Cover Reveal + Pre-Order: Twisted by Aleatha Romig

 

The underworld of Chicago is far from forgiving. It’s a world where knowledge means power, power money, and money everything.

While I paid the ultimate price to have it all, it wasn’t my decision to give up my life.

That doesn’t mean I ceased to exist, only to live.

Going where the job takes me and living in the shadows, with deadly accuracy I utilize the skills inherent to me, not knowing from where they came, not recalling what I’d lost.

And then I saw her.

Laurel Carlson.

I shouldn’t want her, desire her, or need her, yet with each sighting I know she is exactly what I have to have. Laurel has the ability to do what I thought was impossible. She sees what others don’t.

My gut tells me that it’s a deadly mistake to change my plans and open my world to her. My mind says she’ll be repulsed by my twisted existence.

None of that matters, because my body won’t take no for an answer.

I’ve made dangerous mistakes before.

This time, will the price be too high?

 

From New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes a brand-new dark romance bringing us back to the same dangerous underworld as SECRETS. You do not need to read the Web of Sin trilogy to get caught in this new and intriguing saga, Tangled Web.

TWISTED is book one of the TANGLED WEB trilogy which will continue in OBSESSED and conclude in BOUND.

Have you been Aleatha’d?

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

PREORDERS

AMAZON US | NOOK | APPLE | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY

 

 

 

 

Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of over thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams and bring your imagination to life!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

In the spring of 2017, Aleatha released her first stand-alone, fun, and sexy romantic comedy with PLUS ONE, followed by the sweet stand-alone, ONE NIGHT.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

NEWSLETTER | WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | GOODREADS
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | PINTEREST

New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: Jagged Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

He loved her from the moment he saw her. Now he has to fight to keep her. Carrie Ann Ryan’s Montgomery Ink: Colorado Springs series continues with JAGGED INK, which is available now!

About JAGGED INK

The Montgomery Ink: Colorado Springs series continues with a couple fighting to keep what they thought they had and gain what they didn’t know they needed.

Roxie Montgomery met her soul mate when she least expected it. When he asked her to marry her, she thought her happily ever after was only just beginning. Then, she found that walking into the sunset was much harder than her favorite books made it out to be. After a crushing loss, she feels as though she doesn’t know her husband anymore, or rather…she doesn’t know herself.

Carter Marshall has loved Roxie since the first time he saw her. But as the days pass between them, so does the distance. He doesn’t know how to show her that he’s all in, and honestly doesn’t know if she’s in at all. When an accident changes everything, they’ll have to decide if what they have can be salvaged, or if starting over is the answer. Or even possible.

Without fighting, without a true new beginning, sometimes, the remnants of what was lost can leave anyone jagged, shells of what they were before. It will take more than the idea of forever for Roxie and Carter to find themselves again, but as the Montgomerys know, nothing worth fighting for is easy.

Get your hands on JAGGED INK now!

✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2TWV0wX
✦iBooks https://apple.co/2BGLEz1
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2oeaw96
✦B&N http://bit.ly/2qPQ6oa
✦Google Play http://bit.ly/2ujueDo
✦Amazon Paperback https://amzn.to/2GTo2cX
Add it to your Goodreads Shelves –> http://bit.ly/2EQadLQ

 

Read an Excerpt from JAGGED INK

They still had a couple of hours before bed, but neither of them commented on that. They were just going to go their separate ways, a prelude to what would happen as soon as Carter was completely healed.

Roxie gave him a tight nod and then went upstairs. He did his best not to look at her. Because when he looked at her, he ached.

Because he missed his wife. He missed her smile, he missed everything about her.

He missed the way she would laugh at something inane and then bury her face in her hands because she knew that it was silly to laugh at it.

He missed her touch, her taste. Yeah, he missed sex, but it wasn’t like they’d had sex recently. They used to have their hands on each other all the time.

And then she’d stopped talking.

She’d stopped smiling.

And he couldn’t figure out how to make her do either of them again. He’d tried, but it hadn’t worked.

And then, eventually, he’d stopped trying altogether.

And she hadn’t done anything about it.

So, this was his fault. Because he had tried, and he’d failed. It would always be his fault.

Always.

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest

 

Cover Reveal + Pre-Order: Dance With Me by Kristen Proby

Dance with Me cover Reveal banner.jpg

Dance With Me by Kristen Proby

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 7th, 2019

Cover Designer: Hang Le

Photographer: Sara Eirew

Dance-With-Me-PRINT-FOR-WEB.jpg

Starla. Just Starla.

She doesn’t have a last name, and she doesn’t need one. Not with that many Grammys on her mantel. Everyone knows her kick-ass, no-holds-barred style of singing, dancing, and living.

No one knows that America’s Sweetheart is still living with the wreckage of four years ago, when her world was torn apart. Losing her fiancé was devastating, but she’s channeled all of that into her music. Closing off her heart opened a hundred new doors.

Officer Levi Crawford, Seattle PD.

For almost twenty years, Levi has been consumed by the law. He eats, sleeps, and breathes work. Not just because he’s a workaholic, but because he loves it. Sure, he doesn’t have time for a woman and barely sees the rest of his family, but it’s a trade he’s always been happy to make.

Until Starla.

Two lonely hearts could learn to beat again, if they’re willing to dance together.

Dance With Me AMAZON.jpg

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon –https://amzn.to/2Eb1gf7

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/DanceWithMeKP

AppleBooks – https://apple.co/2tkg1G6

Nook – http://bit.ly/2Sxb2B9

Kobo – http://bit.ly/2GrcwpZ

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2DEPiZF

Cover Reveals.jpg
About Kristen:

Kristen was born and raised in a small resort town in her beloved Montana. In her mid-twenties, she decided to stretch her wings and move to the Pacific Northwest, where she made her home for more than a dozen years.

During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.

Not only did she publish one book, she’s since published close to thirty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion Series.

Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two pugs and two cats.

Connect with Kristen:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BooksByKristenProby/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Handbagjunkie
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristenproby/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kristen-proby
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kBRdpj
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2BD4vfq
Pinterest: @handbagjunkie
Website: https://www.kristenprobyauthor.com/
Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/kristenproby/newsletter-sign-up

New Release + Release Blitz: If I Only Knew by Corinne Michaels

IfIOnlyKnew-SBPRBANNER-RB.jpg

“Corinne Michaels never fails to deliver stories full of heartbreak and healing. If I Only Knew swept me away. A beautiful romance, a story of everlasting friendships, this book is not to be missed.” – Bestselling Author, Devney Perry

If I Only I Knew, an all-new heartwarming and sexy standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Corinne Michaels is live!

IfIOnlyKnew_FrontCover copy.jpg

My life was perfect – until a shocking tragedy pulled the rug out from underneath me.

My children were left without a father. I was without a husband and a provider. Instead of wallowing in my grief, I buried myself in my work at Dovetail Enterprises. Landing the promotion as the CEO’s right hand was exactly what I needed.

Getting saddled with Milo Huxley as an assistant is exactly the opposite.

I can’t stand him.

He’s arrogant, irresponsible, and out for my job. As if that’s not bad enough, he has to be devastatingly sexy, and have a posh English accent that makes me squirm on top of it all. I’ve had enough unpredictability for one lifetime, thank you.

But soon enough, we’re fighting less and laughing more. He’s there for me when no one else is. And those good looks aren’t the only panty-dropping thing about him.

If I only knew what to do about it . . .

IIOK-AN.jpg

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2S9I1dv

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/IfIOnlyKnewCM

Audible: https://amzn.to/2WnHtA3

Apple Books: http://smarturl.it/IIOKiBooks

Nook: http://smarturl.it/IIOKNook

Kobo: http://smarturl.it/IIOKKobo

Google Play: http://smarturl.it/IIOKGP

Add to Goodreads: http://smarturl.it/IIOKGR

IIOK-Teaser3-AN_RB.jpg

About Corinne:

Corinne Michaels is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller author. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun-loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife.

After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love.

Connect with Corinne:

Facebook: https://bit.ly/1iwLh6y

Twitter: https://bit.ly/2Jcp29z

Instagram: https://bit.ly/2L1Vzo6

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2N1H2Gb

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NVZmhv

Pinterest: https://bit.ly/2m7MkEL

Bookbub: https://bit.ly/2yc6rss

Website: http://corinnemichaels.com

Stay up to date with Corinne and sign up for her mailing list:

http://bit.ly/2wTY2rg

To sign up for monthly text alerts: Text CMBOOKS TO 77948

*US only due to carrier restrictions*

New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Take Me Again by Carly Phillips

TMA BT Banner.jpg

Take Me Again, an all-new, sexy contemporary standalone from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips, is available now!

cptakemeagaincover5x8_high-new-white

He’s alpha, he’s sexy, and he’s sure he’s got life in his hands … Until Ashley Easton returns, wanting nothing to do with the playboy who broke her heart.

Sebastian Knight is a closer. Be it a business deal or the woman of his choice, everything he wants is his for the taking. Sexy and irresistible, a wink, a smile, or a handshake always seals the deal. Until Ashley returns at the worst possible time, and everything unravels around him.

The Ashley who returns is sassy and sexy–everything Sebastian craves and he wants a second chance. Despite her reluctance, his sex appeal makes it harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

Sebastian might have a talent for sealing the deal, but Ashley is no longer easily charmed. This time he’s going to have to work to win.

A Standalone Romance

tma - an

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MrsMaB

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2pnBhsC

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TakeMeAgain

Nook: http://bit.ly/2xz3jFj

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xxwhoU

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2PRmp10

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2UaZfEJ

Audible: https://amzn.to/2RZmoN9

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2xBRvBU

Excerpt:

Though she and Sebastian had been sharing a suite in California, the fact was, they lived in separate apartments in New York. No matter what she felt for him, London, her job, and her life awaited her. The sooner they got used to being apart the better.

“I’m tired,” she said. “I didn’t rest much on the flight, and we have to be up early tomorrow to meet with Ethan.”

His grin turned into a frown. “Why do I get the feeling you’re pulling away?”

She rubbed her hands over her arms and turned away, not wanting to face him. It was one thing to pull back, another to look him in the eye while doing it. Not when all she really wanted to do was throw herself into his arms. But she lived in reality. So here they were.

“Hey.” He grasped her and turned her around. “I have a question for you.”

“Okay…” she said warily.

“Why are you still here?”

“What?” She hadn’t anticipated that question.

“Why are you still here, in New York? You said you came for Ethan, but when he sent you away, you came with me. And now we’ve wrapped things up. We’re talking to Ethan in the morning. Is your flight home booked?” As he spoke, his hands on her forearms felt like a brand, a reminder that she belonged here, with him.

And she couldn’t let that sway her. Although she’d put work out of her mind, she had checked in with her bosses while she was away, assured them she was returning. She’d bought herself another week, that was it. They understood her leave of absence but wanted her back as soon as possible.

“I’ll take your silence to be a no,” Sebastian said, releasing her arms. “Which brings me back to why? Do you still want to be here? Or are you avoiding Mr. Perfectly Nice?”

She didn’t want to talk about any of this. She still had a week left, and in that time, Ethan would need her once he found out about Mandy’s cheating. Or was that just an excuse? Because she wasn’t ready to leave Sebastian, her conscience asked her.

She glared at him. “Why are you pushing me so hard just because I said I was tired?” she asked, more annoyed with herself but taking it out on him.

“Because of what we shared in California. Because of what we feel for each other, even if you’re not ready to admit it. And because I want to know.”

Meet Carly Phillips:

Carly Phillips is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.
carlyphillips

Connect with Carly:

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carly-phillips

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QyGiLl

Instagram: https://instagram.com/carlyphillips

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2Nk4bID

Stay up to date with Carly by joining her mailing list: http://www.carlyphillips.com/newsletter-sign-up/
Sign up for Text Updates of New Releases: http://tinyurl.com/p3upm5s
Join Carly’s Addicts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CarlysAddicts/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/carlyphillips
Website: www.carlyphillips.com

Blog: http://www.carlyphillips.com/blog

Release Blitz: Take Me Again by Carly Phillips

TMA RB Banner.jpg

Take Me Again, an all-new, sexy contemporary standalone from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips, is available now!

CPTakeMeAgainCover5x8_HIGH-NEW-WHITE.jpg

He’s alpha, he’s sexy, and he’s sure he’s got life in his hands … Until Ashley Easton returns, wanting nothing to do with the playboy who broke her heart.

Sebastian Knight is a closer. Be it a business deal or the woman of his choice, everything he wants is his for the taking. Sexy and irresistible, a wink, a smile, or a handshake always seals the deal. Until Ashley returns at the worst possible time, and everything unravels around him.

The Ashley who returns is sassy and sexy–everything Sebastian craves and he wants a second chance. Despite her reluctance, his sex appeal makes it harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

Sebastian might have a talent for sealing the deal, but Ashley is no longer easily charmed. This time he’s going to have to work to win.

A Standalone Romance

TMA - AN.jpg

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RF1Gml

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2pnBhsC

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TakeMeAgain

Nook: http://bit.ly/2xz3jFj

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xxwhoU

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2PRmp10

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2W9ZrWy

Audible: https://amzn.to/2T8g7Mt

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2xBRvBU

Meet Carly Phillips:

Carly Phillips is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

CarlyPhillips.jpg

Connect with Carly:

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carly-phillips

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QyGiLl

Instagram: https://instagram.com/carlyphillips

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2Nk4bID

Stay up to date with Carly by joining her mailing list: http://www.carlyphillips.com/newsletter-sign-up/
Sign up for Text Updates of New Releases: http://tinyurl.com/p3upm5s
Join Carly’s Addicts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CarlysAddicts/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/carlyphillips
Website: www.carlyphillips.com

Blog: http://www.carlyphillips.com/blog

New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Yours After Dark by Marie Force

Today we are celebrating the release of YOURS AFTER DARK. Yours After Dark is part of the Gansett Island series by Marie Force. Check out the purchase links, blurb and teaser for the book below.

PURCHASE IT NOW!

Kindle US | Apple Books | Nook | Kobo | Google

Kindle CA | Kindle UK | Kindle AU

PURCHASE IN PRINT FROM Amazon | Marie’s Store | Barnes & Noble

AUDIO: Audible US | Audible UK | Audible AU

 

YOURS AFTER DARK (Gansett Island, #20) by Marie Force

Available Now!

Book Blurb:

He didn’t believe in love at first sight… Until it happened to him.

Finn McCarthy, the youngest of the McCarthy cousins, is at a crossroads. As the lease on his Gansett Island rental comes to an end, he’s making plans to return to his “real” life on the mainland. He’s enjoyed the nearly two years on Gansett with his boisterous fun-loving family, but it’s time to get back to the life he put on hold when he came to the island for his cousin’s wedding—and never left. With renovations to the Wayfarer, the family’s latest business endeavor, all but completed and the grand opening slated for Memorial Day weekend, the time is right to make a move. That is until he stops by the local salon for a quick trim that turns his life plan upside down…

Chloe Dennis, owner of the Curl Up and Dye Salon, is about to close the shop after another ordinary day when Finn McCarthy walks in and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. Holy hotness! How has she never met the youngest of the McCarthys, and now that she has met him, why is it that she runs into him everywhere she goes?

Despite the undeniable sizzle of attraction between Finn and Chloe, she is dealing with life-changing news that makes her reluctant to get involved with anyone, let alone a man who plans to leave the island for good in two short weeks. Finn can’t understand why he reacts to Chloe the way he does or why she won’t give him a chance to see what they could be. When she makes it clear that it’s not going to happen between them, what else can he do but go forward with his plan to pack up and leave at the end of the month? Unless the push-pull of undeniable desire makes them forget the many reasons why this could be a bad idea…

Return to Gansett Island for another visit with all the series regulars and to find out if Finn and Chloe can overcome the obstacles that stand between them and the possibility of true love. Catch up with Mac, Maddie, Adam, Abby, Riley, Nikki, Blaine and Tiffany, attend Shane and Katie’s wedding, and find out what happens when Blaine’s troubled brother Deacon comes to the island. Get ready for another hot, sexy summer on Gansett Island!

 

PURCHASE IT NOW!

Kindle US | Apple Books | Nook | Kobo | Google

Kindle CA | Kindle UK | Kindle AU

PURCHASE IN PRINT FROM Amazon | Marie’s Store | Barnes & Noble

AUDIO: Audible US | Audible UK | Audible AU

 

 

Gansett Island, Book 20
By: Marie Force

What in the name of hell is on your head?

Arriving to work slightly hungover and in bad need of coffee, Finn McCarthy ignored the question from his brother, Riley. Finn had forgotten to buy coffeeagainand had gone without this morning. Living alone sucked. Before his dad and Riley moved out, one of them had bought the coffee. Now he had to do it, and he never remembered it until he woke up late and realized hed forgotten. Again.

Riley wasnt giving up. Hello?

What is what?Finn choked back a yawn and tried to remember if hed brushed his teeth before he left the house. He had, hadnt he?

Riley stepped closer to him, boasting the freshly fucked look that had made Finn want to stab him more than once in the months since his brother moved in with Nikki. That.Riley pointed to the top of Finns head. What is that?

Finn had no idea what he was talking about until he reached up and encountered the lump of hair hed secured with a rubber band to keep it out of his face.

Their cousin Shane joined them. Its a man bun, and it looks ridiculous.

Riley, that asshole, busted up laughing. What the hell is a man bun?

That.Shane pointed to Finns head. Is a man bun. Theyre all the rage.

Riley couldnt stop laughing. He laughed so hard, he howled, while Finn prayed that his cousin Mac would bring coffee the way he did most days.

Thankfully, Mac walked into the Wayfarer a minute later with his business partner, Luke Harris, right behind him. And was that a tray of coffee Mac was carrying? Yes! “Whats so funny?

Finn has a man bun,Shane said.

And it looks ridiculous,Riley added.

Finn stole one of the coffees and took a big sip. Ahhh, pure bliss. Theres nowhere to get it cut out here.

Go see Chloe at the Curl Up and Dye,Mac said.

I dont get my hair cut in salons,Finn said disdainfully. I go to barber shops, and there isnt one on this island.

The way I see it,Riley said, if its a choice between a man bun or a salon, Im choosing the salon every time.

The way I see it,Finn said, no one asked you.

Wait till Dad, Uncle Mac and Uncle Frank see the man bun.Riley started laughing again. I gotta get a picture so we can show them in case they miss it.The bastard whipped his phone out and had the picture before Finn could react or turn away. That picture would haunt him for the rest of his life.

Maybe the guys were righta salon was preferable to putting up with this bullshit. His hair had gotten so long, it was either restrain it or wear a hat to keep it out of his face. Hats annoyed him when he was working, so hed grabbed a rubber band to contain it without a thought to what it might look like. Apparently, that had been a mistake.

Today, they were finishing up the shingling on the exterior of the Wayfarer, which was due to open in a couple of weeks. They were on track to meet the aggressive deadline Mac had set for the project and had turned the interior over to Nikki, the general manager. She and the team shed hired over the last few months would be loading in furniture this week, setting up hotel rooms and the dining room, hanging wall art and making finishing touches ahead of the grand opening on Memorial Day weekend.

On Saturday of that weekend, the Wayfarer would host its first major eventthe wedding reception of Shane and his fiancée, Katie Lawry. Theyd joked that they were the guinea pigs to test out whether the McCarthy familys latest Gansett Island business venture was ready for prime time. The day after the wedding, Finns famous cousin Evan McCarthy would headline the outdoor stage at the grand opening to the public.

So far, the Wayfarer was a huge hit, with Nikki reporting that the hotel was sold out for the summer and ten other weddings were already booked. That was what they wanted to hear. Each family member had a stake in the businesssome bigger than othersbut everyone had put something into his uncle Big Macs latest venture so they could all be owners. Finn was proud of the work theyd done to bring the old place back to life and even prouder of being part of something the family had done together.

Before going outside to get to work, Finn slathered sunscreen all over his face, neck and arms, gathered his nail gun and a ladder and followed the others to the scaffolding that was set up on the north side of the huge building theyd spent the winter renovating. Theyd done a damned good job, if he said so himself.

With the end in sight, Finn was making plans to move to the mainland after almost two years on Gansett Island. Itd been fun to hang with the family for a couple of years, to see his father and brother fall in love with women Finn liked and respected and to be part of Macs construction company. But it was time to get back to his real life, and that wasnt going to happen on a tiny island located off the southern coast of mainland Rhode Island.

He looked forward to skiing in the winter, driving the vintage Mustang he kept garaged at home and spending time with the friends hed left behind. Not to mention taking his career to the next level with the large construction company hed worked for in Stamford, Connecticut. There, hed put his degree in civil engineering to good use. Here, he was banging nails. Not that he didnt enjoy the work, but he hadnt spent four excruciating years in college to end up a glorified carpenter.

Missyor Melissa as she preferred to be called these dayshis on-again-off-again girlfriend at home, was threatening to come fetch him if he wasnt home by June, and he would save her the trip to Gansett by heading home right after the grand opening. After going round and round in his mind about how he felt about her during the time hed been gone, he was actually looking forward to seeing her. Despite the tumultuous aspects of their five-year relationship, theyd had a lot of fun together, most of the time anyway. Since theyd been broken up during the time he was gone, hed indulged in a few one-night stands here and there, but nothing of any consequence.

It was definitely time to go home and figure out whether they had what it took to go the distance together. His dad and Riley said absolutely not. Theyd never liked Missy for him, but Finn was determined to make up his own mind about her after seeing what remained after the long time apart.

He would miss his brother, father, aunt, uncles and cousins, and he would really miss working with Riley, Mac, Shane and Luke. Hed miss the family gatherings, the fishing trips Big Mac liked to organize and the time with his favorite men in the world. Hed miss Rileys girlfriend, Nikki, whom he called Nicholas while she called him Finnbar. The three of them had spent a lot of time together over the winter, and shed become a good friend to him.

He liked being able to regularly see his cousins Janey and Laura and their kids, as well as Macs brood and now Adams little guy, Liam, too. Macs wife, Maddie, was expecting another baby, and hed heard rumblings that his cousin Grants wife, Stephanie, might be pregnant, too. In addition, his cousin Mallory and her fiancé, Quinn, were talking about tying the knot at some point this summer.

Life on Gansett was rarely boring with the McCarthy family and their friends around to keep things interesting. It wasnt like Finn was dying to get out of there, especially with the summer coming. That was the best time of year to be on the island. But hed promised himself over the winter that once the Wayfarer was finished, hed make a move.

The Wayfarer was almost done, and the lease at the house was up at the end of the month. It seemed like the universe was conspiring to tell him it was time to get back to reality.

Nikki had offered him the garage apartment at Eastward Look, her familys home, if he wanted it. He was tempted to stay for the summer, but that would only prolong the inevitable.

No, he was going home at the end of the month. Tonight, hed text his old boss in Stamford to let him know hed be available in June, and hed touch base with Missy, too. As he applied the nail gun to a row of shingles, he felt a sense of calm come over him. For so many months, the stay-or-go tug-of-war had raged in his mind while his family had pressured him to stay with them. Hed be the only member of the McCarthy family not living on Gansett, and while it was tempting to give in to the pressure from his family, he had goals and aspirations that couldnt be achieved on the island.

Someday, hed like to own his own company the way Mac did. Finn considered self-employment the holy grail, accountable to no one but yourself and your employees. Mac worked his ass off, but it seemed nice to be the boss. Finn thought he would like thatsomeday in the far-off future that would be much farther off if he stayed here than it would be if he went home to Connecticut.

The workday dragged. Shingling was boring, monotonous work that gave him too much time to think. He wanted out of his own thoughts for a while. Whatre you guys doing tonight?he asked Riley as they helped the others clean up and shut down for the day.

Not sure yet. Nik might be working late again.

I want to go out.

Id be up for that. What do you feel like doing?

Drinking, raising hell, the usual.

Riley smiled. Thats your usual. Not mine anymore.

Oh, shut up. Youre not married yet.

Nope, but Id like to be. Sooner rather than later.

Finn stopped and took a closer look at his brother. Youre serious.

Dead serious. In fact, I was going to ask if youd help me pick out a ring.

Wow. This is huge.While Finn was thrilled for his brother and Nikki, he couldnt ignore the nagging ache that came with losing his best friend. As soon as he had that thought, he felt stupid. Riley was getting married, not dying, for Christs sake.

You okay?Riley gave him an odd look that had Finn pulling himself together.

Im happy for you, Ri. Nicholas is a great girl.

I love her.

The stark simplicity of his brothers statement stayed with Finn on the ride home. Riley had promised to text him after he caught up with Nikki about the plans for the evening. I love her. He puzzled over his brothers heartfelt words while showering, and then while drinking a beer and eating his favorite after-work snack of corn chips and Cheez Whiz. I love her.

What must it be like to be so certain?

Had he ever said that about any woman, even Missy? Nope, and he wasnt sure whether what hed felt for Missy was love or lust or some weird combination of the two. One thing he knew for certainhe hadnt had with her what Riley had with Nikki. The realization made him uneasy as he ran fingers through his unruly mop of hair, recalling that hed planned to get a haircut.

He searched for the Curl Up and Dye salons number on his phone and put through a call.

A female voice answered. Curl Up and Dye.

Hi there. What time do you close tonight?

Seven.

Can you take a walk-in?

If you get here soon.

Ill be right over.

Whats your name?

Finn McCarthy.

Got it. See you soon.

He downed the rest of the beer and put the Cheez Whiz in the fridge next to the beer that was the only other thing in there. The meager contents of his fridge were further proof that he needed to get a life.

Since the salon was in town, he decided to walk rather than drive. As the season started to pick up steam with Gansett Island Race Week underway, parking in town could be hard to come by. A block from the salon, he noticed the dark purple paint and the sign with the catchy name painted in gold leaf. Two smiling, laughing women were leaving as he reached the door, and he held it for them.

One of them gave him the once-over as she went by. Thank you.

My pleasure.She was old enough to be his mother.

Inside the salon, the first thing he noticed was the rich scent of shampoo and the décor that consisted of golden wood floors, black leather chairs, chrome accents and mirrors all over the place.

Ill be right out.The same distinctive voice hed spoken to on the phone.

Take your time.Finn looked around at the glass shelves of products that promised shine, body, vibrancy and a variety of other things he never gave much thought to.

You dont need that.

Finn looked up from the bottle he was studying to find the sexiest woman hed ever laid eyes on looking at him in amusement. Shoulder-length dark hair streaked with dark purple, ears pierced multiple times each, her left arm boasting a colorful sleeve tattoo, a sparkling diamond stud in her nose and violet eyes that riveted him. Hed never seen eyes that color before. She wore a black sleeveless top over black skinny jeans that clung to curves that made his mouth go dry.

You must be Finn?

Ah, yeah. Thats me.He put the bottle on the shelf and managed to knock two others to the floor. As he bent to retrieve them, his head connected with hers in a painful smack that made him see stars. Fucking hell, that hurt! When he looked up, he found her rubbing the side of her head.

Ow.

Sorry about that.He picked up the bottles and returned them to the shelf.

Youve got a hard head.Her face flushed when she realized the double meaning behind her words.

A surge of heat to his groin caught him by surprise. Itd been so long since any woman had interested him, and hed nearly given this one a concussion. May I please request a do-over of the last minute?He held out his hand. Im Finn McCarthy.

She eyed his hand before she reached out to take it. Chloe Dennis.

The brush of her skin against his made his entire system go haywire. What the hell was that about? Stunned and unnerved by his reaction to her, he quickly retrieved his hand. Do you have time for a quick haircut?

Sure, but with all that hair, its not going to be quick.

I can come back another time.

No, its fine.She gestured to one of three black chairs positioned in front of a row of mirrors. Have a seat.

Finn headed for the chair she pointed to and sat, feeling out of sorts and off his game after the head bump. He wasnt usually so clumsy or awkward around women, but hed rarely encountered one like Chloe.

Goddess was the word that came to mind. She projected a cool, aloof aura of self-confidence, which he found incredibly sexy. He stared at her in the mirror as she approached the chair, and when she ran her fingers through his hair, he felt her touch in every corner of his body. Even the bottoms of his feet tingled with awareness.

Holy crap.

Whatre you thinking?

He didnt dare answer that question.

Short or on the longer side?

God, she was talking about his hair, and his imagination had run away with him.

Um, short enough that its not in my face at work, but not super short.

What do you do for work?

Construction for my cousin Mac.

Ahh, gotcha. Hes insane. In the best way, of course.

Finn laughed. That he is. He keeps us well entertained.Finn would miss the older cousin hed always looked up to. The ten years between them had all but disappeared in the time Finn had lived on Gansett Island. These days, Mac treated him more like a peer than a pesky baby cousin. Finn had learned a lot from Mac, both professionally and personally.

You McCarthy men sure were blessed with great hair.

Watching her run her fingers through his hair was one of the most erotic things Finn had ever experienced.

I cut your dad, your uncles, your cousins. You guys could be shampoo models.

Finn cleared a huge lump from his throat. You think so?

She met his gaze in the mirror. I really do.

Was it his imagination or did she look at him much longer than necessary? No, definitely not his imagination. He shifted in the seat, hoping she wouldnt notice his embarrassing reaction to her. The movement startled her, and she looked away.

Nothing like this had ever happened in a barber shop.

—————

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE GANSETT ISLAND SERIES

—————————-

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold 1.5 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.
Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter | Goodreads

Join Marie’s Reader Groups

InkSlinger Blogger Final