9/12/16

Book Tour: Mixing Temptation by Sara Jane Stone


A beautiful but broken woman must decide if true love is worth 
risking everything...including her freedom.


MIXING TEMPTATION
Second Shot #3
Sara Jane Stone
Releasing September 13th,2016
Avon Books


In the third installment in Sara Jane Stone's dazzling Second Shot series, a beautiful but broken woman must decide if true love is worth risking everything...including her freedom.

After a year spent living in hiding—with no end in sight—Caroline Andrews wants to reclaim her life. But the lingering trauma from her days serving with the marines leaves her afraid to trust the tempting logger who delivers friendship and the promise of something more.

Following an accident that nearly robbed him of his hopes for the future, Josh Summers believes life has given him a second chance. He wants to settle down with the woman who stole his attention and his heart. And he’s willing to wait until she’s ready to be more than “just friends.” When fear of discovery leaves Caroline pretending to be his date, Josh tempts her to try the real thing—a relationship built on trust, not lies.

But then the past threatens and Caroline must risk everything—including her freedom—to bury her demons before she can take a chance on happy-ever-after.

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“May I lick the whipped cream off your face?”
 
Josh lowered his fork to the pie dish and waited for the Big Buck’s dishwasher to catch up with the conversation. Pie—not flowers—had offered him the perfect way to transition from the guy who found her in the woods to her friend. And he couldn’t resist the temptation to switch from small talk to damn near close to begging for a kiss.
 
And a date, he thought. I’m going to ask her out today.
 
Caroline raised one perfect, dark eyebrow. One hand clasped a spoon and the other rested on the stainless steel work surface that on busy nights held stacks of dirty pint glasses waiting for her attention. Right now, it was just the two of them and the pie. The bar wouldn’t open to Forever’s local logging population and the university students who outnumbered the men and woman born and bred in this section of the Willamette Valley for another hour.
 
“No,” she said. Her tongue darted out from between her pink lips that always looked as if she was wearing a kiss-me-now lipstick. Or course, he knew the woman whose ideas of accessorizing involved a concealed weapon tucked into the waistband of her pants did not bother with makeup. She licked the whipped cream teasing the edge of her mouth. “I’ve got it under control.”
 
He nodded, refilled his fork and lifted another bite of key lime pie to his mouth. He always asked—for a touch, a taste, a kiss—but he never pushed. Caroline would shift the parameters of their dessert-based friendship in her own time. Or she wouldn’t and he’d be forced to come to terms with the fact that the future he daydreamed about—settling down with Caroline, buying his own home, maybe a dog—would replace sleeping with Megan Fox on the top of his Never Going to Happen list.
 
“You’re going to Noah’s wedding on Saturday night?” he asked, sliding back into friendly chitchat.  He’d waited a year to kiss Caroline the first time. And he’d sit tight for another if it meant more sugarcoated kisses. To hell with his siblings’ opinions.
 
“Just because I can take the dishwasher apart and fix it every time it tries to quit on us”—she nodded to the restaurant-grade appliance behind her—“doesn’t mean Noah wouldn’t fire me for missing his wedding. Plus, he’s closing the bar for the night. Everyone else is going.”
 
“Everyone else is in the wedding,” Josh pointed out. Big Buck’s owner and manager was marrying Forever’s former bad girl, who’d burst into his life over a year ago, demanded a job, and quickly worked her way up to assistant manager. And the only other bartender on the payroll right now was 
the groom’s best friend and the bride’s big brother.
 
“True. But I owe Noah. I can’t miss his wedding.”
 
Fair enough, he thought.
 
“A couple of months ago, you asked me out on a date,” Josh pointed out.
 
“I was feeling brave at the time.”
 
“Are you canceling?” he challenged. If she said yes, he’d kiss her again. Maybe not today, but one day soon. And he’d reminder her why she’d summoned the courage to ask in the first place. He’d caught her looking, her eyes roaming over his biceps with a flicker of something more than friendship in their green depths. And if given the chance, he would let her run her fingers over his T-shirt, mapping the muscles beneath . . .
 
“No, I’m not canceling,” she said thoughtfully. “I’m still working out the details.”
 
“Be my date to the wedding.”
 
Her eyes widened, staring back at him as if he’d dropped to one knee and suggested they follow her boss down the aisle.
 
“No,” she said firmly. “Josh, I . . . Just no.”
 
Caroline refused to look away. She’d spent months learning to read Josh’s facial expressions, forcing herself to look past the red-gold stubble that screamed ‘I’m too sexy for this bar.’
 
Or his shirt.
 
Or her . . .
 
Right now, the corners of his mouth threatened to fall into a frown. Disappointment. But he never let his smile falter for long. He always took a moment. Looked away and then returned his gaze to her as if she hadn’t turned him down twice in ten minutes.
 
But he knows I’m a long way from whipped cream kisses in the bar’s back room.
 
And dates.
 
Yes, she’d asked him out once. But then reality had come crashing down on her. Her life consisted of washing pint glasses and staying out of sight. She couldn’t hope for more—not even a single night out at one of the restaurants near the university—with a federal warrant hanging over her head.
Of course, the police weren’t actively looking for her. As far as she knew. But if the local cops, or even a state trooper passing through town, found out who she was . . . If they learned why she kept to the shadows, she would be under arrest and turned over to the military. She would have to pay the price for her unauthorized absence. For refusing to deploy alongside the men who’d turned a blind eye when their commanding officer ordered her into his bed. The men who’d laughed with Dustin when he’d said he would force open her mouth and make her take him between her lips . . .
 
And then there was the elephant in the bar’s back room that would also tag along on their date. She hadn’t had sex—oral or otherwise—because she wanted to since before she joined the marines. Josh had never treated her like a victim, but there was a first time for everything.
 
“I’m sorry,” she added. “But I can’t go to the wedding as your date. There will be too many people. 
 And everyone knows you. If they see me with you . . . they’ll ask questions. And I can’t give them answers. I need to stay in the background, hiding behind a plant or something. And then leave as soon as they cut the cake.”
 
“A wedding probably isn’t the best place for a first date.” He pointed his fork at her. “Maybe once I get my own place, you can help me christen the kitchen.”
 
She raised an eyebrow. “That assumes a lot for a first date.”
 
He laughed. And the familiar sound threatened to lead her into his version of the future. One where they would kiss in the kitchen and then—
 
“I was talking about baking a pie together,” he said. “I’d invite you over to the farmhouse, but I didn’t think you’d take kindly to receiving the third degree from my siblings and their significant others.”
 
“Probably not a good idea,” she murmured. She’d spent the past year trying to avoid his two older brothers and his sister. It wasn’t hard seeing as his family lived in Independence Falls, a solid hour’s drive from Big Buck’s Bar. Chad Summers, the middle brother, had tried to befriend her, stopping by the bar’s back room with his girlfriend, a drop-dead gorgeous woman who’d served in the army. But Caroline had shut down their attempts.
 
Josh Summers remained the one and only person she’d let in since she’d showed up on Noah’s doorstep. There was something about the way he accepted the word ‘no’ that broke down her defenses. He never tossed the word aside, questioning whether it was a knee-jerk response. He never pushed—not once—under the pretense that he knew what was best for her. Not since that first night when he’d found her in the woods. Even Noah, who’d had her back when they were deployed together, pushed. Her fellow soldier turned boss tried over and over to talk her into visiting the local gun club with him. She said no and he asked again and again.
 
But Josh always listened.
 
“Have you started looking for a new apartment?” she asked, steering the conversation away from dates that might lead to compromising situations.
 
“I’m looking, but not for an apartment. I’m still sitting on my split from when we sold the family trucking company. I want to use the cash to buy a piece of land. Someplace with a nice view of the mountains, maybe space to put those viticulture classes I’ve been taking to use and grow some grapes. Not a lot. I’ve learned enough to know that is one tough business. I’d rather keep my day job with Moore Timber and put my blood, sweat, and tears into building my own home.”
 
“You can do that?” The question slipped out before she could mask the surprise in her voice.
 
“I’ll need help, but I know what I want. Four bedrooms. Maybe five. Plenty of space to spread out. Timber frame. A second story that is open to a great room below. And one helluva kitchen with all the modern appliances. I’ll hire an architect, and a builder. But I can swing a hammer with the best of them.”
 
Four bedrooms. Plenty of space . . . 



After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and more! Visit www.sarajanestone.com and look for her newsletter entry form.



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9/7/16

Book Tour: The Sweetheart Deal by Allison Morse


Will she discover the truth about the past in time to enter into 
The Sweetheart Deal.


THE SWEETHEART DEAL
Allison Morse
Released June 5th, 2016
Wild Rose Press


Some people in her small rural community think Ellen Hamilton, the business savvy daughter of the town’s largest employer, is too big for her britches. After all it’s the 1950s and women should have no place in running corporations. But when the company is threatened with takeover by John Adair, the man who broke her heart and "betrayed" her family business years ago, she’s determined to stop at nothing to win. Yet, when the cool Ellen turns molten in John’s arms, will she discover the truth about the past in time to enter into The Sweetheart Deal.


Something inside her gave way and she flung her arms around his neck and gave him a hot, lingering kiss. He grabbed hold of her and pulled her onto his lap. The kiss grew deeper. Her mind was lost in the sensation of him, his taste, his feel and the tightness in her own body begged for more.

The appalling doorbell sounded and she leapt to her feet. “Oh, it’s Harold.”

She paced. What an idiot! What possessed her? She looked at John and groaned inside. It was a compulsion, that what he was, or maybe hypnotism. Whatever it was, thank goodness for clich├ęs, because she’d just been saved by the bell.

John stood, and as if he were a magnet she stopped pacing and halted right in front of him. He caressed her arms. “Ignore him.”

She threw off his hands. “No, no, no. No! He’s good, you’re bad. I’m ignoring you. Ignoring this.”

“Hey, I didn’t make that kiss happen. You did, and it was great.” His baritone voice was both soothing and sexy.

“Fine, I made it happened, and now I’m making it not happen.”

“Ellen.”

“I have a date.” She realized that she was reminding herself of that fact as much as him.
He stepped in closer. “Sure. Go ahead.”

“You’re smirking.” Still, she didn’t move. “You are such an egotist.” She wanted to move. She planned to move. She didn’t move. “I’m going out with Harold.”

The doorbell rang again.

John grinned. “So I see.”



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Allison Morse grew up in a family of actors in Los Angeles; before the age of five, she started acting classes, which she adored. She continued in the family business until her early twenties when her curious spirit led her to consider other interests.


After receiving a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, she went on to earn a M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a J.D. from U.C. Hastings College of the Law.

Although she loved learning from each of her varied careers she always knew that storytelling was as essential to her as breathing. So as she pursued her professional life, she kept to a strict writing schedule, and joined the Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

She lives with her wonderful husband in a house in the hills that’s filled with books.



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Cover Reveal: What's Left Of Me by Kimberly Lewis


WHAT'S LEFT OF ME
Kimberly Lewis
Releasing Oct 4th, 2016


Letting go of the past is never easy…

Jenna Olsen has spent the last four years trying to move on from the heartache that tore her world apart, but when Cole Sullivan suddenly shows up back in town all of those feelings come flooding back…and even some new ones she didn’t know were possible.

Leaving town all those years ago was necessary, but now that Cole finally has a handle on his life he decides to return home to his family, friends, and the woman he just can’t forget.

Coming back home though comes with its costs, and Cole ultimately has to decide…will he be able to fight his inner demons to keep Jenna in his life, or will the chance of hurting her again be too much to risk?



Bestselling author Kimberly Lewis writes sweet, sexy contemporary romances filled with heart and humor.

Born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, this country girl caught the creative bug at an early age, doing everything from drawing to writing short stories. After dabbling in many genres, Kimberly rediscovered her love of romance stories and soon after published her first novel.

Kimberly still lives on the good old Eastern Shore of Maryland with her wonderful husband, two beautiful children, and spirited Doberman Pinschers. Along with writing, Kimberly enjoys reading, horseback riding, and spending time with her amazing family.


9/2/16

Book Tour: Called Up (Calling It #2) by Jen Doyle


There are two things Max “Deke” Deacon can always count on: 
his old high school teammates and Fitz Hawkins.


CALLED UP
A Calling It Novel
Jen Doyle
Releasing Aug 29th, 2016
Carina Press


There are two things Max “Deke” Deacon can always count on: his old high school teammates and Fitz Hawkins. But no matter how much Deke might secretly fantasize otherwise, a relationship with one of his best friends is off limits. Until one unexpectedly smoldering encounter has Deke and Fitz looking at each other in a whole new way.

Angelica “Fitz” Hawkins knows for a fact that it is not better to have loved and lost. After losing her parents, she’d rather lock up her heart and throw away the key than endure that kind of pain again. If that means giving up any hope of a lasting relationship, then so be it.

With Deke, Fitz finally feels like she's back in the land of the living. But she won’t risk another broken heart—even if it means saying good-bye to Deke for good. It’s up to Deke to convince her that the safest place she could ever be is right here with him.



“Hey, Dorie,” she heard from above her. “Do you know where Fitz wants these bottles of water?”
 

Speak of the devil. Fitz brought her head up a little too suddenly, banging it on the underside of the table. “Ouch!” Her hand going to the back of her head, she came up frowning, and...
 

Oh, God, was he this gorgeous before? Had he always smelled amazing?
 

Doing everything she could to keep herself immune from his physical charms, she spun on her heel. “Back here.”
 

Very specifically not looking in Deke’s direction so that she didn’t give anything away, she forced herself to act exactly as she always did around him. Except she suddenly couldn’t quite remember how that was. Did she flirt with him? Did she flat-out ignore him? Did she generally just go around in a state of low-level irritation? Because right now she had absolutely no clue.
 

She had even less of a clue as she bent down to open up the lid to the cooler and he crouched down next to her, his head so close all he’d need to do was turn it slightly to the left and his mouth would be on her breast.
 

And was that…?
 

Oh, hell, no, her nipples had not just hardened. She slapped her arms over her chest.
 

Because they had. And Deke, with his superhero sex god extra sensory perception, had definitely noticed. He at least had the decency to look down at the ground as he grinned.
 

“It’s the cold,” Fitz snapped. “From the cooler.”
 

Pushing the bottles down into the ice, Deke just answered, “You’d be amazed at all the bits and pieces I can warm up with my tongue.”




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A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. Jen is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of the New England, New Jersey Romance Writers and Music City Romance Writer chapters of RWA. She is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the “some”).




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9/1/16

Book Tour: For Better Or Worse (Wedding Belles #2) by Lauren Layne


Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor 
stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells?


FOR BETTER OR WORSE
The Wedding Belles #2
Lauren Layne
Releasing Aug 30th, 2016
Pocket Books


Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.





 “So this is where the noise happens, huh?” she asked.

Josh’s eyes narrowed as his friend’s hand touched Heather’s back briefly. “Absolutely,” Trevor said.

“We’re sorry it keeps you up though.”

“Oh, it’s okay,” she said, waving her hand. “I mean . . . it’s not. But tonight I couldn’t sleep anyway, so you get a free pass. What do you all play?”

“Donny’s bass, Felix is on drums. Josh is lead guitar, and I, as the most important member, have the pipes.”

“Oh! I thought Josh was the singer,” Heather said with a quick glance over her shoulder at him.

Their eyes locked, and Josh felt a flicker of . . . something.

“Ah, is that what he’s telling the women these days,” Trevor joked.

“No, I just . . . I hear him, singing sometimes,” Heather muttered.

“Our boy can carry a tune well enough, but wait until you hear me, love,” Trevor said.

Josh turned away in mild disgust, pulling a beer out of the fridge as Trevor and the other guys coaxed Heather into the practice room, thrilled to have any sort of audience, even a reluctant one.

“Yo, Tanner,” Felix called.

“What,” he called, popping the lid off the bottle and tilting the beer back to his lips as he tried to shake off whatever was bringing down his mood tonight.

“Let’s show Heather here that we’re more than a bit of noise coming through her bedroom wall.”

Josh turned around to see Donny dragging one of his kitchen chairs across the room, disappearing into the practice room.

“All right, love, you just sit down and get comfortable,” Trevor said. “Tanner! Come on, man.”

 Josh heard the low strum of Donny’s guitar, heard Felix do a little warm-up rhythm, and knew there was no way of getting out of it. If he refused to play a song now, he’d look like an ass.

Still, his feet didn’t move, and he took another sip of beer.

Feeling eyes on him, he glanced up to see Heather in the doorway, leaning one shoulder against the doorjamb as she studied him.

“Okay, 4A?” she asked.

Her tone was lighthearted, almost slightly reluctant, as though she didn’t want to care about why he was out here alone, feeling oddly itchy with his life.

He appreciated it. He’d spent enough time in the past few years dealing with people who walked on eggshells around him, cooing sweetness. Some of it genuine, some of it not so much.

Heather’s no-nonsense question was refreshing—and exactly what he needed.

He was happy and healthy and living the dream, damn it.

Even if he was no longer sure it was his dream.

“You going soft on me?” he asked, taking one last sip of his beer before setting it aside and strolling toward her.

Heather’s eyes narrowed. “Hardly. I just wanted you to get your shit together so I can see your cute lead singer work his magic.”

He deliberately stepped into the doorway so she couldn’t move in either direction without brushing against him, grinning at her discomfort.

“You’re in a better mood tonight,” he said, his eyes skimming over her crazy curls and relaxed expression. “Why?”

“Believe it or not, I’m not a shrew.”

“Huh.”

Heather shoved his shoulder with a little scowl. “I’m not!”

“Does that mean you’re going to start making banana bread like Mrs. Calvin?”

“Yes, definitely. And coffee cake and sugar cookies and whatever other goodies you might like. All while wearing a frilly, feminine apron.”

“Dare I hope there’s nothing under the apron?” he asked, leaning in slightly.

“Right again!” she said, in mock delight. “I just love to bake naked.”

Josh’s pulse leapt, but Trevor interrupted before the sudden X-rated picture in his mind could turn into a full-fledged fantasy.

“Dude, we doing this or what?”

Josh looked at Heather.

“One song,” she said, holding up a finger. “I may as well see what the music sounds like on this side of the wall.”



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Don't Miss Any of the Wedding Belles Novels



Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!




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