ARC August 2017 – Check in #2 – 8/8-8/13


And so goes another week of ARC August 2017. This past week was also a fairly busy one for me, between work and trying to exercise and also trying to spend time with husband and family there doesn’t seem to be a lot of time leftover for reading lately. Even with Goal Day this past Saturday I was only able to read one book this past week. This month will continue to be a busy one for me but hopefully I will catch up while on vacation at the end of the month! Anyways, so here’s where I stand right now:


-Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber – Read and reviewed
-Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes – Read and reviewed (Week 1)
-Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham – Read and reviewed (Week 1)
-If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
-Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews
-Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
-Seeing Red by Sandra Brown – Reading now
-13 Dates by Matt Dunn
-The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
-Ready to Run by Lauren Layne
-The Uncertain Season by Ann Howard Creel
-Pretend You’re Safe by Alexandra Ivy

Books Read August 8th – 13th


Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber – 3.75 stars

Plan for Upcoming Week

I have a busy week coming up with 4 exercise classes, 2 meetings, 2 days at a new client and a day planned for going to wineries with my mom and mother-in-law! Might have to break into my sleeping time to get some reading done but hopefully I’ll be able to fit it in somewhere! The book I’m reading right now (new release by Sandra Brown, out tomorrow!) is pretty good and I can’t wait to finish it and share my thoughts with all of you. Happy reading everyone!!

ARC August 2017 – Check in #1 – 8/1-8/7


So the first week of ARC August 2017 was slightly productive. I managed to read a good amount during the week but Friday my husband and I went on a winery trip and then Saturday and Sunday I was traveling and visiting with family. So the weekend was pretty busy, not much reading got done but many good times were had! So here’s where I stand:


-Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber – Reading now
-Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes – Read and reviewed
-Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham – Read and reviewed
-If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
-Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews
-Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
-Seeing Red by Sandra Brown
-13 Dates by Matt Dunn
-The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
-Ready to Run by Lauren Layne
-The Uncertain Season by Ann Howard Creel
-Pretend You’re Safe by Alexandra Ivy

Books Read August 1st – 7th

Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes – 1.0 stars
Leave The Night On by Laura Trentham – 3.5 stars

Plan for Upcoming Week

Work for me this week is going to be a bear so I’m not sure how much reading I’ll get done but I’m hoping to get a couple books in. Goal Day is thankfully this Saturday so that will give me a chance to get some solid reading devoted time (hopefully). We’ll see how it goes though, happy reading everyone!

ARC August 2017 Reading Challenge Sign Up


Woo Hoo! ARC August is here again, and honestly it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I’m really glad to be participating in ARC August again this year to try and decrease my backlog a little bit at least. I still have 27 ARCs from 2016 that I never got a chance to read, plus I missed the “deadline” for 23 additional ARCs so far in 2017. PLUS I have 12 ARCs scheduled to be read in August. SO you could say I’m just a tad bit backlogged. For those of you that don’t know, ARC August is a month-long reading challenge hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat. and the only participation requirement is reading ARC’s! I participated in this reading challenge last year and in 2015, and both years worked out really well for me and I was able to catch up a bit. I hope to be super productive with this challenge this year since I have so much to read! Plus in a beyond perfect twist of events I will on an island for a week in August with no wi-fi and no cell service and no electricity (again but different week than I was last year)! What else is there to do but read!

So here is the list I’m going to be working off of for this year’s challenge (more or less):

-Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
-Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes
-Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham
-If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
-Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews
-Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
-Seeing Red by Sandra Brown
-13 Dates by Matt Dunn
-The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
-Ready to Run by Lauren Layne
-The Uncertain Season by Ann Howard Creel
-Pretend You’re Safe by Alexandra Ivy

This listing is honestly just my August ARCs, I’m not sure how true to this list I’ll actually stay. I really feel like flaunting the rules and just reading whatever ARC I feel like. Its hard to predict exactly what that will be though so we’ll start with this for now. I think 12 is a good goal though so my plan is (if I decide to read whatever I feel like) to switch out one book for every book I add to the list. We’ll see how it goes! I hope you all also have a successful August and Happy reading everyone!


2017 Monthly Status Update: July


July was a fairly productive month for me, I got a good amount of reading done and some good Blog Tour posts. I also started a new workout program which I have been trying to stick with and its been working well for me to help me manage my time as well. I’m looking forward to using a couple vacations to catch up on my reading! So below is my progress for July:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 11
# pages read this month: 3,221
# books read year-to-date: 64
# pages read year-to-date: 18,798

Favorite Books I Read:

I Have Never by Camilla Isley – 4.75 stars
Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza – 5.0 stars

Other Posts this month:

Storming the Castle BLOG TOUR!!
The Duke of Defiance BLOG TOUR!!
I Have Never BLOG TOUR!!

Status of 2017 Reading Challenges:

  1. Finish 2016 ARC’s from NetGalley that I missed – Haven’t read any since last month so still have 27 to go
  2. Participate in 2 reading challenges – During May I participated in the Bout of Books challenge. Next one is scheduled for August (this coming month)
  3. Other goals:
    1. Write shorter reviews – I think I’m doing better at this, this past month I was able to get out a few shorter ones
    2. Continue establishing relationships – I think I’m doing it, we’ll see how it goes I guess!

Next Month TBR List:

I read all but one of the books on my TBR from last month, which was great. I’m trying to be ambitious for this next month with the ARC August and the vacation I have coming up. Might not get to all of these but hopefully will get to most!!

-Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
-Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes
-Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham
-If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
-Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews
-Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
-Seeing Red by Sandra Brown
-13 Dates by Matt Dunn
-The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carcy
-The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
-Ready to Run by Lauren Layne
-The Uncertain Season by Ann Howard Creel
-Pretend You’re Safe by Alexandra Ivy

Hope everyone’s summer is going well!! Happy reading!!

I Have Never BLOG TOUR!!


I Have Never by Camilla Isley was released this week (July 13th) and to celebrate I am participating in a Blog Tour for the book! If you haven’t already seen it, you can find my review of the book under Book Reviews on my site. See below for more information about the book, a short author bio, and an excerpt!!! I loved this book and I definitely recommend everyone should read it!

Title: I Have Never
Author: Camilla Isley
Release Date: July 13th, 2017
Genre: Chick Lit


Twenty-nine-year-old Blair Walker is a girl with a plan, or more a girl with a list. A list of dos and don’ts to live the perfect life, land a dream career, and marry Mr. Right.

When Blair loses her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend all in one day, she starts to wonder if she’s had it all wrong. And what better way to find out than experience everything the list forbade?

With hilarious consequences, Blair will discover some items are trickier to tick off than she’d thought…

A laugh out loud romantic comedy perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Sophie Kinsella, and Mhairi McFarlane. First Comes Love is a series of interconnected romantic novels. However, each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel.


Goodreads | AmazonUS | AmazonUK | Google Play | Kobo | B&N | Apple


Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband in an adventure abroad.
She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Website | Twitter: @camillaisley | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest



Never Get Drunk

51FhWUoFAkLMy entire body aches. Even the tips of my hair are in pain. Instead of blood, it feels like acid is pumping through my veins, and my lids have been replaced by sandpaper. What’s happening to me?

I try to move. Easier thought than done. My muscles feel like Jell-O. I’m stuck lying on something soft, something that smells like a cold winter day: pinecones and rain. Slowly, I open my eyes. Daylight stabs my pupils, sending tendrils of pain through my brain. Where am I? In a bedroom, it seems. Whose bedroom? Ah, that’s the question.

Panic gnaws at my stomach, followed by a flood of nausea. I turn to one side and spot a glass of water and a blister of Aleve on a nightstand. A lifeline. I pop two pills and drain the water before collapsing back on the bed.

Who’s bed? Oh, crap… I’m in someone’s bed, in my underwear, and I’ve absolutely no idea how I got here.

The last thing I remember is walking into a bar determined to tackle the next item on the list: never get drunk.

Ding-dong. Mr. Hangover, we meet at last… Not sure I like you. I close my eyes hoping the Aleve will act quickly.

When I open them again, I’ve no clue how much time has passed—a minute or an hour—but at least I’m slightly better. Well enough to roll over and retrieve my discarded clothes from the floor. There’s my bag, too, and I always carry a compact mirror. Face damage assessment time. Gingerly, I flip the little metallic lid open. I’ve got panda eyes, but it’s nothing some makeup remover wipes can’t fix. The cool touch of the damp cotton is heavenly on my heated skin as I scrub myself clean. The soothing moisture helps also with the headache, so much so that I don’t stop until I’ve used up the entire packet of wipes.

With my head a little clearer, I search for my phone and unlock the screen. Eight fifteen in the morning. There’s an unhealthy number of missed calls and messages waiting to be answered. Later. My temples are still pounding. I open the map app to check where in the world I am exactly. The little blue dot stops on Brooklyn Heights.

What the hell am I doing in Brooklyn? How did I get here? Whose house is this?

Time to find out.

Still sitting on the bed, I put on the silky turquoise dress I was wearing last night—perfect for a proposal, not so much for a morning-after commute from Brooklyn. There’s nothing I can do about the hair, so I scrunch the red tangles in a messy-for-real bun and stand up.

The room spins. I blink several times to fight the dizziness and shake my legs until the dress’s skirt slithers into place, reaching my knees. Shoes in one hand, bag in the other, I drag my feet to the door and tentatively exit the bedroom to enter… a cool loft. One of those with brick walls and modern furniture.

Feeling like a burglar, I slip my pumps on and shuffle into an open-space living room with floor-to-ceiling windows.

“Hello?” My voice sounds thick.

“Morning,” someone says. A male someone. “I was starting to worry you were dead.”

“I thought I was d—” My throat catches as a guy in jeans and a light blue shirt comes out from behind a pillar. He’s so good-looking I literally can’t talk. Rumpled dark hair on the longish side. Dark brown—almost black—eyes, a strong jaw covered in five o’clock shadow, and he’s smiling at me. A little sexy dimple on each cheek. My stomach flips.

Is it the smile or the hangover?

But the real question is, did I have sex with this hunk? Well, I woke up in his bed wearing only underwear. I hope we did it. And I hope he wants to do it again because I can’t remember a thing and the guy is too handsome for me to leave, not remembering having sex with him.

Eeeeee, somebody please censor my brain. Never in my life would I have had sex with someone I just met—but that was the whole point of throwing out the list and getting crazy drunk. If this man is the first outcome of my new lifestyle, high five to me. But how embarrassing not to remember if we slept together. What do I do? Do I ask him? I don’t even know his name!

“Er, Blair?” he says. “Are you all right?”

Mr. Hot knows my name. “Yeah, super… mmm… uh…”

“Richard.” He smiles again. “The name’s Richard Stratton. I made coffee, you want some?”

If he wasn’t already hot enough, the dude has an impossibly sexy British accent that’s making my knees wobble. Either the accent or serious dehydration.

“Richard, sure.” I pretend like he needn’t have told me his name. “Coffee would be great, thanks.” I stroll to the kitchen bar, sit on a stool, and drop my bag to the floor.

“Black? Sugar? Milk?”

“Sugar equals poison,” I declare. “Do you happen to have almond milk?”

Richard’s eyes widen.

“Black’s fine,” I hurry to say.

Mr. Hot hands me a mug. “You didn’t seem to have a problem with the sugar rim of your cocktails last night.”

“About that…” I take a sip of coffee, hoping caffeine will help my synapses connect. “I’m not exactly sure what… er. To be honest, last night’s a bit—uh—foggy. How did we meet?”

“I called you.”

“You called me?”

I have to kill the parrot possessing me and stop repeating whatever people say.


“How? Did I give you my number?” I think I’d remember giving my number to someone as hot as him.

“No, I got it through a friend of mine.”

I frown. “A friend?”

The parrot lives.

“Yes, I’m the Editor-in-Chief of an up and coming web-based magazine. We’re looking for a Fashion Editor—”

I hear magazine, I hear fashion, and the other shoe drops. He’s gay. Ninety-five percent of Évoque male employees are gay. “Oh, you’re gay,” I interrupt him, a bit crestfallen. “Of course you’re gay. That face is too handsome for you to be straight. I mean between the hair, the eyes, and the smile you’d have to go around with an I’m-too-hot warning sticker on your chest…” I’m babbling and Richard’s eyebrows have shot up. Blair, shut up. But I’m possessed, and can’t stop talking. “And that accent! Imagine what it would do to women. You sound like Prince William. Well, at least now I don’t have to ask you if we slept together last night…” I brush my hand over my forehead in a gesture of relief and laugh nervously. “Phew.”

Richard stares at me dumbfounded for a few seconds before saying, “I thought I made it clear last night I wasn’t gay.” His tone is dead serious.

Something in my guts twists. “You mean we”—I point at my chest and then at his—“slept together?”

“No, we didn’t. I was mocking you.”

“But I woke up in your bed in my underwear.”

“I left you in my room with your clothes on. You must’ve done the undressing.”

“Oh, so you are gay.”

“No, I’m not gay.” He scoffs. “It’s just that so-drunk-she-can’t-remember-her-name doesn’t do it for me.”

I’m too mortified to speak, so I hide my red-beyond-control cheeks by staring at the floor.

“Last night,” Richard continues, “I called you to talk about a job opportunity, and you told me to join you in a bar in downtown Manhattan. When I got there, you were already drunk and delirious about a list, spaghetti marinara, and someone’s secretary…”

I’m feeling smaller and smaller. From under my lids, I dare a peek at Richard.

“When we left the bar, I tried to put you in a cab to get you home, but you weren’t able to supply an address. So it was either leave you on the street or bring you back here.”

“Oh, okay.” I drop the empty coffee mug on the bar and get up. “Sorry for all the trouble I caused and thank you for… mmm…” Giving me a bed to sleep in instead of the curb? Saving my life? Making me believe for five seconds that we had sex? I go with, “For hosting me last night. I’ll get out of your way now.” I pick up my bag from the floor and… I’ve no idea where the exit is. “Where’s the door?”

“This way.” Richard leads me to the opposite side of the room and stops in front of a metal door striped with faux rust, or real rust, I’m not sure. Cool, design rust in any case. “About that job interview,” he adds. “You want to reschedule?”

“You still want to interview me?”

“You look suspicious.”

Not look, am. “I don’t mean to be rude, but if you’re still considering me for a job after last night’s stunt and this morning’s conversation, you must be desperate.”

His jaw tightens. “I’m not desperate.”

“So what’s your magazine’s circulation?” I challenge.

“It’s an online-only editorial hub; we hardly have any circulation.”

“You’ve no printed edition?”


“Alexa rank?”

Richard holds my gaze for a couple of seconds before answering, “In the lower thousands. But most of our traffic comes from in-app views, with no ad blocking, and we want it to stay that way.”

“As I said, you’re desperate.”

“Well, from what I gathered last night, so are you.”

Ouch. Below the belt, Richard. Way below the belt. What else did I tell him while I was drunk as a skunk? Probably better I don’t remember.

“Listen.” He rolls up the sleeves of his shirt, and I get distracted looking at his forearms. He has really pretty forearms. Correction: he has really pretty everything. “I don’t claim to be Évoque Magazine, but I’m working on making something fresh. Something better. I’ve put together a great team, so before you snub us, why don’t you hear me out?” Richard takes a business card out of his pocket and hands it over.

As he comes closer, I get a whiff of that same pinecones and rain scent I smelled in the bedroom. His scent. So Richard was my cold winter day. The combination of shower gel or aftershave plus male skin is intoxicating. I bite the inside of my cheek to keep focused and take the card. “Thank you.”

“Go home, take a shower, and come back to check us out at the address on the card. This afternoon, tomorrow morning. Whenever works.” Before I can politely decline he adds, “If nothing else, stop by so you can see my too-handsome face one more time,” and winks.

My mouth hangs open, and my face sizzles in shame for the millionth time since I woke up. “You know you can’t use anything I said while I thought you were gay against me.”

“Nice try.” Richard gives me a wicked smile and opens the door. “See you later?”

I scold him on the way out. “Maybe.”

“This way.”

He guides me down the hall in silence until we reach the elevators. There, I push the down arrow and wait. When the doors sweep open, I briskly step inside, push the lobby button, and say, “Goodbye.”

Richard braces both arms against the doorframe. “I’ll see you soon,” he says, stepping backward, and, as the doors begin to move adds, “And I’ll work on finding that sticker.”

The doors close so that I’m left staring at my shocked, beet-red face reflected in the metal.

Check out the full tour-

July 13th

Rachel Brimble Romance – Author Q&A
A Beautiful Book Blog – Book Review
Writing Pearls – Book Review
With Love For Books – Book Review
For the Love of Chick Lit – Book Review
July 14th

Kristin’s Novel Cafe – Book Excerpt
JenaBooks – Book Review
He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post
Judging More than Just the Cover – Author Q&A
July 15th

I Heart Fictional People – Book Review
Chrissi Reads – Book Review
Books and Photographs – Book Review
Rebecca Book Review – Book Excerpt
Monique McDonell-Author  – Book Excerpt
July 16th

One Book At A Time – Spotlight Post
CosyCuteKnits – Book Review
The Writing Garnet – Book Review
July 17th

The Belgian Reviewer – Book Excerpt
Girl vs Books – Book Review
kraftireader – Book Review

July 18th

Reading Is My SuperPower – Book Review
I Heart Fictional People – Book Review
July 19th

Kristin’s Novel Café – Book Excerpt
Simona’s Corner of Dreams – Author Guest Post
Bookish – Book Review
July 20th

TheBlossomTwins – Book Review
Grass Monster – Book Review
Chick Lit Central – Author Q&A
Living Life with Joy – Author Guest Post
July 21st

ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review
Rae Reads – Book Review
Novelgossip  – Book Review
Whispering Stories – Book Review
Ali – The Dragon Slayer – Book Review
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts – Book Review
Steamy Book Momma – Book Excerpt
July 22nd

BookLoverWorm – Book Review
Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Review
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt

The Duke of Defiance BLOG TOUR!!

DB_DoD Tour Banner

The Duke of Defiance was released last week (June 27th) and to celebrate I am participating in a Blog Tour for the book! If you haven’t already seen it, you can find my review of the book under Book Reviews on my site. See below for more information about the book, an excerpt, a short author bio, and a giveaway!!! This was a really good read and I would definitely recommend checking it out!


$25 Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies–and to falling in love.

Widow Joanna Shaw isn’t interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She’d much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life…until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won’t take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences could destroy them both.


Darcy BurkeDarcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at, or like her Facebook page,



Vintage cup of coffee, mobile phone and flowers on a wooden table.


She sank into a curtsey. “Good morning, my lord. My sister wishes to convey her deepest apologies, but her son is ill, so she asked me to come in her stead.”

Bran registered the tidy upsweep of her dark brown hair and the green-brown of her earnest eyes as well as the simplicity of her modest slate-gray gown. She was rather monochromatic, except for that hint of green in her eyes, and the tiny gold flecks that danced near the pupil. He recalled that she was widowed, which perhaps explained her somewhat dour appearance. Or maybe it was just that he was used to warmth and vibrancy and colors that defied possibility in England. Barbados seemed like an imaginary world now.

“I see. Do you have children of your own?” he asked.

Pale swaths of pink highlighted her cheeks. It was the barest bit of color, but he caught it. How could he not against the dull palette she provided?


No, that wasn’t an apt description. Her attire was dull, her hair a bit too severe, but she possessed an attractive, feminine form. Indeed, her breasts were perhaps spectacular. And she was pretty, with long, dark lashes framing her eyes and rose-colored lips that were just a bit too full. Not too full, he amended.

“I do not,” she said, drawing his attention back to his question about whether she had children.

“Then how can you be qualified to help me with this endeavor?”

“My sister sent a list of characteristics and requirements you should seek.” She straightened her shoulders and looked him in the eye. “She also sent me with her express confidence.”

He liked her fortitude. “Well then, I suppose you will suffice. Come along.”

Her nostrils flared slightly, and her eyes widened just the tiniest bit, the gold flecks seeming to brighten. As he turned to lead her to his office, he considered that he might have just offended her again. He had called her abilities into question, but why wouldn’t he?

He strode toward the back corner of the house, where his office was located. It was a large chamber with a wall of bookshelves and windows that looked out to the garden. He moved behind the desk and indicated for her to take a chair on the opposite side.

She slowly sat, her gaze wary and her mouth tight.

He frowned. “My apologies if I insulted you.”

“If you’d rather I didn’t stay, you have only to say so.” There was a steely set to her shoulders and a clipped edge to her tone as she spoke. “Nora wanted to help you, but I’ll understand if you decide I won’t suffice.”

He dropped into his chair. She had cheek to go with her fortitude. He liked that too. He’d been prepared to deal with milksops and featherbrains when he’d returned to England—people like his mother and brothers. Not that they really were milksops or featherbrains, but they liked to put on as if they were, thinking it was somehow attractive. He supposed it wasn’t fair to assume an entire population shared the same characteristics as his family.

“I’m afraid I must also apologize for the other day. I meant no offense. Sometimes… I speak without realizing how my words might sound.”

One of her dark, slender brows arched. “Forgive me for saying so, but I’ve found that’s a trait shared by most men.”

Storming the Castle BLOG TOUR!!

Storming the Castle Tour Banner

Storming the Castle was released last week (June 26th) and to celebrate I am participating in a Blog Tour for the book! If you haven’t already seen it, you can find my review of the book under Book Reviews on my site. See below for more information about the book, an excerpt, a short author bio, and a giveaway!!! This was a really good read and I would definitely recommend checking it out! 


$20 Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sam Castleton has fame, houses all over the world, and one really big problem—he’s got an album due and he can’t write. All he wants is a quiet place to get his head straight. Dale, Georgia, seems like the perfect quiet spot to try to hear the music again and get some lyrics down on paper.
With her daughter’s paternal grandparents making a sudden appearance and the difficulties of running her own lodge and being a single mom, Faith Adams doesn’t have the time to worry about the mysterious stranger staying in one of her cottages, no matter how sexy he is.
Her newest guest may be surly, but his money is good, so she’s willing to overlook his surly nature. If only she could ignore the way he awakens a searing hunger in her…

StC Teaser


Arianna Hart enjoys spending time with her family, reading anything she can get her hands on, and of course writing! She’d love to spend her days on a beach with a drink in one hand and a book in the other, but until she wins the lottery she’ll just have to settle for chasing her girls around the pool.




51qW7sNAt1L“Knock-knock. Sam?” Faith called in through the door as she opened it. It was the first time she’d been in the blue cottage since the night she’d shown it to him. The flowers she’d left for him were dead, and he had two full bags of garbage tied up and set near the door, but other than that, the place didn’t look half bad. Clean dishes rested on a drying board next to the sink, some pencils and paper were on the coffee table, and a half-full bottle of Gatorade was on the kitchen counter. Considering she hadn’t been in to tidy up, it was a pleasant surprise.

“I’ll be down in a second,” he answered from the loft.

She could smell soap and steam and figured he must have just taken a shower. Don’t think about him walking around up there naked.

“I can leave the laundry basket and come back if you’d like.”

“No, it’s—shit—fine.”

“Is something wrong?”

“Not wrong, just irritating. I waited too long to do laundry and now I only have one pair of clean jeans left.”

“I can take care of that in no time.”

“I mean, that’s all I have left. One pair of jeans. All my shirts and stuff are nasty.”

“Oh.” Faith’s face got hot as she realized what he wasn’t saying. His bare feet appeared on the steps and she tried not to look at the front of his jeans and imagine him going commando underneath.

Thank God, the pile of laundry he carried blocked his view of her, because she was sure she was staring. A thin line of dark hair trailed from his belly button down to the waistband of his low slung jeans and a few drops of water sparkled in the light.

For the last two weeks, every time she’d seen Sam, he’d been in running shorts and a T-shirt. Seeing him shirtless sent her blood pressure through the roof. Her mouth watered and she imagined capturing those droplets with her tongue as she followed the path to what waited behind the fly.

“I think this is all of it,” he said, dropping the pile of laundry on the couch.

“Did you remember your towels? I brought you some new ones.” Her voice was thick and raspy, and she tried to discreetly clear her throat while looking anywhere but at his naked chest.

“Yeah, they’re in the pile.”

“Good. Great. I’ll just strip the…ah, the bed and put on the new sheets.” She scooped the clean linen out of the laundry basket and bolted for the stairs. “Just put your laundry in the basket, and I’ll bring it with me when I go back to the house.”

If her face got any hotter, she’d burst into flame.