Sunday, December 10, 2017

DELTA: REDEMPTION ~ CRISTIN HARBER --> ON SALE TODAY

New York Times bestselling author Cristin Harber's DELTA: REDEMPTION is the kindle daily deal - it's on sale for .99c today only! Get your hands on Victoria and Ryder's story now - you don't want to miss this one!

 


ABOUT DELTA: REDEMPTION

"My name's Victoria--No last name. Don't ask."

That was all that the woman would share when Delta team's expert trigger man, an Australian named Ryder, pulled her from the pits of a human trafficking nightmare and took the gun from her hand.

He didn't mean to steal her revenge but survival was the priority. Now that Victoria's home? She had a past he was trying to understand while keeping a secret from her that might tear her apart.

But he's not the only one. When she goes missing, Delta team discovers that Victoria No Name was a one-woman vigilante force, taking on whoever crossed her path, from gun runners to a drug pushing motorcycle club.

She was exactly who Ryder thought she might be, and now he was coming in to help--whether she wanted backup or not.


Get your hands on DELTA: REDEMPTION for .99c now!


 

 

READ AN EXCERPT FROM DELTA: REDEMPTION

The tears came. She couldn’t stop them, and she hated the path they burned down her cheeks, hated that Ryder was witness to her unraveling, just like he’d been in Russia.

He rested his hand on her back, not speaking, and he didn’t move to shush her. His palm simply rested there.

“Ryder.” She fell against him, and he wrapped his arm around her.

“Easy, love,” he whispered. “Take a breath.”

“I can’t.”

His chin touched the top of her head, and the arms that she knew could hug her like all hell did the job, wrapping her away from the world until the tears stopped.

“Feel better?”

Nodding, Victoria drew in a deep breath, wiping under her eyes. “Could you hand me a tissue?”

He was already halfway off the bed as if reading her mind and handed her the box. Again, Victoria wiped her face. With another fresh tissue to cover her eyes, she could barely look at him.

“This can’t be what you signed up for,” Victoria mumbled. “Sorry.”

“Stop apologizing.”

She balled the tissue up and hazarded a glance in his direction. “Why did you come here?”

“I was worried about you.” Ryder tilted his head back to the bed. “Can I sit again?”

Victoria’s eyes squeezed shut, but she nodded.

“I don’t have to. Never mind.”

She blinked and refocused on him. “What?”

“I didn’t mean to invade your space.”

Her head dropped. Ruined. He saw nothing but a ruined woman who was so fragile he misread what she meant with a simple look. “I didn’t—I wasn’t… I made a face. Or I didn’t mean to make a face.” She cringed. Such a mess! She couldn’t even get her words right. “I sound like an idiot!”

“You don’t.”

“I do. I’m not someone people worry about. Ever. I worry about people. That’s what I do. Did! I took care of people, and now look at me. I’m broken.” A sob caught in her throat. “I thought I was strong, and now, I’m this.”

He came to her bedside, swooping next to her. “Victoria.”

“Something happened to me. Over there.” She sucked a breath as she collapsed against the pillows. “And I can’t.”

He put a careful hand on her forearm. “Listen to me.” He ducked down close. “I don’t know what’s the right or wrong thing to say now, so I’m just going to say this.”

He came closer so their eyes met. His head was almost level with hers on another pillow, but he held her gaze and didn’t let go.

“Please don’t tell me to get up,” she whispered. “To get back to my life.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” Ryder shifted so his weight was semi-on the bed, but he didn’t break their stare. “We brought everyone home, and every girl said you were their savior, that you put yourself in front of guards for them, that you made sure they had food. If nightmares struck, you coaxed them back to sleep. You were their guardian angel in hell.”

Her eyes burned again with tears, but she wouldn’t look away from his emerald ones.

“Whoever you are, love, wherever you’re from, you take as long as you need to get back the strength it took to become you, and I will stay by your side to help you if that’s what it takes.”

“Why?” Her voice broke along with a stray tear.

“Because I admire warriors.”


 

About Cristin Harber

Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Team Titan Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

NOAH ~ CRISTEN HARBER --> BLOG TOUR & EXCERPT

Noah - 1450


About NOAH

Navy SEAL Noah Coleman knows how to do two things well: underwater demolition and hand-to-hand combat. So renewing his enlistment is a no-brainer until he receives a message about his cousin’s aggressive terminal cancer. A quick trip home confirms the worst, which means his niece Bella will become his responsibility.

Elementary school guidance counselor Teagan Shaw has known Bella since her son announced the two were best friends. The shy little girl is also on Teagan’s radar because of Bella’s early signs of gifted aptitude. But Teagan is more concerned about the military man thrust into the role of single parent.

While Noah adjusts to civilian life and Eagle’s Ridge, he and Teagan begin forging a friendship. But Teagan has a secret, a shadowy figure from her past who is intent on returning to torment her.

Fall in love with seven sexy and irresistible soldiers who find their courage and heart tested like never before in the battle for love! This multi-author collaborative series of contemporary romance novels is brought to you by bestselling authors Barbara Freethy, Roxanne St. Claire, Christie Ridgway, Lynn Raye Harris, Julia London, Cristin Harber and Samantha Chase. You won’t want to miss a single one!

EXCERPT:

He stepped around the breakfast bar, and her pulse quickened. It wasn’t as if they hadn’t been alone, and of course, she’d had any number of sex-related conversations with parents. Even attractive dads, but at the time it never occurred to her that they were good-looking. Sometimes it was just a fact. A person was attractive, and she went about her business.

This was… chemistry. They had it. Noah walked closer, and his skin prickled with nerves and excitement. Their tension stacked, compounding with the hours they had known each other and with every inch they drew closer.

Teagan’s insides fluttered. The dizzy race of blood at the base of her neck made her breath stutter, then he stopped. Too close to be near her and too damn far away.

Noah leaned his elbow on the counter. “I don’t buy that for a second, Ms. Shaw.”

Okay. Okay. That was flirting. Noah was flirting with her? But nothing about the gravity of the situation drawing them together seemed strained by her ridiculous bachelor-SEAL-on-the prowl assumptions.

Heat curled up her neck, and she didn’t know what to say or think anymore.

“You don’t trust me.” He angled closer, but it was the devastating smile that closed the distance, almost curling around her.

Teagan licked her lips, concentrating on the even keel of her tone. “I didn’t say that.”

“You didn’t have to.”

She snorted at the smug confidence. That much she could do without worry. Teasing him was easy. “Did the SEALs give you the power to read minds?”



Get your hands on NOAH now:

✦Amazon http://smarturl.it/NoahAmzF
✦iBooks
http://smarturl.it/NoahiBooks
✦Barnes & Noble
http://smarturl.it/NoahBN
✦Kobo
http://smarturl.it/NoahKobo
✦Google Play
http://smarturl.it/7BridesGP


 

About Cristin Harber

Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Team Titan Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

ONLY FOR YOU ~ MELISSA FOSTER --> BLOG TOUR & EXCERPT


Today we have the release week blitz for Only For You by Melissa Foster! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!
Title: Only For You
Author: Melissa Foster
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About Only For You:

Single mom Bridgette Dalton doesn’t have time to stop and smell the roses—not even in her own flower shop. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t noticed Bodhi Booker. Her ruggedly handsome next-door neighbor would be the perfect candidate for a no-strings fling. Having loved and lost, Bridgette’s not ready to hand over her heart…but she could use a distraction.

Bodhi has one rule: never leave anyone behind. As a special operative, he knows that each new mission is more dangerous than the last. He’s never made a promise of forever to a woman, not even to the beautiful widow who has him tied in knots. And if there were anyone who could tempt him into putting down roots, it would be Bridgette and her adorable son.

But as his next deployment nears, they make a startling discovery. Their passion, meant only for the here and now, might already be blossoming into something more…

EXCERPT:

He jogged down the sidewalk toward the lake. Having grown up in the city, waking to glorious views of the mountains and Sugar Lake was a welcome change. He turned onto Main Street, running parallel to the lake and fairgrounds. A banner announcing the upcoming Peach Festival was strung over the road. The bakery came into view, and he wondered if Bridgette was working. Shirtless and sweaty was probably not their preferred state of dress, so he peered through the window.
“Checking out my sister?”

Bodhi snapped to attention at the sound of Bridgette’s voice, and holy hell was she beautiful in an off-the-shoulder white blouse and jeans that fit like a second skin. She was holding a potted plant and looking at him like he was a Peeping Tom, which bugged the hell out of him.

“I wasn’t checking out your . . . Wait. Your sister? You both work at the bakery?”
Her lips curved up in a smirky smile. “Let’s circle back to you peering through the window at Willow. I’m pretty sure your overnight guest wouldn’t like knowing her man was checking out the hot blonde in the bakery.”
“Christ,” he uttered and wiped the sweat from his brow. Maybe it was safer if she thought he was a pig who had slept with Shira and then checked out her sister. But she was pushing all his buttons, and he couldn’t resist pushing hers right back. He closed the distance between them, taking immense pleasure in the morphing of her smirk into a much hungrier expression.
She tightened her grip on the planter, her eyes drifting down his bare torso.
Oh yeah, this was torture all right.

She squared her shoulders, and her gaze darted up to his, as if she’d caught herself staring.
“Let’s start over.” The dead-calm tone he used when commanding his team came out of habit. “Hello, Bridgette. Do you and . . . Willow . . . both work at the bakery?”

“Hello, Bodhi,” she said with an impressive amount of snark. She lifted her chin, glowering at him. “Willow owns the bakery, and I own the flower shop. But you’re out of luck. She’s engaged.”
He clenched his jaw, lifted the planter from her hands, and set it on the ground, allowing him to step closer and invade her personal space. This pretty little filly was going to learn not to doubt his word. “I said I wasn’t checking her out, and I only say what I mean.”

“Then that makes two of us,” she said sharply.
He felt a smile tugging at his lips. “Is that so?”
She crossed her arms, tipping her chin higher. She was a sexy little thing, a solid nine or ten inches shorter than he was, with confidence he admired. Confidence that turned him on. He had the urge to lift her up until they were eye to eye and take the kiss he’d been dreaming about. And then some . . .
“Always,” she said without as much as a single blink.
“I’ll remember that next time I’m in my towel and you ask if I want to eat—”
“Oh God! No!” She whipped her head from side to side, as if she were afraid someone might have heard him.

He chuckled and leaned in closer, inhaling the enticing scent of sinfully sexy Bridgette caught off guard, and said, “Now I know where to find you.”



***

ONLY FOR YOU is being published by Montlake (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE ereader app to read it here, or order the paperback.

Get Your Copy Today!
About Melissa Foster:
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance and women's fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Readers adore Melissa's fun, flirty, and sinfully sexy, award-winning big family romance collection, LOVE IN BLOOM featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, Seaside Summer, Harborside Nights, and the Wild Boys After Dark. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented.Melissa also writes sweet and clean romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website.

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

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LOCKED DOWN HEART ~ TARINA DEATON --> EXCERPT

 
Locked-Down Heart:

Denise Reynolds’s tightly controlled life is thrown off kilter when she’s given custody of her young cousins. There are days she has a hard enough time getting herself out of bed, never mind two precocious kids.

If that wasn’t enough, Chris Nolton comes strolling back into town as suddenly as he left it. She’d broken her own rules and given him a chance once before, only to have him ghost on her. But he’s not there for her this time. No, he’s leading the FBI Task Force intent on capturing the kids’ biological father. A man who was sent to prison for manslaughter. A man who was released five years too early. A man who wants his kids back.

The past has a way of repeating itself and once again, Denise finds herself defending the innocent against the evil of world. One wrong decision, one second guess, could have devastating consequences. To protect the most important people in her life, she’ll need to trust the one man with the power to break her.

EXCERPT:

Chris reclined the driver’s seat back a few more inches. He’d been sitting in his truck for almost three hours. Bree’s car had been in the drive when he arrived, so he’d parked a few houses down to avoid her spotting his truck. Denise had walked her to the door thirty minutes ago and a few lights had gone off.

Glancing down at this phone, he dimmed the brightness and opened his ebook app. Rereading Pet Sematary would keep him awake, even if it made him damn glad he didn’t own a cat.

The phone rang, Denise’s name appearing on the screen. “Hey.”

“Hey.” She didn’t say anything else.

“Everything okay?” He looked up the street toward her house.

“I’m not sure.”

He sat up straight and scanned around the house for anything unusual. “What do you mean?”

“I think I should call the cops.”

He couldn’t see anything from where he was parked. Was something going on at the back of the house? He thumbed the control to raise the back of his seat. “What’s going on?”

“I think there’s a creeper parked down the street.”

He paused with his hand on the ignition button. “A what?”

“You know…a creeper. Stalker. Weirdo.”

He relaxed back into his seat. “Why does it have to be a weirdo?” Guaranteed she’d spotted him and was fucking with him.

“Well, he keeps shifting around in his seat like he’s rubbing one out.”

“I’m—” A knock on the passenger side window interrupted him. Sighing, he ended the call and unlocked the doors.
Denise climbed inside and pulled the door shut. “Whatcha doin’?”

“Not rubbing one out.”

“So I can see.” She glanced down at his lap.




Grab Your Copy Today!
Catch up on the Series!
Stitched Up Heart: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon UK | iBooks
Rescued Heart: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon UK | iBooks
Half-Broke Heart: Amazon



About the Author:

Tarina has spent her entire life in and around the military - first as a dependent and then as an enlisted Air Force member.

In 2015, a friend challenged her to complete NaNoWriMo. She dusted off one of the many stories she'd started over the years, threw it in the trash, and started all over.

Her debut novel, Stitched Up Heart, released in September 2016. The military gives her plenty of material to work with and she strives to create characters who authentically represent all facets of the military life - the good and the not so great.

Tarina is still active duty and a single mom of five-year-old twins. Her favorite hobby is sleep. She has delusions of retiring from the military and being a stay-at-home mom.

Connect with Tarina
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Saturday, December 9, 2017

AFTER THE FALL ~ KATY AMES --> EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY


Today we have the blog tour for AFTER THE FALL by Katy Ames! Check it out and grab your copy today!
 
Title: After the Fall
Author: Katy Ames
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 
About After the Fall:
If there was one man in the world Grace Fitzgerald never wanted to see again, it was Mark Donovan.
Sinfully handsome and notoriously cocky, as a guest at her luxury hotel, Mark was impossible. As the new owner, he’s become a nightmare. The kind that wakes Grace in the middle of the night wishing she could forget how right his lips felt against her own, or how tempting his fingers were on her skin.
But despite all the challenges Mark and Grace face working together, it’s impossible to ignore the attraction that flares every time they fight for control. Or the secrets that refuse to stay hidden in the luxury of the Seven Winds Resort.
They’re engaged in a battle of wills. But the real war begins when Mark and Grace realize just how much they have to lose. When mistakes from their pasts threaten everything they’re working for, they have to decide: admit defeat or join forces to save the hotel and each other.



EXCERPT

It had been four months since she’d seen or heard from Mark Donovan. Today was not the day she was going to let him distract her from impressing the shit out of the formidable new owner of her hotel.

Which was all well and good until Grace pushed through the windowless door and came face to face with a hooded pair of indigo eyes, broad shoulders expertly wrapped in an exquisite custom-tailored suit, and lips curved into a cold, thin smile.

“Ah, Ms. Fitzgerald. How nice of you to join us.”

Mark. Fucking. Donovan.

Grace’s tongue wrapped around the words even as she clamped her lips down, hauling them back. Her throat burned with the effort. Unable to form a response around the curses clogging her mouth, Grace just blinked.

Mark frowned.

“If you wouldn’t mind, Ms. Fitzgerald.” He gestured to the only empty chair left in the room. Which happened to be right in front of him.

He definitely shouldn’t be here. There was no reason for him to be here. What the fuck was he doing here, now....

Knowing her colleagues were watching, Grace carefully picked her way across the room and glared at the chair before sitting.

Crossing her legs and smoothing down her skirt, Grace looked ahead. Studiously. At the wall just to the left of the man in front of her.

“Good, now that we’re all here.” Mark gave her a pointed look, and Grace was tempted to check her watch. She knew she wasn’t late. But she stayed still, unwilling to give him the satisfaction. “Let’s get started.”
Started? On what? What the fuck is going on?!

Drawing himself to his impressive height, Mark surveyed the room. “Thank you for taking the time out of your day to meet with me. I understand that everyone’s busy, and I’ll try to limit meetings like this in the future. But it’s important for us to get started off on the right foot. And I wanted to give you a chance to ask questions after I update you on the current state of things at the Seven Winds.”

Grace kept her hands in her lap, fingers laced tightly together, ignoring the clamminess beginning to slick her palms.
What does he mean, “in the future”? And “the current state of things”? Oh, Grace, nothing about this can possibly be good.
Mark’s deep, steady voice broke through her growing unease. “To avoid as much negative publicity as possible, we’ve made a concerted effort to keep the details of this acquisition quiet until the last moment. But now that it’s time to implement some large structural changes, I thought it would be best to get everyone together and cover all the basics at once.

“As some of you may have already guessed, Donovan Holdings is the new owner of the Seven Winds Resort.” Mark paused, letting the announcement sink in. Her back straight in her chair, Grace refused to meet his eyes, even as she felt them touch her face then her hands then her knees where they were exposed beneath the hem of her dress. “And,” Mark continued, “since I find that a hands-on approach is usually best with my newest companies, especially those that are about to undergo transitions, I’ll be working on-property with you for the next several months, overseeing things.”

Grace was sure she hadn’t sat in a swivel chair. That between the four wooden legs and her own, she was still solidly earth-bound. Then why was her head spinning? Because she was pretty certain that the man who occupied her dreams and nightmares in equal parts had just announced that not only was he the new owner of the hotel, but that he would be staying on the island. At the resort. For months.




A steamy, enemies-to-lovers standalone romance from Katy Ames, author of After the Island.
 
Grab your Copy Now!
 
 
Catch Up on the Series!
 
 
About Katy Ames:
Katy Ames has spent most of her life on the East Coast and hopes to spend more of it in the UK. In part, so she can indulge in her serious plaid obsession. There isn’t a teenage drama on the CW or a period British TV show she hasn’t binge-watched at least twice. And she can be persuaded to do most things with the promise of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, or a nap, not necessarily in that order. Katy is mom to a small human who has an obscene amount of energy and a blissful ability to ignore swear words, and wife to a man whose reading habits are far too serious. Katy and her family reside in Washington, D.C., a city she where never planned to live and loves so much she’d be happy to talk about for hours. Just ask.
Katy writes contemporary romances that feature heroes who are strong but not so silent, heroines who aren’t afraid to kick ass, and stories that get a little messy before they end happily ever after.
 
Connect with Katy:
 
 
Enter Katy’s Giveaway:
 
Check out Katy’s fun new romance in her newsletter!
#ChooseYourOwnRomance, by Katy Ames
When I joined this wonderful and wild world of romance, I fell in love instantly - with the readers. You guys are enthusiastic, supportive, and passionate. And some of the loveliest people I’ve every had the pleasure to chat with, either in person or online.
I created #ChooseYourOwnRomance not just to thank you for being so awesome, but to bring readers into the heart of the story. Literally. By answering a few “this or that” questions, my followers on Instagram selected the trope, the location, the hero, and the heroine for the romance I’m currently writing.
Every week, I post a chapter on Instagram and readers get to decide how the story continues. Do they kiss? Does he stay? Does she go? Is there a love triangle? Do they have sex...?
And every Thursday, around 8 PM EST, I post the next installment, based on the winning votes from the previous week. It’s like an old-school Choose Your Own Adventure book, but for romance. (gasp!) (and, yes, I dated myself just then)
The current story focuses on Eden and Jude, childhood friends from a small town who haven’t spoken in years. The silence and distance have turned these once-friends into enemies. But a tragedy brings Eden home and Jude is doing everything possible to make her stay. And, maybe, if readers are kind, to show her that he’s never thought of her as anything but the love of his life.
Readers can catch up on Eden and Jude’s story at: https://katyamesbooks.com/chooseyourownromance/
And if you want to get in on some hot and heavy decision making, please join me every Thursday on Instagram (at) katyamesbooks and/or search for #ChooseYourOwnRomance.
Hope to see you there. You’re the best. Romance rocks.
Lots of love,
Katy
 

Friday, December 8, 2017

BAD FOR YOU ~ J. DANIELS --> EXCERPT REVEAL



 

 

 

"If you're a fan of Kristen Ashley, then you will love this book." -Aestas Book Blog on Four Letter Word

 

He didn't want to be bad. He just didn't have a choice...

Shayla Perkins isn't the kind of girl who makes the same mistake twice, especially when it comes to Sean "Stitch" Molina. So when he gives her the world's biggest rejection, that's it--she's done. Until the sexy, silent, unavailable Sean makes Shay a very personal offer. Of course, it still doesn't mean he's interested in her. Or does it?

Sean has done things in life. Bad things. And he's paid the price. All he wants now is to make up for his past by doing good in the present. And no one deserves more good than Shay. Beautiful on the inside and out, Shay is the kind of woman who should be cared for and protected--especially from a man like Sean. He's tried to keep his feelings for her in check, but a single, reckless impulse pulls them closer than ever before.

 

Soon the two are sharing their biggest dreams and satisfying their deepest desires. But what will happen if the only way to truly give each other what they want most...is to let each other go?

 

"The perfect mix of funny, hot and heartwarming. I enjoyed it immensely!" --Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author, on Four Letter Word


PRE-ORDER NOW

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | B&N | KOBO | KOBO UK | iBOOKS

 

 

Chapter One

Shayla

I wanted to tell her no. I wanted to lie to Gladys or Dorothy, whatever this sweet old lady’s name was seated in my section, and say we were fresh out of ranch dressing, and the little cup of it that came with her large garden salad was the last drop. If I didn’t and obliged her request, it would mean walking back over to the kitchen window I avoided like the plague and speaking to him—Sean “Stitch” Molina. The keeper of the dressings. The cook at Whitecaps Restaurant. He hoarded the ranch back there, and the only way to get more of it was with words.

And we didn’t do words anymore. Not as of eight months ago.

So, instead of doing my job as a waitress, I contemplated the dishonest route, which could very well get me fired.

Was I willing to roll those dice? Maybe. It might be worth a shot. My boss, Nate, could overlook my wrongdoing. He was understanding enough.

We’re fresh out of ranch, I could tell the lady. And all other dressings, for that matter. I am so sorry. Could I maybe get you another refill? Or something else not located in the kitchen?

I thought on this plan—it could work. Maybe she would believe me. Or maybe she would rethink her request and decide she no longer needed more dressing.

Help a fellow woman out here, Millie. Christ.

“I just need a little bit more,” the lady requested with a gentle smile. “Would you be a dear? I won’t trouble you for anything else, I promise.”

“Of course,” I replied, the response compulsively leaving my tongue. I couldn’t fight it. I couldn’t lie. I’d feel terrible.

Besides, this was my job. If someone requested more ranch dressing, I got them more ranch dressing, even if it meant speaking to the man I was completely and pathetically infatuated with, no matter how badly it hurt me to do so.

I gave the lady a smile in return before moving away.

My steps were slow as I weaved between tables and headed toward the kitchen. I tried to keep my head down, to focus on the tile floor disappearing beneath my feet, but I couldn’t.

I had to look.

Who was I kidding? I wanted to look.

As I approached, Tori was leaning close to the window that separated Sean’s domain from everyone else’s. She slid two plates of food off the ledge, commenting, “Looks good. Thanks, Stitch,” before walking off to deliver her orders, winking at me as she passed.

Sean only went by Stitch when he was here, I was assuming. I wouldn’t know for sure since I’d never spent any time with him outside of work. It was a nickname Tori and I had given him when he’d cut himself a bunch of times during his first week on the job, and he didn’t seem to mind being called that.

Back then, he didn’t seem to mind a lot of things, like listening to me talk and talk about anything and everything, putting my problems on him in between waiting tables, my stresses, my fears, needing a person to vent to and him being the only person I wanted to vent to because of the way he listened and looked at me.

No one had ever seemed so interested in what I had to say before.

Like what I was saying meant everything to them. Like it was a privilege just to listen.

And no one had ever looked at me the way Sean did—glances that only ever lasted a few seconds at a time, but those few seconds of eye contact—holy crap. I thought my skin was going to combust it would tingle and heat up so quickly. The man had a stare unlike any stare. Equal parts intense and intimidating. But his eyes, sweet mother of God, his eyes were unreal, this rich, golden copper color. And when they were on you, you didn’t just see that beauty—you felt it.

It was a two-punch combo that turned me into a puddle. No man had ever affected me that way before.

And that effect wasn’t going away. I was still feeling it.

Even now with us not speaking to each other, or rather, with me not speaking and him not listening, I still couldn’t get Sean out of my head. I missed what we used to have, yes, but it was more than that. It was so much more.

A man I barely knew, who seldom spoke, and who had never showed interest in me in that way had somehow taken hold of my heart and twisted it all up. I didn’t understand how it had happened, I just knew it happened.

Pathetic, right?

I reached the counter silently, which was a miracle considering how loud my heart sounded in my ears. Keeping my breathing quiet, I looked through that window and peered into the kitchen.

Sean had his back to me as he flipped burgers and stirred something in a pot. I allowed my eyes to travel the length of him, something I hardly ever let myself do anymore. We shared quick glances now, that was it.

Sean was well over six feet tall—way taller than me. His back was broad. His hair was long, a beautiful caramel color, and almost always pulled back; his arms were covered in tattoos and roped in muscle; and he had a thick, short beard that hid what I just knew was a strong jaw.

Sean was beautiful. And he was intimidating. Not just how he looked, but how he acted too.

He smoked. He drove a motorcycle. He never smiled. He rarely said a word. Everything about Sean said leave me alone, but eight months ago I couldn’t.

And eight months ago, I didn’t think he wanted me to.

I thought that was why he looked at me the way he did and listened so well. I wasn’t even nervous when I finally asked him out after hearing about a local party. I was excited.

I wanted Sean. I wanted to kiss him and touch him and God, hear his voice more. I had gotten so little of it. I wanted to do everything with him. And I thought we would. I thought we’d go to that party together as friends and leave as something more.

But Sean wasn’t interested in the more I’d been after. He wasn’t interested in me at all.

Now, that was perfectly clear.

Sensing me, or maybe he was finished minding the burgers and whatever he was stirring in the pot—I didn’t know for sure, since I was still letting my eyes wander—Sean spun around and stepped forward, snapping my gaze off his body in a panic. Our eyes met.

Mine widened.

His narrowed angrily, like I’d pissed him off and he hated me for it, and further hated me for catching him pissed off about it.

I didn’t understand that look, but no way was I asking about it. I was doing what I came over here to do, and then, hopefully, staying far away from this window the rest of the day.

Maybe I could convince Tori to put in my orders.

“My lady needs more ranch,” I informed Sean, swallowing thickly when my voice came out sounding stressed and distorted. “Could I get a little more for her?”

Sean’s gaze lowered to my mouth like he was waiting for more words, which didn’t make sense to me, until I considered the one word I left off he was most likely waiting for.

“Please?” I added.

His eyes lifted to mine and stayed narrowed. His nostrils flared. His jaw set.

I almost apologized for being polite and for not lying to that woman about our condiment supply. Things were so awkward now, I couldn’t stand it. I missed how easy this used to be.

Memories flooded my mind in an onslaught as I stood there waiting, and my back stiffened. I pictured Sean watching me with care and concern. I remembered the smiles behind his beard I used to catch, and the way his eyes would follow me through the restaurant and brighten when I would wave. We were friends. I wanted to scream at him for ruining that. I wanted to scream at myself for still caring. What was wrong with me? He had completely shut me out. We were nothing now. We were this.

But with a quick hand, Sean snatched a dressing cup off the shelf and ladled some ranch into it before I spoke another word. He sat the cup on the ledge, removing his hand before our fingers touched, and briskly turned back to the grill without giving me another glance.

“Thank you,” I mumbled at his back, turning before I lingered another second.

He shut me out. I needed to do the same to him.

I delivered the cup of ranch to the sweet old lady, picked up a check for a table who didn’t wait for change, and took care of their tab at the register. Then because I didn’t have any other tables needing anything from me at the moment, I moved to a vacant booth far away from that window and busied myself filling ketchup bottles.

The next time anyone needed extra dressing, I’d send Tori.

Three Days Later

I am getting one of everything.

Twisting the dial on the radio, I quieted the music I was listening to when the truck ahead of me pulled forward, allowing room for my Civic to squeeze up next to the speaker.

Mouth already salivating, I rolled my window down.

“Welcome to Taco Bell. Can I take your order?”

My stomach growled as I surveyed my choices.

I eyed the fiesta taco salad. The quesarito. The never-ending list of combos and the specialty options. Everything intrigued my taste buds.

I stuck my head out the window and directed my order at the speaker. “Can I have a number six, please? Chicken supreme with a soft taco? And a Mountain Dew.”

“That’ll be six fifty-seven at the second window, please.”

I couldn’t pull forward yet, so I kept my foot on the brake, and just as I was about to roll up my window to keep the cool March air from filling up my car any more, a song I knew and loved began playing low through the speakers.

I had no idea what the name of the song was or who sang it, but I knew every single word. And this was not a song you didn’t crank up and sing along to with your windows down.

Fingers twisting the dial until music poured out of my car, I started moving my hips in time with the beat and smacking the steering wheel, eyes closing and fingers snapping as the lyrics left my mouth.

“Oh oh oh oh oh oh,

You don't have to go, oh oh oh oh oh

You don't have to go, oh oh oh oh oh

You don't have to gooo.”

The drum kicked up. I shook my head and felt pieces of my short, dark hair lash against my cheeks.

The girl giggled through the speaker.

Smiling and not feeling one bit of shy about the audience I was entertaining, I leaned halfway out the window and sang to her as loud as I could, reaching and pointing like she was front row at my concert.

“Ay ay ay ay ay ay

All those tears I cry, ay ay ay ay

All those tears I cry, oh oh ah ay

Baby, please don't goooo.”

She laughed harder this time, whooping and cheering me on.

“How’s that?” I asked. “Think I got a career in singing if all my other options fall through?”

“You bet!” the girl yelled. “That was sick!”

Giggling at myself, I sat back in the seat and turned the volume down halfway, noticing through the windshield the space between the truck in front of me and the car in front of it.

My eyes narrowed. I beeped twice. I was starving, and this was not the time to be messing around. What was this person doing?

The truck jerked forward, gears grinding over the music, loud enough I actually cringed. It was an old, beat-up Chevy, covered in dirt and rusted all along the back, with most of the paint chipped off and the muffler barely hanging on by a thread. The well loved and very well used vehicle was probably on its last leg, as was the worn smiley-face sticker half peeled from the bumper, leaving only one eye and half a mouth showing.

That thing had definitely seen better days.

Staring at all that rust, I had a moment of panic when I imagined the truck dying on its owner and blocking my path. Come hell or high water, I’d get my chalupas. Though I really didn’t feel like stepping out of my car and walking inside where the lunch rush sat. I was wearing sweats covered in bleach stains, a baggy sweatshirt, zero makeup, and not a lick of dry shampoo. No way was I presentable for the public yet.

This was why God invented drive-throughs and curbside service—so women like me could sleep in on their days off and rush out the door when a hankering hit without even bothering to glance at themselves in a mirror.

But when the truck made it up to the window to pay without a hitch or stall, most of that panic left me.

And when the driver pulled away after collecting their order and turned out onto highway, all of that panic left me.

I rubbed my hands together. Come to Momma.

“Hello!” I greeted the young girl with a smile and a wave, feeling like we had one of those lifelong friendship connections since I’d just serenaded her.

Grabbing my bag off the floor in front of the passenger seat, I dug around for my wallet.

“No need for that!” she said, turning my head and pausing my search. “That guy just totally paid for you. God…I love it when that happens. It doesn’t happen enough. It’s such a treat!”

I sat up and looked at her more fully. “What? What guy?”

“The guy in the truck.”

“Really?”

Nobody had ever done that for me before, and I used drive-throughs a lot. Well, shit on my head. My first random act of kindness, and I had rushed the poor thing along.

I suddenly felt bad for beeping.

“Yep,” the girl said, smacking her gloss-covered lips. “He asked me how much your order was and gave me enough to cover you both. And he wasn’t bad looking either.”

I leaned closer to the window, my interest in this mystery man spiking off the charts. “Yeah?”

“Oh, yeah. He had that dark, smoldering look about him. Real sexy.”

Nice.

“Did he say anything? Leave his number on a napkin or something?”

“No.” She shrugged. “Just paid for you and left. He acted in a rush.” The girl turned to pack up my order.

Huh.

If he was interested, he would’ve gone beyond just paying for my food. I would think he would’ve at least waited before speeding out of here—at least pulled over and given me opportunity to thank him.

Maybe he was just doing a good deed?

Letting myself think on that, I smiled and took my drink. “I’d like to pay it forward. How much is the person’s order behind me? I’ll take care of them,” I said while blindly digging my wallet out of my bag.

Really?” The girl clapped her hands together and squealed. “This is awesome! And they say there’s no good people left in the world.”

I laughed and made a face like I was agreeing with her, though I really didn’t. I knew a lot of good people. Dogwood Beach was full of them.

And I was blessed to have a lot of those people in my tribe, supporting me, giving me friendship and love, and others, not necessarily in my tribe, but around me enough I got to see their good.

Still, I understood this girl’s excitement. It wasn’t every day a complete stranger did something out of sheer generosity. And selfless to boot. Who didn’t stick around to take credit when credit was due? That was practically unheard of.

It’s funny how a simple gesture can affect you. But kindness was powerful that way. It not only had the ability to alter moods, but it was also infectious. People wanted to spread that good around once they got it put on themselves.

Hell, I was doing it. Maybe the person behind me would do it too, and so on. We could all pay it forward.

Smiling, I thought about that mystery man in the beat-up truck, wondering if he knew just how inspiring he was. How good he was. I hoped someone was telling him.

After safely securing my bag of deliciousness in the front seat, I got the total of the order from the car behind me, paid, got my change, cranked up my stereo again, and sped off, leaving my window cracked so I could serenade Highway 355.

 

 



 

 

 

 

J.Daniels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, the Alabama Summer series, and the Dirty Deeds series.

She would rather bake than cook, she listens to music entirely too loud, and loves writing stories her children will never read. Her husband and children are her greatest loves, with cupcakes coming in at a close second.

J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.

Sign up to receive her newsletter and get special offers and exclusive release info: http://authorjdaniels.com/newsletter/

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WANTED WORLD ~ KELLY ELLIOTT & GUESTS --> RELEASE LAUNCH



 

 

Mason is a place where love can be found in every pasture and small town hopes meet big city dreams. A world filled with love, angst, and plenty of chances to find your soulmate. So whether you're a cowboy dedicated to your family’s ranch or a young woman from the city looking to start a new life, happiness can be found in Kelly Elliott’s Wanted Kindle World. Come take a stroll and get lost in this charming Texas hillcountry town.

 

JOIN THE WANTED WORLD READER GROUP

 

 

ADORED by Georgia Cates

My name is Judd Mathews and I have it all: money, good looks, success. Fans buy my music and scream my name. My life is a charmed one… until my world is turned onto its head by a girl. Scarlett Mathews.

A baby girl.

My newborn daughter.

Her mother is gone, and she has no one in this world but me. This delicate little girl couldn’t have been born to a more unsuitable father… until Leighton Mitchell opens my eyes and makes me see things differently.

Leighton is not my typical kind of woman. She does not get drunk on whiskey or chase country music stars for a chance at a one-night stand on a tour bus. She’s nurturing, wholesome, respectable… and easily the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. She loves my daughter. Adores her. And that makes it very easy to see that she belongs in Scarlett’s life. And mine.

 

BLURRED LINES by Nazarea Andrews

When Ethan is called home for an unexpected wedding, all he can think about is the well-meaning women in his life trying to set him up with someone that will entice him to move back Texas. Settle down and get married and live a nice quiet life.

Which is why he ends up asking Spencer, his best friend and roommate, to go as his date. Never mind that they aren’t dating, that Spence is definitely not interested in dating—his sisters have heard enough about him over the years that they might buy it.

A week at home, pretending to date a guy he’s been in love with for three years? What could possibly go wrong?

 

 

 

MERCY by Andrea Johnson

At eighteen years old, Mercy Warner packed up her little hatchback and set out for bigger and better things. Determined to put small town life behind her, Mercy had dreams - big cities and bright lights were her destiny.

Four years later, Mercy finds herself drawn to the small town of Mason, Texas. With strangers who embrace her like family and a local cowboy with dimples offering her happiness, it’s hard to resist what the town has to offer.

Will her dreams of living life under the bright lights of a big city overshadow the small-town life under the stars she’s drawn to?

Only Mercy has the answer.

 

 

 

FOUND by Kristin Mayer

I thought I knew him.

I didn’t.

One night he was in my bed; the next, gone like a ghost. But the memories of us together were branded on my soul.

Now he stands before me, a stranger with a different name.

The worse part is I still want him.

One thing is for certain: He isn’t stopping until he gets what he wants—me.

 

City Girl's Cowboy by Kahlen Aymes

He might desire her, but he'll be damned if he'll ever let her hurt him again.

Thea Andreas left behind her cowboy boots, the dusty trails of Texas, and first love, River King for the bright lights and big city dreams of the Big Apple and a big-time modeling career.

When Thea inherits part of her great Uncle Leonard’s sprawling ranch, she goes back to settle the estate, but gets more than she bargained for when the majority owner refuses to buy her out, and no one else will either. See, the locals know the story, and their loyalty is clear.

River is cockier and sexier than ever and it’s not easy to resist when he makes it clear he’d be more than happy to oblige her with a roll in the hay, for old time’s sake. He’s the catch of the county and every single woman within a hundred miles wants him, rousing old feelings of jealousy and pain. What’s worse, River seems to revel in making her suffer.

The beauty of the ranch where she grew up and and hauntingly intense memories of their first love might convince her to stay, but even if she wanted to give up her career and move back to Texas, it won’t matter if River can’t forgive her for chasing her dream.

 

Beyond the Lights By Casey Peeler

She’d do anything for her best friend.

Hollywood makeup artist, Addie Mae Turner will never forget where she came from. And when her childhood friend is having her first baby, Addie runs back town to throw the most memorable baby shower to date. Getting her friend’s older brother to help is just icing on the cake.

He’s not impressed with her glitz and glory.

Sawyer Jackson is small town—and that’s exactly how he likes it. As the high school football coach, he has one thing on his mind: winning. But when Addie Mae waltzes back in town, he refuses to get lost in her money and beauty.

Together, there’s more than meets the eye.

Teaming up to plan the event, Sawyer and Addie discover more than diapers and bottles. Addie might just be using her career to hide who she really is. Can the high school coach show her that behind the facade is where the really beauty lies?

 

Church Bells by Jennifer Rebecca

Tanner Savage is a Texas Ranger with a strong sense of right and wrong and a love of country and duty with no room for shades of gray. The battle hardened former Marine lives to protect his hometown, Mason, Texas and the people who live and love there.

Abigail Williams did a bad, bad thing. Trapped in a dangerous situation with no end in sight, Abigail made a difficult choice and now she is living with the consequences, and those consequences are a life on the run—a new name in a new town.

 

 

 

 

Another Round of Whiskey by S. Moose

At first sight.

At first taste.

I never thought Whiskey would become my addiction. We melted together as one. He was my world. I was his everything. Our love was consuming. Every time we touched, we ignited.

One dream.

One choice.

Seven years later, I’m back home and the beautiful man standing before me still has the power to set my body on fire. The desire is overpowering. But the pain of the past keeps him away.

When he leaves me standing in the middle of the bar, I sit on his stool and come up with some sort of plan. Anything that’ll bring back the piece of my heart I left behind. So, when the bartender asks what I’m having, I let him know..

Another round of Whiskey.

What happens when the law man finds himself attracted to the woman on the run?

Have you visited Mason yet?

 

 

MY UNEXPECTED COWBOY by Kenzie Rose

He's a playboy, working his way to the top at a local recording studio. When a free recording session is the prize for one lucky lady, he knows her voice is the one to seal his fate at the studio.

She's a country girl, having fun with her sister in Nashville, but has no plans to stay. She misses the Hill Country of Texas, and her horses. After recording her CD, she heads home and never looks back, even though the man behind the glass caused her heart to flutter as she sang.

Determined to find the girl with the perfect voice, Jeremy heads to Texas to try to convince her that she's the next big thing. But when he sees her in her own world, as more than just a pretty face and a beautiful voice, he realizes that maybe his life in the big city isn't what he really wants. Maybe the Hills of Texas and in the arms of sweet Kennedy is where he truly belongs.

 

 

 

EVERYTHING I NEED by Ellie Wade

Leni Turner

I learned very young that love has the power to destroy us, and so I’ve stayed clear, vowing to never lose myself to love another. I escaped Texas and broke free from the life that tried to destroy me. Yet here I am, five years later, my dreams shattered, on a bus back to the place I never wanted to be.

Liam Moore

I spend my days on the ranch, doing what I love, in my favorite place on Earth. After years without contact, I’m startled to find her green eyes staring back at me, making me realize how much I’ve missed her. She doesn’t want me in her life, and yet now that she’s back, I don’t know how I’ll make it without her in mine.

Sometimes, everything you need is right where you left it. It’s finding the strength to embrace it that’s the hard part.

 



 

 

18-year-old Ellie Johnson always believed she would never be loved or wanted by anyone. She focused all of her attention on her grades and getting into the University of Texas to start a new life away from her mother.

The last thing Ellie expected was to fall in love with Gunner Mathews, a starting linebacker for the University of Texas football team and not to mention, her brother's best friend.

Gunner only has two passions in life, football and his grandfather’s ranch, until he falls for his best friends little sister. He will stop at nothing to show Ellie how much he wants her, even if it means he has to move faster than she would like.

Gunner knows they are meant to be together forever, but Ellie keeps denying her feelings out of fear of being hurt again. Every time he gets close to winning her love, something pushes her away again. Will Ellie ever be able to let go of the past and let him into her heart, and will Gunner be patient enough to wait for her?

This is a new release of an edition originally published by K. Elliott Enterprises, INC.

AMAZON

 

 

 

author-photoKelly Elliott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author. Since finishing her bestselling Wanted series, Kelly continues to spread her wings while remaining true to her roots and giving readers stories rich with hot protective men, strong women and beautiful surroundings.

Her bestselling works include, Wanted, Broken, Without You, and Unconditional Love, to name just a few.

Kelly has been passionate about writing since she was fifteen. After years of filling journals with stories, she finally followed her dream and published her first novel, Wanted, in November of 2012.

Kelly lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter, and two pups. When she’s not writing, Kelly enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is down to earth and very in touch with her readers, both on social media and at signings.

To find out more about Kelly and her books, you can find her through her website.

www.kellyelliottauthor.com

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