A mysterious and warm welcome to the Blog Tour for Her Unexpected Match by Lacey Baker! I am so excited to be part of this tour~ The romance sounds cute and I love the mystery surrounding the island.
For today’s post I got an excerpt, a giveaway, and book/author information!
Ready? Let’s get this tour started, whoop whoop~
Travel writer Allie Sparks has one goal: to find the story that will save her career. So here she is, visiting her bestie on picturesque Crescent Island—with sun-warmed beaches, the briny smell of the ocean, and rumors of a secret astrologer-matchmaker who guarantees love. Of course, Allie doesn’t believe in any of that stuff. If anything, she’ll prove it’s a total scam.
Ryan Parker believes in love—just not right now. He’s focused on expanding his family’s barbeque business, finding investors, and keeping his too-big Great Dane puppy from jumping on everyone, including his sister’s pretty, whiskey-eyed best friend. Besides, falling for a tourist is definitely not in his astrological forecast.
Allie is doing everything she can to resist the charm of the town and its beauty, not to mention her attraction to Ryan. But there’s a lot more happening on Crescent Island than anyone knows…and when her story goes to print, this tiny, close-knit town might never be the same.
Buy this book here: Amazon
About the author:
Lacey Baker, a Maryland native, lives with her husband, three children, two grandchildren and English Bulldog in what most would call Suburban America–a townhouse development where everybody knows each other and each other’s kids. Family cook-outs, reunion vacations, and growing up in church have all inspired Lacey to work towards her dreams and to write about the endurance of family and the quest to find everlasting love. To date she has written in several genres including small town romance, YA paranormal (as Artist Arthur), a cozy mystery series titled Rumors and adult paranormal (as A.C. Arthur).
“When will he get over this midnight bathroom rendezvous?” Allie asked Ryan late Saturday night as they walked the familiar trek along the beach.
“Experts say around the six-month mark, but I’m not sure Optimus will adhere to those guidelines,” he replied. “He seems to love the beach.”
“Who wouldn’t?” she asked and then wrapped the lapels of her tunic around her front to ward off the cool breeze. “I wish I’d taken the time to experience it a little more at home.”
“You live in Miami and you don’t go to the beach?”
She didn’t bother to look at him. The confused look on his face would be the same as she’d seen it before. His lips pursed at the ends and his eyes narrowed as if he were trying to decipher if whatever was said was true.
“Like I told you before, I work,” she said. “I go to the park and read or I sit in the house and have movie nights.”
“Is that your way of asking if I have a boyfriend? Because my reply would be, “really, aren’t you a little late with that question?” seeing as you’ve kissed me a couple of times now.”
There was a chuckle as he kicked at the sand. They’d both removed their shoes and left them on his back porch, so his toes were digging deep into the wet grittiness, just as hers were.
“Next time you’re gonna kiss me,” he said.
Now she did look at him. “Really?”
“Yes. Really,” he told her and then winked. “And I wasn’t trying to ask if you had a boyfriend. I knew you didn’t, otherwise you never would’ve let me kiss you twice.”
That made sense. It also meant that he was paying just as much attention to her as she was to him. They knew things about each other now, like family or lovers. The last word had her coughing and he instantly moved in to pat her back.
“Yeah,” she said waving him away. “It’s the salty air, or the sand, I don’t know. Something just got lodged in my throat.”
He moved a few steps away from her, but he turned around so that he was now walking backward and he could look directly at her.
“What’s your favorite color?” he asked.
She hesitated. “What are you doing?”
“Getting to know you better.”
Better than knowing the meaning behind each other’s facial expressions or whether someone was being upfront or not?
“Blue,” she replied, still skeptical about what was happening here. “What’s yours?”
“Green,” he answered. “Favorite food?”
“Baked mac ‘n cheese. Yours?”
“Smoked sausage and peppers.” He groaned. “Nana makes a huge crock pot of it that simmers all day long before she spoons it over a plate of wild rice. So delicious.”
“It sounds like it. None of you are ever at a loss for a good meal around here,” she said and admitted that if she felt a little salty by that fact, then it was true.
“We’re a cooking and eating family.”
“No. You’re just a great family.” Why had she said that? For the second time tonight, words had fallen from her lips that she couldn’t take back and now she had to say something to stop him from looking at her with pity. Or possibly contemplating buying her another bouquet of balloons to put her in a better mood.
“It’s just that I never experienced a family like this,” she told him.
“You mean a nosy, sometimes interfering and overprotective family?”
“That’s not all they are and you know it,” she replied.
Optimus ran between them, trekking into the water to splash around at the shallow part. When Ryan yelled, “Optimus. Come!”
The dog looked at the water then back to Ryan and then repeated those steps again. He finally decided to go with listening to the guy who always seemed to have dog treats in his pockets and ran back in their direction. As soon as he was close enough, he did one of those full body shakes where his ears flapped over his face and sprinkled water all over her and Ryan.
“Thanks a lot, buddy,” she said and wiped at her face.
“You’re right,” he said. “My family means a lot to me. The business my ancestors built here, their reputation. It’s all very important to who I am and what I do.”
She could tell that by the way he worked in the restaurant, how he paid attention to every detail while also being attentive to his family and their customers’ needs.