Friday, September 18, 2015

Burk's Surrender by Dora Hiers ♥ New Release Spotlight & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Inspirational Romance)


Deputy City Manager Burk Harmon has always been the strong one for his family, but recently those responsibilities have dwindled. When Lacie Heatherton, Assistant Director for Parks and Recreation, ropes him into a city-sponsored trip to the mountains with fifty senior citzens, Burk has two things on his mind: considering a possible promotion and wooing Lacie past friendship and into a future.

Lacie has emotional scars and a thirteen-year-old daughter to remind her that men can be cruel and unforgiving. Can Burk convince Lacie to relax her "no dating" policy or will he surrender his dreams of family and love?


It was past time to make a move.

Burk Harmon leaned back in the leather chair, rocking it slightly as he assessed the beautiful woman perched on the edge of the chair in front of him, her chin crooked in a palm as she toyed absently with the placard on his desk, her emerald eyes trained on him with a pleading expression. Dark hair fell in a sleek wave, draping the entire left side of her face, but there was no mistaking that look.

“Don’t bat those eyelashes at me.”

Lacie’s back stiffened, her shoulders pressed back, and her chin jutted out. The deputy city manager placard clunked back down on his desk, the clanging echoing around his small office. She fumbled with righting it.

He didn’t allow the smile to sneak onto his face. Not yet, anyway. But she was just so cute.

“I am not batting my eyelashes at you, Burk Harmon. What you see here is sheer desperation.” Her hand waved in a circle around her face, then dropped back to his desk. She picked up a pencil and twirled it between her fingers. “Renee’s husband had emergency surgery, and since he’s still flat on his back in the hospital, of course she can’t go.”

Resisting the urge to take the pencil and hold her hand to still its fidgeting, he waited. Wouldn’t hurt to make her sweat. She had him wrapped around her pinky finger and she knew it. Hadn’t he always been there for her?

“I need you.” She arched delicate brows waiting for a positive response from him.

He tried to corral the smile that he knew had to be leaking around his mouth. She wouldn’t appreciate his amusement.

“Stop it! You know it pains me greatly to admit that.”

“You must be desperate,” he drawled.

Lacie never admitted to needing anyone, especially not a man.

“Yeah. I can’t understand why nobody wants to spend a few days with these sweeties.” The playful look dissolved as she rubbed a hand across her face before propping an elbow back on the desk and planting her chin in a palm again.

Sighing, he massaged the back of his neck and stole a sideways glance at the calendar on his computer, mentally rolling through the countless meetings he had scheduled and tasks that demanded his attention over the next few days.

Nothing that couldn’t be rescheduled or too time sensitive that he couldn’t complete it when he got back. And, honestly, after his meeting yesterday with the city manager and the shocker he’d zinged at Burk, a little time away for introspection wouldn’t hurt. All that aside, this would make the perfect opportunity to implement his plan. For over a decade, he had never attempted to cross the “just friends” line. Not once. But he wanted more. So much more.

Especially after watching first his sister, and then his twin brother, enter marital bliss. Every time he saw Beck or Rori, they had silly grins stamped on their faces.

It was his turn. Right, God?

He was weary of coming home after a long day to an empty condo. Tired of eating take-out meals or frozen dinners by himself in the eat-in kitchen, sometimes with the television blaring the news just for background noise, but most times on his way out the door to some meeting or other. Not that he minded the silence, but since his brother had moved out, he had come to realize that his condo, his life, was painfully quiet.

He yearned to ditch the city life and find a house in the country, closer to his brother and sister, a place that sprawled with land and a big enough yard for several kids to roam without worry that they’d dart into a busy road. A house with a wide front porch and a swing for cuddling and sharing coffee or hot chocolate in the evenings or lazy Sunday afternoons. A house where a family could grow and flourish.

Because when he allowed himself to think about it, which was happening more frequently now, deep down, that’s what he really wanted. A family of his own. He longed to come home at the end of a workday to a family. To swap stories, to listen to dreams, to help reach them. And he craved a certain soft female to warm his nights.

Lacie.

He wasn’t getting any younger, and after over a decade of being the closest of friends, this need for a lifetime with her burned with a greater intensity with every day that passed.

But Lacie didn’t seem to be any closer to relaxing her “no dating” policy, and he wasn’t sure she even detected his feelings. His plan might take a few months. He wanted to grow old together, not separately.

He picked up the mug of stale coffee and stared at the dregs floating around in the bottom. He took the last bitter swig and set the cup down on the desk with a clunk. He toyed with the pencil that Lacie had finally relinquished.

“Sure. I’ll go.” Escorting fifty senior citizens to a mountain resort for a few days couldn’t be that tough, could it?

“You will?” Lacie bolted from the armchair, surprise lighting her face.

He nodded, anticipation suddenly leaping to life in his gut. Four days in the mountains with Lacie? What a perfect opportunity she’d just dropped in his lap. This trip would be the first step in winning her heart. He couldn’t have picked a more romantic setting.

Well, minus the seniors. But, since they were both night owls and seniors were notorious for retiring early in the evenings, he would have tons of time alone with her. Right?

Four days away from his normal environment would also give him plenty of time to consider whether he wanted to apply for the city manager’s job. The way he saw it, the whole situation was a win-win.

“You knew I would.” He purposely lowered his voice, trying to go for a sensual effect.

Apparently, it didn’t work on her because her only response was to dip those dark brows together, suspicion glittering from her expression.

His gaze dropped to the purplish rims lining her high cheekbones. She hadn’t slept well. Worried about finding a replacement for Renee? Or something else?

He longed to graze his knuckles across her cheeks to see if her skin was as soft as it looked. He tightened his grip on the pencil to keep from reaching out.

She tilted her head to the side, her hair bobbing against the autumn gold sweater covering a shoulder, a dare curving her lips. “You know traveling with fifty seniors won’t be a piece of cake, right?”

He was responsible for close to four hundred employees on a daily basis, not to mention dealing with several thousand citizens. Did she have so little confidence in his managerial or communication skills? “What could possibly go wrong?”

“Guess we’ll find out, won’t we?” A slow smile spread across her face. But this time the curve of her lips was more like a grimace.

If there was one thing their years of friendship had taught him about Lacie, it was that she covered up everything with a smile. Pain and loneliness included.

He flicked the pencil on the desk.

It was time she knew she wasn’t alone.


 



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After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son no longer wanted her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing Heart Racing, God-Gracing romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and her local chapter, Carolina Romance Writers.

Dora and her real life hero make their home in North Carolina. When she takes a break from cranking out stories, she enjoys reading, family gatherings, and mountain cabin getaways. She despises traffic, bad coffee, technological meltdowns, and a sad ending to a book. Her books always end with a happily-ever-after!
        



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1 comment :

  1. Thanks so much for featuring Burk's Surrender, Lauren. I so appreciate you and your gracious hospitality! :)

    ReplyDelete

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