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  • brothers best friend
    Blog

    It’s finally release day for Boardwalk Beginnings the first of the Carmiachels of Cinnamon Bay Romances

     

    🌴The Carmichaels are about to find out…all the money in the world can’t buy love🌴

    Take a trip through Cinnamon Bay, where the locals are friendly, the beaches are beautiful, and the love spice will have you head over heels. 

     

    The Carmichael siblings might have fallen from grace, but even then, their journey is just beginning! Book X is now LIVE, so one-click to start your journey today. Beware – these highly addictive romance novels will having you falling in love.

    Join our Facebook Group to keep updated and let us know what you think of this delightful new series! Grab your copy here and start reading today.

     

    brothers best friend

  • Blog

    It is release week for Saltwater Song

    It’s release week for Saltwater Song

    I’m so excited to be sharing this new series with. 2019 and the start of 2020 have been all about finishing up existing projects and working in collaboration with others ,but the Marlin Shores series is all mine and it’s the first new thing I’ve done in a while.

    I love the Montgomery brothers who feature in the first three books Saltwater Song, Saltwater  Tears and Saltwater Wishes. Parker, Banner and Tony are all totally different and they all have their own journey that’s kept them away from Marlin Shores, and thanks to a pesky clause in their father’s will, has forced them to come home.

    The quaint town and marina have been a blast to write and don’t worry, lots of the people you meet in the first books will be getting their own stories in 2021.

    So please grab a copy of Saltwater Song and if you love it do leave a review.

    Saltwater Song

    Parker

    Three years of caring for my father and running his marina had stripped me of everything – my old life in the music business was gone – and now so was he. I wanted to start my life again but even from the grave the old man was controlling me and my brothers.
    I wanted to get back to who I was before, who Kelsey saw me as, but I didn’t know if that was even possible no matter how badly I wanted it.

    Kelsey

    He discovered me in a bar at age seventeen and turned me into a singing sensation. He was my manager and my best friend and he promised me from day one we’d never be anything more. That made the fact that I was hopelessly in love with him more than a little inconvenient.
    He’d left me for three years for family reasons but now I was going to get him and prove to him we needed to make music together again.

    If you like high stakes small town romance with a hint of heat and a guaranteed HEA, Saltwater Song is for you.

    This small town sweet friends to lovers romance is the first book in the new Marlin Shores trilogy and can be read as a stand-alone novel.

    Get it here.

  • Blog

    Only a few days to go until Saltwater Song launches the Marline Shores series into the world.

    Saltwater Song profile picSaltwater Song, the first of my new marlin Shores romances launches in just a few days and it is so much fun to be working on and launching a new series. (It’s also super fun to have covers that say USA Today Best Selling Author on them – not sure that will ever get old). It’s a while since I worked on anything completely new and that’s fun.

    The series kicks of with a trilogy that focuses on the Montgomery brothers who inherit a marina from their late father, there’s only one catch, they have to run it together for a year or they lose it. If only they didn’t already have lives elsewhere…

    Saltwater Song introduces us to Parker, a record producer and Kelsey the star he discovered years ago. They’re a super cute couple…here’s a little teaser.

    ***

    “You guys are good,” he said with a smile. “Ever thought of trying out the music industry?”

    “Nope, never,” Parker deadpanned.

    “Nope, me either,” I said with a grin.

    “Well, something to consider,” he said, tilting his drink at us before disappearing inside without another word.

    We tweaked the song a little longer until we agreed it was done.

    “I think that’s it, baby, your next hit single.”

    “I’ll give you a credit and a cut of the royalties.” 

    He waved his hand dismissively. “No need for that, just helping a friend.”

    That response earned him an eye roll. “You don’t want another million dollars, Parker? I can see you’re living large, you might need it.”

    “Baby, I already have more than enough money. As long as you don’t let Derek touch that song, it’s all yours.”

    I sighed. “You had to go and ruin my mood by mentioning him, didn’t you?”

    He pulled me into his side and kissed my temple. 

    “Sorry about that. How can I make it up to you, Kels?” I wanted to say, just take those perfect lips and press them against mine, but I refrained because he had other ideas. “Are you free for dinner?”

    “Who else would I be meeting?”

    “I don’t know, you’ve been making friends. Could be Em or Hailey or Serenity? Anyway, good, I have an idea.”

    “You do?” I felt my tongue dart out to lick my lips, and I was aware of his eyes watching its trail. He wasn’t immune to me at least.

    “Yep.” He stood and held out his hands, pulling me to my feet. “Meet me at the marina at five and bring a jacket, okay?”

    It was more than okay. Whatever Parker asked me to do at that moment, I’d have done. Strip naked in his yard, yes. Jump into his arms and kiss the stuffing out of him. Yes. Write another song right now. Okay. Go home and grab a sweater seemed well below what I was willing to do, but it was progress, and it meant I’d have more opportunities to maybe get to some of the other things.

    You can order a copy of Saltwater Song here.

     

  • Blog

    It’s time for the release of No Time for Tears – my latest No Brides Club book

    No Time for Tears No Time for Tears release day

    I’m so happy to announce the release today of No Time for Tears, Book 15 in the No Brides Club series. This is my third book in the multi-author series following on from No Time for Temptation and No Time for Trouble, although each book can be a stand alone the Georgie and Liam  and Marnie and Mal all reappear in No Time for Tears. In fact, Sven and Devon were both minor characters in No Time for Trouble and I knew when I was writing that book that I was going to tell their story.

    Blurb

    When she’s unceremoniously dumped by her fiance, Devon Bates heads to New York for some much-needed family time. After a week of moping on her sister’s couch, things are looking up. She’s become a member of the No Brides Club and snagged a part-time job working alongside her sister and handsome television veterinarian, Sven.

    But when the paparazzi get a snap of her and Sven together, the two hatch a plan to fake a relationship for the sake of good publicity. Soon enough, the lines between what’s real and fake become blurred.

    Sven loves New York but yearns for a quiet life on his family’s farm. Meeting Devon throws that possibility into turmoil. He’s fake dating his boss’ sister which is already bad enough, but now he wants whatever this is between them to turn into something more substantial. But he isn’t convinced Devon is over her ex, and if she decides to run back to Tennessee, she might take his heart with her.

    Sven knows the only chance he has to win Devon over is to convince her there’s more to this relationship than just the publicity. Can he make her see that the happily ever after of their dreams is in the cards for them?

    Get your copy here today!

     

     

     

  • New Release Friday
    Blog

    New Release Friday – the August 2020 edition

    New Release Friday

    Welcome back to New Release Friday – let’s wrap up August new releases by some of my amazing author friends.

    I used to do this every week but 2020 has been that kind of year – I’m hoping to get back to a weekly New Release post but for now here’s a wrap up of new release books from August by some amazing authors I know – the offerings include the sweet and the short, historical, sexy and paranormal. In short, there is something for everyone I hope. Happy reading!

    No Time for Adventure

    No Time for Adventure (The No Brides Club Book 14)

    When six friends make a pact not to let love get in the way of their careers, the No Brides Club is born. But could meeting the right man at the wrong time cause them to break their vows to each other?

    Victoria Hambersby is a charter member of the “No Brides Club” and that’s given her plenty of time to focus on her career. She’s even on the verge of creating a VA program that will help vets with physical and mental challenges stretch their abilities. But that dream hits a major road bump when she’s informed that she must combine her program with that of Joshua Lewis, the owner of “No Limits” extreme adventure company.

    Since two of his sisters are also members of the No Brides Club, Josh is aware of the no romance before career goals motto. So while he finds Vic attractive, the focus needs to stay on finding a way to blend their proposal ideas. But with baggage from their pasts coloring their viewpoints, that’s not going to be easy.

    To get a better idea of what Josh’s company has to offer, Vic agrees to a weekend adventure, which, despite herself, stirs her inner thrill-seeker. Surprisingly they may have more in common than they believe, but can they overcome their defensive barriers to let go of the past and reach for the future?

    Get it now

    The Last Resort

    Last Resort – Diane Michaels

    Emma has forty-five-million dollars burning a hole in her handbag.
    And just as many reasons to flee New York City.

    She had everything:
    A billionaire husband
    Respect in the art world
    And impeccable style.

    Now the only exhibit she can curate is in a Staten Island sports bar. Plus, while wearing an outfit even a dumpster would reject, she bumps into the one person she hoped she’d never meet: the woman who ruined her marriage.

    Humiliated and single, Emma escapes to the Catskills, ready for an epic round of retail therapy.

    The scenery is gorgeous. Especially Matthias, the manager of the town’s tattered resort. But the welcome he shows Emma is icier than winter in the mountains.

    When she invests in the resort, the battle for the small town’s soul heats up. And so do her feelings for Matthias.

    But it takes more than money to curate a town. Will the price be too steep for Emma?

    Get this laugh-out-loud standalone novel, book 2 of the Empire State of Mind series, perfect for readers who love chick lit with a lot of heart. Get it today.

    Like a Boss

    Like a Boss – Annabel Costa

    Have you ever met someone and hated them instantly?

    For me, that was Luke Thayer.

    When I met him freshman year of college, he was as smug as he was rich and gorgeous. A spoiled jerk who would get everything he wanted in life.

    Now it’s sixteen years later.

    He’s just as obnoxious and handsome as he ever was, and ten times as wealthy. But he’s not the same—a rock climbing accident a decade earlier has landed him in a wheelchair for life.

    And I get one other big surprise:

    He’s my new boss. 

    Note: This is a standalone enemies-to-lovers romance with some steamy scenes, no cheating, and a HEA. It was previously released as Harvard Hottie and has been significantly revised with a large amount of new content.

    Grab it today

    A free trip leads to island romance.

    Island DreamsIsland Dreams: A Clean Short Read (Vacation Romance Book 1) – Evangeline Kelly

    It was a miracle. I never won anything. But here I was, boarding a plane for an all-expenses paid trip to Makani Island. Alone. I wasn’t expecting anything more than a soul-soothing vacation.

    Then I met him. A total grouch, or so I thought. A guy I wouldn’t want to see again. Ever. But somehow, he convinced me to take a walk on the beach. The walk turned into an all-night conversation. A once in a lifetime connection. We both knew it, but his mega-wealthy parents had wedding plans set out for him already.

    He said he was his own man, but I refused to be a wedge between them. Could I really give him up? The bigger question was…would he let me?

    Island Dreams is a clean short read, and the first in a vacation romance series.

    Get it now

    A Timid Heart Sweet & Clean Western Romance (Cowboys and Angels Beginnings Book 2) – Jo Noelle
    CA timid Heartan a tender man whose passion is to take pictures reach the heart of a woman who hides from him and all others?

    Bridget Hall takes a much-needed job at the Brody Hotel as a laundress after being rejected as a mail-order bride. She loves the people she works with, but because of a deformity, she hides from society. . . until a handsome new photographer comes to Topeka.

    Lorne Whitney looks for beauty in the world to wash out the ugliness he experienced as a soldier in the War Between the States ten years ago. Although he tried everything to forget, nothing works until he meets a brown-eyed beauty, who is reluctant to be seen.

    Can Lorne get past Bridget’s resistance to create the kind of love that can save them both?

    ***

    An abbreviated version of A Timid Heart was first published as a Kansas Crossroads story—a sweet western romance set in Topeka in 1876. It’s full of heartwarming acceptance and tender romance.

    Get it now

    Rose and BaneRose and Bane: (A Dark Paranormal Beauty and the Beast Retelling) – Brea Viragh

    A tale as old as time, but not as you remember it.

    Reila Barnes has a habit of losing herself in books, not because she loves to read—although she does love to read—but because she’s searching for a long-lost piece of herself. Things happen around her that no one can explain. People in town look at her strangely, always muttering under their breath when she passes, but no one will tell her why she is shunned. Not even her mother and young brother.

    Rejecting a marriage proposal from a handsome but cold-hearted man presents her with a startling bit of evidence to cling to: Reila is a witch.

    Not only is Reila a witch, but she is the one responsible for putting the curse on Merek, the Prince of Bellmare, condemning him to his current beast form.

    What happens when the beast needs to be saved from the beauty?

    Will Reila find a way to break the curse? Will Prince Merek ever learn to trust Reila again? Or is the old saying “true love can conquer anything” just another fairy tale?

    Fans of P.C. Cast, Bella Forest, and J.R. Ward will find themselves enthralled with this magical paranormal romance full of love and betrayal.

    Scroll up and one-click to start reading ROSE AND BANE by USA Today bestselling author Brea Viragh today!

    Get it now

  • sweet kisses roses graphic
    Blog

    It’s release week for the Sweet Kisses Box Set.

    I’m so excited that the Sweet Kisses Box Set is finally live – it’s been a delight to work on this project with the twenty other sweet romance authors included in this set.

    Kissing the Captain and the Sweet Kisses Box Set
    Kissing the Captain coming soon in the Sweet Kisses Box Set

    ABOUT SWEET KISSES

    Twenty-one novella-length sweet romance stories from twenty-one of your favorite authors in a limited-time box set called Sweet Kisses. It will release on all major retailers on July 21. 

    FULL BLURB

    21 New Heartwarming Romance Books that’ll make you swoon

    A sweet contemporary romance anthology collection with twenty-one original, never-before-seen stories from bestselling and award-winning authors, Including WSJ and USA Today Bestselling Author, Judith Lucci.

    Each piece written for this anthology is to benefit Pets for Vets. Sweet Kisses Box Set is only available for a limited time, so one-click your copy before it’s gone. Twenty-one swoon-worthy heroes. Twenty-one chances to fall in love. Twenty-one happily-ever-afters.

     

    One great way to help veterans who’ve been injured in service to our country and the Pets that need them. 100% of pre-order profits will be donated to Pets for Vets!

     

    INCLUDED IN THIS LIMITED EDITION BOX SET:

    Tamie Dearen – The Billionaire’s Practice Kiss

    Judith Lucci – Kissing the Cow King

    Evangeline Kelly – Kissing an Alaskan Man

    Lorana Hoopes – Sealed with a Kiss

    Jo Noelle – Eight Second Kiss

    Jean C. Gordon – Trusting His Kiss

    Jessie Gussman – Dreaming of His Kiss

    Donna K. Weaver – Don’t Kiss the Enemy

    Melanie D. Snitker – Don’t Kiss Me Goodbye

    Monique McDonell – Kissing the Captain

    Michelle Pennington – First Kiss Train Wreck

    Kit Morgan – To Kiss a Sheriff

    Emma St. Clair – If You Want to Kiss a Billionaire

    Jeanette Lewis – Kissing the Mountain Man

    Anne-Marie Meyer – A Magnolia Kiss

    Judy Corry – Stolen Kisses from a Rockstar

    Bree Livingston – A Geek Girl’s Guide to Kissing a Video Gamer

    Juliette Duncan – Never Kiss a Preacher’s Son

    Vivi Holt – Meet-Cute Kiss

    Brooke St. James – Kiss & Tell

    Joy Ohagwu – Raspberry Kisses

     

    sweet kisses roses graphic
    It’s release week for the Sweet Kisses Box Set

    GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

    Universal https://readerlinks.com/l/1096130/books2read

    Amazon: readerlinks.com/l/1089191/amzn

    iBooks: readerlinks.com/l/1076700/ibooks

    Nook: readerlinks.com/l/1076701/nook

    Kobo: readerlinks.com/l/1076702/kobo

    Books2Read Universal Landing Page Link: https://books2read.com/b/mdz6gZ

  • Musical Monday
    Blog

    Musical Monday – July 20, 2020 – a little nostalgia in a crazy year

    Musical Monday

    It’s a while since I did a Musical Monday post – sorry if you’ve missed them. I’ve been on a crazy writing jag and honestly I haven’t even listened to much music lately. I tend to listen to music in my car, but due to isolation and weeks of writing at home, I haven’t been in the car much so music hasn’t been on my mind much.

    Last week, however, we drove our daughter back to university in Canberra. We’re very lucky Australia is (while not perfect by any strecth) doing better with COVID than a lot of places and the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) where her university is hasn’t had any cases for a while. Anyway, the point is we took a road trip and after 3 months of having her home our girl is back at college.

    A few songs were played…in fact she put together a playlist entitled something like
    “Songs to play in the car so mum doesn’t cry.”

    Let me tell you that was so sweet of her because she is an absolute sweetheart –  but people I cried several times.  I could cry for Australia I’m so good at it, especially if I’m feeling sentimental!

    Instead of that playlist –  because I’m feeling nostalgic – I thought I’d share some songs that remind me of my daughter.

    This song – I christened  The Serial Killer song back when it came out – because who else collects hearts in a jar? We always have a laugh when we hear it in the car.

    I love this song and I love a musical. I’m constantly disappointed people don’t break into song as they walk down the street – this is probably actually lucky for me – I can’t sing. Anyway, if there’s a musical I can go see then I’m in. I love Wicked and my girl and I have seen it together. (I have seen it without her as well because even though it’s hard to remember I did have a life before her – as she grows up and moves away I need to remind myself of that right? ).

    I think everyone changes us – particularly our families.

    Finally, this is a sweet song that gets me every time – about the dreams we have for our kids  – by Kasey Chambers and Keith Urban.  (My husband and I try to get tickets to see a concert at Taronga Zoo every summer and we were lucky enough to see Kasey Chambers there a couple of years back and it was fabulous)

    Anyway this song sums up a lot about my journey as a parent as the mother of a miracle! (That line “even doctors can’t explain – that’s me and it reminds me to be grateful every time I hear it.)

    Happy Musical Monday (I’ll be off having a litttle cry now).

     

     

  • Blog

    July 1 – an update on my writing life

    More Thank Ornamental Graphic
    more than ornamental graphic

    It’s been a while since I posted here so I thought I’d give you a little update on what I’ve been busy doing as it clearly hasn’t been blogging.

    In June I wrote 90,000 words. That’s my biggest writing month yet. I wrote 44,000 on one novel, 10,000 on another, 20,000 on another and some words for a secret project as well…so that was a whole lot of writing and it didn’t leave a whole lot of room for other things.

    Yesterday I launched More Than Ornamental – a sweet single dad Christmas romance (It originally appeared in the 2019 Romancing the Holidays Boxset). In October and November of 2018 I asked my Facebook followers a ton of questions about what sort of story they wanted to read including tropes, location, character roles and names and this is the novella that came out of it. More Than Ornamental is set on the Australian coast so if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas downunder is like, this is the book for you.

    My next No Brides Club book releases in September and it’s almost ready to go off the the editor, fingers crossed for this week. The Sweet Kisses Limited Edition Box Set releases this month too.

    Kissing the Captain, my contribution is a prequel to my next series which will launch with a trilogy in the next couple of months…I’m expecting to get my covers this week and I can’t wait to share them with you.  He’s the cover of Kissing the Captain with the boxset.

    Kissing the Captain and the Sweet Kisses Box Set
    Kissing the Captain coming soon in the Sweet Kisses Box Set

    So that’s enough to keep me out of mischief for July I think.

    I promise the next chapter of Playing With Trouble will be live this week.

    Anyway, I hope your July is off yo a cracking start!

     

  • Blog

    Sweet Kisses Limited Edition Box Set – featuring Kissing the Captain – preorder now!

    Kissing the Captain and the Sweet Kisses Box Set
    Kissing the Captain coming soon in the Sweet Kisses Box Set

    I’m beyond excited to share the cover of Kissing the Captain, my contribution to the Sweet Kisses Box Set with you.

    This fantastic set features 21 of the biggest sweet romance authors on the planet so I’m beyond excited to be included in it. Not only am I keeping great company but we’re also raising money for charity with this one.

    The Sweet KissesLimited Edition Box Set is available on all ebook retailes now iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon and it’s only 99cents.  Why not grab a copy today?

    21 New Heartwarming Romance Books that’ll make you swoon

    A sweet contemporary romance anthology collection with twenty-one original, never-before-seen stories from bestselling and award-winning authors, Including WSJ and USA Today Bestselling Author, Judith Lucci.

    Each piece written for this anthology is to benefit Pets for Vets. Sweet Kisses Box Set is only available for a limited time, so one-click your copy before it’s gone. Twenty-one swoon-worthy heroes. Twenty-one chances to fall in love. Twenty-one happily-ever-afters.

    One great way to help veterans who’ve been injured in service to our country and the Pets that need them. 100% of pre-order profits will be donated to Pets for Vets!

    INCLUDED IN THIS LIMITED EDITION BOX SET:

    Tamie Dearen – The Billionaire’s Practice Kiss

    Judith Lucci – Kissing the Cow King

    Evangeline Kelly – Kissing an Alaskan Man

    Lorana Hoopes – Sealed with a Kiss

    Jo Noelle – Eight Second Kiss

    Jean C. Gordon – Trusting His Kiss

    Jessie Gussman – Dreaming of His Kiss

    Donna K. Weaver – Don’t Kiss the Enemy

    Melanie D. Snitker – Don’t Kiss Me Goodbye

    Monique McDonell – Kissing the Captain

    Michelle Pennington – First Kiss Train Wreck

    Kit Morgan – To Kiss a Sheriff

    Emma St. Clair – If You Want to Kiss a Billionaire

    Jeanette Lewis – Kissing the Mountain Man

    Anne-Marie Meyer – A Magnolia Kiss

    Judy Corry – Stolen Kisses from a Rockstar

    Bree Livingston – A Geek Girl’s Guide to Kissing a Video Gamer

    Juliette Duncan – Never Kiss a Preacher’s Son

    Vivi Holt – Meet-Cute Kiss

    Brooke St. James – Kiss & Tell

    Joy Ohagwu – Raspberry Kisses

    My contribution Kissing the Captain is a prequel to a new series I’m launching in the second half of 2020 so you’ll want to get your hands on this one first!

     

  • Playing with Trouble
    Blog

    Read Along while I write Playing With Trouble Chapter 4.

    Playing With TroubleAnother week another chapter

    I’m sorry for the delay in the next installment of the Courtside Romance series – Playing with Trouble. It’s funny how everyone is talking about life slowing down during this COVID-19 outbreak and so far that hasn’t been the case for me. It’s a coincidence that I’m finishing up my day job and pitching for new clients at the same time, as I re-open my PR consultancy after a couple of years working in house. I’d already resigned when we were all sent home but all the changes have met my cruisy finish up and handover have been anything but.

    Retstaring a new business has all kinds of administration as well as pitching to new clients and let’s not forget my book babies. So, I look forward to next week when I’m100% working for myself again and have a little more control over my time.

    Meanwhile here is the next chapter in Tiffany and Andrew’s story.

    Previous chapters:

    Chapter One

    Chapter Two

    Chapter Three

    Don’t forget this hasn’t yet been edited so there may be some typos and errors that will be fixed prior to publication.

    ***

    True to her word she was back in ten minutes and he nearly swallowed his tongue when he saw her. She wore sky-high spiked black heels and a dress made of shimmery silver fabric that was high in the front and fell low on her back like a waterfall. He was sure there was a name for that style of dress but as he could barely remember his own name, he didn’t much care. Her long blonde hair fell loosely around her shoulders and she looked amazing.

    “Wow.” Was all he managed. “Just wow.”

    “Thanks, it’s new. I bought it for the week.” He knew that meant she’d bought it for him, and he liked that. Maybe she’d relax and see that this was all still very doable if they were subtle and not overt.

    He stepped closer and put his hand on her back as he guided her towards the lift. “You do realise your dress is not helping your plan to keep me at a distance or to keep my feelings hidden.”

    “Sorry.” She probably was at least a little.

    “I’ll cope.” The lift door closed, and they were alone inside. “But you need to know I’d really rather kiss you than do anything else at all on the planet right now.”

    Her cheeks pinked and she gave him a shy smile. “Likewise.”

    He might have done so if the door hadn’t pinged and opened spilling them into an exclusive section of the casino that Axel had reserved. Thumping music came at them as did a large bouncer with a door list which had both their names on it. Andrew had never wanted to go to a party less in his life but he was going to have to take any time he could get with Tiffany while he tried to win her over and demonstrate their week long fling wasn’t going to impact either of them in any way that was less than positive. And he was going to have to do it without looking like the possessive caveman he felt like as he watched the hungry eyes of the other men in the room devour Tiffany. There was exactly one word for his current predicament and that was torture. Pure and utter torture and yet for Tiffany he would take it. It occurred to him his feelings for the woman were way more than lust but now was not the time for introspection, now was the time to be a perfect non-date while keeping the hands of the likes of Alexi well away from Tiffany.

    Axel was the first to approach back-slapping Andrew and giving Tiff a shy smile and nod.

    “You made it. I wasn’t sure you would.”

    “Sure did. Tiffany wanted to blow off some steam and I said this was the place.”

    A guy with a tray of tequila shots came by and they each took one. Tiffany smiled.

    “Looks like you were right.” She said after downing hers at lightning speed.

    “That must have been quite a day.” He said in her ear before he and Axel downed theirs.

    Andrew wasn’t much of a drinker, body of an athlete and all that. He was now two whiskey’s and a tequila in. He needed to watch it. That was about his limit during season, or ever really. He had a few beers now and then but nothing too serious. Tiffany however had been handed a glass of champagne, no doubt the very expensive stuff and was guzzling it like water.

    “Shall we sit.”

    “Or we could dance.” She said. And then to his utter annoyance she turned to Axel. “You want to dance Axel?”

    He gave a nod and she handed her glass to Andrew. “I’ll be back.”

    Okay. Well, this was not at all what he had in mind.

     

    Tiffany hadn’t danced in ages. Sometimes she felt like she was a forty-year-old woman trapped in the body of a twenty-seven-year-old. It was like she had Dylan at twenty-two and all the fun stuff the parties and the dancing stopped and the serious business of being a grownup had gone into overdrive. Ninety nine percent of the time she was fine with that. She had her cute condo, a great job, some sweet friends she’d made at mommy and me classes and now a few moms from the school she was getting to know. But they did not go dancing at exclusive parties and guzzle very pricey champagne surrounded by A list celebrities. They didn’t look at her like she was hot and young and beautiful and every so often it was nice to feel that way.

    She’d brought the dress on a mark down rack just after the tournament last year, just in case she got to hang with Andrew again this year. She’d had it hanging in her wardrobe and when she needed a boost, she would take it out and look at it and remind herself she was still a young woman with lots of opportunities ahead of her. Part of her had thought it ridiculous and the other part thought there was nothing wrong with a bit of dreaming.

    Now here she was. The man in question was standing off to the side of the dance floor being very polite to the young ingénue who was talking to him. He was holding her drink and his eyes rarely left her. Meanwhile she was shaking her thing with Axel. Wait until she told the PTA moms this, their minds would explode. If she had her preference, she’d be dancing with Andrew, but she needed to blow of some energy, and she would be so obvious dancing with him. Her dance wouldn’t say this is fun it would say, take me now and that couldn’t happen.

    The song switched and she found herself dancing with another tennis player and then by the third dance Alexi. Not at all her preference. She kept moving avoiding him touching her. She was sure the surly Russian was a decent enough guy, but she didn’t feel like that about him and his touching her felt creepy. She knew Andrew was watching and she had a feeling if Alexi’s hand went anywhere it shouldn’t there be a scene.

    “Thanks. I need a drink.” She said at the end of the dance and headed towards and her drink. She had no idea if Alexi would follow. She hoped not.

    Andrew held out her glass when she approached one eyebrow raised. It was probably because she was all sweaty. She grabbed a napkin and discreetly patted her upper lip. “Thanks.”

    The girl next to him gave her the evil eye and Alexi joined them and did the same to Andrew. The champagne tray arrived, and she took a another. The waiter swung by with some canapes and she snagged one of those too. She hadn’t eaten all day thanks to the diva’s antics, which had taken hours to smooth over. Up until now Tiffany had largely only seen the celebrity players at their best, because it was an event for cancer kids they usually behaved impeccably. Usually being the key word.

    “You are good dancer.’ Alexi said.

    “Thanks. I don’t dance much.”

    “This is shame. Pretty women should dance.” She knew he meant it as a compliment and so she gave him a small smile.

    “So, what do you do to blow off steam then?’ Andrew asked.

    “I hit the gun range.” The young woman said, as if he’d asked her.

    “Interesting.” Alexi said, turning his attention on her.

    “I have punching bag I knock the stuffing out of.” Tiffany said. That was true and a better answer than snuggle on the couch with my son, especially to a man who didn’t know you had a son.

    “Well, it would have gotten a workout tonight.”

    @Yeah dancing is more fun.” He raised his glass and they drank.

    “I know another great way that is great fun.” He winked at her and her ovaries did a dance of their own. She was in so much trouble here, but she couldn’t help but answering. “Oh yeah?”

    And then he answered. “Tennis. Great way to blow off steam.” She swatted his arm. And he feigned innocence. “Why what else could I be thinking of?”

    “Nothing, nothing at all.” She shook her head. “You going to dance with me Benjamin?”

    “Sure, I must warn you, I don’t have Axel’s moves.”

    She led the way to the dance floor and in the din of the crowd looked over her shoulder at him and said. “I’ve seen your moves, they are, way way better than Axel’s.”

     

    She wanted to kill him, apparently. Watching her shake her thing on the dance floor had him fixing his jaw and by the time Alexi muscled in he was sure he was grinding his teeth, not that the sweet girl talking to him seemed to notice she just kept flirting away. He hoped he was more subtle than he felt, and that the girl wasn’t just oblivious, but he couldn’t be certain.

    No as he followed Tiffany on to the dance floor in that dress that made her look incredible, he was going to need all the restraint in the world to hold it together and not pull his body up against those sweet curves. Hopefully the universe would throw him a bone and the music would stay fast. Tiffany headed to the middle of the floor and turned and gave him a sultry look. She was a little buzzed, but she was having way too much fun at his expense. The ridiculous part was he was getting nothing out of it but the pleasure of her company, she’d made that well not clear exactly but, he was fairly certain that was the reality.

    For the next ten minutes he let her shimmy and shake around him like he was a pole. She was so joyous in her dancing he couldn’t help but enjoy himself, but it was pure torture and that was long enough. He couldn’t leave her alone on the dance floor because it was very clear there were plenty of men happy to come and take his place and as hard as it was being here watching her with someone else would be worse.

    “How about we grab a water?” He wrapped his hand around her waist and hauled her off the dance floor.

    “Party pooper.” She said with an adorable pout. “Can I at least have another champagne?”

    “You can have whatever you like but I’m pretty sure you have an early start and divas to handle tomorrow.”

    He hadn’t released her, and he felt the groan she let out all through his body. It wasn’t exactly the sound he wanted to make her make.

    “Now you’re a total buzz kill…” she looked at the thin gold watch around her delicate wrist. “But you’re also right.”

    “Do you feel better than when you arrived?’

    “Absolutely. I love to dance. I miss it.”

    She lived nearby. There were plenty of places to dance here in Vegas, hundreds in fact. It was odd that she didn’t do it.

    “You should do it more often then.”

    “As long as you don’t have to watch.” She gave him a nudge with her hip.

    “Exactly. Come on pretty girl. Let’s get you to bed before you turn into a pumpkin.”

    “I don’t think that’s exactly how the story goes Benjamin.” She smiled. “I’m still resisting you, though you have made it exceptionally hard tonight.”

    He sighed. Hard was definitely the word for it. The man didn’t like it, but he understood.

    Want to read Book 1 – Playing at Love or Book 2 – Playing it Safe click here.

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