HE'D TAKE A BULLET FOR HER
His key witnesses dead, Texas Ranger Garrison Travis had to protect innocent bystander Kenderly Tyler.
Her crucial evidence had two very dangerous Texas crime families willing to do anything to keep her quiet. But Garrison's undercover status had branded him a killer, and now the bad and the good guys were after them both.
Hiding out with a handsome protector, on the run for her life, was so beyond anything Kenderly had imagined.
While there was more than just adrenaline pulsing between them, the Ranger vowed his job was his life.
Dare she wonder what would become of them should they actually make it out alive?
What a hoot this story was! Forget taking this tale seriously, and getting annoyed with 'TSTL' moments, because yes, there are some, but the sooner you accept that it is all just great fun and fantastic entertainment, and not to be taken too seriously, you are going to get a kick out of the tale.
To call Kenderly ditsy is taking it too far, but she lives up to every stereotype you might ever have had about a Texan hairdresser, whose salon is called The Best Hair House of Texas. Her spunk, her kind heart, strength, and loyalty are recommendable. She is so out of her element, but she is trying hard, doing all she can, and some of the time succeeding.
Garrison, the Texas Ranger, is on his first undercover assignment, and nothing goes as it is suppose to. He is a charmer by heart, his smile makes women swoon, no matter the age, but Kenderly sees right through all the facade, and calls his bull.
They are so much fun together, the sparks are flying, the chemistry is off the charts, and somehow, together, they manage to stay alive.
The action is non-stop, the corruption goes deep, there's only two people Garrison can trust within the law enforcement, but unable to get in touch with them. And somehow, the killers know where they are, at any given time, but calling 911 doesn't bring the help they expect.
It is a captivating story, humorous and thrilling. Towards the end the laughter comes less frequently, and the nail biting starts to take place, as the intensity grows. The ardor between Kenderly and Garrison is precious, maybe because of the constant danger to their lives.
Somehow the story reminded me of the old television series Moonlighting, I guess the older readers might know the series I am talking about. Pure, fun, entertainment, with several heart-racing moments to endure
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Books & Spoons with Tasty Book Tours: Release Blast A DUCHESS IN NAME by Amanda Weaver
A Duchess in Name
The Grantham Girls #1
By: Amanda Weaver
Releasing January 18, 2016
Victoria Carson never expected love. An American heiress and graduate of Lady Grantham's finishing school, she's been groomed since birth to marry an English title—the grander the better. So when the man chosen for her, the forbidding Earl of Dunnley, seems to hate her on sight, she understands that it can't matter. Love can have no place in this arrangement.
Andrew Hargrave has little use for his title and even less for his cold, disinterested parents. Determined to make his own way, he's devoted to his life in Italy working as an archaeologist. Until the collapse of his family's fortune drags him back to England to a marriage he never wanted and a woman he doesn't care to know.
Wild attraction is an unwanted complication for them both, though it forms the most fragile of bonds. Their marriage of convenience isn't so intolerable after all—but it may not be enough when the deception that bound them is finally revealed.
As he examined her, she glanced back at him and their eyes locked again. She caught her lower lip briefly with her teeth. He wanted to bite her lush bottom lip himself. He wanted to plunder her perfect mouth and see if she tasted as good as she smelled. This was a disaster. For a moment, he was nearly furious with Miss Carson for being so desirable. He hated every single one of them for landing him in this impossible position. He’d cast off his family after University precisely to avoid this, the drawing rooms and prestigious, loveless marriages and stifling, hypocritical English respectability. He didn’t want a rich wife and this bloody title. He wanted to get up and run—back to Italy, back to his work, and let the duke hang himself.
But his sisters…
There was nothing for it. He had to wed this stranger, but he’d keep it the business arrangement it was meant to be. He’d be polite, he’d be respectful, but no more.
“Waring, I thought I might borrow you for a word in the study. To settle our details.”
Oh, hell, this was it. They were going to settle the terms of the marriage. He passed his handkerchief across his forehead, wiping away the beading sweat, and swallowed hard.
His father leaned across to him, reeking of Scotch, and he smirked as he whispered, “See? Not so bad after all. I wouldn’t mind a go between those lily white thighs myself.”
Nausea roiled through him and he dug his fingers into the settee. The idea of doing anything to aid this man made him sick. But it wasn’t for him, or his awful mother. It was for Louisa and Emma. It was their faces he focused on as his father stood up and followed Carson out of the room.
At the same moment, Mrs. Carson rose with a great deal of ceremony. “Perhaps I might withdraw for a moment, as well? The housekeeper needs a word.”
They were leaving him alone to get the job done. Despite the bloodless, businesslike nature of this arrangement, he was still expected to ask her. How the hell did a man ask a total stranger to marry him?
Amanda has loved romance since she read that very first Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novel at fifteen. After a long detour into a career as a costume designer in theatre, she’s found her way back to romance, this time as a writer.
A native Floridian, Amanda transplanted to New York City many years ago and now considers Brooklyn home, along with her husband, daughter, two cats, and nowhere near enough space.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Ever since enduring a possibly career-ending injury, Miami superstar shortstop Carlos Bradley has retreated from the world. His life undergoes a radical makeover when he's convinced to hire a designer to restore his secluded island mansion to its former glory. Completely different from the women Carlos has known, interior decorator Virginia Andersen captivates him with her infectious spirit and the sensuality beneath her coolly professional demeanor.
The owner of a struggling design firm, Virginia can't believe her new employer is a baseball legend. But Carlos wants more than just her expertise. And when he insists she move into his tropical getaway during the renovations, Virginia soon finds herself sharing the irresistible playboy's bed. But when the media descends, she's thrust into the limelight and her past becomes an open book. Is she ready to overcome her doubts to fight for a future with the man of her dreams?
What a perfectly heartwarming story of a cold winter night.
Even though the characters are rich and famous in their own fields, they were easy to relate to and easy to like.
Virginia is fun, blunt, bold, and bright. Her mother is a terror on anyone, but even that she tackles well, and knows she can't live her life to please her mother.
Carlos has lost his father, and now the ability to play baseball, the two big loves in his life. He is devastated and hiding on the little island. When Carlos hires Virginia to decorate his island getaway home, he gets more than he could ever dream of.
The story is filled with subtle humor, delightful moments of island fun with Carlos and Virginia, and smooth, sensuous moments between them. They respect each other's work, they challenge each other to seek for new dimensions, and they help to handle each other's family during the holidays. They are the perfect friends for each other, or is there more to it than friends?
A charming, sexy, and whimsical, a captivating story, that I wasn't ready to let go, great entertainment!
~ Four Spoons
An undercover operation is the only way to bring an innocent witness home…
After months searching for a schoolteacher on the run from a criminal gang, CIA operative Josh Sedovich finally finds the innocent beauty in the remotest part of Malaysia.
Eager to get Erin Argon home and into protective custody, Josh goes undercover to gain her trust and prove he isn't a threat. And although Erin claims to have witnessed the murder of a very dangerous man, Josh knows there's more to the story than she's letting on.
But getting to know Erin—in public and behind closed doors—makes Josh realize just how determined she is to keep the truth hidden. Seems he isn't the only one keeping secrets that could get them both killed…
I had a little tough time connecting with this story, the plot and the characters. The setup was brilliant, but the case took so long to open up and explain to the reader, that I was a bit lost a couple times.
Another thing with the characters, as they spend so much time and energy to pretend to be someone else than they really were, I felt like I didn't get to know the true person behind the undercover persona.
The caves were fascinating, the author obviously knew them, knew what she was talking about, that came clear.
There were some confusing moments with the action, they were in a jungle, no, at the waterfront, no, in an alley running for their lives... You really have to pay attention to keep up with Erin and Josh.
The chaotic fear, the concern about the future, and angst for Sarah, Erin's sister, are all palpable and obvious. Erin is smart, she holds the terror inside, and is doing anything and everything she can to survive. But the hunt for her is at the point, she can't stay alive without Josh's help. But can he be trusted, can anyone be trusted at this point?
Josh and Erin get along, at least the personas they pretend to be. But I didn't get any chemistry or attraction between them, when the heat comes up suddenly between them, it didn't feel natural, or real. But as they get to be themselves, with each other, their personalities change, and there's the little spark, but is it enough, that you have to determine yourself.
I liked the setting of the story, and the idea of the manhunt. Some of the details of suspense were brushed over, that I would have liked more fine points with. Josh and Erin made a good team as trying to escape the danger. Their getaway from the caves was intense. Overall, for me the story came up to
~ Three Spoons
His Perfect Match
Military commander Jack Sullenberger is used to saving the day. But when his father has a stroke in his beloved small-town diner, it's waitress and EMT student Olivia Abbott coming to the rescue.
Jack rushes home to tend to his father and take over the business—running right into Olivia's very strong opinions. The steely military man and the waitress can't agree on what's best for the restaurant.
When Jack sees something that shakes his growing trust in Olivia, their undeniable connection is put to the test. But if Jack's open to the truth, they'll have a chance at finding a future together.
When trust, compassion, and kindness is put to test, and you have to rely on God, to keep you going.
The little diner lives through a whirlwind, when the owner suffers a stroke, and his son comes home from Afghanistan, to take care of dad, and the diner, that seems to be falling apart.
Everything that you can think about being wrong in a restaurant, is wrong at the landmark diner. Not only is the owner in a hospital, the roof leaking, the grill not working, the dishwasher not showing up to work, and when he does, he is high and late, the schedule all wrong, but it also seems that someone is stealing from the diner, since the books don't match.
Jack is weary of the war, tired from the travel home, worried about his father, and now the mess with the diner, and the last thing he needs, is Olivia is stubborn about every change in the restaurant he is trying to make, to save the place from going under. Jack is taking charge military type person, but not very patient, and says things, when tested, that are completely out of order. Rude, and uncalled for. But he has a good heart, he is doing great things for the employees, but he is afraid to lose control, and trying to keep an emotional distance.
Olivia is an EMT student, works at the diner, she has couple different learning disabilities, and comes from a challenged childhood. She is trying so hard to make a better life, to fulfill her dreams, but it all just comes to be too much, and she falls ill under the pressure, and germs. She is stubborn, inflexible, but loyal, and willing to go the extra mile or two, if you let her.
Olivia and Jack are the opposite of each other, at least when it comes to their looks. They are also often on the opposite sides of the argument. Even though they have the same goal, they seem to be working against each other, most of the time. The story tells a chaotic tale of the daily life at the diner, with the troubles of the establishment, and the worries and failures of the employees. Jack is trying to save the place, but is seems like a sinking ship. Most of the story is focused on everything else happening on the lives of the many characters, and the romance is more of an afterthought, and lot of details and development are told in a passing comment, as something else is happening. I wish there would have been more focus on the developing relationship, then it would have been more believable.
The characters were relayed on God, His guidance, to survive through the struggles. I liked how that was put out there, front and center many times.
An engaging and fascinating tale around the small town diner, the hospital, and how the town pulls together to save the establishment, a story filled with lots of everyday tragedies
~ Three Spoons
WHEN A PROMISE BECOMES A TEMPTATION…
Look after his best friend's widow and kids. It was a promise Levi Talbot was determined to keep. But returning to Whispering Pines, New Mexico, where he was once known as the local troublemaker, wasn't easy for the former soldier. Especially when gorgeous Valerie Lopez really wants nothing to do with him…and Levi can't get her out of his head!
Val knows she needs Levi's help—her house is in chaos and she's juggling two young kids with a fledgling business. So she lets him take over the repairs—but there's no way she's letting Levi make himself at home! Since her husband's death, Val has kept her heart locked away…but what if the handsome veteran next door is the key to her future?
Instead of a romance, this story was more of a journey of several people, a journey towards happiness and joy, and love, from all the devastation life has offered them in the past.
Levi has been a lot of trouble in his younger years, always ready for mischief and adventure, trying the limits, gaining of a reputation of being trouble. But he was a kind, caring, loyal man, who took his responsibilities seriously, and had a heart to help others around him.
Val has faced so much in her life, her father abandoned her at a young age, her mother wasn't an easy person to be around with, and had a reputation in town, she lived up to, and she lost her husband, Tommy, in the war. Now back in her hometown, she is trying to find happiness again, trying to accept that Tommy isn't coming home, learn to accept the troubled childhood, while remodeling a house, working as a waitress and a baker, and being a mother to her two children.
While working on the house for Val, Levi is making a connection with Val and her daughters. As they get to know each other, learn to trust each other, they open up, share painful memories, heal together from the past, and find love, devotion, and affection with each other, that turn into a passion and desire to build a life together, support each other through the rest of the journey, and to be a team as they face the future they have planned for themselves.
The story is touching and tender. There's so much Levi, and especially Val, has to work, face, and deal with. I love how Levi was with the kids, his kind soul was obvious during those encounters.
Even though the story moved on a little slow at times, it is a poignant tale, that will touch your heart.
~ Four Spoons
The Virgin Auction
By: Jessa Fox
Releasing January 15, 2016
She’s selling her virginity. He’s been secretly obsessed with her for years. They’ve only got one night together, better make it count.
She’s the last virgin on earth, at least that’s what it feels like to Kyle. Now she’s auctioning her virginity online in order to pay for medical school and give money to charity. She has no idea what she’s getting herself into, but she’s committed, and now there’s no turning back.
Caspian has been secretly obsessed with Kyle since the day they met years ago. He’s kept tabs on her for all of these years, and when he sees she’s auctioning her virginity, he knows there’s no way he’s going to let anyone else touch her. Ever.
The rules state that he gets one night with her, but rules are made to be broken.
“I want you to feel comfortable with me and with everything that we do. I need you to know that I would never do anything to hurt you.”
“Ok, I think I’m beginning to see that.”
“Good, I want you to trust that everything we do will be for your pleasure, and mine too, but mine will be second to yours.”
His words had me mesmerized as I tried to envision what exactly he was talking about.
“I want to introduce you to things that are beyond your expectations.”
“I would like that too. I hope that I’m able to satisfy you as well. I’m not completely inexperienced, I’ve done a…”
He stopped me just then, and put his finger over my lips.
“It doesn’t matter to me what you’ve done or haven’t done before, all that I care about is right now, being here with you. Everything from this moment on is all that matters.”
Hi, my name is Jessa Fox. I’m a professional by day and an erotica writer by night. There’s nothing I love more than writing all of the smutty stories that are in my head and bringing them to life. I specialize in writing down all the taboo, sexy scenarios that we all wish we could experience, at least once.
But maybe that’s just me.
I’m also a wife and mom, and dutiful member of the Parent’s Association. Shh, don’t tell.
Jessa Fox is my pseudonym, because no one knows about all of the kinky stories and characters I love to create. They would never imagine all of the dirty thoughts running through my mind.
I hope you enjoy my stories as much as I love writing them. If you’re looking for a quick smutty treat, you came to the right place.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Kill Without Mercy
ARES Security #1
By: Alexandra Ivy
Released December 29, 2015
From the hellhole of a Taliban prison to sweet freedom, five brave military heroes have made it home—and they’re ready to take on the civilian missions no one else can. Individually they’re intimidating. Together they’re invincible. They’re the men of ARES Security.
Rafe Vargas is only in Newton, Iowa, to clear out his late grandfather’s small house. As the covert ops specialist for ARES Security, he's eager to get back to his new life in Texas. But when he crosses paths with Annie White, a haunted beauty with skeletons in her closet, he can't just walk away—not when she’s clearly in danger…
There’s a mysterious serial killer on the loose with a link to Annie’s dark past. And the closer he gets, the deeper Rafe’s instinct to protect kicks in. But even with his considerable skill, Annie’s courage, and his ARES buddies behind him, the slaying won’t stop. Now it’s only a matter of time before Annie’s next—unless they can unravel a history of deadly lies that won’t be buried.
I just loved this story, I enjoyed every single scene and word of it.
I loved the author's voice and the way she told the story, and how it flows through the pages. There's serious, gruesome crimes that are committed, but the author manages to implement some beads of dark humor into the story, that gives it lighter moments of joy.
The suspense and action is mostly scary, even creepy at times, the intensity level staying up through the story, since there's a well balanced mix of emotions and investigative tools used to solve the crime and move the story on. Love it.
The characters are all pretty amazing. The brothers of the heart have a unique bond, that war has melted in between them. The loyalty, protectiveness, and support they offer to each other was touching. They are all such true alpha male warriors, but they have a soft heart, at least for their brothers, whom they are willing to do anything for.
Annie and Rafe, they have chemistry and heat, they just basically melt in each others company. But they have more than just lots of sex appeal. All those alpha warrior's feelings that the brothers have for each other, are ten fold, what Rafe feels for Annie. To have her, to hold her, to possess her, is all he wants in his life after meeting her. But the feelings are mutual, even when super protective towards Annie, it is obvious to the reader, and Annie, that he only wants to keep Annie safe and alive.
This was one of those few books, that after reading it, you just sit there and wonder when the next adventure comes out, and before that happens, could we just hang out or something, cause the you felt the connection to the characters so strong. I will be looking forward to more in this series, the story was alluring, engaging, and captured my mind.
~ Five Spoons
Annie stopped at the gas station at the edge of town, filling up her tank before she headed back to Denver.
God, she was an idiot.
She’d prepared herself to discover that there was another murderer sneaking around town. Or even that her visions were a symptom of her growing mental instability. But it’d never occurred to her that she might actually be recognized.
Now she felt raw. Exposed. And vulnerable in a way she hadn’t felt for years.
God forgive her. She didn’t want to be a coward, but she couldn’t bear to endure another round of the lingering stares and finger pointing. Or even the sickening pity that had nearly drowned her after she’d been found in the bomb shelter with her father and the bodies.
For no reason at all, the image of a lean, fiercely beautiful male face rose to her Rafe Vargas.
He’d been gorgeous. And charming. And sexy enough to make her body tingle with appreciation, even when she’d been trying to make him go away.
The sort of male who could have any woman he wanted.
And now he knew she was . . . broken.
It made her feel ridiculously ashamed.
She shivered as the early morning air cut through her sweatshirt, and replaced the gas nozzle as she headed into the nearby building. The best thing was to return to Denver and hope she could get her job back.
Yes. She would pretend she’d never even traveled to Newton. And the visions . . . well, if she ignored them long enough they would eventually go away. Wouldn’t they?
But first she had to have a cup of coffee.
The bell tinkled as she pulled open the door and entered the warmth of the convenience store that had three small tables at the back where a group of elderly men were gathered to drink their coffee and discuss the weather.
She deliberately avoided their curious gazes as she headed to the side of the store to fill a Styrofoam cup with coffee. Popping a lid on top, she moved to the front counter where a middle-aged man was filling a glass container with freshly baked pastries.
On cue, her stomach growled, her mouth watering at the sight of the doughnuts and fritters and muffins.
Deep-fried sugar and grease.
It was exactly the sort of temptation she usually tried to avoid. But today she allowed her gaze to linger. She’d skipped dinner, and breakfast had been shot to hell.
Why not indulge?
Some days low-fat yogurt just wasn’t going to cut it.
“Morning,” the man boomed, ridiculously happy considering it was barely seven.
“Nip in the air,” he unnecessarily pointed out. “Snow can’t be far off.”
She kept her head bent, her gaze focused on the glass case. “Yes.”
Accepting that Annie wasn’t in the mood for chitchat, he got straight to business. “Can I get you something?”
She pointed to her pastry of choice. “A blueberry muffin.”
“You got it.”
She stepped to the end of the counter as he efficiently wrapped the muffin and dropped it into a bag. Setting down the coffee, she pulled out her debit card, her gaze captured by the poster plastered to the back of the cash register.
HAVEYOU SEEN THISWOMAN?
A REWARD FOR ANY INFORMATION.
PLEASE CONTACT THE NEWTON POLICE DEPARTMENT.
Annie hissed, feeling as if she’d taken a punch to the gut. “Shit,” she muttered.
Deep inside, it was exactly what she’d been expecting, and yet it still came as a mind-numbing shock.
The man placed the bag next to her coffee, studying her with open curiosity. “Something wrong?”
She nodded her head toward the poster. “Is the woman still missing?”
“Yep.” He folded his arms over his barrel chest, his expression one of genuine concern. “Jenny Brown. A local gal.”
“When did it happen?”
“Eight days ago.” He grimaced. “She went to Des Moines and never came home. Most believe she took off with some man she met on the Internet.”
She studied his broad face. Clearly he didn’t buy the story. If he did he wouldn’t have up a missing poster, would he?
“But not you?” she prompted.
“It’s possible, I suppose. It wouldn’t be the first time Jenny ran around on her husband,” he reluctantly admitted. “But it’s not like her to leave her kid behind.”
Annie gripped the edge of the counter, her knees feeling oddly weak. “She has children?”
He nodded. “A little boy.”
They always had children. Except for her.
She studied the picture in the middle of the poster, her stomach churning with fear. “She looks so young,” she breathed, taking in the rounded face and big brown eyes.
“Jenny had a rough start to life,” the man said, his tone defensive. Did he think Annie was judging the poor woman? She hoped not. She hated people who judged the victim, as if being hurt was somehow their own fault. “She was only fifteen when she had her son, but she’s always tried to be a good mom.” He abruptly halted, his blue eyes narrowing with suspicion. “Wait. You’re not a reporter, are you?”
“Good Lord, no,” Annie denied in fervent tones.
The press had hounded her until she’d at last arrived at her foster parents’ ranch. Thankfully, Douglas had threatened to shoot them the first time he caught them on his property.
They’d eventually disappeared.
“We had one bastard down here just yesterday trying to tie Jenny’s disappearance to the Newton Slayer,” the man said, shaking his head in disgust.
“How could that be possible?” she asked, her voice hoarse. “The Slayer’s dead, isn’t he?”
The man scowled. “Of course he is. Had his throat slit in his jail cell. The sheriff claims he has a part of his ashes in that trophy he keeps on his desk.”
Her fingers tightened on the counter until her knuckles turned white.
Oh God, oh God, oh God.
She couldn’t think about her father now.
Even after all these years, it still hurt too much.
“Then why would the reporter suspect the missing girl is the work of the Slayer?”
“Just looking to sell his story,” the man said. “Tried to imply we arrested the wrong man and the Slayer is still out there.” He gave a short, humorless laugh. “We shut that down right quick and in a hurry. Then he said it must be a copycat, but if that were true another girl would already be missing. Everyone knows the killer took women every two days. Regular as clockwork. Well, except for the sheriff ’s wife, who was taken just the day after Kathy Benson.” He blinked as Annie made a small sound of distress, and belatedly punched in the cost of the coffee and the muffin into the cash register. “I assume the reporter’s next guess would have been that the Slayer’s ghost was taking women, if we hadn’t run him out of town,” he muttered, clearly trying to lighten the atmosphere.
Annie swiped her debit card, anxious to be away from the man’s distracting chatter. “Probably.”
“So, are you just passing through?” the man demanded as he handed her the receipt.
Annie wanted to say yes. She’d already made the decision to leave.
Jenny, after all, was probably off playing house with some other man.
Or in Vegas with a friend.
There was no reason at all to connect her disappearance to the previous murders.
But even as her lips parted, she knew she couldn’t just drive away.
“No,” she muttered, turning to head toward the door. “It looks like I’ll be staying.”
ALEXANDRA IVY graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons. To stay updated on Alexandra’s Guardian series or to chat with other readers, please visit her website at www.alexandraivy.com.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Books & Spoons with Tasty Book Tours Sale Blitz IRRESISTIBLY YOURS by Lauren Layne
By: Lauren Layne
Released October 6, 2015
Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.
Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.
Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.
Cole had been watching the brunette for the better part of three innings.
Which was just wrong on a couple of levels.
For starters, it was a rare woman who could come between Cole Sharpe and baseball. Or between Cole and any sport, for that matter.
And at Yankee Stadium in particular, the game came first. Especially a game in which the Yankees were trying to establish early dominance over the Blue Jays in the American League East division.
Cole’s eyes should have been glued to the field. Not only because the Yankees were his team—he’d been a die-hard fan since his Little League days—but because Cole was a sportswriter. Come tomorrow morning, Cole would be expected to know the details of every single at bat.
And yet . . .
His eyes shifted once more to the narrow figure of the brunette as he took another sip of beer.
There was something about her that demanded a second look and at the same time, there was nothing about her. She was utterly, completely unremarkable.
And that was the other reason why Cole’s fascination with the woman made no sense.
Cole loved women almost as much as he loved sports, but this woman?
Cole liked women curvy, but this one was slim to the point of being skinny. There was no noticeable definition of her waist through her Jeter jersey. No womanly flare of her hips.
Plus, Cole preferred blondes, and this one’s messy ponytail was just a couple shades lighter than black.
As for her face? Well, he hadn’t seen it yet. Not fully. But she’d turned her head once in the third inning, giving Cole a quick glance at her profile. The upturned nose was cute enough, but the rest of her features were hardly so arresting as to explain why he continued to stare at her.
It took Cole another half inning to realize what it was that had captivated him.
For the first time in his life, he was seeing a woman who was more absorbed with a baseball game than he was.
Tiny Brunette, as he’d started thinking of her, hadn’t lost interest in the game once. Even between innings, when the rest of the stadium was refilling on beer and peanuts, she merely
scribbled like crazy in a little notebook she kept in her lap.
It was like clockwork. The third out would signal the swap of the players on the field, and Tiny Brunette’s attention would dip toward the damn notebook.
Her left hand would sneak around to twirl her ponytail around a finger while her right hand busily wrote . . .
What did she write in that notebook? And exactly why did he want to know so badly?
Normally Cole would just ask. The seat beside Tiny Brunette was free. Everyone else in the suite was there more for the networking and the free food and booze than the game. It would have been so easy just to plop down beside her, strike up a conversation. Flirt.
But for some reason he was hesitant.
Cole told himself it was because he didn’t want to interrupt whatever it was she was so diligently working on, but there was an unfamiliar fear too.
The fear of rejection.
Because nothing about this woman signaled that she’d be interested in a conversation with him.
And that would be a first.
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Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.
Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.
Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).
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Everything She Wanted
The Hunted Series #5
By: Jennifer Ryan
Releasing January 5, 2016
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ryan returns to The Hunted series
Ben Knight has spent his life protecting those in need and helping abused women escape their terrible circumstances. He’ll stop at nothing to save the lives of his clients, especially the hauntingly beautiful Kate Morrison, a woman threatened by a man whose wealth allows him to get away with everything—including murder.
Kate’s days spent as a social worker, fighting for those unable to help themselves, means she’s spent her fair share of time in a court room. She and Ben have crossed paths, but never that professional line. When he agrees to aid her in putting Evan Faraday behind bars where he belongs, she must trust the sexy lawyer with her life and that of a precious baby.
Will Kate learn to trust Ben in time to save herself, and will they have a chance to explore the love blossoming between them before it’s too late?
What a thrill ride, with engaging characters and action that keeps the reader clued into the story.
I loved how well the story is balanced between the relationship developing and the action around the murders and investigation. Kate and Ben have a truly special connection, they have known each other through work, they even had a moment in a friend's wedding, that ended abruptly. But now, firmly planted into each others lives by the murder case, they are bonding, finding so much in common in their lives, and boldly embracing the amazing attraction between them. I loved them together, they are loving and caring, intriguing, stubborn, and passionate, the heat between them is flaming. Little Alex makes them the perfect little family together, and bond between them even stronger.
There are many twists in the story, with the investigation, and the threat for Kate and Alex. I'm glad there wasn't a bigger conflict made between them, as the outside events were trying enough for their relationship. The story stays fresh and moves on with a smooth speed.
The family of the heart and blood, that holds them close, and does what they can to help and protect Ben, Kate, and Alex is admirable. The love from them balances out the evil manipulations of the mastermind behind the murders and attacks.
This story kept me up late at night, it was really hard to put down. I enjoyed the characters, all of them, the camaraderie they have in between them. Ben and Kate, with Alex, are obviously meant to be together, and watching them grow, and develop into a family unit was enthralling. Some of the long inner reflections made part of the story a bit heavier, but gave an insightful look into the development of the complex characters. Captivating tale, that I absolutely recommend
~ Five Spoons
“You have to kill him or we’ll lose everything.” Christina Faraday ignored her son’s eye roll, too distressed about the earlier argument with her husband Donald to care about Evan’s insolence.
“Mom, seriously, don’t you think you’re being overly dramatic, even for you?”
“Dramatic. Really? He’s divorcing me.”
“How many times have you or he threatened that over the last nearly thirty years? I mean, really, come on. He’ll come around. He always does.”
“Not this time.”
“What now? You slept with your yoga instructor? The Pilates guys? The guy who always remembers your coffee order at Starbucks? The waiter you met at dinner last night? Did you finally up your taste in men and drop your young pups and go for one of the stiff suits Dad calls friends? What?”
“This isn’t funny.”
“Well whatever it is, I’m sure you’ll work it out. You always do. You’ll go back to the usual indifference you have for each other and what you do.”
“Not this time,” Christina yelled. “He served me the papers. If this goes through, it will ruin everything.”
“You’ll be fine. It’s not like you love him and can’t live without him.”
“The prenup I signed means I get next to nothing.”
“Well, that’s your own damn fault for signing it in the first place.”
“How was I supposed to know he’d take on a partner the following year and build a multimillion dollar business out of it?”
“Dad’s smart, focused, and a workaholic. He probably had that partnership set up before he asked you to sign the prenup. That’s what I would have done.”
Christina tried not to think Donald had been that cunning before their marriage. He’d had plans and big dreams for the business. She’d never paid much attention—then or now—and it was coming back to bite her on the ass.
She desperately needed Evan’s help to get out of this mess. With his volatile temper, it wouldn’t take much to set him after his father. But would he come through for her? He’d have to if he wanted to keep his cushy lifestyle of drinking, gambling, partying, and playing.
“He swore he’d cut you off for good this time. You’ll have nothing and neither will I.”
“No he won’t. He always says he will, but he never does. Not really. Well, not for long anyway. I know how to change his mind.”
“You’re not listening. It won’t work this time.” She fell onto the sofa and dropped her head in her hands. She stared at the plush carpet and her Jimmy Choo shoes. “Why did I sign that prenup? The one million payout isn’t even a drop in the bucket of the wealth we share now. The company is worth three hundred times that. This house is worth five times that. I’ll lose my home, my money. Everything I’ve accumulated and helped that bastard achieve will all be taken away.”
“Well you shouldn’t have been so blatant about cheating on him. I’m surprised he didn’t leave you sooner.”
Christina wagged her pointed finger. “Be careful, Evan. You side with him, you may find he’s not on yours anymore.”
Evan narrowed his eyes and leaned forward. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“You pushed him too far with that last bar fight. You nearly killed that man. Then you get a DUI and wreck your car and nearly kill yourself.” She stared at the long scar on his neck. He’d nearly bled to death before help arrived.
“He deserved it. Fucking asshole thinks he can hit on my date.”
“What do you care? You’d only met the woman that night. You probably don’t even remember her name.”
Evan’s face took on a thoughtful, far off look. He shook his head, indicating he really didn’t remember the woman’s name. What did it matter? Her son went from one woman to the next like he changed his shirts.
“It’s the principle. She was with me.”
“Sometimes you’re like a spoiled child. Someone touches your toy and you punch them out.”
“Maybe, but I’m never going to let my woman get away with looking at, let alone sleeping with another man right under my nose. Not the way Dad let you get away with it.”
Christine huffed out an exasperated breath and rolled her eyes. “Are you going to help me or not?”
“What the hell do you want me to do about this?”
“Kill him before he has a chance to do anything.”
The silence grew between them as Evan finally understood that she meant it. They had no other choice.
A lopsided grin tilted his mouth. He shook his head, dismissing her again. “I’m not going to shoot him dead because you signed away a fortune. Hire a lawyer and fight him for more money. He’s a good guy, he’ll pay you just to make this go away.”
She growled, then tried another tactic. “He has a girlfriend. Everything will go to her if he divorces me and marries her.”
“Bullshit. Dad? A girlfriend? No way.”
“He bought her a house ten months ago. That’s where he spends his evenings now. Not here. Not with me.”
“How long has this been going on?”
“I don’t know. I found out about the property when we did our taxes. He doesn’t think I read over those things, but I do. He thinks he can spend five point two million on a house and I’m not going to notice.”
“You think you can spend thousands on dinner, drinks, and hotel rooms and he won’t notice. And watches. Seriously, you don’t think he knows you buy those fucks gifts. He sees the credit card bill, you know?” Evan shook his head and downed the last of his Scotch. “You two are something.”
“He’s never had another woman in his life. She’s special to him if he bought her a house and spends time with her. If he marries her, we lose everything. She’ll inherit, not you.”
“He won’t do that.”
Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. 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 isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to the table. 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.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Books & Spoons Release Blast with Tasty Book Tours OF FLAME AND PROMISE by Cecy Robson
Of Flame and Promise
Weird Girls #6
By: Cecy Robson
Releasing January 12, 2016
Perfect for fans of Keri Arthur and Bella Forrest, this short novel kicks off a sizzling new series in the award-winning Weird Girls saga as Celia’s sister Taran fights to have it all: independence, hot romance, and enough firepower to torch an army of blood-thirsty supernaturals.
Cursed by a spell meant to destroy them, Taran Wird and her sisters instead developed unique magical talents. With the power of fire and lightning literally at her fingertips, Taran doesn’t fear much. Demons, vamps, whatever—bring ’em on! Only one thing terrifies her: commitment.
Taran is crazy about her boyfriend, Gemini, a sexy were with the incredible ability to split into two separate wolves. But after watching her sister go through heartbreak with the pack’s Alpha, Taran knows not to count on happily ever after—despite Gemini’s desire to claim her as his mate. Reluctantly, she agrees to meet his very traditional and conservative parents. Taran’s a badass with a mouth to match, and Gemini loves her for it. She’s just not positive these attributes will please Mom and Dad.
Unsurprisingly, every attempt by Taran to bond with Gemini’s folks proves disastrous. But in the end, Taran finds that winning them over means unleashing her powers . . . and proving that this foul-mouthed fire-starter is a force to be reckoned with.
I’d woken only about an hour ago, Gemini’s warm, naked body curled against mine firing a need that required some serious quenching. So I buried my face in his lap to stir him from sleep.
Most women would have just said good morning, or nudged their partners ever so lovingly.
But I wasn’t most women.
Yeah, and you’re welcome, baby.
Gemini slowed his deep thrusts, grunting hard as he finished, his face scrunched in what appeared to be pain. But that wasn’t pain, was it? Nope, not at all. He was simply reacting to how good it felt to join his body with mine. I nibbled my way along his neck, leaving marks that faded from one bite to the next until I reached his earlobe and tugged. “Mornin’, sexy,” I whispered.
He growled something I didn’t quite understand. I didn’t speak a word of wolf, yet that deep snarl was as good as the dirty talk we’d exchanged during sex.
I laughed. Okay, maybe it wasn’t as good as those naughty words. Yet a growl from a werewolf in his human form was a rare kind of hot few women would know.
I continued to straddle Gemini as he effortlessly carried us from the center of the room, where we’d made love standing up, and back to our bed. The gentle way in which he kissed me was in direct contrast to our wicked sex, and to the male most saw.
My lover was the second in command of the Tahoe region’s Squaw Valley Den Pack—intelligent, fierce, capable of crushing skulls, quietly confident, and with fighting skills few weres possessed.
Not to mention he was hotter than the power I generated with my magic.
All large anatomical parts and good looks aside, Gemini was . . . kind. When you trash-talked, and entered a room like you owned it like I did, it attracted a certain caliber of men. The kind that made me grateful I could protect myself with fire and lightning.
Men could be cruel, and dangerous. I knew that better than most. But unlike those men I’ve known in my past, I trusted Gemini.
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Cecy Robson is the New Adult author of Once Perfect, Once Loved, and Once Pure and the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A self-proclaimed professional napper, Cecy counts among her talents a jaw-dropping knowledge of useless trivia, the ability to make her hair big, and a knack for breaking into song despite her family’s vehement protests. A full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the Great Northwest, Cecy enjoys spending time with her family and silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Subject: Navy SEAL Taylor Powell
Mission: Find a sexy fake girlfriend…with even sexier benefits!
Lieutenant Taylor "The Wizard" Powell has a reputation for getting out of tricky situations. Bad guys, bombs, weapons—no problem. Finding a girlfriend in order to evade matchmaking friends? Not so easy. He's banking on contractor Cat Peres to help him out…not realizing his tomboy friend has a whole lot of sexy surprises hidden in her tool belt.
Cat can't remember a time when Taylor wasn't the object of her hottest dreams—so she can't help but agree to his plan. Their only rule? Friends, no matter what. Except the deliciously hot chemistry that ignites between them takes them both by surprise…and having nothing between them might just ruin everything.
I fell in love with these SEALs a long time ago, and the affection seems to just grow with every book in the series. I love the friends-to-lovers plot, and it was done so well, especially since 'the pretend' didn't continue on further than the first kiss.
Cat and Taylor are so incredibly hot together, the chemistry is beyond anything, they are loving, sensual, and so sexy. And the friendship they have is the real thing, since their childhood, they have been part of each others lives, in a natural and caring way.
The story isn't just about the relationship, they have so much more to deal with as well. Cat is trying to handle the power struggles in her family business, trying to find her place in it all, figure out her future, and prospects.
Ty has his job as a SEAL, the demands, pressures, missions, the toll it all is taking on him, and how he is dealing with it all.
Tawny Weber writes delightfully sexy stories, that even though are light and quick to read, are also a joy to read, and often have more to offer than just seductive flirting and scorching romance. The books tell stories that touch my heart, with characters that realize their own strengths and weaknesses, and are doing all they can to make their loved ones feel how special and important they are to them. I have fell in love with every story, and hope there's much more to come
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Jane Pringle never meant to fall for her boss. After landing a job as a pastry chef at the exclusive Briarwood Golf and Yacht Club in Eastbridge, Connecticut, she just wants to keep her son in a good school district and find some peace and quiet, far away from her manipulative ex-husband. But when Briarwood’s charismatic co-owner takes an interest in her, Jane’s best-laid plans go awry . . . in the sweetest way possible.
Rich and handsome, the grandson of one of the most powerful men in New York City, Preston North hasn’t lived quite the charmed life everyone believes. His family taught him everything he needs to know about betrayal—and Press wants no more of it. What he wants is Jane. The gorgeous single mom is selfless and kind, plus she’s got a backbone. To win her trust, Press just needs to shake off his playboy reputation.
They’ve each been burned in the past. But now Press and Jane will have to choose between letting their fears get the best of them . . . or breaking free and following their hearts.
Rather edgy environment, with lots of high emotions, broken people, and one little boy in midst of them.
When it comes to the characters, Press was really easy to like. His honest and straightforward attitude is a winner. He gives it to you as it is, he is not perfect by any measure, but he is facing his mistakes and faults, and working on them. You can see his development and growth as a human being through the story. His New York life gives the vibes of Gossip Girl television series from the past, with the richie rich New York young adults living it large. I admire the dedication Press had for his family, his loyal heart, and how he was with Andy. There were several truly heart melting scenes with Press and Andy.
His attraction to Jane was immediate, and the heat between them is hot, they set the sheet on fire, for sure. But Jane is also a broken person, her abusive marriage ended badly, her ex is still hunting her, trying to get her where it hurts the most, their son Andy. Jane feels the attraction to Press, even though at first thinking he was like her ex, even though they are the opposites. But Jane is not ready for a relationship, she is scared, and she plays games with Press. Off again on again, they go, as her feelings are on a roll-a-coaster, and every time Press takes her back. That wave went for enough times, I think the story would have benefited from an epilogue, that would have given more faith for Jane not running, again.
The story moves on slowly, and is rather predictable, and because of that, it lost some of the intensity of the feelings, and interest in the story. There were times, mostly when Andy was in the scene, that I was able to connect with Jane, and pull for her. But I can't decide if it is three or four spoons, so I go for the compromise
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
FOR HER DAUGHTER
Laura Jessup is used to the rumors—everyone in tiny Gibson, Montana, thinks she's a home-wrecker. And Laura can handle that if it means protecting her daughter from her sweet girl's father. Only hunky EMT Tanner Hudson seems immune to the gossipmongers. The solution he proposes—a marriage in name only!—might just be crazy enough to work…if only Laura can keep her heart out of it.
Tanner wasn't sure Laura would accept a platonic marriage, even though it would stop the rumor mills and get his own family off his back. But as the wedding draws closer, Tanner worries that his plan is working a little too well. He's falling for Laura, hard. They thought they were ready for marriage, but are Tanner and Laura prepared for real love?
What a lovely story, filled with heartwarming characters, adorable baby, and a little turbulence with a family.
Both Laura and Tanner won my heart quickly. They were such good, solid characters, people who have made mistakes, faced the consequences, own up to them, and are willing to do whatever it takes to protect those they love. How can you not love them?!
Tanner was there as a professional, when Laura had her sweet baby girl. Ever since, there's a connection between them, that is special and intimate. As their friendship grows, the feelings get deeper, and even though they both fight against it, romantic feelings soon come into the picture.
The story broke my heart a bit at first. The trials of life Laura have faced, are not easy, the rumors running around would be difficult to face, and live with. But she is willing to face anything for her baby, even if it hurts, and has isolated her from her friends.
But the interaction between Tanner and Laura brings it all back together, in a sweet, charming, and at times even dreamy way. There's something real, vulnerable, and beautiful, even innocent, between them, that made me catch my breath at times, so many swoon worthy moments between them.
A true love story, that shows the difficulty and hardship life can be sometimes, but also takes the story to a delightful and tender part of living and loving. The story made me sigh and smile, connect at the emotional level with the characters, feel the discomfort of the judgmental attitudes, and the luscious feelings of falling in love, just lovely
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
The McBride Brothers #2
By: Scarlett Dunn
Releasing December 29, 2015
Zebra kLean Reads
A trail of danger and dreams…
She may be an heiress, but Parker Promise Sinclair cares more about living an adventurous life than snaring a suitable husband. So it’s no surprise when she joins a Wyoming wagon trail—only to survive a massacre that leaves her with no memory, a target on her back—and her abiding faith tested by the only man who can possibly protect her.
His gunfighting skills and trail savvy have saved U.S. Marshal Jake McBride more times than he can count. And his instincts tell him the only way to keep Promise alive is to take her along on his high-stakes cattle drive. But she soon proves she can ride and shoot with the best of them—and Jake finds it increasingly difficult to keep himself from falling for her. Soon, with danger closing in, they'll have only one chance to face their doubts, their fears—and their growing love…
As he drew closer, Preacher laid his ears back and started sidestepping. Jake’s senses went on high alert. His horse was as good at detecting danger as any U.S. Marshal he’d ever seen. He stroked Preacher’s neck as he assessed the situation. The riders were well out of sight, so he didn’t know what had Preacher so worked up. “Settle down, boy. I don’t see anyone moving about.” He focused again on what he thought were flags, and realization dawned. Covered wagons. They were turned over on their sides and the canvases had been ripped apart, leaving the tattered pieces to flap in the wind like sails on a ship.
“Come on, boy. Let’s see what this is about.” Preacher snorted at him as though he disagreed with the command, but he moved ahead. Jake counted six wagons overturned as he reined in at the nearest one. Dismounting, he held on to Preacher’s reins just in case he needed to make a fast getaway. What happened here? Indians? Is that who was riding away? They hadn’t encountered any Indians so far, but that only meant one thing; they were due. One thing was certain, if Indians were around, he figured he’d see them soon enough. Not many places to hide out here in the open, but they sure had a way of appearing out of thin air.
The thunder and lightning had lessened considerably, so he figured he could hear trouble if it came calling. Scanning the area, he saw all manner of items from the wagons scattered about. Judging by the destruction, and some costly articles left behind, it occurred to him that whoever did this was looking for something in particular. Spotting a man on the ground near the first wagon, he released Preacher’s reins and hurried to him. As he approached, he saw the blood covering the front of his rainsoaked shirt. He didn’t need to touch him; his eyes had the vacant stare of a dead man. There was a rifle beside the man and Jake picked it up to see if it had been fire. It hadn’t. The man’s pistol was still in his holster. He walked to the overturned wagon and peeked inside. There was a woman lying half out of the front of the wagon, so he
hustled around to check her. Shot dead. A few feet from her was another man lying dead on the ground. What in heaven’s name happened here? He ran to the other wagons, praying to God he would find someone alive. He found six more bodies. Everyone shot—no arrows, but Indians had guns, he reminded himself. Questions circled his mind. Why weren’t they traveling with a larger group? Had they been ill and left behind? And why in heaven’s name had they stopped out here in the open? Not the best place to stop for the night if they needed to defend themselves from an attack.
Reaching the last wagon, he saw a woman lying facedown near a large overturned trunk, and a man lying several feet from her. Again, he scanned the horizon to make sure no one was waiting to shoot him in the back. Approaching the woman first, he kneeled down and gently turned her over. Pushing aside her long wet hair from her face, he saw that her eyes were closed and blood oozed from her temple. He placed his palm on her chest to see if she had a heartbeat. Alive! Her heartbeat was faint, but it was there. Thank God. Wiping at the blood on her temple, he tried to see how badly she was injured. It looked like a bullet had grazed her, but fortunately it wasn’t lodged in her head. He searched her limp form for additional signs of injury, but finding none, he stood and pulled off his slicker to cover her. It didn’t make a lick of
sense since her clothing was drenched, yet it made him feel better. He walked to the man lying nearby to see if he was as lucky as the woman. He wasn’t.
He whistled for Preacher, who came trotting up beside him. He pulled a clean shirt out of his saddlebag and quickly tore it into long strips. Gently, he propped the woman against his thigh and wound the cloth around her head. Two thoughts struck him at once: how fragile she was, and how good she smelled. Odd, under the circumstances, that he’d noticed her fragrance, but he figured it was because since he’d left Texas the only things he’d smelled were cattle and wet earth. While he worked on the bandage, it occurred to him that she was much younger than the other women he’d found. The man lying near her was also younger than the other men. He must have been her husband. Why would anyone shoot all of these people? What were they searching for? If Indians had attacked, they would have taken some of the items littering the ground, like the tools or sacks of sugar and barrels of flour. They would have taken the young woman too. He’d seen a lot of evil in his ten years as a U.S. Marshal, but nothing as senseless as this. He took hold of her hand, wishing he could will her to wake. Her hand was so delicate and soft against his calloused skin that he glanced down to look at her palm. This was not the hand of a woman who worked a farm, though he did feel some rough spots on her fingers, which he figured were from holding a horse’s reins.
He glanced at the man again. No gun. Realizing that only one man had been armed offered up another set of questions. It was possible that the killers had taken their weapons. Did they also take the horses, or had the horses simply run off when the shooting started? He felt sure the killers didn’t take the time to unhitch the teams, so these folks had stopped for some reason.
He could see hoofprints in every direction, but right now he didn’t have time to study them other than to make a mental note that they were shod. He knew the rain would wash away the tracks of the men he saw riding away, but his first responsibility was to care for the woman. He’d take her back to meet up with the drive so his cook could tend her. He’d hired Shorty not only for his cooking skills but because he also possessed some doctoring knowledge. Shorty had been on six cattle drives and had tended various injuries, so Jake hoped he would know what to do for her. Once the woman was in Shorty’s care, he’d bring some men back to bury the dead. Then he’d have time to try to make sense out of this massacre.
Preacher caught his attention when he snorted and sidestepped closer. “What is it, boy?” Jake looked around and immediately spotted Indians on a knoll less than two hundred yards away. Damn, if they can’t sneak up on a man! He counted ten braves, and though he wasn’t sure, he thought they were Comanche. “Okay, boy, we’re leaving.” Just as he was about to lift the woman in his arms, he saw a leather-bound book underneath her skirt, and next to it was a Colt .45. He picked up the pistol and smelled the barrel before tucking it in his belt. He grabbed the book and stuffed it inside his shirt to keep it dry. Once he was settled in the saddle with the woman securely in his arms, he pulled his slicker over her head to keep her bandage dry. He turned his gaze on the Indians and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw they were not riding toward him. It was odd how they were just watching, almost like they were afraid to ride closer. He looked around to make sure no one else was lurking about. Before he rode away, he glanced once more at the destruction around him. He was certain of one thing: The Indians hadn’t done this. Not one scalp was missing.
Scarlett Dunn lives in Kentucky surrounded by all manner of wildlife, and enjoys long "God walks" where most inspiration strikes. Possessing an adventurous spirit, and a love of history, particularly the pioneers of the West, she has a special place in her heart for all cowboys, past and present. Readers can visit her website: www.scarlettdunn.com.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | GoodReads