Audio Release – Toccata Obbligato by Jennifer Theriot

Toccata Obbligato~Serenading Kyra

 by
Jennifer Theriot

GENRE: Contemporary Romance
COVER DESIGINER:  The Graphics Shed
PUBLISHING DATE: March 10, 2016 (audio book)
Toccata Obbligato is a companion novella to the Out of the Box series.
Todd O’Malley has been called many things, from filthy mouthed jerk to legendary Rock God. With his outlandish cocky demeanor – tatted up and pierced, compared in looks to Adam Levine – his constant use of the F-bomb, and the seductive gyrations he performs for the ladies on stage, affirm he is a man every woman craves. But there is only one woman who is able to capture his heart, Kyra Edwards.
That chance meeting at a little coffee shop in Evanston began their journey of compromise, pain, dedication and love.
From the night he took her virginity to Todd’s past sex-capades and consequences threatening their relationship, will Kyra be able to deal with it? With Todd and his band Avenue touring on the road, can he prove to Kyra that he is a changed man? Can he be faithful and avoid temptation?
Jennifer Theriot brings us yet another love story that will capture our hearts. This is truly a story of Beauty and the Beast, where we admire the beauty that is Kyra and adore the beast known as Todd.
You loved him in Out of the Box Awakening and Out of the Box Regifted. In the pages of Toccata Obbligato ~Serenading Kyra, you’ll get inside his head – see what makes him tick and get to know the woman who captured his heart…… 

Click here to enjoy a small sample of a beautiful song by Mark Odom, a very talented musician who put music to the lyrics and performed the song for Jennifer’s book.

Click here to hear an excerpt of Toccata Obbligato by Jennifer Theriot.

 
When did you come to the realization that this was something you wanted to do?
 
2015 – It was always an idea that floated around in my head, and people always encouraged me to do it, but it was not until recently that I actually pursued it!
How long has you been doing narration/producing?
6 Months, I am quite new but progressing very quickly!
Is there any type of book you WON’T narrate? If so, why?
Only books that require accents I can’t do 😉
How many times does you normally read/record a chapter before you’re satisfied?
Depending on the difficulty of the book sometimes the first chapters might be recorded more often to get attuned with the author and how they want it done, then it becomes easier!
Can you work with a cold?
Nooooooo…. generally not. Snotty, sneezy, coughy, or raspy voice makes it not worth the time to record.
How long did it take to make this audio book?
This audiobook ended up being about 3x the length of the total finished recorded hours!
How many audio books can you make in a month?
This greatly depends on length! Generally, full length 10 hour novels I can do about 2 per month with other projects and various other jobs included.
Do you prefer to read male or female characters?
I prefer male because I am male, but I’ve developed many female voices and do not mind at all!
Do you use this newfound fame to pick up ladies?
I do not need anymore help in picking them up 😉 I’ve always been able to use the “I play guitar, bass, violin, and keyboard” card if I needed any help :p
Do you ever identify with the characters you narrate? If so, how?
I identify a LOT with many characters! Typically I find many of the naughty romances and main characters that have a music background constantly have me thinking “hmmmm……that sounds familiar”
Does you have a significant other? If so, is she supportive of your narrating career?
I have a lovely girlfriend! We support each other in almost every decision the other makes, except what is for dinner sometimes….
Any favorite books you’ve narrated? What genre does you prefer to produce?
TOSK was incredibly fun and relatable for me, I love Todd’s character and his general adventure!! I suppose I prefer Sci-Fi, but my listeners prefer me to do romance, and I prefer to make them happy!
Do you find the authors difficult to work with?
Generally no, I don’t find many people difficult to work with as long as you possess the skills to communicate and put the effort in!
Any favorite authors you’ve worked with? If so, why?
Jennifer Theriot was fun, exciting and totally supportive while providing necessary direction to make the production great! Also, I love every author I work with!
Do you have a favorite project you’ve done and why?
It’s hard to pick a favorite! I generally choose to work on books that I enjoy, relate to, or challenge me. I have some projects coming up that are in the making, and are super character intense. I find the projects that require many different characters or challenge me to develop new voices are very fun!
Do you have a career other than narrating?
I do voice acting full time. I worked an office job since I was 18 until I was 25 doing IT work, customer service, customer relations, case management and various hardware troubleshooting. I’ve never knew what it felt like to do something you love for a job until now.
What are your hobbies and interests?
My whole life generally revolves around music. I am not fully happy If I don’t hear new good music often or If I don’t compose or play music often enough. I’ve played violin when i was younger for about 7 years then started playing guitar/bass, with keyboards here and there, drums occasionally, singing, and just using my computer to make techno/house beats for the last 10 years.
Jennifer Theriot hails from the Great State of Texas. She is a career woman, working as CFO of a Texas based real estate investment firm by day and does her writing at nights and on weekends. In her limited spare time, Jennifer enjoys being outdoors; preferably somewhere on a beach curled up with a good book. Spending time with family and friends, listening to music, watching a baseball game and enjoying a good bottle of wine are usually on her to-do lists. She’s mom to three grown children and ‘MiMi’ to three (soon to be four) grandkids – all of whom she adores!
Her best-selling Out of the Box Series, OUT OF THE BOX AWAKENING, OUT OF THE BOX REGIFTED, OUT OF THE BOX EVERLASTING and TOCCATA OBBLIGATO~SERENADING KYRA are currently available on Amazon.com.

WebsiteTwitterGoodreadsAmazonFacebook ✯ Authorgraph ✯ Blog ✯ Google+ ✯ YouTube 

Not Afraid to Love You by Jude Ouvrard

NOT AFRAID TO LOVE YOU
Ink Series – Spin Off Book 1

by

Jude Ouvrard

Cover Designer: Kari March Designs

Official genre of book: Contemporary Romance/Drama 

Lilly McCarthy thought she had found the one, until an unexpected side of Dave left her body bruised and her pride hurt.
Living in fear, she knows she has to do something before the unimaginable happens. A timely phone call provides Lilly a means to escape but is her family prepared to face her nightmares?
While Lilly takes the time to heal and regain control of her life, an unexpected source of support appears in the form of her brother’s best friend – and her old crush – Lennox.
Lilly hesitates to take on a new relationship, but Lennox is not giving up. He wants Lilly to find her way and be herself again, the relaxed and easygoing girl she used to be.
Can the love of a good man convince this scared and frightened woman to trust again? Or is it only going to push her away?
Sitting back in my sister’s luxurious car, I let her drive us to the restaurant. My stomach keeps growling and it’s getting embarrassing. I’m on edge, my eyes following every person on the sidewalk and looking at every building we come across.
She finally parks her car in a large lot almost filled to capacity. I’ve seen this place before but I never went inside. The Spot, that’s what they call it, I remember.
Matthew nudges his sister. “Are you even old enough to get inside?”
“Don’t worry, it’s all under control.”
Stepping out of the car, I follow them to the entrance. The security guy hugs my sister as they chitchat. How does she know him? I don’t understand. This place requires you to be twenty-one and she isn’t, yet.
When we walk inside, it hits me. The place is full of men in uniform…Air Force guys. This has to be where she met her boyfriend. Some of the guys nod at her, some wave.
“Hey Ab. Logan isn’t out yet.”
“I know. I came with my brother and sister.” The guy’s eyes zoom in on mine and he winks. Heat surges to my cheeks. Why am I blushing? Matthew subtly steps in front of me.
“Hey Matthew.” They shake hands and engage in some small talk.
“Meet my sister, Lilly. She just moved back to town today.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Carlos.” We shake hands but I can’t look him in the eyes. I avoid him and it must look stupid. Maybe going out tonight wasn’t a good idea, after all. I’m not ready for this. He lets my hand go.
“Are you okay? Did I do something wrong?” For someone so tall and big, he has the most comforting voice but I can’t do this.
“I… uh… I.” I stuttered.
“No, it’s okay. She’s been through a lot. We’re just going to go sit and eat. I’ll talk to you later.” Abbey takes control of the situation. She’s now in protector mode too.
I order a club sandwich, which I plan to eat all of and no doubt quickly because I’m so hungry. As well as that I order a beer, my first beer since I moved away from here because Dave only ever drank wine. I am going to savor every drop of it. Only now as I relax, it strikes me why I am so hungry, I haven’t eaten all day.
Fifteen minutes later, our food arrives and I think I’m going to pass out if I don’t start eating now. Matthew is already cutting into his steak while Abbey digs into her pasta bowl. My mouth’s full, I probably have one quarter of my sandwich packed inside my mouth. Way to go, Lilly.
“Hey guys.”
“Hey man. Sit with us.” Matthew offers the seat next to him, which is also next to me. I hurry and try to swallow the damn sandwich. “Do you remember my sister, Lilly?”
Trying to look normal, I turn to him with a fake smile. I do know him. My first high school crush. Lennox Love. My brother’s best friend until he moved away to Seattle.
My smile turns real and honest. “Lennox, hi.”
“Hi, long time no see.”
I think I’m going to faint. Many nights while I shared my bed with Dave, I thought about him. Wondering where he was, what he was doing. Would I ever see him again?
There was nothing normal about my crush on him. Well, unless crying for two days when he moved away is normal?
Lennox freaking Love. Is. Back. 

author pic

“Drama, true love, tattoos…and everything in between!”
Jude Ouvrard is an author who writes from the heart, and reads with passion and devotion. Jude enjoys stories of drama, true love, tattoos, and everything in between. While writing is her therapy, reading is her solace. Life doesn’t get better than books and chocolate, and maybe a little bit of shopping.
A romance lover, Jude writes about love, pain, heartbreak and matters that will challenge your heart. A book can tell an unexpected story, no matter which directions it takes. Jude embraces words that have haunted her for years.
Jude is a working mom who dedicates her time to a law firm and writing books. She has an energetic superhero son, and a supportive boyfriend of many years. Her family is her rock; she could not survive without them. Born a country girl, she transformed into a city woman who now lives in Montreal, Canada. Although French is her first language, Jude decided to write in English because she liked the challenge.
Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Goodreads ✯ Amazon ✯ Facebook 

Holding Fast by Jeanine Binder

HOLDING FAST
Love and Order series

by
Jeanine Binder

GENRE: Contemporary Romance 

COVER DESIGNERPhycel Designs
……Been there, done that – there wasn’t much that Eli Walker hadn’t experienced as a cop. Even working in one of the better precincts in New York City didn’t help dispel the depravity he saw on a daily basis. It was all part and parcel of his mantra of living life in the now, not worrying about the future.
And especially with women. No strings, no attachments, and he made that perfectly clear before he ever bedded them. Relationships were not on his agenda – not now, not anytime in the near future. Women flocked to him and he could take his pick; himself exiting the encounter with what he’d wanted and leaving them aching for more, left dreaming of his curly locks and bronze body.
A chance encounter pulling a mugger off of a woman changed his whole world. She was blonde and beautiful – Eli didn’t care about any of the interracial politics that would surround any serious relationship. He just knew he had to have Ainsley, like an alcoholic needs his next drink. This was all new territory for Eli and could he stay to the path, all the way to its end? Or would she be like all the others in his life ?……
I felt her press into me for warmth. I wrap my legs around hers, pulling her body firmly against mine.  I knew I gave off a lot of heat – previous women in my bed had likened me to an oversized space heater. Am sure my size had a lot to do with it and it made being outside in the cold New York winters much more palatable. I was perfectly content to lay there and watch this gorgeous woman sleep. She’d slipped my shirt on after we finished and there was nothing sexier than seeing the tails fall just to the top of her thighs. My imagination did double time thinking how I would like it to be my hand there instead of my shirt, but I didn’t want to wake her up. Well, at least not for a few minutes anyway.  I was already up and ready so that wasn’t an issue – no Viagra or Cialis in my future – but I was treasuring this first for me. The first of waking up to a beautiful woman in my arms because, in my previous encounters, no one ever woke up in my bed with me. And I never stayed all night in theirs.
Relationships were something I ignored. I couldn’t remember what started me down that path –it probably had something to do with some weekend liberty when I was in the Army, as we would all go down to the local bar, get shit-faced drunk, and pick up women. Now I was having all sorts of thoughts. Before, getting married and having kids, like my partner, was far from my mind. That was, until I pulled some asshole off Ainsley and she came to the station to thank me. So … what did I want with her? Did I want something forever and go down the white picket fence lined road? I wasn’t sure, but what I did know was I didn’t want to ever see her with anyone else. I’d kill anyone who touched what was mine. And maybe it was a temporary thing and wouldn’t last. But I was certainly going to put forth some effort into exploring these feelings were which were causing my mouth to go dry and my heart to race whenever I saw her look at me with those crystal blue eyes. I wanted to keep her wrapped in my arms so I could protect her from everything evil. I never had those kinds of feelings before I met her.



Jeanine Binder grew up in a small town in California on the outskirts of Palm Springs, where the Hollywood celebrities liked to vacation. After thirty years, she packed up, moved to Arkansas where she still lives today. Her hobbies include her writing, reading good books, and seeing exotic places (loves to go on cruises).

Writing has always been a passion and hoping the next twenty years will bring many enjoyable books for others to read.

Cover Reveal – Take Two by Traci Hayden

TAKE TWO
A Picture Perfect Novel
by
Traci Hayden
Official genre of book: Contemporary Romance
Beth Huntley, photographer and devoted bachelorette, doesn’t believe in true love. Too much hurt and disappointment has left her hiding behind the camera. All she can see is a black and white world through the lens.
William Lorde, widower and father, was once an open and carefree man. The loss of his wife has left him wrapped up in the needs of his little girl. He can no longer see the colors of the world as he struggles each and every day.
What happens when these two similarly different people meet and help each other to step out of the world they’ve created for themselves? Will they find a love that helps them heal from the past, enjoy their present and create a beautiful future?
The gentleman was looking at some of my photography displayed on the wall. The red and orange tints of his light brown hair reminded me of the vibrant colors of a sunset over the ocean. The touches of blonde which frosted the tips were incredibly sexy. I wanted to run my fingers through his hair while he made wild passionate love to me.
From my vantage point, his physique was lean and muscular. Hardened muscles bulged against his plaid shirt and overalls. The dark bronze tan of his skin glowed like it had been kissed by the sun. Everything about him left me speechless and totally breathless and I had yet to see his face.
Realization hit me hard. Jude was trying to fix me up! If she had her way, I was going to become a mini-Jude; a Judette, if you will. From the looks of this guy, it might just happen.
A jab to my ribs got my attention. My head swung in Jude’s direction; my eyes, however, didn’t. Heat was burning deep inside me, pushing its way to the surface like molten lava. The rise and fall of the burn matched the timing of my labored breathing.
Reality came racing back when a sharp pain stabbed my foot. I bounced slightly on one leg as I rubbed the offended limb on the back of my calf. Tearing my eyes away from the God standing in my studio, I glared at Jude.
What’s happening to me? This wasn’t my normal reaction, I wasn’t the type to go gooey over a guy. To me, they were all trouble, and they interfered with my professional plans. That was the excuse anyways.
Jude stepped back and slowly raised her hands up in a gesture of surrender. Grabbing the counter to hold myself steady, I looked down at Jude’s four inch spikes, one of which had surely lanced my foot. Through my gritted teeth, I growled. “What the fuck?”
Jude’s eyes darted between me and the sexy man across the room. She whispered so softly, it was impossible to tell if I’d heard the words or read her lips. “Pull your tongue in, you sexual deviant.”
It was at that precise moment that the star of my erotic fantasies turned around, and every nerve in my body exploded. His unshaven jaw line begged to be licked, his naturally red lips begged to be kissed, and his eyes – oh my god, those eyes! My heart shattered into a million pieces.
His gorgeous, ocean blue eyes were haunted with such despair. Where there should have been light shining brightly like the moon on a clear summer’s night, there was a blank stare. His eyes were filled with almost agonizing grief. For an instant, his anguish overwhelmed me. I wanted to wrap him in a cocoon and protect him from the world. A cruel world of torture and grief, that’s all his eyes portrayed. 

  This book is specially discounted until one week after publication. Get your copy today.  

My love for books began at a very small age. I lived inside the many worlds the local library could provide. The characters within those pages were my companions and my support when I needed someone most.
My imagination began to soar as I grew. I began writing small poems as a teenager, but never thought much about publishing or expanding beyond put my words to paper.
After my children were born our love for a certain TV show fueled my love for writing. Using my children as inspiration, I began to write fanfiction, my children being the characters within the stories.
My passion for putting words to paper (or screen as is the norm now) has turned from passion to obsession. I’ve made some incredible friends through this journey and in turn, have become not only an author but a promoter and supporter for those whose imagination dreams character and worlds that I can lose myself in.
I thank my precious children, my beautiful soul-mate and my forever sister and best friend for being my constant rock and support as I continue to walk this road called life.

Beyond the Shadows – Anna Hub

Free Promo Banner

Beyond the Shadows is FREE for a limited time only!

22978-beyondtheshadowscover

 

Blurb

If your shadow was trying to consume you, how would you run from it?

What if you were afraid of something you could never escape?

Selena Parker’s journey into the unknown begins in her dreams, but the consequences are carried back into her conscious life and she soon realises paranormal forces are at work. Her shadow has become more than just an image, it is a gateway to a sinister new world where mysterious creatures roam and she is confronted by danger that challenges her will to survive.She finds the man whose fate is linked inexplicably to her own but she knows nothing of him and doubts his true nature. Her only option is to place her life in his hands while they search for a way to stop the shadows claiming them forever.

Download Links

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/1LUaM6o

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/22UeIrT

Amazon.ca http://amzn.to/22UeGjH

Amazon.com.au http://bit.ly/1WSJPjZ

About the Author

Anna_Hub_Profile_PicWhen I was a child I wanted to be an author, it seemed like a perfectly attainable dream to me then, but of course I grew up and realised that writing was not the best way to make a future for myself. So I discarded the idea and decided to do something normal.

When I studied nursing I thought I’d found a place for myself, but within six months of working in that field I knew I needed more. So in July 2007 I bought myself a lap top and started writing in my spare time. It took me two years to complete my first book and by the time it was finished I felt as though I’d learnt enough to pursue the dream.

My love for writing has grown rapidly since then and now I know that it’s something I can’t live without. It’s a place where there is no limit, no exact destination and my mind is free to exist in many worlds.

It’s a beautiful sanctuary.

Find Anna Online

Facebook http://bit.ly/25stvMt

Twitter http://bit.ly/1RKmpiD

Blog http://bit.ly/1URpU7a

Mailing List http://bit.ly/1WSLXIq

Instagram @annahubbooks

 

Cover Reveal – Corralling Kenzie by Joanne Jaytani

CORRALLING KENZIE
The Winter Sisters series Book 4
by
Joanne Jaytanie


Official genre of book: Romantic Suspense with paranormal elements 

Will Kenzie ever find peace and security inside the corrals of her ranch again?
Kenzie Vaughn is lucky to have a big-city, big-paycheck position. But her great job serves as nothing more than the path to her dream: a horse boarding and training ranch outside the big city. Kenzie is a horsewoman who loves Dobermans and peaceful country living. Now she’s found the perfect ranch, right next door to a lovely campus that houses the Winters Corporation. Her luck is holding, for the Corporation is run by the Winters’ sisters, wonderful women who could easily grow to become great friends.
One night her peace was shattered by a gunshot that wounded her horse, Boone. Good thing for Kenzie, Victory Winters is a veterinarian. Still the gunshot was no accident, and Kenzie’s past and the Winters’ present are dangerously intertwined. Kenzie is sucked into a vortex of rogue scientists who only want her for her DNA. Fortunately, the Winters Corporation can help. Even better, a Special Ops team member, Logan Mendoza, is assigned to watch her ranch. He isn’t interested in Kenzie’s DNA; he wants her for much more. Logan takes Kenzie’s personal security personally.
Will corralling Kenzie become Logan’s full-time mission?
As she spoke gently to him, she began inspecting his body. His blanket was securely strapped around him. She left the blanket in place as she ran one hand over him. At the same time, she searched the ranch with sweeping beams of the flashlight. As her hand worked its way down his flank, she felt something warm and wet. He snorted and his muscles rippled under her touch. There was a tear in his heavy, brown blanket. Surrounding the tear was a dinner-plate size spot. Carefully Kenzie loosened the strap closest to the tear and lifted the blanket. Underneath, she found a long, deep, gouge that oozed blood. She followed the blood path and discovered deep red spatters and a pool on the pristine white ground.
“Boone. Oh Boone, you’re hurt!”
She examined the snow and spotted two sets of large boot prints. The prints crisscrossed and headed to the backside of the paddock. She gasped as it dawned on her that someone else could be near.
Smearing blood everywhere, she patted herself down frantically, hoping her phone was still in a pocket. Yanking it out, she murmured, “come on, come on,” as she impatiently waited for the phone to come to life. She punched in the number she knew by heart. The phone call went directly to voice mail.
“The doctor had a family emergency and will be out of town until next week. If this is an emergency please contact—”
“That vet is ninety minutes away,” she said as she disconnected the call. By the time she loaded Boone up in the horse trailer and drove him out to the vet, he could bleed out. The same thing could happen if she waited for the vet to arrive. She had one other option, except she told herself she would never use it. She scrolled through the phone numbers until she found it. The phone rang and rang, but Kenzie refused to disconnect the call.
“Hello?” came a sleepy female voice.
“Hello, is this Victory Winters?”
“Yes, who’s this?”
“I’m terribly sorry to call you so late. Normally I would never do such a thing. I tried to reach my vet, but he’s out of town and this is an emergency. My name is Kenzie; I own the ranch south of your campus. Todd gave me your number. He told me to call you if I ever had a problem with my animals. He said you can work on all types of animals. My horse, Boone has been injured. He’s bleeding—can you please help me?”
“What?” Now Victory’s voice sounded alert and worried. “What did you say?”
“Boone. My horse. He’s been shot, and I just found boot prints in the snow. They came from the direction of your campus. Is there someone shooting there?”
“Kenzie, is it? I haven’t heard any gunshots. I will come out and help you. Try and keep Boone quiet. I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
“I’m going to stay with Boone. I’ll be in the barn when you get here, right past the house. Thank you, Victory.” 

Catch up with The Winters Sisters before Kenzie makes her worldwide appearance.

Joanne was born and raised in Sherburne, New York, a quaint village surrounded by dairy farms and rolling hills. From the moment she could read she wanted to explore the world. During her college years she slowly crept across the country, stopping along the way in Oklahoma, California, and finally Washington State, which she now proudly calls home. She lives with her husband and Dobermans, in their home located on the Kitsap Peninsula with a panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains.

Joanne writes romantic suspense, paranormal, and contemporary romance. She loves to submerge herself in the world of her characters, to live and breathe their lives and marvel at their decisions and predicaments. She enjoys a wide variety of books including paranormal, suspense, thriller, and of course romance.
Joanne is a member of Romance Writers of America, and past President of Peninsula Romance Writers, which was Debbie Macomber’s home chapter.

Claimed by Love by Melissa Foster

CLAIMED BY LOVE
Love in Bloom: The Ryders
by
New York Times & USA Today bestseller Melissa Foster


Family law attorney Gabriella Liakos has one true love, Elpitha Island, where she grew up and hopes someday to return. But Elpitha is in financial ruins, and Gabriella will do anything to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. 

Duke Ryder is a savvy real estate investor set on making Elpitha into an exclusive resort. Unlike other investors, he’s not scared of purchasing a property where one family has roots so deep they practically reach the ocean floor…until he meets his beautiful, stubborn, and enticing tour host―the daughter of the owner of most of the island. 
Gabriella sets out to dissuade Duke from purchasing Elpitha, but Duke has other ideas. He wants Gabriella and the island. Duke’s powerful seduction draws Gabriella in, but can a savvy investor who’s used to glamour and glitz, and a woman interested in preserving the culture she adores find a happily ever after together? 
The RYDERS are the newest addition to the Love in Bloom series. Characters from each series appear in future books. Each book may be read as a standalone novel, or as part of the series.  
Chapter One
DUKE RYDER BALANCED his cell phone against his shoulder, listening to his buddy and investment partner Pierce Braden talk about their newest potential investment property as he followed the rickety wooden dock onto the white sandy beach.
“The dock just might be the most stable thing on Elpitha Island,” Pierce said. “Try to soak in a little sand and sun while you’re there. That’s the best part of the island.”
Duke’s eyes were immediately drawn to the sprawling oak trees he’d read about, standing sentinel over the forested acreage beyond. Long, thick branches spread like languid arms draped in moss, reaching for…what? One glance told him that there wasn’t much to reach for, save for a building that looked more like a forgotten Mediterranean villa than the welcome center of the small Southern island. The stone and wood building had a deep porch that spanned the entire length of the left side with stone pillars. A wooden trellis laced with the most captivating flowering vines shaded the area. Although the structure itself was in need of repair, it was surrounded by perfectly manicured, ornate gardens, which contrasted sharply with overgrown and unkempt bushes littering the far edges of the property.
“The proximity to the mainland isn’t bad,” Duke said to Pierce. He set his suitcase on the sand and looked back at the Atlantic. “It only took an hour fifteen to get here.” Elpitha was the smallest of the vacation islands off of South Carolina, and more than half of the land had been owned by the Liakos family for centuries. It was just over eight square miles, and not many investors wanted such a small tract of land, or to deal with families that were as entrenched as the Liakos family was thought to be. Some families might sell out, but they would fight tooth and nail against change, which could cause discourse on an island this small. Duke and Pierce weren’t deterred. The restrictive size of the property would only increase the value, making it an exclusive vacation spot for the elite.
“With Hilton Head and the other islands so overrun,” Pierce said, “Elpitha is ripe for development. Although we’ll have to work around that name. Who wants to go to an island called Elpitha? It sounds more like a disease than an island.”
Duke squinted up at the blazing sun and loosened his tie. “I don’t know. I kind of like it.” He noticed a plantation-style home tucked behind the trees in the distance. “They weren’t kidding about the strange mix of Mediterranean and Southern feel of the place. This should be interesting.” Duke knew some of the island’s history, and though he still didn’t understand why Greeks would immigrate to the South and try to re-create their country’s feel, it didn’t much matter. If he and Pierce decided to purchase the land, they would bulldoze every structure and give the island a complete Southern overhaul, making it the most desirable resort area in the South.
“Chuck called earlier and said Liakos’s granddaughter Gabriella is an attorney,” Pierce explained. “He thinks they might bring her in on things. Apparently their family keeps things tight. So if you meet her, play nice.”
The hollow clank of a screen door hitting its frame drew Duke’s attention. A woman stood on the porch of the old building, shading her eyes from the sun as she looked out at the water. Her long dark hair hung halfway down her back. Duke was too far away to see her features, but there was no missing her curvaceous ass and full breasts, not to mention legs that seemed to go on forever beneath her short summery dress. Duke watched with interest as he listened to Pierce relay the most recent information from the attorneys and engineers.
The woman glanced at her watch, then settled her hand on her hip. A voice rang out from inside the building, and the pretty woman hurried back inside.
“I just found proof of life,” he said to Pierce as he stepped onto the sandy path. “I’ll call you once I’ve done some recon.”
His black leather shoes quickly lost their shine from the dusty road as he approached the building. Voices filtered out the open windows as he mounted the steps. He glanced through the screen door, spotting the brunette he’d just seen. She was facing away from him, speaking heatedly in Greek, hands flailing as her exasperated voice pitched higher.
A thick-waisted man with salt-and-pepper hair sat at a table near the counter, amusement shining in his dark eyes as the brunette ranted to an older woman, and then the man said something Duke couldn’t hear.
“Ugh! Baba!” The younger woman threw her hands up in the air and flew out the screen door, nearly smacking Duke in the face.
He stumbled backward, giving the angry woman a wide breadth as she paced the front porch. She mumbled something in Greek and then crossed her arms, raised her shoulders, and dropped them quickly with a loud harrumph. Duke couldn’t help but drink in the flush on her smooth, sun-kissed cheeks. Her nose was small and straight, and her almond-shaped, dark—and currently angry—eyes were shadowed by lashes so long they brushed her cheeks.
Having grown up with a younger sister, Duke bided his time in announcing his presence, not wanting to take the brunt of her reaction to whatever the man had said to upset her.
She inhaled a deep breath, her breasts rising and pressing against the sheer fabric, then falling as she exhaled loudly. Her shoulders lowered, and the tightness around her mouth softened. She turned a full-lipped, mind-numbing smile to Duke, as if she hadn’t just come out in a firestorm.
“My father believes that no matter what he says, I hear something else.” She tilted her head to the side in a thoughtful pose, and in the space of a second her eyes filled with rebellion, making her even sexier. “Hearing and agreeing are two different things.”
Duke wondered what her father had just said that got her panties in a bunch. Christ. Now he was thinking about her panties.
“I’m Gabriella Liakos. Welcome to Elpitha Island.”
The granddaughter? Playing nice would not be a problem with this feisty beauty. Duke shook her hand, holding it a beat longer than he probably should, still mesmerized by the whirlwind of energy radiating from her. “Duke Ryder. It’s nice to meet you. I didn’t mean to intrude.”
“No one intrudes on Elpitha,” she said sweetly.
Duke shifted his eyes to the screen door, and she laughed softly. It was the rare type of laugh that floated like the wind and wasn’t easily forgotten.
“We’re Greek,” she said with a shrug, as if that explained it all.
He arched a brow.
“When you combine a Greek father and a Southern mother, who learned all the best Greek ways, that’s what you get. Food, yelling, guilt, more food. Sweet love. Crazy love. More food. That’s who we are.” She dragged her gorgeous eyes down his suit to his shoes and put one hand on her hip as she had earlier, tapping her lips with the other.
Duke wouldn’t mind getting his mouth on those succulent lips for some crazy love.
“You’re the investor, checking out our island so you can line your pockets, right?”
He couldn’t tell if the look in her eyes was teasing or serious, but her sharp tongue piqued his interest even more. Duke respected confidence, and even though it wasn’t the greeting he’d hoped for, he liked knowing that Gabriella wasn’t a pushover.
“Something like that,” he answered casually.
As a real estate investor, Duke knew his clients were vulnerable and, more often than not, taking a deal they didn’t really care for because, by the time he swooped in to save the day, they had gotten a strong dose of what failure tasted like. A hard pill to swallow. Which was why Duke didn’t flinch as Gabriella measured everything about him, from his appearance to his answers. While other investors were cold as sharks, Duke had never quite mastered making ice flow through his veins. But he always got the job done.
Her eyes flicked toward the water, where another boat was nearing the dock. Her smiled turned genuine at the sight of a handful of children waving from the boat. She waved both arms over her head and yelled something in Greek, then settled her hands on her hips as she watched the children file from the boat.
“It was nice to meet you, Gabriella,” Duke said, hoping he’d see her later. The island had a population of just over two hundred and fifty people, so he imagined it would be hard not to see the same people throughout his stay. “I’ll just step inside and see about my room and a tour.”
“Lucky you,” she said, turning a steady gaze back to him, “I’m your tour host.” She didn’t wait for him to reply as she opened the screen door and hollered something in Greek to the people inside. Over her shoulder, she said to Duke, “Give me a sec to get your keys and the cart, and I’ll show you around and drop you at your place.”
It took a moment for him to remember that they drove golf carts or used bicycles on the island and that cars were prohibited.
She hurried inside and headed directly to her Baba, which Duke now knew meant he was her father, and said something that made the man laugh. She leaned in to kiss and hug her father, and her dress crept up, exposing the backs of her thighs and hugging her ass. He tried to ignore the stroke of awareness racing through him. She walked around the counter and grabbed a set of keys from a hook, then draped an arm around the shoulders of the woman with whom she was speaking earlier.
“Mama,” Gabriella said to the woman. Her mother’s hair was a shade lighter than hers. “Talk some sense into him, will you, please?” She whispered something, then kissed her, too.
The woman wiped her hands on an apron and smiled at Duke, catching him observing them. “Welcome to our island, Mr. Ryder. I’m Peggy Ann, and this is my husband, Niko.”
Her warm Southern drawl took Duke by surprise after hearing her speak fluent Greek, and he realized it shouldn’t have. They were in the South, after all.
He stepped inside. “It’s a pleasure to be here, and to meet you both.”
Gabriella’s father nodded. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Ryder.”
“I’ll meet you out front,” Gabriella said as she grabbed a large basket from the counter, then disappeared through a door in the back of the room.
As he stepped onto the porch, Duke had a feeling Pierce was wrong about the sand and sun being the best part of the island. Those things had nothing on the intriguing woman who’d just slipped out the back door.


AUGUST 17, 2016

Chased by Love
Kindle USKindle Int’l

iBooksGPlay

Paperback USPaperback Int’l

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

 Amazon ✯ Facebook ✯ Facebook Street Team ✯ Goodreads ✯ Twitter ✯ Website

SIGN UP for MELISSA’S NEWSLETTER
​​
Tami 1
%d bloggers like this: