She'll risk everything for her own Christmas miracle...
Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list--dealing with Madi's temporary dog sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.
Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi--how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple--he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide twenty-four-hour care. But there's nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.
Ethan's kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all--letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?
Have you ever read a book and been so intuned with the main characters and the life lessons they are learning, that you want to savor every single word and ponder the challenges and changes they are encountering, yet the story is so enthralling you want to inhale it as fast as possible so you can get to that happily ever after moment that fills your heart with joy?! Moonlight Over Manhattan was that kind of experience to me and it left me encouraged and inspired.
I love this series so hard. It is one of the three series from this year that I have both in ebook and paperback. The way Sarah Morgan tells the story - with the natural, smooth flow and low-key, life-like build-up of the moment with the charismatic characters, who are easy to relate to and in the main focus of the tale - it creates an atmosphere and environment where you want to spend time in with people you grow to genuinely care about.
Harriet Knight is a sweet, kind, considerate, shy, and loving woman who can cook like Ramsey, who loves the concept of family, and adores dogs of all kind. Her growth and development through the story are remarkable. The way she challenges herself to each day to do something that is not easy to her, something that she is not good at, something that makes her uncomfortable, and then survives it, and at times excels in them, was so inspirational. She has her burdens and wounds from the past and current challenges but learning to accept them and live freely with the scars is encouraging. Everything she faced, even if not similar to me personally, the road to the acceptance and excellence was filled with thoughts, revelations, and a-ha moments that were relatable, thoughts I wanted to savor, ideas that resonated in my mind, heart, and soul. I underlined more than ever while reading this book because there were so many moments and thoughts I want to go back to again and again.
Then you add that swoon-worthy, melt your panties type of adorable, smoking hot romance with sizzling chemistry between her and Ethan Black, where they first spent time together to really talk, to get to know each other, to see who the other one is, what they value, what they will fight for, and what are their weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and I wanted to start to read the book again as soon as I finished it.
With the genuine feelings, true, escalating emotions, charterers you grow honestly care about as you read the tale with a storyline rich in difficult conversations, delightful banter, humor and heartbreak in equal measures, I delighted in this story and treasured each word of it. Moonlight Over Manhattan is one of the favorite books I have read, a story that will stay with me in my mind with its hopeful and reassuring message of 'we can do hard things'.
Highly recommended, indeed.
~ Five Spoons
USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She is a 3 time winner of the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and has been nominated five times. Sarah lives near London, England, and when she isn't reading or writing she loves being outdoors.
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It’s Hard Out Here For A Duke by Maya Rodale
Keeping Up With The Cavendishes
Adult Historical Romance
Publication Date November 28, 2017
When American-born James Cavendish arrives in London tomorrow, he’ll become the Duke of Durham. Some might be ecstatic at the opportunity. Not James. He’s a simple man, fond of simple pleasures. And right now, nothing could be more pleasurable than spending his last night of freedom with a beautiful stranger.
Are Far Too Good…
One wild night, Meredith Green, companion to the dowager Duchess of Durham, said yes to a man she thought she’d never see again. Suddenly, they’re living under the same roof, where Meredith is expected to teach James how to be a duke-while trying not to surrender to temptation a second time.
To Be Forgotten
For a duke and a commoner, marriage would be pure scandal. Yet nothing has ever felt as right as having Meredith in his arms…and in his bed. Soon he must choose-between a duty he never desired, and a woman he longs for, body and soul…
Though Miss Meredith Green lacked birth, or wealth, or many other qualifications one would assume of a gently bred lady, she had been raised to be one. She could curtsy with the best of them, expertly arrange both flowers and seating arrangements for dinner parties, and could recite pages from Debrett’s Book of the Peerage. These were just a few of her accomplishments.
As such, she should not be here, in the public room of the Queen’s Head Tavern and Coaching Inn. Especially not alone and especially not at night, where any old ruffian might think he could take a liberty with her, to put it nicely.
Which is why she should not have allowed the barmaid to add a generous splash of whiskey to her tea.
Which is probably why she was encouraging the ocular advances of a handsome man with whom she was not acquainted.
Meredith had noticed him the moment he walked in, tall and lanky but strong, with unfashionably long brown hair that fell rakishly in his eyes. What color were they, she wondered? She didn’t need to know. There was nothing she could do with this information. There was absolutely no point to her knowing.
She badly wanted to know.
So she dared one glance, then another.
Do not look. Do not look. Do not look.
Her better judgment was roundly ignored. Before she knew it they were somehow flirting from opposite sides of the room without even saying a word.
It was the sort of thing that made a girl’s heart beat giddily and her toes start to tap under her skirts. Thanks to years of training, she kept her posture poised and her movements elegant, but under her skirts, her toes were tapping.
This, this was what she need tonight: a distraction. The past few months had been trying, and the next few promised to be challenging as well, albeit in a different way. She had only tonight to live for herself.
She darted another look in his direction.
He was watching her. This truth elicited a slight smile from her lips. But she shouldn’t take pleasure in this.
She ducked her head.
But her heart beat quickly and she wondered: Would he come over?
He shouldn’t. He really should not. She absolutely should not encourage him. But life was full of should-nots, and tonight Meredith wanted to say yes.
It had been a bit of a day—on top of quite a week, and one hell of a month. Or two or three. Her visit to her ailing mother in Hampshire revealed a dispiriting truth: the life choices of Miss Meredith Green were few, and less than thrilling. Nevertheless, she had made her choice to return to London and live the restrained and dignified life of a lady’s companion.
Emphasis on restrained. When one relied on one’s spotless reputation for her very existence, one comported herself accordingly. One did not give or receive heated glances across crowded rooms.
But Meredith embarked on a little whiskey-infused rationalization: until she stepped foot in London, she could afford to live a little loosely. For one night, she might indulge in the sort of wicked behavior—and passion—that she’d have to refuse forevermore.
That was just the splash of whiskey talking, she told herself. It was just the strain of recent events wreaking havoc with her common sense. It was her mother’s bad influence. She’d had the great luck to be raised to be A Lady. She oughtn’t forget that.
Do not look. Do not look. Do not look.
She looked. Oh, she looked.
His gaze sparkled. Like he knew what inner turmoil and rationalization his glances inspired. This time, she didn’t look away.
Oh, goodness, he was coming over. Her heart beat faster and faster as his long strides brought him closer and closer until he was standing beside her, leaning casually against the bar.
Gentlemen did not lean.
“What is a beautiful woman like you doing alone in a place like this?”
Chasing Christmas Eve
Heartbreaker Bay – Book 4
By: Jill Shalvis
Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.
Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spence immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?
…and hope for a miracle.
Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.
The Year of Loving
by Traci L. Slatton
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
Art gallerist Sarah Paige’s world is crumbling. One daughter barely speaks to her and the other is off the rails. Sarah is struggling to keep her gallery afloat in a tough market when she learns that her most beloved friend has cancer. In the midst of her second divorce, two men come into her life: an older man who offers companionship and stability and an exciting younger man whose life is as chaotic as hers.
Sarah’s courage, humor, and spirit strengthen her, but how much can she bear, and what sustains her when all else falls away?
IN THE BEGINNING, THERE was my bohemian poet mom and square
attorney dad, who met at a concert and shared only three interests in
common: rock and roll, Renaissance art, and me, Sarah Melissa Paige,
conceived in the backseat of a Chevy Impala to the strains of Deep Purple.
How do I know this? My Jewish mom never had a clear sense of
boundaries. She would say the most outrageous things, not just to me but
to anyone, at any time. “Sarah was a vaginal birth and I nursed her until
she was eleven months old,” she would tell a store clerk, while I winced.
It was one of her lovable quirks. That’s what my Scotch-Irish/Cherokee
dad would say, with a small smile.
I still miss them every day. Their death was one of the great losses of
my life. Painter Frida Kahlo, my soul sister because of her mixed heritage
and her devotion to art, had remarked, “There were two great accidents in
my life. One was the trolley and the other was Diego. Diego was by far
the worst.” Sometimes I felt that way about the two great catastrophes of
my life: my parents’ deaths and my marriage to my first husband George
Calhoun, the rich WASP with the perpetual sneer of condescension.
George would never forgive me for the humiliation of my leaving him for
an impecunious artist.
But let’s move past George. Let’s go to the end of my second
marriage, to the realist painter Clifton.
I was in my gallery in Chelsea, working on an article for American Artist
magazine. I was trying to explain why excellence, beauty, and the artist’s
skill were more important than the overvalued and empty wasteland of
post-modernism. You can see I’m a woman with strong opinions.
Rosa, my assistant, came in from the front room.
“Sarah, you hear the printer?” she asked, pausing to check her
makeup in the reflection of a glass frame. She dabbed at her mascara with
her pinky. “A fax came in.”
“Something from Clif’s lawyer. Or George with a snotty note about
not being able to reach me via email,” I guessed, in an absent tone.
“Nothing I want to see.” Will Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo illustrate my
point about the supreme rapture of the human form? I smiled at her.
She sparkled back. “Weren’t you waiting for something?”
“Alex’s meds,” I remembered. I pushed back from my desk and
hurried over to the printer, where a prescription lay in the out box.
“Want me to run it in?” Rosa asked.
“I’ll go,” I answered. I had been writing for two hours, and it was a
cold, drizzly day with no foot traffic, so no customers to come in and
peruse the beautiful representational paintings I sold. April is the cruelest
month. So, on the flimsiest of whims, without bothering to shrug on my
coat, I headed out into my life.
The pharmacy was located only a block up on Eighth Avenue. I
banged into the door with my umbrella. A gust of wind caught me just at
that moment and blew the umbrella inside out and I tumbled through the
door askew, my umbrella struggling like a trapped animal and my Jimmy
Choos sliding out from under me as if I’d skidded on a candy bar wrapper.
‘Cartwheel’ would be an accurate description. Which explains why
my linen skirt was up around my waist like a belt.
“Now that’s an entrance,” a man said, his deep voice amused. He bent
down and offered his hand. I fought my linen skirt down to cover
everything that was on display. It’s not like I wear shorts over my thongs
—which had twisted up inside my lady parts. Leaving everything on
display. I groaned. He cleared his throat. “Don’t worry, I’m a doctor.”
“You’re not my doctor,” I said, furiously, batting his hand away. I
managed to scramble to my knees and yank my skirt to a more appropriate
semblance of coverage. What is it about linen? It goes out of its way to be
uncooperative. I have a theory that clothing designers have a hidden
agenda to torture women. Of course, it served me right for wearing linen
in April. I just loved the navy blue, forties’ era suit I’d found in a
consignment shop on Greenwich Avenue. Note to self: check out usability
standards before purchasing vintage clothes.
That blasted umbrella was determined to thwart my efforts, so I
dropped it and pulled myself up via the shelves of cough suppressants and
“Glad that’s so,” the man murmured.
Was he still ogling me? I didn’t answer because I’d managed to sweep
the display of Robitussin onto the ground. I bent over to pick them up.
“Ahem,” the man said, and his rich voice thickened with the effort not
to laugh. I glanced and he was pointing.
At my behind.
The back of my skirt was still bunched up around my waist. I’d stuck
my ass in his face.
I grasped my skirt by both sides and jerked downward as hard as I
could. The waist button popped off. Luckily the zipper stayed firmly
sealed, or everything I have would have been revealed. Again.
The man laughed outright.
I held the skirt closed with one hand while I shook the other index
finger accusingly in his face. “Listen, you!” I started, accusingly.
He blinked, bemused and amused. He was tall and toned, with fine,
poreless skin, cropped black hair, and the kind of substantial nose that
certain men carry off very well indeed.
It struck me how silly I looked. I broke up with laughter.
After a few seconds, he took off his glasses, rubbed the bridge of his
nose, and blinked a few times, laughing with me. “It’s not often you find a
beautiful woman who can laugh at herself.”
“Yeah, well, if I couldn’t, I’d have been in big trouble a long time
ago,” I murmured. He had nice dark eyes. There weren’t enough crow’s
feet or the lines of laughter and sadness that reflect the gravity of a life
fully lived to put him in his forties. I smiled. “Thanks for the
For a moment, the most delicious, open softness encompassed us. We
smiled at each other a little sheepishly.
Then I remembered why I was there. A new prescription for my
younger daughter Alexandra. Maybe this one would be the magic bullet
that kept her from shooting herself in the foot. I desperately wanted it to
be, and I could only pray that it was, as I’d been praying for the last few
years, watching Alex get herself tangled up with one bad decision after
another and get herself thrown out of two schools. She was now at Devon
Town, the private school of absolute last resort in Manhattan. If she could
graduate, she could still attend a decent college.
I shrugged and waved to the hot man who was at least ten years
younger than me and I walked back to the pharmacist. I handed him the
Katsu, the pharmacist, an old Japanese guy who came to every show
at my gallery for the free food and drinks, shuffled unblinkingly off to the
back as if he’d never seen me before in his life.
“Excuse me, miss.” It was the hot man, looking carefully at my left
hand, where I wasn’t wearing a ring.
I perked up.
The skin stretching across the cheekbones of his angular face
deepened in color. He cleared his throat. “Would you like to get a cup of
“Sure,” said Katsu, who had returned. “Venti half-caf cappuccino, wet
and fat-free. Would you get me a scone, too?”
“Not you,” the young doctor said.
Katsu shrugged and then looked at me. “I have it in stock. Come back
in an hour.” He turned back to the doctor. “Hey, doc, just coffee, or will
you buy me dinner, too?”
The doctor grimaced and followed me as I walked toward the front of
the store. He touched my elbow lightly as I reached for the door. “About
that cup of coffee?”
I straightened myself, which was hard to do with one hand, because
the other hand was still gripping the waistband of my skirt, to keep it
closed. “You don’t have to buy me coffee just because I stuck my ass in
He looked embarrassed and I noted again how smooth and silken his
skin was. I remembered being 38. From the vantage point of 48, it seemed
innocent and hopeful.
He said, “This is not about your ass.”
“You don’t like my ass?”
He flushed and looked about twelve years old. “Your ass is very nice.
That’s my professional opinion.”
“You think I’m a professional?” I demanded, in a tone of outrage.
He flushed a brighter shade of red. “Coffee. Just a cup of coffee.”
“You’re sweet.” I sighed while I smiled. I had baggage older than he
was, and I’m not talking about the dinged-up Tumi cases I take to Europe
on scouting trips.
He had straightened his back and shoulders and was listening hard--
the antennae were practically standing straight up atop his head.
“It’s flattering, but I don’t think so. Thank you anyway.”
A few minutes later, torn and bedraggled, I stood in the door of my
Rosa glided over to me. She’s of Mexican and Finnish descent, an
actress and a dancer with cascades of black hair and striking pale blue
eyes. She’s fresh and juicy and sassy. I was newly aware of every wrinkle
on my face and every dimple on the back of my thigh. With her lissome
dancer’s body and face still unlined in her late twenties, Rosa was a better
fit for Dr. Gorgeous than I could ever be. What the hell was he thinking,
asking me out for coffee?
“Why are you staring at me?” Rosa demanded. She narrowed her big
vivid eyes at me. “What happened to your skirt?”
“My umbrella,” I muttered.
“OK, don’t tell me.”
“I tripped over my umbrella,” I amended, not knowing that was when
I woke up in a dark woods in the middle of the journey of my life. There’s
a flux to the divine comedy of life, the way it empties out, grows full, and
then cracks to empty out again, so that fullness can be reborn. I still don’t
know if my heart can stretch to encompass all the shattering. But, in that
moment, I was just thinking that I should have accepted that cup of coffee.
I think I would have enjoyed it.
“Strip it off, Mamacita, my sewing kit is in my purse and there’s
twenty minutes before I leave for my audition.” She waggled her fingers
“I’ll take it off in the back office,” I said. I was still clutching the skirt
to keep it closed properly. “I’ve been naked in public enough for one day.
And thank you.”
Traci L. Slatton is the international bestselling author of historical, paranormal, and romantic novels, including IMMORTAL (BantamDell) and BROKEN; the award-winning dystopian After Series which includes FALLEN, COLD LIGHT, FAR SHORE and BLOOD SKY; the bittersweet romantic comedy THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFE; and the vampire art history romp THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR. She has also published the lyrical poetry collection DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE and THE ART OF LIFE, a photo-essay about figurative sculpture through the ages. Her book PIERCING TIME & SPACE explores the meeting ground of science and spirituality. Her latest novel THE YEAR OF LOVING follows an art gallerist through a steamy love triangle and a challenging year of love and travail. This story seeks to answer the question, What sustains you when all else falls apart?
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Wild Irish Book 2
by C.M. Seabrook
Genre: New Adult Romance
One rock god. One girl from his past. One ocean that can't keep them apart.
I've been in love with Owen Gallagher since I was twelve years old. Before the world knew his name.
Even though it's been years since I've been back to Ireland, I never forgot my Irish crush. The boy who saved me from his bully of a brother is now a dark, sexy, tattooed rock star who shreds the guitar like a true master.
A night of anonymity.
One night to live my forbidden fantasies.
He'll be furious when he finds out my true identity. But I'm not the same, shy little girl he remembers, and I have every intention of tempting my own Wild Irish.
Dreaming about a rock god is one thing, but I'm chasing that dream across an ocean.
I’m going to hell.
I didn’t bring her here for this. Didn’t mean to kiss her. To touch her. But now that I am, I can’t stop. My mouth travels down the curve of her jaw, along her slender neck, breathing in her intoxicating scent.
I try to reel myself back. But her own need saturates the air around us, mixing with mine like a spark to a powder keg.
I want the girl.
I’ve already had a taste and it only increased my appetite. But if there was ever a definition of off limits, it’s her.
I don’t need a complication like Bree in my life. And that’s exactly what she is – a sweet, tempting, irresistible complication.
“Jeezus, Bree,” I growl, raking my teeth across the sensitive flesh below her ear and feeling her tremble against me. “What are ye doing to me?”
She lets out a whimper when I tug slightly at her hair.
“Forget what I said.” I cup her jaw, searching her face, seeing uncertainty and desire vacillating across her features.
She’s unhinged something inside of me. That primal instinct to possess and protect. And hell, if it doesn’t scare the shit out of me. But, I also know that if I don’t see where this can go, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.
Amazon bestselling author C.M. Seabrook writes hot, steamy romances with possessive bad boys, and the passionate, fiery women who love them. Swoonworthy romances from the heart!
She saved his life when everything was hopeless. He's determined to return the favor.
Not even Master Sergeant Harry Lockhart's military expertise could stop the IED that killed his team and left him injured. Only Daisy Gunderson--a pen pal he'd never met--and her kind letters helped him survive.
But Daisy in the flesh is the surly Marine's polar opposite. She's outgoing, talkative and putting his military training on high alert.
A stalker named Secret Santa is targeting the kindhearted teacher...and the pranks are growing deadly.
In Daisy, Harry's finally found the safe haven he needs. And he'll be damned if anyone is going to take her from him.
I wept and I laughed while I was frightened and enamored. I loved this story, the riveting tension, the palpable fear, the deep emotions it all got to me from the very first scene and I inhaled the story, just could not get enough of Harry and Daisy and the amazing connection between them.
The way Master Sergeant Harry Lockhart and English teacher Daisy Gunderson met is so endearing and unique. Daisy's class had been pen pals with the marine unit, and Daisy had been getting to know Harry via letters where they opened up their hearts to each other about their deepest fears, darkest nightmares, and faintest hopes and wishes. Finally having a chance to meet face to face, as they both are battling with challenges in their personal and professional lives, they have the chance to lean on each other, give a helping hand, and truly get to know each other in the mids of the crises, threats, nightmares, and Christmas preparations.
Harry is a broken warrior, the physical wounds are healing but his soul and mind need loving care until he is fit to get back on duty. He mourns his friends who lost their lives in combat, the constant battle in his mind is wearing him down. The only light in his heart has been the letters from Daisy, making him believe he could find healing peace of mind in her presence, being surrounded by her essence. But Daisy is nothing he had imagined while reading her letters.
Daisy is a sunny, caring, loving, talkative teacher who loves to bake, gives bear hugs, and adores her dogs. She has survived a tremendous ordeal in the past, and the current threats are making her nervous, bringing back frightening memories.
The chemistry between Harry and Daisy is searing hot, but even more than that, they have a deep friendship. The way they look after each other, protect the other, even from themselves, is admirable. They genuinely have grown to care for each other over the time, and this new physical attraction between them is a tangible force, nothing to be ignored, making the romance between them so delicious yet very much believable.
I loved how real and true to life the characters and the events were in this tale that flew off the pages and had such a smooth flow to it making it impossible to put down until the end. And at the end I wished that Harry and Daisy really were out there somewhere, as real people, doing the hard things but finding solutions, and living their best life while making each other smile every day.
Get yourself a box of tissues and get comfortable, because you will want to experience this story momentarily from cover to cover with all its delightful romance, swoon-worthy moments, and the intense, daunting threats and invasions
~ Five Spoons!
USA TODAY bestselling author Julie Miller writes breathtaking romantic suspense. She has earned a National Readers Choice Award and two Daphne du Maurier Awards among many other prizes for both her series and single title books. She was also honored to receive the RT BookReviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Suspense, and has twice been a finalist for RWA’s prestigious RITA Award. With millions of copies in print worldwide, many of her books have appeared on the USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, Amazon and BookScan Top 100 Romances bestseller lists. www.juliemiller.org
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Cajun Crazy by Sandra Hill
Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date November 28, 2017
Welcome back to New York Times bestseller Sandra Hill’s Cajun country, where love heats up the Louisiana bayou...
Former Chicago cop Simone LeDeux is back home in the bayou, sharing a double wide in the Pearly Gates trailer park to help her mama recover from surgery. Her one rule: no Cajun men. Loved and left by too many double-crossing Cajuns, Simone puts bad experience to good use by opening Legal Belles: an agency that uncovers cheating spouses.
Suddenly she’s confronting a two-timer about to swindle his wife out of millions and antagonizing New Orleans bigwigs over an illegal sex club. Adam Lanier learns of the dangerous game Simone is playing . . . and the sexy single dad comes to her aid. Known as a rogue in the courtroom and a player in the bedroom, the ragin’ Cajun has Simone triply on guard.
With their crazy chemistry, danger on their trail, and infamous LeDeux relative Tante Lulu working her magical matchmaking, the bayou has never been this steamy.
“I’ve been attracted to you from the first moment we met.”
“I’m surprised that you would admit that. Kind of lessens your odds.”
“You’re assuming this is a game. I’m too old to play games. Actually, they never interested me
much. How about you?”
“Oh, games can be fun sometimes.”
“Tease!” Adam said with a chuckle and nipped her on the chin with his teeth.
It wasn’t a kiss or a bite, but she felt it all the way down to “Red-dy and Willing,” the color of her toenail polish.
Simone remembered her bad history with Cajun men and her resolution to avoid them in the future.
“Um, I think it’s time to cut this flower in the bud. I am not going to do this again.”
“Do what, darlin’?”
That damn “darlin’ ” again! “Get involved with another Cajun man.”
“You’re going to give me the boot just because
“Well, lucky you, babe, because I’m only half Cajun.”
TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY LINK: https://goo.gl/AZhBBn
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Cajun Crazy by Sandra Hill. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 12/5/2017 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.
Wrong To Need You by Alisha Rai
Forbidden Hearts #2
Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date November 28, 2017
Alisha Rai returns with the second novel in her sizzling Forbidden Hearts series!
He wasn’t supposed to fall in love with his brother’s widow…
Accused of a crime he didn't commit, Jackson Kane fled his home, his name, and his family. Ten years later, he’s come back to town: older, wiser, richer, tougher—and still helpless to turn away the one woman he could never stop loving, even after she married his brother.
Sadia Ahmed can’t deal with the feelings her mysterious former brother-in-law stirs, but she also can’t turn down his offer of help with the cafe she’s inherited. While he heats up her kitchen, she slowly discovers that the boy she adored has grown into a man she’s simply unable to resist.
An affair is unthinkable, but their desire is undeniable. As secrets and lies are stripped away, Sadia and Jackson must decide if they’re strong enough to face the past...and step into a future together.
Some women were seduced by a voice or a touch or a look. For Sadia Ahmed, it was hands.
Or, at least . . . His hands.
They were big, the perfect size to grasp her ass and grip her tight. Or to wrap around her neck while his thumbs settled into the hollow at the base of her throat. Or to cup her breast and lift it to his mouth.
Sadia picked up a glass and started drying it, her actions precise and unhurried. She was certain her face didn’t give away the fact she was fantasizing about sex with a patron sitting in the dive bar. Her libido might be hot, but her facade was stone- cold. She was a mother, a widow. To a lot of people, she’d discovered, those two titles took precedence over being a woman.
She didn’t mind letting people keep their illusions. It made her life easier and she wasn’t a disruptive person by nature. Someone else could shock the world, so long as she could dream about what she pleased.
Out of the corner of her eye, she contemplated what she could see of the anonymous man’s hands. He wore a baseball cap pulled low, and the bar was dark, so his body was all she had to moon over. His body was enough.
His fingers were long and elegant. They were big enough to fill her up with one, but she’d demand two. Hidden under the soft cotton of her shirt, her stomach clenched. He could play her like a violin, which was appropriate. He had the hands of an artist. Attached to a body that belonged to a fighter. Her gaze drifted over what she could see of the rest of him. Wide chest, broad shoulders, thighs like tree trunks, biceps like whoa.
Sadia carefully replaced the dry glass and picked up another one. Over the past week, she’d gotten really good at surreptitiously peeking at her mystery man during each of her shifts. On Monday she’d noticed him for the first time, sitting in a darkened booth in a far corner. On Wednesday he’d chosen a seat which was better lit, enough for her to grow obsessed with thoughts of his fingers on her and in her.
Though it had been busy earlier tonight, she’d consciously kept an eye out for him. Once the Thursday crowd had thinned out, her gaze had been drawn to him like a magnet to a metal. An- other dark booth, another dark cap pulled low to hide his face. Alone, nursing the ginger ale he’d ordered. His quiet stillness set him apart from the rowdy people who usually filled this bar.
Sadia started. She regrouped quickly and gave her boss a cheerful grin which hopefully masked the filthy thoughts in her head. “Hey, what’s up?” Michael had owned O’Killian’s for at least as long as she’d been working here, off and on since her twenty-first birthday.
“I wanted to thank you again for picking up so many shifts this week.”
She tossed her towel over her shoulder. “No problem. You know I’ll take the hours.” The tips were good. With a young son, she could always use extra money. She wanted to keep her bartending skills sharp.
Those were all the reasons she told people when they asked her why she was still tending bar when she had her hands full with the café she’d inherited from her husband. They weren’t false.
They weren’t completely true either, but the whole truth would cause more than a few raised eyebrows.
My husband had debts he didn’t tell me about. The tips give me grocery money.
I’m terrified the cafe will go bankrupt on my watch. I need a fallback career.
And there was one other good reason, but she really couldn’t share that one with anyone. That reason was her secret.
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Still scanning the park square, Nora wondered where the trolley passengers had gone. The lodge’s green trolley was parked in its usual place, but no lodge guests strolled the sidewalks or meandered from the row of quaint shops on Bath Street to the Pink Lady Grill or the Gingerbread House.
Just then, a flash of red caught Nora’s eye and she groaned inwardly as a tall, shapely woman passed in front of the bookshop window. The woman yanked the door open, ignoring the riotous clanging of the sleigh bells, and settled into the closest chair like a queen awaiting the adulation of her subjects. Her pouty lips curved into a cat-with-the-cream grin. “Consider your next bibliotherapy session canceled.”
“Hello to you too, Estella.” Nora picked up the stray paperbacks a customer had left on the table next to Estella’s chair. “I assume you’re referring to the man I met on the park bench. Why isn’t he coming? Did you scare him off?”
“Me?” Estella pretended to be affronted, but Nora wasn’t falling for the act. “I didn’t even get a chance to meet him. I was up at the lodge wasting my time on a man I thought had some potential, but he’s already making payments to an ex-wife and needs to send three kids to college. There’d be nothing left for me.” She waved a manicured hand in dismissal.
Nora was itching to reshelve the books and check on the coffee. Though she didn’t dislike Estella, she was rarely at ease in her company.
Recalling the strange sensation she’d experienced as the second train whistle blew, Nora felt an inexplicable prickle of dread. She jerked a thumb toward the window. “Where is everyone?”
Estella’s grin returned. “At the train station. They’ve been drawn there like flies to sugar. The sheriff rolled in a few seconds ago, and since he and I have never gotten along, I made myself scarce.”
Nora, who made it a point not to look people directly in the eye, forgot her rule and gave Estella an impatient stare. “What happened? Just spit it out.”
Crossing her arms in disappointment, Estella murmured something about no one being any fun, but eventually complied with Nora’s request. “When your man on the bench placed an order for one of Hester’s comfort scones, he asked her to box it because he was heading over here to see you. He left the bakery, box in hand, but he never made it to Miracle Books.” Estella leaned back in the chair and smoothed the skirt of her white sundress. “I’m sure he’d rather be sitting in this comfy chair than where he is now.”
Nora knew she wasn’t going to like the answer to her question, but it had to be asked. “Which is?”
“On the tracks,” Estella declared breathlessly. “Someone pushed him in front of the three o’clock train.”
With a jubilant bark, Charlie burst out of the bushes towards me. I let out a sigh of relief as he pranced back and forth, tantalizingly out of reach. Trying to calm down my racing heart, I held out the doggy treat. With a happy yelp, he took the treat from my hand. He only needed two bites to finish it off. Murmuring endearments, I scratched behind his ears as I tried to slip the leash over his head with my other hand. Thinking this was a great new game, Charlie snatched the leash and ran off.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” I raced after him. “Charlie!”
The leash clenched between his teeth prevented Charlie from barking, so I needed to keep close behind him. But he not only was the size of a small horse, he could run as fast as one, too. Five minutes later, he disappeared. This was ridiculous. Needing to catch my breath, I stopped and fished my cell phone from the messenger bag slung across my chest. I didn’t care if Piper was wearing designer stilts. Charlemagne was her dog, and she was going to come in here and track down her monster puppy.
Before I could call her, loud barks broke out to my left. This time I was the one to burst through the bushes. He wasn’t getting away again. But Charlie stopped barking as soon as he saw me. I knew now why he had been quiet for the past few minutes. He’d been digging away in the dirt, which he resumed upon my arrival. I looked for his leash and spotted it a few yards away, half buried by the dirt he flung to all sides. I picked up the leash before Charlie could get to it
first. As soon as I did, I also spied what appeared to be an animal bone. Most likely a deer.
But when I turned to see what Charlie was digging up now, my heart sank. It was another bone, but not one belonging to a deer. In fact, it was far more than a bone.
It was a human skull . . .
In the other room, the front bell rang.
“You’d better get that.” Charlene jerked her thumb toward the office door. “Petronella is on her smoke break.”
Eager to escape, I bolted out of my chair. It skiddedbackward and hit the wall. I didn’t hang around to inspect for damage, hustling to the counter.
A blond in a smooth-fitting, green workout suit strode through the dining area. Her ponytail bobbed, her long, lean dancer’s muscles moving smoothly, and I had to crane my neck to look up at her. On her jacket, Heidi’s Health and Fitness was emblazoned over her heart. She halted in front of the register.
Joe looked up from his bar stool, grinning, but his smile seemed a little pained.
“Hi.” Smiling, I laid a hand on the counter. “You must be from the new gym. I’m Val.”
“I’m looking for the owner.” The corners of her lips quirked, quick, professional, cool.
“That would be me. Welcome to the street. I was about to go to your grand opening.”
“I’m Heidi Gladstone.”
We shook hands, my knuckles grinding within her grip. Dropping my hand to my side, I flexed my fingers, restoring the circulation. “Thanks for stopping by. I baked a welcome gift for your grand opening,” I said, taking the quiche from beneath the counter.
“No thanks.” She shook her head. “I don’t do dairy.”
“I used almond milk.”
“Is there any cheese in it?”
“Only goat cheese.”
She reared away as if I’d suggested cyanide. “I don’t do dairy.”
Joe’s smile broadened.
I took a deep breath, inhaling the calming scents of baking fruits and sugar. “What can I do for you?”
“You can change your sign.” She pointed at the neon above me. “Turn your frown upside down? It encourages emotional eating. Sugar kills, and though it does give a quick emotional high, the satisfaction is fleeting. My customers are trying to rebuild their health. It’s not good for them to constantly see that negative reinforcement.”
I laughed. She was kidding. Of course. “Right. Good one!”
She frowned, a faint line appearing between her blond brows. “I’m quite serious.”
“But . . . it’s my slogan. It’s on everything—my sign outside, the menus, my business cards.” This had to be a joke.
“Exactly,” she said. “It’s a problem. Do you have any sugar-free pies?”
“My potpies are sugar free. And so is this quiche.”
“I advocate a vegan diet. I couldn’t eat a potpie or a quiche. Do you sell any sugar-free fruit pies?”
“Um, no.” Sugar free? I’d heard of such things, and this was California, where people could be more thoughtful about eating. But a sugar-free pie? That was unnatural and possibly un-American. Besides, fruit was full of natural sugars.
“I’ll bring some recipes by tomorrow.” She whirled, her ponytail coming within inches of my face, and marched out of the store. The bell over the entrance tinkled in her wake.
Joe wedged himself free of the bar stool and waddled to the counter, arms extended. “I’ll take that breakfast pie. And a fork.”
Sighing, I handed him the quiche. “All right. You win. Do you want a plate to go with that?”
“No. Why get a plate dirty? I’ll eat it from the tin.”
“How did you know she wouldn’t take it?”
Joe winked. “She kicked off her grand opening this morning with a lecture on the evils of gluten, lactose, and anything that tastes good. I figured at least one of those things would be in that breakfast pie.”
I nodded. I had yet to meet a gluten-free piecrust that really sang. He rubbed his stomach. “And the spread was awful, all twigs and health food.”
“It is a gym.”
Petronella stomped toward me in her black motorcycle boots, her brows lowered in a slash, a pie in each hand. “Are you working the counter today or am I?”
“You are. Sorry. You can have it back.” I edged away.
“Because I need this job, and if you’ve decided you can do it for me—”
“Nope, you’re still chief pie wrangler. Have at it.” While I wasn’t exactly afraid of Petronella, both she and Charlene were protective of their duties. And since Charlene made the best piecrust in five counties, and Petronella could soothe the most ferocious customer, I’d learned to stay out of their way.
There was a choking sound, and we both snapped our heads toward the counter.
Joe’s fork clattered to the linoleum. Bowed over the quiche, he gripped his stomach.
I froze, brows squishing together, coldness piercing my core. Then Petronella and I raced around the counter, bumping into each other as we fought our way through the narrow passage beside the cash register.
Joe fell to the floor, writhing.
I fumbled in my apron pocket for my phone and called 9-1-1.
Petronella clasped one of Joe’s hands. “Joe! I’m here. Val’s calling an ambulance. What’s happening?”
Joe went limp, his eyes rolling back. He didn’t answer.
Peggy’s house was across the street and down from mine, and when I saw one with the door open I figured that was it. I had two bottles of wine in my arms and a taut leash, thus not afforded the freedom to look up the address on my phone.
“Hellooo,” I said, walking in. “I come bearing wine and a lovable beast.”
I let Bardot loose and headed inside. It was awfully quiet. There were supposed to be something like six women in this club, but I couldn’t hear any voices. The drapes were closed and I was so busy trying to catch up to Bardot at the dark end of the hall that I didn’t see the telephone table until my waist hit it, forcing me to slump across the top. When I reached
the end, Bardot was scratching at the back door. It was locked from the inside with a deadbolt. I should know, every apartment door in NYC has at least three of them.
Strange. Did they all come in through the driveway? Then why is the front door open?
I turned the key and Bardot bolted out. When my eyes adjusted from the dark to the sunlight, I saw that she was anxiously circling a woman laying facedown on the grass . . .
The light was dim and had a yellow cast. Hannah immediately identified it for what it was, the little light that glows when a refrigerator door is open. Totally disregarding Mike’s instructions to stay put until he got back, Hannah got to her feet and headed for the kitchen, intending to shut the refrigerator door before Ernie lost any of his perishables.
But there was another perishable, one she wasn’t happy about discovering. Her beautifully decorated gingerbread Santa cookies were crumbled and scattered on the tiled kitchen floor. The cookies were labor intensive. It wasn’t the mixing and the baking. That was the easy part. It was Lisa’a hand decorating that took time and considerable talent.
Her glance shifted to the refrigerator and she got another shock. There was a foot sticking out behind the refrigerator door. The foot was wearing a dark blue tennis shoe with silver
laces, just like the ones Ernie Kusak had been wearing when he’d come into The Cookie Jar this afternoon.
This was bad.
This was very bad . . .
Rising country music star Cassidy James McCall is living her own version of a bad country song. After undergoing vocal chord surgery, her future is uncertain. To escape the constant presence of tabloid reporters, she accepts an invitation to celebrate Christmas with her McCall cousins. But her idea of a quiet and peaceful holiday comes to a screeching halt the moment she crashes into her former boyfriend, the tough yet noble cowboy that she's never gotten over.
Widowed, single father and ex-rodeo bull rider, Ryder Hadley, longs to raise his precious little girl in his safe, secure small hometown of Honor, Texas while bringing his ranch back to life. It’s a simple wish that goes haywire when the mega country sensation and the woman who stole his heart years ago gallops back in to town, igniting a firestorm of emotions in her wake.
As Ryder tries to protect his heart from falling once again under Cassidy's spell, he soon learns he's not the only one who can't resist her–his daughter wants Cassidy as a bride for her daddy. With the help of some Christmas magic, will Ryder and Cassidy get the second chance that they've always wanted?
A heartfelt second chance love story that churned up all the feels yet left me smiling.
There's so much love, loyalty, and sincere caring fit into the story that, like often in a real life, is balanced with the betrayal, fraud, and disappointments.
The chemistry and bond between Cassidy James McCall and Ryder Hadley are amazing. The feelings between them are so tangible, like a visible, additional character in the book. This palpable connection between them is managed to present even though most of the time they spent together is used to fight against the awakening old, burning feelings, or with the whole town and paparazzi around them. I wish they would have had more time to get to know each other again, after the years they have spend apart. That was the only (big) thing that kept me from giving this book a five spoon recommendation.
Because when you add to this sizzling attraction a little adorable cowboy princess, a large, loving, and protective family, a tight-knit town preparing to celebrate Christmas, and you have the makings of a holiday romance that will melt your heart and make you smile - after dragging you through the emotional wringer.
A charming, delightful, and a clean Christmas story that surely will bring up the holiday spirit.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Bestselling author Laurie LeClair writes romantic comedies, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. Laurie has a not-so-secret love for characters who make her laugh, cry, and who linger in her mind long after the story ends. Laurie’s habit of daydreaming has gotten her into a few scrapes and launched her to take up her dream of writing. Finally, she can put all those stories in her head to rest as she brings them to life on the page.
Laurie loves to write, read, bake, travel, and discover new adventures. She considers herself a New Texan (New England born and raised and now living in Texas). She lives in Central Texas with her husband, Jim. Laurie loves to hear from her readers.
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Date Published: May 1, 2017
Every paramedic’s worst nightmare is to arrive at the scene of a horrific accident and find out that the victim is someone they love. Or, in Caden Ross’s case, the woman he used to love. It took two years to finally get over Dakota and move on with his life, or so Caden believed, until he has to face the thought of a world without her. Nothing could have prepared the handsome, headstrong off-duty paramedic for the emotional upheaval of keeping the woman he once thought would be his forever alive.
Dakota Martineau appeared to have the world in the palm of her hand. She is beautiful, kind, has an adoring family, including her best friend and identical twin sister. She has a passion for incorporating her love of life, family, and her cultural background into her dream job with special needs kids. Then, in a life-altering crash, she discovers just how fragile life is. Thankful to be surrounded by an incredible group of friends who will help heal, not just her body, but also her soul, she knows she should be happy she is alive and on the mend, but Dakota is still tormented by the loss of her one true love.
How can you feel safe with the one person who hurt you the most? What road will Caden and Dakota take when they discover fate wreaked havoc on everything they thought was true?
When no one answered, he pulled the phone back to make sure the connection hadn’t failed.
“Hello?” he asked again.
Dakota regretted calling the second she heard his voice. It was the middle of the night, and he was in bed with his girlfriend. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. She had to say something, though, since she had woken up the poor guy. It was now or never.
Ever so softly, Caden heard, “C-Caden?” It took him a minute to register that it was Dakota.
His stomach dropped. Something was wrong.
“Dakota? Sweetheart, are you okay?” He patiently waited for her to say something as he walked through the living room to the sliding doors and out to the balcony. It was freezing outside, but he didn’t want to risk waking Sasha up by grabbing a sweatshirt.
Struggling, she stuttered, “Yes, I’m s-sorry. I sh-shouldn’t have c-called. I d-didn’t mean to w-wake you.”
Feeling panicked that she would end the call, he said, “Dakota, please don’t hang up. Talk to me. I’m here. I’m listening. You must have called for a reason.”
As he ran his free hand over his face, Caden heard her hiccup. She was crying.
Dakota was breaking his heart, but he had promised himself and Sasha that he would try to work things out between them. What the hell was he doing?
But this was Dakota, and she sounded so lost and scared. It had to be important if she was calling him, especially at two a.m.
“Sweetheart, take your time and tell me why you called.”
Dakota couldn’t tell him why she really called. She couldn’t admit it was because she was still in love with him and wanted him to chase away all her fears.
“I-I n-needed to hear y-your voice and t-tell you th-thank you for s-saving my life.” She hiccupped again, trying to cover her quiet sobs.
“His heart plummeted even further. “Aw, Dakota you never have to thank me. I’m just so thankful fate intervened and I was travelling down that road at the exact time you needed me. How are you doing? Your voice sounds amazing. Francesca told me you were making great progress. I’m very impressed. How are you feeling?”
She was filled with delight knowing he was sincerely impressed with her progress. She wanted to fill him in on everything she had accomplished and how hard she had worked.”
“I am up and w-walking again. W-well, not what everyone w-would consider w-walking, but I’m up.”
He could picture her face tight with concentration as she took those first steps and the smile that must have followed.
“Yeah, I’m still here. I was just envisioning you up and about. Take your time; tell me what other strides you’ve made.”
“N-nothing. Just … th-thank you and t-take c-care.” It would be so easy to talk to him for hours, but this had been a mistake. She shouldn’t have called. It hurt too much to love someone you couldn’t have. For her own sanity, she had to end this now.
“Dakota? Dakota, are you there?” Caden pulled the phone away and looked at it. She had hung up.”
About the Author
Anne Marie Citro grew born and raised in the greater Toronto area of Ontario, Canada. She grew up in a large, loving family. Anne Marie is married to a very patient man. He is the love of her life. They have four very cool sons, and the girls they brought into their family that have become daughters of her heart. She has been blessed enough to finally have a beautiful granddaughter after four sons. She has her own personal gaggle of girlfriends, who enrich her life on a daily basis and make her laugh. Caesar Friday is her favourite day of the week. Caesars with the girls and date night with her hubby. She works with special-needs teenagers, that have taught her how to appreciate life and see it through gentler eyes. Anne Marie was encouraged by her husband to follow her lifelong dream to write. She loves the characters that take over imagination and haunts her dreams. She loves the arts and she has tried her hand at painting, wood sculpting, chainsaw carving, wood burning, metal and wire sculptures. Yes, her husband is a very patient man! Anne Marie is an avid reader and enjoys about three books per week. But nothing makes her happier then riding on the back of her husband's Harley and throwing her arms out and feeling the wind race by. Anne Marie and her husband take a few weeks every year to travel to spectacular destination around the world. Anne Marie is excited and can't wait to see what the next chapter holds for her life.
A missing sister, a murdered father and a dangerous reunion years in the making.
The last place Honey Granger wants to be is Tumbleweed, Texas—the judgmental town that made her childhood a living hell.
But when Sheriff Harrison Hawk informs her that her alcoholic father has been murdered, she reluctantly joins his investigation.
The sexy sheriff has long suspected Honey’s father in his sister’s disappearance and vows to solve both mysteries.
But keeping his professional distance from the vulnerable blonde proves nearly impossible. He’ll guard her 24/7 until her life is out of danger.
But how will she feel if Harrison proves her father was a murderer?
Honey Granger has to face all her childhood nightmares, the town's discrimination, and her teenage crush as she arrives in her hometown to bury her estranged father. The time has not been enough to heel the wounds of the past, and with sheriff Harrison Hawk as her protector, she faces the new accusations, the new attacks against her property, and the threats against herself.
The old feelings towards Harrison spark to life, the attraction between them is palpable, a force to be reckoned with, but forbidden and off-limits on both of their minds.
Honey is a smart, capable, successful, and kind. Everything she has learned, gained, and established she has done on her own. She left the hateful small town as soon as she turned 18, and hasn't looked back. Now forced to face her past, her emotions are turbulent, as is her attraction towards Harrison.
Harrison's family has lived in the state of mourning ever since his sister disappeared and his father left the family without saying goodbye. The guilt, the remorse of past actions weight heavy on his and his brothers'' minds. His hands are filled with the current and old investigations, there is no room for romance, not to mention with Honey, the girl his mother has hated since their childhood. But someone is determined to get Honey out of town, and are not afraid to use lethal force to accomplish their goal.
The story with its drama, trouble, and turbulence enticed me from the start. I liked the romance, I felt the attraction between Honey and Harrison was true, even though at the same time I wished there would have been a bit more bonding time for them before the conclusion.
The investigation and the revealed secrets were riveting, the danger and threats were vehement, I felt invested in the characters and the bond between the brothers was intriguing, sparking an interest to read their stories as well, even though I did not like their mother, nor did she convince me of her change through the tale.
I do wish the culprit wouldn't have been who they were - I will not get into that more because I don't want to give away the story, I just thought the world had moved past that old stereotype. But overall, I found this story as entertaining, flowing, and fluent romantic suspense.
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Rita Herron fell in love with books at the ripe age of eight when she read her first Trixie Belden mystery. Although she wanted to be a writer then and actually scrawled her first novel at age twelve, she didn’t think real people grew up to be writers, so she became a kindergarten teacher instead. Ten years ago, she traded her classroom storytelling and puppets for a computer and now writes so she doesn’t have to get a real job.
Having sold over fifty books to date, she enjoys spinning spine-tingling romantic suspense tales filled with murder, mayhem, and spicy romance as well as sexy romantic comedies. Rita Herron currently writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue and she’s writing dark, gritty romantic suspense thrillers for Amazon Montlake.
A Cowboy for Christmas
After being jilted at the altar, all Marissa Walker wants for Christmas is to escape her life. Fleeing to Bluebonnet Springs and the ailing grandfather she's never known seems like the perfect solution.
But when her limo breaks down, neighboring rancher Alex Palermo comes to her rescue.
With his ranch in jeopardy, Alex can't afford any distractions right now—until he sees a bedraggled runaway bride on the side of the road. Alex can't turn his back on the spunky city girl, and soon his priority becomes convincing her to stay.
Because Christmas—and his future—would be much merrier with Marissa as his bride.
An enjoyable and sweet story, with heartfelt characters who are trying to find a peace of mind and their place in the world where they feel loved, accepted, and at home.
Marissa Walker was supposed to get married and start a new life with a husband and a new job, instead, she finds herself living in a tiny trailer with her cranky grandfather she just met for the first time and falling for the neighbor who is always willing to lend a helping hand.
Marissa's family has lived in the shadow of her sister's death. The secrets and pain from the past have kept the family distant from each other. Living with her grandpa, Marissa seems to come truly alive, to flourish. She is generous, kind, determined, if not a little stubborn.
Alex Palermo has a good heart the size of Texas, yet the nightmares of his childhood are still very much alive and real in his mind, causing him to avoid any longterm relationships, marriage, and fatherhood. Until Marissa comes to town.
I liked the chemistry between Marissa and Alex. The banter between them was delightful, and the trust and bond not only came fast but was also natural and believable. The people of Bluebonnet Springs were entertaining, and the preparations for Christmas had me smiling.
Even though there are character development and personal growth in the story and the main characters are eagerly part of the community and the church within it, I missed the growth in faith aspect in this Love Inspired story, especially with Marissa. Just participating in the church Christmas events and being friends with the minister does not a Christian make.
A sweet and hearty Christmas romance story about coming home spiced up with little family drama and town troubles.
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Brenda Minton lives, procrastinates, writes, drinks coffee, raises her kids and is wife to her husband, in the Ozarks.
Okay, now to first person because a third person bio sounds like someone else wrote it about me, and is just license to create flowery prose about myself.
I grew up on a farm in the Ozarks. It was long ago and far away, in a land before cable TV, video games and the internet. To pass the time we read books, watched (gasp) network TV that rarely came in clear, and had friends over on weekends to play music on the front porch, or card games in the dining room.
The result of growing up 'country' was an active imagination. For fun I wrote stories to entertain myself and I dreamed of being an author. Oh, but first, before writing, I wanted to be a jockey.
Writing won out over being a jockey. In the spring of 2006 I got the call that made those dreams come true: the call that welcomed me into the Steeple Hill family of authors.
The moral of this story, never stop dreaming.
The Highlander's Princess Bride
Improper Princesses Book 3
by Vanessa Kelly
Genre: Historical Romance
In Vanessa Kelly’s enchanting series, three young women descended from royalty overcome their scandalous beginnings to win the hearts of the ton’s most eligible men . . .
The illegitimate daughter of the Prince Regent might be expected to pursue various dubious professions. Actress, perhaps, or artist’s model. Even courtesan. Victoria Knight, however, has become a governess—a respectable choice, until she travels to Scotland to meet her new charges. The younger brothers of Nicholas Kendrick, Earl of Arnprior, aren’t children at all. They’re brawny, wild Highland men. As for the Earl, he’s handsome, guarded, and far too compelling . . . especially for a woman hiding a dark secret.
Nick needs a proper teacher to transform his unmarriageable brothers—and a sensible,
straight-laced wife for himself. Miss Knight seems to fit the bill on both counts. But he soon discovers there is more to Victoria than he thought. It’s not just her notorious origins, or the danger that’s followed her all the way to Scotland. It’s the fiery loyalty beneath that sedate façade. This, the real Victoria, is the woman Nick is starting to desire so desperately. And what an earl wants, he’ll use every seductive means to get . . .
**Easily read as a standalone!**
New Year’s Eve in Scotland:
“Bloody hell, you two,” Royal said. “It’s almost time. Best get a move on or we’ll miss it.”
“Miss what?” Victoria asked.
Nick pulled out his pocket watch. Only a minute or so until midnight.
“First Foot,” he said, escorting her up the wide stone steps to the front door.
“I’ve heard of it,” she said. “It’s an old Scottish tradition.”
“The first person to enter the home traditionally brings good luck for the rest of the year—if the appropriate conditions are met.”
“Appropriate conditions?” she asked.
“That it be a dark-haired male,” Royal said. “Nick usually does it, when he’s home.”
“And I’ll be doing it from now on,” Nick said. “You have the coal?”
Royal held up a small lump.
“Good heavens,” Victoria said with a laugh.
“Another tradition,” Royal said. “Angus would kill us if we didn’t carry in a piece of coal.”
When the bells of midnight began to chime all over the city, Nick pulled out the small purse of gold sovereigns he’d stowed in his greatcoat pocket before leaving the house. Then he rapped on the door. It swung open, revealing his family and most of the servants, lined up awaiting their arrival.
He stepped over the threshold. “A Happy New Year and Good Tidings to you and yours.”
Representing the household, Angus bustled forward. “Happy New Year, lad,” he said gruffly, giving him a quick hug.
“Happy New Year, Grandda.” Nick handed over the purse. “Make sure all the servants get one.”
Angus nodded. “And Good New Year to ye both,” he said to Victoria and Royal. He took a glass of whisky from one of the footmen and handed it to Nick. Another footman distributed small glasses to everyone else crowded in the hall.
Nick held up his glass. “Slainte, and Happy New Year.”
They cheered and toasted him back.
After the glasses were drained, they all began hugging and slapping one another on the back. When Kade tried to sneak an extra dram from the footman, Nick plucked the glass from his hand.
“That’s enough for you, laddie boy,” he said with mock severity.
“Spoilsport,” Kade said, then he threw his arms around Nick’s waist and gave him a fierce hug. “Happy New Year, Nick. I’m so glad we’re all here together.”
“Except for the twins,” said Braden, also coming up to give Nick a hug. “I suppose they had better things to do.”
“Such as flirt with pretty girls and enjoy themselves?” Victoria replied with a smile. “What shocking activities for young men.”
Braden rolled his eyes. “I know you think I’m an old stick-in-the mud, but I truly would rather be with my family.”
“I think you’re splendid,” Victoria said, giving him a hug. “But I also think you work too hard.”
Since coming to Glasgow, she’d been on a campaign to get the lad to ease up on his studies. But Braden was determined to gain admittance to medical school as soon as possible. He was the most disciplined, serious person Nick had ever known.
“Someone in this household has to earn his keep,” Royal said. “God knows the rest of us spend our days lazing about.”
“Speak for yourself,” Kade said, poking him in the arm. “I work very hard, as does Miss Knight.”
“True,” Royal said, ruffling his little brother’s hair.
Nick didn’t miss the bitter twist to his brother’s smile. Royal still hadn’t a clue what to do with his life.
“How about another wee dram in the drawing room?” Angus said.
“Yes, please,” said Kade. “I want to hear all about the party.”
Nick frowned. “It’s getting late, and you must be tired.”
When Kade started to protest, Victoria smoothly intervened. “I think we can make an exception. After all, it’s New Year’s.”
“So there.” Kade stuck his tongue out at Nick.
They all laughed and the family followed Angus into the drawing room. Nick held Victoria back. “Are you sure the boy’s not wearing himself out? He’s looking a little peaked to me.”
“He’s looking no such thing,” she said firmly. “The doctor said just yesterday how pleased he is with Kade’s progress. Stop worrying so much. I’m sure it’s not good for you.”
“Do you fear for my health, Madam Governess? If I fall ill and take to my bed, you’ll have to join me there. To personally attend to all my needs, of course.”
“Sir, I cannot imagine what you’re talking about.”
“Lass, you know exactly what I’m talking about,” he murmured, leaning in close. She smelled delicious, like peppermints and sweet tea.
Her lips twitched. “You are incorrigible,” she said before marching past him.
ALSO IN THE IMPROPER PRINCESSES SERIES!
Named by Booklist as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance,” USA Today bestselling author
Vanessa Kelly’s books have been nominated for awards in a number of contests. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Maggie Medallion for historical romance. With a Master’s Degree in English Literature, Vanessa is known for developing vibrant Regency settings, appealing characters, and witty storylines that captivate readers. You can visit her on the web at
"Just do your job--protect the witness without falling for her."
Former city cop Caleb Foster hopes playing by the rules will clear his record so he can get transferred far away from small-town Carpenter, Alabama.
But one look into the terrified eyes of a beautiful witness and he'll make it his mission to protect her, no matter what it takes...
Alyssa Garner thought testifying against a trio of lethal bank robbers would finally end her months-long nightmare. Now Caleb is the only person she can trust when she and other witnesses become targets. She can't resist him--or the secrets he won't reveal.
But someone driven by obsession is ahead of their every move...and won't stop till she's the ultimate prize..
The Protectors of Riker County
Oh this hero and heroine, they are SO adorably hot! After I finished the book I just sat there, looking out the window at the snowflakes dancing in the air and hummed with happiness.
But there is so much more to the characters than just the sizzling chemistry between them. The former city cop Caleb Foster is painted as a troublemaker and a challenging person to like. He has made some serious mistakes during his career and as a sort of a punishment sent to the small town police force. But as the story progress, and Caleb comes more known to all, the kind, gracious, and funny man inside him is revealed. Passionate and stubborn, yes, but a good, solid guy regardless.
Alyssa Garner is brave, tough, generous soul. Her willingness to walk towards the trouble when others run away makes her a true heroine. Her heart is bigger than the earth, she is adorably clumsy, sweetly hot on the deputy, and determined to get justice.
Those two together heat up the pages, the things Caleb says to her had me swooning and sighing and smiling. Everything is so momentary, the culprits on the run, the explosive attacks towards the witnesses, the deadly intent and obsession of the criminal mastermind, it does not leave much room for romancing and flirting, but like a magnet Alyssa and Caleb are pulled together, with a little help from the rest of the town.
With creepy, eerie danger and frenzied suspense, delightful humor, and alluring romance this series have me enamored. I can't wait to read the next installment!
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
SMALL-TOWN FACE-OFF (Book 1 in the series)
Tyler Anne Snell spends her days plotting murders, creating mysteries, and weaving sexual tension, romance, and can't-live-without-you love throughout each. When she isn't writing romantic suspense she's reading urban fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and falling even more in love with Netflix.
Tyler lives in South Alabama with her same-named husband, their mini lions, and a burning desire to meet Kurt Russell.
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