Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Serving Trouble by Sara Jane Stone Blog Tour


The first sexy contemporary romance in Sara Jane Stone’s brand new Second Shot series!

Five years ago, Josie Fairmore left timber country in search of a bright future. Now she's back home with a mountain of debt and reeling from a loss that haunts her. Desperate for a job, she turns to the one man she wishes she could avoid. The man who rocked her world one wild night and then walked right out of it.

Former Marine Noah Tager is managing his dad's bar and holding tight to the feeling that his time overseas led to failure. The members of his small town think he's a war hero, but after everything he's witnessed, Noah doesn't want a pat on the back. The only thing he desires is a second chance with his best friend's little sister.

Josie's determined to hold onto her heart and not repeat her mistakes, but when danger arrives on Noah's doorstep and takes aim at Josie, they just might discover that sometimes love is worth the risk.

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Book 1
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Chapter 1

“I drove to the wrong bar.”

Josie Fairmore stared up at the unlit sign towering above the nearly vacant parking lot, her cell phone pressed to her ear. Nothing changed in Forever, Oregon. Everything from the people to the names of the bars remained the same. The triplets, who had to be over a hundred now, still owned The Three Sisters Café downtown. Every car and truck she’d sped past had the high school football team’s flag mounted on the roof or featured on the bumper. And her father was still the chief of police.

Nothing changed. That was why she’d left for college and never looked back.

Until now.

She’d blown past the Forever town line ten minutes ago. She’d driven straight to the place that promised a rescue from her current hell. And she’d parked under the sign, which appeared determined to prove her wrong.

“Josephine Fairmore, it is ten-thirty in the morning,” Daphne said, her tone oddly stern for the owner of a strip club situated outside the town limits. “The fact that you’re at a bar might be your first mistake.”

Damn. If the owner of The Lost Kitten was her voice of reason, Josie was screwed.

“When did they take the “country” out of Big Buck’s Country Bar?” Josie stared at the letters above the entrance to the town’s oldest bar. She twirled the key to her red Mini that looked out of place beside the lone monster truck in the lot. She should probably take the car back to the city. The Mini didn’t belong in the land of four wheelers, pick-ups, and logging trucks. The red car would miss the parking garage.

But I can’t afford the parking garage anymore. I can’t even pay my rent. Or my bills...

“Big Buck gave in three years ago,” Daphne explained, drawing Josie’s attention back to the bar parking lot. “He decided to take Noah’s advice and get rid of the mechanical bull. He wanted to attract the college crowd.”

“He got rid of the bull before I went to college.” And before his son left to join the United States Marine Corps. She should know. She’d ridden the bull at his going away party.

With Noah.

And then she’d ridden Noah.

“Well, Buck made a few more changes,” Daphne said. “He added a new sound system and—”

“He changed the name. I guess that explains why Noah came home.” She glanced at the dark, quiet bar. The hours posted by the door read Open from noon until the cows come home (or 3am, whichever comes first!).

“He served for five years and did two tours in Afghanistan. Stop by The Three Sisters and you’ll get an earful about his heroics,” Daphne said. “But from what I’ve heard, Noah didn’t want to sign up for another five. Not after his grandmother died last year.”

“You’ve seen him?” Josie looked down at her cowboy boots. She hadn’t worn them since that night in Noah’s barn. She’d thought they’d help her land the job at the “country” bar. But now she wished she’d worn her converse, maybe a pair of heels.

“Yes.”

“At The Lost Kitten?” Why, after all this time, after she never responded to his apologetic letter, would she care if Noah spent his free time watching women strip off their clothes? One wild, stupid, naked night cut short by her big brother didn’t offer a reason for jealousy.

But the fact that I told him I love him? That might.

“No. I bumped into him at the café.” Daphne hesitated. “He didn’t smile. Not once.”

“PTSD?” she asked quietly. She couldn’t imagine walking into a war zone and leaving without long, lasting trauma. The things he probably saw...

“Maybe,” Daphne said. “But he’s not jumpy. He just seems pissed off at the world. Elvira was behind the counter that day. She tried to thank him for serving our country after he ordered a burger. He set a ten on the counter and walked out before his food arrived.”

“He left his manners in the middle east.” Josie stared at the door to Big Buck’s. “Might hurt my chances for getting a job.”

“I think your lack of waitressing or bartending experience will be the nail in the coffin. But if Noah turns you down, you can work here.”

“I’d rather keep my shirt on while I work,” Josie said dryly.

And he won’t turn me down. He promised to help me.

But that was before he turned into a surly former marine.

“You’d make more without it,” Daphne said. “Or you can tell the hospital, the collection agency—whoever’s coming after you—the truth. You’re broke.”

“I did. They gave me a payment plan and I need to stick to it.” She headed for the door. “I ignored those bills for months. Besides what kind of mother doesn’t pay her child’s medical bills?”

The kind who buried her son twenty-seven days after he was born.

Daphne didn’t say the words, but Josie knew she was thinking them. Her best friend was the only person in Forever who knew the truth about why she was desperate for a paycheck. If only Daphne had inherited a restaurant or a bookstore—a place with fully clothed employees.

“He has to agree,” Josie added. “I need that money.”

“I know.” Daphne sighed. “And I need to get to work. I have a staff of topless waitresses and dancers who depend on me for their paycheck. Good luck, Josie.”

“Thanks.” She ended the call and slipped her phone into the bag slung over her shoulder alongside her wallet and resume.

She drew a deep breath. But a churning feeling started in her belly, foreboding, threatening. She knew this feeling and she didn’t like it. Something bad always followed.

Her boyfriend headed for the door convinced he was too young for a baby...Her water broke too early...

She tried the door. Locked, dammit.

Ignoring the warning bells in her head telling her to run to her best friend’s club and offer to serve a topless breakfast, she raised her hand and knocked.

“Hang on a sec,” a deep voice called from the other side. She remembered that sound and could hear the echo of his words from five long years ago, before he’d joined the marines and before she’d gone to college hoping for a brighter future—and found more heartache.

Call, email, or send a letter. Hell, send a carrier pigeon. I don’t care how you get in touch, or where I am, if you need me, I’ll find a way to help.

He’d meant every word. But people changed. They hardened. They took hits and got back up leaving their heart beaten and wrecked on the ground.

She glanced down as if the bloody pieces of her broken heart would appear at her feet. Nope. Nothing but cement and her boots. She’d left her heart behind in Portland, dead and buried thank you very much.

The door opened. She looked up and...

Oh my...wow...

She’d gained five pounds—well, more than that, but she’d lost the rest. She’d cried for weeks, tears running down her cheeks while she slept, and flooding her eyes when she woke. And it had aged her. There were lines on her face that made her look a lot older than twenty-three.

But Noah...

He’d gained five pounds of pure muscle. His tight black t-shirt clung to his biceps. Dark green cargo pants hung low on his hips. And his face...

On the drive, she’d tried to trick herself into believing he was just a friend she’d slept with one wild night. She’d made a fool of herself, losing her heart to him that night.

Never again.

She’d made a promise to her broken, battered heart and she planned to keep it. She would not fall for Noah this time.

But oh the temptation...

His short blond hair still looked as if he’d just run his hands through it. Stubble, the same color as his hair, covered his jaw. He’d forgotten to shave, or just didn’t give a damn. But his familiar blue eyes left her ready to pass out at his feet from lack of oxygen.

He stared at her, wariness radiating from those blue depths. Five years ago, he’d smiled at her and it had touched his eyes. Not now.

“Josie?” His brow knitted as if he’d had to search his memory for her name. His grip tightened on the door. Was he debating whether to slam it in her face and pretend his mind had been playing tricks on him?

“Hi Noah.” She placed her right boot in the doorway, determined to follow him inside if he tried to shut her out.

“You’re back,” he said as if putting together the pieces of a puzzle. But still no hint of the warm, welcoming smile he’d worn with an easy-going grace five years ago.

“I guess you didn’t get the carrier pigeon,” she said, forcing a smile. Please let him remember. “But I need your help.”




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary☆☆☆☆
I am a sucker for a military story and when it is a U.S. Marine, well I am all over it. And Noah did not disappoint. He joined the service to help his family because the country bar that has been in his family for years was not bringing in enough money to cover the bills. So he is the all-around hero, he doesn't feel he is but he still has a heart of gold and wants to save everyone, especially Josie. She is the daughter of the town police chief and the sister to his best friend and he has been in love with her for years. But he will tell you that he is not in love with her. After he serves a few tours and comes back home to run the bar, after his dad breaks his leg, he only wants to survive each day and be left alone. When Josie shows up looking for a job, she is supposed to be finishing up college in Portland. He refuses to hire her until she calls him out about not hiring anyone yet because the "now hiring" sign is still up. He wants to know why she is back home so soon, can she trust him with her secret? Will he tell her brother? Will they give in to the attraction between them and not let their true feelings take over? And why is Caroline in town and looking for Noah and who is chasing her? This is a really good story and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end which is not the end because if you didn't happen to read the beginning of what happened between Noah and Josie the night before Noah left for boot camp, it is at the end of this book. So you can get it here. Which was a bonus for me and I liked that too. I hope there is more for this series.


Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
This book brought together so many complex plot points and wove them together seamlessly into a wonderful story in which you can't help but fall in love alongside Noah and Josie.

Both left the small town of Forever in search of a new beginning, leaving the past – and who they were – behind. Noah joined the Marines where he learned that being a good Marine sometimes meant not blindly following those who gave the orders, especially if those orders harmed the men and women that followed said orders. Josie found herself in college and in love but gave it all up when she found out she was pregnant and the baby's father left her high and dry. Determined not to be the statistic everyone in her small town thought she would become, she stayed away.

Coming home, Josie has no choice but to turn to Noah. He promised her five years ago that if she ever needed anything, all she had to do was ask. Now she needs a job – a no questions asked, pays on time job. Against his better judgment, Noah gives her a job, silently wishing that she wasn't his best friend’s little sister.

Over the course of the book, we are introduced to several characters that become integral parts of Noah and Josie's story and I can only hope that we see them again in the coming books.




After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and more! Visit www.sarajanestone.com and look for her newsletter entry form.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Serving Trouble (Second Shot #1) by Sara Jane Stone to read and review for this tour.

1 comment:

  1. Great reviews! Thank you for hosting SERVING TROUBLE today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours

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