G I V E A W A Y E N D E D
@XpressoTours Blog Tours – June 22nd to June 26th
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT), 18+ – Open until June 28, 2023
A hilarious and heartwarming story that’ll have you snort-laughing, swooning, and sighing with happiness…
Lola Gordon’s dreams of a thriving surf shop were shattered when her ex vanished with all the money in their business account, leaving her on the brink of losing everything. With the bank set to auction off her beloved shop and its contents in just six weeks, Lola is desperate to find a solution.
When news of an exciting treasure hunt sweeps through the island, Lola sees it as her last chance to reclaim her surf shop and rebuild her life. There’s just one obstacle standing in her way: she needs a boat.
Enter Aidan Clarke, a disillusioned Canadian expat seeking solace in the tranquil shores of Paradise Bay. Having recently discovered his fiancée’s infidelity with his brother, Aidan wants to be alone. So when his parents decide to visit and hunt for a house near his seaside cottage, Aidan realizes he must create an illusion of happiness.
He proposes a deal to Lola: he’ll provide the boat she needs if she agrees to pose as his live-in girlfriend.
As Lola and Aidan set sail on their adventure, the lines between fiction and reality blur, and their fake affection starts to feel all too genuine.
Join Lola and Aidan as their dreams are tested, their hearts are mended, and a sun-kissed romance awaits…
Beach Please is a closed-door rom-com with a bit of heat and a fair bit of cursing. It stands alone (although to get the full treasure hunt experience, it’s best to read Whisked Away first) and comes complete with maps, colourful graphics, and a whole lot of ice cream…
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“Aww, you two look so sweet,” his mom says. “I need to get a picture of you together.”
We both sit up and Aidan puts his arm around me, pulling me in. I rest my head on his shoulder and smile, my heart pounding and my stomach fluttering for some strange reason. I don’t want either of those things to happen. Yes, he’s hot, but he’s also a fussy neat freak and we have absolutely no future together.
“You two are going to have the most beautiful children,” she says, still holding the phone up.
My face flames at that thought and I can’t help but feel a tug of guilt for lying to them like this.
“Did you get the shot, mom?” Aidan asks.
“Nuts,” Ginnie says. “The camera was aimed at me the whole time. One second.”
“Sorry about this,” Aidan murmurs.
“It’s fine, really,” I say, even though it’s not fine because the longer our bodies are pressed together like this, the more I’m enjoying it. If I’m not careful, I’m going to wind up feeling very confused about what we’re actually doing here, and with us about to spend who knows how long alone together on his boat, I definitely can’t afford to be getting confused. I remind myself that he’s solidly anti-relationship. I remind myself we have nothing in common. I remind myself that the last thing I need right now is a man. And yet, the smell of his skin and the feeling of his arm around me is suggesting otherwise…
“So, what’s the opportunity?”
“Here, why don’t I show it to you?” I ask, pulling my phone out of my pocket and finding the video. I press play and slide my phone over to Aidan, then wait while he watches it, my stomach twisting in knots. His expression is totally neutral, and I can’t even begin to guess what he’s thinking. Probably something like, ‘This woman is nuts. There’s no way this is going to work. How do I get her out of here without her throwing herself on the floor and clinging to me like a baby sloth? Sloths have incredible grip strength so it would be hard to shake her. And it’ll also be super embarrassing for both of us. Mostly her.’
When the video finishes, he hands my phone back. “I can see why you figure it’s about a hundred on the scale of long shots.”
Nodding, I do my best to appear confident. “I know, but I’m one of the world’s biggest Crownheads. I’ve read the books and rewatched the series an embarrassing number of times.”
His eyes light up with amusement. “Like, how many?”
“Can I not say?” I ask, my cheeks heating up.
“If you want to convince me, you’re probably better off telling me.”
I close my eyes and wrinkle up my nose. “Six times for the books and fifteen times for the TV series.”
His jaw drops, then he chuckles. “Wow, that is a lot of times.”
“I know, but it’s seriously the greatest series ever written. Are you a fan?”
Shaking his head, he says, “I’ve never seen it or read the books.”
“Well, they’re amazing.”
“Apparently,” he teases. “So you need a boat.”
Okay, here we go. “Starting next Friday. It might just be one day, like day one we find it and done. Or could take a few days. Maybe even a week, I don’t know.” I swallow hard, then force myself to keep going. “I can’t afford to rent your boat for that much time, so I’m hoping you’d be willing to take a chance that we’ll find the crown and we can split the winnings. I mean, I can’t afford to give you half on account of needing so much to get my shop back. I was thinking maybe ten percent? If we find the first crown, that would be a cool hundred thousand in your pocket.”
“And if we don’t find one, I get nothing.”
“Yeah, not ideal, I know. But I promise you, I’m honestly an expert and I know I can solve the clues.”
He shrugs. “That may be the case, but there’s no way of knowing if there’s someone else out there who can solve them quicker.”
“That’s why the plan requires you to be a bit of a gambler.”
He sits back in his chair and doesn’t say anything, which causes me to panic a little. I keep talking before he can say no. “Or if you’re not a gambler, we could set up a payment plan. It might take me a long time to pay you back, but I promise I will.” I chew on my lip again, then say, “I’m not going to lie. It would be a really, really long time, and I don’t know if you’re okay to be out that kind of cash for like, a long time, but if so, I will—”
He holds up one hand. “No, that option doesn’t sound good for either of us. I imagine the last thing you need is more debt.”
“True.” My heart sinks. He’s definitely going to say no, which means I’m going to have to find someone else before the first clue is dropped. “Look, I have a feeling that this whole thing is going to go fast once it starts. All five crowns might be snapped up on day one. What I’m asking for is a few hours or maybe a couple of days of your time and gas. I’m sure to rent out your boat for that long would be more than I can swing right now, but would you be willing to do it for a discount? Just for your costs? I know it’s a big ask for a total stranger and that you have no reason to say yes to it, but I also truly believe that we can find a solution that will work for both of us here. Maybe I could work it off cleaning your boat or answering phones. There’s got to be something I can do for you that you need.”
He stares at me long enough for me to squirm in my seat a little, then he says, “Actually, there is something, but it’s a bit … weird.”
We wait in an awkward silence for a couple of minutes, my heart pounding in my chest. I hit refresh on the NBO website and am delighted to read the words: The Quest Has Begun.
I let out a little squealing noise. “This is it!”
I click on the clue for the Benavente Islands and read it out loud. “It is said that the Latin name Benavente means ‘welcome,’ from bene or ‘well’ and the past participle of venire, which is vente, ‘to come.’ So welcome to the quest for the crown. The bejeweled prize hidden somewhere on the Benavente Islands will be found by only the bravest of souls—someone whose fortitude was forged from the same fires as King Draqen’s sword. But more importantly, someone who understands the secret of life is riding the highs and lows. Be careful on your journey. You don’t want to suffer the same fate as Ogden.”
He puts the key in the ignition, waiting for me to announce that I’ve solved it. But I don’t. In fact, I’m drawing totally blank. “Hmph, that’s… not what I was expecting.”
“I take it that it’s harder than you thought?”
I tap my fingertips on my chin. “I wouldn’t call that a clue so much as a riddle.”
“Do you want some help?”
“No, I really need to do this on my own. Not that I don’t think you’d be helpful, but it’s a bit of a pride thing for me.”
“Say no more, I totally get it.”
The third boat leaves just as another group of people arrive. They get on a motor-sailor and take off immediately. No! No more people!
“Don’t worry. They totally had a fishing vibe,” he tells me, even though they are definitely out here looking for the crown.
“Think, Lola. Think,” I mutter. “So obviously the bit about King Draqen’s sword is the key. I think.” I take book one off the table and start to flip through it.
Over the next hour, more boats leave while Aidan waits patiently at the wheel for me to solve the clue (looking ridiculously handsome, by the way. Rosy would die if she saw his butt right now). Never mind that! God, Lola, you suck.
I’m sweating now, even though I haven’t moved anything other than my hands. “This is so hard.”
Aidan sits down across from me, and says, “I know you want to do this on your own, and I totally believe that you’re one-hundred-percent capable of doing just that, but I’d like to help.”
I look up from my notebook. “Yeah, thanks. It might help to bounce my ideas off someone.”
“Sure. I’m here for you.”
Oh God, don’t say that. That’s something the guy you fall in love with would say…
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Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.
Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.
In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally – then she’ll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for ‘K’ Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn’t require makeup and/or nylons).
Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she’s not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something–more like just staying until they turn the lights off.
She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.