Category Archives: Alpha Hero

A Pride of Brothers: Aiden is on #Booksprout

Hey kids, if you are a reader/reviewer, A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: AIDEN is up on Booksprout, available for request, read, and review. The date for the review is set at September 9 – the book releases into the world on 9.8.

For those of you not familiar with Booksprout.co it is a reading/review service authors can use to find new readers for their work. You will need to set up an account ( it’s free to readers -always) and then you can troll through the genres to fins books that appeal to you. You just may find a new favorite author, too!

Here’s a bit about the book:

Lexi Buckley wants answers about her younger sister’s death. The police have labeled it a suicide, but Lexi doesn’t believe it. Stymied in her investigation, she doesn’t know where to turn next. After a chance encounter with a private investigator, she thinks her prayers have been answered.

Aiden Keane has never been an answer to a prayer before, but he agrees to help Lexi. A quirky combo of brains and beauty, the pixie blonde makes him feel things no professional ever should for a client.

When their investigation puts Lexi’s life in jeopardy, her safety becomes his number one priority. The hard part is not falling for her.

If you decide to request it, I hope you enjoy it and that you post your review when it’s due. Amazon is a must for the review to go to. Goodreads as well.

Happy reading peeps ~ Peg

Leave a comment

Filed under Alpha Hero, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A new ROMANTIC SUSPENSE release and a sale! Yowza

I’m tickled silly this morning because I’ve got 2 great pieces of news to share and they both involve books!. My books, hee hee

First, the second book in my A PRIDE OF BROTHER’s series, AIDEN, is officially up for preorder, with a release date of 9.8.2021. You can reserve your copy here: AIDEN

My second piece of good news is that, in anticipation of AIDEN’S release, A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK is ON SALE for just 99cents!!! So if you haven’t read the first brother’s story, now’s the best time to. And just FYI – you don’t need to read book 1 to know what’s going on in book 2 because they are stand alone books.

And hey, if you look really really close at Aiden’s cover, you’ll see the heroine, Lexi, holding a copy of… you guessed it! Rick’s book. Hee hee. I love that sosos much.

3 Comments

Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A new #Booksweeps Contest – First in a series – Romantic Suspense

Today, I have a fun surprise to share with you…

I’ve teamed up with 50 fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Romantic Suspense series starters to 2 lucky winners!

Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁

 

You can win my novel A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK , plus books from authors like Maryann Jordan and Shannon McKenna.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 bit.ly/RomSuspense-Jan21

Good luck and enjoy!

Happy Reading ~ Peg

Leave a comment

Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male

#sundaySnippet 12.20.2020

 

 

The following is a little scene from the book I’m currently penning, A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: AIDEN ( book 2 in the series.) Our hero is Private Investigator Aiden Keane, our heroine Lexi Buckley, Ph.D This scene is in chapter 1 when they are seated next to one another on a place bound for NYC. This is how I picture them in my mind when I am writing them…

 

“Have you been away long?”

“Too long.”

Before she could ask why, the overhead announcements started. Because she knew knowledge was the key to everything, Lexi gave all her attention to the flight attendants as they went through the safety precautions, even though she had them memorized.

Trying to be covert about it, she snaked her hand under the seat when told the cushion could be used as a floatation device during a water landing, just to make sure it was there and at the ready. She pulled the inflight instructions card from the pouch in front of her when it was referred to, and she made special notice of how close to the other exit doors she was when it was suggested.

“You’ve flown before, right?” Aiden asked when the crew finished.

“Many times.” She turned and found the ghost of a grin tripping across his mouth.

“Do you always listen so intently to the safety speech?”

“Of course. Don’t you?”

He shook his head. “The narrative never changes. I could repeat it in my sleep.”

She could too, but it still didn’t prevent her from listening.

One of the flight attendants who’d been walking down the aisle assuring the overhead compartments were closed, stopped at their row.

“Hi,” she said. It didn’t get passed Lexi the smile broadened when she lit on Aiden. “You two are seated next to the emergency exit door and I just want to make sure you know what to do in the event we need to access the door.”

She prattled on with the expectations, then asked, “Are you comfortable assuming that responsibility?”

Lexi said yes immediately.

“Thank you, and enjoy your flight.”

The last part was directed at her seatmate before she turned to the couple across the aisle and started her spiel again.

Aiden’s smile stayed in place when he turned back to her. With an eyebrow raised, he said, “I get the feeling you requested this seat.”

“I did.”

“Should I be worried?”

It took her a moment to see past the humor lacing his words to the steely caution in his eyes.

“No, no. God, no. It’s not that.”

The other eyebrow joined its mate. “Then…?”

Lexi swallowed and felt like she’d been pulled into the principal’s office to explain an adolescent prank.

“Research shows the safest place to be in the event of”—she lowered her voice and shifted closer to him so her words wouldn’t carry—“an emergency, is sitting by this door. I can stay calm in an emergency so I figured I’d rather leave my chances of surviving something up to me than to a total stranger who might crack under pressure.”

He stared at her a few beats and she’d give the last chocolate candy she had in her secret stash at the library to know what he was thinking.

Then, he leaned in closer as she had to him and her gaze dropped to his mouth when he asked, “Do you always like to be in control?”

For the first time in her adult life, Lexi couldn’t speak. All the statistics she had running rampant in her brain about the psychological impacts of OCD and control issues stayed locked inside her. Her mouth fell open but nothing came out. When Aiden’s gaze flicked down to her parted lips, lingered for a moment, then dragged back up in time for her to catch his pupils dilate, she slammed her mouth shut and took a deep breath.

The thought he was flirting with her drifted into her mind but was quickly shooed away. Men didn’t flirt with Alexis Buckley. She wasn’t the sister who garnered male attention, Zoe was. This man was asking because he assumed she had some nefarious reason for wanting the emergency seat. In this day and age, who could blame him? Crazies came in all shapes and forms. And genders.

Lexi took another breath and then called forth her most professional voice, the one she used with recalcitrant students, annoying adults, and anyone who needed a firm hand.

“I’ve found,” she said, happy her voice was controlled and modulated, just the way she liked it, “that’s is easier, and best, to rely on myself when situations arise that call for some kind of action. If that’s what you mean by being in control, then, yes.”

She met his appraising stare with calm and cool eyes and hoped that would be the end of it.

“Good to know,” he said, just as the captain came over the loud speaker.

*** It needs a little work, but the dynamics are coming together.

Enjoy your Holidays, peeps ~ peg

2 Comments

Filed under Alpha Hero

#sundaySnippet 7.26.2020

So I just started book 2 in my Pride of Brothers series. This one tells the story of Aiden Keane. Here’s a rough cut of the opening. A very rough cut!

“Here you go, sir.” The waitress dropped Aiden’s order down next to his beer and placed the bill folder next to it. “I’ll take that when you’re ready.” With a distracted smile she moved to the next customer along the busy airport bar.

Tired, hungry, and itching to get home, Aiden bit into his pre-flight meal and all but sighed.

A greasy burger, an ice-cold beer, and thoughts of his own bed were the only things keeping him sane right now.

He’d finished his assignment less than three hours ago, given his report to the client, and then managed to book a last minute ticket home.

Home.

One of his two favorite four-letter words and both of which he’d been missing of late.

What his brother Josh had billed as a quick turnaround research job had turned into a dumpster fire straight out of the gate. Unable to get to the root of the problem from his New York office, Aiden flew to Atlanta to work directly from the client’s home turf. The promised quick resolution morphed into two weeks, then eight, until Aiden was finally able to identify who’d been bilking the company’s corporate funds.

After he’d handed over his detailed report, naming the CFO’s much younger wife and her computer-hacker lover as the culprits and providing irrefutable proof, Aiden walked out of the owner’s office and cabbed it straight to the airport.

Now, with the prospect of a few days off before heading back to the private investigations firm he co-owned with his brothers, Aiden ate and flipped through his mental rolodex for who could help him satisfy the other four letter word occupying his mind. It had been a while since he’d had the pleasure of a woman’s company, loathe as he was to mix business with pleasure.

A long while.

While he took a generous pull on his beer, he let his gaze drift around the crowded bar and indulged in one of his favorite pastimes, people watching.

Or as his older brother Dylan referred to it, asshole surveillance.

Since he was in an airport bar where happy hour was a twenty-four/seven occurrence, Dylan’s description was the more accurate one.

The three middle aged women sitting across from him and passing a cell phone back and forth, all the while laughing liked they’d had more than a few afternoon Cosmos, told him they were heading home from a fun-filled girls’ getaway and reliving their antics thru selfie scrolling.

The thirtyish guy a few stools down from them, with rolled up shirt sleeves, a half finished beer in front of him, and a cell phone propped next to his laptop where he was typing at a rapid clip, told Aiden this was a workaholic businessman, trying to get a little more done before heading off to his next meeting. The guy’s gaze flicked back and forth from the computer screen to the phone, as if anxiously waiting for it to ring.

Two flight attendants in uniform were huddled in a corner booth, sipping from coffee cups, a guy in a pilot’s uniform seated with them. Since they all looked awake and fresh Aiden figured they were waiting to head for their first flight of the day.

Overhead, the arrival and departure announcements were white noise in the already cacophonous terminal. Babies crying, kids whining, their harried parents arguing as they sped between connecting flights, were all a subtle hum. Aiden had the unique ability to shut it all out, quiet the racket, and concentrate his attention on whatever he needed, or wanted, to.

Right now, that was watching the busty redhead on the other side of the bar and the guy in the two thousand dollar suit drinking like a man who’d just returned from being lost in an arid desert for days. The minute he banged one empty glass down on the counter, he signaled for the bartender to pour him another. With each refill the redhead got a little closer until she was one thigh away from sitting in the guy’s lap. They’d already been seated when Aiden took his stool and ordered. While waiting for his food to arrive, he’d snuck glances at their interplay.

He couldn’t decide if they’d arrived together, or had become fast and furious drinking buddies. Well, the guy was drinking. The redhead was slowly sipping what looked like sparkling water.

From his perch fifteen feet away Aiden noted the concentrated way she pressed against her friend, talking low, one hand flirtatiously snaking up and down his expensive suit sleeve while the other was hidden from view under the bar top.

He imagined that hand was either rubbing the guy’s thigh, or trying to find its way into his pocket to lift a wallet. He threw that notion out the window when he spotted the wallet sitting next to the half empty beer glass.

So, the thigh it was.

Lucky bastard.

Long lashes framed eyes that tilted up a bit in the corners. From a well applied liner, or a natural lilt? Probably the former. Cheekbones modeled from ripe apples pulled up when she smiled and showed perfect white teeth. The cascade of shiny red curls drifted down below her shoulder blades. His fingers tightened around his beer glass when she dragged one finger behind her ear, tucking a tendril, and the giving the lobe a quick squeeze. The move was so innately sensual the tips of his fingers tingled to follow her lead and run them over her skin.

She leaned in and whispered something in her companion’s ear that had the guy’s eyes widening and filling with glassy-eyed lust and an expectant smirk slashing his face. A seductive grin crossed her lush mouth and for a hot second Aiden’s gut tightened, imagining what those full lips would feel like pressed against his.

Damn. He really needed to get…home.

We’ll see how it develops….

Book 1, RICK, is available in print and ecopy, here: Amazon //  B&N // Apple books

Elite bodyguard and P.I. Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. He doesn’t get emotional with his clients, but when a woman from his past is threatened, his next job becomes personal.
Family lawyer Abigail Laine is the target of a client’s vengeful husband, but refuses Rick’s offer of protection. He walked away from her four years ago, and she swore to forget him.
Now her reluctance to accept his help could cost Abby her life.

 

Until next time, peeps ~Peg

 

5 Comments

Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male

#SundaySnippet 3.7.2020

I love when characters get into each other’s heads, don’t you? In this scene from A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Abby Laine is digging deep into Rick’s motives. Her questions prove a little too spot on for his comfort. Enjoy~

 

“She definitely had some angels on her shoulders today,” she said after taking a sip. “I wish her son could be at the hospital with her. I’m so worried about him. About what his father could be doing to him.”

Rick’s stomach clenched. “Do you think he’d hurt the kid?”

“He has in the past. That’s what finally prompted Lila to leave. For a reason I will never understand, she tolerated being hit by her husband, but the moment he laid a hand on their child, she knew she had to leave. Why she bore being abused is beyond me.”

“Maybe as an adult, she figured she could take it. Not so her kid.”

Abby shook her head as she stirred the contents of the wok. “You can hit me but not my child? That’s convoluted thinking and shows how little we’ve really evolved as a society. Unfortunately, I see too many instances like this in my practice. Women, who for whatever reason, are convinced they deserve to be treated abominably, that a marriage license gives their husbands the right to hit them. The legal right.” She shook her head again. As she stirred the chicken around the wok, it popped and sizzled over the heated oil.

A flash of himself at eight, his parents’ screaming voices above him, pushed to the front of his mind. The resounding thwack of the back of his father’s hand striking his mother’s cheek was as loud and terrifying to hear in his head now as it had been then. Rick took a deep breath and shoved the memory back down.

He took a large swig of the water. “Any calls from your cop buddy? Updates?”

“I checked when I was getting changed. Nothing.” She sighed and then tossed two wrappers into the now- boiling pot of water. “In a minute, everything will be ready,” she said. “The rice needs to set.”

“That’s rice? It’s the wrong color.”

“You’ve never seen brown rice before?”

“Seen it. Had it. Just didn’t know it came in wrappers.”

This time she didn’t try to hide her grin. “If you tell Kandy, I’ll deny it until my dying breath.”

“Tell her what?”

With another subtle eye roll, Abby said, “That I take shortcuts. If Kandy was making this meal, the rice would have soaked in warm water for an hour, then would have been cooked in a rice steamer for another. I don’t have two spare hours. This”—she pointed to the pot—“is quick rice. Something I don’t think my darling chef sister has ever prepared. You know Kandy. She never uses commercial products. Everything is fresh, raw, and unprocessed.”

“Truth. And don’t forget delicious.”

“To use your word, truth. But cooking is what she lives for. I cook so I won’t starve, and most of the time I’m in a time crunch. So”—she waved a hand— “shortcuts.”

“As long as it tastes good and I didn’t have to make it, I don’t care how long it took to prepare.”

“Which is why takeout was invented for people like you. Here we go. All set.”

She spooned the chicken mixture onto a serving plate and, using tongs, pulled the rice from the pot, sliced the sides open, and poured the grains into a bowl.

“Take these to the table.” She handed him the food. “I’ll get plates and utensils.”

Once they were settled, Rick dug in.

After eating in silence for a few moments, he said, “This is good. Really good.”

Abby laughed. “Surprised, are you?”

“Impressed. This tastes like our favorite chef- lebrity made it.”

“She hates being called that, you know.”

“And still…” He lifted a hand.

God. You’re such a pain.”
He could see the humor skirting in her eyes.

“You’ve called me that before. Several times over the years, including on Kandy’s wedding day.”

The moment he said it he knew her mind traveled back to the same memory of the day as his did: their kiss. Her beautiful blue eyes widened, then narrowed, a thin worry line creasing the spot between her sculpted brows. The little flush of heat pinking her cheeks was the same color as her fuzzy socks.

Who knew she was so easy to tease? And why did it give him such a kick to see the nervous little shake of her head when he did?

“You were being an exceptional pain in the butt that day. If I remember correctly you called us minions. Not exactly a flattering phrase, Bannerman.”

He leaned back in the chair and took a chug from the water bottle. “Just calling it like I saw it. What description would you have preferred?”

“Attendants is the appropriate term. Bridal attendants. Calling us minions made us seem like mindless…lemmings.”

He laughed out loud. “From where I was standing, that’s exactly what you all were, although I wouldn’t call you mindless. You were all dressed identically, did everything together as a unit, and were at Kandy’s beck and call. She said jump, you all asked how high.”

“That’s what we were supposed to do. Our job was to make sure Kandy’s day ran smoothly, with no worries. Haven’t you ever been in a wedding party?”

“Nope. I’ve been lucky to miss that experience so far.”

Her mouth pursed around her fork. “Do you even have friends?” she asked after swallowing.

“ ’Course I have friends. What kind of a question is that?”

“Aside from Josh.”

Well…

“You don’t give off a ‘let’s get together and have a beer’ vibe, you know.”

Intrigued, he asked, “Really? What kind of vibe do I give off?”
When she didn’t respond, he pressed. “Come on, Abigail. You can’t leave me hanging.”

“Right there.” She aimed her fork at him as if it were a spear. “Perfect example. You know I hate being called Abigail. I’ve lost count of the hundreds of times I’ve told you and you still do it, knowing it pisses me off. And”—she cut him off before he could speak— “your usual response is to lift your hands and say ‘and still’ when you’re called on it. Who does that? What kind of person persistently and purposefully annoys people?”

“So you’re saying I’m intentionally annoying?”

“Persistently, so. Yes. Makes the lawyer in me wonder why.”

Just the lawyer?

“Any answers come to mind?”

“Plenty.”

“Care to share?”
She placed her fork down next to her plate and regarded him across the table. “You really want to hear this? Because if you know anything about me, you know I’m truthful. I don’t hold back.”

Oh, he was sure she didn’t. And wouldn’t. Her tenacity was one of the things he’d first been drawn to. That and her fabulous ass.

“I’m a big boy,” he said with a grin. “I can take it.

She took a sip of water first, her eyes trained on him the entire time. “Okay. If you really want to hear this.”

He waved his hand for her to continue.

“I think you use your cocky, aren’t-I-simply-too- witty attitude to keep people at a distance. You’re guarded. Emotionally. Like you don’t want to get close to anyone. You don’t want people diving in too deep, digging under the surface to see the real you. You don’t allow people to get to know you. Really know you.”

Because she came a little too close for comfort, Rick reached for his water.

“You never talk about yourself. Ever. Every time I’ve been in your presence at any function, barbecue, whatever”—she swiped a hand in the air—“you’re always the one asking questions. Probing. Being nosy. But when you’re asked a question, a personal one, you deflect and redirect.”

It was true. He never talked about himself. The army shrink he’d been forced to see had told him point blank he was fearful of rejection, afraid if people knew the real him, they’d run for the hills or in the opposite direction and want nothing to do with him. She hadn’t been too far off the mark.

“Did you ever think it’s because I feel people are more interesting than I am?”

“I’m calling bullshit, Bannerman.”

Again, because it was true, he had no real response. She cocked her head and pierced him with what he was now and forever going to call her lawyer death stare. “I don’t know anything personal about you,” she said. “We met four years ago, have been together dozens of times over the years, yet until today I didn’t even know where you lived. If it weren’t for Gemma, I wouldn’t know you’d been in the army.”

“You’ve discussed me with your sister?” Why did knowing that give him such a rush of delicious pleasure?

Abby waved a hand in the air again. “She mentioned it one night after she’d done some photography work for you on a surveillance job. About how you were much better suited to the boring wait- around-for-something-to-happen of surveillance work than she’d ever be because you were—her word— stealthy. It was probably because you’d been a sniper in the army, she said.”

Rick shook his head. He’d forgotten he’d told Abby’s younger sister about his army stint. It came out one day, unbidden, when he’d taken her target shooting at the practice range.

“I would never have known if she hadn’t told me. I didn’t even think to ask if you’ve got a gun with you.”

After a few moments, he nodded. “It’s in my duffle. But don’t worry. I don’t need the gun to protect you.”

Duh. The gun business aside, you’re partners with my brothers-in-law, but I don’t know if you’ve ever been married or divorced. If you have any kids. Living parents. It’s as if you don’t want people to know anything about you. To know you. Or to like you. Almost as if you go out of your way to make sure they don’t.”

This conversation was getting entirely too close for comfort. He wished he’d never pressed her into explaining.

From the corner of his gaze, he saw the cat hobbling into the room, beelining for her mother. He reached a hand down as she skittered by and grazed her fluffy back. Moonlight stopped, turned, and moved as his fingers trailed across her back again. When she did it a third time, Rick smirked across the table.

“Well, your cat likes me, so I can’t be all bad.” He reached over and single-handedly pulled the animal up to his lap, surprised she was so light. From the girth of hair on her, he figured she’d be heavy. “You really are a furball, aren’t you?” The rub of his finger across her neck had the cat running like a motorized propeller again.

He glanced across the table. “What’s the look for?”

She immediately blanked her face, grabbed up the last bits of her chicken with her fork, and shoved it through her lips.

Intrigued? You can get your copy here: Amazon //B&N //Ibooks//  Booksamillion

Until next time ~ Peg

Leave a comment

Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Romance, Romance Books

#SDSXXTours @RomanceNovelGiv A PRIDE OF BROTHERS:RICK

I’m still on my book tour and today I’m visiting one of my favorite places ROMANCE NOVEL GIVEWAYS. They asked me a question I get asked a lot as a writer and wrote about it for them,  here.

So stop by, read all about it and enter the rafflelcopter the tour set up for me. And if you do visit, please leave a comment so I can chat with ya!

Until next time ~ Peg

Leave a comment

Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense

#WeeklyWrapup I’ve been all over the blogging map this week!

It’s no secret if you follow my blog that I’ve got a brand new series starting on Monday, 1.13.20 titled A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK. It’s a new romantic suspense trilogy about a private eye firm run by brothers ( hence, the name. Heehee)

I’ll be all over the place promoting it for the next month, but this past week I started my own little tour and visited a bunch of fabulous authors who volunteered to help me get the word out about the book – love them all. At each stop I told you all a little more about the book, how it came to be, what my inspiration for writing it was, and a bit more about my writing quirks.

So, if you missed any of these, here’s a recap of where I was all week with the links included so you can visit me. Better late than never, I always say.

On Monday, January 6, I visited WRP sistah Alana Lorens

On Tuesday, January 7, I hopped over to another wonderful WRP sistah, author Judith Sterling.

Wednesday, January 8th, brought me to WRP writer and friend Jennifer Wilck

Thursday, January 9th I flew over to WRP sistah Amber Dalton

Friday, January 10 I made it all the way over to Jeny Heckman’s blog

Today, Saturday Januray 11, I’m camping over with  author D.V.Stone starting at 7am ESt.

I was thrilled when the book was featured on Pretty-Hot.com, too, on January 6.

So, stop by and catch up and then stop back here next week because I’ll be starting a SILVER DAGGER TOUR that features giveaways and Gift Cards, so you won’t want to miss out on that.

Until next time ~ Peg

Blurb:

Elite bodyguard and P.I. Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. He doesn’t get emotional with his clients, but when a woman from his past is threatened, his next job becomes personal.

Family lawyer Abigail Laine is the target of a client’s vengeful husband, but refuses Rick’s offer of protection. He walked away from her four years ago, and she swore to forget him.

Now her reluctance to accept his help could cost Abby her life.

Preorder your copy here before it releases on 1.13.20

Amazon //B&N // ibooks //Books-a-million

2 Comments

Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense

How A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK came to be….

I’m visiting fellow WRP author Alana Lorens today, talking about my inspiration for RICK BANNERMAN. I wasn’t always going to write his story…come find out why: APoB:R

And RICK drops one week from today! Have you ordered your copy yet? Here, let me make it easy for you ( heehee)

Amazon // B&N // i-books // Books-a-million

Leave a comment

Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

#SundaySnippet 8.18.19

Last week I brought you a little sumthin’ from my upcoming WRP release of TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS. This week, I have another new WRP release coming out SOON from a new series called PRIDE OF BROTHERS. The first book is Rick’s Story.

Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. An elite bodyguard and P.I., he’s used to denying his emotions and ignoring his feelings in order to keep those in his care safe, at all costs. When lawyer Abigail Laine becomes the target of a vengeful client, Rick slips in to protection mode even though Abby refuses his help.

Four years ago Rick left Abby standing on a balcony alone, after walking away from a kiss that sent them both reeling. His refusal stung, and Abby’s sworn to forget it so she can protect her heart and move on with her life. But now she needs Rick’s professional help and her reluctance to accept it could just cost her her life.

Can these two stubborn and independent people put their troubled past behind them and learn to trust one another?

Excerpt:

Rick was seated on the couch, his laptop on the table in front of him, an open bag of potato chips next to it.

“Where did those come from?”

“They were in the bag from Kandy,” he told her never looking up from his typing. “Josh took pity on me and sneaked them in.”

She pulled a bottle of water from the fridge. “Why would Josh need to take pity on you?”

If shamefaced had a proper name, it would be Rick, because that’s exactly the expression he wore on his face at her question. His shoulders curled forward a little, his neck almost disappearing into them. The tips of his ears turned ruddy, and he cleared his throat a few times before reaching for his own water bottle and taking a good chug.

He wouldn’t meet her eyes.

“Answer me,” she commanded when he put the bottle back down on the table.

She watched his neck work and couldn’t decide which emotion was stronger: the need to hear the answer to her question, or the desire to crawl into his lap and lick his neck—and every other part of him.

It was a testament to her analytical training that she opted for an answer.

“Maybe pity was the wrong word.”

Abby waited.

Rick scrubbed his hands through his hair and cupped the back of his neck. “Fine, but don’t get all pissy when I tell you, okay?”

For an answer, she cocked one of her eyebrows and dropped her chin.

“When we were over there, I happened to mention to Josh you don’t keep any junk food in the house. No cake, no chips, pretzels. Nothing to snack on.”

“Not true. I always have cut fruit in the fridge.”

The breath he blew between his lips told her what he thought of fruit as a snack. “Like I said, nothing to snack on. I kind of told him I was, you know, going through withdrawal, from the lack.”

She couldn’t help it: she laughed.

Rick straightened up in his seat, his eyes squinting at her. “You don’t have to laugh at me. You did ask.”

“How old are you?”

“What does my age have to do with anything?”

“You just said you were going through withdrawal because you haven’t had crappy snacks to munch on. Don’t—” She held a hand up to him to silence what he’d been about to say. “The stuff you like is crappy from a nutrition standpoint. The last time I heard someone complain like you was my nephew Declan when were all at the beach last month. He’s nine. Which is the age I’d expect a kid to be who’s made a statement like you just did.”

Rick shook his head. “I knew you were gonna get pissy.”

“I’m not being pissy because I eat food that’s actually good for me. You don’t live here, Rick. I do. You can fill your apartment to the ceiling with junk food and I won’t care, but this is my home, my space, and I don’t stock it full of bad food choices.”

“Why are you so hyper-vigilant and OCD about snacky stuff? It’s not gonna kill you to have a cupcake or some cheese puffs, you know.”

“Spoken like a man who can eat whatever he wants.”

“The hell does that mean?”

“It means you don’t need to worry about your weight. Ever. You’ve never struggled with an extra ounce of body fat in your life, Rick. I know that for fact. You have no idea what it’s like to count every calorie and watch every single thing that goes into your mouth because of the inevitability it’s going to wind up on your ass. I do. I wasn’t blessed with my grandmother’s metabolism like Kandy and most of my sisters. Ellie and I take after our dad’s side. We’re the only ones who do. One more thing to despise about him,” she added, pursing her lips. “I’ve had to deny myself food everyone else can eat with abandon since my teens. And it’s a struggle. A monumental one. I’m strong-willed, but sometimes willpower can only go so far, which is why I keep healthy foods around me so if I do snack, at least it’s on something I won’t obsess over about the calorie count.”

She took a long pull from her water bottle.

Rick’s gaze stayed on her while she drank. He didn’t seem embarrassed any more. In truth, she couldn’t tell what was behind that penetrating stare of his. She placed the bottle down on the counter next to her broken shoe.

“Come here,” he said, holding out his hand.

“Why?”

He wiggled his fingers. “Just, come here.” When she didn’t move he added, “Please.”

He took her hand when she got close and yanked her down onto his lap with her legs resting on the couch.

“For the record,” he said, winding one hand around her waist, the other across her thighs, “I love your ass. I love every part of your body. And whether you weighed fifty pounds or three fifty, you’d still be the sexiest woman I’ve ever known, Abigail.”

The words seeped into her soul. She wanted to believe them.

“And I’m sorry I dissed you to Josh. You’re right, I don’t live here, and I have no right to complain about anything. So, I’m sorry.”

Abby sat, quietly, staring up at him.

“What?” he asked when she tilted her head to one side.

“Contrition looks good on you.”

Intrigued? Stay tuned for more announcements on cover reveal, preorder links and release date!

And don’t forget, DEARLY BELOVED is still on sale until 8.23.19 Get your copy before book 2 comes out so you’ll be all caught up!

get your copy here:

amazon // B&N // ibooks

Until next time ~ Peg

5 Comments

Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Dialogue, Romance, Romance Books, The Laine Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor