Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Sweetest Taboo


If you have a brother, then it’s entirely likely you’ve had a crush on one of his friends. I have three brothers, and let me tell you, there have been at least a few crushes on their friends that I could talk about. I could, but I’ll spare you the details, seeing as I never married any of them. Which is why the taboo ‘hero dating his friend’s sister’ is such a great trope in romance novels. There is just so much potential for things to go wrong, even when it’s so exciting and tempting. Grounds for Seduction focuses on that theme, as well as the ‘friends to lovers’ a bit. Maddie, my heroine, has just opened her very own coffee shop in Seattle. Things take a twist for the worst when she’s targeted by the Espresso Bandit. Which brings in my hero, who is a friend of the heroine’s brother—and also a cop. Guess who gets tasked to protect Maddie? I loved writing this story and hope anyone who reads it enjoys it! Here’s a little excerpt.

Madison darted forward in her Valentino heels, trying not to trip as she intercepted him at the door.

“I don’t know if Eric told you,” she began, “but I’m opening up my own espresso shop. The grand opening is Monday morning.”

His eyes held the faintest flicker of surprise, “Really? Hmm. Maddie Phillips, the newest coffee entrepreneur.”

“Madison. I know, isn’t it great?” She laughed, and her attention caught on his hard chest outlined through his Seahawks T-shirt. Swallowing hard as her pulse skipped, she tore her gaze away and fumbled in her purse for a business card and pen.

She scrawled a hurried note on it and handed it to him. “Here’s my card. I wrote you a coupon for a free drink. I’ll be getting things set up all weekend, so if you drop by, I can make you a practice mocha.”

“Ooo La Latté. Nice name.” He glanced up from the card and started to hand it back to her. “But I’m not big on coffee—”

“We also have tea,” she interrupted, a little more forcefully than necessary. “And hot chocolate. In any case, it’s a free beverage. You can’t pass that up.”

He remained quiet for a moment, then nodded. “You’re right, I can’t. I’ll see if I can drop by.”
He tucked the card into the back pocket of his jeans. “I’m going to need a big, faithful customer base, so I hope you come by often.” She touched his arm and felt the bulge of his biceps.

This time, she didn’t miss the flicker of awareness in his eyes, and her pulse sped up. This was pretty forward, even for her.

“After all,” she continued, her voice husky. “You really should support your best friend’s little sister.”

His eyes narrowed, and she knew she’d made a massive mistake. Great, Madison. She ground her teeth together. Remind him that you’re Eric’s little sister.

“You know what? I’m going to grab some of that crab quiche. So yummy. See you this weekend, Gabe.”


GROUNDS FOR SEDUCTION

Madison Phillips is focused on making her new coffee shop a success. She also wouldn’t mind if the sexiest cop in Seattle, Gabriel Martinez, would start seeing her as more than just his best friend’s little sister. When her shop gets robbed and she’s the only one who can identify the increasingly violent Espresso Bandit, Gabe’s there to keep her safe. Having Gabe act as her personal bodyguard is certainly no hardship, and Maddy’s ready to try anything to tempt him into providing some hands-on protection.

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About the author:
Shelli is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author who read her first romance novel when she snatched it off her mother’s bookshelf at the age of eleven. One taste and she was forever hooked. It wasn’t until many years later that she decided to pursue writing stories of her own. By then she acknowledged the voices in her head didn’t make her crazy, they made her a writer.

Shelli is a true pluviophile (lover of rain) and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters. She writes various genres of romance, but is most known for her contemporary series such as Holding Out for a Hero, The McLaughlins, and A is for Alpha. She’s a compulsive volunteer, and has been known to spontaneously burst into song.

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Author Website: www.shellistevens.com

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