Wednesday, 26 July 2017

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: A DANCE WITH SEDUCTION by ALYSSA ALEXANDER




About the Book:


She was the only code he couldn't break...

Vivienne Le Fleur is one of London’s most sought after opera dancer and one of England’s best weapons: the spy known as the Flower. When a French agent pressures her to change allegiance by abducting her sister, Vivienne is forced to seek the help of the only man in London who doesn’t want her.

Maximilian Westwood, retired code breaker, doesn't like surprises or mysteries and The Flower is both. When she sneaks into his study in the middle of the night with a coded message, he’s ready to push her out whatever window she arrived through. Except Maximilian is unable to turn away a woman in trouble. Determined to rescue Vivienne’s sister, they engage in a game of cat and mouse with French spies that requires all of Vivienne’s training and Maximilian’s abilities. Bound together by secrecy, they discover there is more between them than politics and hidden codes, but love has no place among the secrets of espionage...

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In A Dance with Seduction by Alyssa Alexander, Maximilian Westwood is a much sort after code-breaker, even now that he's retired. But when the lovely Vivienne La Fleur comes to him because she needs his help in breaking a coded message, he decides to help her, because there's no way he'd turned away a woman in desperate need of his services. However, when Vivienne's sister is kidnapped, the stakes are upped. Will they be able to rescue the young girl without getting themselves in trouble they may not be able to get out of, or will their chance at happy ever after be ripped away due to someone determined to play a dangerous game of cat and mouse that puts their lives at risk?

A story encompassing espionage and romance is definitely going to make me want to read it, as long as the blurb is tempting enough, and this story has a fantastic blurb that matches an equally captivating story that had me hooked from start to finish. The way this story started drew me into this story immediately, as the heroine is good at what she does as a spy and I enjoyed the very first interaction between her and the hero. She'll do anything to convince Maximilian to help. What will it take? Money? A favor? 

As for the dialogue, it was intense and so enthralling due to the main characters back stories, especially that of the heroine because of how she became a spy. She didn't have much of a choice, and yet, she's really good at what she does. Seduction. Thieving. Really, any means necessary to get the job done she can manage with flying colors, as long as she has help with the messages she receives because of her condition. Moreover, the heroine is strong and brave and I liked how determined she was when it came to protecting someone she loves. Will she betray all she believes in? I also liked how she let the hero into her life when she's normally used to doing things solo. 

While the hero, he's absolutely brilliant, good at breaking codes and I liked how determined he was to help the heroine in any way he could, even knowing that things could get dangerous. I also liked how open and honest he was, and that the heroine who doesn't trust a lot of people, opened up to him when it was palpable that she couldn't continue to keep the secrets she was keeping without things becoming more complicated and dangerous for the heroine, because of the acts she was committing could be seen as a betrayal of her country.

Overall, Ms. Alexander has penned an intriguing and thrilling read in this book where this couple's chemistry was powerful; the romance full of exquisite heat and passion; and the ending had me on the edge-of-my-seat because of the danger closing in on the main characters. Certainly, I was taken by surprise by the identity of the person trying to switch Vivienne's loyalty. Will they come out on top of the bad guys? Will Vivienne be able to save her loved ones? However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up nicely, because of the answer Vivienne gives to the hero when it comes to a question he asks her. I would recommend A Dance with Seduction by Alyssa Alexander, if you enjoy Historical Romances encompassing spies, or books by authors Tina Gabrielle, Christi Caldwell, Anna Campbell and Vanessa Kelly.



Meet the Author:


Despite being a native Michigander, Alyssa Alexander is pretty certain she belongs somewhere sunny. And tropical. Where drinks are served with little paper umbrellas. But until she moves to those white sandy beaches, she survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. She lives with her own set of heroes, aka an ever-patient husband who doesn’t mind using a laundry basket for a closet, and a small boy who wears a knight in a shining armor costume for such tasks as scrubbing potatoes.

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EXCERPT REVEAL: READY TO RUN by LAUREN LAYNE


A reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: 
a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.


READY TO RUN
I Do, I Don't #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing Aug 22, 2017
Loveswept



The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.



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Damn. Charlie hadn’t been lying about the hot blonde.
The woman walking straight toward him was all tight jeans, high heels, and confi-dence. And hot. Very, very hot.
Charlie muttered something admiring under his breath, and Luke’s gaze flicked to the man beside the woman. Tried to place him. Couldn’t.
Not too many guys around here who wore light-purple shirts and white pants with the same easy comfort that Lucky Hollow residents wore jeans and flannel.
No doubt about it—neither was from around here. Not by a long shot.
The man was a half step behind the woman, and Luke assessed that the woman was calling the shots.
His eyes narrowed as he realized that she hadn’t once wavered in her approach.
She knew what she was after:
Him.
She got closer and Luke saw that the face matched the body. Wide blue eyes, full lips, sassy shoulder-length blond hair that was just tousled enough to make a man wonder how it had gotten that way—to want to be the one to muss it.
Her gaze flicked over him, and Charlie whistled and muttered under his breath. “She just checked you out, man.”
She had indeed, but Luke was far from flattered. It hadn’t been the assessment of a woman checking out a man so much as a predator evaluating its prey.
As though she was evaluating him for . . . something.
Blondie stopped in front of him, and the second her blue eyes locked on his, Luke felt a little jolt of awareness and was irrationally annoyed. It had been a long time since he’d been quite so aware of a woman.
Once, he’d enjoyed the feeling—sexual chemistry was almost the perfect combination of pain and pleasure. A subtle punch in the gut that you wanted to experience again and again.
These days, though, he was having a hard time getting past the pain part. The shitty parts had outweighed the good parts just one time too many. Now he mostly settled for casual hookups with a divorcée a few towns over who was even less interested in com-mitment than Luke was.
He had zero use for attraction to a pretty, bold woman in high heels.
Luke noticed that for a sheer moment she had a slightly off-balance look, as though she too had felt the annoying zip of arousal when their eyes met, but she recovered quick-ly.
Pasting a sunny, generic smile on her face, she stuck out her right hand. “Luke Elliott. I’m Jordan Carpenter. This is my colleague, Simon Nash.”
Good manners had him setting down his equipment and extending his own right hand toward hers even as his brain caught on her name. Familiar, and . . .
Shit. Shit!
He managed to stop from jerking his hand back, but just barely. Instead, he gritted his teeth, gave her hand a perfunctory shake, and then fixed her with a glare. “You’re wasting your time, Ms. Carpenter. And mine.”
Blue eyes narrowed. “Aha. So you did get my emails.”
Those. The voicemails. The letters.
“Sure,” he said with a nod, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Just like I suspect you got the message that I didn’t want to be a part of your show.”
Charlie looked from the woman to Luke and back again. “Show?”
Ryan ambled over, his shit-eating grin telling Luke that this damn woman had already spilled the beans on why she was here. “Luke’s gonna be a national heartthrob.”
“International,” said the blond guy in the purple shirt.
Jordan Carpenter didn’t look at her companion, but all three firefighters did.
The other man gave the sort of easy smile that probably had him making friends easily. Luke didn’t want a new friend.



























































Tuesday, 25 July 2017

RELEASE BLAST: CAN'T STOP LOVIN' YOU by LYNETTE AUSTIN


Brawley must find a way to convince Maggie 
that their one true home is with each other.

 
CAN'T STOP LOVIN' YOU
Maverick Junction #3
Lynnette Austin
Forever


 
 
 
In Can't Stop Lovin' You (Maverick Junction #3) by Lynette Austin, Brawley Odell living back in Maverick Junction is playing havoc on Maggie Sullivan's heart, especially since she'll be leaving soon for New York to continue following her dream as a fashion designer making her mark on the world. However, Brawley is determined to win her back after hurting her so many years ago when he broke up with her and left town. Will Maggie be able to forgive Brawley for what he did in the past, so they can have a second shot at forever after; or is there too much pain with what happened years ago for Maggie to overcome?
 
What a wonderfully-written, fast-paced, enchanting read Ms. Austin has penned in this third book of her Maverick Junction series, which encompasses the second chance romance trope; incredible characters that have been through a lot in the past and face some tough obstacles throughout this story; dialogue that was well-written and had me switching between crying and smiling; and secondary characters that I found just as riveting as the main ones because of their advice and their need to see Maggie achieve everything she's ever dreamed of when it comes to her career.
 
The way this story started had me loving the hero immediately, as it's palpable how much he still cares for Maggie and is determined to win her back, even though that may be harder than he thought. Since Maggie is a firecracker; a woman that has a temper as fiery as her red hair and isn't afraid to stand up to Brawley when he believes he has every right to question her move to New York. Moreover, the hero was a compelling character and I loved every moment of his journey in this book. The discoveries he makes are enough to make any grown man cry, especially with Maggie's news and what happens to someone he cares about. However, I liked how he handled the tragedies by doing everything he could to create lasting memories and honor the person who was a big influence when it came to his career as a vet. I also liked how determined he was to win Maggie back. He's nothing if not persistent and it's understandable why the heroine finds it hard to resist him. He's a good guy with a heart of gold that knows he made the biggest mistake by leaving Maggie in the past. Can he win her back? 
 
While Maggie, she was a delightful heroine that I enjoyed from beginning to end. She's been through a lot and suffered when Brawley left her in the past, but I liked how she managed to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart and did everything to succeed in her career as a fashion designer. I also liked the tight bond she shared with her grandpa and how she would do anything for him, especially when it came to making sure everything was perfect when it came to a special day in his life. Yet, what I liked most of all is how much Maggie blossomed throughout this story, and that she did everything she could to succeed in The Big Apple, even though it was palpable she was homesick.
 
Overall, Ms. Austin has penned another fantastic read for this series where the chemistry  between this pair was off-the-charts; the romance illustrated how much these two still loved each other, despite the fact it was hard for Maggie to forgive Brawley for the past; and the ending had me saddened by what happened to one of the best people they both know, but had me completely charmed by how things turned out for Brawley and Maggie. They needed each other to be completely happy. I would recommend Can't Stop Lovin' You by Lynette Austin, if you enjoy the second chance romance trope or books by authors Maisey Yates, Raeanne Thayne, Jill Shalvis and Kari Lynn Dell.
 
 
 
 
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
 
Maggie Sullivan can't wait to get out of Texas. Luckily, she just got the break she needed to make her big-city dreams a reality. But then Brawley Odell swaggers back into Maverick Junction, looking hotter than ever in his dusty cowboy boots and well-worn jeans. He's the guy she still dreams of at night. The guy who broke her heart when he left her behind.

Fed up with city life, Brawley jumps at the chance to return home and take over the local vet's practice—and get back to the smart, sassy woman he's never been able forget. He couldn't be prouder of Maggie's new wedding-dress business . . . until he realizes it may mean losing her all over again. Determined to win her back, Brawley must find a way to convince Maggie that their one true home is with each other.

NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT!!

 
 

Brawley Odell figured his life wouldn’t be worth one plug-nickel the second he stepped foot inside Maggie’s shop. Too damn bad. He hadn’t driven the thirty miles from Maverick Junction to back out now. He was goin’ in.
After all this time, he’d come home…and she was leaving.
He grasped the brass knob and shoulder-butted the oak door. It flew open, the bell overhead jangling. Maggie Sullivan, all that gorgeous red hair scooped into a jumbled mass, stood dead-center in the room. Dressed in a skirt and top the color of a forest at twilight, she held a fuzzy sweater up in front of her like a shield. Those amazing green eyes widened as he stormed in.
“We need to talk.” He ignored the woman at the back of the store who flipped through a rack of tops.
“What the—?”
He held up a hand. “Don’t speak. Not yet.”
Her mouth opened, then closed.
Anger boiled in him, but he needed to find some modicum of control. Taking a deep breath, he held it for the count of ten, then slowly released it. “Did you plan on telling me?”
Her eyes narrowed, but she said nothing.
“You’re invited to New York City for a showing of your new line, and you don’t share that with me? I have to learn about it secondhand?”
“Last I heard this wasn’t about you, Brawley. In fact, my life, my business has absolutely nothing to do with you.”
His jaw clenched. “Anything that affects you is my business, Mags.”
She snorted. “Get real, Odell. You gave up any and all rights years ago.” Her head tilted. “Why are you even interested? You want to attend so you can show off your latest Dallas Cowboy cheerleader? Maybe order her trousseau?”
He shot her a deadly look, one that had made grown men back away.
Not Maggie. She actually took a couple steps toward him. The woman had no survival instincts. Another reason she had no business heading off to New York alone.
She tapped a scarlet-tipped finger on her chin. “Oh, that’s right. There’d be no trousseau for your honey, would there? Maybe a weekend-fling outfit for your date du jour? A one-night-stand set of lacy lingerie.”
“Shut up, Maggie.”
“Make me.” Her eyes flashed.
This time the look in his eyes must have warned her she’d treaded too close to the edge. She stepped back.
“You challenging me, Maggie?”
When she wet her lips, his gaze dropped to her mouth, followed the tip of her pink tongue as it darted out.
“Only one way I could ever get you quiet,” he said.
Her hand shot up. “Don’t even think about it.”
“No thought required. Been wanting to do this a long time now.” He closed the distance between them and dropped his mouth to hers. Fire. Smoke. Hell, a full-out volcanic eruption.



 
Lynnette Austin, a recovering middle school teacher, loves long rides with the top down and the music cranked up, the Gulf of Mexico when a storm is brewing, chocolate frozen custard, anything by Blake Shelton, Chris Young, and Thomas Rhett, and sitting in her local coffee shop reading and enjoying an iced coffee. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida's beaches and Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Having grown up in a small town, that's where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody...and all their business, for better or worse. Writing for Grand Central and Sourcebooks, she’s published twelve novels and is at work on a new series.





 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, 24 July 2017

REVIEW: EVERY LITTLE KISS by MARINA ADAIR


Every Little Kiss
Sequoia Lake #2
By: Marina Adair
Releasing July 18th, 2017
Montlake Romance
 
 
 
In Every Little Kiss (Sequoia Lake #2) by Marina Adair, Liv Preston is determined to do whatever it takes to bring fun back into her son's life after two years of heartbreak. However, nothing seems to be working until Ford Jamison and his dog, Bullseye, come into their lives. However, Ford is hiding a secret and when Liv discovers just what that secret is, will she be able to forgive him or will their chance at happy ever after be lost forever due to Ford not being game enough to tell Liv the truth of why he's come to Sequoia Lake?

Ms. Adair is a master when it come to writing contemporary romance, and when she combines such a romance with the setting of a small town, she delivers a remarkable and magnetic read just as she has in this second book of her Sequoia Lake series. The way this story started had me enjoying this book immediately due to the heroine and her dilemma. Liv would do anything for her son, and I liked how she took charge to make sure her little boy would get back his favorite toy without it looking like it's been through the wringer and experienced unpleasant happenings.

As for the dialogue, it was well-written, captivating and I loved how it illustrated the challenges Liv and Ford face throughout this story superbly. The emotions and reactions of both the main characters had an effect on me, and I couldn't help but sympathize with Ford because of his connection to Liv's past and the grief she's still suffering. Furthermore, Ford charmed me with his flirting and his kindness towards the heroine's son. I also liked how kind and caring he was to the secondary characters and that he would do anything for the heroine because she deserves happiness again.

While the heroine, she's a fighter, which is proven by all that she's done since the death of her husband. She will do anything for her son and I liked how determined she was to help him, even if it meant doing everything she could to secure the job she wanted, so she could be there for her little boy more. I also liked how she handled her mother-in-law, because the woman needed to realize that Liv was the one to make the decisions when it came to her son and no-one else. Yet, what I enjoyed most about Liv is how she helped to bond her son and her mother-in-law better.

Overall, Ms. Adair has penned another fantastic read for this series where the chemistry was instant and intense; the romance was hot and proved how good Ford was for Liv; and the ending was completely satisfying due to what Ford does to prove his love for the heroine. No way isn't he going to do whatever it takes to win her back. I would recommend Every Little Kiss by Marina Adair, if you enjoy second chance romances or books by authors Catherine Bybee, MK Meredith, Jill Sanders or Erin Nicholas.

 
BLURB
There’s nothing that single mom Liv Preston won’t do if it means making her six-year-old son smile again. After a heartbreaking two years, her little family is due for some fun in the sun. She just didn’t expect to find it in the big, rugged, Search and Rescue hero next door—who shows her just how exciting, and sexy, life’s adventures can be.

As head of Reno’s K-9 search division, Ford Jamison knows what it takes to make life-and-death decisions on the fly. He doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t do regrets, and has never doubted his instincts—until he makes a promise that turns his world upside down. Desperate for redemption, he returns to Sequoia Lake, only to find himself face-to-face with his past…and the one woman he can’t have. Not when his secret would destroy her—and everything she holds dear.

For Liv, finding love once was a gift. Finding it twice seems impossible, until the moment Ford’s lips meet hers. Love doesn’t always come easy, but when it’s right, it’s worth fighting for…
 
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BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: EYE CANDY by JESSICA LEMMON

 
Don’t trust lust at first sight. 
 
 
EYE CANDY
Real Love #1
Jessica Lemmon
Releasing July 25th, 2017
Loveswept

 
 
 
In Eye Candy (Real Love #1) by Jessica Lemmon, Jacqueline 'Jackie' Butler and Vince Carson are best friends that will do anything for each other. So, when Vince offers to coach Jacqueline in order to help her secure a date or even better getting up close and very personal with a man, Jackie decides to take him up on the offer. However, the more time she spends with Vince, the harder it is to deny how she feels about him. Will Jackie be able to convince Vince that they can be more than friends, or do their past heartaches have too much hold over them for the pair to ever achieve happy ever after?
 
Ms. Lemmon shows her brilliance as a writer in this friends to lovers romance where the main characters and dialogue kept me enthralled from start to finish with everything they go through. The way this story started had me amused due to the conversation between Jackie and her friend, Kayla. What do they really know about the guy she continues to ogle every time she sees him? However, it was from the moment the hero and heroine have their first conversation that had me completely captivated, as Vince is funny and it's palpable he's protective of the heroine. He doesn't want to see her hurt again after her divorce and will do anything to undermine the guy Jackie seems to be showing interest in. Will his tactics work?
 
As for the dialogue, it was compelling, well-written, and I utterly enjoyed every moment the hero and heroine conversed, even when it seemed their relationship was on shaky ground due to their trust issues. It was also intense due to the main characters back stories, as both have been hurt by their past relationships, which has effected them in not wanting to do forever after again. Will their chance at love be forever this time around? Moreover, the heroine is resilient and I liked how determined she was to listen to the hero's advice, even though things don't work out as well as she hoped. I also liked that the heroine took a chance on Vince, even knowing she could lose his friendship if things didn't work out between them.
 
While the hero, I loved the ways he helped the heroine in making sure she got more productive dates than just coffee dates. The role playing had me cheering for the heroine, because who knew Jackie had it in her to be so seductive when it came to getting what she wanted. Furthermore, I liked how confident and determined the hero was to win the heroine's heart, even though he tricked her at first to get close to her and hopefully help her see that they can be more than friends. 
 
Overall, Ms. Lemmon has penned a superb read in this book where the secondary characters entertained me as much as the main ones; the chemistry between this couple was powerful and spilled over onto the pages in hot and nicely-detailed sex scenes; and the ending had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after, because the words they say to each other are perfect and prove love is worth fighting for and that they shouldn't let their past relationships effect their future together. I would recommend Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon, if you enjoy the friends to lovers trope; contemporary romance stories told from the first person point-of-view of both the hero and heroine; or books by authors Carly Philllips, Bella Andre, Lauren Layne and Kelly Elliott.
 
 


BLURB
Don’t trust lust at first sight. One woman chooses reality over fantasy in this friends-to-lovers romance. 

Jacqueline:
 
As an adult woman—and the vice president of a marketing firm—I shouldn’t be waiting by my office window to ogle the mystery man who jogs by every morning at 11:45. Sure, he’s a gorgeous, perfect specimen of the human race, but I can’t bring myself to hit on a total stranger. However, my best friend–slash–colleague Vince Carson thinks I should do more than talk to the guy. In fact, he’s borderline obsessive about “getting me laid.” (His words.) But the more time we spend together, the more it’s clear: The one I’m falling for is Vince.
 
Vince: Jackie Butler’s got it bad for some pompous, over-pumped A-hole who struts his stuff past her window. That doesn’t bother me. I know she deserves nice things. What does bother me is that she friend-zoned me big-time last year, so I can’t ask her out myself. But what if I set her up with Mr. Steroids? Then, when he breaks her heart, I can swoop in and save her like the nice guy I am. Everything’s going according to plan . . . until we share a ridiculously epic kiss. And suddenly anything is possible.

 
 
 
 
VINCE
Admittedly, giving Jackie advice on how to get a guy to sleep with her is not my best plan.
“Okay, Butler,” I say, fully focused on Jackie now. “Let’s hear it.”
She stops scribbling on the napkin in front of her, and I bite back a smile. Since I’ve given her a few tips, she has been frantically taking notes. She’s a planner. I’ve always been more go-with-the-flow.
She reads over her notes, squinting in concentration, her lips moving as she reads. Then those golden brown eyes hit mine and she gives me a resolute nod. “I’m ready.”
Her tongue swipes pink lips, making them glisten and making me regret again the route I’ve chosen to take with her. Part of me concedes I could call it off and tell her what I really want, but I know her. She’s barely convinced she can ask a dude out, so her best guy friend throwing a date on the table would be an automatic no.
“Let’s see it,” I say, kind of excited to see what she’s come up with.
She takes the empty seat next to me and leans heavily on an elbow, fist under her chin. “Hi. I’m Jackie.”
I blink several times in quick succession at the transformation from my scatterbrained best friend to a gorgeous woman giving me bedroom eyes. She’s pretending. I’d do well to remember that.
“Vince,” I introduce.
She straightens in her chair and frowns. “Shouldn’t you pretend to be J.T.?”
“I’m not that good of an actor, Butler.” And I’m not pretending to be that jerk.
“Fine.” She rolls her eyes, then slides into seduction mode so swiftly I find myself impressed. She’s better at this than she’s let on. “Do you have a last name, Vince?”
“You know my last name, Butler.”
“Call me Jackie.” She gives me a slow bat of her lashes.
My smile is real, and when I lean closer, I don’t even do it on purpose. “Well, Jackie. Last names are irrelevant, don’t you think?”
Her chest lifts as she takes a breath, and I’m not shy about checking out her cleavage, exposed down the V of her shirt. Normally I wouldn’t look so obviously, but this is a game. Our game.
“That’s very assuming of you, Mr. No Last Name.” She quirks her lips in that way she has, and my smile broadens. “But let’s say”—she moves her half-full wineglass onto the cocktail napkin she wrote on—“for argument’s sake, you’re right, that last names are irrelevant.” She runs the tip of her finger along the rim of her glass like she’s doing it absentmindedly.
She’s doing it on purpose. I can tell.
Damn. She’s good.
“We should have a real date before making plans, don’t you think?” she asks, her eyes on mine.
“Yes.” Hell, yes. “Dinner, at the very least.”
“And then if dinner works out . . .” She lets that statement hang and my heart beats triple time as I wait for what comes next. “We can talk about dessert.”
“We can talk about dessert now.” I’m transfixed on her and the idea of exploring our new dynamic.
Ohmygod.” Her eyes go wide. “Would he say that?”
I give myself a mental shake when I realize I was caught up in the conversation. It was one I wanted to be real, and she was thinking about Running Man.
“Probably,” I say, the spell broken. “Guys are assholes. Like I said.”
I lean back in my chair, find a TV, and stare blankly.
“But if that’s the case, I’ll have to have sex with him sooner than I planned.”
“No, you don’t, Jackie.” I hear the anger in my own voice. Because . . . “You don’t have to have sex with anyone. You could go to drinks, dinner, and dessert with this guy—you could end the night with tonsil hockey on your front porch or his, and you can still say no.”
She purses her lips. I hate the idea of her kissing that jackass. No matter what kind of person he is—even if he’s a volunteer firefighter who raises orphaned squirrels so they can perform at the local senior center—I hate him.
“Tell me you know that,” I say.
“I know I don’t have to. That’s not what I meant. I don’t want to chicken out. I want to get the first one over with. Like you did.”
I tip my head back and groan aloud. I can’t help it. I’m the example for her return to the dating world? Much as I don’t want to admit it, fair is fair. I salved my wounds with girls like Polly, so why can’t Jackie do it with J.T.? Jackie’s my friend and I care about her. I can’t make a double standard now.
“Besides, he’s really hot,” she says, her face going glowy.
“Spare me.”

 
 

 
A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Jessica is a social media junkie who loves to hear from readers. You can learn more at her website.