#ReleaseTour “Dex (O’Sullivan Brothers Book 3)” by Rie Warren

AVAILABLE NOW!

Dex by Rie Warren

Dex is book 3 in the O’Sullivan Brothers Irish mafia series.

No cliffhangers.
No cheating.
Includes sizzling hot scenes.
Can be read as a standalone.

#Dex #RieWarren

$0.99 preorder/first week of release. Kindle Unlimited

Buy 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆 → https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B54WN8JD

𝗦𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗸→ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08YY9VTDS

𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗯𝘂𝗯: https://www.bookbub.com/books/dex-dark-irish-mafia-romance-o-sullivan-brothers-book-3-by-rie-warren

𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘀: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61352300-dex

 

Blurb

DEX
She’s a bossy blue-blooded Bostonian. I’m a hardened mafia man. There’s no friggin’ way our two worlds should collide, but when they do . . . BOOM, CRASH, DESIRE.

Now it’s just my bad freakin’ luck I can’t keep my mind off the snobby babe’s banging body and beautiful eyes. When she runs into trouble and I’m there to rescue her, I’m ready to put my filthy fantasies into action whether she likes it or not.

I get to introduce the prim and proper woman to the heights of wild lust. But the one thing I really lord over her is a big fat dirty secret her dear daddy has kept from her for years.

Yeah, this is gonna be fun.

IVY
God, I could just scream. No man has ever undermined my composure as quickly as Declan “Dex” O’Sullivan.

It’s just my bad luck that I need his help when I come under attack. I find out then he’s much more than just a pain in my backside; he is seriously bad news. But he’s also breathtakingly attractive with his bad boy aura.

He’s conceited, crude, crass . . . and determined to lay claim over me.

When I realize I’ve got more in common with Dex than I ever thought possible, it’s all downhill from there. I’m about to become a pawn in a game of mafias and one more man I never considered an enemy before. Now that my life is on the line, can Dex save me one more time?

 

 

Meet the Author

Badass, sassafras Rie Warren is an OG Amazon All Star author of Bad Boy books and MC romance. She delivers five-star sex, suspense, and the best banter around. Her stories are one hundred percent original, do not contain fluffy plots or virgin brides, and wring every last emotion from readers to leave them with a satisfied smile. Rie’s tough alpha males are never brought to heel, but are instead healed by the feisty femme fatale of their perfect match.
She grew up in Maine, went to college in Iowa (Iowa, what?), lived in Scotland, and married in Englishman. In true roundabout fashion, they came back to the States, settled in South Carolina’s lowcountry, putting down southern roots and pursuing their arty endeavors. Tale spinner and character diviner, Rie is a lover of sleep, wine, and rude memes often involving either Disney characters or Winnie the Pooh. She is raising two teen daughters along with an entire brain full of unruly characters.

Rough-talking alpha men? Rie has that on tap.
Stubborn sassy heroines? You bet.
Smoldering sex scenes that’ll set your Kindle on fire? Check, check, check.

Keep a fan handy, you’ll need it.

https://www.facebook.com/RieWarrenRomance

www.riewarren.com

https://www.instagram.com/riewarrenwrites/

https://twitter.com/RieWrites

 

 

#ReleaseBlitz “To Trust (Evergreen Point, Book 2)” by Rasha Selim

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Evergreen Point, Book 2

Romance, Contemporary Romance

Date Published: August 8, 2022

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

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Life was good…until a one-night stand changed everything.

Morgan Anderson, a custom bike builder, spent years forging an impassive existence and cultivating a guarded heart. He perfected an indifference no one outside his family could penetrate. Little did he know that giving in to temptation would change the trajectory of what he valued most. But putting aside his steadfast hold on his emotions might be his very undoing.

Graphic designer and marketing CEO, Ann Marie Tosto vowed never to let love tear her down again. After facing deep disappointment and betrayal, she turned her back on relationships. She found peace in her success and strength in her autonomy. Yet when history repeats itself, she has to decide if her independence or trusting another person is more important.

When love comes knocking, can Morgan and Ann Marie find the courage to answer?

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Other Books in the Evergreen Point Series:

To Honor

Evergreen Point, Book 1

Firefighter Pax Anderson has a job he loves, a family he cherishes, and a code of conduct he lives by. He should be on top of the world, but he’s not. The one thing that would make his life perfect—the woman of his dreams—is his brother’s best friend…and off limits.

Susan Hayes has had a crush on Pax for years, but after her mother’s death, the Andersons became her surrogate family and she won’t risk her relationship with them. Her thriving animal shelter helps keep her thoughts off Pax, but when he chooses her shelter for a fundraising event, her resolve goes up in smoke.

When a dangerous force threatens to drive them apart, Susan and Pax are put to the ultimate test.

Amazon 

B&N

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

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About the Author

Rasha Selim was born in Cairo, Egypt, and was raised in both Cairo and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She moved to the U.S. to attend college and pursue a career as a Forensic Psychologist. She left criminology behind to become the mother of three wonderfully active boys.

Rasha has spent her life engaged with books and as stories of her own began to develop she knew that
she had to get them down in print. She is extremely excited to be sharing her stories with the world. Rasha lives in upstate New York where she is blessed to be surrounded by her loving and supportive husband, children, great friends and incredible books.

Contact Links

Website

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BookBuzz

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Purchase Links

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RABT Book Tours & PR

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#ReleaseTour “Lured to Paradise” by Macy Butler

Lured to Paradise by Macy Butler

Release Date: 26th July

Genre: a best-friend’s-brother steamy contemporary romance, standalone

AVAILABLE NOW!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3F0uhb6

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3v8AQot

#LuredtoParadise #MacyButler #NewRelease #Romance #BareNakedWords

Blurb
Violet Monroe chose life on a tiny island to get as far away from her cheating ex and her meddling family as she could.
She didn’t need them, or anyone.
Especially not Hayden Kincaid.
Bouncing from city to city with a girl in every one, he was a playboy like all the rest.

And running from memories of ghosts in his past, his baggage was way over the weight limit.

Worse, he was Violet’s best friend’s brother.

Total kryptonite.

Meet the Author
Macy is a foul-mouthed tennis addict who loves to write about sassy heroines and the heroes that win their hearts from her home in the Florida Keys. Her passion is taking readers deep into the experience of paradise that she is privileged to live.

The Clock is ticking!

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Don’t let the time get away from you! Grab some of these great Love Africa Press titles for 50% off before July ends!

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Once upon a time, two monarchs from different kingdoms decide to switch their adult daughters with the hope of curbing their inherent character flaws.

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Fading Face book cover99c

His ambition and the lure of distant opportunities threatens to drive a wedge between them. Soon she could become just a fading face in his memories. Is he willing to give up his old love for new fortunes?

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Saving Her Guard book cover99c

Upstanding royal bodyguard Kojo’s primary job is to protect the prime princess of Bagumi from danger. So, when his charge vanishes from her star-studded party at a Lagos hotel, he knows his life won’t be worth living if he doesn’t find her in one piece.

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Note Worthy book cover1.49

Six days to the music festival that will make her career as an events planner, Kitty’s meticulously scheduled life is thrown into chaos by the reappearance of charming but irresponsible Wezi, her deceased brother’s best friend.

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Betting on Love book cover1.49

Bass is not willing to walk away. Can he convince Binta to bet on their love?

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For more Love Africa Press releases on sale this month, click here, but don’t delay! The clock is ticking!

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#CoverReveal “How to Love An Ogre (Island Girls: 3 Sisters in Mauritius #2)” by Zee Monodee

cover reveal

How to Love An Ogre (Island Girls: 3 Sisters in Mauritius #2)

by Zee Monodee

Contemporary Romance

Releasing July 29th!

BLURB:
Youngest of the Hemant sister trio, Diya Hemant, has dedicated much of her life to finding Prince Charming. Of course, a girl’s got to kiss a few frogs along the way, right? Until her path crosses that of Trent Garrison, a British widower with two young sons. Surly Trent reminds her of the worst kind of ogre, and then life throws another man her way, one who embodies Mr Right for this modern-day princess. But appearances can be deceptive. Will Diya let her pride and prejudices stand in the path of true happiness?

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GIVEAWAY!

For the chance to receive a $5 Amazon gift card or ₦2000 Okadabooks top-up, do this:
Add the book to your Goodreads to-read list, and
Leave a comment here with your Goodreads name
A winner will be chosen next week. Entrants must be 18 years old.

#New “Rivals at Love Creek (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Book 1)” by Michelle Lindo-Rice

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Her biggest rival

Is also her greatest temptation…

Shanna Jacobs has ambitions to be the next superintendent. But when a cheating scandal rocks her school, she’s put under the supervision of her sexy ex, Lynx Harrington. Also a school principal, Lynx has his eye on the same job. Working to clear an accused cheater’s name—albeit a beautiful one—only complicates the plan. But their attraction is undeniable. And Shanna’s kisses are a perfect ten. Maybe their fledgling partnership will make the grade after all?

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Book 1: Rivals at Love Creek
Book 2: Cinderella’s Last Stand

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#BookTour “Anything But Love (California Hearts, Book 2)” by Dalia Dupris

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California Hearts, Book 2

Contemporary Romance

Date Published: 06-15-2022

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

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Known as the anything but love girl, Morgan Hart has two passions, travelling and having fun. After reassuring her French lover, Marcel, that their relationship will resume unchanged when she returns, she’s ready to begin her Cape Town adventure, only to find that her friend Amber is a no-show at the airport, and Morgan’s stuck with having to travel solo, that is, until she falls into the lap of widowed single father, Dakar Ngosi, whose good looks and charm have her questioning her resolve to living life unattached and carefree.

Dr. Ngosi is beyond annoyed when a seemingly inebriated Morgan slumps down beside him in the airport lounge where he’s waiting with his sister for their flight. When his sister volunteers him to show the lovely American the sites of their country, his irritation grows, but he soon discovers that Morgan is as enticing as she is beautiful, and he must decide if he’ll stick to his vow to never love again or pursue the American woman whose captured his heart.

~~~

EXCERPT

Chapter 1

Lovers & Friends

“We stayed in bed for too long.” Panicked, I peer at my watch for the tenth time in the last fifteen minutes before frowning at Marcel’s profile. His wavy brown hair is uncombed, tufts of it stand straight up in the back, and a stubble of new growth darkens his chin while his periwinkle blue eyes stay focused on the predictably slow-moving Los Angeles traffic. “I cannot miss this flight.” Even at five o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, it’s a sea of wall-to-wall cars. Squirming in my seat and growing more anxious by the minute, I tense, certain that we should have left an hour ago.

“Amber is probably at the airport already.”

Blowing out a puff of air, I know that he’s not the only one who looks like he just crawled out of bed after a wild night between the sheets. I barely had time to shower and grab my suitcases before shoving him out the front door.

“I still can’t believe she decided to join me. Claire and Chris won’t believe that  I’m the one running late today.”

Claire, Chris, and Amber are my best friends from high school. Claire’s as dependable as they come, with a solid marriage to her accountant husband, Craig, and two adorable children. Chris is married to Reggie.

Unfortunately, Amber’s relationship with Derrick is drama-filled. Hopefully, this vacation will help her come to her senses, and she’ll figure out that she deserves more than his lies and manipulations.

“Vous n’avez rien à craindre.” Glancing in my direction with a wicked sparkle in his eyes, Marcel winks before refocusing on the road.

“What does that mean?” Folding my arms, I send him a perturbed glare. It’s unfair of him to use the beauty of his native language against me. He knows I’m a sucker for accents—that his seductive utterances weaken my resolve to be irritated.

“You have nothing to worry about.” He shakes his head and smiles. “That, ma cherie, is the translation.”

“Yes, I do.” I rub my hands together. “Please stop using French. It’s a distraction.”

“Je suis désolé.” His deep laughter fills the car.

“What’s so funny?” I rub my hands together harder. If my palms were sticks, they would have already caught on fire. They get itchy when I’m stressed, so I tuck my fingers under my thighs, before my hands are raw.

“Hmm. I remember last night and earlier today.

You weren’t complaining about my French—or anything else.” Removing his hand from the steering wheel, he gently squeezes my thigh. “As for us running late, you are to blame as much as me. When a woman cries out for more, I have a duty to give her what she wants.”

“Okay.” An image of us tangled in the sheets and me gasping out urgent demands flashes in my memory.

“You’ve made your point.”

The man definitely knows his way around a woman’s body. So much so that I had lost track of time as we made love twice this afternoon, totally ignoring my two unpacked suitcases. What was I thinking? Oh, right — I wasn’t. I had allowed myself to be swept up in pure sensual pleasure while the clock kept ticking, and now, here I am, mad at myself for, once again, allowing desire to win out over logic. If only I were more practical like my older sister, Elaine. She’d never lose track of time by succumbing to passion. However, now that she’s married and on her honeymoon, I hope that’s exactly what she’s doing.

Smiling at the thought, I run a finger through my short cap of curls and peer out the window, trying to gage how long it will take to arrive at LAX.

Marcel has been driving his new toy—a candy-apple-red convertible sports car—for over two hours from my small hometown of Santa Lorena, which is sixty-five miles north of Los Angeles. What started out as a beautiful scenic drive overlooking the cresting white waves of the Pacific dramatically altered as we made our way through Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Malibu. At some point, we veered onto the six-lane 405 freeway, where we encountered a sea of slow-moving vehicles. Whenever there is a tornado or hurricane anywhere in the country, more people eagerly and understandably flock to our beach-lined shores. I can’t blame them.

Sighing loudly, I wonder why they all have to be on the road today.

“You have nothing to worry about.” Marcel grasps my hand and gives it what I expect is meant to be a reassuring kiss. “We will make your flight.” He points to a large green sign that spans across the congested lanes. “Culver City, home to the first movie studio.” He gestures to the sign. “It says we are only six miles from the airport.”

“Yes, but six miles in this city is the equivalent of twenty miles anywhere else.”

~~~

About the Author

Dalia Dupris has been a book lover as long as she can remember. She has won two EMMA awards and is a Spectrum Grant recipient.

Dalia’s degrees in English Literature and Social Work, in addition to years of experience as a licensed therapist, contribute to her creation of relatable and complex characters.

In her spare time, she enjoys bike riding with her husband, and hiking with her daughter. She loves hearing from her readers.

To learn more about Dalia and her books check out http://www.daliadupris.com and https://linktr.ee/DaliasBooks.

Contact Links

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 Purchase Links

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RABT Book Tours & PR

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#NEW “Sweeter Than Honey (Honey Hill Book 2)” by Joy Avery

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A talented baker and a small-town sheriff forced into a fake relationship decide whether to take a chance on love in this delectable romance from Joy Avery.

Baker extraordinaire Rylee Harris has a recipe for everything—except love. It’s been five years since she lost her husband, but romance is still a struggle for Rylee. In her small hamlet of Honey Hill, North Carolina, Rylee knows she’ll be the talk of the town when she finds someone new.

To ease her mother’s worries about her love life, Rylee impulsively invents a fake relationship with the only man who’s caught her eye: the town sheriff, Canten Barnes. It’s supposed to be a secret, but secrets don’t last long in Honey Hill. One bit of gossip leads to another, and soon the whole town thinks Rylee and Canten are an item.

As Rylee and Canten embark on a make-believe relationship to save face, they slowly realize that their feelings for each other aren’t fake at all. Can Rylee and Canten keep the charade going—or will the town’s prized baker and respected lawman take a real chance on love?

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon

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#ReleaseBlitz “Smolder (Steel Brothers Saga)” by Helen Hardt

 

Smolder by Helen Hardt

(Steel Brothers Saga)

AVAILABLE NOW!

#Smolder #HelenHardt #barenakedwords #releaseblitz #contemporaryromance #steelbrothers #waterhousepress

 

Blurb

She’s on the rebound, and he’s on the prowl.

Aurora “Rory” Pike gave up her dream of becoming an opera superstar long ago. Now she’s content to teach music to the children of Snow Creek while helping her family recover from the wildfire that devastated them. After a messy breakup and a ghost from the past resurfacing, she’s examining her priorities…and they don’t include a passionate kiss from womanizer Brock Steel.

Brock Steel just watched his skirt-chasing mentor—his cousin Donny—give up his playboy ways and fall hard for Callie Pike, sister of Rory Pike, the most beautiful woman in Snow Creek. Rory just ended a relationship, and Brock makes sure he’s there to pick up the pieces. Physically, that is. Emotionally? Brock doesn’t do emotion.

Chemistry between Brock and Rory proves to be hotter than either of them imagined, and it provides a welcome respite, especially for Brock, who’s dealing with a conundrum. As bits and pieces of seemingly unrelated evidence emerge, he must come to terms with the fact that his renowned family may not be the paragon he thought they were.

 

Meet the Author

#1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Helen Hardt’s passion for the written word began with the books her mother read to her at bedtime. She wrote her first story at age six and hasn’t stopped since. In addition to being an award winning author of contemporary and historical romance and erotica, she’s a mother, a black belt in Taekwondo, a grammar geek, an appreciator of fine red wine, and a lover of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. She writes from her home in Colorado, where she lives with her family. Helen loves to hear from readers.

https://www.facebook.com/HelenHardt/

https://twitter.com/helenhardt

Buy Links for all Helen’s Books: http://www.helenhardt.com/book/

 

#Excerpt “Calla’s Candy (The Flowers of Avenel Book 5)” by Karen Tjebben

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The Flowers of Avenel  Book 5

Contemporary Romance

Date Published: 05-31-2022

 

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Sugar flows through Calla Taylor’s veins, so owning her own candy shop is her dream come true. She has independence and the chance to surround herself with her passion… candy. But life in Avenel, a small island town, has its challenges. The summer’s hurricane season hit her hard, and now that winter has begun, she’s not sure Calla’s Candy can hold out until the warmer temperatures lure tourists back to the beaches.

Ash Singh has it all: good looks, a charming personality, and a pile of money that just continues to grow. He also has a broken heart. Because of the hellish way his last relationship ended, he wasn’t sure he could ever love again. But meeting Calla changed everything. It started small. When she smiled, the jagged edges of his heart found their match and sealed together. Her laugh revived a pulse that sent need and desire through his
soul. But when he held her in his arms as they danced, he felt something he hadn’t felt in a long time. Hope.

But one thoughtless act cuts Calla to the core and threatens the hope that took root in Ash’s soul. He sets out to not only save his relationship with Calla, but he vows to save Calla’s Candy too.

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EXCERPT

Ash’s stomach grumbled again as he made his way towards the café on the other side of the lobby. He’d debated getting room service, but he wanted to stretch his legs. He’d worked in his suite all day, going over the numbers for potential companies that Singhular Venture Capital could fund.

As he stepped up to the vacant hostess stand, he spotted the hostess coming his way. She was a young woman in her twenties. She graced him with a smile as she hustled towards him.

“Good evening, Mr. Singh,” Cherie Berry said as she stepped behind the hostess stand. She usually worked in the 5-star hotel’s Hope’s Garden Restaurant on the other side of the lobby, but a friend called in sick. She volunteered to cover for her because she never turned down the chance to earn money.

“Good evening, Ms. Cherie,” Ash replied after reading her name tag. Some people would be surprised to have strangers automatically know their name, but not him. He learned that when someone pays over a thousand dollars a night at a resort, the resort makes sure the staff recognizes that guest’s face to ensure the very highest caliber treatment.

Cherie’s heart raced a little when he said her name. Ashwin Singh was handsome and well mannered. And single. She wouldn’t mind finding a man from among the crème de la crème of society. What would it be like to be a guest of the posh hotel instead of a worker?

“Are you dining alone or waiting for someone?” Cherie asked. She set her hand on the stack of menus and waited to hear how many to grab.

“Ah, just myself.” He glanced around the café. Most of the tables were occupied.

“Please, follow me,” Cherie said, picking up a menu.

Ash followed Cherie, but then he spotted Calla. The raven-haired beauty with alabaster skin was laughing with a man on the other side of the room. He was surprised at the range of emotions that flooded him.

His first thought was how lucky he was to spot her. He’d been thinking about her all week, hoping that their paths would cross again so he could continue to heal the fissure between them. Then jealousy twisted his heart. She wasn’t with a friend. She was with a man. And she was laughing with him, slathering him with giggles and smiles. Women liked men who made them feel good, and it was apparent that this man was making Calla feel good.

Ash cleared his throat and asked softly, “Excuse me, Ms. Cherie, is it possible to sit there?” He pointed to a small table for two along the window that looked out at the ocean. It would also give him a good view of Calla.

“Of course,” Cherie gave him a smile. She shifted directions and led him to the table that he’d pointed out.

Ash pulled out the chair and sat so Calla was in his direct line of sight. Cherie handed him a menu and then walked away.

Ash wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or not. He would happily watch her all night, revel in her smile, but was he torturing himself? Her smiles weren’t for him. They were for the man sitting across from her.

Who was that man? He hadn’t accompanied her to the wedding. Calla didn’t seem like the kind of girl to cheat on a boyfriend. At least he hoped not. Could he be a gay friend? A man who had a host of female friends but was romantic with none of them.

When the waitress arrived, he glanced at the menu and ordered a Monte Cristo sandwich After handing her the menu, she hustled off.

Ash intertwined his fingers and set his hands on the table in front of him. He couldn’t take his eyes off of Calla, but he also didn’t want to look like a creepy stalker. He forced himself to grab his cell and cradle it on the table in front of him. He scanned through the business news while darting glances in her direction.

When the waitress set his sandwich in front of him, he noticed that Calla was eating the same sandwich. He smiled at that. This was another thing they had in common.

While he finished his sandwich, the waitress set a large slice of chocolate cake in the middle of Calla’s table. Ash cringed as she slid her fork into the cake and fed the man the first bite. Bile churned in Ash’s stomach as the man’s lips covered the morsel and she pulled the fork from his mouth.

Ash immediately lost his appetite. He wanted to be the man she was flirting with, the man she was romantically feeding, the man she would go home with. He wasn’t sure how much more of watching her on a date with another man he could handle. He just knew that he couldn’t take much more.

Being a man of action, Ash stood. The alpha within him demanded that he speak with her. See if there was any spark in her eye when they spoke. He prayed that her gaze, a sparkle in her eyes would offer him hope? The gentleman within him argued that he needed to respect her space. She was not his, therefore he didn’t have the right interrupt her date.

He knew that the polite thing to do would be to leave her alone, but the alpha in him won the internal struggle within him.

He strode towards her, weaving between the tables of diners, with his eyes glued to her. In some weird way, he prayed that if he could speak with her, that she’d realize that she wanted him.

Halfway to her table, his heart dropped out of his chest as she leaned across the table and let the man feed her a bite of chocolate cake. With her eyes closed in sublime pleasure and the moan of appreciation she purred as the man withdrew the fork, Ash nearly turned around. But he stayed the course.

He didn’t run from a challenge.

Maybe it was his imagination, but as he neared, he could feel the sexual energy between the couple as they shared that cake. Between their body language, the smiles, and eye-contact, they were oblivious to anyone else around them. They were completely absorbed in each other.

This was not a good sign.

Ash came to a stop beside their table and cleared his throat casually to politely interrupt their moment. Then he said, “Hi, Calla. It’s good to see you.” He glanced at the man who sat across from her, gave a polite nod and said, “Hello.”

Calla startled when Ash’s deep voice resonated over her skin. She was thankful that she wore long sleeves so he wouldn’t see the goose bumps his velvet voice caused to dance over her skin. As much as she was enjoying Trent, the sight of Ash standing beside her jolted her. The man was one of the handsomest men she’d ever seen, including Hollywood heartthrobs. It shouldn’t surprise her that his presence affected her. But then the memory of his disrespectful words tickled her ears and she regained her composure.

“Hi,” she said. She leaned back in her seat. Her eyes widened as she glanced between the two handsome men. The moment suddenly felt awkward. The air was heavy between them.

She motioned towards Ash and said, “Trent, this is Ash. Ash, this is Trent. Trent and I went to school together.”

The men gave each other a firm head nod and grunted their hellos as they sized up their competition. Ash noted that she didn’t introduce the man with a romantic title. Not even a ‘good friend’. That made him smile.

“What are you doing here?” she asked Ash. Her brow crinkled in curiosity. “I thought you were back in Raleigh.”

“I was, but I look at houses tomorrow with the realtor.”

“Hm,” she responded. His presence was affecting her in ways she hadn’t expected. Her heart rate ticked up, a flushed heat covered her, and she felt her heart warming to Ash.

She needed Ash to leave for Trent’s sake. She stabbed the tines of her fork into the cake and pulled off another bite. “Good luck with that. I hope you find something that you like.” She slid the fork into her mouth and savored the bite.

She really didn’t want to talk to Ash. And despite her conflicted feelings, she didn’t want him to ruin her date with Trent. As she chewed, she hoped Ash would take the hint and let them enjoy their cake in peace.

Ash nodded politely at them and said, “I didn’t mean to interrupt your dinner.” He purposely didn’t use the word ‘date’. “I just wanted to say hi.” His gaze went to Trent. “It was nice meeting you. I’m sure I’ll see you around once I move here.”

Calla gave him an awkward wave and then mumbled, “Bye,” with her hand covering her mouth full of cake.

Trent nodded once and said, “See you around.”

Ash wasn’t sure how to read their short interaction. She and Trent were friendly to him, but when Calla started eating her cake, he knew it was time for him to hit the road. And Trent definitely wanted to be a lot more than friends with Calla.

Ash stopped at the hostess station. Cherie instantly set down her pencil and gave him her full attention.

“I hope your meal was delicious,” Cherie said. “Is there anything else I can do for you, Mr. Singh?”

Ash began, “My meal was fabulous, thank you. I would like you to add that couple’s bill to my room.” He pointed out Calla and Trent. “No need to tell them who paid. You can just tell them that a friend took care of it.”

“Of course, sir,” Cherie replied. “Have a good evening.”

Ash’s Monte Cristo sandwich was heavy in his stomach as he cut through the lobby towards the elevators. He hoped buying their dinner would be counted as a plus in her book. From her indifference towards him, even if she understood why he behaved the way he did at the reception, she wasn’t interested in him. He wasn’t sure that he could blame her.

~~~

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About the Author

Karen Tjebben lives in central Georgia with her wonderful husband and twin daughters.

She loves traveling the world. Whether it’s to the heights of Yosemite, the white sands of the Caribbean, or even Down Under, she’s always ready to pack a bag in search of inspiration.

She enjoys creating worlds filled with unique characters that will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers.

 

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