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Thursday, September 12, 2013




Since her divorce two years before, Kelsie Collins has been determined to guard her heart and steer clear of seemingly ‘perfect’ men. An easy task considering the kind of men her matchmaking mother and her best friend, Nanci, keeps setting her up with. She allows them to set her up, knowing their hearts are in the right place and that there is no risk of her letting any man close enough to hurt her again. Her growing experience in ways to slip out of those ‘dates from hell’ prompts her to start writing a bad date survival guide. One aptly titled - OPERATION: DATE ESCAPE. And it’s during one of those escapes that sexier than sin firefighter Cole Maxwell comes to her rescue.

Cole isn’t sure what to think when the sexy redhead he’s just ‘rescued’ from a bad date informs him that he’s too ‘perfect’ to date. That’s a first. He’s had relationships end because the women couldn’t handle the risks that go along with his chosen profession, but never because he’s too perfect.

When his crew gets called out to rescue someone who is stuck in a tree, Cole finds himself once again coming to Kelsie’s rescue. This time he’s not about to let her get away without agreeing to give him a chance, even holding her high heels hostage to make it happen. She finally gives in and things heat up between them like a 3-alarm fire. But there’s more than passion between them and Cole sets out to prove to Kelsie that he’s nowhere near ‘perfect’, but he is the ‘perfect’ man for her. Can he get past the wall she’s built up around her heart? Or will he end up being just another chapter in her book of men she ran from?

*Operation: Date Escape was a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist as well as a finalist in the American Title III Competition put on by Romantic Times and Dorchester Publishing.*


Cameras clicked around them as the determined news reporters went after their story. 

Kelsie groaned.

“What’s done is done,” he whispered near her ear.  “And I have a job to do.  Seeing that you are checked out is part of it.”  Giving her no time to refuse, he led her over to the awaiting Medic vehicle.

Oddly enough, she found herself wanting to follow him.  A bad sign.  Those dark eyes and sexy grin were getting to her.  And those hands, she thought with an inner sigh.  So skilled.  When he’d helped her button her shirt, her thoughts had been on what it would have been like to have him undressing her instead, running those large hands of his over her eagerly awaiting flesh... 

“Nate, I need you to look her over before I can send her on her way.”

The medic grinned.  “No problem.”

Just then, Nanci’s head popped around the open doors of the rescue truck.  “You alright?”

Just when she’d been ready to kill her friend for calling 911, Nanci rescued her from her dangerously straying thoughts about Cole.  Kelsie flashed a grateful smile.  “I’m fine.”

Her friend looked to Cole for confirmation. 

“We have to check her out before we can return to the station.”

“Oh, okay.  Had me worried for a moment.”  She handed him her discarded high heels.  “She’ll be needing these.  They’re her favorite ones.”

Instead of handing them over, he turned to her with a calculating grin that had Kelsie’s pulse rocketing.  His gaze settled on her bare feet, his dimple deepening.  Then those dark eyes lifted to meet hers.  “How about a trade?”

“A trade?” 

“Your favorite heels for a date.  I’m off duty Saturday.  Let me take you out to dinner.”

Warning bells went off in her head.  This was the one man who could get beyond the protective barriers she’d put up.  With that devastatingly sexy dimpled grin and deep, soothing voice, it would be too easy to risk her heart with him.  No matter how attracted she was to Cole Maxwell, she couldn’t go out with him.

“I’m sor—”

“She’ll do it,” Nanci said, cutting her off.

The paramedic examining her chuckled, but continued on about his business.

“Good.  I’ll pick her up at seven.”  That said, Cole deposited her heels on her lap and walked away, whistling as he went. 

She looked up at her friend in disbelief.  “I can’t believe you just told him I’d go out with him.  Who do you think you are, my mother?”

“I happen to be your best friend and it’s my job to know what’s good for you.”  Nanci glanced in the direction of Cole’s departing form.  “And that man there is mmm...mmm...good.  So is his friend over there.  Did you see how he man-handled that big truck?”

“That would be Joe,” the paramedic supplied with a chuckle as he slid the blood pressure cuff off Kelsie’s arm.

“Is he single?” she asked, her eyes alight with interest.

“As single as they come.”

“Well then, if you two will excuse me, I’m going to go see about getting myself a ‘cup of Joe’.”  And off she went.

Kelsie could only imagine what it took for this man to remain professional, but he did.  With only the barest hint of a smile, he filled out his paperwork while she slipped her heels back on.

“Okay, you’re free to go,” he said when he was done.  Then he helped her out of the vehicle.  “Oh, and in case you’re worried, Cole really is a good guy.”

Too good.  That was the whole problem.


Lindsey will be awarding a $10.00 Amazon gift certificate to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a $10.00 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly drawn host.

FOLLOW the tour and comment; the more YOU comment, the better YOUR chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 


Romance author Lindsey Brookes grew up reading romance novels. She penned her first romance, a historical, at the age of seventeen. From there she went on to join Romance Writers of America where she learned the ins and outs of the publishing business and ways to hone her craft. She switched to writing contemporary romance and has finalled in/or won more than 75 RWA chapter sponsored contests with over a dozen different manuscripts. She is also a four time RWA Golden Heart finalist as well as a past American Title III finalist and winner of Harlequin's Great American Romance Novel contest. She's married to her childhood sweetheart, her hero, with whom she has two beautiful daughters.

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  1. Hilarious excerpt! Thanks for waking me up with a laugh. I needed that.

    1. So glad it made you laugh. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thank you for the excerpt, I enjoyed it.


  3. Thanks so much for hosting Operation: Date Escape today, Tawania!!!

  4. Thanks for sharing the fun sounding book and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

  5. Thanks for stopping by and reading my excerpt!

  6. Thank you for the fantastic excerpt. What fun.


  7. Intriguing story

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


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