Thursday, February 28, 2019

Book Cover Reveal for Pieces of Us by A.L. Jackson (REVIEW)

Readers will find themselves drawn to this tale of a woman burned by a past love who finds herself back home and more tempted than ever by the boy who once walked away, but who’s determined to win her back now.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Pieces of Us by A.L. Jackson, then start counting down the days until this book releases on April 22nd.  In honor of this third installment in the Confessions of the Heart series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a Kindle Fire, two signed paperbacks, premium swag, and tons of other fun goodies too!

Maxon Chambers has a way of stealing all the attention.
All my affection, and all my dreams.
What I needed to remember was he’d stolen my good judgment and my virginity, too.
When he broke up with me, I ran across the country and swore I’d never return to Broadshire Rim.
But here I am, thirteen years later.
Maxon is all grown up.
Sexier than sin and more tempting than ever.
A detective on the Charleston force, he lives on the outside of safety, devoted to protecting the people of his city.
But with the way he’s looking at me now? I’m pretty sure what needs protecting is my heart.
Can we mend the pieces of us? Or will he leave my heart shattered forever . . .


A smirk pulled at the corner of Maxon’s mouth where he had me backed against the wall. “You act like I have some other place to be.”
Redness flushed. “Don’t act like you don’t have plenty of people to entertain you.” I hoped it didn’t sound like bitterness, like scorn, but it was hard to keep that from quivering in my voice.
He moved even closer and planted his hands over my head. So close I could feel need oozing from his skin, his breath on my face, blueberries and ice. “There’s no one else, Izzy. No one I want. No one I can’t breathe without. It’s always been you.”
Desire pulled at my stomach, knottin’ it up tight. I pressed my thighs together, and he caught it, scenting my need.
Hot air puffed out of his nostrils like the dragon he was, and I was shivering. Shaking like a leaf.
He moved his hand, slowly, watching me carefully as he dropped it down and placed it on my bare thigh.
Right up under the skirt of my dress.
The breath left me on a staggered gasp. Tingles flashed. Flames licking and lapping.
My body begged to come alive under his touch.
“Izzy, baby,” he murmured, and oh God, I sagged, my back pressed to the wall. Hooked. Knowing how fast this man could make me fall.
Those eyes pinned me, keeping me in place, while his hand squeezed my leg.
He edged down, nose brushing mine, a soft inhale between his lips.
Breathing me in.
Then he pressed his mouth to mine. Featherlight.
Didn’t matter how soft it was.
Lightning streaked. A crack of thunder in the air.
He pressed our mouths tighter, lips closed, just this persistent pressure that felt so right.
A promise.
An apology.
Sensation rushed through my body.
This old love trying to bust free.
To climb out.
Reach for him.
Because I’d wanted it. Wanted to be with him so badly.
I whimpered.
“Izzy,” he murmured at my lips.
“Maxon,” I whispered back.
That was it.
We lit.





A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, and BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for A.L. Jackson’s upcoming novel, FOLLOW ME BACK, the second stand-alone novel in her brand-new FIGHT FOR ME SERIES.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson - Sign up to receive her newsletter HERE or text “aljackson” to 33222 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Book Release Blitz for Lost and Found by Lexi Blake (REVIEW)

A man whose past was taken from him, and a woman who’s missed out on life because of her desperation in finding a cure for her mother, find an intense connection that could lead to her death.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Lost and Found by Lexi Blake, along with my impressions of it, then add this second installment in the Masters and Mercenaries: The Forgotten series to your bookshelf!

Owen Shaw and his “brothers” lost everythingtheir entire existence erased. Science had robbed he and all the Lost Boys of their memories and their past, but not their future. Hunted by every intelligence agency in the world, they are focused on two goals: find a cure for what was done to them and ensure that the technology that ruined their lives doesn’t get out into the world. Rebecca Walsh might be the key to achieving both. Owen has been studying her closely, living in her building, and he cannot resolve how such a beautiful, giving woman could have helped design the evil process that destroyed his past.
Dr. Rebecca Walsh has dedicated her life to researching the secrets of the mind. Her atmospheric rise in her field was fueled by the horror of watching her mother’s agonizing journey into madness at the hands of a disease with no cure. She vowed to never rest until she finds it. But obsession takes a heavy toll, and when Owen moves into her building she realizes how much of her life she has missed out on. Owen opens her eyes to a whole new world, filled with joy, laughter, and possibly love.
Owen and Rebecca grow closer, unraveling more about each other and the mysteries surrounding her connection to Hope McDonald. As the sinister forces working against the Lost Boys descend on Toronto, secrets long buried are uncovered that could shatter the bonds holding the Lost Boys together and cost Rebecca her life.


“Becca.” Owen’s voice was low. “Concentrate on me, on our conversation. You’ve done incredibly well. You’ve been able to hold it off, but this has gone on far longer than you ever should have been expected to handle it. This elevator is tight. I feel it, too, but we can hold off the anxiety together.”
She doubted very much the man in front of her was anxious. He looked solid, like the kind of man who took whatever came his way and simply dealt with it. He wouldn’t have needed two freaking years to figure out what he wanted. He would have signed his divorce papers and moved on, not hiding in his work.
It struck her forcibly that she might never have met a man like Owen Shaw. Her childhood had been fairly sheltered. She’d constantly been surrounded by intellectuals, men and women who were far more concerned with their work than anything else.
The ground beneath her shifted and the elevator dropped what felt like ten feet, but she knew in her head it was mere inches. Her heart rate tripled, and she grabbed on to the closest thing she could—him.
His arms went around her, holding her up, and she heard it. He was so tall that her head naturally rested on his chest, and she could hear his heart beating in rapid time.
He was nervous.
The phone rang and Owen cursed, reaching out to grab it. The shaft was so small, he didn’t have to let her go to grasp it.
“What the bloody hell is happening, Colin?”
She could hear his voice over the line. “Sorry. So sorry. We had to lower the shaft the tiniest bit. I should have warned you. It’s not going to fall. Just needed to reposition to get to the problem. Not long now. Another half an hour or so and I’ll have you right out of there.”
“If you do that again, do you know what I’m going to do to you, Colin?”
There was a pause over the line and she could practically hear Colin’s gulp. “Write my father a tersely worded letter of complaint?”
“No, I’m going to pull your heart out through your throat and then I’ll shove it back up your arse.”
“You sound very much like Liam Neeson in that movie.”
“Liam Neeson is Irish. I’m a Scot. I assure you what I’ll do to you will make you run into Liam Neeson’s arms and beg him to save you.” He reached back and hung up the phone with a resounding clang.
His arm went back around her. “It’s going to be all right. They’ll move faster now. So you’ve taken a sabbatical from men.”
She breathed him in, loving how he smelled. Were men supposed to smell so good?
She could feel herself relax as he held her. She’d known him for three hours. She shouldn’t let him hold her like this.
And why the fuck not? Because it wasn’t smart? Because he might think she wanted something she shouldn’t?
She was human. Why shouldn’t she want him? Because society told her that good girls didn’t make out with guys they’d just met in an elevator?
Society sucked, and she wasn’t a good girl. When her husband had tried to put his name on her work, she’d told him to fuck off and write his own paper. When he’d cheated on her, she’d walked away.
She was single.
God, was he single?
She stepped back.
“What’s wrong?” Owen asked.
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
His lips curled up in the sweetest grin, as though he knew exactly why she was asking that question. “No, love. I don’t have a girlfriend and I don’t have a wife.”
He was single. She was single.
The moment lengthened between them.
He stepped back. “I’m sorry. I’m coming on way too strong.”
He wasn’t. He’d been gentlemanly, friendly. Up until the last couple of moments, he hadn’t put a hand on her or leered. She could feel his attraction. It was there in the warm way he looked at her, in the set of his shoulders, relaxed earlier and tense now that he’d touched her. He was thinking about the same thing she was.
“I’m very nervous, Owen. My logical mind knows that it’s far more likely for me to die getting hit by lightning than in an elevator, even one that’s stuck.” Unfortunately, her logical mind was slowly losing control of her dumbass lizard brain.
“Will talking help?” Owen asked. “Because I’m willing to do that. Or whatever you need to take your mind off things.”
There was a wealth of promise in those words. Dirty and sweet at the same time. They’d shared her wine, passing it back and forth between them, her lips touching the same place his had been moments before. When she’d drank after him, she’d thought about kissing him.
It had been too long. Two years was way too long to go without sex.
They had a half an hour or so. At least that’s what Colin—who might be murdered soon by Owen Shaw—said. She even thought his name was sexy.
What exactly would it hurt if she did kiss him? If she touched him and let him touch her? Hell, what would it hurt if she fucked him? They were both single, both a little needy. They had some time to kill. They’d done everything else.
“I would like to kiss you.” If he didn’t want her to, he could say no and they could find something else to do. She wasn’t going to be embarrassed because some guy didn’t want her. Some stunningly gorgeous guy. Some really funny, sexy guy. After all, she wouldn’t see him after this. She’d never seen him before. He’d told her he was moving in, but she went into work early and came home late. He was a bodyguard, so he likely worked odd hours and traveled a lot.
He was safe. She could open that door, enjoy herself, and then close it again. Owen Shaw could be her first really good memory in a long time, the start of many because it was time to get serious about finding some joy and balance in her life.
But only if he wanted some joy, too.
He moved back, placing his back against the elevator wall, the sweetest smile lighting up his face. “You have no idea how much I want you to kiss me. I’m right here, love. Do your worst.”
He was letting her make the first move. And probably the second. And the third. He was obviously a careful man. It would be easier if he took over, but he was right. This needed to be her choice, and she had to make the move.
She’d been the girl who’d told her parents at the age of five that kindergarten was boring and she wanted to move through the grades until she found something challenging. When they’d told her they wanted her to slow down and enjoy her childhood, she’d gone on strike until the teachers at her school begged her parents to let them move her up.
She was the girl who’d put it all on hold to take care of her mother, too.
She wasn’t the girl who didn’t take what she wanted, and she wanted Owen Shaw.
“It’s been a long time since I did this.” But her body was already heating up. Her body remembered. Her marriage might have sucked, but the sex had been fairly good. It had been the reason she’d married him. She’d gotten used to regular, good sex.
She’d get used to it again, just on her terms this time.
“Somehow, I think you’ll remember,” he said. “You play all you like. Stop when you want to.”
She’d been right about him. He was a careful man. “And if I don’t want to stop?”
“Then you should be happy I’m a man who believes in being prepared.”



Readers will find themselves once again captivated by this newest entry in The Forgotten series, an off-shoot of Ms. Blake’s engaging Masters & Mercenaries series.  In a tale full of twists and turns, readers will also find their heart’s breaking over all that befell the main couple before they found each other as well as fearing what the ghosts of their pasts will do to their future.  From the first page to the last, this is one heckuva rollercoaster ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat, a witness to a sweet and scorching romance full of danger to their bodies and souls.

Owen Shaw was once a man full of loyalty to his team, a man devoted to his mother and sister, a man who was ultimately given a heartbreaking ultimatum by an insidious doctor bent on taking over the world by turning soldiers into her personal slaves through medical manipulation.  The decision he made ended up being a no-win situation that ended with his family dead and him with amnesia and scars that have left him feeling like a traitor.  Desperate to make amends for sins that aren’t his own, Owen’s doing all he can to help a new team formed out of other men whose lives were similarly stolen to destroy the technology that took their pasts in hopes that no one else will ever be hurt in the future. Owen was once a fun-loving man who jumped into every situation without any hesitation, but he’s now a much paler shadow of the man he used to be as he’s now willing to stay in the background.  He feels like a traitor and assumes that others see him that way too.  To get through the day, alcohol and meaningless sex have now become his crutch and it’s a heartbreaking thing to see.  Owen’s carrying a heavy burden of guilt and it’s left him broken, but the moment he comes face to face with his latest assignment it felt like a jolt of electricity. Meeting Doctor Becca Walsh makes him feel alive again, talking to her has him wanting to hold her close though he knows that any relationship they form will only end badly as it’s his lies that have brought them together.  Despite all that though, he still wants her and when her life is put in danger by unforeseen adversaries he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.  I adored Owen and his sexy Scottish accent!  I ached for all that was taken from him but cheered the joy, and the reason for living, that he found with Becca.  He was an intriguing dichotomy of being dominant one moment while letting Becca take control when she needed to in a connection that amped up the book’s sensuality.  He’s a decadently delightful hero who captured my attention the moment I first saw him and his story didn’t disappoint.

Becca Walsh has always been a bit of an outsider, never quite fitting in completely.  The super smart daughter of two genius parents had her always the youngest student in school with others jealous of her accomplishments.  It didn’t leave her with many friends but it did fuel her close-knit connection to her parents.  This close connection left her especially devastated as her mother’s dementia robbed her of her dignity and her life, something that fueled Becca’s need to find a cure for this heartbreaking disease.  Her discoveries captured the attention of Doctor Hope McDonald (the truly twisted woman who robbed the Lost Boys of their lives) and put her on Owen and his teammate’s radar.  From the outside Becca seems like a quiet and reserved person, someone uncomfortable in public, someone devoted to her work to the exclusion of all else.  In reality though that picture isn’t quite accurate. Yes, she’s devoted to her work as she doesn’t want others to suffer the way her mother did.  But she’s definitely not reserved as she’s come to realize that she’s letting life slip away from her and is more than ready to end her sexual sabbatical.  She’s a bit quirky, a bit irreverent at times, and I adored her love of superheroes.  She’s comfortable in her own skin, isn’t one to apologize for going after what she wants, and this is exactly what makes her and Owen such a good pairing.  While she may look guilty at first, readers and Owen’s team quickly discover the truth which lets Owen enjoy her for as long as he’s willing to let himself be happy. Becca’s an endearing heroine, smart and funny, and easy to relate to.  When danger comes calling she’ll have to do more than play at being a superhero though in this fast-paced and suspenseful story.

This was an exhilarating read from the first page to the last, one full of unexpected twists and turns as a new villain emerges, one that’s under the shadow of Hope McDonald.  New and dangerous connections are also revealed as glimpses of the other characters are continually being doled out.  Along with all the suspense comes the combustible romance between Becca and Owen, one that will have readers rooting for them from the moment they meet.  Owen’s a tarnished hero, one weighted down by a past forced upon him, one he’s desperate to make amends for and his need for redemption endeared him to me.  Meeting Becca saw a weight lifting off him and from that moment on I was fully invested in their pairing.  Becca too came alive in his arms and it made for scorching encounters teeming with sensual and playful banter that made them a formidable couple.  Surrounding this unforgettable main couple is an equally captivating cast of secondary characters whose stories I’m looking forward to reading as it’s a twisty journey that each character has had a part of.  I’m especially intrigued by Tucker and his connection to Hope McDonald, the crackling connection between Robert and Ari, the reveal of a new villain, as well as another “Lost Boy” Sasha who seems lackadaisical but is in fact all knowing. All in all this was another winner in a series that keeps you on the edge of your seat with a story arc full of unexpected twists.  Suspense and romance are perfectly balanced to keep readers wholeheartedly invested in these men and their need for justice in a series that keeps me coming back for more as I wait breathlessly for the next installment.

My rating for this is an A.

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Book Release Blitz for When August Ends by Penelope Ward

Readers will find themselves drawn to this sensual tale of summer love between a mysterious older man and a younger woman with the whole world ahead of her.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of When August Ends by Penelope Ward, then add this memorable romance to your bookshelf!

What do you do when a sexy, older man moves into your family’s summer rental?
Well, apparently, you make a fool of yourself—over and over. Things didn’t exactly get off on the right foot with Noah Cavallari. Our first encounter was embarrassing, to say the least.
But despite that, I found myself waking up every day with a newfound energy. Nothing exciting ever happened on the lake—not until Noah moved into the small boathouse on our property. He’d booked it for the entire summer…and I was still trying to figure out why.
When my mother became ill, I inherited the responsibility of making sure our guests were well taken care of. I should have been in college. Instead, I was living my best life…as a maid.
Dark, handsome, and mysterious, everything about Noah screamed forbidden.
I knew he was just passing through town for the summer.
I knew he was probably too old for me.
Yet, I was drawn to him.
Not to mention, he tried to save my life when he mistakenly thought I was drowning.
I wanted him and made no secret of it.
His own attempts to warn me away soon gave way to late-night moonlight chats by the lake. We were slowly easing into a friendship that was gearing up to explode into something I might not recover from.
Because he’s leaving at the end of the summer.
And I have no idea what I’ll do when August ends.




Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author.
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son and beautiful daughter with autism.
With over one-point-five million books sold, she is a twenty-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Book Spotlight on Bad Influence by Stefanie London (GIVEAWAY)

A woman betrayed by the man who promised to love her creates an app to save other women from heartache with unexpected ramifications resulting that put her life in danger and her heart in jeopardy as her ex comes back in hopes of making amends.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Bad Influence by Stefanie London, then start counting down the days until this book releases on February 26th.  In honor of this third installment in the Bad Bachelors 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!

He’s the bad bachelor who inspired it all...
Annie Maxwell had her whole life figured out…until her fiancĂ© left her when his career took off. If that wasn’t bad enough, every society blog posted pictures of him escorting a woman wearing her engagement ring. To help the women of New York avoid guys like her ex, Annie created the Bad Bachelors app. But try as she might, Annie just can’t forget him...
For bank executive Joe Preston, his greatest mistake was leaving the love of his life when she needed him most. Now, all he wants is to make things right—and she won’t have him. But when Annie’s safety is threatened by a hacker determined to bring down her app, Joe is the only one she can turn to. He’ll have to lay himself on the line to prove to Annie that he’s a changed man. But will their hard-won bond survive the revelation that Annie is the one pulling the strings behind Bad Bachelors?


“You’re not thinking about seeing him again, are you?” Darcy shoved the sleeve of her sweater up, exposing her elaborate tattoos. “Please tell me you’re not in self-destruct mode.”
“I’m not,” Annie said, unsure which of the two things she was actually addressing.
She should be repulsed by the thought of having Joseph back in her life. Spitting in anger that he’d waltzed back into Manhattan and was hanging around “their place” without warning her. But the fact was, Friday night had shifted something between them. He’d come to her rescuewhen she’d needed him.
This time. Let’s not forget that his presence and attention are conditional.
Darcy pulled on a pair of pink rubber gloves and wrenched Annie’s mother’s old, squeaky taps. “Look me in the eye and tell me you’re not thinking about seeing him again.”
The answer should have been an immediate absolutely not, but the words didn’t spring to Annie’s lips. “Maybe it’ll give me some closure.”
“It’s been three years. What other information could change the way you feel?”
“I don’t know.”
“The answer is none. Nothing will change what happened.” She squirted detergent into the basin and Annie watched the luminescent bubbles multiply under the hot water. “Think about the reasons why he might want to talk to you. Stay the hell away. Trust me, your sanity will thank you.”
Of course, she knew Darcy was right. When Joseph had walked out, she’d fallen to pieces. Her friends had helped put her back together. They’d crashed at her place that first night—Darcy and Remi sleeping on the cramped pullout sofa bed—to make sure she got up the next morning and ate a proper breakfast. They’d stood by her while she called her boss and asked for a few days off to deal with it. They’d plied her with wine and pizza and cheesy movies.
They’d gone to the hospital with her after her mother’s mastectomy, held her hand, and promised her that everything would be okay. Things he should have done.
“What are you two gossiping about?” Her mother appeared in the doorway, a knowing smile on her lips. Only she wouldn’t be smiling if she actually knew that their “boy talk” was about he who should not be named.
Darcy shot Annie a look. “Your daughter is harassing me about my charity run.”
Connie snorted. “That sounds like her.”
“Ma! You’re supposed to be on my side.”
Her mother walked over and wrapped her arms around her, her head barely coming up to Annie’s chin. She smelled like lemon and sweet basil and perfume. Like always. It struck Annie, even now, that her mother’s shape was so permanently changed. She’d decided not to have reconstructive surgery after the double mastectomy—one to address the cancer and one as a preventive measure—having always hated her huge bust. But they’d never actually talked about it. And Annie hadn’t wanted to pressure her mother when she knew it was still a painful topic.
Her mother and Sal had always been determined to “protect” their kids from anything painful in life, including their health problems. At the time, they’d hid Connie’s diagnosis until it was decided she needed to have surgery. Had Annie known about her mother’s situation earlier, she might never have agreed to go to Singapore. Perhaps with that on the table from the get-go, things might have turned out differently between Annie and Joseph.
But it hadn’t, and knowing her parents were inclined to harbor such big secrets had made Annie jittery. And untrusting.
Wow, and the hypocrite of the year award goes to...?
“You know I love you, topolina. But you are a giant pain in the ass sometimes.” Connie’s loud laugh ricocheted off the worn linoleum and weathered walls.
“Charming,” Annie replied, extracting herself from her mother’s embrace and heading behind the breakfast bar to gather more dishes. “Let me know when we want to do dessert, and I’ll get some coffee going.”
“Soon. The girls have gone for a walk and the boys are in the garage.” She attempted to muscle her way into the kitchen to help, but both women waved her away.
Connie rested against the breakfast bar. Her once-chocolate-brown hair was now peppered with gray. The lines had deepened around her eyes, which still had a mischievous twinkle, and she wore her signature bright-pink lipstick.
To Annie, she would always be the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth. Andthe bravest.
“So,” Connie said. Annie’s ears pricked up at her tone. It was the I’ve heard something interesting tone. “When were you going to tell me Joseph is back in town?”
Darcy made a choking sound and Annie froze, her back to her mother as she dried one of the white ceramic platters. “Huh?”
“I ran into Zia Mariella at Costco, who said she’d had lunch with Anna-Maria from down the street, and she had spoken with Petra—Petra who’s married to Tony—whose grandson works for one of the banks, and he read an article saying Joseph is now the chief something-or-other.”
Annie blinked as her brain took the necessary time to catch up with her mother’s story. “Wait, which Petra?”
Connie ignored her question and narrowed her eyes. “Did you know?”
Darcy looked like she was about to back out of the kitchen, so Annie grabbed her wrist, shooting her a Don’t you dare leave me look. Crap. What was she supposed to do now? She never lied to her parents. Ever.
“You did know.” Connie’s lips flattened into a line so thin that almost all of the pink lipstick disappeared. “How could you not tell me?”
“I didn’t think you’d want to know, to be honest.” Annie tucked her hair behind her ear. Shit. This was not a time for her tells. When it came to dealing with her mother’s warpath, the mantra needed to be: Show no weakness!
“Well, I do.” Connie planted her hands on her hips. “So now I can tell him to leave again. He’s not welcome in this city.”
Her mother would definitely freak the hell out if she knew he’d been in Annie’s apartment.
“Thanks, Mayor Mama. I’ll be sure to revoke his Connie visa.” She rolled her eyes.




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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Book Spotlight on Forever My Hero by Sharon Sala (GIVEAWAY)

Reader’s heartstrings will be pulled in this emotional and heartwarming romance that brings together two people who’ve experienced loss and who are finally ready to take a chance on love again.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Forever My Hero by Sharon Sala, then add this romance of second chances to your bookshelf when it releases on February 26th.  In honor of this seventh installment in the Blessings, Georgia series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a Home Sweet Southern Prize Pack too!

Every storm they’ve weathered…has led them to each other.
Dan Amos lost his wife and son years ago, when they inadvertently got in the way of a death threat meant for him. He’s never had eyes for anyone since, and he doesn’t want to. But fellow Blessings resident Alice Conroy sparks something inside him...
Newly widowed, Alice was disillusioned by marriage and isn’t looking to fall in love anytime soon. Then a tropical storm blazes a path straight for the Georgia coast, and as the town prepares for the worst, Dan opens his heart and his home. The tempest is raging, but Alice and Dan are learning to find shelter…in each other.


School was officially out for the day, and parents were standing outside their cars, making sure they were in plain sight today so that their children would not be afraid.
Dan was on his way back to his truck when Alice got out. She waved at him, then stood out on the sidewalk so Patty could see her. She would be looking for their car, not Dan Amos’s truck.
Dan jogged over to where she was standing and tossed his crowbar into the truck bed.
“You were amazing,” Alice said. “I was afraid you would get hurt, too.”
He grinned. “It appears I haven’t lost my roping skills.”
Alice’s eyes widened. “I thought you were a lawyer before you came here.”
“I was once, but I grew up on a ranch in Texas. My parents still live on it, but both of my brothers run it now. When we were kids, we all worked the ranch,” he said.
“So I guess you ride horses, too?” she said.
Grinning, Dan pointed to his boots and belt buckle. “Yes, ma’am. This stuff’s not for show.”
Alice laughed and then heard the bell ring and turned toward the school. Within moments, kids began emerging through the front doors. “Here they come,” she said.
Dan was still trying to get past how her laugh made him feel when the children began coming outside. To his surprise, there was actually a kind of order to their exit. Teachers walked with part of the students toward buses, while other teachers walked with the in-­town riders. He was wondering who would be driving the injured driver’s bus when he saw a man come jogging out behind some of the kids and head that way.
“That’s the PE coach. I’ll bet he’s going to be the substitute driver,” Alice said, and then pointed. “There’s Patty! Oh…she doesn’t see my car.”
“We’ll fix that,” Dan said, and once again, he picked Alice up by the waist and swung her up and into the truck bed. Now she was heads above everyone. “Wave! She’ll see you,” Dan said.
Alice’s heart was hammering as she turned and waved, and then kept on waving until suddenly Patty saw her, smiled, and waved back.
“She saw you, right?” Dan asked.
“Yes, she did! Thank you so much.”
“Ready to get down?” he asked.
She nodded.
This time, he let the tailgate down and then held out his arms. She sat down on the tailgate, then he lifted her off and set her on her feet.
“We should have driven my car. Then you wouldn’t have to be helping me up and helping me down,” she said.
“What’s the fun in that?” he asked, grinning as he set her back into his front seat.
She was a bit taken aback by the teasing, then laughed. Moments later, they began moving up in line along with everyone else. Within a couple of minutes, they were at the loading zone. Dan jumped out and opened the back door of his truck.
“One more Conroy girl to load up, and then we’re good to go,” he said as Patty came running.
As soon as she was buckled in the back seat, she started talking.
“Mama, a girl named Shirley threw up on teacher’s shoes at lunch. I got a happy face on my workbook page and skinned my knee at recess! Did you know there were mean dogs at our school? Will they come back? I might be a’scairt tomorrow.”
Dan was grinning. “Does she ever stop to take a breath?”
“Rarely,” Alice said, then turned around to look at Patty. “Good for you for getting a happy face. That makes Mama’s face happy, too. We did know about the dogs. Mr. Amos saw the dogs and ran to help the bus driver. He stopped the dogs, and the police came and took them away. You don’t have to be scared about anything, okay?”
“Okay, Mama. Thank you, Mr. Amos.”
“You’re welcome, Patty.” Then he glanced at Alice. “Do you need anything before I take you home?”
“No, thank you. We have all we need,” she said.
“Okay then,” he said, and turned left at the stop sign by the school.
“Mama, is Charlie gonna have to walk home by himself? Won’t he be a’scairt, too?”
Alice shook her head. “Charlie walks home every day, and no, he won’t be scared. Charlie is a big boy, remember?”
Patty nodded.
Dan smiled as he drove, enjoying the little girl’s chatter and Alice’s calm demeanor. He was actually disappointed when he reached their house and pulled up into the driveway.
“Well, ladies, you’re home. Alice, if you will bear with me one more time, I’ll help you two out and see you to the door like the gentleman my mama raised me to be.”
He circled the truck, helped Alice down first, and then Patty. Once Patty’s feet touched the ground, she was running toward the house and already on the porch, airing her cheerleader skills by running from one end of the porch to the other, cheering as she went.
Dan laughed out loud at the surprised expression on Alice’s face.
Alice sighed. “Don’t encourage her.”
“Is that even possible?” he asked, as he helped her up the steps. “House key?”
She handed it to him. “It’s the one with the pink nail polish on it, remember?”
“Got it,” he said, unlocked the front door, and then stood back out of the way as Patty danced through the doorway and into the house. Dan was still grinning as he dropped the key ring into Alice’s palm. “It has been a pleasure to spend this time with you and your mini me, Ms. Alice. Maybe we could do this again sometime when there’s nothing else calling your attention.”
Alice was so shocked by the invitation that she forgot to answer.
Dan hesitated. That wasn’t the response he was hoping for. “Uh…so, is that a silent yes, or a silent no?”
She blinked. “Oh. I’m sorry. Uh…it’s a yes, and thank you?”
His heart skipped a beat. Here he was, wanting to kiss her again. He settled for a touch on her forearm. “Take care of that hand,” he said, and left before he made a bigger fool of himself or she changed her mind.
He was on his way home before the shock of what he’d done finally hit. “I cannot believe I asked her on a date.” He drove a whole block farther. “I can’t believe she said yes,” he added. He got home and all the way inside his house with one last question yet unasked. Was tomorrow too soon



SHARON SALA has over one hundred books in print and has published in five different genres. She is an eight-time RITA finalist, five-time Career Achievement winner from RT Book Reviews, and five-time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma. Visit her on the web at


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