Friday, May 27, 2016

Aloha to Carolyn Brown and WHAT HAPPENS IN TEXAS

Reminder: I have a special giveaway for Military Appreciation Month at this link.

Carolyn Brown brings her unique voice to this tale of twin sisters finding love in a small Texas town ...

Cathy Andrews’s biological clock has passed the ticking stage and is dangerously close to “blown plumb up”. While her twin sister Marty thinks settling down with one man is just a waste of good cowboys, Cathy wants it all: the perfect husband, the baby, and a little house right there in Cadillac. But even as the town is laying bets on whose wedding will be next, Cathy doesn’t see happily-ever-after happening anytime soon.

Fortunately, Cathy and Marty have best friends who aren’t afraid to stir up a ruckus—and if it means Cathy’s got to bust out and set the town on its ear they’ll back her up—no matter how hot things get.


File:Texas State Capitol Night.jpg
Texas State Capitol: North side by night
Creative Commons (link)

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author and RITA Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than seventy books. These days she is concentrating on her two loves: women’s fiction and contemporary cowboy romance. She and her husband, a retired English teacher, make their home in southern Oklahoma.

Learn more about Carolyn and her books at

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Carolyn offers an excerpt from WHAT HAPPENS IN TEXAS ...

If Prissy Parnell hadn’t married Buster Jones and left Cadillac, Texas, for Pasadena, California, Marty wouldn’t have gotten the speeding ticket. It was all Prissy’s damn fault that Marty was in such a hurry to get to the Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society monthly meeting that night, so Prissy ought to have to shell out the almost two hundred dollars for that ticket.

They were already passing around the crystal bowl to take up the voting ballots when Marty slung open the door to Violet Prescott’s sunroom and yelled, “Don’t count ’em without my vote.”

Twenty faces turned to look at her and not a one of them, not even her twin sister, Cathy, was smiling. Hell’s bells, who had done pissed on their cucumber sandwiches before she got there, anyway? A person didn’t drop dead from lack of punctuality, did they?

One wall of the sunroom was glass and looked out over lush green lawns and flower gardens. The other three were covered with shadow boxes housing the blue ribbons that the members had won at the Texas State Fair for their jalapeño pepper entries. More than forty shadow boxes all reminding the members of their history and their responsibility for the upcoming year. Bless Cathy’s heart for doing her part. She had a little garden of jalapeños on the east side of the lawn and nurtured them like children. The newest shadow box held ribbons that she’d earned for the club with her pepper jelly and picante. It was the soil, or maybe she told them bedtime stories, but she, like her mamma and grandma, grew the hottest jalapeños in the state.

“It appears that Martha has decided to grace us with her presence once again when it is time to vote for someone to take our dear Prissy’s place in the Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society. We really should amend our charter to state that a member has to attend more than one meeting every two years. You could appreciate the fact that we did amend it once to include you in the membership with your sister, who, by the way, has a spotless attendance record,” Violet said.

Violet, the queen of the club, as most of the members called it, was up near eighty years old, built like SpongeBob SquarePants, and had stovepipe jet-black hair right out of the bottle. Few people had the balls or the nerve to cross her, and those who did were put on her shit list right under Martha, aka Marty, Andrews’ name, which was always on the top.

Back in the beginning of the club days, before Marty was even born, the mayor’s wife held the top position on the shit list. When they’d formed the Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society, Loretta Massey and Violet almost went to war over the name of the new club. Loretta insisted that it be called a society, and Violet wanted it to be called a club. Belonging to a club just sounded so much fancier than saying that one belonged to a society. Loretta won when the vote came in, but Violet called it a club anyway and that’s what stuck. Rumor had it that Violet was instrumental in getting the mayor ousted just so they’d have to leave Grayson County and Loretta would have to quit the club.

Marty hated it when people called her Martha. It sounded like an old woman’s name. What was her mother thinking anyway when she looked down at two little identical twin baby daughters and named them after her mother and aunt—Martha and Catherine? Thank God she’d at least shortened their names to Marty and Cathy.

Marty shrugged, and Violet snorted. Granted, it was a ladylike snort, but it still went right along with her round face and three-layered neck. Hell, if they wanted to write forty amendments to the charter, Marty would still do only the bare necessities to keep her in voting standing. She hadn’t even wanted to be in the damned club and had only done it because if she didn’t, then Cathy couldn’t.

Marty slid into a seat beside her sister and held up her ballot.

Beulah had the bowl in hand and was ready to hand it off to Violet to read off the votes. But she passed it to the lady on the other side of her and it went back around the circle to Marty, who tossed in her folded piece of paper. If she’d done her homework and gotten the numbers right, that one vote should swing the favor for Anna Ruth to be the new member of the club. She didn’t like Anna Ruth, especially since she’d broken up her best friend’s marriage. But hey, Marty had made a deathbed promise to her mamma, and that carried more weight than the name of a hussy on a piece of paper.

The bowl went back to Violet and she put it in her lap like the coveted jeweled crown of a reigning queen. “Our amended charter states that only twenty-one women can belong to the Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society at any one time, and the only time we vote a new member in is when someone moves or dies. Since Prissy Parnell got married this past week and moved away from Grayson County, we are open for one new member. The four names on the ballet are: Agnes Flynn, Trixie Matthews, Anna Ruth Williams, and Gloria Rawlings.”

Even though it wasn’t in the fine print, everyone knew that when attending a meeting, the members should dress for the occasion, which meant panty hose and heels. Marty could feel nineteen pairs of eyes on her. It would have been twenty, but Violet was busy fishing the first ballot from the fancy bowl.

Marty threw one long leg over the other and let the bright red, three-inch-heeled shoe dangle on her toe. They could frown all they wanted. She was wearing a dress, even if it only reached midthigh, and had black spandex leggings under it. If they wanted her to wear panty hose, they’d better put a second amendment on that charter and make it in big print.

God Almighty, but she’d be glad when her great-aunt died and she could quit the club. But it looked like Agnes was going to last forever, which was no surprise. God sure didn’t want her in heaven, and the devil wouldn’t have her in hell.

“One vote for Agnes,” Violet said aloud.

Beulah marked that down on the minutes and waited.

Violet enjoyed her role as president of the club and took her own sweet time with each ballot. Too bad she hadn’t dropped dead or at least moved to California so Cathy could be president. Marty would bet her sister would get those votes counted a hell of a lot faster.

There was one piece of paper in the candy dish when Beulah held up a hand. “We’ve got six each for Agnes, Trixie, Anna Ruth, and two for Gloria. Unless this last vote is for Agnes, Trixie, or Anna Ruth, we have a tie, and we’ll have to have a runoff election.”

“Shit!” Marty mumbled.

Cathy shot her a dirty look.

“Anna Ruth,” Violet said and let out a whoosh of air.

A smile tickled the corner of Marty’s mouth.

Saved, by damn!

Agnes was saved from prison.

Violet was saved from attending her own funeral.

The speeding ticket was worth every penny.

Alamo at Night

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Aloha to Carly Phillips and DARE TO TAKE (Dare to Love Book 6)


Reminder: I have a special giveaway for Military Appreciation Month at this link.

She was off limits, But he couldn't resist.

There are just some guys you don't touch--even someone as innocent and inexperienced as Ella Shaw knows that. But when her brother's best friend is up for grabs and willing, she can't resist. After all, she's wanted him for years...

On leave from the army, Tyler Dare is just looking for a little fun, but his best friend's sister is off limits. Yet unable to deny how sexy and alluring she is, he finds it all too easy to succumb to a night of passion and heat that ends the next morning in the worst way possible.

Now, Ella is stranded on a tropical island with a hurricane bearing down, and only Tyler can save her. It's his chance to make amends for the past and show the woman he's never forgotten that he's coming after her . . . in more ways than one.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today's readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She's a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she's a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find all information about Carly at her website and other social media sites:

Carly's Website
Carly's Blog.
Carly on Twitter

I am giving away a print copy of DARE TO TAKE to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about tropical island - how would you spend your time?  Snorkeling? Surfing? Swimming? Sunning? I prefer to hike around the beach to soak up the natural beauty.

2. Comments are open through Saturday, May 28, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 29.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Aloha to Victoria Vane and SADDLE UP (Hot Cowboy Nights Book 4)

Reminder: I have a special giveaway for Military Appreciation Month at this link.

With exceptional talent and looks, cowboy “horse whisperer” Keith Russo once had the world at his feet — until his career was unwittingly destroyed by an aspiring filmmaker. After being rejected by his family for exploiting his Native American heritage, Keith has no choice but to turn back to his humble beginnings as a wild horse wrangler.


Miranda Sutton always dreamed of making films, until wild mustangs captured her heart. But turning her grandmother’s Montana ranch into a wild horse sanctuary proves harder than she thought. She needs someone who knows wild horses. Keith and the mustangs need each other. And while working together to save the herd, Keith and Miranda discover a passion as wild as the mustangs they love.

Barnes & Noble
Books A Million

Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of the Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers Goodreads group and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog. She lives on the east coast of Florida.
Goodreads link

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Victoria offers Old West Trivia ...

Mustangs are descendants of Spanish colonial horses that were brought to the Americas by Conquistadors in the 16th century. Their name was derived from the Spanish word mustengo, which means "ownerless beast" or "stray horse." In the wild, these horses bred with other types of horses, including quarter horses and draft horses, to create the wild horse breed we know today.

... and an excerpt from SADDLE UP:

“I can’t believe this whole experience,” she said. “It’s like a weird dream. Do people really live like this? With poisonous snakes and horse-eating lions?”

“Where I come from they do. We coexist with many predators, including wolves and grizzlies. I thought you said your grandparents have a ranch. Didn’t you ever encounter any wildlife there?”

“It’s actually just my grandma’s now. We rode horses and played around with the cattle, but I never experienced anything like this before.”

He chuckled. “You aren’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.”

“Funny you said that. The Wizard of Oz is my favorite film. I’ve watched it thirteen times, part of which was a twenty-four hour marathon.”

“I don’t understand you.” He shook his head with a wry smile. “How can you watch the same film over and over when you already know what’s going to happen?”

“Because every time I watch it I focus on a different character and try to experience the events through his or her eyes. It’s all about the journey, not the destination.”

“Which character do you best identify with?” he asked.

“Well, usually it’s usually Dorothy, given that we’re both country girls and my experience in L.A. was all too much like hers in Oz, but I have to admit that tonight I’m identifying a lot more with the cowardly lion.”

“If that’s so, I have something that might help.” He reached beneath his shirt for a leather cord that he pulled over his head.

“What is it?” she asked, fingering the object that hung from the necklace.

“A grizzly tooth. It was my boo-ha-gant.” He slipped it over her head. “Now it’s yours.” He smiled into her eyes. “It will give you courage, but you must keep it secret, or it’ll lose its powers.”

“Courage? So this is really how you killed that snake? Won’t you lose your superpowers without it?”

“No.” He stroked a finger along her collarbone above where the tooth lay nestled between her breasts. “For the record, you have yet to know my true superpowers. We were interrupted before I could demonstrate them to you.”

Her face flushed. “You do think a lot of yourself, don’t you?”

He brought his finger back up to her mouth to trace her lips. “Let’s just say I wouldn’t have disappointed you.”

But disappointment reflected in her eyes. “Well, I guess we’ll never know now, will we?”

“No,” he replied, regretfully. “We never will.” He wasn’t likely ever to see her again, but in their short time together he’d opened up more with her than he had with anyone else in years. “Are you sorry you came?” he asked.

She exhaled a soft sigh. “No. Even with all that happened, I’m still glad I came.”

Maybe her answer shouldn’t have surprised him, but it did. This day had put her mettle to the test, revealing a strength she probably didn’t even know she possessed. She still had so much to learn about herself. He would have enjoyed the chance to watch her journey, but it wasn’t meant to be. There was no point in dwelling on it. The opportunity was lost. Tomorrow they’d find the missing horses and part ways.

He pulled her head onto his chest and stroked her hair. “Sleep now, Aiwattsi. I’ll keep you safe.”

Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights, #1)1807243818072453
More books in the series ...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Aloha to Nancy Scanlon and AN ENCHANTED SPRING (Mists of Fate Book 2)

Reminder: I have a special giveaway for Military Appreciation Month at this link.

Nancy Scanlon continues the timebending saga she began with The Winter Laird, pulling heroes and villains alike through the portals of time to help save their futures and find their truest loves.
A time travel accident has left Aidan MacWilliam, younger brother of a medieval Irish laird, trapped in the future. Though he’s become a successful entrepreneur in the twenty-first century, Aidan still can’t banish thoughts of the world he left behind. In search of distraction, he heads to New York to scout a PR person for his cousin’s matchmaking firm, Celtic Connections.

Emmaline Perkins might be the perfect candidate. A PR expert and closet medievalist, Emma has always put work before her social life. When a breathtakingly handsome man who looks like he stepped straight out of the Middle Ages proposes business, she struggles to keep her professional and personal lives separate.

Then Emma's ex-fiancé resurfaces, threatening Emma’s livelihood, her home, and ultimately her safety. Aidan jumps to protect her and not just because she’s good for business. He feels a primal need to defend the alluring young woman. But the question is not where she'll be safe, but when.

Amazon | B & N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts, Nancy Scanlon wrote her first romance novel at age 16, when she realized that fictional boyfriends were much easier to figure out than real ones. In the time since, she managed to earn a degree in English, obtain a graduate certificate in creative writing from the University of Cambridge, and marry the man of her dreams (but she still holds tight to her fictional boyfriends).

Currently, she resides in Puerto Rico with her husband, two children, and two dogs. When not writing, Nancy spends her time reading, reviewing and blogging about romance novels, watching too much HGTV, and taking care of her family.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Nancy offers an excerpt from AN ENCHANTED SPRING ...

He stopped directly in front of her, his body inches from hers, and slowly leaned in. Emma’s breath hitched, and her body went on full alert, her senses hyperaware of him. His clean scent filled her nose, and his nearness made her knees turn to jelly. When her eyes locked on his clean-shaven face, it took every fiber of her being not to rise up on her toes and run her tongue along his jawline.

His eyes met hers, and she saw it—raw hunger. As he raised his hand slowly, she parted her lips, hoping for a second taste of Aidan MacWilliam.

The sound of something rustling above her head forced her to look up.

Aidan brought a bag of coffee down to the counter and trapped her between his arms.

She couldn’t move. She didn’t want to move.

They stood like that for a long moment before he shook his head a little, as if questioning his sanity, before he placed his hand on her jaw, tugged it open, and melded his firm lips to hers. Her eyes fluttered closed of their own accord, and she was suddenly enveloped in his arms, his hand stroking her neck. He cradled her head and flicked his tongue to hers. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and brought them up to his neck, as he kissed her gently, carefully, as though she would break.

She sighed softly and leaned into him, and he growled into her mouth. Aidan kept one hand in her hair, his fingers gentle, and pressed his other hand into the small of her back, bringing her body flush with his. He deepened the kiss, devouring her in the best of ways. Emma felt cherished, branded, and hot all over.

She pressed into him harder, and he slid his hand up her spine, sending chills throughout her overheated body. She ran her fingers through his hair, surprised at its softness. He drew her attention away from wandering thoughts, though, when, without breaking the kiss, he grasped her waist and lifted her onto the counter. He angled her head and kissed her as though his life depended on it.

She lost all coherent thought.

His hands were on her back, her shoulders, her hair, her legs. She dragged her hands up his abs, feeling the ridges of muscles and flesh; she wanted to tear his shirt off and kiss him everywhere, all at once.


Dimly, she registered that someone was standing on the other side of the island, and she tried to disengage from Aidan.

“Kitchen’s closed,” Aidan said, his voice rough. He rested his forehead against Emma’s.

“Let me know when it’s open, all right? I need some coffee before I start working,” Colin replied, the grin in his voice unmistakable. A few seconds later, a door opened and closed.

They looked at each other for a moment, breathing hard, and didn’t say anything. Aidan flicked his gaze to her lips, and kissed her hard and deep before pulling away. “I won’t apologize for that.”

More confused than ever, she glared at him. “I don’t know whether to slap you or…or…”

His green gaze locked on her for another moment, and he let out a sudden chuckle. “Christ, Emma, what you reduce me to. Kissing you in my cousin’s kitchen.”

“That felt more like ravishing,” she snapped before she could stop herself. She slid off the counter.

He brought his body against hers once more, and she cursed herself for freezing in place. He leaned down, his mouth on her ear, and ran his tongue along it. “Then you’ve never been properly ravished,” he whispered.

Book 1 in the series ...

Aloha to Genevieve Lynne and SECONDHAND SINNERS


Reminder: I have a special giveaway for Military Appreciation Month at this link.

In Bokchito, Oklahoma, you know everyone and trust no one…
Emily Matthews swore she’d never expose her son Jack to her dysfunctional family that sent her running from Bokchito at only seventeen. The sins of her past still haunt her, but when her brother lands in jail, she has no choice but to go back and face her old demons.

Miller Anderson has never forgotten about the girl who ran out of his life thirteen years ago…

And with the secret he’s keeping from Emily, he knows he most likely never will. But when his daughter Abby plays matchmaker to set him up with his lost love, he can’t resist the resurgence of emotion that has them reliving their high school glory days.

Evil has a way of waiting for what it wants…

Just when Emily and Miller discover their old flame hasn’t died, they learn another fire has been smoldering in Bokchito. Her family’s long line of sins, kindled with a generation-old grudge, ignites when Emily discovers the truth about Miller’s daughter and is forced to choose between protecting Miller’s secret and the one thing she can’t afford to lose…her son Jack.

Caught up in a game of lies and dirt road scandal, Emily must risk everything to save her son and preserve Miller’s good name, or let her family’s darkest secret ruin them both.


Genevieve Lynne grew up in a small Texas town where everyone knew each other and gossip was considered a legitimate news source. She was raised on heaping doses of her grandmothers’ fabulous cooking, sweet tea, hot summer nights at the lake and maternal guilt. Even after moving to Austin to pursue her bachelor’s degree in English at The University of Texas, she never could shake the small town out of her. She’s still working on the guilt thing.

She loves to incorporate the charm of crazy close families and small-town life into her stories. She now lives in Fort Worth with her husband and three sons.

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Genevieve offers an excerpt from SECONDHAND SINNERS ...

Emily was in the water up to her waist when she twirled around and motioned for him. “Are you coming, or are you too afraid?” she yelled and then laughed.

He pulled his boots and his socks off and ran out to meet her. When he got close enough to grab for her, she screamed and dove under the water. He dove under too, and swam as hard as he could, despite his wet jeans weighing him down. Even in the murky water, he got hold of her leg. She kicked free.

“See?” she said, swimming backward and splashing water at him, “I’m not afraid.”

“Neither am I.” He lunged for her once more, seizing her wrist, and pulled her to him. To his surprise, and delight, she didn’t resist. Maybe it was because she couldn’t touch and he could. Feeling more confident than he had in years, he took hold of her around the waist and pulled her closer.  They stared at each other as they sucked in deep breaths.

“I’m out of shape,” she said.

“You’re in great shape.” He couldn’t stop looking at her lips. They were so inviting and he wanted to kiss her worse than he’d wanted anything.

Emily wrapped her arms around Miller’s neck and her legs around his waist, putting them face-to-face, nose-to-nose, lips-to-lips. Other body parts were touching too. He didn’t dare concentrate on those.
“I think about that time we swam in the rain too,” she said. “All the time. I wanted to get you out here so I could tell you that without the little ears listening. I also wanted to thank you for being so nice to Jack.”

“You’re welcome.” He couldn’t stop staring at her lips. What was wrong with him?

She gently bit her bottom lip as she pushed his hair off his face. It was so simple yet so intimate that it sent a surge of desire through him that was so strong it nearly overwhelmed him. He had her in his arms again. How could he ever let her go? He couldn’t. Yet every decision he’d made up to this moment in his life was based upon the belief that Emily didn’t want him, that she would never come back, and that he wouldn’t want her even if she did. A few drops of rain fell around them.

She wrapped her arms tighter around his neck and shook her head. “I can’t—”

“Mooooom! You’re scaring all the fish!”

Emily sighed. “I almost forgot about Jack and Abby.”

Jack and Abby? Who were Jack and Abby? And what was she about to say? She couldn’t what?

“I guess we should get back.”

He nodded like an idiot, and, like an even bigger idiot, he let her go. Again.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Aloha to Rachel Goodman and SOUR GRAPES (Blue Plate No. 2)


Reminder: I have a special giveaway for Military Appreciation Month at this link.

Uncork this delectable Texas Hill Country romance from the critically acclaimed author of From Scratch, the “smart, sexy, and funny” debut that “piles on the Southern charm” (Publishers Weekly).

Margaret Stokes is bitter. And not in the robust fine wine or tangy dark chocolate kind of way. She just got dumped, is fed up with her job as a glorified party-planner for the rich, and can’t possibly listen to one more veiled insult from her impossible-to-please mother. So she retreats to the comfort of her grandmother’s ramshackle bed and breakfast, where the wide open vineyards are filled with surprises, from the shockingly delicious wine to the aggravating yet oh-so-tempting man who makes it.

Ryan Camden’s easy approach to life encourages Margaret to loosen up and have a little fun, despite her better judgment. She resists the urge to micromanage every detail, embracing the welcome distractions of her surroundings and letting their relationship unfold at a natural rhythm. But when a health scare forces Grammy J to give up the B&B, Margaret begins to wonder if Ryan really is the man he promises—and whether the problems she tried so hard to escape ever really went away.

Rachel Goodman

Rachel is a mojito lover, cheese enthusiast, wanderluster, book junkie, romance writer, and an engineer. She is a Colorado native displaced in Texas and university professor. When she's not creating optimization models or traveling the world, eating her way through city after city, she is usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up stories and typing away on the computer. She lives in suburbia Dallas with her husband and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Oliver Pancake and Rigby Peanut.

Learn more about Rachel and her books at

File:Pinot Gris close.JPG
Pinot Gris grapes by Andrew Fogg
Creative Commons (link)

I am giving away "wine" swag to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about your favorite wine ... or non alcoholic drink.  My favorite wine is Pinot Grigio.

2. Comments are open through Saturday, May 28, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 29.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Aloha to Liz Talley and CHARMINGLY YOURS

Reminder: I have a special giveaway for Military Appreciation Month at this link.

Yesterday I met an engineer from Jackson, Mississippi.  I shared stories of my father growing up in the Magnolia State.  How appropriate to host Liz Talley today ... 

For Rosemary Reynolds, life in tiny Morning Glory, Mississippi, is just like the fabric store she runs: it seems she’s always waiting around for someone else to make the first stitch. Then a dear childhood friend passes away, leaving behind a gift that sends Rosemary on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Despite her mother’s protests, Rosemary heads to New York City for a stay in her cousin’s trendy SoHo loft. On her first day in town, a wrong turn leads her to Little Italy…and into the arms of handsome, outgoing Sal Genovese. Sal’s mother wants him to marry a longtime family friend, but to him, Rosemary is a breath of fresh country air, and he’s happy to show her a good time. Soon, Rosemary is swept up in a world she thought only existed in movies. To turn a two-week fling into a forever thing, she and Sal will have to make every moment count.

Liz Talley is the author of sassy contemporary romances, including the RITA-nominated The Sweetest September. A finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award in the Regency romance subgenre, she made her debut in contemporary romance in June 2010 with Vegas Two-Step. She went on to publish fifteen more titles. Her stories are set in the South, where the tea is sweet, the summers are hot, and the men are hotter. She lives in northern Louisiana with her childhood sweetheart, two handsome children, three dogs, and a mean kitty.

Baltimore boasts its only Little Italy

Liz is hosting a special giveaway at this link ... and offers an excerpt from CHARMINGLY YOURS ...

Flip-flops had never been her favorite shoe choice. The slap-slap-slap of them against her foot set her teeth on edge. But that was all that was available at the bodega right outside the hotel’s back door. 

Unfortunately they were a bright yellow with a neon orange flower. They looked like a nuclear explosion of sunshine.

“They’re not that bad. I kinda like them,” Sal said as they exited the store, her broken sandals swinging beside her in a plastic bag.

“You either have appalling taste or are color-blind,” she said.

“There’s an insult hidden in there somewhere. I’m going to plead color-blind … even though I’m not,” he said, looking around. “You want to go do something else?”

“It’s nearly midnight,” she countered. She didn’t want the night to end, but she could feel exhaustion descending. Flying solo to JFK, surviving the subway, and dancing beneath the Manhattan sky with a hot guy she’d met only hours before was quite an adventure for a gal who went to bed at ten o’clock every night.

“Been a long day for you, I suppose. Probably need to get you home and in bed.”

Her stomach flipped over at the thought of bed. And Sal.

He’d look good sprawled on the white sheets her cousin had put on the queen-size bed. The image of his tan skin and inky hair, mussed from a night of lovemaking, made Rosemary swallow. Hard.

She wasn’t the kind of girl who picked a guy up for a one-night stand. On the contrary, she’d made Judson Hall, her college boyfriend, wait for three months before she’d even let him slide a hand into her jeans. It had taken six months and a pack of birth control pills before she’d gone all the way with him in his room at the TKE house, door barred and triple locked. Sex was a big deal to her and she didn’t need his scuzzy roommate trying to catch a glimpse.

Still, Sal would look really, really, really hot wrapped in those sheets.

“Ugh, yeah, it’s been a long one. I flew out of Jackson at six a.m.”

“I know. Jackson’s in Mississippi.”

She smiled, lifting her gaze to his. “Thank you for bringing me here. I’ll never forget tonight.”

And she wouldn’t. When she was on her deathbed, she’d probably remember the way he smelled, the way he held her, and the way they’d talked for hours. The impromptu date had been magical from the moment she’d stepped inside Mama Mello’s until the purchase of her ugly flip-flops.

“Yeah, me, too,” he said, brushing a piece of hair behind her ear.

Oh, God. Was he going to kiss her?

Part of Rosemary wanted to step away, because a woman like her had no business kissing a guy like Sal. The other part wanted to jump into his arms and say to hell with being proper. This was why’d she’d come to New York City, why she’d gone dancing with a perfect stranger. This was the part of herself she was here to unleash.

Her heart pounded in her throat and suddenly her mouth went dry. She licked her lips. He watched her lick her lips.

Slowly he leaned toward her.

Time stood still.

He was going to—

Suddenly he pulled back.

“What?” she asked.

“Nothing,” he said.

“Weren’t you going to kiss me?”

He gave a self-conscious laugh. “Well, I was, but I wasn’t sure.”

“About what?”

“Whether you wanted me to or not. I mean, you’re a nice girl.”

Rosemary sighed. “Nice girls like kisses, but if you’d rather not, I under—”

She couldn’t finish because his lips had covered hers. Then his arm swept her to him, enveloping her in his total maleness. His other hand cupped her jaw, tilting her head.

The kiss was sweet, nearly innocent, but she felt it all the way down to the toes beneath the orange daisy.

He lifted his head and met her gaze, his dark eyes questioning, revealing a teeny flash of something. Something she wanted to know more about.

But he lowered his head again, capturing her lips, nudging them apart so he could taste her better.

Liquid warmth pooled in her belly, drenching her in sweet instantaneous desire. Maybe it was the wine. Or the fact she’d danced to Etta James and Nat King Cole standards. Or maybe it was the seduction of the city, but she’d never felt such an immediate flash of all-out need.

She needed this man.

Morning glories by Piccolo Namek
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