For a SEAL undercover on a top conspiracy, attraction could be dangerous…
Raised on a ranch and trained as a Navy SEAL, Benjamin "Montana" Raines has a work ethic that's unshakable—even in the midst of a beautiful and jaded CIA operative. A dangerous conspiracy threatens the United States, and Benjamin has a new case. And a new partner.
Kate McKenzie has been burned before. And now she is paired with someone she's supposed to trust against her deeper instincts. In the cutthroat world of millionaires and politicians in Washington, DC, Kate and Benjamin must go undercover to prevent an attack.
But as the risks to their safety heighten, so does their undeniable attraction to one another…
Action filled adventure, where six pack of SEALs join the forces with an SOS team to find a killer and rescue the day on several occasions.
Benjamin "Montana" Raines is a charming hero with impeccable manners and a big heart. What a delight it is to find an alpha hero who doesn't fight to fall in love, but fights for his right to protect her stands up for her and sweeps her off her feet.
Kate McKenzie is a wounded heroine, her past relationship left her in tumult, causing her trouble with her career in CIA. She is capable, intelligent, kick-ass agent with a vulnerable heart with no plan to fall for a partner again.
The attraction between them is instantaneous that swiftly turn into physical conjunction. And while Kate tries to convince herself it is just a fling, Montana makes her clear of his intentions.
Suspense is high in the tale, the danger lurking around every corner and even attacking them in their inner court of the headquarters. The action that follows is savage and lethal. No one is safe from peril, not even the joint teams. The twists in the investigation keep everyone on the edge, every attack leading for one more step closer to the main culprit. There is an abundance of characters, even more cues to the person behind a multitude of crimes. The links, the clues, the crimes, criminals, and good guys require the reader to hold the focus on the tale and following sharply with the plot.
Fierce fighting against the grim and cruel crimes, fancy affairs, political connections, kidnapping, explosions, and murder doesn't hitherto Montana losing his heart when the right woman steps into his life.
~ Four Spoons
Award-winning author Elle James grew up as an air force military brat. She received her work ethic from her rock-solid father, her creative streak from her artistic mother and inspiration from her writing partner and sister, Delilah Devlin. As a former member of the army reserves and a current member of the air force reserves, she's traveled across the United States and to Germany, managed a full-time job, and raised three wonderful children. She and her husband have even tried their hands at ranching exotic birds (ostriches, emus and rheas) in the Texas hill country. Ask her, and she'll tell you what it's like to go toe-to-toe with an angry three-hundred-and-fifty-pound bird and live to tell about it!
Her adventures in the army and air force reserves, and the wild antics of her life on a small ranch in Texas give her fodder for mystery, suspense and humor in her writing. Elle writes gothic, paranormal mystery for the Harlequin Intrigue line and paranormal romantic comedy for Dorchester Publishing. A former manager of computer programming and project management professionals, Elle is happy she now has the opportunity to pursue her writing full time.
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Welcoming the Bad Boy
Hero's Welcome #3
By: Annie Rains
Released August 2, 2016
From the bestselling author of Welcome to Forever (“Full of heart and emotion!”—Lori Wilde) comes a sweet, sexy novel about breaking all the rules. In Seaside, North Carolina, the boys on the base are heroes—but that doesn’t mean they’re always well-behaved.
As a preacher’s daughter, Valerie Hunt only dates the very respectable, very boring men who meet her father’s strict standards. In private, however, she leads a double life as a romance writer of steamy stories about the least respectable sorts of men. Valerie has always kept her hottest fantasies separate from her real life, but when she nearly runs a hot-blooded biker off the road, the lines begin to blur.
Even though Valerie almost killed him, Griffin Black can’t be angry after he learns the reason for her distracted driving: an unruly puppy belonging to her ailing friend. As a member of the military police K-9 unit, Griffin insists on training the dog himself. But he soon wonders how he’s ever going to stay disciplined around the most alluring, down-to-earth, and totally unattainable woman he’s ever met. Valerie is the ultimate good girl. And Griffin is going to need all his old tricks to unleash her wild side.
Reposted from August 2016:
This story resonates with me on so many levels, it hit me directly to the heart and took a good hold of it. Considering I am a romance novel loving preacher's daughter, who worked in a nursing home for three years to save money for college, and who's both parents have a disease that affects their memory, you can just imagine the connection I had with the characters, the story itself and world it created.
I loved both Valerie and Griffin, together and as characters. Their chemistry was off the charts, they were so good together, caring, sweet, protective, helping each other, supporting each other, and then when they get together, and the heat level rises, it was so amazing I could feel it at the bottom of my being. And I might have whimpered a little, because really, hot and sweet and adorable and steamy and sexy all at the same time, so beautifully written, it just took my breath away.
Both Valerie and Griffin has been labeled, not necessarily by who they are, but by their appearances or by their family. The bad boy and preacher's daughter together might have gotten some raise their eyebrows, but when you get to know them, the kindness, sweetness, caring side, or the adventures, daring, sexy side, you know they are nothing but perfect together.
They both have a difficult relationship with their parent, something they both actively tried to work on while supporting the other in their efforts. They listen to each other and tried so hard to find a way to overcome the challenges, to make a peace with their parents and find a way to live with the past mistakes.
From fun humorous moments to heartache and grief, to deliciously delectable and delightful swoon-worthy romance, and the most adorable dogs on the side, this story captured my heart and left me enamored.
~ Five Spoons
Her body slid behind his, spooning him. She wrapped her arms around his torso, clutching him tight, and he took off down the road. The rain beat against his skin, attempting to cleanse him, but there was no wiping away the dirty thoughts going through his mind. He took the long way back to his place to feel her against him longer, and to try to wrangle his desire so he wouldn’t be tempted to take her straight to bed when they arrived.
He slowed to a stop behind a stop sign and glanced over his shoulder to look at her. Her hand slid down from his waist and into the front of his jeans. Fuck. He’d heard preachers’ daughters were wild, but he’d thought it was a myth. With her hand snug against him he turned left and pressed the gas, heading home. Trooper was waiting. And he needed to get his mouth on this woman, to kiss her stupid and hope her hands continued exploring.
He pulled into his driveway and helped her off as the rain began to fall harder. She didn’t squeal and run toward his covered porch the way some women would. Instead, she stared at him as he lifted the helmet off her head. She didn’t flinch as her shirt began to stick to her in all the right places. He leaned toward her, cupping his hands around her face and leading her mouth to his. She melted against him, sealing her wet body to his. Damn.
Her lips were soft, the kiss hungry, devouring him like he was the best thing she’d put in her mouth all day.
“I want you,” he said, pulling back from her mouth, but continuing to hold her. The words were meant to be a warning. “I want you so fucking much.” He half expected her to slap him. They barely knew each other. She had a wild streak and a smart mouth, but overall he thought she was the good-girl type. Not the type to give herself so easily. Even if he could’ve sworn she was ready the other night.
“Take me inside,” she said, going up on her toes and kissing him again, wrapping her hands around the back of his head, pressing her body tighter against him. “We’re getting wet out here.”
The rain. She was talking about the rain. A nice guy would escort her inside and help her get dried off. Which was exactly what he intended to do. But he didn’t plan on stopping there.
On Sale for $.99
Annie Rains is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Marry Me Mad
The Blueberry Lane Series: The Rousseaus #2
By: Katy Regnery
Releasing October 21, 2016
Did you fall in love with The English Brothers? Were you hot for the Winslows? Katy Regnery's Blueberry Lane series continues with The Rousseau siblings!
For as long as Madeleine “Mad” Rousseau can remember, she’s been the “sweet” twin to her sister Jax’s “sassy.” But after an especially painful break-up, Mad decides she’s had enough of being sweet. Children’s librarian during the day, she begins visiting Philly’s seedier nightspots on a quest for adventure and experience. When Cortlandt “Cort” Ambler, the ex-boyfriend of Mad’s sister, Jax, saves her from disaster on one such evening, an unlikely friendship is born between the rebellious librarian and the moonlighting pianist…and two broken hearts begin a journey toward being whole again.
He turned to find Mad standing in the doorway of the small room holding a towel and dragged his eyes hungrily from her bare feet, over the lines of her comfy gray pants, to her soft-blue, scoop-necked T-shirt, ending at the shiny onyx waves of hair that framed her lovely face.
His breath caught as he stared into her eyes, recognizing the girl he’d known in the mouth-watering body of the full-grown woman before him and feeling blessed beyond measure to have this glimpse of her that he suspected few were privy to: Mad Rousseau without the heels and chignon—heart-stoppingly beautiful and utterly captivating au natural.
He cleared his throat and she grimaced, dropping her eyes to her toes and the towel to the arm of the sofa.
“I’ll get us some tea,” she murmured, slipping away in a hurry.
Cort stared at the space she’d vacated so quickly, feeling confused, wondering what the heck had just happened. Why had she grimaced? Why had she looked…disappointed? Picking up the towel as he followed her to the kitchen, he pushed open the swing door and stood just inside of it, scrubbing the rainwater from his hair as he watched her work in the small space. She finished filling a kettle with water and placed it on the stove, finally glancing up at him sheepishly.
“Not a good look for me,” she said softly, standing up on her tiptoes to open a cabinet over the microwave. “I’ve already been told. Multiple times.”
“I’m sorry…you’ve been told what exactly?” he asked. He looped the towel around his neck and stepped toward her, reaching over her head for the mugs she wanted. He held them out to her, and she flicked her glance to them before gesturing to her clothes.
“That I can do better than sweats and a T-shirt.” She shrugged. “But I was wet and cold and tired. I didn’t feel like putting on another outfit, so I—”
“I’m sorry. Wait a minute,” he said, putting the mugs down on the counter and staring at her in disbelief. “Are you apologizing to me for the clothes you’re wearing?”
She gestured helplessly with one hand. “I saw the way you looked at me.”
“Baby,” he said, reaching out to touch the soft-blue fabric covering her shoulder and running his fingers over the small sleeve of the T-shirt, then down the length of her arm, “you look good enough to eat. You look beautiful. And anyone who thinks different is a blind fucking lunatic.”
“Cort,” she gasped, her eyes softening as she stared up at him.
“I’m serious. The pencil skirt and fancy hair? Gorgeous. Sure. But this?” He let his eyes roam slowly, intently over her form, pausing at the luscious mounds of her breasts before stopping at her lips as his fingers threaded through hers. “This is you, Mad. And you’re…” He shook his head looking for the right words, but only one circled around and around in his head. “Baby, you’re music.”
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.
Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.
Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.
In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
The Knickerbocker Club #2
By: Joanna Shupe
Releasing October 25, 2016
New York City’s Gilded Age shines as bright as the power-wielding men of the Knickerbocker Club. And one pragmatic industrialist is about to learn that a man may make his own destiny, but love is a matter of fortune . . .
Born into one of New York’s most respected families, William Sloane is a railroad baron who has all the right friends in all the right places. But no matter how much success he achieves, he always wants more. Having secured his place atop the city’s highest echelons of society, he’s now setting his sights on a political run. Nothing can distract him from his next pursuit—except, perhaps, the enchanting con artist he never saw coming. . .
Ava Jones has eked out a living the only way she knows how. As “Madame Zolikoff,” she hoodwinks gullible audiences into believing she can communicate with the spirit world. But her carefully crafted persona is nearly destroyed when Will Sloane walks into her life—and lays bare her latest scheme. The charlatan is certain she can seduce the handsome millionaire into keeping her secret and using her skills for his campaign—unless he’s the one who’s already put a spell on her . . .
William Sloane did not believe in the ability to commune with the spirit world. Hell, he didn’t even believe there was a spirit world.
Yet here he sat, inside a ramshackle theater in the Tenderloin district, watching this audacious spectacle. Madam Zolikoff, she called herself. The mystifying medium who could commune with spirits and perform extraordinary feats. The woman was the worst actress he’d ever seen—and Will had seen plenty.
Eyes closed, she swayed and waved her hands, all while chanting. The man across from her, one she’d pulled up onstage, stared, enthralled, as Madam attempted to speak to his dead mother. The electric lights overhead flickered, and the audience tittered.
“Ah! I think we are close!” she announced loudly in an appalling Russian accent.
Will nearly rolled his eyes. Was anyone really buying this charade?
Shifting in his uncomfortable seat, he took in the meager audience. About twenty men and women, all average-looking, a far cry from the extravagant crowd he usually associated with. No diamond tiaras or ostrich feathers here, just derby hats and plain bonnets. But every pair of eyes was trained on the young woman working the stage.
She was attractive, he supposed, if one preferred liars and cheats, which he most definitely did not. Still, her pale blond hair showed off her striking light brown eyes. Straight, delicate nose. High cheekbones. Arching brows. Full lips painted a scandalous red.
He liked those lips. Quite a lot, in fact. If he were dead, those lips alone might bring him back.
“I hear her!” A steady rapping reverberated around the room. An accomplice, no doubt, yet the audience gasped.
“Mr. Fox, your mother is here with us now. What would you like to ask her?”
The man onstage asked simple questions for the next fifteen minutes, with Madam Zolikoff “interpreting” the dead mother’s answers. Will absently rubbed his stomach, anger burning over this performance, that she would take advantage of someone’s grief in such a profoundly fraudulent way. When Will’s own mother had died, he’d fervently wished for something—anything—to bring her back. Nothing had, however, and he’d been left in a cold house with an even colder man.
Madam Zolikoff prattled on, regaining his attention. Had this woman no shame? No empathy for the heartbreak that went along with losing a loved one? For the first time since he sat down, he looked forward to the confrontation with her.
He planned to shut the medium down. Run her out of Manhattan, if necessary, because she was standing in the way of something greater, a different sort of power than he possessed now, but one of greater import. A power he would not fall short of achieving.
John Bennett, a former New York State senator and current gubernatorial candidate, had asked Will to partner on the ticket as lieutenant governor. It was something Will’s father had always wanted, to wield political influence, yet he’d died before his political career could take wing. Now Will would be the Sloane achieving that goal—and dancing on his father’s grave after he and Bennett won.
But John Bennett had a weakness, one by the name of Madam Zolikoff. Seemed the madam had dug her hooks into Bennett, and the candidate would not listen to reason regarding the dangers this presented. But Will wasn’t about to allow her to jeopardize Bennett’s political career—or his own. They could not afford a scandal six months before the election.
When the performance finally ended, Will didn’t bother clapping or stamping his feet like the other patrons. He rose, turned on his heel, and headed straight for the door he’d learned would take him backstage.
No one stopped him. More than a few curious glances were thrown his way and he tugged his derby lower to obscure his face. He’d run Northeast Railroad for the last thirteen years and came from one of the most prominent families in New York. The name Sloane was as well known as Astor, Stuyvesant, and Van Rensselaer. Consequently, Will had never shied from public attention, but he’d rather not be recognized here.
For several minutes, he cut through the long hallways in the bowels of the theater. Now at the door to her dressing room, he knocked. A slide of a lock and then the door opened to reveal a brunette woman in a black shirtwaist and skirt, the same costume she’d worn on stage. Her lips were still painted a deep red. He inclined his head ever so slightly. “Madam Zolikoff.”
“Come in, please.” Her voice was deep and husky, a sultry tone more suited to a bedroom than a stage. Thankfully, there was no trace of that ludicrous Russian accent she’d used in front of the crowd. Perhaps this conversation would not be as difficult as he’d feared.
She stepped aside. “I’ve been expecting you, Mr. Sloane.”
No surprise she knew his face, but had she noticed him in the audience? Three steps brought him inside her dressing room, if one could call a space no bigger than a cupboard a “room.” Not enough square footage existed here to allow for more than the small table and chair already in place. A mirror hung on the wall above the table, and a blond wig rested on a stand atop said table. With nowhere to go, he folded his hands behind his back.
She glided around him and lowered into the sole chair, facing away from him, and reached for a cloth. He watched in the mirror as she slowly swiped the cloth over her mouth to remove the lip color. She didn’t rush and Will had plenty of time to study her mouth. He highly suspected the display another type of performance, one designed to throw him off balance.
“Is there another name I may call you, other than your stage name?”
“I feel ridiculous calling you Madam Zolikoff.”
“That is your problem, not mine.” Finished with her cloth, she dropped the scrap to the table and caught his gaze in the mirror. “We are not friends, Mr. Sloane, so let’s not pretend otherwise. I know why you are here.”
“Is that so?” He hadn’t expected her to be so forthright. In his mind, she’d been meek and frightened, concerned over the unpleasantness a man in his position could bring down on a woman in her position. But this woman seemed neither meek nor frightened. “And why am I here?”
“You want to scare me away from John. Get him away from my evil clutches.” She wriggled her fingers menacingly on this last sentence. “How’s that?”
“Good. This saves us both time. Now you may agree to never see Bennett again, stop bilking him out of hundreds of dollars, and stay out of his life forever.”
“Bilking him?” Her lip curled, drawing Will’s attention back to her mouth, damn it. “I’ve got news for you, mugwump, I’ve earned every dollar providing services to your friend—and not those kind of services, either. John and I are strictly business.”
Will smirked. He’d never met an unmarried man and woman who spent hours together with money exchanged who were “strictly business.” “Miss whomever you are, I don’t care what kind of lies you’re shoveling out there to audiences, but I’m not some rube fresh off the farm. I know what you’re about, and all of it stinks.”
“Oh, indeed? So what am I about, then?”
“Blackmail. And if he doesn’t pay, you’ll take whatever personal details you’ve learned about him to the papers and turn him into a laughingstock. I will not let that happen.”
She rose, and, because of the tight space, this put her close enough to where he could see the hazel flecks in her brown eyes. Were those freckles on her nose? “I don’t care who you are or what you think of me. If you think I’m going to let some stuffed, pompous railroad man scare me away from my best client, you are dead wrong.”
Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon.
While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels.
She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
A feast she wasn't expecting!
Clover Greene would sooner crawl into her oven than host family for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet another annual ritual of too much food, served with a side of criticism over "Clover's Bad Life Choices." This year, she needs to distract them all—with a handsome fake boyfriend. And she has the perfect guy in mind.
Contractor Erick Fields is the poster boy for sexy single dads, and Clover has been secretly crushing on him for ages. She certainly wasn't expecting Erick to agree to her insane charade…or to add lots of hot, wicked sex to the deal.
If they can pull it off, the worst Thanksgiving ever might give them something to be really thankful for!
OMG! Guys, this is so much fun!! It is delightfully witty and flirty and sexy and real and raw and so incredibly tenderly sweet. I need to collect myself so I can tell you why I loved this story to the moon and back.
First of all, the flirting. Often in the stories, there's some kind of banter, and it is often funny, but this was so refreshingly positive, not a mean thought behind anything Erick and Clover said to each other. It was amusing, playful, and silly, yet sweet, even uplifting, great flirting. The dialog was a pleasure to savor, smart joyful, and entertaining.
And then I am actually going to talk about the sex they were having. And they had a lot of it, in every detail (after all, it is a Blaze romance). And it was hot, sexy, and obviously satisfying. But what makes it so that I actually want to specifically talk about it, was the way it was written. It was passionate, and desirous as much as little rough, dirty, and wordy. Yep, they talked and laughed through it, and got to know each other even better and deeper, no pun intended, than otherwise would have been possible. All that made it so real, tender, loving, caring, and in a way innocent, it was unique, sweet, and very important part of the plot.
The relationship Erick and Clover both have with Erick's daughter was another highlight in the tale. I loved the three together, how they were with each other. The honesty, transparency that was honored in that little unit they made was refreshing.
Clover's family, that was the major conflict in the story, made the Thanksgiving dinner scene look and sound like many 'normal' real-life family get-togethers do for many. Even though it was painful and hurtful, I wanted to stand up and cheer for both Clover and Erick how the handled the situation.
So as you might gather, the writing is brilliant and delightful in this tale, that will hit home to many on the conflict side and make sigh and swoon on the romance end. And I am sure many will wish they could take Erick home with them for the holidays, to help tackle the relatives if for nothing else....
An enjoyable and pleasing story of one unforgettable Thanksgiving, of a wondrous fake relationship that stays so for about a minute, and turns into passion, affection, and excitement, with lively flirting and lots of dirty-talk that will surely entertain.
~ Four Spoon with the teaspoon on the side
Tiffany Reisz lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband (author Andrew Shaffer).
Connect with Tiffany at
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Of Flame and Light
Weird Girls #7
By: Cecy Robson
Releasing October 18th, 2016
Taran Wird holds the unique ability to conjure fire and lightning. She is mated to Gemini, Second in Command to the Squaw Valley Pack of the Lake Tahoe Region, and the sole werewolf to possess the ability to split into two wolves. And although they are mates, Taran's insecurities have driven them apart.
Devastated by an injury that left her with a zombie-like limb, Taran struggles to regain command over her magic. But when her arm and her power turn against her, lashing out on those she most loves, she knows she can no longer carry this burden alone. Not that she likes the alternative.
The only way to regain control of her magic is to align and learn from the local coven of witches―the very ones who sought to banish her when she and her three unique sisters first moved to the mystical region. But although Taran is trying, the teachings don't come easy, and the tasks leave her weak and emotionally shattered.
Yet Taran must learn and learn fast. Time is running out. The fire she once mastered so easily has become her greatest adversary and is now slowly burning her alive . . .
I hurry forward when I realize I’m just standing there, gaping at them.
I don’t think I take more than a few steps when something crunches beneath the sole of my left boot. I think it’s a stick, but the sound seems off, especially since the ground is so moist. I lift my foot only to jump away.
“T, you coming?” Shayna calls when I don’t move.
“T?” she asks again.
I swallow hard, hoping I’m imagining things as they run back to me.
“What’s wrong?” Emme asks. Unlike Shayna who’s fired up for all the action about to go down, I can sense the worry in her voice.
“Bren . . .” I begin, pointing to the spot near my feet. “Is that a, um, toe?”
He cocks his head. “Nah.”
Emme places her hand over her heart and sighs. “Oh, good—”
“It’s a thumb,” he answers. He sniffs the air. “Right hand, male, and the poor bastard’s been dead a long time.” He looks ahead. “Yeah, this shit’s not good. Call it in, Shayna, but type it. Don’t use voice-to text.”
“Why, dude?” Shayna asks, reaching for her phone in her back pocket.
“Because I’m not sure how well this bitch can hear, or if she has other things listening for her,” he responds.
He motions ahead to a crow. It squawks twice in our direction and flutters away.
Shayna lifts her phone to show us the blank screen. “Phone’s dead, kids.” She quickly pockets it and places a handful of toothpicks in her palm. “I wouldn’t bother, Emme,” she adds when Emme reaches for her phone. I doubt any of our phones are working.”
“She’s right,” Bren says. He shoves his phone into the backpack Emme is carrying and peels off his white T-shirt.
“This keeps getting better and better,” I mutter.
Bren strips out of his jeans, leaving only his underwear and shit-kickers on. “Em, stay behind me,” he tells her. “Shayna, you’ve got the rear.”
Which leaves me in front of Shayna and the most protected. I’ll be honest, this helpless damsel in distress role does nothing for my morale.
I march ahead, forcing myself to snap out of the shock of finding some guy’s thumb, push aside my fear, and tap into my inner diva. I remember a little too late that my inner diva is louder and usually sashays in platform stilettos. I slow my steps, careful not to disturb the creepy things hiding in the bushes.
Let me be the first to tell you, woods are bullshit and top of the scales of the scary meter, second only to graveyards. It’s the reason so many horror movies are based here, and why I’m watching out for psychos with machetes lurking behind trees. But given our past experiences, where danger lurks, so do the dark ones. I’ve had my fill of alleyways, construction sites, abandoned structures, but especially these damn eerie woods!
Cecy Robson is an award-winning author of magical realms, to-die-for Alpha heroes, and young adult adventure.
A double RITA® 2016 finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, and published author of more than fifteen titles, you can typically find her on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
To Love and To Cherish
The Wedding Belles #3
By: Lauren Layne
Releasing October 18, 2016
Alexis Morgan has spent the past six years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.
Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable...until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever...
The sexy British accented startled Alexis out of her thoughts, and she glanced up, both alarmed and intrigued to find that the face that awaited her was every bit as appealing as the voice.
The man was about her age—early, maybe midtwenties—and ridiculously cute. His hair was dark and maybe just a touch too long, as though he intended to get a haircut but kept forgetting. The eyes were brown and friendly, accented by trendy black-framed glasses.
The chunky cable-knit sweater with elbow patches--for real—bordered on dorky, but then, Alexis had always had a soft spot for dorky. He had a bit of the Clark Kent thing going on, which had always been far more her type than the overrated Superman.
“Hi,” she replied quickly, realizing that she’d been staring.
His smile grew wider as he extended a hand. “Logan Harris.”
Darn. Even the name was good.
“Alexis,” she said.
“Does that come with a last name?” he teased, lowering himself to the vacant barstool beside her.
“Not to strange men,” she retorted.
“I could buy you a drink. Get rid of the ‘strange’ part.”
Alexis’s smile slipped as she remembered that romance, even flirting, wasn’t part of her plan. She’d learned the hard way that she could have one or the other—her own business or a boyfriend—not both. And even if she wanted the latter, the latter didn’t want her back.
“No thanks; I’m fine,” she said, letting the slightest amount of chill enter her voice. The ice-princess treatment, Roxanne called it.
Logan shrugged, undeterred. “All right then. May I borrow your menu?”
She nodded, and he picked it up, perusing it for several moments and paying her no attention.
It was both a relief and also a bit of an insult, if she was being entirely honest, to be given up on so easily.
Alexis tried to turn her attention back to her laptop but watched out of the corner of her eye as he finally shut the menu, waiting patiently to catch the bartender’s eye.
“Hi there,” he said, when the bartender ambled back over. “I’d like a Stella, and a maybe bite to eat?”
Alexis didn’t miss the once-over that the bartender gave Logan before the curvy redhead leaned over the bar, displaying perky boobs as she clicked her pen and pulled a notepad out of her back pocket.
“Shoot,” the bartender said flirtatiously, looking a good deal friendlier than she had when she’d spoken to Alexis.
Not that Alexis blamed her. A cute Brit could do that to a girl.
“All right then,” Logan said. “I’d like the burger, medium, with Swiss. Fish and chips, extra tartar, and . . . how’s your chicken club?”
The bartender blinked. “It’s good. But you want all that?”
“I do. Thank you.”
“Suit yourself,” she said, scribbling Logan’s order on the pad.
“Hungry?” Alexis couldn’t resist asking after the bartender moved away.
Logan gave a sheepish smile. “I’m a recovering student. I sometimes get so wrapped up in my day that I forget to eat.”
“A recovering student. What does that mean?”
He turned slightly toward her. “Someone’s showing plenty of interest in a strange man.”
She bit her lip. “I’m sorry if I was rude before. I’m just not really in the market for . . . you know.”
He gave her an easy smile. “Everyone’s in the market for a friend, Alexis.”
She opened her mouth and then shut it as she realized he was right. She could use a friend. She’d spent her entire life in Boston and knew almost nobody in New York. This guy seemed nice and nonthreatening enough—what would be the harm in a little conversation over dinner? It had been too long since she’d had somebody to share a meal with.
Logan seemed to know the moment she capitulated, because he turned more fully toward her. “A recovering student, Alexis, is a recent graduate. One who hasn’t quite absorbed that there will be no more finals, no more requisite all-nighters, and no more dorm sex.”
Alexis laughed. “Undergrad, then?”
He gave her a wry look. “How young do I look, darling? MBA from Columbia. Just finished up end of last year.”
She felt a little stab of relief that he wasn’t twenty-two.
He leaned toward her slightly. “Twenty-five next month, just in case you were wondering. As a friend.”
She tried to hide her smile and failed. “Columbia, huh? You’re a long way from home.”
“Noticed that, did ya?” He winked. “I came out here for undergrad, also Columbia. Always figured I’d go back to London and maybe someday I will, but . . .” He shrugged. “Seems I have stuff to do here first.”
“Such as?” She took a sip of her wine, dismayed to see that it was half-empty.
“Well, this will probably shock you, given my vast amount of brawn, but I’m an accountant. Or at least I will be, once I get my business up and running.”
Alexis was impressed. “Your own business?”
Most twentysomethings, even those with an entrepreneurial bent, opted to get a few years of work under their belts for someone else before branching out on their own.
He nodded. “I’m working out of my flat for now, but I’m hoping to lease some office space soon, get some legitimacy. If nothing else to get my father off my back.”
“He’s not a fan of your plan?” Alexis asked.
Logan’s shoulder lifted, and for the first time he seemed a little sad. “Both parents have had it in their head that I’d come home. Run the family business in London.”
“Which is . . . ?”
He spun his beer glass idly. “Financial consulting firm. My father’s the CEO, Mum’s the COO.”
“Wow, that’s . . .”
“Scary?” Logan supplied.
“I was going to say impressive. That they work together—without killing each other, I mean.”
“They’re in love. It’s atrocious,” he said with a wink. “What about your folks?”
Alexis laughed. “Not in love. They divorced when I was in high school. Dad’s remarried and happy now, I think. Mom not so much.”
“And you?” he said. “Are you happy, Alexis?”
She pursed her lips, surprised and yet not entirely unsettled by the personal question. “It’s been a while since anyone asked me that. Since I even thought about it, really.”
“Think it out. I’ll wait,” he said with a wink.
She didn’t have to think that long. “I’m almost happy.”
“You sound quite confident on that.”
She shrugged. “Let’s just say that I need a few things to fall into place in my professional life, but once that happens . . . yeah. I’ll be happy.”
She’d make sure of it.
Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.
In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.
In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.
For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram
There's no place like Haven Point for the holidays, where the snow conspires to bring two wary hearts together for a Christmas to remember
It's been two rough years since Andrea Montgomery lost her husband, and all she wants is for her children to enjoy their first Christmas in Haven Point. But then Andie's friend asks a favor--to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who's recovering from a hit and run. Andie will do anything for Wyn, even park her own misgivings to check on her grouchy, wounded bear of a brother.
Marshall hates feeling defenseless and resents the protective impulses that Andie brings out in him. But when a blizzard forces them together for the holidays, something in Marshall begins to thaw. Andie's gentle nature is a salve, and her kids' excitement for the holidays makes him forget why he never wanted a family. If only he and Andie can admit what they really want--each other--their Christmas wishes might come true after all.
This book draws the perfect picture of Christmas, with snow, decorating the tree, children playing, puppies, family events, and lots of love. It made me smile from ear to ear, belly-laugh several times, sigh so deep, even swoon a time or two.
This tale is so well brought together I was hooked from the start. It is one of those stories where you immerse yourself so deeply in it, you forget the rest around you.
The characters are intriguing and charming, and even though Marshall is like a wounded bear, in the beginning, he is a man who knows when to humble himself with an apology when needed.
Marshall and Andrea have been aware of each other ever since the terrible events past summer. This book is part of a series that I have enjoyed but is perfectly fine to read as a standalone story. There's reiteration of the past events so that nothing is left to wonder for a new reader, yet so well immersed into the story, it's not boring to the series follower.
As they dance around each other and try to fight the attraction they both are burning with, Marshall and Andrea form a meaningful yet fragile friendship where they share their thoughts, dreams, and secrets. Marshall's connection to Andrea's children is delightful and enchanting. The way the kids are responding to him is adorable.
Andrea wants him to see her as a woman, not the victim of a crime she was. Marshall has his own burdens he is struggling with. Those troubles give the story new twists, a mystery, even dangerous elements, and few surprises.
The story is filled with Christmas cheer with cookies, decorations, and children, yet there's just enough angst, conflict, crisis and dismay to make it a meaningful and relevant story. The clean tone of the tale make it the perfect Christmas romance, you can gift the book to any romance reader from younger one to grandmom without unease of suitability, and they surely will enjoy it.
For me, there's nothing that brings in the Christmas spirit like snow, cookies, decorations, enjoyed with family and friends. This masterfully crafted tale takes the readers mind to that dreamlike existence, where elation is high, life is filled with joy and glee, where love flourish and grow, any troubles are faced together, encouraging the other to come through.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story.
Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor.
Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews.
RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.
Non-Fiction / Vacation
Date Published: 05/18/2015
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
A man, his mother, his sister, his granny, his niece, and his nephew make a trip to Memphis Tennessee for a family reunion.
During the course of the trip, the family encounter a series of circumstances that mold the trip into an unforgettable experience.
Through the arguing and internal bickering within the group, they come together and strengthen the blood bond they share with each other.
Reflecting on each and every situation encountered, the man realizes the trip is an overall social, emotional, and educational journey.
he idea of a family trip started, when my mom devised a plan to take my granny on a weekend trip. This was difficult because my granny was on a weekly dialysis schedule, so my mom had to come
up with a way to keep her schedule and transport her from one city to the next without any problems. My grandma had been on dialysis for the past 2 ½ years, and with her increasing age and decreasing health she needed more attention from care givers and family members.
The living arrangement in my mom’s house was setup like this. My mom, my sister Brandi, and my granny all lived there constantly. My other sister Crissy and her children did not live there, but they would visit often. I myself would visit quite often also. My job was 2 miles from my mom’s house so it was nothing for me to visit on my lunch break or when I got off work. My granny anticipated me coming over many times, so she would cook a meal for me, and place my name on the plate. It was not the perfect living arrangement, but it definitely had a strong family feel tied into it.
My granny kept close tabs on what my mom and sister was always doing, because that is just who she was. She still liked to get out the house ever once in a while. Her favorite pastime was people watching. If there was one thing that she enjoyed, it was talking about other people. This is a trait that has been handed down from generation to generation, and I myself am guilty of doing it also. Discussing people in a humorous light that downgrades their physical appearance or personality is second nature to me now. I can easily do it without any effort or stress. The thoughts just come to my head, and I let the mild form of slander flow. I have never been embarrassed of this, and like me, my granny was neither.
Seeing that my granny did not like to be left out on a traveling experience, my mom knew that if she was to try to go anywhere out of town, she had to bring her. If my mom left without my granny, then my grandma would shun her for not including her on the trip. One time my mom did sneak out of town. She left with her best friend to plan the funeral of her friend’s brother. My mom knew it was going to be a problem with my granny, so she did not tell her until she was already on the road. When my granny found out my mom left her, she threw a fit and started crying. My sister Brandi tried to explain to her that the trip was for business and not pleasure, but my granny did not care. She just knew that my mom was out on an adventure without her.
Knowing all of this information, my mom knew the next time she left town that my granny was coming no matter what. She called the dialysis center and my grandma was scheduled for dialysis the day before they left for the trip, and the day after they returned home from the trip. My mom was not sure how everything was going to work out, but solidifying my granny’s dialysis schedule was the most important thing. Once that was done, then the trip as a whole was a green light.
One day while I was stopping by my mom’s house after I got off work, my mom asked me if I wanted to go with her to a family reunion in Memphis Tennessee. I had never been to Memphis, so I agreed to it just for a new experience. My mom told me that it would be $25 to attend the reunion and that my transportation and housing would be taken care of. In my mind, I saw it as me having a free trip. I had absolutely no worries.
My mother and I had the conversation about the family reunion in late May. I asked my mom what weekend I needed to take off of my job. She told me the weekend after the 4th of July, so I requested the days off and had it set in my mind that I would be visiting Memphis at some point in time in July. When the month of July was very close I decided to look at my job schedule to see if I had the right days off.
Somehow I managed to take off the wrong weekend. I noticed this mistake exactly 2 weeks before the departure date. I immediately told my boss about my mistake and she and I scrambled to get my shifts covered for the correct dates. Between the both of us we were able to get the right shifts covered, and I did not have to lose the shift I had originally taken off a month previously. I only had to take off one shift to make the trip, but that one shift was enough to throw me for a spin.
After fixing my requested time off I decided to take the trip more seriously. I asked my mom how we were going to get to Memphis and who all was going. She told me we would be driving in her Nissan Murano that was a 5 passenger SUV. She then told me the passengers of the vehicle would include her, my granny, my sister Crissy, and her 2 children. One of Crissy’s children was 8 years old and the other was 6 years old. I immediately counted the number of people attending the trip on my fingers. After I was done counting I noticed 6 people including myself would be riding in my mom’s SUV. I was confused seeing that her SUV comfortably holds 5 people, and we were fitting 6 people into it. I asked my mom about the travel arrangements, and she got a whole attitude with me. She asked me if I wanted to drive my car, and that I was welcome to spend my money on gas if I wanted to. This made me mad, because I did not sign up for this. We lived in North County in St. Louis Missouri. The trip to Memphis was going to take us 4 ½ to
5 hours to reach our destination. I asked my mom how she thought that piling 6 people into her SUV was a good idea. My mom told me that she had fit 6 people into her SUV before, and that my nephew Chaz does not take up that much space. I asked her where she went with the 6 people in her car. She told me that she went to Outback Steakhouse. The Outback Steakhouse was at most 15 minutes from her house. She looked at me in my face and compared a 15 minute car ride to a 5 hour road trip. Now at this point I was no longer mad I was angry. I could not see how this comparison was valid, but somehow it made perfect sense to her. I told my mom I would look into getting a Mega Bus ticket, and I would get back with her on if I would be riding with them to Memphis. After that statement I decided to leave it alone, because no matter how much I argued with my mom there was no way of showing her the error of her logic.
I just bided my time until it was the day of the actual trip. I did not successfully find a Mega Bus ticket because I did not look. I had all intensions of looking for a Mega Bus ticket, it just did not happen. Now I was stuck in the crowded car full of people. I could not complain because it was my fault. I still gave my mom a hard time about the full car of people all the way up until the trip. Every time she heard me complain she would rebuttal by saying that I could drive if I wanted the leg room that the driver seat had. She knew I would decline, but I would entertain her request every once in a while. I knew there was no escaping the long and gruesome tip to Memphis that I was about to take.
On the actual day of departure my mom told me to meet at her house at 12:00 noon. I was told Crissy had to work that day, and we were going to pick her up from her job downtown. After we got her, we would leave immediately from her job and head towards Memphis. This sounded perfect to me. I got a good night sleep, and packed my bag that morning. I was accustomed to packing, so the process of double checking my bag was effortless. The most important thing about packing is making sure you have a complete toiletry kit and one more pair of underwear and socks than you actually need for the trip. I always carry at least one pair of long pants and one pair of shorts. I then make sure I have a jacket or a hooded sweatshirt. You can look at the weather forecast all you want, but there is no guarantee the weather will be like the forecast predicted upon arrival.
I dressed in some basketball shorts and a t-shirt. I also put on one of my most comfortable pair of shoes. I dressed like this because I am a firm believer that while traveling you should travel as comfortable as possible. I made sure my phone was fully charged, and that I had a pair of good headphones with me. There was no way I was going to be caught in an overcrowded vehicle without my headphones. That was not an option for me. I grabbed my bag and shoe box, then left my apartment and headed over to my mom’s house.
I had not gone on a family trip in years. It was mostly because I had gotten older and grown into adulthood. I just wanted to travel with my friends more than with my family. Another reason was because my dad died of colon cancer 7 years previously, so the trips I use to enjoy as a child could not be relived without him being there physically. My mom, dad, Brandi, myself and whoever else wanted to tag along would go on a family trip once a year. We went to all types of places even Canada. Once I became a teenager I started going on 2 week long hiking trips with my dad through the Boy Scouts of America. This took the place of the traditional family trips, but I was still with my dad. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, all the focus went to him beating the disease. Once he died, we mourned as a family and found a way to piece our lives back together. One of the ways of doing this was learning to enjoy ourselves without him being around.
My mom, Brandi, and I lived in the house for a year adjusting to our new life then I left for college. While I was at college my mom told me she was getting rid of my room and my grandma was moving in. My granny was a widow also, so the loneliness both of them had could be subsided by each other and the company of their children. For my granny it was my mom, and for my mom it was Brandi. Before my granny had kidney failure and had to go on dialysis, my mom, Brandi, and granny went on a trip to the Bahamas without me. They did not tell me until 2 days before they left. My mom wanted to make sure the dogs were fed, and that I let them out to use the bathroom when they needed to go. This sucked because I wanted to go, but I was more concerned about making money at my job then spending time with my family in the islands. It was a decision I made, but I got over it. I assumed there would be more trips, but my granny got sick and the whole idea of going on another family trip just vanished.
Now that my mom found a way to work around my granny’s sickness, I was headed to my mom’s house trying to embark on a trip to Memphis. When I turned down my mom’s street I noticed something that would set the tone for the entire trip. My mom lives at the bottom of a long street that ends in a cul-de- sac. Her house and about 5 other homes form the cul-de-sac. As I drove down the street, I see my granny joy riding on her scooter around the cul-de-sac. I had to dodge her on the scooter in order to pull into the driveway. The garage door was already up, so I hoped out of my car and put my luggage in the back of my mom’s SUV. I then walked in the house to see what was going on.
I was confused. My grandma was in the cul-de-sac riding her motorized scooter for fun, and my mom was trying to make sure everyone’s luggage was properly packed into the back of her SUV. My mom started sewing a couple of months prior as a hobby. She was really not all that good at being a seamstress, but she was rapidly improving at her craft. She made an outfit for my 8 year old niece Bria to wear, but it did not fit her right. Bria was modeling the outfit for my mom and Brandi when I walked in the house. They were trying to figure out how they could fix the outfit, so she could wear it on the trip. After deliberation between the both of them, they decided to go to K-Mart and buy Bria an outfit to replace the outfit my mom had sewn together.
Once this decision was made my mom looked at me and said, “You and I are going to go to the store!” She said we are going to get what we need, then come back home immediately. I agreed because I did not have a choice. My mom and I then walked to my car in the driveway. When we got to my car my granny pulled up on her scooter. The garage door was still up, and my granny told my mom that she wanted to take the scooter with her on the trip. My mom said, “Huh?” My granny repeated that she wanted to take the scooter with her on the trip. My mom then looked at me, so I took that as a clue to unpack the SUV and repack it with the scooter in the back of it. I broke down my granny’s scooter and took everything out the back of the SUV. Good thing Crissy had already dropped her and the kid’s luggage off at my mom’s house the night before, so I knew how much stuff actually had to go in the back of the vehicle. I packed everything back into the SUV with the scooter at the bottom, and it surprisingly fit.
When I was done my mom told me lets go before we run out of time. We still had to pick up Crissy
from work, and my mom did not want to be late. When my Granny heard my mom say let’s go, she asked where we going. My mom said to the store. Then my granny asked if she could come. I immediately said no. Every time my granny goes somewhere with us it makes a 20 minute trip into an hour long trip. I knew this was going to happen, so I tried to avoid it. My mom told me that I could not tell my grandma no. She then told my granny to come on, and we all loaded into my car. I shook my head because I knew what was about to happen.
During the drive to K-Mart we passed the liquor store. My granny pointed to it and said, “Stop! I got to get me some tickets.” My granny was addicted to scratch off tickets. She would win sometimes, but she mainly did it for recreation. She claimed every 2 months that she was going quit, but then she would get the itch and had to play her scratch off tickets. My mom told her no and that we would drop her off at the grocery store to get her some tickets. Her plan was for us to drop her off at the Shop N Save, and we would get what we needed from K-Mart. Then we would pick my granny up from Shop N Save. This plan made sense because the Shop N Save was in the same plaza as the K-Mart. This enabled us to kill two birds with one stone. I told my mom it was a scratch off machine in K-Mart, but she insisted it was not. I did not argue with her because I was not 100 percent sure myself. I dropped my Granny off at the Shop N Save then my mom and I went to the K-Mart.
When we entered the K-Mart my mom went to the clothing department to find some clothes for Bria. I went to the outdoor section to find some bug spray. Apparently when my mom went to Memphis 10 years ago, the place where we were having the barbecue had a really bad tick problem. Brandi told me I needed to find a bug spray with a higher than regular percentage of deet in it. I searched the outdoor section of K- Mart for about 10 minutes before I found the bug spray. I called Brandi to confirm I was getting the correct bug spray then I set out to find my mom in the clothing department. When I found my mom she was already in the checkout line. She did not text or call to me to tell me she was done. She just hopped in line and waited on me to find her.
I joined my mom in line, and put the bug spray with the items she was purchasing. When we made it to the cashier, the cashier informed my mom that she had $50 in reward points. My mom started talking with me how Crissy could use the money on school supplies for my niece and nephew. I listened to her to be courteous, but I did not really care. I was ready to pick my granny up and get the road trip started. My mom made her purchases then we started to leave the store. While we were nearing the door I saw a scratch off machine for the Missouri lottery. I told my mom I knew K-Mart had a scratch off machine, and my mom looked at the machine and laughed. She then stated my Granny would not have liked the tickets in it anyway. I looked at the tickets inside the machine and I reluctantly agreed with her.
My mom and I got back to my car and drove up to the Shop N Save. My granny was sitting on the bench outside the store waiting on us to pick her up. She had already scratched off all the tickets she purchased. She threw away the losers and put the winners in her handbag. After I helped my grandma get into the SUV we went back to the house. We were gone for about 50 minutes. It was not quite an hour, but it was pretty close. I did not complain. I just rolled with the blows and kept on moving.
Upon arriving at the house we double checked we had everything we needed for the trip. After everything was checked my mom told everyone to get in the SUV. Chaz was eating some ice cream out of a cup when my mom said this. Because he was eating some ice cream, Bria wanted to eat some ice cream. Chaz was nearly done eating so Brandi told Bria no. She told her she had to leave with us, and there was no time for her to eat any ice cream. My mom did not allow Bria or Chaz to eat in her SUV, so if Bria did not already have the ice cream then she was not going to get it. This conversation between Brandi and Bria happened in the garage next to my mom’s SUV. Shortly after Brandi told Bria no, my granny walked out the house with a plate of ice cream eating it. My mom and Brandi looked at her with the same look. It was the look that she knew better than to be eating ice cream in the SUV also. My mom saw my granny
then said, “Dang! We got to wait for her to finish her ice cream.” She told Bria she could go get some ice cream, and we waited for everyone to finish their helpings. When everyone finished their ice cream we set out on the road to pick up Crissy from work.
Brandi decided not to go with us on the trip. She told me she was going to have the house to herself, and have plenty of alone time. Brandi was happy she did not have to watch Chaz, Bria, or my granny. I asked her before we left if she could wash my car. She actually agreed without any extra incentive, and I thanked her in advance. I personally hate when people make plans for me on my off days, so I know Brandi being my sister is the same way. Brandi did not work or go to school. She was strictly a caregiver for my grandmother. Crissy would use Brandi to babysit and help with Chaz and Bria when it was convenient for both of them. Between all this babysitting and being a caregiver, this trip provided a nice vacation from responsibilities for her. All Brandi had to worry about was having the house clean when my mom returned home, and now making sure my car was washed.
Phillip Cornell is a college graduate. He gained his degree in Biological Sciences, and currently works at a local pharmacy. He is the only son of Harron and Connie Cornell, and the youngest of 3 children. In 2006 his father passed away due to colon cancer, and his mom became an inspiration to him and his family in the way she supported everyone. He has a passion for all types of competitive activity, with sports being the favorite. Overall he lives for different experiences to stimulate the mind, and firmly believes that life is something that has to be lived, read about, and dissected. His biggest weakness is beautiful women, and the thought of being a failure. Firmly believing everyone deserves their moment no matter how long or short it is, Phillip listens to anyone who has something to say. The more he writes. The more he realizes what he creates, is something that needs to be shared with someone other than himself.
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When her son is kidnapped at Christmastime, a therapist must turn to an FBI agent for help—before it's too late…
Something is stopping Special Agent Jack Prescott from being his best. He's run countless missions, but when one hits too close to home, he needs help that most men wouldn't ask for. Andrea McNeil has counseled plenty of FBI professionals before, but no one has been harder to reach than Jack.
She's never been involved with one of her patients up close and personal, but when her son is abducted, she turns to Jack for help. Now they have to help each other to bring her son home and stay a step ahead of his kidnappers.
Both of them need a breakthrough—and a miracle—if they're going to bring Ian home for Christmas.
From the moment Andrea and Jack meet each other, there's a palpable connection. And even though there's undeniable physical attraction in between them, the connection goes much deeper and takes root in their minds and hearts fast and tight. I loved how they bonded, were receptive towards the other, transparent, holding nothing back. And though it was rabid and swift, it was believable and convincing.
But this connection is taken to a test when Andrea's son is kidnapped. The constantly building and strengthening fear and danger creeps up to you, and gives you the chills. The elements of nature around them adds to the challenge of survival, exposing them to peril, driving them to pitfalls, and bring a new menace on their heels.
The possibilities of surviving are less, the vulnerability is higher, and the help isn't able to reach them.
The book deliver on every level, it brings intense situations that had me on the edge, with heart raising danger, and certain of the peril the characters would face. It has ardent passion between Jack and Andrea, and incredibly cute times between Andrea's son and Jack. The characters are charismatic and enjoyable making it easy to root for them, they are engaging and good-natured, holding your interest and they make you want to cheer them on. Even though the book had a satisfying ending and the case was closed, there are issues that run through the series and still require answers. There's absolutely no cliffhanger at the end, but the keen interest for the series to continue is high.
A spine-tingling thrill ride, filled with danger from the culprits and hazard from nature, along with wondrous human connections, fervent passion, and a heartwarming family unit. All this in a tale that unfolds in fronts of you like a riveting action movie, holding you on the edge of your seat
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Cindi Myers worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager before turning to writing full time. She's written both historical and contemporary romance, as well as dozens of short stories and nonfiction articles. Cindi thinks writers have the best job in the world.
Former president of San Antonio Romance Authors, Cindi is a member of Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc., and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
She and her husband and their two dogs live in the mountains Southwest of Denver. When she's not caught up in creating new characters and stories, Cindi enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, skiing and hiking. She's also in demand as a speaker, teaching workshops and making presentations to both local and national writing groups.
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“His eyes settled on her…piercing green embers of flame that revealed the ferocity of his pain and passion, yet still shrouded him under veils of ever deepening mystery that made every ounce of her ache to unravel him.”
Tegan Lockwood’s dreams were dead, sacrificed on the noble altar of duty before they ever had a chance to live. Her entire existence was disappearing into the abyss of apathy as she labored her days away keeping her family’s struggling business alive. There would be no emotion, no color, no beauty in her life.
That is, until a mysterious visitor begins to draw her out of the darkness of her past towards something that will challenge the boundaries of her world, and unlock the most deeply held secrets of her heart.
“It's just an expression, I assume you have those in America?” This time Tegan completely intended the playful sarcasm that dripped from the comment. She even ventured a slight grin to put him on the defensive a little, but Mason was quick with his reply.
“Yes, we have them. For example, don't judge a book by its cover.”
Mason had smiled disarmingly when he said it, but the underlying message to her was clear. Considering what happened at the pub, perhaps she had been a tad hasty in her judgment of his character. Tegan bundled the tools she had been cleaning and attempted to pick them up all at once in order to move them into the shed, but before she could take two steps they began slipping from her hands. Just as she expected to see the entire bunch go crashing to the ground, Mason’s hands appeared and encircled hers, stabilizing the load. His hands were strong, but soft, and their sudden steadying warmth took her completely off guard.
She had been careful to avoid looking directly at him during their entire exchange so far, but her discipline wavered for one instant and she allowed herself to meet his gaze. She immediately regretted it. His eyes were two fiery emeralds that seemed to have already been waiting millennia for her to find them. The depth they held was something she had not expected; there was profound suffering there, but also something wild and passionate and unbridled...like the feeling she got while walking through the estate gardens after a summer storm.
Somehow his eyes burned through the walls of her meticulously constructed defenses as if they were flash paper. She felt as though he was somehow seeing her...the real her, instead of the protective façade she normally projected to people she didn’t know. In that instant of unexpected vulnerability Tegan was surprised to find she was capable of anything. She felt the boundaries and inhibitions that normally constrained her fading like a winter sunset.
A moment after Tegan felt the hurricane begin to stir within her, she smothered it for fear of being consumed. Where in the world is this coming from? She had only been looking at him for a moment, but it felt as though they had been staring at each other for hours. She abruptly pulled her hands free, which sent the tools clattering loudly into the dirt. In truth, she had forgotten they were suspended between their interlocked hands. Grateful for the distraction, she kneeled down and began gathering the fallen load, which he immediately assisted her with. Between them, they got all the tools to the shed in one trip. As the electricity of the moment faded, Tegan began feeling silly for even thinking such ridiculous things. I know nothing about him. She made a mental note not to look into his eyes again. There was a reason so many girls went crazy over him, and he probably knew exactly what he was doing with those eyes...and that crooked smile.
Dallas Coryell is a musician and author residing deep in the untamed wilds of Michigan, USA, where he desperately attempts to assign meaning to his world through bouts of maniacal creative catharsis and pitifully doomed hopeless romantic fantasies.
All of the songs written by the characters in this novel are real and can be viewed on the author’s fledgling YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/DallasCoryell1 Selfies and other assorted randomness can be found on the author’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dallascoryell
Between Love and Loyalty
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing October 18, 2016
When at war, aim for the heart…
Connor Duffy is desperate. His tell-all book on corrupt Chicago alderman Brady Cavanagh isn’t telling enough to get publisher interest, and in order to get the hot dirt, he must find a way to get closer to the man who let Connor go to prison to cover for his own son’s misdeeds. So when fate puts Cavanagh’s lively, artsy daughter across Connor’s path, he decides to take advantage of the first bit of good luck he’s had in a long while.
… but don't forget to keep your own under guard.
Fiona Cavanagh needs a break. Between assisting with her father’s political campaign, trying to please her unpleasable mother, and dealing with an ex who won’t go away, she has no time for a life of her own. One night she meets sexy and mysterious Connor and everything looks like it’s about to finally turn around… until she discovers that the one man she thought she could love was using her to get to her father. As dark family secrets unravel around her, Fiona finds herself caught between love... and loyalty.
Fiona Cavanagh buried the sharp blade deep into the slab of clay, and tried desperately to not think of her mother.
“Ooo… someone’s in a bad mood.”
Fiona lifted her head and looked at her friend Sarah, who was also her boss. “Who says I’m in a bad mood? I only get to do longer projects with the kids when they’re here on the weekend. There’s not enough time to work in clay after school.”
Sarah snickered and walked into the room. “You only want to work in clay when you’re pissed off.”
She said it as if it was a no-brainer. And since Sarah had known Fiona for years, it probably was.
Rather than acknowledging the fact that Sarah was correct in her assessment, Fiona continued to hack the block of clay into smaller pieces for the kids.
Fiona grunted assent.
“What did she do this time?”
Putting the knife down, Fiona stared at her. “She spent the morning pointing out that if I had stayed with Patrick, my father’s career would be in better shape. As if it’s my fault my ex is running against my dad.”
“Your dad has been alderman for two decades. It’s a lock.”
Fiona blew at the curls that escaped her ponytail. “It should be, but ever since the latest polls, Patrick has been trying to turn this into a smear campaign, accusing my dad of sitting on his laurels. He talks about how change will be good for the city. How it’s time to infuse some new blood in order to make the city better.” She toyed with the knife. “My dad has been working his ass off for years to make Chicago better. He’s fought for all kinds of improvements and Patrick makes it sound like Dad’s been twiddling his thumbs and collecting a check.”
“How is that your fault?”
“I broke up with Patrick. If I had played nicer and clung to him a little longer—like until after the election—he wouldn’t be gunning for my dad’s job now. She only ever saw how we looked on paper. She never wanted to listen to how I felt. Plus, I broke up with him over a year ago, but she acts like it was last week.” Although Fiona had believed she’d loved Patrick, everything with him had been superficial. No wonder her mother liked him so much.
Fiona refastened her hair and grabbed her blade. She cut a few more chunks of clay, hoping it would be enough for the kids who would give up their Saturday to work on art with her.
“I’m sorry, Fi. I had no idea things were rough. I don’t follow city politics, except for the mayoral election. And I definitely don’t follow the aldermen who aren’t in charge of my ward.” Sarah squinted. “I’m not even sure who my alderman is. I should probably know that, right?”
Fiona always paid attention to elections having lived in politics most of her life. Her dad ran the first time when she was still in elementary school. It didn’t take long before he learned the ropes of Chicago politics and became the man people either loved or hated. But she knew his true colors. This was the first election she’d be able to vote for him and her vote would actually count. In the past, his win had been guaranteed.
“I’ve worked so hard on his campaign this year, but it’s never enough for her. I’ve knocked on doors and made countless phone calls, but Mom’s biggest concern is my wardrobe and how I look in the media. Don’t I know better? Image is everything.”
Sarah burst out laughing. “I know you hate when I say this, but you sound just like her when you do that.”
Even Sarah’s smile couldn’t lighten Fiona’s mood. Fiona organized the chunks of clay on separate trays.
“Why do you let her get to you?”
“I don’t know. Sometimes, I feel like she’s right. She’s been way deeper into this than I have, so she might know what she’s talking about. I don’t want be to be the cause of any problems.”
She’d watched her brother Aiden do nothing but cause trouble growing up. How he’d managed to become a productive adult still puzzled her.
“Can I do anything to help?”
“Find me someone to fall in love with? Someone to take my mind of politics and appearances.”
| iTunes |
Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin.
When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.
Author Links Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
'Tis the season for second chances…and secrets!
Forget the mistletoe maneuvers. Kelly Rasmussen isn't planning on having that reunion kiss with Dr. Caleb Buchanan any time soon. Things had long ago gone south for these former high school sweethearts. Except for that one night six years ago—which resulted in an explosive secret Kelly's kept till this very day.
Now career and family have brought them both back to Weaver, Wyoming. Their unavoidable clashes—and instant chemistry—make them realize this town isn't big enough for the two of them. Or three of them—counting Kelly's son. Because there's something about that little boy… For one thing, he has Caleb's eyes…
Forgiveness and second chances are some of the most difficult things to give since trust will never be that same after you once break it. This story hits to the core of the forgiveness since both Caleb and Kelly have deeply hurt each other, and both are in need of absolution, compassion, forgiveness.
The story is an emotional roll-a-coaster, I was in tears several times because the hurt and pain they are inflicting on each other are touchable.
I wish there would have been more Caleb side of the story. Why he broke up with Kelly in the past, that I understand: they were both young, and trying to do a long distance relationship is never easy, not to mention for a college freshman, but did he really love the person he left Kelly for and was it only her rejection of Caleb that made him return to Kelly? The present day conflict needed more of a solution, in my opinion. I was left wanting more feelings, deeper emotions, and most of all more communication of those emotions between Caleb and Kelly.
But there were things that filled my heart with joy, as well. The connection between Tyler and Caleb was immediate, warm and caring. But as well was Tylor protective of his mother, and stood up when he felt the need for it. Those scenes were so real and raw, they overwhelmed me with emotions.
I loved how the family was so thick, undivided, and linked to each other. The support they showed, the acceptance and concession from them was heartfelt.
The story undeniably brings out the emotions. It makes you think and ponder what and how much would you be willing to forgive and accept if needed.
An ardent and earnest story about love, family, grace, mercy and forgiveness
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
A frequent name on bestseller lists, Allison Leigh's highpoint as a writer is hearing from readers that they laughed, cried or lost sleep while reading her books. She’s blessed with an immensely patient family who doesn’t mind (much) her time spent at her computer and who gives her the kind of love she wants her readers to share in every page.
Stay in touch at www.allisonleigh.com.
Pilots Hockey #4
By: Sophia Henry
Releasing October 18, 2016
The author of Delayed Penalty returns with the story of a free spirit who believes she’s found forever with a playboy on a singles cruise. Discover why Kelly Jamieson calls the Pilots Hockey series “fun and flirty, warm and sweet.”
Kristen Katsaros wants a life full of adventure and laughter. After a difficult childhood, her motto is to live each day like it’s her last—because it just might be. So when Kristen’s parents send her on a post-grad singles cruise in the Caribbean to meet a Greek husband, she promptly hooks up with the hottest guy she’s ever met. Pasha’s decidedly not Greek, but Kristen gives him a pass because he’s got fun written all over his rock-hard abs.
Pavel Gribov, the cocky playboy of the Detroit Pilots hockey team, can score any girl he wants. But when a teammate drags him on a singles cruise, he can’t resist the chance to help out a drop-dead gorgeous damsel in distress by pretending to be her boyfriend. Before long, the fake fling turns intimate, fueled by something much deeper than lust.
Kristen and Pasha both agree to walk away once the cruise is over, but reality hits like a slap shot when Kristen finds out Pasha lied about everything. Just when she’s ready to start living again, the two stubborn survivors must decide if they can bear to lose the best thing that ever happened to either of them.
“So, what’s your story?” I asked.
“My story?” He lowered his head and gazed at me over his sunglasses.
My heart flittered fast, waiting for him to tell me to move or ask why I had chosen to sit next to him, given all the open seats surrounding the pool. But he didn’t.
Had I really chosen this spot because these were the only three empty chairs next to each other? I could have dragged another lounger next to two others.
“You’re not Greek. I can tell that by your accent.” Under the ruse of trying to figure him out, I twisted my torso and leaned toward his chair. Subconsciously I relished the opportunity to study his features more closely. “So you can’t be one of the Detroit-area Greek singles I’m supposed to be hanging out with.”
“I am. I came here with a friend.”
“Who’s your friend?” I asked, tucking my hair behind my ears.
I didn’t recognize that name. And after spending the majority of my life around people in the Greek Orthodox community, I pretty much knew anyone close to my age, whether we went to the same church or not.
“How do you know Blake?” I settled back into the lounge chair, flicking back a corner of the towel that had fallen onto my shoulder.
Adonis’s lip curled into a smirk. “Panikos worked with me when I lived in Detroit.”
“Where do you live now?”
“Really?” I sat up. “My best friend just moved to Charlotte.”
“Charlotte. That is where I live.”
“What a small world. She lives downtown, in the Avenue condos.” I paused to correct myself. “Well, I guess you guys call it uptown instead of downtown.”
“Why did she move to Charlotte? Did she get a job there?” Adonis leaned sideways and picked up a plastic cup from the ground next to his chair. He took a sip of his drink.
“No. She moved in with her fiancé. He’s a hockey player.”
Adonis didn’t respond, but he choked on his drink and diverted his eyes toward the pool.
“His name’s Aleksandr Varenkov,” I added. “Do you know him?”
“No,” he answered quickly, and adjusted his aviator sunglasses, which had slid down his nose. “I never heard of him. Maybe if I saw him, I’d know his face.”
“If the Internet worked here, I’d show you a picture on my phone.”
“The ship has Internet,” Adonis corrected me.
“Yeah, but I can’t afford the hundred dollars a minute they charge to access it.” A hundred dollars a minute was only a slight exaggeration—the ship charged enough that I didn’t feel the need to waste my money. I’d wait until we docked somewhere with a restaurant or a bar that offered free Wi-Fi. “So what do you do?”
His gaze veered from my lips to my eyes before he answered. “I am a Pilot.”
“Really? So you’re always traveling, eh? Do you love it?” I reached over and grabbed my water bottle off the tiny table next to my lounge chair.
“I like to fly. To travel. It is, um, a good job for me.” Adonis took another swig from his drink, something clear with a cluster of crushed ice floating in it. “Where do you work?”
I leaned back in the chair and bent my knees slightly—perfect position to soak up the sizzling sunshine. “I’m the assistant to one of the owners of Motor City Bar Management. It’s a company that owns a group of bars around Detroit. I coordinate all the volunteers and employees for events that our bars host or sponsor.” I finished my water and set the empty bottle on the table.
“What kind of events?”
“Concerts. Bar crawls. Promotional events before games,” I said, rattling off a few of the things I’d helped plan recently.
“Wonder if I’ve seen you around,” he said. “I go to a lot of concerts.”
“Probably not,” I said. “I just started two months ago. Before that I was at Central State.”
Adonis’s eyes darted toward something behind me. “You like the party life?”
“Sure. It’s fun right now while I’m young.” I wiggled my toes, watching the pink glitter polish sparkle in the sunlight. “My goal is to learn the ropes of event planning, then turn it into something more professional in a few years when I don’t want to be immersed in the bar scene anymore.”
Suddenly he sat up and swung his legs over the side of the chair, planting them on the ground facing me. Then he leaned close, his face inches from mine.
Was he going to kiss me?
My heart hammered, excited and eager to accept a kiss from this stranger. I licked my lips and closed my eyes. But instead of feeling his mouth on mine, I felt his breath against my face.
“The guy you are trying to avoid is behind you,” he said.
My eyes flickered open. “Huh?”
“The guy you ran from.” Adonis nodded. “He is behind you now.” He leaned back, resuming his original lazy, reclined position. Then he tilted his cup and drained his drink.
How did this guy already have my heart pounding and my mind begging for his lips on mine? I figured the salty ocean air must be permeating my brain and breaking down my common sense.
Sophia Henry, a proud Detroit native, fell in love with reading, writing, and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with a BS in English from Central Michigan University, she moved to the warmth of North Carolina for the remainder of her winters.
She spends her days writing books featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings and rocking out at concerts with her husband.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
The Right Kind of Guy
What Happens In Vegas
By: Kerri-Leigh Grady
Releasing October 17, 2016
Romance novelist Kelsey Spencer doesn’t believe in love, and she's tired of faking her way through happily ever afters. Determined to change things up, she heads to the Las Vegas Romance Lovers Convention. But somewhere between half-naked cover models and hot Navy SEALs, Kelsey’s plans derail...
Especially once she meets über-fan Jasmine Grant...and Jasmine’s über-hot alphahole brother, Aaron.
Buttoned-up Aaron Grant never thought he’d find himself at a romance convention, but here he is, trying to convince his impulsive sister not to marry a beefcake cover model. His only hope is to enlist the aid of the cynical (and sexy) romance writer his sister worships.
After a sweltering jaunt around Vegas, some strange conference hijinks, and one outrageous proposal, Kelsey and Aaron are left questioning everything they know about romance and love...and if falling in love might just be worth the gamble.
“Romance writers. You have a reputation for being into salacious details of others’ love lives. Another stereotype?”
“Yes!” She poked his arm. “You’ve been watching too much TV. Too much bad TV, at that.”
He cocked his head and studied her. “What else is wrong about the stereotype?”
The way his eyes swept over her, she knew exactly what he meant, and the flush racing up her neck decided to head south and warm the rest of her body. She grabbed another sip of her drink. “So tell me the salacious details of your love life, then.”
A very slow smile stretched his gorgeous lips. “A sad series of one-night stands.”
“You say that like the lack of commitment doesn’t appeal to you. But aren’t all rich boys players and scoundrels? You should be right in your element.”
“I hear romance authors know some new tricks, and I’ve been considering expanding into two- and three-night stands. Maybe I should find someone at this conference willing to teach a world-weary scoundrel.”
His voice melted over her, but she couldn’t make her tongue work to answer him. Her head swam, and she realized she might have overdone the drinks considering she hadn’t eaten much at lunch. She needed to slow down. Or maybe hydrate. She cleared her throat. “Do you have a tattoo?” she asked, signaling the bartender for water.
His eyebrows lifted. “Maybe. Do you?”
“You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.” She slapped her hand over her mouth. “I can’t believe I said that.”
Aaron laughed, and Kelsey tried to turn away in protest, but she had to grab the bar through a wave of dizziness.
Aaron caught her by the shoulders, spun her to face him, and she rested her hands on his arms. The muscles under her palms were rock-hard and reassuring, not too big, but definitely not small. “You okay?” he asked.
She nodded. “I don’t know how I ended up feeling this way about your poor sister when I only met her like two hours ago, but…Jas seems like a really good person, and I don’t want anything bad to happen to her.”
“She is,” Aaron said.
“And maybe it doesn’t hurt that you have nice biceps.”
Kerri-Leigh Grady loves to sink into happily-ever-after tales and blow-up-all-the-things tales, especially when her testosterone-loaded house has hit its monthly limit of athletic socks and slapstick. She holds an MFA from Seton Hill University and a BS in computer science, so she’s a kind of half-artsy, half-nerd ball of nervous twitching. She has an unnatural love of dark humor, gadgets, chickpeas, BJJ, terrible acrylic landscapes, half-assed jewelry, and planners (Hobonichi and TN, natch). When the zombie apocalypse happens, she’s likely to be patient zero. If you see her bite someone, grab your water and head for your bunker.
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