Winning Ace: A NEW Serial Sports Romance by Tracie Delaney

Winning Ace

by Tracie Delaney
Winning Ace #1
Publication Date: May 29, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Serial

Front Cover, Winning Ace #1 by Tracie Delaney

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SYNOPSIS:

When the opportunity arises for journalist Tally McKenzie to meet tennis ace Cash Gallagher, she grabs it without hesitation. Desperate for a killer story to advance her career, she’ll have to betray her idol and her own morals into the bargain if she is to succeed.

Renowned bad boy Cash wants one thing; to remain at the top of his game. He’s fought hard to get there, and he’s not about to lose his crown, especially over a woman.

When Cash divulges personal information, Tally seizes her chance and writes an explosive article. Incensed, Cash sets out to get his revenge. Except the darling of centre court gets more than he bargained for—a passionate affair with a woman he should detest.

But Cash is a man with secrets—secrets that could destroy his career. Dare he take the risk? Or is the cost too great, even for his perfect match.

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ABOUT TRACIE DELANEY

Tracie Delaney is the author of the Winning Ace trilogy. She loves nothing more than immersing herself in a good romance, although she sometimes, rather cheekily, makes her characters wait for their HEA.

When she isn’t writing or sitting around with her head stuck in a book, she can often be found watching The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones or any tennis match involving Roger Federer. Her greatest fear is running out of coffee.

Tracie studied accountancy, gaining her qualification in 2001. Her maths teacher would no doubt be stunned by this revelation considering Tracie could barely add two plus two in high school.

Tracie lives in the North West of England with her amazingly supportive husband. They both share a love of dogs, travel, and wine.

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The Irish Prince, a Billionaire Romance by Virginia Nelson: Book Tour!

The Irish Prince

by Virginia Nelson
Billionaire Dynasties #2
Publication Date: May 15, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Indulgence, Contemporary, Romance

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MEET THE IRISH PRINCE…

CEO Aiden Kelley’s life of billionaire extravagance is flipped upside down when his ex shows up with a ten-year-old she claims is his. Totally out of his element and losing the control so integral to his success, he needs help. To top it all off, the only constant woman in his life, his executive assistant, has given notice just when he needs her help to survive his newfound fatherhood.

Chelsea Houston is an executive assistant, not a nanny. The only person more clueless about kids is her boss. Helping him on a daddy-daughter road trip is her last task before he’ll accept her two weeks’ notice and she can be free of the infuriating man she’s had a crush on for longer than she’d admit.

Aiden’s carefully ordered life has never been so disorganized, and he’s suddenly tempted by the things he thought he could never have. Things like love and family. Who knew chaos could be so damn fun?

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EXCERPT

“Did you ever play in the street? Like, where traffic was? You know, like kickball or whatever and, when cars came, you yelled ‘Pause!’ and got everyone off the street. When it wasn’t clear, you called ‘game on’?” Another crash of thunder shook the windows, and she wondered how the kid could sleep through it. She closed her eyes, hoping for strength but only finding more fear. She really just needed to get her mind off it…

“Sure,” he said. “We called ‘pause’ when there were cars until we could play again. Still not following you, though. Do you have a point?”

“You know how I work for you and all that?”

He sighed, and she was close enough to him that his breath ruffled her hair. “Of course.”

“Pause,” she said. Before she could talk herself out of it, she went up on tiptoes and touched her lips to his.

He didn’t move, and she didn’t have the bravery to go further with it. They stood there, frozen, his breath whispering across her cheeks and her lips just barely touching his. Between the heat of his body and that coursing through her veins from her impetuous drinking, some warmth managed to seep back into her, and she felt almost safe for a second.

Then another crash from outside and she shuddered, pinching her eyes closed. He must’ve felt it or taken pity on her, or who knew what his motives were, but his arms closed around her and his lips slanted across hers. If she’d thought he would bury her fears and distract her, she was right. Nothing mattered outside that moment.

Lazy hunger curled through the kiss, his experience clear in the slow burn of his mouth dragging across hers. His tongue slipped into her mouth, and she twined her arms around his neck to better brace for the sexy torture of his embrace.

She felt the impact of the wall behind her and wasn’t sure if the crash she heard was her system going into overdrive or the sound of the storm. He tasted like sin, and she was starved for more. His hands gripped her hips and she pressed into his body, thrilling at the sexual tension skating across her flesh like fire.

“Chels,” he whispered, his mouth tracing a path down her neck.

“Game on,” she gasped.

He stilled, backing away to meet her eyes. Another flash illuminated his face. He looked hungry, like he could eat her up in one big bite.

The sight of that look, on his face, made her shiver with want. But he wasn’t for her and this was a ridiculous idea. She couldn’t play on his level, knew it on a bone-deep level.

Not that she’d been able to resist a taste.

God. At least in two weeks she would tell him goodbye. Then she wouldn’t have to look at his face and be reminded of her moment of weakness. Or how wonderful his mouth had felt against hers.

She ducked under his arm and fled as fast as her legs could carry her, only stopping once her bedroom door separated them. Leaning on it, she bit her lip. Everything in her, down to the last cell, wanted to go back out there, climb him like a tree, and let him take her in whatever depraved fashion he might want to try.

Tomorrow, she’d probably be full of regrets. She’d crossed a line, stupidly. He was her boss.

Somehow, she half wished she could quit now, so she could—

What? Go back to her world while he lived in his, high atop the world in a glass tower of money and power? No, she’d be better off as far away from him as possible, since pursuing anything was an act of masochistic idiocy.

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MEET VIRGINIA NELSON

USA Today Bestselling author of The Penthouse Prince

Virginia Nelson likes knights in rusted and dinged up armor, heroes that snarl instead of croon, and heroines who can’t remember to say the right thing even with an author writing their dialogue. Her books are full of snark, sex, and random acts of ineptitude – not always in that order.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Join Me on a Weekend Facebook Hop & Giveaway!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Join IndieSage PR and 80+ authors and bloggers (including me!) on the St. Patrick’s Day Hop to celebrate!

How does a hop work? In addition to the grand prize giveaway, each stop will have a chance to win MORE prizes. You can enter one, pick and choose, or enter them ALL. We hope you find new friends, new books, and new authors to enjoy.

Start the hop here: https://www.facebook.com/paula.radell.author! If you encounter a broken link, you can always come back to the schedule.

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The Rule Maker (The Rule Breakers #2) by Jennifer Blackwood: Tour & Giveaway!

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The Rule Maker

by Jennifer Blackwood
The Rule Breakers #2
Publication Date: January 16, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Embrace, Contemporary Romance

BUY THE RULE MAKER HERE: 

About The Rule Maker…

Ten Steps to Surviving a New Job:1. Don’t sleep with the client. It’ll get you fired. (Sounds easy enough.)

2. Don’t blink when new client turns out to be former one-night stand.

3. Don’t call same client a jerk for never texting you back.

4. Don’t believe client when he says he really, really wanted to call.

5. Remember, the client is always right—so you can’t junk punch him when he demands new design after new design.

6. Ignore accelerated heartbeat every time sexy client walks into room.

7. Definitely ignore client’s large hands. They just mean he wears big gloves.

8. Don’t let client’s charm wear you down. Be strong.

9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the client. You’ll lose more than your job—maybe even your heart.

10. If all else fails, see rule number one again.

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Read Chapter ONE from The Rule Maker…

Rule #1: Never eat while driving.

There was nothing quite like indulging in pity I’m-single-on-Valentine’s-Day chocolate. No man candy? No problem. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups would surely fill the chasm that was my love life.

“Siri, read my emails.” I unwrapped the candy I’d stashed on my dash, plopped it in my mouth, and put my car into drive.

“You have one new email,” Siri replied. I loved my car for the sole reason that it had become my command station, my badass Batmobile that could answer emails, texts, and memos at a voice command. Okay, it was a Prius, but still. “Sender—Jason Covington.”

I jerked back in my seat and sucked in a breath, the chocolate hitting the back of my throat. No. For the love of all that was holy, why was this man emailing me? Anyone but him. I went to clear my throat, and the candy didn’t budge.

Crap.

“Ms. Reynolds, it was a pleasure doing business with you on the Culver Cove Inn late last year. I have recently purchased a new resort on Mount Rainier and would like to hire your services again,” she said in her monotone voice.

Goose bumps flecked my arms as I attempted to cough, to get some air into my burning lungs. I mean, if I had to choose a way to pass on to an afterlife filled with never-ending reruns of my favorite shows, self-filling coffee cup, and unlimited free wifi, death by chocolate was decidedly the best way to go. Chocolate fountain, satin pie, éclair…hell, I’d even settle for a Snickers. And, as fate would have it, I’d be taking a visit to the white pearly gates with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup lodged in the back of my throat. But I still had seven episodes until I was caught up on Supernatural, and I hadn’t made it to the highest level in Candy Crush. I didn’t have time for dying yet.

My eyes filled with tears as I fought to extricate the candy from my mouth, attempting to give myself the Heimlich maneuver. And, if my burning lungs were any indication, failing miserably. I looked out at the sidewalk, and of course, at this time of day, there was no one in sight.

“I’ll need you to take measurements today so we can discuss the design on Monday. Keys will be sent to you within the hour. Best, Jason Covington.” There was a pause and then Siri asked, “Do you wish to respond to the email?”

No! I wanted to scream. Instead, salt and pepper particles invaded my vision. This was it, I’d die sitting in the spot outside my apartment, listening to an email from a stupid Covington. Even if this particular one wasn’t the target of my wrath, blood relation was enough to taint my opinion.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Would you like to respond to the email?” Siri repeated.

All I could do was keep pounding my stomach, cursing him seven ways to Sunday. I somehow managed a garbled noise that could possibly pass as a no.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

Screw you, Siri. For what I paid my phone carrier, she should be able to give me a damn Heimlich herself.

My vision continued to fade and the clock was ticking as I choked my way into unconsciousness. This was it. My last meal had been screw-this-Hallmark-holiday candy and a friggin’ ex-fling was going to be seared into my final fleeting thoughts. What a way to go.

In a last ditch effort, I took hold of the steering wheel with shaking hands and rammed my stomach into it. The piece of chocolate shot out of my mouth and hit the windshield with a splat. It slid down the glass and left a brown slug trail behind it. Sweet, delicious air rushed through my now-clear windpipe and the particles swarming my vision dissipated.

I held my head in my hands, taking deep, shuddering breaths, and cursed the day I decided to take my client’s brother, Ryder Covington, to bed.

Three hours—and much-needed gulping of air—later, I parked my car, facing the snow-capped mountaintop that lay as a backdrop to one of the many ski resorts on Mt. Rainier. This one just happened to be closed for renovations. My renovations. And nothing made me happier than having my mind busy with plans for a new project. It even overshadowed the whole choking incident earlier.

I pulled my windblown hair into a messy bun, smoothed my black eyelet lace skirt, and glanced down at my list of specs I needed to acquire. Room layouts, size, supporting structures, the basics. Then, I had the simple task of creating mock-ups that blew the mind of Jason Covington, the most uptight, eccentric billionaire on the West Coast. He earned that title during our last job together. If I hurried, I could make it back to my apartment in time to implement my original plan for tonight: catch up on Supernatural while gorging on microwave popcorn. Maybe if I was feeling really wild, I’d go for the good stuff. The kind where the bag disintegrated into a sopping mess within twenty minutes due to grease concentration. This was obviously the makings of the best Valentine’s Day ever. Or most pathetic. I hadn’t decided yet.

Air gusted through my open window, ruffling my hair and the pages of my planner in the passenger seat. I took another few seconds to revel in the warmth and give myself a mini pep talk.

Time to get my butt into gear and turn on my designer mode.

Deep breaths. No need to panic just because of the little fact I was working on my ex-fling’s brother’s resort. Try saying that ten times fast.

I grabbed my camera bag from the floor of the passenger seat, plus my notebook and measuring tape, and kicked the door shut behind me.

Gravel crunched under my heels as I made my way to the main lodge. Normally I liked to go through the space with the client to get a feel for what they had in mind for the remodel. On my first project with Jason, he’d also asked me to scout the place without him. Weird, yes, but it didn’t surprise me that I was here solo for this project.

Bring it on, Jason Covington. I can take whatever you throw at me.

I’d managed to hold my own at the most prestigious firm in the city. I was totally ready for this project.

That was until I pulled open the door to the main lodge.

My breath caught in my throat. I’d like to say it was because the entryway was just that beautiful, but what lay in front of me was a chaotic array of chairs, paintings, and wood paneling that screamed seventies love children were conceived here. The seventies had a lot going for itself. I mean, there was Clint Eastwood, ABBA, Cher. This did not have any of that charm—it was just plain outdated, ugly-as-sin, burn-this-place-to-the-ground disgusting. I gulped, forcing stagnant, musty air down my throat.

My fingers ran over the burnt orange window casing as I eyed the suit of armor—missing an arm and foot, propped up in the middle of the room—along with the remains of a broken disco ball, shattered into thousands of pieces.

Design situation: nightmare

Designer emotion: tonight’s greasy popcorn would better serve as lighter fluid to torch this disaster to the ground.

Jason’s email failed to mention that I’d be getting asbestos poisoning and possible death by disco ball with one wrong move. No wonder he sent me to do this alone.

I coughed as I inhaled another breath of noxious air, and beelined for the first available window. After unlocking it, I tugged at the pane and tried to pull it open. It gave a protesting whine as I inched it up the track, and slammed shut when I let go.

I decided not to take that as an ominous clue that I’d entered some kind of resort of tortures, and instead scanned the room for something to prop the window open. After passing over a rusted brass candlestick and a fireplace poker, I settled on an old piece of firewood stacked in the corner. I slid it between the sill and the cracked wood and breathed in the fresh air.

Now that air circulated in the room, making it slightly more tolerable, I took my phone out of my pocket to snap pics for reference when I went back to the office to design the mock-ups…and okay, maybe text a few to my best friend Lainey, because she really needed to witness this hellhole. Just as I was about to click into camera mode, a call came through, Jason’s number flashing across the screen.

“Hello?”

“Ms. Reynolds. Are you at Divinity?”

“Yes.” I sat down on the windowsill, tucked my phone between my ear and my shoulder, and grabbed my pen and notebook in my purse. “It’s quite…something.” That was the only non-offensive adjective I had readily available at the moment.

“It is.” He paused and I heard the sound of papers shuffling in the background. “I expect you’ll have ample ideas for renovations.”

Burn it all! I ached to say, but I really liked my job and Jason wasn’t the sort to joke around, even in his best mood. “Of course. I’ll have designs ready for you by Monday.” I picked at a thread on my skirt and crossed my legs.

“I wanted to give you advance notice—”

His words were lost on me, because at that moment, something black and furry with eight legs skittered across the top of my skirt. A scream that could be heard from the other side of the mountain range ripped out of me, and at once I was on my feet, swiping at my skirt, hopping, cussing, regretting my choice of incredibly high heels.

I stared at the ground, frantically trying to find the culprit. He could have been anywhere. I shuddered.

My ankles buckled as I jerked in an uncoordinated, spastic version of an Irish jig. If I had a most-hated list, spiders took the number two spot, second only to clowns. And maybe this resort.

My pulse pounded as I twisted my skirt around. And a second time, just to make sure. No sign of my eight-legged nemesis. I looked around the floor. Nothing. He was here somewhere, hiding. I could feel his beady gaze on me, plotting my untimely death.

And then my ringtone began to blast.

Crap.

I’d totally just had a freak-out while on the phone with Jason. So much for acting like a twenty-four-year-old professional. I made a quick search of the ground and the windowsill for my phone and came up empty. I listened for the ringtone, tracking the sound…which came from a distance. I swallowed hard and peeked my head outside and looked down. Nestled between foliage of a bush four feet below, my phone continued to ring. And then cut to voicemail. Followed by another call.

I swallowed hard. The longer I took to answer Jason’s call, the angrier he’d get, and I wasn’t exactly winning any points at the moment. The phone was well within reach. It would have to be because if I were to go around the building, that would take at least a few minutes, and I already needed to do some major butt-kissing after screaming in Jason’s ear. I scanned the sill for any sign of the creepy crawly, and once I was satisfied that he wasn’t anywhere near me, I leaned out the window.

In a totally unladylike fashion that would have my aunt raising her brow at me, I reached over the sill, legs seesawing to steady myself so I didn’t face-plant into a flower bed. My skirt rode up way past acceptable as my fingers grazed my phone.

I wiggled on the sill, and just as my hand grabbed my cell, I bumped the piece of firewood and the window hit the small of my back with a thud hard enough to leave me fighting for air. I struggled to backtrack into the room, and the sill dug into my stomach, the weight of the window pressing into the top of my butt.

This was it. The resort had a death wish for me.

My phone continued to ring, and I had no choice but to answer it. “Mr. Covington. I am so sorry. I don’t know what came over me.”

“Are you okay?” His tone dripped with more irritation than concern. I’d expect nothing less from him.

I looked behind me at the windowsill. My body was effectively pinned down, the pane too heavy to lift from this angle. He’d be less than sympathetic for my situation. In fact, I’d witnessed him fire vendors for less stupidity than this. “Yes.”

Absolutely no need to panic. None at all. Not with a Chewbacca-level-hairy spider on the loose. I bet it made Wookie noises before sinking its fangs into its victims.

“I was going to tell you that I’m sending someone up there today—”

“Great.” I knew I was being rude, interrupting him, but I needed to figure out how to get out of this situation before I turned into a human popsicle. “Sounds wonderful.” A note of hysteria laced my words.

“Are you sure everything is okay?”

“Of course. I’m just enjoying this breathtaking view.” As the blood rushes to my head.

“It is quite beautiful. Well, I’ll let you get back to it. Have a good day.”

“You, too.” As I hung up, I twisted to assess the damage the best I could. Besides a most definite bruise forming on my lower back and a dirty smudge on my white shirt, nothing was broken or ripped. I sighed. How the hell was I supposed to get out of this?

As I saw it, I had three options:

  1. a) pray that I suddenly developed telekinesis
  2. b) somehow induce an adrenaline rush that would give me Hulk-like abilities
  3. c) beg the Chewbacca spider to bite me so I could die a quick, painless death before one of Jason’s employees found me and reported back to him that I was completely incompetent

The first two options seemed a tad unattainable at the moment. The latter option erred on the side of melodramatic, even if this was a sucktastic situation. A tickle webbed across my calf, but I brushed away my paranoia. This would be totally fine. In the meantime, I’d just enjoy the beautiful scenery. While cursing this whole place.

After fighting a few more seconds and failing, I resigned myself to the fact that not even Crisco would get me out of this jam.

I did the only thing that seemed appropriate. Texted my best friend.

Zoey: SOS

Lainey: What’s up?

Zoey: I have a situation.

Lainey: …are you going for the suspense factor, cause it’s working.

I took a selfie and hit send.

Lainey: OMG. Are you…uh…stuck in a window?

Zoey: Yup.

Lainey: What the hell happened?

Zoey: This resort is alive and is actually trying to kill me. Tell my dad that I love him.

Lainey: Only if I get to keep the couch and your Chanel purse once you pass.

Zoey: You are ruthless.

Lainey: I can’t help myself. For real though, do you need me to come get you?

Zoey: No, one of Jason’s guys will be here later today. It’ll be embarrassing AF, but at least it’s not Jason, right?

Lainey: #truth Also, WTF is on your leg, dude?

My leg? I spread my two fingers over my screen, enlarging the picture I’d sent Lainey and froze at the sight of my hairy foe on my left calf.

No, no, no!

I thrashed and screamed in the sill, the window not budging even a millimeter. My scream echoed through the canyon, and if there was enough snow on the mountain, an avalanche would soon follow. Then, at least, I wouldn’t have to worry about the fact that Chewbacca was picking out china patterns for its new home. Sweat beaded on my brow as I continued to struggle.

Just as the initial sting of tears invaded my vision, the distant sound of gravel crunched from the direction of the parking lot. Thank the lord, my savior had arrived.

I could play this off as a total accident, right? Maybe bribe him not to tell Jason?

A tall, broad-chested figure limped down the path on a pair of crutches, and my stomach bottomed out.

Shit.

It looked just like…no…it couldn’t be.

My pulse pounded triple time in my temples as the crunch tap crunch tap crunch of gravel under his tread drew closer.

“Zoey?” a low, gruff voice asked.

No.

I’d recognize those wide shoulders anywhere. The backs of my legs knew them intimately.

Ryder. Freaking. Covington.

Okay, Chewbacca. Any time now. Sink those fangs into my leg and end this Valentine’s Day from hell already.

Ryder stopped a few feet from the window, looking like he’d seen the Ghost of Christmas Past coming to bite him in the ass.

“Yup. It’s me,” I said.

He quickly recovered, his lips curling into a smile I’d once found charming. “You know, there’s this thing called a door. Some people use it to go in and out of buildings.”

I flipped him off. Immature? Most definitely. I blamed it on the blood rushing to my head. And the fact the one-night stand I had with him was the reason for my current string of sexual encounters of the lackluster kind.

He’d ruined me, in the worst way, for all other men. I hated him.

He chuckled and the deep bass of his voice shook down my spine. “Fair enough. I deserved that. What are you doing hanging out of the window?”

“I’m stuck.” Understatement of the century.

“I figured.” He hesitated, looking unsure. “Want help?”

My first instinct was to blurt out “go to hell!” I didn’t need a goddamn thing from this person who single-handedly ruined my sex life. It was petty and I knew it, but a girl could only go so long on crappy sex before she started to feel a little stabby.

I instinctively reached to pull my skirt lower with one hand, and hit glass. It was up to the clothing malfunction gods at this point whether or not this day could get any worse.

“You want to keep burning a hole through my head or do you want me to help you?”

“Fine. But if you touch anywhere besides clothed areas I’m going to put my stiletto through your skull, capisce?” I managed to keep my voice authoritative and firm, nothing like the shakiness flowing through my body. That was how being around Ryder had made me feel from the first time we met—like I’d just come off an intense adrenaline high.

He put his hands up. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”

I sunk back down and rested my arms on the sill, waiting to be sprung from the window. I prided myself on being self-sufficient, never needing help from others, especially dirt-bag hookups. And yet here I was.

He moved closer until the soft fabric of his faded shirt brushed against my arm, and I bit back a gasp. His rich cologne mingled with his detergent, and my eyes rolled back in my head at the heavenly scent. Most men that I’d dated smelled good in that dude-musk sort of way. Ryder took it to a completely different level, one that induced visceral reactions such as drool and the sudden need to find something to do with my hands, anything so I didn’t fist his shirt.

Within seconds, he had the window open, and a firm hand wrapped around my hips. A wave of goose bumps bloomed across my skin as he pulled me down, depositing me on the gravel path, supporting me with his arm. I wobbled unsteadily in my heels and looked up at my ex-hookup, and the breath rushed from my chest like I’d actually taken a physical blow. Ryder stood there, henley pulled tight across his muscled chest. The color matched his ocean-blue eyes. He’d traded his clean-shaven face of a few months ago for a neatly trimmed beard that ran along his chiseled jaw. Which, let’s be honest here, the whole light-eyes dark-hair thing did it for me. A lot. I might dislike the guy, but holy hell, he’d gotten even hotter since I’d last seen him. He looked over me, assessing, and then quickly bent down and swatted my leg.

“Ow! What was that for?” I retreated a step, stumbling as I rubbed at the spot he’d hit. When my fingers hit a squishy mound, it took every ounce of self-control not to dry heave. “You killed Chewbacca.”

His brows creased, and some of the tension eased as he visibly hid a laugh. “You named him after a Star Wars character?”

I shrugged. “It seemed appropriate.”

I stood there for a few moments, unsure of what to do. Grab my keys from the lodge, book it out of here, and apologize profusely to Jason, or snap on the big-girl panties and continue taking measurements? Decisions, decisions.

I took another step back and bumped into the wall. I was just full of smooth moves today. “Well, thanks for that.”

His big, calloused hand brushed a stray lock of hair out of my face, sending heat radiating between my legs. His lips pulled into a smile, one that deposited my undergarments straight into the panty incinerator.

Nope, panties, no time for vaporizing. You hate him, remember?

My body was a traitorous wench.

I crossed my arms, trying to hold my ground. “What are you doing here, anyway, Ryder?” When Jason said someone was coming to Divinity, I didn’t think he’d meant his brother.

It was his turn to fold his arms over his chest. “Jason wanted me to check on a few things. I wasn’t expecting to have company.”

What he really meant to say: I really wasn’t expecting to see you.

“Same.” I stared down at my stiletto heel, digging it into the gravel. Birds chirped, wind rustled through the trees, and we continued to stand there in silence.

So. Freaking. Awkward. This could end any time now.

He cleared his throat and thumbed at the braided leather bracelet on his wrist. “Well, guess it’s time to go our separate ways.” He reached for a set of crutches propped against the building. And just like that, his smile faded, dismissing the incident, like he often ran into ex-hookups and saved them from dangling out of windows. Who knew—maybe he did.

I glanced at his leg, taking in the black boot encasing his leg.

Mr. Pro Snowboarder on crutches?

If I weren’t fighting the intense urge to impale him with my stiletto, I’d maybe consider doing the polite thing and strike up conversation. Ask how he hurt himself. But let’s be real, that wasn’t going to happen without the aid of a lot of alcohol, or a lobotomy. “Well, thanks for that.” I hitched my thumb toward the window. “I think you’ve achieved superhero status for the day.”

He grinned. “Good to know there are two in the vicinity.”

“Excuse me?”

He lifted a brow. “C’mon, I’d have thought the Flash would be better at getting out of tight situations. I’m a little disappointed.”

What the…? Why would he call me that?

I winced and groaned as realization hit. My red-zone laundry situation meant I’d snagged the last pair of underwear in my drawer—the Flash undies that I’d used under my costume junior year of college. It even had a bright yellow lightning bolt across the ass.

Lord hath very little mercy for me today.

“Ass.” I should have come up with a better comeback than that. I should have slapped that smug grin off his face. I should have done something. But all I could do was think about his bare chest hovering above me, his eyes blazing into mine as I lost myself in his touch back in November.

“Is that a reference to me or your underwear?”

Oh! The nerve of this guy.

By the time any semblance of a response surfaced in my mind, he’d already made his way up the path toward the front of the building. “It was a pleasure, Flash,” he called, waving one crutch, not bothering to look back.

The sun had moved and was now hidden by the tree line, forming shadows over Ryder’s retreating figure. A gigantic rain cloud glided across the sky with alarming speed, heading straight for the resort. Nothing on the weather forecast called for rain, but then again, when did I ever fully trust the weather app?

After I’d finished taking pictures and measurements of the main lodge area, Ryder had disappeared somewhere deep in the resort, and a storm had rolled in on the mountain. When I peered out the coke-bottle glass windows, snow came down in sheets, creating white-out conditions. There was no way I was leaving the resort tonight.

And Ryder’s car was still in the parking lot.

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DON’T MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SIZZLING RULE BREAKERS SERIES!

The Rule Book

by Jennifer Blackwood
The Rule Breakers #1
Publication Date: May 9, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Embrace, Contemporary Romance

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Book Tour: Worth The Wait (Kingston Ale House #4) by A. J. Pine

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WORTH THE WAIT

by AJ Pine
Kingston Ale House #4
Publication Date: January 16, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Contemporary Romance

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ABOUT WORTH THE WAIT…

I like to think of myself as a man of pleasure…I enjoy a good pint of ale, being in the arms of a beautiful woman, and living by my own rules. The only thing I try to avoid? Commitment. And I’ve got a three-year success rate to prove it.

I wasn’t planning on Grace—the beautiful, funny, totally off-limits massage therapist who keeps popping up in my life. She’s on a six-month mission to rid her life of toxins. No alcohol. No red meat. And, yeah, no men. I’m talking full-on man cleanse.

I know I should walk away, but I can’t…and the only way to keep her in my life is to live by her rules. I’ll need to prove to a woman who’s lost all trust in men that I’m worthy of her love. And do it all without so much as a single kiss.

The only problem? If I win, I’ll lose the one thing I swore I’d never give up. My heart.

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EXCERPT

Chicago Tribune: Arts and Entertainment

Saturday, December 17, 8:00 a.m.

City Dweller’s Man Cleanse Ends in Bar Brawl

By Jennifer Bloom

Popular microbrew and neighborhood eatery Kingston Ale House was home not only to owner Jamie Kingston’s wedding rehearsal last night but also to local reality television history.

Grace Bailey—daughter of the dynamic prosecuting duo behind the Law Offices of Bailey, Bailey, and Dawson (Dawson being Bailey’s older sister)—was set to end her six-month cleanse by introducing local viewers to Mr. Right, the man she’d chosen to kiss on live television after six months of no sex, last night at Kingston Ale House. Bailey had been following the tenets of the New York Times best-seller, Man Cleanse: Six Months to a Healthy, Happy You…and the Road to True Love, by Suzanne Summerville. Additionally, she’d partnered with Whitney Gaines at local news affiliate WBN to chronicle her cleanse and search for Mr. Right with the promise of a $25,000 prize if she remained steadfast in her abstinence and had her first kiss on air. The local public followed Bailey’s journey on the Facebook page set up by the station, which was supposed to culminate in a live broadcast last night. Instead the evening ended with one arrest, one trip to the ER, an impromptu press conference, but—you guessed it—no kiss.

Did Grace Bailey find her Mr. Right? Did she win that twenty-five grand? Or did her six-month man cleanse leave her empty-handed? The sponsored Facebook page has been deactivated, and despite numerous pleas on social media for the end of the story—including a fan page that has popped up titled Grace’s HEA (Happily Ever After)—WBN has remained tight-lipped about the situation. Additionally, as of this story going live, Grace Bailey has declined to comment as well. How do you think the story ends, Chicago? We’ll be monitoring the HEA page ourselves for any new developments.

Chapter One

Three months earlier…

Jeremy Denning strode right past the hotel desk clerk, which was saying something because she was a freaking knockout, and headed straight to the elevator. He couldn’t muster the energy to jog up the stairs to his second-floor room. His back was sore. His legs were stiff. Shit, even his brain hurt. He’d considered going for a run in the hotel’s workout room, but now he was mentally crossing that item off his list.

“Science is stupid,” he mumbled to himself like a frustrated child, even though he knew science was very, very important to the art of brewing beer. He’d admit that in thought, just in case his boss had somehow wiretapped his brain.

Shit. He was delirious.

The elevator doors opened and welcomed him in.

A host of other hotel patrons, who were nowhere to be seen seconds ago when he pressed the up button, flooded into the small compartment, pinning him against the back wall. The man in front of him was wider than he was tall, and although Jeremy could see over his balding head, he found no feasible exit route around the guy, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a fragile-looking elderly woman with salmon-colored hair on one side and a young father wearing a baby in some sort of front backpack on the other. Would you call it a front pack? Why did everyone wear their kids, by the way?

Actually, Jeremy wouldn’t mind if someone was wearing him at this point. And no. Contrary to popular belief, his thoughts did not tend toward euphemism, regardless of today being a day that ended in y.

He pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes. He just wanted the hotel bed. A nap. Possibly some room service. Then he’d consider the whole wearing situation from the euphemistic perspective.

Seconds later, the elevator came to a stop at the second floor. The only other button lit on the number panel was six, and as if the doors were in the rear of the packed sardine can of a vessel, the sixth-floor residents all turned to see who the asshole was who took the elevator to the second floor.

“That’d be me,” Jeremy said aloud. And because there was no possible way for the folks in front of him to part in order to let him through, they all just stood there and stared at him. Even the baby.

He half expected one of them to spout, “None shall pass,” and then challenge him to a bloody duel where he’d either end up limbless or the victor. But instead the salmon-haired woman gave him the slow head shake before backing out of the elevator. The rest of the occupants followed until finally he was able to walk free.

“I have no quarrel with you,” Jeremy said to the whole lot, all with judging, narrowed eyes. Not one of them even hinted at a smile. It was like they were channeling his mother or sister.

“Black Knight?” he asked, backing down the hall as the last of them filed back into the elevator. “Monty Python? Anyone?”

A woman brushed past him from the opposite direction, a flurry of flailing arms as she speed-walked toward the elevator while simultaneously pulling her golden waves into a ponytail.

“Excuse me. Sorry. Hold the elevator, please. Going up!”

He saw nothing other than the ponytail’s near miss as the elevator doors closed behind her. Yet she left something in her wake, the scent of fresh lime. And although salmon-haired lady couldn’t see him, he mimicked her controlled head shake and laughed quietly to himself. He’d worked in a brew pub so long everything smelled like either food or beer to him.

“I’ll take the damn stairs next time,” he called out to the empty vestibule, then spun back toward the waiting hotel room doors.

“Helloooo, two-eleven, you sexy, sexy beast,” he said when he stood before his door. “We meet at last.”

It only took one swipe of his key card to open the door and approximately four seconds for him to barrel into the room and face-plant onto the bed.

“Fucking finally,” he groaned into a pillow.

Eight hours of lecture on the chemistry of brewing was enough to drive even the biggest beer enthusiast mad. Okay, fine. His boss, Jamie—and soon to be partner, if Jamie had anything to say about it—would have gotten off on a forty-minute PowerPoint detailing the humulene hop compound and isocohumulone, the isomerized hop alpha acid. And yes, Jeremy could remember those ridiculous words because the professor had droned on about them for forty minutes.

Did he mention the forty minutes? And that wasn’t even an eighth of the day.

Jamie had been hinting at wanting to dial back his hours ever since he proposed to his girlfriend, Brynn. With the wedding only three months away, the hints were getting less hint-like and more straightforward.

“Jeremy, have you ever thought about taking some serious brewing classes?” Jamie had asked a couple months ago. Because yeah, he’d dabbled. That was pretty much the story of his life: dabbling. Jamie was the brewmaster and the ale house owner, one of his sister’s oldest friends and therefore a surrogate big brother. Jamie was the grown-up. Hell, he was almost thirty. But Jeremy? Well, twenty-six was still a kid. Still time to dabble. Still waiting to figure it all out.

It was only when he overheard Jamie telling his fiancée that he was considering taking on a partner that Jeremy found himself asking, “What about me?”

The words had flown out of his mouth before he’d considered the ramifications. And before he knew it, Jamie was signing him up for lectures to see if he was up to the task. This was his first one, and Jeremy was feeling anything but.

He rolled over to his back and grabbed the television remote off the nightstand. Tomorrow would be better. First of all, the class was only four hours instead of eight. Secondly, it would be hands-on…in the lab. No more lecture. He just needed to relax and regroup.

Jeremy scrolled through the listing of cable channels, opting for halfway through the five o’clock news over the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, especially since there was an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond following the news. He fucking loved that show.

It should have registered when the anchorwoman said something about Navy Pier that he’d stumbled on a Chicago affiliate even though he was sprawled like a starfish on a bed in southern Wisconsin. But exhaustion, both physical and mental, had gotten the better of him. So when the woman at the desk said, “And now we’ll head over to Whitney Gaines with the weather,” Jeremy thought he must have started dozing off. Because Whitney Gaines didn’t live in Chicago anymore, not since she crushed him like he never thought was possible. No, she was off in some podunk town in Florida, chasing hurricanes and talking about what the humidity did to gators and shit.

“Thanks, Robin. It sure was unseasonably warm for September today!”

Jeremy sat bolt upright in his bed, those two sentences—ten little words, really—tugging him forward like a tether. There she was, that silky blond hair resting on her shoulders, a little longer than the last time he’d seen her. Then again, that was three years ago, and he’d heard that hair could do that—grow if given time. Florida must have agreed with her. She had that slightly sun-kissed look without actually being tan. Whitney Gaines cared too much about her skin to subject it to ultraviolet rays for long. And frankly, the thigh-high boots she wore with that form-fitting dress agreed with her, too.

“We’ll be closing out the weekend with a cold front, though, and you know what that means for Chicago—temperatures dropping to the low fifties and rain. Let’s take a look at the five-day forecast.”

Jeremy held up the remote in an attempt to silence the voice that all too quickly brought his past to the present. But he froze, thumb on the power button. He didn’t give a shit about the forecast. What he did give quite a few shits about was why she was taking a look at the five-day forecast. In Chicago. Where he lived. Because you don’t just turn down a guy’s proposal, move to Florida because you need to feed my ambition and find a guy who has ambition of his own, and then fucking move back and just show up on a hotel-room television.

He was dialing before he had his ear to the phone.

“Concierge, how can I help you?” a pert, female voice asked.

So many answers popped into mind.

Can you point me toward the bar and tell me the quickest way to giving zero fucks about what I just saw?

Have you ever seen that Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Yeah, can you do that to me? Make my mind all spotless?

Call my friends and family and tell them I’m moving here. Where am I again? Madison?

But instead he settled on, “Can you connect me to the spa or tell me if they have any appointments open? I know it’s last-minute, but I’ve been sitting in this lecture class all day, and I think I actually jacked up my back by not moving and—”

“Actually, sir, one of our massage therapists just had a cancellation. If you hurry up to the sixth floor, they should be able to get you right in. Shall I charge it to your room?”

Jeremy let out a long breath and shrugged. The room was on Jamie’s business credit card. What would another hundred or so hurt?

“Yes! Charge me. Sixth floor. Got it. On my way.”

He was out the door so fast, he might not have even hung up the phone. Several minutes ago he couldn’t get away from the elevator fast enough. Now he needed to put as much distance as he could between himself and what he’d just seen, and that meant going to a place where there’d be no television, where he could close his eyes and shut it all out until the memories in his head decided to shut the fuck up.

The elevator was empty this time, and he smiled in appreciation at his couple minutes of peace. When the doors opened onto the sixth floor, those couple of minutes were not cut short as he stepped into what was, apparently, peace incarnate.

He walked out onto what looked like a bamboo floor. The walls were paneled with a darker, warmer wood—fat luxurious planks that ran from seam to seam. The air was warm but not hot, slightly fragrant but not intrusive, and soft tunes piped through overhead speakers—that Irish Celtic sort of music Brynn told Jamie he should play in the ale house for Sunday brunch. But Jamie opted for baseball games on the big screens in the summer and football in the winter.

He stood in the midst of this Zen-like setting, closing his eyes as he took it all in. He almost didn’t need the massage. Just standing here would be enough.

“Mr. Denning?”

Almost.

“Yeah,” he said, his eyes blinking open as he strode toward the check-in desk. “How did you know?”

She stood, her blond ponytail swishing across her shoulders as she did.

“Your appointment just came through on the computer with a note from the concierge saying you sounded like you really needed some help relaxing, and that’s, like, what we’re all about here. Relaxing. And then you got off the elevator and had that look—you know, the one that said you did want some help getting all…relaxed. So I knew it was you.” She reached for something behind the desk and held it out toward him. He willingly accepted. “Here is a robe and slippers and a lavender eye mask if you want to rest those pretty blue peepers while you wait.” She gasped and covered her mouth. “I’m sorry. That was a little forward. You just have great eyes. And”—she leaned over the counter in his direction—“I’m totally into gingers.”

Jeremy chuckled. “Sounds like you’re still working on—”

“The whole relaxing thing?” she interrupted. “Yeah. I know.” Her smile turned a bit devilish. “But I can’t help myself when I see something I like.”

Jeremy’s eyes widened. Maybe he could forget about the blonde from his past by spending some quality time with one in the present.

“What time do you get off tonight, Kaylee?” he asked, thankful for her name tag.

She bounced on her toes and grinned. He liked her energy. “Eight,” she said.

He grinned back. “Well, I just happen to be free at eight as well. Maybe I’ll see you in the bar downstairs?”

She nodded. “Maybe you will.”

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DON’T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE KINGSTON ALE HOUSE SERIES!

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SYNOPSIS…

She’s holding out for a happy ever after.
Annie
I know where to find my happily ever after—between the pages of a romance novel. It’s why I sell books, why I blog about them, and why I’ll never get disappointed by love.So what if my brother’s best friend from high school is now a bestselling author? Or that he just blew back into town on a Harley, filling out a pair of jeans like he never did before? Or that he’s agreed to do a signing at my bookstore on such short notice? Because despite all his adoring female fans, I kind of hated his book.
Wes
The last time I saw Annie Denning, she was a senior in high school, three years older than me and way out of my league.
Now I’m her last-minute date to a wedding, and what started as a night of pure fun has turned into something more real than either of us anticipated.Annie is my muse. When I’m with her, my writer’s block fades away, and the words finally flow.The only problem? She wants the fairy tale—her very own happily ever after—and anyone who’s read my book knows the truth. I just don’t believe they exist.

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Six Month Rule New Cover

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Synopsis: She created the game, but the rules are about to change.

The second I met Will Evans in his three-piece suit with that hot as hell British accent, I wanted him.

That is…until he insulted my shoes and stole my corner office.

Now I have to work side-by-side with the surly British arsehole who just set my career back six months.

It’s fine. That accent won’t get to me, no matter how sexy it sounds when he asks permission to do things professionals shouldn’t do. On the couch. In the corner office I still wish was mine.

Maybe we can’t keep our hands off each other, but I’m sure as hell not falling for a guy who lives an ocean away. Because in six months, he’s leaving for good.

I don’t do broken hearts, but you know what they say…

There’s a first time for everything.

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Each book in the Kingston Ale House series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.

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Synopsis: How far will one man go for the woman he’s loved since high school?

Jamie Kingston has been Brynn Chandler’s best friend since middle school. Only once was their friendship tested—when Brynn gave Jamie a single kiss. Since then, they’ve had an unspoken agreement never to cross that line again, and she’s ready to let go of the past and move on.

But Jamie has loved Brynn for as long as he can remember, and now that he’s ready to tell her, she has her sights set on someone else. Knowing this is his last chance, he asks Brynn to go on a two-week road trip. But their time alone brings old hurts to the surface, and Brynn has to decide if the one that got away lies at the end of the journey or if he’s been by her side all along.

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ABOUT AJ PINE

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AJ Pine writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, her books have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes) and, of course, a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires and superheroes. And in the midst of all of this, you’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago burbs.

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Underneath It All, a Complete Alpha Billionaire Series by Ava Claire: Book Blitz

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Underneath It All Series

by Ava Claire
Publication Date: May 15, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Billionaire Jackson Colt has success, wealth, power and a presence that makes his competitors tremble with fear. Beneath the armor is a man with a dark and painful past. A man with a heart that he guards by any means necessary.

As far as Sadie McLeod is concerned, ‘escort’ isn’t a bad word. It’s a job, one of two that she works to pay off a debt that is not her own. Tough as nails and far from a damsel in distress, love is a luxury she can’t afford.

Can they put aside their dark pasts and find the love they both desperately want, underneath it all?

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

There’s a reason billionaire Jackson Colt doesn’t do love: Sadie McLeod. Now that she’s shut him out completely, he can’t fathom a life that doesn’t have Sadie in it. She makes him weak. Vulnerable. For Jackson, that’s unacceptable. But getting her out of his head? That’s impossible.

Sadie McLeod should know better. Guys like Jackson don’t live happily ever after with women like her. She didn’t realize how badly she wanted happily ever after, how badly she wanted Jackson, until he was gone.

Can they take the leap into the unknown, into the terrifying and find the love they crave?

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It’s official: billionaire Jackson Colt has fallen in love. After spending his life avoiding that four letter word, pretending he didn’t want to be seen, he realizes that love is worth the risk. But does Sadie feel the same?

In her darkest hour, face to face with her demons, Sadie McLeod should be doing the thing she does best–pushing away everyone.

Her heart is on the line. Will she lose everything if she lets herself fall, or will Jackson catch her?

About Ava Claire

Ava Claire is a sucker for Alpha males and happily ever afters. When not putting pen to paper or glued to her Kindle, Ava likes road tripping, watching an unhealthy amount of Netflix, karaoke and vintage fashion.

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The Millionaire’s Revenge, a Sexy Standalone from Wendy Byrne – On Tour

The Millionaire’s Revenge

by Wendy Byrne
Publication Date: December 12, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Indulgence, Contemporary Romance

Front Cover, The Millionaire's Revenge, by Wendy Byrne

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ABOUT THE MILLIONAIRE’S REVENGE

Real estate tycoon Luke McCall has a plan to take down the underhanded competitor messing with his livelihood. He intends to romance the man’s daughter, gain her trust, and get the information he needs to put his rival out of business once and for all. He just didn’t plan for the way she makes him feel.

Grace Wilson is tired of men using her smarts, social position, or her father’s status for their personal gain. It’s time for a new philosophy: Test. Screw. Dump. But after she meets Luke, she’s not sure she’ll be able to walk away. Not only is he sexy and charming, but he survives every test she puts him through. But can she trust a guy who seems too good to be true?

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EXCERPT

Luke sat in one of the chairs in the Metropolitan Opera lobby to check on the hockey game. As he watched, his phone buzzed with a text from Grace.

Where are you? The old guy next to me is hitting on me. Or maybe he’s fallen asleep. Can’t tell, but he’s leaning his head on my shoulder—either asleep or trying to look down my dress.

He chuckled. I’ll be right there to rescue you with wine. Maybe I should ask for a 16 oz. to-go cup.

I like the way you think. Meet you in the lobby. Let’s blow this popcorn stand. The old guy can drool on somebody else.

You didn’t mention drool. I think I need to kick his ass.

I’ll steal his walker just in case he’s feistier than he looks.

She slumped into his arms dramatically after she rushed out the door. “We need to make a quick exit before the old man comes looking for me and you have to defend my honor. It must be that push-up bra I bought. The old guy couldn’t help himself.”

How could he have such a great time with somebody he thought was out to get him?

“Wanna hit Chinatown for dinner?”

“We’re a little overdressed, but I’m starving. Maybe boredom makes me hungry.”

Luke grasped her arm and scrutinized her face. “Wasn’t it your idea to come here in the first place?”

She shook her head and smiled. “It’s a long and sordid tale I’d rather not tell unless I’m drunk or naked—or some combination of the two. Let’s say I learned my lesson and leave it at that.”

ABOUT WENDY BYRNE

Wendy has a Masters in Social Work and worked in the child welfare field for twelve years before she decided to pursue her dream of writing.

Between teaching college classes, trying to get her morbidly obese cat to slim down, and tempering the will of her five-year-old granddaughter, who’s determined to become a witch when she turns six so she can fly on her broom to see the Eiffel Tower and put hexes on people—not necessarily in that order—somehow Wendy still manages to fit in writing. She spends the remainder of her days inflicting mayhem on her hero and heroine until they beg for mercy.

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