Author: J. Bengtsson
Series: Cake Series #5
Release Date: March 19, 2019
A love story that survives the test of time.
Keith McKallister is the king of the stoners. You know the type. Every school has one – the hot, fun, dopey guy beloved by the student body but despised by, well, just about everyone else. He spends his early mornings in the ocean and his days trying to get to class on time. Life is as easy as it gets until one poor choice too many catches up with him and he’s forced to reevaluate his path.
Samantha Anderson sits in the front row. You know the type. Every school has one – the quiet, faceless, studious girl who fears the taunts of her peers and fades into the background. Life has never been simple for Samantha, and it’s about to get a little more complicated when Keith slides into the seat beside her with a partnership plan designed for his benefit only. But what Keith brings to the table is more than either of them could imagine.
Sometimes the person you least expect to make a difference will change your life forever. Sometimes the person you love the most might be better off without you.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Nothing’s wrong. It’s just – I’ve never been kissed before. If, you know, that’s what you were going to do. Maybe you weren’t, and I totally misread the whole thing, and if I did, I’m sorry, but…”
Once I caught the grin on Keith’s face, I stopped rambling.
“I was going to kiss you, but I didn’t realize you needed to make an outline first.”
“More like a rough draft,” I added playfully.
“I’m thinking getting you into bed would take a full dissertation.”
“Whoa. You need to slow down, Keith. I won’t go past a term paper with you.”
“We’ll see about that,” he answered confidently.
His playfulness drew a smile to my lips. “No, we won’t.”
He grabbed me again, and before I could think, he pressed a quick kiss to my lips. “There. Now you’ve been kissed. Stop making it weird.”
He let me go, picked up his surfboard, and started jogging toward the water.
My fingers found my lips and I grinned like a loon before picking up my own board and chasing after him.
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A professional stay-at-home-mom for twenty-one years, Jill started her writing career in 2016 after reading a really bad rockstar romance. Although she had no previous writing experience and no desire to become an author, Jill was convinced she could write a better story.
And so began Cake: A Love Story. She wrote the novel for fun and added every single thing she’d ever wanted to read in a romance. Embarrassed by her newfound hobby, Jill kept her writing a secret from her family.
When the story was complete, she turned to Amazon to get the feedback she desired. Not thinking the book would ever sell, Jill planned to pull Cake off Amazon once it got a review or two but that never happened because, within a week of its release, Cake began to soar up the bestseller charts. Not only was Jill shocked by Cake’s success but now she had a whole new burgeoning career on her hands…and some explaining to do. Needless to say, the news of Jill’s secret book bay came as a complete shock to her husband and three children.
Jill is now a full-time writer.
"The last thing she ever expected to find in her anger management group was love for a vampire."
From New York Times Bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti, comes VENGEANCE, a new novella in her Dark Protectors and Rebels Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights!
Be sure to grab your copy today!
From New York Times bestselling author, Rebecca Zanetti, comes a new Dark Protectors/Rebels Novella…
Vengeance and revenge are the only forces driving vampire soldier Noah Siosal since losing his brother to an enemy he’s been unable to find. He’s searched every corner of the globe, going through adversaries and piling up bodies until finally getting a lead. The last place he wants to be is in a ridiculous anger management group with people expressing feelings instead of taking action. Until one fragile human, a green-eyed sweetheart being stalked by danger, catches his eye. One touch, and he realizes vengeance can’t be anywhere near her.
Anger and self-preservation are the only motivations Abby Miller needs or wants right now. Falsely accused of attacking the man who’s terrorized her for years, she’s forced as a plea bargain to attend an anger management counseling group with people with some serious rage issues, while learning true self defense on the side. Yet a man, one more primal than any she’s ever met, draws her in a way and into a world deadlier than she’s ever imagined. He offers her protection, but she finds the fight is really for his heart, and she’s ready to battle.
One firm knuckle lifted her chin, and she fought him, but finally faced his dark eyes. God, she was exhausted. She’d fight again tomorrow. Tonight, she needed sleep.
His gaze searched her face. “The keys are in the ignition. Take the truck and go wherever you want. You can borrow it until I get your tires fixed.” He started to take a step back.
Going against all reason, she grabbed the hem of his shirt and pulled him toward her. “I-I can’t take your truck.” What the heck was he talking about?
He sighed, his body rolling with the movement. “Listen. You’re cold and scared, and you need to get warm. You’re frightened of me, so I’m letting you take my truck to get to safety. Now go, and I’ll handle your tires.”
The words barely computed. She swallowed, looking up at his strong jawline. With the darkness behind him, he appeared even larger than usual, as if that were possible. He’d carried her through the storm, and now he was letting her go. He’d asked for nothing. So she levered up and kissed him.
Shock ripped through her system from one touch.
He jerked and another low growl rumbled up from his chest.
She leaned back, her mouth opened in an ‘o’, her body flashing hot in a way she’d never felt before. Wild and free and alive. Dangerously on the edge of something...new.
His jaw ticked. Tension rolled off him, steaming up the windows, even though the door remained open.
She gingerly reached up and touched her still sparking bottom lip, her gaze seeking his. Had he felt that? If so, what the heck was it? “Who are you?” she asked.
He barked out a laugh and slid one firm hand along her face. The entire side of her face. “I’m the guy you just kissed. Kind of. Care to explain why?”
“Kind of?” She barely kept herself from turning into that heated palm. “What do you mean? Kind of?”
His chin lifted just enough. “That wasn’t a kiss, baby. Not even close.”
Don’t say it. Don’t say it. For the love of all that is holy and sane, don’t say it. “What is a kiss?” she asked. Yep. She’d said it.
“You want me to show you?” he rumbled, his eyes somehow looking even darker than usual.
No. Definitely no. Not in a million years. “Yes,” she whispered.
He didn’t ask twice. Leaning down, he drew her partially up, and his lips took hers. Firm and warm, he kissed her, the touch gentle velvet over hard steel. His lips molded to hers, softly probing, sliding warmth down her jawline to touch every inch of her body.
She sighed, leaning up, opening her mouth in acceptance. Her eyelashes fluttered shut, and she let herself just feel. Something good and strong and hot. Then she tentatively kissed him back.
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New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and contemporary romances. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.
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A killer is on the loose...and he leaves a calling card at every murder scene
Though a blizzard has isolated Eagle Mountain, Trooper Ryder Stewart is attempting to track a murderer who's claimed two victims.
Then he's tasked with ensuring veterinarian Darcy Marsh is not the third.
The gorgeous lawman must earn Darcy's trust despite her traumatic past...and resist his romantic feelings for her.
But can he find the elusive killer before the killer finds Darcy?
Eagle Mountain Murder Mystery: Winter Storm Wedding
"Nothing takes your mind off your everyday stress than a good serial murder story," I said and immersed myself into the Ice Cold Killer.
A chilling and rather horrifying murders happening in a small snowed-in mountain town that intrigued my boggled mind. The terrifying suspense in the story is built so well, it went right under my skin. When you add to the cruel serial murders the other criminal activity in the town and the consequences of the small-town snowed-in conditions, with a budding romance between trooper Ryder Stewart and veterinarian Darcy Marsh -- an unputdownable tale that had my full focus from the start to the end.
I admired Darcy and her strength, her ability to focus her mind, control her fear and churning emotions, and do what needed to be done. She has such a survival spirit, she has overcome some horrendous crimes against her, and she is not going to let her past rob her from the future she wants and deserves.
Ryder's patience, sensitivity, tenderness, and protectiveness of and with Darcy was lovely. He was understanding, calm and composed when needed, and full of action and fiercely fighting for justice when an occasion arises.
Ryder and Darcy have an obvious connection and their chemistry is spiced with a special kind of adoration of each other. In the midst of the danger, fear, and action their feelings root fast, developing emotions neither expected yet they are ready to eagerly explore as if the life or death moments had sharpened every feeling they have.
A smoothly flowing tale of terrifyingly horrific crimes, intense suspense, and a developing, delightfully tender, fragile start of a love story, in a charming small mountain town guarantees a vastly entertaining tale for all romantic suspense readers
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
What a Lord Wants
Capturing the Carlisles Book 5
by Anna Harrington
Genre: Historical Romance
Dominick Mercer, Marquess of Ellsworth, leads a double life. In public, he’s one of the most respected peers in England. But in private, he’s notorious Italian painter Domenico Vincenzo, a man known as well for his scandalous lifestyle as his visionary paintings. He’s determined to paint a masterpiece and put his real name on it, thus freeing him from this dual existence that’s becoming difficult to maintain. The problem? His model is the most unusual woman he’s ever met and the only one fit for his masterpiece. And she’s keeping secrets of her own…
Eve Winslow is determined to live life to its fullest by bouncing from one madcap escapade to another. So when a misunderstanding brings her to Vincenzo’s studio, she simply cannot refuse the adventure of being his model, or his rakish charms. Soon Eve’s adventure turns into scandal, and the only person who can save her is the same man who causes her downfall—a man who refuses to put anything before his art, including love.
“Top pick! Sensual and arousing. Harrington spins her tale with care as she gives her memorable characters a lively plot and depth of emotion that captivates her fans, who can’t wait for the next chapter.”—RT Book Reviews on When the Scoundrel Sins
"The characters are fabulously crafted and gloriously complicated…the author balances the dark with a light, witty humor and a sexual tension that adds sizzle to every scene…How I Married a Marquess is intense, satisfying, and cleverly unpredictable. Consider me a freshly minted fan of Harrington’s style of happy ever after.”—USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog on How I Married a Marquess
“Harrington creates fast-paced, lively romances with unconventional characters and plot. For her second novel, she adds heated sensuality and a gothic twist. There is little doubt that she is fast becoming a fan favorite.”—RT Book Reviews on Along Came a Rogue
Taking a deep breath, Evie approached the carriage house, then hesitated. The green double doors hung open wide, and she peered inside. She frowned. This couldn’t be right.
A large room filled with rows of canvases in wide-ranging sizes and in various stages of completion greeted her. Worktables lining the walls held brushes, jars of paint and bladders of pigments, and various metal tools of all kinds. Through the open doors, the woody scent of linseed oil engulfed her. A large easel stood in the middle of the floor, facing a cream-colored chaise longue.
Ellsworth’s man had misunderstood. Clearly. Instead of sending her to the painting, he’d sent her to a painting studio.
“Good afternoon,” a deep voice drawled from the rear of the carriage house.
And apparently directly to the artist himself.
She caught her breath as he sauntered forward. He circled her as she stood in the doorway, half of her in the studio and the other half wondering if she should flee. He moved slowly, with the natural grace of an athlete and with the deep attention of a scientist whose dark eyes coolly assessed her.
She swallowed. No one had ever looked at her this blatantly before. And certainly not a man so scandalously undressed in shirtsleeves and a paint-speckled brown waistcoat, with the unbuttoned collar of his shirt open wide enough to reveal his bare neck and the faint teasing of dark hair on his chest. So she did what any young lady in her situation would have done.
She looked back.
He was handsome, in a rugged, unkempt sort of way, and nothing at all like the polish of Burton Williams and her gentlemen friends. His thick, black hair spilled in an unruly mass of curls that framed his face and accentuated the dark color of his brown eyes and the faint scruff of a three-day old beard. His mouth tightened in concentration as he scrutinized her, and her pulse beat faster as she stood perfectly still, her gaze following him warily.
“Eads sent you, then?”
Eads…That must have been the butler’s name. “Yes.”
“You’ve done this before, then?” He stopped in front of her and folded his arms across his chest, drawing the shirt tight across his shoulders and giving her a glimpse of just how well developed his body was beneath.
“Never,” she answered honestly. Usually footmen were sent to fetch important goods. “Ellsworth’s man said that I should—”
“Ellsworth?” His face hardened. “You went to Mercer House?”
She forced a smile. “Well, yes. I mean, that is where—”
“You’re never to go there again, understand? You’re to keep absolute silence about me and my studio.”
Well, that would be easy. “Who are you?”
His eyes narrowed for a confused beat. “You don’t know?” Then the anger smoothed from his brow, and he laughed. The rich and deep sound spun through her down to her toes. “I’m Domenico Vincenzo, the man who’s going to hire you.”
No. That was impossible…He was the famous Italian painter? The man as notorious for his scandalous lifestyle as for the erotic subjects of his paintings? She’d been sent to the man himself!
Then the rest of his statement slapped her-- Hire her?
“There’s been a mistake,” she ventured breathlessly. “There was a lot of confusion at Mercer House, and I think—”
“The Pall Mall picture gallery. That’s probably why Eads got confused and sent you there first.”
She blinked. “Pardon?”
“The Marquess of Ellsworth is a patron of the Royal Academy of Arts and a noted collector of art. The British Institution has been trying to coax him into joining their organization, and so this year they’ve attempted to flatter him into a membership by asking him to lend several of his paintings to their old masters exhibition.” An amused gleam lit his eyes. “If the porters arrived today to take the collection to Pall Mall, then Mercer House must have been in an uproar.”
Somehow she’d lost control of the conversation. She tried again. “I’m here for the painting.”
He shook his head. “Pigments and canvases are expensive. We’ll start with a few sketches first to see if you have the spark to be a model before I paint you.”
Her mouth fell open. He thought she was…? “I’m not a model.”
“So you said, that you’ve never done this before. You’re an actress or a singer, barmaid, prostitute—”
“I am not!”
He grimaced. “And not at all what I expected.” Once again, he raked his gaze up and down her body, this time much slower than before and more akin to the one the young man had given her in the alley. While that man-boy’s leering had set her teeth on edge, this man’s gaze heated her from the inside out.
“But you have potential,” he murmured as he took her chin in his paint-speckled fingers and turned her face gently to each side, studying her. “Delicate bone structure, skin like porcelain, the slight stature of a waif but with deceivingly ample curves…”
Folding her arms in front of those same curves, she flushed, certain that the porcelain skin he’d complimented was now scarlet. “I don’t think—”
Beautiful. She stared at him, her protest forgotten. With a single word, he’d stunned her speechless.
He dropped his hand away, then turned to step back inside the studio. He grabbed up a pile of clothes lying across the chaise and handed them to her.
“You can change behind the screen in the corner. And hurry up.” He gestured for her to come inside. “You’ve already arrived too late in the day. If you waste any more time, we’ll lose all of our light.”
Eve stared, utterly bewildered, yet oddly excited as a quiet thrill curled through her. For the first time in two months she felt energized, adventurous, daring…alive. The roiling mix of emotions tingled to the tips of her fingers and toes with wild anticipation. Oh, it was simply divine! And exactly what she’d been missing from her recently boring life.
She looked at the costume in her hand. She should stop Mr. Vincenzo right now and explain the mistake and how she was there to retrieve a painting, not pose for one. That she was a respectable young miss—well, as respectable as a shipping merchant’s daughter could ever be—and not someone who was paid to let men look at her, on stage, in a painting, or otherwise. But if she explained herself, the precious freedom she’d found this afternoon would be snuffed out, and the oppressive dread would press in around her once more.
Yet if she remained…An adventure.
And anyway, what harm was there in missing the breakfast and pretending to be a model? Society women paid thousands of pounds to have their portraits painted, and there was certainly nothing scandalous about that. They bragged about it, in fact. No one would ever know that she’d been here. And what was the worst that could happen, that he would be angry with her when he learned that she knew nothing about being a model? If he was going to be angry and send her away anyway, then--
“Well?” he called out. “Are we going to do this or not?”
With a deep breath to tamp down the excitement coursing through her, she stepped inside.
I love good stories that end in happily ever afters, and if they’ve made me cry along the way, even better. That’s why I love to write romances and to share those special moments. Dashing heroes, indepedent heroines, and romantic settings in a some English country estate or elegant townhouse, perhaps a masquerade...all the things I love about historical romances, all the things I hope you’ll enjoy when you read mine.
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Whom Shall I Kiss...An Earl, A Marquess, or a Duke?
Tricking the Scoundrels Book 1
By Laura A. Barnes
Genre: Historical Romance
What started as a research project soon became a scandal...
She wanted to prove a theory. He wanted to play a game. Can their schemes lead them towards a kiss of love?
Tired of watching her friends become ruined by the scoundrels of the ton, Sidney Hartridge devises an experiment to reveal their antics. Her plan is to lure three gentlemen to kiss her and see how they would protect her honor. When her research leads her into her own inappropriate scandal, her father agrees to a wedding offer from one of her subjects. As her fiancé blackmails her into a marriage she doesn’t desire, her research becomes exposed. Can Sidney avoid her own scandal with the one she most desires to kiss?
Noah Wildeburg started this season as any other by flirting with the sweet new debutantes. When he rescues a lady off the dance floor, he is unprepared for the emotions she stirs in his soul. As he pursues her, he realizes he must compete for her hand. As he charms her with tokens of affections and stolen kisses, he discovers she plays her own game. Will Noah win Sidney’s love or is she just another scandal to add to his list?
Whom Shall I Kiss… An Earl, A Marquess, or A Duke? is the first book in Laura A. Barnes new historical romance series. If you like lighthearted drama filled courtships set in Regency England, then you’ll love this new foray into the ton.
Scene with the Duke
Neither one of them spoke but smiled at each other when their eyes would meet. With their swift pace and the other carriages on the roadway, conversation would have been difficult. Unless, they wanted to shout. Soon Sheffield had them trotting along Rotten Row at a much slower pace, negotiating his horses in position behind the other riders. He attempted to hold a private conversation many times but the other visitors in the park interrupted him. When he tried for the fifth time to engage her with small talk, only to be disturbed again, he steered them off the path towards the exit. It would seem their ride in the park would end sooner than she thought. Instead, Sheffield turned towards a deserted path and pulled his curricle to a stop. He jumped off and came to her side, pulling her down into his arms, before she questioned his intentions.
As she slid along his body, she became aware of his physical strength. Her hands gripped his arms, so she wouldn’t fall. His arms were tight, hard muscles. His jacket held no padding, unlike most men of the ton. He held her in his embrace for a few seconds longer than he should of, long enough for her to take notice the rest of his body was as firm. It seemed the Duke, was no lightweight dandy, but kept himself in top physical condition. Another strong point in Sheffield’s favor. Sidney admired a man who took care of himself and didn’t waste his time on the pursuits of the unsavory. She knew him to be a man with a scholarly mind but didn’t realize he was one of the physical sorts too.
Her hands lingered on his forearms as her fingers traced the cords of his muscles through his coat. Unaware of what she did, Sidney became lost in her thoughts. She tried to understand the chemistry she felt towards Sheffield when she heard him groan. Startled she raised her head to see his eyes watched her hands. For they were no longer on his arms but wandered to his chest and slid across his stomach. Aghast at herself, for her forward nature, she dragged her hands away and stepped out of his grasp. Flustered, she turned away and wandered further along the wooded path. What had come over her? She pressed her gloved hands to her face to cool off the burn of embarrassment. Rushing away, she stumbled over a tree root, only to have her elbow grasped and righted again. Sheffield stopped her and spun her around towards him.
“Alex. Alexander if you like the more proper form, only my grandmother refers to me by my full name.”
“Your Grace,” she began again.
“Alex, say it Sidney,” he stressed in his arrogant tone he used when he expected his demand to be granted.
“As I was saying, Sheffield,” she tried for the third time, but he interrupted her when he drew her into his arms.
“I don’t think you were saying anything as much as you were touching me, my dear,” he whispered.
Alex reached to untie her bonnet from under her chin. He swept the hat off her head and stray curls caressed her face as the wind blew around them. He reached to tuck them behind her ears, his fingers sliding over the silken tresses. When her hands caressed his body, he felt comfort from her touch. It was no blinding attraction, but it felt nice. He could work with nice. Her hands were gentle, and he sensed her curiosity as she explored. He also realized her reaction towards him embarrassed her and he wanted to put her at ease. If along the way he was able to sample a taste of her, to finalize his decision on her being a perfect match for him, all the better. If her kiss satisfied him, then he could proceed with making arrangements with her father and call off the rest of her suitors.
He ran his fingers along her cheek and tipped her face under her chin with his knuckles, for their eyes to meet. He began to lower his head for a kiss when he heard his name being called in the distance. She heard it too, for her eyes grew large and she tried to pull out of his embrace.
“We will finish this another time,” he informed her before releasing her from his grasp.
I am the author of The Romancing the Spies Series. When I am not writing, I am spending time with my family. I love reading books on lazy afternoons, and late into the night. Anytime really. Married 28 years to the love of my life and we have three wonderful children and two sweet grandbabies. Besides writing, I have always wanted to travel. In the last few years we have gotten our passport stamped in England, Scotland, and Ireland. We are hoping to add Italy to the list soon. My debut novel is Rescued By the Captain.
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“A sea adventure like no other, a riveting romance!” – SHIRLEE BUSBEE, NY Times Bestselling author
Paris 1782…AN INNOCENT IS TAKEN
All Claire Donet knew was the world inside the convent walls in Saint-Denis. She had no idea her beloved papa was a pirate. But when he seized Simon Powell's schooner, the English privateer decided to take the thing his enemy held most dear...her.
A BATTLE IS JOINED
The waters between France and England roil with the clashes of Claire's father and her captor as the last year of the American Revolution rages on the sea, spies lurk in Paris and Claire’s passion for the English captain rises.
The door of the carriage swung open, a gown was tossed into her lap and a broad shouldered man filled the opening.
Claire’s jaw went slack while her heart kicked into a gallop as if responding of its own accord to the first man to stir it from slumber.
“Bonjour, Mademoiselle Donet,” he said in French. “Captain Simon Powell.” He bowed in grand gesture. “Your humble servant with something for you to wear.”
The golden one. It had been nearly two years since she had seen him, but she had never forgotten the night of the masquerade. She had never forgotten him. Though the linen shirt stretched tight across his broad chest and the leather breeches and boots he wore now were a far cry from the shimmering costume he’d worn then, his amber eyes were the same. Impossibly, he was even more handsome that in her faded memory. In the last two years, he had never been far from her thoughts, for the night she’d first seen him—and imagined a man’s pleasure—was the night Claire’s girlish dreams had ended forever.
And now he’d returned to France and abducted her.
He leaned into the carriage and untied her feet, then her wrists. The touch of his rough man’s hands on her skin sent odd chills rippling through her. She bit her lip, shamed by her body’s reaction to this stranger. Her living temptation turned away for a moment, then faced her, a cup in his outstretched hand. “’Tis only water,” he said when she was reluctant to take it.
Too grateful to complain, she hastily brought the fresh water to her dry lips and drank her fill.
“I’ll give you some time to dress,” he said not unkindly. His eyes shifted to her blanket-covered nightclothes. “I wouldn’t want my men to see you as you are.”
Claire felt her cheeks burn at the thought.
“The gown is modest enough to please even your nuns,” he said. “Call me if you need… ah, assistance. I will be just outside.”
She fumed at his insolence, at his actions that had placed her at his mercy. Though she knew he was English and a privateer, she had no idea why he had taken her, and she would wait no longer to learn the truth of it. “Why did you bring me here? Why did you take me from the convent?”
Leaning one arm against the frame of the carriage, he regarded her intently, his eyes like chips of amber.
“You have your father to thank for that, mademoiselle. As soon as he returns what is mine you will have your freedom.”
Claire blinked. “My father?” Her voice sounded to her like the pleading of a feeble schoolgirl. She would not be cowed! She lifted her chin, confident in his error. “What has he to do with this… this perfidy? Papa is a man of business and letters, a man of some wealth. He has no need to steal!”
His mouth twitched up in a grin, drawing Claire’s gaze to his sensual lips, reminding her of a night when she had seen him use those lips to good effect. She scowled, angry with the rogue and with herself for finding him so attractive.
He shut the door of the carriage and peered in through the open window. “Your father, mademoiselle, is a pirate.”
TO TAME THE WIND
Copyright © 2015 Regan Walker
"Regan Walker sweeps you away to a time and place you'll NEVER want to leave!" ~ Danelle Harmon, NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
England and France 1784
Cast out by his noble father for marrying the woman he loved, Jean Donet took to the sea, becoming a smuggler, delivering French brandy and tea to the south coast of England. When his young wife died, he nearly lost his sanity. In time, he became a pirate and then a privateer, vowing to never again risk his heart.
As Donet’s wealth grew, so grew his fame as a daring ship’s captain, the terror of the English Channel in the American War. When his father and older brother die in a carriage accident in France, Jean becomes the comte de Saintonge, a title he never wanted.
Lady Joanna West cares little for London Society, which considers her its darling. Marriage in the ton is either dull or disastrous. She wants no part of it. To help the poor in Sussex, she joins in their smuggling. Now she is the master of the beach, risking her reputation and her life. One night off the coast of Bognor, Joanna encounters the menacing captain of a smuggling ship, never realizing he is the mysterious comte de Saintonge.
Can Donet resist the English vixen who entices him as no other woman? Will Lady Joanna risk all for an uncertain chance at love in the arms of the dashing Jean Donet?
Bognor, West Sussex, England, April 1784
Except for the small waves rushing to shore, hissing as they raced over the shingles, Bognor’s coast was eerily bereft of sound. Lady Joanna West hated the disquiet she always experienced before a smuggling run. Tonight, the blood throbbed in her veins with the anxious pounding of her heart, for this time, she would be dealing with a total stranger.
Would he be fair, this new partner in free trade? Or might he be a feared revenue agent in disguise, ready to cinch a hangman’s noose around her slender neck?
The answer lay just offshore, silhouetted against a cobalt blue sky streaked with gold from the setting sun: a black-sided ship, her sails lifted like a lady gathering up her skirts, poised to flee, waited for a signal.
Crouched behind a rock with her younger brother, Joanna hesitated, studying the ship. Eight gun ports marched across the side of the brig, making her wonder at the battles the captain anticipated that he should carry sixteen guns.
She and her men were unarmed. They would be helpless should he decide to cheat them, his barrels full of water instead of brandy, his tea no more than dried weeds.
It had been tried before.
“You are certain Zack speaks for this captain?” she asked Freddie whose dark auburn curls beneath his slouched hat made his boyish face appear younger than his seventeen years. But to one who knew him well, the set of his jaw hinted at the man he would one day become.
“I’ll fetch him,” Freddie said in a hushed tone, “and you can ask him yourself.” He disappeared into the shadows where her men waited among the trees.
Zack appeared, squatting beside her, a giant of a man with a scar on the left side of his face from the war. Like the mastiffs that guarded the grounds of her family’s estate, he was big and ugly, fierce with enemies, but gentle with those he was charged to protect.
“Young Frederick here says ye want to know about this ship, m’lady.” At her nod, Zack gazed toward the brig. “He used to come here regular with nary a con nor a cheat. He’s been gone awhile now. I heard he might have worked up some other business—royal business.” He rolled his massive shoulders in a shrug. “In my experience, a tiger doesn’t change his stripes. He’s a Frog, aye, but I trust the Frenchie’s one of us, a free trader still.”
She took in a deep breath of the salted air blowing onshore and let it out. “Good.” Zack’s assurance had been some comfort but not enough to end her concerns. What royal business? For tonight, she need not know. “Give the signal,” she directed her brother, “but I intend to see for myself if the cargo is what we ordered.”
Without seeking the position, Joanna had become the smugglers’ master of the beach, responsible for getting the cargo ashore and away to inland routes and London markets with no revenue man the wiser. She took seriously her role to assure the villagers got what they paid for. Their survival depended upon it.
“Zack, will you row me to the ship?”
“O’ course, if ’tis what ye want.” The frown over his hazel eyes revealed his displeasure, but Zack knew an order when he heard one, no matter how politely it had been phrased. He would never question her authority in front of the men.
Freddie lifted the lantern from the pebbled beach and slid open the metal cover on one side. A small flame flickered into the Channel, alerting the ship the coast was clear of the Riding Officer. The dying rays of the sun still danced on the rippling water, but the lantern’s light would tell the ship’s captain all was well.
Joanna got to her feet, tugging her felt hat over her ears and tucking strands of her long red hair beneath the brim. The hat and Freddie’s borrowed shirt and breeches rendered her one of the men. Even though his jacket was a bit short, she dare not borrow clothes belonging to her older brother, Richard. He knew nothing of her nightly pursuits and would not approve.
“I’m going with you,” said Freddie.
“All right, but stay in the boat.” When she’d decided to help the villagers in smuggling goods that kept brandy and tea flowing to England’s wealthy and food on the tables of Chichester’s poor, her younger brother had insisted on becoming her partner. Still, she tried to keep him from danger.
Out on the water, the ship’s crew lowered three longboats into the water, then scurried down manropes slung over the side. Dropping into the boats, they began to accept barrels and chests lowered from the deck.
With a word to her men, Joanna climbed into the small rowing boat at the water’s edge. Her two companions followed, and Zack pressed his strength to the oars.
With the first of the longboats loaded, the French crew pulled away from the ship, rowing hard toward the beach. Their boat passed her smaller vessel and she gave them a studying perusal.
Their bright neck scarfs and knitted jerseys, coupled with the set of their caps, rendered them decidedly French.
To a man, their hair was long and loose rather than plaited in pigtails as an English sailor might wear. The knives at their belts, their narrowed eyes and sneers made them appear cutthroats. Of course, to them, she and her brother were no more than young English “rosbifs” who had no understanding of a ship like the one on which the Frenchmen served. In that, they would be right.
She shivered and turned away from their harsh glares to fix her eyes on the ship and her mind on the task ahead.
The French brig loomed large as they drew close. A frisson of fear snaked down her spine when she looked up to see an ominous figure standing at the rail.
Like an apparition, he was dressed all in black, his features lost in the shadows beneath his tricorne. Even his hair, tied back at his nape, was black. One side of his coat was pulled back to reveal his hand resting on a pistol. From his waist hung a sword with a golden hilt.
She could not see his eyes, but she felt his penetrating gaze and shuddered. He appeared more pirate than merchant.
Copyright © 2017 Regan Walker
"Simply Magnificent!" – Stew Ross, author of Where Did They Put the Guillotine?
Zoé Ariane Donet was in love with love until she met the young commander of the royalist army fighting the revolutionaries tearing apart France. When the dashing young general is killed, she joins the royalist cause, rescuing émigrés fleeing Robespierre’s Reign of Terror.
One man watches over her: Frederick West, the brother of an English earl, who has known Zoé since she was a precocious ten-year-old child. At sixteen, she promised great beauty, the flower of French womanhood about to bloom. Now, four years later, as the Terror seizes France by the throat, Zoé has become a beautiful temptress Freddie vows to protect with his life.
But English spies don’t live long in Revolutionary France.
The skiff shoved off, disappearing into the fog that had settled in wisps on the dark waters of Granville Harbor. Zoé and her uncle began to walk down the wharf toward the quay when a small boat carrying three men emerged out of the fog and pulled up alongside them. She recognized the two men at the oars as crew from la Reine Noire. Behind them in the stern knelt Freddie, beckoning to her.
“’Tis Freddie!” she said, her spirits lifting at the sight of her friend.
“Get in!” he implored.
“Be quick,” said her uncle, directing her to the wooden steps built into the side of the wharf that ran down to the water.
She climbed down to the rowing boat and her uncle followed. He was nearly to the end of the steps when shouts from the wharf drew their attention.
“Vous, là! Halt in the name of the Republic!” The musket-bearing soldier strode toward them, his boots loud on the wooden planks. A short distance away, a half-dozen soldiers hurried to join him.
Her uncle ascended the stairs, pulling a pistol from his coat, and fired. The soldier stumbled and fell to the wharf.
Racing down the stairs, her uncle leapt into the boat. “Vite, away!”
The two crewmen pulled hard at the oars.
Freddie drew his pistol.
The cluster of republican soldiers knelt at the edge of the wharf, took aim and commenced spewing shot toward their small boat. Zoé crouched low as the balls whizzed over her head and the loud crack of pistols and musket fire exploded around her.
Freddie and her uncle returned fire.
The crew pressed into the oars and the boat slipped into the fog. Her uncle subsided onto the bench in the bow, stuffing his pistols into his coat pockets.
Zoé cast a long look toward the lights on the receding quay. The sound of muskets still firing echoed in the mist.
One of the soldiers shouted, “I told you he was the one! That was le porc who cut Pierre.”
Her uncle shook his head. “I should have killed him when I had the chance.”
Zoé turned her gaze away from the shore. Finally, the shots died, leaving only the rhythmic sound of the oars pulling through the water. “Dieu merci, at least ’tis over.”
“Oui, for now,” said her uncle. “We have West to thank for our lives.”
One of the crew pulling at the oars glanced over his shoulder. “The Englishman has been shot, I think.”
Zoé looked behind the seamen. In the darkness, it was difficult to see but she could just make out Freddie’s form slumped in the stern. “Freddie!”
A FIERCE WIND, Copyright © 2018 Regan Walker
Regan Walker is an award-winning, #1 Amazon bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romances. She writes historically authentic novels with real historical figures along with her fictional characters. Among the awards she has won are the International Book Award for Romance Fiction, the San Diego Book Award for Best Historical Romance, the RONE Award for her medievals and the Gold Medal Illumination Award.
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This Scot of Mine by Sophie Jordan
Series The Rogue Files
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date March 12, 2019
A daring deception…
Desperate to escape her vile fiancé, Lady Clara devises a bold lie—that she’s pregnant with another man’s child. With her reputation in tatters, Clara flees to Scotland to live out her days in disgrace, resigned to her fate as a spinster…until she claps eyes on the powerful and wickedly handsome Laird Hunt MacLarin.
She’s the answer to his curse…
Laird of an ancient clan, Hunt needs an heir, but he comes from a long line of men cursed to die before the birth of their firstborn. When the Duke of Autenberry approaches him with a proposition—marry my ruined sister—it seems the perfect solution. Even better, the defiant lass stirs him to his very soul.
No escaping the truth...
Except marriage cannot set them free. No matter how much Hunt desires her. No matter how much Clara burns for him. Soon she is falling for her husband, but is love enough to end the curse? Or is the tragic history of the MacLarin Clan doomed to repeat itself?
Clara could not have made the invitation any clearer.
She didn’t know where such boldness came from within her. She had never forayed into intimacy like this. She didn’t know she had it in her. She supposed it had something to do with the way he made her feel . . . something to do with the fire in her blood.
He said her name again. “Clara.” In that husky brogue of his she felt herself melting, sliding deeper into a puddle of desire.
They hadn’t even kissed. Not a true romantic kiss. She did not count the chaste peck the morning of her wedding.
And heavens, she wanted him to kiss her.
She wanted his mouth on hers. She wanted to taste him with an ache that went bone-deep. Despite his gruffness, his mouth looked beautiful. There was a tenderness in the well-carved shape that she wanted to explore.
SOPHIE JORDAN grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s the New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of more than twenty novels. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with anything that has a happily ever after.
Today we have the release blitz for Dead and Gone by Jennifer Rebecca! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today:
Title: Dead and Gone
Author: Jennifer Rebecca
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover by Alyssa Garcia at Uplifting Designs.
You ever have an out of body experience? Like one of those moments where you’re standing on a street corner watching yourself do something monumentally stupid? Something you know you shouldn’t do but you just can’t help yourself?
Three weeks ago, Trent and I were deep into the Honeymoon stage of love, I swore I wouldn’t be the first one to rock the boat—Lord knows with our two Irish tempers it would happen soon enough—so when he made me promise to keep my nose and our grandmothers out of his investigation, I did.
It didn’t hurt that his head was buried between my legs at the time either. But then Daisy called me begging for help and what kind of bestie would I be if I shut the door in her face? That’s right, a sh*tty one. So I packed up our grandmothers and their gogo boots, g-strings and pasties to get to the bottom of things. Only problem is if Trent catches us I’ll be dead meat, folks.
My name is Shelby Whitmore, Funeral and Obituaries columnist for the San Diego Metro News and most likely to be single again if I survive this sh*t. But hey, at least I’m still a hit with the blue hairs . . .
I’m dead meat. Literally. Dead. Meat.
Last month, when Trent and I started up for real after all of our false starts at the beginning of our relationship I promised him I wouldn’t do anything crazy. I wouldn’t go off half-cocked. And most importantly, I wouldn’t follow our grandmothers down the crazy-assed rabbit hole of Granny Grabbers and Dangerous Dames.
“You’re not police officers,” he had said.
And I agreed. We’re not.
Trent also might have coerced me into agreeing with him in the most despicable ways. One minute my legs were wrapped around his neck, my eyes were rolled back in my head, and I was one more “Oh, yes!” away from the promised land.
“Shell,” he said to me in between licks and kisses. “Promise me you won’t do anything crazy.” He kissed me again and again.
“Yes.” I ignored him as I rocked against his mouth, moving closer and closer.
“Promise,” he commanded as I spiraled the edge.
“Yes!” I cried.
“You promise?” he asked me again, but I was too far gone.
“Sweet petunia, yes!”
“I’m so glad we agree. You have no idea how happy this makes me, Shelby.” Trent smiled as he slithered up my body like the snake that he was.
Although, I had an idea how happy my climax had made him, as it was currently poking me in the thigh. Before I had a chance to catch my breath or even question what, exactly, Trent and I agreed on, he slid all the way inside me, to the hilt, and my eyes rolled back in my head.
Jennifer is a thirty something lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.
Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also an Alpha Xi Delta.
10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 8 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found in East Texas on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.
A Lesson On Love
Jenkins and Sons Construction Series Book 3
by Sharon C. Cooper
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Some lessons are harder to learn than others.
Jerry Jenkins is a player. He loves women. Curvy women. Soft women. He's unapologetically drawn to full-figured women. With all the beauties in the world, he has no intention of settling down with just one. Not until Rayne Ellison moves in next door. But the curvaceous beauty doesn’t fall for his charm. Still, she's the only woman who has him willing to shred his bachelor’s card.
If there’s one lesson single mom Rayne learned over the years, it’s to avoid players. Been there, done that. Barely survived. No way will she fall prey to another ladies’ man. She has one focus—raising her daughter, but there’s something so magnetic about Jerry. Rayne agrees to be friends, but nothing more. At least that’s what she tells herself.
When tragedy strikes, Rayne is ready to give up, but it’s Jerry who keeps her afloat. He breaks down her defenses and, in the process, gives her a lesson on love.
Grabbing the water pitcher from the refrigerator, Rayne poured them both a glass. “Tonight, was fun,” she said.
“I agree, and I’m glad you had a good time. Does that mean you’ll consider going out with me again…and again after that?” He flashed that sexy grin that sent heat rushing through her body.
Smiling, Rayne shook her head. She didn’t dare tell him that the thought had popped into her head on the way to his parents’ house. Even though she knew it was just fear keeping her from dating anyone, she still couldn’t seem to get past her experience with Kirk. But what she did know, was Jerry was nothing like him. He was a good man, and Rayne was lucky to have him in her life…even as a friend.
“I don’t think you should wait on me, Jerry. Find someone you can have a future with.”
“That someone is you.”
“That someone needs to be a person who wants to get married. Someone who can make you happy, because I already know you’re going to be a wonderful husband.” Those words left Rayne’s mouth dry. The thought of him with another woman made her stomach hurt, but she was still too damaged for a relationship…and scared.
Jerry gulped half the contents of his glass before setting it on the counter. “That someone could be you.”
“We’re not doing this back and forth dance tonight,” she said, a little disappointed in herself. Here she had this great guy who wanted to get to know her even better, and she was pushing him away, again.
Jerry brushed the back of his fingers down Rayne’s cheek, and her skin tingled from the contact. “I thought you wanted a family.”
“I do…I did,” she added quickly. “Actually, I have a family—Stormy.”
Rayne lowered her eyes and stared down at the floor, but felt the heat of his gaze. Her desire to have a big family hadn’t diminished. She just couldn’t see herself getting married again. Trusting had never come easy, and after Kirk’s deception, Rayne had vowed never to rely on a man again. But she’d be lying if she said that Jerry didn’t tempt her to do just that. Spending time with him, she’d felt special, treasured. Feelings she hadn’t experienced in years, if ever.
He tilted her chin, forcing her to look at him, and their eyes locked on each other. He really was a gorgeous man with smooth, dark skin and those penetrating eyes that Rayne could easily get lost in.
But then her eyes dropped to his full, kissable lips, and she swallowed hard. She had told herself that their outing tonight wasn’t a real date. It was just two friends hanging out and celebrating his birthday, but she really wouldn’t mind kissing her friend again.
Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic - loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award - Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net
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The world is his home, she’s afraid to trust those who she can’t hold close. Can the two of them find a way to make their ten year long fantasies a reality?
Serena Harper leads a good life, rescuing animals that need saving. After her high school boyfriend cheated on her and discovering her father’s betrayal, she’s content to live her life alone. She’s known the men in Cedar Hill her entire life, and she can’t trust someone who doesn’t stay put.
She reconsiders everything she held true when Chase walks back into her life.
World-renowned photo journalist, Edward “Chase” Foster’s home is the world, only staying in one place long enough to share the struggles of the world through his photographs. His work has taken an emotional toll, so he jumps at the chance to work an easy assignment—a charity calendar for a local animal shelter. He certainly didn’t expect to run into the girl who intrigued him from the day he met her ten years ago on the Atlantic City boardwalk.
The girl whose image has accompanied him around the world.
Now that Chase and Serena have reunited, they are determined to find a way to be together. To explore the attraction that has been lingering below the surface for all these years. But is Serena ready to let go of her deep-seeded trust issues in order to open her heart to Chase? Is Chase willing to put down roots after all these years? Will both of them compromise for a chance at forever?
Trust issues and family drama are at the center of the new installment into the saga of the Harper family.
Even though I had a bit difficult time to get into - and stay in - the story of Serena Harper and Edward “Chase” Foster, as characters, I found them both charming and lovable. I admired their humble attitude towards life, their giving, and caring souls. Their generosity towards everyone, and everything, surrounding them was commendable, how their sole focus in life was contributing and giving to the community, was exemplary. Their example was inspirational, yet there was no showmanship in their humbleness, it seemed like it was their true nature to think others first, to find out how they serve the community and the individuals in it.
Both Serena and Edward had issues with their fathers, pain rooting into the parental relationships that had changed them and their future paths more than ordinarily. Serena felt betrayed by her father's infidelity, creating trust issues towards men, that her previous boyfriend just managed to strengthen.
In my opinion, Serena took her issues a bit too far and was a little unreasonable in some instances.
Edward had walked his own path in life, making his own success, surviving and thriving in the tough combative career on a global market, leaving his father's dreams and plans for him behind.
I loved how Edward and Serena met, how strong of a connection they had from the start, and how special Edward made Serena feel, a young girl who often felt left in her twin's shadow. The way they carried the torch for each other over the years was immensely adorable, there was something very innocent and sweet about it.
The Harpers have pain and distress in their family from their late father's choices and mistakes in life. Even though he is gone, his past actions still have a stronghold in his children's present life, creating awkward moments and difficult decisions. I love how the siblings stand for each other and protect each other, hold a united front when needed, yet still being strong individuals standing for their own mind and meaning.
The intriguing and charming Harper family saga continues with darling Serena's story where trust is hard to come by, and the feelings are tumultuous even though the emotions are deeply rooted over time...
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Living in beautiful northern Virginia, Nancy dreams of small-town living where the everyone knows everyone else (including their business) and neighbors wave when you pass. Since she doesn’t live in one, she creates them for everyone else to enjoy through her books.
She’s a mom to (almost) 2 college students and 1 middle schooler who has spent more hours at the baseball field and the dance studio than she cares to admit. With her husband, her primary goal is to finish raising her 3 kids into productive adults!
Nancy writes small-town contemporary romance with sexy heroes and strong heroines. Her books tug at your emotional heartstrings and leave you with a warm feeling that lingers long after the last page. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, and Virginia Romance Writers.
To Genevieve Rollins, Gavin Valentine has always been a casual hook-up. A no-strings fling. The sexy fighter pilot was only in town when he was on leave, so it could never be more than that. She didn’t have feelings for him. What would be the point?
But when he tells her he’s moving home to Valentine Bay, she just may have to rethink everything between them. Can she dig down under her sassy, sarcastic shell and find true vulnerability inside?
For Gavin Valentine, life has taken a turn. Diagnosed with a medical condition that means he’ll never be cleared to fly again, he loses everything that matters to him, pretty much overnight. The future he’d always seen for himself is gone in a blink.
Can the lone wolf pilot open up enough to let love in, and learn that sometimes the future you never pictured is the one you were meant to have?
*** Standalone romance with HEA and no cliffhanger ***
Submerging myself into the world that is created by the fabulous writing duo Melanie Shawn, is the best kind of escape reading to me. I could even call it therapy, in the form you get when you hang out with you dear friends. I have experienced this with each new series they have written, and Valentine Bay is no exception to that.
Genevieve Rollins and Gavin Valentine's love story has a unique handle to it, with their casual, secret sexy benefits they have been serving each other with for over a decade. They know each other, in bed and out of it, but as Gavin's life is changing forever, they have to figure out the new frame to their relations with each other, as soon as Gavin is ready to confess what is happening and why his life is changing.
Because Genevieve and Gavin have the intimate knowledge of each other, the love scenes between them take the heat level to a completely new dial of smoking hot. It is through those most vulnerable and delicate private moments, where the development of the characters and the relationship is so cleverly underlined and advanced.
Oh, it is not all just sizzling hot encounters that heat up the pages of this tale. There is also the banter and repartee of the brothers and friends, the Grandma Valentine that knows all and sees all, and the curious townfolks who are not afraid to meddle into people's affairs, no matter how hard they work to keep things secret.
The health issues Gavin is facing, his struggle to accept it, and most of all, his scramble to tell his loved ones of the matter, not only bring depth and a dash of seriousness to the story, so skillfully and delicately delivers some of the best situational comics that made me give a laugh.
From scorching hot love scenes to the family dynamics and small-town quirks, Rescuing His Heart delivers smiles, laughter, and swooning sighs in one vastly entertaining tale that was easy to get lost in, and forget that the rest of the world even exist as it smoothly flew off the pages.
A delightfully ravishing, ever so sexy tale of love and new chapters in life.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Melanie Shawn is the writing team of sister duo Melanie and Shawna. Originally from Northern California, they now make their home in So Cal.
Growing up, Melanie constantly had her head in a book and was always working on short stories, manuscripts, plays and poetry. Shawna always loved romance in any form - movie, song or literary. If it was a love story with a happy ending, Shawna was all about it! They have joined forces to create a world where true love and happily ever after always has a sexy twist!
Leaving Shadow Creek nine years ago was the hardest thing Molly Mayberry’s ever had to do…except maybe returning. She’s never regretted her choice, but a chance of a lifetime position at the local hospital means going home and facing her past, including her shrew of an estranged mother and the fiancé she ran out on. Ben Matthews is still the sexy, sweet man she left behind…and apparently still her fiancé.
Ben has been doggedly pursuing the position of fire chief since he was a teenager. There’s just one problem—he has to show his boss he’s ready to settle down. No matter how silly the condition, Ben will make it happen. And apparently so will his brother when he opens his mouth and decides to tell everyone Ben and Molly are engaged. Now the one woman he never stopped loving is living with him in a fake relationship, driving him crazy. Pretending only reminds him how right they were once, but if Ben gives in to the heat building between them, heartache is sure to follow.
Oh, the feels! Victoria James's stories manage to pull me into that amazing reader space where everything that exists is the story and the characters, where there are laughter and tears, where the angst ties you into a knot yet the jubilee of life and love breaks all the shackles in your heart and mind.
This series has been an emotional roll-a-coaster for me from the start and finding this pearl on my backlogged TBR file made me stay up at night to read it through in one sitting.
There is so much to love about Molly Mayberry and Ben Matthews, and about their love story. Both Molly and Ben are driven professionals, dedicated, caring people, who feel deeply, who are protective, loyal, honest, and kind, willing to go the extra mile for their loved ones. Or walk away from their lives, if they believe that is the right thing to do.
I loved the honesty between Molly and Ben, yes, that might seem a contradictory term with all the secrets, but when they are now facing each other, they have this raw honesty about their feelings towards each other that they are unable, or even willing, to deny or hide. It went directly to my heart, oh, the agony, hurt, and pain, from the past and the in the present, it was so tangible and true.
My heart went out for Molly, everything she had to go through, for everything she had survived, and for everything she hid in her heart. She is such a strong, amazing woman, I admire her immensely.
Ben's forgiving, understanding character just blew me away. He is headstrong, yet so tender with Molly when needed. He can be a daredevil in his job, yet so patient and caring with Molly's heart.
It honestly broke my heart to read about the adversity Molly had gone through. To top of that, her mother's manipulation and controlling attitude, and I wanted to run to hug her, to protect her, and to stand up for her, not that she would have needed it, cause this lady was capable to stand up for herself, she had to learn that in the hard and painful way a decade ago.
All that ache and angst of life and love is beautifully balanced with witty dialogue and humor between the siblings and their friends. The supporting cast and grew, especially both Molly's and Ben's siblings, are a delightful addition to the tale, and I so hope they all get their own HEA as well.
Another balancing act for the relationship drama was the details of both Ben's firefighter job and Molly's work at the hospital and at the shelter as a doctor. Those details and events gave front row seats to the hero and heroine's lives, soul, and mind, to see what they were made of to having to be able to deal with things they did, on a daily basis, and still continue on.
The love scenes in the book happen behind the closed doors and in the reader's imagination. I didn't notice any major issues with language in the tale, yet I do feel compelled to mention that some might get trigged of issues surrounding detailed conversations about rape.
Not even family drama and past mistakes can stop the true soulmates finding their destinies, in this deliciously adorable love story that pulled all the emotions to the surface, and had me up till wee hours of the morning light.
I just love this series, the small town and its characters, and the easy, effortless flow of the author's writing.
~ Five Spoons
Victoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.
Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.
In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.
Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after's for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she's quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.
Sign up for Victoria's Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming releases and exclusive giveaways, follow her blog for daily antics and insight into her daily life, and get to know her on twitter and Facebook. She loves hearing from readers
THE LAST WINGMAN
Author: Daisy Prescott
Series: Wingmen #6
Release Date: March 7, 2019
Jonah Kingston is the last wingman standing.
June Moxee doesn’t care if he’s the last man on earth.
I haven’t exactly avoided relationships, but love has never been a priority. Solitude doesn’t bother me and being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. Until she moved to the island and I had to reconsider everything.
June seems content running her yarn shop, knitting with the local church ladies, and avoiding me. She’s a temptress in a handknit sweater. And for some reason, she’s not a fan of mine. It might be the tattoos. Or the beard. Or the fact that we’re polar opposites.
A woman has finally caught my attention. Too bad she thinks she hates me.
Good thing I’m stubborn enough to try to change her mind.
The Last Wingman is the sixth standalone, lighthearted small town romance in the Wingmen series. You do not have to read the previous books first to enjoy this book.
Daisy Prescott is a USA Today bestselling author of small town romantic comedies. Series include Modern Love Stories, Wingmen, Love with Altitude, as well as the Bewitched and Wicked Society series of magical novellas. Tinfoil Heart is a romantic comedy standalone set in Roswell, New Mexico.
Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog Mulder, and an indeterminate number of imaginary house goats. When not writing, she can be found in the garden, traveling to satiate her wanderlust, lost in a good book, or on social media, usually talking about books, bearded men, and sloths.
Title: The Runaway
Author: Jennifer Bernard
Genre: Contemporary Romance
He knew she’d be nothing but trouble…
The moment she drifted into his marina, Mark Castellani knew Gracie was different. Resisting the blond pixie’s breezy approach to life is difficult, but Mark’s had years of practice living for simple pleasures that don’t extend beyond the next sunrise. Why long for anything lasting when he knows how quickly his whole world can be flipped upside down?
A bombshell long-lost memory finally explains why Gracie Rockwell never quite fit in with her boisterous family—she isn’t a Rockwell, after all. Desperate for answers, she leaves her beloved Rocky Peak Lodge in search of the little boy who saved her so long ago. Did he grow up to be the gorgeous-but-guarded Mark Castellani? What does he know about her true origins? If only she could pry some answers from her enigmatic new boss—and get rid of her massive crush.
But while she’s eager to uncover the past, he’d rather bury it forever. Mark was right—Gracie is the kind of trouble he never wanted. But she’s exactly the trouble he needs.
Finally, he gave up and shoved off his bedcovers. He padded barefoot down the quiet corridor toward Gracie’s room, pausing at every squeak in the floorboards.
This time her bedroom door was closed, so he could see it was painted with a sparkly silver ghost with a mermaid’s tail. He recognized her touch in the design. It was so…Gracie. Offbeat but beautiful and unique.
He tapped on the door, right over the ghost mermaid’s heart, which was covered by long, silvery hair. He heard soft footsteps, then the door opened a crack and Gracie’s sleepy face appeared. Her eyes widened at the sight of him. He was just launching into a smile when she slammed the door shut in his face.
Not quietly, either. Just a hard, classic, get-off-my-porch door slam.
Okay, then. Wow, he’d really pissed her off. She didn’t even want him to apologize. She wanted nothing to do with him.
With a hollow pit in his stomach, he turned to go.
This was going to be one awkward road trip. Maybe he ought to go home instead. She didn’t really want him around. He’d probably wind up putting his foot in his mouth again.
No. He’d followed her to Rocky Peak for a reason, and that was to help her with Janus Kaminski. Anything else was just icing on the cake—and he’d just have to do without it.
He was halfway down the hall when he heard her soft “pssst.”
With an impatient gesture, she beckoned him back to her room. He hurried back, but before she let him in, she put a finger over her lips. No talking. He nodded to show he got the message, then she yanked him inside with a hand curled into the front of his t-shirt.
He stumbled through the door, already off-balance. She took him by the wrist and hauled him toward her bed. Was she…what was going…were they going to…?
The unpredictability was exhilarating. He felt his cock already going hard. But should they really do this, with all the unresolved stuff between them?
“If you say one more word, you can just go back to your room,” she hissed fiercely.
Why was everything with Gracie always so confusing? He couldn’t ever get a handle on her. Maybe that was why he couldn’t get her out of his mind, no matter how much he tried.
He gave in and spread his arms wide in a gesture of surrender. She pushed him onto the bed, then stripped off the little nightie she was wearing. Naked, her skin luminous in the dark, she stood before him, hands on her hips, like a general surveying her troops.
At least one of her troops was more than ready for battle. His cock was throbbing like a drum. He pushed his sleep pants off his hips to let it spring free. She surveyed him almost clinically, not a trace of emotion on her face.
That was when he realized what she was up to. She was trying to separate all emotion from what they were about to do. He remembered her last words to him at the cabin. “Thanks for the sex. That was fun.”
She was trying to make this all about sex.
She held up a finger, telling him to wait, then sauntered to a low table next to her bed. He couldn’t take his eyes off her—she was moving provocatively, sensually, parading her nudity.
All about sex. That was fine, right? It was better than no sex.
But as he watched her open a drawer and pull out a condom, he decided that…no. It wasn’t okay. The hell if this was just about sex. He had a say in this, too.
She settled onto the bed on her knees, condom in one hand, the other trailing between her own legs. He got the message, crystal clear. Anyone can touch my clit and make me come. Even me. I don’t really need you. But since you’re here…
He wasn’t going to play the “this doesn’t matter” game. Because it did matter. If he couldn’t tell her so in words, he could show her without them.
Jennifer Bernard is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her books have been called "an irresistible reading experience" full of "quick wit and sizzling love scenes." A graduate of Harvard and former news promo producer, she left big city life in Los Angeles for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She still hasn't adjusted to the cold, so most often she can be found cuddling with her laptop and a cup of tea. No stranger to book success, she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name that she's happy to share with the curious.
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Red River’s most eligible bachelor has been keeping secrets…
Flight medic Langston Brooks has built a good life for himself in his hometown of Red River. He’s got it all—a close-knit group of friends and family, an exciting career on a life-flight helicopter, and ridiculously good looks that have made him one of Red River’s most eligible bachelors. The only thing missing is someone to share it with.
His secret lover for the past decade isn’t a forever kind of girl. Not with a tarnished reputation over something she didn’t do, and it’s still following her. Now that she’s brought an international winter sports event to Red River, it’s her ticket out of town. She can finally make a clean break as soon as she collects the nice payday that’s coming her way. The only problem with her plan is she’ll have to leave Langston behind, too.
After keeping their relationship under wraps for years—at her insistence—she finally breaks it off with Langston for good. Moving on alone is best for everyone, especially Red River’s sexy flight medic, who doesn’t deserve the baggage from her troubled past. When they’re forced to work together to make the event a success, can she keep up the pretense that she doesn’t love him anymore? Or will she finally give in and become his forever love?
Return to Red River--where the nights are cool and the romance is hot--in this sexy novella.
Find out who hot alpha flight medic, Langston Brooks has been seeing on the sly for years. After keeping their love affair a secret for a decade, will they finally get their happily ever after?
“What the heck just happened?” Wait. Had she said that out loud?
Langston shifted his large frame, closing the space between them. “I think I just became an important part of your event staff.”
Dammit. She had said it out loud.
She spun to face him, steam practically billowing from her ears. “Why did you do that? You undermined my authority, not to mention the fact that you know this is a bad idea.” Her head snapped around to make sure no one was listening. Thank goodness the council was already filtering toward the door. “You know how people in this town are. If we spend a lot of time together, which we will with you as the safety officer, they’ll start talking.”
“So let them talk.” He shrugged.
So angry she was at a loss for words, she simply let out a frustrated huff.
Langston stared at his mug, the muscle in his jaw ticking. Finally, he said, “Hell. If you don’t want people to talk about us, then maybe we shouldn’t have been sleeping together the past ten years.”
Twelve years. If the two years of hot and heavy making out in high school didn’t count.
“That’s over, remember?” How could he not? She’d told him to his face, so he could finally move on without her dragging him down like an anchor sinking a ship.
Langston leaned closer. “If it makes you feel better, then keep telling yourself that.” He placed his mug on the table. “But you and I both know it’s never going to be over between us.”
He turned to leave but hesitated. “Mr. Brooks? Really? I know you’ve always wanted to keep our relationship a secret, but calling me Mr. Brooks when I’ve seen you naked…” His gaze slid down her length. Even though she was clothed in full winter gear, his eyes darkened as though he was picturing her with nothing on at all.
Her skin prickled, and the room suddenly grew warm. Heat slid through her, settling between her thighs. She clenched every muscle from the waist down.
“Yes, well…” She hugged her papers to her chest. “It was fun, but it’s time to move on. This will be nothing more than work between us.” She smiled, realizing she did have a card to play. “And as far as the snowboarding event is concerned, I’m your boss.”
A slow, naughty smile spread across his face. “That makes it all the more interesting.” He strolled through the front door, leaving her staring after him.
Leaving her more determined than ever to keep their working relationship purely professional.
Leaving her wanting him more than ever.
About Shelly Alexander
Shelly Alexander is an Amazon Bestseller in multiple categories and a 2014 Golden Heart® finalist. Shelly grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor's degree in marketing, and worked in the business world for twenty-five years. With four older brothers, Shelly and her sister watched every Star Trek episode ever made, joined the softball team instead of ballet class, and played with G.I. Joes while the Barbie Corvette stayed tucked in the closet. When she had three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels and has been hooked ever since. Now, she spends her days writing contemporary romances that are sometimes sweet, sometimes sizzling, and always sassy. She enjoys the arid climate of the beautiful Southwest where she lives with her husband and two toy poodles named Mozart and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.