Title: All of You
Author: Marianne Rice
Genre: Small Town Contemporary Romance
Can a small-town guy who seems too good to be true win the heart of the cynical city girl? Hailey Webster is desperate to get away; away from New York, the manipulating cheater she fell for, and the picture-perfect models she’s photographed for more than a decade. So, she does what she does best: escapes. This time, home to Maine until she can figure out where to take her career next. She is completely unfazed by pretty boys who know how to charm the not-the-prettiest-or-skinniest-girl in the room to get what they want. Been there, done that. But the constant flirting from a blue-eyed charmer with a smile that makes her tingle in all the right places is too tempting to keep at arm’s length. Carter Marshall isn’t one to fall fast and hard for a woman, but he’s instantly drawn in by Hailey’s iridescent eyes and quick qit. When he’s hired to redesign the website for a fancy resort, he finagles a way to have Hailey be the photographer on the project. It doesn’t take long for him to see the beauty of her soul and her broken, fragile heart. He wants to be the one to help her heal. When Hailey offers him one night and says that’s all she can offer, he realizes he wants a whole heck of a lot more. He wants all of her, for all time.
“I was hoping we could get together this week to start putting everything up on the Coastal Vines site, and then work on Marshall Farms.”
“We don’t have to get together for that. I can send you the files, and you can use whatever pictures work best for the layouts you created.”
“Don’t you think it would be better if we did it together? I’d hate to force a picture into a pre-planned layout, and creating a layout around every single picture you took would be too much. I’ll need you to help narrow down the best ones for the site.”
Hailey cocked her head at him. “Are you really that incompetent? I’d think as a graphic designer you’d be able to come up with something aesthetically pleasing.”
Ouch. “I...I guess I…”
“Or are you making up reasons for us to be together so you can keep practicing your one-liners.”
“Sweetheart, my one-liners don’t need practice.” Hailey quirked her brow, something she did often. No woman had ever made him second guess his skills. “You think I do?”
“You don’t have me falling at your feet, do you?”
“Good point.” He chewed the inside of his cheek pretending to be deep in thought, which wasn’t too hard to pretend. Normally he didn’t have to think about his lines, they just sort of came out. With Hailey, he found himself overthinking.
“Fine. I’ll let you have more practice time. Tomorrow morning I’m free. My weekends are pretty much booked with weddings, engagement photos, and baby shoots.”
“Practice?” He wasn’t sure if he should be offended or if she was playing him. “If you think I need practice I’m doing something wrong. We’ll figure it out tomorrow.”
“We’ll figure out the website tomorrow.”
“While I work on my one-liners.”
“I guess.” She rolled her eyes and brushed past him but not before he saw the faint smile on her lips.
Carter stood back while she slipped into her coat and said a round of goodbyes. He met her at the door, holding it open for her. “I’ll walk you to your car.”
“Protecting me from the boogeyman?”
“I thought I was the boogeyman.”
“You’re too pretty. He’s got one eye bigger than the other and is taller than you.”
“Oh, you’ve seen him before?” Carter stepped in front of her when they reached her car.
“All the time when I’m trying to fall asleep.” Her tone was light and teasing and he didn’t want it to end, but he couldn’t help himself.
Leaning forward, he whispered in her ear, “Think of me when you’re trying to fall asleep tonight. I’m much prettier.” He brushed a kiss across her cheek and stepped out of her way so she could get in her car.
It worked like a charm. Hailey stood frozen, a deer-in-the-headlights shock in her eyes. After a few moments, she blinked life back into her face.
“I won’t get any sleep if I think about you tonight.”
Carter jerked his head in surprise. Not the response he’d expected. “It wouldn’t be the first time a woman lost sleep over me.”
“If I think of you, I’ll be having nightmares.”
“Damn. That’s harsh.” He mimicked a knife going into his heart.
“Nightmares about the cheesy pickup lines you’re going to use tomorrow.” She blew him a kiss and slid behind the wheel of her car.
He was still laughing when the dirt from the tires had finally settled. Damn, this woman was going to be the death of him. In the meantime, he’d thoroughly enjoy the fun she brought into his life.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
A small-town contemporary romance set on the stunning coast of Maine near a winery (hello!!) with a hero who is as funny as he is sexy, and a heroine who’s fiercely independent and doesn’t think she deserves to be loved, especially by a man as genuine as Carter? I mean, do I need to say more?
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Winner will be drawn on July 30, 2020.
Marianne Rice is the author of more than twenty small-town romance novels set in rural New England towns. She loves high heels, reading romance, scarfing down dark chocolate, gulping wine, and Chris Hemsworth. Oh, and her husband and three children. You can follow her all over social media, and keep up to tabs with her latest releases on her website: www.mariannerice.com
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