Autumn Bliss (Romancing Wisconsin - 6)

Romancing Wisconsin

Book 5
Stacey Joy Netzel
5
Free sample

After a string of bad luck, Mallory Parker is convinced her future lies way beyond the streets of the small home town that stole her mother’s hopes and dreams. As soon as she saves enough money at her new job, she’s going to get out and get a life, and no one can tempt her to stay—until she meets the man who does.

Army veteran Levi Jenkins is still dealing with the aftermath of his last tour of duty. Working in the background as a maintenance man at Whispering Pines Lodge gives him the peace his soul craves. The last thing he wants is the distraction of a woman who charms his heart while teaching him to smile again. Or maybe, that’s exactly what he needs.

Levi fears loving her and losing her would be too much to endure—and yet, asking Mallory to stay could destroy the very essence that makes her so special. If either of them are to be happy, he must find the courage to set her free.

EXCERPT:

She needed to hit something. Hard.

Holding his gaze without backing down, she silently dared him to take the ax away by force. He could do it easy, and she actually wanted him to force the physical confrontation.

Instead, he gave a brief nod. “Okay. You want to work off some steam, I get it. I don’t want to have to rush you to the emergency room, so let me show you the right way to do it and it’s all yours.”

“Fine.” She shoved the handle toward him and let go at the same time.

Arms crossed over her chest, all her weight on one leg, she waited. He transferred the ax to one hand and let it swing down alongside his leg. Then he walked over for a hunk of wood and returned to set it on the stump, cut side up. Once he moved into position, he glanced back to where she stood.

“Hands like this, then swing back, and around, and bring it down so the sharp edge hits the wood in the center.”

In one fluid motion, he did exactly as he described and split the piece of wood clean in half. Facing her, he asked, “Got it?”

 “Yeah. I got it.”

His eyebrow arched at her sarcasm, but she didn’t care. It felt good to not care for once. To not pretend like she was okay with the raw deal life had handed her lately. Felt great actually.

He extended the ax and she wrenched it from his grasp. Only he let go at the same time and she stumbled at the unexpected lack of resistance. His lightning fast steadying grip only annoyed her more.

She stepped into position as he placed a log on the stump for her, then stood back slightly, off to her left.

“No. Put your hands like I showed you.”

She’d seen his swing, and the subsequent play of muscles beneath his T-shirt, but prior to that, she’d been focused on him, not the instructions. She moved her hands closer together.

“This isn’t baseball.”

She moved them farther apart.

“I thought you said you got it?” he huffed as he stepped up behind her.

His arms closed around her, his hands sliding down to adjust her grip on the handle as the front of his body came into full contact with her back. She sucked in a surprised breath and smelled nothing but Levi.

From one heartbeat to the next, all her anger and frustration morphed into intense awareness that literally had her trembling in her boots.

~~~
To everything there is a season...

Love finds a way during the four seasons in the Romancing Wisconsin Series. Starting with Christmas/Winter, then moving on to the rest of the seasons, check out this bestselling, heartwarming series set in small town Wisconsin, where hope springs eternal for each happily ever after. Sexy military heroes, runaway brides, surprise babies, single parents—meet the Rileys, the Walshes, and best of all, Butch...a.k.a. Santa Butch. The mischievous matchmaker makes a cameo in each story—adding a touch of magic to the lives of everyone he loves, and even those he's just met.

Romancing Wisconsin Series
Mistletoe Mischief
Mistletoe Magic
Mistletoe Match-Up
Mistletoe Rules
– short bonus story
Autumn Wish
Autumn Bliss
Autumn Kiss
Autumn Glimmer
– short bonus story
Spring Fling
Spring Serendipity
Spring Dreams
Spring Spark
– short bonus story




military romance fiction, collections romance, back in town a small town series, Heartwarming Romance series, small town romance series, steamy romance, sexy military hero romance, military hero romance, veteran, Army veteran hero, spunky heroine, alpha male romance, fun small town romance, matchmaker, Wisconsin author, Wisconsin romance, fans of Hallmark movies, contemporary romance, books set in Wisconsin

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More by Stacey Joy Netzel

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Kendra Zelner has three brothers: Eight-year old Noah she's determined to protect, Joel has no clue she exists, and Robert wants her dead.

With reason to be distrustful of cops, she takes Noah and flees their Manhattan home for Joel’s ranch in Colorado. Under the pretense of needing a job, she plans to hide out until her twenty-fifth birthday, when she’ll inherit her trust fund and legally gain custody of Noah away from Robert’s greedy hands. Unfortunately, her new-found brother’s sexy, infuriating ranch manager insists on demolishing her defenses and digging into her past.

Colton Lawe has good reason to suspect Joel’s beautiful, long-lost sister isn’t what she seems—the little liar stole from him! He silently vows to expose her secrets, but long hours together on the ranch fosters a friendship and attraction neither of them expects. Can Kendra trust Colton with the full truth before Robert tracks them down?

COLORADO TRUST SERIES
Trust makes all the difference when love and danger collide.

Evidence of Trust, Book 1

Trust by Design, Book 2

Trust in the Lawe, Book 3

Shattered Trust, Book 4

Dare to Trust, Book 5

Vow of Trust, Book 6




Romantic suspense, sexy alpha male hero, Boulder Colorado, stalker romance, contemporary western romance, workplace romance, horse ranch, family betrayal romance, secret sibling, revenge, greed, family secrets, series romance, Colorado Trust Series, cowboy hero, city girl goes country, fish out of water romance, New York heroine, marriage of convenience 

4.8
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Additional Information

Publisher
Stacey Joy Netzel
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Published on
Jul 16, 2014
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Pages
216
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ISBN
9781939143266
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Romance / Collections & Anthologies
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Fiction / Romance / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Josie Sullivan’s been trying to forget Nash Riley since he left her eight years ago. Now he’s back for a second chance. Does she dare trust him with her heart again?

For eight years, Josie Sullivan has managed to keep memories of Nash Riley buried in the past. When he moves into the apartment above her bakery, she doesn’t know how the hell she can keep her distance when she runs into him every time she turns around. Especially when she realizes her traitorous heart never let him go.

Nash made the mistake of leaving Josie behind, and now she won’t give him the time of day. Buying the building that houses her business seemed like a good plan to win her back, but Josie refuses to believe he’ll stick around. Seeing her every day becomes pure torture as she stubbornly maintains the defensive walls she built when he left. Somehow he must find a way to make her believe this time is forever.

EXCERPT:

Ignoring the surprise in the older sister’s eyes, he moved around to the side entrance so he could speak more privately with Josie.

Tessa moved with him and blocked his way into the booth. “Leave her alone.”

Nash spoke around her. “Can we talk?”

“No,” Tessa snapped.

Josie laughed without facing him. “Oh, now you want to talk?”

She picked up a knife and slit a pumpkin pie in half with one sure stroke. Probably wished it was his gut. Or lower. Judging by Tessa’s glare, she wouldn’t stop her, either. Lora had returned her attention to their paying customers after depositing his hundred in the cash box.

Tessa crossed her arms over her chest. “You need to leave.”

His stubborn streak took a defensive stand. “I’m waiting on my pie.”

“I got this,” Josie tossed over her shoulder.

“But I thought you were going to—”

Tessa broke off when Josie whipped her head around to meet her gaze. With obvious reluctance, the second oldest Sullivan moved back to the counter to help take orders.

He stepped inside the booth as Josie’s attention returned to the table in front of her. She spun the pie a quarter turn and sliced again as she accused, “You’re only eight years too late, Nash.”

“You’re right.”

Her hand wavered, then continued its motion with a swift jerk. He heard the cringe-inducing screech of aluminum on steel as the knife powered straight through the pie tin.

“Well, good for me. You’re one hell of a selfish sonofabitch, you know that?”

He didn’t deny it. Even though he knew he’d made the right decision back then, he’d screwed up the execution. “I was hoping we could sort this out like adults.”

She finished cutting the pie, then turned toward him, knife raised between them. Her smile was cold and nasty as she stepped closer. He took an involuntary step back and felt the side wall of the booth against his shoulder blades.

“As opposed to the coward you used to be?”

She was right about that, too, but that six inch knife in her hand was making him more nervous than the conversation they needed to have. “I, ah, had my reasons.”

“Too bad you couldn’t explain them in person back when it actually mattered. Or even over the phone the one time you bothered to call.”

She shortened the distance between them to less than a foot, putting the tip of that knife about three inches from the underside of his chin.

Sonofabitch, she’d changed all right. Feisty. Unforgiving.

~~~

To everything there is a season...

Love finds a way during the four seasons in the Romancing Wisconsin Series. Starting with Christmas/Winter, then moving on to the rest of the seasons, check out this bestselling, heartwarming series set in small town Wisconsin, where hope springs eternal for each happily ever after. Sexy military heroes, runaway brides, surprise babies, single parents—meet the Rileys, the Walshes, and best of all, Butch...a.k.a. Santa Butch. The mischievous matchmaker makes a cameo in each story—adding a touch of magic to the lives of everyone he loves, and even those he's just met.

Romancing Wisconsin Series
Mistletoe Mischief
Mistletoe Magic
Mistletoe Match-Up
Mistletoe Rules – short bonus story
Autumn Wish
Autumn Bliss
Autumn Kiss
Autumn Glimmer – short bonus story
Spring Fling
Spring Serendipity
Spring Dreams
Spring Spark – short bonus story



collections romance, back in town a small town series, Loving the CEO, Heartwarming Romance series, small town romance series, steamy romance, sexy millionaire romance, alpha male romance, runaway bride romance, high school sweethearts, second chance romance, Santa matchmaker, Wisconsin author, Wisconsin romance, fans of Hallmark movies, CEO, contemporary romance, books set in Wisconsin

MISTLETOE MISCHIEF

Christmas in July at the zoo is the last place single parents Eric Riley and Marissa Wilder expect to find love. Thanks to some mistletoe mischief in the form of their two young daughters and Santa, they discover mistletoe rules were not made to be broken.

EXCERPT:

“Daddy, you’re under the mistletoe.”

Eric glanced up at a sprig of leaves and holly berries attached to the roof of the cart, then dropped his gaze to Marissa’s. “So we are,” he murmured.

Her face flushed, but he couldn’t tell if it was from embarrassment, or anticipation of a kiss. He knew the reason his pulse raced like an out of control locomotive.

“You have to kiss her,” Reese stated.

God Bless you, Reese.

Santa laid his arm across the back of the front passenger seat and craned his head around, his brown eyes twinkling. “‘Tis tradition.”

“It’s the rule,” Reese argued, frowning at Santa before turning back to Eric. “You say so every Christmas when we stand in the doorway at Grandma’s.”

“I do, don’t I?”

Reese nodded emphatically. “Every year.”

Eric faced Marissa and sighed with exaggerated reluctance. “I might’ve been able to buck tradition, but a rule’s a rule.”

~~~

To everything there is a season...

Love finds a way during the four seasons in the Romancing Wisconsin Series. Starting with Christmas/Winter, then moving on to the rest of the seasons, check out this bestselling, heartwarming series set in small town Wisconsin, where hope springs eternal for each happily ever after. Sexy military heroes, runaway brides, surprise babies, single parents—meet the Rileys, the Walshes, and best of all, Butch...a.k.a. Santa Butch. The mischievous matchmaker makes a cameo in each story—adding a touch of magic to the lives of everyone he loves, and even those he's just met.

Romancing Wisconsin Series

Mistletoe Mischief
Mistletoe Magic
Mistletoe Match-Up
Mistletoe Rules – short bonus story
Autumn Wish
Autumn Bliss
Autumn Kiss
Autumn Glimmer – short bonus story
Spring Fling
Spring Serendipity
Spring Dreams
Spring Spark – short bonus story




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A week of no-strings fun is never that simple.

Tessa Sullivan figures she can handle a no-strings-attached fling with the handsome stranger she meets at her sister’s Spring wedding. After all, she doesn’t believe in love. Or so she tells herself.

Trevor Jackson’s painful past leaves him adamant he’ll never open his heart again. But a week of uncomplicated fun with the beautiful bridesmaid? Now that’s an arrangement he can work with. 

All’s well that ends well—a mutually enjoyable relationship that will end as simply as it started—until someone breaks the rules and falls in love.

Romancing Wisconsin, a USA Today bestselling series 
Mistletoe Mischief
Mistletoe Magic
Mistletoe Match-Up
Mistletoe Rules – short bonus story
Autumn Wish
Autumn Bliss
Autumn Kiss
Autumn Glimmer – short bonus story
Spring Fling
Spring Serendipity
Spring Dreams
Spring Spark – short story

To everything there is a season... 

Love finds a way during the four seasons in the Romancing Wisconsin Series. Starting with Christmas/Winter, then moving on to the rest of the seasons, check out this bestselling, heartwarming series set in small town Wisconsin, where hope springs eternal for each happily ever after. Sexy military heroes, runaway brides, surprise babies, single parents—meet the Rileys, the Walshes, and best of all, Butch...a.k.a. Santa Butch. The mischievous matchmaker makes a cameo in each story—adding a touch of magic to the lives of everyone he loves, and even those he's just met.

EXCERPT:

Gesturing toward her empty glass, Trevor asked, “Can I buy you another?”

“It’s an open bar, but no, thank you.” Red-gold curls bounced as she gave a quick shake of her head. One of the daisies came loose and tumbled past her shoulder. He caught it as she added, “I should’ve stopped at one.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“The first went down so smooth, I figured a second might carry me through to the end of the night.”

Brushing his thumb over the petals of the flower in his hand, he imagined her skin would feel equally soft. “Are you in love with the groom?”

“No.” Her shocked gaze collided with his, then she laughed again. “God no. I barely like him.”

He arched his eyebrows. “Couldn’t tell from your toast.”

Speculation filled her eyes. “What was wrong with my toast?”

“Nothing.” He placed his hand with the daisy against his chest, and her attention dropped to the flower as he added a touch of drama to his voice. “It was very touching. Inspiring. Heartwarming.”

This time the roll of her eyes was accompanied by an unladylike snort.

“If you didn’t mean it, then that was an Oscar-worthy performance.”

“Oh, I meant it.” She glanced toward the reception where the festivities were still in full swing. “But it certainly did not make it sound like I was in love with Nash.”

“And yet you’re out here drinking for a reason. Is it because you don’t like him?”

She shook her head. “I misspoke a moment ago. I like Nash. Now, anyway. Six months ago, not so much.”

“Why’s that?”

Her gaze met his once more. “You don’t know the story?”

“No.” He did his best not to get lost in the rich blue of her eyes. It was hard with the way they stood out against her fair, lightly freckled skin, framed by long, frosted lashes and shimmery shadow that complimented her spring dress. Up close, the whole combination made her look somewhat like a fairy.

A sexy fairy whose daisy-laden, disheveled, reddish-gold locks suggested she’d been rolling around in May flowers, even though it was only mid-April. He knew the tumbled curls were a result of her enthusiastic dancing earlier, but he much preferred the alternative image his imagination provided.

Suspicion replaced speculation when he didn’t answer her question. “You’re not a friend of the groom?”

“No.”

“And I know you’re not a friend of the bride. So, how did you hear my toast?” Blue eyes narrowed for a second before she accused, “Did you crash my sister’s wedding?”

He grinned, dropped the daisy onto the bar, and lifted his watered down scotch for a sip. The fairy was very protective of her family.

“Wow. Not even a hint of remorse.” Indignation filled her expression as she slid off the stool. “You need to leave.”

“Relax.” His grin widened as he set his glass down. “I promise I won’t steal the gifts.”

“Damn right you won’t.”

She snatched her handbag and spun toward the dance floor, presumably to go round up the cavalry. Trevor caught her arm before she could storm away.

~~~



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