Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Just One Kiss by Traci Hall - New Release and Giveaway

Just One Kiss
by Traci Hall
Series: Appletree Cove, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 11, 2021

Free-spirited Grace Sheldon is used to living on a tight budget as a freelance photographer. But nothing short of a miracle could produce the thirty thousand dollars she owes on the house she’s inherited. Without steady employment, the bank refuses to give her a loan. Working a temp job won’t give her nearly enough, but she’ll take any little bit she can get until she figures out a solution. Her first day, though, she realizes this is no ordinary office—and her handsome new boss is no ordinary man.
After Sawyer Rivera’s well-planned career in Seattle officially imploded all he’s looking for is a small beach town where he can open a dog training facility and start a simple life. Except, his new office assistant is anything but. Grace is carefree, artsy, and doesn’t know a thing about dogs. The woman has pet chickens! She’s also funny, kind, and the best part of his day.

Grace is his complete opposite—and completely refreshing. But when her month of temp work is over, she could disappear from his life for good. Sawyer realizes he has just one chance to try to change their fate.

It was just the two of them on quiet water, the reflection of the early morning sky the same charcoal as the bay. Tranquil. Friday night had been the exact opposite as she’d held her friend’s hand while Lottie cried.

“It was an ice cream emergency,” she said. “Do you ever train your dogs to work with autistic children?”

“Not personally, but I know they can be helpful. The dog senses when someone’s over-stimulated and by placing pressure on their owner can change their focus before the situation escalates.” He leaned back, his abdomen a wealth of muscle, his expression contemplative.

That sounded knowledgeable. Her gaze dropped to the scar near his rib. “I know you started with Kita and Diamond in a shipping container, but how did you get into dog training in the first place?”

“I began by rehabilitating fight dogs.” Sawyer, relaxed in the kayak, tilted his head. “That led to training purebreds. The books and videos I made were a way to reach more people with very basic training guidelines.” He must have noticed her eyeing his toned stomach and tapped the jagged flesh. “My neighborhood in L.A. was a tough place to grow up. So I joined the Marines, and when I got out, a few of my friends—ex-friends—were fighting pit bulls. I scraped some money together and bought Diamond and Kita from them. The rest, as they say, is history.”

She moved to get more comfortable on the wood bench of her canoe, the water giving a slight sway. “And your wound?”

His body tensed. “Let’s just say we had a hard time agreeing on the price of the dogs.”

Grace was used to compromise and negotiation, not physical violence, and she shivered at the harshness in his voice. “Did you fight them?”

Sawyer ran his hand over the scar. “Yeah, and it was worth it. I rescued quite a few dogs from the fighting rings…but I’m starting to think I lost something when I became famous.” He ducked his head as if afraid to let down his guard, and her heart constricted.

She lightly touched his warm knee. “What did you lose?”

His leg jumped, and she brought her hand to her lap. Grace liked touching him, but she shouldn’t. Shouldn’t do it. Definitely shouldn’t like it.

Sawyer clenched his jaw. “I wanted to save the dogs for the sake of the dogs. Not the money.”

Grace had been raised to believe that money should never be life’s purpose. She was learning the hard way that cold, hard cash mattered. “Lottie says she saw your pilot for the cable show and it was pretty good.”

He actually blushed, and schoolgirl butterflies took wing in her stomach. How on earth was she supposed to keep this Sawyer, not arrogant but open, at arm’s length?

“It’s just a show,” he said, dipping the kayak paddle in the water.

“I really want to see it now,” Grace teased.

Sawyer raised his eyes. Warm brown hues that sent the butterflies into a tornado spin. “I’m more real here, trust me.”

More real? What did that mean? She wanted to sit on her back porch with him, drink iced tea, and ask him everything—or they could talk about nothing, share kisses, and get to know each other a different way. Grace pressed her hand to her stomach.

“I should get going,” he said, sinking his paddle into the water and breaking the romantic spell she’d been creating in her mind. “We’ve got four dogs scheduled for the morning, and the phones will be ringing. Don’t forget your uniform.”

“Okay.” She didn’t want him to go, but she had no reason to keep him with her. As he’d just reminded her, he was her boss. Off-limits.

With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it's a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.

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