New Release Spotlight! CITY BOY–HOT OFF THE ICE #1 by A.E. Wasp


City Boy – Hot Off The Ice 1

By A.E. Wasp


BLURB

Follow the money or follow your heart?

All Bryce Lowery knows how to do is play hockey. He’s been playing professionally since he was fifteen. Twenty years later, he’s rich, famous, tired, and alone. And possibly gay according to his ex-wife.

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a motorcycle-riding white knight named Dakota, Bryce discovers he is most definitely gay. When his white knight turns out to be the manager of the apple orchard he inherited from some distant relative, he discovers that everything he thought he knew about himself was wrong.

Now Bryce has a tough choice to make, follow the money to a new multimillion dollar contract, or follow his heart into the unknown?

All Dakota Ryan knows how to do is grow apples. Now at twenty-four, he faces losing both his home and his livelihood in one cruel twist of fate.

Then Bryce Lowery crashes into his life like the answer to all Dakota’s prayers. Not only does the gorgeous, older professional athlete have the money to save the orchard, but he’s whispering promises to make all of Dakota’s wildest dreams come true. But Dakota knows better than to give his heart to someone who could leave, and if life has taught him anything, it’s that everyone leaves.

Dakota has a choice, sit back and wait for Bryce to decide his fate, or for the first time in his life, chose what he wants his future to be?

City Boy is a first time gay, fish out of water, May/December love story with a HEA.

Buy on Amazon!
Snippet #1

Dakota sighed, head dropping down onto Bryce’s chest. “So, how was it for you?” He tilted his head up so he could see Bryce’s face. From this angle, his beard looked fluffy, and Dakota had the urge to scratch him under his chin like a big cat.

He could see Bryce searching for the right words, so he didn’t push. The silence stretched comfortably. Seemed like neither of them was in a hurry to leave this unexpected sanctuary and get back to the real world.

“Well, it’s funny,” Bryce said, running his fingers through Dakota’s hair and cupping the back of Dakota’s head in the palm of his hand. “I’ve never liked this after part before with women. I did it because it’s the right thing to do, but I would always make an excuse to get up as soon as possible. But I really want to keep touching you.”

“And that’s good?” Dakota asked.

Bryce smiled down at him, laugh lines crinkling at the edge of his dark brown eyes. “I always wanted it to feel like this.”

Dakota’s heart thudded in his chest. The way Bryce had Dakota tucked up against him felt really good. Scarily good. A part of Dakota’s mind beat its terrified wings against his skull, telling him to get up and leave now. How did this happen? Dakota had a hard time letting his friends get close to him. He certainly didn’t cuddle with strangers.

Dakota had worried that Bryce would somehow imprint on him. Now Dakota wasn’t sure he wanted to let the man go. Not only was Bryce smoking hot, but he was also sweet, considerate, and kind. And, Dakota suspected, had the potential to be fantastic in bed.



SNIPPET #2

What did Dakota see in Bryce’s eyes? His brows lowered as he seemed to be searching for something. Bryce tried to open up and let his emotions show in his eyes, hoping that one of the was what Dakota needed.

Who had he become in these too-short weeks?

This moment seemed separate from any that come before in Bryce’s life. His universe had narrowed to a rundown VW bus at the backend of an orchard in the shadow of the Rocky Mountain where he sat poised on the edge of understanding something he had no name for.

The energy between them built, the lights and the heady smell of the incense swirling around the air. A slight buzz from the brownie made every movement syrupy-slow and fanned Bryce’s desire.

Somewhere inside Bryce, a damn broke. Everything he had ever wanted to feel, everything he had held back or assumed he lacked, crashed over him, and, with a small ooh he closed his eyes, breaking the connection.

Dakota surged forward, pulling Bryce’s shirt off as he lowered him gently to the mattress. Somehow despite being unwilling to stop kissing each other, they managed to get undressed.



SNIPPET #3

“I’ve never seen the ocean.” Dakota said his voice flat. “I’ve never been anywhere.”

Bryce scratched his fingers through Dakota curls, pulling them and letting them bounce back. “I’ve been to so many amazing places.”

“Yeah. I know.” Dakota yanked his head away with frown.

Bryce didn’t let him go, pulling him back against his side. “No, let me finish. All these places were amazing, but I was always kind of sad. I’ve never been with somebody I—someone who is special to me.”

“What about with Nikki?”

“Except for our honeymoon, I never went anyplace romantic alone with Nikki,” he confessed. “Even the honeymoon was awkward.”

Dakota turned on his side and slid his leg over Bryce’s leg. “How? Were you a virgin?” Dakota asked lightly.

Bryce brushed off the joking tone in his voice and answered seriously. “No. Worse. All the things that were supposed to be romantic? I just wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t feel lost in her eyes in the candlelight or anything. I didn’t want to spend hours in bed.”

He ran his hand up and down Dakota’s arm, enjoying the soft tickle of his hair and the firmness of the muscle. “I convinced myself that nobody felt that way; that everyone was faking it because that’s how we were told it’s supposed to feel when you’re in love.”

“And now?” Dakota tensed in his arms.

Bryce pushed up and rolled until he hovered over Dakota, looking him right in his eyes. Dakota was going to listen to him whether he wanted to or not.

“Now, I want to take you down to Mexico, get a cabana on a private beach, one with a giant bed and an outdoor shower. The I’d drag you inside and not come out for two weeks. I want people to bring us coconuts and fresh fish and tequila and leave it at our door.”

Dakota stared back at him, hands on Bryce’s hips. His fingers adding more bruises to the marks he’d already left on Bryce’s skin. “You could do that, couldn’t you?”

“In a heartbeat.” And he wanted to, so badly. Badly enough to give up hockey? If he only had himself to worry about? In a heartbeat.

Author Bio:

After time spent raising children, earning several college degrees, and traveling the world with the U.S. State Department, she is returning to her first love – writing.
A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world that can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.
Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in Colorado in a town suspiciously like the ones in her books.

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Teaser Reveal! TALK BRITISH TO ME by Robin Bielman

Talk British to Me, an all-new sexy STANDALONE romance from Robin Bielman is coming June 19th!

As the Dating Guy on L.A.’s top morning show, I give the single guy’s perspective on dating, love, and sex—and I give great advice. Everyone’s hooking up…well, except for me. Sure, I can get any woman I want, but I’ve got a “no relationship” clause in my contract and the only woman I want has “relationship” written all over her. Probably stamped on her ass, too. And wouldn’t I like to confirm that.

Unfortunately, she wants nothing to do with me. At all. Something about the next Ice Age might have even come up in her rebuttal. Adorable. Because she’s determined to ignore what one simple kiss proved: she wants me as badly as I want her.

Everything in me is screaming to go after her, but I’ve got a secret that I’m fairly certain will end up with her roasting my nuts over an open fire. So, job on the line? Check. Nuts on the line? Check. Can’t get her out of my head? Nail…meet coffin. But what a way to go…

Preorder Today!

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New Release and Giveaway! DRAW PLAY by Tia Lewis

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Draw Play
by Tia Lewis
A Sports Romance
Publication Date: September 5, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance

 

Jake lives and breathes football. When he’s not demonstrating his skills on the field, he’s busy putting the moves on every hot girl on campus. The last thing he needs is a tutor cramping his style but curvy Claire gets under his skin in more ways than one.

Claire can’t stand football players, and Jake is just as cocky and arrogant as the worst of them. He’s also impossibly sexy. Despite their frequent arguments, she starts to see another side to him and finds him increasingly hard to resist.

When they finally surrender, the heat they generate could melt the North Pole but is Jake really willing to sacrifice his image for Claire? Or will she be left on the sidelines with a broken heart?

Draw Play is a very steamy standalone, full-length football sports romance novel. It’s only recommended for audiences 18+. No cheating. No cliffhangers. Guaranteed HEA.

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Read for FREE in KindleUnlimited: Amazon

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About Tia Lewis:
Tia Lewis is a romance author from the Midwest who writes about smart, sexy, sassy women and hot, possessive alpha males. Her favorite bad boys to write about include sports players, mafia, bikers, billionaires and the bad-ass next door. You can find her cooking, reading, or traveling when she’s not busy working on her next release.

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text LEWIS to 31996 or go to: www.NextBookRelease.com

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Pre-Release Blitz! Day 6 of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER by Stephaie Dray and Laura Kamoie

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About AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER:

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.

It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.

Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

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About Stephanie Dray: DrayAuthorPhoto

STEPHANIE DRAY is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter | AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Website

 

 

Laura KamoieAbout Laura Kamoie:

LAURA KAMOIE has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye. Her debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter | AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Website

 

 

Pre-Release Teaser! ALL I NEED IS YOU by Wendy S. Marcus

Today we are revealing some teasers from ALL I NEED IS YOU by Wendy S. Marcus. This book will be released on Tuesday, October 6th. Check out the blurb, graphics, and excerpt for the title below.


AINIYou_7days

BOOK BLURB:

Perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins and Robyn Carr, this sexy yet sweet military romance reunites a headstrong dancer and a rugged army soldier after one steamy encounter tears them apart.

As a dancer who creates mesmerizing visions onstage, Neve James is looking for the same kind of stability in her love life. Her pen pal, Rory McRoy, is on leave from deployment in Afghanistan, so she heads to Boston to surprise him. After corresponding for months as part of a “Support Our Troops” initiative—and exchanging dozens of “Read When You’re Alone” letters—Neve knows what Rory likes, and she intends to fulfill his every fantasy. But all they get are a few blissful moments together before they’re interrupted by a woman claiming to be Rory’s fiancée.

Rory has fallen hard for Neve’s letters. When he finally meets her in person, he has to have her, right then and there—until Neve takes off in a fit of anger. Forced to return to Afghanistan before he can fix things between them, Rory waits four agonizing months to prove that he’s not the man Neve thinks he is. But by the time he arrives in New York, she’s already made up her mind. Luckily, Rory never backs down from a challenge, and he’s prepared to put everything on the line for love.

 

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EXCERPT:

November 16, 2011

Dear SPC McRoy,

My name is Neve (rhymes with leave) Jaimes. My best friend Brooke tells me that due to a mix-up in the soldier bios approved for NYS Governor Howard’s Support Our Troops Initiative, you’re in the market for a pen pal. As luck would have it, with cold winter weather fast approaching here in New York, I’m in the market for some indoor activities to fill my time. Sitting by a warm fire, writing letters, works for me. I doubt I can be as entertaining as a class full of hyped-up-on-sugar third-graders, but I’ll do my best.

Soooo . . . what are you looking for in a pen pal? I’ve never done this sort of thing before, and I’d hate to screw it up. You want someone to keep you up to date on news and happenings back in the U.S.? Sports scores and highlights? Of course I’ll send out some care packages. Anything specific you want/need? I make a pretty good peanut brittle, if I do say so myself. Can I send packages with food to a U.S. Army base in Afghanistan? While I’m waiting to hear back from you, I’ll look that up.

I’m an up-for-anything kind of girl. So if you’re missing female companionship and think some sexy letters mighthelp you to, uh, “pass the time,” I’ve got a pretty active imagination, and I’m happy to put it to work for you. Do you find the idea of a stranger offering to send you sexy letters shocking? Good, I’d rather be shocking than boring. Am I coming on too strong? I can tone it down . . . if you insist. But where’s the fun in that?

Ummm, probably now, before I fire off some letters meant to arouse, is a good time to confirm there’s no girlfriend/fiancée/special someone waiting for you somewhere. Only because if my guy were serving overseas and some random woman started sending him lust-filled letters, that’d definitely piss me off. Although my guy wouldn’t need another woman’s letters because I’d be sending him all he could possibly want. But you get my point . . . right?

And you’re not one of those amoral dog types who would cheat on his girl by engaging in any type of sexual interaction with another woman, are you, Rory? I’ve had too many dealings with that sort of guy, a particularly unpleasant experience very recently as a matter of fact. It ended with the rat bastard needing four stitches. (An unfortunate accident. Really.)

I just reread that last part and I sound like a nut job. I’m not. More like I’ve exceeded my limit of male bullshit for the year. So I’m taking a break from dating, which gives me lots of time to spend on you! If you want me to spend time on you, that is.

Let me tell you some stuff about me to help you decide. I’m a twenty-four-year-old, happily single gymnastics instructor who lives in Westchester County, New York. But my real passion is adagio, a combination of intimate dance moves that includes acrobatics and acro-balance. My partner and I perform across the Northeast, but if the money’s good we’ll travel anywhere.

When I’m not working or performing I’m usually at the gym. In the warmer weather I like to run outside, almost always with my overprotective older (by six months—it’s a long story) brother, who’s a cop, by the way.

My favorite food: Grilled chicken with avocado spread on whole grain bread. Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Water. Favorite alcoholic drink: Margaritas. Love them! Favorite color: A deep rich purple. Favorite edible treat: Dark chocolate covered almonds. Favorite part of the male anatomy: A full set of lips. *wink*

I’m enclosing a picture of what men seem to find their favorite part of my anatomy, something for you to visualize if/when I should come to mind. If you want to write back, Brooke set up a PO box. The address is on the envelope. If something has changed, and you’ve found another pen pal or no longer want one (or don’t want me in particular), no biggie.

Either way, take care, stay safe, and be well,

NeveAIWIYou_Teaser1

November 26, 2011

Dear Neve,

First off, please call me Rory (rhymes with story. Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Or Mic. We’re big on nicknames over here and that’s mine.

Thank you for your letter. I got it yesterday, which was the day after Thanksgiving. They try to do it up big here, to make the day special, but it’s not the same as being at home. And I was in a funk, thinking about my family and friends, all together at our pub, everyone there but me, stuffing themselves on Mom’s delicious turkey, Aunt Jackie’s honeyed ham, cousin Barbara’s mashed potatoes, and our neighbor Abigail’s macaroni and cheese, which is the best I’ve ever tasted. Damn it, now I’ve got my mouth watering again.

Anyhow, your letter came at the right time to cheer me up and give me something else to think about. Like the picture you sent. Hot damn. That had to be the finest female butt I’ve ever seen in a skimpy purple bikini bottom . . . or any bikini bottom for that matter. In fact it’s so perfect the guys are convinced you’re trying to catfish me—you know, sub someone else’s pic for your own. How about we prove them wrong? Send me another picture, a full body shot this time. In that same bikini would be my preference.

To answer your question, I don’t know anyone who would call me amoral. But a dog? There, uh, may be one or two girls from my past who think so. But I’m a guy, and any guy who tells you he’s never in his life exhibited some doggish behavior is a liar. One thing I am not is a liar. That said, when I’m in a relationship, I don’t cheat. Lucky for me, I’ve got no girlfriend or special someone at the moment. And being of high moral character—if I do say so myself—I would certainly have told you—without you having to ask—if I did.

So if you’re up for writing me some sexy letters (and hell yeah, the hotter the better!) I’m more than okay with reading them. For sure I like the entertainment you’re offering a helluva lot more than any entertainment I could have gotten from a classroom of third-graders.

Now, about me. My bio probably told you I’m a twenty-three-year-old Southie from Beantown. (Translation: From South Boston.) My family owns and runs an Irish pub there, McRoy’s. My mom, dad, and three brothers all live above it. I’m the oldest. Been working at that bar for as long as I can remember. Couldn’t wait to get the hell out. As soon as I graduated high school I went straight into the army.
I’m six weeks into a twelve-month combat deployment, and I can tell I’ll be seeing a lot more fighting this time around. I’ve already decided this tour of duty will be my last. I only hope I survive it.

On a happier note . . . what I’m looking for in a pen pal? Someone to take my mind off all the shit happening here—and so far you’re doing a bang-up job. Tell me about your day. Share the story of why you and your brother are only six months apart. Tell me about your childhood, your teen years, and your dreams for the future. Tell me about the loser who needed stitches. Talk dirty to me. I think we’re pretty evenly matched in the pen pal department. I just happen to be an up-for-anything kind of guy. I don’t shock easily. So give me all you got. I can handle it. Care packages? I’m happy to get whatever you want to send.

Favorite food: My dad’s corned beef and cabbage. Favorite non-alcoholic beverage: Lemon-lime sports drinks. Favorite alcoholic beverage: Guinness Draught. Favorite color: At this point anything that isn’t tan or green. New favorite treat: Peanut brittle. Favorite part of the female anatomy: (I’m laughing because you have no idea how long I’ve been sitting here trying to decide.) A butt that looks like the one in the picture you sent is certainly high on my list. Especially if it tops off a nice set of toned legs, which I bet you have since you’re a gymnast/dancer. But for some reason I am really attracted to a woman’s feet. Not in a toe-sucking, fetish kind of way. But if a woman takes care of her feet, she probably takes good care of the rest of her. I like small, feminine feet with painted toenails. Part of the reason I love summer so much is for the opportunity to see women’s feet in pretty sandals.

Okay. I sound like a creeper. But I’m not. Really.

In my downtime I like to work with my hands, building things or repairing stuff. I run when the mood hits, which it doesn’t often. But I think chasing after you might be fun. See, something nice to think about for a change.

Well, I gotta go. Time for lunch, then some training stuff. Send out your letters as often as you like. Please don’t wait to hear back from me. Sometimes things get crazy, but I’ll do my best to stay in touch. It’ll help if you’d include your e-mail address in your next letter.

Rory

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PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | B&N | Kobo

 

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Click here to add ALL I NEED IS YOU To Goodreads.

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

WendySMarcus

 

Wendy S. Marcus is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. A nurse by trade, Wendy holds a Master of Science in Health Care Administration, a degree that does her absolutely no good as she now spends her days, nights, and weekends mucking around in her characters’ lives creating conflict, emotion, and of course, a happily ever after. Wendy lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her dog Buddy, and blogging/e-mailing/tweeting/facebooking with her online friends.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

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New Release Teaser and Giveaway! BAREFOOT IN PEARLS by Roxanne St. Claire (Barefoot Brides #3)

The third book in the Barefoot Brides trilogy is due out on January 30!

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Book: Barefoot in Pearls
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
Release Date: January 30, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance

About the book:

As her two best friends settle into their happily ever afters, destination wedding designer Arielle Chandler is beginning to wonder if the promise of “The One” – one true love, meant only for her – is merely folklore passed down from her Native American grandmother. But when a mysterious man nearly mows her down on a hill overlooking Barefoot Bay, the legend of destined love suddenly feels very real. That is, until Ari learns of Luke McBain’s plans to demolish a piece of land she believes is sacred.

Luke isn’t proud of the fact that he spent ten years as a mercenary warrior, fighting battles for another country. With those dark days behind him, he’s focused on creating a new life instead of destroying others, so he’s moved to Barefoot Bay to launch a contracting business and build a house for an old friend. But when an enigmatic dark-eyed beauty steals his attention and stops his progress with her announcement that he is about to flatten a native burial ground, Luke has a new battle to fight.

While their immediate and potent attraction grows complicated, Luke and Ari discover the hills of Barefoot Bay could be hiding something far different – and even more valuable – than ancient art or graves. They are determined to discover the truth, but that will come at a cost. Will they risk their chance at once-in-a-lifetime love to uncover secrets that could change the landscape of Barefoot Bay forever?

Excerpt:

He wasn’t handsome, not in any conventional way. Just rough and dark with heavy whiskers over a jaw that looked like it might have met a few fists in its day. His nose was a little off center and maybe broken once or twice. His chest and shoulders dwarfed her, with no tattoos, no chest hair, just tanned, sweaty skin covering rolling, ripped muscles.

“Really sorry,” he said again. But he didn’t sound sorry, or look it, either. He scanned her face and made no effort to unlock his grip on her wrist.

She should yank free. She should step away. She should stop staring.  She should…breathe.

But right that minute, bathed in sunlight and pinned by a green-gold gaze the color of oxidized copper, Ari Chandler couldn’t do any of those things. Because her whole body was kind of tingling and buzzing and sparking, like she’d just stuck her entire arm in an electrical socket.

“You sure you’re okay?” he asked. “’Cause you look like I rung your bell.”

He rang something. There was no other explanation for how lightheaded she suddenly felt.

“I…I’m…I think…” Words failed her. No chance of a coherent sentence.

His brows pulled into a frown as he gently turned her arm and placed a thumb over her pulse, which hit warp speed.

“Whoa. Your heart’s racing more than mine.” He started to lower her back to the ground. “Sit down. I have some water in my truck. Let me get it.”

“No, no, I’m fine.” But Ari let him guide her down, sitting as he crouched in front of her. “Who runs with their eyes closed?”

“I was trained that way.”

“For what? Suicide missions?”

“Something like that.” His voice, low and charged with mystery, sent another cascade of chills down her spine, a shocking feeling that had no place dancing over her in this heat and humidity.

“Really, what are you doing here?” she asked. “Not very many people on Mimosa Key even know how about this place.” Only dirt roads led to this acreage, which was marked at the perimeter as “Private Property.”

He glanced around. “I’m checking it out.”

“With your eyes closed?”

He almost smiled, just enough to show a hint of dimples and straight white teeth. Just enough to take the edge off his face and turn it into something arresting. She needed to look away, but all she could do was blink at the white lights flashing behind her eyes.

Had she hit her head or…or…oh, no. No.

“No,” she murmured. “No, this isn’t…you can’t be…no.” This wasn’t possible.

“No…what?” he asked, leaning in to get closer to her. “I can’t check the place out? I have the owner’s permission. Do you?”

But it was possible. He could be…  No, that was her imagination, not the universe answering her plea. Right? “No,” she managed to say.

For one long, suspended second, the world around her crystallized, making her hyperaware of every color, scent, and sound. Everything was magnified. Like the slow roll of a bead of sweat trickling over a scar on his temple. And the flecks of color that somehow mixed to make his eyes a haunting blend of emerald and topaz. Even the timbre of his voice, baritone and sweet, and the rhythmic sound of his breaths as the run caught up with him. He smelled like sunshine and the sea, and his hand, still wrapped around her wrist, was like a hot brand of man against her skin.

Everything about him was…right.

“Miss?”

She tried to nod at him, letting the very real possibility of what was happening sink in.

“Hey.” He snapped his fingers in front of her face, making her jump. “Do you know your name?” he asked sharply.

“Arielle Chandler.”

“Place of birth?”

“Sacramento, California.”

“Husband’s name?”

“I don’t have one.”

His eyes flickered. “Phone number?”

She paused, but not because she couldn’t remember it. But because his smile went from almost to full force, and the impact actually hurt.

She could practically hear Grandma Good Bear on her deathbed describing exactly these feelings.

“No way!” She shook her head, still not believing it.

“Hey, it was worth a try.” Still smiling, he leaned back on his haunches.  “Since you’re coherent enough to turn me down, I guess you’re okay, Arielle Chandler. In fact, you’re…” He let his gaze drop over her.  “You’re fine.”

And every cell in her body just went numb.

BarefootInPearls

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About the author:RoxanneStClaire

Roxanne St. Claire is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than thirty novels of romance and suspense. She is the author of the Barefoot Bay contemporary series as well as two very popular suspense series, the Bullet Catchers and the Guardian Angelinos.

A six-time nominee and one-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award for the best in romantic fiction, Roxanne’s books have also been awarded the National Readers Choice Award for best romantic suspense three times, as well as the Daphne du Maurier award, the Booksellers Best Award, the Award of Excellence, the Maggie, the Holt Medallion and many more. Roxanne’s books have been published in dozens of countries and are routinely featured as selections in the Doubleday and Rhapsody book clubs.

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