Sunday, December 18, 2016



Excerpt 2

She glowered down at the place card. Craaaapppp. Why had she thought drawing a perfect little heart in the upper left corner of the card was a good idea? With that there, how was she supposed to sit next to him throughout dinner and act like she didnt know he knew she was half in love with him? Maybe it wasnt too late to switch his seat...after she gave him a new card minus a heart. She reached for his card, but as soon as her fingers closed around it, she sensed him behind her.
Son of a...
Whatcha doing?he asked.
Nothing.She hugged the piece of paper close to her chest and turned to face him. Why?
Youre hiding something.He pointed at her hand. What is it?
Damn him and his eagle eyes. card.She forced a smile. Its...uh...spelled wrong. Totally wrong.
Smooth, Anna. Real smooth.
He raised a brow. “‘Brett Rossis spelled wrong?
Why couldnt he have a harder name to spell?
Yep. Moms been really stressed out with all this wedding stuff.She sent a silent apology to her mother for making her the scapegoat. Ill get rid of it. Shed feel horrible about the error.
Brett held out his hand. Oh. Okay. Just give it to me, then. Ill shove it in my pocket so she doesnt see.
No. I have it. Its fine.She stepped back from him even more, but her back hit the chair. She had nowhere else to go. Ill hide it in my pocket.
You dont have any pockets on your dress.His gaze slid down her red satin cocktail dress, lingering on her legs. Or had she imagined the part about lingering? Ill take it.
She shook her head. No. Im not handing it over.
He put his hands on his hips, doing his best to look casualbut she knew his tricksthen shot his hand out, trying to snatch it out of her fingers. She jumped back and hid it behind her back. Youll have to be smoother than that if you want to fool me. Youve been doing that move since you were eight, Brett-Brett.
His lips twitched at the old nickname. Shed started using it when he started calling her Twinkletoes. It wasnt very original, but it had annoyed him, so shed gone with it. Tell me whats really happening. Youre up to something.
She lifted her chin. Am not.
Are too.
She rolled her eyes. How old are we again?
Old enough for what Im about to do to get that card.
He took a step toward her, and she tried to back up. She didnt budge. Oh. Right. The chair. He held out a hand and narrowed his eyes on her. Last chance. If you dont give it to me, Im going to tackle you to the floor and tickle you until you give in. And we both know youll give in.
Annas mouth went dry at the thought of his body pressed against hers. If youre tackling me, it better be for something a lot more exciting than tickling.
Anna...His eyes darkened slightly, and he took a small step toward her. You better watch what you say to me. Someone might get the wrong idea. Were not kids anymore.
Im glad you noticed.She lifted her chin. Bring it, Brett-Brett.
You have no idea what youre asking for.
Are you so sure about that?she asked slowly, locking eyes with him.
He took a step in her direction, his eyes on her mouth. Holy crap, was he going to kiss?
One.He stepped closer. Two.Another step. Three.
He was in front of her, their feet touching. He, quite unfortunately, stopped there. Anna...

Well? What are you gonna do now?she asked breathlessly.

The last thing Brett Ross wants is to be back in the same old damn small town he grew up in, but his best friend is getting married, so there’s no way he’s skipping yet another visit back home. He knows what he’s getting into, coming back here, but the one thing he didn’t count on was the way Anna Hamilton made him feel the first time he sets eyes on her…and she’s all grown up.
Anna’s always been in love with Brett, even if she’s always been his best friend’s annoying little sister to him. But when he looks at her, she doesn’t see annoyance in his eyes anymore. If anything, she sees a silent calling for her to save him from himself…and she’s just the girl to do it. All she needs is to find a way to escape her pesky, protective older brothers.
And then the game is on.

Diane Alberts is a USA TODAY bestselling Contemporary Romance author with Entangled Publishing. Under the name Jen McLaughlin, she also writes New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling books with Penguin Random House. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and four cats. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

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