Review: Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Title: Wrapped Together
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Portland Heat, #5
Genre: M/M Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Publication Date: December 6th 2016
Find It Here:  Goodreads, Amazon

Synopsis:
In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .

My Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars

My Review:
This was a sweet little holiday read. Sawyer is determined to get Hollis to feel a little holiday cheer this season and also put a stop to the circles they've been doing around each other over the years. They have a lot of history together, since they grew up together. This was a novella length so we don't spend too much time in the past.

Sawyer is one of those guys that everyone seems to like, except for Hollis. Hollis always pushes him away and is grumpy towards him. I absolutely LOVED Sawyer. He was kind of like an excitable puppy. lol! Hollis took me a little bit longer to warm up to. Hollis has emotional baggage that keeps him from enjoying his life and letting anyone close. Because Sawyer has been a bit of a flake about things in his past, Hollis doesn't want to trust him with his feelings so he doesn't become one of Sawyer's quickly passing interests.

These two had some steamy moments with a little bit of light kink involved. My only criticism is that I REALLY wanted Hollis to be the one to do the "big gesture" at the end and do something super amazing and sweet for Sawyer, since the whole story was pretty much Sawyer chasing after Hollis. It was also mentioned a few times that Hollis got jealous when they were growing up of the other guys that Sawyer mentioned he was "with" and I thought a cute confession of those feelings was coming but it never really happened.

** I received an ARC of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. **

Find It Here:

Excerpt & GIVEAWAY: Raphael's Fling by Alix Nichols

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


a swoony bad-boy hero, laugh-out-loud moments 
and a happily-ever-after.


RAPHAEL'S FLING
A Darcy Brother's Romance
Alix Nichols
Released Nov 17th, 2016



My name is Mia Stoll and I dream about publishing a monograph on medieval Paris. Problem is, I’m better qualified for writing a handbook on how to go from a budding scholar to a pregnant runaway in three easy steps. 
- - -
My sister Eva carries a torch for the wrong man. Here’s the gist of my sermons to her: “Drooling over your hunky astronaut boss is a loser’s trek to Calamity with three stops along the way: Heartbreak, Job Loss, and Spinsterhood.”

The thing is, I’m in a terrible—you could even say impossible—position to lecture Eva.

I’m attracted to my own boss.

Raphael d’Arcy is funny, smart, and uber-rich. He’s also smoking hot. That alone should have scared me away, were I not such a dolt, my academic achievements notwithstanding.

But there’s more.

Raphael is France’s most notorious playboy who doesn’t do relationships. He does one-night stands. If sufficiently intrigued, he might do a fling. Which is the most I could ever hope to have with him—a short-lived fling.

So what, right? It’s not the end of the world.

But consider this: Getting my heart broken by Raphael d’Arcy is the least of my worries. Some very serious merde has been piling up in my life lately.

And it’s about to hit the fan.

RAPHAEL'S FLING is a sexy standalone romantic comedy. No cliffhangers. GUARANTEED: a swoony bad-boy hero, laugh-out-loud moments and a happily-ever-after.

BUY NOW

Excerpt
How did I come to this?
I sigh, smooth my clothes one last time, and head for the cream leather-padded door.
“Mia, wait!” Raphael calls after me.
I halt and turn around.
He opens his chiseled mouth as if to say something, then shuts it, and gives me a tight smile. The smile of a person having second thoughts on the advisability of what he was going to say.
Well, I’m not waiting around for the result of his inner deliberation.
There are two bulky reports on my desk and a few dozen emails I need to go through before I can leave tonight. Ergo, time is of the essence. Ergo, I resume my hike across Raphael’s vast office until I reach the door. It unlocks smoothly and without a sound, bless its high-tech heart. A sneak peek into the hall to check if the coast is clear, and I slip away without saying good-bye to Raphael or Anne-Marie, his faithful PA.
Just like a lawbreaker.
Well, maybe not a lawbreaker, but definitely a reoffending violator of the Workplace Code of Honor. In particular, of Rule #1 which says: “Workers shall not have sexual intercourse with their hierarchical superiors, inferiors, or posteriors.”
While there’s some controversy over the exact meaning of “inferiors” and “posteriors,” everyone knows that a “superior” is more than just your immediate boss. The concept also covers your boss’s boss, your boss’s boss’s boss’s boss and the Boss of Them All, the CEO.
It’s a very sensible provision, by the way, and one which I totally approve of and adhere to.
As I rush down the hallway, my heels clicking on the marble floor, I realize I should’ve put my observation in the past tense. As in “I used to adhere to.”
Having repeatedly broken the Code’s first rule since March makes me a rogue and a hypocrite of the worst kind.
How did I fall so low?
Here’s a clue: it’s Rudolph the Reindeer’s fault.
God knows, I hadn’t planned on this when I landed the world’s most unexceptional job as assistant to the daily bulletin editor at DCA Paris. DCA stands for “D’Arcy Consulting and Audit.” Yup, the “d’Arcy” that’s sandwiched between “Raphael” and the rest of his fancy name on my lover’s official letterhead paper.
Having sexual intercourse with Raphael d’Arcy du Grand-Thouars de Saint-Maurice, a gentleman and a libertine, was the last thing on my mind when I started at DCA. In fact, it was nowhere near my mind.
Despite my murky past, that’s not who I am. Nor does my life need more complications right now.
Trust me.
Pauline Cordier’s familiar silhouette takes shape at the end of the hallway just as I reach the elevator and push the button. My heart skips a beat. If my direct supervisor sees me on this floor, she’ll assume one of the following two things: A. My presence here is work-related, meaning I’m going over her head; B. My presence here has nothing to do with work, meaning I’m sleeping with one of the senior managers.
Needless to say, both alternatives are equally conducive to me getting sidelined, ostracized, and ultimately fired.
I take a deep breath and give the approaching figure a furtive glance.
It isn’t Pauline.
The woman doesn’t even look like her at this distance.
Phew.
You may not believe me, but I wasn’t sure what Raphael d’Arcy looked like when DCA hired me. Having scanned his official bio in preparation for my job interview, I had formed a vague image which boiled down to “young, well-born and well-dressed.” The specifics of the Founding CEO’s background and appearance hadn’t lingered in my mind. I doubt they’d even entered it.
Because they were not important.
All I wanted from Monsieur d’Arcy was a job at his firm that gave me a monthly paycheck to complement the pittance my school calls a scholarship. That way, I could finish my doctoral program without having to sleep under bridges or borrow money.
Parisian bridges can be drafty, you see. And damp. As for the stench courtesy of well-groomed dogs and ill-groomed humans, don’t even get me started! On top of all that, bridges offer no suitable storage space for research notes, photocopies, and books.
In short, they suck as accommodations.
As for the borrowing, my parents taught Eva and me that debt must be avoided at all costs. Their “debt is bad” precept proved stronger than the knowledge that everyone lives on credit in Western societies today.
Except my parents, that is.
Then again, they live in rural Alsace. Life’s a lot cheaper there than in la capitale, so they were able to make it into their fifties without a single loan to cloud their horizon.
My phone rings as I step off the elevator on the second floor, relieved that no one saw me in Top Management’s heavenly quarters. Considering that I’ve been sneaking out like this for two months already, the probability that someone will see me and that it’ll reach Pauline’s ears is growing by the day.
And it freaks me out more than I care to admit.
As I answer the phone, Raphael’s deep, sexy timbre breaks me from my worries.
“You left your panties here,” he says, sounding amused and smug at the same time. In short, his usual self.
“No, I didn’t—”
Oh crap. I did.
“I got five minutes before the managerial,” he says, “so if you want to come back and collect—”
“No!” I look around and lower my voice, “It’s OK. I’m sure I can make it through the afternoon without them.”
“Oh, I don’t doubt that. The question is whether I can make it through the afternoon with the knowledge you’re without them.” He pauses, as if pondering the question and then adds, “And with them in my pocket.”
My stomach flips.
Something achingly—yet delightfully—heavy gathers in my low abdomen, reminding me of what Raphael and I were up to a mere half hour ago. Suddenly, every step I take makes me aware of my pantyless condition. The friction of my skirt’s silky lining against my bare skin makes it prickle. My breathing becomes strained, and my heart thumps in my chest.
As I struggle to calm myself before entering the office I share with two other assistants, I picture myself in Strasbourg in our family physician’s immaculate office.
“What’s my diagnosis, doctor?” I’d ask after he’s examined me.
“Not to worry, mon petit! You’ll live.” He’d push his regular glasses to his forehead and put on his reading glasses. “You have a textbook case of lustium irresistiblum.”
“Please, can you make it go away?”
He’d smile and shake his head, updating my file on his computer. “It’s like a viral cold, mon petit. It’ll clear up on it’s own, eventually.”
And that, my friends, is the second clue to the mystery of how I got here.
It appears I have caught a virulent strain of lustium irresistiblum for lady-killer Raphael d’Arcy. And with my luck, we’ll likely get caught before it clears.
“Got to go,” I whisper into the phone and hang up.
I take a few long breaths to chase my arousal away before I enter the office.
Easier said than done.
The things Raphael says, the things he does to me… They don’t just excite—they break into my brain and muddle it up on a deep, molecular level. Throwing ethical norms against that kind of invasion has been as effective as attempting to shoot down the Death Star with foam darts.
But I’ll keep on trying.
Till the bitter end.




Alix Nichols is an unapologetic caffeine addict and a longtime fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation. She is a Kindle Scout and Dante Rossetti Award winning author of critically acclaimed romantic comedies.

At the age of six, she released her first rom com. It featured highly creative spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper.

Decades later, she still loves the romance genre. Her spelling has improved (somewhat), and her books have made Amazon bestseller lists, climbing as high as #1. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog.

For exclusive content, giveaways and special offers, including a bonus book, subscribe to the monthly newsletter on her author website: www.alixnichols.com.




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Release Blast & GIVEAWAY: Buried Secrets by J.C. Valentine

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

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Buried Secrets

by J.C. Valentine Publication Date: November 29, 2016 Genres: Adult, New Adult, Mystery, Thriller, YA, Suspense

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BUY:

Synopsis: How do you live with yourself when you don’t even know who you are?
On a chill October night, a girl goes missing setting the small town of Oakridge on edge. James has spent the last five years running from a past that still haunts him to this day. Now he finds himself thrust back into a life he thought he left behind. Finding out his new home may be haunted and reconnecting with an old friend while being thrust into a murder mystery, James finds himself trying to figure out which end is up while questioning his own sanity.

**AUTHOR’S NOTE** Buried Secrets is a New Adult, mystery thriller with very little romance but heavy on the suspense.

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EXCERPT

Blackness surrounded him, its endless pools of ink swallowing him whole. He couldn’t see his hand in front of his face, but he felt the terror seeping through his skin, past his bones and making its way down to his very soul. James knew he was in the throes of one of his nightmares again. He could never make out a thing, just knew the feeling it left him with. He tried to make himself wake up, but couldn’t find his way out. The feeling that someone was coming for him caused panic to swell and his heart to accelerate, threatening to break free from his chest. Not knowing what was coming, fear lacerating his insides, James started to run blindly. In his bed, his feet kicked out wildly, tangling in the linens and ratcheting up his terror, because to James, he was trapped. His breathing labored and coming in short, sharp bursts, James cried out at the same time his body bolted upright in the bed. Sweat beaded on his brow and dampened his skin, his clothes suctioned to his body uncomfortably. He was clammy and winded, shaken, but he already felt better for knowing he was free from that awful feeling of suffocating terror that had threatened to overtake him just moments ago. Scrubbing his hands down his face, James breathed deeply, hanging his head to his chest while his body calmed. As his adrenalin levels normalized, and he began to feel more like himself, James gave a final sigh of relief. Stabbing his fingers through his hair, he was readying himself to try to go back to sleep when he looked up and choked on his breath. His entire body went rigid in an instant. His breathing, his heartbeat. Everything ceased to work. In the next instant James threw himself back against his headboard, fear gripping him once again. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He would chance rubbing his eyes to be sure his vision was true, only he was too frightened of what he would find once he opened them again.

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

JC Valentine
J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry. J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors. Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Release Blast & GIVEAWAY: Blue Satin Sashes by Millenia Black

Monday, November 28, 2016


A searing story of passion, desperation and vengeance…


BLUE SATIN SASHES
Favorite Things Trilogy: Book Two
Millenia Black
Releasing Nov 28th, 2016


From the #1 bestselling author of The Great Pretender comes the highly anticipated second book in the captivating Favorite Things Trilogy—Blue Satin Sashes is a searing story of passion, desperation and vengeance…

What happens when you fall in love with someone else?

Paris, France. Corporate brand designer Michael Frost knows he’s found a once in a lifetime love in professional illustrator Priscilla Bauer, the granddaughter of a legendary Hollywood icon—but Michael must now cross an ocean of regrets to repair damage inflicted by his heartbroken high school sweetheart Amber Holland, whose increasingly extreme attempts at sabotage may know no bounds…

How will she win? How will she lose?

Brave the razor-sharp edges of an intensely hot love triangle as Michael and Priscilla discover the depths of Amber’s passion ultimately rivals their own.


Start the Trilogy for ONLY .99 cents!




No one does family and relationship drama quite like bestselling author Millenia Black! Heralded as a double life and relationship expert, she's been a featured guest on radio shows across the country, discussing the 7 Smoke Signals Your Man is Living a Double Life. 

Millenia lives in Florida where she's currently unmarried and has never dated anyone living a double life...

She thinks.



Review: Dyeing to be Loved by Aimee Nicole Walker

Friday, November 25, 2016

Title: Dyeing to be Loved
Author: Aimee Nicole Walker
Series: Curl Up and Dye Mysteries, #1
Genre: M/M Romance
Publication Date: November 8th 2016
Find It Here: Goodreads, Amazon

Synopsis:
Gabriel Wyatt is a big city Detective living in a small Ohio town. He expects a peaceful existence once he moves from Miami, Florida, but that’s the last thing he finds. Instead, Gabe discovers murder, mayhem, and one smart-mouthed stylist he can’t get out of his head.

Josh “Jazz” Roman is a small town salon owner with big dreams and an attitude to match. He finds himself in the middle of a case that brings the dreamy detective to his front door. Josh learns that the biggest threat to him isn’t a killer; it’s a man who wants something from him that he vowed to never give again - his heart.

Both men deny that there’s something between them, even though they’re drawn together like magnets. Can Gabe convince Josh to let down his guard or will Josh let past hurts destroy his chance at a happy future?

My Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

My Review:
I went back and forth on how to rate this one for a while, and decided on a 3.

I normally absolutely love Aimee Nicole Walker's books, but I was a little disappointed with the past two I read.  I'm not ready to give up on her yet, but I will admit that I loved her earlier books better.

I didn't realize when I first started this one that it was a sort of continuation of the two MCs story from another story.  I assumed that since it was the first book in the series I would be okay to read this one.  Unfortunately, that didn't seem to be the case.  There was definitely a big backstory between the two of them that I missed out on because I didn't read a short story that was published in the "Nut Case Love Anthology" first.  When we first meet the characters in this book, they have already hooked up AND Gabe apparently saved Josh's life when he was attacked by his neighbors murderer.  Confused??  Yeah...I was too.

I really loved Josh's character some of the time, and then other time I wanted to shake him for being so difficult.  Relationship-phobic doesn't even begin to describe Josh.  He was hot and cold the entire book because he had been burned in the past.  BUT we never get to hear how!  I was waiting to find out what his deal was but we never got to find out.  Maybe it will be covered in the next book??  There were times that I wondered why Gabe even bothered and why he liked him at all.

This book has a HFN style ending but the ending leaves you in suspense for the next book.

Find It Here:

Review: Off Base by Annabeth Albert

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Title: Off Base
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform, #1
Genre: M/M Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: January 9th 2017
Find It Here: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:
After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike's flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike's arrival would spark from Zack's teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can't refuse.

Pike Reynolds knows there won't be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He's an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he's had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can't risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.

Living with Pike crumbles Zack's restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn't know how to be the man Pike deserves.

My Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

My Review:
Annabeth Albert is definitely one of my auto-buy authors so the second I saw this one available on NetGalley for review, I snatched it up!  And I was not disappointed at all.  Off Base is the first book in Albert's new series Out of Uniform.  We do see a little peek of a couple from another one of her mm series' (Ryan & Josiah from Connection Error), but this can be read as a stand alone.

Zach is a closeted SEAL; partly because his family are  old school bible-thumpers that think gays deserve "eternal damnation", but also because members of his SEAL team are really homophobic.  He is also a virgin and has no real plans to change that because he feels as if he has to fight his attraction to men, and has absolutely no desire to settle down with a good "church going" girl like his parents would like.  He is really quiet and conservative.

Pike is the absolute opposite in a lot of ways.  Pike is out and proud.  He had to hide a previous relationship and that soured him on "closet cases" like Zach.  He has a bit of a reputation as a flake because he is the jokester out of his friends and is really laid back and flirtatious.

These two had great chemistry, so there are some great steamy scenes.  I liked that their relationship/chemistry played out realistically.  While Zach drove me nuts with his fears and rejections, it definitely felt "real".

Can't wait for the next book in the series!!  Hopefully we see more from a few of the secondary characters introduced in this one!

**  I received an ARC of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. **

Find It Here:

Review: Gingerbread by Avery Ford

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Title: Gingerbread
Author: Avery Ford
Genre: M/M Romance
Publisher: LoveLight Press
Publication Date: November 7th 2016
Find It Here: Goodreads, Amazon

Synopsis:
"I've been hurt too many times...I'm not giving my heart away again."

Alex MacElhaney doesn't know what to do with children. He's more than satisfied with his two English Setters, Molly and Duke, and his fledgling bakery business. But when an emergency with his sister in law's family leaves him in charge of his two nephews in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Alex buckles in for a crash course in parenting.

"A second chance with the one man who unintentionally broke my heart?"

Police officer Kellen Walker's deepest wish is to have a husband and children. The happy families he sees all around him at Christmastime leave him feeling cold and alone. He'll never have that - coming out as gay would break his ailing father's heart. The only thing he can do to combat his loneliness is to throw himself even further into his work, burying his needs in service to others.

"Is their love strong enough to risk everything?"

When Kellen investigates a break in at Alex’s bakery, he comes face to face with the one man who almost tempted him into defying his father and coming out – but that’s in the past. Kellen resolves to do his job and be the friend that Alex wanted all along. But when Alex suggests a Christmas fling, can they both love the other without their hearts getting attached?

My Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

My Review:
This is the first book I've ever read from Avery Ford, but after reading this one I will have to keep her on my radar because I really enjoyed this one.  I am actually going to go pick up her other book right after writing this.  I'm a big sucker for holiday romances AND second chance romances, and this book is both in one so I loved it!

Kellen comes from homophobic parents, so he has remained in the closet because he doesn't want to disappoint them or stress out his father (who has a heart condition).  He is lonely and would love to have someone waiting at home for him when he has a hard day at work and eventually also have kids, but he feels as if that can't happen for him without losing his parents.

Alex is a busy bakery owner who just recently moved back to the area, and now also has the responsibility of watching his brother's two sons. He is recently single and has sworn off serious relationships for a while, but when he sees Kellen again he starts having second thought about that plan.

There are some steamy scenes in this one, but it doesn't end up overwhelming the story.  There were time when I was really frustated with them, especially Kellen, but that made their HEA even more satistfying.  Can't wait to read more from Avery Ford!

Find It Here:

Book Blitz & Giveaway: J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis by Katy Regnery

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis
Katy Regnery
(The Rousseaus, #3)
Publication date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Did you fall in love with The English Brothers? Were you hot for the Winslows? Katy Regnery’s New York Times bestselling Blueberry Lane series continues with The Rousseau siblings in 2016!
If the best man and maid of honor are both single, it’s practically an unwritten rule that they should pork.
…so begins a rocky acquaintance between Jean-Christian “J.C.” Rousseau and Libitz Feingold at the wedding of J.C.’s brother and Lib’s best friend. While manslut best man J.C. is surprised when maid of honor Libitz soundly spurns his advances, his curiosity is piqued. The girl he couldn’t have becomes the only one he wants.
So, when he finds a seventy-year-old portrait in the attic of his sister’s mansion that bears an uncanny resemblance to the prickly gallery owner, he enlists her help in solving a mystery seven decades in the making. Traveling from Philadelphia to New York to Marseille, a couple who started off as enemies will discover that even cynics can find true love…and mortal man is no match for destiny.
*All books in The Blueberry Lane Series can be enjoyed as standalone novels.*
EXCERPT:
“You must be the famous Libitz,” he’d opened, taking his assigned seat beside her, and flashing his sexiest grin.
After all, if she was his chosen conquest for the weekend, there was no time like the present to work his wiles. Wearing a simple black sheath dress with aqua circles, 70s-style mod make-up and oversized silver and crystal chandelier earrings that almost brushed her thin shoulders, she’d turned to him and blinked those wide, all-seeing eyes.
“And you…must be kidding.”
Taken aback, he’d stared at her for a second before chuckling. “Wha—I mean, how’s that?”
“Let’s start over,” she said, cocking her head to the side. “Here’s your line, Romeo: “Hi, I’m Étienne’s brother, Jean-Christian. It’s nice to meet you.” Want to give it a try?”
He cleared his throat, his smile fading. “Hi, I’m Étienne’s brother, Jean-Christian. It’s nice to meet you.”
She locked eyes with his, her lips neutral, neither tilted up nor down. “Hi. I’m Libitz Feingold, Kate’s best friend…and it’s not cold enough.”
“What?” asked J.C., feeling completely turned around.
“It’s not cold enough in hell for me to fall for someone like you,” she said, then shifted back around to talk to the person on her other side.
Well, fuck me, thought J.C., taking another gulp of beer as he tried to figure out if he was insulted or impressed. After a moment, he nudged her in the side with his elbow and she looked at him over her shoulder, her expression annoyed.
“Yes?”
“I hear the temperature’s dropping there,” he said casually, then added, “because they’re expecting a visit from you.”
“Ha!” she chortled, a genuine grin brightening her eyes for a moment before she quickly reigned it back in to practiced ennui. “Is that right?”
He shrugged, tipping his bottle of beer back as he held her eyes, challenging her to come back at him with something clever. “So I heard.”
“From all the friends you’ve got there?”
He almost spit his beer out. Damn, but she was quick.
“Truce?’ he asked, placing his beer on the table and holding out his hand.
She stared at his hand for a moment, then looked away, leaning forward to pick up her champagne glass and bringing it slowly to her lips. “No, thanks. Mama didn’t raise no fool.”
“You’re unreal.” She shook her head, that bored look still in place.
“Nope. I’m real. I’m just not a good target for charming scamps looking for trouble.”
“A target? Shit. Who got to you?” he asked, feeling a little abused by her insta-judgement of him without actually getting a chance to know him in person. Not that she was wrong exactly. But getting into trouble with the right person could be a hell of a lot of fun.
“The list is long and distinguished,” she shot back.
His eyes widened and his lips wobbled.
“Oh, God,” she said, shaking her head as her cheeks bloomed an appealing pink under her make-up. “I walked right into that one didn’t I?”
“Yes, you did,” said J.C. with what he hoped was a disarming grin. “All together, now…”
“So’s my Johnson,” they said at the same time, quoting the rebuttal line from Top Gun.
“Hey, look at that,” he said, still smiling at her. “You do know how to have fun. I was beginning to worry.”
Her smile instantly faded. “You’re not as cute as you think you are.”
“Yeah,” he said, nodding as he finished the last of his beer. “I am.”


Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.
Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.
Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.
In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

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