Saturday, February 24, 2018

Love on a Battlefield by Posy Roberts Book Blitz & Giveaway !!!

Love on a Battlefield
Posy Roberts

Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance

Not every compass points north.
Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute, until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.
Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.
Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.


EXCERPT:
My father started taking me to Civil War reenactments long before I understood the politics of the war and its moral implications. I was introduced to the tradition before I knew what any war was truly about.
It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I was allowed to carry a weapon and shoot it myself. The physicality of battle was exciting. Hand-to-hand combat when munitions were spent was better than football any day.
But there were strict rules my dad implemented that I didn’t enjoy. “If we’re going to do this,” Dad always said, “we’ll be as authentic as possible. We’ll do it right, unlike those people who think this is Summer Stock.”
I wasn’t allowed to socialize with the Yankees at all, so I hung out with the Confederate kids or sat around campfires listening to the adults shoot the shit. If school was in session, I’d bury myself in homework and often ended up helping some of the younger kids with their lessons. The guys my own age . . . Well, we had little in common. Some were intense, a few down-right scary with their racism so proudly displayed.
What I’d learned after hanging out with them for years was that they hated everyone who wasn’t like them.
I wasn’t like them, but I wasn’t about to let them know for fear they’d turn their hate on me.
For the last two years, I’d watched a Union kid who only came to a few of these events, not like most of the reenactors, who made this a way of life. When he showed up, he was the center of attention. Maybe because he was novel, but when he was there, he always drew my eye. It was obvious the other kids looked up to him, fawned all over him, really. I never got close enough to talk to him, to find out what made him so fascinating.
But I saw it from afar. He was strong yet graceful, with a mess of hair in a color I’d never seen outside of jewelry or pipe fittings. His smile was easily earned, and he seemed so . . . carefree. So unlike the overly serious and angry kids who surrounded me.
I’d watch the Union kids in their shorts and T-shirts laughing and having fun. I wanted to be a deserter. I wanted to go see what life was like on their side. It sure as hell looked like a lot more fun than what ended up feeling like a weekend prison sentence in a hot, scratchy suit.
I couldn’t stop myself from turning to him, staring at him. I’d watch him leap into the air to catch a wayward Frisbee or wrestle boys to the ground, then help them up, all with a bright smile on his face.
Last summer, he’d worn a wreath of daisies in his hair, walking around as if it was the most normal thing in the world. My ‘friends’ laughed at him and speculated about his sexuality. I joined the adults then, unwilling to spend any more time with the assholes. It brought me closer to the redhead too, so I made myself blend in with my surroundings and looked to my heart’s content.
I didn’t know his name. I never got the chance to find out, but if he was here this time, I was determined to discover it.
As we arrived Friday afternoon, I scanned the area for his hair but didn’t see him. After setting up camp, I followed my father out of our tent and joined the other men as they scoured maps and walked the battlefield to get a lay of the land. I turned down an invitation to hang out with the Rebel kids and instead listened to an expert on this particular battle drone on and on. Sitting there, sweating in my wool uniform under the scorching heat for hours, I had to get out from under the sun.
“I’m going to go fill up my canteen,” I whispered to my father.
“Stay hydrated.”
I gave him a quick nod, made my way past the tent filled with women and young girls quilting or spinning yarn, and found the metal water pump. I pushed down on the handle, trying to draw up the water, with little luck.
That’s when I saw him. He was in full Union dress, the buttons of his coat making the gold and red highlights in his hair appear metallic. He was unlike anyone else I’d ever seen.
He walked toward me with a wide smile. Sure of himself, but not cocky. More . . . careless. Utterly free.
“Want some help?” he asked. “I heard it’s hard to get this one started.”
I met his blue eyes, brilliant and wild like the sea. I was stunned into silence. He was even hotter up close, and suddenly I was unable to form words. I nodded my assent instead.
He wrapped his fingers around the metal handle and pushed down. It made a grating squeak that echoed, but the lever moved. He helped me push it down several times, hands sliding closer and closer with each pump until our fingers intertwined.
He laughed as water poured from the spout, and he bent down to taste the stream. The smell of iron surrounded us as I filled my canteen.
I watched him wet his hair, making it darker, which made his skin look extra pale. He was gorgeous, and the way the sun hit him right then, he looked like something out of a dream.
Stop being cheesy, I chided. So he’s hot. Don’t turn him into a fricking poem.
I replaced the cork, slung my bottle over my shoulder by the leather thong, smiled at him, and rejoined my father.
As we lined up on the battlefield the next day, I saw that shock of auburn hair straight across from me. Before I could make eye contact, the battle had begun, horses moving, gunfire blasting, and a few men already collapsing to the ground, probably playing out some real-life soldier’s tragic end.
I took out several Union soldiers with my fake munitions before I tripped over a rock. As I regained my footing and stood up, he was right in front of me.
I don’t recall if we gave each other a visual cue or if he said something, but we both decided to take a hit, bodies falling to the ground. We landed face-to-face, limbs sprawled out in opposite directions. My father was near, so I slammed my eyes shut, authenticating my death until I heard his voice move away with the continuing battle building.
When I dared open my eyes again, the Yankee soldier was staring at me, smiling and licking his lips. His jaw was strong, defined, dusted with stubble from who-knew-how-many-days growth, and it drew my attention to his chin and full lips. We lay there studying each other for several minutes, shamelessly staring, before he scooted closer.


Author Bio:
Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.
She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.
Her stories have been USA Today’s Happily Ever After Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.
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Friday, February 23, 2018

Driving Whiskey Wild by Melissa Foster Blog Tour

Title: Driving Whiskey Wild
Series: The Whiskeys (Standalone)
Author: Melissa Foster
Genre: Steamy Sexy Romance
Release Date: February 21, 2018



A captivating new sexy standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. 
Special Forces veteran and Dark Knights Motorcycle Club member Bullet Whiskey lives to protect his family, their bar, and the residents of his small hometown. He’s rough, unapologetic, and haunted by a secret, painful past. He’s also a master at keeping people away, and when his sister hires gorgeous and sweet Finlay Wilson to help expand their biker bar, he knows just how to get rid of her.
After losing her boyfriend and her father, Finlay moves back to her hometown to be closer to the little family she has left. She needs her temporary job at Whiskey Bro’s to get her catering business off the ground, and she’s determined not to let the gruff, arrogant mountain of a man Bullet Whiskey scare her off.
Finlay is everything Bullet has never wanted. She’s afraid of his dog, afraid of motorcycles, and sweet enough to give him cavities, but as she weaves her way into the hearts of everyone around him, he’s powerless to resist her charms. Passion ignites, but trust doesn’t come easily, and when their pasts collide, Bullet finds out the true meaning of protecting those he loves.

“Don’t fuck this up, Bullet, or I swear I’ll make your life a living hell. She’s agreed to work with us for a month, and we need her if we’re going to pull this off. She knows about menus, hiring kitchen staff, and health regulations.”
“She doesn’t belong in a place like this, Dix. She’s not like us.” Finlay looked like a frigging angel with her silky blond hair and innocent blue eyes. It was that innocence that had flipped some switch inside Bullet and made him want to sin her up and protect her at the same time. Fucking Finlay Wilson. The wedding was four weeks ago, and he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her since. If she wasn’t starring in his X-rated fantasies, she was flitting about town in those frilly dresses she wore, spreading smiles like fairy dust.
“You didn’t seem to mind that when you hit on her at the wedding.” She arched a brow. “Or did you think I didn’t notice the way you were watching her every move when Bear and Crystal also decided to tie the knot? Sidling up to her every chance you got during the reception, like a puppy chasing a treat?”
Bullet scoffed. He’d been looking at her long before Crystal and Bear’s impromptu proposal and subsequent wedding the day Tru and Gemma got married. “She’s a hot chick. So what? I didn’t want to marry her—just have a little fun.”
“Then you shouldn’t mind seeing her in here for a few hours a day while we pull things together.”
“It’s a mistake, Dixie.” He moved around the bar and stood beside her. “A pretty little thing like her is just asking for trouble in a place like this. Why are you so hung up on hiring Finlay anyway? Did you even check with our club members to see if anyone needed a job?”
“You know, sometimes I forget that you have so much Dad in you, it’s like beating my head against a brick wall.”
“What the fuck does that mean?”
“That you’re as hesitant to hire outside the family as he is. That you think if someone’s not in the club or one of us, they can’t do shit.”
“Jed’s working here, isn’t he?”
Bear had recently given up bartending and was now designing motorcycles for the elite Silver-Stone Cycles. For the first time in the history of the bar, they’d been forced to hire outside the family and outside their motorcycle club, the Dark Knights, which was as solid as family. Although Jed Moon, who was not only their new part-time bartender but also worked as an auto mechanic for the shop, was Bear’s new brother-in-law. So technically, he was family. Finlay Wilson was not. Finlay Wilson was trouble waiting to happen.
“Give me a break.” He shook his head. “We always hire family first.”
“Yeah? Well, which of our club members do you think knows how to run a restaurant? Gutter, the home repair expert? Or maybe one of the Bando brothers, who pour concrete for a living? Do you realize Finlay went to one of the best culinary schools in Boston? She’s worked in a restaurant, and she’s run her own catering company for years, and soon she’ll be opening a catering company right here in town.”
He didn’t give a rat’s ass about her credentials. If anything, she was overqualified. But the thought of her flouncing around the bar with a bunch of horny, drunk guys going after her made Bullet’s blood boil. The fact that she was not his to worry about did not escape him. “We’re offering sandwiches and fries, not gourmet meals.”
“Which makes her the perfect person for this job. She knows how to keep costs down, and she’s from Peaceful Harbor. She’s putting down roots here, which means she’ll want to see the business do well—so it doesn’t reflect poorly on her. What do you have against Finlay, anyway?”
“Against her? Nothing.” Though he’d like to be buried deep inside her. “But she’ll get eaten alive in a place like this and she’ll go cowering out the door. Then we’ll be left trying to figure shit out anyway. Besides—”
The creak of the front door opening drew their attention. Bullet looked over his shoulder, meeting the innocent blue eyes of the angel peeking in at them.



Melissa writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance and women's fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Readers adore Melissa's fun, flirty, and sinfully sexy, award-winning big-family romance collection, LOVE IN BLOOM featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, Seaside Summer, Harborside Nights, Wild Boys and Bad Boys After Dark, and the Montgomerys. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented-- perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about loyal, wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines with complex and relatable issues.
Melissa also writes sweet and clean romance under the pen name Addison Cole.
Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod. Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website. Get 5 eBooks FREE >> Website
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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Release Day Tour- Playing for Forever by J.C. Grant




Model: Mike Chabot

Release Date: February 22, 2018

Synopsis
When our two damaged souls came together, something explosive happened. 
Something uncontrollable. Something undeniable. Our love was intense, irrational, possessive and consuming. We didn't live or love by socities rules. We made our own, living in our own world. Slaves to our needs. We were so wrapped up in each other, so blinded by lust, love and obsession, we couldn't see the struggles ahead. Can we fight to stay together ... or will we tear each other apart? 



Giveaway
$20 Amazon Gift Card


 Available Now


Playing for Keeps (Book 1) - available on KU
Ibooks- Coming Soon


Playing for Love (Book 2)
Amazon ~ iBooks 

 

About the Author
J.C. Grant was born in Oklahoma and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
She writes super sexy Romance Erotica about Alpha males and the women they love.
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Spark by S.L. Scott, Release Blitz !!!!



Title: Spark

Author: S.L. Scott

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 22, 2018

Blurb
One break is all The Crow Brothers need and we’re about to get it.
Johnny Outlaw, rock legend and lead singer of The Resistance, is here to watch us play. But he’s not the only familiar face in the crowd—killer little body, heart-shaped face, and drop-dead gorgeous.
Hannah Nichols sitting at the bar makes it hard to concentrate, sparks already reigniting. The beauty was never a groupie and tonight she’s not here to catch our show. She came to drop a bomb. “You have a son.”
She underestimated me. I’ll prove to my son, and her, that I can be the dad he needs.
What is it about musicians? Why are they so damn sexy?
My heart was Jet Crow’s the moment he opened his sexy mouth and sang that first song. One stolen night with that man would never be enough, but I’m not here to fall into his bed. Again. I’m here to fight for custody of a son he’s never known.
There’s just one problem. Those sparks between us have become flames. If we’re not careful we’re both going to get burned.



Purchase Links
99c for a limited time
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited


Excerpt
Jet Crow
Subtle scents of cinnamon mix with the taste of whiskey on her skin. I lick her from collarbone to the back of her ear, her moans enticing me to take more than a gentle share of what I want.
I’m well past hooking up with groupies, but something drew me to the beautiful brunette. Under the bright spotlight of that stage, my eyes found hers as I sang about finding the missing piece of me. Maybe it was the way she pretended to not care, catching my eyes and then turning away as if she was too shy to come speak to me, but too good to be bothered. It didn’t matter. I was already caught up in her as much as she was caught up in me.
The set ended and I made my way over to the mystery woman, the one who hid in the dark of the bar just as two shots were served. I took the shot of Fireball and then took her home shortly after.
Fuck. She feels good.
Hard little body, but soft in all the right places. Tits that fill my large hands and legs that spread enough for me to squeeze between her thighs. I bet she wouldn’t reach my shoulders in heels. Speaking of, “Keep them on.”
I like the feel of the leather against my lower back, the hard heel scraping across my skin when she tries to power play me by tightening around my waist and pulling me closer. I didn’t ask her to my bedroom. I didn’t have a chance. What started out as laughing while we shared a two a.m. snack of Cheetos, hummus, and whiskey turned into me eating her as a snack on top of my kitchen counter. I don’t ever do that with a one-nighter, but damn if she didn’t make me want to break more rules with her.
She kisses me like a woman in need of water, taking as much as she wants while pressing her heels into my ass. The heat between us emanates until I’m dragging my shirt off to try to cool down.
I knew she was different the moment she opened her mouth back at the bar. “You sing rock with so much soul. Who hurt you?”
“No one gets close enough to do me any harm.”
“That’s a pity.”
“It’s a pity I’ve never been hurt?”
“No, it’s a pity you’ve never loved anyone enough to get hurt.”
My heart started beating for what felt like the first time as I looked into her sultry eyes. I could blame the booze, but I can’t lie to myself. She had me thinking twice on things I never considered once before.
Who was this woman?
Even with our stomachs full, we weren’t satisfied. She dragged me by the belt down the hall to my bedroom. Her clothes were off and mine quickly followed before we tumbled into bed.
Fast. I want to fuck her fast and hard, but every time our eyes connect there’s such sadness found in her grays that I slow down. Wanting her to hold contact, I cup her cheek. “Hannah?”
Her eyes slowly open, the long lashes framing the lust I find between them. “What?” she asks between heavy breaths.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m good.”
“Just making sure.”
She runs her hands up my neck and into the back of my hair. “I’m sure.” Pulling me down to her, our mouths are just a few inches apart when she whispers, “I want you. I want to do this.”
Shy isn’t something I’d call her considering we were in my bed two hours after meeting. I like a woman who knows what she wants. Hannah knows. And fuck if it isn’t a turn on that she wants me.


Author Bio
Living in the capital of Texas with her family, Scott loves traveling and avocados, beaches, and cooking with her kids. She's obsessed with epic romances and loves a good plot twist. Her favorite color is blue, but she likens it more toward the sky than the emotion. Her home is filled with the welcoming symbol of the pineapple and finds surfing a challenge though she likes to think she's a pro.
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Cover Reveal CONFESSIONS: ROBBIE by Ella Frank


Confessions: Robbie, an all-new tantalizing contemporary MMM Romance by Ella Frank is coming March 8th! 


Confessions: Robbie

Author: Ella Frank

Release Date: March 8th
Synopsis
Relationships are complex.
Love ever-changing.
And when it comes to rules of the heart, they were made to be broken…
That’s what Robert Antonio Bianchi was telling himself, anyway.
Otherwise, he really had no excuse for what—or who—he’d done.
No excuse, except for his lonely heart, a pitcher of margaritas, four Bitter Bitches, and the apparent need to confess all his weaknesses to the two men he knew would bring him nothing but trouble.
But trouble was nothing new.
Just ask his crazy sisters or any of his friends, and they’d be the first to tell you:
If there was a bad decision to be made, Robbie always had a knack for making it.
And thus begins the story of the priest, the princess, and the prick.

About Ella:
Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!” Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips.
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Straight Up Irish by Magan Vernon Release Tour & Giveaway !!!


Title: Straight Up Irish
Series: Murphy's Pub #1
Author: Magan Vernon
Genre: NA Contemporary
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Release Date: February 19, 2018

 

I need a wife if I want to help save my family’s billion-dollar pub empire. There’s just one problem: I never plan on marrying. So, I need someone who understands that this is just another business deal. I don’t do commitments. And my brother’s executive assistant, Fallon Smith, fits that bill. Fallon needs help with her grandmother’s expenses, and her pretending to be my fake wife is a way we can make that happen. She’s not my biggest fan, but we can help each other and then go our separate ways. That she’s beautiful and I enjoy spending time with her–doesn’t matter. When all of this is done, she’s heading home to America, and I’ve got a company to run.
A fake wedding and a whole lot of whiskey. What could go wrong?


Chapter One
Connor
The harsh morning light streamed in through the windows as if it were a switch that made the pounding in my head even worse.
The Irish sun I swore was worse than the American one, and so was the alcohol. Nothing in the world compared to Irish whiskey and it had been a while since I’d been back to my hometown of Dublin.
My phone vibrated against the nightstand and stared at the screen until my eyes adjusted to the light I saw not only the time but that Jack’s assistant was calling me.
“Shit,” I muttered, unlocking my phone and sliding it to my ear.
“Fallon, Mo Gra, tell me your calling with some good news.”I jumped up, searching for something to cover my naked arse and found my clothes from the night before strewn across a hardwood floor.
“Using cutesy Irish pet names for me has never worked in your favor, and it especially isn’t when your brothers are wondering where you are.” Her American accent flowed through the speakers with the clicking of a keyboard loud and clear in the background.
“What’s the fun in that? C’mon, now. We’ve been emailing and having this lovely phone calls for months now. We’re practically best mates,” I said, grabbing my boxers.
“Is everything okay, Connor?” A soft voice with a thicker accent than mine murmured.
I whirled around, covering up my junk and my lucky shamrock tattoos that graced each hip bone. On the bed was a pale redhead with a devious smirk and hair more messed up than a 1980s American metal band. I’d say I shagged that one pretty good, wish I remembered it. Been a while since I’d gotten that knackered and wound up in the bed of a hometown girl.
“Is there someone in the background? Are you seriously hooking up when you have a meeting in ten minutes?”
The girl on the bed’s eyes widened, Fallon’s words booming through the phone.
“Yeah. I thought I set the alarm on my phone and would be on time. But the alarm didn’t go off and now I can’t find my pants. Think I can just walk in wearing my boxers?” My blue eyes searched the floor until I found my crumpled jeans.
“Yeah, it went off twice, and you mumbled for me to snooze it. Is that your wife on the phone? Should I be worried? ” the bed girl said in a scratchy voice, raising her eyebrows.
I shook my head as much as I could and slid on my pants.
If I didn’t get my shit together, the meeting was going to start without me. Why did I need to drink that much last night? While my brothers went home early, I just had to see what I was missing in Dublin by studying and working in America. Better than facing the fact why I was back in the country, I guess.
Funerals are as good of an excuse as any to get knackered.
“It’s my brother’s assistant. Fallon, wanna say hello to this girl who is asking if you’re my wife?” I asked with a smile that caused the girl on the bed’s eyebrows to raise even higher on her head.
Fallon groaned. “Why do I even bother calling you? This feels like Deja Vu from when you almost missed your flight out of Boston.”
“Ah, but that one didn’t involve a girl. Just whiskey. And I made that flight, thank you very much.” I held the phone between my ear and shoulder, sliding on my shirt.
“Only because I saved you with pre-boarding.”
“ Maybe when you’re done with work; you can come back. Or we can meet up tonight,” girl on the bed murmured.I combed my fingers through my hair, hoping it didn’t look as bad as hers did.
“Did she seriously ask you to come back? While you’re on the phone with me even?” Fallon’s laughter carried through the phone.
“Not now, Erin,” I said, brushing her hand off my shoulder while I tried to shimmy on my socks, not looking to see the girl’s reaction. If I hurried, I could still make the meeting on time and maybe even find a breath mint or two on someone’s desk on the way there.
“Don’t worry; I’m on my way, so you don’t need to get jealous. You’re the only girl who can bother me at all hours of the night.” I stood up and stepped into my shoes.
“Erin?” the bed girl asked with a huff.
I turned and looked at her steely glare and arms crossed over her bare chest.
“Not Erin?”
“Not even close,” she growled.
Fallon’s laugh carried through the speaker. “Oh, this is classic.”
I frowned even though Fallon couldn’t see it.
“Well, sorry Not Erin, but thanks for the sex I can’t remember. Hope it was better than mediocre for you,” I said with my hand on the door.
Never said I wasn’t an arsehole.
This caused a gasp from both Fallon and the bed girl. I quickly ran out the door, closing it before the thud of something hard hit the wall behind me. Could have been worse, I could have been cold-clocked by a shoe.
“Did you make it out of there alive after that comment?” Fallon asked.
When I stepped outside, I looked around, realizing I was only a few blocks from the office and the pubs I probably stumbled to this girl’s place from. “Ah, and the luck of the Irish is on my side, Mo Gra because I’m not far from the office.”
This wasn’t the first time I’d run to the office after a less than savory encounter with a bird. It’s how my life had been since I started Uni in America and then graduated three years ago.
“You do know this is a will reading, right? Not just you and Jack in a phone conference talking numbers?” she questioned.
“I’m very aware of what this meeting is for,” I grumbled.
I still had at least a few minutes before I was considered past fashionably late and onto acting the maggot. Running down the brick-paved streets of my childhood, I dodged the flower sellers and the older gentlemen who liked to walk for no reason at all.I wanted to come back to Ireland on better terms and not for my Da’s funeral.
Lung disease was one of the top killers in Dublin, and it hit him hard and fast. I didn’t know how bad it was until Fallon called and told me Da was in the hospital. She booked me a flight back home for the next day, but he was already gone before I even crossed the Atlantic.
“Sorry. That came out wrong.” Voices echoed in the background, and I wondered where she was in the building.
I’d seen the girl’s work photo icon in emails and breezed past her desk a few times, but never really saw her. Funny that she was someone I’d talked to almost as much as my brothers these past six months and I hadn’t formally met her.
“Where are you right now? Are you waiting for me outside the meeting room door? Hoping since Not Erin didn’t get a round two that maybe we can officially meet and hit it off?” I joked and breezed through the wrought iron gates of the Murphy Family Pub headquarters, past the secretary and front lobby, covered in photos of generations of Murphy’s who had run the company.
My family owned a distillery for years and used to brew the whiskey in downtown Dublin. The brand expanded, and my father went into the pub franchise business. Now we had hundreds of pubs all over the world, and the original distillery was currently used for a museum and pub on the first floor with corporate offices on the second.
Mam passed away soon after my youngest brother, Sean, was born. Da raised us all while building his empire and now with his sudden passing, my brothers Jack, Sean, and I were set to inherit the company. This meeting was just a formality to settle the estate, giving us our shares in the business. I figured Jack would take Da’s position as CEO with me as CFO and Sean as president or something if he wanted it.
“Your flirting isn’t cute, Mr. Murphy.”
I stopped at a mirror in one of the hallways, noticing my hair stuck up every which way and I tried to lay it down flat with one hand, holding my phone with the other. “What’s this Mr. Murphy nonsense? We’re practically family, Fal.”
She huffed. “Are you almost here? I’m almost to the conference room, and I don’t want to have to tell your brother you’re still not available.”. I started jogging, and just as I turned the corner, instead of breezing into the conference room, I ran chest first into a petite blonde who was holding a tray of coffees that had now spilled all down the front of her dress.
“Aw, I’m sorry ma’am. I didn’t mean to do a number on ya,” I said, staring at her wide blue eyes, circled by red framed glasses. She looked between me and her dress.
I expected to hear a laugh or some quip from Fallon on my phone, but instead I listened to my voice echoing through the pink dressed girl’s phone.
Recognition dawned on me as my eyes roamed over her from the top of her blonde ponytail down the soaked through dress and cardigan, showing off the curvy frame she hid under the nerdy little ensemble. Her photos and glances at her did not do her justice. She was beautiful in a natural way which made her not need the fancy clothes or too much makeup.
“Fallon. We finally get to meet. I feel like I should hug you. Or maybe undress you. You know get you out of that pink number and into something not stained.” I stepped closer, putting my arms out. I may have said the words jokingly, but the thought of her dropping the dress and taking her against the paneled wall was on the forefront of my mind.
“Are you serious right now? You need to go. You’re going to be late,” she hissed
I glanced at my watch again. Shit, the meeting probably already started. I didn’t have time to sweet talk or other things. Pulling out my wallet from my back pocket, I grabbed a few notes. “Let me at least buy you a new dress and replace the coffees.”
“What? No. Just go. I’ll take care of this.” She narrowed her eyes and slightly shook her head.
“Are you sure?” I raised my eyebrows, still holding the money toward her.
The clock near the conference room chimed, alerting me it was at the top of the hour.
“We can chat more about this later,” I said, putting my money back in my wallet. “Nice officially meeting you, Pinky. Let’s do this again real soon, ” I said with a grin, patting her shoulder before I scooted toward the conference room and shut the door behind me.
Three sets of eyes looked up from the conference table they sat around.
My brothers were in crisp blue suits with their light brown hair perfectly gelled, making me look even more like a fool than I felt with my wrinkled clothes which smelled like sex and whiskey.This wasn’t the way to honor, Da, but at least I was there and I was going to be there for his company, no matter what it took.
“Mornin’,” I said, taking my seat across from the estate solicitor, Thomas O’Malley, who looked like a real-life leprechaun with his short stature, bright red beard, and reading glasses perched on his nose.
“Glad you could grace us with your presence, Connor,” Thomas said, shuffling the papers in his hands.
“Happy to have made it,” I said, folding my hands on the table and smiling, even though my brothers audibly groaned next to me. If there was one thing I learned from Da, it was that you never showed weakness.
“Okay, let’s get started with the reading,” Thomas said, clearing his throat.
Then flipped to a new sheet. “Whereupon my death, my three sons, Jack, Connor, and Sean will each inherit their equal share of thirty-three and a half-percent of the family franchise upon the day all three of their marriage certificates are certified by a priest and again by my solicitor Thomas O’Malley, six months after the day of their nuptials. If all three of them are not married within a year of my death, none will be able to get controlling interests, and the board may offer each son’s ownership stake to the highest bidder.”
Every hair on the back of my neck stood on end. Marriage? Thre three of us? Within a year? All of that to get the company? That couldn’t be right. Da never said anything about that. Sure, he was a loyal family man, who never married or even dated after Mam died, but I didn’t think he would do something like this.Especially when the board was a bunch of crotchety old men who smoked too many cigars and were probably half the reason Da got sick in the first place.
My oldest brother Jack leaned forward in his seat. “Thomas. I could be wrong here, but is this stating that each of us has to be married and not just married, but married for six months? And this all has to happen within the year? That can’t be right. Da never even re-married or had a serious girlfriend. He used to say the pub was his only wife after Mam.”
Thomas sighed, pushing his glasses up. “You young men have done a fine job in your positions in the company, but your father also knew you were still sowing your wild oats. He wanted to make sure you settled down a bit, so the company didn’t suffer. This was his way of seeing to that.”
There has to be a clause that can get us out of this, right? I don’t even have a girlfriend, let alone a girl I’d want to marry by the end of the year.” Sean said.
I wanted to ask Sean what he even had to do with this company since he hadn’t taken an interest in anything but rugby. I know Jack had brought up more than once about eventually buying out his portion and now with us all having to be married, or none of us got the company, which put a damper on that one. Before I could ask any more questions, Thomas cleared his throat.
“Boys, I’d like to say there’s another option, but that’s what it states in the will,” he said, standing up and placing the papers in his briefcase. “You can try and get your own solicitors or a judge to dispute this, but I’ve been doing this for longer than you’ve been alive. Once this will is set and notarized, it’s legally binding.”
“Does the board know about this?” Jack asked.
Thomas nodded solemnly. “Ah, they’re aware of the clause, not all of the details, but some have already made comments about a buyout for a third of the company.”
I clenched my fists without even thinking, my gut twisting at the thought of someone else taking over the business.The one Da had built from the ground up, but Jack and I had worked to keep it a well-oiled machine on both sides of the pond. A bunch of old men with one foot in the grave would just run the franchise into the ground along with all our hard work.
Da put a lot of hard work into the enterprise. What he built. What he wanted our family to have. That wasn’t just going to disappear because of some marriage clause, I couldn’t let it.
“Can’t we just find some girl, see if she wants to get married for a few months, then divorce with a nice little settlement? Isn’t that what they do on those American reality shows for publicity?” Sean asked, staring between all of us.
Thomas shrugged. “I guess there’s nothing in the will that says you can’t, but how do you think the board would take that? Moreover, your Da would probably roll in his grave if he heard you married a girl just to get the company. Your mother was the love of his life and the reason he was able to make this company what it is today. He just wants the same thing for you boys. Not some random fling.”
“I’m sure there are worse things we could do,” Sean muttered, buttoning and unbuttoning his suit jacket.
“If we have nothing else to discuss, then I best be heading back to the office. You’ll call if you need anything and let me know as soon as I get to meet the future Murphy girls,” Thomas said with a tight-lipped smile.
We walked him toward the door, but none of us left the room.
Jack was the first to speak as soon as Thomas rounded the corner and was out of sight. “What the hell are we going to do?”
Sean shook his head. “I don’t know. This wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Hell, I guess I’d better get on a dating app or something.”
“This isn’t a joke,” Jack growled.
I put my hand on his shoulder, trying to calm the beast a little, but his nostril’s flared. “Calm down, Jack. We’ll figure this out. We always do.”
His dark blue eyes didn’t move from the empty hallway. “This isn’t about deciding where to put a new pub in America or marketing expenditures. This is marriage. This is our company. Our future.”
I nodded solemnly. We all knew what was at stake here and the only way to solve our problems was with a wedding. Something I never even thought I would be thinking about. Now I had no choice. I was going to be a married man by the end of the year, and so were my brothers, no matter what it took.

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Magan Vernon has been living off of reader tears since she wrote her first short story in 2004. She now spends her time killing off fictional characters, pretending to plot while she really just watches Netflix, and she tries to do this all while her two young children run amok around her Texas ranch.

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