This is my stop during the book blitz for Winner Takes All by Laurie Winter. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 21 till 27 January. See the tour schedule here.
Storm Thompson wants to be anywhere but Liberty Ridge. Especially since his hometown also contains his childhood nemesis, Colleen Gardner. With a young daughter and mentally ill mother to care for, he struggles to simply make ends meet. Every day, his goal of owning an organic farm slips further out of reach.
Psychiatrist Colleen Gardner has her sights set on starting a retreat to help veterans suffering from PTSD. She’s done well but her small town fundraisers just aren’t enough.
“The Great American Scavenger Hunt” TV show offers a million-dollar prize, and Colleen and Storm are selected as competitors. Both resolve to do whatever is needed to win, even using the other to get ahead. Storm and Colleen compete to fund their dreams, but their already tattered relationship becomes more strained. Only one will win the money. But will love prove the ultimate prize?
You can find Winner Takes All on Goodreads
Storm placed on arm around Colleen’s waist and pulled her close. His other hand smoothed back the strands of hair on her face. She was soft and warm, and smelled as good as he remembered.
Their bodies swayed with the strong beat of the music.
“Just can’t shake loose these chains and things.” The singer’s soulful voice echoed off the walls.
Colleen swung her hips and dipped low. Her face lifted with the seductive curve of her lips.
She played with him, and at that moment, he didn’t care. He didn’t give thought to the camera man standing in the corner, recording their dance. The music had cast a spell, like a snake charmer’s flute for a cobra. He couldn’t take his gaze off Colleen and the way her body moved with his.
Her hand moved to the back of his neck and fingered the curls of his hair. “Why didn’t I see it sooner?” she whispered. Her other hand rose until it rested on his shoulder and caressed the muscles lying just beneath the thin fabric of his shirt.
“See what?” He swallowed hard.
“You…the man you’d become.”
Storm shivered under her light touch. “I may have grown up, but I can’t forget what you did the night before graduation.”
“I know.” She closed her eyes and rested her head on his chest. “I’ll never forgive myself for what happened at the party. I didn’t know they’d be so cruel. I’m sorry, Storm.”
Memories of the worst night of his life washed over him. Colleen had taken part, exploiting his teenage hormones to lure him to a private spot. Once she’d left, members of the varsity football team took care of the rest. They tied him to the tree and took turns pounding his gangly, teenage body until he passed out.
Was she aware of the true extent of what happened? That he spent all night in the cold and bleeding? The rope cut so tight into his wrists, he’d spent painful hours working to get free. Remembering the pain, he shivered. No use thinking about high school. Now, he was a grown man and a father of a wonderful girl. And he had a competition to win.
The song ended, and so did Storm’s chain of thought.
Colleen hurried toward the bar to take the envelope from the bartender’s hand.
Once he regained his focus, he followed.
Another contestant darted inside.
Darn. His pulse and pace quickened with renewed urgency. As he exited the bar, Storm ripped open the envelope.
You might be familiar with the never-ending party that is New Orleans, but this state offers another kind of wildlife. Outside the city of Lake Charles, the Gator Bayou Tour Company awaits your arrival. Hours of operation: nine am to five pm. Rent a kayak and paddle through the bayou in search of alligators. Use your digital camera to take pictures of three different alligators. Then head back to the docks to find Cajun Jim. He will provide your next clue.
He sprinted back to his vehicle and drove away, not waiting for Colleen, who couldn’t run at his speed. Putting distance between them was imperative. She’d gotten under his skin—like a tick. A pesky, annoying, dangerous, but breathtakingly beautiful tick.
About the Author:
Laurie Winter is a true warrior of the heart. Inspired by her dreams, she creates authentic characters who overcome the odds and find true love. She keeps her life balanced with regular yoga practice and running. When not pounding the pavement or the keyboard, she’s enjoying time with her family, who are scattered between Wisconsin and Michigan. Laurie has three kids and one fantastic husband, all who inspire her to chase her dreams.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Winner Takes All. One winner will win a prize package (US Only). The prize package includes: a Tea, Books, Magic mug, a Romance Trope scented soy candle, and a $25 Amazon gift card.
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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