Books that live forever in your heart and dreams

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Awaken the Soul (A Havenwood Falls High Novella) by Michele G. Miller @kristiecookauth @chelemybelles


AWAKEN THE SOUL
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Cover Design: Regina Wamba, MaeIDesign.com



Welcome to Havenwood Falls, a small town in the majestic mountains of Colorado. A town where legacies began centuries ago, bloodlines run deep, and dark secrets abound. A town where nobody is what you think, where truths pose as lies, and where myths blend with reality. A place where everyone has a story. Including the high schoolers. This is only but one… 

Breckin Roberts has known Vivienne his entire life. Born and raised in Havenwood Falls, they attend the same school, eat at the same restaurants, and enjoy the same festivals. But they aren’t friends. They’re merely two classmates—her human and him not so much. Until one fateful December afternoon.

When Vivienne Freeman awakens late that night, disheveled and disoriented, the last thing she remembers is going for a run, but something feels . . . off. It’s not until the gorgeous but ever elusive Breckin Roberts approaches her out of the blue that she learns she almost died.  And he’s the one who saved her.

Or so he thought.

Turns out, saving Vivienne has opened her to a whole new kind of danger. Breckin is an angel who interfered with Death. It’s a slight easily forgiven, if not for the connection he awakens while healing her. A connection one Reaper finds highly appealing. A connection that could turn Vivienne into a pawn in the battle of Good versus Evil—a battle about to descend on Havenwood Falls.

This is a Young Adult paranormal romance in the Havenwood Falls High series of Young Adult fantasy stories featuring a variety of supernatural creatures. The series is a collaborative effort by multiple authors. Each book is generally a stand-alone, so you can read them in any order, although some authors will be writing sequels to their own stories. Please be aware when you choose your next read.

Other books in the Havenwood Falls High YA series:
Written in the Stars by Kallie Ross
Reawakened by Morgan Wylie
The Fall by Kristen Yard
Somewhere Within by Amy Hale
Bound by Shadows by Cameo Renae (Jan. 2018)

Books are released on a monthly basis. Coming soon are stories by Randi Cooley Wilson, E.J. Fechenda, AnnaLisa Grant, J.L. Weil, and more.


Immerse yourself in the world of Havenwood Falls and stay up to date on news and announcements at www.HavenwoodFalls.com. Join our reader group, Havenwood Falls Book Club, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HavenwoodFallsBookClub/ 


Monday, December 4, 2017

MUSINGS OF A GOSSIP QUEEN by Victoria Bright @imvictoriaduhh


Today we have the chapter reveal for MUSINGS OF A GOSSIP QUEEN by Victoria Bright! Check it out and be sure to pre-order your copy today!
Title: Musings of a Gossip Queen
Author: Victoria Bright
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: January 4th
About Musings of a Gossip Queen:

Thoughts of the day:

1. Silas is a sex bomb

2. Madison is determined to ruin my life

3. Nothing online is EVER private, no matter how insane your “strong” password is.

#FML

Gossip queen Blake Spencer thought she received the opportunity of a lifetime when she was offered a writing position as a gossip columnist at Hot Topic magazine. By day, she’s a model columnist that quickly earns the respect of her team and boss but by night, she writes all the secrets of those around her in a password-protected blog.

When the office mean girl has Blake's not-so-private blog hacked and uploaded to the magazine's home page, the secrets are out and Blake's "awesome life" starts to crumble around her. With her friendships, budding relationship, and job on the line, Blake will have to decide whether being a gossip queen is worth losing everything she's worked to rebuild.

Exclusive Chapter Reveal:

Monday, January 12th

4:37 a.m.

In bed

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

I huff and take a pillow and hold it over my head. My neighbor, Taylor’s, headboard bangs against my wall, so hard that I’m sure she and her slutty fuck buddy, Brendan, will end up in my bedroom after a while. Who the hell wakes up at four in the morning and thinks, “Hey, how about we bang and see if we can put a hole in the wall this time?” It wouldn’t even be such a bad thing if Taylor’s moan didn’t sound like someone was shoving their dick in a dog’s squeaky toy. It’s a miracle that Brendan can stay hard long enough when his girlfriend sounds like something straight out of Animal Planet. My Shih Tzu, Milo, jumps up on my bed and begins yapping at the wall. Fucking great.

“Down, Milo,” I mumble, blindly reaching out to pet him. He whimpers for a few moments before yapping some more. “Shh…shh, it’s okay, boy. Hush, boy.”

The poor dog probably thinks his favorite toy was stolen. He jumps off the bed and runs out of the room. I press the pillow harder over my head, hoping to muffle the sounds coming from next door. Milo returns back to the bedroom, the bell on his collar jingling as he pads across the floor and jumps on the bed. Just as I close my eyes again, Milo barks and starts chewing on his squeaky toy.

How is this my life right now?!

5:01 a.m.

Still in bed

Annoyed AF now

They’re STILL going at it. What the actual FUCK?!

Of course Milo is keeping up with his squeak toy.

5:33 a.m.

Still in bed

Fed up

There’s less than thirty minutes left until I have to get ready to be at the office, but here I am wasting it listening to these humping hyenas through my paper-thin walls. I hate this piece of shit apartment and my dickhead neighbors. Bastards.

5:41 a.m.

Obviously still in bed

Ready to slap a bitch

I sit up in bed and pound the wall with my fist. The noise stops momentarily as Taylor laughs. Yeah, he-he hell, I think, settling back under my blankets and closing my eyes. As soon as I get comfortable, the pound fest starts once again. “SERIOUSLY?” I shriek, sitting back up. I get on my knees and face the wall, pounding on it with both fists. “PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SLEEP, YOU CUNTS! SHUT THE FUCK UP!”

“Fuck you!” Brendan yells, pounding the wall with his fist. Taylor laughs again, which does nothing but piss me off.

“Fuck YOU and your nonexistent dick, Brendan! How about I call the cops?” I counter.

There’s a loud squeak as if someone’s hopping off the bed. “Who the fuck is Brendan, Taylor?” he questions.

Whoops. Wrong guy.

I giggle to myself. It isn’t my job to keep up with who she’s taking to bed. Though she’s a sweet girl, her apartment door is a revolving one. It wouldn’t surprise me if it were to be later revealed that her apartment is in fact some incognito brothel or something else sinister or prostitution-like.

I settle back into bed and close my eyes, a slight grin settling on my face as their moans of passion turn into bickering. Hey, anything to stop the pounding on my wall and the mewling projecting from her strained vocal cords.

It’s as if city people transformed at night. During the day, Taylor’s great. Her bubbly personality, fiery red hair, and freckles drew me in when I first moved into the building. It’s tough enough trying to adjust to moving to NYC after leaving everything and everyone I know behind in North Carolina to obtain my dream job at Hot Topic magazine, but she welcomed me with open arms and even showed me around. But as soon as her “boyfriend” (and I use this term loosely, because in the two weeks I’ve been here, she’s already introducing a new one) comes over and waves a penis in her face, she morphs into Wolverine or something, howling at the moon during sex.

Milo continues chewing on his toy, feeling as if he’d won the squeak war by out-squeaking the Squeak Queen. After I’ve had enough of his noise, I lift the pillow from over my head, feel around the bed for the toy, and throw it out the door.

5:54 a.m.

In bed

Ha, Wolverine.

If she sounds like that, I wonder what her “O” face looks like. On second thought, I probably don’t. I don’t think I’d ever be able to look at her the same.

6:00 a.m.

Alarm

DAMN IT TO HELL! I LITERALLY JUST DRIFTED OFF TO SLEEP! FUCK MY ENTIRE LIFE, AFTER LIFE, AND REINCARNATION (well, if it exists) WITH A CACTUS!

To make sure I’d get up in the morning, I purposely had my alarm clock on the other side of my bedroom. Yeah, nice going, Blake. I stare up at the ceiling as the radio blasted at high volume, contemplating whether or not I really need this job. I mean it’s only my first day; no one would care if I didn’t show up, right?

“PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SLEEP! TURN THAT RACKET OFF!” the guy in Taylor’s apartment yells, pounding on the wall. A smirk pulled at my lips. Looks like that makes us even, Not-Brendan. I ponder whether or not I can survive off of soup kitchen meals and huddling around a New York City fire with a cool group of hobos in an alley. My mind reels at all the possibilities of how I can decorate my soon-to-be new cardboard box home. Thanks to sites like Pinterest, I’ll have the coolest cardboard box on the block.

Who the hell am I kidding? I can’t survive a day being homeless. I couldn’t even survive a night of camping in Girl Scouts when I was younger. Looks like I need this job after all. Milo confirms my thought when he jumps onto my pillow and licks my face.

“Okay, okay, I’m up,” I mumble, picking him up and moving him aside as I sit up. If I had a decent night’s rest, I would be excited about my first day at Hot Topic tabloid magazine. It isn’t every day when you land your dream job. To be able to gossip and get paid for it? Perfect! All those years of gossip blogging has finally paid off! But how in the hell am I going to be able to scoop up any dirt on anyone when the only thing I want to do is bury my head in it and sleep?

My senses immediately jump into high gear the moment my bare feet touch the icy, wooden floor. Milo pounces off the bed and run in circles in front of me, his bell jingling as he moves about. I feel around the cold floor for my slippers and put them on before pulling myself off the bed, feeling my way across the room to the alarm clock. I can hear Milo moving around but can no longer see him in the dark.

“Milo? Where are—FUCK! GOD DAMN IT!”

I hop around on one foot as I cradle my throbbing toe. Stupid bedpost!

Milo whimpers nearby, the jingling disappearing down the hallway as he leaves the bedroom. I stumble around my room, using my hands as a guide as I cautiously cross over to the alarm clock and slap the snooze button on top of it. What a way to start a morning.

6:05 a.m.

Living room

“Okay, okay, I'm coming,” I say to a yipping Milo, bouncing around on one foot while trying to shove my other foot into my Ugg boot. He runs around in circles in front of the door and continues to bark and growl.

“You gotta go potty, boy?” I coo, slipping on my coat and grabbing his leash. “Who's a good boy? Milo’s a good boy! Yes, you —OW!”

I jerk back when he snaps at my hand and growls. Glaring at him, I snap the leash on his collar and open the door. Of all the dogs I could've adopted, the one I happen to choose turns into a dickhead when he has a full bladder. Such an ungrateful pup.

6:09 a.m.

Outside

Milo prances down the stairs as we make our way out of the apartment building. When we reach the second floor, I pause momentarily when the door to apartment 2C opens and a man that isn’t Mrs. Keller’s husband walks out. He’s fairly young looking, appearing as if he belongs in an Abercrombie or Ralph Lauren ad. He definitely doesn’t look like anyone who would creep around with a married woman who looks a bit like a surprised goldfish with too much botox and a botched nose job. Ew to the no.

I start to move along. Eh, it’s probably nothing. Or at least I thought so until the guy turns back around and nearly shoves his tongue down her throat. She leans against the door frame with a dreamy expression on her pale face as she watches him leave. The moment her eyes fall on mine, she gasps and quickly steps inside and all but slams the door. Geez, does everyone in the building like to sleep around?

The guy leaves just in time though. As soon as my foot hits the first step and puts me on the first floor, Mr. Keller walks into the building, brushing arms against the man that’s probably just banged his wife from here to Mars. He looks up from his phone and utters an apology and continues walking, giving me a small smile and nod as he passes. Luckily the guy left when he did; otherwise I would’ve been late for work watching this Jerry Springer episode air. I can see the title of it now: I’m a Cradle-Robbing Cougar.

6:29 a.m.

Still outside because Milo is being a cunt

“Damn it, Milo, can you just pee already?” I grit, shivering against the sharp winter wind that whips around me. He keeps stopping and sniffing the same area about forty times and barking at the passing people going to their cars. Milo continues to bark long after the people disappear, so much so that someone from our building sticks their head out of the window and yells, “Quit that barking, you little rat!”

I look up to see who it is, but only see the window closing instead. Milo trots back over to the same spot by the tree that he’s sniffed twenty times already and does his business.

Fucking finally.

6:34 a.m.

Outside of my apartment door

Taylor’s apartment door opens just as I pull my keys out of my jacket pocket. Dressed in nothing but a long t-shirt, she kisses the blond-haired beau and smiles. “Thanks for last night,” she purrs.

Yeah, and thanks for waking me up before I had to be awake, I think. Milo barks and growls at him, averting their attention to me.

“Oh, good morning, Carolina,” Taylor says with a small wave. “Sorry about all the noise.”

Her fiery red hair is thrown in a messy bun, a few tendrils framing her perfect oval face. Her pink lips pucker as she blows a cloud of smoke in my direction and smiles, showing two rows of perfect white teeth.

Fucking models, I tell you.

“Yeah, sure,” I mumble, averting my eyes away from her when I notice her nipples pushing through the cotton material of her shirt. My fingers fumble with my keys until I locate the right one. “And for the millionth time, my name is Blake.”

“Well, Blake, maybe you should get laid yourself so you won’t be so worried about what we’re doing. My lady is a screamer,” the guy says with a cocky grin, grabbing Taylor by the hips as she giggles.

“Oh Cliff, don’t make me blush,” she says, kissing him once more.

Gag.

More like his lady swallowed a chew toy if he wants to be technical. Sure, she has the body and face of a porn star or Playboy Playmate, but that moan of hers won’t get her very far. I wonder if they have any kind of surgeries to fix that kind of thing…

I bring my attention back to Taylor, refusing to acknowledge the meathead standing next to her. “Or maybe you can be more courteous and remember that other people have actual jobs to go to—”

“I have a job, thank you very much,” Taylor says with a frown.

“I mean a steady one,” I say, narrowing my eyes at her.

“If it weren’t steady, I wouldn’t be able to afford to live here, now would I?” she counters.

I fight the urge to roll my eyes. There’s been a few times in my short weeks of being here where she’s sat on my couch crying because another girl was picked at a casting call. Her whining usually consists of, “What am I going to do,” or “How am I going to pay rent this month,” and my personal favorite, “Maybe I’m not meant to be a model.” Well, I’ll have to agree considering she’s yet to book a serious gig that doesn’t involve her taking her clothes off.

“Riiight…I’m going to go now. See you around,” I say, unlocking my door and quickly closing it behind me once I’m inside.

“Your neighbor is a certified bitch,” I hear the guy say as I remove the leash from Milo’s collar. Taylor only laughs in response before the hall goes quiet after another set of disgustingly cute goodbyes. Bleh.

6:52 a.m.

Bathroom

Do I really need this job? Like, on a scale of one to ten, how fucked will I be if I don’t go to work and just go back to bed?

6:54 a.m.

Still in the bathroom

You need this job, Blake. This is your dream job. Get it together!

6:55 a.m.

STILL in the bathroom because I can’t get it together

Maybe I could just—”MILO! STOP HUMPING MY BUNNY SLIPPERS, YOU FURRY LITTLE PERVERT!

7:47 a.m.

Bedroom

I look at my reflection one more time in the mirror and sigh. The girl looking back at me doesn’t reveal any of the mixed emotions I feel. She looks confident and assertive, ready to take on the world. Her beige turtleneck sweater dress accentuates all of her curves and her black leggings and thigh-high boots completes her look. Nerves run rampant within me as I pass a brush through my brown mane once again, wishing I’d curled it instead of frying it with the hair straightener. Pretty sure if I don’t stop brushing my hair, I’ll probably be bald before I even get to the train station.

7:56 a.m.

Front door

“Okay, Milo, be a good boy while mommy is at work, okay?” I say to him as he jumps on the couch. He simply looks at me, his tail wagging and his tongue flopping around his face. I won’t be surprised if a herd of dogs pass me as I leave the building to attend some kind of weird gangbang Milo set up on BangPuppies.com. With the way my dog behaves sometimes, I’m almost certain he lives a secret life I don’t know about.

I lock up my apartment, twisting the doorknob just to make sure. Taylor exits her apartment just as I turn around. Shit.

“Oh, hey again, Carolina,” she says, locking her door and turning to face me. Her t-shirt from before has been replaced with a bright blue windbreaker and black, skintight running pants that are made up of mesh material from the middle of her thigh down to her ankles. She may as well have worn shorts.

“Hi, Taylor,” I say, adjusting my bag on my shoulder. Not knowing what else to say to her other than to state the obvious, I continue. “Going for a run or something?”

“I may as well since I’m up so early. With my job, I have to look good, you know,” she says with a smirk before bounding down the stairs.

“With my job, I have to look good, you know,” I mimic under my breath as I follow behind her.

We both reach the second floor at the same time, running into Weird Marty and his elderly mother who always smells like cheap perfume and mothballs.

“Looking for a workout, baby? You know where to find me,” he says, dabbing at his forehead with a dirty handkerchief. I can’t see how he can be sweating profusely as chilly as it is in the building. His “white” tank top is dingy and spotted with stains of different shades and sizes, the collar of it soaked in sweat. Gross.

“You’re not much of a workout, Marty. I think I’ll stick to running,” Taylor replies with a flip of her ponytail.

My eyes widen as I gawk at her. “You….him…no!”

“No is right,” she says and laughs. “Only way that guy would end up with me is if my body was found chopped up in his freezer or something. That guy screams John Wayne Gacy.”

I snicker. She’s right about that. He definitely looks the part with his balding head, the lopsided grin that’s always plastered on his face, and his black beady eyes that always follow you. The only thing probably saving a lot of women in the building is the fact that he lives on the second floor and can hardly carry his own body weight up the flights of stairs, let alone a body to dismember.

We step out of the building and into the windy air. Taylor begins to stretch. “Are you nervous?”

I turn to look at her. “About what?”

“I remember you saying you were starting a new job at that gossip mill or something. You’ve been chewing your lip the whole way down here.”

“I’m more anxious than I am nervous, I guess,” I say with a light sigh. “Still can’t believe I work at a magazine.”

“A shitty one at that.” When I glare at her, she holds her hands up defensively. “Hey, they have a reputation of putting some very hurtful things out about people, sometimes without even knowing the facts.”

“Well, I wouldn’t be like that,” I snap. Well, maybe. Perhaps.

“I sure hope not,” she says, slipping her iPhone into a pouch strapped to her upper arm and untangling her ear buds. “I’ve seen a lot of friendships and relationships damaged due to gossip and tabloids. Don’t get sucked into the madness.” With a parting wave, she turns and runs in the opposite direction of me until she fades into a group of commuters. Realizing the time, I skip down the stairs and rush down the sidewalk. I better pray I make it there in time or else I’ll need to start thinking about how I’m going to decorate my cardboard box for when I’m homeless.

8:20 a.m.

Train

The train is crowded as it usually is, but I lucked out and am able to find a seat near the back. I pull out my iPad Pro, flip out my keyboard, and open my password-protected Tumblr blog.

Blake Unfiltered blog post #782

A few thing important things before 9 this morning.

1) Taylor would make a horrid porn star. Instead of modeling, she should try out for a Planet Earth animal voiceover or something. And her new guy looks like an Ashton Kutcher reject. Can you say desperate? Can’t believe he had the nerve to tell me I needed to get laid so I’d stop worrying about the noise. I wouldn’t have to worry about the late night wolf calling if my own dog didn’t take it as a dog toy challenge at nearly five in the morning. Just thinking of the sleep I missed and how tired I am pisses me off.

2) I should really hide my bunny slippers from Milo. Wouldn’t be surprised to come home one day to see a bunch of baby bunny slippers moving around. Okay…that was just dumb. That couldn’t even physically happen.

3) The lady in 2C is going to get caught one of these days and it’ll be glorious. How in the hell do women cheat on their husbands or boyfriends and then end up kissing them on the mouth after all of that? Just the thought of swapping spit and God knows what other kind of bodily fluid makes me want to vomit my entire existence.

4) Marty really does have a John Wayne Gacy vibe about him. Totally creepy and predator-like. He actually reminds me of that weird guy that was in the second Human Centipede movie. Oh my fucking goodness. What if he’s creating a human centipede in his apartment?! Nah, his mom would probably have a fit, but that’s if his victims don’t die of suffocation from the extreme mothball stench that permeates their apartment and entire hallway of the second floor.

Today I start at Hot Topic magazine. Still can’t believe I’m working at a magazine! The opportunity to meet celebrities, do what I love (which is writing, of course), and getting paid to gossip is an absolute dream. Hopefully today will be great! All in the name of gossip, right?

xoxo,

B

About the Author:

Victoria Bright is from a small town in North Carolina and currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina. You can usually find her hoarding bottles of Cool Blue Gatorade, playing The Sims when not writing, or obsessing over Camaros.

Connect with Victoria:
Enter Victoria’s Giveaway:
 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cover Reveal for Enthrall Climax By: Vanessa Fewings @VanessaFewings #coverreveal






Title: Enthrall Climax
Author: Vanessa Fewings 
Genre: Erotic Romance 
Release Date: February 5, 2018 
Cover Designer: Drue Hoffman at Buoni Amici Press 
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC. 



 The unforgettable romance of Mia and Cameron is hotter than ever.    

Mia Lauren is set to become the wife of powerful billionaire Cameron Cole. A lifetime of realized dreams and fulfilled desires lay ahead...but their entire world is about to come crashing down.
An intimate betrayal fractures Cameron’s empire, springing forth new threats from every direction. Everything is at risk. Everyone is in danger. Before Mia and Cameron can relish the rewards of the journey, they must survive its climax.

ENTHRALL CLIMAX is the next novel of the ENTHRALL SESSIONS, the bestselling erotic romance series by Vanessa Fewings.








Vanessa Fewings is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the ENTHRALL SESSIONS.

THE CHASE is the first in her sizzling new romantic trilogy from HQN Books followed by THE GAME. The third book in the series THE PRIZE will be released in June 2018.

Prior to publishing, Vanessa worked as a registered nurse and midwife. She holds a Masters Degree in Psychology. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and has lived in Great Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Cyprus and the USA.

Born and raised in England, Vanessa now proudly calls herself an American and resides in California with her husband.

For more info on Vanessa:  VanessaFewings.com



 
  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Surprise Cover-Title Reveal; Author Heather Mullins



Title: Chasing Liberty
Series: The Baldoni Files Book 2.5
Author: Heather Mullins
Release Date: October 28, 2017

Nate Brennan grew up the all-American country boy jock with dreams of a family, the white picket fence … hell, even the family dog. All that changed when tragedy struck and threw Nate’s plans off-track, forcing him to walk away from his dream and start over....
Now a medical examiner for Detroit, he spends his days surrounded by death, and he prefers it that way. Wearing his new identity like armor, Nick hides behind it to prevent anyone from getting too close. All that changes when he meets a country girl that rekindles memories of his past.
Liberty ran fast and far from the one-horse town she grew up in, without so much as a goodbye. Finding herself locked in the arms of temptation and succumbing to the worst decisions of her life, she sees no other alternative than to do what she does best ... run.
When Nate and Liberty's paths collide, their impending futures come barreling down on them both. Will the pair have the strength to fight their demons together, or will fear-hardened hearts force them apart?


In Dreams

Renewed Faith

Deep Within







Heather Mullins has always loved to read and has been writing poems and stories since childhood. She truly enjoys doing so much with other indie authors and fully supports this outstanding community. She uses her outgoing opinionated personality to help write and run multiple blogs.
Heather is a full-time student working to get her Bachelors in Human services specializing in substance abuse counseling. She's an Air Force Veteran and enjoyed fighting for her country. 
Heather supports many different groups that help other veterans. 
She is a mother of 3 wonderfully crazy kids and has been married for 15 years. When she isn't playing taxi, she is living vicariously through the lives of characters in any number of books.




Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Blog Tour; Stronger By Janet Nissenson @JNissenson #blogtour





Title: Stronger (Inevitable #6) 
Author: Janet Nissenson 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: October 10, 2017 
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber Designs 



Cara has an admitted problem with hot men, falling so deeply and so quickly under their spell that she loses a little bit of herself with each toxic relationship that always seems to end badly. Every man in her young life thus far has let her down – her high school sweetheart, a college fling, and most of all her self-centered playboy father. She’s determined not to be a sucker for a handsome face and a hard body any longer, and has stuck to her guns for more than two years. And then she meets Dante.
Dante knows he has no business messing with cute little Cara. For one thing she works for his best friend, and more importantly she’s all kinds of wrong for him – too young, too innocent, too kindhearted. And given the mood he’s in these days – after the woman he was ready to propose to chose her career over him - a sweetheart like Cara should be running as fast as she can in the opposite direction.
But the only place Cara wants to run is right into Dante’s arms and stay a good long while. Will he wind up being the one for her – or is she destined yet again for another heartbreak?

                                                       







She stared at him, completely at a loss for words, and unable to believe what she’d just heard.  “Huh?  Are you – I mean, you’re actually asking me to – to go out with you?  And, no, I don’t have a boyfriend or anyone I’m seeing, but I thought you did.  I mean,” she corrected herself hastily, miserably aware that she was babbling like a moron by this point, “not that you had a boyfriend, but a girlfriend.  Of course you don’t have a boyfriend, why would you, because you’re about the least likely person I could think of who - ”
Dante placed his index finger over her lips, giving a quick shake of his head.  “It’s okay,” he assured her, the corners of his mouth lifting up into a smile.  “I know what you meant.  And to answer your question – at least, I think there was a question in there somewhere – I’m not currently seeing anyone either.  I, ah, was in a relationship for a long time but that ended a couple of months ago.”
“Oh.  I’m sorry.  I hope I didn’t, um, touch on a sore spot,” she apologized awkwardly.  
“It’s okay,” replied Dante gently.  “I had a rough time of it for awhile, but I’m happy to say that things are finally starting to look up for me.  And I’d be even happier if your answer to my invitation is yes.”
Cara beamed up at him, nodding enthusiastically.  “It is definitely a yes!  I’d love to have dinner with you tomorrow.”
He glanced around anxiously, as though to make sure no one had overheard their conversation.  “That’s great news, Cara.  Though you should probably keep it to yourself, hmm?  I don’t know what the company policy is about employees socializing with clients, but no sense in rocking the boat, is there?”
“Oh!  Oh, gosh, of course!” she agreed.  “I won’t say anything to the others, I promise.”
Dante looked relieved, then extracted a business card from the inside pocket of his suit jacket before picking up a pen from the holder on her desk.  “Why don’t you meet me in the lobby of my office building?” he suggested, scribbling something on the back side of the little card.  “That way we don’t risk running into anyone here.  If you don’t mind, that is.”
“I don’t mind at all,” Cara answered with enthusiasm.  “What time should I meet you?”
“Let’s say six o’clock?  And I can send a car or a taxi to pick you up.”
She shook her head.  “Your office is less than three blocks away, and it’s not supposed to be raining or anything tomorrow.  Besides, I can use the exercise.”
He gave her one of those sexy, flirty little winks that he was wont to do whenever he stopped by the office.  “I wouldn’t say that,” he replied, his dark eyes giving her a brief but all-too-assessing onceover.  “You look very healthy to me, very fit.”
Cara grimaced.  “That’s because I’m usually sitting down when you see me, and you can’t tell how big my ass is from where you’re standing.”
Dante gave a shout of laughter, causing Deepak to glance over in their direction, frowning at having had his concentration disrupted.  Grinning wickedly, Dante lowered his voice.
“You’re very outspoken, aren’t you?” he asked in amusement.  “I like that.  And I have a feeling this is going to be a very interesting dinner.  Now, I’ve got to run, but I wrote my personal cell number on the back of that card.  Give me a call when you’re on your way tomorrow, so I can be waiting for you in the lobby.”
“Okay.”  She picked up the business card and tucked it into her purse for safekeeping.  “I’ll be looking forward to it.”
“Me, too.”  Dante gave the Minnie Mouse balloon another flick.  “And Happy Birthday, Cara.  Though consider tomorrow night the real celebration.”


Janet is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently resides on the northern California coast with her husband Steve and Golden Retriever Max. She worked for more than two decades in the financial services industry before turning her focus to producing running events. She is a former long-distance runner, current avid yoga practitioner, is addicted to Pinterest, likes to travel and read. She has been writing for more than three decades but Serendipity was her first official release in December 2013. There are a total of six full-length books planned in the Inevitable series, along with the upcoming “spin-off” Splendor trilogy.