Friday, April 25, 2014

In Love and War by Tara Mills

Sometimes love really is worth fighting for, but picking your battles isn't so easy—especially when lives are at stake.

Personal tragedy and the loss of both parents at a young age made Ariela Perrine cross self-sacrificing hero types off her datable list. But Ariela is literally swept off her feet when an accident brings her face to face with an unforgettable pair of blue eyes, a playful smile, and an overly affectionate dog.

Oh yes, journalist Dylan Bond makes her sizzle, but dare she risk it?  After all, he's just returned from covering conflicts around the globe. With his assurance he'll be handling domestic stories from now on, Ariela's weak resistance crumbles and their relationship intensifies at a dizzying speed. Then an unexpected phone call lures Dylan back to Iraq and he falls off the radar. His disappearance will test them both in ways neither expected. Will it bring them closer or destroy their fragile peace forever? 

In Love and War is on sale now on Amazon.

“Please, come in.” Ariela grabbed her sweater off the hook on the wall and slipped it on, feeling a little underdressed in her pajamas.
What on earth was he doing here, and how had he found her? Not that she was complaining. Oh no, far from it. He’d made a startling impression on her earlier today. When he’d smiled at her, she could have sworn his brilliant blue eyes were dancing like fairies at a midsummer frolic. Odder still, when he spoke she’d imagined butterflies circling her head. She’d heard tinkling bells. At the time, she hoped it was because of the knock on her head. Now she wasn’t so sure. Just looking at him again was doing crazy things to her mental and physical circuitry.
The guy entered the apartment and gaped at the furniture right out of the sixties. Very familiar with this reaction, Ariela laughed.
“Yeah, I get it. The Jetsons meet Beetlejuice, right? Probably not the décor you’d expect two interior designers to have.”
He shook his head, still blinking as he took it all in.
Overlapping the edges of her unbuttoned sweater, she hugged herself, painfully aware she wasn’t wearing a bra. “Well, there’s a simple explanation. When you’re cash poor and starting a business with next to nothing, you can’t exactly go wild in your own apartment right off the bat. We’re still living with the furniture we had during college, courtesy of Uncle Henry and Aunt Rose—with a few freebies thrown in to make it really eclectic.”
She gestured to their space-age teal sofa. “Please, have a seat. Appearances aside, it’s actually quite comfortable. Can I get you something to drink—juice, tea, coffee maybe?”
 Anything, anything at all?
Turning, he flashed a little dimple. “No thanks. I’m fine.”
He’d get no argument from her.
They sat down and he looked pained when she settled into the bright tangerine-colored armchair. Understandable. It did clash jarringly with her pajamas—pastel balloons floating across a soft pink background. The poor guy blinked several times, seemingly trying to handle the color overload. Biting her lip so she didn’t break out laughing, Ariela tucked her feet up and gave him a slow, curious smile.
He sat up straight, recognizing his cue. “Right. Sorry. I suppose you’re wondering why I’m here.”
“It crossed my mind,” she admitted.
“I didn’t get a chance to give you that business card before they carted you away.”
“Oh, and you brought it to me? That’s so nice of you. Thanks.”
He peered at her intently, more serious now. “How are you?”
Even though she didn’t know him, there was something in his expression that made her believe he could be trusted, and more importantly, he wouldn’t have asked about her if he didn’t honestly want to know. The naked concern radiating out of his deep blue eyes transformed his handsome face into something miles beyond devastating.
“I have a mild concussion.” Why was she blushing?
The corner of his mouth curled up a smidgen. “Headache?”
She felt her warm cheeks flare hotter. What was wrong with her? “Not anymore.”
“Good.” He broke into a full-blown smile and settled back on the sofa, apparently satisfied.
Still reeling from the power of his smile, Ariela shifted uneasily in her chair. “I have a confession— I can’t remember your name. It’s really bugging me.”
His head dropped back and he laughed. “Dylan Bond.”
She brightened. “Like in Bond, Dylan Bond?” She’d remember it now.
His eyebrows flicked up in amusement. “Something like that.”
“Dabbles in international intrigue?” She was toying with him, but it was fun.
He flashed a sexy-assed smile. How many kinds did the guy have? “I’m comfortable being in the middle of the action, but I’m back to working domestically again.”
Say what? Ariela’s eyebrows rose so high she felt her hairline shift. “I think I need a translation. What is it you do?”
He had a great laugh. “I’m a journalist. I just finished a stint in Iraq, but I’m back now. It’s nice not having to deal with body armor and helmets.”
Looking skeptically back at him, she assumed he was putting her on. “Is that right?”
“Actually, yes.” He shifted onto one butt cheek and pulled out his wallet. A second later, he handed her a press pass from a recent event. “I’m working out of my house now—mostly covering the political side of the war.”
She read the pass, her doubts dissolving. “You actually live around here?” She handed the card back and he put it away.
“Sure, why not?”
Shrugging, she said, “Well, Lewiston isn't exactly Washington DC.”
“With the internet and a telephone, you can stay connected from pretty much anywhere. Still, I do plenty of traveling and Washington is only a two hour drive. I can be there and back before Max even notices I'm gone.”
His blue eyes were dancing again. Hello tinkling bells. “My retriever.”
“Ah yes, I remember him now.”
Dylan grinned. “He’s probably the reason you woke up wanting a wet wipe.”
She laughed and his smile deepened. That dimple of his was growing on her.
“Listen,” he said, leaning forward, elbows on his knees. “How about going out with me sometime? We can do something gentle—bumper cars maybe?”
She waited for her retreat mechanism to kick in. It was strangely silent. “Here I was, hoping you’d suggest hang gliding or bungee jumping.”
“Anything you want. I’m flexible.”
Another perfect smile flashed at her and Ariela’s heartbeat spiked. “Sure, why not?”
“Good.” He stood and pulled the business card out of his front pocket. “Here, before I forget.”
Ariela unfolded her legs and reached for the floor with her bare feet. When she rose he was right there with the card. Taking it, she noticed he was taller than she’d initially thought. She supposed that made sense. How well can you judge anyone’s height when you’re on your back?
She walked him to the door. Opening it before she could, he turned and asked, “When?”
“When what?” She watched his eyes move as he took an unabashed tour of her face.
“When can I take you out?”
The birds in her stomach were back, fluttering away. Good thing they were keeping the noise down. “Whenever?”
Dylan gave her a meaningful look, full of promise. “Expect a call.”
Ariela closed the door behind him and fell against it. If she hadn’t locked her knees, she would have been a puddle of melting woman on the floor. As Dylan’s footfalls faded out and the back door shut, she pressed a hand to her excited heart. Something told Ariela that she was in for a wild ride with this one. Hell, just sitting in a quiet room with Dylan was exhilarating. Now she knew it wasn’t just the concussion. There was far more at play here. Scary.
She was about to find out whether Dylan’s hands were capable and steady on the wheel, because he was already in her driver’s seat. She knew it, and judging by the look he gave her on the way out, he knew it too. Suddenly the Beatles were singing Drive My Car in her head.

About the Author
I’m a pampered wife, mother to three fantastic sons, one super daughter-in-law, and proud nana.
I write the stories I like to read. Life is difficult. Love makes it bearable.

Please visit my website Tara Mills Romance  for more great reads and my quirky blog. I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hypnotized by Lacey Wolfe

A new adult romance by Lacey Wolfe

I’m discovering who I am in this world. Venturing out on my own, away from my parents, and finding out what life is really all about. College isn’t as easy as I thought it would be, especially with my best friend Evan becoming someone I hardly recognize.

But then I met Gabe. He changed everything. My life will never be the same.

I lived my life day to day, waiting for something great to happen. 
Then she walked into the coffee house, with her long legs and killer smile. I had to know her. Nothing was going to stop me. She hypnotized me from the moment I laid eyes on her.
And after the first kiss, my fate was sealed to Paisley.

Content Warning: This book is recommended for ages 17 and up. Adult situations, including sex, underage drinking, and drugs will be found within these pages.

As I walked down the sidewalk in the Georgia heat, I tried not to let what Kristy said bother me. I wasn’t attached to my parents. Not really. I had a good relationship with them. We didn’t fight much. The horror stories Kristy used to tell, though. Her mom and her did not get along. She spent most of her time with me because of the constant screaming. I wasn’t surprised she had no problem leaving the state and not looking back.
So maybe it was time to move out. I was eighteen, nineteen in a few months, after all. I guess it was time to do it, but I just wasn’t feeling that push. Maybe once classes started and the commute was too much.
Next to the entrance of the coffee shop was a bike. Not a bicycle; a big motorcycle. I rolled my eyes at the pretty piece of machinery. How could someone be so inconsiderate to park there? It wasn’t a parking spot. Some people had no common sense, or even cared about how rude they were. Hopefully, some cop would ride by and give this jerk a ticket.
The dimly lit shop threw me as I stepped inside, the only lights by the register. The walls were painted a deep blue, and it was cool, almost to the point my skin bubbled up with goose bumps.
Note to self: Don’t come here to study without a flashlight and sweatshirt.
The various drink offerings were written in neon chalk on a giant chalkboard by the register. I had to admit, it looked kind of cool. The café had a laid back air to it and would probably be a great place to hang out with friends.
As I stared at the board, I got the feeling someone was watching me. Glancing over my shoulder, I noticed him in the back corner. He was definitely staring at me.
I tried to look away, but I was drawn to him. He sat there, leaning back in the chair, as he took a drink from his cup, still gazing at me. Then I noticed the helmet on the table. There was no way that guy had the motorcycle out front. He wore a pink button-down shirt and dark jeans that appeared to be pressed.
“Can I help you?”
I spun and saw a young woman behind the counter. “Uh, yeah. Sorry.”
“Didn’t mean to scare you.” She smiled as she twirled her long, brown locks.
I didn’t mean to stare at that guy for so long. It was like he’d hypnotized me. “I’ll take a tall iced mocha.”
The girl picked up a cup and with sharpie in hand asked, “Name?”
After I dug out the exact change—yes, I’m one of those people—I stepped back to wait. Every nerve in my body told me he still watched me, but I wouldn’t look at him. Absolutely not. Okay, one glance won’t hurt.
Damn. He was hot. He kept his dark hair short, but long enough that if I kissed him, my fingers could tangle in his hair.
Kiss him? I would not be doing that.
“Paisley,” the lady behind the counter called.
I turned my attention from the strikingly sexy guy back to the barista and thanked her as I took my cup. I needed to get out of here. Keeping my focus on the door, and away from the hot guy, I made a beeline for the door. Before I could make my escape, he reached out and touched me, stopping me in my tracks. Wow, I hadn’t realized his table was so close to the door.
“Hey.” He grinned, oh so sexily.
Taking a deep breath I said, “Hi.”
“I’ve never seen you in here before.”
If I’d known this place was full of hotties, I’d have been here more. “First time.” I took a sip of my drink.
“I hope it’s been a good experience. Perhaps I’ll see you again.” He tapped his fingers on the table, never blinking.


About Lacey Wolfe
Lacey Wolfe has always had a passion for words, whether it’s getting lost in a book or writing her own. From the time she was a child she would slip away to write short stories about people she knew and fantasies she wished would happen. It has always been her dream to be a published author and with her two children now of school age, she finally has the time to work on making her dream come true.

Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their six cats and one black lab who rules the house.

You can find Lacey at the following places: