The Aliens Zookeeper – Aliens and Animals Book 1 by Arizona Tape & Skye MacKinnon


The Alien’s Zookeeper
Aliens and Animals Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Arizona Tape
&
Skye MacKinnon

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The stars gave her a mate…
and a rhino.

Tilly doesn’t believe in aliens. At least, she didn’t, until she gets abducted along with half the animals of her zoo. When you and your rhino are stuck in a cage on a spaceship, it’s hard not to believe. One of them, an elf-eared female, seems ready to help her find a way back to Earth, but is that really what Tilly wants?

Bavalla’s messed up big time. She wasn’t supposed to abduct a sentient being, but now that she’s face to face with a female who’s not only intelligent but also very attractive, she has to figure out what to do. Telling the Captain would result in severe punishment, but how do you hide a human who’s very intent on saving not just herself, but all her animals as well?

NOTE:
A fast-paced f/f romance with a strong human woman and a swoon-worthy alien female willing to give up everything for her mate.

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Everything was going according to plan, or so Bavalla thought. The animals on the list were now all in the cargo hold of their ship. Then she notices an extra something in one of the containers. A sentient being, if the captain found out it would mean her death.

Tilly wakes in a strange place with Brie, her favorite Rhino in the zoo where she worked. She’s about to learn some very interesting things about where she and many of the animal she cares for are.

This is a favorite scene.

The two creatures on the other side of the glass were clearly studying me too, but it was easier to pretend that I was the examiner. “There seem to be slight openings in the neck of the right one. I count… three on either side. They look like nostrils. I wonder if they also breathe oxygen or if the air in this cell is specially made for Brie and me,” I wondered out loud.

I pressed my hands against the wall. One of the two beings, the one that looked female, did the same. Her hands had six fingers, slender and delicate, but our palms were almost the same size. She cocked her head, her large eyes examining me closely. Maybe she wasn’t female.

Maybe I was simply applying my human concepts to an alien species. For all I knew, these beings reproduced in an entirely different way, having no need for genders. I pushed that thought away. I shouldn’t be focusing on things like that. Far more important was how to get out of here, back to Earth. Maybe we were still there, cloaked so that my fellow humans couldn’t see it. But the slight vibration in the walls and floor told a different story. We were flying. We might be far away from home by now. I didn’t know how long I’d slept for.

Brie snorted and got to her feet. She stared at the beings with all the curiosity a rhino could muster. Which wasn’t a lot. Brie was lovely, but not the brightest rhino out there. I put a hand on her thick skin, stroking her.

“Easy, girl. Don’t worry, I’ll get you home.”

My voice shook slightly, but I hoped she wouldn’t pick up on that.

“Eeeeezzzzyyyyyyy.” The female alien parroted my words, although it barely resembled the original sound. “Guuuuuuuuurrrrrl.”

I swallowed a laugh. I wouldn’t give in to hysteria. Not yet.

The alien said something else in her own clicking language, then looked at me questioningly. Did she want me to repeat that?

I tried to replicate her clicks, but without success. It sounded like I had a cough.

The slits in her neck flared and her full lips turned upwards. Was it too much to hope that a smile was the same for her species? I knew that in apes, what looked like a smile was actually a threatening gesture. I very much hoped it wasn’t the same for her.

The other alien, who I thought was male, didn’t smile or change his blank expression. He simply stared at Brie, who returned his intense gaze with all the nonchalance of a two-tonne rhino. Brie knew she was the strongest animal in the room. I was glad to have her on my side, even with the danger of being squashed by accident.

The two aliens started talking again. I hoped they weren’t discussing how to get rid of me. Or how best to cook me. Their conversation turned into something of an argument, with both of them gesticulating widely. Secretly, I rooted for the female. Us women had to stick together, right?

After what seemed like a small eternity, the female pulled out a shimmering device the size of her hand. The way she held it reminded me of a phone, but there was no display that I could see. Again, I chided myself for assuming my understanding of the universe would be the same here. Of course, they didn’t use the same technology as us. It would have been strange if she’d been handling a smartphone. Whatever it was, a hiss sounded when she rubbed the glittering device and lines appeared on the wall. I stepped back, bumping against Brie. She huffed but didn’t move. The lines turned into a rectangle, just big enough for me and the aliens, but way too small for Brie.

The wall inside the lines disappeared, yes, it disappeared. What had looked like solid matter turned into thin air. Wow. That was technology way beyond my understanding. I would have called it magic if I hadn’t known otherwise.

The male kept clicking at the female, seemingly unhappy with her decision to let me out. Before he could decide otherwise, I stepped through the doorway, half expecting to bump into an invisible wall. But no, it really was nothing but air. So weird.

The female smiled at me again and reached out, her fingertips brushing against my throat. She gently stroked my neck in the places where she had slits, gills maybe. Her touch was ever so soft. Tingles spread from where her fingers met my skin and a pleasant shudder ran down my back. What on Earth was happening?

She said something to me and pulled back.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Don’t you have some kind of translation device? They always have those in films. And books. Not that I’ve read any alien romance novels, not at all.”

I stopped babbling and shot a look at the male behind her. He was staring at me with a frown. The tips of his long ears were bent to the sides, which they hadn’t done earlier. Some kind of gesture that I couldn’t interpret. I hoped it wasn’t a sign of aggression.

The female muttered something that seemed to be directed at the male, then turned and beckoned me to follow her. Hesitantly, I walked behind her through a narrow corridor. On both sides, large containers were piled on top of each other. Muffled sounds told me I’d find several of my zoo animals inside. There was no mistaking Terry the tiger’s agitated roar. He was a sweetheart when you scratched him behind the ears, but he could be fearsome if he was afraid or angry.

“What are you doing with my animals?” I asked, not expecting an answer. “Why did you abduct them? Why did you abduct me? What are you planning to do with us?”

She didn’t turn and kept walking. The male was following at a distance behind me, not giving me a choice but to stay with the alien. We passed at least twenty containers before reaching a door. It slid open as soon as the female approached, giving way to a brightly lit room full of screens. No, they weren’t screens as such. The images and data were shown on the walls themselves, either projected onto them or as if they were the screens. Two comfy looking chairs sat in the centre of the room. Weird, they looked so ordinary. Four legs, a backrest. Even though it was made from a strange material that looked like purple wood, it wouldn’t have stood out in a fancy designer furniture store on Earth.

The female sat on the left one and gestured to the other chair. Carefully, I sat down, hoping this wasn’t meant to electrocute me or something. That would be a nasty way to go.

The purple wood was much softer than expected and slightly rubbery. The cushions were warm and moulded to fit my bum. How surprisingly comfortable. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The alien used her glittery device again, and a loud noise sounded above me. I looked up just in time to see a chandelier-crown-helmet contraption descend from the ceiling. It lowered itself on my head and tightened against my temples.

This better not kill me.
Skye MacKinnon; Arizona Tape. The Alien’s Zookeeper: Aliens and Animals 1 (Kindle Locations 163-216). Peryton Press.

Aside from trying to avoid the captain, Valla also needs a plan to keep Tilly and her animals safe. Tilly doesn’t want to leave the animals anywhere so it’s not going to be easy.

A fun romp in space, with some angst, laughter, a romance and some very interesting characters.

5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Skye!

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about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

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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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Cowboy August – Cooper’s Hawk Landing Book 6 by Rhonda Lee Carver


Cowboy August
Cooper’s Hawk Landing Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Rhonda Lee Carver

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Strength had always been her greatest asset,
until August West took her life by lasso…

Over her dead body would she allow her grandmother to give the family farm to a cocky cowboy. So, Tobi Saint dropped everything and headed to Cooper’s Hawk, a place she swore she wouldn’t step foot in again, but the vague call she received concerned her.

August West had lived a lot of places in his lifetime, but none had felt more like home than Cooper’s Hawk. He was back and liked working on River Saint Farm. The owner, Isobella, had taken him under her wing and treated him like her own. As her health started to decline, she asked for his help in convincing Tobi to take over the farm. He wanted no part of the scheme. His memory of Tobi involved a kiss behind the barn a second before she punched him in the nose.

Yet, how could he deny helping Isobella?

The old chemistry remained between August and Tobi. Things start to heat up and a fiery kiss between old friends leads to a moment that changes everything.

He found himself unraveling. For the first time he saw a chance at a future. A chance at love. But there was more to Tobi than met the eye. She’d been hurt by everyone she loved and to find his way into her heart he’d have to shovel through a brick wall.

The deeper he dug the harder it became, but love was worth fighting for…

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Tobi is who we meet first as she’s working with her friend and partner Ellen on a new formula for their skin care line. A phone call from her grandmother Isobella with hints of selling her ranch River Saint, has Tobi rethinking her priorities. She’s been in a rut and has some serious trust issues. The thought that perhaps spending time at River Saint could help her clear her mind has her booking flights.

When we meet August, he’s with Search and Rescue and the woman involved isn’t hurt so much as wanting the rescuer. This appears to happen frequently with the Search and Rescue teams. He’s also the new ranch manager for Isobella. When he arrived he found the ranch near bankruptcy, now it’s slowly getting back on track. He’s been doing a lot of repairs on the house himself and he’s working on the hot water heater when Tobi arrives.

Tobi had a conversation with the ‘retired’ ranch manager and he didn’t have anything good to say about August. She also didn’t expect to find a man in her grandmother’s basement at night and is holding him at gunpoint when Isobella gets home.

This is a favorite scene.

“What in tarnation is going on here?” Isobella’s high-pitched voice echoed from the doorway. “Why are you holding August at gunpoint?”

The cowboy didn’t take his sparkling gaze off her. “She seems to think I’m an intruder,” he said in a lazy tone.

Gram’s laughter rattled Tobi. “Let’s put the shotgun away. Shall we, child? And have a more…peaceful introduction.” Gram swooped in, carefully took the weapon from Tobi’s hands then snickered. “It’s not even loaded, honey.”

August chuckled, scraping Tobi’s nerves even more. “What is he doing down here rummaging around?”

“I wasn’t ‘rummaging’. I was fixing the hot water tank, like I told you already,” he said, his voice a touch icier than before.

“Both of you come upstairs. I baked a pumpkin pie earlier.” Tobi took a long look at Gram. She looked tired, older, and thinner. Her hair, usually styled into a neat bob, was now shorter than August’s.

“Are you staring at me because of the hair?” Gram chuckled. “What do you think? I had my stylist do something different.”

Tobi couldn’t get her tongue to work, a tad shocked at her grandmother’s physical changes.

“I think it’s fabulous,” August said. “Right, Tobi?”

“Thank you, son. Daphne promised it’s wash and wear. Who has time to worry about hair?” Gram winked.

Feeling a bit like she’d woke up in the twilight zone, Tobi gave her head a quick shake. “Yes, I like it. I was just taken back.”

“And you, dear, look more and more like your father.” Gram rested her palm against her still-large bosom.

At the mention of the man Tobi had never met she felt the familiar sting in the pit of her stomach. What she knew about her father could fit into a tea cup. Loretta never spoke of him, didn’t even have any pictures. From what Tobi knew, Tobias had inky, dark hair, captivating green eyes and had a scar across one cheek from a fall off a horse when he was eleven. Gathering her emotions, Tobi didn’t like that August was watching her closely. Was he hoping to see a slip of her composure? Well, he wouldn’t. “I tried to call to let you know I was coming but I didn’t get an answer.”

Gram’s thin chin bobbed as she observed Tobi with a narrowed gaze. “You didn’t have to come, but now that you’re here, let’s go have some of that pie.” She had weary, pale features, and her clothes hung on her diminutive frame.

“I’d love a piece of pie,” August said, hooking his thumbs in his front pockets, still wearing a smile that should come with a warning label.

“Tobi? What about you?” Gram asked.

“Sure. Let’s have pie.” She swiped a glace back at the cowboy who didn’t seem a bit embarrassed that she’d caught him staring at her behind. And why did her body respond like she’d run a marathon?

“I’ll gather my things here and be right up,” August said.

“And maybe you can find a shirt too,” Tobi said under her breath.

“Nonsense, August. That can wait. Come to the kitchen.” Gram took the lead up the narrow stairs, stopping at the gun case. “Remember what I told you, Tobi. You always check to make sure a gun is unloaded…or loaded.”

She felt a bit foolish, but she pushed it aside.

The old kitchen hadn’t changed one bit. From the apple wallpaper trim along the yellow walls to the antique stove. The handmade cabinets to the butcher block island where she’d sit and watch Gram bake pies and make goat cheese that she’d sell at the farmer’s market on Saturdays.

“Are you okay, Tobi?”

She offered Gram a forced smile. “I’m fine. This place, especially the kitchen, brings back a lot of memories I’d forgotten.”

“Come in. Have a seat. Both of you.” Gram grabbed a knife from the drawer and sliced the pie that looked delicious.

Tobi slid up on the stool that still had her initials carved into the wood and inhaled the sweet, spicy scent of spices.

“This is a celebration of sorts. What’s a party without spirits?” Gram took down an unembellished bottle from the cabinet along with two mason jars.

“Is that dandelion wine, Gram?”

“It most certainly is,” she said proudly. “I saved back a bottle for special occasions, but I usually sell out at the farmer’s market. No one makes their own wine anymore.”

“You still have a booth at the market?” Tobi used to help her Gram. The highlight of the morning’s spent in the booth had been a visit to the candy store after.

“Of course, but August built me a refrigerated shed close to the house where I store pies, cheese, and vegetables from the garden so buyers can come here to purchase what they want. Now, can anyone tell me how we got off on the wrong foot?” She swiped her grey eyes between Tobi and August who’d casually leaned himself against the counter, arms crossed, and returning the stare with a hooded gaze.

“Just like he said, Gram. I thought he was an intruder,” Tobi muttered, eyeing the wine in desperation. If her memory served her well, the concoction was strong enough to make a person’s hair stand up. She’d learned her lesson when she snuck a drink at thirteen, but she believed she could handle herself now.

“Oh for heaven’s sake. Who’d want to break into this old place?” Gram handed August a large slice of pie topped high with whipped topping and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Tobi made a mental note that he got the first slice. She wasn’t petty, but after speaking to Bush, she needed to find out if August could be trusted. Taking a gulp of the wine, she squinted and saw stars. “Sheesh, Gram. This should come with a warning.”

“It does. The label says, “Drink responsibly’. I can trust that you won’t be meddling in my gun cabinet again, right?”

What could Tobi say? It was best to remain quiet.

“I don’t hold any hard feelings.” August shifted on his worn boots. “Tobi only meant to protect the homestead. Who can blame her for that?”

She caught a bit of sarcasm in his tone. Their gazes connected for an awkward breath and Tobi forced a smile onto her tight lips. Easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar. “Honest mistake. Could have happened to anyone.”

“Right.” He winked.

Why did her stomach turn? She was quite aware of this new August with his handsome face, charming smile, and rock-hard body. She guessed he got a lot of attention from all the ladies in town. When he dug into his pie, she took the opportunity to sneak another peek down the stretch of T-shirt that hugged his torso to the bulge just below his leather belt anchored with an eye-catching buckle wide enough to serve a T-bone on. The temperature rose a notch. As a kid she thought he had cooties, and he probably still did, but she wouldn’t mind catching a few…

What the hell?

Had she lost her mind?
Rhonda Carver. CowboyAugustFinal (Kindle Locations 616-670). Kindle Edition.

While these two get off on the wrong foot, Isobella throws them together consistently. They were friends as children they can get along now. But Tobi has to open up to conversations and things that can be proven.

The relationship between Isobella and Tobi needs some work and the things that Isobella holds back she really shouldn’t have. August has to prove himself more than once even as he falls for Tobi all over again.

Tobi has to deal with her issues in order for this romance to work.

Twists and Turns, a bit of suspense and a simmer to sizzle romance.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

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about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

Rhonda Lee Carver is a published book writer with a collection of print and eBooks under her wing. She is also a freelance editor. Her first book was published with Wild Rose Press in 2010.

She writes everything from contemporary to steamy to paranormal to suspense…you name it, she’s written it. Her specialty is writing men who love to get their hands dirty—hardworking, blue collar, heroes in everyday life.

When Rhonda isn’t crafting edge-of-your-seat, sizzling novels, you’ll find her with her children and husband watching soccer, watching a breathtaking movie, traveling to exotic places (with Bora Bora on her bucket list), doing (or trying) yoga, saving cats and dogs, and finding new ways to keep life interesting.

Rhonda thrives on making her readers happy. She believes life can be a challenge, but reading is a place where fantasy comes to life. Her motto: “Everyone deserves romance—one page at a time.“

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Just One Chance – Kingston Family Book 3 by Carly Phillips


Just One Chance
Kingston Family Book 3
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

He thought she was the one . . .
until she walked away.
Now she’s back and he wants her more than ever.

As a former Marine, Xander Kingston’s writing keeps him sane. Bonus? His thrillers made him one of Hollywood’s most desired screenwriters – and also introduced him to a fledgling starlet who broke his heart. With his close-knit family in New York, Xander returned home and found peace. Until Sasha Evans shows up at his Hamptons retreat. Now an A-Lister, she’s as beautiful as he remembers. And just as dangerous to his heart.

Sasha learned from watching her mother to never sacrifice her dreams for anyone—only to discover how empty life could be without the man she loved. Now cast in Xander’s latest movie, she needs his insight to play the part, but secretly hopes for a second chance.

Xander has built emotional walls to keep Sasha at a distance, but their physical attraction can’t be denied. When a stalker’s threats intensify, Xander moves Sasha into his house to keep her safe. Before long she’s back in his bed and making inroads in his life.

But when the danger passes and the movie wraps, Sasha and Xander face a familiar choice—put career first or give love a fighting chance.

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Xander Kingston’s latest book is being made into a movie. It will be filmed in New York City and he will be on set as a consultant. This one is important since the main character is getting a new love interest, the first since his wife died. The actress who was to play the part backed out and her replacement, Sasha Evans has a history with Xander. She broke his heart, her career first and foremost always.

While Xander knows she will bring the audience, he’s not looking forward to seeing her and intends to keep his distance. But she shows up on his doorstep looking to clear the air and learn more about her character before filming starts. Against his better judgement Xander agrees to meet her in the city for dinner. Once they actually get to their table the meal and talk went well, but a bit of chaos ensues as they are leaving.

This is a favorite scene once they reach the hotel.

He exited the car first. She slid across the seat and stepped out, accepting the hand he offered. Xander Kingston was nothing if not a gentleman.

Then he slammed the door shut and she forced herself to meet his gaze. His closed-off expression told her all she needed to know, and she had no intention of prolonging the inevitable.

“Thanks for dinner and the information about Amanda. I’ll see you on set,” she said, turning to go.

“Wait.” He touched her shoulder, and she glanced back. “I’ll walk you to your room.”

She had no desire for a long goodbye. “Thanks but I’ll be okay.”

He raised an eyebrow. “You hoped for the same thing when we left the restaurant. Humor me,” he said, gesturing for her to go first.

She knew better than to argue, and they headed inside the hotel, walking through the lobby. They reached the elevators, and he stood beside her as she pressed the up button.

She glanced at him. “I’m sure I can get to my room without a problem.”

The doors opened and he stepped inside along with her, subjecting her to his heady body heat and scent in the enclosed space. With a deliberately loud sigh, she pulled her keycard from her purse and watched the floor numbers go upward, waiting in silence while wishing this awkwardness would end.

She had nothing to say and clearly he didn’t either. His one-word curse earlier had been enough.

The elevator stopped, the doors opened, and she strode to her room. She opened the door, planning to turn and tell him to leave, but the sound of familiar voices distracted her.

In the suite sat Cassidy with Rebecca and Dina Addams, her publicist, who was located in LA but had come to the city for meetings this coming week.

“What’s wrong? What is everyone doing here?” Sasha entered the room and Xander stepped in behind her.

“It’s about time you got back! Since when don’t you check your phone?” Rebecca asked.

“I… We were busy talking. What’s going on?” Sasha glanced at her team.

Rebecca, a dedicated career woman at sixty years old, still looked closer to fifty. She wore her hair in a short bob and was the epitome of New York chic. Dina was in her early forties, dressed like she was twenty-five, and handled some of the most famous people in Hollywood.

“Shut the door,” Dina said. Xander immediately let go and the door closed behind him.

Whatever was going on, Sasha didn’t want him as an audience and turned his way. “As you can see, I’m here and I’m safe. You can go now.”

His scowl deepened and Dina spoke. “Let him stay. He’ll be on set. He should know what’s going on.”

“What is going on? Is someone going to tell me?” Sasha strode over to the cocktail table by the sofa and put her purse down before leveling her team, one by one, with a hard stare.

Cassidy looked the most worried.

“Cass?”

Her friend sighed. “I ordered dinner, and while I was waiting, I took a shower. When I came out, a note had been slipped under the door. I thought it was a bill they’d put for you to look over even though we weren’t checking out soon.” She twisted her hands in front of her.

“It wasn’t?” This came from Xander.

Sasha had almost forgotten he was there. Almost.

“No, it wasn’t.” Dina, who stood by the window, stepped in closer. “You received a note,” she said to Sasha.

“Can I see?”

The other women looked at each other before Dina pulled a sealed plastic bag from her tote. “Just preserving evidence as best I can,” she said.

“Evidence?” Sasha took the bag and looked at the paper with the words You’re Mine on the page. Each letter, individually cut out and pasted on the paper, had a different computer font.

“Jesus Christ,” Xander said from behind her, his big body vibrating with anger.

“Someone sent this to me?” she asked, unease rippling through her.

“Yes,” Dina said.

Sasha blew out a long breath, trying to be rational. “Okay, well, we all know celebrities get notes from obsessed fans all the time. It doesn’t mean–”

“It means someone reached your floor and got as far as your door. Which is why I said you need security,” Xander all but growled in her ear.

“We’ll get to that,” Rebecca said.

Dina cleared her throat. “Unfortunately, this isn’t the first note you’ve gotten that has this … possessive tone.”

Sasha’s mail was sent through Dina’s agency. They vetted each piece and forwarded on to Cassidy what was important. It helped keep both Sasha’s and Cassidy’s life manageable and the crazies at a distance.

“How many more notes has she gotten?” Xander stepped around Sasha and pulled the bag out of Dina’s hand.

The publicist shifted from foot to foot in her expensive heels. “We run her social media accounts, and I have someone pulling the messages and actual fan snail mail as we speak. But quite a few.”

Anger and concern rushed through Sasha. She paid these people to handle things and report back to her. If they didn’t, how could she know she was safe? “Why wasn’t I told about them?”

“For the reason you just mentioned. Our clients get these kinds of emails, snail mail, and direct messages often,” Dina said. “The only time we bring them to their attention is if the contents seem dangerous or it escalates. Otherwise, there would be no point in us handling things for you.”

Her reasoning made sense but Sasha wasn’t completely satisfied.

“I don’t like this,” Xander muttered. “Not after today.”

“What happened today?” It sounded like all three women asked the same question at once.

Xander folded his arms across his broad chest. “Someone recognized her, which led to autographs and photos. After we ate dinner, she was surrounded on her way out of the restaurant. A guy grabbed her and tried to pull her away.”

“Xander wrapped an arm around me and we made it to the car that Cassidy arranged for us.” Sasha hadn’t been as freaked out by the incident as he had, mostly because she’d been in those situations before. But now? “Do you think it’s the same person? The guy who grabbed me and the one who left the note?”

“Serafina is within walking distance,” he said of the restaurant. “It could be the same person. Or it could be two different people.” He’d begun pacing back and forth in the suite.

Although the room normally felt big, with his long strides and large build, the area seemed to shrink, and she grew more aware of him. It didn’t matter that there were three others in the room. Xander took up all her oxygen.

“Either way, I don’t like this.” He turned to face her. “I’m calling a friend of mine who runs a bodyguard business. Alpha Security is the best and I’m bringing them in,” he said.

“I—” she began.

“Not up for argument.” Xander had an obstinate expression on his face as he interrupted her and his determined gaze met hers.

She shrugged. “I was just going to say I have a company on retainer. I don’t plan on being stupid with my safety.”

Dina cleared her throat. “Your firm in LA is solid,” she said. “A lot of my clients use them.”

Xander glared at her. “Alpha is excellent and they’re local. Dash uses them, and if they’re good enough for the Original Kings, I feel comfortable hiring them for Sasha.”

You feel comfortable? Why are we considering your feelings? And why is everyone talking around me instead of to me?” Sasha glared at Xander, the person she was most upset with, the memory of his reaction to their kiss still lingering along with the hurt she felt at his rejection.

“Excuse us a minute,” she said to everyone else in the room before grabbing his hand and pulling him into the bedroom, slamming the door shut behind them.
Carly Phillips. Just One Chance (Kindle Locations 657-722). CP Publishing.

Not really liking the options, Xander insists Sasha come stay at his Long Island home. His security is excellent and the added men from Alpha Security would have no problem keeping an eye all around.

They find there’s more than just a few things from this stalker and he’s definitely escalating. Finding this person isn’t going to be easy and while Sasha is mostly accepting of the additional security, she’s also straining at the bit.

Being alone together has both Xander and Sasha remembering how good they are together. Sasha just has to convince him she’s not the same person she was and her goals are different now. She just needs a plan.

Suspense, intrigue, action and a romance that builds to some sizzling heat. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

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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Quinn’s Quest – Bullard’s Battle Book 7 By Dale Mayer


Quinn’s Quest
Bullard’s Battle Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Fed up with always feeling one step behind, Quinn is determined to find out who is trying to annihilate all of Bullard’s team. Only the trail takes him to Izzie, Bullard’s niece. The team knows the saboteur was someone close to Bullard, and Izzie had had a hell of a fight with Bullard the last time they spoke. But how involved was she in this plane crash? He didn’t want to think badly of her, but, at this point in time, he was looking at everyone with suspicion.

Izzie is also suspicious of everyone. She’s been to hell and back, all because she was stubborn and angry at Bullard, but she’d never do anything to hurt him. Not knowing anything about the last few months’ trials, she’s horrified to find out why Quinn sought her out. Then he’s horrified when he finds out what happened to her. Working on healing her own soul, she’s desperate to help Quinn find out who attacked the team and potentially killed her uncle.

If she can do anything to help, she will, particularly if it gives her a chance to make amends to the one man who’s always been there for her.

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When Quinn and Ryland set out all they have is an address, the address belongs to Bullard’s niece Izzie. Not that they think she had anything to do with Bullard’s disappearance but they need to find her. A neighbor tells them more than they expected and with them furious at what they see in the apartment, they need to see Izzie and soon.

Fortunately Kano has a phone number and they arranged to meet with her. As she explains what happened a year ago they realize they need to speak with the ex-boyfriend. It will give Izzie closure as well.

That whole thing doesn’t end well for Dracon, and Quinn stays with Izzie at her actual apartment. Their conversations don’t really show any romance but there could be some attraction growing. Of course all of that was too easy and the next morning brings a surprise package.

This is a favorite scene.

Quinn looked at Izzie and frowned. “Are you expecting anyone?” She shook her head. She got up, walked to the front door, and, before she got there, she called out, “Who is it?”

“Delivery.”

“I’m not expecting anything,” she said. But he read off her name and address, and so, with Quinn at her side, she opened the door to see a delivery person with a box. She quickly signed for it, accepted it, and brought it in. She looked at it and said, “There’s no return address.”

“And no company name or logo on it either,” he said. “Are you sure you’re not expecting anything?”

“No, I’m not, so I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this.”

“Well, let’s open it,” he said.

“Is it safe?” she asked, with a dry humor.

“Maybe not,” he said, “but we do need to find out.”

She frowned at that. “I was joking.”

“I wasn’t.” He took a picture of it and sent it to the guys. And then sent a text. I’m opening it. He walked to the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and slit the tape. As he moved the box a little farther back on the table, he opened the flaps and then looked at her. “It’s wrapped up.”

“Well, something’s wrapped up,” she said, “but I don’t know what.”

He nodded. “Let’s find out.” He quickly pulled out the fairly small item, and he undid all the Bubble Wrap all around it. When they got down to the end, there was a tab on the side. As the last piece of Bubble Wrap came off, the tab pulled. Instantly smoke filled the room. He swore, grabbed her hand, and bolted for the door.

“What is it? What is it?” Then she started to cough.

“Smoke bomb!” he cried out. At the door, they burst into the hallway, and he could barely see the four gunmen as two reached out for her. He immediately cleared his head and struggled against the two men holding him. He kicked one down hard and turned to fight the second one. Even as he did so, he saw Izzie being dragged down the hallway. He swore and fought harder, until a heavy blow took him on the temple. He barely heard the conversation around him, as he struggled to remain conscious.
“What do you want me to do with him?”

“Bring him,” a thick voice said. “He might behave better if they are together.”

Grateful that they were at least taking them both, that meant that Quinn wouldn’t have to hunt her down. He was dragged behind her, as she screamed and cried out, “What do you want?”

Just as they went past another apartment, one of the gunmen grabbed her by the neck and said, “Shut your face. If you bring anybody else out in the hall, I’ll kill your friend.”

Immediately she shut up. Quinn appreciated her control, but, at the same time, they needed to attract attention, so that somebody would do something. He couldn’t reach his phone right now, and he knew that, within seconds, they would get stripped of all their electronics too— something else that he didn’t want to happen. In the elevator, they dropped him onto the floor, and he stayed there. “What did you do to him?” she cried out.

“Nothing,” he said. “At least nothing he didn’t have coming.”

“What do you want with me?” she asked.

“Nobody said we wanted anything to do with you.”

At that, she froze and stared at him. “Then why?”

“It has more to do with him than you,” he said. “He’s part of a team we’ll annihilate.”

“Ah,” she said, “so you are one of the guys still waiting for Bullard to show up.”

“What do you know about Bullard?” One of the men turned on her.

“I don’t know anything,” she said. “As far as I know, the team is still looking for him.”

He said, “I hope they don’t find him. But we have to wait and see.”

“So you’re taking out the team anyway? Is that what you guys do?” she asked.

“Maybe,” he said. “Not your problem now. Shut the hell up.”

She glared at him. “And if I don’t?”

“I have got more than enough bullets to take care of the both of you,” he said. “And, if you push me, I’ll just pop you right now.”

She fell silent.

With Quinn’s wits about him and still pretending to be unconscious, the elevator door opened. No security was assigned to cover the parking garage, but, as long as he could get his feet under him and pick his timing, he could easily take out these two guys assigned to him.

He waited until they dragged him through the garage to where they were parked. The other two men grabbed Izzie and pulled her to the other side of the vehicle. Instantly Quinn bolted to his feet, snatched the nearest gunman’s hand and fired, incapacitating the other gunman beside him. He immediately kicked his other gunman in the groin, punched him in the face, downing him, snatched up his handgun too and used it to drop one of the other men on Izzie.

But, as Quinn stood here, aiming a shot at the last gunman standing, that man held his weapon against Izzie’s head. “I’ll shoot her,” he said calmly.

“You’ve just sealed your own death right now, and no way they’ll let you live from this.”

“They weren’t letting me live anyway,” he snapped, glaring at him. “What the hell do you want with Izzie?”

“Just a little cooperation.”

“You killed her ex, threw Dracon out a window,” he snapped, “so what do you want with her? And don’t give me any more of your lies.”

“Oh, you figured that was me on the phone, did you?”

“I recognized your voice,” he said. “And you’re not that good to be upper tier.”

The guy’s face twisted in fury. “Sure I am,” he said. “Should have just killed you at the apartment.”

“You should have,” Quinn said. “Anytime you got an opportunity, it is always much better to do that. But you’ve got this big grandstanding thing going on, don’t you?”

“No,” he said, “we have a body count, and now we don’t get paid unless the first body shows up.”

Quinn took a minute to process that. “Ah, so unless you actually show up with the bodies, they won’t pay you? Got it,” he said. “Well, that’s smart, especially after you failed to get Bullard.”

“Bullard’s dead,” he snapped.

“You mean, you want Bullard to be dead, but that doesn’t mean he is.”

“He’s dead. No way anybody could have survived that.”

“Except you already know that two of us did. Another reason for the body count.”

“Besides, I think at this point, our boss wants to kill you himself.”

“And I’m all for it,” Quinn said. “I’d much rather see who’s behind all this instead of dealing with minions.”

“We’re not minions,” he said. “We’re trained assassins.”

“Says you. You’re still just newbies, part of that subversive company under Kingdom Securities.”

“Maybe,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean you know who the boss is. Matter of fact, you’ve been chasing your own tails all week. You have no clue.”

“Maybe not,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean that I’m not figuring it out right now.”

“You haven’t figured it out,” he said, and one of the men groaned at his feet.

“You didn’t even kill him,” the gunman said. “That’s what kind of a loser you are.”

“Right, leave nobody alive. I forgot that was your motto.”

“It is,” he said. “You know that.”

“And yet you’re taking us all in.”

“I want to get paid,” he said. “Of course you do. Too bad you won’t get paid for this one though.”

“Well, I will,” he said. “You haven’t won anything. I’ll just pop her, take her out of the equation, and then I can shoot you.”

“You won’t make even one shot,” he said. “I’ll kill you first.”

“You’re not that fast.”

Quinn looked at him, gave him a taunting little smile, and said, “Yes, I am.”
Dale Mayer. Quinn’s Quest (Kindle Locations 1041-1109). Valley Publishing.

Needless to say Wagner gets called again, and isn’t happy. Izzie has a few words for him as well about the cops and the lack of attention the report she filed against Dracon got and they way she was treated as though it was all made up.

The guys are trying to get her to the compound where it would be easier to keep her safe but she just can’t do it.

There is just so much going on, and there’s plenty of action as Quinn and Izzie get closer and the attraction becomes more obvious.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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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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Witchmate by Renee George


Witchmate
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Renee George

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During a high end job, thief Emma Watson gets unwittingly trapped “on the job” after a tripped alarm locks her in a vault. When she finds a skeleton key, a mysterious door appears at the back of the room. The key fits, but instead of finding freedom on the other side, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world where the only two species, witches and wolves, are at war. When she is caught in the magical crossfire, a gorgeous wolf shifter, Keir D’San, rescues her. But when she begins to manifest magic, it sets her on a dangerous path that may lose her the only man she’s ever wanted to love.

Keir has spent his entire life fighting witches. When he comes upon a spirited woman in the middle of another battle with his bitter enemy who is neither a witch nor a wolf, he rescues her. Their chemistry is instant and their attraction explosive. But when Emma begins to turn into the enemy, Keir has to choose between his clan or the woman he knows is his true mate.

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I have to confess I bought this book a long time ago and just now got around to reading it. I’m trying to read some of my very large kindle tbr pile and this one is just perfect for the season.

We meet Emma Watson as she attends an event by the very wealthy Lucinda Mowry, she’s going to steal some documents from Lucinda’s vault for her current client. Her boss Mike is her partner for this but neither of them could anticipate what happens next.

Somehow a trip isn’t disabled and Emma is trapped in the vault. Seeking a way out she opens a box to find a key the head of which looks like a spider and then a door appears at the back of the vault. With no alternative she opens the door into a conflict she doesn’t understand with some sort of electric lightning.

She’s hit by a strike and has to run toward the people she was trying to avoid. One of them shoves her behind and tells her to hide but she ends up knocking herself out.

Keir D’San of the San Fe Sang tribe evaluated the woman, she was neither witch nor wolf, he pushed her behind him instructing her to run and hide as he turned to his wolf form to fight the threat coming for them.

I couldn’t help myself from laughing as Emma tries to rationalize where she is. There is nothing that even slightly resembles where she was. Keir the ‘Alpha’ doesn’t understand any of what she’s saying it’s all foreign to him. The modern world doesn’t exist here.

When Keir leaves her to attend to other business Emma leaves what she believes is her prison. Of course Keir is going to follow, he believes she is his mate.

This is a favorite scene.

Keir eyeballed the leafy plant she’d just tripped over.  It was witchvine. “I can tell.”

“You were freaking dragging me, you Neanderthal. It’s not the same as walking on your own volition.” She paused for a moment. “You’re bleeding. Are you okay?”

He pulled his knife from its sheath, knelt by the vine and cut it loose from the ground. “This is too rare a find to leave behind.” He stripped off the bright pink leaves and coiled the vine, almost five feet long, in a loop that he tied to his belt.

“What is it?” Emma moved in for a closer look. “It looks like grapevine, except…” She leaned over the picked up the discarded foliage. “I’ve never seen any grapes with this color of leaves?”

Keir peered at her. “You really don’t know what this is?”

She pursed her lips petulantly and balled her fists onto her hips. Her chest swelled with indignation. “I wouldn’t have asked if I did.”

God, she was beautiful! “It’s wallen ivy, but we just call it witchvine or witch trap.”

“Why?”

“Because it can neutralize a witch’s power when they come in contract with it.”

“You guys really take your fantasy play to the extreme.” She shook her head. “How much farther to St. Louis?”

“What is this Saint Louis?”

“Come on. You can quit messing around with me already.”

“How am I messing with you?”

“This world you claim to live in, full of werewolves and witches, it’s not reality.” She dropped the leaves in her hand. “And I really, really need some reality right now. If you can’t help me get to St. Louis, I’d settle for the nearest hint of civilization. Some place preferably with cell phone reception.”

“There is no such place as this Saint Louis,” he snapped. Her ignorance frustrated him. Had a witch psychic tampered with her memory? He hadn’t dealt much with psychics. Their powers were only really effective against the younglings, which is why he forbid them from joining hunts or battles until after their moonrites.

How good was psychic magic when it was used against other witches?

No, he thought. Emma isn’t a witch. She couldn’t be one of them. Her blue eyes and golden hair were proof. Besides, she hadn’t shown an ounce of magic. If she were a witch, she would have taken steps to protect herself from the lightning wave. She wouldn’t have touched the witchvine leaves.

Finally, he took her hand. “You honestly believe what you’re saying, don’t you?”

“As I said before, I believe what I can see and feel. Or as the people in Missouri say, show me.”

Keir nodded. He let go of Emma’s hand. “Don’t be afraid.”

“Of what?”

“Me.” He focused his energy into taking his third form, his wolf. He felt every aspect of the shift, from his bones reshaping, his muscles changing, the fur sprouting out of his skin, and his fingers shrinking into clawed paws. When he’d achieved complete transformation, the process only taking seconds, he shook his fur and leveled his gaze on Emma.

She stumbled back but didn’t scream or run. In this form, he was nearly as tall as Emma, so it was to her credit that she managed to speak. “That’s not… You can’t be… I’m in a coma. It’s the only explanation.”

Keir made a whimpering noise because he thought a bark or a growl would scare her. Cautiously, he took a step toward her.

Emma swallowed hard but nodded her head. “Okay,” she said. “This is happening. Jesus.” She held out her hand, and he approached her with slow ease until his muzzle met her fingertips. She jerked her hand back. “That felt real.”

Keir lowered his head to her, and she reached out and put her hand between his ears. After a moment, she stroked the fur on his face.

He blinked.

“I believe you,” she said breathlessly.

He shook himself again, and in a few seconds, he was once again a man standing in front of her. She pressed her hand against his chest.

“Where did your clothes go when you changed?” she asked.

“The witches have their magic, and so do we.” He couldn’t hide his smile when he noted a look of disappointment on her face. “I’m happy to lose my clothing if that will make you happy.”

Emma rolled her eyes, but her lips quirked up at the corners. “Shut up.”

“It’s no problem,” he said. “I’m happy to accommodate your every wish.”

“I bet you are.” Emma picked up her bag. “So, werewolves are real. Freaky.” She looked around. “So, I’m not in Missouri anymore. Is that what you’re saying?”

“Yes.”

“Great.” Her exasperated tone pleased him. It meant she really did believe. “How in the hell did I get here?”

Keir shrugged. “That is the question.”

“Yeah, it is.” Her gaze snapped up, and their eyes met.
George, Renee. Witchmate Kindle Location (723-764). Barkside of the Moon Press. Kindle Edition.

Aerina, the Witch Queen is waiting for someone, I’m guessing Emma, but we don’t know for sure at this point.

There are traitors in both camps, which is apparent since Aerina doesn’t seem to know there are battles going on, and Keir has already questioned his witch prisoner but didn’t get the name.

Now he’s hiding out with Emma who is his mate and she’s starting to exhibit powers she didn’t have before.

A sensuous, intriguing book with plenty of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Renee!

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Renee George

USA Today Bestselling author Renee George writes paranormal mysteries and romances because she loves all things whodunit, Otherworldly, and weird. Also, she wishes her pittie, the adorable Kona Princess Warrior, and her beagle, Josie the Incontinent Princess, could talk. Or at least be more like Scooby-Doo and help her unmask villains at the haunted house up the street.

When she’s not writing about mystery-solving werecougars or the adventures of a hapless psychic living among shapeshifters, she is preyed upon by stray kittens who end up living in her house because she can’t say no to those sweet, furry faces. (Someone stop telling them where she lives!)

She resides in Mid-Missouri with her family and spends her non-writing time doing really cool stuff…like watching TV and cleaning up dog poop.

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Get In The Halloween Spirit With The Witch Singer Collection by Heather Long


The Witch Singer Collection
Magic and Mayhem Universe
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long

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The Witch Singer Book 1

Curses. Vampires. Skunks.
The life of a Witch Singer shouldn’t be this complicated.

After years spent paying off an old debt by working for the vampires, Bridget the Witch Singer receives the opportunity of the lifetime. Solve one vampire’s oops—he turned the wrong person—and she’s a free witch. Desperate to win her freedom, she heads to Assjacket to find the solution to the vampire’s problem and everything goes wrong along the way, including a flat tire, getting sprayed by a skunk and the road trip from hell.

Unfortunately, Martin is no ordinary skunk and his spray is a nervous tick. She does her best to save the beast when her scream accidentally wounds him and springs him from his curse. Good news for Martin, not so good for Bridget who can’t get rid of him. Once in Assjacket, she’s tasked by the BabaYoMama to unite at least two couples and sing at their weddings in order to gain the cure she needs for her freedom.

Bridget’s Witch’s Diary Book 2

How much mischief can a witch with
misfiring magical mojo get into?
Plenty…

Life in Assjacket seems to have achieved an odd normal—if living with a former skunk turned into her professor lover and raising a hot-tempered teenager with out of control magic can be called normal. Bridget wants to embrace her new life except…déjà vu is driving her crazy.

Not to mention she still has to satisfy a deal with the vampires, please the Baba Yaga, get Rika’s wild magic under control, oh and—just in case there wasn’t enough on her plate, she has to learn to compromise with Martin, lest he skunk out on her again.

Impulse control has never been Bridget’s best quality. After Rika summons a highlander from the pages of her novel and declares her intentions to keep him, Bridget is pushed to the end of her tether. Then there’s that déjà vu. Maybe it’s just the repetitive nature of small town life.

Of course, when a witch shows up to take her highlander back, it will take Bridget’s odd little family working together to save Angus.

The Witched Away Bride Book 3

Once upon a time in Assjacket…

My story began when a vampire I dubbed Mr. Nasty-Face sent me on a crazy, impossible task to fix his mis-Turnment of a certain succubus. Easy, right? Yeah, then I ran into the skunk who would change my life (and spray me, but let’s forget that memory). Once I got to Assjacket, well, let’s just say I ended up with the teenager who wasn’t—a kind of happily-while-you’re-here scenario. Now my teen is a grown woman with a Highlander for a lover, and I’m left to deal with Gigi. She wants me to find her a happily-for-real-ever-after and I’ve still got to solve my problems.

So to be clear, all I have to do is undo the unbreakable, pair the unpairable, and keep my man happy. One out of three isn’t bad. I’m a witch singer, not a dang miracle worker.

Just sing at a couple of weddings, the Baba Yaga said, it’ll be fun, she said, it’ll solve all your problems…except no weddings are possible with the witched away brides.

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What happens when you are a captive witch and are made an offer you can’t refuse? You get a delightful tale of magic and mayhem.

Bridget has been a captive of the Vampires for many years paying off a debt she incurred by not controlling her magic. She can earn her freedom by finding a way to reverse a turning that should never have happened to begin with. Failure is not an option, so she begins her journey to find the one witch who could help her Baba Yaga whom she “affectionately” calls BabaYoMama.

Let me say this was so much fun to read. Bridget must sing her curses and some of them are hysterical. Talk about switching lyrics. Of course no journey is without it’s trials and tribulations. For Bridget it is a skunk…well a human cursed into a skunk named Martin. He needs to get to Assjacket too so he begs a ride.

One of the bumps in the road is a flat tire, this is a favorite scene.

Panic-fueled adrenaline surged through me as we came to an abrupt halt. Shaking, I glanced at my passenger who had flattened himself against the seat, tail straight up and eyes wide as he looked over his shoulder at me.

“Don’t you dare.” But it was too late. He sprayed me.

And my mouth was open, dammit.

Choking, gagging, and spitting out the foul taste, I managed to get the car into park. Then I did the utterly mature thing— I beat my hands against the steering wheel.

“I’m sorry,” Martin sounded genuinely contrite. “It’s a nervous habit.”

Hardly mollified by his words or his intentions, I kept pounding my hands on the steering wheel. Tears seemed to gush from my eyes and turned the world into a wavering mess. I couldn’t breathe without smelling the acrid odor. It was everywhere. On me. On my clothes. On my car!

“Witchy-poo?” The skunk in question crept toward me. His soft, doe-eyes swam in my gaze. I could barely make out his white capped and striped black body. The tail, at least, was down, or I think it was. It didn’t really matter.

I’d spent years stuck in service to vamps because I said one wrong damn word. Then of course, there was the bill I ran up trying to escape that racket. Then the bill I ran up when I realized they weren’t going to let me go. That was neither here nor there. I had a chance. A chance to fix Nasty-Face’s stupid mistake— not that I thought one single solution actually existed in the universe, but I’d take what I could get.

All I had to do was get to fucking Assjacket. I slammed my palm on the steering wheel once for every word in that sentence. Martin touched me with a paw, and it served as a tipping point for every damn thing that had gone wrong in my life since open bar karaoke.

I screamed.
Long, Heather. The Witch Singer: Magic and Mayhem Universe (The Witch Singer Book 1) (Kindle Locations 371-385). Kindle Edition.

There are lots of surprises along the way and even more once they reach their destination. So much fun and laughter, I loved every second of this book!

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

If you’ve read the Witch Singer you know that Bridget is not happy with Baba Yaga’s edict that she must help sixteen year old Rika control her magic. Well Rika isn’t exactly pleased either, all she does is go to school and do chores. She doesn’t feel Bridget’s teaching her enough so she’s rebelling in full force teen mode.

Now don’t get huffy things get explained quickly, and a hunky Scot named Angus is just a small issue, really it is.

This is a favorite scene.

“Bridget!” Rika shrieked. “I summoned him. Let me go.”

Yeah, that’s what I thought she’d said earlier. Still not on board with whatever mad plan she’d concocted. The Scotsman—oh Angus, for beef and damn if he wasn’t beefcake…

“Witchypoo,” Martin’s voice took on a distinct note of disapproval. “You’re drooling.”

“Dude, he’s hot but I love you and you’re way hotter.” To prove my point, I twisted, caught Martin’s face in my hands and planted a sinful kiss on his lips.
Heather Long. Bridgets-Witchs-Diary: Magic and Mayhem Universe (The Witch Singer Book 2) (Kindle Locations 334-338). Kindle Edition.

Funny with sizzling heat and surprises popping up when you least expect them.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

We continue with Bridget’s story in Assjacket as brides are disappearing on their wedding days. How can Bridget sing at weddings if none are occurring? With a bunch of crazy and upset bridegrooms Baba Yaga dispatches Kirk a warlock with a gambling problem to find the witch bridenapper. He lands unceremoniously in Assjacket meeting a trash panda named Firefox. This in itself is funny but it turns out he is our Bridget’s familiar.

This is a favorite scene when they meet.

The way the purple haired witch narrowed her eyes at him gave Kirk pause. He’d charged over to the witch singer’s house because the insanity at the wedding grotto had given him an altogether unpleasant headache all the yelling, growling, and weeping had bestowed upon him. His feet hurt after tromping through the wilds. He’d run into another cluster of bushes, and now had an unbearable itch crawling along his arms.So, he probably could have been more polite to the two occupants all snuggled up with their bottle of wine, but he just wanted to bag the bridenapper, get his debts paid off, and leave before he caught something permanent. Yet, the moment he snapped at her, she went from a look of cool fury to utter speculation.

Dread coiled in his stomach. Witch singers weren’t bad witches right? Not that he could recall.

“Hey,” the trash panda announced from his feet. “You should start by introducing yourself, bub.”

“Oooh,” the witch singer let out a soft exhale of wonder, and went to her knees. “Hello there, you beautiful thing.”

The red furred little bugger puffed up and all but strutted over to her. “Hello, pretty lady. Forgive my brutish companion, he fell into a mulberry bush then crashed through a poison sumac patch. He’s in a very bad mood.”

“Is he?” The witch singer didn’t even look in Kirk’s direction. Instead she opened her arms and the trash panda hurtled into them and snuggled her. The man who’d been standing next to her watched the whole exchange with a bemused smile. The red furred head rubbed against the witch singer’s chin, a distinctive cuddle, and then she rose pressing a tiny kiss to the creature’s head.

Sure. The rodent got a friendly greeting. The longer he stood there, the more Kirk had a chance to admire the stunning red dress the singer wore, and the way it made her skin glow and emphasized her… zap! Pain shocked him back a step and he jerked his gaze to the mild-mannered man still standing near her whose gaze now focused on him.

The faint tilt to the corner of his mouth told Kirk all he needed to know. Nodding once to the other warlock— because he definitely had the power to be a warlock— Kirk folded his arms. The urge to scratch was driving him crazy. They shared a long moment of masculine understanding. The witch singer belonged to the man with the white stripe in his hair, and he’d defend what was his.

“Look, Martin. Isn’t Firefox adorable?” The singer was still cooing at the trash panda and it was all besotted with her, too. Sparkles filled the air, and he could almost hear the ringing of the bells. The little rodent was her familiar. Well, it could have said something when he fell on it.

“He’s perfect for you, lover.” The man settled a possessive hand on her hip and drew her and her newly accessorized trash panda to him. The critter wrapped around her shoulders like a fur stole and it matched her dress. Even her purple hair began to change colors until it fell in an ombre wave that ended red as the raccoon’s fur.

“Congratulations,” Kirk announced, determined to play the cards he’d been dealt. He summoned a bottle of champagne and held it out. “Allow me to present you with this token upon discovering your true familiar. A day worth remembering.”

“Uh huh,” Martin grunted as he accepted the bottle. “Now, introduce yourself and maybe summon a shirt since you’re half naked and not even an appealing naked at that.”

The witch singer giggled, and it held all those wonderful notes of a perfect concerto. For a moment, Kirk completely forgot why he was there. Even the air around her seemed to shimmer.

“Bridget, darling,” Martin murmured. “Why don’t you take Firefox in and get him comfortable while I take care of our guest?”

The witch spun and gave Martin a kiss that had Kirk’s ears turning red before she whispered something against the other man’s lips and vanished. The moment she disappeared, Kirk remembered how to breathe then took a step back.

Raking a hand through his hair, he stared at the other warlock. “Holy hell.”

“And all mine,” Martin reminded him, even as a little fireball began to dance on his fingertips.
Long, Heather. The Witched Away Bride: Magic and Mayhem Universe (The Witch Singer Book 3). (Kindle Locations 311-347). Kindle Edition.

This tale takes a delightful turn as Kirk and Gigi meet for the first time, although he doesn’t know it at the time she is responsible for the disappearing brides. A fun romp through various shops for a wedding dress and so much more as she and Kirk find romance.

Full of snark, laughs, love and lessons for everyone. This is a thoroughly delightful quick read.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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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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Have Wand, Will Travel – Have Wand, Will Travel Book 1 by Teresa J. Reasor


Have Wand, Will Travel Box Set
Books 1-3
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Teresa J. Reasor

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Have Wand, Will Travel:

When the Witch’s council hires Witch Zira O’Shea to find a missing artifact, she can’t refuse. The clues lead her to Vampire Christophe Bakas whose fallen angel’s good looks and talents are guaranteed to lead her into temptation and danger while they find the wand and seek to hide it because it’s a danger to both their species. But there’s a problem, the wand has bonded with them.

Once Bitten Twice Shy:

When Phoebe Stewart’s groom poisons her during the wedding ceremony, and her life expectancy falls from forever to a week, “till death do you part” takes on a whole new meaning. When she catches up with her new husband, she intends to stake and roast the traitorous, narcissistic weenie. Especially now she’s met Hunter Knox, the bad boy alpha vampire she’s been waiting for her whole death.

Adventures of a Witchy Wallflower:

After 50 years of teaching magic-challenged witches, Madeline’s found Jake, the perfect male witch to share a different kind of magic in her life. But Jake has a reputation and money problems. And he’s been offered a hundred thousand dollars to meet Madeline. When he falls in love he has two problems, if Madeline finds out about the money she’ll dump him, if his curse doesn’t get to her first.

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Christophe doesn’t want to steal from humans, there is really no challenge in it, he does however have to pay his bills. He notices something about their baby’s health and leaves a note for them.

He shouldn’t have a financial problem, but his manservant Arnold has disappeared and with him all the passwords to his accounts. He knows Arnold is near but he can’t pinpoint where, that in itself is unusual. As he approaches his car he finds out who is responsible for Arnold’s disappearance, the vampire council the question is why.

Zaira O’Shea is a private investigator, her clients witches and shifters, the humans in front of her are a rarity. The Sutherlands want her to find the thief not to punish him but to thank him for saving their daughter. She’s able to find him but he also wants something from her. What she discovers is that they both have an interest in the object the Magic Council has hired her to find.

This is a favorite scene.

“If you’re not going to turn me into the police, perhaps we could go to a coffee shop and have something to drink,” Christophe suggested. Now it was dark, the temperature had dropped, and she looked chilled. The smell of car exhaust from down on the street lingered in the air. “It will give me an opportunity to explain why I stole the jewelry from the Sutherlands, and why I need a witch. And it will give you time to see I’m not the monster you think I am.”

She studied him with a dubious frown. “You were going to bite me, and now you want me to have coffee with you?”

“It was a momentary lapse. I promise not to bite you while you drink your coffee. It would be rude.”

She laughed, then sobered as he strolled forward. The defensive tension built in her body language. In his most soothing voice, he said, “I work with humans all the time and am able to control my,” he grinned, “woo-woo. You needn’t be afraid. We can help each other, perhaps.”

“You steal for a living, and you want me to trust you?”

“I work for a living. I’ve just run up against something untoward and resorted to a little burglary to resolve the issue.”

Her brows rose at that.

He motioned toward the door leading down into the apartment building.

“I’d prefer you go first.”

Trust was going to take some time with this one. It was a shame he couldn’t use his vampire woo-woo on her. He wanted to laugh every time he thought it. Instead, he shrugged and headed for the door.

The Dish wasn’t exactly bustling at almost midnight. Four students were pulling a late-night study session in one of the booths, and a couple had fallen asleep from exhaustion at their tables. The wait staff, used to the last-minute insanity of the semester, worked around them, cleaning up, refilling salt and pepper shakers, and rolling silverware for the next day.

“We don’t have much time. The diner will be closing in half an hour, so I’ll get right to it. A month ago, Arnold, my uncle, disappeared. Someone took him while I was at work. Arnold has been with me for… a very long time. I have trusted him with all my financial issues because he’s more… human, and people are more at ease with him. Everything is direct deposit these days. No one ever hands you a paycheck anymore and says ‘go, you earned it, spend it.’ But when he disappeared, it left me without access to any funds. I didn’t know how much money it would take for me to hire people to help me get him back, so I chose someone I thought could afford a small loss.”

Over her shoulder, he saw Andy Kutzerd, one of his students, swagger into the diner and go to the counter to place an order. He was hard to miss, with his carrot-red hair and six-foot-three frame. He played football on the college team, their star quarterback. Happily, his usual entourage of fellow players and girls were not in attendance.

He knew the kid, since he was in Christophe’s American History class, and unfortunately the booth wasn’t big enough for Christophe to duck out of sight. Andy would be bearing down on them at any moment. Shit. This night was getting more and more interesting. “Excuse me for a moment.” He slid free of the booth and approached the student.

“Hello, Andy.”

“Hey, Professor. How you doin’?”

“I’m fine.”

“Beautiful lady you’re with,” Andy said, his curiosity palpable. “Girlfriend?”

“Hopefully. First date.” It was impossible not to grin at that.

Andy grinned in return. “You know most of your students think you’re gay. There’s rampant interest. Bets and everything going on. You just gave me an edge.”

Christophe shook his head. “Why would my personal life be of interest to the student body?”

“Well, all the girls flock around you after class, but you never show any interest, even when they go into overdrive and try to vamp you. And you do live with that older dude.”

Christophe coughed to cover his single bark of laughter at the vamp comment. “That older dude is my uncle.” Or at least that was the cover he and Arnold both used when questions were raised about their living arrangement. “And I don’t show interest in the ladies in class because it’s against university policy to date students. And they’re much too young for me.”

“Policy is policy, but if I had that kind of interest…” Andy peeked around Christophe’s shoulder again, then shrugged one massive, muscular shoulder.

“You’d be out of a job. And I’m rather attached to mine. It pays the bills.”

Andy grinned. “Point taken, Professor. But you have a stronger will than I have.”

Or maybe he was just getting old. Hell, he was old. He bit back a sigh.

“Is there something I can do for you?” Andy asked.

“Yes, there is.” Christophe debated with himself about how much to affect the student’s memory. He decided to give him a gentle nudge, gazed into the man’s eyes, and projected his will. “Stay here at the counter and give us some privacy.”

“Sure thing, Professor,” Andy nodded.

Christophe wandered back to the table.

“Afraid I’ll figure out where you work?” she asked as soon as he sat down.

“You’ll figure it out soon enough. My name is Christophe, but you may call me Chris if you like.” He offered his hand.

She hesitated then accepted it, shook it briefly and said, “Zaira.” She twisted her coffee cup around in a circle. “Why don’t you continue with what you were saying?”

“I’ve been tracking Arnold for a month, but every time I get close, they move him before I can reach him. It has to be witches.”

“Why would they take him?”

Christophe shoved a hand through his hair, pushing back his curly locks. If he told her too much, she wouldn’t help him. If he told her too little, it would put her in danger. “To force me to do something I don’t want to do. They’re holding Arnold hostage until I do it.”

“What is it they’ve asked you to do?”

“I can’t tell you what it is.”

“Have you done it yet?”

“No. But if I can free Arnold and get him somewhere safe, I can tell them to go stake themselves.”

“If you can’t get him to safety, what then?”

“I’ll have to do what they’ve demanded. Or they’ll kill him.”

“Why do you think witches are holding him?”

“Vampires can run very fast, making it appear as though we get from point A to point B in a matter of seconds. Arnold is very old, but he’s still human. He wouldn’t be able to run. And his position change is instantaneous.”

“Like a witch teleporting?”

“Yes.”

She was silent for a long moment.

He stared at the small crease between her auburn brows in fascination. Her eyes were hazel, a blend of green and brown, with touches of blue around the iris. Her skin was almost as pale as his, but flawless, and it had the warmth of the living to give it more glow. A tender blush rose to her cheeks, telling him she’d noticed his masculine interest.

“I’ll come in and meet with the Sutherlands under a disguise spell, if you’ll help me get Arnold back, and I’ll pay you whatever fee you decide is fair. I can narrow it down to his general area, but you’ll have to locate him. Then you can teleport me to the location before they can escape with him.”

“It would be easier if I could go in alone. If you come with me, they may sense you before we arrive.”

“It’s too dangerous for you to go in alone. You won’t be dealing with witches alone. There are vampires involved. With both working together… it would be too risky.”

“I’ve never known vampires and witches to work together. What could be so important they’d agree to do that?”

Christophe swore, his gaze latching onto the two vampires entering the diner. “We need to go.” He grasped her wrist and slid out of the booth fast, pausing to toss a bill on their table. She tensed in resistance until she looked over her shoulder and saw the two large vampires bearing down on them.

“Hold onto me,” she demanded, grasping his jacket.

Christophe slipped his arms around her waist and held her tight against him. He experienced the sensation of flying, but he was blind to where they were going.

He staggered back against a wall as they came to a halt inside an office, his hands sliding down over her firm, delectable bottom.

Zaira, unbalanced, leaned against him, her head tucked beneath his chin. His heart was actually beating from the magic she’d expelled… or was it her breasts pressing against his ribs, or the elemental scent she emitted, a blend of cinnamon, woman, and ozone?

It had been a long time. And he was dead, not blind or numb.
Teresa J. Reasor. Have Wand, Will Travel (The Complete Boxset) (Kindle Locations 428-499). Teresa J. Reasor.

The funny thing is that although they both have problems with their respective councils. Neither one of them want to relinquish the object to them.

A fun read with laughter, suspense and sizzle!

5 Contented Purrs for Teresa!

Phoebe is to marry Trevor at the behest of her sire Arthur. It’s a political move to join two clans together. She doesn’t trust Trevor and really doesn’t like him at all. Her instincts are proven correct when he poisons her during their wedding ceremony.

Hunter is investigating for the Vampire Council and Roger Haines who handles vampire affairs for Have Wand Will Travel has asked him to take over Phoebe’s case. Their first meeting is interesting to say the least.

This is a favorite scene.

“Tell me about your— fiancé.” He was strangely reluctant to call the man her husband.

“I underestimated him. I thought he was just a self-absorbed weenie, but instead he was a treacherous, murderous asshole.”

She had a right to be angry, but it wouldn’t help Hunter build a case. “Tell me about him, where he might go, what he might do, now he’s on the run from his clan and most other vamps.”

“I don’t really know him. We only met twenty-four hours before the ceremony. I’m not old enough to rise early during the day, so we only spoke for about two hours the night before the wedding. He and his sire Armanno Ricci and Arthur spent most of the night in the library hammering out some last-minute changes to the contract.” She shot him a wry smile. “It was supposed to quell the violence between our clans.”

“I see. How did you feel about the marriage?”

She remained silent for several moments. “Arthur is my sire, and he was doing what he thought best for our clan.”

Meaning she hadn’t been happy with the arrangement, but she wasn’t going to say anything negative about her sire. But he sensed pain behind the care she took choosing her words.

“And Trevor? How did he seem?”

“He was gaining control of a third of his sire’s territory. I thought he was pleased with the deal.”

“What can you tell me about him?”

“He looks thirty. He’s fifty years older than I am, which makes him about a hundred. He spoke of finishing his degree long after his transition so he could help Ricci with his business interests. They’ve been together since before he was turned. He can ride horseback. Likes to go for moonlight swims.”

Hunter raised a brow at that.

Phoebe grinned as though sharing a joke, and for a moment he saw the vibrant young vampire behind the illness. And she was very, very ill.

She sipped more blood before setting the cup aside. “He thought I’d find it romantic. He also mentioned some friends. I met one of them. His name is Randal Hawkins. The other is Jack Kinney, who plays poker for a living.”

“You learned all that in two hours?”

She shrugged. “He was eager to talk about himself and his friends. I’m a good listener when I feel I need to be. Also, I read Arthur’s in-depth dossier on him.”

“And you?”

“I wasn’t interested in sharing. This was a business deal between my sire and his. It was never meant to be a real marriage. It was never going to be a marriage, as far as I was concerned. But Ricci and Trevor got greedy. With my death, they’ll be one step closer to taking over the whole southeast territory.

“My clan won’t sit back and wait. Violence will become a way of life, and the whole area may explode, because the clan will think it’s mandatory to seek vengeance for my death. Which means humans may be dragged into it. Other species.”

“Unless your clan gets Ricci first.”

“Arthur had a chance. He chose to save me instead. He has a sense of the big picture when others see only the wealth and power gained by being the leader of such a huge territory. He views wiping out an entire clan as genocide, and wants to avoid it if possible.”

He’d never heard such a claim. “Forgive me, but I’ve never met an altruistic vampire. Most are solely involved in their own small corner of the world.”

She shot him a narrow-eyed look. “Arthur is eight hundred years old. He’s seen war, pestilence, and hardship. He wants what’s best for our species. If we mean to survive, we need to learn to blend into the rest of society instead of hiding. Meet with him and let him tell you himself. But you might want to do so quickly.” She struggled to her feet and gripped the edge of the desk.

Hunter rushed with vampiric speed to her side. He rested one hand against the small of her back while the other caught and held her arm to steady her. She smelled of orange blossoms. The feminine feel of her curves triggered an electric rush of awareness. She was smaller than he first thought, possibly only a hundred and fifteen pounds. The three-inch heels on her boots made her seem taller, but it couldn’t add any bulk to her slender frame.

“I’m fine.” She seemed more embarrassed than upset by the momentary weakness. She tilted her head back to look up at him, and their eyes locked.

Her unusual violet eyes darkened, then dropped away, her throat working as she swallowed. “I don’t have time to waste. I’ve already started a search for Trevor myself, so if you’re going to help me, you need to do it quickly.”

She shifted away, and he released her.

“I’m aware of the time issue. And you said if. I thought the whole point of this interview was for me to work for you.”

The distrust in her expression was open. “I don’t know who you work for, Mr. Knox, but I know it’s not just another private detective agency.”

He canted his head in surprise. “Why do you say that?”

“You’re wearing a three-thousand-dollar suit, and the Jaguar you drive is worth close to seventy thousand. I watched you pull up in it. You couldn’t afford either one on a PI’s salary.”

She was no naïve, protected, adopted daughter of a wealthy Master Vampire. The shrewd suspicion in her gaze almost triggered a smile. “I’m independently wealthy, Ms. Stewart.” Which wasn’t a lie. “I do what I do because it’s a challenge, and I enjoy helping people get the justice they deserve.”

“The stakes for this investigation are higher than just stolen property or a missing person.”

“I’m aware of that.”

“Mr. Haines is investigating what happened at the wedding for the local Vampire Council.”

“I’m sure there’s nothing to be worried about.”

“I’m not worried. Harry Adcock is a fool and a coward. When the fighting broke out, the old buzzard ran and hid. As far as I’m concerned, he can take a flying leap onto a sharp stake, ass first.”

“Since he’s a member of the Vampire Council, you may want to be careful of what you say about him.”

“If I live, he may want to be careful. I have video of him standing directly behind Trevor while he prepared to stake me. Adcock ran away even though he had an opportunity to help. He’d better think long and hard about this. If he pushes it, I’ll release that video, and I’ll own his position on the Council.”

Hunter struggled between a sense of outrage on her behalf and amusement. Even ill, she had more passion and strength than Adcock, who was hundreds of years old. “I hope you’ve shared the video with Roger.”

“Yes. I have. When would you like to speak with Arthur?”

“Tomorrow night, if possible.”

“Do you have a card? I’ll have him call you and set up a time.”

“Certainly.” He slipped a business card out of the inner pocket of his suit jacket and handed it to her. It had nothing on it but his name and number. She tucked it into her jeans pocket and bent to retrieve a motorcycle helmet off the floor. She held it against her hip under her arm, and he stepped back to make room for her to slip out from behind the desk. “May I see your neck?”

She tilted her head and tugged the turtleneck down, baring her throat. The fang marks hadn’t healed, and the bruise covered an area from her jaw to her collarbone.

Concern pinched him. There was no substance he knew of that could cause such damage. If the flesh started rotting… She wouldn’t be able to recover. Rage fired through him at the deliberate cruelty of what had been done. He fought the urge to draw her close.

“I thought Trevor was just wiping away the blood from his bite. He rubbed poison into the wound with his thumb. It will not heal.”

He swallowed back his anger with difficulty while trying to keep his expression neutral. “Would you be open to having a physician I know examine you?”

Those violet eyes scanned his face again. “Yes.”

“Good. I’ll set it up right away.” He was reluctant to let her go. Someone might be impatient for her to die and try to hurry things along out in the parking lot. “I’ll see you out.”

They walked down the hall to the waiting area. The PI agency’s receptionist, Calamity, rose. As usual, her pale blonde hair tumbled around her shoulders in disarray, but she seemed well organized.

“It was good to see you again, Phoebe,” she said. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.”

Phoebe paused to give her a nod. “I appreciate the offer. Let me know the next time you do an evening youth seminar, and I’ll help out.”

The young witch’s eyes glazed with tears for a moment before she regained control. “Thanks, I will.”
Teresa J. Reasor. Have Wand, Will Travel (The Complete Boxset) (Kindle Locations 2063-2127). Teresa J. Reasor.

Phoebe has a secret or two but the focus is on finding Trevor and getting the antidote to the poison. She doesn’t have long and Hunter is determined to save her life.

A race against time, a romance that kindles and some sizzle as well.

5 Contented Purrs for Teresa!

Professor Madeline Montgomery is teaching a class of adults who have trouble controlling their magic. Overall she’s pleased with the progress they’ve made, but two of them, Gregor and Harry are still having issues. There is always a price to be paid with magic and when she feels that boomerang effect start she contains it until she can speak to the two of them so they understand how it’s supposed to work and then she’ll release the magical karma. It’s that action that has her called to the Dean’s office where she gets angry enough to quit her job of over fifty years.

Jake Cunningham has a reputation and he’s also been cursed. He’s a witch but has mostly stayed in the human world, not bother to anything but things of protection. He’s borrowed money from women and yes he’s behind in paying them back, but he honestly intends to do so. The reason he’s been borrowing is to maintain Gee Gee, his great grandmother’s home. It’s been in the family for centuries and it’s thanks to his late mother’s spending habits, deeply in debt. He logs into Witchbook and looks thorough the profiles for someone he might be compatible with and decides on a teacher. Only it’s not the teacher who meets with him it’s her over the top mother. Apparently Madeline didn’t put the profile up, her mother did on her behalf, without her knowledge. It has to stay that way and what she’s offering is something he can’t turn down.

There’s also Tatiana Smirnov who’s got a vendetta going against him. This last encounter as he left Madeline’s mother gave him the reason to accept Roz’s proposal. Tatiana has threatened not only him but Gee Gee. He’s going to ask Madeline for help with his witchcraft.

When he finds Madeline is no longer with the university he goes to her home. Her reception was friendly and she agrees to help him, but not until she organizes the mess she brought home with her. Jake offers assistance in the form of boxes first then furniture. The furniture becomes a bit of an adventure.

This is a favorite scene.

Whatever happened at the college, it had been sudden and catastrophic. Her eyes were still red from crying, and she looked so damn vulnerable when she opened the door, he almost backed off the porch and told her he had the wrong address.

Leaving her just now had saved him from moving too quickly, though he’d wanted to hold her and help her release all the emotion she continued to hold in check. But he was a stranger, and if he’d obeyed his impulse, she would have been embarrassed afterwards.

He shoved aside an antique sideboard possibly two hundred years old, a chair upholstered in needlepoint, and a huge leather chair that probably cost thousands. His family had been hoarding this kind of stuff for years.

He scanned the basement for the boxes, and as soon as he spotted them, teleported to them rather than fight his way through the junk. He shook them to make sure they were empty, then stacked them one inside the other. With both hands full, he teleported back to her house.

Madeline was sitting in the floor stacking books into subject matter.

“You’re going to need some bookcases for those. We have some of those in our basement as well.”

She actually laughed. “It sounds like your basement is a treasure trove.”

“It is.” Inspiration struck. “Would you like to come with me and check it out?” He offered his hand.

She studied his face through glasses that made her green eyes look huge, but the speculation in her gaze surprised him. She could rip him to shreds and put him back together, she was that powerful. He could feel her power surging beneath the surface every time she got upset.

She took his hand, and he helped her rise. In a blink they were back in the basement. He flipped on more lights, which only served to make the packed space looked worse.

“Wow!” Her eyes widened, looking even larger.

“That isn’t exactly what I said when I first saw it.”

She laughed.

“What would anyone want with two full-sized, stuffed polar bears?” He pointed to them. One bear peered over the top of everything stacked in front of him, while the other poked her head around a stacked mattress and box spring set. “Don’t tell anyone we have them. We’d have animal rights groups protesting on the front lawn.”

“Poor things. They both look a little miserable, don’t they?”

“You want to take them home and keep them company, they’re yours,” he teased.

“You could donate them to the zoo.”

“Hey, that’s a good idea. I’ll check into it.” He pointed toward the west corner. “I think the bookcases were propped against that far wall. If you’ll trust me to get you there, we’ll go check them out.”

“Since you know where you’re going.” This time she grasped his hand, and he smiled. They were there in a blink.

The solid wood bookshelves had a thick coat of dust on them. Grabbing a sheet off of a piece of furniture, Jake wiped it away so she could see the finish on them.

“These are beautiful and very well built. Solid Wood. I love the edging around the corners of the shelves.” She touched the decorative trim.

“Thanks. I built them a long time ago.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “You did?”

“Yeah. I like to work with my hands, and you can’t do everything with magic.”

“That’s what I keep telling people. How much would you want for them?”

“A trade. You help me protect Gee Gee, and they’re yours.”

“I was going to help you anyway.”

“I know, but I didn’t expect you to do it without being paid. There might be a desk around here, too. Let’s look around some more.”

It was like a treasure hunt. He’d never dreamed there was so much stuff hidden down in the depths of the house. He even found some pieces he could use in his bedroom and the study upstairs, and he teleported them to both rooms.

Madeline held up an old, rusty cauldron. “You may need this, if you don’t have one.”

“There’s one in the kitchen that’s in better shape.”

He glanced up to find her approaching the polar bears slowly, as though she expected the male to swipe her with one of his huge paws.

He teleported to her. “What’s wrong?”

“These aren’t just stuffed polar bears.”

“What do you mean?”

“They aren’t stuffed. They’re frozen in place, and have been for a very long time.”

The realization that someone had done such a thing to live creatures hollowed Jake’s belly. “We have to do something to release them.”

“We’ll have to have them in the right place before we can do it. Polar bears aren’t exactly cuddly, and they might be a bit angry after all this time.”

“Gee-Gee might know who’s responsible.”

The hand she ran over the animal’s side appeared delicate and fine-boned. “Whoever did it was very powerful. And it was a long time ago.”

“So their family would be dead now.”

“I’m not sure polar bears have families. I think the males wander, hunting for females and food.”

“Not so different from the human or witch races.” He earned a grin for his self-depreciating humor.

Outrage still tugged at him. He knew what it was like to live with a curse. But at least he was free to live. “Do you think you can free them if I find out who did it?”

“Yes. I’ll have to break the spell, and knowing something about why and how it happened would go a long way toward helping me figure it out.”

Jake swiped the screen of his cell phone, called his grandmother, and reached her voice mail. He left a message about the bears.

Studying the huge, hulking creatures, beautiful and fearsome, he realized he’d probably never have another opportunity to be this close or touch one again. He rested a hand on the bear’s side.

The distinct scent of fish wafted off the animal, and his fur felt surprisingly warm. A vibration beneath his hand telegraphed a deep growl that filled the basement.

“Jake…” Madeline gripped his arm.

With no warning a large paw slammed into his chest, and he flew across the basement like a shuttlecock. He crashed through a rack packed with old clothes and coats.

Madeline! Gasping for air, he threw aside the leather coat covering his face and smelling of mothballs and staggered to his feet. The metal rack was bent around one leg, and he stumbled, but caught himself with his fingertips and bobbed back up, posed to jump back into the fray.

The Bear loomed motionless over Madeline, his dark brown gaze drilling down at her with bloodthirsty intent, his snout wrinkled into a snarl, baring teeth that could easily rip the meat off her bones. Madeline teleported a few feet closer to the stairs. But instead of following her, the bear homed in on his mate. He reared up, crashed through the furniture and boxes separating them, and started humping her.

Jake teleported to Madeline. “Don’t look.” He threw up a hand, blocking her view. It was bad enough for the thing to wake up horny, but to hump his frozen girlfriend… He teleported to the bear and, using an umbrella shoved against the animals shoulder. “Hey, Horny.”

The bear roared and lumbered toward Jake as he backed down the narrow path they’d cleared while they looked through the furniture. As soon as the bear got close, Jake popped farther away, guiding him toward the stairs. Jake teleported to the top of the stairs and opened the door.

Madeline teleported to him. “Are you okay?”

Except for being a little breathless… “We’ll talk about it after we get rid of our friend.”

The roar at the bottom of the steps practically shook the house off its foundation. The wooden steps squeaked and popped beneath the huge animal’s weight. He climbed toward them, his claws gouging the wood with each step.

“We need to go,” Jake urged, grabbing Madeline’s arm and tugging her out into the hall. He rushed to open the front door.

“We can’t turn him lose in the neighborhood to eat someone’s pet or child.”

“What do you suggest we do?”

“Take him home.”

“You mean Canada or Alaska? That’s thousands of miles away, and he has to weigh at least a thousand pounds.”

“I’m always up for a challenge.”

He found that more than a little interesting. “We’d have to touch him to transport him.”

“Wait until he’s out in the hall, and we’ll teleport behind him.”

The animal’s huge black nose poked free of the doorway, and he lumbered out into the hall. His low, rumbling growl rolled out, echoing in the space.

Jake glanced at Madeline. “Now.”

They both landed behind the animal. Jake sunk his fingers into the animal’s fur.

The bear grew hard as wood, frozen in place again. Madeline looked up, her eyes wide with surprise. “Thank the Goddess. We need to figure out what triggered his reanimation. In the meantime, stay away from the other bear.”

No shit. “No problem.” He braced his hands on his knees and drew a cleansing breath that hurt all the way in, then out.

“Let me see your chest, Jake,” she said, her expression serious.

He unbuttoned the top of his shirt to see what damage had been done. A reddish-purple bruise the size of a dinner plate was already forming.
Teresa J. Reasor. Have Wand, Will Travel (The Complete Boxset) (Kindle Locations 4211-4288). Teresa J. Reasor.

This is a fun and romantic read, with some interesting twists and turns. These two are really meant for each other and the attraction sizzles off the pages.

I truly enjoyed this trilogy and I hope you will too.

5 Contented Purrs for Teresa!

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Teresa J. Reasor

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Teresa Reasor was born in Southeastern Kentucky, but grew up a Marine Corps brat. The love of reading instilled in her in Kindergarten at Parris Island, South Carolina made books her friends during the many transfers her father’s military career entailed. The transition from reader to writer came easily and she was a closet novelist for many years until 2007 when her first book was published.

After twenty-one years as an Art Teacher and ten years as a part time College Instructor, she’s now retired and living her dream as a full time Writer.

Her body of work includes both full-length novels and shorter pieces in many different genres, Military Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Children’s Books.

The Duke of Danger: A Steamy Historical Regency Romance by Scarlett Osborne


The Duke of Danger
A Steamy Historical Regency Romance
By
Scarlett Osborne

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The moment her father died, Minerva knew trouble awaited the Allen family.

As she’s left responsible for her two younger sisters, Minerva makes the hardest decision of her life: she keeps her father’s death a secret and shuts herself off in the manor. But when the mysterious—and cold—Duke suspects something is wrong, she knows this could be her end.

Simon Comeford is a cold and shut-off man. After he lost his parents, he cares about nothing and no one. When he’s forced to attend a ball by his dear friend, he is given a mission: find out what happened to the Allen family. But when he travels to the Allen estate, he never expected to meet Minerva, the unapologetic, attractive spinster who manages to steal his heart.

Two weeks. That is precisely how long Simon will remain in the Allen estate; just enough until their father arrives. But as the time nears, a deep, dark secret soon comes after him… and the woman he has fallen in love with.

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Lady Minerva Allen and her sisters Lady Eloise and Grace are left with a secret when their father dies. They can’t tell anyone he’s dead or they will lose their home. That’s the promise their butler Joseph will guard with his life. Unfortunately fate is going to send everything into a tailspin.

Simon Comeford the Duke of Barington is throwing an elaborate ball in London when two things happen. The first, Lord Alfred George, Duke of Greenmantle, in a conversation that implies he knows of Simon’s difficulties, requests he check in on the Earl of Drakeford’s wellbeing. This would work out fine for Simon as he would like the Earl’s financial support. The second is far more ominous an Italian named Scarlioni shows up in the kitchen threatening not only Simon but his family as well.

Now things are even more urgent, he needs to pay off this debt quickly to protect his sisters. When Simon realizes the Italians are following him he sneaks out of the Inn and rides frantically to Drakeford Manor. Although it is late the reception he receives is not what he’d expected.

It’s Joseph’s night off and the women are alone in the manor. Minerva takes it upon herself to deal with the armed stranger, with a strike to the back of his head.

This is a favorite scene.

Eloise came back into the room, Marta, the cook, following with a length of rope, a steaming basin, and some clean linen, which was draped over her arm.

“Set the basin and towels in the sitting room please and give me the rope,” Minerva instructed. “And then both of you, get to Grace and all of you go upstairs.”

“But, M’Lady,”

“Do it, Marta. I want you and my sisters safe.”

“Come, Marta,” Eloise said, tugging at Marta’s arm. “Neva can take care of herself. We must see to Grace.”

She turned from the women and back to their intruder. His eyes were starting to flutter open. She worked quickly, not really knowing how to tie an effective knot, but presuming it was much the same as tying the laces of shoes or a corset.

There was some resistance from the man as she pulled his arms around behind him, but he was still weak and dazed and she overcame him easily. Her breath came quickly at what she was doing. From his dress and well-kept appearance, he seemed to be a gentleman, not some common ruffian or highwayman.

“You should not have come here, Sir,” she said as she pulled the knots as tight as she could. She spoke more to fill the silence than anything else. She couldn’t forget the feel of his taut, powerful muscles beneath her hands. Would the rope even hold him?

She took the pistol and sword from him, opening the door to the sitting room and quickly concealing both beneath the chaise. Returning to her prisoner, she took a seat next to him. He lay on the tiled marble floor of the hall, and she sat on one of the chairs placed next to the entrance where guests waited to be received.

She folded her hands in her lap and eyed the interloper, determined to not take her eyes off of him as he awoke.

Oof. Perhaps I should think about easing off on the drinking.

That was the thought that crossed Simon’s mind as he awoke to a pounding head. He started to roll over in his bed, and then remembered that he wasn’t in bed. He opened his eyes and immediately closed them again, the blinding light only intensifying the pain in his head. He struggled to gather his wits about him, to remember where he was.

“Who are you?” a female voice demanded.

Oh. Right.

He instinctively tried to reach to his belt for his pistol and sword, but couldn’t move his hands. They were tied! Alarm flooded him, dispelling some of his grogginess. He tried to open his eyes again, but could not tolerate the light yet. It must have been a lantern shining in his face.

As sense returned, he became aware that he was lying on a cold, hard surface on his side. His left cheek and most of the left side of his body were numb. His hands tingled from the cruel knots that held him.

“I mean you no harm,” he said, voice tight with the pain in his head.

“I asked you a question.”

The voice was hard, but it wasn’t Italian. And they were very patriarchal, he remembered. Unlikely to recruit women into their organization. So, his imprisonment wasn’t the work of Scarlioni.

“I heard the question. I do not answer questions under duress,” he retorted, exerting more effort against his bonds, feeling the smallest give in the knots as he strained his well-developed arms.

“The Constables have been summoned. They will be here soon. You may have thought a Manor of women to be easy prey. As you now know, we are not.”

Simon was able to open his eyes a crack. As light flooded into his head, he opened them wider. He could see a tapping foot, stockinged but not shod. The stockings were silk, and he was treated to a view of a shapely ankle and calf before the feet moved, perhaps realizing that his eyes were now open.

He shifted his position, craning his neck to look up. The woman who stood over him was holding a lantern. Fiery red hair fell in wild curls around a heart-shaped face. Green eyes glared at him fiercely, as intent as an eagle. Her lips were full and pouting, even when she drew them together tightly in anger, as she now did.

The sight of the beautiful face, combined with the intimate view he had just received of her ankles, made his heart skip a beat. He told himself it was pure foolishness. This woman had him at her mercy, but his body responded independently of his mind. She wore a long, flowing nightgown of pure white, a silk dressing gown over it. He noticed her full bosom. Her cheeks colored to a deep red, and he realized he must have been staring.

She moved around him, out of his sight, folding her arms tightly about herself.

“Will you tell me who you are? If I tell the Constables you assaulted me, they will probably dispense with the Magistrate altogether and hang you from one of the trees out there. We are well thought of in the county.”

Simon almost laughed in relief as he remembered a description of the Earl of Drakeford. The man was known for his fiery red hair, a trait passed onto his daughters. So, this Amazon was a Drakeford. Not a Casa Nostra assassin.

“You find something amusing?” the woman challenged. “Must I fetch a servant to thrash you?”

An experience he had once indulged in as a youth came to mind unexpectedly at those words. An image came to mind unbidden of this fierce woman holding a riding crop, he helpless before her. He shook his head, the pain of the sudden movement dispelling the lurid fantasy. He needed to keep his wits.

“I am His Grace, Duke Simon Comeford of Barington Hall,” he said with as much dignity as he could summon.

He rolled over so that he could look up at her again. But she swiftly moved to keep out of his sight.

“Anyone could claim that,” she said, but there was an edge of uncertainty in her voice.

“I, too, am known in this county. My family seat is here. Your father is an acquaintance of mine. Summon him. I’m sure he will vouch for me.”

It wasn’t strictly true. He didn’t think he had ever met Drakeford, not since he was in the late years of his childhood, anyway. But his father had known him, and Simon had been told that his resemblance to the late Duke Barington was striking.

“This is a private home, not a public place of business. You were not invited in,” the woman said evasively.

“Fetch the Earl. You don’t look like a servant. I presume you are Minerva, his eldest daughter. You have his coloring. Fetch your father, I insist!”

“You are in no position to insist on anything,” Minerva said, a measure of calm returning to her voice. “You broke into this Manor in violation of custom and common law.”

“I did not break in. The door was unlocked!” Simon tried his bonds again, feeling another, more significant shift in the ropes.

“I would assume that if no one answered the door, that I was unwelcome,” she countered. “Is this not still considered common decency?”

There was a self-assurance in her voice that Simon was not accustomed to in a woman. So many of the females he had chosen to associate with were society women, keen to impress and secure him as a husband. They were usually frothy and vapid, lacking substance beyond their surface beauty. There was something to this lady, though. Even in what must be stressful circumstances, she was unflustered. Had she been the one to incapacitate him?

“You talk of common decency? Someone hit me over the head! Was it you or a man servant? Well?”

He put fury into his voice, seeking to intimidate her.

“Hush,” she told him with a snap. “I would have answers from you now or I will paint an unpleasant picture of this situation to the Constables.”

Simon breathed deep, realizing that this harridan would not be intimidated. He felt a sense of outrage at his predicament, though it was tempered with the knowledge that he had, in fact, entered into the Manor in the early evening bearing arms. The fact that he had been afraid for his life was neither here nor there. After all, he had no proof of being followed.

“I beg your pardon, My Lady. I do apologize for the intrusion. May I at least move to a more comfortable position before you interrogate me further? I promise I shall give you all the information you require.”
Osborne, Scarlett. The Duke of Danger: A Steamy Historical Regency Romance Novel. Kindle Locations (549-620). Scarlett Osborne. Kindle Edition.

From this moment things get more complicated as the Duke is unfit to ride with his head injury. Having no choice Minerva puts him up in one of the guest rooms.

The feelings Simon awaken in Minerva only serve to cause some scintillating dreams. Yet there is far more going on and trouble begins the next day.

Her sister Grace sees men skulking around the edges of the woods form her window, and immediately the Duke takes charge with Joseph. Fortunately it isn’t the Italians but the man that approaches the Manor is one Captain Peregrine St John, aka Perry. He’s in the employ of Easting Private Companies a Militia put together by Baron Oliver Easting.

They’ve had word of Italians in the area and are providing extra security.

Perry will play an important role as well, since he sort of meets Lady Eloise.

Plenty of action,  suspense and intrigue, as secrets begin to come out. There is also lots of simmering tension between Simon and Minerva, that will become more sizzling as you turn the pages.

I truly love these strong independent women who are so not the norm for this era.

5 Contented Purrs for Scarlett!

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Born in the Sunshine State of Florida, but of both British and Nordic descent, Scarlett Osborne grew up reading historical romances from the land of her ancestors. Fascinated with the British society of the 1800s and armed with a wild imagination, she obtained a degree in Creative Writing and immediately started her career as a Regency romance author.

A daydreamer extraordinaire, Scarlett likes to jump in the shoes of her heroines, immersing herself in her own stories, living the adventures that she wished she had experienced as a child. An avid reader and fan of the outdoors, Scarlett spends her free time either reading or going on long horseback rides along with her two sons.

Get lost in a land of enchantment, where adventure and love await around every corner…Scarlett hopes that through her heroes, you too will get to live a whirlwind romance in the Regency era, when fairytales were real and all dreams possible!

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Eron – Starlight Highlanders Book 2 by Skye MacKinnon


Eron
Starlight Highlanders Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Skye MacKinnon

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A city girl allergic to animals (and aliens)

June only registered with a dating agency because she lost a bet. She never expected to be invited to an all-expenses-paid trip to meet some hunky Highlanders.

What nobody told her: the Highlanders are aliens and live on a different planet. And they’re desperate for mates – so desperate that there’s no guarantee she’ll ever return to Earth.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the huge kilt-wearing alien she’s matched to lives on a farm. In the middle of nowhere. With smelly animals all around. This is June’s personal hell, but the moment she lays eyes on him, her body betrays her.

An alien farmer with a dark secret

Eron spends his days tending to his taigeis farm. The fluffy animals are all the company he needs. He’s broken off all contact with society, so when an old friend tells him that he’s been matched to a mate from a distant planet, his first instinct is to refuse the match.

But the instant he meets her, his mating antennae burn and he can only think of one thing: making her his. He desires her with every fibre of her being, but he can’t risk anyone discovering the terrible secret that made him an outcast.

Can he find the strength to push her away before she steals his heart?

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We meet June at the beginning of this book as she goes to the Hot Tatties Dating Agency with her friend Anna. She made this decision while hungover and wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do.

We meet Eron as he brings a baby taigeis into his home where he has a nursery set up. He raises the animals once considered feral for both pets and food. I have to say I fell in love with the little critter right away. He’s a bit annoyed when Cyle repeatedly tries to get him to answer his commstick. When he finally answers he gets quite the surprise.

June gets a surprise herself, she’s fired from her job and is considering taking a vacation when she literally trips over the packet from Hot Tatties. She wasn’t planning on a three month one, but it’s all expenses paid so she’s going to do it. She’ll meet with this supposed match and see what happens.

Things were pretty intense between June and Eron and he takes her to his farm instead of the hotel. He couldn’t stand the thought of another male being near her and possibly touching her. Very unusual for a first meeting.

This is a favorite scene.

For a moment, I didn’t know where I was. I was warm, comfy and surrounded by darkness. The sound of slow, heavy breathing came from my right. Somewhere in the same room but not directly next to me.

I rolled onto my back, examining the memories that slowly flowed through my sleepy mind. The Starlight.

Meeting Eron. Sitting on his lap as we travelled to his home. Falling asleep while nestled in his arms. The fact that I was now lying on a bed – or at least something that felt like a soft mattress – meant we’d landed. How did I manage to sleep through that? I never slept this deeply. I must have been tired. Maybe it was the change of atmosphere or gravity. It’s not like I’d ever been on a different planet before. Our bodies probably needed lots of energy to adjust to that.

Something moved on the bed, barely making a sound. I sat up straight, instinctively reaching for the light switch above the headboard – except that there was neither a headboard nor a switch. What if it was a snake? Some kind of predator?

“Eron,” I whispered.

“Mate?” He responded immediately. Maybe he hadn’t been asleep after all. “What’s wrong?”

“There’s something on the bed.”

The lights went on without warning and I squeezed my eyes shut. Way too bright. I blinked only to find a ball of fluff sitting right next to me. It was definitely alive because it was breathing, but what the fuck was it? It looked a bit like a hedgehog that had curled up into a ball, except that it had fur rather than spikes. I didn’t feel threatened by it, but what did I know. Maybe it was poisonous.

Eron whistled softly and the fluffball unravelled, revealing a tiny snout below big brown eyes. Those were the kind of eyes that made you all gooey and happy to spoil the animal however much it wanted. Puppies had nothing on this animal. Its snout twitched as it looked around the room.

“Sorry about that,” Eron said with a sigh. “I thought I’d closed the door. The cub must have got bored. Do you want me to remove him?”

He got up from a chair. Had he been sleeping on that? I took in my surroundings. I was on a bed, a thin yet warm blanket covering me. I still wore the same dress. The room was circular with several cubby holes built into the stone walls. In some places, the white paint had peeled away, revealing the stone underneath. The place had a rustic feel to it. It was the exact opposite of the futuristic, shiny buildings I’d seen while flying over Priomh.

The little animal squeaked when Eron reached for him and ran onto my lap. He looked up at me, sniffed, then curled up again, hiding his face under all the fur. I’d never seen anything cuter.

“What is it? He?” I asked.

“A taigeis. I told you I had a taigeis farm, right?”

“You did, but I assumed the animals were big, like cows or pigs or something. Not adorable, tiny, cute, fluffy, kissable furballs.” I couldn’t believe I was talking about an animal like that. I’d never felt so… gooey. And my eyes didn’t itch, my throat wasn’t closing up and my nose wasn’t running. No allergy, unless the symptoms appeared later than they usually did.

Eron laughed. “I have no idea what cows and pigs are, but I know everything there is to know about taigeis. I’ll be happy to answer whatever questions you have. But first, are you hungry?”

As soon as he said that, I realised I was starving. When had I last eaten? A light lunch on the Starlight before we’d landed, but I’d been too excited to eat much. There’d been nibbles at the reception, which I’d ignored after that embarrassing incident with Eron. My lips tingled at the memory. I’d never been kissed like that and I couldn’t wait to do it again.

“Yes, I could do with some food.”

Short hand for ‘I’m ravenous and could eat half a cow’.

“How about some taigeis steak? I’m told my steak with caramelised neeps is the best in the entire region.”

I stared at him. Was he joking?

“You… eat these?” How could anyone hurt this innocent little fluffball?

“Of course. They’re an Albyan delicacy.”

“But…” I tentatively stroked the cub’s thick fur and it began to purr. Not quite as loud as a cat but just as adorable. No way was I going to eat him.

“Before I set up my farm, taigeis was once of the most expensive dishes. Only few hunters were able to procure wild taigeis and demand for their meat was high. They don’t stay as small as this cub is just now. In about a month, he’ll start growing his teeth. Adult taigeis have powerful jaws and while they mostly avoid conflict, when they’re challenged, they’ll bite. Hard.”

“I don’t care. I won’t eat him.” Eron chuckled. He sat on the bed and reached out to pet the cub. Our hands met and a zing of electricity shot through my body, making my hair stand on end. Eron’s eyes widened. He must have felt the same thing.
Skye MacKinnon. Eron: Starlight Highlander Mail Order Brides 2 (Kindle Locations 919-960). Peryton Press.

I love the taigeis, they’re so dang cute. I sent the book to my fire just so I could take a picture of it, Skye I hope you don’t mind.

There’s still the issue of mating and the intensity, but Eron has a problem he’s going to have to share with June if this is going to work. He’s really afraid she’ll leave when he tells her.

We get to see Cyle accompanied by Jenny as they arrive at the ranch to do some testing.

There’s lots of sizzling heat in this one as well as cuteness, laughs and tears. There’s also a hint about the next book, which I can’t wait for. Oh and I want a baby Taigeis!

5 Contented Purrs for Skye!

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Coming Soon!

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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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Deadly Valor – Crimson Point Book 6 by Kaylea Cross


Deadly Valor
Crimson Point Book 6
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Kaylea Cross

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She’s been targeted by a killer.

Widow Danae Sutherland moved to Crimson Point a month ago with her teenage son to begin a new chapter in their lives. Adjusting to small town life is a big change for them both, but it’s been especially hard on her son, and the holidays are making it even harder. When a sexy stranger moves into the cottage next door, she’s not prepared for the undeniable attraction between them. He’s only in town for a couple weeks, so getting involved will only lead to heartbreak. That doesn’t stop her from falling for him. And when danger strikes, she has no choice but to put her life in his hands.

He’s the only man who can save her.

Former Marine Ryder Locke has come to the Oregon Coast to spend the holidays with his cousin Molly and her family. It’s his chance to face his demons head on before returning to his job as a bodyguard for one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. The last thing he expects is to fall for the single mom next door, and for danger to blow up around her. When the threat closes in and her life hangs in the balance, Ryder must risk everything to save her from the man who wants her dead.

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Ryder Locke has finally decided to spend the holidays with his cousin Molly and her family. He hasn’t seen them in a while but he used to spend a lot of holidays with Molly. He’s looking forward to this time to hopefully chase his demons away, and not with a bottle.

Danae Sutherland moved to Crimson Point to get away from memories of her late husband. Although her son Finn wasn’t happy leaving his friends. Now she’s dealing with him holing up in his room playing games online with those friends. Only today he’s going to go out with someone from school, and take a bus. Something he never did in Seattle.

Ironically it’s this interaction with Paul and others from his school that leads to the problems we see in this book.

Ryder first meets Finn, then Danae at the coffee shop run by Poppy, the sheriff’s wife. He knew he’d meet all these people through Molly, he just didn’t realize they already sort of knew him. Danae lives in the cottage next to his and she gives him a ride back.

I think one my favorite interactions with Ryder, Danae and Finn is when Danae is outside alone putting up Christmas Decorations. Ryder not only offers to help but insists on Finn helping too.

This is a favorite scene.

She cleared her throat, avoiding his gaze. Okay, she might be out of practice when it came to men, but she definitely hadn’t imagined that. Him breathing in her scent as if he hadn’t been able to help himself. “Thanks,” she murmured, suddenly flushed and warm all over.

“No problem.” He stepped back, giving her space, and it was immediately easier to breathe. “Can I go in and talk to Finn?”

“Sure. Just through there and down the hall to the first shut door.” She gestured to the open garage. As Ryder walked away, she couldn’t help sweeping her gaze over the back of him, tall and strong and way more appealing than was good for her. It was the first time since Terry died that she’d been attracted to a man, yet the intensity of her reaction to him startled her.

Not that it would come to anything, she reminded herself, grabbing another bin of lights to drag onto the front lawn. He was only in town until New Year’s, and then she’d never see him again.

IT WASN’T HARD for Ryder to find Finn’s room. As Danae had said, it was the only door shut along the hallway, and he could hear Finn’s excited, animated voice coming from inside it.

He knocked sharply twice and waited. “Finn?” he said when there was no answer.

A rattling noise. “Yeah?”

He opened the door, almost staggering back a step because of the teenage funk hanging heavy in the air. It was like Finn hadn’t opened the door or a window since he’d moved in. “Hey.”

Finn stared at him a second in astonishment, then whipped off his headset, his long bangs falling over his face. “Hey.”

“What are you playing?”

“Call of Duty.” He pushed a hand through his hair, face full of confusion.

“Nice. Listen, I was just driving by and saw your mom on a ladder out front, trying to hang the Christmas lights. Watching her almost gave me a heart attack, so I made her come down and said I’d do it for her. Mind giving me a hand finishing up?”

Finn tipped the mic on his headset toward his lips. “Gotta go. Back later,” he blurted, put the headset on his desk and hurried toward him.

Good kid. “Ever put up lights before?” he asked as Finn followed him down the hall.

“No. I used to help my dad a bit, but that was a few years ago, and mostly I just stood by the ladder and held the lights coiled up on my arm.”

High time he learned and started helping his mom out more. “Grab your jacket and some gloves. We might be a while.”

In the garage Danae had pulled out various tubs and containers holding outside decorations and lights. “Want to put up anything else, or just the lights?” he asked as Finn tugged on gloves.

Finn glanced in the bins, surprise filling his face, then a hint of a smile, as if the items were sentimental to him. “Yeah, maybe a few of these. If you don’t mind.”

“Not at all.” He noted the basketball hoop and the sports equipment stacked in the far corner. “You play sports?”

Finn followed his gaze. “Used to, before we moved. Basketball and baseball. You?”

“Same. And football.” He picked up a big container and started carrying it into the front yard.

“How long were you in the Marine Corps?” Finn asked, following with another bin as they stepped onto the lawn.

“Long time. Joined up after I graduated from high school, and just got out a few months ago.”

“How come you left?”

“It was time.”

Thankfully, he was saved from answering more questions about his time in the Corps by Danae coming around the corner. She stopped, her eyebrows hiking up when she saw Finn carrying a bin. “Wow, hi. You’re going to help put these up?”

“Yeah,” he muttered.

“Here, let me help,” she offered, reaching for one end of the container Ryder held.

“I got it.” He shifted his grip, eyeing her. She had on a thin coat, and no gloves or hat. Her cheeks and the end of her nose were bright pink, and so were her fingers. “It’s cold out. You go on in and warm up, we’ll handle all this.”

She looked from him to Finn and back uncertainly. “You sure?”

“Positive.”

A smile broke over her face, full of gratitude. “Okay, but only if you’ll stay for dinner.”

He glanced at Finn for permission and got a nod of assent with the hint of a grin. “Sounds good.”

Danae went inside. Ryder adjusted the angle of the ladder and climbed up to check on the installed section of lights. She’d clipped them to the edge of the gutter fine, but the placement of the plug end nearest the edge of the house was awkward, making it hard to hide the bright orange extension cord she’d used.

He undid everything and moved it all, directing Finn on the ground to shift the cord around and use a different outlet. Together they strung the lights across the sides and front of the bungalow, but there were more strands left over when they finished. “Want to put more up anywhere?”

“Around the front windows,” Finn said. “And then we need to wind some really close together around the tree trunks. That’s what Dad always did.”

Ryder felt for the kid. While his own father hadn’t been a part of his life since his parents divorced when Ryder was still in elementary school, Finn’s clearly had, and it must have been really tough on him and his mom when they lost him. Then to be ripped away from his home and friends around Thanksgiving and made to start over in a small town during the holidays… Not easy.

He’d braced himself for Finn to be sullen and maybe even a pill about helping, and was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite. With everything he did, Finn was right there helping, even seeming keen on putting everything up. Ryder asked him about his interests while they worked, about school and any friends he’d made so far.

“There’s one guy, Paul. We hang out together a bit. But my best friends are back in Seattle.”

“That who you play online with?”

“Mostly, yeah. You play CoD?”

“Been known to play the odd campaign from time to time,” he answered, reaching up to connect two strands of lights together at the corner of the large, left-hand picture window at the front of the house. “Got any other hobbies?”

“Not really anymore. You?”

“I like to be out on the water, love to hike, and I still like hitting the range.”

“You mean golfing, or shooting?”

He grinned. “Shooting.”

“I’d love to do that, but my mom won’t let me go yet.”

Ryder would have offered to take him, but that was overstepping when he barely knew Finn and Danae. He could see her moving around in the kitchen on the opposite side of the house, her back to him, the strings of her apron tied right above her heart-shaped ass framed in those snug, dark jeans as she bent over and—

“Wanna play some CoD after dinner?”

He jerked his gaze down to Finn. While he might not have a ton of experience with kids, he recognized that the offer spoke volumes, and there was no mistaking the quiet yearning in the kid’s eyes. “Sure, I’d like that.”

A grin flashed on Finn’s lips as the kid turned away.
Cross, Kaylea. Deadly Valor (Crimson Point Series Book 6). Kindle Locations (537-599). Kaylea Cross Inc. Kindle Edition.

The putting up of the decorations, followed by dinner cements the beginning of a relationship with Danae and her son.

Of course none of this is going to be easy as it becomes apparent the boys Finn has more or less been coerced to hang with, are doing things illegal.

I found myself biting my nails as this story unfolds. We get to see everyone from the previous books and there’s an interesting interaction between a woman and the reclusive Boyd at the coffee shop as well.

Plenty of action, suspense, laughter, tears and just the right amount of sizzle. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Kaylea!

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Kaylea Cross

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards and has been nominated for both the Daphne du Maurier and the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.

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