Yours Truly, The Duke – Say I Do Book 1 by Amelia Grey

Yours Truly, The Duke
Say I Do Book 1
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Amelia Grey


At the top of his game in fencing, cards, and social life, the Duke of Wyatthaven has no interest in marriage. However, Wyatt has just found out he has to marry by week’s end or lose a sizable inheritance from his grandmother. When Wyatt’s solicitor finds the perfect young lady, who also needs to marry, Wyatt considers this little hiccup solved. Miss Hale is suitable to be Wyatt’s wife in every aspect that would be of importance. She’s lovely in countenance, disposition, and intelligence. Most importantly, she prefers the country life to London and is guardian for her late sister’s children, so he doesn’t have to rush to have an heir to make her happy.

Fredericka Hale needs a husband and fast. She’s been caring for her deceased sister’s three young children for over a year. Now, an older married but childless cousin has petitioned Chancery Court to take the children from Fredericka and raise them as her own. Fredericka’s solicitor has assured her she will have a better chance of keeping the children if she is married. The last thing Fredericka wants is a hurried-up marriage to a man she doesn’t love, but she will do it for the children. When the wild Duke of Wyatthaven proposes, she accepts. But things seldom happen as one plans, and circumstances force Fredericka to show up at the duke’s door and announce she and the children must live with him in London as a proper couple and family should. But will the duke give up his bachelor lifestyle and give into the attraction growing between them?

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The Duke of Wyatthaven, ‘Wyatt’, needs a wife. Not in a year from now but in a mere seven days or he will lose his fortune. He’s composing a letter to Fredericka Hale proposing marriage. She’s a suitable match and guardian of her sisters three children, who prefers the country to London. In his mind the perfect arrangement so he can continue his gambling and basically his bachelor life in peace.

Fredericka Hale is hoping that if she marries she can thwart her cousin’s petition to take her sister’s children from her. Her solicitor has stated that a husband would definitely turn the tide in her favor. As such she’s been ‘interviewing’ potential candidates. However, the Duke of Wyatthaven is not one of them, and when he arrives, she’s expecting a Mr Maywaring not the Duke.

As chagrined as she is that he mentions marriage in front of the children she listens to what he has to say and the things he would provide for her and the children and agrees to his proposal. The paperwork with the solicitors is handled and the wedding occurs in time to prevent him losing his grandmother’s fortune. However, after the wedding and a delightful exchange in the garden that cumulated in an interesting kiss, he departs to London and a tournament.

The scandal sheets were having a field day over the absence of Wyatt’s wife. Fredericka pays it no mind until her cousin Jane arrives with even more threats to take the children from her. It’s then she decides to go to London and prove that the talk of her marriage is wrong.

What Fredericka didn’t expect was to find her husband not only hosting a ball but to be dancing with a young lady when she arrives.

This is a favorite scene.

Wyatt felt as if a thoroughbred’s hooves pounded in his chest.

He immediately let go of Priscilla as an inexplicable desire to rush to Fredericka, pull her into his arms, and hug her close sparked through him. He was damn glad to see her.

But . . . the emotion he saw in her eyes for a fleeting moment stopped him from doing what felt so natural. Was it betrayal reflected in their depths? How could it be? He was only dancing. Yet his whole body tensed as if he were being pricked with needles.

On one side of Fredericka stood Bella and Charles. Elise was hugging her aunt’s skirts on the other. Fear struck him. His mind raced with the possibility something terrible had happened to bring them to London.

“Fredericka, what are you doing here?” He strode toward her, covering the distance between them as fast as he could.

“Obviously, making a mistake,” she answered in a terse tone as Wyatt cleared the threshold of the drawing room and stopped in front of her.

That was an odd thing for her to say.

He glanced down at the children. Bella lifted her smiling, angelic face toward him, clearly glad to see him. Charles looked at him with what appeared to be wide-eyed confusion, and Elise turned her head away from him and locked her arms tighter around Fredericka’s waist.

No one was bleeding. None of them looked harmed, sick, or in pain, but something must have happened to bring Fredericka to his door in the middle of the night.

Swallowing past a tight throat, he gave his attention back to Fredericka. His heart started beating even faster. Her eyes were swirling with questions. He had quite a few himself.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I’m sorry, Your Grace,” Burns hurried to say. “When she said she was Her Grace, I asked that she wait in the entry until I—”

“Not now, Burns,” Wyatt said quickly, holding up his hand to halt his butler. “You did fine.”

“But it appears I have not.” Fredericka’s words were icy and her eyes fierce. “It didn’t cross my mind that you might be having a party this evening.”

Wyatt tried not to let his thoughts get ahead of her explanation, but he couldn’t keep his chest from tightening in fear again. “Did you come here straight from Paddleton? Tonight?”

“Yes,” she responded coolly as her flush deepened. “We arrived just now.”

Wyatt’s jaw clenched at the thought of her traveling the lonely, dangerous roads at night. “You shouldn’t have come!” he exclaimed.

Fredericka gasped. So did the bewildered elderly governess standing beside her.

Theirs weren’t the only gasps. An ocean wave of them roared behind him. He looked back. The music had stopped, the chatter had quieted, and it seemed as if everyone in the drawing room had crowded closer to listen.

Suddenly Wyatt realized how unacceptable “You shouldn’t have come!” sounded.

“That’s quite clear,” Fredericka said in a miffed tone as her spine stiffened. “To me and everyone else.”

Hellfire! She was taking his words the wrong way.

“Hurst, Rick, keep the partying going,” he said in a raspy voice. “Burns, close the doors.”

Not waiting for the butler to shut out their audience, Fredericka locked eyes with Wyatt. “However, you are right. I shouldn’t have come without proper notice, and I apologize for intruding on your evening.”

He matched her stare-for-stare. Anger blossomed in Wyatt’s chest. At her for putting herself and the children in danger of highwaymen, coach accidents, or other perils that could happen in the dark of night, and himself for handling her arrival badly.

“You’re not interrupting—”

“No? You were dancing!” She might have sounded wounded, but her eyes were throwing imaginary daggers at him with every word she spoke.

“With Priscilla,” he answered, having no patience for the accusations she implied. “It’s her—”

“Please,” she cut him off with the single word. “You don’t owe me an explanation about anything.”

“Apparently, I do, Fredericka, and on this we will be clear.” He heard the doors finally shut behind him and the music start again.

“You misunderstood what I was doing and what I said.”

“So, this is my fault because I misunderstood you?”

Tension like he’d never experienced before swirled and sparked between them. She was twisting his words again.

“When I said you shouldn’t have come, I only meant you shouldn’t have traveled at night. Not that you shouldn’t come to my house. What do you mean by such a foolhearted stunt? The roads leading into London from Paddleton are unsafe and riddled with crime at this time of evening.”

“I took precautions,” she challenged, refusing to back down. “I had the groom come with us.”

“A groom?” he barked, and swore under his breath.

“He and my driver are quite efficient with pistols and muskets, and both were well armed. We encountered no trouble. Perhaps the highwaymen took one look at the old carriage and assumed there couldn’t be anything of value inside or just maybe a guardian angel traveled with us. Whatever the reason, we are safe.”

Wyatt had never known such a headstrong lady. She was stubbornly ignoring his concern for what she’d done.

“You are far too independent for your own good, Fredericka,” he retorted. “Whatever the reason you were spared trouble, it doesn’t make the danger you put yourself in all right.”

“Not according to you,” she responded instantly.

“It’s just as well you came to London,” he said, realizing she’d not only stirred his passions when he’d kissed her at Paddleton, but she’d stirred his need to protect her and the children. He softened his expression and moved closer to her. “You need someone to take care of you.”

“I do not, sir. Can’t you just be thankful for the miracle you seem to think it was that nothing villainous happened tonight and let it go at that?”

Yes, he could. No matter how she arrived, the truth was he was happy to see her. Wyatt took hold of her upper arms thinking to draw her near and give her a quick hug of welcome but froze when Elise screamed out, “Don’t hurt her! Please, please don’t hurt her.”

“W-what are y-you doing?” Charles shrieked.

Wyatt let go of Fredericka instantly, stepped back, and held up his hands for all to see, wondering what in the hell he had done to cause the children to react so strongly.

“Wait,” he said cautiously. “I’m not going to hurt her.” Damnation. What was going on?

Fredericka gathered Charles and Bella closer to her, trying to enfold them into the comfort of her arms. “Shh—” she whispered to the children as she kissed the forehead of each one. “Everything is fine, my darlings. There’s no trouble,” she whispered softly to them.

Unsure what to say or how to restore calm, he offered, “See, I’m not touching her or anyone. Everything is all right. It concerned me to hear about you traveling at night. That’s all. Nothing else.”

Needing a moment to figure out what had happened, Wyatt kept his gaze on Fredericka’s, trying to determine if she really thought he meant to harm her in some way. It was apparent the children did. But why?

A childish sniffle caused him to look down. Bella was holding both hands squeezed tightly over her mouth, her shoulders were shaking, and a tear rolled down her cheek. Elise continued to sob pitifully with her face buried in Fredericka’s cloak.

What kind of man was he to make little girls cry?

Their sobs suddenly triggered memories from his past and, unbidden, his thoughts returned to his time at Eton when in the cold dark of night he’d heard quiet whimpers and deep moans from boys struggling with their fears and pains as they lay in their beds.

Because Wyatt hadn’t understood why the boys were crying, he hadn’t known how to comfort them. He’d just turned nine when he arrived at the boarding school and had seldom played with anyone his own age. He didn’t know what to do for them, so he’d stayed in his own bed and never tried to reassure any of them things were going to be all right.

Wyatt swallowed the old, tormenting emotions. He still didn’t know how to comfort anyone. Especially little girls.

But this time he had to try. He wasn’t going to be guilty of hearing a child cry again and not do something about it.
Amelia Grey. Yours Truly The Duke (Kindle Locations 1407-1471). Kindle Edition.

Wyatt does manage to settle the children and with Fredericka’s help gets them sent off with their governess. There’s still much to settle between them but that would be put off until morning.

Things are going to radically change for Wyatt and he’s really not sure he’s ready for any of it. Fredericka can’t lose the children and he’s going to do everything in his power to prevent it.

I love the way this story plays out, from visits to the park to the children relaxing in his presence, to the political intrigue, to more drama with Jane, to the growing attraction between Wyatt and Fredericka this is a page turning read.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Amelia!

 Amelia Grey

Amelia Grey (aka Gloria Dale Skinner) grew up in a small town in the Florida Panhandle. She has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over twenty-five years. She has lived in Alabama, Connecticut, New Hampshire and now lives in Florida.

Amelia has won the coveted Romantic Times award for Love and Laughter, the prestigious Maggie award for best historical and Affaire de Coeur’s best American historical award. She has been a finalist for the Golden Heart and the Holt Medallion awards which are given by Romance Writers of America and numerous other awards. Her books have been sold to many countries in Europe, Russia and China.

Amelia likes flowers, candlelight, sweet smiles, gentle laughter and sunshine.

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Hotel of Secrets by Diana Billers

Hotel of Secrets
Diana Billers


During ball season,
anything can happen—
even love.

It’s ball season in Vienna, and Maria Wallner only wants one thing: to restore her family’s hotel, the Hotel Wallner, to its former glory. She’s not going to let anything get in her way – not her parents’ three-decade-long affair; not seemingly-random attacks by masked assassins; and especially not the broad-shouldered American foreign agent who’s saved her life two times already. No matter how luscious his mouth is.

Eli Whittaker also only wants one thing: to find out who is selling American secret codes across Europe, arrest them, and go home to his sensible life in Washington, DC. He has one lead – a letter the culprit sent from a Viennese hotel. But when he arrives in Vienna, he is immediately swept up into a chaotic whirlwind of balls, spies, waltzes, and beautiful hotelkeepers who seem to constantly find themselves in danger. He disapproves of all of it! But his disapproval is tested as he slowly falls deeper into the chaos – and as his attraction to said hotelkeeper grows.

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This book is set in 1878 Vienna with the first chapter the 1877 New Year’s Eve Ball at Hotel Wallner.

Maria Wallner is the current manager of the hotel, she lives there with her mother and grandmother, but the hotel has been passed down through daughters starting with her great grandmother Theresa Wallner. It flourished under her grandmother, Josephine, but unfortunately under her mother Elizabeth the property had gone to near ruin. Maria is determined to bring the Hotel back to its original beauty and popularity, beginning with this ball.

There are plenty of scandals but the one that involves her parents, Elizabeth and Heinrich is one of the biggest as they dance and flirt in front of his wife. Maria pleads with her half-brother Macario ‘Mac’ to get his mother to leave but she won’t because Count von Kaufstein is there and his son is engaged to Mac’s sister Annalise. Needless to say there are many more affairs and such going on.

There is also this thing about the Wallner woman finding not her man but ‘the man’. Supposedly, this man would father the next daughter to inherit the hotel but wouldn’t necessarily stick around.

Earlier on this day Eli Whittaker had checked in to Hotel Wallner, it’s the only clue in his investigation of the stolen codes from the United States. He’s puzzled by the population’s one-track mind when it comes to Balls. He’s there to work, not party.

He’s out observing the activities of the early morning when Maria shows up and stands in the middle of the road looking back at the hotel.

This is a favorite scene.

The champagne was turning her sentimental, she thought as she stood, laughing to herself, but there was one more thing she wanted to do before she slept.

She wanted to toast the grande dame herself.

Taking the bottle with her, she wound her way out of the hotel, waving at Abraham, her head footman, standing alert at the front desk, and swung out the wide double doors into a crisp winter morning.

The sky was cold and blue overhead, and people dressed for work mingled with those in ball gowns and evening suits still enjoying the evening prior. The street was still closed for the night, as both the Hotel Wallner and the Hotel Hoffmann, across the road and two doors down, had hosted New Year’s Eve balls, so it was quieter than usual, no shouting drivers and clattering horse hooves.

Somewhere up the street a violinist scratched out a waltz, and Maria hummed along. She pulled her velvet evening coat around her shoulders and wove her way across the narrow Innere Stadt street the hotel faced, to the square across from it.

In the summer the wide tree in the middle cast lovely, leafy shade over the four wrought-iron benches; now it was bare, the benches frosted. Still, a man sat on one, his wide shoulders hunched against the cold.

This was where she wanted to end her triumphant night: across the street from the pink and white facade of the hotel, admiring its five magnificent stories. Maria spared a glare for the Hotel Hoffmann, tipping her nose in the air at its pretentious marble columns.

“No magic,” she said, scornfully, then dismissed it entirely, turning back to her hotel. “Not like you, darling.”

She stepped out onto the cobblestone street and raised her bottle. “To you,” she said, tipping it against her lips.

She heard the warning too late. By the time she heard the horses’ wild cries and the shouts of the driver, she could only freeze, watching the carriage bear down upon her.

Time hung slowly. She noticed everything. The whites of the horses’ eyes. The panicked expression of the young nobleman who’d lost control. The scream of a nearby woman.

And then something grabbed her arm and pulled, and she ran into something hard, and time moved once more.

Gasping, she stepped back, her head spinning from shock and champagne. Her stomach was suddenly extremely unsettled, and for a moment that took all her attention.

A man was talking to her. Touching her. The hard thing had been him, and even now he was steadying her with his hands. She looked at his hands. She looked at his chest. Finally, she looked up at his face.

He had stopped talking and was looking down at her with an expression halfway between concern and irritation.

He had dark, chestnut hair, styled sternly, and deep-set brown eyes. His skin was pale, his jaw sharp and clean, almost harsh. A severe face. Except for his mouth.

She blinked. His mouth . . . was absolutely luscious. Wide and sensual and, at the moment, caught in a rigid frown.

That mouth, she thought, is pure sin.

It had been— she tried to calculate quickly but for some reason the numbers were rather fuzzy— at least a week since she’d had a man in her bed, which wasn’t really that long, but planning the ball had been very stressful, and that mouth looked very stress relieving, and really the arms around her were pleasantly strong, and she had the vague feeling he might have just saved her life, which she had never experienced before and was discovering was every bit the aphrodisiac tawdry novels would have you believe, and she did need to test out her linen closet concept; after all, what kind of hotel manager would she be if she offered her guests an experience she hadn’t thoroughly vetted first—

And then, with no warning at all, everything rushed back in. The sound of the street, the smell of the frost, the faint strains of the violinist, and most importantly, the color of his hair.

Her stomach flipped again.

He’s handsome, in a way. Ooh yes. Dark-haired, definitely dark-haired.

“No,” she said. “They were joking.”

“Are you all right?” He spoke in careful, American-accented German. A foreigner then. An incredibly gorgeous, dark-haired foreigner.

“No,” she said, pushing his hands away. He retracted them immediately.

“You’re not all right?”

The Hotel Wallner was back. Well, almost back. And the two occultists had simply been teasing her— they had wicked senses of humor—

Yes, but have you ever known them to lie about what they saw?

Maria gulped. “I’m fine,” she said, cautiously, putting a hand on her stomach. It occurred to her that she had, perhaps, drunk too much champagne.

“You shouldn’t have been in the street,” he said, disapprovingly. Well. The words were disapproving. The mouth was . . . mmm. Stern.

Stop it, she told herself. Stop it right now.

“The street is closed to carriage traffic,” she said faintly, as her mind spun through everything Madame Le Blanc and Frau Heilig had said. “That carriage shouldn’t have been there.”

The thing to do was to leave. On the off chance— on the off chance that Fate was an absolute bitch.

“I’m fine,” she repeated. “No need for dark-haired men whatsoever. Thank you.”

She tried to step away, but apparently her legs were still weak, and she stumbled. He caught her before she landed on the ground.

Strong. He was very strong.

She sighed in annoyance. “Yes, I see,” she said, either to Fate or Madame Le Blanc, she wasn’t sure. “He’s very strong and tall and good-looking and that mouth is indeed quite something, but he’s not the man.”

“I— have no idea who you’re talking to,” he said, the impatience in his voice clear. “I think you’re drunk.”

“Yes, hold on to that. Good. Irritation is good. Just dump me on the ground and leave me. That’s the wisest course of action. Above all, though, we cannot sleep together.”

He dropped his hands. She staggered, but remained upright.

His expression of horror was— rather delicious actually. No, not delicious. Absolutely not.

“That will not present any difficulty,” he said, and then he bowed crisply, and, bless him, walked away.
Diana Billers. Hotel of Secrets (Kindle Locations 278-325). Kindle Edition.

Although he saves her life, Eli doesn’t introduce himself and neither does she. It’s not until later when he saves her live once again that they truly meet.

Now obviously there is attraction between these two, but Maria and Eli are fighting it hard.

There are several incidents that are life threating, and others damaging to the hotel as these two embark on a very interesting relationship while he’s investigating.

I couldn’t put this book down, it’s quite the journey for everyone involved. The journals that begin each chapter give insight into the Wallner women and their lives, times, and scandals. Every page draws you deeper into the intrigue of the times and a step forward into the mystery and relationships that are somehow entwined.

5 Contented Purrs for Diana!

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Diana Biller

I think the best way to you about myself is to tell you about the things I love. So here’s a completely inexhaustive list: I love my husband, my dog and cat, my family, and my friends. I love ballet–both watching it and taking adult beginner classes. I love hiking alone, writing in gardens, and jumping in waves. I love Los Angeles, where I live. I love reading–it’s my oldest passion and my favorite.

And I love playing pretend, which is, for me at least, the thing underneath all the words and writing. I love living in worlds I’ve imagined, and I love meeting every new character who walks into them. I hope you’ll love them too.

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Just a Little Hook-up – Dare Crossover Book 1 by Carly Phillips and Ericka Wilde

Just a Little Hookup
Dare Crossover Book 1
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Erika Wilde


Being a bachelor has its perks.
It also has its downside.
Just ask Derek Bettencourt.

Standing on stage and being auctioned off in the name of charity is awkward AF… until Derek’s business partner’s younger sister wins him for the weekend. He’s all hers to do with as she pleases and he can’t say he’s unhappy with the prospect. Especially since she saved him from an ex-fiancée determined to get her claws into him again.

Jessica Cavanaugh never intended to bid on her lifetime crush. But her spur-of-the-moment decision gives her a chance to exact a bit of playful payback, for old-time’s sake. And Derek is all too happy to indulge Jessica’s whims.

What starts as a fun, flirty, game, with Derek acting as her personal handyman, quickly turns into a steamy and forbidden weekend. Lines are crossed that they never intended and emotions unravel their playful facades. Afterward, he can’t get the gorgeous, full-figured woman out of his head and he’s determined to make her his.

But how can they concentrate on a future when someone is threatened by their relationship and will do anything to come between them?

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Derek’s sister Nikki convinced him to participate in this bachelor auction for Aurora Dare’s Charity. He’s feeling very awkward and really wished his business partner was here as well. Ben lucked out by being on a business trip this week.

Jessica Cavanaugh is surveying the poster featuring the twelve men up for auction tonight. Her best friend Avery joins her wondering if she has anyone in particular in mind to bid on. Then she suggests winning Derek Bettencourt and having him do some of the work she needs done on her new house. Jessica’s had a crush on him forever, and she sort of owes him one for something that happened a long time ago. She really isn’t considering it until she hears his ex-fiancée Claire Sutherland in the restroom plotting to take him as her plus one to their class reunion.

When the auction starts up, it’s clear Claire has one goal in mind, win Derek’s three days. Unfortunately for her, someone can afford far more money for that time.

This is a favorite scene.

Jessica had sworn she wasn’t going to bid on a man at the bachelor auction, and especially not on Derek, and she’d meant those words at the time. But after a few glasses of champagne and Claire’s rude comments still swirling in her mind, topped off by that smug look her nemesis gave Derek when she placed her outrageously high opening bid, certain no one would provide competition, Jessica was tempted to do something a little rebellious and prove to that bitch she couldn’t have everything she wanted.

But none of those things were what changed Jessica’s mind. It was the panicked look that flashed across Derek’s features. A feeling she knew all too well— being cornered by someone you didn’t like, with no escape. Of being forced to do something you dreaded. And clearly, Derek did not want to spend a weekend with his ex-fiancée.

“Seventy-five thousand!” Jessica blurted out, startling even herself. But once the words were spoken, she knew she was in it to win the auction and Derek. There was no backing out now.

The women around her gasped in shock. Up on the stage, Derek’s brows rose in surprise at her— clearly, he hadn’t expected any other bids and certainly not from her— and when Jessica dared to glance at Claire, the other woman’s glare was sharp as daggers.

Jessica held back a grin. Yeah, payback was a bitch sometimes, and just the thought of Claire going to the reunion without the man she’d added as her plus-one, for the sole purpose of flaunting him to her friends, was going to be sweet, indeed.

“Eighty thousand!” Claire shouted at the auctioneer, her tone on the verge of being desperate.

“One hundred thousand,” Jessica countered calmly, smiling and keeping her eyes on Derek, who appeared both grateful and amused by her decision to bid on him.

She could keep topping Claire’s amount all night long. She had a ridiculous trust fund from her grandparents she rarely touched, the money would go to a good cause, and for once she actually had the upper hand over Claire, and she couldn’t deny that leverage felt amazing.

Tonight, Claire was going to learn that just because she desired something, it didn’t mean it was just going to fall into her lap.

“Holy shit,” Avery whispered gleefully. “Claire looks like she’s going to have a coronary.”

Jessica casually sipped from her champagne flute, refusing to look at the other woman, but she could only imagine how much she was fuming.

“One hundred twenty-five thousand dollars,” Claire said, the words sounding as though they’d been spoken through gritted teeth.

Another round of gasps echoed in the ballroom, and everyone glanced expectantly at Jessica, waiting to see if she raised the bid or folded.

Again, very calmly, like she had all the time and money in the world, she said, “One hundred fifty thousand dollars.”

It was an insane amount of money— insane enough that Claire must have realized Jessica wasn’t going to back down or opt out, because the ballroom went quiet as the auctioneer did his going once, going twice, going three times spiel. When no one countered, he slammed his gavel down and gestured toward where Jessica stood in front of the stage.

“Derek Bettencourt, sold to the beautiful woman in the black dress,” the gentleman in the tuxedo said jovially. “Thank you for your very generous donation. You can meet your bachelor over in the greeting area just outside the ballroom.”

“Oh, my God, Claire just stormed off and she looks pissed,” Avery said, keeping Jessica apprised of their nemesis’s whereabouts. “I wonder if this is the first time something hasn’t gone her way.”

“Probably.” The two of them headed toward the double doors leading out of the ballroom. “I doubt she’s familiar with any form of humiliation, so I’m sure this loss knocked her off her game.”

Avery snickered. “Ahh, it really is true what they say about revenge being sweet.”
Carly Phillips. Just-a-Little-H-Carly-Phillips (Kindle Locations 270-300). Kindle Edition.

Now that Jessica has Derek for a three-day weekend, she plots the things around her new home for Derek to do. It would be fun watching him sweat and labor for her.

Derek of course has no idea what she has planned until she finally lets him in on it. Then he does the dumbest thing ever!

I love the way this story progresses as Jessica and Derek are attracted to each other.

I couldn’t put this book down, I laughed so much, cried a little and the romance and sizzle were perfect!

5 Contented Purrs for Carly and Ericka!

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Coming Soon!

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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Erika Wilde (aka Janelle Denison) is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 contemporary romances for multiple print publishers.
So, why the new pen name?

As Janelle Denison I’ve always written sexy books, but lately my writing has taken on more erotic elements that I wanted to keep separate for readers because not everyone likes their reading material on the spicier, kinkier side of romance. However, please be assured that even as Erika Wilde, you will still get an emotionally layered story with characters you’ll care about and fall in love with. That is always my goal, whether I’m writing straight contemporary romances, or more erotically charged stories.

Currently, I’m working on The Marriage Diaries and making sure that Dean and Jillian enjoy exploring the more erotic side to their marriage. The series will be on-going, with no foreseeable ending as of right now, for as long as readers want to be voyeurs to Dean and Jillian’s sizzling new relationship.

I’m also planning a spin-off series in the future, featuring the hot military men that work security for Dean at Noble and Associates.

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My Big Furry Alien Satyr – Starlight Monsters Book 2 By Skye MacKinnon

My Big Furry Alien Satyr
Starlight Monsters Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Skye MacKinnon


They took her from me.

My mate is in danger. And I will do anything to save her. Even take part in the Trials of Kalumbu, the most dangerous games in the galaxy.

Can I trust him?

I’ve been abducted by aliens, tortured, imprisoned, and now dropped onto a planet filled with monsters. My day couldn’t get any worse. Until an alien with horns and a tail arrives as my knight in shining loincloth. Is this yet another trick or is he really here to save me?

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As this book opens Silas is settling in to watch an IG hour of the Trials of Kalumbu. Each Artep crew member is requited to watch for an hour daily, looking for more Peritans (humans).

It seems several peritans were kidnapped around the same time and brought her to go through the trials unless they had other skills the Naga could use instead.

The trials are brutal and it’s been discovered that even the winners don’t survive.

Currently the only two survivors of the Trials are on board the Artep, Fay and her mate Vruhag were rescued not long ago and any new attempt would be more difficult now that they know someone’s out there to save them. The other human is Penny and her mate Qong, Penny worked on the spacestation and traded maintenance for passage for herself and Qong;

As Silas watches the contestants are presented 2 male aliens and a female peritan. Not just any peritan, she’s Silas’ mate. Now he has to save her. Only the captain of the Artep won’t risk the attempt. Silus won’t be deterred and steals a shuttle to help her before it’s too late.

Pria, has gone through much already starvation, sensory deprivation and torture all while naked in her cell. Now the bars have dropped away and she’s hurtling downward. She awakens to bird song and surveys the area around her until the birds take flight enmass. She doesn’t question why, knowing they were most likely fleeing for their lives and runs in the same direction they are flying.

After escaping one danger, she faces another, one of the contestants I assumed, she does get a couple of spears out that encounter. Continuing with the aid of the spears, she hears an engine, followed by a flash and a loud crash.

This is a favorite scene.

Everything had happened so fast. The alien emerging from the flames, the monster, the fight.

At some point during the battle, I’d realised that the alien had a tail. He wasn’t human after all. From afar, he looked human enough, but up close it was a very different story. What I’d thought was a helmet were actually horns; two huge, curled horns sprouting from the sides of his head. Back home, I would have assumed they were a prop, some weird goat costume, but here, I didn’t doubt for a second that they were real. He was an alien. An alien with horns. His ears weren’t human either, too pointy and big. His intense brown eyes were framed by bushy eyebrows, while a perfectly groomed goatee graced his angular chin. His chest was bare except for tufts of hair. Usually, I wasn’t a fan of chest hair, but in his case, it only made him even more masculine. He wasn’t quite as naked as me, even though the only garment he wore was a leather loincloth around his waist. It would have looked comical in any other circumstance, but not here in the jungle. The flames from the wreck illuminated the scene enough to see that his legs were covered in thick fur, the same maroon colour as his long hair. It looked so soft and fluffy that I was tempted to reach out and run my fingers through it, but I thought better of it. I couldn’t be sure yet if he was friend or foe.

My gaze moved further down and I couldn’t help but suck in a sharp breath when I saw that his legs ended in hooves rather than feet. That realisation made the pain in my own feet flare up again. I grit my teeth, trying to suppress the urge to wince.

I was still on the ground where the alien had pushed me. That had been a total dick move. I would have ducked. Not that I was used to battling deadly monsters, but I had a good survival instinct.

“I would have ducked,” I said aloud, realising the alien was staring at me just like I’d been checking him out. “I would have ducked.”

He held out a hand to help me up. “I apologise. I had to make sure.”

Ignoring his hand, I sat up a little straighter, but didn’t stand. My feet were on fire. I didn’t think I’d be able to walk any further tonight.

The alien turned in the direction the monster had disappeared, his ears twitching. He picked up my two spears and stuck them through holes in his belt. His own spear was still embedded in the monster.

“We are safe for now, but we shouldn’t linger. The quecklra might return with friends.”

“The kwe… what?”

“Quecklra,” he repeated more slowly. “One of the most dangerous predators here on Kalumbu. We’re lucky to have escaped with our lives.”

“Kalumbu? Is that what this place is called? Why are you here? Are you with-“

“No time,” he interrupted not unkindly. “We have to go now.”

“We? Why should I trust you?”

He turned back to me, his expression dark. “Because I’m the only hope you have of ever leaving this planet alive.”

Good enough for me. He didn’t feel like a threat. And even if he was, it wasn’t as if I could run away. I was a sitting duck, ready to be eaten by the next monster that passed this way. He was my best option.

“I don’t think I can walk,” I admitted with a nod towards my feet. I didn’t want to have a closer look at my shredded legs. Once I saw the damage, I may no longer be able to hold back the tears.

I watched him as his gaze wandered to my feet. His eyes went wide, but my attention was captured by his ears. They curled up, the ends drooping like wilting flowers. I felt strangely sad at the sight.

He said something in another language, harsh words that were clearly curses. “I will make them pay,” he muttered in English, “I swear it to you. They will suffer as they made you suffer.”

He knelt by my side, his furry knees touching my bare thighs. A jolt of warmth shot through me where we touched. How strange. But certainly not the strangest thing happening to me today, so I ignored it.

“I will carry you,” he said. It wasn’t a question. He wasn’t asking for permission.

I should have protested. Shouldn’t let this stranger take control. Instead, I asked, “Where to?”

He tapped the leather brace around his right wrist. A topographic map appeared in the air above it. “The shuttle’s AI calculated the safest shelter options just before we crashed and sent the data to my commband. The closest one is only six farstrides from here.”

Commband? Farstrides? AI? I had so many questions, but before I could ask even a single one, he slipped one arm underneath my knees and another under my arms and lifted me. I was squeezed against his chest – his bare chest – while he carried me easily, without a single groan or huff of exhaustion. I tried not to lean my head against his bare skin, but I couldn’t help but breathe in his earthy scent. Roasted chestnuts with a hint of thyme. His skin was warm, hotter than it should have been despite the temperate night air. He would be great to keep close if the temperatures fell overnight.

No. I erased that thought from my mind.  

All I wanted was to get home alive, in one piece, without more mental scars than I already had.

We continued in silence, both of us listening for threats. The alien seemed to have better night vision than me; he didn’t stumble even once. The further we got away from the crash site, the less I could see as the glow of the flames was blocked out by giant trees, until I couldn’t even make out the alien’s face above me.  

The alien. We’d never introduced ourselves to each other. Fighting a nightmarish monster had taken priority.  

“I’m Pria,” I whispered.  

“Pree-ah,” he echoed without changing his fast gait. “Beautiful.”

I waited for him to tell me his name, but he stayed quiet.  

“And you are…?” I tried eventually.

“Silus Longtail.”

More silence. I took the hint and kept my mouth shut.  

My legs were burning with pain, made worse every time they bumped against a branch, bush or root. Silus clearly tried to find an easy passage through the forest, but the undergrowth was too thick. Several times, he had to turn back and try a different route.  

Exhaustion was getting the better of me. I let my head rest against the alien’s chest and closed my eyes. The deep drum beat of his heart was a soothing lullaby. Sleep embraced me, carrying me away from the pain-

“We’re here.”

I groaned softly, frustrated that I didn’t get to have a nap. Then I realised I’d been about to fall asleep in the arms of a stranger, and not only that, an alien with horns, hooves and a tail. I couldn’t let my guard down. He may seem like a good guy, but it was very possible that he was in league with my captors. What were the chances of a knight in shining fur just happened to crash his spaceship when I needed him? I had to keep my wits about me and be wary of the alien. This could all be part of some twisted experiment. Find out how long the human takes to trust the good cop after being released by the bad cops. Something like that.

Silus gently lowered me to the ground, setting me down on something soft and warm. I couldn’t see a thing.  

“Where are we?” I asked, keeping my voice low just in case.

“A tree cave. Is there something wrong with your eyes?” He sounded concerned.  

“No, but it’s pitch black out there. Humans can’t see in the dark.”

“Oh. They never said.”

“They?” I asked sharply. I’d been right! He hadn’t just crashed here by accident. It had been part of the plan. I scuffled away from him, ignoring the pain shooting through my feet and legs, but I bumped against something hard almost immediately. Wood. Part of a tree?

“It’s a long story. You’re not the first Peritan I’ve met. Now stop moving, you’ll injure yourself further. Let me look at your wounds.”
Skye MacKinnon. My Big Furry Alien Satyr – Skye MacKinnon (Kindle Locations 404-470). Kindle Edition.

The surprise attack, a somewhat safe place to rest, treating of wounds and some getting to know you talk before sleep.

Of course, there’s still the problem of getting off the planet. That is solved in a most unexpected way.

I love this series and the way the characters grow to love and respect each other. There’s plenty of hold your breath action, emotion, and yes plenty of sizzle.

I can’t wait for the next book!

5 Contented Purrs for Skye!

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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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A Bitter Blend – Vampire Tea Room Magical Mysteries Book 8 by Erin Johnson

A Bitter Blend
Vampire Tea Room Magical Mysteries Book 8
Erin Johnson


For twenty-seven-year old witch Minnie Wells, when it rains murder and mayhem, it pours.

Minnie has high hopes for a relaxing weekend at a brand new, Jane Austen themed wellness retreat with her vampire beau and her paranormal co-workers from the tea room. A renovated manor house, stunning countryside, and farm fresh, chef-prepared cuisine —what could go wrong?

But Minnie’s zen is zapped when a vampire hunter shows up with his sights set on her fanged bestie, a fellow attendee is found dead in her locked room, and the whole group is trapped inside, without power, by a torrential storm.

When Minnie pieces together the clues and discovers the woman’s death was anything but natural, it’s up to the amateur sleuth to throw the vampire hunter off the trail, and catch the killer before they strike again. But with everyone keeping secrets —even her friends—this budding witch will have to summon all her mindfulness and magic to shine some light on the truth.

Can she solve the whodunnit and keep her friends safe, or will the murderer strike in the dark, making Minnie their next target?

Everyone is heading to the soft opening of Bulbrook Grove Wellness Spa. A free weekend offered in exchanged for promoting the new business. Gus drove Minnie and Fitz and the butlers were meeting them there. Of course, Fitz is worried leaving the contractors alone at the tearoom, but Minnie assures him everything will be fine. They couldn’t open with the renovation and plumbing work being done anyway, this will be the perfect getaway for Minnie, Fitz and the guys.

The first people they meet are Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Chang, one of the owners and Florence the manager. Minnie overhears a bit of an argument as they are waiting to check in. They also briefly meet Bobby Chang, the other owner and Ellie’s husband. He’s a famous chef and this is a new venture for them.

Once checked in Gus is lead to his room first and then Minnie and Fitz. They are sharing a room for the first time.

This is a favorite scene.

“This is the nicest place I’ve ever stayed.”

Fitz hovered near the window. “I’m honored to share it with you.”

Something about his more formal tone made another aspect of the room come into focus—the enormous king-sized bed that took up the majority of the room. Ice flooded my stomach, and I shifted on my feet, suddenly nervous. Oh, right. That thing I’d been fretting about but decided to push to the back of my mind came rushing back to the forefront. This would be our first night alone together, sleeping in the same bed.

I gulped, my throat suddenly dry. Sure, Fitz had fallen asleep on the couch with me at Gus’s a handful of times, but he’d never spent the night up in my attic room. It was too awkward with Gus liable to come home anytime. With his superior hearing, there really wasn’t any privacy there. And Fitz’s derelict place was out until he got it renovated.

Plus, with my vampire boyfriend’s old-fashioned manners and sense of propriety, I didn’t know quite where he stood on the whole intimacy thing. So instead of talking to him about it like an adult, I’d avoided the issue as a problem for future Minnie to figure out. Well, the future was now, and the bed suddenly felt like the proverbial elephant in the room.

“Uh…” I cast about for anything to talk about that didn’t involve sharing the room together for the first time. “I better check on Tilda.” Mim, my witchy mentor, had agreed to watch my cat for the long weekend. Besides me, she was the only witch who could telepathically speak with my familiar, and Mim treated Tilda like a precious baby. There was no one I’d trust more to look after her, but still, acting like a helicopter fur-mom provided a convenient excuse to avoid any potential awkwardness a little longer.

“Oh, yes, of course.” Fitz sounded almost as relieved as I was to not have to have “the talk.” “I’ll unpack.”

“Oh, good idea.”

He eagerly dug into his luggage—a leather train case and a literal steamer trunk (apparently he hadn’t purchased suitcases since the 1800s)—as I got comfy in the window seat and made a video call. After a couple of rings, Mim picked up. She smiled at me through the camera, her blue eyes twinkling, the low beams of her cottage store behind her dripping with dried herbs and flowers.

“Hello, pet! How is the place?”

I smiled back. “Good, good. We just got checked in, and I can’t wait to explore. It’s gorgeous. First, I wanted to check in on Tilda, though. How’s my little gal doing?”

“One moment, poppet.” The camera blurred with motion as she bent and scooped up my little black cat. “Say hello to your witch mummy.”

Tilda narrowed her bright yellow eyes. You abandoned me.

I blinked, surprised to find our telepathic communication worked through the phone.

She hissed, and I shot her an arch look. “Hardly. Mim’s going to spoil you rotten. And I’ll miss you, of course, but they have a strict no-pets rule here.”

She flattened her ears as Mim adjusted the phone to give me a better view of Tilda. I’m not a pet, I’m a familiar. Did you even try to explain that to them? What will you do without me when you get into trouble, hm?

I scoffed. “When I get into trouble? Come on, Tilda, I’m sure I can avoid a magical emergency during a retreat weekend—it’s all about relaxing and chilling out.”

Tilda sniffed. Doubtful. You’re always getting into trouble.

I gawked and looked to Mim for support, but my mentor sucked on her lips and looked away. I saw how it was.

“Look, I should go. We have orientation soon. But I’ll check in again later. You be good for Auntie Mim, okay?”

Tilda’s tail angrily swished behind her. Maybe I’ll stay with Mim and become her familiar and then you’ll be sorry.

Mim mouthed, “It’ll be fine.”

I gave her a little wave, then bid them both goodbye and hung up. I looked over at Fitz, who was hanging one of his white button-ups in the wardrobe. “Did you catch that? Tilda’s giving me all kinds of grief.”

He grinned. “I’d expect no less. I suppose you shall have to win her over with extra tuna when we return.”

“I think you’re right.” Movement outside the window caught my eye, and I glanced down at an old lady with white hair meandering across the lawn with her hands clasped behind her back. “I think I’ve spotted another guest.”

Although Fitz, the butlers, and I, as well as Gus, took up much of the space for the weekend, Florence had informed me they’d have some other comped guests staying here, as well.

“I wonder who they’ll be,” I mused. Florence had told me this was something of a soft launch for the retreat center. They’d invited others who, like us, could help promote the place. As marketing manager for the tearoom, I was curious about potentially meeting other local business owners we might be able to partner with.

The older lady seemed to be exploring the grounds and eventually wandered into the stables. I opened the white glossy packet Ellie had given us and pulled out the map of the estate, plus the itinerary and a list of various classes and services we could choose from.

“Looks like there’s a class about taking care of homestead animals—I wonder if that includes the horses.”

I glanced over to the stable again as the older woman reemerged, red-faced, arms pumping, and marched back toward the manor house with her back straight as a rod. I frowned and shifted in my seat to get a better view of everything down below. What had her practically fleeing the stable like that? A moment later, Florence and Bobby crept out of the stable.

I sucked in a breath. “Whoa—Fitz.” I waved him over to the window as Florence and Bobby, also red-faced, scanned the lawn, then parted ways. Bobby’s thick crop of black hair looked mussed, and Florence adjusted her rumpled blazer.

I flashed my eyes at my boyfriend. “I think the old lady might have interrupted those two together in the stable.”

Fitz frowned deeply. “They certainly appear flummoxed.”

My first thought was the old woman had caught them getting up to something romantic, but would they really do that right under Ellie’s nose? If not that, then what?

I turned my back to the window and tried to put it out of my mind. I was not going to let my imagination and sense of curiosity run amuck and prove Tilda right. I was determined to stay out of trouble this weekend.

For the next little while I perused the materials Ellie had given us, then unpacked, and Fitz and I took turns freshening up in the bathroom.

He checked his gold pocket watch. “It’s nearly three.”

I nodded and moved to the door to slip back into my booties. “Time for the welcome drinks.”

We stepped into the hall, made sure the door was locked behind us, then froze.

“Hey, Minnie.”

My mouth fell open. “Kurt?”

Fitz shot me a wide-eyed look full of fear, which I returned.

I stayed rooted in place as the tall man stomped toward us in his characteristic trench coat and tall combat boots. “What are you doing here?”

He seemed a bit surprised at my tone. He smirked. “You made the weekend sound so unmissable, I decided to book a room myself.”

I shook my head. No. No, this couldn’t be happening. He was staying here? The entire weekend? Nothing about this man, a rough around the edges vampire hunter, seemed congruent with a luxury spa retreat weekend.

He turned to Fitz. “Kurt Alpenjager. Pleased to meet you.” He shook my boyfriend’s hand as Fitz mumbled, “Fitzgerald Connors.”

Kurt frowned down at their hands. “Chilly.”

Oh no, he’d noticed Fitz’s cold touch, typical of vampires. “You can’t be here.” Maybe it was rude, but I didn’t care. “This is for industry professionals.”

My chest grew tight with fear for myself, my vampire boyfriend, and all my supernatural friends and butlers. What if this man, who was trained to sniff out and kill vampires, discovered our true natures and hunted us? It’d certainly be a lot easier for him with us all sharing a manor house for a three-night retreat. This was an unmitigated disaster, and he needed to leave now.

“Well, I may have fudged my credentials a bit.” He winked. “But in truth, I may have more industry connections than you might guess.”
Johnson, Erin. A Bitter Blend: A Magical Tea Room Mystery (The Magical Tea Room Mysteries Book 8). Kindle Locations (213-274). Kindle Edition.

Although Minnie was expecting it, the king size bed has both of them uncomfortable and a bit awkward. The conversation she has with Tillie on the phone is hysterical and then there’s some intrigue when they see another guest out the window rushing from the stable followed by Bobby and Florence.

However, nothing compares to the dismay when they discover Kurt, the vampire hunter, is staying there for the weekend as well. So much for a relaxing time.

Secret meetings, a suspicious death, a interesting connection between Gus and Kurt, plus a storm that knocks out the power out.

Plenty of intrigue and suspense as Minnie and the crew try to figure out who could possibly be the murderer, while also uncovering other suspicious things. Minnie also gets a hand with her magic from Al’s wife, Yasmine.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Erin!

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Coming Soon!
Tea Die For

Erin Johnson

A native of Arizona, Erin loves her new home in the Pacific Northwest! She writes paranormal cozy novels– stories that are mysterious, magical, and will hopefully make you laugh.

When not writing, she’s hiking, napping with her dogs, and losing at trivia night.

Erin’s had a ton of different jobs, from blackjack dealer to PA on a horror movie to Pilates instructor but has finally embraced her true calling as a writer. Thanks so much for your interest and for supporting her!

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A Sprinkle of Spring – Silver Falls Book 4 by Melissa McClone

A Sprinkle of Spring
Silver Falls Book 4
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone


She’s finally put down solid roots,
but his are far away…

L.A.-based surgeon Flynn Andrews may be arrogant and overprotective, but he’ll do anything for his family. When his pregnant sister asks him to be her baby’s godfather, Flynn’s touched. Though he’s unhappy that the godmother will be his sister’s best friend and employee, Anna Kent. Flynn doesn’t trust her. Anna’s sunshine attitude and easy smiles must be an act.

Dog groomer Anna Kent dreams of falling in love and living happily ever after. She cherishes the life she’s built in the small town of Silver Falls, a world away from her painful childhood, but she’s missing a life partner. Her overly hyper dog, three spoiled cats, and two rescue fosters don’t count. Anna can’t wait to be a godparent, but she’s not thrilled to share the honor with grumpy Flynn.

He doesn’t like her. She’s not impressed with him. Somehow, they’ll have to find a way to plan a baby shower together. But as unexpected feelings spark and tensions escalate, the party might be the least of their problems.

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Anna wants what her friends have found…Love in a perfect match. She needs to have patience and when she’s not looking perhaps it will find her just like it found her friends. The thing is, even though he doesn’t seem to like her or Milo, Anna is attracted to Flynn Andrews.

Arrogant surgeon, Flynn Andrews is a workaholic he works himself to total exhaustion and then it takes a while before he doesn’t fall asleep the moment he sits down.

It’s New Year’s Eve and Callie and Brandt have an announcement to make.

This is a favorite scene.

Callie held up a small white piece of paper. “In October at a girls’ night, we had Chinese takeout. Pippa, Taryn, Anna, and I all received the same fortune that said, ‘Prepare for expansion.’”

“I remember that,” Taryn said. “I expanded the bakery’s menu.”

Anna nodded. “Wags and Tails added boarding.”

Callie and Brandt shared a look. “That’s what I thought it meant. Turns out…”

“We’re pregnant,” Brandt shouted.

Margot jumped up and down. “I’m going to be a great-aunt!”

Flynn’s mouth gaped. Pregnant? Callie?

Mom and Dad ran to the happy couple. Brandt’s parents followed them. Lots of hugs and happy tears and high fives.

Rex and Autumn watched from the sidelines. Milo barked and ran around like he wanted to be the center of attention.

Anna wiped her eyes, but Flynn couldn’t tell if she was faking the tears or not. He would give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was worried if a baby would change Callie’s commitment to the doggy daycare.

Brandt’s hand settled on Callie’s stomach with an almost reverent touch.

Garrett clapped Flynn’s shoulders. “We’re going to be uncles.”

“Our baby sis is going to be a mom.” Flynn shook his head. “We need to set up a trust fund for the baby.”

“I know someone who can help with that.”

Of course as a top trial attorney Garrett would. Flynn motioned to Keaton who bent over to speak to Callie’s stomach. “We’ll leave the education decisions up to the professor, but we’ll fund the best schools.”

Garrett nodded. “Glad I live in Silver Falls.”

“You’re still a partner in your L.A. law firm. You just have a satellite office here.”

“Not going back.” Garrett’s gaze drifted from Callie to Taryn. “Especially now that I’ll have a niece or nephew in town.”

Flynn understood. “It’s not a long flight.”

But trips depended on his work schedule, which he would have to keep under control so he didn’t end up hating life and sleep-deprived again.

Garrett nudged him. “The parents are off to take care of the food. It’s our turn.”

Flynn followed Garrett over to Callie and Brandt. Keaton was right behind them.

She hugged each of her brothers. “No spoiling your niece or nephew, or we’ll set limits.”

“Don’t worry about us.” Keaton motioned to Margot, who stared at her phone. “I think she’s already ordering baby stuff to outfit a nursery at her house.”

“There goes my guest bedroom,” Flynn announced dramatically.

“She has three guest bedrooms,” Garrett explained. “I’m sure your room is safe.”

Flynn focused on Callie. “How are you feeling?”

“I’ve had some light-headedness and morning sickness, but otherwise, I’m good. Nothing’s been bad. Midmorning to lunchtime is usually when it hits the worst. Anna had no idea about the baby. She’s been covering for me but—”

“Anna won’t mind continuing that until you feel better,” Brandt said.

Callie nodded.

That wasn’t enough for Flynn. Callie’s pregnancy explained her dizziness earlier, if that was all the symptoms were. “Be sure to tell your OB what happened on the couch.”

“What happened?” Brandt, Garrett, and Keaton asked in unison.

“I was a little light-headed. It was nothing,” Callie explained.

Her answer satisfied no one, including Flynn. He looked at Brandt, who nodded.

“I’ll make sure she mentions it,” Brandt said. “And I’m glad all three of you are here. We’ve been discussing who the godparents will be.”

Callie nodded. “Since Garrett and Keaton live here, we want Flynn to be the godfather. That’ll give him another reason to come to Silver Falls.”

Pride shot through Flynn. He stood taller.

Margot came up like a hurricane about to make landfall. Her face beamed brighter than a solar flare. “Who’s going to be the godmother?”

Callie peered around them. “Anna. She’s my best friend.”

Margot clapped her hands. “Perfect choice. And you know what this means.”

Everyone stared at Anna.

“What?” Callie asked.

“Anna and Flynn need to host the baby shower,” Margot announced. “Of course, we’ll all lend a hand.”

Keaton snorted. “Flynn arrange a baby shower. That’s a good one.”

“As if you’d do better,” Flynn countered.

Keaton’s chest puffed. “As a matter of fact, I would. The Boo Bash I helped Raine organize received rave reviews.”

“Brothers,” Callie muttered under her breath.

Flynn wouldn’t disappoint Callie and Brandt. “No worries. I’ll figure it out.”

How hard could hosting a baby shower be?

Not even worth a second thought. Flynn had this. He would be the best godfather anyone in Silver Falls or the state of Washington had ever seen. People would talk about what he did for his niece or nephew for years, even decades, to come.

“I’m honored,” he admitted.

Garrett rolled his eyes. “Well, when he gets overwhelmed or can’t keep up, Keaton and I will take over.”

Flynn stepped in front of the other two. “I’ve got this.”

Margot’s blue eyes twinkled. “Don’t forget about Anna.”

“What about me?” Anna walked up, holding a fruit kabob over a napkin.

“We want you to be the baby’s godmother,” Callie said. “If you want to be.”

“I do. I’m so happy you asked.” Anna one-arm hugged Callie and then Brandt. “I’ll get working on the baby shower right away. Coed, right?”

Wait. Flynn scratched his head. How did Anna know about this stuff?

“Yes, please.” Callie smiled at Anna. “Oh, and Flynn’s the godfather, so he’ll help you.”

And there was the catch. Flynn should have known.
Melissa McClone. A Sprinkle of Spring (Kindle Locations 282-334). The Tule Publishing Group, LLC.

Flynn and Anna are to be the baby’s godparents which means they host the baby shower.

Of course, Flynn has no idea what that involves. He makes some major mistakes here and there’s quite a show-down between him and Callie when she hears. This results in an apology to Anna, funds for the shower and he promises to keep in touch via facetime and texts. Unfortunately, once he’s back home he dives right in and forgets everything.

Things get a bit crazy from here as Flynn’s mother the Chief of Staff at his hospital steps in. Flynn’s who life is about to come unglued.

I really love the way this story progresses and in spite of Pippa being thrown at him, Flynn and Anna find a path to romance.

I really hope there will be more books in Silver Falls, I really love this small town and the people in it.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

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Obsessed With My Ex – Sugar and Silk Book 3 by Cassie Cassell

Obsessed with My Ex
Sugar and Silk Book 3
Cassie Cassel



One last family event.
That’s it.
I tell myself I can pull through and attend Mimi’s 80th birthday party, but talk is cheap.
Being around Beck again makes me feel how good we were together… until he left.
Which is why I have forbidden him from discussing the past for the next few days. Does that mean I can’t lust over him? No.
But lusting over him can land my heart in serious trouble…


I have this last chance to win over my estranged wife.
A weekend in a family event, where we’ll pretend we’re still happy.
She thinks I’ll sign over the divorce papers after the weekend is over.
What she doesn’t know is…
I’ll take full advantage of the scorching attraction between us to show her for once and for all… We belong together—and this time, forever.

Beck has one last chance to hopefully win his estranged wife back before he has to sign the papers. It’s a major family event as his Mimi celebrates her 80th birthday.

Unfortunately, Eliza flew into Costa Rico separate from him since she had a meeting she couldn’t cancel or reschedule. He just hopes he can win her back after being such an immature jerk.

The thing is Eliza still loves Beck and is trying to be strong and move on, even though it’s not what she really wants.

This is a favorite scene.

I taste bile at the back of my throat. Just because it’s what we need, doesn’t mean it’s what I want. “I don’t need a cent of your money,” I say. I haven’t crawled my way to the top of the Texas’ jewelry designers for nothing. “Besides, we weren’t together that long… it’s not like it was a real marriage, anyway.”

He stands, and I see hurt in his eyes.

A twinge of regret twists in my chest, and I second-guess my words. But now it’s too late. The words already left my lips, and now they hang in the air between us, cementing the resentment from both sides. Certainly from my side.

“It was a real marriage to me, Eliza,” he says. “Every part of it. If anything, it got too real too soon.”

What the hell does he mean? “Well, tell your lawyers that I won’t be needing any alimony,” I say. We never signed a prenuptial agreement, so I know I could really fuck him over if I wanted. But I don’t. I won’t.

“I don’t give a shit about money. I just want to take care of you somehow,” he says, and there’s a hint of affection in his voice.

I shouldn’t, I really shouldn’t, but I erase the distance between us and nod at him. God, am I so pathetically needy that the slightest act of humanity from him gets me going? “Look, we’re here for a few days. Let’s make the most of it, right? Maybe that just means not harping about the past.”

“That sounds good to me. Want to hug it out?” he says, and I accept this small measure of truce, and let him hug me.

Oh, I forgot how nice his embrace is… he holds me and I’m sucked into this vortex of warmth, his chest like a sexy muscly wall. Being plastered against his hard body only makes me feel softer, more womanly if that’s possible. It’s an odd experience, one that no one else has ever given me. It’s like re-acquainting with a part of myself that was missing.

I sigh into his arms, and push in his scent.

There is a satisfaction whenever I finish a design, or nail a contract with a big department store. Little ripples of excitement pop through me, awakening every part of me. The same sensation I feel whenever he holds me like this.

He makes a circular pattern on the small of my back, and I’m sure he means to be soothing, but it turns me on. I haven’t been with anyone since Beck, so any small touch ignites my libido. Especially coming from him. Or if I’m being honest… only coming from him.

Sparks of awareness course through me, and I circle my arms around his torso. He kisses the top of my head, and the brief contact of his mouth with my scalp sends tingles all the way to my curling toes.

I should move, end this madness, kill the butterflies taking flight in my stomach.

When he touches my hair, his fingers gliding down my waves, I find it impossible to think straight or manage to do anything that’s adequate.
Cassie Cassell. Obsessed-with-m-Cassie-Cassell (Kindle Locations 192-214). Kindle Edition.

There is a lot of fun in this book, and it’s certainly not going to go entirely smooth for Beck.

This is a quick, fun, romantic, and sizzling, read.

5 Contented Purrs for Cassie!

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Cassie Cassell writes short dirty romance about characters who can’t keep their hands off each other. She favors stories with low angst, high steam, and fun times—the type to give you a delicious rush of adrenaline on your commute to work or late at night in bed.She lives in Central Texas with her family.When she’s not writing, she’s reading thrillers or books that definitely make you blush.If petting random dogs was a sport, she’d be an Olympic Gold Medalist.She loves to hear from readers.

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Protected – Holt Agency Book 3 by Becca Jameson

Holt Agency Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson


It’s been over two years since Melanie’s life was forever changed. Over two years since she met Holden on a Panama Canal cruise that went awry. Over two years since she had the best sex of her life for ten amazing days before returning to the real world and tucking that vacation adventure away forever.

After walking away from Melanie, Holden worked several long-term assignments for the Holt Agency, keeping himself busy, keeping his mind off the woman who had seemed so perfect for him in every way. Their lives weren’t compatible. She was a professor at Georgetown. He thrived on dangerous rescues and protection details.

Time has not changed how either of them feels for each other, nor has it changed their circumstances. But Melanie’s apartment has been ransacked and another professor has been found dead. Someone is after her. She might not like it, but she needs Holden’s protection.

The two of them can try to keep their feelings for each other at bay, but for how long?

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In the prologue of this book we get a glimpse of the very hot last days of a Panama Canal Cruise where Melanie and Holden first met and got together. Their life circumstances didn’t allow this relationship to continue after that, although they keep in touch.

It’s over two years later and Melanie a professor of Chinese Culture and Language is finishing up a semester of teaching. She’s hoping to publish a paper at the end of the break and has a lunch meeting with a visiting colleague who has some reference data for her. That meeting will change everything for Mel.

With her townhouse ransacked, Mel calls Grant and Callie. Grant works for the Holt Agency and she knows he’ll get to the bottom of things. She’ll be staying with them for a while or so she thought.

When the professor she met turns up dead, they realize Mel is in far more danger than they thought and send her to a remote safehouse. One no one knows about except those who work with the Holt Agency. What no one mentions is that it’s Holden’s home.

Holden has been on assignment in Europe and when he arrives home he’s exhausted and just wants to drop into bed and sleep. Boy is he in for a surprise.

This is a favorite scene.

After tipping the driver heftily for bringing him home in the middle of the night, he lugged his suitcase to the side entrance, unlocked the door, and stepped inside.

He didn’t need lights. He knew how to disarm and rearm the alarm without seeing a thing. He’d done so many times. Lights would just cause him to be more awake, and awake wasn’t the goal. The goal was to aim straight for his bed, drop his clothes, slide under the covers, and sleep like the dead.

Leaving his suitcase and computer bag in the kitchen, he pulled his shirt over his head as he made his way up the stairs and into the bedroom. It wasn’t until he was halfway to the bed that he froze.

Goosebumps rose up his arms. Several thoughts went through his head all at once.

He could see the indentation of a person in his bed. Someone was sleeping there. This didn’t fill him with panic. The guys he worked with often used his cabin. Frank and Nancy Holt had several sets of keys and all the codes. Anytime someone needed downtime away from the homebase in Indiana, they could be sent here to relax.

Grant had keys. He and Callie came here too. There was no way they had come this week though because Grant had known Holden had been wrapping up his mission and would be home soon. Plus, there was only one body in the bed. Not two.

The next thought, one that overlapped the first, was that the person in the bed was a woman. The form was too small and slight to be one of his co-workers.

Thought number three, perhaps a quarter of a second behind the first two was why anyone had sent a woman to the cabin. That wasn’t the norm. Especially not alone.

Thought number four, lapping over the top of number three, why hadn’t anyone told him? A simple phone call… And then, fuck. When was the last time he’d checked his messages? Not in over a day. Not since he’d wrapped up his job and headed for the airport. Not even in the car on the way here. He wasn’t even sure where his cell phone was. Buried in his computer bag, probably.

Fuck fuck fuck. Holden was fucking tired. He needed sleep. He was in no mood to entertain. He wanted to be right where this woman was, sleeping in his own fucking bed.

He could slip back out of the room and take over one of the guest rooms, but whoever was in his bed would die of fright when she found him in the morning. Or hell, if she was military or in some way involved with the Holt Agency, she might shoot him first and ask questions after. To her, he would be an intruder.

Nope. He was going to have to wake her now. Confront her now. Figure out who she was and why she was in his bed. Afterward, he could negotiate with her and convince her to move to a guest room so he could have his own damn bed. He hadn’t slept on his fucking expensive mattress for months. He fully intended to tonight.

Taking a deep breath as he faced the inevitable confrontation, he dropped his shirt on the floor and ran a hand over his hair.

That’s when another thought slipped into his brain unbidden and made him stop breathing. Or moving. He wasn’t sure he was even standing any longer. His legs were jelly.

Surely he was imagining things. No way in hell was the woman in his bed Melanie Hurn. The fact that he would never forget her scent in a million years just meant his brain was playing tricks on him.

He took another slow deep breath. Fuck. Closed his eyes. Breathed again. Fuck. It wasn’t logical. He hadn’t seen her in over a year. Hadn’t touched her in over two years. Hadn’t held her in all that time. But damn, her scent permeated the room.

He would know it anywhere. His room smelled like sex. That scent he liked to bury his nose in after he had her. After he made her come. He’d dreamed about it a thousand times since he’d last experienced it.

What were the chances? Surely his mind was playing tricks on him. Why would Melanie be in his cabin, in his bed? He’d like to go back about an hour, find his phone, check his messages.

He was breathing heavily now, and he needed to turn the lights on, confront this woman, and prove to himself she was not Melanie. It could be anyone. It wasn’t her.

His eyes were adjusted enough to glance around as he stepped closer. If the person in the bed was armed, she was likely to kill him. He was about to scare her to death.

She was curled on her side, facing away from him. She also had Melanie’s curls. Jesus. It really was likely her.

He turned toward the bathroom, deciding to flip on the lights in there instead of blinding both of them with the sudden overhead lights in the bedroom.

With one last deep breath, he flipped the switch, his gaze on the woman. “Melanie?” he called out. His gut told him he was right. Every sense in his body told him he was right. Melanie was in his bed, between his sheets.

Suddenly, the sleeping form bolted upright, a scream coming from her lips as she twisted toward him, eyes wide with fear.

Holden stopped breathing. She was even more gorgeous than he remembered. Her hair was a wild mass of curls. Her chest was heaving. But more importantly, she was naked. The sheets had fallen to her waist, and she was in too much shock to realize he was staring at her breasts.

His cock was hard in a second. She was here. Either that or he’d fallen asleep on the way up the mountain and was having the best dream of his life behind the driver.

Seconds passed in limbo before Melanie found enough brain cells to grab the sheet and pull it up over her chest. “Holden?” Her voice squeaked. “What are you doing here?”

“I was about to ask you the same question,” he responded.

“I, uh, it’s a long story. You go first. I thought you were in Europe or something.”

“I was. My assignment ended.” He took a step closer to her, half afraid she wasn’t real. He didn’t want to wake up if this was a dream. He wanted to hold on to it. Keep talking to her. He hadn’t heard her voice in a long time. He wanted to absorb every syllable.

God, he was a mess.

“Okay. Why did you come here?”

He frowned. “It’s my house. I live here.” Did she not know that?

Her eyes widened again. “Tell me you’re kidding.”

“Why would I lie about that? This is my cabin.”

She held the sheet tight above her chest with one hand and rubbed her face with the other. “I’m going to kill Grant and Callie.”

He nodded. If this was a setup… If Grant and Callie had sent her here under false pretenses to force the two of them to face each other… Well, it was an ingenious idea, but he would still kill them himself. Mel would never get the chance.

“Surely they left you messages. Don’t you check your phone?” she accused.

He winced. “I didn’t. No. I’ve been exhausted and traveling for over twenty-four hours. My phone is buried somewhere in my bag.” He changed subjects. “Did they set us up?”

She sighed. “No idea. It’s more complicated than that.”

He stepped even closer. He shouldn’t. He should leave the room and let her get dressed so they could talk with clothes on, but he couldn’t stop himself. He was drawn to her like a magnet.
Becca Jameson. Protected (Kindle Locations 420-478).

It’s not until later the next day that they accidentally discover the reason Mel’s place was trashed. Apparently, the professor gave her a jump drive that was supposed to contain links to aid her research, instead a bunch of encrypted data starts streaming across her screen.

With the professor now dead the danger to Mel has escalated and it’s a race to find out not only what the data is but also who had it a who wants it.

Intriguing, emotional, scary, romantic and lots of sizzle between these two.

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

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Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

Becca Jameson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 100 books. She is most well-known for her Wolf Masters Series, her Fight Club series, and her Club Zodiac series. She currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and Goldendoodle. Two grown kids pop in every once in a while too! She is loving this journey and has dabbled in a variety of genres, including paranormal, sports romance, military, and BDSM.A total night owl, Becca writes late at night, sequestering herself in her office with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate, her fingers flying across the keyboard as her characters weave their own stories.

During the day–which never starts before ten in the morning!–she can be found jogging, running errands, or reading in her favorite hammock chair!

…where Alphas dominate…

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Unchained – Holt Agency Book 2 by KaLyn Cooper

Holt Agency Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
KaLyn Cooper


After being rescued from the Ethiopian rebels’ prisoner of war camp, Keene Soto returned to the United States a broken man. His torture had been of an especially personal nature. He believed himself to be only half a man, and that half hadn’t worked since his return to the USA. He was too damaged for any female, so he given up hope of finding love.

Until she touched him.

Kelly Edson had moved to the Holt farm with her son Jock when her stepbrother and his best friend opened the Holt Agency. She’d hoped living on the farm in the middle of nowhere Indiana would change her luck. She’d been a loser magnet. Almost every man she’d ever dated was a failure at life, pulling Kelly and her son down with him. Working two jobs and studying for her next nursing certification while raising a son, she hadn’t dated a loser in over two years. Because she hadn’t been on a date. She was surrounded by hot single men who all worked for her brother and considered her a little sister. Except Keene. She looked forward to their nightly conversations on the porch swing.

When Kelly and Keene discover she’s the only one who can help him recover from his POW physical and emotional damage, will her brother keep them apart?

When Kelly disappears, will the truth keep Keene from helping them find her?

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Keene has PTSD and some severe nightmares since Ethoipia, his physical injuries are of a private nature and really impact his emotions. He’s now working for the Holt Agency and has purchased land from the Holts. He’s mostly doing the construction himself with the occasional contractor and even the occasional teammate. He really needs his own space.

Kelly Edison also lives on the ranch with her son, Jock. She’s Ajax’s stepsister and treats all the men like her brothers. Truly a joy to be around, Kelly’s a home healthcare Certified Nursing Assistant in this rural area, working two afternoons a week. She works mornings at the diner for the rest of her income and studies to be an EMT at night. Her boss is a genius at getting the approvals for those in need. Right now, she has several patients spanning both ends of her territory. When she arrives at the first one for the day, Mr. Munson, the signs were that his other caregiver had not been in.

He tells her Shelby hadn’t been there since the previous Tuesday. Apparently, he fired her. Something he really can’t do, but the girl left anyway and hadn’t been back. Now Kelly had to find a replacement, hopefully quickly. With her boss Rudy’s approval, she goes to local high schools to see if the know of recent graduates who might need a job and be interested.

The counselor at the second school sets her on edge, to the point that she talks to Keene about what she saw on his laptop. It’s enough to have him looking into it the next morning. Ajax and Keene arrange to meet with a state trooper at the diner where Kelly works.

It’s really busy and Kelly has a bit of a confrontation with some construction workers.

This is a favorite scene.

Kelly grinned right back at him and stepped into his personal space. “Do you like it hot?” She mixed seductive and teasing in her voice.

“Oh, yeah, baby.”

She shoved the hot pot into his chest. When he stepped back, she pushed him into his chair and set the pot of coffee on the table in front of him. “Good. I’m sure your buddies like it hot too, so why don’t you be a gentleman and pour coffee for everyone at your table? We’re little bit busy today and that would really help out.”

She gave the large table of eight men a huge smile. “Gentlemen, see that sign up there?” She pointed to the We have the right to refuse service sign. “If he, or any of you, touches a server in this restaurant again, none of you will be allowed to step foot in here ever again. It’s twenty miles in the opposite direction of the old Nelson farm to the next restaurant that serves breakfast.”

She put her fist on her hip. With her father’s clientele, she’d learned to defend herself as a teenager and expanded those skills working in bars. “Does everybody understand the rules and consequences?”

She looked at each man in the eye. She got a few “yes, ma’am” responses, a few chin lifts, a couple of nods, and then she looked at Loudmouth.

“I was just trying to have some morning fun. Start my day right with the pretty girl on my lap.” His smile didn’t soften his words or entice her to forgive him. “I didn’t expect to be served by a bi—”

“I wouldn’t finish that sentence if I were you.” Keene’s deep voice rumbled from behind her. She knew he had at least five inches and twenty-five pounds of solid muscle more than Loudmouth.

“You will start with an apology to my sister.” Ajax stepped beside her, right behind Loudmouth’s chair. He was thinner than Keene and had an inch or two in height but had regained his badass SEAL body at the farm.

Without looking behind him, Loudmouth said, “And who’s gonna make—” Before he could finish the sentence, his ass was on the floor. Her brother had simply tipped the chair forward then pulled it out from underneath him. Keene reached down and picked him up by the shoulders, planting him directly in front of Kelly but out of arm’s reach.

“What the fu—”

“That doesn’t sound anything like an apology.” Ajax stepped between Kelly and Loudmouth. Keene stepped beside her. Both men kept glancing at the table of construction workers, but nobody made a move to help their coworker.

“I really hate to repeat myself, but I obviously need to for you.” Ajax dropped his hands to his sides, elbows slightly bent. When he rolled to the balls of his feet, Kelly fought a smile. She knew this fighting stance. He was prepared. “Now, apologize to my sister. In case you can’t read it on her nametag, it’s Kelly. Not Red.”


Before she could say anything, Keene popped in with, “Sorry for what?”

Loudmouth took a deep breath and stood a little taller, holding her gaze. “I’m sorry, Kelly, for pulling you into my lap.”

“And…” Her brother made a rolling gesture with his hand for Loudmouth to continue.

His eyes went big. “And what?”

Her brother shook his head. “You’re not at all good at this, are you?”

“What else do I need to apologize for?”

Keene cocked his head to the side. “Let’s start with disrespecting her. That’s no way to treat a lady.”

Loudmouth let out a huff of air. “I’m sorry for disrespecting you.” With a bored expression, he glanced at Ajax then Keene. “Can I get back to my breakfast now?”

Kelly looked at the construction workers’ table and realized that Clara had served their food during the apology.

“I accept your apology. Sit down. All of you. Eat before it gets cold.” Kelly looked at both Keene and Ajax. She tilted her head toward the kitchen.

“Who are they?” Loudmouth asked as she stepped through the swinging door.

“Navy SEALs,” several replied from the table of elderly gentlemen.

She heard grumbles from the construction workers before the door closed.

Turning, she punched her fists on her hips. “I was handling the situation.” She glared at the two tall men. “Although I appreciate you backing me up, I had it handled.”

“You’re welcome.” Her brother held out her keys, ignoring her protest. “You needed a new battery. Actually, you need a new car. That one is on its last legs.”

“I also need a vacation in the Caribbean, but I can’t afford that either.” Could this day get any worse? Now she had to worry about her car falling apart or dying on her as she cut down a country road the back way between patients. She couldn’t tell her brother that she barely made enough money to pay Nancy and Frank rent, feed Jock, and put gas in her crappy car. She was doing everything she could to better herself so she could get a job that made more money.

“We’ll talk about this at supper. I have errands to run.” He moved his gaze to Keene. “Give me about half an hour and I’ll be ready to go back to the farm.”

“Will do.” Keene and Kelly watched her brother leave. “Are you okay?” He looked at her with concern.

“Yes.” She thought she was fine. Pissed at her brother and Keene for taking over when she had handled it. Tired from lack of sleep and rushing like crazy all morning. Now worried about her car conking out on her. Then there was coming up with money for Jock to play baseball that summer. Other than that, everything was wonderful.

“Then why are you shaking?” Keene stepped in and wrapped one arm around her back. With the other, he gently pushed her head to his massive chest. “You’re okay.” He rubbed his hand up and down her back, holding her tight.

She let out a heavy sigh and melted into him. She wanted to cry but had no idea as to why. She felt so safe and secure wrapped in Keene’s arms. No man had held her like this in years. Exactly when was the last time that a man held her? Except for dancing at the wedding, she hadn’t been in a man’s arms since moving to the Holt farm over two years ago. Before that it had been months.

Damn, she needed to go on a date. She liked dating. She liked men. She also liked sex. She hadn’t been laid almost three years. The idea of sitting across the table from a man, enjoying adult get-to-know-you conversation, eating food made by a real restaurant chef, sounded wonderful. Nancy was a very good cook but she made comfort food and they ate family style.

There was little privacy in their home. She craved interaction that was just for her. Someone to tell her she looked pretty. A reason to dress up.

She wanted more of the feelings she was beginning to get from Keene holding her.

He continued to reassure her that she was all right and safe.

It took her a while, but she got ahold of her emotions. Thankfully, she hadn’t cried. Taking a deep breath, she stepped back, immediately missing his strong arms and the feeling of safety.

Looking into his beautiful hazel eyes, she wasn’t sure what to say. Finally, she decided, “Thank you,” was appropriate.

“You’re welcome…anytime.” She swore she saw a glimmer of hope and desire before he masked it. She’d felt him start to get hard, but it hadn’t developed into much. Maybe he was just comforting her, the way a friend would. The way he would his boss’s sister. He wasn’t interested in her as a woman.

Clara flew through the swinging door. “If you’re done making out with tall, gray, and handsome, I could use some help out front.”

Oh, my God. She’d totally forgotten where she was.

She grabbed Keene by the biceps. “I’ve got to get back to work. Thank you for everything.” She went up on tiptoes and brushed her lips across his. Hugging him, she whispered in his ear, “You have no idea how much that meant to me. Thank you.”

She grabbed plates and their ticket from the finished food counter and headed through the door to table six.

Her lips tingled from that slight brush with Keene’s. His lips were soft, but she’d surprised him. Besides, that was a friendly kiss. And Kelly wondered how he would kiss her if given the chance. Would he be wet and slobbery like a dog? Or would he take her lips and mouth, softly nipping and biting, slow and sweet?

She almost walked past the table where she was to deliver the food.
Cooper, KaLyn; Agency, Holt. Unchained (Holt Agency Book 2). Kindle Locations (876-944). Black Swan Publishing. Kindle Edition.

There are several things going on here, from the suspicious counselor to having to talk about her marriage and Jock’s father, to getting the replacement for Shelby.

I really loved the interaction between Kelly and Keene. The attraction is definitely there and grows rapidly even as he makes a startling, life changing discovery.

Love, Laughter, Suspense, Romance and Sizzle surround the characters in this book.

I can’t wait to read the next installment of the Holt Agency!

5 Contented Purrs fo KaLyn!

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KaLyn Cooper KaLyn Cooper

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

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

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

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Witchy Little Lies – Witches of Hollow Cove Book 12 by Kim Richardson

Witchy Little Lies
Witches of Hollow Cove Book 12
USA Today Bestselling Author
Kim Richardson


Fairytales aren’t real, right?

That’s what I thought until they came to Hollow Cove. And when I say they arrived, I mean they actually materialized —they came to life.

Newly engaged, I was looking forward to some quiet, sexy time with my wereape—all kinds of horizontal refreshments in every room—you know the type. But did I get it? Nope. Instead, I get hit with fairytales that plague our town.

Sounds harmless. But not all fairytales are about sunshine and rainbows. Some are evil. And some, well, some… are deadly.

House has ‘birthed’ a miniature of itself, a cottage for Tessa and Marcus who are now engaged. Today is Marcus’ birthday and Tessa wants to do something special for him. However, all the normal things both in the main house and the cottage are gone, no water, no electricity, no magic, just nothing.

At the main house there’s quite the gathering happening, one Tessa, Dolores and Ruth want nothing to do with. It’s Beverly’s group and well you can just imagine what’s being talked about.

When Tessa questions the no power or water dilemma she learns House is on strike. It feels neglected, seems the reason house works the way it does requires payment, the cheating husbands, wayward boyfriends and abusers they throw down the basement are said payment. They are killed but rather looked dazed and confused when they came back up.

This of course will make it difficult or rather impossible for Tessa to cook Marcus a birthday dinner. In the meantime, Beverly wants the appetizers she ordered picked up and sends Tessa. Only before she can get there, screams split the quiet.

She follows the screams and finds a dead girl, Marcus shows up and neither of them recognize her. She died brutally and when Tessa finds a basket nearby with jams, breads and some cheese, it reminds her of the story, Little Red Riding Hood. The uncensored one.

To make matters worse, her mother shows up to invite her and Marcus to dinner that night. Even though she declines it’s like her mother doesn’t hear a word she says. Marcus’ arrival doesn’t help either. Looks like they have a dinner to go to whether they like it or not.

To top that off, the body has disappeared. It wasn’t taken, it vanished before the eyes Scarlet, Cameron and Marcus. Then Gilbert wants everything solved so he can have his Oyster Festival the next day. Just wonderful.

The reappearance of the body followed by an awesome ley line ride reveals the Big Bad Wolf. So much for it just being a fairytale. Seems it’s very much real.

A conversation with Lilith doesn’t reveal much other than Lilith might know who is causing it and Dolores’ suggestion of a rift is more than possible.

This is a favorite scene.

I’ll admit, having superhot shower sex with Marcus lifted my mood a few octaves, yet it did nothing to warrant time with my mother. However, seeing how important his word was to him, I reluctantly agreed.

I tossed my bag in the back seat of Marcus’s burgundy Jeep Grand Cherokee and then climbed into the front passenger seat, all clean, all postcoital.

Marcus climbed behind the wheel and fired up the engine. “Give me your phone,” demanded the chief.

I handed it to him and watched as he pulled out a charger from a USB port on the dashboard and plugged it in. “It’ll take longer this way, but it’ll give you some juice until we get to your mom’s. I don’t like the idea of you not having a working phone. You never know when someone might need to reach you.”

“Yes, sir,” I teased.

Marcus laughed as he pulled his Jeep from the curb and headed up Shifter Lane. I leaned back into the soft leather seat, enjoying the constant hum of the Jeep’s engine. I closed my eyes for the briefest of moments, thinking about how quickly my life had changed in just over a year.

Today was also Marcus’s birthday, but I had nothing to show for it. Did the sex in the shower count?

Having dinner with my mother wasn’t how I wanted to spend the rest of the evening. Yes, she did rub me the wrong way—all the time—but that wasn’t the reason I didn’t want to see her. I was more avoiding her because I knew she would harass us with questions about our wedding. The fact that we hadn’t even discussed it yet had me on edge. What if Marcus and I had completely different ideas? I wanted a small wedding, like just immediate family. What if he wanted a big, fat, witchy-wereape wedding? After meeting his mother, and knowing mine, I was sure they wanted a huge wedding, and I’d be outnumbered. I felt a flush of nerves inside my belly just thinking about it. I hated lots of attention. I knew I would hate a big wedding.

I shook my head, literally shook it, and pushed away those thoughts. It wasn’t like the wedding was anytime soon. I had lots of time to freak out about it. Just not at this very moment.

The thought of seeing my father brought a smile to my lips. He was just the demon to change my mother’s mind. They were stupid cute, these two. And I was glad they’d found each other again after all these years. It just went to show, you couldn’t put timing on love.

“What’s going on here?” came Marcus’s growl-like voice. He slammed on the brakes, jerking me forward. “What the—” My eyes tracked the scene. It was so strange and happening so fast that it was hard to concentrate on just one thing at a time. So, I started with the biggest, most prominent one.

The ship.

Scratch that. Not just a ship, but a giant, massive traditional wooden galleon of the fifteenth century sat in the middle of Crystal Row. Three masts sprouted from the main deck about a hundred and twenty feet in length. A black flag with a skull-and-crossbones symbol flapped in the breeze, the name Jolly Roger written on the front sail. From what I could see, it was armed with bombards that fired granite balls.

“It’s a ship,” said Marcus, his jaw slack, and I could see the utter shock on his face.

“The Jolly Roger.”

“What?” Marcus was still staring at the ship like it wasn’t real. Like this was just a dream.

It kind of felt that way, but I knew whose ship this was. My adrenaline spiked.

Damn, damn, damn.

Marcus leaned forward in his seat, staring out the windshield. “Are those… pirates?”

I scanned the ship. I could make out about a dozen men dressed in vests, shirts, and coats with dark pants. A few had colorful cloth tied around their necks and tucked in front of their vests, like neckties. Even from a distance, I could see their weathered skin, like those exposed to the elements most of their lives.

“Yup. And that one over there is Captain Hook.” I pointed to a thin man with curly, black hair draped over his shoulders, with the largest maroon hat I’d ever seen. A prominent hooked nose rested above a thin, black mustache. He wore a frilly, white shirt underneath a red coat with gold lining and maroon cuffs. From what I could see, an orange sash over his right shoulder held his sword scabbard at his left hip. His maroon pants looked almost like tights, and he paired them with white, knee-high socks.

And it looked like I’d answered my own question from before. It wasn’t just one fairy tale that slipped into our world. There were more.

Marcus glanced at me, disbelief written all over his face. “Are you saying this is…”

“Another fairy tale come true. Wait—what’s happening?”

Six pirates on the main deck were running around in a frenzy. And then I understood why.

A granite ball exploded from one of the bombards. The sound was like nothing I’d ever heard, as though thunder detonated right next to my head.

My ears rang as the black granite ball sailed into the air and hit one of the houses.

The Jeep shook as the house exploded in a cloud of wood fragments, brick, plaster, and dust like it had been rigged with a bomb. The thunderous rumble echoed up through the Jeep.

The house, which I’d admit I had never really paid any attention to before, was gone. Obliterated. Only a mountain of debris, chunks of wood, and shattered brick stood in its wake. Metal rebar stood up like the legs and arms of a giant skeleton as a soft pattering of dust sifted down from the air.

If anyone was in there, no way could they have survived.

Cauldron help us.

“Fuck!” Marcus leaped out of the Jeep, me right behind him.

Front doors to neighboring houses burst open as paranormals clambered out to see what the blast was. Hell, probably the whole town had heard the explosion.

“Where’s Peter Pan?” howled a voice that I presumed was Captain Hook. My eyes went to the skinny man in the maroon hat stabbed with a tall, white feather. He stood at the edge of the forecastle deck, glowering down at us. “I want Peter! Bring him to me! Come back here and fight me, ya coward! Or I’ll find ya wherever ya are, ya hear me, Peter Pan?”

“Oh, crap.” I looked at Marcus. “He thinks we have Peter Pan.”

“What happens when we don’t give him Peter?” Marcus hauled off his leather jacket.

A chill went through me. “He’ll slap us with his good hand?” I didn’t even know if Peter Pan was here. But if Captain Hook was, I wagered Peter was around here somewhere.

“Prepare the piece!” shouted a voice from the ship, followed by the sound of grinding metal, and then, “Prick and prime!”

I didn’t know what they were saying, but I knew it wasn’t good.

“I need backup on Crystal Row,” Marcus said to someone on his phone. “Now!”

Captain Hook snarled and then beat the air with his hook. Yup, the severed hand with the gleaming sharp iron hook.

Fire!” he howled.

Oh. Shit.

“Get down!” Marcus crushed his body over mine, and the next thing I knew, we both hit the hard pavement.

Another deafening blast echoed around us. The ground trembled as though an earthquake had hit us.

I pushed myself up enough to see over Marcus’s arm, where a massive pile of rubble was all that was left of the house that had been blown to smithereens a moment ago. Damn. Another house destroyed. Hopefully the owners had run out, but I hadn’t seen anyone coming out of that house.

A weight lifted off me, and the next thing I knew, Marcus grabbed my arm and pulled me to my feet.

“We have to stop them before they destroy the whole town!” cried Marcus, his eyes on the ship as he ripped off his shirt and pants. I glimpsed a very fit, golden-brown body, rippling in muscles, followed by bright light. Marcus’s face and body heaved, stretching his features and body strangely. Then I saw a flash of black fur accompanied by an awful, tearing sound and the breaking of bones.

A snarl came from the four-hundred-pound silverback gorilla next to me. He slammed his fists on the ground. “Ill distraac dem. Yoo desstroy de sshhip,” he shouted. His vocabulary had improved tremendously in his beast form.

“Okay. But you better get your ass out of the way of that ship when I’m ready,” I told him, pulling on the elements around me. Okay, Captain Hook had a mighty ship, but he had nothing on us. We had magic. I just hoped it would work better this time.

I blinked as the gorilla pushed off at incredible speed toward the ship. He climbed up the hull like it was something he did regularly, and there he was, on the deck, pounding the head of some pirate.

“God, he’s hot.”

“Who’s hot?”

I turned and saw Ronin and Iris rushing over.

“Hey, is that Captain Jack Sparrow?” asked Ronin, staring up at the ship.

I wished. I loved me some Johnny Depp. “Nope. This here is Captain Hook.”

The half-vampire put his hands on his hips, his eyes glancing from what was left of those two houses to the massive pirate ship. “Houston. We have a problem.”

“The fairy tales aren’t stopping. Are they?” asked Iris, waving her hand at some of the dust and debris falling around us.

“No.” I cast my gaze toward the ship again and spotted Marcus swinging from one of the masts like it was a jungle gym built for him. Pirates swung their long, curved swords at him, trying to slice the wereape, but he was too fast for them. Too skilled. If I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn he was having fun. Was that a grin on his gorilla face?

“What in the blazes is going on here!” Gilbert came running forward as fast as his grubby little legs would allow, staring at the ship like it was an alien craft that had just landed. That would have been just as plausible.

“We’re being attacked by pirates,” I told him.
Richardson, Kim. Witchy Little Lies (The Witches of Hollow Cove Book 12). Kindle Locations (1361-1435). Kindle Edition.

With a pirate ship destroying Hollow Cove, they needed to solve that problem and quickly. Tessa does something she’s never done before and it works. Now they have to find where these things are coming from and destroy it.

Fast paced and fun, this one had me holding my breath as Tessa faces fairytales containing loved ones.

I can’t wait to see what’s next in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Kim!

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Kim Richardson

Kim Richardson is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of urban fantasy, fantasy, and young adult books. She lives in the eastern part of Canada with her husband, two dogs and a very old cat. Kim’s books are available in print editions, and translations are available in over 7 languages.

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