Tuesday, January 31, 2017

On Second Thought - Pub Day Review & Giveaway

Review by Deb Czajkowski
Ainsley O’Leary, sometimes mistakenly called Annie, Amy, Abby, Allie, met Eric when she was nineteen and they were both in college.  For the past eleven years (and counting!) they’ve been building a life together, and now, finally, Ainsley finds her heart’s desire─ the ring of her dreams─hidden in Eric’s sock drawer.  So, yes, the question constantly on her mind is: On which day will Eric pop the Big Question?  Perhaps this isn’t the question she should be asking?

Kate O’Leary is single and a successful photographer. For years, dating (i.e., trying to find her perfect match) has been her second career.  After just celebrating her thirty-ninth birthday, Kate decides to have just one career─photography. And then she meets─ and marries!─ Nathan. Kate is blissfully married to Nathan ….for exactly one hundred and two days.  Oh, what a difference a day─just one day─can make!

Nathan Coburn is the beloved son and brother in the wealthy Coburn family and a very successful architect in his own right.  He couldn’t have constructed a better scenario for himself than meeting and marrying Kate.  And then the unforeseen happens.  No one saw this day coming.

Eric “Cancer Chronicles” Fisher has just beaten testicular cancer─apparently the best kind of cancer to get for its survival rates.  Blogging about his journey─in way too much detail and with great liberties taken regarding the facts─is giving Eric notoriety. To what lengths will Eric go to extend his day in the sun? Could he do the unthinkable? Could he publicly break up with the woman who has stood by him for eleven years, the woman who nursed him through cancer? And could he blog about it?

Jonathan Kent is the publisher of the Hudson Lifestyle magazine and Ainsley’s boss.  At the office, his nicknames are, to his face, Mr. Kent (indicative of his formal demeanor) and, behind his back, Clark (as in ever-in-control Clark Kent).  But spend a few days with him outside the office, and you might just be calling him Mr. Darcy!

Daniel Breton is the name he gives when introducing himself.  Anyone else introducing him calls him Danny the Hot Firefighter.  One day─or perhaps more accurately, one night─is about to change his life. 

Author Kristan Higgins intriguingly illustrates that a day can make a difference in each of the lives of her captivating cast in on second thought. Days are tricky that way.  One day can be ordinary, another is extraordinary.  One day life is normal, mundane even.  And the next day the extraordinary hits.  The good extraordinary: amazing, stunning, incredible.  And then there’s the unbelievable, unusual, memorable extraordinary days─days you wish you could forget but instead your life will forever be changed by that one extraordinary day. 

Each of Higgins’ characters in on second thought is ordinary and extraordinary, in other words, human. They all have events that have shaped their lives, shaped the person each has become, guiding them forward in life’s journey.  And the author wonderfully unfolds the stories of these unforgettable characters.  I found on second thought to be enthralling, starting from page one, and the pages that followed did not disappoint. 

 Turn your day into an extraordinary day with a copy of Higgins’ latest hit.  Don’t give it a second thought; do it today!

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About the author:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA® Award, Kristan lives with her family in a small Connecticut town that boasts a wonderful library, a great agricultural fair, a really good ice-cream stand and not much else. She is the mother of two lovely kids and the wife of a brave firefighter who is also (perhaps more important) a fantastic cook. 

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Monday, January 30, 2017

What Makes a Family - Pub Week Giveaway

Nestled in the Chesapeake Bay, Brodie Island  is charming, remote, and slow to change. For three hundred years, Abby Brodie’s farming family has prospered there. Now, years after leaving to make her way on her own terms, Abby is coming home to see her ailing grandmother, with her teenage daughter and a wealth of memories in tow. Yet as family members gather at the old farmhouse, Abby realizes this visit offers more than a chance to say goodbye. 
 
After decades of feeling she was a disappointment as a daughter, Abby is beginning to see that her mother, too, has struggled to feel a sense of belonging within the Brodie family. Celeste, Abby’s self-centered sister, is far from the successful actress she pretends to be, and needs help that only Abby and their half-brother, Joseph, can give. But most surprising of all is the secret that Grandmother Brodie has been carrying—one that will make each woman question her identity and the sacrifices she’s willing to make to gain acceptance.
 
With her trademark emotional honesty and insight, Colleen Faulkner lays bare the challenges at the heart of a family—learning how to forgive, connect, and let ourselves be truly known at last.

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About the author:
Colleen Faulkner lives in Delaware, where her family settled more than three hundred years ago. She comes from a long line of storytellers and spends her days, when she’s not writing, running the family farm, reading, and traveling the world. She’s still married to her high school sweetheart and has four children and six grandchildren.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Not So Perfect Life - Pre-release Giveaway

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she's desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the truth.

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About the author:
Sophie Kinsella has sold over 36 million copies of her books in more than 60 countries, and she has been translated into over 40 languages.

Sophie wrote her first novel under her real name, Madeleine Wickham, at the tender age of 24, whilst she was working as a financial journalist. The Tennis Party was immediately hailed as a success by critics and the public alike and became a top ten bestseller. She went on to publish six more novels as Madeleine Wickham: A Desirable Residence, Swimming Pool Sunday, The Gatecrasher, The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements.

Sophie was born in London. She studied music at New College, Oxford, but after a year switched to Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She now lives in London, UK, with her husband and family.

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My Not So Perfect Life

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Housekeeper - Review - Part of the BookSparks #Wintervention #WinterReadingChallenge

With no family, Anne Morgan tends to cling to the people in her life.  But when her boyfriend, and boss, cheats on her she’s left picking up the pieces and in need of a job.  Thankfully the daily affirmation emails that she gets from Emma Helmsley are still one positive that she gets to look forward to. 

Emma Helmsley is the English version of Martha Stewart.  Through her books and social media, she offers her readers advice on how to live a less stressful life while living in a stressful world.  Married with two children, they appear to be the poster family for the perfect life. 

When Anne comes across a post online that Emma is in search of a housekeeper it becomes her mission to get in with the family.  And, when she does, her love and admiration for the Helmsleys keep her from seeing the truth behind the perfect fa├žade. 

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About the author:
Suellen Dainty is the author of the novel After Everything. An Australian, she is a former writer for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian and worked for the ABC before moving to London more than 25 years ago to work for Sky News, where she was a producer and director of the original series of The Book Show. She has studied Creative Writing at the University of Oxford and Bath Spa University. She lives in London. Find out more at SuellenDainty.com.

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BookSparks #wintervention winter reading challenge.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Things We Keep - Paperback Giveaway

Anna Forster is only thirty-eight years old, but her mind is slowly slipping away from her. Armed only with her keen wit and sharp-eyed determination, she knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. But Anna has a secret: she does not plan on staying. She also knows there's just one another resident who is her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.
Eve Bennett, suddenly thrust into the role of single mother to her bright and vivacious seven-year-old daugher, finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke, she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them. Eve has her own secrets, and her own desperate circumstances that raise the stakes even higher.
With huge heart, humor, and a compassionate understanding of human nature, Sally Hepworth delivers a page-turning novel about the power of love to grow and endure even when faced with the most devastating of obstacles. You won’t forget The Things We Keep.

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About the author:
Sally Hepworth is a former event planner and human resources professional. A graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, Sally started writing novels after the birth of her first child. She is the author of Love Like The French, published by Random House Germany in February 2014. Sally has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the U.K., and Canada, and she now writes full-time from her home in Melbourne, where she lives with her husband and two young children.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pretty Little World - Pub Week Review & Giveaway

Review by Deb Czajkowski
Pretty Little World is the story of three families that geography brought together.  Moving onto one of Philadelphia’s best row house streets, these three families─all strangers when each family purchased their tiny row house─quickly formed a unique bond that is so strong, it’s like family─the best kind of family.

Midwesterners Mark, Celia, and their three children, Ted, Lu, and Ollie, live on the left side of the triplex row house.  Chris, Stephanie, and their son, Harvest, bought the center home. East Coasters Leo, Hope, and their daughter, Shoshanna, complete the triplex on the right side.

Until the day comes that Mark and Celia announce that they are selling their house.  “Our house was tiny and crowded before we had Ollie,” they explain, “but now we really need more room, a larger space.”

“NO! You can’t move!”

“That will break up our family!”

“We can figure this out!”

So the idea begins to form: take down the inside walls that separate the three houses and make it one big house!  The first floor would be shared space; the upstairs bedrooms would remain as they are, separate and still private.  The three families who are as close as family would live together as one family, one big family in one big house.

Like a modern day Kibbutz?  Interesting thought. But wouldn’t that change the family dynamics?  Won’t familiarity breed contempt? Or at least seriously threaten the present harmony?  And that’s only addressing the friendships between the three families.  What impact might this communal living have on each individual family? On each marriage?

Pretty Little World is co-authored by Elizabeth LaBan and Melissa DePino.  Is there a clear division of labor between the two authors?  Is it obvious that each author wrote certain chapters?  Are there two distinct plotlines that intertwine and converge? Not even a little!  Pretty Little World is a well written, consistent, and entirely fluid novel.

But do authors LaBan and DePino make this concept─ three families who jell like, well, jello─ work?  Is their Pretty Little World actually plausible?  I say yes! Perhaps, though, more like tapioca─still jelled, but not quite so smooth, maybe a bit messier. Yes.  Like a real family (or families, as the case may be).

I have a friend who is my sister in all the ways that truly count: not by blood, but heart-to-heart.  We click─have from day one─on a level that not even blood can promise. I believe this concept would have worked for our families. So yes, I can envision the scenario.

Do you have a heart-sister?  Does your family have an always together family?  Does one of your kids have a bestie that she/he has had forever, and it seems like you hardly ever see one without the other? If yes, you can picture it, the bond.  If not, imagine the possibility. Then read Pretty Little World for a peak in the window. You’ll love the view.

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About the authors:
Elizabeth LaBan is the author of The Tragedy Paper, which has been translated into eleven languages; The Grandparents Handbook, which has been translated into seven languages; and The Restaurant Critic's Wife. She lives in Philadelphia with her restaurant-critic husband and two children.

Melissa De Pino is the founding partner, principal, and editorial director of Leapfrog Group, a branding and marketing firm for nonprofits, and a former high school English teacher in Camden, New Jersey. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and earned degrees at both Villanova and Temple universities. She lives in Center City, Philadelphia, with her two sons. Pretty Little World is her first novel.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Twilight Wife - Giveaway

From bestselling author A.J. Banner comes a dazzling new novel of psychological suspense in the vein of S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and Mary Kubica’s The Good Girl that questions just how much we can trust the people around us.

Thirty-four-year-old marine biologist Kyra Winthrop remembers nothing about the diving accident that left her with a complex form of memory loss. With only brief flashes of the last few years of her life, her world has narrowed to a few close friendships on the island where she lives with her devoted husband, Jacob.

But all is not what it seems. Kyra begins to have visions—or are they memories?—of a rocky marriage, broken promises, and cryptic relationships with the island residents, whom she believes to be her friends.

As Kyra races to uncover her past, the truth becomes a terrifying nightmare. A twisty, immersive thriller, The Twilight Wife will keep readers enthralled through the final, shocking twist.

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About the author:
As a child, A. J. Banner loved reading everything from Nancy Drew to Tolkien to her parents’ spy novels, “borrowed” from their bookshelves and hidden beneath her pillow. She wrote her first thriller, Mystery at Crane Corner, at the age of 11. She drew her own cover art and bound the pages with staples.

Born in India and raised in North America, A. J. graduated from high school in southern California and received degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. She tried various professions after college, including a stint in law school and a memorable job at a veterinary clinic, since she loves animals, but eventually she returned to writing.

A longtime fan of Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, A. J. feels at home writing stories with unexpected twists and turns. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five rescued cats.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Her Every Fear - Pub Day Giveaway

The author of the wildly popular The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying and downright Hitchcockian psychological thriller—as tantalizing as the cinema classics Rear Window and Wait Until Dark—involving a young woman caught in a vise of voyeurism, betrayal, manipulation, and murder.
The danger isn’t all in your head . . .
Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.
But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.
When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves . . . until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment—and accidently learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? And what about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself . . . So how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?
Yet the danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real.
And much, much closer than she thinks.
Told from multiple points of view, Her Every Fear is a scintillating, edgy novel rich with Peter Swanson’s chilling insight into the darkest corners of the human psyche and virtuosic skill for plotting that has propelled him to the highest ranks of suspense, in the tradition of such greats as Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, Patricia Highsmith, and James M. Cain.

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About the author:
Peter Swanson is the author of three novels: The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, an LA Times Book Award finalist; The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; and his most recent, Her Every Fear. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionThe Atlantic MonthlyMeasureThe GuardianThe Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.
A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Properly Groomed & Dear Jane - Excerpts and Giveaways

Wedding Favors #3
By: Boone Brux
Releasing January 9, 2017
Entangled Lovestruck
Blurb:
Playing house just got real…

When Joya Bennett wakes up after her brother’s wedding, half-naked and lying next to her lifelong crush, she’s mortified. OMG, did she try to jump his bones? Worse, did she succeed? Intending to lay low and housesit for her brother until the embarrassment fades, she sneaks away before he wakes up.
What she didn’t plan on is having company.
Lincoln Fisher doesn’t do relationships, but if he did, his friend’s little sister would be the one to tie him down. Good thing Joya had one too many drinks during the reception or he’d have crossed a line. Her brother would kill him if he found out all the places Linc wanted to kiss the sexy, auburn-haired beauty.
And now they’re stuck in the same house. For two weeks.
She’s off-limits. And he needs to keep it that way, even if the heat building between them is hot enough to blow off the roof…

Each book in the Wedding Favors series is a stand-alone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.

Book #1 Bridesmaid Blues
Book #2 Random Acts of Marriage
Book #3 Properly Groomed
Buy Links:
AMAZON | B & N | ITUNES | KOBO

Excerpt:
  “Are you sure there isn’t somewhere else you can stay?” She paused, then added, “For everybody’s sake.”
He pivoted to face her, a lazy grin curling his mouth. “Is this about last night?”
“No.” It was totally about last night and whether she should be embarrassed or relieved. “Why would you think this was about last night? Nothing happened…right?”
“You don’t remember?”
Mortified, she shook her head.
He closed the distance between them to a couple of inches and stroked his finger along her jaw. “Now that’s a shame.”
All the saliva in her mouth dried up and her breath hovered in her throat as his azure gaze caressed her face. He smelled like an autumn harvest and minty toothpaste, with a dash of cinnamon thrown into the mix. If lust had a smell, it would be Lincoln.
Before she could reply, he turned toward the front door and walked inside, Chester trotting alongside him. Damn it, he’d breached her barricade with no more than a steamy look.


Author Info:
Amazon Best Selling Author Boone Brux’s stories range from high fantasy to humorous paranormal.

Having lived all over the world, and finally settling in the icy region of Alaska, she's always looking for the next adventure. It's not unusual to find Boone traversing the remotest parts of the Alaskan bush, gathering information for her stories. No person or escapade is off limits when it comes to weaving real life experiences into her books or blogs.

Join Boone's V.I.P. Club and be first to hear about new releases, events, free read, contests and giveaways, and so much more. Sign up for her
newsletter and stay informed.

Author Links: 
  
Dear Jane
Animal Attraction #1
By: Marissa Clarke
Releasing January 9, 2017
Entangled Lovestruck

Blurb:
Jane Dixon is a dating disaster. Flammable tablecloths and broken arms are just a typical evening for her unlucky companions. No wonder Jane never gets past a first date. But luckily her co-worker and new bff says he’s got loads of friends who’d date her more than once. If only she could stop thinking about how much fun he was to hang out with. And she’d never dropped a bucket of ice on his junk. Win.

 All attorney Eric Blackwell has to do to make junior partner is not screw anything up for six weeks, which seems like a slam dunk until he finds himself matchmaker to the office “One Date Wonder” aka the boss’s daughter. It’s hard to stay focused when setting up the hottest girl he’s ever met with everyone but himself. Maybe he could just set her up with all the wrong men, and keep his hands off his new friend… Yeah. His promotion is toast. 


Buy Links:
AMAZON | B & N | ITUNES | KOBO

Excerpt:
Operation Smooth Sailing had officially entered week two. All Eric Blackwell needed to do in order to make junior partner at Dixon, Rosenbaum & Schoot was maintain the status quo for the next six weeks. Basically, he just had to stay under the radar and get the Anderson Enterprises acquisition to work out on paper without screwing anything up.
He straightened his tie and pushed the button for the fifteenth floor. Six weeks. No problem. Well, except for that little bit of bad news about some potential negative tax consequences for Anderson Enterprises that the analysis department had missed. Yeah, that.
He straightened his tie again. Being team leader, it was his task to brief Mr. Dixon on the details, and he’d been putting it off, hoping someone in his department would find some case law precedent, or a loophole, or a freaking magic spell to fix it.
The elevator doors slid open, and before he made ten steps into the lobby, a booming voice stopped him in his tracks. “This message arrived yesterday afternoon, Marcie. Why am I only now receiving it?”
The receptionist cleared her throat and slumped in her chair behind the semicircular teak desk in the lobby. “I’m sorry, Mr. Dixon. So many things came at once near the end of the day. I emailed your secretary and she said to—”
Face red, Mr. Dixon waved the paper in front of Marcie’s nose. He wasn’t a small man by any means, but when he was angry, he filled a room. “So, now you’re going to blame someone else?”
“No sir, your secretary said to… I… I…”
“There are two things I can’t abide: people who shift blame, and procrastinators.”
Yep, well, today probably wasn’t a good day to deliver late news about the analysis department’s mistake. Eric froze near the west wall of the lobby and did his best wood paneling imitation, hoping his dark suit jacket was sufficient camo to keep Mr. Dixon from noticing him. This was the last thing he needed first thing in the morning. He hadn’t even made it to his office yet.
“Dixon, Rosenbaum & Schoot prides itself on reliability, punctuality, and accuracy.” Mr. Dixon emphasized his statement with a palm slap on the desk, causing poor Marcie to almost launch out of her skin. “We expect all our employees to uphold this standard.”
“Yes, sir.” Marcie stared down at her hands.
Mr. Dixon folded the message and placed it in his suit pocket. “Well, then.”
Eric held his breath as the man strode with purpose toward the hallway to his office.
“Mr. Blackwell.”
Shit, shit, shit. How did he do that? He’d never even turned around. No way could he have seen him standing there. “Good morning, Mr. Dixon.”
“I believe you are late delivering the financials on the Anderson deal. I’ll hold three o’clock open for you. Since I haven’t heard anything on this, I expect good news.”
“Three o’clock.” Eric’s stomach sank. Yeah…sank. Perfect. Man the lifeboats; Operation Smooth Sailing just hit an iceberg.
Once Mr. Dixon disappeared from view, Marcie covered her face with her hands. Crying did it to Eric every time—yanked his heart out and stomped on it. When he was younger, he’d do anything to stop his mother’s crying, and he’d do anything now. Poor Marcie.
He took a deep breath and approached the desk. “Hey, Marcie. Sorry about that. He’s really not all that bad.” Well, that was a bust. It came out more like a question than a statement of fact.
To his relief, her eyes were completely dry when she lowered her hands from her face. “Yes, he is. He’s…” But she didn’t finish her thought before the phone rang. “Dixon, Rosenbaum, & Schoot, could you hold please?” Without waiting for an answer, she pushed the hold button. “I just had a million things come in at once this morning, too”—she gestured to a foot-tall stack of mail on the corner of the desk—“and I can’t possibly handle all of it and answer the phones. And Mr. Dixon scares me.”
Yeah, second that. His grip tightened on the briefcase containing the bad news report on the acquisition. “Is there something I can do to help you?”
“No.” She adjusted her headset. “You’re sweet to ask, though.”
The elevator slid open, and a delivery guy stepped out with an enormous bouquet of flowers. Making a line straight for Marcie, he set the vase on the desktop and shoved a clipboard at her right as the phone rang again. She put two more calls on hold as the guy stood there, clipboard out, clearly unaffected by the harried receptionist.
“Can anyone sign for those?” Eric asked when the phone rang again. The deliverer handed him the pen, he signed for the flowers, and the guy went on his way while Marcie directed a call to the Worker’s Comp Department and another to the Family Law Division.
She stood and checked the card on the flowers, and with a groan, slumped down in her chair. “I have the worst luck ever. Of course they go to the office farthest from my desk.”
He turned the arrangement to find out who it was for. “Jane Dixon” was scrawled in blue ink on the undersized envelope held in place with a plastic pitchfork-looking thing.
Jane Dixon. Eric played the image of her through his head. Small and blonde with huge blue eyes—not anything like her father, the man currently waiting to kill Eric’s partnership dreams. He and Jane had been in the same meetings on occasion, but they’d never spoken to each other…just stared—well, he’d stared; she probably hadn’t even noticed him.
Jane put in long, long hours, like he did. He knew this because even though she worked in the Family Law Division and he in the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Department, her office was down the hall from his. One of the highlights of his day was when she walked by his open door. On most nights, her office light was still on well after nine o’clock when he packed it in to go home.
He stared at the card, dying to peek inside and see who was sending her flowers. Maybe a boyfriend… A strange ping of jealousy flared and he almost laughed. Jealous. He was the pitiful guy who left his door open to score a look at her. She didn’t even know who he was. It wasn’t like he’d ever dreamed of asking her out or anything—okay, well, maybe he had dreamed of it, but it was a ridiculous fantasy. Not only was there a strict non-fraternization policy at DR&S, she was the boss’s daughter, for fuck’s sake.
Jealous? Nope. Pathetic? Absolutely.
The switchboard lit up again, and the receptionist gave a frustrated huff.
“Listen, Marcie. I’m going down that hallway anyway. Why don’t I just drop these off for you?” He picked up the vase.
“Oh my gosh, Mr. Blackwell. You’re the nicest guy. Thank you so much.”
Nice… Yeah, being Mr. Nice Guy had nothing to do with getting a close-up look at Jane Dixon. Nothing at all. Again, pathetic. “Not a problem. I hope your day gets better.”
“It just did.”
Yeah, so had his.

Author Info:
Marissa Clarke is a multi-award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives in Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa's heart) with an iron paw.

Marissa Clarke is a pseudonym. Her real name is Mary Lindsey and she also writes young adult novels for Penguin USA.

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newsletter.

Author Links:  
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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