HOLD YOU CLOSE – A Corinne Michaels & Melanie Harlow

“Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow are a match made in heaven. Five-Sweet-Stars for this unforgettable collaboration!” –A.L. Jackson, New York Times bestselling author


Hold You Close, an all-new second chance standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Corinne Michaels and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow, is available now!

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From NYT Bestseller Corinne Michaels & USA Today Bestseller Melanie Harlow, comes a second chance standalone romance.

Ian Chase broke my heart at seventeen, and I’ve spent the last eighteen years hating him for it.

He makes it easy, with his smart mouth and playboy lifestyle—which I unfortunately have to observe since he lives behind me. Every time I see him climbing out of his pool, practically naked and unreasonably sexy, my blood boils.

I’ve always loved to loathe him.

I never planned to need him.

***

London Parish is my little sister’s best friend, not that it stopped me from falling for her.

Our history is complicated. The only thing we have in common is being godparents to my sister’s three adorable kids—until our lives are changed in one tragic moment.

Now we’re trying to raise the children we love, mourn an unthinkable loss, and fight an undeniable attraction.

My life is already upside-down, and the last thing I need is for old feelings to resurface.

Because I’ll never be able to keep her, no matter how hard I try to hold her close.

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About the authors:

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New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Corinne Michaels is the author of nine romance novels. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife.

After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love.

USA Today Bestselling Author Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

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Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DR. STRANGE BEARD – A Penny Reid Review, Excerpt Reveal & Giveaway

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It’s a second chance romance filled with suspense! Ten years have passed since Roscoe and Simone have seen one another. A young romance that never had the chance to flourish and ended with no explanation. But now Simone is back in town for an FBI assignment and it puts her right in the pathways of her first love. It may be tough to face her past but she’s got to make that choice to save lives, including Roscoe’s.

Roscoe’s not sure why Simone is back and suddenly every where he is. She’s pushing things from the past that he can’t handle. Because Roscoe is a particular type of man; he has the ability to remember every moment in exact detail. So each minute spent with Simone brings back all the heartache he’s spent years trying to forget. While he has to figure out her true intentions, there’s a new danger in town; his father and his MC.

As Simone hides her true reasons for coming home. Roscoe begins to fall for her once again and fight his own feelings. It’s truly a slow burn romance and I absolutely appreciated it. Reid gives readers time to not only ingest the twisted plot but really fall for Simone and Roscoe individually. Dr. Strange Beard definitely has the most action I think we’ve seen since the Winston’s first came out and Reid has some HEART STOPPING twists! Filled with hope and heart, this new Winston is a winner!


 Dr. Strange Beard, an all-new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Penny Reid, is available NOW!

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Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe Winston remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.

Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . .

Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.

But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .

Dr. Strange Beard is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a stand-alone, and is the fifth book in the USA TODAY bestselling Winston Brothers series.

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“Simone, this is not one of our adventures from when we were kids. This is not finding Blithe Tanner’s cat. These men are murderers, drug dealers, thieves.”

“I know.” Boy oh boy, did I know. I didn’t want to be here anymore than he did. I was frightened. Yet allowing Roscoe to be taken on his own hadn’t been an option. “I can handle myself, and I can provide backup for you, if you need it.”

Roscoe gripped my shoulders. “Nothing can happen to you, do you understand?” His words were emphatic, his gaze disoriented, desolate, frantic. “If anything happens to you, I’ll . . .” He swallowed, apparently unable to finish the sentence.

My heart twisted to see him like this. I wished there were some way to show him what I could do, what I was capable of, so he would stop seeing me as a liability.

Well, why can’t you?

“Huh.”

Now there was a thought.

Stepping out of his grip, I walked backward to the other side of the room and took a deep breath. “Okay. Come at me.”

He blinked. “What?”

“I want you to come at me.”

“Simone,” he seethed.

“Come at me, bro.” I did that little movement with my fingers, my palm turned upwards. “Come at me or I’ll start singing again.”

“I’m not doing this.”

“Fine.”Frustrating. “I’ll come at you.”

He stood there, features set, looking raw.

Moving quickly forward, staying light on my feet, I faked right and then went left, hooking him behind the back of his leg, catching his arm to twist behind his back, and sending him to the ground—face-first—with a thud.

I winced as he grunted, my knee at the base of his spine, his arm restrained behind his back. “Sorry! But you wouldn’t listen to me.” Leaning forward, I whispered in his ear, “Are you okay? Did I hurt you?”

Roscoe’s back and shoulders rose and fell with an expansive breath, like he was about to respond, but in the next moment he’d spun his legs to the right, leveraged my knee on his back to throw me off-balance, and slipped his wrist from my hold.

In my defense, my grip had been lax as I was purposefully trying not to injure him.

The next thing I knew, Roscoe had me pinned to the ground, air knocked out of me, him hovering above, and my gun digging into my ribs beneath my shirt. He’d been careful to subdue my legs, likely so he wouldn’t end up with a bruised ballsack.

His stare more probing than angry—which I took as a good sign—he said, “I didn’t teach you that. Where’d you learn that?”

Even though I was still coughing, I smiled and rasped, “Since college, take judo.”

He nodded faintly, his eyes moving between mine, looking concerned. “Are you okay? Did I hurt you?”

“No.” Endeavoring to catch my breath, I said, “I took it easy on you because I didn’t want to hurt you either, but I’m an asset, not a liability.”

“You’re definitely an asset.” Roscoe frowned, his gaze dropping to my mouth. “And a distraction,” he said, his voice rough.

“I’m a distraction?” I asked, my words still breathy.

I bucked, but he held me fast.

“Yes. . .” His stare turned inward. “You are most definitely a distraction.”

Even though I’d had plenty of time to recover and we’d been holding still for close to a minute, I was still breathing hard. This might have been because of my lingering irritation. Or, maybe it was because the length of Roscoe’s lean body was lying on mine. He held my hands on either side of my head, our faces even, his mouth just inches away.

Was it insane that I hoped he kissed me?

Yes?

No?

Let’s go with no.

He gave me his eyes again and I saw something there, a battle. He looked undecided, at war with himself, straining against something I couldn’t see.

“Roscoe?” I whispered.

Roscoe closed his eyes, and I thought he was going to let me go, but in the next second his lips descended, capturing my mouth in a tender kiss.

I moaned.

I kissed him back.

That’s what one does when Roscoe Winston kisses one. Moan and kiss. Repeat. Because not doing so would be a travesty.

His hold on my hands slacked, his fingers seeking and threading with mine. He settled his hips between my legs, his form relaxing. The weight of him was different now, warmer somehow. At least I felt warm. I also felt cherished as his tongue sought mine, again tenderly, stroking, causing my abdomen to twist and tighten into delicious knots.

He broke the kiss and a protest died on my lips as his mouth trailed down my jaw to the sensitive skin of my neck, sucking, licking, savoring me. What had felt warm and cherishing heated, and my hips tilted reflexively as he nibbled on my ear, cradling his rapidly growing erection.

We both gasped as his hips rocked in an answering yet inelegant movement. It felt perfect and essential in the moment.

“Oh God.” His hot breath spilled against my jaw, a ragged sigh. “What are we doing?”

“I don’t know, but don’t stop.”

Enter the Giveaway!

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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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BEST SERVED COLD – An Emma Hart Cover Reveal

Best Served Cold, an all-new standalone romantic comedy from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emma Hart is coming September 25th!

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Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Which is a real problem when the attraction runs red-hot.

Ice-cream store owner Raelynn Fortune has everything but her last name—fortune.

Despite living in a Floridian hotspot for tourists, she just can’t get her business back off the ground. And she knows why.

Her rival store next door is run by nobody other than her ex, and with his fancy-schmancy concoctions, he’s taking all the clients two generations of her family cultivated. Never mind that Raelynn taught him all he knows, and his revenge for her breaking up with him was putting her plans into reality—and her almost out of business.

But, she has a plan. The height of the season is just two weeks away, and she’s tired of playing second fiddle to her ex. She’s going to take back her crown as the queen of ice cream, even if it means getting close to Chase once again.

After all, all is fair in love and war, and you know what they say about keeping your enemies close…

Although maybe Chase is a little too close…

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Pre-order your copy today!

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About Emma Hart:

EmmaHart

Emma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages.

She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs.

Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud.

Yes, really. She’s that sarcastic.

 

 

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FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS – A Laura Kaye Excerpt Reveal

From New York Times bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes the second standalone title in her brand, new Warrior Fight Club series, FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS. Preorder your copy of FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS, and join the Warrior Fight Club world today!

 

About FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS (Warrior Fight Club #2, 9/7/18):

This fight club has one rule: you must be a veteran…

Resisting her only makes him want her more…

Private investigator Billy Parrish is good at three things—fighting, investigating, and sex. MMA training with the other vets in the Warrior Fight Club keeps his war-borne demons at bay—mostly, and one night stands ensure no one gets too close. But then his best friend from the Army Rangers calls in a favor.

Shayna Curtis is new to town, fresh out of grad school, and full of hope for the future. With a new job starting in a month, she’s grateful when her brother arranges a place for her to stay while she apartment hunts. But she never expected her roommate to be so brooding. Or so sexy.

Billy can’t wait for Shay to leave—because the longer she’s there, the more he wants her in his bed. To stay. He can’t have her—that much he knows. But when fight club stops taking off the edge, Billy lets down his guard…and starts fighting for what’s his.

 

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A note from Laura Kaye:

I’m so excited to share Fighting for What’s His, because this story is such a sweet, sexy, and funny roommates-to-lovers and brother’s best friend story! Need more to pique your interest? Enjoy this excerpt:


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“I got the bandages you asked for. I’ll grab them,” Shayna said.

Without looking at her, Billy nodded once. She heard the frustrated breath he released as she left the room. When she came back up, he was waiting at the top of the steps. “I got it from here, thanks.”

“I can help—”

“I’ve got it,” he said again, not quite meeting her gaze.

“You helped me, so why can’t I help—”

Shayna.”

Billy.” She understood how guys like Billy and her brother thought. She’d been around enough Rangers to know they hated needing help. But that didn’t mean they didn’t actually need it. “You won’t be able to reach the back of your shoulder. Let me help.”

He let out a harsh breath, then turned away. “Fine.” He disappeared into his bedroom at the back of the hallway.

She followed the rectangle of light spilling from the master bathroom and found him gathering supplies from the medicine cabinet. For a moment, she just stood in the doorway, because she could feel the anger rolling off of him. “I’m sorry if carrying my stupid desk made your shoulder worse.”

He slanted her a look, and it was clear that he was attempting to beat back his frustration. “It didn’t, so don’t worry.”

“I’m kinda predisposed to think things are my fault, so it can’t be helped.”

He frowned, and this time all the frustration bled from his expression. “Why do you say that?”

Because my idiocy and stubbornness killed my brother. That was what she thought, but what she said was, “I don’t know. Old habit.”

Billy shook his head. “Well, this isn’t your fault, Shayna. And I’d be willing to bet that whatever else you’re worrying about isn’t either.” He closed the toilet lid and sat heavily, and Shayna was glad that he looked away, because his words had unleashed a sting at the backs of her eyes. “I hate that I need help with this. Not that you’re the one helping.”

There went her belly again. “Just pretend I’m Ryan,” she said in a quiet voice.

He smirked up at her. “Why would I do that?”

“Because you probably wouldn’t care if a buddy was patching you up, right?”

He shrugged with one big shoulder. “Anyone ever told you that you can be too damn perceptive?”

“I am a photographer, after all. It’s literally my job to notice things.”

“Mine, too,” he said, tossing an appreciative glance over his shoulder. Their gazes collided. Held.

Made Shayna’s heart beat harder. “So, do I need to do anything special or just clean, bandage, tape?” she asked as her gaze scanned over his burn scars.

“Put antibiotic cream on before you bandage. Otherwise, that’s it. And be sure to pat rather than wipe. Because of the movement of the joint, this spot is the one area that has struggled to heal.”

She washed her hands and ran warm water over a wash cloth, then did as he said. “Let me know if I hurt you.”

“You won’t,” he said. “I can’t feel much where its scarred. My nerves are mostly shot back there.”

Shayna debated whether humor would help or hurt the situation, then went for it. “Well, in case you have one left, I don’t want to get on it.”

One beat passed, then another. Billy chuckled, and the sound did funny things to her chest. “Appreciate that, smart ass.”

She put a playful sauciness in her voice as she said, “You noticing my ass, Billy Parrish?”

He didn’t answer, even though his mental debate as to how to respond seemed to ring loudly, making her laugh as she tended to him.

“This is pretty much the same thing I had to do when I got the tattoo on my shoulder,” she said, smoothing antibiotic cream over the rent skin. She grimaced as she did so, not because she found it unpleasant, but because she worried about hurting him despite his reassurances.

“How many tattoos do you have?” he asked in a low voice.

The question reminded her that he’d seen one of them—her most intimate one, and heat filtered into her cheeks as she positioned the bandage. “Four. The one on my hip, and three on my back and shoulders. Once you have one, it’s kinda addicting.”

“Is that right?”

“Mmhmm,” she murmured, concentrating on the tape. “I think the bottom piece of tape might need to wrap under your arm a little to hold it in place. Is that okay?”

“Whatever you say, Goldilocks.”

“That’ll be Dr. Goldilocks to you, ya git.” She smoothed the tape down.

He chuckled again. “What’s with the colorful cursing?”

She grinned. “I grew up with brothers. Am I offending your sensitive ears, Ranger Parrish?”

“Hell, no,” he said. “I’m a fan.”

“There,” she said, surveying her work. Satisfaction warmed her belly, because she’d gotten to help him. And he’d called her pretty. And said he was a fan of the crazy crap that came out of her mouth. “All done.”

He rose and peered in the mirror. “Perfect, Shayna,” he said, their gazes meeting in the mirror.

And she could’ve sworn he said, “Perfect Shayna,” without the pause between. Especially when he looked at her like he was doing right now.

As if she had on far too many clothes. And Jesus did she suddenly agree.

“Any time you need patched up, consider me your girl,” she managed, still meeting the heat in those brown eyes.

Brown eyes whose reflection looked her up and down. “Don’t you mean woman? Consider you my woman?” he teased, throwing her earlier words back at her. “You know, when I need patched up.”

Shayna released a shaky breath. “Yeah. Exactly.”

He gave a slow nod, then turned to look at her directly, bringing them toe to toe. “Then, consider me your man when you need muscle. Now, how about I go move your car and help you build a desk?”


AND GRAB BOOK 1, FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING, right now!

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“The always amazing Kaye is kicking off a terrific new contemporary romance series that centers around a wounded warrior’s fight club. Kaye does a beautiful job exploring the fallout from war and PTSD as various characters struggle to cope in their own ways. The love story between Noah Cortez and his childhood friend Kristina Moore is both compelling and touching, for the obstacles in their way loom large. A truly memorable read!” ~ RT Book Reviews


About Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

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BOY TOY – A Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby Review & Excerpt Reveal

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I don’t know if there are any more book sin the works for these two, but I know they will be one-clicks for me because these rom-coms are un-put-down-able! Sadie is living the tough life as a single parent to twin girls. There’s truly no “me time” when every moment matters to two little humans. But when Liam pops back in to her life, the boy (now man…VERY much man) she used to babysit, new desires pop up that she hadn’t planned for. Liam’s had a 15 year crush on Sadie; and the time apart has been kind as ever to her. His feelings haven’t changed much, if not more carnal for the sexy single mom. But it may be an uphill battle for him to win over her jaded heart.

I loved Sadie from the moment we were first introduced to her in the preceding books. But don’t fret readers! This can be read completely as a standalone. Headstrong and a capable mama bear, Sadie starts to see her ex for just who he was and decides to fight for things that make HER happy. When a drunken night speaks some of her sober thoughts and Liam proposes they take their desires to the next level…well who WOULDN’T turn down the sexy manny. Not only is Liam drop dead sexy, he’s charming and funny, and absolutely loves his job taking care of children and bettering their futures in his studies. He’s a case of sexy nerd meets studly young man!

Not only does Boy Toy address Sadie’s desires for Liam but also her ability to accept herself as a mother. She’s been through years of put-downs from her now ex-husband and its going to take more than flowery words from Liam to convince Sadie to see her true beauty. These two both fall head over heels for one another but what seems like mountains to climb are simply issues to overcome. Filled with laughter, adorable little girls (hello HELMET ridiculousness!), and some epically gut-busting embarrassing moments this rom-com is once again a fave from Bowen & Eby for me!


A new romantic comedy from your favorite snort-laughing duo!

Liam

The moment Sadie Matthews walks through the daycare center door, I feel my world tilt in her direction. Again. I fell for her when I was fourteen, and I’m still not over her. Problem: she still thinks of me as a teen she used to babysit. But I’ve learned a few things about pleasing a woman in the last fifteen years. I can’t wait to show her how good it could be. I need to move quickly before I lose her again. This is more than a game to me, but I still plan to win.

Sadie

I’ve just survived the worst year of my life. As a single mom of twin toddlers, I don’t have time for a man. I barely have time to finish a thought. Who knew that Liam McAllister would grow up to be so devastating? He’s everything my husband was not: tall, built, and willing to have a tea party with my girls.

I can’t possibly get involved with him. He’s too young for me. Too handsome. But he’s so persuasive…

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I messed up. Big time.
These are my thoughts as I rush into the bathroom for the world’s fastest shower. The hot spray of water judges me as I hastily wash Liam off my thighs.
A better mother wouldn’t let this happen. I shouldn’t have a younger lover. If I didn’t, he wouldn’t be so deliciously appealing. I couldn’t lose my mind, wake him up out of a sound sleep to ride him like a pony. And then collapse beside him in peaceful, sated slumber.
Seriously, how did I let that happen?
You know how, my hormones scold me. Because he’s the hottest thing you’ve ever tasted.
Oh yeah. That.
After showering I get dressed at top speed. Poor Liam is currently shouldering all my parental responsibilities. Throwing on yesterday’s sundress, I pause for a moment to pop a birth control pill, because that’s one thing I won’t goof up.
Then I hurry downstairs.
The sight in the kitchen gives me heart palpitations. But not because there’s flour dusting much of the countertop. Rather, it’s the hot, shirtless guy holding my toddler and making a dump truck sound as Amy tips the measuring spoon over a bowl.
“Yes! Well done, little miss,” he says, relieving her of the spoon. “Batter up!” he says, easing her to the floor and catching Kate, who’s trying to climb him like a tree.
Aren’t we all.
Liam easily rests Kate on one of his perfect arms, measures a half teaspoon of baking powder one-handed and then hands the spoon to Kate. “Beep beep beep,” he says, making the sound of a truck backing up. “Look out below!”
Kate dumps the spoonful into the bowl and giggles.
“Awesome. Who wants to add the milk?”
“My do it!” Amy yells.
Boy, I need another minute of alone time to compose myself. Because I love this picture a little too much. I love Liam’s ease with my girls. I love how calm he is at the center of toddler-induced mayhem.
It causes a little pain in my heart as I allow myself one more comparison to my former life. The truth is I never once saw Decker elbows-deep in kitchen chaos with a kid on one arm. Starting breakfast with twins in tow? He was more likely to captain a NASA expedition to Mars than he was to do this simple Saturday morning thing.
I feel like crying for no reason at all. Clearly I’m on some kind of emotional overload. Maybe coffee will help.
Sliding into the kitchen, I go right for the coffee grounds.
“Mama!” Amy says. “Wiam making pancakes.”
“That is amazing,” I say in a wobbly voice. “What a lucky girl you are.”
“Sorry about the mess,” he says, casting a glance in my direction. And I know he doesn’t just mean the flour on the counter, but the bigger mess of waking up naked in my bed.
“You know,” I say with a small sigh. “Messes shouldn’t scare me so much. It’s going to be fine.”
Liam’s smile is so filled with relief, that I now feel like an ogre. This man wants to make pancakes with us on Saturday morning, and I said no to that before? I’m clearly insane.
“Which frying pan should I use?” he asks, casting an eye on the cookware hanging from the rack over the sink.
“Oh, no. You want this.” I pull a double-burner griddle out of a lower cabinet.
“Oooh,” he says. “Mommy has the fancy pancake griddle.”
Kate giggles. She’s gazing at Liam as if he invented fun.
And in my life, I guess he did.
Here’s the tricky thing about being a shrink—sometimes you notice that you’re doing something that’s exactly contrary to the advice you’d give your patients.
I’m having one of those moments right now.
If I had a single mom in my office telling me there was a lovely guy in her life who was kind to her kids—and yet she was giving him the stiff arm? I’d tell her: “Be kind to yourself. Don’t push away the good people in your life, especially if you think you don’t deserve them. Let people surprise you.”
I’m such a hypocrite.
Also, I need caffeine.
Ten minutes later I’m sipping from a mug of coffee, but Liam’s is cooling on the countertop. The man has his hands full right now as he puts pancakes on the griddle with “help” from my daughters.
“How about a few of these?” he asks, holding up a bag of chocolate chips. Meanwhile, Kate waves the spatula around like a ninja. “A guy needs to make smiley faces in his pancakes sometimes.”
Good. Lord. It’s a miracle I’m not just a puddle of my former self right now. This is some serious mommy porn I’m watching. Shirtless guy feeds toddlers before eight a.m. I walk over to the high cabinet where I keep the ramekins. “We could make smiley faces with dried organic currants,” I say, just to be a pain in the ass.
Liam makes a face of disgust as I take the chocolate chips from his hand and pour some into a ramekin. “Joking! Here.”
He gives me a big, hot smile. Okay, it probably wasn’t meant to be hot, but I feel flutters down below.
“Choc-it!” Kate yells, grabbing for the ramekin.
“Easy,” Liam says with a laugh. “That’s for my artwork. Come here and I’ll show you.”
I set the table and pour the sippy cups of milk. And Liam manages to serve up two smiley pancakes—one for each girl—at exactly the same moment, in exactly the same size. This is a man who knows his way around toddlers.
“Not cut it!” Amy yells when I approach her plate with a knife. She picks up the pancake in two hands and takes a bite right out of the side of its face.
“Okay, right.” I back away. Forks are optional today, then. No big deal.
Liam takes advantage of this moment of quiet to quickly pour six more pancakes onto the griddle. He leans over his work, dotting them with chocolate chips.
I step closer to him and put a hand on his lower back. “Thank you,” I whisper.
“For trashing your kitchen?”
“No.” He glances at me and I give him a shy smile. “For being so amazing all the time.”
His eyes get very warm, and I just want to stay right here in that blue-eyed gaze as long as I can. “This might be a good time to confess that I didn’t make smiley faces on my own pancakes.”
“No?” I look down at the griddle. Side by side, two of them have a different design—little bullseyes in their centers. “Those are…?”
“Boobs,” he whispers. “My inner fourteen-year-old has a dirty mind. He can’t shut it off sometimes.”
“Drink your coffee,” I whisper, handing him the mug. “Sit down. Let me finish these for you. Or go put on a shirt because my inner fourteen-year-old has her tongue hanging out all the time, too.”
He gives me a wicked, wicked smile and then runs upstairs to find his shirt.


 

4


Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

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Tanya is a member of SAG/AFTRA. She is a narrator and has over 500 titles to her credit. She also narrates under the name of Tatiana Sokolov for books that are particularly saucy (AKA erotica books). When not narrating, she’s working on her own writing. Check out her books: Easy Does It, Blunder Woman, Pepper Wellington and the Case of the Missing Sausage, Foodies Rush In,  Tunnel Vision, and Synchronicity. She also has a food blog at dips.tanyaeby.com.

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