Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Promo Blitz for Nowhere Is Home Since You Left by Madeleine Zeldin


Welcome to my stop on the Promo Blitz, presented by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours, for Nowhere Is Home Since You Left by Madeleine Zeldin.  Please leave a comment or question for Madeleine to let her know you stopped by.


Nowhere is Home Since You Left
Madeleine Zeldin
Death, Grief, Bereavement
Date Published: 1-6-2017
Publisher: Cygnet Publications, Cygnet Media Group Inc.
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When her beloved soul friend husband, Gerald, passed away a few years ago, and her friends and sons moved to distant cities, she found herself alone for the first time in her life.

Gerald, a professional artist, had his studio in their home. Their home was always filled with family life, art, music, joy and playfulness in the garden.
After his passing, the silence was loud. The joy was gone — her paradise — a lost paradise.

She had two choices, either to fall apart or to get on with life.  She chose the latter and traveled to find a home, a community — however - nowhere was home - since he left.

In writing Nowhere Is Home … Since You Left, Madeleine Zeldin shares her insights, emotions, and true life experiences as she journeys solo throughout the years following the sorrowful death of her soul mate, internationally renowned artist, Gerald Zeldin. She presents years of storytelling based on travel journals she wrote while traveling to countries such as Mexico, Philippines, Ecuador, France, Spain, and California, U.S.A.  Zeldin also reveals the intensity of the pain and sorrow experienced in her grief, along with the fulfillment, satisfaction and logistics of international travel. In her travels she volunteered in the medical field and gave help where help was needed. She brings inspiration to those of her generation, the 60’s, who find themselves alone.

Through her evocative tales of adventure, Zeldin reveals this life-changing knowledge to the world!

But ultimately where is Home?


EXCERPT



Finding Your Path

“Do not go where the path may lead.

   Go instead where there is no path

And leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When i travel to faraway places, i like to experience the local flavour … and often write a ‘sketch’ of my experiences …

My purpose in writing these travel journals … these ‘sketches’ …
is to share with you my adventures and cultural experiences of these places … the road less travelled …


saw two lovers on the beach this evening …

they were gentle and sweet …

one walked up to a bag of garbage that someone thoughtlessly left on the beach …

he tore the bag apart and started licking some juice 
from the juice box …

the female slowly walked over to her friend … and coyly looked at him … as if to say …

may i share … they both started licking, then stopped …

they looked at each other and rubbed noses …

as their lips gently touched …

their slender grey proud bodies strolled away graciously

when the dogs came to chase

these donkeys away …


as we were looking down at the clear ocean from the high cliffs … 
we saw the outline of a shark …

swimming around the shoreline far below … just where we were going to go snorkelling …

so the tour guides … all young ecuadorians with a sense of humor…

said they would keep us safe and took us to another spot … 
but not far off …

around the other side of this small island …

not sure whether to quite trust these young men …

as we were swimming in the deep waters way out in the pacific … 
i asked one to watch out for sharks …

he said not to worry … 
the only shark i would have to watch out for… was him …


last night i tripped and broke my toenail 
and did not want to cut it off …

so bought some crazy glue … for fifty cents … 
and glued my nail together …

the only problem … i glued the tip of my finger to my toenail …

was almost impossible to pull it away …

so now my finger tip is part of my toenail … 


About the Author

Professionally, Ms. Zeldin has been engaged in nursing and teaching. She has successfully advocated for changes in the medical field, along with homebirth and Midwifery. In her travels to out of the way places, she has been a keen observer of people and distant cultures, often writing a 'sketch' of her experience.

Madeleine is an advocate of advocacy.

Madeleine believes we can all make a difference.

Throughout her adult life she has successfully advocated for change. When she felt change was needed, she rallied. She lobbied. She started a group or joined a group.

In the late '70's, when her town council was considering tearing down old heritage properties in the name of 'Progress', she helped start a group of interested citizens in order to save these heritage properties. 'Progress' was stopped and many heritage buildings were saved due to the group's diligence.

Again in the early '80's, Madeleine herself changed local hospital policy to allow midwives to accompany couples in the birthing room, after the hospital refused to allow her midwife to enter.

She belonged to a group of informed parents who advocated for changes in the policies for vaccinations.

Madeleine volunteered at the local Health Center and advocated for improved health care for refugees. Improvements were made.

She successfully advocated for her soul-friend, late husband Gerald's medical care throughout their six year battle with cancer. Many important changes were implemented in our medical system due to her persistence.

Madeleine has been ahead of her time in her generation. She had many professions throughout her life including social worker, teacher, registered nurse. She also joined a group of midwives and again successfully advocated for choices in childbirth.

However, she considers her most important achievement as being a mother and grandmother. She has instilled in her family a sense of love and empathy and has taught them to love the earth and its people.

Contact Links

Purchase Links


Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Blurb Blitz & #Giveaway for A Suitable Affair by Erica Taylor

Welcome to my stop on the Blurb Blitz, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for A Suitable Affair by Erica Taylor.  Please leave a comment or question for Erica to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway, where one (1) randomly chosen commenter will be awarded a $50 Amazon GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  Good Luck!

A Suitable Affair
By Erica Taylor
The Macalisters, Book 1

Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 332 Pages
ISBN: 978-1944995157
ASIN: B0725QV34K

Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N | Kobo | IndieBound 


About the book:

Lady Susanna McCalister is young and beautiful, but her marriage prospects thus far have been rather lacking. Rather than living a life of spinsterhood, she decides a loveless marriage, to the dull and unromantic Lord Riverton, is better than none at all.

One day while strolling through Hyde Park with her suitor, she is almost trampled to death by a rambunctious rider, Lord Westcott. Little does she know that this earl, who is as handsome as he is arrogant, would weasel his way into her heart. But the earl has demons of his own that threaten to complicate their secret romance, as he blames Lord Riverton for his sister's death.


Can Susanna tame this tormented earl and help save herself and other women from a deadly fate?


Excerpt

He was briefly reminded of the fiery, blue gaze that had been staring up at him in shock days earlier in the park, but he didn’t have time to ponder the matter further as the subject of his thoughts came barreling around a corner, plowing right into him. She bounced off his broad chest harmlessly, though shaken and surprised to find a solid body in front of her.

Ian recognized her immediately—her dark chocolate hair and startlingly bright blue eyes giving her away. Her face was round, her nose slightly narrow. Her irises were ringed with a darker blue halo, echoing the late summer sky outside. Her hair was pulled away from her face and wound at the base of her neck. Her perfect, ivory skin was barely sun-kissed, though he could tell there were a few rebellious freckles she had tried to fade with powder.

“Goodness, I do beg your pardon,” Lady Susanna said as he helped her right herself. She brushed an errant wisp of dark hair back from her eyes and looked up to his face. I

Intelligent eyes stared back at him as recognition flashed through them. “You are fully pardoned, I assure you,” he said smoothly, chuckling under his breath, as if the mere thought of her had summoned the very lovely Lady Susanna to him.

“I am prone to not peeking around a corner before I stand in a lovely lady’s way.”
Her eyes narrowed. “You, sir, should be more careful where you walk and where you ride.”

“Is it not proper for one to walk in a hallway?” he asked, looking around curiously. “Or to ride a horse in a park? Perhaps it is you who should be careful to not wander into the path of a rider on horseback. Or a man walking down a hall.”

“You should ride more carefully and not at such a great speed,” she said, pointing her finger at him. “I cannot imagine what was so important that required breakneck speeds through a crowded park.”

“I apologize, my lady, for not being more courteous on your designated walking paths,” he said, dramatically placing a hand over his heart in mock sorrow. “I assure you my future romps will take place where you are not present.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Erica Taylor is a mother of two and a military wife married to her high school sweetheart. Raised in the mountains of Colorado, she holds a BA in History from the University of Colorado.

Erica has been writing stories since she can remember. She picked up her first romance novel while on a beach vacation as a teenager, and fell in love with falling in love, sexy heroes, and the feisty women who challenge their lives.

A self-confessed geek, Erica loves anything Harry Potter, Doctor Who or Star Wars, can spend hours in Target with a Starbucks, and truly believes a cat makes a home. Currently living in South Africa, Erica can often be found writing during soccer practice or piano lessons and is not afraid to let dinner burn if it means getting the story out of her head.





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Book Tour & #Giveaway for Stolen Time by Chloe Duval


Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour, presented by Silver Dagger Book Tours, for Stolen Time by Chloe Duval.  Please leave a comment or question for Chloe to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck! 

STOLEN TIME
by Chloé Duval
Lyrical Press
Genre: Fiction, Sweet Romance
Pub Date: 6/13/17






In a rural French village, a letter is delivered decades late, inspiring a young woman to try to reunite two star-crossed lovers . . .

Middle school teacher by day, romance writer by night, and group knitter on Tuesday evenings, Flavie Richalet leads a fairly uneventful life—until she receives a long delayed letter meant for a total stranger. Postmarked 1971, the yellowed envelope, addressed to an Amélie Lacombe, holds a fervent message of love and a marriage proposal, signed only with the initial E. Given her own fractured family history, Flavie is dreamily determined to learn what became of the couple . . .

Flavie’s inquiries lead her to a French seaside inn—and to E. himself, a true romantic who never forgot the girl who got away so many years ago. But his protective nephew, B&B owner Romaric, isn’t sure that trying to find Amélie after all these years is good for his uncle. At odds with the tall, dark, and impossibly passionate Romaric, Flavie must show him, and perhaps herself, that true love is timeless—and always worth waiting for . . .

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Prologue

Karouac, Brittany
September 4, 1975

It was the most important day of her life.  She’d been waiting and preparing for this day for weeks, and she  \should have been deliriously happy. She should have been lighthearted and smiling.  But instead, she felt strange and uncomfortable. As though she was forgetting something important. As though she was about to make a mistake.

It’s just apprehension, she told herself. The usual jitters all women feel before they commit for life.

But did all women think of their first love on their wedding day?

Amélie closed her eyes, and Erwan’s beautiful face appeared in her mind. She pictured his irresistible smile, his gray-blue gaze, his unruly hair, always too wild to lie flat. She felt his rough hands on her skin, his lips on hers, as though it were only yesterday that they had lain together on the beach.

She shook her head, willing herself to dismiss the memory. It was foolish to think of him, especially right before her wedding. It had been so long ago . . . four years, almost to the day.

He’d obviously forgotten her, moved on with his life. He’d never written to her, never phoned her, never gotten in touch with her. She’d waited weeks, months even, for him to reach out to her, before she’d accepted the truth. It had only been a summer fling. So she’d grieved, but then looked to the future. She’d thrown herself into her studies in fashion-design school to forget. Forget all about him.

And now she was finally happy. She’d finished school and gotten the job of her dreams with a small fashion company that appreciated her style and her slightly extravagant ideas. It was almost more than she’d ever expected. Moreover, she was about to marry a wonderful man, one who loved her more than anyone and whom she loved very much. She knew they’d have a great life together.

So why? Why was she thinking of the past, of a painful, best forgotten period of her life, on the day she was going to marry Paul, for better or for worse?

She took a deep breath, trying to calm her heart, her nerves, her mind. She patted her veil, smoothed a few nonexistent creases in her satin and lace wedding dress. She’d designed it herself, and it was stunning, even if she said so herself. It was the dress of her dreams.

Again, Erwan appeared in her mind’s eye.

“For God’s sake!” she swore, cutting herself off immediately.

Someone knocked on the door and her mother peered in. “Are you ready, sweetheart?” Viviane Lacombe asked, beaming.

Amélie cast a last glance into the mirror, took a deep breath, and nodded. “I am.”

It was no longer time to wonder about the past. So, she left her home, the home where she grew up, and, lifting the hem of her dress in one hand, her father at her side, her mother in front of her, beaming much more than her daughter was, Amélie slowly walked the short distance to the beautiful church of Karouac, where her parents had been married. Paul was waiting for her there. Her family was waiting for her. The minister, and all their friends, were gathered here today to celebrate her wedding to the love of her life.

She couldn’t wait to go in and marry Paul, the man who had always been there for her. Who loved her more than anything else. She couldn’t wait to start her life. The life she had chosen for herself.

Yet before she walked into the church, she couldn’t help stopping to gaze around, searching for a face, a smile. She shook her head and cursed the damn memories trying to spoil the happiest day of her life.

She turned back and smiled at her father, took hold of his proffered arm, and waited for her cue.

Hidden in the shade of a porch, unseen, Erwan watched as the love of his life walked into the church on her father’s arm to marry another man.

He’d been too late, and he’d lost her once again—forever.

He tamped down the urge to enter the church and beg Amélie, on his knees if need be, to come with him, repeating what he’d written in that unanswered letter four years ago, and walked away, his heart breaking, leaving Karouac behind him.

Once again, and forever.

As a little girl, Chloé Duval dreamed of knights slaying terrifying dragons and damsels in distress. Today, she’s still seeking, in her stories, to find again the sweetness and the enchantment of the fairy tales she absorbed as a child. A Frenchwoman by birth, Canadian by adoption, and Québecoise in her heart, Chloé lives in Montreal with her prince charming and dozens of characters jostling around inside her head.




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review Tour & #Giveaway for An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A. Hiestand

Welcome to my stop on the Review Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for An Unwilling Suspect by Jo. A. Hiestand.  Please leave a comment or question for Jo to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway, where one (1) randomly chosen commenter will be awarded a $30 Amazon/BN GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  My review will post later today.  Good Luck!

An Unwilling Suspect
By Jo A. Hiestand
The McLaren Mysteries, Book 7

Publisher: Jo A. Hiestand
Release Date: May 10, 2017
Genre: British Mystery/Police Proceedural
Length: 322 Pages
ISBN:  978-1546620471
ASIN: B071Z372VG

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound



About the book:

McLaren’s fiancée tragically died one month ago. Trying to heal emotionally from her death, McLaren settles into a rented farmhouse in the woods near picturesque Lake Windermere, in Cumbria. But he’s barely had a chance to rest when Helen, the woman in the neighboring cottage, is killed…and is discovered near his front door.

Because McLaren had spent much of the previous day with her, and his snowy footprints lead to and from her house, he becomes the prime murder suspect in what the police label a frustrated romantic advance.

Motives for Helen’s murder are as chilling as the outdoor temperature. There’s the hands-on garage mechanic who’d like to put his hands all over her, the affluent fishing guide, and Helen’s former boyfriend who wanted to renew the relationship.


Can McLaren find the killer before the police jail him for murder?


EXCERPT

The acrid smell of smoke woke him. He lay in bed, trying to understand what was happening. As the significance of the odor occurred to him, he threw back the duvet and got up quickly.

He forgot that he’d looked up a few things last night. He must have fallen asleep without putting away the laptop, for it flipped off the top of the bed and crashed onto the floor. “Damn.” He bent over and picked it up. The top dangled, gripping the keyboard by its left edge. McLaren punched the power button but nothing happened. The screen stayed black. He tossed the laptop onto the bed and quickly slipped into his jeans and shoes as the odor intensified.

He ran into the front room. Fingers of light gray smoke threaded through the air and he coughed, but he saw no other sign of fire. He checked the back room, kitchen and second bedroom, but encountered nothing more than smoke. As he dashed back into the front, he glanced outside. The land was on fire.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo Hiestand  to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folk singing stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren cold case mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy, from police methods and location layout to the general feel of the area, has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat Tennyson shares her St. Louis home.




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Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle


Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, for Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle.  Please leave a comment or question for Carrie to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  My review will post later today.  Good Luck! 


Death on West End Road 
by Carrie Doyle
Hamptons Murder Mysteries, Book 3

Publisher: Dunemere Books 
Release Date: June 20, 2017 
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Length: 268 Pages 
ISBN-13: 978-0997270181 
E-Book ASIN: B06XKLVMZC 

Purchase Links: Amazon  Barnes &Noble  Kobo  IndieBound



Like a basket of warm cinnamon buns, an unsolved crime is something that Hamptons innkeeper and sleuth Antonia Bingham just can’t resist. Despite a busy high-season schedule and an inn booked to capacity, Antonia has agreed to investigate a cold case in her beloved adopted hometown, East Hampton, NY: the killing of Susie Whitaker, whose brutal 1990 slaying on a tennis court in the poshest part of town was never solved.

And the person who has hired Antonia?  Prime suspect Pauline Framingham, a manipulative pharmaceutical heiress from a powerful family.

The crime scene is compromised, the circumstances are complicated, and former witnesses are cagey, haunted and very reluctant to revisit what happened on that sun-splashed afternoon decades earlier. As Antonia attempts to unravel the mysteries of the past she unearths even darker secrets and ultimately wonders if it would have been best to let sleeping dogs lie. To make matters worse, past acquaintances and love interests reappear in the Hamptons, disrupting Antonia's world and causing her to scurry to the fridge for comfort.

Death on West End Road is the third book in the Hamptons Murder Mystery Series. Along with a colorful cast of supporting characters, the beating heart of the book is Antonia Bingham, restaurateur, gourmand, and nosy carb-lover.




carrie-doyle 


About the Author:

Carrie Doyle was the founding Editor-in- Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire Magazine. She is currently a Contributing Editor of Hamptons Magazine and has written extensively for Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and has also written for Women’s Health and Avenue on the Beach. 

With Jill Kargman, Carrie co-wrote the film Intern (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999), as well as several screenplays sold to Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Films and the Oxygen Network. Carrie and Jill co-wrote five books together, including three teen books for HarperCollins and two bestselling women’s fiction books, The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing (Broadway Books). Carrie also penned the popular novel The Infidelity Pact (Broadway Books). 

Carrie lives in New York City with her husband and two children and is currently at work on an animated series for broadcast as well as her new series, the Hamptons Murder Mysteries.

Social Media Links:




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Release Blast & #Giveaway for Rock Star by Stacey Kennedy


Welcome to my stop on the Release Blast, presented by Tasty Book Tours, for Rock Star by Stacey Kennedy.  Please leave a comment or question for Stacey to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck! 


ROCK STAR
A Bad Boy Homecoming Novel
Stacey Kennedy
Releasing June 27, 2017



A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy.


Veterinarian, Rae Evans expects to attend a dreadful ten-year high school reunion. Instead, she’s confronted by a past she’s never gotten over. The love of her life, Travis Walker, has returned to Catfish Creek, and the now-famous rock star wants only three things: Her. Naked. And screaming his name.

Fresh off his last world tour, Travis has returned to town to get a dose of reality. With fame casting a superficial cloud over Travis’s life, he’s scrambling to stay afloat. He needs an anchor, and Rae is that for him. But as he finds himself, he’s determined to remind Rae of the heat that once burned between them.

Before they know it, their one hot night is three, and soon, just like ten years ago, Travis holds the strings to Rae’s heart. But Rae’s not that young girl who watched her high school sweetheart race off to become famous. She’s a woman who knows what she wants and realizes when a man needs her. She just has to decide if she should put the past on repeat, or walk away from it forever.




Travis Walker made women’s panties disappear.

On most nights, anyway.

Tonight, sitting on a wooden stool set upon the stage at Catfish Creek High School’s conference center, only one woman was on his mind. His fingers strummed over the strings of the guitar, mouth rested near the microphone, and after he sang the final two lines of the chorus—I wanna kiss you under the moonlight. And love you ‘til the sun comes up—the applause from the crowd reopened his eyes.

Sparkling string lights and masquerade masks hung from the ceiling above him, reminding him that he wasn’t surrounded by thousands of his typical screaming and wild fans. In his Texas hometown, he stared out at teachers, old friends, and classmates, all dressed in formal wear and masquerade masks.

From his seat in the spotlight, he recalled playing for smaller crowds on this very stage back in high school. Those had been some of the happiest days of his life. Now, fresh off his last world tour, he realized he loved that scene, too. The energy of a smaller crowd, who knew him personally, and a larger crowd, who thought they were in love with him, was so different he couldn’t compare the two, but admittedly, he missed the intimacy that came from a smaller venue.

Done with his song, and with the crowd quieting, he slid the guitar strap over his head and handed the instrument back to a member of the band that’d been hired to play at Catfish Creek High School’s ten-year reunion. When he jumped off the stage, he sighed in relief, finding that all the cell phones pointed in his direction were now put away, and the flashing lights were gone.

That’s when he set his focus on what mattered tonight: finding her. Rae Evans—the muse behind the song he sang tonight, Moonlight.

He scanned the crowd overtop the decorated tables with their gold chairs, but the beauty had escaped him somehow. He recognized Annie Flowers, the librarian, who gave him a little wave, and Christopher Christianson, the principal, who was grabbing a drink from the bar. Travis could have sworn he spotted Rae entering the masquerade ball when he began his song. Desperation now clawed at his chest.

Determined to find her, he moved farther into the crowd, just as his cell vibrated in his pocket. Knowing exactly who it’d be, and that he couldn’t ignore the call, he reached for his phone and then frowned at the text from his manager, Scott Price.

Awesome job. The video is already up on YouTube. Fans are loving it. The mask was a nice touch. Don’t miss your flight in the a.m.

Travis shifted the black masquerade mask around his eyes, and the muscles along his shoulders tightened with the reminder of the weight they carried; of the need for him to always be on point, and the fact that nothing, not even his high school reunion, was sacred anymore.

Life had changed dramatically since the last time Travis stepped foot in the conference center. But he didn’t want to think about the shit weighing on him, so he fired off a response—I’ll be on it—then tucked his cell phone back into his pocket.

He had tonight to fix everything that was wrong with his life, and he wouldn’t waste it. In the eyes of his manager, Travis had come to the reunion to put on a show and to look real to his fans. But Travis hadn’t come for the publicity; he had come for one very good reason: to find his anchor—the woman who stopped his world from spinning wildly out of control.

Lately, in a sea of chaos, he’d finally stopped drowning and saw a way back to the happiness he once had. That happiness had started with Rae, and surely, she was his way to find himself again

One touch. One taste. He wanted to remember what that happiness felt like.

Again, he searched the crowd, ignoring the way some men glowered at him, and some women batted their lashes. Rae. That’s whom he’d come here to see tonight. Only her.

The band behind him started playing another ballad, and that’s when he found her, staring right at him from across the room. She wore a sleek, black, strapless gown around her slender figure with matching long, black gloves.

His muscles surged with adrenaline, and he went to move toward her when a hard voice came from behind him.

“Karly wants you to play another song.”

Travis slowly glanced over his shoulder to find the biggest asshole in Catfish Creek High School history, Jason, a blond-haired, slender, one-time big shot. Rae was best friends with Kate, and Kate had loved—and later married and divorced—the dipshit behind him.

Times had changed.

Travis didn’t owe Jason anything now, and he certainly didn’t owe the reunion’s event planner, Karly, shit. “You can tell Karly that I told her I’d play one song, and that’s exactly what I did. Bother me again, and we’ll have a problem.” 

Jason didn’t make a move or say a word in rebuttal. Once a coward, always a coward.

Refocused on the only person who mattered tonight, and pulled by the energy only Rae conjured, Travis stretched out his fingers, shedding his frustrations as he moved with purpose through the crowd. Her pretty, hazel eyes surrounded by dark makeup followed his every move, and she yanked him forward with a simple look.

She’d always been a pretty girl, but she’d grown into a blindingly beautiful and stunning woman. Her gown fit her like a glove. A gold filigree mask somehow made the creaminess of her skin appear richer. She wore her shoulder-length, brown hair in big waves framing her round face.

Tonight, she didn’t look so fresh-faced and innocent. She looked sexy as hell, and just the sight of her again caused Travis’s cock to swell eagerly.  

While he’d talked to her through email, text, and the occasional late-night, drunk phone call every birthday and Christmas over the last ten years, he hadn’t seen her. Not since that day on his parents’ porch. Sure, he’d kept an eye on her through the Catfish Creek Chronicle when they featured her for her charity work, and also on the website for the vet clinic she owned. But after he’d walked the path that led away from her, he’d never found his way back. Life got busy. New friends were found. Fame overtook him. 

Now, he was…home.

When he finally reached her, the air between them felt charged. “Rae,” he said. Her eyes warmed. Dark, red-painted lips curved. “Travis.”

Christ, he remembered how those lips tasted. How she tasted—every goddamn inch of her.

Beneath her mask, those pretty eyes now turned a little suspicious. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming to the reunion?”

Perhaps he should have called, but… “I wanted to surprise you.” Because there were important reasons he returned to his hometown, ones that he didn’t want her to know about. Yet. 

It all began with an article in the Catfish Creek Chronicle.

Dr. Rae Evans feels she’s done what was needed to help the animals in Catfish Creek, and she’s ready to begin a new journey. She’s looking to open another clinic in one of the neighboring towns.

At twenty-eight years old, she’d achieved what she hoped to do by thirty, and that article reminded him of the guy he used to be when she’d first made those plans. He wasn’t the same man who left Catfish Creek all those years ago, and he didn’t know when exactly he lost himself. While Rae had likely found all the happiness she wanted in her success, he simply wanted to find his way back to the carefree guy he once was. 

To do that, he had to come back to the place where he was the happiest. He had to come back to her. “But to tell you why I wanted to surprise you, I need to tell you a story.” He offered his hand. “How about we dance, and I’ll share it.”

For a second, he thought she might refuse him. She simply stared at his hand.

When her eyes met his again, and she slowly slid her palm into his, the tightening in his chest eased. He closed his fingers around hers and sensed her soften, making him smile.

Reliving that infectious energy she carried, he led her into the middle of the dance floor, then he spun her around and pulled her to him, nice and close, sliding his hand across her lower back.

 She laughed softly, eyes twinkling behind her mask. “You’ve still got the moves, I see.”

“My moves will never fail me.” He grinned. 





STACEY KENNEDY is the USA Today bestselling author of the Dirty Little Secrets and Club Sin series. She writes deeply emotional romances about powerful men and the wild women who tame them. When she’s not writing sensual stories, she spends her time in southwestern Ontario with her real life hero, her husband, their two young children, and her other babies: a mini labradoodle named Jax and a chocolate labrador named Murphy. Stacey is a proud chocolate, television show, Urban Barn, and wine addict. She likes her heroes in her books like she likes her coffee . . . strong and hot!