Posts Tagged ‘Small Town’

Title: Memories of the Past
Series: Willow Valley Book #1
Author: S.L. Sterling
Genre: Small Town, Second Chance Romance
Release Date: October 11, 2022

“This is an adorable small town, second chance romance.” ★★★★★ Review


“Such a sweet story. S.L. Sterling always pulls you in head first with her writing!” ★★★★★ Review

Thomas was the love of my life, or he was supposed to be. Instead, he became the guy who broke my heart, crushed my spirit, the last guy I ever dated, and the reason I never wanted to date again.

All this, I decided at seventeen, right after we graduated, which coincided with the day he left. He had his truck packed. We’d talked about running off together, eloping. Instead, Thomas explained he was leaving, joining the rodeo, and I could come if I wanted.

If I wanted!

I thought we shared a dream, but it didn’t include running off to join the western equivalent of a circus. Not with him. Not with anyone. I knew better.

So, he left, and I decided to make a life on my own.

I spent the next few months learning all I could about the small bookstore my aunt owned. I gradually took over as she aged, until one morning she woke and announced that she was ready to retire. She had picked a retirement community nearby, she wanted to relax, sleep in and hang out with the old people, like herself.

I’d begun to clean up the place, sorting through boxes of books she’d packed away and began setting them out. I’d let people make me an offer since I was short on space. That was when Thomas appeared. His father had passed, and the community was buzzing with rumors that he had returned to sell the property.

He’d come in looking for a good read or so he claimed. Instead I shoved a book at him and told him to take it. I hoped I’d never see him again, but I was wrong. He returned, with the book, his note told me to read the book and I’d understand. So, I read it, and I understood nothing.

It was Aunt Vi’s diary. She too had never stopped pining for a cowboy who left her behind.

Maybe he thought he was saving me. Perhaps I missed what I was supposed to understand all together. All I knew was that I didn’t want to face him. One look at him told me it would be all to easy to fall into those strong arms again and I knew I still loved him, even if he didn’t love me in return.

“Morning,” I said unenthusiastically. 


“Well, if I had of known you’d be this excited to get your coffee cake muffin, I’d have ordered you two.” Peggy giggled, sitting down in one of the chairs that sat in the corner. 


“I’m sorry, I had a bad night,” I said, placing my clipboard down on the counter and crossing my arms in front of me. “How are you?” 


“Good. I can’t stay too long this morning. I had a huge order for some funeral arrangements. Plus. I need to get all the baskets done for Mrs. Parker as well.” 


“Funeral? I’ve been so busy that I’m behind on all the town gossip. I almost feel as if I live in another universe right now. Who passed away?” 


“William Jenkins. His son came in yesterday to order the flowers for the funeral. Oh, did he stop by? He asked about the store by name, so I’m guessing he used to live here at one point,” Peggy said as she peeled the wrapper away from the soft, cakey muffin. 


Peggy had only moved to Willow Valley about four years ago, after she lost her husband. Even though we became friends almost instantly, I’d never told her about Thomas. Some things were just better left buried, and Thomas Jenkins was one of them.


I felt my stomach turn. That explained it completely. That was why Thomas was back here. It had to be. There’d be no other reason. I walked over, picked up the muffin Peggy had brought for me, and removed the paper, then I buried my teeth into the sweet cake, savoring every bite.


“Did you want coffee?” I asked with my mouth full. 


“Yes, please. I’m going to need the energy.” Peggy giggled. 


I brought out a fresh, hot cup of coffee and set it on the counter, noticing that Peggy was looking at me, a look of concern on her face. “Trinity, is something wrong? Where’s Vi?” she asked, looking down the hall toward the back.


“She moved to the new retirement village. I dropped her off there on Tuesday. She said she was ready to retire. I’m not going to lie. It came as a shock, to be honest.”


“Is that what’s got you so down?” 


“No, if she is ready to retire, I say let her. I’m happy for her. What I’m not happy about is the visitor I had last night,” I said, taking a sip of my hot coffee and setting it back down.


“Oh? Is it something I should be worried about?” Peggy asked, taking a sip of her coffee. 


“Not unless you have the same ex I do,” I said, shoving another piece of muffin into my mouth.


“Ex? You have an ex?” Peggy questioned, looking at me with big, rounded brown eyes. 


“Unfortunately, I do. I know most people around here think I’m just some book-loving spinster, but I did date someone a long time ago.” 

Peggy couldn’t help but start to laugh at my choice of words. “What happened?” Peggy sat back in the chair, getting comfortable, waiting for my story. 


“The usual, girl meets boy, girl falls for boy, and then boy runs off and joins the western version of the circus.”


Peggy couldn’t help but laugh again. “Trinity what are you talking about.” 


I blew out a breath and sat down in the chair across from her. “Thomas Jenkins happened. We were supposed to get married at the end of the summer after we graduated high school. He was going through a real rocky period with his father at the time. I remember it like it was yesterday. We were having breakfast at The Crispy Biscuit, and he ran into a man who used to work for his father. He had left to join the rodeo, and he had invited Thomas to come down to Darling Ranch to check it out. Without me knowing, he went later that day. That night he dropped the bomb that he was leaving Willow Valley.”


“Thomas Jenkins? As in William Jenkins’ son?”

“That would be him.” I nodded.  


“So, he left for good? He left his parents behind?” 


“Yep, Mr. Jenkins was always busy with the ranch. Betty used to come and have tea with Aunt Vi often after he’d left. She’d always ask about me, but I did my best to keep my distance. I was hurt enough.” 


“So, you mean after all these years he never came back?” 


“Oh, he did, once, maybe twice over the years. I followed his career for a little while after he left, and I know for a fact that he was here for his mother’s funeral or at least he had come into town when she died. I never did see him at her funeral, so perhaps he didn’t go. I just heard it from some of the others around town. I assume he came into town, had a fight with his father, and left again. After that, I never heard anything about him. He certainly never tried to find me, until now.” 


“And how did he do in his career?”


I shrugged. “He did well, but I had to stop watching after a while. He was gone, and it was unhealthy to sit and wonder about someone who you knew wasn’t coming back. Besides, when he left, along with him he took my heart. I couldn’t allow him to take more than that.”


Peggy was silent. She just sat there staring at me for a bit, nodding in understanding. “I’m sorry. If I had of known, I would have lied and told him that the store had closed or something. I figured he was here to see Vi, since he only mentioned her.” 


I shrugged. “It’s all right. You wouldn’t have known. Anyways when he showed up here last night, it shocked the hell right out of me. I didn’t know what to say. He, of course, acted as if everything was normal between the two of us. I just wanted him to leave. I couldn’t even look at him without every feeling I ever had for him rushing right back into me. I had to do whatever it took to protect myself, so I told him to just take a book and go.” 


“What happened?” 


“Exactly what I figured would happen. He took the book and left.”  I shrugged. “He hasn’t changed. He’s still running.” 


“Who’s still running.” 

Both Peggy and I jumped at the sound of a man’s voice behind us. I turned and looked toward the door to see Thomas standing there, holding the book he must have taken last night in his hand. 


I swallowed hard as I looked at the man I’d been in love with my entire life. He leaned up against the door, wearing perfectly fitted jeans, a blue plaid shirt that brought out his eyes. The sleeves of the shirt were rolled up, exposing his muscular forearms, and he held his hat in his large, rough hands. Large, rough hands that I’d kill to have hold me once again. I swallowed hard. 


 
 
S.L. Sterling was born and raised in southern Ontario. She now lives in Northern Ontario Canada and is married to her best friend and soul mate and their two dogs. 
An avid reader all her life, S.L. Sterling dreamt of becoming an author. She decided to give writing a try after one of her favorite authors launched a course on how to write your novel. This course gave her the push she needed to put pen to paper and her debut novel “It Was Always You” was born. 
 
When S.L. Sterling isn’t writing or plotting her next novel she can be found curled up with a cup of coffee, blanket and the newest romance novel from one of her favorite authors on her e-reader. Her favorite authors include Kendall Ryan, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Lauren Blakely, Alessandra Torre and Willow Winters. 
 
In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, sunny destinations, spending quality time with family and friends and of course reading.
 
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Title: Memories of the Past
Series: Willow Valley Book #1
Author: S.L. Sterling
Genre: Small Town, Second Chance Romance
Release Date: October 11, 2022
Thomas was the love of my life, or he was supposed to be. Instead, he became the guy who broke my heart, crushed my spirit, the last guy I ever dated, and the reason I never wanted to date again.

All this, I decided at seventeen, right after we graduated, which coincided with the day he left. He had his truck packed. We’d talked about running off together, eloping. Instead, Thomas explained he was leaving, joining the rodeo, and I could come if I wanted.

If I wanted!

I thought we shared a dream, but it didn’t include running off to join the western equivalent of a circus. Not with him. Not with anyone. I knew better.

So, he left, and I decided to make a life on my own.

I spent the next few months learning all I could about the small bookstore my aunt owned. I gradually took over as she aged, until one morning she woke and announced that she was ready to retire. She had picked a retirement community nearby, she wanted to relax, sleep in and hang out with the old people, like herself.

I’d begun to clean up the place, sorting through boxes of books she’d packed away and began setting them out. I’d let people make me an offer since I was short on space. That was when Thomas appeared. His father had passed, and the community was buzzing with rumors that he had returned to sell the property.

He’d come in looking for a good read or so he claimed. Instead I shoved a book at him and told him to take it. I hoped I’d never see him again, but I was wrong. He returned, with the book, his note told me to read the book and I’d understand. So, I read it, and I understood nothing.

It was Aunt Vi’s diary. She too had never stopped pining for a cowboy who left her behind.

Maybe he thought he was saving me. Perhaps I missed what I was supposed to understand all together. All I knew was that I didn’t want to face him. One look at him told me it would be all to easy to fall into those strong arms again and I knew I still loved him, even if he didn’t love me in return.


 
 
S.L. Sterling was born and raised in southern Ontario. She now lives in Northern Ontario Canada and is married to her best friend and soul mate and their two dogs. 
An avid reader all her life, S.L. Sterling dreamt of becoming an author. She decided to give writing a try after one of her favorite authors launched a course on how to write your novel. This course gave her the push she needed to put pen to paper and her debut novel “It Was Always You” was born. 
 
When S.L. Sterling isn’t writing or plotting her next novel she can be found curled up with a cup of coffee, blanket and the newest romance novel from one of her favorite authors on her e-reader. Her favorite authors include Kendall Ryan, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Lauren Blakely, Alessandra Torre and Willow Winters. 
 
In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, sunny destinations, spending quality time with family and friends and of course reading.
 
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Title: Memories of the Past

Series: Willow Valley Book #1
Author: S.L. Sterling
Genre: Small Town, Second Chance Romance
Release Date: October 11, 2022
Cover Design: Thunderstruck Cover Design

Thomas was the love of my life, or he was supposed to be. Instead, he became the guy who broke my heart, crushed my spirit, the last guy I ever dated, and the reason I never wanted to date again.

All this, I decided at seventeen, right after we graduated, which coincided with the day he left. He had his truck packed. We’d talked about running off together, eloping. Instead, Thomas explained he was leaving, joining the rodeo, and I could come if I wanted.

If I wanted!

I thought we shared a dream, but it didn’t include running off to join the western equivalent of a circus. Not with him. Not with anyone. I knew better.

So, he left, and I decided to make a life on my own.

I spent the next few months learning all I could about the small bookstore my aunt owned. I gradually took over as she aged, until one morning she woke and announced that she was ready to retire. She had picked a retirement community nearby, she wanted to relax, sleep in and hang out with the old people, like herself.

I’d begun to clean up the place, sorting through boxes of books she’d packed away and began setting them out. I’d let people make me an offer since I was short on space. That was when Thomas appeared. His father had passed, and the community was buzzing with rumors that he had returned to sell the property.

He’d come in looking for a good read or so he claimed. Instead I shoved a book at him and told him to take it. I hoped I’d never see him again, but I was wrong. He returned, with the book, his note told me to read the book and I’d understand. So, I read it, and I understood nothing.

It was Aunt Vi’s diary. She too had never stopped pining for a cowboy who left her behind.

Maybe he thought he was saving me. Perhaps I missed what I was supposed to understand all together. All I knew was that I didn’t want to face him. One look at him told me it would be all to easy to fall into those strong arms again and I knew I still loved him, even if he didn’t love me in return.

 

© 2022 by S.L. Sterling (Unedited and Subject to Change)

 

“Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting you.” I said, my tone low. 

 

Trinity stood there, not saying anything. She looked up at me, then looked down to the casserole dish she held in her hands as if she’d forgotten what it was and why she was holding it. 

 

“What’s that?” I questioned, trying to glance at what was inside.

 

“Oh, um, I just thought…. well…I brought you this.” She said slowly raising the dish and holding it out for me to take. 

 

I rubbed my hands together, “I sure hope it’s your chicken and broccoli casserole, it’s my favorite.” I reached out to take the casserole dish from her and lifted the lid. “I had one the other night from some lady my mom knew but it didn’t hold a candle to the one you make.” 

 

“Nope, not my chicken and broccoli casserole. It’s Aunt Vi’s chicken and dumplings.” She smiled. 

 

Instantly I felt my stomach turn, as I got a whiff of the contents. My mind instantly went to the last time I’d had it, remembering the upset stomach I’d had for days afterward. It had never been my favorite dish, even the one my mother made, and as far as I remembered Trinity knew it.  

 

“Did you want to come in? It would be nice to have company while I eat.” I said, swallowing hard, thoughts of eating chunky paste like balls of mushy flour.  

 

I almost smiled when I took a look at the scared look on her fac, it was almost as if I’d asked her to do something against the law. I leaned up against the post and waited for her answer not saying anything. I planned to do whatever it took to keep her there, so if that meant chowing down on soggy flour then I’d do it. I wanted us to get past whatever anger, hate, and bad memories we needed to, so we could hopefully get back to normal. 

 

“Oh, you haven’t eaten yet?” She questioned, glancing at her watch.

 

“No, I wasn’t hungry earlier, but suddenly I’m starving, and this…this looks delicious.” I said, almost choking on my own words. “Besides the house it too quiet to eat, so how about it Trinity? Will you join me?”

 

“Oh, where is Lyle?” She asked looking around. 

 

“He went into town; said he was going to have a couple drinks with one of the hands from Darling Ranch.”

 

I watched as she looked back to her car. I could only imagine what was going through her mind. Was she wondering if she could run back to it and leave without me noticing. 

 

“I’ll…I’ve just got to grab my purse.” She said, turning back toward her car.

 

“Trinity, I don’t think you need to worry about your purse way out here.” I said climbing the stairs and holding the front door open for her. “There’s no one around for a few miles at least.”

 

I saw a slight smile on her lips, and she nodded, “Oh of course. Silly me.” She said swallowing hard. 

 

“Come on in.” I said, still holding the door for her. 

 

She stood there for a second and then climbed the three stairs, and walked past me into the house, stepping out of the way so I too could get inside. She stood just inside the door, glancing around and was about to follow me to the kitchen when she suddenly stopped and bent down to untie her shoes. 

 

“Don’t worry about your shoes, just come on into the kitchen.” I said leading the way and pulling out a chair for her to sit on.  I placed the still warm casserole dish down on the counter and grabbed a plate and glass from the cupboard.  “Want anything to eat or drink?” I asked. 

 

“Oh, No thank you. I already ate.” 

 

“You’re sure?” I questioned as I dished some of the chicken and dumplings onto the plate, the look of them already making me nauseous. “These look delicious.”

 

“Yes, I am good, thanks.”

 

 “Okay, If you say so.” I said taking a glance at her as I poured myself a glass of milk and carried both the plate and glass over to the table. I sat down and reached for the salt and pepper, shaking the contents of both shakers over my plate.  

 

“You’ll have to let me know how they are.” Trinity said watching my every move. “It’s been a hot minute since I made them.” She smiled as she watched me sink my fork into the mess on my plate.

 

I looked at the gooey contents that hung off my fork and took a breath, then brought the full fork up to my mouth.  Why did it have to be chicken and dumplings? Of all the things she could have made, this was what she brought. I took the fork and placed it in my mouth, my gag reflex working almost instantly. Just before I swallowed, I picked up the glass of milk and drank some back, it was the only way to get the food down. 

 

“It’s great.” I lied, my mouth still partially full.

 

“Oh good. That means I followed Aunt Vi’s recipe perfectly.” She smiled. “I was worried they wouldn’t turn out.”

 

I smiled back, sinking my fork into the soggy mess on my plate and bringing another forkful up to my mouth. “How is Vi?” I questioned, doing whatever I could to avoid placing this food in my mouth.

 

“Good. She’s doing well. I just moved her to the retirement facility that was just built on the outskirts of Willow Valley.” 

 

I could feel the sweat begin to trickle down my forehead and wiped my brow with the sleeve of my shirt before taking another bite, followed by a mouthful of milk. I couldn’t help but wonder how much more torture I was going to have to endure, how much more of this I was going to have to eat.

 

“Sure, you don’t want any?” I asked, nodding to my plate. “Feels a little odd to be the only one eating.”

 

“No, I’m good, I was munching on chicken and vegetables while I made it.”

 

It was the moment that I caught sight of her lip twitching as her eyes danced at my question. Was she actually enjoying watching me suffer as I ate this mess? I wondered, as I wiped my brow again, this time with my napkin.

 

Shoving another forkful into my mouth my stomach churned. There was so much flour, and I seriously didn’t know how much more I would be able to eat. I had barely put a dent into what sat on my plate, and my stomach was already turning. With my hand shaking I brought another mouthful up to my lips. 

 

“All right! That’s enough.” Trinity said standing up. 

 

“What?” I asked, shocked at her outburst. 

 

“Do you want to die?” She said, ripping the fork from my hand and dropping it down onto my plate. “You’ll end up with heartburn for days on end you silly man.”

 
 
S.L. Sterling was born and raised in southern Ontario. She now lives in Northern Ontario Canada and is married to her best friend and soul mate and their two dogs. 
An avid reader all her life, S.L. Sterling dreamt of becoming an author. She decided to give writing a try after one of her favorite authors launched a course on how to write your novel. This course gave her the push she needed to put pen to paper and her debut novel “It Was Always You” was born. 
 
When S.L. Sterling isn’t writing or plotting her next novel she can be found curled up with a cup of coffee, blanket and the newest romance novel from one of her favorite authors on her e-reader. Her favorite authors include Kendall Ryan, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Lauren Blakely, Alessandra Torre and Willow Winters. 
 
In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, sunny destinations, spending quality time with family and friends and of course reading.
 
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Title: Everything We Never Knew
Author: Elizabeth Wilder
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Small Town/Suspenseful Fiction
Release Date: August 23, 2022
 

A motherless child. His grieving father. The cemetery where catastrophe comes calling once more…
His mother’s death left ten-year-old Nat with too many questions that have no answers — until he discovers her journal.
With the help of his new friend, Dee, Nat dodges his cemetery caretaker father and dives into the journal only to find himself facing an assault of hard truths about his mother’s mental health that threaten to break him.
When Nat’s world existence shatters into explosive grief, will it bring him and his father together, or will it only cause new wounds that are all the harder to heal — with Dee caught in the crossfire?
Everything We Never Knew is a suspenseful, heartfelt, and lyrically written story about grief, perfectly imperfect friendship and family, and the complications that can rise from a woman secretly struggling with mental illness, alone.
Content warning: eating disorders, miscarriage/babyloss
Elizabeth Wilder writes, paints, and dreams in the Rocky Mountains. She is the author of the mystic poetry collections Night Cycles and Balefire. Her words and art have appeared in various publications, such as xoJane, Somerset Studio, Still Standing Magazine, Wild Goslings, and Disney’s Family Fun.

In addition to her quirky little family and their too-many naughty — and very much adored — dogs and cats, Elizabeth is in love with moon-gazing, dancing wild, and drinking too much coffee.

 
Download The Book of Lazarus FREE here
https://tinyurl.com/book-of-lazarus
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Title: The Asshole Heir
Series: A Winter Harbor Heroes #2
Authors: Whitley Cox & Ember Leigh 
Genre: Small Town, Second Chance, Secret Baby, Estranged Family, Secret Romance
Release Date: August 16, 2022
Mending fences with my brothers as I uncover family secrets is easy compared to winning back the woman carrying my baby…
Carson
Six months ago she ghosted me.
She stopped taking my calls and didn’t even answer her damn door.
Now, with my world upside down and my arm in a cast, where do I find her, but Winter Harbor, seven months pregnant with my baby.
Despite her keeping this secret from me, I want her. I’ve always wanted her. And even though I was dead-set on never having kids, given my own garbage dad, seeing Amaya pregnant and knowing that the baby is mine changes everything. I’m ready to right my father’s wrongs and be there for my kid.
I want the family life, and I want it with Amaya.
But she’s not convinced. And for good reason. Now I just have to prove to her that taking a chance on love–and building a family with a man who’s ruined more romances than started them–is a risk worth taking.
***This is the second book of the Winter Harbor series which features a quirky small town, secrets galore, and three estranged brothers who find the key to healing comes from the women who steal their hearts.

“This book had me captivated from the very first chapter and drawn to Carson like a moth to a flame. The chemistry between Amaya and Carson is absolutely electric and radiates through every word. This second chance romance is filled with secrets, suspense, drama and just enough chaos to have you on the edge of your seat.” – Wiley Kate (Amazon Review)

“The reader will instantly fall in love with Carson and Amaya and only want them to succeed while they want the pages to go quicker to get more of them but at the same time want the pages to go slower so they can enjoy the ride. Simply a wonderful tale of family and forgiveness.” – Nicki Holt ~The Overflowing Bookcase (Amazon Review)

“I really didn’t want the book to end, and definitely looking forward to the next. Highly recommend and to me it’s worth every one of the 5* I give it.” – Sue Hancock (Goodreads Review)

“This book was one amazing read that kept me totally enthralled as I turned the pages of this must read story! The plot was so well planned and fleshed out with characters that were so well created with such great detail and depth that I remained totally captivated as the story developed between Amaya and Carson!” – Pat (Goodreads Review)

“You’re scaring me with that look, Carson,” she murmured, breaking our eye contact. “You look like you want to devour me whole.”

Because I fucking did. I wanted to eat her mouth, lick her pussy until she was hoarse from screaming, and then sink into her tight heat and make her mine all over again.

Shaking my head, I dislodged those primal, possessive thoughts … until later, and went back to the task of making her feel good and distracting her from her foul mood after running into Stinky Cheese Bree.

I waggled my finger over her clit a couple more times, loving that she met my movements with hip thrusts of her own. Our eyes locked again, but what stared back at me was a need so powerful I had to adjust my cock in my jeans for fear of getting a permanent bend in my favorite body part.

Not that Amaya wasn’t good and thoroughly soaked already, I made sure she was dripping, before I slid one, and then two fingers inside her, pressing my thumb to her swollen clit and moving it back and forth in a way I remember she loved.

“Dear God, Carson,” she said on a strangled moan, her eyes now slammed shut and the bottom lip of her fuckable mouth clenched tight between her teeth, so much so the skin was turning white. “Yes …”

“Yes, what?” I demanded, surprised at how hoarse my voice came out.

“If you make me say Daddy, I will ram my foot into your dick so fucking fast.” She bent her knee and nudged my crotch with her heel in a warning, which made a chuckle roll through me as I curled my fingers inside her and pressed on her G-spot. “Holy fuck.” She arched her back and straightened her leg again, forgetting all about her threat to kick me in the dick.

“I want you to scream for me, Vixen. Burst my fucking eardrums. We know you can. Take all of that rage, all of that tension that’s been making your shoulders kiss your ears and breathe it out into the fucking world. Let it go … Elsa.”

She popped one eye open, calling me an idiot with just a look. I grinned at her cheekily.

But she quickly closed that eye again and continued to writhe on the bench seat of my truck, bucking up into my hand, pushing her pussy further down on my fingers, and reminding me just why this woman had become the closest thing I’d ever had to an addiction.
A Canadian West Coast baby born and raised, Whitley is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have two beautiful daughters and a fluffy dog. She spends her days making food that gets thrown on the floor, vacuuming Cheerios out from under the couch and making sure that the dog food doesn’t end up in the air conditioner. But when nap time comes, and it’s not quite wine o’clock, Whitley sits down, avoids the pile of laundry on the couch, and writes.
 
A lover of all things decadent; wine, cheese, chocolate and spicy erotic romance, Whitley brings the humorous side of sex, the ridiculous side of relationships and the suspense of everyday life into her stories. With single dads, firefighters, Navy SEALs, mommy wars, body issues, threesomes, bondage and role-playing, Whitley’s books have all the funny and fabulously filthy words you could hope for.
 
Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young. A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides near Lake Erie with her Argentinean husband, where they run an Argentinian-American food truck and wrangle two wild boys.
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Title: The Bastard Heir

Series: A Winter Harbor Novel #1
Authors: Whitley Cox & Ember Leigh 
Genre: Small Town, Second Chance Romance
Release Date: April 9, 2022
I’m the heir to a secret family fortune, facing down brothers I hate, and trying to get back the one that got away….
Callum
Eight years ago, she broke me.
Her secrets drove a wedge between me and my brother that can never be fixed.
Now, with my life in shambles, I’m forced by the ludicrous demands of my dead father to face the one woman I ever loved, and the brother I can not stand.
I need the money. But a year is a long sentence to serve in a house with people I hate, and in a town that hates me.
A year is a long time to dodge Harlow Jackson and the eyes and smile that made me fall harder than I’ve ever fallen before.
But it only takes days to show me that what happened eight years ago was a mistake. Now I need every last second of the year ahead to convince her to take a second chance on us.
This is the first book of the Winter Harbor series which features a quirky small town, secrets galore, and three estranged brothers who find the key to healing comes from the women who steal their hearts.
 

“Fantastic read! What a great second-chance romance! All the spicy scenes coupled with the perfect sibling rivalry! Callum and Harlow burn up these pages and the hea was perfect!”– CK (Amazon Review)

“Another successful read. I just love Whitley Cox writing style, I love everything she’s wrote, real-life stories that never fail to give me the feels.”– Jayne (Amazon Review)

“When two of your favorite authors come together to write a book you know it’s going to be spectacular! That’s what you get when you read Harlow and Callum’s book. They are dynamite together!”– Mrs. Taz (Amazon Review)

“I loved this story and where it took me. There are secret passageways in the house they inherit that brings the brothers closer together. And there is the mystery of what their grandfather and father did to this town. Then there is the history between Callum and Harlow that can be devastating. Their relationship is electric and I loved the emotions that it evoked.”– Donna Smith (Goodreads Review)

He smirked. “So it is a weekly thing. Great. I’ll let my brothers know so we can be sure to tidy up and put our Sunday’s best on, so we can convince you that we’re a happy little family out here.”

“Sunday’s best wouldn’t fool me on that one, sorry. Remember—I do know you.”

“So, is this weekly charade also a requirement of the will? I don’t remember reading about this in the paperwork. Unless you just wanted some excuse to see me?”

I tried not to let my strickenness migrate to my face. I’d been here less than ten minutes, and he’d already called me out. Wonderful.

“You are impossible,” was all I could muster, however weak it sounded.

“At least I’m not transparent,” he said with a mischievous smile. “Do you want to see the upstairs?” The question felt like an olive branch. But one lined with thorns, if I knew Callum.

I hesitated, looking back at the front door. “You have a bunch of orphaned duck eggs under an incubator lamp you want to show me?”

That earned me a devilishly handsome grin over his shoulder. “Maybe. Maybe not.”

Dammit. I had a hard, if not impossible, time denying this man, particularly when he wore what could be considered lingerie for me. I took a deep breath. “Sure. I can’t stay long, though.”

His footsteps clomped up the stairs. “Why? Got a hot date?”

“Yes, actually,” I lied.

“Well, you better tell him you keep fucking up and making out with the Winters boy,” he intoned. Electricity snapped between us. Of course, he’d gone there. Of course. The man probably believed it was illegal to go a day without reminding me of this sexual connection.

“It was once,” I corrected. “I made out with the Winters boy once, and I think my hot date will be fine,” I said, my heart racing. “I’d never fuck the Winters boy, which is the most important detail.”

Callum appeared unfazed, but of course, all I could see were his broad shoulders straining at the black fabric of his t-shirt. Every inch of my body begged to see the reaction on his face, to see the desire shining through his eyes.

“But oh, you used to fuck him,” he said, his voice grittier. “And you loved it, too. Particularly liked sitting on his face, if I recall.”

My neck went hot at his words. It had been stupid to come here, knowing this would be the outcome. But God, it felt so right, too. This was the forbidden fruit I was dying to taste.

“I don’t see how that’s relevant.” I cleared my throat. “Nor do I understand why you continue to dredge up ancient history every time we see each other.”

He reached the landing, hands stuffed in his pockets as he turned toward me. His face had hardened into a mask of indifference, at odds with the heat and grit in his voice. I could only imagine it was because he was fighting this losing battle alongside me. And we were both willing victims.

“What else is there to talk about besides ancient history?” The smirk that emerged on his lips was both sexy and infuriating.

“Clearly nothing else, since you can’t move on.”

“But have you moved on?” he asked.

The question rooted me to my spot. I had tried like hell to move on. But every second spent around him reminded me that I hadn’t. Not in the ways that counted.

“I offered to talk about it with you, but you didn’t want to,” I spat. “Does this mean you want to have the conversation now?”

Callum strode down the wide hallway. He jerked his chin toward a smaller door tucked into the wall. “Let me show you something.”

I deflated slightly. Now he was deflecting. “What?”

“The perfect place to air our grievances.”

Well, that was slightly more promising, at least. “What is it? A padded room and a couple of baseball bats?”

A Canadian West Coast baby born and raised, Whitley is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have two beautiful daughters and a fluffy dog. She spends her days making food that gets thrown on the floor, vacuuming Cheerios out from under the couch and making sure that the dog food doesn’t end up in the air conditioner. But when nap time comes, and it’s not quite wine o’clock, Whitley sits down, avoids the pile of laundry on the couch, and writes.
 
A lover of all things decadent; wine, cheese, chocolate and spicy erotic romance, Whitley brings the humorous side of sex, the ridiculous side of relationships and the suspense of everyday life into her stories. With single dads, firefighters, Navy SEALs, mommy wars, body issues, threesomes, bondage and role-playing, Whitley’s books have all the funny and fabulously filthy words you could hope for.
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