Book Blitz & Giveaway: Blindsided (Ava Ashley)

Blindsided
Ava Ashley
Publication date: March 6th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Sports

Sex and spice and cold as ice.

Those are the facts I uncover about football star Lennox Hardy after a long night of tequila and bad choices. Hardly the stuff of tabloid headlines. Everyone knows the NFL’s star quarterback is a womanizing bad boy whose voicemail is practically set to “no comment.”

What they might not know is that the sex? Kind of disappointing.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from getting knocked up.

But it’s when I confront Lennox and discover that I’d actually slept with his identical twin brother Logan, a rising politician, that my life goes from page twelve news to a gossip columnist’s wet dream.

Lennox is used to cleaning up his brother’s messes, and he barely blinks before he asks me to move in with him and pretend the baby is his, at least until his brother’s election is over. Giving me full access to his elusive, private life and the story that will make my career.

What’s a reporter to do?

But sharing an apartment with a brooding, private man who’s sexy as sin and my raging hormones may not have been the best idea. And when the only investigating I do happens with our clothes off, I know my plan has gone seriously awry…

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Please?” she begs.

“For you? Anything.” I smile. The simple statement has a ring of truth. I take the foil packet from her long fingers.

The raging tide of rushing blood and pulse urges me to move quickly as it threatens to crush us both. Sloane clutches to me for life.

I suddenly pull back. I look into her eyes and smile a memory.

“You have freckles on your nose,” I whisper. She reaches up to cover them. I grasp her hand in mine.

“No. Don’t. They’re cute. Sloane.” Her name melts like chocolate on my tongue. She stands, gathering her things like she’s ready to bolt.

“Lennox,” she gasps, struggling to catch her breath. “Wait. Are we sure? What is this?”

I stand. My words are husky and close as I lean my forehead against hers. “A total rush.”

With that, I back her up against the wall and kiss her. Hard. There’s no gentle brush this time. It’s an instinct-driven crush of survival. I grip her lower lip in my teeth and suck it deeply into my own warm mouth, holding it there just long enough for the circulation to slow, then let it go. I can feel her blood pulse back in. Hard. Fast. Strong. Setting the beat for our little dance. I reach a hand to her top button. It strains it against the fabric. Tighter. Tighter. Until it pops. I trace down the valley between her breasts, her beautiful rounded breasts, with a single finger. My other hand drifts, reaching deftly to unhook the button of her jeans. In one swift move, I have them down around her ankles.

 

Author Bio:

Amazon bestselling author Ava Ashley may look like the girl next door, but her steamy romances reveal a very naughty side. Raised in small town Ohio and now living in Homer, Alaska it’s amazing that she hasn’t increased the average temperature in her area of the state with her steamy writing. And she loves reading new adult romance novels as much as she enjoys writing them.

Ava likes spending time outdoors and does a lot of hiking and cycling with her husband and four children. When she can get away on her own, she’ll often take pen and paper along, find a secluded spot and let the environment inspire her. Of course, that inspiration frequently results in characters tearing each other’s clothes off, but you would expect nothing less from a romance writer.

Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Bookbub / Amazon

 

GIVEAWAY!

Ava has 3 SIGNED PRINT copies and 3 eCopies of Blindsided up for grabs right now!
CLICK HERE to enter to win!

XBTBanner1

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Life is but a Nightmare (Erin Hayes)

Life is but a Nightmare
Erin Hayes
(The Elysium Legacies, #2)
Publication date: February 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Mythology, Urban Fantasy

The sequel to the genre-bending, hugely imaginative Death is but a Dream.

“There must always be a God of Wealth…”

Former police detective Callie Saunders shouldn’t be alive, but she’s been thriving with her new lease on life away from the machinations of the ancient Greek gods and goddesses.

Yet there’s always been someone missing from this little piece of paradise.

When a vengeful god kidnaps her son, she travels back to a world she barely understands to find him. A world where she must face humanity’s greatest enemies and her former lover. If she’s not careful, she’ll lose her soul again. And, maybe, even her heart.

Goodreads / Amazon

Sequel to:

EXCERPT:

“If I could…” he whispered. “If I could, I’d hold him tight and never let him go.”

A moment passed between us. A reminder of what we couldn’t have.

“Callista,” he said gently. “Tell him I said hi. Please.”

I chewed the inside of my cheek, but I nodded.

“Callista,” he said, his voice low. “Callista, I’m so sorr—”

I awoke with a gasp on the cot. I grimaced, feeling sore in unfamiliar spots. Paul stirred on his bed, and I quietly laid my head on the thin mattress. I stroked a hand along his arm, watching every bit of him.

My son.

I leaned in to whisper into his ear. I might have been angry at Plutus for everything, but I did know that there were things beyond our control. I understood it, but I didn’t have to like it or accept it. I did decide to give Plutus this peace offering, to let him know that I’d be okay, at least for now. And I wanted to assure Paul, even if it was just his subconscious, that somewhere, his father was thinking about him, that he was worried about him.

“Daddy says hi.”

 

Author Bio:

Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.

She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she’s an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.

You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Street Team / Newsletter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Worth Any Cost (Brenna Aubrey)

Worth Any Cost
Brenna Aubrey
(Gaming the System #6)
Publication date: February 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

You are cordially invited to the wedding of the decade.

Adam Drake and Emilia Kimberly Strong have chosen a date to solidify their love in the bonds of matrimony.

Join them on their exotic destination wedding. Visit with their friends and loved ones. But hold the champagne toast. Fate has a few last tests for our couple on their way to the altar.

Natural 20 or natural disaster?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Satisfied with my results, I settled on the bed, all snug and dry in my robe. Pressing a stack of clean washcloths to my mouth to muffle the laughter, I heard the water turn off. After a few seconds’ hesitation, he called from inside the bathroom.

“Hey. Where are all the towels?”

I didn’t answer, just laughed some more and smothered my giggles.

The slap of his wet feet on the bare floor sounded as he crossed the bathroom toward the door. He poked his dripping head out of the doorway. “What did you do?” His dark eyebrow arched, hair soaked and plastered to his forehead. A puddle quickly formed around his feet.

I held up one of the tiny washcloths. “You want this, don’t you? The hate is swelling in you now.”

His mouth quirked. “Something’s swelling, but it isn’t hate.” He pushed the hair away from his forehead and cleared the water that had dripped into his eyes. “Somehow I thought getting away with that was too easy.”

I smirked. “You should know me better by now. As for drying off…you could always use your dirty underpants.”

“Underpants? What am I, five?” He clenched his jaw and then grinned. “Don’t underestimate the power of the dark side, young Jedi.”

I rolled my eyes. “So you’re going to try to one-up me? So predictable. I’m shaking in my boots.”

His dark eyes gleamed as he came closer. Rivulets of water had collected on his tasty abs. It was fascinating to behold.

“And you should know me better, too.” He grinned evilly. “I don’t one-up. I one-hundred-up.” Then he shook his head inches from my face. Droplets of water sprayed everywhere. I let out a screech and pulled back. “You are looking too dry over there, little girl. Let me help you with that.”

And he promptly pinned me, dripping wet, to the bed and started rubbing his drenched face in mine. “You’re gonna soak the bed!” I screeched.

“Collateral damage,” he replied. He reached down and pulled the belt on my robe, opening it. Then he shifted, sandwiching me between his wet body and the bed.

I squirmed and wiggled, and he only seemed to like it more. He shook his head again. My hand smacked his hard chest. “You’re such a boy.”

He grinned. “I’m all boy,” he said, pressing his erection against me.

“I won’t take this lying down,” I muttered.

“You don’t have to take it lying down.” He laughed. “There’s always up against the door or the shower wall. Or you can take it bent over the back of the couch or a dozen other different ways. Whatever way you take it…you are taking it.”

 

Author Bio:

Brenna Aubrey is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary romance stories that center on geek culture.

She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover’s heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. She’s also a mom, teacher, geek girl, Francophile, unabashed video-game addict & eBook hoarder.

She currently resides on the west coast of the US with her husband, two children, and two adorable golden retriever pups.

Sign up for Brenna’s email list for release updates, and free content (deleted scenes, bonus stories, etc.) please copy & paste this link into your browser:
http://BrennaAubrey.net/newsletter-signup

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Piper’s Price (Audrey Greathouse)

The Piper’s Price
Audrey Greathouse
(The Neverland Wars #2)
Published by: Clean Reads Publishing
Publication date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult

Peter is plotting his retaliation against the latest bombing. Neverland needs an army, and Peter Pan is certain children will join him once they know what is at stake. The lost boys and girls are planning an invasion in suburbia to recruit, but in order to deliver their message, they will need the help of an old and dangerous associate—the infamous Pied Piper.

Hunting him down will require a spy in in the real world, and Gwen soon finds herself in charge of locating the Piper and cutting an uncertain deal with him. She isn’t sure if Peter trusts her that much, or if he’s just trying to keep her away from him in Neverland. Are they friends, or just allies? But Peter might not even matter now that she’s nearly home and meeting with Jay again.

The Piper isn’t the only one hiding from the adults’ war on magic though, and when Gwen goes back to reality, she’ll have to confront one of Peter’s oldest friends… and one of his earliest enemies.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

They found the forest’s hiking trail moments before breaking the tree line. “Where are we going, Peter?” He was heading toward a mobile home community next to the state park.

He continued to walk with confidence. His usual cocky stride looked surprisingly like the swagger of an ordinary teenage boy. “My friend lives here. Don’t worry. Don’t look like such a stranger here.”

She didn’t want to appear conspicuous, but Gwen was too baffled to help it. The unkempt lawns were boxed in by chain-link fences covered in varying degrees of rust. They passed a lawn littered with bicycles; on the other side of the gravel street, two different cars were parked on the lawn, clearly non-functional. Satellite dishes were on every trailer home. Despite all being painted differently, the track housing still managed to present a uniformity of depressing color.

Multiple houses had motorcycles out front or a dog milling around their yard. When she and Peter passed a pack of Rottweilers, the dogs ran up to the fence and began snarling until all the other dogs in the neighborhood were barking too. “Ignore it,” Peter advised her.

She was scared. This was not the sort of place she ever expected to visit with Peter. She didn’t trust his ability to protect her here. This wasn’t his world, but it wasn’t hers either. They were both out of their element. Peter just didn’t have the sense to realize it.

Winding down the gravel road, Gwen matched Peter’s pace almost step for step. They approached a blue-and-grey house. Like the others, it had wooden latticework around the bottom to help obscure the fact it didn’t have a foundation in the ground. The square house reminded Gwen of how she would take shoeboxes and try to turn them into homes for her dolls by decorating them. It was hard to fathom that she was walking up the plastic steps of the porch to knock on the door.

She waited, feeling her heartbeat in her throat, her toes, and everywhere besides her chest. Even the predictable noise of the door opening startled her.

A woman with a long, black braid and beige cardigan stood in the doorway. Gwen looked up at her, and then watched as the sharp features of her dark face dissolved into unadulterated shock.

“Peter?”

The startled woman ushered them in. She was just as uncomfortable with their presence in the trailer park as Gwen. Once inside, they stood in a living room full of old furniture, facing a kitchen with old electric appliances. There was no unity or romance to the orange recliner, chipped mixing bowl, off-white blender, dull toaster, and sunken couch. It was a bunch of old stuff that looked like it represented several decades of objects abandoned at Goodwill. The chingadera and bric-a-brac wasn’t any more cohesive: porcelain angles, an antique pot, a vase full of bird feathers, and a stopped clock made the place confusing and strange in the same way her grandmother’s house had been.

“What are you doing here?” she hissed, pulling her cardigan close and tossing her thick braid over her shoulder and out of her way. She had a shapeless housedress underneath the beige sweater, and a pair of black leggings insulating her legs as she stomped around, heavy-footed in her leather slippers. She looked comfortable, except for the unexpected guests who were putting her so ill at ease. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“I need your help,” Peter said.

“They’re still keeping tabs on me.”

“That’s why I came in disguise.”

“You’re being irresponsible. You’re jeopardizing us both, and Neverland to boot.”

“I took all the right precautions. This is important.” Hollyhock and Foxglove wrestled their way out of the pixie purse and came twinkling out now that they knew they were safely inside.

“You brought fairies here?” she exclaimed. She leaned down and grabbed a hold of his arm, forcing him to look her dead in her dark eyes. Gwen wanted to leave. This wasn’t a friend, not anymore. This was a grown-up, and unlike Antoine the aviator, she was not amused with Peter’s wartime antics.

“What happens if they figure it out and come to question me?”

Peter scoffed. “You won’t tell them.”

“What if they threaten to arrest me? They could put me away forever until I told them what they needed to know, and nobody here would stop them.”
Peter broke free of her hold with ease; she wasn’t actually trying to restrain him. “Preposterous,” he declared. “If they did that, you would sit, stone-faced and silent in your cell until they all died.”

“What if they beat me?”

“You’d take the blows as though you were made of rock, and you would not speak.” Peter seemed to disregard the question.

“What if they tortured me and stuck blades under my nails?” she demanded.

“Then you would not even scream, but stay silent as a stone!” Peter insisted, hopping up onto a wooden kitchen chair at her dining table, looking down at the woman.

“What if they bring knives and cut off my fingers, one at a time, until I told them how to find you?”

Peter yelled right back, “Then you would steal their knives and scalp them all like the redskin princess you are!”

Her anger slunk off her face and out of her shoulders. She shook her head, frowning as a sad laugh escaped her. She clung to her sweater, blinking back tears, until, at last, she flung her arms around Peter. Still on the chair, he had to bend down to return the embrace.

“Oh, Peter,” she muttered, unaware of the tears slipping off her smiling face. “Oh, Peter.”

“It’s good to see you, Tiger Lily.”

 

Author Bio:

Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University’s online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot. You can find her at audreygreathouse.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Alex (Zoya Tessi)

ALEX: Perfect Opposite Book One (Extended edition)
Zoya Tessi
Publication date: January 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Their wishes were simple and modest. Fate had other things in store though, and she can be a real bitch sometimes.

All he wanted was to get the job done and somehow to endure those long months playing nanny to a spoiled little rich girl. Without strangling her with his bare hands in the process. Well, it is going to be much easier said than done.

All she wanted was to escape the past and live like any other girl. Her plan definitely didn’t include the arrogant, tattooed savage, with his awful mohawk and lack of social graces, whose only mission was to stick real close and mess up her life.

But, people aren’t always what they seem to be, are they?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Sasha

I went to the kitchen and took some bread out of the cupboard, reached over for a tub of jelly on the countertop and froze. The next moment, before I could catch it in my throat, I let out a loud, high-pitched scream.
There, near my hand, was the biggest cockroach I’d ever seen. It didn’t seem to be going anywhere, either.
Hearing footsteps from behind me, I turned and almost screamed for a second time. With a knife gripped in one hand, Alex was poised in the doorway, ready to attack and looking mean. The pose didn’t hold for long, maybe only a fraction of a second after he realized there wasn’t any danger, and then all his muscles relaxed at once.
“What the fuck was that for?”
“I… I was hungry, and I saw…”
I felt ashamed when I realized I’d acted like such a sissy over a bug. With a hangdog expression, I regarded Alex in silence for a few moments, while he stood waiting for an answer.
“A cockroach.”
“What?” he asked in disbelief.
“A cockroach. A big ugly black one.” I bent my head and pointed my finger over to the sink.
“A bug? Jesus! I’d thought they’d come for you or some shit.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get you in here, but… since you are, can you kill it? I mean, you’re here now…”
He cursed loudly and raised one arm, then brought it down fiercely, sending something whistling through the air towards me, its progress ending in a sharp snap. I jerked reflexively and looked in his direction to find that he wasn’t moving anymore. Turning back to the cockroach, I saw his slick knife buried first through the bug and then into the counter.
Approaching in a hurry, Alex pulled it out by the handle, complete with the bug, which he scraped off on the rim of the trashcan. After that, offering no further explanations he just left the room, weapon in hand. With my mouth open in disbelief, I could only stare at the mark on the surface where the roach had been. I stood for a full five minutes like that.

 

Author Bio:

Zoya spent years doing volunteering work all across Europe, from cleaning school basements in Northern Russia to excavating Stone Age artifacts in Euskadi (the Basque country) and renovating castles from the middle ages in Southern France. She always dreamed of working with ‘Doctors without borders’ somewhere out in Africa, but ended up doing an ‘ordinary job’ in one of the smaller European countries.

Her greatest passion is devouring each and every book that comes within her reach.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Bryce (Nana Malone)

Bryce
Nana Malone
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Money, power, prestige…failure. Bryce Coulter is The Player.

Don’t call it a come back….Because no one else is. Poised to live up to his legacy, tennis player, Bryce Coulter, loses it all on one swing. Now, with the pressure on and his future in jeopardy, the last thing he needs is a smart-mouthed, training partner with attitude and a killer swing — or maybe she’s exactly what he needs.

Rich, spoiled and moneyed — seen that, been dragged through the dirt behind that. Tami Ivey, gets enough of the bad boy trust fund kids at work. She doesn’t need it in her sanctuary too. Playing tennis is the only way to connect to the girl she used to be before tragedy struck. The day Bryce Coulter turns up at her court, she turns on that classic attitude. If there’s anything she’s learned it’s how to make a guy run. Except, he’s not running. And maybe she doesn’t want him to….

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

Had he scared her away? Had he been too much of a creeper watching her last night? Maybe it came down to the simple reason that she didn’t practice every day. Or, not at the same time every day. She very likely had a job, and depending on what she did for a living, her hours might not be the same every day. Although, he mused, regardless of whatever it was that she did for a living, he was sure that she should be playing tennis.

Why are you so pressed? She’s just a girl.

No. There was something about her. He just needed the chance to talk to her again. Okay, yes, if he was being totally honest with himself, it was in part because he wanted her, but he also wanted to find out more about her, and why she wasn’t playing the way she should. He couldn’t be the first person who knew about tennis to have seen her play.

“Where d’you think you’re going, gimpy?” A voice called from behind.

Bryce turned to see who’d spoken, and a foot shot out, kicking one of his crutches out from under him and sending him sprawling. Fuck. He landed on his bad knee. He writhed as the pain shot from his knee up his quad and down his shin. “Fuck, fuck. Motherfucker.” In the next moment, a man was on top of him with a switchblade in his face. All he could see was the knife, as sour, cigarette-scented breath fouled up his oxygen supply.

“I want your wallet and your keys,” the asshole demanded. “And if you even think about—”

But the guy’s words were cut off. His head bobbed forward. Something hit him again on the back of his head and he sagged on top of Bryce. He glanced up. Above them, Tami scowled at the guy, her grip on her mangled racket turning her knuckles white.

 

Author Bio:

USA Today Best Seller, Nana Malone’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she “borrowed” from her cousin.

It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.

While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.

Want to know when the next book is coming? Hit up her Newsletter here. You’ll only get updated when there is a new release or a special promotion for her Sexy, Sassy Readers. http://eepurl.com/2PeXb

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Once In A Blue Kentucky Moon (Alexa Bloom)

Once In A Blue Kentucky Moon
Alexa Bloom
(The Harrisons #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

Not in a million years did Tatum O’Connor imagine she’d ever end up at Lockwood Farm. She’d dreamed of seeing it, like other kids dreamed of visiting Disneyland. Fast forward several years and Tatum is on the run from a haunting past. Though she’s made it to Lockwood Farm romance is the furthest thing from her mind. Now the only thing Tatum wants to do is keep her head down and work with the horses she adores—if only she didn’t have to deal with the farm’s owner, Blake Harrison. Drop dead gorgeous and cocky to boot, Blake’s the poster boy for everything Tatum’s trying to avoid. Yet despite her best intentions, the sizzling attraction between them is seducing Tatum into breaking the one promise she vowed she’d never break. As she grapples with the sensuous power of Blake’s devastating kisses, the past she thought she’d outrun is closing in fast. And time…has just run out.

Blake’s relentless hard work turned his late father’s legacy Lockwood Farm, into a thriving five-star racehorse training facility—until a freak run of bad luck has pushed it to the verge of bankruptcy. Blake’s counting on Diamond Lad to pull off the most spectacular win in horse racing at the prestigious Kentucky Derby, but when blustering owner Max McManis yanks his multi-million dollar stallion out of Lockwood—Blake is at his wit’s end. On top of that, the arrival of stunning, enigmatic Tatum O’Connor, has him doubly sucker-punched. Despite her inexplicable hostility toward him, Blake falls hard and fast for the feisty new stable-hand, whose endless chocolate doe-eyes make it damn near impossible for him to keep his hands—and lips, off her. But as Tatum’s tangled web of secrets starts to unravel, Blake is rocked by the discovery of a devastating secret that has him caught between a rock and a hard place. Now he has to decide between the family farm he cherishes, and saving the woman he’s come to love.

Once In A Blue Kentucky Moon is the first book in The Harrisons, a series capturing the perfect blend of heart, emotion and steamy romance.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

EXCERPT:

The consigner stood abruptly and ran a meaty hand over the horse’s back. As he did so, Blake noticed the colt’s big black eyes tracking his every move. The animal gave an irritable toss of the head and nickered ominously.

“He has real nice withers here,” The man continued. “Nice short back, his top line is real nice. In fact, I’d have to say, this colt’s got near perfect conformation all round. Folks,” he said, looking them both in the eye. “You are not gonna see better angles for racing—on a horse anywhere.”

Stargazer puffed and snorted impatiently, pawed at the ground as the consigner skimmed a hand along his back and moved to the rear of the horse. The girl gave a sharp tug on the reins to settle him.

“Now if you’ll look at the rump here folks, you’ll see where all that power comes from. This horse has a very dynamic hip, there’s a lot of power right here—” The man slapped the horse’s rump and with a strangled whinny, whippet-fast Stargazer shot out a hind leg, catching the man square on the shin.

“Aarghhh!” The consigner bellowed, diving for his throbbing leg with a painful grimace. “You goddamn cantankerous, son of satan!”

Stargazer!” The girl tugged hard again. “Stop it!

“Ah, you better take a step back there,” Blake said to the consigner. “He doesn’t seem to be in the best of moods right now.”

The man’s face paled as he realized he was still well within striking distance. He quickly hopped out of range. “Dang horse forgets his manners sometimes, is all.” He rubbed his leg gingerly and straightened with a grimace. “If you gentlemen will excuse me a few moments, I’m gonna go get some ice on this real quick. I’ll leave you to ah, peruse the animal. And ah—”

Spinning on his heel, he hobbled stiffly toward the barn, waved a puffy hand in the general direction of the white cowgirl hat on the other side of the horse. “The young lady there will answer any questions you may have. Be right back.”

Face contorting, Blake stifled a snort of laughter. Yeah, those kicks hurt like hell, he’d certainly had his share, but the guy worked with horses for crying out loud, couldn’t he read the animal? And as for slapping him on the butt, well that was just plain dumb.

“He wouldn’t be the first thoroughbred in history with a mean streak.” Mike said, breaking into Blake’s thoughts.

Blake caught him biting down on a grin. “Yeah I grant you, or maybe he’s just a great judge of character. You know that guy was right about one thing, though.”

“Oh yeah?”

“He did have a lot of power in that hip.”

Mike let out a loud guffaw, then remembering they still had company, tried unsuccessfully to disguise it with a cough. “Seriously though Blake, you’re not gonna walk away from this fella just because he’s a little high strung, are you?”

“Little high strung?” Blake raised an eyebrow at him. “There’s high strung and there’s ornery as a goddamn mule.”

“Well, alright, but he’s such a beauty.” Mike tried again. “You gotta agree, colts like this don’t come along every day of the week.”

”I know. And the guy was right about the angles. But he’s got a temper like a junkyard dog.” Blake shook his head, as he eyed the cantankerous colt. “I don’t know. I think that stubborn streak could prove too much of a liability. He’s gotta be trainable.”

He crossed to the colt and ran a hand over his silky coat. Two big dark eyes regarded him with a twinkle, seemed to exude a lively intelligence. “What’s eating you boy?” The animal’s ears twitched in response. “Don’t like people? Is that it?” Reaching into his back pocket, Blake produced a carrot and the colt devoured it greedily.

“You were right about him being a beauty,” Blake said, twisting around toward Mike. “He definitely ticks a lot of boxes. But the way things are at the farm right now, I can’t risk it. I just can’t justify the expense on a horse that probably won’t pay his way.”

“I still say you should take some time to think—“

Teeth bared, the colt snapped his head around and tried to nip at Blake’s hand. “Hey!” Blake sprang back, whipping his hand out of the horse’s reach. “No you don’t buddy! Didn’t anybody ever tell you not to bite the hand that feeds you!”

Stargazer!” The girl cursed from the other side of the colt, yanking on his reins. “Will you quit trying to pull my arm off!”

Cheeky bugger had nearly gotten the better of him, Blake chastised himself. He should have known better than to let himself get distracted like that. The girl was keeping a white-knuckle grip on Stargazer’s reins now he noticed, but it was too late. There was no way he was buying this colt. Stargazer had a truckload of attitude and just flat out didn’t like being told what to do.

The ever-present knot in his gut twisted, turned. Damn it. When he’d seen the colt amble out of the barn earlier, he’d really thought this could be the one—the champion racer he desperately needed to save Lockwood Farm.

Instead, he’d just seen his last ditch hope to save his Daddy’s farm go up in smoke.

***

Tension thrummed through Tatum’s veins, as she kept her head down. Her nerves were wound so tight, she felt like she was going to explode. Thank goodness she’d worn her big white hat to work today, because it was turning out to be a life-saver.

Still, despite the nerve-wracking situation she found herself in, a smirk crept onto her face. Stargazer kicking Buzz in the shins had been the funniest thing she’d seen in a long time. It had taken all her self-restraint not to laugh out loud, but she’d made it this far, she had to keep it together a little longer.

She’d had an absolute heart attack when she’d spied Uncle Mike from the barn. She’d immediately told Buzz she wasn’t feeling well, had begged him to let Enrique lead Stargazer out instead. But true to form, Buzz had told her to quit her moaning and get her butt outside pronto. He’d said he had a great prospect and he wasn’t about to lose him on her account.

Now she was standing here with just a horse between her and her Uncle Mike, hoping to goodness he didn’t realize it was her. Luckily for her, he’d seemed so completely besotted with Stargazer—he wasn’t paying the least bit of attention to the girl on the other side of the horse. Otherwise, she might have had some explaining to do.

What the heck was Mike doing out here at the sales yard anyway, she wondered. He wasn’t a horse trader. He was a veterinarian, consulting at whatever farm happened to call him in to come treat an ailing horse. It must have something to do with that guy he was with, she thought. Mike was probably advising him whether Stargazer was a good buy or not.

The guy had been pretty darn hot actually, Tatum mused. Not that she could see him now, but with his hot body and smouldering blue eyes, he’d made quite an impression when she’d spied him from the barn earlier.

He was rugged. A man’s man, she knew the type. Exactly the type she’d vowed to stay the hell away from, from now on in her life. Never again was she going to fall for the good-looking guy with the great body and the over-sized ego to match. They were arrogant as hell and mean to boot. God knew, she could vouch for that first-hand.

But right now, something about the guy was tugging at her consciousness. He was familiar somehow, though she just couldn’t think how. Well, it would come to her later. Right now, she just had to keep her head down and stay out of sight. Whatever the reason Uncle Mike hadn’t spotted her, she planned on keeping it that way. She wasn’t ready to deal with things, yet. Not any of it.

 

Author Bio:

Hi folks,

I’d like to be able to tell you I was one of those people who told stories from the age of two, wrote them voraciously from age three and a half, and spent my entire life in a library reading any book I could lay my hands on from that point forward. But sadly…that would be a complete fiction. (Ironic, isn’t it?)

The fact is, I’m one of those people who could never quite figure out what to do with their lives. I’ve worked variously in office admin, as a teacher, singer, voice-over artist, colour consultant… If you can think of it, chances are I’ve probably tried it:)

Fast forward one change of country (Australia to Canada) and two children later, I don’t think I found writing so much, as it found me. And I’m sure glad it did, because I can finally say I’ve found what I’m supposed to do:)

I’ve loved writing my first contemporary romance series The Harrisons, and I hope you’ll enjoy meeting each of the seven Harrison siblings as much as I have.

Happy reading
XXX Alexa

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1