It’s In His Kiss – Candlewood Falls: The Winery Book 3 by Jen Talty


It’s In His Kiss
Candlewood Falls: The Winery Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Author

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Where broken dreams collide, two hearts will come together and find the love they thought they lost.

Dax Fabion had once thought he could have it all. However, Chablis River made it perfectly clear that he couldn’t have her, and have a career in the NHL. He chose the latter. A decision he’s regretted for years and it’s time to make right a wrong.

All Chablis River wants is to prove to herself, and to her mother, that she still has what it takes to be one of the best winemakers in the country. When, her ex-boyfriend, and the real reason she left Candlewood Falls in the first place, returns with the goal to win her back, Chablis will be able to forgive him for chasing his dream, but she will she ever be able to trust him with her heart again?

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NFL star Dax Fabion has come back to his hometown of Candlewood Falls. He’s also hoping to reunite with Chablis, he really owes her a big apology for the way he left things with them.

Chablis River is very nervous to see Dax. She has a really big secret that no one knows other than her brother Malbec. Once upon a time she was ready to give up going to college and be with Dax through his NFL career. She also had to make a real difficult decision, one that Dax made a lot easier at the time.

Dax is going to be the new head hockey coach at CFW Prep. When Chablis joins him for dinner, one of the parents, Selena is their waitress. Dax and Chablis talk about the past and how they both felt back then but Chablis still holds something back. Of course, Selena has to ingratiate herself and Toby by inviting Dax to dinner. Selena and Toby’s son TJ is one of the players Dax is looking at. He and Toby have a rather awkward past to get through, but his concern is only for the team he’s building.

The unveiling of an amazing outdoor portrait of him done by Axel a local artist on the side of the Brewery is an opportunity for his friends to welcome him home. Merlot, Malbec, Caleb, Brad, Axel and Raf are all there to celebrate with Dax. Then the news comes of a crash with an explosion and injured fire fighters.

Not willing to wait for additional news, Dax heads to Chablis apartment.

This is a favorite scene.

But the reality was she wanted to be alone so she could let the tears come. She’d never been so scared in her life. She’d fought some serious fires before. Dealt with some hard situations. But that explosion had been like nothing she ever witnessed before.

She could still hear it echoing between her ears. And the heat prickled her skin like a cattle prod. For the first time in her life, she thought she might die.

Curling her fingers around her father’s strong biceps, she mustered up a smile. “I love you, Daddy. But it’s one in the morning. Go home and be with Mom. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Okay. But will you promise me that you’ll call me if you need anything? I’ll leave my phone on all night. And tomorrow there isn’t anything too pressing that I can’t change my schedule to be with you.”

“I promise.” He leaned in and kissed her cheek.

“Follow the doctor’s orders.”

She looped her arm through his and guided him to the door. “Don’t worry.”

“It’s a father’s prerogative to do that.” He pulled open the door. “Oh. Hello, Dax. Isn’t it a little late for you to be showing up?”

“Hi, Carter,” Dax said, holding a bouquet of flowers in his hand. “I saw you pull in. I’ve been trying to reach Chablis since I heard what happened. I wanted to make sure she was okay.”

“She’s fine. It’s late. Time for you to go home.”

“Dad,” Chablis said with a stern tone. “I’m not fourteen. You don’t get to send him away like that.”

Her father turned and glared.

“He’s right.” Dax handed her the flowers. “I’ll call you—”

“This is ridiculous. Come in,” she said. The need for tears was suddenly replaced with the desire for human contact.

And not her father’s.

“Dad. Tell Mom thanks for the food. I’ll call you in the morning.”

“Why does this feel like déjà vu?” Her father tapped his temple. “Oh, I know why. I’m being ditched for the star hockey player. Again.”

She laughed.

“In all seriousness,” her father started. “She’s been through a lot. Don’t stay too late.”

“I won’t.” Dax nodded.

She stood in the doorway and waited for her father to get in his car and turn the engine on before turning her attention to Dax. “You didn’t have to come over. Or bring me these.” She stuck her nose in the pretty bouquet. They smelled like a meadow on a sunny day. “They’re beautiful.”

“I would have waited until morning, but I saw you pull in.” He gently took her arm and lifted it. “That’s got to hurt.”

“It’s all superficial burns. They aren’t bad. But do you mind if we go sit? My head is pounding.”

“Here. Let me help.”

He took the flowers and practically ran into the kitchen where he found a vase.

She made herself comfortable on the sofa in the small family room and watched him skillfully cut the stems of the flowers and arrange them in the vase as if he were a master florist.

“Do you want something to drink? Water? Juice?” he asked.

“Water would be nice.”

He brought her a glass and sat on the other side of the sofa, lifting her feet and resting them on his lap. Normally, she’d protest, but she didn’t have the energy.

“How was the unofficial unveiling?” When she’d heard what Axel was doing, she’d been super annoyed. The last thing she wanted was to drive into town day in and day out and see her ex-boyfriend’s face.

She still didn’t.

But the town did and she understood why.

“I have to admit, I’m not sure how I feel about seeing myself on that building all the time, but Axel is an amazing artist.”

“That he is,” Chablis agreed.

“It’s so weird to see all my old friends and listen to them talk about marriage and kids. On the one hand, being with them feels like I’ve been catapulted back to my youth. But on the other hand, it makes me feel old.”

She rested her hand on her middle. It was hard not to think about what she’d done. It wasn’t about regrets because she didn’t regret the action.

Only the silence.

Dax had the right to know, and she should have told him seventeen years ago. It wouldn’t have changed things. Not even if she’d known Traci wasn’t his girlfriend. The fact remained they weren’t ready for each other.

Or being parents.

“Neither one of us are old.”

“I feel like I’m too old to start a family.”

“Do you want one?” she asked. “I mean, Malbec is having his first kid soon and they plan on more. Caleb is your age and he and Brooklyn plan on kids.”

He placed his hand on her foot and rubbed. It was something he used to do when they were dating. Whenever they would be talking about something or mindlessly watching TV, his hands would always go to her feet. She never minded.

And she didn’t now.

“I didn’t mean to get into a deep conversation. That’s the last thing you need.”

He was right about that, and she was grateful for the opportunity to switch gears.

“I take it you’re going to have to take some time off work?” he asked.

“A few weeks from the fire station and I don’t know how long my folks are going to make me stay away from the winery.”

“I’ve got an idea.”

“Oh. That’s scary,” she said.

“This weekend and all next week I’m recruiting. How would you like to come with me? We can watch some of the games together. You can check out different ones. You can give me your perspective on the kids on the ice. You’ve always had such great insight into the game.”

“You really want my opinion?”

He nodded. “I have a list of twenty-seven kids that have applied. I have five spots open. Only one kid do I know I want to take. It’s really hard because there are so many games to watch and they’re kids and they know I’m there. Once they see me, or their parents do, they act differently.”

“So, you want me to be your eyes when you’re watching a different game.”

“Exactly,” he said.

“What about Serena and Toby? They will know I’m there and they will have something to say about it.”

“I’m allowed to have independent eyes and you’re not making decisions. Just giving me advice. Besides, they don’t have to know why you’re there.” He winked.

She cocked her head. “Don’t give those two something to talk about. This town is already buzzing about what may or may not happen between you and me.”

“I hear there’s a pool down at the brewery,” he said with a laugh.

She kicked him. “There better not be, but if there is, I’ll take one hundred to one that there isn’t.”

“Ouch. That hurt.”

“What? The kick in the thigh or the statement?” She smiled.

“Both, but back to hockey,” he said. “I’ll send you to games that TJ won’t be at so you won’t run into Serena or Toby. I’ll give you a list of things I want you to note.”

“I’m not a hockey player.”

“But you know the game,” he said. “You used to critique me after every single one of my games and you were always on point. Come on. Please. It will be fun and it will give you something to do. I know how much you hate to be idle.”

“Doc says I have to lay low tomorrow, so probably can’t do it until after the parade on Saturday.”

“No worries. I can handle tomorrow on my own and I’m not going on Saturday.”

She smiled. “Okay. But on one condition.”

“What’s that?” “You buy me a funnel cake every day.”

“Deal.” He squeezed her ankle. “On that note, I should let you get some rest. I wouldn’t be surprised if your dad is sitting out in the driveway waiting for me to leave.” He stood, placing her foot on the sofa. “Don’t get up. I’ll see myself out.” He leaned over and tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear and stared into her eyes for a long moment.

She held her breath, waiting for him to say good night. But instead, he brushed his lips tenderly across her mouth in a sweet, loving kiss. It wasn’t the kind of kiss shared between friends. A spark deep in her gut tried to roar to a flame, but she squelched it. She couldn’t allow this to deepen. It was too much. Too soon. So many emotions raced through her mind. She couldn’t think straight.

“Sleep well.”

She clutched her pendant and remained breathlessly on the sofa. She heard the door open, then shut. She brought her fingers to her lips. Everything she felt for Dax in the past had been brought to the present. Nothing had changed. Her love for him was as strong as ever.

And the secret she carried still darkened her soul.
Jen Talty. It’s in His Kiss (Kindle Locations 964-1038).

Selena proves to be a bit more than just a little problem. Then there’s also Brooks, someone Dax has had issues with in the past. He wants the job Dax has accepted. Toby is the biggest surprise though.

While there are lots of ups and downs for Chablis and Dax they both rise to the occasion. This is what true love is all about!

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

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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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Ridge’s Release – Wicked Winemaker’s First Label Book 2 by Heather Slade


Ridge’s Release
Wicked Winemaker’s First Label Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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A charming billionaire winemaker with a broken heart.
An assistant DA who’s sick of the men interfering in her cases.
And the WICKED WINEMAKER’S auction that changes everything…

RIDGE

My family started Ridge Winery, so I’m no stranger to getting what I want. But, I was shot down, turned down by a woman I thought was mine. That’s old news now, though. Water under the bridge. I’m not one to wallow or get discouraged, not my style, not my thing. This auction is everything I tried to avoid, and everything I needed. But, I’m determined to make the sassy DA see me in a new light. Let’s just see how WICKED it’s really going to get…

SERAPHINA

I don’t care how irresistible they are. The so-called good guys shouldn’t be butting into our cases. This isn’t a game of cops and robbers. This is real danger and real lives are on the line. But when it’s my life that hangs in the balance, there’s only one man I trust, one man who can save me. And believe me, he’d climb to the top of the RIDGE to protect me.

Seraphina Reeve is the assistant DA and her boss has assigned a task force to investigate the Los Caballeros. The thing is the task force consists of her, and there is no evidence whatsoever that the Los Caballeros even exist. Her boss also wants her to prosecute Brix Avila who is the supposed head of this secret society. Unable to reach Brix she arranges to meet Noah Ridge for breakfast. Now before she even gets there her mother informs her that her sister Louisa is missing. She wants to ask for help but makes the mistake of putting her job first and Noah just laughs and leaves.

Trying to contact Noah becomes an impossible feat, he won’t answer her calls, and no one’s talking. That is until she calls the sheriff, he tells her he’s at the winemaker’s ball. She quickly checks online for a ticket and gets ready for the ball. This could be an expensive way to get the help she needs. Ten thousand dollars later and she’s won Noah Ridge’s date. Only he’s not happy about it.

After a brief argument she agrees to go with him to talk about her sister’s disappearance.

This is a favorite scene.

It wasn’t until he took the turnoff for See Canyon Road that I asked again where we were going. “What are you going to do? Throw me off the mountainside?”

“Yep. You caught on. Rather than letting you drive away, I decided to murder you instead. Knock it off, Seraphina.”

I folded my arms and looked out at the moonlight on the ocean. I’d always loved this drive. When I was younger, before Luisa was born, my father would bring my mom and me here. Once we got to the top of the mountain, the views went as far north as Big Sur and south to Santa Barbara. I doubted there was a more beautiful place in all of California.

I was stunned when Ridge pulled off the road at the exact spot my father used to.

“I’d suggest we get out and walk, but there’s the thing about me murdering you to get past. Not to mention, it’s a little too cold for you to be out without a jacket.”

“My dad used to bring me here,” I said.

“He did? I didn’t realize you were from the area.”

“Lived here my whole life except for when I was at law school.”

“Huh.”

I wasn’t surprised he hadn’t put two and two together with my name. Noah was three years older than I and far more popular. He was probably away at college when my dad lost his birthright. It was doubtful he would’ve known his father had purchased our family’s vineyards and winery operation.

“You said your sister is missing.”

I nodded, knowing if I tried to speak now, I’d wind up in tears again.

“Can you tell me what happened?” His voice was soothing, so unlike it had been at the ball.

I took a couple of deep breaths. “My mother called me the day I met you for breakfast. Not that we ate. Anyway, she asked if I’ve talked to Luisa recently, and when I said I haven’t, she told me my sister hasn’t been home for two days.”

“That was two days ago, so now she’s been missing four.”

“That’s right.”

“It is unusual for her to be out of contact for that length of time?”

“Very. Especially with me. Also, she’s about to graduate with a master’s degree from Cal Poly. My mother said she left her computer at home.”

“I’m guessing any attempts at reaching her have failed?”

“Yes.”

“Have you been able to find anything on her computer? What about cell phone use? Bank account or social media activity? Do you know if she’s attended any of her classes?”

“None of the above. In fact, I went to the university, looking for her, and one of her professors told me she sent an email, stating she was leaving town and wouldn’t be finishing the semester.”

“Which doesn’t make sense if she’s about to graduate. How were her grades?”

“Summa cum laude.”

“So quitting with only a few weeks left isn’t be something she’d do.”

“Definitely not.”

“Friends?”

“No one has seen or heard from her since last week.”

“Does she have a boyfriend?”

I nodded. “His name is Jorge.”

“He hasn’t seen her, either?”

This was where it became difficult to explain. “She hasn’t been seeing him that long. Neither my mother nor I care much for him.”

“Have you been able to talk to him?”

“I only know his first name, and I have no idea where he lives.”

“Have you had her cell phone tracked?”

“I’d need a warrant.” He raised a brow.

“You haven’t been able to get one?”

“She’s twenty-three and has been missing four days. SLO PD is not exactly seeing this as a priority.”

“You couldn’t get one on your own?”

“The DA thinks I’m overreacting.”

The incredulous look on Noah’s face was the same one I’d had on mine yesterday when I approached my boss.

“I need to ask you something.”

I’d anticipated he would. The last time we talked, I’d threatened not just his best friend but the very people I was now seeking help from. “I swear I would not lie about my sister being missing in order to trick you into doing something that would jeopardize Los Caballeros— if it truly exists.”

He raised a brow and turned his head toward the ocean. “That wasn’t what I was going to ask.”

“I didn’t want you to think—”

“I wouldn’t have.”

“I’m sorry. What were you going to say?”

“Given your sister’s stellar academic career, this seems unlikely, but do you think there’s any chance the boyfriend could’ve talked her into going away?”

“I don’t think so, but she is twenty-three.”

“Like I said, it seems unlikely, just from the little you’ve told me about her.” He turned toward me. “You mentioned your mother hasn’t spoken with her. What about your father?”

“He died a few years ago.”

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you.” I waited to see if my dad’s death would job his memory. It didn’t appear to.

“Tell me about the ten grand. You said you weren’t interested in the date.”

“It was a spur-of-the-moment decision.” Something occurred to me. “Oh my God, I’m such an idiot.”

“What are you talking about?”

“The money doesn’t go to you; it goes to the charity.” So essentially, I’d bid ten thousand dollars just to have a conversation with him. I felt sick to my stomach.

“Your plan was to use it to pay me to help you.”

I looked away.

“I’m going to help you, Seraphina. And even if you’d offered it to me, I wouldn’t have taken your money.”

“Why?”

“Am I helping you?”

“Yes.”

“Because it’s what we do.”

“I don’t have much money left,” I said without looking at him.

“Again, we wouldn’t accept your money either way.” When Ridge covered my hand with his, I glanced over at him. “And I told you I’d cover the cost of your bid.”

I shook my head. “You don’t have to do that. You said you’d help me. That’s all I care about.”

“Which, if I’d returned your phone calls, wouldn’t have cost your savings.”

“I can’t let you.”

He shrugged. “I’m sure Alex will agree to it if I offer to double the contribution.”

“Why would you do that?”

He smiled. “I could let you believe I’m gallant. However, the truth is, I always donate twenty-five thousand to the foundation anyway.”

“Thank you, Noah.” My eyes filled with tears and I looked down at his hand resting on mine. I tried to move it away, but he held tighter.

“I promise we’ll find your sister.”

“How can you be so sure?” I whispered, hating to think what not finding her would mean.
Heather Slade. Ridge’s Release (Kindle Locations 390-393). Wicked Winemakers First Label Book Two.

Ridge immediately calls the available Los Caballeros; they meet and form a plan to find Luisa.

This becomes far more complicated, and along the way Ridge discovers he really likes Seraphina. They just have to figure out a few things. Well more than just a few.

There’s plenty of action, suspense and romance in this one. Including hints on the next book. I can’t wait!

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Coming Soon!

Heather Slade

USA Today and Amazon Top 15 Bestselling Author Heather Slade writes shamelessly sexy, edge-of-your seat romantic suspense.

She gave herself the gift of writing a book for her own birthday one year. Forty-plus books later (and counting), she’s having the time of her life. The women Slade writes are self-confident, strong, with wills of their own, and hearts as big as the Colorado sky. The men are sublimely sexy, seductive alphas who rise to the challenge of capturing the sweet soul of a woman whose heart they’ll hold in the palm of their hand forever. Add in a couple of neck-snapping twists and turns, a page-turning mystery, and a swoon-worthy HEA, and you’ll be holding one of her books in your hands.


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Scott’s Summit – Terkel’s Team Book 6 By Dale Mayer


Scott’s Summit
Terkel’s Team Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Everyone has the right to make a mistake, … but the one Naira made isn’t one Scott can forgive. He wakes from a coma, sure that the ex-love of his life had been at his side, but finds no sign of her. When he does see her, he can’t get past a long-ago decision she’d made that tore them apart.

Naira had hoped that Scott would protest her decision way back when, but he didn’t say anything to stop her. Heartbroken, she went ahead with the business marriage to appease her father, which ends in divorce. When Terk called, she came running to Scott’s bedside, even knowing he’d hate to see her when he woke up. But she has always loved him and can only hope he might find his way back to her.

But finding his way back to the team is on his mind, with Naira second. Except that the operatives who took down his team initially are coming around and trying to pick off everyone left alive—and all the people they hold dear, … like Naira.

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Naira and Scott’s relationship was a very long time ago. They ended when Naira made the decision to marry for a business arrangement. At the time she hoped he would protest or at least give some indication that he cared for her. Now divorced, she hadn’t hesitated when Terk called that Scott needed her. She still loves him but is certain he doesn’t feel the same, although Terk assures her that isn’t the case.

When Scott wakes from the coma, he’s hungry and when Terk arrives with Naira he’s still eating, much to his nurse’s dismay. The thing is he doesn’t seem at all pleased to see Naira and tells her so. In his mind, marriage, regardless of the reason for it should be sacred. So even though Naira is free to begin a relationship, he doesn’t feel it should be with him.

Naira is ready to pack up and leave but Terk asks her to think about it before she does anything rash. She doesn’t get a chance though as she’s shot on her way into the hotel.

Scott rushes to the hospital against his nurse’s advice. He’s there every time she wakes and finally when she’s a bit better they start to talk.

This is the beginning of that conversation and a favorite scene.

“I’m here and can rest while you sleep, so I’m staying,” he argued. “So don’t waste your strength trying to stop me.”

She frowned and didn’t say anything. Shifting ever-so-slightly and wincing at the pain, she looked around the room. “Where’s Terk?”

“He’s gone back to your hotel room.” She looked up at Scott, and he just shrugged. “He needed a place to crash. Plus he wondered if somebody would try to access your room, in case they were looking for something.”

“So, he set himself up as bait?” she asked, her tone flat.

“Well, it’s hardly bait if he goes in prepared. He’s not alone either.”

“Good. He’s special.”

Scott nodded. Terk connected with people on a deeper level than most did. If Terk were asked about what that special something was, he’d say, What are you talking about? He affected people profoundly, and he didn’t even realize it. “Terk is special,” Scott added. “I’m sure he will be fine.”

“I’m sure he will,” she murmured. “He’s just that kind of guy.”

She looked over at him. “I’m sorry.”

“For what?” he asked quietly.

“You know what for,” she replied. And the moodiness to her tone had him groaning. “We should always communicate,” she said.

“Well, that went out the window when you got married.”

“When I got married at my father’s request, you mean?”

“Your father has always been a bit of a bastard and a manipulator too,” Scott murmured.

“Yet you and I both know that I owe him.”

“You don’t owe him shit,” Scott declared, with feeling. “He’s your father, so looking after you is what he should be doing, not you looking after him.”

“Well, it worked in a sense— to stabilize the company, I mean. Stocks were fine. He didn’t lose his shit, blah, blah, blah,” she stated.

“And your marriage?”

“Well, it was a mistake right from the beginning,” she admitted. “And I learned pretty quickly that my husband had no intention of honoring the vows. So, whatever.”

“Ah. … But, for you, it was a real marriage?”

“I was prepared to give it my all. We’d always been friends,” she noted. “So marriage didn’t seem like it was the worst idea in the world.”

“And now?”

“Now it seems like it was the worst idea in the world,” she admitted, “and I really don’t understand how I came to make that kind of a decision.”

“Neither do I.”

“I get that,” she said, looking over at him. “I get that you don’t understand, but it’s not as if we were a thing.”

“And here I thought we were a thing,” he muttered, surprised that she knew what he was thinking.

“Well, if we were,” she added, “you weren’t doing anything about it.”

“Let me ask you something,” he murmured, looking at her. “Did you?”

She stared at him, not comprehending for a moment. “Did I what?”

“Did you do anything to further our relationship?”

Naira flushed. “No. … I didn’t.”

“Neither of us did. We were walking this pathway, lurching along, as if somebody would do something about it, and neither of us did.”

“So why are you so angry at me then?” she murmured.

“Because I’d been planning on doing something about it,” he replied. “Just like I think, in your mind, you’d been planning on me doing something about it too.”

She sighed. “Maybe, but all you had to do was say, Don’t, and I wouldn’t have married him.”

He stopped and looked at her. “Seriously?” Scott shook his head. “Because hearing that right now sounds pretty shitty.”

“I mean it,” she said. “I was rather desperately hoping that you would stop me and would ask me to marry you instead or something. But you didn’t say anything, and I thought you looked like you were completely disinterested.”

“Well, the woman I loved had just told me that she was marrying somebody else, so what the hell did you expect me to do?” He spoke with just enough bitterness that he realized just how much he was still affected by this one fateful event. He groaned. Why didn’t she just say all this before the wedding? “This is not a discussion we should be having right now. You need to focus on healing.”

She laughed and then cried out at the pain. “God,” she said, as she gasped. “Pretty sure I told you that yesterday.”

“Pretty sure I told you the day before too,” he noted cheerfully.

She stared at him. “I’ve lost that much time?”

“Yes, but you also gained an awful lot more,” he reminded her. “You’re alive, so stay focused on what’s important.” He got up, used the washroom; when he came back, she remained in the same position. “Do you need anything?” he asked her.

“Well, a new life would be good,” she stated. “Apparently I blew up the one that I had.”

“I don’t think you’ve blown up anything,” Scott admitted, “but you made some choices that affect a lot of other people. So, if things weren’t exactly smooth, that could be why.”

“It feels like they’ll never get smooth again,” she said.

“Maybe not. No way to know.”

“You won’t make it easy on me either, will you?”

“Trust is harder,” he stated, “particularly after it’s been broken.”

“I could say the same,” she replied. “I was pretty devastated when I told you, and you didn’t have anything to say about it.”

“It’s not as if you told me that you didn’t want to marry him or that you were looking for a way to get out of your father’s manipulations,” he murmured.

“No, but it never occurred to me that I needed to do that with you.”

“And it never occurred to you that you could just stand up to your father and tell him no?” He stared at her. “You came to me. Remember?” Scott said in disbelief. “You were the one sitting in front of me, telling me that you would marry somebody else.”

“Yes, I get that,” she snapped in a harsh voice. “Believe me. I’m still not even sure how I decided that was something I needed to do. But all it would have taken was one word from you.”

“And how much did you expect me to argue?” he asked. “Did you really think I would ask you to change your mind, when it was obvious you’d already made up your mind?”

“But I hadn’t made up my mind,” she argued, “and I think I was really just using that to help push you forward.” Her voice held a bitterness he wasn’t expecting.

“What do you mean?”

“I think I was trying to make you say it should be us instead, but, when you didn’t say anything, I realized that nobody gave a shit, so I might as well marry him after all,” she murmured. “So you see? It really did backfire on me.”
Dale Mayer. Scott’s Summit (Kindle Locations 635-693). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Everything changes for them when Terk brings her back to her hotel. Before she makes it inside, she’s shot. Of course, Scott insists on going to the hospital even though he still isn’t fully recovered. He compromises by getting a cot in Naira’s room so he can rest when she does. Things are escalating on the outside though and there’s another attempt on Naira’s life.

With no other options, Terk brings both Scott and Naira to the compound. These two have much to work through and they both have to stop and listen to each other.

Plenty of tension in this one as there is more escalation from their opposition. They also need a plan to be on the offensive not strictly defensive.

Pieces are coming together slowly, and there’s both action and romance as they figure things out.

I can’t wait for the next book!

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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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

The Right Guy – Meet Cute Book Club Book 4 by Mel Walker


The Right Guy
Meet Cute Book Club Book 4
By
Mel Walker

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

My ex is bringing my replacement to our friend’s wedding, what do I do?
Option A: Leave the state
Option B: Find a fake boyfriend for the week

Catherine is an unparalleled success. Blessed with friends from coast to coast and a smashing successful manager of a premier event space in the state, she has overachieved in every aspect of her life except one – finding a partner. Returning to her hometown for a friend’s wedding she is confronted by her ex, the man who predicted she’ll always be alone. To make matters worse, he trots his replacement all around town. Her knee jerk reaction, find a fake boyfriend for the week. Being an overachiever has its own set of challenges, even her fake relationship appears real to everyone, including herself.

Hunter is far from home. New city, new job, new challenges. He’s looking to stand on his own without the assistance of his powerful family. It’s a brilliant plan, that is until a stranger kisses him and ropes him into a fake romance. She is a beautiful distraction and he has his reasons for agreeing but as the charade grows he realizes the danger. The fake relationship isn’t the only secret he is hiding behind and if his secret gets out everything he’s worked for may disappear.

If you love small towns, fake relationship stories, moments that will tug at your heartstrings and a swoon-worthy happy ending, then you’ll love this sweet romance.

Catherine is going home for the first time in a while, this time unlike the others there will be no avoiding her ex. Her best friend Ava is getting married, and Palmer is a friend of Carlos, the groom.

Unfortunately, Palmer has interfered and now the wedding is at what was once a premier catering venue, Legendary Hall. Catherine once worked there, but she moved out state to her current position in Indiana needing to grow and develop her skills away from her hometown and Palmer. Legendary Hall has gone downhill since the owner retired and his son Frankie took over.

Hunter recently moved to Mesa. He’s working at Legendary Hall but not for the money. He has an ulterior motive that begins with learning all that’s gone wrong with the venue.

Catherine crosses paths with Hunter as she does a favor for Ava. Checking that all is on schedule and planned properly at Legendary Hall. Her encounter with Frankie is topped only by the appearance of Palmer. Of course, he’s got plenty to say to her and none of it is nice.

This is a favorite scene.

Thirty minutes and forty items later, Frankie escorts me back to the lobby of Legendary Hall. “You do know we’ve given them a discount,” he mentions for the tenth time since I began to review the contract, line item by line item. Frankie was as useless as I feared. He didn’t have a clue on the status of most of the items and the ones he did answer were filled with half-truths and outright lies.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re giving it to them for free. You are running a business and have a reputation to uphold. When was the last time your dad came through here?” I twist the one point that I know will gnaw at him.

“He’s retired. I run this place.”

“It shows,” I spit back.

“Why do you care?” Frankie fires back but before I can respond, another voice calls out across the lobby.

“Because it’s the closest she’s ever going to get to a wedding. She’s always living life vicariously through others.” I don’t have to turn to know who it is or the look I will find on his smug face.

Palmer Easton has arrived.

“About time you showed up Palmer, I texted you twenty minutes ago. Your girl is making my life a living hell.” Frankie’s voice holds no shame. Not even the courtesy of sounding apologetic to me. I’m just an object that needs to be handled and since he can’t control me, he’s called in reinforcements.

I brace and turn. Palmer Easton in the flesh and blood. Palmer is white, golden short curls and blue eyes that at one point in time I wanted to stare into all day. These days I look right through them, unaffected.

“Yeah. That’s kind of her specialty. Hello Catherine.” His tone is different from the years we spent together. It is now filled with bile, and venom.

The boys smack hands and swap sinister grins. The bullies celebrating. Palmer should know better. He knows my history with both Frankie and Legendary Hall.

I hold up the punch list of items I’ve scribbled down and snap a picture. I step to Frankie and push the paper into his hand. “Here are the items we’ve discussed. Ava has enough on her plate, so I suggest you get to work on it immediately. I’ll be back Saturday morning for a walkthrough, and I pray that everything will be up to standard.”

“Catherine have you not learned a thing? Do you really want Frankie to tell you what to do with that list?” Palmer winks at Frankie and nods in the direction of the office. “Frankie, I got this. Thanks for the heads up.”

Frankie gives Palmer another hand smack, and he disappears down the hall without saying farewell or any pretense that he’ll address my concerns. Customer service at its best.

I make the mistake of taking my eyes off Palmer to watch Frankie walk away. I feel him before I see him, Palmer’s scrawny finger lifting the dark hair which rests on my shoulder. He sweeps it off my shoulder, his face pushing forward, lips an inch from my ear. “You lost the privilege of giving orders when you decided to ride off into the sunset and leave us behind. How is that working out for you?”

My shoulders clench and I spin away from Palmer. His baby blues, which for years held warmth and love, now filled with disgust. “Don’t you dare touch me.”

He scoffs at me and closes the distance between us again. “Someone has to. I know for a fact that you didn’t put a name on your plus one. You’re still as single as the day is long. Just as I predicted when you left here. You’ll always be alone. And lonely. Not even good enough to be a bridesmaid. You’ll never be a bride.” He spits the venomous words at me using our history to torture me. “You had your shot at the brass ring, and you messed up. And now you’ll forever be searching for the perfect man, the right guy, that only exists only in your head. I’m as close as you’ll ever get, and it wasn’t good enough because nothing is good enough for the woman who pushes everyone away.”

His words cut. We spent years together. He knows me. He knows what brings me joy as well as my biggest fears. He has decided, for some reason, to use this information to bring me pain. This is not the man I once knew.

My silence emboldens him. He closes in like a snake in the grass, looking to strike again. I’ve been in Destiny Falls, Indiana, for three years. I’ve met some amazing people; I’ve seen love blossom all around me. Both of my good friends Mia and Candice found the loves of their lives. Yet I’m still single without a decent prospect on the horizon. It shouldn’t matter, but I won’t let Palmer feeling superior to me even for an instance take root.

“Don’t touch me again Palmer.” I put steel in my voice, forcing him to halt his approach. “And you may want to check your facts. You’re wrong again.” I catch the movement over Palmer’s shoulder. Hunter, the kind observant maintenance man. He must’ve clocked out while I was on tour with Frankie. He’s paused in the hallway now clad in a nice pair of dress slacks and a polo shirt, an outfit I would have never pegged for him. I may have misread Palmer all those years ago, but my assessment abilities have improved over the years.

I pray I’m right.

“So, are you bringing someone to the wedding?” Palmer scoffs once again at me, the challenge in his voice egging me on. “I mean someone not your sister.” He enjoys his own response with a chuckle.

I should be a better person. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, let alone Palmer Easton. But I can’t let the thought of him thinking he’s right about something concerning me take a foothold in his mind. If it does, I know him. He’ll spin this into me being wrong about everything – including dumping him. I won’t let that happen.

My gaze locks on Hunter and I raise a brow, hoping he’s heard enough of this conversation. Hoping my instinct that he is a kind and understanding soul is not broken, I lift a hand in his direction as Palmer turns to see what has drawn my attention.

My breath catches for a foolish beat as I push out the words. “There he is now. My man.” I exhale and take a leap of faith.
Mel Walker. The Right Guy (Kindle Locations 373-419).

Without conversation, Hunter plays along with Catherine. He agrees to be her date for Ava’s wedding. However, there’s some legwork to be done to appear as a couple.

Neither of them expects to actually start to fall in love. There are many things they aren’t talking about, and those things could destroy the budding relationship.

I love the way this story plays out, there are ups and downs and plenty of surprises.

5 Contented Purrs for Mel!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Mel Walker

Mel Walker has been writing fiction most of his adult life. Specializing in Short Stories and Contemporary fiction and Romance Novels. A native New Yorker and life-long frustrated NY Mets fan. He loves to write about ordinary people placed in difficult situations, especially as it relates to their closest relationships.

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About The Meet Cute Book Club Series

Escape with the Meet Cute Book Club where meet-cutes don’t only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever afters.

Eight single women bound by their love of books take a monthly break from real life to lose themselves in the chapters of romantic fiction. From friends to lovers to fake relationships and more, each story features a brand new couple and their journey to find love from an amazing lineup of authors including Louise Lennox, Tracy Broemmer, A.M. Williams, Mel Walker, RJ Gray, Rebecca Wilder, Julie Archer, and Kate Stacy.

These eight standalone romances are packed with meet-cutes, heat, and of course a happily ever after!

This promotional event is brought to you by The Indie Pen PR

Revenge in the Roses – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 18 by Dale Mayer


Revenge in the Roses
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 18
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Riches to rags. …
Bullets start flying. …
Rage is rising, …
especially for some!

When the journey to Rosemoor for a celebratory evening turns deadly, Doreen’s life is flipped on her head. She can only watch in horror as Mack is shot right in front of her. Horrified, she vows to solve this case and fast, before the shooter realizes he failed and comes back for a second attempt.

Corporal Mack Moreau has been shot before, but this time it’s way worse because Doreen watched it all happen. Now she’s planning to catch the shooter before Mack even starts to heal. That’s not a good idea. She’s yet to consider that maybe the shooter wasn’t after Mack but really wanted to shoot her. After all, the cases she’s been involved in have created a whole new level of acquaintances in her life. How many of them are gunning for her?

But Doreen is not deterred, and, with her trusty team at her side, she’s determined to keep Mack safe by finding his shooter before he tries again.

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There was supposed to be a celebration but as Mac, Doreen and her pets Goliath, Mugs and Thaddeus approach Rosemoor, Mack is shot.

Confusion reigns for a bit and Doreen drops the animals off at home and heads to the hospital. Some of Mack’s co-workers and even the captain is already there. Of course, it’s not long before Nan and many of the Rosemoor residents add to the group waiting for word.

Then there’s the problem of getting Nan and the other Rosemoor folks back where they belong and also get Doreen home so she can rest. The captain takes Doreen home first and then heads to Rosemoor to make sure everyone made it back and also issue a warning.

Doreen realizes she accepted the ride home and now her car is at the hospital. She makes the decision to go to Nan’s hopefully to catch a ride to get her car with Darren or the captain. What she walks in on is hysterical.

This is a favorite scene.

Doreen hugged her grandmother back, then stepped over to the captain and whispered, “What’s going on?”

He gave her a wry look. “Did I look a little too relieved to see you?”

“Yeah, you did.” She shot him a suspicious look. “So I repeat. What’s going on?”

“Your grandmother is trying to rally the troops to solve Mack’s murder.”

“And I’m sure you’ve given her the official line?”

“I have.” Yet he looked haunted.

“And I presume they’re ignoring you, as usual.”

He nodded at that. “I don’t understand. Almost all the citizens in this town are completely law-abiding, So, if I say stop, they stop.”

The corner of her mouth kicked up. “But every one of these people is old enough to know what you looked like when you were running around in the buff and sucking on a binky. That does undermine your authority a little bit.”

His lips twitched and then twitched again, until he burst into loud guffaws. By the time he finally calmed down, he wrapped an arm around her shoulders, gave her a hug. “No wonder Mack likes you so much,” he said, with a grin. “I had not considered my reputation in that light.”

“No, but, once you hang around with these people long enough, you realize they respect very few things, and all of it has to do with what you’ve done in life. And their memories go waaay back.”

Still chuckling, he nodded. “So then maybe you tell them.”

“Meaning, they don’t see me still in diapers? You’re wrong. They do.” She sighed. “But, at the same time, they’ve also seen that I’ve done a few things to benefit them all, so that has held me in good stead. Plus Nan would not have them treat me otherwise.”

“You’re not kidding. They have more respect for you and Nan than they have for me.”

She smiled. “That’s because you still must be the bad guy sometimes. That’s not part of my job description.”

His lips twitched again. He nodded. “It’s up to you to get them all calmed down and to put them in their rightful place.”

“That’s the problem. They don’t go into the proper place,” she noted, with a sigh.

Overhearing that, Nan chuckled, turned to the crowd, and called out, “Let Doreen speak.”

Almost immediately the slamming of canes on the floor and the stamping of feet erupted, even if at an odd rhythm, as they moved and shuffled slowly to face Doreen. Then the chant rose. “Doreen, Doreen, Doreen.”

She looked around her, shook her head. “All right, guys, before you all have heart attacks, calm down.”

At that came muffled laughter. She looked around at Nan. “Do you have some folding chairs or a room with enough seats so that everyone can sit down?” And then came a collective sigh of relief.

Nan looked at the others and then slapped her hand over her mouth. “Oh, I didn’t even think of that. See? That’s why Doreen’s here,” Nan told the crowd.

“Good thing,” called out one old guy, “because I’m about to collapse.”

Doreen motioned to the adjoining communal sitting area, where plenty of couches and chairs were. “Come on. Let’s all go over there, so everybody can sit down. Maybe we can get some pots of tea or something going?” she asked, looking at Nan. “You want to go work your wiles on the kitchen staff?”

Nan chuckled and disappeared, as the crowd slowly relocated, and Doreen shook her head at how slowly most of them made their way into the comfortable seating area. She looked over at the captain. “Are you coming with me?”

“Oh, absolutely.” He chuckled. “You already got them doing more than I could.”

“Did you try to get them to sit down?”

“No, I was hoping to get them to disperse.”

She chuckled. “Nope. You know the rule about raising horses and unruly kids? Or seniors in this case?”

He looked at her and asked, “Do you have either?”

At that, she burst out laughing. “Nope, I sure don’t, but the rule always is, make the right thing easy and make the wrong thing difficult.”

An odd look took over his face as the captain contemplated that. “You know something? I think that goes for any situation.”

“Yep, now stay close, while we figure this out. We must take the wind out of their sails, otherwise they’ll be all on a big rampage.”

Following the crowd, Doreen spotted Darren. She waved at him. “Darren, did you get an update from the hospital?”

He nodded and joined her and the captain. “Mack’s awake and doing well. He’s been admitted into a private room in the hospital. You’re still not allowed to go visit though, even during regular visiting hours.”

She frowned at him, wondering if that was said on purpose.

He shook his head. “No, it’s not me. The doctor wants to keep Mack quiet for the next little bit. Maybe later tonight or tomorrow morning you can see him.”

She nodded slowly. “That’ll be all the quiet Mack gets. After that, I’m breaking him out of there,” she announced.

The captain sighed heavily. “I’m sure glad you didn’t say that in front of this crowd.”

She looked over at him, startled, and then nodded. “Right. Believe me. I’d have an awful lot of breaker-outers with me.”

Now with everybody seated in a big circle, she stepped into the center and sat down. All the animals immediately arranged themselves around her. “I don’t know how much of the scenario you all have heard, so I’ll give you what I know, and then anybody here who has information to offer, please speak up.”

She quickly gave an accounting of the walk down from her house with Mack and the animals. Mugs lay at her feet, and his ears lifted when she mentioned his name. Thaddeus did the same, poking his head out of Doreen’s hair, and cried out, “Thaddeus is here. Thaddeus is here.”

Immediately everybody laughed and clapped. Goliath just gave them all one of those long blasé looks, stretched out flat, and let his tail twitch.

Doreen continued. “We came around the corner of Rosemoor, saw a vehicle parked opposite the front door. A man hopped out when he saw us, lifted his hands, and called out “Copper,” then said something about revenge is better cold and shot Mack, who was already in motion. I’m not exactly sure whether Mack was trying to knock me out of the way or was moving toward the shooter, but Mack took the bullet high in his chest, actually more of a shoulder shot, and collapsed into the rosebush.”

She took a few minutes to compose herself, as everybody gave sage nods. “I’ll keep the questions simple. Did anybody see that vehicle parked out front? Hands up.”

Nobody raised their hands.

She frowned at that. “Did anybody see the actual shooting take place? Hands up.”

Again everybody shook their head. Nobody put up their hands.

“Did anybody know that there would be any kind of altercation earlier this evening?” she asked the crowd.

At that, one tiny little bird of a woman poked up her hand.

Doreen looked at her, with a sinking heart. “Yes. … What information do you have?”

“My knees have been acting up. That only happens when bad things are about to happen,” she explained. “I just didn’t know it would be Mack who would get hurt. If I’d known”— she slowly stood, her head barely cresting above all the other people seated—“ I would have said something to him, but I didn’t know it would be him.”

At that, several other people laughed, and one nodded.

Doreen looked over at the nodding man. “I’m sorry. I’m not sure what your name is,” Doreen began. “Have you seen this woman’s knees cause trouble before?”

“I don’t know that her knees cause trouble, but she has pointed out a few times when her knees have hurt, and bad things have happened.”

She stared at him for a moment. “Interesting. Okay. Besides that set of knees, does anybody else have anything to add about this?”

At that, several people put up their hands.

“Thank you for all being so mannerly.” She pointed to the one gentleman. “I think your name is Uriah?”

He nodded, seemingly pleased that she knew his name. “I want to know what we’ll do about it.” He then stood. “It’s one thing to get all the initial layout of the crime and then ask for answers, but do you have a plan yet?”

At the word yet, she realized just how much they were all counting on her. She looked over at the captain. “I’ll give you the official line,” the captain replied, his hands on his hips, as he turned and surveyed them all. “And you won’t like part of it.” At that, his words were met with jeers all around.

Doreen held up her hand. Instantly there was silence. At her side, the captain swore under his breath. She looked over at him, a question in her eyes.

He just shrugged. “They won’t do that for me,” he whispered.
Dale Mayer. Revenge in the Roses (Kindle Locations 278-357). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Not only does Doreen, get the Rosemoor folks to settle down, she assigns responsibilities much to the captain’s dismay.

Of course, Doreen isn’t staying out of it, and Mack’s brother Nick is now in town as well. Nick is quite amused by any and all interactions between Mack and Doreen.

This book is delightful, with plenty of twists and turns, laughter and more.

I really can’t wait for the next one!

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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Amazon Author Page

Needing Neor – Madagascar Adventure- Hot Hunks Book 5 by Jen Talty


Needing Neor
Madagascar Adventure
Hot Hunks Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

When Captain Neor Benning gets a cryptic message from an old friend that he needs help, Neor’s on the first transport plan to Madagascar. Only, when he gets there his friend is no where to be found. Instead Neor found out his friend didn’t send the message at all. He has half a mind to turn around and get right back on the next plane for the states. Until he learns what his buddy had been up to.

India Holland came to Madagascar to help her brother find out who killed their father. However, when she arrived, her brother had disappeared. The only clue she has is a map and note from her brother stating if anything happened to him to call Neor. So that’s exactly what she did, only Neor doesn’t seem to know anything and the second he lands, bullets start flying.

India Holland travels to Madagascar after a very cryptic conversation with her brother, Nepal regarding their father’s death. When she arrives, she finds her brother is now missing. He hasn’t been seen for at least two days and he never checked out of the hotel. She needed her brother’s things and to get them she pays not only for her own room but what her brother owed as well. Fortunately, he left a note for her with his belongings which is why they brought her his belongings. The note instructs her to text his friend and teammate Neor and wait for him to arrive.

Both Neor and Nepal are Army Rangers on medical leave from their last assignment. Nepal was using that time to be with his father, while Neor went to his family. When he gets the text from who he thought was Nepal, he immediately travels to Madagascar. He’s more than a little surprised to find it was Nepal’s sister India who sent the text and the reason why. He would protect India until they found Nepal and got answers. The problem for him is that he’s been a little in love with her since the first time they met.

Neor makes the decision to stay in her room and work on getting into her brother’s computer. What he finds surprises him, and against his better judgement he shares what he can with India to calm her down.

This is just one of many favorite scenes.

He brushed her hair over her shoulder and let out a sigh. “Rome has a daughter who he named Romilly. Nifati is a corrupt politician. Kiadly is Nifati’s son who has his sights set on Romilly who is seen as royalty in Madagascar. A couple of years ago, Rome was held captive in a remote village. We were told it was by a group that wants to overthrow the current government.”

“Wait. Why would they kidnap Rome? Sounds like they got the wrong man if Nifati is corrupt.”

Neor chuckled. “Rome is quite influential in this country. His wife’s brother is Luca Ratsifa who happens to be high up in the government and where Kiadly wants to be, but he doesn’t have the respect of his people. Neither does his father, but not for lack of trying. What we found out after the operation was that Kiadly had been behind the kidnapping. Or at least that was the rumors. It had all been about getting close to Romilly. He wanted to be in her good graces so he could woo her, but after I did a quick google search when I saw that document on your brother’s computer, that didn’t happen. Although, Rome and Kiadly do have a kinship of sorts because Kiadly took credit for his rescue and we can’t deny it. Not to mention that Rome and Nifati, while also not friends, they aren’t sworn enemies.”

“But doesn’t Rome know who saved him? I mean how could he have not known it was a United States Special Forces team?”

Neor pulled her closer. The heat between them was thick and steamy and all-consuming.

She should take a step back and put some distance between them before their lips touched and ignited a flame that turned into a raging inferno. There was no way she’d be able to control herself. She’d already given in to the fantasy as her hands made their way up his muscular biceps to his strong shoulders.

“Yes and no. There is no record of the op because it wasn’t sanctioned. If I were to become a whistleblower and try to bring this knowledge to light, the government, the Army— Delta Force— they would all deny. I suspect that Kiadly and his father know this and Kiadly’s been using it to bend Rome’s ear to push his daughter to take him as a suitor.”

She tilted her head. “So, what you’re saying is that Kiadly is potentially telling Rome that he hired you and your team to save him and now he wants favors in return.”

“Exactly.” Neor kissed her nose. “But that’s honestly a guess on my part and without seeing what Nepal has in his files, everything is speculation, which I don’t like doing. I’m only telling you this because I know it’s important to you and I want to help either calm your nerves or make you feel better or something.” He twisted her body, turning her and guiding her toward the bed. He pulled back the sheets. “There is honestly nothing left for us to do right now except get a good night’s sleep.”

Holy shit. Either Neor didn’t know when a woman was hitting on him, or he wasn’t interested.

Both were equally depressing.

She leaned into him, pressing her breasts against his chest.

He looked down and the corner of his mouth tipped up in a smile while he arched a brow.

At least she’d gotten his attention.

He curled his fingers around her wrists and groaned. “You’re more than a tempting woman,” he whispered, pressing his mouth against her cheek. “Maybe when this is all over and you still want to explore this and we have your brother’s blessing, we—”

“Are you fucking kidding me right now?” She glared. “I don’t need anyone’s permission, especially Nepal’s.”

“Maybe not. But I do.” He kissed the back of her hand. “He’d kill me.”

“You’re honestly afraid of what he’d think? Because that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“It’s a code we live by.” He helped her into the bed, pulling the covers over her body before sitting on the edge of the bed.

She couldn’t decide if she wanted to burst out laughing or actually ask a few questions so she could try to understand Neor’s outdated philosophy. She could accept wanting to be respectful, but who she chose to sleep with had nothing to do with Nepal.

Ever.

“My brother and I have never discussed our relationships unless they are long term,” she said as a tinge of anger filled her belly. “If you didn’t want to be with me, a simple no, thank you would have done the trick.”

“Don’t mistake me turning you down tonight as rejection or an admittance of not wanting you because trust me when I say, if we weren’t in the situation we’re in, we would have been naked an hour ago.” He kissed her so hard she was sure her lips would be bruised.

It didn’t last but a few seconds, yet it left her breathless.

And speechless.

He ran his thumb over her lower lip and smiled. “Being a gentleman around you is proving to be nearly impossible.”

“Maybe I don’t want you to be one.”

“Perhaps that’s exactly what I need to be right now.” He stood tall and strolled to the other side of the room. Slipping out of his shirt and slacks, he climbed into the bed and turned off the light. “It’s not just about the respect I have for Nepal and my friendship with him. It’s about timing. I want to be with you, but not like this. I want it to be about us. Not about what’s going on around us.”

Her breath stuck in her throat.

“Good night, India,” Neor whispered. “Sleep well.”

Hopefully the next few hours would be filled with sweet dreams, and not restless nightmares.
Jen Talty. Needing Neor ARC (Kindle Locations 497-541). Jupiter Press.

There is nothing straight forward in what they need to do to find Nepal. There’s also the problem that her father probably isn’t dead either, just missing as well.

Plenty of action, suspense, romance and sizzle in this page-turning read.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

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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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Code Name: Cowboy – K19 Special Operations Book 4 by Heather Slade


Code Name:
Cowboy
K19 Special Operations Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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Code name: Garrison “Cowboy” Cassidy
Target: Winslow Greer
Mission: Take the ski champion to new peaks

COWBOY

Being quiet and reserved makes cracking cases and taking down enemies—one vile and malicious criminal at a time—easy for a stealthy agent like me. But when I meet Winslow, it requires every bit of my reserve to take it slow. I know once I give in to her tantalizing ways, it’s going to be one fast, slippery slope of passion and pleasure.

WINSLOW

Death. The end. My final hurrah. At least that’s what I thought. But by some miracle, I escaped. Saving myself. That’s not enough, though. It’s not over. Peril is imminent, and I need help. Safety. Security. And there’s only one man I trust. But can I really put my life in the hands of a sexy cowboy in tight denims and a country drawl?

Olympic Skier Winslow Greer is the latest reported missing person. Garrison ‘Cowboy’ Cassidy is determined to find her before the worst happens. Whether it was a mistake or on purpose her kidnapper left her a way to escape. When she realizes she can get free, she does and runs for help.

Cowboy is notified as is Mayhem and they head to the police station. Once her parents arrive the situation is a bit touchy.

This is a favorite scene.

“Cowboy, this is Onyx. I heard from the sheriff a few minutes ago. He got a call from Lake Placid PD saying a couple just brought Winslow Greer into their station. You and Mayhem are still up there, right?”

“Affirmative.”

I was out of bed with my boots on by the time he instructed me to head there. When I raced out of the room, Mayhem came out of his.

“Ranger just called.”

“Onyx called me. Let’s go.”

Just as we pulled into the PD parking lot, Mayhem’s phone pinged. He swiped the screen. “Ranger said they’re expecting us.”

“Us?”

“Two guys working with the FBI.”

“Copy that.” Neither of us looked the part, though. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a haircut, to the point it hung past my shoulders. Both of us had visible ink and were dressed more like bikers than agents.

“Cassidy and Gable?” asked a man in uniform who greeted us at the door. “Follow me.” He walked away without waiting for a response from either of us.

“What’s Ms. Greer’s condition?” I asked when we reached a closed door and he put his hand on the knob.

“She’s shaken but has no visible signs of assault.”

“Visible?” asked Mayhem.

“She doesn’t want to go to the hospital until her parents get here.”

“They’re on their way?” I asked.

“Should arrive within the hour.”

“They aren’t here in town?”

The man shook his head. “Don’t know. It’s just what I was told.”

“Copy that.” I motioned for him to open the door. When he did, I went in first.

The blue eyes I’d stared into so often over the last few days filled with tears when they met mine. I walked over and knelt down near her chair.

“Winslow, my name is Garrison Cassidy, and I’m part of the team who’s been lookin’ for you. I sure am glad to see you, darlin’.”

Her breath caught, and the tears in her eyes ran down her cheeks. When she leaned forward and reached for me, I took her into my arms and stroked her hair as she sobbed.

“You’re safe now, sweetheart,” I soothed. “You’re safe.” I felt her nod, but until she let go, I wouldn’t either.

Too soon, I heard a knock at the door and it opening. “Excuse me, sir. Ms. Greer’s parents are on their way in.”

“I’m so sorry.” Winslow pulled away and wiped at her tears.

I brushed her hair from her forehead. “Don’t be.”

When I stood, my eyes met Mayhem’s. Thankfully, I didn’t see any judgment in them.

“Winnie!” a woman cried as she burst through the door. I took a step to the side to give Winslow and her parents space, when I felt her hand slip into mine.

“Thank you,” she whispered, looking up at me.

I squeezed her fingers before I let go, and Mayhem and I left the room.

His phone pinged. “Ranger’s requesting an update,” he said after swiping the screen.

“Go ahead.”

Mayhem gave me a head nod and walked away. Once he’d gone out the door, I leaned up against the wall and put my hands in my pockets.

“She hasn’t reacted to much until you arrived,” the police officer commented. “Other than saying she didn’t want to go to the hospital until her parents arrived.”

“She’s in shock.”

He shook his head. “Hell of a thing.” The man looked up at the ceiling and let out a heavy sigh. “We haven’t questioned her yet. The boss told us this is FBI jurisdiction.”

“Correct,” I said without looking at him. While I had no desire to put Winslow through the hell of recounting her ordeal, we couldn’t wait much longer to see if she could tell us where she’d been for the last few days.

The door opened, and Winslow’s father stepped into the hall. “What are you waiting for?” he barked, looking between the officer and me. “Why aren’t you arresting the bastard who did this to my daughter?”

“Sir, we—”

“I don’t want to hear excuses. Go do your goddamn job.”

I raised my eyes to his but didn’t respond. I understood every ounce of his anger. More, his feelings of helplessness.

“We haven’t questioned your daughter yet, sir. Until we do, we have no way of doing as you ask.”

Winslow’s father stared at the guy beside me, and I watched his fists clench in anger and his breathing accelerate with every word the officer said. Then his expression changed as acceptance gradually set in.

“What are you waiting for?” he asked a second time, but with less of an edge in his voice.

The cop turned his head in my direction.

“For you and your wife to arrive,” I responded.

“We’re here now,” he said at the same time Mayhem returned from outside. Winslow’s father looked at him, then at me. “Who are you?”

“We’re with the FBI, sir,” I answered for both of us, introducing myself first, then Mayhem, by our given names.

“Let’s get this over with.” He motioned for us to follow him into the room where Winslow sat, looking down at her hands folded in her lap, no longer crying.

Her expression, her overall demeanor bothered me. Something was off here, but I didn’t have enough information to even guess at what it could be.

Before her father had the chance, I stepped around the table and took the seat beside her. I moved the chair closer so our arms could touch if she moved even slightly. When she did, I rested my open palm on my leg, and she put her hand in it. Even without looking directly at her, I could see Mrs. Greer’s confused expression. I didn’t care what the woman thought. The minute Winslow’s hand was in mine, I felt some of her tension release. It was all I cared about.

I kept my voice even, void of as much inflection as I could. “I understand the last thing you want to do right now is talk about what happened to you, but if you have any information at all that could lead us to where you were being held, we might have a chance to catch whoever abducted you.”

Winslow’s eyes met mine, and I kept my gaze as even as my voice. “Whenever you’re ready.”

“There was a utility bill sitting on the counter addressed to Craig Ferrone.”

I looked up at Mayhem, who held up his phone. “How would you feel about us recording your statement?”

Winslow nodded, so I set my phone on the table and pressed the button to record.

“The place where he took me was on Main Street, across from the Lake Placid General Store. A basement apartment— in a brick house. The entrance is in the back, surrounded by evergreen trees.”

When Mayhem immediately followed the police officer out of the room, Winslow’s grip on my hand tightened.

“Don’t leave.”

Her father cleared his throat. “Winslow, he has to—”

“My partner and the Lake Placid PD have this handled. I’m not going anywhere.” I spoke directly to her rather than her father.

“Garrison, right?” Winslow asked.

“Yes.”

She turned toward her mother. “I’d like to talk to Garrison alone.”

“Out of the question. Your mother and I need to stay with you.” I didn’t like the edge in her father’s voice, particularly when Winslow’s gaze fell to her lap like I’d seen it do earlier.

“Give us a few minutes,” I demanded more than asked.

Winslow’s mother stood and led her husband from the room despite his objections.

I squeezed her fingers. “Take your time.”

She nodded and took several deep breaths. “He didn’t…”

I waited to see if she could go on. “Assault you?” I asked when it didn’t appear she could.

She nodded. “He kept me in handcuffs and my legs bound.”

I looked down at the floor and noticed her feet were bare. No one had thought to give this woman a pair of socks? What in the ever living hell? “Be right back—”

<em.“No!” She clung to my hand with both of hers. “Don’t go.”
Heather Slade. Code Name: Cowboy (Kindle Locations 326-394). K19 Shadow Operations Book Four.

The interview with Winslow leads them to where she was held but then dead bodies start showing up, along with additional threats. Now they have to devise a plan to keep her safe while the search continues.

There are so many revelations in this book that are horrifying, and tension escalates as they try to identify possible victims.

Obviously, there is a connection between Winslow and Cowboy and that only grows with time together.

I really love how we get to see folks from other series as well as those added to this one.

So much frustration but things are starting to be resolved, as I now wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Heather Slade

USA Today and Amazon Top 15 Bestselling Author Heather Slade writes shamelessly sexy, edge-of-your seat romantic suspense.

She gave herself the gift of writing a book for her own birthday one year. Forty-plus books later (and counting), she’s having the time of her life. The women Slade writes are self-confident, strong, with wills of their own, and hearts as big as the Colorado sky. The men are sublimely sexy, seductive alphas who rise to the challenge of capturing the sweet soul of a woman whose heart they’ll hold in the palm of their hand forever. Add in a couple of neck-snapping twists and turns, a page-turning mystery, and a swoon-worthy HEA, and you’ll be holding one of her books in your hands.

She loves to hear from her readers.


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Quinton – Hathaway House Book 17 By Dale Mayer


Quinton
Hathaway House Book 17
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Quinton had been a patient at Hathaway House in its first year. When she finally healed enough to move on with her life, she went into law and plowed forward. However, plowing forward may not have been the best answer for her physical injuries. While visiting Stan at the center, she collapses on her way to her brother’s room, as he’s a patient here now. The collapse shows a long-term issue, now an acute problem. After talking to Dani and Shane, Quinton’s booked back into the center on a short-term basis.

Stan hurts for Quinton. She’s an old friend, and he’s watched her progress from his first year in business at Hathaway. He’d always had a crush on her but figured his window of opportunity had passed. Now with her once again as a patient, it feels like a second chance for a personal relationship, one he’s more than willing to take.

Between her brother—who’s not getting along at the center—and Quinton’s own struggles to get back on her feet, thankfully she also has Stan and other old friends around, as Quinton takes the steps necessary to put her life back on track … in all ways.

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Quinton is a now corporate attorney and stops by Hathaway House to have Stan sign some documents. She knows Stan and the others from her own time at Hathaway House years ago. Stan always wanted to get to know her better, but the timing never seemed right.

Her brother Ryatt is now a patient here and he’s having issue adjusting, at least she hopes that’s all it is. She stops by to see Dani before heading to see him, but before she gets very far, she collapses in pain.

Dani calls for assistance and with Shane’s help gets Quinton settled in a room. She doesn’t want to stay but there’s really no choice.

Her brother comes to see her, and she reassures him she’ll be fine. She does question whether or not he wants to be there. His attitude is affecting everyone trying to help him. He tries to divert her attention back to herself, but she refuses his help with her prosthetic and his offer to find Shane to help.

It’s Stan who comes to check on her and runs off to find Shane.

This is a favorite scene.

Quinton took one look at Stan and Shane, then frowned. “You know that, if I just lay here quiet for a bit, I could probably get it.”

“You could probably get it,” Shane agreed. “However, if you never ask for help, especially when you need it, then I foresee more than just physical problems here.”

That made Quinton immediately gear up the attorney side of her to argue with that assessment.

Shane raised one finger to shush her, then gently pushed her pant leg over the top of her prosthetic and asked, “Did you hurt this recently?”

She shook her head. “No, I don’t think so.”

He looked at it closely and raised one eyebrow. “The prosthetic could be part of your main problem.”

“Why is that?”

“Because the whole alignment is off,” he said, “not in a big way, just enough that your structural alignment would go out the window with it.” He quickly pushed the button to release the prosthetic then slowly rolled the sock down off her stump.

She cried out softly with relief. “Ah, that feels better.”

He looked at her stump and noted, “You realize you’ve got a really big blister back here too, don’t you?” He lifted the leg up and showed Stan a good two-inch-wide blister.

“It was getting sore, but I don’t know about a blister.”

“You’ve got a good one,” Stan said, looking at her. “It looks pretty nasty.” He took a picture of it on his cell phone and then held it out for her to see.

She stared at it in shock. “Where’d that come from?”

“Are you sure you didn’t fall or have in any way damaged the prosthetic that you remember?” Shane asked.

She shook her head. “Not that I remember, no.” And then she frowned. “Except I did fall down a couple risers on the stairs.”

Both men stared at her in shock.

She shrugged. “I didn’t really think anything of it. I mean, obviously it wasn’t a great moment. But I was alone, I hopped up, straightened up, and carried on.”

“And how long ago was that?”

“It was about …” She stopped, thought about it. “I don’t know, maybe four, five months. It wouldn’t be from that, would it?”

“It could easily have been that,” Shane stated, “particularly when this fall caused a small adjustment to your prosthetic. Then, over time, your body goes out of alignment. That would make it pretty easy to become an even bigger problem.”

“Well, in that case then,” she replied, “I guess I did this to myself.”

Shane stood at the end of her bed, his arms crossed over his chest. “So tell me honestly. What would you say your regular workday is like?”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“I’m trying to get a picture of a woman, who has a two-inch sore on her leg, who fell down the stairs, who got up, who didn’t think anything of it, who slowly put her own alignment out of whack, and who didn’t notice the increase in pain nor the decrease in movement.”

She stared at him, slowly understanding what he was getting at. A flush rose up her neck. “So what do you want me to say? Obviously I’m a person who’s not very aware,” she muttered.

“But why?” Shane asked gently.

She looked over at Stan, who still stood here beside them. “Probably,” she added carefully, “because I’m very busy.”

“As in too busy to look after yourself?” Shane asked.

She glared at him. “I think the answer to that is evident,” she snapped, mostly mad at herself. “I obviously haven’t been doing a good job, if that’s what you found. I still don’t understand how I could have walked around and not noticed that thing.”

“Yeah, me too. I know you have nerve damage on the back, but that’s a pretty major blister. And it is fresh,” he noted. “So it could have been just even part of today. Still, I’ve got nurses coming to draw some blood and to give you some muscle relaxants. We’re going to run a bunch of tests, take X-rays tomorrow, and just see where you’re at. For tonight,” he added, “I suggest you eat, relax, and try to sleep if you can. A set of pajamas are in the bathroom for you. I think an extra set of comfy clothes are in the closet too. Call for a nurse to help you.”

She nodded slowly but was obviously pretty distressed by the whole thing.

Shane reached down, gently patted her good leg, and smiled. “We’ll look at it all tomorrow. It’ll be a whole new day. So get some rest, and we’ll see how we can fix you up, after we get more info. And, if you need something more, like heavy-duty painkillers, let me know immediately. Don’t put that off either.”

Stan leaned over, gave her a quick hug. “I’ll be back later to see if you are awake enough for dinner.” And he walked out behind Shane.
Dale Mayer. Quinton (Kindle Locations 350-389). Valley Publishing Ltd..

When Quinton realizes what’s gone wrong, she knows she’ll need to stay until things are right again. However, her bosses aren’t quite so understanding.

Stan uses this time to try to get closer to her and they both seem to have issues getting it right.

This is yet another heartwarming story, with struggles to find their way to both health and happiness.

I can’t wait to read 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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High Note – Cardinal Sins Book 3 by Heather Long and Blake Blessing


High Note
Cardinal Sins Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long
&
Blake Blessing

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Carve up the world…

From the moment my sexy death angel strode through that door, I’d been in lust. Or at least that was what I told myself. Beautiful, powerful, and far too dangerous for me, and I was hooked.

Utterly, irrevocably hooked.

Course, she had her own personal psycho puppy and, man, as much as I’d like to hate him, I didn’t. The dude was OCD to the point of painful when it came to cleaning, and he had the best skills in the kitchen. He also worshiped the ground she walked on.

Same, man, same.

We were making this work, even with the Fed in the dungeon. Then she didn’t come home. I didn’t care what I had to do, I was going to get her back.

If that meant letting the Fed out and working with him, then I was down. He could kick down the door and break the bones, whatever it took. If we had to take the world apart, well, then that was what we’d do.

Rick needed her. Mr. Call Me Cash was obsessed with her.

And me?

Well, I was all of the above. No way we were letting her go without a fight, not after we’d hit more than one high note together.

NOTE:
HIGH NOTE is a full length dark adult romance and psychological thriller with suspenseful themes. Any trigger warnings will be included in the foreword. Some situations may be uncomfortable for readers. This is a reverse harem novel, meaning the main character has more than one love interest. This is book three in the series.

If you haven’t read the other books in this series, STOP! Go back and read them this book starts where the last one left off.

When we last left Vienna, she had been abducted and was about to be interrogated. Rick and Fletcher had been fine until she didn’t call. Faced with the worst they need help to find her and free Cash from the cell in the basement.

They’re not sure if they can trust him but he will give them a different view as they retrace Vienna’s last known steps. When they finally let Cash call his answering service, they get the break they needed. An informant has valuable information, but there’s a lot more than that.

This is a favorite scene.

“What happened?” Rick asked. “We waited for you…”

Okay, even I melted a little at that quiet admission.

Drew turned and patted his chest right over his heart and left her hand there, as if she realized he just needed physical touch. “I’ll explain all that later. What’s most important right now is why he,” she pointed at Cash, who grinned like the devil he was, “is with you. And how you found him.” She pointed to the blue-eyed fucker staring intently at Drew.

Yeah, I didn’t like him at all.

We still hadn’t discovered how he was able to bring us here.

Rick didn’t seem inclined to throw himself in the naughty circle, so I explained the easiest of the two. “We couldn’t find you,” I started.

Fuck, I sounded just as pitiful as Rick.

“I knew something was wrong, and I exhausted all of my resources and skills and still couldn’t find you.” I sucked in a deep breath for courage. “Because we were desperate, we let him out to help us find you.” Tossing an arm out at Cash, I almost yelled, “And look! It worked! Because he has a spidey-network of people on your trail. You should be upset with him, not us.”

Drew should be proud. I incorporated one of her 5 Ds. Deflect. I was deflecting the blame onto the ex-Fed.

Cash shrugged, all nonchalant. “I got us here. And you look like you could use the help, even if you got out on your own.” The fucker looked so proud I wanted to punch him in the face. But from over here.

She turned to Horatio, not even acknowledging Cash. “And you?”

He stepped forward, still drinking her in. Had he even blinked?

I was on to his game. The fucker wanted her to notice his blue fucking eyes.

Rick hugged her waist from behind when she lifted a foot to get closer to Horatio.

I studied him through new eyes, trying to see what Drew saw. She obviously knew him, and that irked me.

He wasn’t the stunner Rick was, or even Cash. He was maybe half an inch shorter than me and just a little broader. Standard brown hair. No distinguishing features except for those fucking blue eyes he didn’t even try to hide beneath round frame glasses.

“When you didn’t surface for a few days, I thought you might need some help. And these knuckleheads didn’t know their asses from a hole in the ground. So, I… assisted.” One side of his mouth kicked up in a crooked grin, transforming him into a somewhat attractive man. I guessed. If you squinted and tilted your head sideways.

Yup, still hated him.

Drew’s brows dropped and her lips pinched. “How did you know where I was?”

His grin grew. “Ah, that’s information. We could say you already owe me for getting your boys here.”

“How much?” She shot back.

“Dinner?” “I’m not going on a date with you,” Drew said as I shouted, “Hell no!”

Rick just growled. Good. We could intimidate the accountant with our psycho puppy. To him, Rick would look like a rabid rottie.

“A family dinner is fine.”

“Nope! No. Hell to the fucking no.” This man was not invited into the house. “No more.” I stopped and pointed at Horatio. “We already have enough foxes.”

He crinkled up his nose as he watched me resume my pacing behind Drew and Rick. “Excuse me?”

“No more blue-eyed fucking foxes in the hen house!” I shouted, then pressed up behind Rick’s back like he was holding me back from raining destruction on Horatio’s head. “We have enough, thank you fucking much.”

While Horatio didn’t so much as glance in my direction, Drew did. At her quirked brows, I frowned and then flushed.

“Well,” I continued in more of a mumble. “We do.”

“You never mentioned knowing her,” Cash said into the silence, his tone less arrogant and much more broody. I damn near smirked. Oh, look at that. Mr. I-Fucking-Know-Everything didn’t know something.

“You never asked,” Horatio told him without a sideways glance, then nodded to Drew. “Do you require medical assistance?”

With one question, he flipped my attention back to Drew. She really did look like death warmed over. Our death angel was still there, bruised and battered, but very much alive. Rick rumbled a sound, but she just rubbed a circle against his chest.

“I do not,” she answered. “We can discuss a family dinner later.” Then she flicked a look at Cash. Some of his smugness had drained away as he studied her in return, then eyed Horatio. “We will also discuss the releasing of dangerous individuals when they could be a threat to the two of you.”

Could be. Not was.

That actually made my chest puff out a little.

“Since you’re here, someone manage him. I need to get some more supplies.”

“What do you need?” Rick was ready to open a vein if necessary. Me too, if it came to that, despite the fact I’d prefer to never see blood again.

“Besides a steak, a hot bath, and perhaps a very large glass of wine,” I tacked on for him. There was no mistaking the faint gurgling noise that came from her stomach.

“I need to wash up,” she said, choosing her words carefully. Our accountant “friend”— okay, not our friend, but clearly he wanted to be Drew’s, the blue-eyed bastard— nodded.

“You also require rest,” he said. “If you have no objections, I’ll take care of closing the cabin.

Probably better for you to get home.” “Wait a fucking minute,” Cash said abruptly. “Wash— where’s Sandra Jane? Is that what you need help with? She should be arrested—” He stopped abruptly, and I stared at him.

Was he for fucking real, now? Did they all take stupid pills this morning? We couldn’t hand her over. I had no idea what she knew or didn’t know, but that wasn’t the point. She hurt Drew. That was unacceptable.

Period.

“Ignore the former federal officer,” Horatio said. “Some habits are almost impossible to break. He is, however, not an idiot. I also assume the two of you need to have a conversation. Those two would be better somewhere else, with you secure.”

If by somewhere secure, he meant home, and without him, I was down with it.

“And you?” Drew asked, ignoring Cash as easily as Horatio did. That was almost funny, because a vein throbbed in his forehead as he cut his glare back and forth between the two of them.

“I am a patient man. You’re safe. As for the rest, we can call it a favor…”

Before any of us could object, Drew merely shook her head. “We don’t deal in favors.”

“True,” he said with a faint smile. “But that, too, is an old habit.”

“One, I’m not interested in breaking.”

“Heard,” he acknowledged. “Then add, allowing me to bring a dessert or a bottle of wine to the family dinner for the cost.”

A troubled look passed over her face. The fact Drew let me see her feelings in her expressions at all was a gift, but this, I didn’t think was so much about allowing any of us. She sure as hell wasn’t allowing Cash. No, there was a weariness to her, a kind of strung too tightly. Now that I’d noticed it, I couldn’t unsee it.

Rick didn’t offer any objections. I expected the Big Guy to just shut this down, but he didn’t. Instead, he let himself be lulled by the contact with her. Yeah, that I got. I didn’t want to focus on them at all, just on her.

“If that means we can get you out of here,” I said. “Then let’s go. I can handle dinner with the numbers guy, as long as we don’t have to talk math all night.” Then again… “We could do group rounds of Sudoku. Pretty sure I can kick his ass.”

That pulled a smile from Drew, and she chuckled. “I think we’ll be fine. Dinner, and you may bring the wine after Rick decides what we’re having. I’ll message you the details.”

“Accepted.” Horatio turned to go back to the car, pausing only when Cash grabbed him.

Oh, was someone about to get their ass kicked?

“Ratio, you didn’t tell me you knew her.”

Yeah, we established that.

“No, I didn’t. Nor will I ever confirm it for you. The lady is tired. Try not to be too much of an ass.” Then he glanced back at Drew once more. “Unless this is another issue you need cleaned up?”

It was probably the most civilized and scary fucking threat I’d ever heard. The man was an accountant, but you’d have to be an idiot to miss the actual menace underscoring those perfectly polite words. Like said idiot, who released him with a laugh.

The Fed was definitely out there. “I’m starting to think there’s something really wrong with him,” I told the Big Guy quietly. Drew definitely heard me, but she didn’t look away from the other pair. I could imagine she weighed all the pros and cons in an instant. It seemed a very her thing to do.

“No,” she said, finally. “Thank you for offering.”

“Of course.” He shook off Cash, or maybe the Fed just released him. Either way, he returned to the car and retrieved a bag. “Good afternoon, gentlemen,” he said as he returned and headed toward the house. “Vienna.”
Heather Long; Blake Blessing. High Note (Kindle Locations 1170-1245).

Cash’s informant obviously knows Vienna but at this point he doesn’t know how he knows her. This is an interesting development, and it just gets better from here.

More clues, more things Vienna takes care of, revelations, the kindle melting scenes and an OMG ending. I can’t wait for the next book!

5 Contented Purrs for Heather and Blake!

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Heather Long Heather Long

USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.

From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.

When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.


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Blake Blessing is no longer new on the Indie scene, but she’s still ecstatic about this chapter in life. She is a mom, wife, art enthusiast, and author.

She attended ten different schools growing up, so books became her constant friend. Escaping into books of all different genres made life fun and exciting. Blake was also raised on music and still blasts it through the house and car at every opportunity.

She has a weird sense of humor and a penchant for chocolate milk. It only makes sense she would one day go on to write her own stories.


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Booked on a Feeling – A Sweet Mess Book 3 by Jayci Lee


Booked on a Feeling
A Sweet Mess Book 3
By
Jayci Lee

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Lizzy “Overachiever” Chung, Esq. has her life mapped out neatly:

* Become a lawyer. Check.
* Join a prestigious law firm. Check.
* Make partner. In progress.

If all goes to plan, she will check off that last box in a couple years, make her parents proud, and live a successful, fulfilled life in L.A. What was not in her plans was passing out from a panic attack during a pivotal moment in her career. A few deep breaths and a four hour drive later, Lizzy is in Weldon for three weeks to shed the burnout and figure out what went wrong. And what better place to recharge than the small California town where she spent her childhood summers with her best friend, Jack Park.

Jack Park didn’t expect to see Lizzy back in Weldon, but now he’s got three weeks to spend with the girl of his dreams. Except she doesn’t know of his decades-long crush on her–and he intends to keep it that way. She’s a high-powered attorney who lives in L.A. and he’s a bookkeeper at his family’s brewery who never left his hometown. He can’t risk their friendship on a long shot. Can he? When Lizzy decides that the local bookstore needs a little revamp, of course, Jack is going to help her bring it back to life. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to ignore there might be more than just friendship among the dusty shelves and books…

Sometimes the path to the rest of your life has been in front of you all along.

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Lizzy has just won a big case, one that will guarantee her a shot a partner in her law firm. The thing is Lizzy doesn’t feel happy about it, she’s frustrated and burned out. Needing some space, she leaves the office and heads to her favorite spot to relax and unwind, Hideaway Bookstore. Later that night she makes a decision to take some time off and re-evaluate her goals. She’s going toLizzy and Jack have been friends for a very long time. Jack’s come to realize he wants more from her but at the same time doesn’t want to mess up their friendship. He knows he’s been avoiding her, but that’s all about to change.

Lizzy finds a studio apartment to rent for a few weeks. It’s perfect and it’s over the Sparrow Bookstore. The next thing she does is bump into Jack while he’s on his way home from his morning run. He’s more than a little surprised. His family business is such that he has plenty of time he can spend with Lizzy, and he decides to do just that.

The bookstore becomes a focal point for Lizzy’s time off. Shannon the owner and also her landlord has to-do lists and if there’s one thing Lizzy loves it’s lists.

I love the sense of family in this small town of Weldon, although Lizzy’s parents no longer live in the US, the friends they made here are lasting and extend to Lizzy. Especially Jack’s parents and siblings.

As this relationship grows so does friendship and Lizzy makes some decisions as does Jack. It’s really a shame they didn’t confide in each other before they made them.

There’s laughter, tears, disappointment, romance and so much more in this book. I really need to go back and read the other books in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Jayci!

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Jayci Lee

Jayci Lee writes poignant, sexy, and laugh-out-loud romance every free second she can scavenge. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. At times, she cannot accommodate real life because her brain is full of drool worthy heroes and badass heroines clamoring to come to life.

Because of all the books demanding to be written, Jayci writes full-time now, and is semi-retired from her fifteen-year career as a defense litigator. She loves food, wine, and travelling, and incidentally so do her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal, and she hopes her books will do the same for you.

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