Author: Marina Adair
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 25, 2017
What’s wrong with a little white lie?
There are a lot of things Ali Marshal doesn’t do: pink anything, a day without chocolate, and Hawk, her sister’s ex-husband. Sure, he’s a sexy former NHL star who can make her pulse pound with just a wink. But he belonged to Bridget first. And no matter how long she’s had a crush on him, how great he’s always been to her dad, or that her sister is engaged to someone else now and Ali needs a date to their engagement party, she can’t give in to temptation. Can she?
It’s been years since his disastrous marriage crashed and burned, and Bradley Hawk has finally moved on. So when Bridget blows back into town with her new fiancé, throwing the engagement party of the year, he could care less . . . until Ali tells one little lie that lands him smack dab in a fake relationship. After one promise to be Ali’s date and two of the hottest kisses he’s ever had, Hawk can’t deny how much he wants her. But what happens when this fauxmance starts to feel very, very real?
Ali nodded because she needed him more than she needed her next breath.
The intensity of her feelings terrified her. They always had. Even at seventeen she knew what she felt went beyond the run-of-the-mill teenage crush. She’d been in love. Sure, it was a young, simple love, but it was love all the same.
Only he’d loved someone else.
So when he married her sister, she did her best to let him go. But no matter how painful it had been for her, and at times the ache was so acute it had been paralyzing, she was never able to set him completely free. Choosing the pain over the loss.
Now he was back, looking at her how she always looked at him, as if he’d never let go, and Ali gave in to the fantasy. Played out the what-ifs she carried with her for over a decade. He’d been hers for so long, she let herself believe that she was his, too.
He was asking for right here, right now—this she knew. Tomorrow, reality would creep in, and everything would go back to the way it was. But tonight, sitting on this beach, overlooking a world bigger than the two of them, Ali wanted to feel what it was like to be loved by the man who owned her heart.
“I want,” she said.
“What do you want, Aliana?” he whispered, the sound of her name on his lips doing crazy things to her. Crazy girly things that made her feel delicate and desirable.
“I want you.” She trailed her hands down his pecs to that flat stomach and lower, loving how his muscles rippled and curled under her touch. “I want you to pamper me so hard I won’t remember how to walk come morning.”
Hawk’s eyes darkened, and his mouth was on hers. Hard and demanding, and just how she’d imagined. There was no warm-up, no testing the waters. He was kissing her as if he knew what he wanted.
And he wanted Aliana.
Their mouths were fused together, her hands gripping his shoulders for purchase, but his fingers were gentle, languidly exploring her face, her neck, the curve of her shoulder, slowly moving down her arm and bringing the wide neckline of her shirt with him.
He never stopped kissing her, but she felt his lashes flutter open, realized that she’d never closed her own. Then his deep brown eyes locked on hers, watching her as they kissed, and it was erotic and unexpected. As she watched him back, she felt his lips curl into a smile. Could feel the dimples on both cheeks come alive under her touch.
“You like to watch,” Hawk growled, and she felt her cheeks flush.
Ali never considered herself a watcher. But Hawk was such a beautiful and commanding man, she’d never been able to look away. Not even now, when her body was begging for release. He was that good—a simple kiss and she was so turned on, she could feel her body shaking.
That smile turned cocky.
“It’s not like I stand there peering through your bedroom window at night,” she said, leaving out that night he was at the bar. His bedroom window during the morning, when he was walking around after a shower. She was more than guilty.
“I’ve peered through yours.”
And to prove he wasn’t the least bit ashamed, he lowered his head and placed an openmouthed kiss on her shoulder, those eyes of his never leaving hers. Not even when he moved lower toward her collarbone, his mouth working her with a softness that took her by surprise and a reverence that made her feel as if she was precious.
Ali wasn’t sure what to do. Hard, challenging, complicated—that was what she was used to. But this was light, simple—too easy to be real. It confused her as much as it terrified her.
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Ah, it was nice to be back in Destiny Bay. Once you’re so far away and only just come back to it, you remember exactly how much you missed a good small town romance. And I’ve read some good ones, but there’s nothing like the pleasure of coming back to a familiar voice.
I may have forgotten a few details, but I knew I was looking forward to this story ever since finishing the previous book. As a sucker for friends-to-lovers stories, knowing the hero Hawk was a hockey player was the cherry on top of a most delicious pie, cause let’s just say that’s some sort of magic word for me, hockey. So major points there for this reader.
This book, apart from being a good, solid romance, had me for the heroine. I felt like I saw myself in Ali, something I neither have done before nor sought out to do so. I take the heroes and heroines as they come, and read through their lives as a happy audience, but this time Ali had me with all that she was. You’ll definitely find loyal, caring, vulnerable and yet strong with Ali. I’m sure she’s the kind of woman who’s out there in all of us, and that right there touched me like nothing else. I could see her faults clear as crystal mind you, and her being a book I could easily read made me connect with her, which in the end made this such an easy, fulfilling read.
I cannot simply walk away without making it clear that Hawk was the solid, reliable-wonderful, if I may say so- hero that’s out there. One who I not so secretly wish I had in my life. Together with Ali they made a sexy-never forget the sexy!- and perfect couple.
Small town romance doubled with friends who become lovers, tripled with hockey player hero and metal welding heroine, this was right up my alley. And if any of those things I mentioned, plus some sexy times on the beach is the thing for you, then don’t skip this one. In fact, go back and grab the first book and make a day of it.
I’m adding four spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge. Now, allow me to sigh into my coffee cup while I think about finding love next door in your best friend.
Destiny Bay series by Marina Adair:
Marina Adair is a #1 National bestselling author of romance novels and holds a Master of Fine arts in creative writing. Along with the Destiny Bay series, she is also the author of the Sugar, Georgia series, the St. Helena Vineyard series, and her new Heroes of St. Helena series. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, and two neurotic cats in Northern California.
As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive.
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