It's the season for giving… and starting over?
A reindeer farm without Santa wouldn't be Christmas in Marissa Gray's Alaskan hometown. Luckily Chris Allen's there to pinch-hit, although for Marissa, seeing her ex-fiancé again brings back memories of what might have been.
Ten years after their breakup, the feelings between the wildlife biologist and blue-eyed fisherman are stronger than ever. Only now there's a foster kid in the mix, as well as the shocking crime that cost Marissa her job and her family's security. She and Chris need to find their way to a meeting of minds and hearts to make this truly a season for second chances…
And now I want to move to Alaska! What a beautiful scenery and charming lifestyle the author paints to the reader's mind.
This story pulled me in and it was another late night (or an early morning) for me as I didn't even realize how time flew as I was visiting Alaska and enjoying each moment of it.
Marissa Gray and Chris Allen have an old history that left both of their hearts wounded. Now facing each other again, after ten years, they soon find out that those old feelings never really died, but have been simmering on a low heat over the decade. The road ahead of them is not easy or an obstacle-free, yet there seems to be more determination to make the relationship work and willingness for compromises, as there was at the younger age.
The story is not only about the romance developing between Marissa and Chris. There are several secondary storylines that smoothly take the plot forward and gave Marissa and Chris a chance to see new sides of each other, learn more about them as older, more mature adults.
The bond Chris develops with Ryan, the little, temporary foster-son of his neighbors, and the adorable friendship that flourish from that and takes more of a form of a father-son relationship, it just melted my heart. That relationship more than anything showed how much Chris had grown up over the past decade even though there were plenty of other signs of that as well. He is a good man, generous and kind, always willing to help others and take care of things.
Marissa has always been a very career oriented person, but her life has been devastated by the betrayal of her boyfriend that was covered in the national news. Her 'five-year plan' is off the track, and no one is willing to hire her because of the scandal. Her help is desperately needed at home as well at the ranch, the newly awaken feelings towards Chris and the life they could build together in Alaska are weighing in her mind. There are decisions to be made and priorities to be set to see where life will take them from here.
Truly a heartwarming story about life with its many hurdles and how we can learn from them and use them to grow. A story about love, family, hardship, and hope. Highly recommended to any and all romance readers
~ Five Spoons
Published December 5th 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming
Ebook edition $4,99
Christmas wedding bells are ringing!
Everyone in Royal, Texas, now knows former special agent Gabe Walsh’s connection to the blackmailer terrorizing the town. And Gabe’s suddenly guilty by association.
Worst thing is, Chelsea Hunt blames him for the compromising photos of her that everyone’s talking about.
But since he and Chelsea are planning the Christmas wedding of their best friends, Gabe has many opportunities to show the sexy cowgirl just what a good guy he really is.
And apparently he’s pretty convincing, because she soon winds up in his bed! But is this just a holiday fling or the real thing?
Passion, lust, mistrust, and apprehensions mixed with little bit of Christmas, a lot of wedding, and eventually an abundance of emotions.
This story is the last book in the series, yet can be easily read as a standalone novel. There's a touch of intrigue with the blackmailing maverick who has devastated so many lives in the town and the fact that his conspirator is still unknown and at large, puts everyone on the edge. The bit of suspense gives another layer to the story and a good reason for a conflict between the hero and the heroine but is by no means the main focus in the tale. That honor goes to the sizzling hot affair that kindles between Gabe Walsh and Chelsea Hunt. It was supposed to be a fling but it turns into a thing as the kindling flares, and emotions take root.
This is a wildly entertaining story filled with passion that turns into affection as Gabe and Chelsea get to know each other better and finds out about the deeper layers of their personalities, hopes, and goals. The author delivers just what I expected and was in the mood for - a lot of fun banter, ardor, swooning, sighs, and ends with a smile
~ Four Spoons
Stockholm Sleuth Series Book 2
by Christer Tholin
Genre: Mystery Crime Thriller
"Dammit! She’d made a huge mistake. She’d never make it out of here - they were going to kill her."
In the crime novella SECRETS?, fledgling private investigator Elin Bohlander takes on what looks like an easy assignment — at first: to determine if her client’s boyfriend is having an affair with another woman. To do this, Elin follows him to a secluded cabin in the woods, where she soon discovers that what’s actually transpiring is stranger than anyone thought. Having ventured too far, she’s stumbled upon a hornet’s nest and put her life at risk. But it’s too late. Can Elin win the unequal fight against a gang of brutal child molesters?
SECRETS? is the second, standalone book from Christer Tholin’s Stockholm Sleuth Series. In the previous novel VANISHED?, Elin and her colleague Lars solve their first case together.
If you like fast-paced action and surprising twists and turns, then you will love Christer Tholin's sleuth series.
Another day at the office went by with nothing special going on. But Elin was now on fire, and she constantly checked her mail in the hope of finding a new request, but there was nothing. It was enough to drive her insane! She so wanted another assignment, one that would truly challenge her—one that was even more interesting than Helena’s. Elin had driven to the cabin a third time and seen the men there, but since nothing new had come of it, she decided she was done with it.
Now back at her apartment, she had changed into something comfortable and eaten a snack. She was standing in the bathroom washing her hands when Maja came home.
“Elin!” Maja was screaming. The door to the apartment slammed shut. Maja’s bag made a loud noise as it landed in a corner, and her rapid footsteps could be heard crossing the living room floor. Elin hurriedly dried her hands. This was not at all like Maja, who was usually the image of calm itself. Something must have happened. Elin opened the door to see Maja standing before her, her hands on her hips. Her face was red; her breathing, quick and shallow. She stared at Elin, furious: “What have you done? Where did you go with my car?”
“Maja, calm down! What happened?”
“I will not calm down! I want to know where you went with my car. Damn it!” Her dark eyes flashed at Elin.
“Fine, no problem. I’ll tell you. Come on, let’s sit down.” Elin stepped toward Maja and tried to take her in her arms, but Maja pushed her away.
“What? I haven’t done anything to you. Whatever it is, I didn’t do it intentionally. What’s going on with the car? Is something broken?” Elin looked at her, distraught. She had never seen Maja like this before. Usually, it was Maja who had to calm Elin, not the other way around. “Come on, let me hold you in my arms. I love you.”
That seemed to work. Maja lowered her eyes, and her shoulders dropped. Elin put her arm around her and drew her close. What was going on? Maja was sobbing. She embraced Elin and held her tight. Her shoulders jerked, and she was howling like a hyena. God Almighty, this must really be bad. Maja seldom cried, and never this hard. Elin was getting seriously worried. What had happened here? After all, she had parked the car in the courtyard, and everything had been fine. Unless someone had tried to break in, but that would have happened later. And why did Maja think Elin was to blame? That wasn’t like her at all.
Gradually, the sobbing subsided. Elin led Maja into the living room and sat her down on the couch. Squatting down before her, she looked into her tear-filled eyes.
“Now tell me everything, and if I’m to blame, I’ll admit it right away. Promise! And I’ll formally apologize. But I honestly have no idea what could be wrong with your car. I borrowed it again the day before yesterday, but then I parked it in the courtyard, as usual. Everything was still fine at that point. I swear!” Elin raised her right hand.
The corner of Maja’s mouth twitched briefly into an unsuccessful smile. She dug around in her pants pocket, produced a tissue, and blew her nose. Then she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. Luckily, she wasn’t wearing any makeup, or she would have looked even worse.
“I was attacked,” she finally gasped.
“What? Are you hurt?” Elin couldn’t believe it. Maja was extremely well trained—she could perform any self-defense move in her sleep. And what did this have to do with the car?
“No. They only threatened me.”
“That’s lucky.” Elin breathed a sigh of relief. At least, Maja was unharmed. “But who threatened you? Now please! Tell me the whole story from the beginning.” Elin gave her a penetrating look. “All right, Maja?”
Maja blew her nose once more and leaned back. “Yeah, OK. So I was walking out of the studio on my way to the underground. Since it was still so light out, I took the shortcut through the park. There was no one in sight other than that guy who’s been following me for the past few days. He was sitting on a bench in the middle of the park. I was trying to decide whether to turn around. But then I thought, ‘This is my chance to find out what this is all about,’ and I walked right up to him. He immediately stood up, and it was only then that I noticed he was wearing a mask. I wanted to go back right away, but when I turned around, there were three other guys standing before me, all with masks as well. I tried to escape to the right, but these guys already had a knife at my throat, and they were restraining me on all sides. Then they pulled me off the path and down into the bushes, and one of them whispered that I should keep my trap shut. I was sure they were going to rape me, and I was desperately trying to figure out how to break free. But then one of them—a tall guy, definitely over six feet—said that they just wanted to talk to me. I didn’t really believe that, but I waited to see what they would say.”
Elin stared at her, spellbound.
“I need something to drink,” Maja said.
Elin rose and went to the kitchen. She had an uneasy feeling for some reason. Four guys, of all things, and one of them very tall. That was surely no coincidence. But why?
Elin handed Maja a glass of water. Maja drank eagerly. “And what did they want?” asked Elin.
“They claimed I’d followed them in my car. And that they didn’t like having someone sneaking around behind them. This would be their first and final warning. If they saw either me or the car nearby again, our next meeting would proceed without a lot of talking. They said they’d make short shrift of me.” Maja had tears in her eyes again, and she let out several sobs. “I had to confirm that I understood. I obviously said yes. After that, one of them hit me in the stomach full force, and I blacked out. When I came to again, the four of them were gone.”
“God, how awful! I’m so sorry—I’m sure they were the same guys I was observing. I just don’t understand why they reacted so viciously. I’ve already put the whole thing to rest. Honestly, Maja, I didn’t want to pull you in. I’m sure it was me they were after.”
“Yeah, that much was clear to me by then. But did you go back to the cabin another time? You only told me about two surveillances. And the men didn’t see you at all, did they?”
“Well, yes, they did. The second time, they stopped briefly next to my—I mean, your car. I ducked right away, but they might have written down or photographed the license plate number. I’m sorry—that was my mistake. The first time, I did better and parked around the corner. I’m sure they didn’t see the car that time. Then the day before yesterday, I was there again for the third and last time because I just couldn’t get the whole business out of my head. I wanted to get through the surveillance quickly, so I drove the car down the dirt road to the fork where it turns off to the cabin. On their way back, they obviously drove by your car, but I was hoping they didn’t see it.”
Maja sighed. “But they did. Did you find anything out?”
“No, that’s why I put the whole thing to rest. The assignment is done. I just wanted to make sure one more time that nothing new had come up. But it was the same game as the other times: working together on their computers, four guys in two cars—nothing more.”
Maja was calmer now. Her breathing was steady again. “I’m sorry I lit into you earlier. It’s clear that it wasn’t your fault. I just needed to vent my frustrations on someone.”
“No problem. I probably deserved it, anyway. When I think of how they could have attacked me instead, then I know that I got off lightly with your tirade. But that should be a lesson to me: I’ll no longer use your car for detective work. I see now what comes of that. But tell me, can you describe these guys at all?”
Maja shook her head. “No. They all had on black masks, hoodies, jeans, and sneakers. The one who was following me earlier was wearing a brown parka, as usual—otherwise, I’m sure I never would have recognized him. And as I said, one of the other three guys was very tall. Aside from that, I didn’t notice anything special.”
Elin thought it over. “It fits in any case. I mean, who else could it be? I just don’t understand why they would make such a big deal out of it. If all they’re doing is playing harmless computer games, they wouldn’t have had such a violent reaction. Something about the whole thing stinks—I’ve had that feeling from the very beginning. Four guys who meet in secret in a secluded place several times a week ... that can’t possibly be harmless.”
Maja sat up. “You’re not really thinking of pursuing this further, are you? To be honest, I’ve had enough. I can usually put up a good fight, but four men armed with knives—I’d rather not risk that again. And I can tell you: they meant what they said.”
Elin raised both hands in defense. “Stop worrying! Under no circumstances do I want anything to happen to you. But it bothers the hell out of me that they could get away with this intimidation act so easily. In my view, our best move would be to bring in the police. They’d definitely find something interesting here—if only I knew what it was.”
“Thanks, but I really have no interest in dealing with the police. You know how overworked they are. And since nothing serious happened to me, I can imagine what priority they would give this incident. Also, if these guys ever caught wind that the police were involved, they’d get in their heads to make good on their threat. I really don’t need that, thank you very much.”
“Yeah, I know. But this situation doesn’t exactly feel safe, either. I mean, how do we know that they’ll leave us in peace, even if we just lay low? Think about it. You run across one of these guys by chance. You don’t even recognize him, but he alerts the others, and there you are again with a knife at your throat.”
Maja looked at Elin in horror. “Do you have to be so graphic? I’ve got chills running down my spine.”
“You’re right, though. It’s still a risk. Let me see how I cope with it. Ask me again in a few days—maybe I’ll change my mind. But please do not do anything without my consent! This thing concerns me now, too. You can’t make the decisions on your own.”
“All right, Scout’s Honor. I’ll discuss everything with you beforehand.”
Elin could easily understand Maja’s point. And she would keep her promise. On the other hand, her detective instincts had been aroused, and she wondered what lay behind this thing. Just what sort of plot were they hatching in that cabin?
Elin rose and walked to the window. She looked down at the entryway to the house on the other side of the street. There was no one there.
“At least, they seem to have called off their surveillance. I don’t see anyone there.”
“Sounds good. That’s something, anyway.” Maja made no effort to check Elin’s observation but instead went straight to the kitchen. “I need to eat something now. And a glass of wine would also be good. Now that I think about it, more like several glasses.”
That was something Elin could fully endorse. Right now, a little normalcy and relaxation were just what they both needed.
Stockholm Sleuth Series Book 1
“He could only hope he’d get out of here in one piece.”
To come to terms with his recent divorce, Martin, an attorney in Berlin, plans a peaceful vacation – two weeks in a Swedish summer house seem to be the solution. It won’t be peaceful, however, and those two weeks will change his life forever. He takes a liking to Liv, a Swedish woman whom he meets in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, they don’t get to have their first date – Liv disappears under mysterious circumstances. Martin begins his search but soon realizes he can’t find Liv in a foreign country by himself. He hires two private investigators, and their discoveries make everything seem even stranger.
The complexities in this suspenseful criminal case lead to a hunt across Sweden. Martin comes close to finding answers, but his search lands him in very real danger, eventually leading to the first deaths. Soon he‘s wondering if he can get Liv and himself out of this situation alive.
They left the house and ran to the driveway. There they heard the sound of an engine rapidly approaching.
“Damn, somebody’s coming. Quick, into the woods!”
They rushed behind the house and into the trees, where before them was a narrow path. Martin tried to keep his voice muted: “We’ll cut through the woods to my car. Follow me!”
He followed the wooded pathway for a short stretch, then veered to the right through the trees. It was muddy and difficult to negotiate; that meant they weren’t going to make headway very quickly. “We have to try not to make any noise.”
They moved slowly around the house. The vehicle had now arrived; it was the black pickup.
“Shit.” Martin cursed. Liv held on firmly to his shirtsleeve. “Shouldn’t we try to escape through the woods instead?”
“Do you know your way around here?”
“No.” Liv looked around. “How far is it to my summerhouse?”
“Liv, we’re in Dalarna, really close to your husband’s summerhouse.”
“What?” Liv opened her eyes wider and pressed her hands to her mouth.
Martin looked at her: “To my car?”
They kept moving cautiously through the woods, able to hear the driver getting out and going up to the house. It couldn’t be much longer until he noticed that Liv’s things were missing; then he would go into the cellar and…
Gradually they put more distance behind them and approached the driveway. Martin looked back and believed they could now leave their cover without risk. It went faster on the driveway; Martin’s shoulder ached with every step, but now was the time to keep his teeth clenched. Just as he unlocked the car, he heard a sound from the house. The man had come out the door and roared something that Martin didn’t understand. Liv looked at him with horror. As fast as they could, they climbed into the car. Martin started it; unfortunately, he still had to turn it around, and there was very little space to do so. Twice he backed up until he could finally drive off. At that very moment, the engine of the pickup revved behind them. He looked in the rear-view mirror; the truck was already approaching them. He hit the gas. The car reacted and lurched forward with a jerk. Martin drove as fast as he could; Liv was frightened; she held on to the armrest and looked around from back to front.
“I’m trying to.”
Martin pushed the pedal harder. The main road lay in front of them – he knew he wouldn’t make the curve at that speed. Even so he kept driving at the same velocity; a brief glance revealed the pickup directly behind them. The engine was loud, and the black steel fenders in front of the hood were coming dangerously close. At the intersection to the main road, Martin braked slightly, hoping to make it onto the dirt road without
landing in the ditch. Gripping the steering wheel with all his strength, the Audi swung around, and it looked like they would make it. But the pickup had other plans. It didn’t intend to make the curve. The driver swerved slightly to the right and rammed the Audi from the side just as they reached the bend. The Audi’s rear end slung around towards the woods. Liv screamed, both airbags deployed and Martin braked with everything in his power. The car came to a stop diagonally across the road.
Before Martin recovered his seven senses, the door was swung open, and he was staring down the barrel of a rifle. The man roared something in Swedish. Martin didn’t understand a word, but it was clear, nonetheless, what the man wanted. Martin got out and raised his arms. Behind him, Liv crawled out of the car. She said something to the man, who tersely roared back, and Liv fell silent. The man wore a green parka with a high turned-up collar. Other than that he wore a baseball cap. Because of this, little of his face was visible. Dishevelled dark hair and a large, somewhat red nose. With the rifle, the man motioned them to the pickup. He opened the hatch over the bed and said something. Liv scrambled in; Martin behind her. They had to lie down, then the hatch was closed tightly. Liv felt for his hand and held onto it firmly. The bed smelled like cement and leaves. It was cold.
The pickup started up, turned around and drove off.
A few minutes later, the hatch was opened again, the man directed them into the house, down the stairs and into the cellar. He motioned them to sit on the bed and looked around the room. The rifle was still pointing at them. The man cursed, kicked the table so that it flew over the threshold of the doorway, then he left the room. A key turned in the lock.
Martin and Liv looked at each other. Liv bent her head and laid it on Martin’s shoulder. She was crying. Martin put his arm around her.
He could think of nothing to comfort her. The situation was quite hopeless.
The author grew up in the North of Germany, Schleswig-Holstein. Today, he lives together with his family in Stockholm, Sweden, where he works as management consultant.
Already for ages he has been a great fan of crime stories and therefore, had the desire to write his own crime story with the characters acting in Sweden. This crime-fiction is now available under the title "Vanished?".
The crime novel starts at a slower pace - like Martin's holidays, but the tension goes up more and more. It comes to a number of surprising turns giving new impulses to the story. Apart from that, the lovely country Sweden is described with the view of a foreigner.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
There’s no resisting a desire like this…
MMA fighter Miles Dartman’s casual arrangement with personal shopper Maxi Nevar would be many men’s fantasy. She seeks him out, they have mindblowing sex, she leaves. Rinse, repeat. Yet lately, Miles wants more. And when Maxi requests his services via the Body Armor security agency, he’s ready to finally break through her defenses—and protect her day and night.
Receiving a large inheritance has brought chaos and uncertainty into Maxi’s life. Her ex has resurfaced, along with lots of former “friends,” and someone is making mysterious threats. Then there’s Miles, who doesn’t ask for anything…except her trust. Pleasure is easy. Now Maxi has to give her heart as well as her body…or risk losing a man who could be everything she needs.
Incredibly sensual, titillating romance mixed with intense, destructive and maliceful suspense with charismatic characters and nearly the whole gang from the previous books for a visit and we have the makings of an immensely entertaining story that is easy to recommend (to anyone over 18).
Miles Dartman and Maxi Nevar take the heat level to a new atmosphere. It is constantly high, the desire and lust oozing off them. The draw to each other is substantial, but so are the emotions growing inside of them. Even though there are plenty of detailed sex scenes, they are beautifully done, a part of the plot, indicating the growth of their bond, their feelings, and their need for each other in every possible aspect.
Both Miles and Maxi were characters easy to like and admire. Maxi is a strong female lead, she knows what she wants and is not afraid to say it or go for it. She is capable, loyal, gorgeous, and stubborn.
Miles, well, the Legend is just perfect. He is generous, kind, tough, smart, skillful in any situation yet he knows his limits and is humble and thoughtful - a true swoon-worthy hero, who is not afraid or ashamed to show his constant desire and growing feelings towards Maxi. Their previous history with the string of one-night-stands puts a damp into their relationship, the trust has to be built anew, the commitment has to be clearly spoken and demonstrated, not to mention accepted, for them to be able to move on.
The suspense grows with each new threat bringing intensity and dismay to the scenes. With Miles arrival, the attacks take a deadly turn putting their lives in peril, notching up the already intense vibes.
With the natural, effortless flow the story unfolds and charms the reader; there is the danger, there are threats, there is delightfully sexy romance, and characters you love and want to spend your time with. I have been enamored with this series since the first book and Miles and Maxi brought it up another notch, for sure!
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
HER CHRISTMAS PROTECTOR
When his former crush is suspected of funneling drugs through her ranch, it’s DEA agent Nathan Williams’s job to find out if Becca Price is guilty.
But after Becca’s attacked, his top priority becomes protecting her. Convinced she’s innocent, Nathan’s determined to find the real culprit before the escalating threats become deadly.
An ex’s betrayal has left Nathan wary, and falling for the suspect he’s secretly investigating is a no-win move, so he must keep an emotional distance.
But with criminals preparing for a fatal showdown, can he find the truth in time to save Becca’s life?
Wrangler's Corner: Family comes first
A riveting, exciting and inspiring story that held my interest with the chaotic type of constant fear and tension that each new plot twist brought to the deadly game the culprits were playing against Becca.
Becca Price had reached her dream despite the resistance from her parents. She was an owner of a horse ranch and trying to make the business flourish, when the malice attacks put everything in danger, including her life.
Becca was easy to like and admire. She has guts, she has determination, capability, and smarts. Her faith in God and His guidance might not have been as strong as it used to be, but the dire straits she is in, are drawing her closer to Him, and readily accept the help from her teenage best friend, Nathan Williams.
Nathan is a good, Godly man struggling with demands of his trying job with the DEA. He is weighted down by the deception towards Becca, yet the need to keep her safe is the priority, and his re-awaken feelings towards her have to be put on the backburner.
The connection between Nathan and Becca was natural and easy to see. The tight friendship from their high school days was the foundation for the bond between them, the budding romantic feelings a natural development considering the strong chemistry between them. While they are fighting to keep the ranch going and to stay alive the team effort and support for each other brings them even closer together.
With a great balance between suspense and romance and elements of faith, the developments of the story kept me on the edge while being entertaining and inspiring at the same time.
~ Four Spoons
Entangled Publishing is celebrating the holidays with 25 Days of Holiday Steals. They will be spotlighting a special steal of a deal each day from December 1st through December 25th. So be sure to check back each day to see what special offer is up for grabs that day!
Today's Steal is...
Holiday Affair by Annie Seaton is just 99¢!
Grab your copy today!
Unadventurous Lissy McIntyre believes choosing the right man should be based on common sense. She would never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Yes, please. He's got a swoon-worthy body and his kisses leave her senseless. A tropical holiday romance might be what she needs…
When Nick moves to his new job in a small country town, he's stunned to discover that his no-nonsense neighbor and co-worker is the beautiful woman he spent a memorable night with on a tropical island. He's unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can't seem to stay away from the intriguing woman. Nick doesn't do forever but having Lissy around has him thinking maybe he could...
She put her tea on the windowsill and looked outside for a long moment. The sun was dropping behind the trees and the late afternoon sunlight darkened the room, making it difficult to see his expression.
“Why…why? I came to you last Saturday and you threw my feelings back in my face.”
“I was ashamed of my behavior all week. I was scared you would take it as a commitment if I responded to you.”
“Did I ask you for commitment?” she asked, her voice frosty. “Me. This is me. Remember, I don’t do commitment, Nick. You know how I feel about that. I don’t believe in the sort of physical attraction we seem to have for each other ending up in any long lasting relationship.”
“I know,” he replied. “But I didn’t trust you. I thought I could avoid hurting you, but I think I did the opposite.”
He watched as she wrapped her arms around her chest and appeared to go into self-preservation mode.
“Not at all. I barely gave you a thought. I was busy all week with the research. It’s not long till we go the Cook Islands and I have a heap of writing up to do. I will admit I was a little embarrassed about my behavior at the restaurant, so I kept a bit of a low profile at the university.”
He knew she was not being honest with him and it amazed him how well he could read her, but he didn’t want to push his luck and upset her even more. She turned away from him and looked out the window, her arms still crossed in front of her. There was also no way he was going to let her know that all he wanted to do was come over and hold her. Not sex, just comfort.
And don't forget to check out the rest of our holiday fun here!
Her Final Watch
A Detective Blanchett Mystery Book 2
by Marguerite Ashton
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Speaking second-hand truths can be deadly …
Detective Lily Blanchette will stop at nothing to solve a murder. Her current case involves the killing of an undercover cop working to bring down the mob for prostitution and drugs.
But Lily's usual laser-like focus on the case has been disrupted.
Two weeks earlier, she learned she was pregnant by her murderous husband whom she'd killed in self-defense. Unsure whether to keep her baby or place the child of this cruel man up for adoption, Lily keeps the pregnancy a secret from her colleagues.
Under mounting pressure to solve the case, Lily arranges a sit-down with a local mob boss only to find out her suspect is also wanted by them. But before Lily can warn her team, she and her new partner, Jeremiah, are shot at, and another body is found.
When she discovers Jeremiah has a connection with the underworld, she is pulled into a conflict that swirls around the boss's son who's hell-bent on revenge.
To add to the complexity of the situation, Lily learns that her victim might still be alive if it wasn't for opportunistic Assistant District Attorney, Ibee Walters, who has a twisted vision of justice.
As Lily gets closer to finding the killer, she unravels ugly secrets that point to Ibee and Jeremiah - placing Lily's life and her unborn child in danger.
December 10, 2015 4:13 p.m.
Detective Ariel Weeks stabbed at the small block of ice until it split into several pieces across the counter. She tossed the jagged cubes into the glass and made her client a drink.
In less than twenty-four hours, Ariel would no longer have to use the name Jasmine and keep men company to protect her cover. All she needed to do was make it through this last night, and she’d be allowed to be who she was; a mom just doing her job.
After gathering evidence and recording all the data she had, it would be hard to detach. Towards the end, she’d learned things she’d wished weren’t true, leaving her stomach in tattered knots.
Back at home, there were two reasons Ariel would never take on another undercover assignment.
Ariel ground her teeth as the door to Cabin D opened and closed. She could feel Mikey Surace, the mob boss’s son, staring at the backless white dress she wore at his request.
The man who smiled at the sight of blood was standing behind her, breathing heavily.
She turned and handed Mikey his drink. “Your gin and grapefruit.”
Mikey took the drink and pulled Ariel down on the bed next to him. His hand, smooth like velvet, traced over her dark brown skin, along the length of her arm and rested on her thigh. “I had a shitty day.” He loosened his tie, removed his gun and put it on the ottoman.
Ariel stole a glance at the weapon, thinking of ways to grab it before he did. Just in case. “Wanna talk about it?”
“I had my talk with Pop. He wants me to get married and have kids so I can take over as head of the family soon. He wants our family to be seen as more law-abiding than the other three families.”
“Nowadays, no one gets married to have a family. Would he accept a long engagement?”
“No way. My old man still believes in marrying now, ask questions later.” Mikey took a sip of his drink and sat it down on the nightstand table. “My father asked my mother to marry him on her seventeenth birthday.”
“I’m sure you’ll find a woman who’ll accept you for who you are, who won’t care about the lifestyle you lead, and who knows when not to ask questions about your business.”
“You always say the right things. Why won’t you let me take care of you?” he asked, planting a kiss on Ariel’s full lips. “This is my third time asking you to be with me.”
Ariel wanted to wipe off the lingering citrus taste from her mouth but didn’t out of fear. She had already been spotted by one of Surace’s men and couldn’t believe that she was still alive. Probably because Ariel, at any moment, could tell the boss things that the other person was doing, clearing herself from any suspicion and allowing her to keep her cover. Even that wasn’t a guarantee.
Drops of rain peppered the window facing out at the bare branches of a willow tree. Wind hissed against the cabin.
Ariel stared into Mikey’s almond-shaped eyes. The olive tint of his skin masked his fiery temper. Things were getting heavy and out of control for a first time U.C. like herself.
She undid the strap on her stilettos and let them drop to the floor. “Because your ex-girlfriend is in charge of my money and I need every penny. I wanna make my money and maybe one day get out. It’s a dream of mine to stop escorting and waiting tables at the club.”
“If you get with me, you won’t need money.” Mikey cupped Ariel’s chin and squeezed. “Why do you keep turning me down?”
“I’m not turning you down.” She pulled out of his grip and rubbed her chin. “I don’t want to ruin my friendship with your ex. She’s my bestie and the only one I can trust in this business.”
“You don’t trust me?”
“You’re a dangerous man.”
“I’m only dangerous to those who cross me.”
Ariel wanted to ask Mikey if he’d kill her but decided against it. It was best to redirect the conversation and talk about what he enjoyed the most. Him. “What’s it like to kill someone?”
Mikey pulled Ariel back on the bed and laid on top of her. “When I put my finger on the trigger, it’s like foreplay. With each pull of the trigger, that’s the build-up. Once my target is dead, I’m satisfied. For me, it’s a lot like sex.”
“Has anyone told you you’re crazy?”
“Yeah. They never lived to say it again.”
A Detective Blanchett Mystery Book 1
Detective Lily Blanchette has a lot on her plate…
Her sister Celine has recently been murdered and her parents are on the brink of divorce. Now she’s lead on a multiple murder investigation.
Six months after Lily’s sister’s death, the bodies of two young women are discovered. One look at the way the bodies have been posed and Lily knows her sister’s killer is back.
And she’s determined to get him.
When Lily visits the family of victim Tanya O’Neal, she learns the woman had arranged to meet a man going by the handle CtryGeek23 on the social networking site Scatter.
Lily thinks finding the man behind the account is key to solving the case.
But CtryGeek23 is very clever, and Lily has her work cut out for her. As she digs around, clues point her to a local brewery where she discovers the body of another young woman.
The more Lily digs, the more she thinks there is more than one murderer at work, and CtryGeek23 is the mastermind.
But who is he?
And how will they catch him?
As the investigation comes to life, death hits closer to home, and Lily discovers she may not be who she thinks she is at all.
Filled with plot turns, suspense and mystery, Promised Lies will leave you wondering how well anybody knows anyone…
Lily leaned on the steering wheel and squinted at the tall figure in her headlights. She eased her foot off the gas pedal and watched as the figure dragged something off the road. “Did you see that?”
“It could’ve been road kill,” Morgan said.
Lily slowed down. She pulled the truck off to the side where she peered at an object lying on the pavement. “It’s a cellphone.” Throwing the gear into park, she hopped out.
“Wait a second. Let me call it in.”
Lily squatted down next to the cellphone.
Morgan came up next to her. “They’re sending out a car.”
Lily put her hand up. “Backlight’s going out. Phone was just used.” She stood and scanned the cornfield. “Someone’s out there and most likely in trouble.”
Lily’s heart raced as she ran back to her truck, collecting her gun and badge from underneath the seat. She placed her gun in her hip holster and clipped her badge on the opposite side onto her belt. “That wasn’t an animal.”
“You’re not going out there,” Morgan said.
Lily grabbed the flashlight from the side pocket on the door and sprinted over to spot where the figure had disappeared.
She turned on the flashlight and drew a circle using the light rays near her feet. “It looks like drag marks.”
“Back-up is coming. It’s dark. No way we’re going hunting in some damn cornfield.”
Lily sighed. Morgan was right, but whoever had been hauled off was in trouble and running out of time.
A piercing scream erupted in the distance. Lily took off toward the sound, using her flashlight and the dull glow from the city lights to guide her.
In a matter of seconds, her feet pounded the soft soil leading away from the safety of her truck.
She glanced over her shoulder and saw her partner running parallel with her, but staying closer to the road.
On the other side of the fence row, footsteps matched hers in beat as they trampled the pile of fallen leaves scattered among the field. Lily picked up her pace, running hard and fast, tussling with buck thorn branches as they swatted her face and throat.
Strings of hanging barb wire nipped at her clothes as she dodged several leaning fence posts. The chilling wind penetrated her torn clothing and lapped at the slits in the fabric on her thigh and calf.
A few seconds later, a prickly burn in her leg forced Lily to stop. It felt like thin shards of glass sliced into her raw flesh, imbedding themselves into the jagged gashes. She hiked up her pants leg and shined the light on the wounds. Those damn branches.
Lily’s chest heaved with exertion as disappointment overwhelmed her. The footsteps tapered off into the darkness. He was getting away. She fell to her knees and clutched her injured leg in agony.
Lily glanced over at the road. It was silent. And she was alone. Where did Morgan go? The terror that lay beneath her bold judgment to rescue someone had surfaced.
Then, several yards away, Lily saw an outline walking towards her. Instinctively, she reached back, gripping her nine millimeter, giving her the reassurance she still had control. “Stop! Police!”
The outline continued toward her.
Lily unfastened the holster and the person stopped, sheltered by the trees. She could tell by the masculine build it wasn’t Morgan.
“Get down on the ground and put your hands behind your head,” Lily demanded.
“Lily?” Morgan shouted, coming up from the rear.
Relieved to hear the voice of her best friend, Lily exhaled, but kept her eyes front, ready to pull her firearm and shoot if he dared to make one move in her direction.
As Morgan approached, the unidentified man turned and fled in the other direction.
“Are you all right?” Morgan offered her hand.
As Lily and Morgan made their way out to the road, they heard movement near the fence. Lily stopped, aimed her light and followed the beams over a pile of clothing, then upon a woman’s face.
The victim moaned and threw up her arm to shield her eyes from the light.
Morgan jogged over to the young lady and stooped next to her to ask a few questions.
Exhausted, Lily limped to a grassy patch and sat down. She could still see Morgan. For the moment, that was all that mattered.
Lily looked at the stretch of road she’d traveled on several occasions; one of those occasions jabbed at her memory like nails being pounded into hard recycled wood.
A snapping sound brought Lily out of her thoughts. She looked toward the hazard lights flashing on her truck and saw a yellow strip flapping in the wind a few feet away from her.
She rose, took a couple more steps, and squinted at the bold black lettering printed on the tape, which kickstarted her heart.
County Road K.
She was near the crime scene.
When Marguerite Ashton was in her twenties, she took up acting but realized she preferred to work behind the camera, writing crime fiction. A few years later, she married an IT Geek and settled down with her role as wife, mom, and writer. Five kids later, she founded the Crime Writer’s Panel and began working with former law enforcement investigators to create; Criminal Lines Blog, an online library for crime writers who need help with their book research.
She’s a workaholic who hides in her writer’s attic, plotting out her next book and stalking Pinterest for the next avocado recipe.
A member of Sisters in Crime, Marguerite grew up in Colorado, but is now happily living in Wisconsin and playing as much golf as possible. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Scarred Bullet Series #1
by Serena Kearney
Genre: New Adult Romance
*This contains mature content, explicit language, and sensitive subjects dealing with abuse.*
*Mature audiences is advised.*
I have a temper. I’m angry. That’s a given.
How I take it out? At my job in the boxing room of our gym.
I’ve spent over a year trying to harness it, but I wasn’t by myself.
Almost every night, like clockwork, he’s there on one side and I’m at the other.
He is big, rugged, but handsome.
He’s also scary. Silent. Deadly.
When I hear the name Bullet, you would think I would have gone running in the other direction.
I didn’t. I should.
He has a past.
He has secrets. Danger. Pain. Sorrow.
Little did I know that it would just bring us closer together.
Scarred Bullet Series #2
He's been there to help through it all.
Every touch, every sound, and every breath.
I was starting to get better. I was starting to live again the way a normal girl should. That is until we graduated college and life got in the way.
I didn't think I would see Dem Dabbs again, at least I hoped I would soon, because now I'm falling back. I'm back into my habits. I don't think I'm strong enough, but somehow, I have.
I'm living on autopilot... until I get that hope back.
I can see him.
Will it be the same? Will we pick up where we left off?
Will his touch bring me back to normal?
Or does he need me more than I need him?
Scarred Bullet Series #3
I’m supposed to be strong.
Until I found I was in a relationship I swore I would never be in.
I didn’t know how trapped I was until Dean Sailer walked into the diner, making me question who I turned into.
Dean reeked of overconfidence.
He’s sarcastic and thinks he’s funny.
The worst part is I find myself smiling when I don’t feel like it. He brought out something inside me that I locked away a long time ago.
I wanted nothing to do with him.
I wanted to stay contained in my world.
When tragedy threatens the life of me and my best friend, he’s the one I find myself relying on.
He’s there for me when no one else is.
No matter how much I try to resist Dean Sailer, he seems to delve deeper into a place I thought was gone.
Can I change?
Or will I be the definition of what I’ve made myself out to be?
Scarred Bullet Series #4
He showed me what love is really like.
They showed me how happiness affects the heart.
They showed me that I still have one.
And then my violent past comes to rip it out of my chest.
Fine, let it.
I have to leave it behind.
I have to accept it all over again.
Because I will do anything to keep the ones I love safe.
Including going back to the cold, toxic soul I once had.
**Releases Dec 1st!**
I am a Leo. Born August 10, living on the east coast. I self-published my first novel, PNEUMA, November 2014, and it's hasn't stopped since.
One of my biggest problems was having too much to read. Now my newfound problem; having too much to write and not enough hands to type it out. Not enough brains to put the stories together fast enough. Not enough tea or coffee to keep me awake 24/7.
So, like every normal person, I have to take it one day at a time.
My cravings for sweets keep me going, any sort of cakes (especially red velvet), pies, cookies, and ice cream.
I have a cat named Bongo-Bongo, who loves to get in my way when I'm trying to work, but is too cute for me to fight him off.
And then I have my family, specifically my husband, who puts up with my endless nights, my tapping of the keyboard, my ridiculous imagination, and yet, he always encourages me to believe in myself and follow my dreams.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
A Family Made at Christmas
After taking guardianship of his late friend’s siblings and baby daughter, minister Levi Wallin hopes to atone for his troubled past on the gold fields. But it won’t be easy to convince the children’s wary elder sister to trust him. The more he learns about her, though, the more he believes Callie Murphy’s prickly manner masks a vulnerable heart…one he’s starting to wish he was worthy of.
Every man in Callie’s life chose chasing gold over responsibilities. Levi—and the large, loving Wallin family—might just be different. But she can tell he’s hiding something from her, and she refuses to risk her heart with secrets between them. Even as they grow closer, will their pasts keep them from claiming this unexpected new beginning?
I am not sure what I loved most about this story; the developing, fragile relationship between Levi Wallin and the Murphy family, the new faith in God and trust in the people around her that was growing in Callie's heart, the romantic feelings that were developing between Callie and Levi, the Walling and Murphy families, the community that pulled together, or the redemption and forgiveness of the past transgression that was so evident in the story.
I started this story in the evening, thinking I was going to just read just a bit and ended up inhaling the story and reading until the wee hours of the morning to finish it. This is an unputdownable book, just get comfortable and enjoy it.
Levi and Callie were characters that I fell in love with. It is so easy to relate to them. Their imperfections highlighting their positive sides, their humbleness and loyalty shining through. The patience Levi had - to show and teach the Murphys the new and exciting life, talents, and tasks - was admirable. The love that was evident in each scene just gave me all the warm feels.
Callie had so many disappointments and setbacks in her young life yet that had just made her tough, capable, and able to take care of the family to the best of her abilities. The new life with the Wallins was as exciting as it was scary, her dreams were coming true and Callie wasn't sure if she deserved them or could trust them to be true and lasting.
Levi was sure his past actions, before becoming the man of God, didn't allow him to have the feelings that were growing inside his heart towards Callie. While teaching her about faith in God, he learns a lesson of forgiveness himself.
The connection between Levi and Callie is palpable, natural, and tight. They learn to work as partners to raise the Murphy kids and are building a life together, making a family, even before they realize it themselves.
A beautiful story about family, love, forgiveness, and faith in God with a touch of Christmas traditions and lots of cheer in a frontier town back in time
~ Five Spoons
Published December 5th 2017 by Love Inspired Historical, Harlequin
$4,99 ebook edition
Angels. Emma Cramer doesn't consider herself an angel by any stretch of the imagination. Temporarily stranded, broke and unable to pursue her dreams of working in the big city following her mother’s death, Emma’s life changes when she rescues a small child and a puppy who get trapped in a garage where Emma’s truck has finally breathed its last . The girl’s relieved and grateful grandmother believes Emma has been sent by angels because her family needs temporary help. She offers Emma a job, a good salary and a place to stay until after the holidays. It seems like a Christmas miracle for both of them.
Angels often appear when least expected, but when the most needed. Cynical sheriff and rancher Cole Drayton has heard that all his life, but he’s never been in the market for much else. He can take care of his daughter, his ranch and his family on his own without his meddling mother, but his long protected heart and desire for isolation is no match for a beautiful stranded stranger and a misfit puppy who make his daughter laugh and him feel alive again.
Can unsuspecting hearts intersect at the moment when love and trust is needed most? Anything is possible with the magic of the Christmas season and faith in the Christmas angels.
From a heart wrenching and poignant start to the adorably funny meet cute, this story captured my mind from the very first pages, kept me entertained till the very satisfying ending.
I loved how the author had mixed the drama and humor in this smoothly flowing tale that was so well crafted it was a pleasure to read. Even in the direst moments of grief, pain, and disappointments the light of hope is shining through keeping the story upbeat and inspiring.
Because there is a lot in Emma Cramer life that could have brought the angst as the major emotion in her life. She has never had it easy, but that has made tough, resilient, and flexible person with a generous and kind heart, who is willing to help others, easily makes friends and is a delightful and likable person to be around with.
Cole Drayton has his reasons to be distant and cynical. The hurt and wounds from the past finally start to heal in the warm light from Emma's eyes. Over the months, as they work together and get to know each other, the attraction sparks fire, the feelings grow, and they find a way to communicate and bond with each other, building a unique relationship, where the chemistry is a tangible force in between them.
I loved the tight community bond, the family that pulls together and spent time with each other, supporting each other.
A delightful mix of humor, drama, romance, and Christmas, with a sweet kid, a puppy, meddling yet loving grandparents, trouble from the past, a lady in need of a new chance on life, and a sheriff in need of Christmas miracle to make him smile again... Get ready for all the feels and Christmassy emotions
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Published October 23rd 2017 by Tule Publishing
$3,99 ebook edition
When Mia Tempesta goes into labor during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve, she stumbles into Will Jackson's cherry packing shed. As a war widow, she's lost everything–her husband, her home, and her job. But when Will, a caring stranger, delivers her beautiful baby boy into her arms, she has hope for a brighter future.
After being betrayed and dumped by his long-time girlfriend, Will’s dreading the holidays, but when he helps deliver Mia’s son on Christmas morning, he gains a renewed purpose in life. The beautiful Mia and her child tug on his protective heart strings and he finds himself longing to help. They fight their growing attraction–Will’s on the rebound and Mia is still grieving. Will their reckless passion end in heartbreak?
Can two damaged hearts find healing and happiness? One Christmas baby might just be the miracle they need to love again.
This story got me with its originality. It is an emotional and tough journey of forgiveness, learning from the past and letting it go, and allowing yourself to fall in love, to live fully and trust your heart to lead your way.
The story gives us a look at the life of Mia Tempesta and Will Jackson for a year. During that year, from Christmas to Christmas, little Billy is born, Mia is trying to find a new job, new home, learn to be a single mom, and handle the overbearing in-laws, get over the betrayal and problems she had with her husband, and adjust to the feelings growing inside her towards Will. Will is recovering from the ten-year on-and-off-again relationship with his high school girlfriend and the disappointments that followed.
There is a lot that happens in the story, the emotions are high, and changes are plentiful. I liked the characters, Will's family is a hoot, their drunken Christmas celebration had me laughing, the weed growing was a bit awkward, yet the support and acceptance were admirable. Will himself is a kind, generous, and considerate. His heart is golden, and it seems to shine to Mia and Billy.
Mia is a tough lady. She champions for her baby, the marriage left her broken and broke, yet she is not giving up. She has her issues to be dealt with and she works on them on her own time, a time that is given to her, hence the one-year time frame on the story.
I liked the story, the characters, and the little town they lived in. It is realistic and real-life like, the struggles are true and known to many. The situations they face, unemployment, homelessness, and leaning on the support of relatives are everyday occurrences across the world, and easy to relate to on that level.
As an escape-reader, the story was too realistic to me to absolutely love it, but I do recognize the real and raw struggle Mia and Will goes through to find their place in the world, and admire their gumption to go after what they want.
~ Four Spoons
Books & Spoons for Entangled Publishing 25 Days of Holiday Steals with Christmas with the Sheriff by Victoria James
Entangled Publishing is celebrating the holidays with 25 Days of Holiday Steals. They will be spotlighting a special steal of a deal each day from December 1st through December 25th. So be sure to check back each day to see what special offer is up for grabs that day!
Today's Steal is... Christmas with the Sheriff by Victoria James is just 99¢!
Grab your copy today!
After fleeing her beloved small town five years ago, Julia Bailey is back to spend Christmas with her family. Returning is hard, but keeping the devastating secret about her late husband is even harder. Her place isn’t in Big Sky Country any longer…but the more time she spends with the irresistible Sheriff who saved her once before, and his adorable little daughter, the more Julia starts wishing she could let go of the past and start a new life.
Single dad and county Sheriff Chase Donovan had been secretly in love with his best friend’s wife for years. But after her traumatic loss he knew Julia needed to get away from Shadow Creek, even though helping her leave was the last thing he wanted to do. Now she’s home and he doesn’t intend to lose her a second time. Chase is going to prove to Julia just how good they can be together this Christmas…and forever.
The sound of his deep voice, thick with concern pulled her back into the present. She looked up at him, a slight frown across his brow, but it was the warmth in his eyes that appealed to her. Chase could be all hard lines and tough man, but the man had the softest core and she knew she was one of the few that was on the receiving ends of it. She didn’t breathe for a moment, his face close to hers. Her gaze lingered on his mouth and for a second she wished he’d kiss her. She knew, in her gut, that Chase kissing her would make her forget everything else. When was the last time she’d wanted a man to kiss her? Five years was a long time.
She cleared her throat and looked away when she realized she was staring. She pointed to the stage in the center of the park. “We’d better get a seat. Em will kill us if we don’t get one near the front.” She tried not to cringe at the squeaky sound of her voice. When had she become so obvious? Nothing could ever happen between her and Chase. She would be leaving Shadow Creek in a few weeks. He had a daughter. Neither of them could enter into a causal relationship. She had no choice but to get it together.
“Let’s go,” he said, taking her hand in his. A shiver raced through her even though she was bundled up and warm. It was him. Having him hold her hand effortlessly, as though he’d been doing this for years. People stopped and chatted with Chase and he was polite and charming, flashing that smile of his easily. The town loved him and he was so at home here. Gwen, Cassy, and Edward were waving to them from the second row. Gwen gave her a pointed stare and raised her eyebrow high as she joined their row. She avoided eye contact with her. She knew to expect a barrage of texts as soon at the night was over. “They always get the best seats,” Chase said.
Once they were settled, the crowd quickly filled in the remaining seats. Julia smiled as the stage curtains moved and small feet poked out beneath.
“There’s always a bad-ass back there that sneaks a peak through the curtain. And ten bucks says it’s a boy,” he said in her ear. She laughed, just as a dark haired little boy poked his head out.
Within minutes the performance started and the sound of children singing Jingle Bells filled the night sky. Tears pricked her eyes at the sweet sound of their voices and her heart felt full, her chest ached and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to take a deep breath. As though he knew, she felt Chase take her hand in his and rest on her leg. She didn’t feel as alone, as solitary in her thoughts. He knew. He knew what she was thinking. Matthew would have been here tonight; she’d be watching him sing. How would he look now? What would his sweet voice have sounded like? It was so hard to imagine because in her mind he was always two. She had been blessed with the memory of him saying, ‘mama’ and she’d never forget it. Her heart swelled painfully, her body filled with shivers, goosebumps.
“You okay?” Chase whispered.
And don't forget to check out the rest of our holiday fun here!
TLC Book Tours for Winter Holiday Traditions (+ reads!) from Harlequin with ALWAYS A LAWMAN by Delores Fossen
We’ve gathered up some wonderful winter holiday traditions, recipes, and books to warm your heart over the holidays!
Each tour stop will feature a guest post from one of the fabulous authors listed below,
plus a fun Rafflecopter giveaway.
Be sure to follow along!
A sheriff’s heart-wrenching past threatens to destroy his future in USA TODAY bestselling author Delores Fossen’s brand-new Blue River Ranch miniseries…
Ten years ago, Sheriff Gabriel Beckett helped convict the man who murdered his parents in a shocking crime that still haunts his small Texas town. Now the terror has returned and the woman who escaped the attack is a target again.
Jodi Canton loved Gabriel—until that love shattered with his parents’ murder and her father’s conviction. Taunted with threats, she’s determined to bait the real killer out of hiding. Drawing out a criminal puts her life on the line, but Gabriel’s protection puts her heart in danger. Even if they survive a predator, can they risk everything to heal each other?
The new mini-series from Delores Fossen starts off with riveting thriller filled with intriguing characters and intense suspense that kept me, and the cast and crew, on the edge throughout the story.
The vigorous tension from the past and the stress from the new cruel threats and deadly attacks muddle together into a fearful, strained, jittery atmosphere where the emotions run wide and deep. The number of suspects is limited and each of them a known player in the tragic, deadly drama that changed many lives ten years ago.
Jodi Canton lost everything she loved on one fatal day a decade ago, a day when she nearly lost her own life as well. The struggle to survive the brutal attack, and learn to live with consequences has taken her to the task every day since it happened. The young love she felt for Gabriel is still as fresh as it was way back when and the fear for her life as palpable and real as it was that night Gabriel rejected her intentions.
Sheriff Gabriel Beckett turned down the love of young Jodi and lived to regret the consequences of that night. He lost his parents in the brutal attack and later on his sisters as they could not face the hurt and pain and moved away. To see Jodi again and all those tender feelings still burning inside her gets the familiar response in his heart. The old attraction is still there, the kindling ignites, the passion flames and the emotions take a deeper root, making it even more crucial to protect Jodi by all means, to keep her alive against the constant murderous attacks.
The connection between Jodi and Gabriel, while fragile and frail because of the past, is powerful enough to survive the years that they were apart. The attraction is tangible, the need to protect and hold each other close a force to be reckoned with. Add to that the fierce and vehement savage action, and the lives of the people forever changed because of the past, and you have yourself a poignant, breathtaking tale that is impossible to put down until the end. The Blue River Ranch miniseries is already proven to be stories not be missed
~ Five Spoons!
Candy Cane Memories
By Delores Fossen
Because I’m in a military family, we’ve moved a lot and have been stationed all over the world. We’ve created so many wonderful memories in those places, including those from my home in Texas. The holidays are a great time to bring back some of those memories with recipes, and plenty of those recipes have one common ingredient—sugar!
There are red velvet cupcakes from South Carolina. Pralines from Louisiana and Mississippi. Cherry cheesecake bites from a recipe that I got when we were stationed in Washington D.C. Almond toffee bark from California. Sherry trifle from England. But one of my favorite recipes is candy cane shortbread that I first tasted when I was about eight or so. My great-grandmother, who was living in Garland, Texas, made it for me, and one bite brings back the warm memories of being with her during the holidays.
So, let me share a sugary treat from Granny Agnes Elizabeth’s kitchen:
½ cup softened unsalted butter
¼ cup white sugar
A pinch of salt
1 cup flour
4 small crushed candy canes
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add salt and flour until well mixed. Blend in the finely crushed candy canes. Roll out the dough ¼ inch thick or else press into a pan. (My great-grandmother pressed hers into a cast iron skillet.) Bake at 325 degrees (Fahrenheit) for about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool and enjoy.
I hope my great-grandmother’s recipe brings you as many tasty moments as it has me, and here’s wishing you and yours the best holiday ever.
FIRST LOVE, SECOND CHANCE
Maribel McCray knew moving back to Horseshoe, Texas, would mean facing Elias Rebel, the cowboy she was forbidden to love in high school. She just didn’t expect it to happen so soon. With her teenage son, Chase, in trouble, she needs Elias’s help. He may be a Rebel, sworn enemy of every McCray, but he’s also Chase’s father.
For the lone bachelor of the Rebel clan, there’s only one way to make up for lost years with his son—become a family for real. But Maribel’s distance runs deeper than the Rebel-McCray feud. Elias won’t settle for a marriage of convenience with the woman he’s falling for again. How can he convince Maribel some second chances are worth taking?
An intense, edgy, emotional, and uplifting story that churned up all the feels and had me in tears, laughing, and even fearsome for the lives of the beloved characters with unexpected plot twists.
There is so much to love in this epic story. The series has been a family saga that has had the reader falling in love with this rugged and rough Texas family and their all-consuming lives at the ranch.
Elias is the flirty bad-boy that the ladies love, but there has only been one love for Elias and now she is back in town with a teenage son who is in dire trouble and in need of help and guiding hand to survive the mess he has created.
Elias Rebel stands for what he believes in. He is kind and generous even when no one is looking. He takes care of people even though he might complain about it just for the show. His heart is pure gold and as big as Texas, his work ethics and habits are amazing, he gets things done even if that puts his own life in danger.
Maribel McCray survived her abusive childhood. She survived and thrived raising up her son. She educated herself and got herself a better job. But life happened and she is back at home facing more trouble than she deserves. Yet facing Elias might be the hardest thing she has done, and there is no avoiding it. The old emotions uproar themselves, but Maribel doesn't believe in love anymore and a relationship or a marriage is not part of her future plan.
This story plays out over a longer period of a time than one might expect and gives a chance to see, feel, and witness the true development of the characters and the relationships between Elias, Maribel, and their families. I loved the connection between Elias and Maribel. It doesn't necessarily follow the 'form' of romance novels, making it even more real, true, and believable.
Nothing comes easy, they have to work hard to make the future they dream of, to find a peace of mind, and have healthy relationships with their extended family members who have wronged them in the past.
From family drama to criminal problems, to relationship hiccups and passionate encounters the poignant and riveting story touches all the emotions, keeps the reader on the edge, clued to the book with the need to know that The Rebels will survive and Elias and Maribel will have a chance of the future they dream of.
An emotional roll-a-coaster family saga not to be missed
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Steamy Romance, Romantic Suspense
Jagged Edge Series #8
Published: November 2017
Following the same routine, day in and day out, Charlie Winters was about to give up on getting the break she deserved. Things begin to look up when her brother Nick suggested she to come to New York to work at his landscaping company. Moving from the small town of Cedar Grove to the big Apple was everything Charlie dreamed of, until her brother witnessed a brutal murder, which put his life in danger. Charlie would do everything she could to protect him even if it meant contacting the boy she fell in love with as a teenager.
Leaving the only girl, he had ever loved, the last thing Ryan Hyatt expected was to run into her, especially in Manhattan. Regretting his decision to push her away after he had enlisted in the military, he tried to make it up to her by offering to protect her brother Nick. When tragedy stuck, he soon found that his brother Josh may have been involved. Ryan would stop at nothing to protect the woman he would never stopped loving.
Walking over to her, I placed my hand on her flushed cheek and lowered my lips to hers. At first, there was a slight hesitation, but once I dipped my tongue inside the warmth of her mouth, her tongue began to dance with mine. I could feel the vibration of small whimpers escape as I continued my play. Charlie’s arms wrapped around my neck, allowing me to kiss her even deeper. Trailing my hands down her back, I found her butt and cupped her firm cheeks. Just the feel of her this close was making my cock jump with excitement. When I lifted her by the waist, her legs enveloped mine as I carried her over to the small couch that was pushed up against the wall.
Even though this wasn’t the way that I imagined our reunion would be, it really didn’t matter because all I knew was that I needed her and my cock longed to be deep inside her. Placing her gently on the couch, I took a moment to absorb her beauty. Her eyes fluttered shut as I traced the outline of her lips before I swept inside her warmth. Her tongue mingled with mine and our exploration of each other began. Charlie’s body told me she was eager for my touch. Slipping my hand underneath her thin t-shirt, I worked it upward until I reached her firm breast. Lowering the cup of her bra, I could feel the warmth and softness of her breast as I fondled the pea-sized bud between my fingers. Bracing my body above hers with the other hand, I managed to find the clasp of her bra. “God, how I loved the person that created front clasps on bras,” I smiled to myself. Just the feel of her skin under my touch left me needing more. All I wanted was to consume the beauty that was hidden beneath the thin material. With one leg planted on the floor and the other bent between her legs, I grasped the hem of her t-shirt and in one movement pushed it upward, freeing her shirt and her bra from her body at the same time. When her luscious breasts came into view, they were as I remembered, only more beautiful.
“God, you’re beautiful,” I whispered as I lowered my lips to the small bud, nuzzling her breast as I savagely began licking and sucking the tip. Charlie’s moans of pleasure sounded and it triggered my cock to become increasingly more uncomfortable locked away in my jeans. I moved back slightly, resting my upper leg on my butt while gliding my hand down her silky skin, stopping purposely at the waistband of her shorts. With one flick of my wrist the button was undone and the zipper began sliding down as I moved my hand beneath her pretty yellow panties. I could feel the soft curls of her pubic hair as I worked my hand further down. At first I was unable to get where I needed with the restriction of her shorts, and then her butt lifted from the couch, allowing me to easily remove her shorts and take her panties with them.
With her body completely displayed before me, she was even more beautiful than I could ever have imagined. Lowering my body, I trailed light kisses down her body to the apex of her sex. Her womanly scent overflowed as I moved to her folds, which were wet with desire. Lapping up her sweet honey, I could feel her hips move, keeping in rhythm to my play. Something intense flared through my body, reacting to her moans of satisfaction as her body gave way. Exposing my own desire for her, I freed my cock from its confines, encased it with latex, and slowly entered her with gentle, even thrusts. I could feel her body light with pleasure as it clenched around me, coaxing me towards my own release. What had taken me so long to find was finally delivered, sending my body in an upward spiral to heaven and back. Never was I going to let her go again.
About the Author
Award winning Author of the Independent Press Award and NYC Big Book Award.
My love for writing began several years ago after an early retirement from a demanding job that I loved, but also hated because it consumed so much of my time. Now, I am able to focus my time on what I love. Writing romance has been a life long dream and to actually say that I am a published author is beyond what I would have ever expected.
Even though some may say I have a little naughtiness in my books, I look at it as an added bonus for my readers. After all what is a romance book without a little spice.
When I am not writing, I enjoy spending time with friends either at home or out on the town. Mostly, I enjoy a relaxing night at home where I can enjoy a glass of wine in the company of a good book.