A unique new romance series set in the trending world of the craft brewery. Meet the owners, employees and friends of Fitzgerald Brewing as they live, love, lust and laugh their way through the ups, downs and sideways shifts of small business ownership.
When Brock Fitzgerald is welcomed back into his family thanks to the sympathy of his sister-in-law Evelyn and the tolerance of his twin brother, Austin, he understands that this may be the best he’ll ever get for himself. Years spent partying, drinking, and screwing his way through life have left him drained, exhausted, and accepting of his many weaknesses. He’s grateful for the second chance he’s been offered, even as he continues to battle his demons, including one that leads him back into co-dependency with his oldest girlfriend.
Kayla Hettinger never imagined that once she declared herself clean after several near-overdoses of opiates she’d find herself tending bar for her brother’s fiancée Melody, and enjoying what life she’d managed to build. When she strikes up a friendship with Brock over shared experiences and ginger ale, she discovers something needier and more frightening inside herself—and in Brock—than either of them feels equipped to handle.
Breaking through the clutter of addiction and despair only to find your soulmate waiting on the other side seems like the stuff of fairy tales—until Brock and Kayla accept that being dependent on one another is the only way they’ll survive.
Brock—he was the star of most of her dreams lately, she’d admit to that. Dreams that would start one way—fun, and funny. Gentle, and kind. Sweet, and nice. And then he’d kiss her and she’d wake up screaming.
She was beyond redemption. She ought to set him straight and end this useless flirtation that would go exactly nowhere. It wasn’t fair to him, after all. He ought to feel free to find a normal woman. Someone he could kiss who wouldn’t scream. Someone he could …. Could make love to, without worrying that she’d flip out and start cutting herself.
With a sigh, she got to her feet, splashed some water on her face and opened the bathroom door, only to come face-to-face with Brock himself. He had his hand raised, as if about to knock. His eyes were full of concern. She stepped back, hand to her throat.
The very air between them seemed to crackle with energy. But she had no frame of reference for it. Even though she’d sex with more men than she would ever admit. She’d done awful things, things foisted on her as a child, encouraged by her as an adult in exchange for her next pop. She had never once had a real orgasm—other than the ecstasy she achieved from cutting her own flesh.
“I’ve never been kissed,” she whispered, wonderment at her own outspoken craziness whirling around in her brain. “Did you know that? I’m forty-two years old and…” Her throat seized up, precluding any more words.
When he touched her face, his palm was warm and comforting. She leaned into it, wondering how long this would last, how long before he demanded something of her she simply couldn’t provide.
This is Brock. He won’t do any of those things, not if you don’t want him to.
Bullshit. He’s a man. All men want whatever the hell they can get or take by brute force.
“I will kiss you, Kayla.” He swiped the pad of his thumb over her lips, giving her the strangest, weak-kneed sensation. “But not until you want me to.” He leaned into her ear. “You don’t want me to. Not yet. Do you?”
She closed her eyes and leaned toward him, her body yearning for something she’d never had before. Even as her mind was screeching at her to escape. “No,” she said, her voice cracking on the one word.
He leaned away from her, keeping his hand on her cheek and his gaze on hers. “When you’re ready, you’ll know. And then you just tell me, okay?”
She nodded, a single tear sliding down her hot cheek and dotting the cuff of his shirt. He let go of her, leaving her oddly bereft and relieved at the same time. She clutched her bag to her chest, unable to stop staring at him as her mind pulled her away while her body urged her forward in ways she didn’t understand.
“I’m not normal, Brock. I…I’ve been…I’ve done…it’s…”
“Sh, sh,” he insisted, pulling her into a surprisingly comfortable hug. “We’ve all done. We’ve all been. You don’t even want to know some of the shit I’ve gotten into.” She sensed herself molding against him, putting her arms around his waist and marveling as she did it at her first, truly intimate hug. She pressed her face into his shirt, sucking a deep breath of him—a bit of maltiness from the brewery that they all carried around with them made her smile, combined with what must be the natural smell of his skin. Her knees were shaking again but he held on tight, his mantra of “Sh…sh…it’s all right,” filling her mind, and drowning out the fear.
About Liz Crowe
Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”).
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.