Thursday, June 21, 2018

RAINY DAY FRIENDS


Following the USA Today bestseller, Lost and Found Sisters, comes Rainy Day FriendsJill Shalvis’ moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship.

Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife. Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person?  Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan. Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Green changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.

BUY LINKS for RAINY DAY FRIENDS
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2LJd5uu
Books-A-Million: https://bit.ly/2LDlAY5


Excerpt:
Chapter 1

Anxiety Girl, able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!

            Most of the time Karma was a bitch, but every once in awhile she could be surprisingly nice, even kind. Lanie Jacobs, way past overdue for both of those things, told herself this was her time. Seize the day and all that, and drawing a deep breath, she exited the highway at Wildstone.
            The old wild-west California town was nestled in the rolling hills between the Pacific Coast and wine/ranching country. She’d actually grown up not too far from here, though it felt like a lifetime ago. The road was narrow and curvy, and since it’d rained earlier, she added tricky and slick to her growing list of issues. She was already white-knuckling a sharp turn when a kamikaze squirrel darted into her lane, causing her to nearly swerve into oncoming traffic before remembering the rules of country driving.
            Never leave your lane; not for weather, animals, or even God himself.
            Luckily the squirrel reversed direction, but before she could relax a trio of deer bounded across the road. “Run, Bambi,” she cried, hitting her brakes, and by the skin of their collective teeth, they all missed each other.
            Sweating, nerves sizzling like live wires, she finally turned onto Capriotti Lane and parked as she’d been instructed.
            It took a moment for her pulse to come down from stroke level. She’d been taught anti-anxiety techniques, but she’d never quite figured out how to make any of them work while in the actual throes of an anxiety attack.
            It’s all good she told herself but because she wasn’t buying what she was selling, she had to force herself out of the car like she was a five year old starting kindergarten instead of being thirty and simply facing a brand new job. Given all she’d been through, this should be easy, even fun. But sometimes adulthood felt like the vet’s office and she was the dog excited for the car ride -- only to find out the real destination.
            Shaking her head, she strode across the parking lot. It was April, which meant the rolling hills to the east were green and lush and the Pacific Ocean to the west looked like a surfer’s dream, all of it so gorgeous it could’ve been a postcard. A beautiful smoke screen over her not-so-beautiful past. The air was scented like a really expensive sea-and-earth candle, though  all Lanie could smell was her forgotten hopes and dreams. With wood chips crunching under her shoes, she headed through the entrance beneath which was a huge wooden sign that read:
            Capriotti Winery, from our fields to your table…
            Her heart sped up. Nerves, of course, the bane of her existence. But after a very crappy few years, she was changing her path. For once in her godforsaken life, something was going to work out for her. This was going to work out for her.
            She was grimly determined.

ABOUT JILL SHALVIS
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Connect with Jill
Facebook: @JillShalvis
Twitter: @JillShalvis

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Back To The Start


Hi, fellow JCR readers! I’m so excited to be here to share an excerpt from my second chance romance, BACK TO THE START. I can’t wait for you to meet Jake and Morgan!

BACK TO THE START

Jake McGinnis has the life he has dreamed of since childhood: a professional football career with adoring fans, financial security, and the unwavering support of his family. From the outside looking in, he has everything. But nothing could be further from the truth. 

Because there isn’t a day that goes by that Jake doesn’t think about his first love... and what his world would look like if she was still by his side. When he hears that she is relocating to start a new job less than a mile from him, the pain of their breakup feels fresher than ever. For eight years, he has wondered why their relationship ended and now she's settling in his city. A city that isn't big enough for the two of them.

For Morgan Kelley, moving to Philadelphia means living closer to her family and practicing veterinary medicine with two of her closest friends. It’s also her chance to start over and move on from her failed marriage. There’s only one con: the close proximity to Jake McGinnis. Once upon a time being near him was all she wanted, but now he is practically a stranger... and it's all her fault. Faced with awful memories and the possibility of bumping into him at her favorite coffee shop, Morgan is haunted by the real reason she once broke both of their hearts. Deep down, she knows she won’t be able to embrace this new chapter of her life without finally telling Jake the whole truth. 

But how will he react when she shares her secret? Their love story once felt inevitable, unshakable. Is this where it ends for good, or is it the beginning of a second chance?

EXCERPT
Eight years ago, hurt and pain had paralyzed him, preventing Jake from demanding to know why Morgan did what she did. But things were different now. And he deserved an answer.
He walked over to her, grabbed her hand and turned her around so she couldn’t hide from him. “Does it look like I’ve moved on, Morgan?” he asked barely above a whisper. He held on to her hand as he watched her lips part and her eyes grow wide. He had surprised her. Good.
“We’re not kids anymore,” she said.
He took her chin with two fingers and looked her in the eye. “We weren’t kids the last time we were here.” He moved in but stopped short. He was just inches from her lips. “How could you say goodbye to me so easily?”
She bit her trembling lip and then said, “We were kids. Kids who didn’t know the first thing about long distance relationships. It wouldn’t have worked. Your focus needed to be on football. Mine needed to be on hockey and getting into vet school.”
“You had no right!” His hand fell and he stepped away from her.
“No right?” she asked.
“You had no right to make that decision for the both of us.” He shook his head. “Didn’t that night mean anything to you?”
The look she gave him was one of anger and...pain? Her eyes brimmed with tears and then she regrouped. She held her head high and said, “I can’t do this. Why can’t we go back to the way we were…when we were friends?”
The word ‘friends’ never sounded so ugly and aversive. “That’s what you want, Morgan? To be friends?”
She didn’t answer him. Instead she left the nook, the place they had once shared, behind.

ABOUT ELLE KEATING
Elle Keating is the author of romance novels with sexy heroes and fierce females. Her first book, Thrill of the Chase (Dangerous Love, #1), was published by Forever Romance’s digital imprint, Forever Yours, in 2015. Cut to the Chase (Dangerous Love, #2) soon followed. Most recently, Elle self-published Wanting More (Dangerous Love, #3) and a standalone novel, Keeping His Commandments.

An avid reader of gritty, dark romances, her favorite authors include Pepper Winters, Penelope Ward, and Anna Zaires.

When she isn’t torturing her heroes and heroines (don’t worry, there’s always a happily ever after), Elle is a public school administrator and enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children in New Jersey.

CONNECT WITH ELLE
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElleKeating

SPECIAL SALE ALERT!




Monday, June 18, 2018

WILD CHILD

With: A.S. Green

WILD CHILD is a second-chance romance that was inspired by a weird run-in I had with someone in a grocery store. In my case, we weren’t past lovers or anything, just someone I used to know. When we literally ran into each other, it was really awkward. I got the idea he didn’t remember who I was, so I acted like I had no idea who he was. To this day, I wonder if he was doing the exact same thing to me.

In this excerpt, Jax has arrived on Little Bear Island to provide private security for a celebrity wedding. He’s been instructed to go to the ferry office to pick up a local girl, who will show him the way to the venue. Unbeknownst to him, the local girl is the “girl who got away” six years earlier.



Jax

I flip up the sun visor as a stunning redhead emerges from the doorway. She’s dressed in a Foo Fighters concert tee and tons of silver bracelets. Her black miniskirt is stretched tight across her tanned thighs. F**k. She used to be exactly my type. Back when I had one, that is. Totally rock-and-roll. Like that redheaded ’80s chick from the Whitesnake video.
The old man goes inside while she crosses in front of my car. A gust of wind blows her long red curls across her face, and she quickly piles the heavy mass onto the top of her head, securing it with an elastic she pulls from her wrist.
I toss my paperwork onto the dash before she jumps in. She opens the door and hops onto the seat, giving it a little bounce and bringing with her a faintly floral scent.
“Good morning,” I say.
She turns toward me with a welcoming smile. F**king great mouth. A smile like that once damn near stopped my h— Oh, shit. Oh, f**k no. Impossible.
I knew Little Bear Island had sounded familiar. I thought maybe I’d seen it featured on a travel show or something. But no. Now I remember where I first heard the name. On the lips of Natalie Rip Your Heart Out O’Brien. The one woman besides Gram who ever really mattered to me.
Gone are the bright-blue hair and Poindexter glasses she wore back when I thought she was mine. I can tell there’s more meat on her bones, too, which—f**k me—only makes her look more amazing.
I might not have recognized her so quickly if she hadn’t smiled. Shit, that smile. She used that same f**king smile on me mere seconds before she threw me away—us away.
Well, I’ll be damned if I’m going to give her the satisfaction of seeing my pain. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…
The smile has dropped off her face by now—small mercy.
I don’t think about what that might mean, because I’m too far into self-preservation mode. It might make me a coward, it might make me a huge dick, but I reach out my hand and give her the best blank look I can manage. Then I force my mouth to form the words I hope will burn her as badly as she burned me.
“Jackson Sparke. Pleased to meet you.”

About the Author:
I live in the cold, upper Midwest with my husband and three kids. I spend summers on Lake Superior, which is the muse for my contemporary romance, Summer Girl, and I’m a sucker for down-to-earth men who work with their hands (if they play guitar, that’s an added bonus). I love all things Irish—particularly music, dancing, and Jameson. When I’m not writing or reading romance, I’m traveling, camping, visiting book clubs, blogging for Writer Unboxed, and writing paranormal and contemporary young adult novels (under my real name).

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Must Have Faith


Congratulations to "Dee", the winner in Deborah's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize. Thank you to all who participated!

Hi there! I am so honored to be featured as a guest on Just Contemporary Romance. I’m Deborah Garland and my debut contemporary romance novel was published last summer. It’s been a long road to getting published for the first time but it feels like a longer road to the next release.
On June 4th, the next book in the series, Must Have Faith, Darling Cove Book 2 was released. The Runaway Bride is Back! Except it’s not your usual runaway bride story. There’s a twist: What if the jilted groom wasn’t a jerk? What if he’s the good guy?
~
Forgiving isn't easy. Forgetting may be impossible.

Greg Mallory isn't the kind of man to wallow just because he was left at the altar. Not when there are plenty of women to help him forget his heartbreak. But as the only Mallory son, he has an obligation to carry on the family name. When Greg's runaway bride returns, his head tells him to keep his distance, but his body and heart are both begging for a second chance.

Faith Copeland bolted out of Darling Cove with a shameful secret and stayed away for ten years thinking Greg Mallory would never forgive her. Coming home means facing her past and Greg. She just didn't think he still had the power to make her melt after all this time.

One moment alone proves their attraction is stronger than ever. Are they brave enough to start fresh? Or will past secrets destroy their second chance at happy-ever-after once and for all?
~
Greg and Faith were childhood sweethearts. They’ve only been in love with each other. They learned how to love by falling in love with each other. So when Faith took off two days before their wedding, they both lost out. They were both broken and empty.

Despite the fact that Faith had left, she too had lost out because of her actions. She didn’t get to marry the love of her life.
I introduced Greg in the first book Must Love Fashion and the response to the handsome cop and brooding jilted groom was something I took note of in reviews for MLF:

“I am wondering if Greg gets his story or happily ever after. Hopefully so!”
“I really hope there is another book about Gwen’s brother’s life because I see some drama there.”
“I’m anxiously waiting for the second book in this series, which I hope is about Gwen’s brother, Gregory. That poor man is in desperate need of some loving!”
I had to give the people what they wanted. Enjoy an exclusive sneak peek at Must Have Faith:

~
Greg gave into the idea that had been flickering in and out of his mind. “Actually…I’ve been thinking about looking into joining one of the FBI’s New York City Task Forces.” He couldn’t imagine saying these words out loud to anyone. Except Faith wasn’t just anyone.

“Really?” With a vigorous smile, she snapped her head back. “That is amazing!”
Christ, did she know how her enthusiasm affected him? It was so hot. He rubbed his forehead, getting his wicked thoughts under control. “It’s just something I’ve been considering.”

She squeezed his shoulder. “You were made for something like that Greg. God. I hope you go for it.”

He appreciated the enthusiasm, except this talk was screaming loud and clear that he and Faith were on different paths. With no chance of intersecting. “Yeah. Well...we’ll see.”

He’d been staring at the wall and hadn’t realized Faith had moved closer to him. When he turned to look at her, her face was inches from his. He could smell the coffee on her breath, a hint of her sweet taste underneath. Her skin hummed with the thunderous desire he too was feeling from having her so close.

Without considering the consequences, he ran his knuckles against her cheek. Her skin flushed with heat and her eyes sparkled. Tips of her white teeth crushed against her lower lip. Full and pink. Kiss me, they had always called out to him.

Greg ignored his better senses and lowered his mouth to hers, dying to taste her. It was a slow descent as his eyes watched hers and then dipped to look at her mouth. With so much happening around them and not knowing if she’d accept the kiss, he rested his mouth against her lips for a moment.

Not exactly kissing him back, she smiled and breathed into his mouth. “What are you doing?”

He smiled back. “I don’t know,” he whispered, but kept the fleshy part of his lower lip on hers.

“Okay,” she said with an adorable shrug.

Links:
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2IIh7Sg
Darling Cove Series Page on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2xp8WJm

Author Bio:
Deborah Garland is a versatile author of women's fiction, contemporary and paranormal romances. Her books are about love and the struggles of complicated relationships. The heroines are strong and witty and the heroes fall hard for them.
She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband and two pugs, Zoe and Harley. They like to vacation up and down the East Coast, but her favorite place is on a bar stool on a Friday night with a Grey Goose cosmopolitan, listening to her husband tell her the same stories over and over.

Follow Deborah on:
Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2w6a4kb

Contact Links:
Newsletter Sign up: http://bit.ly/2HI3Mgc

2 Giveaways!

#1
I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to buy a couple of great books. All you have to do is comment below and tell me…what is Greg’s sister’s name? Hint- It IS somewhere in this post. Comments with the right answer, will be chosen at random for the gift card. Check back here at JCR on the 18th to see if you're a winner!

#2
Darling Cove Book 1, Must Love Fashion is up for a Goodreads Giveaway. Enter here

Thank you Maureen for having me on Just Contemporary Romance!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST June 17th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Meet Lily Baker from Coleen Kwan’s Dating For Keeps


I’m Lily Baker, and I’ve just had one of the worst dates ever. I’ve never had much luck with men, which is why I decided to use a dating site in the hopes of meeting a decent man. But tonight my date dumped me on the dance floor in front of everyone. To make things worse, Caleb Willmett witnessed everything. The first time I met Caleb I could barely put two words together. He’s hot and impossibly good-looking without even trying, and now, would you believe it, he’s sitting with me in my car! I know he’s just doing it because he feels sorry for me, but it’s nice of him. And I’m finding it surprisingly easy to talk to him; maybe because I know there’s no danger of us ever getting involved…

DATING FOR KEEPS

Unlucky in love Lily Baker is ready to get back in the dating game. But her first night out ends with the guy ditching her—in the middle of a dance floor. Wonderful. Public humiliation on top of rejection. And worse, Caleb Willmett, the sexy local contractor with an unfortunate desire to remain single, witnessed the whole thing. But where Lily sees disaster, Caleb finds opportunity.
The only long-term relationship Caleb wants is a business partnership with Lily’s father, but the man won’t give him the time of day. If Lily can arrange a meeting for him, Caleb promises to help her find a guy worth dating. Perfect trade. And this should be easy—just look for someone completely opposite of himself, someone who’s willing to settle down.
But when Lily unexpectedly captures his heart, playing matchmaker for her becomes the most difficult job he’s ever done.
Each title in the Pine Falls series is STANDALONE:
* Unexpectedly Yours
* Kissing Her Enemy
* Dating for Keeps


Excerpt from Dating For Keeps


“Well,” Lily said, hoping she sounded nonchalant, “according to my dating index, on a scale from one to ten, that date scored maybe a one-point-five, possibly one.”

Caleb’s eyebrows rose. “You mean he actually gets a positive score?”

“He did show up.”

“That’s really a minus in my book.”

“Yeah, maybe you’re right. He’s a minus five.”

Caleb twisted in his seat to face her, his large, blunt hand spread on his knee. “So, mind if I ask why he was such a jerk on the dance floor?”

Lowering her gaze, she fidgeted with her scarf. “Well, it seems the only reason he agreed to the date was an attempt to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. She was one of the vendors at the festival. In the middle of the dance, he realized I wasn’t right for the job, so to speak, and was so disappointed, he left.”

Caleb swore under his breath. “That is seriously screwed up. Whoever set you up with that guy needs to be told off.”

Lily nibbled on her lower lip before deciding to tell him the truth. “Actually, I met him on a dating site, eCherish. It was my first date through them.” She sighed. “I suppose I should’ve known better.”

“Hey, don’t blame yourself. A dating site is only as good as the people who sign up.”

“I bet you’ve never used a dating site before,” she said.

“Can’t say I have.” His full lips tilted into a lazy grin. “But that’s not to say I haven’t had a few dud dates in my time.”

“Oh yeah?” Somehow she was starting to feel better already. “I think you and I might have different ideas of what constitutes a dud date.”

“Well, one time I took a woman out for dinner to a steakhouse, and she complained about me wearing a plaid shirt. I mean, come on. It wasn’t the country club; it was Ribs n’ Roast.”

“Is that all you’ve got? I once went out with a guy who shoplifted a box of candy for me right in front of my very eyes. He thought it was romantic!”

Amusement sparkled in Caleb’s face. “All right, I gotta admit that’s pretty rough.” He leaned forward. “How about this? It was a first date with a woman I’d known for about a month. We had a couple of drinks and a pleasant chat. I thought she was nice, but a little intense. A few hours later, a friend of mine showed me her Facebook profile. She’d changed her status to ‘in a relationship’ and already uploaded a photo of me, calling me her new boyfriend. I don’t appreciate that kind of manipulation.”

“See, I knew we were talking apples and oranges when it came to dud dates,” Lily said. “Nothing embarrassing actually happened to you on those dates. Not like the time I accidentally set myself on fire.”

His eyes widened. “How the hell did that happen?”

“It was a noisy restaurant, and the guy was a low talker. I couldn’t hear what he was saying. So I leaned in, got too close to the candle, and the brim of my hat started burning.”

“Holy crap. Were you okay?”

“Luckily a waiter threw a jug of water over my head and put the fire out.” She paused, remembering the incident. “It was an orange raffia hat. I made it myself.”

While the waiters and other diners had rushed to her aid, her date had just sat there gibbering uselessly. The next day he’d texted to tell her he couldn’t see her anymore because he was so traumatized by what had happened.

Sighing, Lily leaned against the headrest. “That happened two years ago, and that was the last date I went on until today. Guess my luck hasn’t changed much since then.”


Monday, June 11, 2018

Cowboy SEAL Redemption


Giveaway Alert!

Three former Navy SEALs
Injured in the line of duty
Desperate for a new beginning…
Searching for a place to call their own.

Jack Armstrong’s been slowly piecing his life back together after a career-ending injury bounced him from the SEALs. The only trouble is, his family’s on their way to his new haven in Montana...and Jack refuses to let them know he’s still hurting. Desperate, he makes a deal with local bad girl Rose Rogers: in exchange for some extra security, she’ll play the perfect loving girlfriend.

Rose doesn’t trust any man, much less some tough-as-nails former SEAL. But the more they settle into their ruse, the more things start to feel real, and the more Rose’s true fear surfaces—that she’ll never be good enough for love. But Jack isn’t about to lose Rose. He’s done running when things get tough, and he’s determined to prove—once and for all—that even the most troubled hearts can find their way to redemption.

Amazon:              https://amzn.to/2ko0XTy
B&N:                     http://bit.ly/2kkDqCL
iBooks:                 https://apple.co/2J45Lv1

Excerpt:
No man had ever held her close like this. Like you just held a person because you woke up together. And okay, maybe she’d never really spent the night with a guy. The few times she’d allowed herself to be charmed into sex, she’d always vamoosed either once the act was done or once the guy dozed off.
She didn’t stay. She didn’t do it again. And she did not, God forbid, cuddle. Someone holding her was supposed to be stifling. It was supposed to feel awkward. She was supposed to want to make fun of an act as soft and pointless as this.
Mostly she wanted to cry again and stay here forever. What was this man doing to her? And why him? Was it the scars—internal and external? The sob story? Or just those eyes?
“Do you have nightmares?” he asked out of nowhere.
She shifted in his arms. “Why would I have nightmares?”
He kissed her bare shoulder. “PTSD.
“Hate to break it to you, sailor, but I never went to war.”
“You survived your own hell,” he said so matter-of-factly, she couldn’t even think up a response. “War isn’t the only thing that stamps itself on you, and death isn’t either. You know, when I was in the rehabilitation center, someone told me foster kids suffer from PTSD at a higher rate than military veterans.”
“What asshole said that to you while you were in a rehabilitation center?”
He shrugged. “Mike.”
“I’d like to wring that little fucker’s neck.”
Jack’s mouth curved into a smile. “I’d rather you didn’t. My mother likes you, but she wouldn’t approve of that.”
“Your sister likes me too.” Which she shouldn’t have said or even thought. What did it matter what his family thought? It was a fake like, for a fake her…but she liked them in return.
Except Dick Bag Mike.
“My sister worships you and might not care if you wring Mike’s neck.”
She laughed. Oh, damn him for having half a charming family. Vivian was adorable, and his parents were…
Well, she didn’t want to think about how lovely they were.
“You had your own trauma, Rose. I just wondered if it still bothered you. Nightmares. Panic attacks. I’ve done it all, so…”
Trauma. As though she were a victim. She had been, in a sense, but not like her sisters. They’d all looked after each other. They had put each other first at great risk to themselves. Only Rose had ever taken their father’s teachings to heart.
Always look out for number one.
“Just tell me the truth,” he said, and it was all gentle and impossible to fight him off.
The truth. She didn’t want to acknowledge the truth, but lying to Jack seemed so impossible. “S-sometimes. I’ve had nightmares. Rarely, but sometimes.”
“Mine have gotten fewer ever since I started talking. I told my sister I loved her last night.” He paused, rubbing his lightly stubbled chin against her temple. “I don’t think I’ve ever done that. And it was something. Telling Madison how much she hurt me changed something. I’ve still got scars, Geiger is still dead, Madison is still married to my brother, but…”
“But what?”
“See, that’s the thing. There didn’t used to be a but. It was a list of horrible, dark things, and it ended there. Everything was awful. Now? I still feel beat down by those things, by those hurts and scars, but…there’s a but. There’s more.”
She wanted to cry. For him. Because of him. She knew what it was like to have a but. Her sisters had always been that. It was so strange to realize that, over the past year as her sisters had been building their lives, she’d lost that but for herself.
She had her bar, her power, and her freedom. It should have been enough, but the list of bleak was holding her down, and she didn’t know how to be as brave as Jack and believe in a but.
“I’m not your happy ending, Jack,” she rasped.
“I don’t believe in happy endings anymore, Rose. Maybe I never did. I do know we don’t get what we deserve, and hard work doesn’t always pay off. That doesn’t change the beauty and hope of having a but.” He smiled then, so open and perfect and beautiful. “I care about you, Rose.” A gesture she didn’t deserve.
“I wish you wouldn’t,” she whispered.
“I know.” He sighed and brushed his lips across hers, light and quick. “I have to go do my chores before the family wakes up. Why don’t you come with me?”
“Come with?”
“Yeah, you can watch me do manly chores, we can eat breakfast with my family, and then you can head home and get some rest before you have to open the bar.”
She should refuse, stop diving deeper into this thing that was going to end so very badly if she let him get more attached.
If you let yourself get more attached.
“Say yes,” he murmured against her neck, nuzzling there.

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