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text 2017-05-18 08:03
Excerpt Reveal - Black Tie Optional
 
 
The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker's 
new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional!
 
 
 
BLACK TIE OPTIONAL
Wild Wedding #1
Ann Marie Walker
Releasing May 30, 2017
St. Martin's Press
 

 

The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker's new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional, which New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst calls, "a fun, sexy romp that will keep every reader entertained!"

Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips - on the surface he’s pure perfection.
 
Too bad he's an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.
 
Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
 
So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.
 
 
 
Chapter One
 
Just like clockwork, Olivia thought. She watched the gas-guzzling SUV roll to a stop alongside the curb, its hazard lights blinking as if some sort of justification for bringing a full lane of Chicago’s morning rush hour to a grinding halt. Every day the sleek black car stopped in exactly the same location so the almighty Coleman Grant III could get the same extra hot, double shot Americano from the same big-chain coffee shop, bypassing the smaller, neighborhood establishments trying to stay afloat as corporate America runs them into the ground.
 
 
            A mountain of a man in mirrored aviator shades jumped out of the front seat to open the rear door, giving Olivia a clear view of the luxury vehicle’s interior. Two leather captain’s chairs with fold down keyboards and armrest tablet holders sat facing several television monitors mounted above what appeared to be a full-service bar.  Forget running a business, it looked as though Coleman Grant ran NASA from his back seat. Honestly, what could possibly be so important that it couldn’t keep until he got to the office? The commute from his Gold Coast penthouse to his Loop headquarters was less than two miles. Hadn’t the guy ever heard of just chilling out with some tunes?
 
            Olivia approached the car just as Grant climbed out of the back seat. He paused to button the jacket of his navy blue Tom Ford and for a moment she forgot he was an arrogant, self-righteous prick hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time. For a moment, she allowed herself to take in the physical perfection standing in front of her. From his dark wavy hair that stood in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that seared her skin, to his full, sensual lips - everything about Coleman Grant oozed power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart-stopping, gasping-for-air-after-you’ve-screamed-so-loud-you-can’t-breathe kind. But then his eyes narrowed and his lips curved into a knowing smirk and Olivia remembered exactly who she was dealing with.
 
            “Mr. Grant,” she began.
 
            The bodyguard moved to step between them but Grant waved him off. “Ms. Ramsey, what a surprise,” he said, not at all surprised since this was the eighty-third day in a row she had approached him. Not that it mattered. She had no plans to stop these sidewalk sessions until he either agreed to her demands or filed for a restraining order.
 
            He made his way toward the coffee shop with Olivia tight on his heels. “You know, most people simply make an appointment with my assistant.” 
 
            “I’ve tried that, Mr. Grant. But for some reason your schedule is always full.”
 
            “Pity,” he said, his voice void of all emotion. When he reached the glass doors, he yanked one open. “Please, after you.” 
 
            Bastard. Normally he charged in like he owned the place, never mind if she or anyone else got a face full of door. How dare he try to throw her off her game by acting chivalrous. As if the man had a courteous bone in his body. Olivia stood frozen in place, debating how best to handle this latest twist in their balance of power. As she did, Cole’s gaze raked her from head to toe, from her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
 
            She hated to admit it, but the scrutiny of his gaze was unnerving. And it wasn’t just the laser like focus. There was something about his expression, as if he wasn’t looking at her fully clothed in a shop brimming with customers, but rather undressing her with his eyes. She shifted in place, debating if she should call him out for his piggish behavior or simply stick to the topic at hand.
 
            “Suit yourself,” he finally said, stepping through the doors and leaving her alone on the sidewalk. 
 
            Not so fast. She took a deep breath and joined him at the service counter.  “Mr. Grant, as I’m sure you’re aware, the northern long-eared bat was recently granted protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.”
 
            “Rather difficult to forget given your daily reminders. Although I must say, Ms. Ramsey, you disappoint me. No visual aids today?” He turned away from the counter with his extra hot, double shot Americano to find Olivia standing behind him with an 8 x 10 glossy in her hand.  “Ah, it seems I spoke too soon.”
 
            “This particular species of bat has been the most impacted by white-nose syndrome and the resulting decline in their numbers is what—”
 
            “Those really are the most vile creatures,” Grant interrupted. “Have you ever considered taking up the cause of a more appealing animal, say a manatee?”
 
            “There aren’t any manatees in Lake Michigan.”
 
            “Precisely.” He smirked. “Perhaps you could move? I’m sure you could find some poor, unsuspecting Floridians worthy of your attention.” He raised his left hand and for the first time Olivia realized he was holding a second cup. He thrust it in her direction and without thinking she took it, dropping the photograph as she did. “You seem like the type who would order your latte with a hundred and one specifications, but hopefully skinny vanilla will do.”
 
            Olivia blinked. He bought her a coffee? What the actual fuck? Did he really think he could charm his way out of the hot seat? She had spent her entire adult life and most of her teens speaking on behalf of those who couldn’t. It was going to take a lot more than a few random acts of fabricated kindness to get her off his back.
 
            She was about to tell him not only where he could stick his latte but how in her twenty-eight years on earth she’d never ordered a “skinny” anything, when he turned toward the door. She bent to scoop up the photo then hurried after him, fast talking her case all the way to the curb where his bodyguard stood waiting with the door already open. As usual, Grant didn’t say a word, much less defend his stance. Instead he simply flashed a grin that would have made her drop her latte, not to mention her panties, if she didn’t find him to be lacking in not only morals and ethics but quite possibly a soul.
 
            He gave her a quick nod before ducking into the car.  “Until tomorrow, Ms. Ramsey.”
 
            With that, the door slammed shut and the SUV pulled into traffic to the sound of protesting horns.
 
            “Asshole,” Olivia muttered under her breath. “Gorgeous asshole, but still.” She turned on her heel and started down the street with her head held high. Coleman Grant III might have been trying to make a mockery of her attempts to persuade him, but their standoff was far from over. A slow grin curved her lips as an idea began to take shape. She’d just pulled her smartphone out to send herself a reminder when it began to vibrate in her hand.
 
            “Are you bringing your swimsuit?” her best friend asked before Olivia had even managed a hello.
 
            “To the desert? You’re joking, right?”
 
            “I wasn’t sure.”
 
            “Cassie, I know you’ve had your head buried in cookbooks for the past few years but surely you can remember how a vacation works…lounge chairs, suntan oil, blended drinks with tiny umbrellas that make you say ridiculously inappropriate things to cabana boys.”
 
            “I have never said anything inappropriate to a cabana boy. And that’s sexist by the way.”
 
            “Cabana person?” Olivia laughed at her own joke. “I’m playing. But you’ve got to lighten up a bit. We’re headed to Vegas, Sin City, what happens there stays there and all that.”
 
            “You sound like a tourism ad.”
 
            “All I’m saying is you better be ready to party Hangover style.”
 
            Cassie snorted. “Yeah, cause that worked out so well for them.”
 
            “I promise I won’t leave you stranded on a hotel roof.”
 
            “This is a bad idea. I should be staying here and looking for a job.”
 
            “You’re the sister of the groom. You can’t very well ditch out on the
bachelor/bachelorette festivities. Besides, if I can break my ‘Harass Coleman Grant’ streak for a few days, then you can certainly give the stand mixer a rest.”
 
            “How’s that going by the way?”
 
            Olivia groaned. “New day, same story. ”
 
            “Maybe it’s time to—”
 
            “Move on? No way.” While it was true that working freelance allowed Olivia a certain amount of latitude, she prided herself on never giving up. There was no way Coleman Grant was going to blemish her perfect record. “I’ll just have to double my efforts.”
 
            Cassie laughed. “I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the guy.”
 
            “Don’t be fooled by the looks. He might be hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Ian Somerhalder combined, but underneath that perfect exterior beats the heart of an ogre.”
 
            “Sounds like someone has wet panties.”
 
            “Why Cassandra Miller, is that smutty talk I hear coming out of your mouth? There may be hope for you yet.”
 
            “Don’t change the subject. You’ve got the hots for this guy.”
 
            “Hardly. He’s eye candy all right, but he’s also a spoiled, self-centered asshole who think it’s his way or the highway. Not this time though.” Olivia nodded to herself. One way or another he was going to give in to her demands. Coleman Grant III had finally met his match. He just didn’t know it yet.
 
 
 
 
 
Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She's a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. If it's December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her at AnnMarieWalker.com where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.
 
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review 2017-05-08 23:41
A must-read thriller
Emma in the Night - Wendy Walker

I'm fascinated by narcissism in its psychological disorder sense, not the "vain" way it's commonly used. It's a condition that leaves a legacy of abuse, so combined with the hook of this child who disappeared coming back, I couldn't wait to dive in.

 

I couldn't flip the pages fast enough to watch this story unwind. Cass is an unreliable narrator with an murky agenda that I couldn't wait to decipher. Like Abby, the forensic psychiatrist, I kept trying to sort the nuggets of truth from this spiderweb of a tale.

 

Heartbreaking, enthralling, and a definite must-read, if you enjoy getting lost in a thriller, you'll want to pick up Emma in the Night. I got an ARC so you'll have to wait until August 8, but trust me, the wait will be worth it.

 

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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review 2017-05-07 00:00
Walker Island Romance Box Set Books 1-3
Walker Island Romance Box Set Books 1-3 - Lucy Kevin,Bella Andre I couldn't decide. Should I catch my breath or lose my heart to the exceptional women and fantasy men of Walker Island. Ms. Kevin brings lovable characters, soap worthy drama and fairytale dreams to a heartwarming series. An age old feud breathes new life and love into two unforgettable families. Home, hope and family play second fiddle to love while weaving a spell that never let's go.


In Be My Love - Hanna rewrites history and her heart's desire. Her quest for the truth, could cost her the love of a lifetime.

No Other Love - Megan left home to pursue her dreams. When a short visit home turns into a second chance of a lifetime, will she grab hold or run away?

When It's Love - Rachel Walker had dreams. When an unplanned pregnancy and a deadbeat boyfriend changed the course of her life, she had to grow up fast and let go of childish fantasies. Six years later can a favor, reawaken her girlhood dreams and give her a chance at the hopes she thought she'd lost?
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text 2017-05-06 16:17
Reading progress update: I've read 94 out of 384 pages.
Wild Ride - Julie Ann Walker

Great so far. Not a fan of reporters, but I might just end up liking Samantha. I didn't see Ozzie hooking up with her or any of the BKI, but hay I like surprises. 

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review 2017-04-28 18:15
REVIEW TOUR & #GIVEAWAY - Imagines (Imago #2) by N.R. Walker
Imagines - N.R. Walker
Imagines is the second book in the Imago series, and we reunite with Lawson and Jack six months after they first met. Their relationship is still going strong, and these two immediately gave me back the warm fuzzies! Jack wants Lawson to move in, but as far as Lawson is concerned, it will happen eventually, it is inevitable, so why rush it? They decide to take a holiday together, and it is as they are sorting out the details of where they would like to go, that Lawson receives an email regarding work, and they decide to kill two birds with one stone.
 
I won't say anymore about the story as I don't want to spoil it. All I will say is that these complement each other in every way. Jack is the cheese to Lawson's crackers, you just can't imagine one without the other. Their families are absolutely perfect for both of them too. There is some angst in this one, that had my heart pounding just that little bit harder, but I am more than happy with the ending and the epilogue that came after.
 
Exceptionally well written, this book will grip and delight as you follow these two men. There were no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow, and the whole book was a warm fuzzy-fest of goodness! Absolutely loved it, most definitely recommend it; but now, if you will excuse me, I'm off to read Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza, as recommended by N.R. Walker in the special mention at the end.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

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Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2017/04/review-tour-giveaway-imagines-imago-2.html
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