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Drink up! Book Blitz

An awkward silence hung over the room, the clicking of the silverware on ceramic the only relief from the unspoken tension. Her pulse hammered in her throat––she couldn’t handle it. “So how did everything go this afternoon?”
Jack set down his fork and finally looked at her, his jaw tight, his eyes unreadable. “You’re right. There is nowhere to stay within twenty-five miles, and I can’t commute that far. So…” He shrugged and sipped his wine.
Time to return them to stable footing. Humor was her go-to. “So, you’re admitting that I was right and you were wrong?” She flashed a toothy grin.
His severe expression relaxed, and he chuckled. “I admit nothing. I still wish I’d been able to negotiate with the landlord and help him find a different option, but it is what it is.”
“Exactly. I was right.” She saluted him with her glass. “How delicious is this halibut?” The flaky white fish was perfectly prepared, with the appropriate amount of seasoning. Jack loved excellent food as much as she did.
He clinked his glass against hers, the muscles in his powerful forearm flexing. “You were definitely right about the fish. And I appreciate not having to think about groceries or anything tonight. It’s been a long day.”
“Well, I know our schedules are both super hectic and we probably won’t see each other every night, so I figured I’d treat to welcome you to town.” And squelch the sliver of guilt she couldn’t shake off. But how could she have turned Kyle’s sick father away?
“About that. How’s that going to work with me sleeping out here and the dresser in the bedroom? I can’t exactly barge into the room if I get back later than you.” A crease appeared between his dark eyebrows.
She sighed. It was awkward. Even if she had looked at him like a brother–and that ship had sailed in high school––sharing the space with another person wasn’t going to be easy. Add in the attraction factor and the damn gray sweatpants and she was in trouble.
“Why don’t you leave most of your clothes in the bedroom and keep your pajamas––”
“Pajamas?” The dimple in his right cheek deepened before he burst out laughing.
“What’s so funny?”
He shook his head. “I left my Star Wars footie pajamas in storage, so I guess I’ll have to improvise.”
She waved a hand. “Surely you have something to sleep in?” She’d buy him a head-to-toe flannel onesie to cover all that smooth skin.
“Well, I’ve lived alone for over a decade, so no, I don’t have pajamas. Will boxers work?” His leaf-green eyes lit with mischief.
“And a t-shirt. Boxers and a t-shirt.” No way would she survive seeing that carved torso on the regular. And please god let them be baggy boxers, not those snug boxer briefs.
He smirked. “Maybe. It’s basically summer up here, Campbell. I’m not going to sweat to death. You’ll be in the other room anyway. So, does this mean you wear pajamas?”
She sniffed. “We do have air-conditioning, as you may have noticed. And of course I have pajamas. What if there was a fire in the middle of the night and I had to run outside? I like to be prepared.”

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Chain what? Book Blitz

Mac dug his cigarette case and lighter out of his pocket. For a while he smoked in blessed silence.
Movement caught his eye. A woman wandered up the beach, flirting with the waves teasing around her bare feet. In the light of the rising moon, she was all ember-bright hair and pale skin. The wind plastered her short white dress to her long legs. She waded knee-deep, laughing softly, her head tilting back as she watched a seagull gliding overhead. Something about the purity of her profile in the silver moonlight caught him. He paused for a second look, cigarette smoldering forgotten between his fingers.
A high wave crashed over her. With a yelp, she staggered back. The sodden dress clung to her skin, the white fabric gone transparent. Mac told himself he wasn’t a crude sod and he shouldn’t look.
But he did. He had a pulse, didn’t he? Her braless breasts were clearly visible beneath the flimsy fabric, the rosy nipples puckering into hard points. The sight was more erotic than if she’d bared it all to go skinny-dipping.
“Oh, bollocks! Bloody fucking fuck.” Her curses, uttered in a posh English accent, made him chuckle.
Mac strode forward as she squelched across the sand. “Here.” He offered his jacket.
She gaped at him. “Where the devil did you come from?”
“Melbourne.” It was an asinine response, but her husky voice, so at odds with her prissy accent, was doing strange things to him.
“You’re laughing at me,” she muttered as she draped the jacket over her shoulders.
Altruistic impulses were overrated. Her gorgeous curves, those lovely pink-tipped breasts, were now hidden beneath black leather.
“I am.” Somehow, a statement of the obvious seemed necessary.
“Thank you,” she murmured. “I never imagined the Pacific would be so cold.” She swept windblown hair from her face and met his eye.
As he finally got a good look at her, that tight, tangled knot within him came loose, and for the first time in ages, he could breathe. Mac tossed away his half-smoked cigarette. It spun, glowing, into the darkness.
He wanted to say, Oh, it’s you.
What he said was, “Who the fuck are you?”
She cocked her head. “Of course, you’re Richard Mac. I should have known one of Sloan’s mates would have the looks of a Viking and the manners of a caveman.” She offered her hand. Her palm was cool against his, but her touch seared straight through him. Her breath caught, as if she felt it too. When he skimmed his thumb across the pulse fluttering at her inner wrist, she trembled.
“I’m Natasha,” she said. “Sloan sent me to fetch you. Said you should stop chain-smoking and pretend to be sociable for a bit.” She glanced down at her hand, still clasped in his. With a gasp, she tugged free.
Natasha. The name roused a dim memory—Sloan going on and on about his new girl, with legs up to here and long, red hair.
Christ.
Never in all his twenty-nine years had he begrudged Sloan anything—not his poster boy good looks, or his voice, or even his effortless charm. Mac had always known his own talents complemented his mate’s. He’d always been content to let Sloan have center stage.
For the first time in twenty years, he contemplated taking something of his.

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