ANOTHER Book to Love!
Title: Someone Like You
Author: Karen Rock
Genre: Contemporary, Sweet Romance
You can't program love…or can you?
Kayleigh Renshaw has come up with the idea for a brilliant "compatibility app," a new kind of matchmaking software. All she needs is a programmer to help her bring the idea to market…and she knows exactly who she wants. But Niall Walsh—a code whiz and her former best friend—has been avoiding her since he returned from Afghanistan. In spite of their history, and some sparks that go beyond friendship, he's proving reluctant…. Is it her, or is something darker holding him back?
Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time author. With her co-author, Joanne Rock, she’s penned the CAMP BOYFRIEND series with Spencer Hill Press under the pseudonym J.K. Rock. She also writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Enterprises. Her wholesome romance, Heartwarming novels have won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the 2014 Golden Quill Contest. When she's not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes and hiking. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of "fetch" though they know a lot about love. To find out about her upcoming releases, appearance and latest news, visit http://www.karenrock.com or follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites or Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5 She’d love to connect with you!
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Giveaway: Autographed copies of WISH ME TOMORROW, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, and SOMEONE LIKE YOU as well as a $100 Amazon Gift Card.
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Someone Like You Excerpt #1: Dating Debate
A strange expression came over Niall’s face, and he seemed to look deep into her, not into her eyes, but through her eyes. As if he could see the thoughts clamoring to betray her. She glanced down then up again, finding it hard to look away.
“And you’re certain your app will do this,” he said, his face serious. “Help people find true love?”
Her hand stilled on Chairman Meow’s white belly, earning her a prickly swat. She gave an emphatic nod. “Of course. Don’t you agree?”
Niall frowned a bit. “No. I see it as a fun conversation starter, more or less.”
She scowled. “So you’re saying our product is some kind of joke? That users won’t take it seriously? What’s on your list? The one you made at camp. You believed in it then.”
The question seemed to catch Niall unprepared. He sat still and awkward for a moment, his eyes scanning the room as if searching for a way out. Finally, he shook his head.
“I was a kid.”
“But you’ll make one now, of course.” She added it to her to-do list so that she wouldn’t forget to look for it.
“No.” Niall waved Chairman Meow’s tail as the cat batted at it. “I compromised about the windows and the cat. But I’m not making a list.”
Disappointment filled her. How closed off could he be? Sheesh. She was right to be firm with herself about not falling for him. They were great as friends, but couldn’t be less compatible romantically—with or without a list, it was obvious.
After a long moment, Niall drew a deep, slow breath. “We’re better off using traits from your list or ones we get from market samples.”
Her eyes narrowed. “And why is that?”
He tilted his face, one corner of his mouth lifting in a wry half smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “I don’t exactly fall into your target audience.” His stiff shoulders shrugged. “I’m not looking to meet someone.”
“Oh.” A heavy weight settled in her chest. Although her heart still broke when she thought of Brett, she knew that someday she’d be ready for romance. Something in Niall’s tone, however, sounded bleak and definite, as if he didn’t think he’d ever love anyone. Or worse, that anyone would ever love him.
In a breathless second, she almost asked him why he’d never consider love. She felt the question rising in her chest, drew in air then, hesitated. What could she say that wouldn’t sound too personal? Take things to an intimate level that might endanger their fragile partnership?
Someone Like You Excerpt #2: FIRST KISS
“I don’t need to be around other people,” he said drily, his gaze never leaving hers. “Except you.”
Heated blood rushed through her. That was treacherous thinking—for both of them.
“But if you used the app, you’d find the right girlfriend. Want to be with her. You can’t waste your time on someone like me. I’ll never be more than a friend.”
He closed the distance between them in one stride and eyed her. “Sure about that?”
And suddenly, he pulled her into his arms, his strong body enfolding her. His lips lowered then paused, his heated eyes questioning. Was he waiting for her to refuse him?
Her bones melted against him, and her resolve to keep things professional crumbled.
She wanted this kiss as badly as she’d ever wanted anything. She stretched up on her tiptoes and heard him groan as his lips swept down and captured hers, the caress as feather soft as the dragonfly’s wings.
He pulled the band around her bun loose, and her hair tumbled down her back, his hands burying themselves in it. When he deepened their kiss, his mouth slanting firmly against hers, her skin heated. Their hearts pounded together, and she breathed in his minty breath, tasting the strawberries they’d eaten earlier. Wanting him closer, she traced his bunching back muscles, loving their hardness and strength.
When his lips left hers and traveled along her jaw, she fitted herself against him closer still, needing to feel all of him. As his lips slid along her earlobe then down her neck, the world tilted and spun madly in the wrong direction.
She cupped his face and brought it back to hers, wanting his mouth again, the caress deepening into a demanding kiss that left her breathless and clutching on to his shoulders when her knees weakened.
At last he stopped, and they stared at each other, chests heaving, breath coming in fits and starts.
“Still sure?” he murmured, his eyes searching hers. Struck dumb, she nodded automatically, her gesture making him scowl, disappointment in his eyes. When he strode out of the pavilion, her fingers traced her swollen lips
How had she let that happen?
Someone Like You Excerpt FRIEND TO LOVE
Strong hands slid into hers, and Kayleigh shivered with pleasure. “I wondered where you went.”
She forced herself to meet his kind eyes. “I’m sorry about that, Niall. Sorry for what I said. Sorry for lots of things. You’ve always been such a good friend to me, and I treated you badly.”
“A friend?” His eyes searched hers, and she felt her heart open up to him like a flower touched by dawn. He wanted more than friendship. She couldn’t predict how this would go, but after years of knowing each other, they had a good start.
“No. Not just as a friend,” she admitted, and felt herself melt at the passionate flare in his eyes. She angled her head and leaned closer, aching for his kiss.
“We have to get out of here,” he said suddenly and stood, pulling her with him.
“Huh? Why?” His words broke through her romantic fog, and she flushed, embarrassed. Had she misread the situation? Either way, she wouldn’t regret it. But another look into his soulful eyes reassured her. She was right about him. She knew it down deep.
“Because I can’t kiss you here.” His eyes slid to Gianna’s open door then back to her, and heat raced up her neck and flooded her cheeks.
He lifted her fingers to his lips, then pulled her out the door.
Excerpt: Someone Like You: Kayleigh and Niall Meet Again
Kayleigh’s eyes followed the hostess’s down to the run in her nylon, and she tucked one leg behind the other. “I’m here to meet a man.”
The woman’s eyes widened, and her nose piercing twitched. “Anyone in particular? There are quite a few at the bar.”
Kayleigh felt her forehead bead and started again. “His name’s Niall Walsh. He’s got dark hair…” Her voice trailed off. Did he look the same after his time in the army? She imagined his tall, wiry form and boyish handsomeness.
“She’s with me,” a husky voice interrupted her. She whirled, shocked into silence at the powerfully built man looming beside her. He’d definitely filled out from his military days. Her eyes flicked to his left leg, but not so fast that he didn’t catch her glance, his lips firming in a straight line. Warmth crept into her cheeks. She hadn’t wanted to make him feel self-conscious, but she’d gone and done it anyway. Not the best start to their reunion.
“It’s good to see you, Niall.” She searched his eyes, a jolt of familiarity zipping through her veins. The deep brown depths held the gold flecks she could count by heart, his lashes so thick they’d look girlish if not for his angular, masculine features. He’d always had high cheekbones, but now there was sharpness in his face, as if someone had chiseled out his firm, square jaw and the prominent brow that gave proportion to his strong nose and full lips.
His chestnut-colored hair was no longer clipped short, but layered lightly across his forehead and ears. He’d transformed from the young, earnest man she’d known to a hand- some stranger. She flushed despite the steady stream of cool air blowing from an overhead vent. MaryAnne should have warned her about this change. It was doing something funny to her stomach.
“Shall we?” He held out his arm, and she took it, feeling awkward. Once she would have flown into his arms, and he would have swung her, laughing. But those days seemed distant, out of reach. Hopefully, they’d loosen up over lunch. She’d lost so much since she’d last seen Niall—Chris, her job, Brett. She wondered about Niall’s losses and knew the past few years must have been very difficult for him.
They ambled through the nautically decorated restaurant, navigating a maze of dark wood tables. Kayleigh forced her racing thoughts from the man beside her and surveyed the scene. The room resembled the inside of a ship with a wood-slatted ceiling, a brass railing along the oak bar and fishing nets and lures dangling from the walls.
She peeked at Niall’s stern profile. He looked as uncomfortable as she felt. But this was Niall. The boy she’d beaten in a bubble-blowing contest when they were eleven, the teen who’d taught her how to parallel park, the high school senior who’d celebrated with her when they’d been admitted to the same college, the young man who’d promised to write her every day from Afghanistan and then had stopped communicating with her altogether.
In crisp khakis and a white polo shirt that showed off his coloring and broad shoulders, Niall looked great. He was pale, probably from staying indoors as MaryAnne mentioned, but handsome. It felt as though she looked at him through the shifting lenses at an eye doctor’s office. One minute she saw him as her old pal, and the next she glimpsed an unfamiliar man with experiences and secrets she no longer knew. How strange to feel as if she was meeting him for the first time.
Someone Like You Excerpt Pool Scene
The cool air on her wet shoulders made her shiver, and Niall wrapped his towel around her.
“Here. I don’t need it.”
She handed it back. “No, Niall. You don’t get it. I don’t want you to come to my rescue. I’m not looking for a knight in shining armor. If I were a princess, I’d save myself.”
Niall’s leg circled in the water, making a mini whirlpool. “So tell me what a non-princess needs,” he said at last.
“Someone who brings out the best in me, supports me, values my opinion and, most of all, is honest with me.”
“I’ll do that, Kay.” He looked sincere, and his insistent tone undid the wall she’d placed between them. “As much as I can. Let’s set up our base of operations in my apartment, and we’ll meet there tomorrow. I’ve got some things for us to go over, and nothing’s final until we both approve.” He pulled off her swim goggles, then trailed the backs of his fingers down the side of her face until they fell away.
Her breath hitched. That didn’t feel like a “friendly” touch. And it definitely crossed pro- fessional boundaries. So why did she want him to do it again? To let his hand linger so she could press her cheek into his palm.
“We’ll disagree at times. But I won’t let anyone, like Major Carlton, act like you don’t exist again.”
She shook her head, trying to get her thoughts back on track. “I didn’t think you’d noticed.” He studied his wrinkled fingertips, then lifted his eyes to hers, their tortured depths doing
something funny to her heart.
“I notice you, Kayleigh,” he said quietly, almost to himself. “More than I should.”