A well written and an easy to read romance novel with little angst, a lot of passion, a bit predictable plot and a heroine who carried the story with her strong character.
This was the age-old story of accidental pregnancy after a one night stand that should have never happen. There's the billionaire, the strong heroine who grew up alone, and family who causes drama. There was nothing that I didn't like about the story, it is a good, solid tale about falling in love and dealing with your past.
Jack Maclean was not as strong and confident as I would have preferred. He is stuck in his past, he has not dated since his wife died four years ago. A wife who was pregnant and was the love of his life since the tender teenage years. He is lost in his mind, has no idea what he wants from the future, I felt like he was unraveling right in front of my eyes. He was not in touch with his feelings, would rather avoid them or talking about them giving Stella Grant a challenge to get through to him.
But Stella was well equipped for the challenge. She had made a mistake in the past by trusting a wrong man and Jack didn't seem much more promising prospect.But Stella is strong, professional, capable to take care of herself, successful with her career, and in no need of Jack to rescue her or to take care of her or the baby on the way. It is Jack's choice just how much involved he wants to be with the baby.
Stella and Jack fumble with emotions, communications, and family drama surrounding them. They try to get to know each other and learn as much of each other as they are comfortable with sharing, it just seems that Jack's limits are tight and involve no feelings what so ever.
Scorching hot passion, difficult emotions, the enticing setting of Scotland countryside alternating with the busy London, provided a good, solid romance story, a great getaway for an evening.
~ Three Spoons
A love rekindled…or a deadly reunion?
Even after a decade, Sarah Hampton is haunted by the night that nearly ended in a bloody massacre and destroyed her high school romance with handsome Tyler Grant.
Now the horror has returned.
It’s a reckoning from the events of that terrifying night—and a love they never let go.
Only this time Tyler must protect Sarah from the killer hiding in the darkness…or lose her forever.
This was a quick read for me since pretty much inhaled it and I couldn't put it down until the end. It was intense, it was scarier than the most, in a creepy and eerie kind of a way the most serial-killer stories are, and it had such an adorable, sweet yet ardent, rekindled romance, that took my breath away with the sizzling passion between them.
The prologue sets the background to the story well and gives the insight to the characters and their relationships with each other. It actually takes the first fifth of the book, but it is well-used space, as all the information is needed to understand the nuances of the present situation, see the layers in the relationships.
The crimes committed are some of the most bloody, cruel, and crimson kind. The case is twisted and the clues are barely there. I loved the fast pace that moved the tale along, the law enforcement's teamwork, and everyone's willingness to co-operate.
Sarah Hampton and Tyler Grant once believed they would always be together. Now a decade later, it seems like not a day has gone by that they have not loved and cared for each other even being apart. The new connection is tight and fast, it is natural and believable, it is real and true, filled with passion and adoration, need to protect, and take care of each other.
I have read about twenty books by the author and enjoyed most of them immensely, yet I think this is my favorite book by her - so many deep emotions, so intense, the cruel and gritty crimes, with the most sensual and expressive romance balancing the horrors of the evil minds.
A must read, indeed, for all romantic suspense fans!
~ Five Spoons
Silent Nights, Steamy Nights - The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod Holiday Boxed Set by Tracy Ellen
Series The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod Volumes 1-4
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance Comedy
Publication Date November 9, 2017
Heat up even the coldest winter night with this limited time Holiday Box Set of The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod, Volumes 1-4!
Anabel Axelrod is no Cinderella waiting for her Prince Charming to come...
What do you get when a brainy, blonde bookseller who is a magnet for trouble meets a not too tall, deliciously dark, and definitely not handsome new man in town man operating under his own secret agenda? The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod ongoing series! From the first sparks of explosive attraction to the dreaded exclusive relationship, happily-ever-after has never been so elusively fun or so dangerously seductive! Purchase your limited time Holiday Box Set today and prepare to fall in love, too!
Holiday Box Set includes the full-length novels:
A Date with Fate
Courted by Karma
In Love by Design
Adieu to Destiny
Other books available in The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod Series:
Family & Fortune
Coupled with Chance
The Kiss of Kismet
A Wedding Written in the Stars
Honeymoon & Happenstance (Releasing January 25, 2018)
*Written for an adult audience. My aim is to provide an entertaining, steamy-hot romance reading experience, so please do not read if strong language, mild violence, and sexual situations that include fantasy role playing might offend you.
About Tracy Ellen
If you love your romance served with heaping helpings of love, lust, and laughter before the delicious happily-ever-after, Tracy Ellen is the writer for you!
Tracy was born in Indiana to middle-class parents, the third out of five hellions. She’s lived in the Midwest her whole life–in a small town, on a farm, and in the big city. Currently, she resides in the suburbs of St Paul, Minnesota with her incredibly tolerant, awesome husband and wonderful family.
Always an avid reader of all genres, her writing career began in 2012 with the debut of A Date with Fate, a blend of contemporary-romance, romantic suspense, and romantic comedy in a small-town setting. She’s also written a science fiction/horror/apocalyptic series and is currently working on a paranormal romance series. Tracy’s loves being a full-time writer and self-punished er…published author.
IN THE LINE OF FIRE…
Former SEAL Malachai “Mac” MacCarrick is all about the future he’s created with his Navy brothers in Eagle Securities, taking assignments in the most dangerous places, and doing things no one but ex-military would attempt. But when an urgent phone call brings his troubled past—and the woman he once loved—into the present, it’s a chance to redeem himself that he can’t refuse.
STRAIGHT TO THE HEART…
An investigative journalist researching an explosive story, Delaney Shapiro tells herself she got over Mac—and his role in her brother’s death—a long time ago. But the first moment she sees him at her bedside in an overseas hospital, she knows it’s not true. Every moment together rekindles the desire that once burned between them, and now that she’s a target for an emerging Russian arms dealer, Mac won’t let her out of his sight. To protect her, he’ll risk it all—including his life…
With the intense start of a run for a rescue of an old girlfriend half across the world, at the beginning of the story, I jumped in the series by a new author to me with high hopes and great expectations. I liked the idea of the story, the plot of the young lovers separated 14 years ago by a tragic death of a brother and a best friend and all the trouble they run into because of their professions as a journalist and a former SEAL now security expert.
I thought that the team of best friends and military brothers were fun and entertaining, their teamwork seamless, and the support they gave to each other priceless.
I liked Mac, he was attractive, kind, protective, loyal, and smart. He was easy to be around with, and he genuinely cared about people around him. He was an alpha military man, tough and rough, yet his heart's desire was to have a family, a loving wife and children, a home.
He once thought he was going to have it all with Delaney Shapiro but she tore them apart accusing Mac of her brother's death.
I tried to like Delaney, I tried to be as forgiving as Mac and keep giving her second chances. But she just rubbed me the wrong way with her selfish, stubborn act that was rather immature, as well. Her ideologies and judgments made me see red, there were a lot of details with her that I struggled with through the story.
The push and pull between Mac and Delaney didn't stop them from having steamy love scenes. The big secret that Mac was holding out of loyalty to his dead best friend was the key that kept me reading, I wanted to see how Delaney reacted to the reveal, hoping she would redeem herself.
The majority of the story deals with the back and forth between the reuniting Mac and Delaney. It is towards the end where the action starts, where the investigation jumps forward leaps and bounds, that the adrenaline starts pumping, and things start happening with hair-raising speed and vigor.
Like I mentioned at the beginning I liked the plot and idea of the storyline, but the eARC I received must have been a really raw and rough copy of the book since there were issues with timing - did it happen three days ago, a day ago, or that morning - type of guessing. When you have to go back and check what was it, and the timeline confusing the natural flow, it did make an impact on the enjoyment of the tale.
Another thing was the jumping from scene to another without any warning or indication of the change of the different place, time, or the characters altering. This would just happen in the next sentence. Sometimes what was in a middle of a scene, in my mind. Either there were big junks of the story cut off without smoothing the edges or there was a considerate amount of editing still needed before the book is released.
Despite all the issues I personally faced with the story and its flow, I hope the final copy that ends up in the reader's hands has been smoothed out of all the kinks. For the tight brotherhood, for the action and pressure towards the end, for Mac and his patience, loyalty, and love of family
~ Two Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Expected publication: January 30th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…
Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgeling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.
Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.
Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.
Stacey arrived at her office shortly after seven Monday morning. On days Kit had to get to school, their mornings were less leisurely and they both liked to be at the office early.
Except for dinner at Harper’s, they’d spent Easter Sunday getting Bay acclimated to her new home. Stacey has lost her nerve again and didn’t tell her mom about her pregnancy, rationalizing that she didn’t want to monopolize everyone’s attention on the holiday.
She and Kit had taken Bay on two long walks so she could get familiar with the neighborhood. Stacey had read up on pregnant dogs and had researched veterinarians in the office, while Kit had installed a doggie door so Bay could come and go as she liked during the day.
Bay was exceptionally well behaved. She’d slept in her dog bed in their room and had eaten. According to all Stacey had read, the dog seemed to be adjusting.
Stacey reviewed the latest test results from their new research direction. Proteins were an obvious area to investigate, but narrowing down exactly which ones and how they reacted was the tedious challenge. Still, progress was being made.
Stacey looked up as her assistant, Lexi, walked into her office. Lexi, a tall redhead in her midthirties, placed a mug on Stacey’s desk.
“Herbal tea,” she said with a grin. “In case you were hoping I was going to slip you a little caffeine.”
“You’d never do that,” Stacey said with a smile. “You always take excellent care of me. How was your weekend?”
“Good. Busy. The Easter Bunny did his thing on Sunday morning. Oh, Sam fell out of a tree, which had me sweating a broken arm, but he’s fine. Still, what is it with kids and trees? It’s not like the trees climb all over them. It’s a tree—leave it alone.”
Stacey wanted to say that Lexi could simply tell her son not to climb trees, only she knew that advice would not be welcome. She wasn’t sure if it was all children or simply Lexi’s, but hers didn’t listen very well.
Her assistant was bright and capable. As she frequently did, Stacey thought it was a shame that Lexi hadn’t gone to college. She could have been successful in many different areas. Not that she wasn’t an excellent assistant—she was. But with three kids to support, Lexi was frequently scrambling to make ends meet. A career with a more lucrative pay scale would have been appreciated.
But Lexi had gotten pregnant in high school and then again a couple of years later. She’d married in her late twenties and had her third child by her now ex-husband.
People made interesting choices, Stacey thought. Some made sense while others simply confused her. She was never sure how much of that was her inability to relate to them versus the decision not making sense in the first place.
“How was your Easter?” Lexi asked as she took a seat across from Stacey’s desk.
“Very nice. Harper prepared a wonderful meal. I brought plenty of leftovers for lunch if you’d care for some.”
Lexi closed her eyes and moaned. “You know I love your sister’s cooking. What that woman does with brownies should be illegal.”
Lexi’s interest in food greatly contributed to her weight problem. Stacey had tried to explain that she should think of food as fuel—like gas for a car. Perhaps that would allow her to lose weight. Lexi had told Stacey that while she was the best boss ever, she wasn’t allowed to comment on her personal appearance and if she did it again, Lexi would write her up.
It had been the only moment of tension in their otherwise-successful working relationship.
Stacey honestly hadn’t understood what she’d done wrong. Kit had tried to explain that Lexi probably knew she had a weight problem and wasn’t looking for Stacey to try to solve it. Which made absolutely no sense. Not only were there health risks, but Lexi was always complaining about being tired and that she couldn’t buy cute clothes. Simply eating less would make it all go away.
But Stacey appreciated Lexi and wanted to keep her happy, so she had vowed not to say anything ever again. She’d brought in brownies Harper had made as a peace offering and all had been well.
Lexi opened her eyes. “Did you tell her?”
No need to ask, tell who what? Lexi had known about the pregnancy since Stacey had had her first ultrasound. She wanted to pretend confusion as to why it had been so easy to tell Harper and Lexi about the baby, yet so hard to tell her mother, only she couldn’t. She knew exactly why she didn’t want to confess all to Bunny.
Maybe it was a bit like Lexi and her addiction to food. Knowing the right thing to do didn’t make it any easier to accomplish.
Expected publication: January 23rd 2018 by Mira Books
A Charleston Harbor Novel Book 1
by Debbie White
Genre: Sweet Romance
Real Men Eat Cupcakes
Annie McPherson has had it with all the blind dates her grandmother and auntie set her up with. She just wants to be left alone to run the Sweet Indulgence cupcake bakery – even if it means she’ll remain single forever.
Jack’s just been through a gut-wrenching break-up, and women are the last thing on his mind. Now he’s on a mission to pick up cupcakes for his niece’s birthday party—not a mission to fall in love. Pulled in by Annie’s good looks and witty charm, though, temptation proves too sweet.
But will Annie’s pesky grandmother and auntie welcome Jack as Annie’s choice or will they have him jumping through hoops to prove he’s the one?
Fans of Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, and Susan Wiggs are sure to love Sweet Indulgence, the first sweet romance novel in the Charleston Harbor series.
This book is too sweet to pass up!
After a long day at Sweet Indulgence, Annie and Buffy headed home. It was a beautiful afternoon with just a hint of coolness in the air. Suddenly Annie’s stride came to a halt. She looked over her shoulder only to find Buffy rolling in something.
Annie tugged on her leash. “Buffy, what are you doing?” She leaned over and peered at the area getting a whiff of an awful foul smell. “Oh, Buffy! Now you’re going to need a bath.”
A car slowly passed them, stopping suddenly. A man dropped the window down and peered out.
“Hi. Need a lift?” He smiled.
“I’m almost home, silly. Besides, you wouldn’t want Ms. Stinky in your car. She found something disgusting and rolled in it.”
Jack pulled his head back and laughed. “I can help.”
A car honked at Jack. He pulled in his head and then pulled the car over to the curb. The other car quickly raced by, spraying her with water from the recent rain. She glared at the car as it sped past.
“Now two of us will need baths,” Annie said disgustedly.
“Hop in. I don’t care if you’re stinky,” Jack said.
“I know, silly. Get in.”
Annie climbed in the passenger seat after settling Buffy into the back seat.
“Wow, she’s ripe. What the heck did she roll in?” Jack asked as he turned on the air conditioner full blast and recycled the air.
“It looked like rotten fruit, or …”
“Don’t say it. Let’s just stick with fruit as the answer,” Jack said.
While Annie ran the bathwater for Buffy, Jack helped by taking off her collar. Side by side, the two of them scrubbed, rinsed, and repeated as Buffy stood looking like a drowned rat.
“Oh, she’s cold. She’s shivering,” Jack said, wrapping her in a fluffy towel.
“Bring her in the bedroom. I’ll use the blow dryer on her.”
Jack held Buffy while Annie blew dry her coat. “Does she like to be brushed?” Jack asked.
“She tolerates it,” Annie said.
“This calls for a glass of wine,” Jack said, looking down at his grimy and wet clothes.
Annie poured two glasses of merlot. Motioning to her couch, she invited him to sit. “I’m sorry you got so dirty.”
“No worries. I’m glad to help. I hope she enjoys being clean,” he said.
“I’m glad we ran into each other,” Annie said, smiling.
“Well, I stopped by the bakery first and you’d already closed. I figured you were on your way home.”
“Ah, so you planned it,” Annie said as she leaned into him, hitting his shoulder.
“How about I take you out for a bite to eat?” Jack asked, taking a sip of his wine.
“Nah, let’s stay in. Do you like ramen? I lived on that stuff while I was in college and I still like it,” Annie said, getting up from the couch and crossing over to the kitchen.
Ramen made everything better, especially on a cool evening such as this. After they finished dinner, she poured their second glass of merlot, dimmed all the lights, and switched on the television. With Buffy curled up in her bed, exhausted from chewing her bone after her bath, Annie and Jack cuddled on the sofa, proud of their accomplishments.
They were laughing at the show, Funniest Home Videos, when her phone began to dance all over the glass coffee table. She quickly reached for the vibrating phone.
“We’d like to have you over for supper. Some financial papers came that we need to discuss.”
“What kind of paperwork?” Annie covered the phone and mouthed, “Grandmother” to Jack.
Jack raised his finger to his mouth, showing her he’d be closemouthed during the conversation.
“I have a very busy schedule. I’m trying to coordinate something with the Vickie and the girls and Jack.”
“Yes.” Annie dared her to say anything about it.
“When can we expect you?” Grandma Lilly said, not missing a beat.
Annie sighed into the receiver. “I’ll stop by tomorrow.”
“Everything okay?” Jack asked.
“Yes. I have to read over some paperwork that came in regarding my inheritance.”
“Oh.” Jack set his glass down. “Maybe I should be going, then.”
“No, you don’t need to go. Please stay.”
Jack nodded. “Alright.”
They continued to laugh at the crazy stunts on the show and soon Annie couldn’t even remember the conversation she’d had with her grandmother. After the show, Annie walked Jack to the door. “Thanks again for helping me. Giving her a bath can be such an ordeal.”
“You’re welcome. And thanks for dinner … and the wine.” He winked.
“Ramen and merlot, the dinner of champions.”
Jack reached out and gently stroked her arm. “I had a great time tonight. It was just the sort of evening I like to spend.”
“Eating ramen and drinking wine?”
“That, and …” He pulled her into his arms. “And this.” His mouth met hers in a soft kiss. She dropped her arms by her side. His sweet warm breath lingered just above her lips. He stepped back, brushing his hand through his hair.
“Hey, you can come back anytime to help me give Buffy a bath,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes.
“As long as you serve me ramen and merlot.” He gave her a quick peck and then he was gone.
Debbie is a USA Today Bestselling Author. She currently lives in northern California where the hills are dotted with vineyards and the jagged coastline is nearby. Many of her books describe the beautiful area she calls home. She avidly supports animal rescue by donating a percentage of all book sales to rescue groups nationwide! Now here are a few more interesting tidbits of information about her!
1. Her spouse served in the U.S. Air Force for over 20 years. She uses some of her experiences as a military wife in some of her stories.
2. She has two granddaughters and a grandson.
3. She received her degree in Sociology in 2011 and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
4. She hasn't always dreamed of writing, but she's always loved reading and decided she'd give it a try. Her fans love her so much, she's still putting out books three years later.
5. Her very first book, The Salty Dog was an Amazon Best-seller.
6. You can follow all the latest news about releases, book signings and more on her website http://www.authordebbiewhite.com
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
Relinquished by Kimi Flores (Previously Published as K.A. Hunter)
Series n/a; standalone
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance Suspense
Publication Date July 23, 2015
Jules Donovan has been in and out of unsavory foster homes and repulsive motels her entire life. She’s known nothing but loss, abandonment, crime, and pain. Now that she's aged out of the system, she can’t remember ever having dreams for her future because she’s constantly fighting for daily survival.
When she meets the Riley brothers, there’s something about them that draws her in. She’s never let her guard down, but Dante and Holden make her feel valuable, like she actually matters. And for the first time in her life, she senses something she’s never experienced before—protection.
But can these mysterious brothers keep her safe from the dark forces that lie in wait, ready for their final revenge? And how in the hell does older brother Dante know so much about her anyway?
Things have been set in motion since she was ripped from her mother’s womb and, as each jagged piece of her life unfolds, she will begin to wonder, who’s really in charge of her fate?
Kimi Flores writes heartfelt contemporary romance novels, as well as gritty romantic suspense (previously published under the pen name KA Hunter). Since her stories are so diverse, each book’s genre is stated on the product page.
She is currently working on her first new adult romance novel, Making Ripples (an Intertwined Hearts spin off) and plans to publish that story as well as another romantic suspense titled Confliction in 2018.
To keep up with the latest information, sign up for her newsletter at kimiflores.com
She needed a miracle.
She got a Texas Ranger.
Vivian Watts’s mission to prove her brother’s innocence has left her destitute and desperate. So when Texas Ranger Slate Thompson arrives with his knock-me-out blue eyes and belief in her case, she dares to hope again…until her apartment is burned to the ground. Slate offers refuge at his ranch, but when evidence suggests police corruption is at play, can he face down his own to protect her?
Texas Brothers of Company B
I'm trying not gush all over this review but honestly, I don't care because I loved this story. It is unique, very creepy while putting the danger into a new level of scary. It is heart-wrenchingly sad with the exploitation of those we only should honor and respect, it is entertaining and heart-warming with the tight brotherhood the Rangers demonstrate with each encounter, and it is adorably sweet and sexy with the attraction and palpable connection between the hero and the heroine.
Vivian Watts is an amazing hero. An army vet who grew up in the system and went to college after the service, then had a great internship in one of the top companies in Miami - and she left everything behind and went to serve tables at the 'chicken wing' restaurant with a half a t-shirt on to support her brother while falsely accused of murder. She is tough, independent, yet resilient. She is smart, capable, and able to defend herself and carry her load of responsibility. She has been dealt a rough hand but she is handling it, and I admired her, liked her, and respected her immensely.
Texas Ranger Slate Thompson is the true deal, a cowboy with a sense of honor and serve deep in his blood. He is kind, caring, and protective, yet not overbearing. What I like most about the Company B Rangers is that they are not perfect. They actually are in quite a trouble with their intuitions and action out of order, like they are walking the tightrope with no security net. They have each other's backs and when the bush comes to shove, the company ultimately has theirs.
The disturbing crimes that they are investigating, the false murder case against Vivian's brother, and the alarming troubles with the local vets who are being treated at the sleep clinic were all together so frighteningly ghoulish that I still don't what to think. Can minds be manipulated like that? Can we be programmed to act against our loved ones by a hypnotism or some kind of drugs? The indications of these terrifying crimes against the vulnerable vets coming to seek help from those who they should be able to trust gave me chills.
Action, investigation, battles of minds and assaults by strangers, life and death situations, and sweet, ardent romance that has a spark and passion, I enjoyed the story, each moment of it, so smoothly flowing and tightening everything so well together it was impossible to put down. I am telling you, the Rangers have started the year with a bang, and I am loving it. Can't wait for the next book in the series!
~ Five Spoons
Texas Brothers of Company B
Click the image for a review & buy links
When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.
Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.
When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.
But sometimes love can breach all barriers.
Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.
The red light in front of me flashes, bells ring, and I raise my arms in the air, savoring my victory. I even mimic the dance I performed in my limited and excruciatingly failed days as a cheerleader for Pee Wee football by slightly swinging my hips side to side.
I split my “v,” I dot my “I,”, I curl my “ctory”. Pee Wee football cheer taught me I not only lacked rhythm, but I lacked enthusiasm for my team when it was thirty degrees and raining. But in my defense, how many six-year-olds love cold rain?
The group next to me toss their padded mallets on to the game. Only one groans as if their loss was monumental. The rest laugh and good naturally tease each other. They’ve been fun to beat. For three games in a row, these two rugged guys and two girls have hung with me. Three times digging into their pockets to ante up, three times we’ve trash-talked the other in ways that are only done on fair midways, three times each one bites the dust.
Whack-A-Mole is not for the faint at heart. This game is for the serious, and only the serious win, and I’m a serious type of girl when it comes to carnival games and hard-earned stuffed animals. Someone’s got to play and win, and it’s going to be me.
For a few minutes I forgot I had to be perfect, and being just me felt great.
“Good game.” One girl of the group offers me her fist, and the multiple bracelets on her wrist clank. She’s my age, has curly black hair in tight rings, and friendly dark eyes. Her clothes, I love. Tight jeans, a tank that ends at her middriff and a jeweled chain around her flat, brown stomach that’s attached to her belly button ring. She has a daring grin and style. Both I admire.
I’m not the type to fist-bump, and by how long I’ve hesitated, the girl’s aware this is out of my territory. I finally do fist-bump her though, because I’m not only highly competitive, but I rarely back down from a challenge. For those reasons alone, it’s amazing my mother lets me out of the house. “Good game.”
Her grin widens, and I hold my breath as she tilts her head in that familiar déjà vu. I silently pray for her to shake it off, and when she does, turning so she can talk to her friends, I blow out a relieved breath.
Most of her group appears to be the same age as her, about the same age as me, except one guy who I’d hedge is in his twenties. By the way they all listen when he talks, it’s apparent he has their respect.
I watch them longer than I should because a part of me envies the way they all seem to belong to each other. Henry is twenty-four and loves me, but about the only thing we have in common is my parents, and he hasn’t talked to them in two years.
The carnie clears his throat, and I’m drawn back to the sounds of people laughing on rides and the scent of popcorn. I offer the pink-and-black striped medium snake I’ve already won to him and motion with my index finger that I’m on the hunt for the massive, big daddy snake that could wrap around my body a few times. To the victor goes the spoils.
The carnie doesn’t accept my medium snake and instead hands me a green-and-black striped small one. “You have to win four times in a row in order to get the big one.”
Four times. Good God. At five dollars a game, I could have bought five of these hardened toys, but that’s not the point. Winning is the actual prize.
I pull my cell out of the small purse I have crossed over my body. I ignore Andrew’s “Where are you?” texts and check the time. I’ve got an hour to make it back to the convention center, change and be ready for Dad’s press conference where it is my job to sit, smile and “look pretty.”
If I’m really careful, there won’t be time for my mother to berate me for taking off without Andrew. He’s a friend of the family a few years older than me, and my mother chose him to “babysit” me for the afternoon. She allowed me to go to the midway with the understanding I was to tag along with him. But I don’t like Andrew and Andrew doesn’t like me, so I turned right while he walked left and neither of us looked back to see if the other was following. Maybe Andrew will rat me out that I abandoned him. Maybe he won’t. Either way, I’m happy with my choices.
Any way I look at it, I have time for at least one more game. I flip my blond hair over my shoulder and give a tempting grin that’s meant to rub it in that I not only won, but won three times in a row. “You know you guys want to play again.”
A cult, a missing infant…
And a fearless lawman
To prove her sister’s murder, Michelle Munson infiltrates the cult led by “Prophet” Daniel Metwater. Having endured a tough life in foster care, she’s fiercely independent and distrustful of police. But when her baby disappears, she knows she’s come too close to learning Metwater’s secrets, and turns to Ranger Ethan Reynolds for justice. Facing down harrowing danger in Colorado’s wilderness, the resolute lawman fights to protect Michelle…and open her heart.
The Ranger Brigade: Family Secrets
Missing In Blue Mesa is mesmerizing with the intriguing investigation and compelling with the rough beginning of the life the heroine had survived. It has a perfect balance of exciting, heart-pounding action, vigorous investigation, and fiery, sensual passion that yes, came a bit as a surprise as it hits the hero and heroine like a hammer, and takes over them. But the emotions raging were believable, with the wide range from sweet and tender to protective to the sexy and wild.
Michelle Munson is one tough lady. She is a fierce protector of her son, she would do anything for those she loves but unfortunately, the number of people deserving of her loyalty and devotion has been low all her life. Growing up in the system she was falsely accused of the unthinkable. As a young girl, facing alone the world and their judgment she learned not to trust anyone, never show emotion, to keep her distance, to take what you can where you can within any method. She was not the favorite, people thought of her as selfish and difficult, yet there was a tender, broken heart inside of her, looking for acceptance, love, loyalty, someone she could trust and who would trust her, believe her and in her.
From the first moment Michelle and Ethan Reynolds meet, the sparks fly despite the danger she is in, and the near escape she had just made. Ethan is a good, solid man. He loves to take care of others, to protect them, to make life easier for them by serving them to best of his ability. He is trying to learn the new frame to his life and to his relationship with his mother after his father's passing, and the little wild, a lot of unpredictable, and fiercely independent Michelle walks right into his heart and takes space. It is always a delight to watch a good man fall, and fall hard, and Ethan is not even trying to hide his devotion to Michelle and her son, Hunter.
The action often turns brutal, bloody, and personal. The investigation is intense to the missing baby case and the other problems that bloom around the investigation and around the town. The constant unbalance of the situation with the Family and Daniel Metwater is escalating into an up close and personal life and death battle.
There is one more book coming in the series, and I can't wait to indulge in it since the mastermind is still at large, even though this book did get a very satisfying conclusion.
I would think this novel could be read as a standalone story, but to get more insight into the Family and the tension between Daniel Metwater and the Ranger Brigade, I highly recommend to read the whole series and prepare yourself to the finale next month.
A captivating story that is hard to put down, an engaging tale that got me emotionally involved. I read the book at one sitting, going through the emotions, biting my nails with the tension and fear, smiling and sighing with the adorable romance, and screaming at the screen of my Kindle when they blunder and take the wrong turn... Loved it!
~ Five Spoons
The Ranger Brigade: Family Secrets
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This sexy tycoon has everything…
So why is he searching for a baby?
To Chief Deputy Suzy Simmons, James Callahan is the dark-haired, sexy-as-hell millionaire with abs from her past. But despite his megacharm and killer body, Suzy deeply distrusts him when he draws her into his investigation of a criminal’s murder. The courageous beauty is determined to get answers, not come-ons. As they race against time, James and Suzy face unseen danger with their case—and hearts—heating up.
The Protectors of Riker County
An action-packed story filled with plot twists and turns that kept me on the edge through the tale. The author is not afraid to put the main characters into the line of fire, and there are no guarantees of the survival.
The Protectors of Riker County series has been an entertaining roll-a-coaster ride of a battle for justice, southern charm, deep emotions, and fierce passion. And I have to say, Loving Baby was the perfect crescendo to the mini-series. In my opinion, it was the best of the bundle, from the characters to the writing and the flow of the story. It was enjoyable to read and with clever tricks, the author made it easy to follow even though there was an abundance of characters and plenty of twirls in the venture.
Chief Deputy Suzy Simmons is a beautiful, smart, capable, and tough heroine. Even at the end of the recovery from the previous work-related wounds, she is at the top of her game. She is not afraid to face the dangers, to protect the innocents, and take charge when needed. I admired her and her spunk. She was not afraid to show her vulnerability as a mother, daughter, and a lover while able to vigorously investigate, protect, and fight for the truth and justice.
James Callahan is a hero with many layers and faces. He is the loving brother, fierce protector, potent fighter, a former military, now a millionaire, who has a heart of gold and kind mind, he is true to his word, and definitely not a person to be underestimated or walked over.
The attraction between Suzy and James was believable and the fact that it had been simmering for some time, made it more natural and true. There was no insta love, but a mature, developing, growing relationship between two equals, in a midst of chaos, turmoil, and life.
Even with the steady twists and wealth of characters, the author managed to keep all the lines straight and untangled. Just when I started to feel overwhelmed with the flooding information, there was a subtle and clever recap to pull it all together in the reader's mind.
I enjoyed the story immensely and recommend the series to all intrigue and romantic suspense fans who enjoy ferocious dangerous action, smart, edgy, and charming characters, and ardent romance
~ Five Spoons
The Protectors of Riker County
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John Noble returns in a new adventure to thwart the Unknown Identities agency's latest attempt to rebuild...
Scott Blackwell proudly served the U.S. Army until he was accused of murder, court martialed, and imprisoned. When a covert team pulls him out of his cell things go from bad to worse with an impossible ultimatum: kill one target and go free, or go back to jail for life.
Jaime Castle is headed home to Montana for some much-needed vacation time. Wrestling to change a flat tire on a deserted road, she's grateful for the help of a stranger - until she finds herself caught up in a world of trouble and danger she didn’t know existed. Now she must decide who to trust and what to believe before it's too late.
Moving Target lured me into the sinister, dark world of black ops, where everything goes, laws are just guidelines, manipulation and power games are the norm and super soldiers do exist with unique gifts to enhance their performance.
I admit I am hooked. As soon as the bigger picture started to open up to me with the twisted, evil means the Unknown Identities (aka the UI) tries to 'recruit' new members, and who were the good guys and who were to be avoided, I wanted to go back and start from the beginning because I was hooked, intrigued and mesmerized by this creepy world the author had created.
The characters were charming. But even more than charming, the trouble they were in because of the UI had put them into the position, that predicament made me feel for them. The way they were willing to sacrifice all for their brothers in arms, their protectiveness, and the need for justice is admirable, the constant fear and tension in the air is alluring in an eerie way.
I genuinely liked Scott Blackwell and Jaime Castle. The way Scott was facing the challenge, his honesty and dignity just floored me. And Jaime, so calm, cool, composed even after finding there was a target in her back. How can you not admire that?!
The way Scott and Jaime connected and bonded, their sincerity with each other, it was sexy and sweet in just the perfect dozes.
It seems that the series is at a beginning of a new twist, so to say, with John Noble's return and the new location in Montana where they find themselves protecting Scott and Jaime against the UI. I will be going back to catch up from the start, but this also seemed like a great spot to jump in, so to speak, if you are a new for the series.
Military action with a touch of super-powers, vicious battles against the UI who is a constant threat to their lives, combined with seductive romance with steamy love scenes is just a perfect way to heat up a winter night.
~ Four Spoons
Two FBI agents are caught in a merciless vigilante’s crosshairs in New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s electric Killer Instinct series
Sheltered in the shadows of the Smoky Mountains is the suspect who’s summoned FBI agent Macey Night’s fears to the surface. Every day that the “Profiler,” a vigilante serial killer, escapes justice is another day she’s reminded of what it is to be a ruthless predator’s prey. Capturing him is a craving deeper than anything she’s felt in a long time. But Agent Bowen Murphy, equal parts sexy and volatile, seems hell-bent on changing that. Working together—needing, living, and breathing each other—they’re entwined to distraction.
Bowen’s used to operating on impulse: act, don’t feel. Now Macey and the controlled terror behind her beautiful eyes has him rethinking everything, including his rule to never get close to a colleague. He’s willing to fight for a future with Macey, but the consequences of love could be deadly.
With nonstop twists in the plot, this serial killer hunt kept me mesmerized until the end. The gory, grisly crimes, the constant guessing of the possible culprits, the struggle to get just one step ahead of him, to survive, to save just one of his victims, to live through his attacks, it had me on my toes, on the edge, holding my breath, making the book impossible to put down until I knew for sure that there was a deliverance from the evil, from the chase for survival.
The gloomy crimes took the story into the deep, dark, dangerous corners of a twisted human mind. The danger and threat are palpable in the air, the possibilities to survive are meager, the endless opportunities to hide in the vast environment of the Smokies gives the sick and twisted hunter an upper hand. The constantly adding numbers of the victims feel devastating, the struggle to feel compassion towards the prey, as they are as vicious killers as the hunter, is overwhelming. No one is safe, as it seems the mastermind has an access to the deepest thoughts and secrets of the FBI agents trying to capture him.
Yes, the suspense is intense, dark, and sinister but it is balanced by the light that comes from the developing relationship between the FBI partners Macey Night and Bowen Murphy. The passion between them is ardent and eager, as the long-simmered emotions finally cascade into the freedom, overflowing despite the rules of the FBI. I loved the connection between Macey and Bowen, while it was tight and strong, filled with passion, there was fragile tenderness in it as well. The need to protect, to keep each other safe even more urgent because of their shadowy history, their past encounters with the killers that they barely survived.
A riveting story with fascinating, gripping, on-the-edge suspense and enthralling and alluring romance between the main characters who charmed me with their intriguing, hidden depths, their caring natures, and their need to protect. A thrill ride of a story that kept me up until the wee hours of the night, driven by the need to find justice for the innocent victims, for the culprits to be captured, and for hero and heroine to survive. Truly an unputdownable story, a great addition series focusing on the FBI's special agents' hunt of the serial killers.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
How well do you really know your best friend?
Kat Grant and Alice Campbell have a friendship forged in shared confidences and long lunches lubricated by expensive wine. Though they’re very different women—the artsy socialite and the struggling suburbanite—they’re each other’s rocks. But even rocks crumble under pressure. Like when Kat’s financier husband, Howard, plunges to his death from the second-floor balcony of their South Florida mansion.
Howard was a jerk, a drunk, a bully and, police say, a murder victim. The questions begin piling up. Like why Kat has suddenly gone dark: no calls, no texts and no chance her wealthy family will let Alice see her. Why investigators are looking so hard in Alice’s direction. Who stands to get hurt next. And who is the cool liar—the masterful manipulator behind it all.
JUPITER ISLAND WAS a long, narrow barrier island north of Palm Beach. There were only a few access points to reach it from the mainland, which I assumed was by design to en- sure the privacy of its well-heeled residents. I approached it from the south, driving up US Highway 1, taking a right just past the Jupiter Lighthouse, then heading north up the island on Beach Road.
I drove past the tall condo buildings of Palm Beach County. They abruptly stopped, signaling that I’d passed into Martin County with its more stringent zoning laws. I passed through the Blowing Rocks Preserve, where the road was lined with short palm trees and bushy sea grape shrubs. Just past the pre- serve and tourist parking, the private houses began. Some were visible from the road, others sheltered behind gates and privacy hedges. All were large and ostentatious. The houses to the east fronted the Atlantic Ocean, while the ones to the west faced the Intracoastal Waterway. Each property had a twee white sign set by the curb, displaying the family name or the name of the house—Sand Castle or Shangri-La—or the more practical, if somewhat pointed, Service Entrance.
Kat’s house was on the left about a mile past the preserve, set back at the end of a gravel drive. I wondered if she was home, and I thought about stopping and checking on her before I went to the police station. I’d called her twice on my way over to the island, but she hadn’t picked up. This wasn’t entirely unusual. Unlike most people of the modern world, Kat had only a tenuous connection to her cell phone. She didn’t always pick up when I called, and she frequently ignored texts for hours, or even a day.
We’d spoken only once, brief ly, since Howard’s death. Kat had been in London to meet with several artists whose work she was considering carrying in her gallery. She’d called me from Heathrow while she was waiting for her f light home. Kat had been subdued, which wasn’t surprising. The police had tracked her down at her hotel in London only hours ear- lier to notify her that Howard was dead. The housekeeper had found his body lying facedown on the back patio.
“Are you okay?” I’d asked.
“No,” she’d said. “But I will be. At least, I think I will.” “I wish you didn’t have to be on your own right now.” “I usually hate the f light back from Europe, but I’m sort of glad that I’ll have this time to pull myself together. There will be so much to do once I get home,” Kat said.
“Have you spoken to Amanda?” I asked. Kat’s daughter was in her first year of medical school at Emory, in Atlanta. “I’m going to wait until I get home,” Kat explained. “She’s studying for a big test in her anatomy class. I don’t want to upset her.”
“You probably won’t be able to avoid upsetting her,” I said as gently as I could.
“I know, but I’d like to at least put off telling her until after her exam is over.” Kat sighed. “Marguerite was apparently hysterical. It must have been awful for her, finding him like that. What does it mean when the housekeeper has shed more tears for my dead husband than I have?”
“It probably means you’re in shock,” I said.
Kat’s f light had been called then, and she had to hang up. I hadn’t spoken to her since. I’d tried calling and texting her a few times, but she hadn’t responded. I knew she was prob- ably busy planning the funeral and dealing with her relatives. Stopping by now, uninvited, at a house in mourning seemed intrusive. I drove by.
I arrived at the Jupiter Island Public Safety Department. It was located in a charming yellow building with green shut- ters, lush landscaping and neat hedgerows, and across the street from one of the holes of the Jupiter Island Club’s pris- tinely manicured golf course. I parked my ancient Volvo in a small lot just to the left of where the island’s two fire trucks were housed.
I checked my phone, but Kat still hadn’t responded. I sent her a text:
At Jupiter island police. They asked me 2 come in 4 inter- view about Howard. Not sure what’s going on, but will try to be helpful. Hope ur ok. xx.
Expected publication: January 23rd 2018 by MIRA
A Stranger in the Cove
Templeton Cove Stories #8
by Rachel Brimble
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Mac Orman is on a mission. When he discovers his recently deceased father had been searching for his birth mother, Mac aims to finish the job by finding the grandmother he never knew. His quest leads him to Templeton Cove—and a firecracker of a woman who instantly jump-starts his tortured heart.
For Mac, Kate Harrington is the most tempting kind of distraction. But their sizzling connection comes with a side of suspicion for Kate, who doesn’t trust this brooding stranger in her town. Mac arrived with no plans to stay, but as he falls for Kate, he wonders how he could ever possibly leave.
**easily read as a standalone!**
Oh, for the love of God. The man’s smile was slow, soft and as sexy as hell. It was like
an invisible aphrodisiac on her newly ignited libido. She took another sip of her drink, her heart
racing and her body on fire. He looked at her as though he had X-ray vision…or the ability to
make her want to strip without the request even passing his lips. Every inch of her body was
intensely aware of him and she didn’t like it. Not one tiny bit.
Good looks and even better bodies were not to be trusted. This guy could be just as much
of a cheater as her ex. Even more so, if his killer smile was anything to go by. She couldn’t
imagine a woman not being affected by it. So why did she want to keep looking at him?
He leaned his elbow on the bar and faced her. “So…” He took a sip of his drink. “Do you
live around here?”
Feigning nonchalance, she sat straighter on her stool and drew forth as much of a
welcome attitude as she could. It wasn’t this stranger’s fault he’d attracted and intrigued her in
one very dangerous blow. “Yes.”
He smiled. “That’s all I get?”
“That’s all you get.” She returned his smile, her body relaxing a little. His voice was rich
and deep and had the same warming effect on her as a shot of whiskey on a cold night. “That is,
until I know a little more about you.”
“Shoot.” He drank. “Ask me anything you want.”
“Okay…” Her gaze dropped frustratingly to his mouth, most likely quashing her
nonchalance in a heartbeat. She shifted on her seat and lifted her gaze to his…although his eyes
were by no means a safer option. She cleared her throat. “What brings you to the Cove?”
His gaze locked on hers and the seconds ticked by. His blue eyes darkened as his smile
Kate raised her eyebrows, curiosity whispering through her. “Was that not a good
question to start with?”
He flitted his focus to the band once more. “I’m looking for work.”
She frowned. “In Templeton?”
“It’s as good a place as any, isn’t it?”
She hazarded a guess that the shift in his tone was meant to induce a throw away
question, to make her believe it was no big deal why he was in Templeton. Little did Mr. Bad
Boy know, she was blessed—or sometimes cursed—with the innate ability to read between the
lines, to sense when something wasn’t quite right with people or situations. Her senses pinged to
high alert with this guy at the sudden stiffness in his body, the way his jaw had set. His easy
demeanor of a moment before had been replaced with clear defensiveness.
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Here first novel was published in 2007. Since then, she's had several books published with small presses and since 2012 has written mainstream romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and Victorian romance for eKensington/Lyrical Press.
Agent represented in the US, Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, When she isn't writing, you'll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused...
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