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Grounds for Love

Can a confirmed tea drinker be any help to an aspiring coffee baron? Should a woman ever allow herself to fall in love a man her 150-pound guard dog "disapproves" of? And will love prevail between a woman determined to be self-reliant and a man whose success depends on her yielding her independence?

Taking place in the coffee-loving Northwest, this is the story of Jenny Vaughn, an independent woman with her own desktop publishing business, and Ty Weston, a man with the skill and the passion to turn a couple of espresso carts into a burgeoning coffee empire.

Ty is a talented entrepreneur, but he is in a bind. He needs an "angel," someone to finance the expansion of his business. He finds one in Ralph Ellison, a cagey Portland businessman who knows a good investment when he sees one. Ellison has only two requirements: Ty must hire Jenny Vaughn, a woman Ty has never met, to do his newsletters and other publicity. Also, Ty is never to let Jenny know why he's hired her.

Jenny doesn't want to be hired, by Ty or anyone else. She wants to work for Ty as an independent contractor, an equal who contracts her services, not as an employee. She’s also wary of most men, due to a persistent admirer who would have forced himself on her if Baby, Jenny’s overgrown mongrel, hadn’t intervened just in time. The dog is devoted to Jenny, and the feeling is mutual. What’s more, Jenny trusts her dog completely, and won’t trust anyone the dog doesn’t like.

Ty resents being controlled by Ellison, and is about to abandon his campaign to hire Jenny when he is reminded of all his workers who are depending on him to expand his business and provide them with improved benefits and a better living. As he comes to know Jenny better, her subtle beauty and personality gives him an added reason to win her, and her canine defender, over. But first he’s determined to discover Jenny’s connection to Ellison. And Jenny must deal with her sense of betrayal when she finds out why Ty sought her services.

To find happiness, Ty and Jenny must place love above business interests and suspicion. How they accomplish this, and in the process stumble on the real reason Baby objects to Ty, is the heart of this romance.

An Awe-Struck Release

Coming Soon...

Maureen Mackey

Home for Maureen Mackey is the towering firs and misty rains of the Pacific Northwest. Writing is her life-long dream, which first surfaced when she was in the third grade. She wrote an entire table of contents to a fairy tale, and then began writing the chapters only to get hopelessly mired in chapter four. Happily, she’s never gotten stuck like that again.

Born in Los Angeles, Maureen was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned a degree in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While studying English literature and history, she fell in love with her future husband, a fellow student, and also 18th-century and Regency England, time periods she continues to enjoy researching and writing about. Determined to become a working writer, she obtained a masters degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, which led to jobs as a staff writer and freelancer for a number of magazines and newspapers. However, she found she couldn’t stay away from writing fiction.

She was encouraged when her first Regency romance novel, Lord Peter’s Page, won first place in the Top O’ The Trees novel writing contest. Another novel, The Forgotten Bride, was a finalist in a competition sponsored by The Beau Monde, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America. In addition to the two novels mentioned, Maureen has written three other Regency romances as well as a contemporary romance and a romantic suspense trilogy, all published by Awe-Struck Publishing, an imprint of Mundania Press, LLC.

Currently, Maureen lives in Oregon, in a charming 105-year-old home in one of Portland’s historic neighborhoods, which she likes to explore with her dog. When she's not writing, Maureen gets inspiration from reading, going to the movies and working in her garden. She enjoys spending time with her husband and her two grown sons and their wives, and also keeps trying to improve her knitting and crocheting skills.

You can learn more about Maureen and her books at her website, www.MaureenMackey.com. You are welcome to subscribe to Maureen’s blog, The Regency Looking Glass. You can also follow Maureen on Pinterest and Twitter.

Reviews

3 ANGELS

"If you're looking for a charming romance with likable characters and a quirky cast then Grounds For Love would be a good choice."

Tammy -- Fallen Angel Reviews



4 STARS

“For those who love a great love story, you can’t go wrong with Grounds For Love…Jenny and Ty are wonderfully drawn characters who feel remarkably like old friends…The emotional connection as Jenny and Ty surrender their fears and the romantic elements when they find love are brilliantly depicted and make Grounds For Love a fine way to spend the afternoon.”

Lettetia Elsasser -- Ecataromance Reviews


"The story is a delightful, fast-paced romp, with an equally fun cast of characters. The classic 'oh, no, we're stuck in the same room' scene is different and fun. The fact that Jenny relies heavily on Baby's opinion, (her dog), and judgment of men leads to some amusing scenes, too...Ms. Mackey writes an absolutely delightful romance I would recommend to anyone."

Tara Manderin -- MyShelf Reviews



Rating: 4 out of 5

"I enjoyed Grounds for Love. The characters were charming; both had fears and were able to talk about them....They fell in love with each other and were surprised that it happened....Grounds for Love is about facing your fears and learning to conquer them, even with a laugh or two thrown in."

Pam -- A Romance Review


"Author Maureen Mackey takes unusual circumstances and weaves them into an amusing comedy of errors in judgment. I thought Jenny was an offbeat character who sometimes seemed a little cavalier about how her dog threatened the guests she let enter her house. How Ty put up with what he did to win her over surprised me…GROUNDS FOR LOVE is a well done, entertaining read, humorous in its characters’ foibles and their efforts to follow a twisted path to true love."

Robin Lee -- Romance Reviews Today
Excerpt

Nearly six feet tall, with his slim athletic build, dark hair and silvery gray eyes, Ty Weston was striking enough when he just stood still. When he spoke or smiled he was absolutely devastating.

Jenny hadn't felt this drawn to a man in a long time. She ruthlessly suppressed the delicious tingle that started at her toes and worked its way up her body.

What a bad time for long-dead feelings to suddenly revive! She had bigger problems to think about now, besides Ty Weston's disarming smile and those silver eyes of his with just a smidgen of gray--or were they gray with a smidgen of silver?

A sign of frustration barely escaped her lips. Her dog had just assaulted a potential client, which surely must be a crime, and here she was mooning over the color of the victim's eyes.

Ty Weston may have been joking about suing her, but it would be no joke if he decided to hire someone else to do his newsletter.

Not that she'd blame him after Baby's rough treatment, but it would a disaster if Ty changed his mind about offering her the job. Lately her cash flow had slowed to a trickle, and she needed all the work she could get.

Jenny marshaled her courage, and faced him.

"I'm so sorry about what happened. Like I said before your, uh, encounter with Baby, he is a bit over-protective of me."

"Over-protective? He's a lethal weapon, a loose cannon set to go off at any moment. How many bodies of his victims do you have buried in the backyard? I think I've got bruises just from him standing on me."

He rubbed his chest as he spoke. Jenny couldn't help noticing, however irrelevantly, that it was a fine, broad chest that would look equally at home in denim or flannel as the linen broadcloth he now wore. And even better with nothing on at all. The sudden image shocked her into a blush.

Mentally Jenny gave herself a vigorous shake to dispel her troublesome thoughts. She hoped her face wasn't as red as it felt.

"I'm sorry," Ty said, misunderstanding her discomfort. "I didn't mean to be so emphatic. But your dog mauled me."

"Oh, no, not really. If he'd really wanted to hurt you, he would have bitten you."

"That's comforting. I suppose all I got was a warning. Sort of a dog equivalent of leaving a horse's head in my bed. Well, I can take a hint."

"Please don't let this affect our working arrangement." She struggled not to sound too pleading. "Baby will get used to you, I promise. He doesn't like anybody at first. It's just his nature. He's a guard dog. He'll warm up to you after a while."

Ty looked out the back door to where Baby was barking, and Jenny followed his gaze. The dog was totally worked up, ears and cheeks flapping as he barked, his spittle flying against the screen.

When Baby saw Ty looking at him, the dog threw himself against the door with frame-splintering force for added emphasis.

"He seems pretty warmed up already." Ty reached for the other cup of coffee and downed it in one long gulp. Despite his ruined suit and tousled hair, Ty leaned against the kitchen cabinet as nonchalantly as if he were at the espresso counter of a swanky coffee shop.

His coolness was impressive. With a glance Ty took in the sad state of his shirt, which had the contents of the other cup of coffee all over it, as well as a few rips from Baby's oversize paws. Ty winced at the destruction.

Jenny thought she could read the signals. She sighed.

"I'll understand if you want to find somebody else for your newsletter."

Ty sighed, too. She thought she saw resignation on his face as his lips curved into a grim smile.

"Oh no, that won't be necessary. I'm sure we can work this out."