Tag Archive | Contemporary Romance

Worth Waiting For by Wendy Qualls

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Title: Worth Waiting For
Author: Wendy Qualls
Genre: LGBT Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 8/15/2017

worth-waiting-forA small town in the Deep South isn’t where most gay men would choose to go looking for love. But open hearts will find a way…

Growing up in the Bible Belt, Paul Dunham learned from a young age to hide his sexuality. Now he’s teaching psychology at a conservative college in Georgia—and still hiding who he really is. If Paul hopes to get tenure, he needs to keep his desires on the down-low. But when an old college crush shows up on campus—looking more gorgeous than ever—Paul’s long-suppressed urges are just too big for one little closet to hold . . .

Brandon Mercer has come a long way since his freshman year fumblings with Paul. Now he’s confident, accomplished, proudly out—and the sexiest IT consultant Paul’s ever seen. When Brandon asks Paul to grab some coffee and catch up, it leads to a steamy reunion that puts their first night of passion to shame. But when Paul’s longtime crush turns into a full-time romance, he receives an anonymous email threatening to expose their secret to the world. If Paul stays with Brandon, his teaching career is over. Yet if he caves under pressure, he risks losing the one true love he’s been waiting for. . .

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The Author:

qualls%2c-wendy-no-creditWendy Qualls was a small­town librarian until she finished reading everything her library had to offer. At that point she put her expensive and totally unrelated college degree to use by writing smutty romance novels and wasting time on the internet.

She lives in Northern Alabama with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and a seasonally fluctuating swarm of unwanted ladybugs. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and way too many online writers’ forums.

Wendy can be found at http://www.wendyqualls.com and on Twitter as @wendyqualls.

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Caramel Beach by Audrey O’Connor

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Title: Caramel Beach
Author: Audrey O’Connor
Publisher: Tryst Books
Series: Lessons in Pure Life #2
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Series Romance
ASIN: B01MUAWZR0

caramel-beach-coverIn Audrey O’Connor’s steamy, stormy follow-up novella to Lessons in Pure Life, sun-soaked days melt into restless nights for Diego and Lia, kept apart for weeks by long hours and miles of coastline. When an A-list wedding reunites them in Caramel Beach, the tension is higher than ever.

Over the course of an electric twenty-four hours filled with sugar, sex, and magic, the couple faces their share of personal demons, angels, and unlikely prophets. While Diego confronts his problems with the help of a surf champ and a bottle of whiskey, Lia stumbles into a bathroom-stall seduction and possibilities she never knew existed. Amid the chaos, Lia and Diego try to reconnect. What comes after is a life-altering odyssey into uncharted territory.

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Excerpt:

We meander back to the hostel in the wet sand, the surf to our left. The moon is full and bright, bouncing off the gentle waves that roll into the bay.

My first few months in Costa Rica were rich with the exhilaration of my new environment. I landed in the lap of a whole new life, just like that. After working all month in Pacifica without him, being with Diego again sends those early memories bobbing up to the surface. He’s got this sharp energy beneath the layers and layers that make up a man. Intimidation is what he inspires, followed closely by strange physical sensations that spell your undoing. He triggers an energy in me that could tear the hood off a car. And I’m sure as hell not on flakka.

He slides his arm around my waist like he can hear me. We walk a few steps before he stops and turns to face me.

“I wouldn’t hate it if you’d let me hold you.”

The waves crash endlessly behind us, a soaking wet heartbeat. I’m still strung up in his words when he closes the empty space between us.

“You’re on fire,” he tells me, hands making a ring behind my back so we’re suspended in some kind of stained glass embrace.

“Hey, thanks.”

“You sure know how to put yourself together, gringa.”

Blush.

“I’m not the only one.”

He sighs and I wait patiently. Indecision slows his expression, crystalizing in his delay.

Whatever it is goes away.

“Did you enjoy your time, you know, without me distracting you?” he asks.

“It was busy, but we got a lot done at the new school. I can’t complain.”

“I wish you would.” He pulls me in closer.

That one gets me. His slow kiss disappears everything around me before I’m even sure it’s happening. Lips softer than I remember, the light scrape of his chin on mine. A rugged feeling so welcome it can stay for dessert.

“You’re trouble,” he breathes.

“The best kind of it,” I reply.

“There’s nothing I can do about it, is there?”

“I doubt it.”

Bowing his head, he lowers his eyelids.

“I forgot what this is like,” he laughs tiredly, rubbing his cheek with his hand. “You still take me by surprise.” He tilts his head, considering me tenderly but wincing, like it hurts to admit it.

Watch and see my defenses lower to unprecedented depths.

I press against him, not sure whether I’m teasing him or me. His palm is warm on the back of my leg.

“How’d you get your skin so soft, anyway?” he whispers, stroking my thigh gently until it evolves into a grasp, the tips of his fingers pushing into my flesh.

“Magic.”

“It’s working.”

I laugh, breathless. “So what do you wanna do?”

“Right now?”

I nod.

He pulls me in by the bottom with both hands. “Get to know you all over again.”

Copyright © 2017 by Audrey O’Connor

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Lessons in Pure Life:

Title: Lessons in Pure Life
Author: Audrey O’Connor
Publisher: Tryst Books
Series: Lessons in Pure Life #1
Date Released: January 15, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Series Romance
ASIN: B01N5Q2HA1

lessonsinpurelife_high-res_rgbFreshly minted grad Emilia Noble arrives in Costa Rica to teach English in the tropical community of Pacifica. Its carefree, pura vida lifestyle is a welcome contrast to her dark and wintry origins. Tossing caution aside like an old winter coat, she plunges headfirst into an exotic cocktail of sensory pleasure.

Diego is a local whose surfer body and cool detachment make Lia buzz with a long-lost thrill. Fascinated by her new environment, she can’t help but wonder about the moody inner workings of the boy with triceps like Wolverine and a grimace to match.

Diego seems to have no problem ignoring Lia, though. Caught up in his family’s conflicted attitude toward foreigners, he notices her only when it’s convenient. But as Lia thrives in her new surroundings, Diego might just find reason enough to defy his embattled, insular father. When north and south are mixed together, the results are intoxicating.

Now on Sale for $1.49 for a LIMITED TIME!
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The Author:

audrey_high-resAudrey O’Connor is inspired by art, science, compassion, and rare moments of transcendence. She writes in Chelsea, Quebec, and enjoys river swims, woodsy gatherings, live music in Wakefield, and a deep, dark cabernet sauvignon.

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Heating It Up by Elizabeth Harmon

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Download a new Red Hot Russians novella from RITA finalist Elizabeth Harmon!

In HEATING IT UP, a heart-warming novel of mistaken identity and forced proximity, widow Nora Bradford and Russian adventurer Alexei Zaikov must work together to save their small Antarctic town from being shut down—but will the truth about Nora’s role in Amity Bay’s demise, doom their romance?

Keep reading to get a sneak peek at Heating It Up!

Title: Heating it Up
Author: Elizabeth Harmon
Author Location: Chicago, IL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Publisher: Indie
Series: Red Hot Russians
Word Count: Novella, 30k
Format: Digital
Digital ISBN: 9781370182220

 

heatingitup_harmon_800pixRed Hot Russian Alexei is king of the Ice…Antarctic style

Alexei Zaikov loves his life in remote Amity Bay, Antarctica, until a new luxury guesthouse threatens the small town’s future. As head of Amity Bay, he’s driven to save it, but first must discover who is hiding out in the supposedly deserted lodge…and why.

Nora Bradford has lost everything; a promising career and the man she loved. Glacier Ridge Lodge, the architectural masterpiece she designed but was denied credit for, seems like the perfect place to grieve her loss, until a ruggedly handsome Russian arrives on her doorstep, determined to bring her in from the cold.

Desire sparks, leaving them hungry for more. But will the truth about Nora’s role in Amity Bay’s demise, doom their romance?

 

 
 

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Exclusive sneak peek at HEATING IT UP!

Copyright © 2016 Elizabeth Harmon

The first thing she noticed was that yesterday’s sad vulnerability was gone. Now his ice-blue eyes were flinty and determined as he strode inside. She remained by the door, hand on the knob, ready to show him the way out. Yet she sensed that sending him away wasn’t going to be so easy this time.
“You’re too late,” he said.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Fifteen years ago some New Zealander became first woman to winter-over solo. Maybe you already know that. Or maybe you don’t care, because we both know that’s not the real reason you’re holed up in here.”
She winced. He knew she wasn’t being honest, but not to what extent. Burdened by guilt and too deflated for battle, she sighed and leaned against the door. “You’re right it isn’t.”
“Nora..,” the gentleness in his voice felt like a caress. “Staying here alone doesn’t hurt Herbert Quinn, it only hurts you. And it hurts me too.”
“How’s that?”
“Because to keep you secret, I have to lie, not just to IFAR, but to the people who work for me. People whose trust I don’t take lightly. Staying up here not only puts you in danger, but also them. This what your brilliant boss forgot. Down here, people survive because they depend on each other. If one of the systems failed in bad weather, or you had an accident, computers and Vancouver would be useless. Someone would have to put themselves at risk, and come to help.”
Most likely, that someone would be him. Even with blizz lines strung, making such a trip could be life-threatening. Fear tightened her throat as she considered how it would feel to mourn another man she cared about.
“I know you’ve lost much,” he said. “And while I know losing a fiancé is different, I understand the hurt of missing a person I loved dearly.”
“That woman who lied to you?” she demanded, shocked and angry.
“No,” he said. “Not Natalia. I’m talking about my mother. For a long time, I felt like she was the only person who understood me. But when I came here to Antarctica, I found others like me and a place to belong. In time, the pain was not so bad. Up here all alone, you don’t have that.”
“No,” she whispered.
“Ask yourself if this is what he’d want for you. I don’t think it is. I know that if I was gone… and the woman I loved was left behind, this isn’t what I’d want for her.”
Her fingers twitched on the doorknob, and she thought of ordering him out, but didn’t. In her heart, she knew he was right. Even if she weren’t drifting through darkened rooms in a ruined wedding gown, she was teetering dangerously close to Miss Havisham territory. In the process, she was putting others in danger. The weather was turning, and soon the months of darkness would come. It was time to decide where she would spend them.

 

The Author:

elizabeth_harmon_5Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining “what if?” and a loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world. Her debut novel, Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA Award Finalist.

An adventurous cook, vintage home enthusiast, occasional actress, and entry-level figure skater, Elizabeth makes her home in the Midwest, where life is good, but the sports teams aren’t. She loves to hang out on her front porch, or at her favorite local establishments, enjoy good food and wine, and talk writing with anyone who will listen.

 

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Other Books in the Red Hot Russians Series

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PAIRING OFF
(2016 RITA nominated Best First Book!)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

TURNING IT ON
(Red Hot Russians #2)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

GETTING IT BACK
(Red Hot Russians #3)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

Praise for the Red Hot Russians Series:

Pairing Off: A 2016 RITA Award Finalist
Pairing Off: “Very Enjoyable Book by a knowledgeable author about my favorite sport”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Turning It On: 2015 Favorites—Nelle’s Nightstand
Getting It Back: “Truly Magical”—Top Pick-Harlequin Junkie
Getting It Back: 4 Stars—Romantic Times
Getting It Back: Heats Up the Ice—Library Journal

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Each winner will receive Pairing Off, Turning It On, and Getting It Back!

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A Way Back Into Love by Veronica Thatcher

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 Title: A Way Back Into Love
Series: Love Series #1
Author: Veronica Thatcher
Publication Date: February 15, 2017
Publisher: Notion Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Notion Press

 

coverNothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.

Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she’s in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home…to the man she left behind?

Amazon

Excerpt:

Derek let out a frustrated sigh and ran his fingers through his hair. “Em…I mean that…It’s just this person you have become. The Emily I used to know didn’t hit on random guys at the bar.”

Emily crossed her arms over her chest and gave Derek a glare. “Five years is a long time, Derek. Maybe I have changed,” she said, “And besides, why do you care so much?”

Derek glared back at her as he replied harshly, “Oh, so you have changed so much over the last five years that now you throw yourself at random men like a…” he trailed off, not finishing his sentence.

Emily’s mouth fell open and her eyes widened as she let Derek’s words set in. She couldn’t believe her own ears for a minute. Had Derek really accused her of being a slut? She couldn’t believe it – it all felt like a nightmare.

“What did you just say to me?” Emily whispered, her voice sounding foreign to her own ears. “What did you just say to me?” Emily asked in a louder voice this time.
Derek didn’t say a word as he continued to look at Emily coldly.

Emily took a step towards Derek and narrowed her eyes. Poking Derek’s chest with the index finger of her right hand, she said in a soft yet acerbic voice, “You don’t get to call me a whore. You’ve no right to judge me. Do you hear me? You’ve no fucking right to judge me.” The anger, the jealousy and the heartache combined with the alcohol she had consumed gave Emily a newly acquired courage. She felt more emboldened than she had felt in her entire life, and so, she didn’t hold back in letting out her pent-up exasperation. “You broke me,” Emily continued, her words slurring slightly, “You broke me, but I am all glued up together now. And I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don’t get to call me a whore.” Emily finished her diatribe, her breaths coming in short pants as a result of her outburst.

Derek looked into her eyes, the anger and bitterness in his eyes now replaced by confusion. “I broke you? What do you mean?” he asked in a bewildered voice, his eyebrows shooting up.

Emily stepped back from him and shook her head. “Oh, you know damn well what I mean. You know what, Derek? I’m done having this conversation with you. I’m so done with this conversation and I’m so done with you,” Emily spat out angrily before brushing past him.

“Emily, wait,” Derek said, catching her by her arm. “Where are you going?”

Emily spun around and gave him a bitter look before looking down at his hand gripping her arm. “Leave my arm,” she said in a low yet threatening voice, “And why do you care where I’m going? It’s none of your business.”

Derek didn’t leave her arm in spite of her warning and said, “Em, you’ve had too many drinks. You can’t drive in this condition. I’ll drop you home.”

Emily jerked her arm free from his grasp and replied in a bitter voice, “Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly capable of getting myself home on my own. I don’t need you to drop me home. Do you get it, Derek Thorpe? I DON’T NEED YOU!” Emily yelled the last words, causing a few people to look their way.

 

The Author:

Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one.

When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them. She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!

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A Promise Made by Anissa Garcia

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A feisty redhead and an alpha male makes for a steamy pairing you can’t resist. Fans of The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken and Violet Duke’s Resisting the Bad Boy, will love this super sweet and sexy romance from Anissa Garcia.

 
Title: A Promise Made
Author: Anissa Garcia
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 3, 2016
Publisher: AG Romance Reads LLC

 

a-promise-made_finalhighJosh McKenzie may come off as intimidating with his solid build and cold stare, but when trouble calls, Marla quickly learns there is more to the sexy tatted man with the British accent. And if she’s not careful, she can easily lose herself in his gentle touch and soft voice.

A feisty redhead with a mouth that won’t quit, Marla Sullivan knows how to push all of Josh’s buttons, making him want her in the worst way. His biggest hurdle is breaking through her stubborn walls and proving he’s here to stay.

When Marla’s faced with an unknown danger, Josh is forced to reveal his buried past. Promises made and surfaced truths may be the catalyst that brings them together…or pushes them further apart.

Get More information at: Goodreads | Amazon

Learn more about her debut novel,
A Promise KeptGoodreads |  Amazon

 

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Excerpt:

The knock on the door stirred me out of my thoughts and my mind reeled over who could be keeping me from my dinner. The doorbell then chimed. Not once, not twice, but three annoying times in a row, followed by a series of fervent knocks.
I inaudibly walked toward the door, careful to not give myself away, in case it was someone selling me a subscription to the newspaper or converting me to their religion. I peered into the peephole and scrunched my face in aversion as my mouth emitted an aggravated sigh. I swiftly opened the door as his hand stopped midair.
My hip jutted out as my irritation level climbed. “What are you doing here?”
Josh’s cool exterior, the tight forest green shirt, the peekaboo tattoos, his dark jeans were all too much to take in. Good God, this man was delicious. It was enough to make me go nuts, but instead I kept myself calm. “Did you forget? Lessons.”
“Are you serious?” He nodded as his blazing eyes trailed down to my chest. I followed, remembering I had opened my blouse. I shrugged, closing the satin around my body. “What? You haven’t seen a great pair of breasts before?”
“Not those,” he smirked. “At least not yet.”
“Want me to shut this door in your face?” I flung it and walked away, but heard as his hand caught it from closing completely. I could feel his presence as he walked in and shut the door, locking it behind him.
“Thanks for inviting me in,” he said softly, as I glanced back, buttoning my blouse up. His eyes scanned my living room, and I ignored the idea of him seeing my untidy home. My shoes were set in an accumulating pile near the corner of the entrance, my sweaters and jackets hung over one another on hooks near the door, and magazines were scatted across my coffee table.
I turned and glared at him as he set his hands in his pockets, his eyes on my pretty heaps of high heels. “What?”
The grin playing over his lips stayed small, as if he knew to be careful with me. At the same time there was a hint of mischief behind those glassy light blue eyes. “Nothing,” he said, shaking his head slightly. “Nice shoes.”
“Fine. You can borrow a pair, but only if you promise to return them.”
A very rare smile spread over his lips. It was one that made his eyes twinkle, his teeth show, and a laugh emit from his throat. I shockingly found myself grinning back, a twirl in my stomach reminding me of what it felt like being on a rollercoaster right at the drop. Satisfaction built inside me knowing I had earned that moment of sincerity from him. It was one he hardly let others see. Wait. Why should I care that he smiled? Pull yourself together, Sullivan. “What are you doing here, Josh?”

 

 
The Author:

anissa-garcia-headshot-3Anissa Garcia resides in Austin, Texas and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications and English. She held an array of jobs including Public Relations Manager for Barnes and Noble. Wanting a change of pace, she moved to Los Angeles where she attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and trained full-time in theatre. After working in Hollywood, she returned to Texas where she has written articles for Cosmopolitan and Lady Couture. When not writing stories, watching movies, or drinking a latte, she loves to daydream about romantic fictional men.

Connect with Anissa at: Website | Facebook | TwitterGoodReads | Instagram

 

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Mia Found By Makenzie Smith

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Title: Mia Found
Author: Makenzie Smith
Publication Date: September 28, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Mayhem Cover Creations

 

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I was lost, a little girl with big dreams in her eyes.
I was insecure, not knowing if I was capable of chasing them.
And then I met him.
He never let me doubt.
He didn’t let me second guess.
I’d never known a soul like his.
Believing, encouraging, loving.
But above everything else,
Paul Macione had found me.
I only hoped I could keep him.

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Makenzie Smith is an independent writer residing in Louisiana. She is obsessed with books, fantasy, and her daughter. If she isn’t indulging in one of her infatuations, she is daydreaming. Contact her, she’d love to hear from you.

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Other Books by Makenzie Smith

free-falling            starting-fires

Starting Fires                        Free Falling

 
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A FOOL FOR YOU by Katee Robert

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He never thought he’d get a second chance.  A Fool For You is the third and final novel in the Foolproof Love series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Katee Robert and Entangled Publishing.

Title: A Fool For You
Author: Katee Robert
Series: Foolproof Love #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 3, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Brazen

affy_1600It’s been thirteen years since Hope Moore left Devil’s Falls, land of sexy cowboys and bad memories. Back for the weekend, she has no intention of seeing the man she never got over…or the two of them getting down and dirty. It’s just a belated goodbye, right? No harm, no foul.

Until six weeks later, when her pregnancy test comes back positive…

Daniel Rodriguez hasn’t forgiven himself for how things went down with Hope all those years ago. He knows she’s better off without him, but when she shows up on his doorstep, panicking because she’s pregnant with his baby, he can’t help seeing it as a chance to make up for the past.

Too bad Hope has no intention of going along with his plans.

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Excerpt:
He turned to find Hope standing behind him. Again. “You sure move quiet when you want to.” Especially for a woman with a bum leg. Not that he could say as much without sounding like a jackass.
“You mean since I had my knee replaced.” Of course she knew what he meant anyway. Apparently damn near reading his mind was one annoying habit she hadn’t outgrown.
“I didn’t say that.”
“You didn’t have to.” She leveraged herself down next to him, the move not quiet as smooth as it’d been when she was eighteen.
Daniel almost cursed. He had to stop doing that. Comparing her now to how she was then wasn’t fair to either of them. It was another lifetime completely, and thinking about it was just fucking depressing. “Hope—”
“Are you seeing anyone?”
“No.”
“Why not?”
He was so surprised by the question that he answered honestly, “Why the fuck would I bother?”
“Oh, I don’t know, because you don’t want to be a creepy old man who lives in the middle of nowhere and has to run off silly high school kids with his shotgun because they tell ghost stories about him?”
He looked at her, half sure that she was the one who’d lost her damn mind. “That’s not a thing.”
“It is most definitely a thing.” She leaned back on her hands and stared at the sky. The most move arched her back and pressed her breasts against the fancy tank top she wore. It was made of some kind of drapey fabric that looked soft and shiny, and it highlighted the fact that he seriously doubted she was wearing a bra. “You’re too young to just give up.”
“It’s not about giving up.” Though he didn’t expect Hope to understand that. He’d checked up on her a few times since the accident, and every single time he was amazed at the things she’d accomplished. Life had kicked her in the teeth and she’d come back swinging. She’d taken two years off and then attended the University of Texas and graduated with honors. She ran her own successful consulting business to work with companies that wanted to set up scholarships and nonprofits.
She shifted to look at him. “It looks like giving up from where I’m sitting.”affy_lookp

 
The Author:

katee-robert-03-originalNew York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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