Friday, January 19, 2018

Blog Tour - After the Storm by Katy Ames + Giveaway!

Today we have the blog tour for Katy Ames’ AFTER THE STORM! I am so excited to share this new romance with you—check out the blog tour and grab your copy today!

Title: After the Storm    
Series: Seven Winds #3
Author: Katy Ames  
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: January 18, 2018

She’d warned him away from the water…but she was the one threatening to pull him under. 

Tristan Hurst is tired of running. He’s spent every day since he was 16 trying to escape the consequences of one inexplicable, horrible night. So when his cousin buys a Caribbean resort and offers him a job away from the family firm, Tristan jumps at the chance to leave behind his intolerable father and the life he barely lives. 

Tessa Armstrong has a plan and moving to a tropical island isn’t part of it. But when she lands the position of head pastry chef at a luxury hotel, she can’t pass it up. A new country, a new kitchen. And a fresh start far away from the secrets that are becoming harder to ignore. 

On an island where neither expected to end up, Tessa and Tristan discover something they’ve always wanted: a safe haven. And when friendship becomes something more, they think they’ve landed in paradise. 

But there’s a storm coming, and the secrets they’ve worked so hard to escape aren’t far behind. And with them, a truth that has the power to wash away a love they never dreamed to find. 

A standalone contemporary romance from the author of After the Island and After the Fall. 

Tristan looked at the dough, then at her, then back at the dough, the groove between his eyes sharpening. What am I supposed to do with it? Knead it. Tristan stared a little harder at his hands. Knead it? His voice was tighter, too. 

Watch. Palms down, she used the heels of her hands to push the soft mass forward, curling her fingers around the top and turning the whole thing slightly before bringing the elongated ball towards her and starting the process over.  

Tessa could feel Tristan watching her. She glanced up and found him completely focused on her hands, memorizing each movement. His hand, the one closest to her, flexed. She’d seen him do that before he pressed it to the back of his neck. 

This time, though, he brought it, then the other, to his ball of dough and started working it. His first few attempts were clumsy. He pushed down too hard and the dough jumped forward, the flour spraying backwards onto his waist. He dug his fingers too deep and the spongy material squelched up between them. 

He groaned when it stuck to his skin and Tessa giggled as she helped him pull it free. The giggling stopped when he studied her face, his eyes sweeping from her hairline down to her chin, then back up to watch her lips as she applied another dusting of flour to his hands. Try again, she instructed, her voice not as steady as she would’ve liked.  

His next two tries were much better. After a few more laughs from her, and a few more grunts from him, Tristan was getting closer. But it wasn’t quite right. When he growled in frustration, Tessa stopped him, placing her fingers on top of his.  

Not quite so hard, she explained. She pulled out a new ball of dough, one that hadn’t been kneaded into a tough, floury mess. Do it with me. His hands were twice the size of hers, but she felt them go lax beneath her touch, waiting for her to guide him. 

Slowly, she pressed her palms down, sinking his hands into the dough. They moved forward, gently, the slide soft but not too light. That’s it, she murmured. You don’t want to be too hard, it makes the dough tough. But if you’re too soft, you don’t get the right effect. 

The right effect? Tristan’s breath tickled the side of her face, warm and tempting with just a hint of wine. Yes, she breathed out, pulling their joint grip back to start again. We’re working the proteins together. Tangling them up. 

The fingers on one of Tessa’s hands slipped between Tristan’s, getting caught between the long stretch of his and the dough beneath. She thought he might have said something. Thought she felt it where his chest was pressed against her side. But there was no way she was going to look at him to find out. Not when his face was so close to hers. 

Together, they folded their fingers around the top of the dough, spread it out and worked it back, the surface becoming smoother and smoother after every pass. Somehow, on the next push, one of Tessa’s hands ended up completely beneath Tristan's. 

He pushed down, gentle but firm, his calluses causing sharp jolts of energy to jump from her knuckles to her shoulders, then lower, settling in her breasts. Tessa took a deep breath, hoping it would help the tightness where her nipples pressed against her bra. 

It only made it worse. The tangling, Tristan prompted, his voice little more than a groan, his eyes locked on the joint movement of their hands. What does that do? It— Tessa stopped talking, helpless to do anything but watch as Tristan moved so that now both her hands were caught between his and the dough.  

The contrast had her body humming. The soft give and slide beneath, the rough yet gentle pressure of his hot skin above. It took a second before she realized he’d stopped moving, their intertwined fingers frozen as he waited for her to respond.  

It stretches the dough out, smoothing it. Push forward, curl. Allows air in. Pull back, press, push again. Tristan turned so his nose brushed her cheek, his lips grazing her ear before he whispered, Then what happens? 

Tessa’s fingers flexed and Tristan’s followed, then spanned wide, holding her still. A sensation raced through Tessa, her limbs loosening as if it was her muscles they’d been kneading, her body they’d been coaxing into submission. 

Her head was heavy, her neck too relaxed to hold it up. It was tipping back, her eyes falling shut, as she managed to drag out the answer. If you’ve done it right, it will rise.And, damn, had it. 

 ©Katy Ames 2018

"This book reminded me why I love romance novels so much." ~ Reading Minds Blog

"With how unique it was, I know that almost every reader can find something to love about this book. I would recommend it to those who love an emotional novel with a happily-ever-after ending." ~ Becca, NetGalley review

"The writing style was exceptional. I really WAS there. On this small island in the middle of a hurricane. At the luxury resort. In the kitchen tasting the sweets Tessa made. I was there. The words and sentences made it so easy to imagine all of these beautiful places I have never been before." ~ 3 Degrees of Fiction Blog

Catch up on the Series!

Katy Ames has spent most of her life on the East Coast and hopes to spend more of it in the UK. In part, so she can indulge in her serious plaid obsession. 

There isn’t a teenage drama on the CW or a period British TV show she hasn’t binge-watched at least twice. And she can be persuaded to do most things with the promise of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, or a nap, not necessarily in that order. 

Katy is mom to a small human who has an obscene amount of energy and a blissful ability to ignore swear words, and wife to a man whose reading habits are far too serious. Katy and her family reside in Washington, D.C., a city she where never planned to live and loves so much she’d be happy to talk about it for hours. Just ask.   

Katy writes contemporary romances that feature heroes who are strong but not so silent, heroines who aren’t afraid to kick ass, and stories that get a little messy before they end happily ever after.

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