Whisper of Love
The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor, MD #5
By: Melissa Foster
Releasing February 22, 2017
World Literary Press
Tempest Braden adores her family and her small hometown, but sometimes too much of a good thing can be confining. At almost thirty, having watched most of her siblings find true love, she’s anxious to experience her own happily ever after, and the move to Pleasant Hill, Maryland, is just the change she needs. When she rents a room from ruggedly handsome, and closed-off, artist Nash Morgan and his adorable son, Phillip, she thinks she’s found a little slice of heaven on the outskirts of town, where she can concentrate on building her business. That is, if she can ignore the undeniable heat between her and the sinfully hot single father.
When Nash bought his farmette, he had one goal in mind—to provide a loving, stable home for his son. He never imagined he’d be raising Phillip alone, or renting out a room to keep their heads above water. Then again, he never imagined losing his brother, or spending two years sailing around the world with parents who seemed to forget one son was still alive.
Sparks fly from the moment Tempest moves in, and her positive energy and inquisitive nature brings new life into Nash and Phillip’s quiet, confined world. For the first time in years, Nash wants to let a woman into his world, but while his loss made him stronger, that strength came at a price, leaving him walled off and wary of opening his heart again.
The sound of tires on gravel drew his attention. He scooped Phillip into his arms, locked the goat pen, and grabbed the buckets.
“Visitor,” he said, carrying Phillip toward the house and eyeing the Prius parking behind his old Ford pickup truck. His truck was a gas guzzler, but as much as he hated that, he needed the bed of the truck to haul the furniture he made into town. He hoped Tempest Braden, the woman coming to see the room he was renting out, wasn’t a preachy tree hugger. Hell, he hoped she would turn out to be the silent type so he could pretend she didn’t live in their house.
Phillip’s brows knitted, his hands firmly planted around Nash’s neck. He wasn’t used to visitors. The last several people who had come to see the room they had for rent hadn’t been the kind of people Nash wanted around his son. They’d rubbed him the wrong way—too aggressive, too loud, too shady, too flighty. He just needed a stable, responsible person to rent the room so he could afford to upgrade a few of his tools and start saving for Phillip’s future. He tightened his grip on his son and headed up to meet the tall blonde stepping from the car.
Her wispy skirt fluttered around her knees. Large pink roses with muted green leaves looked as if they’d been thrown onto the flimsy white material haphazardly. A fringe of lace lined the edges. On anyone else the flouncy, floral skirt might look immature. But her legs went on forever, and coupled with her tight, curve-hugging tank top, she looked like Sweet and Sexy collided at the corner of Sinful Temptation.
She turned as he approached, and Nash stopped in his tracks, standing still as a stone. The setting sun caught her hair, highlighting several different shades of blond in long, cascading layers that hung to the middle of her back. Her nose was slightly upturned, and she had a cute, rounded chin. He’d never seen such natural beauty.
She smiled and tilted her head. “Nash?”
Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he forced his legs to carry him forward. “Yes. Tempest?”
She met him halfway up the hill. “Thanks for seeing me so quickly.” She peered into the buckets. “I hope I’m not interrupting.”
“Evening routine. Did you have any trouble finding us?” She was even more beautiful up close. Her hair was tousled, as if she hadn’t brushed it all day, and her eyes were so light blue, they had starbursts of white around the pupils, sparkling like diamonds. It had been a long time since any woman had caught Nash’s interest, and he reminded himself to rein in that attraction. The last thing he needed were complications in Phillip’s life. Even for a girl with the most spectacular blue eyes he’d ever seen.
“No. Your directions were perfect.” She smiled at Phillip, and when she spoke again her voice was soft as a summer’s breeze. “What’s your name, cutie pie?”
Phillip’s fingers dug into his neck. Nash nodded his approval.
“Flip,” Phillip said.
Tempest’s eyes widened with amusement. “Flip? That’s a unique name.” That beautiful smile lit up her face again. “I’m Tempest, but everyone calls me Tempe. It’s nice to meet you both.”
When she turned that smile on Nash, his entire body heated up. As a sea lover, he knew the word tempest meant a violent storm. It was obvious what type of unexpected storm this sweet-natured, soft-spoken beauty could cause, and he couldn’t afford to be caught in a squall.
“My son’s name is Phillip.” He said it faster than he’d meant to, and realized his son’s name came out sounding like Flip. He’d also said it harsher than he’d intended. Reeling in his attraction was going to make him look like an asshole.
“Then Flip it is.”
The way she said it sounded so damn cute, he wasn’t about to correct her.
“Flip,” Phillip repeated.
“Come on, I’ll show you the room.” He caught a whiff of her floral perfume on the way inside. It had been a long time since he’d smelled anything so feminine. Maybe this housemate thing wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women's fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
On Sale: February 28, 2017
SHE NEEDS A LOVER AND A FIGHTER
Blonde. Beautiful. Talented. Alexa Fairfax is practically Hollywood royalty. But growing up in a family of legendary movie stars also puts her in the spotlight for danger. And after she discovers a plot more deadly than any movie script, Alexa desperately needs a bodyguard. A man like Zack De Luca. A true friend with a good heart, a protective nature-and the hard, chiseled muscles to back it up.
Zack has always been wildly attracted to Alexa. But since he's training day and night to be an MMA fighter, he's afraid his gorgeous friend will only distract him from his goal. Indescribably sweet and irresistibly sexy, Alexa needs Zack to pretend to be her boyfriend after her life is threatened. Now this fighter-in-training will have to fight his own intense feelings-to keep their little charade from turning into a major disaster . . .
Chain Reaction is an intense, vigorous, and ardent romantic suspense story with a mix of Hollywood drama, MMA fighting, mobsters ready to do anything to keep their secrets, and swoon-worthy romance that made me sigh.
I loved how the intensity was built in the story from several different sources, keeping it constantly on the rise. The plot is well constructed, giving the romance a chance to grow and develop in the midst of the tension and terror from the mob.
The danger and fear in the story come so close to home to the characters, it gave me the chills. The one place where you are supposed to be safe was violated, and Alexa Fairfax has lived in a constant state of alert most of her life.
Alexa was a complex character, whose life behind the closed doors and away from the limelights wasn't what you would expect. She has a heart of gold, she is kind, generous, always putting others first. She loves to help and give her time and energy to a good cause. She has a certain unexpected innocence in her, yet she is undoubtedly smart and capable, brave enough to overcome things most can't imagine facing. I loved watching her grow and flourish through the story, like dried out flower garden finally getting some rain.
Zack De Luca was a true alpha character, in charge, protective, ready to face the worst enemy if that kept his woman safe.
I adored Zack and Alexa together. The chemistry they have is amazing, their connection is palpable, and they share something rare and beautiful in between them. There's passion that is so hot it could set you on fire, yet it is mixed with a tenderness that took my breath away.
I enjoyed the story immensely, it is a great mix a vehement action and furious suspense that put you to the edge. With charming and lovable characters and delectable, adorable romance that set the heat factor high, it is surely an entertaining tale
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
She leaned her back against the door and shut her eyes, her face ghostly white. Her hands shook as she adjusted the strap of her purse on her shoulder.
Frowning, Zack shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans and headed toward her. She smiled weakly when she saw him, her lips twitching up for a second, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes. Her fingers curled around the strap of her purse, her knuckles going the same shade of white as her face. Something hot and protective tightened his chest, and for a crazy second, he wanted to reach out and pull her into his arms, to promise her that, whatever it was, she’d be okay.
Instead he stopped a few feet in front of her, his hands still in his pockets. “Alexa? You okay?”
Her eyes met his, and she sucked in a shaky breath. “I...Oh God.” She pressed her hands to her face and let out a soft sob, her shoulders trembling.
Zack yanked his hands from his pockets and pulled Alexa into his arms, cradling her against his chest. She felt so tiny, so vulnerable. She barely reached his shoulder despite the fact that she had heels on.
“What happened? Did someone hurt you?” he whispered into her light-blond hair, so fine and soft under his fingers as he stroked the back of her head. So help him God, if someone had hurt her, he would make them bleed.
She pulled back, just enough to look up at him, and he noticed the mascara smudged under her eye. He left his arms around her. It would’ve felt wrong to take them away.
She shook her head slowly, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. “I...don’t think...I can’t.”
“Do you want to go outside? Get some fresh air?” Maybe if she calmed down a little, she’d be able to tell him what the hell had her so...It was more than upset.
The poor girl was fucking spooked.
Excerpted from CHAIN REACTION by Tara Wyatt. Copyright © 2017 by Tara Wyatt. Reprinted with permission of Forever. All rights reserved.
Tara Wyatt has been making up love stories ever since she fell head over heels for the Backstreet Boys almost twenty years ago. Winner of the Unpublished Winter Rose Award, Linda Howard Award of Excellence and the Heart of the West Award, Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the cutest dog in the world and a husband that makes all of her heroes look like chumps.
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Perfect For You
Sunshine Creek Vineyard #2
By: Candis Terry
Releasing February 28, 2017
Meet the Kincade brothers: they’ll do what it takes to protect their legacy--but what happens when love gets in the way?
Declan Kincade has spent so much time chasing success he’s almost forgotten how to just live. Lately though, his all-business routine has been thrown into disarray. Brooke Hastings is the best employee Dec’s ever had: polished, capable, and intelligent. After four years, he’s just realized that she’s also smoking hot. But their working relationship is too valuable to stake on a fling, no matter how mind-bendingly pleasurable it promises to be.
What’s worse than never meeting the right man? Finding him, and then working side-by-side every day while he remains absolutely blind to your existence. That is, until one temptation-packed road-trip changes everything. Teaching her gorgeous, driven boss how to cut loose and have fun is the toughest challenge Brooke’s ever faced. But it’s one that could give both of them exactly what they need, if Dec will take a chance on a perfect—and perfectly unexpected—love.
The sunlight caught like spun gold in the wavy strands of her hair. He liked that her face was makeup free, but mostly he liked that she didn’t need a mask to feel confident. Not that he ever planned to date Brooke, but he’d dated a lot of women who’d refused to leave the house until their makeup had been perfectly applied and every hair was in place.
In his mind, all that preparation took away an opportunity for spontaneity. With his busy schedule, sometimes that’s all he could manage—a last minute invite. Brooke had so much sexy going on she didn’t need all that stuff. And today she’d pretty much proved that she was game for the whole spur-of-the-moment thing. Impressive.
“How many business lunches and dinners have I sat through with you, Mr. Kincade?”
He shrugged. “Too many to count.”
“Bingo.” She pointed. “And do you know what you order almost each and every time?”
“And the problem with that is?”
“I like ahi.”
“Good for you. But why not expand your horizons? Eating the same old same old every day is like having missionary sex every time the mood strikes.”
And why did she need to bring that up? Because his imagination definitely didn’t need a push in that direction.
“Shake things up.” She waved her hands upward like she was about to take flight. “Be daring. Live a little.”
Damn she was animated. How the hell did someone get like that?
“I’m happy with things the way they are.”
“Are you really?” As she leaned into the table, the unyielding fabric of that tight white tank top across her breasts dominated his attention.
He didn’t respond.
He was too . . . distracted.
“You know what they say; all work and no play . . .” she said with a shrug, leaving the remainder of that statement hanging like a noose.
“So you’re saying that eating fish tacos is suddenly going to shake things up in my life?”
“Breaking your same old song and dance routine will. After you’ve opened up the door, anything can happen. Aren’t you the least bit curious?”
The server interrupted them to deliver a large plate of steaming soft tacos, bowls of salsa and sour cream, and two giant froufrou drinks with slices of pineapple and maraschino cherries speared by pink umbrellas.
Oh hell no.
He was not going to drink something that would immediately revoke his man card. But when Brooke plucked the cherry from her glass, dangled it in the air, and captured it with her tongue, he had second thoughts. By the time she settled the bright pink straw between the soft cushion of her lips and sucked the orange frothy drink into her mouth, he figured he’d be game for just about any damn thing. As long as he could watch her do that all day long.
Best-selling and award winning author Candis Terry entertains readers with contemporary romance the Library Journal Reviews calls uniquely satisfying. Both her Sugar Shack and Sweet, Texas series deliver witty and emotional stories about how love, family, and a small town community defines the characters’ lives. Born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California, Candis now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers and loves to escape to the breathtaking Idaho forests to energize her imagination.
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O'Brien Family #3
By: Cecy Robson
Releasing February 28, 2017
RT Book Reviews proclaims that the O’Brien Family series from award-winning author Cecy Robson “has the hottest brothers ever!” And in Crave Me, it’s time for the sole sister in the family to discover love.
Wren O’Brien isn’t your typical female. As the only girl from a loud Irish family with seven siblings, she prefers fast cars to lip gloss and bad boys to good men. It’s the reason she’s nursing a wounded soul and keeping her distance from a dangerous ex.
Evan Jonah is running an empire and just moved from the lavish thoroughfares of London to the gritty streets of Philadelphia. When he walks into the nearest dealership, he’s expecting to find a reliable vehicle to handle the brutal winters, not a sexy female car rep with killer legs.
Wren doesn’t know why “Hotness in a Suit” asked her out. She doesn’t expect a great time or a night of passion that knocks her on her ass. But that’s exactly what Evan shows her.
She also never counted on how hard and fast she’d fall. But men like Evan—good men with even better hearts—don’t desire tough-talking Philly girls for long.
Evan has never met a woman like Wren. But he’s up for the challenge and ready to prove her wrong.
I open the door to the dark blue Explorer for Wren. She pauses before slipping inside. “Look at this,” she says. “Chivalry isn’t dead after all.”
I chuckle because I have nothing better to say. Even if witty comebacks were my forte, this woman would still have me at a loss for words. It didn’t take her long take to check my credentials or for her to acquire an impressive vehicle for me to test drive, her command and efficiency, making the process smooth.
I slide inside, taking a quick look at the interior before adjusting the seat to accommodate my long legs.
“Why an Explorer?” I ask, concentrating on the features so I don’t openly gape at Wren.
She tilts her head. “You’re a suit, a businessman, right?”
“That’s right,” I agree.
“So you don’t need a truck to haul wood or tools or any equipment.” She laughs a little. “You also need something you’re actually going to be comfortable in, big guy. And seeing how you’re taking the Blue Route to work, you also want to stay safe. The maniacs on the highway will bowl over a smaller ride. But in this, even the crazies will think twice before messing with you.”
Cecy Robson is an award-winning author of magical realms and to-die-for Alpha heroes. A double RITA® 2016 finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, and published author of more than sixteen titles, you can typically find her on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.
Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS
The Russian Obsession
Foreign Affairs #3
By: Nikki Navarre
Releasing February 21, 2017
Christabel Orlova remembers nothing before the night she woke in a Turkish bazaar with two passports, two governments on her tail, and no memory of her shadowy past. Armed only with keen wits, survival instincts and mad skills in the research lab, Christa has three goals. Stay alive. Stay one step ahead of her hunters. And find a cure for the Ebola bioweapon whose secret is locked in her brainbox—before it wipes out the human race. Gypsy, loner and wild child, her first rule of survival is never to trust.
Ex-Russian fighter pilot Max Vasylko is a gun-for-hire smuggler who’ll fly contraband cargo anywhere in the world, no questions asked. But he can’t fly far enough to forget the wife and daughter who died in an Ebola outbreak. When a bioweapon from a rogue U.S. program is to blame, Max’s mission turns personal. Find the scientist responsible for designing the super virus—and make her pay. The last villain he expects is Christa: a smart, sexy, scrappy survivor in hiking boots who’s lost her own brother to the virus.
Now Max is flying high above the African jungle with enemy agents in his six and a sweet redhead he’ll risk his backside to protect. Christa’s tempted to trust this hot-as-hell jet jockey with his wildcat courage and Mafia past. But the vaccine isn’t the only secret locked in her head. To uncover the truth, Max and Christa must win their toughest battle yet. The battle of hearts between them.
The biggest bouncer she’d ever seen was powering toward her like a tank on steroids. Packing a machine gun the size of a bazooka.
Teetering on her stilettos, Christa froze. The music throbbed in her ears like a heartbeat. An electric current of panic pulsed through her veins. Cheesed-off cops on one side and a bad guy bouncer on the other.
And, clutched tight in her perspiring palms, the McGuffin. A briefcase holding five million doses of a deadly virus. Or a cure that could save the world.
“Hey, doc.” A voice dipped in Brooklyn brass grated in her ear. “I swear to God, I ought to turn you over my knee.”
Alarm and annoyance jolted through her—swamped by overwhelming relief. She spun to face six and a half feet of towering menace. Ultramarine eyes seared through her like lasers. Stripped to his tee shirt, bronzed biceps and wicked tattoo sheened in sweat, Max Vasylko spelled danger with a capital D.
The breath shuddered out of her tight-locked lungs.
Along with a whopping dose of sass.
“What kind of grunting Neanderthal are you, major? Were you raised in a cave? If you think you’re laying a hand on me, you’re going to need an army—”
“Army of one, baby.”
His low growl in her ear sent goose bumps racing down her arms and curled her toes in her boots. His big hands closed around her naked shoulders. Heat snaked from his callused palms and sheeted down her spine.
Max pushed her into a vacant banquette scattered with cards and cash. Her bottom hit the red vinyl seat with a bounce. He snagged the briefcase from her startled arms and tossed it at the opposite seat.
“Hey!” she cried. “That case isn’t a football. You can’t just—”
“News flash. I just did.”
He crawled right in after her. Right between her thighs.
Her heart was a kettledrum roaring in her ears. She slithered and scrambled over the slippery seat. He took every inch she gave him and kept on coming. Which was how she ended up flat on her back.
He crawled right on top of her, weight braced on those impressive arms.
For a moment in time that stretched surreal, like a Dali clock melting in the desert sun, he crouched over her. She forgot about the jumpy cop with the trigger finger, the tank-sized bouncer packing heat, the backstabbing ex-boss sprawled somewhere on the floor.
The world narrowed to the span of Max’s powerful shoulders and the primal musk of saffron and cedar. Above his neckline, the spiky tips of another fierce tattoo curled around his neck.
She was guessing that hidden ink spread all the way across his shoulders. Maybe all the way down his back. And that was a lot of real estate to cover on a man like Max. With the flashing lights behind him, shadows cloaked his face. And every inch of him scorched her skin.
“Wow.” She managed a husky whisper. “You’re…really…something.”
“Pot and the goddamn kettle,” he growled.
Right before he kissed her.
Meet the Heroine from The Russian Obsession
By Nikki Navarre
I always swore I’d never write an amnesia story. Until I met Christa. The haunted, half-Russian viral engineer/nomad wakes in a Turkish bazaar with two passports, two governments on her tail, and no memory of her dangerous past. Christabel Orlova walked out of some shadowy recess of my psyche right into my heart. And for Max Vasylko, cocky ex-Russian fighter pilot and gun-for-hire smuggler in my sexy spy romance The Russian Obsession, wild child Christa is (as he would say) abso-frigging perfect.
While she hopscotches from hostel to cyber café across Southeast Asia, one step ahead of the scary goons who hunt her, Christa stows a journal in her grungy backpack. And she’s a list freak. I snuck a peek over her shoulder while she scribbled at a bus station in Thailand.
My Top Five Obsessions
1. Cure for Ebola. Talk about obsession. I’m going to design the perfect virus—a vaccine to wipe every known strain of Ebola off the planet. Then donate it to the Red Cross and the World Health Organization so every kid in the world can be vaccinated. Someday.
2. The Bourne Identity. Saw the film on a bus to Phuket and just…can’t…get it out of my head. And it’s not just because, you know, Matt Damon.
3. Speaking of Jason Bourne…HAVE to get my memory back. But I’ve just about given up hoping.
4. Tar-black coffee. Bitter and perfect. Lots of it. Getting three squares a day’s a challenge when you’re basically, um, homeless and broke. High-octane caffeine keeps me fueled.
5. That guy I met running security at the Embassy. With his Superman shoulders and neon blue eyes and, yeah, that sexy grin. No wonder I’m obsessed. Not to mention he saved my life from those terrorists. If Major Max Vasylko ever walked through my door, I’d be in big-league trouble with a capital T…
Let’s just say Christabel Orlova definitely piqued my interest! If she piques yours, check out The Russian Obsession.
DOSSIER FOR NIKKI NAVARRE
Subject: Nikki Navarre
Assignment: Double Agent
Cover: Diplomat. Playgirl. Author of the Foreign Affairs series.
Nikki Navarre is the author of the award-winning Foreign Affairs series and the sinister twin of unsuspecting historical romance author Laura Navarre. In her other life, Nikki is a diplomat who’s lived in Russia and works on weapons of mass destruction issues. In the line of duty, she’s been trapped in an elevator in a nuclear power plant and has stalked the corridors of facilities churning out nerve agent and other apocalyptic weapons. In this capacity, she meets many of the world’s most dangerous men.
Inspired by the perilous realities of her real life, Nikki writes romantic suspense set in glamorous international locales and laced with political intrigue. From her island compound in the Pacific Northwest, she divides her time between her writing career and other adventures for government clients. Her notorious exploits in the world of diplomacy will get her in trouble one of these days.
The Russian Obsession may be the last mistake she ever makes.
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By: Jamie Shaw
Releasing February 21, 2017
When Hailey Harper left her family farm to enroll in veterinary school, she had a plan: keep her head down, ace her classes, and most importantly... don't upset the uncle paying her tuition. Translation? Don't piss off his dramatic, self-absorbed daughter, Danica, even if she's a nightmare to live with.
Falling in love with her cousin's rock star ex-boyfriend was definitely not part of the plan.
As the drummer of a now-famous rock band, Mike Madden could have any girl he wants. He's sweet, funny, romantic, talented--and the only guy that's ever made Hailey's heart do cartwheels in her chest. The more she gets to know him, the harder she falls, but Hailey knows they can never be more than friends… because Danica wants him back, and she'll fight dirty to win.
Mike is falling for Hailey too, but Danica's threats and his rock star life-music video shoots, international tours, obsessed fans-could tear them apart before they've even begun. Hailey isn't sure she's the one for him, but Mike's waited years for a girl like her… and he'll do anything to prove it.
At a door near the back corner of the room, my fun-loving cousin marches right up to the first security guard she sees, who also happens to be approximately five zillion times her size, with muscles made of stone and a face to match. “Who do I need to talk to to get backstage?”
At her bossy tone, Muscle-man lifts an eyebrow. “The Easter Bunny?”
“No one’s allowed backstage.” The arms he crosses over his chest warn that he isn’t messing around.
“I’m with Mike,” Danica lies, and after studying her for a moment, Muscle-man laughs.
“Sure you are.”
When Muscle-man just smiles at her like she’s a petulant child, Danica resorts to acting like one. She demands to see his boss and threatens to get him fired. When that doesn’t work, she resorts to curse words. And when those have no effect, all hell breaks loose.
She’s torpedoing her finger into his chest and shouting something about his inbred gene pool when I try to pull her away from him. But Danica is on a rampage, and all my efforts get me is a hard shove that nearly knocks me on my ass. At five-feet tall, one hundred and three pounds, I’m not exactly in a position to throw my weight around, and I don’t make a second attempt to try. I’m rubbing my tender collarbone when the security guy picks my assailant up off her feet, and I helplessly follow as he carries her outside.
After serving as an armrest for a sweaty gigantor inside the club, after obliterating my eardrums in front of the world’s biggest speakers, after getting knocked around like a bratty child’s toy all night, all I want is to take a hot shower and crawl into my own bed to sleep for a week straight. Instead, I stand on the sidewalk outside of Mayhem, frowning at the furious look on Danica’s face as she glares at the big metal door the security guard just shut behind him.
She came here for one thing, and I know she’s not leaving until she gets it.
“You didn’t have to push me,” I mutter, and her eyes flare.
“You should’ve had my back!”
“And done what? Bite his ankles?”
In her four-inch wedge boots, Danica towers above me. I stare way up at her, trying to remember the girl who played dolls with me up in my parents’ hay loft. But she’s lost somewhere behind fake lashes and fifteen years of getting everything she's wanted.
“You’ve been nothing but a bitch this whole time,” she snaps, and I sigh and pull my shirt away from my skin again, letting the cool night air dry the sweat beaded on my lower back. There’s no point in trying to defend myself. In Danica’s mind, she’s always simultaneously the victim and the hero, and as her non-rent-paying roommate, I’ve learned to just accept that.
I appreciate everything she’s done for me. I do. If she hadn’t been the little voice in her father’s ear, persuading him to fund my schooling and begging him to make some calls to get us enrolled, I’d be home mucking stalls, not following my dreams. Her dad pays all of my bills—my tuition, my insurance, my living expenses, all of them. And while I suspect that Danica’s sudden interest in my life wasn’t entirely genuine—she’d flunked out of college before, and I think her dad was only open to the idea of her going back if she was living off-campus with a responsible roommate, AKA her boring farm-girl cousin—I owe her. I owe her the roof over my head and the massive student loan debt I don’t have.
When her phone rings, she wastes no time dismissing me to answer it. “Katie?” she says. “Guess who just got kicked out of the fucking club. Yes! Because this asshole bouncer wouldn’t let me backstage.” She gives me a dirty look. “Just stood there doing nothing. I know! No, she didn’t even try. Getting a place with her was stupid.”
An icy chill slithers up the back of my neck, and I chew the inside of my lip. Because of my uncle’s insistence that I focus all of my energy on school right now instead of also finding a part-time job, I have no income. My only “job” is not pissing off his daughter. And it’s a job that I’m learning I am very, very bad at.
With my mouth shut, I slink away before my mere presence can enrage Danica further, and when she asks where I’m going, I make up the lamest excuse ever. “To read this flyer over here.”
A resident of South Central Pennsylvania, JAMIE SHAW's two biggest dreams in life were to be a published author and to be a mom. Now, she's living both of those dreams and loving every minute of it. When she's not spending time with her husband and their young son, she's writing novels with relatable heroines and swoon-worthy leading men. With her MS in Professional Writing and a passion for all things romance, her goal is always to make readers laugh, cry, squirm, curse, and swoon their pants off, all within the span of a single story. She loves interacting with readers, and she always aims to add new names to their book boyfriend lists.
Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS
Delicious Desires #3
By: Sabrina Sol
Releasing February 27, 2016
As LA’s hottest up-and-coming chef, Alexa Montoya is known for her ruby red lipstick, award-winning arroz con pollo and a penchant for falling for the wrong kind of men. And when a confrontation with a loser ex-boyfriend lands her in some legal trouble, she’s forced to call her long-time friend, Dante Perez, to bail her out. Only this time, Dante seems different, somehow. More gorgeous, more sexy, more…mouthwateringly irresistible. Suddenly she’s tempted to give the lawyer much more than a simple thank you…
Dante is tired of seeing Alexa with guys who only know how to steal her money and break her heart. He’s watched--and waited for--her long enough. Helping with her legal situation will finally give him a chance to win her over for good. His plan? He’ll seduce her into finally believing that there’s something deliciously right between them…
Despite their chemistry, Alexa can’t trust that Dante won’t leave. But Dante knows how to win a case. And he’ll do whatever it takes to convince Alexa that she’ll always leave him hungry for more…
“It’s just a massage, Alexa,” he said with a smirk. “Or do you not think you can handle it? I know I can.”
A challenge had been issued—triggering the reaction to prove him wrong. He knew her so well.
“I can totally handle it,” she said as she scooted her ass to the edge of the couch and turned around.
He sighed. “That’s not going to work. Stop being silly and let me do this right.” His hands gripped her arms, and he pulled her closer to him as he sank back into the corner of the couch and positioned her between his legs. “There. That’s better.”
It was better. It was also dangerous.
Her heart raced when his fingers rested on the tops of her shoulders. Gently, he began to squeeze and knead the taut muscles and nerves. His touch burned through the thin fabric of her T-shirt, and she swallowed her breath.
“You are tight,” he murmured as he spread his fingers up and down her arms and then back up to her shoulders.
It felt good. No, better than good. So much better than good.
“Mmm,” she mumbled.
“Just relax. Let all the tension melt away.”
She closed her eyes and leaned farther back until she was totally resting against his broad chest. With one deep breath, she inhaled his scent: woodsy, clean, manly. Her skin heated up a million degrees in response.
He deepened the pressure, and she melted even more.
“Oh, yes,” she moaned at the mix of pleasure and pain. His expert fingers worked the tightness steadily, and it began to dissolve into desire. It had been so long since he’d touched her like this. God, it felt amazing.
“Just like that,” she said on a sigh. “Please. Don’t stop.”
She felt him move behind her until his breath was hot against her ear. “Jesus Christ, Alexa,” he rasped.
A hardness poked against her hip, and she realized she wasn’t the only one on fire. Her hands moved from her own lap to his thighs, and she dug into the fabric of his pants. His breathing became more ragged, and she knew this was no longer just a massage.
He slid his fingers down her arms again, but this time they brushed the sides of her breasts. Her own breath hitched, and her nipples pebbled in response.
That was it. She was gone.
Sabrina Sol is the chica who loves love. She writes steamy romance stories featuring smart and sexy Latinas in search of their Happily Ever Afters. She lives in Southern California with her husband, three kids, two Beagles and one Bulldog, and is part of a larger, extended Mexican family whose members are NOT the source of inspiration for her characters. Or so she tells them.
Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS
Lacey Hathaway has it all — a job she loves as a local radio DJ, a home with her adored, eccentric aunt and, best of all, a community after a childhood traveling with her musical parents. So what if her life is a little too safe? Marietta is everything to Lacey. Not only is she helping to organize the Bachelor Bake-Off and filming a documentary about the process, she’s also volunteered her brother as a Bachelor. But, when her brother backs out, Lacey has to find a last-minute replacement. And who better than her aunt’s lodger, gorgeous – if taciturn – Zac Malone?
Zac’s not exactly community-minded. In fact, he makes it clear that the sooner he’s out of Marietta the better. But when Lacey persuades him of the powerful impact the Bake-Off funds will have on local children, he decides to give it a go. On one condition. If he has to learn to bake, so does disaster-in-the-kitchen Lacey. Desserts aren’t the only thing heating up, and as the attraction flares and Zac makes plans to leave, Lacey’s beginning to realize that maybe there is a world beyond Marietta’s borders after all… if she’s brave enough to take that step.
I'm really enjoying this Bachelor Bake Off series, even though it has driven me into a baking frenzy. And understandably today it was an apple cinnamon cake because that's what reminded Zac of Lacey...
This series is sweet, clean, and has that Marietta family focus on them, at least on the books I have read so far.
I enjoyed that in Baking For Keeps the author brought forward more about the Harry's House, that the money is collected for, and in a practical way showed how it could change a young person's life, what the impact of the house could be in the community.
Zac Malone came from outside Marietta, and I liked that there's new blood coming into the town. Zac was a serious, goal-oriented person. He has a kind and caring heart if he just gives it a freedom to get attached. He had it tough when he was a teenager, and promised himself to make a better life, and that goal in mind he had lived his whole adult life. He was not the settling down type, he was not going to share his life with anyone, to get attached, he was not going to get rejected and hurt like that again.
Lacey Hathaway's family lived the nomad life from one music show or concert hall to the next. She had always longed for a home and have found a place where she feels that, with her aunts. Lacey is always ready to help others, she has a heart of gold. Talking to others and making them feel comfortable around her comes naturally to her, but sharing her inner thoughts and personal life isn't something she is comfortable with. She hides behind the bubbly and cheerful exterior, still holding others at the distance.
I liked Lacey and Zac together, the connection and chemistry between was just right. The things they did around the town reminded me why I love visiting Marietta so much. The conversations they had, the way they challenged each other to be more, to step out of the comfort zone gave an in-depth look at them, and their development through the story.
If you like stories that are adorable and delightful, that will make you smile and sigh, that are clean in content with tender and gentle first steps into the relationship, (and that just might give you the urge, desire, and craving to bake,) you are going to love Baking For Keeps.
~ Four Spoons
They want revenge. They need each other.
Detective Bobbie Gentry has one objective: to stop the serial killer who robbed her of her husband, her child and her life. Nick Shade understands Bobbie's pain and her desire for vengeance. He's on a mission of his own, and the murderer known as the Storyteller is next on his list.
Nick knows that the best way to find his target is to stick close to Bobbie. But as she becomes more and more reckless in her attempts to lure the Storyteller out of hiding, he has to make a choice. Will he protect her from herself even if it means passing up the chance to take out one more monster?
As for Bobbie, she's forced to decide just how much she can trust this stranger who knows so much about her.
And both of them are about to learn whether or not two broken people can save each other.
A spine-chilling thriller that had me mesmerized, completely under the spell with the masterfully crafted twists in the plot, in the hunt for the serial killer who has returned to finish what he failed to do before.
I wasn't aware that there was a prequel to this series, The Blackest Crimson, and even though the story can be easily read as a standalone, I think I would have enjoyed the beginning of No Darker Place more if I had read the prequel first. But this story on its own pulled me in and held my interest, there's no doubt about it.
The culprit in the story, the serial killer, known as the Storyteller, has couple chances to give his point of view into the events unfolding. The ways he tortures his victims with are callous, horrifying, brutal, and unthinkable (reader be aware of rape scene). The only one who has survived him is Detective Bobbie Gentry.
Bobbie was still alive, but her soul had died in the hands of the monster, as he took away everything she held precious in her life, her husband and her son. Now with determination, she is after him like never before. She has nothing to lose, this is the moment that kept her going through the rehab, to eliminate the Storyteller so he will never hurt anyone else again. She was ready to die for the task, just come and get her, she was waiting.
I admire Bobbie, I am not going to say she was easy to relate to since I can't imagine what she had to go through in the hands of that beast in the prequel. But I could understand the need she had to seek revenge, to eliminate him. She is a complex character, and the healing process she goes through on the pages of the tale is a miracle in itself, that miracle being the only hope and light in the utter darkness of the sick minded serial killer's world.
Nick Shade fascinated me. His personal past has driven him to live in the shadows of the world, hunting the cruelest criminals there is, the serial killers. He lives on the edge of the law, he has his own rules and ways to get the information he needs to accomplish what he seeks - elimination of the threat. His secrets hold the keys to understand him, as well as to his success with his crusade.
The connection between Bobbie and Nick might have been fragile but it was obvious. The bond is unique, even physical in nature, yet there's no romantic texture to their relationship at any time during the story. What they share wakes the feelings alive again inside Bobbie, helping her to embrace life and living again, leaving a tiny possibility of maybe something developing between them down the road, if they survive the mission they are on.
The story is told from several different points of view and even thought Bobbie and Nick do get the majority of the screen time, the other detectives in the team are also introduced. As often is the case, when many characters have their time to share, the intensity of the main plot development lessen. There were some scenes that were building up the series and had nothing to do with the plot twist of this story, and I found them distracting.
No Darker Place is a riveting story that took a fast hold of my mind, an intriguing plot with twists that left me gasping with horror and fear. There were times that I realized I was covering my eyes to stop myself reading the vile acts of the horrid man. Yet the capable and bright detectives with their ability to find clues allured me into the tale convinced me there was justice and gave a prospect of the righteousness to win. A compelling and engrossing start to the new enthralling series.
~ Four Spoons
Sprinkled with Love
Bachelor Bake-Off #3
By: Jennifer Faye
Releasing February 21, 2017
What does one do with a matchmaking cat named Romeo?
Spirited and beautiful, Jillian Parker is one of Marietta’s newest business owners. Still, her mother worries about Jillian’s bare ring finger. So in order to give her mother something else to fuss over, Jillian adopts a cat named Romeo. He turns out to be anything but a docile lap cat.
One snowy night, Romeo makes a break for it. With Jillian right on his heels, they have a near miss with a passing pickup driven by Avery Wainwright, one of Jillian’s closest friends. A rodeo accident has the sexy cowboy returning home to recuperate, and he’s not happy about it.
So when Avery finds himself lassoed into the Bachelor Bake-Off, he turns to the one person who has always helped him out—Jillian. But will teaching him to take chances outside of the show ring have them both discovering that their feelings for each other run much deeper than they ever imagined?
This series has me hooked with its sweetness and inspired me to bake to my heart's content. Sprinkled With Love is an adorable second chance romance where two people who grew up together, who used to work together, and who has supported each other through tough times in life finds themselves facing new challenges in life. And no one expected the bake off contest to be the most challenging one Avery Wainwright would face that winter.
Avery is a character easy to like. He hasn't had it easy, yet he managed to make the most of it. When Avery and his siblings lost their parents, he claimed the responsibility of his sister and brother and raised them to the best of his knowledge. His dreams of owning a farm drove him to the rodeo circuit, though he soon found out raising the money to buy a farm would be harder than he thought. He has always liked Jillian, while they were kids in school, as well as when she was a nanny to his brother and sister. The rumors about them being a couple while they worked together - those he thought best to be ignored since there was no truth to them.
Jillian Parker worked for Avery for years and fell in love with him. She worked hard to move on when she realized Avery wasn't interested. She finally feels that she left the dreams of a future together behind, and is now going after her own dreams: the handmade jewelry store in Marietta.
I enjoyed the baking adventures Avery and Jillian had and the honest heart to heart talks while they baked. In their personal relationship, they had a lot of back and forth, accordion type action. The author did a splendid job with the angst, letting it keep the story on the edge but never taking it too far to make it overwhelming. Avery and Jillian had a good of foundation to built the new relationship on. They knew each other better than the most, they had faced difficult and challenging things together before, only if they had learned to communicate better while at it, they would have saved themselves from a lot of trouble.
A picture perfect date under the Marietta skies, hot kisses stolen at every opportunity, baking that had me salivating and wanting to try the modified version of Cowboy cookies, and two friends fumbling with life and love while trying to find a new direction. A sweet and tender tale that had me smiling
~ Four Spoons
They climbed in the sleigh and then Avery covered Jillian with a heavy lap blanket. “Are you ready?”
She nodded, clutching the thermos. “I am now.”
And then they were off, gliding over the snow. The snow muffled the sounds. And though the moon was hidden behind the clouds, it was still bright out. As they made their way through the field, Avery glanced over at Jillian. She was nestled beneath the plaid blanket and still clutching the thermos. She looked stunning. He should have brought her out here a long time ago.
“What are you smiling about?”
Jillian’s voice drew him from his thoughts. “Who’s smiling?”
“You are and you know it. So what’s up?”
“Nothing. I’m just enjoying the evening.” It was so much more than that, but he really didn’t want to risk ruining this moment. He’d worked so hard to pull it together. He wanted to savor their time together.
For a while they glided along in silence. He had a particular destination in mind. It didn’t have a name. It was just a spot where you could see for miles. And at night, it was like visiting a planetarium with all of the stars twinkling overhead.
“Are you warm enough?” he asked.
She nodded from inside her big, fuzzy hood. “I’m perfect. This is amazing. Do you take the sleigh out very often?”
He shook his head. “This is my first time. I usually come out here on horseback.” He slowed the horse to a stop before turning to Jillian. “I wanted to do something special for you. A way to thank you. You’ve always been there for me and my family, whether it was helping me with the Bake-Off or being the best nanny in the whole world.”
“You…you really think that?”
He’d obviously done a lousy job of communicating his thoughts in the past. He would have to do better going forward.
“I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear before.” He stared into her eyes. “I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family.”
His gaze dipped to her lips. They were shiny and full. And he was overwhelmed with the desire to kiss her again. So what was holding him back?
They were all alone on this snowy evening. And as he’d come to discover while he was planning this evening, it was a very romantic setting. If he were ever to have a chance with her, it would start beneath the starlit sky. But should he risk it? Should he put himself out there again?
It wasn’t like he was asking her to marry him. It was a kiss—a simple, no-strings-attached kiss. It was a starting point.
He rested his arm over the back of the sleigh. His heart started to pound hard in his chest. He’d kissed a number of girls over the years on the rodeo circuit and he’d never put this much thought into it. But none of them had meant as much to him as Jillian. He leaned toward her.
Suddenly Jillian raised the thermos between them. “Hot chocolate?”
He settled back in his seat. Had he read the signs wrong? Was he that rusty where women were concerned?
Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.
Now living her dream, she resides with her very patient husband, amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter is off chasing her own dreams) and two spoiled cats. When she's not plotting out her next romance, you can find her curled up with a mug of tea and a book.
Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS
Hope Seaver is an up-and-coming TV producer tackling the hardest gig of her career: a reality show set at the Buoys, a scenic fishing destination owned by three handsome, stubborn brothers. Liam and Finn O’Donnell are willing to tolerate her crew for the sake of the business, but Ronan would rather chew off a limb than open up on camera. Somehow Hope has to convince him of her good intentions—and stop herself from swooning every time Ronan walks into the frame.
Ronan knows that he’s the reason his brothers gave up their old lives to run the Buoys, and he needs to make it worth their while. So if this out-of-towner with the kind eyes and dazzling smile wants to give them the free publicity they desperately need, Ronan can’t say no. He just won’t let himself get burned again by a double-dealing woman. But what if Hope’s good-girl routine isn’t an act? When Ronan lets his guard down long enough to catch a glimpse of the real Hope, he likes what he sees—enough to give love another shot.
Guys y'all, I love, love, love this series!!!
I adore absolutely everything about the stories of the O'Donnell brothers, I love how tight they are, how they always back each other up, how they never ever let anyone hurt the other if just possible. I love the humor and snark in the dialog, so sharp and smart, yet never hurtful. I love the island, or peninsula, where they live, their lifestyle as fishing guides and hospitality professionals, the ups and downs of the business, and even in that, and especially in that, they stand tightly together. I love what they have made of themselves despite the circumstances with their lives, the childhood they had. And I love how utterly, completely they fall when the right woman comes along.
The stories have just the perfect amount of sweet and sassy, that made me smile and even laugh out loud more times than I can admit. You know you relate to the story when you have your hand over your mouth to try and keep the character from saying what is coming out of their mouth.
The story had so many swoon worthy moments, I was just sighing and smiling as they fumble with their feelings and try to get it right. And the tale had the heartbreaking moments that I felt that ripped my heart open for them, for Ro and his brothers, the tears were falling and I just wanted to reach out and hug them.
Ronan is the fierce protector of the family, the one who has always taken care of others. He has major trust issues, understandably, but his heart is kind and caring, he is passionate and so sexy when he is cooking and baking, yes, he completely stole my heart.
Hope is all alone in the world and her envy of the O'Donnell brothers closeness is palpable. She has a heart of gold, she works hard to make the tv show the best it can be, she blurbs out the funniest facts out of her mouth when she gets nervous, and she is not afraid to stand up for herself if the need arise.
Together Ronan and Hope were flammable. The attraction between them is obvious to the world to see. It is both adorable and steamy, and in their imperfect ways, they are perfect for each other.
When you have a story in your hands that you inhale every word of it, and then you back up because you want to savor the moments and not to get to the end too soon you know you have a winner. The O'Donnell brothers have completely charmed me over the three stories, Catch and Release is going directly to the 'Best of 2017' file. If you read only few romance novels or books in general, a year, I highly recommend you make this, or the whole series, part of your TBR list! I'm so going to miss the gang of the Buoys.
~ Five Spoons
World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.
As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?
Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.
With surprisingly jovial and lighthearted touch the author tells us a story of an aristocratic family and their friends in England during the Second World War. In the Farleigh Field is a tale of family, friends, life, and loss with a touch of mystery and few spine-chilling moments facing the enemy in the midst of the war.
The story has a large cast of characters, from the Westerham family to everyone in the village, to people from London to Paris. Several of these characters have their chance to tell about their life during the war and their contribution to the fight against the enemy. With such a large cast of characters in the story telling the events from their points of views, it isn't possible to get to know any of them in depth, and most of them I found a bit one dimensional.
The story has an addictively smooth flow in it making it easy to get lost in the pages, in the world of Westerham family. There's a steady but slow rhythm to the tale, you keep reading and it feels like nothing has happened until you realize the plot has moved on leaps and bounds, and the most unobtrusive details has moved the story forward, where the little things are the big things changing the direction of the tale and the future to the family and friends.
I have read plenty of tragic, heartbreaking tales from this time period in Europe, and In The Farleigh Field has a unique, could I say resilient feeling to it. It shows the stereotypical thinking of the different cultures involved in the war, the English were cold, the French overly passionate, the Germans organized etc. And even the sisters each has their own trite role in the family from the flamboyant, to the matronly, to the one making a difference, and the one man everyone looks over might turn out to be the one to save the day.
A charming and elegant story of the people who made a difference during the terrible times in the European history. The little pieces of information through the story that touch the true history of the time made it intriguing, the witty dialog that mostly carried the plot forward was delightful as well as nearly humoristically sarcastic at times. Overall I found the story entertaining, the scenery the author painted was beautiful, and the mystery of the Ring enticing.
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Rhys Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of over thirty mystery novels. Her work includes the Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1900s New York City, and the Royal Spyness novels, featuring a minor royal in 1930s England, as well as the Constable Evenas mysteries about a police constable in contemporary Wales. Rhys’s works have won fourteen awards to date, including multiple Agatha, Anthony, and MacAvity awards. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she has fans from around the world, including the 12,000 who visit her Facebook page daily. She is a transplanted Brit who now divides her time between California and Arizona.
Connect with her at rhysbowen.com
To the Studs
Bound by Design #1
By: Roxanne Smith
Releasing February 21, 2017
No one says no to fiery but talented home designer Neve Harper—which is how she convinces her elusive neighbor, Duke Kennicot, to help out with her latest renovation job. Not only is Duke a design aficionado, he’s got the inside scoop on the cabin’s owner. And since Neve’s ulterior motive is a romance with the boss, Duke is her ideal wingman. Except from the moment they’re alone in the remote Ozark mountain location, Neve discovers Duke is just as headstrong—and a whole lot sexier—than she ever realized. Duke has always made it clear she’s not his type. Yet the simmering tension between them says otherwise….
Duke had been warned to steer clear of hot-tempered Neve, but his resolve is lessening with every heated exchange—and every smoldering touch. By the time Neve unearths a dangerous, age-old mystery buried on the property, Duke is ready to do just about anything to keep the brazen beauty safe….
Duke waited until Angel Face shuffled into the elevator before rapping his knuckles across Neve’s door. He avoided men around Neve at all costs. Being gay was harder than he’d thought it would be. Was Angel Face superhot? Should he make a smutty comment or smile coyly at his butt as he walked past?
I need gay lessons. Hell of a thing to come to terms with, especially after two years of pulling it off.
Pajama-clad and curled into a ball on her ultrachic sofa, a beige monstrosity set square in the center of the high-ceilinged room atop a thick white rug, Neve didn’t pause in shoving yogurt-covered pretzels down her gullet to bother with a greeting. The scenery didn’t differ—sofa, pajamas, snacks, bad television—but she seemed more subdued than usual.
He sat next to her and snatched the remote from the coffee table. “Just because you renovate and design for a living doesn’t mean there aren’t channels besides HGTV. Why can’t I live next door to a chef? Or a chiropractor. Someone useful.”
“I’m assuming it’s because you were a real asshole in a previous life.”
“Can we watch Survivor, maybe try a movie once in a while?” He swept a lock of his hair over his shoulder and grinned as Neve rolled her eyes.
She’d never hidden her envious love of his hair. “Do you do that on purpose? Play with your hair and wear tight black jeans and T-shirts to torture straight females?” She turned her attention to the flipping channels on the television. “Because I would.”
“Really? If you were a hot lesbian, you’d deliberately entice straight men? That’s brutal.”
“That’s me. Brutal.” Normally, she made proclamations like that with a little more pride.
Duke chewed his lip and looked her over. She had her glossy, coffeecolored hair pulled into a rakish bun on the top of her head, wore her favorite plush robe over plaid pajamas, and one hand steadily ferried pretzels from the bag to her face.
Pretzel crumbs and all, he’d still get hard if he stared too long. Neve joked about converting him, but if she ever made an honest effort, he wouldn’t hesitate to wrap her killer legs around his waist like a bow, wind a lock of her silken hair through his fist, and make good on every vulgar fantasy he’d concocted over the last two years.
Duke shifted to find a more comfortable position in his awkwardly tight jeans, jeans growing tighter with each vivid image popping into his cranium—Neve on her back with her hair fanned out like a dark halo, Neve’s haughty mouth humbled by a moan of ecstasy, his palms on the inside of her thighs, spreading— Jesus Christ, man. I need to get laid.
A Florida native, Roxanne Smith has called everywhere from Houston to Cheyenne home. Currently residing in Roswell, New Mexico, she’s an avid reader of every genre, a cat lover, pit bull advocate, and semi-geek. She loves video games, Doctor Who, and her dashing husband. Her two kids are the light of her life and provide ample material for her writing.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Her Secret Ranger
The Men of At Ease Ranch #2
By: Donna Michaels
Releasing March 6, 2017
Kissing the sexy soldier was a dare she couldn’t resist…
By-the-book event planner Beth Brannigan’s best friend dared her to kiss a cowboy. She should have said no. Instead, she said please…again and again. If her brother finds out she’s dating—okay, kissing—okay, sleeping with—one of his military buddies, he’ll kill her. Assuming he doesn’t kill his friend first.
Former Army Ranger Brick Mitchum isn’t a relationship kind of guy. But then he meets Beth and starts to wonder if maybe it’s time he settled down. She’s mysterious. Unpredictable. Curvy in every way he needs… And hiding something. He’s just got to figure out what.
“I know what we should do. Let’s play truth or dare.”
Beth drew back and adamantly shook her head. “Let’s not.”
“Come on. We could both use something to lighten things up. So, let’s see…” Her friend’s gaze narrowed as she tapped a finger on her chin. “I can’t help but feel there’s something you’re not telling me about the Roadhouse. The fact you knew about the line dancing has my Spidey sense tingling. So…truth: Did you meet someone there the last time you were in town?”
Damn. She’d forgotten about her friend’s astute superpower. “What are you talking about?”
Rachel’s amused, albeit determined, blue gaze bore deep. “Either tell me the truth about that weekend or take a dare.”
Beth didn’t do dares. Ever. She’d always taken the “truth” option of the game during their adolescence. She couldn’t risk reprimands or hospital bills back then. Not much had changed. But she wasn’t about to reveal her sexy cowboy weekend, either. With a lift of her chin, she held Rachel’s gaze. “Dare.”
The bugger’s grin grew wicked as satisfaction gleamed in her eyes. “I dare you to kiss the next cowboy who walks through the gate.”
Beth gasped. “I can’t do that! What if he’s married?” She jumped to her feet and headed to a nearby trash can to toss her garbage. “Not happening.”
Rachel followed and shrugged. “You have to. You chose dare. But, I’ll amend it to: you have to kiss the next single cowboy who walks through the gate. We’ll watch for wedding rings. And just because you’re not looking doesn’t mean you can ignore the da…amn.” Her friend blinked. “Wow, Beth. I almost wish you’d given me the dare. Turn around and check out your ‘single’ cowboy.”
Without giving her the chance to protest, Rachel grasped Beth’s shoulders and physically turned her to face the gate and one hell of a sexy cowboy. Well over six foot of solid muscle that rippled under a black T-shirt and a pair of jeans hugging lean hips and thighs, the guy oozed hotness she felt with an invisible wave of heat.
Her throat went dry. It was…him. The cowboy from two weeks ago. Seriously? What were the chances he’d walk back into her life at that exact moment? “Uh…”
“I know, right? And there’s not a wedding ring in sight. Now go over there and kiss him.” Her snickering friend pushed her after the hunk striding toward the livestock section of the fair. “Go on before he gets away. Or is that what you wanted?”
She gulped. Pulled herself together. The knowing tone in her friend’s voice revealed she expected Beth to chicken out.
Any other time, yes, she’d lose the dare. It was childish and irresponsible, and she didn’t have time for foolish games. But she did have time to help her friend de-stress. Her friend who was also her client. It was Beth’s duty to put her client at ease. So, technically, it was her duty to kiss the sexy cowboy whose body she knew as well as her own.
That was her story and she was sticking to it.
“Fine. I’ll do it.”
Rachel squealed and clapped her hands.
Grasping bravado with two fists, Beth set her shoulders, lifted her chin, and marched after the hot guy striding away from her down the fairway. So what if she’d decided he was part of her past? The opportunity was too good to pass up. Things like this never happened to her.
Zigzagging around fairgoers, she avoided running into two children wearing a blue coating of cotton candy, and closed in on her prey. Her confidence rose with each step. Not only had she received her first ever dare, she was actually in the position to have the upper hand on the challenge.
A flicker of guilt and a touch of anxiety mixed with excitement. She pushed them both aside and smiled when the cowboy suddenly stiffened and came to a halt. It was as if he could feel her presence as sure as she could feel his. Not wanting Rachel to see the guy’s expression, Beth didn’t give him a chance to turn around. She slid in front of him, her anxiety fading at the pleasure curving his mouth into a sexy grin, dimpling his cheeks.
“Hello, Brick,” she said.
Then she cupped his deliciously scruffed jaw, pulled his face down, and kissed the ever loving heck out of him.
Donna Michaels is an award winning, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of Romaginative fiction. Her hot, humorous, and heartwarming stories include cowboys, men in uniform, and some sexy, primal alphas. With a husband in the military fulltime, and a household of nine, she never runs out of material to write, and has rightfully earned the nickname Lucy…and sometimes Ethel. From short to epic, her books entertain readers across a variety of sub-genres, and one has even being hand drawn into a Japanese translation. Now, if only she could read it.
Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS
Once the town troublemaker, Sheriff Hayden Black became the teen hero who saved young Jillian West from a savage kidnapper. He never got over their brief affair.
Now the ex-SEAL and the burned-out FBI agent have reunited in their Florida hometown and rediscovered their powerful attraction.
But as they hunt down a long-forgotten killer, will they get a second chance at happiness?
When a series of accidents begins to plague Jill, Hayden won't let her fall victim again. There's too much history between them…and too much desire.
Intense doesn't even begin to describe Abduction, every moment of it taking the tension higher both on the suspense and action side as well as on the new chance on a love and future together Hayden Black and Jillian West have always secretly hoped for.
The author draws a detailed, in-depth pictures of the two main characters, Hayden and Jillian, both charismatic, likable, and relatable. Jillian, the FBI agent, has come to her childhood hometown to rest after her career as finding missing children has taken the toll and left her feeling empty and numb. The ones that she wasn't able to save hunt her mind and her sleep, forcing her to take a step away and find focus again.
Hayden used to be the cast away bad boy of his hometown until he saved a young Jillian from a kidnapper at the age of 15. From that day on Hayden has loved her and done his best to protect her. Through the heartbreaking break up to let her go chase after her dreams, through his SEAL career, to this day as she comes back home and finds him there as the sheriff of the town she has been his everything.
I absolutely loved the tension, the connection, the attraction, the fierceness of the passion between Hayden and Jillian. The tenderness and adoration made me smile, and the need to protect each other and take care of each other was endearing. I loved how they didn't dwell on the past mistakes, but were able to learn from it and fight their way through it.
The suspense is filled with constant danger, as the past abductions collide with the new crimes happening in the small coastal town of Hope. Jillian's own experience with the kidnapper and Hayden's brave act of rescuing her years ago play a center role in the current events, all twisting together like it just happened yesterday.
The seamless flow of the story, the engaging, lovable characters, the alluring romance, the forever friends, that small town feeling, and the danger lurking around, never giving a moment's rest, the pressure building, and the new victims fighting for their lives are all elements that made this addictive story impossible to put down. What a thrill-ride, can't wait for more in the series!
~ Five Spoons!