⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “This one is on my keeper shelf and one of my favourites of this year.” —Maria Rose for Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews (original release) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “Holy moly frijoles—this book is hot! Serena Bell does an amazing job creating relationships through erotic connections and making you root for the characters to find their happily ever after!!” —Bestselling author Sarah Robinson (original release) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Two Strangers. An impulsive encounter. A longing that can’t be tamed…
Lily McKee is pretty sure sleeping with the grim, gorgeous stranger who frequents the diner where she works counts as an act of desperation. But it’s been that kind of year: Her dreams of owning her own restaurant have been swamped by the reality of living in her sister’s basement and serving mediocre food. A hot encounter with Kincaid is a much-needed break from her day-to-day drudgery.
Breaking his long drought is the best thing that’s happened to Kincaid Graves in years—and not just because he’s been behind bars. His encounter with Lily helps him forget the complicated collision of love and violence that derailed his life. Kincaid wants more: more of the intense connection they share, more long nights lying awake together, more time.
But the clock is ticking. Lily has a chance to reclaim the life she thought was hers for the taking. Kincaid must find a way to recover his inheritance. And once Lily finds out that the man whose roughness and dominance she craves has a history of violence, the love growing between them may be out of time, too.
From Turn Up the Heat
He followed her as she locked the diner’s front door. She bent to pick up a huge plastic drum bag of trash, but he brushed back her efforts and shouldered the bag himself.
She wanted to object. He could see the words on her lips and the protest in her eyes.
“You worked damn hard tonight,” he said. “Let me.”
You don’t always have to be tough, he wanted to say. You could let me help you, just a little.
But of course she couldn’t. And he couldn’t.
She had snuck those looks at him as they cleaned up. Curiosity and something more dangerous. A question. What would it be like? He could hear it as clearly as if she’d asked it out loud, probably because it was the same question that rattled around his head, that tumbled around his gut. What would he see if he took her question as an invitation? Would she be all toughness or all sweetness, or some mix of the two that would break him to bits?
Auburn Campbell loves Beachcrest Inn. Working there saved her sanity as a teenager and got her back on her feet after a controlling relationship. So when Trey Xavier shows up, threatening to demolish Beachcrest, she’s ready to fight. Nothing riles her up like a hot guy in an expensive suit on a power trip—in the worst and best ways.
Trey screwed up. And now he needs this land deal or he’ll lose his business. He built his company from scratch so he could take care of his family the way his dad never did. But it would be a lot easier for Trey to stand his ground if Auburn didn’t tempt him so badly. He hasn’t wanted anyone like this in a long time. Maybe ever.
After a few days of summer sun, Auburn and Trey are both losing their heads—and maybe their hearts, too. Except they’re both out of practice at losing.
Only one thing’s certain: The Fourth of July in Tierney Bay will have plenty of fireworks this year.
“I have loved every second of this series and I hope that there will be many more installments to come. This series has everything that I look forward to in getting my love and romance fix.”—Twin Spin
“An absolute must-read . . . To Have and to Hold is fabulous.”—The Romance Reviews
“Five stars . . . [To Have and to Hold is a] crackling read that’s full of emotion and drama.”—Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews
“A great story that unfolds beautifully . . . There’s a great balance of drama and romance, and I really liked the characters and their journey.”—The Escapist Book Blog
“A well-crafted welcome addition to a great series . . . [with] plenty of passion.”—I Love Romantic Fiction
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (RETURNING HOME, BOOK THREE)
He doesn’t remember her. She cherishes every moment of their time together. Is there any hope for a second chance?
Hunter Cross has lost a year. There’s a gap in his memory, and the woman who is living in his house has disappeared into it. He slept with her, fell for her, loved her—and he doesn’t remember any of it.
He knows he should send her away—except for one little thing. At night, when she slips into his bed, his body remembers hers.
Trina Levine is heartbroken, alone with her memories. Hunter won’t claim any of it—not the joyful days, not the steamy nights. It’s like Trina Levine dreamed it, and it hurts like nothing else could.
Except when Hunter cries out in his sleep and Trina comforts him. At those moments, Hunter’s body knows hers, and for a few, brief, blissful moments, Trina’s sure everything will be okay again.
Stepping through the glass gate doors at SeaTac. Striding, head up, not uniformed, as she’d expected, but clad in jeans, a gray T-shirt, and hiking boots. A backpack slung over both shoulders.
Trina felt like she’d never seen him before, and maybe she never really had. Because before, he’d been somebody’s dad. Somebody’s husband. And then friendship had morphed into love, so she’d never had that first-time-I-laid-eyes-on-you, love-at-first-sight moment. No heart stopping, no breath catching, no hormones firing in one big surge—
Not till now.
Because, damn. Dark hair and dark eyes, stubble smattered over his jaw, shoulders that poured off strength. Six-foot-plus of him, moving with intention. He was a guy who’d catch your eye on the street, pheromones setting you back on your heels before you’d registered that you’d turned to look. The hardness of his features, the everyman handsomeness, made an impression only after it was too late to decide how you felt about his appearance.
There were more lines in his face than she remembered—the laugh crinkles at the corners of his eyes, yes, but deep lines in his forehead, too. His eyes combed the crowd, looking for someone.
I’m right here.
Then his gaze swept past her and locked somewhere else, and his pace quickened until he was almost running. Behind her, someone broke away, flip-flops smacking heels.
Clara ran to her father and threw herself into his arms, forgetting Trina’s and her grandmother’s warnings to be gentle with him. Clara was laughing and crying and trying to tell her father everything that had happened in the last year, all at once.
“Slow down, baby.” Hunter knelt so he could hug Clara in earnest. “Slow down. We’ll have plenty of time.” He was smiling, looking so much like the man Trina remembered, and she realized she was silently pleading for him to raise his eyes and search her out. To turn that smile on her. And she shook her head, because this moment wasn’t for her. It was for Clara and Hunter. Trina would have her moment later. When she and Hunter were alone.
Hunter raised his head, and her heart skipped.
But his eyes caught on something behind her, and he rose and strode forward: “Mom.”
Trina wasn’t going to panic. She clutched her welcome home, hunter sign tighter, and tried to slow her pulse down.
Homecomings are weird, Hunter’s mom had told her when Trina met her flight several hours earlier. Don’t get your expectations up too high.He’ll need some time and space, and then it’ll be like he never left.
Plus, Trina had known they’d have to play it a little cool, to maintain the fiction for the girls.
In the meantime, Trina would remember what he’d said to her. Not only I love you, but also, I know my feelings, and they’re not going to change.
Hunter’s mom, Linda, was getting the full Hunter. Or the half Hunter, maybe, because Trina was pretty sure that Hunter at full strength would have swept both mother and daughter off their feet. Certainly in all her fantasies he’d swept her off her feet.
But with his chest wound just barely healed—a wound that had almost killed him—he wouldn’t be sweeping anyone off her feet for a while.
A hand snaked around her waist. Phoebe, at her side. Her daughter, awkwardly twelve and yet so beautiful, with that coltish mix of woman and little girl.
Phoebe was clearly feeling as awkward and left out of this homecoming as Trina was, and wanting solidarity.
That was the moment when Trina started to feel really, truly freaked out. Because she was fine with the fact that homecomings were weird and fine with Hunter’s priorities being for his daughter and his mother and fine with the secrecy that they’d agreed to keep up a while once he got back, but—
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Photo credit Susan Young
USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.
Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.
When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.