DENVER, CO --Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for published and aspiring romance fiction authors, announced the winners of the 2018 RITA® Awards on Thursday, July 19, at a black-tie awards ceremony at its 38th Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado.
The RITA® Award is the highest award of distinction in romance fiction and recognizes outstanding published romance novels and novellas.
Up to 2,000 romance novels and novellas from 13 different categories are judged each year in the RITA® competition. After the first round of judging by fellow published romance authors, the competition narrows to approximately 100 finalists. Then, final round judges, also published romance authors, select one winner in each category from among the finalists.
2018 RITA Winners
A child witnesses a murder And becomes a killer's target...
Murder doesn't belong in the peaceful town of Eagle Mountain, Colorado.
Yet Deputy Gage Walker has a brutal double murder on his hands and a missing deaf child.
Gage's only hope to find the little girl is her aunt, Maya Renfro. But nothing has prepared Gage for the intense chemistry between them...or just what happens when love gets mixed with murder.
Eagle Mountain Murder Mystery
I am loving this series, absolutely everything about it! From the atmosphere in the small town, the people who live in it, the law enforcement who protect and serve it, to the swoon-worthy, ah so deliciously luscious love stories, and the intense, up-close-and dangerous suspense that puts the main characters into the dire straits, I enjoyed every single moment of it.
Deputy Gage Walker is not only charming and handsome, he is a man of dignity, honor, and loyalty. He takes his job seriously, he sincerely cares about the people in his town, he has a big heart, he shows kindness and gentleness when needed, yet he takes a charge, he determined, giving up is not a concept to him.
Maya Renfro, the poetry slamming high school teacher who never thought she would have to claim the promise to be a guardian to her niece if something were to happen to Casey's parents. Maya is quirky, she loves her family, she heartbroken from the loss of her sister, but her resilient mind and heart are determined not to let little Casey down.
Casey was an amazing, sweet, smart, capable five-year-old survivor. I love how she connected with Gage, the immediate bond between was palpable, and the fragile trust Casey gave to Gage, she knew it would be treasured and never broken. And the connection goes double fold between Maya and Gage, it is sizzling hot, the attraction is tangible in the air, yet it is the tender adoration and the sweet need to protect and take care of the other that shines through in their insta-love story. I loved how equal they were with each other in any and every situation. Even when facing the horrifying danger, they were able to work as one unit, as partners, and as a team with Casey when the need arises.
The tension and uncertainty in the town caused by the recent murders and the continues threat they bring to the protagonists are chilling and terrifying. There is no place that is safe, there is no moment they can ease their vigilance, the danger is close, and the culprits seem to know all the routines of the town and the sheriff's office.
The story held me enamored with the precious connection to Casey who has to endure so much at the tender age, with the delectable romance building up between Maya and Gage, and with the critical, nail-biting, keyed up, fatal suspense and action.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Cindi Myers worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager before turning to writing full time. She's written both historical and contemporary romance, as well as dozens of short stories and nonfiction articles. Cindi thinks writers have the best job in the world.
Former president of San Antonio Romance Authors, Cindi is a member of Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc., and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
She and her husband and their two dogs live in the mountains Southwest of Denver. When she's not caught up in creating new characters and stories, Cindi enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, skiing and hiking. She's also in demand as a speaker, teaching workshops and making presentations to both local and national writing groups.
The Adventures of Louise Book 1
by Bena Roberts
Genre: Romantic Comedy, ChickLit
Louise, otherwise known as a red-haired Kardashian decides she wants to settle down. She dreams of a sugar daddy and is willing to sacrifice good looks and great sex for Mr. Sensible.
Is this really what Louise wants? Can she put her lover, liar and diva life behind her and fall in love with the older man Gerhard?
Will this May to December date change her life forever? Alternatively, will Louise's sexual appetite make things difficult for her?
Question - What is the first line of the book?
Answer - Yesterday, I had God-like sex with a man juicier than sirloin steak.
This laugh out loud short story is a quick read for the beach, train or plane.
My Bite Back!
The Adventures of Louise Book 2
He promised to be a lawyer, a great lover and a tennis player.
First betrayal and manipulation then Louise bites back. After two weeks of feeling sorry for herself, she makes a plan to get her revenge.
This is a hilarious chicklit short story! With a flash of adult humor!
Betrayal, manipulation, and payback.
Amazon Short Read - this is a 15 to 30 minute short story!
My Bite Back is from The Adventures of Louise Series all of which can be read as standalone.
This is an adapted version of one of the chapters from Blind Dates, Big Love and Six Tinder Weeks.
Bena Roberts was a journalist and analyst. Now she prefers the title novelist and romance adventurist. She graduated in England 1994 and then with a Masters in 1997.
Born in 1973, Bena lived in West London until she was 24. Then she lived and worked in Budapest, Bruges, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich. She currently resides in Germany, between Heidelberg and Frankfurt. Although she still refers to London as 'home.'
Bena successfully created a technology blog which gained funding, had lunch with Steve Ballmer and was 'top 50 most influential woman in mobile.' Her blog also won several awards including Metro Best Blog.
Bena has two children, loves small dogs and always writes books with a cup of Earl Grey.
Bena's favorite literary style is black humor, and she hopes to offer a unique voice in this area. Her books aim to confront the darkest of life experiences, with levity. Most of her writing is heavy hitting yet also entertaining. The second novel out in 2018 offers thought-provoking fiction which embraces the absurd with reality.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!
His scars are visible.Hers are hidden...
An Indiana Amish Brides match
After tragedy claimed her husband's life and her son's ability to walk, Hannah King doesn't want a new man. She has her family, a home and mounting debts.
Scarred Amish bachelor Jacob Schrock offers Hannah the job she desperately needs.
But while Hannah helps Jacob resolve his accounting issues, can she and her little boy also heal his wounded heart?
An inspirational and encouraging story about accepting ourselves and the scars life has given us, some apparent some not, and finding the courage to the take the risk to live fully again after life has knocked us down.
There is something sweetly comforting and endearing about these Amish stories, that simple lifestyle, the caring for your neighbor, and helping to carry each other's burdens and keeping each other accountable. In A Widow's Hope, the characters are more integrated into the modern world than in some other Amish stories I have read, but the main core values, morals, and principals are firmly in place.
While Hannah is struggling with the economic burden of taking care of her son after the accident that killed her husband, the family and community hold her close and helps her find her place in life again. I loved Hannah's spunk, her spirited attitude, and how no one tries to dial her down. She knows her strengths and she knows her struggles and is willing to challenge her boundaries to survive and protect her son.
For six years, Jacob has hidden behind the scars a fire that killed his parents left on his face. He is a talented carpenter with a kind and giving heart. He loves his family but carries the burden of guilt for not being able to rescue his parents. He is a humble and loyal man, so sweet and caring, loving towards the kids of the kin.
I loved the spark between Hannah and Jacob from the first moment they are reunited. The banter between them had me chuckling, the way they challenged each other to be the true and better version of themselves was admirable.
Within the adorable and lovely story, there are endearing life lessons embedded and learned. No one survives life without scars, visible or invisible to the human eye, without some sort of pain and suffering shaping us to be the people we are. But with time, hope, and faith, and with the support of our peers, we can overcome, we can learn to accept, and grow to be a honed version of our true selves.
An absorbing and heartening tale, filled with hope, kindness, goodness, and compassion.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Is the woman he once loved…
The traitor they’re searching for?
Former Special Forces soldier Jace Eakin must find the mole inside Omega who’s leaking intel to a terrorist mastermind.
Despite their complicated history and the fact that she is keeping a secret, he can’t believe it’s SWAT team leader Lillian Muir.
As they give in to long-denied passion, Jace vows to protect Lillian with his life.
But he’s been wrong about her before…
What an amazing story that left me gasping for air!
Armed Response is one of those books that had me hugging my Kindle after I finished reading it, with tears in my eyes, and I am not ashamed to admit it.
Janie Crouch delivers another hair-raising, heart-pumping romantic suspense story that not only had me on the edge because of the growing intensity of the strain of the threats of the serial killer and the mole in Omega, but went so deep and wide on the emotional side that I could not help being moved by the beauty of it.
SWAT team leader Lillian Muir and Former Special Forces soldier Jace Eakin has a connection and history parallel to none. Twelve years apart yet the deep bond of their souls is still strong, its still there to pull them towards each other like magnets. From their troubled teenage days, they know each other, they get each other, they respect each other and even trust each other in a unique level, despite the past hurt, misunderstandings, and broken loyalties.
Lillian is one kickass woman, she can win her way in a close combat with a man twice her size. She is a respected and trusted member of the SWAT team, her team knows she will carry her weight, she will do her part, she is equal, capable, and able to perform the demanding job trusted upon her. Her soul might be broken in her past, her body might have endured all the abuse one can take, but she has risen from the despair, she is not letting the demons and monsters of her teenage years to rule her life now. I loved her guts, her strength, her self-discipline, her humbleness, her intensity, her fearless attitude. My heart broke for her and her past, it ached for the pain she had to endure, yet she came out of the nightmare as a stronger, capable person, who is able and willing to face the demons, even fight them again, if that what it takes.
And Jace, he was just the perfect person to stand by Tiger Lily as she faces the world. I loved his dedication, his kind heart, his loyalty, his charm, leadership abilities, the take charge and the responsibility when needed. His fight and compassion for the suffering veterans left me in awe and his understanding of who Lillian is, and what she wanted, his patience, his tenderness, his gentleness, and passion was just what Lillian needed to help her heal, to help mend the wounds of the past, to have someone in her corner, and support each other through life's hurdles.
The story has such an easy and smooth flow to it, it was a pleasure to read. The constantly intensifying fear and threats gave the tale a sharp and strong edge, with the flares of action feeding the sizzle of the tension. The love story between Lillian and Jace is heartbreakingly beautiful and fragile, while sensual, ardent, and tenderly loving.
A powerful, poignant, and passion filled tale that took my breath away.
After the loss of her young son, Carver, an African-American preacher’s wife named Delilah Evans moves with her family from Montgomery, Alabama, to Sinking Creek, Pennsylvania, for a fresh start. The last thing she could have imagined was becoming friends with Emma Mullet, a reclusive Amish woman.
Emma is fighting personal battles of her own and feels estranged from her small Amish community. The secrets that have kept her isolated from her own community serve to unite her in an unlikely friendship with Delilah.
Sparrow, Delilah’s eldest daughter, knows she is responsible for the death of her little brother. When tensions at home become unbearable, she seeks solace at Emma’s house, becoming the surrogate daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could sever all ties to her safe refuge.
Life for these three gets harder when church and social issues confront them, causing rifts within Sinking Creek’s three distinct communities: whites, blacks, and Amish. When their carefully protected secrets come to light, there seems to be little hope for friendship, restoration, or even forgiveness. But when the unthinkable happens, Delilah and Emma find themselves looking into the mirror of their own self-deceptions and are forced to make a choice that will set the way of their future.
A heart-wrenchingly somber tale of three women and their lives, the pain of losing a child, the sorrow of the emptiness inside, the secrets of the families, the racial and cultural unrest of the 1950s, and the turmoil of hearts when the darkest, deepest corners of your heart and mind are being exposed to the community surrounding you.
With breathtakingly beautiful prose, the author tells a story that went straight to my heart and shattered it repeatedly with the realistic and raw grief each of the women experience in their lives.
From the hidden alcoholism, self-mutilation, manipulations of mind and body, to the blame, bitterness, and agony, the sense of failure as a woman, mother, wife, sister, daughter, a Christian, a person of the community, every emotion and event tours a new wound to the fragile souls. Each of the three women seemed to burst into dust with their own unique pain until they were able to start to heal, to let the past go, to try to start a fresh, and find a new direction and purpose in their lives.
Each of the ladies gets their turn to tell their side of the story and events unfolding, in the first POV. And through their own eyes and thoughts, the reader gets to live the moments at their side, feeling all the emotions and the despair of their minds.
While I admire and applaud this devastatingly heartbreaking novel, it might have been one of the most difficult books to read with its burdensome lessons and heartfelt messages, even of the survival and strength of women when put them through the worst hardships of life.
These ladies and their destinies have stayed with me, lingered in my mind, and made me wonder how much - if any while watching the recent events - has the society advanced with certain matters over the decades.
While there is nothing light or fluffy about the story, and it definitely cannot be considered escape-reading, this delicate tale about the racial differences, and the mother's heart and its grief, about lives in turmoil, and the growing pains of a teenager, for an open mind and heart it will give a new perspective, a new understanding, and a new respect, appreciation, and confirmation of the strength of a woman and their heart, mind, and soul. Yes, the story will shatter you, your very core being, if you let it, but it will bring the healing, mending, encouragement, and inspiration before the ladies continue their new lives with their fresh start.
A stunningly affecting and poignant story
~ Five Spoons
Wicked Nights of Summer
A Paranormal Romance Anthology
Table of Contents:
Moonburned: A Private Island Romance by P. Mattern
Rebel Heart by P.T. Macias
Uncharted by Amanda Kimberley
Bearly Breathing by C.D. Gorri
Ritual Island by J.P. Uvalle
Sandy Toes by Kim Deister
Awakening by Nicole Banks
Summer reading just got hotter with the Wicked Nights of Summer anthology! This collection of paranormal romance stories is filled with sexy heroes and hellacious heroines in a tropical setting! Dive into romance with this sizzling boxed set that is guaranteed to set your summer on fire!
Get ready to heat things up with Vampires, Shifters, Angels, Mermaids, Hunters, and more in this sensual boxed set!
Brought to you by Mystic Ink Publications
Featuring International, Amazon Bestselling, Vincent Price Award
Winning, RONE Award Nominated, and HEA Bestselling Authors!
Patricia Mattern, P.T. Macias, Amanda Kimberley, C.D. Gorri, J.P. Uvalle, Kim Deister, and Nicole Banks.
*All proceeds go to StandUp For Kids Charity Organization!
Moonburned: A Private Island Romance
by P. Mattern
On a private island, a Vampire is moonstruck by a stowaway.
Valerian Smith is a globetrotting vampire and the head of an international corporation. Caddie Tinsley is a recently homeless aspiring actress who seizes an opportunity to stowaway on his private jet. When Caddie is discovered, Valerian is convinced she is a corporate spy and determines not to release her. In his mind he has two options: kill her by draining her of blood, or keep her as a slave on his private island. He has no idea that the scrappy little blonde with excellent tits and impossible hair will end up capturing a heart he didn’t know he possessed.
by P.T. Macias
Baxter hates his new duty, to watch Shasi for the Destroyer. His Wolff needs to claim her drives him insane, even though she’s a Rakshasi demon that shapeshifts. Who’s going to guard his rebellious heart?
Baxter Mackenzie, the influential and commendable supernatural attorney, is charged with protecting the powerful Rakshasi demon shapeshifter, and one that can shift into any creature she wants. Baxter doesn’t have time to babysit, and especially a shifter that looks so damn sexy as a human, disrupting his world. Who’s going to protect his rebellious heart? Restraining in his Wolff is no easy chore. The Rakshasi demon is Apollyon’s, the supreme destroyer, protégé. Shasi has contently lived in the deep dark Citadel assisting her master. Now, her soul wants Baxter, but could she claim him?
by Amanda Kimberley
Some Expeditions are Unknown.
Genevieve’s life as a hunter was simple. Vanquish every monster, even if that monster turns out to be someone you dated. An escape from her former life with a werewolf was just what she needed when her bestie Carina booked a trip for the two to the Loften Islands. But when she met Gunnar, a high powered leader of a vampire coven in Norway, she found herself falling into uncharted waters.
by C.D. Gorri
He’s looking for his mate. She just wants to have fun. Will Leya and Marcus find their destiny one hot summer night?
Sweet and curvy, Leya Tremayne is tired of being a shoulder to cry on for the men in her life. Determined to shed her image, she goes on a tropical vacation with plans to let her hair down! She meets Marcus Devlin and is instantly attracted to the devastatingly handsome stranger. He is exactly the type of man she needs to help her build her new image! Can she handle a one night stand with this rugged Bear Shifter or will she lose her heart in the process?
Marcus Devlin is looking for his true mate. After months of searching, he is just about ready to give up when destiny lands in his lap. Literally. After rescuing the beautiful blonde tourist from an untimely accident, Marcus knows instinctively that she’s the one. He just has to convince her!
by J.P. Uvalle
I’ve Broken the Most Important Rule of Being a Shifter King—Never Fall in Love with the Sacrifice.
Blaire and her best friend Melanie win the vacation of a lifetime—an all-inclusive cruise to Bora Bora. Once aboard, the girls start to notice it's not your ordinary luxury cruise line. Something more sinister is at work. They are surrounded by shifters with insatiable appetites, leaving the girls to question how badly they want to remain aboard ship.
Life as a shifter king has its perks, but when King Dorian encounters his latest sacrifice, he is left to question what he can't live without. Will the shifter king risk everything for love or will he restore his supernatural powers and continue to reign over Ritual Island?
by Kim Deister
Two lives turned upside down. Two big secrets. One steamy vacation in the Hawaiian islands. Will Ireland and Sully find what they want most in each other?
Ireland needed a break. It had been a rough year and she needed a fresh start. Her coven was embroiled in a civil war and when she refused to fall in line with the rest of them, she was kicked to the curb. By her friends, by her family, even by her boyfriend. She'd moved past the grief stage, even past the anger stage. For the first time in her life, she was free to do what she wanted. She had no one's expectations to fill but her own. So, she decided to celebrate. She bought herself a three-week vacation to Hawaii. No responsibilities. Just fun in the sun and time to figure out what was next for her.
When Sully brought home two tickets to Hawaii, he thought Kallie would be thrilled. He'd envisioned three idyllic weeks on a tropical island. Swimming in the ocean, laying on the beach, catching a few waves, and eating in world class restaurants. But within an hour, he found himself holding an extra ticket as he watched Kallie put the last of her bags in another man's truck. He'd torn up that ticket and flushed the pieces down the toilet. But he still had every intention of using that other ticket. Maybe some time alone was exactly what he needed.
by Nicole Banks
Both dead on the inside, until a spark ignited a fire they couldn’t outrun. Will they be able to withstand the heat or will they get burned by their flames?
The most sought after hired gun. She’s ruthless, but even killers need a vacation. He’s being hunted and there’s only one warrior strong enough to keep him alive. A king whose seeking protection and a killer searching for peace, but in each other they find so much more. When survival instincts kick in, so do their primitive instincts. This summer won’t be the only thing heating up.
**Only .99 cents!!**
RONE award nominated, Award Winning (Best Horror, Best Thriller, Best YA) and Amazon #1 Author Patricia Matternwas composing stories in utero and was born with a stylus clutched in her tiny hand. She is the author or coauthor of over 30 books, published and acted as guest editor in numerous Amazon Bestselling anthologies and frequently writes with her adult children m. mATTERN AND j.c. Estall on various projects. she is the author of the Award winning FULL MOON SERIES, FOREST OF BLEEDING TREES, SHOCK OF NIGHT, ANDY OF THE DAMNED, STRIDENT HOUSE, BLOOD SO PURE and is an author with publishers CHBB, Tell-Tale Publishing and Dark Books Press. Her most recent release in THE HANDSOME DEVILS MODELING CLUB Her latest signed works, Vampire Princess and Vampire Orphanage will be releasing in2017/2018 she is currently involved with one of her characters ("It's complicated")
I live in Calif with my husband and children. My grandkids are my treasure. When I am not writing, I enjoy going to cruises, concerts, eating white peaches, pistachio ice cream, and sipping margaritas.
I have been reading the romance and suspense genre since I was a young girl. I always dreamed of writing paranormal tales that are full of love, incredible sexy wild men, mysterious realms, and a dash of suspense.
I love writing in the paranormal genre because of the limitless range of characteristics, powers, and weaknesses available to develop the characters' and realms. I love sexy angels, gods, vampires, werewolves, dragons, and other entities.
Amanda Kimberleyhas been writing for well over three decades in various genres. Health Magazine and other leading health sources have named Amanda Kimberley's Fibro and Fabulous site as a top blog for fibro sufferers.
Kimberley, along with thirteen other authors, have been recently featured as Happy Ever After Hot List Indie Author for the paranormal romance anthology Claiming My Valentine.
She lives in Northern Texas with her family and pets, enjoys cooking, yoga, dancing, strength training, gaming, and wrestling.
I’m C.D. Gorri, Paranormal Fiction Author and Creator of the Grazi Kelly Universe. I’ve always been an avid reader, and I have a profound love for books and literature. When I’m not writing or taking care of my family I can usually be found with a book or tablet in my hand. I live in my home state of New Jersey with my husband, our children, and our dogs, Dash and Chewie.
I’m a busy mom of three and finding time for leisurely reading was never easy, so I write stories that are fast-paced, yet detailed with satisfying conclusions. If I thought making time to read was difficult, I was in for a huge surprise when I started writing, but now that I started, I can’t picture myself doing anything else! I love writing powerful women and strong heroes who face relatable problems in supernatural settings! I plan on increasing the GK Universe with each and every story I publish. You can follow me on social media to keep up to date on all my new releases and events!
Want to know how it all began? Enter the Grazi Kelly Universe with Wolf Moon: A Grazi Kelly Novel #1 or download Casting Magic today for #free! I have series for for young adult and young at heart audiences who enjoy paranormal fiction, and I also have paranormal romance books available now! If you like sassy heroines and sexy heroes then you might want to try my PNR books! Thanks for dropping by and happy reading!
del mare alla stella, C.D. Gorri
J. P. Uvalleis a beautifully twisted soul who has a passion for writing paranormal romance and has the divine ability to make the unbelievable, believable. She was born and raised in Colorado Springs, went to Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology and graduated with an Associate's degree in Applied Science and Technology. J. P. Uvalle works part-time as an ICU technician in Highlands Ranch, Colorado at an emergency/specialty hospital. When not at work, she's spending time with family and friends.
My name is Kimand my last name, Deister, is pronounced “Die-ster.” I always tell my husband I should have kept my married name, Ingram. So much easier to to pronounce!
I am a writer thoroughly in love with words. Reading them, writing them… I love that words can take you outside of your world and let the unimaginable become imaginable. I love them so much that I decided I needed to create some worlds and stories of my own!
Besides being a writer, I am an Army veteran (and Army wife) and a mom to four sons. I grew up in northern New York in a tiny college town called Potsdam. Over the years, our Army life has taken us all over the place and I have been lucky enough to work and live in some pretty amazing places. Right now we live in Hawaii on the island of O’ahu, minutes from the North Shore.
Creatively living through music, writing and yoga.
I love the arts and how they move you and make you feel.
Reading has always been a great love of mine right after my love of music. Each song written is a story waiting to be told. Which, along with my over active imagination fueled my desire to write about the chaos that goes on in my head.
I love stringing words together. I love making people get lost in a story and connecting with fictional characters that remind them of someone they know.
I published my first book Shattered in 2013. It’s the first installment in the Shattered Hearts Series. Shattered started out as an assignment for a college course I took at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. After I graduated college I went through my old papers and reconnected with the story morphing into so much more then what I wrote in my college course.
Now you can find me doing yoga, listening to music and working on getting out all the stories in my head, including dabbling in poetry. (Which I've always had a secret love affair with).
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!
By Kendall Ryan
Release Day – July 30, 2018
A best-friends-to lovers standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Kendall Ryan.
After a rather uncomfortable ladies’ night involving a cucumber-wielding instructor with judgy eyes, I’m forced to admit my weaknesses. Rather than point blame at my lack of a sex life, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
As a junior executive who’s clawed her way up the corporate ladder, failure is not in my vocabulary. Confident and bold in other areas of my life, I have to admit it’s time to up my bedroom game.
Asking my friend Slate Cruz is really the only option. Slate is like a walking billboard for sex. The man gets more ass than a toilet seat. There’s no way I’ll want more from this playboy than a little inspiration to revive my inner sex kitten.
Except, what happens if I do?
“I can’t believe I struck out every single time,” Keaton says with a whine. “I tried all night and not one goddamn penis wanted me to touch it. God, my fucking feet hurt so bad.”
I loop my arm around her waist, partially to comfort her and partially to hold her up as we stagger down the sidewalk to her apartment. It’s almost two in the morning, and the streets are deserted. Only the predawn stars are watching over us.
“Don’t think of it as striking out. Think of it as . . .” I wave my hand, searching for a positive spin. “Being selective. You just didn’t meet a good match, and it’s better to go home alone than with the wrong guy.”
She growls loudly in frustration. “I’m not looking for a friggin’ husband; I’m just trying to get laid! There’s no point in being picky. Face it, Slate, it’s not me who has the high standards here. Guys just don’t like me. End of story.”
I stop in my tracks. “That’s not true.”
She sways in my arms to face me with tipsy defiance. “Really? Because literally everything that happened tonight says different.”
“So you had one bad night? Big deal. Plenty of guys like you.”
“Prove it,” she insists, her eyes brimming with need and wounded pride.
Her body is so warm, her scent so sweet, and it all feels perfectly natural to just lean in and . . .
Our lips meet. She squeaks in surprise, but before I can pull away and apologize, she kisses me back. Hard.
Her hot, soft mouth crushes against mine, opening with an intense hunger, her tongue demanding entrance, and I can’t help devouring her right back. I couldn’t stop, even if I wanted to.
Why the hell haven’t I done this before? What have I been missing out on all these years?
All my reservations and doubts are swept away in a wave of desire. No overthinking, no self-doubt, just chemistry. Pure, primal instinct. Our tongues touch and my heart rate triples because, holy fuck . . . I’m kissing my best friend.
And, fuck me, I really, really like it.
We break the kiss, both flushed and breathing a little harder, a powerful new tension buzzing between us. Goddamn . . . just that one moment of contact was enough to send every drop of blood traveling from my brain straight to my dick.
Keaton’s never given me wood, not even once. Okay, that’s a lie. There was this one time that she rubbed my shoulders and her boob brushed my arm by accident, but that was just biology. That’s all that was.
“That was . . .” I pause.
It should have felt weird, like kissing my sister. I’ve always had a strictly platonic relationship with Keaton. But I can’t lie. It was perfect. Like a textbook-perfect kiss, chemistry and attraction, and just the right amount of tongue. And I want to do it again as soon as possible.
“Yeah,” Keaton murmurs. Her gaze has darkened. She licks her lips and glances up at her apartment building. “Want to come inside?”
Danger brought them back together. Will a secret baby tear them apart?
As the newest deputy in town, Henry Ward is hoping to escape painful memories.
Then a rain of bullets brings his history rising up again, throwing Cassie Gates directly into his path.
He hasn't forgotten their night together, seven months ago.
And now that he's seen her -- pregnant with his child -- Henry knows he's fighting more than his past.
He's fighting for his future.
The Protectors of Riker County
The intense and unpredictable suspense keeps you on the edge while the ardent, growing attraction between the protagonists melts your heart... The Deputy's Baby has just the right balance between the potent and harsh action and the sweet and tender romance.
Be prepared, once you start reading The Deputy's Baby, it will be very hard to put down until you get to the finishing line that will make you smile. I basically inhaled the story, finding it unputdownable with the constant twists and threats, the unknown factors, and the deadly up close and personal battles.
Cassie Gates is an amazing heroine, so easy to like and admire with the spunk and determination she has. Fearless yet smart, she faces the danger, she is willing and able to protect those she loves, her extraordinarily big heart and caring attitude setting her apart.
Henry Ward's desire to serve and protect has been put through a fire while working undercover. When Henry lost his partner, he nearly lost his focus and goals. Starting over is the only option for him to move on, and Riker County's sheriff's department seems like the perfect place to accomplish it. What he didn't expect is to run into the woman who has hunted his memories for the past seven months from their passion and joy-filled one night together.
The sizzle between Henry and Cassie is palpable. Even with the misunderstandings and hurt feelings between them, they are drawn to each other, and not just because of the baby. The connection is real, it is tangible, they understand each other, they get each other, admire and respect the other, just perfect together despite the friction still lingering between them, that they have to work on.
I adored Henry and Cassie, the timeline of their relationship is made to be believable, the romantic relationship is given time to develop, and they are given the time to start to get to know each other, let the feels and emotions grow.
The furious, raging revenge creates powerful, potent suspense with deadly action. The delectable and delightful chemistry builts on the adorable, strong yet tender attraction between the hero and the heroine.
Tyler Anne Snell delivers yet another very satisfying romantic suspense story, a marvelous continues to the sharp and fierce series.
~ Five Spoons!
Q. D. Purdu’s debut romance FAKING LUCKY, under the title of DESDEMONA FINDS THE BIG O IN LOVE, won first place in the Texas Writers’ League Romance category, 2014. Her novella THE LIGHT WE FOUND, first published in MOTHER'S DAY MAGIC anthology, is now available as a stand-alone short read.
Q. D. loves her rescued puppy, red wine, running through sprinklers, dark chocolate with sugared ginger, and anything wrapped in a corn tortilla. Her prized possessions include a hot pink Christmas tree and a garden full of okra and basil.
She hasn’t decided what she’ll be when she grows up, but whatever it is will be filled with romantic impossibilities.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
Release Day Launch for 1001 DARK NIGHTS DISCOVERY BUNDLE From Alexandra Ivy & Laura Wright, Donna Grant, Lorelei James, Lauren Blakely, and T. Gephart.
We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the newest 1001 Dark Nights bundle! Introducing Discovery Author T. Gephart, the Bundle contains 5 novellas, including novellas from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Alexandra Ivy& Laura Wright, Donna Grant, Lorelei James, and Lauren Blakely! Grab your copy of this incredible bundle today!
Five Dark Tales. Five Sensual Stories. Five Page Turners.
BLADE: A Bayou Heat Novella by Alexandra Ivy & Laura Wright
Blade was held captive by Benson Enterprises and abused for decades. When he’s finally rescued, he can’t return to the Wildlands. Not without the female he was forced to watch being impregnated. Valli just wants to run away and never look back. But with the shocking news of her pregnancy fresh in her mind, she wonders if that’s even possible. Told by her captors that one of the caged animals assaulted her, she knows she must do everything in her power to keep her unborn child safe.
DRAGON BURN: A Dark Kings Novella by Donna Grant
A promise made eons ago sends Sebastian to Italy on the hunt to find an enemy. His quarry proves difficult to locate, but there is someone who can point him in the right direction – a woman as frigid as the north. Using every seductive skill he’s acquired over his immortal life, his seduction begins. Until he discovers that the passion he stirs within her makes him burn for more… Gianna Santini has one love in her life – work. That is until a handsome Scot strolled into her life and literally swept her off her feet.
TRIPPED OUT: A Blacktop Cowboys® Novella by Lorelei James
Stirling Gradsky abandoned the corporate rat race for a more laidback lifestyle. So it’s ironic she’s stuck working with a hard-bodied, know-it-all scientist who treats her like a stoner instead of a stone cold business woman capable of running a large scale cannabis operation. Dr. Liam Argent’s doctorate isn’t in chemistry, but from the moment he meets his sexy new coworker, there’s enough heat between them to short out all the lights in the grow house. Sparks fly as their attraction blazes. But can they weed out their differences without getting burned?
STUD FINDER by Lauren Blakely
Man seeking woman: Hot, rich, smart, witty, self-made multimillionaire Internet genius seeks classy, intelligent, sexy, fun-loving woman who’s interested in settling down and sharing all the good things.
There. Best. Ad. Ever.
I will absolutely find the woman of my dreams, someone who’ll love me for me. Let me just hit the upload button right now…
* * * *
No. Just no. As a woman and a professional matchmaker, I can’t let Dylan Parker run this ad. He’s the catch of all catches. What woman in her right mind wouldn’t fall in love with Dylan?
I mean, besides me. It totally won’t be me.
#1 CRUSH by T. Gephart
Tia Monroe was smart, sassy and successful. Sure, she could get a little crazy at times, but that was part of her appeal. And while she didn’t see herself as ‘classically beautiful’, she had no shortage of options in the boyfriend department. She just hadn’t found one who held her interest. Until she laid eyes on Eric Larsson, and then it was lust at first sight. He packed the perfect mix of smoldering sexy and unapologetic cool into his blond-haired, blue-eyed, ridiculously hot six-foot-four frame. One smile from him was enough to twist her insides. But it wasn’t just his looks, he was smart and funny—charming in the most a-dork-able way. The only problem was…Tia had never actually met him.
Every Dark Nights tale is breathtakingly sexy and magically romantic.
Experience the 1001 Dark Nights Bundle Here…
Alexandra Ivy is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Alexandra: “I’m not exactly sure when I fell in love with books. Probably on my mother’s knee listening to her read Dr. Seuss to me. I do remember that I was barely old enough to cross the street by myself when I discovered the delights of the local library.
Could anything be more wonderful than spending summer days surrounded by stacks of Nancy Drew mysteries? Over the years I fell in love with Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and J.R.R. Tolkien just to name a few. I read poetry, essays, biographies, and plays. In fact, I read anything I could get my hands on.
Years later (no, I’m not admitting how many) I’m still an avid reader, and my tastes are still as varied as they were in my youth, which I suppose helps to explain why I enjoy writing regency historicals under the name of Deborah Raleigh, as well as my contemporary paranormals as Alexandra Ivy. For now that is enough to keep me busy, but who knows what the future might hold!
I do have a few other loves in my life besides reading and writing, the most important being my unbelievably patient husband, David, and my two sons, Chance and Alexander. Without their constant support and belief in me, I never could have been able to follow my dreams. They are truly my heroes.
Laura Wright is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Laura: “Unlike many of my peers in the writing world, I wasn’t a writer or a reader until I left high school. During my youth I was into theater, song and dance, commercials and boys. I loved romance surely, but I had never read a romance novel until my late teens. With that said, I remember the day I did like it was a moment ago – my aunt gave me the Jude Deveraux novel, Knight in Shining Armor and I couldn’t put it down until the very last word. Then I went straight to the library and got another – then another until I’d read everything she’d ever written. After that, it was McNaught, Howard, Schone, Kleypas, and the Silhouette line, Desire. I instantly loved those emotional, sexy reads, so much so that I began to carve out ideas for my own stories, themes that were unique to me and moved me. In 1997 I enrolled in UCLA extension writing classes, met my mentor and critique partners and since have never stopped writing. I was committed then and I still am now; the need to tell my own romantic stories a full on obsession. My first manuscript was rejected, and though the second one was as well the editor who’d rejected it wanted to see something else from me. I had something (note to authors; always keep working, even after you’ve sent in a proposal) and sent it right away. The day I got the call telling me Desire wanted to buy Cinderella and the Playboy was the best day of my life. That is until I married my husband, and had my two beautiful children. But I must say, writing is much like motherhood – tough, grueling, surprising, delicious and for me, a dream come true.”
Donna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels. Her most popular series is the breathtaking Dark King (aka Dragon King) series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.
In addition to her novels, Donna has written over forty short stories, novellas, and novelettes for digital-first and print release. She has been dubbed as giving the “paranormal genre a burst of fresh air” by the San Francisco Book Review. Her work has been hailed as having “deft plotting and expert characterization” by Publisher’s Weekly and “sizzling” by RT Book Reviews.
She has been recognized with awards from both bookseller and reader contests including the National Reader’s Choice Award, Booksellers Best Award, as well as the coveted K.I.S.S. Award from RT Book Reviews.
Donna travels often for various speaking engagements, conferences, and book signings. She is also a frequent workshop presenter at national conferences such as RT Book Lovers Convention and Thrillerfest, as well as local chapters.
Born and raised in Texas, she also has ties across the border in Louisiana. Growing up with two such vibrant cultures, her Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding. She is never far from her faithful 80 pound dog, Sisko, or her three cats. She can often be found at the movies or bookstore with her children. Or buying makeup. And shoes.
Lorelei James is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary erotic western romances set in the modern day Wild West and also contemporary erotic romances. Lorelei’s books have been nominated for and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s choice Award, as well as the CAPA Award. Lorelei lives in western South Dakota with her family…and a whole closet full of cow girl boots.
From Lorelei: “Why do I have a particular fondness for all things western? Well, I’m a fourth generation South Dakotan, living in the Black Hills, which is chock-full of interesting characters, including cowboys, Indians, ranchers, and bikers. The geographical diversity of the surrounding area showcases mountains, plains, and badlands. Living in and writing about rural settings gives me a unique perspective, especially since I’m not writing historical westerns. Through my fictional world, I can show the ideals and the cowboy way of life are still very much alive.”
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, and she's sold more than 2.5 million books. In August she'll release UNBREAK MY HEART, an emotional second chance romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! http://laurenblakely.com/newsletter
T Gephart is an indie author from Melbourne, Australia.
T’s approach to life has been somewhat unconventional. Rather than going to University, she jumped on a plane to Los Angeles, USA in search of adventure. While this first trip left her somewhat underwhelmed and largely depleted of funds it fueled her appetite for travel and life experience.
With a rather eclectic resume, which reads more like the fiction she writes than an actual employment history, T struggled to find her niche in the world.
While on a subsequent trip the United States in 1999, T met and married her husband. Their whirlwind courtship and interesting impromptu convenience store wedding set the tone for their life together, which is anything but ordinary. They have lived in Louisiana, Guam and Australia and have travelled extensively throughout the US. T has two beautiful young children and one four legged child, Woodley the wonder dog.
An avid reader, T became increasingly frustrated by the lack of strong female characters in the books she was reading. She wanted to read about a woman she could identify with, someone strong, independent and confident who didn’t lack femininity. Out of this need, she decided to pen her first book, A Twist of Fate. She enjoyed the process so much that when it was over she couldn’t let it go.
T loves to travel, laugh and surround herself with colourful characters. This inevitably spills into her writing and makes for an interesting journey – she is well and truly enjoying the ride!
Based on her life experiences, T has plenty of material for her books and has a wealth of ideas to keep you all enthralled.
Tour Event for ONCE UPON A SUMMER With Stories By: Brooke Moss, Liz Ashlee, Clara Winter, Tammy Mannersly, Sarah Vance Tompkins, Kitsy Clare, Mark Love, Melissa Kay Clarke
Once Upon A Summer
A Contemporary Romance Anthology
With Stories By:
Brooke Moss, Liz Ashlee, Clara Winter, Tammy Mannersly, Sarah Vance Tompkins, Kitsy Clare, Mark Love, Melissa Kay Clarke
Beaches, boyfriends and danger…summer is certainly hot! Grab a hold tight as these eight authors wow you with stories from sweet to sizzling! After all, every day can have some summer fun!
Breaking Girl Code by Brooke Moss
Aubrey is having the perfect evening out, with the perfect guy, on a perfect summer night. The problem is… Preston’s not her date. His real date is her B.F.F., and she’s passed out in the backseat.
Wishing on Water by Liz Ashlee
After watching everyone’s else’s lives hit huge milestones, all Hope wants is to escape to her boring, unchanging, single life. So, where’s the one logical place to escape to? A retirement home.
Art with a Pulse by Clara Winter
Artist Alice finds herself rescuing a seal on the sands of Laguna Beach with screenwriter Elijah. Can Alice put her past behind her and give Elijah the chance he deserves?
A Natural Passion by Tammy Mannersly
How will marine biologist, Dylan O'Day, solve the illegal poaching problem threatening the ecosystem he loves and protects when the gorgeous, new intern, Kyra Shine, is occupying his every thought?
You Had Me at Aloha by Sarah Vance Tompkins
Social media guru Vivienne Parker's dream trip to Hawaii turns into a nightmare when her roommate in the luxurious surf shack is the hot Olympic athlete who just got her fired.
More Than Puppy Love by Kitsy Clare
Fireworks spark when Arianna, a city girl with an elite pet portrait business is in a wreck and asks Dave a country auto mechanic for help, but can these two beagle owners from different worlds see eye to eye?
Stealing Haven by Mark Love
Sand, sun, romance and a mystery to solve. Sounds like a perfect vacation for Jamie.
Harmony in the Key of Murder by Melissa Kay Clarke
Summer in the South can mean a different type of heat when a newly appointed investigator and a mechanical genius cross paths leading to murder and love.
"I write because if I don't...my head will explode, and ruin the drapes." ♥
Brooke Mosswrites complex, character-driven stories about kismet, reunited lovers, first love, and the kind of romance that we should all have the chance at finding. She prefers her stories laced with some humor just for fun, and enough drama to keep her readers flipping the pages, and begging for more!
When Brooke isn't spinning tales, she spends her time drawing/cartooning, reading, watching movies then comparing them to books, and, of course, wrangling five kids, mugging on her hubby she lovingly refers to as her "nerd", and attempting to conquer the Mount Everest of laundry that is the bane of her existence.
Liz Ashleeis a romance novelist who recently graduated from Northern Kentucky University her B.A. in English and B.S. in Library Informatics. She has been published in Loch Norse Magazine and The Pentangle, and has won the Miller Award for Outstanding Fiction Writing. She currently lives in Independence, Kentucky, with her family and dog-daughter, Hero
Clara Winter is the writing name of Amy Rugg.
Amy Rugg grew up reading Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, and Alice in Wonderland, while watching Buck Rogers, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. Writing her own stories naturally ensued. She is a wife, mother, and former school counselor, with a Master’s Degree in Counseling. Amy is from Colorado Springs, Co and currently resides in Mission Viejo, Ca.
Tammy Mannersly is an Australian author based in Brisbane, Queensland. She loves writing romance, has a fondness for animals, is crazy about movies and enjoys a great Happily Ever After. Her passion for writing started from a very young age and led her to complete a Bachelor Degree in Creative Industries majoring in Creative Writing at Queensland University of Technology.
Sarah Vance-Tompkins was born in a small town in northern Michigan. She spent every summer exploring the sugar sand beaches near Sleeping Bear National Park. She left her heart behind when she moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. She received an MFA in Film Production and went on to work in feature film development in Hollywood. She has worked as a reporter for a weekly entertainment trade publication, and been paid to write obituaries, press releases, the directions for use on personal lubricant bottles, and breathless descriptions of engagement rings for an online jewelry store. She lives in a small town north of Los Angeles with her husband and three cats.
Kitsy Clare hails from Philadelphia and lives in New York. A romantic at heart, she loves to write about the sexy intrigue of the city, and particularly of the art world. She knows it well, having shown her paintings here before turning to writing. Model Position, her new adult novella is about artist Sienna and her friends. Living in a Bookworld says: “Beautifully written! We get to learn things about art & painting, which is refreshing. A colorful story from a promising new adult author.” The next in her Art of Love series, Private Internship launches in September with Inkspell.
Kitsy loves to travel, draw, read romance, speculative fiction and teach writing workshops. She also writes YA as Catherine Stine. Her futuristic thriller, Ruby’s Fire was a YA finalist in the Next Generation Indie book awards. Fireseed One, its companion novel, was a finalist in YA and Sci-Fi in the USA News International Book Awards, and an Indie Reader notable. Her YA horror, Dorianna, launches fall 2014 with Evernight Teen. She’s a member of SFWA, RWA and SCBWI.
I am a Michigan native, who up until recently lived in the Metro Detroit area, where crime and corruption always seem to be at the top of everyone's news. So there's always the chance to find something that can trigger a story idea and enough interesting characters to jump start your imagination.
While I have worked in many industries and career paths over the years, one of my passions has always been writing. I was even able to parlay that passion for a while, working as a freelance reporter for a couple of newspapers in the Detroit area. Writing features and hard news helped me hone my talents. But while newspaper work was interesting and paid a few bills, it was a far cry from the fiction writing that I enjoy the most.
I've always been drawn to mysteries and thrillers, the kind of stories that have a fast pace, that keep you moving and keep you guessing as to what's going to take place next. Mix those in with some elements of crime, perhaps a glimpse of the seedier side and you've got me. So it's always been one of my goals to write stories like that.
Melissa Kay Clarkewas born in Tupelo, Mississippi and raised in Houlka, a small rural town forty-five minutes southwest down the famous Natchez Trace. She found a love of reading very early and quickly devoured everything she could. Told repeatedly that she had a wonderful imagination, she turned to scribbling her musings and wrote her first novel while in college. It was never published and has since vanished. The death of a close friend who aspired to become an author reawakened her own desire resulting in penning her first book, Shattered Dreams, published in 2013.
Melissa now resides in Meridian, Mississippi with her supportive family – husband, Robert and daughter Rebecca, two cats, and two dogs. When she isn't writing, she spends way too much time with her online friends and feeding her ravenous appetite for the written word.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
The most important two words for this Wrangler’s Creek rodeo cowboy? I do...
Lucian Granger isn’t winning any Mr. Cowboy Congeniality awards. Known in his small Texas town as “Lucifer” thanks to his surly nature and knack for scaring people away from getting too close, the handsome rancher has no trouble ignoring the gossip. But when he’s in danger of losing the land he’s put his blood, sweat and tears into maintaining, Lucian sets out to prove he’s a changed man—by claiming he’s about to settle down with his invaluable assistant, Karlee O’Malley.
Their pending nuptials may be just for show, but from the moment they kiss, the proverbial fireworks start going off in his head—and in his heart. Before long, the man who’s usually as emotional as a brick wall is tired of pretending and wants to share a real future with Karlee. With his world suddenly turned upside down, Lucian will risk losing the business and the ranch if it means holding on to the one woman worth becoming a better man for.
With vivid images, quirky characters with their splendid uniqueness, playing with the words in a way that only a few do as well as Delores Fossen, words packed humor and endearment, the story of family drama, business troubles, and unrequited love unravels.
It is always a pleasure to visit Wrangle's Creek. The Granger family with their ongoing drama has been an entertaining saga to follow, filled with life with its messes, turbulent emotions, and more than their share of disorder and strain in the families.
Lucian has been the unknown factor in the family, the one in charge of the family company, yet avoiding all kinds of personal relationships, except with his longtime assistant, Karlee O’Malley, who seems to be the only one to understand him and cheering for him.
I knew there was more to Lucian, aka Lucifer, than the family let us know while following the series. He has been the fixer and caretaker of the family ever since his father walked away from his family. He has a tough responsibility on his shoulders, but he loves what he does, and it keeps him busy, his life and mind occupied, keeping his heart from more heartache and disappointments, making it easy to hide the stiff exterior of 'Lucifer'.
Karlee has had a similar role as a fixer in her own family. The mess that Karlee's mom and Lucian's father left behind was not easy to prepare, but Karlee and Lucien have always done everything they could to help their families while keeping feeling at the bay, to protect their hearts.
There are more twists in the tale that I could count, keeping the family, and the reader, on their toes, inhaling the tale to find out what will happen next. Each scene of the story is packed with intense feels, interruptions, drama, trouble, and instant reactions. It is a non-stop roll-a-coaster of emotions, shady business dealings, relationship messes, from farce and melodrama from the parental units to joy and passion, confusion and hard choices in Lucien and Karlee's lives.
Lucien and Karlee have an unrivaled connection, they get each other in a way few does because of the years working together, learning to anticipate the next move the other will make. Add that the attraction, the growing need for each other, and the confusion Lucien's ex with her demands of attention creates, and the emotions are gurning all over the place.
The Wrangler's Creek series is made of intriguing and entertaining stories, filled with high emotions, townfolks whom will take part of each and every twist of the tale, families that hold tight together despite the differences, drama, and constant trouble they create for each other.
Life is rarely smooth going or problem free, the Granger family having more than its share of the hitches of life, but they wither the storms together, coming through even strong than before.
An amazing, breathtaking, vastly entertaining family saga, filled with twists and unexpected turns, cowboy fiction at its best
~ Five Spoons
Army brat Kaydee Wagner gets twitchy if she stays in one place for too long. But when her grandfather needs someone to stay with him for a bit and his home needs a lot of repairs, she steps up to the plate.
Lucky for her, help arrives from their neighbor’s gorgeous grandson, former Army Ranger Leo Reed.
Leo’s desperate to rise above his dark past and enjoy life again. He’s already made a lot of progress, so when the woman he can’t stop thinking about needs a handyman, he volunteers. But after a very...wet incident involving deadly dance moves and a wayward sink hose, their clothes hit the floor faster than a stack of tile.
He doesn’t want forever—that would mean revealing his past, which he’s not ready to do. She only wants right now, because any other option would require sticking around.
And then Kaydee discovers she’s pregnant.
“Kaydee,” he said again, but this time he reached out to lightly touch her shoulder.
Letting out a startled cry, she turned toward him with the sprayer still in her hand. Water immediately pelted his face and the side of his head with the force of a mini power washer, blasting his flesh with a shock of heat that ran down his neck and chest. Luckily, it was only hot and not scalding.
“Oh my God, Leo!” She dropped the sprayer, then shut off the water with one hand and yanked her earbuds out with the other. “Are you okay?
“Yeah. I needed a good soaking.” He slicked back his wet hair and grinned. “No harm done.”
But apparently, she chose not to listen, because she grabbed a nearby dish towel and started to mop the wetness from his face and chest. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t hear you come in.”
She stilled, and her gaze slowly rose to meet his. “Oh, crap. Exactly how long were you in here?”
Loving the flush of color that swept up into her cheeks, he decided to tease her a little more. “Long enough to know you’d be dangerous on the dance floor.”
“Yeah, to others.” Her blush increased. “Oh God, I can’t believe you saw that.”
Before he could reply, she dropped her forehead on his chest, and her whole body shook as she laughed.
The unexpected move and feel of her soft curves brushing his body removed all traces of teasing from his mind. He always wondered how she’d feel in his arms, and now he knew, even if—technically—he didn’t have his arms around her. Yet. Because he could. It’d be so easy. So damn easy. All he had to do was put his hands on her back.
But that would be playing with fire, and he didn’t want her to get burned.
“I can’t believe I got you soaking wet.” She drew back and started mopping his shirt with the towel again. “I’m so sorry.”
Thankful for the reprieve, he went back to teasing. “No harm done. I won’t melt.”
She snickered and continued to dry him off, but her nearness and press of her fingers weren’t doing his libido any good, so he placed his hand over hers to stop her movements.
Before, at least a wet shirt had separated their skin. Not now. His palm covered her hand, and the feel of her soft, warm skin kicked his pulse into gear.
Once again, their gazes met, but this time mortification and teasing were no longer present, just a raw, untamed attraction. It posed a danger big enough to rival her lethal dance moves.
Her gaze dropped to his mouth, and Leo’s heart rocked in his chest. A sensation he hadn’t felt in years. Leave it to Kaydee to induce the movement. It was strange. He knew he should back away, but he didn’t. Couldn’t. It felt as if his whole body was coming alive, and until that moment, he hadn’t realized how truly out of touch with life he’d been the past few years. Perhaps always.
These rangers won my heart with the first story, and it has been one of those series that I have eagerly anticipated for each title to be published. The tales are a perfect mix of tight brotherhood, swoony romance, deep emotions that have brought me to tears, and humor that has made me laugh out loud with the comical moments.
I knew Leo's story would be an emotional one, he has gone through so much since he returned from service. Leo has been a part of each story, more of a reason for the ranch to exist than maybe anyone else. His battle against the memories, the inner demons, has let to some drastic decisions in the past, but he has finally found his place in a world again, slowly coming to accept and leave behind the nightmares of his former times in the rangers.
Kaydee Wagner is a spirited and kindhearted woman. She has a connection to Leo that is a tangible force in the tale. She turns out to be just so perfect for him, as suitable as Leo is for her, and her wanderlust and restless soul, the byproducts of an army brat moving around all her life. It is hard for her to open up and accept people into her life, knowing that they will never stay, the risk of giving her heart feels too big, because there are no guarantees of continues relationships and root in one place, when everything is temporary.
Leo and Kaydee, they get each other. They understand and accept each other, and the passion and the harmony between them is a beautiful thing to be witnessed. The physical connection between them is scorching hot, the mental connection and the hearts finding their soulmates takes a bit more effort to be accepted.
I was an emotional mess reading this story and not just from the ardent, adorable love story developing between Kaydee and Leo, and Leo finally finding himself again, but also from the tight friendships between the rangers, the way they looked after each other, had each others backs, and were there to encourage, support, and mess with each other whenever the moment arose. There were heartfelt moments that brought me to tears and those moments that made me sigh with content. But there were also tears because the past hurt is so deep, the demons gerning inside so painful, and the doubts vivid and the old wounds aching.
Leo's story was everything I expected, and then some. It is poignant, sensual, loving, and entertaining. It takes the reader from the darkest moments of a human soul to the most exhilarating joy and the jubilee of life and living. The whole series is such an eye-opening look into the lives of vets after they return to the civilian life, the challenges they face, the hurdles they have to overcome. There is heart, humor, passion, and feels in each tale, perfect for binge reading during the summer days. Absolutely a must read series in my eyes.
And Leo and Kaydee, them finding the peace of mind, heart, and soul, and their forever-after happiness, that tale is just filled with fervor and adoration.
~ Five Spoons
This Cavanaugh detective guards his ready-made family
Delivering a stranded woman’s baby?
All in a day’s work for Detective Dugan Cavanaugh.
But the new mother is investigative reporter Toni O’Keefe, who’s hot on the trail of the drug cartel Dugan is tracking.
Now with infant Heather and Toni in the cartel’s lethal sights, Toni’s fragile trust in Dugan is their only shot to get Cavanaugh justice!
I do enjoy a good Cavanaugh story, even if they are a bit predictable with how things will move forward, this one delivered few punches and twists as the suspenseful side of the tale unfolded.
The fight against the cartel is tedious work with few big busts between the vigorous investigation and gathering of the leads. I liked how the timeframe is spread out to be more realistic and at the same time giving a chance for the romance to develop and the feelings between the protagonists take root.
I really enjoyed both of the main characters, Dugan Cavanaugh and Toni O’Keefe had an interesting energy between them. The connection from the roadside delivery to being partners of a sort was not smooth, yet the sparks were flying, the attraction is obvious, and they have the time to let the feelings simmer and grow. I loved how much Dugan cherished the baby Heather, they together provided a couple of heart-melting moments.
Toni was a tough journalist who didn't seem to have a sense of fear, making her act even a bit foolhardy at times. But she is a caring, loving mother and friend, and her need to be like her fearless father is understandable, as her history is revealed and we get to know more about her.
Dugan is a compassionate, smart, dedicated detective who loves babies and his family. I loved how while being so alpha and protective, he had this relaxed smoothness about him that set him apart. He was obviously comfortable just being himself, a very attractive quality in a person.
A good, entertaining, character-driven story with a solid balance of romance and suspense with few surprises and up close battles that turn deadly...
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Marie swears she was born writing, "which must have made the delivery especially hard for my mother." From an early age, Marie's parents would find her watching television or tucked away in some private place, writing at a furious pace. "Initially, I began writing myself into my favourite shows. I was a detective on '77 Sunset Strip,' the missing Cartwright sibling they never talked about on 'Bonanza' and the 'Girl from U.N.C.L.E.' before there was a 'Girl from U.N.C.L.E.,' not to mention an active participant in the serialized stories of 'The Mickey Mouse Club.'" Marie began to write her first romance novel when she was 11 years old, although she claims that, at the time, she didn't even realize it was a romance! She scribbled off and on, while dreaming of a career as an actress.
Marie was only 14 when she first laid eyes on the man she would marry, truly her first love, Charles Ferrarella. During her days at Queens College, New York, acting started to lose its glamour as Marie spent more and more time writing. After receiving her English degree, specialising in Shakespearean comedy, Marie and her family moved to Southern California, where she still resides today.
After an interminable seven weeks apart, Charles decided he couldn't live without her and came out to California to marry his childhood sweetheart. Ever practical, Marie was married in a wash-and-wear wedding dress that she sewed herself, appliqués and all. "'Be prepared' has always been my motto,"the author jokes. This motto has been stretched considerably by her two children, Nikky and Jessi, "but basically, it still applies," she says.
In November of 1981, she sold her first novel for Harlequin. Marie, who now has written over 150 novels, has one goal: to entertain, to make people laugh and feel good. "That's what makes me happy," she confesses. "That, and a really good romantic evening with my husband." She's keeping her fingers crossed that her reader's enjoy reading her books as much as she enjoyed writing them.