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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Blog Tour- TEMPTATION by Inara Scott With An Excerpt & Giveaway!




I am stoked to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for TEMPTATION by Inara Scott! I have an excerpt to share with you today check it out and enter to win the giveaway below!

About The Book:



Title: TEMPTATION (Bad Angels #2)
Author: Inara Scott
Pub. Date: August 26, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Amara)
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 358
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksKobo

As close friends and coworkers, attorney Zoe Riva and tech genius Connor Ashton know they can never get involved.

Never.

Ever.


Until a scooter accident lands Zoe in Connor's armsand his overnight custodyand she starts to see a man she's never seen before. With her career and her heart on the line, Zoe can't afford to take any chances. But when combustible chemistry takes over, even the smartest people in the room can make the biggest of mistakes

Now on to the excerpt!


Chapter One

Zoe Riva looked down at the electric scooter and tried to portray an air of confidence. It was seven a.m. on a chilly Saturday morning in November, and though the occasional car zipped past on the Embarcadero, there were only a few pedestrians walking and running in the normally busy area in downtown San Francisco.

Which was precisely what she had hoped.

Because if she went down, she wanted as few witnesses as possible.

“You and me, baby,” she muttered, patting the straight handlebar. “Let’s do this.”

The e-scooter was shaped like an oversize Razor scooter, with larger wheels, a bigger deck, and a thicker post than the child’s version to accommodate the motor. Everyone said they were easy to ride. There was some balance involved, seeing as the scooter only had two wheels, but given all the people that she’d seen zipping around on them throughout the summer and early fall, it couldn’t be
too hard.

Could it?

Granted, she wasn’t the most coordinated person in the world. And yes, she had always been the last person picked in gym class. Still, she could ride a scooter, right?

“Confidence, Zoe,” she told herself, not caring that anyone walking past would think she was crazy. “You can do this.”

She had rented the scooter from a small bank of them near Rincon Park and planned to ride down Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf. Short and easy. No turns. Protected bike lane.

What could go wrong?

The instructions were simple: kick off a few steps, then gently press the throttle button and off you go. She’d even bought a brand-new bike helmetironic, since she didnt own a bikeso she could be safe.

And all of this because the company founder wanted her to try his product.

“What I won’t do for customer satisfaction.” She sighed. Though she was a partner in a thriving law practice, she had few clients of her own and had to handle work the other lawyers brought in. That was a situation she was trying hard to change, but until she did, she had to keep the few clients she did have happy.

She shook her head and took a deep breath. No more stalling. It was time.

She looked both ways to make sure no bikes were coming, then moved the scooter into the protected green lane. A few pushes with her right foot, a push of the button, and

“Shit!” Zoe squealed as the scooter took off much, much faster than she had expected. The stem wobbled and so did she as she tried to catch her balance and stand up straight. “Shit, shit, shit!”

Heart pumping, she let off the throttle, depressed the brake, and then almost went flying again as the scooter came to an abrupt stop. Head bowed, she took a few deep drags of air and tried to regain her calm.

“It just took off a little faster than you expected,” she told herself between gasps. She spared a quick look up from the handlebar and glanced around, relieved to see no one obviously pointing and laughing.

“It’s okay,” she told herself, shaking off the desire to drop the scooter and walk away while she still could. “No problem. You got this.”

This time, she anticipated the quick jolt when the motor caught. Bending her knees a little helped, and before she knew it she was flying down the road. After the initial terror faded, she found herself beginning to smile. Then, as the wind picked up in her hair and she started to feel more comfortable, the tentative smile turned into a full-faced grin.

Of course, she was only going about eight miles an hour, well below the maximum speed, but still. It was actually fun. Really fun. Fun like she hadn’t had for a long time.

Zoe didn’t have a lot of time for fun. She had time for work and time for worrying about finding new clients. But fun?

Not so much.

She was so preoccupied with her success that it took a moment to notice the man jogging toward her. Once she did see him, though, it was hard to look away. He was tall and spectacularly built, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist, and despite the chill in the air, a full set of biceps helpfully displayed by a sleeveless shirt. He had the long, powerful legs and effortless pace of an athlete, which was to say he was probably going faster than her electric scooter.

She was staring so hard at his body she almost forgot to look at his face. And that was when she realized he was staring right back at her.

“Hey, Zoe!”

The guy waved, and embarrassment shot through her at the realization that she’d been gaping at someone she knew.

Her eyes widened. “Connor?”

It took a moment for the realization to sink in. The man jogging toward her was none other than Connor Ashton, one of the three owners of her firm’s biggest client.

Livend Capital was a venture capital firm started just a few years ago by three hotshot investors local gossip columnists had dubbed the Bad AngelsConnor and his former college roommates Mason Coleman and Nate Etherly. Their firm had grown at an astronomical rate over the years, taking them from a bunch of unknown guys barely out of business school to respected players in the world of high-tech finance.

Connor was the quiet, brainy one of the three. The last to arrive and first to leave. The guy who never called when an email or text would do.

The guy whose body was apparently fully capable of doing the talking for him.

Damn.

The embarrassment deepened as her gaze inadvertently drifted back to his waist, then to the one place it absolutely shouldn’t go. She righted her eyes as quickly as she could.

What the hell was she doing? Drooling over Connor?

Connor was so off-limits he might as well have been her brother. First and foremost, he was part of the small circle that encompassed her bestreally onlyfriends. She didnt relish the thought of bringing hookup drama into that circle. And since her previous relationships existed on a spectrum from bad to awful, that’s all it would be.

Secondly, professional rules forbade lawyers from having sexual relations with their clients. Getting sanctioned over a casual affair wasn’t really high on Zoe’s to-do list.

So, yeah. Off-limits.

She tried to recover from her momentary lapse of judgment with an enthusiastic wave, which turned out to be a huge mistake. Because waving required lifting a hand from the handlebar, which required removing her hand from the brake.

Which sent the front wheel of the scooter wobbling, which meant that when she panicked and squeezed the throttle, the scooter took off right into the curb.

With a shriek, she tipped off the deck and half ran, half flung herself forward.

Right into a lamppost.

Connor wasn’t sure what hit firsther forehead or her nose. Either way, the impact sent Zoe flying backward, stumbling a few times before falling on her butt on the sidewalk.

The bleeding started a few seconds later.

He swore as he sprinted toward her, concern for her injury mixed with a hint of chagrin for his own behavior. Damn it. He’d waved at her like a ten-year-old who’d just seen his crush. No wonder she’d stared at him strangely just before hitting the curb. She probably thought he was a crazy person, trying to flag her down.

He crouched down beside her as she touched her nose, which appeared to be the source of the bleeding. Her left hand lay limp on her leg. Had she hurt her wrist when she fell backward? He wouldn’t be surprised. He’d seen kids on the basketball team he coached break their wrists from exactly that kind of impact.

She hadn’t passed out, thank goodness, but she did look dazed, and a substantial knot was already forming on her forehead. He pinched the bridge of her nose, his first-aid training overriding his normal remove.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “Just stay still. I got you.”

A minute passed with her blinking owlishly at him, which Connor found increasingly concerning, because in his experience, Zoe always had something to say. “Zoe? You in there?”

She gazed directly at him, and those endless crystal-blue eyes grabbed him right by the balls.

Just like they always did.

But still no words.

“First time on a scooter?” he asked, hoping to get her to say something.

He was a few seconds from whipping out his phone to call an ambulance when she finally spoke. “What gave me away?”

He was relieved that her voice sounded mostly normal. Wobbly, but coherent. “Hard to say, exactly.” He looked down at the hand sitting limp on her leg. “Can you move your hand?”

She winced as she started to wiggle her fingers, then gave up. “Maybe? I don’t think so. It hurts like crazy.”

“That’s fine. Don’t move it.”

She adjusted her position. “Why am I still bleeding? Am I going to die? I think I might die.”

“Highly unlikely,” he said, examining her face. He caught a lock of the long, dark hair that had escaped the helmet and pushed it back, then immediately regretted it, worrying he’d overstepped.

“It probably feels much worse than it is.”

“How do you know?” she asked.

“I coach middle school basketball. You’d be surprised how many accidents I’ve seen.” He examined her face more closely, noticing that she was starting to look a little gray.

“Um, Connor?” She glanced down at her good hand and then the sidewalk. Her voice wavered unsteadily.

“Yeah?”

“I’m not feeling so great.”

He glanced around, but there were very few people around, and nothing open so early on a Saturday. He had all kinds of first-aid equipment in his car, but that was parked up by his apartment, which was a little over a mile away and up one of San Francisco’s absurdly steep hills.

“You’re not going to pass out on me, are you?”

She tried for a half-hearted smile. “I don’t think so? To be honest, I kind of freak out around blood. Especially my own.”

“Here.” Without thinking, he pulled his shirt over his head. “You can use this on your nose. At least you won’t have to look at it.”

She stared at the shirt, then at his chest, then back at his face. A hint of color appeared in her cheeks.

And now he felt like a complete idiot for stripping in front of her without considering how weird that must look.

He folded the fabric into a rough triangle and pushed it into her hand. “Trust me, looking at it makes it worse. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. That should help.”

“Why is that the answer to everything these days?” she asked plaintively. “Pretty sure I can’t deep breathe my way out of this one.”

He ignored that and tried not to notice that she glanced again at his chest. Shit. She must be thinking what an idiot he was. “You didn’t black out when you hit the post, did you?”

She closed her hand around the shirt and pushed it up to her nose. “No, but my head does hurt,” she admitted.

He leaned closer to examine her forehead. “I guess you didn’t get the helmet adjusted when you bought it?”

“What do you mean?” she asked, her voice muffled behind his shirt.

He sighed. “They aren’t one size fits all. You actually have to adjust a helmet or it doesn’t do you any good. It’s supposed to fit snugly and cover your forehead.”

“Well, that’s super helpful information to have now,” she said. “What do I look like, a bicycle helmet expert?”

He gave a reluctant chuckle. “Ah, no, I wouldn’t say that you look a bit like a bicycle helmet expert. How do you feel otherwise?”

“Feel?” She gazed up at him, and a tiny, reluctant smile appeared in her eyes for the first time since he’d seen her. “I just spectacularly wiped out on an electric scooter while trying to wave to a friend, Connor. How do you think I feel?”

Friend. Good reminder. They were friends. Also, she was one of his company’s lawyers. So, his lawyer, in a manner of speaking. They’d sat in meetings and bars together for years, and she’d never once looked at him in a romantic way. He’d heard about her dates, and she’d heard about his. If you wanted to call them dates. “Disasters” was more like it.

Regardless, at this point, they were practically related.

And therefore, clearly, he needed to forget his decidedly nonfriendly feelings for her. Just like he forced himself to do every time he saw her.

He pulled his phone from the case strapped to his arm and opened an app to call a car. The closest was five minutes away, but that was still faster than he could run up the hill and back down with his. “You care which hospital?” he asked, looking down at her.

“I don’t need to go to the hospital. I’m fine, really. In fact, I should probably just take that scooter back and go home.”

“Home?” He shook his head. “You might have a concussion, Zoe. You hit your head pretty hard. You need to get it checked out.”

“Concussion?” Her eyes got even wider. “Seriously?”

“You don’t have to get knocked out to have one.”

“And I thought this day couldn’t get worse.” She made a wobbly attempt at getting to her feet. He moved his hand under her good arm to support her. She was a solid foot shorter than him, and yet one of the toughest people he’d ever met. Tiny but fierce. That was Zoe.

“St. Francis okay?”

Her shoulders dropped. “I guess.”

“Hopefully you didn’t have anything else to do today.”

“Oh no,” she said with a wave. “Just a few thousand pages of documents to read. No big deal.” She gazed at the scooter and then turned to him with a grimace. “So there’s no way I could get back on it, right?”

He blinked. “Are you crazy? Of course not.”

She wilted a few inches. “I figured. I just thought maybe Never mind. I hate to ask, but could you maybe move the scooter onto the sidewalk for me? Just to get it out of the street?”

“Of course. You okay standing on your own?”

She straightened her back, though she still looked a little gray. “Yep. I’m fine.”

“Well, I don’t know about that.” He jogged over and retrieved the scooter. She walked on her own to the curb behind him.

“I think my nose is okay now,” she said, gingerly removing the shirt from her face. “Thanks for the shirt.”

If anything, he felt even more awkward now as he hovered over her in all his bare chested glory. Connor was used to being the tallest guy in the room, and generally he liked it, but right now he just wished he could fade a little more into the background.

A shirt would help.

“No problem. I’ll run home and grab some clothes, then meet you at the hospital,” he said.

“Connor, you do not need to come to the hospital.”

“Zoe,” he said patiently, “I’m coming to the hospital.”

“There’s no reason. Seriously, you should just finish your run. It’s not like I have any life-threatening injuries. If you really want, I can text you when I’m done.”

“No.”

“What do you think is going to happen? I’ll be at the hospital, Connor.”

“Sorry. I’ll wait in the lobby if you want. But I’m coming.”

She cocked her head, looking surprised at his resistance. Normally, when Zoe went into lawyer modegiving instructions, arguing, being logicalhe didnt put up much of a fight. Connor was the scientist of the Livend group, and he knew better than to try to lawyer anything. At any rate, the only one who could go toe to toe with Zoe in a war of words was Nate, the business end of their trio,
and even he picked his battles. But this was different. Leaving a friend alone in a hospital with a possible concussion wasn’t something Connor was prepared to do. Regardless of how much she argued.

“You’re not budging?” she finally said.


“Nope. I’ll meet you there as soon as I can,” he said firmly as the car pulled up. “Call me before then if you need anything.”



About Inara:
Inara Scott grew up on a steady diet of true love, heaving bosoms, and happily ever after. Romance inspired her first (terrible) novel, penned at the age of 14, titled A Wild and Stormy Passion. Today, Inara writes anything and everything, including adult romance and young adult fiction and adult romance. Inara was finalist for the prestigious RITA®  award of the Romance Writers of America for her book Reforming the Playboy. Her novels have won numerous awards, including the IPPY Award (Winter Rain), the Oregon Spirit Book Award Honor Book (The Talents and The Marked) the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit (Radiant Desire and Rules of Negotiation). When she’s not writing, she loves to spend time wandering around in the woods, paddling around on lakes, and has been known to occasionally dress up her little white dog in princess costumes.

Inara loves to hear from readers, and can often be found avoiding actual work on Twitter (@inarascott) or Facebook.


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card, International.




Tour Schedule:
Week One:
8/26/2019- Novel Novice- Review
8/26/2019- BookHounds- Excerpt

8/27/2019- Bookriot- Review
8/27/2019- Country Road Reviews- Excerpt

8/28/2019- books_andpoetrii    - Review
8/28/2019- Two Chicks on Books- Excerpt

8/29/2019- Do You Dog-ear?- Review
8/29/2019- Jaime's World- Excerpt

8/30/2019- Beaten Coffee Barista- Review

8/30/2019- Underneath the Covers- Excerpt

2 comments:

  1. Loving the blurb and that first chapter!! It's definitely on my list.

    ReplyDelete
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