After We Fall by Melanie Harlow Publication Date: November 28th, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance
Jack Valentini isn’t my type.
Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.
Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.
But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me for ten days, and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.
His huge, hard muscles.
Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.
And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife three years ago left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.
But he’s wrong.
I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.
“Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be even better after we fall.” —Unknown
“Wow,” she said, shutting the screen door behind her. “That was close. Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome.” I crossed my arms, wishing I’d thought to grab a shirt. “Want to tell me what you were doing out there?”
Her cheeks colored. “Um, I was taking a run.”
“Up a tree?”
She laughed nervously. “No. Well, I didn’t start out in a tree. That happened later.”
I cocked my head, unable to resist giving her a hard time. Not so sure of yourself now, are you, Barbie? “Oh yeah?”
“Yes. See, I left the cottage I’m renting without using the bathroom by mistake,” she began, twisting her fingers together, “and I was planning on running a loop around the farm, but it’s bigger than I thought.”
“Ah. So you were looking for a bathroom in the woods?”
“Well, yes.” She swallowed. “Sort of. But then I heard a splash and saw you…” Her cheeks were practically purple now.
I played dumb. “Saw me what?”
“Saw you naked, OK?” she blurted, throwing her hands up. “I admit it—I saw you naked.”
I had no hangups about nudity, but I was damn serious about my privacy, and about people sneaking up on me. But her embarrassment was funny. The two times I’d seen her before, she’d been so polished and poised. It felt good to put her in her place a little. “So you climbed a tree for a better view, is that it?”
Bowing her head, she dragged the toe of one shoe across the wood planks of the porch floor. “Something like that.” Then she looked up at me. Took a breath. “I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I was—I mean, I got—I couldn’t—” She sighed, briefly closing her eyes. “I have no excuse. Will you accept my apology?”
She was prettier without makeup, I decided. And the way she wore her hair off her face emphasized the wideness of her eyes, the angle of her cheekbones, the arch of her brows. Her lips didn’t need all that glossy crap, either. They were a perfect rosy pink, and I wondered if they’d feel as soft as they looked.
Fuck. I hadn’t kissed anyone in three years.
Clearing my throat, I took a step back. “Yeah. It’s fine.” Now get out of here.
She didn’t move. “So you’re not going to fire me?”
“I never hired you.”
“I know. But I really want this job. I think I can help, Jack. I know I can.”
“Suit yourself. I want nothing to do with it.” My name on her lips was trouble. Needing some distance from her, I started walking toward the dock to get my shoes and socks, but she followed me. God, she was a pest. It reminded me of the way Steph used to tag along after the boys when we were kids, wanting to get in our games.
“Are you going to be like this the entire time I’m here?” she asked.
“Moody and uncooperative?”
“Why? Do you hate me that much?”
“I don’t hate anybody. I just don’t see why we should pay some city girl who’s never set foot on a farm to advise us.” We reached the dock, and I leaned down to get my stuff.
“I’m not even asking to be paid, so piss off!” she shouted, her voice carrying on the water.
I straightened. “Oh, you’re working for free?”
“Then you’re an idiot. Or so rich you don’t need the money.”
“I’m not an idiot,” she said through clenched teeth.
“So you’re rich, then.” I don’t know why I was being such an asshole. But for some reason, I did not want to let her see another side of me, or see another side to her. “I should have guessed.”
She crossed her arms. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you look like you’ve led a charmed life. Like you’ve had everything you’ve ever wanted handed to you. Like you’ve never gotten your hands dirty.”
“So get them dirty.”
I almost fell off the dock. “What?”
“Get them dirty. Teach me about working this farm. I want to learn.”
Was she serious? The last thing I needed was to drag her ass around all day, explaining things. Or stare at her ass all day, imagining things. But one look at her defiant face and I shook my head. “Why do I feel like if I say no, you’ll just keep bothering me?”
She smiled and clasped her hands behind her back, rocking forward on her toes. “Because I will. I don’t like being told no.”
“Of course you don’t.” Jesus, she was trouble. A bad apple—smooth and shiny on the outside, spoiled rotten on the inside. But for no good reason, I found myself giving in. “Fine. Go change your clothes.”
About the Author:
Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she's not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.
Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.
Connect with Melanie:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelanieHarlow/?fref=ts Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NPkYKs Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1TkpDqF Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MelanieHarlow2 Website: http://www.melanieharlow.com Newsletter: http://www.melanieharlow.com/contact/
His to Cherish by Stacey Lynn
Series: Fireside #3 Publication Date: November 15th, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance Publisher: Loveswept
Can two hearts entwined by hardship move on to form a healthy bond? From the author of His to Love and His to Protect, this tender, bittersweet romance brings together a man who loses everything—and a woman with everything to give. Chelsea Dwyer arrives home from her job at the middle-school library in Latham Hills, Michigan, expecting another quiet evening—until she hears the screams for help through her living room window. As the first witness to a terrible accident involving two local students, Chelsea doesn’t anticipate how her own life will be irrevocably changed by the father of one of the boys. In the wake of tragedy, she’s the only one who seems to understand his grief. Chelsea’s a survivor, too—and she knows that there are brighter days ahead. As a single father, Aidan Deveraux worked his entire life to provide a stable home for his son, Derrick. Without him, Aidan feels the deepest despair imaginable. The one thing that keeps him going is his connection with the woman who tried to save his son. Hard as he tries, Aidan just can’t stay away. Chelsea’s warm embrace is the comforting solace he desperately craves—and it doesn’t hurt that Aidan had noticed the beautiful librarian and wanted to ask her out for years. Now that she’s in his life, he doesn’t ever want to let go.
Excerpt:“Talk to me.” I opened my mouth to speak before snapping it closed. Anything I had to say would make me seem like an overemotional, crazy drunk woman. I wasn’t prepared for that kind of humiliation. Thankfully I hadn’t drunk enough to make my filter disappear. “I’m just tired,”I said to satisfy him. By his scowl, he didn’t believe me. His tongue slid along his bottom lip, and I inhaled a gasp of air. I needed it. Perhaps the alcohol caused my lungs to stop working correctly. His eyes darted back and forth between mine. I frowned, wondering what he was looking for and what he saw. Did he see the insecure girl who had to continually say goodbye to everyone she loved but tried like hell to hide the emptiness that brought? “You’re always there for me.” My nose twitched. “It’s not a problem.” He nodded slowly, just once. I watched something happen in his eyes and then looked down as he fidgeted on his feet, shifting his weight. He seemed nervous, which made no sense. His hand on my chin moved slowly to the back of my neck, cupping me and bringing me closer to him. He was a breath away from me, his face so close to mine, when he roughly whispered, “But I haven’t thanked you.” “It’s not necessary—” His lips hit mine. My eyes flew open and I gasped, opening my mouth. Instantly, his tongue pressed in, circling my tongue and tasting me. Oh . . . my . . . gosh. It was like heaven and hell wrapped up in the prettiest package I could ever receive. Better than a blue box with a silver ribbon from Tiffany. He tasted better than I thought he would—clean and crisp—and I leaned in, wanting more. No, I didn’t lean in. I melted. My tongue tangled with his and a moan escaped my throat. It was that sound that had both of us snapping back to reality. He pulled away and my mouth was still open, my brain working too slowly to process what just happened, how absolutely incredible it felt . . . and the look of regret all over his face. “Shit.”Aidan’s fingers dropped from my neck and I stood on my front porch completely dumbfounded as both of his hands flew to his neck, clasping at the back. He looked up at the sky and gritted out, “Fuck.” “Aidan,”I said, reaching out for him. He dodged my touch and spun on his heels. “I gotta go.”
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ebU5mL Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2f88Ivz iBooks: http://apple.co/2ffw4Me Nook: http://bit.ly/2fbYRD6 Kobo: http://bit.ly/2elq8nm Google Play: http://bit.ly/2eSLERd Books A Million: http://bit.ly/2ey05Hl
Check out the other books in the series:
His to Protect, Book 2: Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2fb8n9i Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2e0wSbD iBooks: http://apple.co/2fCHIFk Nook: http://bit.ly/2elvwal Kobo: http://bit.ly/2f8gW7e Google Play: http://bit.ly/2f8epd2 Books A Million: http://bit.ly/2fcbk9L
His to Love, Book 1:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2e0wSse Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2eSK4Pi iBooks: http://apple.co/2fb8amm Nook: http://bit.ly/2ftfXzW Kobo: http://bit.ly/2e0tEVI Google Play: http://bit.ly/2fbbRIH Books A Million: http://bit.ly/2fc3f5g
About the Author
Stacey Lynn currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and four children. When she’s not conquering mountains of laundry and fighting a war against dust bunnies and cracker crumbs, you can find her playing with her children, curled up on the couch with a good book, or on the boat with her family enjoying Minnesota’s beautiful, yet too short, summer.
She lives off her daily pot of coffee, can only write with a bowlful of Skittles nearby, and has been in love with romance novels since before she could drive herself to the library.
If you would like to know more about Stacey Lynn, follow her here: