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Friday, September 21, 2018

The Thorne Brothers by Lee Kilraine 💕 Series Tour & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Contemporary Romance)




 
 


Beckett. Asher. Gray. Eli. Ryker. Wyatt. Five out of six very different brothers reunited—and working to make their construction firm a success. But oldest brother Beckett just found their major new project becoming one hard and sexy challenge . . .

A rough childhood tore Beckett and his brothers apart. It took everything he had to track them down and establish Six Brothers Construction. He only trusts them—and his drive to win. Now if SBC can build a billionaire team owner’s much-hyped new mansion, it will put them on the map—and finally fulfill Beckett’s promise to take care of his siblings. Too bad he’ll have to collaborate with hot new rival Samantha Devine, who’s throwing him curves on-site, out-the-box . . . and between the sheets.

Sam knows from experience that arrogant good-ole-boy Beckett is long, strong, and built to go the distance. But this is her only shot to prove she and her fledgling design company can succeed on her own terms. She’ll match Beckett’s expertise by day—and reignite the explosive heat between them by night. But when passion threatens to become real love, will this competition separate them for good . . . or make the sizzling collaboration of a lifetime?


Samantha…
Talk about a dream job. For sure my face looked like I’d just walked through a clearance sale of Jimmie Choo shoes, my smile flagrantly wide as I walked through the French doors of the sunroom to greet Lila.
That was where my dream turned into a nightmare. Because my gaze landed on a man in the room. Landed with a thud.
For the record, I’m not a man hater. I’m not. But I do have a hit list.
Not men I want to have killed. No. My hit list contained the men I wanted to hit. Right over their thick skulls.
Here’s my list:
Dear old Dad
Stepbrother #1 (Todd the bod. He seriously called himself that.)
Stepbrother #2 (Justin the jerk. He did not call himself that, but he was.)
Beckett Thorne
But since I don’t believe in using violence to solve problems, I had to develop a different tactic. I called it “intelligent avoidance.” Margo said all I was doing was avoiding my problems. According to the twisting in my gut right now, I’d have to admit she was right again. I had some smart friends; if only I’d listen to them more often, then maybe I wouldn’t be standing here feeling flustered and hyper-aware of the boob sweat slicing down my cleavage and over my ribcage.
“There you are!” Lila walked to me, giving me cheek to cheek air kisses to not mess up her lipstick. My own Cherry Bomb lipstick was newly refreshed. Like extra armor before going into battle. “Sam, I think you already know Beckett Thorne.”
“Samantha.” He stood and reached out his hand, courteous and professional.
“Thorne.” I nodded, pretending I didn’t see his hand, bad-mannered and immature. His extended hand was a trick anyway. One I’d fallen for before. He tricked me into getting close enough to smell him. He smelled like cedar trees and hot sexy nights. It was subtle, but powerful. Like a breath-stealing punch that hit me right in the honey pot. Not kidding.
I’d learned to go into survival mode and protect myself around him. The problem was he was my sexual kryptonite. He could do things to my body with a simple look. And a touch…? I suppressed the shiver that wanted to rattle its way down my body with the thought of what his touch had done to me.
I’d met Beckett Thorne two years ago when I’d first moved to Raleigh. He’d come sauntering over at the Building and Design Expo, offering to show me around town. I’d been warned about him. Rumor was the offer to show me his bedroom would follow shortly after that. And then he’d show me the door even quicker.
I’m not saying it was easy to turn him down. In fact, I’m not saying that at all.
Because I didn’t. I couldn’t. Something about his blue eyes, his sexy smile, his work-hardened body, and his strong calloused hands had me saying yes. Only we skipped the tour around town.
That’s right. I’d taken my turn on the Beckett Thorne thrill ride. It was hot, mind-blowing, and everything a woman imagined when they looked at him. And more. Ride of a lifetime, but I was warned. Like most wild rides, a love affair with Beckett was said to be exhilarating but rumbled to an abrupt stop, before a woman could even catch her breath from the scream-inducing rush up and over the sky-high peaks. Nope. I’d had enough rejection from men in my life. My plan was to walk away after our one night together. And that’s what happened.
I’d one and done him.
Sort of.
That’s how I like to remember it went for the sake of my own dignity.
In reality, like an idiot, I’d waited for him to call all the next week. Not that he said he would. There was a vague mention of seeing me again, somewhere in the hot panting heat between round two and three. In my defense, I wasn’t exaggerating about the mind-blowing ride of a lifetime. Plus, I’m an optimist. And did I mention how amazing the sex was?
But when he didn’t call, I moved on. No big deal.
Luckily, even though the design world in Raleigh was small, we rarely ran into each other. Yet here we both were, and both, apparently, salivating for Lila’s job. Of course that was why I was salivating. Mr. Tall, Dark, and could-be-Bradley Cooper’s-stunt-double had absolutely nothing to do with it.
Nothing. Not his rugged looks, like a barely tamed tiger, almost too austere to call handsome. Not his dark blond hair, looking perpetually mussed like a woman had run her hands through it. Not the bump on his nose and jagged scar on his chin hinting at a wild past. And certainly not his electric blue eyes that gleamed with intelligence and cynicism. A dangerous combination.
So he could take his Southern manners and stick them where the—whoa, down girl. Sure our history was short—very short—but apparently it was seared into my memory. Possibly because I replayed that memory numerous times over the past two years. When I took a shower, or used my battery powered friend. Hey, those memories were mine fair and square. I was allowed to use them, especially when I was in the middle of a man-drought. It’s not my fault I hadn’t found a man I wanted to sleep with since my night with Thorne.
He stood staring across the room at me. God the man was too good looking for my own good. And far too cocky. I was just the woman to bring him down a peg.
What was he doing? Huh, what do you know… He was eye-fucking me. The man had some nerve. He couldn’t keep his gaze off my chest. I willed my nipples not to react. Don’t go perky. Don’t go perky. Don’t g—too late. Those damn eyes of his. Well, two can play at this game.
I let my gaze wander over his chest…and down. Down farther before dragging my gaze back up. His eyebrow quirked.
I quirked my eyebrow right back, making sure to roll my shoulders back, giving him an eyeful of my perky nipples. Both of his eyebrows rose.
That’s right, buddy. Suck it. I mean, no, there would be no sucking. None. Zero. No thinking about his lips at all. I had to exterminate that image from my brain before my pulse headed into defibrillation territory.
His eyebrows lowered from their sky-high perch on the ladder of cockiness. Looked like round one went to me. Ha!
“You’ve got a piece of lettuce on your…uh…top.” His face looked innocent but the laughter in his eyes was like a whipped cream pie to my face.
I looked down and sure enough a piece of lettuce clung to my chest like a bull’s-eye over my right nipple. Nice, Sam. Nothing said classy and professional like a lettuce leaf pastie!
I did what any crazy, trying-to-hold-on-to-her-dignity woman would do. I peeled off the lettuce and popped it into my mouth. I chewed and swallowed delicately. “One can never get enough fiber.”



 
 


Six Brothers Construction was built to reunite a family and heal a painful past. So far it’s opened to rave reviews. But the youngest sibling is about to discover that the right woman can shake even a rock-solid foundation . . .
Wyatt Thorne was so traumatized by his mother’s abandonment he didn’t speak until he was six. At 26, he’s still the quiet type—strong and silent, most comfortable with a hammer in his hand and work to do. But the reassuring rhythm of his life is interrupted when his brother Beckett decides to pay forward their unused office space to a needy start-up. Enter Rhia Hollis, flighty, impulsive, and outspoken—everything that drives Wyatt crazy. Only this time in the sexiest, most irresistible way . . .
Rhia is determined to disprove her reckless, party girl image by making her new company, Seize the Day, the premier event planning firm in Raleigh. She has big dreams, and the Thornes’ offer of a free command center is a huge help. But Wyatt’s gruff, stubborn resistance to her presence is an annoying hindrance. They’re as different as night and day, yet when they begin to meet in the middle, the sparks fly hot. Is this a case of opposites distract—or the beginning of a beautiful long-term project? . . .


Chapter 1
Rhia
“Uh oh.”
“No. No ‘uh oh.’ You swore on your stack of Scientific Americans that this time your experiment would be fine. You assured me this trial had zero chance of failure.” Steph had also pulled the older sister guilt trip on me. Don’t be a baby, Rhia. Besides, you owe me for helping you pass organic chem in college.
“Just because you’re showing signs of anaphylaxis, doesn’t mean my experiment is a failure.” She frowned as she examined my face.
“Anaphylaxis? Don’t forget we had a deal. I agreed to help you if we swung by the Business Expo after. It closes in an hour, and I need to go apply for the ‘Pay it Forward’ grant. Today’s the last day for applications.”
“Why in the world did you wait until the last day?” Of course, I got the older sister eyebrow quirk from her. Because my sister, Steph, my whole family really, had no idea what it was like to second guess yourself. They came into the world with confidence, an agenda, and a to-do list.
“I wasn’t sure if I was ready to make that big of a commitment.” That was a lie. I was so ready to jump at the next step in my new business endeavor. What took so long was tackling my inner doubts first. And getting past all the doubts of my family.
“I don’t think you know what commitment is, Rhia. You only stuck out teaching English, what? Two years?”
See what I mean? I taught for two long years. In college, I’d kept my options open with a double major in business and English, but I tried my hand at teaching first. Turned out I wasn’t made for teaching. I fell for every excuse my students gave me. I was a sucker for a sob story. And once the kids figured that out, I lost control of the classroom.
I didn’t let myself get discouraged, though. No, ma’am. Instead of wallowing in my failure, I remembered I was the “go-to” person in my sorority for planning all the parties and events. In fact, I was the Event Planning Chair for two years running.
That’s how I came up with the idea of starting my event planning business, Seize the Day. I felt good about it. Like maybe I’d finally found something I could succeed at and feel passionate about. Just like the rest of my family. I was excited and inspired. Until I ran the numbers.
“You should have majored in one of the sciences like the rest of us,” Steph said while she jotted something down on her clipboard. She set her paperwork aside and moved up close to peer into my eyes. “Your pupils look normal. Maybe if you’d gone into a STEM program, you’d be employed right now.”
Or maybe not. “You do remember those agonizing hours of organic chem tutoring, don’t you?”
Steph winced at the memory. “Painfully so, but there were science degrees that didn’t require organic chem. Plenty of less rigorous programs even you could have managed.”
Even you. I only flinched a little at that. I knew my sister hadn’t meant it as an insult. It was simply a fact in my family.
“Besides, I do so have a job. I’m self-employed.”
The long-standing joke that I was adopted stopped being funny by middle school when my average grades became a source of friction in the family. If only you’d apply yourself, Rhia. If only you’d try harder, Rhia. Rhia, stop daydreaming and focus. Oh, I tried. But my brain simply wasn’t wired like the rest of the Hollis clan.
So, no, I’d never really fit in with my brilliant family. But that hadn’t stopped me from trying. I was tired of disappointing everyone. Especially myself. That’s why I was determined to make my event planning business a success.
“How’s your airway?” Steph placed her fingers on my wrist and glanced at her watch. “Breathing feel okay?”
Was my breathing okay? My family always told me I was overly dramatic, but I don’t know, maybe my throat did feel a little closed up. I swallowed to check. No. My throat felt fine. Must be that whole power of suggestion thing.
“I thing I’m othay.” Wait, what? That didn’t come out right. Probably because my tongue suddenly felt too big for my mouth.
“Uh oh. Open your mouth and stick out your tongue.” My sister’s face slid into her serious scientist expression, and she spoke into her mini handheld recorder. “Test subject number one is showing signs of glossitis and uticaria—one-inch diameter, bright red with a pale center.”
“Whath’s glossithith and uthitharia?” Dammit. My speech slurred even worse. And my head felt like it had last New Year’s Eve when I’d imbibed too much champagne. A giggle escaped past my thick tongue. Ha! Imbibed. “Imbibed ith a funny word, don’t you thinth?”
“Test subject is showing signs of slurred speech. Possible intoxication.” She clicked off her recorder and peered closer at my face. “Still breathing okay?”

“Yeth but I’m ithy.” I scratched a spot on my cheek and then noticed the same feeling on my forearms. I held my arms out in front of me to look. “Yithes! I’m going to thill you, Sthephanie. You promithed I’d be fine thith time. Promithed!”
“Apparently, I miscalculated on the formula. This is a great data set.” She spoke into her recorder again with way too much excitement. “Decrease amylase dehydrate by fifty percent for second set of trials.”
I narrowed my eyes at her. Except, I only had to narrow one eye because the other was already half swollen shut. “Fixth thith.”
“Right.” She searched through the drawer in her desk, coming up with a bottle of Benadryl. After shaking two out, she slapped them in my hand and handed me a bottle of water. “Take these. You’ll be back to normal in six to eight hours.”
Six to eight hours? I glared at her with my one good eye. And I kept on glaring at her as I swallowed down the antihistamines. I could kill my sister and hide the body somewhere here in her lab, but I needed her to drive me to the expo, since I didn’t trust driving under the influence of both whatever she tested on me and antihistamines. Plus, I loved her, dammit.
I picked my purse up from the top of a stainless steel storage bench with a sign Warning: Radioactive Waste Only and snatched out my phone and car keys. I tossed the keys over to Steph, catching her by surprise so that she juggled them before having them firmly in her grasp. Then I texted her, since my tongue now felt incapable of forming any actual words.
We need to head to the expo. Now. Before the Benadryl knocks me out.
“Or before you blow up like a polka-dotted puffer fish.”
I texted an angry smiley face emoji to stress my pissed off-ness in case my swollen eye and hives was disguising how upset I was with her. Although I should have known better. It was only a few months ago when the last trial she’d guilted me into had fried my taste buds. Everything had tasted like cardboard for a week.
“Okay, let’s go. And don’t give me that face.” She pointed at me as we exited the building. “We’ll make it in plenty of time for you to fill out the application and make a good impression.”
“A good imprethon?” It was my turn to give her the raised eyebrow, because I sounded like a drunk with a lisp. As soon as I let myself into the passenger seat and buckled in, I flipped down the visor to look at the damage.
“Ack!” The face staring back at me had leprosy. Or the plague. Or sadly and too true to be funny: I looked like I’d been created in a lab by a mad scientist. Just like Frankenstein.
I sent a text to myself. Stop saying yes to family.
And then I pulled out my concealer and did the best I could trying to cover the bright red hives on my face and neck. When we parked at the Raleigh Convention Center, I made Steph trade shirts with me, since hers was long-sleeved and covered the hives on my arms.
“I don’t like putting on a strip show for any perv walking by, Rhia.” Steph grumbled but complied, giving my shirt a disgusted loook before pulling it on. “Honestly, your wardrobe looks like the result of a sheep mating with a box of neon crayons.”
I might have rolled my eyes while I slipped on my sister’s neutral beige blouse. First, because that didn’t even make sense. Second, what was wrong with liking color? Bright colors made me happy. Except of course these bright red hives. Those made me unhappy. And very, very itchy.
Okay, yes, this situation was less than ideal. I’d done my research on Six Brothers Construction, the company offering the free office space for a year, and had planned on talking with them for a few minutes to highlight my passionate, goal-oriented, future-focused, tech-savvy personality. (All qualities listed in the book, Entrepreneur to Mogul in 37 Easy Steps.)
“Let’s go, Rhia. You have five minutes to fill out the application, and then we’re out of here.” Steph slammed the door and beeped the locks behind us. “I’d like to get out of here before someone sees me looking like My Little Pony threw up on my shirt.”
Like the necessity for swapping shirts was my fault? I seriously contemplated knocking my sister over the head and pushing her into one of the display model Jacuzzis usually set up at these shows. I’d pick one without water of course. The fact that I might need her to speak for me if they asked any questions helped me stifle that impulse. Barely.
“Fine. Leth’s do thith.” My eye was swollen shut, the full body hives itched like I was wearing fabric woven from poison ivy, and my tongue was still unable to form words discernable to a human ear. It was fair to say my confidence about getting this grant had decreased by about a thousand percent in the last hour.
Steph grimaced, her eyes avoiding mine. “It’ll be fine. Just fill out the form. I’ll do the talking if they have any questions. What kind of business is it again?”
Wonderful.
Once inside the building, we rode the escalators up to the exhibit space. It was packed with every trade in the building industry pimping their wares like a modern-day bazaar. Rows upon rows, booths laid out into a giant maze throughout the immense space. There were home builders, interior decorators, garage door suppliers, roofers asking passersby how old their shingles were and were they interested in a low-maintenance, metal roof.
I brought up the map of the business expo on my phone to locate the SBC booth. Left side, halfway down over in the general contractor section. Jerking my head to direct Steph to the left, I maneuvered through the press of people in search of the lifeline I needed to secure my future.




Thursday, September 20, 2018

Priscilla by Charlene Raddon 💕 Book Blast & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Historical Western Romance)



After losing her father and husband in a mine disaster, Priscilla Heartsel faces poverty and eviction from her home by a heartless mine owner. Tricked into a bank robbery gone wrong, Braxton Gamble finds himself shot and unconscious in Priscilla's bed. Can they survive long enough to find a love more precious than gold?




"Is this the one then?" Braxton asked, drawing her back to the present.

She blinked at him. "The one?"

"The house you want to move into."

"Oh, I don't know. What do you think?" Priscilla joined him at the window.

He turned to her. "Well, the ground floor looks acceptable. Let's explore the upper level."

They climbed the stairs to find three good-sized bedrooms and a bathing room with a porcelain tub and sink.

"It's marvelous. Look, how lovely," Priscilla enthused running her hands over the porcelain.

Braxton smiled. Her pleasure lit up her face like a candle from within, rendering her more beautiful than ever. He hadn't thought that possible until now. "Yes," he said. "Gorgeous."

She laughed. "You're not even looking at the tub."

"No." He stepped close and cupped her face with his hands. "I'm gazing at you. You're gorgeous." He expected her to laugh, shove him away or maybe hit him. Instead, she simply gazed back at him, smiling. So, he kissed her.

When she didn't object, he did it again.

After he broke off the kiss, she grinned. "Don't look at me like that, Braxton. Even if I were willing, which I'm not, there's no bed here."

He faked a mournful sigh. "A pure shame isn't it?"

"It's getting close to time for me to start supper. We'd better go."

"Am I invited to eat with you?"

She started down the stairs. "All right. I suppose after giving me so much time this afternoon to look at houses, I owe you that much."

"If I'd known it was going to be that easy, I'd have tried for more," he muttered, following.

Priscilla reached the bottom step and froze.

"What's the matter?" Braxton asked, behind her. "Something wrong?"

"I'd say something's very, very right."

That familiar voice brought Braxton's head up with a jerk. Irish O'Malley leaned indolently against the fireplace. Logan Cash stood on the opposite side of the room. Both had six-guns aimed at he and Priscilla.


Night and Day by by Andie J. Christopher 💕 Book Tour & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Contemporary Romance)



Letty Gonzalez is a true romantic. She’s spent her life waiting for flowers, poetry, the grand gesture that will finally sweep her off her feet—without any luck. After her latest dating fiasco, she’s ready to give up on the idea of Prince Charming—but not on down and dirty fantasies about her new boss—gorgeous, out-of-her-league Max Delgado.
Maxis more pragmatic than romantic—and with his looks and charisma, beautiful women usually fall at his feet. Bubbly, generously curvy Letty just isn’t for him, and maybe if he finally lets his grandmother set him up with someone new, Letty will finally believe it.
But the senior citizen’s matchmaking is trickier than anyone anticipated. And when Letty and Max find themselves stuck in Key West together for a seductively sexy weekend, one kiss is enough to light a fire neither of them wants to put out . . .
**easily read as a standalone!**


Chapter 1
You can leave your clothes on the chair was the last thing Letty Gonzalez expected to hear on her first day of a new job. When she’d been rather forcefully thrust into starting her own business, she’d had no idea that nudity would be involved. If so, she’d started the wrong kind of business. That was more her sister, Elena-the-swimsuit-model’s area of expertise.
Perhaps she was in the wrong place? She’d double-checked the address her new—and first—client had sent her via e-mail. But maybe she should have had a phone conversation with the guy first. If so, she would have known that his voice was so deep and angry sounding that it would send a jolt of electricity straight from her ears into her girl parts. More importantly, she’d have realized that this wasn’t a run-of-the-mill personal assistant or organizational job—that sexual favors would have been expected.
“I’m not—um—that’s not what—I think there’s been some confusion.” Her mouth was so dry. Why was this giant warehouse space in the design district the one place in Miami with no humidity? And, dear God, why was it so hot? She was glad she hadn’t worn a white blouse, because it would be pitted out right now.
Everything was hot and dry, except for in her underwear, because her client was insanely good-looking.
“What’s confusing?” The man sitting on a stool behind a table hadn’t even looked up at her; he’d just barked at her to enter and told her to get naked. Letty had never had to resort to sex work to make ends meet—at least not yet—but she wondered if all hooking was this impersonal. “Take off your clothes and get your ass on the platform.”
“I mean—”
He made an impatient noise through his teeth. Sort of like a growl mixed with a sigh. He rubbed his temples with the thumb and forefinger on one of his large hands. That’s when she noticed the bottle of bourbon sitting next to him. And the two fingers of amber liquid in a glass right next to that.
And the question took her completely off guard. No one was ever aching for her to take off her clothes, even if that was what she wanted. If they’d met under different circumstances—like at a bar—she would have fantasized about taking off her clothes for this guy. But, if they were at a bar, he might totally ignore her, and be demanding that someone who looked more like her big sister take off her clothes.
The idea that she’d want that with anyone right now—especially someone she worked with—shocked her almost as much as his sexy voice had. Although she’d spent a lot of time around artists, they weren’t really her type. Too fucking broody. She was a happy-go-lucky kind of girl, and someone cutting her mood off at the knees with his constant existential dread was not something she looked for in a partner. Not that her choice in partners was great anyhow.
Her last choice had been the least winning of all, and he was only art industry-adjacent. Another reason why she shouldn’t be attracted to her only client so far; getting involved with her old boss had completely destroyed the life she’d built independent of her parents. And the kicker was that Simon had been more interested in her parents’ connections than he ever had been in her—or at least their money. It all would have been much easier had he skipped pretending to want to be her boyfriend and just asked for access to her parents’ checkbook.
Diana and Carlos Gonzalez were such social climbers that they would have opened up the coffers without Simon having “lower himself” to date Letty. The shame of him saying those words washed over her and made it even less likely that she would follow through with this getting naked with her new boss thing.
No matter how much her girl parts responded to the growly sculptor in front of her.
But a nun would find this guy nearly impossible to resist. Between the shaggy dark hair, the T-shirt straining muscles of his torso, and the denim-testing legs spread wide, it would take a saint not to want to slide right in there and put her mouth against his.
She squeezed the strap of her bag with her right hand and wiped the sweaty left palm on her jeans. The e-mail arranging for the job had indicated that the work might be physical, but she’d thought it was mostly clean-up and organization.
“You’ve never done this before?” Finally, he looked at her. His green eyes made the cement floor underneath her dip and sway. They should make a paint color out of that bright, clear green.
She’d seen a couple of pictures of him while doing research to make sure that she wasn’t showing up at the den of a serial killer. Part of her evergreen efforts to stay sexy and not get murdered. Of course, after she’d said yes to the job, she’d done a deep Google dive. And an image search. He was an up-and-coming-sculptor from a local Cuban-American family. But a photograph couldn’t depict the pure impact of being in the room with him. She couldn’t even hold his gaze, instead looking at his forearms. Mistake. Thick and roped with muscle from working clay and other media into abstract figure sculptures, they made her wonder what it would be like to have him touch her. She wondered what his blunt fingertips would do to her flesh, the dents it would make on her thighs.
Although she should have walked out the door as soon as he’d told her to take off her clothes, her feet seemed glued to the swaying floor. “I’m not here for sex.”
His face contorted in confusion. “Of course not.”
“But the clothes?”
“You’re here to model, right?”
A semi-hysterical laugh escaped her mouth before she could stop it. This whole interaction had been surreal. The idea that—for even a second—this perfect specimen of man would hire her to have sex with him was ludicrous.
The idea that she’d nude model was even more farfetched. The only times she’d gotten naked with anyone else in the room, they’d hadn’t seen her. Her college boyfriend hadn’t questioned her preference to get busy in the dark. And Simon had preferred sex in the dark, especially since—as he’d shared when breaking up with her—he apparently couldn’t stomach her stomach rolls. So, the idea that anyone would want to look at any kind of rendering of her—no matter how abstract—in a gallery or in their home made another crazed giggle bubble up in her throat.
“You’re not here from the agency, are you?”
She shook her head. Under his gaze, even the brush of her hair against the bare skin where the sleeve of her top ended registered as sensual. With him looking at her, she could feel everything in a way she’d never experienced.
Definitely not with Simon.
Thinking of her former lover and former boss doused the tingling sensations aroused by Max all at once. It wouldn’t do to forget that she was out of a job, becoming an entrepreneur, and close to the end of her savings account. If this didn’t work, she’d have to beg her parents for help. Or—shudder—move back into their mausoleum of a house.
Maybe she could get over her embarrassment about her body and do what he asked. Just this once. No one would ever recognize her.
Still, she needed to tell the truth. Too many lies had landed her in this tough spot. “No. I’m here to organize for you.”
Another confused look.
“You e-mailed my company.” She motioned around the cluttered warehouse studio. “You said you needed someone to get all your ‘stuff under control.’”
His jaw flexed underneath his thick, black beard. It was an angry gesture, but there was something so primal about this man that it turned her on. “I didn’t e-mail your company. I’m organized just fine.”
Her stomach dropped through the cement floor to the pits of hell. Without a reference from Simon, she’d been blackballed from every gallery in the city. No one was going to hire her on if the executive director of Art Basel refused to give her a reference. Never mind that it was his inattention and philandering that had lost them a couple of large sponsorships last year. No one would believe her. She was a nobody, and her parents were considered tacky.
If she’d just been able to establish herself as a competent personal assistant and professional organizer—sort of a Girl Friday—for a few local artists, she might have been able to repair her reputation enough to get a real job. Her plan as soon as she’d gotten the e-mail from Max, or apparently someone posing as him, had been to parlay working with him to working with his cousin’s new wife, Maya Pascual-Hernandez. With two clients, she would have been able to get back into a respectable gallery.
But, this was all just a joke. Max’s bewilderment at her presence meant that someone had posed as him just to fuck with her. Maybe Simon? But she couldn’t fathom him being that cruel, not even after what he’d done to her.
Hot tears threatened to flow down her face, but she rolled her shoulders back and pushed the tears away. She looked down to reach into her purse. The most hopeful scenario was that he’d forgotten sending the e-mail. In her experience, creative types sometimes got so lost in the work that things like e-mails didn’t register.
And Max Delgado didn’t even have a website. She could only pray that he was forgetful as well as a troglodyte.
She quickly scrolled through the e-mail on her phone, found his last message, and walked toward him, noticing him reaching for his whiskey glass and stiffening his spine as she approached. Had her whole plan for getting her life back on track not been crumbling around her ears, she would have giggled again. The idea that a man taller than her, who probably—in a surprise twist—weighed more than her, would shrink away when she walked toward him was as laughable as anything that had happened today. He was probably sure she was going to kiss him.
“I just want to show you the e-mail.”
He grimaced. “I told you. I didn’t send an e-mail.”
“Yes, you did.” Her mother had always told her that her stubborn streak would get her into trouble, but today it was going to save her. She had receipts and he was going to listen to her. Shaking her phone at him. “Here, read it.”
Given no other choice, he glanced at the phone and read the short confirmation e-mail he’d sent yesterday. “I didn’t send this.”
“So, someone hacked you and hired someone to help you clean up your studio and design a website?” That was almost as unbelievable as someone thinking that she should be a model.
“No. Not someone.”
“What are you talking about?” It was though they were speaking an entirely different language. Even though his speech revealed a subtle accent, something that made the cadence of his voice all the more appealing, she could understand his words, just not their meaning.
He made the growling sigh again and pushed her phone back into her hands, careful not to touch her. Somehow, the disappointment of that sunk in even though her panic was near total. “My grandmother.”


   



An Irish Flirtation by Louisa Masters 💕 Pre-Order Sale & Jewelry Giveaway 💕 (Paranormal Romance)



Jillian Baxter has worked hard to build her event planning business, and this wedding is proof that she’s made it. The problem? The bride redefines bridezilla. After months of work, Jillian now has three weeks to move a huge society wedding from New York to an Irish castle.

Luckily, Castle Tullamore Hotel is available. Although… it’s a bit odd. When Jillian arrives and meets the groom’s brother, Fin, it’s almost like magic steps in. She knows bridezilla would never stand for fraternization, but despite doing her best to keep her distance, Jillian finds herself unable to resist Fin… especially in that damn elevator!

💕 Always double-check the price before you buy 💕