Review: Chance at Redemption, by Samatha Harris Reply

5 out of 5 Stars

Available For Purchase On:

Review:

This is the first book I have read by Samatha Harris. Ms Harris had me by the third page and I could not put my Kindle down until I reached the end. I really enjoyed the relationship between the two main characters Liam and Gwen. The way they rubbed each other wrong and irritated each other was very believable and relatable to real life. Can Gwen over come her old habits? and find true happiness? Can Liam learn to forgive? You will need to read this fun, enjoyable book to find out. This is one of those books that you can escape with and feel good when you finish. I recommend this book.

Reviewed by Epiphany

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description:

Gwen Stevens had a privileged life until her father spoke three little words that turned her world upside down. “You’re cut off.”

Broke and desperate, Gwen is forced to accept a waitressing job, but this glimmer of hope has a price. As if being a cocktail waitress isn’t bad enough, she has to do it in a dive bar called The Den, and her bad luck doesn’t stop there. She also needs to deal with the new owner, a blue-eyed, self-righteous ass determined to make her life miserable.

Liam Sinclair walked away from the entitlement and obligation his family planned for him, vowing to make his own way in the world…

Adjusting to life as a new business owner, Liam has experienced more than his fair share of setbacks. When his only waitress breaks her leg, his sister takes it upon herself to hire a replacement—a spoiled, self-indulgent hothead with too much makeup and more than enough attitude. Gwen represents the world he’s trying to escape, a world of excess and greed that he was never cut out for.

Appearances can be deceiving, and first impressions aren’t always right…

Despite their apparent differences, the tension between them turns to a fiery passion that neither of them can resist. Together they find balance and learn to appreciate the simpler things in life. But Gwen soon discovers that old habits die hard, and one mistake is all it takes to ruin everything.

Forgiveness must be earned, but even a villain deserves a chance at redemption…

About The Author:

Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.
Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.
Author links:

Giveaway:

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • Digital copy of the entire series (Somewhere in between, Choosing Happy, and Chance at Redemption)

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251231802/

Review: The Rogue of Islay Isle, by Heather McCollum Reply

4 out of 5 Stars

Available For Purchase On:

Review:

This was a good book. At times I found myself getting a little board by it which is the reason for the 4. I did enjoy the back and forth banter with the characters it made them more believable.

Reviewed by Brave One

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description:

Cullen Duffie, a Highland warrior and charming rogue, is the new chief of Clan MacDonald. Determined to prove he’s not his father, Cullen works to secure his clan against the English. When a woman washes onto Islay’s shores, Cullen protects her from his uncles’ schemes.

Waking up not knowing who she is or where she comes from, Rose is at the mercy of the man who found her. Unable to speak from the swelling around her throat from a rope tether, she learns as much as she can about the new world around her and the powerful, sword-wielding Highlander who has sworn to protect her.

Through dreams and flashes of her past, Rose begins to rebuild her memories. But the more she recalls about the horror she escaped, the more she realizes the jeopardy she is bringing to Islay, Clan MacDonald and the Highlander who has captured her heart.

Other Book In This Series:

Available For Purchase On:

Excerpt:

Taylor held out his hand to Rose, and she touched her fingertips to his palm. “Have we met, Mistress Maclean? Perhaps on Mull?”

Rose shook her head.

“Speak up now,” Captain Thompson said next to Taylor.

“She cannot speak,” Cullen answered for her. “And no, she is visiting from a northern branch of the Maclean clan.”

“Cannot speak?” Captain Thompson said. “How so?”

“An injury,” Cullen said and felt very much like he was digging a bigger hole with each utterance. But there was no going back. He only hoped his explanations came across as genuine.

Captain Thompson stepped closer, his gaze narrowing in on Rose’s neck where the shawl slipped to reveal the scabs. “God’s teeth, Duffie, what have you done to the girl?”

Rose’s hand went immediately to the shawl, tucking it higher around her throat. Beatrice stood completely still beside Errol. He and Broc both wore frowns and rested their hands on the hilts of their swords.

“Mistress?” Captain Taylor said, his hand tugging on her shawl until it slipped away, showing the dark ring around her neck. “You were being hung?”

Broc made a noise through his teeth. “Of course not. We don’t hang Scots visitors.” He left the rest of the boast, about hanging English visitors, unsaid.

“An accident,” Errol said.

During the exchange Rose kept a calm expression, her head held high, as she rearranged the shawl around her abused neck. Was she really as brave as she looked or could he add actor to his uncles’ lists of Rose’s possible sins?

Captain Thompson looked between Errol and Rose. “What type of accident leaves that sort of mark about a woman’s neck?”

The whole exchange was twisting out of control. He needed to cut the conversation and guide the captains out of the garden. “’Tis of a personal nature,” Cullen said. “Now, if you would like that tour, we can start in the kitchens.” He held out his arm to indicate the pathway.

Captain Taylor refused to take his scrutiny from Rose. Even though she cast her eyes to the bricks, she stood firm, transforming to stone like a maiden in Medusa’s garden. “I am not leaving this spot until you or Mistress Maclean tells me how she came by the rope burn around her neck,” Captain Taylor said.

“Aye, what is this personal injury?” Captain Thompson asked, thick lips jutted out.

Cullen exhaled and glanced at Rose. “Forgive me.” She did not move. Did she think he’d give her away, throw her to the English captains? The thought made his fists clench. He looked to Captain Taylor, who’d finally pulled his gaze from her to Cullen, demanding the truth with his stare. “The rope burn was obtained in my bedchamber,” Cullen said.

Broc choked and began to cough into his fist. Beatrice held her fingers pressed to her lips while Errol’s eyes went wide.

“Aye. We were but playing, and the rope caught around her neck,” Cullen finished.

“Playing?” Captain Thompson said, the idiot not catching on. Did he require a sketch drawn?

“In a carnal fashion,” Cullen explained for his benefit.

“He likes to tie the lasses up,” Broc added. “It’s something we don’t tell his mother.”

About The Author:

Heather McCollum is an award-winning historical romance writer. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood of 2009 Golden Heart finalists.

The ancient magic and lush beauty of Great Britain entrances Ms. McCollum’s heart and imagination every time she visits. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her writing ever since her first journey across the pond.

When she is not creating vibrant characters and magical adventures on the page, she is roaring her own battle cry in the war against ovarian cancer. Ms. McCollum slayed the cancer beast and resides with her very own Highland hero, rescued golden retriever and three kids in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest Goodreads |

Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Reveiw: Whiskey Burned, by Jessalyn Jameson Reply

5 out of 5 Stars

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon: http://a.co/9RTz4E9

Review:

Omg I loved this book. Could I give it a 6!!!  There were times I wanted to smack Jake ok a few times. This was an explosive book with twist you will not see coming. Please make another book in this series, Tamryn  and Jacks story was so good I would love to see what happens to the others.

Reviewed by Brave One

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description:

Bar owner Jake Johnson loves women—until he kicks them out of his bed. Hardened by devastating loss, the only thing he lets warm his heart these days is the smooth burn of a good whiskey.

Tamryn Baker wants Jake as much as she wants to run her own business; too bad he can’t see past the pain-in-the-ass little girl she was, or the promise he made to her older brother to look after her.

Jake’s a whiskey burn on a cold winter’s night, but Tamryn wants more than heat between the sheets. Tamryn’s always felt like home, but Jake knows crossing the line with her wouldn’t be safe, regardless of the explosive chemistry building between them.

If they give in, their broken hearts will either fit together perfectly—or their pasts will shred them both.


WHISKEY BURNED is the second book of the Flawed Heroes series; each book is a standalone.

About The Author:

Jessalyn Jameson writes sexy, troubled love stories that break the rules and sit just outside the romance box. Jameson’s couples mess up, break up, make up . . . and fight their way to their HEA.
Nothing worth having comes easily—why should a happy ending be any different?

When she’s not writing, you can usually find her with a drink in hand and a far-off look in her eyes, always dreaming up her next chaotic couple.

Website: http://www.jessalynjameson.com

Twitter: JessalynJameson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jessalynjameson

Review: Shopping for a CEO’s Wife, by Julia Kent Reply

5 out of 5 Stars

Available For Purchase On:

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

Review:

I was not really sure what to think when I was starting this book. I mean does this kind of thing really happen??  However by the end of this book I thought that while Andrew was rich it didn’t mean happy growing up.  This story shows love can work when you come from 2 different sides of $$.  I have not read any of the other story’s but will be trying to go back to read.

Reviewed by Brave One

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

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?

Excerpt:

“You have a remarkable capacity for imagining the strangest worst-case scenarios, Amanda.”

“I have to. I’m in love with you.”

“Hey!”

“Did I or did I not walk miles in an 1800s Regency-era costume after you lost your car keys AND a three-carat diamond ring in Walden Pond?”

“Yes, but — ”

“Did you or did you not have to rescue me, half clothed, from a pool at your brother’s wedding?”

“I am sensing a trend.”

“And did you, or did you not, wake up with me in a Vegas hotel room, thinking for a few hours that somehow we’d both married more than one man?”

Now he just sighs.

Ah.

Victory.

About The Author:

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

 

 

New Release/Review: Free Falling (The Vivienne Series Book 6), by Karen Gordon Reply

5 out of 5 Stars

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon: http://a.co/1OOtuXS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35127128-free-falling

Review:

I loved this book. *Warning…Cliffhanger*. I really am enjoying everything that is happening to Vivienne. All of the men in her life, past, present, and maybe future, make an appearance in this book. I know who I want her to choose, but I’m not telling. The main character Vivienne (Viv) is a strong woman and I just love watching her grow in this series. Ms Gordon has created a fabulous story line and I can’t wait to see where she will take Viv in this next book. This really is a fun series. In order to understand where Vivienne has come from, what she has been through, you need to start with the first book Fearless Flying. I Highly Recommend this book and series.

Reviewed by Epiphany

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description:

She’s juggling a high flying career, two men, and a home life she’s determined not to put on the back burner. Even with all her organizational super powers Vivienne may have taken on too much and it feels like it’s all coming down on her in a crazy free fall. It looks like the only path to peace of mind is total surrender to the whole crazy ride. This is definitely the supreme challenge for Vivienne Ramsey.
Free Fall is the sixth book in The Vivienne Series–seven hilariously fierce and flirty chick lit novellas. If you like inspiring stories filled with relatable sexy, smart women then you’ll love this glass-ceiling smashing, worldwide journey by feminist fiction author, Karen Gordon.
One click your copy now to begin your captivating high-flying adventure and #LiveLikeViv.

Other Books In This Series:

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon: http://a.co/7PiVMBE

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon: http://a.co/jdN3CaH

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon: http://a.co/8XoQiSg

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon: http://a.co/6lRTLQY

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon: http://a.co/0A5cuI1

About The Authors:

Karen Gordon is an indie author who loves supporting strong and sexy women in fiction and in real life.

Born and raised in St. Charles, Missouri, she found her love of extraordinary stories about ordinary places by finding excitement in mundane suburbia. Although she currently writes romance and chick lit, you never know what she might do next. (You’ll never find a woman-hating, bad-boy hero though.)

She currently lives with the loves of her life, three very cool geeky men and one perfect puppy, just outside of.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Gordon/e/B00INH2FAU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7847509.Karen_Gordon

Website: http://www.karengordonauthor.com

Twitter: joiedemidvivre

 

Spotlight: The Sin Bin, by Nikky Kaye Reply

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon: http://a.co/gn9BLAD

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35183104-the-sin-bin?ac=1&from_search=true

Description:

BECKETT
Lucy Solomon showed up to watch a hockey game in a luxury box wearing jeans and a hoodie, and she didn’t give a puck who I was. Now the hotter it gets between us the better my team does on the ice, and I’m getting superstitious. I’m not skating around my feelings–I want to win the playoffs, and I want Lucy. But something’s gotta give.

LUCY
After being in a grad school cave for two years, it made sense that I’d be drawn to a caveman. I melted for Beckett Hallstrom’s brazen moves and boyish charm when we first met, but things exploded when I found out who he really was. Beck wants me to be his good luck charm, but the press is relentless and now my career is in jeopardy. Every competition has a loser and I’m afraid it’s going to be me losing my heart.

Teaser:

Excerpt:

“I’m not letting you walk home alone, Lucy.” Which would be true even if I let her get away.
How long would it take for her to crack and admit she wanted me? When she let out a huff of exasperation, I wiped my hand over my mouth to cover my smirk.
“Beckett Hallstrom.” She unfolded her arms and used them to poke me in the chest.
“Ow.”
With her fingers prodding me, I let her push me back to the concrete wall behind us. Her cheeks flooded with color. She narrowed her hazel eyes, which almost looked the same color as her hair in the glow of the streetlight.
“I want to go to your hotel. I want to go up the elevator with you. I want to go into your room, and then I want to get naked. With you. Is that clear?”
I frowned, scratching the side of my head. “So no dessert?”
“I am dessert, you moron! Seriously, how many pucks did you take to the head?”
At that, I lost it. Shit, this girl made me laugh. First she didn’t know who I was, or had the slightest clue about anything hockey-related, and now she was operating without a filter. I fucking loved it. As soon as she saw my expression, she shoved me hard. Or at least she tried—I had nearly a foot and a hundred pounds on her.
“Argh!”
“Okay, okay. Don’t get your panties in a twist—unless it’s around your ankles.” This time I didn’t bother to hide my grin.
“At this rate, you’ll never see them.”
Before she could roll her eyes, I grabbed her wrists and spun us around, crowding her against the wall. My gaze roamed over her body, but just admiring her wasn’t enough for me. Needing to touch her, I splayed my hands out above her breasts, where her dress framed her upper chest. Gooseflesh broke out against my palms and fingertips as I spread my hands to the sides, seeking out the skinny straps under the shoulders of her little granny sweater.
“Beck…” It was a warning and a plea.
She looked up at me, her mouth a little closer than our previous encounter, thanks to the heels she was wobbling in. Her eyes were wide and dark with want, but also tight with anxiety. I wanted to do whatever I could to relieve her stress.
I heard orgasms were good for that.
“Lucy, just so we’re clear, I am taking you back to my room, where I am going to take that dress off you.”
She nodded. “Then what?” she whispered.
I took a deep breath, tilting my head. “Then, I’m going to see what color your panties are. And to be honest, I haven’t decided what I want to do first—eat your pussy or suck on your gorgeous tits.”
Her gasp surprised me a little. Did she think we were going to play naked board games? Then I realized she wasn’t shocked—she was turned on. As I spoke, my face moved closer to hers but didn’t connect, like opposite magnets. My arousal grew as well, my dick stiff and aching in my slacks. The hotel was only a block or so away, but there had to be a quicker way to get there than just hoofing it.
“Do I get a choice?” she asked.
“Of course.” I straightened, adjusting myself not so discreetly. “You have a choice to come on my cock, my fingers, or in my mouth. The order is up to you. But before tonight is over, I’m going to score that hat trick.”
“Hat trick? Is that some kinky sex thing?” She looked at me suspiciously, clearly ignorant of hockey parlance for scoring three goals in one game.
“You are too fucking cute.”

About The Author:

Nikky Kaye is almost my real name. I’m a former Film professor who likes more than her movies to be black and white. Sadly, the world doesn’t work that way. I have worked with movie stars, Ivy League brainiacs, and the United Nations—all of which means that I’m familiar with ass-kissing, power struggles, greed and faking it. In my spare time I parent 5 year-old twin boys, serve on the board of an independent cinema, and run a medical consulting company.

Twitter  Facebook  Web  Goodreads  Amazon

Review: Hell Will Rise (The Bloodthirst Mafia Series Book One), by Skyla Murphy Reply

5 out of 5 Stars

Cover Artist: Kim Killion

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon: http://a.co/94YpkQh

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33234268-hell-will-rise

Review:

This is the first book I have read by Skyla Murphy and it won’t by the last. I really loved this book. I am a fan of Mafia storylines and this one did not disappoint. I was delighted that this story has some twists and turns away from total blood and gore that some of the books have. I really enjoyed the relationship between Hunter and Tessa an then with Hunter and Shayla. I will have to admit there seems to be a cliffhanger and I for one HATE cliffhangers, but I will be watching for the next book. I recommend this book for those who love Mafia Romance.

Reviewed by Epiphany

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tagline: “When dawn breaks…”

Description:

This was never what I wanted, but fame in the mafia was what I got.

When you see numbers like I can, death becomes a constant threat. It lingers, waiting for you to make one wrong move. One falter. One fatal step out of line. The endless presence will drain you, layering you with guilt and regret. Until one day, you’re covered in blood. And in that moment, you realize… you’ve become the grim reaper yourself.

Nothing could stop me from saving my little sister. Nothing could weaken me… until my boss threw a blonde slave at my feet. Once I found out who she was, I should have wanted her dead.

But I had a bad habit of breaking the rules.

And I loved that she hated me.

Like a stupid man named Romeo, I fell for the daughter of the feuding family. Like an idiot named Juliet, she didn’t try to run.

And when I fell for the fair maiden, I shook a pair of dice. I smoked a cigarette, but she paid the final price. As I offered her a smile, my venom filled her core. I watched her drink my poison as her soul walked out the door.

Teaser:

About The Author:

Skyla Murphy is a highland junkie from West Coast, Canada. When she’s not searching the Rocky Mountains for Sasquatch, she can be found researching every other conspiracy theory known to mankind. Her Yorkshire Terrier is usually clung to her side, but he doesn’t buy into her philosophies much. Therefore, she writes about them instead.

www.skylamurphy.com

www.twitter.com/skyla_murphy

www.instagram.com/skyla_murphy

www.facebook.com/skylamurphyauthor

www.goodreads.com/skyla_murphy

Tour Giveaway:

2 prize packs of books and swag open to US and Canadian Shipping

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc1600/

Cover Reveal/Pre Order: Royally Duched Up (Duched #3), by Xavier Neal Reply

Available For Pre-Order On:

Pre Order ($1.99, will go up on release day):

Description:

Preparing to marry Kellan Kenningston, Prince of Doctenn, Duke of Rockbridge, hasn’t gone as smoothly as Brie Sanders was hoping. However, her fiance who seems hell bent on breaking traditions is equally hell bent on giving her the special day she’s always dreamed of. After their whirlwind wedding and hot honeymoon, the two embark on the adventure known as happily ever after.
It isn’t long before old issues arise, unexpected challenges are presented, and new foes are exposed.
While the royal couple knows their life together isn’t going to be easy, neither is prepared for the heartaches and hardships that lie ahead.
Other Books In This Series:
About The Author:
Xavier Neal lives in Texas where she spends her time getting lost in writing, reading, or fandoms she recently discovered. Whether she is enjoying books or movies, she continues finding inspiration at every turn to bring more exciting stories to life.

Make sure you check me out on Facebook! I love to giveaway FREE books and prizes!

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a thing!

Newsletter link: http://eepurl.com/bYqwLf

Check out this gift card #GIVEAWAY she is hosting to celebrate the cover!

http://bit.ly/2qdhKe9

Review: It Had To Be You (Crystal Valley Book Two), by Melissa Kate Reply

5 out of 5 Stars

Amazon     BN     Kobo

Review:

Ok I have to say I loved this story. I laughed I yelled all at the characters. Would not change I thing! The start was good the middle had me made and the end was great!!

Reviewed by Brave One

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description:

Emma Wyatt has had enough of her ex best friend and his lady killer ways. Gone was the sweet boy of her youth and in rides the womaniser. But this time he has ready gone and done it!

Oliver didn’t expect to be coupled with Emma. She was in an awkward situation and he couldn’t help the words that came out. She should be grateful, he saved her.

Now the whole town knows. And Emma is pissed! She’s going to kill him.

But a heated argument leads to a fiery moment of passion and suddenly the two are fighting an unlikely attraction that neither saw coming. But Oliver has a secret that could tear them apart…

Excerpt:

Emma walked into the Community Center Grand Hall and took in the scene before her. Women of all shapes, sizes, and generations milled around, cocktails in hand. Their hair was perfectly coifed and their makeup impeccable. The pheromones in the air were practically tangible.

A bachelor auction.

How the hell did I get roped into this? she mused.

“Isn’t this exciting?” Her best friend, Audrey, sipped a pink drink with a twirly straw, her eyes wide.

That’s how.

“If you call a bunch of horny women paying for a date with an equally horny man exciting, then no, it’s not particularly thrilling.”

“Oh, stop being Old Mother Hubbard. Besides, it’s for a good cause.”

Emma knew this, of course. The Crystal Valley Homeless Center was an up-and-coming organization that rehabilitated homeless people and helped them get their lives back on track. It wasn’t merely a halfway house. It was a place of refuge that offered people in need a hand up—not just a handout. Emma tried to volunteer at the Center as much as she could, and she knew firsthand how rewarding the experience was. The auction couldn’t have benefited a better cause.

“You and I both know it’s not the auction that’s got your knickers in a twist.” Audrey grinned devilishly as she tossed her dark hair over her shoulder. “It’s that hot hunk of junk over there.”

Emma followed her friend’s gaze to Oliver Kyle—the six-foot-two, sandy-haired Adonis… and the bane of her existence. Emma rolled her eyes, the familiar irritation settling in. “Now why would I let anything Oliver-related have anything to do with my panties?”

“Did I hear my name and your panties in the same sentence?” His deep voice reverberated over her shoulder and sent an unwelcome shiver up her spine.

“Speak of the devil and the demon appears.” She turned to face him and nearly slammed into the rock-solid mass of his chest. When did he get so close to her? Her eyes landed on those firm pecs and traveled up the thick column of his neck, past the deep dimple of his left cheek and into those smug honey-colored eyes.

She squinted at him, hackles raising like an old friend. “Personal space much?”

He leaned in, that overpowering male musk unique to Oliver surrounding her. “Just trying to get closer to those panties, sweetheart.”

The damn jerk had the audacity to wink at her. An actual wink!

“You, Oliver Kyle, are a man-whore and will never get within an inch of my panties.”

“Now, now, Emma, did you just issue a challenge? You know that feistiness just makes me want you more? I like your attitude problem.”

“I don’t have an attitude problem. You have a problem with my attitude. That’s not my problem.”

He gave an arrogant little chuckle.

Emma opened her mouth to unleash some choice words when Audrey stepped between them. “Okay, children, play nice now.”

Oliver reached out and twirled a strand of Emma’s hair around his finger, as though testing its texture. “This isn’t over, Goldilocks. I like a challenge.”

Emma was left to ogle his broad shoulders in his Boss suit before she could formulate a comeback. She fought the urge to stamp her foot like a petulant child.

“Wow, the sexual tension between you two is hot.”

“The only thing hot between us is my palm getting ready to slap his smug face.” Emma grabbed Audrey’s glass and downed her colorful drink.

“Uh huh. And denial is a river in Egypt. What happened between you two anyway?”

“He’s a jackass. A womanizing jackass who is always trying to make a pass at me, but I won’t become a prospect of his.”

“Oh honey, ten minutes with that man and I’m sure he would ruin you for any other man.”

Emma swatted her as they made their way toward a seat near the stage. The cloying smell of cheap perfume of overzealous women lingered in the air, giving Emma an instant headache. Or maybe that was compliments of Mr. Kyle. Audrey didn’t realize how close to home she had hit. Emma and Oliver had been friends during their youth. They had grown up in the same neighborhood and, despite the two-year age gap, had been practically joined at the hip. Till one day, soon after she turned thirteen, he had morphed into someone else and just stopped being her bestie. At first, he had pulled away and Emma had passed it off as part of growing up, but then he stopped being a sweet boy and became a hell-raiser.

Now, at age thirty-two, he was the quintessential bachelor. She wondered if he was up for auction tonight. Not that she would bid on him. No, she had her eye on that sexy fireman, Mike. Besides, she was sure half of Crystal Valley would outbid her even if she did. He was very popular with the ladies.

The lights dimmed suddenly and a hush of anticipation filled the auditorium as hordes of women scrambled to find vacant seats. She could practically feel Audrey bouncing in her chair beside her and although she wouldn’t admit it out loud, it was kind of thrilling. Emma might have a grudge against Oliver Kyle, but she sure did appreciate some of the other fine specimens on display.

The opening beats to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” started and the crowd went wild as each bachelor walked on stage, decked in suits and looking mouth-watering. The song was fitting; most of the singles were from the police or fire department. The hotness kept coming. How did Crystal Valley have so many hot, single men? Emma caught herself using her auction paddle to fan herself. The men did a few steps in sync to the beat, which greatly amused the audience, before standing single file, hands behind their backs, which only emphasized the chiseled chests and lean hips.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the announcer’s deep voice rang out. “Give it up for the bachelors of Crystal Valleeeey!”

The applause was deafening. Emma found herself adding to the roar. The last time she checked, she was still a warm-blooded female.

“Thank you all for coming tonight and supporting this great cause. These gracious bachelors have volunteered their time and… um, services, to raise funds tonight.” A smattering of nervous giggles peppered the hall. He went on to talk more about the cause as the gents backed offstage.

“Without further ado, ladies, let’s get the ball rolling!”

An upbeat track sounded and one of Oliver’s police buddies strolled on stage, all muscle and sex appeal.

“Ooh la la,” Audrey cooed beside her, barely audible over the roar.

The bachelor walked down the ramp. Every woman alongside it tried to get her hands on some part of him, and he was soaking it up. He grinned devilishly as he swung his hips a few times before strutting back to center stage.

“We will start the bidding at one hundred dollars.”

Dozens of paddles went up. And kept going up as the price increased.

“Why don’t you bid on him?” Audrey nudged, her brown eyes dancing.

“He’s not my type.”

“What? Hot and delicious is everyone’s type. Plus, he has handcuffs.”

She did have a point there. Emma was ready to raise her paddle and place a bid when the announcer called a winner. She swung around in her seat to face the blonde mama who was going to enjoy officer sexy pants. She looked drunk off her ass and horny to boot. They were going to have one hell of a night.

The next beat was the ever-popular and brain-grinding “Gangnam Style.” Emma recognized the bachelor as one of the new kids at the fire department. He couldn’t be more than twenty-two, but he was filling out nicely. He slid out in nothing but his tighty-whities and a shirt. Very Tom Cruise–like. Till he started the “Gangnam Style” dance.

Emma threw her head back and howled. His moves were perfectly in sync and the crowd was lapping it up. Despite the ridiculousness of his act, he sold for nearly three thousand dollars. That date was going to be interesting, to say the least.

The strains of Nelly’s “Hot in Here” blared from the speakers and none other than sexy fireman Mike came strolling out in his fireproof suit—sans shirt.

“Hot tamale.” Emma swallowed. “He’s Hercules.” Mike had a golden tan accentuated by glistening oil slathered on his bare torso. His blond hair was messy and his blue eyes mischievous as he played right into crowd, taking off his shoulder straps and wiggling to the beat, teasing and taunting the ladies with overt sexuality.

Emma had to tear her eyes away when she realized that the bidding war had begun and were already a grand up. She raised her paddle but was immediately challenged by a brunette two rows down. Emma needed this. It had been two years since she had a decent date, and small-town gossip had it that Mike was a decent guy. He was stable, honest, faithful, and unbelievably sexy to boot. Emma was a traditional girl and wasn’t comfortable making the first move on a guy, but with the veil of the auction for charity, it was the perfect excuse to match herself up with Mike. She needed to pick up her life after the drama with the mayor’s son.

“We have one thousand five hundred dollars. Do we have one thousand six hundred?”

Emma raised her paddle. And so it continued till the bidding went up to two grand. Fireman Mike was sure noticing her now.

“Going once…”

Emma felt a grin spreading on her face. She was going to win.

“Going twice…”

“Three thousand dollars!” The brunette outbid her. How the hell?

Before Emma could recover, the announcer slammed his gavel and fireman Mike was gone, snatched from her clutches.

Audrey giggled beside her. “Well, that was entertaining.”

Emma huffed. “How embarrassing! Now everyone knows I got a thing for the fireman god.”

“Trust me. Nobody is noticing anything except the male hotness here tonight.”

“I hope so.” She signaled the waiter for another cocktail. She needed a drink to overcome the mortification.

The evening passed with suitor after suitor gracing the stage, and each time the adoration never dimmed. From scantily clad to suave, funny to serious, the men were different in their own right. Yet none of the others appealed to her enough to raise her paddle again.

She was about to call it a night when the emcee announced the last bid for the night. A fun tune sounded and Emma sat up, wondering who would be gracing the stage. She felt her jaw go slack when the thorn in her side came out on stage, still in his Boss suit. His shirt was unbuttoned beneath his suit jacket, and the peekaboo of his bronze torso flirted with every woman in the auditorium. His mirrored aviators sat on the bridge of his nose, shielding what she was sure was a sex-promised gaze. His sandy hair was mussed up like he had run his hands through it, or more likely some woman had. His pants curved his strong buttocks, emphasizing the muscle and strength. Emma felt her throat go dry. The music played a sexy tune and, almost in slow motion, Oliver put his hand in his pants pocket, moving aside his coat and shirt and revealing an honest-to-God eight-pack.

The crowd went wild. Emma coughed. When the hell did he get those? She didn’t even know eight-packs existed, and here he was baring those washboard abs like he was born with them. His lips tilted in a sexy grin, revealing that naughty dimple.

“Ladies and gentlemen, let’s start the bidding at one hundred dollars!”

Paddles went up all around the room. Emma took a sweep through at the faces that could potentially be sharing Oliver’s bed tonight. Just about everyone bid, including the more vibrant male variety of Crystal Valley. Emma smiled at that, knowing that would throw the smug playboy for a loop.

The response was loud. The bidding was fast and quick, and already up to three thousand dollars. Mr. Kyle was clearly in demand. It looked like Malibu Barbie was going to win him after all.

“Five thousand dollars!”

The crowd was stunned into silence at the sudden bid. The announcer called it. And looked right at Emma.

Huh?

She turned to Audrey, then noticed that she had grabbed Emma’s arm, paddle in hand, and bid. Audrey grinned widely and shrugged nonchalantly.

Emma turned back to the stage, her face draining of color as she stared at Oliver, who looked like the Cheshire cat.

“What have you done?” she whispered.


About the Author:

Melissa Kate is a self-confessed book-a-holic who lives in a small town along the coast in sunny South Africa. She writes contemporary romance with quirky characters and witty banter; a true romantic at heart, she loves the moment of falling in love. Her pet Beagle and maniacal lovebird keep her company while writing and often inspire senseless moments in her stories.

When she’s not furiously tapping away on her laptop, Melissa can be found laughing away with her husband (who happens to be her pre-school sweetheart… you just know there’s a story there) or scouring online stores for additions to her ever growing stiletto collection (ehm addiction).

She balances her day job and conjuring up new romantic tales with a local personal blog with arb ramblings about her life in Durban.

http://www.melissakatebooks.com/

https://twitter.com/MelissaKate_1

https://www.facebook.com/melissakatebooks