Kia ora, hello to you from Aotearoa, New Zealand!
Happy book birthday to Drawing Me In!
This is the longest–and hardest–Due South book I’ve written to date. Both Harley and Bree are complex characters with a lot of baggage to work out (haven’t we all got baggage?!) before they could be freed up to forgive themselves and each other and find their HEA. I was emotionally exhausted by the end of it.
Early reviewers have been saying things like: “emotional roller-coaster ride”, “heart-wrenching, funny & romantic”, “funny, poignant, shocking and aw-shucks romantic.”
If you’ve read a few of my books, you may have noticed there are connecting themes of the importance of family, community, friendship, forgiveness, second chances, and redemption. As an author I am especially drawn to the second chances trope, because I truly believe a life lived with an unforgiving heart feeds only bitterness into it which eventually will destroy our joy. And we as humans are so perfectly un-perfect. We screw up and often hurt the ones we love the most. And is there a way to come back from that and salvage the relationship? Sometimes. Sometimes not. But either way, not forgiving the person who hurt you only damages yourself. I’ve seen it in action in my own life. And in DRAWING ME IN both Bree and Harley have hurt each other in ways that they initially think are insurmountable. But that’s the thing with love. It can move mountains and heal old wounds…if you let it.
I thought you might like to see a few photos of Stewart Island and all its wild, natural beauty. Doesn’t it make you want to pack up and move there? It does for me – though I don’t think my family would appreciate not having lightning fast wi-fi! 🙂
I hope you love Drawing Me In as much as I do. And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, my wonderful readers who have supported me so faithfully throughout the last 2-and-a-half years, for your e-mails and messages. They mean more to me than I could possibly fit in this blog post.
Drawing Me In (Due South #7)
Drawing Me In (Due South Book #7)
Print Length: 330 pages
Passion won’t hold them together when past fears threaten to tear them apart.
She’s drawn by his wild spirit…
Bree Findlow’s ordered world slides into chaos when the man who broke her heart arrives back in their small New Zealand home-town. But with years of avoidance tactics under her belt, she figures ignoring the sexy-as-sin artist whose touch colors her red hot, is a practical solution. Until her mother arrives with an announcement jeopardizing Bree’s livelihood, and her sister also shows up…along with the nine-year-old secret Bree has kept hidden from everyone. Especially the father of that secret.
He’s drawn by her quiet strength…
Harley Komeke is back in Oban to rest, regroup and hopefully re-find his missing muse. He also isn’t against rediscovering every inch of the icy-cool treat, Bree Findlow—after falling under her spell in what felt like a lifetime ago at Art College. His pursuit takes an unexpected turn when, hello, insta-fatherhood. Reeling from shock, Harley knows he should despise the woman who allowed her sister to informally adopt their son, but he can’t. Because Bree, more than anyone, understands that with his past, he never, ever wanted to risk having a wife and family.
They’re drawn to each other over and over…
Like the formidable tides that surge around Stewart Island, Bree and Harley can’t resist the heat generated between them. Push and pull, kiss and retreat, touch after breathless touch—until a moment’s recklessness has consequences neither can brush aside.
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He turned to find Bree three paces behind him with her hiking boots planted firmly on the still-solid path, her hands fisted on her hips and an oh, hell no expression on her face. Something else he’d always admired about her…the woman’s mind was wicked sharp, stitching together the picture of swimsuit plus art supplies plus mud in an instant.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” she said. “You want me to frolic around in that?”
Harley shrugged out of the backpack and placed it by a tree—careful to keep it away from the beginning bogginess. “Frolicking’s optional. In you hop.”
“It’s mud. Totally organic. Women pay a small fortune to get that stuff slapped on their skin in a spa.” He withdrew a small, collapsible stool from the backpack and opened it. Parked his ass on it and leaned on the tree trunk. “And Hineahuone was created from mud. I need to see you covered in it to get any further with this painting. Be my Hineahuone, Bree.”
She continued to stare at him without moving an inch, as if horns had erupted from his forehead, and a forked tail had slithered out of his shorts. Removing his sketchpad from the backpack, Harley drew his mouth up into a smirk, trying to communicate a challenge with every insolent movement.
“You think I won’t?” She lifted her hands to the top button of her shirt. Unbuttoned it. “That I’ll pitch a fit about getting muddy and tell you to go to hell?”
He rolled a shoulder and flicked open the pad to a blank page. Three more buttons popped open, revealing a leopard-print bra—the animal print he’d been dreaming about for months—and her breasts, pale and beautiful, spilling over the top of the cups. So there were some good things about a woman carrying your baby. He shoved the thought aside, concentrated on the taut outline of her nipple under the fabric.
“You’re always telling me to go to hell in one way or another,” he said mildly. “But you know it’s in your best interests to get dirty for me.”
Bree flicked open the last button of the shirt and peeled it off her shoulders. She threw it at him, and he caught it with one hand. Then, bending over and giving him an eyeful of cleavage that sent his system into overdrive, she unlaced her boots and peeled off her socks.
She raised a perfectly arched eyebrow when she caught him staring. “You better not be thinking this is a striptease.”
“I’m about to stuff some notes into your bikini top.” Pretty sure he was drooling, Harley slid a hand into his bag to retrieve a pencil. He rummaged around without taking his eyes off her.
“I told you, I don’t own a bikini.”
She unzipped her shorts and shimmied out of them, leaving her in just her bra and damn—she’d left on the bike shorts instead of switching them for a tiny bikini bottom. Bree tossed him her shorts, and he caught those too, stuffing them along with her shirt into his backpack.
Mouth set in a determined line, she walked to the edge of the mud, her bare feet sinking into the earth. She took a giant step forward, and her foot disappeared with a loud sucking noise into the mud. Thick, dark brown, watery, goopy mud that rose past her ankles as she put her full weight on that leg.
“Ugh. It’s freezing.”
Upper lip curling away from her teeth, she hunched her shoulders but moved her left leg to join her right. “And really, really gross.”
Harley held his breath. One false move, one comment in the wrong tone of voice and she’d flee. She glanced back over her shoulder at him, and he prayed the sketchpad braced on his lap would hide his harder-than-the-surrounding-tree-trunks cock.
Was he enjoying the show? Hell, yeah. Would he get a face full of stinking black mud and lose his Hineahuone if she read it on his face? Hell yeah again.
“No, you’re not.” Bree grimaced and sank to her knees.
She cupped a palm full of mud in both hands. With a sigh, she swiped her hands down her thighs, leaving behind thick smears of mud.
Yeah, he wasn’t the slightest bit sorry.
He must’ve made an involuntary sound, a groan crushed out of a body in the throes of all-consuming lust, because she froze mid-transference of mud to stomach. Her lips curved, just the tiniest dimple in the corner. But enough to know she’d spotted something obvious that Harley had missed.
Bree was the one in control here, not him.
Copyright © 2016 by Tracey Alvarez.
If you haven’t read Harley’s twin brother Ford’s book – you should! A fiesty, fun heroine and a reluctant bachelor brought together by a meddling Octogenarian matchmaker. Pick up a copy before you dive into Drawing Me In.
Available from these retailers:
~ New Zealand pohutukawa tree motif tote bag.
~ New Zealand Paua tea towel (not sure what you’d call it overseas. Used to dry dishes if you’re so inclined…). You’ll see why ‘paua’ when you read Drawing Me In!
~ New Zealand Rotorua Mud hand cream (don’t worry, it’s a lot nicer than it sounds and feels lovely to apply!) You’ll see why ‘mud’ if you read the above excerpt!
~ New Zealand Rotorua Mud Facepack and Soap giftset.
~ Hand-crafted pacifica design pendant.
~ ‘Wheku’ keychain crafted from New Zealand ancient swamp Kauri. You’ll see why after reading Drawing Me In!
~ Signed copy of PLAYING FOR FUN (Due South #6) paperback so you can read Harley’s twin brother’s story.
~ Author magnet.
~ Author bookmark.
Prize doesn’t include: Kevin & Alfie as pictured with the VERY tempting pendant.
To Enter: Just click on the below Rafflecopter giveaway links below.
To qualify for the bonus 5 entries, you’ll need to purchase DRAWING ME IN and answer this question in the space provided in the rafflecopter. The question is: What is the last 5-word sentence at the end of Chapter 20?
* Prizes are not exchangeable for cash or anything else.
* All due care will be made in ensuring the prize arrives at the winner’s address, but I am unable to refund prize value in any way should it not arrive due to postal disaster.
* Entries close on May 30, and the winner will receive a direct e-mail from me shortly after – so please ensure my e-mail address is added to your safe/contacts list. If I haven’t had a reply from the winner in 48 hours, I will redraw a new winner.