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Chloe Watson wants to keep her place in line for the Electronics Super Sale, but really needs a restroom break. Will that handsome jogger be willing to stand still for fifteen minutes... for a $10 fee?
Brett Hardy agrees, but bets it will take her much longer to return -- if Chloe wins, she owes him nothing... but if Brett wins, she has to accept his invitation to dinner. How long could the lines be at the ladies room?
Chloe's best friend thinks she's crazy to agree to dine with a stranger - on a wager - and imagines only worst case scenarios.
It turns out Brett has even more surprises up his sleeve -- and if a bet won't work, maybe a bribe will.
Perhaps Chloe can be tricked by wagers and bribes, but she can't understand why Brett resorts to gimmicks instead of just asking her out.
Of course, if he did ask, she'd probably have to say, 'Don't bet on it'.
Love And Diamonds is a collection of romantic love stories for Valentine's Day by fifteen of some of the best Astraea Press Authors. So sit back, relax and fall in love all over again.
Here is a listing of our contributing authors in alphabetical order: Kathy Bosman, Liz Botts, Kristine Cheney, Sherry Gloag, Jennifer Gravely, Heather Gray, Patricia Kiyono, Zanna Mackenzie, Kelly Martin, Brenda Maxfield, Amy Mullen, Vivian Roycraft, J. L. Salter, E. A. West and Nicole Zoltack.
Grit doesn’t fade away ... it just becomes crusty. With harrowing elements right out of today’s headlines, this story reaches back into the sturdy heartbeat of people raised during the Depression and tested during World War II. Though the old uniforms haven’t fit in many dec-ades, their resilient spirits still have that same intensity which helped save democracy.
Needing only a fresh angle to write her Veteran’s Day special, Kelly discovers first-hand that the Greatest Generation still has enough grit to fight back. While all the authorities are oc-cupied during a massive Homeland Security drill, an urban gang of thieves targets an isolated retirement subdivision ... figuring the crippled geriatrics would offer no resistance.
Though Kelly’s widowed boyfriend came along only for a post-funeral luncheon, Mitch soon finds himself leading a mis-matched flanking team. Kelly’s good friend Wade has his own assignment, with a home-made mortar and lots of illegal gunpowder.
Maybe it’s difficult to remember everyday things like taking pills, but these octogenari-ans have never forgotten it was up to them to defend family, home, and community. The out-come of their courageous stand depends on the resolve and resourcefulness of an unlikely en-semble of eccentric elderly neighbors, several American Legion members, and others spanning four generations.
When Kris awakens in a costume, behind wooden bars inside a pitch-black community center, her only available rescuer is the hung-over new guy in town (who’s dressed as a pirate). Problem is: she’s sworn off men, especially buccaneers.
Badly burned four years ago by a player who ruined her financially, Kris Prima’s heart is locked down as tightly as her lifestyle is confined by those massive debts. When first assisted by recent newcomer Ryan Hazzard, Kris is resentful, slightly afraid, and determined never again to trust men. But when court-ordered community service brings them together once more, she begins to appreciate Ryan’s charm, good looks, and capable manner.
With all the rumors and assumptions which followed Ryan from a large metropolitan area, how can small-town Kris even begin to trust him? And why won’t he explain any of those situations? Through her efforts to learn Ryan’s mysterious past, they share further experiences: many comedic, one quite dangerous, and others very tender. Despite several misunderstandings, Kris’s bottled-up feelings slowly re-awaken and she finally learns enough about Ryan to know she wants him in her life somehow. Kris regains her ability to trust a man and her heart is freed from its jail.
When Beth left suddenly, it broke two hearts ... but she’d had no choice. Shane, a rugged, ex-Airborne biker, handled it badly ... but so had she. Three years later and 2000 miles away, she desperately needs her ex-lover’s protection from a violent menace with ‘bad history’ who’ll do anything to reclaim a mysterious suitcase Beth possesses.
Long before Shane acquired that overnighter, a ‘silent movie’ actress kept secrets there ... and now several lives are in jeopardy. An ambitious female state senate candidate hires a ruthless investigator to eliminate potential campaign ‘problems’ like her dark family secret — a bizarre 1889 murder.
Is Beth’s terrifying ordeal simply because she unwittingly possesses the overnighter’s secrets? Or is it due to the meth-fueled dumpster-diver’s ‘unfinished business’?
Shane will likely return to California after he resolves this Tennessee ‘situation’ ... so Beth struggles to resist her reawakened feelings. But before she can sort out their renewed relationship ... Beth is kidnapped! To rescue her Shane enters an obvious trap in a dilapidated hotel. Only with Beth’s help can both survive the violent struggle against her kidnappers.