I’m a Bowen Man fan, and no bigger fan than that of the Bowen Man that goes by the name of Max Bowen. He’s the devil may care man who has a grin for the gals yearning for a ‘come yonder’, and a wink for the ladies far too smart to do more than gander. I just lick my Kindle as I read and get the best of both worlds and no one is ever the wiser for it. Elle Aycart bent over backwards and forwards to get me something for this here Hashtag and I’m so happy to share this with you. Soon-soon I hope to get a review of this up cause my eyes will be all over this book as soon as I get some sleep and recovery over Valentine’s Week. Whew… thank heavens the next big romantic holiday is St. Patricks Day and that’s just when we celebrate drunk dialing!
Best way to spend Valentine’s? Seven and a half months pregnant, on a Florida beach, looking like a whale among sirens, with your feet so swollen they seemed floating boats, and watching your sex God of a boyfriend being ogled and salivated upon by ten-years-younger-than-you, skinny women.
Yep, best way ever. Hands down.
Max had had to travel to Florida for work, and had insisted on Annie accompanying him. “Insisted” was too mild a word. He’d totally taken over and made all the arrangements. She’d been presented with a plane ticket and a “we’re leaving tomorrow, pack your swimsuit.”
Her man was bossy.
She would have wanted to object, but Boston in February was no match for Florida. The nice weather, the beach. Max kitesurfing, doing one of his stunts while being filmed. Yummy.
Sadly, she wasn’t the only one that thought so. Apparently the whole of Florida’s female population agreed with her.
When the shooting was about done, Annie stood up from the sun lounger and tried approaching. Several gorgeous groupies, fluffing out their hair, with bikinis that left little to imagination, giggling and swaying their hips like there was no tomorrow, rushed ahead, leaving her in the dust.
Well, what did she expect? Max was gorgeous with that sexy short Mohawk of his all mussed and his trimmed beard. Tanned. All wet from the sea, his muscles bulging and glistening, his dark blond hair bleached by the sun. And that permanent roguish smirk on his face, like he was flirting with life. She’d bet any-frigging-thing all the women on the beach had their girlie parts tingling, just from looking at him.
After wrapping things up, Max turned around and moved toward Annie, smiling. The women in front of her were already breathless, waving at him. He passed the groupies without a second look and went straight to her, taking her in his arms and kissing the living wits out of her.
“One zero for the whale,” she whispered when he let her up for breath.
“What?” he asked, totally oblivious to the way the groupies glared and pouted.
“You missed a turn. Your fans there thought you were walking to them.”
He snorted. “Don’t give a fuck what they thought. I want you. Only you. Haven’t you realized it yet?”
Yes, she had. The first day of the shooting, Annie would had preferred to stay behind, intimidated as she was with all the gorgeousness around, but he hadn’t allowed it; he’d kept her by his side, his arm wrapped around her shoulders. Kissing her and being sweet in front of God and everyone.
Lots of jaws had dropped.
“You done?” she whispered to him.
Max nodded. “I’m all yours now.”
All hers. She loved the sound of that.
“So now what?”
“Now we get ready to celebrate Valentine’s,” he stated.
“Are we celebrating it at the hotel?”
Damn, he’d been so close-lipped about the whole thing. Their kick-ass, top-of-the-line hotel had been fully paid for until the next morning. And by the looks of it, they were pulling out all the stops preparing for the event.
“I need to know what to dress for,” she insisted. “Beach picnic? Amusement park? Fancy restaurant? Naked date in the Jacuzzi?” It could be anything, considering who her Valentine was.
He brushed his lips with hers. “Dress how you want, Ace. You’ll be stunning anyway and everybody will think I’m the luckiest bastard alive for being allowed to walk by your side. I’m holding you to the naked part for later, though,” he added with a wink. “Now let’s get going. We’re expected soon.”
Annie was relieved when she noticed Max had on jeans and a T-shirt. If he would had broken out the tuxedo, she would have been in trouble, seeing as the only outfits she’d packed were maternity swimsuits and flowy summer dresses.
Once ready, he clasped her hand in his and walked her to the car. At her inquiring look, he just said, “Trust me. It’ll be memorable.”
She had no doubt about it. So far, everything with Max had been.
They drove for over an hour. When he parked the car, she looked at her surroundings and broke into laughter. “The Eternal Sun resort?”
He nodded. “I promised you memorable, love. This is the place to have it, surrounded by couples averaging fifty years of marriage.”
She’d heard so much about this place she was giddy with excitement. And a bit terrified, because there was a crowd at the entrance, already waving at them.
She turned to him. “Are they waiting for us?”
He waved back. “Yep. They are all very excited to meet you. We have a busy schedule, I hear. Bingo. Then romantic dinner. Then dancing under the stars and poker for the two-left-feet ones.”
They had barely made it out of the car when those senior ladies were hugging and smooching them. Congratulating them on the baby and treating her as if they’d known her for freaking ever.
Bingo was a blast, not to mention the outrageous way those seniors tried to cheat. Dinner too. The common area had been transformed into a very romantic outdoors restaurant, with candles and roses and tables for two, but those seniors didn’t believe in privacy, and before they made it to the second course, most tables had been pushed together, and Annie and Max were eating with a loud bunch who, in spite of their nosiness, were adorable.
Annie’d heard the Bowen brothers were very well liked at the Eternal Sun, but she had no clue how much.
Everybody there knew him and treated him like he was part of the family. And Max was so at ease with them too.
By desert Annie’s side hurt from laughing so hard. Apparently fifty years of marriage gave for a lot of Valentine’s anecdotes, all of them hilarious.
“I’ve had all sorts of Valentine’s dates, from the totally awesome to the totally horrendous,” Annie whispered into Max’s crook after dinner, as they danced. “Nothing compared to this. This is off the charts.”
“Off-the-charts horrendous or off-the-charts awesome?” he asked, spinning her around to the slow music.
She laughed. “Awesome, of course.”
“I’m glad you’re pleased.”
Pleased? They were in the Eternal Sun resort on the dance floor, surrounded by couples who had been together for more than half a century, yet they were still holding hands. Cooing at each other. Laughing at each others’ jokes.
“They loved you,” Max continued. “I got the third degree for not bringing you here until now.”
“You got the third degree? Because I did too.”
A frown marred his beautiful face. “What do you mean?”
“I was asked what were my intentions toward you.” Several times, actually, during bingo and dinner. “Everybody loves you here.” They’d been singing Max’s praises all night long. And warning her about hurting him.
Max laughed. “And what are your intentions?”
“Well, I told them I plan to use you as a sex toy and then dump you to the curb,” she joked.
His amused snort was loud and clear. “You can use me as a sex toy all you want, no objections whatsoever. You know my cock will always be hard for you, but you won’t dump me to the curb, I won’t let you.”
The intensity in his words and his erection pressing against her abraded her senses. Man, even in the middle of a senior community he could turn her on, just by whispering into her ear.
They danced until the wee hours and then, as promised, she ended up naked in the Jacuzzi.
Best way to spend Valentine’s Day? Or any other day of her life for that matter? With Max. Hands down.
To The Max Special Giveaway Event:
To The Max Giveaway!
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To The Max Synopsis:
Forensic accountant Annie Griffin has always suspected she’s a bit jinxed, so when she finds herself 35, single, temporarily homeless, and pregnant on a technicality by a gigolo, her fears are confirmed.
Adrenaline junkie and professional stuntman Max Bowen needs a house-sitter to watch after his pets while he’s out of town. Annie needs a place to stay. Standard quid pro quo. No biggie. She can handle that, whatever hellhounds he owns. Until Max, the most sought-after bachelor in the county, comes back ahead of schedule and suddenly she’s roommates with a 27-year old sex God who turns out to be so much more than what she expected.
Max might have had the attention span of a humming bird on crack when it comes to women, but that was before Annie. Her quirkiness and sweet contradictions soon captivate him, not that she’s inclined to give him the time of the day. With his reputation preceding him, he knows the odds are badly stacked against him, but he will do his best to prove her that he’s what she needs, stuck-up socialite grandmothers, doomsday preppers, groupies, pregnancy hormones, and repentant biological dads be damned.
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To The Max Excerpt:
“Okay, spit it out, Annie,” Holly prompted, tapping at the table. “I’m the dispatcher for the sheriff’s department. Whatever it is, I’m sure I’ve heard worse. Although, if memory serves, Ben switching teams on you was a DEFCON3 emergency. I truly have no clue what possible planetary disaster DEFCON1 could refer to.”
Annie glanced around, making sure they were alone in the terrace. Then, trying not to hyperventilate, Annie uttered those two tiny words, the ones that had her freaked out of her ever-loving mind.
Holly, Christy, and Sophie gaped at her, totally shocked. Thank God they’d been sitting; otherwise her friends’ behinds would have had very close encounters with the floor.
“Definitely DEFCON1,” Christy mumbled and Sophie assented.
“Pregnant? What do you mean pregnant?” Holly asked, sounding stupefied.
“Pregnant,” Annie choked out. “As in knocked up.”
“How? When? Who?” Then, before Annie could answer, not that she was too eager to answer anyway, Holly continued, “Please don’t tell me it’s Steven’s.”
At least there was that: a positive side of this whole mess she hadn’t thought of. “Eww. You nuts? I didn’t have sex with Steven.”
Her friends let out a collective sigh of relief. “Thank God,” Holly muttered.
Annie had been about to chide them for even thinking she’d had sex with Steven after just two dates, but she saw the irony in her predicament and decided to bite her tongue.
“If it isn’t his, then…?” Christy asked, motioning with her hand for Annie to go on.
Annie cleared her throat. “Remember the StudsRus.com gala a while back?” she said with a grimace. “The nice Italian escort I met there? Luigi?”
Annie had attended the yearly gala in Christy’s place. The most prestigious escort agency in Boston had hosted it a month ago at the Ritz Carlton downtown. The girls had managed to buy an invitation for Christy’s birthday, after her vow to get professionally laid, but once Cole had heard about it, he’d put a damper to the whole plan. So they had drawn straws, and surprise, surprise, Annie had won.
“You’re shitting us,” Sophie said.
Annie shook her head. No, she wasn’t shitting them. She wished she were, but she wasn’t.
It had been a great night. Magical, with all the candlelight, the unending flow of expensive champagne, and the great company. That it was a masquerade ball had also added an extra layer of magic and privacy that had been exhilarating.
Apparently StudsRus.com’s escorts were highly sought after. They traveled all over the country accompanying clients, some of them very powerful people, to high-profile events. They were not only gorgeous; they were extremely well educated and charming. One of the escorts she’d met that night was a dark-haired, handsome man by the name of Luigi. One thing led to another, and she most definitely had not ended up hiding in the bathroom.
Holly cursed. “What about the whole stash of condoms I put in your purse? Didn’t you think of using them?”
“I used condoms; I swear I did.”
“How exactly did you use them, sweetheart?”
“What do you mean, how did I use them? How does anyone use condoms? Are there so many different ways of using them?” Annie asked, out of breath, her tone of voice rising. She was freaking out. Big-time. But all in all, she thought she was entitled to. “I certainly didn’t put them on my head as new-age hats.”
“Did it break?”
She shook her head. If it had, she would have gotten the morning-after pill, and she wouldn’t currently be about to pass out.
“Are you sure it’s not a false alarm?” Sophie asked, trying to calm her down.
“No false alarm. Five peed-on sticks and two blood tests confirm it. I’m pregnant up to my eyeballs,” Annie said as she, very ineffectively, fanned herself with a napkin. Damn hot flashes. Before she found out about the pregnancy, she’d been having so many of them, she’d even considered going to the doctor to make sure she hadn’t entered some sort of freaky early menopause. Wouldn’t that have been a laugh.
“How did this happen?” Holly asked.
Sophie waved at her. “The usual way?”
“Not helping, sweetie.” Holly chastised Sophie with a look and then turned to Annie. “If you used condoms, how did you get pregnant?”
And here was where it got embarrassing. “It seems there’s an infinitesimal chance of getting knocked up if you start rolling the condom on, realize it’s inside out, and then turn it the right way. Drops of precum get onto the outside of the condom, and voilà, if the semen is of quality and has great mobility, you’re in deep shit.” Annie looked at them, fidgeting. “I was a bit nervous, and there wasn’t too much light…”
She should have left the logistical details to the pro.
All the head shaking she’d done when women in her office got pregnant out of carelessness, and look at her: knocked up on a technicality.
Sophie whistled. “Wow, some super-duper power sperm those studs have, huh?”
“Tell me about it,” Annie muttered.
“Could it be someone else’s?” Christy asked.
“It’s either Luigi’s or an immaculate conception.”
Meet Elle Aycart:
After a colorful array of jobs all over Europe ranging from translator to chocolatier to travel agent to sushi chef to flight dispatcher, Elle Aycart is certain of one thing and one thing only: aside from writing romances, she has abso-frigging-lutely no clue what she wants to do when she grows up. Not that it stops her from trying all sorts of crazy stuff. While she is probably now thinking of a new profession, her head never stops churning new plots for her romances. She lives currently in Barcelona, Spain, with her husband and two daughters, although who knows, in no time she could be living at the Arctic Circle in Finland, breeding reindeer.
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