I’ve probably started this post a hundred times. Today is the day I’m publishing it. It’s time.
I don’t usually share many personal details here and I wouldn’t be publishing this now if I didn’t think I owe it to everyone who visits and follows Books, Coffee & Passion.
August was a terrible month to me, I was involved in a car accident, a drunken driver ran a red light and our car was in the way… the rest is history. My best friend was driving and she sustained multiple injuries but she’s recovering, I’m still in physical therapy but apart a broken jaw and a couple of screws in my knee, I’m ok. We were lucky. I know that. We know that. It’s been tough but we’re slowly moving on.
I’ve been trying to keep up but I have been struggling. Sometimes, it’s hard to read HEA romances when you’re struggling to recover from a dark split of a second that could have taken your life. Still, I know that we’re both blessed because we survived. I am very grateful that only some scars remain. I’ve been focusing my energy in healing, in walking again and helping my dearest friend in her path to recovery too.
The bottom line is that since August I haven’t been myself and, unfortunately I couldn’t keep all this from affecting my posts, reviews and the schedule here. I’ve rescheduled some tour dates that I’ve missed and even though I’ve been posting, mainly participating in tours scheduled a long time before any of this happened, and reviewing a few titles, I still have plenty of reviews that I left behind. I haven’t been able to review some books within the dates I was supposed to but I will review those titles in the next few days/weeks. I’ve got lots of e-mails that I need to read too and I’m committed to get back to a normal schedule. I’m going to sign up in a few tours, cover reveals and I’ll focus on getting my reviews on track too.
I hope I can make it up to all the authors, publishers, book tours organizers and followers that I’ve let down during this time. I hope all of you allow me to make it up for this last few months.
I’m sharing this with all of you not as an apology, but as an admission of my lack of commitment and a promise that I’m changing that. I am going to put Books, Coffee & Passion back on track again. This is my passion and I’m holding on to it. I hope I can hold on to all of you too.
Thank you for still being here with me and please stay for awhile.
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Series: Aces Hockey #1
In Kelly Jamieson’s seductive new Chicago Aces romance—perfect for readers of Sawyer Bennett and Toni Aleo—a fun-loving free spirit tempts an uptight hockey star into opening himself up to love.
As the captain of the Chicago Aces, Marc Dupuis is all business. The apartment he shares with his teammate and best friend, Duncan, is a refuge from the pressures of fame. But when the sexiest woman he’s ever seen interrupts his early morning coffee wearing only a skimpy cami and matching panties, Marc can’t exactly say he minds. Their chemistry is off the charts. Unfortunately, this girl’s no random puck bunny. She’s Duncan’s little sister—and she’s moving in.
Lovey Armstrong could stare at Marc’s chiseled abs and listen to his French-Canadian accent all day. She just has no idea what’s going on inside his head: When he’s not charming her pants off, Marc makes a Zamboni machine seem warm and cuddly. Lovey knows the team’s bro code says no messing with sisters, but all these mixed messages are hard on a girl’s self-esteem—especially since she’s finally getting her new life together in Chicago. She decides he’s worth another shot . . . because if anyone can melt the ice around Marc’s heart, it’s Lovey.
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Marc chuckled all the way to the Land Rover dealership, annoying the hell out of his teammate and roommate.
“What the fuck is so amusing?” Army snarled.
“If she wasn’t your sister, I’d call you pussy-whipped.”
Marc laughed outright. “Just never seen you so outclassed, dude.”
“What am I supposed to do?” Army demanded. “Turn her out onto the streets of Chicago?”
“Of course not. And she knew that.”
“She didn’t even tell me she was coming.” Duncan rubbed his forehead. “Christ. She quit her job. Just when she seemed to be settling down. Last I heard, she had a pretty serious boyfriend too. Guess that’s over.”
A boyfriend? Not fucking likely, the way she’d been looking at him. Marc shot Army a sideways glance as he drove. “She does this often?”
“Eh. She quits. She gets fired. She flits from one job to another like a fucking hummingbird. One boyfriend to another. This guy she was seeing actually lasted more than a few dates. Now all of a sudden she wants to move to Chicago. Jesus.”
“She’s not that young. She’s twenty-four. Only three years younger than us. She needs to settle down.”
Marc nodded. “Yeah, but think, man, we were on our own when we were teenagers, basically. We were playing and living in an adult world before we could even drink legally. Pro hockey makes you grow up fast.”
Army sighed. “Yeah. True. Heh. Especially you, Captain Codger.”
Marc rolled his eyes at the nickname. It didn’t bug him as much as it had at first. He knew the guys liked to jerk him around, but they did it with respect. And he’d earned the reputation of being serious and responsible, on the ice and off. That was him, and it was important to him to take his career and his responsibilities seriously.
Army shook his head. “I’ll let her stay for a while, but seriously, she’ll have to find her own place. Don’t worry.”
Marc shrugged. “I wasn’t worried.”
That wasn’t entirely true. Army’s little sister was smokin’ hot. At first Marc had thought his roommate had a hot chick visiting him and he’d been all Whoa, way to go, dude, but when he’d learned she was Army’s sister, he’d backpedaled fast. He couldn’t get out of there before she’d jumped up and rushed at him with a fucking dazzling smile, so goddamn gorgeous he couldn’t get his feet to move and could barely string two words together. Her smile was luminous, all white teeth and dimples and glowing face. Long, wavy red-gold hair gleamed in the sunlight and, fuck him, even though she’d been wearing clothes that covered her from chin to toes, her body was stellar—a soft blue sweater outlined high, firm tits and a small waist that curved into round hips. He couldn’t see her legs, but they were long, her snug black pants revealing slender thighs.
Shut it down, man.
She was Army’s sister and therefore waaaay the fuck off-limits.
And that was why he was maybe a little worried about her living with them. Just a smidgen worried. But hey. He was Captain Codger. He had no issues with self-control, self-discipline, or being responsible. He could easily ignore a hot babe living in the apartment with them. No problem. No problem at all.
Army’s phone pinged and he peered at the screen. “Great. An email from my mom warning me Lovey’s on her way. Thanks, Mom.” He shook his head as he tapped a reply. “She wants me to make sure Lovey’s okay in the big city. Jesus.”
Yeah, Lovey seemed like she was going to be okay.
They arrived at the dealership and while Army signed the paperwork, Marc wandered around looking at the vehicles, trying to ignore the attention from the staff, male and female. The receptionist approached him for an autograph.
“You’re my favorite player.” She let out a breathy laugh. “I watch all the games.”
“Yeah?” He obliged by scrawling his messy signature across the Land Rover pamphlet she held out, adding his jersey number beneath it. “You watch that last game against Philly?”
“Of course! You guys played great.”
He stuck his tongue into one cheek and nodded. “Thanks.” They’d sucked. They’d lost three-one, probably their worst game so far, another game added to their losing streak.
“D’you speak French?” Her eyes widened.
“Mais oui.” He grinned.
“That is soooo sexy.” She stared at him.
Câlisse. He resisted the urge to sigh and smiled instead. “Merci.”
“I love your accent.”
He wanted to frown. He barely had an accent. He’d been raised by a Francophone mother and Anglophone father, and although his education had been all in French growing up in Quebec, he spoke both languages fluently. Maybe there was a bit of an accent. Whatever.
“Hey, Armdog,” he called to his friend. “I’m gonna head out. Meet you at the Sin Bin?”
“Yeah. Be there soon.”
About the Author
Kelly Jamieson is the author of more than thirty contemporary romance novels. She’s a married mother of two who lives a very ordinary life outside of her imagination. She likes coffee (black), wine (mostly white), and shoes (high!). She also loves watching hockey.
Pre-Order OFF LIMITS (Aces #2)
Releasing Nov 17th, 2015
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Series: Friends First #4
From USA Today bestselling author Laura Drewry comes a warm and witty new Friends First novel—perfect for readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery. How Forever Feels is a sweet tale about the one that got away . . . and the one that came back.
Maya McKay’s heart is as big as Jack Rhodes’s shoulders are broad. Their chemistry is out of control, but it could never work between them because Jack is more than just best friends with her cheating ex-husband—they’re like brothers. Maya, the sensitive, practical florist, has given up on love and is ready to settle for like. But now that Jack’s around again, he’s stirring up old feelings—and turning Maya’s fantasies into irresistible reality.
Jack blew his chance with Maya years ago when he stepped aside for his best friend, Will, and he’s still kicking himself about it. Maya was promised forever once before, and she got burned. But when Jack realizes that second chances aren’t going to fall out of the sky, he seizes the moment—and the woman he’s always loved—to show her how forever truly feels.
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“I’m fine, really.” She waved away his concern, because for the most part she was fine. Sure, she still had moments every once in a while when it hurt—that was normal in any divorce—but those moments were few and far between now. “I can’t believe you’re here. Thought for sure I’d seen the last of you when I left Will.”
“Yeah, well . . .” He chewed his bottom lip for a second, then shrugged. “It was pretty easy to avoid you when there were three hundred kilometers and the border patrol between us, but when I saw you sitting over there . . . I don’t know . . . I figured after all this time, the very least you deserved was the chance to tell me to go screw myself for deserting you the way I did.”
“Hmm. Tempting.” She pinched a couple peanuts out of the bowl on the bar and tossed them in her mouth, all the while grinning up at him, at that face she’d missed so much. “I never felt like you deserted me. We all did what we had to do.”
She might be Jack’s friend, but Will was like his brother, and when push came to shove, Jack’s loyalty had always been to Will and the rest of the Carson family. She’d known that from the first day they met, and she’d never expected him to change, which was why his next words made her choke on her peanuts.
“He never deserved you, Snip.”
“Well, that’s true,” she snorted. “But come on, enough about Dickhead. What’s up with you?”
It took a couple seconds for him to finally let it go, and when he did, his expression warmed, his mouth lifted at the corner.
“We’re moving to Newport Ridge.”
“We who?” Wife? Wife and kids? A lot could have happened in the two years since she’d seen him.
“The Vancouver office. The lease is coming due on the building we’re in and we need something bigger, so we did some looking around and found space in that new building down on the waterfront.”
“The Luna Building? That’s great! Does that mean you’re moving back from Seattle, then?” Her enthusiasm faded as her own words echoed in her ears. “Hold on . . . if you already have a place lined up, how long have you been here?”
“Me?” Jack glanced down at his watch and tipped his head a little to the side. “About three hours.”
“Keith from the Vancouver office has done everything up to this point, but he’s having knee replacement surgery this week, so they sent me to keep an eye on things while he’s sidelined.” He glanced down at his shoes for a second before looking back at her, his little wry smile doing nothing to hide the regret lingering in his eyes. “I don’t want to keep you from your friends, but since I’ll be in town a while, I was hoping we could get together and maybe catch up?”
“Come on, I’ll introduce you.”
“No buts. This is what you get for showing up unannounced after so long. Come on.”
Curling her fingers around his wrist, she tugged him up off the stool and led him back through the crowd, her brain spinning the whole time. Jack Rhodes had walked into her life four years ago, changed everything, and then faded out.
And now he was back. How could that make her so happy and yet a little freaked out all at the same time? And why was her stomach flippity-flopping like that—this was Jack for crying out loud.
Three huge grins greeted them at the table as Maya held her palm up in front of Jack first, and then each of the others around the table as she made introductions.
“Jack Rhodes,” she said, “this is Ellie, Regan, and Jayne.”
“Jack Rhodes,” Jayne murmured. “I’ve heard that name before.”
“Yeah,” Maya said. “Probably from me.”
Chuckling quietly, Jack shook everyone’s hands, then tipped his bottle toward the table. “It’s nice to meet you all, but I didn’t mean to interrupt your night, I just wanted to say hi to Maya real quick. I’ll catch up—”
“Good try,” Ellie snorted. “But you’re not getting away that easily. Pull up a chair and tell me why you look so familiar.”
“And don’t worry,” Jayne added. “You’re not interrupting anything. We do this every Tuesday.”
“Ah.” He nodded. “Ladies night?”
Regan nodded. “But consider yourself an honorary member for the night, because we need to know why Maya threw herself at some guy none of us have ever met.”
“Must be something good, because I didn’t even know she could move that fast.” Ellie pointed Jack in the direction of an empty chair.
When he went to grab it, Maya tipped a warning look at each of her friends. “Be nice.”
“Aren’t we always?” Regan blinked innocently as Jack set a chair down at the end of the table. “So how do you two know each other?”
Maya turned her face toward Jack and half muttered, half laughed, “Yeah, you might want to scooch your chair closer to me.”
Instead of answering, Maya looked straight back at Regan and grinned. “He was Dickhead’s best man.”
“Oh, that Jack!” Regan, Ellie, and Jayne in surround sound was more than enough to make Jack choke on his beer and everyone at the nearby tables stop and stare.
“I knew I’d seen him before,” Ellie said, wiggling her finger at him. “He was in the wedding pictures we burned.”
“Wow, okay.” Head down, eyes wide, Jack gripped the sides of his chair and shuffled it a little closer to Maya. “Is it too late to make a run for it?”
“You’re fine,” Maya said, patting his arm. “But that might change when they find out you were the one who introduced me to him.”
“What?!” Again in surround sound.
“Hold on.” Sputtering and laughing, and with his cheeks flushing all sorts of pink, Jack held up both hands in surrender. “You can’t just say that and then leave it hanging. I mean, yeah, I did, but tell them what happened so I don’t come off looking like a total dipshit.”
“Okay, but it’s not much of a story.” Maya frowned. “It was, what, four years ago . . . ish . . . and my roommate at the time—have you ever meet Louise, Ellie?—she got invited to this Hawaii-themed birthday bash for some woman she worked with, but she didn’t want to go by herself, so she dragged me with her. We’d barely made it in the door when she hooked up with some guy and deserted me.”
Ellie clicked her tongue. “Bitch.”
“Right? Anyway, I didn’t know anyone else there and had just called a cab when Jack here took pity on me. He brought over a piña colada, stayed until he could finally flag Dickhead over, and then he took off to do the limbo, which he sucked at, by the way. Ba-da-boom ba-da-bing, here we are today.”
“Ohhh.” Regan nodded, pointing at Maya’s drink. “Piña colada—got it. Okay.”
Maya turned to smile at Jack, but he wasn’t smiling; he was actually looking a little dumbfounded. “You’re kidding, right?”
“Seriously?” Shaking his head slowly, Jack lifted his bottle but blinked a few times before drinking. “How did that not make me look like a dipshit? Let’s try telling them what really went down that night.”
“What do you mean? I did.”
“Ooooh.” Ellie clapped her hands together and leaned forward. “I haven’t even heard it yet and I already like Jack’s version better. Spill it.”
Jack hesitated, chuckled quietly then downed a good shot of his beer.
“Will had an on-again-off-again thing going with the birthday girl. That’s why we were there.”
“He was with someone else that night?” Maya growled. She shouldn’t have been surprised, but still. “Figures.”
“Sonuvabitch,” Ellie muttered.
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