I am happy to be part of the Blitz for The Sutton Series, it’s an adult contemporary romance. All the covers are rebranded and they are some pretty amazing new covers! I have an excerpt to share with you as well as a Blitz wide giveaway, so be sure and enter.
Series: Sutton Capital, #1)
By: Lori Ryan
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
A marriage-of-convenience with a twist
Jack Sutton isn’t about to be backed into a corner by the stipulations of his mother’s will. She might have wanted to be sure he was married by the time he was thirty, but that doesn’t mean he needs to give in. There’s always a way around anything that stands in his way. This is no exception. If only he hadn’t made the mistake of telling his aunt he’d be introducing his fiance to her that afternoon.
When Kelly Bradley walks into the middle of his meeting with his aunt, he can only assume his best friend sent her. She’s the answer he needs, isn’t she? And if Andrew sent her, he must have screened her. Saying yes to her proposal will hand him the solution he needs.
But will her fix end up costing a whole lot more than either she or Jack planned to pay? When her life is on the line, Jack finds himself racing to save the woman he’s fast losing his heart to.
Heartwarming contemporary romance with a heart- stopping twist of suspense. Legal Ease is the first book in Lori Ryan’s widly popular Sutton Capital Series, but it can be read as a stand-alone book.
Heartwarming romance meets heart-stopping suspense in NY Times Bestselling Author, Lori Ryan’s wildly popular Sutton Capital Series. There’s a flavor for everyone. The original Sutton Capital books are contemporary romance with a twist of suspense in each. The Sutton Capital Intrigue books take the suspense a little further, and the Sutton Capital On the Line Series has all the heart and romance you want, but the suspense piece stands out in these police procedural thrillers. No matter which line you’re reading, you’ll see family and old friends return again and again through the series. Legal Ease, book one in the Sutton Capital Series, and Cutthroat, book one in the Sutton Capital Intrigue line are both set free at all retailers!
Sutton Capital Intrigue:
Sutton Capital On the Line:
LEGAL EASE SNEAK PEEK:
Kelly’s head was throbbing when she woke, and she felt nauseated and confused. She tried to shake the foggy feeling in her head and rid the cotton from her mouth. Panic set in when she realized her hands and feet were bound with thick layers of duct tape and she was in a room she didn’t recognize. Kelly felt as though a band was tightening over her chest, suffocating her. Waves of panic swept over her and bile burned at the base of her throat.
She was lying on the floor in a typical bedroom; a bit small. It was daylight out. There was a twin-sized bed, and a torn-up upholstered chair in the corner, but that was it. The room was bare, other than those two pieces of furniture.
Kelly fought to pull details from her mind, grasping at threads of memory so thin they seemed to fall from her memory before she could see where they went. She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths and pictured herself earlier in the day. It would have been noon when she was grabbed. She had left the clinic at noon.
She could remember walking out the back door of the clinic. Denise had asked her to take the trash to the dumpster on her way out, so she left through the back door even though her car was parked out front. Out front – where her security detail would have been.
She struggled to remember, but felt as if there were holes in her mind; as if her brain weren’t functioning quite right. She could remember someone coming at her from behind as she walked out into the alley, then a strong, sweet smell filled her nose and overwhelmed her before she blacked out. Nothing about the memory seemed right, like trying to put together pieces of different puzzles.
Tears were flowing freely now. Kelly could picture four men surrounding her and she remembered seeing a van before she passed out. The men wore masks….
Staying calm was no longer an option. Fresh waves of sheer terror bolted through Kelly’s body. She closed her eyes tight and tried desperately to calm herself, but she had never felt a level of dread and utter anguish like this. Her mind started running through all the ways that this could end, each image sending her into further panic until she felt like she would choke on the fear. Then one image stopped her catapult into darkness. Jack
Excerpt One – Legal Ease by Lori Ryan
“Jack, darling…” Jack’s Aunt Mabry breezed into the room. “I’ve decided to redo my kitchen and the downstairs floor of my townhouse. Chad has a friend staying with him right now so I need to stay at your place for a few weeks until my kitchen is completed.”
Jack had to work to keep from rolling his eyes. He knew perfectly well what Aunt Mabry was doing. She wanted to spy on him and Kelly. There was no way she’d be redoing her kitchen if she didn’t want an excuse to stay with him. And she would normally stay at the Omni downtown or at a spa by the water instead of with him. She had never stayed at his house before, not for a day in his life, even when his mother was alive.
She was spying. He was sure of it. His mind filtered through the excuses he could give her but when he quickly weighed all of the factors, he decided it was best to just let her move in for a bit to get her off their backs. Besides, if his aunt were around he and Kelly would have to pretend to be husband and wife a lot more often, and he liked pretending that where Kelly was concerned.
With unexpected enthusiasm, Jack smiled and said, “Sure thing, Aunt Mabry. You’re welcome anytime. When do you need to move in?”
“Right now,” she said with a Cheshire Cat grin. “I’ll just head over there right now.”
With that announcement, she walked out of the office as breezily as she had waltzed in. Jack stared after her for a minute when suddenly it dawned on him. Kelly and he didn’t share a room. Oh, hell. His aunt wouldn’t buy the happily-ever-after marriage if she found out he and Kelly didn’t share a room. He grabbed the phone to try to catch Kelly or Mrs. Poole in time to warn them.
Kelly whipped through the house and up the stairs, calling out for Mrs. Poole as she ran. “Mrs. Poole, come quickly! We have to move. We have to move.” Kelly continued yelling as she ran into her room and grabbed drawers full of clothes and piled hangers with slacks and dresses on them.
Mrs. Poole came up the stairs with a puzzled look on her face. “What on earth are you hollering about, Kelly?” she said as she tried to enter the room. She had to jump out of the way as Kelly made a mad dash to Jack’s room.
“We have to move all of my stuff into Jack’s room,” Kelly said, out of breath from her packing and running. “Jack’s Aunt Mabry is on her way here and she’s staying with us for a couple of weeks,” Kelly blurted out as she ran back down the hall to gather more of her belongings.
“Oh Lord,” Mrs. Poole rolled her eyes and followed after Kelly. She quickly grabbed clothes and toiletries and rushed down the hall to Jack’s room. She and Kelly repeated the trip half a dozen more times as they transferred everything and set it into place. Mrs. Poole cleared out half of Jack’s dresser and closet and made room for Kelly’s things while Kelly folded and put her clothing away to make it appear as though the two had been living in holy matrimony since day one.
Kelly put away the last of her things and took a deep breath. She turned to survey the masculine-looking room. There was a dark mahogany dresser and matching armoire against the deep green walls. Large windows looked out on the same beautiful waterfront view that her guest room windows had shared. She stopped suddenly and held her breath when her eyes landed on the king-sized bed in the center. Until that moment, it hadn’t occurred to her that she and Jack would now have to share a bed. Kelly’s smile fell away as she realized that keeping her attraction hidden from Jack just became a lot more difficult.
Excerpt Two – Legal Ease
Kelly did a double take. The woman had stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine. It was Caroline Harridan, the fashion model. The woman graced the pages of Vogue and Elle magazines on a regular basis.
Kelly looked at Jack as Caroline approached the table and saw a pained look on his face. Caroline completely ignored Kelly as she swooped in on Jack and planted an extremely friendly kiss on his lips. Kelly felt as though she were completely invisible and almost wished she was. They clearly had a relationship that was more than just friendly and Kelly knew she couldn’t hold a candle to this woman as she sat there in her dowdy strappy sundress and sandals.
Kelly cleared her throat and peered around the woman to Jack.
“Oh! Caroline, this is my wife, Kelly. Kelly, this is Caroline Harridan. An old, uh, friend of mine.” Jack stood and came around to Kelly’s seat as he made the introductions so Kelly stood with him and took Caroline’s hand in a brief handshake. Jack looked like the last thing he wanted to be doing was introducing Kelly as his wife and once again Kelly felt a pang of guilt at having put Jack in this position. Even though he said she was saving him from losing his company, she still felt like she had weaseled her way into the marriage and she knew she was nothing like the woman he would likely have married if he had been given a choice.
Nonetheless, Kelly drew up her pride and smiled her brightest smile. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Caroline raised an eyebrow at Jack. God, Kelly had always wished she could master the one eyebrow look, but she couldn’t quite get it. On Caroline, it looked confident, cocky, and oh so silky smooth. “Married?” Caroline asked Jack as she drew her hand away from Kelly as if afraid she might be sullied by the contact.
Jack nodded and slipped his arm around Kelly. “Yes, Caroline. Kelly and I were married a week ago. We haven’t quite gotten around to sending an announcement out about the wedding. We eloped.” Jack smiled down at Kelly as he said it in a very good impression of a man deeply in love with his wife.
Caroline pouted her best model pout and turned to Jack. “Jack Sutton off the market? Whatever will all of us single gals do now?” She put on a show as if she were thinking and then shrugged her shoulders and continued in a flirty voice.
“Well, maybe it won’t last.” Caroline reached out and pretended to brush an imaginary piece of lint off of Jack’s shirt in a blatant excuse to touch his chest. “You always know where to find me if things don’t work out.” Kelly had now seen Jack uncomfortable twice since she’d known him. Caroline ignored Jack’s discomfort and Kelly’s shocked look.
Kelly couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Hell, the marriage might be fake and she might not be able to compete with Jack’s exes, including the blond goddess standing in front of her, but she’d be damned if she were going to sit by and let this woman hit on her fake husband right in front of her. A woman has her pride, after all.
Kelly possessively caressed Jack’s chest in the very spot where Caroline’s hand had just sat, and smiled at Caroline. “I’m sure Jack won’t be needing your….” She paused and looked Caroline up and down as if she found her wanting in all manner before continuing, “Your…uh, company in the near future, Caroline. But it was a pleasure to meet you. Good-bye.” And with that, Kelly dismissed Caroline Harridan, super model and cover girl.
Jack laughed and pulled Kelly tighter to him. In a huff, Caroline turned and stalked away from the table. As soon as they took their seats again, Kelly felt the heat climbing her cheeks.
“I’m so sorry,” she whispered across the table to Jack.
“What for?” Jack whispered back, smiling.
“I’m sorry. You probably wanted to see her again after this is over and I think I must have just ruined your chances for that. I just thought… Well, I just couldn’t. I mean, she was just so rude, I just….” Kelly blew out a puff of air, blowing her bangs up in a small gust. “I’m sorry, I just didn’t think.”
“Kelly, first of all, I’m married to you for the next year.” Jack spoke quietly so no one would overhear their conversation, but also gently so that Kelly would understand that he meant what he said. “I won’t embarrass you or treat you with disrespect during that time. While we’re together, we’re together and I won’t be with another woman, even if you and I aren’t exactly together in the traditional sense.”
Jack continued as Kelly stared at him with wide eyes. “But, second, that woman drives me up the wall. We dated briefly. We went out a handful of times over the period of a month or so and she has stalked me ever since. Lord knows how she knew we were here today but you can bet it wasn’t a coincidence. She shows up at events and fundraisers and throws herself at me because she’s determined to marry a wealthy man and she couldn’t care less that we had nothing in common and no spark whatsoever between us. You can chase her away any time you’d like,” Jack finished with a smile and a wink at Kelly.
“Hmm,” Kelly said, frowning.
Jack laughed. “What now?”
“You didn’t have a spark with that?” Kelly said, looking toward the door Caroline had walked out of moments before. “How could you not sizzle with that?”
Jack looked at the door and back to Kelly and shrugged. “Just didn’t. She’s pretty vacant. Just a big old empty package with a huge bow but not a damn thing inside the box.”
Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.
Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has fallen in love with writing. She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.
She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.
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