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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Contemporary Romance / Romantic ComedyDate Published: June 1, 2014

Dangerous Intersection Ahead

Marketing analyst Becca Daniels has a life that looks good on paper - a coveted promotion in an exciting new city and a successful, handsome fiancé. But with her Hawaiian honeymoon fast approaching, she has to face her biggest fear…water. She can’t swim. On her way to her first swimming lesson, however, she veers left instead of right and nearly runs over her hot, new instructor.

Caution: Rising Waters

Liam Caldwell has put his life on hold to look after his sick mother. The last thing he needs is the hit-and-run brunette who ruined his motorcycle disrupting the adult swim class. But from the first lesson, he realizes there’s more to the curvy, smart-mouthed Becca than meets the eye, and no matter what he does, he can’t resist her luscious lips and her driving determination.

No U-turn

With each lesson, Becca discovers that what looks good on paper isn’t making her happy. Should she play it safe in the shallow end with her career and fiancé? Or should she dive into deep waters with a man who offers passion and freedom like she’s never imagined?


Excerpt 1
Spandex and Lycra everywhere, but not a stitch of Gucci. Becca Daniels surveyed her fellow Dive employees. How they could just show up to work in sportswear was beyond her. Granted, Dive’s parent company, Elite Sports, was the largest sportswear marketing company on the west coast, but really, would it kill any of them to wear something other than Lulu Lemon?
“Care to join us in the discussion, Becca?”
Damn it, busted.
“Um, sorry. Just thinking about some ideas for the website. And what it will take to get the campaign going given our timeline.” There, that sounded like something a totally together project analyst would say, right?
“I’m glad to hear that, Becca.” Fred, the company’s ad executive manager said. He was dressed in bright teal running shorts and a spandex shirt. “Because as luck would have it—or in this case, as Brett Jennings would have it—you’re going to be project lead for the Southland campaign.”
Brett Jennings? The head of Dive? Becca’s mouth dropped open, and she forced her brain to concentrate on the words. Project lead for the new Southland swim line? But she’d only been here a year. It had taken most of the analysts at least two years before they’d been given their own campaigns to lead.
“Excuse me?” She slid a gaze to her best friend, Vanessa Rodriquez. Maybe she’d heard wrong. Fred must have meant Rebecca, the senior campaign manager.
“We feel it’s time, Becca. Your experience with Bloomingdale’s sportswear division and your relationship with the Marketing Director of Elite will come in handy. You’ve been here long enough to prove yourself. We’re glad to have you on this.”
Except, nobody looked glad. In fact, many of her coworkers looked pissed. Or annoyed, or confused. Hell, she was confused. She couldn’t do this, regardless of the fact Southland was the new designer watersports line. Shit, she couldn't even swim. What did she know about spandex and neoprene?
Do. Not. Panic.
All she needed to do was take a deep breath. Maybe if she backed out gracefully, she could save face and ignore the hateful glares of the forever hungry and toned that were her coworkers. “Uhm, I’d really feel more comfortable if I partnered with—”
Vanessa kicked her under the table and shook her head.
“Ow,” Becca muttered beneath her breath. “What I mean to say is, yes, sir! I’m looking forward to the challenge and can’t wait to partner with Southland to really rock this campaign.”
She was so totally screwed.
She’d started working at Dive a little over a year ago, desperate for a change of pace. She’d loved working at Bloomingdale’s, but she’d hit a ceiling at her last job, one that wouldn't budge unless she started sleeping with her boss, so she’d taken a chance and moved to San Diego. Land of the perpetually sunny and tanned.
For the most part, she loved her job, she’d made friends. Okay, make that one friend.
Van was great, but Becca’d had trouble adjusting. It was like she spoke Greek, or designer, rather, and they all spoke German—or in this case, athletic gear. She didn’t speak the same language, let alone wear the same uniform. Nike and Lulu Lemon were like a religious cult around the office. Hell, her first month with Elite Sports, when everyone had been talking about how they’d only managed four or six or ten every morning, she’d finally had to break down and ask what the hell they meant. Ten what? Apparently, these crazy people had meant miles. As in running.  And they always said miles as if running that far seemed normal. Like she was the abnormal one because she wasn’t in some never-ending training cycle for some half marathon. What had happened to good old fashioned walking on the treadmill while watching Real Housewives? That counted as physical activity, right?

Excerpt 2
Understanding slowly dawned on her face. “I’m floating? All on my own?”
He nodded, and she froze. Down went her ass, and up went her arms, windmilling like before. This time, however, he was prepared. He swooped in with one arm and snagged her waist to keep her from sinking.
A repeat of their past chest-to-chest mamba occurred, only this time, she didn’t beat him with her fists. “I’m never going to swim, am I?”
He made sure she was steady on her feet, then headed for the edge of the pool. “Wait right there.”
He climbed out of the pool and grabbed a kickboard. On the way past the bench, he snagged her flippers. Back in the water, he lifted her up and sat her on the edge, then slipped the flippers on her feet.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Just hang with me.” After securing the flippers, he lifted her back into the water and demonstrated how to use the kickboard. He kicked back to her and handed her the board. “Your turn.”
Hesitantly, she fingered the board. “I don’t know about this.”
“I do.” He wrapped one hand around her arm and the other around her waist. “I’ve got you. Now do exactly what I did. Ready?”
She shook her head but held the board out in front of her. “Should I hum?”
“Should I hum? You know, like when you taught me to blow bubbles.”
He laughed. “Whatever rocks your world, Becca.”
She smiled. “Are you making fun of me?”
“Never.” He positioned her in the water, kept her from sinking. “Now kick those legs, hard.”
With his help, she scooted across the pool from one side to the other. Her face morphed into that self-satisfied look she got every time she accomplished something. She lowered her feet and nearly jumped up and down in the water. “I did it. I kinda, sorta swam!”
“Yep.” He enjoyed seeing that look on her face, and the bobbing up and down in the water wasn’t terrible either. “You did.”
“Oh, my God, thank you!” She threw her arms around his neck, bringing those luscious, wet curves into full body contact. Her flippers nailed his ankles as she tried to stand on his feet.
And then, without warning, she brushed his cheek with a kiss. “Thank you. I don’t know what to say.” She went to kiss him again, except he moved his face, and her lips, thank you, Jesus, landed on his.
They were wet and warm, and oh, so soft. When she didn’t pull away, he lingered there, tasting, and hoping she didn’t knee him in the balls.
Her body relaxed into his, her lips parting on a sigh. “I...uh…”
Pull back. Huge breach of teacher-student relations. His hands were one thing, supporting her in the water, but there was no way he should have his lips anywhere on her body.
But he didn’t push her away. No sir, Alex would have been proud. Liam wrapped his arms around Becca and kissed her again.
She responded, pressing her breasts against his chest. And then, like a light switch, she jerked away, putting distance between them. “What am I doing?” she said, rubbing her fingers over her lips.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “That was completely unprofessional, and it will never happen again.”
Seemingly tongue-tied, she sputtered. Cleared her throat, and tried again. “It’s not you. It’s uhm...I, uh...I got excited, and sometimes I do really stupid things when I’m excited.”
Stupid things. Kissing him being one of them. Okay, then. Their time was nearly up. “One more time across?”
Swimming got in a person’s blood. He’d seen it a hundred times with the kids—and adults—he’d trained. Even the smallest taste of that kind of freedom made people long for more.
“That would be awesome.” Becca grabbed the kickboard and avoided his eyes. “I’m psyched.”
He was too. He only had to remember to keep his hands to himself.

Excerpt 3
Everyone was waiting on her; she had to do this. It was either this or tell Holden that she couldn’t swim. And she was not doing that. She had the perfect guy with the perfect honeymoon planned. And the perfect job. If she didn’t do this, everyone would know eventually. With another deep breath, she took another step. Knee-deep. Yay! Except, she was expected to go farther.
Liam half swam, half walked through the water to get to her. “It’s okay.” His smile was softer, and his voice was low, soothing, as if they were the only two people in the pool. “What’s your name?”
Name, what was her damn name? Her energy was so focused on not letting go of the railing and not drowning that she’d forgotten her damn name. Deep breath. “Uhm, it’s Becca.”
“Nice to meet you, Becca. Now why don’t you give me your hand? I’ll help you the rest of the way in.”
“N-no. That’s okay. I think maybe I can learn from here.”
There were a few snickers from her classmates. Liam ignored them and lowered his voice even further. “Have you been in a pool before, Becca?”
Well, maybe she shouldn’t have lied about that part. “Yes. But usually with a floating chair or something.”
He nodded. “Okay, no problem. Focus on my voice. We’ll get you into the water together.”
She glanced around at her classmates. Some of them looked impatient. A few looked encouraging. But the vast majority were focused on clutching onto the side of the pool, oblivious to her torture. “I—maybe I can’t do this. Can I just watch?”
Liam chuckled. “You’ve already been brave enough to come this far. Let’s see what happens if you trust me. You have nothing to lose by trying.”
“You mean besides my life?”
She could tell he was trying to contain a smile as his lips twitched. “Now how would that make me look if I lost a student on the first night? I have my reputation to protect.”
This time, Becca did smile. Slowly, she let go of the rail with her left even as she gripped tighter with her right. She slid her hand into his warm and firm one and he held her tight as if he’d never let her go. “D-do you have me?”
“Look at me, Becca. Focus on me. Nothing else matters right now, except you and me.”
She nodded. His voice really was soothing, washing over her like warm rain. She focused on his eyes. The deep blue color mesmerized her, and she took another step in. Water lapped at her upper thighs.
“That’s it, Becca. Well done. Two more steps, and you’re in.”
With a little more coaxing, and a lot more focusing on Liam, her feet hit the bottom of the shallow end. Holy shit. The water lapped at her waist, and there was no shock of cold making her panic. This wasn’t so bad.
She grinned up at Liam, and he smiled in return. His eyes narrowed slightly, and his gaze fell to her lips. Warmth bloomed from her chest and—a wave suddenly hit her in the back, nearly knocking her off her feet. She squealed and wrapped herself around Liam, octopus style, unwilling and unable to let go.
Liam held her tight as she squeezed her eyes shut. She heard him say, “First rule of the pool, no deliberate splashing of the other students. Do you understand me?”
His voice was stern and a little intimidating. The warm, lazy, mellow quality had vanished. From behind her, a male voice muttered a weak apology.
With her arms and legs wrapped around Liam, Becca hid her face, letting his strong body carry her to the side. “You can let go now. You’re safe.”
Becca blinked. A small, kitten-like whimper issued from the back of her throat. From over her shoulder, she saw all her classmates watching her with curiosity. Okay, maybe she’d overreacted. But did she really have to let go? Because it seemed so much safer with him holding her. What are you going to do, take Liam on your Honeymoon? Her whole body flushed, and she reached out for the ledge. Only when she felt the cool concrete under her fingertips did she unwrap herself from her instructor.


Nana Malone

USA Today Best Seller and iTunes Breakout Books author, Nana Malone's love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she borrowed from her cousin.
It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She's been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.
While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.

Misty Evans

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.
The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.
Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.
Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter at www.readmistyevans.com

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