Monday, June 20, 2022

Excerpt Spotlight & Giveaway ~ REASONS WHY NOT TO DATE PUBLIC ENEMY CEO by Melanie Munton

Reasons Why Not to Date Public Enemy CEO (Shell Grove, #1)
by: Melanie Munton
Series: Shell Grove
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Release Date: June 21, 2022

What happens when the most hated man in town goes after everyone’s favorite girl-next-door?

Reason #1: Big, bad CEO Aiden Beaumont wears his grumpy mask every day like a badge of honor. Mia Sparks wants nothing more than to honk his nose or throw a pie in his face, à la The Three Stooges, just to see if he’s capable of smiling. Unfortunately, she can’t. Because he’s technically her boss, and she’d like to keep her gig at the new five-star beach resort for longer than two weeks.

Reason #2: Everyone in her small hometown of Shell Grove, SC hates the man. He brought big business to their little beach town, and as far as her fellow citizens are concerned, that makes him the devil incarnate. But he won’t be staying forever, which works for Mia. She doesn’t go for the flashy city types anyway. She’s quite happy living her quiet life in Shell Grove. The faster the cranky—albeit stupidly hot—CEO is out of her life, the better.

Reason #3: Every time Aiden frowns at her, it hits her like a thousand-watt smile. He has a language all his own, and it’s starting to make way too much sense to her. She can’t avoid him in a town the size of a postage stamp, and it finally hits her that…she doesn’t want to escape him. This always-irritated, too-serious businessman couldn’t possibly be the stable safe haven she’s been looking for. Could he?

Aiden knows there’s a million and one reasons to stay away from the sugary sweet Mia. But who runs away from sunshine after living their entire life in a secluded cave? And when someone from her past unexpectedly emerges and tries to drive a wedge between the two of them? All bets are off. Aiden has never lost a fight in the boardroom, and he’s not about to lose the fight for the woman he wants to deserve. He just has to prove to her that he’s not the PUBLIC ENEMY CEO everyone thinks he is.


“All players place your bets,” the dealer announced.

“This seat taken?”

Mia knocked over her stack of chips at the proximity of that growl.

God bless the US of Aiden.

Craning her neck, her gaze instantly clashed with her boss’s. But not before it took a cursory glance down his shredded body in that precisely tailored tux. As if he wasn’t devastating enough in those crisp suits he wore every day, he had to go and drop all the panties in the room by sporting a getup that made him even yummier than James Bond himself.

His devilish grin said don’t worry, baby, it’s real easy to take off.

Or maybe that was her own libido talking. Which incidentally, was blazing to life like the town bonfire on the Fourth of July.

“Good evening, Ms. Sparks.”

That voice curled around her like the aromatic notes of decadence drifting out from a gourmet kitchen. “Evening, Mr. Beaumont.”

For all that’s holy, talk normally. Not like a porn star.

He briefly paused at the breathy quality to her voice before taking the seat to her left. He and the dealer nodded to each other as Mr. Beaumont threw out his bet. Mia scooted her chips forward, placing her much smaller bet. All of a sudden, she was nervous. It didn’t help that it felt like her pink clam was going to peek out the bottom of her short dress at any moment.

“Are you having a good time?” Mr. Beaumont asked as the dealer passed out each player’s first card.

Mia re-crossed her legs under the table when she felt a distinct thrum down in the region of her coochie. “Wonderful. You?”

“I guess we’ll see by the end of this hand.”

She smiled at that. He seemed to be in one of his slightly less cranky moods. If this was his version of laidback, she’d hate to see what an actual vacation looked like for him.

“You know, there are two different categories of blackjack players out there,” he mused, watching the dealer while speaking to her. “There’s the play-it-safers and the risk takers.”

The dealer finished distributing each player’s two cards, leaving Mia with the king of hearts and a five of diamonds, giving her a score of fifteen. Mr. Beaumont had an ace and a six, which would give him a score of either seven or seventeen.

As the dealer started with Ernie and Jewel, waiting to hear whether they would hit or stay, Mr. Beaumont propped his elbows on the table and turned to Mia. “Which one are you, Ms. Sparks?”

Normally, she was a play-it-safer all the way. The only occurrences she was ever a risk taker were when she had Maggie by her side, cheering her on. But why did she always need Maggie to help her throw caution to the wind? She was capable of raising her own sails and taking on open waters by herself. What was stopping her?

When the dealer turned to her, Mia kept her gaze trained on the man whose face she’d fallen asleep to nearly every night for the past two weeks. “Hit.”

Mr. Beaumont’s eyes gleamed with approval.

The dealer turned over her card, revealing the six of clubs. “Blackjack.”

As pleased as Mia was with her prize for leaping instead of lying down, that feeling didn’t begin to match her absolute joy at being the recipient of the first real, open-mouthed smile she’d ever seen from Mr. Beaumont. It was…exuberant.

“See? Sometimes risk yields the sweetest reward.”

Instead of standing with his seventeen, he hit for another card, which Mia couldn’t say she would have done. The dealer flipped over his card, revealing the five of spades, bringing his score to twenty-two.

Everyone around the table sucked in breaths, wincing in sympathy.

But he merely shrugged. “And sometimes you’re just left with shit.”

Mia tipped her head back and laughed. Boisterously, with her entire body. And damn, it felt amazing.

For all of his begrudging frowns and terse words, he did something to Mia whenever he was in her orbit. It was like she became hyperaware of every molecule, every atom, inside her body and especially, of the way they reacted to his presence. If she didn’t know better, she would say all the cells in her body had somehow become magnetized, and Mr. Beaumont was the ferromagnetic material they were drawn toward. Even if he irritated her at times, she still felt a kind of static electricity humming around her that never seemed to spark around anyone else. Even when she was having fun with her friends, no sensation she’d ever encountered came close to what she felt around this man.

Her body just…buzzed…around him.

“When was the last time you took a big risk?” she asked, collecting the chips she’d won. “Other than that hand, of course.”

He didn’t smile again, like she half expected him to. Instead, his expression sobered, his eyes filling with…resignation, maybe? He took a healthy pull of his scotch before answering. “Showing my face here tonight.”

Her grin slipped away and got absorbed by the depth of his sandy bottom eyes. Funny, because the color reminded her of shallow ocean waters, just near the shoreline. Not the rich navy blue in the middle of the sea. She suspected that much like the ocean itself, his eyes reflected the life teeming inside him. But he banked it for some reason, closed himself off to it.

“Then why did you come?”

His gaze ran over her hair, her eyes, her lips. “You said you’d be here.”

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Melanie grew up in the Midwest, but she loves living in the Southeast (where the beaches are!) now with her husband and daughter.

Melanie’s other passion is traveling and seeing the world. With anthropology degrees under their belts, she and her husband have made it their goal in life to see as many archaeological sites around the world as possible.

She has a horrible food addiction to pasta and candy (not together…ew). And she gets sad when her wine rack is empty.

At the end of the day, she is a true romantic at heart. She loves writing the cheesy and corny of romantic comedies, and the sassy and sexy of suspense. She aims to make her readers swoon, laugh out loud, maybe sweat a little, and above all, fall in love.

Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects!

Places to find Melanie Munton:

You can follow the Reasons Why Not to Date Public Enemy CEO here.

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12 comments:

  1. I love the excerpt. This book sounds like it will be a great read.

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  2. Congratulations on tomorrow's release of Reasons Why Not to Date Public Enemy CEO, Melanie, I enjoyed the excerpt and your book sounds like a delightful and fun read for me! Good luck with your book and the tour! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular week!

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  3. Thanks for hosting today, Kim!

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  4. Sounds like a good story. The cover is really cute!

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  5. The cover is really cute, this sounds like a great book

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  6. I love this genre along with the title and cover!
    Thank you for sharing this.

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  7. The book sounds like a wonderful read. Love the cover!

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