Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Heroine Profile, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ A CHRISTMAS RENDEZVOUS by Karen Booth


A Christmas Rendezvous (The Eden Empire, #4)
by: Karen Booth
Series: The Eden Empire
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Amazon | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Goodreads

On her second run-in with her one-night stand,
they go from the bedroom to the war room!


It’s bad enough that high-powered attorney Isabel Blackwell is spending her Christmas on a high-stakes case. Then she discovers she’s up against the man who took her breath away one very special night. As a litigator, Jeremy Sharp shouldn’t be underestimated, but as lovers, Jeremy and Isabel can’t resist another rendezvous. Will this duel mean playing to win—or playing for keeps?

Name: Isabel Blackwell

Age: 38

Date of birth: January 3

Physical Description: Tall and a little skinny, with sleek black hair and brown eyes.

Occupation: Attorney

3 likes in no particular order: Naps, cats, and donuts

3 dislikes in no particular order: Fake people, disloyalty, and black licorice

Drink of choice: Gin & Tonic with 2 limes

Favorite food: Pasta! Any kind. Doesn’t matter.

Favorite dessert: Cannoli. Which is basically like pasta, but fried, with a creamy filling.

Favorite song: “At Last” by Etta James. It’s so sexy and romantic.

Favorite color: Pink, but black is a close second. I have a lot of black clothes.

Favorite way to spend an evening: Something low-key. A nice meal, then sitting in front of a fire, reading a book with a cat curled up on my lap.

Best memory to date: The day my brother admitted to me that he’d fallen in love with Mindy Eden, the woman who is now his wife. I never thought he’d let it happen. His happiness is my happiness. Although I do enjoy having some of my own.

If you could have a do-over, what would you do differently? I would have led my legal career in a different direction from the very beginning, pursuing something that was for the greater good of the world.

Is it possible to survive tragedy and find happiness again? My brother and I are direct evidence that it’s perfectly possible. We lost both of our parents in a short period of time and it was incredibly difficult.

What’s something you’ve said you would never do, but in fact have done? Covered up unsavory actions by wealthy clients. I don’t do that anymore, but I did once allow myself to wade into those waters. I regret it.

Most romantic gesture experienced: Jeremy telling me he wanted to keep the kittens. The man once disliked cats, so it was a big sign to me that he’d warmed to everything I brought into his life.

Words to live by: Love is the only thing that ever truly saves anyone.

Jeremy flagged down the bartender and was back with her drink in a few minutes. He sat next to her, his warm scent settling over her. It was both woodsy and citrusy, conjuring visions of a romantic fire crackling away. “So, tell me about yourself. What do you do?”

She had to make a choice right then and there as to how this night was going to go. Either they would do the same old getting-to-know-you routine that every man and woman who have just met must seemingly pursue, or they would head in a different direction. Coming to New York was supposed to be a fresh start for Isabel and she intended to follow through on that. She would not cling to old habits. She would try something new.

She reached out and set her hand on Jeremy’s, which was resting on the tabletop. “I vote that we don’t talk about work. At all. I don’t think we should talk about where we went to school or who we used to date or how many important people we know.”

Jeremy’s eyes darkened, but there was a spark behind them—a mischievous glint. He was, at the very least, intrigued. “Okay, then. What do you want to talk about?”

She stirred her drink, not letting go of his hand. She loved that they already had this unspoken familiarity. Like they understood each other, and so soon after meeting each other. “I don’t know. A little brutal honesty between strangers?”

He laughed and turned his hand until their palms were flat against each other. He clasped his fingers around hers. How that one touch could convey so much, she wasn’t sure, but excitement bubbled up inside her so fast she thought she might pop like a cork from a champagne bottle. It was as if she’d been in a deep sleep and her entire body had rattled back to life. She wasn’t the sort of woman who pinned a lot of hope on a man, but she found herself wondering where this might go.

“Like truth or dare, but just the truth part?” he asked.

Isabel swallowed hard, but did her best to convey cool. “Oh, no. I never said I wasn’t up for a dare.”

*

Jeremy was so tempted to dare Isabel to kiss him, he had to issue himself a mental warning: Slow down, buddy. He was essentially fearless, but he wasn’t the guy to make leaps with a woman. Not anymore. He greatly enjoyed their company, but he’d been burned badly by a toxic marriage and the hellish divorce that followed. Since then, he’d learned to employ caution, but he did occasionally need to remind himself.

Still, he didn’t want to waste his evening ruminating on his past mistakes. Not now. Not when he was sitting with Isabel, a woman who made him want to employ zero restraint. She was not only a captivating beauty, with sleek black hair framing a flawless complexion and warm brown eyes; she had a demeanor unlike any he’d ever encountered, from anyone—man or woman. What person goes to a bar in pale pink silk pajamas and matching robe and seems wholly comfortable? And the bit about not trying to impress each other? That was like a breath of fresh air. If he had to start talking about his job, he’d just get stressed. Especially after the meeting he’d had in this very bar an hour ago.

“I’m afraid I haven’t played truth or dare since I was a teenager,” he admitted.

“Me neither. And almost all of the dares seemed to involve kissing.”

It was as if she’d read his mind.

“But we aren’t teenagers anymore, are we?” she added.

“Not me. I turned forty this year.” Jeremy cleared his throat, struggling to keep up with her. He was usually laser-focused on a retort. As a lawyer, he got plenty of practice. “Okay, then. Tell me something almost nobody knows about you.”

She smiled cleverly, stirring her drink. “That could take all night. I have lots of secrets.” She bent her neck to one side and absentmindedly traced her delicate fingers along her collarbone.

The first secret Jeremy wanted to know was what was under those pajamas. He wanted to know who was under there—what Isabel would kiss like. What her touch would be like, what it would be like to have her naked form pressed against his. “How about three things I need to know about you? As a person. Three things you believe in.”

She twisted up her beautiful lips, seeming deep in thought. “Okay. I believe that there is no good reason to lie, but that doesn’t mean you have to confess everything. I believe that a good nap will cure most problems. And I believe that love is ultimately the only thing that ever saves anyone.”

“Really?” Jeremy found that last part a bit too sunny and optimistic, but then again, he had his reasons for rolling his eyes at love.

“Like I said, a little brutal honesty between strangers. I have no reason to be anything less than ridiculously open and bare my soul.”

“You’re a therapist, aren’t you? One of those people you pay hundreds of dollars an hour to, just so you can reveal the most humiliating things you’ve ever done.”

She shook her head. “Hey. That’s against the rules. We said we weren’t going to talk about work.”

“So I’m right. You are a therapist.”

“No, you aren’t right.” She flashed her wide, warm eyes at him. “You aren’t wrong, either.”

Purchase A Christmas Rendezvous from:

The Eden Empire Series:

A Christmas Temptation ~ Review
A Cinderella Seduction ~ Review
A Bet with Benefits ~ Review
* A Christmas Rendezvous ~ Review *

** You can read my interview with Sam Blackwell here. **

Karen Booth is a midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ’80s music and repeated readings of Forever by Judy Blume. Karen writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction, almost always about the dreamy guy you’d never thought you’d get. Her stories are full of breathless kisses, tearjerker moments, family dynamics, and more than a few things she’s glad her grandmother never read.

When she’s not creating hunky fictional men and the women who test them, she’s listening to everything from Otis Redding to Duran Duran to Superchunk with her college-age kids, honing her Southern cooking skills (she makes some mean collards), or sweet-talking her astoundingly supportive husband into whipping up a batch of cocktails.

Karen is co-founder of the 3000+ member Seasoned Romance Facebook group, devoted to the promotion of romance with characters 35+. She has been a finalist for RT Magazine’s Series Romance of the Year, RT Magazine’s Gold Seal of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award (NERFA), and the Booksellers’ Best Award. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages.

Places to find Karen Booth:


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16 comments:

  1. Enemies to lovers is one my favorite tropes. These novels usually have a lot of witty repartee and tension.

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  2. I think enemies to romance is a fun genre. And, I already like Isabel. I also like cats, naps, donuts, pasta and my favorite color is pink.
    This part also caught my attention because my husband wasn't a cat person when we met, but now he loves them as much as I do:
    Most romantic gesture experienced: Jeremy telling me he wanted to keep the kittens. The man once disliked cats, so it was a big sign to me that he’d warmed to everything I brought into his life.

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    Replies
    1. There is SO much to LOVE about this story!

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  3. I really love the enemies to lovers....I keep waiting for something to develop...and it always keeps me so interested! One of my favorites to read!

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  4. Sounds like something I’ll enjoy reading

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  5. Yes, I do read enemies to lovers.

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  6. Enemies to lovers is always fun! I know a few of those and things worked out well!
    digicats {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

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  7. Enemies to lovers is my favorite trope! ❤

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  8. Don't laugh, I've been having a craving to read about those kind of relationships. Not "I'm gonna abuse you until you love me" "oh I love you!", but genuine romantic/sexual tension between a man and a woman on opposite sides. Generally I prefer the protagonist to be female or older (high school drama is not my thing)

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  9. I like them! I like see how the hard shell breaks down over time and they are always interesting.

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  10. It sounds like a book I would enjoy very much!

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  11. I really like them! It makes for a great romance. Thank you

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  12. It makes the passion more real. thank you

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  13. I like it as you never really see it coming.

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  14. Thank you all for entering. The winner has been selected and emailed.

    ReplyDelete

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