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Ballroom Blind Date by Natalie Cross is a Mystery & Suspense Event pick #romanticsuspense #giveaway



Title: Ballroom Blind Date


Author: Natalie Cross


Genre: Romance suspense


Book Blurb:


Polka dancing. Home invasion. Is this the worst blind date ever… or the best?


Tabitha Valby has soured on love. And yet, though a past traumatic experience turned her off relationships forever, the forty-something CEO reluctantly agrees to allow a friend to set her up. But when he fails to show, she heads to an open house for her dream home.


Dennis Rayner often feels frazzled by life. Heading off to check out a sudden real estate posting, the neurodivergent accountant cringes when he realizes he forgot to meet a woman for dinner. So she’s the last person he expected to see at the showing… until armed intruders enter the dwelling.


Relying on her quick thinking, Tabitha helps them escape their captors and get away. But when Dennis runs out of gas with the crooks hot on their heels, he fears he’ll never get a chance at a second impression.


Can they turn an extremely bad night into a good reason to stay together?


Excerpt:


Dennis ran his hands through his sandy brown hair. It reminded Tabitha of the Jersey shore, not in an adverse way, unfortunately. “I will not. I love this house. It checks every single one of my boxes.”


“Every single box except the one where you neglect to show up on time for a date?”


She bit her lip. She hadn’t meant to bring it up. She was fine being alone. She had only accepted the date as a favor to Anita. Since she and her partner Patrick had gotten together, they suffered from the same affliction as all happy couples, the insufferable desire to match all of their friends. And Tabitha wanted their friendship. It had been a long time since she had found a community outside her family that was so welcoming.


Dennis frowned, the crease between his light green eyes deepening like a rift in the ocean. “You’re right. I should have been on time. I’m not very good with keeping appointments.”


“It’s not like you can set reminders on your phone or anything.” She just couldn’t help herself, could she? That’s what Bryan would have said, not that she cared any more.


Dennis pushed his hands into the pockets of his light gray slacks. “I already apologized. I saw this listing and the open house notification, and I just got too excited.”


She knew how that felt but wasn’t about to let him know that. “So was I, but I still showed up at the restaurant.”


Dennis frowned again and pushed the spectacles back up his nose. As far as habits went, it was not the most irritating one she had ever dealt with, but she doubted he even knew he was doing it.


A long few moments passed, with Tabitha practically feeling the fumes rising from the pair of them as they squared off across the kitchen island. Tabitha narrowed her eyes at him. She wasn’t going to back down, not here, not ever.


Dennis broke the stalemate first, slumping his shoulders and casting his gaze to the vinyl tiled kitchen floor. “Fine. I’m going to find the real estate agent. I’ll get out of your hair.”


Tabitha almost capitulated. Almost. But she hadn’t made it in the luxury marketing business by kowtowing.


Instead, she watched as he stalked outside to the patio, through the full-length glass doors that opened on both sides. It would have been helpful to see the place in the daylight to get a better sense of the landscaping. She would have to talk to the real estate agent about a private showing where she could make her offer.


She was inspecting a downstairs pantry when she heard Dennis’s strained voice.


“Tabitha? Uh, Tabitha?”


Clearly the man couldn’t do anything properly.


She sauntered into the hallway, and halted directly where she stood. He looked terrible. Not just I-messed-up-a-blind-date terrible, but terrible terrible. His hair was disheveled, and there was a high, unpleasant flush to his cheeks. “Are you okay?” she asked.


He spoke rapidly, removing his glasses and rubbing them furiously between the folds of shirtfront. “I can’t find her. I don’t know where the agent went. She said she was going outside, didn’t she?”


She held her hands in front of her in the same soothing gesture she used for anxious or feral animals. “Calm down, everything is going to be all right.”


He glanced up, and she practically recoiled at the naked fear in his green eyes. “Something doesn’t feel right.”


That gave Tabitha more of a pause. She was never one to discount a good old-fashioned bad vibe. She placed a hand on his shoulder, surprised to feel the firmness of muscle. He wasn’t a big guy, not more than a few inches taller her than her average five four, but he was wiry. He raised his wounded gaze to hers and held it, a heartbeat in time, nothing more. A tingle swirled in the depths of her core, and she couldn’t quite decide whether she was more surprised at the tingle’s reappearance after so long dormant or at its provocation.


While she was decidedly not feeling the extent of his deltoids, the glass doors to the patio swung open. Tabitha and Dennis swerved their heads toward the sound, and he tensed beside her.


Two hulking men in black tactical gear frog-marched Rita Forest, now gagged with her hands zip-tied behind her back, into the living room. Her red blazer was gone, and the white silk blouse beneath was torn up one side, the hems of her red trousers muddy and frayed. She had lost one of her shoes. That was what Tabitha’s shocked mind focused on. Where was her shoe? She would hate to lose her own pair, her lucky peacock-blue stilettos. Where was Rita’s shoe?


Tabitha’s chest constricted, even as her heart galloped, the sound of her pulse in her ears so loud she could barely hear it when one of the intruders spoke. Nevertheless, it wasn’t difficult to get the message.


“Stay calm, or everybody dies.”


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):








What makes your featured book a must-read?


If you like great chemistry, witty banter, and suspense, then you’ll adore this wild caper.


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $35 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.


Runs August 8 – August 21, 2023.


Winner will be drawn on August 22, 2023.



Author Biography:


A lifelong lover of the written word, Natalie used to spend her school recess hours reading Michael Crichton and Jane Austen. Not much has changed, except now she writes stories about smart, kickass women and the people who adore them. Natalie lives in Los Angeles, where she is married to a man who literally brings life into the world. She is mom to two lovely young munchkins who despise brushing their hair and eat way too much cake. She is unapologetically terrible at taking selfies.


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Aug 11, 2023

Thank you, Natalie, for sharing your book in our Mystery and Suspense Bookish Event!

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