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Authors: Shannon Stacey

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #United States, #Women's Fiction, #Single Women, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Contemporary Fiction

Taken With You

BOOK: Taken With You
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Taken with You
By Shannon Stacey

Hailey Genest has seen most of her friends marry and have babies, and she’s happy for them, but it was a lot easier before she hit forty. She’s spent her entire life in Whitford, Maine, and if she hasn’t found her Prince Charming by now, she has to accept she’s probably not going to. When a new friend suggests they go on an adventure and embrace being single, Hailey agrees.

Surviving in the woods is game warden Matt Barnett’s idea of a relaxing vacation. But when he meets two women in need of help, he leads them back to safety—a task that proves more fun than expected, thanks to a certain hot blonde. He can’t resist pushing her buttons, even though she’s made it clear that the rugged, outdoorsy type just isn’t for her.

Hailey is glad to see the back of her tempting-tour-guide-slash-pain-in-the-ass. When he shows up in her life again, she’s determined to avoid him, no matter how good he looks in his uniform. But that’s easier said than done in Whitford, especially when he’s renting the house right next door....

74,000 words

Dear Reader,

I’m jumping right into it this month because
New York Times
bestselling author Shannon Stacey’s next book in the Kowalski series is out in both digital and print at the end of April.
Taken with You
is the story of girlie-girl librarian, Hailey. She’s easy to get along with, is a small-town girl who loves where she lives, but she also loves nice clothes and fine dining and is looking for a guy who will be there when she comes home at night, and who will dress up and take her out to something a little more upscale than the local diner. It’s also the story of Matt, a hunky forest ranger who loves the outdoors, loves his dog, and is looking for a woman who doesn’t mind his erratic hours, will take a muddy ride on an ATV and won’t kick him out of the house when he walks in covered in dirt. Needless to say, these two opposites attract when Matt moves in next door to Hailey, and their story will take you on a wonderful romantic rollercoaster that will leave you with that happy-book sigh at the end.

If you love the TV show
Scandal
, have I got a new series for you. In Emma Barry’s Washington, D.C.-set, politically charged
Special Interests
, a shy labor organizer and an arrogant congressional aide clash over the federal budget but find love the more difficult negotiation.

April also brings a week of sports-related romance releases at Carina Press and we have six fantastic, very different contemporary sports romances being added to our already fantastic sports romance lineup. Allison Parr’s
Imaginary Lines
continues her new adult series. Tamar fell hopelessly in love with Abraham Krasner at age twelve, but knew he’d never see her as more than the girl next door—until years later, she gets a sports journalist position covering the NFL team Abe plays for...

Author Michele Mannon follows up
Knock Out
with
Tap Out
. Underwear model and playboy extraordinaire Caden Kelly will let nothing stop his come-back as an MMA fighter, especially a red-headed busy-bodied reporter hell bent on ruining his shot at a title. Meanwhile, Kat Latham writes the London Legends series about the world’s hottest rugby team. Book two,
Playing It Close
, features the team captain and a scandalous woman with whom he spent one passionate night and never thought he’d see again—until she turns out to be his team’s newest sponsor.

Kate Willoughby brings the on-the-ice action when a hunky hockey player falls helmet over skates for a nurse, but has to convince her he’s not the typical different-puck-bunny-every-day athlete in
On the Surface
. In a much warmer-weather sport, professional tennis player Regan Hunter’s temper is as notorious as her unstoppable serve, but love and ambition will go head-to-head when she meets former player-turned-coach Ben Percy. Check out
Love in Straight Sets
by Rebecca Crowley.

And because we can’t leave out America’s favorite sport, Rhonda Shaw’s
The Ace
brings us a sexy baseball romance in a follow-up to her debut,
The Changeup
. “Love ’em and leave ’em” is real estate agent Karen Bently’s motto—that is until her longtime crush, ace pitcher Jerry Smutton, sets her in his sights and offers her a proposal she can’t resist.

But it’s not all contemporary romance all the time in April. We have an eclectic selection of books from a lineup of talented authors (as always, right?). R.L. Naquin is back with her popular Monster Haven series. If you haven’t checked out this fun, sometimes zany, but always adorable series, look for book one,
Monster in My Closet
, at all of our retail digital partners. This month’s installment,
Golem in My Glovebox
, finds crazy shenanigans mixed with a gruesome, cross-country trail of clues, as Zoey and Riley attempt to save the rest of the country’s Aegises—and ultimately, Zoey’s lost mother.

PJ Schnyder is wrapping up her London Undead trilogy with
Survive to Dawn
, in which werewolf and pack medic, Danny, must choose between his Alpha’s orders and the human witch who might have the cure to the zombie plague. And in the second installment of the Once Upon a Red World science fiction romance saga from Jael Wye, the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk unfolds on a devastated Earth 300 years in the future in
Ladder to the Red Star
.

A.J. Larrieu debuts with her first full-length paranormal romance novel,
Twisted Miracles
. A reluctant telekinetic is drawn back to New Orleans’ supernatural underworld when her friend goes missing, but once she’s there, she finds her powers—and her attraction to the sexy ex-boyfriend who trained her—are stronger than ever. Talented fantasy author Angela Highland is back with Rebels of Adalonia book two in her epic fantasy
Vengeance of the Hunter
. As rebellion ignites across Adalonia, the healer Faanshi must save both the Hawk Kestar Vaarsen and the assassin Julian—the one from magical annihilation at the hands of his Church, and the other from a path of revenge.

For mystery fans, we welcome author Delynn Royer to Carina Press with her book,
It Had to Be You
. An ambitious tabloid reporter stumbles upon the story of her career when she joins up with a jaded homicide detective to solve the Central Park murder of a notorious bootlegger in 1920s Manhattan.

Rounding out the April lineup is a book for all Regency historical romance fans. Wendy Soliman’s Forsters series wraps up with
Romancing the Runaway
. When Miranda and Gabe discover her childhood home has been stripped of all its valuables, Gabe uncovers more to the old house than either of them had imagined. And with Gabe’s safety hanging in the balance, Miranda is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice...

I’m confident you’ll find something to love among these books and I hope we provide you with many hours of reading enjoyment and escape from the neverending dishes!

Coming next month: Fan favorite male/male author Josh Lanyon, an amazing science fiction lineup, more sexy cowboys and hot moments from Leah Braemel and so much more!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful month of books you love, remember and recommend.

Happy reading!

~Angela James
Executive Editor, Carina Press

Dedication

For Mary Ahlgren, who made our library a place my boys loved to visit.

Acknowledgments

I’d like to acknowledge the men and women of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, as well as the Maine Warden Service for their dedication to the preservation of nature and the New England way of life. As lovers of both wildlife and OHRVs, my family holds these officers in the highest respect, and we’re grateful for their service.

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

About the Author

Copyright

ONE

T
HE
SNARLING
,
POSSIBLY
rabid, five hundred pound grizzly bear lurking in the trees was the final straw.

Hailey Genest stopped in her tracks, staring at the area of the forest where she’d heard the rustling. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t a grizzly bear. She didn’t think Maine had grizzlies, even deep in the woods. It was probably only a black bear, but it was a
really
big one.

“I think it was a chipmunk,” her buddy system partner said.

Hailey turned her stare on Tori Burns, who’d talked her into this stupid wilderness adventure. “I hate you so much right now.”

Tori grinned. “Your mascara’s smudging.”

“Why are we friends again?”

“Because you came into the diner during my shift and whined about being the last single woman on the entire planet because all of your friends have found their soul mates. When I pointed out I’m single, you decided
we
should be friends.”

She hadn’t been whining. She’d just had a rough day and hadn’t felt like she could call her friends to vent because they were all probably greeting their menfolk at the door. And, yes, she had imagined them in aprons and pearls just because she could.

“First Paige married Mitch, then Lauren ran off to Massachusetts and married Ryan, and Katie’s living with Josh.” Hailey snorted and crossed her arms. “Those damn Kowalski men stole all my women.”

Tori sighed. “And now
I’m
friends with a woman who wears makeup and new hiking boots on a wilderness adventure.”

“The better I look, the better I feel and I thought I’d need the boost.” She looked down at her feet, trying not to wince. “Pretty sure my blisters are reaching horror movie proportions, though.”

“I told you it would be better to wear sneakers than brand-new hiking boots.”

“I wanted to be fashionable.”

“Yes, because limping is totally the new black.”

Hailey took a few steps, trying to ignore how much her feet, calves and every other part of her body hurt, but then she stopped. “Listen.”

After several seconds, Tori frowned. “I can’t hear the others anymore.”

“Not even the woman who sounds like she has a built-in megaphone and sucked helium for breakfast. They left us behind.” Even as she said the words, which should have been cause for concern, Hailey felt a pang of relief.

If the group had left them behind, there was no pressure to keep up, which was something she’d been failing at miserably for at least a mile. She considered herself to be in good shape, but hiking for miles over uneven ground in the woods was kicking her butt. And they still had paddling canoes to look forward to, just to make sure her arms and back ached as much as her legs tomorrow.

Since her usual daily workout was pushing a cart of books from the night drop box back into the library, she could only wonder what she’d been thinking. Or drinking.

“If we hurry, we can catch them.” Tori cast a doubtful glance at Hailey’s feet. “If it helps, we get to
sit
in the canoes.”

The thought of being off her feet did help a little, so Hailey did her best to keep up with her new friend. Tori wasn’t very tall, but she walked with a long, confident stride that was hard to match. Trying to ignore how her impending blisters and the muscles in the backs of her calves were having a contest to see which could burn the worst, Hailey put one foot in front of the other and tried not to stumble over roots.

BOOK: Taken With You
8.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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