Tuesday, February 28, 2017

ELLA QUINN'S LATEST RELEASE, SECOND TIME AROUND



The Second Time Around
by Ella Quinn


GENRE: Historical Romance

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: Ella will be awarding a $10 Amazon or BN Gift Card to one winner during the tour via Rafflecopter.

SECOND TIME AROUND Blurb:

Can a beautiful Worthington widow find love again? Depends on who’s asking . . .

Before he died, Patience was the Earl of Worthington’s second wife. So why shouldn’t Patience be allowed a second chance at marriage, too? Of course, finding a new husband was not something the mother of four had ever planned on. But a surprise encounter with her first love has suddenly made the impossible seem possible all over again . . .

It seems like a lifetime ago that Richard, Viscount Wolverton, was halfway around the world, looking for adventure . . . while Patience, at her coming-out, was left with no choice but to take old Worthington’s hand. Richard never forgot the woman whose heart he yearned for—and now that he’s back, he’s not going to let her slip away again . . .




SECOND TIME AROUND Excerpt:

The day after Richard had been told Pae was ill, he was in the reading room at Brook’s having coffee and waiting until he could try to see her again. All he’d been able to think about was her boast that she never took a chill, and now she was sick.

If she was not better today, he would send for some fruit from his succession houses. They would be much better quality than what one could procure in London.

Another gentleman entered the room, drawing a chair up next to his.

“What is my stepmother to you?”

He glanced at Lord Worthington’s stern face and carefully folded the paper, placing it on the low table next to him. “Why do you wish to know?”

“Because she has been asking for you. She’s running a fever.”

Richard stared at the younger man for what seemed like eons before he finally understood. “I’ll come straightaway.”

As he started to rise Worthington’s hand clamped down on Richard’s arm. “I’ll ask you again, what is she to you?”

He looked straight into the other man’s eyes. “The only woman I have ever loved.”

Worthington gave a terse nod. “I was afraid it was something like that.” He released Richard’s arm. “My carriage is outside.”


Ella Quinn, Author

Bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She has just finished her first series, The Marriage Game, and her new series, The Worthingtons, began in April 2016.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean and North America. Europe is next!
    

Buy Link:

 


GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Ella will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


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Monday, February 27, 2017

WALKING OUT OF WAR--A HISTORICAL ADVENTURE!



WALKING OUT OF WAR
by
Scott Bury
Genre:
Historical Adventure, War

Ukraine,
1944: After the Soviets burned the Ukrainian city of Ternopyl to the
ground to crush the stubborn Nazi occupiers, they rounded up every
remaining Ukrainian man around for the Red Army’s final push on
Germany. Maurice Bury, Canadian citizen, Ukrainian resistance fighter
and intelligence officer, is thrust once again into the death
struggle between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR.
Fighting
across the Baltics in the autumn of 1944 is tough and bloody. Then
the Red Army enters Germany, where they’re no longer
liberators—they’re the long-feared Communist horde, bent on
destruction, rape and revenge. The Communists are determined to wipe
Nazism from the face of the earth. And the soldiers want revenge for
Germany's brutal invasion and occupation.
Maurice
has determined his only way out of this hell is to survive until Nazi
Germany dies, and then move home to Canada. But to do that, he’ll
have to not only walk out of war, but elude Stalin’s dreaded secret
police.


Scott
Bury can't stay in one category.
After
a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. "Sam,
the Strawb Part," a children's story, came out in 2011, with all
the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short
story for grown-ups, "Dark Clouds."
The
Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was
followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.
Army
of Worn Soles, published in 2014, tells the true story of Maurice
Bury, a Canadian drafted into the USSR's Red Army to face the German
invasion of the Soviet Union.
Invited
to participate in two Kindle Worlds, he published Torn Roots: A Lei
Crime Kindle World Novella and Jet - Stealth: A Jet Kindle World
Novella. Both came out in July 2015.
In
between writing books and blog posts, Scott helped found an author's
cooperative publishing venture, Independent Authors International. He
is also President of author's professional association BestSelling
Reads.




Friday, February 24, 2017

MEREDITH SCHORR TOUR FEATURES ONE OF THREE RELEASES!





Meredith Schorr Tour
by Meredith Schorr


GENRE: Romantic Comedy

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: I'll be giving away a $20 Amazon or BN Gift Card to one person who comments on this blog.

A STATE OF JANE Blurb

Jane Frank is ready to fall in love. It’s been a year since her first and only relationship ended and far too long since the last time she was kissed. With the LSAT coming up, she needs to find a boyfriend (or husband) before acing law school and becoming a partner at her father’s firm. There’s just one problem: all the guys in New York City are flakes. Interested one day and gone the next, they seemingly drop off the face of the earth with no warning and no explanation.

In her misguided belief that life doesn’t really start until you get married and have kids, Jane jumps from one extreme to the next trying to force a happily ever after until she breaks. Will she ever find her path, and can she do it without alienating her friends and family and risking her career in the process?




A STATE OF JANE Excerpt:

“Do you like sports?” he asked.

“No,” I answered honestly.

“What do you do for fun?”

“I cook and bake. Are you a foodie?”

“I’m allergic to shellfish, fish, and peanuts, and I’m lactose resistant. I also have a weak palette. Food doesn’t wow me.” He took a sip of his beer as if not at all burdened by what would be my worst nightmare.

I had no idea how to respond. “I can’t even imagine.”

He shrugged. “Some folks live to eat and I eat to live.”

We stood in silence for a few seconds during which I suspected we had nothing in common besides a mutual interest in a legal career. Doubtful he’d be escorting me to Bob and Trish’s party, I glanced around the room hoping to spot another eligible bachelor.

“Do you like to bowl? My firm is hosting a bowl-a-thon on Monday night and we need cheerleaders.”

My eyes opened wide at his unexpected invitation. I was hesitant to accept his offer since I was pretty certain there would be no love connection between Todd and me.

“If you go with me, maybe we’ll get you your own ‘Schwetty Ballz’ team hat. I bet you’d look real cute in it.”

I pictured myself at Bob and Trish’s housewarming party—the sad and lonely ex-girlfriend. Since I was desperate to keep that from becoming reality, there was only one answer. Smiling at Todd, I said, “I’d love to.”




Meredith Schorr, Author


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A born-and-bred New Yorker, Meredith Schorr discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting work-related emails way more than she was probably supposed to. After trying her hand penning children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing chick lit and humorous women’s fiction. She secures much inspiration from her day job as a hardworking trademark paralegal and her still-single (but looking) status. Meredith is a loyal New York Yankees fan, an avid runner, and an unashamed television addict. To learn more, visit her at www.meredithschorr.com.


Social media:


Buy Links:


JUST FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS






A STATE OF JANE






HOW DO YOU KNOW?







GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

I’ll be awarding a $20 Amazon or BN Gift Card to one person who comments on this blog.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

THE RISE OF MISS NOTLEY BY RACHAEL ANDERSON

the-rise-of-miss-notley-gr





When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow. The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced, yet there is something about her that that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe?





THE RISE OF MISS NOTLEY Excerpt:


Cora nodded and followed Mr. Ludlow into the parlor. He closed the doors and stood in front of them with his arms folded, looking far more intimidating than he had during their last meeting. He said nothing, merely lifted an inquiring eyebrow and waited.

Caught unprepared, Cora stared at him, trying to organize her thoughts into words. After a few moments of awkward silence, he lost patience. "What is it you wished to speak with me about, Mrs. Notley? Or are we to stand here staring at each other all afternoon?"

Not knowing how else to begin, Cora blurted, "Why have you hired me, sir?"

He blinked a few times before frowning. "I believe I have made that perfectly clear. You are to be the housekeeper, are you not?"

This was going to be more difficult than she had imagined. "Yes, of course, but there has been some talk about, or rather concerns expressed . . ." How did one put this delicately?

"About . . .?" he prodded, obviously not thrilled that his morning regime had been waylaid.

"About the reasons I have been offered the position," she quickly said, hoping that would be enough to make him understand her meaning.

Unfortunately, his brows drew together in confusion. "What are you saying, Mrs. Notley? I have hired you to do certain duties that will hopefully make my household run more smoothly. What other reason could I possibly have for offering you the position?"

"You have hired me to do a job I am untrained to do," she said. "While I am grateful for the opportunity, I also find it necessary to clarify that I have come here to be a housekeeper and only a housekeeper. Even though I am young and . . ." Her voice drifted off. Had she almost referred to herself as pretty? Goodness, this was proving to be very awkward indeed.

"Beautiful?" he finally guessed, not looking at all pleased with the direction the conversation was taking.

"I was going to say not repulsive," she fibbed.

"Very well," he said. "Even though you are young and not repulsive . . ." He moved his hand in a circular gesture, urging her to finish her thought.

Cora straightened her shoulders and forced herself to continue. "I am not the sort of girl who would ever . . . fraternize with her employer." Her face infused with heat, but she forced her gaze to remain steady.

"I see." He walked slowly towards her, rubbing his chin with his hand. A few steps away, he stopped and eyed her quizzically. "Have I made any improper advances towards you?"

"No, sir."

"Have I spoken to you in an unprofessional manner?"

"No."

"Have I looked at you in a way that has made you feel uncomfortable?"

"No." Cora suddenly wished she had not felt the need to clarify anything. He made her feel as though she had put the cart before the horse when what she had been trying to do was see that the cart and horse simply stayed in their proper places. Was that so wrong?

"Might I ask who, exactly, has led you to believe that I am the sort of man capable of—how did you put it? Fraternizing with my help?"

"I, er, would rather not say, sir." Though Cora felt no loyalty towards Sally, she refused to bring Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd's names into the conversation. "I did not mean to besmirch your name or cause any offense, Mr. Ludlow. I merely wanted to make my feelings on the matter clear."

"And you have."

"Good." Cora dropped into a quick curtsy, anxious to get away. "I shall go and find Watts now."

She was almost to the door when his voice stopped her. "Once again, you are attempting to scuttle away before we have completed our conversation."

Slowly, she turned around and lifted her eyes to his. "I never scuttle, sir."

"What would you call that rapid walk of yours?"

"A rapid walk."








Rachael

Author Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.



amazon or paypal


$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway


Ends 3/15/17


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.




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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WHEN JACK TRUMPS ACE BY DEBBIE DE LOUISE


When
Jack Trumps Ace
by
Debbie De Louise
Genre:
A Romantic Comedy Jewel Heist Novella


Jackie
Riordan's in trouble . . .
When
her jewel-thief father is caught in the middle of a heist, Jackie
makes her getaway to his ex-jail pal’s apartment. a man called Ace,
who lives in an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. What she doesn't
count on is falling in love with him and becoming his partner in
crime. She also doesn't expect to compete with Ace’s old flame or
deal with his cat Roxie who causes her allergy attacks.
All
bets are off . . .
After
Jackie discovers clues left by her father which lead her to a
treasure that Ace may have stolen, she contemplates her next move.
Should she trust Ace and believe her father gave him the money, or
head home to her mother, a religious hypocrite who would have no
qualms about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?
Things
that sparkle aren't always Diamonds . . .
Before
Jackie can decide who the good guys really are, she finds herself
atop the Willis Tower carrying her father's ashes in her pocket and
aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his life. Things go
terribly wrong, and Jackie's only choice seems to be to walk away
from Ace or face imprisonment. 



Debbie
De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a
public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime,
International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writer’s Association.
She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long
Island University. Her three published novels include Cloudy Rainbow,
A Stone's Throw, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Solstice
Publishing, 2016) that has been on the Amazon bestseller list for
cozy mysteries. Debbie has also written articles and short stories
for several anthologies of various genres. She is currently working
on the third Cobble Cove mystery and a psychological thriller. She
lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SPRINKLED WITH LOVE IS A SWEET READ!




SPRINKLED WITH LOVE Blurb:

What does one do with a matchmaking cat named Romeo?

Spirited and beautiful, Jillian Parker is one of Marietta’s newest business owners. Still, her mother worries about Jillian’s bare ring finger. So in order to give her mother something else to fuss over, Jillian adopts a cat named Romeo. He turns out to be anything but a docile lap cat.

One snowy night, Romeo makes a break for it. With Jillian right on his heels, they have a near miss with a passing pickup driven by Avery Wainwright, one of Jillian’s closest friends. A rodeo accident has the sexy cowboy returning home to recuperate, and he’s not happy about it.

So when Avery finds himself lassoed into the Bachelor Bake-Off, he turns to the one person who has always helped him out—Jillian. But will teaching him to take chances outside of the show ring have them both discovering that their feelings for each other run much deeper than they ever imagined?








SPRINKLED WITH LOVE Excerpt:


What in the world? There was something in the road. Avery tramped on the brakes. He squinted. Between the falling snow and the long shadows of evening, he was pretty certain it was a person.

The pickup hit a patch of black ice. Though he hadn’t been going very fast, the vehicle refused to stop.

Avery’s heart slammed into his ribs. “Move!”

It wasn’t like the person could hear him, but he felt as though he had to do something to gain their attention. The distance between them was shrinking with every beat of his heart.

Five feet.

Four…Three…Two…

And then the truck slid to a stop.

The breath that had been trapped in Avery’s straining lungs rushed out. The surprise, worry, and fright all ganged up on him. In turn, anger pumped in his veins. What had this person been thinking to run out in front of a moving vehicle?

He threw the pickup into Park. Ignoring the pain from his injured leg, he alighted from the truck. “What do you think you’re doing? I almost hit you—”

“You almost hit my cat.”

He immediately recognized the female voice. It was Jillian. What in the world was she doing in the middle of the road in the dark?

With his heart still pounding, Avery stepped around the front of the idling vehicle. A cold breeze rushed past him, but it wasn’t enough to cool his temper. “Do you know how close you came to getting hit?”

“I had to save Romeo.”

Avery shifted his weight to his good leg. “Who? I thought we were talking about a cat.”

“Romeo is a cat.” Jillian stepped in front of the pickup’s headlights and then she lowered her hood.

His next words stuck in his throat. He hadn’t seen Jillian since his brother and sister graduated high school eight or so months ago. Since then he’d been in Marietta infrequently, spending all of his time going from one rodeo to the next.

How was it possible that Jillian had grown even more beautiful? Her long hair was like spun gold and her ivory complexion was flawless. One of the things he admired about her was how she didn’t hide her beauty behind a bunch of makeup. Sure, she wore a little, but not too much.

And this was the first time he’d been alone with her since she’d worked for him. Normally, he had no problem speaking to her, but suddenly things felt awkward. What was up with that?




Author Jennifer Faye


Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

Now living her dream, she resides with her very patient husband, amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter is off chasing her own dreams) and two spoiled cats. When she's not plotting out her next romance, you can find her curled up with a mug of tea and a book.
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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/12/17


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Monday, February 20, 2017

40 SOMETHING BY SHANNON PEEL FOLLOWS FIVE WOMEN




40 SOMETHING
by
Shannon Peel
Genre:
Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction

Five
women navigate life while juggling careers, children, family, and the
men in their lives.
Charlie
is bored with the family tradition of Sunday Dinner so she brings a
friend her family won't approve of to spice things up a bit. Will
this friend go too far and cause too much damage?
Rose
only wants to do what is right and keep her family safe. How can she
do that when the world is so dangerous and her teenagers so willful.
Will helping a friend invite trouble into her perfect world?
Lindsay
loves to have fun and enjoys the company of men. She is a modern
playgirl who will stop at nothing to get a man's attention. Will she
find what she's looking for or something unexpected?
Sophie
wants to keep the peace and keep everyone happy, especially her
ex-husband, so her children will live with her full time. Will she
lose the children if she can't afford to take care of them?

Justine
wants to escape her perfect life, she just doesn't realize it. Will
she find the passion that is missing or will she continue to hide
behind her computer screen?  



Shannon Peel, Author
Shannon
Peel grew up in Enderby, BC where her family's roots run deep. Growing
up where television was either non existent or very limited she
relied on books and imagination to escape into the world
beyond. 

She
went to UBC to study and earn a general studies BA with a
concentration in Political Science and Economics. Macro analysis of
world events, social justice and human motivations became a passion
of hers. This passion is a driving force in all her stories, which
have political, economic, and social justice undercurrents. 

After
a career in the financial field she decided to stay home and raise
her two children until school age. In 2007 she return to the
workforce as a sales / marketing / advertising professional. She
currently resides in BC's Lower Mainland with her two teenage
children. 

Shannon
Peel is a creative, intelligent professional with a 20 year proven
track record in sales, marketing, customer relations, project
management, presentations, and communication. 



Friday, February 17, 2017

INHERITANCE OF LOVE BY CAROL CADOO



Inheritance
of Love
il
├ętait une foi (Once upon a time)- Book 1
By
Carol Cadoo
Genre:
Chick Lit, Romance

Bennett
Montgomery was the bachelor at large of his generation in San
Francisco with no problems and no responsibility except to show up
and look pretty on the red carpet. But overnight he was forced into a
situation where he had to grow up and take the reins of the family
business or risk losing it.
His assistant gave him the devastating
news that he had the responsibility but none of the money or control
until and unless he was married by thirty three. That started a
series of events in his life that put him on a collision course with
his past, the future and his present.
Chevon Bouche grew up fast after she
lost her parents in a horrible car accident. She was left on her own
to run the family business. Scheduled to marry her longtime boyfriend
and settle into a life of boredom and babies. When in her heart she
wanted to sing like a bird on the stages of the best Opera’s houses
in in the world.

After an unexpected meeting with
Bennett, Chevon’s life was thrown pell mell into a new life of
glamour and prestige she never dreamed possible. But because of
Bennett’s past there were complications that threatened their
contracted union and other women were the least of the problem.
Chevon and Bennett were forced to make a decision but would they
decide on the money or an inheritance of love.


I
love writing Chick Lit/ Romance. I recently re-edited and reapplied
the lipstick of my Chic Lit Serial, Deja Vu of Love. The series
starts off with Deja Vu Packing for the Journey the first book of the
story in the Deja Vu Series. As a writer, I am partial to using a
third person multiple POV style of writing. Although not well known
it is frequently used in Romance and other genres where multiple
points of views add to the depth and value of the story line and
character interactions.
I
prefer moving the story along through the use of dialogue versus
narrative. I think it's because I can give a distinct voice to all my
characters. As a writer, I believe that dialogue helps define the
characters as breathing, warm blooded people. I write about real
women with flaws who are strong and confident and ready to live life.
Women like all of us who don’t always have dinner ready on the
table. The one who acts inappropriately at PTA meetings once in a
blue moon you know the girl I’m talking about, it’s you.
I
enjoy watching my characters grow and change as the story of their
lives unfolds. I try not to be a control freak and let the characters
write the story after all, it’s their life.
So
if you’re a reader who likes to hear the voice of your characters
and share their POV I’m your next favorite writer LOL
Just
a little something about me I’m a retired Actress, Director,
Choreographer, who discovered her real passion in life, was writing.
I have two sons Zachary and Garette I also have two doggie kids Hazel
and Harry. My free time is spent in the garden enjoying nature,
decorating, and writing. I would love to have feedback from readers I
think we are always curious about what people think of our work.
So,
here is my suggestion get a great glass of red wine, start the bubble
bath grab a couple of chocolate covered caramels with sea salt and
enjoy a good book. I hope you love and enjoy reading the characters
with minimally twice the enjoyment I had writing them to life.
May
you enjoy all the bad boys of romance with none of the pain.


Deja
Vu of Love- Packing For the Journey (Book 1)
Deja
Vu of Love- San Francisco (Book 2)
Deja
Vu of Love- Zurich (Book 3)
Deja
Vu of Love- New York (Book 4)
Deja
Vu of Love- Coming Home (Book 5)


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

RUN TO HER LAUNCHES NEW SERIES




Run to Her
by Lynn Kellan

GENRE: Contemporary Romance

Lynn Kellan will be giving a $50 gift card to one person who comments on her tour. See the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

RUN TO HER Blurb:

She avoids men like him. He needs a woman like her. One lie changes everything...

Gabriel Antonov is a mechanic who can fix anything, even a woman’s hesitance. His talents have earned him the well-deserved reputation as a player, but when a routine one-night stand goes wrong, he’s haunted by what he’s done. Nothing can free him from those depraved memories, until he meets Leigh Nelson.

Leigh avoids strong, silent types like Gabe, who is stronger and quieter than most guys. The only man she’s focused on is her father, who is suffering from a devastating health crisis. She’ll do anything to help him, even at the cost of ignoring her own well-being, but the stress is getting to her. Gabe’s strength is tough to resist, and his silence might be hiding a crushing secret only she can understand.

He can’t outrun his gut-deep craving for her. Problem is, she’s running from him. When they’re marooned in his lakeside cabin, he might finally catch her…if he can admit why he’s falling apart without her.



RUN TO HER Excerpt:

“I’m here to speak with the owner of this place. A friend of mine set up the meeting.” Leigh glanced at the clock on the wall, which read half past five. “I’m very early. We’re supposed to meet at six.”

“Hold tight and I’ll get him. He’s in the kitchen.” The waitress strolled across the room, opened a door, and poked her head inside. “Your appointment is here.”

The metallic clank of a spoon against the edge of a bowl echoed into the restaurant, followed by a deep bark of laughter. A man walked out, carrying a heaping plate of fries that would clog the arteries of a lesser mortal.

Leigh’s stomach growled, willing to clog a few arteries for those fries…and that man. He was tall, built like an Olympian, and looked like—whoa, hold the phone. He looked like Gabriel Antonov, which couldn’t be possible. Gabe lived in Philadelphia, a few miles away from her apartment. There was no reason he’d be this far north of the city. He owned a busy auto repair shop that devoured most of his time. An Internet search for ‘brawny workaholics’ would put his name near the top of the results page.

When she’d seen him a few mornings ago, he hadn’t mentioned that he might head into the mountains for the weekend—but he never chatted about his plans.

He didn’t chat about anything.

She took advantage of her semi-hidden position by the cash register to gobble him up with her gaze. Faded blue jeans clung to his long legs like water, rippling with every flex of his muscular thighs. A gray T-shirt hugged a burly torso that could have graced the home page of a fitness website. Thick black whiskers darkened his sturdy jaw, which made him look ferocious in a hold-on-to-your-ovaries kind of way.

His dark eyes landed on her and he slowed to a stop. “Hey, Leigh.”

“Hi.” She gave him a puzzled grin. “What are you doing here?”

One side of his mouth tilted up. “Waiting for you.”

“But I’m supposed to meet the owner of this place.”

“You just did.”

Of course. She ran into Gabe everywhere, so why not here? He smelled like crispy fries and pine forests, two of her new favorite things. If she could fuse those scents into a cologne, she’d call it Spud Stud and sell the fragrance at Christmas. She’d make millions. “I didn’t expect to see you, tonight.”

“I didn’t tell you I’d be here, for good reason.” His deep voice bottomed out to a low murmur. “If you knew I owned this place, you might not show up.”

His square-jawed, Slavic features made him look like he was made of concrete and steel. Immovable. Not going away, even though Leigh had turned him down every time he’d asked for a date. Part of her wanted to hug him for not giving up. The other part wanted to sprint out the door, because she knew he carried a heavy secret. She had one, too. The weight of that burden had driven her into a psychologist’s office two months ago, where she’d bumped into Gabe. Literally. She’d collided face-first into his hard, broad chest. He’d taken one look at her, turned as gray as dishwater, and left.

She’d never mentioned the encounter and neither did he, but she wondered why she kept running into this man. Like now. “There must be a mistake. I’m here to pick up a book. My friend told me to come here.”

“You must be talking about Darlene, right? I saw her a few days ago when she dropped off her car for an oil change. She said you’re looking for a vintage copy of The Twisted Claw. I’ve got one. You can have the book if you’re willing to make a trade.”

“Oh.” Darlene hadn’t mentioned a trade. She hadn’t revealed that Gabe would be here, either. Typical. Darlene loved surprises, especially if they unnerved people. Leigh clasped her hands behind her back and frowned. Usually, she bought the vintage books for a few bucks. She’d never bartered for one. “What do you want in exchange for the book?”

“Dinner with you.” He plucked a menu off the counter.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lynn Kellan writes contemporary romance about strong men who have a weakness for smart women. She believes men and women aren't that different, because everyone wants to be with someone who will empty the dishwasher. To prepare for her career as a romance author, she fell in love with bad boys, burly athletes, battle-hardened Marines…and married a chemist. Lynn has won numerous writing contests and served two terms as President of her local Romance Writers of America chapter, but she feels a true sense of accomplishment whenever she doesn't embarrass her teenaged kids.

For love. For funny. For ever.

Find Lynn at http://LynnKellan.com

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