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LIAR, LIAR, HEARTS ON FIRE by JENNIFER ZANE
Violet Miller is a teacher savoring her summer break until she’s been called in as emergency reinforcements—of the dating kind. She volunteers to help an old flame by pretending to be his girlfriend. In Alaska. At a family reunion. Since the guy is a handsome, lumberjack-sized doctor she’s never quite forgotten, faking a relationship won’t be hard work.
Mike Ostranski is a desperate man on vacation. His mother wants grandchildren and sees a crazy Alaskan woman as a candidate for daughter-in-law. Mike needs Violet by his side to deflect the lady’s advances.
A week in Alaska as boyfriend and girlfriend should be easy for them. They grew up together, even had a brief fling. What could go wrong?
Liar, Liar, Hearts On Fire
© Copyright 2013 – Jennifer Zane
“Careful walking up the slope,” Mike advised, letting me lead the way up the incline. “I’ll go behind you to catch you if you slip.”
It was solid mud, deep and thick, our boots making sucking noises as we stepped. I was almost to the top when my right foot lost traction. With a rod in each hand, I couldn’t stop myself. The reels would be ruined if they were caked in mud, so I lifted my hands up, landing elbows first with a big oomph. It was jarring, but the mud was soft and absorbed most of the impact.
“Ow!” Mike yelled as the top end of the rod whacked him in the head like a whip.
Besides my arms buried in mud, the entire front half landed hard and I quickly slid back down the incline and collided with Mike. It’s easy to fell a tree when you cut it low to the ground, which was what happened with Mike.
Taking his legs out from under him like I did, he fell forward, landing on top of me, smooshing me into the oozing mud even deeper, knocking the wind out of me.
He tried to push himself off, but sunk elbows deep himself with weird mud-farting sounds. Recognizing a lost cause, he rolled to his side, and then flipped me over like a pancake, deflecting one of the rods before it hit him again. I lay there, my back now equally cold and soggy wet from the mud, trying to suck air into my lungs as rain fell down onto my face.
“Jesus, Vi, are you all right?”
I just stared up at the thick clouds, waiting, waiting…gasp.
Sucking in gulps of air, I turned and looked at Mike. He had a red welt down the left side of his cheek the shape of a fishing rod. His hood had fallen back, his red hair now wet. He was covered in mud from the chest down. “So much for catching me.”
“God, sorry about that. I did not see that one coming.”
Yeah, neither had I.
I was afraid to look down at myself, but I knew I had mud…everywhere, but fortunately protected by my waders and raincoat. I was wet and cold from top to bottom. Squishy. This was one of those moments in life where you could either throw a total tantrum like a toddler or embrace the moment and see something ridiculously positive, even when bogged down in thick, dark, cold glop.
Struggling against the tug of the mud, I gave up the fight after a few seconds and collapsed back. I started to laugh at the situation. Mike brought his hand up to wipe something off my face, but when he saw that his hand was coated as well, he started to laugh, too.
“Is there any part of me that’s not covered?” I asked, knowing we were quite a sight to the other fishermen. I saw a few people pointing from the pedestrian bridge. No doubt they’d be telling stories of the idiots who fell in the mud for years to come. So would I.
Mike’s gaze raked over me, and not in a clinical, doctor sort of way. He looked from top to bottom and back up again, his blue eyes assessing, but stopped at my lips. “Just one.”
He lowered his head and kissed me, a gentle, soft brushing of his lips against mine. His mouth was warm, no hot, and the contact heated me better than a shot of whiskey and a crackling fire. Wow, his lips felt good. Soft, gentle. A little shock to the system. My body did a little “Oh yeah, I remember this” moment. His kisses were not something easily forgotten.
Links to Jennifer’s website, blog, books, etc.
GENRE: Contemporary Romance & Romantic Comedy
PUBLISHER: Jennifer Zane
RELEASE DATE: January 16, 2014
Available in e-book from Amazon and All Romance eBooks
Paperbacks available just about everywhere, online.
Goodreads Book Page (with pre-release reviews):
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Jennifer will give away ebooks of LIAR, LIAR, HEARTS ON FIRE to FIVE lucky readers. Please comment on her Monday Interview or Wednesday Book Bench blogs, and then click here for a chance to win!!