Chapter Reveal

When You Were Mine

Jordan Marie

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Synopsis

I loved a boy.

Gavin Lodge.

He was sweet, gentle, kind and he made me feel alive.

Letting him go was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life.

A hundred times I wished I had done things differently.

A thousand times I wished I had gone with him.

A million times I wished he had chosen me.

I didn’t. Neither did he.

Now he’s back.

No longer a boy, but a man.

I can’t love him.

It almost destroyed me once and I won’t let that happen again.

That should be the end of it.

And maybe it would have been…

If someone wasn’t trying to kill me…

Chapter 1 for Reveal

Gavin

I can see her standing there. I’m maybe ten yards in front of her, but it might as well be a million miles.

Luna Marshall.

The woman that has haunted me for years. The woman I left behind to start over. I’m sure she hated me back then. Hell, even now, thirteen years later, she probably still hates me. I can’t blame her. I hate myself for leaving her.  

I don’t want to, but I take a step toward her.

And then another.

It actually becomes automatic, my body moving without me telling it to. Of course, whenever I got near Luna, gravity seemed to pull me to her. That apparently hasn’t changed through the years.

She’s maybe ten feet in front of me now, and I can see her so clearly that it’s a little painful.

Luna hasn’t changed much over the years. Her body has filled out more, matured, rounded from girl to woman. Her golden blonde hair is shorter, falling just to her shoulders. Some things always remain the same though. Even over the crowd, I can hear her voice. It’s as soft and sweet as I’ve always remembered.

“Gavin Lodge! Is that you?”

I see the exact moment that Luna hears my name. She looks up and it’s all written there on her face.

Shock.

Fear.

Anger.

Hurt.

Thirteen years and still every bit of that is written on her face. Thirteen years is not enough to make her forget.

To make either one of us forget.

“That’s me, Wally. How in the hell are you?” I ask, pulling my gaze from Luna to look at the man I once considered my best friend.

“Doing good,” he says, stepping back and his arm loosely goes around Luna. Her body language reads stiff, but after a moment she relaxes.  “Just had my second child,” he says.

That feels like a fucking sucker punch. Wally and Luna?  I never saw that coming. I would have never guessed it and it feels bitter in my gut.

“Luna, how are you?” I ask.

I’ve been alternately dreading this moment and looking forward to it. I’ve definitely been dreaming about it, but those dreams have turned into nightmares on more than one occasion.

“Gavin. We heard you were coming back into town.”

“Yeah. I go where the case takes me,” I tell her and it’s not a lie, I do. I just never planned on it bringing me full circle—never planned on it bringing me to Luna’s doorstep.

“It’s still hard to believe you’re an FBI man,” Wally laughs.

“Been one for a lot of years,” I tell him.  “I hate like hell that I have to be in Stone Lake for work, though.”

That’s the truth.

The God’s honest truth.  

“I heard that. I hope you manage to get them, before they strike again.”

I say nothing. There’s not much to say to that. Everyone knows why I’m here. This serial killer has garnered national attention for months. He’s created havoc in three states and we still haven’t caught him. I never dreamed he’d end up in Stone Lake, but then I’ve never had the best of luck.

“You’re looking good, Luna,” I tell her. It’s a stupid thing to say, but I can’t not say it.

Her body jolts. I see it before she takes a second to lock it down.

“I’ll see you around, Wally,” she says not bothering to reply to me. “Tell Meghan to call me.”

“Will do, honey. See you tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow,” she says. Then, she surprises me by turning around to look at me. “Goodbye, Gavin.”

She walks away like that, with her head held high and I let her go, because I fucking lost the right to ask her to stay thirteen years ago… when I was the one to walk away.

“You two aren’t married?” I ask Wally, because that’s the one thing my brain latches onto during their exchange.

“What? Oh hell. Not at all. Luna would get a kick out of you saying that though. Her and my Meghan are close though.”

“Meghan?”

“My wife, you probably don’t remember her. She went to school with us, but didn’t hang around with the same crowd. Her and Luna have grown close, especially since our kids are in school together.”

The hits just keep coming. This one harder, more intense, and the burn nearly cripples me.

Luna has a child.

I knew it would be a possibility, but I didn’t want it. Years of experience keeps my voice steady and my face void of any reaction.

“Luna has a kid now. Hard to believe,” I rub my face, wishing I didn’t know. That will be another small piece of knowledge that will haunt me long after I leave Stone Lake in the dust.

“Yeah, Josh is a good kid, too. Luna and Attie did good.”

“Attie?” I ask, the name squeezing something inside of me that I thought was frozen a long time ago.

“Yeah. Fuck.  You don’t know, do you?”

“Know what?”

“Attie… Shit, man.”

My brother. Atticus. Luna and my brother. I thought the other blows were bad, but this one is harder than all of those combined and they don’t hit me…

They rip through me.

“I didn’t know,” I tell Wally and I don’t think I keep emotion out of my voice this time. I can’t.

“Her and Atticus were living together when he died. I can’t believe you didn’t know,” Wally says, not realizing he just lodged the punch that has enough power to bring me to my knees.

“You remember my brother and I didn’t get along. I didn’t bother to stay in touch with him once I left,” I tell him, leaving it at that.

“That’s tough, man. I guess I just assumed that changed with age. Though, I knew you didn’t come to Atticus’s funeral, but we all heard how you were in the hospital. They said you almost died.”

“Over exaggeration,” I answer, completely lying. I touch the scar on my side—the one that almost killed me. The one that I was glad was there, if only because it gave me an excuse to stay away from Stone Lake back then. It’s also the one delivered by the very serial killer I’m here to catch. Life, it seems, is big on irony.

“I better get, Wally. I need to report to the local police department in the morning and introduce myself. Then, I need to start hunting this asshole and see where the clues take me.”

“Yeah. Uh… Gavin, there’s something you might should know, man.”

“What’s that?”

“Luna Marshall is the Mayor of Stone Lake,” he says.  

The hits just keep coming…

I should have known. I read briefly through the file and there were press clippings released by the local mayor. For some reason, Mayor Marshall and Luna Marshall didn’t click together.

This is not good news. I don’t deal well with bureaucracy and I knew just reading through the file I’d be expected to work with the Mayor closely.

My plan had been to avoid Luna while I was here.

So much for planning….

Cover Reveal/Pre-Order

🔥🎸RORY: Brothers Ink Tattoo (Book Four)🎸🔥

Rocker/Contemporary Romance

By Nicole James

Release Date: June 20, 2019

🌀🎸🌀🎸🌀🎸🌀🎸🌀🎸🌀🎸🌀

🌟COVER REVEAL & PRE-ORDER🌟

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2WrEkTI

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07SL2BLJC

AMAZON CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07SL2BLJC

AMAZON AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07SL2BLJC

$2.99 Pre-Order Price ONLY!!

$2.99 Pre-Order Price ONLY!!

SYNOPSIS:

It was just supposed to be a one-night stand—

Until he stole her life story and put it in a song.

Now he’s rock’s hottest new artist—

And she’s just found out she’s having his baby.

Rory is a pierced and inked tattoo artist by day at Brothers Ink, but by night he’s lead guitarist for the heavy metal rock band, Convicted Chrome.

He’s headed East on his Harley to catch up with the tour.

Beautiful Rayne is headed West on her motorcycle with her girl squad…the Moto Babes. When rain forces them all to take refuge in the same motel, sparks fly. A night of drinking and karaoke leads to a connection deeper than either of them expects.

She opens up about her most intimate and tragic experiences.

He lies about who he really is, never telling her he’s in a band that’s the opening act for rocker Charlotte Justice.

The night they share is magical, but they’re headed in two different directions like two ships passing in the night. Or in this case, two Harleys passing in the night.

What do you do when someone writes a song about your most private feelings and experiences and you hear it on the radio for the first time?

What do you do when that song is climbing the charts, and the man who stole your life story is suddenly rock’s hottest new artist?

What do you do when you find out you’re having his baby?

Rory—

After a long songwriting drought, he’s met a woman who sparked something in him and got his creative juices flowing. He’s written one of his best songs ever.

When a friend in the business gives him the break of a lifetime he’s suddenly topping the charts. But Rory’s not ready for the instant stratosphere of success he’s catapulted into. Caught up in a whirlwind career that offers temptations and sin at every turn, is Rory losing the biggest part of himself?

Is he destined to crash and burn ending in drug rehab, a sex-capade tabloid story or another painful period of writer’s block that leaves him with nothing worth recording for a second album?

To fix his career and more importantly himself, he’ll have to go back and fix the damage he’s done and apologize to the people he’s wronged in the past. And one person in particular tops that list.

🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀

Check out the other books in this smokin’ hot series!

Liam ~ Book Three https://amzn.to/2tPRt8l

Maxwell ~ Book Two https://amzn.to/2SjszZy

Jameson ~ Book One https://amzn.to/2SeSIsu

Book Tour

Title: Davan Part 1
Series: A Barber Shop Ink Novel
Author: Penny Blush
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 3, 2019

 

Amazon Review – “TOTALLY BOOK OF THE YEAR

 

Books and Wine – “Davan equals Hot!!
Amazon Review – “Emotional read with some twist

 

 

 

 

I met the woman of my dreams at my sister’s wedding. 
 
I was standing on the edge of the dance floor talking with my cousin when she walked right up and asked me to dance. A woman has never approached me like that before, bold and full of confidence. I’m a big guy and in my military dress uniform I can appear to be quite intimidating. 
 
My size didn’t faze her though, she walked right up grabbed my hand and dragged me out onto the dance floor. 
 
I met the woman of my dreams at my sister’s wedding.
 
Too bad I am already married.
 

 

 

 

My name is Penny Blush, I love all things book and book related. I’m hoping that the people who make the James Bond movies will call me to ask to use my name as the next Bond Girl *Fingers Crossed*
 
When I’m not hoping for the Bond people to contact me, I can usually be found with my nose in a book. Getting lost in a story or thinking about stories I would like to write.
 
I’m Australian, I love to sing, and Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I believe in magic, fairies, the power of the universe and that everything happens for a reason.
 
Basically, I’m a crazy person, and I’m ok with that, at least my life is not boring!

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New Release/Excerpt

 

 

 

 

 

The Fallen: Genesis is a prequel novella in The Deadly Virtues Series and MUST be read before RAPHAEL (DV: book one).

*****

THE FALLEN: GENESIS

(A Deadly Virtues Prequel)

IN THE BEGINNING…

They told them they were evil.

They told them they were possessed by demons.

They told them that darkness ran in their veins.

Holy Innocents Home for Children is a haven for orphaned boys who have nothing and no one. The priests watch over them, educate them, raise them in the family of the church.

Except for some.

Seven of the orphans are no ordinary boys. They attract the attention of the priests for their acts of violence, of bloodlust. The priests realize these boys are drawn to the darkness.

And the priests are no ordinary priests. They are the Brethren, a secret sect who believe themselves on a divine mission to seek out evil in the boys in their care. Seek it out, and then drive it out.

The seven have fallen from God’s grace. And the Brethren will cleanse their blackened souls…

Dark Contemporary Romance novella. Contains sexual situations, violence, sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and topics some may find triggering. Recommended for age 18 years and up.

 

 

Joseph watched helplessly as James moved from his place against the far wall toward a boy on a chair on the opposite side of the room. A boy who had slim knives embedded in his arms and legs—a human pin cushion.

Joseph shivered as he recalled his brother’s expression a moment ago as he’d sat and stared at the knives he had sliced into the boy’s flesh. James, the sadistic voyeur of his own work. Joseph’s nervous eyes landed on his brother’s target. The boy was bound with ropes, and a washcloth was stuffed into his mouth,silencing his cries.

Luke.

Fear flooded Joseph’s body. Luke, the boy who had been intent on bullying James since the age of eight. The boy who would spit at James’s feet when they walked by. The boy who call him weird, a goth, a psychopath who rarely spoke. His taunts were endless. Joseph didn’t think the verbal bullets had ever hit their target . . . until he’d found a pad of paper hidden underneath James’s bed. A pad of paper showing in graphic detail what James wanted to do to Luke.

Tie him up.

Cut his flesh.

Exsanguinate his body.

Then drink the blood down.

“They’re just fantasy, right?” Joseph asked James when he returned from detention. Joseph held up the drawings. Page after page of pain and despair and cruelty.

James walked slowly to Joseph and ran his hand down the open page of the pad, delicately running his fingertip over the pencil image of Luke’s slit throat. “It’s a promise,” James said, with no shame in his voice. “Each page is what will happen to Luke.” James finally met his older brother’s eyes. “I’m just waiting for the perfect time.”

From that day on Joseph made sure Luke never got too close to James, for fear of what his younger brother would do. Because Joseph believed every word his brother had said.

The truth was, Joseph knew that someday, if he wasn’t stopped, James would do something so terrible he wouldn’t be able to come back from it.

And Joseph had no idea how to cure James. He didn’t know how to heal his little brother of the wretchedness that had lodged itself into his soul. He prayed for a miracle he knew would never come.

Joseph’s heart pounded as James held up another knife. His brother’s torso was bare, the scars from his frequent self-mutilation clear to see, white roads of flesh mapping the veins that ran under his skin. Veins that carried the blood James so desperately craved; nightly, once safe in their room, he would slice them open and lick the falling drops as they ran in crimson rivulets down his arms.

Joseph thrashed on the bed, fighting the binds James must have placed him in while he slept. “James, listen to me,” Joseph said as he helplessly watched his brother slowly push his blade into Luke’s shoulder. Luke’s chair almost fell as he screamed into the washcloth, the fabric absorbing his cry. But James didn’t even flinch. Joseph’s stomach clenched when the blood started to pour from Luke’s shoulder as James carefully extracted the blade.

Eleven. That’s all James was. Eleven years old, yet thought only of blood . . . worse, even . . . thought only about the consumption of blood.

 

 

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

Author Links

 

 

 

Cover Reveal/Giveaway/Pre-Order

Title: Key to Hell
Series: Hell Night Series #4
Author: Alex Grayson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 27, 2019
Death. Destruction. Pain. A soulless void. It’s his life. It’s his reality.
Emo doesn’t feel. Anything. His soul is dark and filled with hatred. People in the small town of Malus watch him with fear, with reverence. Exactly the way he prefers it.
Guilt surrounds him, caging him in an ominous past he refuses to let go. Can’t let go. His past is responsible for the shell of the man who now exists. He doesn’t know any other way to survive.
The woman who haunts his dreams is his only salvation. He’s hurt her over and over again. He didn’t have a choice.
The key he holds on to, the one he uses to carve into his flesh, is the key to his hell. It’s his reminder of the pain he’s suffered and inflicted.
Will there be retribution? Can Emo be saved? Or is he destined to live in this dark hell he’s surrounded himself in for the rest of his life?
AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME ON IBOOKS, B&N, AND KOBO
Sign up today – http://bit.ly/KtHReadBla
For a chance to win one of FIVE signed copies of Key to Hell sign up for the reader blast.
 
    

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New Release

Title: Just The Way You Are 
Series: Dunlin Shores Series #1
Author: Ann Roth
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 8, 2019

 

How can she resist?
After a painful breakup and the loss of her job, Cinnamon Smith feels battered and bruised. The only place to go is her best friend Fran’s bed-and-breakfast in the small coastal town of Dunlin Shores, Oregon. The first person she meets on her arrival is Nick Mahoney, Fran’s handyman. Cinnamon’s attraction to Nick is immediate, and the feeling is definitely mutual.
But Cinnamon has spent years working toward a certain kind of life, a life she can’t have with Nick. Spending time in Dunlin Shores and with him is beginning to change all that. Then she gets a job offer that will put her career goals back on track… Which means choosing between the life she’s always wanted and the love that’s right in front of her.

 

 

Chapter One

 

The beam of Cinnamon Smith’s headlights cut through the darkness and the misty rain, illuminating a painted sign. Oceanside Bed and Breakfast, it proclaimed in cheerfully scripted letters.
After five years of listening to Fran rave about the bed and breakfast she’d inherited, Cinnamon was finally here. Sighing with relief—she’d been on the road a good four hours since flying into Portland from L.A.—she drove her rented compact up the gravel driveway.
For the past four months she’d lived in a state of perpetual tension and misery. The last two weeks had been especially bad, and she could hardly wait to relax and unwind. As she neared the building floodlights blinked on, bathing the shingled house in bright light. She braked to a stop in the large guest parking area beside the garage. Aside from a battered red pickup, hers was the only vehicle.
Small wonder. Late January wasn’t exactly tourist season on the Oregon coast. The truck, she assumed, belonged to the man who Fran told her did odd jobs around the place. Why was he here after dark?
As the inn’s only guest, Cinnamon looked forward to cozy evenings with her best friend and much-needed heart-to-hearts. Fran was solid and down-to-earth, and Cinnamon needed her calming influence. All two weeks of it. Actually, thirteen days, but close enough.
Cold mist bathed her face as she exited the car and stretched for the first time in hours. Slinging the strap of her purse over her shoulder, she squinted past the bright circle of light for a glimpse of the ocean. It was too dark to see anything, but she smelled the sea’s salty tang and heard the gentle slap of the waves. She could hardly wait to walk the beach.
She was counting on the change of scenery to help her put the past behind her. Maybe then she’d be able to move on. She also needed to find a new job. Since resigning as a consultant at Sabin and Howe three days ago, which beat getting fired, she’d been at loose ends, aimless and scared.
Two months’ salary in savings wouldn’t last long. As she opened the rear door of the compact, the familiar panicky feeling—racing heart and nausea—threatened to overwhelm her.
She made herself take a deep breath. Much better. There were plenty of companies in the world as good or better than Sabin and Howe. Hadn’t she recently sent out emails to friends and colleagues in big consulting firms all over the country? Surely one of them knew of a job opening.
The thought filled her with hope, so much so that her stomach growled from hunger, a welcome change from weeks of no appetite. She retrieved her laptop and toiletries case, then swung those straps onto the other shoulder. Only the jumbo-size suitcase remained. She opened the trunk, grabbed the handle and tugged. Filled with a parka, clothing, shoes, and a pile of paperbacks she meant to read, it weighed a good forty pounds. No problem, she was strong. Still, she grunted with effort.
“I’ll get that.”
The large male at her side startled her. She hadn’t heard him approach.
Gently nudging her over, he reached for the suitcase, his big, warm hand closing over her cold fist. Taken aback and not about to relinquish her bag, she tightened her grip and shot him the intimidating look that’d helped hone her the reputation as shrewd and not easily pushed around.
“Who are you?” In the chill dampness, her breath clouded.
He released his hand and stepped aside. “My name’s Nick Mahoney. I work for Fran. I was on my way to the truck to head home, and figured you could use a hand.”
Thanks to the floodlights she noted his striking blue eyes. His straight nose and generous mouth also ranked at the top of the handsome scale.
“Fran talks about you all the time. Sorry I was rude.”
His gaze flickered over her, calf-length leather coat and all. Though still half bent over the suitcase, she sucked in her stomach.
The corner of his mouth lifted, charming her.
“Apology accepted.”
“I… I’m Cinnamon Smith,” she managed, suddenly wishing she’d combed her hair and freshened her makeup. She thought about shaking his hand, but decided against it and kept her fingers wrapped firmly around the handle of her suitcase.
“I know who you are. Fran’s been talking about your visit since last Friday.”
“Really. What did she tell you?” Cinnamon trusted her friend not to reveal the details of her messy life, but she was curious.
“That you two met in college and shared an apartment after, and that you haven’t seen each other since she moved here and you became a hotshot executive. She’s real excited about this visit.” He flirted with a grin as if he also looked forward to her being here.
Holy moly, the man had a dimple in his cheek. Fran had never mentioned his looks. Was she blind?
“Are you going to let go of that bag, or would you rather carry it yourself?”
Her face felt hot and she knew she was blushing. “You go ahead.” She released the handle and straightened. “Thanks.”
“My pleasure,” he drawled.
Fran hadn’t mentioned he was a flirt either. Cinnamon was less than skilled at the art, and anyway, she was through with men. For a while, at least. When she did decide to date again, she intended to find an upwardly mobile, career-focused, marriage-minded male. This time, single. Not a handyman, no matter how attractive he was.
He extracted the heavy suitcase as if it were as light as a sea breeze, and nodded toward the bed and breakfast. “The front door’s on the ocean side of the house.”
He strode forward. Cinnamon trailed him around the building. Seemingly heedless of the winter chill, he wore no coat over his long-sleeved T-shirt and jeans. He was a big man with big limbs. Not heavy, but muscled and solid.
“You must be freezing,” she said. “Where’s your coat?”
“Left it in the truck.”
Despite being in excellent physical condition—she jogged three days a week—Cinnamon was slightly breathless, and not from the climb. She snickered at that.
She was here to pull herself together, and look for work with a new employer in a big city. She didn’t need or want the distraction of any man.
Her gaze dropped to his rear end and powerful legs. My, oh, my…
Stop that. Any woman with eyes would lust after the gorgeous male leading the way.
Although it felt like ages since she’d noticed. She hadn’t had sex, let along looked at a man, since Dwight had dropped her cold four months earlier. This after repeatedly assuring her that his divorce was imminent and he wanted to marry her. Instead, he’d stunned her with the news that he and his wife had reconciled.
The lying rat. His change of heart had pretty much ruined her reputation at Sabin and Howe. Determined to weather the scandal, she’d powered on. But her client load shrank and she understood that if she didn’t resign she’d be terminated.
And there she was, all tense again. Another deep breath helped. That was in the past now. Starting this very minute, she would forge ahead toward a new and better life.
With her chin raised, she followed Nick up the steps.
*
Cinnamon liked the tiny white lights along the hand railing leading to the Oceanside’s front door. “This is charming.”
“Wait till morning when you see the ocean view from the deck off the dining room,” Nick replied with a nod toward the darkness beyond.
The front door was painted a warm purple. The whimsical pelican-shaped metal knocker and the decorative heart wreath woven of sticks were so like Fran that Cinnamon smiled.
Nick wiped his feet on the thick mat, also purple, and opened the door. “Cinnamon’s here,” he called out, gesturing her inside.
The aromas of roast beef and baking bread filled the air, making her mouth water. Fran strode into the room, her thick braid swishing over her shoulder just as it had five years ago. Shoeless, she wore a bright yellow I Heart Dunlin Shores, Oregon bib apron over a sweater and jeans. Her socks matched the apron. The love of bright colors hadn’t changed either.
Even without shoes she stood a few inches taller than Cinnamon, who was exactly five-six—five-eight in the heeled boots she was wearing.
“Hey, you.” Wearing the grin Cinnamon knew and loved, her eyes sparkling, Fran opened her arms.
It seemed ages since anyone had welcomed, let alone hugged, Cinnamon. Her eyes filled and she returned the embrace with equal warmth.
No tears, she sternly ordered herself. Crying was for pity parties, and hers was over. “It’s so good to see you,” she said, the words muffled in the hug. “Thanks for inviting me. I know you must be busy getting ready for Valentine Weekend—you’re having a full house, right?—and the tourist season after that.”
Fran pulled back to study her. “I am busy, but we’ll have our evenings together. Don’t worry, you’ll find plenty to do during the day. I’m so glad you’re here. Facetiming several days a week isn’t enough.” She sobered. “How’re you doing?”
Cinnamon had plenty to discuss with her friend, but not in front of Nick. He had to have heard the concern in Fran’s voice and noticed her troubled expression. “I’m managing,” she said.
Her friend nodded. “Thanks for bringing that bag in, Nick. You two introduced yourselves, I assume?”
“We sure did.” His voice was teasing and ripe with innuendo.
He showered Cinnamon with a long, slow look that made her forget her troubles. Her gaze flitted from his mesmerizing eyes to his chin, where a long, pale scar ran along his jaw, only noticeable in the bright light of the entry. Somehow it added to his attractiveness. Not that she was attracted. She was merely observing.
Ha.
She untied the belt of her raincoat and shrugged out of it. Or started to.
Nick set her suitcase down and helped, the perfect gentleman now—as if he sensed his effect on her.
For the second time she felt herself blush. He handed her the coat, his grin blooming again and the dimple winking. So full of himself. Not that different from Dwight.
She narrowed her eyes at him, but he’d already turned away to get her a hanger.
“I’ll take your bags to the room and then I’m off,” he announced, grabbing the suitcase, laptop, and toiletries case. He glanced at Fran. “The Orca Suite?”
“Right.”
“That’s on the third floor,” Cinnamon recalled. A veteran planner, before arriving she’d studied the layout of the Oceanside posted on the website. “The Oceanside’s only suite. According to the description, luxurious.”
“You’d better believe it,” Nick commented. “Private bath with a whirlpool tub big enough for two, a sitting room, fireplace, and a balcony overlooking the ocean. Takes up the whole floor. You’ll like it.” Whistling softly he headed up the carpeted staircase.
When he was out of sight, Fran leaned toward her. “Isn’t he adorable?” she whispered.
“I was thinking more along the lines of hot and sexy. You never mentioned his looks.”
“Oops. My bad.”
“Well, he’s not my type. Right now, no man is.” Bruised feelings, dangerously close to the surface, threatened to spill out in a hot rush of tears. Not now, not now.
Cinnamon glanced around the brightly lit foyer and beyond to the blazing fire in the other room. “So that’s the wonderful great room you rent out for weddings and parties. As I recall from the website, ‘The main level’s open floor plan allows guests easy access between the great room, dining room, and kitchen.’ I can’t wait to see everything.”
Amusement twinkled in Fran’s eyes. “You memorized that?”
“No, I pored over the website. That’s known as attention to detail.”
“Attention to detail.” Her friend laughed. “That’s so like you. And the reason you’re such a good consultant.”
“Used to be a good consultant, you mean.”
The humor faded from Fran’s expression. “You’re still the best. We all make mistakes.” There was no judgment or condemnation in the words or in her expression, only compassion and love. “Ease up on yourself.”
Fresh tears filled Cinnamon’s eyes. Jeez, she was sensitive tonight. She blinked furiously. “Can we please talk about something else?”
“Of course. How about a quick tour after Nick leaves?”
They both heard the thud of his footsteps on the carpeted stairs and his tuneless whistle.
“Speak of the devil,” Fran quipped.
His lips quirking, Nick glanced from one woman to the other. “Are you two talking about me?”
By his confident stance and heavy-lidded eyes, he assumed he was the topic of conversation. “You wish,” Cinnamon said.
“Ouch.” Laying his hand over his heart he gave her a mock-wounded frown that lightened her mood a fraction.
“I’m sure you’ll live.”
“Thanks for taking the bags up, and thanks for your hard work today, Nick,” Fran said. “See you tomorrow?”
“You bet.” He saluted, his fingers flirting with his overlong hair. “As soon as I drop Abby at school.”
He had a daughter. Probably a wife too, though Fran hadn’t mentioned that. Yet here he was, flirting with her. Men! She gave him a dirty look, but he was focused on Fran.
“I have a dentist appointment first thing in the morning, and a long town council meeting after that, so I may not be around,” Fran said. “Cinnamon will let you in.”
“I’ll look forward to that. You two have fun tonight. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, but if you do,” he aimed yet another suggestive look at Cinnamon, “think of me.”
Cocky, trite, and married. Cinnamon could hardly stand him, yet at the same time the attention felt really good. How pathetic was that?
In a blink his expression turned solemn and wary, as if he understood she was an emotional wreck. She never had been good at hiding her feelings.
“What’d I do?” he asked, his contrite tone totally devoid of flirtation.
“It’s not you,” she said in a voice clogged with emotion.
His kind, sympathetic expression snapped her shaky control. She burst into tears.

 

 

COMING SOON
Wedding Bell Blues – May 15, 2019
Falling For Mr. Wrong – May 22, 2019
A Special Kind of Love – May 29, 2019

 

 

 

Award-winning author Ann Roth writes small town contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She has published over 35 novels, as well as several short stories and novellas, both through New York publishers and independently.
A true believer in love and happy endings, Ann enjoys watching her characters learn and grow as they face challenges and hurdles, and ultimately find love.
Ann has lived in the greater Seattle area since she headed for the University of Washington and fell in love with Seattle… and her future husband.

 

 

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Pre-Order Blitz

6FA37E65-F374-4507-94F9-022C7E45DA50
Title: Take Me Hard
Series: Arizona Heat Book 3
Author: Katie Douglas
Genre: Erotic/Western Romance
Release Date: May 10, 2019
 

“Naughty takes a few unpredictable turns when emotions come out to play. Douglas spices up romance in the most sinful way.”  – Goodreads reviewer

 

 


“𝐈 𝐰𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐲 𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐬. 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐚 𝐝𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐥-𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐲 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐲.”
 
When I met Clay Dale, he just made me so mad. Telling me what to do. Making me stay at his place just because he accidentally hit me with his truck. Who does that?
 
His dominance does strange things to my body, and when he brings out the rope… all I want him to do is take me, hard. But I can’t betray my dreams of making it in Hollywood. I’m so torn, I’m almost at breaking point, and not just because I got pounded by his enormous… truck.
 
𝘛𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘔𝘦 𝘏𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘳𝘥 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘈𝘳𝘪𝘻𝘰𝘯𝘢 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘸𝘣𝘰𝘺𝘴, 𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘮, 𝘢 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘢 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘯𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘺 𝘴𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘢 𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶.
 
USA Today and worldwide number 1 bestselling author Katie Douglas is the sort of incorrigible British girl you’d find at St Trinian’s. She recently quit her job as a school librarian in China to write steamy romance full-time, and loves reading and writing books filled with steamy alphas with hearts of gold. She prefers cozy diners to fancy restaurants, coffee or whisky to champagne, and sometimes she adults.
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