GIVEAWAY

Can’t Stop Lovin’ You by Lynnette Austin

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Brawley
must find a way to convince Maggie 
that their one true home is with each other.
CAN’T STOP LOVIN’ YOU
Maverick Junction #3
Lynnette Austin
Forever
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
 
Maggie Sullivan can’t wait to get out of Texas. Luckily, she just got the break she
needed to make her big-city dreams a reality. But then Brawley Odell swaggers
back into Maverick Junction, looking hotter than ever in his dusty cowboy boots
and well-worn jeans. He’s the guy she still dreams of at night. The guy who
broke her heart when he left her behind.
Fed up with city life, Brawley jumps at the chance to return home and take over the local
vet’s practice—and get back to the smart, sassy woman he’s never been able
forget. He couldn’t be prouder of Maggie’s new wedding-dress business . . .
until he realizes it may mean losing her all over again. Determined to win her
back, Brawley must find a way to convince Maggie that their one true home is
with each other.


NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT!!

 

Lynnette Austin, a
recovering middle school teacher, loves long rides with the top down and the
music cranked up, the Gulf of Mexico when a storm is brewing, chocolate frozen
custard, anything by Blake Shelton, Chris Young, and Thomas Rhett, and sitting
in her local coffee shop reading and enjoying an iced coffee. She and her
husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Georgia’s
Blue Ridge Mountains. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart
takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all
their business, for better or worse. Writing for Grand Central and Sourcebooks,
she’s published twelve novels and is at work on a new series.
 

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Release Blast Info for MONSTER AMONG THE ROSES by Linda Kage

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Will you dare to gaze upon the monster among the roses?
 MONSTER AMONG THE ROSES
Fairy Tale Quartet #1
Linda Kage
Releasing July 24, 2017

“Do you know how to get to the rose garden?”

“No, you can’t go there. A monster lives there.”
 
Shaw Hollander is desperate.
 
Broke, unemployed, and determined to help his ailing mother, he falls on the good
graces of a wealthy benefactor who is willing to give Shaw a job at his mansion
in order to pay off his mother’s debts. Suddenly finding himself surrounded by
lavish riches, he has no idea what his duties truly entail until he’s sent to
the rose garden and meets the tragically mutilated Isobel.
This Beauty and the Beast story holds true to the core of the fable while shaking off the
element of fantasy and dragging it into present day reality. Shaw and Isobel
are ready to let you climb into their four-wheel-drive pickup and take a ride
with them into their version of happily ever after, but only if you first dare
to gaze upon the monster among the roses.

Excerpt

Great. I was lost. Shading my hand over my eyes, I decided the far right should take me in the general direction I wanted to go. So I went that way, only to end up at the edge of the house, but not where I’d started, and not close enough to the rose garden to get me inside.

Strangely enough, however, a boy played outside, using sidewalk chalk to color a picture of…what the hell was he drawing? Maybe some kind of dying animal with blood gushing from its side and an arrow sticking out of its back.

It didn’t look right, whatever it was.

I shook my head and jerked my gaze from the disturbingly morbid sketch. “Hey, kid.”

The boy jumped and looked up, hopping to his feet and backing away from me as I were the scary one.

No idea who he was; he looked too young to be Mr. Nash’s son from the photos I’d seen, plus he had white blond hair, the complete opposite shade of the young man in all the pictures in Mr. Nash’s office. But he was here, so he’d have to do.

Wanting to appear as non-threatening as possible, I smile and waved. “Hey. Sorry for bothering you, but do you know how to get to the rose garden?”

That must’ve been the wrong question to ask. His face drained of color. “No,” he said, shaking his head. “You can’t go there.”

What? “Why not?”

“A monster lives in there. Half her face is melted off. She eats the thorns from the roses so she can spit them at people, stabbing them in the neck to slice their throat open until they bleed out and die.”

O…kay.

Somehow, I’d stumbled across one of the children of the corn. Nice.

Lifting my eyebrows, I drew my own step in reverse. Time to retreat. “Dude, that’s gruesome.”

Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me.

He gave a serious nod. “It’s true. My mom’ll tell you she’s real too.”

“Oh yeah?” Relieved he wasn’t claiming he’d sprouted from Satan’s cabbage patch but actually had a mother, I glanced around for this wise, all-knowing parent of his. Maybe she could tell me how to get to the conservatory. “Who’s your mom?”

“The cook,” he said, puffing up his chest as if that were the most important title in the house. “She’s worked here for fifteen years. She knows everything about this place there is to know. So…don’t go into the roses. You won’t come out alive. Lewis, the groundskeeper, doesn’t even go in there.”

Aha! So this place did have a gardener. I knew it.

I took a second to ponder why I was being sent to garden then, when Mr. Nash already paid someone to maintain the place. But if Lewis refused to go into the roses, as the kid had said, maybe it was rumored to be haunted or something, and that was where I came in. Then again, why wouldn’t Mr. Nash just hire a new groundskeeper who wasn’t so scared and superstitious? Then I stopped pondering the whys. It wasn’t my place to question strange, rich people and their strange, oddball orders. I was just here to do what I was told and save my mom.

Nodding gravely to the boy, I said, “Thanks for the warning, kid. But I think I’ll take my chances. Which way?”

He looked at me as if he’d never see me again because I was headed forth to my death, then he lifted his hand and quietly pointed toward another opening in the path of bushes.

“Thanks.” I nodded and got out of there before some of his creepiness started rubbing off.

Fortunately, he’d steered me in the right direction. I landed right at the outdoor entrance into the glass gazebo. Propping the door open, I carted my supplies inside and then paused to breathe deeply.

But fuck me, it smelled good in here. You didn’t have to be a flower enthusiast for this garden to amaze you. It was like the holy shrine of roses. A hallowed kind of reverence filled my chest. Haunted or not, I liked it. It felt peaceful and yet revitalizing.

Suddenly intimidated because I didn’t want to mess anything up in such a perfect place, my hands shook as I flipped back to the pages about rose care. The more I skimmed, however, the more confused I became.

These roses didn’t need a lick of my attention. They were all in excellent condition as if someone already tended to them. Maybe creepy kid had been wrong, and Lewis the groundskeeper came in here hourly to care for them.

Still…What the hell?

I frowned and slid my finger along the silken petals of a blood red rose. Perfectly pruned, weeded, and watered. It was as flawless as a thing could get.

But I couldn’t go tell Mr. Nash they didn’t need anything, could I? What if he fired me for lack of work to do, or because he thought I was lazy and lying about the roses not needing care?

I looked around again, searching for anything to water, or clip, or re-soil. It was crazy how thriving every single flower looked.

Maybe this was some kind of test, and Mr. Nash wanted me to fail. What if he’d never intended for me to work for him and the contract I’d signed to save my mom was being burned in the fireplace in this office as I stood here like a dumbass with nothing to weed.

Confused and worried, and growing a little angry, I scowled at a wall full of pink vine roses growing to my right. But they were honestly too pretty to be glared at, so my mood settled.

I bet Mom would love them. She was a fan of pink. And flowers. Plus, these were the good-smelling kind. I’d be a good son if I brought home such a flower to her. And it seemed as if they grew in abundance, not as if they were one of the rare breeds Mr. Nash had spoken of. So I reached for a bloom to pluck it from the vine without even thinking beyond how much it’d make my mother smile.

Behind me, a voice growled, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Jumping half out of my skin because I’d been certain no one had been in here with me, I whirled around only to gasp, “Shit!”

The creepy cook’s son hadn’t been lying.

In front of me stood an irate woman with half her face melted off.

 

I grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now I live in
Kansas with my husband, two daughters, nine cuckoo clocks, and a cat named
Holly. My life’s been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love.
Writing’s always been a major part my world, and I’m so happy to finally share
some of my stories with other romance lovers.

I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, and I’ve been through a writing
correspondence class in children’s literature from The Institute of Children’s
Literarture, and then I continued my writing lessons by majoring in English
with an emphasis in creative fiction writing from Pittsburg State
University.

 

 

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WRECKED by J.B. Salsbury Release Blitz

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Title: WRECKED

Author: JB Salsbury

On Sale:  July 18, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Trade Paperback: $13.99 USD

eBook: $3.99 USD

Audio: $24.98 USD

Add to Goodreads

When you can’t trust yourself, how can you ask anyone else to?

It’s been months since Aden Colt left the Army, and still the memories haunt him. When he moved into a tiny boat off the California coast, he thought he’d found the perfect place to escape life. Then Sawyer shows up and turns his simple life upside down. Beautiful and sophisticated, she seems out of place in this laid-back beach town. Something is pushing her to experience everything she can—including Aden. But as much as he wants her, starting a relationship with Sawyer puts them both at risk. For Aden, the past doesn’t stay there; it shows up unexpectedly, uncontrollably, and doesn’t care whose life it wrecks.

EXCERPT

 

Oh no, fuck no!

I thought he was kidding. I should’ve known better. Aden’s intentions with me since I stupidly boarded this boat have been my torment for his enjoyment. He loved watching me squirm over the bait tank and when I proved I wouldn’t shy away from a challenge, he pulled out the big guns. From his flirty smiles to his teasing touches, he’s discovered my weaknesses and is exploiting them for his own entertainment.

Now this? Raw fish probably still warm from fighting for its life.

And now I’m God knows how many feet above water sitting on a two-seater bench held up by rusty ladders and staring down a piece of glistening pink meat.

“You have to eat it, it’s a rite of passage.” He offers the meat to my lips and I quickly turn my face away.

“I’m really not hungry.” As if the idea isn’t enough to turn my stomach, watching him clean the fish before sectioning off enough for lunch wasn’t much of an appetite builder.

“Of course you are.” He brings the piece to his own mouth and takes a bite, closing his eyes with a moan as he chews.

I feel a rush of bile hit my throat, or maybe it’s beer, either way it’s warm and it burns. “That’s disgusting.”

“You’re telling me you don’t like sushi?”

My eyes widen. Sawyer would say she’s never had sushi. But Celia’s a different story. She ate a live cricket in the eighth grade on a dare. She didn’t even flinch. “I like sushi, just not directly from the…um…source.”

“Doesn’t get fresher than this.” He takes another bite and I can’t deny that his response to eating it does give it some appeal.

“I think I need soy sauce or that green stuff.” What’s it called?

“Just try it.”

“I really don’t want to.”

“Oh come on.” He smiles in that cute crooked way that makes my heart dip and dive. “Live a little.”

I chew the inside of my mouth debating the cost/benefit of taking a bite of this fresh-out-of-the-ocean fish. On one hand, I’ll impress Aden. That in and of itself is worth the ick factor. But what if I throw up all over his boat? Is the chance of impressing him worth totally humiliating myself? I groan when I realize what I’m doing, exactly what I swore I wouldn’t do. I’m making an internal pros and cons list. I close my eyes and steel my resolve and my spine. Don’t think, just decide. I pop open my eyes followed by my mouth.

“Yeah?” He stares at my parted lips.

I nod, hoping he’ll hurry before I change my mind.

Lifting the rose-colored flesh forward, he places it between my teeth. It’s a small bite so I close my lips around his fingers expecting him to pull away…but he doesn’t. For a moment I’m suspended in his gaze, totally stuck while his hot fingers rest between my lips. This should be grossing me out; after all, I watched him gut this fish with his bare hands and to wash off all the blood he merely dipped them into the ocean. But all the thoughts of raw fish and a stranger’s finger do nothing to stave off the warmth blooming in my belly. My tongue pulls the meat deeper into my mouth, brushing against the rough pad of his forefinger. He bites his lip but finally drops his hand.

He watches intently while I chew and swallow.

“How was it?” His voice is low and gruff.

Lost in the heated moment, I barely tasted it. “Good.”

His hand cups the back of my head and he pulls me toward him, stopping just short of our lips touching. “I can’t fucking take this anymore.” His breath is sawing in and out, bursting against my mouth with impatience. “Let me.” It’s a demand, not a question.

A kiss. I don’t need to channel Celia or flip a coin…I know what I want.

I lick my lips and close the slight distance between us.

BUY THE BOOK HERE

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million |Google Play | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times bestselling author JB Salsbury spends her days lost in a world of budding romance and impossible obstacles. Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award. JB Salsbury lives with her husband and two kids in Phoenix, Arizona

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For Forester by J. Nathan Release Blitz

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Title: For Forester
Author: J. Nathan
Genre: New Adult Sports Romance
Release Date: July 19, 2017
Blurb
Trace 
I’m Alabama’s star wide receiver. I’ve got mad skills on and
off the field, and it’s no secret I’m heading into the draft after the upcoming
season. But I’m home for the summer to make some cash before my senior year.
Being back under my parents’ roof isn’t the ideal situation, but the moment I
see Marin, the star of my adolescent fantasies, I know it’s about to get
interesting. She may not have noticed me back then, but I’ve got a feeling it’s
just a matter of time before she lets me turn those fantasies into reality.
Marin
The last time I saw Trace Forester he was just a kid tearing
up the neighborhood on his skateboard. That was when I was foolish enough to
think I had the perfect husband and the perfect life. But now my life is in
shambles and Trace is back, all grown up, hot as hell, and exuding major
confidence. It would be so easy to fall for his good looks and undeniable
charm. So easy to let him into my life. Too bad I learned the hard way that
nothing worth having ever comes easy.
Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Excerpt
“You sleep with him yet?” Gayle asked.
“Oh my god. What is wrong with you?”
“Me? Have you seen the guy?”
Outside, Trace tossed the football gently so CJ had a slight
chance of actually catching it. He didn’t. It bounced off the grass in front of
him, but he ran after it, laughing as he did. “Yes, I’ve seen the teenager in
my backyard.”
“He’s not a teenager.”
“Yes, he is. I looked it up. He’s nineteen.”
There was a pause on her end, like she just realized I was a
sicko who’d actually looked him up. “Who cares? You’re single and he’s hot.
Have you seen him in his uniform? The guy could be a freakin’ underwear model.”
I laughed as I turned from the window and moved into the
living room. “No. At least not in person.” I’d seen pictures on the internet.
“Girl. When are you ever gonna have a hot piece of ass under
your roof again?” Gayle asked.
I scoffed. “You’re acting like he sees me as anything other
than a soon-to-be-divorced woman with a kid who needs a guy around.”
“Marin, you’re beautiful and fun. You deserve to get some
action.”
“You do realize you’re encouraging me to jump his bones,
right?”
“I never said jump his bones. Just wear something tight.
Bend over and let him see your hot ass. You’d barely have to do anything.”
“You’re insane.” I laughed. “And I could go to jail.”
“Why could you go to jail?” Trace asked from behind me.
I spun around, my eyes bugging out of my head and my heart
drumming in my chest. Trace stood in the doorway smirking at me, like he’d
heard my conversation.
Had he?
Also Available

 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS

Author Bio

J. Nathan is the author of five new adult and sport romances with cocky heroes and sassy
heroines. When she’s not writing, she’s a total romance junkie! Add an alpha
male who’s unlikable in the beginning…even better. She loves watermelon
margaritas, guys in backward hats, country music-especially Luke Bryan, and
hanging with her family and friends in RI where she lives with her husband and son.
Author Links

Cocky Client by Whitney G. Release

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Cocky Client

by Whitney G.
Publication Date: July 13, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

Today is officially the worst day of my life…

I woke up five hours late after a reckless one-night stand with the sexiest, cockiest, and most arrogant man I’ve ever met. (And this asshole actually left a note: “I think you were lying to me about being “experienced” last night. You orgasmed three times, and that was before we made it to your bedroom. I also find it hard to believe you “usually wear silk or lingerie.” Your drawers are all full of cotton granny panties–The best man you’ve ever fucked…)

My top two PR clients left me for my number one competitor, my roommate accidentally bleached my best suit, and my favorite coffee shop was shut down for “health concerns.”

Still, none of those things dimmed my excitement for what was supposed to be the best four o’clock signing session of my career. I was on the verge of signing the highest paying client in my company’s history, taking on a so-called “impossible” job that no publicist had been able to handle.

But at four o’clock, there was no athlete, television personality, or celebrity who showed up. Instead, that sexy, arrogant one-night stand stepped into my office with his familiar panty-wetting smirk and introduced himself as my new, cocky client…

Cocky Client
Cocky Client by Whitney G.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Looking for a fun and sexy story to read over lunch or coffee? Look no further! Cocky Client is a model quickie. Get your head out of the gutter… sort of… I’m talking about a short, easy to read story that will make you smile and fan yourself.

Penelope Lauren’s day could not have gone any worse. After a long dry dating spell, she finally decides to end it by having a one night stand with the gorgeous man who approached her at a club. She thought she’d never see him again, and the next morning after one too many misfortunes, she just wanted get through her meeting and sign with an unknown yet promising client. After hours of being late, the man who arrives is none other than the cocky, arrogant man she slept with the night before.

They say there’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance… it’s called humility. Confidence smiles. Arrogance smirks. Ryan Dalton is a cocky, arrogant alpha male with a panty melting smirk who starts a delicious battle of wills with Penelope that amped up their chemistry during the first month of their hands off working relationship. Their interactions are witty and meant to one up the other, but there’s also an underlying friendship building.

Even with the reduced plot and character development Whitney gives us the ideal amount of insight to make Penelope, Ryan and the secondary characters so appealing I’d love to read more about them. Each one of the Steamy Coffee Reads is a tiny bundle of sensually fun goodness I could not put down and devoured in a single sitting.

Cocky Client is novella #3 in the Steamy Coffee Collection by Whitney G. It is a standalone, contemporary office romance. It’s a fast, witty and sensual read with an arrogant hero and a feisty heroine. Told from two points of view with a happy ending.

Naughty Boss: Amazon |iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Dirty Doctor: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

About Whitney G.

Whitney G. is a twenty-eight-year-old optimist who is obsessed with travel, tea, and great coffee. She’s also a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of several contemporary novels, and the cofounder of The Indie Tea–an inspirational blog for indie romance authors.

When she’s not chatting with readers on her Facebook Page, you can find her on her website at http://www.whitneygbooks.com or on instagram: @whitneyg.author. (If she’s not in either of those places, she’s probably locked away working on another crazy story.)

Don’t forget to sign up for Whitney’s monthly newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1p9fEYF

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Release Blast for MR. ROOK by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

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 He’s Enigmatic, Dangerously Handsome, 
and COMPLETELY OFF-LIMITS…
MR. ROOK
Mr. Rook’s Island #1
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Releasing June 13th, 2017

 

From NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, Comes Part One of Mr. Rook’s
Island
, a Sexy, Dark, Romantic Suspense.
He’s Enigmatic, Dangerously Handsome, and COMPLETELY OFF-LIMITS…
The women who vacation on Mr. Rook’s exclusive island are looking for one thing and
one thing only: to have their wildest romantic fantasies come to life. Pirates,
cowboys, billionaires—there’s nothing Rook’s staff can’t deliver.
But when Stephanie Fitzgerald’s sister doesn’t return after her week in paradise,
Stephanie will have to pose as a guest in order to dig for answers.
Unfortunately, this means she’ll need to get close to the one thing on the
island that’s not on the menu: the devastatingly handsome and intimidating Mr.
Rook. And he’s not about to give the island’s secrets away.
 

EXCERPT

PROLOGUE

My name is Stephanie Fitzgerald. I am twenty-six years old, London born, New York raised, and I know exactly three things about my current situation.

One: I am an imposter riding on this private jet carrying myself and eleven other women to an island “paradise.”

Two: I have no clue what I will find when I disembark, because this exclusive resort doesn’t exactly advertise.

Three: I will be fired if I don’t return home with concrete information regarding Mr. Rook, the mysterious owner of the island. And when I say I’ll be fired, I really mean that my body will be thrown down a deep dark well by a bad, bad man.

Those three things, however, don’t really matter. Only finding my sister does. Because the last place Cici was seen alive is here, “Fantasy Island.” Yep, that’s what some people actually call it. Some even say the show in the ’80s was based on this place.

Sure. If your fantasy is to disappear, leaving your family an emotional train wreck, then okay, I concede the point.

Regardless, this is where Cici went after winning a mystery dream vacation in the back of some travel magazine, and it’s touted as the real deal. You pay fifty K. They make your wildest fantasies come true. One week in Heaven.

Heaven, my ass.

As the tires hit the wet landing strip and the plane slows to a crawl, I glance out the tiny oval window to my left, and my breath hitches. Standing among the lush vegetation lining the runway is a tall man with square shoulders. He’s looking right at me, and those eyes—so predatory, so cold—are the only thing I can really see of him.

I blink, and he vanishes like a wisp of steam.

Fuck. What was that? A hard shiver slams through me as I realize I have no clue what I’ve just gotten myself into. Because I am one of the next happy guests at Mr. Rook’s private island, where “Every woman’s fantasy is our business.” And not everyone comes home from vacation.

 
MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling romance author.
Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the
corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the
romance closet and follow your dream. Mimi lives with her Latin Lover hubby,
two pirates-in-training (their boys), and the rat terrier duo, Snowflake and
Mini Me, in Arizona. She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and
continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men.
 

SOMEBODY LIKE YOU and NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN by Lynnette Austin

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The question begs to be asked. Is there anything sexier than a cowboy?

 

SOMEBODY LIKE YOU
Maverick Junction #1
Lynnette Austin
Forever Yours

 

WHEN A COWBOY MEETS AN HEIRESS…

Cash Hardeman thinks he’ll have all the time in the world to find the right
woman…until he discovers he might lose the family ranch if he’s not married
by his 30th birthday. So when Boston beauty Annelise blows into town on her
Harley, Cash can’t help wondering if she’s the sexy, leather-clad answer to all
his problems.
Giving her bodyguards and the paparazzi the slip, heiress Annelise Montjoy
comes to Maverick Junction on a mission to help her ailing grandfather. But
keeping her identity hidden in the small Texas town is harder than she
expected—especially around a tempting cowboy like Cash. He’s the kind of man
who makes her want to spill all her secrets. Soon Annelise starts to wonder if
she’s finally found the man who can love her for herself rather than her money.
But will the secrets they both keep ruin their plans to ride off into the
sunset together?

 

NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN
Maverick Junction #2
Lynnette Austin
Forever Yours

THE COWBOY AND THE CITY GIRL

Sophie London hates Texas. The longhorns freak her out and the wide-open spaces are more unnerving than a Chicago alleyway at night. But Sophie wouldn’t miss her cousin’s wedding for the world—even if it means returning to Maverick Junction . . . and to the dangerously irresistible Ty Rawlins.

A single father of rambunctious triplet boys, Ty knows trouble when he sees it—and Sophie’s got it written all over her. Yet he’s never been able to stop thinking about her, after their one brief meeting. Maybe fate is giving him a second chance. But if Ty wants Sophie to swap her stilettos for cowgirl boots, they’ll each have to face the past—together.

Excerpt From Somebody Like You: Maverick Junction #1 by Lynette Austin

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Annelise Montjoy motored her Harley along what appeared to be the town’s main street. This was Maverick Junction?

A blue Cadillac, surely old enough to be in a museum, was parked nose-in to the curb. An incredibly ugly dog sat in the front seat.

Thank God, this, the final destination of her cross-country trip from Boston, was temporary. It looked like the kind of place you ran away from, not toward. If luck was on her side, she’d be out of here in a couple weeks at the most.

And then a store door opened and her breath caught. Go, Texas! Look at that cowboy. So different from any of the men in her life. So…intriguing. She slowed to nearly a standstill and watched as he swiped an arm across his forehead, then dumped a grocery bag in the backseat of the old Caddy.

Cracking open a bottle of water, he turned his head in her direction. Her breath hitched as his gaze ran lazily over her, her bike. Then he snagged a Styrofoam cup from inside his car and filled it before setting it on the blistering pavement for the dog waiting patiently beside him.

Leaning against the faded fender, he thumbed back his battered Stetson and chugged the rest of the water. Twisting the cap back on, he tossed the bottle into the recycling bin beside the grocer’s door.

Annelise pulled her bike into a parking space across the street, deliberately turning her back on the stranger. While his clothes might have been stereotypical cowboy—worn jeans, a faded T-shirt, cowboy boots, and hat—he took everything from simmer to boiling point. The jeans hugged long legs, while the shirt stretched taut across his muscled chest. There was something very alluring about him and that surprised her. He wasn’t the kind of man she was usually drawn to.

He shouldn’t appeal to her.

He did.

Not so much as a breeze stirred. The flag on the post office hung limp, and the cheerful red, white, and blue balloons someone had hung outside a beauty salon drooped listlessly.

Unable to stop herself, she peeked in the bike’s rearview mirror. Cowboy was bent over, talking to the dog. Quite a view, but she wasn’t here to admire a fine jean-clad butt. She needed something cold to drink and something light to eat. Then she’d go in search of Dottie Willis and the apartment she’d rented over the Internet. Maverick Junction, Texas. Annelise wished she was driving through, wished she could view it as simply a spot on the map where she’d stopped for lunch one summer day.

Well, she’d just have to work fast.

 

 

Lynnette Austin, a recovering middle school teacher, loves long rides with the top down and the
music cranked up, the Gulf of Mexico when a storm is brewing, chocolate frozen
custard, anything by Blake Shelton, Chris Young, and Thomas Rhett, and sitting
in her local coffee shop reading and enjoying an iced coffee. She and her
husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Georgia’s
Blue Ridge Mountains. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart
takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all
their business, for better or worse. Writing for Grand Central and Sourcebooks,
she’s published twelve novels and is at work on a new series.
 

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