Title: Heart of Stone
Series: The Stone Series
Author: Dakota Willink
Genre: Contemporary Romance
New Cover Reveal: January 16th
Hosted by: Chance Promotions
Krystina Cole was a girl on a mission. She had big dreams and aspirations,
none of which included a man by her side. She knew better than that – at
least until she met Alexander Stone, the New York billionaire real estate
tycoon. She saw the way that he looked at her, and the dark promises in his
eyes. She was curious about his world and all that it entailed. But the
shadows of her past haunted her, making her afraid to explore possibilities
that she could never before have imagined.
Alexander Stone was a man who knew how to get what he wanted. He understood
the value of finesse, and the importance of patience and diligence to
achieve the desired result. He was successful and wealthy, relying on his
naturally sharp instincts to guide him through life. But a chance run in
with Krystina Cole quickly turned his world upside down. Her quick wit and
firecracker attitude was the complete opposite of what he wanted in a
woman, and his instincts failed him at every turn.
However, both Krystina and Alexander are clinging to the secrets of their
past, and neither of them are willing to compromise. Krystina’s hardened
heart makes emotional surrender a hard limit. But for Alexander, revealing
his past could have devastating results.
After unwrapping the cellophane from the platter, I moved over to the
minibar to choose a bottle of white from the wine cooler. I perused the
selections, trying to decide what would pair best with the cheeses.
Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay? Both will go nicely, but which would she
I glanced over at Krystina, intending to ask her if she had a particular
wine preference. However, she had a look about her that made me pause, and
I didn’t want to interrupt the picture that she painted before me.
She was running one delicate hand over the wooden top of my dining room
table. She wore a soft smile on her lips, appreciating the craftsmanship of
the design. She looked beautiful sitting there, feet up on the chair,
seeming completely at ease. And in that moment, I realized that she had
never before looked quite like that in my presence. She had never appeared
so completely relaxed.
I stood there studying every beautiful line of her captivating face. Seeing
her that way, it was almost hard to believe she was capable of so many
smart remarks and witty comebacks. Perhaps her sharp tongue and contentious
behavior was a defense mechanism, one that she relied on when she was
uncomfortable. If that were truly the case, then I would need to take
corrective actions to remedy that problem. I had to calm her, or else I’d
never get through the weeks ahead.
Since when do I think long term about these things?
The idea was novel for me and I was stunned to discover that I liked the
idea of her being here more regularly. In my space. With me. It was a
distressing sort of feeling.
This can all go to shit at a moments notice. Take it one step at a time.
A change of tactics was needed, for Krystina’s sake as well as my own. My
normal methods of operation would have to be thrown out the window.
Attempting to take control by laying down the law would only backfire, so I
began to construct a new plan – one that would make Krystina feel more at
ease. Once she was relaxed, I would begin to work on her trust by giving
her what she’s been asking for.
Krystina would have no doubts about what I wanted from her after tonight.
She would know exactly who and what I was. She would either run, or she
would stay. If she stayed, then that’s when the true test would come into
play – tonight I would discover if Krystina could put away that independent
mind of hers long enough to pass her first lesson in submission.
Finally feeling like I had somewhat of a solution to Krystina’s
argumentative nature, I turned my attention back to the wine selection.
Smiling to myself, I settled on a bottle of Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling.
Sweet. Like her.
I grabbed two crystal wine goblets and went back to the dining room,
focused on the mission ahead. I could only hope that Krystina would keep
herself open to what I had in mind.
Dakota Willink is a contemporary romance writer and editor, and the author
of The Stone Series. She is an associate member of Romance Writers of
America and a Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards winner.
Dakota has always had a passion for reading and writing. From the time she
was an adolescent, she enjoyed curling up with a good paperback, reading
genres that ranged from thriller and fantasy, to mystery and romance. She
always dreamed of one day writing her own book, but had put her aspirations
on hold to focus on her family and a career that would pay the bills.
However, her heart continued to be with fictional characters – whether they
belonged to a favorite author or if they were just stories that she made up
in her own head.
In 2013, Dakota gathered enough courage to turn her dreams into a reality.
In between playing chauffeur to two very busy children and working her job
during the day, Dakota began to put words on paper. Eventually, she began
to describe her life as a book. Everything she saw or heard throughout the
day, intertwined with her imagination for the creation of future writings.
By 2014, with the support of her husband and two children, she gave up the
security of a steady paycheck and began working on her first novel full
Her first novel, Heart of Stone, was published in December of 2015. Less
than a year after its release, the Readers’ Favorite International Book
Awards recognized Heart of Stone as the 2016 Bronze Medalist in the romance
Dakota resides in the Western New York area, where she enjoys spending time
with family, her two Labrador Retrievers, and her spoiled rotten cat.
During the summer months, she can often be found soaking up the sun on the
Great Lakes with her family.
Official Website: http://www.dakotawillink.com
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