Tag Archives: #romancebooks #romance

#TeaserTuesday 5.13.19

I have another new series starting – hopefully- by the end of this year, titled A PRIDE OF BROTHERS. For those of you who remember my Will Cook For Love series, Joshua Keane ran a Private Investigative/Security firm with his 2 brothers and his best friend, Rick Bannerman. Rock made an appearance in A Shot At Love and I lovedlovedloved him so much I wanted to give him his own story. Book 1 of POB, Rick’s story, is it. Abigail Laine, one of the  7 Laine girls from the WCFL series, gets her story here, too. This is a long passage from the beginning of the book, but sets up their conflict and storyline.  Enjoy! ( or at least, I hope you do!!! HEEHEE)

A few hours and several glasses of wedding celebration bubbly later, Abby spotted the object of her lust-filled fantasies slip through the ballroom doors and out onto the terrace.

It never occurred to her not to follow him.

Spring had surfaced two weeks prior and the fading light between dusk and nightfall was grasping for a few more minutes to shine. Abby spotted him at the far corner of the balcony, overlooking Central Park. Elbows leaning on the railing, he was staring off into the distance. For a brief moment she was afforded the opportunity to study him unawares.

The person who invented tuxedos should be sainted. Or at least knighted. There was nothing else that made a gorgeous man even more attractive. If Rick weren’t a private investigator he could easily pose for a men’s eveningwear line. His physique was perfectly model proportioned according to Gemma, the professional photographer in the group, and his classic, carved-from-marble good features were captivating.

All in all a hunky, sexy guy. And one she wanted to get closer to—in the purely biblical sense. There was no doubt in her mind Rick Bannerman was a man who knew what to do with a woman, and please God she wanted to be that woman. Even for one night.

“Didn’t your parents ever teach you it was rude to stare?”

The quiet pitch in his voice bounced off the tree canopy in front of them and vibrated through her body from head to heels. She’d been hidden in the shadows and he hadn’t moved a muscle, and yet he’d known she was standing there, gawking.

Abby walked toward him, her hands clasped in front of her.

“Mom was too busy working three jobs and finding herself,” she said as she came closer, “and Dad bolted before he could teach us anything.”

Rick turned his head a fraction, his body staying in the same leaning forward, relaxed position, but the second his gaze landed on her she felt like a deer paralyzed in an on-coming truck’s blaring headlights on a lonely road at two a.m.

Her breath caught and she swore the cool temperature in the surrounding air went up a good ten degrees around him.

Maybe she should have had another glass of fortification before deciding to come outside.

“And I’m pretty confident you’re used to people, especially women, staring at you.”

He didn’t answer.

She’d give anything to know what he was thinking as his gaze trailed from her eyes, down to her mouth where they—gulp—lingered for a moment and then back up again. She couldn’t stop the shiver that jumped through her.

Rick finally moved when she ran her hands up her chilled, naked arms. He shrugged out of his tuxedo jacket in one fluid motion that had her mouth watering. When he took a step toward her and flung it around her shoulders he was close enough for her to stretch up and run her lips along his jaw and finally taste him.

In the time it took her to gather her courage to do it, he moved back and shot his hands into his pant pockets.

“You shouldn’t be out here in that slip of a dress,” he said, chinning her bridesmaid gown. “It’s still cool at night and you’re not dressed for the weather.”

Abby pulled the jacket tighter around her shoulders, sighing when she caught a whiff of Rick’s cologne clinging to it. Whether from the heady, musky scent she’d now and forever equate with him, or the dipping temperature, her nipples shot to bruising points under her soft strapless push-up bra. The dress was a shear, pale blue satin spaghetti-strapped tea length design and, as Rick pointed out, did nothing to protect her from the elements.

“Thanks,” she said.

“You should go back inside where it’s warmer, Abigail. I’m sure you’ve got minion duties to perform.”

Her back went ramrod straight. “I hate being called Abigail. Something I’ve told you many times before.”

He cocked his head a bit, the sexy, small smirk dancing across his lips again. “And still…” He lifted his hands from his packets in a “what can I say” gesture.

“That’s just mean. Calling a person something you know they don’t like.”

“It is your name, kiddo. Abigail June.” His careless shrug pulled his shirt tight across his massive shoulders. Abby’s fingers twitched to touch them. Instead, she tightened her grip on the jacket lapels.

How did he know her full name? She didn’t remember ever telling him because she did everything in her power to forget it. It was so…old lady-ish. Like she lived with seventeen cats and read sweet romances all day and night long. Alone.

“You’re such a pain.” She shook her head and pouted.

“Am I?”

“You know you are. And you’re making me forget the reason I followed you out here in the first place.” She almost stomped her foot, thought better of it at the last second.

Something shifted in his eyes. Even in the rapidly fading light, she saw it.

“You…followed me…out here, Abigail?”

Good Lord, she didn’t need the jacket at all. One glance at the hotter-than-a-poker glaze in his eyes heated her entire body.

“Ye-yes,” she answered, hating he could reduce her to a stuttering chit.

“Why?” He leaned a hip against the metal railing, his hands still secured inside his pockets. Comfortable, relaxed, and so damn hot she wanted to scream at him to take her in his arms and make her his for the night.

She wasn’t going to let him sabotage her seduction plan. No. She’d worked out everything she wanted to say, the perfect way to goad him into noticing her. If she could get him to dance with her, even once, get his arms around her, she’d be able to make him see how good it could be between them.

But first she had to get him on the dance floor and from everything she’d observed tonight, he was happy to let his dance card stay empty.

“You’re shirking your wedding guest duties,” she said with a slight head bob.

“There’s no such thing.”

“Yes, there is. As a guest, a male guest,” she lowered her chin, pinning him with her own intense glare now, “it’s your responsibility to dance with the female guests. There are quite a few unattached women at this wedding and it hasn’t gone unnoticed you’ve danced with no one except the bride. That’s bad form. And etiquette. And…rude.”

Her eyes narrowed when his laugh, loud and filled with humor, bounced through the trees. “Unnoticed by who? The wedding police? Kandy?”

Her gaze darted down to her shoes and then back up at him. “Among…others.”

With his head still cocked, he unfurled his hands from his pockets, stood upright and moved into her space. Even in her heels, she had to dip her head back to maintain eye contact.

“Others?” he asked, his voice low, so low she had to pitch forward a little to hear him. “Or…just you, Abigail?”

When he was close enough for her to know her breasts would bounce off his chest if she inhaled, he leaned down, fingered the lapel on his jacket, his knuckle grazing the column of her throat.

Her brain shut down the moment his fingers made contact with her skin. Despite the nippy bite in the air she was hit with a fireball radiating downward from his touch. It was a wonder she didn’t start sweating.

Abby swallowed.

And then did it again.

His eyes were focused on hers, those half closed lids doing nothing to shield the heat smoldering under them. “If you wanted to dance with me, all you had to do”—his gaze dipped down her lips again—“was ask.”

Dance? Lord, she wanted to do a whole helluva lot more than simply dance with this man.

“I—”

She licked her suddenly parched lips, her eyes never wavering from his sharp gaze.

In a move as natural as breathing, she stepped into the minute amount of space separating them, shot her hands around his neck and yanked his head down until their lips slammed together.

Holy Mother.
The heat from his fingers had been hot enough to singe, but it was an ice cube compared to the incendiary inferno of his mouth fused with hers. It briefly crossed her mind it was a miracle she didn’t burst into flames on the spot.

As stupefied as she was by what she’d done, she was able to glean a few pertinent details.

One, Rick’s jacket fell from her shoulders when she grabbed him, plunking down on the ground behind her.

Two, her shoulders and arms may have been bare once again, but the volcano of heat seeping from Rick’s body inoculated her against the cold air.

Three, the man’s body was as hard as it appeared to be. Pressed up against him without a whisper of space between their bodies, protected only by their clothes, every solid inch of muscle and sinew molded to her.

And four, but certainly not least, after a brief still moment, Rick was kissing her back.

Oh, mama, was he.

During all those late nights of studying when her eyes were starting to bleed with fatigue she’d close them and bring his face to mind, his lips were often the feature she dwelled on the most. Thick and smooth, she’d fantasized what they’d feel like against her own. Would they be soft and seductive? Hard and masterful? Taut and teasing?

Nothing she’d conjured in her lusty and frustrated imagination compared to the reality of Rick Bannerman’s mouth on hers. As smart as she was and as adept at language and words, she couldn’t think of one adequate way to describe how utterly delicious and amazing he tasted.

Her entire body relaxed when his hands slipped around her waist and pulled her flat up against him. The low slung back on the bridesmaid’s dress ended right above the dip in her spine. Rick’s hands rested on the space between her naked flesh and the silk material, one finger slipping below it to rest along the top of her hipbone. Lazily, he rubbed it back and forth across her skin.

Every nerve fiber south of his touch fired. The same wobbling sensation from earlier in the evening flowed through her again and her hands tightened around his neck for fear she’d fall.

He freed a hand from her back and dragged his knuckles across her cheek, then took her chin between his fingers and lifted her jaw, changing the angle of the kiss and giving him full access to every part of her mouth.

Every part.

Their tongues danced and twined, mated as if they’d done it every day of their lives. A strange sense of familiarity poured through her.

She’d been right during those imaginary make-out sessions she’d had with him. Rich Bannerman was a man who knew what to do with a woman.

No doubt about it.

The hand at her waist slid lower, down across her dress, to cup her butt and pull her in even closer. And she was proven right once again: he was hard.

All over.

A cavernous, low, primal growl pushed from deep within him as his hips swayed against hers. The butterflies flitting about within her moments before sprang free, pushed out by the firestorm running rampant through her insides. Abby knew—knew without a doubt—she wanted this man more than she had any other; that she would never want a man as much as she did Rick Bannerman.

There simply was no other man.

As the stunning realization of that thought hit home, Rick broke the kiss, tearing his lips from hers so forcefully, a sucking sound whooshed through the air when they separated. Rick pushed her away and held her at arms’ length. If the frown hugging his forehead was any indication, he was confused about what had just happened.

And unhappy.

Maybe even a little angry.

“Abigail.” His voice was rough and harsh in the still, quiet surrounding them and was tinged with…something. “You don’t want to do this.”

“Yes I do. “ She winced.

Jesus. Hard-up much, Abby?

Rick shook his head, his hands softening their grip on her arms.

“No, really,” she said. “I do. I’ve… I…I thought…”

“Whatever you thought, forget it.”

Hurt slammed up against mortification and anger.

The anger won.

“Why? If I’m not mistaken you were pretty into it a second ago. It was your tongue sliding down my throat, wasn’t it?”

The frown deepened into a scowl.

Rick dropped his hands and took a step back.

“Yeah. About that.” He shoved his hands into his pockets again. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

“Why the hell not?”

His eyes darkened, those sexy lids pulling tight at the corners. “It shouldn’t have. That’s all.”

“You say one thing, Bannerman but your body says another.” Abby shook her head and took a step closer to him, the champagne definitely giving her the courage she needed.

Rick took two back.

Now the hurt rammed to the front of the line.

“Yeah, well, when a beautiful woman throws herself into a guy’s arms and presses every inch of herself against him, his body will react. Pure and simple. “

And now the mortification blew forward.

Apparently, her good sense had taken a vacation day, because instead of listening to it as it screamed for her to retreat with the little dignity she still possessed, Abby continued on.

“I thought you liked me.”

“I do.” His head bobbled up and down. “I do. You’re a great…kid.”

“Kid?” She sucked in a breath and threw her shoulders back. “Okay, I’m gonna let that comment slide.” Hands on her hips, she nailed him with a piercing glare. “Why the brush off, Bannerman? I’ve been dropping hints left and right since we met about getting to know you better. You’ve ignored every one of them until a moment ago.”

Another step closer made him retreat again. This time his hip bumped up against the railing.

“I’m not repulsive,” she said, cocking her head at him. “Am I?’

“No. You’re not. You know exactly what you look like, Abigail.”

She nodded, her eyes trained on him. “I don’t have bad breath, or body odor, or some fatal flesh eating disease.”

A small, nervous laugh barked through his lips. “No. You don’t.”

“So why the brick wall? I like you. You like me. We’re both more than adults. Both uninvolved—you aren’t involved with anyone, right?”

He hesitated a bit before shaking his head and saying, “No.”

Relief flowed through her. “I know you’re attracted to me,” she said with a smidgeon more certainty than she actually felt. “You did kiss me back, after all. I don’t see a problem here.” The moment she said it another idea formed, took hold, and rooted.

“Wait. You’re straight, right? You flirt with everything with a vagina, so I figured…you don’t give off a gay vibe and I’m usually really attuned to guys who are. You’re not, are you?”

Again, he waited a bit before saying, “No, Abigail. I’m not gay.”

Before she could utter another word, Rick beat her to it. “Look, everything you’ve said it true. I do like you, and yes, I’m attracted to you. What red-blooded guy with a pulse wouldn’t be? You’re gorgeous and smart and—Christ.” He shook his head a few times.

She couldn’t help it: a huge smile pulled at her lips.

“But we’re not gonna do this.”

“Why not?” Good Lord, did that whine come from her?

“We’re just not,” he said, voice firm and resolute. “We’ll chalk this whole scene up to getting a little carried away with flirting and fueled by too much to drink. You probably won’t even remember much of it in the morning—”

“Yes I will.”

The heat rising up her neck and face now competed with the chill sluicing down her body. She folded her arms across her chest, hugging her upper body against the night air.

Rick shook his head again and dropped his chin. Night had decided to descend so she couldn’t see his face clearly. Was he trying to stifle a smile?

When he lifted his head a moment later, though, his features were blank.

“Go inside, Abigal. Have a slice of wedding cake, a cup of coffee. Get warm. Forget this happened.”

She should listen to him, she really should. But for whatever reason, her brain wasn’t receiving the memo.

“I could warm up right here,” she said, dropping her voice a level and hoping she sounded seductive and not like she was choking on something. “If you’d put your arms around me again.”

This time when she stepped closer, Rick purposefully shot out of her way. He sidestepped around her, stooped, grabbed his tuxedo jacket from where it’d fallen from her shoulders and slid it back on.

“You know what?” He stepped backward. “I’ll go in. I could use a cup of coffee, myself. You stay out here all you want.”

In the time it took her to register he was running away from her, he was gone, back through the ballroom doors and lost in the wedding guest throng.

Abby fisted her hands on her hips again and blew out a breath heated with frustration.

That had so not gone as planned.

I hope you’re intrigued.  POB has been contracted and when I have new details I’ll release them. In the mean time, you can see my vision for Abby and Rick on my Pinterest page: RICK AND ABBY   

~Peg

And if you’re ever looking for me, I’m here:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#Blackfriday #cybershopping Avoid the crowds!

I stopped shopping in brick and mortar stores on Black Friday eons ago. I’m not a crowds person.

At all.

Claustrophobia and agoraphobia live in my DNA helix and being shoved, pushed, yelled at, jostled, stepped on, and banged into just to save a few bucks is not my idea of a fun-filled way to spend the day after Thanksgiving.

But that’s just me.

I tend to think that Internet shopping was invented for people like me, and thank you Jesus for that!

So, if you’re like me and avoid all the people ambling about like extras from the Walking Dead, you probably shop from the privacy of your computer. If you do, and you’re looking for something to give to the romance reader on your list, I’ve got a few deals for you!

All my WILL COOK FOR LOVE books are now on sale at AMAZON and KOBO 

All my new digital releases from The Wild Rose Press are on sale for 40% off now until Cyber Monday


And Nook has all my MacQuire Women Books at a discounted rate.

And if you really like shopping in a real, brick and mortar store, you can even find ALL MY TITLES in print form at the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene

SO, there’s really no place you can’t find me.

Hee hee!!!

Happy Shopping at whatever venue you choose.

 

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Pups4Vets -Veterans and Dogs. A winning Two-some.

Today I am pleased, privileged, and delighted to host my Wild Rose Press sistah Claire Marti. She’s got a new addition to her award winning FINDING FOREVER IN LAGUNA series, titled SUNSET IN LAGUNA, and she’s dealing with two of my favorite topics to read about: Veterans and Dogs.  Claire is a huge supporter of rescue dogs and service dogs, and in Sunset in Laguna, she writes about how one dog, Olive, helps a veteran with PSTD find his way again. Here’s Claire, in her own words, explain how she came up with the idea.

In SUNSET IN LAGUNA, Christian Wolfe, the hero, is an Army Special Forces veteran who resigns his commission after four tours in the Middle East. He returns home to Laguna Beach, California, and opens Vines, a wine bar. On the surface, he’s reserved and seemingly aloof, but on the inside he’s battling PTSD and is desperate to find something to stop the nightmares and panic attacks.

Unaware of his struggles, Kelly Prescott invites the tall, dark, and dreamy Christian along when she visits a non-profit rescue group that provides service dogs for veterans. Olive, the rescue pug, latches onto Christian and he ends up confessing to Kelly he has PTSD. Olive and dogs like her are trained to help veterans manage their symptoms and nightmares. Pugs are excellent at helping people cope with anxiety and emotional stress.

I was inspired to create the Pups-4-Vets non-profit in SUNSET IN LAGUNA by a group based in Denver, Colorado, where we were lucky enough to adopt our dog. Josie had a tragic past: she was left tied up to a tree to starve to death when another rescue group saved her. They contacted Freedom Service Dogs who evaluated her as a potential service dog candidate. Sweet, gentle, and kind, she was a perfect fit. Unfortunately, it turned out she has severe hip dysplasia and couldn’t finish her training in the case she developed symptoms once she was placed. So, we lucked out and were able to adopt her. I’m happy to report her hips are just fine four years later.

These organizations are incredible, not just for providing this much needed service to these brave men and women who served our country, but also by giving these animals a second lease on life after tough beginnings. I loved being able to highlight this type of organization and also share how Olive is an integral part of Christian’s path to regaining his health. Plus, Olive is really funny!

Claire sent along pictures of her fav pups. First is Ollie, her friend’s cute pug and the inspiration for Olive. Then we have Claire’s beloved Josie.

 

SUNSET IN LAGUNA 

 Returning to Laguna Beach after four tours in the Middle East, Christian Wolfe leaves the military behind and buys a wine bar, vowing to keep his life simple. He fights to keep his devastating PTSD a secret and refuses to burden anyone else with his baggage. When stunning Kelly Prescott and her red stilettos saunter into town, she drives him past the bonds of his self-control.

Successful in her father’s stuffy law firm, Kelly’s too compassionate to survive in the cutthroat world of corporate litigation. Leaving behind both family and courtroom drama, she moves to Laguna to become general counsel for a nonprofit veterans’ organization.

She didn’t bargain on a gorgeous modern-day Heathcliff, and in Christian, she sees another kind of challenge—one she can’t resist.

Buy Links:

Amazon // B&N // iBooks // Kobo // The Wild Rose Press

EXCERPT from SUNSET IN LAGUNA

“Scared? Of this? No.” Still, he didn’t bend down to pet the alien-looking object. He didn’t want to encourage her attentions.

Kelly leaned in to pet Olive, and her hand brushed his denim-clad leg. Even through the heavy material, a spark of heat ignited and shot straight up his thigh. Damn. Maybe the dog was safer?

Olive shifted her attention to his other leg and began dancing a little jig. What the hell was wrong with it?

“Come on, Christian. Just pick her up. Poor thing seems to be half in love with you.” Kelly laughed again. “Oh fine.” He leaned down and grasped the little beast by its plump midsection. “What is it? Not really a dog, right?”
He held the ten pounds of fur aloft, and it locked its bug eyes onto his. Was she grinning at him? Her pink tongue lolled out of the right side of her mouth.

“Give her a little hug. Don’t just hold her out there.” Melinda’s brisk tone brooked no argument.

Geez. Fine. He snuggled the dog against his shoulder, and he could have sworn she sighed in ecstasy. She laid her head on his shoulder and gazed up at him. Even he could see the worship in her eyes. Figures this ugly little creature would latch onto him. He gave a few gentle pats to the rolls of fat on her back and set her down.

“There. Are you happy?” He glanced at Kelly, who was grinning, looking incredibly gorgeous. He’d much rather snuggle her sexy little body into his shoulder.

“Are you sure it’s a dog? And how could it help a disabled vet?” He directed his gaze at Melinda. Weren’t service dogs usually Labs or other large breeds who could provide physical assistance if needed?

“I’ll tell you. Come on. We’ll let Olive and Howard finish training while we continue the tour.” Melinda headed back toward the metal gate, and they trailed behind her.

Before they could exit the pen, Olive darted out and slammed against his ankles. He peered down, and sure enough she was gazing up at him with stars in her Bette Davis eyes. She hopped and yipped, apparently wanting to be carried. Some service dog.

“Olive, go back to Howard,” Melinda commanded.

“We’re about done, so she can follow along with you on the tour,” Howard called with a smirk on his freckled face.

“Great,” he muttered. Olive looked up at him in triumph and marched next to him. He’d probably trip over her and break his neck.

A little about CLAIRE MARTI : 

Claire  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. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.

Find Claire here:

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

 

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Summer Book Sale…

Fabulous news! My wonderful publisher is having a HUGE sale – 3 ebooks for $10.00 now until August 31 – so if you haven’t filled your summer reading list yet, now is the perfect time to do so. Here’s the link , and my first Lyrical book, COOKING WITH KANDY, book 1 in the Will Cook For Love series is featured in the sale! Start with this one, then if you like it – which of course you will(!) you can order the rest.

I love a book sale, don’t you?!

When I’m not attending book sales, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy Links for the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES:

Kensington/Lyrical

Amazon

Barnes and Nobel

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