by Gemma Brocato
Five Senses Book Four
With the right amount of nurturing, love will bloom.
This close to Valentine’s Day Malin Eckert’s flower shop is entering their busiest season. As if the added work isn’t enough, her father’s drinking has spiraled out of control, and Mal discovers she’s been named guardian of a fifteen-year-old sibling she never knew about. To make matters worse, Mal’s crushing on a customer, a serial dater who drops by the shop with alarming regularity to send flowers to other women.
Gunnar Sims never had the best luck with women, a fact that doesn’t stop his growing attraction to his florist. His new business is losing money and he should be concentrating on that, but instead finds Mal an enticing distraction.
In spite of her best intentions to keep Gunnar firmly in the friend zone, Mal finds herself falling for the classically handsome gym owner. As her affection for Gunnar and her sister, Gabriella, grows, Mal’s heart hangs in the balance when it appears both could be taken away from her.
Content Warning: Hard bodies, spoiled princesses, and a levelheaded woman who knows how to smell the roses.
Genre: Contemporary RomanceBed Of Roses Purchase links: Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Florist, Health Club, Personal Trainer, Small Town
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Excerpt, Other series books & More
Bed Of Roses Excerpt:
Gunnar laughed and tugged her closer. Turning her face up, she met his gaze. His eyelids swept down to her lips an instant before his mouth descended. It was a fast peck, something friends exchange, a gesture of greeting or parting. It didn’t matter. With the first brush of his lips, desire flared. She’d like to pretend the heat between them was the warm, gentle glow of friendship, or because their fingers were still laced together. But she’d be lying to herself. The kiss had created tingles of passion she couldn’t ignore.
Leaning away, Gunnar didn’t release her hand. Surprise filled his eyes. He opened his mouth to say something then snapped it shut again. Giving a slight shake of his head, the corners of his mouth quirked up, and he pressed another kiss to her cheek and squeezed her close. “You got this. I watched you deal with Mrs. Aubrey-Smith. You can handle a moody teenager.”
When her chest collided with his, heat spread from her breasts down her stomach until the sensation lodged between her legs, hotter than a humid, steamy greenhouse.
It was getting harder and harder to keep this beguiling, intriguing man in the friend zone.
Bed Of Roses Purchase links: Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
by Gemma Brocato
Five Senses Book Three
They walked through the shadows individually. Will they emerge into the light together?
Leading a vagabond life as a curator for a traveling photography exhibit translates to a lot of bad days for Rikki Salerno. But her trouble doubles when a careless high school student shoves her into a marsh. Being rescued by teacher Sam Kerrigan should have made things better, but Rikki’s inability to confess her true identity casts a shadow over their budding affair.
When Sam refuses an overly aggressive parent’s marriage proposal, she’s determined to ruin him. Not only does she doctor photos to make it look like Sam’s behaved inappropriately in front of students, she hacks the foundation website to reveal Rikki’s true identity. Faster than the blink of a shutter, Rikki’s focus changes from pursuing her full-color future to the black and white necessity of clearing Sam’s name.
Genre: Contemporary RomanceExposed To Passion Purchase links: Amazon ARe iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Photography, Art, Teaching, Bullying, Small Town
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Publisher: Kensington/Lyrical Press
Exposed To Passion Excerpt:
The laughter she’d tried so hard to trap inside leaked out. The musical chuckle curled around his brain like a shot of twelve-year-old Scotch, heady, intoxicating. Sam trained his eyes on her hands as she picked up the remnants of their picnic, neatly tucking the trash back into the white paper sack. He imagined her raking her fingernails down his back to his—
Jesus! He had to quit thinking like that. At his strangled grunt, she cocked her head to the side, looking expectantly at him while wiping her elegant fingers on a napkin.
He dragged his gaze away from her hands and cleared his throat. “Um…actually, I do have a second job. I work with my brother, Jack, in a construction and remodeling business. I have mad skills with a hammer.”
“That’s handy. Would you mind looking over the new layout my grand—uh, Silas sent for the exhibit? When I look at it, I only see budget overruns.” She nudged a folder toward him with toes tipped in cobalt polish.
Sam reached out to grab the file, brushing tips of his fingers across the top of her foot in the process. Her skin was cool, but heat shot through him like a flaming arrow. He sucked in a quick breath, sat up, and pulled the drawing onto his lap, masking the erection springing to life as best he could. Looking at the schematic was almost as good as running algebraic equations in his head as a distraction. He needed to get himself under control. Like cold-shower control. He cleared his throat again and focused on the lines of the drawing.
After perusing it for a minute, he lifted his head and glanced around the museum, assessing the architectural details and building design. No small wonder Rikki saw dollar signs.
“This is going to take a lot of material and time to accomplish. You’re looking at building ten…no, twelve panels to fulfill the requirements.” He jumped to his feet and walked around the perimeter of the room. “The good news… In its current configuration the space will make build-out easy. The bad news is the panels will have to be anchored into the wall. Once the exhibit is over, you’ll need to build them again for the next museum.”
Rikki frowned. “I’d hoped to have a way to make them modular, so the panels could travel with me.”
Sam squatted next to the red checked tablecloth, laying the drawing on top of Rikki’s legs. “How much flexibility do you have? With the layout, I mean.”
“Well, it is Silas Sims, so I’m going to say, um…zero. But don’t let that stop you. What did you have in mind?”
“Let me show you.” Reaching across her, he grabbed her notebook. Pulling back, the spicy scent he’d begun to identify as uniquely hers invaded his brain. He fumbled the book, barely keeping it from slipping through his fingers. He cleared his throat again, dropped to his rump, and started sketching out his idea. She peered over the top of the paper, an anticipatory smile on her lips as he worked. Damn, her perfume was distracting.
“Building panels you can move with the exhibit will be pricey. The trade-off is that even though the initial cost will be higher, the total expense over the life of the exhibit will ultimately be more economical.” He shot a glance at her. “And, if we design them to be free-standing, you won’t incur additional repair costs when you remove the display at the end of the exhibit. The panels go with you.”
“That makes sense,” she said as he continued to sketch. “Can you do that?”
“I’ve seen this type of display unit used in retail shops. Those places change their floor configurations all the time. Jack, my brother, and I remodeled a T-shirt shop last year with pieces similar to this. If we equip the panel with feet, or better yet, locking casters, the configuration can be changed with little effort.” He tossed down the pen and turned the drawing for Rikki to inspect.
“I like the idea,” she said, her attention shifting between the notebook and the museum walls.
A grin spread over her lips, drawing his gaze like a hummingbird to nectar. Her pink tongue made an appearance at the corner of her mouth while she contemplated his suggestion. Sam choked back a groan. Did she know she was killing him?
Rikki pulled Silas’s schematic toward her and scanned it, then shifted her focus toward Sam’s drawing. She trailed her gaze around the room. Letting the papers fall to her lap, she lowered her hand onto Sam’s thigh. Searing heat branded his leg and shot through his tortured body.
“This is brilliant,” she said, her voice vibrating with excitement. Tension he doubted she was aware of, visibly ebbed away.
He didn’t bother to suppress his groan this time, placing his palms on her cheeks, lifting her face. Sam refused to take time for a second thought and pressed his lips against hers. They parted in surprise and he wasted no time in deepening the kiss, his tongue invading her mouth like a Viking marauder, demanding surrender.
Her soft surprised gasp ended when her teeth scraped lightly against his tongue. Running her fingers up his arms, she pulled him closer.
Exposed To Passion Purchase links: Amazon ARe iTunes Kobo B&N
by Gemma Brocato
Five Senses Book 2.5
With their hearts in harmony, tying the knot should be a piece of wedding cake for Pippa Sanders and Clay Mathers.
But Fate’s a nasty mistress. One week before their special day, Pippa narrowly escapes when fire erupts in the ballroom they’d reserved for the ceremony. They’ll have to use every resource at their fingertips to implement Plan B. In this case, B stands for the barn at the Sleepy T Christmas Tree Farm.
Hobbled by a sprained ankle, Pippa is unable to help with the preparations. In spite of the grime accumulated over twenty years, Clay is determined. He promises Pip he’ll transform the barn into an idyllic location for a winter wedding. Plus, he’ll make time to throw in a special surprise.
What Clay doesn’t factor into his plan is the snowstorm bearing down on them. With predictions of up to two feet of snow, will Mother Nature prove too much of an obstacle to overcome?
Genre: Contemporary RomanceA Winter Wedding Purchase links: Amazon
Content/Theme(s): Weddings, Holiday, Small Town
Release Date: November 13, 2014
A Winter Wedding Excerpt:
Clay hated chaos. Always had. But today, the disorganized jumble around him pushed him over the edge of panic. Pippa was somewhere in the mess of emergency vehicles and water hoses. He sprinted around fire engines and police cruisers searching for her, dodging anyone who stepped into his path. When Mom had stumbled into the barn twenty minutes ago, he’d worried she’d been injured, or worse. She’d been breathless by the time she reached him to deliver the message.
Pippa had been in a fire. She was hurt. No one could tell him how badly yet. Dread had seized him by the throat and hadn’t relinquished its harsh grip yet.
Urgency and fear sat hard on his shoulders, whirling around him like hurricane force winds. He stopped in the middle of the confusion of firefighters and construction workers and pivoted in a circle. Desperation pounded behind his breastbone, slamming like a sledgehammer with each beat of his terrified heart.
“Pippa? Spitfire!” he bellowed. “Spitfire, where the fuck are you?”
“Clay Mathers, you watch your language!”
Pippa’s answering shout, even with the chastisement, rang like bells in his ears. He spun in the direction of her voice and found her sitting in the back of an ambulance. Dashing toward her, he leaped over a fat fire hose snaking across the grass near the ornate fountain. He skidded to a stop at her side, knocking an unsuspecting EMT to the ground.
Clay searched Pippa’s face and body to reassure himself her injuries weren’t as severe as what his mind had conjured in the race to her side. Black smudges marred the tender skin under her nose and around her lips. A streak of dried blood trailed down her neck, staining her white T-shirt brownish-red. His breath stuttered when he gently touched the large square of gauze covering the source of the blood. Her pulse pounded scant millimeters from the edge of the bandage. Terror smacked him between the shoulder blades, driving all breath from his lungs. He seized the woman he loved beyond life itself and wrapped her in a fierce embrace. “I was scared I’d lost you this time. God, Pippa, don’t ever do that again.”
A strand of his hair had escaped his normally tidy ponytail during his mad dash to get to her, and she tucked it behind his ear. She smiled, humor lighting her gorgeous blue eyes. “Hey, you big doofus. It’s not like I woke up this morning and asked myself, ‘Hmm, what can I do today to put myself in jeopardy?’ I’ve had enough danger to last a lifetime, thank you very much.”
Her reference to their recent brush with the psychopath who’d held them hostage penetrated the fear fogging his brain. She’d been forced at gunpoint to tie up her children, then him, before she’d been sent to break Crazy Dewey’s kid out of jail.
She still muttered in her sleep about the incident, terrorized by what she’d done when faced with the big-ass gun Dewey had pointed at her kids. Clay’s nightmares were images of the black muzzle of the gun pressed into the vulnerable flesh under her chin. She’d displayed uncommon grace under pressure and a true talent for thinking fast to help them escape. It was during that trying time that he’d first told Pippa of his love for her, and made her promise to marry him.
This was the second harrowing event in two months she’d lived through. Despite her bedraggled appearance, her cheeky grin was heaven to him. He tightened his embrace, cuddling her trembling body tightly against his chest. The rough wool of the damp blanket encasing her shoulder scratched against his palms. “Why are you soaking wet?”
“The sprinklers worked,” she muttered through chattering teeth.
Clay’s stomach clenched painfully when the EMT nudged him to the side and replaced the oxygen mask over Pippa’s mouth and nose. “Keep this on. I heard you wheeze from all the way down there. Hey, Colonel, I’d like to finish wrapping her ankle. Stand back.”
The look Clay shot the man had intimidated five-star generals, but the medic seemed oblivious to it. Holy shit, the dude actually shooed him away like a pesky fly.
He had opened his mouth to tell the guy to fuck off when Pippa laid her hand on his arm, stalling his words.
“Clay, why don’t you park it next to me and let Robert finish his job?” She patted the metal floor of the ambulance invitingly. “Come on, sit here and keep me warm.”
“Christ, Pippa. I’m not one of the kids.” His tone was sullen, like he’d been scolded for something he didn’t do.
“Then don’t act like one.”
Heat flushed into his cheeks at her soft words. She was right. He scooted a half step to the left to make room for the man to work. Pippa winced when the EMT took her ankle in his hand, mumbling an apology. Shivers wracked her body. Clay shrugged his heavy canvas coat off and draped it around her, then plopped down and crowded in close, lending her his body heat.
“What happened?” he asked.
She lifted a hand to the oxygen mask, but dropped it again when the medic shook his head. “Malin and I were discussing flowers and bands when the room started filling with smoke. Next thing we knew, flames were licking across the ceiling and the sprinkler heads busted open. We tried to leave through the hallway but there was too much smoke. Then the service entrance in the kitchen was padlocked. To make matters worse, I rolled my ankle.”
Clay’s stomach flipped. They’d been trapped. Only the knowledge she was safe in his arms made it possible to hold onto his lunch. “Who do I need to thank for saving you?”
The EMT snorted. “According to Malin Eckert, even with a messed up ankle, this lady saved them both. She swung a chair through one of the patio doors.”
Respect and admiration beamed on the guy’s face as he gently wrapped her injured limb with stretchy tape. Clay scowled at him. The ambulance attendant had no business looking at Clay’s fiancée that way.
The scowl didn’t faze the man. “That must have hurt. No way could you have broken through those doors with your weight on just one leg. Those mullions are made of lead.”
Pippa tsked at him. “Old lead. It was nothing.”
“Pippa Sanders, quit trying to pass off a compliment.” Malin joined them, a navy blue blanket wrapped around her shoulders. Hugging Clay when he leaped from his perch next to Pip, Mal said, “I don’t know if I’d have made it out if Pippa hadn’t been there. She was cool and calm the whole time. I owe her my life.”
“Mal, you’d have been fine. Better probably, if you hadn’t needed to drag me around.” The oxygen mask muffled her words, but her smile was unmistakable.
“I considered ditching you once the temperature in the room started rising. But then I thought, no, better not,” Malin teased, a grin stretched wide across her face.
They had been close enough to the fire to feel the heat? Clay sank onto the step of the ambulance, resisting the urge to puke. He lowered his head between his knees until the dizzy wave of fright passed.
A Winter Wedding Purchase links: Amazon
by Gemma Brocato
Five Senses Book Two
Sometimes life’s most simple melodies become songs of love.
Pippa Sanders’ life is filled with songs of leaving, longing and loneliness. Since the death of her husband, her children have been her world. She’ll do anything to protect them, including encasing her heart in ice until they’re college age. She’s made a practice of shying away from any relationship that could break her heart when it ends. And it’s worked so far.
Clay Mathers has made a temporary move to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts to help with his mother’s Christmas tree farm while she recovers from a stroke. Although his long-range plans don’t include staying in the small town, a little female companionship during his short residency would be welcome. While on duty as sentry against protestors at a military funeral, he finds Pippa visiting her husband’s grave, and begins a campaign to make her into a friend–with benefits.
What starts as a simple affair evolves to something more, something that changes the soundtracks of both their lives…the beating of two hearts in harmony.
Content Warning: Contains strong language, hot sex and a spicy hero.
Genre: Contemporary RomanceHearts In Harmony Purchase links: Amazon ARe iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Music Therapy, Military, Mystery, Hate Group, Small Town, Christmas tree farm
Release Date: May 5, 2014
Publisher: Kensington/Lyrical Press
Hearts In Harmony Excerpt:
“You! Hello again,” she said, clutching the bag in front of her like a shield.
So, she did remember him. But why the hell was she acting nervous? Clay didn’t like that one bit.
“Yeah, me again. I’m glad to see you. Were you looking for me?”
“Oh, God no!” she exclaimed, the words deflating him. Why the fuck wasn’t she there for him? Oh, yeah, because of the dead man. Delicate pink rushed into her cheeks. “Uh, no. My son left his books here today. He was on a field trip with school. I didn’t mean to bother you, but the other man left the backpack on the porch.”
She had a son. That was a bit of a surprise. Clay gestured toward the ornately decorated box near the rocker. “My mom’s idea. The school kids leave stuff behind all the time.”
“Yeah, that’s the way those youngsters are. Always forgetting things. Good thing they have mothers who are willing to run out and fetch for them.”
“Yeah, a good thing.” He smiled and changed the subject. “I thought you might be here looking for some company for a trip to the cemetery.”
She stilled when he reminded her of their first meeting. She was a tall woman, with legs underneath a khaki skirt that looked like they’d never end. Normally Clay found himself stooping to kiss women, so her height impressed him. He knew from their meeting yesterday that she fit nicely under his chin. She drew her slender frame even taller while he stared at her.
“Not likely. That kind of company I don’t need. Dewey was bad, but when you showed up, things looked like they might be getting worse when you grabbed me.”
“Hey, I was just trying to prove a point. You shouldn’t have been there alone at dusk.”
She pushed her dark brown hair back from her forehead, tucking the short breeze-blown curls behind her ear. “Point taken. And given the circumstances, I managed, didn’t I?”
He’d made her angry again, but it was worth it. The fire snapping in her eyes was nearly mesmerizing. “This time. But if a man is intent on getting his way, don’t think a little kick in the knee will make a difference. Especially when the woman is as pretty as you.”
“Well, if I ever feel the need to have a big strong he-man stand by my side beating his chest, I’ll give you a call.” From her tone, Clay wasn’t sure if she was flattered or still ticked off. “But you shouldn’t hold your breath.”
Yeah, he was going to have to go with ticked. He thought he’d just paid her a compliment. Obviously, she didn’t take it that way. He laughed, hoping to ease the tension he’d created with his words. “He-man. I like that. Seriously though, I’ve heard the Battalion rank and file has been getting violent at some of the protests. There have even been rumors that the protesters plan to send a big message soon. You don’t want to get caught up in any of that.”
“And you know this why?”
“It’s my job to know. I’m a…security consultant.” He wasn’t sworn to secrecy on his current project for Homeland Security, but he didn’t want Dewey and the other Battalion bubbas to get wind of his involvement if he could avoid it.
The woman looked at him skeptically. “Oh. Well, thank you again for your rescue yesterday and for finding the book bag. I…uh… I’ll get out of your way.”
He caught a whiff of lavender and vanilla as she pushed past him on the narrow porch. She smelled fresh, clean, very womanly. Without thought, he shot out a hand and grabbed her elbow to stop her. Jesus God, her skin was soft and smooth, like satin. When she attempted to jerk her arm away, he held on tighter. “Wait, I don’t even know your name.”
Hearts In Harmony Purchase links: Amazon ARe iTunes Kobo B&N
by Gemma Brocato
Five Senses Book One
A spicy attraction, a sweet small town, and a tasty mystery cook up a delectable romance…
Jemima George leads a charmed life in New York City as a personal chef to reality T.V.’s latest darling. But all that changes when her Aunt Caro suddenly dies under odd circumstances—bequeathing her a small café in picturesque New England. Jem intends to sell it and continue her fast-paced career—until her cheating boyfriend, and a deliciously sexy local contractor, lead her to re-think her recipe for happiness…
Jack Kerrigan considered Caro a surrogate mother and hates the idea of selling the cafe. But he loves the idea of beautiful, intriguing Jem staying in town as long as possible. If it means remodeling the cafe, Jack’s all in. And when his jealous ex-wife, a shady attorney, and a slew of secrets threaten to extinguish Jack and Jem’s simmering attraction, they might just add heat to a romance that’s heading toward a full boil…
Genre: Contemporary RomanceCooking Up Love Purchase links: Amazon ARe iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Foodie, Chef, Contractor, Environmental Groups, Mystery, Small Town
Release Date: November 4, 2013
Publisher: Kensington/Lyrical Press
Cooking Up Love Excerpt:
When he’d heard the ominous click of the lock, he’d known they had a problem.
Jack continued massaging her hand, but didn’t attempt to close the distance between them, processing her words. Her chest heaved as she struggled to control her breathing. “Humor me here. I’m trying to help. Let’s say you find yourself unexpectedly in a close space, like now. Do you have…I don’t know…coping behaviors or mechanisms you can pull out of your claustrophobia bag of tricks to help you?”
“Imagining a wide-open space sometimes helps,” she muttered through clenched teeth. She sucked in a ragged breath. “Picturing a beach works best. I vacationed once at Blue Bay Beach, on Mauritius. It was lovely there, peaceful and serene.”
“Alright, you take a trip to the beach in your mind while I see if I can get the door off the hinges. That’s right,” he whispered soothingly. “Just close your eyes and picture the clear blue sea and endless sky.”
Jack gently stroked Jem’s cheek and released her cold hand.
She wrapped her freed arm over the other clutched against her middle. Long, silky eyelashes swept downward, toward the pale skin under her eyes. He sensed, rather than saw her mental attempt to sketch a calming beach scene behind closed eyelids. Her effort to control the panic--drawing shallow, shuddering breaths in and raggedly releasing them--moved him. He didn’t suffer with claustrophobia, but even a blind man could recognize a huge source of anxiety for Jem.
He recognized the refrain to Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. Great choice. The sight of Jem swaying to the music entranced him. Oh, yeah. Every little thing was gonna be alright. Her breath still hitched, she was extremely pale and her long, slender fingers clenched convulsively in the folds of the soft gray dress. But she was trying.
He turned toward the door to study the hinges, fishing in his jeans for a utility knife. Dammit, he’d taken it out this morning at a job site and stuck it in his jacket with his cell phone. The one he’d left on the table on the other side of the locked door. Frustrated, he slapped his hand against the sturdy wooden door.
Jem stopped humming at the sharp noise and her breathing sped up again. She clutched the neckline of her dress, pulling it away from her throat, each short gasp labored. The agony in her creased brow made him move to her side, frantically thinking of a way to help her.
She jumped as he grasped her shoulders and pulled her toward his chest.
“Making it worse here,” she gritted out between tense lips.
Jem’s breath stopped. With her eyes riveted to his, she wrestled to break free of the constriction. Her soft breasts rose and fell against his chest, spearing heat down his spine. God, he felt like a dog. This woman was struggling to work through a reaction to a small space and he was turned on by her body rubbing against his.
Desperate to distract her from the panic gripping her, he lowered his mouth.
The first tentative brush against her lips confirmed his suspicion about how kissable she was. His eyes nearly rolled back in his head as he caressed the soft sweetness. The tension gripping her shoulders eased as his mouth moved on hers.
Other than the rapid rise of her chest, she stilled in his arms.
He deepened the kiss, licking along the lush seam. Her sunny, citrusy scent teased his nose. He breathed deeply and gathered her closer.
The moment his arms tightened, she stiffened and jerked away.
Cooking Up Love Purchase links: Amazon ARe iTunes Kobo B&N
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Be on the lookout for Gemma Brocato's future release(s): Love On The Vine coming Summer 2015
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