Release Day Launch: Promises Part 3 by A.E. Via

Promises Part 3
(Bounty Hunters)

Genre: M/M GAY CONTEMPORARY/ACTION

Edited by: Tina Adamski

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Page Count: 222

Synopsis

A bounty hunter’s partners to lovers’ story.

The hunt is on… and he’s the prey.

Bradford (Ford) King was sure he had the rest of his life mapped out. Though he was no longer a SEAL Lieutenant, his brother was home safe and he had a job that still allowed him to satisfy his hunger for hunting bad guys. Life was simple, no distractions or complications – at age forty-six – that’s all Ford wanted. What he didn’t want was his work partner, sniper/watchman, Dana, giving him s**t all the time.

Dana Cadby had grown up labeled a roughneck from the wrong side of the tracks. He’d fought, scrounged, and survived despite a father that constantly told him he couldn’t. Dana pulled himself up by his own boot straps and made a name for himself in the marksman community. He’d been Duke’s bounty watchman for five years. It was his job to ensure their safety, watch their backs. At thirty-three, he was trusted, well respected by his peers, his bosses, his friends… so why couldn’t he earn the same respect from his partner?

Dana knew he was bisexual before he graduated high school. He also knew he was attracted to the huge, 6’3”, SEAL from the moment he and his brother came to join their team. It wasn’t easy for him to tamp down his immediate reaction to Ford’s thick muscles, full beard, and dark eyes. Still, Dana exhibited nothing but professionalism towards him, not wanting to make his ‘straight’ partner uncomfortable.

After Dana took back his ex-girlfriend, he’d noticed an intensification in Ford’s bad attitude. One that turned aggressive and downright antagonistic, and Dana was damned if he’d just lay down and take it. He was gonna make that man respect him if it was the last thing he did.  When Duke sends Dana and Ford out to track down their most dangerous bounty yet, they both embrace the fact that they make one hell of a team… but they fight tooth and nail against the powerful intimacy brewing between them.  Beware: When Ford and Dana connect, no fugitive can hide from the hunter and his watchman.

This story is a part of a series but can stand alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has a HEA.  Disclaimer: This book is about MM romance, albeit there is a very brief MF scene.

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 Excerpt:

Ford stepped out of the shower, drying off with a scratchy towel that was too small to fit around his waist. He looked around at the untouched space on his way to his one dresser. His home was bare and desolate. He didn’t have a partner to make his room nice for and he was fine with that. He had plenty to deal with without that kind of distraction. His brother barking at him every five minutes was enough. Relationships required a type of work and dedication that Ford couldn’t fulfill at this stage in his life.

He’d had some damn good times, tapping asses with his team back in his enlisted days, but those years were gone. Ford dropped down on the edge of his full-sized bed and reclined back on the firm mattress. He didn’t think about his days as a Special Warfare Scout anymore. Couldn’t reflect long on the experiences and battles if he wanted to protect his sanity. He still missed it. Bounty hunting was as close as he’d get to quenching the thirst of his need to hunt.

It was too quiet. He turned on the television to stop the random thoughts playing out in his head, the station already tuned into the game he’d been watching at Bennigan’s. He smirked when he remembered how Dana tried to steal glances at the ball game while eating with his girl. Ford watched her bite his head off the moment she caught him. Idiot. He was probably back at his place right now receiving his compensation for playing the ever-attentive boyfriend.

Ford abandoned the thought of Dana fucking his woman. He didn’t need the visual. He pulled on a pair of boxers and got in bed, tucking his .45 under the extra pillow beside him. Looking at his high-tech watch – which was synced and exactly like those worn by his entire team – on the side of the bed, he noticed it was almost eleven. Early for most people, but Ford figured he might as well go ahead and try to get some sleep. They had training early tomorrow. Duke and Quick made sure they stayed conditioned for suspect takedowns and didn’t allow their submission techniques to get rusty. Ford liked Quick as an instructor, and the martial arts expert he hired was knowledgeable in his field. Ford knew plenty about subduing suspects but he was never cocky in thinking he knew it all. He prided himself on always being prepared, and that required regular training. He hoped he was partnered with Duke tomorrow, because after slapping Dana on his back when he walked by him in the restaurant, the man was undoubtedly eager to get a retaliatory cheap hit in on him when they sparred. Sure, the slap was probably uncalled for, but Dana needed some sense knocked into him. Ford felt the need to be the one to do it.

 

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AUTHOR BIO:

 

A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children.

Adrienne has tons of more stories to tell, so be sure to visit her site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com/ for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

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Blog Tour: Heart of a Thief by Ella Miles


Heart of a Thief 
Publication Date: June 26th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis:

I’m the villain in most romances.

I’m a thief that steals happily ever afters.

Except unlike most romances love doesn’t conquer me, I conquer it.

I’ve stolen countless women from unsuspecting men.

Gotten my one night with them.

And then watched the heartbreak that occurs in my wake.

Love doesn’t survive once I enter the picture, if it ever existed at all.

Although, stealing Sloane might be my greatest challenge of all.

Asher is a villain trying to a put a horrible life behind him by doing the only two things he knows to do: surf and steal. Sloane is an angel that runs a charity helping children needing a fresh start. Asher will do anything to have her. There is just one problem…she’s about to marry another man.

Goodreads / Amazon

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE:

I grab a beer out of the mini fridge while I wait to see if Danielle is coming up or not. I pop the cap off against the counter in my hotel room and then bring the cold liquid to my lips as I stare at the door.

I met Danielle three weeks ago. It was a lucky happenstance really. Well, lucky for me, not so lucky for her. I met her like I meet most of my targets—in a bar. She was with her fiancé, minding her own business, just having a drink at the bar, when he was called away for work. That was when I stepped in and gave her the attention that she was so desperate for.

That’s all it took. One night of being nice to her, and I knew I could steal her from her fiancé. I knew it wouldn’t take long. I probably could have had her that night if I really wanted. But that’s not my game. Cheating isn’t enough. Many a men take back fiancées or wives who have cheated on them. No, I don’t entice the women so that they will cheat on their husbands. I hit on the women to steal them and make them mine—at least, until I get bored with them.

I’m not looking for anything long-term. I’ve never dated a woman for longer than a few weeks after claiming her as mine. Others, I get bored with much faster. I’m not really after the women. I’m after the chase that comes with stealing them away, and that satisfies the rush I used to get when I stole objects instead of people.

I don’t know which makes me a worse person. Stealing things like cars, money, or jewelry. Or stealing women and their hearts. But, this way, at least I don’t have to worry about going to jail.

I sit on the edge of the bed as I take another sip of my beer. I thought tonight was the night I would claim her. I thought tonight was the night I would steal her away. But, as every second passes, I become less sure of myself.

Maybe Danielle loves her fiancé, Wade, more than I thought she did.

I hear a soft knock on my door. Once, twice, and then a pause before the third knock. I grin before I down the rest of my beer and toss it into the trash can as I walk to the door. I open it and widen my eyes when I see Danielle standing outside my door, like I’m surprised that she is standing here even though I’m not the least bit surprised.

“What are you doing here, Danielle? Shouldn’t you be in bed, dreaming about that fiancé you are going to marry tomorrow?” I ask.

I haven’t stolen her yet. Not fully. I don’t win until she’s broken up with him, and I’ve had her in my bed.

Danielle wraps her arms across her chest, covering her cleavage that was sticking out from beneath her sparkly white dress that she wore to the rehearsal tonight.

I didn’t have to do much to get Danielle here. At least, not tonight. All I did was show up at the rehearsal. I made an appearance in the background, and it was enough to convince Danielle that she might be making a huge mistake.

“I’m not getting married tomorrow,” Danielle says.

“Oh,” I say, my voice dripping with sadness that isn’t the least bit real. “Would you like to come in?”

She nods, and I hold the door open for her. She walks over to the edge of my bed and sits down. I walk over to the mini fridge and pull two beers out. I open the caps on both and then hand one to her. She takes it, loosely holding it in her hand. She stares at it for a while, not able to look at me.

I keep my distance until she is ready to talk. Leaning against the counter next to the mini fridge, I sip on my beer.

“I broke up with Wade tonight,” Danielle finally says.

“I gathered that. Why though?”

She looks up at me with puppy-dog eyes. “Because I don’t love Wade anymore. I love you.”

I look at her seriously and say, “I want you.”

She hears I love you though. It’s clear from the goofy smile and blushed cheeks.

But that’s the one thing I won’t ever do. I won’t lie to these women. I can’t help it if they hear what they want to hear.

I put my beer down and walk over to her until I’m standing between her legs. I take the beer out of her hand and place it on the counter. Her eyes follow me.

I push her back on the bed, and then I take the off the T-shirt I’m wearing… She bites her lip as she stares at my abs that have formed from surfing every day.

“Tell me you want me to fuck you,” I say.

Danielle sits up and unzips the back of her dress, letting it fall to her waist, revealing her white lacy bra that holds her perky breasts in, away from me.

“Fuck me, Asher.”

I grin as I grab ahold of her dress and roughly pull it off her body. She lets out a gasp.

She grabs at my neck, trying to pull me in so that she can kiss me. I let her pull me into her. I let her kiss me, and then I turn the kiss into rough kisses that show her what I really want.

“You like it rough,” she says.

“Don’t you?” I ask.

“I like anything with you.”

I flip her over on the bed, and she lets out another surprised gasp.

I slap her ass. “I’m going to fuck this later, but first, I have to claim your pussy.”

“God, just fuck me already. I can’t wait,” she cries into the pillow that she is now face down on.

I sigh. “They never have patience,” I mutter to myself, annoyed that I can’t take my time to properly enjoy her body.

“What?” she asks.

“Nothing,” I say, hitting her hard on the ass, causing her to cry out.

I shove my shorts and briefs down and pull out a condom from the nightstand. I quickly slip it on before she finds a way to get herself off without me.

“Ready?” I ask, pulling her panties down and positioning myself at her entrance.

“Just fuck me already.”

I do. I push inside her tight pussy that I know is anything but ready for me. I’ve barely spent any time turning her on, but if this is what she wants, I won’t object.

She moans loudly and then quickly starts screaming, “Yes…yes,” over and over.

I keep thrusting until I come, not concerned at all if she comes or not. I’m an asshole after all. Although most have called me worse than that.

She must have come because she screams loudly, followed by nothing.

I pull out of her and go to the bathroom to clean myself off. When I’m done, I stay in the bathroom with my hands clenching either side of the sink as I look at myself in the mirror. I can’t handle this woman much longer. It was hard enough to pretend to like her to get her to want me, but now that I’ve had her once, I don’t think I can keep up the act to fuck her more than that. I’m ready for the implosion to happen.

I walk back out and dig through my suitcase to find a fresh pair of briefs to put on. After I do, I glance over at Danielle, who is now under the covers of the bed. Her cheeks are flushed, her brown eyes heavy, and her long brown hair is a mess on top of her head.

“That was amazing,” she says.

I nod and force my lips to curl up into something that resembles a smile.

“I’m ready to go again if you are. Or if you want to sleep some first…”

I take a deep breath, ready to tell her that I’m through with her, that she can’t stay here, when I hear a loud pounding at my door.

I hold up a finger and then walk to the door in just my briefs, not caring who is on the other side. I throw the door open, and before I can register who is standing there, a fist flies at my face and hits me square in the nose. My body jolts backward with the hit, and I put my hands up to my nose as another hit rains down on my face, followed by another. My nose is pouring blood now, and I’m sure it’s broken. My eyesight is blurry, but I think I make Wade out through the haze. Or, at least, my prior experiences with ex-fiancés verify that he is most likely on the other end of the fist that keeps coming at my face.

“Wade, stop!” Danielle screams, running to my aide.

I hear Wade breathing heavily.

“I’m done. I’m done with both of you. You’re a rotten scumbag who deserves to be locked up in prison. And you’re a lying, cheating slut. I’m done with both of you.”

The blurriness finally leaves my eyes long enough for me to see Wade stumbling out of my room, clearly drunk. It’s a wonder he was even able to aim for my face. The door slams shut, and then I see Danielle standing naked in front of me.

“I’m sorry about Wade. He’s just upset that I broke off the wedding, that I no longer love him. He’ll get over it.”

I walk into the bathroom without saying a word and see that I was right about my nose. It’s most definitely broken as blood pours down my face. I grab one of the towels and hold it up to my nose to try and stop the bleeding, but I know it is going to take a while to stop.

“Here,” Danielle says, holding up a bag of ice.

I take the bag from her and hold it up to my face.

“It stings,” I say, wanting to pull it away from my face.

She laughs. “It will help with the swelling and stop the bleeding.”

I keep it on my face and walk back to the bedroom. Danielle follows me.

“I think you should go,” I say.

“What? Why?”

“I don’t want to worry about Wade coming back and beating me up.”

“He won’t.”

“And I don’t think you and I are going to work out. You’re not worth my trouble.”

Danielle’s jaw drops. “I broke up with Wade for you though. I called off my wedding tomorrow for you. I want to be with you. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“You made a mistake then. You should have stayed with Wade, or you should find someone else. I’m not the man for you, Danielle.”

“He’s not going to take me back now,” she says, her voice shaking.

I smirk. “No, I don’t think he will take you back.”

“You fucking bastard! You asshole!” Danielle shouts, raising her hand to no doubt slap or punch me.

At least, this time, I’m ready for the attack. I grab her wrist midair, stopping her from hitting me.

“You are an evil, vile person,” she says through tears.

I nod. “I am.”

She jerks her hand out of my grasp. “Why would you do this?”

I open my mouth to speak, and she holds a hand up to stop me.

“Never mind. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to spend another second listening to this crap.” She grabs her crumpled dress from the floor and quickly puts it back on, not bothering with her underwear. She cries the whole time.

Occasionally, the women recover after this. They are able to convince their fiancés to take them back. But I don’t think Danielle will. And I’m not sure she is strong enough to fully recover from it either.

She hesitates a second, like she is trying to decide if she should say anything or if I’m going to. When I don’t, she storms out the door without another word.

I take a deep breath as I go over to the bed and lie down, ensuring the ice pack is still on my face.

Shit, I curse to myself when the ice stings my face again.

If I’m going to keep this up, I need to be better prepared. I can’t keep getting hit like this. Next time, I might get a concussion, and then I won’t be able to surf. I won’t let that happen. Next time, I’ll be ready for a hit.

Maybe I should take some boxing classes or something.

I grin. Despite the pain I’m feeling now, I’ll sleep like a baby for the first time in weeks. I stole her heart and then tore it to pieces. It feels good.

Author Bio:

 

Ella Miles writes sexy romance with strong females that could kick your butt if you piss them off, which they often do to the men that fall for them. She’s currently living her own happily ever after near the Rocky Mountains with her high school sweetheart husband. Her heart is also taken by her goofy two year old black lab that is scared of everything, including her own shadow. Ella is the author of the Aligned series. Get a free book by visiting her website. Or by stalking her on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Release Blitz: The Shape of You by Felice Stevens

The Shape of You

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Too big. Too fat.

All his life Eric Sontag has judged himself on his size, believing love and friendship aren’t in the cards for someone like him. Tired of being alone and scared of his doctor’s warnings, he enrolls in a nutrition support group, determined to change his life. When a beautiful thin man sits next to him, he can’t believe they have anything in common, but conversation between the two soon proves first impressions aren’t always what they seem.

Drifter. Loner.

Corey DeSantis has always been the scrawny waif; he’s tired of struggling with his art and with life. Scarred by the disappearance and death of his drug-addicted mother, he doesn’t wish for love, believing it will bring him nothing but pain in the end. Now his only hunger in life is his desire to paint…until a health scare and his mentor force him to attend a nutrition class where he meets a man who piques his interest. One drunken kiss later, Eric is all Corey can think about. The same, yet different.

An unlikely friendship is born with both men wanting more but afraid to listen to their well-guarded hearts. When Corey receives shocking news leaving him angry and helpless, it’s Eric he turns to, to help see him through, while a surprising career opportunity finds Eric leaning on Corey for advice. One night of explosive passion leads to a second and soon neither man can imagine a life without the other. Life is shaped by the challenges accepted and roads not taken but as Corey and Eric walk the path together, they’ll discover the most beautiful destination of all. Love.

Buy Links:
$3.99 for a limited time
Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AU

 

Author Bio

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, my characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love. I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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Re-Release Blitz: Here’s to Tomorrow by Teagan Hunter

Here’s to Tomorrow
(Here’s To #1)
Genre: NA Romance
Re-Release Date: June 29, 2017

Synopsis:

HUDSON
When I became a single father at seventeen, I knew my path wasn’t going to be easy. Hell, sometimes it sucked. Year after year, I tirelessly busted my ass until my business was booming. Until my daughter was happy. Until life? It was good. Settled.
But sometimes being settled is overrated. Boring. Especially when a little excitement walks through my door in the shape of Rae Kamden. With her sarcastic mouth and smartass comebacks, she’s the type of girl still sowing her wild oats and not looking to settle. Not with a guy like me.
RAE
I’ve been stuck in this small town since I was a child and nothing is going to keep me here. Not anymore. Done being tied down, I’m out of here the first chance I get. This town can kiss my ass goodbye.
I’m twenty-two. Single. Unwilling to settle. But if I did? It wouldn’t be with Hudson Tamell.
So explain to me why the moment he looks up from under the hood of my car, the sarcastic replies on my lips come out sounding sweeter. Why does he make me want to settle down, right here, with him?
That’s not what I wanted. But maybe it’s what I need.

By day I’m a freelance cover designer. By every other free moment, a writer. I’m a Missouri raised gal, but I currently live in North Carolina with my US Marine husband where I spend my days begging him for a cat. I survive off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When I’m not writing, you can find me binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural and One Tree Hill. I like cold weather, buy more paperbacks than I’ll ever read, and I never say no to brownies.

 

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Release Blitz: Absolution by Missy Johnson

Absolution

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Taboo, Romance

Synopsis:

Declan James was the perfect guy.

He was sweet. Charming. Caring. Until he wasn’t.

Fourteen years ago, his actions tore apart my family. He ruined my sister’s life and nothing was ever the same again.

But now, more than a decade later, he’s back.

When he walks into my office, asking for my help, I’m shocked, but nothing prepares me for what I’m about to learn. I see how far he’s gone to redeem himself and I know that he’s changed. I also know that, as a priest, he’s more off limits than ever.

If I help him, my family will never forgive me.

If I fall in love with him, I will never forgive myself.

Buy Link:
Amazon

 

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Missy lives in a small town in Victoria, Australia with her husband and her confused pets (a dog who thinks that she is a cat, a cat who thinks he is a dog…you get the picture).

When she’s not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read.

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Blog Tour: Dropout by Carrie Ann Ryan

Dropout
(Bad Boy Homecoming #1)

Synopsis:

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan.

Grayson Cleary left town before graduation day and never looked back. Most people back home pegged him as a dropout. Over time, he’s worked to make something of his life and leave his past behind, so when his ten-year reunion comes up, he has no intention of attending. When his best friend begs him to go, Grayson finds himself confronted with a past he’d rather forget and the one woman he’s always craved.

Kate St. Dalton had everything when she left her hometown. Not only was she Valedictorian with a full scholarship, but she was also engaged to the boy of her dreams. Then, life threw a wrench in her plans, and she had to find a way to live the new life fate handed her. The last thing she needs is the hot boy from high school returning to town as the sexy man of her dreams.

When the two take a chance and use the reunion week to burn up the sheets, they’ll have to remember that it’s only for a few nights—not for a lifetime. And decide if what they have is just a fling…or something far more than a mere reunion.

Add DROPOUT to your Goodreads list here!

Find out more about the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

Buy Links:
Amazon • iTunes • B&N • Kobo

Excerpt:

Kate didn’t know what to say, so she did the only thing she could— she wiggled out of his hold and straddled his lap, pressing a soft kiss to his lips.

Grayson’s eyes darkened, and he palmed her butt, his hands big enough to cover most of her. “You know, if I thought my sad story would have ended up with this reaction, I’d have told you earlier.”

Kate pushed at his shoulder. “Oh, stop. I’m honored you told me, Grayson. I’m so pissed off that you went through that and that I was so self-centered I didn’t know.”

He squeezed her butt. “We didn’t run in the same circles, and while others were shitty to me, you were always nice. You cared even when you had so much on your plate. I had such a damned crush on you, and you never made me feel beneath you.”

She lowered her head. “I wish I would have known about you. Or at least known more.”

He lifted her chin with his finger. “We found each other now, Kate. That’s good enough. No use looking into the past when we can’t change it.”

She blinked back tears for him, for her, for everything they would lose when the week was over. “It’s reunion weekend, Grayson, looking into the past is what we do.”

He shook his head. “Others might, but I’m looking at you right now, and that’s my present.” He kissed her softly. “Damn shame the future’s about to hit us square in the face, but I’m not letting myself worry about that when I have you in my arms. You’re my present, Kate, just like I’m yours.” He cupped her cheeks with his hands and kissed her a bit harder. “I don’t want to leave,” he whispered, his voice hoarse. “Not tonight, not on Sunday night.”

A tear slid down her cheek. “I can’t think about Sunday, but you don’t have to go tonight.” He kissed her again, and she fell against him, knowing if she thought too much about what was to come after he left, she’d break.

She’d done the worst thing she could have on reunion weekend.

She’d found the one thing she’d missed out on when it should have mattered, and now she knew if she didn’t find a way to stop time, she’d miss out on him all over again.

 

Find out more about the other four books in the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

TROUBLE by Avery Flynn
PROM QUEEN by Katee Robert
HONOR by Kennedy Layne
ROCK STAR by Stacey Kennedy

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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Release Day Blitz: Martinis & Moonlight by Andrea Johnston

 

Martinis & Moonlight

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Minnesota “Minnie” Walker has worked hard for the life she has – a close knit family, successful career, and long-term relationship. When a tragedy strikes, Minnie sacrifices everything to be there for her family. Never expecting a move to the small town of Lexington would change the course of her future, Minnie finds herself wondering if what she always thought was perfect is really what’s best for her … and her heart.

Owen Butler has lived in the town of Lexington his entire life. After years of feeling second best and wasting his time vying for the attention of his father, Owen has settled into an uncomplicated life. Not one to believe in happily ever after, he never expected the new woman in town to have him questioning everything he thought he wanted in life.

Together, under the rays of the moonlight, Owen and Minnie find themselves wondering what the future holds and if facing it together is worth the risk.

Buy Links:
Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Kobo | iTunes | B&N | Goodreads

 

Check out the rest of the series!

Whiskey & Honey (A Country Road Novel #1)

 Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Kobo | iTunes | B&N

 

Tequila & Tailgates (A Country Road Novel #2)

 Amazon | Kobo | iTunes | B&N

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

This week has been particularly quiet in the office, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’d even take an encounter with Owen at this point. Yep, be careful what you wish for.

The door to the office opens and I sense him before I hear him. Maybe it’s that I smell him. Not smell in a gross way, but a way that is like some weird mating call. I’m sure there’s a name for that but I can’t think of it because there he is, walking toward me in a pair of khaki cargo shorts, a sleeveless T-shirt that, thanks to the sweat on his body, is clinging to his torso and chiseled chest, and a pair of sunglasses sitting atop his head. That smile I mentioned taking over his face as he gets closer to my desk has me quickly looking away in embarrassment. I know he can tell that he affects me. I know my tell-tale giveaway to embarrassment has completely taken over my arms, neck, and cheeks in a glorious shade of strawberry.

“Well, Miss Walker, fancy meeting you here.”

“Oh, hey.” I don’t take my eyes from my screen and very diligently read the same line over and over. Why does he make me nervous? I don’t get nervous.

“Here are some invoices for you and I signed off on the time cards for my crew.”

I finally lift my eyes from my screen to see Owen sitting in the chair in front of my desk, leaning back so he is rocking on the back two legs of the chair, with his arms crossed, and a smirk on his face. The same smirk he usually offers me before not so subtlety suggesting something flirtatious.

“Thanks. Checks will be ready Monday as usual. Was there anything else?”

“What’re your plans this weekend? Date with your boyfriend? Painting your nails with the squirt?”

Clicking the save icon on the spreadsheet I’m working on, I sit back in my seat, crossing my feet at the ankle while folding my arms, and contemplating how to answer this. He’s trying to get to know me and I promised myself I’d be open to new friendships. Owen Butler is a lot of things, and while I’m not sure he’s completely harmless, I doubt he’s much more than talk.

“No boyfriend,” I casually respond before whispering under my breath, “anymore.”

“What? Some schmuck let you go? What a loser.”

I snort out a laugh; I guess my whisper was louder than I thought. The more I’ve thought about my relationship with Kent, the more appropriate a word like “schmuck” is a perfect way to describe him. Boring, self-absorbed, career driven, and missionary style are also other ways.

“Well anyway, I’m actually going to just hang out this weekend. The girls are going with my parents and it’ll be the first time in weeks I’ve had time to myself. How about you? Got a date?”

Owen chokes on what I think was supposed to be a laugh, startling me a little while simultaneously sending a little shiver down my spine to my lady bits. His voice is deep and gravelly, as is his attempt to laugh, almost like he doesn’t do it very often and his vocal cords don’t know how to respond.

“Yeah, I don’t date. Hook up maybe, but dating indicates I’m interested in a relationship and that’s not the case.”

“I hear ya. A relationship is the last thing on my mind these days.”

We sit in silence for a few ticks before Owen clears his throat and rests his chair on all four feet. I follow suit by sitting up more in my chair and grabbing my mouse. A few clicks and Owen stands and then taps the top of my monitor.

“You should call the girls.”

I look up at him, slightly confused, but not before acknowledging the sweat has dried from his torso while his shirt still clings to his skin. He must notice my gaze has lingered a little longer than necessary because he offers me that smirk again.

“Sorry, the girls – Piper and Ashton. Me and the guys are heading to the lake for a little fishing so I’m sure they’re around.”

“Oh.” The realization of how much my life has changed in the last few months struck me; when he said “the girls,” I thought of my nieces. “Yeah, uh, maybe.”

“Well, all right then. Have a good weekend, Minnesota. See ya next week.”

I don’t bother asking Owen to not call me by my full name. I know he knows it’s not my preference. And honestly, for whatever reason, it doesn’t bother me when he says it. I would never tell him that, but it’s true.

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About Andrea Johnston:

Andrea Johnston spent her childhood with her nose in a book and a pen to paper. An avid people watcher, her mind is full of stories that yearn to be told. A fan of angsty romance with a happy ending, super sexy erotica and a good mystery, Andrea can always be found with her Kindle nearby fully charged.

Andrea lives in Idaho with her family and two dogs. When she isn’t spending time with her partner in crime aka her husband, she can be found binge watching all things Bravo and enjoying a cocktail. Nothing makes her happier than the laughter of her children, a good book, her feet in the water, and cocktail in hand all at the same time.

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