Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson

From Goodreads:

Luke Carney has no idea what possessed him to move back to Shelter Springs, Colorado, to set up his veterinarian practice. His parents have long since left, the small farming community is on the brink of extinction, and only one close friend from his childhood remains--Taycee Emerson, his best friend’s little sister, who isn’t so little anymore.

Then there’s the matter of Shelter’s Bachelorette, an online reality dating show created to raise some much needed funds for the town.

Unwittingly cast as the bachelorette, Taycee wants out, especially when she discovers that Luke, her childhood crush, is back in town and will be one of the bachelors. To make matters worse, it's up to the viewers--not her--to decide which bachelors stay or go. And they all seem to like Luke.

Unwilling to let him break her heart again, Taycee launches a subtle attack on Luke’s good name with the hope of getting him voted off the show. But she’d forgotten that Luke's an eye-for-an-eye kind of guy, and when he discovers what she's up to, it means revenge.

My Take:
This was one fun ride! I thought I might get bored watching Taycee date all these different guys when I knew she really liked Luke, but I didn't. Anderson does a great job making all the scenes exciting and balancing them between the reality show and the real romance. Taycee tries so hard to deny how much she has always (and still does) prefer Luke. And Luke struggles to understand why he feels so different about Taycee this go around.

I found myself laughing a lot in this book. The shenanigans Taycee gets herself into are hilarious! And I have to say, with friends like Jessa, who needs enemies! There were times I thought Jessa was over the top and completely unfeeling toward the pressure she was placing on Taycee. In the end she redeems herself...a little bit.

The writing and editing are great, nothing pulls you out of the story and I felt the emotions and situations made sense. That's one of the greatest compliments I can give to a story!

I give The Reluctant Bachelorette a 4.5.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure
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Monday, August 15, 2016

Kisses Between the Lines: An Echo Ridge Anthology

Welcome to Echo Ridge, New York, where romance finds its way into the lives of the people who walk the streets of the close-knit community. In these five novellas, listeners will experience the power a book has to change a life, make dreams come true, and bring two hearts together.

My thoughts are in italics after each summary.

The Kiss Thief by Rachelle J. Christensen - -The old Echo Ridge library is in desperate need of a renovation. Librarian Britta Kleins heart refuses to be swayed by musician Milo Geissler and his irresistible dimpled smile. But when he helps her find a key classic book, Britta wonders if there is more to life than books and order.

There were parts of this story that I loved simply because my dad is German. Sadly, he didn't have the accent because he's full-blooded German born and raised in America. :) Anyway, Britta is so determined to never get involved with a German boy because of the way she was teased growing up that she almost misses out on the love of her life. I loved how being around Milo brought out the little bits of her childhood that she did love until finally she was willing to take a risk. I also loved the music metaphors throughout. Lovely!

I give this one a 4.

The Lion, the Witch & the Library by Lucy McConnell - - Jennifer Solomons birthday wish is to have the one person shes been too shy to go after: Kirke Staples, her best friend. Friend, as in don't fall in love with the man. But its too late. In her efforts to win Kirkes heart, Jennifer is forced to decide what type of woman she wants to be.

Jennifer was a lot of fun from the very beginning. The story starts with her realizing she wants more from her best friend. Unfortunately, he's been actively trying to get the attentions of Bay Barrington (an actress who comes to visit and causes a TON of trouble!). Kirke is a bit frustrating to me. He's attracted to Jennifer, but he keeps thinking that since he put so much time and effort into meeting Bay that he needs to follow through with that. Stupid clueless men! There's some great drama as both of them go back and forth trying to figure out what they really want.

I give this one a 4.

The Last of the Gentlemen by Cami Checketts - - Working nights and struggling through life, Emma Turner doesnt leave much time for romance. But when her sons good-looking lacrosse coach takes an interest in her children, Emma has to fight off desire and banish her daydreams. If only she could tell that to her heart.

Chayton finally gets his chance at love! I really liked him as a character in the Christmas stories. He might not have been right for Chelsea, but he was just such a good guy you couldn't help hoping he found love soon. And Emma is such a sweet and deserving recipient of his attentions. I love how he does everything he can to make Emma and her girls smile simply because he likes to see them smile. He truly is like a knight in shining armor riding in to save the day.

I give this one a 4. 

Much Ado about a Kiss by Heather Tullis - - The one thing Fay doesn't need right now is a guy in her life, especially her brother's irritating best friend from high school, whose kiss made her heart flutter. Why does he have to upset her just-fine world? Not this time. Not if she can help it. But can she?

Oh! This story made me so sad for Fay. She's been stressing over a kiss for years not knowing what was really behind it. I love Fay and her artistic approach to life and the cafe. Austin remembers the kiss quite differently than Fay. They both have to come to a new understanding of what happened then in order to move forward with their feelings now. 

I give this one a 4.

Pride & Persuasion by Connie E. Sokol - - Lindy Marchant is roped into the Echo Ridge library fundraiser to become an assistant for Armand D. Beaumont, a bestselling detective writer. While Armand inadvertently assists Lindy with the shop, she uncovers his painful truth and an inconvenient growing attraction.

After getting a glimpse of Armand from The Kiss Thief, it's nice to see what was going on with him and Lindy. We've got two strong personalities butting heads and they don't even know why! There are some fun surprises along the way and both find their futures are more hopeful with each other in their lives. 

I give this one a 4.

I really enjoyed the collection as a whole. It was clean, sweet, and all the stories were well written. I give the entire thing a solid 4.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Friday, August 12, 2016

Spring in Snow Valley

I've wanted to move to Snow Valley since the first story collection came out. This newest installment was like going home for a nice visit. There are new characters to love, glimpses of past characters, and some nice surprises. Let's break it down, story by story.
From Goodreads and My Take:
Spring is in the air and so is romance in the small town of Snow Valley, Montana.

Operation—Kiss the Girl, Cindy Roland Anderson

Ivy Baker is doomed to marry a man she only pretends to be in love with to save the family ranch. Since she isn’t marrying for love, Ivy secretly creates a kissing wish list composed of scenes from the romance books she loves to read. She hopes to experience at least one kiss from her list before she becomes officially engaged and seals her fate. When she travels to Snow Valley to help her aunt recover from knee surgery, Ivy finds herself falling for Kellen Thomas, an irresistible cowboy she should avoid. By chance Kellen finds Ivy’s list, and decides to make it his mission to help her fulfill her bucket list, turning her world upside down and making Ivy want to choose her heart over duty. 

Ivy is the quintessential martyr. She's the only girl in a family of cowboys, and although her brothers love and care for her, her father has made her feel like her only purpose is to marry a jerk to get the water rights back. I'll admit I didn't like her dad at all even though he had already died by the time this story started. I found myself frustrated with Ivy for not telling her brothers what was going on, and with the brothers for being so clueless. Having said all of that, I can see something like this happening. Guys are clueless. Especially when it comes to their own sisters. The real star of the story for me was Kellen. I've wanted his story ever since Caytie and Jace got together. Kellen is such a good guy, working through his own issues after being wounded in Afghanistan. When he stumbles upon Ivy's "places to be kissed" bucket list he makes it his goal to check as many off as possible for her. This story made me smile and of course, the rat Corbin gets his in the end.

Love Coming Late, Jeanette Lewis

Cynthia Eddington never thought she'd return to Snow Valley after a string of bad luck forced the sale of her beloved farm there. But here she is, about to start a new life with her children, Jackson and Anoria. Cynthia plans to focus on her career and her family; she's not looking for romance and she's definitely not looking for sexy cowboy, Colby Schroder.

This was one of the first pleasant surprises. Although I love stories of new love, it was refreshing to have an older couple getting a second chance at love. Cynthia is a widow with two almost grown kids. Colby is a little younger, divorced and the father of an adorable little girl. First, I liked the fact their ages didn't match perfectly. Life rarely fits into the neat packages that often become the template for romance novels. So, yay! I love that the issues keeping these two apart are also real, valid concerns in situations like this. Cynthia's daughter likes Colby, and even though the distance between their ages is greater than the distance between him and Cynthia, it creates quite the puddle of quicksand. The scene that made me love this story more than anything is the dance scene when Cynthia lets go. I can so relate to that scene! 

Running from the Cowboy, Cami Checketts

Missy Horman escaped an abusive marriage and returns to Snow Valley to help her father deal with her emotionally disturbed mother. Volunteering to teach a youth Sunday school class seems like a good way to get out of her comfort zone—until she ends up kissing Porter Wilson in front of a bunch of teenagers. Embarrassed, and secretly thrilled, by the kiss, she writes Porter off as a playboy. But, Missy wasn't the only one affected and Porter's new mission in life is to prove that there's more to him than flirting and world-tilting kisses. He wants to show her that a true cowboy knows how to treat a lady and, if Missy can't keep her wits about her, she might just let him.

Squee! The Wilson boys are back! Last we saw Luke falling for Annie while Missy was left to recover from an abusive marriage. I liked that Missy stepped out of Annie's way because she recognized their love and wasn't going to be one of "those" women. Now Luke's brother Porter is noticing Missy. The very first chapter is a hoot and the excitement just keeps going full steam ahead! Porter pulls out all the stops to convince Missy that her "no more cowboys" rule should fly right out the window. LOVED IT! 4.5

The Bet, Taylor Hart

When Destiny Morningstar gets blackmailed into spending her spring break in Snow Valley, the last thing she’s looking for is a date, especially not with Adam and Chase Moon—two attractive and athletic brothers. But soon she finds herself tangled up in a dating spree that includes a flag football game, swinging around the barn dance, and hiking to Snow Valley's romantic hot springs with the town's most eligible bachelors. At every turn she's within kissing distance of one of the delectable Moon men. When she discovers she’s been part of some bet fueled by sibling rivalry and overactive egos she has to make a decision—forgive them both or miss out on the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

Where to start?? Boy, brothers especially, are so crazy! Adam and Chase have both set their sights on Destiny. Both tried to call "dibs" but when neither is willing to back down they decide that the first one to kiss her wins. It's a fun and confusing ride for Destiny to be sure, but when Adam doesn't kiss her simply because it means more to him than the bet, things go downhill fast. Can Adam convince her it always meant more to him than winning? LOVED IT! 4.5

Sealed with a Kiss, Kimberley Montpetit

Jessica Mason and Pastor James are struggling to make their long-distance relationship work between Snow Valley and New Orleans where Jessica dances with the local ballet company. When April Murphy, a war widow with a child, shows up in Snow Valley, James reluctantly begins to wonder if he and Jessica are really meant to be. April would make the perfect pastor’s wife and he’d have an instant family and the stability he craves. But he can’t get the spitfire Jessica out of his mind and when she returns to Snow Valley to accept an inheritance, her male ballet partner in tow, the love triangle takes on a new edge. Can Jessica and James figure out how to create a family while living in two different states—or do they allow their hearts to move on and forget the passion they once shared?

This is Jessica and Pastor Jame's continuing story. It's been almost two years since they met and they've been doing the long distance relationship thing. Jessica is doing much better, but she's still a bit broken inside. It's like she just can't decide what it is she really wants. To be honest, this was my least favorite story. It's still good, but I thought Jessica was a jerk a lot of the time. Even though she talks about others deserving better, she doesn't really act like she cares about anyone's feelings but her own. It's probably just that I don't understand physically torturing yourself for a dream that isn't making you happy. 

Romancing a Husband, Lucy McConnell

Natalie Lawson is at a crossroads.

This was the other really great surprise of the collection for me. How many times do you get to see a married couple struggle to find love again? The pain of this story was so real. So crippling to all involved. And yet you have some wise friends giving advice that in the end gives Natalie and Eli the strength and courage to step back and try again. Natalie has to learn to stop tip-toeing around the problem and understand it's not her job to make Eli happy. Eli has to learn that just because he's out of work doesn't mean he's unworthy of Natalie's love and affection. I love stories that are true to life, but come with a happy ending! 4.5

I give Spring in Snow Valley a solid 4, with some individual stories a 4.5.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Until Summer Ends by Elana Johnson

From Goodreads

Sophie Newton is determined to prove herself to her father, who insists she could never run a successful business. She opens a beachside taco stand called The Sandy Tortilla and plans to make her own way, one burrito at a time. When she loses her summer help, Sophie rushes to find somebody to help take orders. She finds that somebody in Montgomery Winters, a struggling actor from LA.

Mont takes the job; the money’s useful, though he finds that his curvy boss is what really keeps him around. As Sophie and Mont work, they discover an intense attraction between them. But when Mont’s agent calls him about a career-making audition, he decides he must pursue the opportunity, even though he can’t get Sophie out of his head.

Now, Sophie must choose between chasing after the man she’s falling in love with and the business she’s fought so hard to build.

My Take:
First off, I've always loved Johnson's easy to read writing style. She draws you in and lets your imagination create the pictures. There isn't any author intrusion to throw you out, and I appreciate that.

I could totally relate to Sophie and her little OCD neurosis. Seriously, there were so many things she did that I've done myself. Falling in love with someone you know won't be staying around is amazingly hard on someone who needs to feel like they are in control of their future. All those emotions and challenges are there, and Sophie works through them one by one. Working through the process with her was therapeutic.

Mont is also complex and fascinating. He's a giver. He's determined to make it big so he can help pay for his father's medical bills. Sure, he's doing what he loves, but when it comes down to the big chance or staying with Sophie, he has real reasons for the hard choice. I like that. It isn't some silly little thing that's pulling him away from what he wants.

In the end they both have to take chances and make a few changes.

I give Until Summer Ends a 4.5!

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Caribbean Rescue by Cami Checketts

Welcome back! Caribbean Rescue is now available.

Here are the links:
Find Caribbean Rescue - Amazon * Goodreads
*Enter below to win a $50 gift card and a copy of The Independent One: A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance

I was lucky enough to get a chance to read this book before it's release. Here's a blurb reminder, with my review below.

Blurb:
Superstar runner Zack Tyndale was the easy favorite to win gold in the Olympic Games, but a stupid decision shatters his dreams the night before the big race. Unable to face his shame, he escapes to the Caribbean and a life of blissful solitude ... until Madeline Panetto crash lands on his pristine private beach, trying to outrun a gang of pirates with nothing but a fancy evening gown and a flash drive hidden in her bra. Zack finds himself sucked into Maddy's world of mutiny and murder.

Madeline might find refuge from the pirates, but Zach is battling pirates of his own. When sparks fly between them, they're forced to look to their hearts for the answers and that could be more frightening than facing a mutinous crew.

Can these two find refuge from the pirates and with each other?

My Take:
It's no secret that Checketts is one of my favorite clean romantic suspense writers. She has a easy to read (and get lost in) writing style. Her characters are well rounded with hidden depths that are slowly revealed as the story progresses. I also love that Checketts lets the attraction and trust develop naturally even if it must be fast for the story.

Maddie is a good girl, caught up in a big mess because of her father. Zack steps up to help even though he'd rather stay hidden away on his private island. He turns out to be a soft hearted, kind man, willing to risk himself to try and help this strange and clumsy woman.

There was a great balance of suspense with the romance. I even liked how at the end Maddie has to face Bello without Zack. Most romantic suspense has the guy running in to save the day, but life isn't always like that. This was a nice change for me!

I give Caribbean Rescue a 4.5!

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Five Magic Spindles A collection of Sleeping Beauty stories

From Goodreads
Awaken the Magic!

Emma, a good-hearted midwife, rushes to warn a neighbor about the hired gunman headed to his ranch but can't prevent the catastrophe in store for his daughter.

Palli, the prophesied daughter of a king, is fated to rescue her people from the destruction called forth by a vengeful priest. 

Roselee, a ghost with a faulty memory, flits through the halls of an insane asylum in search of the mortal boy who can help her save the day.

Arabella, a living spirit trapped in her own comatose body, helplessly watches from the realm of dreams as her usurping cousin plots to destroy her once and for all.

Tanza, a tomb raider on a distant planet, struggles to make a living and doesn’t need a long-lost prince to complicate her difficult life.

One way or another, these beauties have no intention of sleeping away their problems.

My Take:

First, I was asked to read and review Spindle Cursed specifically. I hope to eventually get the time to read the other shorts in this anthology. However, for now, here's the review of Spindle Cursed.

Spindle Cursed (Arabella's story)
I loved the unique look at Sleeping Beauty from this angle. How can a Prince feel true love for someone he's never met? This story answers that question in a simple and yet ingenious way. The writing is clean, beautifully descriptive, and satisfying in every way. Gritty villains, a wonderfully developed fantasy world, dragons, spells, magic, humor, and sweet romance.

I give Spindle Cursed a solid 4.5. Great writing, great twist on a classic with wonderful imagery.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Caribbean Rescue by Cami Checketts

There's a new destination billionaire book coming out next week from one of my favorite clean suspense authors--Cami Checketts. It will be available August 2nd. Here's the run down...

Just in time for the Summer Olympics, bestselling sweet romance author, Cami Checketts, brings you a new Destination Billionaire Romance.
Superstar runner Zack Tyndale was the easy favorite to win gold in the Olympic Games, but a stupid decision shatters his dreams the night before the big race. Unable to face his shame, he escapes to the Caribbean and a life of blissful solitude ... until Madeline Panetto crash lands on his pristine private beach, trying to outrun a gang of pirates with nothing but a fancy evening gown and a flash drive hidden in her bra. Zack finds himself sucked into Maddy's world of mutiny and murder.
Madeline might find refuge from the pirates, but Zach is battling pirates of his own. When sparks fly between them, they're forced to look to their hearts for the answers and that could be more frightening than facing a mutinous crew.
Can these two find refuge from the pirates and with each other?

Find Caribbean Rescue - Amazon * Goodreads
*Enter below to win a $50 gift card and a copy of The Independent One: A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance

Excerpt of Caribbean Rescue:

A few steps from the French doors he heard the high whine of a motor. Zack whipped around and searched the ocean beyond. There were no lights, but the motor sound was unmistakable. What kind of an idiot would be out on the water with no lights on and in what sounded like a small boat?

Zack raced past his pool and gardens, and took the steps to the beach two at a time. He could just make out a small boat, hurtling through the water. He didn’t even have time to be angry someone was invading his sanctuary as he saw the angle they were coming at. “No, not that way!” he yelled, though they couldn’t possibly hear him.

Zack sprinted through the sand and onto his dock. He kept one eye on the boat as he ran the length of the dock, waving his arms and yelling, “Turn! Turn!” Large boulders and a former shipwreck resided just under the water, exactly where that boat was heading. Any other angle into the harbor was deep and safe to take even in his yacht, but this idiot was coming straight for the shallow waters of the dock instead. Why weren’t they slowing even though they were within a hundred feet of the dock?

“Stop!” he screamed. “Turn!”

The sickening crunch was louder than the howling wind and rain. The rear of the boat flung into the air, and the lone passenger flew forward then disappeared into the water. Zack dove off the dock, surfacing quickly, and using strong strokes to cross the distance. Water from the uneven waves splashed into his face, making it hard to see. The person bobbed up out of the water and started swimming his direction. That was a relief. From the hair streaming around her, he assumed it was a woman.

They came within a few feet of each other and Zack slowed and treaded water. “Are you okay?”

“I-I think so.”

“Can you make it to the dock?” His lights reflecting from the beach showed a mop of dark hair and a beautiful face.

In answer, she started slowly swimming that direction, but she hadn’t gone four strokes before she swayed and rolled over onto her back. That’s when Zack noticed the cut on her head. The water turned the blood a watery pink. She’d definitely hit her head on one of the rocks or maybe the old shipwreck. 

“You’re not okay.” 

“I can make it.” She started to kick. A wave rolled over her face and she jerked up, coughing and spluttering, but bravely kept trying to stay afloat, beating at the water with her arms and legs.

She was tough and not a complainer. Nice.

“I’ve got you.” Zack looped his arm under her armpit and over her chest and tugged her back to the dock. She had a small build, but her clothes must’ve been waterlogged because she seemed to weigh a ton. Zack was in shape, but he tired quickly. Finally, they made it to the dock and the woman clung to the edge. Zack grabbed hold and heaved himself out of the water then helped lift her up. She collapsed onto her back and released a loud breath. “Oh, thank you, I thought it was time to reacquaint myself with Saint Peter.”

“Saint Peter?” She’d hit her head hard or she was crazy. He looked over her fancy, waterlogged dress and the diamonds sparkling at her throat. She’d been out in the ocean like that, without a lifejacket?
Crazy it might be, or with quite a good story to tell.

“You know—the angel at the pearly gates.”

 Zack let out a surprised laugh. “Glad you put that off for a little while.”

“Me too.” She sat up and touched the small gash in her head. Blood trickled between her fingertips.

“Ouch.”

“I bet.” Zack pushed his way to his feet and offered her a hand. The wind whipped his wet t-shirt around him. He was glad he shaved his head and didn’t have hair whipping in his face like she did.

“Let’s get you up to the house and cleaned up.”

She placed her hand in his, but wavered as he helped her up. Zack wrapped his other arm around her waist and lifted her onto her feet. She swayed. 

“Can you walk?”

Her eyes filled with stubborn pride. “Of course I can walk.”

She pulled away from him, took one step, teetered off the dock, and splashed back into the water. 

“Oh, boy.” Zack shook his head. He hadn’t smelled alcohol on her breath, but that had to be the explanation. Fancy dress, alone on a boat in the ocean at night. He’d have to help her tonight then load her onto his yacht tomorrow and get her to Belize. If she had any money it was probably sunk with her little boat. He’d get her to where she needed to go and be done with this mess. Oddly enough, he didn’t mind the excitement. It was a good contrast to his normally sedate lifestyle.

She came up to the surface sputtering and flailing. Zack knelt down, put his hands under her armpits, and hefted her back onto the dock. He stood slowly, supporting both of them then swung her off her feet and into his arms. Despite himself, he noticed how nicely she fit against him. It had been a long while since he’d been around an attractive, unrelated woman. “Shall we try this again?”

“Good plan.” Her voice rumbled against his chest and he kind of liked it. “I must’ve thumped my head harder than I thought.”

“Or something,” he muttered.

Her head whipped up. Brown eyes full of fire. “I’m not drunk, if that’s what you’re thinking, I’m…”

She quickly looked down again, not meeting his gaze.

“You’re…” he encouraged. He’d like to hear her story and he did believe her that she wasn’t drunk. Her speech was too lucid and her breath smelled too clean. 

“I can’t. I don’t know who to trust.” She grabbed onto his arm. “Oh, holy monkey balls!”

Zack jerked in surprise and almost dropped her as she squirmed in his arms. “What are you doing now? You want to fall in the water again?” They’d reached the end of the dock, but she could still fall in the shallow water. 

“I’ve got to find something. Please. Can you help me look in the water? Back where my boat is?” Her eyes were wide and frantic. 

“Right now?” Zack gestured to the waves building as the storm increased in intensity. “No! You’re hurt. It’s dark. And there’s a storm.” His four-year-old niece had more common sense than this woman, and Chalise hadn’t spoken a word in two years. 

The woman deflated and burrowed herself into his arms. Zack liked this quite a bit better than her struggling. He tightened his hold on her. Hmm, her shape was really… shapely. 

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Come back next week for my review!
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