Archive | August 2016

Her Only Salvation by J.C. Valentine Cover Reveal & Rafflecopter giveaway 8/31/16

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Her Only Salvation

by J.C. Valentine
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sweet / Clean Romance, Thriller

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Synopsis: Sometimes, relationships can be deadly.

Terri thought she was marrying a strong, loving man, only to find that beneath that handsome face lies something cold, brutal, and dangerous. After years of abuse, her husband takes things a little too far, and Terri finally summons the courage to take matters into her own hands and make her escape.

But freedom comes at a price.

Forging a new life, Terri moves to a new town and tries to forget her past, but she can’t help looking over her shoulder at every turn. When prison bars can no longer hold her husband, and her past comes knocking, Terri finds that the strength to trust again may be her only salvation. When her attractive new boss steps up to the plate and vows to protect her at all cost, she’s inclined to accept…but can she ever allow herself to trust her instincts again?

*Author Note* Her Only Salvation is a bold and enticing storyline with a hint of romance (sensual but not explicit). This book was originally released under J.C. Valentine’s given name and was entitled “Spring Cleaning.”

Her Only Salvation Full Jacket Cover

EXCERPT

Luke stomped across the floor and poured himself a glass of water. Gulping it down, he placed the empty cup in the small sink basin and turned to survey the room.

Terri didn’t try to make small talk this time, not after what happened the last time. Instead, she cleaned around the human pillar parked in front of the taps. He would have to move sometime, but she wasn’t about to tell him that.

She could feel his eyes on her as she moved about the confined area.

“The police said it was a hit and run.” Luke’s voice was gruff, tortured.

Sensing his need to unburden himself, she put the glass she was cleaning down and met his eyes. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” He broke eye contact, staring at the shelves of liquor above her head as if deep in thought. Eventually, his gaze shifted back to hers.

“They said since it was on my property, I might be facing a lawsuit.”

Terri rose up straight. “How is that possible? You weren’t the one that ran someone over.” Anger for Luke’s situation had her fisting her hands against her sides.

A shoulder lifted and fell. Luke sighed deeply, as if he were exhausted by the whole ordeal. “It all depends on whether the guy lives or not and how much he can tell the detective about what happened tonight.”

“What do you mean, if he lives? How serious was it?”

Luke smirked humorlessly. “Every hit and run is serious, Terri.”

She raised an eyebrow at that. “Duh. What I meant was…” She shook her head. “Yeah, I don’t know what I meant.” She huffed at her own stupid remark.

Retrieving his cup, Luke poured himself another glass of water. He sipped it slowly, thinking. “The guy was only twenty-one,” he stated, as if that should clarify everything. The look she gave him said it didn’t. “He left my club falling-down drunk, intending to drive home.”

Terri winced. The dram laws said that bartenders, and anyone else who served alcoholic drinks, were supposed to monitor how much was too much for any one customer. If they looked like they weren’t handling it so well, they weren’t allowed to leave unless it was by cab or some other designated driver. It was a good rule that kept a lot of heat off of the Sunset Black.

“Okay, but how can this be held over your head? He never drove away, and they can’t prove the guy who hit him was drunk,” she pointed out “Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some responsibility to make sure my customers make it home safely.” Pushing off the bar, Luke returned his glass to the sink without finishing it. “If he wakes up, he might decide I didn’t hold up my end. If I’m sued, I’ll probably lose this place in legal fees alone.”

“Well what about this driver? Didn’t anyone see who it was? What kind of car they were driving? Anything?” Terri felt desperate for answers. It wasn’t even her business to save, but she felt a kinship with Luke, and that made her concerned with what happened to him in his life.

He had offered her a job when no one else would. She was uneducated and hadn’t worked since the day she married. To top it off, he treated her kindly, something she hadn’t experienced in years, and he was her friend. Those she called a friend she stood behind fully. His fight was now her fight, as far as she was concerned, and anything she could do to keep him from losing his livelihood—his dream—she would do.

“One of the witnesses said they saw a late model blue pickup speeding away. They didn’t get the plates or see who was driving, though. So they probably won’t catch the guy, which leaves just me, unless that boy recovers and gives us something good to go on.” Reaching out, Luke placed a gentle hand against Terri’s cheek. “Hey, you’re all pale. What’s wrong?”

She didn’t know how she could’ve missed it, but her eyes were wide open now. The guy at the club earlier with the broken beer bottle and the driver of the truck in the parking lot responsible for running down one of their patrons…

Shaking now, Terri peered up at Luke hoping he wouldn’t confirm her worst fears. “Who was the victim? The guy they took to the hospital.”

“Terri, I don’t see how—”

“Please,” she pleaded, “I have to know.”

“It was that guy who hassled you tonight. The college kid.”

Terri’s legs crumbled beneath her. Luke’s quick reflexes made sure she didn’t fall. Scooping her into his arms, Luke carried her quickly to his office before anyone noticed what had happened.

Luke place Terri on a very smart-looking sofa in his office. He left her long enough to close the door, then returned, pulling up his desk chair and sitting down to face her.

“Want to tell me what just happened out there?”

Terri shook her head. Words failed her. They were all locked up in her throat. Blood pounded through her veins, making her pulse thunder inside her ears.

Rubbing two fingers across his chin, Luke studied her. “Okay. Do you want to go home, Terri?”

She thought about it. The idea of going back behind that counter, walking around the dark club floors where someone could be watching her, and she’d never know it, terrified her.

“Yes” was all she could say.

“Okay then.” Luke stood and rounded the desk. He slid open a drawer and drew out a set of keys. “I’ll drive you home.”

Terri’s attention snapped back to him. “What about my car?”

Luke held up a hand. “Leave it. I’ll pick you up tomorrow afternoon on my way in. Your car will be fine until you get back.”

Terri didn’t argue.  She stood up and let Luke lead her from the office, thoughts of Randy racing through her mind. Had he finally been released from jail? Was he free to come after her now? If he was, would he really do it after all this time? But she already knew the answer to that. Of course he would.

The question now was, would he be waiting for her, ready to run her down the moment she stepped across the protective barrier of the club provided her like he did to that boy?

She could only hope that having Luke by her side would be enough to keep her safe.

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

JC Valentine

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

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UnInhibited Series by Kimberly Bracco Cover Re-Reveal & Rafflecopter giveaway 8/31/16

★★★COVER RE-REVEAL★★★

★★★

THE UNINIBITED SERIES

by

KIMBERLY BRACCO

★★★

★★★INHIBITIONS★★★

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Title: Inhibitions

Series: UnInhibited #1

Author: Kimberly Bracco

Designer: Cover Luxe Designs

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis

In the last six months, Ashley’s life has been one disappointment after another. She walked in on her boyfriend with another woman, leaving her needing a new place to live and a mountain of debt. As if that wasn’t enough, her ex convinces her that his infidelity is her fault for being unadventurous in bed.

Deep down Ashley has always had the desire to be wild but has been held back by her own insecurities. She’s desperate to break free, but she’s fearful of how people will judge her if they know her inner desires. She wants nothing more than to lose herself in sex that pushes her to the limit, but she hasn’t found anyone she trusts enough to take her there until she meets Tanner.

Tanner doesn’t trust anyone outside of his inner circle easily. The infamous, media proclaimed playboy, quarterback is tired of people using him for money, connections and to get their fifteen minutes of fame. Determined to protect his image and himself, he makes sure to keep most people at arm’s length until Ashley is thrown into his life. He’s inexplicably drawn to her, and she needs his help in more than ways than one. But to help her, he’ll need to let her in.

There’s an immediate attraction and connection that neither can deny, but can both of them get past their inhibitions and find what they are looking for in each other or will everything backfire in their faces?

INHIBITIONSSTOP

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★★★UNRESTRICTED★★★

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Title: Unrestricted

Series: UnInhibited #2

Author: Kimberly Bracco

Designer: Cover Luxe Designs

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis

Earning forgiveness isn’t easy. Especially when you can’t forgive yourself.

How do you begin to right your wrongs?

What do you do when you realize you love someone but you’ve already pushed them away?

What happens when one foolish decision alters your entire world forever?

How can love recover after devastating heartbreak and betrayal?

What happens when everything becomes unrestricted?

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★★★FREED★★★

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Title: Freed

Series: UnInhibited #2.5

Author: Kimberly Bracco

Designer: Cover Luxe Designs

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis

The road to happily ever after hasn’t been easy for the Garrisons. Blissfully married with a baby on the way, this should be the happiest time in their lives. Except, Ashley can’t fully escape the dark shadows of their past. Will Ashley and Tanner be forced to endure more heartache or will they finally be freed?

 

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About the Author

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Kimberly is a stay at home mom to four beautiful, crazy children by day and a steaming hot novelist by night. She’s a Jersey girl at heart and that’s where she currently calls home with her amazing husband and children.

Her debut release Inhibitions and the subsequent Uninhibited Series as well as the spin-off Apprehensive Duet both show her love of all things football. But not to worry, she’ll still bring you plenty of steam!

When not writing she can be found curled up with a good book or watching her beloved New York Jets. Lover all things romance, including a little M/M action as well as the dark and twisted. She enjoys video chats with her best friends and always loves to hear from her fans on social media.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Facebook Fan Group: Kimberly’s Knockout Fangirls

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Crave by Janet Nissenson #ReleaseBlitz & Rafflecopter giveaway 8/31/16

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Book Title: Crave (Splendor #2)
Author: Janet Nissenson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

The next chapter in one of the most romantic love stories ever told

Luxury hotel heir Ian Gregson longed for his beloved Tessa from afar for more than two years, forced to keep his attraction towards her well hidden. But now that his feelings no longer have to remain a secret, he is free to indulge his constant craving for the woman of his dreams.
Shy, innocent Tessa Lockwood is dazzled by her handsome, sophisticated lover, and falls deeper and deeper under his spell with each passing day. But their newfound relationship will be tested by Tessa’s lifelong insecurities, and her fears of succumbing to the throes of depression that have always tormented her.
It will fall to Ian to convince her that their love is strong enough to overcome any obstacles that life might place in their way. And that now that he’s finally been able to make her his own, nothing and no one will ever keep them apart again.

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meet the authorJanet is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently resides on the northern California coast with her husband Steve and Golden Retriever Max. She worked for more than two decades in the financial services industry before turning her focus to producing running events. She is a former long-distance runner, current avid yoga practitioner, is addicted to Pinterest, likes to travel and read. She has been writing for more than three decades, with her first book in the Inevitable Series – Serendipity – published in December 2013.

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A Passionate Kiss by Sharon C. Cooper Release Blitz &Rafflecopter giveaway 8/31/16

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A Passionate Kiss

by Sharon C. Cooper
The Bennett Triplets
Publication Date: August 26, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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Retired Marine, Mason Bennett, has two goals: adjust to civilian life and keep drama out of it. His focus is on his role as part-owner, along with his siblings, of Atlanta’s hottest nightclub. However, his attention shifts when the woman he has loved like a sister reenters his life and thoughts of a passionate kiss they shared hijacks his mind. Their connection is explosive. Feelings he’s tried to deny come to the forefront, and he’s tempted to do something he thought he would never do—cross that line from friends to lovers.

TV news anchor, London Alexander, is back home in Atlanta and ready to start a new chapter in her life. This time she hopes her future includes Mason, the man she has loved forever. She’s ready to step over the forbidden line that he’s drawn in their relationship.

Will taking a chance on love lead to a happily-ever-after? Or will risking their friendship leave them both with broken hearts?

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About Sharon C. Cooper

Sharon_-webAward-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic – loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award – Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net

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Devil’s Cove by R.C. Matthews #BlogTour & Rafflecopter giveaway 8/30/16

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9781507210251

Book Title: Devil’s Cove
Author: R.C. Matthews
Genre: Gothic Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

Devil’s Cove cowers in the dark shadows of an abandoned manor, shrouded in horror and spoken of only in the faintest of whispers.
Captain Devlin Limmerick knows its secrets, keeps them hidden with his own. Feared as ‘The Devil’ on the high seas, he is lured to the manor by an unquenchable thirst for revenge. It is a thirst matched only by his hunger for the powerful medium he has coerced to aid him. Her presence at the manor invites strange, inexplicable happenings, forcing him to believe nothing is as dead as it seems. Especially his heart.
Blinded from youth and touched with an ability to communicate beyond the grave, Grace has been both feared and revered by the uneasy town folk. Yet she is powerless against the unrest brewing within the manor walls and finds herself wickedly drawn to the Devil’s darkness. Still, she refuses to sacrifice her soul to set Devlin’s unspeakable plans in motion.
In the throes of passion and danger, their skills will be tested beyond any foe they’ve ever fought, and not a single soul is safe. The only way out is deep within … if they dare to believe.

excerpt

Emma placed a hand on her shoulder and gave a reassuring squeeze. “I’ve prepared a nice bath for you. The captain thought it might soothe your aching muscles. Perhaps the hot water will bring some of the color back into your cheeks. You’re still awfully pale. Let me help you in the tub, and then I’ll return in a while with your breakfast. How does that sound?”

Grace stood, and this time the groan that erupted from her was a result of the pain coursing through her. Every muscle in her body burned from the simple movement, as if she had exercised for hours on end the day before.

“That would be lovely,” she said, allowing Emma to pull her nightgown over her head and lead her to the bathtub.

Grace slipped her toe into the water and sighed, then followed with her entire body. The moment she settled against the back, a waft of lavender filled her nostrils. A bar of soap was thrust into her left hand and a cloth into her right.

“You can wash at your leisure,” Emma said, the sound of her feet bustling around the room. “And I’ll bring rosemary tea to rinse out your hair.”

The door snapped shut, and Grace relaxed her shoulders, letting the hot water seep into her sore muscles. Every minute or so, she stretched out her legs and enjoyed the waves of hot water rippling over her skin. When the ache in her muscles subsided, she rubbed the bar of soap into the washcloth and ran it along the length of her arm.

The doorknob rattled, startling Grace. “Back so soon, Emma? I haven’t even washed yet.”

“Would you care for help?” a woman asked, her voice close and oddly familiar.

Grace pulled her legs to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. “Excuse me, but who are you?” The undeniable scent of rosewater permeated the air, reminding her of the first morning, when she’d sniffed the warm sheets. And against her will, the smell aroused evocative feelings in her that were better left to her dreams. Shame flooded her chest, and she buried her face against her shoulder. “Please ask Emma to return.”

A light scraping sounded against the wooden floor, back and forth, back and forth. She recognized it immediately, and chills raced up her spine, despite the warmth of the water surrounding her. She clasped her hands even tighter about her legs, drawing into herself.

“Don’t be afraid,” the woman said, her words a soft hiss. “My name is Josephine. I won’t hurt you, my sweet.”

Grace’s stomach lurched as she fought to control the trembling spreading through her limbs. Good Lord, she was going to die. She wanted to scream, but she found herself incapable, held in a trancelike state of ineptitude.

meet the author

R.C. Matthews was raised in the Metro-Detroit area along with three sisters and a brother by deaf parents. Her father is a voracious reader and that gene lives on in all of his children. Now the reading gene is sprouting in her own two sons who love to read J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan and may others. She enjoys traveling with her family (loving husband, two sons and a stepson), reading, down-hill skiing and playing board games with her family.

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This Isn’t Over, Baby by K. Webster Release Blitz & Rafflecopter giveaway 8/30/16

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This Isn’t Over, Baby

by K. Webster
War & Peace
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Dark Romance

TIOB FRONT ONLY FINAL

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

They’d won the battle and I held up the white flag of defeat…
But the war wasn’t OVER.

I suffered the aching loss of what they had stolen from me.
OVER and OVER again, my heart broke.
The white Queen and the black King had taken OVER the game
and ruled for what seemed like eternity.

Until one day, eternity was finally OVER.

I was the dark knight who would rise again and conquer.
I was the man who would win OVER the most important piece on the board.

A slayer. A protector. A father.
A new king with the blackest of hearts.

And head OVER heels in love with…
The little princess who owned my twisted soul.

Sometimes the villains don’t just want their happy ending…
They demand it.

This isn’t OVER, baby.
This will never be OVER.

Warning:
This Isn’t Over, Baby is a dark romance. Strong sexual themes and violence which could trigger emotional distress are found in this story. This story is NOT for everyone.

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About K. Webster

K Webster2

K Webster is the author of dozens romance books in many different genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her husband of twelve years and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers.

Her other passions besides writing include reading and graphic design. K can always be found in front of her computer chasing her next idea and taking action. She looks forward to the day when she will see one of her titles on the big screen.

You can easily find K Webster on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads!

Website: http://www.authorkwebster.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bllgoP

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The Billionaire’s Voice By J S Scott Release Day 8/30/16

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 About The Book
As an extreme-sports mogul, billionaire Micah
Sinclair is comfortable taking risks. But nothing—and no one—has ever
challenged him like Tessa Sullivan. He’s fascinated by the woman who’s
overcome so much, including the loss of her hearing. The petite blonde
dynamo, a small-town restaurateur on the Maine coast, is the most
courageous person he knows, and he wants her in his bed. Now all he has
to do is convince Tessa to explore their desire.
After a lifetime
of loss, Tessa’s finally come to terms with her limitations. Or she
would, if a certain sexy businessman weren’t pushing her to want more.
And to want him. All her remaining senses are clamoring for her to
touch, taste, and feel. But her doubts tell her to go slow when their
passion gets too hot.
Micah’s determined to prove to Tessa that
she can still have everything she’s ever wanted, including his love. But
will she listen to her head—or her heart?
Teasers 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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J.S.
Scott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy
romance. She’s an avid reader of all types of books and literature.
Writing what she loves to read, J.S. Scott writes both contemporary
steamy romance stories and paranormal romance erotics. They almost
always feature an Alpha Male and have a happily ever after because she
just can’t seem to write them any other way! 
 
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Choosing Happy by Samatha Harris CoverReveal & Rafflecopter giveaway 8/30/16

COVER REVEAL

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Book Title: Choosing Happy (Madison Square Series)
Author: Samatha Harris
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

Madison Buchanan’s life has imploded…

Her husband left her for his nineteen-year-old intern, leaving her alone and faced with starting over in her forties. With the help of her feisty best friend, Madison reinvents herself, armed with a new look and open to new possibilities.

Sean Taylor is gorgeous, fun, and young—very young…

He hasn’t had the best of luck. Sean’s track record with women is less than stellar, but when he walks into The Den one day, he just can’t help but be captivated by a dark haired beauty with the sad eyes and killer legs. She’s a little older, but he doesn’t discriminate. More than anything, he wants to be the one to make her smile.

Sean personifies the only thing that has eluded Madison all of her life—joy…

It was meant to be a fling, something fun, with no strings and zero drama, but Sean wants something more, and Madison is just not ready. She’s lived by the rules her family, her friends, even her boss have laid out for her, but her new life is not what she expected. Being with Sean opens feelings she never thought she’d experience.

The the demands of her family and her job throw her boring, simple life into chaos, and Sean is no exception…

Madison is left with a choice. Give in to the expectations of the world around her—or choose to follow her heart and be happy.

But choosing happy is so much harder than it seems.

ChoosingHappy_jacket

excerpt

I had talked myself into and out of going at least fifty times by the time Margot sauntered into my office for lunch. As per usual, she took one look at me and knew something was wrong.

“Now what?” she asked. Margot dropped her bag on the table in front of me, a hand on her hip and a no nonsense look on her face.

“I said yes, and now I am freaking out!”

“You said yes to what?” she asked.

“To Sean. I said yes to a date with Sean.”

She took a deep breath then turned quickly and sauntered her way over to the door. “Jeremy, get in here,” she called and glanced back at me as I slumped over the table. “She’s gonna need both of us for this one.”

I told them everything, starting with my mother’s insanity and ending with the phone call to Sean. By the time I finished, I was exhausted. They both just sat across from me, wide eyed. After taking in the whole story, they both sat up and shouted, “It’s about damn time,” in unison. They turned and looked at each other with a smirk then faced me again.

“You have to go,” Margot said like it was obvious.

“I know,” I sighed. “It’s just…I haven’t been out with anyone other than Michael since college, and I pretty sure my skills with a crimper will not help me prepare for this date.”

“What’s a crimper?” Jeremy said, scrunching his nose in distaste.

“Just kill me now,” I said dropping my head in my hands.

“Ignore him,” Margot said, waving a dismissive hand at Jeremy. She leaned toward me, her hands clasped together with her elbows propped up on her knees. “You’re thinking too much, as usual. This is not the start of a relationship. You don’t want a relationship right now, and neither does he.”

“I don’t?”

Jeremy laughed. “God no! You fuck the rebound. You don’t date him.”

I raised my eyebrows. I wasn’t used to Jeremy being so colorful around me. I’m still his boss.

“Exactly,” Margot agreed. “Tonight’s about fun, that’s it. Normal dating rules do not apply. You don’t have to impress him. The pressure’s off. You already know he likes you. He’s made that much pretty clear. Now all that’s left to do is make your intentions clear.”

“My intentions?”

“Yes,” Jeremy said, nodding his head in agreement. “Honesty is crucial when it comes to a casual relationship. If you don’t let him know up front that you’re only interested in sex, then he’ll get all heartbroken and clingy when it ends. Make it clear, just sex.”

“How do I know that’s what he wants?” I asked.

They looked at each other and smiled.

“He’s male and under thirty. He will be fine with this arrangement, trust me,” Jeremy said.

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meet the author

Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.

Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.

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Fabricating Jada by Vanessa Marie Releae Day & Rafflecopter giveaway 8/30/16

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Synopsis

I need a mentor.

YouTube videos can only teach me so much.

And I want to learn from someone real.

From someone tangible.

But no one takes me seriously.

Only in my wildest dreams would I be mentored by Jesse Valentine.

He’s the top motorcycle and hot rod fabricator in the nation.

He also has the reputation for being one of the biggest jerks that ever lived.

Not to mention they say he can’t keep it in his pants.

I’m not interested in any of that.

Only in his knowledge.

I crave it.

And then I heard about the class he’s holding for the public.

I had to earn my spot.

Prove my worth.

Show them all that I was more than just some silly girl.

My name is Jada Carmen and I was born to build cars.

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Excerpt

Jesse’s gritty tone interrupted my concentration from over my shoulder. “Now everyone definitely thinks you’re a stripper. Why the fuck would you bring clothes like that into a place like this?”
My eye’s flashed with annoyance. “They couldn’t afford me even if I was,” I ground out through gritted teeth.
I refused to give him the satisfaction of playing into his game today. So I bit the inside of my cheek and kept marking the fabric where I wanted to cut.
“You do realize this isn’t a home economics class right? If you want to play fashion designer, you should just get out now.”
I stole a glance at him, now that he’d moved to my side. His eyes were sharp, assessing me for a reaction. If that was what he wanted, it was what he was going to get. Whipping around to face him, I leaned my hip against the bench and folded my arms over my chest. My still wrapped forearm lying on top of the other.
“Did you find that cliff to jump off yet?”
Jesse darted his gaze from my arm back to my face. “Nah, I guess California is fresh out. I’ll ask you again… This is metal fabrication– why in the fuck are you bringing fabric in here?” his voice was low, and gravely. His tone indicated I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the workroom and that irked me. Everything irked me when he was around.
“Let me ask you something, Mr. Valentine… Is a car or even a bike all metal or does it have some sort of fabric on it somewhere?” I arched a brow at him.
His face softened slightly. The lines in the corner of his eyes weren’t as harsh as they were a moment before. “So, you’re trying to tell me you’re making an interior.”
I couldn’t help my sarcasm… it just fell out. “Ding, ding ding. We have a winner… what does he win ladies and gents? Oh… that’s right? Common sense.”
Jesse inclined his head and forced a tight smile. “Well, you know… interior work is a woman’s job.”
Heat crept up my cheeks. “What is your problem? Do you hate women or something?”
He gave a slight shake to his head of dark, slicked back hair. “Nope. I actually like women, and they love me.”
“You just don’t like me.” It wasn’t a question. I already knew the answer.
His lips dropped to my ear. “I most definitely don’t like you.”

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AboutTheAuthor

Always the cause of shenanigans, Vanessa is a heavily tattooed, sarcastic motorcycle enthusiast who started her career as a Jeep tech at the age of sixteen. The happily married mother of three little monsters—oops, children—lives in Kentucky by way of Las Vegas, Nevada. Once her life took a different direction—sidelined by Heart Disease at 26 and becoming a pacemaker recipient—she decided to write as a creative outlet, and Heartless was born. She realizes life can be dark clouds and acid rain at times, but her outlook on life puts a positive and sarcastic spin on it all.

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EVERY YESTERDAY by NANCY NAIGLE RELEASE DAY BLITZ & Rafflecopter giveaway 8/30/16

 

Every Yesterday
by Nancy Naigle
Series: Boot Creek, Book Two
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Montlake Romance
Release Date: August 30, 2016

 

 

Join Nancy on August 30th at 5:30pm PDT for the EVERY YESTERDAY RELEASE PARTY!

 

Megan Howard used to be a successful painter—but that was a long time ago. These days she’s struggling to move forward, convinced her heart is permanently broken after her last relationship and grief stricken over the loss of her father. Clinging to memories of happier times, she holds tight to her father’s most cherished possession: a 1958 DeSoto Adventurer. Though she needs the money, she’ll never sell it—even loaning the prized automobile to her best friend on the day of her wedding stirs up painful memories.

Avowed bachelor and car collector Noah Black has never seen a car he can live without…or a woman he can live with. Reluctant to see his best friend condemned to matrimony, he flies to Boot Creek from California to be the best man in the wedding. But after discovering that the gorgeous maid of honor owns the car of his dreams, Noah makes a pricey bet that he’ll add the DeSoto to his collection, no matter what it takes.

Despite their determination to stay single, Noah and Megan soon find they can’t resist each other. His attention turns from getting the car to getting the girl, and thanks to Noah, Megan can imagine a life in the present. But when the truth about Noah’s wager comes to light, will it threaten to throw Megan’s new perspective into reverse?

 

 

The oppressive heat took a toll on folks this time of year in Boot Creek. The humidity hung on Megan’s skin and permeated her hair, now three times its normal size. As she sorted through her mail, the envelopes clung to each other, damp and lacking that crisp sound of paper she’d normally expect as she opened them.
August. It was always hot in North Carolina in August, but for some reason this summer seemed heavy—like winter and spring had gorged on too many baked goods. Megan missed the normal hustle-bustle of neighbors out on Main Street grabbing lunch and finishing up errands, but it was so stifling that people were staying inside. The mayor had even suspended the road-crew work until this heat wave passed.
Megan dropped the junk mail in a trash can next to the light post on the corner of Main Street, then ran her freshly painted nail under the seal on an envelope from the town of Boot Creek. They hadn’t wasted a moment billing her for Daddy’s prized possession. She’d only had the 1958 DeSoto Adventurer convertible for a few weeks.
Apparently since the old car had antique tags, she got a flat rate regardless of the value. She wasn’t sure how much the car was worth, but word had traveled fast that it was hers now and the offers she’d already received were impressive.
Johnny Morris had offered to put in a whole new air-conditioning system with dual zones at Balanced Buzz, her candle business, in exchange for Daddy’s car, but there was no way she could part with that car. Daddy was a lot of things, including an embarrassment at times, but she was a daddy’s girl and that car meant the world to him, so it meant the world to her.
That car wasn’t going anywhere, even if Balanced Buzz could really use that air-conditioning upgrade. This time of year it just didn’t pay to make candles in the hot part of the day. The air-conditioning in her old building worked hard enough without her adding heat from melting beeswax to the equation. So Megan adjusted her hours to keep the expenses down and profit margin wide. And that was fine with her, because she always had been a night owl.
To her, the value of Daddy’s car lay in the memories they’d shared riding around in it. Enough memories to fill that car, and that was really saying something. That model had to be one of the longest two-door cars ever built. Darn thing just barely fit in her garage bay.
And seeing’s how she lived in what used to be a gas station with commercial-sized mechanics bays . . . that was saying something. It wouldn’t surprise her to learn that this car wouldn’t fit in the garage of a modern-day home.
Lucky for her, daddy had hooked her up with the gas-station-turned-house and workshop when she graduated from college. Maybe that was the reason he’d left the car to her and not his way-too-young-for-Dad, go-go-dancin’ bride, Tiffany.
The thought of that girl made Megan bristle. To be fair, Tiffany wasn’t a dancer anymore, but it was no secret that Daddy had discovered her at Headlights Bar off the interstate a few exits down. Not one of his finest days.
Tiffany had no clue how special the car was. She’d begged Daddy to sell it and buy a new sports car. Something flashy and red. No surprise that Tiffany had gone right out and bought herself a bright red Corvette as soon as that life insurance check cleared the bank. Thank goodness Daddy had updated his will. Tiffany never would have let Megan have the car otherwise. Even though everyone knew that was Daddy’s intention. Tiffany was a gold digger from the word go.
Standing there on the corner of Water Loop Way, Megan felt her heart squeeze. A rush of heat soared through her body. Don’t let this be a heart attack. This wasn’t the first time she’d had that sinking feeling and pain in her heart right down to her gut since Daddy died. Now the DeSoto was hers, and that was all she had left. This bill made him being gone feel that much more final. Was that enough to give a gal her age a heart attack?
She pressed her hand against her heart and took in a breath. Relax. Sweeping a hand under her nose to chase that tickle that came right before tears fell, she straightened and inhaled deeply.
Tucking the rest of the mail into her purse, she shifted on her feet. How long had she been standing there? The pavement was scorching. She wished she’d worn her tennis shoes instead of these strappy heels. When she’d put them on, she’d thought it would be a good short walk to break in the shoes she’d be wearing in Angie’s wedding so her feet wouldn’t be killing her all night at the reception next weekend. Bad idea. She crossed over Cabot Street and tugged on the door to Mom’s shop, Bootsie’s Bouquets.
Brightly colored summer blooms filled tall hand-painted cones that Megan had painted for Bootsie, her mother, years ago. They’d held up well. Next to the flowers, racks of beautiful ribbon that Mom made special buying trips to pick out looked like a kaleidoscope of texture and color. Across the room, an antique breakfront painted whimsical lavender and distressed with turquoise accents held a hefty inventory of Balanced Buzz candles. Mom was Megan’s biggest fan. She hand sold a fair share of candles each year, but most of Megan’s sales came from her storefront on the Internet.
“Good morning, Mom.” She forced an easy smile, hoping that Mom wouldn’t notice the panic she’d been feeling just moments before.
Bootsie raised a hand in the air from behind the counter where she was ringing up a customer.
Megan headed straight for the glass-front refrigerator where the fresh flower arrangements were stored. She opened the doors, holding her arms out to the side. Her skin drank in the cool air, and thankfully her heart rate began to slow. It was only three lousy blocks from her house to Sew ’n Sew Formal where she was meeting Angie and the others for the final dress fitting. And after only one block, she was sticky with sweat. Crazy. How gross to go to a dress fitting feeling like you just finished a hot yoga session? She watched her mom walk her customer to the door. The man carried a long white box with a generous lipstick-red ribbon tied around it. Roses, no doubt.
“There a movie playing in there?” Bootsie asked.
“Real funny.” Megan smirked, but the truth was that phrase gave her pause. Not because it was something Mom had always said. No, it reminded her of Dad. And Mom knew it. Her parents may have been divorced for going on eight years, but no one knew Daddy better. He’d made that comment a million times when Megan was growing up—and that memory tugged at her. But not like most dads would have said it, because he wasn’t complaining. He knew looking in the fridge for a sweet treat was a waste of time. She got her sweet tooth from her Dad, but Mom had been such a health nut there’d never been anything besides fruit and yogurt. Luckily, he’d rescue her from the waste of time standing there wishing for a cupcake or soda, suggesting they go out and hunt down a snack together. Living one block off of Main Street had made life very convenient for that, and it was probably all the extra time they’d spent together dodging Mom’s health-nut kicks that had made her closer to him.
“It’s hotter than h—”
“Don’t even say it.” Bootsie narrowed her gaze.
“Heck. Hotter than heck out there.” Megan let the door slam, thankful for that last rush of cool air that pushed against her. Even now, close to thirty, Mom ruled.
“You trying to make some sort of new fashion statement?”
Megan looked down at her soft pink blouse, opened over a bright pink tank top and faded blue jeans. “What’s wrong with this?”
Her mom homed in on her feet.
“The shoes?”
“Yes. I can’t say that high heels and blue jeans is exactly a good look. Although it is nice to finally see you wearing something a little ladylike.”
Mom was always hounding her about being a lady. It was old when she was thirteen, and now closer to thirty . . . it was still not welcome advice.
Bootsie’s lips bunched. “You know you can’t wear open-toed shoes without your toenails painted. Totally taboo.”
Megan wasn’t sure what made her mother think she was the fashion police, but still, there she was, ready to make an excuse. “I’m just wearing them to the fitting, and we have pedicures set up for Thursday. I promise I won’t let anyone see me. Besides, I thought I’d break them in, but there’s not much to these things for as much as they cost. About burned my toes off out there.”
“Fine. Well, since you’re here, Angie’s ribbon finally came in. I’ve got it over by the register.” Bootsie turned and hurried to get the ribbon. She made up for being short by walking two or three steps to the one of any average person, which had always made Megan think of the Energizer Bunny, the way she scampered. Bootsie lifted two large spools of ribbon for Megan to see. “Sure hope it matches this time.” She bounced the two big spools in separate hands, looking a bit like a scale of justice. “I got this roll of white with pearlescent seed beads along the edge, just in case we have to go to plan B. Take them with you, so Angie can decide what she wants to go with.”
“You always think of everything.” Megan walked over and took the two spools of ribbon and tucked them into the top of her oversized leather handbag. “Thanks, Mom,” she said, leaning over the counter to kiss her on the cheek. “Love you.”
“You’re welcome, darling.” As Megan headed for the door, she called out, “Send me a picture of you in your gown. I’m dying to see you in it.”
“Come with me. You know Angie won’t mind. It’ll be fun.”
“I can’t,” Bootsie said. “This weekend is the first high school football game of the season. I’ve got orders for thirty-eight corsages to make for that, plus putting together all of the bouquets and arrangements for Angie’s wedding. I can’t get away. Text me, though.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Megan knew what the unspoken words that followed would have been. High time you walked down that aisle too, Megan.
Since Daddy’s unexpected passing, even Mom had been gentler. Megan’s heart ached for her dad. He drove her half-crazy most of the time; Mom had always said that was because Megan was so much like her daddy, but knowing he’d never be back made it darn near impossible to breath sometimes.
Megan crossed over at the second block to Sew ’n Sew Formal and Tailoring. When she walked inside, soft music filled the store. Funny she hadn’t noticed it the last time they’d all met there to pick out the dresses, but darned if it didn’t sound a lot like the funeral home. She shook off that thought. Maybe everything felt like a funeral lately.
Last night she’d decided that she needed to be honest with Angie about the DeSoto. It wasn’t going to be an easy discussion, but ever since the car had been delivered to her, she’d been a nervous wreck about it.
Daddy had agreed to let Angie and Jackson use his prized convertible as the getaway ride for their wedding. It had really surprised Megan, because Daddy never let anyone drive that car. It had been a generous gesture on his part. But then Angie had been like a second daughter; she and Megan had spent so much time together.
Yet now that Megan had the car tucked safely in her garage, she wasn’t sure she could risk taking a chance on it getting damaged. The Adventurer had never even seen a raindrop. What if something happened? What if it rained? Dad leaving her that car came with an unwritten agreement that she’d love it just like he had.
Written or implied, she took it seriously.
So, after a lot of thought, she’d decided to rent a limo for Angie and Jackson’s big day. She’d even sprung for the champagne package. Five hundred dollars for the fanciest car they had was a small price to pay for protecting her last connection to Daddy.
“There you are,” Carla, the owner of Sew ’n Sew Formal, said, sounding a bit stressed.
“Fashionably late,” Angie said with a laugh. “Carla was worried to death. I wasn’t.”
But Megan knew better. Angie had been just waiting for something to go wrong and ruin her perfect happily ever after. She was so darned certain that if she’d only paid attention to the warning flags when she married Rodney, her good-for-nothin’ first husband, she could have spared herself a lot of heartache. So now, Angie was hyperaware.
Carla waved her hands in the air, clearly frustrated to be off schedule. “Come on over here, Megan. Everyone else is already in the back waiting. You’re the maid of honor, dear, you’re supposed to be the first one here.”
None of them lived more than a couple miles away. What was the big deal? Okay, so she’d dawdled the whole way over. And she’d intended to be on time today. For a change. Maybe she wasn’t quite as ready to have that conversation with Angie about the car as she’d thought.
“I stopped and got the ribbon Mom reordered.”
Angie held up her hand and crossed her fingers. “I’m praying it matches.”
“Me too.” Megan held up the ribbon that was supposed to match and the white, pearl-edged ribbon. “We’ve got options. It’ll work out.”
“Brilliant!” Angie heaved a sigh of relief. “You always have a backup plan.”
Carla led Angie and Megan to the fitting room area.
Katy sat on the love seat next to Flynn, who owned the B and B in town.
“Megan! Finally!” Flynn, the teetotaler of the group, spun around in such delight that if Megan didn’t know better, she’d think she’d been sipping champagne, but that was highly unlikely for any of them in this bridal shop, since Carla was the preacher’s wife.
Carla moved through the room as if she were on roller skates. “Now that we’re finally all here, we can begin.”
“Sorry.” Megan was pretty sure Carla still hadn’t forgiven her for the time Megan had accidentally ridden her bicycle through the woman’s treasured rose garden. It had been no picnic for her either. Dr. Hansen had had to dig stickers out of half of Megan’s right side that day. The woman had been snippy with her for the next fifteen years. Talk about holding a grudge.
Megan lowered herself into an old velveteen Queen Anne chair. The hodgepodge of fine antiques and practical things, like the tall plastic oscillating fan, held its own kind of charm. The air-conditioning was no competition for the heat in this old draft building. Wispy fabrics fluttered every time the fan made a thankful pass from left to right.
“Here we go.” Angie followed Carla into the bride’s dressing room. The heavy door clicked closed behind them. The elegant etched glass that adorned the back of the door had to have been from the early nineteen hundreds—the glass wavy and scratched.
Megan’s nerves fluttered as they waited for Angie. Katy and Flynn chattered about potato salad recipes, but Megan only half listened. Her mind was on Angie and the wedding. Jackson was so good for her best friend, but her own anxieties about relationships and weddings wouldn’t quit nagging at her. Why couldn’t she just be happy for Angie and not worry so much?
A moment later the mirrored door opened and Angie stepped out onto the raised carpeted platform.
A collective hush fell across the room.
Angie’s smile was wide, but a nervous twitch played at her lips. She held her arms out and turned slowly, the ivory chiffon gently sweeping the floor. “What do you think?”
A simple sleeveless A-line, with subtle beading at the waist, looked as elegant as her dark hair, which Carla had swept up into a loose chignon.
“Oh, Angie.” Megan blinked. Why am I so emotional today? “You look beautiful. Jackson is going to fall in love with you all over again when he sees you in that dress.”
Carla walked around her, tugging and smoothing Angie’s gown. “Looks perfect. How does it feel?”
“Perfect,” Angie whispered.
 “It sure is,” Flynn said, then reached over from the love seat to where Megan was seated and grabbed Megan’s hand. “I hope I’ll be as beautiful when I’m a bride.”
“You will be.” Megan hoped Flynn would find a suitor soon. Bless her heart, the girl was dying to be married. Why was it the girls who wanted to get married never attracted the settling kind, and yet it seemed like every guy Megan went out with wanted a committed relationship? And she was never going down that road again. She’d found her soul mate, and Kevin had not only broken her heart, but wrecked her soul. A loss she still carried around like it happened yesterday.
Angie pointed toward Katy. “I have a feeling Katy might be your next customer, Carla.”
Katy blushed. “We haven’t gotten that far yet.” Katy, the newest resident of Boot Creek, had made fast friends with Angie the first week Katy happened into town. And even though Katy had only meant to stop for gas in Boot Creek, she’d come on the day of the Blackberry Festival and met Derek Hansen. It had been the day she was running away from heartbreak, and what she’d found in Boot Creek was a second chance at love and a whole new career.
“You will,” Angie said. “I know Derek. And yeah, he was broken when Laney died, but he is whole again with you.”
“He completes me too,” Katy said. “We’re not rushing things, but when the time’s right, all of you will be there at my side too. Right?”
“Of course,” they all agreed.
Megan lifted her hands in the air. “Angie, I think it looks like I can check off final wedding dress alterations from the list.” Her goal was to complete every single thing on this project plan on time with zero problems. Yes, everyone kept saying that was an impossible goal, but she took her goals seriously and was determined to make that happen.
Angie pressed her hands together and raised her fingertips to her lips. “It’s all coming together. Thank goodness. I’d already told myself that if there were any hiccups, I’d heed the  signs and throw this all in reverse.”
Megan certainly wasn’t going to be the one to start that. That limo would just have to be cancelled. “It’s going to all go according to plan, Angie. I promise.”
“And I put together all the paperwork and itineraries for the honeymoon,” Katy said. “I brought the packet with me. I’m jealous that y’all are going to Alaska for two whole weeks. That is so on my bucket list now.”
“We could never have planned a two-week honeymoon if you and Derek hadn’t offered to keep Billy. I’m still so anxious about leaving him so long,” Angie said. “I know he’ll be fine with y’all. He’s so excited. But . . . ”
“And he’ll be fine. He loves Derek, and you know how I feel about him. The practice sleepovers have gone fine.”
“I know I’m a worrywart when it comes to him. I can’t help myself—he’s a handful. All boy. I don’t think you know what you’ve got yourself into.”
“Are you kidding me? I’m excited,” Katy said. “Derek and I are going to have a blast playing house. It’s good practice for us. And I’ve always wanted to go school shopping. Now I have Billy as an excuse. Usually I pretend I’m stocking up for children that I don’t have so I can take advantage of all the amazing deals. I mean really. Who doesn’t go gaga over school supplies?”
“True,” Angie said, her brows knitting together. “Maybe I could squeeze in taking him school shopping this week.”
“Don’t you dare steal my fun, Angie! You can do school prep with Billy for the next ten years. And you’ll be home in plenty of time for his first day of school.”
“I would have never been able to plan this wedding without y’all. I have the best bridesmaids ever.” Angie’s eyes glistened, and as much of a pain as Megan could imagine her own mother would be in planning a wedding with her, she couldn’t imagine not having her mom around to do it.
A tear spilled down Angie’s cheek. “I love y’all. You’re the best friends any girl could ask for.”
“As maid of honor, I forbid any sappy crying jags. Even though we are pretty awesome.” Megan stepped onto the platform and handed Angie a tissue. “Don’t be getting weepy on us, you’ll stain your dress.”
Angie dabbed at her eyes. “We might need some wine on Saturday. Do you think they allow wine in the brides dressing area? I’m suddenly very nervous.”
“Not like back out nervous. Right?” Megan asked.
“No. Not like that. Maybe nervous isn’t the right word. Excited. Anxious. Insanely lucky. Too-good-to-be-true lucky.”
“No such thing,” Megan reassured her.
 Carla walked over to the door at the far side of the room, then clapped her tiny hands together. “Okay, ladies. Let’s get your dresses on and check them one last time for fit.”
“Y’all’s turn,” Angie said. “I’ll be waiting right here.”
Carla rushed the girls along.
Megan, Katy, and Flynn followed Carla into the large dressing room. Their blue gowns, the color of summer skies in Carolina, hung on shiny silver hangers from hooks, one next to the other, along the wall. In the center of the room, a tall pedestal table gave the girls a little bit of privacy as they changed.
As soon as Carla left the room, Flynn said, “I hope my dress fits this time. Carla took it in the first time and out the second. I swear she got the measurements mixed up with one of y’all’s. I hadn’t gained or lost a pound.”
“Wouldn’t doubt it.” Megan laughed. “Old lady Carla has to be pushing her late seventies. She did the alterations on my mom’s wedding gown and that was over thirty years ago.”
As a little girl, Megan used to stare at the bridal portrait of her momma that hung in the hallway of their home. She’d looked so beautiful. And Megan dreamed of wearing that pretty white dress with the layers of chiffon. That was a long time ago. And all of those fairy-tale dreams had been shattered that summer night seven years ago.
Megan was the last one to step into her dress. Katy zipped her up just as Carla came back in carrying a box of silk flower bouquets that had seen better days. Years-old dust caked the green silk leaves in the stand-in bouquets. Megan’s mouth twitched in amusement as she rolled ick off of one of the petals. Flynn’s shoulders rocked as she got a fit of the giggles over it too.
Katy and Flynn lined up at the door, and Megan fell in behind them. Megan wasn’t the cry-at-a-Hallmark-movie kind of girl, but she had to admit this was pretty exciting. And realizing how very different Angie’s life was going to be now filled her with joy.
The door swung open and the girls filed out of the dressing room.
Angie gasped, a wide smile spreading across her face. “Y’all look beautiful.” She swept at a tear with the balled-up tissue she held in her hand.
“You’re crying,” Flynn asked.
“Again?” Megan said.
“She’s fine,” Katy said.
“Happy tears, right, Angie?” Megan forced a smile. This was going to be one long week.
“Totally happy tears. It’s overwhelming. Everything is so perfect. After being married to Rodney, and the hell he put me through to get that divorce, I never thought I’d be happy again. And now, not only do I have a son who brings joy to me every single day, but also I have the best friends. Y’all are so special to me. And I have Jackson. He loves me. He gets me, and I love him. The perfect guy. Perfect family. Perfect wedding venue, caterer, flowers, photographer, and even the perfect car to drive off in after the wedding. Could it possibly be any better?”
Megan swallowed hard. Probably not the perfect time to mention not letting Angie use the car.
“Not one red flag,” Angie continued. “I mean, it’s got to be some kind of sign when everything falls into place like it has. I know you remember, Megan. There was problem after problem planning that wedding. Right up to the day of. Why didn’t I see those snapping red flags?”
“Because you were in love with the idea of being in love, and the man you wanted Rodney to be,” Megan said. “Let it go. But I do remember you crying when the justice of the peace croaked on you the morning of the wedding, and you had to scramble for a new one. And that the cake was chocolate instead of almond, which I still say Rodney had something to do with.”
Angie’s lips curled. “Had to have been him. After all, it was his aunt who made the cake. You don’t just mix something like that up.”
“And why we’re not using her for your cake this time,” Flynn piped in. “You don’t have to worry about that nincompoop anymore.”
“Unfortunately, I still have to deal with him because of Billy, but my boy is worth every aggravation that man ever caused me. This time there aren’t any warning flags. Not one last-minute hitch.” She reached her hand for Megan’s. “And that reassures me that things are going to be different this time. I really am this lucky.”
Megan’s heart shrank. How can I let Angie down? She’d been so excited to use Daddy’s car for her wedding. What kind of maid of honor am I? “I won’t let anything ruin your day.” Megan hugged Angie. “And I know Jackson is right for you. Don’t you worry.”
“Let me get a picture,” Carla said, waving her hand to get them to scoot in. “Smile, and say happy.”
“Happy,” they said in harmony.
Carla waved her arm toward the group, then clicked off a couple pictures. “Okay, you girls all go get changed. Angie and the rest of y’all, do you want me to have the dresses delivered over to the bridal area at First Baptist Saturday morning?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Angie said. “That’ll be a big help, Carla.”
Katy was the first to get changed and leave. Megan hung back, hoping to get a minute alone with Angie where she could discuss the car with her, but between Flynn talking about the arrangements for all of the out-of-town guests that would be arriving the next day to stay at her bed and breakfast and Carla running down a punch list of things with Angie, Megan finally begged off.
Probably a sign.
Megan still had to finish several special orders including the guest gift votives that Angie had asked her to make for everyone coming to the wedding, and that meant she was going to need to pick up an extra order of beeswax from the local apiary to fill the orders she’d get this week.
With a couple quick hugs, and promises to catch up later, Megan stepped outside. At least a slight breeze was kicking up now. In the last hour and a half, it had at least turned bearable out here. The breeze blew through her hair, cooling against the hot sun. It was during these dog days of summer like today that Daddy would have taken her for a ride in the Adventurer. There’d be no ride today, though. She hadn’t even had the heart to start the thing since the tow truck had delivered it and maneuvered it into the tight quarters of her garage bay.
Daddy, I wish I knew for sure what it was you wanted me to do with this car now that you’re gone, because riding in it will never be the same without you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA TODAY Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle, writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense in hopes that readers will find an escape from their hectic day-to-day in the make-believe worlds she creates.