Friday, October 28, 2022

Hate, Rinse, Repeat Book Blutz


Hate, Rinse, Repeat
Melanie Summers
(A Gamble on Love Mom-Com, #3)
Publication date: October 28th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Christmas is a time for hate…

Maisy Moore is not looking forward to the holiday season. As owner of the only hair salon in Gamble, Alaska, she’ll be run off her feet helping her clients get dolled up for Christmas and New Years Eve parties. Parties she’ll never be invited to.

But that’s not the worst of it. As a single mom, she knows she still won’t be able to give her seven-year-old son, Jack, the kind of magical Christmas his classmates get. Telling him how much she loves him will only get a kid that age so far. If only she could give him what he really wants—to know who his dad is.

The last thing Maisy needs is for NHL star Chase Evans to come waltzing back into town like he’s God’s gift to women. But that’s exactly what Chase does.

After a taking a crosscheck from behind, Chase’s season is over. Instead of scoring goals, he’s recovering from shoulder surgery, and according to his mother, there’s no better place to recover than home. Because let’s face it, basking in the glow of local adoration won’t be too bad. There are no fans quite like hometown fans.

The last thing Chase expects is to find Maisy Moore still single. He decides to see if maybe they could rekindle their brief romance that occurred the night of their ten-year high school reunion. But when he tries to talk to her, he discovers Maisy’s feelings of lust have turned to loathing. And he’s determined to find out why.

Will Maisy manage to keep the identity of her son a secret? Will there be a holiday miracle that will reunite two hard-headed lovers? Will the BOGO special on shampoo and conditioner be a hit?

Find out in the deliciously funny and ridiculously romantic final installment of the Love is a Gamble Mom-Com Series.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


Childhood can be hard at the best of times. But when your name rhymes with crazy, lazy, hazy, daisy, and Swayze—as in Patrick—it’s worse than you can imagine. Here are a few phrases I heard ad nauseum during my formative years:

“It’s crazy Maisy with the lazy eye!” Corrective glasses fixed the eye, but there’s no coming back from such an abysmal start to your school years. Kind of like if you wore a body brace in middle school, you will always be the girl who wore the body brace in middle school. And if you wore a body brace and had a lazy eye? It was no picnic, let me tell you.

An actual allergy to allergy medication—you can’t make this stuff up—was to blame for my third-grade teacher often complaining, “Maisy was a little hazy today.”

I have Dr. Seuss to thank for, “It’s Daisy Head Maisy!” That’s right, his first posthumous book was gunning for me. I turned down free tickets to Seussical (the musical) because of it.

Finally, my least favorite and most often heard—thank you, Chase Evans—“Maisy Swayzeee, wassup?!” This one was often accompanied by, “Nobody puts Maisy in the corner.”

Being that I live in the town where I grew up, I’m often reminded of my past nicknames. Owning the only hair salon in Gamble, Alaska, means old classmates and their mothers are always hanging around (and bringing their hilarious memories of me with them—Remember that time your back brace got caught in the monkey bars?).

If having a challenging start to life wasn’t enough, I’ve made one or two questionable decisions along the way that have added to my troubles. The first being that the father of my son does not know he’s the father of my son.

I know, I know, “secret baby” is by far the worst romance trope. As romance novels are my only social life, I read a ton of them. And even before I got pregnant with Jack, I always passed on the secret baby ones. I mean, who keeps a secret that big?

Short answer—me. But I have my reasons. More on that later because I’ve got much bigger problems these days.

Author Bio:

Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries -- not always in that order.

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers' Favorite Awards, 2017.

Silver medal winner at the International Readers' Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

Author links
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.

In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally - then she'll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for 'K' Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn't require makeup and/or nylons).

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she's not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken 'from above'. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something--more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.

Author links
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Mother of The River Cover Reveal


Today Emily McPherson and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for MOTHER OF THE RIVER the first book in her new YA Fantasy series which releases March 7, 2023! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!


On to the reveal!

About The Book:

Title: MOTHER OF THE RIVER (Protectors #1)

Author: Emily McPherson

Pub. Date: March 7, 2023

Publisher: Eyebright Books

Formats:  Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo


Inspired by traditional Irish Mythology, Mother of the River tells the story of a 17 year old girl in search of her missing mother when she stumbles upon a forgotten legend.

Ianthe was only six years old when her mother vanished and the strange statue appeared in the river near her home. Now, eleven years later, the statue stands as a memorial and a place where Ianthe often visits to tell her mother about her life. But when an old acquaintance returns to town and suggests the statue isn't just a statue, the presence of a mythical creature comes into question, and Ianthe begins to wonder what really happened all those years ago.

With her best friend Fintan by her side, Ianthe searches for a lost legend and discovers fantastical dangers, family secrets, and the magic of Ireland. But finding the myth may not be enough to mend the past. And finding the truth just may threaten her future.

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far- Irish proverb

Book Teaser Trailer:

@therealemilymcpherson #booktok #youngadultbooks #fantasybooks #femaleprotagonist #irishmythology #motheroftheriver ♬ Fallen down - Slowed - 「Incørrect」


Mother of the River, chapter two excerpt

Ianthe slid a cup and scone to her side of the small table and slathered butter onto the bread while Dubheasa eyed her carefully.

“Well then,” Dubheasa said, thankfully moving on to a new topic, “when did we last see each other, dear? Do you remember?”

“Um.” Ianthe paused to take a bite of her scone. “Two summers ago, I think.”

“And has much changed since then?” Dubheasa asked, stirring cream into her tea.

“Besides growing a bit taller, nothing at all.”

“Well, I’m glad to see you’re still here.”

“Why wouldn’t I be here?”

Dubheasa sipped her tea and waited for Ianthe to come to some sort of conclusion, but Ianthe stared back, lost as ever.

“Well, the Scréch Sídhe, of course,” Dubheasa finally said.

Ianthe couldn’t help but subtly roll her eyes, feeling a sliver of annoyance in her gut.

“Oh, right. Of course,” she said flatly. “How could I forget.”

“You still don’t believe in the Sídhe, do you?” Dubheasa asked, though she already knew the answer.

“No, I must admit. I don’t.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, why is that?”

“You told me the Scréch Sídhe would come for me after my mother disappeared, but it’s been eleven years. Do you really believe a magical faerie would need this much time to find a person?”

Dubheasa continued to sip her tea with squinted eyes before offering another question.

“Then how do you think your mother turned to stone?”

“Oh, this again?” Ianthe said, reminding herself a bit of her dad. “My mother didn’t turn to stone.”

“I’ve seen her, Ianthe. I know she stands in the river.”

“I’ve told you,” Ianthe said, dropping her hands to the table and rattling the teacups. “My father had that statue made in remembrance of her. It’s not actually her.”

“And yet, he never visits her to remember her.”

“N—no, you’ve got it wrong, Dubheasa. My mother disappeared.”

“And disappearing into thin air is a more acceptable explanation for you?” Dubheasa asked, studying Ianthe’s face.

“Certainly more acceptable than ‘cursed by a faerie’,” she said in a failed whisper.


About Emily McPherson:

Emily McPherson is an author for young adult readers with several fantasy projects in the works. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, she strives to normalize seeing characters of the rainbow on the page without harmful stereotypes. She is an Irish dancer with a slight obsession with mythological creatures. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, son, and - the real mythological creatures - her two rescue pugs.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Amazon


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC, International.

Ends November 1st, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Revenge Honeymoon Book Blitz


Revenge Honeymoon
K.J. Gillenwater
Publication date: October 30th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

What happens in the Caribbean, stays in the Caribbean…

Emily Small has a big heart, a loud mouth, and a terrible taste in men. She’s used to living in her perfect best friend Ruby’s shadow – but when Ruby is left devastated at the altar, Emily becomes desperate to save her friend from heartache… and salvage their non-refundable cruise!

Emily hatches an ingenious plan to soothe Ruby’s broken heart by island-hopping together as an act of revenge. There’s only one teensy problem: the cruise is for newlyweds only. Naturally, they have a solution. They’ll pretend to be a married couple!

But their ten days of fun are about to spiral into a crazy, messy adventure that risks leaving a few hearts broken along the way – because when Emily bumps into the ship’s hot photographer, Max Keeling, she begins to wish she could rethink their arrangement. If her deception gets discovered, would they boot her off the boat? But Emily can’t keep her hands to herself, and her cruise fling could bring everything crashing down.

How can she support her best friend at the worst moment in her life while pursuing an out-of-her-league guy in the Caribbean? And can she somehow find a way to have the best of both worlds?

As a hilarious, sexy, and heartwarming read that strikes the perfect balance between feel-good emotions and laugh-out-loud humor, Revenge Honeymoon is a fun and memorable romantic comedy that you won’t be able to put down. Grab your copy today!

Note: This book was originally released on Kindle Vella in serialized format. This version has been edited with an additional epilogue added.

Goodreads / Amazon


“That was Tyler,” Emily gulped. Her mouth so dry she wished she had a bucketful of water to drink. “He’s not coming.” Her voice dropped to a bare whisper.

The cousins gasped and clutched one another in horror.

The make-up artist, who had been waiting to do final touch-ups, packed up her case in a flash and squeaked out of the room without a word.

Ruby’s eyes widened, her mouth formed an ‘o,’ and her body vibrated a fine tremor. “Oh no, was he in an accident? I told him not to drive himself. I’ve read so many stories about brides and grooms getting in accidents on the way to the church. Nerves, they said. Should I go to him? Where is he? Was he driving his father’s car or the rental? I hope he wasn’t driving the rental. We have to make it to our suite at the Hilton tonight, and I really don’t want to take an Uber. Or have my father drive. Oh, that would be so embarrassing.”

“Ruby.” Emily grasped her friend’s arm, the fine Mikado silk cool under her fingers. A long-sleeved dress for a late fall wedding maybe was too warm for the Tampa location, but it had been so gorgeous on her friend’s slender body there had been no other choice at the bridal boutique. “He’s calling off the wedding.”

Nausea soured Emily’s stomach.

Why did she have to be the one who picked up the phone?

One of the cousins burst into tears.

Ruby stood stock still in the middle of the bride’s dressing room. “But—”

Rhonda Madison Evers entered wearing a royal blue mother-of-the-bride dress covered in sequins. “My darling. The make-up artist told me the news. How could that man be so cruel?” She curved her arms around her only daughter.

“Mom, I don’t understand. How could he not be coming?” Ruby crumpled to the floor.

“You’ll crush your dress!” Mrs. Evers gasped and knelt beside her. She yanked at her daughter’s arm as if her will alone would lift up the one-hundred-twenty-five-pound woman and her ten pounds of underskirts and heavy fabric. “We can still return it.”

“No, we can’t. It’s been altered.” The bride spoke in a monotone.

“Well,” said Mrs. Evers, “there’s always eBay or Craigslist, I suppose.”

“Facebook Marketplace is better,” mumbled a cousin.

Mrs. Evers shot daggers in the woman’s direction.

“I need to talk to him.” The bride snapped her fingers at Emily. “Get Tyler on the phone. I will just demand that he come.”

Emily gulped and bit at her lower lip, then got up the courage to tell her best friend since grade school the worst thing a best friend could say. “Tyler doesn’t want to get married. Do you really want to force a man to marry you, Rubes?”

“But he promised me. He gave me this ring.” Ruby held out her hand for the cousins, her mother, Emily, and now the florist who’d arrived with her wedding bouquet. A gorgeous pear-shaped 2 ½ carat diamond decorated her left ring finger. “Would he have given me this ring if he didn’t want to marry me?”

“He doesn’t want to marry you, Rubes.” Emily knelt and put an arm around her friend. The bride sagged against her.

The florist quietly set the bridal bouquet on a chair and scrambled for the door.

Emily led Ruby to an empty chair and her mother sat beside her. “He’s an awful man. A terrible, mean, awful man. Who would do that to my little girl?” Mrs. Evers took her daughter by the hand and gripped it tightly.

“Ow, mother, that hurts.” Ruby pulled her hand out of her mother’s grasp and began to nibble on her freshly manicured nails. “What do we do about the guests?”

“Your father is telling them now,” Mrs. Evers reassured her.

“What will we do about the reception?” Ruby pulled the veil out of her hair.

“We’re inviting everyone to meet us over there,” her mother answered. “We’ve already paid for the hall, the food, the entertainment. We might as well have a party, don’t you think, darling?”

“What will we do about the honeymoon?” Ruby kicked off her satin heels and rubbed her toes.

“Well, I guess you’ll have to cancel,” sighed Mrs. Evers. “Maybe they’ll give you credit.”

“No, wait, I have a better idea,” said Emily.

And that’s when the revenge honeymoon took shape. That very moment. And Emily Small’s life would never be the same.

Author Bio:

K. J. Gillenwater has a B.A. in English and Spanish from Valparaiso University and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. She worked as a Russian linguist in the U.S. Navy, spending time at the National Security Agency doing secret things. After six years of service, she ended up as a technical writer in the software industry. She has lived all over the U.S. and currently resides in Wyoming with her family where she runs her own business writing government proposals and squeezes in fiction writing when she can. In the winter she likes to ski and snowshoe; in the summer she likes to garden with her husband, take walks with her dog, and explore the Big Horn Mountains. She has written multiple books and plans on writing more.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Prince’s Pregnant Secretary Book Blitz


The Prince’s Pregnant Secretary
Emmy Grayson
(The Van Ambrose Royals, #2)
Published by: Harlequin Presents
Publication date: October 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

In this royal baby romance by Emmy Grayson, becoming pregnant with the prince’s heir was completely unexpected!

One night. One baby.

One royal wedding!

Though Clara Stephenson takes five different pregnancy tests, she’s still unprepared for the result: she’s carrying her royal boss’s baby! The last thing that Clara wants is to become Prince Alaric’s convenient princess when the painful memories of her previous relationship still remain.

Making Clara his bride is the only way for Alaric to save his heir from a scandal-filled childhood like his own. But when their honeymoon reminds Clara and Alaric of the desire that led them to the altar, will they realize that more than duty binds them?

From Harlequin Presents: Escape to exotic locations where passion knows no bounds.

Read all The Van Ambrose Royals books:

Book 1: A Cinderella for the Prince’s Revenge
Book 2: The Prince’s Pregnant Secretary

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Author Bio:

Emmy's interest in romance can be traced back to her love of Nancy Drew books, when she tried to solve the mysteries of her favorite detective while rereading the romantic chapters with Ned Nickerson. Fast-forward a few years when she discovered a worn copy of "A Rose in Winter" by Kathleen Woodiwiss on her mother's bookshelf, and she was hooked. Over 20 years later, Harlequin Presents made her dream come true by offering her a contract for her first book.

When Emmy isn't writing or reading, she's chasing around her baby boy, feeding her menagerie of fur babies or carving out a little time on her front porch with her firefighter hubby.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Extortion Book Blitz


Amelia Wilde
(Controlling Interest, #2)
Publication date: October 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Will Leblanc takes risks in his private equity firm and in the underground boxing ring, but nowhere else.

Definitely not in love. Which is why he had to walk away.

Except Bristol Anderson needs his help. More than that, he wants to protect her.

But no one can protect her from him. He has a dark side. A violent side. She’s an unbearable temptation. He’s barely holding back.

What happens when the monster inside him gets loose?

Welcome to the Midnight Dynasty… The warring Morelli and Constantine families have enough bad blood to fill an ocean, and their brand new stories will be told by your favorite dangerous romance authors.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Author Bio:

Amelia Wilde is a USA TODAY bestselling author of steamy contemporary romance and loves it a little too much. She lives in Michigan with her husband and daughters. She spends most of her time typing furiously on an iPad and appreciating the natural splendor of her home state from where she likes it best: inside.

Amelia is a USA Today best selling author from northern Michigan. Be her friend!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Amazon / Bookbub

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Vampire’s Heart Book Blitz


A Vampire’s Heart: An Order of the Black Oak Prequel
Marie-Claude Bourque
Publication date: October 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

A Vampire’s Heart: A Witch-Vampire Meet Cute Paranormal Romance Prequel

Meet the Order of the Black Oak: a powerful order of modern-day warriors fighting evil to protect the ones they love.

To prove her worth as a leader to her coven, awkward witch Maisie Thibodeau must battle a horrible monster in front of the whole supernatural community. But the White Holly sorceresses are not the only ones watching.

Immortal Valerian St-Amand can’t tear his eyes from the small but powerful witch as she battles a dangerous troll set on her small mystic town. While he had vowed not to interfere in witches’ business, his unexpected fear for her life makes it impossible for him to keep his distance.

If you love loyal tough guys with hearts, steadfast heroines and satisfying slow-burn paranormal romance, the Black Oak World is for you.

Please Note: While each novel in this series ends with a satisfying HEA, the romance in this prequel leaves you with a Happy-For-Now ending to be concluded in the first book of the Vampires of the Black Oak series.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Praise for A Vampire’s Heart

These Immortals surrounded by powerful witches promise exciting adventures full of danger and romance. Just the way I like them.” ~ Goodreads Reviewer

This prequel is so good, it left me wanting more.” ~ Bookbub Reviewer

It was so good to be back in the world of these characters. It felt like a warm bath. Assuming a warm bath has drama, heat, things to prove and intrigue, that is.” ~ Goodreads Reviewer

“What a great lead-in to book 1 in this series! Definitely got to re-read that!” ~ Bookbub Reviewer


“Hey, it’s her!” Mag elbowed him as the pub’s door opened, letting some fresh air in.

“Who?” Val frowned as he continued to scan the room, casting a brief nod at the waitress bringing them their drinks.

“The girl from the shop,” Mag explained with eagerness.

Val reluctantly looked to see what made his brother so enthusiastic. The young witch from the craft store stood there, a small figure in an anime logoed t-shirt, plain jeans, and faded sneakers. Her poker-straight black hair fanned against her cheek and down to her chest.

A little geeky, but yes, there was something about her. He felt a kinship in her awkwardness. She, too, didn’t seem to want to be there.

She perused the crowd, waved at a few people, before settling her eyes on him.

His breath remained caught in his throat as her gaze of the deepest jade connected with his own. The contact disturbed something in him that had been dormant for centuries.


The strange force stirring within him had gone straight to his core. His heartbeat pounded madly as a flush of warmth spread down to his groin.

Oh damn. Val instinctively searched for Sasha, who was vigorously lapping water from his bowl at his feet. He couldn’t remember ever feeling anything so intense before. He shook himself as he sunk his fingers into the fur of his loyal companion. This could mean trouble.

“I wonder if I should hit on her,” Mag was saying.

Val moved his head bleakly as she broke their connection to survey the bar with her head held high before waving with animation at a group of women at the back.

“Sure, why not.” He let out a slow exhale, his pulse now steadier, and leaned further back in his chair. He forced himself to look away from her and continue to study the patrons. But he couldn’t shake the feeling that this young witch was something else.

And with his entire being, he strongly prayed that Mag would leave this one girl alone.

Author Bio:

Marie-Claude Bourque is a Montreal-born Seattle-based author of slow-burn paranormal romance and the winner of the American Title V award with her first novel ANCIENT WHISPERS.

Her writing features modern-day fantasy skillfully weaved into infinitely romantic supernatural stories between smart strong women and complex passionate heroes.

Happily Ever After always absolutely guaranteed!

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Newsletter / Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In Possession of A Good Fortune Book Blutz

In Possession of a Good Fortune
Shanae Johnson
(Pemberley Ranch, #3)
Publication date: October 25th 2022Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction

When Lydia Bennett runs off and gets engaged to Mr. Wrong, she’ll have no idea it’ll be for all the right reasons.

Chatterbox Lydia Bennett has always felt like the stepchild in her redheaded family. To get out from the shadows of her successful older sisters, she starts a gossip blog fueled by info from her best friend, and heiress Emma. When Lydia gets the chance to write a story for the city paper, she’ll need to expose one of the bull riders in town for the annual Pemberley Rodeo. And one rodeo star in particular is all too eager to give her a wild ride.

Bull rider George Wickham is in over his head—in debt that is. After repeated injuries, Wick’s bull riding days are nearly up. With his career at an end, he’ll have no way to pay off the money he owes to the rodeo organizers. But when Wick learns about a young heiress in attendance at the rodeo, a plan forms to sweep her off her feet to get access to her wallet.

Unfortunately, Wick mistakes Lydia for her bestie and the two hit it off, falling hard and fast and getting engaged in record time. But when this case of mistaken identity is revealed, they both will be faced with impossible choices. Lydia will have to decide between the career she’s always wanted and the secrets of the man she’s in love with. Wick will have to choose whether or not to ride in an event that might cost his livelihood and possibly his life to prove his love for the right woman?

Get swept off your feet by this clean and wholesome, laugh out loud romantic comedy filled with sweet and swoony situations and a heartwarming happily-ever-after. In Possession of a Good Fortune is the third in a series of modern day Jane Austen retellings—set on a ranch!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


His smile was slow. It didn’t spread across his face. He looked amused and slightly terrified. It was the same way her father had always looked at her mother. It was the way Carlos looked at Jane. It was the way Darcy looked at Eliza—that is, when he didn’t think anyone was watching.

Wick had said he didn’t believe in love. But his gaze was telling Lydia something different. It was telling her that she might be different. Isn’t that what every girl wanted? For a guy to think she was different. That she was special. That’s how he was looking at her.

This was it. Lydia hadn’t believed it would happen to her. But she was standing in the moment where the reality of it was going down. A guy was totally falling for her.

“Are you going to kiss me, Mr. Wickham?” Lydia spoke softly in the dark. Not that anyone was around to hear her. But the moment felt sacred, holy even.

“Yes,” he whispered back. “Yes, I am.”

His thumb rubbed back and forth across her low back in a windshield-wiping motion. His chest pressed against hers, so much so that she could feel his heart beating in time with hers. His gaze was on her mouth, but he didn’t descend to capture her lips.

“Well?” she asked.

“Well, what?”

“Are you going to kiss me or not?”

“I said I would.”

And then he stepped away from her. If he hadn’t kept hold of her hand, Lydia would’ve stumbled. Wick tucked her into his side and walked with her away from the pen.

Lydia was so rattled from having been in a haze of desire and then yanked back down to earth that she was silent for a time.

“You know what I think?” she said after a time. “I think you’re a player.”

They were walking away from the light posts along the drive, so she couldn’t see his features, but she sensed a change in him. A stiffening.

“But I don’t think that’s the full story,” she continued.

Wick turned to her. She saw the whites of his eyes, but she still couldn’t read his expression. Some of the stiffness left his body as he walked on in silence.

“One thing I’ve learned is that there’s always a kernel of truth to gossip. But there’s almost always more to the story.” She leaned into him. “Tell me.”

“You want me to tell you all my secrets?”

“I do.”

“Well, I won’t. I’m still trying to impress you.”

She laughed. When she did, the corners of Wick’s eyes widened as he watched her. His smile was back in place. He pulled her more firmly to his side as they walked on.

Author Bio:

Shanae Johnson was raised by Saturday Morning cartoons and After School Specials. She still doesn’t understand why there isn’t a life lesson that ties the issues of the day together just before bedtime. While she’s still waiting for the meaning of it all, she writes stories to try and figure it all out. Her books are wholesome and sweet, but her heroes are hot and her heroines are full of sass!

And by the way, the E elongates the A. So it’s pronounced Shan-aaaaaaaa. Perfect for a hero to call out across the moors, or up to a balcony, or to blare outside her window on a boombox. If you hear him calling her name, please send him her way!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Maybe in Monaco Book Blitz

Maybe in Monaco
Kaya Quinsey Holt
Publication date: October 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction

Immerse yourself in the dazzling world of best-selling author Kaya Quinsey Holt’s in this evocative romance full of “unrest, deceit, and heartbreak in one of Europe’s most spectacular places” (Readers Favorite).

Charlotte Levant left Monaco ten years ago in order to allow the man she loved to pursue his dream but she left with more than a broken heart. Only a select few knew that she gave up her baby. Facing a personal crisis, Charlotte returns to Monaco, thinking she can quietly sneak back without a fuss. But it’s hard to keep a secret in Monaco.

For recently retired Formula One driver Freddie Ridgeport, losing Charlotte was more painful than a car crash, but he quickly found company among his fans. Now back in Monaco, the responsibility of caring for nine-year-old Nicholas has been thrust upon him after he is unexpectedly named as the legal guardian in a will.

Will fate finally reunite these star-crossed lovers? And if so, can the truth make up for a ten-year-long secret that runs deeper than the adjacent Mediterranean sea?

Goodreads / Amazon


“So, where are you visiting from?” the taxi driver asked, turning briefly to look at her.

Charlotte smiled. “Manhattan.” The driver returned his attention to the road. New York City was another world, Charlotte mused as the car performed a hot lap past the Monte Carlo Casino. A throng of tourists with cameras crossed in front of the taxi, slowing all of the traffic behind it. Perhaps the two cities had some similarities, Charlotte thought.

Today, the body of water and anonymity that protected Charlotte was 4,000 miles away.

Charlotte was a French teacher at a private school on the Upper East Side, where she put her New York University education to use. Ample time, money, and effort were spent on rebuilding her life—an accomplishment she previously thought unimaginable. What Charlotte accomplished in those ten years astonished her and her grandmother.

In Manhattan, Charlotte cultivated a refined and private image. She socialized vigilantly, and her acquaintances consisted mainly of private school colleagues. Though she scarcely noticed, Charlotte was admired and desired by many. Charlotte enticed people with her softness, attentiveness in conversations (aided by her social media avoidance), adoration for anything vintage, and passion for French impressionist art. However, Charlotte’s romantic affairs were often cut short, and she developed a reputation for fleeing when relationships threatened to become too serious or prodding.

The men who courted Charlotte inevitably crashed into the walls that guarded her. Privacy was Charlotte’s priority, and the less that people knew about her, the better. She feared the discovery of her imperfections, which lurked beneath every layer.

Charlotte preferred blending in to standing out. As usual, she was dressed in simple, high-quality items, which she—or her relatives—had owned for years. Her haphazardly-piled, classic travel bags were passed down from Charlotte’s late mother, and her antique camera and matching leather bag belonged to her late father.

Contrary to her intention, Charlotte’s subtleties spawned second glances. Strangers couldn’t help noticing the authentic glamour of her well-worn Hermes handbag, slightly upturned nose, chestnut blunt cut grazing her freckled collarbones, and sparkling eyes that never gave anything away.

Slowly, Charlotte’s destination crept into sight. Le Soleil was a luxury condominium with coastal views of the Côte d’Azur. Charlotte dreaded stepping out of the car, and wondered if returning was a dire mistake. “Monaco is my home,” she silently repeated, as she promised herself she would.

The driver slowed to a stop, and carefully unloaded the aged Keepalls onto the unblemished cobblestone.

Charlotte remained still for a few more moments, summoning enough willpower to open the door. Once she touched her feet to the ground, the truth would land. She was in Monaco.

The trunk of the cab shut with a thud that rocked the whole vehicle. Taking a few deep breaths, Charlotte opened the door and set one ballet flat onto the pavement. She was home.

The suitcases appeared smaller and fewer to Charlotte when she left Manhattan. The driver gawked at the mountain of luggage that now blocked the sidewalk.

“That’s everything,” Charlotte lied, for the driver knew not of her heaviest baggage, smuggled into Monaco upon her freckle-dusted shoulders.

Charlotte paid the driver and watched as the car faded into a sea of traffic. She glanced helplessly at the unattended concierge desk and sighed. Keeping a watchful eye on her remaining belongings, Charlotte hauled her luggage into the air-conditioned lobby. She was no stranger to strenuous labor, but her arms ached and her breath grew heavier with each bag.

Ten years since she stepped foot on that cobblestone sidewalk. Ten years since she left the country—and the person—she loved. Ten years since she fled with two hearts beating inside of her. Ten years, and she was still wondering if she made the right decision. Ten years, she kept a secret.

But it was very hard to keep a secret in Monaco.

Author Bio:

Kaya Quinsey Holt is a bestselling author of romance and women's fiction. Her books have sold worldwide, have been translated into multiple languages, and adapted for audiobooks. From house hunting in the South of France to weddings in Positano, Kaya's books offer a romantic escape from day to day life. Grab your favorite Kaya Quinsey Holt book an enjoy the journey!

Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Bookbub / Pinterest / Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Scarred Siren Book Blitz


Scarred Siren
Jennifer Bene
(The Beth Series, #3)
Publication date: October 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Gothic, Romance, Suspense

Surviving isn’t enough anymore, Beth wants to live,
and with Jake she finally has hope she can be more than normal…
she might actually be happy.

But just as she’s finally waking up,
seeing the sun for the first time in years,
the monsters come for revenge.
They hunt her down.
Take her.

There is no mercy in these memories,
they’re vicious and bloody and hopeless…
but Beth isn’t a broken doll anymore.
She’s been drowned, damaged, scarred,
and surfaced stronger than before.

They expected fear. They expected prey.
What they got was a siren
who clawed her way out of the depths,
and she won’t be going back.

This time is different.
This time she’s different.
And this time, Jake is coming for her.

She won’t break.
This time she’ll win.
Life or death,
in the end she’ll finally be
free from darkness.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Jennifer Bene is a USA Today bestselling author of dangerously sexy and deviously dark romance. From BDSM, to Suspense, Dark Romance, and Thrillers—she writes it all. Always delivering a twisty, spine-tingling journey with the promise of a happily-ever-after.

Don't miss a release! Sign up for the newsletter to get new book alerts (and a free welcome book) at

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Bookbub / Newsletter / Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blood and Thunder Book Blitz


Blood and Thunder
Wren Michaels
(Thunderbird Brotherhood, #2)
Publication date: October 20th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Rowtag Aktoon is about to die. He doesn’t know how, and he doesn’t know when. All he knows is it’s coming.

After his cousin shares a vision and part of it comes true, the reality creeps in that his end could very well be imminent. His family convinces him to seek the help of a witch who could provide answers. He only hopes that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Everleigh Ulric isn’t what she seems. Hiding from a father who wants to exploit her and an immortal witch out for vengeance, she’s built a life of anonymity hidden away at Cirque de Mystique – a paranormal circus.

When Tag discovers Everleigh is his fated mate, life takes on new meaning, however short theirs may be. He plans to do everything in his power to make sure neither he nor his new mate end up six feet under. But dying may just be the key that unlocks the doors of their happily ever after.

Goodreads / Amazon


A kaleidoscope of colors danced across the sky as they walked along the strip. It was near midnight by the time they arrived, but it could have been noon for all Tag knew. Light was everywhere, immersing everyone and everything in a melting hue of red, orange, and blue. Pulsating lights to drumbeats, dancing water to music, and people bumping into each other like in a pinball machine was enough for sensory overload. How do people live here?

Tag shook himself out of the stupor that was enough to drive anyone mad. Maybe that’s why people lost all their money—they were all sent subliminal messages through the strobing lights and music, promising to shut that shit off if they hand over all their money.

“So, where exactly are we headed?” Tag asked.

“Denali and Nova are supposed to meet us outside the casino up ahead.” Nodin pointed to a large set of buildings that looked like a circus tent in the front.

“Oh, hell no. There’s a clown with a lollipop on their sign. And you want to put my life in the hands of someone who works there?” Tag blinked, spun around, and walked away.

Dominic and Nodin grabbed him by the arms and carried him to the front of the clown sign.

“So, I’m not the only one thinking this whole thing is kinda sketch?” Denali said, folding his arms as he leaned against the bottom of one of the clown shoes.

“Denali!” Tag shouted, his eyes wide as saucers, happy to see his cousin was there. Surely, he’d rescue him from this insane plan. “Don’t let them take me in there, man!”

Nova chuckled and shook his head. “I have to go with Tag and Denali on this one. What the hell are you thinking, Nodin?” He glanced up at the giant, horrifying clown towering over them like a nightmare.

Dominic looked over his shoulder with a laugh as he stopped at the bottom of the clown sign. “Oh, ye of little faith.”

“Nodin, I swear…” Tag started as he watched Dominic walk between the giant clown feet and disappear. “Wait…what?”

“After you, brother.” Nodin fanned his arm toward the spot where Dominic had vanished into thin air.

Tag shook his head. “Just when I thought this day couldn’t get any worse.”

“Well, I thought that was pretty cool. I’m down,” Nova said as he leapt through the void and vanished like Dominic.

“And this is why Nova would be the first one killed in a horror movie.” Denali sighed, shook his head, and dove into the apparent portal after his brother.

“You used to be a lot more adventurous,” Nodin said, clutching Tag’s shoulder, easing him forward.

“Well, yeah, I was a young, dumb teenager who thought he was invincible. Now I have a death sentence hanging over my head. It changes a person.” Tag shirked out of Nodin’s grip.

Nodin pursed his lips and stared at Tag.

“Okay. Okay. Fine! I’m going. But I don’t have to like it.” Tag shook out his shoulders and sucked in a deep breath as he jumped on the concrete foundation holding up the stupid-ass clown. “You better not be filming this.”

Nodin threw his head back with a laugh. “Just get your ass in there.”

Energy radiated along his skin, surging with a heat he could only describe as sensual. Air ripped from his lungs in a gasp, which rang out as more of a moan of pleasure than pain. Tag snapped his eyes open and blinked himself back to reality, or a new version of it, as he glanced around at the site before him.

Two giant figures loomed toward the night sky, arguing in pantomime with each other. Dressed in black-and-white striped outfits, their bodies coiled elegantly, rising above each other yet tethered to the ground, the bottom half of the male a circus tent, and the bottom of the female a carousel.

“What the hell is this place?” Tag looked around.

The male figure tipped his hat as he twisted around, bending down with a loud creak that vibrated through the air around him as he came face-to-face with Tag, a ludicrous smile blazing over his wide lips. “Welcome to Bizarre Bazaar.”

Author Bio:

Wren hails from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where beer and cheese are their own food groups. But a cowboy swept her off her feet and carried her to Texas, where she promptly lost all tolerance for cold and snow. Fueled by coffee, dreams, and men in kilts, Wren promises to bring you laughter, heart-fluttering romance, and action that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Bookbub / TikTok / Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Making The Deal Book Blitz


Making the Deal
Shelby MacKenzie
(Deal Series, #1)
Publication date: October 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

They knew the merger wasn’t going to be easy. But Rayna and Jax never expected it to start with sparks flying.

Rayna is an attractive fiery entrepreneur and successful litigator who has grown her business incredibly. Now she has the sort of offer on the table that dreams are made of—more money, success, and power than she could ever imagine. And all she must do is form a partnership with a large law firm.

Jax’s ambitions have driven him to put everything into his firm, and this merger is supposed to take his firm to the next level. He is great looking, laidback, and a top corporate shark. He knows what he wants and believes he knows how to get it.

But when the pair meet for the first time, they instantly dislike each other, and a frustrating power struggle commences. But is it fueled by a merger of the firms? Or are shamefully attracted they are to each other…

Making the deal is the thrilling first book in the slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance series. If you like your stories filled with unexpected twists and turns and red-hot heart-pounding tension, this book was made for you.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo


Chapter 1:

He was late.

Ray tapped her nails on the side of her water glass and glanced again at her notes while she sat in the Tulip Tavern. She hated tardiness on a typical day, but it was incredibly irritating today. Today was the day she planned to put her merger to bed. Rayna Raven-or Ray, as she preferred- worked tirelessly for the last eight years to get to this moment. And she did not appreciate the extra wait.

She casually looked down at the bar, where she saw a delicious-looking man. He looked like he walked straight in off the beach. His tousled sandy blond hair and stormy blue eyes mirrored the sand and surf a couple of blocks down from Tulip. She pictured him towering over her and wrapping his muscular arms around her. Stop. She needed to focus on closing the deal. No way was that man Jax McKells. Too bad!

She was on the brink of closing a lucrative deal with McKells Reed law firm. And today, she was meeting its managing partner, Jax, to cinch the deal.

She took another sip from her water and made eye contact with Cam Allard, her best friend, on the other side of the bar. Cam glanced at her watch and raised a wry eyebrow, reading her impatience. She chuckled to herself, took a deep breath, and reviewed her notes. But the longer she waited, the more frustrated she became. She went back over her main selling points and flipped through her research on him.

Jaxon McKells was a Harvard-educated corporate shark with a ruthless reputation. He was merciless in closing deals, forcing concessions, and gaining leverage, and his clients always came out on top. She smirked. She was a top litigator, and he was a leading dealmaker, so they would likely clash before they finished things.

Then she rechecked her watch. Jax was now thirty minutes late. She was perplexed and annoyed. Disheartened, she stood up, began gathering her notes, and was about to head out of the tavern when a text message pinged. A message from him read, “While I enjoy trying out the beer at this quaint tavern you chose, I’d rather you let me know you couldn’t make this meeting rather than let me sit here for a half-hour.”

Her heart lurched. What? She watched for him the entire time. How could she miss him? She looked around for Jax. Then he texted her again. “I’ll be here for another 5 minutes to finish my beer. Let me know if you want to reschedule our meeting for another day.”

Oh. My. Goodness.

Was Jax at the tavern while she waited across the room? Where? As she looked around, she couldn’t see anyone that looked like a lawyer. She saw an old couple eating an early dinner and a family. The only other person was the handsome beachcomber down the bar from her. Was he the alluring beach fella dressed in light linen pants and a blue button-down shirt? He had rolled up his sleeves to reveal tanned, muscular forearms. Giving it a try, she headed down the bar to him.

Before she made her move, she typed a quick message to him. “I’m sitting behind you and have been for 30 minutes. Red suit, heading your way.”

As she approached the man she hoped to be, Jax, she noticed a confident smirk on his face. She focused on his full, sensual mouth. Also, he had a strong, square jaw and just the beginnings of laugh lines appearing at the corners of his eyes and that mouth. And was that an actual dimple in his chin? Then his expression shifted from amused to surprised.

He raised an eyebrow. “Ray? Ray Raven? Wow, you are not what I expected.” She stopped in front of him. She smiled. “Why do you say that?” Then he laughed. “I guess I assumed Ray was a guy.” Despite his rudeness, she felt a jolt of electricity between them and shivered. She ignored the immediate chemistry because she knew this meeting might transform her business. But would it change her life?

His comment got her temper up from all the infuriating words. She was excellent at her craft. And he shows up for a business meeting, looking like he just walked off the beach. He then questions her, seemingly about her reputation, hard work, and invention. Didn’t he do any research on a prospective deal?

Most people, including him, didn’t know she was also a software whiz. She used her legal mind and tech-savvy to develop computer software that would change the paradigm of the legal industry. Her program saved millions of dollars by quickly assessing and resolving employment cases. Word had gotten out about it, and she already had a few nibbles of interest from several prominent law firms. She wanted to do the deal with the McKells Reed law firm because of its resources and platform for growth. She also believed in the firm’s philosophy, community involvement, and pro bono work.

Before she lost control of her temper, she took a couple of breaths to reset. She reminded herself of why she was here and her goals. If she walked out on this deal, it would take her another ten years to do it alone. Or she could merge with McKells Reed and achieve those goals in a year.

He laughed. “Is there a reason you’re staring at me?” She almost missed his question. He leaned into her, and his subtle scent of sandalwood and salty air surrounded her. He smelled just how he looked—powerful and in control.

Then he stood up and waited for her also to stand. Once she was standing, he put his hand on her back and led her to a table in the front window. He then pulled a chair out and waited for her to sit down. Then he took a seat across the table from her.

She wanted to reach out and touch his hair to see if it was as soft as it looked. She came out of her Jax haze. Then she remembered his last question. He was annoying. He started staring at her first. Why was he blaming her when they were both blatantly staring?

She cleared her throat and tried to focus. Then he stood up again, but this time to sit in the chair closest to her. And she realized he was tall. She was just over five feet, so most people were taller than her. But he was a giant. He towered over her, leaving an ominous shadow to darken her surroundings.

Then he reached out, and his hand engulfed her hand. His gray-blue eyes met her crystal blue eyes. She continued. “Nice to meet you. Glad you found Tulip. It’s a hidden gem.” And he laughed. “Likewise. Yes, I’ve meant to try this place out, so thank you.” He looked around the tavern. And then his gaze went to her. She could feel the tension taut between them. She found it uncomfortable, but he seemed used to it.

How could her research have been so wrong about him? She struggled to connect him, the corporate raider, with Jax, the beach wanderer. She wasn’t sure now that her pitch was anywhere near correct. She’d planned to spin her firm as the thing that could transform McKells Reed’s litigation group back into the highly profitable group it once was. Her intel uncovered that the litigation group had been struggling for some time. She’d thought her courtroom success and innovative software would be stellar messaging to convince Jax.

But his entire demeanor seemed to downplay accomplishment in favor of comfort and confidence. She was successful in Charleston courtrooms. Just last week, she won a multimillion-dollar verdict. Not only that, but her software projected nearly the exact outcome found by the jury. The case garnered a media firestorm, allowing her to promote her legal prowess and fantastic invention. Yet he did not seem to recognize any of this. Therefore, this entire meeting confused her. He seemed oblivious to her success in the courtroom or that his firm approached her first regarding a merger. She shook the thoughts out of her head. No matter what, she would close this deal.

He stared at her, ready to start the discussion. “Rayna, what are you looking for in this deal?”

She then looked over at him. “While I am Rayna Raven, everyone calls me Ray.”

He considered her and even outright stared. “Honey, no one should call you Ray. With those fiery locks and taunting blue eyes, nothing less than Rayna will do.”

Her toes curled at the way he said her name. It just seemed to roll off his tongue in a way that was much too right. But it also annoyed her. If I go by Ray, he should call me Ray, she said to herself. Patience, patience. Don’t let your temper tank your dream; remember to stay the course.

He leaned over and continued. “Did you want to discuss the deal? What are your thoughts? What is your firm’s biggest success? And how can that success grow McKells Reed?” He shook out the napkin with a snap before laying it over his lap. When he stretched back in his chair, folding his arms over his very muscular chest, she struggled to keep eye contact and not stare at the dip of his throat peeking out from his unbuttoned collar. He was plain yummy.

He waited for her to respond. But when she did not, he continued. “I have read all the materials about the merger. And specifically, I looked at the software offering and expansion options. And I have to say that I’m not convinced. If your software is as good as you say it is, won’t that settle all our cases early, lowering our firm’s profits with lower billable hours? If it can predict the value of cases, that puts our litigators out of business, right?”

She felt her cheeks heat. Suddenly, she was out of her Jax haze, and her head was back in the meeting. He was clearly unimpressed with everything she had accomplished, and she felt the deal was now in jeopardy. She could not figure him out and how to swing the conversation back in her favor. Suddenly, she was furious that this cocky, blond beachcomber was wasting her time.

She took a deep breath and leaned forward. “The software’s strong reputation will allow McKells Reed to expand its client base, something it needs to do. Once you scale up the software to other practice areas beyond employment, those areas will get the same advantages. And, frankly, it’s time McKells Reed upped its game as a technology leader and shook off some of that stodginess.”

Cam approached the table. She was always able to calm Ray’s temper. This time it looked like Cam had eyed her telltale wrinkled forehead and bulldog eyes, signaling that her rage was flaring. Thank goodness Cam arrived at the table. “Hi, folks; sorry to interrupt. I’m Cam. Would you like to order?”

He smiled up at Cam and ignored her. “Thanks. Yes. We’ll have the ribs, fries, and slaw. Would you add a salad on the side? And we’ll both take whatever local brew you have on tap.” He polished off the beer he’d brought with him from the bar. She stared at him. He is unreal. He had the presumption to order for her! It took every ounce of self-control to keep her professional demeanor intact.

Cam smirked at her. She knew of Ray’s temper. “Thanks. I’ll go with your chicken pasta and iced tea.” Cam snickered and jotted it down before hustling off to grab their drinks.

He raised his eyebrows and leaned forward. But before he could begin, she shrugged and quickly straightened. She continued. “My firm’s biggest success is happy clients driven by excellent client management and my secret weapon, which is my software. It would allow your litigation group to boost its profits, keep more clients, and build its client base. The software allows your litigation group to focus its time and efforts on cases they can win and weed out the weak cases from the start. Even with all the experience in the world, we both know that sometimes a junk case gets through and wastes attorney time and client’s money.”

She sat back and waited for him to respond. Ok, so maybe she should break it down more for him. “This puts tools in your firm’s hands. Your greenest attorneys can assess risk, balance it, and pursue only the cases they should be pursuing. And it allows you to advise your clients and keep your promises. Changes like this thrill clients, and happy clients keep coming back. And repeat clients boost your profits.”

Notably, this jab might have been a little below the belt but judging from the glint that flashed in his eyes, he seemed excited by the challenge.

Cam approached the table and set down the drinks. “Beer for you and iced tea for you.” And she looked at her with a sideways grin. However, Ray didn’t take her eyes off him. And he could not help himself. He wanted to prick her temper further. “Are you sure you don’t want something stronger? A little bourbon would help calm that temper. I can see you trying to hide it.”

She laughed and then kept her voice even. “No, this is a business meeting. I keep business and pleasure separate. And I never drink in the middle of the day.” Cam quickly turned around and laugh-coughed as she hurried back to the kitchen to get their food.

He relaxed in his chair and continued to study her. She felt the weight of his gaze. “Not to frustrate you further, but the presumption that the software could truly impact the legal space seems like a stretch. Do you want me to go all-in on a project that will replace us, as our client’s trusted advisors, with software? That is tough to believe. Attorneys succeed based on relationships with clients. Fighting and winning for your clients is everything. Asking clients to trust the software, not the attorney’s knowledge and expertise moves us in the wrong direction.”

Her anger was bubbling over, and he saw it. He leaned to one side and took a sip of his beer, giving her a moment.

When she remained silent, he continued. “Our firm is not into the commodity business. What if a cheaper version of this software rolls out? Will the client abandon our firm to purchase the cheaper option? Your proposal degrades our core values. You are aware of McKells Reed’s mission, right? Relationships. Trust. Results.” He waited for half a beat. He took another swig of his beer and set down his glass. He concluded. “I don’t see the win here for McKells Reed.”

She pushed out the breath she didn’t know she was holding and took another. She calmly kept eye contact and watched him. “I’m a little confused. I understood that McKells Reed was a yes to this deal. Many other firms are interested in partnering with me, but I thought we shared a vision. Are you saying McKells Reed is no longer interested in closing the deal? If so, I will move on and save our time here. What I am offering with my software supports the McKells Reed mission and, coincidently, my mission of fostering and growing client relationships by providing them with ALL the tools possible to get the best results. I won’t pad the profit margin with unnecessary client billing and won’t lie about the legitimacy of cases.”

She paused and took a breath, looking at his strong hand resting on the table. She looked up. “If you cannot see the deal’s worth based on my legal reputation and the software valuations I’ve provided, we can just go our separate ways.”

He held up his hand. “Facts and figures are one thing. And I’m not saying they are unimpressive. But we must talk about the role you and your software bring to the structure of McKells Reed. Where do you fit into our day-to-day operations and overall culture?”

She was silent as she thought about this question. Did they fit? Why was he talking about how the merger would be structured if he wasn’t interested in the software? Or was it something else?

Choosing the first, she said, “Shall we begin?”

He looked at her; she felt like an ant under his scrutiny. He stared at her like he was appraising a work of art with so much concentration. She felt the powerful urge to roll her eyes but didn’t; that wouldn’t be professional. And she was always professional.

“My time is up for the day. Why don’t you meet me at my house at seven tomorrow night, and we can talk more? Here’s the address.” He stood, scratched out his address, and finished his beer. As he set down his glass, he looked at her. “Dress code is casual.” His eyes flicked to her chest for the briefest second before focusing on her eyes. “Try to relax and come ready for an honest and personal conversation. Your data and metrics are not allowed.” He then turned and headed for the door.

Cam watched him leave and set both plates on the table. “And here’s your food. Is he coming back?” She frowned and shook her head, watching his retreating frame as he walked out the front door.

She then looked up and laughed, feeling her body relax and return to normal. She was not intimidated by him. And she couldn’t afford to be intimidated by someone with whom she was going into business. She had gotten too far for this to be a stumbling block.

Well. Let’s begin, she thought.

Author Bio:

Shelby MacKenzie has always navigated life based on her own rules. While she lives in Midwest, she loves to wander, especially to the east and west coastlines. Shelby enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and critters alike. And true to her Midwest roots, she has a soft spot for holiday decorations, including an abundance of spooky things and copious amounts of felt Christmas decorations. When Shelby is not writing, she edits legal briefs, serves as a taxi driver to kids’ activities, and engages in mischievous antics with her friends.

Website / Facebook / Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway