Free Friday – Besotted by Madison Micheal

Besotted Free 62019

Besotted

The Beguiling Bachelors, Book 4

By Madison Michael

♥♥♥ ~ Free June 19th – June 21st Only ~ ♥♥♥

Besotted (2)

About Besotted:

He Promised Forever, then Walked Away. Now he wants her back.

Tyler’s Winthrop, rich, handsome, elusive sees his moment to win Regan Howe slipping through his fingers. He has remained on the outskirts of Regan’s life since high school, reluctant to reveal his true past and expose her to danger. Despite their obvious attraction, Tyler has remained her friend and protector, keeping Regan at arm’s length for her own safety,

Regan Howe won her coveted CEO position through hard work and a willingness to buck family tradition. Now, Brandon Hockney, a handsome US Senator with his eye on the White House, wants her to give it up, along with her home, friends, and family for a move to DC and marriage to him.

Regan wants a family but is she prepared to leave all she loves, including the alluring Tyler Winthrop. Regan has waited twenty years for Tyler to commit. He once promised her forever, then he destroyed her trust and her hopes for a future together. Still, she cannot break the ties between them.

When Regan tests the waters with Brandon, Tyler is tapped as acting CEO, throwing the pair together, and forcing both to make a choice. Is this the end, or their one last chance at love? Battling overwhelming odds and a racing clock, will Tyler be forced to release his one true love to find happiness with another man? How can he when he’s besotted?

As the danger mounts for Tyler,, can he wrestle free of his past and lure Regan away from her Senator? Join our handsome hero as he attempts to win back his love in this exciting and steamy page-turner, the fourth of the sexy, contemporary Beguiling Bachelor romance series.
Amazon Buy Link – https://amzn.to/2IdP2D8

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Excerpt from Besotted:

Regan was just too damn alluring in that dress for him to accept that he couldn’t have her if he wanted her.

He was an idiot. He should have told her years ago. He should have told everyone. Despite the tongue- lashing he was silently giving himself, Tyler was certainly no fool. “The professor” to his friends, he was generally serious and professional. He had the smarts necessary to obtain both an MBA and a law degree, and he was now CEO of LHRE and on hiatus from one of the fastest growing tech companies in the country. He kept his cool in general, but again and again, he behaved like an idiot around Regan.

Since that damn frog almost thirty years ago, he had loved no one but Regan. Sometimes they made it work together, like in high school, but most times not. His feelings were unchanged, but something always stopped him from declaring his love and asking her to do the same. This time it was something insurmountable.

And yet Tyler couldn’t stay away. He was the proverbial moth to the flame, flirting with disaster every time he flirted with her. He had promised to stay away, to keep her safe, but the attraction was undeniable. Yep, prize idiot.

Returning to the ballroom after the latest threats, Tyler briefly considered sharing the conversation, coming clean with Regan and perhaps moving their relationship forward. He was at a fork in the road but remained silent, Tyler knew he was on the wrong path but couldn’t summon the will to fix it. Not only were his problems unsolvable, but she was involved with Brandon. Tyler felt hopeless.

He was preoccupied just as Regan accused, but Tyler tried to give Regan the attention she deserved. He failed miserably until Regan suggested they just leave. That got his attention. Who knew when he would hold her in his arms again.

“Come dance with me again. It would be a crime to waste that dress.”

Encircling Regan in his arms, his body responded to her nearness, even as his mind worried over the earlier texts. He was unaware of his hand stroking her back, fingers lightly skimming over her bare skin. He wasn’t thinking clearly when he pulled her close or when he dropped kisses on her hair. He wasn’t paying attention, just acting on instinct, Regan was responding, her breath growing uneven, her hands clinging to his shoulders.

madison michael author photoAbout the Author:

Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature, and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally ill or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?

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Cover Reveal Chasing Paige by Ellen Devlin

CHASING PAIGE_cover reveal bannerTitle: Chasing Paige

Series: Washington Guardians Hockey #2

Author: Ellen Devlin

Release: June 25, 2019

Genre: Hockey Romance

Cover Designer: Deranged Doctor Design

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45755318-chasing-paige

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]Blurb:

“Love at first sight.” It’s such a cliché. But when I saw her across a crowded room I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

One can say I’m the modest type. I don’t walk up to a girl, introduce myself and expect her to fall at my feet just because I’m an NHL player. If friends didn’t give me a little push me in her direction, I probably never would have approached her. But I’m so glad I did.

The electricity between us blew me away. From our first kiss to the first night we spent together it was clear. Paige was the one.

But something is holding her back, And with the trade deadline looming, she’s using it as an excuse to push me away.

Luckily, I know how to chase dreams; it’s how I made it to the NHL. I like a challenge, and I never quit until I get what I want.

And what I want is Paige.

PreOrder (Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/31wW9PZ

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2N04V5E

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Xk1g6N

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2FdjTPu

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Giveaway: (US and CA only)

 

  • $10.00 Amazon Card
  • A signed copy of Chasing Paige
  • Book of Poetry by Yates
  • Metal Bookmark

 

Direct Link:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/81aa78942066

In the Series:

Kissing Micky (Washington Guardians Hockey)

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2FiyAQv

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2YeNKPy

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2ulOcxC

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2OkNJ87

Author Bio:

Law firm office cog by day.

The writer of steamy romance by night.

Hockey fan all the time.

Ellen lives in the Northern Virginia area with her husband and two sons, along with various furry and scaly creatures.

Life is good.

Social Media Links:

https://twitter.com/ellendev_author

https://www.facebook.com/ellen.devlin.5494

https://www.amazon.com/Ellen-Devlin/e/B07CYCPYRN

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ellen-devlin

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17945607.Ellen_Devlin

http://ellendevlin.allauthor.com/

Saturday Spotlight – Hired by the Single Dad by Whitley Cox

Hired by the Single Dad BannerTitle: Hired by the Single Dad

Series: The Single Dads of Seattle, Book 1

Author: Whitley Cox

Release: June 15, 2019

Genre: Contemporary erotic romance/Single dad/RomCom

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45299275-hired-by-the-single-dad

SingleDad1 (1) (1)Blurb:

He needs someone to work with his son, she needs a job. They need to keep their hands to themselves.

Welcome to Seattle, the Emerald City and home to The Single Dads of Seattle. Ten sexy single fathers who play poker every Saturday night, have each other’s backs, love their children without quarter, and hope to one day find love again.

This is Mark’s story …

Single Dad of Seattle Dr. Mark Herron can’t believe anyone would celebrate their divorce. The dissolution of his marriage left him and his son with a huge hole to fill in their home–and their hearts. So when he overhears a lovely stranger and her friends celebrating the end of her marriage, he’s mystified–and then intrigued–by her determination to put the past behind her. But when he learns that Tori Jones needs a job, he knows this can’t be a coincidence.

Tori might be telling the world nothing’s got her down, but the truth is she’s hit rock bottom. Her husband didn’t just cheat on her, he took all her money, including her college fund, which means her marriage is over, and so is her dream to go to grad school and help children with special needs. So when a handsome stranger offers her a job caring for his special needs son, she knows she can’t turn it down–

Even if what she’s feeling for Mark is far from professional.

Now Mark’s finding it hard to keep his hands to himself and Tori’s struggling to keep her thoughts from straying to dangerous territory. Will they be able to keep their distance from each other or will being hired by the sexy single dad be Tori’s biggest problem of all?   

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):

Paperback link: https://www.amazon.com/Hired-Single-Dad-Dads-Seattle/dp/1989081169

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2KnMIx9

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2F68CjY

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Zpa48R

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/31ybf82

Excerpt.

“What are your plans this weekend?” she asked, feeling like she needed to keep the conversation flowing. When they grew quiet, her imagination took the reins and drove her train of thought straight into the gutter in Sexyville, USA. And that gutter was filthy!

He lifted one shoulder, passing her the dish towel so she could dry her hands after she removed the drain plug. “Poker night Saturday, then I think I might take Gabe to The Museum of Flight on Sunday. He loves it there.”

Right, his “dads’ club” and their weekly poker night.

What were they all like? Did they sit around bashing their ex-wives? Bashing women? Or was it more of a support group for the struggles of independent child rearing? Or were they typical men and didn’t talk about their feelings at all and just drank beer, ate junk food, grunted and gambled?

Probably the latter.

“Sounds like a good time. Do you really gamble away your money, or is it all for fun?”

He hung up the dish towel, his gaze sliding toward her. “Real money.”

She pursed her lips. “Wow. Maybe when I have two pennies to rub together again, someday I can take a trip to Vegas and sit at a poker table. Take in the action. The excitement. Are you any good?”

His smile was coy. “I win more than I lose.”

“That’s good.”

She needed to get going. She needed to get home, get away from the delicious-smelling single dad standing in front of her wearing a black T-shirt far too tight to leave anything to the imagination, and gray sweatpants she wanted to rip off him with her teeth.

“Well, I … uh … I guess I should get going. Those fish aren’t going to feed themselves.” She slid her hand along the cool quartz countertop, letting it ground her and bring down her body temperature. She was in a full-on inferno. The way Mark was looking at her … it was giving her false hope. It was giving her the wrong idea.

The wrong idea to be bad. To do bad, bad things.

Bad, bad fun things.

But, no she couldn’t go there.

Nope.

Not ever.

Not with her boss.

Not with the single dad.

His gaze never left hers as his head bobbed in a nearly indiscernible nod. “I guess so.”

Was that disappointment on his face? Were his eyes asking her to stay? Were they asking her to strip naked and bend over the counter?

Oh, God … Uncle John eating chicken wings without a shirt on, his enormous, hairy, barrel chest covered in barbecue sauce, sitting in a kiddie pool with water wings and a floaty ring.

Phew. Crisis averted.

Keeping her hand on the counter for balance, because her faculties seemed to have suddenly escaped her, she went to move past him, only her fingers knocked something off the counter onto the tile floor.

“Shit,” Tori murmured. She glanced down, only to find Mark’s phone, of all possible things, on the floor. “Oh no!”

“It’s okay.” He bent down to get it.

She bent down too.

Just as her hand wrapped around the phone, his hand wrapped around her wrist. Electricity ripped through her the moment his fingers grazed her skin. A pulse so intense, so hot, so charged she felt like she’d stuck a fork into an electrical socket. She leapt back, dropping the phone and pulling her hand free from his grasp.

“Sorry.” He stood up.

Tori swallowed the lump in her throat, pushing down the emotions, the arousal, the pure animalistic lust she felt for the man standing in front of her. “I—I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t crack the screen.”

He turned the phone over in his big, sexy palm, a roguish grin pulling at the corners of his delicious-looking lips. “Not a scratch.”

She licked her lips. “That’s good.”

His eyes locked on hers. “Yeah.”

Tori’s mouth parted, little puffs of air coming out as if she’d just run a mile. Her heart beat rapidly in her chest, and her palms grew clammy.

Mark’s gaze burned into her. “Tori … ”

“Yes?”

“Ah, fuck!”

And then he was on her.

Author Bio:

A Canadian West Coast baby born and raised, Whitley is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have two beautiful daughters and a fluffy dog. She spends her days making food that gets thrown on the floor, vacuuming Cheerios out from under the couch and making sure that the dog food doesn’t end up in the air conditioner. But when nap time comes, and it’s not quite wine o’clock, Whitley sits down, avoids the pile of laundry on the couch, and writes.

A lover of all things decadent; wine, cheese, chocolate and spicy erotic romance, Whitley brings the humorous side of sex, the ridiculous side of relationships and the suspense of everyday life into her stories. With single dads, firefighters, Navy SEALs, mommy wars, body issues, threesomes, bondage and role-playing, these books have everything we need to satisfy the curious kink in all of us.

Social Media Links:

Website: WhitleyCox.com

Twitter: @WhitleyCoxBooks

Instagram: @CoxWhitley

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CoxWhitley/

Blog: https://whitleycox.blogspot.ca/

Multi-Author Blog: https://romancewritersbehavingbadly.blogspot.com

Exclusive Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/234716323653592/

Booksprout: https://booksprout.co/author/994/whitley-cox

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/whitley-cox

Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/81aa78942065

FREE Friday – Bedazzled by Madison Michael

Bedazzled Free 52019Bedazzled

The Beguiling Bachelors, Book 1

By Madison Michael

♥♥♥ ~ Free This Weekend Only ~ ♥♥♥

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About Bedazzled:

She’s fiercely independent. He’s thwarted by tradition – Can a brush of her hand be their brush with fate?

A woman with everything to gain.

Keeli Larsen craves success on her own terms. She has no support and less money, but she has talent and big dreams. Determined not to return to the family farm, this is Keeli’s last chance to make it. It’s also her final opportunity to connect with the out-of-her-league, gorgeous man in the penthouse office – her very own Prince Charming. Although they have never spoken, a crowded elevator, a chance encounter, and a misplaced hand are about to change everything.

A man with everything to lose.

Billionaire and sexy hunk, Wyatt Lyons Howe IV is on track to inherit a family empire he doesn’t want. With dreams of his own, Wyatt is suffocating under generations of family expectations and traditions until a brief moment and a brush of a hand set Wyatt on a crash course with love. Can Wyatt turn his back on his heritage to pursue his goals following the lead of this fiery redhead? Can he forfeit his wealth for freedom? Fearing Keeli is a down-on-her-luck artist looking for a bankroll, Wyatt doubts her motives. He’s been burned in the past but can’t resist the temptation. He is bedazzled.

A challenge accepted.

Wyatt is seduced by Keeli’s spirit and the sizzling chemistry between them. Used to getting what he wants, Wyatt determines to make Keeli his own. But first, he must outsmart a scheming fiancé, oppose his family and friends, overcome his doubts, and walk away from his wealth and power. And, of course, he must win her heart.

If you love sassy women and strong sexy men overcoming all odds on their road to romance, buy this steamy page-turner, and meet the first of the Beguiling Bachelors.

***Bedazzled has been freshly edited and revised ***

Bedazzled Buy Link:

 

Bedazzled3 (1)An Excerpt from Bedazzled:

The chatter in the elevator lightened her mood immediately, reminding Keeli of all the people who had started with only a few dollars and a dream. In many cases, they had made it without knowing the language or customs of their adopted country. By comparison, she had many advantages and instantly felt better about her choice, more confident about moving forward on her own. Mr. Weinberg let her take many of her pieces with her when she left his employ. There had been no severance check, of course, but the ready inventory was a gift. Keeli let the renewed confidence surge through her body, standing straight and looking ahead. Watching her step, careful not to bump anyone with her parcel, Keeli stepped into the divide and moved toward the back.

That was the moment she saw HIM. He was the best thing – by far – about working in this building. She was standing face to face with the virile, gorgeous, sexy man she saw in the elevator regularly. Well, almost face-to-face since he was at least 4 or 5 inches taller than her statuesque 5’10”.

He was what she would miss most about this job – these random opportunities to ride the elevator and watch him, getting to stand close, allowing her imagination to run wild with fantasies – all starring him, of course.

Most of the time, he hid mysteriously behind a pair of Wayfarers, but the rain today afforded Keeli a chance to admire the intelligence and concentration in his azure eyes. He stood with his shoulders back, head towering over everyone’s Looking up, Keeli locked eyes with his, his mouth lifting in a half smile. Keeli shyly dropped her head as a blush rose to her cheeks and her heart sped up. She knew the smile was just politeness. She wanted so much more. She wanted him to notice her the way she noticed him, feel about her as she did about him.

If only he had the same visceral reaction that Keeli had to him, perhaps he would have spoken to her by now. She could not overcome her shyness to initiate a conversation, but if he longed for her as she did him…obviously, he was not interested. Now she would never see him again. Her disappointment was way out of proportion; he was a stranger. But he had this pull on her. Instead of thinking of him as a stranger, she thought of him as hers.

Hers. What a laugh. Wake up Keeli!

Everyone noticed him – man and woman, alike. She saw it on elevator rides and when he traversed the lobby. Yes, he was particularly tall, a few inches over six feet. However, it was more than his height that drew the eye. He was compelling, confident, and assured. He was beyond handsome with his chiseled features, thick wavy hair and well-muscled body clad in custom suits. Keeli was drawn to him like a bee to honey. She had seen other women catch his eye, seen them smile and flirt easily. She was overwhelmingly shy when near him, preventing her from ever making him ‘hers’.

They crossed paths at the coffee kiosk or in the elevator at least once a week. She knew she was projecting her own desires, but sometimes it seemed to her that he was seeking her out. Even so, Keeli never exchanged more than a polite “hello” and he was always polite, but aloof. Although she longed for some reason to speak more than pleasantries, she was unable to move past that invisible barrier she felt between them.

Why, oh why is facing forward considered appropriate elevator etiquette? I just want to stare at him one last time. Today needs to be the day to think of something to say, some witty conversation opener. You are running out of time.

Her brain searched now for a reason to speak, knowing it was her last chance. Instead, she reluctantly turned to face the doors. He was standing so close, lazily leaning his shoulders against the back wall. She felt the warmth of his breath on the back of her neck, goosebumps traveling up her arms in response to the moist heat. She was rocked by her immediate, erotic reaction.

Reigning in her body’s response, Keeli reminded herself that the warm breath was a result of proximity, not desire. She was a non-entity to him and had been for the16 months she had worked there. His polished appearance, custom suits and elegant leather briefcase contrasted with her wild red hair, shabby jacket, scuffed boots, and faded Old Navy dress. He epitomized class and privilege; she embodied shabby chic. Maybe not even chic – just shabby. She could never bridge the gulf.

madison michael author photoAbout the Author:

Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature, and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally ill or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?

Social Links:

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Follow me for a chance to win!

I’ll be touring around the month of April and will post links here.   Feel free to follow me around, for a chance to win a digital copy of “Sexing up the Spy”.  For every comment, your name goes into a hat to win.   So comment as much as you like on this and the other blogs I visit.  ~Tina

Today I’m over at Rosanna Leo’s Blog, so come over and say “hi”

https://rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com/?p=1906&preview=true

 

 

AuThursday – Adriana Anders

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi there! Thank you for having me today! I write moody, sexy, and suspenseful Romantic Thrillers and Contemporary Romance. While my first books—the Blank Canvas Series—focused on the turmoil and secrets in a small Virginia town, my upcoming Survival Romances take things global. Which makes research especially fun!

So, background… Though I’ve been an avid reader for most of my life, I started writing seriously in a circuitous way. I used to be a singer and actor and did voices for video games—then I translated video games (from French into English) and, finally, got a chance to write them. Getting from there to Romance was a long, arduous road with lots of ups and downs… but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?

I’m 60% extrovert and 40% introvert, which means that after hanging with my friends for a few hours, I need about the same amount of time to recover alone with a good book. I prefer to work in coffee shops, with headphones on. Even better if it’s at a table with other writing friends!

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I’m a morning writer. I’ve had periods of time when I wake up at 5am to get that special quiet before the kids descend upon me, but I’m generally a morning to early afternoon person. I think it’s because my brain isn’t fully awake, which often makes for better results.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Yes. And how. This past year has been a long, complicated journey of cleaning out a house and moving an entire family’s life from one country to another. Writing has been VERY tough and the thing is, I’ve finally figured out why: If I don’t take the time to just think and be with the characters, then I never quite grasp who they are.  Right now, my goals are to write, think, brainstorm, and let myself get to know my people before putting too many words on the page.

I see you have quite a few series, including BLANK CANVAS, LOVE AT LAST, and THE ROGUE SERIES. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

Series appeal to me on a few levels. There’s something so incredibly comforting about familiarity. It’s what draws me to series—getting to see familiar places and characters and how they progress through the pages. Writing a series around a small town, a family, or other groups of people gives readers a chance to get really entrenched in a way that feels intimate. I love that.

How are you publishing your latest book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

My novella, DEEP BLUE, is out in a March anthology called TURN THE TIDE, published by Sourcebooks, which is also publishing my upcoming series of Survival Romances. I love the freedom of publishing independently and the excitement of seeing my books in bookstores, which is what my traditional contracts give me. What’s great is that, though there’s overlap, I am able to reach two different audiences.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

Self-publishing is wonderful because I can decide what I write, when I write it, what the cover looks like, etc. And if none of it works, I can go back to the drawing board and re-brand. I love the freedom and flexibility. But it costs money. And I know that what I invest in my own books (including on edits, promo, etc.) is a fraction of what my publisher spends to put my books out. Beyond the cost, there are two aspects to traditional publishing that I really appreciate: one is the network and reach. My publisher gets my book into places I’d never manage on my own. The second is the team. The number of passes my books go through—from my acquiring editor to the copy editors and proofreaders—the number of people involved—designers, the PR team, and beyond—make the final product as close to perfection as there is, while the experience of having a team to back me up is absolutely priceless.

I’m not going to say to write every day, because it doesn’t work that way for me. In fact, I think there’s a path for each and every writer—a method or habit or system that will work—but it might not be easy to find. I know authors who write all night and sleep during the day, others who can get a thousand words in over a lunch break, others plot everything out before they even start, which isn’t at all how I work. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that if something doesn’t work for you, don’t give up. That’s it, in a nutshell, try things, stop it if they’re only making it harder. Then try something else. And DON’T. GIVE. UP.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Oh, I’d be delighted! This is from DEEP BLUE, my novella in the free TURN THE TIDE anthology from Sourcebooks!

Zoe shouldn’t have come out to the oil platform alone.

How many times had Jane warned her? How many times had she promised her partner that she wouldn’t scuba dive offshore rigs on her own? But she’d done it before, and she’d do it again.

Unless, of course, this time was her last.

Crap.

Eighty-five feet beneath the surface of the water, she spun, taking in details she hadn’t noticed above. The absolute stillness was disquieting, when usually the water around the rig’s coral- and crustacean-coated legs was teeming with life. The sea turtles and tiny reef fish that always investigated her presence were nowhere to be seen. The only sound was her own breathing as she sucked air from the tank, the only movements the gentle swish of sea anemone and the flurry of bubbles rising from her mouth.

The flat, washed-out blue she usually found so calming looked dead without the flash of garibaldi dashing between the old oil platform’s maze of support beams like playful orange flames. Usually they’d be swarming, but today…nothing.

It was Sea Lion Bob’s absence that transformed her sense of general unease into full-blown worry, however. He’d greeted her every time she’d come to check the Polaris platform reef.

Something was very wrong.

Get out of here, her instincts screamed, even as her training forced her to relax. A slow inhale, the sound thin under the weight of the water, and a kick up, as languid as she could make it with the panic weighing her limbs down. A long exhale churned the water above, and she added bubbles to the mix by venting enough air to rise slowly.

Relax. Stay calm.

Why hadn’t she paid attention to the niggling in her belly as she’d driven her boat toward the platform? It was impossible to pinpoint exactly when the feeling had started or what had set it off, but it was undeniable. Funny how fear changed things. It turned the platform’s shell-encrusted support beams into a phantom forest. The pinks and purples, leached of all color, were the wan gray of death.

I’ll never come alone again, she promised the Fates or God or the ocean itself.

As she slowly ascended, her eyes searched feverishly for some clue as to what had turned a busy, dynamic reef into a foggy, blue ghost town.

Had she missed something on the trip out here?

She remembered passing the two working platforms closer inland. Nothing strange there. A few miles farther out, just before San Elias Island, she’d spotted the Daphne and drawn her boat up alongside her, as she did nearly every time she came this way. Blushing, of course. Always blushing with that guy.

“Hey, Eric.”

Slow as syrup, he had leaned against the rail of his boat, lean body indolent-looking, though his face remained serious as always. “Evening, Zoe. Kinda late today, aren’t you?”

She had shrugged, working hard to keep her gaze above chest level so she wouldn’t stare. What was it about this guy that made her want to eat him up with her eyes? He wasn’t even her usual type, which was dark and intellectual. No, this guy had Paul Newman good looks, with the build of a roughneck. She’d bet anything his hands were as coarse as his voice.

“Yeah,” she’d managed to shout against the wind. “Been a couple weeks since I checked in on Polaris.”

“I noticed,” he’d said without the hint of a smile.

The words—straight, serious, and a touch accusatory—did things to her. Good God, what was wrong with her? Those two innocuous words made her heart race more than anything she’d done with her last boyfriend. Ridiculous, considering that Eric showed no more interest in her than in his fishing pole.

Besides, she knew absolutely nothing about him.

“All right.” She reached forward to pull the throttle out, but stopped at his next words.

“You alone today?”

“Yeah,” she had to admit. “Jane’s not—”

“You diving the rig?”

“Yes.” She had sounded defensive. Weird how that came back to her now, with a hiccup of embarrassment.

The lines around his mouth tightened, his too-blue eyes narrowed, and he nodded once, quick and short.

“Careful. Weather headed our way.”

When his worry warmed her insides instead of sparking a snarky Yes, sir, she’d known she should get out of there. Throwing him a smile and a wave, she’d taken off as fast as she could. Everything about the man said trouble—for her, at least. Oh, he’d always been friendly and respectful, but it was the unspoken stuff that got to her, like the hungry way he eyed her or, much more worrisome, the way that look lit her up inside.

She should have listened to his warning about weather, should have turned around right there and headed back to the mainland. Or, even better, she should have paused there longer, flirted a bit, maybe even screwed up the courage to finally ask him out.

But she hadn’t. And now she was pushing back the panic and slowly working through the eerie calm to the surface, which seemed to be getting farther away with every kick of her fins.

Inhale…stop kicking. Loosen up. Be big. Exhale…

BOOM!

The sound hit her, and she threw up her hands to cover her ears. Less than a second later, the rig’s supports shook, releasing a blinding dust cloud that could mean only one thing—earthquake.

Oh God, oh God, oh God. At fifteen feet below the surface, she fought the desire to head all the way up and counted down the seconds for her three-minute safety stop.

Calm down. I’m better off in the water than on land.

Not if the platform collapsed.

She’d never been scared like this on a dive, never shivered so hard underwater.

BOOM!

Another gray puff billowed from the platform, joining the dust rising from the depths like smoke from a forest fire.

She didn’t have to check her gauge to know she was running low on air.

Yeah, I’m done here.

Buy Links

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NWZJT8Y

 

 

 

Saturday Spotlight – Moonlight & Moet by Madison Michael

M&M Free bannerMoonlight & Moet

B&B Billionaire Romance Series (Book 2)

by Madison Michael

♥♥ FREE For a Limited Time ♥♥

December 26th – December 29th

Moonlight & Moet Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2DDXQm9

M&M MMAbout Moonlight & Moet:

Can the Hottest Man Around Melt this Ice Queen’s Heart?

When her husband publicly cheats on her, Leigh Dobbs trades her humiliating reputation as an ice queen and a hometown that shuns her for the unknown of rural North Carolina. Taking over a small bed and breakfast, Leigh sets out to restore it, her dignity and her life. Excited at the prospect of adding more rooms and a full-service restaurant, Leigh’s big plans encounter the brick wall that is Caleb Rausch. Sparks fly even as Caleb votes no on the planning commission, crushing Leigh’s dreams.

Handsome powerhouse Caleb Rausch is a man on a mission, expanding his huge corporation without encroaching on the small town where it resides. His commitment to his products, employees and historic preservation are unwavering. What’s lacking is his commitment to one woman. Caleb is the most eligible bachelor in three states, dating celebrities, and models, but never settling down. Until now.

Even as Caleb forces Leigh’s expansion plans on hold, the couple moves full-steam-ahead on their relationship, unable to resist the mutual attraction. So why, after a steamy night together, does Caleb disappear for weeks? Has Leigh put her heart out there again, just to be played?

Will the magic of a moonlit night be enough to kindle their love or will Caleb’s constant disappearing act prevent him from melting this ice queen’s heart?

Moonlight & Moet Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2DDXQm9

Gigantic Christmas Giveaway♥♥ Gigantic Christmas Giveaway ♥♥

December 24th – December 31st

https://books.bookfunnel.com/giganticchristmasgiveaway/kpae1z50ua

Including:

Bewildered & Studmuffin

By Madison Michael

madison michael author photoAbout the Author:

Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature, and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally iil or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?

Social Links:

Website: madisonmichael.net

Madison’s Blog: madisonmichael.net/category/maddys-blog

Maddy’s Romance Madness: madisonmichael.net/category/mrm/

Maddy’s Tours and Treats: madisonmichael.net/category/tours-and-treats/

Facebook: facebook.com/madisonmichaelromance

Twitter: twitter.com/madisonmichael_

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/Madison-Michael/e/B01EVUGG6G/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1


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