by Liz Crowe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 15, 2012
When the ideal man truly loves you…but his polar opposite will not exit your fantasies…
Garrett Hunter is the dictionary definition of masculine perfection: Handsome, successful, stable, and eager to settle down. He’s just landed his dream job— General manager for Brockton Brewing, one of Michigan’s oldest and most storied craft breweries.
Elias Buchannan is a craft beer rock star, recently hired to drag Brockton into the 21st century. He brings with him innovation and ego in equal measure. His reputation for a morally casual attitude precedes him but masks a fear of commitment he earned the hard way.
Lori Brockton realizes she owes it to her father to take her place in the family business.Two years after barely surviving a brutal attack, she struggles with anxiety and self-doubt while working her way through each department, learning everything she can.
The week before her final assignment—crafting beer alongside Brewmaster Eli—Lori’s carefully constructed world gets upended when Garrett is introduced as the new GM. Confronted by attraction to two very different men, she makes a surprising choice that alters everyone’s lives forever.
One woman’s grueling quest for independence on the road to recovery places her at a crossroads. A tender love story in the middle of personal chaos nearly ruined by forbidden physical temptation, Paradise Hops is the ultimate novel of full-circle second chances.
Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe lives Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
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 at 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.
“Lori!” He looked surprised, rattled, very unlike himself. She gulped. He was so handsome, and he loved her. Why in the hell did she doubt him? She perched on the edge of his desk. All too recent memories of the other—the dark to Garrett’s light, the temptation of wrong instead of right—tore through her as cleanly as a knife. She shut her eyes to Eli, opened them to the man she wanted to love.
“I have an idea.” She spoke, but he kept his face closed. She stood and stuck her head around the corner. “Mrs. Anderson, my dad needed you for something. His assistant is out sick. Can you go? Thanks.” She closed the door, gave herself a few seconds to rally her courage, then turned. “So, about my idea.” She walked to him, put a hand on his face, ran her thumb over his lips. He tried to shift away, but she took his chair and turned it so he faced her. She propped her hands on the chair arms and leaned in to cover his lips, forcing them apart. He returned the kiss after a few seconds of resistance.
Then she stood, flipped the blinds closed on his single window and unzipped her jeans. He watched, arms crossed, staying quiet as she slid them down her hips, wiggling a little more than was probably necessary. But she caught the spark in his eye and felt encouraged. She glided over and straddled him. Capturing his lips again, she took charge and he let her. She loosened and released his tie, unbuttoned his shirt so she could slide her hand down his skin.
He stayed silent, which was unnerving but his body kept responding, speaking for him. Never taking her eyes from his she slid his zipper down. He clutched her hips as she took him inside her, and ground against her his eyes darkening, breath coming in gasps. Reaching up to grab her hair, exposing her neck, he leaned into her as she slid up and down his length. The room dimmed and her ears started humming with a slow-moving, intense, release.
He came quick, spilling inside her, warm and satisfying. She clutched his shoulders and joined him, biting her lip to keep from making any more noise. She collapsed onto his chest, felt his hands on her back, his lips on her hair as their breathing calmed. She stood and tugged her jeans back up, zipped him into his trousers and re-buttoned his shirt. They still hadn't said a word.
She put her hands back on the chair arms. “Come up north with me, Garrett.”
He pulled his tie back into place and wouldn't meet her eyes. “I thought you had to work.”
“I don’t. I just said that because…” She bit her lip, trying to find words for her knee-jerk lie earlier.
“Huh, well, maybe I’m busy now.” He stood, forcing her to move out of his way. “Thanks for the fuck. Nice touch.”
She panicked. Had she screwed this up needing to resist his constant planning so much she’d finally pushed him away one time too many? She walked over to him, ran her hands across his shoulders and kissed his damp neck, trying to rally.
“Well, I’m leaving in about an hour. Gonna open up the cabin in Manistee. I think you should come too.” He turned, his eyes hard. “Unless you need to go somewhere else that is.” She stepped back, crossed her arms over her chest, line in the sand officially drawn.
“Oh, that. No. My presence isn't required at my ex-father-in-law’s funeral.” He shrugged. The look of innocent confusion on his face made Lori smile and wrap her arms around him.
“You’re amazing, you know that? I’m sure she needed to hear your voice. I know I would. You are just that kind of guy.” He pressed his lips to her hair.
“And what kind of guy is that?”
“Just about perfect. Now, this is your chance, Hunter. Let go your inner spontaneous beast, drop what you’re doing, and come with me. I promise to make it worth your while.” She palmed his softening cock.
“Fine. I’ll be spontaneous but just this once and only because you asked me so nicely.” He cupped her breast, bit her lower lip and smacked her ass as she turned to go. Lori’s heart swelled with something she didn't want to identify. Then, just as suddenly, a darkness settled over her brain.
Garrett, Fred Sullivan, Eli with his damning photos and accusations. She shook her head. That’s why she initiated this; had arrived at his office intent on seducing him, making him let go of some of his stuffiness and control. They would have to talk once she got him away from here.
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