BLB Teaser: Brewing Passion Series

The Rookie by Liz Crowe

Lisa, a top beverage sales person has just spent an entire morning with Trent, the man she assumes is a rookie from a local brewery. It’s not gone quite like she had hoped, and now, they’ve stopped for lunch:

She tried to remember the last time she had sex. Nothing came to mind. With a frustrated sigh, she headed back out into the dim restaurant. Trent sat at the bar, chatting with the attractive hostess—both obviously very into the conversation. The young girl stared at him as if he were a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries. Lisa’s throat closed up with jealousy; she touched his shoulder to get his attention and tried to refrain from glaring at the slut behind the bar.

Trent turned, eyebrows raised.

“C’mon, let’s eat. I’m starved,” she said, trying to keep the aggravation out of her voice.
He smirked at her. Whirling around in irritation, she picked a table across the room—far away from the girl at the bar.

They ordered their lunch and when food arrived, Lisa watched as Trent devoured an enormous burger with fries and downed several glasses of water. The silence at the table was awkward. They’d had plenty to talk about in the car, but somehow, she could not form words as she sat across from him. Her appetite had disappeared. A different sort of hunger had closed her throat, and kept her from eating the food in front of her.

At one point, he shot her a dark blue stare. The heated scrutiny made her squirm in her seat.

Hot.

Bothered.

She couldn’t take her eyes off him. His rough, imperfect features were dynamic and just flat-out sexy when combined with his deep voice and what she knew now were killer sales skills.

Like a fool, she messed around with her Blackberry, as an excuse to keep from staring at him. She wanted nothing more than to walk over to him and straddle his lap just get a real feel for his…

Annoyance slammed into her. Her inability to control roiling emotions began to win out as she concentrated on the various crises unfolding via email. His piercing gaze followed her every move, but she ignored him. When someone took her barely touched sandwich away, she glanced up at the stupid girl behind the bar, simpering at Trent, who shot her a big grin.

Lisa’s face flushed. He was an incorrigible flirt. She didn’t have time for this; there was work to do. Intent on ignoring him she gasped out loud when his hand covered hers on the table. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up. The roughness of his skin against hers sent an excited shock up her arm. She bit her lip to keep from saying anything too rude like “get your fucking hands off me” as reflex. Because the last thing she really wanted was for him to remove his touch from hers.

“Sorry, just wanted to get your attention, “ he stated. “You seem like you’ve gone somewhere else.” His hand pressed down, keeping hers in place.

“Oh I, um, well…No.” She had done nothing but stutter like an idiot to him all day. Still biting her lower lip, she crossed and uncrossed her legs out of sheer nervousness and to control the heat building up under her skirt.

“Well, I’m gonna hit the men’s, room. I know we’ve got a lot left to do.”

He gave her hand a squeeze and stood up to his full height, watching her wit ha look she couldn’t fathom until he turned away to make his way towards the back hall. It took all she had to not follow him and catch up. She wanted him to push her up against the wall and kiss her until she cried. Her hands clenched in her lap, reliving the sensation of his touch. Lisa closed her eyes. Her body heated up again.

Shit, woman! Get a grip!

XXXMas Ale by Liz Crowe

Blake, the warehouse manager for Winter Street Brewing Company is enjoying the annual holiday party well enough but is about to leave when he’s introduced to Dani, the new assistant brewer. She is just about the most perfect woman he’s ever seen, but his shyness gets in the way of any serious conversation. Dani decides to take the lead:

“Jesus,” one of his drivers said. “You could pull the boss, dude.”

The group laughed at his discomfort.

“Have you ever looked in a mirror?” the young man asked him, puzzlement on his face. “You’re like a fucking movie star crossed with an NFL quarterback or something.”

Blake shrugged and drained his glass. He’d heard it before but after nearly thirty years of life, he hadn’t allowed it to affect him and he wasn’t going to start now. He had his fair share of sexual experiences. Mostly with older women who seemed drawn to him and knew what to do when it came down to it. But one of the things he loved was discovering what a woman really wanted from him, through more than just a quick hook up or one night stand. Belt notching was just not his style. The longest relationship he’d sustained—nearly three years—had knocked him flat when she’d left town for a job opportunity and had texted him within two weeks that she’d met someone else. He had somehow thought they’d maintain something long distance for a while, and then he’d simply find a job where she was. He hadn’t done a lot of dating since. This job had kept him really busy, plus his running club. Excuses, he knew but…

When Dani came up behind him, he nearly jumped out of his skin. She leaned up against his shoulder, on her toes so she could reach up to whisper in his ear as she pressed a piece of paper into his hand. He was hyper aware of the curve of her breast against his arm, burning through the thin cotton of his shirt. The impulse to turn and kiss her was nearly overwhelming. He shook his head, looked around and she was gone. The sound of her voice lingered in his mind, like her perfume to his nose.

“Brew house, ten minutes,” she’d said.

The small slip of paper crinkled as he made a fist around it. He glanced up to find the eyes of the group still on him, all amused, many jealous. He gave them a salute.

“Enjoy yourselves, don’t drink and drive.” Blake turned away from the laughter. He ignored them as he read the note. His brain absorbed the neat letters she’d printed: Do you like lambics?
Blake grinned. Not really but he’d learn. He made his way to the restroom to empty his bladder and clean up a little. He would normally not respond to such a blatant come-on and had rejected them before. But this one…he felt a stirring in his gut, and in his cock, again… this one had possibilities.

By the time he had exited the bar area and made his way into the brewery still redolent with odors from their last brew, it had been nearly twenty minutes. Blake hoped she hadn’t given up on him. He put his hands in his pockets and tried to appear nonchalant as if there were something to check out in the currently dormant production facility. When Dani stepped out from the door of the adjacent fermentation cellar, he stopped.

“Hey.” She held a large brown bottle, unlabeled, and two brandy snifter-style glasses.

“Hey yourself,” he said leaning on one of the tall stainless steel vessels where beer was creating itself, the fermentation bucket bubbling away on the floor next to his feet. “I’ll have to admit, I’m not terribly sophisticated about sour beers…”His voice drifted off. She remained silent, head tilted to the side, seemingly taking him in from head to toe. He let her have her little appraisal, crossed his arms over his chest, trying to keep the pounding of his heart under control.

Jockey Box by Liz Crowe


Erin has had a rotten day. She is at a beer festival on a weekend she is supposed to be working on a last ditch attempt to save her marriage. The equipment has malfunctioned, she’s cracked her head on a table, had too much beer to compensate for her stress, and now, her business partners have sprung a potential new brewer on her by surprise. Not just any potential brewer: Jeff is the hottest, and most capable young man she’s laid eyes on in a while:

Erin was stunned. Of all the things she’d expected from Jeff, she’d never thought he’d be this bold.

“I moved here from a perfectly great gig at Anchor in California when I read about your place.” Jeff maneuvered her towards the back of the VIP tent. He loosened his grip on her and slid an arm around her waist. She leaned into him in spite of her herself. He didn’t flinch away. If anything , he tightened his hold, practically cuddling her next to him. His mouth brushed against her hair, his breath teasing her ear again. “Let me brew for you.”

Erin shuddered. Her entire body reacted to his seductive tone.

The man was whispering to her as if her were about to..oh Christ.

She sighed. She was vulnerable and he must know it. Typical man. Well, he needed to remember who was the boss, at least potentially. She took a step away from him, not before catching the eyes of a couple of her peers, who had watched her walk out with this blond hunk. Jeff’s had slid to the small of her back as he guided her towards a motorcycle—some sleek European job with an Italian name on the side. She stopped and stared.

This machine was his?

She turned around to find him smack in her personal space again. The proximity of his body to hers made her hands clammy, and she was aware of dampness between her legs, something had not felt in a while. Clenching her hands into fists, Erin looked up at him, surprised to see something resembling a smirk on his tanned face. This youngster knew the effect he was having on her, but instead of anger, a surge of pure desire roiled over her, compounded by the fact that he was close enough to kiss.

She took a step back, hoping he wouldn’t notice her face reddening and her nipples hardening painfully under her thin t-shirt. Putting a hand on his chest to keep him at arms length, the backs of her legs bumped up against his two-wheeled macho machine, halting her retreat. Jeff latched onto her wrist before she got too far and gently forced her fingers to curl around a helmet. She stared at him like he was crazy.

“Uh, no, I really can’t,” she had no intention of riding the thing, especially since she knew she would have to do it pressed up against him. Her scalp prickled in anticipation, but she shook her head again, and he frowned.

“Jesus,” he muttered. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and turned away to make a call. Erin glanced over at the expo tents, her responsibility calling out to her. But the pounding in her head worsened and she relented, putting the helmet on.

Today was a day for firsts.

In spite of herself, Erin admired the flex of Jeff’s back under his shirt as he leaned against a tree and finished his conversation. He ended his call and smiled at her.
“Okay, we’re all sorted out. Expo people took a call from Trent. He said I’m brewery affiliated so I can run you over to the resort, then come back and handle the rest of the day.”

Her natural inclination was to argue about Jeff’s status as “brewery affiliate.” But not now. She couldn’t handle it. Between her aching head and her body’s reaction to the man in front of her, she thought she was going to scream. Desire for him was annoying the crap out of her. The sooner she was away from him the better. She had too much to think about to even ponder how his back would feel pressed against her chest.

Just how far is that ride to the resort?

“So, hop on.” Jeff gestured to the machine crouched between them. She eyeballed it and shrugged. Thankful for her choice of denim shorts, she settled herself and he took his place in front of her. The engine rumbled and she startled, but then laughed out loud at herself . He glanced back, his dark blond hair whipped around his face, and gave her a somewhat wicked grin. “Hang on,” he warned then gunned them out onto the parking lot surface.

Come back tomorrow for a review of The Rookie.

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    Some of the books reviewed on this blog were sent to me by the author or publisher for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of these reviews. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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