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Accidental Lies, by Dana Mason

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

Emily

This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. To me, a getaway doesn’t include hundreds of other people. I should never have let Mac plan this vacation for me. I wanted a private, exclusive cottage somewhere in the mountains. Not a five-star resort in Maui and a list of activities an arm long. I’m going to kill my brother when I get home.

I finally get to my room. No, correction, my second room. The first one was only thirty feet from a construction zone, and I wasn’t willing to listen to jackhammering all day. I drop the room key on the small table, and lift my face to the breeze that drifts in from the open lanai door. There’s a wall of windows on one side of the room and the curtains are open to a spectacular view of the Pacific, but before I even have time to step out and get a better look, someone knocks on the door. “Yes, I’m already feeling relaxed,” I mumble with an eye-roll as I tug the door open.

It’s a bellman carrying a large basket full of fresh fruit and snacks. “Delivery for you, ma’am.” And how badly I want to poke his eye out for calling me “ma’am”.

“It’s Ms. Thomas, and thank you so much. Who sent this lovely surprise?” I ask as he brings the large basket inside and sets it down on the small dining table in my suite.

“I’m not sure, but there’s a card included.” He lingers a moment then gives a slight bow before retreating from my room. When the door clicks behind him, I realize what I missed. Dammit. I grab my wallet and follow him out.

“Excuse me,” I call.

He stops and turns toward me. His polite smile is the epitome of courteousness.

“I’m sorry. You were too fast for me. Here, this is for you. Thank you so much.”

“Thank you, ma—”

“Please!” I hold my hand up. “Please don’t call me ma’am.”

I hear a chuckle behind me, but I don’t turn.

“Yes, Mrs. Thomas.” He gives me another little bow then walks away.

I turn back and come face-to-face with the guy I heard laugh a moment ago. He shrugs. “I get it. I don’t like being called ‘ma’am’ either.”

I look him up and down, from his worn-out flip-flops to the battered San Francisco Giants ball cap covering locks of chocolate brown hair, shading what look like golden brown eyes. His deep tan screams local, but if that were the case, he wouldn’t be staying in such an expensive suite in this resort. Maybe he’s an employee. Probably some maintenance man or plumber.

“I image you don’t,” I say as I walk toward my room, trying to ignore how incredibly sexy his dimpled smile is. I’m sure he thinks he’s cute too.

When I reach for the door handle, I realize I don’t have my damn key. Even on vacation Mondays suck. I rest my forehead against the door, sighing, and wonder when the fun part of this trip starts.

“Uh oh, you don’t have your key,” the heckler says, stating the obvious.

I straighten and turn, trying with all my might to act cool. Thank God I have my wallet. When I hear the chuckle behind me again, I try to ignore him.

“Do you want to use the phone in my room? You can call your husband… or the bellman to come open the door for you.”

The word “husband” makes my insides ache, but I ignore it and turn slightly to look at him. “You’re a guest here?”

He lifts his hands, palms up. “Yeah, what’d ya think, I was the maintenance man or something?”

Am I that transparent? I tilt my head as I look him over again. For a beach bum, he’s pretty built. It makes me wonder if his physique is the result of daily gym workouts or from actual work. “Thank you for the offer, but I don’t go into strangers’ rooms.”

He holds his smile and drops his chin to his chest. I can’t figure out why he keeps laughing at me. “Is that funny?” I ask.

He lifts his head again, and the grin fades a little. “No, sorry. It’s actually incredibly smart. How about I go into my room and make the call for you? It’ll be quicker than going back downstairs and trying to find someone to open it for you.”

I watch him for a quick moment, and I know he’s right. “It would be nice if you could ask the bellman to come back and open the door for me. Thank you.”

He holds up a finger. “Be right back.”

Near the elevator bank is a small seating area. I eye an armchair and lower myself into it. The setting is beautiful, with a huge picture window that looks out onto the bright, colorful garden, bursting with flowers and a neat green lawn. The heat radiating from the glass feels good against my skin and suddenly, the thought of resting my head and taking a nap sounds tempting. But no, even when presented with this much beauty, I have trouble relaxing. I’m tense and wishing I wasn’t here. What kind of woman takes a vacation alone? Hum… the kind of woman who has a dead husband, I guess. This is my first vacation since his death almost four years ago and I only agreed to this trip because everyone in my life insisted I needed it, but being here makes me sad. It makes me regret.

This is the sort of thing I should have done with Tucker and God, I hate that I wasted our time together. I regret all those hours I put in at work for those assholes at my old law firm while I was neglecting my wonderful husband. Yes, I need a break, but being here isn’t making me feel any better about my life. That’s just not something you can explain to people who’ve never lost their soulmate. 

When Mr. Heckler returns, that smirk is back on his face, and I try for cheerful. I wish he were just a little ugly, but no, I can’t deny he’s attractive in a rugged dirty-sex sort of way. The thought almost makes me blush. He drops down in the armchair next to mine. “They’ll be right up to get the door for you.”

I gesture toward the elevator. “You were going out, please don’t let me keep you.”

He holds out a hand to shake. “Drew Whitney.”

I glance at his hand, and I’m wondering where on earth this man is from. He doesn’t seem to get social cues at all. I reach out and give his hand a firm shake. “I’m Emily Thomas.”

“Nice to meet you, Emily… and nice shake.”

I smile and say, “Not my first time.”

One side of his mouth raises in a crooked grin. “In a suit like that, I believe it.” He looks me up and down. “Did you forget to check the weather report when you dressed this morning?”

“You know, I wasn’t in Maui when I dressed this morning.”

“Oh, gotcha. First day of vacation.” He gives me a thoughtful look. “I bet you’re wondering when the fun starts.”

“Yes.” I wave my hand to signal the space around me. “It’s starting off splendidly.”

“This is just a small hiccup. You’ll be enjoying Mai Tais on the beach in no time.”

I nod as I consider that. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a Mai Tai. Is that the drink of choice here?”

“What?” He leans back, acting shocked. “Oh, damn, woman. You need a drink, stat.”

I chuckle and say, “Don’t worry, my time is coming.” It feels good to laugh. I don’t do it much these days.

“I hope so.” When the elevator opens, and the bellman steps out, Drew and I both stand quickly.

“You need assistance, Mrs. Thomas?”

“Yes, I do. Thank you for coming back.” I turn toward Drew. “Thanks so much for your help.”

“Of course.” He reaches to press the down button on the elevator. “It was nice meeting you, Emily.”

When the elevator opens, he steps inside, and as the doors close behind him, I’m struck by a familiar wave of loneliness.

Once I’m securely inside the privacy of my room, I look over the basket the bellman delivered. There’s a card inside so I pull it out and read the script.

Emily,

We know you didn’t want this vacation, but you need it. As much as we’re going to miss you this week, we’re glad you’re taking a break to enjoy yourself. The resort concierge should have given you a list of activities I’ve signed you up for. Please don’t hide in your room. Go out, meet people, have some fun. Get some fresh air and take in the sights. This basket of snacks is here just in case you decide to stay in and not take any of the tours, but I hope that’s not what you do.

Life is short, sweetheart. Too short to stay cooped up in your office pretending to live.

We love you!

Mac and Kelley

My review:
Emily and Drew meet in Hawaii and instantly have a physical and emotional connection. But both have been widowed (but don’t want to tell each other) and are worried about starting a new relationship so they agree to not mention anything from their outside lives, instead living in the moment and enjoying their holiday passion.
But back from vacation, they meet up again. Both have secrets which are now seeming more like lies due to the lack of sharing agrrement they made in Hawaii (hence the tilte of the book). Can they forgive each other? Can they be honest with themselves?
I admit to a little bit of snobbery. I would not usually choose this book due to the cover (I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover!) I made the assumption that it would be shallow and based on physicality.
Yes, Accidental Lies was steamy and sexy. But it was also very emotional and much deeper than I ever would have judged from the cover. I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed this book and will be reading more from this author and from books with similar covers: lesson learned!
Dana Mason has created well rounded characters in Emily and Drew, and knowing the heartache they have both experienced, we as readers have our fingers crossed that they will overcome the barriers that they themselves have put in place.

Accidental Lies by Dana Mason 
Amazon: https://geni.us/B07RP1QGH3Social
A blissful week on the beautiful island of Maui is exactly what I need…
I haven’t got away in years.
Not since the tragedy that’s overshadowed my life.
Not since my heart cracked into two.
But when I finally take the plunge, what happens?
I get locked out of my hotel room.
The first person I lay eyes on is a golden-eyed guy who’s all kinds of rugged.
Rugged in a dirty-sex kind of way.
The best kind.
Chocolate-brown hair, sun-kissed skin, a sexy dimpled smile.
A built body that I want to run my hands all over.
And that takes me by surprise.
He’s the first man that’s caught my eye in a long, long time.
I’ve never been able to get past the pain that haunts me.
But this man makes me think I might be able to forget.
Four cocktails later, our chemistry is hotter than the Hawaiian sun.
We’re pressed against each other in an elevator.
Soaking wet after being caught in a tropical storm.
I’m moaning in his arms, hands fisting his hair.
Then we spend the rest of our vacation unwinding and undressing…
We have just two rules:
No talking about our lives back home, and this is just a fling.
That means I can’t tell him about the heartbreak I fight every single day.
I can’t reveal my secret.
But when the sun sets on our trip, can we bring ourselves to say goodbye?
I have a feeling he’ll be tempted to break the rules.
The question is, after years of shielding my heart, will I be able to let him in?
And even if I do, will I want him when I find out who he really is?
This is a full-length, standalone romance with some hot-under-the-collar action, no cheating and a guaranteed HEA. For fans of R.S Grey, Whitney G. and Vi Keeland,Accidental Lies features a hot AF alpha and a sizzling will-they-won’t-they love story that will have you totally addicted!
About the author
Dana Mason started writing about ten years ago after being overwhelmed by a story that wouldn’t let her sleep until she wrote it down. The story, Dangerous Embrace, was published in 2012 and won Best Mystery/Suspense from eFestival of Words Best of Independent eBook Awards in 2014. Dangerous Embrace is the first book in her Embrace Series. The second book in the series, Precious Embrace, was Runner-Up for Best Hero from eFestival of Words Best of Independent eBook Awards that same year. Her third book, Broken Embrace, was awarded Best Indie Book in 2015 in the Romance Category.
Dana loves turning your worst nightmares into happy endings. She lives in Northern California with her husband, children, and her writing companion and mighty protector, Mia the Chihuahua.
Where to find Dana:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danamasonromance/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/danamason06
Website: http://danamasonromance.com/

 

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