Release Blitz: Bound to Remember by Alexandra Alan #contemporaryromance #romcom @firstforromance @totally_bound

Bound to Remember by Alexandra Alan

Word Count: 15,038
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 63

GENRES:

BONDAGE AND BDSM
COMEDY AND HUMOUR
CONTEMPORARY

Add to Goodreads

Book Description

Meeting an old flame is about to tie her in knots…

Most first kisses don’t end in stitches.

True, kissing in high school can be far from perfect, but when Annie Carver is finally courageous enough to make out with Nicholas Liu, there should have been stars and trumpets, not broken glasses and a collapsed closet.

Ten years later, Annie still thinks about Nick. Although she’s been through her share of difficult relationships and sexual awakenings, she can’t help but wonder about the sweet boy who blushed as she helped him with homework assignments and whose name she wrote in her notebooks.

A concert is the last place she expects to run into him. It’s easy for them to connect…and even easier for her infatuation to return. In the last ten years, Annie’s changed—she’s discovered how much she enjoys bondage. Her ex saw her kinks as a flaw, but will Nick be willing to push his limits, or is this one relationship that’s bound to remain a memory?

Excerpt

Tonight was a perfect night.

Most summer evenings were so humid that they left a layer of tacky sweat on already heated skin, and mosquitoes targeted any exposed limbs with all the determination of a pack of war generals. Any movement other than a slow walk made sweat bead along temples and armpits, which, of course, further attracted said mosquitoes.

Not this night, though.

There was a crisp chill in the air, just sharp enough to hint at approaching autumn, and a lazy breeze cooled damp skin. Couples milled about under warm streetlamps and shared bites of ice cream. Fireflies dodged frantic children with Mason jars, and the sound of laughter bonded with the smell of tart beer from bars that had opened their doors to let the evening inside.

It was, without a doubt, a perfect night.

Annie Carver couldn’t have cared less about any of it.

A herd of screaming, gyrating people surrounded Annie in a venue where saxophones blared loud enough to destroy the eardrums of the uninitiated.

And she absolutely fucking adored it.

Annie had always loved ska music. She loved the lyrics, the thud of bass, the wild scream of the trumpets, the peppy riffs that—even if the singer belted about the injustices inherent in the political landscape—were done alongside a beat that didn’t so much encourage dancing as mandate it.

Okay—Annie hadn’t always loved ska. That might have been a lie. There had been a time, a good solid thirteen years or so, where she had gone about thinking the best music was the kind in which someone wailed into a microphone about the unfairness of life and the inhumanity of humanity. There had been mention of souls in there, somewhere. Vampires might have made an appearance, too.

Then ska had come along, swooping in and carrying her out of that meaningless pit like any good storybook hero would do, except it hadn’t done so with a sword and a noble steed, but with syncopated guitar riffs and checkered high-top sneakers.

In the tiny venue, buffeted by stale air and the blast of brass, Annie tightened her grip on her plastic cup of cheap beer and raised it above her head as she shouted the lyrics to the song’s whirlwind finale.

One of her friends elbowed her in the side, and Annie started. She had been so involved in the music that she’d forgotten for a moment they were with her tonight.

Lee nudged her again and pointed at the mosh pit. “That looks scary,” he shouted over the riotous cheering. “Who goes in there? Masochists?”

“Sometimes,” she shouted back.

Charlie appeared at her side. “What are we talking about?”

“Mosh pit.” Annie pointed at the swirling flow of thrashing people.

“More spit? Who has more spit??” Lee shouted.

Mosh pit,” Annie said again, and jabbed her finger in emphasis.

Charlie blinked as someone in the pit shrieked. “What?”

It took a full second, but she managed not to drag her hand down her face in exasperation. She tried to keep in mind that this was her friends’ first show. They hadn’t needed to figure out the technicalities of being in a mosh pit with orthodontia or lie to their parents about where they’d gotten their split lip. Neither Lee nor Charlie had spent enough money on tickets that, if combined, could be a down payment on a comfortable home.

And really, it was quite sweet that they’d wanted to come tonight. This wasn’t exactly a good time for Annie, what with the bad breakup memories of last year, so when she’d mentioned this show, they’d jumped at the chance to join her.

We’ll keep you company!” Lee, the man who did not appreciate large crowds, had said.

How different could it be?” Charlie, the man who frequented opera and baroque ensembles, had said.

They seemed to be doing fine, though Lee jumped whenever someone screamed, and Charlie covered his ears with his hands at every opportunity.

Annie leaned in and shouted a few words into Lee’s ear.

“Oooh,” he said in response. “So you just run around and punch people?”

It was too loud for anyone to hear her scandalized gasp, because that was like simplifying all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica into the phrase “Robots doing stuff.”

Annie made a tight spinning motion with her beer cup. “You don’t run in the pit. You skank around violently and with great enthusiasm.”

Lee blinked at her in an unsyncopated way that spoke of the two beers he’d already had tonight, then asked Charlie, “Did you get any of that?”

Charlie turned to Lee. “What?”

The band kicked off another song, the mosh pit roiled once more, and Annie had to hold a hand around her ear so that she could listen to Lee.

“She says they’re not running, they’re being angry sluts,” he said with a drunken giggle.

The yelp he made when Annie elbowed him was loud enough to hear over the blasting notes of the saxophone.

She rolled her eyes and returned her attention to the pit. Everyone there was having so much fun. Limbs flailed, heads thrashed, faces turned up to the stage in something nearing rapture. There was one tall dark-haired someone, catching her eye only because of the height of his jumps, who danced as if he were summoning demons of joy with his body. He looked like he was having so much fun.

Annie wanted to have that much fun, and she couldn’t see it happening if she stayed all the way over by the grungy, beer-stained wall.

When they’d arrived, she’d felt obligated to keep away from the most dangerous part of the venue, thinking that if she returned with a black eye, the sight would frighten Charlie and Lee away from ska shows for the rest of eternity.

Despite Charlie’s improvised ear protection and Lee’s general confusion, they were starting to nod in rhythmic appreciation of the band. Lee was even making a minimal effort to dance.

Annie didn’t want to ruin this for them. She watched as Lee pulled one of Charlie’s hands away from his ears and held it tight, then gave his boyfriend a warm smile. It’s good to try new things in a relationship. Wasn’t that what she’d read in a magazine somewhere?

Her stomach flipped in the disappointed, leaden sort of way she’d grown used to whenever she thought about how things had ended a year ago.

She’d tried. Really. She and Trevor had been stagnant for several months, and when Annie had taken the magazine’s advice—try something new, talk about your fantasies, change up the bedroom routine—Trevor had become a lot less stagnant. Really mobile, actually. He’d practically flown out of both her apartment and her life.

Her sigh was lost in the din. She turned to the stage and watched the brass musicians aggressively try to out-blow one another for only a few seconds before Lee tugged at the sleeve of her shirt.

“That girl is wearing the same pants as you!” he shouted, pointing at a woman twenty feet away. “You should sue!”

Buy Links

Choose Your Store
First For Romance

About the Author

Alexandra Alan

Alexandra lives in Colorado with her partner and two very strange cats. Her nerdiest experience was when she had a heated discussion about Star Wars during a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Though she’s always on the lookout for more hobbies, some of her favorites are drawing, knitting, archery, rock climbing, brewing mead, and scrimshaw. The most badass she has ever felt was when she took jousting lessons for a year. She has never met a bad pun she hasn’t adored, and loves to read books that make her heart race. Follow Alexandra on Twitter.

Giveaway

Enter to win a fabulous gift package and get a FREE Alexandra Alan romance book!

Alexandra Alan’s Bound to Remember Giveaway

ALEXANDRA ALAN IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GET GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 15th June 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

//cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js

Release Blitz: The Shame Game by Hannah Murray #bondage #contemporaryromance @firstforromance @totally_bound

The Shame Game by Hannah Murray

Book 1 in the Perfect Taboo series

Word Count: 50,362
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 192

GENRES:

BONDAGE AND BDSM
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE

Add to Goodreads

Book Description

A good marriage is built on love, trust and kink…

James and Amanda have been together for fourteen happy, playful kinky years. That’s the way they both like it, and neither feels there’s anything missing, until one day, a typical scene morphs into something atypical—humiliation play.

They’ve never played with this kink before, but it was shockingly hot, and satisfying in a way their more playful scenes aren’t. They’re both excited to try something new after so many years together, but James is leading his beloved wife and submissive into uncharted territory where their comfort zone will be stretched and their bond tested…

It will take all the love and trust they’ve built over fourteen years to survive The Shame Game.

Excerpt

James Douglass walked through the front door of his home and sighed with relief. “Thank Christ that’s over.”

Behind him, his wife let out a snorting laugh and shut the door. “You say that every year.”

“I mean it every year.” He turned to watch her slip out of her coat, the soft faux fur he’d given her for Christmas gleaming under the light of the foyer chandelier. “Tell me you don’t feel the same.”

Amanda smiled as she hung up her coat, then held out a hand for his. “I like your mother.”

He dropped the bags he held and shrugged out of his overcoat. “It’d just be nice to be able to spend one New Year’s somewhere else.”

“Well, that’s your fault for being born one minute past midnight on January first.” Laughter colored her voice, deepening the Texas accent that still lingered more than a decade after she’d left the Lone Star State. “If you’d stayed put for another week like you were supposed to…”

“Oh, so now it’s my fault for being born early?” He raised an eyebrow, wondering if his wife of twelve years would respond with sass or respect. He figured the odds were about seventy-thirty in favor of sass.

She took his coat with a wink. “Pretty much.”

“Insolent wench,” he muttered, and stifled a grin when she rolled her eyes. Sass it is, then.

“You could always tell your mom no when she invites us,” she pointed out.

He sighed and bent to pick up the bags. “No, I can’t.”

“I know.” She closed the closet with a snap and crossed to him, her bootheels clicking on the tile, and rose on her toes to plant a smacking kiss on his chin. “That’s because you’re a big old softie.”

The eyebrow went up again, almost of its own volition this time. “What was that?”

“Sorry,” she said, not looking sorry at all, her dimples popping out even as she lowered her eyes respectfully. “You’re a big old softie, sir.”

“Better,” he allowed, fighting a smile of his own. “But you’re lucky my hands are full.”

She glanced down at the bags he still held, then back up at him, her brown eyes dancing. “Oh, yes. Thank goodness for those two duffel bags, otherwise I’d be in so much trouble.”

James gave a bark of laughter. Apparently, he wasn’t the only one tired of being on his best behavior for the last couple of days. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were looking for trouble.”

She walked past him, her dimples still winking. “Well, then it’s a good thing you know better, isn’t it? Besides,” she continued, her voice drifting back to him as she moved toward the curved staircase. “Even if I was, it’s not like you could do anything about it.”

She paused on the first stair, her hand resting lightly on the banister, and looked back at him. They’d been together fourteen years, and still she took his breath away. Soft dark hair, a little tousled from the nap she’d taken on the drive home. Sparkling dark eyes, full of mischief and promise and affection. Her dimples flashed again, pulling his attention to her soft, full lips, curved in the faintest of smiles. That mouth had given him a jolt at their first meeting all those years ago, and its impact hadn’t lessened over time. If anything, it had only grown stronger, because now he knew just what those lush lips were capable of. He knew just how swollen and red they grew from his kisses, how they looked wrapped around his cock. And how she bit them when she was in pain, or in pleasure.

Then those lips spread in an impish grin, bringing him back to the present, and the game she was trying to tempt him into playing. “It’s not like you could chase me up these stairs or catch me even if you did. You’re fifty-one now. An old man.”

He growled because he knew she wanted him to, and with a rollicking laugh, she ran up the stairs.

He stayed where he was, enjoying the view. The yoga pants she’d worn for comfort on the drive home curved over rounded hips and a rounder ass, the soft sweater in misty green—another Christmas gift—covering bouncing breasts. He’d seen her dress that morning in a pretty lacy bra, the kind built for maximum visual effect rather than physical activity, so there was a lot of bounce.

It was pretty fucking hot.

Buy Links

Choose Your Store
First For Romance

About the Author

Hannah Murray

Hannah has been reading romance novels since she was young enough to have to hide them from her mother. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband—former Special Forces and an OR nurse who writes sci-fi fantasy and acts as In-House Expert on matters pertaining to weapons, tactics, the military, medical conditions and How Dudes Think—and their daughter, who takes after her father.

Find out more about Hannah at her website and blog.

Giveaway

Enter to win a fabulous gift package and get a FREE Alexandra Alan romance book!

Hannah Murray’s The Shame Game Giveaway

HANNAH MURRAY IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GET GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 15th June 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

//cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js

Release Blitz: Each and Every Summer by L.A. Tavares #sweetromance #contemporaryromance @Totally_Bound

Each and Every Summer by L A Tavares

Word Count: 76,038
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 297

GENRES:

CHICK LIT
CONTEMPORARY
ROMANCE
SWEET ROMANCE

Add to Goodreads

Book Description

Time heals some wounds.

The first time Lyla Savoie Kenney found love—boundless, passionate love—it wasn’t with a person but a place. She found deep-rooted endearment there, and in keeping with tradition, it caused her first real heartbreak too.

Lyla grew up on the beaches at Begoa’s Point, a campground she and her father visited each summer for seventeen years. She spent each non-summer month counting down the days until she could return, until going back was no longer an option. Begoa’s Point closed with no explanation.

Fifteen years later, now a widowed mother with a child of her own, Begoa’s Point is reopening its doors. Lyla is surprised when she is abruptly moved off the waiting list and given a reservation at the camp, but even more surprising is what she finds when she arrives.

Weston Accardi, the first boy Lyla ever gave her heart to, is the proud new owner of the Begoa’s property. He has changed—and not just because a prosthetic leg now exists where a natural limb once did. He is no longer the carefree rebel he used to be but has grown into a responsible businessman.

Their past, however, refuses to remain such, cycling back to smother the fire they’ve tried so hard to rebuild since her arrival to the reopened campground.

Excerpt

The campground was quiet. Not silent, but quiet. Silence on the grounds was a rarity. Birds chirped and critters snapped twigs and crunched leaves as they ran through the abundant foliage, sounding off their small, happy-to-be-out-of-hibernation squeaks. The fire Weston Accardi kept lit continuously, day and night, crackled and popped as it chewed into the pieces of wood he fed it.

Soon the soundtrack of the campground would transform from its current nature-inspired sounds to a blend of noises that belonged to the incoming camping families. Children would run and play, shrieking at decibels specific to summertime. Their laughter and yells would echo through the plush pine trees as parents unpacked the camping gear and essentials from the overloaded trucks to prepare the site that they would call home for the duration of their stay. Music—both played through Bluetooth speakers and strummed on old guitars—would travel from the dirt driveways beneath each RV and become one with cloudless blue sky above.

Each currently bare site would have a tent or RV secured on it, and every available rental trailer or cottage would have people occupying them. Every single one, Weston thought as he thumbed through countless pages of reservations. He’d requested the bookings be printed and delivered to the site he’d claimed as ‘The Owner’s Headquarters’ during the off-season renovations. The rest of the employees had WiFi access within the offices and laptops or tablets to view the information and spreadsheets, but Weston found nostalgic peace of mind by holding the printed reservations in his hand the exact way his father before him had done while sitting in the very same chair. A half-grin slid onto Weston’s cheeks. He was pleased with the turnout of reservations for the grand reopening of Begoa’s Point Family Campground. His father would have been too, had he been alive to see it.

Weston tucked the most recent reservation listings into the worn-out openings of the accordion-style folder and tossed it inside the door of his RV, which was situated in a wooded area well away from the hustle and bustle of the main grounds. When his parents had owned the campground more than fifteen years before, they had chosen a site at the center of the grounds directly within earshot of anything and everything going on within their property’s perimeter. They’d preferred it that way—involved, hands-on. In many ways, Weston liked that too, maintaining full control, but when the sun went down, he preferred a hushed space to retreat to in order to separate himself from his work and enjoy the serene nature that surrounded him.

“Achilles.” Weston followed the call with a quick, wet-lipped whistle and a pat of his palm against the thigh of his cargo shorts. He grabbed a leather leash from the picnic table with a clink as the metal clasp sounded against the tabletop. The dog’s ears perked up like antennas receiving a signal. His tail picked up speed, wagging in long, swift motions that swept the sand off the patio mat that covered the land just outside the RV. “Want to go on a run?”

The dog leaped from the shaded dirt area he could usually be found in—a spot he’d claimed to hide away in from Maine’s hot summer rays. He darted toward his owner and pushed his large head into Weston’s hips with a force that almost knocked him over.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” Weston used his palm to ruffle the fur between the German Shepherd’s ears. Achilles bounded around in circles with an impressive agility comparable to that of a show dog. With his energy and antics, no one would guess he was missing part of his hind leg. Then again, like pup, like owner. Most people hardly noticed that Weston was an amputee as well. He was a man who ran multiple miles per day, every day, with his dog stuck to his side. He walked all over the campground and was hardly ever seen in a golf cart unless there was an emergency that he needed to handle sooner rather than later. He maneuvered around using his left leg prosthetic as if it were his own natural limb.

Weston stretched out his back and his existing leg before clipping the dog’s leash around his waist. The dog usually ran free, but the leash stayed on Weston’s person in case the need arose for him to use it. Weston took off down the winding dirt path into a long trail of cookie-cutter cottages—empty now but soon to be filled with families ready to embark on their summer camping adventures. There would be some newcomers, but most of the reservation list was composed of returning families from his parents’ time of owning and operating the same campground prior to its untimely closure.

He and Achilles ran uphill, turning a corner to jog past the recently updated tennis and basketball courts, as well as a newly renovated shower and bath house. A custodial worker waved as Weston came around the bend of the road and jogged past.

“Good morning, Larry!” Weston called. Larry tipped his hat in Weston’s direction. Weston had made it a point to learn the name of every employee—a rule of his father’s that he’d inherited and valued. He continued his journey down the pathway toward the beachfront bar and restaurant, stopping where Mark Jenson was readying the place for the upcoming grand reopening. The outdoor bar itself was a new addition, built while the cabins and sites were being remodeled, but Mark was an original employee. A longtime friend of Weston’s father, Mark had run the bar and restaurant during Begoa’s Point’s first run and had agreed to come back to manage the new facility.

“Morning, boss.” Mark moved large boxes of glasses from the ground to the bar top as the sun beat down on the tiki-themed hut while he worked. He wiped his brow on his forearm. His sweat-soaked shirt clung to his skin at his chest and back. “What are we having today?”

“The usual will be fine.” Weston slowed and came to a full stop. Achilles followed suit, coming to a halt, then lying down in the small bit of shade the bar provided.

Mark grabbed a silver bowl from a below-bar cabinet and filled it with water before stepping out from the service area and coming around the bar to serve it to Begoa’s Point’s most prominent VIP. Mark stayed on one knee for a moment, scratching below the dog’s chin. Achilles stood and started lapping water from the bowl, leaving more water on the ground in a messy puddle than he’d swallowed.

Mark returned to his position behind the counter, filled a cup with ice and water and slid it across the bar into Weston’s hand.

“Where are you headed to today?” Mark leaned into the bar.

“All over the grounds, I think. The usual path.” Weston paused to take a sip of the ice-cold water. “At least as far as the marina. I just want to make sure everything is ready to go for the opening.”

“That’s what you said yesterday.” Mark raised an eyebrow. “Then again, it’s what you will probably say tomorrow and the day after that too.”

“I like to be prepared.” Weston sent his now-empty plastic cup back across the bar.

“You will be. You are your father’s son, after all. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Weston looked at Mark, analyzing the new lines that sank into his skin, but other than a few signs of aging, Mark looked almost the same as he had when Weston’s parents had owned the campground before its closure, leaving Mark and many others without a job.

“Thank you for coming back, Mark. This place wouldn’t be the same without you, even after all these years. I’m sorry we ever put you out of a job in the first place.” Weston turned his eyes downward in sadness.

“It’s not your fault, Weston—”

“It is, actually,” Weston interrupted, adjusting his ballcap, with his gaze still glued to the floor. He watched the dog, if for no other reason than to avoid Mark’s eyes. “You know it and so do I.”

“It’s not. You knock that off right now.” Mark’s voice teetered on scolding, and he wagged one aging finger in Weston’s direction. “You know that your dad used to come down to the old bar every night for last call. Every night. He sat on the same barstool each time, and you know what he told me?”

Weston shook his head. He had been only seventeen when his parent’s ownership had come to an end, so he’d not reached the legal drinking age where he could spend those waning nighttime hours with his dad, occupying Mark’s bar stools. His ‘no’ wasn’t an entirely honest answer to Mark’s question, however. He knew what Mark was going to say—what his dad had used to say—but he wanted to hear it. If he couldn’t hear it from his own father, Mark’s affirmation was the next best thing.

“He said it was his dream to see you run this place. So maybe it didn’t happen as he’d expected, but it’s happening, and you should be proud of that. You’re not a kid anymore, Weston. You’ve grown and should be so proud of who you’ve become. Your father would be.”

“I remember that. He used to come down here every night but never had a sip of alcohol.” Weston smiled at the seemingly small memories of his father, but they were anything but insignificant. They were everything.

“I remember watching you run around these grounds, from learning to walk all the way to chasing after the girls on the beach in your teenage years.” Mark continued to speak, but Weston’s mind was elsewhere, time-traveling down a winding path to his childhood.

Buy Links

Choose Your Store
First For Romance

About the Author

L. A. Tavares

When it comes to romance, L A doesn’t have a type. Sometimes it’s dark and devastating, sometimes it’s soft and simple – truly, it just depends what her imaginary friends are doing at the time she starts writing about them.

L A has moved to various parts of the country over the last ten years but her heart has never left Boston.

And no, the “A” does not stand for Anne.

Follow LA on Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaway

Enter for your chance to win a fabulous gift package from romance author L A Tavares and get a FREE eBook from the author!

L.A. Tavares’ Each and Every Summer Giveaway

L.A. TAVARES IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 8th June 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

//cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js

Release Blitz: Rounding the Bases by Jaqueline Snowe #sportsromance @jaquelinesnowe @Totally_Bound

Rounding the Bases by Jaqueline Snowe

Book 3 in the Out of the Park series

Word Count: 68,681
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 269

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
SPORTS

Add to Goodreads

Book Description

What happens when a summer fling doesn’t end with the season?

Sarah Blue has one dream—to open her own pet boarding business. When she receives an offer to spend three months in a penthouse looking after two dogs, she intends to do the best dog-sitting job possible, and focus on her business plan. What she didn’t expect was to run into a stranger so handsome that she could barely put two words together at the sight of him.

And she certainly didn’t expect him to live across the hall and befriend her.

Brigham Monaghan’s reputation is on the line. After an arrest that went very public, his future as an outfielder with Los Soles isn’t guaranteed. With his life a total mess, he welcomes the distraction from the blue-haired girl across the hall who not only doesn’t know his name, but hates sports. It’s the perfect situation.

But things get complicated when what was supposed to be summer fun and flirting turns into something more. Sarah’s business takes off, where Brigham’s future is barely hanging on by a thread. With the odds stacking up against Brigham, Sarah can’t help questioning his motives. Did he fall hard for her, like she did him, or is it just a PR ploy?

Either way, he’s going to break her heart…

Excerpt

The constant battle of how mature to act raged inside me. Yes, I could flip off my parents, but what good would it do? They’d scoff and pretend they had never in their wildest dreams raised a daughter with the audacity to do such a thing. Flipping them off would feel good for three seconds before the regret would sink in and I’d drink about it later.

So I did the adult thing and kept my big mouth shut.

“We don’t want to discourage you from pursuing…your dreams.” My dear mother choked on her words and I swore my dad’s face turned even redder. “But is this really a way to make a living?”

Maturity is important. I tapped my rainbow-colored nails—because Pride week was soon and I was absolutely an ally—and forced a tight smile. “I appreciate your concern, but I happen to love my plan.”

“It’s not beneath you?” my dad asked, looking around us in the café like his uptight friends would jump out and laugh at his offspring. “Pet sitting?”

“I don’t have the patience for vet school and I love animals. It pays pretty well and I’m off your payroll, so why do you care? I’m saving up to open up my dream business. I have a plan, if you cared to ask about it.”

Oh, I was feeling ballsy. My best friends Megan and Ethan would cheer me on if they could have witnessed this exchange. I got a little thrill at rebelling when they got more flustered.

“It is just not a sturdy profession, Sarah Belle.”

The first and middle name. They might as well cut me out of the will now. I sighed and made sure to cause a real scene by flipping my bright blonde hair with blue tips over my shoulder. “It’s decent and I’m busy. But more importantly, I’m happy. H-a-double p-y.”

I did not mention my almost near-zero bank account. Nope. I’d rather shove the entire fork into my mouth than admit that money wasn’t rolling in like I’d hoped. Sure, Megs said my life was too boring because I only focused on opening this business, but I ignored her truth bombs. My dating life might have been boring, but my hope for the future sure wasn’t.

“Your attitude doesn’t suit you, dear.” My mother pursed her lips, and if she wore a pearl necklace, she would’ve clutched it. “How long do you plan on taking a break from schooling?”

“For…ever?”

She clicked her tongue just as my alarm went off and I sent a prayer to whoever was listening. “Gotta run. Meeting a new client. Bye!”

They stood up as I left the table. I didn’t humor them by trying to hug goodbye. We didn’t express genuine emotion when it was positive. Guilt and shame? Oh, we did that in spades. I’d have a doctorate in shaming if it were possible. I would at least have a degree then, and my parents would get off my back.

I snorted at my own joke, earning a confused look from the poor guy walking past me. Phoenix in the summer was way too damn hot and the fact that I wasn’t the only person outside saddened me. The sun burned the asphalt to the point it smelled weird and I hurried my short walk to the building where my next job might be. Three months, dog sitting, in a penthouse.

Thousands of dollars.

College wouldn’t pay me that well, would it, parents?

I stopped after I entered the luxurious swanky building and groaned as the air conditioning hit my face. Heaven.

“Ma’am, may I help you?” a tall, old gentleman with a large mustache asked. He wore a green coat and I groaned. He had to be super-hot with all the clothes.

“Hello…” I eyed his name tag. “Ferdinand. Do you go by Fernie?”

“No.” He somehow stood taller at my question. “What are you doing here?” He scanned my outfit and I waited until he met my eyes again. “You might be in the wrong place, dear.”

My light blue dress had tiny straps on my shoulders and fit my curves very well. It made me feel confident and it was the best one to wear when it was one-hundred-and-fifteen outside. Fernie would not judge me. “I’m exactly where I want to be. Thank you. Now, excuse me.”

“You cannot just enter this building,” he said, his eyes widening and his mouth falling open when I barged past him to the elevator. It couldn’t be too hard to find the penthouse. Highest floor, right?

“It seems I just did, good sir.” I pressed the Up button and blew a large bubble when Fernie blinked fast and put his hand on my elbow. I yanked out of his grip. “Oy! Watch it.”

“I will call the police if you do not leave right now!”

I was about to tell him all the ways he could kiss my ass when the elevator doors opened and the most handsome man I had ever seen in my twenty-three years stood there, looking way too good for rational thoughts to form. Perfection.

The hair. The eyes. The beard. The shoulders.

My saliva evaporated from pure lust and wouldn’t return unless he kissed me. It was the only way.

“Nando,” the man said, sparing me a quick glance. “Harassing guests again?”

“She waltzed in here and disobeyed protocol!” he hissed, and that snapped me from my lusty funk.

“Okay, settle down, Fernie. There were no rules posted.”

One side of the handsome man’s lips quirked up and I swore I felt that gesture as if he’d caressed my entire body. Shivers. “Fernie. I like it.”

“He looks like one, right? Maybe it’s the stern nose or the stick up his ass. I can’t decide.”

Ferdinand looked affronted and I held up my hands as the stranger laughed, a deep, rich, beautiful chuckle that made me dizzy. “Security. I will call them.”

“I’m not trespassing.” I held up my phone. “I was invited here. To the penthouse, actually.”

Whatever I said made Fernie’s lip twitch, and I did not like that one bit. Nope. He grabbed my wrist again and before I could yell at him for manhandling me, the perfect specimen of a man took a step toward us, looking pissed off. “Don’t put your hands on her. She’s done nothing wrong.”

“Mr. Alexandre is not here. He won’t be for quite some time.” He practically giggled. “So your excuse for being here doesn’t work.”

“Wrong again, Fernie. But don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you if we are blessed to meet again.” I rubbed my wrist where his fingers touched and I gave a smile of thanks to the stranger, only putting a hint of take me now into it. “Here. Why don’t I clear this up?”

I dialed the number from the app and waited until a rough voice answered. “Hi, Mr. Alexandre, it’s Sarah Blue. Would you be so kind as to retrieve me from the foyer, as your bellhop is channeling his inner Paul Blart.”

“Your reference makes no sense, but I’ll be down.”

“Great. Thank you so much.” I grinned as large as I could and crossed my arms, tapping my foot on the polished floor, making Ferdinand glare at me. “Your I’m wrong face is great.”

He blustered a bit and I used the time to study the other, gorgeous man staring at me. He wore joggers and a black T-shirt that had to be sewn onto his tan skin. Delicious. There was no other way to describe him.

If anyone asked what my type was ever again, I would say him.

He seemed to be studying me too and I blushed head to toe when he gave me a hint of a smirk. “How do you know Alexandre?”

“How do you?” I fired back. He liked my answer. He cackled and leaned on the doorframe instead of exiting. “Two can play your game.”

His amusement pleased me. I wasn’t a huge hit with guys when it came to first impressions. I was loud, spoke my mind, called out things that upset me and never put out. Sure, I flirted when I wanted to, but no one really stood out to star in my spank bank. But this guy. Yup. His face was enough.

“Sarah Blue.” He repeated my name and I bit down on my knuckle and groaned. “What?”

“You’re too good-looking for your own good. I shouldn’t stare at you.” I turned around and almost smacked my forehead for being an idiot. I couldn’t help myself. My parents had raised me to be seen, not heard, and the second I got out from their rule, I flourished into being who I wanted to be—not quiet, always seen and always heard.

The stranger didn’t get a chance to respond before the elevator door opened again and a very well-dressed man appeared. He had to be ten years older than me, maybe more, and he looked like he should be on a runway. His face was all angles and jawline and the suit looked like it cost more than my parents’ house. “Sarah Blue?”

“Mr. Alexandre,” I said, and he nodded. I took a guess that this was the man I was supposed to meet and I felt smug as hell. I wiggled my fingers at Ferdinand in a super not mature way. It was worth it though to see his appalled expression of paled cheeks and wide eyes.

“Ms. Blue, please, come with me.” Mr. Alexandre crooked his fingers at me and I obeyed, damn well knowing he was more terrifying than Ferdinand. It wasn’t unusual for me to meet new clients in their homes, especially if I was watching their animals, and I trusted my gut. While I feared Mr. Alexandre more than I liked, it wasn’t a creepy vibe he gave off. It was authoritative.

I waltzed into the elevator and felt the weight of the handsome stranger’s stare as the doors closed. If there was such a thing as second-hand lust syndrome, I had it. Bad.

Mr. Alexandre remained quiet the entire ride until the doors opened on the top floor. There were just two doors at the end of the hallway and he went to the right. “Are you ready to meet them?”

‘Them’ meaning his two King Charles Spaniels, Pico and Cassandra. “I’d love to meet your fur-children.”

My comment pleased him and he typed five numbers onto a pad before the large black door swung. His room was like a hotel I had only witnessed in movies. Glorious. Open. Beautiful. He had a couch that was at least the size of my old dorm room and it was covered in plush pillows. Oh, I wanted to fall face first onto that couch for a day. “This is beautiful.”

“Thank you. I had it designed for me.” His boots clicked on the…while marble? Quartz? Diamond? Floor. It was too pretty for my eyes and I pretended I hadn’t stepped in melted gum on the walk here. “Pico! Cassandra! Where are you, lovelies?”

I couldn’t stop my lips from curving up. People were weird about their pets. Nicknames and routines and boundaries, and the fierce love they had for their mammals. He wasn’t on the far end of the insane scale of clients I had worked with, but he wasn’t in the middle. If he had a—

He did.

He returned from a room just beyond his kitchen with a decked-out gray and black stroller. There was no baby in there. Just two dogs with sparkly blue and purple collars. “Here are my babies. Ms. Blue, Pico and Cassie.”

“Why, hello!” I crouched forward and spoke in a high voice, foregoing all sense of dignity. “Aren’t you both adorable? You two spoiled?” I held out my hand and let them both sniff it for a full thirty seconds before I attempted to pet them. Pico, who had deep brown and black fur, wagged his tail so loud a soft thud kept repeating. “Happy boy. May I?” I gestured to pick him up and Mr. Alexandre nodded.

Pico licked my entire face and I laughed. He was a cutie and we’d get along fine. But he wasn’t the alpha of the house. Cassie was and she gave me the stink eye. “You are a gem, Pico. We’ll be buds. Now, Ms. Cassie, what can I do to win you over?”

She eyed me. She was different from Pico. She had white, brown and black fur and almost had freckles on her face. She was gorgeous but not friendly. She held her nose high in the air and I went from petting her back to her bum, and bam. Her tail wagged.

Damn, it felt good to get along so well with dogs. Humans weren’t as cute.

“She likes you,” he said, his voice rising in clear disbelief.

“I must smell like bacon from lunch,” I said, hoping to ease his mind. That was the trick of pet sitting for people. Their babies couldn’t like me more than they did them, but they had to like me enough to trust me. It was a thin line and I rocked it. “Shall we do a practice if you need to run an errand?”

“No. They don’t like humans much.” He crossed his arms and blinked a lot. “Let’s talk availability.”

“Let’s.” I kissed the top of Pico’s head and followed Mr. Alexandre toward a small glass table overlooking a patio that had the absolute best view of Camelback Mountain. “God, this view. I could die here.”

“I hope you don’t. My babies need love and attention while I’m away.” He pulled out a couple of sheets of paper and a pen. “Your application said you do stay-ins, overnights. How long?”

“It depends on the client. Currently, I have about twenty stops a week that will keep me away roughly the same as work hours. Six hours a day, typically.”

“Where do you live?”

“I won’t take them out of your place besides walks, sir. I assure you.”

“No.” He waved his hand like I’d insulted him. “I meant, can you break your lease if you are renting? I can pay the fee. If you take this job, you will need to be here three months.”

July, August, September. Damn. But I kept my poker face strong. “That is a long time, sir. The cost will be high.”

“I’ll give you twenty thousand dollars, but I must have daily photos and a video chat every other day. They require two walks a day and the best raw food.” He continued talking, but his voice faded as the price kept echoing in my head.

Twenty thousand.

“That’s…that’s…” I mumbled, but he paid me no attention. He brought out a notebook with tabs and slid it across the table. “Sir, please.”

“I will not negotiate. Pico and Cassie are my joys and you are ranked as one of the best at this. Please, Sarah, take care of them. I wish I did not have to travel, but I do.” He sighed and a sad, resigned look took over his face. “This is a lovely place to live.”

“Even with Ferdinand?” I joked, earning a slight smile. “He won’t try to kick me out?”

“He is protective of the tenants. Just don’t bother the door across the hall. He likes his privacy. And do not ruin this place. I will deduct any damages from your payment.”

I gulped and nodded, unable to do much more. Those rules were simple enough for that much money. God, no rent, no school… I could save most of it. “Thank you, sir. I will not let you down.”

“Good.”

He shook my hand and eyed the pen. “Sign and it’ll be official. Can you start tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow?” I repeated, dumbfounded at the quickness. “I don’t… I need to get my stuff.”

“Take today and tomorrow morning. But noon, be here.” He rose and left me at the table with a contract and a check for ten thousand dollars. Half now, half later.

And I could only stare at it.

“Better get started on getting your stuff, dear Sarah,” he said, his retreating back not exactly friendly.

Buy Links

Choose Your Store
First For Romance

About the Author

Jaqueline Snowe

Jaqueline Snowe lives in Arizona where the ‘dry heat’ really isn’t that bad. She enjoys making lists with colorful Post-it notes and sipping coffee all day. She has been a custodian, a waitress, a landscaper, a coach and a teacher. Her life revolves around binge-watching Netflix, her two dogs who don’t realize they aren’t humans and her wonderful baseball-loving husband.

You can take a look at Jaqueline’s Website and Blog and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaway

Enter for your chance to win a fabulous gift package from romance author Jaqueline Snowe and get a FREE eBook from the author!

Jaqueline Snowe Rounding the Bases Giveaway

JAQUELINE SNOWE IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN AND GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 25TH May 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

//cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js

Release Blitz: A Reluctant Attraction by Rosanna Leo #ContemporaryRomance @Totally_Bound

A Reluctant Attraction by Rosanna Leo

Book 3 in the Handymen series

Word Count: 81,531
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 326

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE

Add to Goodreads

Book Description

He was looking for an escape. In her, he found his home.

Contractor and Handymen host Nick Zorn needs a change. He’s been feeling listless, and when his ex-girlfriend embarrasses him in a viral post by sharing private details of their sex life, he’s downright ready to escape. When an opportunity to reinvent his career arises, Nick takes it, even though it might mean the end of Handymen. However, the team has one more project to tackle together first—a struggling cat sanctuary in dire need of renovation.

When Nick arrives at the shelter and meets its owner, a lovely widow named Claire, his life is once more thrown into disarray. Neither of them is looking for a relationship, but the attraction is fierce. As he helps Claire fix her workplace, he realizes he wants to help her in other ways too. Their flirtation sizzles, flaring into a friends-with-benefits arrangement.

But the more time they spend together, the more reluctant these ‘friends’ become to fight their deepening connection, even though they know their inevitable break will devastate them…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of cyberbullying and harrassment, mentions of animal hoarding, bereavement and mourning. There are also references to male impotence and erectile dysfunction.

Excerpt

Nick Zorn opened the coffee shop door and paused at the entrance, waiting for the now-familiar giggles of ridicule. Releasing his death grip on the door handle, he took a hesitant step.

Luckily, no one noticed him.

This time.

Letting out a quiet sigh, he hurried toward the back of the café, and sat at a table in one of the darker corners.

Maybe it was time to start holding his head high again. He was Nick fricking Zorn, beloved TV star, businessman and friend to all.

A young woman at one of the other tables glanced in his direction. Her eyebrows shot up and she stifled a grin.

Beloved TV star. Yeah, right. And maybe it was time to start wearing dark sunglasses everywhere he went.

Seeing as his brothers hadn’t yet arrived, he pulled out his cell phone but didn’t turn to any social media apps. He just bowed his head and stared at his home screen, trying to appear busy.

Within minutes, Michael and Eli arrived.

“What took you so long?” asked Nick.

“Uh,” said Michael. “We’re right on time.”

Only when they sat, providing a buffer between him and the rest of the café customers, did Nick relax a little.

“You good?” asked Eli.

“Yeah. Just dandy.” Change the subject. Pronto. “Hey, did Lacey tell you what this meeting was about? She was vague with me.”

“Me too,” said Eli.

Lacey was typically the first to arrive for meetings. Of course, they usually held their meetings at the Inspiration Network offices.

For the last few years, Nick and his brothers had been hosting the Toronto-based TV show Handymen, as well as operating their own contracting business. On their show, they helped families realize their home renovation dreams, suiting them up with new appliances and teaching them how to tackle difficult renovation projects.

It wasn’t unheard of for Lacey to pull the brothers in for a meeting, rather than involving the whole crew, but there was an unusual air of secrecy about this tête-à-tête.

“What about you?” Nick asked Michael. “She must have told you something.”

Michael grunted. “Why would she tell me anything that she didn’t tell you?”

Nick and Eli just stared at him.

“For God’s sake. I don’t have any more of a direct line to Lacey than you fools do.” Michael frowned. “Although she was acting cagey the last time I saw her.”

Michael liked to pretend he and Lacey Styles didn’t have a special bond, but they did. Or at least, it was a different sort of bond from the one Nick or Eli had with her. Not only was Lacey their director on Handymen, she and Michael had had a relationship. It had been some time ago, and Michael was now very happy with his wife, Emily. His only present connection to Lacey was a solid working relationship, one based on trust and mutual respect.

That didn’t mean Nick and Eli hadn’t teased him about his ill-fated tryst for a good long time.

Not anymore. Nick had recently made a vow not to tease anyone about their relationship status, especially since his last one had ended up being such a clusterfuck.

Besides, they all cared about Lacey. She’d been good to them. She’d singlehandedly guided their TV careers, coached them on navigating the press and even taught three Neanderthal builders how to develop their presence on social media.

In Nick’s case, she’d also recently taught him the merits of keeping a low profile when needed.

Of course, most importantly of all, she had turned Handymen into a popular home renovation show. Their success was mostly in the Canadian market, but they had big plans. From day one, Lacey had made it clear she aimed to get the team a coveted timeslot on the Create Network, the biggest home improvement network around. It hadn’t happened yet, but Nick was hopeful. He knew they had the chops to break into the American market.

The shop door opened. Lacey spotted them and walked over. Dressed in her customary heels, a slim skirt and a frilly blouse, the brunette turned a few heads as she made her way to the table. “Gentlemen.” She sat down next to Nick and smiled. “I appreciate you meeting me outside of our regular venue and time.”

“No sweat,” said Michael. “What’s up?”

That was Michael. He never wasted a word, if he could help it. Nick stifled a chuckle.

“Anyone want coffee?” asked Eli. “I could use one.”

They all gave Eli their orders and held off on the official part of the meeting until he returned with four steaming cups.

Lacey grabbed her usual soy latte, took a sip and put it down. “I have great news. Life-changing news, actually.” She paused, looking at each of them in turn, creating suspense.

It only took a few seconds before Michael began to tap his finger on the table. “Put us out of our misery. Please.”

“All right, all right. So, guys, what has been my number one objective with Handymen?”

“Has Create picked us up?” asked Nick.

“Not quite,” said Lacey. “But it’s almost as good. As you know, I’ve always been focused on getting new viewers. A plan is in place to help us find a wider audience than ever before. A couple of days ago, I got called into a meeting at Inspiration. The executive producers were all there. They want to take Handymen in an exciting new direction.”

Nick bit his tongue. The last exciting direction the producers had suggested involved the Zorn brothers wearing tank tops during their tapings, ones that would show off their muscles. Luckily, they had all ixnayed that idea into oblivion.

“Basically,” continued Lacey, “they want us to take the show on the road.”

“Okay.” Eli had a note of caution in his voice. “Define on the road.”

Lacey’s smile grew tight. “I mean, on the road. Traveling. Visiting new cities. Tackling renovation projects in places like Vancouver, Montreal, New York, Boston. All over North America, frankly. The idea is that we would concentrate on a new city each episode. It would give us a chance to work with different styles of architecture, different gardening zones, even some historic properties. It’s a huge opportunity for some great exposure. Isn’t this wonderful?”

Nick kept a careful eye on his brothers. He didn’t need to hear them speak to know what they thought.

They hated the idea.

And he couldn’t say he blamed them.

Michael, for one, would never do it. He was married. Not only did Emily have a thriving business in downtown Toronto, he would never walk away from Zorn Contracting. It had been his idea to start the business, and he still saw it as his baby. They all did, of course, but Michael had always made it clear it was just as much of a priority to him as his work on Handymen.

Then there was Eli, who had just gotten married. His wife, Bernadette, known as Bernie, worked for a local not-for-profit agency. Her big project was to help administer a camp for children in cottage country, a couple of hours outside Toronto. It had become a passion project for both her and Eli, and because the camp only had one summer under its belt, Eli wasn’t about to ditch it.

Nick already knew neither of his brothers would take significant time away from their wives or their businesses. The first couple of years in a new business were crucial.

“Well?” prompted Lacey. “This is the part where you say, ‘This is amazing. Thank you for sharing this incredible news.’”

“But we’ve already filmed next season’s episodes,” said Nick.

“This would be for the following season, which we have to start working on soon,” explained Lacey. “As you know, our contracts only take us through the coming season. We haven’t been renewed yet beyond that, and it was a chance for the executive producers to make some changes. Change is good, guys. Tell me what you think.”

Eli began, his face pinched. “Lacey, I can’t. There’s no way I’d leave Bernie for that length of time.”

“It’s not like we’ll be gone for years. Just, you know, a few weeks here, a few weeks there. In total, maybe a few months out of the year. And you can travel back and forth as much as you’d like.”

“I’m sorry,” said Eli. “That’s not something I want.”

She looked to Michael. “And you?”

He shrugged. “No can do.”

“But, Michael…”

“It’s out of the question. Lacey, you know Em and I are settled here.”

“Look, I understand that the logistics will take getting used to, but it can be done,” she replied. “You could talk to Emily every day, thanks to that handy smartphone I taught you how to use. It’s not like you’ll be communicating via carrier pigeon. And, guys, if we want to hit the big leagues of TV, we need to break out of Toronto. You know this. I hear what you’re saying. It would be hard at first, but it would be so worth it.”

“Worth it for the network,” asked Michael, “or worth it for us?”

“Worth it for all of us.” She turned to Nick. “I guess you feel the same way?”

Nick’s face heated as the others scrutinized him. Of course, she’d assume he’d toe the Zorn party line. Sometimes, people didn’t credit him for having thoughts independent of his brothers, but he did.

Did he want this?

What did he want? Truth be told, he’d been considering it a lot lately, agonizing over it.

Frankly, the only thing he’d wanted for the last couple of months was a chance to escape.

Buy Links

Choose Your Store
First For Romance

About the Author

Rosanna Leo

Rosanna Leo writes contemporary and paranormal romance. She is the First Place Winner of the 2018 Northern Hearts Contest (Contemporary Romance) for A Good Man.

From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her husband and their two sons, and spends most of her time being tolerated by their cat Sweetie. When not writing, Rosanna works for her local library, where she is busy laying the groundwork to become a library ghost one day.

Find Rosanna at her website, follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and Bookbub, and join her Facebook group.

Giveaway

Enter to win a fabulous gift package and get a FREE romance book from the author!

Rosanna Leo A Reluctant Attraction

ROSANNA LEO IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THESE FABULOUS SEMI-PRECIOUS EARRINGS AND GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 4TH May 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

//cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js

Viscount Meets His Math by Raven McAllan #historical #RomanceBooks #regency #NewRelease @RavenMcAllan

The Viscount meets His Match

Raven McAllan

Published by Totally Bound Publishing

 

Viscount

 

How to persuade the lady your interest is genuine? No easy task. Has the viscount met his match, or can he win and claim a wife?

What do you do when your father has no faith in you?

Ignore him.

David, Suddards’ father assumes—wrongly—that David gambles deep and has had an affair with a married lady before she has given her husband an heir. Enraged, his father issues an ultimatum. Marry within three months or lose everything that is not entailed.

David refuses. If that’s what his father thinks of him, he can go to the devil. He will marry when he is ready and not before.

What a shock then, a year later, when the one woman he is interested in shows no interest in him!

It’s up to him to persuade her he’s the right husband for her, and when he does…sparks fly. Can these two strong-willed people ever learn how to compromise and find that in fact they are the perfect match?

 

Viscount2

 

Excerpt

David was honest—no well-brought-up young lady appealed to him. They never had, and he was wise to every trick any encroaching mama or deb might try to pull to ensure he had to make an offer.

Until now? He quashed that thought to be re-examined later. His tastes had always run to those females who were up to snuff and needed a man to dally with and satisfy them. That usually meant bored matrons—and only those with the requisite number of children of the correct sex, whose husbands accepted dalliance would be the next step. Plus, he didn’t approach opera dancers or the demimonde, whatever the grand dames of the ton chose to think. In fact, he ruminated as he glanced at the silent woman next to him, just lately he hadn’t had time to dally with anyone. Parts of him could well have seized up through lack of lubrication.

However, he had to acknowledge her lack of interest intrigued him.

Josephine halted just outside the ballroom and the tug on his arm made David stop mid-step. He looked at her inquiringly, and she grimaced before she must have remembered herself and curtsied. A gesture that was correct to the nth degree, he could imagine how much it had cost her.

“This is far enough, thank you. I, ah, appreciate your help,” she added stiffly. “Although I could have dealt with him myself, I do thank you for your intervention.” She didn’t add, ‘unnecessary as it was,’ but David could imagine her wishing she could.

“Of course you do,” he replied genially. “Why would you not? “

She flushed and he wished he had held his tongue, if not his actions. Because with regards to his intervention, he wasn’t so sure what his intentions were. Lord Reginald had a reputation for acting first and thinking later—and not always in a good way. The problem was how to divulge the information so she understood, took action and did not ignore him—or indeed overreact.

“Is it all men or only me you have an aversion to?” he asked as she began to walk away. He pitched his voice just loud enough for her to hear. She might ignore his question but there would be no chance of her not hearing it. “For if it is me, what have I ever done to you to deserve your contempt?”

“What?” She turned and took the three steps necessary to get within arm’s reach once more. Her blue eyes sparked in a way he had never noticed before and his body responded accordingly and tightened with interest. Again, she tempted him in a manner he would not have thought possible. How he’d like to shake her out of her present mood, but not in a manner that would be at all acceptable.

Not yet, anyway.

Again a notion to contemplate. Was he really debating dallying with this woman? His head said no, the rest of his body, the opposite. Why had he never really examined her luscious curves before? They appeared perfect in every way.

“Dare you not answer me?”

She frowned as if puzzled by his remark. David repeated himself. “How have I earned your contempt?”

“Sadly, as far as I can see, from my knowledge of your sex it encompasses all men, my lord. Although, with your reputation, I would put you near the top of my list.”

Well, that told him. David bowed and with a swift look around decided, if she thought she knew him, he might as well live up to the sort of person she thought she was.

He grasped both her arms, drew her close and pressed a hard, swift kiss to her lips.

The jolt of immediate arousal was as unexpected as it was exciting.

 

Totally Bound https://www.totallybound.com/book/the-viscount-meets-his-match

Amazon   UK https://amzn.to/2Z5Tx9C

Amazon .com https://amzn.to/2JY6jn1

 

About the Author

IMG_0569

 Raven is the author of both Regency and contemporary stories and also writes rom com as Katy Lilley.

She lives in the Trossachs, in Scotland on the edge of a forest, with her long suffering husband, who is used to rescuing the dinner from the Aga and passing her a glass of wine as she works.

Raven loves hearing from her readers and you can find her at www.ravenmcallan.com where all her social likes for Facebook and twitter are also found.