Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Sweet & Sassy Summertime for 99 Cents!

The lazy, hazy days of summer are here!

Days filled with lemon yellow sunshine, nights of velvety warmth… summertime is the season of love. Romantic tales filled with memorable characters, these nine binge-worthy books will sweep you away like a summer breeze.


Only 99 cents at AMAZON

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

STILL WATERS: Alyssa Bailey, USA Today Bestselling Author: When city ideals meet country tradition, the summer heat is the least of their worries.

WEDDING BELL BLUES: Susanne Mathews, International Bestselling Author: The wedding may be canceled, but the honeymoon's on!

MAEVE: Josie Riviera, USA Today Bestselling Author: He’s all business. She loves to laugh. When business conflicts with pleasure, what could possibly go wrong?

LISA: Denise Devine, USA Today Bestselling Author: When Lisa’s life crashes, she returns to Enchanted Island. Is true love waiting in this idyllic place from her childhood?

HOPE: Aileen Fish, USA Today Bestselling Author: Will Always Hopeful find her Sir Galahad?

JUDE: Taylor Lee, USA Today Bestselling Author: An arrogant, go-it-alone homicide detective and a quirky intelligence analyst team up to solve a murder during the Summer Solstice Celebration.

LADY IN DISTRESS: Katy Walters, USA Today Bestselling Author: Could he protect her, would she continue refusing him? Little does he realize the height of passion, or the depth of terror that lay before them.

~*~

A Scene from LISA



“I promise to be home by midnight, and I’ll only have one drink. I’m not going to buss up,” Lisa said, using Shakara’s Bahamian slang for “get drunk.”

The lines in Elsie’s brow deepened with concern. “I worry about you going down to Nigel’s. That place has had too many police calls.” She shook her head. “It’s the tourists staying at the resorts causing all the trouble—getting drunk and starting fights. You be careful. Call me when you’re leaving and make sure Nigel finds someone to escort you and your friends to your cars. I don’t want you girls walking alone through the parking lot after dark.”

“I will, Auntie. Don’t worry.”

Lisa took the keys and headed out to the car. Elsie didn’t know she’d been communicating with a total stranger by email and had planned to meet him there. She thought Lisa had coordinated a “girl’s night out” with a few people to meet at Nigel’s.

I’m over thirty and I can’t tell my aunt the real story about what I’m doing.

Why couldn’t she be honest with Elsie? The truth didn’t make any sense!

“Is this absolutely the most totally brainless stunt I have ever pulled or what? I should have my head examined.” She tossed her wristlet onto the passenger seat, worrying about meeting City Boy. He could be a rapist or a serial killer for all she knew. The thought produced goosebumps on her arms. Maybe she shouldn’t go after all...

Wait a minute. This is Enchanted Island, not West Palm Beach. Stop with the scary thoughts.

First of all, she knew Nigel personally and had known him most of her life. He ran a reputable establishment and didn’t tolerate troublemakers—which were usually tourists. Second, she had no intention of leaving with “City Boy” and going somewhere alone with him. Third, if he tried anything inappropriate and she resisted, the locals would step in. The most likely scenario, however, would be that she’d meet up with a decent guy and have a nice time.

With that thought in mind, she slid in, shoved the key into the ignition, and drove out of the driveway.

Elsie had mentioned seeing a clip on the nightly news about a tropical storm brewing. If it stayed on its current path, it would hit the island by the weekend. She breathed a sigh of relief, glad she didn’t have to worry about that tonight.

At Nigel’s, Lisa stood at the door and scanned the full room, looking for a man in a red shirt. She noticed a group of islanders wearing “rasta tams” over their dreads—crocheted hats with red, green, black, and yellow stripes. They congregated around a large table in the corner, eating conch chowder and warm Johnny Cake with butter. The aroma hovered in the bar, making her hungry for the chowder, Nigel’s signature menu item.

She waved to Nigel behind the rectangular bar. His dark skin glistened under the lights, his graying hair, shorn close to his head, matched his salt and pepper beard. He patted a spot on the bar, signaling he wanted her to take the empty chair. She smiled and sat down, tucking the skirt of her long dress underneath her. She’d worn an ankle-length dress tonight in royal blue with cap sleeves and a round neckline. Shakara had crafted new pieces of jewelry for her; a heart-shaped pendant made from Larimar on a long sterling silver chain with matching teardrop earrings. The sky-blue gemstone marbled with white contrasted beautifully against the dark fabric of her dress. She’d left her long hair flowing and made a headband out of the red ribbon.

Nigel smiled, revealing a new gold tooth in the front of his mouth. “Ha it go, gyal? Whatcha drinkin’?”

“Hi, Nigel. I’ll take a Coke for now. I’m meeting someone here.”

“A Coke?” He laughed. “Muddasik dred! You can’t ha no fun tha way.” He set a wine glass in front of her and filled it with Jamaican Red Label wine. “First one is on da house.”

She thanked him and sipped it appreciatively. Perhaps she needed a little wine to settle her nerves. Uncertainty had set in again and worrisome imaginings were getting the best of her.

What if this guy is merely trolling for some hot babe to hop into bed with him?

She shuddered and stared into her wine glass, once again getting second thoughts about this “blind date.”

She glanced up and saw a handsome man with short blond hair sitting at the bar wearing a red shirt printed with gold palm fronds. Could he be the one? He looked to be the right age, but she didn’t recognize him. If he’d lived on the island for a while, she would have surely seen him somewhere.

He smiled at her. She smiled back. He picked up his drink and walked over, sliding onto the seat of the empty barstool next to her.

“Well, hello there,” he said in a deep, sexy drawl.

“Hello, City Boy,” she replied, hoping he understood. If not... “I’m Island Girl.”

“You can call me Darren.” His brows rose in amusement, his smile widening. “So, you’re Island Girl, huh? What’s your real name, or don’t you give it out when you’re working a place like this?”

What?

Okay, so maybe this guy wasn’t the right one. Maybe the red shirt was just an unfortunate coincidence…

She clutched her wine glass, ready to bolt at the first sign of trouble. “Are you meeting someone here at eight o’clock?”

“Yeah,” Darren said and leaned toward her, sliding his hand across the small of her back. “I’ve been waiting all night to meet someone like you.”

Irritated by his boldness, she pulled his hand away. “Please, don’t do that.”

“Geez, you’re pretty uptight for a girl who came here looking to get picked up.”

“Look, I’m not uptight and I didn’t come here to get picked up. I’m sorry if I gave you that impression. Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

She grabbed her purse and slid off the barstool. “Thanks for the wine,” she said to Nigel. He tried to pour her another glass, but she placed her hand over the top of it and shook her head. “I’m leaving.” As soon as she got home she planned to delete every email from City Boy and block him, too!

“You’re leaving?” Darren stretched out his arm to block her way. “Why, do you want to go somewhere more romantic? All right, let’s go.” He slid off his barstool and chugged his drink.

She pushed her chair aside and sidestepped him. “Didn’t you hear me the first time? I’m leaving, but not with you. Goodbye.

“Ah, come on.” He tried to put his arm around her, but she pushed him away. “Look, we’ll go to my suite and I’ll order Champagne. Strawberries. Chocolate. Whatever it takes, okay?” Obviously, he’d done this sort of thing before. He’d deciphered her refusal as an act to get him to offer her more.

“Stop it.” She backed away, ready to shove him if he tried to touch her again. “Get away from me. I’m not going anywhere with you.”

From the corner of her eye, she saw Nigel watching, his bushy brows dipping with concern. He pulled his phone from under the bar and dialed 911.

“C’mon, babe.” Darren moved close and slid his arms around her. “I’ll show you a good time.”

She was about to give him a knee in the groin when suddenly a long, powerful arm slid past her and gripped the man by the front of his shirt, lifting him off the floor.

What the...

She turned and saw Shawn glowering at her harasser. He wore a Ralph Lauren polo shirt in solid red.

“Get your hands off her…”

Darren began to shout colorful curses and swing his fists wildly, but Shawn, having long arms and the advantage of being sober, easily blocked every blow.

Things were happening so fast, Lisa barely got out of the way.

A crowd began to form around the incident, some cheering on the altercation, others trying to break it up.

Shawn shoved Darren away. “Stay away from her or I’ll—”

“She came on to me! She’s mine!” Darren tried to level a punch to Shawn’s face, but Shawn smacked it away.

“Break it up, people. Move aside!” Duane Hall, the police officer on duty tonight—and Nigel’s cousin on his mother’s side—elbowed his way through the crowd and pulled the men apart. He glared at the drunk. “Ah-ha, so it’s you again. I warned you about fighting last night and da night before. Now I’m going to lock you up. You’re under arrest.”

Darren’s face turned red and he began to spit obscenities as Duane read him his rights.

Nigel slipped his phone into the front pocket of his orange-flowered shirt. “Duane, how did you get here so fast?”

The husky, island-born cop slapped his cuffs on the drunken man. “I was sitting in my cruiser in da parking lot, waiting for da trouble to start.” He shook his finger at Nigel. “You gotta get better customers in dis place. It’s a disgrace!”

As an age-old argument between Nigel and Duane ensued, Shawn grabbed Lisa by the hand, pulling her through the barroom and out the back door into the moonless night. Outside, the police cruiser’s red and blue lights flashed brightly, looking like a UFO in the parking lot.

“Where are we going,” she shouted, running to keep up.

He sounded angry. “Away from here!”

“Wait a minute.” She jerked on his hand to make him halt. “Are you City Boy or are your red shirt and your appearance in the bar at eight o’clock simply a coincidence?”

He spun around. “What do you think?”

She gasped and snatched her hand away. “Well, if you are, why didn’t you tell me this when we first met?”

“I didn’t know it myself until I walked into Nigel’s and saw the red ribbon in your hair. I couldn’t believe it. Then I saw you getting mauled by a drunken tourist. Whatever possessed you to talk to that jerk?”

“He had a red shirt on,” she argued in her own defense. “At first, I thought he was the person who had been emailing me.”

“He’s a weasel!” Shawn towered over her. “I doubt he’s ever read a poem in his life, much less written something that rhymes. You should have seen right through him.”

“I did! He wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

“I can see why.” He grabbed her hand and started walking toward the beach. The loud, systematic roar of the waves rushing toward shore and back out to sea should have calmed her, but Shawn’s reply made her angrier than before.

“What do you mean by that?”

He stopped next to a row of tall palms, their trunks wound with strings of clear lights. “You’re beautiful and sexy in that dress. Every guy in the bar couldn’t stop looking at you.”

She rolled her eyes. “They all know me, Shawn.”

“Yeah, and they all want to know you better!”

“What. Is. Your. Problem!?”

He grabbed her by the forearms and drew her close. She tried to pull away by stepping backward but instead slammed her back against a palm tree.

“You want to know what my problem is?” He drew his face close to hers. “It’s simple. I’ve never been a jealous man, but when I saw you in the bar with that guy and he was trying to put his hands all over you, I had all I could do to keep from ripping his head off.” His eyes pierced hers with hurt and confusion. “Look, I know we haven’t known each other long, but I don’t want to be friends anymore. Do you understand? I want to be the one.”

Get your copy now at Amazon!

~*~



The Encore Bride - June Special

 

June is the month for bride stories!

The Encore Bride
is a sweet romance about second chances
and it's only 99 cents on Kindle!
The audiobook is only $1.99 - for a limited time!




What is an encore bride?

A woman who has made a previous trip down the aisle.


Excerpt #1

A tall waiter, looking like a classy penguin in a black and white uniform rushed over to pull out her chair. Once Jenny was seated, he took the folded napkin on her plate and shook it, laying it flat across her lap. “Would you care for a glass of wine, perhaps?”

Jenny smiled but shook her head. “Iced tea will be fine, thank you.”

The waiter left and Heather resumed scrutinizing her outfit. “Where did you get that ugly purse? It’s horrible!”

Jenny stared at her lap. “It’s not a purse, it’s a dog carrier.”

Heather’s face blanched. Quickly composing herself, she glanced around, presumably to make sure no one had overheard. “A what...”

Jenny pulled back the brown fabric and Princess sat up, sniffing the edge of the table.

“I can’t believe this. You’re embarrassing me!” Heather reached over and tried to shoo the dog back into her carrier, but Princess stayed put, her ears perked. “You and your pound puppies. When will you grow up, Jennifer? You’re thirty-three going on thirteen. You know very well you’re not supposed to bring that…that hairy thing in here.”

“Well, I just did,” Jenny replied wryly.

The waiter delivered their first course, a cup of shrimp bisque, and tactfully ignored the uninvited guest at their table.

Jenny sipped the tangy soup and changed the subject. “I can’t believe you’ve set your wedding date for the first week of June. That’s only six weeks from now. Do you realize how much planning you have to do?”

Heather nodded and took a sip of her cucumber water, letting her soup get cold. “I’ve got two full-time wedding planners working on it.”

“What’s the hurry?”

Heather gave her a dreamy smile. “We’re in love.”

Heather and her fiancĂ©, Brandon Moore, performed the ten o’clock news together on a local television station. The entire Minnesota viewing area knew of their off-camera romance and the gossip columns had been speculating on the wedding date for months. Now that Heather and Brandon had finally announced it, their ratings had blasted through the station’s roof.

“My wedding planners had to pull a lot of strings to arrange our engagement dinner at the restaurant we wanted on such short notice.” She sighed. “I’m glad we were able to book it, but I have so much to do before tomorrow night.” Heather’s four-carat, heart-shaped diamond sparkled under the glow of the chandelier as she picked up her water glass. “I expect you to be there on time.”

Just say it...

“Heather, about the wedding...I really think you should find another bridesmaid.”

“Jenny, don’t start that again.” Heather put down her spoon and pushed her shrimp bisque aside. “You’re my only sister and now that Mom and Dad are both gone, all we have is each other,” she said softly. “Of course, you’re going to be in my wedding. I can’t imagine it any other way. And you’re not my bridesmaid. You’re my maid of honor.”

“I just don’t think I’m ready yet. I’ve been having—”

“Oh, for crying out loud,” Heather argued. “Yes, you are. You’ve been through a difficult period, but you’re strong.” She placed her hand over Jenny’s. “You’re doing great, Sis. Stay positive.” Heather cringed. “And get that dog’s tongue out of your soup! That’s gross!”

But Jenny merely gave Princess an affectionate pat on the head as she moved the dish away. “No, that’s good. Getting her appetite back means she’s starting to come out of her depression.” Jenny pulled a ribbon from the flower arrangement on the table and used it to gather the long fur on the dog’s head into a loose top knot. Then she fed Princess a nugget from her bag of treats.

After that, the conversation steered toward less controversial topics: Heather’s latest shopping trip, Heather’s house-hunting expeditions, Heather’s wedding preparations, and Heather’s quest for the perfect honeymoon. Jenny pretended to listen, but kept an eye on the clock on her phone, desperately waiting for the event to end. Thinking of Adam and their wedding had dampened her mood. Though she did her best not to show it, all she wanted was to go home, away from having to smile and act as though her life had not fallen off a cliff.

The fashion show commenced after their waiter served them coffee and dessert. Jenny and Heather oohed and aahed as pencil-thin models strutted around the room, giving everyone a close-up look at the latest trends in designer bridal dresses.

The last model approached their table wearing a strapless gown in ivory silk with a sheer cape and elbow-length gloves. She carried a huge bouquet of blush roses and ivory peonies with a rope of faux pearls wrapped around the stem.

“That bouquet looks heavy,” Jenny remarked as the model walked away.

“Heavenly, yes...” Heather replied as she made notes on her program. She looked up. “I almost forgot to tell you, Brandon’s best friend, Luke McCarran is going to be the best man. We’re seating you next to him at the engagement dinner and I expect you to be on your best behavior.”

Oh-oh. He must be a doozy if Heather has to lecture me about him beforehand.

Jenny stared warily at her sister. “Why are you hassling me about being nice to this guy? What’s the problem? Is he a dog hater or something?”

Heather gave her a stern look. “He’s a widower, like you, and he’s also going through a tough time right now.”

What was this? Heather and Brandon’s idea of Widow Match.com?

“You and Brandon did that on purpose, didn’t you?” Jenny grabbed her phone and threw it into her purse. “It’s your sneaky way of trying to pair me up with Brandon’s best man, isn’t it? Well, I’m not falling for it!”

Heather kept her expression neutral. Heaven forbid that any of her adoring viewers would see her create a scene in public, but even so, her soft voice bordered on murderous. “You’re being ridiculous, Jenny! It’s a coincidence, that’s all. We simply thought you and Luke should get to know one another since you both have key positions in the wedding.”

“You mean, you thought if you got us together, we’d be so preoccupied with commiserating over our dead spouses that I’d be too distracted to have second thoughts about being in your wedding!”

“That’s not true! The two of you have a lot in common. What would be so bad about making friends with Luke?”

Jenny wanted to compare funerals with Luke McCarran about as much as she wanted a colonoscopy. “I know you mean well, Heather, but stop trying to set me up,” Jenny said. “I’m not interested in finding another husband. I am never getting married again.” Sipping her purse over her shoulder, she pushed back her chair and stood. She needed to calm down before she embarrassed her sister more than she already had. “Excuse me. I’m going to the ladies’ room.”

The model turned her back to the crowd and tossed the bouquet. It flew high into the air.

“Look out!” A chorus of horrified gasps prompted her to look up. She saw it coming down, shooting through the air like a missile, but she didn’t have time to move out of the way.

Thunk.

The bouquet hit her in the face then dropped into her outstretched hands.


Excerpt #2


Luke had just started on his salad when Heather’s sister arrived. Jenny Landon slipped quietly into her chair, ignoring the festivities as she set her purse under the table and spread her napkin on her lap. She studied the menu card with her head down, clearly trying to blend in so no one would notice her tardiness.

Curious, he pretended to be preoccupied with buttering his roll, while studying her out of the corner of his eye.

Blonde and petite, her features bore a remarkable resemblance to her sister’s, but the similarities ended there. Heather’s bone-thin frame looked great on camera, but couldn’t compare to the healthy, athletic build of her sister. Heather always appeared poised and meticulously groomed, ready to “go live” at any moment, whereas Jenny had a fresh-faced, almost careless air about her. Jenny’s golden hair hung long and straight and lightly mussed, as though the wind had whipped it about her shoulders. Instead of formal evening attire, she sat ramrod straight in black slacks and a white lace top. The rigidity of her posture suggested she didn’t want to be there. The sharp look in her deep blue eyes boldly stated she didn’t care if he knew it.

That one has quite the attitude...

Within moments, a server appeared at her side and filled her water glass. When he asked if she’d like something else to drink, she merely shook her head.

Jenny frowned at the strange-looking greens on her salad plate topped with tomato slices and drizzled with an onion-speckled dressing. “What the heck is this?”

“It’s a goat cheese and tomato salad,” he heard himself say. He didn’t know if she’d directed the question at him or simply thought aloud, but he’d answered before he could stop himself. His fork halted in mid-air as he studied her profile, taking in the delicate curve of her chin and the softness of her long, graceful neck. Through his business, he encountered pretty women every day, but for some reason, he couldn’t take his gaze off her.

She rolled her eyes. “What’s wrong with ordinary lettuce? Why does Heather always have to pick the weirdest items on the menu?”

“It’s actually very good, despite how it looks.”

She sounded upset, but he sensed her displeasure had nothing to do with the food. And though he knew better than to get involved in the personal issues of a total stranger, he couldn’t help wondering why she looked so unhappy.

Remembering his manners, he extended his hand. “I’m Luke McCarran, by the way. Brandon and I go way back, since high school.”

“I’m Jenny Landon,” she said and slipped her hand into his.

The moment they touched, he realized he’d made a mistake. The friction of her smooth skin against his rough palm took him by surprise, jolting his senses, and scrambling his thoughts. As his fingers curved around hers, he knew he should let go of her hand, but his brain wouldn’t cooperate.

She looked up, wide-eyed. “...s-sister to the bride.”

They froze, locked into each other’s eyes. His jaw dropped as he tried to speak, but he couldn’t utter a word. His mind had gone completely blank.

Then he saw the thick, purple and black stripe underlining her left eye.

Whoa...

His shock must have been obvious because she pulled her hand away and the mask of indifference returned. “It’s not what you think,” she stated in a challenging tone.

“Hey, I don’t think anything. Your life is your business.”

She glanced across the table at Heather. “I wish someone would convince my sister of that. I sure can’t.”

He almost choked on a tomato slice. “She did that to you?

“Are you kidding?” Jenny let out a wry chuckle. “Heather can’t open her own wine bottles much less take me down.”

He had no idea how to respond to her “take me down” remark so he decided to simply keep quiet and concentrate on his funny-looking lettuce.

“I got in the way of a flying bouquet,” she said matter-of-factly and reached for a dinner roll.

He snatched up the wire basket and pulled back the cloth liner for her. “Someone hit you in the eye with a bunch of flowers?”

“Not just a bunch.” She selected a parmesan-encrusted roll and began to break it apart. “A big honkin’ monster of a bouquet studded with crystal hearts the size of lug nuts. It had a rope of pearls wrapped around the stem, making it so wide the model could barely get her hands around it. I saw her toss it into the air, but I didn’t notice it coming toward me until it was too late to get out of the way.” She stuffed a piece of roll in her mouth. “The sucker felt like a bowling ball dropped on my head.”

He almost choked again, but this time it took all the strength he could muster to keep a straight face.

“I should never have allowed Heather to talk me into going to that bridal show with her at the convention center, but she’s convinced I have to be her maid of honor.”

“What’s wrong with being the maid of honor?”

She looked boldly into his eyes. “Maybe I don’t believe in happy endings.”

The sudden flush staining her cheeks gave him the sense she would rather get another shiner than participate in her sister’s wedding. Sibling rivalry or jealousy perhaps?

“It’s not the first marriage for Heather,” Jenny said as if reading his thoughts. “So, what’s the point? She paid for a Hollywood production the first time around. You’d think she would simply want to quietly get hitched and get on with her life.” She stared intently at her sister sitting at the head table. “Not Heather. She’s spending a fortune to roll out the red carpet again.”

The more she talked, the more discomfort seeped into her voice and it gave him pause. Jenny’s reasons for avoiding the bridal gig amounted to more than a little inconvenience. She held a deep emotional aversion to this wedding.

A server appeared and silently removed their salad plates. Then another server delivered the main course of filet mignon et crevette, a steak and shrimp combo.

Luke decided to let the matter drop and get busy slicing into his mouth-watering filet. He’d been salivating over this part of the meal ever since he sat down to eat, and he planned to savor every bite.

“So, what do you do for a living?” Jenny asked in between bites. “Cameraman? Soundman? Are you in the television industry, too?”

 “No, I’m not,” he replied, cutting off a piece of his luscious steak. “I own an auto repair shop and a towing business. I gather you don’t work at the station, either.”

“No way,” she said, brushing it off with a laugh. “I’m not the type to sit behind a desk. These days I’m a foster mom.”

“How many children do you foster?”

“Not children. Dogs.”

Say what?

When he didn’t respond, she turned to him. “The—the dogs help me cope.”

The softness in her voice made him wonder what she’d been through and why she’d turned to animals for comfort. He knew it was rude to ask, but he suddenly had to know. “Why is that?”

“When my husband died, I... sort of went off the deep end. I was angry, I felt like a victim and I took it out on everyone else, especially my family. I wouldn’t listen to anybody’s advice. Instead, I did just the opposite of what everyone wanted me to do.”

He stopped eating and stared at her in amazement. “That’s exactly what my son is going through. He lost his mother a year ago and he hasn’t come around yet.” Luke put down his fork. “Liam seems to be getting worse as time goes on, not better.”

Her expression softened. “I imagine it must be difficult for a little boy to lose his mom.”

“Actually, he’s fifteen,” Luke replied, “but it has been a tough transition for him. His mother was only thirty-six when she passed.”

“Does he have a dog?”

“No,” Luke said, wondering what difference that would make. “His mother had severe allergies to animal hair.”

“Dogs love you unconditionally, Luke,” she said, her eyes widening in earnest. “Your son needs one to fill the emotional gap in his heart.”

He shook his head. “I really don’t see how a dog would—”

She placed her hand on his arm. “I’m a volunteer at the Blue Sky Rescue Animal Shelter on Tuesdays and Fridays. I see firsthand the good that adopting a pet does for people. Take it from me, owning a dog will cheer up your son and help take his mind off himself.”

“Thanks for the advice,” he said, distracted by the softness of her touch. “I’ll give it some thought.”

When coffee and dessert arrived, Heather and Brandon began opening a small pile of gifts, most of which were “naughty” items. Each time Heather unwrapped another one, the room broke into laughter and hilarious “wedding-night” jokes.

Bored, Luke checked the time on his phone. He’d devoured his curd-filled lemon cake and wanted to leave. He pushed back his chair, intending to quickly say his goodbyes and be on his way when Brandon’s booming voice pulled him up short.

“I’d like to make a special toast to Luke McCarran, my best man, and a good friend.” Brandon stood and walked around the table, stopping between Luke and Jenny. He held up his glass. “Here’s to you, old man.”

When the laughter died down, Heather pushed back her chair and stood holding up her stemmed water glass. “Now it’s the maid of honor’s turn!”

Jenny gasped; her face paled, her expression stricken as though Heather had just pronounced her death sentence.

Brandon held up his glass. “Let’s make a toast to Jenny Landon, Heather’s maid of honor!” His other hand landed lightly on Jenny’s shoulder.

“I can’t do this,” Jenny said, her shaking voice barely a squeak. “I simply can’t do this!” She snatched her purse and bolted from the room.

A sudden hush fell upon the group.

Luke stared in shock as he watched Jenny run away, wondering what had just happened.

~*~

Do you listen to audiobooks?

Or have you been meaning to try one to see how you like it?

The Encore Bride audiobook is now only $1.99 at Chirp, but only for a limited time.

It's free with your Audible subscription!



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Amazon Audible

~*~

Searching for more great stories about a second chance at love for a single parent? Download and enjoy these Clean & Wholesome romance eBooks today!

Single Parents

June 1 – 20



https://books.bookfunnel.com/singleparentromance/5z8eikzehu


~*~





Tuesday, May 25, 2021

New! Beach Brides Boxed Set - 99 Cents

 


New Release!

Grab your beach hat and a towel and prepare for a boxed set brought to you by nine New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors…

Beach Brides! Fun in the summer sun!

When a group of diehard romantics share a silly dare to stuff a note in a bottle addressed to their dream guy and cast it out to sea, will they actually find him? Or will their romantic wish remain adrift?

Find out with these nine delightful sweet romances that will keep you reading well into the night!

MEG (Julie Jarnagin)

When a reality dating show producer finds a message in a bottle from the perfect female contestant, he must convince her to choose one of the contenders and figure out how to keep from falling in love with her himself.

TARA (Ginny Baird)

A Savannah billionaire finds a message in a bottle on the beach when he’s about to propose to his socialite girlfriend, and his whole life turns on a dime.
 
NINA (Stacey Joy Netzel)

Jaded and guy-shy after too many heartbreaks, Nina is sure no one guy could ever meet the impossible criteria specified in her message in a bottle—until she meets wounded veteran, Finn Regan. 

CLAIR (Grace Greene)

For Clair Bennett, will her message in a bottle bring her the antidote to heartache, or the bad fortune that allows the man who broke her heart to hurt her yet again?

JENNY (Melissa McClone)

When a soldier responds to an author’s message in a bottle, she can’t resist replying, but their online friendship takes a surprising turn when she receives a call that he’s been injured and wants to see her.
 
KIM (Magdalena Scott)

Jon was engaged when he “landed” the message in a bottle on a fishing trip, and it disappeared before he could decide whether to respond. Now unattached, he’s on a road trip with Kim, whose gratitude despite a painful past reminds him of the touching note he wishes he’d kept.

ROSE (Shanna Hatfield)

Tanner Thomas has no interest in contacting the woman who wrote a heartfelt, hopelessly romantic letter his mother found in a bottle on the beach. So why won’t thoughts of her stop tormenting him? Desperate to get her out of his mind once and for all, he makes a surprise trip to meet her, completely unprepared to fall in love with a stranger he meets on the beach.

LILY (Ciara Knight)

An owner of an advertising firm discovers a picture in a bottle that will land a multi-million-dollar contract and save his company, but the price for the image may be too high—his heart.

AMY (Raine English)

When a wealthy CEO of a popular matchmaking service is ordered to give up his playboy lifestyle, finding a message in a bottle from a woman guided by fate just might be what he needs to carry out his phony engagement scheme.

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~*~

Here's a short excerpt from Amy:

 Amy had no idea what to make of the stranger in front of her. He might be one of the hottest guys she’d ever laid eyes on, but one minute he seemed to be mocking her and the next he was offering her some sort of proposition. Her best bet would be to take her bottle and simply walk away. There was no doubt that Cherie had been wrong about her prediction. This hunk was not her soul mate. However, there was something about him that made her want to hear what he had to say. Maybe it was nothing more than curiosity. But whatever it was, her feet were planted firmly on those rocks, at least for the next few minutes.

“I’m listening,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest.

“How would you feel if you weren’t single when your friends arrived—but a newly engaged woman instead?” His voice held a rasp of excitement.

Warning bells went off in her head that this man could be a little unbalanced. “What exactly are you saying?”

He sent her a wide smile. “That we should get engaged.”

She was becoming more uncomfortable as the conversation went on. “There’s something wrong with you.” She reached for her bottle, but he held it securely in his hand. There was a glint in the smoldering depths of his eyes that told her he was enjoying her struggle to remain composed.

“Don’t worry. We wouldn’t wind up getting married. After an agreed-upon amount of time, the engagement would be called off, and we’d go our separate ways.”

Awkwardly, she cleared her throat. “Why?”

“Why would we go our separate ways?”

“No! Why do you want to get engaged?” she asked as casually as she could manage.

“Because if I don’t, I’ll lose my job.”

She swallowed hard, trying to get out a feeble answer. “I’m sorry. This is crazy. I can’t get engaged to a stranger.”

~*~

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Sweet Summer Romance Audiobooks #mgtab


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Is it possible to find true love through a message in a bottle?

Spending a week on a Caribbean island with the members of the Romantic Hearts Book Club is like a dream come true for Lisa Kaye. On their last night, each woman writes a personal message to her “dream hero,” stuffs it in a bottle and tosses it out to sea. Lisa’s real dreams crash, however, when she returns home and loses not only her job but her boyfriend on the same day. Determined to start over, she returns to Enchanted Island, the idyllic place of her childhood to manage her aunt’s bed and breakfast hotel.

Fifteen months pass without a clue to the fate of her bottle. Then it happens. She receives an email from the man who found it and she doesn’t know what to do. Should she ignore it or take a chance at finding true love?

A sample of this audiobook is at Amazon.

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It sounds too good to be true...

The invitation from “Perfect Match Online Dating and Travel Agency” offers Ava Godfrey an all-expenses-paid week on Enchanted Island with the man of her dreams. Seven days of Caribbean sunshine, tropical beaches, and candlelight dinners sounds like heaven. The only catch--she can’t meet her Prince charming until she arrives on the island. The scenario sounds risky, yet she finds the prospect intriguing. Will she find her “perfect match” or will she encounter the perfect scam?

They send him to deal with the diva...

Jeffrey Thomas has a job to do--cancel Ava Godfrey’s contract. She’s cost his boss a small fortune by turning down not one, but two matches sent to Enchanted Island by the agency. He’s determined to cut her loose until he meets the spunky, fun-loving redhead and is irrevocably attracted to her. Though he’s tempted to stay on the island and find out if she’s his perfect match, his priority is to persuade her to go home. But when Ava’s purse is stolen along with her identity, Jeff’s only concern is helping her recover what she lost. Will he lose his heart to her in the process?

A sample of this audiobook is at Amazon.

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More audiobooks...


Searching for your next favorite listen? Download and enjoy these Clean & Wholesome romance audiobooks today!

Clean Audio Romance – May 1 – 31st

https://books.bookfunnel.com/cleanaudioromances/2g4upf8994


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