I'm so excited to share with you the new Stewart Realty Anthology. I've read and loved this series. Liz's characters have people choosing sides. I'm a Team Rob and Blake person (not a Team Jack or Team Craig), so I'm so excited to share with you an EXCLUSIVE short scene of Rob and Blake. *Swoon*. You'll fall in love with these two. <3
Liz is having a great giveaway below so be sure to comment and leave your email address. Also if you want to pick up an e-book of her amazing final book in this series- Good Faith. It will be on sale for only $0.99! For a limited time!!! Buy Links: Amazon and B&N.
GOOD FAITH, Liz's final, epic, mainstream fiction novel of the Stewart Realty series continues to enthrall readers and reviewers. As part of the re-release of the first 3 books of the series that focus on Jack and Sara's early years, her publisher is offering GOOD FAITH for just $0.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for the month-long duration the tour. You do not have to "know" these characters to appreciate Good Faith. But a great way to get to know them is to start with re-released anthology and then read Good Faith. It's not every day you can get a long, juicy, well-crafted novel for just a buck. But thanks to this tour, you can, for just 4 weeks.
Liz has also said that she's prepared to give readers a sequel to Good Faith (in other words, a book on the second generation and possibly answering those important questions)...BUT... And it's a big BUT...Only If Liz can sell 1000 copies total (combined ebooks and print across all platforms) by....her birthday this year (December 17) she will release the Good Faith Sequel. Working Title: "Settlement Statement" in early 2015.
Here's a link to the rest of the tour, if you want to read more exclusive content: http://www.brewingpassion.com/2014/02/come-away-with-me-and-jack-gordon.html
And now without further ado.... Here's Blind Date......
A Stewart Realty New Scene
Coming soon to ESSENCE OF TIME
Re-releasing May 11, 2014
By Liz Crowe
All Rights Reserved—Tri Destiny Publishing
“Hurry up. You’re such a woman.”
Blake frowned at himself in the mirror, ignoring Rob’s angry voice floating down the hallway. He took a breath and continued staring into his own green eyes, pondering the concept of tonight’s looming event. The date. The big date. Not exactly a blind date since they’d met and had lunch with the woman in question, along with Blake’s sister Sara, his niece Katie and her friend Maddie.
Running a hand across his rough jaw, Blake contemplated a shave. But they were going to be late if he didn’t get a move on. The problem at hand—Blake was not sure he wanted this…date. To admit that they needed to “hurry” and that once this particular deed was done it would mean Rob…was…he could…
Blake looked away from the mirror, clenching his jaw in frustration. He wanted to fix the god damned thing, this sickness that made his lover’s face thin and his eyes more sunken every day. The continued fact of his inability to do that kept him awake at night, leaving him even more sleep deprived than usual.
This whole plan—the find a woman, pay her some money and knock her up one—suddenly reeked of desperate wrong-headedness. The very sight of himself, eyes wild and red rimmed, jaw raggedy, hair not combed and barely even dried from the shower didn’t say much for his commitment to this step—to “the date.” He blew out a breath, ran the towel over his hair once more then finger-combed it into place. “I don’t have time to shave,” he called out, not taking his gaze from the wrecked looking vision in the mirror.
Silence answered him back. Which meant Rob sat, clutching his glass of water, pissed at Blake for dragging his feet. Fucking passive-aggressive shit head that he was. “Do whatever,” the implication underneath the quiet.
He grabbed a razor, then put it down. Picked it up, and put it back with a loud curse. The whole stupid set up had him as jumpy as a virgin on prom night. He stalked into the bedroom and pulled on a pair of khakis and a crisp, blue dress shirt. He never dressed like this but the “date” called for it, he’d been informed. A giant wave of sadness hit him square in the chest, almost forcing him to his knees. He sat on the large, clothing-draped lounge chair instead.
A woman would not “complete” them as he and Rob had declared, after their first meeting with the quiet, petite, and darkly attractive Lila. After Blake had been cornered by her in the damn bathroom, after he’d acted like such a stupid kid at the lunch table, he’d been ready. But for what? He wanted her, sure, could admit he sometimes missed the softness of a woman’s body—her long, smooth neck; firm, full breasts, rounded ass and the sweetness of being inside her, so different from being with a man yet equally satisfying.
He loved Rob and would happily never have sex with anyone but Rob for the rest of … however long they had left. But he still tasted her lips, felt her curves under his hands, albeit briefly. She wanted him too, in that quick bathroom clinch, he could tell.
But it had lead to an epic argument, a near physical fight between the two men afterward. They’d almost sworn off it then, knowing themselves and attempting to be realistic about how adding a female to their distinctly male mix would be a Bad Idea—capital B and I. But Blake couldn’t get the memory of her out of his head, or off his lips. When Rob had said they were taking her out on a “real date,” he’d leapt at the concept. But now…
“If you don’t want to go, why don’t you just tell me?”
Blake looked up. Rob stood in the doorway, his tall frame encased in his own date uniform: khakis and a white shirt tucked in, belt buckled, dark brown shoes shining. His hair, which had been thinning thanks to the poisonous chemicals he took to try and stay alive, been cut short, just today. For the date.
Blake sat as he spoke. “We need this. We agreed. It’s what I want and…”
Rob interrupted him, keeping his distance, his voice low and calm. “Blake I don’t want to do anything that will make you unhappy. It’s all I do anymore it seems. I know, I know, me being sick doesn’t make you unhappy it makes you mad. Whatever. Listen,” Rob said, taking the few steps between them and pulling Blake to his feet. “You look like you’re about to walk in front of a firing squad. Fuck it. Let’s call it off.”
“No.” Blake let himself be held a moment, listened to the sound of his lover’s beating heart, his arms wrapped around the man’s too-thin waist. “It’s okay. She’s…I mean, I think it will be fine.”
Rob tilted his chin up. Blake studied Rob’s face, stared into his brown eyes, memorized it, for later. They both smiled. Blake pressed a quick kiss to Rob’s lips, then began to disentangle himself. They needed to get on with it. Lila would be sitting and waiting by now. It would be rude to…But Rob held onto him, his grip strong. The lips he pressed to Blake’s, parting them with his tongue were firm and had a familiar urgency.
Blake broke the kiss first, held onto Rob’s face. “Keep that up and the poor girl will have to pay her own expensive dinner bill. Come on, let’s go. I’m tired of waiting on you.” He brushed a hand across Rob’s chest, and lower, grinning. “Save this. I’ll take some later.”
The ride downtown shimmered with anxious energy. Rob hummed, a clear sign of his nervousness. Blake tapped his fingers on the armrest, fiddled with the window, the HVAC, the radio.
“God damn it.” Rob smacked his hand away from the controls. “Cut it out. You aren’t making either of us feel any better.”
Blake blew out a long breath. “It’s not like I know how to act here. I mean, what the hell are we supposed talk about? The bank transfer of the money? The process? Who gets her first? If she wants it in both…”
“Stop it.” Rob’s voice was strained, his jaw clenched. “I don’t know either but I damn sure am not gonna ask her if she wants a DP. At least not on the first date.”
Blake laughed so loud he snorted. Rob shot him a sideways look as he pulled the F-150 into a parking spot behind Connor O’Neils and put it into park. They both sat, frozen with indecision and anxiety.
“Do you remember Paris?” Blake put a hand on Rob’s thigh. The other man’s muscles twitched under his palm. “That girl, from the nightclub? Our first vacation?”
“Yeah.” Rob kept his hands on the steering wheel, eyes trained straight ahead. “What about it?”
Blake sighed. Rob’s body language, his clenched teeth and white knuckled grip only ramped up his own stress. But he needed them to get past this. They had to go into the restaurant, meet with Lila, eat, drink some wine then…possibly…go home and…He shook his head. He ran fingers through Rob’s hair, the silkiness of the new growth brought a smile to his face. “That was pretty easy. I mean, you know, my first time as three.”
Rob turned to him, anguish suffusing every pore of his handsome face and filling his eyes. He gripped Blake’s hand, yanked him across the console and kissed him hard. When he broke away, Blake touched his face. “You’re the expert here. Not me. The ladies love your tall, blond, Germanic hotness. I’m along for the ride. I’ll…watch and learn.”
“Don’t be an idiot.” Rob leaned his head back, hand over his eyes. “Jesus, this is…about as fucked up as it gets.”
“No, it’s not. Even if you weren’t sick we would be doing it. You know that. We wanted a baby.”
“You wanted a baby. I’m perfectly fine without…”
“You told me a thousand times you weren’t doing this to humor me. Were you lying then, or are you lying now?” Blake’s ears got hot and his chest tightened.
“All we have to do is figure out how to share. That is one thing we know we both need to….practice. I don’t want her to think we’re a couple of barely evolved Neanderthals.”
Rob turned to him, his eyes still bright with unshed tears. “Even though we sort of are?”
Blake shrugged, unable to resist a smile. Rob sighed and climbed out, meeting Blake at the back bumper. He grabbed his arm. “I love you Blake Thornton. God knows I do. So, let’s get on with this, shall we? Not quite the impromptu heat of a Paris nightclub but…we’ll make do with the Chop House.”
The men walked around the corner and up to the restaurant in silence each deep in the mire of his own misery. They spotted her, seated at a table in the front window, before she saw them. Blake took a breath and leaned into his lover’s ear. “Don’t stand there and tell me that she is not beautiful. That she doesn’t do anything for you.” He put a hand on Rob’s back, as they walked towards her. She looked up and smiled. Blake felt Rob shiver under his palm. “The mother of our child, Rob. The child we both want,” he whispered, then stepped aside so Rob could give Lila a quick hug before he did the same.
The dinner progressed as most first dates do—awkwardness, mixed with humor, some strained silences interspersed with good food, great wine and finally dessert. Rob did all the ordering which Blake was more than content to let him do. Lila exclaimed over every course. Blake knew the wine had gotten to him when he found himself completely mesmerized by her full lips as she ate the rich chocolate dessert.
“Oh, huh?” he asked, when Rob elbowed him hard.
“She asked us a question, Blake.” Rob’s jaw was clenched again.
A charming flush crept up Lila’s neck and cheeks. Blake had a sudden urge to touch her face. So he did. He could sense Rob tensing up next to him so he put his other hand on the man’s leg under the table, squeezed his thigh as he kept light fingertips on Lila’s porcelain skin. “Sorry,” he said. “I didn’t hear your question.”
“I was wondering if…um…you guys had ever…ah…” She gave a nervous giggle. Blake felt Rob’s hand on his, holding him in place under the table.
“Lila was wondering if we had ever done this before. Been together, with a woman.” Rob’s voice had taken on a softer quality. Blake glanced at him and saw that he too, was staring at the lovely vision across from them. He shifted his hand higher. Rob moved his hand, putting it on Blake’s khaki-covered thigh. “I think you should tell her about Paris.”
Lila blinked, then leaned back, the deep V of her little black dress deepening. Blake tried not to lick his lips. He could practically feel the curve and heft of her breasts in his hands. He shifted, as Rob’s hand climbed higher, grazing boner he’d been sporting since the salad course.
“I guess,” Lila said, her voice low and unbearably sexy as she picked up her coffee cup and put her lips to the edge of it. Blake very much wanted to be that cup. “I’m more interested in the actual…uh…mechanics of such an … ah… act.” She smiled at him, then at Rob.
“It sort of depends. On what you are comfortable with, I mean.” Blake moved closer to his lover and let his own fingers do some walking up the inside of Rob’s thigh. Rob cleared his throat, then leaned on his elbow and gazed at Blake expectantly. “So, there are ways we can work together, with you between us in varying…configurations.” He stopped, watching as Lila trailed a red-nailed fingertip along the spaghetti strap of her dress and lower. Her lips were slightly parted. He went on, moving his napkin up his lap so as not to let the staff see that Rob was close to unzipping him. “I like to be on top, of you I mean, once we have made sure you’re satisfied. I like to be in between you and Rob...maybe.” He felt his face flush.
Lila blinked, pondering this then ran that same fingertip around the edge of the lucky coffee cup, making Blake want to groan and snatch her out of here, toss her in the back of the truck and fuck her senseless. He surprised himself with that. She released his inner raw, teenager, horn dog—the craven urge to possess beauty that lurked in all men.
Rob leaned into his ear, whispering a few words that made Blake smile and Lila raise a dark eyebrow at them. “Rob has a great idea. He thinks we should take this conversation home. To our home. We can have coffee there. And talk some more. We don’t have to do anything more or less. You set the pace.” Unable to resist, he reached across the small table, cupped her chin and brushed his thumb over her full lower lip. “But I do want to kiss you.”
She smiled and nodded. Both men scrambled to their feet and Rob pulled out her chair while Blake draped her wrap around her shoulders, pausing to let his fingers graze her neck. She turned to him, their faces nearly touching. Her dark eyes shone and Blake’s brain began fuzzing over in a familiar, need-to-get-laid-now, way. Holding out one of her hands, she took Rob’s and pulled him closer. “I want to watch you,” she whispered to Blake. “Make love to him,” she leaned over and pressed a kiss to Rob’s flushed cheek. “Then, we can talk.”
Blake blinked. Rob cleared his throat. The concept of that, of being with Rob while Lila watched, made him want to suggest they skip the ride home and find an empty storeroom. Rob spoke first. “That sounds like a lovely icebreaker. After you both.” He held out a long arm, indicating they should precede him to the front door. He stopped Lila as she headed in the opposite direction from them. “Ride with us,” Rob said, holding onto her hand.
She shook her head. “No. I have to be able to go, if I want to.” A troubled look flashed across her beautiful, open face for a split second.
“Okay,” Rob said, letting go of her and putting an arm around Blake’s shoulders. “You know where we live.”
Blake shook with a combination of anticipation, lust and tickle of fear by the time they got home. They lit the few candles they could find, turned on some low music, and opened a good bottle of red wine. Then they sat, staring at the door. “What if she doesn’t…” he started to say when the doorbell rang.
Rob rose and opened the door. Blake felt drugged, woozy with horniness. He sat, like a dolt, frozen in place while Rob gathered the small woman in his arms and kissed her with an intensity that took Blake’s breath away. He watched them, his man and the woman they wanted to carry their child as they broke the kiss and looked at each other. Blake stood. His body frozen still, his feet encased in concrete. Rob escorted Lila to him, brushed her knuckles with his lips, and left her there.
She felt just like she had that first afternoon, soft yet firm in a wholly female way he’d forgotten he’d missed. Her lips tasted like the minty chocolate mousse they’d shared for dessert with a ghost of wine and coffee. She gripped his hair, the small sound that escaped her throat when he cupped one of her breasts, bringing her nipple to a peak under his thumb made Blake ached all over with a longing he hadn’t felt in a long time.
Then she stopped, caressed his cheek, took his hand and led him back to Rob, who stood, wineglass in hand, leaning on the bookshelf and watching them.
“Does this couch make a bed,” she whispered, going up on tiptoes to kiss first Rob’s and then Blake’s cheeks. Blake nodded, but at that moment could not take his eyes off Rob. His man held his gaze, reassuring him with his smile as he set the wine glass down and took Blake in his arms, kissing, undressing, unzipping and leaving the both of them naked, together, unaware of anything or anyone else, just each other.
“Oh god, Rob…” Blake gasped as Rob eased him down onto the large couch. “Please don’t leave me…please don’t…” But Rob silenced him with a kiss full of unspoken meaning. So Blake stopped his babbling and focused on the very pleasant here and now.
As bi-sexual men, neither Blake or Rob had a hard and fast preference about who did what to whom. They liked to fuck. They liked to be fucked. It varied, which kept things interesting for them. Rob usually lead, by unspoken agreement. “What do you want tonight?” Blake whispered, his hands all over Rob’s body. “Want to fuck me? Want me to suck you off?”
Rob groaned as Blake dropped to his knees and did that for a while. But he stopped and licked his way up Rob’s torso to his lips. “I need…more.” Rob’s voice was hoarse. He gripped Blake’s neck and yanked him down for a hard kiss. Their jaws rasped against each other’s. Rob shifted, spread his legs and Blake grabbed lube from the drawer next to the couch, using it on himself and on Rob.
He glanced up then, hazy and horny and ready to blow before he even got inside his lover’s body. Lila had shed her dress and her skin appeared to glow in the candlelit room as she watched them, close but with a distance Blake didn’t want. He held out a hand, guided her down to Rob’s cock as he slid in slowly, inch by glorious inch. He watched her hand, stroking Rob’s flesh. “Kiss him,” he croaked out, gripping Rob’s hips and going deep. She reached up and kissed Blake first but he stopped her. “No. I’m gonna…oh god…let me watch you kissing him.” He insisted and she leaned down to do as he told her.
Rob’s hands threaded in her dark hair and Blake went nearly blind and deaf with pleasure, roaring into the room, coming fast and reveling in it. He smelled it when Rob came too, all over Lila’s sweet hand. He stopped, shivering with the force of his orgasm. Then pulled out and stumbled into the kitchen to clean up.
He stood after he’d washed off with soap and water, leaning over the huge farmhouse style sink catching his breath then drank some water and wandered back into the living room. Rob and Lila were wrapped around each other, kissing, their bare skin glowing in the candle light. Rob moved down to suck her nipples, then caught Blake’s eye. He motioned for him, pulling him down between them. “It’s her turn.”
Blake grinned and dropped between her legs, kissing and nibbling and finally sucking and moaning into her flesh as she cried out, yanking his hair, her legs draped over his shoulders.
“Nice,” he said, wiping his lips and working his way back up her body. He looked over at Rob, who nodded at him. Then he whispered “you okay?” to Lila
She smiled and held out her hand to Rob, as if she had read Blake’s mind. He moved away, leaning on his elbow, caressing Rob’s face with the other hand. “My turn to watch,” he whispered.
Rob blinked, then looked at Lila. Blake saw the tears in her eyes, and was about to ask if she wanted to stop. But she was reaching for Rob, wrapping her legs around his waist, whispering to him. They both sighed when she tilted her hips and took him inside her. Watching Rob make love to Lila that first time was one of the most incredible things Blake had ever experienced.
“I love you,” he whispered to Rob when he leaned into kiss him just as he came, the bittersweet erotic perfection of this moment making his eyes burn.
“I know,” Rob whispered back. Then he slipped out of her, sat and gathered her in his lap, brushing back her hair and soothing her shakes and hiccupping sobs. “It’s all right. Everything will be all right.”
Blake dropped into the chair across from the pull out, watching them, wondering how that could possibly be the case, but happier at that split second than he had been since figuring out that he loved Rob. They all slept, piled on each other like puppies and tangled up in the sheets on the pull out couch that night.
Blake woke to the smell of bacon and pancakes. He stretched, relishing soreness in all the right places he inventoried, then rolled over to grab a few more minutes of precious morning sleep. He grunted, when he ran into Rob’s broad back.
“What the hell?” He sat up, rubbing his eyes. “If you’re still here, who is cooking?”
Rob rolled over and stretched pulling Blake onto his chest. They watched Lila emerge, dressed in one of their shirts and her panties, bearing a plate of food and a carafe of coffee that she set on the dining room table. “Come on boys. We need our energy. There’s a baby to be made.” She grinned and sat, pouring herself a cup of coffee.
Blake and Rob looked at each other, smiled, and scrambled up to find underwear before sitting and sharing breakfast together.
Stewart Realty Anthology: The Jack and Sara Trilogy
Stewart Realty: Life in the House Lane
Love is an easy word to use, a hard one to demonstrate, and sometimes impossible to trust.
The Stewart Realty series is a sweeping epic, encompassing many years in the lives of two people who know how to love with their bodies, how to please and get pleasure, to control and be controlled. When it comes to the deeper meaning of the one word they both need, backgrounds and personalities get in the way. While their physical connection sizzles they somehow manage to continuously disappoint one another on an emotional level.
Jack Gordon has it all—money, success, a string of women—but also a deep longing for something more. When he thinks he finds it with Sara Jane Thornton, his world is never the same again. Sara releases a side of himself he considered buried out of frustration and unhappiness. Sara soon learns that she must trust him implicitly, something she cannot do, no matter how many times she tries...and he fails.
With a rich cast of secondary characters, including a young man who presents a near-perfect foil to Jack's intensity, and who falls hard for Sara, The Stewart Realty series is a saga with an emphasis on contemporary life with a healthy dose of realistic eroticism. A tale of modern, busy, driven people seeking the ever-elusive and highly coveted combination—a friend, lover and trusted companion who will be there for the long haul.
Start at the beginning, with the Jack and Sara Trilogy, now for the first time ever in a print anthology. The Stewart Realty series is a best seller in family saga and urban fiction categories. See for yourself what the buzz is all about.
Excerpt from Floor Time Excerpt (Stewart Realty Series (Book 1):
Sara put her palms against the ice-cold glass of the floor-to-ceiling windows. She smiled, observing the entire downtown of Ann Arbor spread out below her like a child's carpet map. The heat rose visibly from the pavement as the crowds scurried in and out of restaurants and shops.
Adam's arms around her waist startled her. As she turned, a niggling voice at the back of her brain made her hesitate before brushing his lips with hers. They'd been in the vacant condo way too long. Now that he'd teased a satisfactory orgasm from her neglected body, an antsy, nervous sensation wormed through her psyche. She sighed and disentangled herself from his embrace.
When the doorbell echoed through the cavernous space, she broke out in a cold sweat. Fumbling with blouse buttons, she pushed past Adam on her way through the kitchen and to the door, cursing under her breath. She looked back to make sure he was pulled together – not a tough thing since neither of them got completely out of their clothes – and scowled as he gave her a knowing smile.
Shit. You should not have done this. You don't even really like him. But it had been so long and he was pretty good looking. Jesus, slut much Sara?
Sara let guilty thoughts clang around her head long enough to hear the doorbell ring once more before yanking it open, her perfect pleased-to-see-you sales smile fixed in place, keys clutched in one hand.
Jack had a hot date, one that was going to yield him a kick-ass listing, but due to the unwarranted dawdling of the condo-shopping couple he had been dragging around, he'd be lucky to make it in time. The empty lock box on the door of the penthouse unit provided the real icing on the cake. He leaned on the doorbell, hoping they could skip this one and stop wasting his time while mouthing platitudes to his clients. He had hoped that the relocating, executive couple like the ones he was courting at that moment wouldn't spend so much of his valuable time arguing over granite colors and the relative benefits of central vacuum cleaners. God, he hated this job sometimes. He smiled, and turned, hearing the click of the deadbolt. Finally.
When the heavy door swung open, the vision standing there froze him mid-sentence. Sara Thornton, one of the newer, and more successful, realtors at Stewart Realty, stared at him, eyes blazing in a strange combination of aggravation and satisfaction. Jack clenched his jaw at the sight of her smoking hot body encased in skintight short black skirt, creamy silk blouse and four-inch stilettos.
As one of the few chosen to populate the downtown storefront office, based upon her good looks and the ability to rope in new buyers and sellers off the streets of Ann Arbor, Sara had serious sales skills. He'd studied the branch's numbers, as part of a management decision-making process, to ultimately turning down the offer to handle that stable of prima donnas. But at that moment Jack couldn't believe he'd never noticed her before – really noticed her. Where had she been hiding? And what was that amazing sexy aura that permeated the air? Jack's heart jumped in his chest.
"Um, hi Jack." Her voice was hoarse, making him blink. He made a conscious effort to wipe the idiotic look off his face, aware of the annoying clients still standing at his elbow. He held out a hand, needing to confirm that her skin felt as hot as it looked. Surprised no one else saw the sparks pass between them, he couldn't suppress a grin at the look on her flustered face.
So, she sensed it too. This could get interesting.
"Sara." He heard his own voice, sounding a hell of a lot more confident than he felt at that moment. And he did not rattle easily. "Sorry to barge in but…” He was struck dumb once again by the sight of Adam Donovan, mortgage broker tool, at Sara's shoulder. Jack gave himself a mental shake. The sudden realization of what had undoubtedly happened, in the same condo he was about to show, made his head pound. Reluctant admiration mixed with something resembling jealousy fogged his brain. He raised his eyebrows at the tall blond man whom he could have sworn was engaged to someone else.
"Jack." Adam moved around the beautiful woman who still blocked the doorway. "Good to see you."
Jack shook the guy's hand, never taking his gaze from Sara, reserving his smile for her. His brain engaged, focus locked on Sara Thornton, and the world shifted under his expensively clad feet.
Sara had never been more embarrassed. No, that was too weak of a word – mortified was better. Jack Gordon, king of the Ann Arbor real estate universe, wanted to show the condo where she'd just let Adam Donovan mercy fuck her. As she tried not to drown in Jack's deep blue gaze, Sara clenched her thighs, already imagining how he might have done it differently, and likely better.
"Um, hi Jack," she croaked out. Her face flooded with heat; even more so when she put the keys in his outstretched hand, and yanked herself back at the intensity of their instant connection. Tall, ruggedly handsome with coal-black hair and a shimmering blue gaze, the man boasted a personality that bested all other males within a fifty-mile radius. Sara only knew of him, of course. They'd never actually met. However, she'd swear right then he seemed happy to see her. The realization made her zing from scalp to toes.
She watched his full lips form words but remained deafened by the roaring in her ears. His gaze never left hers, even when Adam nudged her aside and shook his hand. Her whole universe suddenly shrank to two people. Looking back, she'd pinpoint that as the instant she fell hopelessly in love with an impossible man.
Excerpt from Sweat Equity Excerpt (Stewart Realty Series (Book 2):
Sara smiled at the man lying next to her. He'd taken her world and yanked it into his orbit so hard and fast her head still spun some days. God help her she did love him despite her inner turmoil. She put a hand on his sweat-slicked chest and draped a leg over his. She propped up on her elbow and touched his check.
"Hmm?" his sleepy voice reminded her how much they both needed more shut eye having passed out rather than actually rested last night. He pulled her close. "I'm sorry," he muttered into her hair. "It's just." She nodded into his shoulder. "Shit week, you know. All this wedding talk is not my thing or something. I don't know. I do know I don't deserve you."
"Yeah, that is true. Look, we still have dinner with my parents tonight. My dad is a know-it-all doctor. I dread having the two of you in the same room, frankly, but we have to do it. They're my family and they want to meet you."
She felt him tense beneath her.
"That's fine. I'll be on my best behavior. But I don't want him paying for any of this," he swept a hand towards the small table where she'd piled up magazines and spreadsheets of wedding planning paraphernalia. "I'm doing it. You're grown, not some little girl needing daddy's money anymore."
She bit her lip. "If he wants to I'm not going to stop him. It's his prerogative. Can't you just go with it?" She sat up, swung her legs to the floor.
He sang the same song, different verse, every time. They'd fight, he'd make up by making love to her. She'd let him. They wouldn't talk about it. Again.
Sighing she stood, stretched her sated and tingling body, her mind on the massive list of shit to do today. Glancing over her shoulder, she allowed herself a long look at the man who would be her husband.
His six-foot five-inch frame firm, legs and arms covered with a light dusting of black hair; torso mostly bare, but for a line of jet-black hair beneath his navel leading down to the part of his body that he had, apparently, shared with so many. Her eyes trailed up, to his firm, square jaw, in need of a shave. Her palm itched to reach out, feel the sandpapery rasp of it, keeping him real.
How completely unreal this still seemed, even now after he'd given her yet another mind-boggling set of back-to-back orgasms. That should've been solid evidence he was there, with her, "hers" even. But he wasn't. That small voice in her head, the "Old Sara," with its nagging and worry, poked her psyche once again. You're too alike. It will never work. Jack's eyes opened, at the sound of his own light snore. His sleepy grin made her smile in spite of her heavy heart.
She was no sap. Her own parent's relationship had made her a cynic to the extreme when it came to men. She knew it. She fully acknowledged her own emotional constipation. Yet, she let the man who currently held her heart in his large, talented hands tug her down onto the bed, into the circle of his arms. His skin, smell, and feel eased her as always. She closed her eyes just for a few minutes.
Excerpt from Closing Costs (Stewart Realty Series Book 3):
The place was a zoo by the time he pulled up. He parked, hopped out, following Sara's instructions about going to the main office and presenting his identification since he'd never picked her up before. Little kids swarmed through the huge hallway, screeching, and flinging themselves into their parents' arms. The place reeked of pee and old lunch boxes.
By the time the annoying paperwork was completed, it had more or less cleared out. He stood, like a chastened schoolboy, in front of the director's desk as she called Sara to confirm that he, one Mr. Jack Gordon, said with a long appraising look at him and his drivers' license, had been authorized to retrieve one Miss Katherine Elizabeth Thornton.
He adjusted his tie, suddenly nervous about having her in his car, about installing the car seat he'd retrieved from Sara's new Mercedes SUV, and about a whole host of shit he couldn't even begin to name, but mainly coming face-to-face with Katie again. He hadn't seen her in months. Would she recognize him at all? He looked around, still waiting for them to copy his ID and, if the time commitment was any indication, apparently to do a full, police-style, background check on him. Anger started to replace anxiety as his patience waned. He tapped his foot.
"Look, I'm good, okay. I'm her…" He stopped dead. The woman at the desk looked up expectantly. "Uncle." His voice faded.
"Katie certainly has a lot of those," the annoying person chirped before handing his ID back and pointing to a side door. She gave him a different sort of look. This one he recognized. He smiled at her. She was sort of good looking, actually. "You gay like her other uncles?" Jack laughed.
"Well then." Her eyes flicked up and down his suit-clad form. He made a point to take his hands out of his pockets to display his ring-less state, ignoring the anxiety that had reasserted itself. He fell into flirt mode as self-defense mechanism.
"So, this is your place?" He gestured around.
"Yes, I own it." She leaned back and crossed her long legs. He took a step closer.
"You have kids then?"
"Older ones." Her eyes swept up and down him. He chuckled.
"You realize you are checking me out, right?"
"Yeah, I do." She slid a business card across her desk at him. "Go ahead through there. She's waiting."
The place practically echoed, all of the commotion having died down. Now there was only an eerie silence. He didn't see a soul. About to start back through the door to the office and rip somebody a new one for sending him on a wild goose chase, a small voice stopped him in his tracks.
"Who are you?"
He gulped and stepped closer, letting the light hit his face. "I'm your Uncle Jack. Where are you anyway?" He still couldn't see her.
"Oh. Where's Uncle Blake?" He peered around a bookshelf, and saw her, sitting at a small table, lunchbox and small backpack clutched to her chest. Her bright white, high-top tennis-shoe-clad feet swung back and forth. Jack took in the hot pink tutu, purple tights and orange t-shirt adorned with what looked like a sponge, with a face.
"He's on vacation. Nice outfit." He held back, hands in pockets. Her huge green eyes appraised him with a worldliness that startled him. Her dark blonde hair was gathered in braids, more or less but tufts of it had escaped, haloing her face. He sucked in a breath at the resemblance to her mother, all the way down to the attitude she wore like a glove.
"Thanks. It's my favorite. Are you stranger danger? You have on a nice suit for a kidlapper." She didn't move from her perch, just kept staring at him, her gaze open and innocent. A weird feeling settled in Jack's chest. She kept swinging her feet. Jack took a seat next to her.
"Thanks. It's my favorite." He grinned. Something about her made him immediately comfortable. The proverbial four-going-on-forty he supposed. The maturity seemed natural, but tinged with her mother's neediness. He winced at himself. "I'm not a stranger. Or a kidnapper. I've been to your house. For, um, birthdays. Stuff like that. I'm taking you home."
"Oh, okay. Hang on." He watched incredulous as she pulled a sparkling pink phone from her bag and put it to her ear. He cocked an eyebrow at her, listening as she called Sara, getting confirmation that Uncle Jack did not represent "Stranger Danger."
"Your mother gave you a phone?" He smiled when she jumped down and stuck her hand out. He took it. "Pretty advanced for a four-year-old wouldn't you say?"
"Yes, but I can only call, not text or use internets or anything. No games either." She pouted a second. "Mommy says it makes me inpedendant," Jack suppressed a grin. "Pleased to meet you Uncle Jack. Can we get Washtenaw Dairy on the way home?" He kept her small, warm hand in his and led her out.
"Won't that ruin your dinner?"
"If Mommy's late then you have to feed me dinner anyway. Uncle Blake makes me homemade mac and cheese. Can you make that?" Jack shook his head. The girl's face brightened. "I know! Let's have ice cream for dinner."
"You are more like your mommy than you realize." He fastened her into the complex seat with her help and then really looked at her a minute.
"I get that a lot."
Jack laughed, loving the sound when she joined him. "How old are you anyway? Twenty? Thirty?"
"No silly. I'm four and three quarters. How old are you? A hundred?"
"Ha! Only at night."
"Never mind. I haven't had ice cream for dinner in a while. Let's make it happen." He put the car in gear and drove towards the venerable Ann Arbor ice cream spot nestled in the residential Old West Side. He snuck glances at her in the rearview mirror as she kept up a stream of consciousness monologue about the relative merits of Sponge Bob Square Pants versus Phineas and Ferb. He smiled, realizing his life would never be the same again.
Here's what people are saying about the Stewart Realty Series......
Reviews for Floor Time (Stewart Realty Series Book 1)
“Sara and Jack’s banter and absolute need for one another when they were together was positively combustible, and it had me switching from angry to aroused every other minute!”
~ Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“The sizzling power of attraction and the sexiness of a take charge Alpha male attitude is incredibly written by this talented author. From passion to inner turmoil, to falling in love, these characters take the reader on a whirlwind of rides!”
~ Romancing the Book
“When it comes to a book with a little BDSM, Liz Crowe’s “Floor Time” is absolutely a must read! Crowe brought out the personal inner struggles of a former Master who lost his way, and a newly introduced submissive who is battling within herself between keeping the control or giving up said control willingly…if you’re looking for a way to enjoy a known fantasy or maybe you’d like to consider a little rough play, I say pick up this book for some inspiration. You will not regret it!”
~ Bitten by Love Reviews
Reviews for Sweat Equity (Stewart Realty Series Book 2)
“Gut-wrenching and heartbreaking, Sweat Equity is a roller coaster ride of emotions, taking you through a colossal train wreck of a relationship…then has you begging to go again.”
~ Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“This book blew me away. Liz Crowe’s second Stewart Realty novel has filled me with gut wrenching emotion, inner turmoil and amazing need to read more of her Stewart Realty series. … I loved every gut wrenching moment, many of which truly brought me to tears for this conflicted couple! This series is by far my absolute favorite series, written with the perfect amount of sexiness, sizzling hot passion, dominating men and stubborn women!”
~ Romancing the Book
“Sweat Equity continues the story of Jack and Sara and their quest to discover what they seek from each other. It’s another sizzling and emotional rollercoaster ride the whole way through the book. Liz Crowe has delivered another wonderful and sexy story that gives all the sexy scenes we have grown to love and expect in each of her novels as well and a superbly written storyline!”
~ Bitten by Love Reviews
Reviews for Closing Costs (Stewart Realty Series Book 3)
“Closing Costs is a fitting closure to Sara and Jack’s stormy story, ripe with anger, tears, love and loss. Amazing job, Ms. Crowe, for an incredibly realistic and dramatic story line that grabs you by the heart and mind and refuses to let go!”
~ Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“It has everything you are looking for; angst, passion and lots of sexual tension. If you thought Sara and Jack’s relationship was complicated in the previous two installments, it’s nothing to how complex everything is now. At times through this book, I wondered whether either of them had learnt anything over their lives about each other and life in general but I guess that what makes this book so good in the way it can enchant you and brings to life the main characters so well!”
~ Bitten By Love Reviews
“Never have I met more obstinate, pain in the butt characters than realtors Jack and Sara, and I mean that with the utmost love and respect for Liz Crowe. The obstacles that these two have gone through have truly proven her talent as a writer. All of their hardships were self-inflicted, yet they appeared incapable of breaking the cycle. This dramatic tale has a strong storyline that truly grips the reader as their love comes full circle. Amazing character development has kept this reader interested and attached to Jack and Sara.”
~ Reader’s Roundtable after Dark
Liz Crowe’s Bio:
Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse. While working as a successful Realtor, Liz made the leap into writing novels about the same time she agreed to take on marketing and sales for the Wolverine State Brewing Company.
Most days find her sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, unless she’s writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.
Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and many times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate, and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
If you are in the Ann Arbor area, be sure and stop into the Wolverine State Brewing Co. Tap Room—but don’t ask her for anything “like” a Bud Light, or risk serious injury.
Find Liz online at the following places:
Writing Blog: www.brewingpasssion.com
Beer Blog: www.a2beerwench.com
FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor
FB Fan Page: www.facebook.com/groups/Lizcrowefans/
Jack Gordon’s FB Page: www.facebook.com/jackgordonrealtor
LIZ WILL CHOOSE FROM AMONG COMMENTERS ACROSS THE ENTIRE TOUR AND AWARD THE FOLLOWING PRIZES IN MID-MARCH:
2 signed copies of the new Stewart Realty “Jack & Sara Trilogy” print anthology (U.S. ONLY)
Audible.com downloads for each of the first 3 books in the series (available internationally) Here is link to the Liz Page on Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_mn_at_ano_tseft__galileo?advsearchKeywords=liz+corwe&x=-1050&y=-41
1 signed print copy OR 1 eBook copy of GOOD FAITH, the critically acclaimed final novel of the Stewart Realty series (e-book available internationally, print is U.S. only)
1 Stewart Realty SWAG PACK complete with “I heart Ann Arbor mug” (U.S. only) and more!
Musings from Michigan