close to me. I don’t care if I get some on my shirt or my pants. She needs comfort right now.

“Thank you,” I say as I look up to thank everyone’s hero because let’s face it, no one wants to be standing in line with someone’s puke.

My eyes float up the black leggings, past the green and red fabric with arms so wide she could use them as wings, to the beautiful woman underneath the pointed hat with a bell. Her red lips hypnotize me as she smiles, her blue eyes sparkling enough to make me believe in Santa Claus.

“Thanks.” That’s all I manage to say. I seem to have lost the ability to speak as I’m entirely fixated on her. I can’t break my gaze from this woman in front of me.

She holds the bucket behind her back, doing us all a favor and removing the smell as fast as she can. “No problem. I’ve worked here enough years to know when it’s about to happen. I always keep a bucket handy.”

Prepared, gorgeous, and not afraid to handle the puke monster. I’m already impressed.

“I’m sorry. She ate a little too much, and I guess her stomach couldn’t handle it.” There. I found the words.

“Don’t worry about it.” She leans down so she’s eye to eye with Abby. “How do you feel now? Better?”

Abby shrugs, and I’m not sure if she still isn’t feeling well, or if she’s being cautious with a stranger, which I appreciate. Even though she’s with me, you can never be too safe these days.

“Tell you what. I think you should let your daddy take you home. Come back tomorrow, and I’ll be here. You can skip the line and see Santa right away. I’m giving you a sick pass.”

Abby releases her hands from her tummy and smiles at me. Neither I nor Abby correct the woman dressed as an elf that I’m her uncle.

“Really?” Abby asks. She glances up at me and back at the woman, not sure if she should believe her or not.

“You bet. I’ll be right next to the big guy. I promise.” This time the elf winks at me, and her smile widens, her cheeks so rosy against her creamy skin.

I’ll have to clear it with Courtney but I don’t suspect it will be a problem unless she’s upset Abby is sick. “You can do that?” I don’t want to disappoint Abby and if what this woman is saying is true, I can still save the day. Uncle Landy to the rescue.

“Sure can. I’ve been working with Santa for years. I’m probably his number one elf. So, six tomorrow?”

“Six tomorrow.” I nod at her, trying not to exaggerate my appreciation. “I’m Landon, and this is Abby, by the way.”

“Sugar Plum,” she says as she pats Abby on the head. “Glad to meet the both of you. I’ll see you tomorrow, six sharp.”

Abby squeezes my hand with a little squeal to accompany it. As Sugar Plum heads behind Santa’s Village with the bucket, I remain focused on her, smiling inside as the bells on her shoes ding. She may be the cutest elf I have ever seen.

*****

Author Info:

Tracy Krimmer loves coffee, popcorn, Drew Barrymore, and the movie Saving Silverman. She enjoys reading great books (of course) and writing realistic characters for you to enjoy. When she listens to music she prefers the 80s and 90s music she grew up on. In a typical day you’ll find her writing at one of her favorite spots–on the couch, at the kitchen table, or at her favorite hometown coffee shop.

You can find and contact Tracy here:

– Website: http://www.tracykrimmer.com/

– Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/tkrimms

– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrimmerAuthor

– Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/readtracykrimmer

– Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7153703.Tracy_Krimmer

– Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tracy-Krimmer/e/B00J1S52SM/

– Bookbub: https://bookbub.com/authors/tracy-krimmer

– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracykrimmer

– Newsletter: http://www.tracykrimmer.com/newsletter/

*****

Giveaway:

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Something Just Like This. One winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift card!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1000e4f1275/

*****

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

Spotlight – Indecent Exposure

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Getting some fabulous reviews … but how could it not with a sexy cop for a hero!  Although you can tell already that things aren’t going to go well for him.  Pretty sure this officer is going to have a few problems 🙂

*****

Indecent Exposure

The Academy Series

by Tessa Bailey

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Avon Books

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Blurb:

Is there a problem, Officer?

Jack Garrett isn’t a police officer yet, but there’s already an emergency. His new firearms instructor—the one who just dropped every jaw in the academy gym—is the same sexy Irish stranger Jack locked lips with last night. The Olympic gold medalist and expert markswoman is now officially off-limits, but Jack’s never cared much for rules . . .

Katie McCoy’s been cooped up in a shooting range for too long. A wild love affair is just what she needs to let loose, though she never imagined it would be with her smokin’ hot trainee. She cannot get involved with Jack—but a quick fling? Perfect. Falling hard for a charismatic recruit with an equal amount of sex appeal and secrets? Bloody stupid.

Jack’s charmed the pants off plenty of women (literally), yet few have ever looked beyond his perfect surface. Until Katie. He’ll do anything to keep her in his life . . . except tell her about his past. But a tiny lie of omission never hurt anyone, right?

Amazon http://amzn.to/2lQdn6R

Avon Romance https://goo.gl/MN7zmY

Barnes & Noble https://goo.gl/qJK6o5

Google Play https://goo.gl/8jU6i7

Walmart https://goo.gl/Bsu4wM

iBooks https://apple.co/2ERhgBe

*****

Excerpt:

“One kiss.”

He takes a step forward, his big chest rising and falling. “I know I’m pushing it, Snaps. But I’m dying over here.”

I’m dying, too. No denying it. This attraction is very bad for my mental and physical health. He probably won’t even show up tomorrow night. His romantic comedy costar will distract him with an invitation to eat grapes on a sun- drenched rooftop somewhere and I . . . I could never get another chance to kiss this outrageously beautiful man. This trip to New York isn’t only a career opportunity, it’s a chance to shake off my comfort zone.

Do it, Katie. Don’t regret it. Don’t be a coward. What’s the worst that could happen?

“Just one, then,” I whisper.

His green eyes go molten as he takes two big strides and swoops in. I hear my backpack hit the ground and then nothing, nothing, but Jack’s mouth has any part of my focus.

What’s the worst that could happen?

*****

Author Info:

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans, and laptop, and drove cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend, and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention. She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

Avon http://www.avonromance.com/book-author/tessa-bailey/

Website https://www.tessabailey.com/

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/mstessabailey

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6953499.Tessa_Bailey

Amazon http://amzn.to/2vxGheG

*****

Giveaway:

Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback copy of Disorderly Conduct by Tessa Bailey.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 2/3/2018 @ 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.

https://goo.gl/r4uKTp

*****

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Spotlight – The Off-Season

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Baseball players are some of my favorite sports romance heroes … and Tag is a good example of why!

*****

The Off-Season

A Washington Rampage Novel

by Megan Green

Genre: Sports Romance

Blurb:

He had it all…

The day Ian “Tag” Taggart’s world comes crashing down around him, he’s sitting in a fast food drive-thru, waiting for an order of fries. Golden boy of the MLB and shortstop for the Washington Rampage, Tag quickly finds himself losing grip on his superstar life with the use of two awful words: sexual assault.

The only problem? He’s innocent.

Tag’s willing to do anything to prove to the world he’d never commit the crime he’s been accused of. So when his agent suggests taking a break from the spotlight, he listens. The quiet town on Maple Lake is everything Seattle isn’t. And Lexi Barnes is everything he wasn’t expecting to find.

Running from a past she can never escape, Lexi wants nothing to do with her new neighbor. But fixing up an old house takes more work than anticipated, and the new guy in town happens to have quite the set of carpentry skills. She won’t let herself fall for him though. She has no room in her life for love.

If only someone would tell her heart that.

He’s funny and charming. She’s closed off and rude.

Together, they’re like fire and ice.

Prepare to get burned this Off-Season.

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/OffSeasonMG

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/OffSeasonUK

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/OffSeasonCA

Amazon AUS: http://bit.ly/OffSeasonAUS

*****

Author Info:

Megan lives in Northern Utah with her handsome hubby, Adam. When not writing, chances are you’ll find her curled up with her Kindle. Besides reading and writing, she loves movies, animals, chocolate, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line! You can find her here:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Email | Reader Group

*****

Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Giftcard

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*****

Spotlight – Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries

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Who else loves a cozy mystery?  I love the mix of shenanigans with a little bit of a love story!  If that’s your thing, or if you are thinking about trying one out, Amy Metz has a series … 4 books to tempt you to curl up for a good read.

*****

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries Book 1

by Amy Metz

Genre: Cozy Mystery

253 pages

Blurb:

When Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction, curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder. Suddenly she’s learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle.

A bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy from the 1930s are pieces of the mystery that Tess attempts to solve. As she gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a new temptation for which she’s not sure she’s ready.

Goodreads * Amazon

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cATon5stvz0

Series Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzA9djF_wZo

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

We’ve Howdied But We Ain’t Shook Yet

May 2010

“You are dumber ‘n a soup sandwich, Earl.”

“Oh yeah? Well, you’re a hole in search of a doughnut, Clive.”

Tess Tremaine walked into Slick & Junebug’s Diner, past the two gentlemen arguing at the counter, and slid into one of the red vinyl booths. The old men were arguing good-naturedly, and she imagined they were probably lifelong friends, passing the time of day.

Tess smiled as she looked around the diner. She was happy with her decision to move to this friendly town. Everyone greeted her cheerfully and went out of their way to be nice. It was a pretty place to live, too. Every street in the small town was lined with decades-old trees in front of old, well kept homes full of character, just like the citizens. She was confident she’d made the right choice. This was a good place to heal from her divorce and start a new life.

A raised voice at the counter brought Tess out of her thoughts. One of the old men spoke loud enough for the whole diner to hear.

“If I had a dog as ugly as you, I’d shave his butt and make him walk backwards,” he said, jabbing his index finger at the other man.

A waitress appeared at the table. Tess hadn’t seen a beehive hairdo in person until she saw this waitress. With her pink uniform dress and white apron, she looked like she jumped out of a page from the sixties. Her name tag said “Willa Jean.”

“Don’t mind those two old coots.” Willa Jean hitched her head in their direction. “They’re about as dumb as a box a hair, but they’re gentle souls underneath. Their problem is one of ‘em’s always trying to one-up the other.”

She got her pad and pencil out of her front apron pocket, ready to take Tess’s order, but she stopped and cocked her head, staring hard at Tess, and smacking her gum.

“Anybody ever tell you, you look like Princess Di? I just loved her, didn’t you?” She bent her head slightly to the side to look at Tess’s legs under the table. “‘Cept you look a might shorter ‘n Di was. How tall are you?”

“Five-five.” Tess couldn’t help smiling at the compliment.

“Yep. What we have here is a mini Diana. And your hair color is a reddish-blond instead of a blonde-blonde like my girl Di. Other ‘n that, honey, you could be her clone.”

“Thank you. You just earned a big tip.” Tess’s smile lit up her face.

The waitress winked at Tess. “What can I gitcha?”

“I think I’ll just have a Coke and a ham sandwich, please.”

“Anything on that? Wanna run it through the garden?”

“Run it through the…” Tess’s brow furrowed.

“Yeah, you know…lettuce, tomato, and onion. The works.”

“Oh! Just mustard, please.”

Willa Jean nodded and hollered the order to the cook as she went towards the kitchen. “Walkin’ in! A Co’Cola and Noah’s boy on bread with Mississippi mud.”

Tess smiled and looked around the diner. The front counter was lined with cake plates full of pies covered in meringue piled six inches high, cakes three and four layers tall, and two-inch thick brownies. Six chrome stools with red leather seats sat under the counter. The walls were packed with framed snapshots from as far back as the fifties. From the looks of it, they started taking pictures when poodle skirts were popular and never stopped. They were running out of wall space. The top half of the big picture window was covered with a “Henry Clay Price For Governor” banner. Tess spotted similar signs throughout the restaurant, and she’d noticed the waitress was wearing a campaign button.

The diner was only half full with about twenty people at various tables and booths. A few tables away, a mother was having trouble with her child. Tess heard the mother say, “I’m fixing to show you what a whooping is all about!” When the little boy whined some more the mother added, “I mean it son, right now, I’d just as soon whoop you as hug you.” She looked up to see Tess watching them and said, “I’ll swan—raising kids is like being pecked to death by a chicken.”

Tess laughed. “I know what you mean. But you just wait. In ten years time, you’ll be wishing he were five again. The time goes by so fast.”
“How many you got?”

“Just one. My son’s twenty-five now, but it doesn’t seem possible.”

“You married?” the woman asked boldly.

“Divorced,” Tess answered.

“Here’s your Co’cola, hon,” Willa Jean said. “It’ll be just a minute more on the sandwich. You visiting or are you new in town?” She propped a hand on her waist.

“Brand new as of a week ago. I’ve been unpacking boxes for days. I guess you could say this is my debut in Goose Pimple Junction.”

“Well, all Southern Belles have to have a debut. And we’re mighty glad to have you, sugar. Lessee…did you buy the old Hobb house on Walnut?”

“My house is on Walnut, but I believe the previous owner’s name was York.”

“Yep, that’s the one I’m thinking of. Houses ‘roundcheer are known for the families that lived in them the longest. Them Hobbs had the house for over seventy years, up until old Maye Hobb Carter died a few years back. It was her late husband’s family home and then hers, even when she remarried. She was a sweet old soul, bless her heart. We all hated to lose her, but it was her time. She had a hard life, and I reckon she was ready to meet her maker. Her daughter still lives in town, but she and an older sister are all that’s left of the Hobbs ‘round here. Mmm-mmm—the things that family went through.”

“Willa!” the cook behind the counter yelled. “Order up!”

“Hold your pants on, Slick,” she yelled and then turned to Tess. “Be right back.” Willa hurried off to get the order and came bustling back with Tess’s sandwich. “It was nice talking with you, hon. I’ll leave you to eat in peace. Holler if you need anything else.”

A few minutes later the door to the diner opened, and almost every head turned to see who came in. Tess noticed everybody, except for her, raised a hand up in greeting, and a few said, “Hidee, Jackson.” The man’s eyes caught Tess’s and held them a little longer than normal. He sat down at the counter with his back to her and ordered iced tea. Willa waited on him, and Tess heard her say, “You don’t need ta be any sweeter than ya already are, Jackson. I’ma give you unsweetened tea.” She leaned across the counter looking up at him adoringly.

“Don’t you dare Willa Jean or I will take my bidness elsewhere!” he said with a big smile.

Big flirt, Tess thought.

He was a good-looking man who looked to be in his early to mid-fifties, Tess guessed, but she wasn’t in the market. Being newly divorced, the last thing she needed was to get involved with another man.

As far as I’m concerned, they’re all Martians and are to be avoided at all cost. Men Are From Mars, And Women Are From Venus wasn’t a best seller for nothing, she thought.

The door to the diner opened and a middle-aged man of medium height, dressed in a conservative suit and tie stuck his head in. “Vote for Henry Clay Price for governor, folks,” he said, with a wide politician’s smile.

“You know it, Henry Clay. You’re our man. We’re proud as punch to have you running,” Willa Jean said.

Other than the smile, Henry Clay didn’t look like a politician. He had thinning auburn hair that was almost brown, and he wore round wire-rimmed eyeglasses on a round face. He reminded Tess a little of an absentminded professor.

“You gonna let out all the bought air?” Slick grumped, and Henry Clay waved and closed the door, then ambled on down the sidewalk.

Tess finished eating and walked to the counter to pay her bill. Willa gave her change and said, “Nice meeting you, hon. Don’t be a stranger, now!”

As she closed the door she heard one of the men at the counter tell the other, “You’re so slow, it would take you two hours to watch 60 minutes!”

“I love this town,” she whispered to herself.

~

Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction

Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries Book 2

299 pages

Blurb:

Goose Pimple Junction is just recovering from a kidnapping and a murder, its first major crimes in years, when trouble begins anew. Life is turned upside down in the quirky little southern town with the arrival of several shifty hooligans: A philandering husband intent on getting his wife back, another murderer loose in town, a stalker intent on frightening Martha Maye, and a thief who’s stealing the town blind of their pumpkins, pies, and peace. Together, they’re scaring the living daylights out of the residents and keeping the new police chief busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic. Suddenly, he has his hands full trying to apprehend a killer, stop a stalker, and fight his feelings for the damsel in distress.

Goodreads * Amazon

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Marry in haste, repent in leisure. ~Southern Proverb

Lenny drove to his neighborhood bar with the windows wide open and Johnny Cash blaring on the radio, but he was oblivious to both. He was thinking about the phone conversation he’d just had with his ten-year-old daughter Carrie. It made him crazy the way her mother’s family called her “Butterbean.” What kind of a name was that for a child? But today he was crazy for a whole new reason. Jealousy and anger tore through him faster than small-town gossip. His daughter had spilled everything, and just when he thought he’d finally gotten a break, she said, “Mama kinda had a boyfriend but not anymore.” And: “Mama was kidnapped, but she’s back now.”

He pulled into the parking lot of the bar thinking, Boyfriend? We literally aren’t even divorced yet and she had a boyfriend? He pounded his fist against the steering wheel. He knew she’d been cheating on him. And now she’d done it right in front of their daughter. No doubt about it, he was going to have to do something about this Martha Maye situation.

Pulling into a primo spot at the front door, he looked up at the old rusty sign that had been over the entrance for years: Teetotalers ain’t welcome here. He winced at the loud screech announcing his car door opening, followed by the same screech when he slammed it shut. He glanced around the parking lot and saw the same cars that were there every night. His feet crunched on the gravel as he walked, and he remembered waking up three months earlier and slowly realizing his wife and daughter weren’t there.

The familiar bacon and coffee smells were gone. Cartoons weren’t blaring on the TV. His wife’s clothes were missing, along with his daughter’s, her teddy bear, and her dolls. The bookshelves were dotted with bare spots where Martha Maye’s favorite knickknacks and paddywhacks had been. And then he saw the note on the kitchen table that said she was divorcing him and that he shouldn’t try to find them. The realization that she’d left him in the middle of the night and taken their daughter seared through him like a red-hot poker.

Pretty stealthy for a woman who could literally be outwitted by a jar of marshmallow fluff. If she thinks she can literally run out on me and then humiliate me by going out with some scumbag before we’re even divorced, she has another think coming. I’ll show her. I’ll put on the charm and win her back.

Country music blasted as he opened the door, turned his head, and spit in disgust. She literally can’t be let her out by herself. Just look where it got her: kidnapped and almost killed.

His daughter had told him they’d been staying at his mother-in-law’s house. He should have figured. He’d always known Louetta to be a meddlesome old biddy. She lied to me when I called looking for my wife and daughter. She aided and abetted a woman leaving her husband. She allowed nefarious suitors to court my wife. Both of them must have literally stopped to think and forgotten how to start again.

And then there was his no-account, good-for-nothing brother who, upon learning of the impending divorce, wanted to know if Lenny would mind if he dated Martha Maye. Boy, I’m gonna slap you so hard, when you quit rolling your clothes’ll literally be outta style. My baby brother and my wife. Yeah. Over my dead body. How could he even ask such a thing? Both of them were nothing but a bunch of backstabbing traitors.

He hitched up his jeans under his overflowing beer belly, swaggered into the bar, and ordered a Colt 45. The jukebox was playing, “I Want a Beer as Cold as My Ex-Wife’s Heart,” and he thought that was pretty darn perfect for his life at the moment.

Looking around the room, he spotted a hot blonde giving him the eye. He sucked in his gut—a move that didn’t yield the desired result—and looked back, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. She brazenly smiled back at him.

How dare Martha Maye leave me? I can literally get any woman I want. And two on Saturday.

A football star in high school, homecoming king, and voted best looking his senior year, Lenny was used to women coming onto him, not leaving him. He put the bottle to his lips and downed half of it.

That woman was literally lucky to have me. Sure, I’ve put on a little weight, but only in the gut. I practically have to fight women off with a stick. Looking around the room again, he saw female eyes on him from several tables in the room. Yessirree, sir, I still got it.

Lenny started to lift his bottle to his mouth again but halted midway when two men sat down heavily on barstools on either side of him; they looked capable of eating their young. Both men were muscular and tough. One was as tall as a telephone pole. One was as short as a gnat’s tail. The taller man had black eyes under bushy eyebrows, and the other man wore aviator sunglasses on a flat, wide nose. He pushed the glasses to the top of his head to give Lenny his best glare.

“We’ve been looking all over Hell and half of Georgia for you, boy.” Eyebrows scooted his stool in close, crowding Lenny.

“Shoot.” Lenny’s hand automatically moved to his ankle holster, checking for his knife. “That don’t surprise me none. You literally couldn’t find oil with a dipstick.”

“Solly says he’s had about enough of you,” Eyebrows said.

“Yeah,” Mr. Gnat joined in, “he’s had about enough of you.”

Lenny snorted. “You can tell Solly to blow it out his butt,” Lenny said boldly, more boldly than he felt. He shelled a peanut, popped it in his mouth, and threw the shell into Mr. Gnat’s face.

“Solly says not to let you off the hook this time.”

“Yeah, not to let you off the hook.” Mr. Gnat’s left eye twitched.

“What’s with Mr. Echo over here?” Lenny pointed his thumb at the short man.

The telephone pole ignored him and said, “Solly says you’ve screwed him over for the last time.”

“Yeah, the last time.”

“I didn’t screw him over the first time.” Lenny drained his bottle. He felt like his mouth was full of cotton. “Solly wouldn’t tell the truth to save his life from dying.” Lenny tried to stand up, but the men had him penned in.

“You can’t talk about Solly that way.”

“Yeah, not that way,” Mr. Gnat echoed.

Eyebrows looked behind Lenny to his friend. “This boy has the mental agility of a soap dish, Joey.”

“Yeah, a soap dish.”

Lenny leaned in real close to Joey, who said, “Whatta you think you’re doing?”

“Just wondered if I got close enough if I could literally hear the ocean.”

“Boy, what you need is an education,” Eyebrows said.

“Yeah, an edj-ee-cation.” Gnat strung the word out.

The men grabbed Lenny’s arms, lifting him off his stool. The song on the jukebox had ended, and Lenny heard the crunch of peanut shells as the men propelled him toward the door.

“Boys, y’all best not be messing with me,” Lenny snapped, trying to break free.

“That’s mighty big talk for a punk like you.” They stepped aside as someone came through the door, and then they threw Lenny through it. He landed on the ground but sprang right back to his feet, his dukes up, ready to fight.

Eyebrows was fast. He knocked Lenny to the ground again with a left hook. Joey followed up with two kicks to the ribs.

Lenny pulled himself into a ball, both to protect himself from further harm and to have better access to his ankle holster. But Joey saw the knife and kicked it away as Lenny drew it from his pants leg.

The men both grabbed Lenny by an arm again, pulling him upright, and Eyebrows punched him in the gut, causing him to double over. They double-teamed him and left him on the ground bloody and beaten, as cars whizzed past on the road in front of the bar.

Right before Lenny passed out, he thought: Tomorrow I’ll pack up and head for Goose Pimple Junction to reclaim what’s rightfully mine. I’ll literally be a devoted husband and father and get my family back. I ain’t gonna let that woman leave me. Nobody leaves Lenny Applewhite.

~

Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction

Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries Book 3

127 pages

Blurb:

This is not your average Southern town. With a hint of mystery and a lot of laughs, you’ll catch a glimpse of everyday life in Goose Pimple Junction in this short story compilation. Five short stories, one novella, and three recipes will give you more of the unique charm of Goose Pimple Junction, make you laugh, and have your mouth watering. If you want a feel-good read, you’ve come to the right place. Grab some sweet tea and escape to Goose Pimple Junction.

Goodreads * Amazon

Excerpt:

Talk of the Town

He may be good-looking, but good-looking won’t put food on the table.  ~Willa Jean Coomer

Downtown Goose Pimple Junction was bustling the next morning when Johnny parked his car and walked a block to the diner. The yellow tickets that were stuck under windshield wipers on some of the cars vaguely registered with him because Ima Jean’s abduction was on his mind, and he didn’t have room to think of much else. Periodically, he thought about Martha Maye and how pretty she looked when she’d brought him fried chicken, home fries, macaroni salad, and a slice of apple pie. But he forced his mind back to Ima Jean and how he was going to go about finding her.

The diner was crowded but went deadly silent when he walked in. Everyone stopped talking, and all heads turned his way. He met a few people’s eyes, nodded a hello, mumbled “Morning,” and sat down at the counter next to a man who looked older than Moses.

“You’re mighty brave to bring yourself in here today, Chief. I myself don’t hold no ill will, but then again, I ain’t got a car, so it’s no skin off my nose.”

“Come again—” Johnny started to say, but Willa Jean interrupted him.

“What can I getcha, Chief?” She put an emphasis on “Chief” but the word was dripping with disdain.

Johnny wondered if it was his imagination or was she glaring slightly at him? He put a hand to the back of his neck as he craned his head around, finding several other people giving him the same expression. Curious.

“Coffee, a fried egg, and cheese grits, please.” He flashed her his best grin, but she didn’t seem to notice.

She turned on her heel without another word, calling to Slick, “A deadeye and mystery in the alley, Slick.”

Johnny noticed the old man cackling to himself and wondered what was so funny. He seemed to be a regular. Surely he was used to diner lingo. Moses turned to the man next to him and mumbled something that sounded like, “I haven’t had this much fun since the pigs ate my brother.”

Willa Jean came back with a cup and saucer and a pot of coffee. As she poured the brown liquid into the cup, a good amount spilled into the saucer. She looked up at Johnny and deadpanned, “Oops,” but she walked away, making no attempt to clean it up.

Conversation had started again in the diner, but it was in hushed tones, not the loud chatter that Johnny had heard when he first came in. Once again, he looked around the restaurant and noticed furtive glances coming at him. A few words and bits of sentences wafted his way: “a lot of gall, arrogant, outsider, amateur, dumb as a fencepost . . . ” He considered asking the gentleman next to him if this was normal townsfolk behavior, but Willa Jean came back and set a plate in front of him. His gaze went from the plate to her eyes, which seemed to hold a challenge.

“Um . . . ma’am . . . this looks right tasty, but it also looks like poached eggs and hash.”

Willa put all her weight on her right leg and propped her hand on her hip. “Least your eyes work.”

“Well, see . . . I could be mistaken, but I thought I ordered fried eggs and grits.”

“You’re mistaken.” She flung a towel over her shoulder and walked away.

Johnny looked at Moses and said, “I’m late to the party. Wanna tell me what’s going on?”

“Oooh, law,” the man drawled. “That was almost as ugly as Uncle Moody’s divorce.” He swiveled off his stool, saying, “’Scuse me. I have to see a man about a horse,” and he made his way to the restrooms.

~

Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction

Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries Book 4

246 pages

Blurb:

Sweet Southern belle Caledonia Culpepper and hit woman in training Wynona Baxter come up against crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenage hoodlum . . . it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction. When their paths cross, they prove there isn’t a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there’d be days like this . . .

Goodreads * Amazon

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

A Unicorn And A Hit Woman

Mama always said . . . most people deserve each other.

Early June, Atlanta, Georgia

Sipping sweet tea and browsing Facebook on her iPhone, Wynona Baxter sat with her partner, Zeke, at a table outside a coffee shop. With her toned and tanned bare legs crossed, her left foot—clad in Jimmy Choo black four-inch-heeled sandals—bobbed up and down to a silent beat known only to her.

“Here he comes.” Zeke adjusted his sunglasses and inclined his head toward the street.

There he was—their mark—right on time, wearing his JC Penny ugly tan blazer and brown polyester pants set right underneath his paunch. He ran a hand through his thinning red hair, but demonstrating the man’s definite need for a haircut, a long patch in the front dropped right back down over his right eye.

Wynona muttered, “Get a haircut.” Then to her partner, she said, “His confidence has to be ill-gotten.

Zeke harrumphed. “Just like everything he has in life.”

Over the rim of her glass of sweet tea, she casually watched as he crossed the street, speaking to a few people along the way. His gut preceded the rest of him by a good ten inches. Why on earth a man with no outwardly redeeming qualities—and from what she’d heard inwardly too—could strut like a rooster was beyond her.

Wynona put her glass down and ran her finger along the condensation. “I’ll tell you one thing. It’s obvious from the way he carries himself that there isn’t any conceit in his family: he got it all.

Zeke sat back and propped a leg over a knee. “Yeah, but brains are another question.”

“You reckon he has any of those?” Wynona’s foot continued to bob up and down.

The duo had been watching him, and after a week, they knew his routine. Wynona looked at her iPhone. “He’s right on time and headed for the Dizzy Duck as usual.”

Zeke nodded. “If he hadn’t made someone very angry, this wouldn’t have to be his last visit there.”

“Okay. So he’ll spend thirty to forty minutes in the bar and then head for home.” Wynona put the phone in her purse.
Zeke stood. “Where we’ll be waiting for him.”

She took one more gulp of tea, shook the ice in the glass, and set it down hard on the table, shooting a look that would put frost on a snowman to the guy a few tables away who’d been leering at her for the better part of an hour. Leisurely standing, she smoothed the front of her short linen skirt. As she left the coffee shop, she was aware of the eyes on her . . . well, she could only guess which body part his eyes were on. Wynona preferred to be unobtrusive, but that was nearly impossible with her looks. But no matter, by tomorrow she’d appear totally different anyway. She thought she might enjoy being a redhead next.

The hot Atlanta sun beat down on them as Wynona and Zeke walked across the street in the opposite direction from the person they’d tailed for almost a week: Mr. Sleazy, as she’d come to think of him. They had been sitting at the outdoor table for over an hour waiting for their mark to leave his office building. Feeling like she was melting, bored half out of her skull, and glad to be on the move again, she got into their rented Lexus ES300 and turned the ignition key. She set the air conditioning to full blast and leaned her head against the headrest. The cool air blew across her face, which glowed with perspiration.

She glanced at the dashboard and groaned. “Is it really 104 degrees out there?”

Zeke adjusted the vents. “Considering the humidity is at least in the eighty percent range, it feels more like 150.”

Taking a lace hankie from her purse on the passenger seat, she blotted her face so as not to ruin her makeup. She fluffed the bangs of her brown wig and slipped on her oversized sunglasses before adjusting the air conditioning vents to point straight at her. After putting the car into drive, she eased out onto the road and secretly offered Mr. Googly Eyes an unladylike hand signal.

Wynona maneuvered the Lexus down the curvy shade-dappled country lane while singing along to Garth Brooks’s “Friends in Low Places” on the radio. She pulled off to the side of the road, stopping just in front of a black mailbox with white lettering that spelled “Reid.” The box stood to the right of a long driveway leading to a large colonial two-story house. This wasn’t Mr. Sleazy’s house but one just down the road from his ticky-tacky run-of-the-mill ranch house. After a few minutes, she was impatient. “Come on, you know this road has hardly any traffic. We’ve only seen a handful of cars in the six days we’ve been tailing Polyster Man.

Zeke cracked the car door, waited, and listened. The only sound was the rat-a-tat of a woodpecker. Convinced no cars were near, he hurried to the rear of the car as she popped the trunk. He pulled out a duffle bag and slid back into the car, laying the bag on the floor in front of the passenger seat.

“Now watch, Wynona. You might need to know how to do this some day. Pay attention.” Reaching under the clothing inside the bag, he pulled out the pieces of a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic. Grabbing the slide, he took the barrel and slid it in, put in the guide rod and spring, keeping his thumb over it. With the weapon in his other hand, he said, “Make sure there are no obstructions, match the male/female grooves, slide it on, lock it to the rear, and put down the takedown lever at three o’clock.” He quickly snapped the pieces into place and screwed the silencer on.

Wynona recoiled a little when he opened his bag of tricks, as he liked to call his knife set. Her mind went over the different ways she’d seen him use each one in the past. A slow and torturous death was his specialty and why people asked for him.

Wynona glanced at the time on the dashboard. “I reckon we’ve spent five minutes cooling off after leaving the coffee shop and fifteen driving here. It should also take Sleazy fifteen minutes to get here—after his usual thirty minutes in the bar.” Wy reached in the bag, pulled out a CD, and popped it into the player. “If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I’d Be Out By Now” came over the speakers, and she tapped her fingers on the steering wheel as she sang along.

Zeke watched and said, “I love a girl with a sense of humor in this line of work.”

Twenty-five minutes later, she turned off the engine. They got out of the car, and he raised the hood. Zeke crouched in front of the car, while she leaned against the Lexus to wait.

She heard it before she saw it. “Showtime,” Wynona said.

“Do your stuff, Wy.” Zeke shifted slightly in the gravel.

She leaned in under the hood from the side of the Lexus that faced the oncoming car so that her long thoroughbred legs would have a chance to work their full magic. She heard the pop of gravel and an engine slowing as he eased his car to the side of the road.
“What’s the problem?” Mr. Sleazy asked as he approached her.

Holding the gun in his right hand, Zeke rose to his full height, walked past her, and pointed the weapon at Sleazy.

“Honey, you’re the problem.“ Wynona cocked her head. “But we’ve got the solution.” She noticed his Adam’s apple bob up and down; hers did too.

Walking toward him with the gun aimed at his chest, Zeke said, “You’ve made someone awfully mad with your low quantity of moral fiber. You pretended to be someone you’re not. You took advantage of people. You stole money from them. They said to make it a . . .” he stretched out his words, “. . . slow, painful end to your time here on earth.”

Zeke’s smile reflected his intentions.

*****

Author Info:

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky and loves a good Southern phrase.

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*****

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 eBook and paperback of Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

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*****

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The Seaside Summers series has been so much.  Be sure to read the first chapter sneak peek here!

*****

Seized by Love at Seaside

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #7

by Addison Cole

Releasing February 7, 2018

World Literary Press

Blurb:

Lizzie Barber runs a successful flower shop by day and secretly hosts the Naked Baker webcast at night to help pay for her younger sister’s education. To keep friends and family from finding out about her sexy secret, she’s put her social life on hold until her sister’s education is paid off and she can stop filming the webcast.

Blue Ryder fell hard for Lizzie when he met her a year ago, and he hasn’t been able to get her off his mind since. Everything about the feisty little brunette, cuts straight to his heart. Though Lizzie has turned down every invitation he’s extended—Blue is not about to give up trying.

Renovating Lizzie’s kitchen brings Blue further into Lizzie’s life, and the oven is not the only thing heating up. One night and one powerful kiss changes everything. But when Lizzie’s secret is revealed and the safe bubble she’s hidden in shatters, true love may not be enough to put the pieces back together.

Seized by Love at Seaside is the sweet edition of the steamy romance novel Seized by Love by Melissa Foster.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36401418-seized-by-love-at-seaside

Goodreads Series Link https://www.goodreads.com/series/203990-sweet-with-heat-seaside-summers

Buy Links:  AMAZON | B & N | GOOGLE | ITUNES | KOBO

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Author Info:

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language.

Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Visit Addison on her website or chat with her on social media. Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Author Links:   WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM

*****

Giveaway:

Five (5) e-copies of SECRETS AT SEASIDE

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c81369/

*****

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

Book Review – Her Devoted Hero

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Her Devoted Hero

Black Dawn Book 2

by Caitlyn O’Leary

Navy SEAL Dex Evans has a problem. His buddies think it’s a riot when they sign him up for a dating service behind his back. But who would have thought that with a profile like SailorBoy69 he’d snag a woman who was hysterically funny and gorgeous. Too bad she was also skittish as all hell. Dex fears that when she finds out his profile was a set-up, his happily ever after could sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Single mother, Kenna Wright was in way over her head. She’d spent years putting her child first while ignoring her needs. So what was she thinking responding to the flirtatious email? Luckily for her, when she is stuck on a project with Dex, he’s even better in person than he’d been on his online profile. But can she believe this sexy SEAL when he says he’s looking for more than a fling?

When one of her co-workers is murdered and it looks like Kenna might be the next one in the killer’s crosshairs, Dex is determined to keep her safe. But with a target on her back, it’s really hard to keep a shield over her heart.

……. Hello SailorBoy69,

SNMP stands for So Not Mary Poppins. Take it to heart. My photo is me, but it’s pretty much a fake, since it took me two hours and twenty dollars worth of product to achieve the look. If we were to meet in person, I probably wouldn’t look anywhere close to this, so soak in this picture. Actually, don’t worry, we won’t meet, but I’ll get to that.

Here’s me in a nutshell. I live in the good part of town because I work my ass off handling my full-time job as a nurse, plus a part-time gig, that’s so my son can go to school in a decent school district. Being a good mother is the most important thing in my life, so I have no earthly idea why I’m responding to your profile since I don’t have time to date. Did I mention I have a kid, two jobs and really don’t look like this?

I like the fact that you’re serving our country. That’s part of the reason I’m reaching out to you. But the real reason I’m writing, is that I’m ninety-nine point nine percent sure you won’t respond, so this is a safe letter to write. I can feel good that I’ve finally put myself out there, without enduring the humiliation of a first date, which I’ll fail at, because I’ll never in a million years figure out how to reach this level of pretty again.

But in all seriousness, I wanted to take aim for a good guy, and you’re it. I like the fact you’re in the Navy. I like the fact, that you work with disenfranchised kids. I think you’re a nice man. Hell, I don’t even care if that’s not your real picture, because responsible men do it for me. Of course in my world they’re like mythical unicorns, they just don’t exist, at least not for me. But the dream of a responsible man makes my panties damp. See I can say this safely, cause you’re not going to respond, and I’m never going to meet you.

So, that’s my story SailorBoy69. Just know that out there in this big bad world a woman thinks you’re pretty exceptional, except for the atrocious cyber name you’ve given yourself of course. Now, if you have a thought of responding, for God’s sake don’t. Remember, it’s me. I have a kid, two jobs, and I’ll look like crap, and you’ll ruin the fantasy.

― Signed, So Not Mary Poppins

This is the first of O’Leary’s books that I’ve read so I wasn’t sure what to expect … and I definitely got so much more than I would have guessed.  There’s the fun romance between Dex and Kenna but there also is a whole lot of suspense over who the killer is and why he might be going after Kenna.  It’s a well-done mystery and I wasn’t sure who it was until pretty close to the end.

The love story is great too.  Dex does so much to help support Kenna and transition her into believing there could be a relationship between the two of them.  She’s not had a lot of luck with men and it’s meant she’s lost a lot of her confidence.  Plus she’s been on her own for a long time, raising her son with some help from her mom, so it’s a bit hard for her to let someone else in to their lives.  She may put up a bit of a fight, but she’s definitely not scaring away a SEAL.

Fantastic action, a sweet love story, and entertaining characters … O’Leary is going on my list of authors to watch!