Friday, April 20, 2018

Blog Tour: Good Neighbors by Joanne Serling

Author: Joanne Serling
Publisher: Twelve
Date of publication: February 2018

A searing portrait of suburbia, friendship, and family strained by a devotion to false appearances.

In an idyllic suburb, four young families quickly form a neighborhood clique, their friendships based on little more than the ages of their children and a shared sense of camaraderie. When one of the couples, Paige and Gene Edwards, adopt a four-year-old girl from Russia, the group’s loyalty and morality is soon called into question. Are the Edwards unkind to their new daughter? Or is she a difficult child with hidden destructive tendencies?

As the seams of the group friendship slowly unravel, neighbor Nicole Westerhof finds herself drawn further into the life of the adopted girl, forcing Nicole to re-examine the deceptive nature of her own family ties, and her complicity in the events unfolding around her.

I was looking forward to reading Good Neighbors because the synopsis made it seem like a good mystery.  Unfortunately, I didn't love this book.  The thing that resonated with me the most were the characters and how unlikable they all were.  I can honestly say, I am glad I live in a  neighborhood were the neighbors only really wave to each other.  If I had neighbors like the ones in this book, I would move.  They are all pretty petty and judgmental and really not nice people.  

The story is told through the eyes of only one neighbor, Nicole.  I'm not sure this worked well for me.  I would probably have liked the book more had I gotten perspectives of more than one person who lived there.  Nicole felt a bit unreliable to me. I still don't know if Winnie was really damaged or not.  The ending left me very unsatisfied.  In the end, I think this book just wasn't for me.

Purchase Links

About Joanne Serling

Joanne Serling’s fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in New Ohio Review and North American Review. She is a graduate of Cornell University and studied and taught fiction at The Writers Studio in New York City. She lives outside of New York with her husband and children and is at work on her second book.

Connect with Joanne

Joanne Serling’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Instagram Tour:
Monday, April 9th: @girlsinbooks
Tuesday, April 10th: @ladyofthelibrary
Wednesday, April 11th: @bookpairings
Thursday, April 12th: @bookishconnoisseur
Friday, April 13th: @prose_and_palate
Saturday, April 14th: @hotcocoareads
Sunday, April 15th: @theliteraryllama
Review Tour:
Monday, April 16th:@novelmombooks
Tuesday, April 17th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, April 18th: @readingandranunculus
Thursday, April 19th: 5 Minutes for Books
Friday, April 20th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, April 23rd: Clues and Reviews
Tuesday, April 24th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, April 25th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Thursday, April 26th: The Sketchy Reader
Monday, April 30th: Bookchickdi
Tuesday, May 1st: Eliot’s Eats
Wednesday, May 2nd: Novel Gossip
Thursday, May 3rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, May 7th: Books & Spoons
Tuesday, May 8th: Jessicamap Reviews and @jessicamap
Thursday, May 10th: Girl Who Reads

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Throwback Thursday: This Magic Moment by Nora Roberts

Author: Nora Roberts
First published by Silhouette in 1983

Pierce was an austere and solitary figure, a magician who had dazzled and entranced audiences all over the world. Only one woman, Ryan, had guessed the pain that lay behind his art, the past he had chosen to conceal behind the flash and the glitter.

His unhappy childhood had taught him to rely on nothing. Yet Ryan was determined to offer him the only truth she knew: Their love was no illusion.

Unfortunately, This Magic Moment has fallen under the "bad early works" list by one of my favorite authors. This Magic Moment was so cringy, I skimmed the last half of the book.  The characters were cliche and the dialogue was over the top cheesy. 

I had the biggest issue with the the main character, Ryan.  Her reactions were contradictory and over the top.   After knowing Pierce for a couple of days, she claims to be in love with him.  But a day later, when he wants wants to sleep with her, she says no because she doesn't know him.  How can you  know someone enough to be in love with them, but not enough to sleep with them?  After they do finally do the deed, she freaks out because she woke up alone.  She keeps up the rant when he shows up fairly soon after with a valid excuse.  At that point, I could't take much more and skimmed to the end.  I'd say this is one you can skip.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of Dead Air by Cliff Protzman

Author:  Cliff Protzman
Publisher: Indie
Date of publication: October 2017
Number of Pages: 308
ISBN: 1545607141 (ISBN13: 9781545607145)
Don't Miss Your Chance to Purchase Dead Air from: Amazon & Barnes & Noble! Plus add it to your Goodreads list!

Dead Air signals trouble at the radio station. Glenn Beckert discovers his high school best friend is shot in the head while on the air. Beck, the owner of Blue Water Security, is employed to provide security for the station.

He becomes willingly embroiled in the investigation by the not-so-innocent widow. The list of potential suspects is long, gleaned from the numerous extramarital affairs of the victim and widow. The pending sale of the radio station has created friction between his now dead friend, Richie Zito and the major stockholders. Motives for murder becomes increasingly murky after the search reveals an encrypted file on Zito's laptop.

Beck enlists the help of a friend from college, Irene Schade, to break the code, revealing a money laundering network leading to the financial and political powers of his beloved city of Pittsburgh. Their collaboration ignites the flames of passion each had considered extinguished.

A former college teammate, police Lieutenant Paglironi delivers a message to back off. Arrogantly, he ignores his friend’s advice. The threats from less friendly sources are more ominous, forcing Beck to move in an unfamiliar world. A startling revelation from his client forces Beck to deal with his inner conviction of right and wrong, challenging the gray areas of his ethical principles. Betraying his client's confidence could expose the killer. The alternative is to confront the suspect and take matters into his own hands. Either way his life is in jeopardy.

My thoughts:

Dead Air is the debut offering by the author.  It's the first book featuring Glenn Beckett, the owner of Blue Water Security.  "Beck" becomes involved in trying to solve the murder of his friend Richie.  What at first appears to be a suicide, quickly becomes a murder investigation. 

 This is an intriguing mystery with a well planned out plot and multiple suspects.  It had an old time "noir" feel to it despite being set in modern times.  The author laid out the clues at just the right moments to keep me guessing.  I really liked Beck's character.  He is a detective I would want to read more about in a future book.  I see great things for this author and I look forward to what he comes out with next.

Read an excerpt:

Dead Air. It was the most unforgivable of sins. I was standing at the bar in Jergel’s Rhythm Grille in Warrendale, PA when the overhead sound system finished blaring “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” the seventeen-minute, two-second version, then dove into silence… and stayed there.
Minutes crawled past while WZOC, better known as Z-Rock to Pittsburgh-area listeners, remained silent. The long version of the Iron Butterfly song was played when DJs need extended bathroom time. Apparently, it was not enough time.
The seventeen-thousand-square-foot bar and restaurant was beginning to fill up. The stage hands scrambled over the stage in a well-orchestrated dance as they prepared the stage at the rear of the building. I was at the front bar, one of six serving the customers. The crowd noise increased due to the silent overhead system. The bartenders and service personnel went about their jobs, oblivious to the lack of music. I appeared to be the only person who noticed it. The dead air was an unexpected lapse for a normally proficient staff at Z-Rock. The station owned by my high school best friend, had been my first client, so I was always glad when the bar staff piped it in to provide background noise.
A Pittsburgh favorite, The Clarks, were scheduled to take the stage in forty-five minutes. Their classic rock style was often compared to Tom Petty. Z-Rock had introduced The Clarks to the Pittsburgh market, and it remained a strong supporter of the band. They had parlayed the station’s promotion into a broader following along the Southern Atlantic states. The quartet was almost as well-known in the city as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting lineup. I had had the great fortune to see many of their local performances.
Before heading to the front door, I finished my IC Light, a low- calorie brew from Pittsburgh Brewing. The bartender grabbed my empty bottle and asked, “Another one, Beck?”
“No thanks; probably later.” I headed toward the entrance, featuring solid wood double doors, the left side closed to restrain the incoming crowd. The line stretched outside beyond my view.
My firm was in charge of crowd control for the event. Even though I was on duty tonight, my plan was to be more of a spectator.
In my earpiece, I heard my site manager of Jergel’s security, Lance Parisi. “Beck, we have a problem at the front door. This patron is drunk and belligerent. He may be armed. I’m trying to get him to leave.”
I replied, “On my way.” As the owner of Blue Water Security, I was always glad to help with situations like these. I tried to hire only the best, so backing them with my support was always a pleasure.
An obviously intoxicated man was pointing a finger at Lance who had to be at least six inches taller than the swaying man. “You fucking asshole! I have a ticket! You can’t keep me out!” I heard the word motherfucker and that was that. This wasn't going to end well for the drunken ticket holder.
In my mouthpiece, I said, “Stay cool, Lance. He's all talk,” but before I could arrive, the man took a swing at Lance. So much for my expert analysis. In one quick movement, Lance had the man's right arm twisted behind his back, Lance’s left arm firmly around his neck in a choke hold.
I rushed to Lance's side. The man's open coat displayed the butt of a gun in his waistband. I jerked the .38 Special from his belt holster and turned to look him in the eyes. The combined stink of beer and whiskey oozed from him.
Adrenaline was pumping through my body as if facing a 3-2 pitch. I regained my composure before speaking in a calm, determined voice. “Sir, even with a concealed carry permit, it is illegal to bring a gun into a bar, especially when you are intoxicated.” The other patrons waiting to enter had backed away when they saw the gun. “The man with his arm around your neck is going to escort you to the office. The police will be called. I hope you have your permit with you. You can walk to the office quietly. If not, I'm certain Lance will find a way to get you there. Is that clear?”
The man nodded as best he could with Lance's muscular arm wrapped around his neck. Lance released his stranglehold, keeping a firm grip on the man's arm. I handed the gun to my employee. The drunk remained calm and allowed Lance to lead him away. Using my mic, I paged Jason Weaver, who had been assigned to dance floor security for the night, to come to the front door.
I remained at the door, checking tickets for the anxious concert fans, until Jason appeared. It was then I realized there was still silence coming from the sound system. The normal professionalism of Z-Rock's staff made me wonder about the cause of the extended silence. I could imagine engineers scrambling to locate and repair whatever technical problems had occurred.
Jason arrived, assuming Lance's position at the door. I turned back to the bar as my cell phone rang. “Glenn Beckert,” I answered.
“This is John Waner at Z-Rock.” He paused and I wondered if I was truly surprised to be hearing from my security guard at the station. His voice was high-pitched, his words rushed as he said, “There's a big problem here.”
“John, what's the problem?”
“Beck… H-He's… I don't know what to do. R-Richie's been murdered.”
Excerpt from Dead Air by Cliff Protzman. Copyright © 2018 by Cliff Protzman. Reproduced with permission from Cliff Protzman. All rights reserved.

About the author:

Cliff was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Cliff's family relocated to Northeast Ohio when he was in high school. Immediately after graduation he returned to his hometown to attend the University of Pittsburgh. Cliff planned to major in journalism and write the great American novel. Instead, he switched to Business Administration and began a 30-year career in accounting and finance.
Cliff rekindled his passion for writing acquired as a reporter for his school newspaper. He published his first novel, DEAD AIR: a Glenn Beckert Mystery in September 2017. Cliff also writes short stories. He was a winner in the Unfinished Chapters anthology in 2015. Cliff is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Pennwriters.

Catch Up With Our Author On His Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!


Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!  


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Cliff Protzman. There will be 1 winner of one (1) The giveaway begins on April 1 and runs through May 2, 2018. Void where prohibited.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Spotlight: The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart

Author:  James L. Rubart
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date of publication: February 2018

What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on—with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside—like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury—and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us—and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

“Rubart will leave readers inspired . . .” —Publishers Weekly STARRED review for The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

Purchase Links

About James L. Rubart

James L. Rubart is a professional marketer, speaker, and writer. He serves on the board of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest.

Connect with James

James L. Rubart’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, March 20th: @createexploreread
Wednesday, March 21st: What is That Book About
Thursday, March 22nd: Laura’s Reviews
Friday, March 23rd: The Sketchy Reader
Tuesday, March 27th: Reviews from the Heart
Wednesday, March 28th: @acozyreader
Thursday, March 29th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, March 29th: Write Read Life
Tuesday, April 3rd: @bookmusings
Tuesday, April 3rd: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, April 4th: Mel’s Shelves
Thursday, April 5th: Read Eat Repeat
Friday, April 6th: @novelmombooks
Saturday, April 7th: @willbakeforbooks
Monday, April 9th: Fiction Aficionado
Wednesday, April 11th: @somekindofalibrary
Thursday, April 12th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Friday, April 13th: Girls in Books and @girlsinbooks
Tuesday, April 17th: From the TBR Pile

Release Blitz Promo: Needing Him by Kennedy Fox

Needing Him
Bishop Brothers Book 2
Author: Kennedy Fox
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trope: Enemies-to-Lovers Doctor Romance
Date of publication:  April 2018

Evan Bishop is your typical hotshot doctor. 
Hardass, brooding, and all business. 

Instead of working on the family ranch, Evan broke the mold and became an ER doctor. 
He’s good with his hands—in more ways than one—smart as a whip and is the definition of God’s gift to women. Being a gentleman is in his Southern roots, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t flawed. Exclusive dating has never been a top priority and his tragic past makes him stay at arm’s length. Deciding to let loose for a wild night, he takes a page from the Bishop brother’s relationship book and hooks up with a mysterious girl he’ll never have to see again, which is perfect for this self-proclaimed bachelor. 

Emily Bell is a city girl through and through but is determined to get away from her family and past. All she wants is a fresh start and to make a name for herself in the medical field. No random hookups and no dating coworkers—that’s her new motto after being burned time and again. When she agrees to attend a wedding as a plus-one, she’s soon ditched and left to drink solo—but not for long. Mr. Suit is the ultimate temptation with his Southern charm, messy blond hair, and irresistible sex appeal. Everything about him screams bad news, but he makes her reconsider her rules just for one night. 

After all, some rules are made to be broken.

They want the same thing—one night of passion then they’ll go their separate ways. No cuddling afterward. No next day phone calls. No awkward goodbyes. Too bad the universe has other plans—one that’ll be obvious when they report to work on Monday morning. 
*A contemporary romance with a little Southern drama. This is book 2 in the Bishop Brothers series. Each book features a different brother and can be read as a complete standalone. HEA guaranteed!*
Not suitable for readers under 18 due to adult language and sexual content.

Preorder Links:

Coming Next: 
Chasing Him preorder links:

Needing Him Release Day Giveaway

Brooke Cumberland & Lyra Parish are a duo of romance authors who teamed up to write under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox. They share a love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make your lady bits tingle and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you!
Keep up with all their social media platforms for updates & info!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of Forget You by Nina Crespo

Author: Nina Crespo
Publisher: Pocket Star
Date of publication: April 16, 2018

Sophie Jordan dreams about hooking up with Nicolas “King” Kingman—the gorgeous CEO of her company—but as her boss, he’ll always remain out of reach. King knows he isn’t built for happily-ever-afters and only indulges in brief romantic encounters. But when Sophie agrees to fill in as his last-minute date to a charity gala, an unexpected discovery quickly escalates their platonic relationship to one of passion.

King is determined to ignore their attraction and, feeling betrayed, Sophie severs ties with him and the company. Everything changes, however, when he’s injured in an accident, and Sophie agrees to help until he closes a major deal. Unfortunately, he’s developed amnesia, and although he doesn’t remember their night together, desire binds them in ways they can’t resist.

Time is running out on closing the deal, as well as Sophie moving on to her new career. Will King deny love in favor of winning and lose Sophie forever?

My thoughts:

Forget You is the first in a new series about the Kingman brothers series .  In this one, Sophie has been "King's" assistant for two years.  She has also harbored a secret crush on him.  However, she knows if she were to get involved, she would be another notch on his bedpost.  King avoids commitment at all costs, but he starts noticing his assistant is more than a valuable member of his staff.

I have mixed feelings about this book.  Ultimately, I did enjoy it.  I liked Sophie and wanted her to succeed.  I was cheering on most of her choices.  I just couldn't really, at first, see what she saw in King.  He was really kind of a man-whore.  She acts surprised after he wants to forget their one night stand, but did she really expect anything more?  King had a really messed up sense of commitment, but I felt like have did have a lot of growth in the end.  I  didn't feel the chemistry right away between the couple.  In essence, they had to grow on me.  Their HEA was sweet and I did walk away with a feeling of hope for them.  I look forward to reading the next book.

Available Now!
Order this title at these online retailers:
Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBooks |  Kobo | Google Books | BAM

Enjoy this excerpt:

What he was about to do seemed crazy. He just needed to hear Sophie say nothing sexual had ever happened between them. Then he could chalk up those images as pure fantasy.
He pulled into a space, threw the gear in park, and got out. Sophie’s shocked expression alone would whip him down to size. Guilt over dreaming of her naked would replace his attraction to her. That’s exactly what he needed. A heaping pile of remorse.
Signs with numbers and arrows led him through the maze of duplexes in the courtyard. In the past, he’d followed her from work after a long night to make sure she’d made it safely home, but he’d never actually gone to her apartment before. King located the right door and rapped on it. Not that he had a good reason now.
A porch light flickered on above him. He heard movement inside. What if Sophie’s roommate answered? He’d forgotten about her. Shit. What was his excuse? A lost phone number. Problems accessing the presentation from his computer.
Sophie opened the door. Devoid of makeup, hair swept back into a ponytail, and dressed in a faded green tee and jean shorts, she radiated uncomplicated beauty. “King? What are you doing here?”
He barely squashed the need to take her in his arms and went inside. “We have to talk. Is your roommate here?”
“No. Robin’s at work.” She closed the door. “Why? What’s going on?”
“When were we together?”
“Yesterday. Don’t you remember?” The genuine concern in her expression made him feel like a cross between a jerk for thinking of her sexually and a man struggling to prove his sanity.
“No. I mean yes.” He raked his hair and pulled so hard his scalp stung. “When did we sleep together?” Shock. Laughter. An emphatic denial. He braced for them.
Sophie paled. She shrugged and brushed her bangs from her forehead. Her tell. She planned to deny what happened.
No way in hell was she getting away with that. “How long ago was it? Weeks? Days? Why didn’t you tell me?”
What’s next for Sophie and King? Pick up your copy of FORGET YOU, The Kingman Brothers and find out. Available April 16, 2018

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About the author:

Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions—the beach, kickboxing, a good glass of wine, and dancing. Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel. Curiosity about people and places, including what’s beyond the stars, fuels her writer’s imagination. Indulge in her sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales to feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.

Need Nina? You can also visit her online at the following places:

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spotlight: Betrayal The Awakening by Kira Hillins

Author: Kira Hillins
Date of publication: April 2018

For over four-hundred years Tristan Ashfield has waited for a cure for the ailment that chains him to the night. Like a vampire he’s lived off human blood, hunted and killed to stay alive, hoping one day a female would be born with a rare blood that would give him back his humanity. But Madeline, a woman he cared for long ago, has waited for the same prophecy to come to pass. When the search for mortality becomes a race, Tristan finds himself caught in a moral dilemma. Love the one who will save him? Or kill her to save his mortal soul?

As a child Anna Holden worshiped the ground he walked on, believing in his existence as a vampire until the day he left her. Her bitterness grew over the years, leading her to believe he was nothing but a con. Now, to fulfill the dying wish of her father, she’s on a quest to find his whereabouts and help him discover a cure she knew nothing about. Falling in love with him was not what she’d planned. But who was she to mess with destiny?

“In some of the old horror movies, a vampire turns into a bat.” Embarrassed for making such a silly comment, she took another salty bite of pork. “I mean, you obviously don’t turn into a bat to fly. But, maybe you have wings that nobody can see.”

He rested his elbows on the tabletop. Anna was glad to see him get comfortable for once while they carry on a meaningful conversation. “Mac believed that I am a vampire. I assure you that I cannot morph into creatures. I cannot make someone immortal with a bite. I am but one man with an eternal illness.”

“Your skin burns in daylight. Do you think, if you stood out in it long enough, you would turn to ash? Do you think a stake through the heart would kill you?”

“Would a stake through your heart kill you?” A curious expression flooded his face, as if color blended through his pale skin, but only for a moment, and then it was gone. He clasped his hands together. “I am immortal as I sit here with you, but death is uncertain. I imagine the sun against my skin, I imagine a stake through my heart, and I imagine a fall from the highest cliff might indeed bring an end to my soul. But I have not tried, nor have I dared to dream of my death since I made the promise to watch over you.”

His voice was gentle as he said his heartfelt words. Tears sprouted in her eyes. Her stomach growled for more food, but she refused to eat now. His words opened her eyes to his darkness, just enough to notice the struggle within him.


“I apologize for saying such things to you.” He lifted his hand to her face, but then returned it to the table.

She wiped away her tears. “Do you feel pain?” she asked, sniffling.

“I feel what any normal man feels, sorrow, pain, and…love.”

Love? The warmth in her face grew. “Can you…you know…love?”

Tristan cocked his head to the side as if he searched for reasoning behind her question. Then with an arch of his brows, she could tell he understood.

“Though I struggle with the darkness within, my body is made of skin, bone and muscle. Although different than mortal men, blood still pumps through my veins. I cannot explain it any other way.”

Thinking of him joining her in bed sent a jolt of electricity through her. To feel his arms around her, caressing her beneath the warm blankets, it would be just as she’d always imagined—beautiful.

Kira writes to create a fantasy world in which to exist until she's beamed back to her home world of Oregon. Or until Superman rings her doorbell and asks her to fly away with him on an adventure that may, or may not, include the Tardis. Wherever she lands, writing will always be her passion.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Spotlight Tour: Excerpt of Play for Keeps by Maggie Wells

Author: Maggie Wells
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: April 2018

Mixing business and pleasure is a dangerous game…

Tyrell Ransom, the new men’s basketball coach, is ready to whip his team into shape and start winning some games. But when compromising photos of his soon-to-be-ex-wife with one of his players go viral, everything comes crashing down. With reporters thick on the ground, Ty and his team need some serious damage control—now.

When public relations guru Millie Jenkins arrives in her leopard-print cape to save the day, things really heat up... Soon they’re going to have to work double time to keep their white-hot chemistry out of the headlines.

Buy Links:

Enjoy this excerpt:

“I didn’t plan this, and I certainly didn’t want it to happen like this. I mean, you’re right about the timing…but as Millie pointed out, this might be the only chance I get to have a kid. She can’t have any, and I…” He trailed off, using only a helpless shrug as punctuation.
Danny nodded. “You don’t want to be with anyone else.”
“Does she know? About the test, I mean.”
Ty shook his head, incapable of voicing any more denial.
“When are you going to tell her?”
Again, Ty had no words.
“You can’t wait, man. The longer you wait, the worse it’ll be. She’s been on pins and needles too,” Danny reminded him.
“I know.” Ty wrung his hands, then chanced a look at the man beside him. “But how? How do I do this? How can I have a relationship with Millie and be a good father to my kid? Will she still even want a relationship with me? She didn’t sign on for dealing with a kid…and Mari. Hell, she’s hardly signed on for anything.”
“It’s a lot to think about, but you’ll figure it out,” Danny assured him.
“Do you really think so?” he asked bluntly.
Danny clapped him hard on the shoulder, then rose, grunting a bit as his knee popped audibly. “I think you’re a good guy who tries to live a good life.” He surveyed the band members scurrying around in what looked to be complete disarray. “You know, it’s always like this.” He waved a hand in the direction of the field. “On Wednesday, they look like a pack of blind ants scrambling around for the last crumb. By Saturday evening, that mess will be a tribute to David Bowie complete with rocket ship and guitar formations.”
Ty raised his eyebrows, surprised the football coach paid any attention at all to the band director’s plans. “Will it?”
Danny nodded. “I started having a couple of film and television students video band practice and the halftime shows. I make the team watch them every Monday before we review game film.”
“You do?”
Stepping down a row, Danny chuckled. “They hate being compared to the band kids, but I think they’re starting to see the point.”
Ty blinked up at him. “Which is?”
Danny gestured to the field, where chaos seemed to reign. “If they can play ‘Heroes,’ then the sad, sorry bunch of misfit jocks I inherited can try to be heroes.”
“Just for one day?” Ty challenged.
Danny laughed and shook his head as he proceeded to step from bleacher to bleacher. “Hell no. I need five more Saturdays out of them.”
“Don’t forget the bowl game,” Ty called out to him.
Raising both hands over his head, Danny held up six fingers. At the bottom, he squinted up at Ty, shielding his eyes from the lowering sun with one hand. “Hey, Ty?”
“Congratulations, man.”
And the fist in his chest was back. Resisting the urge to cover the sore spot with his hand, he waved and called down a gruff, “Thanks.”

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About the author:

By day, Maggie Wells is buried in spreadsheets. At night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide. She has a passion for college football, processed cheese foods, and happy endings. Not necessarily in that order. She lives in Arkansas.

Find Maggie Online: