Today's tour stop features "Betting On It" by Violet Blake make sure to check out the great excerpt and giveaway down below.
Enjoy and happy reading :)
Betting On It Synopsis:
Recent college grad Blair Bartlett thought she had it all—until one near-death experience destroyed everything. Now she’s starting over halfway across the country with zero confidence, zero trust, and zero in the bank.
On the eve of her canceled wedding, her so-called friends formulate a bet to dig Blair out of her rut: in the next thirty days, she has to complete ten erotic dares that would make most married women blush. The stakes are high, and this is one bet she can’t lose. Wary of messy entanglements, she recruits her best friend’s older brother—and longtime friend—Sawyer Callahan. Deemed Colorado’s most eligible bachelor, he’s successful, fun-loving, and knows exactly how to make a girl, um…swoon. But as the weeks tick by, Blair knows the friendship has become much more than she’s bargained for. And something dark in Sawyer’s past is threatening to ruin their future before it even had a chance.
Pete sat in the front seat of his car, leaving the door open like mine, and made small talk while we waited. He probably made for a pretty great catch, if you went for the strong, alpha type. If he and I had met under different circumstances, he might be perfect for my little quest. I didn’t think dating the cop who’d wiped bloody snot off your chin and put Band-Aids on your scraped knees was a great way to start a month-long sex fest.
My anxiety only grew while I waited for Sawyer. He was probably one of the busiest people I knew, and had been under a lot of stress trying to prove himself worthy—his being only twenty-seven years old probably made him a target for more scrutiny.
A dark gray Range Rover pulled up, and Sawyer emerged. Thick, sooty anger clouded his clear blue eyes, and his meticulous, measured strides reminded me of a panther on the prowl. He was not to be fucked with.
I shrank into the seat a little more, and debated the pros and cons of making a run for it. He had enough to deal with without having to take care of this damsel in distress. But then I realized that Pete would probably tackle me before I reached the corner, so like it or not, Sawyer was stuck with me. Groaning, I lowered my head and resigned myself to a shitty night. It couldn’t get much worse, right?
Pete got out of the car and talked to Sawyer about twenty feet away. Sawyer’s nostrils had smoke and hellfire coming out of them, but he nodded and talked to Pete civilly. They seemed pretty friendly with each other, and, blame it on the list, for a moment I visualized a Pete and Sawyer sandwich.
I must’ve been hit hard.
A few seconds later, everything darkened, and I realized Sawyer was standing there, devastating as hell.
“Hey,” he said, and lowered to a casual crouch in front of me. Although he didn’t seem to want to crush any skulls with his bare hands at the moment, I didn’t doubt it would take much of a push.
I opened my good eye, glad the ice pack hid the other half of my face, and managed a wobbly smile. “Sorry.”
“Stop.” Concern blatant on his striking features, his fingers grazed mine, and he gently pulled away the ice pack. For all the wrath he’d shown a few moments ago, he had changed gears pretty quickly. The muscle under his eye twitched. “Ow. You’re lucky Pete and I didn’t hog-tie you and take you to the ER.”
“Pioneers survived on less than this. I think I’m going to be fine.” I took my ice pack and covered my eye, wishing it protected all of me. “Seriously. Go back to what you were doing. I can walk home.”
“You’re not wearing shoes.”
“Yeah, well, when I was fighting off muggers, somebody stole them. So now I have two people on my shit list.”
He paused, as if replaying my words in his head before responding. “Glad to see you still have some spunk in you. Which, by the way, I don’t know whether to fist bump you or shake you for fighting that woman.”
“There’s enough left in me to take you out, too, Callahan. I might at first glance appear all damsel-in-distress-y, but I’m hopped up on adrenaline.” Total lie. My entire body hurt like a bitch. And adrenaline was all that kept me upright. But if I could fool him into thinking I was all right long enough to get me home, so be it.
“Hm.” His tone and judgy look were enough to tell me he called my bluff. If I didn’t distract him, no doubt he’d throw me over his shoulder and toss me into the back of the ambulance. Or worse, turn around, get into his car, and leave me.
His fingers moved the hair out of my eyes, tucking it behind my ear. He stroked my cheek, the caress sending up all sorts of emotions I didn’t want to deal with. Why was he here? He should be…not here. I glanced away, unable to let him see me weak. Vulnerable. I could deal with a punch in the face better than dealing with all these crappy feelings.
“What do you say we get out of here?” he asked.
The sooner the better. “Okay.”
He stood and held out his hand. I took it, and let him help me out of the car. He and Pete shook hands, and Pete handed me a card. “Don’t forget to cancel your cards, your cell phone, and everything else she took. I’ll be in touch if anything develops, Ms. Bartlett.”
“I will. And thanks.” We both knew there wasn’t much he could do but wish me well. My check, my cash, my phone and purse…they were all but gone unless the shithead decided to return them out of the kindness of her heart. And after my limited interactions with her, I doubted she even had a heart.
He put his hand on my shoulder for a second, but his attention was on Sawyer. “Thank you, Mr. Callahan.”
Sawyer shook his hand. “Thanks for taking good care of my friend. And stop by the brewery some time. I’ll buy you a drink.”
They did that bro shake thing that guys do, and in my haze I couldn’t help but admire the way their hands and forearm muscles rippled.
This was exactly why I needed to win this bet, and quick. I had turned into a horny mass of hormones. No man was safe. I had to do this for the greater good. Maybe then I’d trust myself in the vicinity of the likes of Sawyer and his hot cop friend.
Pete gave him a bro nod and went back to his report.
Sawyer’s arm wrapped around my shoulders, and he drew me close. He opened the passenger door for me and helped me in, then we drove off. But after several blocks I realized he wasn’t going back to my house.
“You do remember where I live, right?” I asked.
“I’m going to take you to my place. I have a security system, a dog, and plenty of aspirin.”
“What? You don’t have to—”
“I’m not going to let you spend the night by yourself.”
“I promise I’ll be fine. I have gauze.” I dangled them in front of his face.
He pushed them out of the way. “She has your wallet, your drivers license, everything she needs to get into your place.”
“Oh, thanks. Now I’m totally freaking out.”
“I don’t mean to scare you, but I can’t let anything happen to you.” He combed his hair back with his fingers and put his hands on the steering wheel. His knuckles turned white, and he let out a deep breath. “The police are going to do extra patrols, and I’m going to have your locks changed tomorrow, just in case.”
Overprotective much? I tried to make sense of his odd behavior. People didn’t do that. Maybe in buddy cop movies and romance novels. Definitely not in real life. But I knew that no matter how much sense I made of it, this was a losing battle. “Thanks.”
“How’s that hangover treating you?” He turned to me briefly, humor lightening his mood.
I shrugged. “Aside from being mugged, I can’t complain. How are the single ladies of Fort Collins treating you?”
He chuckled. “I’ve held them off. For now.”
Violet Blake Bio:
Violet grew up wanting to be many great things. However, she quickly found out she was too accident-prone to be an astronaut, veterinarian, or surgical nurse, and had to take some time off from college to formulate a Plan B. By the time she got to Plan X, she settled on a degree in public health. But while she was supposed to be studying for a pathophysiology test, she took up writing romance.
Career commitment issues aside, she is fiercely dedicated to her family, and those who are patient enough to overlook a few...quirks. And no, she's not going to swap writing (Plan Z, if you're keeping track) in for a new career any time soon. She's run out of letters, for one. Violet loves to write contemporary and fantasy, and one day hopes to get up the nerve to dive into futuristic.
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