Excerpt: Painting the Lines by Ashley R. King

About the Book:

Amalie Warner wants another shot to prove that she can be a successful writer. After hitting the bestseller’s list nine years ago, she’s lost her spark. Feeling pressure from her father to leave her writing behind and to work for her family’s lucrative hotel business, she’s desperate to find inspiration for her next big idea, something that challenges and excites her, something real.

Enter Julian Smoke, a failed tennis player making a dream run for the US Open. After a chance meeting at a bar, Amalie hates him instantly. He’s cocky and arrogant, but Amalie knows his story could be her big break. Could he be more?

Everyone knows that in tennis, love means zero, but these two are about to change that.

Perfect for fans of The Hating Game and Wimbledon.

Amazon |Apple iBooks |BN |Kobo

Excerpt:

As Amalie fastened the second earring, a knock sounded at the door.

“Oh, God.” She took one last glance in the mirror, her trembling hands fussing over imaginary wrinkles in her dress. She was famously overthinking everything, like the fact that she was about to walk into a party with Julian Smoke on her arm.

Romina put her arms on Amalie’s shoulders, looking at her head-on, her expression serious but calming. “Listen to me. You’re going to slay this party. Just breathe.”

Amalie nodded, standing up straighter. Her chaotic thoughts fell away as soon as she opened the door. She choked on a gasp as her eyes unabashedly drank in the sight of Julian, dressed in a tux that had been perfectly tailored. His hair was combed neatly, the natural wave of it still rebelling over his dark eyebrows. And those damn eyes. They got her every time.

“Uh, oh, hi, hello, hey.” Smooth. Her cheeks reddened, but she took a deep breath and managed to say, “You clean up nice.” Her gaze dropped to a bouquet of perfect pink orchids clutched in Julian’s grip, her heart doing a little somersault.

Julian’s eyes flared as he studied her from head to toe until his gaze landed on her lips. Amalie tried to school her features, but Julian looked at her like he wanted to eat her up, and honestly, at this point, she was totally on board with that idea.

“God, Amalie, you look”—he let out a ragged breath, his hands clenching briefly and then relaxing—“you look incredible. Wow.”

“Why, thank you.” Her limbs tingled, a sense of empowerment rushing through her at making someone like Julian stumble with his words.

Julian shot her a panty-dropping look and shook his head. “Damn stunning.”

“Indeed she is.” Romina piped up, hand on her hip. “Are those flowers for her?”

Julian startled and extended the bouquet to Amalie. “Oh, hey, Ro. And yeah, these are for you, Amalie.” He gave his head a little shake and added, “I can’t think straight with you dressed like that.”

She smiled. It was impossible not to, even though her heart was in her throat. “Thank you for the flowers and the compliment. These are my favorite.”

“I’ll put them in water,” Romina said. “You kids get out of here. I don’t want you back before midnight.” She grabbed the flowers and disappeared into the kitchen.

“I know those are your favorite,” Julian responded as he took a step closer, his glance falling to her mouth once more.

Amalie’s breath caught in her throat. He wanted to kiss her; she could see it written all over his face, in his eyes, in the way he slowly licked his lips. 

Julian reached for a strand of her hair and slipped it between his fingers before offering his arm like a gentleman. “Ready to go?”

She accepted, and for a moment, they just stood there, staring into one another’s eyes. This couldn’t be. A couple months ago, they’d hated each other. 

Hate. Hate. Hate. Anything else had seemed so impossible.

Yet here they were, arm in arm, stepping into the night with enough electricity between them to light the world. 

About the Author: Ashley R. King is a middle school English teacher whose love of the written word began when her mom took her to the public library, letting her check out stacks of books taller than she was. She’s the least athletic person you’ll ever meet, but that doesn’t decrease her love for her favorite sport, tennis.

She loves swoony romances and is addicted to sweet tea. When she’s not teaching or writing happily ever afters, she can be found snuggled up with a book, travelling, or quoting obscure lines from her favorite movies and tv shows. She lives in a small town in Georgia with her favorite person in the world—her husband, and their sweet and chatty spoiled cat, Cleo.

Connect with Ashley:

Website |  Instagram | Twitter | Facebook |

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