Corbin – The Mavericks Book 17 by Dale Mayer


What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:

Corbin
The Mavericks Book 17
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Corbin is tracking a cabinet minister’s pregnant daughter, who’d been snatched off the streets several days ago. The incident followed several other missing women’s cases, except those women already had given birth, and their children were also kidnapped at the same time. Then the body of one of the mothers is found …

Nellie would do anything to save her unborn child but finding herself a prisoner was never something she expected to happen. When one of her guards grills her over an image of someone asking questions about her, she realizes she isn’t as alone as she’d assumed. Now if only a rescue could be mounted before any others die …

A rescue is one thing, but getting to the bottom of this nightmare becomes even more urgent, as the kidnapper refuses to give up on Nellie’s unborn child and the big payoff if he succeeds …

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Corbin’s assignment comes up pretty quickly. He’s still in England as is Hatch and Millie. Hatch will be his contact for his assignment an unusual one considering where they are.

A Parliament member’s pregnant daughter has gone missing. Now she hasn’t had a good relationship with her father lately, but he’s concerned and wants her found fast. MI6 won’t be quick, so he’s hired The Mavericks.

MI6 is working this case but there are 2 other women along with their children that are also missing. Whether or not the disappearances are connected is still not clear.

Corbin starts his investigation with where the first two women were taken, then heads to the University Nellie Abrahms attends and where she was snatched. He interviews a couple of her friends, then they get a break when her father gets a message saying to back off. Of course, they aren’t going to back off, but it causes concerns about the women Corbin interviewed. When Corbin finds her dead, the cameras give a good clue.

In the meantime, Nellie has finally gotten the women sharing her room to talk to her. All she knows is they were going to adopt the children out and they want Nellie’s baby. Jewel has pretty much given up hope, but when the guards bring in a photo of a man asking Nellie who he is both of them get some hope of rescue. That photo is of Corbin.

After the ‘nice’ guard has a confrontation with another, their room is left unlocked.

This is a favorite scene.

As Aiden drove by the surrounding area, Corbin surveyed the commercial district closely, looking down alleyways and sides of each warehouse. He caught a glimpse of one woman helping another woman step through a narrow rusted door of one warehouse close by another. He yelled to Aiden, “Stop.”

Aiden immediately hit the brakes and pulled off the side of the road. “What’s the matter?”

And Corbin pointed in the direction where he saw the women.

Aiden whistled as he turned around toward the women. “Okay now, hang on a minute. Are those the ones we’re looking for?”

“I think so,” Corbin murmured. “Leave the vehicle here.” They quickly bolted from the vehicle and headed toward the women. As soon as the women caught sight of them, they started to run away. But one was obviously pregnant, and the other one looked like she was suffering in a big way.

Corbin reached out for the pregnant one, and Aiden grabbed the other. Corbin slapped a hand over the woman’s mouth, as she started to fight and scream. “Stop. Stop, damn it. I’m here to help.”

He didn’t even slow down but just tightened his grip around her, picked her up, and raced back to the vehicle. As soon as he got her into the front seat of the vehicle, Aiden came up behind him with the other woman, who didn’t look to be in very good shape. Corbin immediately opened up the door to the back seat of the double-cab truck, while Aiden popped her inside and called out to Corbin, “You drive.”

Corbin hopped into the driver’s seat, with the woman seated in the passenger seat, frozen, staring at him. He looked over at her and asked, “Nellie, by any chance?” She seemed in shock.

“You’re the man who my father hired.”

“Yeah.” He frowned. “How do you know?”

She pulled something from her pocket and handed it to him. He stared at his image. “Well, good Lord. How come you have that?”

“One of my jailers asked me if I knew who you were and that you were looking for me.”

“Well, at least you could say no, that you didn’t know me.”

“True,” she replied, “but I have to admit that I hung on to this picture because it gave me hope.”

He looked over at her, and, in a gentle voice, he said, “It worked. We’re here.”

“Let’s get moving,” Aiden said. “This woman needs medical attention.” And directly behind them, a bullet was fired and then another. Their back windshield exploded.

Corbin sped ahead and slammed his hand over Nellie’s head and pushed her down. “Get down. Get down.” A vehicle charged up behind them. “It’ll be a rough ride,” he snapped, his tone grim. He looked over at her and gave her a feral smile. “At least you are with us now.”

“Yeah,” she whispered, from her crouched position, “but we’re hardly safe.”

“No, not yet.” He veered off the road, heading across a parking lot. “But you need to hang on tight, particularly with that belly.” He looked over at her. “Did they hurt you?”

She shook her head. “No,” she whispered, “but Jewel is hurt.” She lurched higher trying to see Jewel. “We have to go back.” He stared at her in surprise. She cried out, “I mean it. We have to go back. Kids are still there and more women.”

He nodded. “I know, but first we’ll get you guys away.”

Another round of bullets was fired into their vehicle. She shrieked and ducked.

“Remember that part about staying down?”

“What about you?” she snapped, from her crouched position.

He just smiled. “They might get me, but chances are in my favor.” He immediately turned several corners and several more, and then he tossed his phone to her. “Let the cops know who you are and where you are.”

“I don’t even know where the hell I am,” she snapped, but, her fingers trembling, she was already dialing. As soon as she got through, she relayed the message and gave a couple street names off an intersection as to their moving location, as coherently as she could.

Just then another bullet rang out.

“We’re being shot at,” she cried into the phone. “They’re trying to kill us. They’re chasing us, and they’re shooting at us.”

Corbin didn’t listen to the rest of the conversation, as his focus was on making sure that these assholes didn’t run them off the road.

As soon as she was off the phone, he told her to punch Speed Dial 1 on his phone, then put it on Speaker.

“Hatch, we need backup. We’re being fired upon. We have both Jewel and Nellie. There are more women and children still to be rescued, before these assholes move them.” He quickly gave Hatch their general location, adding, “Jewel needs medical care, and I have no idea on Nellie. She says she’s fine, but I’m not sure I believe her.” At that, she snorted beside him, and he grinned. “She’s not as bad as she could be. Put it that way. … No. We picked them up as they were sneaking out of a building, grabbed them, and ran. … We were seen, and the kidnappers are in pursuit.”

“I’ve got nothing within ten minutes,” Hatch said.

“Cops, ex-cops, military, retired military, anybody?” Corbin swore, as another bullet came his way, and he looked over at her and yelled, “Hang on.” He took a hard corner to avoid the gunman in that vehicle. “I think another vehicle’s coming after us now too. I need a place to hide.”

“Now that,” Hatch murmured, keys clicking hard on his end, “I might give you. Hold on.”

It took less than two minutes, and he came back. “Follow my instructions.”

And, with that, he led them on a continuous path at top speed. “Take a sharp right and pull into the garage,” he said. “The doors will slam tight behind you.”
Dale Mayer. Corbin (Kindle Locations 1230-1276). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Although they have Nellie and Jewel, they still aren’t safe and they have to get the other women and the children.

Fast-paced with some interesting developments. I love how Nellie and Corbin actually do know each other.

I know this series is coming to an end, but I do love it so very much. I look forward to Aiden’s story.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.


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A Daring Pursuit – The Ruthless Rivals Book 2 by Kate Bateman


A Daring Pursuit
The Ruthless Rivals Book 2
By
Kate Bateman

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The Davies and Montgomery families
have been locked in an ancient feud.
But it’s a thin line
between love and hate.

TWO ENEMIES

Carys Davies is doing everything in her power to avoid marriage. Staying single is the only way to hide the secret that could ruin her—and her family—if it was revealed. For the past two seasons she’s scandalized the ton with her outrageous outfits and brazen ways in a futile bid to deter potential suitors. Outwardly confident and carefree, inside she’s disillusioned with both men and love. There’s only one person who’s never bought her act—the only man who makes her heart race: Tristan Montgomery, one of her family’s greatest rivals.

ONE SCANDALOUS BARGAIN

Wickedly proper architect Tristan needs a respectable woman to wed, but he’s never stopped wanting bold, red-headed Carys. When she mockingly challenges him to show her what she’s missing by not getting married, Tristan shocks them both by accepting her indecent proposal: one week of clandestine meetings, after which they’ll go their separate ways. But kissing each other is almost as much fun as arguing, and their affair burns hotter than either of them expects. When they find themselves embroiled in a treasonous plot, can they trust each other with their hearts, their secrets…and their lives?

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Carys Davies love to shock society with her wardrobe choices and carefree attitude. As this book opens, she is wearing her most scandalous outfit yet and many notice. One in particular is Tristan Montgomery, while he’s her enemy because of a feud that spans generations, the attraction is still there.

Tristan is hoping to find a wife this season, but Carys isn’t on his radar. She’s not the wife he needs, he needs someone who is not on the borderline of scandal at every turn.

Carys has always had a bit of a crush on Tristan, and she doesn’t know what to do about it. Unfortunately, she’s being blackmailed for something that she can’t change. She was to meet Howe at his carriage at midnight, however he loses that carriage to Tristan gambling. It’s Tristan who enters the carriage and assumes she’s having an affair with the man. While she admits she’s been ‘ruined’ she doesn’t spill about the blackmail.

As these two are thrown together for family events thanks to her brother Gryff and Tristan’s sister Maddie, some interesting things occur. First, he says he’s helping her screen potential husbands, then he finds out about the blackmail.

A family gathering has been planned and both Carys and Tristan are thrown together again, but this time there’s a twist. Carys agrees that she needs to discover if a marriage without anything other than intellectual compatibility is the right way to go. Tristan while a bit shocked at her agreement is more than willing to show her what she’s missing. He doesn’t anticipate falling for her though.

At her home in Wales there’s a famous menagerie that she cares for. She is quite knowledgeable of animals and is ahead of her time with regard to fighting animal cruelty.

All of these things intwine into a delightful tale of enemies to lovers. With suspense, intrigue and sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Kate!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Kate Bateman

Kate Bateman (also writing as K. C. Bateman) wrote her first historical romance in response to a $1 bet with her husband who rashly claimed she’d ‘never finish the thing.’ She gleefully proved him wrong. Her Regency and Renaissance-era romances all feature her trademark feisty, intelligent heroines, wickedly inappropriate banter, and heroes you want to both strangle and kiss.

When not traveling to exotic locations ‘for research,’ Kate leads a double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK, each of which has up to 2.5 million viewers. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England and writes despite three inexhaustible children and a number-loving husband who still owes her that dollar.

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Code Name: Wasp – K19 Shadow Operations Book 3 by Heather Slade


Code Name Wasp
K19 Shadow Operations Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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Code name: Jasper “Wasp” Theron first met Swan at
Target: Swan Lee
Mission: Prove once and for all that swans mate for life.

WASP

As an Air Force fighter pilot, I’m the best in the business. No fear. No hesitation. Attacking when you least expect it. That’s why I can’t sit by when the woman I crave, the woman who challenges me, wants to go undercover against a serial killer. No chance.

SWAN

It’s the only option, the only plan that’ll work. Infiltrate the enemy and take them down once and for all. I’m an RAF fighter pilot and M16 agent, sitting still is not who I am. But WASP has other plans. Plans to protect me, keep me safe. When I do what I want, it’s WASP who feels the sting.

Jasper ‘Wasp’ Theron first met Swan at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, she beat him in an exercise and his team is still ribbing him. Now Wasp was just a Lieutenant at the time and as such he found he was paying for all the drinks in his room dubbed hospitality suite. Dinners with the squadron were also required and the bill was split equally among everyone regardless of what they ate, there were also nights of credit card roulette where Wasp had lost the night before, this TDY was very expensive for him. After a joint debrief his commander Lt. Col. ‘Barko’ McAdams invites Swan to join them for their squadron dinner. He clearly wants to get to know Swan better. Swan wants nothing to do with him and instead sticks close to Wasp. This doesn’t go over well.

This is a favorite scene.

“Ready to head out?” I heard my commander ask. Before I could answer, Swan did.

“I appreciate the invitation. Won’t I be intruding on your boys’ night?”

“We’ve had several of those in a row, right Lt.?”

“Fifteen at my count, sir.”

Lt. Col. McAdams, call sign Barko, squeezed my shoulder. “Wasp here picked up the tab for last night’s dinner,” he said to Swan.

“Ouch. Credit card roulette?”

“I’m thinking we go that route again tonight.”

I wanted to cringe, but refrained from any visible reaction. What were the odds my card would be picked two nights in a row?

“Swan and I will ride with you tonight,” the colonel said when we exited the building where three SUVs sat at the ready.

“Copy that,” I muttered, opening the rear passenger door for them.

“I’ll sit up front if no one minds,” said Swan, walking around the back of the vehicle before the colonel or I had a chance to respond. Again, not that I would’ve, even though, truth be told, I’d rather have Attila the Hun in the car, beside me.

In the rearview mirror, I could see Barko fuming—alone—in the backseat. Clearly, not his plan.

At dinner, Swan orchestrated the same stunt, taking the seat to my right after Barko pulled out a chair for her next to him on the opposite side of the table. If I wouldn’t have looked like a complete asshole, I would’ve moved. As it was, I was stuck.

I would’ve thought it was my imagination when Swan seemed to work me into every conversation Barko started with her, but based on how pissed he looked, I knew she was doing it intentionally. What I didn’t know was why. Particularly since the more she did it, the angrier he got. So angry, in fact, that when it came time for credit card roulette, I watched him shuffle through the cards until he found mine. I just prayed I wasn’t nearing my limit, given how much I’d had to put on it in the last couple of weeks.

“What’s wrong, Lt.?” a fairly drunk Barko asked, probably because I looked as if I might be sick to my stomach. Before I could respond, Swan reached over and grabbed two of the credit cards—one of which was mine.

After handing it to me, she pushed back her chair and left the table. Barko stormed off behind her.

What the hell had just happened? I sat in my seat, stunned, until I heard my commander’s raised voice and Swan’s in response.

I found them in the hallway near the restrooms, where it looked like Barko had her pinned against the wall.

“What the fuck?” he yelled when I wrenched him away from her. By then, two other pilots had run over and got between Barko and me.

“Go!” I shouted at Swan. “Get one of the other guys to give you a ride back.”

“Wasp, I can—”

“Go!”

“I have a better idea, Theron” said Major Bjorn, our squadron’s operations director. “You give her a ride back. Once I have things under control, you and I will have a chat.”

“Yes, sir.” I started to walk away and realized no one had come to take my credit card to pay for dinner. “Um, the tab, sir…”

“It’s covered, Lt.” He motioned with his head to Barko. “He’ll be footing tonight’s bill.”

“Yes, sir,” I repeated. When I walked out, Swan followed. As we passed them, every person who’d been with us at dinner tonight looked mortified. Rightly so. Two full ranks and a lot of years separated Barko and me, and I’d just crossed a line there’d be no coming back from.

Would there be hell to pay? Damn straight, there would be, and “hell” didn’t begin to describe it. However, the look on Swan’s face when I found them in the hallway told me she wasn’t just avoiding my CO; she was afraid of him. The events of the last few hours suddenly made sense. Swan had intentionally made me the buffer between her and a man whose attention she didn’t want. A man who was pursuing her relentlessly. Not to mention, a married man.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” she said once we were in the SUV. “Do you have any idea the kind of trouble you’re in?”

I took a deep breath and turned in her direction. “I was in trouble whether or not I pulled Barko off you in that hallway.”

“This could ruin your career, Wasp.”

“If I had to do it over, I wouldn’t change a thing. While this may ruin my career, as you said, after seeing the look on your face”—I shook my head—“I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself, wouldn’t have even been able look at myself in the mirror, if I hadn’t intervened.”

“Thank you, and I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to be sorry for. I should’ve realized what was happening and done a better job of neutralizing the situation.”
Heather Slade. Code Name: Wasp (Kindle Locations 137-178). K19 Shadow Operations Book Two. Kindle Edition.

Swan and Wasp meet up only one more time before they’re tapped for a special mission years later. One that almost gets derailed. All this before they join with K19.

I loved getting all the background on these two, their relationship is flirty and fun but not completely smooth sailing. We also get a glimpse of Wasp’s family.

When we return to the present case things take some unexpected twists. I couldn’t stop reading until the end.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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Calum’s Contact – Terkel’s Team Book 4 by Dale Mayer


Calum’s Contact
Terkel’s Team Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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As his career path led him into more and more danger, Calum made a decision to keep his family safe, even if it meant he would be alone in the world. But when his wife and son are kidnapped and dumped almost into his very own secret headquarters, Calum knows his safeguards haven’t been enough.

Mariana didn’t like Calum’s decision from years ago but finally understood after her and her son are rescued from kidnappers, and she saw the dangerous level of his work. However, having him once again in her life, their family whole again, she’s not willing to let him go. Not this time. If the danger would continue, … surely they were safer at his side.

Calum’s abilities at an all-time low, his friends and fellow teammates injured and struggling, Calum knows he must be there for the team. Yet protecting his family comes first. But, if they don’t get to the bottom of the chaos that’s his current life, … no one is safe.

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Calum is still recovering from the initial attack that took out all of Terk’s team. At the end of the last book the guys who are more recovered rescued Calum’s wife Mariana and his son from the hands of kidnappers. Mariana was supposed to be safe, far removed from what Calum does for a living. Unfortunately, he has been proven wrong in the worst way.

Terk asks Mariana to try to remember anything about her kidnappers or what they might have said. Calum is with him and Mariana remembers someone saying Rulrul won’t like this, and someone else spoke with a man named Sean who seems to know Calum and about his family.

Calum knows a Sean Calvert, a man who has always blamed his shortcomings on him. It feels well worth it to track him down, if only to ask some questions.

There’s also some interesting things about Mariana. It seems she has a connection to Calum that no one realized. I really got a kick out of her talking about it with Terk.

There’s so much happening here and when they find the dead body of Sean’s brother David, locating Sean’s sister is next. That doesn’t go so well, but they get a bit of a warning thanks to Mariana.

This is a favorite scene.

Mariana woke up with a start and sat upright. Thankfully Little Calum wasn’t still in her arms. Sometime, while sleeping, he’d shifted over. She hopped to her feet, checked that he was fine, and bolted from the room. She raced down the hall toward the main working quarters. A meeting was in session, but Terk immediately stood at her approach.

“What’s the matter?” he asked, as she took several deep breaths, trying to calm her racing heart.

“Is he okay?” she cried out. “Is he?” Terk looked at her. “As far as I know, yes. What are you getting?”

She kept shaking her head. “He’s in danger. I know it. I am telling you, Terk. Cal’s definitely in danger.”

“I get that,” Terk noted. “Sometimes they’re in danger a lot.” His voice was calming but alert, as a word of warning.

“No! Not like this. Not like this. … Not like this.” She couldn’t get the words out. “Somebody … It’s a trap. Somebody is trying to kill him.” The others stared at her, while Terk, instead of arguing, got a really odd look on his face and froze.

She walked around him in a big circle. Then she looked over at the audience around the control room. “Does anybody have any contact with Cal?”

“I’ll reach out to Damon right now.” Tasha sent out a text. “They’re waiting for Sean to show up,” she shared a moment later. “So far no sign of him.”

“Warn them,” Mariana snapped. “Warn them it’s a trap. More than one’s coming.”

Tasha studied her, even as she dialed. As soon as Damon answered the phone, Tasha explained what Mariana was getting for a message.

“That would fit.” And he hung up.

“They are duly warned,” she stated, looking over at Mariana. “Damon confirmed how that would fit, and then he hung up. But at least they’re warned.”

Mariana nodded, her hands shaky.

Sophia immediately stood, then walked over and grabbed her hands. “You’ve done the best you can. Now trust them. Now you need to be strong. Let me get you some coffee.” Quickly she raced over to the coffeepot, brought back a full cup, and handed it over. “Try to calm down.”

“How do you guys do this?” Mariana asked, whispering.

“We do what we can do,” Tasha murmured. “We help where we can help, and, when we can’t help, we step back and let them do what they do. Our guys are real pros.”

Mariana smiled at that. “Thank you, I needed that reminder.”

“Good. You’re not the only one who started getting some connection with these guys, but ours is obviously not as defined as the connection you have with Cal. We would like ours to be that way though, stronger.”

Tasha nodded. “I don’t know what changed,” she noted. “It happened when Damon was in the coma. Before that, I always felt a little bit of a connection. I could kind of check in mentally and see that he was fine, and that was good enough for the longest time. But then, when he was not fine”— she paused—“ when he was in the coma, I utilized that time to constantly check in because I was so worried about him.” She sighed, showing her palms.

“How can you not be worried about them?” Mariana rambled, in shock now, and everyone just let her be. “I was always waiting for the day he’d come back and say he was retired and good to go. I knew that he was getting out of the industry because I’d heard this was all being shut down, so I was expecting to hear from him.”

Mariana shook her head. “The days went by, and I didn’t hear anything at all. Then, when Terk told me what had happened, I just went to pieces. And— somewhere along the line, in the midst of one of those long lonely nights— while I was silently searching and crying out for him, I connected. And ever since then, I just, well, … I haven’t let go,” she admitted. “Cal probably won’t like it, but I just … I can’t let go.”

“I’m not saying that’s right or wrong,” Sophia noted, “but maybe relax a bit, so it’s not quite so intense as it may seem to him. These guys all appear to have a problem when women are possessive.”

“It’s not coming from a possessive place at all,” she explained. “It’s intuitive. It’s just a very close connection. I don’t want to let it go because, well, it just feels right.”

“Then don’t,” Tasha stated, as she walked closer. “If it feels right, just go with it. So much of what Terk teaches is intuition and learning to understand and to honor the feelings that you have. So don’t let go, stick close, and maybe we can use your ability to help us.”

“It’s not really an ability,” Mariana argued. “It’s just …” She didn’t know what to say. Finally she shrugged. “Honestly, I would just call it love.”

Tasha gave her the most beautiful smile she’d ever seen. “There is no such thing as just love. It’s a huge gift, Mariana.”

“And whether he understands it or not,” Terk pitched in, “the point right now is that it’s giving you a connection to him that you didn’t have otherwise, which could be very valuable in terms of keeping him safe while we get through this.”
Dale Mayer. Calum’s Contact (Kindle Locations 1368-1409). Valley Publishing Ltd.

Of course, nothing goes easily and there’s also Mariana’s determination not to be separated from Calum again.

I love the interactions of the team with little Calum, and the love between Mariana and Calum is so very strong.

There’s plenty of twists in this one and action as well. Not to mention a bit of sizzle.

I really can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Forbidden Office Daddy: May December Romance Series by Carmen Falcone


This May, some of your favorite
steamy romance authors
will gather their dirty minds to bring you
a selection of hot older men
who won’t let a little thing like age
stand in the way of claiming
their feisty younger women.
Age is nothing but a number,
and these sexy alpha heroes
know true love when they see it.
They’re older, wiser, and know how to satisfy
ALL of their woman’s needs.

Forbidden Office Daddy
May December Romance
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Carmen Falcone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

After breaking up with his longtime girlfriend, Nate Collier dives into work, but his carefully crafted life gets disrupted when his loyal assistant comes back from vacation with a new look—a new, irresistible look and a sexy attitude that make him feel sinfully tempted, even though he knows he can’t have her. Why? Because he can’t date his employees and break his own rule. Besides, she’s way younger and he doesn’t want that kind of trouble.

Manuela Gomes always had a crush on her hot boss. When he breaks up with his girlfriend, she takes the opportunity to reinvent herself—in more ways than one. She goes through a makeover, but also decides to show him that she’s a contender for his now-available heart. She’ll make him see she’s been under his nose all along—and she’s more than ready to be under his body, on top of him, and anywhere else he’ll have her.

Manuela has had a crush on her boss for a long time, but he’d been in a relationship. Now he wasn’t and after taking some time off Manuela returns to work with a totally new look. It’s not just her boss who notices but he is her priority.

Nate Collier is impatiently waiting for his assistant to show up. She was normally early, today’s showings were important and Manuela is the only one in the office who speaks Portuguese. When she does show up she looks totally different and Nate’s surprised to see she is the woman he was admiring earlier from his office window.

This is a favorite scene as they head to the first of the homes they were showing today.

“Are you ready?” Nate asked. Manuela nodded, and she stepped into his car. She’d driven with him plenty of times before, but today, somehow it felt different.

She’d be interpreting for Mrs. Clarice Sampaio, a client, and she lived in a nearby beachfront town a couple of hours from Tulip. She’d met Clarice a few times before, and the quirky Brazilian lady had taken a liking to her.

“We’ll meet her at the first home she wants to see,” he said.

“Sounds good. Do you know how long we’ll be gone for?” she asked, glancing at the heavy traffic. Her fat cat Gustavo had a very strict eating schedule, and he usually ignored her for days if she dared feed him late. She’d tried the self-feeder, but Gustavo was too naughty to fall for it. Should she text her neighbor and ask her to feed him later? Traffic could be such a bitch.

“Why? Do you have somewhere to go?”

“A prior commitment, yes,” she said, hoping her mysterious tone would make him wonder. Damn it, she’d seen the way he’d looked at her today. He would never admit to it, but in the worst-case scenario, he liked her new look, and in the best-case scenario, he wanted her. Badly. Achingly. The same way she wanted him. Dream, girl. Dream. “With Gustavo.”

“Gustavo, huh? Is that a family member?”

She licked her lips. He definitely considered himself the head of the household. “No.”

He gave her a sideways glance. “Friend?” “Nope.” He drummed his fingers on the console, looking at the line of cars ahead of them. Thankfully they’d left with enough time, otherwise they’d be late. “Who is Gustavo? Amuse me. Traffic sucks as usual.”

The image of her lazy Maine coon lounging on his bed by the window came to mind. He observed people walking by and looked at them with a mix of disdain and interest, like he quietly judged them. “He’s all right. A bit self-absorbed, but we get along well.”

“I never heard of him,” he said, a twinge of annoyance in his voice.

She had mentioned she had a cat in the past, but she doubted he knew his name.

“You never asked.”

“Is it serious?”

Should she say it? A surge of excitement traveled up her spine. “We’re living together, so pretty serious.”

“What?” he asked, turning his head to look at her. An expression of complete surprise and frustration filled his face. “What do you mean? How long?”

“Not that long,” she said. “Why do you care?” she asked, lifting her chin, a part of her defying him to come to terms with the truth. Why else would he care? They were never friends. He appreciated her work, but never let her in his circle. Not that she’d ever have tried back then—he was taken, and Megan wasn’t a bad person.

But now…

He was single, and all too interested in her love life.

Excitement surged through her. Could this be happening? Him, wanting her? What if she were more aggressive? The idea played in the back of her head. Just dressing sexier wouldn’t make it—not in this lifetime. He probably was aware of his attraction for her, but unless she made it obvious she felt the same way—and wanted to act on it, nothing would change.

And fuck it, she wanted—needed it to change.

“I don’t care,” he said, shuffling in his seat like her question made him uncomfortable. “I mean I do, but only because I don’t want to see you hurt. You said he’s self-absorbed.”

“Yes, but no one is perfect, right? Why did you break up with Megan?” she asked, landing the ball in his court. She’d wondered, but he never gave her anything deeper than the “didn’t work out anymore” spiel. Besides, if there was a deal-breaking reason as to why he wouldn’t be a good boyfriend, she needed to know.

He fixed his sunglasses. “Didn’t work anymore.”

Same old excuse. She rolled her eyes, grateful that they were in a moving car so he wouldn’t be able to leave this conversation. “I don’t buy that. You were with her for years.”

“She wanted to get married.”

“The natural course of things in many relationships. And you didn’t.”

“I don’t oppose getting married…but not to her. She’s a great person, and it’s my fault I led her on and didn’t consider what she wanted. I really like her, but I don’t feel strong feelings.”

“Like you would beat up a stranger at a grocery store for her?”

“What?”

She chuckled. “I’m a pacifist. I swear I’m not hitting anyone. I’m just saying—you know that high, when you’re so into someone, you do something completely crazy for them.”

He watched her in silence, like he cataloged her facial features one by one, then a smile curled his sexy lips. “You’re an interesting person, Manuela.”

She licked her lips. He had no idea…
Carmen Falcone. Forbidden Office Daddy (Kindle Locations 177-220). Kindle Edition.

Nate’s reaction when he discovers Gustavo isn’t a live in boyfriend but her cat is priceless.

Lots of fun, flirting before these two begin to sizzle off the pages.

I’m going to have to check out some of the other author’s books in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Carmen!

More May December Romance!

Carmen Falcone

Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters beat doing math homework any day. Brazilian by birth and traveler by nature, she moved to Central Texas after college and met her broody Swiss husband–living proof that opposites attract.

She found in writing her deepest passion and the best excuse to avoid the healthy lifestyle everyone keeps talking about. When she’s not lost in the world of romance, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, being walked by her three crazy pugs, reading, catching up with friends, and chatting with random people in the checkout line.

She loves to procrastinate, so please indulge her and drop her a line. For more info, visit her website.


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Shielding Laine – Special Forces: Operation Alpha; Delta Forces Generation Next Book 3by Jen Talty


Shielding Laine
Special Forces: Operation Alpha
Delta Forces Generation Next Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

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They had no idea how close their worlds were.
Or how deadly.

All Laine West wants is a change of pace. Her move to Killeen, Texas is supposed to be a fresh start where she put down roots, come to terms with her past, and spends time with an old friend. But when an unexpected phone call from her mother turns deadly Laine finds herself in the middle of drug war with the Mexican Cartel that has nothing to do with her and everything to do with her past and her future.

Delta Force soldier, Knox Bentley lost his mother when she was murdered by the Cartel. Now his DEA agent father is missing. When his buddy Troy “Lucky” Schmidt asks him to help his friend Laine get settled, Knox looks forward to the distractions from his problems. Little did either know how intertwined their worlds were and now Knox must find out who murdered Laine’s mother before they come and kill Laine.

Before Laine moved to Texas, she had moved ten times and lived in four states. This last move is after a break-up that was the longest relationship she’s ever had. As she’s getting settled, she gets a call from her mother that she lets go to voicemail. She’s never been close to her mother and hasn’t spoken to her in five years. She usually asks for money or just rants and raves at her, Laine doesn’t want to get sucked into that again. Lucky shows up with his wife Rayne and he tells her his homecoming gift to her is Knox at her beck and call to help her with her unpacking. While he’s there her mother calls again and she sends it to voicemail.

True to his word Knox shows up the next morning, his mind still on trying to find his father. It’s been a month since his father disappeared after his mother’s murder. Although it’s not common knowledge they are certain it was the Cabrera Cartel. His father is DEA, and they are sure he’s gone after them. In what capacity they won’t know until they locate him. He does his best to push that all aside as he grabbed the treats he brought for Laine. Coffee and pastries are a good way to get to know someone.

This is a favorite scene.

After closing the soft top to his vehicle, he snagged the tray of coffee and the bag of treats he’d picked up at his favorite bakery. He didn’t go there often because his waistline no longer tolerated it on a regular basis, but he figured today was one of those days he could indulge.

He strolled to the front door, hoping seven fifteen in the morning wasn’t too early. Lucky had said it wouldn’t be, but Knox didn’t know anything about this chick except for two things.

She was a firefighter, which he had mad respect for.

And she grew up with Lucky and he thought of her like a sister.

Another thing he respected because Lucky was one of the best.

He raised his hand to ring the bell, but the door swung open before he got the chance.

“Is that coffee?” A woman with reddish-blond hair that had been pulled up into a messy bun on the top of her head pointed to the tray in his hand.

He tried not to stare, but it was impossible. She had to be one of the sexiest women he’d ever laid eyes on and his body reacted immediately.

Before he had a chance to respond, she snagged one of the paper mugs and lifted it to her lips.

“Oh God. That’s good. Did Lucky tell you I like it black?”

“He didn’t tell me anything other than I needed to be here by seven.”

“Then you’re late.” She tapped her watch. “But if there’s something with chocolate in that bag, you’re forgiven.”

“There are a couple of things that fit that description.” He followed her into what could only be described as the aftermath of a twister. There were boxes everywhere— some opened, some not. But there was no rhyme or reason for anything. No organization. And from what he could tell, nothing was labeled.

His skin itched. He had a serious issue with clutter.

But his bigger problem was how much he wanted to kiss this woman. It was rare that he felt this kind of instant attraction. Sure, he could walk into a bar and find someone who tickled his fancy. But he could generally leave his temptations at the door.

This one would be a lot more difficult to squelch.

“For the record, I’m Knox.”

She laughed. “Nice to meet you. If you haven’t figure it out, I’m Laine. I hope Lucky hasn’t been telling too many stories about me.”

“Oh. He’s mentioned a few things, but mostly he told me I better be on my best behavior or he’ll beat the shit out of me. Something about he has no siblings, but he considers you the little sister he never had.”

He stepped over some tools as he made his way through the kitchen and into the back patio where he gasped.

“I know. This is why I rented the place.” She pulled open the sliding glass doors, which opened to a fenced-in backyard with a pool and spa. It looked brand new.

The water color reminded him of the tropics. The waterfall trickling off the spa into the pool calmed his nerves immediately. His muscles relaxed. He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Lucky was right. This was exactly the distraction he needed. There was nothing else he could do to find his father. He’d done everything in his power and so had all his friends.

There were people in high places doing what they did best, trying to locate his dad.

Knox had to trust they were doing their very best.

“I think you and I need to become real close friends.” He set the bag of breakfast on the patio table. “I only live a few miles away. I’m happy to clean the pool for free usage anytime I like.”

She lifted the bag and pulled out one of the double chocolate doughnuts. She broke off a large chunk and plopped it on her tongue. Closing her eyes, she moaned. “My God, that’s good.”

“Glad you approve.” He reached in and took the other one out of fear she might snag it before he had a chance to taste his favorite flavor. “So, do you need a pool boy?”

“The owner has someone who comes once a week to clean and add salt, but if I don’t hate you by the end of this week and you tell me where you got these”— she waved the doughnut in the air—“ I might be inclined to let you come over occasionally.”

“I’ll do my best to stay on your good side.” He leaned against the deck and dunked his tasty treat into his black coffee before stuffing half of it into his mouth. He did his best not to stare at Laine, who wore skimpy shorts and a tank top that hugged her body, leaving nothing to the imagination.

He suspected she was about five foot ten and she had an athletic build, which he liked. More than he should, considering Lucky thought of her like family. That would be like making a pass at one of his teammates’ sisters.

That was a big no-no.

Not unless he had permission.

He had half a mind to text Lucky, but he pushed that thought aside. “So, where do you want me to start?”

“I thought you could get my Wi-Fi and all my televisions working because I know shit about that stuff.”

“I can do that.”
Jen Talty. Shielding Laine ARC (Kindle Locations 224-264). Aces Press LLC.

Knox manages to get the cable and televisions set up and he cooks up the steaks Laine bought along with grilled vegetables. Once again impressing Laine.

Now they have quite the discussion over dinner, mostly light and fun but then with some dark and dreary.

It’s when Lucky shows up with Knox’s team lead Cannon that things get a bit crazy. Well more than that they also get dangerous.

Laine’s mother is dead and the drugs they find belong to the cartel Knox’s dad suspects killed his wife.

I really couldn’t put this book down, every page offers up a twist you won’t see coming.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Jen Talty

Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.

I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.

I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.


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Just a Taste from Midnight Magic: A Limited Edition Collection of Magical Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Tales (Charmed Magic Collections)


Midnight Magic
A Limited-Edition Collection of
Magical Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Tales
(Charmed Magic Collections)
Featuring
Gina Kincade, C.D. Gorri,
Laura Greenwood, Juliana Haygert,
Rebekah R. Ganiere, Louisa Bacio,
Siera London, Susannah Shannon,
Ariel Dawn, Fiona Starr,
Julie Morgan, Taya Rune,
Taylor Aston White, Quell T. Fox,
Autumn Breeze, Asa Maria Bradley,
Kate Rudolph, M.C. Solaris,
Emilia Rose, Mia Meade,
Hanleigh Bradley, Pepper McGraw,
McKayla Schutt, Lilith Darville

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Enter a magical world of
sassy heroines and mystical creatures..
.

Fall under the spell of these outstanding USA TODAY and Bestselling authors as they spin unforgettable tales of witches, demons, dragons, shifters, and more.

Explore enchanting worlds filled with magic, unexpected twists, strong leading ladies, and just the right amount of flirty romance.

This limited-edition collection of BRAND NEW paranormal romance and urban fantasy books will take you on a thrilling joy ride you won’t soon forget.

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Witch Switch
Bewitch Me Book 2
By
Louisa Bacio

How do you fight evil
when it’s yourself?

Rafe turned away from an arranged marriage for one based on love. His choices, though, left the woman he loved in danger.

Cheyenne took her inherited witch powers for granted until she needed them most when the jilted bride wants revenge.

Together, Rafe and Cheyenne must unravel which witch is real in the ultimate Witch Switch for power and love.

Cheyenne and Rafe are in love, the only problem is he’s been promised to another.

Meredith has been waiting a long time for Rafe to set the wedding date. When he arranges a meeting that what she thought he was going to do instead he calls off the engagement. One thing about Meredith, she always gets what she wants and she’s not always nice about it.

Since the council has approved the match, Rafe also has to get his parents on board with the change. That’s not going to be easy since they never felt Cheyenne was good enough for him.

Cheyenne knows Meredith and has strengthened the wards on her house. She knows how evil the woman could be and their families have always been in conflict. She’d need the extra protection.

In the middle of all this she finds she has two sisters on her father’s side. He was/is a musician with very much a love ’em and leave ’em attitude. She also has very little powers since she vowed not to use them again after her mother died. She’s also hoping her sister, Justine, who just showed up on her doorstep can help her reconnect with her powers.

Unfortunately, Meredith shows up before that can happen, and that results in something unusual and in the witch world dangerous and illegal. This is just part of what happens with Rafe.

This is a favorite scene.

“PLEASE STAY.” It was almost impossible to ask for help. It’s like part of her fought with another for control. “My body is kind of miserable right now. I hate it.”

That didn’t sound right. Why was she thinking of herself in third person? Cheyenne slapped her palms against her thighs and resisted the urge to pinch the soft flesh under her arms until it turned red and swollen.

She lost.

“What are doing?” He grabbed hold of her wrists. “Since when do you hurt yourself? I never seen any signs?”

The question stilled her movements. Rafe calling out her actions only highlighted them more, upping the stakes.

Because he potentially saw through her, she wanted to hide even more.

“I don’t know. It felt right in the moment.” Did she look as confused as she sounded? Another voice whispered not to say anything else so only she heard. “I shouldn’t mess with my magic. Once I push it, I kinda lose control of everything else.”

It’s not like she wanted to do it, or even consciously did. It’s like the brief flash of pain helped her get out of whatever fugue state fogged her brain and allowed her to be present, totally present. And not subdued like the feeling of watching her life behind that two-way glass seen in cop shows.

She’d viewed the discussion with Rafe, disconnected, and not able to directly interact.

“I need help.” She placed her hand over his. “I’m not feeling like myself.”

Her throat tightened, like an invisible claw squeezed until she could barely breathe, let alone say what she wanted to say. She tugged at her neck, gasping. Her vision blurred and tears streaked her face.

“Chey. Chey!” Rafe called out to her from a faraway tunnel. His voice echoed as if he called her from a distance.

The lack of oxygen caused her to be lightheaded, and she fell, back-back-back, without ever hitting the ground. His strong arms caught her.

“I’ve got you,” he murmured. “Everything’s going to be all right.”

She wanted to tell him that she loved him, and managed to squeeze his hand before losing all consciousness.
Midnight Magic: A Limited Edition Collection of Magical Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Tales. Bacio, Louisa. Switch Witch. (Kindle Locations 27676-27691). Naughty Nights Press LLC. Kindle Edition.

Now the problem is to not only find Meredith, but also prevent her from doing anymore harm.

Siblings, flirting, and sizzle with that touch of drama.

5 Contented Purrs for Louisa!

Louisa Bacio  Louisa Bacio
A Southern California native, Louisa Bacio can’t imagine living far away from the ocean. The multi-published author of erotic romance enjoys writing within all realms – from short stories to full-length novels.

She shares her household with a supportive husband, two daughters growing “too fast,” and a multitude pet craziness: Two dogs, five fish tanks, an aviary, hamsters, rabbits and hermit crabs. In her other life, she teaches college classes in English, journalism and popular culture.

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Elite Justice – Guardian Elite Book 2 by KaLyn Cooper


Elite Justice
Guardian Elite Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
KaLyn Cooper

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The terrorist plot discovered by the new assistant manager at the Dallas Guardian Security Center is real, but she’s not what she seems.

Jonathan O’Neil, new to the Dallas Guardian Security Center, knows a terrorist plot when he sees one on the tempting waitress’ computer. To find out the details of the plan and to stop them, he sets out to seduce her, only to find that nothing is what it seems.

Gwen Shaw overhears refugee teenagers discussing a plot to rival 9/11, but her Arabic is rusty. Besides, who is going to believe the sketchy information from an apron-wearing newcomer, even though she’d recently left the Army as a seasoned officer?

ELITE Justice, the second book in the Guardian Elite series, features the sexy men from KaLyn Cooper’s Guardian Elite series in a heart-pounding romantic suspense of mistaken identity of a strong heroine.

NOTE:
This book was previously published as Justice for Gwen. It has been deeply edited and expanded to become part of KaLyn Cooper’s rebranded Guardian ELITE series.

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This book opens as Jonathan O’Neill enters the diner Up In Smoke, to meet up with Quin the manager of Guardian Security in Dallas. Jonathan is the new assistant manager, and they are having a ‘get to know you’ lunch. The atmosphere is light until a woman shows up with a gripe about credit cards not working, confronting Quin with the accusation. That gets settled by the police chief who was seated at the next table.

Then we get into the meat of this tale. A group of teenagers come in and settle at a booth, speaking arabic. Instead of the normal teenage complaints they were discussing their dissatisfaction with not being allowed to help plan or execute an attack.

Gwen spent a couple of tours in Afghanistan and she starts documenting their conversation. Although her Arabic isn’t the best she definitely got the drift of the conversation. The question was who to take it to.

Jonathan comes at around 10 PM late for some but for him it was breakfast. He gets a glimpse of her notes before she shuts the laptop.

This is a favorite scene.

Stepping onto the sidewalk in front of his hotel, the tall buildings cast long shadows, filling the street with the pretense of night. This was Jonathan’s fourth graveyard shift in a row. As the newest of the three assistant managers, he’d been assigned the twelve hours from ten at night to ten in the morning. He’d awakened several hours ago and hit the local gym since this Guardian office didn’t offer one yet. After showering and changing into his uniform, he’d headed out to find food.

A man-sized breakfast is what he needed. Steak and eggs, maybe. He remembered Up In Smoke served the meal all day and turned in that direction.

He couldn’t wait to move into the new building where he’d have his own quiet apartment rather than the outdated hotel with thin walls where he and Quin currently lived. He was sure the room above him had been rented to a knuckle-dragging gorilla who had bounced on a hooker for hours last night. She had to have been a purchased lay because no woman he’d ever fucked sounded so fake.

Thoughts of sex shot to memories of the unsuccessful pub crawl with Quin. They’d started at a strip club where the women were too skinny but all of them had nice racks. Fake, but huge. Next, they moved on to a hopping nightclub. A pretty little brunette had sidled up to him, but she was more interested in the gun Guardian required him to carry at all times— even off-duty since he could be unexpectedly called to an emergency— than she was in him.

Quin had danced with several drop-dead gorgeous women before he found a model-perfect blonde. When they had returned to the bar, Roxie had introduced Jonathan to her friend, Babs. He’d thought of her as Big-Boobed Babs when they first met, but after an hour of strained conversation, he had designated her Brainless Babbling Babs. He’d considered it a bullet dodged when she’d seen several other friends and joined them on the dance floor. He’d taken advantage of the opportunity and quietly slipped out.

Jonathan heard his boss return to the room next door around three in the morning, sure he’d scored given the satisfied look on his face the next day in the office. He hadn’t been envious of Quin, simply resolved. None of the beautiful women he’d seen and talked with sparked a flicker of interest in him.

As Jonathan strode toward the little diner, he realized why he’d slept alone that night. He’d compared every woman to the sassy, take-charge Gwen. Rich brown eyes, a no-nonsense haircut, and very little, if any, makeup was more beautiful to him than any of the scantily dressed women with overly-dramatic eyes he’d seen replicated in every bar he had visited. He quickened his steps, hoping she was there.

Gwen sat at the counter typing on a laptop as he entered. Jonathan let out a long breath, pleased at the sight of ass-hugging jeans and a tight t-shirt. His gaze instantly scanned down her legs. Strong. Toned. They would look perfect bare and wrapped around his waist.

Yeah. This was the image he’d jerked off to the night he’d gone out with Quin as he showered away the stench of beer, clashing perfumes, and raging pheromones.

Without asking, he slid onto the stool beside her. “Please tell me I can get steak and eggs this time of day, Gwen.”

Her initial look of surprise softened into a genuine smile that made the gold strands in her brown eyes sparkle. He wondered if they came to life or disappeared completely when she was aroused.

“You most certainly can.” She cocked her head. “You have an advantage over me. You know my name, but I don’t know yours.” As she scraped her gaze over him, the corner of her mouth twitched up before she controlled it. “Calling you New Guardian Guy, or Quin’s friend from work just doesn’t seem right. I like to know who I’m talking to.”

“Jonathan O’Neil.” He held out his hand. “And I am Quin’s friend, but I’m also his employee. I’m the newest assistant manager at this center.”

She took the proffered hand and gave it a firm shake. “Nice to meet you, Jonathan O’Neil. How would you like that steak cooked? And the eggs?”

She reached down to her waist and confusion was chased by the realization that she wasn’t wearing an apron. With a self-deprecating smile, she stood and slid around the corner of the counter. Grabbing an order pad and pen, she looked at him expectantly.

“I like my steak rare and my eggs sunny side up.”

“Home fries, French fries, baked potato, or one of those?” She pointed to a list of sides on the board above the kitchen window where a Latino man watched them carefully.

Jonathan didn’t bother looking. This was breakfast for him. “Home fries.”

“Coffee?” Gwen’s raised eyebrow was one of the sexiest things he’d seen.

“Definitely.” He looked around for a coffee cup, but they sat ready only on the set tables. She reached under the counter and pulled out a mug.

Leaning back, she reached out to the machine behind her, then turned around to him. “Leaded or unleaded?”

“Fully leaded, please.” He smiled when she grabbed the black-bottomed pot and filled his mug. “Sweetheart, you have just earned my undying gratitude.”

Just as she slid the order under the clip and spun it toward the kitchen, the restaurant phone rang. She snatched the portable handset from beside her computer. Frowning at the display, she said, “Excuse me.” She disappeared into the back, leaving him alone to enjoy his surprisingly delicious coffee.

Jonathan glanced around the nearly empty diner. A middle-aged couple sat in a booth along the back wall, hardly talking, concentrating on their pie. They’d probably been married for over a decade, catching a late supper together after a long day at work if he had to guess given the man’s suit jacket lying on the seat next to him and her dress pants, flattering blouse, and short heels. He’d been taught to sum up people and situations quickly. They were no threat.

As he swept his gaze over the restaurant, his eyes fell on Gwen’s computer. Three words jumped out at him. Big like 9/ 11.

What the fuck?

Put Ams in their place.
Holy shit.
What was she into?

The lid suddenly closed, and very feminine fingers splayed over the blue case.

“Your order should be up soon.” At Gwen’s terse words, his eyes met hers. Yeah. He’d been snooping, and he needed to dig further.

He hoped his smile put her at ease. “Writing a book?” It was a plausible explanation.

She slid the laptop off the counter, placed it underneath, and drew out a mug. She turned her back on him and poured a cup of decaf. “I’m no author.” She came around to his side and, once again, took her seat. “I hated writing papers in college.”

“Where did you go to school?”

Any information she was willing to give him would help. She just stared at him for the longest time, as though trying to read his mind or decide if she could trust him.

To start the give and take necessary to build a solid foundation for a friendship, he offered, “I graduated from the University of Florida.”

“You’re a gator.” She smiled.

“Yes, ma’am.” He sipped his coffee. “I wanted to get out of Miami but not too far from my folks.” He shrugged. “Besides, the school had Navy ROTC and I had a scholarship.”

“You were in the Navy?” There was more than a spark of interest in her question.

“Marines.” He was used to women gushing at this point and mentally prepared for the onslaught of military questions.

“I was Army.”

She couldn’t have shocked him more if she’d said she was an alien. He set the cup down and stared at her. Really looked at her, as though seeing her for the first time. It was there. That hard edge that said I’ve seen too much.

Jonathan wanted to take her in his arms and protect her. He’d hold her until all the sharp angles melted into smooth, round curves, erasing the bad things she’d seen, replacing those memories with the sweet life she deserved.

And, maybe she’d do the same for him.

“When did you get out?” He managed to ask.

“Six mon—” Her gaze flew to the door as a bearded man all but fell through. “Kane.” Concern saturated the single word.

She jumped up and grabbed the man around the waist and placed one hand under a bent elbow. Half-carrying, half-guiding him to the back, the two spoke so low Jonathan couldn’t hear.
KaLyn Cooper. ELITE Justice (Kindle Locations 390-459).

He also meets Kane who will be important later. For now though Jonathan is concerned because he’s unkempt and smelly and appears to be in some kind of withdrawal. What’s really going on surprises him.

He and Gwen have a definite attraction and he uses that to get information off her computer. Bad move, sneaky move, but he gets what his company needs. It’s just a small part of a big picture.

I love the way things twist and turn and the romance that sneaks in with just the right amount of sizzle.

I can’t wait to read all of these newly revised books.

5 Contented Purrs for KaLyn!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

KaLyn Cooper KaLyn Cooper

KaLyn Cooper’s romances blend fact and fiction with blazing heat and heart-pounding suspense.

Twenty-two years as a military wife has shown KaLyn the world, and thirty years in PR taught her that fact can be stranger than fiction. She leaves it up to the reader to separate truth from imagination.

She, her husband, and Little Bear (Alaskan Malamute) live in Tennessee on a micro-plantation filled with gardens, cattle, and quail. When she’s not writing, she’s at the shooting range or on the river.


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The New Gods – Rebels and Curses Book 1 by Ripley Proserpina


The New Gods
Rebels and Curses Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Ripley Proserpina

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Kiss me or kill me?

All my life, I’ve been fascinated by stories about gods and the mortals they treated like toys.

Now I’m at Oxford University with a newly acquired doctorate, and I’m making a career out of my childhood obsession. There, among medieval buildings and famous libraries, I meet five men who have names right out of Greek mythology.

Achilles. Hector. Paris. Pollux. Orestes.

I’m drawn to them, not only because of their names, but by the passion they try to hide.

And the way our fates seem inexplicably linked.

Turns out, I’ve uncovered an ancient artifact that could do more than just turn the academic world on its head. It’s the key to releasing a pantheon of angry gods who’ve had millennia to plot their revenge. And it’s the reason these legends have emerged from the shadows.

Five men who were once princes, generals, and tragic heroes have vowed to stop at nothing to prevent the world from descending into chaos again. Even if it means ignoring the growing passion between us and wiping me off the face of the earth.

NOTE:
The New Gods is the first book in a reverse harem romance series with dark themes.

The first chapter in this book takes place thousands of years ago and is the basis of this story. Five demigods, brothers if you will, Hector, Paris, Orestes, Achilles, and Pollux merge their powers into an obsidian seal that will lock away the Gods and Goddesses. It would appear as a jug or amphora figures adorning it, should anyone find it. It would be in pieces, scattered across the globe, hopefully gone forever.

Dr. Leonora ‘Leo’ Ophidia, on a dig in Turkey, unearthed a shard of vessel. It depicts the image of Horace and in Cyrillic beneath the image the words ‘For Astyanax, beloved son of Hector, Prince of Troy’. This piece now on display in the British Museum has been carbon dated way prior to established date of the Trojan Wars. Her discovery was the entry to her current position of professor at Oxford.

We first meet Pollux at her first lecture, he was stunned to realize the shard was indeed part of the seal he and his brothers created. He asked only one question and that was if she’d found any other pieces of the vessel. Her confident answer makes him realize she wasn’t going to stop looking for the rest of the pieces. This is far more frightening than she could possibly imagine.

She meets Orestes next as he saves her from being run over. The different traffic patterns from what she’s used to in America nearly gets her run over.

After Pollux has met her, the five of them get together, they rarely all gather since it’s a lot of power in one place and could get noticed. They need to decide what to do about Leo and her quest to find the rest of the shards. Pollux doesn’t like the outcome of that meeting and makes it his mission to protect Leo.

There are two sites Leo is researching as possible places for other pieces. One is the Lighthouse at Alexandria and the other is here in England. She accidentally finds out the site she wants while at the Ashmolean. They have an artifact of the head of Achilles. In fact it’s on the train there that she runs into Achilles as he’s trying to get rid of her.

Pollux and Orestes are also on the train and with Achilles convince Leo to meet with their other two friends before continuing on her journey.

Their conversation is the beginning of a turning point in this story and their relationship.

This is a favorite scene.

His smile died immediately. He leaned forward, elbows propped on his knees and stared at me. “Pollux told us about it. He saw it in the British Museum.”

“You weren’t too far off.” Pollux jumped in. “Like many ancient artifacts, there are people, religions”— he seemed to search for the word and finally settled on—“oaths, that are sworn to it. What you found?” His voice was so deep, it drew me in, and I leaned even closer. He placed his arm on the back of my chair, where he gripped the wood and squeezed. “It was never meant to be found.”

“So you’re like the Freemasons or something?” I racked my brain for groups like the one he’d described— one with a legacy that was passed from one generation to another. There was the Skull and Bones Society, though they were only a couple of hundred years old. The Bilderberg Group, which was political, and again, only a hundred years old or so. The Order of Assassins. But they had dissolved back in the twelve hundreds. Of course, there were tons of religious groups, The Order of St. John, The Sovereign Military Order of Malta…

But I wasn’t aware of any that had to do with the Trojan War. Just because I didn’t know any, though, didn’t mean they didn’t exist.

“I’ll take a secret society over Diana Regan any day.” And that was the truth. My parents might not like me, but my former advisor despised me. The grudge she held seemed way out of proportion with my supposed crime. Focusing on what Pollux had said, I continued with, “So do you have a name?” He shook his head, glanced at Hector as if waiting for him to add something.

Hmm. That was interesting. Hector must occupy some sort of leadership role in this society.

Pollux went on. “There’s no name. But what you’re searching for… it shouldn’t be found.”

I had assumed it was pottery. A vase or an amphora. Maybe even some kind of box.

A seal was different. Seals kept things together, or kept them closed in.

The piece I’d found had told the story of Hector— a very out-of-canon story. Putting together everything that hadn’t yet been said, I asked, “Do you not want me to find it because of the story it tells? Or is it something else?”

A thousand mistakes I could have made ran through my mind. What if the shard wasn’t as old as the radiocarbon dating suggested? What if I’d misread the Greek inscription? What if someone had put it there, like Lady Elliot had suggested? My stomach clenched. Maybe I should call the museum. Retract my articles? Oh, god. I wanted to puke.

My phone was in the pocket of Orestes’ jacket, so I withdrew it. To call who? Dr. St. John? Dr. Merton?

This would make Lord and Lady Elliot pissed— not that they seemed to like me much anyway, but that donation…

I’d fucked up so bad. So, so, so bad.

“Wait. No.” Hector pulled his chair closer, took my phone from my hand, and flipped it over on the table. “It’s not— as far as I know, from everything Pollux told us— your theories aren’t wrong. But the pieces can’t be found. You have to leave it alone. Let it stay lost.”

More and more questions swirled in my head, racing around my brain in a way that made it ache. I rubbed my temples. “Then what do you want from me? It’s not like I have it in hand. It’s one piece, and if what you’re saying is true, and the dating places that piece thousands of years in the past, the likelihood of finding another is…” I wasn’t a math genius so I went with, “low. Very low. Highly unlikely.”

And I hated to say it, but— “I think you might be overreacting.” I shifted to glare at Achilles. “Actually, I know you are.”

Crossing his arms, the huge man smiled. “I apologize.”

“Not accepted.” Though it was about time.

He smirked and just shook his head.

There had to be something wrong with me that I wasn’t running and screaming out of this pub. As a child, I’d had fantasies of adventure and intrigue. I imagined running from gigantic boulders threatening to crush me as a temple sunk into the desert. In those scenarios, I fought bad guys, just like Indiana Jones, and repeated his classic line, “This should be in a museum!” when treasure hunters tried to steal what I found.

But reality was a lot less interesting and a lot more gray. I should be afraid of Achilles, and all of them, but I only had more questions.

“Does it belong to you?” I asked. “The—” I almost said, “shard” but corrected myself, “Seal?”

Hector nodded before he answered, “Yes.”

This complicated things. Not that they weren’t already, but Turkey had already laid claim to the artifact. It was very difficult to prove ownership. England had laws about such things, because it wasn’t so rare for a farmer to plow one of his fields and come upon a Roman village. There were assessments that were required before farmers dug trenches, or things like that. In Turkey, there were similar laws on the books, but private landowners didn’t always follow those regulations.

And then there was of course all the geo-political changes which made tracing land ownership dicey. If they were saying that the seal was found on their land, it could be difficult to prove. “How old is your claim?” I asked.

Achilles had taken a sip of the pint I hadn’t touched. Choking at my question, he covered his mouth with his arm, but he didn’t manage to catch all the drops of beer. He wiped them up with his sleeve.

“Old,” Hector answered. “Ancient.”

“I don’t suppose you have anything in writing?”

It wasn’t my imagination that he smiled. And god, what a change it made to his serious face. White teeth set against his dark beard and a cleft in his chin. He crossed his arms over his chest, just watching me.

“Okay.” Ignoring all the challenges and millions of questions I had, I repeated myself, “Okay. I’ll help you. But you have to understand, if there are more pieces, and they’re here, in England, or anywhere you can’t prove you have a title or provenance, things will be really tricky. Turkey has been attempting to get artifacts for years, but it’s very difficult. Almost impossible, really, without diplomatic intervention.”

Hector nodded as I spoke, but every so often his gaze would flick toward one of the other men. Achilles didn’t take his eyes off me, and I could feel Hector’s brother, Paris, watching. I took the pint from where it sat in front of Achilles and sipped it. It was a dark, like a stout, and much stronger than the light beer I tried at college parties.

“Jesus. This is like a meal.” But my throat was dry, so I took another sip.

“Does this mean you’ll stop looking for other pieces?” Orestes asked.

He’d been quiet since his friends had joined us, and had chosen a seat away from me. After his compassion on the train, I thought he’d stay close. I’d hoped he would. With him and Pollux on either side of me, I could breathe. Or at least not worry that Achilles would try to stop me from breathing.

The man in question stared at me. I didn’t think he’d try anything again.

“Are you going to try to kill me again?” I asked.

Lifting an eyebrow, Achilles shrugged. Shrugged.

Here I was, thinking about the law and titles. But this seal, it was important enough that the man sitting across from me— with his long, messy hair, and stubble, and cold hazel eyes— had tried to end my life.

“I’ll stop.” It was a lie. A straight-up, nose-growing, I’m a real boy, lie.

As the words left my lips, a car went by the pub. The headlights illuminated all of us for a second, and Paris’s face was spotlighted. He was staring at me, dark eyebrows drawn low over bright, blue eyes. And he frowned.

Lie.

Lie. Lie. Lie.

And I’d just been caught.
Ripley Proserpina. The New Gods: Rebels and Curses Book 1 (Kindle Locations 1671-1734).

They convince Leo to stay with them and things start getting more interesting as myth becomes a bit of reality.

So many twists, turn and OMG surprises in this book that I’m truly rooting for that happily ever after. 

I really can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!

Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.


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Quarry in the Quince – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 17 by Dale Mayer


Quarry in the Quince
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 17
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Riches to rags …
Chaos is down …
Everyone loves sparkly rings …
Some more than others!

Who knew a simple trip to the consignment store would find Wendy being strong-armed by two strangers? So not allowed—especially as it could affect Doreen getting her month-end check! Trying to get to the bottom of this is one convoluted story to sort out. It involves Bernard—an eccentric and handsome older man, who had a very young fiancée in his life—the breakup, and the resulting theft.

Corporal Mack Moreau is not at all happy with Doreen’s new male friend, Bernard, who has the money to keep her in the style she was accustomed to. However, Mack is happy Doreen is staying out of his cases, if only she could stay out of trouble! Then again, Doreen can find trouble like this without any effort on her part. At least this time she also befriends another Kelowna icon, who lives behind Wendy’s store and who is well-known for her quince jams and jellies.

Yet a big shiny reward from Bernard awaits someone who solves the theft and how it involves Wendy and the jam icon. Maybe—just maybe—that someone could be Doreen.

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I love the way this book opens with tea at Millicent’s. Macks mother is definitely encouraging a relationship between Mack and Doreen. There’s mention of Mack’s brother Nick moving back to Kelowna as well. When Doreen mentions going to the consignment store on their way to the beach, Mack discourages her by reminding her it’s Saturday and to wait until Monday to get her consignment check. He also mentions the Esther, and her famous Quince trees behind the store. It seems everyone loved Esther’s quince jam but she doesn’t sell it anymore.

We found out in the last book that Wendy at the consignment store has some shady characters coming around. This book gets to the heart of that issue. We all know Doreen supports her friends and Wendy’s store is where she gets part of her income. She’s not going to let anyone hurt Wendy, and she finally gets the story out of her. Apparently, a woman tried to get Wendy to buy a ring for cash, a lot of cash. Wendy doesn’t buy things she takes them on consignment. Not that she’d have the kind of money the woman wanted for it even if she did.

Doreen not only gets her check from Wendy but actually sees the men bothering Wendy and getting a photo of the van’s plates. Doreen tells Wendy to expect a visit from Mack. There’s no way Doreen wasn’t going to get him involved if Wendy is in danger.

After missing a call from Mack, Doreen calls Wendy on her way out with Goliath, Thaddeus and Mugs for another walk. She’s going to check out the alleyway and see if there’s any place the woman could have hidden the ring. That’s when she meets Esther and sees the murder of crows that inhabit the quince trees.

A trip to the library has Doreen find information about Bernard, his ex, Candy and the ring. She follows this up with a trip to the grocery where she runs into Esther. After seeing her purchases, Esther invites her to her home where she has plenty of jam to go with Doreen’s peanut butter. Doreen leaves with a lot of the jam everyone raves about as well as fresh fruit from Esther’s other trees.

We see more of the guys threatening Wendy and of course Doreen and Mack are involved with finding out who exactly they are. There’s also the problem of finding Candy who apparently disappeared right after the debacle of the ring.

Everyone’s reaction to Esther’s jam is hysterical and I think Mack’s was the best.

This is a favorite scene.

“I’ll stay safe,” she replied, yawning. “Besides, I mean, after being told I wasn’t cream pie either, that’s an insult that I’m still trying to get over.”

He chuckled. “Honestly? Sounds like it’s not a bad thing.”

“Says you,” she argued. “I don’t know what, but something’s going on with Richard.”

“For you, something always going on with everybody.”

“Yeah, but he’s … different.”

At that, Mack just nodded. “He’s definitely unique, but that doesn’t matter.”

“Maybe not,” she stated. “At the same time, he is a conundrum.”

Uh-oh, that just means you’ll try and figure him out.”

“If he hasn’t done anything, I can’t really figure anything out, can I?” she asked, raising both hands in frustration.

“It sounds like you’re waiting for him to do something, so you can get into his life and tear it apart.”

“No, I don’t want to do that,” she stated. “Something’s sad about him. I don’t really want more sadness in my life.”

“Is this case getting you down again, like the others?” he asked, frowning at her. “Remember? You have to take this work in small doses.”

She smiled. “Yeah, how about we try paddleboarding or something fun again coming up? To take my mind off all this stuff.”

“Perfect,” he said. “Dinner tonight, and then we can go out paddling tomorrow, no better make it the day after.”

“And we make a day of it,” she offered. “We can go out paddling on Sunday and have dinner Sunday night.”

“And that works too,” he agreed. “Considering the work I’ve got, maybe that’s better,” he admitted. “It may end up being Monday even.”

“Good,” she replied. “I need to spend some time with Nan too.”

“I’ll let you know.” He looked around. “Hate to ask, but you got anything to eat?”

She laughed. “I’ve got toast. And jelly.”

He looked at her in surprise. “I haven’t had jelly in a very long time,” he shared in delight.

She rolled her eyes. “And I didn’t even know it was a thing until a couple days ago.”

“It’s not only a thing,” he explained, “it’s a heritage thing, especially when talking about Esther’s jam. But quince was never very profitable commercially, so it wasn’t something that anybody ever turned into something you’d find in the supermarket,” he noted, “but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less viable.”

“Well, if you say so.” She got up off the deck, walked back into the house, and then returned. “I do have bread and jam, and I even have peanut butter.”

“I’ll take it,” he said, standing up to join her in the kitchen.

She watched as he put four slices of bread in the toaster. “Wow, you are hungry.” He nodded. “I am. I’ll buy you another loaf of bread later.”

“No, you won’t. You’ve fed me more than enough times.”

As soon as the toast was done, he buttered all four and put peanut butter on half, and then she handed him the jelly jar. He looked at it, and his eyes lit up when he saw it. “Is this it?” he asked almost reverently.

She watched in astonishment, as he took the knife, dipped it into the jam, and then tasted it. He closed his eyes and almost swooned. “Good Lord,” she stated. “Now I know why they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

“Absolutely. But you can get to my heart anytime,” he joked. And then he winked at her.

She flushed. “Now you’re just joking,” she replied, laughing.

“Oh no, I’m not.”

“You have to be,” she murmured. “You know what my cooking’s like.”

At that, he burst out laughing. “Good point.” He slathered jam all over his toast without peanut butter and took a bite. He sat down right in place. “Wow,” he muttered. “This has got to be Esther’s quince jelly.”

She stood here with her hands on her hips. “So not only can you tell that it’s quince, you know who made it?”

“Only Esther made jam like this,” he declared. “I used to go with my mom to the Kelowna market and get it from her.”

“Wow. Well, it is Esther’s,” she confirmed. “She gave me several jars.” He looked up at her hopefully. She sighed. “Apparently I didn’t get enough jars from her though.”

“No, there is no such thing as enough when it comes to this,” he stated reverently. And he sat here in peace and just finished his first slice, then the second with peanut butter, and then again had buttered toast with jam.

She smiled at him. “I’m glad that you really enjoyed that.” Seeing the look of joy on his face, she was happy that she could at least give him that much. She got up, walked over to the pantry cupboard, where she had put the jelly, and pulled out one jar, and handed it to him. “There. Now you can’t say I didn’t share.”

He looked at the jam hopefully. “Is this another one?”

She nodded. “It is. And it’s for you.” He beamed like a little boy. She shook her head. “And you promise to enjoy it all?”

“Not only do I promise to enjoy it all,” he said, chuckling, “I promise to not share.”

She rolled her eyes at that. “You better not. I do not have enough to give everybody in town a jar,” she exclaimed.

“Who else have you given them to?”

“Nan, and, boy, she had a similar reaction to you.”

“We were all heartbroken when Esther stopped making it. I mean, we understood, but, at the same time, you know, she had a heck of a market built up.”

“Sounds like she had a good thing going. She doesn’t look like she’s terribly flush with money, so I’m surprised she’s not still doing it.”

“I think it’s hard work, especially for just Esther to handle alone,” he noted. “And maybe she just doesn’t care to do that anymore.”

“Maybe. I know she told me that she had put away enough food for years and then amended that to say that, now that she’d reassessed her age and how much she had stored up, she’d put away enough for decades.”

He frowned. “If you ever have an opportunity to get more, get lots more,” he suggested, looking at her hopefully.

She shrugged. “She gave me enough that it would be suspicious if she were to give me more because I suddenly ran out,” she noted. “I’m hardly drinking this stuff.”

He looked at it and shrugged. “You know what? It’d be worth it. Can you imagine this with ice and some gin?”

“Nope, I sure can’t.” Doreen frowned and shook her head.

He grinned at her. “Well, you have definitely given me a trip down memory lane, and I will take the jar with joy,” he declared. And he snagged it up.

“Now sit there and finish your toast,” she said, as she walked over, grabbed the coffeepot, and topped up their cups. “And after you’re gone, I might have a lie-down and just let some of this stuff run through my brain.”

“At least you’re not getting into trouble.”

“Nope, I’m not,” she agreed, “at least not at the moment.” At that qualifier, he glared at her. She shrugged. “Hey, it’s early yet today. Who knows? Maybe all kinds of things can still happen.”
Dale Mayer. Quarry in the Quince (Kindle Locations 1968-2028). Valley Publishing.

We all know that quince is going to play a part in this story. I love the way things twist and turn between the past and the present. Every little clue dropped intertwines with both. Mack and Doreen’s relationship moves steadily forward is delightful.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.


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