Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Interview with Megan Frampton author of ONE-EYED DUKES ARE WILD: Dukes Behaving Badly #3





Enter below to win a Print Set of the Dukes Behaving Badly series, including THE DUKE’S GUIDE TO CORRECT BEHAVIOR, WHEN GOOD EARLS GO BAD (Novella), PUT UP YOUR DUKE, and NO GROOM AT THE INN (Novella)

Megan, thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for Rambling Reads. I look forward to reading your replies and to reading your upcoming book, One-eyed Dukes are Wild.

  1. Do you have a routine you follow each time you start writing a new book? A quirky ritual?
A quirky ritual” sounds like something I should have! I don’t start writing the book until I know who the hero resembles in real life, usually an actor.
  1. Do you listen to music as you write? If so, what type or do you have a favorite song of the moment to write to?
No, I don’t. I find it really distracting; I used to work in the music industry, so I pay more attention than I probably should to what’s playing.
  1. What draws you to write historical romance?
The ability to step outside of one’s own reality into another one.
  1. How long does it take you to write a book? How do you celebrate when you finish writing a book?
It takes me about five months to finish, I think. I usually celebrate by taking a bubble bath.
  1. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I tend to use the name of the actor who inspired the hero (really dull naming convention, I know). Although in One-Eyed Dukes, you don’t know what his name is until midway through the book. It’s an unusual one.
  1. Your newest book, One-eyed Dukes are Wild, comes out December 29th, what is your favorite scene in the book?
One of my favorite scenes is where she confronts him at his house late at night after he’s followed her to make sure she’s all right. They share some truths with one another that sets up their inevitable falling in love.
  1. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read, of course; I watch historical dramas hopefully starring attractive British men; and I work at my day job, which is also in publishing.










Another fun and sexy romance in Megan’s Dukes Behaving Badly series!

When does proper behavior deserve a deliciously improper reward?

The scandalously unmarried Lady Margaret Sawford is looking for adventure-and is always up for a challenge. Her curiosity is aroused by a dangerous-looking stranger with an eye patch, an ideal companion for the life she longs for, no matter what Society might say. So when the piratical gentleman turns out to be a duke-and just as boringly proper as any other nobleman-she can’t help but incite him to walk on the wild side.

Well-heeled, well-mannered, and well beyond any interest in society’s expectations, the Duke of Lasham is tired of being perfect. Margaret’s lush beauty and gently laughing eyes are an irresistible temptation to embrace the imperfect-and her. But if a little misbehavior is appealing, unleashing his wild side is completely seductive-as long as the lovely Margaret is the object of his passion…




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Megan Frampton writes historical romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell. She likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in
that order. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and son.







Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review: HEADED FOR TROUBLE: McKay #1 by Shiloh Walker

Headed for Trouble blog post

Shiloh Walker has once again pulled me into her world as she weaved a tale that just wouldn't let me go! Headed for Trouble is one of those books that even once I hit “THE END” I can't stop thinking about it. I'm so drawn into the plot and characters that I can't wait to see where the next book is going to take us.

Neve and Ian both have histories that continue to haunt them, and they both are determined to overcome them. I loved the chemistry between them and their will to fight for themselves and each other. Their relationship was fast-paced and very hot. They get the opportunity to confront their past, but at what cost? I'm not telling...sometimes you just have to read the book! lol

McCay's Treasure, Mississippi is a quaint small town filled with characters that are well-written and keep you interested. There is a lot of family and small town drama that, while some of it seems petty, other things you know go much deeper and I want to unravel it all.

Headed for Trouble isn't a cliffhanger, yet there is still a mystery that needs to be solved and I canNOT wait for Trouble with Temptation...also the plot is on of my favorite themes, but I won't spoil that for you! 
 

First in an all-new trilogy!

Headed For TroubleSHE'S A SMALL-TOWN GIRL WITH BIG DREAMS.

Nine years ago, Neve McKay fled her small Southern town and disapproving family to seek a career in the big city. Now she's finally coming home - and hoping for a fresh start. But the relationship that shattered her world still haunts her. And even among her nearest and dearest, she doesn't feel safe.

CAN THIS BAD BOY BE THE ANSWER TO HER PRAYERS?

Ian Campbell is a pure Scottish muscle - as hard and handsome as they come. But when Neve walks into his bar, his heart melts . . . and he vows to have this gorgeous and somewhat vulnerable woman in his life - for better or for worse. What is Neve's tragic secret? And how can Neve expect Ian to protect her, when doing so could put his own life at risk? The only thing Ian knows for sure is that he will do whatever it takes to keep her out of harm's way - and in his loving arms.




 Book #1 in The McKay's
Release date December 29, 2015
Excerpt from Headed for Trouble: 

“You might as well quit the flirting. We both know you changed your mind.”

“And who said I changed my mind?” he asked, looking put out. He crossed his arms over his chest.

“You did.” She gave a lazy shrug. “I saw it on your face, clear as day.” The look on his face was a challenge, but she couldn’t let herself meet it, even if she could find that part of herself that would want to.

Because she wasn’t sure she trusted herself, she sat down on the dock and dangled her legs over the edge, staring down into the dark water. Under the trees, it was almost cool here. Almost. Not quite. “You’ve been here for a little while—a few months or more, at least, I’m going to assume. So you’ve probably heard a few rumors, and I can’t say I blame you for deciding I’m more trouble than I’m worth.”

Boards creaked under him as he sat down next to her.

From the corner of her eye, she could see the way faded denim stretched over hard thighs, denim so worn it was going white at the seams. His T-shirt bore the logo for Manchester United and it was almost as faded as the denim. It would be soft against his skin, she thought. And under it, his skin would be incredibly hard and warm.

She wanted to curl her hands into his shirt, straddle his thighs, and rub herself against him. And she wanted to yell at him for making her think she could maybe have the small promise of oblivion with him.

You’ve lost your mind.

All this time with a nonexistent libido and now it was going haywire on her. To make matters worse, it wasn’t even lust driving her now. She’d known that from the sucker punch of pain that had hit her when the heat in Ian’s eyes had cooled, the moment he’d realized who she was.

“I’ve never been one to put much stock in rumors, Neve McKay,” he said softly.

“Really.” Turning her head, she studied him. “So the hot-to-cold act was all because you figured out I’m Brannon’s little sister? Then why are you running warm again? I’m still his sister.”

A pained look crossed his face. “You aren’t one for the easy way, are you?”

“Are you kidding?” She laughed bitterly. “I love the easy way. But the easy way hates me. I figured that out ages ago. Besides, life isn’t easy.”

Ian leaned forward, elbows braced on his knees. “Brannon, he’s one of my best friends. Has been since university. We met in London and it was like we’d known each other our whole lives.” His voice was distant now as he gazed into the water. “Like a brother, he is.”

Now he looked up and met her gaze. “I take issue when people hurt those I care about,” he said. “And . . . ”

She stiffened. Curling her hands around the boards, she focused on the far side of the bank. “Well, I’ll give you points for the loyalty you show your friends then.” She forced her fingers to unclench from the boards and went to stand.

“It’s not just that.” He caught her wrist before she could rise.

It was instinct that had her jerking back, instinct that had her pulse stopping than accelerating in fear.

It didn’t go unnoticed by Ian, either, damn him.

Although he said nothing, he let go.

She managed to rise to her feet in a slow, unhurried motion. “Look, it doesn’t matter. You’re Brannon’s friend and it’s not a secret that I’ve got some fences to mend when it comes to my family.” She gave him an easy smile and an easy shrug before she turned and headed down the dock. “But it’s probably wiser all around if you just stop this . . . whatever this is. The hot-and-cold thing gets old and I—”

The words froze in her throat as she turned and found him just a foot away.

Whoa. He was quiet. Big. Sexy. Quiet.

And he watched her with eyes that saw a lot deeper than she liked.

“The problem with stopping the hot-and-cold thing is that there is no cold.” He lifted a hand and caught one of her curls, twining it around his finger. His gaze, dark and seductive, richer than melted chocolate, held hers. “I look at you and feel nothing but fire.” in me, Neve. I think you know it, too. Now if it was just fire, then it wouldn’t be such a problem. Fire is all well and good, but it’s easy . . . and sometimes over in a flash. But this . . . ” He moved a hand between them. “I don’t think it’s just fire. You feel it, too. That’s why you’re so nervous. That’s why you’re so afraid.”

Her heart knocked up against her ribs.

“Well. Aren’t you arrogant?” she said, surprising herself with how steady her voice sounded.

“Is it arrogance when we both know I’m right?”

He took another step, taking away a few of those precious inches between them, twining a bit more of her hair around his finger. She had to tilt her head back now to hold his gaze.

“I made a misstep when I let things I didn’t understand influence any decision I made,” he murmured, his eyes falling from hers now.

He was rubbing her hair, his thumb stroking back and forth over the curl he was toying with.

She could just barely see it but the action was oddly mesmerizing.

“There are, after all, two sides to every story, aren’t there?”

Now his gaze lifted back to hers.

Swallowing, Neve tried for a snide tone as she asked, “Oh, is this where you ask me to explain my side of what happened?”

“No. This is where I kiss you.”

If he’d given her any more warning, she might have been able to . . . to . . .

Oh, hell. Neve couldn’t have done anything. Anything but grab at his shoulders and hold on tight.



Read more about the McKays! HERE 


A little about Shiloh: 

Shiloh Walker - author pic, photographer Ayrica Bishop
Shiloh Walker is an award-winning writer…yes, really!  She’s also a mom, a wife, a reader and she pretends to be an amateur photographer.  She published her first book in 2003. Her newest series, Secrets and Shadows, launched with Deeper than Need, followed by Sweeter than Sin and Darker than Desire.

She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance, and urban fantasy under the name J.C. Daniels.

Learn more about Shiloh and her books here:  Website | Facebook | Twitter @shilohwalker | Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads or sign up for her newsletter.​

Saturday, December 19, 2015

#ChristmasTreats Blog Hop contests



I don't know about you, but one of my favorite #ChristmasTreats is BOOKS...or gift cards to buy books!  Do you read holiday themed books? Do you have a list of books that you would for Christmas?  Would you like to win some new books? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Stop by each blog for multiple chances to win fabulous books and gifts for the Holidays! 
Go here:Herd Hops Christmas Treats Giveaways for the entire list (and links) to the participating blogs.  I'm offering the 3 books pictured. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

DIRTIEST SECRET by J. Kenner Excerpt REVEAL


From the New York Times bestselling author of such “racy, sizzling Stark novels” (RT Book Reviews) as Release Me and Say My Name comes the provocative first Stark International Novel—the beginning of the S.I.N. series.

It was wrong for us to be together, but it was even harder to be apart.
The memory of Dallas Sykes burns inside of me.
Everyone knows him as a notorious playboy, a man for whom women and money are no object. But to me, he’s still the one man I desperately crave—yet the one I can never have.
Dallas knows me better than anyone else. We bear the same scars, the same darkness in our past. I thought I could move on by staying away, but now that we’re drawn together once more, I can’t fight the force of our attraction or the temptation to make him mine.
We’ve tried to maintain control, not letting ourselves give in to desire. And for so long we’ve told ourselves no—but now it’s finally time to say yes. 


Dirtiest Secret is intended for mature audiences.
Dirtiest Secret
Amazon US Print - http://amzn.to/1Vi7biP
Kobo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Though known primarily for her award-winning and internationally bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and #1 internationally, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, "chicklit" suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.
JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a "flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations" and by RT Bookclub for having "cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swopn for him." A four time finalist for Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy).




EXCERPT
Even by Southampton standards, the party at the nine-thousand-square-foot mansion on Meadow Lane reeked of extravagance.
Grammy Award–winning artists performed on an outdoor stage that had been set up on the lush lawn that flowed from the main house to the tennis courts. Celebrities hobnobbed with models who flirted with Wall Street tycoons who discussed stock prices with tech gurus and old-money academics, all while sampling fine scotch and the season’s chicest gin. Colored lights illuminated the grotto style pool, upon which nude models floated lazily on air mattresses, their bodies used by artisan sushi chefs as presentation platters for epicurean delights.
Each female guest received a Herm├Ęs Birkin bag and each male received a limited edition Hublot watch, and the exclamations of delight—from both the men and the women—rivaled the boom of the fireworks that exploded over Shinnecock Bay at precisely ten p.m., perfectly timed to distract the guests from the bustle of the staff switching out the dinner buffet for the spread of desserts, coffee, and liqueurs.
No expense had been spared, no desire or craving or indulgence overlooked. Nothing had been left to chance, and every person in attendance agreed that the party was the Must Attend event of the season, if not of the year. Hell, if not of the decade.
Everyone who was anyone was there, under the stars on the four acre lot on Billionaires’ Row.
Everyone, that is, except the billionaire who was actually hosting the party. And speculation as to where he was, what he was doing, and who he was doing it with ripped through the well-liquored and gossip-hungry crowd like wildfire in a windstorm.
No idea where he could have disappeared off to, but I’d bet good money he’s not pining away in solitude,” said a reed-thin man with salt-and-pepper hair and an expression that suggested disapproval but was most likely envy.
I swear I came five times,” a perky blonde announced to her best friend in the kind of stage whisper designed to attract attention. “The man’s a master in bed.”
He’s got a shrewd head for business, that one,” said a Wall Street trader, “but no sense of propriety where his cock is concerned.”
Oh, honey, no. He’s not relationship material.” A brunette celebrating a recently inked modeling contract shivered as if reliving a moment of ecstasy. “He’s like fine chocolate. Meant to be savored in very limited quantities. But so damn good when you have it.”
More power to him if he can grab that much pussy.” A hipster with beard stubble and a man-bun wiped his wire-rimmed glasses clean with his shirttail. “But why the fuck does he have to be so blatant about it?”
All of my friends have had him.” The petite redhead who pulled in a six figure wife bonus smiled slowly, and the flash of her green eyes suggested that she was the cat and he was the delicious cream. “But I’m the only one of us to enjoy a second helping.”
All your friends?”
How much pussy?”
At least half the women here tonight. Maybe more.”
Man, don’t even ask that. Just trust me. Dallas Sykes is the King of Fuck. You and me? Mere mortals like us can’t even compare.”

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review: EDGE OF NIGHT by Jill Sorenson

http://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/photo.goodreads.com/books/1448979562i/28053038._UY200_.jpg  

eBook is ON SALE FOR ONLY $0.99!!! 


AMAZONAMAZON.CAAMAZON.CO.UKBARNES & NOBLEITUNESKOBO


 When a killer strikes close to home, April Ortiz is willing to do what she can to protect herself and her young daughter, Jenny. 
When Officer Noah Young comes asking questions, April takes a chance. She slips him some information that may help him, even at her own risk. Noah is enthralled by the sexy waitress, and willing to listen to her. Can the police catch the murder before there are more victims? Pursuing April could have consequences with his job, dare he risk his career over his emotions?

*****
THE EDGE OF THE NIGHT was a spectacular read. Jill Sorenson has created one of the sweetest, sexiest police officer hero's I've ever read. The non-stop action and the budding romance between April and Noah, made for a fast-paced tale which I was unable to put down until the very end. I highly suggest blocking off a good amount of time when you pick this book up, because you're not going to want to put it down. The suspense of who the killer was had an edge-of-your seat thrill that kept me wondering what was going to happen next, and I had difficulty pegging the villain until the end. This is a book I can't wait to share with my friends!

 Noah doesn't hold the cynicism that most police/military heroes seem to have.  There isn't the dark-grittiness of someone whose been hurt by tragedy nor the been-there-done-that-nothing-surprises-him attitude. He's so fresh and energetic still, and I absolutely loved it! It was a unique twist, keeping the romantic suspense genre from going stale.


April was no angel, yet for all her experiences and life lessons, she retained a sweetness that resounded throughout the pages. She knows that she made bad choices in her youth, but has matured to regret her actions which helped shape her into the person she is now. Jenny is her life, and she would do anything for her.


The side story of Meghan and Eric was terrific...though I really wish Eric had made a different choice in the end.  I could understand where he was coming from for most of his choices, even if I didn't like them. Both Meghan and Eric were very charismatic and I felt that their relationship kept the rest of the plot moving along, while helping shape certain outcomes of the book. I would love to see them have their own book in the future.

I loved the emotions that Ms Sorenson brought out in this book. There was the desire that sprung between Noah and April, which I couldn't wait to see fulfilled, the action of Noah's job and the gang life going on throughout the book, April's fears about where a relationship with Noah could possibly go, and the hunt for the killer who kept getting closer. Everything together kept me wrapped tightly into this tale.
I'm looking forward to whatever Ms. Sorenson has coming up next, as she is easily an auto-buy author for me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

DIRTY DEEDS a Mechanics of Love story by Megan Erickson Excerpt

About DIRTY DEEDS

Alex Dawn is saying no to men. No to bad relationships, disappointments, and smooth-talkers. Focusing on her family and her job at Payton and Sons Automotive keeps her mind occupied and her heart content. She doesn’t really miss a man’s touch, until one night, one shows up with the body of a god and a voice from her dirtiest dreams.

L.M. Spencer is only in Tory, Maryland, to scope out the town as a possible site for one of his company's hotels. The British businessman didn’t expect his car to break down or to find the hottest little American he’s ever seen holding a tire iron, piercing him with bright blue eyes.

They agree to one hot night, one dirty deed to burn out the chemistry between them. But from their first kiss, Alex can’t stop saying yes to this man. And when Spencer’s company threatens everything she cares about, they must make the choice to stand together or apart.





 
Where to buy DIRTY DEEDS:




 EXCERPT


Alex Dawn growled as she tightened the hubcap with the tire iron and thought, for the fifth time, that she should have gone home an hour ago.
But that meant going home to an empty house, which she didn’t think she’d hate but had learned to her supreme horror that she did, in fact, hate living alone.
She’d never lived alone, not ever. First she’d lived with her mom and sister, Ivy, and then . . . him . . . and then again with Ivy and her daughter, Violet. She liked living with Ivy and V, but now they had moved in with Ivy’s boyfriend, so Alex was alone. In that apartment that used to be filled with Ivy’s clothes and Violet’s coloring books.
Alex banged the tool on the rubber of the tire. The thunk was comforting. She did it again, and again, wondering why she was doing this, but couldn’t deny it felt good as hell to get some anger out. Because that’s all she seemed to have lately. Anger. Anger at him and at her life and anger at the fact that she couldn’t seem to be fucking happy.
It was a shitty cycle.
Therapy was helping, a little, but it dredged up old wounds she’d tried to bury for so long. She hated being unhappy. But the more she dwelled on it, the less happy seemed to be within reach. She did like her job, though, so that was something. Working at Payton and Sons Automotive as a mechanic was more home than that empty apartment.
Her phone rang, and she glanced at the caller ID before tucking her phone in between her ear and shoulder. “Hey.”
“What’re you doing?” Ivy’s voice was soothing.
“Working,” Alex answered.
There was a pause, as if Ivy was checking the time. “You’re still at work.”
“Tell her to go the fuck home!” yelled a male voice in the background. Brent Payton. Ivy’s boyfriend and Alex’s coworker.
“Stop swearing,” Ivy muttered, but there was no heat to her words.
Alex smiled. “Tell him I’d stop working if I didn’t have to pick up his slack.”
There was a rustle on the phone and then Brent’s voice was clear. “Seriously, why are you still there?”
Alex shrugged, even though she knew no one could see her. “Why do you care? I’m getting stuff done so you have less to do tomorrow.” It was Friday and Alex was off the next day, but Brent was on the Saturday shift.
“Alex.” Brent sighed. “Go home.”
Where was home? she wanted to ask. But instead she traced an oil spot on the concrete with her boot. “Yeah, okay. Just so you know, this Jeep here—”
“I’ve been drinking. Leave me a fucking note.”
Alex rolled her eyes. “Fine. Take care of my sister for me.”
“Always do.”
Alex was about to hang up when Ivy’s voice came back on the line. There was a giggle, and Alex was happy for her sister at the same time a pang of envy sliced into her heart. “Alex?”
“Yup.”
“Want to come over or something?”
“Nah, that’s okay. You guys have a nice family night or whatever.”
“Alex, you’re family too.”
She was, but Ivy was starting a new family, a nice, perfect nuclear family, and there wasn’t room in that house for a clingy sister. “I know, but I’m cool. Gonna go home and crash.” She’d been reading Ivy’s romance books she’d left behind too.
“Okay, but if you change your mind . . .”
“Thanks, honey, but I’m fine.”
Ivy sighed. “ ’K, love you.”
“Love you too.”
Alex shoved her phone back into her pocket and glanced around the garage. She really should go home. The sun was setting, painting the fall sky in streaks of pink and orange. Hooking her thumbs in her pockets, she walked to the front of the garage, leaned against the side of the open bay, and gazed at the sky and the Friday night traffic on Main Street in Tory, Maryland.
She tapped the tire iron against her jean-clad thigh, enjoying the breeze on her heated skin and through the thin fabric of her tank top.
Her nerves were jittery, and sometimes she still had the urge to run. To flee. To be far away from him and her past as best as she could. But if she’d learned anything since she moved to Tory, it was that she couldn’t keep running. So she stayed here, where Ivy found the love of her life and where Alex had a good job and could see her niece grow.
She’d given up hope long ago she’d get the fairy tale that seemed to happen for everyone else. And that was okay. She’d hardened and carried a chip on her shoulder that was like an old friend now.
She was about to turn around and close up shop when the sound of a rattling exhaust caught her attention. She turned her head to see a red Mercedes—the source of the sound—making its way down the street. The car turned into the parking lot of Payton and Sons and Alex waited as it parked in front of her and the driver turned off the engine, which thankfully killed the noise.
Alex glanced at her watch. It was after seven now. Technically the shop closed an hour ago, but she waited for the driver to get out of the car, because it wasn’t like she was in a hurry.
The door opened. A man’s black dress shoe planted on the ground of the parking lot, attached to a gray-panted leg. That leg just . . . kept going. The man had to be tall as hell, and when he emerged from the car, Alex swallowed. Yes, he was tall. Very tall, probably close to six-four. He wore a gray suit with a white shirt that was unbuttoned at the top and a dark blue tie, loosened so the knot hung off to one side. He slammed the car door shut with a little bit of anger, and Alex jolted at the sound and the force, her body stiffening.
She hated herself a little at her knee-jerk reaction to a big man who was angry.
She squared her shoulders and gripped the tire iron, watching the tall man with dark hair glare at his car with his hands on his lean hips, broad shoulders rising and falling with a heavy sigh.
He speared his fingers through his hair and turned to Alex, opening his mouth to say something but stopping abruptly at the sight of her. He blinked.
She blinked back.
He was about ten feet away, and even from here she could see the brilliant blue of his eyes, the long dark lashes framing them. The little bit of silver peppering his hair at his temples.
He was gorgeous in a clean-cut, serious businessman way. The effortlessly wavy hair, the square jaw, the lips that threatened to open any minute and spit out such words like merger and acquisition and accounts payable. He looked like he didn’t smile, but scowled from under a heavy brow.
The type of man who’d always looked down his nose at all the Dawn women. Called them easy and white trash under his breath. Yeah, she was judging, but her defense was to judge first. Better to size up whom she was dealing with quickly than be caught off guard.
Basically, Mercedes Man was the exact opposite of Alex’s type.
She placed the tire iron she was holding and crossed her arms over her chest. With a raised eyebrow, she said, “Having some trouble?”
He blinked again, his hand frozen in his hair. Then he dropped it at his side, the other still on his hip. “Bloody car.”
It was Alex’s turn to be surprised. The guy was British. She’d never met anyone who was British, and she really only heard British accents on TV shows like Game of Thrones and Spartacus, when all the actors had these vague European accents in order to appear exotic. She grew up in Indiana. Not a hotbed of diversity.
“You guys really say ‘bloody’? Like that’s actually a thing?” she asked—and immediately clamped her hand over her mouth, because the man’s dark eyebrows dipped in a scowl, which still did nothing to lessen his attractiveness.
“Do you Americans really say ‘yee-haw’?” he shot back at her, the last word morphing into what Alex assumed was an attempt at a southern accent.
“You’ve officially said that word more than I have in my whole life,” she answered drily.
He paused, like he wasn’t sure whether to laugh or glare. In the end, he went with a glare, along with a muttered, “Well, then, I’ll be sure not to blurt that out at random times.”
“That might be a good rule.” She took a step forward and jerked her chin in the direction of his car. “Need some help?”
“Your bloody roads,” he said. “Can’t go a hundred meters without hitting a pothole, and it’s done a number on my car.” His eyes took in a sweep of the shop. Alex tried not to look at it through this man’s eyes. Everything about him, from his clothes to his car, was sleek and clean and put together. The shop behind her was an older building, with a few—okay, several—cosmetic issues. It smelled like grease, oil, gas, and rubber, and she loved every fucking inch of Payton and Sons. So this guy could sneer at it all he wanted. It was home to her. When that arresting blue gaze returned to hers, his eyes were unreadable. “Can you service a Mercedes?”
Oh, for fuck’s sake. “Uh, yeah, we can service a Mercedes.”
He didn’t flinch at her dry tone or her looks-could-kill laser eyes. The man was made of steel. “I see. Well, then, can you look at it, or do I need to speak to a manager?”
She kinda wanted to punch the guy. “No.”
He stared. “No . . . you can’t look at it, or no, I don’t need to speak to a manager?”
“Neither.” She gestured toward the unlit sign in the window of the office. “We’re closed.” Maybe she would have stayed open if anyone but this guy had pulled into the parking lot.
He sighed and ran his hands over his face and up into his hair, tugging on the dark strands before dropping his arms to his sides. “Fuck,” he muttered, turning his glare back onto the car.
She stuck her hands in her pockets. “Look, I’ll make sure the guys coming in tomorrow look at it, but that’s all I can promise.”
After a silent thirty seconds, he nodded. “That’ll have to do then.”
She took a step forward. “I’m Alex, by the way.”
His gaze dipped down her body for one minute before locking eyes with her. “Spencer.”
That name. So British and posh and everything Alex wasn’t. “Do you need a ride somewhere?” She should just make him figure it out on his own since he was kind of a jerk, but she could always use some karma points. And it wasn’t like Tory had a taxi service.
“I’m at the Tory Inn.”
“I know where that is. I can give you a ride, if you want.”
He studied her again, and she wondered what he thought of her. She was dirty after a long day at work, but she always wore a full face of makeup and red lipstick. He had hated it, but she didn’t wear it for him.
“Okay, yes,” Spencer said with a nod, his tone brusque. “I’d like that. Thank you.” His last two words were tacked on, like an afterthought.
Don’t hurt yourself thanking me. “I’m going to close up the shop, so you can get your things and I’ll meet you at my truck.” She pointed to her old Ford in the corner of the lot. His eyes followed her finger, and then he gave a short nod.
“Give me ten,” she said.
It really only took her five minutes to close up the shop, but she needed some time to gain her bearings. She could feel his judgment of her and her workplace on her skin like ants. She wanted to get home and shower and forget about this uppity Brit. Why had she offered him a ride home? Stupid, stupid Alex.
Also, why did he have to be hot?
When she approached her truck, he was standing by the passenger door, head bent, a lock of dark hair falling onto his forehead as he tapped away at his phone. As her footsteps approached, he looked up. He held a fancy-looking bag, the strap crossed over his chest.
“That all you have?” she asked.
He nodded and his head swiveled as he looked up and down Main Street. He sighed, and for the first time since she’d met him, his severe face softened. “Look, I’m sorry. I’ve had a shite day, and I was an arse. Can I buy you dinner or a drink to make up for it?”
Alex hesitated. No, no, just say no. But he was looking at her with a somewhat eager expression, and she was starving. A free meal. While looking at a hot guy. Hopefully he kept his mouth shut. “There’s a little place down the street, serves burgers and beer.”
“Lovely.”
As they got into the truck and she put on her seat belt, she said, “But you don’t have to pay—”
“Please, Alex.”
She tried not to think about how she liked the way he said her name, drawing out the first syllable and emphasizing the x. “Sure, okay,” she said as she backed out of the parking lot, glancing at him as she did.
He smiled then. A smile that transformed his surly face into . . . something gorgeous. Spectacular. Like he belonged in some period film with a cravat, sipping champagne. She tried not to think about how his smile made her feel, even as the warmth spread down to her toes. He was just a hot guy, and she’d been around hot dudes before. Hell, she worked with some. So why couldn’t she quit perving on this one? Especially because he’d already shown he could be an asshole. God, was that who she was? A woman who was doomed to always want to bone jerks?
Spencer’s name was probably something like Spencer Addington IV, and he probably had a distant relative of royalty. Surely, his family played polo or cricket or whatever they did over there in Britain.
Either way, despite the way his eyes lingered on her lips and the way his long tapered fingers rested on his thigh, he wasn’t her type.
Hell, she didn’t have a type anymore.
Being alone was lonely, but at least it was safe.

About MEGAN ERICKSON
Megan Erickson grew up in a family that averages 5’5” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf.

She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.

Praise for MEGAN ERICKSON
“A super sweet, extra sexy second chance romance that will have you laughing out loud and needing a minute to cool off. Dirty Thoughts is right!”
   — Jay Crownover, New York Times bestselling author

“Megan Erickson ratchets up the romance and sizzle in her sexy new series. The Mechanics of Love will rev readers’ hearts.”
   — Jennifer Ryan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“Megan Erickson writes hot, hot, HOT stories packed with emotion and humor. You’re going to want to read everything she’s ever written!”
   — Sophie Jordan, USA Today bestselling author