Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Too Hard To Resist


Hi JCR readers! I’m thrilled to be here to share an excerpt from my new workplace, opposites attract, friends to lovers romance, TOO HARD TO RESIST. Keep reading for a peek at Madison and Elliot…

TOO HARD TO RESIST

One rookie assistant + one demanding executive = flirting that is too hot to handle.
Have you ever wished for the perfect job? Me, too. So when I land a temporary gig with a worthwhile and exemplary startup, I'm determined to make it permanent. That my boss is the gorgeous, clever Elliot Sax is nothing I can't handle. We may steal glances at each other and straddle the line of playing it safe, but our partnership is too important for complications. Not to mention workplace hookups are against the rules.
But when our attraction flames hotter, our best efforts are put to the test. I never imagined having to fight my feelings for him on a daily basis and keeping my hands to myself is absolutely killing me.
Until I can't. Until we can't. And what's at stake becomes more than our jobs. What's at risk is our hearts.
Each book in the Wherever You Go series is STANDALONE:
* Talk British to Me
* Lips Close to Mine
* Too Hard to Resist


Excerpt:

We land at the end of the bar, a dimly lit corner with one available stool. Elliot motions for me to sit. “Can I buy you a drink?” he asks.
Since my nerves are doing jumping jacks in my stomach, yes he can. “Okay.”
He waves the bartender over. The guy behind the counter is attractive and greets Elliot like he knows him. I order a tequila sunrise. Elliot orders a beer.
“This is weird,” he says.
I let out the breath I was saving for later, happy I’m not the only one who is restless. “It is.”
“It shouldn’t be.” He leans his elbows on the bar. Like me, he’s still in his work clothes. His shirtsleeves are rolled up. His collar is loose. He smells really good, a mix of man and some kind of cologne. His hair is finger-combed sexy, and I wonder if it’s as soft as it looks. “I don’t want it to be.”
“Me, either.”
He shifts, rests his side against the counter. Electric-blue eyes fringed with dark lashes hold me in place. “So let’s not let it. We work great together, and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.”
“Agreed. So, maybe when we’re not at work, we just forget we work together?”
“I can do that. What’s harder is forgetting we’re friends, too, while at work.”
I swallow. The way he’s looking at me…I think the attraction I feel isn’t one-sided. My heart starts to pound.
“I like you,” he says.
And my heart pounds double-time. “I like you, too.” But even if he weren’t my boss…he’s a million miles out of my comfort zone. I’d never be enough for someone like him. Someone far more experienced than I am—in love and life. I’ve heard enough stories from Mateo, and I’ve seen him with enough different girls over the years to know Elliot Sax is a playboy and isn’t interested in anything serious.
“Sometime this week, though—I take that backI know exactly when. On Wednesday morning when you presented me with a month-long agenda divided into three sections that included strategy, growth, and investor management—we became a team.”
A huge smile splits my face in two.
“And correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you’re happy at ZipMeds.”
“I am. Very.”
“So friends it is, with the caveat that I am your boss, and there’s a line there we have to be careful of.”
“Right,” I say, realizing he likes me, but he doesn’t like me. Which is for the best.
“I have no idea what you get paid, but I’ll look into it.”
“That’s not—”
“I also want to make your position permanent.”
“You don’t have—” I stop myself. “What did you say?” Before the grin taking over my face gets too big again, I need to hear that one more time.
“Here you go.” In my periphery, the bartender puts our drinks down. Without taking his eyes off mine, Elliot picks up our glasses. He hands me mine.
“Congratulations, Madison.”
“You want to hire me full-time?”
“If that’s what you want.”
“Yes, it’s what I want.”
“Then we have ourselves a deal.” He clinks his glass to mine, then takes a big gulp of his beer.
I watch his lips move, his throat work. It’s sexy and—I dart my gaze everywhere else but at his face while I take a sip from my tiny straw. One sip turns into two, turns into three. I’m just going to drink the whole yummy thing. When I lift my eyes to his, I find them lasered in on my mouth. My breasts grow suddenly heavy. I ache between my thighs. It’s like he can command my body to respond just to his regard. This is bad.
But feels so good.

                                                                  AMAZON

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Under A Storm-swept Sky


An eighty-mile trek across the rugged, stunning beauty of Scotland’s Isle of Skye isn't something I imagined myself doing. Ever. This isn't a trail for beginners. And I'm not a hiker. 

But I have to finish it, even if it kills me. I have no choice.

With the ever-changing weather and relentless terrain, I’m in over my head.

Rory Sutherland, my guide on this adventure, is not happy. We clash with every mile, but we recognize a shared pain. Not only is the journey a struggle, but the tension between us is taut with unsaid words. And hope.

He’s broken. I’m damaged. Together, we’re about to make the perfect storm.




Excerpt from Under A Storm-Swept Sky
Intro:
Rory is a guide leading a hike on the Isle of Skye. He’s been butting heads with Amelia, a hiker in his group, since the moment they met. Prior to this excerpt, Amelia heard Rory having a bad nightmare in his tent. She went in to help, and it didn’t go the way she expected it to. This comes right after that.
***

I watched Amelia run from my tent as if she were being chased. What the hell did I just do?
I remembered the dream—of course I did. It was always the same one. I was on top of a mountain. The fog had rolled in so quickly that I’d lost my bearings. I was utterly blind, frozen because I didn’t know where the edge was. A voice came from somewhere nearby—I couldn’t tell where—telling me to stay put, that he was coming for me.

But I panicked, the mist so thick, so pervasive, that I couldn’t breathe. I had to get out of there. And he kept telling me not to move, that he would find me, his disembodied voice calling out to me, over and over.

Always the same dream, and it always ended the same way.

Except this time, when the dream changed, when the voice calling to me changed. I knew that voice; it had been shouting at me earlier. Then it was pleading with me. A hand was on my face, and warmth surrounded me, driving away the chill.

I’d opened my eyes, and her beautiful face was so close to mine; her body was so soft and warm against me, like a living blanket.

I’d kissed her, my body coming awake as if from an endless sleep, feeling for the first time in so long. I’d held her close, my body burning for her, wanting more, needing more. As if I was still caught up in a dream—of a completely different kind.

But it hadn’t been a dream. I’d really been holding her, kissing her, feeling her body move against mine.

And then she ran out of the tent. 

I needed to see her, to apologize.

I peered outside. Amelia’s tent was all zipped up. The last thing I wanted to do if she was asleep was wake her and make her revisit the whole thing. What I needed to say could wait till morning.

But there was no way I could stay inside that tent. Not now.
I gathered up my sleeping bag and the mat underneath and stepped outside, shivering slightly as the cool breeze touched my sweaty skin. I placed the mat on a relatively pebble-free spot, then laid the sleeping bag on top of it.

Returning to my tent, I felt around for the flask I’d set aside earlier. I ducked back outside and slid into my sleeping bag, zipping it up to my waist. I didn’t know what time it was—late enough for it to be truly dark, the sky flickering with stars.

Just a few yards away, the waves lapped softly against the shore. I opened the flask and took a sip. The whisky slid down my throat, warming my chilled body. But I didn’t feel as warm as I had when I’d kissed Amelia. Don’t go there.

I took another sip and stared at the sea. Though my earlier swim had cleared my head a little bit, it hadn’t purged the memories that haunted me. Nothing truly could, but sometimes they were a little farther out of reach.
But not after today, and likely not for the rest of this week. And if Amelia hadn’t heard me, hadn’t brought me out of that nightmare, it would have been even worse.

I pictured the way she’d looked just a few hours ago, her brown eyes flashing, her face flushed, her chest heaving as she got closer and closer to me in her rage. She was so beautiful, and even though she was shouting at me—we were shouting at each other—all I could think of was how badly I’d wanted to kiss her, to see those eyes flashing with desire instead of anger, to see her cheeks flushed from passion, to see her chest heaving because I was taking her breath away with my kisses.

And now I had kissed her, but it hadn’t exactly gone the way I’d imagined it might. Not only that, she’d run from me.

I’d f**ked everything up.

She was a hiker in my group for a week, and then she’d be on her way home. I’d just needed to get along with her. And now that would never happen.

I took another sip of whisky, then lay back, zipping the sleeping bag up to my chest. I stared at the stars and breathed in the cool sea air, longing for a few hours of dreamless sleep.

About the Author:
My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse.

After a college semester aboard a schooner, I knew that one day I’d have to write about the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail. That story, heavily fictionalized, became A STAR TO STEER HER BY.


In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I've explored in all of my writing. My next book with Embrace, UNDER A STORM-SWEPT SKY, set on the Isle of Skye, will be out in April 2018. I’m a native New Yorker working in the publishing industry and am looking ahead to my next trip.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Burned



She’s the one girl he can’t forget…

Ten years ago I offered her everything, and she threw it back in my face. When she walked, I vowed no other woman would ever screw with my head the way she did. I moved on. Now I’m the V.P. of the Bastards, run my own nightclub, and nameless sex keeps me sane. No commitment or ties, just the way I like it.
Now she’s back, for one week only, gorgeous, successful, and I can’t keep away. She offers a long goodbye, a way to heal our fractured past. She burned me so bad, there’s no way I should even want to be near her. But the more she gives, the more I need. Until I discover the real reason she left, and my whole goddamn world implodes…
Exclusive Excerpt

Jasmine

“You want to grab some early lunch?”

I lean against the kitchen sink and pretend to think about his offer, even though I’m going to accept. After the breakfast interlude, we shared a leisurely shower until the water ran cold. I can’t believe it’s almost eleven already, but that’s not the main thing on my mind. Stop thinking about how he roared your name when he came… “Sure, why not?”

His smile turns my stomach into a kaleidoscope of butterflies. I’m so screwed. We should’ve finished this on Saturday morning. What was I thinking to suggest we drag it out for the whole week? My heart’s never going to recover a second time.

It never recovered the first time.

“Guess I’d better get dressed.” He saunters out of the kitchen wearing only his jeans, and for the first time I get a good look at his back.

I let out a measured breath. The Bastards’ colors are engraved in my psyche, and while I despise everything they stand for, there’s no denying how good the ink looks on Ty.

His MC is his family, stronger than any blood ties. I’ve always known it. It doesn’t stop the ache deep in my chest, though.

Enough. I don’t need to agonize over any of it the way I used to when we were together. This is just one nostalgic week where I can finally lay all the ghosts to rest.

Most of them, anyway. The ones that count.

Ty’s the only one that matters. And Viper’s dead.

I guess that’s justice of a kind. More than I could’ve ever expected. I’ll take it.

A strange sense of peace flutters through me, gone in an instant, but it’s enough.

Yeah, it’s enough.
***
We leave the building, and I take a deep breath. The air isn’t exactly fresh out here, but it’s better than the dirty stairwell we just left. “Where’re we going?” I glance up at Ty as he strolls by my side, looking as though he owns the world.

He used to own my world…once upon a time.

About the Author:
Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit, who now lives in Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She’s had more than twenty romances published, from novellas to single titles, in contemporary, ancient historical and paranormal. Whatever the subgenre, she writes on the sizzling side of naughty, and loves bringing her heroes to their knees (her heroines enjoy this, too 😊 )

She loves good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes, although not necessarily in that order. She’s also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. As in all things, they are not wrong. Sign up for her newsletter at http://christinaphillips.com



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Saturday, April 14, 2018

I love All Things Nerdy


Giveaway Alert!

As evidenced by the deliciously sexy nerd on my book cover, I love all things nerdy. I'm fluent or at least conversational in just about every nerdom, but these are my top 5.

Marvel Cinematic Universe I will own that I was not a comic book reader (sorry, Little House and Anne of Green Gables held my attention more), but I've become enthralled with the Marvel Cinematic Universe Kevin Fiege and his team have created over the last ten years. Have I loved all of them? No (*coughironman2and3cough**coughdrstrangeandthor2andantmancough*). But the layers of complexity and interwoven relationships between all the different entities is a seriously massive undertaking that they've handled so well. Plus, Peggy Carter is my hero. Seriously. A little of my heroine, Vivien, is based off her in the first season of the TV series (that sooo shouldn't have been cancelled). Also, I'm now adore Shuri from Black Panther and am anticipating Captain Marvel being fantastic.



Doctor Who I was later to the game than some but still earlier than most, but I love the Doctor so much. The creativity and the storytelling, particularly in the David Tennant/Russell T. Davies years, were incredible. Not gonna lie, Steven Moffatt ran out of steam for me about 3 seasons ago. I still watch because I'm compulsive about finishing stuff, but like with Sherlock, I think he became too wrapped up in his own cleverness. HOWEVER, oh my holy word am I excited about the female doctor and the new head writer. I cannot wait!



Star Wars I still remember the day my parents introduced me and my little brother to Star Wars. I was seven or eight, and we watched A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back all in the same night, but evil parents that they were, they decided it was too late to watch Return of the Jedi that night. And my dad being my dad, he teased me that I might not be old enough to watch Return of the Jedi. I didn't realize it then, but Princess Leia and later Rey and Jyn Erso, would become integral heroines in my nerd-universe. Strong, smart women who soldier on and get the job done in spite of the world falling apart around them. I have a whole diatribe I could go on about Leia and how badass she is. Is it any surprise that Vivien walks into her dad's company ready to get the job done?



Harry Potter
I didn’t want to love Harry Potter when it first came out—because Dad and little brother were reading it and kept telling me I was Hermione (they mispronounced her name). But I was sucked in and haven’t escaped since. And, let’s be real, I am Hermione. Bushy hair, books coming out of my ears, and more random knowledge than I know what to do with (although I would have strangled Ron rather than marrying him but that’s a separate convo). But most of all, I love Harry Potter because it’s a story of having hope when you think the situation is hopeless.

Superman: Superman was probably my first nerdom. My dad was a journalist (we’re talking word-class, kickass, old school journalist) and so, of course, Superman was a favorite in our household. I remember watching The New Adventures of Lois and Clark when I was really little, and then we watched Smallville together when I was a bit older. Superman’s powers are pretty cool and all, but as evidenced by the fact that I name-check him in the first page of my book, Clark Kent had my heart. He was a nice, honest guy who tried to do the right thing and help people. Liam was inspired by the yummy, yummy Henry Cavill as Clark Kent.



GIVEAWAY:

Taylor is giving away an eBook of Fair Game and a Doctor Who TADRIS keychain to one person leaving a comment or email entry!

FAIR GAME

In her designer shoes and power suits, Vivien Monroe couldn’t be more out of place in the video game company she inherited from her eccentric father. Not only does she have to sort out her father’s last request and deal with a younger sister she barely knows, she has to go toe-to-toe with her father’s protégé—a man who makes her think about the last thing she should be thinking about right now.
With his thick-framed glasses and graphic tees, Liam Hale is the exact opposite of what she needs right now. His relaxed, out-of-the-box attitude reminds her too much of her father’s more exasperating quirks, but his dedication and quiet stubbornness begin to drive her crazy in a completely different way.
All Vivien wants is to get back to her life in New York, but someone is stealing the company’s best game ideas, and an FBI agent is sniffing around. She’ll save her father’s legacy for her sister and then she’s out of there—if she can leave Liam behind.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Spies, Lies, and Allies


Summers are supposed to be fun, right? Not mine. I’ve got a job at my dad’s company, which is
sponsoring a college scholarship competition. I just found out that, in addition to my job assisting the competing interns, I’m supposed to vote for the winner. Totally not what I signed up for.


My boss is running the competition like it’s an episode of Survivor. Then there’s Carlos, who is, well, very distracting––in a good way. But I can’t even think about him like that because fraternizing on the job means instant disqualification for the intern involved.
As if that’s not enough, an anonymous informant with insider intel is trying to sabotage my dad’s company on social media...and I’m afraid it's working.
Much as I’d love to quit, I can’t. Kristoffs Never Quit is our family motto. I just hope there’s more than one survivor by the end of this summer.

Available May 1st. - Pre-order now!


Excerpt from Spies, Lies, and Allies: A Love Story:
“Let’s see where helping me on my project falls on this list.” Carlos picks up a pen and clicks it, eyeing me from underneath ridiculously long lashes.
Cautiously, I take a tiny step toward his desk so I can read the list.
“Number three.” I point to the napkin. “Teamwork.”
He nods and underlines the word. I notice he’s added numbers six through ten. Nothing is written next to those numbers, except for ten, next to which he’s drawn a smiley face.
“What’s that for?” I point to the smiley face. He leans back in his desk chair and grins up at me.
“Not sure yet.”
My heart throbs in my chest and my imagination is off and running, fantasizing about number ten.
Carlos points to number five: nicknames. “I think this is where we left off at lunch.” He clicks his pen repeatedly and I resist the urge to snatch it out of his hand. “I’d prefer not to be nicknamed for a pasta, but I gave you a cereal nickname, so…” He shrugs but keeps his eyes on mine.
“I…pasta…what?” He’s not making sense.
He bites his bottom lip, and I have no trouble picturing what will make me “smiley face” if we ever make it to number ten. Also, I’m pretty sure he’s a mind reader because his gaze drifts down to my lips, then back up to my eyes.
“The Manicotti. Who is it?” He glances across the room. “Elijah? He can be sort of cheesy.”
My mind analyzes his words, sliding them around like one of those puzzles where you have to move a string through twisted metal. And then it clicks.
“You read my notebook! You’re the one who—” Panic zings through me as I remember what I wrote about him, Carlos is trouble, and his editorial comment, True. Is Carlos adorable?
Apparently I’m not the only spy around here.
“Why’d you pick this desk?” I’m desperate to change the subject.
“I like the view.”
“But it’s better by the windows.”
“Depends on which view we’re talking about.” He gives me a cryptic smile, one that makes my stomach dip. “Anyway, I saved your notebook. You’re lucky no one else read your notes.”
Mortified and defiant, I cross my arms over my chest. “You didn’t have to read it. You could’ve just returned it.”
“I was just checking to make sure you’d listed all of Mr. Mantoni’s rules.”
“Uh huh.”
Across the room, Elijah stands up and stretches. He glances at us, an amused smirk twisting his lips like he knows something I don’t.
Carlos writes on the napkin again. Number six: healthy disagreement.
“You’re kidding, right?”
His responding grin packs more heat than it should.
“I think we’ve gone off track.” I’m proud of how calm I sound, even though my nerve endings are exploding like firecrackers.

About Lisa Brown Roberts:

Award-winning romance author Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage catastrophes of tweezing off both eyebrows, or that time she crashed her car into a tree while trying to impress a guy. It’s no wonder she loves to write romantic comedies.


Lisa’s books have earned praise from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and the School Library Journal. She lives in Colorado with her family, in which pets outnumber people. Connect with Lisa at www.lisabrownroberts.com. 

Author Links:
Author Website: WWW.LISABROWNROBERTS.COM



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I'm a fixer


Congratulations to "Jcp", the winner in Maggie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I’m a fixer. That’s why I am attracted to characters who like to get things set straight. Like Olivia Pope on Scandal. I admit the Prada bags and fabulous coats are a draw too, but I really like the part where she and her fellow gladiators in suits work every angle until they pull the thread that unravels the knot.

When I started writing the Love Games series, I knew I wanted to write a heroine like that. Supremely confident and competent. Unapologetic about perceived flaws. A warrior.
Wolcott University Public Relations Director, Millie Jensen, is that woman. Smart. Funny. This oh-so capable woman can take most any sticky situation and spin it into gold.

And that’s just one of the reasons men’s basketball coach, Tyrell Ransom, is determined to PLAY FOR KEEPS when it comes to making his relationship with Millie work. When scandal rocks Ty’s world, Millie swoops in with her leopard-print stilettos and saves the day!

Here’s a little taste of PLAY FOR KEEPS:
“So I have calls in to TODAY as well as LIVE, but word is Kelly Ripa is pretty much off the jock bandwagon since Michael Strahan jumped ship. They’re both long shots, but you don’t get what you don’t ask—” She stopped on a dime when she spotted Ty sitting in the chair opposite the athletic director. “Oh. You’re here.” 
Ty craned his neck to look at her. From this distance, his eyes looked like they were simply light brown. She knew they were so much more than the color of mud. Up close, she’d spotted flecks of gold and burnt caramel. They were sheltered by thick slashes of black brows so severe, they almost balanced out the lush sensuality of his full lips. Almost, but not quite. Taken as they were, the combination was arresting. Against the backdrop of his flawless tawny skin, the individual assets packed the punch of one of those sneaky umbrella cocktails. Pretty and seemingly innocuous at first glance, but potent enough to land a woman flat on her back. 
Oblivious to the turmoil clapping eyes on him stirred, he bobbed his head in a casual greeting. “Hey, Millie.” 
A bitter laugh rose in her throat, but she swallowed the tickle. She wasn’t expecting to see him. Or prepared. Damn him. 
It really burned her biscuits that he had such an implacable game face. He’d kissed her, then tried to apologize for it. She didn’t want an apology, but she needed at least a little time to psych herself up to be near him.
This was exactly why she didn’t care for the unexpected. When she was prepared, she could pretend their kiss was nothing more than impulse on the part of a friendly coworker. She could control the compulsion to stare at his mouth and make sure she spoke in a normal voice rather than the sex kitten purr his intense gaze all but demanded she use. With a little advance notice, she could school her racing pulse. She wasn’t opposed to all forms of combustion, only the spontaneous type. 

Giveaway:
How about you? Are you a fixer, or do you prefer to be the one to mix things up? Comment below, and I’ll gift one winner with a Kindle copy of LOVE GAME (Love Games Book #1)

PLAYING FOR KEEPS

Mixing business and pleasure is a dangerous game...

Tyrell Ransom, the new men's basketball coach, is ready to whip his team into shape and start winning some games. But when compromising photos of his soon-to-be-ex-wife with one of his players go viral, everything comes crashing down. With reporters thick on the ground, Ty and his team need some serious damage control—now.
When public relations guru Millie Jenkins arrives in her leopard-print cape to save the day, things really heat up... Soon they're going to have to work double time to keep their white-hot chemistry out of the headlines.
Buy now at:

About The Author:
By day, Maggie Wells is buried in spreadsheets. At night, she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide. Maggie has a passion for college football, processed cheese foods, and happy endings. Not necessarily in that order.

More Maggie:
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 11th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Back In The Rancher's Arms


Dylan Hunter has always loved the girl next door. Part of loving her meant making sure she left their small town to study to become a veterinarian. He just never expected it to take this long for her to come home. His hands are full raising his younger brother and bringing his ranch through the drought, but one look at Kayla and his feelings are back full force.
Kayla Anderson’s not prepared to see the guy who broke her heart in high school again, but she can’t get out of returning home to be maid of honor at her cousin’s wedding. She’s determined to have fun and celebrate the special day, despite the fact Dylan is her family’s closest neighbor and the best man, and get the heck out of Dodge.
But Dylan already lost the woman he loved once. This time, he’s determined to win her back...



About the Author:

Elsie Davis discovered the world of Happily-Ever-After romance at the age of twelve when she began avidly reading Barbara Cartland, the Queen of Romance, and has been hooked ever since. After building her dream log home on top of a small mountain, she turned her attention to do what she loves most, writing. An award-winning author and active member of RWA, she writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She writes from her heart, hoping to share a little love in a big world. She will never forget the moment of exhilaration when she first got the email offering her a contract for publication. A moment that has repeated itself, and one that keeps her energized and moving forward.
Elsie loves the great outdoors and enjoys camping and kayaking, but she also loves cruising.

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