#RomanticIdea from Mari Manning:
This is my favorite #romanticidea. On a clear summer night, swathe yourself in bug repellant, spread a blanket on the back lawn or your deck or the sand of a nearby beach, and count the stars. And while you’re counting the stars imagine you are on a giant spaceship traveling through the solar system at 66,600 miles per hour. Imagine the miracle of you, that out of all the billions of stars and planets and the infinitesimal bits of matter, you are.
If you are with a loved one, grab their hand and squeeze.
About Stranger in My House by Mari Manning
When Officer Kirby Swallow’s half-sister is threatened, Kirby assumes her sister’s identity and journeys to the remote Texas ranch her sister calls home to catch a killer. Kirby confronts a growing list of suspects and a rising body count, not to mention the ranch manager, Seth Maguire, who sees past the charade to the warm, generous girl beneath. But can Kirby trust a man who rejects the one thing she holds dear: family? Her love dares all, but as the killer closes in, will it also be blind?
Self-reliant Seth Maguire is manager of the struggling Shaw Valley Ranch. His future appears empty until the ranch’s wild, unpredictable heiress suddenly morphs into a very hot lady cop. What starts out as just another seduction turns into something deep and, for him, frightening. Then the killer is revealed and Seth is faced with an impossible choice. Will his fragile, uncertain love be enough to save Kirby?
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An excerpt from Stranger in My House
Maguire rubbed his chin and studied her. A dangerous gleam lit his eyes. “Never seen you so nosy before.”
Panic squeezed her, then it was gone. He couldn’t prove she wasn’t Frankie, and in a few days she’d be in Tulsa, and Frankie would be back in Shaw Valley. There was nothing more to learn here, and by the looks of him, Maguire needed time to cool down.
“I should go,” she said, stepping back from him.
“Stick around, Frankie. The new you is sort of growing on me.” His gaze swept down her body and landed on her ballet flats. “Maybe you’d like to help me clean the lavender screens. Seeing as you got your sensible shoes on today. You liked feeding the horses, didn’t you? This will be fun, too.”
Her heart thumped. “I’d just be in the way.”
“You helped me last year.” He studied her. “Remember? It was your first week at the ranch, and you came wandering in here. Just like now. Said you wanted to work at my side.” His eyes bored into hers. “You were wearing those ridiculous shoes. You remember them, don’t you?” Something in his gaze and the way he moved closer made her throat constrict.
“Uh, yes. Of course.”
“What did you call those shoes again?” He took another step. The heat of his body closed around her. The scents of detergent and perspiration and anger assaulted her nose.
She pulled out of his reach and said, “Heels?”
They were eye to eye now. Sparring for answers neither of them was willing to provide. The words hardly mattered.
Maguire shook his head. “No. Something else. Sounded Italian.”
Slowly, carefully, steadily, he kept coming. A hunter closing in on his prey. He breached her personal space, hovering over her. The toes of his boots pressed against her ballet flats. Her eyes were even with his thick chest. If she ran, he’d know. Guilt always ran.
She held her ground. “What do you think you’re doing?”
About Mari Manning
Let’s start with the fun stuff. I love small towns, mysteries, quiet men, laughter, old-fashioned spaghetti dinners. I love boots and shopping and jokes and Hershey’s dark chocolate and white wine. I love lots of things. But my first love is reading.
I love to read. Just about anything, but it has to be well-written. I go through periods where I am into historical novels or romance or mystery or history or biography. I never know when my desires will suddenly change.
Now for the writer-ish, official stuff: Mari Manning is the author of several contemporary romances and three romantic suspense novels set in the Texas Hill Country. Stranger at My Door is the first in her A Murder in Teas series. The second, Stranger in My House will be released by Entangled on June 13. The third book in the series is Stranger in My Bed. Currently Mari is working on a series of cozy mysteries.
She and her husband live in Chicago.
Contact Mari at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit my website HERE
Follow me @mari_manning on Twitter