Monday, May 29, 2017

HAPPY BOOK WEEK: UNTIL YOU (BACHELORS BROTHERHOOD) BY DENISE GROVER SWANK

 

 

 

 

 

UNTIL YOU by Denise Grover Swank

Bachelor Brotherhood Book 2

 

Forever Mass Market Paperback

$7.99

 

 

 

 

 

UNTIL YOU (BACHELORS BROTHERHOOD) BY DENISE GROVER SWANK

 

 

 

Release Date:  May 30, 2017

 

 

SYNOPSIS

 

 

The second book in a New York Times bestselling author Denise Grover Swank's Bachelor Brotherhood series!

Never settle down. Ever.

Workaholic Lanie Rogers lives a completely nomadic lifestyle. Her job keeps her on the move, and relationships are a complication she doesn't need. That is, until she meets Mr. Tall, Dark, and Hotness at a pre-wedding party. Complicated? Maybe. But lately, Lanie's life has been missing a little something---and sexy playboy Tyler Norris offers something she definitely can't refuse.

Tyler has always been a little too popular with women for his own good. Ever since he and his buddies vowed to remain bachelors, Tyler figured he was safe from temptation. Lanie and her gorgeous brown eyes are about to prove him so, so wrong. With one kiss, the heat is intense. After one night, it's pure combustion. It was supposed to be a no-strings fling---until these two commitment-phobes each discover the one undeniable exception to their rule.

 

 

 

BUY LINKS

 

Amazon        B & N        Google Play Books       IBooks        Kobo

 

 

 

REVIEW:  UNTIL YOU (BACHELORS BROTHERHOOD) BY DENISE GROVER SWANK

 

Until You (Bachelor Brotherhood #2)Until You by Denise Grover Swank

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


He's a reforming heartbreaker. She's a workaholic nomad. Neither have a romantic bone in their bodies. Until a wedding, a pact and a kiss lead to an attraction that is not to be missed. I've been head over heels for this band of brothers since Only You, made an appearance on my book shelf. Not only does Ms. Swank dish out some romance, she delivers on the bromance as well. Until You continues that instant connection of love, life and friendship that drives author Denise Grover Swank's novels. Both author and characters make it easy to fall in love with love.




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About the Author

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese, which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty (in her own mind) Facebook comments and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn't lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe

 

Social Media Links

 

www.DeniseGroverSwank.com

www.Facebook.com/DeniseGroverSwank

 

Add Until You to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2lz7p9a

 

Follow Denise Grover Swank on BookBub: http://bit.ly/2qkjfq1

 

Follow Denise Grover Swank on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rDzzpG

 

 

Giveaway

 

Enter to win 1 of 10 free copies of Until Youhttp://bit.ly/2n1Gnsc

 

Original post: ishacoleman7.booklikes.com/post/1565525/happy-book-week-until-you-bachelors-brotherhood-by-denise-grover-swank

AVAILABLE NOW: GOALTENDING: SEATTLE SOCKEYES HOCKEY (GAME ON IN SEATTLE) BY JAMI DAVENPORT

 

 

 

GOALTENDING_ReleaseBlitzBANNER

 

 

Hot Single Dad ALERT! Grab Goaltending by Jami Davenport now!

Keep reading for an excerpt!

 

 

goaltending_cover

 

 

Amazon → http://amzn.to/2mMUkcM

iBooks → http://apple.co/2nePbxk

Nook → http://bit.ly/2mIjY1y

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2nssF4C

 

 

GOALTENDING_TEASER1n

 

 

 

WANTED: Single dad needs nanny--In more ways than one.

 

Martin "Brick" Bricker is living the good life. He's playing the sport he loves, has all the women he can handle, and parties like a rock star. At twenty-six, he has no interest in slowing down or taking anything seriously--except hockey, of course.

 

Then a knock at his door changes everything.Suddenly he's the single father to a five-year-old daughter he didn't know he had, and he's trading his playboy ways for Barbies.

 

Amelia Stacey struggles to make ends meet and juggles her day-care job with a full load of college classes. When she's offered a temporary, two-week nanny position making more money than she imagines, she jumps at the chance. Before she knows it, she's in over her head, not just with her five-year-old charge but with the girl's hot single father.

 

Brick always goes after what he wants, and he wants Amelia. Only responsible Amelia doesn't want anything to do with the party boy. Struggling with fatherhood and his unexplainable attraction to his nanny, Brick has to figure out where his daughter and Amelia fit into his life.If they fit at all.

 

But one thing's for sure: Brick can't block this shot straight to his heart

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GoalTending_NOWLIVE2

 

 

REVIEW:  GOALTENDING: SEATTLE SOCKEYES HOCKEY (GAME ON IN SEATTLE) BY JAMI DAVENPORT

 

 

Goaltending: Seattle Sockeyes Hockey (Game On in Seattle Book 8)Goaltending: Seattle Sockeyes Hockey by Jami Davenport

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The ultimate playboy is about to meet his match. With a nickname like Brick, Martin Bricker is not father material. His life is one endless party that consists of a revolving door of women, late night parties and all day binges. That is until his huge ego and no morals lifestyle is interrupted by a nightmare he never saw coming. FATHERHOOD! To a precocious, adorable little girl that comes with tons of baggage. What's a guy to do when his world is caving in around him? Grow up, man up and hire an expert.

Enter temporary nanny, Amelia Stacey. A woman with secrets of her own. She has a lot of love to give and no one to share it with. Clueless father and his newly acquired spitfire of a daughter, could be the cure for that. Stories where grown men are brought to their knees by a child that they never knew they wanted and turns out can't live without are my Kryptonite. That inner quality of innocence and vulnerability is more prevalent. Adding a child changes the dynamic of a love story. Gives it a depth that is at times lacking in romance. Ms. Davenport understood that.



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EXCERPT

 

 

Chapter 1—In the Net

 

Martin “Brick” Bricker was one lucky bastard. He had it all. Good looks, ripped body, more money than he could spend, and more women than he could handle.

 

It was good to be him. Really, really good.

 

Being named sexiest male athlete last week by the Hot Hockey Hunks website was icing on his already rich, gooey cake. And he loved that cake, indulging every chance he got.

 

Who could blame him? He was young, attractive, and virile. He loved all females, tall and slender, short and curvy, and anything in between. And women loved him.

 

But Brick’s good fortune didn’t stop there. He was the starting goalie on one of the NHL’s hottest young teams. The Seattle Sockeyes were touted as Stanley Cup contenders by the preseason predictors, whoever the hell those people were. Brick wanted the Cup so badly he imagined the deafening roar of the crowd as the final buzzer rang, the weight of the Cup in his hands as he skated victoriously around the arena, and its sweet metallic taste as he drank champagne from it. He might only be in his fourth year, but he coveted the Cup as much as a guy who’d been in the league for fifteen years and had never won it. He sure as hell didn’t want to be that guy. He wanted to win it while he was young—and keep winning it.

 

With a weary sigh, Brick stretched and rolled out of bed. He squinted at the clock—two in the fucking afternoon.

 

Damn.

 

He’d had a wild night last night and had staggered home well after the sun had come up. He’d been gifted with incredible stamina and a hardy constitution that required little sleep but for some reason last night’s activities had hit him harder than usual.

 

After taking care of business in the bathroom, he walked naked into the kitchen of his large Lake Union condo. He hated clothes, partially because of his propensity to overheat and partially because he enjoyed the shock value. Brick sweltered in warm rooms. They reminded him too much of how hot his stepmother—correct that, father’s second wife—chose to keep their house. The place suffocated him. He’d always preferred the chilly temps of his mom’s cabin in the woods.

 

Putting a Tully’s K-Cup in his Keurig, he waited for his mug to fill. Taking a sip, he carried it to the wall of windows and stared down at the water below. Houseboats rocked gently on Lake Union, and he had to smile. Ever since he’d seen Sleepless in Seattle, one of his mother’s favorite movies, he’d sworn if he ever moved to Seattle he’d own one of those houseboats. His Realtor had been toiling for months to find the right one. So far, no luck, but Brick was a patient man.

 

For now, he had to be content with his condo and the privacy it afforded his current lifestyle. He kept his place at arctic temps and never invited women over. He preferred an impersonal hotel room from which he could escape in the early hours, as he’d done this morning. He practically had a room on retainer in the luxury boutique hotel five minutes down the street. He was certainly on a first-name basis with everyone who worked there.

 

Brick rubbed his eyes, wishing he hadn’t caved to his teammates’ insistence he party with them, but he’d never been one to turn down a chance to raise hell. Staying home was never an option. Brick had a reputation to maintain, and he needed his people, probably more than they needed him. After all, if he wasn’t fun-loving, beer-guzzling Brick, people wouldn’t like him. Even worse, he might have to spend time alone with only himself for company, and he probably wouldn’t like what he found. Better to be the shallow party boy everyone loved than the introspective, serious guy everyone avoided.

 

The doorbell rang, rescuing Brick from a rare and unwelcome moment of personal reflection. He frowned. He wasn’t expecting anyone, and he didn’t encourage uninvited guests. None of his hookups had a clue where he lived, and his teammates rarely visited because of the frigid temps, except Rush. His teammate was from Russia and didn’t notice how chilly Brick kept his condo.

 

This person couldn’t be his buddy, though. Rush would still be passed out after a night of partying. He needed eight to ten hours of sleep, unlike Brick’s three- to four-hour requirement.

 

Perplexed, Brick took two steps toward the door and paused. Usually, he had no qualms opening the door bare-ass naked, but some sixth sense stopped him this time.

 

“Just a minute,” he shouted, and strolled to the master bedroom. He dug around for a pair of sweats and a T-shirt.

 

Walking back to the entryway, he looked in the peephole and saw nothing. His condo door opened to the outside, rather than into a hallway with a secure entry. That’d never bothered him before. He could handle himself in a fight. Yet something felt off. Those same instincts that alerted him where the puck was when he couldn’t see it clanged warnings in his head.

 

With his hand on the doorknob, he hesitated. Frowning, he glanced around for a weapon. An umbrella leaned against the wall. He grabbed it, then yanked open the door.

 

Staring into the rainy Seattle afternoon, he saw nothing until he looked down.

 

A little girl with long dark hair and huge brown eyes like an anime character rested her tiny hands on her hips and stared boldly up at him. He stared back, then glanced around for the mother. Tensing, he expected a gang of home invaders to emerge from the dreariness and force their way into his house. He saw nothing, except an old Toyota barreling out of the private parking area and down the street.

 

What the fuck?

 

“Are you lost?” he asked the little girl.

 

She shook her head, still staring, as if she expected something from him. “Are you Mr. Brick?”

 

“Yeah,” he said uneasily.

 

“Daddy!” She launched herself at him, displaying incredible strength for one so small. He staggered back against the wall as she grabbed on to his leg and hugged him tightly. Brick managed to regain his balance and extricated his leg from her tight grip. Placing his hands on her thin shoulders, he held her at arm’s length.

 

Daddy? A shot of fear stronger than the hundred-proof vodka he’d indulged in last night burned down his throat.

 

“Where’s your mother?” His uneasy feeling dialed up higher.

 

“In heaven.” The little girl’s expression flipped from happiness to sadness faster than the flick of a light switch. She picked up a raggedy doll and hugged it to her.

 

Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck.

 

“Uh, okay. I’m sorry to hear that. Where do you live?”

 

She craned her head around him and looked into his house. “With you.”

 

He felt as though he’d been dropped into the twilight zone. “With me?” he croaked.

 

“Yes, with you.” She nodded with absolute certainty.

 

“Uh, I don’t know who put you up to this, but I don’t have any kids.” This had to be a scam to get money out of him. Or one of his teammates had concocted an elaborate joke. Once again, he looked for an adult skulking near the stairs.

 

“Yes, you do.” She narrowed her eyes and studied him, scowling as if she’d found him lacking. She held out an envelope. It was smudged and wrinkled as if it’d been clutched in her hands for a long time. He stared at it, not wanting to take it and feeling as if the bottom was about to drop out of his charmed life.

 

She shoved it toward him, and Brick accepted it with a shaking hand. He ripped open the envelope and pulled out a coffee-stained piece of paper.

 

 

Mr. Bricker,

 

I’m dying of cancer, and my granddaughter is all I have left. Her mother has gone to heaven, and that’s on you. I only have a short while left to live. By the time you get this, I’ll be dead. I don’t want Macy in foster care. I have asked a friend to deliver her to your house upon my death.

 

She is your daughter, and she deserves to have all the things you can afford to give her. Please take care of her and love her. You owe us that.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sue

 

 

He scowled. This had to be a scam. “How old are you?”

 

“Five.”

 

He did the math quickly in his head. He’d been playing on a major junior team in Vancouver, his hometown around the time she’d been conceived, and he hadn’t lacked female companionship.

 

He thought back six years but couldn’t recall anyone who stood out, not that his lack of memory meant anything. He couldn’t recall the names of the women he slept with last night, either. And he’d spent a lot of his late teens and early twenties in a drunken haze on non-game nights.

 

He read the letter again, stumbling over the sentence her mother has gone to heaven, and that’s on you. On him? Why would this stranger’s death be on him? Had she been some crazy stalker fan who’d committed suicide? Surely he’d have heard about it. At the least, his agent would’ve told him.

 

Her accusation probably meant nothing. He was reading too much into it.

 

He ran his hand through his close-cropped hair and blew out a sigh. He needed to call his attorney and his agent immediately. They’d know what to do.

 

In the meantime, what the fuck did he do? He didn’t want a kid. They were okay, and he got along fine with them at signings and shit like that, but he wasn’t father material. Thank God, she probably wasn’t his.

 

Though he had to admit, there was a resemblance, which made his blood run cold. Really cold. She looked like pictures he’d seen of his sister at that age. And those eyes… Damn, those huge eyes could melt the most strongly barricaded heart.

 

“Uh, why don’t you come in while we straighten this out?”

 

She nodded and tried to lug a battered suitcase as large as her inside. Brick took it, and she ran ahead of him, dragging the doll by one arm.

 

She stopped and surveyed the living room. Frowning, she hugged herself and shivered. “You can’t afford heat, either?” she asked.

 

“Huh?”

 

“My granna couldn’t afford heat so it was always cold in her house, too.”

 

“I, uh, can afford heat.” He was at a loss for words.

 

“I’m cold.” Her lower lip puffed out in an unmistakable pout. She was a demanding little thing.

 

“I’ll fix that.” Brick hurried to the thermostat before she could do something scarier than shit, like throw a tantrum or, heaven help him, cry. He raised the temp from fifty-five to seventy and also turned on the gas fireplace.

 

“Thank you.” She sounded so adult, as if she’d lived ten lifetimes in five years. Brick didn’t form connections with people, not real ones, but something about her tugged at a deeply hidden vulnerability he hadn’t known he had.

 

Walking to the massive stone fireplace on one wall, she sat on the hearth as it flared to life. Brick wiped his brow, overheating already.

 

“What’s your last name, honey?” he asked, hopeful this could all be cleared up with a few phone calls.

 

“Bricker, like yours.”

 

“What about your granna? What was her name?”

 

“Granna.”

 

Sighing, he reached for his cell. “Wait right here. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

 

“Are you going to send me away?”

 

He froze in midstride. “I—uh—uh—” There went that tug again, harder this time, even a little painful.

 

“Granna said you would take care of me, but I didn’t believe her. No one wanted me but Granna and Mommy. Now they’re both gone.”

 

This was getting worse and worse. Brick didn’t need this complication in his footloose-and-fancy-free life. But he couldn’t send the child to foster care. He’d never been in foster care himself, but he’d had friends who were, and he wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone.

 

“I’ll be right back.”

 

She gazed up at him, clutching her doll to her chest. Tears filled her luminous eyes, and one dribbled down her cheek.

 

The tug turned into a hard yank.

 

Oh, crap.

 

Before he did something stupid, he hurried to the bedroom, dialing his phone as he walked. His agent shared his time between Seattle, where he had a huge number of clients, and sunny California. Just so happened he was in Seattle right now.

 

“Al,” he said before Al could get one word in.

 

“Ah, Brick, my man. What’s up?”

 

“I have a fucking problem.”

 

“You always have fucking problems. What psycho woman did you piss off now?”

 

“I wish it were that simple.”

 

Al started laughing as if he were looking forward to Brick’s pain.

 

“Get your ass over here. I need you.”

 

Brick didn’t wait for an answer and hung up. He sank onto the edge of his bed and buried his head in his hands, suddenly feeling much older than his twenty-six years.

 

 

* * * *

 

 

When Brick returned to his living room, Macy was running around his kitchen island, arms outstretched as she unraveled a roll of paper towels while making barking sounds. She skittered around him, yapping like the obnoxious poodle his aunt Hazel once had. The sound grated on his nerves, which were already frayed.

 

“Stop.”

 

She didn’t stop, only raised her voice until the barking neared ear-splitting decibels. He prayed Al showed up soon and rescued him from this particular hell.

 

The doorbell rang, and he bolted, tripping over the paper towels wrapped around his legs. Macy was one step ahead of him. Right before his eyes she transformed from a one-child wrecking crew to a sweet little princess with a cherubic smile.

 

She yanked open the door. “Hi,” she shouted in her piercing little-girl voice. “I’m Macy. Do you want to have a tea party with me and Daddy and Simone?” She raised the doll upward in one hand.

 

Al’s eyebrows shot all the way to his hairline. A slow, devious smirk spread across the bastard’s face. “Daddy?”

 

“I, uh, uh.”

 

Al laughed and knelt in front of the little girl. “Hey, honey, I’m Al. I’d love to play with you and Simone, but your daddy and I have a few things to discuss. Do you think you could sit over there like a good little girl and watch TV for a few minutes?”

 

“Okay.” She skipped to the couch. “How do you turn it on?”

 

Brick let out a sigh and flipped on his eighty-inch UHD flat screen. He scrolled through the channels until he found a children’s station, then quickly retreated to the relative safety of the kitchen.

 

“You gotta help me.”

 

Al grinned a toothy, wholly unsympathetic grin. “You think? I’m your agent, not your babysitter.”

 

Brick glared at him. “She’s not my child.”

 

“She thinks she is.” Al was entirely too amused.

 

“I need your help. I’m desperate. I can’t have a kid here.”

 

Al chuckled and glanced at Macy, who was singing along to the TV. “Care to explain what’s going on? You were childless when I talked to you yesterday.”

 

Brick filled him in, ignoring the bastard’s growing amusement. “Here’s the note.”

 

Al looked it over with a shrewd agent’s eye. “Interesting. Any idea who the mother might be?”

 

“You’re shitting me, right?” Brick growled, forcing himself to keep his frustration at bay and his voice low.

 

“It might be an important part of the puzzle.”

 

“Can’t you find out where she came from? I pay you to clean up my messes.”

 

“Not enough.” Al threw back his head and laughed.

 

“This isn’t funny. You gotta help me.” Brick’s gaze was drawn to the little girl sitting on his couch singing to her doll. His gut clenched, and he swiped at his sweaty brow.

 

“Okay, I’ll get my PI friend on this. Find out any existing relatives. See if I can get a picture of the mother. We’ll run a DNA test, but that’ll take time.” Al switched into troubleshooting agent mode, even though his mouth still twitched with amusement.

 

“I don’t have time. The regular season is under way. I have a road trip in two days, and I can’t have a kid living here.”

 

“It’s not like she’s a stray cat you can dump off at an animal shelter.” Al pointed out the obvious and drew a well-deserved scowl from Brick. “And most likely she is yours. She looks like you.”

 

Brick scowled all the more. “I always wear a condom.”

 

“Condoms fail.”

 

“I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.” Brick groaned and dropped his ass onto a dining room chair. He searched his memory, trying to recall any condom malfunctions. Yeah, there had been a few incidents during bouts of rambunctious sex, but he couldn’t begin to remember those women’s faces.

 

Al sat across from him. “Let’s see what the DNA test says. If she’s not yours, we’ll call Child Protective Services.”

 

“And if she’s mine?”

 

His agent’s smirk was downright annoying. “Then welcome to the world of the single dad.”

 

“What the fuck do I do with her in the meantime?” Brick scrubbed his hands over his face. He couldn’t believe this was happening. He lived a charmed life. Everything always went his way.

 

“For starters, clean up your language.” Al snorted and leaned back in his chair.

 

“I can’t take care of a kid. I have a life. I play hockey. I’m gone half the season.”

 

“Real-world problems, my man. Real-world problems.”

 

“You’re not helping any.”

 

“Since when do my duties involve family matters? Be lucky you only have one—so far.”

 

Brick shuddered. “Don’t say that.”

 

Al snickered and winked. “Good luck. I’ll call your attorney, make sure housing this child is legal and all.” He stood and headed for the door.

 

Brick leaped to his feet and followed him. “You can’t leave me like this.”

 

Al waved at the little girl, completely engrossed in some kid’s show. “Bye, Macy.”

 

She waved back. “Bye, Uncle Al.”

 

“Uncle Al?” This kid was making way too many presumptions.

 

“I like the sound of that.” Al opened the door. “You’d better get cracking. You have a road trip in two days.”

 

“Where am I going to find a nanny in two days?” Brick groaned. He’d always avoided responsibility outside the rink, and an instant child was way too much responsibility.

 

“I noticed a day care a few blocks down the street. Ask them.” With those parting words, Al left Brick to fend for himself.

 

Glancing at the child, Brick considered his options. She smiled at him, and he swallowed around an odd lump. He managed a smile back.

 

He could dial his mother. She’d know what to do. She’d probably travel from Vancouver tomorrow and take this kid off his hands. His stepfather, Rick, wouldn’t mind. He loved kids. If only his mother had married him while Brick had still been living at home, maybe his teen years wouldn’t have sucked so much.

 

Brick slunk into the kitchen so Macy couldn’t hear him. “Mom?”

 

“Hi, honey, how are you?”

 

“I’m not so good.”

 

“Oh God, Marty, what did you do now?”

 

“I didn’t do anything. Not exactly.” He hedged, trying to come up with a way to break this to his mother. He decided on honesty and ran through the entire story. When he finished, silenced reigned.

 

“Mom?”

 

“I’m a grandmother?”

 

He couldn’t tell if she was pleased or pissed. “I’m not sure. We need to do a DNA test.”

 

“Who leaves a child on a stranger’s doorstep and disappears?” His mother sounded indignant.

 

“I don’t know. That’s the least of my worries. I need help. I have a road trip coming up. Could you come to Seattle tomorrow and get her?”

 

Another long silence.

 

“Mom?” He wasn’t feeling too good about his odds right now.

 

She blew out a long-suffering sigh only his mother could produce. “It pains me to say this, but no.”

 

“What?” Surely he hadn’t heard her correctly.

 

“You heard me, young man. Did you forget Rick and I are leaving in a few hours for a month and a half in Europe?”

 

“Uh, yeah.” He hated to admit he’d forgotten. He’d been so focused on his surprise, he’d spaced on their trip.

 

She sighed. “You’re not the only person in this world with plans, Marty.” As if he hadn’t heard that before.

 

“I know.”

 

“I agree. With your schedule and not having a wife or steady girlfriend, it’d be next to impossible to raise a young child. Let me discuss this with Rick, and we’ll see what we can do when we get back, assuming she’s yours. This problem is your responsibility for now.” Leave it to his mother to be pragmatic about the situation.

 

“But—”

 

“I have to go now. I’ll call you in a few days and see how you’re doing. I can’t wait to see my granddaughter when we get back.” The phone went dead.

 

Brick felt a tug on his sweats.

 

“I’m hungry.” The little girl looked up at him with the biggest, most innocent cocker spaniel eyes, and who could resist a cocker spaniel? His hardened heart cracked a little, and he shored it up with mental duct tape. He wouldn’t fall prey to this child. She couldn’t stay with him.

 

He tried another number. His sister would help. All he had to do was text her a picture, and she’d fall in love, as she did with every stray animal.

 

Nona answered. “Hey, Brick, to what do I owe the pleasure?”

 

“How’s my favorite sister?”

 

“I’m your only sister. What’s up?”

 

“Just called to see how you were.”

 

“No, you didn’t.”

 

He was guilty as charged of calling his sister only when he needed something. Brick pulled out all the stops. “Ah, Nona, seriously. What’s wrong with me wanting to have a conversation with my sister?”

 

“Nothing’s wrong with it other than you never call me just to talk, so fess up, Marty.”

 

Brick groaned. “Okay, I admit it. I need your help. Desperately.”

 

“Oh, really.” He could hear her devious wheels turning as she calculated what he might possibly be calling for and how she could use it to her advantage in their friendly, ongoing sibling rivalry.

 

“Yeah, really,” he said gloomily.

 

“Daddy, can I have some milk?” The little urchin stared up at him with pleading eyes.

 

“Daddy? Did I hear that right?” His sister’s voice came through loud and clear, as did the restrained laughter. “Is that your problem?”

 

“Yeah, found her on my doorstep this afternoon.”

 

“Are you kidding?”

 

Brick made his way to the refrigerator and poured Macy a glass of milk. She thanked him and returned to her TV. Certain she was occupied, he relayed the story to his sister, who was dying of laughter by the time he’d finished. Why people found his predicament so hilariously funny was beyond him.

 

“And what do you expect me to do?”

 

“Come and get her. I have a road trip in two days.”

 

“Oh, no, you don’t. You’re the one who can’t keep it in your pants. Welcome to adulthood, baby brother. I’m in graduate school. I don’t have time for a child. And Mom’s leaving on her trip.”

 

“I know,” he answered grumpily.

 

Nona erupted with more laughter. The women in his family had no appreciation for the dilemma he was in. “You could always call Dad and Liz. You know how touchy-feely our beloved stepmother is.”

 

Brick shuddered. He knew all right. The woman could melt a hole in an ice rink with one glare. As desperate as he was, he’d never subject a child—any child—to that cold, calculating bitch.

 

“Never mind. I’ll deal with this myself.” He sighed and disconnected the phone, his sister’s laughter still ringing in his ears.

 

Macy yawned, and Brick realized with a guilty start she’d probably had a long, tiring day, even though it was early evening.

 

“Time for bed.”

 

“I don’t want to go to bed.” She screwed her face up into a nasty scowl worthy of Ice, the Sockeyes’ surly defenseman.

 

“Sorry, but you need some rest.” He was so not cut out for this parenting shit. He could leave her to her own devices. He was tired, even if she wasn’t. He must be getting old. Partying all night never used to wear him out, but last night’s binge had taken a toll.

 

“No.” She crossed her arms over her chest and stuck out her little chin. Her belligerence wore on his patience.

 

“Please, Macy, it’s been a long day for both of us.”

 

They stared each other down, but she was out of her league. He could stare down the best of them.

 

Finally, she looked away and stuck out her lower lip, which quivered. “Okay.”

 

Brick didn’t give her a chance to change her mind. He grabbed the suitcase and led her to the guest room. He showed her the adjoining bathroom.

 

She stood near the bed and rubbed her eyes. Her attitude had dissipated, leaving a scared little girl so alone in the cold, cruel world.

 

Brick stood in the doorway, praying she didn’t cry. “Do you need help getting ready for bed?”

 

She shoved her knuckles in her mouth and shook her head.

 

“Okay, well then, good night.” Drawn by emotions he couldn’t begin to explain, Brick crossed the room, knelt down, and gave her a hug. Her little arms went stiffly around his neck. He blinked several times, finding his eyesight a little blurry.

 

Sitting back on his haunches, he held her shoulders. “It’ll all be okay. I promise.”

 

She sniffed and nodded, gazing at him with disbelieving brown eyes. Not liking how close to the surface his own feelings were, he rose to his feet.

 

“Good night.” Her little voice wavered, and Brick got the hell out of there. He turned down the heat, stripped off his clothes, and crawled into bed. He sank into the welcoming mattress and closed his eyes. Only sleep didn’t come.

 

He was an asshole. A big asshole. Instead of comforting this scared child who’d been abandoned on his doorstep, he’d run like a coward. Sure, he’d hugged her, but he could’ve done more.

 

Brick stared into the darkness for God knew how long. Finally, he got out of bed, threw on a robe, and walked down the hall to the guest bedroom. He listened at the door and heard nothing. Cracking it open, he peeked inside. Macy lay under the covers, her doll clutched tightly to her. Her eyes were shut.

 

He walked closer and stared down at the cherubic face. She was a pretty little thing and would be a beauty by her teens, requiring her father to sit on the front porch with a shotgun to scare off the boys. He shuddered at the thought, not because he’d pictured himself hefting that gun, but because he knew what teenage boys were capable of.

 

He reached down and brushed a stray lock of hair from her cheek. Tenderness welled up in his chest, leaving him momentarily incapacitated. When she’d thrown her arms around him and called him Daddy, he’d lost his sanity for a split second and almost wished it were true. But it wasn’t, and he wasn’t fit to be any child’s father.

 

Brick backed away, fighting a surprising paternal urge to care for and protect this child.

 

What the fuck was wrong with him?

 

 

GOALTENDING_TEASER3n.jpg

 

 

About the Author

 

USA Today Bestselling Author Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami’s new releases consistently rank in the top fifty on the sports romance and sports genre lists on Amazon, and she has hit the Amazon top hundred authors list in both contemporary romance and genre fiction multiple times. Jami ranked Number Seven on Kobo’s Top Ten Most Completed Authors, an honor bestowed on the year’s “most engaging” authors based on an average page completion rate by their readers.

 

Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare.

 

Jami works in IT for her day job and is a former high school business teacher. She’s a lifetime Seahawks and Mariners fan and is waiting for the day professional hockey comes to Seattle. An avid boater, Jami has spent countless hours in the San Juan Islands, a common setting in her books. In her opinion, it’s the most beautiful place on earth.

 

Connect with Jami!

 

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive a free novel and be notified of new releases, special sales, and contests: http://eepurl.com/LpfaL

 

Website Address: http://www.jamidavenport.com

Twitter Address: @jamidavenport

Facebook Address: http://www.facebook.com/jamidavenport

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jamidavenport/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1637218.Jami_Davenport

Original post: ishacoleman7.booklikes.com/post/1565731/available-now-goaltending-seattle-sockeyes-hockey-game-on-in-seattle-by-jami-davenport

HAPPY BOOK WEEK: TOUGHEST COWBOY IN TEXAS (HAPPY, TEXAS) BY CAROLYN BROWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

Title: TOUGHEST COWBOY IN TEXAS

Author: Carolyn Brown

Series: Happy, Texas #1

On Sale: May 30, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $6.99 USD

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TOUGHEST COWBOY IN TEXAS (HAPPY, TEXAS) BY CAROLYN BROWN

 

 

 

Release Date:  May 30, 2017

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown's begins an all-new series of rugged cowboys.

 

“This is an emotional star-crossed lovers tale with tangible depths and an attitude that’s relatable to real life.” –RT Book Reviews

 

Last time Lila Harris was in Happy, Texas, she was actively earning her reputation as the resident wild child. Now, a little older and wiser, she's back to run her mother's café for the summer. Except something about this town has her itching to get a little reckless and rowdy, especially when she sees her old partner-in-crime, Brody Dawson. Their chemistry is just as hot as ever. But he's still the town's golden boy-and she's still the wrong kind of girl.

 

Brody hasn't had much time lately for anything other than ranching. Running the biggest spread in the county and taking care of his family more than keeps him busy. All that responsibility has him longing for the carefree days of high school—and Lila. She may have grown up, but he still sees that spark of mischief in her eyes. Now he's dreaming about late-night skinny dipping and wondering how he can possibly resist the one woman he can never forget...

 

 

BUY LINKS

 

Amazon       Barnes & Noble       Books-A-Million       Google Play       iBooks       IndieBound      Kobo

 

 

REVIEWTOUGHEST COWBOY IN TEXAS (HAPPY, TEXAS) BY CAROLYN BROWN

 

Toughest Cowboy in Texas (Happy, Texas, #1)Toughest Cowboy in Texas by Carolyn Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Teenaged Lila lost her heart to Brody. Her wild child reputation and his family's social standing, put an end to her dreams of happily ever after before they had even begun. Now, an older and wiser Lila is returning to the town that she left behind and the boy she could never forget. Toughest Cowboy In Texas has sentimental written all over it. From star crossed romance to nostalgic memories and busybody neighbors, the small town of Happy, Texas is the perfect destination for LOVE.



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SPECIAL EDITION AVAILABLE AT WALMART!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HAPPY, TEXAS SERIES

 

TOUGHEST COWBOY IN TEXAS, #1

LONG, TALL COWBOY CHRISTMAS, #2

 

Series Page on Goodreads

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

 

Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist who has sold more than 2.75 million books. She presently writes both women's fiction and cowboy romance. She has also written historical single title, historical series, contemporary single title, and contemporary series. She lives in southern Oklahoma with her husband, a former English teacher, who is not allowed to read her books until they are published. They have three children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.

 

 

Website      Facebook      Goodreads

 

 

FOLLOW FOREVER ONLINE

 

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Original post: ishacoleman7.booklikes.com/post/1565724/happy-book-week-toughest-cowboy-in-texas-happy-texas-by-carolyn-brown

HAPPY BOOK WEEK: REVIEW: FORBIDDEN PROMISES (THE O'MALLEYS) BY KATEE ROBERT

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate the Release of FORBIDDEN PROMISES!  

Some lines should never be crossed . . . not even for love.

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert delivers the next book in her sizzling O'Malleys family series, hailed as "The Godfather meets Romeo & Juliet." FORBIDDEN PROMISES features Sloan O'Malley and her mysterious new next-door neighbor, Jude MacNamara.

 

 

 

 

Add FORBIDDEN PROMISES to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get an EXCLUSIVE (and totally hawt!) sneak peek at FORBIDDEN PROMISES. Also, be sure to enter the giveaway for an O'Malley heroes candle set + a $30 Amazon gift card. Three (3) runner-up winners will get their choice of an eBook from Katee’s backlist.

 

 

Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert

 

 

Title: Forbidden Promises
Author: Katee Robert
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central/Forever
Series: The O’Malleys
Page Count: 336 pages
Format: Digitial and Print
ASIN: B01KT7YSJM
ISBN-13: 9781455597031

 

 

 

FORBIDDEN PROMISES (THE O'MALLEYS) BY KATEE ROBERT

 

 

Release Date:  May 30, 2017

 

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Some lines should never be crossed . . . not even for love.


Sloan O'Malley just left her entire world behind-her family, her wealth, and even her real name. For the first time in her life, she's free. She can live the "normal" life she's always wanted. A life without fear.But there's nothing safe about her intensely sexy next-door neighbor.


Jude MacNamara has no room for innocence in his life. Only revenge. Still, he's never been able to walk away from the forbidden, and Sloan-who is every inch of pure, mouthwatering temptation-has forbidden written all over her. Only after it's way too late does he discover the real danger: claiming Sloan as his puts a target on her back. To protect her, Jude is willing risk everything . . . and to hell with the consequences.

Previous books in the O'Malley series:


THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT
THE WEDDING PACT
AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

 

 

BUY LINKS

 

Amazon        B & N        Google Play Books       IBooks        Kobo

 

 

REVIEWFORBIDDEN PROMISES (THE O'MALLEYS) BY KATEE ROBERT

 

Forbidden Promises (The O'Malleys, #4)Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars




To escape the past it must be faced head on. Forbidden Promises begins with revenge and ends in redemption. Though not for the faint of heart, Ms. Robert packs heat. Forbidden Promises provides a feast for the senses. Sloan and Jude are nuclear together. Like a spark to a flame, there is danger around every corner, that feeds the sparks into a combustible flame. A spine tingling story of intrigue that keeps readers on the edge throughout.



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Enter to win an O'Malley heroes candle set + a $30 Amazon gift card. Three (3) runner-up winners will get their choice of an eBook from Katee’s backlist.

 

 

 

 

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Forbidden Promises Excerpt

Copyright © 2017 Katee Robert

 

“I won’t hurt you, Sloan. I promise.”

There was no logical reason for her to trust him, but he’d been careful with her up to this point. Perhaps he’d be careful with her with what came next. She nodded mutely, watching as he rolled on a condom that he’d retrieved from his pocket. Her body hummed in anticipation and trepidation, but she didn’t let it show as he moved back to join her on the bed.

Jude palmed her between her legs, his big fingers exploring her. It didn’t seem possible that he could spark pleasure with a few specific touches, but it didn’t take much to have her relaxing, letting him once again take the lead. He kissed her neck. “Feels good, huh?”

“Well, I—oh.” Her eyes went wide when he pushed a second finger into her. It stretched her, the feeling not entirely pleasant at first, but he merely waited, pulsing the slightest bit, until pleasure took hold once more. She clutched his shoulders. “Kiss me again. Please.”

“You don’t have to ask twice.” He took her mouth like he owned it—like he owned every part of her. Jude slid between her legs, his body rubbing deliciously against hers. His hard length slid through her wetness, creating a friction that sparked a tide of desire deep inside her. Again? I couldn’t possibly…

He nipped her bottom lip and then soothed the slight ache with his tongue. “Ready?”

There was no mistaking his meaning. She nodded. Despite the earlier orgasm and how good it felt to have him moving against her, she was so incredibly empty. Instinct had her hooking a leg around his hips and arching up to meet him, needing more, so much more.

Jude reached between them, and then he was at her entrance. He kissed her, tongue twining with hers as he pushed into her, just a single inch. It was too much and not enough and she couldn’t help but thrash, pinned in place by his big body, overwhelmed by her helplessness and what he was doing to her. “Jude, I—”

“Shh. I’ve got you.” He rolled, taking her with him. One second she was on her back, finding it hard to breathe, and the next she was straddling him where he sat with his back against the headboard.

Sloan looked down, daunted by the sheer size of him. “I don’t know if this is going to work. You’re too big.”

He laughed, deep and full-throated, the sound rolling through her like the tide. “You can take every inch of me, sunshine. I promise you that.”

 

 

 

Praise for The O’Malleys Series

 

"It can be hard to make a ruthless assassin into a sympathetic character, but Robert handles the task with ease. She also deftly shows Sloan’s transformation from a pampered and protected naïf to a strong woman with a backbone of pure steel. A tension-filled plot full of deceit, betrayal, and sizzling love scenes will make it impossible for readers to set the book down."—Publishers Weekly on FORBIDDEN PROMISES

 

“You will finish it in one sitting and die after you’re done because the next book isn't out yet. This was one sexy ride!”—Reviewer Top Pick, Night Owl Reviews on FORBIDDEN PROMISES

“Two story lines end up converging into one explosive finale at the end. A great read from the talented Robert!” —RT Book Reviews

 

“Katee Robert's has created a fictional underworld of such veracity, that one almost expects the characters to turn up on the front-page news. It never feels over the top or implausible; the author writes extremely well-crafted stories… The romance between Cillian and Olivia is very beautiful, tender and real.”—Fresh Fiction on AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

“Will keep you turning pages.”—RT Book Reviews on THE WEDDING PACT

“If you like angsty reads, this book is right up your wheelhouse.”—Heroes & Heartbreakers on THE WEDDING PACT

"Dark, dirty, and dead sexy."—Tiffany Reisz, bestselling author of The Original Sinners series, on THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT

 

Other Books in The O’Malleys Series

 

THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT
THE WEDDING PACT
AN INDECENT PROPOSAL
UNDERCOVER ATTRACTION (Coming soon!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Katee Robert

 


New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it 'a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension." When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.


Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

Original post: ishacoleman7.booklikes.com/post/1565606/happy-book-week-review-forbidden-promises-the-o-malleys-by-katee-robert

HAPPY EARLY BOOK WEEK: A SKY FULL OF STARS (THE SHAUGHNESSY BROTHERS) BY SAMANTHA CHASE







A Sky Full of Stars (The Shaughnessy Brothers, #5)


A SKY FULL OF STARS (THE SHAUGHNESSY BROTHERS) BY SAMANTHA CHASE


Release Date:  June 6, 2017


SYNOPSIS

The stars are about to align in the newest Shaughnessy brothers romance!

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He's great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn't factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.

LOVE CAN DAZZLE YOU

Polar opposites in personality, the friction between them threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw Owen and Brooke together—and she's going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.

The Shaughnessy Brothers Series

Made for Us (Book 1)
Love Walks In (Book 2)
Always My Girl (Book 3)
This Is Our Song (Book 4)
A Sky Full of Stars (Book 5)


BUY LINKS

Amazon         B & N         Google Play Books       IBooks        Kobo


REVIEW:  A SKY FULL OF STARS (THE SHAUGHNESSY BROTHERS) BY SAMANTHA CHASE

A Sky Full of Stars (The Shaughnessy Brothers, #5)A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Creativity is a trait that continues to draw me to author, Samantha Chase. Never has her understanding of the heart been more obvious than Owen Shaughnessy. I knew A Sky Full of Stars would be special and Ms. Chase did not disappoint. In Owen she dreamed up a unique hero that is as clueless as he is unforgettable. He's book smart but emotionally he's like a baby bird learning to spread his wings. He feels deeply, yet doesn't fully ascertain how to express what he feels. In Brooke, he finds his total opposite, but he also learns to not overthink life, LIVE IT. In no way should this couple work but they do. They bring out the best in each other as each learns how to be true themselves.



View all my reviews






EXCERPT

  
“That was…interesting.”
“I never thought I’d see those two mediums used together.”
“I may have to stab my own eyes out to make sure I never see it again,” Brooke said and then shuddered. They had just left the art gallery, and she waited until they were at the corner before looking at Owen. “I am so sorry.”
He looked taken aback by her apology. “Why?”
“That was horrible! Everything in there was offensive and tasteless and just…wrong! I can’t believe an art professor would recommend that to anyone!”
“Maybe he didn’t know exactly what kind of art was being displayed.”
Brooke shook her head. “He had to know. He raved about the whole thing—like he was familiar with the kind of work this guy did!”
“Maybe he’s into that kind of thing. There were a lot of people there who were praising pretty much everything they saw.”
Even though she knew Owen was right, she was still horrified. All of the pictures featured nudes in cages—and then there was wire caging coming out of the picture to give it a 3-D effect. Splashes of color looked as if they were just thrown onto the canvas, and all in all the exhibit had been fairly horrific to her. Brooke didn’t consider herself a prude, but these images were definitely not something she would have chosen to see.
Ever.
And now she was mortified because she had invited Owen along. To his credit, he didn’t seem the least bit fazed by the whole thing. It was possible he was trying to be polite and didn’t want to offend her in case she found the work interesting. But after the first five minutes of being there, Brooke had wanted to escape. Somehow, however, Owen had drawn her into conversation as they walked around the gallery and made several observations that had her wondering if he really didn’t see what was so…bizarre about the entire thing.
And that had been eye-opening for her. They stayed much longer than she’d imagined they would—especially after seeing the art—but they had talked the entire time, and after a while, she didn’t even notice their surroundings. She simply enjoyed the conversation, which turned to the architecture of the building rather than the show.
“So that was an art showing,” Owen said conversationally.
She nodded. “I really wish it had been a better experience.”
“Is this the sort of thing you want to do? Have your paintings displayed in one particular gallery?”
“I think so. That was one of the reasons I went to talk to Dr. Kennedy. I really wanted his input on ways to get my name out there to some of the local galleries. I was hoping he’d give me some insight into how to get started.”
Without commenting, Owen simply nodded.
“I don’t know about you,” she began, “but the thought of walking back to the pier is just a little exhausting. Would you mind if we grabbed a cab?”
“Not at all.” Walking to the curb, he quickly hailed one, and once they were inside, he instructed the driver where to take them.
“Thank you,” Brooke said, resting her head back on the seat. “I know I could have made the walk, but I’m just worn out.”
“It was a lot of walking,” he agreed. “I’ll have the driver drop you at your car and take me back to my hotel.”
“Oh.”
Turning his head toward her, he looked at her until she met his gaze. “What’s wrong?”
She shrugged. It was silly to be disappointed. Looking at the clock on the dashboard, she knew it was late—almost midnight—but she wasn’t ready for the night to end.
“I just thought I’d drive you back there, and maybe we could have a drink or something before we called it a night.”
He studied her for a moment, and she was afraid she had been too forward and he was going to turn her down.
“I’d like that,” he said, surprising her yet again.
“Good,” she said, smiling.
The ride to her car took only a few minutes, and Owen paid the driver and thanked him as they climbed out. Silently they walked to her car, and for the first time that night, she truly felt nervous. There wasn’t anything she could put her finger on, but for some reason Brooke knew it was a big deal that they were out together tonight and they were both unwilling to let the night come to an end.
Or perhaps she was seeing only what she wanted to see.
They stopped next to her car, and she turned to him. “I don’t think I know what hotel you’re staying at.”
“It would probably be easier for me to drive. That is…if you don’t mind.”
Brooke willingly handed him the keys, and they were on the move minutes later. Traffic was a little bit lighter than it had been earlier in the evening but still heavier than she would have expected for this time of night. Everything was lit up, and the sidewalks were still crowded, and she loved the energy of it all. They turned off the main road, and Owen pulled into an underground garage and parked.
“I was so busy people-watching I didn’t even notice where we are.” There was a possibility that was the wrong thing to admit to, but…
“That’s okay,” he said, taking the keys out and handing them to her. Neither made a move to get out of the car though.
She watched him for a moment—noticed how he was staring at the steering wheel and how he seemed to be thinking about something but she had no idea what. Turning in her seat, she faced him. “Owen—”
“I’d like to kiss you,” he blurted out.
Her eyes went wide, and her heart beat madly in her chest. “You…you would?”
Owen looked at her, his dark eyes so full of emotion. He shook his head. “I’m sure there was a more eloquent way to say that, but…I’m not very eloquent,” he added quietly.
Reaching out, Brooke took one of his hands in hers—relishing the warmth she found there—and marveled at how large it was. And there was strength there. He didn’t have the hands of a man who sat behind a desk pushing papers around, and the skin-on-skin contact was far more arousing than she thought possible. “You’re more eloquent than you think you are,” she said softly.
The look he gave her said he didn’t quite believe her. “I had a wonderful time with you tonight, Brooke, and I know we’re going to go inside and have a drink, and we’ll talk some more and…well…the longer we talk and the later it gets, it’s going to make me want to kiss you even more. It’s wrong for me to want to, but—”
“Why is it wrong?” she interrupted.
And there were those eyes that had her more than ready to crawl across the seat and into his lap. There was a vulnerability in his eyes that was almost her undoing.
“I hurt you. I know you didn’t say anything about it, but I know Howard probably talked to you and told you about Red Rock.” He looked away and shook his head. “It was wrong of me to do it like that. I should have talked to you myself. I’m sorry.”
“Owen, I’m not going to lie to you. I was hurt, and yes, I was pretty angry with you earlier. I know we haven’t known each other very long, but I thought we were at least becoming friends. I hated hearing about your decision from my uncle, but…I kind of understand why you did it that way. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision for you to make.”
“None of this is easy,” he murmured and then looked up at her again. “I’m not good at this sort of thing—playing it cool and pretending I’m not interested in you when in fact I am. So…I’d completely understand if you didn’t want to stay and have that drink or talk like we’d planned. You’re probably sitting there trying to figure out a nice way to tell me to get out of the car.”
Brooke was about to correct him, but Owen kept talking.
“I thought about hiring you, but I couldn’t. Not because I don’t want you on the trip, but because I knew I couldn’t handle working with you every day and having you close by while I’m attracted to you. And knowing you were only there because you wanted to paint and that you weren’t interested in me.”
Now she had to speak. Before he could get another word out, she squeezed his hand and got his attention. “But you’re wrong.”
He didn’t seem to understand what she was talking about.
“I do want to go on this trip to paint—I’m not going to deny that—but…Owen, I’m attracted to you too. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you, and the more time we spend together, the more I want to spend with you. I was afraid maybe you didn’t want me on the trip because I wasn’t smart enough or—”
She never got to finish.
Owen closed the distance between them and cupped her face in his hands as his lips claimed hers.






  
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40's to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.

When she's not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.


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