By Mackenzie Lucas
Blurb: All Haven Jameson ever wanted was to own a little piece of paradise. Now, she does, having
established a successful luxury spa in St. Augustine, Florida. But when the property next door
is sold to a mega developer and his pro-golf celebrity brother who design trendy, bustling
playgrounds for the rich and famous, she fears her dream could slip away. Confronted by her
late husband’s infidelity, Haven learns everything she believed about her marriage was a lie; so
she finally sets aside her grief and opens her heart to loving the widowed pro-golfer who is her
biggest professional competition. In the end, Haven discovers that living a safe, loveless life is
far worse than embracing passion and taking a chance on a man who’s vowed never to love
again. And that, sometimes, no matter how high the risk, the best paradise of all can be found
inside our own hearts.
Excerpt: Pace Daniels lay on his belly on a massage table, naked except for a thin sheet covering his
backside. He rested his cheek on his hands and closed his eyes, and breathed in the calming
scent of the room.
Light music played from the overhead speakers, not too loud, but nice. It sounded like a mix
of music from India and the Southwest—Burma to Santa Fe. Pan flutes and bowl singing.
He breathed deep again, taking air deep into his lungs, and pushed through the pain in his
shoulder, the achiness that seemed to stick with him no matter what he did.
It was time to retire. Leave the circuit.
He'd known for a while now. Hell, he was a fairly young man for his profession. But one mistake.
One stupid mistake had cost him everything. And now at the age of almost forty, he was facing
a blank future. Filled with a lot of nothing if he didn't make some changes soon.
He had no idea what to expect when he'd come to Essence. A pretty brunette had given him
instructions today for the massage, showed him the transition room—a fancy name for a locker
room—and where to store his clothes and belongings. Of course, he'd had massages before.
Mostly by sports medicine doctors.
Essence surprised him. Pleasantly. The atmosphere was different than he’d imagined. He'd
expected fru fru and had been bowled over at every turn. The place wasn't just a female Mecca,
as he’d feared. He'd anticipated salon chairs and manicurists around every corner.
Instead, the spa resort was a posh hotel.
A serene place. A spot he could see himself settling into to find some measure of peace in his
He let out a deep sigh.
But, no. He wouldn't. He'd move on like he always did.
A knock sounded at the door and a moment later, the door opened on silent hinges. He opened
his eyes to see the massage therapist.
The woman who entered wasn't the petite, curvy brunette who'd checked him in, but a tall, leggy
He stilled as he watched her.
Yes, she was beautiful. High cheekbones, wide, exotic pale green eyes, lush body. But there
was something else. Something indefinable. Something more, he couldn’t explain. Maybe a
sadness that clung to her that he recognized because the same sloe-eyed desolation dogged
him, day after day for the past ten years.
He couldn’t be one-hundred percent certain to what extent, but on some level, he identified with
Then she spoke, and every cell in his body awoke at the husky tone of her voice. Sex liquefied.
He'd die and go to Heaven if he could just have her talk to him for the next hour in that sweet,
sexy, soft voice.
“I'm sorry. I must be in the wrong room.” She turned to go.
He pushed up from the table. “No. Wait.”
Author Bio: Mackenzie Lucas is a lover of story in any form. She’s an avid reader of genre fiction, she
writes contemporary and paranormal romance, and she listens to an eclectic mix of music that
spans from pop/rock to country to gospel. She loves a good story whether it’s an erotic short,
a full-length romance novel, or the narrative slice-of-life found in country music. In any story,
emotional integrity and authenticity are most important to her as well as a big dose of romping
hot sexual tension. She enjoys smart-mouthed, sexy heroines, hunky alpha heroes who know
how to take care of their women, and plot twists that surprise her, but most of all, she just wants
to experience a satisfying emotional arc of a character falling in love and finding what he or she
needs most in life.
Mac is a small-town country girl with a world-traveler’s soul. She grew up in the Allegheny
Mountains of Pennsylvania and she’s lived in Dublin, Ireland, within spitting distance of
New York City in Long Island, and now in the Washington, D.C. area. She obtained her
undergraduate degree in English Literature from Dickinson College and received her M.F.A. in
Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She’s currently an author, writing coach, a
mother, and a wife.
With Mackenzie Lucas--whether you’re reading her light paranormal romance, her small-town-
based contemporary romance, or her steamin’ hawt erotica--you’ll always get a story about
connectedness, community, and emotional authenticity, and, at its core, love. No, and it doesn’t
hurt that all her heroes are panty-melting gorgeous alphas and all their sexy, sensually aware
heroines know how to stand up to them, give no quarter, and love them just as they are.
Where to find Mackenzie
Facebook Fan Page
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I was hooked on this book from the first chapter. Haven and Pace are dynamic together and each one comes in to the story fighting their own demons. Haven is trying to make it on her own after the death of her beloved husband and Pace swore off all relationships after the death of his wife and baby girl.
Each of them are disillusioned by their pasts and have to overcome the struggles on their own before they can ever be a couple. Pace is a guy's guy. Love 'em and leave 'em, that's his way. The women know it going in but there is something about Haven that makes him want to have more than just one night with her. Haven still has her dead husband on a pedestal and refuses to move on. She owes everything she has to him and doesn't want to disrespect his memory with a fling, or even a relationship.
Complications arise when Haven discovers Pace and his brother are buying the property next door to her spa, Essence, and the woman that sold it to them has an ax to grind with her. Imogene is an evil soulless woman that is everything Haven is not. But to have a good story, you have to have a villian, and Imogene certainly fits the bill.
The supporting characters, Haven's partner, Sally and Pace's brother have their own little story going on and it is hot! They are a good match for each other and help our couple realize that you can't go through life alone forever. Sally happened to be a favorite of mine, she's a spitfire!
Through their troubles our couple learn what it's like to open up and leave the demons in the past lie. I hope you enjoy Essence as much as I did, it's a fabulous escape!
One lucky commenter will win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Nobel giftcard from Mackenzie Lewis, so be sure to leave a comment and good luck!!!!
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