Wednesday, January 31, 2018

# GIVEAWAY Showcase Whiskey Sharp Unraveled by Lauren Dane

Welcome I'm so excited to be showcasing NYT & USA Today bestseller Lauren Dane's first in her new Whiskey Sharp series, Unraveled. Whiskey Sharp is Seattle's sexy vintage style barber shop and Whiskey Bar.
Lauren's publisher Harlequin is sponsoring a giveaway details below!


ISBN-13: 9780373799381
Publisher: Harlequin
Whiskey Sharp #1
Release Date: 1-30-2018
Length: 352pp
Buy It: Amazon/ B&N/ Kobo/IndieBound/Audible/Publisher
Maybe Dolan has lived independent, free-spirited and
unattached since leaving home at sixteen. Whiskey Sharp, Seattle’s sexy vintage-styled barbershop and whiskey bar, gave her a job—and a reason to put down roots. Cutting hair by day, losing herself drumming in a punk rock band by night, she’s got it good.

But a longtime crush that turns into a hot, edgy night with brooding and bearded Alexsei Petrov makes it a hell of a lot better.

Maybe’s blunt attitude and carnal smile hooked Alexsei from the start. Protecting people is part of his nature and Maybe is meant to be his…even if she doesn’t know it. Yet. He can’t help himself from wanting to protect and care for her.

But Maybe’s fiery independent spirit means pushing back when Alexsei goes too far. Still, he’s not afraid to do a little pushing of his own to get what he wants—her in his life, and his bed, for good. Maybe’s more intoxicating than all the liquor on his shelf…and he’s not afraid to ride the blade’s edge to bind her to him.

Harlequin is offering One Print Copy of
Unraveled + a custom bookmark
US & Canada Only
Please Use Rafflecopter form to enter
Good Luck!

Read an excerpt:

Two years ago
THE OLD-FASHIONED RED, white and blue barber pole lazily spun inside a glass case just outside the front door to Whiskey Sharp. Jaunty, she thought. A good sign. Classic and simple.
The bell over the door jingled as she opened it and stepped inside, greeted by the scent of sandalwood and mint. Scissors snipped and clippers hummed and it felt very much like a place she’d like to stop and stay awhile.
A broad-shouldered gent with a vest and a crisp white button-down shirt came over. “Welcome to Whiskey Sharp. You in for a cut?”
“I’m actually looking for Alexsei Petrov.”
Broad Shoulders gave her a slow head-to-toe look. “He’s just finishing up. He’s booked today, so if you want him to do your cut, we can get you in tomorrow.”
“I don’t need a cut, thanks. I just need a few minutes of his time. Irena Orlova sent me.”
Broad Shoulders relaxed at the mention of Mrs. Orlova’s name. “Okay. Just hang out here for a bit. I’ll let him know you’re here.”
Maybe thanked him and moved to the small waiting area near the windows, taking in the space as she tried not to be nervous.
Whiskey Sharp was all wood and brass. An old-school barbershop area was off to the right with individual chairs and stations. Guys with tattoos and suspenders worked on men from their early twenties into their fifties.
The floor was hardwood. Oak, by the looks of it, well-worn to a shine near the doorways and points that got a lot of traffic.
And in the back, opposite the barbershop space, there was a long bar with stools fronting it.She’d heard the place had just started serving alcohol in the evenings for several hours. Small tables and a few group seating areas dotted the space in deep forest green velvet and cognac tanned leather.
Old-school. And yet very clean and elegant. The kind of place you could hang out in and relax a little.
Somehow, seeing it like that, with all the beauty in the deliberate choices made in decorating and the feel of the workers in the place, her nervousness seemed to ebb.
She could do this. She knew her way around a haircut and shave. She just had to convince Mrs. Orlova’s nephew of the same.
* * *
ALEXSEI TOOK HER IN, silhouetted by the pale afternoon light shafting across the generous lines of her face. A silver hoop rode against the juicy curve of her bottom lip.
Red lipstick, short blond hair and green eyes behind a pair of dark-rimmed glasses. Black trousers with a white button-down shirt, a lot like what he wore most days. But she smelled better, he’d wager. The piercing provided an edge, but at the same time it softened her, emphasized the shape of her mouth.
Brought his breath a little short as he watched her, noting the strength in her presence, a confidence that seemed to shine from her.
He paused, continuing to look. It wasn’t that she was beautiful—though she was certainly arresting in her own way. Alexsei couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but he was absolutely sure he’d never seen anything quite like her before. This creature who’d come to him using his aunt’s name.
He had no idea what she wanted, but he had no problem spending the time with her to investigate.
“I’m Alexsei. You wanted to see me?” He attempted to keep a cool distance, but something about her pulled him closer.
She held a hand out. “I’m Maybe Dolan. I hear you’re looking for a barber and I’d like to solve your problem.”
He started to reply but she just kept talking.
“See, I know you’re probably thinking, hey, who is this woman? I haven’t even advertised for that opening. And you’d be right because you don’t know me. But I know Mrs. Orlova and while she was busily shoving extra loaves of bread into my order, she told me to present myself to you and for you to hire me. You’ve met her, so you know how she is. Frankly, I’m really afraid of her but she’s the main supplier of my carbs so I tend to just follow her orders.”
Alexsei was fairly certain she said all that without taking a breath.
“Right?” she asked, as if he’d exclaimed it aloud instead of in his head. “I do talk a lot. But I’m good with hair. And beards. And I need a job.”
“Which one are you asking about?” She cocked her head, nearly eye to eye with him. Tall. Close-up, that energy she seemed to radiate from her enveloped him too.
True, she did seem the type to develop a good clientele if she had the talent for it. Some people liked that sort of personality when they came in.
She pushed at the hoop in her lip with the tip of her tongue—an unconscious nervous movement—and he realized he liked it way more than he should have. Especially if he was going to give her a job.
“All of them. While you’re at it, what kind of name is Maybe?”
She laughed. “Maybe is a nickname but one I’ve used instead of my given name since I was four.”
There had to be a story for that.
“As for why I talk so much. Well, I’m sorry to tell you it’s not a nervous habit or anything like that so it won’t go away once I get used to you. This is pretty much how I roll all the time. My sister likes to tell people I talk a lot because I have a lot to say. I think that’s the same as when a teacher tells you your kid is spirited instead of wild. I was a spirited kid, as you probably have a really hard time believing.”
Alexsei realized she was teasing him and he began to like her, despite his general inclination to find most people annoying.
But this...Maybe, well she held him, fascinated at whatever she might do or say next.
She grinned at him. “What else did I need to answer? Uh? Oh yeah, I’m good with hair and beards because that’s what I’ve been trained in and because I’m awesome, but you can keep that under your hat. I’m also good at punk rock. But I don’t think the latter is necessary for the former. Except in attitude. In attitude, punk rock is always necessary, don’t you agree?”
This was, again, one of her rhetorical questions. She didn’t even pause for two breaths before she continued, “I’m licensed in the state and I have references and all that. And I need a job because that’s how people pay their bills usually.”
His place tended to be mellow. This creature was not mellow. What would bringing her in do to the overall feel of the place? Sure, some clients would like that, but would some dislike it?
“What happened to your last job?” He assumed she talked them to death.
She took a deep breath and he saw a flash of vulnerability in her gaze before she straightened her shoulders. “I moved here. From another place, Spokane, I mean.”
Alexsei needed to shoot this down. There was something cagey about her. But if Irena had sent her, she would have already been judged trustworthy. His aunt would never allow anyone this close to his life if there’d been any doubt.
It also probably meant her reasons for moving to Seattle were to help someone else. His aunt loved a hard-luck case.
“You can call my boss. Obviously.” She pulled him back from his thoughts.
“I just don’t know if we really need to hire anyone.”
She rolled her eyes. “Of course you don’t need anyone. You need me.” She lost her teasing edge. “Here’s the deal. I need the job. I really need the benefits. Because you know, they’re awesome. Like me, remember?”
“How do you know these details?” He crossed his arms over his chest but she wasn’t intimidated in the slightest.
“Your accent comes out when you get imperious. Did you know that?”
He managed to suppress one of the annoyed sounds he’d learned from his mother as he’d grown up.
“Mrs. Orlova told me about the benefits cooperative you and several other businesses share and that are available to the folks who work out of Whiskey Sharp. She also said she’d let you know I was coming.”
“We don’t really have an opening. I was just spitballing, as you say. She overheard me.” Which was nicer than saying his aunt had been eavesdropping.
“You don’t have a single female barber here. That’s lame.” She arched a brow at him. Again, he opened and closed his mouth, caught between curiosity and surprise.
“I can ask around to see if anyone I know is looking for someone.” There. He’d help her for his aunt without hiring her.
“Is it a purposeful thing?”
She cocked her head—she did that a lot—as she gestured at the shop. “No women here. Is that on purpose and design? To say hey dudes, this is a space just for us? And whatever, as cliché as an idea as that might be, I get it. I was just under the impression you wanted a shop with excellent barbers.”
Just at his back, he heard one of his barbers snicker.
“Look, I need a job. You need me here,” she repeated.
She frowned but her bottom lip still looked really good. “So is this your thing? Your answers all being why or what?”
Alexsei only barely refrained from glancing around for an avenue of escape. He hadn’t failed to notice that no one had appeared to save him, the cowards.
“Why do you want to work here? At my shop?”
“It’s near my sister’s apprenticeship. Why don’t you let me show you what I can do? I’ll give a cut and a shave. Check my work yourself.”
It was the tone of her voice when she’d brought up the detail about her sister that had done it.Maybe was a curious creature, but the steel in her voice told him she put her family obligations first and he respected that. Coupled with the way his aunt had sent her his way, he figured maybe an audition of sorts might be all right.
If she did a good job he could toss her some work. Perhaps.
“Come back tomorrow morning at ten. You can show me what you’ve got then.” He scowled at her but she flashed him a grin, heading toward the door.
“Thank you!” She dashed out without another word.
“What the hell was that?” Stu asked as Alexsei went to the coatrack near the front door.
“Trouble, most likely.” He shrugged. “We’ll see how she does tomorrow.” Contrary to her question about the lack of women in his shop, it wasn’t by design. It just had worked out that way. Yes, in some barbershops, the absence of women was on purpose. Sometimes because of outrageous sexism—more than he liked—other times a sense of tradition had rendered a shop as more of a club for men. Neither was his style.
Strong women were the foundation on which the life he lived was built. He loved and respected them. Feared some of them too. Including his aunt. He needed to go talk with her about this.He could call, but she’d see it as disrespect given that she was just a five-minute walk away.
“I’ve got forty minutes until my next client. I’m going to drop over to the bakery, but I’ll be back in time,” he called as he left.
Orlov Family Bakery had been a safe place for him for the entire time he’d lived in the United States. The front windows were slightly steamed and when he stepped inside it was to be greeted by the scent of everything wonderful. Bread, cookies and cakes, spiced with black tea and fruit.
There was a line, but he skipped around it and headed to the kitchen, where he knew his aunt would be working.
“Good morning to you, Irishka.” He kissed her cheek.
She snorted at his use of the diminutive of her name, but he won a smile from her. “You’re here because of the girl.” Irena kneaded the dough with workstrong arms as she looked him over.
His aunt had been as much a mother to him as his own had been. More, if he was to be brutally honest about it.
“So tell me why you sent the very talkative Ms. Dolan to my shop.”
“Have a cup of tea while I tell you. With a slice of sharlotka. You need to keep your energy for the rest of the day.” She ordered this without even looking up, totally assured he would obey.
And why wouldn’t he? He poured himself a cup of tea but skipped the apple cake she’d suggested for some pyraniki instead.
“She and her sister moved in to the house next door to ours about a month ago. They’re lovely. Her sister, she’s older than Maybe, was in the hospital for quite a long time recovering from something terrible to do with her old job. She used to flinch if we came outside when she was in her yard. Or if she came home and we were in the driveway. She doesn’t flinch anymore.”
Alexsei frowned before finishing the rest of his cookie.
“You said to me this shop of yours was already booked every day and you wanted to add another person. Here she is. Maybe—a silly name for a child—is a hard worker. You can tell this from how the house is kept. So I sent her your way.”
He had a very difficult time imagining her in a home that his aunt would be impressed by. His aunt liked a very clean, orderly house and he would have thought Maybe would live in a place full of piles of colorful clothing and stacks of paper.
“It’s simple enough. Give her a job.” She made a sound that told him the conversation was over.
He wasn’t going to argue. It would have been pointless anyway. “Thank you for the tea.” Alexsei washed out his mug, placing it back on the shelf where he kept it for his frequent visits to her kitchen. “I’ll let you know how she works out.”
“Take some food back to your shop.” She shooed him with a wave of her hand toward the big butcher-block table in the center of the room.

Upcoming Series

Available in April              Available in June

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Meet Lauren:
Lauren Dane is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels and novellas across several genres. She lives in the Northwest with her patient husband and three wild children.

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  1. I totally adore Lauren Dane, and plan to check this one out! Hugs...RO

  2. A great feature and wonderful giveaway. Lauren's books are captivating. Thanks.

  3. Sounds fun and hot, I've heard of LD but don't remember reading her though.

  4. This was such a great read! ☺

  5. Ohh Dane! It has been a while since I read one

  6. This is an author that I've wanted to try for a long time. For some unknown reason, I've yet to actually do it. Thanks for sharing.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

  7. I've not read her books before though I've seen others loving on them. I HAVE to read this one b/c of the barber shop atmosphere. My dad was a barber and had an old-time shop until his back gave out and he had to sell out.

    1. oh wow and yes this series premise really interests me too. Too bad I didn't interview her because I would love to know how she came up with the idea.