ARC Review of Protecting Mari – Police and Fire: Operation Alpha by Cara Carnes

Protecting Mari
Fire and Police: Operation Alpha
Cara Carnes


Who do you turn to when the law is the problem?

Marisol hoped divorce was the key to a new life—one away from her crazy ex-husband. Instead she’s working two jobs and struggling to make ends meet as her problems escalate. Terrified and desperate for help—any help—she turns to a stranger, a man her brother swore could help with just about any problem. The answer to her problems is tall, dark, deadly and everything she’d once thought she wanted in a man. But to him she’s a job. Nothing more.

No one should fight an impossible war alone.

When Ethan founded Counterstrike he expected a challenge but nothing could have prepared him for Marisol. She’s smart, courageous, compassionate, headstrong, and everything he’s ever wanted. But her troubles come with a price tag he didn’t expect when he must face his own personal demons to keep her safe.

They’ll both soon discover the hardest battle is the one for their hearts.

Right from the start we get to see the trouble our heroine is dealing with. Thankfully her brother has given her Tex’s number with instructions to call him if she needs help.

Waking in the middle of the night to an intruder who attacks her and steals her cellphone, Marisol finds herself in a position where she can’t trust anyone. Least of all the cops who answer the call. She makes the call to Tex and the next thing she knows she has back-up.

Ethan Davenport and his siblings run Counterstrike. An organization designed to help folks in domestic situations. It’s Ethan who show up and runs interference with the police at her apartment, and then takes her to his place where she will be safe until they figure all this out.

This is a favorite scene when she wakes up in Ethan’s guest room.

Ethan had been nice, he’d gotten her away when she needed to go anywhere but where she was at. But she couldn’t let him or anyone else get hurt by Chester and the assholes who did his bidding.

“I should go.” She yanked on the bottom of her scrubs even though everything was hanging where it should. The sooner she got away from Ethan, the better for him. “Thanks for your help.”

He angled away from the entry, as if offering her room to pass. Arms crossed, his full lips thinned into a grim line. “You’re not leaving, Marisol.”

“Mari,” she corrected. “Friends call me Mari, and anyone who stands up against my ex’s asshole friends gets to be mine, whether they want to or not.”

“Well, Mari, I was raised to believe friends didn’t abandon friends having troubles. And you, sweetheart, have a big pile of those slithering all around you like an angry nest of vipers.” He took a couple steps into the room, toward the curtains and pulled them open. Sunlight filtered in from the outside, bathing the area in warm, refreshing rays. “There’s a bathroom behind you. My sister Jen lives next door. She brought over some clothes for you to use, but the pants might be a bit long. She’s taller than you.”

Mari glanced over at the pile of clothes on the edge of a gorgeous cherry wood dresser. Shock coiled through her as June Bug crawled from underneath the bed and wound around her feet. She fell to her knees and hugged her kitty close as moisture burned within her watery gaze.

“I asked Twitch to bring her here, figured she’d be happier with you,” the man commented. “And seeing a friendly face when you’re waking up somewhere strange is always welcome, especially after you’ve had a scare.”

She looked around the immaculate room, then down at her long-haired menace. To say June Bug was a troublemaker was an understatement. “Thank you. I’ll make sure she behaves. I can keep her locked in her carrier.”

“There’s no need. She’s already explored the whole house while you’ve been asleep. She and Chompers have reached a tentative understanding.”

“Chompers?” Ethan whistled, low and long. The click clack of nails across hardwood floors echoed from down the hall. She drew June Bug closer and stood as a massive German Shepherd entered the small bedroom. Tongue lolling to the side, Chompers sat on his ass at Ethan’s feet and stared at Mari and June Bug.

She rubbed June Bug’s head and took a step closer to the gorgeous dog watching her with such curiosity and enthusiasm, his entire body trembled. He whined low but remained in position. Ethan made a gesture and the animal rose, taking a step to close the distance.

And sniffed her outstretched hand. A few ear scratches later and she and Chompers were the best of buds. June Bug, on the other hand, wasn’t a fan. She hissed and growled her mock anger.

“Don’t mind her, she’s always growly at first, then she adapts,” Mari commented. “I foster dogs and kitties waiting for permanent homes quite a bit.” She bit her lip as regret filled her. “Or I used to.”

“We’ll get you back to the life you deserve to have and away from the one you’ve been forced into, Mari. It might take some effort, and fuck knows it won’t be pleasant for you, not by any stretch of the imagination.” Ethan took a couple steps forward, reached out and ran a hand along the side of her face.

The tentative graze of his fingertips sent a shockwave of awareness rippling through her. The gentle glide along the undamaged portion of her face made her heart thud hard in her chest. June Bug began purring in her arms.

“Whoever did this,” he whispered, “will pay tenfold. No one strikes a woman and gets by with it.”


The fierceness and ironclad confidence he exuded tumbled from him in thick, comforting waves. He had no doubt he’d find the bastard who’d hurt her. For the first time since she’d been woken at 3: 04 a.m., she had a firm grip on hope. Determination. Resolve.
Cara Carnes. Protecting Mari (Kindle Locations 229-260). Aces Press, LLC. Kindle Edition.

The wall of blue Mari has continually run up against, will now have a battle. Not only is Counterstrike involved but also the Arsenal. With Tex and the Quillery Edge gathering and evaluating information, plus Tex doesn’t wait as requested and calls Dax, which starts the Texas Ranger’s investigation into her ex-husband.

Mari has plenty of backup even as her ex Chester tries to implicate her in all sorts of things. I loved the inclusion of all the folks from the Arsenal series it’s a favorite of mine. Of course Tex and Dax from Susan Stoker’s series are awesome too, I love those guys!

A page turning read, with drama, suspense, romance, laughter and plenty of heat in the bedroom.

I hope Cara writes more in Susan Stoker’s Operation Alpha world, I truly enjoyed her take on everyone.

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

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Cara Carnes

Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.

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ARC Review of Good Girls Like It Dirty – Dirty Debts Book 2 by Carmen Falcone

Good Girls Like It Dirty
Dirty Debts Book 2


Monique Drummond needs to focus on studying for an exam that will open doors for her, but right now she can’t get her mind off her sexy boss. Her desire for him has some seriously racy fantasies rising to the surface and she can’t concentrate on anything other than being a hot distraction for him too.

After all, Monique isn’t sticking around much longer, and she’s all too willing to make a sinfully wicked deal with the man who wants nothing more than a thirty-day, all-access pass to her body. This good girl can be on pause for a short time while they both live out their dirty fantasies with no strings attached…

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This is an Erotic Romance, 18 or older PLEASE!

Well Dang! This book opens up with quite the sizzling scene. Much to the dismay of Monique and pleasure of her boss, Zaine.

Monique makes a quick exit and Zaine prepares for a boring dinner party. His friend Doug and his wife Paula have good intentions, but just won’t leave the fact of his impending divorce alone.

As it turns out Monique is working that event and ends up quitting due to some unfortunate circumstances. Now Paula, the one who hired her for the dinner party, has all her cleaning clients cancelling. Faced with rent and classes she is trying to figure out what to do when Zaine shows up on her doorstep.

This is a favorite scene, it’s as clean as this book gets…

“I respect you,” he said, inching closer. “Our deal is simple and painless, the same way our affair should be. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.”

“How much am I worth to you? Should I give you the numbers?” she asked, her voice acidic.

“I’m not buying you. I’m buying our time together,” he said.

The tips of his fingers burned to touch her, to plant a kiss on her shoulder and hold her. Other things should have been on his mind, such as the bid to work in the brand- new hospital that could potentially help him honor his late brother. Damn it, the whole day she’d been the only thing on his mind. He needed to get his fill of her; the make-out session at Doug’s hadn’t been enough.

“How about thirty thousand dollars a month, for the next two months? Would that be enough?” he asked, imagining her course and living expenses had to cost a third of that. Still, he wanted to give her more, so she could have the freedom to buy or experience anything she wanted.

“Thirty…thousand dollars?” she asked, her eyebrows reaching her hairline. “For…sex? Are you insane?”

“That’s exactly how you’ve made me. Let me show you…” He shortened the gap between them and pulled her into his arms, thrusting his fingers into her hair.
Falcone, Carmen. GGLiD Final (Kindle Locations 488-501). Kindle Edition.

Now Zaine’s proposition, is a lot more than sex. They play tourist and there are a couple of events, some travel and confrontations with both Paula and his almost ex- wife.

I am truly surprised my kindle didn’t melt from these two. Be sure to have plenty of water to keep hydrated! I loved the story and the heat level is white hot!

5 Contented Purrs for Carmen!

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Carmen Falcone

Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters beat doing math homework any day. Brazilian by birth and traveler by nature, she moved to Central Texas after college and met her broody Swiss husband–living proof that opposites attract.

She found in writing her deepest passion and the best excuse to avoid the healthy lifestyle everyone keeps talking about. When she’s not lost in the world of romance, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, being walked by her three crazy pugs, reading, catching up with friends, and chatting with random people in the checkout line.

She loves to procrastinate, so please indulge her and drop her a line. For more info, visit her website.

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More Iron Wolves! Xan’s Feisty Mate – Iron Wolves Book 2 By Elle Boon

Xan’s Feisty Mate
Iron Wolves Book 2
Elle Boon


Breezy has loved Xan Carmichael for years, but she’s tired of trying to get him to notice her. She’s suffered long enough and is ready to move on.

Xan didn’t want a mate, but when someone tries to harm the only woman who calls to him and his wolf, he’s ready to rip the world apart to keep her safe.

The past has a way of coming back and haunting your present, and Breezy has just become the focus of a deranged killer. Will Xan and the rest of the Iron Wolves be able to save her before whoever is out to end her life succeeds, or will the stubborn alpha claim her in time?

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Breezy has been in love with Xan for a very long time. The Alpha male just doesn’t want to admit that they’re mates.

This book opens with an attack on Breezy. After getting safely to the clubhouse, she escapes the watchful eyes of the guys when Xan does what he does best, pisses her off. Xan follows but not in time to prevent her being forced off the road.

This is a favorite scene as Xan realizes he needs his mate.

One day a woman was gonna come and knock him flat on his ass, and Xan wanted a front row seat.

“Whipped already,” Kellen said sounding disgusted.

Xan would gladly repair the vehicle if she’d wake up and look at him.

Her breathing was normal as was her heartbeat. A knot on the side of her head where the blood had come from was the only concerning thing he could see. He pressed his lips to her forehead, placing small kisses down her temple then on her lips. “Come on, love. You’re scaring the piss out of me.”

A moan escaped from her parted lips. “Xan?”

“Yeah, bella. You’re safe. I got you.” Because he couldn’t help himself, he feathered another kiss on her lips.

“What happened?” Then her body jerked as she tried to get out of his arms. “They were chasing me. My car. Oh, god. My poor car.”

Xan laughed. “I told you. She’d be worried about her precious car.” He looked down and swore he’d do anything she asked of him. “I’ll have your baby up and purring like a gem in no time. Better than it was.” Hell, he’d pull the moon down if it wiped the fear and anxiety from her face. He was so effing screwed, and didn’t that just make him happy. Now he just had to prove to one she-wolf he meant business, and wasn’t planning to let her run from him again.

“I don’t understand why they want me.” Her entire body shook.

Wyck came over to them. “I’ve got your car and Xan’s bike loaded onto the rig. Y’all ready to roll on up outta here or what?”

“What happened to your bike?” Breezy asked. He shook his head.

“It doesn’t matter. Fuck, I’d give up my left nut if it meant you were never harmed.”

She turned startled eyes up at him, clearly noticing she was draped over his naked form. “What did you do, Xan?”

“Nothing I wouldn’t do again, bella. Come on, we’ll hitch a ride with Lyric and Rowan.”
Boon, Elle. Xan’s Feisty Mate, Iron Wolves MC 2 (pp. 31-33). Elle Boon. Kindle Edition.

The thing is Breezy doesn’t trust Xan, he’s a player, plus he thinks shes been playing around too. Ah, the tangled little web.

As Xan convinces her he is worthy of being her mate, there’s also the that irritating fact someone is out to get her.

Plenty of surprises in this book, as Breezy’s past meets the present in the form of a very angry and crazy wolf.

I can’t wait to read Kellen’s story!

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

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Or Start With the First 4 Books
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Elle Boon Elle Boon

Elle Boon lives in Middle-Merica as she likes to say…with her husband, two kids, and a black lab who is more like a small pony. She’s known for her penchant of dropping F-bombs like a boss, needing coffee before she’s human, and blessing so many hearts, she is going for sainthood.

She’d never planned to be a writer, but when life threw her a curve, she swerved with it, being that she’s athletically challenged and all. She loves where this new journey has taken her. She writes what she loves to read, all things romance, whether it’s erotic, contemporary, or paranormal, as long as there is a happily ever after.

Her biggest hope is that after readers have read one of her stories, they fall in love with her characters as much as she did. She loves creating new worlds, and has more just waiting to be written. Elle believes in happily ever afters, and can guarantee you will always get one with her stories.

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A Debut Novel! Dust To Stone by Wendi Brant

Dust to Stone
Wendi Brant


War veteran Aiden Monaghan lives with PTSD and his alert dog Butler on the remote Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland. He is coping until they find a woman who lay dying on the shore near his home. Flashbacks and nightmares spin Aiden’s carefully constructed life out of control. Most disturbing of all are the feelings he develops for McKenna. She brings emotions to the surface that he has tried to forget. But when her life is threatened, he is fighting much more than his past.

DUST TO STONE is a story of struggle and acceptance, of a man overcoming invisible obstacles and reaching for a new normal. It is also a story of love, of a woman who grabs his heart with both hands and doesn’t let go through the ups and downs.

Part of the proceeds from this book will be going to Triumphant Tails an organization run by a woman who shares a similar story to Aiden. She was in the military doing her thing, had a life altering experience and now trains dogs for people in need.

This book opens by giving us a birds-eye view of Aiden’s PTSD. His flashback, the actions of his service dog Butler and the discovery of the woman on the beach are exacting in details drawing you deep into the story.

The first time McKenna wakens it is for only a brief moment, she is scared and has no memory of what happened. Fortunately Frank the owner of the local hotel remembered her and brings her belongings to Aiden. He also mentions the other person she was with and that there is no sign of him.

This is a favorite scene when she wakes up fully.

“You’re recovering from hypothermia. Keep these on, okay?”

Instinct had her pushing them away, fear had her sitting up on the couch. Warm air caressed too much skin. She looked down, horrified to see that she was almost naked. McKenna grabbed the blankets with both hands and clutched them in front of her.

“What the hell?” Her voice sounded distant and abused, her throat painful. Her heart raced as she searched chaotic memories.

Where was she? The cozy cottage living room wasn’t familiar.

God, she had to get out of here.

“Hey, it’s okay. You’re safe.” His Irish accent was rich and calming. She wanted to believe him, but she didn’t know him, where she was, or why. It hurt to try to remember. The headache was relentless.

A nudge against her lap startled her. She looked down and saw the most beautiful German shepherd staring at her. He appeared completely harmless, despite his size. He nuzzled her elbow, and she hesitated before she rubbed its head. Her fingers moved methodically over the velvety fur of its ear. The panic in her chest lessened, and breathing became easier. She supposed a serial killer wouldn’t have such a sweet dog. 

“His name is Butler.”

Butler tilted his head and pushed against her hand, trying to get closer. A small groan escaped from the black muzzle. McKenna chuckled and then winced. The man picked up a mug and offered it to her. “It’s herbal tea. I suspect your throat is sore.”

She ignored it. “Where am I?” Yeah, it was more than sore. It felt like someone had scraped the inside with 40-grit sandpaper.


She frowned and rubbed her forehead. “Inishmore?”

He nodded as he swirled the mug in his hand. “My name’s Aiden Monaghan.”

“McKenna Todd.”

At least she didn’t have amnesia.

“Do you know what happened to you?”

There had been a photography assignment in Galway she’d covered earlier. She tried to focus her hazy memory, but she was so tired. The alarm that had been keeping her upright ebbed slowly away. Her muscles quivered in exhaustion as she pushed back her bangs. But when she traced over the tender skin on her neck, all the fog lifted and, suddenly, she knew.

“The ferry.” Oh fuck! She looked around the living room. “Where’s Darren?”

“They’re searching for him.”

McKenna remembered the hands around her throat choking the life out of her. Panic threatened again, but before she could relive the moment, she heard movement from another room.

“Aiden?” a gruff voice called out.

McKenna tensed. Holding the blankets tightly in one hand, she grabbed a tile coaster off the coffee table. She clenched the heavy object with trembling fingers and watched the open doorway to what she assumed was the kitchen.

The man beside her arched a brow as he glanced at the coaster. “Nobody’s going to hurt you.” A small smile creased his face. “Least of all Neilson. He’s all bark. No bite.”

His quick wink calmed her racing heart. Something about this Irishman’s bright blue eyes made her want to trust him. McKenna held his stare for a brief second before she turned and saw an old man shuffle into the room. Silver hair stuck out in all directions from underneath his cap. His size-too-small New England Patriots sweatshirt was tucked into a pair of size-too-big worn jeans, held up by a belt cinched tight. He appeared harmless. The only threat he posed was to the fashion industry.

“You finally woke up,” the man stated, his gnarled hand thrusting a wooden cane in her general direction. He made it sound like she had been caught sleeping on the job. McKenna tightened her grip on the heavy tile. The dog nudged her elbow at the same time Aiden covered her hand in his. She startled at both, torn between looking at Butler’s adorable face or Aiden’s handsome one.

“Neilson, I appreciate you stopping by, but why don’t you head on home?” Aiden’s body was tense, but his voice held more patience than firmness. He gently tugged the coaster out of her hand as he talked.

Neilson scowled before sputtering, “I’m not leaving you alone—”

“I’ll be alright.” Aiden got up and nudged the old man toward the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

“But what about my clam bucket?” she heard Neilson yell as the dark wood door shut.

McKenna watched Aiden for a moment before she closed her eyes and dropped her head.

“Are you okay?”

“No,” she managed. She wanted to get up and find out what had happened to her. But all she was able to do was cradle her head in shaking hands, her stomach rolling. “Oh God.”
Brant, Wendi. Dust To Stone (Kindle Locations 286-324). Kindle Edition.

The interaction with Butler and the caring of Aiden touches the heart.

There is still a lot of questions to be answered, not the least of which is who attacked her and where is her assistant Darren.

This story is a journey for Aiden and McKenna, while the attraction is mutual, the journeys are different. Aiden has much to overcome yet, and McKenna is building her career. Yet the sparks fly and the drama and suspense soars even higher.

You won’t be able to put this book down. Bravo, Wendi!

5 Contented Purrs for Wendi!

Wendi Brant

Wendi Brant is a southern girl, born and raised in Raleigh, NC. She’s married to her best friend and together they’ve raised two amazing young adults. She has a dog named Harris that takes Prozac to keep him happy and the family sane. Wendi hates to cook and would hire a chef if she could. She loves music of all kinds and can’t carry a tune, but still sings all the lyrics. And she loves to travel. In a couple years, her and her husband plan to sail around the world.

DUST TO STONE is her debut novel.

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More From Willow Bend! Rogue Wolf by Heather Long

Rogue Wolf
Wolves of Willow Bend Book 4
Heather Long


The Italian Alpha, Salvatore Esposito, crossed an ocean and dared to venture into unfriendly territory to hunt for his missing sister in Willow Bend.. He’ll do anything to get her back, even if it means he must resist chasing the fierce enforcer who wakens his primal beast…anything.

As an enforcer, Margo Montgomery monitors the lone wolves. She is in the middle of investigating missing wolves from multiple territories when the order comes in to escort the Salvatore to Willow Bend. There’s bad blood between her and the current Alpha of Willow Bend, but they soon discover a new danger–a lone wolf gone rogue.

Now Margo must hunt the rogue–a pursuit made all the more dangerous because it becomes readily apparent the rogue they seek isn’t alone and Salvatore refuses to be left behind–not when wolves are vanishing without a trace…

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This is one of my favorite Willow Bend books even though I didn’t have much love for Margo when I started reading it. The drool worthy Italian Alpha Salvatore, the strong, snarky and sometimes brutal Enforcer Margo, a missing sister, a rogue lone wolf and of course the ever not so lovable Julian.

Mason is the Alpha who grants Salvatore entry to the US to search for his sister and Margo is the enforcer who collects him from the airport and escorts him to Willow Bend. A trip that is quite amusing as Margo takes offense at just about everything Salvatore says.

This is a favorite scene as Salvatore makes no pretense of wanting her.

He wanted to rip Rayne’s lying head from his shoulders or at the very least snap his neck. “When we track them, I will verify that my sister is not mated. If she is not—then you may have him. If she is…he is mine.” It was the only concession he was prepared to make.

“So you’re claiming him if they’re mated?” The rational response surprised him, but he considered his options.

“Perhaps,” he said. “I know my sister. She is a delicate thing. I do not know if she would survive losing her mate. I do know she would not have mated and kept it a secret willfully. Nor would she have had any reason to run. I have to know what happened between them to know what damage he has done.”

“Fine,” Margo stunned him with her acquiescence. “If they are mated, he’s yours. If they aren’t, he’s mine. I don’t need time to decide his fate. If they aren’t mated, I’m killing him.” Despite the flip tone at the end of her statement, the darkness in her eyes tugged at him.

“You do not have to, if you do not wish. I will not judge you weak for wishing to forgive him…” The words were the wrong ones, she dug her claws into him and the fabric tore.

“I am not weak. Mercy is never weak. Mercy is what we give when someone is deserving of our compassion. I do not know what this Rayne Barrows is, but do not belittle me again, Salvatore. Clear?”

Closing his grip, he applied pressure until her claws retracted. “I did not mean to offer insult, bella. However, we should have rules if you wish to keep clawing me. I prefer your claws in my back rather than my chest and the scrape of them… I find is very arousing.”

This close he could not miss the spice of her desire invading her anger.

“Anytime you wish to test your claws on me, all you must do is say the word. Capisce?

“Asshole.” Her grumbled remark, so disrespectful and yet teasing in the same breath, amused him.

Deliberately misunderstanding, he tugged her hand from his chest and lifted it to press a kiss to her open palm, daring her claws. “Is that your word, then?”

Her pupils dilated briefly, then her gaze narrowed. “Is what my word?”

“The word you wish to use when you desire to be in my bed?”

Understanding flared and she growled, the low sound so full of menace and threat it was adorable.

“I shall remember it well,” he promised, then nipped the heel of her hand hard enough for her to feel his teeth. She sucked in a breath, but didn’t pull away. “Simply call me that again, and I will know you are ready for me.”

Sadly, she kept her silence on the word and he released her.

Clearing her throat, Margo slid sideways to escape him and he let her go. “We need to get moving—and you need a change of clothes.”

Yes, better to get back to business.
Long, Heather. Rogue Wolf (Wolves of Willow Bend Book 4) (pp. 91-94). Kindle Edition.

The search for the Alpha’s sister brings forth a realization that is not in the least comforting. Not to the enforcers and certainly not to Mason.

For Margo another unsettling truth could mean her death, but maybe for a chance at something more if she is willing to take it.

We meet a lot of enforcers in this one, including the powerful and mysterious Julian. Plenty of interaction with Mason and Willow Bend including a showdown or two with Margo’s mother.

Fast paced, intriguing, sensuous and witty, don’t miss this book!

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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River Wolf Cover single-wicked-wolf-new-cover Desert Wolf Snow wolf

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Heather Long Heather Long

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

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

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

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A Summer of SEALs! Undercover SEAL – SEALs of Coronado Book 4 By Paige Tyler

Undercover SEAL
SEALs of Coronado Book 4
Paige Tyler


He’s everything she should fear…

Bristol Munoz’s life has never been typical. Or safe. Raised by her father, a Mexican drug lord who murdered her mother, Bristol knows she’s nothing but a bargaining chip to her father. He’ll give her to the man most able to further his cartel’s powerful holdings, and her life will go from bad to worse. Her only hope is to try another escape…Then he arrives. He’s different than the other men in her father’s compound, but no less dangerous. Maybe more so, because she’s attracted to him.

But all she really wants.

Working undercover for the CIA was not how Navy SEAL Nash Cantrell wants to spend his time. But keeping missiles out of the wrong hands is something he can handle. However, he didn’t count on part of his mission involving getting close to Bristol. He can’t afford to like her, but can’t stop himself. She’s a commodity her father won’t let go easily. When his cover is blown, Nash has to stop the deal—and save Bristol.

When the plan goes wrong and Bristol is kidnapped, Nash will break every rule to get her back.

Or die trying.

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Working with the CIA wasn’t quite what Nick expected when he became a SEAL but here he was in Mexico, establishing himself as a buyer with Luiz Munez, a major player in the Armador Cartel.

His first surprise is at dinner with the man. Luiz was practically offering his daughter, Bristol to Nick. Bristol hadn’t said anything about the way she was being treated at least not until Luiz mentioned her mother.

This is a favorite scene after she storms out of the dining room with Luiz’s second, Leon on her heels.

He turned back to Leon, expecting the bodyguard to take another swing at him, but the man was headed for the large marble island in the middle of the kitchen. Nash wasn’t sure what he was up to until Leon jerked a big chef’s knife out of a rack of blades.


Nash had been willing to play this out for the sake of the mission, even if all he really wanted to do was beat the crap out of the guy. But now that Leon had a weapon, all bets were off. He wouldn’t hesitate to kill this asshole.

“You’re going to look fucking stupid with that knife sticking out of your ass,” Nash told him.

Leon laughed, holding the knife low and away. Like a man who knew what he was doing with a blade.

Nash dropped into a defensive stance, waiting for Leon’s first move, when a low male voice intruded from the doorway.

“Leon, the boss wants you.”

Nash didn’t have to look to know it was one of Munoz’s guards. For some reason, the cartel boss wanted to put a stop to the fight before it was over.

Leon didn’t seem eager to leave, but another sharp reminder from the other man finally broke through the fury. He pointed the tip of his knife at Nash. “This isn’t over,” he muttered.

Tossing the chef’s blade onto the island with a clatter, he threw an angry look in Bristol’s direction, then walked out of the kitchen. The other guard followed.

Nash looked at Bristol. “You okay?”

“Yes,” she said, the little quiver in her voice the only indication of how scared she really was. “Thank you. For helping me, I mean.”

He nodded. “You’re welcome.”

“And while I’m grateful, it was stupid of you to do it,” she added.

“Bristol!” the older woman scolded.

“You know I’m right, Isabella,” Bristol said then looked at Nash. “Leon is a sociopath. He would have killed you with that knife without giving it a thought.”

“He would have tried,” Nash corrected, then shrugged. “We all do stupid things, but in my defense, I have to admit I have a hard time thinking straight when I’m around a beautiful woman.”

Bristol sighed. “You don’t have to shower me with compliments. I already thanked you.”

He grinned. “Who said I talking about you? Maybe I was talking about Isabella.”

The older woman blushed but laughed. “I think you need to be careful around this one, Bristol. Something tells me that he might be more dangerous than Leon.” She regarded Nash thoughtfully. “But Bristol is right about Leon, Señor Chapman. Watch yourself around him. He’ll stab you in the back given the chance.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Nash promised then looked at Bristol. “Are you going to be okay tonight? Do I need to worry about Leon coming back to bother you?”

Bristol studied him for a long time with those mesmerizing blue eyes of hers. A man could lose himself in that perfect gaze. “I don’t think Leon will try anything else tonight. He only came after me because my father allowed it. And my father only did that to see what you would do.”

He did a double take. “Why?”

“Because my father is a very manipulative man.” She gave Nash a small smile. “Thank you for worrying about me.”

Nash opened his mouth to tell her it wasn’t a big deal, but the way Bristol was gazing at him tied up his tongue in a knot.

“Good night,” she said.

“Good night.”

Giving him a nod, she left the room, Isabella Isabella at her heels. The two of them might think Leon was the dangerous one around here, but from Nash’s perspective, Bristol was the one he was going to have to watch out for.
Tyler, Paige. Undercover SEAL (SEALs of Coronado Book 4) (Kindle Locations 590-619). Kindle Edition.

Bristol does have an ulterior motive. She wants to get away from her father, permanently and Nick just might be her way out. One thing Bristol didn’t count on was falling in love with the man. It certainly wasn’t in Nick’s plans either. The heat between these two works its way off the charts in a slow steady way.

Bristol makes a critical choice when Nick’s cover is blown, one that changes everything.

Fast paced, with plenty of drama and action. Not a book you will be able to put down.

5 Contented Purrs for Paige!

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Books 1 – 3
or Separate

Coming August 29th!

Paige Tyler

Paige is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy romantic suspense and paranormal romance. She graduated from The University of West Florida with a degree in education in 2000, but decided to pursue a full-time career as a writer in 2004. Since then, she’s written over fifty books in several genres, including paranormal, contemporary, western, sci-fi and erotica. She loves writing about strong, sexy, alpha males and the feisty,independent women who fall for them. From verbal foreplay to sexual heat, her stories of romance, adventure, suspense, passion and true love will leave you breathlessly panting for more.

She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines who fall in love with them.

When not working on her latest book, Paige enjoys reading, jogging, P90X, Yoga, Pilates, going to the beach, watching NFL football, watching movies and hanging out with her husband (not necessarily in that order!)

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Prairie Fire – Cowboys of the Flint Hills Book 5 by Tessa Layne

Prairie Fire
Cowboys of the Flint Hills Book 5
Tessa Layne


Will an Alpha cowboy find true love with a wounded warrior in this sexy, small town western?

Sometimes it takes more than water to put out a fire.

Daredevil Cassidy Grace tried for years to get Parker Hansen’s attention. It finally happened- the night before she left for basic training. Parker has always wondered what would have happened if he’d made a move sooner. Caught up in the ins and outs of fighting fires and working a ranch with his cousins, he didn’t have much time to think about it. But now that Cassidy’s back, a messed up combat veteran and the newest member of Prairie’s fire brigade, he’s thinking about it. A lot.

But Cassidy is fighting more than just fires. Her nights are tortured with visions from her experience as a combat helicopter pilot in Afghanistan. Her days are haunted by Parker offering something she thinks she’s not worthy to have.

Only love can quench this Fire

When Cassidy volunteers for a dangerous hotshot mission in the wilds of Colorado, Parker insists on going with her. As they travel together into a life-threatening situation, will their love combust like the trees that surround them? And in the battlefield of a forest fire, will Cassidy be brave enough to fight for the one thing that will snuff out the fires that rage within her?

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You may have noticed I am trying to catch up before Prairie Fever releases in September. I am very much enjoying this series and the relationship to the Resolution Ranch series which I am reading in tandem. No pressure here at all.

In this one we get to know Cassidy Grace, the strong willed yet damaged combat pilot. She takes chances she shouldn’t, because it’s her way to deny her PTSD. Now a firefighter in Prairie and a pilot with the National Guard she battles the flames.

Parker had started something with Cassidy before she left for basic training, years ago. He wants to start where they left off but isn’t sure how she feels about it.

Battling a massive wildfire, Parker on the ground and Cassidy in the sky the two meet up as their crews get some down time.

This is a favorite scene.

“You gonna invite me to sit?”

Shit. His mother would whale him for a bullshit move like that. Quickly, Parker stood, gesturing to the chair across from him. “Please. Sit. I didn’t mean to leave you standing.”

She rolled her eyes, and let out a breathy laugh as she pulled out the chair across from him and sat. “I was just fucking with you, Park. Keep me company?”

“He’d love to,” Mike answered for him. “Don’t stay out too late kids,” he tossed over his shoulder as he dragged Cruz away with him, leaving the two of them alone.

Even though the room was crowded with exhausted and hungry firefighters, and chatter echoed from the walls, silence settled between them. Cassie ate quickly, stuffing a forkful of meatball into her mouth and chewing thoughtfully. Her eyes sparked with energy and amusement. How was it that she wasn’t tired?

“My job’s easier than yours.”

A laugh escaped from his chest. “Did I say that out loud?”

She smirked, fork stopping in midair. “Sure did. And nothing gets me excited like flying.” She popped another bite into her mouth giving him a wink.

Except sex, if he remembered correctly.

All the blood in his body rushed to his balls in a heated rush at the thought of seeing Cassie light up. “You sure about that?”

She stopped chewing, eyes narrowed, and slowly wiped her thumb across her plump lower lip.

Parker shifted uncomfortably in his seat, the energy of attraction overriding exhaustion and common sense. She’d been home a little over a month, and while they’d hung out with the rest of Prairie’s first responders, worked together, trained together, and run into each other at the Trading Post, they’d never been alone. Not that he hadn’t thought about how to get her alone. He had. A lot.

But this was Cassie, his former best friend. He should ask about her sisters, or whether she needed help fixing the beat-up motorcycle she always brought to him for repairs when they’d been young, not dream up excuses to get into her pants. But he couldn’t stop thinking about that. And he kept getting distracted by the damned zipper on her flight suit, mesmerized by the way her generous breasts pushed against the material.

“Eyes up, cowboy.”

He dragged his gaze away, a flush heating the back of his neck, and met her eyes. She
was shaking with suppressed laughter. At least she wasn’t pissed she’d caught him staring. He flashed her a sheepish grin. “Sorry.” Not so much.

She put down her fork and balanced her elbows on the table, leaning in. “So. When are you going to make your move?”
Layne, Tessa. Prairie Fire: Cowboys of the Flint Hills (pp. 15-16). Shady Layne Media. Kindle Edition.

This book is very intense, the fire scenes are vivid and explicit. You can feel the tension and exhaustion of the crews in every word.

The heat isn’t only in the fire though as Cassidy and Parker ignite the pages. So much to love and overcome. Parker’s help with her motorcycle and his dismay at the damage she’d done to it, but thankfully not to herself. The overlap with the ranch and working with the horses, as Cassidy works on her issues. And so much more with Parker.

Family, friends, drama, excitement, tears and plenty of love.

I couldn’t put this book down.

5 Contented Purrs for Tessa!

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Coming September 18th

Tessa Layne

Tessa Layne writes smokin’ hot contemporary cowboy and military romances filled with tenderhearted tough guys and sassy strong women who capture their hearts.She grew up in Colorado in the mountains at the edge of the Great Plains. There, she met her own smokin’ hot Cowboy and they had a whirlwind romance to rival any novel. She believes in Happily Ever Afters, loves fireflies, horses, and breathing clean country air. Her favorite thing to do is to sit on the porch swing with a glass of Rose, listening to her Cowboy pluck his guitar!

Feel free to drop her a line (links below) – She loves to hear from her readers!

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My Review of Cade – SEALs of Steel Book 3 by Dale Mayer

SEALs of Steel Book 3
Dale Mayer


Cade Terence, a former SEAL, has spent the last two years physically recovering when his unit’s truck drove over an antitank landmine. Six other team-mates were also badly hurt, the seventh dead, in what their team leader Badger Horley realized later had to be a trap set to take them out. The father of Laszlo, a member of his unit, was in a hit-and-run. Investigating this accident leads Cade and other members of the team on a trail with very definite connections to the original incident that nearly got him and the entire squad killed.

Faith Halladay is a commercial airline pilot. When her best friend Elizabeth is in a serious accident that leaves her in a coma and threatens to steal her life, she rushes to Norway to sit vigil at her bedside. There, she meets Cade, who asks all sorts of questions about the accident that she can’t answer. The attitude Elizabeth’s family displays when they lose hope that their daughter will survive stuns Faith, leading to a heated confrontation.

Cade’s endless questions now have her asking her own. She reconnects with him only to discover that her relationship with Cade has put her in a killer’s sights, and the nightmare that’s become his world is now her own.

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Cade and Talon share a cab from the airport with Faith. She’s a pilot who just missed grabbing the cab with her crew. There is really nothing more than a shared ride and some curiosity.

Badger has more issues and Kat declares he can’t be on point for now. Much to his dismay, Erick becomes the main contact, so he’s there for Honey as she supports Kat.

As Cade, Talon and Lazlo start putting together the facts about accidents that have taken family from them, it becomes obvious there is some kind of connection to the mission that almost took all their lives. With Lazlo’s father injured but still alive they head to Norway to investigate further.

In a twist of fate, Elizabeth, Faith’s best friend is in a coma after a car accident, also in Norway. It’s at the hospital they meet again.

This is a favorite scene.

Then the nurses came around, asking Faith to leave because they had dressings to change. Outside the room Faith walked up and down the hall for a long time. She didn’t know what to do with herself. She didn’t have a place to stay, and she couldn’t even think about leaving Elizabeth. There was no sign of Mary. Faith sat down in one of the chairs in the hallway and scrubbed her face. She needed food. Coffee would be good. Through her fatigue she heard voices.

She looked up at the sound of someone speaking English. And her jaw dropped. The two men she had shared the cab with in her hometown were talking to a doctor. Their conversation was low and urgent. A third man joined them, speaking Norwegian. Finally the doctor walked away, leaving the three men talking together. They were obviously friends.

Given this moment to observe them unaware, she smiled. The one guy was just as she had remembered him gloved hand. She hadn’t thought anything about it before, when she had first met him, but now she watched his movements closer. She frowned. That may be a prosthetic hand. She wondered what kind of an accident he had been in to lose his left hand. Her heart immediately went out to him. Maybe it was this hospital environment that had her emotions so raw and easily displayed, but she wouldn’t even be here if not for Elizabeth. Faith was sure Elizabeth wouldn’t choose to be here either, given that choice.

Curious and wondering about the synchronicity that would have two people from Santa Fe, New Mexico, halfway around the world in the same hospital, she approached and said, “Hi. You guys remember me?”

Two of the men turned to look at her with blank faces, but the one man’s face lit up with recognition. “You’re the pilot.”

She reached out and shook his hand. “I’m Faith Halladay.”

“Cade Terence,” he said by way of introduction. He motioned to the two men beside him. “Talon was in the cab with us that day we first met. And this is Laszlo. A friend of ours.”

“Are you Norwegian?” she asked Laszlo, wondering at the single black glove he wore on his left hand.

He nodded. “My father and brother live here.”

“But not you?”

He shrugged. “I was in the US for over a decade. Now I’m not exactly sure where I live.”

That surprised her. But she understood in a way. “That makes sense. I’ve been a pilot long enough that sometimes I’m not sure what country I belong in anymore.”

The men nodded in agreement. “That happens when you travel a lot.”

“Or when life throws you a curve ball, and everything changes,” Talon said.

Cade looked at her. “It doesn’t look like you’re here for a very nice reason either.”

She smiled. “Is that a polite way of saying that I look like crap?”

He shrugged. “You could never look like crap, but it’s obvious you’re tired and under an emotional strain.”

She reached out and gripped his fingers. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to put you on the spot. The truth is, I flew over because my best friend was in a car accident. She’s not expected to make it, and I wanted to get here before she passed.”

At the sadness in her voice Cade squeezed her fingers back. “I’m so sorry.”

“At least she made it through the night so I could be by her side.” Faith tried for a brighter smile. “And every day is a chance for her to fight for the next day.” She turned to see Elizabeth’s room was still full of doctors and nurses. “They kicked me out. That’s when I realized I didn’t have a place to go. After landing, I came straight here. I haven’t taken a break for coffee or food.” She shook her head. “Talk about throwing me a curve ball.” She glanced at Laszlo. “I don’t suppose you’d take a walk through the cafeteria with me, so I can get a meal?”

He chuckled. “Most people here speak some English. But we should probably grab something to eat too.” He glanced at the other two men with an eyebrow raised. They all nodded.
Mayer, Dale. Cade (SEALs of Steel Series Book 3) (pp. 21-24). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

More and more facts come to light and they find Faith has seen the illusive person of interest and actually gets on his radar. Not a good thing.

Fast paced suspense and a slow but steady romantic build make this a favorite. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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Wolf Next Door – Wolves of Willow Bend Book 3.5 By Heather Long

Wolf Next Door
Wolves of Willow Bend Book 3.5
Heather Long


When Claire Webster was five years old Tyler Buckley, the wolf next door, told her he was her mate and then ordered her not to play with one of her friends. Butting heads throughout their childhood, her choice to leave Willow Bend tore them apart. Eight years later, she sends a request to the new Alpha—she wants to come home, and when he grants it, she’s both relieved and terrified. The first person she runs into is the last one who ever wants to see her again.

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This book is noted as number 5 on Amazon, I am following the numbers as they appear on Heather Long’s website.

Tyler had known Claire was his mate from a young age. Feeling stifled she had an opportunity to leave Toman’s pack and she took it. Her parents were devastated, Tyler even more so.

Now she’s requested to return to Willow Bend, Mason is a good Alpha but his concern is for the whole pack. Tyler will be a major factor in whether or not she gets to stay even though his mother has offered to sponsor her.

This is a favorite scene after a showdown with his family, specifically his brother Linc.

The wolf had recognized his mate a long time ago, long before Tyler even understood what it meant. Then their mate left them. Mates didn’t do that.If they learned nothing else from her homecoming, they would know why.

She didn’t look up from her hands, so he sat on his haunches and waited. Sooner or later, she would have to acknowledge him. The minutes ticked by and she straightened, chin lifting. He met her red-rimmed gaze and refused to flinch.

“You shouldn’t have fought your brother,” she told him. Her voice was huskier than he remembered. Sexier.

What he did or didn’t do with his brother was none of her damn business. So, he stared and waited. When she was younger, she’d had hollows in her cheeks, such fragile, exquisite bone structure. He’d hated when she shifted, the brutal crack of bone and jerk of muscle on her delicate body worried him.

Her wolf, though, she’d been exceptional and well worth the torture of seeing Claire change.

“I’m sorry me coming home has created problems for you.”

He flicked his ears away. She still hadn’t mentioned what he wanted to hear. Her time in Arizona had done more than tan her skin to a lovely shade of brown. Supple muscle coated her arms and legs. Her shirt rode up over her belly and betrayed the taut pack of her abdominals. A hint of a stripe across the lower part of her ribcage caught his attention, but she tugged the fabric down.

Ears forward, he tested her scent. The sweetness he definitely remembered, but a bite rode beneath it. A bite he didn’t recognize. His lips peeled off his teeth.

Had she mated? Was it possible for her to have done so when she’d left him behind?

Wiping her face, Claire rose. “If you want to keep glaring at me, you can come inside. I’m—tired and I need to figure out what I’m going to do next.” Not waiting for his response, she strode into the house. The graceful sway of a predator comfortable in her own skin teased him and Tyler straightened. His Claire hadn’t been that athletic. She didn’t play sports and only hunted at specific times when she couldn’t get out of it—usually when he’d made her come along because he’d wanted her company.

A dozen questions flooded his mind, the chief among them being what happened to her in Sutter Butte? What had she become there?

Rising to his feet, he padded up the steps and followed her into the house. Tyler might have his reservations, but his wolf didn’t. He found her in the kitchen unpacking the basket from his mother. Studying the room, he chose the padded window seat. It was perfect for sunning oneself on cool mornings, something Mrs. Webster used to do. When they were little, Claire napped in the same window. He used to sneak out of his own naptime to check on her.

“You can sit there, if you like.” She motioned to the window. Tucking the front strands of her bobbed hair behind her ears, she studied the food his mother packed. “Are you hungry?”

After settling onto the window seat, he faced her. Yes, he was starving. For knowledge. Claire took her time setting up her meal, then she filled a glass with water. Once seated at the table, she glanced at him. “Two can play that game, Tyler. If you want answers, you’re going to have to ask me the damn questions.”

Then she ignored him and ate her food.

Tyler didn’t blink, nor did he stop staring at her. She’d never spoken to him like that before. So why the hell did he feel like he’d missed this about her most of all?

More questions and even less in the way of answers. When she’d finished her food, she cleaned the kitchen and began to work in her house. Tyler stayed with her, maintaining his vigil. His wolf was as curious as him about their mate.

They were patient. They would wait her out.

Hours passed. When she finally climbed the stairs to her room, he followed. At the doorway, she paused and glanced at him. She raised her eyebrows, and he met her gaze without a single sound.

“Have it your way,” she said and closed the door, shutting him out.

Stumped and more than a little fascinated, he settled into a spot at her door and kept his ears focused on the bedroom. She was right, he didn’t belong in her room, but she was wrong if she thought she would shake him this time. This time, he’d get the damn deleted scenes.
Long, Heather. Wolf Next Door (Wolves of Willow Bend Book 5) (pp. 42-44). Heather Long. Kindle Edition.

As Tyler slowly learns her reasons for leaving, he also knows he still loves her. He is also going to have to come to terms with his part in why she left.

Claire will also have to find her place within the pack, and also figure out her relationship with Tyler. Much has changed under Mason all for the good but he will do what is best for the whole pack, not an individual.

Emotional with plenty of family drama and the ever intuitive Mason who seems to know the outcome before it’s a reality.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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River Wolf Cover single-wicked-wolf-new-cover Desert Wolf Snow wolf

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Heather Long Heather Long

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

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

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

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A New Series From Susan Stoker! Defending Allye – Mountain Mercenaries Book 1

Six ex-soldiers. Six perfect strangers.
Bound by the things they’ve done,
the things they’ve seen,
and the turmoil they’ve suffered.
Until fate gives them another purpose…

When several soldiers find themselves frequenting the same pool hall, it’s more than coincidence. The world sees them as broken, but their singular skills make them perfectly suited for jobs outside the law, beyond it, hunting down criminals with the aid of a mysterious “handler.” Time and again, they’ve proven they have each other’s backs. Loyalty that will be necessary when, one by one, each man must call on his brothers in arms to save the woman he loves.

Defending Allye
Mountain Mercenaries Book 1
Susan Stoker


Love is a life-and-death risk for the Mountain Mercenaries in New York Times bestselling author Susan Stoker’s explosive series of alpha heroes, hot action, and hard passion…

Ever since his rescue op off the Pacific Coast, Mountain Mercenary Gray Rogers hasn’t been able to forget his latest “job”—Allye Martin. Any other woman would have panicked during a rescue, but the wily dancer kept her cool—even after being kidnapped by an elusive human trafficker. And Gray couldn’t be happier when a grateful Allye follows him home to Colorado Springs…

For Allye, finding sanctuary in the arms—and bed—of the former Navy SEAL is only temporary. People are disappearing off the streets of San Francisco, victims of the same underground trade that targeted her, and Allye could be the key to dismantling the entire operation. She’s willing to do anything to bring them down. Gray isn’t—for good reason. But you don’t say no to a tough girl like Allye who refuses to play it safe.

Now Gray is risking more than ever before. The Mountain Mercenaries have his back. But is it enough to keep the woman he loves out of harm’s way?

I have to say when Susan Stoker starts off a new series she does it with hold your breath action. Now I’ve read just about everything she’s written so I know she’s going to be mean to her heroine. I somehow just wasn’t prepared for this opening in the Pacific Ocean.

Gray and Black are alone on this mission, the others having headed to Mexico on another. It should have been simple, but Gray got the surprise of his life when instead of just information he finds ‘the package’ that was to be delivered. One Allye Martin.

One of my favorite scenes is after they get out of the icy Pacific but still have a distance to go to land.

It was Gray’s turn to chuckle. “I think you have a pretty narrow view of accountants, kitten. I’m not sure what height or muscular makeup have to do with being able to put numbers together.”

“It’s just . . . you were going to swim like a million miles back to shore . . . towing me. I can’t picture you as an accountant. No way.”

“You know that I also used to be in the Navy,” Gray told her, not sure why he was overexplaining, just that he wanted her to know. “And that I was a SEAL. So was Black, although we never worked together when we were on active duty. I got out, and now I help keep books for a few businesses in Colorado. It’s not a big deal.”

“Not a big deal?” Allye asked incredulously. “It’s a huge deal! And I have to say . . . if there were more boys who looked like you in my high school who were into math, I might’ve had a new appreciation for algebra. I might even have skipped the class less.”

Both Gray and Black chuckled.

“I’m relieved you guys are some sort of supersoldiers, all things considered.”

“Sailors,” Black corrected.


“Sailors, not soldiers,” he repeated.

“You never call a SEAL a soldier.”

“Oh, so sorry,” she teased. “Super-SEALs . . . is that better?”

“Much,” Black said with a grin.

“You need to be really careful when you get home,” Gray said, bringing the conversation back around.

“I will,” she told him.

“I don’t want to hear that you’ve disappeared again. I’ll be awfully disappointed if I have to come rescue you a second time.”

She rolled her eyes, and Gray’s lips twitched. She was adorable when she did that, although he’d never admit it.

“You won’t,” she said. “I figure if whoever this is gets his hands on me again, he’ll have learned his lesson, and he won’t be as lax next time. I’ll be one of those ninety thousand missing people you told me about earlier.”

She was joking, Gray could tell, but her words didn’t sit well with him. Not at all.
Stoker, Susan. Defending Allye (Mountain Mercenaries Book 1) (p. 48). Montlake Romance. Kindle Edition.

As with all missions once they had Allye safe they had to leave. Somehow Gray didn’t feel right about leaving, there was something about the feisty dancer that called to him.

The last thing he expected was to see her at The Pit with something that could be key in their investigation. She expected to meet with Rex so she was hesitant, then Gray reminds her about his ‘interview’.

The stakes keep going up as Allye stays safe with Gray and the other Mountain Mercenaries working to figure out the data she brought them.

Plenty of sparks fly between Gray and Allye and not just the sexual ones.

I loved meeting the Mountain Mercenaries, each one with a specialty that enhances their efforts and with flexible daytime jobs. I am definitely curious about Rex, their mysterious boss. It should be interesting when we finally meet him.

Human trafficking is appalling and I applaud Susan for taking on this difficult subject.

This book snagged me on the first page and kept me enthralled until the end. I look forward to the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Coming December 4th, 2018

Summer About the Author

Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

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

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

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