For the Win
The Good Samaritan
“That’s one of the victims?”
Closing the file, he set it aside. “She was his first one. That we know of. I want to warn you that these interviews are going to get personal. But with any luck, we’ll find a thread that will help us catch this guy.”
A shadow of concern crossed her face, but it was gone so fast he almost missed it. Emma had secrets she wasn’t going to part with easily.
“Can you tell me about you past boyfriends? Men you’ve dated? I need first and last names. Phone numbers if you still have them.” He flipped the tablet to a clean page, set the pen on it, and pushed it across the table.
Something painful flashed in her verdant eyes, her expression locking down. “There isn’t anyone.” She slid the tablet back to him.
She’d told him she wasn’t dating right now, but never? Not possible. But why hide it? No way she had no one to put on that list.
“Everyone has someone in their past, Emma. You haven’t been living in a convent for the past twenty-six years. This is important—”
She exhaled a sigh, grabbed the tablet back, and scribbled a name on it before pushing it toward him. “This isn’t going to help you.”
“How do you know that?”
“Because he’s dead.”
Good thing Sawyer was experienced in masking his emotions because Emma just surprised the hell out of him. It explained a lot. Why she didn’t date, why she buried herself in her work. She was obviously still in love with the guy. He’d known there was more to it than simply being busy with her residency. And now her virgin status took on a whole new meaning. These were all questions he was dying to know the answer to, but in this context, he had no business asking. He felt like a prick for being jealous of a ghost and stuffed the emotion before it could take root. “All right, so no boyfriends. What about the hopefuls? Guys that have been interested in you?”
Well, that was clear as mud. “What about Blake Weston?” he prodded.
Her gaze snapped up and locked on his. “Blake’s my boss.”
“I’m not sure how that excludes him from the list.”
“He knows how I feel about mixing my personal life with my professional one. I’ve been very clear with him. I don’t date the people I work with.”
Her tone was clipped, as if he’d offended her by even suggesting she’d mix business with pleasure. It still didn’t mean shit, though. Blake Weston had a thing for Emma. Anyone with eyes in their goddamn head could see that. He wrote Blake’s name down then met her eyes with a waiting stare. “Anyone else?”
She returned it, non-pulsed, and didn’t miss a beat when she replied, “Not unless you want to put yourself on that list.”
The Horrors Hiding in Plain Sight
by Rebecca Rowland
Genre: Psychological Horror, Transgressive Dark Fiction, Short Stories
Three adolescent bullies discover that the vicious crime for which they were never charged will haunt them in unimaginably horrific ways; a dominatrix and a bondage fetishist befriend one another as one’s preoccupation grows to consume his life. A man persuades his wife to start a family, but her reluctant pregnancy comes with a dreadful side effect. A substitute teacher’s curiosity about a veteran teacher’s methodology provides her with a lesson she won’t soon forget. An affluent, xenophobic lawyer callously kills two immigrants with her car with seeming impunity; a childless couple plays a sadistic game with a neglected juvenile each Halloween. An abusive father, a dating site predator, a neglected concierge, and an obsessed co-worker: they are all among the residents of Rebecca Rowland’s universe, and they dwell in the everyday realm of crime and punishment tempered with fixation and madness. There are no vampires, zombies, or magical beings here; no, what lurk in this world are even more terrifying. Once you meet them, you will think twice before turning your back on that seemingly innocuous neighbor or coming to the aid of the helpless damsel in the dark parking lot. These monsters don’t lurk under your bed or in the shadows: they are the people you see every day at work, in the supermarket, and in broad daylight. They are the horrors that hide in plain sight, and they will unsettle you more than any supernatural being ever could.
Contains graphic violence (though not continually) including accidental death, murder, and suicide; sexual content, and occasional graphic language. Sexual assault is implied but not described in a graphic nature. No animals are harmed.
Rebecca Rowland is the transgressive dark fiction author of the short story collection The Horrors Hiding in Plain Sight, co-author of the novel Pieces, and curator of the horror anthologies Ghosts, Goblins, Murder, and Madness; Shadowy Natures, and the upcoming The Half That You See and Unburied. Her writing has appeared in venues such as Coffin Bell, Waxing & Waning, and the
WiHM online collections The Ones You Don’t Bring Home to Mama and Final Girls with 20/20 Vision and has been anthologized in collections by Red Room Press, Transmundane Press, Forty-Two Books, Emerald Bay Books, Twisted Wing Productions, Thurston Howl Publications, J. Ellington Ashton Press, and Dark Ink. To surreptitiously stalk her, visit RowlandBooks.com.
I Am Moore
All That & Moore Book 1
by Celeste Granger
Genre: African American Contemporary Romance
Emery Moore moved away from home after finishing her juris doctorate. She was a successful corporate attorney and had been living in Washington D. C. for the past five years. It wasn’t often that she returned home to Atlanta, but the love of her family drew her back. Emery had success in so many facets of her life, but she hadn’t been as lucky in love. The word love was unsettling for Emery; it was loaded with notions of submissiveness and sacrifice, the loss of self and being dependent on another person. Notions Emery wasn’t sure she wanted. Yet, there was someone Emery couldn’t shake her soul loose of and she tussled with her heart and the sensible tug in her mind daily.
Evan Stanton Esq. had been an integral part of Emery Moore’s life for the past six months. He like she, was an attorney. During the day, the attorneys at law litigated from different sides of the aisle; fighting with everything they had for their clients. But for the past few months, business was left at the door, and the fighting ended as Evan and Emery delved into uncharted territory. Evan loved how Emery felt in his arms. The curve of her hips, the arch in her back made it difficult to keep his hands off her. It wasn’t always like this. Emery had to be pursued, and although Evan was attracted to her unapologetic disposition in the courtroom, along with her sophisticated air, Emery was a challenge; one that Evan planned to take on full steam ahead.
This book can be read as a standalone. It is interconnected to the All That & Moore series
Teach Me Moore
All That & Moore Book 2
One family. Eight sisters, tangled in romance. Kennedy Moore, the second Moore sister, is the glue that holds the sisterhood together. While Emery, the oldest sister, was away in Washington DC, it was Kennedy that her younger sisters leaned on. A master chef in her own right, Kennedy spends most of her time in the background, pouring her passion into the culinary delicacies she creates for her clientele. Being in the kitchen has left little time for Kennedy to find love, outside of the love she has for culinary arts.
Bryce Monroe is the owner and head chef of Taste, a world-renowned, four-star restaurant in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Much like Kennedy, Bryce spends his days and nights in the kitchen, masterfully creating delectable dishes that keep his clientele coming back for more. Bryce is a multimillionaire who has everything he’s always wanted except someone special to share it with.
An unintentional brush with Bryce Monroe reminds Kennedy that there is more to life than cooking and taking care of her sisters. The two have so much in common, and the chemistry they mutually felt shakes both their foundations. Bryce is captivated by Kennedy and realizes she is what he’s been missing. Yet, Kennedy shies away, unsure whether there’s room for something more in the world she’s created for herself. Will Kennedy let down her guard and allow love in? Will Bryce push past her resistance and pursue the love of his life? Find out in Teach Me Moore: Book 2 in the All That & Moore Series.
Each book in the series is a full novel and can be read as a standalone.
All That & Moore Book 3
One family. Eight sisters, tangled in romance. Daphne Moore, third eldest sister of the Moore girls has had tremendous success in her professional life. As the Founder and Head Mistress of Moore Academy for Girls, Daphne taught her girls to be smart, self-reliant and confident. Yet, with all the success in her career, Daphne struggled when it came to matters of the heart. Daphne spent three years of her life loving a man who didn’t show the same kind of faithful, unwavering love. The wounds Stephen left were deep, and Daphne wasn’t sure she’d ever recover. Nicholas St. John, preeminent real estate developer and multimillionaire, was much like Daphne, successful professionally. However, unlike Daphne, there wasn’t an unfaithful lover to taint Nicholas’ view on love, Nicholas simply never made time for it. But an accidental encounter between the two would change the trajectory of both their lives.
So Much Moore
All That & Moore Book 4
One family. Eight sisters, tangled in romance. Felicity Moore, an actuary and entrepreneur, deals with facts and numbers as the foundation of her business. Her hard work and nurturing dedication is what makes her a leader in the industry. It’s the one thing that her world revolves around on a daily basis, and because of it, there had been no time for love or no place for a relationship in Felicity’s life.
It is the sole reason why when Garrett Thompson enters her life, Felicity doesn’t take him seriously. Especially with him being a trust fund baby. He’s never had to work to earn a living. Although Garrett does dabble in philanthropic endeavors, he spends much of his time living in the lap of luxury; doing the things he wants to and nothing that he doesn’t have to. Garrett lives by choice, and any relationship he’s had in the past has been an accessory to his lifestyle not a primary focus. With Garrett living life on his own terms, what if anything do they have in common?
Despite Felicity being dismissive of him, Garrett intends to prove just how serious he can be.
All That & Moore Book 5
He was her best friend. She was the girl of his dreams.
Charity Moore is on the cusp of becoming the neurosurgeon she has always dreamed of becoming. As a student physician for world renowned Emory University Hospital, Charity demonstrates her intellectual prowess in the classroom and in the operating room. Charity has been plotting her course of becoming a surgeon for as long as she can remember. She plays by the rules, colors within the lines and does what is necessary to make her dreams come true.
O’Shea Ali, is also a student physician at Emory Hospital. As the son of international industry giants, financial security has never been an issue. For O’Shea, becoming a neurosurgeon isn’t about prestige or financial gain. His desire stems from O’Shea’s passion to charter new medical territory and save lives. O’Shea lives his life passionately without restriction. He fights for what he believes in and is a fierce protector of the one’s he loves. That includes Charity.
But emerging desire crosses the friendship line, catapulting Charity and O’Shea out of the friendship zone and into dangerous territory. Charity fears their new entanglement is risky and may cost her the very relationship she treasures most. While O’Shea’s unbridled yearnings for Charity become harder to contain, he doesn’t want to lose what they have in pursuit of what he craves.
The All That and Moore series follows each sister in the Moore family as they navigate through the entanglements romance brings. Each book can be enjoyed if read as a standalone or if it’s read in the order of the series
Promise Me Moore
All That & Moore Book 6
Physical therapist, Aubrey Moore, is growing her private practice, heavily courted by coaches from every major sport as she continues to become a household name. Focusing exclusively on her business, Aubrey has made little time for matters of the heart until retail store mogul and multimillionaire, Brett Quinn catches her eye during a charity basketball game. No one woman has captivated Brett’s heart but that fleeting encounter ignited a spark, and when they meet again, the seed of attraction that captivated them before blooms, leaving them both to wonder if their reunion could be their second chance.
The All That and Moore series follows each sister in the Moore family as they navigate through the entanglements romance brings. Each book can be enjoyed if read as a standalone or if it’s read in the order of the series
Moore Than Enough
All That & Moore Book 7
As an international attaché to a Sudanese Diplomat, Ivory Moore is constantly surrounded by very important people, making international exchange seem easy with her mastery of multiple languages and business accouterment. Between her job and her loving family, Ivory’s life is full. VIP’S don’t impress her. It takes more than that to gain Ivory’s attention. Or so she thought until a chance encounter with a blast from the past shakes her foundation at the very core.
Roman West was that disruption, rocking Ivory on her heels. A visit to the Sudanese Embassy brought Ivory Moore back into his life. Seeing her again reawakened feelings he thought were lost for good. Although their encounter seemed to have been by happenstance, Roman believed in destiny, and he refused to lose Ivory again. But Roman was a man with secrets; secrets that could ruin what he hoped would be their future and certainly devastate their past.
My Cherie a'Moore
All That & Moore Book 8
She was somewhat of a free spirit, yet, she felt rightly guided to his.
Trinity Moore, burgeoning entrepreneur and youngest of the Moore sisters, does what she will. Whether business or pleasure, Trinity does it on her own terms, unapologetically.
But he touched her in a way Trinity couldn’t deny; assuaging unknown pains and awakening a transcendental energy that spoke to her soul. She realized she wanted more of that touch. Esau Knight was right there to fulfill her every desire.
All books in the All That & Moore series are standalone connected in a series with HEA’s.
USA Today Bestselling Author and lover of Love. It is a many splendid thing, isn’t it? Yet, it’s not a straight path from one heart to another. Most often, love is a tangled mess that challenges our thoughts, beliefs, and challenges us to prove over and over that we are more than enamored with an individual. Love is a tangled conglomeration of what the mind thinks, what the soul feels, and what the heart knows. And I write about it...
Follow the tour HEREfor special content and a giveaway!
Published: September 2019
Publisher: Angels Fortune Editions
Although her origins are in Nocedo del Valle, an agricultural village in Orense, a province of Galicia, Spain, Blanca De La Rosa was born in the Dominican Republic in the bosom of a humble family. But fate had something else in store for her.
Pursuing a Better Tomorrow is not just a novel that portrays the history of three generations, but rather an inspiring cross-generational journey from Spain to the United States. The novel details a historical overview and the ideologies of each era where the characters portray the strength of character required to achieve a better tomorrow given the twists, turns, and synchronistic events that shaped their lives.
De La Rosa candidly shares her coming-of-age story of self-discovery as she transitioned from New York City’s projects to corporate America, detailing her personal and professional journey.
This great novel will inspire you to believe in your abilities, dare to dream, and reach for your goals as you pursue a better tomorrow.
Are you ready to embark on this journey?
About the Author
Blanca De La Rosa was born in the Dominican Republic. She grew up in the Projects of the upper west side of Manhattan in New York, during the time before the Hispanic population developed the supportive Latino community which exists today. Although she struggled without support in her cultural and linguistic transition, De La Rosa was able to graduate from Pace University with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business Management and to establish a successful 34-year career rising through the ranks of Mobil/ExxonMobil Oil Corporation.
During her career, she held numerous positions both domestic and international in nature with increasing responsibility. These assignments took her around the United States, Europe, Central / South America, and Nigeria.
De La Rosa retired from ExxonMobil after 34 years of service. As a Business Development Manager and President of the company’s Employee Resource Group she often represented her company as lead presenter at the Regional and National Scholarship Awards hosted by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. In addition, she represented her company as host, keynote speaker, and panelist of various events with organizations supported by the company's charity foundation. After all her time in the industry, she says her most rewarding role was serving as mentor to the young employees in her company – guiding them through the corporate maze.
Romantic Suspense; Adult/New Adult
Date Published: June 10, 2020
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Cybercrime doesn’t talk. It creeps in and destroys lives right under Gillian’s nose when a cryptojacking scheme lands her boss, Pinkie, in jail. Gillian had just started over with a new career, boyfriend, and confidence after escaping a vicious murder investigation that shattered her ability to trust. Then Pinkie’s arrest leaves her struggling to run his two bars while also unraveling the conspiracy.
Gillian will not let her mentor and friend go down for something he didn’t do. Neither will Jon, the most talented musician on the bar’s stage and the perfect boyfriend…until his good fortune sends her reeling. Gillian forces herself to trust the cops, people who hurt her, and known criminals. Will it be enough to free Pinkie and save her life?
Chapter Seven (portion)
When I approach the entrance, a man with a tablet computer approaches my car. “Your name, please? And why are you visiting the FBI today?”
They’re holding Pinkie at FBI headquarters? He doesn’t belong at a place like this. “Yes, hello. I’m Gillian Davis, here to visit with Pinkie—I mean Patrick Cunningham.”
He fingers through pages on his screen. “Your purpose for seeing Mr. Cunningham?”
I shift in the driver’s seat. “I manage a business he owns. I need to talk to him about work—I mean what to do while he’s away.”
“You’re not listed.” The arm holding the computer relaxes to his side.
“Officer Jeff Reeves called ahead. He’s with Dallas police.”
“I’ll make a quick call.” He walks away with a phone to his ear. In a few seconds, the gate opens, and he waves me through.
I let out the lungful of air I’ve been holding and drive. Hurdle one crossed. Three flags line the entrance like they’re waving me away, or maybe they’re inviting me in. Either way, I march through the heavy glass doors, step through the metal detector, follow the signs through the cold marble and stainless steel lobby to the visitor area, and wait.
A lawyer-like young woman in a gray suit taps on her laptop across the otherwise empty room. I feel underdressed. Footsteps echo toward us, and my heart beats as fast as her fingers type. It’s a man in a dark blue suit, his eyes on me.
“Ms. Davis? I’m Agent Redman.” His voice is gentler than I expected. “Come with me.”
While we walk, the million questions I have for Pinkie parade through my head.
What happened? Who would do this to you? When will they let you out? What do I do at work tomorrow? Is your lawyer one of those hotshots who only represent innocent people? Do you have a lawyer?
He opens the door, revealing Pinkie sitting on the edge of a chair in a small room. Dark circles have bloomed like he didn’t sleep last night.
“Gillian, you’re a sight for sore eyes.” He motions to the chair on the other side of the table. “Make yourself comfortable. Can I get you a glass of wine?”
A laugh overpowers my questions. “You can still keep your sense of humor. How are you?”
About the Author
Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. As a child, she was constantly in trouble for hiding under the bed to read when she was supposed to be napping. She has been writing since childhood starting with diaries, letters and short stories. She continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant.
Addison writes new adult and adult romantic suspense and young adult contemporary fiction. When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.
by Bestselling Author Susan Saxx
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Nathan buries his talent and has sworn off his art, and all romantic relationships, but when a bulldozer of a man comes to seek refuge in the dilapidated house Nathan is renovating, all the promises he made to himself collapse under the weight of powerful emotions.
A RIDDLE WRAPPED IN A MYSTERY
Nathan Gentael couldn’t bear to lose his family’s legacy, an old house on the tiny cove of Refuge Bay. He scraped together every penny he could find to buy back the derelict manse, and now he needs investors to help put it to rights so he can create a place for people like him: emotional wrecks in need of a safe place to get themselves together.
Okay, he isn’t a wreck, but he has turned his back on his passion, and believes by helping others, he’ll help himself. When it seems no one is going to help, a new investor, ex-military Augustine Jake Reiden, who insists on being called Og, shows up early and inverts Nathan’s reality. Nathan has secrets, but this bull of a man who has more bravado than anyone Nathan has ever met, is harboring mysteries.
Dark and closed off, Og is willing to risk investing in the house, but he has conditions, and it turns out one of them is he wants Nathan.
To My Readers:
A New Genre.
A writer loves creating new worlds.
To date, I’ve written male/female romance anywhere from sweet to hot to erotic, all in the Real Men series. I love this genre, and plan to continue writing in it.
Last year though, I decided to try my hand at writing male/male romance and found that I loved it, in a very special way.
I find the dynamics between two men so different than the dynamics I’ve explored previously. There’s something about two warriors, two characters with similar power bases figuring out how to come together. And the intense vulnerability when they finally do…
I hope you love this new series. My lovely beta readers, none of whom read m/m previously, all gave it a big thumbs up.
Dear Reader: I hope you take a chance on Nathan, and his story. He’s an amazing man, and just needs someone to pull himself out of his self-imposed prison…
…and you may just find a new series that you love.
Amazon Bestselling Author Susan Saxx is a top 2 Amazon bestseller with her small town military romance series, Real Men, currently over 10 books long. She has a passion for the small towns of North America, and sets her compelling stories in the north country (Jack's Bay), western mountain country (Terrence Point, Dawson Ridges, Golden) and in Chesapeake Bay (Refuge Bay), all replete with quirky yet big-hearted neighbours always willing to lend a hand—and an opinion, whether requested or not.
Susan also deeply loves Christmas, with numerous Christmas stories in her series, and adds more holiday books (including Valentine’s and Halloween), annually.
As she continues to write the beloved Real Men series, she is applying her passion for love without boundaries to the m/m genre. Her first book in the Men of Hope House series is garnering excellent reviews, with formerly m/f only readers exhorting others new to the genre to pick up the first in the series, calling it, “Pure Joy”, and ‘one of the best books I have read in a very long time’ – GoodReads.
Susan can be reached at email@example.com.
Follow the tour HEREfor special content and a giveaway!
Date Published: 7/2/2020
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Dicen Burke had it all. As lead singer in the world famous rock band, Dark Army, the world lay at his feet. But the path to super stardom warred with a painful past and during a performance the demons haunting him finally descended. Unable to stop the self-destructive path of alcohol and drugs, when he fell, he fell hard.
He wakes up in a world he doesn’t know. The Twenty-first century rocker is now in the 1920’s, lost and bewildered. He’s taken in by Juliet Fox, a beautiful woman trying to be a positive influence in her brother’s wild lifestyle among the Hollywood Motion Picture elite.
Dicen does his best to adapt, and with Juliet by his side, he discovers a world that offers him a clean slate. But when he’s pulled back to the present, separated by time from the one person that gives him a reason to live, will he find a way to push past his demons as well as find Juliet again?
“Hey you,” a soft voice commanded. “Open your eyes please”
He tried to obey, struggling to push past the lingering darkness that clung to him like a second skin. God, he felt horrible.
“That’s it,” she soothed. “Open your eyes. Look at me.”
Finally, he managed to raise his eyelids. An angel leaned over him, staring into his eyes. She smiled at him so he smiled back. He had always thought it would be demons that would come collect him when he died so it amazed him that heaven was calling.
“Ah, a set of beautiful baby blues,” she murmured, stroking his cheek. “Hello, handsome.”
He opened his mouth to say something but the words wouldn’t come. His tongue felt swollen, dry. He forced himself to swallow to try to get some saliva flowing.
She cocked her head. “Bad hooch I’m thinking. Gotta be careful of certain juice joints. Come,” she said, holding out her hand. “Let’s get you sitting upright.”
He hadn’t realized he’d been lying down but as she helped him up, he realized the halo around her head had been nothing more but the flickering of a street light accentuating the midnight hue of her hair. When he was vertical once more, he finally saw all of the woman’s features. Short bobbed hair held back by a headband made of crystal beads while dark eyes watched him from under thin, perfectly arched eyebrows. Her lips were a cupid’s bow, painted a deep red. Her skin a flawless pale shade that contrasted sharply with her heavily made up eyes.
“Like what you see?” she asked.
He blinked. “I always like my fans. Where am I?”
One of those thin eyebrows arched. “That hooch must’ve really made you balled up. You’re off Hollywood Boulevard, of course, belly up in an alley.”
He looked around, completely baffled. How the hell did he get here? Where was the stage? The screaming fans? Kieron, Van and Tony?
“Do you have a name, handsome?”
“Yeah, sorry. I’m Dicen Burke.”
He waited. He waited for the name to sink in, for her eyes to widen, for her to begin batting her eyes in an attempt to flirt her way into his bed.
“Juliet,” she said. “Juliet Fox. I was looking for my brother, Thayer, and figured I’d find him upchucking out here and instead I find a keen big six. Say, you’re no drugstore cowboy are you?”
“Excuse me?” Her lack of a response to his name, along with slang he didn’t understand, threw him.
“You know, a guy that hangs around street corners looking to pick up ladies. Just so we’re clear on the matter, I ain’t that kind of girl,” she informed him, the smile on her face lessening the harshness of her tone. “Have you seen another man out here, by chance, throwing up?”
She confused him. He shook his head and then wished he hadn’t when it throbbed. “God, I need an aspirin.”
About the Author
I began reading my mom’s Harlequin Presents in the fifth grade, and from the first story I knew I wanted to write romance novels. I like writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so my heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors or corporate highrollers. I try to write characters who aren't cookie cutters and push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box. I love writing characters who are real, complex and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love. You can find me on the web at:
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Anywhere and Always Book 1
Published: December 2019
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
One wild and passionate Caribbean night leaves Annelise with amazing memories…but what happens when her vacation fling reappears as a VIP client?
Deserted by her fiancé only three months before their wedding, a devastated Annelise decides to go on their Caribbean honeymoon alone in the hope of thawing the deep freeze of her emotions. Tripping and landing on top of the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen, a sexy French-Canadian stranger, is as surprising as it is mortifying.
Rémy Gaspard is staying at his family’s remote tropical resort to get some work done after a difficult visit with his sister, but instead, he finds himself drawn to the sad young woman he sees from across the beach. When she quite literally falls into his lap, he can’t believe his good fortune.
Their passionate vacation romance is cut short by a troubling accident and they part ways, but neither can stop thinking about the other. When they meet up again in Montreal, seemingly by accident six months later, their attraction is just as strong…or stronger. As they face the challenges of misunderstandings, suspicions and a shadowy menace that won’t leave Rémy’s family alone, one thing becomes clear. Their love remains strong, anywhere and always.
Book 2 in the Anywhere and Always Series: Snowbound with the Billionaire is Coming Soon!!!
She scrambled up as quickly as possible, but not before she pressed up against the length of a tall, muscular man. He was warm and smelled of the ocean and the wind—and also a bit spicy, like some of the more exotic seasonings used in the local dishes. As she brushed herself off and stood as swiftly as she could, she just had time to realize that he smelled…incredibly good. For someone I apparently fell on like a ton of bricks. Smooth. Real smooth, Annelise.
“I’m so sorry!” she apologized, feeling a hot blush rise from her hairline to her ears and even onto her chest. She knew her cheeks must be flaming.
The stranger, dressed only in faded board shorts that might have been red once but were now a washed-out salmon, was covered in sand. It dusted his tan, muscular chest and sprinkled his dark-brown hair. He might have looked silly if he hadn’t been… Well, the only words that sprang to her mind were ‘unbelievably gorgeous’. No, that wasn’t true. She also thought ‘scrumptious’ and ‘hot as hell’. Mentally recalling herself, she realized he hadn’t responded to her apology.
“Do you speak English? Español?” Annelise hoped he spoke at least a tiny bit of English, because her Spanish was abysmal. “Oh my gosh, did I hurt you?” she continued, worried.
The man sat up with a little shake, and his mouth quirked into a wry smile, making his dark eyes crinkle at the corners. “No apology needed. I must have fallen asleep. I’m fine. No harm done. Although”—he gestured at the empty beach—“it was an unlucky coincidence that you should choose this one spot to walk onto.” His accent sounded French, and his tone was compelling as he spoke, inviting her to share his amusement, not only at their situation but also possibly at life in general.
Annelise felt an unfamiliar smile tug at the corners of her lips. “I’m so glad you’re not hurt. And ‘unlucky’ should be my middle name,” she answered, the words out before she could recall them. It was totally unlike her to talk about her personal life with a complete stranger. Alone. On a deserted beach. Totally alone. She took an unconscious step backward.
The stranger didn’t look as though he’d been lying in wait to trip unsuspecting tourists, though. He looked as if he belonged—and as if he was mildly interested in what she was saying. If he’d looked too interested, she might have shut down, but instead, she found herself answering the questioning quirk of his dark eyebrow.
“I’ve…had a bit of a setback recently in my personal life,” she said. It was the understatement of the century.
“Sounds like it was a bad one. Do you want to talk about it?” he offered, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, just two strangers watching a Caribbean sunset and talking about their personal lives. It suddenly occurred to her that he was the first person besides the unobtrusive security guards that she’d seen on the private beach this entire trip. She’d actually begun to think she must be the only guest at the cabanas. Her thoughts turned suddenly suspicious.
“What are you doing on this beach? It’s supposed to be private and definitely a no-trespassing sort of place.” Her mind turned to the prominent guns she’d seen the security guards carrying, and she wasn’t sure if she was trying to intimidate or warn the stranger.
The white of his smile on his tan face was stunning in the sunset. “Thank you for the warning, chérie, but I am a guest here…in the owner’s cabana.” He gestured with one long, muscular arm and Annelise noticed a path she hadn’t seen before, leading to what looked like a giant house. It was much larger than her own spacious cabin.
“Oh, right. The owner’s French, isn’t he?” Annelise answered, trying to recall the details she knew of the resort. She’d learned about it from her colleague, and the owner was a big-time client of the financial services firm where she worked.
“French-Canadian,” the stranger corrected, raising his eyebrow again, “but I’ll let it slide just this once.”
“Sorry…I know there’s a big difference,” she hastened to apologize. Great, she’d now offended a close friend of a client who could get her fired.
The stranger shook his head. “I was teasing. I’m not so easily offended,” he said, bending up his knees and wrapping his arms loosely around them before motioning toward the soft-looking hollow next to him. “Care to join me? You can’t beat the view.”
About the Author
Aurora Russell is originally from the frozen tundra of the upper-Midwest (ok, not frozen all the time!) but now loves living in New England with her real-life hero/husband, two wonderfully silly sons, and one of the most extraordinary cats she has ever had the pleasure to meet. But she still goes back to the Midwest to visit, just never in January. She doesn't remember a time that she didn't love to read, and has been writing stories since she learned how to hold a pencil. She has always liked the romantic scenes best in every book, story, and movie, so one day she decided to try her hand at writing her own romantic fiction, which changed her life in all the best ways.