Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cover Reveal ~ One Night by Aleatha Romig

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ONE NIGHT
By Aleatha Romig
Release Day – Sept 5th
Standalone

A sweet, fun, and sexy stand-alone romance from New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.


One night to remember
Is that too much to desire?
One night for fun, passion, and a chance to remember what it’s like to be a woman.
I’m not looking for love.
There’s a man in my life who loves me with all his heart. He has beautiful blue eyes, is three feet tall, and calls me mommy.
He’s my whole world and I’m his. Fate stole his daddy way too soon.
What would happen if I allowed fate another chance, just for one night?
One night to help a friend
Why did I agree to this?
Blind dates are disasters. If I weren't helping the friend of a friend, I wouldn't go.
I’m not looking for romance, love, or even a one-night stand.
After all, the man my friend knew is gone. I’m no longer the hockey star known for his "pep" on the ice and in the sack. I have a new life, and a new career—a new passion. I’m not looking for more.
When the blind date is a bust, could fate change everything?
One night doesn’t end with a kiss—it begins with one.
Be ready to laugh, cry, and fall head over heels as you meet Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha in this new sweet and sexy stand-alone romance, ONE NIGHT.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she's not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!
Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha's twisted style with an increase in heat.
In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

2017 brings Aleatha's first "Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha" with PLUS ONE, a fun, sexy romantic comedy.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Release Blitz ~ #MomFail Anthology

Cover Design: MadHat Books
Release Date: July 25, 2017

Synopsis
 
Everyone just stop for one bleeping minute so we can all get real with each other. Being a mom is some tough $#!†. You're constantly wearing questionable substances that make you ask, "is this chocolate or ... oh, crap ..." and your purse is merely a receptacle for three-week-old snacks and broken crayons.
Let's be honest ... even when we're doing this “mom” thing right, we're somehow doing it completely wrong.
Pardon us while we dust off our collective Mother of the Year trophy and proudly present you with an epic anthology of #MOMFAILS.
*Stories inspired by real life (unless you’re a cop, then it’s all complete fiction). Names and situations have been changed to protect the guilty (and by guilty, we mean the moms). Because motherhood is a battlefield and we're all just trying to survive by any means necessary.
Featuring this amazing lineup: Alissa York, A.M. Willard, BL Berry, Carina Adams, Claudia Burgoa, Crystal Burnette, Dylan Allen, Faith Andrews, Gia Riley, J.A. DeRouen, Kate Anslinger, Leddy Harper, LK Collins, LL Collins, Marie James, Piper Rayne, Riann C. Miller, Shari J. Ryan, Stephanie Rose, Stephie Walls, SM West, TL Swan, Teresa Michaels, and foreword written by: Nicole Kane Knepper.
  

Goodreads

 

 Purchase Links:

 
Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card
 
 

 

Connect with the Authors:

 
Alissa York: http://bit.ly/2tkt3lq
A.M. Willard: http://bit.ly/2vGtAyH
Carina Adams: http://bit.ly/2gOIMHr
Claudia Burgoa: http://bit.ly/2ugiEtU
Crystal Burnette: http://bit.ly/2uFaEnk
Dylan Allen: http://bit.ly/2vGUNBk
Faith Andrews: http://bit.ly/2uOc67s
J.A. DeRouen: http://bit.ly/2dFHwzC
Kate Anslinger: http://bit.ly/2tLw8dt
Leddy Harper: http://bit.ly/2uF5gAG
Marie James: http://bit.ly/2ubkYQ6
Piper Rayne: http://bit.ly/2ugdmPf
Riann C. Miller: http://bit.ly/1V9Q3xM
Shari J. Ryan: http://bit.ly/2vGUfeN
Stephanie Rose: http://bit.ly/2vHa3ya
Stephie Walls: http://bit.ly/2rwxvkc
Teresa Michaels: http://bit.ly/2rIEfrf

Teaser Tuesday ~ Twisted Twosome by Meghan Quinn

Check out the amazing teaser for TWISTED TWOSOME by Meghan Quinn!



TWISTED TWOSOME
NA Romantic Comedy

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


Racer McKay is a broody bastard.

From the moment I met him, he’s been rude, irritable, and unbearable. 

A contractor working to remodel my parents pool house for extra cash, he stomps around in those clunky construction boots with his tool belt wrapped around his narrow waist, and a chip on his shoulder.

Racer McKay is also infuriatingly . . . sexy as hell. I want to take that pencil tucked behind his ear, and draw lazy lines slowly up and down his body all the while wanting to strangle him at the same time.

We try to stay out of each other’s way . . . that is until I have no other option but to ask for his help.

But what I don’t realize is he needs me just as much as I need him. I have money he’s desperate for, and he holds the key to making my dreams come true.

Our pranks turn from sarcastic banter, to sexual tension and lust-filled glances. Bickering matches quickly morph into slow burn moments. We’re hot, we’re cold. We push and pull. I need him, I don’t want him. We’re on the verge of combusting with an agreement dangling dangerously between us. Neither one of us can afford to lose one another and yet, we’re finding it quite hard to decipher the line that rests between love and hate.

*Twisted Twosome is a stand alone romantic comedy.




About the Author:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if "It's Raining Men" starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing... enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!


Find me on Goodreads:

Visit my website: http://authormeghanquinn.com/

Release Blitz ~ All Or Nothing At All by Jennifer Probst

Today we are sharing the release of ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL by Jennifer Probst. This is the third novel in the Billionaire Builders series. Check out the buy links below. Stop by Jennifer's facebook page for information on giveaways and more!

Purchase Now

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allornothingatall2

All or Nothing at All by Jennifer Probst

(Billionaire Builders, #3)

Now Live!

Blurb:

HGTV’s Property Brothers meets The Marriage Bargain in this third volume in the Billionaire Builders series, an all-new, heart-wrenching, and sexy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

Tristan Pierce left the family business to carve out a life of his own, but never forgot his passionate affair with the much younger, inexperienced Sydney Greene, or the hurtful breakup that tore him apart. When he’s forced to return home and face his past, will he be able to carve out a future, or will lies ruin his second chance at love?

Sydney Greene loved Tristan her entire life but when he left, he took not only her heart, but her trust along with him. Now that they’re together again, it’s time they both face the biggest secret of all...

--------

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst Jennifer Probst - Bio: Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again. She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Blog Tour ~ Stubborn As A Mule by Juliette Poe


STUBBORN AS A MULE
The Sex and Sweet Tea Series
by Juliette Poe
Release Day – July 20

Down in Whynot, NC, there are three things that hold true: 1) life moves just a little bit slower, 2) family means everything, and 3) you don’t mess with history.

When his family decides to sell a home that’s been part of their history for over a century, Lowe Mancinkus is madder than a hornet. To add insult to injury, the woman who purchased it is some fancy pants, city girl looking to fix it up and sell it off. Doesn’t matter that she’s sexy as hell or that just being near her gets his blood racing like never before. That home belongs to his family, or at least it did until she came to town.

Well that just won’t do, now will it?

From the moment that she laid eyes on the historical home in rural North Carolina, Melinda Rothschild knew Mainer House was something special. The perfect escape from life in New York City, Melinda signed the papers and set to work restoring the house to its natural beauty. That is until an angry Lowe showed up on her doorstep one day. With a scowl on his handsome, chiseled face. And a shotgun in his strong, muscular arms.

Is it getting hot in here?

Melinda’s about to get a lesson on life in the south, but Lowe is about to learn a lesson of his own – this city girl doesn’t back down from a fight.

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EXCERPT
“Looking good, Lowe Mancinkus,” I hear a woman call out as I stretch upward to paint the top of the frame around the window. Turning my head to look over my shoulder, I see Lynette Carnes getting ready to walk into Sweet Cakes across the street. She’s our town’s very own Daisy Duke. By that, I mean she struts around in miniscule jean shorts, high heels, and a sleeveless blouse tied off just underneath her very ample chest.
She’s definitely nice to look at, although she doesn’t have much going on above the cleavage.
“Morning, Lynette,” I call back. “Lookin’ good yourself.”
She grins and blows a kiss at me before walking into Larkin’s shop.
The front door opens and Mely steps out onto the porch, carrying a cup of coffee. There’s no doubt in my mind she witnessed that exchange from the other side of the doorway. It’s obvious by the pinched expression she has on her face. Still, she brings the coffee over to me and sets it on the porch rail.
“Thanks, darlin’,” I tell her as I go back to brushing paint over the layer of primer I’d put on a few hours ago. I’d decided to work half a day here at Mainer House, not because I was anxious to get the work done, but because I wanted to be around Melinda Rothschild.
She may not be strutting around in little shorts and a low-cut blouse, but she is most definitely a prettier picture than I’ve ever seen around these parts. She’s wearing a white sundress with a halter top, and her shoulders are lightly tanned with tiny freckles. Her legs are long, bare, and perfectly adorned with nothing more than a pair of simple white sandals. Her silky blonde hair is pulled away from her face at the top of her head and she looks like a breath of fresh air.
Mely leans against the porch rail, crosses her arms low under her breasts, and watches me work for a minute. I wonder if she likes what she sees.
I think so.
There was going to be another kiss last night if Morri hadn’t managed to ruin that little moment. And while I’d never stoop to mention this to Mely, I’m pretty sure he’d been hovering at the top of the stairs, just waiting to ruin it.
“Much better than hot pink,” Mely says as I continue to apply paint to the casing. I have no clue what the hell I was thinking when I painted her house pink. It was an attention getter and since the two people whose attention it got were Mely and Judge Bowe, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out I might have been pulling on her metaphorical pigtails a bit.
“I should have this finished by tomorrow,” I tell her. “Then all will be right again.”
“Odd since it took you a single night to do the damage,” she quips. I don’t look back at her, but I hear the laughter in her voice.
“Well, neon pink isn’t all that easy to cover up,” I tell her with a laugh.
She snickers and I can’t believe she was trying to get me thrown in jail last week. My how the mighty have fallen.
“When in Rome and all that,” Mely says and I turn to look at her from my perch on the ladder. She jerks her chin over her shoulder in the direction of Sweet Cakes. “Is that the standard southern girl uniform?”
Chuckling, I cut my eyes over to Sweet Cakes where sexy Lynette just disappeared into. I’m not about to tell Mely that I have actual carnal knowledge about that southern girl, even if it was back in my younger years.
Looking back to Mely, I take in her stylishly sweet dress that doesn’t reveal much but is still sexy at the same time. Giving her a wink, I say, “There’s nothing standard about you, Melinda Rothschild, so I’m advising you to stay away from that look. I think you’re mighty fine just the way you are.”


Juliette Poe is the sweet and swoony alter ego of New York Times Best Selling author, Sawyer Bennett. A fun-loving southern girl, Juliette knows the allure of sweet tea, small towns, and long summer nights, that some of the best dates end sitting on the front porch swing, and that family is top priority. She brings love in the south to life in her debut series, Sex & Sweet Tea. When Juliette isn’t delivering the sweetest kind of romance, she’s teaching her southern belle daughter the fine art of fishing, the importance of wearing Chucks, and the endless possibilities of a vivid imagination. Twitter |Facebook | Instagram      

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cover Reveal ~ Balance Check by M.E. Carter




Title: Balance Check
A #MyNewLife Novel
Author: M.E. Carter
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cover Design: Murphy Rae, Indie Solutions
Release Date: August 18, 2017



Blurb

Life has a funny way of throwing you off balance.

Take me for example. I spent years in a bad marriage with a self-serving ass, only to have the love of my life show up when I least expected him. Greg helped me on my journey of self discovery and taught me that, no, I’m not perfect. But I’m perfectly me.  It was an amazing journey.

We laughed hard. We loved even harder.

And then he was suddenly and cruelly ripped away from me by the unclenching jaws of fate.

Ok, so it wasn’t that dramatic. And I really need to stop watching the Investigation Channel.

But now Greg is back and as it turns out, re-incorporating someone into your life isn’t that easy. Between jobs, kids, and barely-there friendships, life and love can be messy. Making it all work is a balancing act. 

But we’re determined to get it in check.








Also Available


NEW RELEASE!!

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU






Author Bio

Mother, reader, storytellerME Carter never set out to write books. But when a friend practically forced a copy of Twilight into her hands, the love of the written word she had lost as a child was rekindled. With a story always rolling around in her head, it should come as no surprise that she finally started putting them on paper. She lives in Texas with her four children, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who sadly was born long after her pen name was created, and will probably need extensive therapy because of it.


Author Links

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Excerpt Reveal ~ The Beauty of Us by Kristen Proby

   

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes a sexy, new standalone contemporary romance in her Fusion Series, THE BEAUTY OF US, releasing August 22, 2017! Check out the chapter below and get to know Trevor and Riley!

   

About THE BEAUTY OF US:

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby delivers another sizzling novel in her delectable and sexy Fusion series.

Riley Gibson is over the moon at the prospect of having her restaurant, Seduction, on the Best Bites TV network. This could be the big break she’s been waiting for. But the idea of having an in-house show on a regular basis is a whole other matter. Their lives would be turned upside down, and convincing Mia, her best friend and head chef of Seduction, that having cameras in her kitchen every day is a good idea is daunting. Still, Riley knows it’s an opportunity she can’t afford to pass on. And when she meets Trevor Cooper, the show’s executive producer, she’s stunned by their intense chemistry.

Trevor’s sole intention is to persuade Riley to allow Best Bites TV to do a show on her restaurant. But when he walks into Riley’s office, he stops dead in his tracks. The professional, aloof woman on the phone is incredibly beautiful and funny. But can he convince her that he’s interested in Riley for himself? Or is he using the undeniable pull between them to persuade her to agree to his offer?

 

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Add to your Goodreads


And Don’t Miss the First Three Novels in the Fusion Series, LISTEN TO ME, CLOSE TO YOU, and BLUSH FOR ME!

   

Don’t miss the first chapter of THE BEAUTY OF US! You can read it here!

Chapter 2
~Trevor~
I didn’t sleep worth shit last night. I waited for a response to my e-mail from Riley for a while; I’m not exactly sure why. I just don’t like the thought of her being embarrassed.
Because she has no reason to be. She didn’t know who I was, and it was closing time. She was venting to her friends.
It’s really no big deal.
But I could see the mortification in her big blue eyes when she realized who I was, and that doesn’t sit well with me.
When no response came, and for all I know she hasn’t even read the e-mail yet, I sat down for a game on the PS4. I don’t travel anywhere without it. Some people read to unwind. Some go to the gym, and there are times I do the same. But to truly relax, I enjoy gaming. I have since I was a kid.
So I settled in the apartment the network has rented for me this month and played online with my friends, talking about our days and shooting the enemy.
We played well past midnight, and I usually would have gone right to bed afterward, but my mind was still turning, making falling asleep impossible. The restaurant is better than I imagined through my research on their website and customer reviews. It’s visually stunning, the food is fantastic, and they’ve hit the mark on the sexy factor.
But added to that, the five women who own the place are all beautiful, smart, and will make for great TV. Viewers will eat this show up, pun intended.
I lean over the sink and wash my face, not bothering to shave today, and as I dry off, I reach for my phone.
I have several new e-mails.
The most recent is from Riley Gibson.
Trevor,
Thank you for your kind email. I apologize again for the conversation last night. I would like to promise that we don’t always talk like that at work, but that would be a lie. At least we keep it to closing time over a glass of wine.
Enjoy Portland,
Riley
I grin and sling the towel over my bare shoulders. Riley isn’t what I had pictured in my head before I got here. I knew that she was pretty because their photos are on their website, but she’s much prettier in person.
And animated.
Working with her will be fun.
And a test to my libido. Because Riley is fucking sexy. I’ve never mixed business and sex before, and I don’t plan to start now, but keeping my hands off her will be a test of wills.
And that too should be fun.
After my run this morning, I stopped by a bagel place to eat and read a newspaper, came back to the apartment for a shower, and I think I’ll go to Seduction for lunch. I hadn’t planned to go back there until my meeting with Riley tomorrow, but I also haven’t had lunch there yet.
I dress quickly in jeans and a red T-shirt and walk the six or so blocks to the restaurant.
They’ve just opened, so they’re not busy yet. The atmosphere is calm, the lighting a bit brighter than last night, making it a fun spot to meet with colleagues or friends for lunch.
I’m seated on the far side of the restaurant, where it meets the bar, and I can see Riley and the other women sitting around a high table, talking.
Loud enough for me to hear.
“So, he’ll be here tomorrow. Filming doesn’t start for another week, unless the timetable has been moved up,” Riley says, studying her iPad and checking things off a list. “It would be great if we could watch our language.”
“Right,” Mia says, rolling her eyes. “Because that’s gonna happen.”
“Just watch the F-bombs then,” Riley says with a grin. “And I’ll do my best not to vent to him about my horrible dating experiences. Not that I’ll be having any more of those.”
“I wish I’d been here for that,” Addie says with a smile. “It’s hilarious.”
“No, it’s not,” Riley says, but smiles and covers her lips with her fingers. “Okay, it’s a little funny. I’ll be working from home today.”
“Why?” The blonde speaking, I presume Cami, asks.
“Because I have a roofer coming today,” Riley says. “But if you need me, just call. I can come back after he leaves.”
“Go.” Mia waves her off. “We’ve got this.”
The girls all stand, about to go their own ways to get their day started. They’re clearly good friends, which will come across well on film.
Riley walks out of the bar and glances up, spotting me.
“Hi.” I offer her a smile and motion for her to join me. She sits, sets her iPad aside, and squares her shoulders.
I love a woman with grit.
“Why are you here?” she asks.
“I’m having lunch,” I reply, and gesture to the salad sitting in front of me. “It’s delicious. Adding the brussels sprouts is smart.”
“I’ll pass that along to Mia,” she says, and then laughs. “I guess you heard the part where I asked the girls to not swear.”
“I did,” I reply, and patiently butter a piece of warm bread. “Don’t worry about that stuff. They’re adults.”
“With potty mouths,” she says.
“And we can bleep stuff out, or ask them to rephrase. You’ve already got the gig, Riley. I wouldn’t be here otherwise. This isn’t an audition.”
“I know.” She sighs and reaches over to take a piece of my bread, surprising and delighting me. “I just want things to go smoothly.”
“Perhaps you should order lunch too.”
“I don’t have time,” she says, and then her blue eyes widen as she realizes what she just did. “I’m so sorry. I eat when I’m stressed out, and I didn’t—”
“No.” I hold my hand up to stop her. “It’s fine. I like that you’re relaxed with me. I think you need to relax more often.”
“What are you, my life coach now?”
“If you like. Did you cancel those dating sites like I suggested?”
She bites her lip and looks to the side, then nods. “I did.”
“Good.” I take a bite of salad and nod. “Are you sure you don’t want some food?”
“I rarely have time to eat,” Riley says, and checks the time on her phone. “In fact, I should go. I have to meet the roofer at my house.”
“What’s wrong with your roof?”
“It’s old,” she says with a shrug. “That’s what happens when you buy an old house. I’m fixing it up a little at a time.”
I nod, and find that I don’t want her to go quite yet. I want to talk more, to learn more about her.
“Why don’t you come to my apartment tonight and I’ll cook you dinner?”
She pauses and stares at me for a moment. “Why?”
I laugh and set my fork down. “Because I asked you to. We’re going to be working closely over the next few weeks, we might as well get to know each other a little better. Also, we can discuss my new duties as your life coach.”
“Well.” Her lips twitch as she thinks it over for a moment, a myriad of emotions moving across her beautiful face, and finally she says, “Okay. Do you mind texting me the address and the time?”
“Not at all,” I reply, and immediately pass her my phone. “Plug in your number and I’ll text you this afternoon.”
She complies, passes it back, and smiles. “Okay, see you later.”
And with that, she’s off. Her ass swaying enticingly in her tight skirt, calves flexing from the height of her heels, and the food I’m currently chewing immediately tastes like cardboard.
Jesus.
And I just voluntarily offered to spend time with her. Alone.
I’m a fucking glutton for punishment.
[no ornament]
“I’m starving,” Riley immediately says as I open the door. She’s in jeans and a well-loved University of Oregon sweatshirt, her hair is pulled up in a ponytail, and she looks like she could be a co-ed herself. “I forgot to eat today.”
“Does that happen every day?” I ask as I gesture for her to come inside and close the door behind her.
“Most days,” she admits. “Is this one of those bad choices that you’re gonna coach me through?”
“Yes,” I reply, and lead her into the kitchen. “You have to eat.”
“I know, I just get focused on other things, and the next thing I know, the day is gone and I’m starving.” She passes me two bottles of wine. “I didn’t know what we were having, so I brought red and white.”
“Thanks.” I grin and set them both on the counter. “I made salmon and asparagus with baby red potatoes. What goes best with that?”
Her eyes light up. “The white. Holy shit, are you a chef yourself?”
“I went to culinary school,” I reply, and squeeze some lemon on the salmon before plating it. “But I discovered I was better at a desk job.”
“That’s unusual,” she says, her head tilted to the side as she listens. “Most people fight to get out of a desk job.”
“Not me. I have a ton of respect for Mia, because being a chef isn’t easy, and pleasing people sucks.”
“True.” Riley nods. “She doesn’t get many plates sent back to her, but there are a few. Can I pour you a glass?”
“No thanks,” I reply, and reach in the fridge for a bottle of water. “I don’t drink alcohol.”
“Oh.” She frowns. “I’m sorry. I can drink water too.”
“It’s fine,” I reply, and pat her shoulder. “I don’t mind if you drink. I just don’t.”
“But last night, you were drinking Jack and Coke.”
“Nope, just Coke.”
She sits at the table, still frowning. “I’m sorry.”
“There’s nothing to be sorry for.” I set our plates down. “I’ve been sober for ten years. I’m not the kind of alcoholic who can’t be around others having a drink. It was never that bad for me. I’m just a better person if I don’t drink.”
“Good for you for knowing that,” she says, holding her glass out to clink against my water. “This looks delicious.”
“You sound surprised.”
“I expected pizza or Chinese takeout,” she says. “Honestly, that’s probably what you would have gotten from me. I’m also surprised that you’re not staying in a hotel.”
“I’m here long enough that the network sprung for the apartment. They usually do when I’m somewhere longer than a week or so.”
“You must travel a lot for this job,” she says, eating her food like a starving child. I don’t know if she even tastes it, she’s eating so fast.
“I travel often,” I reply, and grin when she takes the last bite. “Are you going to lick the plate?”
“Maybe,” she says with a grin. “I’m not even embarrassed that I ate that so fast. It was delicious.”
“I’m glad you liked it. There’s more.”
“No, I’m good,” she says, and reaches in her bag, pulling out a pad of paper and a pen. “You can eat while I interview you.”
“For what?”
“For the position of life coach,” she says with a sassy grin. I want to kiss that grin right off her face, but instead I take a bite of potato and gesture for her to begin.
“Okay, first question: What qualifications do you have that make you a good fit for this position?”
“Well, I have a few years on you, so I would say wisdom with age.”
She tilts her head to the side, the way she does when she’s turning something over in her head. “You can’t be that much older than me.”
“I’m thirty-seven.”
“Seven years,” she says, rolling her eyes.
“A lot can happen in seven years,” I reply, and sip my water.
“Okay, I’ll give you that.” She checks something off on her paper.
“Did you really write down questions?”
“Of course. I’m the queen of lists and the roofer was at my house forever.” She bites her lip as she looks at her list. “How many women have you life-coached in the past?”
“Well, I didn’t have an official job title, but I have two younger sisters, and an ex-wife, so I would say three.”
“But the wife is an ex, so maybe that did go well?” Riley asks. “And are your sisters productive members of society?”
“As opposed to being in jail?” I ask, laughing. “You’re hilarious, Riley.”
“You didn’t answer the question.”
“My sisters are great. The older one is married, a stay-at-home mom with two kids, and the younger one is a waitress.”
“But the ex-wife thing didn’t work out.”
“She’s not a mess, we just both decided that she shouldn’t be my wife anymore.”
“Why?”
I sit back in my chair and wipe my mouth on my napkin. “Because she thought it was a good idea to have sex with other men.”
Her eyebrows climb on her forehead and she blinks twice. “That’s a good reason.”
“I thought so.”
“Okay, next question.” She checks something on her paper and looks up at me with a smile. “How do you intend to be compensated for your work?”
“I’m working pro bono,” I reply with a wink.
“Why?”
“Because I’m going to be here anyway, and why not.” I shrug and finish the food on my plate. “What else do you want to know?”
“Is my coming to a virtual stranger’s apartment by myself one of the bad decisions you should have coached me on?”
I smile and set my plate aside so I can lean on the table. “Did the girls tell you that coming here by yourself was a bad idea?”
“I only talked to Cami and she thought I should come. Plus, I have a concealed carry, so I feel pretty confident that I’m safe.”
I raise a brow and cross my arms over my chest. “You carry a gun with you?”
“Hell to the yes,” she replies, and offers me a sweet smile. “I’ve been meeting strange men on the Internet. You bet your ass I’ve been armed.”
“Good idea,” I reply with a nod. “There are a lot of crazies out there.”
“Yes. But I think that if you’re gonna meet a crazy, it could be anywhere. Online, in a bar, at the gas station. They’re everywhere.”
“That’s true too,” I reply, and nod. “Well, I’m glad you’re being cautious.”
“I’m nobody’s victim,” she says, as casually as if she’s telling me her shoe size.
That’s fucking sexy.
“Do you have any other questions?”
“Not really,” she says, and shrugs. “I didn’t really write anything down. But it was fun to interrogate you a bit.”
“Now I have questions,” I reply, and smile when she cocks her head and purses her lips. “Do you really think you need a life coach?”
“No, I have my shit together,” she says with a grin.
“Why were you really on all of those sites?”
She shrugs. “Because it’s not easy meeting people. And sometimes a girl wants to go out on a date.”
“You don’t need me,” I reply, and smile. “But I’ll be around for a while, just in case.”
“Just in case I slip and fall back into the online dating?”
“That, or if you just want to have dinner, or chat. And I think we should watch a marathon of Star Wars. Your lack of knowledge is cause for concern.”
“It’s kind of a guy thing,” she says.
“I know many women who like Star Wars.”
“Well, I would watch one or two.”
“You need to see them all to understand what’s happening.”
“That’s a lot of hours of my life that I’ll never get back,” she says with a frown. “Aren’t there CliffsNotes somewhere? A speedy way to get caught up?”
“No,” I reply, and fist my hands in my lap so I don’t reach out and tuck her hair behind her ear.
Or yank her against me so I can kiss the fuck out of her.
“Are you okay?” she asks.
“Are you always this observant?”
“I’m an overthinker,” she says. “So yeah, I’m an observer.”
“I’ve been labeled an overthinker too,” I say with a grin.
“Would you say it’s an accurate assessment?”
“Oh yeah,” I say with a nod, and stand to clear our plates away. She stands to help. “I’ve got this.”
“No way, you cooked, so I’ll help clean.”
She walks ahead of me, her empty glass in one hand and her plate in the other. “Do you use the dishwasher, or do you wash by hand?”
“There are people who still wash by hand?”
“I’ve heard of them, but I’ve never seen them in the wild,” she says, and smiles up at me when I join her. “So I guess that means we use the dishwasher?”
“Yes.” She rinses and I load, and a few short minutes later, we’re done.
“Well, I suppose I should go,” she says, and checks the time on her phone. “Oh, Cami texted. I guess I should reply so she doesn’t think you killed me after the entrĂ©e.”
She smirks and types on her phone, then turns it off and looks up at me.
“Thanks for dinner.”
“You’re welcome.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
Unfortunately, it won’t be in my bed.
“You will.”
“Okay.” She gathers her bag, notepad and pen, and walks to the door. “Sleep well tonight.”
I grin and congratulate myself for not dragging my fingertips down her cheek.
You sleep well tonight, Riley.”
“Okay. Bye.”
She leaves and I close the door, letting out a slow breath. Jesus, she’s sexy and funny and smart as fuck.
And I’m not going to touch her while I’m here.
How the fuck am I going to do that?

                                                      About Kristen Proby:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.   Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.    

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