Related to: 'Poison Kisses: Part 3'

February Book of the Month

In the Green Mountain state it's time to fall in love

The short ride into town was full of awkward silence. Sensing his irritation with her, Cameron chose to stay quiet instead of peppering him with questions about the town, the state and what he might know about the Green Mountain Country Store. "You got a name?" he asked. "Cameron." "What kind of name is that for a girl?" Instantly on the offensive, Cameron glared at him."It's the kind of name my parents gave me - and I had it long before Cameron Diaz was famous." "Who?" Astounded, Cameron swiveled in her seat. "Tell me the truth - have I been abducted by aliens? It’s okay. You can give it to me straight. I can take it." “I don’t know about aliens, but I may as well tell you I have no idea who Cliff Clavin is either.” Cameron’s mouth fell open. “The know-it-all mailman from Cheers? One of the top-rated shows of the eighties and nineties?” “So you think I’m a know-it-all, huh?” “You sound rather proud of that.” “Well, you don’t have to be a know-it-all to get that wearing suede boots to Vermont in March isn’t the brightest idea you’ll ever have.” “Pardon my ignorance, but I’ve never been here before.” “All that technology laying in your lap, and you never got the 411 on the mud.” He snorted out a laugh. “Anyone ever tell you that you can be somewhat insufferable?” Arching an eyebrow, he smirked at her. “Only somewhat? I’ve fallen short of my goal.” Exasperated, Cameron shifted to look out the passenger window. “Was it something I said?” She shook her head in disbelief. The guy was too much. “What’s your name anyway?” “Will Abbott.” That got her attention. “Any relation to Lincoln Abbott?” “That’d be my dad. How do you know him?” “I don’t actually know him. Yet. I’m due to meet him tomorrow.” “For what purpose?” “To build a website for his store.” “Damn it!” Will slammed the heel of his hand on the wheel. “I can’t believe him! We told him we didn’t want it!” “We?” Cameron made an effort to keep the waver out of her voice. Would this interminable day ever end? “My siblings and I. We’re his partners.” “Oh.” Since the company had no website, she’d found precious little information about it online and had planned to start from scratch once she got to town. “Let me guess - when he hired you he never mentioned that his children voted against a website.” “Um, no, that didn’t come up.” “This is so typical. He brings one of his big ideas to us, we tell him we aren’t interested, and then he does it anyway.” “If you’re partners, how does he get away with that?” “Because he owns the majority - fifty percent. The other fifty percent is split between the ten of us. Five of us help him run the store and vote proxy for the others. The other fi ve provide a variety of products to the store.” “Ten of you?” “I’m one of ten.” “You have ten kids in your family?” “Yeah, so?” “I’ve never known anyone who had more than four kids in their family.” “Well, now you know someone who has ten.” As an only child, Cameron tried to wrap her head around what it might’ve been like to grow up with nine siblings. “What are their names?” “You want to know the names of my siblings?” he asked, as if that was the stupidest question he’d ever heard. “Yeah, I guess I do. If I’m going to be stuck in the middle of your family feud it would be good to know the people I’m dealing with.” “Feud is kind of a strong word, but we do argue. A lot.” He sighed and tightened his grip on the wheel. “Hunter and Hannah are the oldest. They’re twins.” “Ten kids and twins too?” “Two sets of twins. Lucas and Landon are second from the youngest. They’re identical twins.” “That’s so cool.” He glanced over at her, seeming confounded by her interest in his family. But to Cameron, who’d grown up painfully alone, families like his only existed on the TV shows she’d glommed on to, looking for a family anywhere she could find one. “I’m after Hunter and Hannah. Then comes Ella, Charlotte, Wade, Colton, Lucas and Landon and then Max.” “Wow. That’s a lot of kids.” “Yep.” “Is your mom in an asylum?” His bark of laughter took her by surprise. “Nah. She rolls with it all. I’ve never met anyone as quietly efficient as she is. She always made it look easy.” “How do you make ten kids look easy?” “I don’t know, but somehow she did.” “So which five are involved in the business?” “That’d be me, Hunter, Ella, Charlotte and Wade. Several of the others are involved in businesses that feed products to the store. Colton runs the family sugaring facility that makes maple syrup, and Max helps him out when he’s able to between classes. He’s a senior at UVM. Landon has a woodworking business and oversees the volunteer fi refighting department in town. Hannah makes jewelry. Lucas manages the family’s Christmas tree farm and helps Landon with the fire department. I think that’s everyone accounted for.” “Just out of curiosity— why don’t you and your siblings want a website?” “Because we don’t need one. We have a very nice business just the way it is. A website will bring a bunch of issues we aren’t interested in dealing with.” “Such as?” “We’ll have to hire people to fulfi ll orders, set up a distribution center, figure out shipping. So many headaches.” “But it could grow your business exponentially.” “We don’t want to grow our business. It’s fine the way it is.” He drove into a quaint little New England town with a signature white-steeple church, a volunteer fire department, a combination café and gallery, and there, in the middle of everything, the Green Mountain Country Store. In the dark, it was hard to see much, but it seemed small next to some of the other buildings and boasted a quaint front porch. They were past it before she could ascertain much of anything else. Will pulled into a parking lot behind a large white Victorian house. “Where are we?” “I assume you’re staying at the inn since it’s the only place in town that takes guests.” Cameron pulled out the confirmation message she had printed at home. “The Admiral Frances Butler Inn?” “That’s it.” He cut the engine and got out of the truck. By the time she emerged onto thankfully dry pavement, he’d fetched her luggage from the back. “Can you hand me the black bag? My running shoes are in there.” He retrieved the bag she pointed to and dropped it in front of her. “You don’t have to shoot the messenger, you know,” she said. “What does that mean?” “Just because you’re mad at your dad for hiring me doesn’t mean you have to be cranky with me.” “You were irritating me long before I knew my dad had hired you.” “You’re just full of charm, aren’t you?” she asked as she pulled on sneakers. “So I’m told.” “By who?” He waggled his brows at her. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” “Actually, I really wouldn’t.” “Suit yourself,” he said with a shrug as he led her into the back door of the inn. He seemed to know his way around, so she followed him through a series of hallways to the front desk where he rang the bell on the counter. The place smelled like potpourri and lemon-scented furniture polish. An older woman came through the door wearing a housecoat, pin curlers in her hair and a warm, welcoming smile on her plump face. “Hi, Will. What a nice surprise. What brings you in tonight?” “Hi there, Mrs. Hendricks. I’ve brought you a guest. Cameron . . .” “Oh,” the older woman said, resting a hand on her head as if she just remembered her curlers. “I look a sight.” “You’re pretty as a picture, just like always,” Will said. “Will Abbott,” Mrs. Hendricks said as her face turned bright red, “you could charm a bird out of a tree.” Will sent Cameron a smug smile, as if to say “Told ya so.” Cameron cleared her throat, hoping to remind Mrs. Hendricks that a paying customer was waiting to check in. “Cameron Murphy. Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Hendricks.” The other woman fi nally looked at her and gasped. “Oh my! What happened to your face?” Cameron raised her hands to her face, remembering the moment of impact and how her nose had hurt afterward. “What?” “You have two black eyes,” Mrs. Hendricks said. “And your nose . . .” Alarmed, Cameron looked around for a mirror. “What about my nose?” She walked across the small lobby to a framed mirror and shrieked at what she saw. Her nose was swollen and sure enough, dark bruises were forming under her eyes. “Oh my God!” Turning back to find Will leaning against the counter and Mrs. Hendricks looking on with concern, Cameron marched back over to confront him. “Why didn’t you tell me?” “Tell you what?” “That my face was all banged up!” “Um, maybe because I figured you’d hardly need me to tell you that something had smacked you in the face.” “It must’ve been the airbag,” she said, remembering that moment of utter blackness. Had she passed out? She’d been ignoring the pain in her face as she tried to get her bearings with Will, but now that they mentioned it, her nose was throbbing rather insistently. “The airbag would also explain the burn on your neck,” Will added. “Burn?” Her voice was a shrill squeak. “What burn?” He leaned in closer to her, and she swore her heart skipped a beat as she caught a whiff of his outdoorsy scent. The touch of his finger on her neck sent a shocking bolt of heat straight through her, landing in a tingle between her legs. What in the name of hell was that about? “There.” As if he’d touched something hot, Will pulled back his hand and straightened out of that insolent slouch he did so well.The two of them stared at each other for a long heated moment. “Was there an accident?” Mrs. Hendricks asked, interrupting the intense interlude. “She hit Fred,” Will said gravely. Mrs. Hendricks brought a hand to her ample chest. “Oh! Is he okay?” “He seemed no worse for the wear,” Will said. “Good thing it was a small car.” “It was a new car!” Cameron said, wondering if anyone in this godforsaken town would care that her adorable little car was no longer adorable. “Well, as long as he’s okay,” Mrs. Hendricks said as if Cameron hadn’t spoken. Then she turned to Cameron. “I can call Doc Edwards for you, if you’d like.” “Thank you, but that’s not necessary.” All Cameron wanted was a warm bath and an ice pack for her throbbing nose. “Could I borrow the phone to call Nolan about her car?” Will asked. “Of course.” Mrs. Hendricks handed him the portable phone, and he dialed a number from memory. While Cameron completed the check-in paperwork and handed over her credit card, Will filled Nolan in on the accident. “Yep, she ran smack into poor old Fred.” A pause. “He seemed fine, but we might want to send the doc after him in the morning to make sure.” Glowering at him, Cameron whispered, “The car. Remember the car?” He met her glower with a scowl. “Now, about the car.” Finally, Cameron thought, signing on the dotted line for Mrs. Hendricks and accepting the key to her third-floor room. Will handed the phone back to Mrs. Hendricks. “Nolan’s going to fetch the car tonight so no one hits it out on the road. He said to check in with him in the morning. The garage is across the street.” Pointing toward the front door. “That way.” “Thank you.” Cameron forced herself to look up at him and all his beauty. “I appreciate your help.” His eyes, she realized were light brown, almost gold. Why did he have to be so spectacularly gorgeous and so outrageously cranky? “You need help getting your stuff upstairs?” The idea of him following her to a hotel room sent more tingling awareness rippling through her. “I can do it.” But before the words were out of her mouth, he was already heading to the stairs with her bags. Uttering a quick thank you to Mrs. Hendricks, Cameron scurried after him. On the third floor, he deposited her suitcases outside Room 18. He stopped so suddenly that Cameron nearly ran into his broad back. Turning, he caught her inches from his chest, and the awareness that had sizzled between them downstairs chose that moment to reappear. Cameron had never experienced such an overpowering need to touch another person. She rolled her hands into fists to keep from acting on the impulse. “Listen,” he said, haltingly, “you seem like a nice enough person.” “Wow, thanks.” Charming? Whatever. His expression turned stormy. “What I was going to say is that things are apt to get a little heated tomorrow at the meeting. Don’t take it personally, okay? Our beef is with him, not you.” “I’m here to do a job. Nothing about this is personal.” “Good,” he said, apparently picking up on her double meaning as she’d hoped he would. “Let’s keep it that way.” “Fine by me.” “You might want to put some ice on your nose,” he said as he headed down the stairs. Too bad he missed the gesture she made at his retreating back.

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The Nashville Bet

Shana Gray
Authors:
Shana Gray

In the third warm, funny and romantic novel in the Girls Weekend Away series, four best friends embark on the ultimate girls' getaway filled with hijinks and a sprinkling of romance. For any fan of Bridesmaids and Sex and the City and readers of Jo Watson, Lauren Layne, Joanna Bolouri and Cate Woods.Look for the other Girls' Weekend Away novels, including What Happens In Vegas and Meet Me In San Francisco!

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Meet Me In San Francisco

Shana Gray
Authors:
Shana Gray
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Poison Kisses: Part 2

Lisa Renee Jones
Authors:
Lisa Renee Jones

Part Two of the sexy, thrilling three-part Poison Kisses serial.Sexy. Dark. Edgy. Poison Kisses is a spinoff story from Lisa Renee Jones's sexy Dirty Money world told in three novellas.I loved her. She left me. She betrayed me but now it's time to open the closed doors. I'll tell her my secret if she tells me hers. Our history is more than lies. It's our story, and I will do whatever it takes to reveal it all. I'm the Assassin, She's The Poison Princess. We're going to kill the bad guys, but we're still deciding if we're enemies. The one thing for certain, is we're both going to strip down and get bare.Are you ready to play by the hard rules of the Brandon family empire? Look for the enthralling Dirty Money series: Hard Rules, Damage Control, Bad Deeds and End Game.

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Poison Kisses: Part 1

Lisa Renee Jones
Authors:
Lisa Renee Jones

Sexy. Dark. Edgy. Part One of the sexy, thrilling three-part Poison Kisses serial.Amanda Larke made me want her. She made me trust her. She made me love her. Then she betrayed me. And now, a madman brings us together again and before our battle with him is over, I will make sure that she never forgets my name: Seth Cage. The Fixer for The Brandon Family Empire, but to a covert CIA operation, I will always be The Assassin. And to Amanda, I will be the man who made her moan, sigh, and beg. And I will make her beg.Are you ready to play by the hard rules of the Brandon family empire? Look for the enthralling Dirty Money series: Hard Rules, Damage Control, Bad Deeds and End Game.

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End Game: Dirty Money 4

Lisa Renee Jones
Authors:
Lisa Renee Jones

Wall Street meets Sons of Anarchy in End Game, the smouldering, scorching fourth novel in the explosively sexy Dirty Money series from New York Times bestseller Lisa Renee Jones, author of the Inside Out series.How deep can you love?After tragedy strikes, Shane Brandon hovers on the edge of being consumed by darkness. He will fight for Emily Stevens, the woman he loves. He will destroy his enemy. He will not back down. And as shocking twists, dark secrets, and explosive betrayals within the Brandon family come to the light, Shane must fight harder than ever before.Every thread weaves a dangerous web. Emily and Derek. Brandon Senior. Maggie and her affair. The leader of the dangerous cartel that's wedged itself inside the Brandon Empire. It all comes to a head when passion and danger collide in the explosive conclusion to the Dirty Money series.Are you ready to play by the hard rules of the Brandon family empire? Check out the other compelling novels in the Dirty Money series: Hard Rules, Damage Control and Bad Deeds.

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Bad Deeds: Dirty Money 3

Lisa Renee Jones
Authors:
Lisa Renee Jones

Wall Street meets Sons of Anarchy in Bad Deeds, the smouldering, scorching third novel in the explosively sexy Dirty Money series from New York Times bestseller Lisa Renee Jones, author of the Inside Out series.Would you bleed for the one you love?To save his family empire from the grip of a drug cartel, Shane Brandon is pushed to the edge of darkness. His brother only thought he knew what dirty meant. Shane is about to give it new meaning. But there is another battle brewing inside Shane, and it is to Emily Stevens he turns for escape. In every one of Shane's seductive demands, Emily can taste and feel his torment, his struggle to save his family and not lose himself. She can't just sit back and watch Shane become everything he hates. But she also fears that her own dangerous secret could be about to erupt - and be the cause of the Brandon family's undoing.In this war, blood will spill - and someone in the heart of the Brandon family will not survive...Are you ready to play by the hard rules of the Brandon family empire? Check out the other compelling novels in the Dirty Money series: Hard Rules and Damage Control.

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Damage Control: Dirty Money 2

Lisa Renee Jones
Authors:
Lisa Renee Jones
Headline Eternal

Hard Rules: Dirty Money 1

Lisa Renee Jones
Authors:
Lisa Renee Jones
Headline Eternal

Run From Fear: Dead Wrong Book 3 (A page-turning serial killer thriller)

Jami Alden
Authors:
Jami Alden
Headline Eternal

Hide From Evil: Dead Wrong Book 2 (A suspenseful serial killer thriller)

Jami Alden
Authors:
Jami Alden

Beth Kery

Beth Kery is the New York Times ebook bestselling author of Because You Are Mine and recipient of the All About Romance Reader Poll for Best Erotica. Beth lives in Chicago where she juggles the demands of her career, her love of the city and the arts, and a busy family life. Her writing today reflects her passion for all of the above. She is a bestselling author of over thirty books and novellas, and has also written under the pen name Bethany Kane.You can read more about Beth, her books and upcoming projects at www.bethkery.com, discover her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/beth.kery, or follow her on Twitter @BethKery.

Carly Bloom

Carly Bloom began her writing career as a family humor columnist and blogger, a pursuit she abandoned when her children grew old enough to literally die from embarrassment. To save their delicate lives, Carly turned to penning steamy, contemporary romance. The kind with bare chests on the covers. Carly and her husband raise their mortified brood of offspring on a cattle ranch in South Texas. Also? Carly is vegan. The cows love her. To find out more about Carly, visit her website at www.carlybloombooks.com, find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/authorcarlybloom and follow her on Twitter @carlybloombooks and Instagram @carlybloombooks.

J. Kenner

J. Kenner loves wine, dark chocolate, and books. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughters. Visit her online at www.jkenner.com to learn more about her and her other pen names, to get a peek at what she's working on, and to connect through social media.

Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton is a New York Times bestselling author who lives in Oklahoma with her husband and dogs. She has three grown children, who are all scattered around the country having lives of their own. A lover of sports, Jaci can often tell what season it is by what sport is being played. She watches entirely too much television, including an unhealthy amount of reality TV. When she isn't on deadline, Jaci can be found at her local casino, trying to become a millionaire (so far, no luck). She's a total romantic and loves a story with a happily ever after, which you'll find in all her books.Find the latest news on Jaci's books at ww.jaciburton.com, and connect with her online at www.facebook.com/AuthorJaciBurton or via Twitter @jaciburton.

Jami Alden

Jami Alden is the Holt Medallion-nominated author for sexy romantic suspense. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her socially well-adjusted alpha male husband, her sons, and a German Shepherd who patiently listens to dialogue and helps her work out plot points.You can learn more at www.JamiAlden.com or follow Jami on Twitter @jamialden and on at Facebook.com/jamialden

Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory is a graduate of Wellesley College and Stanford Law School. She is a Bay Area native who has towering stacks of books in her living room, a cake recipe for every occasion, and upwards of 50 lipsticks.Visit her website: www.jasmineguillory.com, find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/jasmineguillorywriter and follow her on Twitter @thebestjasmine and Instagram @jasminepics for more information.

Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestseller Jill Shalvis is the author of many romance novels including her acclaimed Cedar Ridge, Lucky Harbor and Animal Magnetism series. The RITA winner and three-time National Readers Choice winner makes her home near Lake Tahoe. Visit her website at www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and daily blog, and www.facebook.com/jillshalvis for other news or follow her on Twitter @jillshalvis.

Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to multiple books including the bestselling Stiletto series, with more sexy stories on the way!Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.Join Lauren at www.laurenlayne.com to get news on her latest books, or keep up to date with her on Twitter: @_LaurenLayne and Facebook: www.facebook.com/LaurenLayneAuthor.

Lindsay Emory

As a Texan and recovering sorority girl, Lindsay Emory has strong opinions on 'real' football (soccer, duh), wine (bubbles, please), and wearing white after Labor Day (just don't.) Lindsay writes books with mystery and romance featuring cranky heroes and the sassy heroines who drive them crazy. She lives on the North Texas plains with two big dogs and her own cranky hero, drinking gimlets and raising two STEM warrior princesses.For more information, visit her website lindsayemory.com, find her on Facebook /Lindsayemorywrites, Twitter @Lindsay_Emory and Instagram @lindsayemory.

Shana Gray

Shana Gray is a hybrid author who was first published in 2010 and has written contemporary erotic romances for multiple publishers including Harlequin Blaze, Random House, and Headline and is also an indie author. Her stories range from scorching quickie-length to longer full-length novels. Shana's passion is to enjoy life! She lives in Ontario, but loves to travel and see the world, be with family, friends and experience the beauty that surrounds us. Many of her experiences find their way into her books.Visit her website at shanagray.com, find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorshanagray, and follow her on Twitter @ShanaGray_.