Tag Archives: #HEA #readromance

For The Love of You by Claire Marti. #newbookrelease #authorvisit

I’ve been so lucky to meet writers during my writing journey who astound me with their talent and inspire me with their bravery. When I decided to publish my very first indie romance, it was to writers like today’s guest, Claire Marti, to whom I looked and learned.

Claire has a new book out today, the third in her Pacific  Vista Ranch series, and she graciously allowed me to talk the book ( and it’s predecessors) up !!!

FOR THE LOVE OF YOU by Claire Marti

For a French soccer icon, and a gifted artist, a fake engagement is the perfect solution for their current dilemmas. But when last summer’s fling slips from lust to love, their pretend relationship becomes too hot to handle.

Gabriel DuVernay is heir to one of the oldest wineries in France, but his passion is playing soccer, not tending vines. When he signs a multi-million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, he’s able to postpone his unwelcome duties and help his younger sister convince their old-fashioned father she should be their family’s first female winemaker. Another bonus of moving to California is reuniting with the striking redhead who snuck out of his apartment after the hottest night of his life.

Last summer, artist Dylan McNeill’s life on her family’s Southern California horse-breeding ranch was thrown into chaos and she escaped to Paris. One electrifying night with a gorgeous playboy athlete helped her forget her problems. She’s never forgotten Gabriel, but aspiring artists trying to break into the elite art world don’t have time for romance. She’s determined to get discovered without trading on her family’s famous name.

When Gabriel suffers a career-shattering injury, he needs to buy some time to figure out how to remain in America and choose his own future. His influential mother can open important doors in the art world and help Dylan fulfill her dreams ––for a price. A fictitious engagement seems like the simple answer until living at Pacific Vista Ranch and pretending to be in love starts to feel real.

Can last year’s one night stand and this year’s fake engagement turn into true love forever?

 

Get your copy here: Amazon // Kobo // Apple books ( ibooks) // B&N

EXCERPT:

Hands linked, they ascended a single flight of broad wrought iron stairs. When he opened the large door, her lips parted in wonder at his home’s simple classic beauty. Wide honey-colored plank flooring set off the soaring ceiling, stark white walls, and midnight navy couch and loveseat. Nothing distracted from the main attraction: enormous glass doors revealing the unobstructed view of the wide golden sand beach melting into the cobalt blue Pacific Ocean.

“Wow. So I guess you signed on the dotted line the minute you saw this view?” Dylan drank in the beauty of the late afternoon sky.

Gabriel’s laugh was a low purr in his throat. “Exactly. Come.” He slid the French doors open and led her out to an immense deck.

Immediately, the warm, salty breeze caressed her skin and the shriek of seagulls filled the early twilight sky. Streaks of mauve and raspberry and tangerine turned the horizon into a watercolor tableau worthy of its own canvas. She leaned against the white wooden railing and sighed with pleasure.

“This is amazing. When did you arrive and do you get to spend much time here?” The Major League Soccer season ran from March to December. Professional athletes didn’t get much downtime, even in the off-season.

He was close enough that the clean fresh scent of soap and shampoo tickled her senses. His hair held a hint of curl and glints of chestnut and caramel. He angled his head toward her. “The transfer came through a few months ago, but I finished up my contract with Barcelona. I was at practice the morning after I arrived. So, no, I haven’t spent enough time here yet.”

“Thanks for sharing it with me.”

He reached for her hand again, lacing their fingers together. “Let’s have some wine and choose something to order for dinner. What are you in the mood for?”

“Italian or maybe French?” Her cheeks flamed. No innuendos there at all. Nope, not a one.

He waggled his eyebrows. “That can be arranged.”

Before she could react, he pulled her into his arms and lowered his head. He paused a few inches from her lips and slid one hand up her back to clasp her head. His minty breath mingled with hers and her lips parted in anticipation. His pupils dilated, his eyes black. With a growl, he captured her mouth and stroked and swirled his tongue with hers.

She melted against him, her knees buckled, and only his powerful embrace saved her from sliding to the deck in a boneless heap. She wove her arms around him, gripping the thin material of his t-shirt.

“Get a room!” A shout from the boardwalk below doused them like a bucket of freezing water. Gabriel’s hold softened and Dylan stepped back.

She exhaled a shaky breath and smoothed back her hair. Worked to slow her thundering heartbeat and gather some composure. When she’d agreed to come over to his house, she’d been anticipating flirtation and conversation, but nothing could have prepared her for experiencing the intensity of their chemistry again. They’d only spent one night together, but he’d left an indelible impression on her. Apparently, it was mutual.

Gabriel flashed a cheeky grin. “I’ve got several rooms inside, care to join me?”

“Aren’t you the clever one? Maybe we should slow things down and have that drink. And I am hungry.” Everything about him was seductive and she was inexorably drawn to him. If she didn’t at least gently tap the brakes, they’d be in bed before dinner. Or instead of dinner.

 

A little about my friend, Claire Marti:

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga.

Her award winning debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, was a Finalist for Best Contemporary Romance in the prestigious Stiletto Contest, won best unpublished contemporary romance in the Heart of the Molly and third place in the Maggie. Book two in the Finding Forever in Laguna series, At Last in Lagunaand Book three, Sunset in Laguna, ​are available everywhere. Sunset in Laguna ​was a Golden Quill finalist.
 
Claire’s exciting new Pacific Vista Ranch series set on a horse-breeding ranch in exclusive Rancho Santa Fe, California, launched in September 2019. 

When Claire’s not writing, she’s teaching yoga. You can find her teaching at studios in sunny San Diego or enjoy fifty online classes on the international website www.yogadownload.com. A breast cancer survivor, Claire is a sought-after speaker on the power of yoga and meditation. She’s been published in numerous magazines with articles on wellness and is the author of a memoir, ​Come Ride with Me Along the Big C, on her experience beating breast cancer. 
 
Claire is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Contemporary Romance Writers, and the San Diego Romance Writers.

You can find Claire here:

Website // Facebook  //Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads // Bookbub // Amazon 

Read books 1 and 2 in the PACIFIC VISTA RANCH SERIES now

NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU

A smoking hot stuntman. A fiery horse breeder. And a 220-acre ranch too small for both of them.
She’s avoided Hollywood for years…
When an arrogant Hollywood stuntman struts into Samantha McNeill’s breeding barn, sparks fly. She doesn’t care how mouthwateringly gorgeous he is, not when he assumes Pacific Vista Ranch’s resident horse breeding manager must be a man. Not to mention his job threatens to pull her family back into the paparazzi filled world they escaped from over a decade ago.
Now it’s at her door––wearing faded jeans and a wicked grin.
Holt Ericsson can tell the beautiful redhead hates him on sight and the feeling is becoming mutual. But he will call in a favor and convince Sam’s legendary director father that Pacific Vista Ranch is the only suitable place left in California to film an epic Western. Holt’s invested all his savings in the movie and his entire career is riding on it. No way will he allow one irritating, sexy woman to stand in his way.
Sam intends to fight him at every turn…if only her heart didn’t race when they’re together. Holt does his best to steer clear of her…except all he wants to do is hold her close. The sizzling attraction between them is either going to burn up the sheets or burn down the ranch…

THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU

A perfectionistic equine vet. A gorgeous fireman. An unrequited high school crush blazes hot twelve years later.
Reliable Amanda McNeill’s world toppled last summer when Hollywood invaded her family’s horse breeding ranch. Everyone’s moving onward and upward, but she’s in a massive rut. Weary of her label as the dependable older sister, she yearns to throw predictability to the wind and embrace spontaneity. She can be impulsive, even wild, and a hot fling with Jake Cruz might be the sizzle she needs to jumpstart her life.
When firefighter Jake Cruz rescues a dog from a hit-and-run, the nearest vet is none other than his high school tutor, Amanda McNeill. Face to face with his former crush, he finds her to be even more beautiful than he remembers, and her charming blushes and heated glances tell him she notices him this time around. While Jake longs to discover if this Amanda matches the girl who starred in his adolescent fantasies, his desire to become fire captain, and earn his family’s pride, requires he focus on work, not passion.
Could his dream woman become his real love or will his professional ambitions extinguish their chances? Once the smoke clears, will Amanda realize Jake isn’t a fling but her hero after all?

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#WeeklyWrapup 1.19.2020 I’ve been busy!!!

I’ve been all over the place this week, on my tour, but also visiting other writers on their home blogs. Here’s a recap on any stops ou may have missed- don’t forget to visit and enter the rafflecopter!!

I visited fellow WRP sistah Rebecca Grace on 1.17.2020 

Love Romance Reads had a great interview with Rick Bannerman on 1.14.20

Kari Lemor gave my book a shout out on her blog on 1.13.20

I have an interview over on Silver Dagger tours where I start my tour for A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK on 1.13.20

I’m featured on NNLights New Year Book fete on 1.13.20

I’ve got another full week ahead of me on the Silver Dagger tour, so stay tuned. Here are the upcoming tour stops for the week, staring today:

Jan 19

Sylv.net

Craving Lovely Books

Jan 20

Mythical Books

Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed

Jan 21

Anna del C. Dye official page

Maiden of the Pages

Jan 22

Breaking Genre

Luv Saving Money

Jan 23

The Pulp and Mystery Shelf  

Book Corner News and Reviews

Jan 24

Tammy L. Bailey Author Blog

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!

Jan 25

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Insane Books

Jan 26

Book-Lover

Midnight Book Reader

Like I said, BUSY!!!

Until next time, peers ~ Peg

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

#Releaseday for A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK and Day 1 of #SDSXXTOURS


I’ve been waiting for this day for sosososoos long, peeps!
A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK released into the book reading world at midnight and I’m starting a one month tour with SILVER DAGGER BOOK TOURS!

I think I’m gonna be busy for the next 30 days, hee hee. Below is the schedule of the daily tour stops. There’s a rafflecopter for prizes if you comment and fun posts about the book, me, and life in general. Hope to see you all on the tour. And just to make things easy, if you haven’t ordered your copy yet – here ya go:

Jan 13

kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours

The Book Diva’s Reads

Twisted Book Ramblings

Jan 14

Diane Reviews Books

Lisa Everyday Reads

Jan 15

I’m Into Books

On My Bookshelf

Jan 16

C Exley Books

CelticLady’s Reviews

Jan 17

Ilovebooksandstuffblog

Romance Novel Giveaways   

Jan 18

The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’

Pen Possessed

Jan 19

Sylv.net

Craving Lovely Books

Jan 20

Mythical Books

Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed

Jan 21

Anna del C. Dye official page

Maiden of the Pages

Jan 22

Breaking Genre

Luv Saving Money

Jan 23

The Pulp and Mystery Shelf  

Book Corner News and Reviews

Jan 24

Tammy L. Bailey Author Blog

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!

Jan 25

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Insane Books

Jan 26

Book-Lover

Midnight Book Reader

Jan 27

Authors From Everywhere

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Jan 28

Lilly’s Book World

Book Review Virginia Lee (BRVL)

Jan 29

Always Love Me Some Books Blog

Reviews and Promos by Nyx

Jan 30

Book Club Gone Wrong

Book Fanatics

Jan 31

nanasbookreviews

T’s Stuff

Feb 1

Taryn Jameson

Scrupulous Dreams

Feb 2

A Pinch of Bookdust

Teatime and Books    

Feb 3

JeanzBookReadNReview   

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews

Feb 4

Plain Talk Book Marketing 

eBook Addicts

Feb 5

Book Lovers 4Ever

Books all things paranormal and romance

Feb 6

TNT Book Promotions

A Blend of Sass and Class Blog

T.L. Gray Blog

Feb 7

Chapters through life

Books, Authors, Blogs

Feb 8

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read

The Book Dragon

Feb 9

Bedazzled By Books

The Bookshelf Fairy

Feb 10

Authors  &  Readers  Book  Corner 

Dragon’s Den

Feb 11

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

Girl with Pen

Feb 12

Readeropolis

Inside the Insanity

Feb 13

Breanna Hayse Romance

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

See you on tour! Peg

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

Book trailer for It’s A Trust Thing….

I’ve made so many great friends and met so many wonderful writers and people since I started my writing journey. Nancy Fraser is one of them. Not only is she an award winning writer, she’s also a damn fine graphic producer and artist. She made my book trailer to Dirty Damsels and did such a  great job I asked her to do one for my 11.1.19 release of It’s a Trust Thing. I think it captures the essence of the book perfectly. Have a gander:

Isn’t it great!!!??

Remember, It’s a Trust Thing is up for pre-order right now and will be available ONLY in Kindle and KU. And if you haven’t read DIRTY DAMSELS yet, let me whet your appetite with Nancy’s trailer for that book, too! Hee hee

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Dot Com Girls Romance, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

So…I did a thing.

No, Hell hasn’t frozen over yet, although with all the climate change problems, that may become a reality sooner than expected.

But…

I’m joining the Indie ranks of publishing!

You may be wondering why I finally joined the bandwagon of Indie authors after resisting for so long. It’s a valid question, especially since I vowed I’d never go that route because the learning curve is more than my mind can fathom! Indie authors are amazing to me because there is so much they need to know and do to get a book into print. Plus, the money it requires to do so.

But….

When Limitless Publishing accepted DIRTY DAMSELS (DotComGirls book 1) for publication, I already had book two, Helpful Hunks, written. When I submitted it, the publisher decided not to contract any more books in the series for monetary reasons. I get that. Publishing is a business and publishers are grappling day to day to compete with the growing hoard of self-published books. Investing money when they don’t think they are going to see a return is just poor business sense.

But…

I already had the second book written and the third plotted. When Limitless informed me I could either publish the book on my own or take it to another publisher, I didn’t want to wait another year or so and countless emails, revisions, etc. going the traditional route would have needed.  I wanted to get the book out a.s.a.p. The answer, really, was the only one that made sense to me: self-pub it.

So, a title change from Helpful Hunks to IT’S A TRUST THING, countless hours learning how to get it published, and lots of sweat, money, and sleepless nights, and here we are. The book will be released on 11.1.19 and the preorder link is live. The book will only be available in Kindle and KU, only. I simply didn’t have the brain power left to figure out the rest of the online venues (Heehee).

Any mistakes in the manuscript, be they spelling or tense, or anything else you can find, are strictly on me. This was an experiment from beginning to end just to see if I could do it.

Thanks for reading, thanks for reviewing, and the only thing I ask is that you be kind. Remember, to authors, their words are like their children. When you bash them, it truly is like bashing their kids.

Until next time ~ Peg

Looking for me? I’m usually here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

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Contest finalist x 2!!!

Some days it really pays to get out of bed in the morning! I was notified today that 2 of my recent books are both finalists in the OCCRWA BOOK  BUYERS BEST contest!!!

DEARLY BELOVED ( which is currently on sale!) is in the Contemporary category

 

CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS is in the mainstream category.

The Winners will be announced on October 12th at the Orange County RWA Birthday Bash in California!!

So excited!!!.

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#June is #audiobook Month

June if Audiobook spotlight month over on N.N. Lights Bookheaven and  HOPE’S DREAM is featured.

Here’s the link for today and you can follow all the books that will be featured this month on the site. NNLightAudiobookSpotlight

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Filed under Deerbourne Inn, Hope's Dream

A new #DeerbourneInn novella & visit from #author Charlotte O’Shay

I am so pleased to have another Wild Rose Press sistah with me today and her newest release, an addition to the  Deerbourne Inn series. Please welcome , an uber-talented author and my friend, Charlotte O’Shay and her new book FOREVER IN A MOMENT ( Deerbourne Inn).

Hi Peggy,

Thanks for inviting me to visit your busy blog. Today is release day and I’m so excited to share my new release Forever in a Moment.

Why did you write this story?

Perfect question. There are a million stories out there aren’t there? and so many romance tropes.

Forever in a Moment is my take on some age-old questions: Is there such a thing as love at first sight? What role does fate play in our lives?

I do believe in love at first sight, that instant connection that tells you this person, this guy or woman, is the one. And yet what we know as people and as authors is: nothing is ever that easy. If you asked Sam, my heroine, she’d tell you she didn’t believe anything, especially love happens that fast. Then she meets Jed…and wow. Now I think she’d say, “when you know, you know.”

What was your favorite part about writing this story?

My favorite part of this story was writing it in first person POV, which was the only way to write Sam. She’s a fish out of water in rural Vermont whose natural optimism is squashed when she’s jilted. Sam was like a friend who called me up to say: you’ll never believe the week I just had. She told me her story and I wrote it down. Fastest I’ve ever written a book.

I also Ioved the way our publisher’s series bible gave me an array of people like Jared Crawford who works at the inn and Karla Payne to work with. I met those characters and my imagination took off.

Favorite moments in the story?

I love the way Sam got to know the people in Willow Springs as individuals. She came up to the inn to lick her wounds but she’s a natural optimist and people person. I loved seeing the town and the people of Willow Springs through her eyes. She’s the quintessential empathetic person who’d give you the shirt off her back. I loved watching everyone warm to her…especially Jed *wink*

Now about you. What drove you to become a romance author?

Reading and writing were my companions at all levels of school and beyond, in spite of the fact that I have a large family. I fight my introverted personality and I’m always happiest deep into book whether someone else’s or my own.

I love the escape reading provides and the feeling I get in the hands of an author who can tell a good story well. It’s transportive. I strive to be that author.

Do you write in other genres?

Not yet. I do sometimes feel otherworldly or spiritual elements creeping into my stories. I talk about fate in the dedication to this book.

Here’s the Dedication:

I believe in destiny. I believe we drive the car but fate takes us on uncharted roads. I believe in the hope and fresh start of every New Year.

I love history too. But so far the stories that come fastest are the contemporaries and I’ve focused on them.

What’s next?

Book 3 in my steamy City of Dreams series, Their No Strings Affair will release on May 29th. You can find that blurb on my website.

Thanks Peggy!

Totally my pleasure, Charlotte. ~peg

 

A stormy encounter… 
Samantha DeMartino’s Christmas wedding is two weeks away when her fiancé calls the whole thing off. Word on the street: his cold feet are being heated by an old flame. With her well-ordered world in complete disarray, Sam’s friends convince her to go on her honeymoon—alone. A week at a charming Vermont inn away from the city and her demanding corporate career could be just what she needs to figure out her next steps. 
Between his twenty-four seven work schedule on his family’s dairy farm and teaching tourists to ski, Jed Armstrong’s too busy to think about how lonely he is…until Sam sings her way into his life during a Christmas blizzard. Now he has to figure out a way to convince her to stay. 
Can a vivacious city girl find forever with a reclusive farmer? 
Will her secret keep her from trying?

Forever in a Moment Buy links

Amazon // Kobo // Google Play //

A little more about this wonderful author…

Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family. Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law. But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams. Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

You can connect with Charlotte here: 

WEBSITE//INSTAGRAM//TWITTER// PINTEREST //  FACEBOOK PAGE

// BOOKBUB

My review of FOREVER IN A MOMENT is here ( Hint: I loveloveloved it!)

By Reservation Only      Hope’s Dream     Freedom’s Path   

      

Lyrical Embrace     Spirited Quest       Soul of the Storm

              

Lion Dancing for Love

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Filed under Deerbourne Inn, Romance, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#1stKissFriday 3.22.19

Today’s first kiss is between Moira Cleary and her lifetime best friend Quentin Stapleton from THERE’S NO PLACE LIFE HOME, the second book in my MacQuire Women series. Q has been in love with Moira since they were kids, but she’s been clueless. When he finally tells her how he feels, and kisses her UNLIKE a best friend, well, their love story really takes off.

Moira felt an intense overwhelming emptiness engulf her when he left. She started to open the front door but stopped when Quentin abruptly turned back and started up the porch steps again.

“I forgot something,” he told her.

“What?”

When he came up the last step and crossed to her, he said, “this,” and without another word pulled her into his arms.

Her first and last coherent thought was her best friend was going to kiss her goodnight. After a heartbeat, she forgot the best friend part and knew down to her toes friendship had nothing to do with this.

His lips slid across her mouth, soft and gentle, testing, tasting. Moira’s mind went blank as she succumbed to the sensation of them, hot and hard, pressing against hers in a kiss like none he’d ever given her before. Slowly, he traced her bottom lip with the tip of his tongue, silently asking her to open for him. When she did, he entered her mouth and began to explore, each movement becoming more demanding, more insistent. Moira fell against him, fisting his jacket lapels to steady herself. When she felt his heartbeat pounding under her hands, she grew lightheaded with need. Quentin framed her face with his fingertips, softly tugging down on her chin, changing the angle of the kiss.

She’d been kissed before, but never, never with such all consuming need and longing. She heard a deep moan and was shocked to realize the sound had escaped from her. One of Quentin’s hands left her face to slide down her back. When he pushed against her backside and molded her body to his, Moira’s stomach jumped. This time, though, it wasn’t with the painful contractions she’d come to expect, but with a heart- stopping craving.

A craving for him.

She unfurled her hands from his jacket and, without thought, wound them upwards, weaving them over his shirt collar and up through his hair. She grabbed onto the ends, pulled his head down closer, and held on fast.

All aspect of time was lost. Nothing mattered but the delicious feel of his strong hands caressing her back and the taste of him as his tongue mated with hers.

This couldn’t be happening. It had to be a dream.

But no dream had ever made her want like this, feel like this. When he skimmed his lips across her jaw and down her throat, stopping to take her lobe into his mouth, Moira knew this wasn’t a dream. That same feeling she’d had when she looked at him in the movie steeped through her again, tickling her stomach muscles. With a jolt, she realized the sensation was desire. Pure and simple.

Quentin pulled back and stared down into her face. With a heavy sigh, he laid his forehead against hers, a small grin tugging at the corners of his lips.

“I’ve wanted to kiss you for so long. So damn long.”

“Q—?”

He traced one finger lazily down her jaw and across the lips he’d just caressed, silencing her. “Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”

Confused, Moira nodded. She licked her lips, running her tongue across his caressing finger. The hiss that blew from him made her thighs shake.

Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you may now kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around, and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”

Moira tried to conjure the scene. “I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”

He nodded. “The exact quote was ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”

Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever going to kiss me like that.”

“He wasn’t known for tact back then,” he said, rubbing a hand down her back as he held her next to him in the soft lamplight from the porch. The soothing, rhythmic smoothing of his hand made every nerve on Moira’s body stand at attention.

“Later on that day, behind the barn, remember what happened then?”

Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire.

When she merely nodded, he traced a kiss across the area he’d just caressed, and said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you—quote—felt safe with me—unquote.”

“What was I? Eleven?” she said, finally finding her voice, and unnerved to hear it whining.

“Thirteen. We both were, and I was more than willing to do it. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”

His lips twitched at the corners when he said it, and Moira felt the warmth of her blush intensify.

“Q—”

“Hush.” He kissed her forehead. “Ever since that day, all I’ve wanted is a second chance. Now,” he pulled her body closer, wrapped both arms around her small waist, his hand resting just above the dent in her spine. “We’re both a little older, a little more mature. Some of us are much more experienced—”

“And conceited.”

“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”

Moira stared up into his eyes, warm and moist, shimmering under the subtle porch light. “Where is this coming from? You’ve never said anything like this, never acted like this, before. Ever.”

He took a breath and tucked her head against his shoulder, rubbing her back with both of his hands. His chest was made of granite, hard and solid and Moira felt so secure in his embrace. So comforted and so safe. If he never let go of her, she knew she wouldn’t mind in the least.

He didn’t speak for a few moments. Then, he pulled back, gazed down into her face and Moira didn’t need verbal answers to her questions. The look of blatant need and craving was so strongly etched in his eyes as he peered right through her, and for a moment, all she could do was stare, motionless. It was the same expression she’d seen on his face the night of her welcome home dinner. Then, she hadn’t known what to make of it. She couldn’t put a name to what she was seeing etched in his chiseled features.

Now, she knew.

He brought his lips to hers again in the gentlest of touches.

“I want you, Moira. More than I’ve ever wanted anyone or anything, in my entire life. I’ve always wanted you, from the time I knew what it meant.” He chuckled and added, “probably even before then. I haven’t gone a day in too long to count when I didn’t think of you and want you with me. There have been so many times the past few years when I’ve wanted to take an extended leave from the practice and go fly to wherever you were performing, just to see you. Obligations, though necessary, can be a bitch, and the time never allowed it. When Pat told me you were coming home, I thought, good. Finally. Home court advantage.” His lazy grin spread with the words.

“I never knew,” she said, tears springing up. “You never gave me any indication. All these years, you’ve never hinted at this. In any way. Why not?”

He shook his head. “I know. I didn’t know how you’d feel about it. We’ve been friends forever. I don’t have a childhood memory that doesn’t include you. We’re everything friends should be. But this is a different feeling, Moira, from friendship. So different.”

His voice broke on the last word as he claimed her mouth again, deepening the kiss instantly, and knocking her back emotionally.

“I won’t push you,” he said into her hair, kissing her temple. “You need to get used to the idea, I know. I don’t want anything to change between us.”

“How can it not?” she asked, the tears spilling over. “It changes everything, Quentin. You know it does.”

His thumb swiped softly at the drop of moisture cascading down her cheek.

“It doesn’t have to. We’re still us. We’re still the same. I won’t ever lose you as a friend, Moira. I can’t. You’re as much a part of my life as I am of yours. Our friendship will never change. It hasn’t in all these years you’ve been gone.”

Want to read more? Here’s where you can get your own copy of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

 

Buy Links: Amazon // Apple // Google // Kobo // Nook// 

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Some of my favorite books from 2018

MY Goodreads Reader Challenge this year had me trying to read 175 books by December 31, 2018. I know…

As of today I’ve reached 165, which is pretty terrific considering I also wrote and had published 4 books this year – 1 novella and 3 books of 100,000 words +

Of all those books I read, I tried to whittle it down to my top 5, but I really had to do 6 because a couple were tied!! These were all 5 star reads for me and I wish I could have graded them higher, because they were such fab stories!!

AT FIRST BLUSH ( A Well Paired Novel) by Marianne Rice

Alexis Le Blanc enjoys her simple life in Crystal Cove, Maine. After taking a chance on romance and getting rejected, she has given up on love. Now she devotes all her time to running her family’s winery, Coastal Vines. She wants to keep it small and traditional, but her parents have other ideas—hence why they hire some big-shot marketing executive from Napa Valley to rev up business.

When Benito Martelli shows up in her family’s tasting room, she’s more than stunned to discover he’s the man who wined and dined her the night before. Alexis is beyond peeved at his deception in trying to get into her good graces for the sake of making money on her winery. At first, she wants nothing to do with him or his big business ideas, but she’s pleasantly surprised when they come to a compromise, and even more surprised when she gives in to the sparks between them.

Unfortunately, things don’t go quite as planned and Alexis is faced with complications she never could have predicted. Promises and secrets unravel, and she must decide if love and wine are as well paired as she hoped.

FATAL EVIDENCE ( Love on the Line Series, bk 3)) by Kari Lemor ––Okay, technically this came out in Dec. 2017,  but I read it in 2018, so it counts!!

What you don’t know can get you killed . . .  
 
Construction company owner Scott Holland doesn’t go looking for trouble, but he’s just stumbled on plenty. The rundown mill he’s bought is plagued with mysterious incidents, and his investment partner, heiress Heather Silva, is as stubborn as she is intriguing. Dumped by his ex because of his blue-collar job, Scott is wary of Heather’s privileged background. Yet he’s drawn to her independence and strength, especially as the “accidents” grow more terrifying.

Determined to succeed without anyone’s help—especially her wealthy parents—Heather clashes with Scott again and again. But a grisly discovery in the basement makes them both targets. Someone wants Heather and Scott silenced for good. And as a killer closes in, the only option is to trust each other—or become the next victims…

CAPTIVE HEARTS ( A Well of Lies, Book 2) by Gina Leuci

 

Grace Adams has discovered the true reason she was brought to the gated town of Wellington. Now she wants to leave more than ever. With the security level of the town raised to fortress level she is forced to marry the town’s police chief. Hoping to gain the trust of the townsfolk, they pretend to make their marriage look real. It isn’t long before their game of deceit and reality blur together.

When Police Chief Caleb Wellington returned to his hometown, he had his own reasons for increasing the town’s security. Now, he sees the town for what it is: a prison. His relationship with Grace opens feelings he hasn’t had in a while. The last thing he wants to do is say goodbye. But he made a promise to get her home and he is a man of his word.

BENDING THE RULES by Katie O’Sullivan

 

 

Investment analyst Dylan MacDonald has been away from Cape Cod so long it no longer feels like home, despite deep roots and a large extended family. After a routine assignment in Africa becomes life or death, the former workaholic is back on the Cape and unemployed. Getting entangled with his high school crush is definitely not in his plans… Even if she was the one woman who made him think outside the spreadsheet.

Co-owner of a successful Chatham boutique, friendly and popular Bella Costa seems to have it all… except a real relationship. She has a rule against dating local boys, keeping her love life limited to summer flings. The only guy she truly cared about left the Cape and never looked back. Until this summer. Now he’s re-igniting all kinds of unresolved feelings.

Will the past stand in their way, or can they bend some rules to find a future together?

THE ONE YOU CAN’T FORGET  by Roni Loren


Most days Rebecca Lindt feels like an imposter…
The world admires her as a survivor. But that impression would crumble if people knew her secret. She didn’t deserve to be the one who got away. But nothing can change the past, so she’s thrown herself into her work. She can’t dwell if she never slows down.

Wes Garrett is trying to get back on his feet after losing his dream restaurant, his money, and half his damn mind in a vicious divorce. But when he intervenes in a mugging and saves Rebecca―the attorney who helped his ex ruin him―his simple life gets complicated.

Their attraction is inconvenient and neither wants more than a fling. But when Rebecca’s secret is put at risk, both discover they could lose everything, including what they never realized they needed: each other

She laughed and kissed him. This morning she’d melted down. But somehow this man had her laughing and turned on only a few hours later. Everything inside her felt buoyed. 

She felt…light.

She’d forgotten what that felt like.

HARD SELL ( 21 Wall Street, #2)  by Lauren Layne

He’s a Wall Street wolf. She’s been hired to tame him. From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes a wildly sexy novel of business and pleasure.

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him. So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.

Honestly, I don’t know what my goal is going to be for 2019, but if I keep seeing books like these fab ones listed on my goodreads browse pages, I think I may just have to up it to 200! We’ll see!

Happy reading in 2019, peeps. ~ Peg

Look for me here in 2019:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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