Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker

The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker’s 

new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional!

 

BLACK TIE OPTIONAL
Wild Wedding #1
Ann Marie Walker
Releasing May 30, 2017
St. Martin’s Press

 

The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker’s new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional, which New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst calls, “a fun, sexy romp that will keep every reader entertained!” 

Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips – on the surface he’s pure perfection.

 
Too bad he’s an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying
the environment one species at a time.
 
Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.Cole
needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension.
Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.
 
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Chapter One
 

Just like clockwork, Olivia thought. She watched the gas-guzzling SUV roll to a stop alongside the curb, its hazard lights blinking as if some sort of justification for bringing a full lane of Chicago’s morning rush hour to a grinding halt. Every day the sleek black car stopped in exactly the same location so the almighty Coleman Grant III could get the same extra hot, double shot Americano from the same big-chain coffee shop, bypassing the smaller, neighborhood establishments trying to stay afloat as corporate America runs them into the ground.

A mountain of a man in mirrored aviator shades jumped out of the front seat to open the rear door, giving Olivia a clear view of the luxury vehicle’s interior. Two leather captain’s chairs with fold down keyboards and armrest tablet holders sat facing several television monitors mounted above what appeared to be a full-service bar.  Forget running a business, it looked as though Coleman Grant ran NASA from his back seat. Honestly, what could possibly be so important that it couldn’t keep until he got to the office? The commute from his Gold Coast penthouse to his Loop headquarters was less than two miles. Hadn’t the guy ever heard of just chilling out with some tunes?

Olivia approached the car just as Grant climbed out of the back seat. He paused to button the jacket of his navy blue Tom Ford and for a moment she forgot he was an arrogant, self-righteous prick hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time. For a moment, she allowed herself to take in the physical perfection standing in front of her. From his dark wavy hair that stood in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that seared her skin, to his full, sensual lips – everything about Coleman Grant oozed power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart-stopping, gasping-for-air-after-you’ve-screamed-so-loud-you-can’t-breathe kind. But then his eyes narrowed and his lips curved into a knowing smirk and Olivia remembered exactly who she was dealing with.

“Mr. Grant,” she began.

The bodyguard moved to step between them but Grant waved him off. “Ms. Ramsey, what a surprise,” he said, not at all surprised since this was the eighty-third day in a row she had approached him. Not that it mattered. She had no plans to stop these sidewalk sessions until he either agreed to her demands or filed for a restraining order.

He made his way toward the coffee shop with Olivia tight on his heels. “You know, most people simply make an appointment with my assistant.”

“I’ve tried that, Mr. Grant. But for some reason your schedule is always full.”

“Pity,” he said, his voice void of all emotion. When he reached the glass doors, he yanked one open. “Please, after you.”

Bastard. Normally he charged in like he owned the place, never mind if she or anyone else got a face full of door. How dare he try to throw her off her game by acting chivalrous. As if the man had a courteous bone in his body. Olivia stood frozen in place, debating how best to handle this latest twist in their balance of power. As she did, Cole’s gaze raked her from head to toe, from her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.

She hated to admit it, but the scrutiny of his gaze was unnerving. And it wasn’t just the laser like focus. There was something about his expression, as if he wasn’t looking at her fully clothed in a shop brimming with customers, but rather undressing her with his eyes. She shifted in place, debating if she should call him out for his piggish behavior or simply stick to the topic at hand.

“Suit yourself,” he finally said, stepping through the doors and leaving her alone on the sidewalk.

Not so fast. She took a deep breath and joined him at the service counter.  “Mr. Grant, as I’m sure you’re aware, the northern long-eared bat was recently granted protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.”

“Rather difficult to forget given your daily reminders. Although I must say, Ms. Ramsey, you disappoint me. No visual aids today?” He turned away from the counter with his extra hot, double shot Americano to find Olivia standing behind him with an 8 x 10 glossy in her hand.  “Ah, it seems I spoke too soon.”

“This particular species of bat has been the most impacted by white-nose syndrome and the resulting decline in their numbers is what—”

“Those really are the most vile creatures,” Grant interrupted. “Have you ever considered taking up the cause of a more appealing animal, say a manatee?”

“There aren’t any manatees in Lake Michigan.”

“Precisely.” He smirked. “Perhaps you could move? I’m sure you could find some poor, unsuspecting Floridians worthy of your attention.” He raised his left hand and for the first time Olivia realized he was holding a second cup. He thrust it in her direction and without thinking she took it, dropping the photograph as she did. “You seem like the type who would order your latte with a hundred and one specifications, but hopefully skinny vanilla will do.”

Olivia blinked. He bought her a coffee? What the actual fuck? Did he really think he could charm his way out of the hot seat? She had spent her entire adult life and most of her teens speaking on behalf of those who couldn’t. It was going to take a lot more than a few random acts of fabricated kindness to get her off his back.

She was about to tell him not only where he could stick his latte but how in her twenty-eight years on earth she’d never ordered a “skinny” anything, when he turned toward the door. She bent to scoop up the photo then hurried after him, fast talking her case all the way to the curb where his bodyguard stood waiting with the door already open. As usual, Grant didn’t say a word, much less defend his stance. Instead he simply flashed a grin that would have made her drop her latte, not to mention her panties, if she didn’t find him to be lacking in not only morals and ethics but quite possibly a soul.

He gave her a quick nod before ducking into the car.  “Until tomorrow, Ms. Ramsey.”

With that, the door slammed shut and the SUV pulled into traffic to the sound of protesting horns.

“Asshole,” Olivia muttered under her breath. “Gorgeous asshole, but still.” She turned on her heel and started down the street with her head held high. Coleman Grant III might have been trying to make a mockery of her attempts to persuade him, but their standoff was far from over. A slow grin curved her lips as an idea began to take shape. She’d just pulled her smartphone out to send herself a reminder when it began to vibrate in her hand.

“Are you bringing your swimsuit?” her best friend asked before Olivia had even managed a hello.

“To the desert? You’re joking, right?”

“I wasn’t sure.”

“Cassie, I know you’ve had your head buried in cookbooks for the past few years but surely you can remember how a vacation works…lounge chairs, suntan oil, blended drinks with tiny umbrellas that make you say ridiculously inappropriate things to cabana boys.”

“I have never said anything inappropriate to a cabana boy. And that’s sexist by the way.”

“Cabana person?” Olivia laughed at her own joke. “I’m playing. But you’ve got to lighten up a bit. We’re headed to Vegas, Sin City, what happens there stays there and all that.”

“You sound like a tourism ad.”

“All I’m saying is you better be ready to party Hangover style.”

Cassie snorted. “Yeah, cause that worked out so well for them.”

“I promise I won’t leave you stranded on a hotel roof.”

“This is a bad idea. I should be staying here and looking for a job.”

“You’re the sister of the groom. You can’t very well ditch out on the bachelor/bachelorette festivities. Besides, if I can break my ‘Harass Coleman Grant’ streak for a few days, then you can certainly give the stand mixer a rest.”

“How’s that going by the way?”

Olivia groaned. “New day, same story. ”

“Maybe it’s time to—”

“Move on? No way.” While it was true that working freelance allowed Olivia a certain amount of latitude, she prided herself on never giving up. There was no way Coleman Grant was going to blemish her perfect record. “I’ll just have to double my efforts.”

Cassie laughed. “I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the guy.”

“Don’t be fooled by the looks. He might be hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Ian Somerhalder combined, but underneath that perfect exterior beats the heart of an ogre.”

“Sounds like someone has wet panties.”

“Why Cassandra Miller, is that smutty talk I hear coming out of your mouth? There may be hope for you yet.”

“Don’t change the subject. You’ve got the hots for this guy.”

“Hardly. He’s eye candy all right, but he’s also a spoiled, self-centered asshole who think it’s his way or the highway. Not this time though.” Olivia nodded to herself. One way or another he was going to give in to her demands. Coleman Grant III had finally met his match. He just didn’t know it yet.

 authorspotlight2

Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She’s a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl.

If it’s December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her at AnnMarieWalker.com where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.

 

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Bayside Desires by Melissa Foster

 Fall in love at Bayside, where sandy beaches, good friends, 
and true love come together in the sweet small towns of Cape Cod.

As the co-owner of Bayside Resorts, Rick Savage has a fabulous job working with his best friends and brother, and a thriving business in Washington, DC, which he’ll be returning to at the end of the summer. Spending time with his family is great, but being back on Cape Cod has unearthed painful memories. When sweet, smart, and overly cautious Desiree Cleary moves in next door, Rick is drawn to the sexy preschool teacher, and she just might prove to be the perfect distraction.

Running an art gallery was not in preschool teacher Desiree Cleary’s plans, but after being tricked into coming to her impetuous, unreliable mother’s aid, she’s stuck spending the summer with the badass half sister she barely knows and a misbehaving dog. If that’s not frustrating enough, she can’t escape the sparks igniting with her strikingly handsome and pushy neighbor, Rick, who makes all her warning bells go off.

Passion ignites as Desiree and Rick spend long summer nights sharing heartfelt confessions and steamy kisses. For the first time in years Rick is enjoying life again instead of hiding behind mounds of work miles away from his family. Desiree has touched him in a way that makes him want to slow down. Only slowing down means dealing with his demons, and he isn’t sure who he’ll be when he comes out the other side.

 

 

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I get giddy anytime a new Melissa Foster book hits my eReader. She has a way of connecting you to her characters that you just can’t put the book down after diving in.
Rick Savage is home for the summer to help his brother and best friend with a resort that they co-own with updates. He loves the time spent with his family and friends but his life is back in Washington, DC now and the daily beaches of the Cape are a distant memory. But when he mets Desiree Cleary, there’s a shift that he’s finding harder and harder to resist. The only thing is that the ghosts of his past seem to have just as big of a pull.
Desiree Cleary has never had the best of relationships with her mom and sister. When her parents divorced and her mom left with her older sister, all Desiree wanted was to feel wanted by the two. So when her mom calls and says that she needs Desiree – she drops everything and heads to the Cape. Once she gets there, she finds her mom with suitcases ready to leave, and a pissed off sister who was lied to also. The two women are not left with the task of taking care of their grandmother’s house and trying to forge a relationship that’s been strained for years. The last thing Desiree was looking for was love, but when Rick Savage made a big splash, she found him hard to ignore.
Rick and Desiree has scorching hot together. Their chemistry is through the roof, but both have ghosts on this island that could keep them apart. The two help each other in confronting their demons, but will their summer fling be just that? Or could this summer love turn into a lifetime?
Bayside Desires was a page turner. Full of steam and heart, Bayside Desires is the perfect way to kick off your summer reading list!
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Oh shit. Rick Savage beached his craft, threw his life vest onto the sand, and ran after the woman he’d soaked. He’d been so captivated by the curvaceous blonde that when she’d started to leave, his first instinct had been to stop her. He’d clearly lost his mind. He knew better than to come that close to the jetty or to fishtail near people.

“I’m so sorry,” he said, jogging over as she stepped off the rocks and onto the beach.

She turned, mouth gaping, strands of wet hair stuck to her cheeks, forehead, and shoulders. The most beautiful green eyes stared back at him in shock and horror. He felt like a total ass.

“I’m sorry. I saw you watching me, and—” There was absolutely no excuse for what he’d done, so he went with the truth, no matter how bad it sounded. “I wanted to meet you before you took off.”

“I wasn’t watching you.” Her eyes darted around them, as if someone else might hear her lying.

He cocked a brow.

“Okay, maybe I was for a second. But you were stalking me.” She swiped at her sundress, which clung to her incredibly sexy body like a second skin.

He tried not to leer, but damn…

Forcing his eyes up, he said, “I wasn’t stalking you—”

Her deadpan stare stopped him from telling his own lie.

“Okay, fine,” he said with a laugh. “I was. You caught me. I’m sorry.”

“Does this usually work for you? Drenching unsuspecting women?” she said with a hint of annoyance, and a smile, as she shook the water from her arms. “Not that I’m an expert on being hit on, but it doesn’t seem like the best way to go about it.”

“I’m sure you get hit on all the time, but this wasn’t planned. It was a stupid mistake. It’s actually illegal to go that fast near the jetty, so you can have me arrested if you’d like. I wasn’t thinking. I was—”

She arched a brow, a slight smirk playing across her beautiful face as she tossed his mannerism right back at him.

He felt himself smiling. Man, this woman was as sweet as she was spunky. “What can I say? If you weren’t so hot…”

“So, it’s my fault?” She rolled her eyes. “You really do kind of suck at picking up women.”

The caveman in him grunted, and he squared his shoulders. “I don’t suck at it. I’m actually really good at it. A pro. A master. A champion.”

She laughed. “Sorry, but…” She waved at her wet clothes. “Evidence proves otherwise.”

And I’m about to prove that evidence wrong. “Let me buy you a sweatshirt and something warm to drink at Mac’s so you don’t freeze.” Mac’s was a walk-up restaurant by the Wellfleet Pier, a five-minute drive by car. Less by Jet Ski.

Her eyes rolled over his face, as if she were considering it. He’d never had anything close to a poker face, which meant she saw his remorse and his attraction. At six two, two thirty, he was a big dude, and he kept in prime shape with running and water sports. He was used to women ogling him and practically doing cartwheels to get his attention. She drew in a deep breath, her eyes dropping to his bare chest, and she bit her plump lower lip. “Sexy” didn’t begin to describe the dichotomy of sweet and sultry this woman possessed. But she wasn’t doing cartwheels. In fact, those hungry eyes shifted away from him.

“It’s okay,” she said. “I was getting ready to leave anyway.”

She was blowing him off? There was no way he was letting her leave without doing something to make up for this debacle. Okay, maybe he also wanted to strip away those wet clothes and warm her up. But that was beside the point.

“Are you staying at a cottage on the beach? I can give you a ride on my Jet Ski.”

“As tempting as that sounds, since I’ve never been on one, I have my car.” She pointed to the parking lot with the hand that held her phone, and her smile faded. “Oh, shoot. My phone got wet.”

“I can take care of that.” He took it from her and wiped it on his shorts. She watched his hands, his biceps, his pecs, his shorts, with laser focus. His fish wasn’t off the line yet. “It should be okay now. Want me to put my number in your contacts? In case you change your mind about that drink?”

That brought a curious smile. He noticed the cutest dimple beside her mouth when she smiled. “Does that usually work?”

“No idea. I haven’t had to use that line before.”

He stepped closer, unable to resist brushing a lock of hair that was stuck to her cheek away from her face so he could see her better. Their eyes connected, and the temperature spiked. She must have felt it, too, because she was licking her lips like a hungry tigress. In the next breath, her eyes darted nervously around the beach. Christ, now she looked sweet and innocent. How did she do that in the blink of an eye? Rick was only at the Cape for a few more weeks, working on renovations at the resort before returning to his real life, and design-build business, in Washington, DC. The thoughts running through his mind were not sweet and innocent. He should let his apology ride, get on his Jet Ski, and drive away. But she had his rapt attention, and he was unable to walk away.

“You don’t have to use my number,” he said. “But you never know. Maybe when you’re lying in bed tonight, unable to stop thinking about me, you’ll wish you had it.”

Her cheeks flushed, and those sparkling green eyes moved over his face and down his chest again, lingering long enough to send a stroke of heat to his core.

“Why not?” she said, surprising the hell out of him. “Go ahead and put your number in my phone…?”

“Rick.” He entered his contact information and handed it back, curling his fingers over hers and holding them for a beat.

Her eyes flicked up, dark and alluring. “I’m Desiree,” she said a little breathlessly.

Oh yeah, you feel it, too.

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authorspotlight2
Melissa Foster is a NewYork Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with
emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.
 

 

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 Are they doomed to repeat the mistakes of their past?

Andrew McQuaid wasn’t always the local playboy. Once upon a time, he wanted to spend
the rest of his life with one woman-Gia Mancuso. When he made a mistake and lost her, he decided he wasn’t meant to have a happy-ever-after. Now, Gia’s come back to town, with a baby in tow, and it might just mean a second chance at forever, if he can convince her that he never stopped loving her.

Ten years after leaving, Gia finds herself back in Hidden Falls. Between helping her ailing father save the family restaurant and taking care of the baby her sister left on her doorstep, she doesn’t have time for the man who once broke her heart. But Andrew is all grown-up now, in every single way. And the part of her that has always been his can’t quite say no to his tempting kisses.

Just when Gia begins to open her heart, a devastating secret emerges that threatens to destroy her family and any future with Andrew. Are they doomed to repeat the mistakes of their past or can Andrew convince Gia that she’s always been his one and only?

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         The soft crunch of gravel jerked her upright as headlights bathed the interior of her car in white light, blinding her. Reports of women being carjacked, kidnapped, or murdered filled her mind, and she hurried to snap the buckle of Bella’s seat again. Dropping the bottle, she lunged forward, attempting to climb over the console into the driver’s seat to get the hell away from whatever killer might be approaching her car.

            It took only a few seconds to realize how big a mistake she’d made.

            Gia had always been well endowed, but she’d never expected her curves to get her stuck partway between her front and back seats. She wiggled, trying to twist sideways to make it easier to pull her forward. Gripping the edge of the steering wheel, Gia used it for leverage, tucking one knee under her as she tried to force herself through. It was no use. She was hopelessly stuck, now unable to move forward or back. She was a miserable excuse for a guardian and prayed her stupidity wasn’t about to end with her and Bella on tomorrow’s news, murdered on the side of the highway, mere minutes from their destination.

            She craned her neck to see the flash of red and blue lights washing through the back window for the car as a thin white beam of light slashed through the window, into her eyes. She held up a hand, trying to make out any of the features of who she prayed was really a cop, even if it meant someone would witness her embarrassing predicament. The back door opened and Gia heard a deep rumble of laughter.

            “What brings you back to town, Gia?”

            Gia closed her eyes, wishing she could crawl under her car. How was it possible that after nearly ten years of avoiding him, she was now caught in this position by the one man she never wanted to see again, the same one who’d broken her stupidly naïve heart at nineteen?

            “Andrew McQuaid,” she muttered to herself. He shone the light on her rear end, and irritation welled. “You think instead of ogling my ass you might actually help me?”

            She felt the hands that had carried her to her first heights of ecstasy reach for either side of her hips. The same hands she’d sworn would never touch her again after she found out about that bastard’s cheating ways.

            “Hey,” she squealed, trying to squirm away from his touch, willing herself to ignore the way her heart leapt into her throat. “What the hell are you doing?”

            “Exactly what you asked me to do. I’m helping you.”

            “Not like that!” She swung a hand at him, slapping her own butt in the process, but at least he let go of her.

            “How exactly do you propose I help, then?”

            “I don’t know. You’re the cop.”

            Andrew laughed, still leaning into her car, bent over awkwardly behind her. “Honey, I really don’t see any other way.”

            She glared at him over her shoulder. “Don’t call me that.”

            “Fine.” Andrew moved into the car, practically sitting in the back seat, and slid one hand through an opening by her waist, in front of her bent knee. The other slid around her calf and managed to pull it out from under her. “There. I’m going to tip your right hip down, but you’re going to have to manage to twist your shoulders to fit… um…” He searched for a polite term he could call her boobs. “… the girls through,” he finished with a chuckle.

            Gia felt the rush of heat flood her face. “Let’s just get this over with.”

            Andrew’s hands closed on her hips again, practically cupping her right butt cheek in his palm. “Bend your right knee and I’m going to pull on three. One… two… three.”

            Gia managed to twist her body as Andrew pulled her backward, and she slid through the space as if she’d never been stuck at all. Andrew dropped into the seat, carrying her with him. Gia landed in his lap with one of his muscular forearms under her breasts, the other hand cupping her inner thigh, sending a blast of heat between her legs. It was the worst reaction she could have ever imagine having.

Until she realized that hard ridge beneath her rear wasn’t his gun.

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Gia has stayed away from her hometown and family for the past 10 years, afraid of running into the one man who broke her heart and left her shattered. So of course he would be the first person she runs into when trying to sneak back into town. But she’s not here because of him. Andrew McQuaid is the last person she has on her mind right now (maybe). Her father is sick, her mother is trying to sell off the family business and she has her newborn niece in tow, trying to figure out how she’s going to survive another day with all the weight of the world on her shoulders. Gia has always been the problem solver for the family. The one who has it all together. But this time she doesn’t know if she has all the answers.
Andrew hasn’t thought of anyone else but Gia for the past 10 years. Sure he’s dated, but no one has ever come close to the love of his life. He just wishes he knew what he did that made her run and stay away. Now that Gia is back in town, Andrew is on a mission to win Gia back and make things right between the two of them. What he didn’t expect was his past mistakes to take center stage.
I loved Gia and Andrew. Their chemistry was smoking hot and being the oldest in my family, I really connected with Gia and all the pressures that were placed on her by her parents and sister and all those looking to her for the answers. There is a nice little twist to the story and I couldn’t put the book down once I dove in. Love TJ Kline and this series and can’t wait for more!
authorspotlight2
T. J. Kline was bitten by the horse bug early and began training horses at fourteen—as well ascompeting in rodeos and winning several rodeo queen competitions—but has alwaysknown writing was her first love. She also writes under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her spare time, she can be found spending as many hours as possible laughing hysterically with her husband, teens, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California. That is, when she isn’t running around the California Gold Country researching new stories.

Slow Burn Cowboy by Maisey Yates

In Copper Ridge, Oregon, a cowboy’s best friend might turn out to be the woman of his dreams… 

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If Finn Donnelly makes a plan, he sticks to it. After his brothers left Copper Ridge, Finn stayed behind, determined to keep their ranch going by himself. And when he realized his feelings for Lane Jensen were more than platonic, he shoved that inconvenient desire away. It was easy…until it wasn’t. Suddenly his brothers are coming home to claim their share of the property. And Lane is no longer just in his fantasies. She’s in his arms, and their friendship is on the line…

He’s been her buddy, her handyman, her rock. But until that one breathtaking kiss, Lane somehow overlooked the most important thing about Finn Donnelly—he’s all man. They’re right together, no matter how much his volatile past has bruised him. Finn wants to hold Lane’s body, but he doesn’t want to hold her heart. But Lane is falling fast and now she’s got a plan of her own…to show Finn there’s nothing hotter than friendship turned to slow-burning love.

Also includes a bonus Copper Ridge novel, Take Me, Cowboy!

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

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Finn Donnelly doesn’t have the closest of relationships with his three brothers. But after his grandfather’s death, everyone is coming back to the ranch and wanting to claim their part of their inheritance – which just so happens to be the ranch that Finn has been putting his blood, sweat and hardwork into for the past 15 plus years. Not only does Finn have to deal with the invasion of brothers (and a teenage niece) but he also has to figure out why all of sudden he’s having feelings for his best friend, Lane Jensen.

Lane has always had a thing for her brother’s friend Finn. And the two, over the years have become best friends, doing everything that a couple would do without the “other” benefits. But there has been a shift and now all Lane wants to do is strip down Finn and be there for him in ways she never has before. Lane has her own issues when it comes to commitment and love.

Finn and Lane are seamless together. Their chemistry is white hot and their banter fun, quirky and totally them. I can’t wait to see what comes next for the Donnelly brothers as they find themselves in Copper Ridge! Maisey is a champ at writing cowboys you fall head over heels for and Finn Donnelly is no different. Lane is strong, sassy and full of fire – ready to take on Finn. Loved this book and loved the epilogue to their HEA.

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81fGrlUjP2L._UX250_New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.

In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Somehow, Some Way by Jennifer Probst

Today we are showing off some teasers from SOMEHOW, SOME WAY by Jennifer Probst. This is a 1001 Dark Nights novella in the Billionaire Builders series. The book will be released on May 30th and it is currently up for pre-order on Amazon.

PRE-ORDER IT NOW

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SOMEHOW, SOME WAY by Jennifer Probst

Billionaire Builders, #2.5 – Coming May 30, 2017

Bolivar Randy Heart (aka Brady) knows exactly what he wants next in life: the perfect wife. Raised in a strict traditional family household, he seeks a woman who is sweet, conservative, and eager to settle down. With his well-known protective and dominant streak, he needs a woman to offer him balance in a world where he relishes control.
Too bad the newly hired, gorgeous, rehab addict is blasting through all his preconceptions and wrecking his ideals…one nail at a time…

Charlotte Grayson knows who she is and refuses to apologize. Growing up poor made her appreciate the simple things in life, and her new job at Pierce Brothers Construction is perfect to help her carve out a career in renovating houses. When an opportunity to transform a dilapidated house in a dangerous neighborhood pops up, she goes in full throttle. Unfortunately, she’s forced to work with the firm’s sexy architect who’s driving her crazy with his archaic views on women.
Too bad he’s beginning to tempt her to take a chance on more than just work…one stroke at a time…

Somehow, some way, they need to work together to renovate a house without killing each other…or surrendering to the white-hot chemistry knocking at the front door.

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Jennifer ProbstJennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at http://www.jenniferprobst.com.

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Hard-Hearted Highlander by Julia London

An indomitable governess…a brooding Highlander…

a forbidden affair… 

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An ill-fated elopement cost English-born governess Bernadette Holly her reputation, her unsuitable lover and any chance of a future match. She has nothing left to fear—not even the bitter, dangerously handsome Scot due to marry her young charge. Naive wallflower Avaline is terrified to wed Rabbie Mackenzie, but if he sends her home, she will be ruined. Bernadette’s solution: convince Rabbie to get Avaline to cry off…while ignoring her own traitorous attraction to him.

A forced engagement to an Englishwoman is a hard pill for any Scot to swallow. It’s even worse when the fiancée in question is a delicate, foolish young miss—unlike her spirited, quick-witted governess. Sparring with Bernadette brings passion and light back to Rabbie’s life after the failed Jacobite uprising. His clan’s future depends upon his match to another, but how can any Highlander forsake a love that stirs his heart and soul?

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“An absorbing read from a novelist at the top of her game.” –Kirkus STARRED review on Wild Wicked Scot (Highland Grooms #1)

“Expert storytelling and believable characters make the romance between Arran and Margot come alive in this compelling novel packed with characters whom readers will be sad to leave behind.” –Publishers Weekly STARRED review on Wild Wicked Scot (Highland Grooms #1)

“With well-developed characters who experience genuine growth, London is at the top of her game in this thrilling tale of political intrigue and second chances. This absorbing and passionate romance bodes well for future Highland Grooms titles.” –Booklist STARRED review on Wild Wicked Scot (Highland Grooms #1)

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“Bit of an unusual place you have here,” the man who looked like a ghost said as he strolled forward. Behind him, another man waddled after him like a fat­ted pig. Both of their wigs were ridiculous. “How good of you to receive us. I understand Killeaven is a bit of a drive yet from here?”

“Four miles through the hills,” Arran Mackenzie said. He picked up his cane and began to make his way down from the dais. In spite of that cane, Rabbie’s fa­ther was still a commanding figure, and he dwarfed Lord Kent. “You and yours are most welcome in our home tonight, aye? Rest here before carrying on to Killeaven.” He turned partially as Rabbie’s mother stepped off the dais to join them. “My wife, the Lady Mackenzie.”

His mother curtsied and greeted them. Kent turned quite jovial at the sight of his mother, no doubt pleased with her English accent and her beauty. He introduced the man with him as his brother, Lord Ramsey.

“May I introduce you to our son?” his mother asked pleasantly, and gestured toward Rabbie.

Kent’s head snapped round, and he eyed Rabbie through a squint as Rabbie came to his feet and began to make his way down from the dais. “Well then, you’re a fine specimen, are you not? As physically fit as your father and brother, I dare say. Look here, Avaline, here is your future husband,” he said, and turned back to his group.

Someone nudged the pitiful lass forward. She stum­bled slightly, found her footing and curtsied. She had hair the color of barley, green eyes and cheeks flushed to the color of plums. She was a wee thing, and the only thought Rabbie could summon was that he would crush her on their wedding night. He’d have to put the virgin on top of him.

He approached the group. The lass would not look at him. “My lord,” he said to her father, and bowed. He glanced again at the girl, who had yet to meet his gaze.

“A strong young man,” Kent said, taking Rabbie in, nodding approvingly, as if Rabbie were a prized cow. “You’ll give me heirs, I dare say you will. May I present my daughter, Miss Avaline Kent of Bothing,” he said, and took his daughter’s arm, drawing her for­ward. “She’s pretty, isn’t she?”

Rabbie looked at her fair complexion. She was chew­ing her bottom lip. Her hands were quite small, suit­able for nothing useful as far as he could see. “Bonny enough, I suppose, aye,” he said.

With the exception of the startled cough from the woman leaning against the wall, no one said a word for a moment.

And then Baron Kent laughed roundly. “Good enough!” he jovially agreed.

Rabbie’s mother managed a kick to his ankle. He moved forward lest she kick him again and presented his palm to receive Miss Kent’s wee little hand. “How do you, Miss Kent.”

“My lord—sir,” she said, and curtsied again, as if she hadn’t noticed his hand at all. And when she did sink into that curtsy, Rabbie happened to glance at the woman by the wall. She had dark hair, quite dark, like Rabbie’s sister, Vivienne. And hazel eyes. She was frowning at him, and not in an elegant way like his mother. And then she looked away, as if annoyed by him.

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MG_8252a8x10-L-240x300Julia London is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the popular Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, the Cabot Sisters historical romance series, and the Homecoming Ranch contemporary romance series. She is a six time finalist for the presitigous RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction, and RT Bookclub award recipient for Best Historical Romance for Dangerous Gentleman. She lives in Austin, Texas.

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Score by Victoria Denault

He’s used to winning, but now he’s playing with his heart.

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Jude Braddock. Hockey god. That’s how everyone sees him now. But when they were teenagers, Zoey knew him as the kid who didn’t have enough nerve to make a move on their one and only disastrous date. Seems he doesn’t have that problem anymore, though. According to the rumors, he’s with a different woman every night. After a rough divorce, the last thing Zoey needs is more heartbreak. But Jude’s cocky, playful attitude is mighty hard to resist.

Jude knows he isn’t built for long-term relationships. But he’s getting sick of women pounding on his door in the middle of the night looking for a rematch. When Zoey comes back into his life, it’s like fate has given him a second chance. He’ll do anything to make her happy again. Is this what love looks like? He has no idea. All he knows for sure is that this time, he’s playing for keeps.

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“Denault launches a new series, featuring the bad boys of the San Francisco Thunder, with gusto, passion and heaps of tension and sensual detail.  Several genre-defying complications makes the story feel unexpectedly fresh.  Moreover, the consistent reinforcement of the female characters’ strength and individuality turns this book into something unique, and provides plenty of incentive for fans of sport romances to seek out this new series without delay.” –RT Book Reviews

“Sexy, sassy, and a perfect new adult read for fans who love hockey and romance, not necessarily in that order. An excellent new sports series launch.” –Library Journal

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Jude Braddock has two Stanley Cups under his belt and can bed any woman he wants and he has up to this point. To say he’s the slut of the team would probably be an understatement…. I mean even his “Hockey Stick” is out there on the internet to see. But when Jude runs into Zoey, a girl from his childhood, he all of a sudden has a change of heart.

Zoey is the one that got away. She was the experienced one. The one who he was too embarrassed to tell he was virgin. But since the last time he saw her at 18, he never forgot about her, or wondered what could have been.

Zoey is in the middle of a divorce when she runs into her old friends, the Braddocks. Summers in Maine were always a great memory. Especially Jude Braddock. He’s no longer a boy but a hot hockey god and there is no denying the chemistry between the two of them is there. But is it ridiculous to think that the playboy would want anything to do with a twenty-eight year old divorcee who is trying to get her life back together?

I loved Zoey, who was strong and when with Jude, bold and fun. It was great to see the 180 on Jude from the playboy to committed man to Zoey. I especially loved how he handled Adam, her soon to be ex-husband.

This was just a great book and a perfect start to the series! Can’t wait for more Thunder!

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Still staring at my blank phone screen, I stumble toward the door and of course I walk straight into someone. Of course. Because to- day is going to be shitty in every possible way. Luckily, I manage to avoid getting chai latte on either of us; it barely spills over the lid and only dribbles onto my hand.

“I’m so sorry!” I say at the exact same time she does, and I look up to see a familiar face staring back, but I can’t place it.

She blinks azure eyes and then her whole face lights up. “Zoey?

Zoey Quinlin? Oh my God!”

                  She’s hugging me before I realize what’s happening. I wrap the hand not covered in latte around her back and return the embrace. She pulls back, still holding my shoulders, and smiles. “Holy crap! It’s been over ten years! Oh my God.” She pauses and glances around before adding in a softer voice, “It’s Dixie. Dixie Braddock. You used to babysit me at my family’s summer cottage in Maine. You were friends with my brother, Jude.”

“Holy shit! Dixie Braddock?” I can’t believe it. The last time I saw her she was thirteen. Wheat hair; pink, suntanned skin; freckles across her nose and chronically scabbed-up knees from trying to keep up with her older sisters and brother, who were all daredevils on their bikes and skateboards and surfboards. Babysitting them—well, the girls, anyway—for the two years I lived in Maine was a highlight of my summers. And so was seeing their brother. Shit, I hadn’t thought of Jude Braddock in a while. I find myself smiling now that I am.

“You live in San Fran?” she questions as she takes my elbow and leads me over to the counter and hands me a napkin for my latte- soaked hand.

“Yeah. Stayed local after college,” I explain as I put down the latte and wipe my hand. “And you live here?”

She nods, her sleek blond bob moving like a curtain around her face. She looks close to the tiny thing I babysat but much more refined and beautiful now. I do the math: she’s only twenty-four, but she looks more put together than any twenty-four-year-old I’ve known.

“Yeah. I went to school for sports media, then interned with the San Francisco Thunder hockey team, and they hired me full- time this year.” Her eyes dart around, and her voice drops again. “Jude plays for them, so I use my mom’s last name, Wynn, so no one thinks he got me the job. He didn’t.”

“Jude is in San Francisco?” I don’t know why I felt the need to say that with such breathless shock. I knew he made the NHL, but I had thought he was playing in Milwaukee. That’s where he was last time I Googled him, which was three years ago, before I married Adam.

“Yeah. Got traded a couple years ago,” Dixie explains. “So how’s your family? Where’s your dad preaching now?”

“He’s retired. Mom and Dad are in Sacramento,” I explain. “My brother, Morgan, is a teacher here in San Francisco.”

“Morgan!” She laughs and her cheeks turn a little pink. “Sadie, Winnie and I had such a crush on your brother when we were little. Remember we used to keep begging you to invite him over when you were watching us?”

I nod and can’t help but smile back. Yeah, that memory hasn’t faded. The Braddock girls wanted my brother to come over, but I never invited him. Not because he was gay, which I already knew at that point, but because if Morgan was around, he would tease me about gawking at Jude, which I always did if he happened to come home before Mr. and Mrs. Braddock’s date night ended.

Dixie glances at her phone in her hand, and I realize we both must have been looking at our screens when we collided. She frowns. “I have to go. I have a meeting at the arena in twenty.” She puts a hand on my arm again. “But I would love to catch up with you, and I know Winnie and Sadie would too. They’re going to be in town this weekend. Would you be able to do brunch?”

“Yeah, I can do brunch,” I reply and am shocked at how excited I am at her suggestion. I haven’t really done much of anything social since the separation. I kind of lost touch with a lot of my friends after marrying Adam and adopted his circle of friends. And they all promptly orphaned me after the separation. I didn’t care much because I didn’t feel up to social interaction, but suddenly this seems like a pleasant distraction from my reality. The Braddock family was one of my favorite parts of my childhood.

“Amazing!”  Dixie almost squeals.  “How about  tomorrow.  Eleven?”

I nod. “Where?”

“You pick.”

“MKT?” I blurt out because it’s in my hotel and I’m too flustered to think of anything else. To be honest, I don’t even know what they serve for brunch.

“Great! Sadie loves that place, and she’s normally impossible to please.” She hugs me again. “See you tomorrow! Winnie and Sadie are going to be so excited!”

And then, before I can even lift my hand to wave, she’s back out the door. She never even got a coffee, but she doesn’t seem to notice. I’m more dumbfounded and confused than I was from the phone call with Minerva. The Braddocks are here. Well, at least Jude and Dixie are here. In San Francisco. Where I live. When the hell did that happen?

I look around the coffee shop to make sure there’s no one else from my past lurking around. A teacher, a neighbor, another sister of an old unconsummated love. Although Jude was my only unrequited love, but he did have three sisters. Whom I will be having brunch with tomorrow. Crazy!

I slip out of Peet’s and concentrate on the clicking of my heels as I make my way back over to my office. I finally take a sip of my jostled latte. It’s barely warm but the caffeine still manages to clear my head a little. Not enough that eagle-eye Marti doesn’t notice something is up.

“Everything okay?” she wants to know as she stands at her desk, gathering things she needs for her day and placing them in her bag. “You look more out of it than you did before the coffee.”

“I ran into someone I haven’t seen in a long time,” I murmur, and for some reason Jude’s seventeen-year-old face floats through my head, not Dixie’s from this morning. “The last time I saw her was in Maine eleven years ago, so it was surprising.”

“Wow.” Marti takes a break from filling her Michael Kors satchel with listing flyers. “Small world, huh? I love when that happens. Unless it’s someone I hate. Was it someone you hate?”

“No. Not at all,” I reply and drop down gently into my seat. “She and her sisters were sweethearts. Seems like they still are. I’ll definitely find out, because I’m having brunch with them tomorrow.”

“Cool.” Marti isn’t paying attention anymore. Her eyes are focused across the room on Parker McDavid, who is the owner of our company. He’s midforties, tall with a dad bod that is oddly at- tractive, probably because he covers it in perfectly tailored designer clothes. His dark hair is graying in all the right places, like George Clooney’s, and his eyes are warm and his smile is kind. But he’s an astute businessman who expects a lot from his Realtors, and Marti is constantly trying to impress him. I am too, if I’m being honest, but I’m new. She’s not new, but she’s still hungry.

“I’m going to tell Parker about the deal I just closed, and then I’m off for a condo showing,” Marti explains and barely even waves good-bye as she hustles toward the kitchen Parker just disappeared into for his morning croissant and English Breakfast tea.

I open my laptop and pull up my email, determined to keep my mind focused on work. I need to send a follow-up email regarding the potential Haight listing, but my brain is bouncing from Adam to Dixie.

One future encounter I’m dreading—confronting Adam—and one I’m looking forward to—seeing the Braddock sisters. But the one that isn’t destined to happen is the one that fills me with excitement I haven’t felt in a long time—the potential that since I’m meeting three Braddock siblings I might also run into the fourth: Jude.

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Victoria DenaultVictoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in L.A. but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.

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