Sunday Spotlight is a feature we’re running in 2016. Each week, we will spotlight a release we’re excited about. We’ll be posting exclusive excerpts and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Julie Anne Long is mostly known for writing historical romances, especially the Pennroyal Green series (of which Holly and Tracy are huge fans) so when I heard that she was writing a contemporary series, I was excited because contemporary romance is my favorite. I’m so looking forward to digging into this series.
Hot in Hellcat Canyon (Hellcat Canyon #1) by Julie Anne Long
Releases on June 30, 2016 by Avon
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A broken truck, a broken career and a breakup heard around world lands superstar John Tennessee McCord in Hellcat Canyon. Legend has it hearts come in two colors there: gold or black. And that you can find whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s love… or trouble. JT McCord may have found both in waitress Britt Langley.
Britt sees right through JT’s hard edge and soft drawl to a person a lot like her: someone in need of comfort and the kind of healing best given hot and quick, with clothes off and the lights out.
Her wit is sharp but her eyes and heart – not to mention the rest of her – are soft, and JT is falling hard. But Britt is hiding a few secrets as dark as the hills, and JTs past looks set to invade their present. It’s up to the people of Hellcat Canyon to help make sure their future includes a happily ever after.
Ooh, a country superstar lands in small town USA and falls for the waitress? I’m so in!
“What can I get for you?” she said briskly.
“Well, I think I’ve already had the something cold,” he said in a confiding, lowered voice to Britt, with a tilt of his head in the direction of Giorgio. “And I guess that would make you the something . . .”
He trailed off again at whatever he saw in her face. “Well, I’ve been driving all night, and it feels like lunchtime, so I think I’ll have a beer,” he said. Sounding amused. “A Sierra Nevada. The Stout.”
“Sierra Nevada Stout.” She didn’t write it down.
“And I’ll try the hamburger. Excuse me, the Glennburger. With all of the ingredients, secret and otherwise. Medium rare.”
“Do you want cheese?” she asked.
“The cheese isn’t secret?”
“No. A bit enigmatic, maybe.”
He smiled at that, slowly, with genuine pleasure, and held her gaze a little longer than necessary. His eyes were a startling crystalline blue. She was reminded of rivers dashed into foam over rocks, and just like that, she was as breathless as if she’d dived into the icy snowmelt runoff of the Hellcat.
She mentally smacked away a surge of want as if it were a fanged predator. That kind of want hadn’t breached her defenses in a long, long time.
She steeled her gaze to impassivity.
His gaze turned quizzical and then faintly amused; then he dropped his eyes casually to the menu again. Which she was happy about, because then she could stare at him unguarded. His shirtsleeves were rolled nearly to his elbows. His forearms were tanned gold and corded and dusted in coppery hair. His fingers were long and elegant but the hands looked well used; an old pale scar traversed one. A musician, or a carpenter, maybe. A narrow streak of silver threaded up through his black hair where he’d pushed it behind his ear.
A circlet of tiny, neat black words was tattooed on his wrist: “It has been a beautiful fight.”
He closed the menu. “I’ll have cheddar on it, then. And I have another question.”
“Ask away!” she chirped.
He leaned casually back then, arms folded across his chest, and looked up at her for a moment without speaking. Then his mouth quirked wryly, as if to say, Now, we both know chirpiness isn’t your real personality.
She gave him her blankly bright waitress face.
“Why is this place called the Misty Cat Cavern?” He said this with great gravity.
His voice was a visceral pleasure: deep, almost lazy, a bow drawn at leisure across a cello string. She thought she detected something Southern in the way he took his time with the vowels. It was a little too easy to imagine how he might sound right after he opened his eyes in the morning, when his sheets were still warm and the sun still just a suggestion of light at the top of Whiplash Peak. “Well, from what I understand, the previous owner— Earl Holloway?—was falling-down drunk when he ordered the sign over the phone about thirty years ago. Apparently the guy on the other end swore Earl had said ‘Misty Cat Cavern’ and refused to make him a new one. Earl couldn’t afford another sign. He about threw a fit but he hung it. It’s the only neon sign on the whole street.”
“What did he mean to call it?”
“The Aristocrat Tavern.”
The stranger laughed, sounding surprised and genuinely delighted.
What a great laugh. She wanted to dive into that, too. “I’ll be back with your beer,” she said, and spun like someone fleeing.
Was that not a great excerpt? I’m pretty anxious for this one.
Hellcat Canyon Series
Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of May’s features.
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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!
About the Author
San Francisco Bay Area native Julie Anne Long set out to be a rock star when she grew up (and she has the guitars and fringed clothing stuffed in the back of her closet to prove it), but writing was always her first love. She began her academic career as a Journalism major, then realized Creative Writing was a better fit for her freewheeling imagination and overdeveloped sense of whimsy. Still, for years she worked by day in finance, software development, web & graphic design, and marketing and promotions…until the fateful day when playing guitar in dank, sticky clubs by night lost its “charm.” Which is when she realized she could incorporate all the best things about being in a band–namely drama, passion and men with unruly hair–into novels, while indulging her love of history and research. Since then, her books have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Romance Writers of America Rita, Romantic Times Reviewer’s choice, the Bookseller’s Best and the Quills, and reviewers have been known to use words such as “dazzling,” “brilliant” and “impossible to put down” to describe them. Her latest, WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE, was chosen as one of Amazon’s Best Book of 2011.