KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE
by Heather Heyford
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 8/29/2017
When the town of Clarkston, Oregon, welcomes Captain Sam Owens home from the service, Sophia “Red” McDonald is first in line. The sassy psychotherapist has known Sam since they were kids, and the grown-up Sam is darned near irresistible. With his abs of steel and those gorgeous hazel eyes, he could have any woman he wanted. Naturally, Red is thrilled when he takes her hand . . .
She’s a modern woman, happy to canoodle with the sexy soldier, no strings attached—until her heart changes the rules. Suddenly, after months of casual hookups, Red finds she wants more. She longs to possess Sam body and soul. But his warrior's heart was wounded long before he joined the service. As a therapist, Red has ways of making him talk. Only if Sam opens up and spills his secrets can they finally have everything their hearts desire . . .
Heather Heyford is the author of contemporary romances set in the wine country. See what inspires her writing on her many Pinterest boards, read more about her on HeatherHeyford.com, and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
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An "international thriller with soul." Features a broad cast of characters with kids playing significant roles. Ideal reading for fans of Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, James Rollins, Brad Thor, Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Vince Flynn.
Brainrush Series Summary
Brainrush is a story about second chances, and embracing every day of your life as though it’s your last. Called “a terrifically entertaining thriller” by Publishers Weekly, Book-1 of the series was named The Wall Street Journal #1 Bestselling Action/Adventure in their Guide to Self-Published Big Sellers, while Book-2 was on the Top-10 Amazon Mystery/Thriller Top Rated list for 53-straight weeks. This set the stage for the blockbuster release of the third book in the series, which was heralded by Suspense Magazine as “part science fiction, part thriller, part suspense, part love story, and part mystery. It’s got it all and that’s what makes this novel one of the best.” The characters live on in the final four books of the series. Books 4 & 5 were released in 2014, and were met with rave reviews that outpaced even those from the first three books. Book-5 was named “one of the best books of the year” by IndieReader.com. The final two books in the series, No Refuge and Against All Odds are available now, and they promise to keep you on the edge of your seat in a fashion that lives up to what the series is all about—a thought-provoking, soulful and satisfying rush that will keep you gasping long after the final page.
Get the first three books in a box set!!
Brainrush Series Book 1
by Richard Bard
Genre: Action/Adventure Thriller, Romantic Suspense
Publishers Weekly heralded the first book in Richard Bard's Brainrush thriller series as "terrifically entertaining" and "inventive and compelling." It went on to earn The Wall Street Journal's #1 Action/Adventure slot in the Guide to Self-Published Big Sellers list.
Before he slid into the MRI machine, Jake Bronson was just an ordinary guy with terminal cancer. But when an earthquake hits during the procedure, Jake staggers from the wreckage a profoundly changed man, now endowed with uncanny mental abilities.
An ocean away, Luciano Battista wants a piece of Jake's talent. Posing as a pioneering scientist, the terrorist leader has been conducting cerebral-implant experiments in a sinister quest to create a breed of super jihadist agents...and Jake's altered brain may be the key to his success. But Jake refuses to play the pawn in an unholy war--and when an innocent woman and autistic child are taken hostage to force his cooperation, he embarks on a jihad of his own. Jake and his band of loyal friends are thrust into a deadly chase that leads from the canals of Venice through Monte Carlo and finally to an ancient cavern in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan--where Jake discovers that his newfound talents carry a hidden price that threatens the entire human race.
An "international thriller with soul." Ideal reading for fans of Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, James Rollins, Brad Thor, Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Vince Flynn.
Veterans Administration Medical Center Santa Monica, California
JAKE BRONSON SPENT THE PAST two weeks preparing to die. He just didn’t want to do it today,
trapped in this MRI scanner.
The table jiggled beneath him. He was on his way into the narrow tube like a nineteenth-
century artillery round being shoved into a cannon. The glassy-eyed gaze of the bored VA medical technician hovered over him, a yellow mustard stain on the sleeve of his lab coat.
“Keep your head perfectly still,” the tech said.
Yeah, right, like he had any choice with the two-inch-wide strap they had cinched over his forehead. Another wiggle and the lip of the tunnel passed into view above him. Jake squeezed his eyes closed, anxious to ignore the curved walls sliding by just an inch from his nose. Three deep breaths and the table jerked to a stop. He was in, cocooned from head to toe. He heard the soft whir of the ventilation fan turn on at his feet. The breeze chilled the beads of sweat gathering on his forehead.
The tech’s scratchy-sounding voice came over the speakers in the chamber. “Mr. Bronson, if you can hear me, press the button.”
A panic switch. Hadn’t he been in a constant state of panic ever since the doctors told him his disease was terminal? He’d agreed to this final test so he’d know how many months he had left to live, to make at least one positive difference in the world. After today, no more doctors. After today, he’d focus on living. Jake pressed the thumb switch gripped in his hand.
“Got it,” the tech said. “If it gets too confining for you in there, just press it again and I’ll pull you out. But remember, we’ll have to start all over again if that happens, so let’s try to get it right the first time, okay? We only need thirty minutes. Here we go.”
Jake’s thumb twitched over the panic button. Crap. He already wanted to push it. He should have accepted the sedative they had offered him in the waiting room. But his friend Marshall had been standing right there, chuckling under his breath when the tech suggested it.
Too late now.
Why the hell was this happening to him again? Cancer once in a lifetime was more than enough for anyone. But twice? It wasn’t right. He wanted to lash out, but at what? Or whom? This morning he’d smashed the small TV in his bedroom over a movie trailer for Top Gun 2. “Coming next fall.” He hated that he was going to miss that one.
The chamber felt like it was closing in on him. A claustrophobic panic sparked in his gut, a churning that grew with each pound of his heart, a hollow reminder of the crushing confines of the collapsible torture box he’d spent so many hours in during the air force’s simulated POW training camp.
Come on, Jake, man up!
Thirty minutes. That was only eighteen hundred seconds. He clenched his teeth and started counting. One, one thousand; two, one thousand; three--
The machine started up with a loud clanking noise. The sound startled him, and his body twitched.
“Please don’t move, Mr. Bronson.” The tech was irritated.
The tapping noise sounded different than he remembered from the MRI he had ten years ago. “Lymphoma,” the flight surgeon had said. “Sorry, but you’re grounded.” And just like that, Jake’s childhood dreams of flying the F-16 were cut short on the day before his first combat mission. The chemo and radiation treatments had sucked. But they worked. The cancer was forced into remission—until two weeks ago, when it reappeared in the form of a tumor in his brain.
The annoying rattle settled into a pattern. Jake let out a deep breath, trying to relax.
Eight, one thousand; nine, one thousand--
Suddenly, the entire chamber jolted violently to the right, as if the machine had been T-boned by a dump truck. Jake’s body twisted hard to one side, but his strapped head couldn’t follow. He felt a sharp pain in his neck, and the fingers on his left hand went numb. The fan stopped blowing, the lights went out, and the chamber started shaking like a gallon can in a paint-store agitator.
A keening whistle from deep within the machine sent shooting pains into Jake’s rattling skull. A warm wetness pooled in his ears and muffled his hearing.
He squeezed down hard on the panic button, shouting into the darkness, each word trembling with the quake’s vibration. “Get—me—out—of—here!”
No one answered.
He wedged his palms against the sidewalls to brace himself. The surface was warm and getting hotter.
The air felt charged with electricity. His skin tingled. Sparks skittered along the wall in front of his face, the first sign in the complete darkness that his eyes were still functioning. The acrid scent of electrical smoke filled his nostrils.
Jake’s fists pounded the thick walls of the chamber. He howled, “Somebody—”
His body went rigid. His arms and legs jerked spasmodically in seizure, his head thrown back. He bit deep into his tongue, and his mouth filled with the coppery taste of blood. Sharp, burning needles of blinding pain blossomed in the hollow at the back of his skull, wriggling through his brain. His head felt like it was ready to burst.
The earthquake ended as abruptly as it started.
So did the seizure.
Jake sagged into the table, his thumping heart threatening to break through his chest.
Faint voices. His mind lunged for them. He peered down toward his toes. A light flickered on
in the outer room. Shadows shifted.
The table jerked beneath him, rolling out into the room. When Jake’s head cleared the outer
rim of the machine, two pairs of anxious eyes stared down at him. It was the tech and Jake’s buddy Marshall.
“You okay?” Marshall asked, concern pinching his features.
Jake didn’t know whether he was okay or not. The tech helped him sit up, and Jake spun his legs to the side. He turned his head and spat a bloody glob of saliva on the floor. Holding the panic switch up to the tech, he said, “You may want to get this thing fixed.”
“I’m s-so sorry, Mr. Bronson,” the tech said. “The power went out, and I could barely keep my balance. I—”
“Forget it,” Jake said, wincing as he reached over his shoulder to massage the back of his aching neck. He gestured to the smoking chamber. “Just be glad you weren’t strapped down inside that coffin instead of me.” He slid his feet to the floor and stood up.
The room spun around him.
He felt Marshall’s firm grip on his shoulders. “Whoa, slow down, pal,” Marshall said. “You’re a mess.”
Jake shook his head. His vision steadied. “I’m all right. Just give me a second.” He took a quick inventory. The feeling had returned to his fingers. Other than a bad neck ache, a sore tongue, and a tingling sensation at the back of his head, there was no major damage. Clutching the corner of the sheet on the table, he wiped at the wetness around his ears. The cotton fabric came away with a pink tinge to it, but no more than that. He stretched his jaw to pop his ears. His hearing was fine.
Using the small sink and wall mirror by the door, Jake used a damp paper towel to make sure he got all the blood from his bitten tongue off his lips and chin. His face didn’t look so bad. The tan helped. His hair was disheveled, but what the hell, sloppy was in, right? And if he could get at least one good night of sleep, his eyes would get back to looking more green than red. It was a younger version of his dad that stared back at him. He sucked in a deep breath, expanding his chest. Six foot two, thirty-five years old—the prime of his life.
He tried to sort out just what had happened in that chamber, but the specifics were already hazy, like the fading details of a waking dream. He threw on his T-shirt and jeans and then grabbed his blue chambray shirt from a spike by the door and put that over the tee. As he slipped on his black loafers, he glanced back at the donut-shaped ring of the machine that had almost become his tomb. The seam that traveled around it was charred, with faint wisps of smoke still snaking into the air.
“Never again,” Jake muttered.
On the way out, a pretty nurse grabbed Marshall’s hand and slipped him a folded piece of paper. Jake stifled a smile. Ten to one it was her phone number, though the concerned look Marshall exchanged with her suggested otherwise.
Marshall stuffed the paper in his pocket, turned his back on her with a friendly wave, and followed Jake out the door. “Dude, you sure you’re okay?” he asked.
But an odd, sporadic buzzing in Jake’s head told him something was very different.
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The Enemy of My Enemy
Brainrush Series Book 2
The Enemy of My Enemy (Brainrush 2) became the Amazon #1 Top Rated (best reviewed) Mystery/Thriller, AND the #1 Top Rated Action/Adventure within one month of its release. It maintained the #1 or #2 slots for 10 straight months.
Bestselling author Richard Bard returns with his highly rated Brainrush thriller series, pitting hero Jake Bronson against his jihadist nemesis--and a new bioweapon that threatens the soul of every mother in America.
When a freak accident gave Jake Bronson near-superhuman mental powers and landed his loved ones in the crosshairs of an Islamic terrorist, the only way out was with guns blazing. But Jake was unable to put a stop to his nightmares or his murderous nemesis, Luciano Battista, in that ferocious Afghan mountains showdown. Now the terror czar and his minions have brought the fight to American soil--along with the most terrifying bioweapon that has ever threatened the free world. They demand vengeance, and Jake's family and friends are caught in the crossfire.
From California's beaches and Mexico's deserts to the depths of a raging underground river and the treacherous Venezuelan jungle, Jake and his unlikely alliance of combat veterans and gangsters wage a rolling war of wits, weapons, and indomitable will--to rescue those they love, to save America from extinction, and to stop a madman's bid for global conquest dead in its tracks.
Brainrush Series Book 3
With Publishers Weekly heralding the first book in his Brainrush thriller series as "terrifically entertaining" and "inventive and compelling," and Book-2 holding a death grip on the #1 or #2 slots of the Amazon Top-Rated (best reviewed) Mystery/Thriller and Action/Adventure lists for 10 straight months, Beyond Judgment, the third in the series, sees hero Jake Bronson at the mercy of his hidden past.
After waking up with amnesia from a six-year coma, Jake Bronson's past is lost to him. But that doesn't mean the past hasn't been looking for him--or that it will let him live when it finally catches up.
Jake's placid, anonymous life in Italy is shattered by the arrival of an assassination squad hell-bent on eliminating him--and he has no idea why he's in their crosshairs. He's saved only when an American scientist intervenes, wielding strange technology that briefly reactivates Jake's dormant memories and deadly skills. As unknown enemies continue to hound Jake's every step, the scientist helps him reconnect with lost friends and loved ones who believed him long dead.
Any happy reunion is forfeit, though, as Jake's murky history and mysterious talents conceal a terrible secret that--should it fall into the wrong hands--could trigger the extinction of the human race. Averting this apocalypse means Jake must risk everything to reawaken his true self and stop an ancient order from unleashing humanity's ultimate judgment.
Brainrush Series Book 4
The first three books in #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Richard Bard's Brainrush series garnered over 2,000 Amazon 5-Star reviews, setting the stage for the continuing story spanning three continents and two more books. With Brainchild (Brainrush 4) called "a high-speed thriller that ignites pages with scenes of action and suspense" by Kirkus Reviews, and Smoke & Mirrors (Brainrush 5) named "best book of the year" by IndieReader.com, this mind-gripping adventure is sure to capture the imagination long after the final heart-stopping chapter.
A gifted boy forced to grow up too fast... A father who will do anything to protect him... A madman bent on destroying them both.
In Amsterdam, a visionary scientist is laying the groundwork for a cybernetic life-extension project that will transfer individual consciousness to a personalized avatar. Halfway around the world, his brilliant grandson is secretly planning to use the same technology to infiltrate the world's most secure networks. But the scientific advances necessary to perfect the brain-to-computer interface are slow in coming, too slow for the aging founder of the Everlast foundation--who may die before realizing his dream of immortality--and too slow for his ruthless grandson, who will stop at nothing to attain the recognition that is his birthright.
Caught in the middle are Jake Bronson and his seven-year-old son, Alex, whose combined mental gifts might provide the key to leapfrogging the impasse.
When Jake's family and closest friends are simultaneously abducted in a globally coordinated kidnapping scheme, he races across two continents before uncovering the first clue to their whereabouts, unaware that his hostage son and teenage siblings crash-landed in the jungles of South China, where they must find every ounce of their courage and wits to survive the wilds and escape the ruthless drug lord who is hot on their heels. Can a seven-year-old boy learn to kill to save his family?
Smoke & Mirrors
Brainrush Series Book 5
Named "Best Book of the Year!" by IndieReader.com
Smoke & Mirrors (Brainrush 5) is the exciting conclusion to Brainchild, Book-4 of the Brainrush series.
A gifted boy forced to grow up too fast... A father who will do anything to protect him... A madman bent on destroying them both.
Jake Bronson and his seven-year-old son, Alex, possess mental gifts that could provide the missing link to a cybernetic life-extension project that will transfer individual consciousness to a personalized avatar. But those same gifts are sought by a Chinese underworld mastermind who will use them to infiltrate the world's most secure networks.
As the story continues from Book-4 of the Brainrush series, Alex and his brother and his sister are lost, and Jake's wife and best friends have been taken hostage. Jake will risk everything to save them, and he is thrust into a frantic race that takes him from the back alleys of Hong Kong to the depths of the South China jungles, where he must lever every scrap of his failing abilities to rescue his loved ones and crush a madman's plans to bring the world to its knees.
Brainrush Series Book 6
#1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Richard Bard, who entertained fans with his wildly successful Brainrush thriller series, now unleashes the heart-pounding series finale in a two-book ride that will take your breath away.
Jake Bronson's family and friends are mourning him. They'd watched as he sacrificed himself so their lives could return to normal. But normal wasn't to be. The megalomaniac whom Jake had killed during his suicide assault left a legacy of videos that damn Jake and everyone associated with him, leading to a price being put on their heads, dead or alive. They go to ground, unaware their every move is being tracked by a new breed of young, tech-savvy jihadists about to unleash vengeance on America's homeland--with Jake's family and the unsuspecting citizens of Los Angeles in their crosshairs.
As the jaws of the terrorist trap begin to close, Jake's eight-year-old son, Alex, faces a threat of his own. He carries a deadly secret that endangers the world, and now that his father is dead, Alex is the only one who can deal with it. He slips away to heed the call of unearthly visions that demand his presence, and his journey draws him to the back alleys of Bogota, Columbia, where he encounters a group of terminally ill orphans. One of their siblings has been abducted by child traffickers. Alex can't ignore their cry for help, and the unlikely alliance plans a nothing-to-lose rescue mission that has little chance of success.
But the bloodthirsty outcry against Alex's family and friends reaches beyond those who wish them harm, as do the visions that reveal their dark secrets to Alex. Help is on the way...
Against All Odds
Brainrush Series Book 7
The highly anticipated series finale to the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller Publishers Weekly called "a terrifically entertaining thriller!"
In this conclusion to Richard Bard's popular Brainrush series, Jake Bronson's family and friends face their biggest threat ever. The startling challenges revealed in No Refuge (book 6) are coming to a head, and the team must wrest every resource available to them in hopes of preventing a terror-driven cataclysm unlike anything America has seen.
But the menace from within America's borders pales by comparison to the global threat revealed to 8-year-old Alex Bronson in a series of otherworldly visions. And Alex isn't the only one targeted by the mind-bending revelations.
The stakes are higher than ever. The fates of America and the world hang in the balance, and Jake Bronson's family and friends must risk everything to tip the scales against evil.
Releases September 12th!!
A Brainrush Novella
From #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Richard Bard comes a heart-pounding adventure of love, loyalty, and survival - as a gifted child faces the ultimate question of whether or not he can kill in order to save his loved ones.
A gifted 7-year-old boy and his teen siblings are ripped from their peaceful lives--kidnapped by a sinister organization determined to get back at their father. But when their plane crashes an ocean away in the bear-infested jungles of South China, the mysterious motive behind their abduction is the least of their problems, and they must lever every ounce of their courage and wits to survive the wilds and escape the ruthless drug lord who is hot on their heels.
Important Note: Gifted is a compilation novella taken from the Brainrush thriller novels Brainchild and Smoke & Mirrors, which are books four and five of the series. If you've read those full-length novels, then you've already read most of the contents of this novella. If you'd prefer to read the entire series from start to finish, then you'll be happy to learn that Brainrush (Book-1) is currently available FREE.
FREE on Amazon!
Richard Bard draws on his own experiences as a former USAF pilot and cancer survivor to craft compelling characters who risk it all for love and loyalty. Born in Munich, Germany, to American parents, he joined the United States Air Force like his father. But he left the service when he was diagnosed with cancer and learned he had only months to live. He earned a management degree from the University of Notre Dame and ran three successful companies involving advanced security products used by US embassies and governments worldwide. Now a full-time writer, he lives in Redondo Beach, California, with his wife and remains in excellent health.
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Escape To You by Jennifer Ryan
A Montana man always protects the woman he loves
He discovered her during a Montana blizzard, freezing cold, impossibly vulnerable, a little boy by her side. Undercover DEA Agent Beck “Trigger” Cooke is astonished to recognize Ashley Swan—award-winning actress, famous beauty—and missing for over a year. To keep her and the child hidden from a sadistic madman, he secrets the pair away to his isolated home.
No longer a prisoner, and protected at Hope Ranch, Ashley recovers and learns the tall, tempting federal agent may have a dark past, but it hasn’t destroyed his sense of honor.
As they shed past roles and find common ground, Ashley and Trigger can’t help but fall slowly, carefully, in love. But danger still lurks outside the boundaries of Hope Ranch, for until her crazed captor is brought to justice, and Trigger’s undercover past is laid to rest, none of them will ever be truly safe…
Escape To You is an intense, riveting, beautiful love story that was easy to get lost in.
I adore the strong characters Jennifer Ryan creates, the stories are always filled with heart, heat, and danger, and Escape To You lived up to all my expectations on each of those points with added originality when it came to the plot and the setup.
Beck “Trigger” Cooke is a hero easy to fall for. With his tough and rough exterior, he tries to keep people at arm's length, yet I took a notice on him in the previous books by the author where he was a secondary character. Inside of that fierce looking man is a kind, tender hearted, good guy, with a solid character. He seems to come alive upon meeting Ashley and Adam, his bond with them is instant and true.
Ashley Swan has been in hell for the past year, facing unimaginable abuse and torment. (This story has brutal abuse and violence against a woman, and a child, that might be a trigger to some.) Her amazing survival instinct carries her forward in life, her guts and perseverance, her good heart and kindness, her determination and courage are remarkable.
I love how the story was built, from the viciously tense beginning to the building of the relationship, the romance, the suspense, the overall story, had a seamless flow and held my interest until the wee hours of the morning. The conflicts in the story come from the outside threats and pressure, the love that awakens between Ashley and Beck - while instant - felt real and credible to me. The bond they both have with Adam was the most adorable thing to witness, Adam's trust in them heartwarming and sweet.
From heart-stopping danger and fear to ardent love and tenderness this story has an excellent balance of joy and gloom when two broken down souls, find a connection and home within each other, yet has to fight for the peaceful and love filled future, put their lives on the line to make it happen. With the fairytale type of ending, that had me sighing and swooning, the story was an intriguing and alluring tale that I truly enjoyed!
~ Four Spoons with teaspoon on the side
“What’s wrong?” Trigger asked.
The softness in his voice made Ashley look up at him. Way up. The man was so tall.
She found her voice under the wave of fear gripping her. “I know you don’t mean to, but you’re scaring me.”
“Look at me, Ashley.”
She sucked in a breath, found a shred of bravery from the tatters of her will, and raised her gaze to meet his.
“I will never hurt you.”
She fell into the depths of gray and flecks of blue in his eyes and drowned in the sincerity and promise she found there. Deep down, she believed him. Part of her needed to believe him, because she needed something real to hold on to before she sank any deeper into despair and the paranoia that everyone wanted to hurt her.
She nodded. “If he finds me, he’ll kill me.”
“He’ll have to get past me first.”
Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted, McBride, and Montana Men series. She writes suspenseful contemporary romances with outrageous plot twists, deeply emotional love stories, high stakes and higher drama. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.
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With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society's expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn't tear them apart first.
Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father's name. One man holds the key to Sy's success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville's society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he's found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison's fiancee—and what has broken her heart.
Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen's university in the United States. But family—and Nashville society—do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both. Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy's roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor?
Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn't count on is having to wager her heart to do it.
Set against the real history of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won.
Read a sample HERE
Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling author and one of today's most popular writers in the inspirational historical fiction genre. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, not far from the Southern mansions that serve as the backdrop for six of her award-winning novels.
Connect with Tamera Website | Facebook | Twitter
The Dark Side
Nocturnal Secrets Book 1
by Cyci Cade
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: Sept 19th, 2017
“At that moment, he notices how vulnerable he is in front that creature; his life hangs by a thread—or what will remain of it if he doesn't die due to the severe burns.”
“Condemned to the eternal solitude, he wants to live his best possible life because he will have too many centuries of existence and he doesn't need to carry the weight of the guilt for had killed uncountable people to satiate his hunger.”
Ivor Alastair has many plans for his future, but they are frustrated when his parents are murdered. In danger, he cannot stay in the city he grew up and have friends anymore. Forced to move to London to live with his uncle, Ivor tries to restart his life. However, a new tragedy devastates the small family.
Alone and devastated, Ivor feels lost and without strength to move on. After a year traveling to forget his past and erase the sorrow, he discovers that it will not be so easy.
Back to London, Ivor sees his life change again when a mysterious creature with an incredibly white skin that seems made of marble and red eyes that demonstrate a frightening ferocity crosses his way.
An unexpected encounter with Arabella makes Ivor think that his loneliness will stay behind; as decades pass, he realizes that he is more alone than never.
Decided to change his story, Ivor makes a decision. He will not kill anymore!
Ivor Alastair lost his parents, house, and life. Now, he will have to restart, but will it be possible?
A month later, Amelie dies. Again, sadness falls over the family that now summarizes to two people. Uncle Victor remains silent—he rarely says a word. He is ways staring at something distant; he is thoughtful and tearful. It seems that he aged ten years in a few days.
Ivor, on the other hand, doesn't know what to do or say to comfort his uncle who received him in his house and family after his parents' death with open arms. Amelie was as his second mother. The aunt loved him in the same way his mother did, that´s why he can´t comfort his uncle. He is also suffering from the loss of the woman who helped him move on after such a hard blow of the destiny.
In a few days, Victor starts to show the symptoms of the damned disease; even having so much money, he couldn´t save his wife, and he can´t save himself.
“Ivor, we know what is about to happen. We need to have the last conversation. Take a seat in that armchair on the other side of the room.” Victor sits down on the sofa staying away from the nephew.
“Uncle, you still have some months.” Ivor sits down and tries to drag the chair closer to the uncle.
“I talked to the doctor... I will go to the hospital. Everything in this house will be incinerated. You must buy new furniture and utensils. You must redecorate the house.”
“It will be better in this way. I am transferring everything to your name; the properties, the businesses, this house... Regarding your father´s house and factory, I thought about hiring a trustworthy person to...”
Ivor interrupts him, “You thought about everything. How long have you been planning it?”
“Since I realized the gravity of the situation.” Victor takes the handkerchief to the mouth and coughs.
“I don't want any of that! Everything is yours!”
“Ivor, I am dying, and you are my only heir.” He pants before continuing, “I trust you. I know you will be a successful businessman.”
Victor leans forward. “You mustn´t say who you are. Never! The police haven´t found your parents' murderers yet. Don't trust anybody.”
Ivor gets up and walks back and forth. He walks two steps in the uncle's direction but hesitates when he sees the uncle covering his mouth and coughing. “Do you think I am in danger?”
“Maybe. The factory is good; the manager has communicated some purchase proposals during these years, but anything suspicious. Probably, Giles was not killed because of the businesses.”
“I want to make a request. I must stay here, therefore, sell the factory and the house, because I won't support to return to that place.”
“Are you sure? We are talking about your inheritance.”
“I am. I cannot manage that business. I prefer to sell everything instead of hiring an administrator,” he affirms.
“I´ll sell the factory, but keep the house. One day, you will want to return.” Victor points his trembling finger to Ivor.
The uncle's words sound like a curse—or maybe a premonition. His face tenses and his feature darken.
Uncomfortable with the situation, he answers, “I don´t think so.”
With difficulty, Victor gets up and climbs the stairs heading to his bedroom. Soon, he will go to the hospital and Ivor will be alone in that big house. Desperate, he looks for someone who can help him in his thoughts in such a difficult moment. His few friends are distant for Ivor to ask for help; the employees respect him, however, he wants to keep things on a professional level.
Cyci Cade is advertising professional, writer, and graphic designer. She writes YA fantasy, fiction, and romance novels.
She started her career writing articles for magazines, newspapers, and blogs. She published her first books in 2012, and their success encouraged her to keep writing.
Nowadays, she splits her time between her writing and the gym—one of her favorites places where she spends three hours per day.
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He's come back to Copper Ridge, Oregon, to keep a promise—even if it means losing his heart…
Putting down roots in Copper Ridge was never Alex Donnelly's intention. But if there's one thing the ex-military man knows, it's that life rarely unfolds as expected. If it did, his best friend and brother-in-arms would still be alive. And Alex wouldn't have inherited a ranch or responsibility for his late comrade's sister—a woman who, despite her inexperience, can bring tough-as-iron Alex to his knees.
Clara Campbell didn't ask for a hero to ride in and fix her ranch and her life. All she wants is the one thing stubborn, honorable Alex is reluctant to give: a chance to explore their intense chemistry. But Clara has a few lessons to teach him, too…about trusting his heart and his instincts, and letting love take him on the wildest adventure of all.
I waited to write this review hoping I would be a bit less emotional mess than I was when I finished the book, but I don't think there's hope for that. I absolutely loved Alex and Clara and their story to happily ever after. I think this is my favorite Copper Ridge novel, it just hit me in the core, and touched every single emotion on its way.
Alex Donnelly is a war veteran, the youngest brother in the dysfunctional Donnelly family. His parents did a number on him by the emotional neglect, and enforcing the thoughts of him not being enough, not being valued or cared for. His best friend died while they are deployed, and left the family ranch for Alex's care, to make sure his sister, Clara, will be set for life as the only surviving member of the family.
Clara Campbell (that last name with her eating habits is just perfect!) has lost every member of her family, yet she is surviving, barely functioning, yes, but continuing on. She has lived her life on the family ranch, teaching herself how to live, how to take care of herself and manage life with so much loss surrounding her. She is a virgin with limited life experience outside her safe circle, yet with a vast knowledge of life, loss, sorrow, and survival.
Her loneliness was heartbreaking, how death has taken everything dear to her, leaving her gasping. Yet I am not sure which is worse, her destiny, or the one of Alex's where his parents choose to leave him behind and ignore him instead. They have the feelings of solitude and survival as the common factor as other wise they are the complete opposite.
The amount of emotion the author has managed to fit on each page of the story blew me away. The feelings are raw and real, they are tense and bottomless. They are both broken inside, vulnerable under the tough exterior. They have hidden the burden of pain from the world with smiles but with each other, they find the courage and the challenge to be true to themselves acceptable.
I love how the story was built with long, deep, difficult conversations where the characters had a chance to air out their emotions, their disappointments, and triumphs of life. The conversations between Alex and Clara, the talks between Alex and his brothers, they go deep into their thoughts and feelings, to a mentally naked place where there's nothing left to hide. These characters truly get to know each other, giving a solid foundation to built their relationships on, instead of just being present, or physically satisfying their needs. They are able and willing to do the hard things to heal, to grow, and to find their peace and place in life.
The story is not all angst and tears, it is well built with a balance of dark and light. There are joy and cheer, there are moments of laughter, amusing banter, brotherly love, and passion and tenderness between a woman and a man. Yet instead of going overboard with sexual tension, the author goes deep and exposes all the difficult, hurtful inner thoughts and emotions, giving the story beautiful depth and graceful character development. Wild Ride Cowboy is easily one of my favorite stories from 2017
~ Five Spoons
Dakota's Delight: A SEALs of Honor Novel
Author: Dale Mayer
Valley Publishing Limited
Military, Suspense, Romance
When a young woman darts into traffic and into Dakota’s path, life takes a dark turn for both of them.
Bailey, recovering from the loss of her husband, retreated from life. Going to work and coming home was the extent of her days and weeks. Until she walks into work early one morning, witnesses a murder and flees into traffic, nearly getting killed.
The near death experience awakens the spark of life inside of her. So does the man in the car. A different kind of a spark.
For her safety, Dakota persuades her to move into the compound with him and the rest of the Legendary family while they track down the killers.
Bailey is forced to accept Dakota’s help. But can she stay safe long enough for the police to track down the killer? Or is the man who almost ran her over going to steal her heart?
I have done several promos for this series before, but I haven't had a chance to review one of the books until now, so this book number nine is my first book in the series, and with this author. Even though the previous couples are a secondary part of the story, and most of them present at the compound, in my opinion, this book was easily read as a stand-alone novel.
I found the premises, the compound, intriguing. As well as the brotherhood of the company, and the familiar feeling of all the inhabitants. The deep connection was there, the team work effortless, and the mutual appreciation and respect evident.
Dakota, the former SEAL, has the biggest heart inside the tough exterior. He looks after the people around him, he is kind and caring, and a considerate man. And he surprisingly easily opens up to a total stranger, taking her to his care and assuming the responsibility of her.
Bailey is a widowed chef, just barely healing from the sorrow of losing her husband, more of existing than living her life. When she witnesses a crime on the street and tries to escape the crime scene she gets bumped by Dakota's car. From the very first they open up to each other and share intimate details of their lives. The bond they form is obvious, Bailey's blind trust towards Dakota was startling to me, but even more so Dakota's willingness to open up the compound for a stranger and taking on the obligation to care for her.
The story is very detail oriented with most of the details indicating the life at the compound and Bailey's adjustment to the environment while she is healing. The intensity of the threat surrounding Bailey and the suspense from the attacks seem to drown into the details of the mundane routine of the life at the compound.
Though the friendship was tight and fast to form between Dakota and Bailey, the romantic feelings and the development of the relationship gets a bare mention towards the end. I would have liked to see more communication, deeper bonding, and intimacy (I don't mean sex) between them to make the romantic aspect solid and sound.
The epilogue at the end of the book is a teaser for the next title to come in the series.
Life after military service can be challenging and to get back to civilian life taxing. Here the heroes for hire have created a commune where they have a place to live, share life together, have a meaningful new career using their talents from the military life while protecting and serving people in need. With this new life, they have the support of each other, they have the chance to fall in love and form life long bonds with their close ones. The danger and peril still lurk around them, yet the conflicts and fighting are controlled and precise.
A fascinating premise for the series, with charming characters facing life together and falling in love while fighting the criminals and keeping everyone around them safe
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It's a Dog's Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her - and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.
To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her WEBSITE. Or connect with her online with TWITTER and on FACEBOOK. If you like Dale Mayer's books and are interested in joining her STREET TEAM it is linked here.
Monday, September 4
Book featured at Books, Dreams, Life
Book featured at Wonderful World of Books
Tuesday, September 5
Book featured at A Title Wave
Wednesday, September 6
Book reviewed at Warrior Woman Winmill
Book reviewed at The Book Junkie Reads
Thursday, September 7
Book reviewed at Books and Spoons
Book featured at Chill and Read
Friday, September 8
Book featured at Lisa's Book Blog
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Monday, September 11
Book featured at CGB Blog Tours
Book featured at Jen's Reading Obsession
Tuesday, September 12
Book featured at I'm Shelf-ish
Wednesday, September 13
Book featured at A Book Lover
Thursday, September 14
Book featured at The Dark Phantom
Book reviewed at Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm
Book featured at The Bookworm Chronicles
Book featured at Naughty Book Eden
Friday, September 15
Guest blogging at Indie Wish List
Book reviewed at Panty Dropping Book Blog
Book featured at Teatime and Books
Sparks fly when a journalist and a Navy SEAL cross paths in Thailand in this third entry in the thrilling and sexy Alpha Crew series from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.
Journalist Karly Bonham is on her first overseas mission, covering the new United States ambassador to Thailand, when she is taken hostage by terrorists, with only her wits and courage to keep her alive—until help arrives in the form of Navy SEAL Ethan Dunn.
As part of an elite SEAL team called Alpha Crew, Ethan has been on countless harrowing missions, but he knows this one is different the instant he meets Karly—the sexy young reporter who somehow managed to escape the terrorists’ clutches. Ethan is impressed by her, especially when he learns she has intel that could be the key to a successful rescue op. Ethan knows working with a civilian raises the stakes on an already dangerous mission. But with the clock ticking down, he enlists Karly’s help to thwart a vicious plot and bring a terrorist mastermind to justice.
Intense action novella filled with thrilling suspense and budding romance.
This is my first book in the series, and even though it is different in style from the Tracer novels I have truly enjoyed from the author, it still has that smooth flow of the tale, the kind of scary action that had me curling my toes, and the kind of connection between hero and heroine that you are rooting for them to be able to make it, and build the kind of relationship that would bind them for life.
Journalist Karly Bonham is a people person. Her ability to find the common ground with the interviewee and listen to them makes them open up to her, giving her a leg up on her career. She is smart and holds herself together during the crisis. Her career is what she wants to focus on, after being burned too many times with failing relationships.
Navy SEAL Ethan Dunn is a man of action, a typical alpha male with a commanding presence and caring heart. For the first time in his life, he is falling, and falling hard, for Karly. I loved how open Ethan was with his feelings and his intentions with Karly, it was refreshing. They were such a great match, from the burning physical attraction to their interests, to how they calmed each other and the mental storms raging in their minds in the middle of the mayhem and its aftermath. They have a lot of obstacles on their way, not only the distance and challenge of the military relationships but Karly's doubts and insecurities as well.
The action comes in waves, and when the waves come they have a tsunami kind of effect. It is intense, fierce, and alarming with horrifying realities.
This story definitely could have carried a full-length book, but even as a novella, it delivered a satisfying and entertaining tale. I couldn't help but wonder if Karly didn't have her fears about failed relationships maybe they would have had a chance to develop a deeper connection, but that often is the case with a well written, engaging novella with enticing characters, you are left wanting more even though happy with the events provided.
I liked the balance of suspense and romance in the tale, I thought the timing was spot on. The lull between the action, the weeks going by, gave a foundation for the emotions deepen and the feelings to grow.
Chilling, brutal, and savage action mixed with passionate, amorous romance between charismatic characters
~ Four Spoons
This Buckhorn man will have to prove his worth to the woman of his dreams—don't miss this fan-favorite novella from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster, available as a standalone ebook for the first time… Originally published as Buckhorn Ever After in 2013
Ranger Shohn Hudson can't help but notice a few things about Nadine Moest. She's gorgeous, she's smart, she's driven, and… she's apparently not into him. At all. Shohn's used to being chased, so having the one woman who matters resist his charms is not what he signed up for.
The last thing Nadine wants is to be the latest notch on gorgeous Shohn's bedpost. But Shohn is determined to win her trust—nd her heart. Once Nadine learns more about the man underneath his cocky exterior, will she start to crack? Let the battle of wills begin…
The story of Shohn Hudson and Nadine Moest was a fun read. It is a novella that was first published 2013 as part of an anthology. While reading it I knew it was a reprint, yet I thought it dated even further back since the demeanor and attitude of the characters reminded me of the first Harlequin books I read a few decades ago.
Nadine is a curvy girl, and I loved that. She was a strong, capable, and caring person. She runs her own successful business and is liked by all. She has had a crush on Shohn since they were kids, yet she has no desire to be one of his conquests, another notch in his bedpost.
Shohn is a notorious ladies man. He can charm them all and he knows it and enjoys it. Except for Nadine who does not seem to care about his flirting. Shohn seems to take this as a challenge and sets a plan to seduce Nadine.
The banter between them is entertaining, the back and forth goes on through the tale. Novella length does not give you much room for character development and a meaningful conflict, but I doubted Shohn's feelings, I was not sure if Nadine was a challenge to him or was there deeper meaning with his relentless pursuit. I also was surprised that the strong and capable woman that Nadine was introduced as swooned when Shohn paid attention to her, was complete putty in his hands. But maybe some books should just be enjoyed for the amusing repartee and sizzling physical chemistry - Shohn had plenty of both of them.
A nice rainy evening read
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Seeds of Intention
Hesse Creek Series Book 2
by Andrea Thome
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Is it more important to have roots, or wings?
Garrett Oliver has just settled into his job as heir apparent to one of the most renowned master gardeners in the country. After a difficult few years, he’s found a home and a renewed purpose at a famed resort in the secluded Smoky Mountains. The stars seem to be aligning for Garrett as he plans a future with his college sweetheart and envisions a simple life with her in the mountains of East Tennessee.
Willow Armstrong, fresh off a painful breakup, is coming home to Knoxville to care for her ailing father. She finds herself in the right place at the right time, landing a dream job alongside Garrett—as his boss. As they are thrown together by their work, an undeniable magnetism grows between them, despite the fact that Garrett is ready to start a future with someone else.
Circumstances persist in drawing them closer, and an unexpected opportunity in Colorado prompts Willow and Garrett to wonder if a life together out west might be beyond anything either of them had dared to imagine.
I'm a former broadcast journalist, having covered both sports and news during my career. (That's how I met my husband; I interviewed him on MLB opening day in 1995, and the rest is history.) I temporarily retired when we had our children, so I could be home with them full-time while they're young. We have a fourteen-year-old daughter, a nine-year-old son, and two cats that we spoil rotten.
This seemed like the perfect time in my life to jump back into doing something I love; writing and telling stories. No one was more surprised than me when I ended up with 65,000 words in my lap last spring! I called it Walland, and it was published in August of 2016. My second book, Seeds of Intention will be published on September 5, 2017, and as we speak, I've started to write a new book, the third in the Hesse Creek Series.
In my spare time, I love photography and travel, preferably at the same time. My novels are inspired by favorite places I've traveled, each of which have left vivid footprints on my imagination. I believe a book can be steamy and sexy, while still keeping it classy. I also love to infuse my characters with great senses of humor.
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