must find a way to convince Maggie
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.
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.
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.
“Do you know how to get to the rose garden?”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
by Whitney G.
Publication Date: July 13, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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…
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
Island, a Sexy, Dark, Romantic Suspense.
one thing only: to have their wildest romantic fantasies come to life. Pirates,
cowboys, billionaires—there’s nothing Rook’s staff can’t deliver.
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.
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.
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.