Friday, June 5, 2020

Fractures



In Echoes, and its sequel Fractures, we follow the story of Miles and Fiona, two teens caught in the potentially deadly scheme of a company willing to do anything in order to achieve their goals. As time goes by, not only are they questioning their reality but also themselves, as in each other but also who they are, who they believe to be, and who the company claims they are. How do you hold on to what you think is real and true if everyone around you tries their hardest to prove you wrong?


Excerpt:
“He’ll agree,” a woman said—Carla?—an hour after Anthony, according to the time stamps. She sat there lazily, slouched, like she was bored or just so sure of her spiel that she saw no reason to worry or doubt. “Anthony is an ambitious man, sure, but who in their right mind would say no to two million dollars?”
Carla sounded so cold, detached, all business. Nothing like the woman Fiona had described to me while we were stuck on the island. How could she do this to Fiona, pretend to be a loving mother if this was who she really was, nothing but an actress for Briola? How fucked up did you have to be to do something like this to your daughter?
“He might love her, but eventually he’ll give in,” Carla said. “Besides, there are ways to steer him in the right direction, remember?” She raised one eyebrow and then the video cut again, the image returning to the empty chair.
The sudden quiet felt too heavy, the room too empty, too little air for the two of us to share, the sound of Fiona’s wet little hiccups warped, unreal even though I literally felt them. I closed my eyes and wished, hoped, prayed that whatever this was would end now.
I should’ve known better.
“My name is Minsar Lyel,” a familiar voice said from all around us, the sound so vast and surrounding I couldn’t breathe, my heart immediately ceasing to beat. Lyel?
My name is Miles Echo. My father’s last name is Echo. Not Lyel. I am Miles Echo. I am—
“Living in Homestead, Florida,” he said, “though I don’t understand why you need this information. Why am I here? No one gave me a clear answer to that question yet.”
Forcing myself to look…there he was, a younger, happier version of my father, the one from before my mother’s accident. No gray hair, his face a little rounder, his eyes brighter, though his brows were pulled together with a frown, his expression impatient.
“Certainly not,” he continued, and chuckled to himself, a dismissive mannerism I’d seen on him more times than I could count. “Your offer may be generous, but I assure you, I make the same amount in less than two weeks, so I truly do not see a reason why I should even consider that little bit of extra cash in exchange for my son.”
Wait, what? For years, my father had acted as though he wished I didn’t exist. I’d assumed he’d jumped at the chance to get rid of me. But could it be there was a time when things weren’t like that? Impossible, and yet…
Was I misremembering my own life?
“Brandon is worth more money than you’d be able to give me, invaluable even.” Brandon? Leon. Wasn’t that the name he said earlier? “No matter what you say and how many times you repeat it, I will not change my mind. I won’t give you Brandon and that is final.”
My heart sunk. Of course, he wasn’t talking about me. Leon was the good brother, the oldest, the rightful heir to his fortune, the invaluable one. I was…a mistake.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Summer Deal

With: Jill Shalvis 

Congratulations to "hefleyl2169", the winner in Jill's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!

Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She's fierce, tough, and she’s keeping more than one bombshell of a secret from Brynn -- her long-time frenemy.

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey's best friend, Eli, renewing her childhood crush. The good news: he’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell.

The bad news: when he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have real connections, possibly love, and a future—if she can only learn to let go of the past.

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.


Excerpt:
Brynn Turner had always wanted to be the girl who had her life together, but so far her talents hadn’t led her in that direction—although not for lack of trying.
            Mentally recapping the week she’d just endured, she let out a stuttered breath. Okay, so her life skills needed some serious work, but as far as she was concerned, that was Future Brynn’s problem. Present Brynn had other things on her mind.
            Like surviving the rest of the day.
            With that goal in mind, she kept her eyes on the road, and three hours and two 7-Eleven hot dogs after leaving Long Beach in her rearview mirror, she pulled into Wildstone. The place that reinvented itself many times over since it’d been an 1800s California wild, wild West town complete with wooden sidewalks, saloons, haunted silver mines, and a brothel. Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and green rolling hills filled with wineries and ranches, Wildstone had once been her favorite place on earth.
            Parking in the driveway of her childhood home, she took a minute. It’d been a decade since she’d lived here. She’d gone off
to attend college and to conquer the world, though only one of
those things had happened. She’d been back for visits, but even
that had been a while. Six months, in fact. She’d stood in this
very spot and had asked both of her well-meaning
moms to
butt out of her life, saying that she knew what she was doing.
            She’d had no idea what she was doing.
            Note to self: You still don’t.
            With a sigh, she pulled down her visor and glanced in the mirror, hoping that a miracle had occurred and she’d see the reflection of someone who had their shit together. Her hair was knotted on top of her head with the string tie from her hoodie because she’d lost her scrunchie. She was wearing her old glasses because she’d lost her newer pair. Her face was pale and her eyes were puffy and red from a bad combo of crying and not sleeping. She wore yoga pants that hadn’t seen a yoga class since . . . well, ever, and in spite of being nearly thirty, she had a big, fat zit on her chin.
            In short, she looked about as far away from having her shit together as she was from solving world hunger.
            Knowing her moms—sweet and loving and nosy as hell—were going to see right through her, she pawed through her purse for a miracle. She found some lip gloss that she also dabbed on each cheek for badly needed color. As a bonus, she found two peanut M&Ms. Couldn’t waste those, could she? She shook her purse looking for more, but nope, she was out of luck.
            The theme of her life.
            With a sigh, she once again met her own gaze in the mirror. “Okay, here’s the drill. You’re okay. You’re good. You’re happy to be home. You’re absolutely not crawling back with your tail between your legs to admit to your moms that they were right
about Asshole Ashton.”
            Swallowing hard, she got out of her hunk-o-junk and grabbed her duffel bag and purse. She’d barely made it to the porch before the front door was flung open and there stood her moms in the doorway, some deep maternal instinct letting them know their sole offspring was within smothering distance.
            Both in their mid-fifties, their similarities stopped there. Olive was pragmatic and stoic, and God help the person who tried to get anything by her. She was perfectly coifed as always, hair cut in a chic bob, pants and blazer fitted, giving her the look of someone who’d just walked out of a Wall Street meeting. In sharp comparison, Raina’s sundress was loose and flowery and flowing, and she wore beads around her neck and wrists that made her jingle pleasantly. She was soft and loving, and quite possibly the kindest soul on earth. And where Olive was economical with her movements, Raina was in constant motion.
            Opposites attract . . .
            But actually, her moms did have something in common beyond their age—their warm, loving smiles, both directed at Brynn. It was her own personal miracle that they loved her madly, no matter how many times she’d messed up and driven them crazy with worry.
            And there’d been a lot of times. Too many to count.
            “Sweetheart,” Raina said, jingling as always, bringing forth welcome memories: growing vegetables in the back garden, taking long walks on the beach to chase seagulls, and late-night snuggles. Raina opened her arms and Brynn walked right into them, smiling when Olive embraced her from behind.
            The three of them stood there for a long beat, wrapped up in each other. Catherine the Great Cat showed up, her appearance forewarned by the bell around her neck. She might be twelve and seemingly frail and delicate, but as with Brynn’s moms, looks were deceiving. Just beneath Cat’s skin lived the soul of an ancient prized hunter—hence the bell. No one blamed her for her instinctual drive to do this, but Raina did object to Cat dropping “presents” at her feet in the form of cricket heads and various other pieces of dead insects. Which made Cat the most adorable murderer who ever lived. She rubbed her furry face against Brynn’s ankles. Once. Twice.
            And then bit.
            “Ouch!”
            “You know her rules,” Olive said. “A little love, a little hate. It’s how she is. Now tell us why you’re home unannounced, looking like something not even Catherine would’ve dragged inside.”
            “I think she looks wonderful,” Raina said.
            Olive’s eyes never left Brynn. “She hasn’t been sleeping or
eating.”
            “Trust me, Mom, I’ve been eating plenty.”
            “Okay, then you aren’t sleeping enough or eating the right food. You’re as pale as . . . well, me.”
            Olive indeed had the pale skin of her English ancestry. In contrast, Raina was Puerto Rican, and golden brown. Being a product of Raina’s egg and an unknown sperm donor, Brynn’s skin was a few shades lighter than Raina’s. Unless she was trying not to hyperventilate, of course. Like now. In which case she was probably even whiter than Olive.
            “We can fix the eating right and sleeping, for a start,” Raina said with determination. She slipped her hand into Brynn’s, and as she’d been doing for as long as Brynn could remember, she took over. She settled Brynn onto the couch with one of her handmade throws, and in less than five minutes had a tray on Brynn’s lap with her famous vegan chickpea noodle soup and steaming gingerroot tea.
            “Truth serum?” Brynn asked, only half joking. Raina was magic in the kitchen—and at getting people to spill their guts.
            “I don’t need truth serum.” Raina sat next to her. “You’re going to tell me everything.”
            “How do you know?”
            “Because I made almond-butter cups for dessert and you love almond-butter cups.”
            “You’d withhold dessert from your only child?”
            “She wouldn’t, she’s far too kind,” Olive said. “But I would. In a heartbeat.” She sat on the coffee table facing Brynn. “Talk.”

From THE SUMMER DEAL by Jill Shalvis, published by William Morrow. Copyright © 2020 by Jill Shalvis. Reprinted courtesy of HarperCollinsPublishers https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062897916/the-summer-deal/

Giveaway:
Jill is offering one print copy of THE SUMMER DEAL as a giveaway to US and Canada residents.



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

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST June 4th. 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.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Q&A with Bestselling Author Jamie Beck

With: Jamie Beck

Giveaway Alert!

How do you describe your newest novel If You Must Know?

This book is a “beach book” in the best sense. It’s not angsty, yet it has a page-turning plot and a bunch of interesting, relatable characters. I think it’s entertaining and heartfelt at the same time, which is exactly what many enjoy reading while on vacation.

What inspired the novel?

The external plot came to me as a result of the influence of two people in my life. My dear friend’s husband is a forensic accountant, so some of his stories about how people hide money and flee their families provided one point of inspiration. The second is my mother’s best friend who, in her seventies, sold her house and bought a boat, which she and her husband live on full-time. The impetus for the oil-and-water sisters was to provide myself an opportunity to explore the sibling-rivalry dynamic.

Tell us about the two main characters in the story—sisters Amanda and Erin.

Amanda is the middle child. She’s diligent, earnest, hard-working, and generous. She wants the people she loves to be happy and feel her love. Her weakness is a deep-seated insecurity—a sense that she is not interesting enough to be lovable. This leads her to overlook when she is being taken for granted because her need to be pleasing is omnipresent.

Erin is the baby of the family and her late-father’s pet. She is outgoing, fun-loving, and views her average intelligence as a blessing (rather than lamenting that her siblings are smarter). She is willful and has her own way of moving through the world. The big weakness she has is her impulsiveness, whether with jobs or relationships. As she approaches her 30th birthday, she’s looking to mature and create a more stable life for herself.

What kind of relationship do the sisters have?

I think they share a typical relationship insofar as their differences cause many misunderstandings and instill in each a sense of being judged by the other, and yet they do care about and love each other, too. They simply do not know how to be true friends and trust the other—at least not at the outset of this tale.

This book focused on the main female characters growing and learning about themselves. What prompted this ‘women’s fiction’ approach to the story?

Partly market forces and partly my own need to stretch. At 53, it was becoming more difficult to write a 20-something woman facing the challenges of dating. The shift to women’s fiction allows me to write late-30 and early 40-something characters, which comes more naturally to me. I also enjoy exploring family and friendship dynamics, and absolutely love having endless options for story arcs (as opposed to having to follow a traditional romance arc).

What does your new Potomac Point series have in common with your previous books?

All my books to date have focused on critical relationships and some type of redemption theme. I find damaged people to be very interesting and believe that there is good in most everyone, so I prefer to populate my stories with flawed people who must confront their inner demons in order to be happy. My new books will also focus on relationships and redemption, but the non-romantic relationships (or even the relationship with one’s self) will be more central.

***


I rolled onto my side with a groan, coming face-to-face with one of my favorite family photos. We’d taken our annual family summer trip to Hilton Head—the one real splurge my dad had made sure we enjoyed every year. We had a tradition of having lunch at a little open-air cabana bar and restaurant called Coco’s on the Beach.

Between the deck and the volleyball court in the sand stood a tall pole with colorful arrow-shaped signs pointing in different directions. Each one was painted with the name of a different city somewhere on the globe, along with the mileage to get there. We’d dream about all the places we might go, and after high school I’d had the chance to see many. In this picture, our whole family is standing around that sign, smiling at the camera. My dad has his hand on my shoulder, and if you look closely, you can see Amanda holding my hand. I must’ve been only five or six—young enough that she hadn’t given up trying to be my second mother. At the time, I’d felt smothered by her attention, but looking back, I’d also felt loved.

I grabbed my phone and called my sister, but it went to voice mail. A heaviness pressed on me, but I couldn’t tell if it was from looking at that picture of our family that would never again be whole or from the fact that I’d disappointed my mom and sister today.

They loved me in their way even if they couldn’t love and accept me as I am. My dad had, though, and to honor his memory and wishes for our family, I couldn’t continue to drift out of their lives as I’d been doing.

After the beep, I said, “Hey, it’s moi. Surprise! My plans have changed and I’ve got a little time. If you get this message, let me know where you are and I’ll try to catch up.”

I hit “End,” my feet restlessly kicking the foot of my bed. The small bedroom seemed claustrophobic, but I didn’t want to talk to Max. Not that I could avoid him in here, either, where his dirty laundry, sandals, and other items lay about. Rather than take a match to it all, I decided to organize some of his things to help with his packing. Hauling myself off the bed, I then went to the armoire to get to the vintage albums my dad had left me in his will.

Some were fairly valuable, like the Beatles collection box set from 1982, valued at roughly a thousand bucks. Or the Led Zeppelin first pressing with the turquoise label, which should net around eight hundred or so dollars. U2’s Joshua Tree collection box set from 1987—maybe worth six or seven hundred. Then there were others worth less than one hundred dollars. But each one had infinite sentimental value.

Every song resurrected a specific memory of time spent with my father playing cards, washing cars, grilling hot dogs … anything. Whatever he’d wanted to do, I’d done with him, and he’d always chosen the perfect background soundtrack for every activity. Those stolen moments had also been a great way to escape my mom’s endless lectures and demands. She’d never yelled at me for skipping out on chores or being messy when I’d been spending that time with him. Probably because he wouldn’t let her.

At present, my restlessness matched the mood of a typical Bob Seger song, so I grabbed Beautiful Loser and slipped the record from its sleeve, resisting the urge to hug it as if it were my dad. I set it on the old turntable he’d also left me. As the few first drumbeats clangored, my heart kicked an extra beat or two—partly happy, partly sad. I glanced toward the bedroom door, picturing Max on the sofa, and then got to work.

It didn’t matter where life led me next. I had faith because my own personal angel was looking out for me now.

Que serĂ¡, serĂ¡.

***

About the Novel

Title: If You Must Know
Author: Jamie Beck
Release Date: June 1, 2020
Publisher: Montlake

Summary

Sisters Amanda Foster and Erin Turner have little in common except the childhood bedroom they once shared and the certainty each feels that her way of life is best. Amanda follows the rules—at the school where she works; in her community; and as a picture-perfect daughter, wife, and mother-to-be. Erin follows her heart—in love and otherwise—living a bohemian lifestyle on a shoestring budget and honoring her late father’s memory with a passion for music and her fledgling bath-products business.

The sisters are content leading separate but happy lives in their hometown of Potomac Point until everything is upended by lies that force them to confront unsettling truths about their family, themselves, and each other. For sisters as different as these two, building trust doesn’t come easily—especially with one secret still between them—but it may be the only way to save their family.


Author Biography

Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than two million copies. She is a two-time Booksellers’ Best Award finalist and a National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing novels, she enjoys hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah and dancing around the kitchen while cooking. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family. Fans can get exclusive excerpts, inside scoops, and be eligible for birthday gift drawings by subscribing to her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b7k7G5. She also loves interacting with everyone on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks.

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Spooning Leads to Forking


Giveaway Alert!

Spooning Leads to Forking by Kilby Blades
Series: Hot in the Kitchen #2
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: Luxe Press
Subgenre: Contemporary Romance

Leaving her name—and her job as a top food critic—behind in New York, Shea Summers seeks respite in Sapling. Her borrowed mountain getaway seems perfect for writing her opus. It’s also perfect for riding out a messy divorce and hiding the roomful of cash she kind-of-sort-of stole from her ex.

Too bad Sapling is a remote, three-restaurant town with food that leaves much to be desired. Sexy grocer, Dev Kingston, may be Shea’s saving grace. The way he looks at her with his aspen-green eyes shows her everything her marriage was missing, and he can special-order every delicacy she craves.

But Shea’s not the only one who isn’t what she seems. Dev moonlights as a sheriff’s deputy, a fact she finds out too late; a string of suspicious crimes finds newcomers under scrutiny; and her ex is going to extremes to find out where she is. 
Taking the money and living under an assumed name might be on the right side of wrong, but dating Dev is a dangerous game. She's still running and he's still the law.

Buy Links:

Excerpt
“Hey—do you have any sumac?” she asked, circling back to the front after looking for the herb herself. She’d become convinced that a little sumac was the perfect addition to the aioli they served with the calamari at The Big Spoon. Sapling had exactly three restaurants: Delilah’s served sweet and savory pastries. Gator’s Sports Bar had pub food and wings. The Big Spoon served breakfast, lunch and dinner had the largest menu of them all. 

“Sumac is edible?” Dev looked up from shuffling his papers, looking a bit surprised.

She frowned. “What else would it be?”

“Poisonous,” Dev picked up his green juice cup again. “Worse than poison ivy, but not as bad as poison oak. Poison sumac’ll give you a rash all over your body.”

“Huh,” Shea tutted. “Well, it’s a spice, too. I’ve never seen it in the wild, but the flower is a deep red. It’s actually kind of beautiful.”

Then, Dev did that thing he did whenever they got to talking. He got quiet for a minute, but never broke their gaze. In moments like that, he had this way of looking at her that made her feel like he was right up in her space, rather than all the way across the room.

“Sounds like you want it?” his lips settled into a half-smile. The full smile, she’d noticed was for genuine amusement. The half-smile seemed to mean something else. It held a different sort of softness too intimate to have a name.

“If you can get it…” Her voice held shyness and hope and all the other complex tones she’d forgotten her voice could make. The thrill of possibility was a heady thing. She felt it in spades every time she talked to Dev.

“How much do you need?” he wanted to know, shifting his weight to lean against the counter with one hip.

“I guess a single bottle is fine.”

The warmth in his eyes lingered even as the set of his lips changed. “I can get you sumac.”

What else can you get me?

Shea came close to saying it out loud. Her face heated, not so much in a blush of embarrassment as in a flush of lust. With Dev, lust flushes had become a thing. Nodding her thanks, she walked off before she could pounce on the man. With every visit, she wanted to a little bit more. Her life was still too messy for all of that. But she had willpower. Discipline. She could be patient and methodical until whatever wanted to happen was meant to be, just as she’d been patient and methodical in plotting her divorce.

Author Bio:
Kilby Blades is a 45-time-award-winning author of Romance and Women's Fiction. Her debut novel, Snapdragon, was a HOLT Medallion finalist, a Publisher’s Weekly Book Life Prize Semi-Finalist, and an IPPY Award medalist. Kilby was honored with an RSJ Emma Award for Best Debut Author in 2018 and has been lauded by critics for “easing feminism and equality into her novels” (IndieReader) and “writing characters who complement each other like a fine wine does a good meal” (Publisher’s Weekly).

When she's not writing, Kilby goes to movie matinees alone, where she eats Chocolate Pocky and buttered popcorn and usually smuggles in not-a-little-bit of red wine. She procrastinates from the difficult process of writing by oversharing on Facebook and Instagram and giving away cool stuff related to her fiction novels to her newsletter subscribers.

Author links:
http://www.facebook.com/kilbybladesauthor  (FB Official Author Page)

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Finding Mr. Right Next Door


Congratulations to "Dee", the winner in Sarah's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!


Finding Mr. Right Next Door’s starring couple, Lexi and Matt, are platonic. As in, the most hardcore-platonic two people on the planet—not because they have never thought about it, but because the stakes are huge. They share everything—friends, a job, their dog, their families—but when it comes to romance, their paths do not cross. Lexi wants commitment and two-point-four kids, while Matt is kind of a first date guy. On paper, going any further would be a disaster. Crossing that line, failing, would ruin everything. It’s a risk they can’t take.
It’s also one they can’t resist.
Lexi also couldn’t resist rearranging Matt’s kitchen, which led to this moment.

Resigned, Matt stretched just past Lexi and grabbed a stool, setting it solidly in front of the cabinet she hadn’t had a prayer of reaching.
“Thanks,” she told him brightly.
“You can use that to put everything back,” he said, but she’d already taken the two vertical steps, hoisting the ceramic dish to the top shelf where it absolutely did not belong. Only then did he realize his mistake. She wore the tiniest pair of shorts, and he wasn’t sure why that fact had initially escaped him. Add to that, with her on the stool and her arms extended over her head, her shirt edged upward, baring her midriff inches from his face. He felt the heat from her skin, smelled the soap from her shower. Visually traced one curve after another, twisting and turning into a bigger mess than she could ever make of his kitchen.
He swallowed hard, managing to turn away to plunk one of those little plastic cups into the hole in her coffee machine and close the lid. At least that was how he thought the thing worked. Caitlin had one in her bookstore so he was remotely familiar, but the fire station thus far kicked it old school, which was the way Matt liked it. He didn’t think much could beat a hot pot of coffee waiting.
At least not until that moment.
He hadn’t gained enough distance from Lexi, and when she turned to step off the stool, he was looking directly up at her, like he’d hoisted her skyward for some dramatic moment from one of her movies, where all she had to do was slide down the length of his arms to land in the kind of embrace that made the credits roll. His breath caught, and he’d have sworn time stood still. The only sound was the gurgle from the coffee he’d brewed, and he was hit with one single thought.
He wanted nothing more than to knock every dish he owned out of the way, bend her over the counter, and sink so deep into her that he’d forget his own name until he heard it on her lips.
Fuck. The word, an admonishment, one hell of a mistake he couldn’t afford, rolled around, the mother of all bad ideas, throwing sparks and ash, tinder to flame and destruction. And wasn’t that it in a nutshell? How else could it possibly end?
She was his best friend. Everything in the world that mattered to him hinged around her somehow. Every bit of family he had left in this world. His job. His house. His dog.
He ached to reach for her, but he knew he’d never be able to let go of everything holding him back.
She’d remained uncharacteristically quiet, and the moment hung around them like a warm blanket on a cold night. Then she wavered, and instinctively he reached for her, his fingers just grazing the bare skin of her abdomen. She jumped at the contact, and he wondered if the same jolt that had set fire to his blood was to blame. He met her gaze. Flattened his palm against the curve of her waist. She sucked in a quiet breath and still hadn’t let it out when his second hand joined the first. Firmly, gently, he lifted her from the stool, moving her to solid ground. In his mind, he was supposed to have said something then about putting back his dishes and his coffee maker, but restoring that little bit of order wouldn’t have done anything. Not now.
Her shirt had fallen when she’d lowered her arms, leaving his hands between the fabric and her skin. Her pulse beat through him, setting his own erratic heart rate. In his lust clouded thoughts, it wouldn’t take anything to kiss her. And his lips were millimeters from doing just that when he realized it wouldn’t take anything.
It would take everything.
He dropped his hands and turned away, the rush of cold air in her absence nearly taking his breath. He didn’t say anything—just headed for the shower, grabbing his coffee as he went.
He’d lost his damn mind.

Finding Mr. Right Next Door
For Lexi Dean, burning down her kitchen was disaster enough. Agreeing to move in next door with her totally off-limits best friend, Matt Freeman, until her house is livable again?

Utter madness.

They’ve always been close, but this is ridiculous. If she’s not bumping into him at the refrigerator, he’s at the front door giving her date the third degree. And slipping between his borrowed sheets? That’s about as distracting as listening to his shower run, because suddenly all she can think about is rivulets of water cascading down his spectacular body—the one he seems to be going out of his way to make sure she notices.

Not that it matters. He can flaunt his firefighter abs around her all he wants. They already share everything—their jobs, their friends, their backyard, even their dog—and that means only one thing: Lexi is not going to risk losing any of it by dipping a single toe in the temptation that is Matt Freeman.

Lexi may not know how to handle a fire extinguisher, but this is one fire that just might burn them both if they’re not careful...

Find it @ Entangled Publishing  |  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |

iBooks  |  Amazon.uk  |  Amazon.ca   |   Amazon.au  |  Goodreads 

 Giveaway:
Sarah is giving away a $10 gift card to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST May 12th. 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.

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