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The Wife Finder – The Billionaires of Silicon Forest Book 1 by Melissa McClone


The Wife Finder
The Billionaires of Silicon Forest Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

When it comes to love,
all bets are off…

Failure has never been an option for self-made billionaire Blaise Mortenson. So when his friends suggest a wager to see who will be the last bachelor among them, he takes the bet. He has no doubt he’ll win—especially after he hires Hadley Lowell to find perfect matches for his friends. Now all Blaise has to do is ignore his growing attraction to the gorgeous, demanding matchmaker.

Hadley runs her business like a clandestine military op, precisely controlling every feasible outcome. But falling for a client? That was a possibility she never saw coming. Blaise’s drive, determination, and the softer side he tries to hide from the world appeals to her on a gut-deep level—but while her matchmaking success rate is unbeatable, finding love for herself has been nearly impossible. There’s no way her happily ever after could come in the form of a tech billionaire who isn’t even looking for love…is there?

What should have been a simple business transaction quickly turns into something way more complicated, and Blaise starts to wonder if he’s in danger of losing more than just the bet when all is said and done…

As Blaise, Wes and Dash prepare for the garter toss at their friend Mason’s wedding, Blaise decides that in order to be the last single one of their group and win the bet he needs to take some drastic measures.

With the help of Henry Davenport, who is sort of responsible for matches within his group, Blaise sets out to find matches for Wes and Dash.

Hadley Lowell has some strict conditions to her matchmaking business and she doesn’t ever make exceptions. That’s something Blaise isn’t used to, nobody ever says no to him. However Hadley does so repeatedly.

Blaise decides to push things along and travels a day earlier than Hadley had the time for him. He’s determined to have this interview and be back to business as usual the next morning.

Boy was he in for a surprise.

This is a favorite scene.

A woman stepped into the doorway. She was four inches shorter than him with auburn shoulder-length hair, ivory skin, and pink cheeks. Early to mid-thirties. And gorgeous.

Mouthwateringly, so.

She wasn’t one of those women who are so thin their heads look out of proportion, the kind who only ate salad and an occasional slice of avocado toast. That type didn’t appeal to him. This one did. She had curves— nice ones.

Blaise wanted to memorize every detail.

Her blue eyes reminded him of the sky on a summer day, when flowers bloomed, the sun shone, and the dark, lonely nights didn’t last as long as they did in winter.

He stared transfixed, connected to this stranger by an invisible force. Awareness thrummed through him. Staring was rude, but he couldn’t look away from her.

Noises sounded. Muted footsteps. A door. A phone.

All Blaise could focus on was her.

Maybe this trip hadn’t been such a bad idea. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so… intrigued.

She blinked. “Can I help you?”

Her voice was deeper than expected, a tad husky. Sexy. He wanted to hear her say more and laugh. He couldn’t wait to hear her laugh.

She cleared her throat. “You’re Blaise Mortenson.”

The woman didn’t sound surprised. If anything, she appeared resigned.

Did that mean…?

Of course, it did. “You’re Hadley Lowell.”

She nodded once.

His insides deflated. A strange reaction. One he would ignore.

Hadley eyed him curiously. “I thought you were too busy to come to San Francisco.”

“Yes, but you’re the best matchmaker, so here I am.”

“I told you my next appointment is tomorrow at nine.”

“That was before I changed my plans.” And asked Trevor to cancel calls and reschedule meetings. Blaise needed to be back in the office before the markets opened tomorrow. “Let’s talk now.”

She locked the door to the office before facing him again. “That won’t work.”

“I’m here. I came to you. As you require.” Something he normally wouldn’t have done. For anyone. Then again, he usually wouldn’t notice the cute freckles sprinkled across the bridge of her nose. “Can’t you be a little flexible?”

Hadley’s jaw tensed. “You’re not the only one with obligations.”

“I’ll make it worth your while.”

Her face scrunched. “Does throwing money at a problem always work for you?”

“Usually.”

“Not this time.” She adjusted the strap of her computer bag. “I have to go.”

“Wait.” Blaise hadn’t blocked Hadley’s way, but he didn’t want her to leave yet. The last commercial flight to Portland departed at eleven tonight. He wanted to be on it, because this visit wasn’t worth the carbon footprint of a private jet ride. “Are you free this afternoon or this evening? I can meet you no matter what time you have available.”

“Mr. Mortenson—”

“Blaise.”

She frowned. “Blaise, I have two children to pick up from school in less than forty-five minutes. After that, we have a busy afternoon planned.”

Children?

Disappointment shot through him. A glance at her left hand showed a bare ring finger. That meant she was divorced or widowed. For some odd reason, the realization brought relief. “How old are your kids?”

“They’re my niece and nephew.” Hadley’s knuckles turned white around her keys. “Both are young enough I can’t keep them waiting. So if you’ll excuse me—”

“I’ll go with you.”

Her brows furrowed. “What did you say?”

Her question took him aback because he’d said the first thing that had come to his mind. “I’ll come with you.”

“Why would you want to do that?”

He wasn’t ready to say goodbye. No, that wasn’t the reason. He was here to discuss her matchmaking service so he could win the bet. “I’m sure you’ll have a block of free time so we can talk.”

She half laughed. “You don’t have children.”

The thought of loud, sticky small humans made him squirm. “No.”

“Have you spent much time around children?”

Donating money to charities that helped kids was fine, but real-life interactions? He shuddered. “No.”

Hadley rubbed her mouth. “It’ll be easier if you wait until tomorrow morning.”

“I can’t wait. This is important to me.”

A door opened down the hall.

She glanced that way before looking at him. “What if we don’t have time to talk?”

Now she was making excuses, trying to get out of meeting with him, but he wouldn’t let her off that easily.

Wes was the image of smooth and eloquent no matter the situation. Adam and Kieran weren’t as charming, but they held their own. Dash could be the poster child for introverted, socially clueless tech guys. Mason was a step above him. Blaise, however, fell in the middle of his friends.

On purpose.

He hated meaningless chit-chat, but he’d learned the ability to mingle and make small talk would help him get ahead. It wasn’t something that came naturally, but that hadn’t stopped him. He’d observed and practiced. He had a feeling those lessons would come in handy with Hadley.

Blaise would keep his voice light. “I wouldn’t blame you.”

“I hope not, since it wouldn’t be my fault.”

Okay, maybe his tone hadn’t been as playful as he’d hoped, but hiding his irritation was harder than he thought it would be. She was the problem. Not him. If she was more flexible with her process, this trip to San Francisco wouldn’t have been necessary.

“Can I come along?” he asked in his this-will-be-fun voice he used when an overnight shift debugging code faced his team. He would try one more thing. “Please.”

She blew out a breath. “Let’s go.”

Blaise fought the urge to pump his fist. Instead, he fell in step next to her as she headed to the lobby at a quick pace.

“Do you have a car?” he asked.

She held up her keys. “I do.”

Guess he wouldn’t need the SUV, except… “Lex can follow us.”

“Who is Lex?”

“One of my bodyguards.”

“The more the merrier.” Her tone was more ominous than humorous. “But if you think we’ll have a meeting in bits and pieces while I drive, ride with Lex.”

Blaise held up his hands, palms out. “I can wait until we have a block of
time.”

“You might be waiting awhile.” She eyed him warily. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

No worries. He’d shown up unexpectedly and asked her to make an exception for their meeting. But that was what he did— tackled issues head-on.

No one got the better of him.

Especially a matchmaker, one who thought she was in control on her home turf.
Melissa McClone. The Wife Finder (Kindle Locations 568-620). Cardinal Press, LLC.

What ensues is an interesting romp with Hadley and her niece and nephew. I laughed so much as Blaise is thwarted at every turn.

When Hadley finally agrees to try to match up Wes and Dash, she ends up in a situation that is both comedic and romantic.

This is a complicated, fun and thoroughly enjoyable read with just the right amount of sizzle.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Four Book Bundle! One Night To Forever – Books 1 – 4 By Melissa McClone


Experience love when it’s least expected
with four full-length,
heartwarming sweet romances
in the One Night to Forever box set!

Includes

One Night to Forever
One Night to Forever Books 1-4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

With fake engagements, a surprise pregnancy, friendship to love, and hate to love storylines, these four novels will take you from San Francisco to Portland to Sun Valley. Treat yourself and find out how one night can lead to forever…

Fiancé for the Night

When a fake engagement spirals out of control, Cassandra fears losing her heart. Will she end the fake engagement, or could Troy be her perfect husband for life?

The Wedding Lullaby

After an impromptu wedding that was just for fun, Laurel discovers she’s pregnant. Will she get the marriage and family she dreams of having with Brett?

A Little Bit Engaged

A PR nightmare drags Cara into a fake engagement with A-list actor—and former crush—Brody. What will it take for her to survive the ruse with her heart intact

Love on the Slopes

The one person who can help her is the last person she’d ever trust…again. Can Ryland and Brynn overcome their painful pasts and make their dreams come true—together?

Barnes and Noble logo_150 ibooks-logo-150x150KoboLogo

Fiancé for the Night

This book is a tale of things spinning totally out of control.

It begins innocently enough, Cassandra wants to stop her parents from setting her up with their idea of the perfect husband for her. She decides to select one man from a local hangout that fits the bill and have him be her fiancé for the night.

Troy isn’t quite sure what to make of the free spirited Cassandra as he considers her proposal. He decides to go for it, a free meal and a lovely companion for the evening beats going home to an empty apartment and working.

Cassandra gets quite the surprise when she finds out what Troy does for a living and things start hurtling out of control.

This is a favorite scene.

Cassandra’s cheeks warmed. Thank goodness he wasn’t her type, or she could imagine falling for Mr. Troy McKnight.

“Enough honeymoon talk.” Her father straightened in his chair.

“Why don’t we discuss the wedding?” her mother suggested. “Have you set a date?”

“No,” Cassandra said. “We aren’t sure if we want a traditional wedding or not.”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Emily muttered. “I see you don’t have a ring yet.”

“We’re using my grandmother’s engagement ring,” Troy said. The man kept saying the unexpected, and she appreciated his fast thinking. “I haven’t had time to fly home and get it from my parents’ house.”

“Your grandmother’s ring.” Her mother clapped her hands together. “A family heirloom. How wonderful.”

Troy smiled at Cassandra. Her mother’s reaction seemed to please him.

Eric glanced at the rock on Emily’s ring finger. “That works out well financially. Troy has a ring to use, and Cassandra has a dress to wear.”

Jerk. Cassandra balled her hands into fists.

Emily’s parted lips matched her wide eyes. She exchanged a glance with Eric.

“She can’t wear that dress,” Emily said with uncharacteristic understanding. “She bought it for… for… another wedding.”

“But the dress has never been worn,” Eric explained as if he were talking about a pair of jeans, not a beautiful white dress that had made Cassandra feel like a princess. “Letting an expensive wedding gown hang in the closet forever because I married you would be a total waste.”

Cassandra stiffened. She couldn’t believe she’d told that moron she loved him or said yes when he’d asked her to marry him. Temporary insanity. That was the only explanation.

Troy placed his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. His warm breath teased her neck.

“Are you okay?” he whispered.

She nodded. At least someone cared, or pretended to care, about her feelings. “I sold the dress.”

“Well, then. That means you’ll need a new one. This time…” Her mother picked up her glass of Chardonnay. “I want to go shopping with you.”

“Of course, Mother.” That day would never happen.

“There’s plenty of time to talk about the wedding,” her father said. “All I know is my little girl looks happy, and that makes me happy.”

“My job is to make her happy.” Troy caressed Cassandra’s cheek with his fingertips.

A tingle ran up her spine. “You do an excellent job.”

Did he ever.

He was playing the devoted fiancé role better than she expected. She would have to be careful given the sparks that could easily erupt into fireworks if he kept touching her.

“What do you do, Troy?” Emily asked.

Leave it to her sister to get to the bottom line— income potential. An interrogation of Troy was bound to happen at some point. Cassandra had hoped they could get through appetizers and their salads first.

No biggie.

She assumed Troy was an attorney. He had that overpaid, on-a-retainer, stick-up-his-bottom lawyer look about him. “Go ahead, honey. Tell them what you do.”

Troy cleared his throat. “Venture capital.”

Oh, no. Not V.C. Cassandra clenched her teeth to keep her mouth from gaping open. Her stomach somersaulted.

This couldn’t be happening.

Not again.

Her dad beamed. Of course this news would make him ecstatic.

Dixon Daniels was one of the long-reigning kings of venture capitalists— financiers who invested in startup companies in hopes of making huge profits. He’d made a fortune at the height of the tech bubble, but money had continued to pour in after the dot-com collapse and now.

Her father leaned forward. “I thought you looked familiar, Troy. Who do you work for, Sand Hill? No, it’s Scorpio Partners. I remember now. You handled the MagiWare deal.”

Troy nodded.

“Impressive.” Her dad wasn’t a man who gave praise often. “Why didn’t you tell me your fiancé was in the business, honey?”

Cassandra struggled for words to say. Troy had caught her off-guard. He looked like an attorney. He was supposed to be an attorney.

How could she have been so stupid? Why hadn’t she asked what he did?

Daniels Venture Group was a respected firm, and Dixon Daniels was known as the master. Up-and-comers would kill to learn from him. Marrying the boss’s daughter was an easy way in. Just ask Eric Wainwright.

Not sure how to answer, she swallowed. “Well, Dad…”

“We wanted to tell you in person,” Troy finished for her, much to Cassandra’s relief. “I didn’t want you to think I was marrying your daughter for the wrong reasons.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 427-475). Cardinal Press, LLC.

From a one night dinner, the ‘engagement’ proceeds to a week-end and then more.

All of sudden it’s not just solving Cassie’s problem, it becomes an issue for Troy and his employment.

Lots of twists, turns and fun as these two become more than just pretend.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

The Wedding Lullaby

Henry Davenport’s birthday extravaganzas are legendary among his friends. Those in attendance all have something in common other than their extreme wealth, they all have holiday birthdays. The preface of this book supplies the cause of the effects that are in this story. A fake wedding is the theme and the ‘lucky’ dice rollers are Brett Matthews and Laurel Worthington.

At the time of the party, no one knew the dire circumstances facing Laurel and her mother. Now broke and pregnant, Laurel has to approach Brett for a job. She won’t force him to accept the child, in fact, she won’t be a trophy wife forced on him because of pregnancy. She wants love and respect.

Of course Brett already knows everything, and is more than ready to accept the responsibility of both her and the child. He just wasn’t going to make it easy on her. She would never have dated him before that party, his was new money, not the old her family preferred.

Brett had also convinced himself she would take the easy way and marry him over getting a job. Boy was he wrong.

This is a favorite scene.

Brett was only trying to do the right thing. Why wasn’t that good enough for Laurel? His family may not have crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower or been listed on the pages of the social registry, but she was the one with no money, no home, and no job. What would he have to do to convince her to marry him?

On the drive to the restaurant, the atmosphere in his car was as chilly as a February morning, and the cold wasn’t blasting from the air-conditioning.
Recognizing the scent of her perfume didn’t help matters. The light floral fragrance suited her perfectly, and the smell transported him back to watching her dress the morning after their so-called wedding night. She’d dabbed the perfume behind her earlobes, on her wrists, and in the hollow between her breasts.

She’d thought he was asleep and was sneaking out before he awakened. She hadn’t known he’d been up since dawn wondering what to do and say to her. Laurel had taken care of that for him by leaving a note on the pillow next to him.

He’d read the letter so many times he had it memorized….

Every little girl dreams of her wedding day, complete with her own Prince Charming. The ceremony at the Love Dove Wedding Nest Chapel might not have met those expectations, but last night exceeded them. Thank you for making my dreams come true, even if it was for only one night. I wish I could stay longer, but family obligations require me to return to Chicago.

P.S. Thanks for the “wedding” gift. I love the snow globe.

Sure, she did.

Brett knew better than to believe anything she said, then or now. In Reno, he’d thought she would be the perfect wife. So much for perfection.

Yet, he couldn’t deny his attraction for her. An attraction growing by the minute, as crazy as it was to believe.

After parking at the restaurant, he helped her out of the car. She stiffened at his touch, but he wasn’t deterred. As he led her inside, his hand resting on the small of her back, she stayed tensed.

He swore under his breath.

The ice-maiden routine had to stop.

Once they were seated and ordered dinner, the tension between them didn’t improve. The din of voices from the other diners, along with music from the piano in the lounge, kept their lack of conversation from being overly awkward.

A brush of her leg against his sent sparks flying, but she merely apologized, dismissing him without a thought, and sipped her water.

Water wouldn’t cut it for Brett. Three fingers of whiskey sounded about right. He wasn’t a big drinker, but Laurel could make a man do things he normally didn’t do. He settled for beer, a local brewery’s award-winning summer ale, and tried to figure out his strategy.

He hadn’t gotten this far in life by taking no for an answer.

Things weren’t going as he expected— or rather, maybe they were. He’d deluded himself into thinking Laurel could see beyond her upbringing and former station in life. Both in Reno and now.

Truth was she’d hurt him by leaving without saying goodbye, and by not contacting him after she returned to Chicago. That had nothing to do with the baby and everything to do with him.

He shouldn’t care. Not now.

The situation had changed. This wasn’t about her or him. The baby was the bottom line. His ego might be bruised by her rejection, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him.

She had to marry him.

His baby needed a family. He would do whatever it took to make that happen. Even lower his standards to marry her.

“Now about us getting married,” he said finally.

She massaged her temples. “Let’s not repeat that mistake.”

He flinched. “Mistake or not, I’m concerned how you intend to care for our baby.”

“I told you.” She sighed. “Some women choose to stay at home. Others choose to work. I’m going to work.”

“You’re pregnant. You shouldn’t be working.”

Laurel frowned. “Pregnancy is not an illness, although some misinformed people think it is. That’s one reason I came to you.”

She didn’t have a clue. About life. About him.

“Don’t roll your eyes at me, Brett Matthews.” She pursed her lips. “I didn’t travel this far on a whim. Do you think leaving my hometown for a city I’ve never been to was easy? Do you think I wanted to spend three days riding on a bus?”

Everything she did surprised him. “Why didn’t you find a job in Chicago?”

She toyed with her napkin. “I had a job, but it didn’t work out.”

According to the PI’s report, she’d been fired from her position at an exclusive department store, but no reason for her dismissal had been given.

“I searched for another job, but due to my father’s stellar reputation preceding me, I couldn’t find anything that paid more than minimum wage. I thought you would be able to look past my current condition, so I could start over and make a new life here in Portland.”

“You really want to work?”

“I really want to work.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 3967-4017). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Brett finally agrees to give her a job as assistant to his assistant. He also makes a plan to go with her to look at apartments, even though he has no intention of letting her live anywhere but with him.

This is a fun read with plenty of ups and downs a Laurel not only finds her way as a working women but also finds herself in the process. Even Brett grows in his mindset as this tale unfolds.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

A Little Bit Engaged

This story is painful in the sense that throughout Cait aka Caitlyn seems oblivious to the hurt and embarrassment she is causing Brody and her sister.

Brody springs a surprise visit on Cara and also an almost unbelievable proposition. A temporary engagement.

Now Cara has been a little more than in love with Brody since their school days, but this is almost more than she can handle. Then Brody shows her the video that has caused Cait to force their hands.

This is a favorite scene.

“We’re not getting married,” Caitlin hiccupped between sobs. Streams of mascara-stained tears flowed down her cheeks. “Brody and I… We aren’t engaged. We broke up.”

Cara’s lips parted, her eyes widened, and then she blinked several times. Her face tightened into a pained expression that made him feel like a jerk. “Why did you break up? Is Caitlin okay? Did you hurt her?”

“Keep watching.”

Auntie Shark patted Caitlin’s arm. “I’m so sorry.”

Caitlin swiped her hand across her face. The move made a bigger mess of her makeup. She appeared oh-so-human, not the perfectly put together actress that girls and teens idolized.

Auntie Shark extended a tissue. “Take your time, dear.”

“Thank you.” Caitlin dabbed her face slowly as if trying to think of what to say next. If only she hadn’t rushed… “I didn’t want our fans to find out this way, but I suppose there isn’t a good time to tell them.”

“Tell them what?” Auntie Shark sounded giddy.

Caitlin stared straight at the camera. Her vulnerability clawed at him. “About Brody.”

“What about him?”

“He’s… He’s getting married.”

“Huh?” Cara muttered.

“What?” Auntie Shark’s mouth gaped. “Who is he marrying?”

Caitlin’s slight pause told Brody she was making this up as she went. “My twin sister.”

“No!” Auntie Shark and Cara shouted at the same time.

The horror in that one word twisted his heart. He’d experienced the same shock, disbelief, and… hurt. He knew the question— Why, Caitlin?— was echoing in Cara’s head the way it had resounded in his. He patted her hand. Not much support, but this was all he could give her. They were in this together, or they would be if she agreed to be his temporary fiancée.

“You can’t be serious.” Auntie Shark appeared shocked.

“I’m afraid so.” Caitlin sniffled. “They’ve been secretly dating. I don’t know how long this has been going on, but they attended the Academy Awards together last year when I was sick. Maybe it started then. I’m trying to be happy for them. I was at the bridal salon to try on bridesmaid dresses, but it’s… hard. The two people I love most in this world betrayed me in the worst possible way.” She wiped her eyes with a tissue before she straightened. “And you know, it’s so bizarre how life is imitating art.”

“What do you mean?” Auntie Shark’s tone was sympathetic, but her eyes gleamed with dollar signs. No doubt this exclusive, juicy morsel had thrilled her.

“My new film Trouble in Tulle is about a jilted bride whose groom runs off with her best friend. Everyone should see the movie when it opens this weekend.” Caitlin perked up for a moment, but then, as if on cue, more tears flooded her cheeks. “My sister is… was… my best friend.”

“Oh, no. No. No. No.” Cara’s voice trembled. Her lower lip quivered. “Please tell me this is a sick joke. An early April Fool’s prank. Payback for me making fun of your movie franchise.”

Brody wanted to wipe away her worry. Instead, he shut off the video. “I wish I could.”

Cara stared at his phone. “I don’t know what to say.”

“I know the feeling. It’s like I’m on a roller coaster that won’t stop— only, this ride hasn’t been any fun.” He placed his phone on the old, beat-up trunk that doubled as a coffee table. “I just want it to end.”

“Why would Caitlin do this to me? To us?” The pain in Cara’s voice hurt Brody. “I’ve stayed out of the public eye on purpose. Now she’s pushing me into the spotlight. Can you stop this?”

The hope in Cara’s gaze made him want to say yes, but he couldn’t tell her another lie. “I thought about going to my lawyer, but Caitlin talked me out of it. She said the real-life parallel with the movie is too perfect not to exploit. The show was taped this morning. It’s set to air on Thursday. That gives us time.”

“Time for what?” The lines on Cara’s forehead deepened. “My sister has lost it.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 6967-7005). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Everything gets totally out of control as they make like they are planning their wedding. Every time they turn around there are cameras as Cait does the unthinkable and tips off the paparazzi.

I absolutely love the way this romance plays out. Brody and Cara are truly made for each other. The question is will they realize it too.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Love on the Slopes

There are many factors in this one, the first being their past. Brynn did Ryland a favor he thought was something altogether different and bragged about it, causing her embarrassment. Then he was injured and has been off the circuit and reevaluating his life choices.

Brynn has lost her focus, the issues she has can’t be discussed with anyone associated with the team. The coaches have asked Ryland to work with Brynn to get her back on track. To say she’s not happy is an understatement.

This is a favorite scene.

Guyer pushed one of the two coffee cups on the table toward her. “For you. Two sugars and a dash of cream.”

That was how she drank hers. Her mouth watered, but she squinted. “Never saw you as the stalker type.”

“I’m usually being stalked,” he admitted. “But you can learn almost anything in less than five minutes on the internet. Your favorite color is orange?”

“Yes, the brighter the better.” Brynn sipped her coffee. The liquid was hot and sweet, the way she liked it. “Why did you go to the trouble to do a search on me?”

“If we’re going to work together—”

“Stop.” She raised her left hand, palm facing him. “Neither of us wants to work together, so let’s not pretend otherwise.”

He didn’t contradict her. Brynn wasn’t surprised, but she didn’t appreciate the sting of disappointment that came out of the blue. “Give me some advice now, and we’ll call it good.”

“That’s not what Coach has in mind.”

“He’ll never know.”

“Yes, he will.”

Guyer tapped his fingers on the table. His nails were clean and in better shape than hers. Then again, he’d been modeling, according to her roommate, Lila Raines, so maybe manicures were part of his photo shoot prep.

“Coach knows everything,” Guyer added.

Far from it. Frederick might know skiing, but he was clueless about other stuff. But no one else knew that except Brynn.

She wrapped her hand around the coffee cup. The warmth didn’t take away the chill. “The coaches want to say they did everything they could before I’m cut from the team. Everyone knows I don’t meet the selection criteria for a nomination. My only hope is a coach’s discretion spot.”

She expected Guyer to show a sign of relief— he’d avoided her over the years the way she had him— but his expression didn’t change.

He picked up his coffee. “I didn’t know until this morning.”

“You haven’t been around.”

“I’m here now.” He raised his coffee. “Don’t make this a wasted trip for me. My dad let me take the company jet so I could fly direct and bypass the drive from Boise.”

“Rough life.”

“Doesn’t suck.” Ry took a sip. “So Coach said you’re not injured. That means something’s going on in your head. Have any idea what?”

“Everyone who’s tried to help me has come up empty.” Of course, she hadn’t told them the reason she’d lost her focus. She’d promised her mother not to tell anyone and hadn’t. Couldn’t. “We’re talking sports psychologists, counselors, coaches. The best around.”

A part of Brynn wished someone could help her, but telling the truth might get her kicked off the team faster than having poor race results. She didn’t dare.

“Why do you think you can do better?” she asked.

“Don’t know if I can, but Coach wants me to try. If you’re not interested, that’s fine, but I won’t lie to him about what we’re doing.”

“Why not? You used to lie all the time.” His lies had been infamous and used in a drinking game. Something to joke and laugh about until he’d spread lies about the two of them having sex. Suddenly, people viewed her differently. And not in a good way.

Denying the rumors had made her appear guilty and heartbroken over Ry-Guy. Granted, only the younger guys had expected her to put out, but she hadn’t appreciated the curious looks she’d received from others, including the team staff.

Guyer’s mouth tightened. “I don’t do a lot of things I used to do.”

Her curiosity piqued, she drank more coffee to keep from asking him questions.

“What happened in Åre?” he asked.

His question about the race in Sweden was unexpected. Unwelcome, too.

Memories careened through her head like a possessed jackhammer, the noise more deafening than the cheering crowds at the finish line. “I had a bad run.”

“More than one. You were DQ’d in multiple events.”

She stared into her cup. “Everyone has a bad competition.”

“You’ve had an off season.”

Her muscles tensed, knotting themselves like the tangled fringe on her old scarf. She’d had a chance to finish on the podium at Lake Louise the week before Åre but hadn’t. Her loss caused “Dad” to go off on her. She’d tried her entire life to prove herself to Sully, to earn his love, to make him as proud of her as he was of her hockey-playing brothers. At least she’d discovered why pleasing him had been an impossible task. Sully wasn’t her biological father.

“I’m doing the best I can,” she said finally.

“You believe that?”

“No.” She might be withholding the truth, but she wasn’t a liar. “Or I wouldn’t be here with you.”

A smile spread across Guyer’s face. “A sense of humor is good, but so is being focused. I watched a few clips of your recent races. You’ve lost your focus.”

“Yes.” But she couldn’t say why. Brynn gnawed on her lower lip.

“Do you want to stay on the team?” he asked.

“Yes.” The word catapulted from her mouth. “More than anything.”

Doubt filled his gaze.

“It’s true.” She sounded defensive and on guard, exactly how she felt. “I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“Does that include working with me?”

Brynn didn’t reply. Instead, she sipped her coffee.
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 10041-10094). Cardinal Press, LLC.

As the days pass, the attraction between them grows. Brynn has to come to terms with her emotions and future on the team, difficult as it may be.

Fun, intriguing, emotional, and romantic. You won’t want to put this one down.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!


Individually
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Proper Princess – Her Royal Duty Book 3 By Melissa McClone



The Proper Princess
Her Royal Duty Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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She’s been a proper princess—
but she wants to rebel.

After the death of her fiancé, Princess Madeleine knows a loveless, arranged marriage awaits her. She’s resigned to her fate until she meets her intended husband. Crown Prince Enrique is gorgeous, but he comes on way too strong, says the wrong things, and fumbles with apologies. He’s more court jester than Prince Charming. How can she marry him?

Enrique might be self-centered and lack social skills, but he’s trying to do better—for himself, his country, and his future wife. Despite their royal union being a political necessity, he wants his marriage with the captivating Madeleine to be a love match. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to woo her. How hard can it be to win his princess bride’s heart?

Nearly impossible, he discovers, because Madeleine seems unwilling—or unable—to give him her heart. On their wedding day, instead of exchanging vows, will the royal couple say goodbye?

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Princess Madeline is still heartbroken five years after her fiancé’s death. Now circumstances are such that an arranged marriage is necessary to save their kingdom.

Crown Prince Enrique has had many marriage contracts go awry. The one with Princess Juliana ended with her marrying his brother. Thanks to Parliament he now must wed to ascend the throne. His father needs to retire and is abdicating, but has managed to find another contract. All he can envision is his brother and Jules taking the throne. He’s failed at completing an arrangement so many times because of his feeling of not being able to love.

After messing up royally (pun intended), Enrique calls Jules for advice. His brother Alejandro and Jules have been invaluable in helping him change to be more flexible and personable. He has to apologize and can only hope it is accepted.

This is a favorite scene.

She stood with her shoulders pressed back and head held high. Proper princess posture. “You mentioned touring the grounds earlier.”

“I did, but first, I must apologize.” Enrique forced the words from his dry throat before realizing he was still putting on an act of what he thought she wanted him to be. He took another breath, allowing his posture to relax. “I’m sorry for offending you earlier. I wish I could blame what I said on nerves, but that wasn’t the case. I’m known for saying the wrong things. Not just at the wrong time. Pretty much all the time. I’ve been trying to do better, but I still have a ways to go as you saw today.”

A beat passed. Then another.

He forced himself not to shift his weight between his feet. She was the offended party, not him.

Madeleine raised her chin slightly. “Apology accepted.”

Enrique waited for her to say more, but she didn’t. “May we begin again?”

She nodded.

He extended his arm. “I’m Enrique. Crown prince or court jester depending on the situation.”

A smile tugged at the corners of her lips. She shook his hand. “I’m Madeleine. Proper princess and tour guide extraordinaire.”

His hand was larger, but her grip was stronger than he imagined it would be. Her skin was as soft and smooth as it looked.

She drew her arm to her side, and he missed her warmth.

He stepped out of his room and closed the door behind him. “Lead the way, tour guide.”

As Madeleine headed down the wide hallway, she motioned to various doors they passed. “This is the family wing. There are four guest suites besides my family’s rooms.”

“Do you host many guests?”

“Around the holidays, mainly. There’s also a summer celebration that is popular. Most guests stay on the other side of the castle, though.”

“I’m honored to be near you.”

Her expression didn’t change, but she no longer frowned. That was progress.

She opened a door to a landing and stone staircase. “This will take us to the ground level.”

On either side of the steps were walls of rocks put together like puzzle pieces and held in place by mortar. The castle oozed character, as if part of a movie set.

“Is this original?” he asked.

“Yes.” She didn’t slow her pace. “The exterior looks the same as it has for centuries albeit maintained by the staff and updated as necessary.”

He ran his hand along the rocks to his right. The stone was worn smooth. “If these walls could talk.”

She glanced over her shoulder with a surprised gaze. “They might have stories to tell. This was the escape route for the royal family when the castle was attacked. That happened a few times with past generations.”

“When we are on the island, I’ll show you what my family used.”

“I— I’d like that.” Her voice was hesitant, but that was better than disgusted. More progress.

The staircase led to a small grassy area enclosed by another wall— this one taller. He followed her to a massive iron gate. “Is this to keep the royal family in or others out?”

“I daresay both.” She sounded as if she were smiling. “When we were children, Karl was known for getting into mischief.”

“What about you?”

She shrugged. “Someone had to behave.”

That sounded like Jules. Did Madeleine have a secret passion as his sister-in-law had? He would ask once they were getting along better.

He followed her out of the gate to a landscaped area with clipped hedges, stone walkways, and verdant shrubbery. “This is breathtaking.”

She glanced around as if seeing the grounds for the first time. “It is. I take the beauty for granted or remember when snow covers everything during the winter.”

“The weather is harsher than on the island.”

Madeleine nodded. “I’ve lived here for twenty-seven years so I’m used to it. Sunshine and blue skies overhead for most of the year will be different.”

Her words held no anticipation. No excitement. No happiness.

Yes, this was an arranged marriage, but her lack of emotion bothered him. “Will you miss Gaullia?”

“I’ve always known this place wouldn’t be my home forever.”

She hadn’t answered the question. Not exactly. But he wouldn’t push. Not until he knew where he stood with her.

“Would you like to see the garden?” she asked.

“Yes, please.”
Melissa McClone. The Proper Princess ARC (Kindle Locations 727-772). Cardinal Press, LLC.

As Madeline shows Enrique the gardens, they both learn about each other. Be prepared to sniffle a bit. All is not well though as the wedding day approaches, and Enrique finds he has a desire for a love match.

I love the way this relationship very gradually progresses. Both fighting their demons and their responsibilities.

I would really like to see the other Crown Princes meet their matches, even though their kingdoms have been saved by their sisters.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!


Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Not-So-Perfect Princess – Her Royal Duty Book 2 by Melissa McClone



The Not-So-Perfect Princess
Her Royal Duty Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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Duty requires her to marry—
but she’s having second thoughts.

Princess Julianna dreams of marrying for love, but no one cares what she wants. The future of her kingdom—and countrywomen—depends on her arranged marriage. Too bad, her intended’s brother is the one who captures her interest with his good looks and sailing skills. She’ll just have to push aside her attraction and do what’s right for everyone else, if not herself…

Prince Alejandro wants nothing more than to relinquish his title. He can’t wait for his older brother to marry and have a child. That is, until he meets the beautiful princess destined to be his country’s future queen. Julianna holds the key to his freedom, yet he recognizes a kindred spirit—someone trapped by the demands of being royalty—and finds her utterly irresistible.

Knowing the royal wedding must occur for the sake of their countries doesn’t stop them from wanting to be together. A happy ending could be theirs if they are willing to accept the consequences of following their hearts. Will duty or love reign supreme?

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Princess Julianna captured my attention in ‘The Reluctant Princess’ and I really wanted her to get her own HEA. Her father has arranged several matches, and not one of them have panned out to this point. They were all in love with another. This time her match is the Crown Prince of an Island in the Mediterranean.

With her love of sailing, she is pretty sure that living on an island will afford her many opportunities to sail the ocean.

Prince Enrique has signed a somewhat unique marriage agreement, one that Julianna would not be happy with.

Then there’s Alejandro, the second son. He designs, builds and races sailboats. His goal is to attract more tourism to his island country, improving the economy in a way very different from his father’s and brother’s ideas.

Of all the introductions when Julianna reaches the island this is a favorite.

Jules forced herself to breathe. That might slow her heart rate.

“Are you injured?” Brandt’s concern over her well-being was unmistakable.

“I’m fine,” Jules assured her brother. She was more interested in the man— the prince— who saved her from hitting the floor and still held her with his strong arms. Such wide shoulders, too.

Awareness seeped through her.

“My apologies.” His deep, rich voice and Spanish accent sent her rapid pulse into a mad sprint. “The kitten darted out of the room before I could grab him.”

Ortiz raised his chin. “As I said, there are no rats in the palace.”

With a sharp inhale, the prince set her on her feet. He kept hold of her after she was standing.

“Stable?” he asked.

She nodded, forcing herself not to stare at his muscular chest and ripped abs.

He let go of her.

A chill shivered through Jules. She wasn’t used to being in close contact with anyone, but she missed having his nicely muscled arms around her.

She studied him, eager for a better glimpse.

Over six feet tall with an athletic build, he was more pirate than prince with shoulder-length dark brown hair, an earring in his left ear, khaki shorts, and bare feet.

His strong jawline, high cheekbones, and straight nose appeared almost chiseled like the sculpture. But his full lips and thick eyelashes softened the harsher features.

The result— a gorgeous face she would be happy to stare at for hours. Days. Years. Decades.

Jules’s heart thudded. “Thank you.”

Warm brown eyes met hers. Gold specks flickered like flames around his irises. “You’re welcome.”

Everyone else faded into the background. Time seemed to stop. Something unfamiliar unfurled deep inside her.

With one hand, he scooped up a black ball of fur. As he checked the kitten, his tenderness melted her heart. She would love for a man— this man— to gaze at her that way.

The kitten meowed. As he rubbed the small cat, he returned his attention to her. “You’re Princess Julianna from Aliestle.”

It wasn’t a question.

“Yes.” Jules had never believed in love at first sight until now. She hoped their children looked exactly like him. A smile spread across her lips and reached all the way to her heart.

Her father had gotten this right.

She would realize her dream of marrying for love. A warm glow flowed through her. “You must be Enrique.”

“No.” His jaw thrust forward. “I am Alejandro.”

Her heart sank. Who was Alejandro?
Melissa McClone. The Not-So-Perfect Princess ARC (Kindle Locations 411-438). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Oh the tangled webs that surround this match. So delightful and heart-rending to read. Julianna’s brother is so not a chaperone.

While Enrique is the ‘perfect’ Crown Prince, he knows nothing of dating or wooing.

Alejandro on the other hand is looking forward to being freed from Royal duties and pursuing his own agenda of business.

I loved the emotions, the subterfuge, and all the elements that make this a love story one you won’t be able to put down. I’m not sure who’s book I want next.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Summer Serenade – Quinn Valley Ranch Book 19 by Melissa McClone



Summer Seranade
Quinn Valley Ranch Book 19
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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She wanted to be a star—
until he crushed her dreams in front of millions.

When Ivy Quinn’s father dies, her dream of moving to Nashville gets put on hold, but she isn’t giving up on a music career. At least not until country superstar Nash Bennett delivers a devastating critique of her audition…on national television. Returning home to her supportive family and a stable job makes the most sense. Who needs a life in the spotlight, anyway?

Lately, stardom hasn’t been easy for Nash. Being labeled a “bad boy” by the press and getting hurt on tour has earned him a one-way ticket to Idaho where he can heal while a PR team repairs his damaged reputation. But when he hears Ivy sing, Nash forgets about lying low. He asks her out only to be rejected—hard—when Ivy tells him to leave her alone.

One impromptu duet, however, is all it takes to forge a connection between them. Nash wants to win her over. But Ivy won’t give in to her feelings, fearing her rekindled dreams of a music career—and Nash—could destroy her. She has no idea what he’s willing to risk for love…and for her.

I seem to be finding many multi-author series lately and I am liking the opportunity to read new to me authors. This one is set in Quinn Valley, Nevada and as I am starting it at the end and not the beginning, I will have to go back.

Ivy Quinn writes music and occasionally performs at her siblings bar and grill. Even though they keep telling her to pursue her music she is perfectly happy waitressing and performing once in a while here.

Nash Bennett is in Quinn Valley for R&R and physical therapy after falling off the stage during a performance in Seattle. Everyone involved with him had signed a non-disclosure agreement. This is to prevent the paparazzi from finding him and hindering his recovery.

Things were going just fine, until he hears Ivy sing.

This is a favorite scene.

The crowd’s reaction overwhelmed Ivy. She bowed and headed toward the kitchen, needing space.

Halfway there, a bearded man stepped in her path.

He wore faded blue jeans, a blue T-shirt with the name of the hottest new video game on the front, a beanie pulled low on his forehead, and sunglasses.

Who wore a beanie in the summer and sunglasses inside at night? Must be a hipster. Probably from Portland or Seattle given his lumberjack-worthy beard, but she shouldn’t judge. Quinn’s was known for their friendly customer service. She wouldn’t disappoint. “May I help you?”

“Your set was great.” His lips curved into a charming smile. “You have a fantastic voice, and I won’t be forgetting that last song anytime soon.”

The compliment made her stand taller. “Thanks. I’m happy you enjoyed the show.”

“I did. I…” His voice trailed off. “Could I buy you a drink?”

She forced her shoulders not to sag and her smile not to falter. He was still a customer, but she hated that the guy couldn’t have just said his two cents before returning to his table. She hated being hit on at work.

“No, thanks.” She clutched her guitar like a lifeline. “I can’t. I’m busy.”

“Are you performing again?” he asked.

He must not be from around here, which meant he didn’t know she was on the staff. “No.”

The man opened his mouth as if to speak but then pressed his lips together. “Thanks for the music. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.”

“You, too.”

She barely had the words out before he turned, wove his way around tables, and left the pub.

Whoever he was, Ivy appreciated he’d accepted her “no” and hadn’t pushed her.
Melissa McClone. Summer Serenade (Kindle Locations 230-244). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Nash of course couldn’t let things be, and then the fireworks start when he reveals himself to her. She knows him and she wants nothing to do with him.

I love the way this story plays out, it is emotional and satisfying. There is humor, romance and also betrayal and redemption.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

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More By Melissa McClone!


Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Sweet Do-Over – Indigo Bay Second Chance Romances Book 2 By Melissa McClone



Sweet Do-Over
Indigo Bay Second Chance Romances Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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A marriage proposal gone wrong—
a second chance to get it right.

When architect Marley Patterson goes out with Von Ryan, she never expects her practical, cautious life to be turned upside down by the handsome contractor. Von is the definition of fun, until his proposal sends her into a panic. Marriage is too serious a commitment to make after dating for only six months. Even though she cares for Von, they are too different, so she breaks up with him.

Being rejected hurts, but Von blames himself for not reading the signs or Marley better. He finds solace in work; however, his construction company’s success isn’t enough. He wants to share his life with a woman who’ll love him as much as he loves her. She’s out there. All he has to do is find her and, this time, be patient for the relationship to develop on its own.

After Marley is assigned to Von’s new project in Indigo Bay, he treats her the same as everyone else—professionally and with respect—though neither can deny a strong mutual attraction still exists. Soon Marley realizes she may have been the problem with their relationship, not just Von’s proposal. She wants a second chance, but after breaking his heart once, will he give her a do-over?

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This is a multi-author series, I am looking forward to reading some new to me authors with stories centered around Indigo Bay.

Marley is an architect and she’s assigned to a project after a co-worker quits the firm. She had strict instructions to make a good impression in order to win a second bid for a large and very profitable project.Von is the builder on this project and this could be uncomfortable. Von had very publicly proposed to Marley and she turned him down. The video is still making the rounds and is quite embarrassing.In spite of all that, Von agrees to the project even taking her on a tour of the property. That leads to a dinner and a bit more.This is a favorite scene.

“You are. Were.” She stumbled over her words. “But you and I are—”

“Opposites.”

She nodded. “We share common interests, but our personalities aren’t alike at all.”

“I didn’t listen to you enough.”

“You’re not to blame. Based on what Madison said, you did exactly what a person in love would do.”

Which meant Marley hadn’t been in love with him. Not in the same way.

His silence suggested he had similar thoughts.

“I am sorry,” she said. “I never wanted things to end the way they did, but what we wanted was so different.”

He cupped her face. “Yet here we are.”

She rested her cheek against his hand. “It’s confusing because I want…”

“Tell me.”

Marley closed her eyes as if that would make admitting the truth easier. “I want to kiss you.”

“I want that, too.” His mouth was on hers. He tasted like chocolate and something uniquely him. Soaking up his warmth, she pressed her lips against his. Pleasurable sensations skittered over her skin.

Von’s arm slipped around her, pulling her closer. She arched against him, resting a palm over his chest. The pounding of his heart matched her own. She didn’t know how long they kissed, but it wasn’t long enough.

He slowly drew away.

Her lips throbbed and tingled. She forced herself not to touch them. Her breathing came in spurts, and she tried to catch her breath. “That was…”

He ran the side of his fingertip along her jawline. “Better than I remember.”

“Much better.”

“There’s still chemistry between us.”

“This isn’t just physical.” The words poured from her. “There’s something special.”

“You feel it, too?”

As she nodded, relief flooded her. He felt it, too.

Marley waited for him to say more, but he didn’t. Okay, it would be up to her. “I know I said one date, but I don’t think that will be enough for me.”

His brows furrowed. “What do you want?”

“A second chance.” The words surprised her as much as him.

Von pressed his lips together.

“I don’t deserve one after how badly I hurt you,” she added, afraid this might be the only shot she got. “But we both admit there’s something between us. I want to find out what that is.”

“I want that, too, but I… Can I think about it?”

Her heart went splat on the wood floor of the gazebo. That hadn’t been the reply she expected.

Or wanted.

But she understood. “Take the time you need to decide. I’m not going anywhere.”
Melissa McClone. Sweet Do-Over (Kindle Locations 1422-1442). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Of course nothing is going to go totally smooth and there are many people who dislike her for what she did to Von, including his twin sister.

Marley is going to have prove herself to them and get over a lot of internal issues for this relationship to work at all.

A few twists and turns professionally, a leap of faith and plenty of romance make this a must read.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Reluctant Princess – Her Royal Duty Book 1 by Melissa McClone



The Reluctant Princess
Her Royal Duty Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

She wants to work on a pit crew—not be a princess.

Mechanic Isabel “Izzy” Poussard’s life revolves around cars. Determined to be a member of a racing team’s pit crew, she’ll do whatever it takes to make her dream come true. The last thing she expects is for a gorgeous guy to step out of a limousine and tell her she’s a long-lost princess…and his wife.

Crown Prince Nikola “Niko” Kresimir of Vernonia wants one thing from Isabel—an annulment. The pretty American wearing grease-stained coveralls is too rough around the edges to be the future queen. Their marriage, the result of an archaic custom neither knew about, needs to end so he can modernize his country.

As sparks fly, Niko and Izzy fight their growing attraction for each other. Neither wants to remain in an arranged marriage, but that might be the only way to keep peace in the kingdom. Is a love match possible where all their dreams can come true? Or will aspirations and pride keep them from living happily ever after?

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No one is more surprised than Izzy when a limo shows up at the garage where she works. The occupant is even more shocking, a prince who claims she is his wife. All because of a box that belonged to her mother that she is looking for a key to open it.

Prince Niko now has a problem, he has a fiancé, Princess Juliana, their marriage will help rebuild and modernized his country following the conflict that had taken his brother’s life. Not a love match but one that is advantageous for both their countries. He needs Izzy to agree to an annulment so things can move forward as planned.

This is a favorite scene.

Unease crept down Izzy’s spine. The seriousness of the situation ratcheted up a notch with two lawyers present.

“My paralegal checked out the prince’s claims about the marriage while I drove over here,” Duncan said. “Vernonia had an old custom of children from royal families marrying but that is illegal now. A groom, however, still presents his wife with a bride box on their wedding night.”

Izzy bit her lip. That didn’t mean she was his wife.

“We may proceed now,” Niko said.

The tension in the office quadrupled. Izzy’s legs shook so much the box jiggled. She placed it on Rowdy’s desk and opened the lid. She removed the velvet-covered tray so the keyhole showed. “I didn’t realize the tray came out or there was a keyhole until after Uncle Frank died. He allowed me to see the box when I was growing up but never touch it.”

“Did your uncle say it belonged to your mother?” Duncan asked.

“No, but I assumed so.” Izzy hoped what she said wouldn’t give more credence to the prince’s claims.

“Uncle Frank told me it was important.”

Niko held the key he’d worn around his neck. “Let us see how important.”

His hand was as steady as a neurosurgeon’s. If it had been her, she would be trembling. Who was she kidding? She was trembling.

He inserted the key in the hole.

Izzy was tempted to close her eyes. She held her breath instead. She wanted to know what was inside, but she wanted nothing the prince had told her to be true.

He turned the key.

Click.

“The key fits,” Niko announced.

The air whooshed from her lungs.

No, this can’t be happening. It can’t be true.

The bottom portion slid out. A hidden drawer.

“Would ya look at that,” Rowdy said with a hint of awe.

Even though she had been waiting for this moment, she was afraid to look. Her curiosity vanished, replaced by trepidation. She didn’t care what was inside. She only wanted things to be the way they’d been before Prince Niko arrived.

“It’s the same tiara,” Jovan said from across the office.

No. Isabel didn’t want to see, so she squeezed her eyes shut. Her chest constricted. She shuddered.

Someone touched her shoulder and squeezed gently. Rowdy. Both he and Boyd could be big-old teddy bears. She opened her eyes, but Niko’s hand was on her.

“Isabel.” Concern filled Niko’s voice. “Would you rather wait?”

His tenderness brought tears. The situation, not him. Still, she appreciated his gesture of comfort, drew strength from it, too. “No.”

Straightening, Izzy peered into the drawer, past the small diamond tiara to find papers, photographs, and more jewelry. Her uncle Frank could have found the box, bought it at a garage sale, or stolen it in desperation. Maybe that was why she had no key.

No, she was being silly now. None of those things would explain Niko knowing her mother’s name or his key fitting the lock. Isabel needed to accept what was in front of her, except…
Melissa McClone. The Reluctant Princess (Kindle Locations 503-534). Cardinal Press, LLC.

A princess of a country she’s never been to, leads Izzy to a journey even more difficult than she could imagine.

This story becomes even more complicated when the King refuses to let them annul the marriage stating it would cause irrevocable damage to the peace.

I also fell in love with Princess Juliana she is definitely a class act and is instrumental in helping Izzy manage her new role.

A delightful story of an interesting marriage that leads to falling in love. With some laughter, some tears and just enough heat this book is a must read.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Coming Soon!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!