Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Invincible Secrets 99¢ #MFRWHooks




Nine Fabulous Romances for only 99¢! Get your copy today of INVINCIBLE SECRETS – A bestseller on Amazon! Free on Kindle Unlimited!

Everyone Has Secrets; Some More Devastating Than Others…

Presenting a brand-new collection of page-turning romance and suspense from NINE International USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors.

Nine stories, nine heart-wrenching soon to be revealed secrets. Can the truth really set them free?

GEORGIA MOON (new): Jen Talty, USA Today bestselling author: He wants to give her everything, but she wants the truth. And the truth could kill them both.

ALANA (new): Denise Devine Meinstad, USA Today bestselling author: Done with men…or so she thought.

THE SISTER PACT (new): Jacquie Biggar, USA Today bestselling author: Two sisters lose sight of what's most important- family bonds.

THE SET UP (new): Dani Haviland, USA Today bestselling author: Life was perfect until her mother took over.

ALL OR NOTHING: Natalie Ann, USA Today bestselling author: Can the explosive chemistry between Ben and Presley survive the secrets they both hide when the truth is finally revealed?

BIGGER THINGS: Ev Bishop, USA Today bestselling author: Lifelong friends, Jen, Chelsea and Kyra know everything about each other. Or think they do.

KIP’S RESOLUTION: Alicia Street, USA Today bestselling author: Mina has been the good girl her whole life, but her bargain with Kip uncovers secrets they both have to face.

CLOSED DOORS: Nancy Radke, USA Today bestselling author: Can she keep his secret and not destroy him and his company?

THE LIBERATION OF RAVENNA MORTON: Suzanne Jenkins, USA Today bestselling author: Ravenna's granddaughter uncovers secrets no one wants to face.

Excerpt of The Set Up by Dani Haviland

“Do you promise not to kick me out of bed – or at least your life – if I tell you a secret?”

“Cross my heart, hope to go broke…”

“You’re so silly. That’s one of the many characteristics I like about you.” She took a deep breath, shut her eyes so she wasn’t looking at him, and said, “My mother set us up. Or she kinda sorta made me at least try to seduce you. But…”

“Yeah, so,” Alex said, then put his hand on her cheek. “Look at me.”

Grimacing with embarrassment, Grace opened one eye and saw his concern, then opened her other eye.

“But,” he prompted.

“But I didn’t think I was going to like you. At least this much. You’re a blast to be around. I mean, I have – or had – a boyfriend, and I’m pals with lots of guys at school, but you’re nothing like them.”

“I hope I have a few years of maturity on them. I’m sure most of them will grow up eventually. So, does this mean you’re hanging around with me because you want to now, and not because your mother wants you to? It was kind of obvious when she dropped by that she was making sure the mouse had taken the bait.”

“You, my dear friend,” Grace said, crisscrossing the curly hairs on his chest, “are not a mouse. You are more of a man than I thought I could ever have. So, now that I’ve said that, did I just cook the goose that laid the golden egg? Are you going to take me for a quick trip in your helicopter, and then I’ll never hear from you again?”

“Nope.”

“I mean, you’ll probably have someone send me a Christmas card...”

“Grace, I’d like to spend Christmas Eve with you. I’m not a gambling man, but unless the world comes crashing down around us, I don’t see any reason why we can’t spend Christmas week in Sydney then sailing the warm waters toward Tahiti.”

“Or making snowmen in Tahoe?”

“Tahoe or Tibet or wherever you want. But I really would like to take off before it gets too late. I can’t fly at night yet. That’s another level of certification. I was going to take a few more hours of class, but I think I just found another passion. Flying will have to wait.”




Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Passionate Protectors 99 Cents! #MFRWHooks




SIX FULL-LENGTH ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVELS FROM NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHORS

On Pre-order today for only 99 cents! Don’t wait! Get your copy today!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CD1H2FQ
When danger abounds, passionate protectors rush to the frontline to shield and defend. Homicide detectives, US marshals, and secret agents chase the guilty, thwart attacks, and endanger themselves with a zeal to protect. When love ignites and emotions run hot, these men and women put it all on the line. From New York to Chicago, Bangkok to a remote lake in Minnesota, nonstop adventure and steam sizzle when romance and suspense combust.

Patricia Rosemoor – Obsession – A driven female cop teams up with an irresistible ex-con to bring a killer to justice. Can they stop the sexual predator before he strikes again? NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

Rachelle Ayala – Triggered by Love – After her firefighter fiancé is shot, all Avery Cockburn has between her shattered heart and death is the cocky – and very determined – detective, Jason Burnett. USA Today Bestselling Author

Susanne Matthews – Sworn to Protect – A secret is locked in Nancy’s mind. Can Neil protect his estranged wife from someone determined to silence her forever? Award-winning Bestselling Author

Taylor Lee – The Bangkok Affair – Going undercover in a high-end Bangkok brothel brings a feisty redhead face to face with a villain as charming as he is evil. Fortunately, her bad-ass lover doesn’t take a back seat to anyone. Sparks fly both inside and outside of the bedroom! USA Today Bestselling Author

Stacy Eaton – Second Shield –Together they will uncover the evil from within and try to deny the passions that rage between them. USA Today Bestselling Author

Excerpt from...
Small Town Girl
The soft rap on Annika’s door surprised her. Only one person would show up this late without calling first. It was inconvenient, but she didn’t think it was a good idea to give him her cell number. Even so, her heart fluttered at the thought of seeing him again.

When she opened the door, he towered over her in snug-fitting jeans and a black T-shirt that outlined his muscular silhouette. His handsome grin and locks of thick black hair falling across his forehead enhanced his bad-boy look, making it difficult for her to stop staring at him.

“Hi,” Alex said and held up her red flashlight. “I needed to return this anyway so I thought I’d stop by and ask if you wanted to walk with me down to the lake again. We need to talk about this issue with your poems being turned into lyrics for our songs.”

Don’t fall for that line, she thought desperately. Don’t let yourself get sucked into a pattern of seeing him that you’ll truly regret later.

He probably wanted to apologize for eavesdropping on her conversation with Erik. Or maybe he planned to tell her it was too late to give her credit for the songs. Regardless of his reasons, it was a bad idea to go with him because it would only encourage him to keep coming by to see her.

Annika glanced down at her ankle-length nightgown, looking for a convenient excuse to refuse him. “I’m not dressed to go out.”

He leaned against the door frame, his confident expression signaling he was undeterred by her excuse. “No problem. I’ll wait outside while you change.”

She folded her bare arms and frowned. “I don’t think so, Alex. I’m tired—”

“Aw, c’mon.” he said in a soft, cajoling tone. “You can’t stay cooped up in this oven of an apartment every night. The fresh air will do you good.”

“Yeah…no…I don’t—”

His eyes crinkled as he tugged on her long braid draped over her shoulder. “Don’t forget to put on mosquito spray.” He placed his hand on the doorknob. “I’ll be downstairs, waiting for you.”
He shut the door in her face.

“Oh!” She grumbled to herself as she stomped into her bedroom to change. “Five minutes. He’d better talk fast because that’s all he’s getting from me. And if he’s got his sights on anything else…” In a hurry, Annika jerked off her nightgown and slipped on a peach knit tee. “I’ve got plans for this summer and it doesn’t include being taken for a ride by a smooth-talkin’ rock star.” She froze. “Does that sound crazy or what?” She grabbed a pair of stretch jeans and shimmied into them. “It’s incredible how crazy can quickly become normal.”

Annika slipped on her tennis shoes, doused herself with mosquito spray and grabbed her flashlight. She opened the front door, stepping into the hot, sultry night air. She found him in his usual place, relaxing against her car. “Let’s go.”

Alex slapped his cap on his head and made a grand sweep of his hand. “Ladies first.”

She passed by him and led the way, anxious to get going. He caught up to her quickly. “Whoa, slow down,” he said gripping his wide palm on her narrow shoulder blade. “We’re taking a walk, not training for a marathon.”

Annika slowed down but was silent, fiddling with her flashlight as they walked down the alley, avoiding the narrow greenspace between the buildings where bar patrons were smoking.
Alex stilled her hand. “Is something wrong?”

She gave him a sideways glance. “Why do you say that?”

He slid his hand around her arm and stopped as he slowly turned her toward him. “You seem distant. Are you upset with me because I overheard you and Erik arguing?”

She pulled her arm away. “No, and we weren’t arguing. We were just…discussing the situation.”
“I didn’t set out to intrude on your conversation,” he said sincerely. “I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Actually, I think it was more like being in the wrong place at the right time. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have found out that you should have been given credit for writing our songs. You should have also received fair compensation.”

She shook her head. “I’m not in it for the money.”

Alex sighed, sounding frustrated. “That’s noble, Annika, but you should have been paid. Each of your songs made millions. If the press got wind of this issue, it would be disastrous.”

“Oh, no! That can’t happen!” She stared up at him, panicking. “Look, I—I don’t want to cause any trouble for Erik. He means too much to me. I’d rather let him get all of the credit than cause a scandal. Besides, the songs were rarely recorded word for word from my poems. He changed a lot of things to adapt them and make them better. It was more like a collaboration.”

Alex moved close, resting one hand on the back of her head, the other gripping her chin as their gazes held. “You’re amazing. Erik is lucky to have you as a sister,” he said gently. “It’s a mess, to be sure. I’m not happy with your brother at the moment, but don’t worry about it, honey. If you’re willing to work with us on this, we’ll figure something out.”

The deep, throaty timbre of his voice when he called her honey caused her heart to jump. She swallowed hard as she looked away.

When they resumed walking, she knew she should pull away and head back to her apartment, but she couldn’t. Despite her best intentions, she found herself drawn to him.

They reached the shore and walked along the aluminum dock. At the end, Alex sat down, causing the dock to rock gently in the water. He looked back and patted the spot next to him. “Let’s sit here for a while.” He gazed up at the cloudy sky. “It would be fun to jump in and take a refreshing swim to cool off in this heat, but the moon isn’t shining tonight and I’m afraid it wouldn’t be wise when we can’t see each other very well in the water,” he said as he pulled his tennis shoes off and rolled up his pant legs. “This will have to do.”

Annika toed off her tennis shoes and sat down then pulled off her socks and rolled up her pant legs. She plunged her feet into the cool, refreshing water of Lake Tremolo. “Oh, that feels so good.”
He smiled but didn’t share what he was thinking.

She braced her palms on the edge of the dock and leaned forward, slowly moving her feet back and forth in the water. “Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?”

“That depends,” he replied warily as he turned his head toward her.

His answer puzzled her. “On what?”

“On how deep you want to go.”

She laughed nervously, realizing he was referring to his life on the road. “Okay—it’s not that kind of personal. It’s just something I find curious.”

“All right,” he said, sounding cautious. “What do you want to know?”

Annika touched his forearm with her finger. “You don’t have any tattoos. Any. The rest of the guys have distinctive ones.”

Alex grinned broadly. “Oh, you mean like—the names of former girlfriends?” He followed up with a droll laugh. “Boy, Jonas really regrets that particular moment of weakness. She’s been gone for a long time.”

Annika groaned impatiently. “Are you stalling?”

“It’s a long story.”

She poked him in the forearm. “Then give me the short answer.”

He went silent.

“Alex, I’m waiting,” Annika said in a sing-song voice.

“You’d better never breathe a word of this to another soul. If you do, I’ll deny it.”

She leaned back on her hands and splashed water on him by vigorously kicking her feet. “I’m still waiting…”

“Hey!” He raised one hand to shield himself from the splash. “I have a problem with needles.”

“Like what kind of problem?” Surprised, she sat up. “Do you faint or get sick?”

He pressed his fingers against her lips. “I think that’s enough questions for one day.”

Laughing, Annika pulled her feet out of the water and scooted backwards to let them air dry so she could put her shoes on again, but she moved so quickly she lost her balance and fell backwards, smacking her head and shoulders on the aluminum planks. Her clumsiness made her laugh.

“Careful,” Alex warned as he slid his arms around her to pull her back to a sitting position. “Are you all right?”

Well… she thought, I was…

He was so close she could feel the rise and fall of his chest. The woody, aromatic fragrance of his bold cologne mixed with the heat of his body like a heady mist. His arms held her in a gentle, but protective manner. “I’m—I’m fine,” she murmured. Sitting with him like this was way too close for comfort. She knew she should pull away, but she couldn’t move. His nearness was intoxicating.
She looked up, and though it was too dark to look into his eyes, she knew by the tilt of his head his lips were a breath away. Slowly, as if giving her time to refuse, he moved closer and placed his lips on hers. His kiss was tender at first, but when she didn’t resist, his mouth crushed hers as his arms tightened around her. In the heat of the moment, her resistance dissipated. She slid her arms around his neck and kissed him back, melting into him as her heart pounded in sync with his.

As he ended the kiss, she leaned her forehead against his, stunned, with her hands splayed on his chest. She could barely breathe. She closed her eyes, desperate to calm her thundering heart.
“If you don’t want to continue this,” he whispered in her ear, “just say so and I’ll stop.”

Don’t…what? Her thoughts were a jumbled mess as her mind raced to make sense of what was happening. She stared up at his shadowed face. “Why did you kiss me?”

“I hadn’t planned to do that, but I couldn’t stand it any longer,” he said huskily. “I had to find out what I was missing.”

His reply sounded so much like a cliché, it jerked her back to her senses. How many other women had he used that line on? Realizing what an idiot she’d been to let herself be taken in by him, her hands gripped his shirt. “Don’t play me for a fool, Alex. I may have been born and raised in a town the size of a postage stamp, but I’m not naive. I’m the lucky girl you’ve chosen to be your entertainment while you’re in town, aren’t I?”

“That’s not true,” he replied, sounding hurt. “I’d never treat you that way.”

“Then be honest with me. Why did you kiss me? I’m not glamorous or high-maintenance like the women you usually chase. I read the tabloids. If anything, I’m the total opposite.”

“Don’t sell yourself short, sweetheart,” he said softly. “Beauty is more than fake body parts and Botox. The best makeup artist in the world can’t fix a shallow, self-absorbed personality.” He brushed her cheek with his thumb. “You have no idea how desirable you are.” He chuckled. “Especially in that long nightgown.”

She snorted. “It was pink with black cats printed all over it.”

“Really?” he replied. “I didn’t notice.”

“C’mon, Alex, a guy like you doesn’t fall for a woman like me.”

“What makes you so sure of that?”

This can’t be real, she thought. It’s too good to be true.

She closed her eyes to keep them from misting. “We don’t have anything in common. You’re rich and talented and wildly successful. I’m merely a small-town girl,” she said, her voice wavering, “with nothing to show for her life but unfulfilled dreams.”

“Annika,” he whispered breathlessly, “that’s not true. You’re so much more. I can’t explain why but ever since the day I walked into the café and saw you I haven’t been able to get you off my mind. Everything about you is so natural and genuine. You have no idea how rare that is in my world.”

“You have no idea how boring and tedious my world is,” she shot back. “Carly Strand feels the same way, but we have plans. We’re finally going to do something about it.”

He took his arms away and shifted his body, settling next to her. “Are you going into business together?”

“We’re taking a road trip at the end of July, heading out west. If we like it there, we may not come back so I’ve been desperately trying to convince my mother to turn my job over to Penny. That way my parents will still be able to operate the café and draw an income from it.” She expelled a frustrated sigh. “My mother is so stubborn. The boss always knows best and always gets the last word! She won’t listen to me.”

His silence indicated he was absorbing her words. After a few moments he said, “Take it from me, wherever you go, you won’t find the kind of happiness you’re looking for. After years of searching, I’ve come to realize that true joy in life derives from the things money can’t buy.”

Annika brushed droplets of lake water off her skin and began rolling down her pant legs. “We’ll never know until we try.”

“Maybe so,” Alex said, “but I hope you don’t find out the hard way like I did.” He placed his hand on the back of her neck and pulled her close. “Don’t go, Annika. Please, don’t leave.”

“Our plans are set. I promised Carly. I’m not letting her down.”

“Then I’ll just have to figure out a way to convince you to stay…” He pulled her into his arms and kissed her so passionately her head began to spin. She didn’t want to kiss him; didn’t want to be caught up in his irresistible charm, but she couldn’t help herself.

Car lights suddenly invaded their privacy.

Annika and Alex turned around at the same time to see who it was
.
“It’s a cop,” Alex blurted out as he scrambled to his feet and helped Annika get up.

She saw the lights and grabbed her shoes. “It’s Chris Peterson. I’ll talk to him.”

Chris’ spotlight swept across the beach and stopped at the dock, blinding them. “The beach is closed,” he yelled out the car window. “Get off the dock. Now.

“He’s an okay guy. We went to the senior prom together,” Annika said as they hurried toward the squad car. “Chris! It’s me, Annika!” His window slid down as she approached him. “Hi.”

The officer craned his neck to see who she was with. “Annika? What are you doing out here after dark? You know it’s not safe to be in the water at night.”

Annika bent at the waist to meet him at eye level. “We were sitting on the dock, trying to cool off, but we’re going now.”

Chris frowned at Alex, as though he disapproved of who Annika chose to spend her summer nights with toe-dipping in the lake. “Okay, but I don’t want to catch you out here again. Is that clear? I’ve got enough to do without playing lifeguard, too.”

“I understand,” Annika replied hurriedly as she straightened and grabbed Alex’s hand. “Goodnight!”
They sprinted across the beach and headed up Main Street. They were breathless by the time they hooked a right at Lake Street, went a half-block and cut through the alley to Annika’s place.

When they reached the stairway, she grabbed the mosquito spray off the car and halted at the bottom step. No way was she inviting him up to her apartment. Or falling into the trap of letting him kiss her again. “Alex, I don’t think it’s a good idea for us—”

“Wait.” He held up his hand as he cut her off. “Hear me out first.” He leaned against the railing to catch his breath. “Everything I told you tonight was the truth, Annika. From the bottom of my heart. I didn’t plan to purposely take you to the beach where we’d be alone so I could kiss you. It just happened, but I don’t regret it.”

She placed her foot on the next step, ready to sprint up the stairs. “I like you, Alex, but we’re worlds apart. Even if I wasn’t leaving town, it won’t be long before you’ll be ready to move on yourself so let’s leave things as they were before tonight. Let’s remain friends. Nothing more.”

He nodded; his disappointment showing. “What happens at the beach, stays at the beach.”

“Right.” She turned to go upstairs, but looked back. “That includes what I told you about Carly and me, too. I don’t want that getting back to my mother before I’ve had a chance to break it to her myself. Deal?”

“Deal.”

“Goodnight then.” She ran up the stairs filled with bittersweet emotions. She’d never forget what it was like to be kissed by Zander Lang, frontman of the band “Wolfmoon,” but like Alex’s stage name, it wasn’t real. It was only part of his act.

~*~

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Sweet & Sassy Summertime - 99¢ - #MFRWHooks



SEVEN SWEET AND SASSY STORIES of SUMMER - Volume 2 - from International USA Today Bestselling and Award-Winning Authors.


On pre-order now for only 99 cents on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited! Get your copy today!

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.

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

Susanne Matthews, International Bestselling Author: The wedding may be canceled, but the honeymoon's on!

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

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?

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

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.

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.


~*~

Excerpt from LISA by Denise Devine


“Do you have time to take a short walk after lunch?” he asked changing the subject again. “I’d like to view the site and discuss the architectural plans with you.”

Their lunch arrived while he was still speaking. The server set a long white platter in front of her containing a small, crab-stuffed lobster tail, two jumbo Cruzan garlic shrimp and grilled vegetables.

She laughed. “I’ll definitely need to get some exercise after eating this much food!”

After that, their discussion veered toward lighter subjects while they enjoyed their meal. Lisa passed on dessert, ordering a rich cup of freshly ground coffee instead.

The Regis property line ran parallel to the Amaryllis Hotel’s boundary. Lisa and Shawn left the restaurant and walked through the hotel lobby to the front plaza then crossed the gravel service road that separated the Amaryllis from the vacant property.

“Gosh, it looks so different now,” Lisa said, feeling sad as she scanned the empty acreage. “This entire area used to be dense forest. It’s a shame to destroy such natural beauty for a strip mall.” She pointed toward a narrow dirt trail that led to a rocky slope. “My cousins and I used to take this path down to the sea. We weren’t supposed to be on this side of the island, much less near the water without adult supervision, but that never stopped us.” She grinned mischievously. “We were looking for pirate treasure.”

Shawn grinned back. “Did you find any?”

“Ha-ha! We’d all be rich now if we had!”

They walked the length of the property, discussing the layout of the mall. Shawn showed her the plans for an L-shaped design housing eight units. He also pointed out the area where a stairway would lead to a long dock and a new stop for the water taxi.

“You do know what’s on the other side of this land, don’t you?”

He shrugged. “A privately-owned forest, I guess.”

“It’s ten square miles of forest, beaches and natural caves that, until recently, was owned by Anna LaBore,” Lisa said as they walked along. “She died about a year ago—at ninety-seven—and left her entire estate in a trust to the Island Preservation Commission. The land had been handed down from generation to generation in her family since the 1860s.”

Shawn stared at her in surprise. “What is the commission planning to do with it?”

“Oh, Anna left specific instructions on what she wanted the commission to do with her plantation,” she said as she stepped over a couple of flat rocks, “and she also left them her fortune to carry it out. Her home is currently undergoing restoration as a museum. It still has much of the original furnishings.”

“Really?” He stopped and gazed across the Regis land to the dense tropical forest on the LaBore property. “I’d like to see that.”

“Are you interested in history?” At his nod, she added, “The interior is in good shape, but the restoration team is still in the process of painting, upgrading the utilities and cataloging everything. It won’t be open for a couple of months.”

The excitement in his eyes dimmed. “I’ll probably be back in the states by then.”

They turned and began walking back to the hotel. “I’ve got an idea,” Lisa said, hoping her offer didn’t come across as a hair-brained scheme. “The house is fenced off to discourage gawkers from driving onto the property, and it sits on top of a hill so it’s visible for miles, but I know where there is a secret entrance. If you want to see the restoration in progress, I can get you in after hours and show you around.”

“Aren’t you worried about getting caught?” He frowned. “What if we trip an alarm? I’d hate to get arrested for trespassing.”

“This is Enchanted Island,” she replied with a wry chuckle. “There aren’t any alarms and we won’t get arrested. But we do have to be discreet and that’s why I suggested we use a specific entrance. Aunt Elsie is on the commission and she’d be upset if word got around that someone saw me snooping about the place without permission.”

Her sandal suddenly slipped on loose sand covering a flat rock. She screamed, dreading the embarrassment of falling flat on her butt like a klutz. Before she hit the ground, however, Shawn’s strong arms caught her and held her tight. In her panic, she threw her arms around his neck. Her soft cheek brushed the rough edge of his jaw, the bold scent of his cologne filled her nostrils.

He went still, holding her close.

“Thank you...for...catching me,” she said as she gazed into his eyes, barely aware that she’d spoken. She pulled her arms away and placed her palms against his broad, muscular chest.

“I didn’t want you to get hurt.” His throaty voice trailed off on a flat note, making him sound distracted.

She couldn’t look away, mesmerized by the tiny dimple in his chin, the softness in his hazel eyes. “We—we’d better get going. I need to be home by check-in time.”

He gently let go of her and glanced at his sport watch. “It’s almost three now.” He grabbed her hand and began to walk her back to the hotel. “I’ll give you a ride.”

She didn’t object. Eating a large lunch had made her tired and the thought of riding in a nice comfortable car rather than a windy, bumpy, taxi ride sounded heavenly.

Shawn didn’t say much on the short ride to the B&B and she wondered if he had second thoughts about going to the LaBore plantation or asking her to lunch today. She never meant to end up in his arms and hoped he didn’t think she’d deliberately slipped to force their close encounter. Some women did such things to attract men, but not her.

He pulled off the narrow road into the driveway of her house. Shifting the car into Park, he stared straight ahead as though deep in thought.

“Thank you for the ride. I appreciate it.” She grabbed her purse and placed her hand on the door latch, anxious to jump out and disappear into the house.

“So, did you mean that about getting inside the LaBore plantation? Do you really know of a secret entrance, or is it just a hole in the fence?”

“Yeah, I meant every word I said,” she countered, letting the snappy tone of her voice inform him that she hadn’t told him about it to brag or lie. “The secret entrance isn’t anywhere near a fence. It’s the opening of a cave.”

He turned toward her, his eyes widening with amazement. “Really? That sounds exactly like my kind of fun.” Flashing a wide grin, he leaned over and held up his palm for a high-five. “Lisa, you’re on. What time do you want me to pick you up?”

His sudden reaction wasn’t at all what she had expected, but it didn’t disappoint. She smacked palms with him and opened the door then slid out of the car. “Be back here at noon tomorrow,” she said, leaning inside to give him brief instructions. “We’ll have the plantation to ourselves because the restoration crew doesn’t work on Saturday. Since it gets dark early now, we’re going to need time to view the house and make it back through the woods before the sun goes down. Bring a good flashlight and make sure your phone is fully charged.”

She started to shut the door, thought better of it and leaned in again. “Oh, and wear jeans and heavy-duty tennis shoes, preferably dark-colored.”

“It’s starting to sound more like a secret mission than a field trip.”

She raised one brow. “You’ll see.”

She shut the door for good this time and walked slowly into the house, watching him back out and drive away.

It’s only a trip to explore the LaBore plantation—not a date, she thought to herself. I want to see what progress they’ve made anyway and it’ll be fun showing it to Shawn.

Still, she couldn’t deny how her heart fluttered at the thought of climbing through a dark cave with Shawn Wells.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B45JD74

Want to read the entire first chapter of this story? Just scroll up to the title bar and you'll see a page for LISA. All of the above pages contain the first chapters of my books!