Welcome to Gold Valley, Oregon, where a rough-and-tumble rancher and the girl next door are about to learn that opposites attract
Olivia Logan has a plan: win back her ex by making him see what he’s missing. But first she needs to find a man who’s willing to play along. With his laid-back cowboy charm and knack for getting under her skin, Luke Hollister is an unlikely hero—but he wants her help convincing her father to sell him land, which means he needs her as much as she needs him.
Luke likes his life—and his women—uncomplicated. So why does good girl Olivia heat his blood like no one else? She’s always been off-limits, but the more time they spend as Gold Valley’s hottest new “couple,” the more real it’s starting to feel. Luke was supposed to help her win back another man…not keep her in his arms. But now that he has her there, he’s not sure he’ll ever let go.
I absolutely loved this story. I pretty much inhaled it when I first read it, and then started to read it again.
Olivia Logan and Luke Hollister just won my heart over, with their characters and with the life lessons they learned on the way. The connection between them was solid, real, passionate, and lasting. They had known each other for twenty years and through those years an odd-kind of deep-rooted friendship had developed between them that had always included a lot of teasing, banter, and arguments that had the air around them virtually vibrating.
Olivia was the 'good twin' that had always been very goal oriented, a plan-maker, who had stamina and guts to go after what she wanted, or what she thought would be good for her, and for the image of her that she did her best to uphold for her parents' sake. They had enough heartache with her troubled twin, so Olivia was determined never to cause any waves, problems, or gossip that her parents had to endure because of her.
Luke is the kind of man everyone likes. He has the easy smiles, the way to smooth things over, to keep everyone happy and smiling, no drama, no deep emotions, no close relationship, and a smile that quite didn't reach his eyes. Yet inside there was a man who had loved deeply and lost everything. He was a loyal, hard-working, kind, generous, good-hearted fella who had no need for relationships or feelings. Until Olivia's flat tire, break up with Bennett, and the pretend boyfriend he promised to be to irritate the ex.
The heart to heart talks between Olivia and Luke, and even with Bennett, the secrets and hidden thoughts they share, the life lessons they learn, and the a-ha moments with their lives they have were insightful, inspirational, and encouraging. I love it when a story speaks to my heart and Smooth-Talking Cowboy definitely did that to me.
I fell in love with Olivia and Luke, with their loyalty, vulnerability, honesty, and eagerness to grasp for what life has to offer for them. There is so much passion, love, and tender feelings between them, so many swoon-worthy moments that had me sighing. They learn, grow, and develop as the story progress, yet their never loss that quirky banter and joy-filled humor that made me smile repeatedly. They might seem like the opposite at the first glance, but when they open up their hearts and minds to each other, there is likeness there and a conjunction that will last a lifetime.
It is no secret that I adore Maisey Yates' writing, there is always something in her stories that hit me in my heart and stays there. Smooth-Talking cowboy is an alluring, unputdownable story that I highly recommend to all the readers who love tales with deep, ardent emotions and charming characters who are easy to relate to and who grow and thrive as the story progress.
~ Five Spoons!
Trouble always finds her…
Wrapping up a normal day at the office, criminal psychologist Kieran Finnegan is accosted by a desperate woman who shoves an infant into her arms and then flees, only to be murdered minutes later on a busy Manhattan street.
Who was the woman? Where did the baby come from? Kieran can’t stop thinking about the child and the victim, so her boyfriend, Craig Frasier, does what any good special agent boyfriend would do – he gets the FBI involved. And asks Kieran to keep out of it.
But the Finnegans have a knack for getting into trouble, and Kieran won’t sit idle when a lead surfaces through her family’s pub. Investigating on her own, she uncovers a dangerous group that plays fast and loose with human lives and will stop at nothing to keep their secrets – and they plan to silence Kieran before she can expose their deadly enterprise.
Babies tended to be adorable—and this baby was especially so. In fact, Kieran wasn’t sure she’d ever seen an ugly baby, but she had been assured by friends that they did exist.
This little girl, though, had a headful of auburn ringlets and huge blue eyes. Kieran had heard that all babies had blue eyes, but she didn’t know if that was true or not. Sadly, she just didn’t know a lot about babies; she was one in a family of four children herself, yes, but she and her twin brother, Kevin, were only a couple of years behind their older brother and one year older than their younger brother.
Actually, this beautiful baby looked as if she could fit right in with their family. Each of the Finnegan siblings had a form of red hair and blue or green or blue-green eyes. Kieran’s own were blue, and her hair was a deep red.
“They say it’s the Irish,” she said softly to the little one in her arms. “But I don’t think that you’re Irish!”
Talking to the baby made sense at the moment; FBI Special Agent Craig Frasier, the love of her life and often partner in crime—solving crime, not committing it!—had arrived shortly after the police. The medical examiner had come for the body of the murdered woman. While waiting for Child Services, Kieran was holding the baby, back up in the office.
Drs. Fuller and Miro worked with the police or other law enforcement. While not with the FBI, they were regular profilers and consultants for the NYC office. The Bureau’s behavioral science teams were down in DC, and while they could be called in, the city police and FBI often used local help in trying to get a step ahead of a criminal, or in working with criminals and witnesses when psychological assessments were needed, or, sometimes, when a child or a distressed person just needed to be able to speak to someone to ask the right questions and put them at ease. Kieran did a number of those assessments before reporting to the doctors, and she worked with victims of domestic abuse and both parents and children when they wound up within the child welfare system—such as a teenager who had been assaulted by her own father, or a senior citizen who was recovering from gunshot wounds inflicted by his wife. Or Kieran’s last patient today, Besa Goga. Besa was a sad case, abused for years when she’d first immigrated to the country, and now quick to strike out. Besa Goga was in court-ordered therapy because she’d bitten a man from her cable company. Kieran had only been seeing her a few weeks.
But the office didn’t always work through the police department, FBI or other such agencies. They also handled other cases that fell their way through happenstance or other circumstances—as in the recovering alcoholic who was also a politician and doing very well with Dr. Fuller.
Kieran had called her bosses to let them know what had happened. Both had said they’d come in immediately.
She had assured them that they shouldn’t; the police were dealing with the murder, and Child Services was coming for the baby.
Dr. Fuller—who had looks as dreamy as any TV physician—was at an event with his equally beautiful wife and their six-year-old. Dr. Miro was giving a keynote speech at a conference in Southern Jersey.
Kieran had convinced them both that she was fine, that it was just strange and scary.
The poor murdered woman hadn’t been scary; she had touched Kieran’s heart. She had needed help so badly. But she had called Kieran by name. And that made Kieran wonder.
She sat out in the waiting area of the offices—right where the woman had come up to her, right where the baby had been thrust into her arms. She thought that the baby was bound to cry again soon. That’s what babies did. They were hungry or wet or had gas or…who knew? She just really didn’t have much experience. And she had no clue as to the child’s age. But with little else to do—and probably in a bit of shock herself, despite the fact that she’d now thrown herself into the crime-fighting ring for a few years and had seen some shocking things--she talked to the baby. She made soothing noises, discussed her own uncertainty with a cheerful voice, and made a few faces here and there.
She could swear that the baby smiled.
Did babies smile this young?
She knew that those who knew—experienced parents, grandparents, and so on—claimed babies did not smile until a certain age.
This one, she was certain, smiled. She waved her little fists in the air and grinned toothlessly. She even cooed.
“Hey!” Craig had come back up to the offices after checking out the scene on the street.
He nodded to the policeman at the door. Since Kieran had no idea what was going on, and since a woman who had been looking for her had just been stabbed to death, having a policeman standing guard was very reassuring, and Kieran was grateful.
She looked up at Craig, hopeful. Though, of course, she doubted that he or the police or anyone—other than the killer—knew who had stabbed the woman, or why.
“You okay?” he asked her.
“I’m fine. I was handed the baby. I don’t think anyone was after me for any reason at all, but…oh, Lord. Craig, you don’t think it’s my fault, do you? I mean, if I hadn’t chased after her—”
“Kieran,” he said, hunkering down by her. “No.” His voice was firm and—as usual—filled with confidence and authority. Craig had been a special agent with the FBI for a good decade. He always seemed to exude a comfortable assurance and strength—things she had to admit she loved about him. Well, along with rock-hard abs, a solid six-three frame and the fact that the term tall, dark and handsome might have been conceived just for him. He had hazel eyes that were like marble, seemed to see far too much, and still…well, in her mind, they were just beautiful.
“It happened all so fast,” Kieran murmured.
Craig adjusted the blanket around the baby. Kieran thought she cooed and smiled for him, too, but it was hard to tell.
Smile…maybe gas. Who knew?
They’re both undercover…
And in way over their heads.
To arrest a powerful cult leader, Officer Simon Woolridge needs evidence former group member Andi Matheson doesn’t know she has.
But the pregnant heiress is being targeted by two killers—and hiding even more secrets.
Now as she and Simon go on the run through a ferocious Colorado blizzard, her resourcefulness ignites a passion the cynical agent never saw coming… and a trap they have only one shot to survive.
An invigorating ride to escape The Family cult, and its deadly and dangerous leader. The mini-series about the Ranger Brigade's investigation to The Family comes to a thrilling and treacherous end, where Asteria's fate and future are resolved.
Asteria, aka Andi Matheson, has been part of each story from the beginning of the series. Her back-story is a twisted mangle of betrayal, deceit, and disappointments. She is pregnant with a child of an FBI agent who turned out be married with a family. Her father is a former senator who in revenge went and killed the FBI agent and is now in prison. She was the lover of the Prophet at The Family camp yet she found out he was sleeping with other women as well.
Andi has come across as a desolate, desperate, yet not very warm and friendly person since the beginning of the series. I was worried that I could not connect with her and could not learn to like her but that was an unfounded worry, indeed. When I got to know the story from Andi's point of view and when I see the thoughts and emotions gerning inside her, my heart went out to her immediately. She is determined to change her sociality lifestyle of superficial connections, and in the process, without any guidance, got lost and misguided, bringing her to the situation she is now in. She is a loving, caring, and passionate woman, who wants to find her place in the world, take care of her child and build a good, solid future for both of them.
Officer Simon Woolridge has also made an appearance in the previous novels in the series, but more in the background than Andi. Simon is a marvelous character, he is by-the-book law enforcement agent, he is stubborn, judgmental, and quick to make up his mind. He comes across at first as a crumby and uptight, but inside there is a loving, caring, considerate man with a passionate heart and deep, burning attraction for Andi and need to keep her and her baby safe. I absolutely loved Simon, with all the imperfections that he owned and admitted himself, as well.
The road Andi and Simon have to take to find the new beginning, to find safety and peace is a roll-a-coaster ride of danger, threats, and attacks. The constant menace, peril, and death threats keep the intensity high throughout the story. The mishaps and lack of backup keep both Andi and Simon on their toes, causing them to make few costly mistakes.
The relationship between Andi and Simon is filled with passion and tender, sweet feelings. I thought the connection between them was authentic. I believed in the feelings developing between them despite Andi's past. The ending was just perfect considering everything they, and especially Andi, had gone through in the previous year.
Andi and Dimon's story felt like 'this is how it was supposed to work out' and it felt right and destined to be so. So many swoon-worthy moments, so much emotion, and affection. It was hard to pick up my favorite moment, my favorite scene.
I have enjoyed this series from the very beginning with its unique setting, the alluring and engaging cast of characters, each story unique, filled with emotions and danger.
An exciting, entertaining, and captivating tale that had me up late at night so I could make sure that justice was served, that Andi and Simon found their safe haven in life, their destiny, and future together.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
THE RANGER BRIGADE: FAMILY SECRETS SERIES
Each image is linked to the Books & Spoons review blog post with the buy links
A Princess In Theory by Alyssa Cole
Series Reluctant Royals
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date February 27, 2018
From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise . . .
Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.
Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.
The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?
“I need to tell you,” Prince Thabiso said between kisses, “who I am.”
Who I really am, he added silently.
“I know who you are,” Ledi said. She pulled off her t- shirt, revealing a soft, worn-looking gray bra cupping her silky brown breasts. “You’re the guy who learned to cook for me. The guy who’s made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. The guy who— ” She whispered the rest in his ear.
He chuckled and ran a fingertip over the lace that edged her bra. “I love that you speak so freely.”
“Only with you. I feel like my entire life has been me trying to keep everything to-gether, but right now I want to fall apart.”
He could see the want in her eyes. “I must tell you something, Ledi.”
But how could he?
New beginnings. New job. New love? Amish Bachelors are full of surprises…
After a broken engagement, Helen Zook is embracing her independence—starting with a new job working for carpenter Mark Bowman.
Sparks fly as Helen immediately butts heads with her handsome yet gruff boss, whose complicated past makes him hesitant to plant roots in Bowmans Crossing.
But Helen’s eccentric aunt and a matchmaking basset hound have their own plans for Helen and Mark’s future…
An inspiring story filled with humor, love, and passion for life. I had a few good laughs with incidents Helen Zook and Mark Bowman got into, accidentally and by being in the wrong place at the wrong time...
Both Helen and Mark are very driven people. They know what they want and they are not afraid to go after it. Even though they are good Amish people, they are not perfect. They have weaknesses, they have need and room for improvement with their personalities, and they recognize this and work on the issues.
Helen and Mark were perfect for each other, even with their imperfections they make a perfect team, a unit, partners, and friends. It was easy to like them, and it was entertaining to watch them fall head over heels in love with each other.
Family and the community always plays an important role in the Love Inspired stories and Helen's quirky aunt with her pets bring lots of smiles to the tale.
Mark's extended family is loving and caring, they are not afraid to say when there is room for correction and development. Their honesty and straight-forwardness are always wrapped in love, inspiring to improve.
An uplifting and heartening story about faith, family, growing to be the best version of yourself, falling in love, and finding your true soulmate.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Twisted End by Tara Thomas
Expected publication: February 20th 2018
St. Martin's Paperbacks
From New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me, writing as Tara Thomas,
comes an explosive new romantic suspense series.
Welcome to the sultry streets of Charleston, where simmering desire and dark danger rule...
First comes desire.
Then comes love.
But Janie and Brent need to stop the man out to ruin them,
Before they can live happily ever after…
The final installment, the Twisted End, for the serial prologue of the new Sons of Board series is an intense, savage, and chilling story with the revelations about the culprit mastermind called The Gentleman, and the hints of the drama and tragedy to come in the future stories in the series.
The kidnapper and killer of the young ladies have to reveal himself to Janie, Brent, and Alyssa to follow the new orders by The Gentleman. He is whom I thought he would be, and the fight for survival is brutal and frantic.
The relationship between Janie and Brent has been developing throughout the novellas as it does in this installment. Their connection is true and tight, the chemistry and passion, as well as tender caring and fierce protection, witness their deep feelings for each other. There is nothing they wouldn't do to keep the other safe. One of the things I like the most about Janie and Brent is the way they are equal in their relationship, they are a team, partners, lovers, and friends, and I loved that.
I really wish these three prologue novellas would have been one tightly built title, where the intensity of the crime and action as well as the depth and strength from the romance and friendships would have had a chance to go deep and spread wide and be as explosive as it could have been.
But despite my personal lack of interest when it comes to serial stories, these three prologue novellas managed to bring up the curiosity and interest towards the future full-length books in the series. I want to know more about the man Bea was meeting at her office, I want her and Alyssa find their future partners in love and life as well.
A sharp, vicious, and fierce Twisted End properly set my anticipation high for the book one in the Sons of Board series.
~ Four Spoons
Tara Thomas’s love of books and writing started as a child and though she wanted to be an author, she decided a degree in science was more practical. After fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to her first love and hasn’t looked back since.
She writes erotic romance as Tara Sue Me. Her Submissive Series novels have been on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. Her novel THE MASTER earned a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, was awarded Best Romance of 2016 from Best Book Awards, and is a 2017 RITA Finalist for Best Erotic Romance.
Finding Mr. Happily Ever After: Nathan by Melissa Storm & Melissa McClone
Series Finding Mr. Happily Ever After
Genre Sweet/Clean Contemporary Romance
Publisher Partridge & Pear Press
Publication Date January 31, 2018
Love is complicated.
Jazz Michaels isn't sure she wants it. That is until she sees the boy next door in a whole new light. Problem is, revealing her feelings could mean losing the best friend she's ever had-and growing up as the only child of a single mother is lonely enough, thank you.
Nathan Reed wants to live a life of passion, love, and freedom. A serious relationship is the last thing on his list, but picturing a future without Jazz by his side just isn't possible. As their paths diverge, will Jazz and Nathan find a way to remain together? Or does growing up also mean growing apart?
One bride, four possible grooms, unlimited potential for disaster to strike. Is the man waiting at the end of the aisle the one that's meant to be Jazz's forever love? Find out in this addictive series of one woman's journey to her happily ever after. Order your copy, and start your book binge today!
Win a Chocolate Tower, a signed book from each author and a copy of the collection signed by both authors.
TAKE A QUIZ!
Find YOUR Mr. Happily Ever After! CLICK HERE!
ABOUT MELISSA STORM
Melissa Storm is a mother first, and everything else second. She used to write under a pseudonym, but finally had the confidence to come out as herself to the world. Her fiction is highly personal and often based on true stories. Writing is Melissa’s way of showing her daughter just how beautiful life can be, when you pay attention to the everyday wonders that surround us.
Melissa loves books so much, she married fellow author Falcon Storm. Between the two of them, there are always plenty of imaginative, awe-inspiring stories to share. Melissa and Falcon also run the business Novel Publicity together, where she works as publisher, marketer, web designer, and all-around business mogul. When she’s not reading, writing, or child-rearing, Melissa spends time relaxing at home in the company of her four dogs, four parrots, and rescue cat. She never misses an episode of The Bachelor, because priorities.
MELISSA STORM’S LINKS
ABOUT MELISSA MCCLONE
USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group and been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!
MELISSA MCCLONE’S LINKS
Expected publication: March 1st 2018 by MIRA
A killer stole her voice. Now she's ready to take it back. Don't miss the chilling Shades of Death series from USA TODAYbestselling author Debra Webb.
Joanna Guthrie was free. She had been for eighteen years--or so she needed everyone to believe. What really happened during the longest fourteen days of her life, when she and two other women were held captive by a dangerous serial killer, wasn't something she could talk about. Not after what they had to do to survive.
But when more women go missing in an eerily similar manner, Jo knows her prolonged silence will only seal their fates. She's finally ready to talk; she just needs someone to listen. FBI special agent Tony LeDoux can't deny he finds Jo compelling--he's just not sure he believes her story. But with the clock ticking, Jo will do anything to convince him, even if it means unearthing long-buried secrets that will land them squarely in the crosshairs of the killer...
That inky blackness spread through Jo’s chest like icy water rushing over a cliff. “Where’s Ellen?”
Another of those humorless chuckles. “I wish I could tell you she’s at home with Elle—that’s our three-year-old. But Elle’s with my mom. My wife isn’t here at the hospital with me and Alton either.”
Jo held back her questions through another long, weary sigh. A steady beep, beep, beep echoed in the background. He’d said he and Alton were in the hospital. “Is Ellen sick?”
Wait, he’d said Ellen wasn’t there. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. Jo repeated those two words to herself during the silence that followed. Ellen’s problems weren’t hers.
Ellen made her own choices.
“No,” Art finally said, his voice cracking on the single syllable. He cleared his throat. “Alton is having his second surgery, by the way. They weren’t able to finish all the skin grafts with the first one. He’ll be okay. Maybe one more surgery after this.” Silence filled the air between them once more. “The fire wasn’t her fault, you know. She didn’t mean for any of this to happen. She tried. She really did. I should have given her more credit for trying.”
Fire? As hard as she tried to ignore it, worry gnawed at Jo.
“In case you didn’t know, Ellen had a serious problem.”
Had? More of that tension twisted in Jo’s gut.
Art drew in a shaky breath. “I tried to help her but nothing ever seemed to work. Don’t worry though, Alton will be okay. The burns on his hands and arms will heal. I tried to tell her he’d be fine, but I guess I was so angry I waited too long to reassure her. At first I was too upset to think rationally. Any father would have done the same. I was so scared and so damned furious. I told her she had to leave. That I couldn’t trust her to take care of the children anymore. So, you see, it’s really my fault. I shouldn’t have said so many hurtful things. I wasn’t thinking…I was so upset by what she’d done.” Pause. “I guess I should have called you sooner, but I—”
“Art,” Jo snapped, “where is Ellen?”
He cleared his throat. “Ellen killed herself three weeks ago today. Last night I finally worked up the courage to go through some of her things and I thought—since you were the only friend listed in her contacts—that you might want to know. And maybe you could tell me what she meant by the note she left. Three words and I don’t have a clue what they mean. She knows everything. Do you know what she meant by that?”
Jo ended the call.
Ellen had tried to call her three weeks ago and Jo had ignored the incessant ringing. No voice mail was left. If a caller didn’t leave a voice mail, you weren’t actually obligated to call back, right? It had been a Saturday. Must have been the day before…
Jo sank onto the floor and hugged her knees to her chest. She should have answered. She should have tried to be the friend Ellen’s husband thought she was. And Ellen was right. She did know everything—Jo had lived it with her. Now the only other person who knew what really happened eighteen years ago was dead.
Jo wondered why in all this time she’d never considered taking that avenue out of this pretend life she muddled through?
Maybe because she was a coward—or maybe because if she did then the bad guys won.
She looked around the place she called home for now. Her entire apartment was this one ten-by-twelve room. Even the bathroom was nothing more than a small corner hidden behind a makeshift partition wall. The wood floors were worn and creaked with every step she made. The plaster on the walls was cracked, the blue paint faded. The only window was covered with a cheap, nicotine-stained paper blind, the sort made for temporary use. There was a tired sofa that served as a bed, along with a rickety metal and Formica table accompanied by two well-worn chairs. Along the shared wall between this room and the neighbor’s the kitchenette looked like something out of a 1950s Airstream.
Jo blinked. None of it really mattered. There was a roof over her head and four walls to protect her from the weather and whatever other threat showed up. No leaks in the roof and the plumbing worked most of the time. She pushed to her feet and shoved her cell into the back pocket of her jeans. Uncertainty and disappointment and all the other weaknesses she rarely allowed herself to feel suddenly assaulted her.
Memories from her former life poured through the emptiness inside her before she could stop them. She’d had a family. She’d had a scholarship. The future had been hers for the taking. Now, Jo turned all the way around in the middle of the room, she was thirty-six years old and this was her life—all because she’d made a terrible, terrible mistake eighteen years ago.
Poor Ellen had tried as best she could to salvage some semblance of a life and look how that turned out.
Bottom line, they had both allowed persons whose names they hadn’t known—whose faces they couldn’t be certain they had ever seen—to get away with destroying their lives.
Determination surged in Jo’s veins. Ellen was dead. The other girl was dead. Jo suspected the bastards who had orchestrated all of this were responsible for numerous other devastated lives and deaths, as well. Was she going to do nothing and allow them to never have to face responsibility for what they’d done?
Jo had been silent far too long.
Besides, what did she have to lose?
Not one damned thing that wasn’t already gone.
As You Wish
by Ja'Nese Dixon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Is their simmering attraction enough to defeat their crusades?
Damian “The Shark” Hughes real estate billionaire lands in Houston, Texas to handle a “problem tenant” stalling his partnership with Rockstar Entertainment. But on first sight he doesn’t know which he wants more, to evict her or bed her.
Imani Scott is at the end of herself and her resources for keeping the doors of Harmony Dance open. What she doesn’t have time for is the sweet talking, money slinging gorgeousness from Atlanta. Her sole focus is on her students. They are depending on her and she’s not to go down without a fight.
The blurred line between friend or foe…
Imani organizes a Kwanzaa benefit recital to save her studio not knowing she’s sleeping with the enemy. And Damian is willing to do whatever it takes to close the deal andkeep this ebony beauty by his side.
At odds yet drawn to each other by their undeniable chemistry, the ticking clock and a multi-million dollar development deal erect the perfect battleground.
Will they win the battle but lose the war? Or will they let love win?
"Stop staring at the man and say something?"
Imani found working with Adrianna at the bar was worse than working at the studio. At least at the studio she could pull rank and kick her out the office.
"What man?" She let out a long audible breath.
"The man that has you spilling drinks and stepping on my toes."
“Ouch!” She stomped on Imani’s foot and wiggled out of reach.
Imani had been preoccupied with trying to see the features of his face. The booth he selected was tucked away off to the side. The overhead lights barely illuminated the table top. It was the table repeat customers chose when they wanted to partake of the live music and robust menu and have privacy.
It was public yet private. So private they'd witnessed more than one heated exchange going on in that booth over the length of her employment. It wasn't called the make-out booth for nothing.
Imani stole glances at him for most of the afternoon. She could see the top of his arm covered in a white dress shirt and the swirled tattoo on his forearm. That must be his girlfriend. She reasoned as the olive-skinned brunette took her seat across from him.
"You think that's his girlfriend?" Imani whispered. Adrianna topped off the customer's soft drink and walked over to stand beside her.
"If she's not, she wanna be." She dried her hands on her apron.
Imani faced her, "What makes you say that?"
"That man is a sexual magnet, paid with a Titanium Card, and his eyes," she shook her head and raised her hand in the truth, "panty droppers."
"For real?" Imani hissed. The forced air behind panty made curiosity dance through her veins.
"For. Real." She glanced over at the table as if validating her statement. Her face twisting in agony and she nodded.
Imani glanced back over there. The last thing she needed was to stare into his panty-dropper eyes. She wanted to ask Adrianna more but a warning voice in her head warned her to leave it alone.
There was no room in her life for men. Life was hectic enough without adding sexy, magnetic, panty-dropping men to the equation and her panties needed to stay in place. The last man she'd given her heart passed her up for a bigger fish and left her without so much as a blink of an eye. Her time was better spent trying to find another job.
"Have you heard from your landlord?"
"I got a letter about a new owner. But they didn't mention the balance and I didn't either. I sent what I could, hoping it will hold me over."
$1250 a month times six months left her owing the new landlord at least $7,500. It might as well have been a cool million because she didn't have a hundred dollars to her name. She hated owing people.
She was ashamed to admit what she sent barely covered the late fees but she still had to pay the utilities at the studio on top of her own household expenses.
"How long you think that's going to last? You can't keep doing this to yourself. This dance studio is like a leech draining you dry."
“Why would you say that? What’s wrong with giving my students culture?” Imani stiffened at her harsh analogy.
"Ain't nobody got time for that!" She turned to Imani tossing a towel in the sink. "Culture won't feed you and pay your bills."
Tears stung her eyes. But she didn't have time to cry or feel sorry for herself. She needed a plan.
"Is he cute?" It was better to talk about the panty dropper than her landlord.
It was Adrianna's turn to shrug, "He's alright for a white boy. You know I like my papi chulo sun kissed, bilingual, and Spanish in his blood. Can't have my momma passing out on me."
"Indeed, your mom would pass out if you brought anything but a Hispanic man home." Imani laughed.
"That's why I keep my business my business." She tossed her blonde hair and headed to the other end of the bar to check on a customer.
Adrianna talked a good game but she had a man. Her traditional ways went to her core from cooking authentic Mexican food to Salsa dancing every Thursday night. Imani looked back at his exposed skin, it didn't look white but not brown either. More like a warm beige. His head turned in her direction and she felt trapped. Unable to look away, but unable to see his face either.
The young lady returned to the table and Imani spun around, facing the mirrored wall behind the bar. She glanced up into the reflection and watched him lean forward. The light caught his profile with his thick wavy dark brown hair. He smiled up at his companion.
Imani's stomach clinched. He had a deep dimple.
She watched the young lady leave the table carrying her purse and shoulder bag. They must be done for the afternoon. She wanted to see this mystery man for herself.
Ja’Nese Dixon writes tales of romance laced with strong women and stronger men. My happily ever afters are meant to inspire. So, if you’re looking for a page turner that will leave you blushing, with your heart racing, and lying to yourself about reading “just one more chapter” then grab a book.
She is an avid reader and coffee drinker, who also loves to run, cook, and quilt (and not in that order). Her ultimate goal as a writer is to give you a little “staycation” with every story.
Ja’Nese calls Houston home with her husband, three kiddos, and a four-legged diva dog. Visit her website at http://www.janesedixon.com if you enjoy romance, suspense, and good sweet & spicy stories that inspire.
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Charter pilot Caitlyn Brevard’s sister disappeared while working undercover to expose human traffickers in the Caribbean. Four months later, Caitlyn has finally found her, but to infiltrate the captor's inner circle and rescue Rose, she must appear at the man’s gala event with a fiancé she concocted to keep his lecherous son at bay.
Can she convince Kurt Steele to forgive a past betrayal and play the doting groom-to-be?
Former special operator and wounded warrior Kurt can’t say no to a friend in need, especially not Caitlyn, who he can’t forget, no matter how hard he tries. But playing ardent fiancé to the woman who broke his heart—and still attracts him like no other—might just be more than he can bear.
When their mission turns deadly, he and Caitlyn must risk everything to save Rose and get a second chance at a love worth dying for.
Charter pilot Caitlyn Brevard and Former special operator and wounded warrior Kurt Steel blew me away with the emotional depth they brought to the story with their humble, caring, and capable characters. I absolutely adored them, their honesty, dignity, straightforwardness, and courage.
This well-written tale flows ever so smoothly, alluring my mind until I was completely lost in the world of Caitlyn and Kurt. The passionate, ardent romance is balanced with intense and deadly action and suspense. The fact that no one is safe and that the threats are so personal magnified the fear and danger.
The old feelings between Kurt and Caitlyn, the misunderstandings, the years that have passed by, the new awakening of the passion brings another kind of tension to the scenes until the vigor of each moment is filled with jitters.
Caitlyn is such a strong female lead, it was a pleasure to watch her in action. She carries her own weight on each leg of the tale, she is not afraid to face the enemy or to take action when needed. There is no question about how she feels about Kurt, but to get her to trust anyone, not to mention a man, after what she has gone through during her life might be pushing it too far. She is broken, her mind and body have suffered from experiences she has had, but she does champion on, she does fulfill her dreams, and goes after what she wants, as long as those things have nothing to do with relationships.
Kurt is just amazing. Yes, he is hot, attractive, kind and did I mention hot? But he is also genuine, patient, generous, caring man. Ah, I loved him! His honesty, his sincerity, his integrity just charmed me. He has his own issues with losing his legs while serving in the military but is handling them well. He is in control, he knows what he wants and is willing and able to ask for it, go for it, risk it all, and be honest about it yet let others take the lead when its called for.
There are several serious issues about military service that you rarely hear talked about that are handled in a realistic and life-like matter in the story. I admire the author's knowledge and take on the issues, like a rape of a female soldier, in a truthful and factual way.
I enjoyed this story immensely. From the ardent romance to the vigorous action and intense suspense. The delightfully appealing characters who are strong and smart yet vulnerable and humble, so perfect for each other in their imperfections were easy to like and relate to, to swoon over and fall in love with.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side