Brewer Ross has given up on love…until he meets a woman who turns his life—and brewery—upside down.
Ross Hoffman held the potential for a perfect life in his hands—a life with Evelyn, the only woman he’d ever allowed himself to love, their baby and…her husband, Austin Fitzgerald, who also happened to be his best friend. But the challenge of trying to make a threesome into something acceptable—let alone the thought of actually sharing Evelyn with anyone—forces him to bolt. Determined to put all thoughts of their relationship behind him, Ross jumps headfirst into a new brewery job in Colorado, and back into the sort of sexual decadence that he hopes will distract him from his misery.
When he agrees to assist Austin through a spate of brewery mishaps, he lays eyes on his true fate—in the form of the petite, mysterious and exotic Elisa Nagel. Hired as assistant brewer, Elisa is absolutely everything he believes he doesn’t want in a woman. But he’s drawn to her in ways he can’t explain, and he can’t help but fall hard, fast and deep, which places him square in the middle of her horrific, until now secret backstory.
Ross is determined that his love will conquer and overcome the horrors of Elisa’s past, allowing her to trust him with the only thing he desires—her heart.
About the Author
Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Liz Crowe 2017. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.
On her wedding day, Evelyn spent the requisite number of hours primping and sweating the details. One detail in particular.
“Are you sure… I mean, this is kind of…shit.”
“Relax. It’s all good.”
She glanced at Melody. Evelyn had never had a ton of women friends. In fact, she’d always claimed she preferred men to women when it came to socializing. Easier, less fraught, minimal drama.
Once again, Evelyn congratulated herself for hiring Melody to be in charge of the formerly floundering Fitz Pub. The woman oozed confidence and the sort of inner peace Evelyn thought the stuff of cheesy Internet memes. She was unafraid of her own inner emotional life and that balanced Evelyn in a way she never realized she needed.
And now, she really needed all of that. And some more. Considering she was about to walk down the aisle with a man she’d spent so much energy rejecting as a legitimate possibility for herself, it felt more than a little surreal. Not to mention the rather alarming surprise she had planned for him.
She smiled at the memory of him—of her Austin—and how joyously they’d reunited.
He was already house hunting for a bigger place, where Ross could have his own space, even though Ross had protested that it wouldn’t look right. She’d half-agreed with him, until a few mornings ago, when Ross had come up from behind her as she studied her changing body in a full-length mirror, turning side to side, front to back. With a smile, he’d put both of his hands under the slight curve of her belly before sliding them up, inevitably, to her boobs, which were also changing, growing heavier, her nipples darkening. She’d sensed his erection pressing against her ass, and had been about to turn and accommodate him, when she’d sensed something wet hit her shoulder.
Knowing that any sort of emotional acknowledgement was harder than pulling his own teeth, she’d smiled and let Ross cradle the baby—their baby—growing inside her in his hands, as tears had rolled down his cheeks in silence. She hadn’t said anything. There’d been no need.
As she regarded herself now in the mirror, her smile faded and she put a hand on the shelf of her stomach, wondering just how much this little wrinkle would alter their dynamic. Austin claimed not to care at all that Ross had fathered the child. If anything, he thought it the most ideal beginning to their lives as a family.
But still…the two men—her two men—were straight-up alpha males and many times she wondered how it could possibly work. How could she love them both? And if she did, what in the world was she doing, marrying one of them?
For the thousandth time, Evelyn thanked God for his mercy in returning Austin to her, and for letting her keep Ross in the process. Such an excess of riches might’ve scared some women but Evelyn was determined not to let superstitious nonsense color her future.
“Sweet Jesu, woman. Relax.” Melody sipped from her glass of dark porter. The smell tempted, but Evelyn waved it away. She’d moved past the mild nausea stage pretty quickly and had tipped over into something new and different and very, very sexy. It was as if she were ripe, full of promise and hornier than a sailor on shore leave. “You’re gonna mess up your makeup, chica. Cut the waterworks already.”
But Melody’s own gaze was watery as she patted Evelyn’s cheekbones with a tissue.
“Honestly I don’t even understand why you have any right to feel upset about a damn thing. Marrying one. Getting two? Fuck me six ways to Sunday… Oh, right, you already do that, you silly cow.”
“Shut up, puta. You’re not helping.” Evelyn grinned at her friend.
Melody rolled her eyes and muttered a long string of Spanish words she couldn’t make out.
“Oh, hell.” She stared at herself in the big mirror in the bride’s room of the church. “He’s gonna kill me.”
“Very possibly, yes,” Melody said.
Evelyn turned away from the mirror. The tone of Melody’s voice was odd. Strained in a way she’d never heard.
Melody had not required an abortion after all. She’d had a messy, scary miscarriage that had landed her in the hospital for a week. A week that Trent had spent lurking around, trying to get her to see him only to be rejected over and over—loudly, usually accompanied by thrown objects. Evelyn had stayed with her around the clock, knowing Melody would have done the same for her. She’d tried hard to convince her friend to at least talk to Trent. The poor man had been out of his ever-loving mind with panicked worry over her. But Melody wouldn’t even allow her to speak his name after a while.
A knock on the door interrupted her train of thought.
“Hey, ladies, can I…?” A newly familiar face appeared in the doorway. Evelyn sucked in a breath. Melody took several steps back. “Sorry,” Brock said, retreating as if sensing the stress his appearance had caused.
“No, no, I’m sorry,” Evelyn said, motioning for him to step inside. “Come on in.”
Brock Fitzgerald entered the room, filling it with the force of his personality and extreme good looks. He had his twin’s bone structure, but his take on the Fitzgerald genes manifested into a more model-like arrangement of his features, slightly fairer of skin and hair, more chiseled of facial features, with eyes the oddest shade of hazel she’d ever seen. Since the moment she’d seen his email, she’d spent some time getting to know him—or at least as much as he would allow.
She’d agreed to hire him after he’d reappeared, reaching out to her, asking for help, but she’d wanted to surprise Austin. When she’d agreed to marry him, and had set a date, she’d also decided on her own that Brock would escort her down the aisle.
Ross had been more than a little dubious but went along with it, once he met Austin’s long-missing twin and had found him worthy—if on probation for causing Austin so much unnecessary grief.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 Stars Lightstruck is the second book in the Brewing Passions Series by Liz Crowe. It is a spicy contemporary romance. Ross Hoffman thought he had achieved the perfect life, he’d finally opened himself up and found love with Evelyn, their baby added to his joy- and to have his best friend Austin be part of it all was the icing on the cake. But threesomes are difficult to navigate; sharing isn’t all it’s made out to be. Complications arise and Ross doesn’t know how to deal with it all. So he leaves. He quickly finds new employment and reverts to his old habit of playing the field, using women to fill the void in his life. No relationships, just sex. But life comes full circle when Austin asks for his expert assistance with some problems he is experiencing in his brewery. Ross finds himself agreeing and returns to help. He does expect things to be a little awkward being around Austin and Evelyn again, but what he didn’t expect was to be drawn to Austin’s new assistant brewer. She is the complete opposite of what he looks for in a woman and yet he finds himself completely under her spell. Elisa Nagel never stays in one place for too long. She has a past that haunts her and because of her fears she can’t allow herself to get too settled. Always looking over her shoulder, expecting her past to catch up with her, she remains vigilant and keeps her distance by not forming friendships or relationships. She concentrates on just doing her job before she decides it’s time to move on again. But she has finally found a place she really likes, doing a job she loves and against her better judgement she feels she could easily be friends with her new colleagues. She would love nothing else than to become part of this ‘family’ of friends and unburden herself of the past eleven years. But she fears for their safety if she draws them into her dangerous situation. But Ross recognises that she has secrets and seems to be running from her past, just as he was. He is determined to break down her barriers and get her to trust him enough to confide her trouble to. He isn’t one to give up easily. Will Elisa allow him to dismantle her defences and welcome him into her heart? Or will she do what she does best- flee? What happens when her past catches up with her? Will Ross be able to help? This book was fantastic. I loved how we get a bit more of Austin and Evelyn’s story, as well as diving into Ross and Elisa’s story. Even though we know most of the characters in this book already, this story had a totally different feel from the first- an individuality that sets it apart and made me take notice. As expected, Ms. Crowe delivered a really well written page turner. I love the added suspense and mystery surrounding Elisa’s past and why she was constantly on the move. I really liked the first book, but I found myself drawn into this story a lot more than the first. I can’t wait to see what Ms. Crowe does with her next book, from the synopsis it looks like it could be even better than this one. Thank you Ms Crowe!
Lightstruck Book 2 in The Brewing Passion Series by Liz Crowe – 4 stars “Lightstruck is a brewing term that means an “off flavor” that occurs when finished beer is exposed to either sunlight or artificial light.” “It is interesting to note that some beer brands have accepted this flavor as part of their profile and it is seen as a positive attribute”. I believe the title reflects the tone of this book perfectly. Sometimes “off flavor” is the perfect flavor for a relationship. The Brewing Passion series has some fantastic characters who follow an intruiging story line. Book 2 is a little “darker” than the first book and is just as enjoyable. It is my opinion that Tapped (Book 1 in the Brewing Passion series) should be read first. I think that it might be a little confusing if you haven’t read the groundwork for the relationship between Ross, Evelyn and Austin. Lightstruck picks up where Tapped left off. This is the deeper look into what makes Ross Hoffman tick. Why he ran away from the love of his life and why he feels like he has to stay away. Elisa (Elle) Nagel is also from Germany and although they speak with different regional accents (hers is snobbish Berlin and his more countrified Bavarian) they are able to sooth each other when they speak in their mother tongue. They are both brewers who have a passion and perhaps a dream and they are both fighting their own demons. I liked the fact that both Ross and Elisa are strong individuals who are willing to own their voice to be heard. As someone who abstains from drinking alcohol, there were times that the description of the beer as brewed in the Fitzgerald Brewery had my mouth watering. I could almost smell the stout and IPA. I very much enjoy this series. “This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a heat rating of Totally Burning and Sexometer of 2”