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Out Now—Abi’s Neighbour by Jenny Kane (@jennykaneauthor) #romance #cornwall

Set in the picturesque Sennen Cove, Cornwall, Abi’s Neighbour is the sequel to the bestselling Cornish romance, Abi’s House.

It’s time to catch up with Abi, Max, Beth, Jacob, Stan, and Sadie the Labrador- and meet some unexpected new faces…

 

Abi's NeighbourBlurb

Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door.

Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max.

But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business.

Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get along?

Complete with sun, sea and a gorgeous Cornwall setting, Abi’s Neighbour is the PERFECT summer escape.

Abi’s Neighbour can be read as a standalone novel, or as a follow up to Abi’s House.

Available in eBook and print from Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/abisneighbour

 

Extract

The untidy, clipboard-wielding woman started talking as soon as she climbed out of her Mini. ‘Hello, my name’s Maggie, and I’m from –’

Cassandra cut impatiently across the formalities. ‘Sennen Agents, obviously. It’s written across your car.’

‘Oh, yes. So it is.’ Maggie paused, ‘Anyway, I’m sorry I’m late, I got stuck behind a tractor down the lane.’ She jingled a key ring in front of her. ‘I have your keys, Miss Pinkerton.’

‘No, you don’t.’ ‘I don’t?’ The estate agent frowned, looking away from the woman that stood before her in expensive couture with crossed arms and a far from happy expression. Flicking through the papers on her clipboard, Maggie said, ‘I was instructed by a Mr Justin Smythe that you would be accepting the keys on his behalf?’

‘I meant, no, my name is not Miss Pinkerton. It is Ms Henley-Pinkerton.’

‘Oh. I see.’ Maggie refrained from further comment as she clutched the keys a little tighter.

Determined to make sure the situation was clearly understood, Cassandra pulled her jacket on, turning herself back into the sharp-suited businesswoman she was. ‘In addition to your error regarding my name, there appears to have been a further mistake.’

‘There has?’

‘Mr Smythe has not purchased this property. He has merely rented it, with an additional agreement to sublet it as a holiday home. I am here for two months to make the place suitable.’ Cassandra ran a disdainful eye over the beautiful exterior stonework. ‘It would seem that my work is going to be well and truly cut out.’

‘This is a much sought-after street, Ms HenleyPinkerton. And this particular property is in excellent period condition.’ Feeling defensive on behalf of the old miner’s cottage, Maggie bit her tongue and flicked through her paperwork faster. Extracting a copy of the bill of sale, she passed it to the slim, angular blonde. ‘I think the misunderstanding must be yours. Mr Smythe has purchased number two Miners Row outright. It was a cash sale.’

Snatching the papers from Maggie’s fingers, Cassandra’s shoulders tensed into painful knots. Why hadn’t Justin told her he’d done this? She was convinced she was right. And anyway, he’d never deliberately make her appear foolish in front of a country bumpkin estate agent…  Yet as Cassandra scanned the document before her, she could see there’d been no mistake. Closing her eyes, she counted to ten, before opening them again to regard the badly dressed woman before her, who was once again holding out the offending set of keys.  Failing to take them, Cassandra gestured towards the little house.

‘Perhaps you would show me around, after I’ve made a call to Mr Smythe?’ Maggie, already feeling sorry for this unpleasant woman’s future neighbours, took unprofessional pleasure in saying, ‘Good luck with that call. The phone signal here is unpredictable to say the least.’

It had taken a ten-minute walk towards Sennen village to get a decent reception on her mobile phone, and then, when she’d been able to connect the call, Justin’s line was engaged. When she’d finally got through, she was more than ready to explode. ‘Justin! How could you have done this to me without a word? You’ve made me look a total idiot.’

Clearly thrilled that he’d managed to buy the terrace for a knock-down price – which, he’d claimed, was a far more economic use of their funds, an investment that would make them a fortune to enjoy in their retirement – he’d sounded so excited about what it meant for their future together that Cassandra had found it hard to remain cross. Assuring her that the situation remained the same, and that she was still only expected to stay in Cornwall while he secured his new position and got the wheels of the divorce in motion, Justin told Cassandra he loved her and would be with her very soon.

Returning to the terrace reassured, if lacking some of her earlier dignity, Cassandra swallowed back all the words she’d have liked to say as she opened the door and the gloom of the dark and narrow hallway enveloped her. She was sure that awful Maggie woman had been laughing at her. The agent had taken clear pleasure in telling her that if she hadn’t stormed off so quickly she’d have found out that the phone reception was excellent if you sat on the bench in the back garden.

Vowing to never drink champagne in any form ever again, as it clearly caused her to agree to things far too readily, Cassandra saw the next two months stretching out before her like a lifetime.  Letting out some of the tension which had been simmering inside her since she’d first seen the for sale sign, she picked up a stone and threw it at the back fence, hard. Maggie had gone, leaving her reluctant client sitting on an old weathered bench in the narrow rectangular plot at the back of the house.

Playing her phone through her fingers, Cassandra saw that there was enough reception to make calls if she sat in this spot – but only in this spot. One step in either direction killed the signal dead, which was probably why the previous owners had placed a bench here. And probably why they left this Godforsaken place!  The Internet simply didn’t exist here. When she’d swallowed her pride and asked Maggie about the strength of the local broadband coverage, the agent had actually had the audacity to laugh, before informing Cassandra with obvious satisfaction that people came to Sennen for their holidays to leave the world of emails and work behind them.

Breathing slowly, she pulled her shoulders back, pushed her long, perfectly straight blonde hair behind her ears, and took a pen and paper out of her bag. It looked as if she was going to have to tackle this, old school.

First she would make a list of what she considered necessary to make the house habitable for holidaymakers, then she would locate the nearest library or internet café so she could source decorators and builders to get the work underway. The sooner she got everything done, and herself back to hustle and bustle of London, the better.

Deciding there was no way she could sleep in this house, which Maggie had proudly described as ‘comfortable’, ‘sought-after’, and ‘ready to be made absolutely perfect’, Cassandra hooked her handbag onto her shoulder and headed back into the whitewashed stone house. Shivering in the chill of the hallway, despite the heat of the June day, she jumped in the silence when the doorbell rang just as she bent to pick up her overnight bag. For a second she froze. It had been years since she’d heard a doorbell ring. In her block of flats back home she buzzed people in via an intercom, and anyway, people never just dropped by. She hoped it wasn’t that dreadful Maggie back with some other piece of unwanted advice.

It wasn’t Maggie. It was a petite woman in paint spattered clothes, with a large shaggy dog at her side. Cassandra’s unwanted visitor wore a wide smile and held a bunch of flowers in one hand and some bedding in the other.  ‘Hello. My name’s Abi, I live next door. Welcome to Miners Row. I hope you’ll be very happy here.’

 

Bio

Jenny Kane is the author of the full length romance novels Another Glass of Champagne (Accent Press, 2015), Abi’s House (Accent Press, 2015), the contemporary romance/medieval crime time slip novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and its novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle (Accent, 2015).

Jenny’s sixth full length romance novel, Abi’s Neighbour, will be published in May 2017.

Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JennyKaneAuthor

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance

Jenny also writes erotica as Kay Jaybee and historical crime as Jennifer Ash.

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Out Now—Shopping for A CEO’s Wife (Book 12 in the Shopping series) by Julia Kent (@jkentauthor)

Description:

Snowbound. Sounds so romantic, with visions of cuddling before a roaring fire, hot chocolate spiked with brandy, and a secret elopement.

Wait. What?

My fiancé’s father won’t stop trying to turn our pending wedding into a three-ring media circus so he can get free publicity for his family’s Fortune 500 company. My mother has decided she’s done with All Things Wedding and asks her teacup Chihuahua for mother-of-the-bride advice.

They’ve all gone certifiably mad.

Then the stress from the wedding puts my mother in the hospital, I scream at my future father-in-law in front of a camera crew and the video goes viral, and the romantic wedding that started with Andrew’s grand Pride and Prejudice proposal looks less like Jane Austen and more like Dostoyevsky.

So what do you do when you’re a fixer and you can’t fix something?

You give up on it.

Not on Andrew, silly.

The wedding.

Shopping for a CEO’s Wife is the 12th book in Julia Kent’s New York Times bestselling Shopping series. As Shannon and Declan enjoy their newlywed bliss, Andrew’s father wants to exploit Amanda and Andrew’s nuptials, much to Amanda’s chagrin. Can she learn to stand up to her future father-in-law and fight for what’s right? But the real question is: will Spritzy the teacup Chihuahua end up being a flower girl?

Buy links:

Amazon US:  http://amzn.to/2oNZIzR

Amazon UK:  http://amzn.to/2pVrlol

Amazon AU:  http://amzn.to/2m3pTC4

Amazon CA:  http://amzn.to/2mwHdgh

B&N:  http://bit.ly/2l5l9wd

iBooks:  http://apple.co/2mwzcYM

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2mDjmuK

Google Play:  http://bit.ly/2m3vVmt

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2mBCKMg

*****

Excerpt:

Bzzz.

Saved by his phone. Andrew scrolls through his texts with a half grin. I know that look. He thinks he won. Won what? I decide on the spot that we weren’t having an argument. Not even a heated discussion. This is what being in a lifelong relationship is all about, right?

Pacing. I have to pace myself when it comes to conflicts, big and small. Especially small. Letting him think he won this one is important. Give an inch.

Take a mile later.

“It’s Dad again,” Andrew says with that mysterious new tone of voice he’s developed. I watch him as he reads his phone, eyes drifting over the screen, hair messy from the skiing earlier. Deep brown eyes narrow as he reacts to whatever his dad said. The muscle between his jaw and ear pokes out with tension as he swallows and swipes on his phone. He blinks rapidly, but his breathing doesn’t speed up.

He’s irritated, but not angry. Annoyed, but not pissed.

I tuck away his reaction in my mental database.

Lately, I find myself watching him with a strange fascination. Openly, obviously, and without hesitation. Andrew doesn’t seem to mind. I know he knows I’m doing it, but so far, he hasn’t questioned me. If he were to ask, I couldn’t tell him why. I don’t know why.

Yet I do it, day in and day out.

“What did he say now?” I ask politely, knowing the answer.

“It’s about the wedding,” Andrew answers, giving me a look that says, Of course. “He insists we need to hold it at Farmington, like Declan’s wedding.”

“Why?”

“His PR team says it’ll get more press. All the major media outlets will station vans there, and the comparisons will generate easier headlines.”

“What does that mean?”

Andrew rolls his eyes. He reaches across my lap and grabs his abandoned coffee mug. The stretch makes his shirt hike up slightly, exposing his waistline, a thin wedge of tanned muscle coming into sight. I catalog it, like I always do these days, and wonder when this will become boring.

“Dad thinks that the press will be more invested if they can sensationalize our wedding ceremony. ‘Will they or won’t they escape?’” Andrew uses one hand to make finger quotes.

“He expects us to be in Declan and Shannon’s shadow on our wedding day?”

“That’s exactly what I said to Dad! Almost word for word. And I told him no. Hell, no.”

“What was his response?”

“That we should ask your mother.”

*****

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://jkentauthor.com/

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2cnaTGc

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jkentauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jkentauthor

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Out Now—Unconventional by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #bdsm #spanking #romance

UnconventionalBlurb:

Penny was caught out in the wrong place, at the wrong time. As a recently graduated law student, the brush with the law could put an end to her career before it’s even begun. But thanks to her lawyer daddy’s contacts, she’s been given a second chance. A chance to redeem herself and make her stupid behavior go away.

Which is how she ends up working in a soup kitchen, preparing and serving meals to those who are having a rough time of it. She’s not keen on the idea, and when she meets Maddox, the guy in charge, she’s even less keen. A tall, skinny, mad-haired, tattooed guy, Maddox is the sort of person Penny would normally cross the road to avoid. But once she gets to know him, she starts to see things differently. He’s had a checkered past himself, and has now put it behind him and enjoys a glittering, prosperous career as a top chef.

Maddox may have unconventional looks, but Penny quickly grows to like him, and, much to her surprise, finds herself attracted to him. He’s a lot older than her, and their lives are at completely different stages, but in spite of this, there’s an undeniable connection between them.

When Maddox makes Penny an unconventional offer, will she have the courage to take him up on it? And if she does, where will it lead?

Buy links:

Totally Bound Publishing: http://bit.ly/2l2XaJg

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/LFunconventional

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2l8WiDy

Google Books: http://bit.ly/2l0b12S

iBooks: http://apple.co/2m8or1P

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2l0mGP1

 

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33398214-unconventional

*****

Excerpt:

From the very second I laid eyes on him, it was clear he was unconventional. If I’m being truthful, I thought he looked like a complete nutter—someone I’d probably cross the road to avoid. Even in the daytime. He was tall and skinny, with a shock of black hair—still apparent under his hairnet—and pale skin. Kind of like Edward Scissorhands. Only—mercifully—without the scissors for hands part. A vine-looking tattoo began at his left wrist, worked its way up his arm, then snaked beneath the sleeve of his T-shirt…to who knew where?

Oddly, even though I mentally kicked myself for thinking it, I found myself wanting to find out. Did it stop at his upper arm, his shoulder? Did it continue over his back, his chest, twine its way around a pectoral, sneaking in toward the nipple? Or even farther south, perhaps?

Even if you took Mr. Unusual out of the equation, there was nothing normal about the situation I found myself in. After all, what recent graduate of law school finds themselves volunteering in a soup kitchen? A recent graduate who lost her head—and heart—over a bad boy, that’s who.

Most people seem to think that those who study law are smart. Super smart, actually. There’s a reason for that—folks who study law are smart. If they pass all the exams, that is. And I did—with distinction. Which makes me clever on paper, I suppose, but apparently lacking in common sense, or perhaps I just have severely poor judgment. Or both.

However you want to look at it, I fucked up. Big time. I fell for the wrong guy, trusted him, and ended up caught up in something that got me arrested.

It could have been the end of my law career. Before it had even started, and after all those years of education—not to mention a rather large chunk of my parents’ cash. Fortunately, they’ve got plenty of it, due to my daddy’s successful career. He works in law, too, which, luckily for me, means he’s got friends in high places.

So it was less voluntary work, more community service. Otherwise known as do-this-or-you’ll-get-a-criminal-record-and-kiss-your-career-goodbye.

Fixing my potential glittering career in my mind, I took a deep breath and crossed the industrial-looking kitchen, heading toward him. He looked utterly at home chopping carrots—he was like one of those chefs you see on the telly, his hand and the knife he gripped moving so fast they were almost a blur. I cringed at the thought of trying such a thing. Never mind the end of my career, it’d be the end of my fingers.

Approaching cautiously—I didn’t want to startle him and cause a horrific accident—I waited until he’d finished his carrot before speaking. “Um, hi.”

Turning quickly, still with his knife in his hand, he smiled. “Ah, hello. You must be Penny.”

For a moment, I was so caught up in his eyes that I couldn’t reply. Fortunately, I managed to get a grip before I was the one who was a nutter. “Um, yes, that’s right. I’m here to help out.”

As though suddenly realizing he still held the knife, he glanced at it in his hand, then quickly put it down on the counter. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to greet you with a blade! I’m so used to using the things that it’s like they’re an extension of my arm.”

Hmm, so maybe he’s Edward Knifehands. I suppressed a shudder.

Those stunning eyes—such an unnatural yet beautiful blue—twinkling, he held out his now empty hand. “I’m Maddox Black. Pleased to meet you. And very pleased to have you here.”

We shook. As we did so, the heat that had sparked inside me when we’d made eye contact began to intensify.

Christ, no, Penny. You just ditched one bad boy. The last thing you need to do is swap him for another one.

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller) and The Persecution of the Wolves. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 150 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Out Now—Thank You For Holding by Julia Kent & Elisa Reed

Thank You For Holding (Book 2 in the On Hold Series)

Author: Julia Kent & Elisa Reed

Release date: March 21, 2017

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance

 

Description:

Having it all is a fantasy, right?

Carrie Shelton thought her boyfriend was too good to be true. Her best friend’s brother? A guy who loved antiquing? Who cuddled on the couch while watching foodie YouTube clips and talking about artisanal spices? Who helped her accessorize her outfits?

Right.

Fantasy.

So when he ran off with Kevin, the owner of an antique shop, right before his sister’s wedding, Carrie’s life went from fantasy to nightmare.

As maid of honor, she can’t back out of the wedding. And her ex is the best man – but now he has his own best man.

She needs a date. Stat.

Enter Ryan. Sure, he’s a hot male stripper at the O Spa where she works as junior designer, but he’s a few years younger and just, you know — a friend.

Perfect. She needs a friend more than she needs a boyfriend.

A weekend of playing her boyfriend so she can save face is a lot to ask, but for some reason Carrie doesn’t understand, Ryan’s all in. Enthusiastic, even.

Especially when it comes to physical displays of affection.

Public kisses turn to private confessions, and pretty soon, Carrie can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

Because if Ryan’s just pretending he’s in love with her, then why does the chemistry between them — and between the sheets — feel so real?

Carrie can’t settle for almost, though. She’s already done that. She’s not putting her life on hold anymore.

Turns out Ryan won’t, either.

He’s holding out for more.

Thank You For Holding is a STANDALONE in the On Hold series. You do not need to have read book 1 in the series, Our Options Have Changed, but after reading about Carrie and Ryan’s friends-to-lovers adventure, you’ll want to. 😉

Buy links:

Amazon US:  http://amzn.to/2mI2C56

Amazon UK:  http://amzn.to/2nKiBkH

Amazon CANADA:  http://amzn.to/2lVcYT8

Amazon AUSTRALIA:  http://amzn.to/2kzkORY

Nook:  http://bit.ly/2l6MSLm

iBooks:  http://apple.co/2lvhOpF

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2kTZGlC

Google Play:  http://bit.ly/2ltR0pa

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2mxEWEb

Author Bios:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down

Website:  http://jkentauthor.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jkentauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jkentauthor

 

Elisa Reed is a journalist-turned-fiction-writer whose snappy,  irreverent prose combines with an irrepressible zest for the simpler, and often intimate, pleasures of life to produce fun(ny) contemporary romance with a focus on second chances. New England born and bred, Elisa Reed now lives, writes, and plays in New Orleans and along the sugar sands of the Gulf Coast.

You can find her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/elisareedauthor

Excerpt:

# 1

CARRIE

I’m going to be the maid of honor in my friend Jenny’s wedding. You probably saw that coming. I met Jenny at work here at the O Spa, the women’s private club chain where I am the Assistant Director for Design. O Spas are the “fourth space” for women. Home, work, and other public venues are the first three.

We are meant to be the ultimate space. From highly-trained, well-oiled, hot massage therapists who wear g-strings that are outlawed in 111 countries, to a sex toy boutique with weekly workshops, to a new coffee shop with lattes that are better than sex, the O Spa caters to what women want.

A break, a chance, and a friend.

Jenny loved working for O, but she moved on a year ago, a promotion she could only get by changing companies. We were never just work friends. We’re true best friends, and besides that, we could be sisters-in-law someday. I’m dating her brother, Jamey.

Who is standing in front of my desk right now, telling me about the tickets he just scored to Straight No Chaser at the Wang Center in November. We love a cappella.

“Fifth row, Carrie! And it’ll be near the holidays, so maybe they’ll do songs from their Christmas album!” His dark, wavy hair falls over his forehead in a boyish little curl. His eyebrows are perfectly arched. He gets them threaded more often than I do. His narrow chinos are rolled at the cuff, exposing his bare ankles in brown loafers. And is that my cotton scarf knotted around his neck?

I smile at him. Jamey is a great boyfriend because he always wants to do fun and unusual things. Has ever since we began dating two years ago. Our friends rely on Jamey to keep them current. When Steve Martin curated the Lawren Harris show at the MFA, we were the first people in the door. When Juliet opened in Union Square, we were tasting the tasting menu before anyone else had tasted it.

You can see why a lavender flowered cotton dress — with puffed sleeves — is of no use to me.

“We can go back to my place after the concert and I’ll make cocoa. Bet you’d enjoy something sweet and hot,” I say with a flirtatious grin. I give him what I hope is a smoldering look. He’s holding my hand and his eyes widen in mock excitement, then he looks away.

I love Jamey.

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Release Blitz: The Painter is a Lady, by @AdrianaKraft #MFRWAuthor

The Painter Is A LadyBLURB

Secrets. Trust. Courage. Who will knuckle under first—the war hero? The spirited single mom? Or the former high school bully who still hates them both?

When war hero Michael Jarvis returns to his hometown on the shores of Lake Superior, he doesn’t plan to stay—he’s undercover, investigating a possible sex trafficking ring operating on the Great Lakes. But he does want to sample the pesky girl next door he always turned down—and it wouldn’t hurt if she’d clear up a few mysteries of her own.

Successfully established as an interior house painter, Brenda Tower finally has her act together as a single mom—but it hangs by a thread, a secret she’ll guard with her life. The return of her youthful crush Michael Jarvis threatens to unravel everything.

Jealousy has inflamed Brett Hill’s hatred of Michael and Brenda for as long as he can remember. Revenge will be so sweet—and it will fit in perfectly with his high stakes game.

When the secrets break open, can Michael and Brenda find the courage to trust each other, or will revenge and betrayal triumph?

BUY LINKS

Extasy Books http://www.extasybooks.com/the-painter-is-a-lady/

Amazon US http://amzn.to/2melLwS

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2lXRCko

*****

EXCERPT

Ignoring the catch in her voice, Brenda asked, “Did you really tell Tommy you’d help him with his pitching?”

Michael’s eyes lit up. “Ah, he remembered. I wasn’t sure he would. I did tell him once that if I moved back here, I might give him some tips.”

“Why?”

“Why?”

“Why did you even suggest such a thing? You obviously know the rumors. So does Tommy.” She gulped and curled her fingers into fists. “He thinks you’re his father. He wants you to be his father.”

Sitting back in the booth as if she’d slapped him, he eyed her cautiously. “And that’s my fault? I’ve only seen him a few times. When we did have that conversation, he was having a bad day. He’d been ragged on by his peers for throwing like a girl. He’d been crying, for God’s sake. I just stumbled into him near the park as he was coming home from school. He knew who I was. I knew who he was. So we talked. I didn’t think that was a crime.”

The pain on Michael’s face made Brenda wince. “I didn’t mean it that way. I doubt you’d do anything to hurt a little boy, but…but Tommy thinks you’re a hero. He’s eager to have you as a friend.”

Michael shrugged. “Sounds like the boy is more eager than his mother.”

“Damn. Do you have to twist everything I’m trying to say?” She clenched her fingers around the stein she’d hardly touched since sitting down.

“Sorry,” he said softly. “Maybe we could start over. You were going to tell me why you selected me as Tommy’s father. There must’ve been plenty of others to choose from.”

“That hurts.” She shook her head. “Don’t apologize. I deserved that. We both know I was quite active sexually before Tommy was born.” She shrugged. “You made the most sense. You weren’t around to protest, and folks in town thought we’d been together off and on since I reached puberty, anyway.”

“So much for folks in town.”

“Right. Anyway. I wasn’t going to leave that line on the birth certificate blank. You were convenient. You were out of the country. I imagine I thought you might never find out.” She fought back tears, remembering filling out the necessary forms two days after Tommy was born. “And you were my friend.”

“I won’t deny that. For all the misery you caused me, there were plenty of times you stood by me when the chips were down. So I was convenient.” Michael raked his fingers through his hair. “You can tell me it’s none of my business, but I have to ask. Do you know who is Tommy’s actual father?”

Brenda gulped for air, nodded, and ignored the tears suddenly brimming in her eyes. “Yes,” she squeaked. “But I won’t tell you.”

“I wasn’t asking you to, but at least I know you’re not just protecting Tommy―you’re also protecting his father.”

*****

AUTHOR BIO

We are a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More. With backgrounds in criminology and counseling, we combine our expertise in the criminal mind, trauma, healing, and human nature with a passion for robust sexuality and life-long vitality.

Our Romantic Suspense line delivers “warmth, blazing hot sex, and well-developed characters” (Romance Junkies Reviews) as our hero and heroine battle outer threats and inner demons to stay alive and fall in love.

We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination.

LINKS

Website: http://www.adrianakraft.com/

Blog: http://www.adrianakraft.com/blog

FaceBook Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Adriana-Kraft/182846025133440

Twitter http://twitter.com/AdrianaKraft

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The Romance Reviews

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