Today we’ve got as you see Marquita Valentine sharing an exclusive excerpt with us. She’s also very generously offering a giveaway today, so be sure to tell us what you think!
Not even Holland Springs’ Most Notorious Resident can stop this Love Spell.
Customers come to Rose Holland’s apothecary shop for three things: to hear her uncanny matchmaking advice, to buy the “magical” hair and skin products she sells, and to accuse her of trying to steal their men. For years Rose has been entirely innocent and almost content with that status quo. But that was before sexy, smooth-talking Sasha Romanov came to town and made her want to use her love potions on him… until he broke her heart. Now corrupt town officials want to seize her land and sell it to an industrial giant, and her only hope for help looks like the one man she can’t trust—or stop herself from falling under his spell.
Alexander “Sasha” Romanov seems like every woman’s dream: charming, handsome and fabulously rich. But while the people of Holland Springs think he’s in town to generously invest in their economy (and possibly one of their daughters), Sasha struggles to save his sick mother from his vicious uncle’s plans by doing everything the greedy businessman wants. And Vlad Romanov wants Rose Holland’s land—at any cost.
Despite Sasha’s vow to get the job done and keep his hands (and everything else!) off Rose, the blue-eyed witch enchants him. But his mother’s life remains in the balance. Sasha must find a way to protect his mother, sabotage his uncle’s plans, and win the woman who’s captured his heart without destroying everything she loves.
Thank you Limecello for hosting me today and letting me give your readers an exclusive excerpt of the second novel in my Holland Springs Series, Third Time’s a Charm.
Silently they walked to the kitchen. He followed her to the back porch. On the way out, she grabbed Ivy’s baby monitor and clipped it to her pocket. After scooping up the basket she always kept by the back door, she walked to the chicken coop to gather eggs.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
Turning to look at him, she swung the basket from side to side. “Getting eggs for the last time.”
He nodded at the chickens pecking at the ground. “Tonight’s dinner?”
She opened the chicken coop and began to gather the eggs. “No, I sold them.”
“Do you usually sell your chickens?”
No, she loved all the animals that lived at Strawberry Grove. Even the stinking chickens. She could see his very nice, very expensive boots as he paced. Her own Wal-Mart specials were faded and scuffed.“The Johnsons made it worthwhile,” she said, sidestepping his question.
“They have a farm?” he asked, unwilling it seemed to just let it go.
“Yes. It was their field I found you in that time.” The euphoria from having a well-deserved nap was wearing away. The reality that she was selling everything she owned just in case she couldn’t keep her home and land replacing it faster than she liked.
“One more question.”
Couldn’t he leave her the hell alone? “What?” she snapped, then immediately regretted it. She needed to be cool Rose. Reasonable Rose.
Silence greeted her and she stood up, searching for him. Maybe he’d left. Her shoe brushed against something soft and one of the chickens began to squawk. “Sorry, Colonel Sanders,” she said.
She spun around and found him leaning with one hip against the door.
“I need to go into town. Can I borrow your Jeep since Ivy’s asleep?”
Taking the Jeep would leave her stranded. The only other vehicle on the property was an old Chevy truck parked in the barn. It had quit working ten years ago when Skye had poured grease in the gas tank in an attempt to make it environmentally friendly.
“I’m not sure…”
“I promise to return it.”
Something in his tone made her reconsider saying no. “Just replace the gas you use.”
He regarded her thoughtfully. The wind brushed at his hair, lifting the burnished gold strands.
“Please,” she added, slipping past him and making her way back to the house.
A hand on her arm almost made her drop the basket, but then his hand moved to cover hers and kept the basket from falling.
“Is there any way I can help you, Rosebud?”
She couldn’t take her eyes off of his mouth. Or the small freckle at one corner that she wanted to lick. He also had some on his nose, light in color, but if one was close enough…If a woman was able to get past his very kissable mouth, she could find them. Count them. Tease him about them, before kissing each one.
Heat pooled in places she’d prayed were dormant when it came to him. Her body vibrated, throbbed. The woman that she’d buried deep inside of her wanted a man’s touch, a man’s kiss and demanded to be let out. No, not a man’s touch. Sasha’s. And that woman could think of a dozen ways he could help her. Although none of them were sane and some of them probably weren’t legal in North Carolina.
She licked her dry lips. “Paying me rent in advance is enough.” But it wasn’t. And she couldn’t ask him to loan her a hundred thousand dollars, could she?
“Have it your way, but if you need something, all you have to do is ask. I won’t think less of you.”
He sounded so sincere that she couldn’t stop herself from blurting, “Cheesecake.”
His brows drew together and his chin dropped. “Cheesecake?”
She almost told him to forget it, but the woman who wanted him also wanted a decadent dessert that she hadn’t been able to eat in what seemed like forever. “I would like some cheesecake.” She dug the keys out of her pocket and placed them in his free hand.
“Then cheesecake you shall have.”
They stood there, hand in hand, not moving, and yet Rose could feel gravity slipping away.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment to enter, and I’ll give away two copies of Third Time’s a Charm (e-book only) to randomly chosen winners!
Marquita Valentine writes small town romances that are anything but small. Lisa Kleypas, Carly Phillips and Rachel Gibson are among her favorite contemporary authors. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man — and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.
You can find Marquita all over the internet: Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Website, Blog