Chapter Reveal – Handle With Care by Helena Hunting

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Handle With Care, an all-new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting is coming August 27th! Check out the Sneak Peen below. 

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Expected Publication: August 27th 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance

Format: Paperback, 320 pages
synopsis

HE WANTS TO LOSE CONTROL.

Between his parents’ messed up marriage and his narcissistic younger brother, Lincoln Moorehead has spent the majority of his life avoiding his family. After the death of his father, Lincoln finds himself in the middle of the drama. To top it all off, he’s been named CEO of Moorehead Media, much to his brother’s chagrin. But Lincoln’s bad attitude softens when he meets the no-nonsense, gorgeous woman who has been given the task of transforming him from the gruff, wilderness guy to a suave businessman

SHE’S TRYING TO HOLD IT TOGETHER.

Wren Sterling has been working double time to keep the indiscretions at Moorehead Media at bay, so when she’s presented with a new contract, with new responsibilities and additional incentives, she agrees. Working with the reclusive oldest son of a ridiculously entitled family is worth the hassle if it means she’s that much closer to pursuing her own dreams. What Wren doesn’t expect is to find herself attracted to him, or for it to be mutual. And she certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Lincoln. But when a shocking new Moorehead scandal comes to light, she’s forced to choose between her own family and the broody, cynical CEO.

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preordernowAmazon: https://amzn.to/2VGJ83p

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2VXTyvK

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/HandleWithCare

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Kobo: http://bit.ly/2M09aKC

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Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2C9AeCB

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Excerpt from Chapter One

What Have I Gotten Myself into?

Wren

I slip onto the empty bar stool beside the lumberjack mountain man who looks like he tried to squeeze himself into a suit two sizes too small. He’s intimidatingly broad and thick, with long dark hair that’s been pulled up into a haphazard man bun thing. His beard is a hipster’s wet dream. His scowl, however, makes him about as approachable as a rabid porcupine. And yet, here I am, sidling up next to him.

He glances at me, eyes bleary and not really tracking. He quickly focuses on his half-empty glass again. Based on the slump of his shoulders and the uncoordinated way he picks up his glass and tips it toward his mouth, I’m guessing he’s pretty hammered. I order a sparkling water with a dash of cranberry juice and a lime.

What I could really use is a cup of lavender-mint tea and my bed, but instead, I’m sitting next to a drunk man in his thirties. My life is extra glamorous, obviously. And no, I’m not an escort, but at the moment I feel like my morals are on the same kind of slippery slope.

“Rough day?” I ask, nodding to the bottle that’s missing more than half its contents. It was full when he sat down at the bar an hour ago. Yes, I’ve been watching him the entire time, waiting for an opportunity to make my move. While he’s been sitting here, he’s turned down two women, one in a dress that could’ve doubled as a disco ball and the other in a top so low-cut, I could almost see her navel.

“You could say that,” he slurs. He props his cheek on his fist, eyes almost slits. I can still make out the vibrant blue hue despite them being nearly closed. They move over me, assessing. I’m wearing a conservative black dress with a high neckline and a hem that falls below my knees. Definitely not nearly as provocative as Disco Ball or Navel Lady.

“That solving your problems?” I give him a wry grin and tip my chin in the direction of his bottle of Johnnie.

His gaze swings slowly to the bottle. It gives me a chance to really look at him. Or what I can see of his face under his beard, anyway.

“Nah, but it helps quiet down all the noise up here.” He taps his temple and blurts, “My dad died.”

I put a hand on his forearm. It feels awkward, and creepy on my part since its half-genuine, half-contrived comfort. “I’m so sorry.”

He glances at my hand, which I quickly remove, and refocuses on his drink. “I should be sorry too, but I think he was mostly an asshole, so the world might be better off without him.” He attempts to fill his glass again, but his aim is off, and he pours it on the bar instead. I rush to lift my purse and grab a handful of napkins to mop up the mess.

“I’m drunk,” he mumbles.

“Well, I’m thinking that might’ve been the plan, considering the way you’re sucking that bottle back. I’m actually surprised you didn’t ask for a straw in the first place. Might be a good idea to throw a spacer [CD3] in there if you want tomorrow morning to suck less.” I push my drink toward him, hoping he doesn’t send me packing like he did the other women who approached him earlier.

He narrows his eyes at my glass, suspicious, maybe. “What is that?”

“Cranberry and soda.”

“No booze?”

“No booze. Go ahead. You’ll thank me in the morning.”

He picks up the glass and pauses when it’s an inch from his mouth. His eyes crinkle, telling me he’s smiling under that beard. “Does that mean Imma wake up with you beside me?”

I cock a brow. “Are you propositioning me?”

“Shit, sorry.” He chugs the contents of my glass. “I was joking. Besides, I’m so wasted, I can barely remember my name. Pretty sure I’d be useless in bed tonight. I should stop talkin’.” He scrubs a hand over his face and then motions to me. “I wouldn’t proposition you.”

I’m not sure how to respond. I go with semi-affronted, since it seems like somewhat of an insult. “Good to know.”

“Dammit. I mean, I think you might be hot. You look hot. I mean attractive. I think you’re pretty.” He tips his head to the side and blinks a few times. “You have nice eyes, all four of them are lovely.”

This time I laugh—for real—and point to the bottle. “I think you might want to tell your date you’re done for the night.”

He blows out a breath and nods. “You might be right.” He makes an attempt to stand, but as soon as his feet hit the floor, he stumbles into me and grabs my shoulders to steady himself. “Whoa. Sorry. Yup, I’m definitely drunk.” His face is inches from mine, breath smelling strongly of alcohol. Beyond that, I get a whiff of fresh soap and a hint of aftershave. He lets go of my shoulders and takes an unsteady step back. “I don’t usually do this.” He motions sloppily to the bottle. “Mostly I’m a three drink max guy.”

“I think losing your father makes this condonable.” I slide off my stool. Despite being tall for a woman, and wearing heels, he still manages to be close to a head taller than me.

“Yeah, maybe, but I still think I might regret it tomorrow.” He’s incredibly unsteady, swaying while standing in place. I take the opportunity for what it is and thread my arm through his, leading him away from the bar. “Come on, let’s get you to the elevator before you pass out right here.”

He nods, then wobbles a bit, like moving his head has set him off balance. “That’s probably a good idea.”

He leans into me as we weave through the bar and stumbles on the two stairs leading to the foyer. There’s no way I’ll be able to stop him if he goes down, but I drape one of his huge arms over my shoulder anyway, and slip my own around his waist, guiding him in a mostly straight line to the elevators.

“Which floor are you on?” I ask.

“Penthouse.” He drops his arm from my shoulder and flings it out, pointing to the black doors at the end of the hall. “Jesus, I feel like I’m on a boat.”

“It’s probably all the alcohol sloshing around in your brain.” I take his elbow again, helping him stagger the last twenty feet to the dedicated penthouse elevator.

He stares at the keypad for a few seconds, brow pulling into a furrow. “I can’t remember the code. It’s thumbprint activated though too.” He stumbles forward and presses his forehead against the wall, then tries to line up his thumb with the sensor, but his aim is horrendous and he keeps missing.

I settle a hand on his very firm forearm. This man is built like a tank. Or a superhero. For a moment, I reconsider what I’m about to do, but he seems pretty harmless and ridiculously hammered, so he shouldn’t pose a threat. I’m also trained in self-defense, which would fall under the by any means necessary umbrella. “Can I help?”

Read the rest of Chapter One: http://bit.ly/2ZBt0RL

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/

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Blog Tour – Excerpt Reveal for The Summer of Sunshine and Margot by Susan Mallery

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Expected Publication: June 11th 2019 by HQN Books

Genre(s): Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Format: Hardcover, 368 pages

purchaselinks

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

synopsis

The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…

As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?

Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.

Master storyteller Susan Mallery weaves threads of family drama, humor, romance and a wish-you-were-there setting into one of the most satisfying books of the year!

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Chapter 1

SOCIAL INTERACTIONS FELL INTO TWO CATEGORIES—EASY or awkward. Easy was knowing what to say and do, and how to act. Easy was witty small talk or an elegant compliment. Awkward social interactions, on the other hand, were things like sneezing in your host’s face or stepping on the cat or spilling red wine on a white carpet. Or any carpet, for that matter. Margot Baxter prided herself on knowing how to make any situation fall into the easy category. Professionally, of course. In her professional life, she totally kicked butt. Personally—not so much. If she was being completely honest, she would have to admit that on most days her personal life fell firmly in the awkward category, which was why she never mixed business and pleasure and rarely bothered with pleasure at all. If it wasn’t going to go well, why waste the time?

But work was different. Work was where the magic happened and she was the one behind the curtain, moving all the levers. Not in a bad way, she added silently. It was just that she was about empowering her clients—helping them realize it was all about confidence, and sometimes finding confidence re- quired a little help.

She turned onto the street where her nav system directed her, then blinked twice as she stared at the huge double gates stretching across a freeway-wide driveway. She’d been told the private residence had originally been a monastery built in the 1800s, but she hadn’t expected it to be so huge. She’d been thinking more “extra-big house with a guest cottage and maybe a small orchard.” What she faced instead was a three-story, Spanish- style former church/monastery with two turrets, acres of gardens and an actual parking lot for at least a dozen cars.

“Who are these people?” she asked out loud, even though she already knew the answer. Before interviewing a potential client, she always did her research. Overdid it, some would say, a criticism she could live with. Margot liked being thorough. And on time. And tidy. And, according to some, annoying.

Margot pressed the call button on the electronic pad mounted perpendicular to the gate and waited until a surprisingly clear voice said, “May I help you?”

“I’m Margot Baxter. I have an appointment with Mr. Alec Mcnicol.”

“Yes, Ms. Baxter. He’s expecting you.”

The gates opened smoothly and Margot drove through onto the compound. She parked in one of the marked spots, then took a moment to breathe and collect her thoughts.

She could do this, she told herself. She was good at her job. She liked helping people. Everything was going to be fine. She was a professional, she was trained and she was calm. Calm-ish, she added silently, then reached for the glasses she’d put on the seat next to her briefcase.

Margot stepped out of her car and smoothed the front of her slightly too-big jacket. The outfit—gray suit, sensible pumps, minimal makeup—was designed to make her appear professional and competent. The glasses, while unnecessary, did a lot to add gravitas to her appearance. She was thirty-one, but in shorts and a concert T-shirt, she could pass for nineteen. Even more depressing, in said shorts and T-shirt, she looked ditzy and incompetent and just a little bit dumb, and that didn’t reassure anyone.

She walked up the stone path to the enormous front door. Although she knew nothing about Spanish architecture, she wanted to trace the heavy carved wood doors where angels watched over Christ as he carried the cross toward a hill. Yup, the big-as-a-stadium building really had once been a monastery and apparently the monks had been sincere in their worship.

Before she could get her fill of the amazing craftsmanship, the doors opened, and a tall, broad-shouldered, dark-haired man nodded at her.

“Ms. Baxter? I’m Alec Mcnicol. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Thank you.”

She stepped inside, and they shook hands. She had a brief impression of two-story ceilings and intricate stained-glass windows before Alec was leading her down a hallway into a large office lined with bookshelves and framed maps of lands long forgotten.

She did her best not to gawk at her surroundings. While she was used to working with the rich and famous, this was different. The books made her want to inhale deeply to capture their musty smell and the maps had her itching to trace a path along the Silk Road.

She’d taken a step to do just that when her host cleared his throat.

She glanced at him and smiled. “Sorry. Your office is incredible. The maps are hand drawn?”

He looked slightly startled, his eyebrows coming together in an attractive frown. “They are.”

She looked at them one last time. If she got the job, she would have to ask permission to study the framed drawings. She reluctantly pulled her attention away from the distractions around her and took a seat across from him at the wide desk.

When he was settled, he said, “As I explained on the phone, you’re here to help my mother.”

“Yes, Mr.—”

“Please call me Alec.”

She nodded. “I’m Margot, and yes, I understand she will be my client.”

“Excellent. She and I decided it would be easier if I conducted the preliminary interview to see if you and she are suited.”

“Of course.”

Margot relaxed. Hiring someone like her was often stressful. Her services were only required when something had gone very wrong in a person’s life. Or if the potential client was anticipating something going wrong. Or was overwhelmed. Very few people looked around at their happiest moment and thought, Hey, I should find someone to teach me social etiquette and how not to be odd/uncomfortable/weird or just plain nervous. There was always a trigger that made a client realize he or she needed Margot’s services and it rarely grew out of an uplifting event.

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abouttheauthor

susanmallerySUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.

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Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Excerpt Tour

Tuesday, May 28th: Sincerely Karen Jo

Wednesday, May 29th: Palmer’s Page Turners

Wednesday, May 29th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Thursday, May 30th: Jathan & Heather

Friday, May 31st: Books and Spoons

Saturday, June 1st: The Lit Bitch

Monday, June 3rd: Audio Killed the Bookmark

Tuesday, June 4th: Bewitched Bookworms

Wednesday, June 5th: Reading Reality

Thursday, June 6th: Romantic Reads and Such

Friday, June 7th: Broken Teepee

Monday, June 10th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy

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