Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Shopping for a CEO by Julia Kent

Shopping for a CEO by Julia Kent
(Shopping for a Billionaire, #7)
Publication date: September 29th 2015
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance


I’m thrilled to be the maid of honor in my friend’s wedding, but the best man, Andrew McCormick, is a chauvinistic pig with a God complex.
And I can’t stop kissing him in closets.

(Don’t ask.)

He’s the brother of the groom and the CEO of my biggest mystery shopping account, but suddenly he’s refusing to be in the wedding. He won’t talk about it. Won’t see reason.

He’s such a man.

And he still won’t stop kissing me in random closets.

(Thank goodness.)

I’m a fixer. That’s what I do. I can fix anything if given the chance. But when the game is fixed there’s only so much I can do.

The ball’s in his court now.

Game on.

* * *

Shopping for a CEO is the 7th book in the New York Times and USA Today bestsellingShopping series. When CEO Andrew McCormick and mystery shopper Amanda Harrington find themselves in the unlikely position as maid of honor and best man in the Boston society wedding of the year, an undeniable attraction and dual stubborn streaks add fuel to the fire in this romantic comedy from Julia Kent.


 B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shopping-for-a-ceo-julia-kent/1122315198?ean=2940152299205

Shopping for a CEO Book Blitz

Guest Blog Post #1:

Top 5 Ways to Handle a Momzilla at a Billionaire’s Wedding

5. Tiramisu. Preferably with something in it she can choke on.
4. Use the word “Elope” repeatedly, like garlic waved at a vampire.
3. Accept, with defeat, the fact that you’re going to have to wear that tartan thong that matches your dress for the Scottish-themed wedding.
2. Offer her an unlimited budget (hey, you’re a billionaire...).
1. When all else fails, run away. Sometimes the only way to win is not to play. ;)

Excerpt #1:

I think there is a checklist of Things You Do in a Relationship When You Live in Boston, and going to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park is one of them.
Except when you’re dating a CEO and a near-billionaire, the experience is a wee bit different from the masses. I’m standing in a premium suite behind home plate, after spending an hour drinking beer and munching on little lobster and sushi bites. Andrew’s company is hosting an event here for some investors in a new office building in the Financial District, and I’m arm candy.
I’m enjoying being arm candy. It’s a new role for me.
He is certainly in his element, dressed in a polo shirt and khaki’s, wearing the requisite Red Sox cap. I am dressed in a too-tight V-neck Red Sox jersey that he gave me last night, especially for this event, and I’m learning something about myself as I make small talk with eight men who each are worth more than the Gross National Product of half the countries in the world.
I am pretty hot.
That sounds so braggy. I know. But coming from someone who has never based her self-worth on her looks, but rather on her ability to fix problems, this is new. Being with Andrew makes me feel attractive. Desirable. Worth the male gaze.
And this jersey he gave me is eating up gazes, all right. My boobs have never had so many conversations.
Most of them with Andrew himself.
He extracts himself from some scintillating talk about reinforced steel and snakes an arm around my waist.
“Nice shirt.”
“Someone gave it to me.”
“He has great taste.”
“He doesn’t know my size.” I tug at the hem to cover my quarter inch of exposed belly. All that does is expose another half-inch of breast.
“Oh,” he sighs, so hard I feel his hot breath on my cleavage. “He most certainly does.”
“Game starts in ten minutes!” someone shouts.
“Ready to get to our seats?” he asks my breasts.
I touch his chin and make his eyes meet mine.
“They don’t talk, you know.”
“If they could, though, they’d say really nice things about me,” he says with a smile. “That Andrew is so attentive.” He pretends to be my breasts, his voice shifting into a falsetto. “He’s so sweet. We wish Amanda would let him touch us more.”
I hit him gently, right above his belt buckle.
“My breasts don’t talk like that. They have a genteel southern accent.”
He starts to put his ear on my cleavage. “This I have to hear.”
-- from Shopping for a CEO, coming 9/29

Excerpt #2:

“Will the guys go commando?” Marie calls out. “True highlanders don’t wear underwear.”
“The wedding is in July, Mom,” Amy calls back. “In Massachusetts. If you’re going to make all those men wear wool kilts and socks, they’ll probably gratefully go without underwear just to prevent heat exhaustion.”
Marie nods. “Good point.”
“But then there’s the issue of ball sweat,” Amy adds.
Marie frowns and jots down notes on a sticky pad. “Ball sweat? That’s a real thing?”
Amy nods. “They make a special product for it.”
“There’s a product to cure ball sweat? Balls have sweat glands? Where do they hide the pores? And how do you know this?”
“Venture capital project at my internship. They’re coming out with a new product for breast sweat.”
“Now that I know about first hand,” Marie says with a knowing nod. “Breasts do more work than people appreciate. The Girls work up a sweat on a regular basis.”
Considering the fact that Marie hasn’t been pregnant or breastfed in well over two decades, I don’t really want to know what kind of ‘work’ her chest girls have been up to.
Shannon walks in. Chuckles runs to cuddle with her ankles, then rubs his butthole all over her calf.
“Hi to you too, Chuckles. That’s exactly how Declan greets me most nights.”
“Ewwwww,” Amy says, plugging her ears. “I hear enough about Mom’s sex life. Don’t need to know more about yours.”
“Honey, does Declan have a problem with ball sweat?”
“Huh?” Shannon gives Amy an evil look. “What have you been telling her?”
“Amy says the groom and groomsmen will need testicle powder if I ask them to go commando for the wedding.”
“Testicle powder? Is that going to be a wedding favor?”
“Do they make such a thing?” Marie asks, interest piqued.
“Sure,” Amy says. “Personalized bottles and everything. Think of the possibilities. Shannon and Declan, Dry Forever, with the date stamped on there and a logo of a dove. People will forever associate your wedding with smooth sacs.”

Excerpt #3:

Marie waves another cookie at me. “Earth to Amanda!” She points to the dining table. “Declan was just telling me that he loves the idea of a wedding cake in the shape of bagpipes.” On the table I see schematics of wedding cakes so complex they look like an architecture firm has designed blueprints for them, complete with pulleys and fire sprinkler systems.
Shannon gives me a look that says anything but. “No, Mom, he was saying the opposite.”
Marie inhales, the air whistling past her back teeth. “No, he didn’t! He said he’d love a cake made in the shape of bagpipes as much as he loves me.” She gives Shannon a doe-eyed look. “There’s only one way to interpret that comment.”
Shannon and I exchange a look and say, in unison, “Right.”

Excerpt #4:

“Why did you kiss me the first time? That day when I barged into your office?”
He nods, eyes looking at everything and nothing, finally settling on my face. “Because you were so passionate about protecting Shannon. Because you were adorable and irate and you had this energy I wanted to taste.”
I’m holding my breath. I thought we would spend this first date doing the awkward getting-to-know you dance. Andrew’s gone right to the point. Laser focus.
Just like a CEO.
“Yes. I know what I want. I don’t equivocate. I decide and act. I compartmentalize. I issue orders and execute strategy. You came in that day and started ordering me around and it was cute and exciting and inspiring. Oddly sensual. And when you kissed me -- ”
“_You_ kissed _me_!”
“And when _we_ kissed,” he says, eyebrows raised, as if settling this point once and for all, “I got something far more forbidden than I realized I was getting when I went for that simple taste of you.”
“What’s that?”
He studies me, as if sizing me up, trying to determine whether he should tell me what’s next. Or not. Finally, his face changes through a series of three or four emotions, most of them involving some variation of deliberation.
And then:
“You didn’t fit in a box.”
“I fit in a closet.”
He doesn’t laugh.
“You intrigued me.”
“Not enough to call me after that kiss, though.”
He shakes his head. My heart plummets.
“No, Amanda. The opposite. You intrigued me too much.”
I get the sense that the word ‘intrigued’ means something else.
“You mean I scared you.”
His eyes flash with emotion I can’t read.
Men like Andrew McCormick don’t do this. They don’t lay their emotions out on the table like this. Why is he doing this?
“Then why did you kiss me again? And again. And again again -- ”
“I don’t know.”
“C’mon.” The driver takes us onto the Mass Pike, lights flying by like spaceships. Like little orbs shooting past us, filled with people oblivious to the quantum shift taking place inside this tiny space. “You always know. You’re a CEO. You compartmentalize. You execute. You decide. You act. You can’t tell me that the great wunderkind Andrew Mc --”
He’s on me before I can take an inbreath to continue speaking, his body so big and bold, so impulsive and unrelenting. The limo becomes its own dimension, his hands seeking to hold all of me as we tumble into some new plane of awareness that doesn’t factor into any life we’ve known until this moment. His mouth finds mine, hands under my suit jacket, palm cupping the lines of my breasts, my waist, my hips, and he’s tasting me again, this time with an urgent need that comes from an honesty I don’t think he’s felt permission to express in a very long time.
If ever.

Excerpt #5:

The set-up: Amanda overheard Andrew talking about being CEO. He's chased after her, kissed her in front of Shannon/Marie/Declan to shut her up, and now he's summoned her for a meeting at his office.
Andrew spins around in his Herman Miller chair and holds one finger up to me. His face is intense, eyes dark in concentration, and he’s coiled with the kind of frustration that comes from negotiations that are stalled. The telephone conversation he’s having is one that probably calls for more privacy, but I instinctively do as told.
As I lift his suit jacket from the chair, his cologne fills the air.
It takes every bit of self control I possess not to huff his jacket like a little kid with fruit-scented markers and no adult supervision.
My fingertips can’t help it, though. They’ve seceded from my rational mind, stroking the fine cloth that has just been resting against those cultured pecs minutes before. The cloth is warm, still, as if he shed the jacket seconds before I walked in. It’s almost like being in his arms last night.
The pale imitation is worse than nothing. I would rather never, ever see him again than sit here, trying not to lick the wool weave, using every ounce of restraint I possess to maintain a professional exterior that shows my true nature.
I am a fixer.
I can fix this.
I can fix me.
Andrew ends the call and gives me his full attention. It’s like drinking from a trickle at a water fountain and suddenly having a fire hose aimed at your face.
A sensual, sultry, hot-as-Hades fire hose.
“I assume you’ve kept your mouth shut?” he starts. Nothing like cutting to the chase. I see what this meeting is about. We’re here to talk business. The business of keeping his secret about becoming the new CEO of Anterdec Industries. Nothing more. I can play this game.
“Except when you’re kissing me.”
Or I can play my own game. My rules. My board. My pieces.
My tongue.
The way he tilts his head just so as his mouth tightens, then spreads into a smile is like watching a rainbow form in the sky.
“I appreciate that.” His voice goes low and suggestive. Flirty, even. I’m not imagining this.
“Open-mouthed kisses? I noticed.” I match his tone.
He blinks repeatedly, the smile impossible to suppress. Dimples. Dear God, he has the McCormick dimples. Of course he does. His family’s DNA has more dimples in it than Tom Brady’s.
“I was talking about silence,” he says, standing quite suddenly. The movement may be abrupt, but his animal grace is studied. He knows how his body affects mine. Andrew McCormick is a master at knowing how to read other people.
He has a problem, though.
So am I.
Andrew has tells. One eyebrow quirks up right now as he gives away the fact that he’s less self-assured than he was when I entered the room. The open discussion about kissing is intriguing him, but it’s not distracting him. This meeting has a purpose.
And he’s determined to stay focused.
“Silence. You mean the kind of silence that comes after being kissed by you? Or the kind of silence you assume you can kiss your way into?”
The eyebrow goes down. His face goes slack. Those smoldering eyes narrow.
Now I have his full attention.
“I kissed you because you were about to spill a family secret at a less-than-opportune time.”
I look pointedly at the door to the closet in his office. “Really? Which time? After your spin session right there?” I motion toward the door. “Or after Shannon swallowed your mother’s engagement ring?”
“You know perfectly well which time.” His voice is full of an amused smoothness. Instead of resuming his seat behind the desk, he walks around and sits on the edge, manspreading in front of me, a foot and a half the only space between us.
There goes that cologne again.
“I do?” My words come out breathy, like Marilyn Monroe running after the ice cream truck. “It’s getting hard to keep track of all the kisses. I’m nearly ready to draw up a spreadsheet.”
“Would you like my assistant to create a database instead?”
-- from Shopping for a CEO, coming 9/29

Excerpt #6:

"Amanda!' Greg bellows as I walk into the office. He's sitting in the reception area with Josh, who looks like someone made him stick his tongue in an electric socket. "You're pregnant!"
"I'm what?" That's news to me, and I think I'd know long before Greg.
He thumbs toward Josh. "And he's the father."
I laugh. "That's not possible, Greg. Josh is gay."
"Gay men can sleep with women," Greg insists. "My Uncle Angus did for fifty-seven years while he was married to Aunt Joy."
"I'm Gold Star Gay," Josh whispers.
"They give out gold stars for it?" Greg asks, incredulous. "Like, a secret society?"
"Yeah," I say. "It's like the AARP. One day the card just comes in the mail and you wonder how they know you qualify."
Greg frowns. “We don’t get gold stars for being straight. I don’t understand.”
Josh rolls his eyes and rallies, the shade of green in his face replaced by a healthy glow. “Gold star gay men are men who’ve never slept with a woman.”
“Never?” Greg asks. I can tell he’s trying to keep his incredulity out of his voice. He accomplishes this by grabbing a donut from the box Carol brought in yesterday and shoving the entire thing in his mouth.
Josh shakes his head.
“Mmmmf evermmmmf?” Greg says. Or tries to say. I’m not sure what he actually says, because I’m dodging the spray of rainbow sprinkles coming out of him.
“Nope. Never.” Apparently, Josh can understand the universal language of Donut.
Greg swallows in one giant gulp, like a snake eating a mouse. He sniffs, then looks at me. “Does that make me Gold Star Straight?”
“Huh?” Josh and I ask in unison.
“If I’ve never slept with a man,” Greg says slowly, contemplating the issue while picking crumbs off his tie and licking them off his fingers, “then I’m Gold Star Straight.”
“He’s got a point,” I admit, giving Josh a look that says, _They don’t pay us enough for conversations like this_.
“That’s not how it works,” Josh says in a grumpy voice.
“Why not?” Now Greg is indignant. “You get gay marriage now. We should get our own gold stars. I want a gold star.”
Josh is speechless. I am struggling to decide whether I would rather go on another date with Mr. Anal Gland Hands or spend one more minute hearing Greg talk about his sex life.
Anal glands for the win.
“You want a gold star for what?” Carol asks, walking in with what looks like a bag full of chocolate foil tractors, scarecrow lollipops, and hard candies shaped like ears of corn. She’s wearing denim overalls, a red and white checkered shirt, and her blonde hair is pulled back in a ponytail. If Hee Haw were still on, I’d think she was an extra on the show.
I cock one eyebrow and look at her goodies.
“Farming trade show,” she sighs. “You get the wedding trade shows, I get the cranky old farmers who want to talk about bursitis and soybean futures.”
“Well,” I say magnanimously, stepping behind her and putting one hand on her shoulder, “you can take my place in _this_ work conversation.”
“Talking about gold stars?” she asks, a bit befuddled. “Is there a special reward system I don’t know about?”
“Something like that,” Josh mumbles. “Let’s stop talking about my sex life.”
“Sex life?” Carol snorts, really confused now. She grabs a foil-covered tractor and begins peeling it, taking a bite. The tire snaps off in her mouth. “What do gold stars have to do with sex lives? Now we have sticker charts for sex?”
“That’s what I’m wondering!” Greg bellows, reaching for one of the chocolates. “How come Josh gets a gold star for not sleeping with women but I can’t get a gold star for not sleeping with men?”
“I’m not sleeping with men or women,” Carol says sadly, eating the tractor’s engine now. “What do I get for that?”
I reach across my desk and grab a sheaf of papers, sliding them to her. “You get the sex toy shops I took.”
She looks at the chocolate in her hand. Glances at the papers. Then the pile of chocolate.
“Why are you giving me those?”
“Because Amanda’s pregnant,” Greg explains helpfully, his mouth full of a tractor.
“_Work_ pregnant or _pregnant_ pregnant?” Carol asks casually. These conversations have become alarmingly normal to me.
“Work pregnant, I assume,” I reply. “Because if I’m _pregnant_ pregnant, then my vibrator has some explaining to do.”
-- Amanda, from Shopping for a CEO, coming 9/29/15


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent turned to writing contemporary romance after deciding that life is too short not to have fun. She writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken.

She loves to hear from her readers by email at jkentauthor@gmail.com, on Twitter @jkentauthor, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/julia.kent.100. Visit my blog at http://jkentauthor.blogspot.com

Author links:

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