Title: Lies and Solace
Author: Jana Richards
Genre: Small Town Contemporary Romance
She can’t live with one more lie. He can’t tell the truth.
Harper Lindquist is convinced she’s found the answer to her financial prayers. Unless she pours cash into crumbling Solace Lake Lodge, she’ll lose her family’s legacy. Her would-be savior arrives in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard and she’s determined to prove to her reluctant, and trapped, financier the lodge is a sound investment. But Harper isn’t completely honest with him. And she has no idea the lake is hiding secrets of its own. Ethan James is a liar, but his money is very real. He isn’t convinced a broken-down inn is a smart investment opportunity. But the more he understands Harper’s dreams and desires, the more he wants to be the man to make them come true. The trauma in both their pasts means neither can fully trust the other. They must find the courage to love, to trust, and to accept, or yesterday’s sorrows will keep them apart.
She’d just placed the last dish on the drain board when Ethan entered the kitchen, his hair still damp from his shower. He’d shaved with the razor she’d found for him and was wearing his own clothes again. Once more the elegant, well-dressed businessman. The chasm grew between them even as he stood in her kitchen. She was stupid to believe there could ever be anything aside from business between them.
She lifted her chin, determined not to let her façade slip. “I’ve gathered all my estimates and drawings and put them in a bag so you can take them with you.”
“I appreciate that.”
They walked together to the front door, and Harper lifted his beautiful overcoat from the coat tree. It still held the scent of his after-shave, and she had to resist the urge to raise it to her nose and breathe it in. Instead, she held it out to him with a forced smile. “Have a safe trip back to Minneapolis, Ethan.”
“Thanks.” He took the coat from her and slipped it on. “I want to thank you for your hospitality.”
“It was my pleasure.”
So formal. But it was the only way she could get through the next few minutes.
He picked up the cloth bag with all her information on the renovation project. “Goodbye, Harper. I’ll be in touch soon.”
“Goodbye.” She shook his outstretched hand briefly.
He opened the front door and headed toward his truck. Harper grabbed a sweater from the coat tree and stood in the open doorway watching him leave, not quite able to shut the door on him despite the biting cold.
Halfway to the truck, Ethan stopped. For a second, he stood completely still, his head bowed. Then he dropped the bag, turned on his heel, and walked back to her, his steps full of purpose.
“Did you forget something?”
He pulled her into his arms, his mouth descending on hers with an urgency that set her blood on fire. She moaned as she molded herself against him, her arms winding around his neck, her fingers tangling in his damp hair. He swept her mouth with his tongue, demanding a response. She gave herself over to his kiss, loving the sweet taste of his mouth, the clean smell of his skin, the solid feel of his body.
All too soon he broke the kiss. He grasped her shoulders and pushed away from her, breathing hard. She searched his face for answers.
“I have to go,” he said. “I’ll call you soon.”
She nodded, unable to speak. He released her and walked back to his truck. No longer sheltered in his arms, the bitter cold swept through her. She pulled her sweater more securely around her shoulders.
Harper watched Ethan pull out of the driveway, her heart racing. When she could no longer see his truck, she closed the front door and leaned against it. The taste of him remained on her tongue and she could still smell his clean scent. Excitement and fear danced up and down her spine, fighting a duel inside her to decide which one ruled supreme.
Fear won. In one way or another, everyone she’d ever cared about had left her. She couldn’t bear for Ethan to be one more person on that list.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
Back in the eighties, a prominent politician from my home province was convicted of murdering his ex-wife. They had three children, the youngest at the time a nine-year-old girl. I always wondered what happened to that child. I couldn’t imagine how painful it must have been for her to grow up knowing her father had murdered her mother. How do you get past that trauma?
That was the question I explored in the Love at Solace Lake series, for which LIES AND SOLACE is book one. Each of the three Lindquist sisters deals with their own private anguish at the loss of their parents. And each of them struggles to accept love into their lives. But is their mother’s death as simple as they’ve believed all these years?
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Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.
When not writing up a storm, working at her part-time day job as bookkeeper, or dealing with dust bunnies, Jana can be found pursuing hobbies such as golf (which she plays very badly) or reading (which she does much better).
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.com
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Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards
Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B002DEVWWG
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