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DOES YOUR VISION NEED AN ENGINEER by Rufus Chambers III ~ Spotlight

Write Now Literary Book Tours is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour for Does Your Vision Need An Engineer? by Rufus Chambers III.  This tour will run April 22- May 3, 2019. Click here to book your own book tour. 
Genre: Christian Leadership

Please tell us your 10 favorite authors, Rufus.

Dr. Sam Chand      Dr. Cindy Trimm       Dr. Mike Murdock        Dr. Myles Munroe       Andy Stanley

Rick Warren      John C. Maxwell      Kimberly Daniels      John Eckhardt          IV Hilliard

Rufus Chambers is a dynamic business & ministry professional with over 20 years of experience who built a successful career in the construction industry. He has an expertise in Project Management and a teaching gift that empowers leaders and individuals to overcome challenges and achieve greatness. He has worked on numerous construction projects in the role of an Owner’s Representative, General Contractor, Construction Manager, and Construction Manager at Risk.

As a dedicated ministry leader with significant corporate and ministry achievements, Rufus has been afforded the opportunity to make significant inroads in the communities of Oakland, Pittsburg, and Richmond. These inroads consist of partnering with local school districts, faith-based organizations, non-profit agencies, and law enforcement agencies in serving the previously mentioned communities.  Rufus resides in Los Angeles with his wife of over 15 years, and they have 2 beautiful daughters together. 
  




Does Your Vision Need An Engineer? It is a simple question with an answer that may seem to be obvious.  Countless people have dreams and visions, but few are able to translate them into a practical plan that can followed.  Rufus Chambers takes readers on a journey of understanding how to connect a plan of action to their divinely inspired vision.  If you are struggling with understanding what to do next or who to recruit to join your team, this is the book for you.  There is nothing more frustrating than having a vision but being clueless on how to actively pursue.  Rufus will take you into the mind of a vision engineer, whose singular focus is creating a strategic plan that can systematically execute vision.
ISBN-10: 1795624744
ISBN-13: 978-1795624749



 

Tour hosted by wnlbooktours.com

 







Mary Burton's HIDE AND SEEK excerpt & giveaway

Vivid blue sky, white clouds, and golden fall leaves blanketed the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains and created a picture-perfect day in the valley. In Macy’s book, the beauty was wasted. If she had God’s ear, today would have been cold, overcast, and damp. Save the pretty days until she caught this killer.

As she drove south down I-81, Macy mentally replayed her ten minutes of regional research. In the last couple of decades, the Shenandoah Valley’s population had ballooned thanks to a growing university, its proximity to Washington, DC, and a thriving tourism trade peddling vineyards, Civil War battlefields, and railroad museums. Filling in the economic gaps were warehouse distribution centers, chain hotels, and strip malls.

The voice of Macy’s GPS cut through AC/DC’s Back in Black blasting from her playlist and instructed her to take the upcoming exit toward Deep Run. As she rolled onto Route 250, a sign for her go-to fast-food eatery gave her an excuse to stretch her legs before driving the remaining ten miles to the crime scene.

Parking, she gingerly rose up out of the car. Her leg hurt. Stretches weren’t optional any more. She grabbed her ankle and pulled until the bunched muscles in her thigh released. After a quick walk around the lot, she made a beeline for the restaurant bathroom.

She glanced into the mirror as she washed her hands. Even after five months, she still didn’t recognize the woman with the short hair and thin face.

Nevada was in for a rude awakening.

She wiped her face with a paper towel. “Macy Crow, you’re above ground and headed in the right direction. That’s what counts.”

At the counter, she ordered a supersize bucket of fries and a large soda. It wasn’t that she loved the food—okay, maybe she did love the fries—but the chain restaurant’s predictability and sameness was comforting after so many life changes.

A few fries later, she was in her car and backing out of her space when her phone rang. Nevada’s number appeared. She cleared her throat and sat a little taller.

“Agent Macy Crow,” she said.

“Ramsey tells me you’re on your way. Where are you?”

He was direct, rarely charming, and she always knew where she stood with him. “Fifteen minutes from the barn.”

“I’m here now.”

The transition back into a working relationship appeared effortless. Whatever they had was over and done. No hard feelings.

“See you soon,” she said.

En route on the interstate, she ate her fries and drained her soda. There were no guarantees on when the next meal would be.

The last few miles took her down smaller roads until she spotted the driveway marked by stacked stones. Gravel crunched under her tires as she passed a freshly cleared field. Over the rise of a hill, she saw the old barn encircled by yellow crime scene tape.

When she had been researching the area, slogans such as “Best Quality of Life” and “Raise Your Family in Deep Run” popped up on her computer screen. As she had read about the area, she had kept glancing toward her open case file filled with images of Tobi Turner’s scattered bones. Recent pictures had captured the barn surrounded by dozens of state and local law enforcement vehicles crammed side by side in the grassy field.

Now as Macy parked, she noted that all the vehicles were gone expect for a lone black SUV. She grabbed her Glock from the glove box, holstered it, and stepped out of her car. Her worn hiking boots sloshed in the damp muddy soil. She tugged on an FBI windbreaker and draped her FBI credentials around her neck. As a stiff breeze blew a lingering chill and autumn scents, she checked her pockets for latex gloves, sunglasses, a small pocketknife, and pendant light.

Edginess and excitement fused as she strode toward the stretch of yellow tape and searched for Nevada. She ducked under the tape and stepped inside the barn.

Special Agent Macy Crow is a survivor. After a vicious hit-and-run nearly kills her, she gets right back to work, and now she’s gunning for a spot on the FBI’s elite profiling team. As an audition, she offers to investigate the recently discovered bones of Tobi Turner, a high school girl who disappeared fifteen years ago.

While investigating with local sheriff Mike Nevada, a former colleague and onetime lover, Macy discovers a link between Tobi’s case and several others that occurred around the same time as her disappearance. As Macy interviews victims and examines old cases, she uncovers a sinister picture of a stalker who graduated to sexual assault—and then murder.

Macy and Nevada race to put this monster behind bars before he can come out of hiding. But the murderer’s had years to hone his skills, and soon Macy herself becomes a target. She’s no stranger to pain and terror, but will Macy’s first profiling case be her last?

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the highly praised author of twenty-six romance and suspense novels and five novellas. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three miniature dachshunds.
 

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THE PERFECT DRESS & GIVEAWAY With Carolyn Brown

Mitzi rushed back to the sewing room, where the hum of two sewing machines filled the air. “Graham Harrison just came in the shop to set up an appointment for his two daughters. He said they only live a few houses up the street from us. He looked like a bull in a china shop sitting on that pink sofa. And of course he didn’t even recognize me, but I sure knew him the minute I laid eyes on him.”

At the mention of that name from the past, work jolted to a halt.

“All the girls in high school swooned over him, including Mitzi, but she hasn’t told us if he’s still as sexy as he was back then.” Jody took a bowl of salad from the fridge along with a plate of vegetables that she stuck into the microwave to heat.

“He’s aged very, very well, and I’m having cookies,” Mitzi said.

“Smart girl,” Fanny Lou said. “Life is short. Eat dessert first. So you had a little crush on Graham?”

“Everyone did,” Mitzi answered.

“Not me. I was always in love with Lyle,” Jody said.

“Well, according to what I heard at the church bake sale today, Graham moved his daughters here to Celeste because they were being fat shamed down in Greenville. One of them knocked a girl on her butt, blacked both eyes, and bloodied her nose with one punch. It was the last day of school and they said they were going to suspend her for the first two weeks of next year for fighting,” Jody said.

“She should get a medal, not suspended,” Mitzi fumed.

Fanny Lou took a gallon jug of sweet tea from the fridge. “Who all wants a glass?”

Three hands went up.

She filled four glasses with ice and then tea and carried them to the table. “I remember when he went to work for his dad at the Cadillac dealership—right after he and Rita got married. His dad gave him a job on the lowest level, and he had to work his way up. Rita was furious because she thought they’d get a big house and a new Caddy every year. Stupid woman figured since his folks had money that he had an open bank account.”

Paula took the ham and cheese containers from the fridge while Mitzi pulled a loaf of bread from the cabinet. “You eating with us, Granny?”

“I’ll eat with you and Paula, but I don’t want any of that stuff Jody is having. I don’t eat fake meat. I’ll eat what I want and die when I’m supposed to. Slice some of them tomatoes I brought in here earlier. And I’d rather have bologna instead of ham and mustard instead of mayo,” Fanny Lou answered.

“Me, too,” Paula said. “I want one like hers.”

“I was thinking the same thing.” Mitzi set about making three sandwiches.

So Graham was divorced and raising girls on his own. Bless his heart for getting them away from a school that bullied them because of their size. Mitzi could relate to the girls. But then, so could Jody and Paula. She’d always figured that Jody adopted her own modern-day hippie style to combat those feelings of insecurity. Paula had retreated into superstition. Mitzi had just plowed her way through emotions and other kids, spending a lot of time in the principal’s office for fighting.

She pushed all that to the back of her mind, put the sandwiches on plates, and carried them to the table. “Y’all know that this job for Ellie Mae could turn into a big thing. I bet her older sister will be the maid of honor and her mother will want a fancy dress.”

“That’s what you’re in business for, isn’t it?” Fanny Lou said. “Man, this brings back memories. Friday night was bologna sandwich night when I was a kid.”

“Why?” Jody asked.

“Because Mama always cleaned house on Friday, and she didn’t have time to make a big meal,” Fanny Lou answered.

“Funny how an hour of beading takes forever and our noon hour goes so fast.” Jody pointed to the clock.

“Good Lord!” Fanny Lou finished off her sandwich and grabbed a cookie. “I’ve got an appointment with my CPA at one and it’s a fifteen-minute drive to Greenville. See you girls later. You have my permission to flirt with Graham, Mitzi.”

Mitzi’s cheeks began to burn. “I had a teenage crush on him. I’ve grown up since then.”

Fanny Lou winked as she headed for the door. “Paula, since you live with Mitzi, I’m putting you in charge of being sure she takes her birth control pills every morning.”

Mitzi felt even more heat in her cheeks. “Granny!”

“When you get old you get to say whatever the hell you want to.” Fanny Lou closed the door behind her.

***

In the small town of Celeste, Texas, Mitzi Taylor has never quite fit inside the lines. Nearly six feet tall, flame-haired, and with a plus-size spirit to match every curve, she’s found her niche: a custom wedding-dress boutique catering to big brides-to-be with big dreams. Taking the plunge alongside her two best friends, she’s proud they’ve turned The Perfect Dress into a perfect success.Just when Mitzi has it all pulled together, Graham Harrison walks back into her life, looking for bridesmaid dresses for his twin daughters. A still-strapping jock whose every gorgeous, towering inch smells like aftershave, the star of all Mitzi’s high school dreams is causing quite a flush.

For Mitzi, all it takes is a touch to feel sparks flitting around her like fireflies. She can just imagine what a kiss could do. Graham’s feeling it, too. And he’s about to make that imagination of Mitzi’s run wild. Is it just a hot summer fling, or are Mitzi’s next designs for herself and seeing her own dreams come true?

Carolyn Brown is a New York TimesUSA TodayPublisher’s Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books. Her genres include romance, history, cowboys and country music, and contemporary mass-market paperbacks. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma, where everyone knows everyone else, knows what they are doing and when . . . and reads the local newspaper every Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. Visit Carolyn at www.carolynbrownbooks.com.

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LOGAN'S LADY & giveaway with Rosanne Bittner

May 29, 1870

Logan strolled into Sheriff Adam White’s office in Abilene and handed him a letter. White looked up at him and frowned. “You again?”

“Yup.” Logan noticed the man had a few crumbs in his long, black beard, probably from breakfast. “I already checked at Rinker’s saloon, and he’s out of town again, so I’m bringing you proof that I found the man Rinker was looking for. Rosell still had over three thousand dollars on him.” Logan handed out a leather satchel. “The money is in here. That letter is from a Mr. Clive Macy and a few citizens of Mirage, Colorado, saying I brought them Mr. Ben Rosell. The town promptly hanged the man for kidnapping and raping Clive Macy’s thirteen-year-old daughter.”

White looked into the leather satchel, then back up at Logan. “You actually found the man? He had a good three-week start on you.”

“He was easy to track. He was a braggart, and every place he stopped people remembered him. He also spent a few days at each stop along the way to Denver—liked to show off. That slowed him down.”

White shook his head. “I’ll be damned.”

“I want you to give all that money to Mr. Rinker and tell him I’ll be back to collect my bounty. Right now, I’m in kind of a hurry because  I  intend  to  find the man behind Rosell. His name is Robert Alexander. Have you—”

Alexander?” White interrupted, speaking the name as though in shock.

It was then Logan heard an odd whimper from a jail cell behind the wall where the sheriff sat. White got to his feet.

“Logan, you have no idea—”

“Do you have a woman back there?” Logan interrupted.

“Well…yes. That’s what I started to tell you. We didn’t quite know what to do with her. She just rambles crazy when she talks.” White leaned in closer and dropped his voice. “Logan, she shot a man on  the Kansas Pacific. Bloodiest mess you ever saw! She claimed he attacked her, but heck, they were traveling alone together, so I don’t know what to believe. We found the mess just this morning on their Pullman car when the train came in. The man’s identification says his name is Robert Alexander.”

Logan stepped back. “What?

“Yes. And he was layin’ in a sleeper car buck naked and covered in blood. There were dresses all over the bed in the back bedchamber, and they were covered in blood, too. We found a small pistol laying on the floor, and the woman—she’s a young thing—she was just sitting in a chair in the parlor area wearing   a nightgown and covered in blood—her clothes, her face, her hands—it was the most god-awful mess I ever saw. We’ve been trying to decide what to—”

Logan left him and hurried around the corner, and there in the jail cell sat what he thought might be a very beautiful woman with blond hair. He couldn’t be sure because she was covered in so much blood. Even her hair was stuck together in places from dried blood. His rage knew no bounds. After what Rosell had told him about Robert Alexander, he could just imag- ine what this woman had been through. He turned to Sheriff White when the man followed him to the cell. “Why in hell is this poor woman sitting in there unwashed and unattended! Can’t you see she’s been through something awful?”

“We just weren’t sure what to do with her—what to believe. She could be a murderess.”

Murderess! Hell!” Logan roared the words so loudly the sheriff stepped back defensively. “I know all about this Robert Alexander, and I can tell you if she shot him he damn well deserved it! Get that woman out   of there.”

Sheriff White shrugged. “What the hell are we supposed to do with her? She doesn’t talk any sense.” “Look at her! She’s shaking from shock. And she’s probably scared as a baby rabbit. I guarantee Alexander brought her out here under false pretenses, and then he took her for every dime she has and was going to sell her to a whorehouse. Get her out of there. There are more men behind this, and I need to know what she knows and what Alexander took from her.”

“You sure—”

“Get her out of there!” Logan raged.

White ran for the keys. Logan’s shouted words made the woman look up. Her eyes widened, and   she quickly curled up onto the cot where she sat and shook even harder.

“It’s all right,” Logan told her. “I’m going to get you some help.”

She just kept staring at him as White returned with the keys and opened the cell door. Logan stepped inside.

The woman shook her head. “Don’t let him touch me!” she screamed at the sheriff. “He’s here to take me away to someplace awful!”

They were the first coherent words she’d spoken since Sheriff White had pulled her off the Pullman car. Logan stepped closer. “Ma’am, I’m not going to—” “His name is Chad!” she screamed at the sheriff. “He’s here to pick me up and take me away. He rides with a lot of bad men! Robert told me about him!” “Ma’am, this man isn’t called Chad,” the sheriff tried to assure her. “This is Logan Best. He’s a bounty hunter, and he was after that man you killed. He wants to help you. His word is good, so we won’t hold you any longer. Logan claims Alexander was a swindler of some kind.”

“Don’t believe him! He’s Chad Krieger, and he’s going to take me someplace where I’ll never be found again. Look at him! He’s filthy and wears guns and— he looks like an outlaw! Don’t let him take me!”

White stepped closer and leaned down to look into the woman’s eyes. “Ma’am, I assure you, this man isn’t Chad Krieger. He’s a bounty hunter. He hunts down men like Chad Krieger. His name is Logan Best, and he wants to get you some help. You’ll be safe with him.”

The woman buried her face in her bloody hands and wept.

Logan turned to White. “Where is the closest doctor’s office?”

“Couple of doors down. Doc Billings. This is the best time to catch him sober. It’s still early. The man is pretty useless by eight o’clock or so at night.”

“I’ll carry her. You lead the way.”

“Sure.” White stepped back, and Logan walked closer to the woman. She shrank back again. Logan knelt in front of her.

“I’m not that man called Chad,” he assured her again. “My name is Logan Best, and I was here in Abilene to collect bounty on a man called Ben Rosell. You ever hear that name?”

She shook her head.

Logan looked her straight in the eyes and hesitantly reached out to touch her arm. She didn’t pull away. “Let me help you. What’s your name?”

She watched his eyes, and her shaking stopped. “Elizabeth Baylor.”

“Let me guess. Are you British? I mean, your accent tells me you are, but I need to know for sure.”

Elizabeth nodded.

“And this man called Sir Robert Alexander duped you into trusting him—offered to bring you west and then managed to steal your money and turn on you. Right? He was taking you to someone. He was going to leave you with the man called Chad.”

Elizabeth swallowed. “How—do you know all that?”

“It’s a long story. But I’m not this man you call Chad Krieger. I’m hunting for Krieger.”

Elizabeth broke into tears. “I’m alone out here. I don’t know what to do. I killed him! I killed Robert!” “And I’m betting it was for a damn good reason,”

Logan told her. “We need to talk, Miss Baylor. Is it Miss?”

Elizabeth wiped at her tears, smearing the blood on her face. “Lady,” she answered, showing a spark of pride. “I am Lady Elizabeth Baylor…from London.” She cried even harder. “I loved him! I was going to marry him! Why did he…do this?”

“Because he’s a swindling sonofabitch,” Logan answered. He rose. “Come on. Let me get you to a doctor.” He looked at White. “Where are her things? She needs to wash up and get dressed. For God’s sake, how could you leave her in this condition, and in a jail cell to boot?”

“We were going to have a meeting soon to discuss what to do with her.”

“Common sense should have told you this woman didn’t do anything wrong. Look at her! She’s been abused, and she was probably just defending herself. If you weren’t a lawman, I’d land a fist into your face. Where are her things?”

“They’re still down at the depot.”

“Then have somebody go get them and bring them to the doctor’s office.” Logan reached out for Elizabeth. “Can you walk?”

Elizabeth crossed her arms over her breasts as though she thought Logan might be able to see through her gown. “I don’t want people out there to see me. And…I’m barefoot.”

Logan grasped her arms and pulled her up. He noticed she winced.

“Are your arms bruised?” he asked. Elizabeth nodded.

Logan reached down and yanked a wool blanket off the cot. He wrapped it around her shoulders, covering her completely before lifting her into his arms. He thought how small and light she was. Her situation reminded him of what had happened to MaryAnne. He’d killed every last one of the men who’d hurt her before coming out here to hunt down every damn wanted man he could find.

“Let’s get her to a doctor,” he told the sheriff. White obliged, heading out the front door.

A few people gathered to watch Logan Best carry the strange, bloody woman who’d killed a man to the doctor’s office.

Elizabeth curled against him, her head on his shoulder. At least he could get help for this woman. He’d never had the chance to help MaryAnne.

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Two worlds in conflict

Two hearts intertwined

One love worth fighting for

Wealthy Englishwoman Lady Elizabeth Baylor longs for adventure. She leaves for America full of hope, only to lose everything to a villain hiding treachery behind his smile. Lost in this strange and lawless land, Elizabeth vows to track down the man who did her wrong…but she can’t do it alone. What she needs is someone hardened by the west and unflinching toward its dangers: notorious bounty hunter Logan Best.

Ill-mannered and seemingly ruthless, Logan exorcises his dark past by throwing himself into his vengeful profession—hunting wanted men. There’s nothing about the pampered Englishwoman that should call to him, and yet as their adventure takes them across the wild and treacherous west, he realizes he’ll do anything to keep her safe…and defend his Lady to his final breath.

USA Today bestseller and award-winning novelist Rosanne Bittner is known as the “Queen of Western Historical Romance” for her epic love stories and family sagas. Her award-winning, well-researched books span 1800’s America from coast to coast. Devoted readers have described her books as “awesome,” “realistic,” and “unforgettable!” Rosanne and her husband live in southwest Michigan. Visit her at www.rosannebittner.com.

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FOREVER WOLF & giveaway with Maria Vale

Born with one blue eye and one green, Eyulf was abandoned as an infant and has never understood why, or what he is…Varya is fiercely loyal to the Great North Pack, which took her in when she was a teenager. While out on patrol, Varya finds Eyulf wounded and starving and saves his life, at great risk to her own.

Legend says his eyes portend the end of the world…or perhaps, the beginning…

With old and new enemies threatening the Great North, Varya knows as soon as she sees his eyes that she must keep Eyulf hidden away from the superstitious wolves who would doom them both. Until the day they must fight to the death for the Pack’s survival, side by side and heart to heart…

Maria Vale is a journalist who has worked for Publishers Weekly, Glamour magazine, Redbook, the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a logophile and a bibliovore and a worrier about the world. Trained as a medievalist, she tries to shoehorn the language of Beowulf into things that don’t really need it. She lives in New York with her husband, two sons and a long line of dead plants. No one will let her have a pet. Visit her at mariavale.com.

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I focus on the still-pink circlet of scars around his leg, pulling the scar tissue gently apart with two fingers to see how elastic it is. Then I push down, softly at first, and gradually harder. If it starts to swell or bruise, the change will tear apart the underlying network of blood vessels.

He jerks.

“That’s a bad sign.” “What?”

“Well, it shouldn’t hurt that much.” “Doesn’t,” he says.

“This is not the time to hide what you’re feeling. If you change before you’re fully healed, you will tear yourself open again. I know what I’m doing.”

He leans forward, his arms draped between his legs. “I’m not sure you do.”

Ah. The towel that was barely adequate before is simply laughable now that it is also responsible for covering a thickly engorged cock.

I look up, up, up to his eyes. They’ve changed, darkened. They are no longer the pale blue of old ice and bright variegated green of forest depths, but the deep blue of late evening and the dark green of rain- drenched fir. His white hair loops forward and then falls over his shoulder. A sharp, green muskiness like rubbed coriander bothers my nose with something warm and dangerous.

I jump away, like a skittish fawn.

“I don’t think it’ll open up. Remember, your trigger is here.” I point without touching toward the place I’d found before. “It’s inside, not outside, so you need to tighten those muscles. But take your shirt off first.”

“Okay,” he says, pulling off his shirt. “Why?” “Because if by some miracle you get it right, I’ll have to cut you out of it, and we don’t have that many changes of clothes.”

Turning away, I smooth the T-shirt still warm from his body against my chest. Philadelphia Frostbite Regatta, it says. When I glance back, his eyes are closed and a tremor roils through the cut muscles. Parts of him around his pelvis that don’t look like they could tighten any more ripple.

Sitting down on a dry trunk, I stare at the lower slopes of Norþdæl, blanketed with wine and gray and dark gold, dotted with dark-green evergreens and occasional skeletal fingers of white birch.

“How are you doing over there?”

“Working on it.” He coughs a handful of fake coughs, trying, I suppose, to reproduce whatever caused that earlier change.

“Hey?” he says.

“Yes?”

“I’m going to be able to change back, right?”

“Of course. Once you learn what your trigger is, you’ll never forget it.”

“Like riding a bike.”

I scratch my ear. “It’s nothing like riding a bike. You’re changing into a wolf. Wolves don’t ride bikes.”

“It’s a… That’s not what I… Never mind.”

A squirrel squats on his hind legs, eyeing me from a distance. At this moment, from this angle, the daylight moon forms a curved crown above his head. “Except… you do know not to change before the Iron Moon, right?”

“Why?”

The squirrel’s whiskered nose twitches, worriedly. “Because the Iron Moon takes us as she finds us and makes us wilder. If she finds us in skin, she makes us wild. But if she finds us wild, she makes us æcewulfs. Real wolves. Forever wolves.”

“And you don’t change back?”

“That’s why they’re called forever wolves.”

He stares down at his feet, clenching and stretching his toes, as though confirming that for now at least, he still looks human. “Is it like when you’re a wolf, but you still know who you are? You still remember everything?”

“Nobody knows what they remember or don’t, but they’re definitely not the same. They’re not Pack any- more.” Over my shoulder, I see the panic on his face, his hand clinging to the little towel, like the last vestiges of his humanity.

“Don’t worry. I won’t let that happen to you,” I say. His eyes consider mine for a moment. I nod at him, and he starts again, pressing harder, moving, clenching, roiling, undulating.

The squirrel takes advantage of my distraction and bolts up a nearby tree. High up, he hangs, head down, legs splayed, and chitters at me for invading his territory.

Varya!

I leap at Eyulf’s strangled cry, just managing to catch him as he pitches forward, his feet narrowing, arch elongating, calf muscle tightening.

How did I forget to tell him to lie down?

I stagger to the ground, his body writhing in my arms. His green eye searches blindly, his grotesque mouth mangles a groan before going silent. The towel drops away from his narrowing hips and his clutching fingers. My hair falls forward over him.

Astille, wulf. Þu eart gesund mid me.

Hush, wolf, you are safe with me.

My hands run over his skin, like water.

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THE PROMISE OF US excerpt & giveaway

Claire McKenna knows about loss. The bullet wound that ended her promising professional tennis career drove her to make a quiet life for herself working with fabric samples, chatting with her book group, and spending time with her parents in her sleepy coastal Connecticut hometown. Then there was the boyfriend who dumped her to pursue her adventurous childhood friend. Now, Claire’s business has hit a financial snag, but she’s up to the challenge. After all, she can survive anything. At least she thinks so . . . until her teen crush, Logan, returns to town with his sister, Claire’s traitorous friend.
Photographer Logan Prescott is more playboy than homebody. But his sister’s illness teaches him that there’s more to life than chasing the next thrill. Bent on helping her win Claire’s forgiveness, he turns his charm on Claire and offers her big bucks to renovate his multimillion-dollar New York City condo.
After years of playing it safe, Claire must now take some risks. The payoff could be huge, but if it all falls apart, can her heart recover from another loss?

“What are you thinking?” Claire dropped her hands to the table.

Steffi shook her head, waving one hand. “Nothing.”

“Don’t lie. Is there another problem I’m not aware of?”

“No.” Steffi inhaled, held her breath, then exhaled slowly.

“I know of one project that would make a sweet profit and let you really stretch your talent. ‘Sky’s the limit’ kind of budget.”

Excitement lifted Claire’s spirit, straightening her spine. Anything that accelerated plans to open a retail outlet merited her attention. “Sounds amazing. What’s the catch?”

Steffi hesitated.

“Never mind. You won’t take it, so let’s move on.” Steffi spooned whipped cream into her mouth. “Oh! Molly says that Mrs. Brewster is thinking of remodeling her master bath.”

Mrs. Brewster’s late husband had left her comfortably well off, but you’d never know it. She clipped every coupon available to humanity—Claire had been behind her at the grocery store more than once. She put only two dollars in the collection basket at church each week, despite having enough money to leave more. And she gave out bite-size candy at Halloween. Bite-size!

“We can’t rely on Ryan’s mom as our major source of leads, and Mrs. Brewster spending big bucks on a remodel sounds improbable..” She leaned forward, elbows on the table. “Don’t make me beg. If you have a solution, I won’t dismiss it out of hand, I promise. I’m not an idiot. We need income. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep the doors open.”

Steffi went still, her chin just above the mug held midair. “Whatever it takes?”

Claire’s hair stood on end, but she motioned “Let’s have it” with both hands.

Steffi hesitated. “How would you like to redecorate a high-end condo in Chelsea?”

“In the city?” Her entire body prickled painfully at the thought of putting herself in the midst of that chaos and danger. She’d already been one madman’s random victim. Manhattan teemed with crazy people, not the least of whom were the ones who drove their cars like heat-seeking missiles. “Who’d hire us instead of any of the premier designers there?”

Steffi met Claire’s gaze. “Logan.”

Claire’s tongue seemed to swell and turn sticky. Work with Logan … Her blood thickened like warm syrup. Tingles and terror all at once—a sensation she both loved and loathed. Her own brand of crazy. Maybe she did belong in New York, after all. “No.”

“You just said you’d do whatever it takes.”

“Not that. Never that.” Claire didn’t need to look into a mirror to know that her fair, lightly freckled cheeks now looked like someone had smeared them with ripe strawberries.

“As I suspected.” Steffi shrugged nonchalantly, as if she hadn’t just pulled the pin from a grenade and dropped it on the table. “So that leaves us a little tight until something else comes up. In terms of our social media presence, I just read an article …”

Claire heard Steffi talking, but the words ran together like white noise because Claire’s brain was still stuck on the idea of working with—no—for Logan Prescott. His obvious ploy made her want to laugh. Did he really think he could buy her forgiveness for his sister? Well, Claire would never, ever forgive Peyton. Not even if he paid her a million dollars to renovate his condo.

“Claire? Did you hear anything I said?” Steffi turned her hands out in question.

“Sorry.” She rubbed the scowl from her forehead. “I’ll find another way to turn up new leads. Working with Logan is a hard no.”

“Too bad. You’d have so much fun decorating his place. I’m sure he’d let you do whatever you wanted. Anything would be better than how it looks now. Guess he never cared before, since he was rarely around to enjoy it.”

Only a Prescott would own a million-dollar property that sat vacant as often as it was occupied.

“I’m not an idiot.”

“Did I call you one?” Steffi had the gall to look stunned.

“This has Peyton’s paw prints all over it. I’d bet my last penny that she put him up to it. I don’t know what I hate more, that she did it, that you took the bait, or that she knows we’re desperate for money.”

“It’s not a conspiracy. I mentioned that I felt bad about putting you in this situation because of this home. Logan tossed out the idea on the spot.”

“I can’t deal with the strings that would come with his offer.” Except now Claire couldn’t focus on anything else because thinking about Logan took up all the space in her head. If Peyton hadn’t stolen Todd, she might’ve pounced on a chance to work closely with Logan. Of course, then she wouldn’t have been free to act on her desire. Not that she had ever acted on it before Todd, either. The hawkish way Logan could stare at her turned her to jelly around him and—oh, just no. “I thought you finally understood that.”

“I do. That’s why I wasn’t going to say anything.” Steffi crossed her arms. “You forced me to tell you.”

True enough. Logan’s image flickered through Claire’s mind again, poking at the tender spot of her pointless longing, like always.

She shook her head, dislodging all thoughts of Logan. “I’ll catch up with Mrs. Brewster and pitch a proposal for her bathroom. But we also have to scrape together funds to advertise and update the website, and you need to scare up reno work pronto. Promise me we’ll earmark new revenue toward retail space—”

A knock at the door interrupted her monologue.

Steffi rose from the table and disappeared around the corner.

From the other room, Claire heard Steffi’s surprised voice say, “Oh, we didn’t expect you so early.”

“Hope that’s not a problem,” replied Logan, in his unmistakable baritone.

 

 

 
National bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than one million copies. She’s a Booksellers’ Best Award and a National Readers’ Choice Award finalist; and critics at KirkusPublishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.
For fun tips, exclusive content, and a chance to win the monthly birthday reader box, please sign up for her newsletter at jamiebeck.com.
Jamie also loves interacting with everyone on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks.
 
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Ashlyn Chase presents A PHOENIX IS FOREVER & giveaway

She stepped outside and spotted Luca waving from his car. She strode to it briskly and got in.

“Thanks for meeting me. I need your help.”

“With what?”

“A missing child. You can’t tell anyone else, or it could mess up the investigation.”

Her eyes widened. “Oh no. A missing kid? That’s awful. Boy or girl? How old?”

“A four-­year-­old girl, and there are no leads. We’re trying to find her quickly, before anything worse happens. You can’t tell anyone.”

“I wouldn’t know who to tell, except maybe the cops. But—­oh wait, here you are.”

He smiled at her joke.

“Do you have anything that belongs to her?” Dawn asked.

“No. The detectives would have that stuff. But I’m afraid they won’t consult a psychic.”

“Yeah, I doubt that too, but I need something to go on. Just some way to latch onto her energy.” And, hopefully, see out of her eyes.

“Would it help if you saw her home from the outside?”

“Maybe. Do you know where she lives?”

“She’s actually sort of a neighbor. Her place is around the corner from where I live, but I don’t know the family well.”

“Take me there.”

“This may be tricky. I can’t be seen at or near the house. It might look like I’m interfering with someone else’s investigation.”

“Isn’t that exactly what you’re doing?”

“When you consider the first priority is preserving life, I don’t really have a choice. I just have to be careful not to compromise the case. If someone took her and procedure isn’t followed, no matter how guilty he is, the perp could walk away unpunished. That’s the last thing anyone wants. For someone like that to be free to do it again would be a crime in itself.”

“I get it.” Dawn understood what he was saying, and she even knew some people who had gotten off on a technicality—­Ice Spider, for one—­but it seemed cumbersome to follow procedure when a child’s life was at stake.

Luca drove her to his house and gave her the Richardsons’ address around the corner. Dawn couldn’t help but stare at the outside of Luca’s home. The neighborhood was definitely upscale and a far cry from her run-­down area. The four-­story brick building had beautiful wrought iron railings and sconces on either side of the large front door. Clearly, his parents had done well. Or they’d inherited a fortune.

“Remember, don’t look conspicuous,” Luca said as Dawn got out of the car. “The forensics team could still be there gathering evidence.”

Dawn nodded and tucked some loose wisps of her punk pixie hair behind her ears. Not that that would make a difference. They had decided while she was doing her psychic thing outside the missing girl’s house, Luca would change and meet up with her at the Starbucks two blocks away in about half an hour. Dawn had no idea how long it would take, but half an hour would be plenty of time for her to try to get some vibes about the little girl.

Luca was tired, but he imagined the detectives on this case weren’t getting much sleep either. Dawn had said she needed something that belonged to the girl. Maybe he could transform again early tomorrow morning after his shift, search for an open window, and fly in to grab something from the girl’s room. The Richardson family had been renting the upstairs apartment of the old Bixby home. The owners had passed away a few years back, and their kids had turned the massive house into three separate apartments. Smart move.

Even though Luca’s dad had inherited their brownstone from his grandfather, who’d inherited it from his great-­grandfather, Antonio complained that the taxes were like paying a mortgage that never ended. Phoenixes could live to be five hundred years old but not in the same place. People got suspicious eventually, so after a good number of years, the house was passed on to the next generation.

Luca hoped Dawn could glean something from the facade of the residence itself—­also without attracting attention. Chances were the detectives had gathered many of the little girl’s things, but if he could fly in and grab a T-­shirt or a toy that could be helpful to Dawn, he’d have to be careful not to be seen. A bird flying around with a stuffed animal in its beak would look pretty weird. Besides, the detectives probably took her favorite toys and recently worn clothing for the K-­9 unit to sniff.

Luca wished he could share his shape-­shifting ability with Dawn. She’d probably understand, right? One weirdo to another. But the stakes were too high. He’d never even told Lisa about it. Now, he was glad he hadn’t. Her father would probably have him committed to the state hospital.

He jogged up the steps to his home and let himself in.

“Luca! I was getting worried,” his mother greeted him. “How was your night, honey?”

“Good, Ma, but I’m on my way out again. I just have to change clothes.”

Gabriella leaned back and studied his face. “So soon? Aren’t you exhausted?”

“Not really. I got a second wind.”

She tipped her head. “Well, I hope you get some rest before you get the wind knocked out of you.”

“I will.” Despite wanting to protest her fretfulness, he kissed her cheek. Then he jogged downstairs to his bedroom in the finished basement.

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She didn’t see this hot cop coming.

Dawn Forrest is ready for a big change. She’s determined to put her criminal past behind her and only use her extraordinary psychic abilities for good from now on.

Luca Fierro is a Phoenix shifter and rookie cop with something to prove. The last person he should tangle with is a newly reformed bad girl, especially one as irresistible as Dawn. But he needs her help to find a missing child, and every minute counts. This case is going to put their skills to the test and force them to keep their sizzling attraction at bay…

Award winning author, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. With a degree in behavioral sciences, she mainly worked as a psychiatric nurse and Red Cross RN. She’s happily married to her true-life hero husband who looks like Hugh Jackman if you squint. Visit her online at https://www.ashlynchase.com/

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IN HER SIGHTS & giftpack giveaway with Katie Ruggle

Five bounty-hunting sisters 

Deep in the heart of the Rockies 
Fighting to save each other 
…and the men who steal their hearts 
Bounty hunter Molly Pax fought hard for everything she has, turning the bail recovery business she shares with her sisters into an unqualified success. So when their sticky-fingered mother jumps bail and puts the childhood home up as collateral, Molly’s horrified. To make matters worse, every two-bit criminal in the Rockies now sees her family’s misfortune as their next big break. 
She needs help, stat. 
Enter rival bounty hunter John Carmondy: six feet of pure trouble, with a cocky grin to match. John’s the most cheerfully, annoyingly gorgeous frenemy Molly’s ever had the pleasure of defeating…and he may be her only hope of making it out of this mess alive. 
What People Are Saying: 
“I love Ruggle’s characters. They’re sharply drawn, and vividly alive. I’m happy when they find each other. These are wonderful escapist books.”—CHARLAINE HARRIS, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series 
“Sexy and suspenseful, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”—JULIE ANN WALKER, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author for Hold Your Breath 
“Chills and thrills and a sexy slow-burning romance from a terrific new voice.”—D.D. AYRES, author of the K-9 Rescue Series for Hold Your Breath 
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“Where’s the bathroom?”
“All the way down the hall,” she answered automatically, her brain caught up in the overwhelming proximity of him. “Last door on the left. Why do you smell like bubble gum?”
He blinked. “I do not.”
“You do.”
“I do not smell like bubble gum. I’m not a sticky six-year-old.”
Suddenly realizing the ridiculousness of their argument, she shifted back and mentally changed gears. “Fine. You don’t smell like bubble gum, even though you really do. Hurry up in the bathroom. As soon as you’re done, I want to take a shower. Dutch’s and that empty warehouse left a film of grossness on me.”
He scowled at her, looking like he was dying to continue their discussion, but he clamped his mouth closed with a tight nod and moved to the door instead. At the last second before he disappeared down the hall, he turned back toward her. “Leave those sheets on,” he said, a trace of his usual smirk back in place.
He waited, so she held her hands up in the universal I won’t do anything gesture. “Fine. If you want to sleep in my stink, I’m not going to stop you.”
“I do.” He gave her a wink—which should’ve looked stupid, but because it was John, turned out stupid hot instead—and headed to the bathroom.
As soon as he was out of sight, Molly let out a deep breath and started to sink down onto Felicity’s bed. The squishy mattress called to her, tempting her to lie down and close her eyes, just for a moment. With a groan, she forced herself to stand again. Once she was down, she’d be out like a light, and she’d been telling the truth about needing to wash off this terrible night.
She headed out into the hall, figuring that she might as well check on Norah while she was attempting to stay awake. Cracking her sister’s door, she saw that her room was lit by dim blue light from her sister’s computer screen. Molly knocked softly, pushing open the door the rest of the way when Norah made a quiet sound that she took as an invitation to enter. Norah was sitting on her narrow bed, her legs curled underneath her and her laptop open. The rest of her bed was taken up by a snoring Warrant. Norah’s face was bathed in the bluish light from the screen, making her look even paler than usual. Even though Molly knew it was just an illusion, she still couldn’t stand to see her sister look so sickly. It reminded her too vividly of the many emergency-room visits when they were younger and Norah’s asthma wasn’t controlled. Molly flicked on the floor lamp to its lowest setting, bathing the tiny room with warm yellow light, and Norah instantly looked healthier.
“I know we need to find Mom as soon as possible,” Molly said, leaning on the dresser. She was tempted to plop down on the bed next to her sister, but she knew it’d be just as easy to fall asleep here as it would be in Felicity’s bed. Besides, the thought of waking Warrant and getting him to move was too much effort at the moment. “That doesn’t mean you can’t take a few hours off to sleep.”
Norah finally glanced up to meet Molly’s gaze. “I know. I just keep falling down research rabbit holes.”
“I get it. Find out anything interesting?”
“Maybe.” Norah’s voice was hesitant, cautious as always, and Molly knew not to push. Her sister never liked to share information until after she’d confirmed and reconfirmed her facts.
“John’s staying over tonight.”
That caught Norah’s attention. “He is? With you?”
“Uh…no.” She hated that she’d hesitated on her answer, but the mental image that had sprung up in her head had been very distracting—and, despite knowing it was a bad idea, very tempting. “We had to slip away after Dutch’s exploded.”
Exploded?” Norah stared at her, eyes wide, her ignored laptop tilting to the side.
“No one was hurt.” After pausing, Molly corrected herself. “I’m pretty sure no one was hurt. We were out of the building at that point. You might want to add getting the police and fire department reports to your to-do list, though.”
“Okay. You’re not hurt? What about John?”
“I’m fine. John’s a little banged up, but I did a beautifully executed dive roll. You should’ve seen it.” Now that the sense of urgency and danger had faded, she wished that move had been recorded.
Norah’s small smile disappeared a moment after it touched her lips. “You need to be careful, especially when you’re dealing with Sonny Zarver.”
“I know, and I will.” Molly made the words a solemn promise.
From Norah’s nod, she understood and accepted it as such.
“Don’t forget to sleep.” Straightening from her leaning position, Molly turned off the light and slipped into the hall before sticking her head back in. “All the rabbit holes will still be there tomorrow, and everything will probably make more sense.”
Although Norah made a sound of agreement, it was absentminded, and her attention was completely focused on her screen again.
“Good night.” Molly pulled her sister’s door closed as she withdrew, knowing that all the well-intentioned nagging in the world wouldn’t get Norah in bed any sooner. She’d finish when she was done researching, and then she’d sleep until noon.
Turning away from Norah’s bedroom door, Molly found herself face to bare chest with John. She couldn’t stop herself from taking in the broad, muscular expanse before resolutely tipping her head back to meet his gaze. She wasn’t sure why she’d thought that looking up would be any less distracting. His beautiful face—with his mile-long dark lashes and full mouth and those tempting dimples—was just as drool-worthy as the hard planes of his chest. He, of course, noticed her looking, and his teasing grin was fully in place.
“See something you like?” he asked, flexing

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Jane Ashford's A LORD APART & nerd worthy giveaway

Family secrets, an unlikely alliance—and a love neither expected… 
After his parents’ sudden death, Daniel Frith, Viscount Whitfield, is struggling to unravel a web of chaotic family records. He is astonished to learn his father’s will contains a mysterious legacy: a house left to a complete stranger. He knows nothing about the beautiful Penelope Pendleton and he’s not sure he wants to…until she turns out to be a whiz at all those nasty tasks involved in estate administration… 
Penelope has no idea why Rose Cottage was left to her. But it’s a godsend after her brother’s reckless actions disgraced her family. She had planned to stay out of Viscount Whitfield’s way, not grow ever closer to him. But when they discover how entwined their families really are, Daniel and Penelope must collaborate to avoid a scandal that reaches much higher than they could have guessed… 
The Way to a Lord’s Heart: 
Brave New Earl (Book 1) 
A Lord Apart (Book 2) 
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This super cute gift set includes a pack of Bloom floral file folders, three pretty gold pens, a Lemome Original notebook (it has pockets!), and two lovely floral teacups. What better prize to honor the two loveable nerds in this Regency Romance?! 


Praise for Jane Ashford: 
“An endearing, optimistic story of second chances.”—Publishers Weekly for Brave New Earl 
“A refreshingly different, sweetly romantic love story [readers] will long remember.”—Booklist for Brave New Earl 
“[P]lenty of wit, matchmaking, sweetness and sensuality to keep readers highly entertained.”—RT Book Reviews for The Duke Knows Best 
“Expertly crafted…another triumph of nuanced characterization and sparkling wit.”—Booklist for Nothing Like a Duke 

Rachel VanDyken ~ Why sports heroes make the best book boyfriends! RISKY PLAY & giveaway

Hey everyone! I’m Rachel Van Dyken, author of over eighty (holy crap) books in multiple genres, one of my favorites being, sports romance! My latest book, Risky Play, is about two broken main characters who find themselves on a last minute holiday to Puerto Vallarta.

Pro Soccer player Slade Rodriguez is trying to lay low after finding out his girlfriend and his ex teammate hooked up behind his back, for over a year. Licking his wounds he changes teams and moves to Seattle, but isn’t ready to settle down yet. Needing time to himself, he gets on the first jet out. He sits next to Mackenzie Dupont on a plane and is immediately intrigued, especially since a few hours into the plane ride, they have single engine failure. She asks him what one thing he would do different. And they kiss. Once the plane safely lands, to protect his own identity, he gives her a fake name, Hugo. What he doesn’t realize is she’s famous in her own right, so she does the same thing. After all, she’s running away from a broken engagement. What follows is a whole lot of steaminess and taking chances with a complete stranger assuming that it’s just that, a one night stand, a two night stand. Whatever it is, Mackenzie’s obsessed with “Hugo’s” intense golden gaze, the eight pack helps, and the fact that he seems genuinely interested in everything she says. He promises the universe he’s going to keep her, but sometimes the universe is against us. Tragedy strikes and they go their separate ways only to meet again in Seattle, this time, sparks fly and not the good kind The “I want to kiss you, then strangle you, then kiss you again” kind.

I love writing sports romances because I think it adds this extra layer of pressure from the press to act a certain way. Not only does Slade have to deal with paparazzi but he has pressure to perform, to lead his team to the championships after training with another team. I think it brings in so many details from behind the scenes that we never think about when watching sports on TV. I’m fully dedicated to interviewing real athletes (and my last sports romance I interviewed NFL players). This time I wanted to focus on a sport that isn’t as huge here as it is internationally and really do it justice. These athletes eat, sleep, and breathe their sport, there isn’t a lot of time for a personal life and if you do have one, the balance is always going to be a struggle (not to mention the fact that Slade is still mourning). In this book, I wanted to introduce a really strong female character that wouldn’t let Slade project all those feelings and basically Mackenzie is the type of girl that doesn’t put up with his crap. I think it’s important to have strong female characters that women can look up to. I love that during the entire journey my heroine doesn’t give up. She knows her worth and demands that Slade recognize it too.

All in all it was such a fun book to write, I can’t wait for everyone to read it!

***

 

I was kissing her again.

Maybe it was because it had been months since I’d had a decent kiss, since I’d jumped into the arms of anyone who didn’t know me by name.

I could be Hugo for a few days.

Hugo seemed spontaneous.

Hugo seemed relaxed.

Hugo seemed fun.

I sure as hell needed some fun.

I broke away from her kiss and trailed my fingertips down her chin. “So, now that we’ve established the plane didn’t crash and we’re here side by side, what did you have in mind?”

Ashley grinned up at me, her eyes a bit hesitant as she looked from me to the ocean. “Well, I’ve never gone cliff diving, I heard there’s a great place close by.”

My eyebrows shot up. “No offense, but you don’t seem like a thrill seeker.”

She laughed. I decided I liked the way her laugh relaxed me, made me respond with a smile and a need to kiss her again. “I’m not, trust me.” She sobered a bit. Her lips turned down.

I wanted nothing more than to press a soft kiss to the corner of her mouth just to see if it would it make it decide to smile in my direction again.

“But it would be fun, I need fun.”

I sighed heavily and looked at my feet. When the hell had I ever looked away like that? “That makes both of us.”

“Great!” She walked ahead of me into her penthouse suite, which matched mine even in color. I suddenly wondered what she did for a living. I mean I could afford it because I had been the highest paid soccer star in Europe for the last ten years.

The place was around three grand a day.

I eyed the large master suite as she ran around and then held up her hand. “One sec, I’m going to change into a suit, alright?”

“Great.” I smiled reassuringly. It would give me time to look around, not that I was stalking her, but I could never be too careful. I was still surprised she didn’t recognize me. And I knew when she did, this little facade, this freedom I felt in my chest, the easy way she let me breathe around her? It would go to hell, and I’d need another escape.

I thumbed through a few of the magazines on the table, and dropped the last one down just in time to hear the sliding bathroom door open and see a goddess emerge.

A one-piece swimsuit covered her body. It had a plunging neckline that showed off two generously sized breasts, and I immediately regretted not telling her who I was.

Because clothing tended to get pulled off, not put on, when I was in the room.

I eyed the scrap of material she called a swimsuit, my eyes raking over her muscular legs, her curvy body.

“Unless you’re jumping naked, you should change too,” she pointed out, then cleared her throat and looked away like she was insecure. Damn, the woman could make a man cut his own heart out for a taste of her special brand of sin.

I peeled my shirt off over my body and shrugged. “Ready.”

Her eyes went so wide I had to fight not to laugh.

I knew what she saw.

I had Instagram pages dedicated to my eyes alone, don’t even get me started on my abs.

Eight.

Tight, packed abs, all tanned and golden like I was the sun god himself.

“Uh, right.” Her cheeks brightened as she clasped her hands together. “Let’s go!”

I checked her out the entire time she walked ahead of me, and when she caught me staring I just shrugged and said, “Next time wear more clothes if you don’t want me to look.”

“You should talk,” she fired back.

“Misunderstanding.” I grinned. “I wanted you to look.”

She slapped a hand against my bare chest.

I laughed, and then grabbed her hand and kissed her fingertips. “You ready to jump off a cliff with a stranger you’ve kissed twice?”

“Once,” she corrected with a whisper. “I kissed you, you kissed me, we’re even.”

The doors to the elevator opened as I whispered under my breath. “Not for long.”

***

What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.

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Rachel Van Dyken is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and #1 New York Times bestselling author known for regency romances, contemporary romances, and her love of coffee and Swedish fish. Rachel’s also recently inked a deal for her Wingmen Inc. series—The Matchmaker’s Playbook and The Matchmaker’s Replacement—to be made into movies.

A fan of The Bachelor and the Seattle Seahawks (not necessarily in that order), Rachel lives in Idaho with her husband, a super cute toddler son who keeps her on her toes, and two boxers. Make sure you check out her site, www.RachelVanDykenauthor.com, and follow her on Twitter (@RachVD).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4882127.Rachel_Van_Dyken