Landon – The K9 Files Book 18 by Dale Mayer


Landon
The K9 Files Book 18
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Landon, after a tough couple of years helping his navy buddy live out his last years, needed a break. Tracking a war dog named Chica to make sure it was okay sounded perfect. Especially being able to take his three chihuahuas with him. But finding a dog that had been part of a large shipment heading to a rescue across the Canadian border but had gone missing on the last stop before the border – well that was going to be a challenge. Particularly one that had a lame leg and half a paw.

Sabrina had spent years volunteering at a local vet clinic, because all animals had a soft spot in her heart. Finding out Landon is trying to track down a missing War Dog, well how could she not volunteer to help him? Still when her world flips upside down, she’s more than happy to have Landon close by.

Now if only they could find the dog and figure out who was responsible for endangering her life…

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The war dog Chica had a good retirement until, her caretaker died. She along with many other dogs was shipped to Canada. Unfortunately, she never made it across the border.

Badger and his wife Kat have been helping the government find missing war dogs and this is the next one they need to find, hopefully quickly. They contact one of Kat’s patients only to find he’s unavailable for a while. However, his brother might be able to help them out.

Landon had been caretaker for his friend Joe and now that he is gone, he could use a bit of a distraction. He still has the three chihuahuas that brought Joe so much joy in his last days. Landon cared for them since their birth bottle feeding them around the clock, they are family to him.

When his brother calls to ask if he wants to help find the war dog he immediately says yes and calls Kat and Badger. is more than willing to help find Chica, now he just has to figure out where to start. It takes a while, but he manages to find the phone number of the man’s mother. She informs him of the accident and the hospital where he is a patient, requesting only that he let her know how her son Charlie is really doing. The hospital is close to the border crossing where Chica went missing so visiting in person is Landon’s choice.

Sabrina volunteers at the Veterinary clinic where her best friend Angela works. Angela’s partner is a veterinarian who hopes to join the practice, but so far, they haven’t come to terms with Angela’s boss. As a result, they are extremely busy, and Sabrina frequently picks up a meal and helps out with the animals after her regular shifts as a nurse at the local hospital. She’s picking up lunch for Angela and her boss Dave when she meets Landon. He’s debating which sandwich to buy.

They run into each other again in the hospital parking lot and the third time is inside the hospital when he gets lost while talking on the phone first with Charlie’s boss, and then with Badger.

This is a favorite scene.

Stepping into a waiting room, Landon made a quick call to Charlie’s boss, who confirmed what the injured man had told Landon. She didn’t have any more information on the location of the dog but did add that it had been a last-minute solution to put Chica on the truck going up to Canada. She also confirmed that the cross-country transport was a common practice and that they did it several times a year. He shook his head at that because it just seemed crazy that Americans weren’t looking after their own, but apparently the Canadians had been doing this for years, and it was a system that worked very well.

She was really anxious that nothing mess it up because they had hundreds more already looking toward the next load.

And, with that, Landon contacted Badger to give him an update as to how far he had gotten, as he slowly wandered down the hallway toward his truck. By the time he put away his phone, he realized he must have taken a wrong turn, and he was in a completely different part of the hospital. He frowned, did a full turn, and just as he went to walk up to a counter to ask for directions, a woman stepped up and then chuckled. “Okay, now three times can’t be a coincidence.”

He looked back to see the woman from the sandwich shop. He smiled at her. “I was talking on the phone with my boss, and I completely lost track of where I was, and now … I’m lost.”

“That’s easy to do in this hospital,” she declared, with an eye roll. “You’re not the first person.”

“So how do I get back to the parking lot?” he asked, raising his hands. “It seems foolish to admit I got lost inside the building.”

She grinned and took him to a window at the end of the hallway, then pointed out where the parking lot was.

Landon frowned. “I know I was talking and walking for a while, but, jeez, I didn’t think I’d managed to travel that far.”

“A hallway connects the two buildings,” she explained, “so if you ended up there, you wouldn’t even have realized that you left one building for another, but you would have already been heading in this direction.”

“Okay, but this doesn’t bode well for my trip though.”

“What trip?” she asked. “Did you get to see the guy you hoped to see?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I came here because Charlie was taking a load of dogs up to Canada, and one of them, a War Dog, somehow got lost.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “Lost?” she asked cautiously.

He winced and nodded. “Yeah, lost. Apparently anyway.” Then he explained the little bit that he knew about the situation.

“Oh my, I hope you find the poor thing.”

“That’s my intention.” He smiled. “I just don’t know what all will be involved in getting there.”

She nodded. Pointing down the hallway, she began to escort him to his truck. “I volunteer at a vet clinic here in town,” she added. “That’s who I was getting all the sandwiches for this morning. Animals get dropped off there all the time.”

“How can somebody do that?” he asked, staring at her. “I have three dogs of my own out in the truck right now.”

“Three?” she repeated, her eyebrows shooting up again.

He nodded. “Chihuahuas.” She gave him a tiny smirk. “Don’t say it,” he warned her in good humor, even as he narrowed his gaze at her.

“Say what?” she teased, obviously trying hard to keep a straight face.

“That I don’t look like a guy who would have Chihuahuas.”

She nodded. “You said it, not me.” She gave him a huge smile. “But, hey, at least you’ve got dogs.”

“Always had dogs,” he confirmed. “Love them. Absolutely love them.”

“So do I. I have two at home myself, and I’m absolutely thrilled that you’re searching for this poor dog,” she stated. “Since I work for free at the vet clinic, I can’t volunteer any of their services, but I know that we’re always more than happy to help out, if you end up in a spot of trouble and the dog needs somebody to look after it.”

He shrugged. “I hope not. I don’t know what the score will be. Chica’s been lost a couple months now, so not sure what she’s already been through since then. Plus, she had her own war wounds to heal from. So I’m really hoping somebody has been good to her in the interim.”

She nodded. “If you do find Chica, let me know.”

“How will I do that?” he asked, looking at her. “You haven’t given me your number.”

“In the interest of helping out an animal, I can do that. This is for the vet clinic.”

“What about afterhours?” She nodded. “Fine, here’s my cell. Don’t abuse it.”

He grinned at her. “Never. Unless it’s a case of a dog that needs help.”

At that, her smile fell away. “If that’s the case, you call me. Where was she lost? How far away is it from here?”

He shrugged. “Not too far. I just got a location at the Canadian border where it was last seen.”

She frowned at that. “You know what? I feel like I heard rumors about a wounded dog being picked up somewhere near here.”

He stared at her. “I don’t suppose you have a way to chase down those rumors?”

She shook her head slowly. “No, but now it’ll really bug me until I figure it out.”

“If you do”— he pulled out his phone again and quickly sent her a text—“ that’s my number. I’m Landon. Let me know if you hear anything.”

“Sure. And I’m Sabrina. What’ll happen to the dog if you do find her?”

“First off,” Landon noted, “we need to make sure that she’s okay and gets whatever medical treatment she needs. It’s missing half a paw already, so it’s very distinctive. Plus, she’s also had multiple breaks in her back leg, so she limps.”

“Right, and there’s a fine distinction with that too.”

“She’s also a highly trained War Dog. She’s used to being in difficult situations and still going strong, so she won’t necessarily look like she’s injured or down to that extent.”

She stared at him for a long moment. “Kind of like you, huh?”

He winced at that. “Is that really how I come across?” he asked in mock horror. “Like I’m a lame dog, one step away from being put down?”

She frowned, then burst out laughing. “Uh, no, that’s the last thing I would say about you.” Still snickering, she explained, “You’re more like a junkyard dog than a retired War Dog, and you look like you’ve seen better times in your life.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “I’m still dealing with losing that friend of mine.”

At that, her smile sobered. “I’m sorry. I deal with loss at my work all the time, and it’s never easy, even when you haven’t gotten to know them very well yet.”

“Nope, not easy,” he confirmed, “and, just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, something comes out of the blue and throws you for a loop.”

“Agreed,” she replied, “but you’re doing really well.”

He smiled at her. “How would you know that?” he asked in a teasing manner.

“Hey, I can see that you’re doing well,” she stated. “I have really good instincts.”

“I hope so,” he said. They had reached the front door, where Landon had entered. “And, if you do hear anything about the dog, let me know.”

“Will do.” And she stood at the entrance and watched as the most interesting man she’d met in a very long time got into his vehicle and drove off.
Dale Mayer. Landon (Kindle Locations 548-610). Valley Publishing Ltd..

A couple of things happen as Sabrina helps out by contacting the vets she knows, including Angela. Angela is very skeptical with regard to Landon thinking her friend is being gullible and pushes Sabrina away rather than bringing her closer.

She does get a clue from a rescue who has sighted Chica but was unable to catch her. Landon sets up some cameras and puts out food for Chica. He hears her but doesn’t yet see her. He does however, meet a problem with a BB gun.

There’s so much that goes on with Chica’s situation and also with Angela. The relationship between Landon and Sabrina also develops into more.

I love these rescues; every war dog deserves to retire to a loving home.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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Rescued – Holt Agency Book 1 by Becca Jameson


Rescued
Holt Agency Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson

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Colette, a PhD student studying abroad, is tired of the constant barrage of bodyguards her father has assigned to her for most of her life. As a politician, his notoriety has always put her at risk. When Colette finds out she’s pregnant, she’ll do anything to keep her baby a secret, even from her father.

Tavis is a former Navy SEAL. He’s not a babysitter. But when the Secretary of State hires you to guard his daughter, no is not an acceptable answer. Starting a relationship with the woman he’s supposed to protect would get him fired. It would also leave her vulnerable.

Falling for each other was never the plan. Tavis’s protective instinct has him questioning the course of his life. Colette has a lot of decisions to make, none of them easy. The challenges could either tear them apart or bring them closer together. And when Colette’s life is threatened, Tavis must not only protect her.

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Becca Jameson and KaLyn Cooper are at it again. If you enjoyed Shadow in the Desert and Shadow in the Mountain, you met the men of The HOLT AGENCY.

Tavis was about to board a plane home from Uganda when his boss Ajax calls and tells him to stay put. His next assignment was arriving the next day. The Secretary of State’s daughter is working on her PhD in epidemiology, and she isn’t pleased about her father’s interference by getting her a bodyguard. As such she’s flying in with quite the hangover from the night out with friends.

Colette was used to her father’s heavy handedness and wasn’t going to be a cooperative subject. The first thing she does is sneak out early that first morning. Much to Tavis’ dismay and guilt at falling asleep.

When she shows up before he can go out after her, there’s quite the conversation.

This is a favorite scene.

He groaned inwardly at having been caught with his computer in his lap, probably open to an article about her or her research. “How were you so chipper and awake so early in the morning? When you dropped into bed, I thought you might sleep through this entire day.”

She chuckled. “I don’t need much sleep.”

“You were also hungover, weren’t you?”

She dropped the apple core in the trash can, set her hands on her hips, and cocked her head at him defiantly. “So now it’s a crime to go out drinking with friends? You do realize other grown adults in their late twenties also go out at night, they just don’t get followed by the paparazzi and end up on the front page of every fucking tabloid in town.”

She had a point. He narrowed his gaze in this odd standoff. “Look, I don’t know you. Well, that’s not true. I know everything the tabloids, your social media, and your university have to say, but I don’t know enough to judge you. I find it hard to believe you’re the sort of person who regularly parties hard and needs a keeper. It doesn’t fit with the rest of your bio. Which means I have to believe either your parents don’t trust you for some reason, or they refuse to let you grow up, or— and this is the part that worries me— there is an actual threat to your life that has landed me here as your protection.”

At least she flinched. “There is no fucking threat. My father is overprotective. He imagines threats. He makes them up. He has for my entire life. In fact, he’s gotten worse in the last few years. And you’re right about me regularly partying. I don’t. How could I even if I wanted to? Someone would follow me and report back to my father.”

Tavis took a deep breath. “I think we got off on the wrong foot. How about we start over.”

“Nope. We didn’t get off on the wrong foot. We started right where I wanted to start. Me making sure you understand that I don’t need or want you following me around. I believe I even offered to pay you to stop and give it up.”

“Well, that’s not an option, princess, so you’re going to need to get over yourself. I was hired to keep you safe, and I intend to do just that. Which means if you ever pull a stunt like you did this morning again, I’ll assume you have no respect whatsoever for me or my job and take action to ensure we’re super clear.”

“What are you going to do? Handcuff me to my bed at night?”

“Is that something you enjoy?” He lifted both brows, challenging her.

She flinched. “Of course not. Don’t be ridiculous.”

He shrugged. “It was your idea. It hadn’t even occurred to me. I’ve never been assigned to be someone’s babysitter before. This is new to me. You’ll have to let me know what your previous keepers did to ensure you didn’t step out of line. I’ll take a page from their handbooks. Hey, maybe I can get references from your father and ask them myself.”

She narrowed her gaze. “Don’t you dare. And I’m not a fucking baby, Rambo. I don’t need a sitter or a keeper.”

“It would appear you do. If that’s the attitude you intend to carry around. This isn’t Pennsylvania, princess—”

Stop calling me that,” she shouted.

“I like how it gets a rise out of you. Anyway, as I was saying, this is a third-world country we’re in. You shouldn’t go off half-cocked by yourself under any circumstances, even if no one knew who you were. You don’t know enough about this area to take off in the early hours of the morning alone.”

“Don’t be so dramatic.”

“I’m not. I’m being realistic. And you’re proving to me that you do indeed need a keeper. So, from now on, don’t fucking go anywhere without me, understood? If you do it again, you won’t get to have your own bedroom anymore, because trust me, princess, I will not hesitate to use the handcuffs you’ve suggested. And then I’ll sleep in the same room just in case you’re also Houdini.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Try me.” Boy, did she make his blood pump. On top of that, it was hard to keep a straight face. This conversation— if one could even call it a conversation— had deteriorated to the point that it was almost comical. He was afraid she might haul off and slap him if he laughed out loud though.

Damn, she was feisty. And she was under his skin. Not just in a bad way. She was sexy when she got all flustered, especially when he threw her off balance. It was fun.

Suddenly this job didn’t seem as bad as he’d been thinking earlier while she’d been AWOL. This banter might actually be fun. She was cute when she got all hot and bothered, making him wonder what she might look like if she were hot and bothered in a different way.

The way she’d reacted to the handcuffs left him curious to know if she’d truly been horrified or if she had a kinky side. And if she had a kinky side, had she ever acted on it or was it just in her imagination and dreams?

He shook those inappropriate thoughts aside. He was here to protect her, not sleep with her.

“Are we done here, Dad?” she asked.

Her tone and choice of words made his breath hitch. “How old are you again?”

She groaned and stomped past him, heading for the stairs.

He watched her as she jogged up them. “By the way, princess, I checked the windows up there. They all have permanent bars on them, so don’t get any ideas about climbing onto a tree limb and shimmying to freedom.”

She growled as she reached the top and then slammed the door to her bedroom.

Oh, yeah. This was going to be fun.
Becca Jameson. Rescued (Kindle Locations 247-291).

What Colette didn’t expect is an unfortunate outcome to her wild night on the town or her attraction to her bodyguard.

This is quite the tale, filled with intrigue, romance and surprises!

I know for a fact I will be getting the next book in this series. As two of my favorite authors I can’t wait to read what KaLyn Cooper has in mind and Becca Jameson does next.

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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Problem Child – Blue Ivy Prep Book 1 by Heather Long


Problem Child
Blue Ivy Prep Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long

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Enrollment begins this autumn.

Born into Hollywood royalty, I’ve been making the hot sheet and generating internet buzz since before I could even walk. Doesn’t matter that my parents divorced prior to my second birthday, I can’t escape the shadows—or scandals—of my movie star mother and my rock star father.

At least, I couldn’t until Aubrey, Yvette and I formed Torched and went double platinum as we made a name for ourselves. Four years after taking the world by storm, I’m exhausted. We all are. I’m also ready to try and be a regular kid. Only problem is I’ve never been normal. I don’t actually know what that feels like. Accepted into the prestigious Blue Ivy Prep, I have a lot to prove to the students, the faculty, our fans, but most of all to myself.

Despite my tabloid reputation or maybe because of it, I don’t intend for anything to get in my way. Especially not anyone who decided I’m an empty-headed pampered partying princess before I even showed up. If they want a fight, I’ll bring them a war.

*Please note this is a reverse harem and the author suggests you always read the forward in her books. Contains some bullying elements, mature situations, and is recommended for 17+. This is the first in a series and the story will continue through future books.

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From the moments we shared with Frankie and Ian in the Untouchable series I knew we had to know the story of Torched. Their last tour introduced Frankie and Ian to the world, and now Kaitlin, Audrey and Yvette are stepping away from the stage to finish school.

All Kaitlin wants is a normal school experience, although how normal is a prep school? Blue Ivy Prep is her choice and Aubrey will be attending with her. Unfortunately, her reputation as a problem child has followed her here. There’s only one truly noticeable exception given to Kaitlin and that’s her blue hair, she has contractual obligations that will require her photo and the hair is her signature.

As the book begins, we get a look at teacher/TA meeting, followed by Kaitlin and Aubrey arriving with Kaitlin’s driver Dix. The first encounter with another student happens at the gate and they are pleasantly surprised. Sydney who offered tips right away and her sister Olivia would be people worthy of getting to know better.

The girls settle in and meet the RA for their building, Harley. There are rules to be followed but they don’t foresee any problems.

First day on campus as others are moving in, Kaitlin goes for a run. On her way into the dorm, she once again runs into Sydney and makes lunch plans for another day. She also runs into their neighbors one who can’t keep his hands off his girl and the other who’s just obnoxious, he will be referred to as Hot Shot. This too is important.

The girls settle in and meet the RA for their building, Harley. There are rules to be followed but they don’t foresee any problems. First day of classes brings the first indication of some problems.

This is a favorite scene.

I legit did not have the energy to even worry about him or his attitude. I was supposed to meet Aubrey for lunch, but I needed time. Time to just shut down and reset. I sent her a text then went to find where my next class was. I sat down on the floor, hugged my book bag to my chest and closed my eyes.

I’d taken longer naps in worse places. Thirty minutes of shuteye and then I’d be ready to deal with the afternoon.

Today wasn’t so bad. Nope. Not so bad at all.

Something hit my foot hard, and I jerked my eyes open to stare into the most devastating pair of green eyes. They were like a haunted forest, shrouded in mysteries and shadows. All I wanted to do was be that girl and plunge into them to see— everything.

“You do know that this isn’t a park bench, right?” A cutting, feminine voice dragged my attention away from those gorgeous eyes to stare at the perfect girl standing next to him. Dark hair, stunning amber-colored eyes, perfect tan, and her cosmetics absolutely on point. She was as stunning as a model, but lusher with generous curves. Her lips, however bright red they were, twisted into a superior smirk.

“This is a school,” she continued, enunciating each word clearly, “not the back row of your low-rent concerts. You don’t just go to sleep out here. That’s what your room is for. Idiot.”

My sleepy brain reacted to the verbal slap with a curled lip. “Bitch, our concerts have never been low-rent. I guarantee you the tickets cost more than that red whore lipstick you’re sporting.”

Right, I shouldn’t have lost my temper. I knew better. Say nothing. Respond to nothing. Don’t let them make you sweat. I caught the phone from the corner of my eye. Yeah, the little light told me they were filming. Great.

Something wet splashed against me. “Oops,” one of the other girls with them said. The wet and sticky clung to my jacket and spilled onto my white shirt. Fuck, it was red. Which just spread the stain out.

The dark-haired girl laughed, and nothing humorous or kind existed in that laugh. “Remind me to call the janitors next time,” she said to the green-eyed guy at her side who watched me with narrowed eyes and an almost unreadable smile that did nothing to lighten the rest of his expression. “They know better than to let the trash just lay in the halls…”

Wiping the expression from my face, I gave her a perfectly bland smile as I rose and peeled the jacket off. I was going to have to do something about the shirt. “You really should be kinder to yourself. Calling yourself trash is a negative affirmation, no matter how accurate…”

Shock registered in her smug eyes, but a sound echoed down the hall: the chime indicating time to go to class. The door to the classroom I’d been resting outside of opened.

“Good afternoon,” the teacher said, then glanced down at me. “Are you all right, Miss Crosse?”

Fake it until you make it. “I’m great,” I told him with a smile I definitely didn’t feel. “Just need to get cleaned up.”

I ignored my audience and the phone still pointed right at me.

“Excellent. Miss Webber,” the teacher said. “You know better than to film on campus. Let’s see it…”

It was too late though; there was a sucking sound that happened when an upload completed, followed by the little ding. Yep, that footage was out there. But it was nice of the teacher to try. Since my audience didn’t seem to be moving on their own, I pushed between them and went toward the bathrooms, aware of a set of green eyes that tracked every move I made.

I was three for three with the good-looking jerks so far.
Heather Long. Problem Child (Kindle Locations 771-799).

At this point we’ve met three jerks, Hot Shot, Ramsey the TA and Green-eyes. There will be one redeeming soul RJ but for some reason I don’t trust him like KC seems to.

There’s plenty going on and a family emergency pulls KC from school for a bit. That leads to some interesting press as well as some interesting mail for KC.

I love the way this first year progresses, with one thing after another. Plus, I did not see that ending coming. Just Wow!

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

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Coming Soon!
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Heather Long Heather Long

I love books. Not just a little bit, but a lot. Books were my best friends when I was growing up. Books didn’t care if I was new to a town or to a class. They were always there, my trustiest of companions. Until they turned on me and said I had to write them.

I can tell you that my own personal happily ever after included writing books. I’ve always said that an HEA is a work in progress. It’s true in my marriage, my friendships, and in my career. I am constantly nurturing my muse as we dive into new tales, new tropes, new characters and more.

After seventeen years back in Texas, we relocated to the Pacific Northwest in search of seasons, new experiences, and new geography. I can’t wait to discover what life (and my muse) have in store for me.

Maybe writing was always my destiny and romance my fate. After all, my grandmother wasn’t a fan of picture books and used to read me her Harlequin Romance novels.

Friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, friends to enemies to lovers, you name it, I love them and love to write them. I started with Earth Witches Aren’t Easy, the first in the Chance Monroe trilogy, but my characters and I have traveled a long way since I created that urban fantasy world.

One of the series I hear my readers recommend the most is the Untouchable series followed in quick succession by the Vandals, and that just delights me. No lie, whenever one of my readers brings up my wolves, I do a little a fist pump.

I’m active on social media, and I love hearing from readers. Feel free to tag me with a question about any of my books, or just say hi!


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Code Name: Mayhem – K19 Special Operations Team 1 Book 5 by Heather Slade


Code Name: Mayhem
K19 Special Operations
Team 1 Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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MAYHEM

I sit back, watch, take it all in, as I determine my next move. I’m quiet, stealthy, and always ready to act—making my enemies regret their every decision. It’s always the silent shy-type people need to worry about. And they worry about me. But when K19 needs the best profiler in the business to come out of “retirement,” it takes every bit of my charisma to convince her to help. And now, there’s no holding back. She’s going to learn why they call me MAYHEM.

GRACE

No way, not a chance. I’m officially in “retirement.” Not that I’m anywhere near old enough. I’m just done facing off against the dregs of humanity and looking filth right in the eye. And now, it’s time to trust the one man who makes it all worthwhile—the one who makes me lose control. He’s chaos and mayhem, and I cannot get enough.

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Finally they’ve tracked down Hanadarko akd Grace Hunter. They’ve also got a pretty good idea she won’t want to talk to Mayhem. With Steel, Cowboy and Winslow, Mayhem is hoping to convince Grace to come out of retirement to help them solve this case. The bodies keep piling up, and they really need to solve this sooner rather than later.

There’s a lot of animosity between Grace and Mayhem and we will find out all about it in this book. For right now, they need to go over the investigation to date and start the profile. Of course, there’s a bit more to resolve first.

This is a favorite scene.

After setting up an investigation “war room,” I checked the time, stunned to see it was zero two hundred hours. Given Cowboy said they’d arrive between eight and nine hundred, they’d soon be on the road. I still had time to withdraw my demand for Mayhem’s involvement. In fact, I could request the opposite. I shook my head. Cowboy and Winslow had already witnessed enough of my drama. Instead, I’d do what I told them to tell Mayhem. I’d man the fuck up. On this go-around, I’d focus on what was important— finding a serial killer. However, from everything I’d read, we weren’t looking for one. It appeared more like a ring of murderers.

I finally climbed into bed an hour later, doubting sleep would come. When I woke what felt like five minutes later, it was because Milagro was standing at the bedroom door, whimpering.

“You gotta go out, girl?” I rolled out of bed, shocked to see how late it was. I’d slept beyond the time Mayhem, Cowboy, and Winslow were supposed to arrive. “Ugh,” I groaned when I looked out the window and saw an SUV in the driveway. Worse, Soj was standing near the passenger door, talking to the man I guessed was the reason Millie was making a fuss.

“Don’t you dare act happy to see him,” I said, knowing full well my dog would be beside herself the minute she saw Mayhem.

Before letting Millie out, I looked in the mirror and groaned a second time at the dark circles, pale skin, and wrinkles a twenty-nine-year-old woman shouldn’t have. “Good news. He won’t think I got all gussied up to see him,” I muttered, opening the bedroom door.

I took my time pulling on my boots, then walking over to unfasten the chain and unlock the deadbolt. “I’m warning you, if you run over to him, you’re not getting any bones for a month.”

Milagro didn’t even look up at me. As soon as she could squeeze her body through the opening, she ran directly to Mayhem. I wasn’t surprised. Honestly, I wanted to do the same thing. Especially when our eyes met as he bent over to rub Millie’s ears.

What I’d give to be able to turn back time and do everything differently. Keep my mind where it was supposed to be rather than becoming obsessed with the role Bryar Davies had played in my then-boyfriend’s life.

Winslow was the first to approach as I stood on the porch, watching the scene playing out in front of me and reluctantly meeting Soj’s scrunched eyes. The man knew I had a dog; he’d just rarely seen her.

“Thank you,” Winslow said, standing beside me.

“Considering I haven’t done anything yet, you might want to hold back on the gratitude.”

She shrugged. “You’re helping. That’s enough for now.”

When Mayhem and Cowboy walked in my direction, I stepped off the porch and approached Soj.

“You locked the door,” he said in a quiet voice when I got close enough that no one else could hear us.

“I had work to do.”

He nodded toward the porch, where Mayhem was sitting on the top step, Millie’s head resting on his thigh. “Who is he to you?”

“An old friend. Not that it’s any of your business.”

Soj raised a brow. “You are my business.”

I kicked at the dirt with the toe of my boot and smiled up at him. “I’m not.”

“Because of him?”

I rested my hands on his forearms. “Because of me.”

“Do you want me to leave?”

I kicked the dirt again and looked over at the porch, itching for a hit off one of Soj’s smokes. “No.”

“But you will lock the door.” He pulled out a cigarette and lit it.

I snatched it from his mouth and took a hit. “We’re workin’ a case. An important one. I’m not going to have much free time. You know what I’m sayin’?”

He nodded. “You want me to leave.”

I took another hit, handed the smoke back to him, and walked away. “Come to dinner tonight,” I said over my shoulder.

Mayhem absentmindedly stroked my dog’s head as he watched me walk toward him. Yeah, my face might look like crap, but my body was a different story. I worked hard to keep it in shape. More so since I left the FBI and had little else to do.

I was tiny but packed a big punch, as my great-grandmother used to say. At five feet four and one hundred and twenty pounds, a strong wind could probably blow me over. However, it was my “perfect hourglass figure”— again, something my great-grand said— that caused men to stare in the same way Mayhem was now. I didn’t doubt Soj was equally fixated on my backside.

“Who is he?” Mayhem asked when I got closer.

I laughed. “Verbatim what he said.”

“Did you respond?”

“Yep.” I walked past him. “Come on, Millie. We’ve got work to do.” She didn’t follow me, the bitch. Instead, she waited until Winslow, Cowboy, and Mayhem came inside. Actually, just Mayhem.

“Wow,” Winslow muttered when I led her into the room where I’d set up various whiteboards. Two for victims, two for suspects, two more for questions, and finally, two more for evidence. I had more stored in a back bedroom if we needed them.

“Looks like the one you brought,” Cowboy said to Mayhem.

“She always outdid me.”

“Bathroom’s down the hall. Fridge is full of stuff to drink. We’ll figure out what to eat as we go. Soj can get takeout.” I looked over at Mayhem, who was holding a framed photo of my great-grandmother and me.

“How is Meemaw?” he said, placing the frame where it had been. “What is she? One hundred and—”

“Three,” I answered before he finished the question. She’d turned one hundred less than a month after I walked out on Mayhem and swore I’d never look back. Meemaw had let me cry on her shoulder, then told me to buck the hell up when she decided she’d seen enough of my tears.

I’d been named for my beloved great-grandmother— Grace Hanadarko— and it was Mayhem who’d first called me by her last name. It stuck and soon replaced my previous code name— Huntress— which I detested. However, no one we worked with on what would be my final case knew its significance.

“She’s quite a lady.”

My eyes met his. I knew what he was up to. When he’d referred to her that way when they first met, she responded by saying she wasn’t a damn lady; she was a “fucking broad.”

It wasn’t just me who swore like a sailor. As the story went, one of my first words was “shit,” after spending an afternoon with her. My Geepaw, her son, gave her a boatload of grief about it until, less than five minutes later, my own mama blurted the word.

“Let’s get started,” I snapped, hating that I’d introduced him to the woman who meant more to me than anyone else on the planet. Then I’d put him in second place, even over my parents and grandparents.

“I’ll go grab your board,” offered Cowboy.

“I’ll get it,” Mayhem countered, already walking out the door.

“I’ll forewarn you; I can get a little intense,” I said after he was out of earshot.

The smirk on Cowboy’s face told me he’d already been briefed on my investigation style. Truth was, I preferred to work alone— until Mayhem. He was the only man, only person, I’d worked with who could actually keep up. While the rest of the agents might be able to toss a thought in, here or there, Mayhem was right there with me, firing as fast as I did. God, it had been exhilarating. I hated how much I missed it. Now, here I was, about to jump back in with both feet.

Fuck.
Heather Slade. Code Name: Mayhem (Kindle Locations 461-521). K19 Shadow Operations Team One Book Five.

As they go over everything, I start to wonder about the case myself. Have I guessed correctly or am I going to be surprised.

Okay I was surprised. There’s so much that gets resolved in this book and I truly loved the way everything comes together.

Intrigue and suspense abound, and there is also action, sizzle and romance that rounds the series out.

I can’t wait to start reading the new series!

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Heather Slade

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

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

She loves to hear from her readers.


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Abandon Ship – Love at Sea Book 6 by Karigan Hale



Abandon Ship
Love at Sea Book 6
By
Karigan Hale

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A jilted bride
with trust issues.
A disgraced photographer
with something to prove.
A Love at Sea cruise
determined to distract them both.

Abby

Instead of walking down the aisle, my fiancé walked out the door. So I’m taking our honeymoon cruise without him. I’ll enjoy seven perfect days of endless margaritas, pristine beaches, and island excursions even more with my best friend instead. What I need is a complete break from ANYTHING akin to romance. Complete break. That includes the tempting Grayson Hamilton, I remind myself. No matter how much of a crush I had on him back in high school. No matter how lickable his abs turned out to be. I AM ON A BREAK!

Grayson

Scoring my dream job with the industry’s leading travel magazine was a lucky break. Unfortunately, I’m just about out of luck. This all-expenses-paid cruise my employer sent me on is my last chance to save my reputation. I have to stay focused despite all the beautiful, single women on this Love at Sea cruise. Yep. Focused. Focused on my job. NOT on my best friend’s little sister, all grown up and smoking hot, looking like she needs someone to help her get over her freshly broken heart. On second thought, maybe a little distraction couldn’t hurt. Maybe an offer of a no-strings-attached rebound will help get her out of my system. Then I can concentrate on saving my career before we both abandon ship.

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There’s nothing worse than being jilted a day before your wedding, it’s been months and now Abby is going on the cruise that was to be her honeymoon with her best friend Jazz.

It’s an unexpected surprise when she literally runs into Greyson. He was one of her brother’s best friends and soccer teammate back in high school. He’s a travel photographer doing an article on the cruise.

Unbeknownst to either of them, there was a mutual crush back then. This cruise just may be the way to see if that can grow into something more.

With the help of Jazz, Abby proceeds with her plans to put everything regarding the wedding and whole jilted bride thing behind her. Including wreaking the dress with Greyson photographing the whole thing.

Lots of fun and laughter as well as a touch of drama as this delightful tale unfolds. A bit of presumed betrayal, some tears but plenty of romance and a touch of sizzle too.

5 Contented Purrs for Kerigan!

Copyright 2022 @Karigan Hale

I am reinventing myself. I’m a ME not a WE. Since I’m no longer Asshole’s fiancée, I can be anything I want to be. I could be a recovering circus performer who left the big top for big adventure. I could be a famous yet reclusive novelist willing to show my face for the first time. I could be a rich German heiress just waiting on wire transfers from my father— oh wait, that’s already been done.

I could definitely be carefree and happy and not have people look at me like I’m going to crack with the slightest provocation. I can find myself again or become someone new or entwine the two together.

As we pass the group of oglers, I smile brightly and toss my hair, as Jazz instructed. Instead of looking cool and collected, I am momentarily blinded by the sun and miss the small step to the ramp, pitching me forward into the crowd.

“Oh!” I exclaim, tuning out the chuckles from the guys beside us.

“Shit, Abby. You okay?” Jazz asks, trying to grab my elbow to help steady me. She misses.

Luckily, my fall is broken by the person in front of us.

Unluckily, my nose ends up embedded in his ass crack. I grab his thighs to keep myself from sliding down his backside. He clenches his muscles in surprise, but that only makes my face smoosh harder into his ass. I’m sucking in his khaki shorts instead of air, but if I let go, I will face-plant onto the gangway. So, I hold on until I can get my feet under me and pray I don’t pass out from lack of oxygen. I can imagine the headline: “Jilted Woman Suffocates in Man’s Ass on Love Cruise.”

Jazz grabs my arms and helps me to stand. I suck in air, trying not to gag on the exhaust.

“At least buy the man dinner first,” she quips.

The man I bumped into glances over his shoulder with a frown. I give him a sheepish smile and a finger wave. “Crowds, am I right?”

He nods, lips twitching, and turns back around, putting his earbud back in his ear. The gesture and the way his dark hair falls over his forehead slams me with déjà vu, but I can’t think of why. I shake off the feeling. I’m just too mired in memories today.

I can’t help but glance at his backside now that I’m at a distance to examine it. It looks damn good in the shorts he’s wearing. If I had to face plant into a butt today, I’m glad it was a nice one.

“Well, that’s one way to make an impression,” Jazz says, suppressing a laugh as we follow the slowly moving crowd up the ramp to board the ship. “I didn’t peg you for being into ass play. I guess what they say about school teachers is true.”

I roll my eyes at her. “Go on. Get it all out of your system so we never have to mention this again. Like ever.” I groan. “I’m so not good at this flirting thing. I’ll be your wingman and live vicariously through your overly friendly vagina. Just put a sock on the door if you don’t want me walking in.”

Her eyes widen. “That’s not a bad idea. I mean, the sock on the door is a little too obvious, but we should have a signal for when we need some alone time.” She taps a manicured nail against her lips, thinking.

I wave my cell phone in front of her face. “We could just text each other. Something like, ‘If you don’t want to see my amazing tits bouncing on a stick, stay out of the room for an hour.’”

She laughs. “That’s not quite as fun, but it works.”

As we inch our way along the gangway to check-in, I can’t help flicking my eyes back to the stranger in front of us. The sense of “I know him from somewhere” is very strong. A parent to one of my students? Another teacher or coach at the high school where I teach? Someone I’ve seen around town?

Jasmine’s shrill squeal brings me out of my trip down memory lane— it was too foggy to see anything clearly anyway.

“Oooo, get a picture of me in front of the check-in booth.

And I’ll get one of you too.” She shoves her phone into my hand and pretends to blow a kiss at the screen. I’m distracted by her over-the-top poses and trying to find the camera amongst her bazillion phone apps, so I miss the man’s name as he checks in.

“Next please?” the woman at the check-in booth says with a forced smile. Her cheeks must hurt by the end of the day.

“Sorry,” I say, handing over my passport to her and the phone to Jazz. Jazz does the same.

“Welcome aboard, Abigail Winters and Jasmine Bucolo. You will be in Sea Terrace 13090A.”

Jazz squeals. “That’s my favorite number!”

The cruise member doesn’t lose her bright, customer service smile. She’s like the guards at Buckingham Palace— nothing shakes her. “Great.” She draws out the word. She goes through a rote welcome speech.

After she puts the electronic bracelet around my wrist— an atrocious looking, slide-adjusted, cloth band connected to a bulky silver box that will open our cabin door, act as a passport onto and off of the ship, and be used to access ship amenities— I shuffle through the turnstile and wait for Jazz to get hers.

I’m looking at the cheeky inscription on the bracelet— Feeling’ Nauti— when a deep male voice startles me. “Excuse me.”

I jump a little and turn to face the man I bumped into earlier. My face heats to match the red carpet of the entrance way.

“I’m so sorry for earlier. I don’t normally grope strangers. I tripped and—”

“It was an accident. That isn’t why I stopped you. I— uh— this is weird, but did I hear your name is Abby Winters?”

I tilt my head at him, the fog of embarrassment lifting. And holy shit. “Grayson Hamilton?”

A broad smile lights up his face, smoothing out the strong angles, and my memories start clicking into place. Grayson and my brother dominating the soccer field in high school. Grayson and the rest of my brother’s annoying friends teasing me to no end. Grayson’s adorable, crooked smile. Grayson dominating my fevered teenaged dreams.

“Little Breezy Winters. Of all the cruise ships in all the world, you had to board this one.” He holds out his hand.

I laugh a little too loudly and take his hand. “God, no one’s called me Breezy in years. In fact, I think you and the rest of Alex’s soccer friends were the only ones who ever did. How are you?”

Besides really freaking hot. His handsome features— that I used to discretely study more than my homework… but in a not-at-all creepy way— have filled out into strong manly angles. Small lines form around his mouth and deep brown eyes when he smiles. In short, he has aged very, very yummily.

No, I scold myself. I am most definitively on a break from men.

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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Karigan Hale

Karigan Hale is a writer, reader, wife, mother, teacher, and photographer. She married her high school sweetheart and has been a hopeful romantic ever since.

She’s highly susceptible to sudden summer thunderstorms and happily ever afters. Highly allergic to poison ivy and early mornings. And highly addicted to fountain sodas and true crime.

When she’s not reading or writing swoon-worthy romances, she’s usually stalki…er, chasing her two daughters around with her camera, grading papers, or cleaning up after the animals on her
mini-farm (at least emus, goats, chickens, dogs, and cats are cute, right?).

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About The Love at Sea Series

Get ready to set sail through the Caribbean on Festival Cruises’ most alluring voyage with eight of your favorite authors – happily ever after guaranteed!

Experience everything the Love at Sea series has to offer. From speed dating to masquerades, guests are sure to enjoy the hot days and steamy nights. Explore hidden waterfalls, swim with dolphins, and watch as eight couples find their forever on the open ocean.

Each story features a brand new couple and a fun trope from our amazing line up of authors including: Kate Stacy, HM Thomas, Mari Sol, S.A. Clayton, T.L. Anderson, Karigan Hale, Susan Renee, and A.M. Williams.

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

Terkel’s Twist – Terkel’s Team Book 8 By Dale Mayer


Terkel’s Twist
Terkel’s Team Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

In advance of another major attack, Terk races to Levi’s compound in Texas, where Terk finally gets to meet Celia, the woman carrying his child. Thankfully he arrives in time to protect his friends and new family from another attack, but he’s determined to get to the end of this nightmare that tried to earlier destroy his team.

Finally meeting this stranger-whose child Celia may be carrying-how could she not be suspicious? But after meeting Terk, she believes he had nothing to do with her pregnancy. Only after some deep conversations, as they peel layer from layer, do possible answers surface.

When the pieces finally come together into the most probably theory, Terk realizes how simple this whole mess really is. But solving it? … That’s a whole different story.

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When we left Terkel and the team, he was headed back to the US and Levi’s compound. It’s time to solve the mystery of Celia, the woman who is carrying his child.

Trouble is following Terk and Merk to Texas, they arrive to an almost empty compound since Levi decided to keep folks to a minimum. Celia is less than receptive to Terk, after all, she woke up in a strange place, pregnant and no recollection of how it all happened.

There’s also more to Celia than meets the eye as we find out as she asks about Terk’s abilities.

This is a favorite scene.

Celia bit her lip, not willing to share when nobody else was.

Ice nudged her gently. “The only way we’ll get to the bottom of this is if everybody opens up.”

“You mean, like why somebody won’t tell me what Terk’s ability is?” she muttered out loud, staring directly at Terk.

Hearing her voice, Terk was roused from his musings. “Sorry, what was that?”

“I want to know what is so special about you? Why you?”

His gaze suddenly narrowed, and he gave a clipped nod. “I guess that’s fair.” He sat down beside her.

With Ice on one side and him on the other, Celia suddenly felt squished between two very large personalities. Yet oddly enough, she didn’t feel threatened. It was a strange feeling, almost as if she were protected. She frowned and tried hard to refocus her attention on what Terk was saying.

“I know things,” Terk claimed, with a shrug. “I don’t always know what I need to know, and I certainly don’t always know things that would be helpful,” he explained, “but I get premonitions, and … I work with energy. I assembled a team with varying abilities of their own, and we’ve been quite effective as a unit.”

“Doing what?” Celia asked.

“We were a black ops division of the US government stationed out of Paris,” he explained. “Just after they shut us down out of the blue”— he stopped to collect his thoughts—“ my entire team was attacked.”

She sucked in a breath and stared at him, wide-eyed.

“I haven’t ruled out our own government’s involvement. Subsequent attacks have continued.”

She winced at that. “Why would anyone do that?”

“Because we know too much,” he stated boldly.

Such honesty was in his voice that she didn’t doubt him. “Know too much or can do too much?”

His lips twitched at that. “If it was the government, I can only assume it’s because they decided we were dangerous.”

She sucked in her breath, and he looked over at her, with a gaze so intense, it sent shivers down her spine. “Dangerous in what way?”

“We can do things,” he said, pinning her with a sharp look that she felt to her soul. “We know things that nobody else should be allowed to know.” He shrugged. “But, if you’re thinking that I know what you did yesterday or something like that, you’re wrong. I can’t read your mind either.” He shook his head. “I get hit out of the blue with all kinds of stuff, sometimes helpful, sometimes not.”

At that, Merk walked into the room, sat down, and looked at them sitting side by side. “And Terk can do a lot more than that, which is why he was recruited by the government in the first place. And, since he’s been there, they have successfully completed an amazing number of missions. But sometimes the creation becomes something beyond the original intent, and not all have the ability to contain it or to control it.”

Celia sat back and felt everything inside her stilling, given this information. “I might have an idea,” she murmured, “about why I was chosen.”

Immediately everybody turned to look at her, and she looked over at Ice and nodded. “I was right.”

Ice reached across to pick up her chilled fingers, then gently squeezed her hand. “Go on.”

Celia took a deep breath, but just then Levi walked in. Realizing that something important was going on, he sat down. She took a deep breath. “I ran a test group, doing research on psychic phenomena,” she admitted. “I’m a scientist, and I was researching superhuman abilities and the possibility of the impossible. I had grants for studying all kinds of abilities,” she murmured.

Terk looked at her. “Like the electrodes to the head testing?” She smirked. “Well, I suppose that’s one way to test, but that’s not the way I was testing. We were doing a lot of work, especially with aquakinesis, what some might think of as spoon-bending stuff.”

Terk nodded slowly. “And what makes you think that would have put you onto somebody’s radar?”

She looked over at Terk and saw the understanding in his gaze. “My research would do that. Particularly if Stone’s theory is right.”

“The one about creating more of you?” Merk asked, an eyebrow up.

“Yes.” Terk looked over at Celia. “You were doing the testing because you have abilities, don’t you?”

She nodded slowly. “I do, but it’s not something that has ever really been ratified. And honestly, they’ve been very dulled since I woke up here. From the drugs I suppose, so I am not sure I have any now.”

“Ratification is for governments,” Terk noted. “For those of us in the field, it’s not something we need.”

“Might not be something you need,” she murmured, “but competing for grant money to study it means you have to have some proof. Now”— she shrugged—“ I might need a career change.”

“How well-known are you in your field?”

She shrugged again. “Not at all really, but there was definitely some outcry when I got the grant money. A few detractors thought I had abilities to somehow influence the grant award decision.”

He snorted at that. “Not sure what abilities you have.” He studied her with that same liquid gaze that rattled her spine and seemed to see right through her.

Celia stated, “I can sense energy.” She wasn’t sure if that would be enough for them. She didn’t want to go into too much detail at this point.

“Nice.”

He was trying to put her at ease and obviously saw what she wasn’t saying.

“Give them time to resurface. Drugs can blunt them for quite a while.”

“So someone decided that a cross between the two of us would make children who would do what we do?” Celia asked Terk.

“I have no idea,” Terk murmured. “Of all the crazy things I’ve dreamed up over time, that is not one that occurred to me.”

She snorted. “Well, I’m not the kind of person who walks around expecting terrorist groups to be looking for a secret weapon either.”

“No? That’s my department,” he said, with half a smile. “But somehow taking my sperm and utilizing it in this way never occurred to me.”

“Is that even possible?” Levi asked, his tone somber.

Ice immediately nodded. “Yes, sperm can be aspirated many ways, but I keep going back to the fact that you’d have to be unconscious.”

Terk’s gaze lifted, and he studied her for a moment. “I was in the hospital, remember?”

“I do, and, from what you told me, you were comatose for a few days.”

“A little longer than they thought was normal,” he murmured.

At that, she winced. “What are the chances you were deliberately put under? Deliberately attacked for just this reason?”

“Probably way too high for my liking,” he replied. He crossed his arms, then leaned back against the chair, but it was obvious from the ticking of a muscle at his jawline that the news bothered him.

At that, Ice turned and looked at Celia. “What about you?”

“I was supposed to have an ovary removed because I’d been having some problems.”

“Was it about the same time?”

She winced. “Yeah, you could say that. Also at the time I was having trouble with a stalker. And honestly, I didn’t have any remembrance of it, but I assumed that I’d been attacked and raped by him.”

At that, Terk sucked his breath back. “Well, you can bet it wasn’t me.”

She looked at him. “And you can bet I had nothing to do with what happened to you. And yet, the bottom line is, this child exists.”

He looked at her and repeated, “Child?”

At that, her lips twitched. “I know. I was trying not to say it out loud.”

“Say what?” Levi asked, confused.

“What’s going on?” Ice asked, having picked up on interchange between them.

“I’m carrying …” Celia began.

At the same time, Celia and Terk voiced the ultimate truth together in unison.

“Twins.”
Dale Mayer. Terkel’s Twist (Kindle Locations 573-640). Valley Publishing Ltd..

With that bit of information, things start to make more sense. Although it’s still bazaar and quite frankly more premeditated than initially thought.

As they ready for an attack they manage to get a big heads up from surveillance cameras. Then the fun begins.

From start to finish this book is filled with intrigue, suspense and action. I can’t wait for the final book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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Demon in My Cell – My Demon Lords Book 2 by Sydney St. James


Demon in My Cell
My Demon Lords Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Syndey St. James

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

I’ll play your villain but beware,
I bite back.

Betrayed by one of our own, I’m now a living trophy of the Luminous Court’s victory. But all is not right on the continent. A murderer stalks the halls of elves while a monster rattles the foundations of the castle. I’m alone, powerless, and speeding toward a terrible end. I can’t wait on my demon lovers to rescue me.

I used to think I lived in a cage, now I know what it’s truly like. Every night I search for a way back to the demons who have my heart and every day I play cat and mouse with the man who wants to destroy everything I love.

The dungeons of the Luminous Court house a terrible secret. A prisoner more fearsome than me. My unexpected ally could spell my death or salvation. In this terrible place, we only have each other. I fear my heart is already lost to the creature that stalks the depths of the dungeon.

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If you haven’t read the first book in this series, STOP! Go back and read it, this one begins where that one ends.

Lioria and Shax are pulled into the dome where their enemy awaits. Shax realizes his plan to free the real Alastor not only failed he’s now captured with her.

We meet Dain Grevyre, he sits on Lucient Throne, powerful and most definitely evil. He kills all that are with him except for his captured prizes. This all happens while Lioria’s dagger harasses her in her mind.

With Shax collared with Enochian runes, he can’t access his demon self and with the lei lines unavailable he pulls on wild magic to escape, vowing to come back for Lioria and Alastor.

There are many things that make me cry in the beginning of this book, but Lioria is so strong. Frankly, I wanted to smack the dang dagger, but really got a kick out of her naming it Daggie. Forced to live within the court wearing a spelled iron mask, Lioria doesn’t give up hope.

While Lioria makes a place for herself in the stables, Eligos and Belial come to the realization that the Alastor they know is not who they think. The worst happens when Oriax is compelled by Valac to cuff the two of them and they are imprisoned. Of course, the cuffs have Enochian runes to block their demons and their magic.

I think one of my favorite parts of this book is when Lioria finds the old castle and the dungeons. She will be making some unusual friends down there. But most importantly she finds the real Alastor.

This is one of my favorite scenes on her second visit.

I peer around us searching for any guards, but it’s just all manner of beings existing in this maddening situation.

The torch in front of Alastor’s cell has gone out, and the shadows beyond the stone tunnel are thick and deep. Silence greets me and I have to wonder, is Alastor there now?

“It’s just me,” I say as I step into the tunnel. “Remember me from last night? I think I said if you’d let me go I’d bring you something. I’m here to make good on my promise, okay?” Compared to last night’s snarling I find the silence vastly more unsettling.

I stand there shrouded in shadow trying to see more in the darkness beyond.

“Are you there? Alastor? Did they take you away?” I whisper.

A low rumble eases the tension banding my chest. I sigh and grasp the torch, walking it back to the entrance. The rumbling follows me, rising in timber until I return and it settles into something like a cat’s purr.

“You sound like Belial right now.” I cross to the bars and follow them to where I passed through last night. “I miss him. And Eligos. I can’t imagine what this must be like for you.”

The darkness on the other side of the flat bars blinks brilliant red eyes at me. I gasp and take a step back, only I can’t. Something is around my waist. It’s just tight enough to press into my wounds. I hiss and the red gaze narrows.

“P-please, that hurts.”

“He’s a fucking demon. He probably gets off on hurting you,” Daggie says.

I take Daggie from where he’s resting between the strips of cloth I’ve used to bind my breasts and slide him into my pocket. Right now, I’m not interested in his commentary. I know that this demon might not be Alastor. I also know he could kill me. But if I have to choose my end, it will not be at Dain’s hands.

The demon’s grip around me eases and what feels like a much thinner version of Eligos’ tail trails down my hips then up one arm. It’s an inquisitive touch.

“Thank you.” I take a step toward the bars and flatten my hands against the metal. “Our least favorite person, um, he whipped me. Yesterday. I, um… It…”

The sound of the whip whistling through the air is burned into my memory. Thus far, I’ve held onto my sanity by not thinking terribly hard about anything except what I do next. I stay focused on the future, not the past. But it’s always there. Waiting for me to slip up.

Whatever he’s touching me with slides down my arm to wrap around my hand and tug. I squeeze him back and smile, though he can’t see it.

“Thanks,” I mutter. “I know it’s probably nothing compared to what you’ve been through…”

The rumble starts up again and I think this demon is trying to comfort me.

I push the memories down and square my shoulders. “Enough of that, right? I brought you something to eat.”

He tugs me closer to the cage.

“Want me to join you?” I ask, only slightly nervous to be in the cage again.

The rumble is louder for a moment. “Alright… How did we do this last night? I can’t see…”

The thin tail guides me to the cavern wall and I feel about until I find the opening barely big enough to allow me to slide in.

If Alastor was able to turn human again he could quite possibly walk out of here.

A hand so large it spans my forearm grasps me gently. My eyes have adjusted so I can make out his human flesh in the darkness. But only barely. I don’t know if my mind shrank him, but he seems so much bigger today. He would easily dwarf Belial in his demonic form, and this is only a half-shifted state.

The demon guides me slowly across the cage to the far corner where the bed of straw is. The shadows are deeper and it’s harder to see him. But maybe that’s for the best? In the darkness I can imagine this is Alastor in whatever form I want.

I hear the rustle of straw and his gaze lowers. I think he wants me to sit with him.

After all the cruelty Dain has shown this creature, he’s so very polite to me.

I hold out my hands to find something to hold on to. “Can I sit next to you?”

Another thin tail-like appendage wraps around my other hand. Tentacles then? I wish I could recall more of what I’d seen of him last night. He’s just so big and I never got a look at all of him because he was so close the entire time.

“Are these your tails? Something else?” I ask despite not expecting an answer.

Whatever they are tug me down so I sit, choosing blind faith, and perch on a very muscular, firm thigh.

“Oh, well, um… Okay. I feel like this is where I should remind you that I’m very committed to Belial and Eligos.” My heart twinges, because that’s not the whole truth. The rest is complicated.

The rumbling swells and dips. I turn so that I can look up at him. “Are you laughing at me?”

The red, glowing eyes tilt away from me.

“I think you are laughing at me.” I sigh. “Are you Alastor? Can you tell me?”

Silence greets that question.

“Fine.” I fish out more of the delicate food and hold it out. “But don’t be surprised if I call you demon, okay?”

There’s a slight snarling sound that makes the hair on my arms stand on end.

“Okay, you don’t like that. Then, Alastor?”

The purring resumes and the food vanishes off my hand.

“You’re very quick, aren’t you?” I peer at the lighter part of the shadows where he’s human and offer him another bite-sized thing. “Did you know a sun elf named Naexi?”

The demon pauses with his fingers carefully pinching the food, our hands connected, and I get the sense he’s studying me.

“Is that a yes?” I sigh and decide this much is at least safe to tell him. “She and I got to be friends. It was quick and then some stuff happened. She had to go home because she got sick. And today Dain brought her here to be his wife. I don’t know what it means and I’m worried for myself and her.”

Alastor takes the food and I offer more. The rumbling, purr-like sound is comforting and I feel the tension easing within me. My concerns aren’t gone, but they seem lighter down here in the darkness with this demon. They shouldn’t, but I’m beyond trying to force things to make sense at this point. The day I left Suncrest was truly the beginning of something new, but I’m done being swept along by demons and events. I’m going to free us and I’m going to decide my path from here.
Sydney St James. Demon in My Cell ARC (Kindle Locations 1916-1963). Inked Press.

Naexi finds her room in the stables and makes it far more comfortable as they piece together what has occurred since they were together.

I think I was holding my breath through much of this book, there is so much going on, and much that has consequences for many. Old and new friends, additional enemies, plenty of action and a new romance of sorts and there’s some sizzle as well.

I warn you it’s a bit of a cliffhanger but not too terrible. Just enough to make you want the next book now!

5 Contented Purrs for Sydney!

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Sydney St. James is the pen name of NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Sidney Bristol. The best part is that Sydney doesn’t have to choose. Welcome to a world of fantastical tales where the choices open doors.

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Never Rescue a Rogue – Merriwell Sisters Book 2 by Virginia Heath


Never Rescue a Rogue
Merriwell Sisters Book 2
By
Virginia Heath

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Diana Merriwell and Giles Sinclair only tolerate one another for the sake of their nearest and dearest. Everyone believes that the two of them are meant to be together, but Diana and Giles know that their constant pithy barbs come from a shared disdain—not a hidden attraction. Diana loves the freedom of working at the newspaper too much to give it up for marriage, and Giles is happily married to his bachelor lifestyle. But they do have one thing in common—the secrets they can’t risk escaping.

When Giles’ father, the curmudgeonly Duke of Harpenden unexpectedly turns up his toes, it’s only a matter of time before someone comes crawling out of the woodwork who knows the true circumstances of his only son’s birth. As the threat of blackmail becomes real, Giles must uncover the truth of his parentage first, or else he and all those who depend upon him will be ruined—and dogged bloodhound Diana is his best hope at sniffing out the truth. As Giles and Diana dive into his family’s past, the attraction that the two of them insisted wasn’t there proves impossible to ignore. Soon, the future of the Sinclair estate isn’t the only thing on the line…

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The Duke of Harpenden has a ‘Dirty Secret’ and apparently someone has found out something about it. this has him scurrying to wed a woman half his age to beget an heir. The thing is he has an heir, Giles, Lord Bellingham.

Giles found out four years ago that the duchess wasn’t his mother. He’s confronted the duke and has had to face that truth. His whole life is a lie perpetuated for the good of the duchy. Now he’s confronting the duke once again about an engagement announcement he’s heard about thinking it’s him facing a fait accompli. He’s surprised and angered that the duke is remarrying he knows this man and he’s cruel to everyone he doesn’t consider an equal, he doesn’t even socialize or have any friends that Gile’s knows of. Giles on the other hand treats everyone with kindness and respect.

When his best friend Hugh, the Earl of Farnham married Minerva Merriwell, he moved her sisters into his home. Diana has reached her majority and is an independent soul, working for The Times editing. Although the family suspects she is behind much of the gossip that appears. It’s Diana who gave Giles the news about the impending announcement.

When Giles shows up to speak with Hugh, he appears disheveled and lacks his usual casual flair. Although he declines the offer initially, Hugh’s mother Olivia convinces him to stay for dinner. While they are finishing the first course his manservant Dalton shows up with the news the Duke of Harpender has died.

It’s Dalton who suggests the only hope of finding the truth of Giles’ birth is with Diana’s help.

This is a fun and suspenseful tale, with plenty of twists, turns, romance and sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Virginia!

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Virginia Heath

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Twenty books and two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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Hidden Witch – Torrent Witches Cozy Mysteries Book 3 by Tess Lake


Hidden Witch
Torrent Witches Cozy Mysteries Book 3
By
Tess Lake

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Harlow Torrent, part-time journalist and full-time Slip Witch is hot on the trail of an arsonist.

But who is behind the deadly fires? Someone working for their own evil ends or a fire spirit acting according to its nature? Or perhaps a magical power hidden away?

Between dealing with sleazy real estate developers intent on getting their hands on Torrent Mansion, a teenage Slip Witch who just might be the Queen of Sarcasm, a talking magical cat who smells like lavender, and an AWOL potential future boyfriend, Harlow would love nothing more than a peaceful Summer.

But when a special arson investigator arrives in town with his sights set on Harlow, she has to fight to clear her name!

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If you haven’t read the other books in this series, go back and read them. This book starts where that one left off.

In the last book Harlow’s slip caused her to see clips of the past as she works to solve the murder of the skeletons they found. In those are clues to something, she just doesn’t quite know what.

This book opens with a series of fires. Starting with a warehouse, then a vacant rental home and now this one. Unfortunately, in this latest fire the occupant died of smoke inhalation so if it was indeed arson, then it’s also murder. With her history with fire Harlow doesn’t want to report on a fire especially if it’s possibly arson.

She’s also waiting for Jack to return from cleaning up his affairs in Canada, that’s taken longer than he expected.

She gets a bit of a heads up from Sheriff Hardy about the arson special investigator, who’s coming to town. Apparently, he’s connected her to the fire in her apartment building (attributed to faulty wiring) that caused her to come back to Harlot Bay and the subsequent fire in the house on the Torrent property that had the family moving back into the main mansion. We can’t forget that fire from the first book when a kettle on a stove started the fire in Zero Storm’s rental, after she had been there. Oh, and let’s not forget the fireworks explosion and fire the first night with guests at the newly opened Torrent Mansion Bed and Breakfast. That one had some interesting consequences for Harlow.

In an interesting turn of events, real-estate agent and developer, Dominic Gresso, stops by wanting to buy the mansion. Mentioning that April Torrent is the owner of record, and he can’t find her to talk to. That brings up hackles on Aunt Cass as she swiftly gets rid of him. April is Cass’s sister and Harlow’s grandmother who is frozen in time in the basement. No one know when she will awaken, they are just confident she will one day.

You’d think that would be enough for an opening, but it goes one step further. In an unexpected move, Hattie Stern drops off her granddaughter Kira to be trained by Aunt Cass. Like Harlow and Cass, Kira is a slip witch and there’s concern that the fires may have been caused by her slipping. Aunt Cass is also having Harlow get involved.

This is a favorite scene.

“The two of you are not going to talk about what you’re about to see today, okay?” Aunt Cass said, pointing a finger at both of us.

“Um… okay?” Kira said.

“Enough with the dramatics,” I said.

“Snitches end up in ditches,” Aunt Cass said, wiggling her finger at me. “This way.”

We followed her back through the kitchen and down the stairs into the basement. Grandma, as usual, was standing in the back corner, still frozen in time with her hands out in front of her. She had a concealment spell on her, which excluded family members. Aunt Cass waved a hand and Kira gasped as Grandma appeared.

“Oh my Goddess,” she said.

“Tell anyone and I’ll curse you back to the Stone Age,” Aunt Cass said. She grabbed the flashlight by the door that led to the underfloor of the house.

“What happened to her?”

“She attempted some dangerous magic,” Aunt Cass said.

Unbelievable. She won’t tell us a thing, but the moment someone from outside the family shows up, she spills that Grandma attempted some dangerous magic?

Aunt Cass flicked on the flashlight and opened the old door, and we followed her in.

“Be careful where you walk. Some of the floorboards are rotting and there’s another entire story below us,” I told Kira.

She didn’t say anything but did turn on her phone light.

At first I thought we were heading for Aunt Cass’s underground laboratory, but then we took a right instead of a left and headed down a corridor I was sure I’d never seen before. It ended in a heavy door. Aunt Cass grunted when she opened it.

We followed her into a room that looked like something out of a serial killer’s fantasy.

You know in those cop shows how there is always a moment when they have the big map covered with strings and pins and there are photographs stuck to the wall and random newspaper articles all over the place? Aunt Cass done that to this room. One entire wall was a gigantic map of Harlot Bay and its surrounds. I counted at least eight different pin colors. Tangled around the pins were bits of crisscrossed thread with no apparent pattern. The map had question marks and notes written all over it.

I walked over to the map to take a closer look and then felt a push of magic from behind me. Between one blink and the next, most of the pins on the map vanished, leaving only a few red ones behind.

She’d seriously cast a concealment spell to stop me from looking at the map?

“What did you do that for?” I asked, turning around. I saw the rest of the walls were blank now too.

“I need you to help me with this, and all the rest of that stuff would just confuse you,” Aunt Cass said, fixing me with a challenging look.

Or you just like showing off, I thought.

“You need us to help you?” Kira asked.

“Around the beginning of the summer, something set off a magical fire in my stash of fireworks up in one of the cottages behind the mansion. They destroyed many hundreds of dollars’ worth of stock and cost me possibly thousands of dollars’ worth of profit. I have been investigating this for some months and have come to the conclusion it appears to be a magical entity of some type. Given the recent fires in Harlot Bay, I believe we are dealing with a fire spirit of some kind, and I need your help, both of you, to track it down.”

“A fire spirit? So all the red pins are recent fires?” I asked.

“All reported and unreported fires I’ve been able to discover. Whatever it is keeps moving around, so what I need you to do is take the three beacons over there and place them in three specific locations so we can triangulate a position for whatever this thing is. Understand?”

The beacons were essentially pieces of carved crystal, with a raven’s feather and some other bits and pieces, bound up with string.

“You think the fire yesterday out on the coast was caused by a fire spirit?” I asked.

Duh, that’s what she just said,” Kira said to me.

“I like her. She gets it,” Aunt Cass said. She picked up the beacons and handed them to Kira while I tried not to glare.

“You’ll be in charge of these. Here are the addresses of the places where I need you to put them up. Now get going. I need it done right now.”

Aunt Cass waved the list of addresses at me.

“Wait, I want more information. If there is a fire spirit somewhere in Harlot Bay, what are you going to do with it when you find it?”

Aunt Cass shrugged.

“I’m not sure yet. Maybe trap it and deport it. Or if it won’t cooperate, I might have to extinguish it.”

“Let’s do it. I’m ready,” Kira said.

Teenagers. So easily swayed and so desperate for approval.

“Okay, give me the addresses,” I muttered.
Lake, Tess. Torrent Witches Cozy Mysteries Complete Box Set (Books 1 – 10) Kindle Locations (6352-6388). Tess Lake. Kindle Edition.

Of course, nothing is going to be simple about any of this.

Their participation in the pirate’s parade is key in Jack making quite an appearance. The investigator snoops close to home, and clues lead to more than just the fires.

I love the addition of Kira to these books, she’s snarky and fun. Adams as always has me giggling at his antics. Plus, all the new relationships that have formed grow stronger.

I am already reading the next book, as I purchased this as a complete series box set.

5 Contented Purrs for Tess!

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I’m all about Cozy Witches! Mystery, murder, magic!

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Marked for Menace – Crashed and Claimed Book 4 by Susan Hayes


Marked for Menace
Crashed and Claimed Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Hayes

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She survived impact…
But her dreams burned up on re-entry.

Spending her inheritance on a luxury cruise is the most reckless thing Hope has ever done, and she’s loving every second of it… right up to the explosion.

Now she’s stuck on a strange planet filled with countless dangers and just one chance to survive. The problem? He’s huge, scarred, and the scariest thing on this planet. He’s also the sexiest male she’s ever seen. His protection comes at a price, though. Her.

The life she envisioned is gone forever, but she might be on the brink of finding something better… if she can let go of what she wants to embrace what she needs.

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When they heard the warning signal of a vessel coming toward their planet, Mayhem, Strife and Menace were working to fix a hole in Mayhem’s roof. They stopped and prepared to fight whatever mercenaries the verexi had sent this time. Prisoners on this planet, they have had to fight for their lives many times as the verexi try to eliminate them. They’ve salvaged what they could from those they have defeated and were doing their best to build lives here. Perhaps this time there would be much more to salvage.

Hope had been getting a massage when the emergency alarms went off. The AI didn’t give her clothing back and she was stuck with just the robe and slippers. Fortunately, she ran into Rissa who got her settled into one of the escape pods.

Her landing was not smooth it was a crash and she almost choked on the suspension gel that filled the pod, she did lose consciousness though and when she woke the gel had flowed out the open pod door. The pod was floating on an inflated ring on a massive river. She wasn’t sure she had the swimming skills to make it to shore.

She balanced herself on the edge of the ring to wash off the gel and was startled by something brushing against her leg. This of course caused her to plunge into the water. Because of that she wasn’t with the pod when Menace finds it and sinks it after destroying the beacons.

He finds his quarry on a rock in the river, from what he could see unarmed and possibly asleep. He manages to get her off the rock and to the shore safely but there is still the issue of the robe she insists on wearing.

This is a favorite scene.

“My eyes are going to stay on you until I’m certain you’re not going to attack me the first time I look away. As for your first question, my gear is stashed nearby so it didn’t get wet. Unlike you, my time in the water was planned.”

“You are clearly having a better day than I am,” she grumbled. “I bet you didn’t even have to deal with your luxury cruise ship getting attacked and crashing today. Now, will you please turn around and give me a moment of privacy to get dressed?”

“Your obsession with covering up makes no sense, but if it gets you out of the water, I will turn my back. If you try anything…” He trailed off, leaving the threat unspoken.

“I’ll talk the whole time, so you know where I am.”

“Good. Tell me about the ship that brought you here.”

She counted to three before looking up. Menace had turned away, so she stood up, tugged open the loose knot she’d tied in the belt, and did her best to wring out the robe before putting it back on.

While she dressed, she told him about the Bountiful Harvest. How it was a civilian cruise ship full of females like her, not an enemy vessel. It didn’t even have weapons as far as she knew.

She didn’t dare try to undo the tow rope, so she did her best to ignore it. Once she was covered, she said, “Thank you. Now I’m ready. And you can stop threatening me. I have no intentions of doing anything stupid. If I run away, my survival time could be measured in hours. If I attack you, that time shortens to minutes or possibly seconds.”

“If what you said is true, I suspect it would be seconds,” he said. “Why were you on this cruise? What was the point?”

Oh boy. This was the bit she hadn’t wanted to admit. Could this day get any more humiliating? “It was a mating cruise. Human women pay to be pampered, travel to a few planets, and get introduced to eligible males from compatible species. Hell, we even saw a few noncompatible ones. I’m not sure what they were after, but none of them were interested in me, so I didn’t ask.”

“Why would you pay to find a mate? Did yours die?”

“Die? No. I’ve never been married or mated. I haven’t even dated much. I wanted to see the worlds and maybe fall in love with someone.” She dropped her head, embarrassed. “That didn’t happen. No one was interested in me. One of them told me I should be ashamed of myself for even trying.”

“No one?” His tone was one of utter disbelief. “Were these males defective?”

“No.” She pointed to the spots on her face. “They think I am.”

“Then they are stupid,” Menace declared and then glanced over his shoulder. He gave a light tug on the rope she still had tied around her waist. “This way. If we hurry, we can be under shelter before the worst of the storm reaches us.”

The worst of the storm? That did not sound promising. “I’ll do my best to keep up.”

He didn’t say anything else until they were both on dry land. He led her through a field of the flame-colored grass and into the trees while she did her best to look at anything besides him and his really great ass.

The grass was soft and easy to walk on, enabling her to keep up with him without too much trouble. Once they were under the vibrant orange canopy of the forest, he stopped and then turned to face her.

Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t stop herself from indulging in a brief moment of appreciation for the vision of male perfection in front of her. And yes, he was big all over, from the thick trunks of his thighs to the broad planes of his chest, and everything in between.

“Um, aren’t you going to get dressed?”

“In a moment. First, I need to do something about you.” He drew a knife from where it had been lashed to his biceps and eyed her thoughtfully.

Hope backed up until the rope tightened and she couldn’t move any farther away. The blade in his hand held all her attention, looking well-used and dangerously sharp.

“Don’t hurt me.” The words were out of her mouth before she knew it.

He scowled at her. “Are you going to hurt me?”

“No. Of course not. Not that I think I could if I wanted to, but like I already said, I have no intention of trying.”

“I have no interest in harming you unless you give me a reason.” He softened his voice and lowered the hand holding the knife.

“Then why are you holding that?” She pointed to the blade.

“To fix that thing you insist on wearing. It will slow you down as much in this forest as it did in the water.”

“Fix it how?” she asked suspiciously.

“It needs to be trimmed.” He twisted his hand around the braided leather rope, shortening it slightly and bringing him a step closer to her.

“You’re going to use that? Um, don’t you have something smaller and less lethal looking?”

He actually smiled. The expression softened his features and made the skin around his eyes crinkle. “This is the smallest blade I have. Don’t worry. I know what I’m doing.”

“You go around cutting the clothes off a lot of females?”

“No. You’ll be the first.”

“The first? You’re not filling me with confidence here.” Hope sighed and lowered her gaze. “But you’re going to do it anyway. Aren’t you?”

“I’ve never seen a female in the flesh before, so no. I have not done this before. Hold still.”

He was beside her in a second, and the next thing she knew he had hold of her left sleeve. He cut through the seam at her shoulder, the tip of the knife so close to her skin it made her shiver in fear mixed with something else. Something she didn’t expect. Anticipation?

This was insane. He’d never even seen a woman before, so whatever was going on, it wasn’t attraction. Not for him. Desperation, maybe. More likely curiosity. They weren’t even the same species, and none of this was part of any plan she’d made for her future.

It only took a minute for him to cut away both sleeves and drop them on the ground by her feet. Then he kneeled in front of her and raised the knife again.

“Whoa! What are you doing now?” she asked.

“Cutting this shorter so you can walk.”

“Oh. Right.” She crossed her now-bare arms over her chest and tried to relax. Not the easiest thing to do when a huge, naked, and insanely attractive alien was kneeling at her feet. “Don’t make it too short.”

The second the words left her lips, she wanted to take them back and replace them with something less inane and ridiculous. Of all the things she had to worry about right now, showing too much skin wasn’t even on her list.

His only response was a low grunt. He made a cut just above her knee, pulling the fabric away from her leg as he worked.

“Turn slowly.”

She did as he asked and turned in place, hyperaware of every movement as the knife trimmed away more and more of her only piece of clothing. The knife never touched her skin, and he never laid a hand on her except to move the fabric.

When he finished, he gathered up the trimmings and handed them to her.

That’s when it happened. Her hand brushed his in what should have been a brief and inconsequential contact… Only it wasn’t.

She swayed forward, leaning toward him as he rose from the ground. Her admiration of his appearance changed to something else—desire. She wanted to touch him again. To stroke his fur-covered body and feel for herself whether his muscles were as hard as they looked. She craved contact and so much more. She wanted him. Without a thought or even a scrap of sense, she dropped the bundle of fabric and splayed her hands across his hard chest.

Whatever madness had taken over, it must have infected Menace, too. Instead of pushing her away, he made a low, rumbling noise deep in his chest. He gripped the belt of her robe and used it to pull her in closer as he bent down to nuzzle the side of her neck.

His fangs grazed her skin and she trembled in anticipation, her pussy suddenly wet with desire. Her clit throbbed and her breath caught in her throat. Not long ago, she’d thought he was a monster determined to eat her. Now she wanted to devour him. What in the nine hells was happening right now?
Hayes, Susan. Marked For Menace: An Alien Fated Mates Romance (Crashed And Claimed Book 4) Kindle Locations (478-542). Black Scroll Publications Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Things heat up very quickly and they barely make it to the supply cave before the storm hits. They do begin to get to know each other beyond the attraction as well.

There’s a lot of dangerous things on this planet, and they need to survive them and get the rest of the supplies from the pod Menace sunk.

I love the way this story progresses, while it’s kindle melting sizzling it’s also heartwarming and hopeful.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Susan Hayes

Susan lives on Vancouver Island, off the Canadian west coast where the waters are patrolled by orcas, and the sighting of snowflakes leads to citywide panic. She’s jumped out of perfectly good airplanes on purpose and accidentally swum with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef.

If the world ends, she plans to survive as the spunky, comedic sidekick to the heroes of the new world, because she’s too short and out of shape to make it on her own for long.

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