Thursday, August 22, 2019

Book Spotlight on The Empty Nesters by Carolyn Brown (GIVEAWAY)


Friendship is the driving force in this contemporary tale of moving on and starting over presenting readers with eclectic and unforgettable characters who will keep you turning the pages.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Empty Nesters by Carolyn Brown, along with learning more about this book courtesy of the author, then add it to your bookshelf.  In honor of this heartwarming novel make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 Amazon GC along with a digital copy of this book!

Good morning, and thank you for inviting me to stop by to talk about my new book, The Empty Nesters. I’ll be giving all y’all a few of my favorite scenes and a little commentary during the time we get to spend together.
As Ma used to say on Golden Girls, imagine this—Carmen, Joanie and Diana have just dropped their daughters off at the recruiter’s office. They’ve managed to keep the tears at bay and put up a brave front, but now it’s time to let the tears loose.
“For the first time ever, Natalie and I won’t decorate the house for Halloween together. Nine months of carrying them, then we basically raised them on our own while our husbands were deployed or got sent someplace to train other officers. And now they’re gone, and we won’t see them for Halloween or Thanksgiving. And who even knows about Christmas? It’s not fair.”
It’s always amazing what comes to mind during a sad time, isn’t it? Things pop into our heads that seem trivial in the face of the event, and yet, at the time, the good memories are what keep us sane.
Tootsie, their elderly neighbor, has just lost her husband, after they’d bought the huge RV and planned a trip to northeast Texas. She’s trying to convince the women that they need to get away from their empty nest for a while.
“You need to get away for a little while and get some perspective,” Tootsie said.
“Let’s pool our money and blow it all on a trip to Paris. We can shop and have lattes in little bistros,” Diana suggested.
Joanie sighed. “That’s a pipe dream. We probably don’t have enough money to even get to Paris, Texas, between the three of us.”
The three of them have known the support of each other through the past thirteen years, and just because they’re now alone in their homes, they have no doubt that the love is still there between them—and that it’s even stronger than blood sisters.
“We’re only half a block and a phone call away. If any of us feel the world dropping out from under our feet, we can get back together in less than five minutes.”
I was amazed at how supportive all of them, including Tootsie, were of each other. They might disagree, but Lord help the person that tried to come between them, or who had the nerve to say an ugly word about one of them.
Everything happens for a reason and in the time that it should happen. I believe that with my whole heart. Diana had gotten her divorce years before the book opens, but she remembers the pain and anger of it all. Then she focused all her energy and time on raising her daughter. But now it’s her time to find a new love, and a new life—maybe with a younger man.
“That many trips into town on those roads would shake the hell out of their Caddy. And believe me, Aunt Tootsie treats that car like family.” Luke chuckled. “Age, on a truck or on a person, makes no difference. It’s how well they’re maintained that matters.”
Why, oh, why, couldn’t he have smooth pickup lines like other men? Luke asked himself. What he’d just said could be taken as an insult. She might think that he thought she looked like an old pickup truck at her age, when in reality she was downright gorgeous. He wouldn’t be a bit surprised if she still got carded at bars when she ordered a drink.
Thank you again, for inviting me into your world, and letting me talk about the amazing ladies (and Luke of course), from The Empty Nesters. Happy reading to each and every one of you!

Dear friends and army wives Diana, Carmen, and Joanie have been through war, rumors of war, marital problems, motherhood, fears, joy, and heartache. But none of the women are prepared when their daughters decide to enlist in the army together. Facing an empty nest won’t be easy. Especially for Carmen. With emotions already high, she suffers an even greater blow: divorce papers. Diana understands the fury and tears. She’s been there.
With nothing to lose and no one at home, the girlfriends impulsively accept an unexpected offer from their elderly neighbor. The recently widowed Tootsie has an RV, a handsome nephew at the wheel, and an aim for tiny Scrap, Texas, to embrace memories of her late husband. Still grieving, she can use the company as a balm for her broken heart. So can the empty nesters.
Embarking on a journey of hope, romance, and healing, Diana, Carmen, and Joanie are at a turning point in their lives. And with the open road ahead of them, it’s just the beginning.

BUY AT AMAZON here.

AUTHOR INFO:

Carolyn Brown is a New York TimesUSA TodayPublisher’s Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books. Her genres include romance, history, cowboys and country music, and contemporary mass-market paperbacks. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma, where everyone knows everyone else, knows what they are doing and when...and reads the local newspaper every Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.


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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Book Cover Reveal for Frat House Confessions: Wes by Bethany Lopez


Readers will find themselves rooting for the hero of this story who charmed us in the first book in this series as he, and the girl who once betrayed him, get their second chance at romance this time around.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Frat House Confessions: Wes by Bethany Lopez, while taking a moment to drool over this cover, then start counting down the days until this book releases on September 30th!

She wants more than just his forgiveness...
Trixie’s not ashamed of the exposĂ© she wrote for the college newspaper last year. She’s a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get the story, even if it meant lying to a friend to get the inside scoop.
Still, every time she sees Wes, she regrets the loss of someone she really enjoyed spending time with. Not one for labels, or someone who puts limitations on attraction, Trixie can’t deny the pull she feels toward Wes when they cross paths again.
He's willing to do whatever it takes to change her perception of him...
Wes has always been the odd man out. Different than his brothers, he was always more comfortable playing video games or enjoying solitary moments in the pool.
Although he never expected someone as sexy as Trixie to fall for an inexperienced guy like him, he also never expected her betrayal. Now that he has a second chance, can he get her to see him as more than the nice guy she duped?
A year has passed, but anger and regret still linger. Can Wes and Trixie agree to put the past behind them and move forward, or will late night confessions prove to be more than they can forgive and forget?


FIND AT GOODREADS here.

PRE-ORDER LINKS:  AMAZON (US)  |  AMAZON (UK)  |  AMAZON (CA)  |  AMAZON (AU)


AUTHOR INFO:

Bethany Lopez is a USA Today Bestselling author of more than thirty books and has been published since 2011. She's a lover of all things romance, which she incorporates into the books she writes, no matter the genre.
When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with family and traveling whenever possible.
Bethany can usually be found with a cup of coffee or glass of wine at hand, and will never turn down a cupcake!

Book Spotlight on I’ve Got You, Babe by Lynnette Austin (GIVEAWAY)

A wounded warrior finds himself playing hero to a struggling mom and her endearing daughter in this romance full of heart and soul.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of I’ve Got You, Babe by Lynnette Austin, then start counting down the days until this contemporary romance hits bookshelves on August 27th.  In honor of this second installment in the Must Love Babies series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 5 copies of the first book in this series too!

Where do you go when you’re at the end of your rope?
Former Marine Tucker Wylder wants nothing more than to work with his brothers in their vintage car restoration business and be left alone with his nightmares and regrets. The last thing he needs is to take on someone else’s troubles...
Then Elisa Danvers and her young daughter arrive in Misty Bottoms, Georgia. Elisa has reached the end of the line—flat broke, engine trouble, sick in body and spirit. Tucker steps up to the rescue and finds himself reluctantly taking care of a feisty preschooler and her independent mother, who doesn’t seem to want his help. And Tucker isn’t sure he’s ready for the way precocious little Daisy and headstrong, beautiful Elisa herself capture first his bachelor household and finally his carefully guarded heart…

EXCERPT:

A cup of hot, black coffee in hand and a well-earned—and desperately needed—weekend fishing trip on his mind, Tucker unlocked the front door of Wylder Rides. The smell of oil and new tires welcomed him like an old friend. He liked the peace and quiet of the early morning, the solitude before his brothers arrived.
When a breeze drifted in through the open bay door, he thanked the stars the calendar had finally flipped to October. This summer, his first in Misty Bottoms, Georgia, had been hotter than Hades. With the onslaught of autumn, though, temperatures had dipped to a less humid mid-seventies.
Still, even the Georgia low-country summer had been a hell of a sight better than the sweltering heat he’d suffered during his Middle East deployment. There the July temperatures hovered above the hundred-degree mark. Add in the blistering sun, and the place could turn a man’s hide to shoe leather in no time.Don’t even get him started on the never-ending sand that found its way into every crack and crevice on the human body and scoured exposed skin raw.
A tough place to live. A worse place to die.
Involuntarily, his hands clenched into fists. Taking a deep breath, he relaxed them. Not today. He dropped to the creeper, slid partially beneath the ’Vette, and got busy replacing the brake lines.
Southern rock blasted from his stereo. Over the magic of Charlie Daniel’s fiddle, Tucker heard a car slow, then pull in out front. Its muffler was shot. The engine knocked, coughed and sputtered, then shut down with a rattle.
Seconds later, a totally different sound caught his attention—high heels on the garage’s concrete floor. Tucker slid a sidelong glance toward the front of the bay and almost swallowed his tongue. Framed in the narrow window between the floor and the car’s bumper were a pair of legs that would have any red-blooded man drooling…and they crossed slowly toward him. Laying the wrench on the floor beside him, he gave a push with his foot and slid the creeper from beneath the car.
Flat on his back, he let his gaze travel up over a body that matched the legs beat for beat, then on to a face only angels could have created. The heart-shaped face, with its sensuous lips and the biggest, bluest eyes he’d ever seen, sent a shockwave rocketing through him. Long, pale blond hair had been caught back in a ponytail.
An illusion? Maybe he’d breathed too many gas fumes and was hallucinating?
Nope. This woman was real and, from the expression on that stunning face, in trouble.
“My car—” She waved a hand toward the front of the building.
“Could use some work,” Tucker finished, slowly getting to his feet. Wiping his hands on a grease rag, he moved toward her. “Look, we’re not a repair shop, but I can probably figure out what’s wrong. If it’s minor—“
She swayed and reached out toward the wall.
“You okay?” Even as Tucker spoke, he saw those mind-blowing eyes go blank. Dark lashes fanned her cheeks.
With a muttered curse, he lunged, barely reaching her before she hit the floor. Heart racing, he held her against him and swore again. Out cold.
“Hey, can you hear me?” He tapped her cheek but got no response. “Wake up.”
Sweat broke out on his brow. Where were his brothers? They should be here by now. What was he supposed to do with an unconscious woman? He leaned his head close to hers, relief flooding him when her breath whispered against his cheek.
A high-pitched wail split the air. Panicked, his head whipped up, and he glanced toward the beater parked out front. The driver’s side door hung open; in the back, strapped into a child’s seat, sat a little girl with her mama’s pale blond hair—a little girl winding up for one hell of a crying jag.
And the day just got better!
He shook the limp woman gently, noticed the sheen of perspiration on her face. “Come on, sugar. For God’s sake, open those baby blues.”
She didn’t.
Kneeling and taking the woman down with him, he spread an old garage blanket and laid her carefully on it, straightening the short skirt of her flower-print dress.
With his forearm, he swiped the sweat from his brow. “Hey, wake up.”
She didn’t.
Okay. Time to tackle the second half of this double-feature horror show.
Edging toward the used-up Ford Escort and its young occupant in much the same way he’d approach a suspected sniper’s nest, he pulled out his phone and hit 911.
The sheriff answered on the first ring. “Misty Bottoms Police Department. What can I do ya?”
“Jimmy Don, it’s Tuck Wylder. I’m out at my shop.” Opening the sedan’s back door, he stared at the young child, at her tear-covered face and runny nose. He’d guess her to be maybe two or three years old. An opened bag of pretzels lay on the seat. Leaning in, he grabbed one and handed it to her. She raised it to her mouth and chewed, her cries dying to quiet whimpers.
Thank you, Jesus.
“Tuck? What’s goin’ on?” the sheriff demanded.
“A woman pulled up in front of our place, and, well, she’s passed out.”
“Been drinkin’?”
“I don’t think so, but she’s hot.”
“I don’t care how good lookin’ she is.”
“No, Jimmy Don. Not hot hothot! As in sweating.”
“Well, why didn’t you say so?”
“I did!” Who’s on first? he thought.
“Do I hear a kid?”
Exasperated, Tucker raked fingers through his short hair, his gaze travelling over the woman. She still hadn’t moved. What a friggin’ mess!
“Yeah, you do. She came with the woman who’s passed out on my garage floor.”
“She okay?”
Tucker raised his eyes to the heavens and rubbed at his forehead. “Which one?”
“The kid.”
“How would I know? Nothing wrong with her lungs, I can tell you that.” The nagging beginning of a headache bloomed into a full-fledged whopper.
“You need an ambulance or you gonna take the gal in to see Doc Hawkins?”
“What?” Tucker pulled the cell away to stare at it. Bringing it back to his ear, he asked, “Are you serious, Jimmy Don? You want me to pick up an unconscious stranger, toss her in my car, along with the baby, and drive them into town?”
“So I guess you want me to send the town’s ambulance out there.”
“Bingo.”


PRE-ORDER LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  iBOOKS  |  INDIEBOUND  |  BaM  |  KOBO

AUTHOR INFO:

Lynnette Austin has been a finalist in Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Contest, PASIC's Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers' Maggie Contest. Having grown up in a small town, that's where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody...and all their business, for better or worse. Visit her at http://www.authorlynnetteaustin.com. Lynnette splits her time between the beaches of Florida and the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Book Tour for The Rogue to Ruin by Vivienne Lorret (GIVEAWAY)


Readers will find themselves charmed by this historical romance of a woman trying to succeed in business who pretends to be engaged to the rough-around-the-edges man across the street in a combustible relationship of opposites attracting.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Rogue to Ruin by Vivienne Lorret, then add it to your bookshelf.  In honor of this third installment in the Misadventures in Matchmaking series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 print copy of the previous book in this series too!

The Bourne Matrimonial Agency has one rule: Never fall in love with a client, which shouldn't be a problem when one’s faking an engagement to the rogue across the street...
Ainsley Bourne needs the family business to succeed. But one obstacle stands in her way—Reed Sterling, the huge, handsome, former prize fighter and owner of the gaming hell across the street. His scandalous customers scare off all her marriage-minded patrons and since the devilish brute has no intention of relocating, she sets out to ruin his unsavory establishment. Yet when a vile suitor from her past reappears, Ainsley hastily claims an attachment to the first man who comes to mind...Mr. Sterling, to be exact.
Reed doesn’t know who is more surprised by Miss Bourne’s declaration. She clearly hates him, and he’d never admit their arguments simmer with unrequited attraction. Something about the pleading look in her eyes calls to Reed, and against his better judgment, he quickly plays the part of the besotted fiance.
Pretending to be in love requires a convincing charade. But with each tantalizing touch and every scandalous kiss, Ainsley starts to wonder if Reed was ever really the enemy at all.

EXCERPT:

“I hardly need your advice,” Ainsley scolded him in return, every word pushing her flesh against his. Almost as if...as if she had just kissed him.
But this wasn’t kissing, she assured herself. This was merely a new form of arguing.
Anticipating his next contradiction, she angled her head for closer contact and Reed growled in response.
The low, primal sound sent an unexpected thrill rushing through her.
“It would be a waste of breath to attempt to tell you anything,” he said, fitting his other hand over the curve of her cheek to cradle her face. “Even if I wanted to say that your lips are soft and plump and more luscious than wine-poached pears, I wouldn’t.”
Then he tilted her head back to cement his argument, opening her mouth with his own. He nibbled gently into her flesh, tasting the seam of her lips without hurry. The slow, thorough exploration caused her eyes to drift closed.
Her senses centered on the firm, enticing pressure of his mouth, the delicious rasp of his tongue. A wanton mewl tore from her throat, hungry and needy and urgent.
The unguarded sound brought her to an uncomfortable admission...
She might be kissing the enemy.


BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  AVON ROMANCE  |  BN  |  GOOGLE PLAY  |  iBOOKS

AUTHOR INFO:

USA Today bestselling author, VIVIENNE LORRET transforms copious amounts of tea into words. She is an Avon author of works including: The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Season’s Original Series, and the Misadventures in Matchmaking series.


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Monday, August 19, 2019

Book Spotlight on Nothing to Fear by Juno Rushdan (GIVEAWAY)

Love and loyalty are on the line in this exhilarating contemporary romance that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Nothing to Fear by Juno Rushdan, then count down the days until this book releases on August 27th.  In honor of this second installment in the Final Hour series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 3 copies of the first book in this series too!

The clock is ticking.
Fearsome Gray Box operative Gideon Stone is devoted to his work and his team. He’s never given reason to doubt his loyalty…until he’s tasked with investigating Willow Harper, a beguiling cryptologist suspected of selling deadly bio-agents on the black market.
He knows she’s innocent. He knows she’s being framed. And he knows that without him, Willow will be dead before sunrise.
Thrust into the crossfire of an insidious international conspiracy, Gideon will do anything to keep Willow safe…even if that means waging war against his own. With time running out, an unlikely bond pushes limits—and forges loyalties. Every move they make counts. And the real traitor is always watching…

EXCERPT:

Willow’s car nosedived down a long ramp that mouthed open to three lanes. Vehicles lining the two on the left were stopped at a red light.
She grabbed the wheel and veered toward the empty right lane.
Relief flashed through her. But as quickly as it came, it was gone. Her car had no brakes and was on a collision course with a major intersection of traffic.
Pressure welled in her chest.
Figures. She’d just had the most highly charged experience in her short life with a guy she was crazy attracted to, and now she was going to die. After living a neutral—
Neutral. She shifted from drive to neutral and dragged the tires against the concrete curb. The friction would shave off some speed but not enough. Not while pitched downhill on a trajectory sending her right into traffic with the cruise control jammed at sixty.
She had to avoid causing a domino effect of collisions in the intersection. Cranking the wheel, she plowed over the curb, scraping the undercarriage, and climbed the grassy berm over uneven terrain. Her gaze flickered up to the rearview mirror and to a red Jeep speeding up behind her.
A concrete barricade ahead stole her attention and her breath. She spun the wheel, turning into the main street traffic. Cars squealed, braking. Another skidded and rear-ended a truck.
The Jeep bulldozed up beside her in the left lane, horn honking.
What was she supposed to do? What could she do?
The four-wheel-drive vehicle nosed past her bumper and crashed into her car, forcing her to make a hard right—straight into the parking lot of a grocery store.
A woman yapping on her cell phone while rooting in her purse crossed in front of them. Willow’s chest turned to a block of ice.
The Jeep that had run up beside her tapped her car to the right, engaging her focus.
She steered away from the woman to the side of the building and a vacant part of the lot.
“Willow!”
The sound of her name penetrated her shroud of fear. She looked over through the Jeep’s open passenger-side window.
Gideon.
He signaled to her, punching his hand down and yanking his fist up toward his shoulder. She glanced to her side.
Gear selector? No.
Emergency brake. He wanted her to pull up on the emergency brake.
She gripped the handle and wrenched up. The car whipped into a wild spin. She gasped. Light swirled into a haze of gray. Nausea flooded her in a violent wave. Her body shivered like it wanted to splinter into a hundred pieces.
Pressing her head against the seat, she released the wheel and crossed her arms, hands to her shoulders. The tail of the car crashed into something, shattering the back window. The vehicle rocked, jostling her forward.
Phfowmph!
A dense pillow punched her, throttling her back. A white cloud engulfed everything. The airbag sucked up the space around her. A scream strangled in her throat and died.
Dust and white powder clogged her nose and esophagus. She choked on the remnants of terror.
Her car door swung open. “Willow! You okay?”
A loud pop echoed. Her airbag deflated with a hiss, as if it’d been cut. She drew in a shuddering breath and waved to clear the congesting dust from her face.
Gideon whipped a double-handled knife closed and reached for her.
A whimper slipped from her lips as she cringed, raising her arm. It was all too much—losing the brakes, the sound of metal grating, hitting vehicles. Almost dying. She needed to breathe, gain her bearings, before he touched her.
“I want to help you from the car and make sure you’re okay. I won’t hurt you.” He reached for her slowly. “Okay?”
Shutting her eyes, she clutched the strap of her purse still draped over her and nodded.
He unfastened her seatbelt. One strong arm slipped under her legs, the other curled around her shoulders. He lifted her out the car, tucking her against his large frame.
Particles clung to her nostrils, burned her throat, and filled her lungs. She coughed and raked in a glorious breath of fresh air.
Gideon’s long legs stretched quickly, carrying her to his car. In his powerful arms, warm and solid, a blanket of calm covered her, dampening her chaotic thoughts save one.
She was safe with him.
He opened the passenger’s door and set her inside, but she didn’t want him to let go. Not yet.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
Everything had unraveled in minutes. Trying to slow the car, the parking lot. Gideon helping. She still couldn’t make sense of it.
Gideon crouched in front of Willow and examined her, smoothing his big hands over her face and her hair. He tilted her chin up. “Did you hit your head? You might have a concussion.”
Staring into his wide eyes, now darkened to the bluish gray of a stormy sky in this light, her breathing slowed and her bunched muscles uncoiled. He looked shaken, off beat from his normal steady cadence.
“Willow? Are you all right?”
I’m okay. How bizarre since she’d almost died. “Everything is fuzzy, but I didn’t hit my head. I don’t think I have a concussion.”
“You can get it from whiplash. A doctor should check you.”
Before she voiced objections, a sheriff’s car pulled into the lot, lights flashing, siren muted. Gideon patted her knee and left her side. He spoke to the officer, pointing to her car, waving his hands in the air as if explaining everything that’d happened.
What exactly had happened?
This morning, nothing was wrong with her brakes. She’d had the car checked recently, never pushed the service due date. Yet she’d nearly been killed.


PRE-ORDER LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  iBOOKS  |  INDIEBOUND  |  BaM  |  KOBO

LEARN MORE ABOUT MS RUSHDAN AND HER BOOKS here.

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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Book Spotlight on Call Her Mine by Melissa Foster (GIVEAWAY)

Two friends who’ve fought their attraction to each other for years find themselves taking care of a baby left on their doorstep in this charming and sensual contemporary romance.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Call Her Mine by Melissa Foster, along with learning more about this book from the author interview, then add this friends-to-lovers romance to your bookshelf.  In honor of this first installment in the Harmony Pointe series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 Amazon GC as well as an e-copy of this book!


Melissa Foster Author Interview....
TSP:  ”If a woman can’t find love in the quaint town of Harmony Pointe, it’s sure to find them…” — this is the tagline for your newest series Harmony Pointe. Tell us a bit about the town and these women who are finding love.
MF:  I love writing about close-knit small towns, where gossip is ripe, and embarrassing tales of youthful rascals abound. Harmony Pointe is nestled between Sweetwater and Port Hudson, New York, not far from the city. It offers grand views of mountains as far as the eye could see. Cobblestone streets, brick-front eclectic shops, and old-fashioned street lights add to the small town’s charm. Readers who are familiar with my Sugar Lake series will recognize Harmony Pointe as Derek Grant’s hometown.
TSP:  What was the idea that sparked the beginning of the series?
MF:  I have been itching to write Ben Dalton and Aurelia Stark’s story since I first read about them in WILD BOYS AFTER DARK: LOGAN and BAD BOYS AFTER DARK: MICK (Billionaires After Dark series) and THE REAL THING (Sugar Lake series). Harmony Pointe is a Sugar Lake spin-off, and in the Sugar Lake series several of Ben’s siblings find love. It was finally Ben’s turn.
TSP:  For longtime fans, can you tell us what this series has in common with your previous books? How is the series different from what you have written before?
MF:  Avid readers of my Love in Bloom series will have met Ben and Aurelia in several previous books and series. Their story is filled with humor and sexy times, and this one wallops the reader with an ugly-cry worthy punch. This family is very female centric, which is different than most of my other series. The exception is the Montgomerys, cousins to the Daltons, in which the males are also outnumbered. #GirlPower (Bradens & Mongtomerys series).
TSP:  Why was it important that Ben and Aurelia launched this series in Call Her Mine?
MF:  Ben and Aurelia were too loud for me to ignore! They were finally ready to share.
TSP:  There are friends-to-lovers romances and then there is Ben and Aurelia who are closer-than-close. Seriously, these two just about live in each other’s heads. What takes them so long to realize that they belong together?
MF:  Have you ever had a friend who you love so much that you can’t imagine life without them? I have. It instills a certain level of fear—what if you risk that friendship, lay your feelings on the line, and the other person doesn’t feel the same? True friends, the ones who “get” you, who accept you at your worst, bitchiest states, and at your best, are hard to come by. Risking the friendship is terrifying. I think this was the case for Ben and Aurelia—Plus there’s Ben and his damn planning...That man made me crazy. I love him so hard!
TSP:  When romance finally (finally!) is in the cards for these two, they have one very tiny situation that turns up—Ben’s previously unknown infant daughter. What was it like to create an insta-family for this pair?
MF:  It was so frigging fun I wish I could do it again! I loved every second of writing this book. I was able to strip Ben and Aurelia down to their most raw selves and emotions, and then watch as they found their new footings together. It was glorious.
TSP:  While it is unfair to ask if you have a favorite hero, we’d love to know what makes Ben so special to you.
MF:  Heroes come in all shapes and sizes—arrogant, funny, introverted, brilliant, average, overly serious, etc. Ben is like the guy you see sitting at the end of a bar in a fine suit and think he’s probably taken, or at the least too refined to be fun. And then he opens his mouth and melts you, or makes you laugh, at every turn. He’s protective, but not in a bullying way. Don’t even get me started with that man holding a tiny baby, falling in love with her page after page. I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it.

Ben Dalton has always been honest, except where his heart is concerned. He’s been in love with his best friend—saucy, smart-mouthed Aurelia Stark—forever. But Ben’s a planner, and timing has never been on his side. When he finally decides to make his move, Aurelia beats him to the punch with a move of her own—to a different town.
Aurelia loves her new life in the charming town of Harmony Pointe. She has a great apartment and her very own bookstore, and best of all, the sinfully hot, commitment-phobic friend she’s crushed on for years is no longer just around the corner. Maybe she’ll finally be able to leave her unrequited love behind and move on.
But when a baby is left on Ben’s front porch—a baby that is presumably his—Aurelia is there for him. Neither one knows the first thing about babies, but how hard can it be? Ben and Aurelia are catapulted into a world of love, laughter, and tracking down the baby mama, and it might even add up to a very happily ever after…just not one either of them expects.

EXCERPT:

“I’ve got to go.” She tried to pull away, but he dug his fingers into her knotted muscles, releasing tension and drawing a moan from her traitorous lungs.
“Don’t run off,” he coaxed. “I wasn’t kidding. You are my best friend. I trust you with my secrets, and I love who you are.”
Hope bubbled up inside her, and she closed her eyes, glad he couldn’t see her face. Had their time finally come? “Really?”
“Of course,” he said, and she heard the smile in his voice.
That made her feel all sorts of good, and the truth came easily. “I love who you are, too.”
He leaned his chin on her shoulder, his hard chest pressing against her back as he said, “I especially love who you are when you’re making me breakfast.”
“Ugh!” She pushed to her feet, but he snagged her wrist, giving her the puppy-dog eyes she’d never been able to resist. The ones that said, Please don’t leave me. “Ben,” she warned.
Relsy,” he pleaded.
“I am not making you breakfast. I have to go.” She yanked her hand away and said, “And I’m busy for the next few weeks. Actually, for a lifetime, so . . .” She shoved her feet into her red Converse sneakers and grabbed her purse.
“I seriously have to make my own breakfast?” Ben pushed to his feet and stretched, six-plus feet of hotness towering over her five-two frame. “But you make waffles better than I do.”
“I do a lot of things better than you. Don’t forget to call Aiden back.” Aiden was his business partner. He’d called Ben last night while they were watching a movie and Ben had made her laugh, causing tequila to come out of her nose, which had sent him into hysterics and rendered him unable to answer the call.
“That’s right.” He grabbed his phone from the table. “He was supposed to set up a meeting with our legal team.”
“For the hotel chain you’re buying?”
“Yeah. Hey, take my sweatshirt. It’s early. You’ll be cold.”
He pulled his sweatshirt over his head and tossed it to her, revealing a dusting of chest hair over muscular pecs and a treasure trail that disappeared beneath the waist of his low-slung jeans. His sweatshirt hit her in the chest and landed at her feet, reminding her she was staring.
Ben laughed. “Nice catch, Rels. Remind me not to pick you for my baseball team.”
“I don’t want to be on your team. You run the bases too slow,” she mumbled as she picked up his sweatshirt and tugged it over her head, inhaling his masculine scent. “I’m out of here.”
“How about cereal?” he asked with a wink. “I’ll make it.”
“Since when did you become so needy?”
A coy grin slid across his face. “I know that once you’re in my kitchen, there’s no holding back. You won’t let me eat crap when you can make something delicious.”
“Yeah, you should see me in the bedroom.” She felt her eyes bug out. She slammed her mouth closed, unable to believe what she’d said. She stormed through the hallway and out the door, followed by Ben’s laughter—and almost tripped over a basket. She leaned back, holding the door open, and hollered, “I think Willow left you muffins. There’s a basket on your porch.”
“Way to go, Willow,” he said as he strode down the hall. “Let’s see the goods.”
She realized she was staring at his bare chest again and snapped, “I’m taking the biggest muffin,” as if it was his fault he had great pecs and abs she wanted to lick, and bite, and—
Down, girl.
He cocked a grin and said, “Take as many as you’d like, but you’ll pay for them later.”
In my dreams.


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AUTHOR INFO:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than eighty books, including The Real Thing and Only for You (from her Sugar Lake series). Melissa and her books have been featured in USA TodayHagerstown magazine, The Patriot, and more. Her novel River of Love has been optioned for film by Passionflix. Melissa also writes sweet romance under the name Addison Cole. When Melissa isn’t writing up a storm, she’s living her own happily ever after with her husband and a gaggle of grown children.


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