Excerpt Reveal + Pre-Order: Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

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Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #6
Release Date: September 25, 2018

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Synopsis: Who needs mistletoe?

Most people wouldn’t think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn’t most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she’s been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that—but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once . . .

Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don’t mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he’s shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly’s brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can’t believe he’s drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who’s the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he’s ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he’s been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas.

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Excerpt:

Joe looked behind him to make sure they were alone. “Molly and the old lady elves. What’s really going on with that?”

“Have you tried asking her yourself?”

Joe grimaced. “Look, she doesn’t belong out there doing what we do, okay? She’s … amazing, but too soft to do it.” He shook his head. “She’s always been that way, far too tender-hearted for her own good, dragging home strays, wanting to save the world. She’ll believe any sob story given to her. She loves too hard. She’ll get taken advantage of doing what we do—“

“Don’t,” Lucas said. “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?”

“Don’t belittle her. She’s not a little kid anymore, Joe. Nor is she incompetent. Far from it. In fact, she’s smart as hell. Look, a lot of bad shit happens to all of us, and our experiences have made us hard. Cold. But not her. She’s special, and stronger than both of us put together.”

This got a moment of surprised silence from Joe. And since Lucas didn’t want to fight with him, he rose and grabbed his laptop for their meeting.

“What’s going on between the two of you?” Joe asked.

Lucas turned back. “You asked me to get involved. I’m involved. And you know what? Out of all the things she loves, she loves you the most. Instead of trying to hold her back, do you know what you should be doing? You should be doing the job you asked me to do. You should be training her, letting her fly, and stand at her back while she does.”

Joe was stunned. “This is all just a phase for her, why would I do that?”
“It’s not a phase. And you should do it because she would do it for you,” Lucas said. He then walked out of his own office, doing his best to shrug off his irritation at Joe.

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis writes warm, funny, sexy contemporary romances and women’s fiction. An Amazon, BN & iBooks bestseller, she’s also a two-time RITA winner and has more than 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.

Jill lives with her family in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters (Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is mostly coincidental). She does most of her writing on her deck surrounded by more animals than humans. Which is quite astonishing considering she’s a city girl who was plucked from the wilds of L.A. to the wilds of the Sierra’s. Most of her books come from a combination of hard work, cookies, and hot guy pics, and not necessarily in that order.

Jill often travels to reader weekends & conventions where she LOVES getting to meet and hang-out with readers. The only problem being she tends to get lost in her hotels. So if you ever see Jill Shalvis roaming the halls, someone please return her immediately.

Connect with the Author:

Website: http://jillshalvis.com/
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Excerpt Reveal + Pre-Order: Flirting With Forever by Kendall Ryan

 

 

I’ve waited years for the perfect girl, yet she was right in front of me all along.

My best friend, Natalie, has been by my side through everything. Leaning on my shoulder, borrowing my sweatshirts…and making my pants too tight when she flashes me that sassy smile that drives me crazy.

But she has no idea about that last part. She doesn’t have a clue I’ve felt this way about her for years.

Until one night after too many cocktails, we fall into bed together.

I’m flirting with my forever…she just doesn’t know it yet.

This book is a sexy, slow-burning best-friends-to-lovers romance with a guaranteed HEA and no cheating. Dive in, and get ready to melt for Cam!

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I look up at Cam and meet his eyes, brimming with secrets. I need answers, and I need them now.

 

No more secrets, Cam.

 

“What’s going on?”

 

The man in my arms doesn’t answer with his words. Instead, he takes hold of the edge of my towel and pulls it from my body. I gasp at the sensation of our skin pressing intimately together. I brace myself against his chiseled arms, digging my fingers into his biceps for purchase.

 

He isn’t done. He lifts his hands, one to my hip, one to my cheek. His thumb draws a small circle on my exposed hip bone. With the side of his knuckle, he traces the outline of my lower lip. I stay very, very still so he won’t notice the slight shudder racing down my spine.

 

“I can’t tell you,” he says so softly that it breaks my heart.

 

“Yes, you can.” I barely recognize my own voice. Cam’s eyes, dark and hurting, are locked on my lips. I want to ease that pain.

 

And I think I know how.

 

I lean in closer, pulling myself up to his level with my hands on his chest. Our breaths mingle and everything is warm, the air between us aflame.

 

“You’re killing me.” These are the words that fall from Cam’s lips before they meet mine.

 

God.

 

My lips are locked against his in the softest of kisses. I catch his lower lip with my own, pressing every ounce of my feelings into him. Every thank you for being there for me. Every you’re perfect for being exactly what I need.

 

Can he feel how much I care for him?

 

He’s still for a whole Mississippi second—a second too long for me to bear.

 

Oh God. What have I done?

 

But the moment I pull away, Cam leans in. His hands are on my face, holding my lips against his. He tilts my head, digs his fingers into my hair, and opens his mouth to mine.

 

“Natalie . . .”

 

The sound of my name slipping so lustfully from the back of his throat sends a jolt all the way down. All the way down.

 

I pull myself even higher on my toes, clinging to him with my arms around his neck. He returns the favor, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me tight against him. Our mouths are magnetic, unable to separate, unwilling to stop.

 

My God. I’m kissing Cam.

 

I’m kissing my best friend.

 

I’m kissing him and I can’t stop.

 

I dart my tongue between his lips, caressing the underside of his upper lip. He growls, maddened by my bold move. His fingers blaze fiery trails down my neck and shoulders. His hands explore me, memorizing the slope of my back and the curve of my hips. Each touch is so soft, yet so electric.

 

Soon it’s all frantic kisses and eager moans that I’m pretty sure are coming from me. I press into his shoulders, leaving handprints on his chest. My fingers draw lines down his abdomen, then finally trace along the bulge beneath his towel.

 

Cam jerks back, his eyes full of questions.

 

But there’s no more time for questions. We’ve wasted far too much of it.

 

 

 

 

 

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras.

 

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Excerpt Reveal: Dirty Headlines by LJ Shen

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Dirty Headlines, an all-new sexy, enemies-to-lovers romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is coming September 7th and we have the first sneak peek!

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Célian Laurent.

Manhattan royalty.

Notorious playboy.

Heir to a media empire.

…And my new boss.

I could have impressed him, if not for last month’s unforgettable one-night stand.

I left it with more than orgasms and a pleasant memory—namely, his wallet.

Now he’s staring me down like I’m the dirt under his Italian loafers, and I’m supposed to take it.

But the thing about being Judith “Jude” Humphry is I have nothing to lose.

Brooklyn girl.

Infamously quirky.

Heir to a stack of medical bills and a tattered couch.

When he looks at me from across the room, I see the glint in his eyes, and that makes us rivals.

He knows it.

So do I.

Every day in the newsroom is a battle.

Every night in his bed, war.

But it’s my heart at stake, and I fear I’ll be raising the white flag.

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2GuCKIB

Excerpt:

He had an American accent. Not French. American.Smooth. Familiar. Ordinary. He fired out sentences at the speed of light. I heard him, but I couldn’t listen. Shock gripped my body as the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. My dirty one-night stand was my boss. My lying, American boss. And now I had to deal with that—hopefully for a very long time, because I desperately needed this job.

Someone snapped their fingers, and my gaze shot from Célian’s face to Grayson.

His forehead had crumpled into a frown. “You look like you’re trying hard not to cry or having a really intense orgasm. I’m hoping for you that it’s the latter and some kind of a weird-slash-awesome condition. You okay?”

I nodded, scraping up a smile. “Sorry. Zero orgasms happening under this dress. I just zoned out for a second.”Lies. I was about to orgasm just remembering how good Célianhad felt parting my thighs with his big, callused hands and dipping his tongue into my slit.

Then words stopped streaming down on everyone’s heads like a scalding shower, and I realized that indeed there was something worse than hearing Célianspeak in his perfect American English. And that was not hearing him speak at all. Because now the icicles were pointed at me like a cocked gun.

I glanced up to meet his gaze. He stared at me for exactly one second before his focus snapped to Grayson. “Am I understood, Gregory?” he asked.

Gregory?

“Crystal clear, sir,” Grayson bowed, his voice trembling at the edges.

Célian jerked his chin toward me. “Your cover girl material is going downhill.”

God. Damn. Bastard.

He recognized me, and I knew it. His eyes had kindled, melting the ice and growing darker the minute our gazes mingled. He remembered, and maybe it killed him that I was here in the same way it buried me.

I want my iPod back, my gaze told him. I had over three thousand songs on that thing, and they were all too good to be wasted on that jerk.

“Jude Humphry. Junior reporter. It’s her first day,” Grayson highlighted, almost pleadingly. He shifted in my direction, as if he might need to physically protect me from the sharp-tongued, suited monster.

I suppressed a smile when I realized I’d told Célianmy last name was Spears. Well, he certainly wasn’t a Timberlake. He was a Laurent. An American monarch through and through. A billionaire, a powerful force, and judging by our one and only encounter—a raging playboy.

This man was inside you, I internally shrieked. And not just once. His cock was buried so deep in you, you screamed. You can still taste the salty, earthy flavor of his cum.You know he has a freckle on his lower back. You know what sound he makes when he empties inside a woman.

I internally thanked my mind for ruining my panties in public, and nodded. “Pleasure to meet you, sir.” I offered him my hand, my face flushing with embarrassment at my choice of words.

Everyone was looking at us, and there were at least fifty people in the room. Célian—if that was even his name—ignored my outreached hand. Instead, he turned his face to the man beside him. “Mathias, any other words of wisdom?”

Mathias? Wasn’t that his father? Just how cold was the man with the icy blue eyes?

“I think you touched everything,” said the big boss—and he did have a heavy French accent, so at least the lie had a seed. Mathias stared at me placidly, like he could read the secret his son and I shared on my face.

Célian spun toward me, uncuffing his cufflinks and rolling his sleeves up his veiny forearms. “Accounting can go back to their unfortunate line of work. Couture is excused from this meeting—though not forgiven for their horrid blog. Miss Humphry?” He snapped his fingers impatiently.

He was already waltzing down the narrow hallway, knowing I’d chase him like a puppy, and no doubt taking pleasure in that fact.

“I have a bone to pick with you.”

Bone, boner—same difference, right?

I shot Grayson a please-save-my-butt look. His eyes said, I would but I still have a life to live.

I followed Célian down the hall, my Chucks slapping the floor in a hurry. He sliced through the throng of accountants, then stopped at a corner office, opened the door, barked “Out!” to the man inside, and tilted his head for me to go in. I did. He closed the door, and it was just the two of us.

Two feet of empty space between us.

About LJ Shen:

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets people’s’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

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Excerpt Reveal + Pre-Order: Memento Mori by Lexi Blake

 

 

 

 

Six men with no memories of the past

One leader with no hope for the future

A man without a past

Jax woke up in a lab, his memories erased, and his mind reprogrammed to serve a mad woman’s will. After being liberated from his prison, he pledged himself to the only thing he truly knows—his team. Six men who lost everything they were. They must make certain no one else gets their hands on the drugs that stole their lives, all while hiding from every intelligence organization on the planet. The trail has led him to an unforgiving mountainside and a beautiful wilderness expert who may be his only hope of finding the truth.

A woman with a bright future

River Lee knows her way around the Colorado wilderness. She’s finally found a home in a place called Bliss after years lost in darkness. The nature guide prefers to show her clients the beauty found in the land, but she also knows the secrets the mountains hold. When she meets Jax, something about the troubled man calls to her. She agrees to lead him to the site of an abandoned government facility hidden deep in the forest. She never dreamed she was stepping into the middle of a battlefield.

A love that could heal a broken soul

Spending time with River, Jax discovers a peace he’s never known. Their passion unlocks a side of himself he didn’t even know he was missing. When an old enemy makes his first move, Jax and River find themselves fighting for their lives. But when his past is revealed, will River be caught in the crosshairs of a global conspiracy?

 

 

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“This place is beautiful,” he said when she hesitated.

She nodded but didn’t move from her seat. “I love it here. I went to college in Denver, but I always missed this place. When I was younger, my dad had a house in Creede. He started the business there, but when he could, he moved us out of town. My dad was a loner, I suppose. Creede has a population of four hundred and Dad thought that was way too many people.”

“I know the feeling. I lived in London for a while. That was definitely too many people.” He kept his tone even. It was odd. Now that he was here, that hunger he always felt was tempered by her fear. He’d thought he would take anything offered to him, but he couldn’t having met her. If the blonde had offered herself up, he would have turned her down. Over the two hours they’d sat in the booth, eating fried food and drinking beer, he’d figured something out. Some people were more special than others. River was special. He should be more cynical. He could hear Damon Knight telling him to be cautious, but he couldn’t make himself do it. Perhaps it was the fact that he didn’t have a long well of history to draw from and to teach him that this was likely a mistake.

It didn’t feel like a mistake.

“Wow. I’ve never been farther than Kansas City.” She still wasn’t moving and her voice had taken on a tremulous tone.

His heart constricted, and it was surprisingly easy to not listen to his dick. His dick was pleading with him to get aggressive. His dick was trying to convince him that if he could get inside her, she would accept him.

Yeah, he wasn’t going to listen to his dick.

“If you’ve changed your mind, I can call my brother to pick me up. I have a phone and so does he. His number is programmed in. I don’t want to scare you. I had a good time talking to you tonight. It was one of the nicest nights I’ve had in a long time.” Ever. It was the best night ever. It was the first night he felt normal, though he wasn’t exactly sure what that word meant. Comfortable was a better one. That tight feeling in his chest had eased as he’d sat in the booth with River and Tucker and Heather.

Although he’d hated lying to her.

She finally turned, looking at him. Her eyes shone in the moonlight. “You mean that, don’t you?”

He wanted to touch her. He’d had to force his hands not to move toward her all night long. The most he’d allowed himself was to have their hips and shoulders touch as they’d sat next to each other. He’d decided it had been a good thing he’d sat next to her because he was fairly certain he had a case of Big Tag’s crazy eyes, and she would have seen them had he sat across from her.

“I do mean it. Please don’t get me wrong. I want you. I would like nothing more in the world than to take you into that cabin, lay you out, and make a feast of you. I want to kiss you and when I say that I don’t merely mean your lips. I want to put my mouth all over your body. But more than I want that, I want you to like me.” It was important somehow. He wouldn’t see her after tonight, but he couldn’t stand the idea that she was afraid of him.

Everyone was afraid of him. Everyone he knew was waiting for his powder keg to blow, but he’d sworn to himself earlier in the evening that it wouldn’t blow around her. He would protect her even if it was only for one night.

 

 

 

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Excerpt Reveal + Pre-Order: Good Time Cowboy by Maisey Yates

 

From New York Times bestselling author Maisey Yates, comes GOOD TIME COWBOY—the third standalone novel in her Gold Valley Series!

GOOD TIME COWBOY releases on August 21, 2018. Pre-order your copy today!

 

GOOD TIME COWBOY Synopsis:

In Gold Valley, Oregon, forbidden desire just might turn into the love of a lifetime…

When Lindy Parker lost her cheating husband, she gained a vineyard. She’ll do anything for Grassroots Winery, including teaming up with the hottest devil she knows, rancher Wyatt Dodge. Wyatt is her ex’s friend and has an ego as big as the bulls he rides. But in spite of that, disciplined Lindy has always wanted him…

Lightning struck Wyatt Dodge the first time he saw Lindy Parker. But there were two problems with that: she was married to his friend, and Wyatt doesn’t do strings. But now Lindy is free, and the two of them can finally explore the heat that’s burned between them for so long. But can Lindy make this good time cowboy decide on forever?

Pre-order GOOD TIME COWBOY here!

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Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

Excerpt:

LINDY PARKER HATED the rodeo. Just in general. The sights, the smells, the cloud of testosterone that covered everything.

She hadn’t always hated it, but now it all reminded her of her ex-husband. Damien was so firmly part of that world to her. Whenever she’d gone to rodeo events, it had been for the sole purpose of seeing Damien’s work. To see the results of PR campaigns he’d run and to rub elbows with possible sponsors.

The rest of it didn’t much appeal to her. Dirt and bright lights and overly loud announcers.

But if there was one thing she hated more than the rodeo itself, it was the bull riders.

Cocky. Arrogant. Jerks.

Even her younger brother, Dane, suffered from a bad case of it when he’d been out on the circuit for too long.

But there was no bull rider who irked her quite like Wyatt Dodge. Her dear ex’s favorite rider. A man who’d made Damien tons of money and inflated his ego beyond the telling of it, which, in her humble opinion, had contributed to the flagrant affair her husband had engaged in with a woman who had—at the time—worked at Grassroots Winery, and had been young enough that she still probably remembered how to get to Sesame Street.

Not that it was Wyatt Dodge’s fault. No, Damien was responsible for his own body parts and where they wandered. He was the one who had made vows to her, and even if she did feel like perhaps his prolonged exposure to a pack of manwhores hadn’t helped her marriage, she knew exactly where the fault lay for what had transpired.

With Damien.

She’d caught him kissing an employee of their winery. A much younger employee. Sarabeth, who Lindy had considered a casual friend. A woman she’d invited into her home. A woman she’d paid an hourly wage to. And apparently some of those hours had been spent in bed with Lindy’s husband.

And Lindy could hold a grudge. And had. All the way to court, where she had managed to get full ownership of Damien’s family winery, Grassroots Winery.

Jamison Leighton and his wife had been unsurprisingly angry at the way all that had gone. But, they shouldn’t have left the entire thing to a son who didn’t know how to keep it in his pants. Particularly not a son who had signed a very foolish prenuptial agreement, designed only to protect him from her. Which had meant that all bad behavior stipulated in said agreement had been based on the assumption that she would be the one to do all the very bad things.

And so, she had emerged victorious. She’d given more power back to his sisters, who had not had a chance to claim any part of the property from his parents, but who had stood by her side through the ordeal.

She was close to Sabrina and Bea, in spite of the fact that they were blood-related to Damien. They were the sisters of her heart, and they all worked together even now.

She loved the winery, but unfortunately it was that work that brought her to the Get Out of Dodge ranch now—and was bringing her into contact with a man that she liked less than cooked carrots.

Bull rider. Manwhore. Friend of her ex-husband.

Wyatt Dodge.

Lindy gritted her teeth and parked her little red car in the gravel lot. She questioned her decision-making sometimes. The fact that she’d come to Wyatt with the idea of the joint barbecue that would hopefully increase business at both Grassroots and Get Out of Dodge. A barbecue that would showcase the grounds of the dude ranch and the wines from Grassroots, and educate people on the different activities available at both locations.

But it made sense. Business sense, anyway. And she’d felt like it would be shortsighted to let her feelings for Wyatt—both her irritation and the strange tightening she felt in her stomach whenever he was around—hinder an important business decision.

Back in the day, Get Out of Dodge had been a thriving dude ranch, bringing people in for miles. But then, Quinn Dodge had lost his wife, and the tragedy had made it difficult for him to continue running the place at that capacity. Since then, the ownership had passed to Quinn’s son, Wyatt, who had retired from the rodeo circuit. He was working on bringing it backto its former glory, modernizing it and creating a place that would cater to what guests wanted now.

Lindy felt like she was very much doing the same with Grassroots. Now that it was in her control she was doing all the expanding she had wanted to do when she and Damien had been married. He had been just happy to live in a big house and let the winery bump along, making income as it had always done.

Not Lindy. Lindy had come from nothing, and she didn’t take a thing for granted.

All that mattered was the future.

And getting through all of it without killing Wyatt.

 

 

 

About Maisey Yates:

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.

 

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Excerpt Reveal: Mixed Up Love by Natasha Madison

 

Hunter

When my business partner asked me to do him a favor, I had no idea he was sending me on a blind date his mother arranged for him. I walked in the bar, saw the woman drinking her third martini, and knew I was in for an eventful night.

After the unexpected second date, she didn’t know my real name or who I really was. By that time, the lie was too far gone, and I wanted her too much to admit the truth.

Laney

It’s not every day you find out your ex-boyfriend is engaged.

I shouldn’t have agreed to the blind date. My mother insisted, and I wasn’t in any position to turn down a night out.

I will admit, I definitely shouldn’t have ordered that fourth martini before said blind date even arrived.

The man turned out to be swoon worthy, handsome, condescending—a perfect distraction. Then I found out he was a liar.

I’ve never been in over my head to this degree.

Then again, I’ve never been in love.

 

 

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Sign up for Natasha’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!

 

EXCERPT:

Walking into the restaurant, the hostess stands there with a smile on her face while I look around and see if maybe there is a guy sitting alone. I notice a couple of guys at the bar, but they look like they are together. Most of the tables are taken but none of them with a single man. “Good evening. How many I help you?” she says.

“I’m supposed to be meeting someone, and I don’t see him, reservations under Anthony,” I say, still looking around. The clanking of plates and cutlery fill the room along with soft music coming out of the speaker. She looks down at the pad in front of her.

“Yes, Anthony, table for two?” she asks, and I look at her and nod. She grabs two menus and another one that I’m assuming is the wine list. “If you can follow me,” she says and walks to the right of the restaurant. Passing a couple of tables, she sits me at a table for two near the bar and in front of the outdoor patio. “Here you go. Your waiter will be right with you.” I take the seat facing the front door so I can see everyone coming in and out. I grab the linen napkin on the table under my utensils and place it on my lap. I grab the brown menu and open it, my eyes scanning to see what they serve here.

I’m not sitting here for more than a minute when the waiter comes to the table, pouring water into the two glasses on the table. “My name is Henry, and I’ll be your server for the evening. Can I start you off with a cocktail while you wait?”

“Oh, that sounds so good. I’ll have two.” I laugh, not really joking. “Give me two martinis, two olives with one ice cube.”

“Very well,” he says and nods at me. I giggle to myself, scanning the restaurant and people watching. I see a couple of men sitting at the bar facing me as they talk to each other. I look out at the street and watch as cars zoom through and around other cars. Henry comes over a couple of minutes later with two martinis on his tray. He places them both in front of me. I smile at him, raising a glass to him, then take a long gulp. Yup, no sipping here, not after the news I just got. “This is fantastic,” I say. “I’ll take another.” He just nods and walks away, no doubt judging me in his head. But it’s not every day you find out that your gay ex-boyfriend is engaged to another woman. I don’t even think there is a greeting card for that shit, but I could be wrong.

I finish off the first martini in record time. The heat of the alcohol slowly creeps up, making my cheeks flustered. I’m glad I took an Uber, I think as I grab the second martini and bring it to my lips. I’m one sip into drinking my second martini when I see a man walk in the door, and the glass stops midair. The only thing going through my mind is holy shit.

His black suit molds to his body with a crisp white button-down shirt underneath, and he left the top two buttons open, showing a hint of his tan skin. His black aviator glasses hide his eyes, but it doesn’t matter. His hair is cut short, his face is clean shaven, and his lips—oh my god, his lips are so full, which conjures an image of me sucking his bottom lip to run through my mind. I shake my head; it must be the vodka. “No more drinks for me,” I say under my breath, looking down at the drink in my hand. Then I make the mistake of looking up again, and I see the woman at the hostess stand turn and look around the room.

Her eyes stop on me as she points at me, smiling at the man who doesn’t even pay attention to her. He dips his head to her and makes his way over to me. I still can’t see his eyes, but there is no denying that I feel his stare right through me. “Oh, shit,” I whisper to myself, and as he comes closer, I see that his jaw is square, and his chest is wider than I thought. I don’t think I inhale or exhale a breath while he walks around the tables, finally stopping at mine. He takes off his glasses, and I finally see his smoky gray eyes. “Are you Laney?”

I don’t know what happens, but my throat closes. I try to talk, but no words come out of my mouth, so I don’t say anything. My mouth opens and then closes again, but not a sound is made. Instead, the waiter comes back, smiling. “Here are two more.” I look at who I think is my blind date as he glares at the man, and I laugh nervously.

“It isn’t what it looks like,” I tell the man standing beside the table.

“Really? I find it hard to believe. It looks like you’re sitting here waiting for something bad to happen.” He then looks around, eyeing everyone in the place, and it’s a good thing I’m not standing because my legs would give out.

 

 

 

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
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Sneak Peek: The Naked Truth by Vi Keeland

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“May I get you something to drink while you wait for the rest of your party?” the waiter asked.

I would normally wait to see what the client did and follow his lead on alcohol. But tonight was not the norm.

 

I rubbed at my stiff neck. “I’ll take a vodka cranberry, please.”

 

I hoped it would help calm my nerves and release some of the tension in my jaw before I gave myself a full-blown headache. Taking out my phone, I started to scroll through emails to distract myself while waiting for my drink and dinner companion.

 

My head whipped up at the sound of Gray’s voice behind me. “Sorry I’m late.”

 

My heart unexpectedly fluttered, and I fought against the feeling of excitement. “Are you really? Because I get the sense you don’t have any manners after the way you interrupted me a million times today.”

 

He completely ignored my attitude as he took the seat across from me. “Traffic is a bitch getting downtown at this time. Next time we’ll have dinner at my place.”

 

“There won’t be a next time.”

 

Gray’s mouth curved into a smug smile as he snagged my gaze. “Sure there will. There’ll be plenty of next times. And eventually you’ll stop pretending you don’t enjoy my company.”

I hated that my body reacted to him. Right from the very start, we’d had a crazy chemistry between us that was difficult to dull.

 

I sighed. “What are you doing, Gray? Why did you come to my firm?”

 

He lifted the cloth napkin in front of him and laid it across his lap. “Isn’t that obvious? I need new legal representation.”

 

“At my firm? And you’d prefer that representation come from an associate instead of my boss’s boss—the head of our securities division? Or even from Pittman, who would gladly hold your hand and provide you whatever legal advice you need from his fifty-plus years of experience?”

 

“Loyalty is important to me. I want someone I can trust with my business.”

 

“And you’ve decided that’s me? An associate with five years experience who just got off probation with the Bar Association for violating attorney-client privilege?”

The waiter arrived with my drink. “Here you go, ma’am.” He turned to Gray. “May I get you something to drink? Or would you like to wait until the last of your party joins you this evening?”

 

“It’s just the two of us. I’ll have a Macallan, neat, please.”

 

“Coming right up.” The waiter walked around to the other side of the table and started to remove the third place setting.

 

I put my hand out, stopping him. “We actually do have another party coming, so you can leave that.”

 

“Very well.” He nodded.

 

Gray waited until the waiter was out of earshot. “I didn’t invite anyone else to dinner.”

 

I sipped my drink and offered a saccharine-sweet fake smile. “I did. Figured an important client like you should have more than one attorney to answer his questions.”

 

Just as I set down my glass, I saw the other man I was waiting for enter the restaurant. He scanned the room, looking for me, so I held up my hand and waved.

 

“Perfect timing. There’s Oliver now.”

 

Gray glanced at the man heading toward us and back to me. Instead of being pissed off, the jerk was amused. “That’s cute. You invited a chaperone because you don’t trust yourself with me.”

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