Monday, October 31, 2016

Once Upon a Royal Christmas by Robin Bielman: Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway


Blurb:

Colliding with a prince while walking four dogs isn’t how Rowan Palotay pictured meeting royalty, but then lately her life hasn’t gone according to plan. With one teensy tiny mistake, her job as a news reporter took a turn for the worse and now she’s lucky to have a small pet column in the local newspaper. Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and magic, but she feels like she’s forever stuck on the naughty list. Prince Theodore Chenery is in Marietta shortly after the death of his mother to meet his grandparents for the first time. When an accidental run-in—literally—with Rowan leads to an unexpected friendship, he finds himself enchanted with the outspoken, feisty country girl. She’s unlike anyone he’s ever met and her special brand of kindness and honesty make it harder and harder to keep temptation away.

Giving into the passion and deep-rooted emotions between them, Theo and Rowan discover what matters most. But when their relationship makes worldwide news, Theo must decide whether or not to follow his heart or his royal duty.


Click to Buy on Amazon:

.

About the Author:

When not attached to her laptop, USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman can almost always be found with her nose in a book. A California girl, the beach is her favorite place for fun and inspiration. Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts all of her story ideas.

She loves to go on adventures, and has skydived, scuba dived, parasailed, gotten lost in the wilderness (and only suffered a gazillion bug bites for it) hiked to waterfalls, and swam with dolphins. In her spare time she also likes to put her treadmill to good use while watching her favorite TV shows, take hikes with her hubby, indulge her sweet tooth, and play sock tug of war with her cute, but sometimes naughty dog, Harry.

She dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers. Keep in touch and sign up for her newsletter on her website at http://robinbielman.com.

Social Media Links:

 photo facebook_128.png photo twitter_128.png photo goodreads_128.png photo WebsiteIcon.png

Excerpt:

Quickly, and without thinking, Theo sat down behind her, cradling her between his thighs and wrapping his arms around her waist. They both needed to get down the hill and this seemed like the best solution.

Her breath hitched, her body tensed.

“I thought we could do this last sled run as a team,” he said quietly. “But if you’d rather—”

“It’s okay.” She relaxed against him. “This is good.”

Having her in his lap felt better than good. Even with a bulky jacket on, she was soft. Her hair smelled like citrus shampoo. And she fit.

“Here we go.” He shoved them off. They gathered speed quickly and Rowan’s sounds of glee made him smile inside and out as the wind rushed their faces.

They started to slow, the slope evening out. Theo shifted slightly and the heel of his boot got stuck in the snow for a second. They spun out of control, pitched to the side, and crash landed. Their bodies tangled, rolled as one, and came to a stop with him on top of her.

Worried he was crushing her, he quickly pushed up onto his elbows. Her eyes were closed and her long, black lashes almost reached the tops of her pink cheeks. Snow clung to her hair. He gulped. She was beautiful. “Sorry about that. Are you okay?”

He was acutely aware of her chest rising and falling as she tortured him with silence for several seconds before finally opening her baby blues and saying, “That. Was. Epic.” Then she broke into a fit of laughter.

And God, it made her even more beautiful. She wasn’t irritated or flustered by their crash, but tickled by it. He stared down at her, enjoying her sound and the crinkles in the corners of her eyes. His body covered hers, making contact in so many good places, making him hungry for more. He hadn’t meant to like Rowan as much as he did, but she was great, and every interaction elevated his attraction to her.

Any affection had to be buried, though. He had a life waiting for him back home.

The thought bothered him more than he cared to admit.

How could it not when she stopped laughing and any pretense of this being a simple friendship vanished? The way she looked up at him, with desire and playfulness, was one hell of an aphrodisiac. He imagined she saw the same expression mirrored back at her.

He slid one hand in her hair to cradle the back of her head. With his other hand, he cupped her cheek. He’d never wanted to kiss someone so badly. At the moment, he didn’t care about the consequences. If he didn’t get to make her lips sore, suck her tongue into his mouth, and find out what she tasted like, he’d regret it.

“Rowan,” he whispered.

She reached up and brushed the hair off his forehead. “Yes, Theo.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hope Town Books 1-3 by Harper Sloan: Release Blitz


If you haven't read Harper's Sloan steamy contemporary romance series, Hope Town, do yourselves a favor and ONE-CLICK THIS BOOK! The first three books in the series are available in one boxed set, which is on SALE for 99 cents. These books are regularly $3.99 each so that's a HUGE savings. This is one of my all-time favorite series and I can't recommend it enough.

Blurb:

For the first time ever, the Hope Town books are being bundled! Join us for the first three books in the series! Complete with all new bonus content!

You fell in love with them as children in the Corps Security Series, but now, watch them fall in love with a spin-off series of their own, the Hope Town Series. Made for love like you’ve never seen before, the second generation of alpha men and strong heroines are all grown up and full of sass.

Join them in the first three Hope Town books—with never-before-seen deleted scenes and bonus chapters.



Click to Buy on Amazon:

.

About the Author:

Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed 'Estrogen Ocean', much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her eReader attached. She enjoys bad reality TV and cheesy romantic flicks. Her favorite kind of hero--the super alpha kind!

Harper started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn't take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.

Social Media Links:

 photo facebook_128.png photo twitter_128.png photo goodreads_128.png photo WebsiteIcon.png

Say You Want Me by Corinne Michaels: Release Blitz


Blurb:

There’s no way I’ll fall for Wyatt Hennington.

He can keep his Southern drawl, irresistible smile, and those pick-up lines all to himself. I made the mistake of sleeping with him not once, but twice. I’m not stupid enough to give him round three, especially after he left me in the middle of the night so I could see myself out. I vow to return to Philadelphia and forget him.

It proves easier said than done.

When the doctor informs me I’m the winner of door prize number two, I put my life on hold and head back to Bell Buckle. Three months and if we can’t make
this work, I’m gone.

The problem is—when the cards are stacked against us, and I can’t bring myself to leave him, I’ll finally know if he truly loves me or if all my fears were real . . .


Click to Buy on Amazon:

.


About the Author:

Corinne Michaels is an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. She’s happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness.

Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn’t ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha Navy SEALs are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.

Social Media Links:

 photo facebook_128.png photo twitter_128.png photo goodreads_128.png photo WebsiteIcon.png


Mr. President (White House Duet #1) by Katy Evans: Release Blitz


Blurb:

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Katy Evans comes a sizzling new contemporary romance.

He's won the hearts of millions. But is he willing to lose his?

I met the president’s son when we were both young. Matthew Hamilton was handsome, polished, and intelligent. I’d never met a guy like him.

He promised me that he’d never run for president. I promised that if he did, I’d be by his side.

Three terms later, an invitation to join Matthew Hamilton’s campaign is the most exhilarating opportunity I’ve ever experienced. I'm determined to make a difference; he is determined to win.

Focused on his goal, Matt is steadfast, ruthless, and disarming. All eyes are on him and his popularity is surging. But soon, the next possible president of the United States is possessing me in more ways than one—and despite the risks, I'm helpless to resist.

We're stealing touches, stealing moments, and stealing away at night. But our chemical connection is quickly becoming dangerously combustive, putting not only my heart, but Matt's chance at the presidency on the line.

Winning will take everything. Walking away will be the hardest thing of all.





Click to Buy on Amazon:

.


 
About the Author:

Hey! I’m Katy Evans and I love family, books, life, and love. I’m married with two children and three dogs and spend my time baking, walking, writing, reading, and taking care of my family. Thank you for spending your time with me and picking up my story. I hope you had an amazing time with it, like I did. If you’d like to know more about books in progress, look me up on the Internet, I’d love to hear from you!

Social Media Links:

 photo facebook_128.png photo twitter_128.png photo goodreads_128.png photo WebsiteIcon.png


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Buried Secrets by J.C. Valentine: Cover Reveal w/ Excerpt & Giveaway


Blurb:

How do you live with yourself when you don’t even know who you are?

On a chill October night, a girl goes missing setting the small town of Oakridge on edge. James has spent the last five years running from a past that still haunts him to this day. Now he finds himself thrust back into a life he thought he left behind. Finding out his new home may be haunted and reconnecting with an old friend while being thrust into a murder mystery, James finds himself trying to figure out which end is up while questioning his own sanity.

**AUTHOR’S NOTE** Buried Secrets is a New Adult, mystery thriller with very little romance but heavy on the suspense.

Releases: November 29, 2016



Click to Pre-Order on Amazon:

.

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author J.C. Valentine is the alter-ego of Author Brandi Salazar, whose enjoyment of tales of romance inspired her to branch out and create her own.

She lives in the Northwest with her husband, their wild children, and far too many pets. Having graduated with honors, she holds a degree in English, which she hopes to use to pursue her dreams of becoming an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction-in all its forms.

Social Media Links:

 photo facebook_128.png photo twitter_128.png photo goodreads_128.png photo WebsiteIcon.png

Prologue:

Fall crept in like a burglar while the town slept. It brought with it a chill that felt refreshing after one of the hottest summers on Oakridge record. A slight, sticky fog hung in the air and evidence of Halloween was on nearly every doorstep in the form of carved jack-o-lanterns. Skeletons hung on doors, and festive orange lights draped roofs. Leaves coated the ground, wet and matted to the sidewalks and streets.

James breathed in the cool air that stung his nose just a bit. He loved when school let out at the end of the day. He never could wait to get out of the confines of the small, overcrowded classrooms. Even now he couldn’t fully escape it. Classmates of his walked and ran the same mile stretch he was, laughing and talking about anything and everything. Right now, he knew the junior high girl and her friend from his science class walking a few feet behind him were debating the hotness of Tommy Henderson, the varsity basketball player for Oakridge High. Everyone knew him, and everyone loved him. He was going to take the team to the championships. Probably would graduate and take some college to their championship, too. Something the whole town could be proud of.

They met a few years ago when James was playing in the woods. AJ found him digging for worms—he’d been on a mission, wanting to teach himself how to fish, to live off the land like the people from ancient times—and he’d offered to help. AJ had run off, leaving James to sit and wonder where he had come from—he hadn’t heard him approach in the first place. He returned cupping a handful of water in his palms. He’d dumped the liquid in the hole James had dug, and moments later, worms began squirming to the surface.

They became fast friends. James kept their friendship a secret. He wasn’t sure why exactly, except that AJ was his only friend, and he wanted to keep him all for himself. If he told someone, they might want to meet him, then the magic might go away. So they spent all that summer collecting worms and pretending to be hunters in the deep woods behind Oakridge Park. When summer break was over and school was back in session, James was disappointed to find that AJ wasn’t in any of his classes. In fact, he wasn’t in any classes in the school. No one heard of him.

He finally broke and told his mom and dad about him one evening over dinner, because he was worried about AJ and needed to share him with someone, so he could feel close to him again. Like if he kept him a secret, and didn’t see him, then he wouldn’t be real anymore. It was an odd way to look at it, he knew, but he hadn’t ever had a friend quite like AJ. He was fun and daring and super inventive, and he liked James, flaws and all.

So when he told his parents about AJ, they were happy for him. His mom said he probably just missed him in the halls. The schools weren’t huge, but they were big enough to lose someone in. His dad said that AJ probably just went to a different school. Maybe in the next town over, since no one knew him here. That settled it for a bit, and the next time James saw AJ, which was at the park just after sunset one evening when James was on his way home from skipping rocks in the small stream in the woods, he asked him about it. AJ had told him that both theories were wrong. He lived a few miles west through the woods and his mom homeschooled him. He said his dad did some sort of factory work in the next town, which was just enough to pay the bills and put food on the table, according to him. It was only then that James realized AJ didn’t wear the best of clothes, and he wasn’t as kempt as James was. But that didn’t make any difference to him. In fact, he felt closer to AJ than ever before. Finally, he had found someone who would never judge him. Someone who could truly understand him.

So when Mercy Worthington fell into step with him, James’s heart beat a rapid tempo and his stomach turned to knots.

“Hi,” she said in a very delicate, but cheerful voice.

James stared at the ground and muttered a hello, but he couldn’t get up the nerve to really look at her.

“I’m Mercy. You’re James, right? James Clearwater. I think my dad works with yours at old man Jenson’s. He does the proofs, doesn’t he?”

James nodded. His dad worked at Jenson Design Studio where he developed photographs in one of the two darkrooms. His dad had big dreams of one day owning his own studio and becoming a famous photographer. Mercy’s dad was a set designer. James knew everything there was to know about Mercy and her family, and not just because the whole town knew who her family was, but because he paid attention and took notes. James was in love with Mercy Worthington, and had been since the third grade when she’d taken a job behind the lunch counter for a day and handed him a carton of 2% with that big, white smile of hers trained squarely on him. She was a senior at the high school, which made her five years older than James, who was thirteen now and in the seventh grade.

Today, like every day, she was radiant. Her dull blond hair waved gently behind her as the breeze caught it and when he found the nerve to look up at her, he found her green eyes smiling on him.

He was going to marry her one day.

“I thought so,” she said, grinning. She took in their surroundings. “Do you take this route every day?” He nodded. “I’ve never seen you, and I walk this way every day. How come I’ve never seen you?”

He shrugged. “I dunno.” He felt awkward and short on words. He stuffed his hands in his pockets.

“You don’t talk much, do you?”

He glanced at her and caught her teasing smile. He smiled back, feeling a little of the tension leave his shoulders. Why was she being so nice to him? A part of him felt like this must be a trick, but when he looked around, he only saw other kids from school walking silently or in small groups or pairs, chatting quietly. Could she really be interested in him? The only kids besides AJ that talked to him were the ones who poked fun of his clothes or his haircut, his slight lisp or the way he tripped over his own feet. She probably just felt sorry for him. He had heard of that before, girls who felt sorry for the underdog and took pity on them. Normally, he would get mad at being a charity case, but right now he couldn’t care less. Someone other than his family knew he existed. Mercy Worthington knew he existed. Suddenly, he didn’t feel like a shadow slinking around in the world unnoticed anymore.

“So how long have you lived in Oakridge, James?” Mercy asked, as they crossed the street.

“My whole life,” he replied.

She nodded. “Do you have any friends? I never see you with anyone.”

He shrugged. “Some.” He didn’t want to look like too much of a loser.

“What about a girlfriend, do you have one of those?”

He felt himself blush. “No.”

“I know what your dad does for a living. So what does your mom do?”

“She likes to garden, but no one pays her for it,” he said. His dad was old-fashioned and believed that the wife should be home with the kids while the husband went out and provided for the family.

“That’s cool,” she said. “My mom is a painter. Sometimes she sells her art to the museum or to some person with lots of money. She’s pretty successful. I was thinking of painting when I get out of college. What about you? Do you know what you want to do after college?”

Honestly, James wasn’t sure he even wanted to go to college. His dad never pushed the notion, insisting that he wouldn’t amount to much more than a gas-station attendant anyway. He wanted to be an astronaut when he was little, like most boys that age did, then he switched to a fireman after a class field trip to the fire station in fifth grade. Now, he just wasn’t sure what he wanted.

“I’m not sure,” he said honestly. “Maybe I’ll just travel across the world for a while and live off the land until I figure it out.” That had been a dream of his and AJ’s, to hitch rides all over the country with nothing but a backpack and a few dollars in their wallet.

Her face lit up with excitement. “That is so cool that you said that. I always dreamed of seeing the world, but my dad said that education comes first. I will have all the time in the world to do what I want after I get my ducks in a row.”

James wasn’t sure he believed that, but he kept his mouth shut.

Heavy footsteps approached from behind and moments later a big, strong arm wrapped around Mercy’s shoulder. Tommy Henderson had arrived.

“Hey, babe.” Tightening his grip on her neck, he pulled her in for a sloppy kiss.

“Hey,” she said when she came up for air. “Tommy, this is James. His dad works with my dad. He’s going to travel across the world one day.” She said this with a grin that made James’ stomach flutter a little.

Tommy sized James up, and James knew he was trying to figure out where he knew him from. James knew him from the many times he “accidentally” knocked his books from his hands, and “inadvertently” tore up his homework. James was afraid if he recognized him, he might have to endure another embarrassing moment involving colorful adjectives and descriptive threats, and he just didn’t want to be made a fool of in front of a girl like Mercy Worthington.

He hung his head, allowing a few scraggly scraps of hair to shield his eyes.

“Travel the world, huh? Like a hobo or something?” He laughed, his deep, belly rolling chortle that made all the girls weak in the knees. James thought it made him look and sound stupid. “What are you hanging out with this joker for? He’s like two feet tall. I could smash him with my pinkie.”

James felt his finger press down on the crown of his head in demonstration.

“Hey,” Tommy said, putting himself between James and Mercy. “You trying to steal my girlfriend?”

“Stop picking on him, Tommy,” Mercy snapped.

Tommy sneered at James, then his features smoothed, and he turned on a smile for Mercy. “Whatever you say, babe. Just making sure the boy understands there’s no competition. You’re my girl, aren’t you, babe?”

Mercy rolled her eyes. “Of course, Tommy.”

They had come to a fork in the road where James’ house was to the left and Mercy’s to the right. “I’ll see you around, James,” Mercy told him, smiling apologetically.

“Yeah, see ya,” Tommy said, then ruffled James’ hair like he was some little kid.

James watched after them as they turned and walked off. After a few feet, Tommy turned to face James. “And, James.” James raised a questioning brow. “Stay away from my girl.”

Mercy punched Tommy in the side playfully, and he laughed, tugging her closer as they resumed walking. James felt his body begin to shake. He was angry. At that moment, he wanted to beat Tommy Henderson until his arms were too weak to continue. For the first time in his miserable existence, James thought he felt angry enough to kill.

As the sun set, the day turned bitter cold, and the rain had moved in. It was sheeting down now, and Mercy’s shoes were soaking wet as her feet beat through every puddle. She was running, the rain pouring down her face in rivers, filling her eyes and blinding her to her path. Someone was chasing her.

She’d decided to walk home after an evening at her boyfriend, Tommy’s, house, and almost as soon as she rounded the first street corner, she felt someone following her. The shadowy figure kept pace for a couple of blocks, then steadily picked up pace, until Mercy broke out running…and so did they.

She was crossing the park playground now, and she could just make out the hill ahead. Her house was just over that hill, and if she could make it, she could get help. As her feet slipped, trying to find purchase on the soft, mud covered ground, Mercy could feel her muscles begin to cramp and burn with exhaustion. Against her will, she was slowing. When her feet hit the loose bark covering the playground, Mercy did slip. She caught herself with her hands and scrambled to her feet, pushing herself harder until she finally reached the bottom of the hill. There she used her hands, her fingers digging into the grass, and pulled herself up until she could look over and beyond to her house. The lights inside were a warm beacon, and she felt a sudden urgency come over her.

As she came to her feet, Mercy heard a muffled thud, and glanced over her shoulder. It was a mistake that she wouldn’t live to regret.

The shadow stood before her, and to her surprise, she recognized the dark figure.

“What do you want from me!”

A visual sweep revealed something big and heavy looking in their hand, and with quick precision, the shadow raised its arm high in the air and brought it down hard. A slow trickle of blood broke through her hairline and ran down her forehead, then her face and dripped off her chin. A second blow caused it to grow thicker and run faster and Mercy fell to her knees, then finally her face, where her eyes focused and glazed over and her breaths faded away to nothing. And still the shadow hit her, until all the fury, all the anger subsided.

Her last vision was that of the warm yellow glow coming from the living room window where her mother and father, sister and brother sat watching the evening news and waiting for her to come walking in the door any moment.Stooping down, the figure wrapped its cold, wet fingers around Mercy’s ankles and pulled, slipping frequently under the girl’s slight weight as it dragged her lifeless body into the copse of oak trees beyond the playground. Come morning, when the sun broke through the clouds, children would run and play, never knowing the horrors of what happened just a short distance away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, October 28, 2016

To Love and to Cherish (The Wedding Belles #3) by Lauren Layne: Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway


Blurb:

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Alexis Morgan has spent the past six years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable...until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever...


Click to Buy the Wedding Belles Series on Amazon:

.

About the Author:

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

Social Media Links:

 photo facebook_128.png photo twitter_128.png photo goodreads_128.png photo WebsiteIcon.png

Excerpt:

“Hello.”

The sexy British accented startled Alexis out of her thoughts, and she glanced up, both alarmed and intrigued to find that the face that awaited her was every bit as appealing as the voice.

The man was about her age—early, maybe midtwenties—and ridiculously cute. His hair was dark and maybe just a touch too long, as though he intended to get a haircut but kept forgetting. The eyes were brown and friendly, accented by trendy black-framed glasses.

The chunky cable-knit sweater with elbow patches—for real—bordered on dorky, but then, Alexis had always had a soft spot for dorky. He had a bit of the Clark Kent thing going on, which had always been far more her type than the overrated Superman.

“Hi,” she replied quickly, realizing that she’d been staring.

His smile grew wider as he extended a hand. “Logan Harris.”

Darn. Even the name was good.

“Alexis,” she said.

“Does that come with a last name?” he teased, lowering himself to the vacant barstool beside her.

“Not to strange men,” she retorted.

“I could buy you a drink. Get rid of the ‘strange’ part.”

Alexis’s smile slipped as she remembered that romance, even flirting, wasn’t part of her plan. She’d learned the hard way that she could have one or the other—her own business or a boyfriend—not both. And even if she wanted the latter, the latter didn’t want her back.

“No thanks; I’m fine,” she said, letting the slightest amount of chill enter her voice. The ice-princess treatment, Roxanne called it.

Logan shrugged, undeterred. “All right then. May I borrow your menu?”

She nodded, and he picked it up, perusing it for several moments and paying her no attention.

It was both a relief and also a bit of an insult, if she was being entirely honest, to be given up on so easily.

Alexis tried to turn her attention back to her laptop but watched out of the corner of her eye as he finally shut the menu, waiting patiently to catch the bartender’s eye.

“Hi there,” he said, when the bartender ambled back over. “I’d like a Stella, and a maybe bite to eat?”

Alexis didn’t miss the once-over that the bartender gave Logan before the curvy redhead leaned over the bar, displaying perky boobs as she clicked her pen and pulled a notepad out of her back pocket.

“Shoot,” the bartender said flirtatiously, looking a good deal friendlier than she had when she’d spoken to Alexis.

Not that Alexis blamed her. A cute Brit could do that to a girl.

“All right then,” Logan said. “I’d like the burger, medium, with Swiss. Fish and chips, extra tartar, and . . . how’s your chicken club?”

The bartender blinked. “It’s good. But you want all that?”

“I do. Thank you.”

“Suit yourself,” she said, scribbling Logan’s order on the pad.

“Hungry?” Alexis couldn’t resist asking after the bartender moved away.

Logan gave a sheepish smile. “I’m a recovering student. I sometimes get so wrapped up in my day that I forget to eat.”

“A recovering student. What does that mean?”

He turned slightly toward her. “Someone’s showing plenty of interest in a strange man.”

She bit her lip. “I’m sorry if I was rude before. I’m just not really in the market for . . . you know.”

He gave her an easy smile. “Everyone’s in the market for a friend, Alexis.”

She opened her mouth and then shut it as she realized he was right. She could use a friend. She’d spent her entire life in Boston and knew almost nobody in New York. This guy seemed nice and nonthreatening enough—what would be the harm in a little conversation over dinner? It had been too long since she’d had somebody to share a meal with.

Logan seemed to know the moment she capitulated, because he turned more fully toward her. “A recovering student, Alexis, is a recent graduate. One who hasn’t quite absorbed that there will be no more finals, no more requisite all-nighters, and no more dorm sex.”

Alexis laughed. “Undergrad, then?”

He gave her a wry look. “How young do I look, darling? MBA from Columbia. Just finished up end of last year.”

She felt a little stab of relief that he wasn’t twenty-two.

He leaned toward her slightly. “Twenty-five next month, just in case you were wondering. As a friend.”

She tried to hide her smile and failed. “Columbia, huh? You’re a long way from home.”

“Noticed that, did ya?” He winked. “I came out here for undergrad, also Columbia. Always figured I’d go back to London and maybe someday I will, but . . .” He shrugged. “Seems I have stuff to do here first.”

“Such as?” She took a sip of her wine, dismayed to see that it was half-empty.

“Well, this will probably shock you, given my vast amount of brawn, but I’m an accountant. Or at least I will be, once I get my business up and running.”

Alexis was impressed. “Your own business?”

Most twentysomethings, even those with an entrepreneurial bent, opted to get a few years of work under their belts for someone else before branching out on their own.

He nodded. “I’m working out of my flat for now, but I’m hoping to lease some office space soon, get some legitimacy. If nothing else to get my father off my back.”

“He’s not a fan of your plan?” Alexis asked.

Logan’s shoulder lifted, and for the first time he seemed a little sad. “Both parents have had it in their head that I’d come home. Run the family business in London.”

“Which is . . . ?”

He spun his beer glass idly. “Financial consulting firm. My father’s the CEO, Mum’s the COO.”

“Wow, that’s . . .”

“Scary?” Logan supplied.

“I was going to say impressive. That they work together—without killing each other, I mean.”

“They’re in love. It’s atrocious,” he said with a wink. “What about your folks?”

Alexis laughed. “Not in love. They divorced when I was in high school. Dad’s remarried and happy now, I think. Mom not so much.”

“And you?” he said. “Are you happy, Alexis?”

She pursed her lips, surprised and yet not entirely unsettled by the personal question. “It’s been a while since anyone asked me that. Since I even thought about it, really.”

“Think it out. I’ll wait,” he said with a wink.

She didn’t have to think that long. “I’m almost happy.”

“You sound quite confident on that.”

She shrugged. “Let’s just say that I need a few things to fall into place in my professional life, but once that happens . . . yeah. I’ll be happy.”

She’d make sure of it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway