More Than Pleasure You – A 1001 Dark Nights Novella/More Than Words Book 5.5 By Shayla Black

More Than Pleasure You
A 1001 Dark Nights Novella
More Than Words Book 5.5
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Shayla Black



Can I convince her
our hot but temporary engagement
should last forever?

I’m Stephen Lund, confirmed bachelor…and son of a successful billionaire whose sins I can’t forget—or forgive. After he delivered an ultimatum to either get over his transgressions or get out of the family business, I put space between us with a temporary getaway to Maui. My rental’s sexy caretaker, Skye Ingram, is a beautiful distraction. Yeah, it’s a terrible time to start a fling, but I can’t help wanting to give her every bit of pleasure she’s willing to take.

When Skye needs a date to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, I’m game to play her pretend fiancé. The jerk should see what he passed up…and that I’m holding her now. But our pretend engagement begins to feel real. Our passion certainly is. So are the consequences. When I’m confronted with the reality that our lives are now irrevocably entwined, I have to choose between leaving Skye to return to the life—and wealth—I’ve always known or abandoning everything familiar to start over with the woman who awakened my heart.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**



I love the 1001 Dark Nights series of novellas. They are an excellent way to find new authors and series.

This one introduces me to Shayla Black’s More than Words series and I am hooked.

Stephen Lund traveled to Hawaii for a vacation of sorts. He arrived a day early, with a concussion from protecting a friend. His rental is a property he is investigating for a client. In spite of his raging headache he can’t help but over hear the caretaker’s phone call as she comes in to complete the last minute touches for his arrival.

Skye Ingram wasn’t expecting Stephen for another day and is quite embarrassed when she realizes he’s already there and even more so when he offers her a solution to her problem.

Her ex-boyfriend’s mother invited her to his wedding for nefarious reasons, and he needs her to show up with a fiancé.

When Stephen offers to solve her problem she doesn’t expect the level of personal information they would exchange. He has family issues that are part of his reason for being in Hawaii, his half sister lives here and he intends to get to know her better.

This is a fun read with many twists and turns as these two find themselves wanting more. It’s slow building romance with just the right amount of heat.

I have to figure out what book in this series gives Stephen his concussion. The series is now a must read.

5 Contented Purrs for Shayla!

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Shayla Black

Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than sixty novels. For twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past nine years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her teenage daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

Pursued – The Swamp Book 2 By Rebecca Royce

The Swamp Book 2
Award Winning Author
Rebecca Royce



Alone, devastated, and on the run, McKenzie Harper is crossing the country with her brother, the only ally left to her after losing not only her mates but their entire family to some mad corporate scheme. When those same corporations send her mates after her, she will have to fight to save them before they slaughter her, or worse, capture her.

With her mating marks gone and her dreams haunted, the only Omega is doing the last thing left to her—saving every wolf she can before she too, falls.

For MacKenzie it is the end of her whole world and she won’t go down without a fight.



Mackenzie is traveling with her brother Agustin, finding loups and fixing them. She’s missing her mates and her marks are going leaving her feeling so very empty inside. Hoping she’ll be able to find them she lets her Omega power guide her and unfailingly finds what’s she looking for. Except her mates.

It’s her youngest mate Preston who finds her, using a loup as bait. He’s cocky and believes he has the upper hand, his every word hurting her until Agustin shoots him with a tranquilizer.

Not only does Mac find her mates, she also find something that shouldn’t exist with the Accords in place. A town of werewolves.

So much happens in this book, plenty of action, tears, romance and suspense. A man to be dealt with if the wolves are to survive.

I couldn’t put this book down and the lead into the next book has my salivating for it. I really can’t wait!

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!

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Rebecca Royce Rebecca Royce

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!


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A Very Dare Christmas – A Dare To Love Short by Carly Phillips

A Very Dare Christmas
A Dare to Love Short Story
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips



Ian Dare misses the alone time and intense sex life he and his wife shared before their children were born. What’s an alpha man to do? He kidnaps Riley for an erotic weekend away before the Christmas rush overwhelms them both.

Riley Dare adores her husband and his dominant and protective ways, and she’s excited to spend time with him minus distractions on a sexy retreat where anything goes … and spontaneity leads to future surprises.

A complete stand-alone for people who haven’t yet read Dare to Love but a special treat for those who want to revisit their favorite couple.

NOTE: This short story was already shared in Carly’s newsletter so if you subscribe you may have read it before but many have asked if they could have this on their Kindle.


Barnes and Noble logo_150 ibooks-logo-150x150KoboLogo


I originally read this in Carly’s newsletter, but I didn’t remember it until I started reading.

I love the Dare family and I have read the whole Dare to Love series although I haven’t yet reviewed them all. I’ll have to get on that!

This is a short and steamy read as the holiday approaches. Ian and Riley haven’t had much alone time, Riley is exhausted and pushing to get the holiday shopping done. When Ian calls she is sure his family is growing as they speak since she realized there were folks she didn’t have on her list. Now he’s meeting her at home.

This is a favorite scene.

“Ian?” she called out.

“Right here.” He stood in the center of the family room, a red scarf in his hand.

“What’s going on?” she asked, a spark of excitement shooting through her at the obvious silk garment he’d used on her before.

“Come here,” he said in a commanding voice she hadn’t heard in too long.

A full body tremor took hold. Her nipples puckered, as if even they remembered the times he’d use that voice right before pinning her to the wall, her hands above her head, his lips on hers, his hard cock pressing into the softness of her sex.

She stepped towards him. “Why is that out now?” she asked, pointing to the scarf, her physical awareness of what was obviously to come a tangible, exciting thing.

“Turn around.”

She swallowed and did as he asked. He wrapped the scarf around her eyes and tied it behind her head. “Now you’re mine.”

Her heat pounded hard in her chest. “I’ve always been yours,” she murmured. “What is going on?”

“You’ll see,” he said and before he could argue, he lifted her up and into his arms.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and held on as he carried her through the house and outside into the warmer air. He placed her in a car, then settled in beside her.

So he was in the back too, she mused. They were obviously in a limousine, Ian’s favorite form of travel.

“I have to pick up the kids,” she reminded him.

“All taken care of.” He slid her skirt up her thigh and placed his hand on her bare skin. She shivered at his masculine touch.
Carly Phillips. A Very Dare Christmas (Kindle Locations 57-70). Carly Phillips.

Once on the private plane, Ian reveals where he’s taking her and after reassuring her his mother can handle the children he concentrates on her.

I can’t say much about the book without giving things away but I love this book! These two are so perfect together and the romance and heat is off the charts sizzling.

I am going to go back and do a re-read of their story in Dare to Love.

Thank you for releasing this story to everyone Carly. It reminded me why I love these books.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

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Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Stolen By Them: Planet Athion – Between Rebels Book 1 by Skye MacKinnon

Welcome to the world of PLANET ATHION.
Here the aliens are sexy, the humans are hot,
and there’s plenty of action for everyone.
Be drawn into the drama by enjoying stories
from your favorite reverse harem authors
and meet kick-ass heroines
who decide what they want and take it.

Stolen By Them: Planet Athion
Between Rebels Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Sky MacKinnon



I always knew that one day, I would be taken.
It was just a matter of time.

There are two basic facts every woman needs to know.

The Trads are bad. They will impregnate you and use your womb to bear their children until you die.

The Athions are good. They’re strong and protective, and you’ll practically be begging them to father your babies.

But none of that is true. Not for me, anyway. I was kidnapped by Athions and now two Trads are trying to rescue me. Has everything been a lie or are these guys just pretending to be different from the rest?

I can’t let down my guard. I need to get away. But how do you escape when you’re trapped on a spaceship in the middle of nowhere?

Author’s Note:
Please be aware that this book contains scenes of violence that may be triggering for some readers.

Planet Athion is a shared world contributed to by multiple authors. Discover more about this exciting new Reverse Harem, Sci Fi Romance series HERE.



With this one book Skye MacKinnon has hooked me on another multi-author series, Planet Athion.

In this first book of Skye’s Trilogy in this world where Trads are kidnapping women to breed and Athions are trying to protect them. We meet Wren after the death of her last roommate, she is traveling to London to get to a sanctuary where hopefully she will be safe.

There are two Athions on the bus she is on and her human seatmate encourages her to go with them when they reach London. Giving her bodyguards on the way to the sanctuary. Unfortunately that is not how things worked out.

After introducing themselves Arri and Laki call for a taxi since Wren didn’t want to walk the half hour to the Sanctuary. She wanted to be away from these aliens, she wasn’t comfortable at all. While waiting Arri offers her a sweet, which she accepts after Laki has eaten one.

This is a favorite scene.

I was glad to be breathing fresh air again, even though it was the smoggy air of London. It was better than the stuffy, smelly air inside the bus.

“Shall we take a taxi?”

The two Athion brothers were flanking me, but to my surprise, they didn’t make me feel safe, on the contrary. I was uncomfortable with them being so close. I didn’t know them, yet they behaved as if I needed them. I shouldn’t have accepted their offer.

“Is it far?”

“Half an hour to walk, ten minutes by taxi if the traffic isn’t too bad.”

That was an easy decision. I didn’t want to spend half an hour in their company.

“Then let’s take a taxi.”

The curly-haired Athion lifted his wrist and typed into a cyber bracer. It looked very different from the smart bracelets that existed for humans, but then, Athions had mastered space travel centuries before us, so of course their tech was far more advanced.

He grinned at me. “Taxi will be here in two minutes. I’m Arri, by the way, and that’s Laki.”

“Nice to meet you. I’m Wren.”

“Where are you from, Wren?”

“A village in Yorkshire, you wouldn’t know it.”

Laki rummaged in his pockets and pulled out three small squares wrapped in silver cellophane. “Want one? They’re my favourites.”

“Are they sweets?”

Arri snatched one of them and unwrapped it in record speed before popping the turquoise square into his mouth. It looked like toffee, except for the colour.

“Delicious,” he muttered with a satisfied smile.

“Yes, they’re sweets, flavoured with a plant that’s similar to your Earth mint,” Laki explained. “Try one, I have more if you like it.”

“You never offer me more,” Arri complained.

His brother shrugged. “You’re not as pretty as her.”

I took the sweet he offered me and gingerly nibbled on it, not quite daring to eat it all in one go. I wasn’t particularly choosy when it came to what I ate, but this was alien food.

It was good. Delicious. The cooling aftertaste did indeed remind me of mint, but as if it had been crossed with vanilla and something spicy, almost like pepper. The way the flavours mixed in my mouth was decidedly alien, but definitely something I could get used to.

“Good?” Laki asked with an amused smirk.

I nodded and ate the rest of it. The Athions watched me and once again, they made me uncomfortable. Were all aliens like them? If so, then I had no idea why women would want to live with them. Despite their smiles, there was something dangerous about them.

A black cab stopped next to us and Arri checked his wrist. “That’s ours.”

He opened the door and gestured for me to get in. His brother walked around and entered from the other side, meaning I ended up squeezed in between them on the leather backseat. There was a fold-down seat opposite me, but I didn’t want to offend the men by changing my position. After all, they’d been nothing but nice to me. Ten minutes, that was all the time I needed to spend in their company before we’d get to the sanctuary and I could be away from aliens for the rest of my life.

They didn’t tell the driver where to go, but I assumed Arri had done that via his communicator.

We sat in silence until Laki offered me another sweet. I took it, glad to have something to do besides staring out of the window.

My own yawn surprised me. I’d slept on the bus for at least two hours, but I guess travelling always made me tired. I swallowed my sweet and stifled another yawn.

“Tired?” Laki asked, his eyes fixed on mine.

I shook my head. “No, just exhausted from travelling.” I looked at my watch, realising we’d been in the taxi for almost fifteen minutes already. “Will we be there soon?”

Another yawn escaped my mouth and my eyelids twitched. I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, no matter how much I blinked. I was so tired all of a sudden. Maybe I could take a nap at the sanctuary.

Laki was still watching me, a smile curving his blue lips. As if he was happy seeing me this tired.

“Did you…?”

Talking became too exhausting and I let myself drift off, fading into the darkness of sleep.
Skye MacKinnon. Stolen By Them: Between Rebels Book One (Kindle Locations 127-162). Peryton Press.

The next thing Wren knows she awakens on a spaceship, the Athions with her are not the protective aliens she was led to believe and she needs to find help somehow. In an ironic twist her rescuers are Trads, pirates because they didn’t agree with the current policies on their home planet.

What ensues are several twists and turns, Vuk and Rafaz are nothing but kind to her, but things go awry rather quickly.

A page turning read with tears and some giggles, as we traverse Wren’s experiences, both good and bad. I can’t wait to read the next book in this trilogy.

5 Contented Purrs for Skye!

More Books in this Series!
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Skye MacKinnon

Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.

She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.

When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.

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Dirty Game – The Anti-Hero Chronicles Book 1 By Mika Lane

Dirty Game
The Anti-Hero Chronicles Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Mika Lane



I said undress.

Saved from a violent shoot-out, I am now “in debt” to Luca and Leo Borroni, the gorgeous mob twins of Las Vegas.
They said I’d be dead without them.
And that my payment is to play “The Game.”
Problem is, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up the loser.
Because guys like the Borroni brothers win. Always.
I mean, they aren’t the most brutal men walking the streets of Sin City because they’re sweethearts.
And I’m no match for their wicked ways.
I may have survived their shoot-out, but I don’t know how I’ll survive what’s next.

This hot, over-the-top romance includes sexy mafia hitmen with a penchant for pursuing and protecting the women who give them a run for their money. If you love outrageously naughty stories as a way to indulge your not-so-secret bad girl side, this is for you.



This may have elevated itself to a new favorite from Mika Lane.

Twin brothers Luka and Leo have been frequenting the Loaded Dice. A seedy strip club where the owner has managed to get on the wrong side of their uncle. It’s time for him to pay the price but first the brothers have to send all the girls on their way. Luka has his eye on their waitress Echo, so there is a different fate they have planned for her.

This is a favorite scene.

“So, Echo, there is something I wanted to discuss with you.”

God, he was handsome. I hated that about him.

And it was so unfair the universe made two of him, essentially.

“What’s that?”

“Since I saved you—”

I leaned toward him. “Excuse me? Saved me? You did no such thing.”

He leaned back slightly in his chair and looked at me. I could swear I saw amusement on his face.

I wouldn’t have minded smacking it right off, too.

“I could have run out of there. I didn’t need you to save me,” I said, sitting back in my chair.

So there.

“Oh, but I did. That’s why I sent you to the sub shop. And now because I saved you, you owe me.”

I didn’t owe that asshole jack. Time to wrap this fun little lunch right up.

I stood to leave. Yeah, he definitely looked amused now.

“Luca, I don’t have much money, but I’ll give you what I have. I’ve been saving it to move my little sister out here, but if you really want it, you can have it—”

He frowned and cut me off. “Do I look like I need money?”

Well, no.

“You have to come home with me,” he said, polishing off the last oyster and looking mighty smug.

“Yeah. I don’t think so,” I said. “But thanks for the invite.”


This was where I’d have doubled over laughing if I hadn’t been so damn scared of the man.

“You have to come home with me and live with my brother and me for a three-month three-month period, and play what we call ‘The Game.’ After that, you are free to go.”

At that, I actually did burst out laughing just as some sort of soup was delivered. Luca picked up his spoon and dove in.

“Yeah, that’s a good one, Luca. Hilarious. But I gotta go now. Thanks for the clothes.”

As I stood to go, I turned and leaned into his face. “And thanks for killing everyone at my club, you fucking asshole.”

His hand found my wrist, and tightened like a vise.

“This is not a joke,” he said.

Oh. Crap. I tried to pull out of his grip, to no avail.

“You will have your own room in our home, and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”

I waved my free hand for him to stop. “You don’t understand. I have to work. I have to support myself and my sister. In fact, I need to go find a new job since everyone at my old job is now dead.”

Again, he shook his head at me. “You don’t need to work.”

Yeah, right.

“You will be provided for, as will your sister.”

For the second time, I burst out laughing.

“I’m serious. You will be supported by us, and very generously, at that.”

Okay. I go from cocktailing in a shitty dive strip club to being a prisoner of the two gorgeous twins of organized crime?

I was speechless.

What was I going to tell my roommate, Yasmina?

Luca got up from his side of the booth, still gripping my wrist, and pushed me back into my seat. I was effectively trapped. That’s when he let go of my wrist.

And damn if he didn’t smell great.

Which reminded me.

“Luca, was that weird smell at the club this morning… from guns or something?”

He picked up a lock of my hair and brought it to his nose. “Yeah. That was from the guns.”

And don’t you know, while he twisted a lock of my hair around his forefinger, he leaned toward me, right there in the restaurant, and brushed his lips across mine.

It was as though I’d put my finger in an electrical outlet. Tingles shot through my every pore. And while I knew I was supposed to hate the guy, something made me lean toward him for more.

God, I was in trouble.

Big trouble.
Mika Lane. Dirty Game: The Anti-Hero Chronicles (Kindle Locations 408-442).

Really having no choice, Echo moves into the Twin’s home. She’s still not sure where all this is heading or how serious her situation is.

Plenty of heat as Luka initialized the Game. However, there are those who aren’t happy about Echo’s place in their home.

A look from the mafia side of things gives this an interesting twist. I loved the feisty Echo and the way the relationship between her and Luka develops.

I can’t wait to see what Mika has in mind for the next book.

5 Contented Purrs for Mika!


Mika Lane

Writing has been a passion of mine since, well, forever (my first book was “The Day I Ate the Milkyway,” a true fourth-grade masterpiece), but steamy romance is now what gives purpose to my days and nights.

I live in magical Northern California with my own handsome alpha dude, sometimes known as Mr. Mika Lane, and an evil cat named Bill.

A lover of shiny things, I’ve been known to try to new recipes on unsuspecting friends, find hiding places so I can read undisturbed, and spend my last dollar on a plane ticket somewhere. I also drink cheap champagne and have way too many shoes.

I’ll always promise you a hot, sexy romp with kick-ass but imperfect heroines, and some version of a modern-day happily ever after.

I LOVE to hear from readers when I’m not dreaming up naughty tales to share. Join my Insider Group below, So we can get to know each other better.

Gingerbread Kisses – A Christmas Novella by Kat Baxter

Gingerbread Kisses
A Christmas Novella
USA Today Bestselling Author
Kat Baxter



The hot guy…

The first time I see Ginger Starr after four years of being abroad, she is wearing a hideous Christmas dress. But the obnoxious monstrosity does nothing to hide her generous curves. One thing becomes perfectly clear: I’ve never wanted a woman more.

…and the curvy bookworm

Brock Daniels might be ridiculously hot, but he’s also my high school nemesis. I’m prepared to hate him and find him annoying with his washboard abs and toothpaste commercial smile. What I’m not prepared for is how he’s looking at me…like he wants me.

…just might find their forevers
underneath the mistletoe

Our parents are jointly hosting a 12 Days of Christmas party and we’re stuck together. Pretending to be civil isn’t that hard and one spontaneous kiss might change everything.



Ginger has considered Brock her nemesis since eighth grade when he took her to a dance and left her to kiss Chelsea all night.

Brock left after high school to pursue his education in Europe, now he’s back home with more adventurous plans.

It’s the Christmas party season and Ginger’s parents and some others have created twelve themed events to raise money for charity.

Her parent’s ugly sweater party is where Brock and Ginger meet up again.

This is a favorite scene.

Her warm cinnamon-colored eyes narrow with suspicion. “Why are you being friendly?”

An instrumental version of Jingle Bells plays in the background.

“Am I not allowed to be?”

“Not to me.” Her arms cross over her chest which just serves in squeezing her already fantastic tits further together. Damn, she’s cute when she’s pissed.

I chuckle. “Since when?”

“Since forever.” Her words come out in a hiss. “You don’t like me. You’re not nice to me.”

“Gingerbread, we haven’t seen each other in years.”

She closes her eyes. “Ugh, that nickname.”

“Here let’s do this right.” I hold out my hand to her. “Brock Daniels, nice to meet you.”

Again she watches me through narrowed eyes, but finally she extends her hand.

The moment our palms touch I swear some sort of electrical surge pumps through the room. But none of the lights flicker. She clearly feels it too, though, because she quickly pulls her hand back.

“We used to be friends, yeah?” I ask.

“When we were little kids.”

“You were my favorite person to run around with outside.” I smile at her again.

“You look good, Ginger. Really good.” I let myself take in her curves, and my eyes get caught on the sexy as fuck cleavage she’s showing.

“Until you decided I wasn’t cool enough for you.”

I sigh. She’s not entirely wrong, but I guess I’d hoped we could just forget about high school and it’s stupid teenage politics.

I nod to the empty glass she set next to her discarded phone, on side table behind her. “Where can I get one of those?”

“This way.” She spins and walks out of the room.

And I follow because damn if that dress isn’t doing amazing things for her body. Which frankly doesn’t make sense because the bow-encrusted monstrosity is ugly as hell. Looks like Christmas threw up all over her skirt. But it still hugs her just right, accenting her narrow waist and hips that I could really grab onto.

She brings me into the kitchen where I find a sizable display of food and drinks. But she waits, standing in the entryway.

“You should be able to find whatever you want in here.”

I look down at her and take in her face. She’s really pretty.

“None of your crowd will be here tonight.” She tugs on one of her curls and I find myself longing to do the same. “Your mom said you hadn’t seen anyone yet.”

“I wouldn’t call them my crowd. Just people I hung with in high school.” People I let dictate who I was because I was too chicken shit to stand up to them and be myself. I admit, I got wrapped up in the whole popular stuff. I played football and dated the head cheerleader and we were Homecoming King and Queen three years running. That seems like a lifetime ago and I don’t think about those people anymore. Ever. But Ginger…

She tilts her head back, and gasps, and I follow her gaze.

Mistletoe. “I’m right where I want to be with who I want to talk to.” I smile down at her and lean in for a kiss. But at the last minute she turns her head and my lips press into her cheek.

I chuckle and she squeezes past me to leave the room.

She evaded that kiss, but I know one thing for sure. I’m not done with Ginger Starr.
Kat Baxter. Gingerbread Kisses: A Christmas Novella (Kindle Locations 137-165).

Seems Brock has a bit of convincing to do before Ginger gives him more than the time of day.

A phone left behind leads to the second encounter and the realization they are both now adults has Ginger thinking of rekindling their friendship.

A fun Christmas tale with some snark and sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Kat!



Kat Baxter is the pseudonym for a bestselling historical romance author. She lives in Texas with her family and a menagerie of animals.

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Shelter for Penelope – Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 15 by Susan Stoker

Shelter for Penelope
Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 15
NY Times, USA Today and
Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author

Susan Stoker


Dubbed the “American Princess” after her rescue from months in the hands of ISIS, soldier and firefighter Penelope Turner has struggled silently since her return to Texas. The media, the danger of her job, the pressure of knowing lives are in her hands…all of it and more has combined to slowly fill Penelope with seething guilt and doubt. Missing memories from her moment of capture cause even more angst. Is she responsible for the deaths of her Army patrol unit? And without knowing what happened, how can she be trusted by her fellow firefighters—or trust them in return?

Worse…how can she ever be worthy of the man who believes in her most?

It took seeing Penelope in the hands of terrorists—in viral videos seen around the world—for Tucker “Moose” Jacobs to realize just how much he loved his fellow firefighter. He died waiting for her rescue, then died all over again when Penelope abruptly left Texas, trying to outrun her past. Now that she’s returned, the kid gloves are off. Moose is a patient man, but even he has his limits. He loves Penelope, and he knows it’s past time for her to face her fears, and remember she has an entire tribe of friends who not only have her back, but need Pen to have theirs, as well.

In the end, Penelope will have to trust Moose, her friends, and most of all herself, if she’s going to make peace with her past…and have any kind of future.

** Shelter for Penelope is the 15th and final book in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings. Penelope’s story started in Protecting the Future, and over the years, she’s struggled with her inner demons. Read on to see her finally get her HEA.

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The first thing you need to do before you start reading, is  grab a full box of tissues, you will need them.

At the end of Shelter for Koren, Penelope has left her resignation on the Chief’s desk and left, not only the station but San Antonio. Fortunately she has on the tracker Tex sent her when she returned home. He’s sort of guiding her in her travels with her donkey Smokey keeping them safe and directing her to some pretty awesome veterans and active service friends.

She’s called Moose giving him updates on her travels, but hasn’t said anything about coming home, at least not until her latest phone call.

This is a favorite scene.

“Taco proposed to Koren, and she said yes. They haven’t chosen a date yet though.”

He wasn’t sure if he should tell her the next thing. But he’d promised he’d never lie to her, and not letting her know felt like a lie of omission. “And…Sophie’s pregnant. She and Chief just got back from visiting his mom on the reservation. They wanted to tell her first. I guess they had a blessing ceremony, and his mom was super excited. She’s got about six more months to go.”

When Penelope didn’t say anything, Moose asked, “Pen? You still there?”

“I’m missing everything,” she whispered.

“Then come home,” Moose pleaded. He’d promised he wouldn’t, but the words just popped out. “Together, we can work through whatever has you so scared.”

“I can’t,” Penelope told him.

“But you are coming home at some point, right?” Moose asked.

“I haven’t decided.”

Moose felt his heart break right in half at her words.

He’d had his suspicions that he’d lost the woman he loved, but until now, she’d never come right out and said that she might not come back to him. And it hurt.

She was shutting him out. Him and her brother and all the rest of her friends.

Feeling the tell-tale sign of tears forming behind his eyes, Moose stumbled backward until his legs came into contact with his bed and he sat down, hard. It was his turn to have nothing to say. The silence over the phone line was heavy and fraught with tension.


“All I ever want is for you to be happy,” Moose started, doing his damnedest to not let his voice crack. “When you were here and suffering, I did all I could to be there for you. I defended your need to keep Smokey, and I let him stay in my barn, and then my house when the barn was torched. After you left, I defended your need and right for some space to the guys. When you missed the birth of Blythe’s daughter, I reassured her that you’d be back, that you were trying to get your head on straight after everything that had happened to you.

“And I’ll have your back no matter what, Pen. I don’t think it’s a surprise that I love you.”

Moose heard her take a deep breath, but he kept going. “I’ve loved you forever. I’d bend over backward to keep you safe. To do what you need to live your life the way you need to live it. But I need you to want that too. To want to stand by my side. To have my back. I get that you’re struggling, I do, and I wish there was something I could do to help you. But I can’t if you don’t let me in.

“If you don’t come back to San Antonio, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over loving you. You’re it for me. I feel that down to the marrow of my bones. I love the woman you are today, the woman you were yesterday, and the woman you’re going to be in the future. I don’t give a fuck if you have PTSD or if you can’t ever be a firefighter again. You can stay home and raise miniature donkeys if that makes you happy. All I want is to be by your side while you do it.

“But if moving away from everyone who loves you exactly how you are, who supports you unconditionally, is what you need to be happy…so be it. Please thank the men who were able to get you out of hell for me, and tell them they have my undying gratitude. Don’t forget to shoot Blythe a text to congratulate her on her marriage, and maybe Sophie too, for being pregnant. Stay safe…and know that I love you.”


“Thanks for calling,” he interrupted her, not able to listen to her try to let him down gently.

He’d never come right out and told her he’d loved her before, but he couldn’t keep the words in anymore. Not if she was deciding whether or not to come back to Texas. He wasn’t about to play fair, not when it came to the woman he loved. He was almost forty; if Penelope didn’t come home to him, he’d never get married. Never have a family. She was it for him. He knew that with no uncertainty.

“I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay, Moose. Later.”

Moose clicked off the phone and squeezed it so tightly in his fist he knew it was only a matter of seconds before it broke. He threw the phone onto his nightstand and bent over so his elbows were resting on his knees.
Stoker, Susan. Shelter for Penelope (Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 15) . Stoker Aces Production, LLC. Kindle Locations (149-180). Kindle Edition.

I started crying when Pen says she doesn’t know if she’s going back to Texas and sniffled most of the way through this book.

It’s not until she’s with Wolf, Caroline and the team that brought her home, that she starts to realize she’s running away and not dealing with anything.

Her return to Texas is fraught with emotion and new experiences with Moose beside her the whole time. He is unfailing in his love and support.

I loved the way everyone stands with her whether or not she wants them there. My heart broke with her painful memories as she deals with her PTSD and trust issues.

A very emotional and beautiful end to this wonderful series. Thank you for the journey Susan.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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