Back now? Have you entered the A Fall Love Affair - $500 Visa Gift Card Giveaway? Make sure you scroll past the excerpt for the Rafflecopter entry form, then be sure to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for my November book while you're there.
Now that the announcements are out of the way...
This is my last excerpt from Blame The Mistletoe. The pre-order response has been amazing and the reviews on the advance copies very favorable. I'm so thrilled!
I'm currently writing my next Montana Born story, featuring Blake's sister, Meg. It's killing me that it won't come out until next Spring. (Not ever, if I don't write the darned thing, so I'll keep the chatting short here!)
But if you enjoy free excerpts, please check out on my #SampleSunday for The Russian's Acquisition series.
And if you love free books, please join my newsletter. My next draw from my subscriber list for a signed copy of The Russians Acquisition will be around Oct 27th.
How far have we come with Liz and Blake?
- Liz meets Blake at a cocktail party (hosted by Skye and Chase from Hometown Hero) and realize they know each other.
- Liz wonders if she knows more about Blake than he does.
- Blake definitely wants to get to know Liz better.
Here they start to get to know one another more:
~ * ~
Crossing a room was hardly a date, but Blake’s light hand on her felt surprisingly significant. Which told her she was desperately in need of male attention, if she was turning to feminine pudding just because this cowboy had dominance traits.
And maybe she was being uber-sensitive, but she thought she intercepted a look from one of the men standing near the food table that silently asked Blake, How the hell did that happen?
“Has everyone met Liz Bloom?” Blake asked, introducing her around once she had a drink in her hand.
“Flowers,” she corrected. “I kept my married name so it matches my daughter’s.”
“Ah. Well, everyone will remember that I was once married to a Flower?” Blake said to the group. “Liz and I are collaborating on a country and western song about our dealings with them.”
She threw back her head in a laugh, loving the idea. “Can you imagine how tragic that song would be? It would go platinum immediately!” Their gazes caught again, both of them brimming with amused solidarity.
Oh I wish, she thought, but didn’t let herself finish the thought. Right now, this was enough. It was perfect.
A lot of names and faces flew by and everyone was very easy to talk to, thanks to Blake. He seemed very well liked, bantering easily, keeping her up to speed if the conversation started to close her out as names were brought up that she didn’t know. And he fed her, reaching across to bring a plate of cream cheese pinwheels and little crackers with pepper jelly and roasted garlic and pine nuts on them.
The evening turned out far more fun than she’d dared to anticipate, considering it had begun with such painful shyness on her part. She laughed so much her cheeks ached and a poignant feeling accosted her as the hour grew late, making her almost wish this were her life. She had friends and a home and everything she needed back in California, but she could see—for once—that maybe the Flowers were onto something. Marietta was a really wonderful place to live.
As she readied to leave, she went searching for the plastic tub she’d used to bring up her bruschetta and found Skye stocking it with Ziploc bags filled with leftovers.
“I’ll never eat all that,” Liz protested.
“Neither will we. We’re heading to Texas for a few days next week, so I can’t keep all of this. One of Chase’s friends is turning thirty and having party. He wants to go,” Skye said with a shrug and a shake of her head. “I still feel so pretentious flying halfway across the country for what amounts to one evening.”
Skye’s fiancé was a local who was now a ballplayer in the majors, but from what Liz had seen, he remained down to earth. “Have you set a date for the wedding?”
“Not until after next season. We only started seeing each other a couple of months ago.” Skye expertly packaged egg rolls with a flick and a fold. “He’s giving me time to get used to this back and forth whirlwind life of his, but we both wanted to be committed enough to give it a serious try, so—” She gave her wrist a twist, making the gorgeous stone in her ring flash as she showed it off. “This feels surreal.”
But she was happy. Glowing with joy.
Liz sighed inwardly, envious and trying not to be.
But Chase was such a gentleman, fetching her coat and holding it for her while Skye opened the door to let Blake back in from warming up his truck. Of course, Blake was quite a catch himself, stepping into the foyer so tall with snow dusting the shoulders of his worn sheepskin coat, wearing a cowboy hat now. His gaze clashed into hers like he’d been looking for her before the door had opened.
Such a lovely, fanciful thought.
“Uh oh, Liz. You have a decision to make,” Skye said, pointing above Liz’s head.
Liz looked up. Mistletoe.
“The girls made me hang it,” Chase said from behind her, referring to Skye’s nieces who’d been running around with the rest of the children this evening.
Her gaze caught Blake’s on the way down from the little sprig and her heart skipped at the light in his eyes. Her brain grasped for a smart remark, but nothing came.
Blake stepped into her space. “I think we owe it to ourselves,” he said. “Don’t you?”
Swaying, she set her hands on the cold, brushed texture of his coat, feeling ridiculously small and girlish all of a sudden. “Because of our mutual experience with the Flowers?” she asked.
“Actually . . . ” His gaze narrowed as he stared at her mouth and started to lower his head. “Let’s not think of them at all.”
His mouth touched hers and wiped her brain clean. All she knew was the brush of cold lips that warmed against hers, pressing firmly enough to open her lips so the kiss was not nearly so chaste as it should or could have been. He lingered, waiting until temptation got the better of her and she kissed him back, letting her mouth cling to his, then he slowly drew back. Something satisfied flickered in his eyes.
That had been bad. Good in a way that was very, very bad. Liz could barely breathe or muster a smile.
Skye and Chase smirked at each other. Someone from the lounge whistled. Liz rolled her eyes, feeling herself blush.
And Blake didn’t bother to hide the male smugness in his gaze as he took the leftovers from Skye and opened the door for Liz.
“You need better boots,” he told her, gripping her elbow as she tiptoed across the drive to the battered truck that was swept of snow and sending out a cloud of white exhaust. “You never would have made it home in those.”
They weren’t going to talk about that kiss then? Good.
~ * ~
I won't spoil what happens next, but Liz continues to enjoy the Christmas season, thanks to Blake. Buy Blame The Mistletoe now.
Did you know that Hometown Hero is part of the Montana Born Homecoming Series? They're very loosely linked stories, not actual sequels, but if you like to read in order, here are all the authors and their release dates:
- Sept 22 - Sing Me Back Home by Eve Gaddy
- Sept 25 - Finding Home by Roxanne Snopek
- Sept 29 - Hometown Hero by Dani Collins
- Oct 02 - Long Way Home by Kathleen O’Brien
- Oct 06 - Home For Good by Terri Reed
Please keep checking back over the next few weeks. I have lots going on for all my fall books. This one is a multi-author promotion with our publisher, Tule, and their Montana Born imprint:
Are you on Goodreads? This one runs to Oct 23rd:
Want to preorder The Russian's Acquisition from Amazon now? It will be in stores November 1st or you can also buy now from Mills & Boon UK.
If you'd like to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest...etc, Click here for Dani's Social Media links.
I feel out of sorts. Yesterday was Thanksgiving so MrC was home. Now I keep thinking today is Monday. Must get myself back up to speed.
Have a great week,