Sex, Secrets, and Scifi, Pack Quite The Story Making Punch In "Dangerous Promise"

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Title:  Dangerous Promise
(The Protector Series #1)
Author:  Megan Hart
Publisher:  Swerve
Release Date:  January 2, 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

A female bodyguard with enhanced abilities. A billionaire playboy committed to destroying people like her. A romance they didn’t expect…
Dive into the first book in the fantastic new Protector series set in the near future from New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart!
Nina Bronson used to be all human -- until the experimental surgeries and internal technology that saved her life and enhanced her as a soldier also forced her to leave the army for private service. Now she and her peers are facing slow, painful deaths unless their technology is upgraded, and the one man keeping those upgrades illegal and unavailable is an obnoxious billionaire. A man too gorgeous for his own good.
A man she’s supposed to guard with her life.
Ewan Donahue is the public voice speaking out against the enhancement procedures of injured soldiers. But when his lobbying leads to death threats, he needs someone to protect him around the clock. He doesn’t want to rely on an enhanced soldier—Nina’s tech goes against everything he stands for. But he really doesn’t want her to be beautiful like she is. Doesn’t want her to suffer like she will.
Doesn’t want to succumb to the searing desire he feels for her.
As a series of attacks on his life send them to a remote cabin, their close proximity brings them together in ways they never imagined. They know they must prevent the need simmering between them, resist each other at all costs. But when tensions are high and danger is close, passion burns hottest of all…
Nina Bronson was a fantasy, all right, but one Ewan could no longer allow himself to imagine.
He turned from the toilet, half-expecting to see her smirking, but she was looking carefully uninterested, her gaze settled somewhere to his left. “I need to take a shower. Sure you don’t want to climb in there with me?”
He’d been aiming for sarcasm, but the second the words came out of his mouth, he realized they sounded less like a threat and more like a sexual come-on. The way her sleek black eyebrows rose made it obvious that she’d thought so, too, but scratch it, that was the last thing in the world he’d meant. Maybe not the last thing, he admitted as Nina gave him another of those frustratingly chilly smiles. At about five-four, she stood close to a foot shorter than him. Her body beneath the simple black uniform of leggings and a long-sleeved top was fit and firm and still curvy in all the places a man needed a woman to curve. She studied him like she could ferret out every scrap of a secret he’d ever tried to keep.
“I could, but in the event of a rising threat”—her gaze dropped for the barest second to the front of his pajamas, he was sure of it, though it happened so fast he couldn’t have proven it—“I’ll need to be able to take care of it with my clothes on.”
“Don’t like to fight naked, huh?”
She smiled. “I like to do a lot of things naked, Mr. Donahue, but fighting isn’t one of them.”
He’d always been a sucker for a woman with a sense of humor and a sharp wit. This particular woman, though, represented everything he was working so hard against. He’d hired her for the job in spite of his personal beliefs, not to support them. And not for any other reasons, either, her ripe mouth and quick comebacks notwithstanding.
Besides, Ewan told himself with scorn, he preferred blondes.
He reached into the glass shower enclosure to start the water running. “How can I be sure you’re using that selective sight like you say you are?”
Her smile vanished immediately. Her back straightened, shoulders squared. Her voice, which previously had been slightly husky and tinged with amusement, went subzero.
“Because to ogle you inappropriately in the shower or in any other way would be a direct violation of my standards, both those set by the company I work for, and also my own personal set of morals and ethics. Because I do what I say I’m going to do, Mr. Donahue, and for you to assume or believe anything less is a direct affront on my character.”
Before he could say anything else, glass shattered. The bathroom window above the deep soaking tub burst inward. A long metal tube hurtled through the open space and hit the tile floor, bouncing hard enough to chip the porcelain before rolling to a stop near his feet. The slow hissing of gas came first, followed next by the eye-watering sting.
“Get in the shower!” Nina shoved him, hard, into the glass enclosure, and shut the door behind him. “Turn the water on high!”
Another metal tube hurtled through the window, but this one didn’t have time to hit the floor. She grabbed it in midair, crossing the distance between where she’d been and leaping into the tub in a mere two or three strides. She knocked over a display of decorative soaps and stupid seashells one of his exes had put there, but Nina didn’t pay a second’s attention to the crash. Nor to the glass still sticking out in shards in the window frame.
One, two, three, she kicked out the glass and leaned out the empty window space. She threw the metal tube outside. All of this happened so fast Ewan barely had time to register the scalding water on his bare chest. He stepped out of the spray with a hiss as Nina drew her stun weapon from the holster at her waist.
She aimed.
She fired.
From outside came a faint scream. A moment later, alarms began to bleat. Not the ones that announced a breach of the house itself; those should’ve gone off the second the window broke. Instead, the perimeter alarms went off. Whoever had managed to get past them the first time without setting them off wasn’t so lucky this time.
Steam had barely had time to fill the shower and spill over the top of the glass enclosure into the rest of the bathroom when Nina turned and stepped out of the bathtub. The tube on the ground was still hissing gas with an acrid stink. Inside the shower with the water blasting, the smog was dissipating enough to make him cough, but not enough to knock him down.
Grabbing up the tube, Nina took another of those amazing three-four step leaps and tossed that tube out the window as well. She snagged one of the tidily rolled towels from the basket between the tub and sink. Yanked open the shower enclosure, stepping inside just enough to thrust the plush cloth beneath the water.
Then she threw it over his head and face.
The next thing Ewan knew, he was on the floor of his bedroom, sopping wet, with a puddle ruining his fourteen-hundred-credit rug. Nina lay on her back beside him, her eyes closed. Chest rising and falling rapidly. When he sat up, she turned her head to look at him.
The whites of her eyes had gone threaded with crimson, but she was grinning. “Well. How’s that for a good start?”

My Thoughts
This futuristic story of an ex-super soldier whose very tech puts her on borrowed time, and the billionaire that tech has made her able to protect.  Is one that holds so much more for readers than its romantic trappings would lead readers to allow.

Both leading lady, Nina Bronson, and leading man, Ewan Donahue, are alphas in their own right.  But Ewan's appreciation for, and attraction to, Nina's fighting prowess, speed, strength, and beauty is a refreshing twist; that one never tires of.
Said appreciation goes a long way towards ushering in the heated femdom romance that transforms this read from scifi chic to futuristic sexual fantasy of the most readable kind.

Balancing the heat, are the elements of danger presented by Ewan's predicament as a hunted man, Nina's personal war with the failing tech in her head, and the secret that lies between them.

Secrets it seems, are an underlying theme of this book.  Because it's secrets, or more to the point.  The need for keeping the secrets of the rich and powerful clients that Nina, and others like her serve.  That are at the heart of the war for the rights of "the enhanced".
Rights that Ewan is doing everything in his power to strip away.
Until...
He comes face to face with the one person charged with saving both his life and his heart.
Knowing that everything that he stands for could mean the end of hers.
This is a book that will turn you on while making you think.
It gives rise to questions like:

Who or what defines "humanity"?
If technology advances to the point of "enhanced humans", who has a say over how that tech is used?
Do our memories really belong to us?

This book is one that is well written, thought provoking, heart stopping, and sexy as all HELL!
An excellent start to a wonderful series.

Buy The Book Here!

All About Megan Hart
Megan Hart has written in almost every genre of romantic fiction, including historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, futuristic, fantasy and perhaps most notably, erotic. She also writes non-erotic fantasy and science fiction, as well as continuing to occasionally dabble in horror.

For Megan Hart, the nutritionist, click here

Find Megan here:  Web / Twitter / Facebook

Ink Slinger Book Tours Presents: The Wonder Of You

BOOK INFORMATION: 

THE WONDER OF YOU by Harper Kincaid is LIVE!

Special Release Week Price - $1.99
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2Eko3XE 
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2EkKnQJ 


BOOK DESCRIPTION:
What if Alice didn’t fall down the rabbit hole, but instead, traveled through
Lincoln Tunnel into another kind of Wonderland:
New York City.
The best day of twenty-five year old Alice Leighton’s life was the day she got to put her nothing special, lil Southern town in her rear-view mirror. Good-bye to phony ‘bless your hearts’ and ‘I’ll pray for you’ crap, all while talking trash behind her back. She’s New York City’s latest addition and she’s going to work her ass off proving she earned her spot in the country’s top grad program.
Never again will she let some jerk derail her future and break her heart. Oh, and no more players. She’s D.O.N.E with the ‘cool guys’.
Getting caught up in Dare Grangeworth, the art world’s resident bad boy, was not part of her Alice 2.0 plan, even if he is just her type, with his beard, tats sleeves and intense green eyes. When he’s not dodging the press or his cultish fan base, Dare’s making art that makes a statement. Women seem to lose their heads around him – all the more reason why he finds Alice’s candor refreshing. He’s used to women giving in – not giving attitude.
He has to get to know this girl, even if it means allowing himself to be the subject of her research. Before too long, he becomes more than a simple outlier she can explain away. And for him everything starts to feel larger than life and upside down, like a heady rush, all while desperately trying not to lose his heart.
Become lost and found in this re-imagined story of Alice and her cast of characters, in a world where Wonderland meets Sex-and-the-City.

My Thoughts
The Wonder Of You is a book that causes one to be of two minds while reading it.
The reason for this being that it starts off, feet firmly planted in the world of romance.  But when our Alice meets her Mad Hatter; in the very attractive and rich form of one Dare Grangeworth.  Romance seems to take a very decided detour into the erotic.  Or at least, it starts to.

Sadly, at least for this reader.  The foray into what could have been a very titillating exploration of the sexual freedom that our "vibe in the purse" carrying, sex therapist in training, seems to trumpet from the rooftops in the book's opening pages.  Falls very flat later in the book. When it is learned that she knows about as much about her own sexuality as a Golden Retriever knows about a goldfish.

Really Anastasia????

She is strong and assured in every other aspect of her life. A real joy to read.  But when we are faced with what turns out to be a focal point of the book.  Her chance to claim her sexuality in a meaningful and personal way.
We get run of the mill sex, and "I don't have any fantasies."

I say again...
Really Anastasia????

Just a hint...
It doesn't bode well for your sex life or your career in sex therapy, when your tech wiz best friend knows more about fantasy and fetish play than you do.
Not to mention that fact that when our Alice finally does place one tentative toe into the wide world of fantasy.  We get a "been there...done that" scenario. that serves as little more than a gateway to a dramatic story ending.

Please don't misunderstand.
This is a very well written and enjoyable read.  But what serves time and time as this read's fatal flaw, is the fact that the author seems to go out of her way to make every aspect of "Wonderland" normal and relatable.
Dare goes out of his way to prove that in spite of his wealth...
Sex, been there done that...
No exploration of New York...etc

In short.
This book lives not in Wonderland, but in the Land of Could Have Been.


AUTHOR BIO:


Born in California and raised in South Florida, Harper Kincaid has moved around like a gypsy with a bounty on her head ever since. For years, she was a jill of all trades and a master of none, but is now tickled hot pink to pen stories that break and mend people's hearts for a living. Kincaid believes seduction occurs from the neck up, which is why her characters are smart, sexy, and slightly quirky - and definitely worthy to be your next hard-core book crush.
When not writing, she adores listening to indie, lo-fi, complaint rock played on vinyl,  the theater, well-informed optimism, happy endings (both kinds), and making those close to her laugh 'til they snort. She is a self-admitted change junkie, loving new experiences and places, but has now happily settled in the cutest lil' town, Vienna, Virginia.

AUTHOR LINKS:





Pupcakes Review and Giveaway!!!!!!

ABOUT PUPCAKES
Sit! Stay! Speak! author Annie England Noblin’s novel takes one woman starting over, adds an aging pug named Teddy Roosevelt, and proves the power of a well-baked dog treat.

All she wants is a settled-down life.
What she gets is a dog—and a whole new normal . . .
There he stood in the doorway: overweight, depressed and nearly homeless—a pug named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy was Brydie Benson’s latest problem, arriving on top of her messy divorce and sudden move. Brydie needed a place to start over, so this rent-free home seemed a great idea. She just never counted on Teddy, or his owner, the Germantown Retirement Village’s toughest customer, Pauline Neumann.
And because rent-free doesn’t mean bills-free, Brydie gets a night-shift job at a big-box grocery. Whoever guessed there were so many people who wanted baked goods after midnight?
Then, she gets an idea—why not combine her baking skills with her new-found dog knowledge? And so her store Pupcakes is born. Along with a new start comes a possible new love, in the form of Nathan Reid, a local doctor with a sassy Irish Wolfhound named Sasha. And as fall turns to winter, and then to Christmas, Brydie begins to realize that life is a little bit like learning a new recipe for puff pastry—it takes a few tries to get it just right!

My Thoughts
Pupcakes offers very sweet proof that sometimes life's second chances come equipped with a big heart and four paws.
Brydie Benson never thought that she would be starting her life over as a thirty-something, divorced, former bakery owner.  Who now has the honor of playing babysitter to an elderly pug named Teddy.

But all in the name of room and board.  It seems that a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.
That is of course if this girl can seem to work out her deep seated issues with her work-aholic mother, and her feelings about her father's death in the process.
That's between falling in love with the local doctor and putting her baking chops to good use as the newest member of the overnight crew at the local mega-store bakery.

If you are in the mood for sugary sweet, melt your heart, romance.  Pupcakes is in dead the romance for you.  Featuring both a character driven and situational plot.  This book is one for those who want to discover the romance within the story for themselves.  Instead of having it served to them on a platter.

This story is also one driven by emotional conflict.  An aspect which helps provide depth and strengthen reader / character relationships, in most cases.  But can sometimes prove a nuisance when said conflict's shelf life has expired.  Because the sstory has progressed past its relevance.  This one and only drawback is the reason that this review is less than 5-star.

This slow simmer of a romance is one that allows the reader to sip slowly at its offerings.  Taking the time to savor both the bitter and the sweet.  In the end managing to come away with a belly full of laughs, a heart full of love, and a head full of paw print covered memories.





After dinner, Nathan refilled their wineglasses and led her into the living room. Sasha and Teddy had settled there as well, and when Nathan built a fire in the fireplace, Teddy dropped right in front of it and started to snore. Sasha wasn’t far behind him.
 “The living room at Mrs. Neumann’s house has a fireplace, too,” Brydie said. “I thought about lighting it the other night, but it hasn’t been lit in ages.”
“I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate it if you burned her house down trying to light the fireplace,” Nathan replied.
“No, I can’t imagine that would make her too happy.”
“Listen,” Nathan said, scooting closer to her on the couch. “I’m sorry if I asked too many intrusive questions earlier. I’m hopeless at small talk, and when I get nervous, I tend to fall back into doctor mode. I swear I didn’t mean to interrogate you over chicken.”
“That’s okay,” Brydie replied. “It was actually kind of nice to talk about it with someone who doesn’t know anything about my life before I moved here.”
“How do you like Memphis so far?”
“It’s getting better,” Brydie said with a sly grin. Between the wine and the fire, she felt deliciously warm.
“I’m glad to hear it.”
Brydie watched him watching her. She liked the way his curly black hair fell in his eyes when he was concentrating. She liked the way his T-shirt fit, not too loose or too tight. She liked the way he asked her questions—soft, curious, but not intrusive. It made her want to tell him everything, anything, just to keep him looking at her. Paying attention to her.
But more than that, she realized, there was something familiar about him, comfortable. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was, but despite the constant butterflies in her stomach, he made her feel calmer somehow. She could understand why people would be drawn to him as a doctor. She could even understand why a woman might visit her elderly aunt in order to be near him.
Nathan moved a hand up to Brydie’s face, tucking a wandering strand of damp hair behind her ear. It sent a bolt of electricity through her, and when he moved his hand away, Brydie felt herself grabbing a fistful of his T-shirt and pulling him closer to her until her mouth was on his, and she could taste the wine on his lips.
Brydie fell back into the couch and pulled Nathan down on top of her. She could feel his hands exploring her body underneath her T-shirt, and she burned with a need she hadn’t known existed until that very moment.
“Do you want—” Nathan began in between frenzied kisses, but before he could finish, the ringing of his phone in his pocket cut him off.
“Ignore it,” Brydie murmured.
“I can’t,” Nathan said, pulling himself away from her with a groan. “I’m on call at the nursing home tonight.”





ABOUT ANNIE ENGLAND NOBLIN
Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Her poetry has been featured in such publications as the Red Booth Review and the Moon City Review. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.














Connect with Annie
Twitter: @aenoblin
Instagram: @aenoblin

BUY LINKS for PUPCAKES:
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2jHogdn
Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/2jHPrVC
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/2wvH0CH
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2w5L885



The Giveaway!!!!!

This one is simple!!!!!!
Follow me on twitter @wtfareyoureadin to win 1 print copy of PUPUCAKES!
Prizes provided through HarperCollins Publishers!

Entrants must be 18 or older and live in the US or Canada.
The winner will be notified via Twitter.
All winner's are chosen randomly!

Good Luck

Avon Romance Presents: Chasing Christmas Eve


Meet cute...
Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.
Make merry...
Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spence immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?
…and hope for a miracle.
Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.









BUY LINKS for CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE:
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2hgsoAt
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2yc3uEW
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/2ycgDhs
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2xPGdgg




At the unexpected sight of Spence, Colbie startled hard. How was it that he was the one who needed glasses and yet she’d not seen him standing against the window? “No, I don’t kill a lot of people,” she said cautiously because she was wearing only a towelin front of a strange man. “But I’m happy to make an exception.”
He laughed, a rough rumble that was more than a little contagious but she controlled herself because, hello, she was once again dripping wet before the man who seemed to make her knees forget to hold her up.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said and pushed off the wall to come close.
She froze, but he held up his hands like, I come in peace, and crouched at her feet to scoop up the clothes she hadn’t realized she’d dropped.
Leggings, a long forgiving tee, and the peach silk bra-and-panty set that hadn’t gotten so much as a blink from the TSA guy.
But it got one out of Spence. He also swallowed hard as she snatched them back from him.
“Hold on,” he said and caught her arm, pulling it toward him to look at her bleeding elbow.
“Sit,” he said and gently pushed her down to a weight bench. He vanished into the bathroom and came back out with a first aid kit.
It took him less than two minutes to clean and bandage the scrape. Then, easily balanced at her side on the balls of his feet, he did the same for both her knees, which she hadn’t noticed were also scraped up.
“You must’ve hit the brick coping as you fell in the fountain,” he said and let his thumb slide over the skin just above one bandaged knee.
She shivered, and not from the cold either. “Not going to kiss it better?” she heard herself ask before biting her tongue for running away with her good sense.
She’d raised her younger twin brothers. Scrappy, roughhouse wild animals, the both of them, so there’d been plenty of injuries she’d kissed over the years.
But no one had ever kissed hers. Not surprising, since most of her injuries tended to be on the inside, where they didn’t show. Still, she was horrified she’d said anything at all. “I didn’t mean—”
She broke off, frozen like a deer in the headlights as Spence slowly lowered his head, brushing his lips over the Band-Aid on her elbow, then her knees. When he lifted his head, he pushed his glasses higher on his nose, those whiskey eyes warm and amused behind his lenses. “Better?”
Shockingly better. Since she didn’t quite trust her voice at the moment, she gave a jerky nod and took her clothes back into the bathroom. She shut the door and then leaned against it, letting out a slow, deliberate breath. Holy cow, she was out of her league. He was somehow both cute and hot, and those glasses . . .

My Thoughts
This has got to be the most adorable case of geek love that has ever gone into print.
All Colbie wants to do, is to get away from her life long enough to find some peace and writing her next book.
Hopefully...without getting herself carted off by the TSA in the process.

Spence, on the other hand.  Or should I say on the same hand really.  Maybe just a few fingers to the left, is also looking for the peace and quiet he needs to work out the details of his next great invention.
What neither of the two ever expect to find however, is the eureka moment that each is so desperate to find.  Compliments of each other.

The endearingly awkward and often comically sweet in which these two work their way past each other's defenses, and into the other's respective heart is nothing less than "melt your chocolate romantic.  Topped off with an earnestness and flair for the dramatic that is classic Jill Shalvis at her situational best.

Simply put...
This is a book and a series that one simply never wants to end.
The gift that keeps on giving...
Even in October!


All About Jill
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website,www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Connect with Jill
Facebook: @JillShalvis
Twitter: @JillShalvis










Forever Presents: The Winter Wedding Plan Release Day Blitz...and Giveaway



Title: THE WINTER WEDDING PLAN
Author: Olivia Miles
Series: Misty Point, #2
On Sale: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Trade Paperback: $14.99 USD
eBook: $6.99 USD

All she wants for Christmas is a second chance . . . 

Charlotte Daniels has made her share of mistakes, but now that she's a single mom, she vows to do better--and that starts with a new career. Working at her sister's event-planning company is just the fresh start she needs.

Kate Daniels has finally forgiven Charlotte for her betrayal, but forgetting it is harder. But as the holidays approach and Kate has her own wedding to plan, she has no choice but to turn to Charlotte for help to throw a high-profile client the holiday party of the season.

Charlotte leaps at the chance to redeem herself . . . until this irresistible client asks her to pretend to be his fiancée for the party. She knows their charade won't come without consequences--not just for her fresh start with Kate, but also for her own daughter.

As Kate's wedding draws near and Charlotte's fake romance starts to feel more and more real, will she fall back into the mistakes of her past, or finally prove herself to Kate once and for all?

In the vein of New York Times bestselling authors Susan Mallery, Robyn Carr, and Elin Hilderbrand, comes the second in a women's fiction series about the complicated ties of sisterhood that bind us together and sometimes tear us apart.







She pointed out the double set of French doors against the far wall, where a view of a snow-covered stone terrace shone in the moonlight. “Look at that. It’s a winter wonderland out there. It’s the perfect night for a holiday movie.”
He didn’t look convinced. “If you say so.”
“I do.” Charlotte settled back against a pillow. “Besides, this one is really terrific—”
“Wait. You’ve seen it before?”
“At least a dozen times! We watch it every Christmas. It’s sort of a family tradition.”
Greg’s brow furrowed. “That sounds nice.”
Charlotte grinned, imagining how wonderful it would be when Audrey was old enough to partake in the event. “Usually we make a big bowl of popcorn, have some hot chocolate. We can recite all the lines, of course, but that’s just part of the fun. Whenever I think of this movie, well, it just feels like coming home.”
Greg glanced at her. “I can make some popcorn if you’d like.”
Charlotte considered the holiday dress she’d hoped to squeeze herself into for the party, and then decided the diet could wait. She grinned. “I’ll pause it. You don’t want to miss the opening scene.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t want to do that,” Greg teased, but she could sense that he was pleased.
Charlotte couldn’t wipe the smile from her face as she snuggled deeper under the chenille blanket and waited for Greg to return with the popcorn. Despite the size of the house, she could soon make out the sound of popping—she glanced sharply at the baby monitor, silently willing Audrey to be unaware of the noise. She was enjoying herself, maybe more than she should, and she wasn’t ready to be on mom duty again just yet. For just a few moments she wanted to just be Charlotte.
And somehow, with Greg, she was. Greg, who didn’t know her past. Greg, who had no hold on her future. Greg, who knew her just as she was. Today. Present moment only. No mistakes. No slip-ups.
She stared at the frozen television screen. A year ago she had watched this movie alone, with tears streaming down her face as she worked her way through a family-sized bag of potato chips, wondering if her sister and parents were watching it together, if they were happy she wasn’t with them.
Little did she know at the time just how different this year would be. Better. Or at least on the up-and-up.
Greg came into the room with a bowl of popcorn, his grin sheepish. “I won’t lie. It’s microwaved.”
“The best kind,” Charlotte remarked. Her eyes widened slightly as he slid onto the couch beside her again. Was it just her imagination, or was he coming a little closer this time?
She looked to her right. There wasn’t much more space left for her to move. “Ready to start the movie?” she asked, gripping the remote.
He passed her the bowl of popcorn, and she helped herself to a few kernels. “This isn’t one of those feel-good movies, is it?”
She raised an eyebrow. “It’s a holiday movie. What do you think?”
He shook his head, but she could tell by his faint smile that he liked her response. “Oh, boy. Let’s get it over with then.”
“I have a feeling you’re going to enjoy it. Trust me.”
He gave her a strange look. “I do trust you.”
She rearranged herself on the couch, unsure of what to make of that remark, and fighting back the strange feeling that she just might be able to trust him, too. If she let herself.
The fell into silence as the movie started, and a few glances at Greg told her that he was fully engrossed within minutes. She smiled in satisfaction, and decided to enjoy herself and put her troubles from her mind for a bit. But the next thing she knew the television screen was quiet. There was popcorn sprinkled all over the leather couch, and [LP1] the baby monitor crackled somewhere behind her.
She tried to remember the last scene in the movie she’d watched, and realized with a sinking feeling that she’d fallen asleep well over an hour ago. Her eyes sprung open. She wasn’t in her bedroom, and the pillow under her cheek wasn’t a pillow at all. It was a chest. A very hard, very sturdy, very manly chest. She blinked in panic as her heart began to race. Staying as still as she could under the tense circumstances, she listened to the steady drum of Greg’s pulse though his sweater, felt the rhythm of his breath as his chest moved softly up and down, moving her with it, almost lulling her into a state of tranquility.
He was asleep. And so help her, she intended for him to remain that way.
Inch by inch, she eased herself off the couch, grabbed the baby monitor by the handle, and made her way to the half-open French doors.
“Hey.”
She winced, and closed her eyes before turning to face the owner of the smooth, groggy voice that was much too deep and husky for her own good. “I think we fell asleep.”
She didn’t bother mentioning just what position they’d ended up in, or how that might have happened. She felt the blood drain from her cheeks when she considered that while she had dozed off somewhere around the scene where the young boy goes to the mall with his wish list, meaning somewhere in the first third of the movie, it was entirely possible that Greg hadn’t nodded off until a few minutes ago.
“Too bad. That was a pretty good movie.”
She nudged him with her elbow. “Told you so.”
He arched an eyebrow. “Rain check then?”
That sounded an awful lot like an invitation she should probably resist, but with that friendly grin and those warm eyes, really, what was a girl to do? “Can’t wait.”
And she realized as she turned from the room and hurried back upstairs that she couldn’t wait. And that was really quite a problem.


 [LP1]AUTHOR: If she’s asleep on his chest, she can’t be eye to eye with the couch. //



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THE MISTY POINT SERIES

ONE WEEK TO THE WEDDING, #1
THE WINTER WEDDING PLAN, #2




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Olivia Miles writes women's fiction and contemporary romance. A city girl with a fondness for small town charm, Olivia enjoys highlighting both ways of life in her stories. She lives just outside Chicago with her husband, young daughter, and two ridiculously pampered pups

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