Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Nanny Rules by Melynda Price ~ Review



Don’t touch the nanny. It’s one rule I’m most certainly going to break.

Since becoming a single father, I have two things that keep me sane—my daughter Lily and playing football for the NFL. But when my meddling sister hires a nanny without my knowledge, I’m not thrilled to come home and find the woman has taken over my house. Our instant attraction is one more complication I don’t need in my life.

But my daughter loves Amelia, and I will do anything for that tiny munchkin. Even if it means walking around with blue balls most of the time. Why does the nanny have to be so sweet—and drop dead gorgeous? She’s driving me crazy. Never in my life have I wanted a woman more.

I just need to make it through this season. I can do that. Hands free, of course. But then there’s that moment, and I know she’s thinking what I’m thinking and, well, yeah. Screw the rules...




I'm a very character driven reader.  These characters were never real to me.  

It's really hard to get to know the characters when there is too much tell and not enough show.  Weeks would go by from one scene to the next with only a sentence to explain some of what happened during that time.  I don't always have issues with that but I have to have already made a connection to the characters.  That wasn't the case with this book.  These characters are just flat words on a page that I just don't care about. 

Sometimes I questions if the characters would even do something.  I really don't like it when an author forces the characters into things that they just wouldn't normally do.  That happened in this book.  I will admit that it's hard to tell if a character is forced when you don't know them well enough to even like them.  But this book is about a football player.  There are some things that are just a given in that situation.

The whole set-up of the NFL star and a nanny that has a masters in Psychology is just contrived.  Yeah, there's a reason given as to why she would take such a job but I'm not buying it.  This NFL player has had a traumatic experience and his daughter is recovering from that.  The perfect person to understand them both is someone who understands about how the mind deals with lose.  So it just felt too contrived.

Pretty much could have told you where and how this story was going.  Totally predictable.   Well except the idea that the Browns would EVER win the Superbowl.  That is just plan ridiculous.   And while it was nice that everything fell into place for the ending, it just was too easy.  Too predictable.  Boring, really.

About the only thing I can say I enjoyed was the idea of this story playing out in the NFL.  I love sports stories and football is my favorite.  There was a good balance between the story and the sport.  

Reading time is way to precious.  Skip this one.  


          

Waiting On Wednesday ~ 8/21/19


This is our version of Waiting on Wednesday but with more cuddles, books we can't wait to cuddle for various reasons.

What are we waiting on this week?  THIS!


In this charming, feel-good debut novel, a cynical assistant at a screenwriting agency must reenact the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedy movies in order to help her #1 client get his scriptwriting mojo back--but can a real-life meet-cute be in store for someone who doesn't believe in happily ever after?

After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie Summers is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she's been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency's biggest and most arrogant client, Ezra Chester, to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy.

The catch? Ezra is suffering from writer's block--and he'll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. With the future of the agency in jeopardy, Evie embarks on a mission to meet a man the way Sally met Harry or Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts.

But in the course of testing out the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedies IRL, not only will Evie encounter one humiliating situation after another, but she'll have to confront the romantic past that soured her on love. In a novel as hilarious as it is heartwarming, debut author Rachel Winters proves that sometimes real life is better than the movies--and that the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them.


Why am I waiting?  Did you see that cover?  And the blurb?  Sounds so fun.  What do you think?
 



House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day, she works for an antiquities dealer, selling barely legal magical artifacts, and by night, she parties with her friends, savouring every pleasure Lunathion—otherwise known as Crescent City— has to offer. But it all comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the very foundations of the city—and Bryce’s world.

Two years later, her job has become a dead end, and she now seeks only blissful oblivion in the city’s most notorious nightclubs. But when the murderer attacks again, Bryce finds herself dragged into the investigation and paired with an infamous Fallen angel whose own brutal past haunts his every step.

Hunt Athalar, personal assassin for the Archangels, wants nothing to do with Bryce Quinlan, despite being ordered to protect her. She stands for everything he once rebelled against and seems more interested in partying than solving the murder, no matter how close to home it might hit. But Hunt soon realizes there’s far more to Bryce than meets the eye—and that he’s going to have to find a way to work with her if they want to solve this case.

As Bryce and Hunt race to untangle the mystery, they have no way of knowing the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the darkest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir...


*Releases March 3rd, 2020!*

Why am I waiting? Because it's new SJM, do I need another reason?! Goodness knows this is going to be SO freaking good!


That's what we're waiting on this week! What do you think? What are you waiting on? Leave us a comment and link us up!


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Stuck In Books Featured Releases & Giveaway



From Avon...


For a duchess with practical desires, falling in love is an inconceivable part of her plan…

As owner of the Elysium Club which caters to women's fantasies, Aiden Trewlove is accustomed to introducing adventurous ladies to sin and vice. But he is uncharacteristically intrigued by the mysterious beauty who visits his club one night, yearning to indulge in the forbidden—with him. Drawn to her indomitable spirit, he breaks his rule of never becoming personally involved with his clientele and is determined to fully awaken her desires.

A recent widow, Selena Sheffield, Duchess of Lushing, has never known passion, not until Aiden's slow, sensual seduction leads her on a journey of discovery and incredible pleasure. But her reasons for visiting the notorious club are not all that they seem.

As Selena's motives become complicated by love, she finds herself with a most unexpected choice: forge ahead with a secret plan that could secure her future—or follow her heart which could prove ruinous.


From Vesuvian Books...

 
Carin Frost doesn’t understand what’s happening to her. A confident businesswoman, wife, and mother, she begins to resent everything about her life. Nothing makes sense. Nothing makes her feel. Maybe it’s the recent loss of her mother in a tragic accident. Or maybe she’s just losing her mind.

Enter Matias Torres. As their new business partnership thrives, so does their friendship—and his interest in her. Carin is determined to keep her distance, until a work assignment sends them to Southeast Asia where a storm is brewing on the island. In the midst of the chaos, Matias asks her to do something unimaginable, exhilarating, BOLD. Carin knows the consequences could be dire, but it may be the only way to save herself.

An honest look at love and marriage and the frailties of the human heart, this is a story of a woman’s loss of self and purpose and the journey she takes to find her way back.




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Teaser Tuesday ~ 8/20/19

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.



To participate you:
* Grab your current read
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!




What could two troubled souls from different walks of life have in common? Maybe everything.

Andra Lawler lives isolated at her family’s horse ranch, imprisoned by the memories of an assault in college. When she needs help training her foals, she hires a Haitian-Creole cowboy from New Orleans with a laugh as big as the Montana sky.

LJ Delisle can’t stand the idea that Andra might be lonely—or eating frozen TV dinners. He bakes his way into her kitchen with a lemon velvet cake, and offers her cooking lessons that set them on the road to romance. But even their love can’t escape the shadow of what they've been through. Despite their growing friendship and his gentle rapport with the horses, LJ is still an outsider facing small-town suspicions.

Before they can work through their issues, LJ is called home by a family emergency. In the centuries-old, raggedly rebuilt streets of New Orleans, he must confront memories of Hurricane Katrina and familiar discrimination. And Andra must decide if she’s brave enough to leave the shelter of the ranch for an uncertain future with LJ.


Teaser...


Love so many things about this one.  The gentle, caring nature of LJ is just one of those reasons.  Have you read it yet?


That’s our teaser for this week! What do you think? Do you have a teaser to share? Leave us a comment and link us up!

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Empty Nesters by Carolyn Brown ~ Guest Post & Giveaway



Title: The Empty Nesters
Author: Carolyn Brown
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance



Dear friends and army wives Diana, Carmen, and Joanie have been through war, rumors of war, marital problems, motherhood, fears, joy, and heartache. But none of the women are prepared when their daughters decide to enlist in the army together. Facing an empty nest won’t be easy. Especially for Carmen. With emotions already high, she suffers an even greater blow: divorce papers. Diana understands the fury and tears. She’s been there.

With nothing to lose and no one at home, the girlfriends impulsively accept an unexpected offer from their elderly neighbor. The recently widowed Tootsie has an RV, a handsome nephew at the wheel, and an aim for tiny Scrap, Texas, to embrace memories of her late husband. Still grieving, she can use the company as a balm for her broken heart. So can the empty nesters.

Embarking on a journey of hope, romance, and healing, Diana, Carmen, and Joanie are at a turning point in their lives. And with the open road ahead of them, it’s just the beginning.





Author Biography

Carolyn Brown is a New York TimesUSA TodayPublisher’s Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books. Her genres include romance, history, cowboys and country music, and contemporary mass-market paperbacks. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma, where everyone knows everyone else, knows what they are doing and when . . . and reads the local newspaper every Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. Visit Carolyn at www.carolynbrownbooks.com.





Jump Into Author Carolyn Brown’s Empty Nest    

Good morning, and thank you for inviting me to stop by to talk about my new book, The Empty Nesters. I’ll be giving all y’all a few of my favorite scenes and a little commentary during the time we get to spend together.

As Ma used to say on Golden Girls, imagine this—Carmen, Joanie and Diana have just dropped their daughters off at the recruiter’s office. They’ve managed to keep the tears at bay and put up a brave front, but now it’s time to let the tears loose. 

“For the first time ever, Natalie and I won’t decorate the house for Halloween together. Nine months of carrying them, then we basically raised them on our own while our husbands were deployed or got sent someplace to train other officers. And now they’re gone, and we won’t see them for Halloween or Thanksgiving. And who even knows about Christmas? It’s not fair.” 

It’s always amazing what comes to mind during a sad time, isn’t it? Things pop into our heads that seem trivial in the face of the event, and yet, at the time, the good memories are what keep us sane.

Tootsie, their elderly neighbor, has just lost her husband, after they’d bought the huge RV and planned a trip to northeast Texas. She’s trying to convince the women that they need to get away from their empty nest for a while.

“You need to get away for a little while and get some perspective,” Tootsie said.

“Let’s pool our money and blow it all on a trip to Paris. We can shop and have lattes in little bistros,” Diana suggested. 

Joanie sighed. “That’s a pipe dream. We probably don’t have enough money to even get to Paris, Texas, between the three of us.” 

The three of them have known the support of each other through the past thirteen years, and just because they’re now alone in their homes, they have no doubt that the love is still there between them—and that it’s even stronger than blood sisters.

“We’re only half a block and a phone call away. If any of us feel the world dropping out from under our feet, we can get back together in less than five minutes.” 

I was amazed at how supportive all of them, including Tootsie, were of each other. They might disagree, but Lord help the person that tried to come between them, or who had the nerve to say an ugly word about one of them.

Everything happens for a reason and in the time that it should happen. I believe that with my whole heart. Diana had gotten her divorce years before the book opens, but she remembers the pain and anger of it all. Then she focused all her energy and time on raising her daughter. But now it’s her time to find a new love, and a new life—maybe with a younger man.

“That many trips into town on those roads would shake the hell out of their Caddy. And believe me, Aunt Tootsie treats that car like family.” Luke chuckled. “Age, on a truck or on a person, makes no difference. It’s how well they’re maintained that matters.” 

Why, oh, why, couldn’t he have smooth pickup lines like other men? Luke asked himself. What he’d just said could be taken as an insult. She might think that he thought she looked like an old pickup truck at her age, when in reality she was downright gorgeous. He wouldn’t be a bit surprised if she still got carded at bars when she ordered a drink. 

Thank you again, for inviting me into your world, and letting me talk about the amazing ladies (and Luke of course), from The Empty Nesters. Happy reading to each and every one of you!





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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Stacking OUR Shelves ~ 8/18/19


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Make sure to checkout her post with links to all the other participates.

Click covers for Goodreads links


For Review...



Well MetBringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1)



Thanks goes to ...


Berkley
Avon
St. Martin's Press




For Review...


Well MetBringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1)



Won...


King of Fools (The Shadow Game, #2)



Thanks go to...


Berkley
Amanda Foody



Bought...


Quiet Man (Dream Man, #4.5)


That's what we added to our shelves this week! What do you think? What did you add to your stacks? Leave us a comment and link us up!


Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata ~ Review

The Best ThingSource: KindleUnlimited.

The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata


Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.

Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.

Done thinking about him.

Done worrying about him.

Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found.

Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo.





Mariana Zapata is one of the few authors that is not only an auto-buy for me, but also an auto-read. The day a book by her is released, I am ALL OVER IT. This was true with The Best Thing. So it's safe to say my expectations were high, along with my anticipation. And while The Best Thing was very good and I did enjoy it...I have to admit that it's not my favorite MZ.

There is a whole heck of a lot to gush about. The biggest for me was the shy, gentle giant of a hero, Jonah. I can't get over how much of a sweetheart he was. Though Lenny's perception of him in the beginning of the book pointed him toward being an asshole, that is the farthest from how he actually is once we get to know him. He's kind and caring and sweet and I am head over heels. He's also a big rugby player who's incredibly shy, so that was cute.

I was also a fan of Lenny. She's strong, independent, and confident. And she's realistic. And fair. And honestly just a really commendable person. I got a kick out of her family, too. They're funny and loyal and I was never bored when they were around.

Well, I wasn't bored in this book at all. In fact, I flew right through reading it in the time I had. Not out of the ordinary for me with a book by Mariana Zapata. Her books tend to be well written to the point where even when things are moving slowly (her slow burns are to die for), I'm still super into the characters and their story. I will say that with The Best Thing, she did something that hasn't happened for me in...gosh, I don't even know how long: She made me cry. I rarely cry reading books, and if I hear a book made people cry I either scoff (because I know it's not going to get ME) or I run (because I fear it might get me and I am not here for that). But this one got me and I'm not even mad that it did. It was so freaking GOOD.

But as I said in the beginning of this review, this isn't my favorite MZ. So now I'll explain the two main reasons why:

1. The second chance aspect of the romance. As a whole, the romance wormed its way into my heart. I adore Jonah and Lenny as a couple. They're so cuuuute. But they were second chance. And as a trope, this one is pretty hard sell for me. Partly because it requires the couple having been together before and breaking up--which means they are apart and with other people in that time and I HATE that. This wasn't an issue with The Best Thing, though, so no worries there. The other part of my dilemma with second chance romances, however, is that it requires the couple to have a history outside of the current story being told. And in order for the current story to be told we either have to have flashbacks to catch us up, or we kind of get thrown in with little memories to give us the lay of the land but not much else. I'm not a fan of either of these options. (The Best Thing went with the latter, if you're curious.) So that took a tad bit away from the story for me.

2. While I was very invested in Lenny and Jonah and Grandpa Gus and Peter and this whole book, I wasn't as into it as I would have liked. I was reading it and enjoying it and my heart was happy, but I wasn't complete and total trash for this book. Which I feel weird criticizing, but there are books I've been like that for. Some MZ books even (Kulti and Wait For It, to drop some names). This one just wasn't. Which doesn't mean it was a bad book, it just was not up there with those favs.

2.5. This is a little aside that didn't quite fit in either of the two categories but I still want to mention: I wasn't entirely sold on the whole missed connection thing Lenny and Jonah had going on. He broke his phone, didn't check his email, whatever. She missed what he tried to contact her. There were explanations for everything, and the characters themselves admit that their excuses are weak, so it's not like this is a huge plot whole of a big deal, but as I said--I wasn't entirely sold.

Overall, The Best Thing isn't quite the perfect read, but it made my heart so happy. The romance was sweet, I adore the love interest, and the family dynamics were so beautiful. I felt so many feels for this book, and I loved it. While not Mariana Zapata's best, it's for sure worth a read!


4 stars - A sweet read that made my heart so happy!


Friday, August 16, 2019

Shayn by Kate Rudolph ~ Teasers & Giveaway


Shayn
Kate Rudolph, Starr Huntress
Publication date: August 13th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Shayn NaZade is looking for answers…
A Detyen father and Oscavian mother have left Shayn wondering whether he and his brothers will be forced to pay the Denya Price. Unamted Detyens die on their thirtieth birthdays, but will that hold true for someone with Oscavian blood? His question brings him to Oscavia where he finds his mate… and a whole lot of trouble.
Naomi’s a psychic, but she didn’t see this one coming…
Orphaned as a child and raised by scientists, Naomi’s mind is opened to all the secrets of the universe. But she can’t see the lies and betrayals standing right in front of her, and when experiments to control her powers take a dark turn she knows she’ll have to run. It’s just her luck that her instincts push her towards a charming blue alien.
A dangerous escape, a daring rescue, and scorching heat send Shayn and Naomi tumbling together as the denya bond ties them ever closer. But when the forces against them get too close, that bond will be tested to the breaking point.
Read Shayn today for fated mates, a heart-melting hero, and adventures that are out of this world!
Shayn is the seventh book in the Mated to the Alien series about a race of aliens doomed to die if they don’t meet their fated mates. The series can be read in any order and there are no cliffhangers!

Author Bio:
Kate Rudolph is an ex-derby girl who lives in Indiana. She loves writing about kick butt heroines and the steamy heroes who love them. She's been devouring romance novels since she was too young to be reading them and had to hide her books so no one would take them away. She couldn't imagine a better job in this world than writing romances and sharing them with her fellow readers.
Want to know when she releases a new book and get a free copy of The Alpha Heist?
Sign up to her mailing list to receive notifications of new releases and deals. The link can be found here: http://katerudolph.net/index.php/subscribe





GIVEAWAY!


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Call Her Mine by Melissa Foster ~ Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway


About The Book

Title: Call Her Mine
Author: Melissa Foster
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Series: Harmony Pointe, #1
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Summary

Ben Dalton has always been honest, except where his heart is concerned. He’s been in love with his best friend—saucy, smart-mouthed Aurelia Stark—forever. But Ben’s a planner, and timing has never been on his side. When he finally decides to make his move, Aurelia beats him to the punch with a move of her own—to a different town.

Aurelia loves her new life in the charming town of Harmony Pointe. She has a great apartment and her very own bookstore, and best of all, the sinfully hot, commitment-phobic friend she’s crushed on for years is no longer just around the corner. Maybe she’ll finally be able to leave her unrequited love behind and move on.

But when a baby is left on Ben’s front porch—a baby that is presumably his—Aurelia is there for him. Neither one knows the first thing about babies, but how hard can it be? Ben and Aurelia are catapulted into a world of love, laughter, and tracking down the baby mama, and it might even add up to a very happily ever after… just not one either of them expects.


Author Biography

Melissa Foster is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than eighty books, including The Real Thing and Only for You (from her Sugar Lake series). Melissa and her books have been featured in USA TodayHagerstown magazine, The Patriot, and more. Her novel River of Love has been optioned for film by Passionflix. Melissa also writes sweet romance under the name Addison Cole. When Melissa isn’t writing up a storm, she’s living her own happily ever after with her husband and a gaggle of grown children. For more news, information about her books, and to chat with her, visit Melissa at www.MelissaFoster.com.







Melissa Foster Author Interview

1) ”If a woman can’t find love in the quaint town of Harmony Pointe, it’s sure to find them…” —this is the tagline for your newest series Harmony Pointe. Tell us a bit about the town and these women who are finding love.

I love writing about close-knit small towns, where gossip is ripe, and embarrassing tales of youthful rascals abound. Harmony Pointe is nestled between Sweetwater and Port Hudson, New York, not far from the city. It offers grand views of mountains as far as the eye could see. Cobblestone streets, brick-front eclectic shops, and old-fashioned street lights add to the small town’s charm. Readers who are familiar with my Sugar Lake series will recognize Harmony Pointe as Derek Grant’s hometown.

2) What was the idea that sparked the beginning of the series? 


I have been itching to write Ben Dalton and Aurelia Stark’s story since I first read about them in WILD BOYS AFTER DARK: LOGAN and BAD BOYS AFTER DARK: MICK (Billionaires After Dark series) and THE REAL THING (Sugar Lake series). Harmony Pointe is a Sugar Lake spin-off, and in the Sugar Lake series several of Ben’s siblings find love. It was finally Ben’s turn.

3) For longtime fans, can you tell us what this series has in common with your previous books? How is the series different from what you have written before?


Avid readers of my Love in Bloom series will have met Ben and Aurelia in several previous books and series. Their story is filled with humor and sexy times, and this one wallops the reader with an ugly-cry worthy punch. This family is very female centric, which is different than most of my other series. The exception is the Montgomerys, cousins to the Daltons, in which the males are also outnumbered. #GirlPower (Bradens & Mongtomerys series).

4) Why was it important that Ben and Aurelia launched this series in Call Her Mine?

Ben and Aurelia were too loud for me to ignore! They were finally ready to share.

5) There are friends-to-lovers romances and then there is Ben and Aurelia who are closer-than-close. Seriously, these two just about live in each other’s heads. What takes them so long to realize that they belong together?

Have you ever had a friend who you love so much that you can’t imagine life without them? I have. It instills a certain level of fear—what if you risk that friendship, lay your feelings on the line, and the other person doesn’t feel the same? True friends, the ones who “get” you, who accept you at your worst, bitchiest states, and at your best, are hard to come by. Risking the friendship is terrifying. I think this was the case for Ben and Aurelia—Plus there’s Ben and his damn planning...
That man made me crazy.
I love him so hard!

6) When romance finally (finally!) is in the cards for these two, they have one very tiny situation that turns up—Ben’s previously unknown infant daughter. What was it like to create an insta-family for this pair? 

It was so frigging fun I wish I could do it again! I loved every second of writing this book. I was able to strip Ben and Aurelia down to their most raw selves and emotions, and then watch as they found their new footings together. It was glorious.

7) While it is unfair to ask if you have a favorite hero, we’d love to know what makes Ben so special to you. 

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes—arrogant, funny, introverted, brilliant, average, overly serious, etc. Ben is like the guy you see sitting at the end of a bar in a fine suit and think he’s probably taken, or at the least too refined to be fun. And then he opens his mouth and melts you, or makes you laugh, at every turn. He’s protective, but not in a bullying way. Don’t even get me started with that man holding a tiny baby, falling in love with her page after page. I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it. 

***

Call Her Mine Excerpt

“I’ve got to go.” She tried to pull away, but he dug his fingers into her knotted muscles, releasing tension and drawing a moan from her traitorous lungs.

“Don’t run off,” he coaxed. “I wasn’t kidding. You are my best friend. I trust you with my secrets, and I love who you are.”

Hope bubbled up inside her, and she closed her eyes, glad he couldn’t see her face. Had their time finally come? “Really?”

“Of course,” he said, and she heard the smile in his voice.

That made her feel all sorts of good, and the truth came easily. “I love who you are, too.”

He leaned his chin on her shoulder, his hard chest pressing against her back as he said, “I especially love who you are when you’re making me breakfast.”

“Ugh!” She pushed to her feet, but he snagged her wrist, giving her the puppy-dog eyes she’d never been able to resist. The ones that said, Please don’t leave me. “Ben,” she warned.

Relsy,” he pleaded.

“I am not making you breakfast. I have to go.” She yanked her hand away and said, “And I’m busy for the next few weeks. Actually, for a lifetime, so . . .” She shoved her feet into her red Converse sneakers and grabbed her purse.

“I seriously have to make my own breakfast?” Ben pushed to his feet and stretched, six-plus feet of hotness towering over her five-two frame. “But you make waffles better than I do.”

“I do a lot of things better than you. Don’t forget to call Aiden back.” Aiden was his business partner. He’d called Ben last night while they were watching a movie and Ben had made her laugh, causing tequila to come out of her nose, which had sent him into hysterics and rendered him unable to answer the call.

“That’s right.” He grabbed his phone from the table. “He was supposed to set up a meeting with our legal team.”

“For the hotel chain you’re buying?”

“Yeah. Hey, take my sweatshirt. It’s early. You’ll be cold.”

He pulled his sweatshirt over his head and tossed it to her, revealing a dusting of chest hair over muscular pecs and a treasure trail that disappeared beneath the waist of his low-slung jeans. His sweatshirt hit her in the chest and landed at her feet, reminding her she was staring.

Ben laughed. “Nice catch, Rels. Remind me not to pick you for my baseball team.”

“I don’t want to be on your team. You run the bases too slow,” she mumbled as she picked up his sweatshirt and tugged it over her head, inhaling his masculine scent. “I’m out of here.”

“How about cereal?” he asked with a wink. “I’ll make it.”

“Since when did you become so needy?”

A coy grin slid across his face. “I know that once you’re in my kitchen, there’s no holding back. You won’t let me eat crap when you can make something delicious.”

“Yeah, you should see me in the bedroom.” She felt her eyes bug out. She slammed her mouth closed, unable to believe what she’d said. She stormed through the hallway and out the door, followed by Ben’s laughter—and almost tripped over a basket. She leaned back, holding the door open, and hollered, “I think Willow left you muffins. There’s a basket on your porch.”

“Way to go, Willow,” he said as he strode down the hall. “Let’s see the goods.”

She realized she was staring at his bare chest again and snapped, “I’m taking the biggest muffin,” as if it was his fault he had great pecs and abs she wanted to lick, and bite, and—

Down, girl.

He cocked a grin and said, “Take as many as you’d like, but you’ll pay for them later.”

In my dreams.

***


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