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Violence, intrigue and passion are brewing in the craft beer world. When bitter rivals Jennifer Baxter and Sean Garrison meet, the notorious and handsome owner of Garrison Brothers Brewing stays true to form, seducing her at a national brewer’s convention. What Jen doesn’t realize is how much her life will change from just one encounter. Her attempt to debut Brick Street Brewing’s experimental pale ale “Cheeky Blonde” shockingly turns out to be the day her avowed adversary becomes the love of her life.
Sean Garrison arrived at the convention expecting to get down to business, including his stated goal of hiring Jen away from her company. But the beautiful fellow craft beer expert provides more of a distraction than he expected, and his priorities quickly change. As Sean tries to prove that he can be more than just Jen’s competition, they finally unite to solve the sabotage mysteries at their fellow breweries. Shocked by depths of shared emotion, they battle the forces keeping them apart and wreaking havoc in the brewing world, before fate deals them a final blow.
Jen spun around. Sean Garrison sat perched on a table, elbows on denim-clad knees. He leveled a stare at her. Air from the downstairs cold storage streamed across the floor between them, chilling her from the ankles up.
She stumbled back, sending a stack of empty stainless steel beer kegs clanging to the floor. Mortified, she jumped from the mess then shuddered when she sensed him close enough to touch her. Shoulders squared, she faced him and choked back the urge to reach out to the man standing within kissing distance, if only to run a fingertip along his just-rolled-out-of-bed stubbled jaw.
“Well, as I live and breathe, Sean Garrison knows who I am, and if I’m not mistaken, has stalked me down to the ladies’ room.” She pulled her hair out of its band and let it flow around her shoulders. “Should I sound an alarm?”
He chuckled, bringing chills to her entire body. She crossed her arms, trying not to clutch at her elbows and give away her anxiety. In one step, he was close enough to put his empty, still-cool glass against the skin of her arm. She flushed, irritated at her reaction to him. She was conscious of his body’s heat, the subtle hint of his cologne tinged with the familiar odors of beer. When she leaned back to look into his eyes, their bright blue depths startled her.
“Oh, um, well, I mean, thanks—you know for the earlier compliment.” She cursed herself.
His other hand traced a line down her arm. She gritted her teeth against the urge to sigh with satisfaction. Someone stomped on the floor above her head and laughter roared through the whole place, a not-so-subtle reminder that a party was going on upstairs. But at this moment, the universe had shrunk to the two of them.
“Sure,” he said, his lips once again too close for comfort. His fingers grazed her skin again, the touch zinging straight to her panties. She’d not had such a reaction to a man in years. She fought the urge to shove him away and run up the steps. Mainly because what she really wanted was for him to keep doing what he was doing.
“No need to be alarmed,” he said, suddenly backing away. “Wanted to make sure I paid my respects to the new queen of beer marketing before you left.”
“I suppose this is where I’m supposed to say something that sucks up to the emperor?”
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Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town. Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. When she isn’t sweating beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn’t any decent European football on the telly.
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