Today, I’m hosting international bestselling author Kelly Collins’ latest release One Hundred Dreams, book twenty-two in An Aspen Cove Romance series, a contemporary romance. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
He’s a man trying to keep things under control.
She’s a woman yearning to break free.
Is this a disaster waiting to happen or a love story in the making?
Blurb: Actress Cameron Madden is sick and tired of being tired. With her last movie failing at the box office and her career in question, she heads to Aspen Cove to lick her wounds. The small mountain town is the perfect place to escape the prying eyes of a critical public, the demands of her career, and the rules set by her team. Expecting a female bodyguard named Valery, she’s shocked to find the script has been flipped and Valery is a tall, dark, and annoying man who goes by Val. The first thing he does is hand her a set of rules—his rules. And she plans to break every one of them.
The last thing bodyguard Valery Armstrong wants to do is babysit an actress, but when the job comes in, he is the only one available. Saving the day and picking up the pieces is what he’s been doing since his father passed away. That single event ten years ago taught him one thing—prepare for every possibility. Before agreeing to take on Cameron, he asks himself how difficult could one woman be? When he arrives, he hands her the list, then watches as she gifts him with a heart-stopping smile—right before tearing the page to pieces. How difficult could one woman be? Cameron Madden is about to show him.
Aspen Cove, where rules are made to be broken…
She squeezed his fingers until they lost all feeling. “Are we crashing?”
He glanced out the window, and while they were tottering from side to side, they were still in the air, and not plunging nose-first to the ground below them.
“No, it’s a mechanical malfunction of some kind.” He looked at the flight attendant, who was the color of a passing cloud, closed his eyes, and made a promise to himself. If they got out of this mess alive, he’d never fly again. “They’re trained for this. We’ll be fine.” It was false confidence because he felt like they’d be anything but fine. What would happen if this was his last moment? Would his family be able to run the business without him? The weight of their lives had sat on his shoulders for over a decade.
Cameron started to whimper. “I’m too young to die. There are so many things I haven’t done that I want to do.”
She was working herself up to a full-blown cry, and Val knew if he didn’t get her to focus on something other than the likelihood of a crash, she’d fall apart before the plane did.
He turned and stared into her eyes. “Tell me something you want to do.”
“I want to learn how to drive.”
His head snapped back. “You don’t know how to drive?”
She shook her head. “It’s not easy being famous.” She laughed, but it was more like a nervous cackle. “I know that sounds so lame, but I never got to do stuff that others did, like go to prom, and drive a car. I’ve never been to an amusement park or gone camping.”
“I love camping. I always wanted to run an outdoor recreation company.” If he hadn’t taken over Vortex when his father passed, he would have run a company that specialized in outdoor adventures.
She twisted in her seat to look at him. “Why don’t you do that now?”
He pointed to her with his free hand—the hand she wasn’t squeezing every drop of blood from with her death grip.
“This is what I do. It’s what’s expected.” The last words his father said to him were, “Keep it together.”
He imagined she did. She was brought up in show business and was expected to follow in her mom’s footsteps. He got that because his life was the same. Only in his case people counted on him. With her, she was free to do what she wanted as an adult.
“Do you like acting?”
She stared at him like it was the craziest question in the world. “It’s what I do.”
He nodded. “I get it, but do you love it?”
“Sure,” she said without conviction.
The plane rocked to one side, and the attendant yelped.
“Look at me.” He leaned down so Cameron had to look him in the eyes. “If you could do anything else in the world, what would it be?”
She looked around her as if to make sure no one was listening or recording. “I’d open a coffee shop with a lending library, and everyone could come and sit there and read all day. At night, I’d do an open mic where fledgling artists could treat us to their craft, whether it was poetry or guitar or comedy.”
“That sounds wonderful. You should do that. Can you make coffee?”
“I make a mean latte.” They banked to the left and she held his hand harder. Her knuckles were as sharp as blades, and he was certain he’d be maimed for life from her grip. “You should open an outdoor adventure company. Life is too short not to do what you love.”
She was right. “Okay, if we make it out of this, we’ll follow our dreams, right?”
She took his other hand and pinned him with her stare. As he looked into her amethyst eyes, he saw that while they were purple, the inner and outer rims of her iris had silver specks that made them all the more beautiful. They were like rare gemstones, and he could spend an hour looking into her eyes and never tire of it.
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International bestselling author of more than thirty novels, Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping love alive. Always a romantic, she blends real-life events with her vivid imagination to create characters and stories that lovers of contemporary romance, new adult, and romantic suspense will return to again and again.
Kelly has sold more than a quarter of a million books worldwide, and in 2021 she was awarded a Readers’ Favorite Award Gold Medal in the Contemporary Romance category for A Tablespoon of Temptation.
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