The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…
As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?
Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.
“What’s your background?”
Margot smiled. “I started in hotel management. I received training to work with our international clients and loved it. I was recruited by my current employer and have moved to helping people deal with our ever-shrinking world.”
“Hmm, yes, that’s fascinating, but what’s your background? Where are you from? Who raised you?”
A different question than “tell me about your parents.” It was almost as if Bianca knew there hadn’t been parents. “My maternal great-grandmother,” she said slowly. “She owned a beauty and charm school for nearly fifty years. She trained pageant contestants.”
“Were you in pageants?”
“No. I’m lacking certain skills.” Like the ability to speak to a group. Margot still remembered the first time Francine had made her get up on the mock stage they had in the workroom and address the group. She’d barely taken her place when she’d projectile vomited and promptly fainted. It had been a fairly quick end to any hopes her great-grandmother had had about Margot taking the crown.
Margot had forced herself to overcome her deficiency and could now give a decent lecture, but she would never be a natural up on stage. Not that she’d ever aspired to be a beauty queen. She just wanted to do her job and live her life. Oh, and not be dumb about men, because she’d already done that enough already.
“Alec picked you,” Bianca said. “He looked over all the people at your agency and he picked you. Now I see why.”
Did she? Margot hadn’t known he’d been the one to make the decision. Why her? She wasn’t an obvious choice, was she?
“Can you do it?” Bianca asked before Margot could question her statement. “Can you help me be who I need to be so I don’t
Margot leaned forward. “I will use every technique I have, and if those don’t work, I will create new ones. I will work tirelessly to get you to a place where you are comfortable in Wesley’s world.”
“That’s not a promise.”
“I know. I don’t make promises when I can’t be sure of the outcome.”
Bianca looked away. “I make promises all the time. I rarely keep them. It’s just that in the moment, I want the person to be happy.”
Bianca shrugged again. “They always forgive me. Even Alec.” The smile returned. “All right. Let’s do this. Alec thinks I need about two months of instruction. You’ll have to move in here. There are a few guest rooms upstairs. I have the big one and I’m sorry but I’m not moving out for you.”
“I wouldn’t expect you to.” Margot looked at her potential client. “Bianca, I don’t live that far from here. I could easily drive over—”
“No. You have to stay here. It’ll be like we’re on location. Alec doesn’t care. He rarely looks up from his work to notice anything. The house is beautiful. You’ll love it and I’d feel better if you were close.”
Margot nodded slowly. She’d lived in before. She didn’t prefer it but when the client insisted, she agreed.
“As you wish. I’ll send over the contract as soon as I get back to the office. Once it’s signed and you’ve paid the retainer, I’ll be in touch to discuss a start date.”
“Monday!” Bianca sprang to her feet and raced around the table. She crouched in front of Margot, took both her hands and smiled. “We’ll start Monday. Oh, this is going to be fun. We’ll be best friends and have a wonderful time.”
Bianca rose and twirled, then ran to the house, her laughter trailing after her.
Margot watched her go. There was something, she thought, some secret driving Bianca. Margot wasn’t sure if she was running to something or away from it, but whatever it was, it was the key to the problem. Finding out what it was would be difficult, but she knew in her gut if she could figure out the mystery, she could teach Bianca what she needed to know and be gone in far less time than two months.
She glanced around at the beautiful gardens and the monastery’s worn, red-tiled roof and reminded herself that whatever she might have to deal with while helping Bianca, at least her living quarters were going to be extraordinary. Perhaps, if she were lucky, she might even run into a ghost monk or two.
With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.
Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived.
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Today we have the release blitz for Lucy Eden’s Cherishing the Goddess!
Check it out and be sure to grab your copy now!
Title: Cherishing the Goddess
Author: Lucy Eden
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Billionaire CEO Alexander Wolfe has spent years putting in 120-hour weeks and adding zeroes to his net worth. But lately, work has left him feeling burnt out and uninspired. Then he is given the chance to go head-to-head with a legendary corporate raider and the man he’d idolized his entire career. He seizes the opportunity, immediately jumping on a plane for Barbados to close the deal in person. If he’s successful, it’ll be the biggest win of his career.
He had no way of knowing that meeting a mesmerizing beauty would have the power to derail everything...
Calypso Sterling has no time for men who value her beauty over her intellect. Instead, she focuses all her energy on her studies and career aspirations. But when her home—and a closely guarded family secret—is threatened, she’s ready to defend all she holds dear.
She had no way of knowing a handsome stranger had the power to take away everything she’d ever loved...
This standalone, workplace/ enemies to lovers romance features characters from Everything’s Better With Kimberly, is full of alphas and steam and has NO cheating.
This is the novelized, extended version of the previously published novella of the same name.
I approached Paul at the helm. He handed me a beer and gave me a sly half smile.
“Thought you were leaving?” His half smile morphed into a full-blown shit- eating grin.
“Yeah, me too.” I knocked back half the beer in two large gulps.
“She got you, didn’t she?”
“Yeah,” I grinned and nodded, “she did.”
Paul guffawed. “I knew it. I told Nadine when we met you two, ‘That boy doesn’t know what hit him!’” He chuckled once more and clinked our bottles together. “She’ll take good care of you. That’s a good woman. I can tell.”
“The best,” I said.
“Well, I don’t know about the best. You have met my wife?” He grinned again, and we both laughed.
“So how did you and Nadine meet?”
Paul grinned and took another sip of his beer.
“I used to work with her brother down at the shipyard. She was the most beautiful looking girl I’d ever seen, but she was a skinny little thing back then and mean as a snake. She did not fancy me. Every day when she would drop her brother off at work I would say, ‘Good Morning, Nadine,’ and she would roll her eyes and drive away. One day, her brother forgot his lunch, and she came to drop it off. Now, I never ate much for lunch, a piece of chicken between two slices of bread with some pepper sauce. She took one look at my pitiful lunch, screwed her face up and walked away. The next day, her brother gave me a bag.” Paul’s face spread into a wide grin. “Inside was a container with peas and rice, curried goat and a slice of coconut bread. Best meal I’ve ever had.” He laughed.
“So, she talked to you after that?”
“No,” Paul laughed as if I’d made the most absurd suggestion,” but,” He held up an index finger and wagged it at me. “That’s when I knew I had a chance.”
We laughed again.
“So, I know what happens when you cross a Bajan woman. What happens when you try to leave one?”
“I don’t know, man,” Paul shrugged and took another sip of his beer, “I’ve never tried.”
Lucy Eden is the nom de plume of a romance obsessed author who writes the kind of romance she loves to read. She’s a sucker for alphas with a soft gooey center, over the top romantic gestures, strong & smart MCs, humor, love at first sight (or pretty damn close), happily ever afters & of course, steamy love scenes.
When Lucy isn’t writing, she’s busy reading—or listening to—every book she can get her hands on— romance or otherwise.
She lives in New York with her husband, two children, a turtle & a Yorkshire Terrier.
Connect with Lucy:
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Beauty and the Bad Boy Book Series
by Bella Fontaine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 27, 2019
From USA Today Bestselling Author Khardine Gray writing as Bella Fontaine,
comes an emotionally-gripping second chance romance that will make you melt.
I’m sorry I couldn’t stay. I had to leave because you asked me to take care of your brother and I didn’t. I couldn’t. It was the one time I never had his back and because of me he died. I couldn’t face you after that….
Those words …
That was the point when my broken heart softened and let him back in.
Eight years ago when Sam left my world ended and it reminded me of how forbidden he was to me growing up.
He was my older brother’s best friend and the guy from the wrong side of the track.
He was the gorgeous rebel with his bright blue eyes who was bad news.
But, when I looked at him I saw the good … even when he didn’t.
He was my first everything.
I gave him my heart, body and soul, thinking we’d always be together.
It was a lie.
My heart shattered into a million pieces when he left.
Now, he wants a second chance.
He wants me again and not just for one night.
Loving him once was a mistake.
Loving him twice is beyond my control.
It feels like the best mistake of my life, until I realize there’s more secrets that could destroy us.
Dear Olivia is a steamy second chance romance and the first book in a two part series concluding with Yours Truly. Please note there is a cliffhanger. For your enjoyment of this series pretty, pretty, please read the books in order. Enjoy xx
From USA Today Bestselling Author Khardine Gray writing as Bella Fontaine, comes the conclusion of a heart gripping second chance romance.
The past left me battered and bruised, the present could do the same to me.
Loving Sam was like drowning in a river with a fierce current that pulled you under.
Nothing could have prepared me for the shocking secret that spilled out of the closet and broke me all over again.
But truth is truth…
The truth is I hated the lies…
The truth is I love him…
The truth is sometimes people deserve a second chance.
But, sometimes they don’t.
I’m not sure which he is yet.
My heart continues to betray me.
However, this time, I’ve got more to lose than just my heart.
Yours Truly is a steamy second chance romance and the second book in The Beauty and The Bad Boy two part series . For your enjoyment of this series pretty, pretty, please read the books in order. Enjoy xx
Bella Fontaine is the multicultural and interracial romance pen name of USA Today Bestselling bestselling author Khardine Gray.
The name is to honor the strong, super talented, and courageous women in her family who inspired her to write and do what she loves most.
As with her other books expect hot, steamy, contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Expect drool-worthy heroes and sassy heroines. People falling in love and the wild, sexy fun they have on their journey.
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by Sara Harris
Genre: Historical Amish Romance
Publication Date: May 30, 2019
Rebekah slid her legs over the side of her bed, easing them down until her feet met the hardwood floor. Her father had laid this floor expertly in just a few days’ time, or so she’d heard tale.
Shards of pain sparked up her leg from her bad foot, making her stomach turn over. She choked on the yell that strangled in her throat as the rest of her body joined her feet on the floor. Tears blurred her wobbly vision.
A strained groan came from the direction of her parent’s room.
Rebekah shook the foggy stars from her head.
“Standing up isn’t really an option,” she reasoned as she sat on the chilled floor that had moments before been her ally. She flexed her multi-hued ankle. “Nope, certainly not an option.”
A series of pants echoed in the dark hallway.
“I’m coming, Ma.”
Ignoring the seeping dankness, she stretched out on the floor in her thin nightgown, Rebekah pulling herself along the smooth boards with her hands. She slithered to the doorway like a snake through the grass.
Rebekah managed to navigate around the doorframe only to knock her head on something stationary that shouldn’t be there. “Ow!”
Her mother’s labored breathing drew Rebekah’s attention from her own sudden pain.
“Rebekah,” she rasped. She seemed completely oblivious to the fact that Rebekah’s head just met her nose. Hard.
“Ma, are you okay?” The absurdity of that question filled the air. Of course her pregnant mother, lying here alone in the early morning darkness, was not okay.
“The baby,” she started.
Rebekah didn’t wait for her to finish. She scurried to her mother’s feet and paled at what she saw.
By muted moonlight, it was obvious that the dark pool beneath her mother was blood.
“Mrs. Yoder said the baby wouldn’t be coming for a while,” Rebekah stammered. She chewed the inside of her lip as the sea of churning thoughts attempted to push a coherent solution to this predicament into the forefront of her mind. It wasn’t working.
Clear fluid puddled around her mother in stark contrast to the crimson stains. “Ahh,” Elnora gasped.
“Something’s wrong,” Elnora said, the tension causing her words to break in unnatural places. “With the baby, something’s wrong.”
The tears sprang up in Rebekah’s eyes without warning. “What Ma, tell me what’s wrong.” Rebekah swiped at her face with the back of her hand. “Tell me what’s wrong and I’ll fix it!”
A grunt from Elnora gave her pause. “I have to push!”
Fumbling with her mother’s nightgown, she sucked in a hard breath. “Ma, I see feet.”
Elnora stopped panting. “Feet?” She began to shake her head in tiny little shakes. “Oh Rebekah, no. No!”
“What do I do?” The hysteria was rising in her throat, pinging the ends of her words.
“Turn him. Turn the baby.”
The sea of thoughts began to churn again in Rebekah’s mind, this time vicious and wild.
“Ma,” she began. The icy fingers of fear clenched tight her throat. A very real pain seared there, just beneath her chin. “I don’t know what to do.”
“Dear Father,” Elnora prayed, oblivious to Rebekah’s plight, “Please turn the baby or he’ll die.”
Rebekah placed her hands alongside the tense bulge on Elnora’s stomach. “Please Father; help me save my little brother or sister.”
Sara is a mother of four, animal lover and advocate, and conservationist. Little House on the Prairie, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and Lonesome Dove are among her favorite shows/movies and books. Sara holds her B.A. in History and is the author of the historical romance series, An Everlasting Heart, from 5 Prince Publishing and recently debuted into the children's book realm with Chunky Sugars (5 Prince Kids), written for her own chunky baby.
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As the summer ends, friendship begins…
When single mom Joy Lee abandoned her old life to take a job at a lakeside resort, she found something that her family’s wealth and influence could never buy: peace of mind. Not easy to come by for the once-burned divorcée who keeps everyone at a distance. But when her new friend, Maris, dares her to take a chance with the drive-in’s charismatic new owner, everything changes for Joy and her young son.
A difficult childhood has left Maris Kennedy with definite priorities. Her job running Summer’s End, the camp store and café, comes first. Always. Nothing could ever make her risk that hard-won security—especially not her free-spirited colleague. But the more she encourages Joy to open herself up to new experiences, the more Maris begins to wonder what she, too, might be missing.
Learning how to trust will bring Joy and Maris together. And soon they form a friendship that leaves them as close as sisters—and open to love where they least expect it…in Summer’s End.
I adored visiting in Summer's End. I loved every moment and scene while I read the story, every character touching my heart in a special way, connecting with each of them on some level.
Joy Lee - the ultimate superwoman of a single mom who is doing all she can that her son will never feel the kind of burn from the hurt Joy's parents caused her.
Maris Kennedy - the other superwoman, working her knuckles bloody in the tough business of food service to make a life to her self, climbing up from the poverty she experienced as a child, determined to make it, make something of herself, to stay independent, to stay above the waterline. She is resilient, she is successful, she has talent, and she has the guts she needs to make it happen every single day.
I loved the friendship developing between Maris and Joy, they had that connection one needs to their soul sister, and even though they seemed so different at the first glance, they are more similar than one would think, with the strength of mind and spirit.
Daron - the hard working, always smiling, flirt of the resort, who has more depth and layers than Maris was willing to admit. He turns out to be just a solid good guy, a person Maris, and his friends, could trust, who was not afraid to say how it was, and who adored Maris.
And then there is Royce - the new guy in town. The one who seems almost too good to be true, who says he wants to just heal and chill and recuperate after taking care of his mother with dementia for years. I wanted to hug Royce silly, cause I know what a tough, all-consuming lifestyle being a caretaker for a person with dementia is. Royce has kindness, goodness, and sexiness that's palpable, he was so perfect with Jack, Joy's son, and together with Joy, they made the perfect unit, one within two.
The different relationships and connections between the friends are tested in the obstacles life throughs at them, with their own issues, pain, and past hurts.
The story balances between serious character development, heartbreak, and growth from life lesson to fun banter, sexy flirting, and love scenes that left me all swoony and smiling. The story wasn't only vastly entertaining, it took a look at life from several different angles, and showed how the past and prestige does not matter if people are willing to find the common ground and make a life together.
An inspiring and uplifting tale about friends, life, learning to trust, and daring to love. The smoothly flowing, well-written story engaged my emotions, I connected with the characters, and I wanted to be part of the gang at the cafe. I found the book to be unputdownable from the moment I started to read it until the oh, so satisfying 'the end'.
This summers 'must read' in my opinion!
~ Five Spoons
Lori Foster is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author.
She has received the Romantic Times “Career Achievement Award” for Series Romantic Fantasy and for Contemporary Romance;
Amazon’s top-selling romance title for Too Much Temptation;
Amazon’s Top Ten editors’ picks in romance for Causing Havoc;
Waldenbooks’ second “Bestselling Original Contemporary” romance for Say No To Joe;
BGI group’s “Bestselling Original Contemporary” romance for the The Secret Life of Bryan, “Bestselling Romantic Comedy” for Jude’s Law, and “Bestselling Romantic Suspense” for Back in Black;
Plus Amazon’s #1 Editors’ Pick in Romance for Servant: The Acceptance.
Lori has been featured as a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle, and the USA Today “Quick Cross” puzzle.
To give back to the community, Lori does an annual “benefit” book where all advance and royalties go to a charity: http://lorifoster.com/benefit-books/
She also hosts the annual “Reader & Author Get Together,” facilitating major interaction between readers, authors, and industry professionals while also donating all proceeds from raffles to local charities. http://readerauthorgettogether.com/
★★ AVAILABLE NOW ★★
STEALING VENGEANCE by Kaylea Cross is now live!
She’s an expert at getting into places she doesn’t belong.
The government created Megan, transforming her into a Valkyrie—a deadly operative only whispered about in certain circles. They took everything from her and made her into a weapon. Now someone is leaking secret information about her sisters-in-arms, betraying them for money. Loyal Unto Death is the Valkyrie motto. So when Megan is recruited to find who leaked the files, she takes the high-risk assignment. Even if it means working with the man who betrayed her trust long ago. Even if it means giving her life. Because she’ll do whatever it takes to find justice.
But this is one situation she can’t escape from on her own.
Tyler Bergstrom never forgot the resourceful woman who escaped during the toughest phase of SERE school. So when he learns the stunning truth about her and his unwitting part in her past, he volunteers to work alongside Megan for a chance at redemption. Except she doesn't want a partner. Doesn’t want to let anyone into her life, including him—hell, especially him. Yet whether she likes it or not, for this mission they’re partners. Now it’s a race against the clock to bring down the shadowy figure targeting Valkyries. But the threat goes deeper than they ever imagined. No one is safe. And if they can’t overcome the past and learn to trust each other, they’re both dead.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.
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Lion by Holly Gunn
Series Shifter Kings Nashville
Genre Adult Paranormal Romance
Publication Date May 23, 2019
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of LION by Holly Gunn, we're giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Holly Gunn. Giveaway ends 6/2/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Holly Gunn
I'm the proud momma to a golden retriever named Charlie, two tortoises named Jake and John, a frog named Toad, and a gopher snake. The latter is my girl, Holly Jr. There's also the fact that I'm a thunderstorm-loving, front porch-sitting, hot cocoa-drinking, beauty product-hoarding, self-proclaimed environmentalist who just happens to write erotic romance. Saddle up, sweetheart. I've got a slew of shifters, bad boys, dirty men, and smart, sexy babes to get you started!
She’s come back to solve the mystery of her father’s death and confront her own dark past.
When Detective Rebecca North left her rural hometown, she vowed never to return. Her father’s apparent suicide has changed that. The official report is that retired cop Noah North shot himself, knocked over a lantern, and set his isolated cabin ablaze. But Rebecca cannot believe he killed himself.
To prove it, she needs the help of Ash Haugen, the man she left behind. But Rebecca and Ash share more than broken hearts. Something darker lies between them, and the investigation is stirring it back to life. Clues lead them to the home of Olivia West and her deeply troubled twelve-year-old daughter, Tori. The child knows more about the murder than anyone can imagine, but she’s too terrified to say a word.
And as a cold-blooded killer resurfaces from the past, Rebecca and Ash begin to fear that their own secrets may be even harder to survive.
Loreth Anne White is a new author to me, and I am impressed, I admit that. Her writing is beautiful, smooth, and descriptive, I called it in my mind Women's Lit meets Cozy Mystery meets Thriller meets Romantic Suspense.
Of course, if you are looking for a fast-paced action thriller, then you might get anxious after the intensely frightening beginning as the stage is set for the twenty-year-old crimes to be solved and connected to the current ones. The investigation is interesting and engaging but it does take time to get all the information together. Yet the author abundantly awards the readers, as the action and tension increases after half of the book are read.
Everything in the story is intense, not just the investigation. The small town, the weather, the people, the connections, the climate, the past that is playing such an important role in the present, everything is an intricate part of the plot as the story unfolds, and as the solution started to be at hand, the book was impossible to put down until the end.
Detective Rebecca North is a strong female lead. She knows her job, she is talented, detail oriented and dedicated. She has her issues from the past and her unresolved relationship with Ash Haugen, both ending up as the center of the investigation at hand.
Ash is a broken hero, with his faults and failures. There are third person issues, there are youthful mistakes, there are terrible secrets and heartbreaking destinies. Even though it took me a long time to feel an emotional connection with Rebecca and Ash, when it finally came, it hit hard and directly to my heart. The road for them is not easy, the obstacles they face are unimaginable. The author does not take easy short cuts in their relationship but gives lifelike, believable solutions that were acceptable.
I have not read the book one in the series and was actually surprised to see that this is the book two - the two stories are separate tales, even though after reading the blurb to the book one realized that the main characters do visit this story as well.
Tragic human destinies and devastating, horrifying secrets unravel as Rebecca starts to question the apparent suicide of her father. Mix in small-town Canada up in the prairie in the middle of the winter, with protagonists facing their past mistakes and currently churning emotions, teenagers getting into trouble, and the state police stepping in to run the investigation and you get a potent, ardent tale of the fragility of life, love, and human destinies.
~ Four Spoons
Loreth Anne White is an award-winning, bestselling author of romantic suspense, thrillers, and mysteries.
A three-time RITA finalist, she has also won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Romantic Crown for Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book Overall, in addition to being a Booksellers’ Best finalist, a multiple Daphne Du Maurier Award finalist, and a multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award winner.
A former journalist and newspaper editor who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now resides in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest with her family. When she’s not writing, you will find her skiing, biking, or hiking the trails with her Black Dog.
Today we have the blog tour for Lexi C Foss’ SCARLET MARK!
Check it out and be sure to grab your copy of this sexy romance today!
Title: Scarlet Mark
Author: Lexi C. Foss
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Ninja Newt Publishing, LLC
May 23, 2019
Deceit requires punishment.
But what happens when the mark is innocent?
Killian “Dagger” Bedivere
My latest assignment has evolved into a game of deciphering whom to trust—the renowned politician who hired the Cavalieri Della Morte, or the runaway bride?
She’s gorgeous, conniving, and everything I crave in a woman.
She’s also my target.
Rule number one: Never fall for the mark.
Rule number two: Fuck rule number one.
Amara “Scarlet” Rose
I never wanted this world, but the decision wasn’t mine to make. I always belonged to him. Now there’s a new player on the board—one hell-bent on destroying all my plans.
He’s lethal, handsome, and everything I should fear.
Rule number one: Don’t trust anyone.
Rule number two: Do everything you can to survive, even if it means breaking rule number one.
And rule number three: When in doubt, kill.
“Are you going to your knees, Amara?” His voice held a rough quality that skated across my skin, scattering goose bumps down my arms. Definitely a man used to being in charge in every way. My kryptonite.
My gaze lifted to his as I licked a trail downward between his impressive pecs, my thighs sliding slowly across his legs. The blade moved with me, gliding upward along my ribs, his pupils engulfing his irises.
His grip on my neck tightened, halting my movements as I reached the base of his sternum. And the knife lifted to my throat, the razor edge a clear threat against my sensitive skin.
“Don’t test me, darling. You might be worth more alive, but I will hurt you if you hurt me.”
“Worried I might bite?” I teased, smiling. “Or worried I won’t?”
Intrigue darkened his features. “Oh, you’re definitely playing a dangerous game.”
“What’s life without a little excitement?” I countered, licking my lips. “And you’re the one who told me to use my mouth.”
“Indeed I did.” He released my neck, but the blade remained. “Continue if you dare.”
Oh, I dare.
And you’ll regret ever challenging me.
Lexi C. Foss is an award winning and bestselling author of paranormal romance. She loves complex plots, twists and turns, and writing fantasy with strong, realistic elements. Many of her readers comment on how her worlds feel real, and she not-so-secretly wishes they were—at least some of them.
Connect with Lexi:
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The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club
by Ann Warner
Genre: Cozy Mystery
When Thomas died, I discovered he’d shifted control of our assets to our son, and one of Jeff’s first decisions was where I would live. It was obvious from the speed with which he accomplished my move, he’d been planning it for some time.
Had he asked my opinion, I certainly wouldn’t have picked Brookside Retirement Community. For one thing, there’s no brook, and for another, the cutesy bird-and-flower theme is simply annoying. Although I have an apartment and I’m free to interact with other residents, or not, as I choose, I still wouldn’t have chosen to live here.
The hallways are lined with both fussy bird prints of dubious quality and flamboyant floral bouquets in need of dusting. Each wing of the complex (there are five) has a combination bird-and-flower name. I live in the Morning Glory-Mourning Dove wing—or GloryDove for short. I suppose that’s better than the Snapdragon-Titmouse wing. I’ve already noticed people who live in SnapTit tend to hesitate when asked which wing they’re in.
Carrying the theme beyond pictures and floral arrangements, each wing has its own glass-fronted cage filled with tiny birds that dart about and tweet continuously.
Next to the mandatory enclosure of birds in the front lobby sits a morose parrot in a cage so small it can’t even spread its wings, let alone do a quick flit. I feel sorry for the parrot who, like many of the residents here, is in his nineties, but I do steer clear of him. He has a reputation for biting, not that I blame him. If someone confined me to a small cage next to the roomier quarters of luckier members of the species and forced me to listen to all their nonstop celebrating, I’d bite too.
So far, the only bright spot has been Lillian Fitzel. When I told Lill that, she laughed that deep, rich chuckle of hers.
“Me a bright spot, Josephine? Why, I’m as black as the bottom of my granny’s favorite cooking pot.”
Lill’s the one who said Brookside should be rechristened Babbling Brook, a tongue-in-cheek reference to both the nonexistent waterway as well as the more irritating residents.
Jeff parked me here because he considers me elderly, but I’m only seventy. Much too young to be shut away with a bunch of old people, fake flowers, and birds.
I’ve decided I won’t have it. I’ve spent fifty years living a life of duty and restraint, and I’m not wasting another minute. As soon as I get my financial and legal affairs in order, I’m out of here.
~ ~ ~
Shortly after Lill and I struck up our friendship, she invited me to become the fourth in a group that plays cards two days a week. I’m not crazy about card games, but I decided it might be a welcome distraction. At least until I get my next move figured out.
Unfortunately, I quickly discovered it wasn’t going to provide as much of a distraction as I’d hoped since the other two women in the group are both as dull as case knives. Not a sliver of intellectual curiosity between the two of them.
Myrtle, who would make two of Edna or three of Lill, is never seen in public without makeup and carefully styled hair. She favors flowing garments in bright colors that flutter when she moves. It makes me tired just to look at her.
In contrast, Edna’s makeup ends at her chin, and her scanty hair often looks like a gerbil has been playing in it. Setting off polyester pantsuits that should have been sent to a landfill forty years ago is a strand of yellowing pearls she’s never without.
When it was finally my choice what to play next, I simply couldn’t resist the imp sitting on my shoulder, and the words “strip poker” tumbled out.
Myrtle sat back and thumped the table. “You can’t choose that.”
“Why can’t I? You picked hearts.” And if there’s a stupider game, I don’t know what it is, although in the interest of ongoing relations, I refrained from sharing that opinion out loud. “At least strip poker will be interesting.”
Myrtle’s bosom heaved, something that always makes me want to move rapidly out of her vicinity.
“Well, I never. Josephine Bartlett, you’re just, just—”
“What kind of poker?” Lill chimed in. “Strip poker can be played any number of ways.”
“How about five-card draw?”
“I don’t think poker is a very ladylike game,” Edna said, her nose elevated.
Edna’s a priss, if I do say so, although I can’t take credit for coming up with the descriptor since her bizarrely appropriate last name, Prisant, got there first.
“And what exactly has being ladylike gotten any of us lately?”
“I don’t know about you, Josephine,” Myrtle said, “but Bertie Teller came over and sat next to me at the last movie night and held my hand during the scary parts.”
“If Bertie Teller tried to hold my hand, I’d deck him. Not that it would take much. The old fart totters around here cackling like a demented hen.”
“You’re just jealous because nobody wants to sit with you.” Edna always seems to have two cents ready to pitch into any conversation.
“Better off alone than stuck with a Bertie,” I said. “Are we going to talk or play?”
Edna lowered her nose with a sniffy noise. “But really, strip poker? I’m quite certain nobody wants to see you naked.”
“They won’t since I plan to win.”
Myrtle placed a finger in the corner of her mouth and cocked her head. “I think it could be amusing.”
I sometimes wonder if she practices expressions in the mirror.
“Nobody wants to see you naked either, Myrtle. Trust me on that,” Edna said with another sniff.
I was tempted to hand her a tissue, but doubted that would go over very well.
Myrtle turned her head and gave Edna what I’ve labeled her Queen Elizabeth stare. “I think they’d rather see me than you.”
“Whatever.” Edna has at least one grandchild and proves it by keeping up with the latest slang.
“How about nobody gets naked,” Lill said. “That is, not literally.”
Lill is skinny enough she could be planted in a field to scare off crows, but she has this deep, resonant voice that never fails to startle me.
“After all,” she said, “the staff won’t stand by and let the four of us strip without stepping in with the meds. But perhaps metaphorically?”
“What exactly do you mean, metaphorically?” Edna sniffed again; I suspect golden retriever genes in there somewhere. “And yes, Ms. Vocabulary, I do know what metaphorically means. I just don’t see what it has to do with strip poker.”
But I did. It was as though Lill and I had discussed this ahead of time. And she was right. There is more than one kind of naked.
“How about the biggest loser at the end of the afternoon pays up with a personal story,” Lill said, confirming what I’d guessed she was going to say. “And it should be something that isn’t all sweetness and light.”
“I absolutely agree,” I said, jumping back in to take control of what was, after all, impulsive or not, my idea. “And I want to hear something down and dirty I won’t forget in five minutes.”
Edna huffed. “You never forget a thing, Josephine. It’s one of your least attractive qualities. And what are we going to use to keep track, anyway?”
“Doesn’t matter. Toothpicks, pills, dust bunnies.”
Edna snorted. I suspect she doesn’t like me. And just to be clear, if I could vote her out of the group, I would. Unfortunately, she was here first. And fair is fair.
“Never mind that,” Myrtle said. “If we’re going to do this, you have to tell us the rules, Josephine.”
“Okay, how about this? We’ll all start out with the same number of toothpicks or whatever. Then the one with the fewest left by the end of the afternoon has to tell a story.”
“I think Myrtle means the specifics,” Edna said with a frown. “You know. What beats what. Aren’t there flushes and pairs and full houses and the like?”
Truly, Edna is such a pain sometimes.
“Well, a flush and a full house beat a straight,” I said.
Lill was obviously trying not to chortle. Unsuccessfully, I might add.
“I don’t see what’s so funny,” Edna said, giving Lill a sour look.
Edna has no sense of humor, which, while we’re on the subject, is her least attractive quality.
“As you very well should know, Lillian, there are no stupid questions.”
Edna’s voice, with its upper pompous notes and its underlay of whine, always grates on me. If she did indeed once teach American youth the fundamentals of English usage beyond four-letter words, she would know that most questions are either stupid or show a lack of attention by the questioner.
It took a further fifteen minutes of wrangling, but we finally managed to get through the list of what beat what with Myrtle demanding excruciating detail and writing it all down. Then Edna suggested we liberate a box of paper clips from the associate activities director’s desk to keep track. By that time, I was profoundly regretting my suggestion.
My mood was not improved when the best I could muster on that first hand was a pair of treys. I folded early, conserving my resources. Myrtle won that hand with the full house she’d telegraphed by running her finger over the list of what beat what and settling it near the top.
In succeeding hands, the gods of poker continued to favor Myrtle. But although I couldn’t beat her with cards, I was able to stem my losses by watching where on her list her finger ended up.
“About time for a story, isn’t it?” Myrtle reached out plump hands to pull the latest pot to her side of the table, leaving the rest of us with dribs and drabs.
I did a quick count. “Edna has the fewest clips left, so she’s the one who has to tell a story.”
Edna sniffed. “If a person didn’t know better, Josephine, they might suspect you kept folding just so you wouldn’t have to tell a story.”
I have to admit, Edna in her own vague and annoying way sometimes has a point.
“So. Okay. A story.” After sniping at me, Edna appeared eager, which in my view, did not bode well. “Well, then. When I was nine and my sister—Helen was her name—was ten, she’s dead now, you know. Of the cancer, about fifteen years ago.” She pulled out a tissue and dabbed at her nose. Finally.
I sighed, wondering if she would ever get to the point.
“Anyway, as I was saying, Helen and I were given a cocker spaniel puppy that Christmas. We were supposed to share her. I named her Jonquil, and I loved her with all my heart. She was my best friend. When we got home from school, she always came to me first. And she slept on my bed and followed me everywhere.”
Satisfaction made Edna’s voice even more annoying than usual. Although I wouldn’t call the look on her face a satisfied one. It changed as she spoke to something much more complex.
“Then one day, Helen took Jonquil for a walk into the woods next to our house. When I went looking for them, I found them in the small clearing where we often played. Helen was tying a rope around Jonquil’s neck, and when I asked her what she was doing, she lifted the rope with Jonquil dangling on the end.” Edna paused and blinked with a far away look in her eyes.
“There was a tussle. I ended up with Jonquil, but Helen had a bad scratch on her cheek and bruises on her arm and she’d ripped her dress. She ran away while I comforted Jonquil.
“When I got home, Mother came rushing out. She grabbed me by the arm, and before I could say a word, she started thrashing me. You see, Helen told her that I’d attacked her when she tried to pet Jonquil, and Mother believed her.” Edna paused, and for an instant, seeing the expression on her face, I could tell the story still pained her.
“After that, I wasn’t allowed to pet Jonquil or take her for walks. And Helen…” She shook her head and sniffed. “Helen always told Mother the instant I got near Jonquil. It went on…” Once again she paused to compose herself. “For years. But I finally got back at her.” A smile crept over Edna’s face, and it wasn’t a nice smile.
“What did you do?” Myrtle said, sounding breathless.
“I seduced her fiancé, then I told him I was pregnant so he had to marry me.”
We all sat blinking at Edna. Her story was more down and dirty than I, at least, was expecting.
“And then what?” Myrtle said. “What happened after that?”
“What do you mean, nothing?” Myrtle said. “Were you pregnant or not?”
“Of course I wasn’t.” Edna gave a so, there huff.
“What happened when he found out you weren’t?”
“I just told him I’d had a miscarriage. But not until after we were married. He never knew it was a trick.”
Myrtle frowned. “How do you fake a miscarriage?”
“Oh my, you do have a lot of questions. But I only owed one story, isn’t that right, Josephine?”
Mesmerized, I nodded, and Edna closed her mouth and made the sign for zipping her lips.
I might just have to revise my opinion of Edna. It appears she’s a pistol, as we used to say. None of the young people today know what that means. To them a pistol is just something they use to shoot someone.
As we gathered up cards and clips, one of the staff stopped by our table and reminded us there would be a concert beginning in fifteen minutes. Edna’s story had so preoccupied me, I hadn’t even noticed the slow shuffle of other residents taking the seats nearby. But now I did.
The perverse mood that had led to my suggestion we play strip poker dissipated, leaving behind a bad taste in my mouth. Unfortunately, the next time we played cards, it was Edna’s turn to choose what we’d play, and she chose the Naked Poker Game, as she called it.
“After all,” she said, “I shouldn’t be the only one who has to tell a story.”
So that’s how it started, and I have no one to blame but myself.
***Get it FREE!!! ***
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Raised in an Air Force family, Ann grew up to be a clinical chemist, toxicologist, and university professor, but her life took an unexpected turn in 2001, when she began writing fiction. Her debut novel, Dreams for Stones, was a finalist for the Indie Next Generation Book Award in 2007.
Ann's novels about strong characters facing interesting challenges take advantage of the many unusual settings she's traveled to or lived in including New Zealand, Australia, Peru, San Francisco, Alaska, Colorado, Boston, and Puerto Rico. As well, her experiences as a toxicologist have added fillips of intrigue to many of her stories.
In Ann's novels, the consequence of choosing to love or not to love is an underlying theme, as characters face crises and complications that force them to dig deep within themselves to discover their own resilience.
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The Last Snowfall
Standing Tall #2
by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 5/21/2019
After racking up serious injuries, world-famous snowboarder Nate Forrest returns to the West Virginia coal town that has been his family’s home for generations. The transition’s a challenge, but there’s nothing more beautiful than snow. Except maybe Dr. Lacey Berryville. How can Nate resist this tender-hearted vet who adores every living creature and isn’t the least bit fazed by his celebrity?
Just what Lacey doesn’t need is for this larger-than-life, adventurous Olympic medalist to melt her caution away during the season’s last snowfall. She’s spent her girlhood moving from place to place, and soon she’ll be leaving again. So, what’s she supposed to do about the avalanche of feelings Nate is unleashing in her? Can she leave West Virginia’s tree-covered mountains behind—with Nate giving her the best reason of all to stay?
Metal screeched against metal. Nate jerked forward against his seat belt. The pickup spun, the road disappeared from the windshield, and they were sliding, going down. A gunshot exploded, something slapped hard into his chest and face. His ears started to ring. He was trapped against a big white balloon.
“What the hell was that?” The balloon was deflating with a hissing whine. He started coughing. The air was thick with something powdery and white.
Pete was coughing too. He was batting his airbag down, trying to twist in his seat to check on Hex. “That was a rig that accelerated when it was passing us. The back end of his trailer whipped out and hit us.”
“What’s this white crap?” It certainly wasn’t snow.
“It’s talc. They pack the airbags with talc so the folds don’t get stuck.”
Nate kicked his airbag under the dashboard and used his sleeve to wipe the grit off his face. This was a different adventure than he had been hoping for. Pete was getting out of the truck. Nate opened the passenger door and sank to his bootlaces in the snow. The pickup was angled into the ditch, its headlights sending a faint glow from inside a snowdrift.
Nate shuffled through the snow up to the road. Grainy white pellets whipped against his face. Pete was shining a flashlight on the rear of the pickup. Hex was next to him, a dark dog-shape amid the swirling snow.
The back tires of the pickup were on the shoulder, leaving the rear of the truck almost in traffic.
“How bad is it?” Nate asked. “Any chance we can get out without a tow?”
“Nope. That’s why I drive a company truck. Stuff like this happens all the time.”
“How long will it take for a tow?”
“Forever. And we aren’t calling. The tow trucks need to be taking care of people who are in real trouble, not us.”
Oh, right. Good old West Virginia self-reliance didn’t rely on tow trucks. A fellow looked out for himself around here.
Hex suddenly let out a warning yip and shoved at Pete’s thigh, forcing him to grab the pickup to keep from falling. Over the whine of the wind, Nate heard a rumble. The rumble grew louder. He stumbled and slid down one side of the pickup while Pete and Hex skidded down the other. Pete shone the flashlight on the road, alerting the oncoming hauler to their presence. Not slowing at all, it lumbered past with a blast from its air horn, missing the end of the pickup by only a foot or so.
Two near-death experiences within ten minutes…they hadn’t managed that even when they had been a pair of teenage idiots.
“So, what was this about us not being in real trouble?” Nate made his way back to the road.
“Okay, I should have said ‘people without resources.’” Pete dropped the tailgate. “We have resources. The usual advice is to stay with your vehicle, but we’re too likely to be hit again. So, let’s grab some stuff and hunker down in the burnt-out barn. It’s not that cold. We will be fine until we can find someone to come get us.”
And they would have beefy jerky, cheap chocolate, and bad memories. “There were lights on at the Byrd place. What about if we cut across the field and throw ourselves on old Mrs. Byrd’s mercy? Is she still alive?”
“She was at Christmas.”
Pete handed Nate the gas cans, telling him to put them in the ditch away from the truck. No point in making a collision even worse. Nate then reached into the truck and scooped up his backpack.
“Any chance we could get lost?” he asked while Pete was setting the flares. Standing in the bed of the pickup, they had been able to see Mrs. Byrd’s lights, but they’d lose them once they started walking. “It’d be a
shame to end up frozen in a haystack, two little orphans lost in a snowstorm.”
“We aren’t orphans, no one makes haystacks anymore, and we have a dog. We won’t get lost.”
“It feels like Cheri ought to be here.” They might not have liked girls when they were eleven and starting barn fires, but soon enough they had discovered that their summer adventures were more fun if Cheri was with them.
“Easy for you to say,” Pete answered. “You’re not the one who would have to carry her if she was wearing the wrong shoes.”
He had a point there. Not that Nate would mind bending his knee and having Cheri put a foot on his thigh to swing up on his back, but Pete was her husband.
They crossed the road, slip-slided down the other ditch, and set off across the pasture, letting Hex guide them. Their flashlights carved yellow tunnels of light through the snow. Except for the back of Pete’s coat and an occasional glimpse of Hex’s dark hindquarters, the world was white.
In a few minutes they reached the crest of the field. Along the ridge was a windbreak, the line of cedars planted to break the power of the wind. It was quieter within the protection of the trees, and the snow was less deep. They could walk side by side. At the end of the trees, they had to go back to trudging single file. Hex led them up a little swell. Mrs. Byrd’s yard lights appeared, one suspended from an iron arm arching off the side of the hog barn, another on top of the old steel windmill.
The wind had scraped parts of the farmyard almost clear, driving the snow against the sides of the outbuildings in drifts as high as the latches. The faint tracings of one set of car tracks led to a brick outbuilding that must be used as a garage. The driver’s footprints leading to the back door were now only little hollows in the powdery snow.
Hex led them to the back door. Nate knocked, using the side of his hand to get a deeper sound. The wind was loud enough that a person of any age might have trouble hearing a knock, and old Mrs. Byrd had been “old Mrs. Byrd” for long as he could remember.
An outdoor light came on. The curtain covering the window in the back door twitched. Nate ducked so that Mrs. Byrd could see Pete’s more familiar face. The door opened.
This was not old Mrs. Byrd. This was so not old Mrs. Byrd.
THE ENDLESS SEASON
Freelance graphic artist Caitlin McGraw is living the hipster life in San Francisco when a jury summons brings her home to North Carolina. But doing her civic duty wasn’t supposed to include a reunion with Seth Street, the celebrity Olympic medalist—and Caitlin’s teenage love. She fell hard for Seth at thirteen, only to lose him when he left in the middle of that third summer . . . when everything changed between them.
You never forget your first love, and a decade of fame and fortune as the face of professional snowboarding hasn’t dimmed Seth’s memory of seemingly endless, perfect summers. Now, sequestered with Caitlin on a high-profile case, could Seth have a chance to rekindle those feelings of the past? Amid family conflicts and hard-hitting revelations in and out of the courtroom, Seth and Caitlin face some tough hurdles. With so much at stake, can they trust in what they’ve reawakened in each other and turn this season of change into a lifetime of love?
Kathleen Gilles Seidel is a bestselling author of contemporary romances¸ two of which have won RITAs from the Romance Writers of America. She has a Ph.D. in English literature from Johns Hopkins. She grew up in Kansas and lives in Virginia. She and her late husband have two adult daughters.
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Firefighter romances were my thing when I first started to read e-books, I loved them, I devoured them, the more the heat and angst from the dangers of the job, the better. And Leora Gonzales' books have reignited that fire for these stories in me. I can't get enough of them!
Ms. Gonzales has such an enjoyable way to tell a story, the humor and laugh-out-loud moments balance the deep sorrow, angst, and despair. The banter is spirited, the flirting is filled with titillating innuendoes, the love scenes are filled with deep emotions, tenderness, adoration, and hot-hot-hot sexual tension.
In Still Burning, the accidental roommates + second chance romance + brother's best friend romance, Sasha Kendall and Jack Turner have all the feels, connection, chemistry - everything that one could think that a relationship requires, yet they have to dig deep to find the courage to trust life to deliver moments meaningful enough to balance the danger of losing each other one day.
Add to that mix the serial arsonist keeping all the fire station personnel on their toes, and Jack's mentally unstable ex-girlfriend who comforted him after Sasha walked away -- you got all the feels, heat, humor, threat and danger in a well-twined tale that entertained.
Even though I am not a fan of the third person drama in my romance, here it worked, and towards the end made an excellent plot twist.
For those sunny, summer beach days, binge reading in the garden, or however you want to do it, Braving the Heat series entertain your romantic mind while providing the best of friends, tight brotherhood, humor, heart, laughter, danger, and swoon-worthy moments in ardent, entertaining romance tales...
~ Four Spoons
Today we have the blog tour for White Collar Rancher by Marie Johnston!
Check it out and be sure to grab your copy now!
Title: WHITE COLLAR RANCHER
Author: Marie Johnston
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May20, 2019
A hoard of seasoning bottles was clustered next to the crockpot. He succumbed to watching as she added a dash or two here and sprinkled some there. Then she grabbed a spoon and tasted the broth. As her red lips closed around the utensil, he stared, his heart doing a slow slam against his ribs.
She was clinical about the whole process. Efficient. Critical. And he was as enthralled as if she were in a lacy negligee, dancing around and swiveling her hips.
Heat engulfed him with that image. Swamped him until his heart pounded. They were just friends.
“Can you save it, Doc?” He had to break the silence—and the power one little thought had over him.
“This, I can save.” Another cryptic comment. It wasn’t in what she said, but what she didn’t say. Something was going on in her life and he had a no-access pass.
That bothered him.
After Maisy, she’d been as no-nonsense as she was about the roast. She saw what needed to be done and did it. But with each passing day, she was dealing with something she couldn’t fix. A professional like her? It must be eating at her.
He would know. He used to be the same way.
Until he’d moved home. He’d rather deal with the changing sheep market and finicky Mother Nature than play people games in the boardroom—and in the bedroom.
She started digging in his cupboards. “I’ll just add some noodles, if you don’t mind. It won’t take long.”
“Of course I don’t mind.” She ate what he made, and he rounded out his meals better. For her. “I’ll go lay him down.”
She arched a brow. “Is he going to stay asleep after being hugged against you?”
“Probably not. But as much as this baby-wearing thing is growing on me, I can’t afford to have a parasite stuck to me day and night.”
Her lips quirked. She put the lid back on the crockpot and turned it to high. “Parasite?”
“Like one of those fish that stay suctioned to the sides of fish tanks.”
She laughed, throwing her head back, and he couldn’t look away from her graceful neck. What would it be like to nuzzle her skin? To hear her breathy sighs, feel the way it’d make her writhe?
Marie Johnston writes award-winning paranormal and contemporary romance and is a RITA® Finalist.
Before she was a writer, she was a microbiologist. Depending on the situation, she can be oddly unconcerned about germs or weirdly phobic. She’s also a licensed medical technician and has worked as a public health microbiologist and as a lab tech in hospital and clinic labs. Marie’s been a volunteer EMT, a college instructor, a security guard, a phlebotomist, a hotel clerk, and a coffee pourer in a bingo hall. All fodder for a writer!
She has four kids and just as many cats.
Connect with Marie:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Author Page
To Tame a Wild Cowboy by Lori Wilde
Series Cupid, Texas
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date May 21, 2019
New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde’s series set in Cupid, TX continues as one free-wheeling cowboy discovers he has a child—and a chance at real love with the last woman he expected.
What would it take to tame a wild cowboy?
One minute, Rhett Lockhart is a love ‘em and leave ‘em bull rider with a slow, sexy smile, a swagger, and not a care in the world. The next, he learns his free-wheeling days are over: a baby has been abandoned in the hospital, and there’s no question: he’s the father. But from the first moment he gazes into his daughter’s eyes, he knows the moment has come to say ‘no’ to no-strings. It’s time to grow up.
Standing in his way is the baby’s foster mother, Tara Alzate, who doesn’t quite believe Rhett is ready to change his ways. Still, she’s not not immune to his considerable charms. So when he proposes a marriage of convenience and shared custody, against her better judgement, she says “I do.” Can Tara tame this wild cowboy and make her own, long-buried dreams come true?
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of TO TAME A WILD COWBOY by Lori Wilde, we're giving away a paperback set of Love With a Perfect Cowboy & Million Dollar Cowboy by Lori Wilde to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of Love With a Perfect Cowboy & Million Dollar Cowboy by Lori Wilde. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books. Giveaway ends 6/4/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Lori Wilde
A fifth generation Texan, LORI WILDE is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 82 works of fiction. She’s a three-time nominee of the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award and has won numerous other awards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University, and a certificate in forensics.
She is also a certified Hatha yoga instructor, and runs a yoga/creativity retreat for artists at Epiphany Orchards in Weatherford, Texas, the Cutting Horse Capital of the World.
The Matchmaker’s Surrender by Tammy L. Bailey
Series Matchmaker Book Two
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publication Date May 20, 2019
Miss Jane Dalton, one of London’s most successful matchmakers, would rather bring couples together than choose a gentleman for herself. In fact, she could not think of anything more frightening than falling in love.
Fate, however, disrupts her plans to remain a single matchmaker when Mr. Nicholas Waverley, her brother’s best friend, is forced to kidnap her after she becomes entangled in an assassin’s web.
Brought together under dangerous circumstances, Jane realizes her true feelings for Nicholas. In the end, however, is her love for him worth the fall?
With perspiration gathering in the most delicate of places, Jane discarded her shawl and went to join her aunt. She sank hesitantly onto a scroll-end sofa with a gold satin stripe, and, anchored to her seat, watched Mr. Waverley shuffle out his remaining guests, much to the chagrin of his mother. Mr. Waverley and his unhappy mother’s conversation echoed into the room Jane and her aunt occupied, seemingly forgotten in the flurry of departing ladies.
“How could you dismiss everyone so cruelly, Nicholas? You know I’ve been planning to hold a party here.”
“Yes, a ball, later in the season. Tonight, you were supposed to return to Oxfordshire.” He paused to draw in an impatient breath. “You knew the location of my townhouse was private and undisclosed. Now, I will most likely need to move.”
He exhaled and ran a hand through his thick blond hair. “Besides, shouldn’t there be a balance of ladies and gentlemen in attendance? What you arranged was an intimate audition of single females to see who would best suit me as a wife.”
“I had to do something. I’ve heard several ladies dare to call you a libertine! Don’t you know you cannot flirt your entire life or charm your way into a lady’s good graces?”
“You cannot force fate on them either.”
Just then, Jane’s aunt gave a loud sort of snort, startling Mr. Waverley and his mother. They turned toward Jane.
His mother whispered what seemed like words of disapproval before Nicholas strode toward Jane, stopped, and towered over her, breathing exasperatedly. “You’re not very good at following directions are you, Miss Dalton?”
“Nicholas Vincent Waverley! Apologize to her at once,” his mother scolded from the other room.
He sent his mother a sheepish look before nodding toward Jane with a tight smile. “Please forgive—”
Jane held up her hand for him to not waste his time. “I think I liked you better when you were predictable and unpretentious, Mr. Waverley.”
His jaw dropped, and she stood, lifting her gloved hand to tap his chin closed. “Good night, sir.”
Jane curtsied to Mrs. Waverley who was preparing to leave the townhouse. “It was a pleasure to meet you. Dinner was lovely.”
Mrs. Waverley sent her son a displeasing look before returning her attention back to Jane. “Thank you.”
On her aunt’s arm, Jane left the house, disappointed and confused. Not once in the short time Jane had known him had Mr. Nicholas Waverley ever appeared so anxious and uncharismatic.
By the time both Mrs. Waverley and Jane’s carriage was brought around, it was almost one in the morning. Her body felt heavy, and her mind raced with questions and curiosity. Her interest grew the moment her carriage pulled away: she noticed another vehicle rumble by to stop just outside Mr. Waverley’s door. She watched curiously, hoping to see who was arriving so late at night, but Jane’s carriage drove away before she could see who got out.
Discontented, Jane sat back and tried not to dwell on her feelings or his bizarre actions. Perhaps the cab held a lady whom Mr. Waverley didn’t want anyone to see. Jane’s heart squeezed in her chest from the very thought.
“Poor lady,” Jane grumbled. She had sulked for quite a few minutes before she shivered—she’d left her shawl at Mr. Waverley’s townhouse. She glanced back, tempted to force the carriage around.
“Oh, Jane, be reasonable,” she scolded herself aloud. After all, what good would come of her arriving unannounced and stumbling upon Mr. Waverley with a lady of ill repute?
Nauseous from her own imaginings, she grasped her stomach. No matter her curiosity, she didn’t wish to catch a glimpse of Mr. Waverley without a stitch of clothing. Oh, perfect. Now she was going to picture Mr. Waverley without his clothes.
She closed her eyes to keep the image of his striking and powerful form from flitting through her mind. It didn’t work. Heat rose from her chest to her cheeks, consuming and shocking.
“Jane, do be still,” her aunt scolded her from her napping position.
“I’m cold,” she lied. “I…I left my shawl at Mr. Waverley’s place.”
Her aunt thought for a moment with her eyes closed. “We are not too far away. We shall return to retrieve it.”
Her aunt straightened and tapped the top of the carriage, leaning her head out of the window to call to the coachman. “Return to Grosvenor Square at once.”
“This isn’t necessary, Aunt Sophia,” Jane begged.
“Neither is you dying.”
Knowing it was useless to argue, Jane waited until the carriage stopped in front of Mr. Waverley’s house again. The black vehicle she’d seen earlier was gone. As well, all the lights inside his townhouse were snuffed out.
“Go on, Jane. A footman should still be awake to assist you.”
A knot of apprehension tightened in Jane’s belly. Still, she stepped out of the carriage and to the door, knocking twice. After a few moments of silence, she backed away, relieved. Who returned to retrieve a shawl this late and without an invitation? Well, apparently, she did. Embarrassed, she shifted back toward the carriage when the wide door clicked open.
“May I help you, Miss?”
Jane twisted around to find—instead of Mr. Waverley’s footman—the short, slight build of the housekeeper, Mrs. Fielding.
“Oh, I hope I didn’t wake you,” Jane said.
“No, Miss. Is the Master expecting you?”
Jane shook her head. “I…I left my shawl here earlier.”
Mrs. Fielding nodded and waved Jane inside, shutting the door behind her, and led Jane into the sitting room.
“Please, wait here,” she said. “I’ll be back soon.”
Jane stood still until heavy footsteps sounded on the staircase behind her. She turned just in time to see Mrs. Fielding bustling up the stairs, a candle in one hand and Jane’s shawl clutched in the other.
“Mrs. Fielding?” Jane called, but the housekeeper continued away from her.
“Oh, what are you about?” she whispered.
While sensibility begged Jane to remain where she stood, curiosity drove her forward and up the stairs. Light was scarce, and she crept at a cautious pace until two carved gilt-wood wall sconces illuminated her path on the landing.
When a cold draft flitted across the nape of her neck, she shivered and turned back the way she had come.
“I’ll buy another shawl,” she murmured. However, before she could take one step, a door clicked behind her, luring her to retrace her steps.
Jane leaned forward, following a blood-red carpet runner down the muted hallway with her gaze. Like a snooping child, she tiptoed onward, both terrified and intrigued at the same time.
When she came to an open door, she peered inside. The room appeared empty except for a few chairs placed around a small round table illuminated by the flickering of a single half-melted candle.
“Hello?” she called, her voice breaking on the word. Her heart pounded inside her ears as she slipped across the threshold.
“I’d just like my shawl back,” she said.
In the hallway, the clomp of footsteps echoed on the runner carpet. Before she could turn around, a hand clamped over her mouth and hauled her into the darkest part of the room.
“I beg of you, do not move, do not breathe, do not blink.”
To celebrate the release of THE MATCHMAKER’S SURRENDER by Tammy L Bailey, we're giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Tammy L. Bailey. Giveaway ends 5/26/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Author will deliver the prize to the winner directly.
A LEO wife, mother, and military veteran, Tammy began writing when the shows and movies she watched didn't end the way she wanted them to end. Whether it's historical or contemporary, for her, there must always be a happy ending.
When she's not writing, she's spending time with her husband and two boys near Cleveland, Ohio. Without their sacrifice and understanding, she believes she would have never been able to pursue her passion of writing or her accomplishment of becoming a published author.
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