Hot @nd Nerdy Anthology
Her Best Shot, Her Perfect Game and Her Winning Formula
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing In Print Dec 15th
Exclusively with Books-a-Million
Her Best Shot
With college graduation looming, three childhood friends vow to make spring break their last blast of pure fun. But at least one of them didn’t count on such incredible heat…
Layla Sharpe is definitely more math ninja than bikini babe, and her future has been calculated with razor precision. Convinced to let loose over spring break, Layla is finally ready to party—until her car breaks down halfway to her destination, leaving her stranded in Georgia with a mouthwateringly hot pool shark. She knows more than enough about angles to learn the game, but this week she wants him to appreciate her curves…
Phin Marks has never met a girl like Layla. She’s more Star Wars geek than seductress, and when he offers her a place to stay while her car is in the shop, he’s counting on the attraction between them to set the nights ablaze, no strings attached. But every moment he spends with Layla makes it harder to let her go. Can he persuade her to gamble in the most dangerous way possible…on forever?
Her Perfect Game
Spring break is supposed to be a week of fun in the sun for three childhood friends about to graduate from college. But one of them is ready to get her game on somewhere else…
Charlie Castle is an expert archer and a fierce warrior—in her favorite video game, anyway. But college life was a program she couldn’t quite master. To land a cybertech job without a degree, she’s entering a “hackfest” over spring break—where she also hopes to meet the sweet gamer who’s been flirting with her online. Instead, she runs into the hot guy who walked away years ago, and can’t fight the desire that comes rushing back.
Jonah Best has never gotten over Charlie, whose kisses were always as deliciously creative as her coding. But now that they’re face to face again, he doesn’t know how to admit that her online admirer is really him—or how to convince her that he’s offering her a job for her incredible skills, not her sex appeal. Can Jonah cut through their communication glitches and persuade Charlie that the next level up for them should be forever?
Her Winning Formula
Spring break was supposed to be a last blast of fun for three friends before the reality of adulthood set in. But for the trio’s science whiz, it’s an education in instant attraction…
Chemistry major Felicity Stone can tell you everything about the way chemicals interact, but when it comes to social interaction, she needs schooling. Abandoned by her friends, Felicity is faced with spending spring break alone—unless she accepts a gorgeous stranger’s invitation to pose as his girlfriend at a family wedding. Not one to turn down a research opportunity, Felicity never expected it to produce such breathtaking results…
Teacher and baseball coach Lucas Tanner is fascinated by Felicity’s potent mix of spirit and scientist, not to mention her delicious curves. When Felicity asks him to return the favor by teaching her how to pick up guys, he can’t refuse—but he’s not at all happy with the idea of her using a formula for flirting on anyone but him. Can he convince her that together they have the perfect chemistry?
Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the new Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends and their last spring break.
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
Her Winning Formula Excerpt
The movie was filled with killing and explosions, but couldn’t hold his concentration. The mousy girl in the bed beside him kept grabbing his attention. And she wasn’t doing anything but reading silently. She didn’t even move her lips when she read, but her facial expressions changed. Her eyes would narrow or her forehead crinkled. Sometimes a sly smile snuck up on her. He didn’t know how he knew, but it was like it surprised her when it happened.
He couldn’t remember the last time he read anything for school that had him feeling any kind of emotion, much less what she was experiencing. He paused the movie. “What are you reading?”
She didn’t look up from the book, but answered, “Research.”
He tossed the remote on his bed and jumped onto her bed, jostling her in the process. “Come on. Research isn’t that fascinating. What are you really reading?”
Annoyance crossed her face with his intrusion. “It is research. I enjoy research.”
“Let me see.” He held out his hand for the reader.
“No.” She hugged it tight to her chest.
Now he had to know what it was. No one guarded research material. He crawled over to her, and she scooted farther back until she hit the headboard. “Let me see.”
“No. Now go away and watch your movie.”
“This is more interesting than the movie.” He eyed the way she held it to figure out the best way to snatch the device.
She turned to get out of bed, presumably to get away from him, giving him his opening to grab the reader. He moved fast, and she stood looking in disbelief. Her mouth hung open and fear entered her eyes, but she covered it quickly with anger as she crossed her arms.
He hadn’t yet looked down at the screen. “I’m just playing. If you really don’t want me to see this, I’ll stop.”
“Whatever. Do what you want.” She knelt on the bed and then sat, pulling her knees up to her chest. She bit her thumbnail.
He glanced down at the screen and began reading. He smiled. Felicity was reading a naughty book. “You’re reading porn?”
“It’s not porn. It’s erotica or erotic romance.”
“You’re such a guy.” She grabbed her reader back and turned away from him.
“Why did you call it research? Why not say you’re reading a novel?”
“I am doing research.”
She looked over her shoulder and rolled her eyes.
“You don’t know…I mean….”
“Shut up, Lucas. I know how sex works. I’ve even had sex.”
“Then why research?”
She huffed and put the reader down on the bed. “These books aren’t just about the sex. They’re about human interaction, relationships. How people relate to each other and learn to understand each other.”
“That’s just part of life.”
“For people like you it is, not for me.”
“For people like me?”
“I’ve known you for less than a day, but I can tell that everyone likes you. You’re open and friendly, and you understand what people mean and what they need. I don’t. I don’t get any of that. I read these books because I get a picture of what normal people think when they see someone, how they interpret someone’s words or actions.”
He stared at her. He didn’t know what to say. During the course of speaking, she opened up. Her body language relaxed, and she was in the moment, not worrying about anything. She was honest and vulnerable. It was pretty fucking sexy. He lay down and rested on his elbow. “Does it turn you on?”
She rolled her eyes again. “Such a guy.”
She turned over on her stomach and went back to reading. He mimicked her pose and bumped his shoulder into hers. “You didn’t answer the question.”
“Sometimes,” she whispered.
Kyle Austen Reed had it all, and his devilishly handsome good looks were known to steal hearts on and off the screen…
Fired…Evicted…Caring for a special needs child…
Aurora Rose’s life wasn’t a Lifetime movie. For the courageous and beautiful single mother, this was her reality…
When a meet and greet with an adoring young fan changes both of their worlds, Kyle will have to prove that there’s more to him than meets the eye, and Aurora will need to have faith that, after years of just scraping by, she is deserving of more than just a temporary reprieve from her daily struggle…
For the movie star and the single mom, will a Christmas Wish become their new reality?
Mon Dieu, I love this story! And I needed that reminder of Christmas magic, abundance of love, kindness, and generosity that is part of it.
Hope Falls have been since the book one, my 'happy place' 'safe place' what ever you want to call it, where you escape when life gets too much. The people are successful and 'most famous' this and that, but really, at Hope Falls, everyone is just a person, a neighbor, a friend. They are genuine, solid, honorable, honest, and kind. Just a place where anyone would want to build their lives in.
I admit, I wasn't a fan of Kyle Austin Reed in the previous books, I thought he was pretentious and full of himself. But as I get to know Kyle, the person, I love him. His big heart, kindness, generosity, honesty, and love towards Angel and Aurora, took my breath away.
Aurora is so tough, strong, and incredible mom. I love how she puts Angel first, always. Even putting her own pride aside for the sake of her child. The struggle to let go of the control, and let Angel fly free, be independent, had me in tears. How hard it must have been, to give Angel that freedom, and not guard her every moment, to keep her safe.
The connection between Aurora and Kyle is magical. From the first moment it is palpable, and it just grows from there. The passion is steaming hot, beautiful, and excited. But the caring is even deeper, the desire to make the other happy the main goal.
Angel says at one point that she doesn't believe in Santa, well, this story was pure magic, filled with all the good things that Christmas is all about, love, sacrifice, kindness, generosity. It made me believe in the magic of Christmas, once again.
I hope you will open up your heart this season, and take an emotional, and magical, ride to Hope Falls, with Kyle, Aurora, and Angel, and the rest of the friends from the town
~ Five Spoons
Books & Spoons Release Blast with Tasty Book Tours MISTLETOE & MURDER IN LAS VEGAS by Colleen Collins
Mistletoe and Murder in Las Vegas
Affairs to Remember #1
Releasing December 14, 2015
All 31-year-old, Las Vegas criminal lawyer Joanne Galvin wants for Christmas is a few clients so she can make ends meet. Instead she’s roped into defending the notorious, alleged Timepiece Arsonist; tracked by a hunky special agent and his arson dog; and chased by a serial killer. Just when her life is starting to feel like the Nightmare Before Christmas, she receives an unexpected gift that offers hope for this Christmas to possibly be the most wonderful time of the year...maybe even for years to come.
A story about a down-on-her-luck lawyer, a jinxed special agent, and an arson dog named Maggie who join forces in this heartfelt, humorous romantic-mystery.
November 5, 2015
Eighth Judicial District Court, Courtroom 14A
Las Vegas, Nevada
Judge Darren Fields, his dark-frame eyeglasses in stark contrast to his mop of snow-white hair, peered down at public defender Joanne Galvin as if she were an alien with a law degree. “You just told the jury that the DA plays fast and loose like a gunslinger. Has defense lost her mind?”
Whispers rippled throughout the courtroom. Someone stifled a laugh.
Locked in a stare-down with the judge, Joanne had the irrational urge to answer “yes.” And she knew exactly when she’d lost it, too—at one o’clock this morning when she’d found in the DA’s discovery a buried reference to someone who had seen “Tater” drinking a beer “that night.”
She’d missed the significance of that reference the first time she reviewed those pages, but when she read it again at one this morning, her instincts went on orange alert. This “someone” had to be the key witness who could finally prove her client, twenty-year-old Sebastian Vaughn, had been at a dive bar thirty miles away and not at the scene of the attempted murder the DA was trying to hang on him. A quick call to Sebastian’s mother confirmed that years ago some of his buddies had called him “Tater,” slang for home run as he had been a star on the high-school baseball team.
By then it was nearly two a.m. At nine o’clock sharp, she and the DA would begin presenting their closing arguments in the trial, during which neither were allowed to enter new evidence, such as this witness. Despite the ungodly hour, Joanne called the judge and begged him to please re-open the trial based on what she read. He grumpily agreed to meet her and Sam Burnette, the DA, in his chambers precisely at eight o’clock.
A meeting that had gone about as smoothly as a Three Stooges farce.
Judge Fields had alternated between swilling coffee and popping antacids while Sam Burnette furiously accused Joanne of obstructing justice by purposefully waiting until the night before closing arguments to read parts of discovery.
She countered that the DA had played dirty by doing a discovery dump on her—referring to the hundreds of pages of police reports, interviews and other documents that the DA’s office provided the defense during the pre-trial phase. Only Esmeralda—an elderly Vegas fortune
teller who regularly swindled tourists on the Strip—and Her Crystal Ball could have divined the hidden meaning of that purposefully vague reference on first read-through.
After that the judge quietly belched and cleaned his eyeglasses for several thoughtful moments. Putting his glasses back on, he said the mere inference of evidence, obviously favorable to the defense, was insufficient reason to upset the orderly administration of justice in his court. Therefore he ruled the trial would not be re-opened.
Donning his judicial robes, he griped about his lack of sleep and stated he was not in the mood to put up with any more tomfoolery.
Colleen Collins is a private investigator and award-winning author who has written over thirty books for Harlequin and Dorchester, including two indie romantic-mysteries and four indie nonfiction books. Her recent romantic-mystery, THE UNGRATEFUL DEAD, won the 2015 Aspen Gold Readers’ Choice Award, short story category. Colleen is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.
When not sleuthing or writing, Colleen loves spending time with her husband, two Rottweilers (named Jack Nicholson and Aretha Franklin), and three cats.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
In the name of love
A coveted teaching invitation gives Donovan Boudreaux the chance to leave his New Orleans comfort zone and meet his secret email pen pal—world-renowned author Gianna Martelli.
But when he arrives at the Martelli wine chateau in Tuscany, he discovers he's been deceived. His misgivings dwindle as Gianna introduces him to the hidden pleasures of Italy—and a passion that takes both Donovan and the reclusive writer by surprise.
Gianna loves her simple life on her family's legendary vineyards. Until her matchmaking twin initiates a clandestine correspondence. Determined to make amends, Gianna soon realises that she and the charming professor share a bond that can't be found in books.
A friendship soon flames into an intense affair they know can't last forever.
And now a vindictive rival could destroy Donovan's reputation, career and any hope of a future with Gianna…
Family matters, that big, beautiful Boudreaux family, who loves to get into each others business. To get some breathing room, and to finally meet the woman he has been corresponding with, Donovan accepts a teaching position in a university in Italy, in Tuscany.
The story is told almost in a poetic way, the author's tone of writing is very unique. She paints a beautiful picture of the surroundings in every scene, showing the most beautiful pictures of the Tuscan area.
The characters were interesting, and not easily understood. Donovan seemed like a sensitive man, who often ends up in tears, but also knows how to stand up for himself.
Gianna, at times she is very brazen, out coming, and aggressive, at times unsure and introvert, but also known to use fist in a fight.
Their love is not instant, since there were several months of correspondence before they met, and weeks go by in Italy, while they sort everything out, and start to build a relationship. There are some detailed,passionate moments, bringing up the heat factor in the story.
Several interesting topics are brought forward in the story, like internet dating and its dangers, the sexual harassment problems university professors may have with students, but everything is solved easily, and there's no intense moments of threat from these events.
Big family who stands by you in any event, beautiful Tuscan countryside, today's social issues, and horseback riding on the beach at night time... Lots of romance and people who love numbers, I just wish the story would have moved along a little faster, shown intensity during the duress, and solved the issues without violence.
~ Three Spoons
A Change In Fortune
Cool, confident and in control: that's Ben Robinson, the billionaire COO of Robinson Tech.
With his imposing height and sharp blue eyes, he can convince anyone to do anything, but suddenly he feels like a fraud.
The handsome Texan has just discovered his entire life has been a lie.
With the news that his father might actually be a long-lost—and very prodigal—Fortune, Ben trains his laser focus on determining the truth.
He persuades sweet, earnest Ella Thomas to help him in his research; no one would ever suspect the part-time college student of subterfuge.
Ella is sensitive and highly intuitive…in other words, Ben's total opposite.
And as she digs for his Fortune roots, she may also uncover the billionaire's long-shuttered heart…
This storyline was a blast from the past for me. I used to read a lot of stories with this plot-line, long time ago.
A rich head of a company hires a poor, considerably younger female student, who is drowning in student loan, with a sick younger brother and single mother who she is helping out.
While working together, a whirlwind globe hopping task, as he is providing spa treatments and new wardrobe, they get to know each other, and feelings come into the picture, feelings they can't deny.
I am not saying that the story was bad, it was actually entertaining, I liked the visit in London, and the sightseeing they indulge in. And there were sweet and tender moments between them, touching moments that brought Ben to life.
The characters were pleasant, there wasn't any huge issues or drama involved.
The siblings of Ben were shortly introduced, and even though this is a long time running series, the book can easily be read as a standalone.
So if you love the billionaire stories, without any dirt, kink, or excess drama, this story is for you, with a pleasant, sweet Texas feeling
~ Three Spoons
Biker Bitches #3
By: Jamie Begley
Releasing December 11th, 2015
Young Ink Press
What can I say? I’m not a nice person. When I walk by, people call me a slut, and I’m okay with that. I believe in calling a spade a spade. I am a slut.
With the holidays approaching, I miss belonging to The Last Riders. Drake’s keeping me warm, but he wants more than I can give. He wants me to trust him, to believe he can protect me. Doesn’t he know Santa put me on the Naughty List long ago?
What can I say? I’m a nice guy and have always done the responsible thing.
Bliss is everything I shouldn’t want, but it’s hard to resist a woman who stopped believing in miracles. She wants to be back with The Last Riders, whom she considers her true family. Doesn’t she know it’s Christmas, and miracles do happen?
There was no such thing as home. It was a fictional word to describe a house, just like the people who lived in them calling themselves a family. As soon as trouble hit their door, however, they were quick to throw in the towel and toss it all away, exactly like she had.
Every single time she had begun to believe she had a home when she was younger, she would come home from school to find her meager possessions sitting outside a padlocked door and her mother explaining they had to find a new place to stay. What followed were weeks at homeless shelters until she could make enough money to rent them another small place.
It became normal to see a stranger taking her mother in a dark alley or the backseat of their car while she would patiently wait for her in whatever fast food restaurant was closest. She
would eat her small hamburger and fries slowly so she wouldn’t get strange looks from people wondering why she was sitting by herself so long.
But she was older and wiser. She could find a place to sleep anywhere, but she would never put her belief in having the dream of a perfect home with a white picket fence.
Even being a member of The Last Riders hadn’t prevented her from losing the room she had thought of as hers. She had been able to share her bed or one of the brothers’ if she had wanted, but she had also had the option of closing the door and being left alone when she had wanted to curl up on her bed and watch television or read a book while knowing the other members would still be there when she opened the door.
She was on her own, though. Neither the men nor the women talked to her anymore. Bliss knew it was because of her own behavior, but it still fucking hurt. They could have stuck a knife in her stomach, and she would have remained loyal to them.
Her mom had always told her to obey the rules of whatever house they lived in, because it wasn’t their home and they could be thrown out. Her mother had been right.
She had learned a lot of hard lessons in her life, but leaving The Last Riders had been the hardest of all.
Meet the author:
"I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.
Taking after my mother, I've always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.
For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.
Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.
All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
SUBJECT: Navy SEAL Mason Black
MISSION: Remain undercover…even if it means going commando!
Wedding blogger Maddie Holmes is twelve times the bridesmaid and never the bride. Still, being on the sidelines of everyone else's happy endings has its perks, like staying at the luxurious, decadent Fantasy Island. The resort isn't just romantic—it's filled with sinful temptations…like delicious hottie resort chef Mason Black. And Maddie can't wait to take a bite!
There's just a teeny problem with her plan. She has no idea that Mason is an undercover Navy SEAL who needs photographs Maddie took that put both his mission and her life at risk. Mason's plan? Retrieve the pics and indulge in a few X-rated fantasies with the curvy redhead…and hope like hell that being between the sheets doesn't blow his cover.
I have really enjoyed the Blaze SEAL series, they are hot, light, entertaining, with a little SEAL action on the side as an added spice to the story, and sometimes just what I like to read.
Maddie is such a sassy and fun character, she goes after what she wants, she is honest about it, and have very few filters. She loves life, and it shows. And she wants to have someone to share it with her, that special someone. In the past 18 months, she has been in 13 weddings, giving her lots to work with as a wedding blogger, and even more to think of, as she attends yet another wedding alone, and spending two weeks on the glorious Fantasy Island.
Mason is like a dream come true, honorable, solid, alpha man, with a great sense of humor, and moral compass, that makes it hard for him to lie about the undercover mission he is on, at least to Maddie.
There are some hot hot hot scenes between them, as they live through some of the fantasies the island brings on. Mason's undercover as a chef guarantees some delicious foods are at hand, as Mason and Maddie get creative with it.
A delightful to read, and will certainly heat up the cold winter days. Mason and Maddie love to banter, as do the SEAL brothers, and Maddie also delivers a surprise, both to the readers and to Mason. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did
~ Four Spoons
After three holiday heartbreaks in a row, caterer Emily Landon is determined to break her Christmas Curse--and what better way than to spend Christmas at the remote inn, Angel's Landing, where her recently cold-footed boyfriend can't reach her to break things off.
For small-town veterinarian Griffin Boone, the holidays always find him falling in love with the wrong woman--but this year he has a fail-proof plan to keep his heart safe: One last house call to Angel's Landing's aging Golden Retriever and he's heading to a cabin in the woods to hide out until the New Year.
But when an ice storm strands Griffin at the inn with Emily, everyone's careful holiday plans are tossed like last year's tree.
Will unexpected attraction confirm Griffin and Emily's worst fears--or could this year's Christmas Curse be a blessing in disguise?
So this story was different. Yes, another couple stranded in a winter storm, with instant attraction, but there's not really romance between these two, since Emily is in a relationship already.
Emily is obsessed to get married and start a family, and seems to be more focused on the goal, than to the person to achieve the goal with. Philip, her current boyfriend, isn't that caring, pleasant, or likeable person, at all. It is really hard to understand why Emily would hang on to a person like that. But then, she also left for a Christmas vacation in the North Carolina mountains in flip flops...
But now, Emily is stranded on the inn with the vet, Griff. And while they don't get along that well at the beginning, they form some kind of trust, that allows them to open their hearts, and share some painful Christmas memories with each other.
And as Philip shows up on Christmas morning, up in the mountains, and shows his true colors, the idyllic Christmas celebration is interrupted.
There's an epilogue, that gives short of 'happy for now' ending for the story, but the time and distance between the ending and epilogue are unrealistic, and any real relationship based on the time spent together would be kind of odd.
But if you are looking for a Christmas story with not so much romance, but more life lessons, and sweet cupcakes, this story might be for you
~ Two Spoons
Fashion buyer Shea Walker had a fast track lifestyle until a car accident sidelines her to a painful recovery. Seeking quiet for the holidays, Shea returns to the snowy mountains where she grew up to make peace with her past and spend time with her estranged family. She never expected J.C. Royce–now a hockey star–would return to their hometown, too. Determined to avoid that particular sexy mistake, she’s caught off guard when her first night in town brings them face to face.
Seeing Shea practically fall at his feet is gratifying, until J.C. realizes his proud former friend, who he once thought would become a whole lot more, is truly hurt–and in more ways than she lets on. Lucky for Shea, he’s got a big house just sitting empty and a tree ready to decorate, as she is in no shape to stay by herself. With his bad boy arrogance down to an art form after eight years in the NHL, J.C. is more than a match for feisty Shea. Especially when it comes to her outrageous claim that there was never any chemistry between them…
But when it comes to convincing her to stick around town until the New Year, he
just might need a Christmas miracle.
Fun and steamy Christmas story, with lots of hockey, mending fences, and building new relationships with family and loved ones.
Shea and J.C has a hurtful past, that they both have done their best to forget and move on from, after all, it has been a decade. But now, face to face again, all those feelings are coming up an out again, maybe even stronger than before.
The scenes between J.C and Shea are full of banter and play, but you can hear the old insecurities and pain under some of the remarks. The attraction comes in full force, and they are not shy about acting on it. As they are trying to make a peace with their past, to be able to move on, they end up building a new relationship, one that even might help to have a new start between Shea and her parents.
Christmas shopping, old friends, Christmas tree that never quite gets decorated, broken bones and hurt heads as well hearts, are all healing during this delightful, romantic, and sentimental Christmas story of the hockey town in Vermont
~ Four Spoons
Forged in Fire
By: Lindsay McKenna
Releasing December 3, 2015
Blue Turtle Publishing
Pediatrician Dara McKinley loves her job. So how could she say no when her sister asks her to come to Kabul for a few weeks to offer medical assistance at a local orphanage? Terrified of the dangers surrounding her, Dara finds unexpected solace in the protective arms of Sergeant Matt Culver. Transfixed by the warrior with the exotic gold eyes, can Dara overcome her fears?
Matt, a Delta Force operator, has always listened to his instincts, and they have yet to steer him wrong. So when he sees the alluring blond belly dancer at Bagram’s annual holiday show, he knows without a doubt that she’s “the one.” Now he just has to convince her to take a chance on him…and love. If they survive…
Dara studied Matt in the growing silence as he put everything away in his ruck. He sat down, spread out another small blanket, and began to clean his rifle. His hands moved with such swift, knowing ease as he dismantled it, oiled it, and put it back together again that she was amazed.
“How are they feeling?” he asked, glancing at her knees as he wiped down his rifle.
“How much better?”
The corner of her mouth lifted. “About twenty percent better. The swelling is down, thanks to those ice packs you put on them.”
“I wish I had more. I pack four to a ruck. We can do it one more time.”
“Do you have ibuprofen on you?”
Matt set the rifle against the wall and stood up, pulling the ruck over. “I should have thought to give you some because that lidocaine must be wearing off,” he said apologetically.
“There’s a lot going on, Matt. It’s okay.”
He pulled out the bottle and dropped two into her open palm. Uncapping a bottle of water and handing it to her, he said, “These are eight hundred milligrams. They should help a lot.”
“They will,” Dara said, popping the pills and slugging the water down. Capping it, she handed it back to him. “How are you doing, Matt? You’re the one carrying all the heavy loads here, the responsibility.” She could see the concern deep in his eyes and could almost read his thoughts about all the issues he had to consider in order to save their lives.
“I’m okay,” he reassured her, frowning.
“And you wouldn’t tell me the truth if you weren’t.” He shot her an appreciative look, then winked, and her heart melted. Now she knew where his mind was, and she grinned.
Matt was her only defense against being found by the Taliban, and she knew that if they were captured, it wouldn’t be good. Even as a civilian, she knew that, but she had no experience beyond that to imagine what could happen to them.
He was an enemy combatant. Would they kill him? Keep her? And then what? Torture her? Rape her? Sell her like the little girls and boys kidnapped and taken across the Pakistan border as sex slaves? She shivered;
there was nothing good about any of the possibilities and Dara struggled not to mention them.
Matt rose and moved over to her. He knelt beside Dara’s right hip, framing her face with his hands. Leaning over, he caressed her lips gently, tasting her, feeling her immediate response. Lifting his mouth away, he growled, “I want you.
I keep thinking about the other night in bed with you. I want more, Dara. A helluva lot more.”
He captured her mouth again, opening her, deepening the kiss, allowing his feelings to be a part of it.
He heard a soft sound in the back of her throat, her hands automatically sliding around his shoulders, pulling him as close as she possibly could.
Lindsay McKenna lives her life as a risk taker, and it shines through the books she loves to write: romance, adventure and suspense. She started writing at age thirteen and continues to hone her writing skills to this day. She sold her first romance novel in 1981. The rest is history.
Because she went into the military, this experience became the backbone of her writing—she is credited with writing the first military romance novel (Captive of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special Edition) and has created a thriving sub-genre within the romance field! As a New York Times Best Selling author, she has sold 23 million books and in 32 foreign languages in her career thus far. Her many experiences in the U.S. Navy are backdrop for her understanding of the military in general, and also her very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an ongoing series in Silhouette to this day! Forty-five books strong!
Lindsay has gone Indie in 2015 and has created a new family saga on par with Morgan’s Mercenaries It is known as the DELOS SERIES. There will be paperback and eBooks created under Blue Turtle Publishing, her company for her fans. Readers who love Morgan and his family are bound to fall in love with the Culver family. Delos is romantic suspense, which Lindsay is well known for. It took her five years to create and bring DELOS to her readers. It was worth the wait, but we’ll let you decide that.
Lindsay loves to hear from her readers and loves to know what they’d like to see her write next. Stay up with the latest on the Delos Series here. Please visit her Web site at www.lindsaymckenna.com. And be sure to sign up for her free quarterly newsletter. It contains exclusive content found nowhere else on the Net. Plus, giveaways and other surprises, to her loyal and faithful subscribers!
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Fooling Around with Cinderella
Storybook Valley # 1
By: Stacy Juba
Released November 6, 2015
What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella's toes?
When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother.
Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom.
First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun.
Dylan scrutinized Jaine, arms folded across his royal blue shirt with the Storybook Valley logo stamped over the left in white block letters. “Do you wear contacts?”
“I have plenty of media contacts. Wait. Did you say wear contacts? You mean instead of these?” Jaine fingered the earpiece of her gold-rimmed glasses.
“Right. Contact lenses.”
She gave a nervous chuckle. “I scheduled a consultation in college, but was too squeamish to insert the lens. I was more comfortable in glasses.”
Was she really justifying her vision enhancement choices to her prospective new boss? Maybe he intended to discuss medical benefits. Or did he think she looked nerdy? What was the saying? Guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses? Not that she wanted him to make a pass even if he was hot.
“How blind are you without glasses?” Dylan persisted.
“You wouldn’t want to drive with me.”
“How about if you’re walking around a building? Are you in danger of hurting yourself?”
This interview had taken the Mad Hatter Freeway from Fairy Tale Land into Wonderland where nothing made a damn bit of sense. Did this guy have a glasses fetish, like those weirdoes with shoe fetishes?
“I should be okay. I take them off for special occasions.” In fact, Jaine’s older sister Bree, who was getting married in August, remarked just last week, “You are losing the glasses for my wedding pictures, right?”
What the hell. She’d be a good sport and hope Dylan would be so grateful to pick the brain of a real, flesh and blood, bespectacled person that he would appoint her marketing director. Jaine removed her glasses and the fine details of her surroundings fuzzed. She nodded toward the framed print hanging on a side wall, the picture a wash of symbols and colors. “I can tell that’s a park map, but the words and images smear together.”
And that was myopia in a nutshell. Jaine adjusted her glasses back into place so she could see his reaction. Dylan examined her with such intensity that a blush stained her cheeks. She patted her blonde French braid, in case stray strands were straggling out.
“Here’s the situation,” Dylan said. “I took over the general manager position a few months ago. I’m evaluating possible changes and researching how other theme parks run. My grandfather and father have worked with a marketing firm for years to create our brochures, billboards, print, and radio ads.”
Jaine’s shoulders caved, imperceptible to him, but it felt as if her whole body was sinking.
No fairy tale job ending for her.
Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her new Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers), or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service. She is currently writing the next book in the Storybook Valley Series, Prancing Around with Sleeping Beauty.
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Welcome to Creighton Falls, New York… a town time forgot where miracles happen…
Glamorous city girl Hannah Ford wasn’t thinking when she walked out of a Christmas party and drove three hundred miles into a snowstorm; she just needed to escape.
Thankfully local carpenter Sam Taylor comes to her rescue, and the unlikely pair are forced to spend a snowed-in Christmas together.
All Sam planned for Christmas was to get drunk alone. The holiday has always been something to be endured, until Hannah tumbles into his life, making it magical.
Now Hannah and Sam have a chance to have a Christmas together… and make it the best one either of them have ever had.
But can one night out of reality turn into something that’s lasting and real?
I love the scenario where you get stuck in the snow, being rescued by a handsome, kind stranger, and end up spending Christmas together... It has been one of my favorite plots in Christmas stories for a long time. And this didn't disappoint either.
Sam and Hannah has chemistry, but they both have learned some tough lessons with relationships, and carefully proceed here.
Sam is not very talkative, but they have all the winter fun they can, in the small town. There is snowmobile driving, snowshoe walking, a giant snowman, an even bigger Christmas tree, and cozy conversations in front of the fire. The conversations get deep, and emotional, rather fast, and they are sharing details of their lives, they never talked about before.
There's a deep hurt, pain that taught lessons in life, but there's also healing, and hope, attraction, and caring. With the romance comes a share of life's realities, and the epilogue really binds the story together, giving it another, realistic and romantic, dimension all together. I really enjoy a story that makes me sigh at the end, and leaves me smiling
~ Four Spoons
Can people truly change?
Two things keep Holly Campbell grounded: her precocious son and preserving her forty-year-old family diner in the face of expansion and change.
She doesn't need a blast from the past like Luke Saxon, who's back in Butterfly Harbor after more than a decade away. The hard-luck kid who nearly destroyed her family, leaving her to pick up the pieces, is taking over as sheriff.
She can't trust him, even if Luke's ideas for the town's upcoming anniversary seem to show he's trying to give back to their community.
Has Butterfly Harbor found its unlikely savior? And has the widowed single mother finally found a man she can believe in, rely on…and love?
A beautiful story about people in a small failing community, fighting back to build up the town again, and the human destinies of the small town.
I love Jake, the former sheriff of the town and Holly's dad. Him, Luke, Matt, they all had that ability to see more than just the act, to look deeper than the circumstances, and trust the person inside, trying to do what is right.
Both Matt and Luke didn't have it easy growing up, but they had made something special out of their lives, something to be admired.
Luke's connection with Simon, that special boy of Holly's, is adorable. That little deputy gets into more trouble than anyone, but he has a heart of gold, and mind of a genius.
The characters really touched my heart, they are real, struggling each with their issues, but learning from them, and moving forward, better person than before, because of the struggles.
The trust, attraction, and caring between Holly and Luke grew slowly, but surely. As they put their past where it belongs, get to know each other as they are today, they form a bond between them, a unique connection, that is to be admired.
An inspiring, heartfelt, and sweet story of a town folks, that are willing to do the hard work, to put their home back together again.
~ Five Spoons
Melting his frozen heart
Heiress Dr. Pollyanna Hargreaves has been wrapped in cotton wool all her life--now she's determined to strike out on her own!
But she never expected to get stuck with handsome GP Dr. Hugo Denver for Christmas. He's meant to have left on holiday with his adorable niece already--not to be tempting her at every turn!
As they're forced to work together Hugo's icy exterior soon begins to thaw.
And it's not long before Polly realizes that she's falling for him...and for little Ruby, too!
This story just got me in a really great mood. The tone of it is cheerful, the dialog is bright and lively, it is full of life, and Christ,as spirit, but not in the annoying way, it is a true feel good story, and just what I needed.
Even though the tone is full of cheer, there are well developed characters, who struggle with life as we all do in some ways, and are trying to find the balance in their lives.
I adored how Hugo took care of Ruby, the love he had for his niece was palpable. He has sacrificed a lot to take care of her, the past years hadn't been easy on either of them, but they stick together, and support each other. Hugo goes through a transformation to realize that all he really wanted in life, was already in front of him.
Polly had her parents, and the sometimes suffocating love and care she received from them. She has tried to find her independence from then all her life, with very little success. Both Hugo and Polly could have taken the easy way out, but they didn't, they found a way to live their lives while loving their family as well.
The little town, and its people, were entertaining and fun. Just a joy to read this story, there are deep feelings, Christmas miracles, passion and attraction, though it is a 'clean' story, and a seven year old who will steal your heart
~ Four Spoons
Dirty Little Lies
Dirty Little #2
By: Cassie Cross
Releasing December 1, 2015
Ben Williams is a billionaire CEO at the top of his game. He’s a handsome, eligible bachelor who could have any woman…except the one he wants. Marisa Blake is the love of his life, the one who got away. Ben is willing to do whatever it takes to win her back.
Marisa is a young entrepreneur whose family is falling apart. Her parents are involved in a well-publicized scandal, and both her and her sister’s names are being dragged through the mud. Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, Ben shows up at her doorstep. He was her college boyfriend, and a serial cheater.
Great sex is the only thing they ever had in common, and Marisa is determined to keep things physical. Still, she finds herself falling for him. Again.
When a former classmate blackmails Marisa with information that will destroy what’s left of her family, Marisa is forced to make a decision: sacrifice Ben to protect her sister, or forsake her family to follow her heart?
It’s not long before Marisa gets caught up in some dirty little lies…
Ben Williams is the mistake I will always regret, but will never stop making.
He and I have a long and storied history. We were the kind of tumultuous romance that makes for one hell of a cautionary tale. Together, we had a cyclical thing, and the cycle always begins something like this:
When I’m emotionally vulnerable, Ben shows up looking like sex on a stick, acting like I always hoped that he would. Caring, like he actually gives a shit about what’s going on in my life. Loving, like he wants the two of us to be happy this time around.
I’m at a low point right now, so of course he knocks on my door out of the blue. This is the way things work between us. Or, it’s the way things worked between us. I haven’t seen Ben in nearly five years.
When I see him standing on the front porch of my brownstone, the surprise is overtaken by a quick wave of familiar desire. He’s dressed casually, like he came over here on a whim. Low-slung jeans, a dark shirt, his hair tousled and messy, like he’s been running his fingers through it all day. God, he looks good, and that is absolutely terrible news for me and my willpower.
Ever since Ben and I met, I’ve been attracted to him on a cellular level. I’m fine as long as we’re apart, but the second we’re in the same vicinity, every fiber of my being is drawn to him. Even now—even though we haven’t spoken since I broke up with him for the last, devastating time—I feel the pull.
It’s that pull that makes me open the door, even though I know I shouldn’t.
I can’t resist him. I’ve tried - it’s impossible.
“Marisa,” he breathes on an inhale, looking at me like he’s surprised I’m standing right in front of him. Like I might not be real, like maybe he dreamed me up. “How are you?” His blue eyes are dark, and he speaks so softly, like he’s worried he’s going to scare me away. I haven’t been a part of a gentle, kind conversation in a long time. It’s that gentleness in his voice that makes me want to cry, and I’ve done such a good job of avoiding that lately. I’m certainly not going to allow myself to do it around him.
I’ve managed to keep it together for the most part since my family fell apart in the most scandalous, public way possible. We’re tabloid fodder; papers with our names and faces on them are everywhere. The destruction and downfall of the Blake dynasty is impossible to miss in this city. Some people are delighting in it, and I don’t blame them.
Turns out that my mother and father—the illustrious Gloria and James—aren’t the people that my sister and I thought they were. They’re exactly who the Feds thought they were, though, given the incredibly damning case they’ve built up against Mom and Dad, details of which are all over the evening news these days.
That’s why Ben is here, I’m sure of it. This is what he does: he shows up when I’m feeling low, and somehow manages to leave me feeling even lower. Still, he’s one of a very few friends—past or present—who has contacted me since this scandal broke, so I’m reluctant to send him away.
Plus, that whole can’t-resist-him thing is still in play here.
So, Ben wants to know how I’m doing? “Not well,” I tell him.
He holds out a bottle of my favorite wine and says, “I was going to wait until the Murphy benefit to talk to you, but I read something this morning that made me think that I shouldn’t wait.”
I let out a short little sigh of relief, glad that he decided not to rehash whatever terrible thing he read about my family this morning that made him think that he needed to check in on me. The very last thing I want to hear about tonight is my parents. At this point, I feel like I could do without hearing about them ever again.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Ben asks.
I shake my head. I don’t want to talk about it, especially not with him. Besides, talking? That’s not what Ben and I do. We fuck, and then I try to turn that into some kind of a relationship. I give it my all, but he inevitably cheats on me, and breaks my heart. Then he begs me for forgiveness, and asks for another chance. Like a fool, I always give him one.
Always gave him one.
I’ve learned my lesson, and now I’m smart enough to know that I can only rely on Ben for mind-blowing orgasms. He’s amazing in bed. Out of it? Not so much. Whenever I expect or hope for anything more from him, I get my heart broken, and I can’t handle any more heartbreak right now. His body was the only thing that he ever freely gave to me, and sex with him had been almost…transcendent. Ben always used sex to make me feel better, so there’s no doubt in my mind that’s what he’s here for tonight. There’s no use in trying for anything more when that only ever ends badly for me.
So, I decide to take the few hours of bliss that Ben is offering to me, and leave it at that.
I invite him inside, push myself up onto my tiptoes, and kiss him.
Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80′s sitcoms.
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