Today we are celebrating the new release of Where the Heart Is by Darcy Burke with an except and giveaway!
Where the Heart Is by Darcy Burke
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: sexy
Series: Ribbon Ridge, #1
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Pub. Date: December 1, 2013
Length: Novella (131 pages)
Home is more than a place . . .
Breaking free from her structured life, Chloe English quits her high-powered job and moves across the country to work as an art teacher. The simple life is all she hoped it would be until her house burns down, leaving her homeless. When a handsome firefighter swoops in to save the day, she can’t believe her luck. He’s laid-back and unassuming, everything she’s looking for in a man—or so he seems. It turns out he’s as ambitious as her ex, comes with a family who could be more stifling than hers, and harbors dark secrets he may never be able to share.
Orphaned as a teenager, Derek Sumner has found a place in his best friend’s family. However, the love and support of his surrogate parents and siblings can’t erase the grief and loss he struggles every Christmas to banish. But this year he meets the fun and sexy Chloe, whose optimism and sense of joy are incredibly contagious. Can she help him face his bleak past so they can forge a happy future?
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Excerpt from Where the Heart Is
Wanting to lighten the mood, both because her own sadness hovered just beneath the surface and because she wanted to know more about Derek’s relationship with these people, she turned to Derek. “Were you in the show, or was that before you knew them?”
Derek nodded slowly. “I was in an episode or two. They’d just started filming after I moved here.”
Hayden laughed out loud suddenly. “Oh God, do you remember their tenth birthday episode?”
Derek brushed his hand over his brow and smiled painfully. “I try not to.”
Curious, Chloe looked at the siblings, who were all smiling and nodding in commiseration.
Tori sipped her wine. “We had this huge party to celebrate our first decade. Mom and Dad converted the backyard into a mini-carnival.”
“I don’t think that was Mom and Dad,” Evan said, his deep voice breaking into the light mood. Or maybe it was that he wasn’t smiling like the rest of them. “I’m pretty sure the producers were behind that.”
“Right,” Tori said, nodding. “Anyway, there were pony rides too.”
“Please, don’t,” Derek said, his eyes beseeching.
“What?” Chloe looked at him, but he was staring at the floor with a resigned expression. She transferred her gaze to Tori. “What?”
“Derek was afraid of the ponies,” Liam said, his eyes crinkling with laugh lines.
“Ponies? You were afraid of ponies?” Chloe asked.
Derek widened his eyes in an expression that clearly said “What?” in the most comically defensive way possible. “I lived in the city before I moved here. The only animals I saw that were larger than a dog or cat were in a zoo.”
“We talked him into riding one though,” Hayden said, as laughter erupted from both Tori and Sara. Even Evan had cracked a smile finally.
Liam rested his hip against the back of Alex’s chair. “Kyle promised him a hundred dollars.”
“Though he never planned to pay him,” Alex said. “This was before Kyle and Derek became buddies.”
Sara and Tori couldn’t stop giggling, and now Hayden was laughing.
“Since no one can seem to get the story out,” Derek said, “suffice it to say, my first pony ride ended with a dunk in the pool.”
The laughter grew. Hayden sucked in a breath. “The whole thing was perfectly captured on film. Derek freaking out on the back of the smallest pony in the yard. Then the pony cantering off toward the pool. Everyone laughing—or yelling, in Mom and Dad’s case—and then the pony screeching to a halt beside the pool while Derek lost his seat and fell in.”
Chloe laughed along with them, but then stopped abruptly. “Wait a minute. He could’ve gotten really hurt.”
Liam shrugged. “We were ten. Think that mattered to Kyle?” He eyed Chloe closely. “You must be an only child.”
“I’m not.” And she also understood why ten-year-olds didn’t think about what could happen if they put a frightened kid on an animal, let alone next to a pool. She looked at Derek. “At least tell me you knew how to swim.”
“But he faked like he didn’t,” Tori said, her blue-green eyes gleaming. “He screamed and thrashed, freaked everyone out, even the cameraman. At least twenty different people jumped into the pool to save him. Kyle got in so much trouble.”
Realization dawned on Chloe. She grinned at Derek. “You knew perfectly well what you were doing.”
He crossed his arms over his chest, his smile radiating a sexy slice of pride. “Of course.”
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About the Author
Darcy Burke wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. Darcy writes hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance.
A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her devoted husband, their two great kids, and two Bengal cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. She’s also a fair-weather runner, and her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge. Visit Darcy online at http://www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her new releases newsletter, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/darcyburkefans.
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One lucky commenter from the entire tour will win a $15 eGC to Amazon.com and an ebook bundle consisting of: Erica Ridley’s Midwinter Magic and Let it Snow, and Helen Scott Taylor’s The Army Doctor’s Christmas Collection. Please follow the Rafflecopter widget for directions and Terms & Conditions.
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