Friday, February 7, 2014

Blog Tour with Exclusive Excerpt: Lovers at Heart by Melissa Foster


Title: Lovers at Heart (Love in Bloom: The Bradens, #1)
Author: Melissa Foster
Release Date: December 27, 2013

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+** Lovers at Heart is a steamy contemporary romance with alpha male heroes and sexy, empowered women. They're flawed, funny, passionate, and very relatable for readers who enjoy adult romance, contemporary romance, and women's fiction. Enjoy Lovers at Heart as a stand-alone novel or for more enjoyment, read the entire Love and Bloom series (nine full-length novels featuring the Snow Sisters and the Bradens).

Handsome, wealthy resort owner Treat Braden is used to getting what he wants. When Max Armstrong walked into his life six months earlier, he saw right through the efficient and capable façade she wore like a shield, to the sweet, sensual woman who lay beneath. She sparked an unfamiliar desire in him for more than a one-night stand, leaving his heart reeling and his blood boiling. But one mistake caused her to turn away, and now, after six months of longing for the one woman he cannot have, he's going home to try to forget her all together.

Max Armstrong has a successful career, a comfortable lifestyle, and she's never needed a man to help her find her way--until Treat Braden caught her attention at a wedding in Nassau, causing a surge of emotions too reminiscent of the painful past she'd spent years trying to forget. Max will do anything to avoid reliving that pain--including forgoing her toe-curling, heart-pounding desire for Treat.

When a chance encounter turns into a night of intense passion, Treat realizes that the mistake he made six months earlier may cause him to lose Max completely. He will do everything within his power to win her heart forever--and Max is forced to face her hurtful past head on for the man she cannot help but love.

MAX ARMSTRONG donned her most comfortable jeans and her usual festival T-shirt on opening day. Her boss—and owner of the Indie Film Festival—Chaz Crew had created so much buzz over the past few years that they were expecting a crowd of more than forty thousand attendees during the two-day festival. The festival grounds covered one hundred acres a few blocks from Main Street and boasted five new theaters. Also on the grounds were restaurants, gift shops, and a high-class hotel. Hotels in neighboring towns were booked a full year in advance of the festival. 

Whether there were twenty or fifty thousand attendees, Max was ready. She was nothing if not efficient and supremely organized. She’d been organizing the festival sponsors and logistics for almost eight years, and there was nothing that could throw her off her game. At least that’s what Max always thought—until six months earlier, when she’d met Treat Braden at Chaz’s wedding.
Max had worked with Scarlet, Treat’s assistant, for months via telephone calls and e-mails, coordinating logistics for the double wedding he’d hosted at his Nassau resort for Chaz and Kaylie, and Treat’s cousin, Blake Carter, and his new wife Danica—Kaylie’s sister. She’d come to know Scarlet so well that Scarlet now recognized her by voice. But she hadn’t been prepared for meeting the six-foot-six darkly handsome god that was Treat Braden, with his seductive voice, and the way every inch of him screamed of adrenaline-pumping, heart-fluttering masculinity. He’d knocked her so far off-kilter that she’d lost her ability to speak, along with her mental faculties.

Now her stomach clenched just thinking about the way he took her hand in his and kissed the back of it with those warm, sensuous lips, or the way he’d looked at her as though she were the only woman in the room and then, in the next breath, had arrogantly blown her off. Who was he to judge her personal activities? Sure, she’d been in the same clothes she’d worn the night before, and yes, she’d been out on a date with one of his employees, but she was a single woman. She had every right to do whatever she wanted to do with whomever she wanted—without judgment. Why do I care what he thinks anyway? That awful look he gave her was in such stark contrast to the impeccable manners that he’d otherwise exuded; holding doors, thinking of the needs of her and his other guests before himself, taking extra steps to ensure that every little detail of his cousin’s wedding had been taken care of. Before that look, he’d paid full attention to every word she’d spoken, and the way his eyes trailed her every move did not go unnoticed. Her pulse sped up just thinking about it. Max couldn’t let those things sway her resolve. She’d been mistreated, demeaned, and judged by a previous boyfriend, and she swore she’d never go down that road again—not even for too-sexy-for-his-own-good Treat Braden. She’d tried to avoid him after that interaction, though she’d been far from successful. After Nassau, she’d walked away and never looked back. Well, maybe a few times, in the darkness of her bedroom, when it was only her and her sexual fantasies.

She’d learned her lesson. Max forced herself to fall right back into doing what she did best: focus on her work. And it had paid off. This year’s festival would be a huge success.
It was warmer than it should be in Weston that afternoon, with temps in the mid-sixties. She was glad she didn’t need her parka, as she had during other festivals where the weather had taken on a freakish Arctic chill. The afternoon films ran without a hitch, and so far, the celebrity speakers had made their appearances without any wardrobe malfunctions—a trick of the trade for gaining media exposure. Max ran a tight ship, and she was quick to nix any wayward thoughts that celebs might conjure up.

Max spoke into her earpiece as she drove over toward the rear gate. “Heading to the rear gate now. I’ll check on Dean.”

The ruckus between the celeb’s entourage and the media was already creating a shit-storm of confusion. Photographers surrounded Connor Dean’s limousine and the two accompanying SUVs. She should have known this might happen. Dean was a local celebrity actor turned millionaire, whose reputation had exploded since they’d booked him eight months earlier. She’d been wrong to think the Hulk-like security guards could manage a little drama. As she neared the scene, she rolled down her window and surveyed the ensuing nightmare. Shouts and threats were tossed around like candy to children, and no one was making any headway. What on earth is that woman doing with her body halfway out of the limo?

Max parked right in front of the first SUV, threw open her door, and stepped from the car. She’d hoped to create a long enough pause to get the crowd’s attention, and when that didn’t work, she moved to Plan B. What is that woman in the limo shouting—legal jargon? Max groaned as she climbed onto the roof of her car and raised her hands in the air. With a quick flip of a switch on the control panel on her belt, she flicked on the intercom mounted above the gate.

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Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 

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