New Year’s Eve! Lest Old Marines Be Forgot – Always A Marine Book 21 By Heather Long

Lest Old Marines Be Forgot
Always a Marine Book 21
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long


Winter Blog Blurb

She never stopped grieving…

It’s New Year’s Eve, and thirty years since Brenda Connors buried the only man she ever loved. Every year on the anniversary of his death, she rings in the New Year, alone and grieving. But this year…this year she wants to ring it in much differently, takes the advice of her best friend, and signs up for a 1Night Stand. Maybe it’s ridiculous, just a year shy of her fiftieth birthday, for her to try and seek happiness she’s long since given up on.

He doesn’t know what the future holds…

Married to his career and facing forced retirement, Lt. Col. Tom Baxter doesn’t see much of a future for himself in civilian life. A poker game with the son of an old friend earns him some unwanted advice, but he can’t get it out of his head. Maybe signing up for a 1Night Stand date will help him discover what life on the outside might have to offer. The last thing he expects is an elegant soul with a streak of mischief….

Ringing in a new beginning…

Can Tom and Brenda make every second of their countdown to midnight count, lest old Marines be forgot?

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This is my favorite New Year’s Story.

What is most appealing about this book is that Tom and Brenda aren’t young, they are mature adults who never married. Tom because he has been married to his career in the Marines and Brenda because she lost the love of her life to the war.

If you are familiar with the 1 Night Stand Series then you know Madame Eve is notorious for bringing the right two people together for their happily ever after.

Tom is being forced to retire and he has signed up for Madame Eve’s services. He is nervous about it but he is looking to spend New Year’s Eve with someone for a change.

Brenda is hoping to avoid her usual gloomy New Year’s by spending it with a date. A 1 Night Stand her best friend heartily approves of. She needs to move on, it’s been thirty years.

This is a favorite scene at the beginning of their meal.

“There you go being bossy again,” she said, but he heard only affection, not annoyance in the words. “While I may not have been on that many dates in the last thirty years, even I know that talking about my fiancé is not flirtatious behavior.”

Chuckling, he picked up another piece of shrimp cocktail and fed it to her. The ease with which she accepted the offering pleased the hell out of him. “No, I simply respect loyalty, honor, and devotion. No flirting required.”

She chewed the shrimp thoughtfully and washed it down with wine, rather than water that time. “I’ve always had a tough time on New Year’s. Amelia, Steve’s sister, is still my best friend. She’s done everything over the years to encourage me to get back out there. Fixed me up, arranged dinners, but no one ever really interested me. Then we get to this time of year and I can’t help but remember it. And on New Year’s, at midnight….”

The catch in her throat had him easing his chair over to sit next to her, shoulder to shoulder. “At midnight, what happens?”

“I panic. My heart races, I can’t catch my breath, and in the last couple of years, I’ve passed out. Amelia found me the first time. She called 911, thinking I’d had a heart attack.” Her mouth twisted into a rueful grin. “I promised her it wouldn’t happen again— and then it did. Last year was the last straw— according to Amelia. She was right. It was a wake up call and the doctor told me that on the anniversary of his death, I’d get this rush of adrenaline. My pressure rose, my chest hurt, I had trouble breathing, and then I passed out. I always spent New Year’s alone, and until I went to a therapist about it, I hadn’t realized just how much I isolated myself. Every year made it worse. So, I got some help… and oh, Lord, this is embarrassing….”

Yet the strength with which she spoke, the gradual easing of the stiffness in her shoulders and the tears said much more. “I think it’s beautiful. You still care enough about him to mourn him thirty years later. No man could ask for more, but I don’t think he’d like it.” He didn’t have to know Steve, but based on what she’d said, Tom couldn’t imagine the young Marine would never have wanted this for a woman he cared about. “You had an issue, you faced it. Tonight is about being somewhere else and not in that moment.”

“Guilty.” She blew out a breath. “Amelia wants me to let it all go.”

“What do you want?” Because her would-have-been sister-in-law wasn’t the woman who interested him.

“I don’t know, not to be crying on the shoulder of a man I just met. To be flirty and playful and have that good time I signed up for— maybe laugh and dance and… and not pass out when my heart hurts.” She bit her lower lip then grinned ruefully. “Maybe get to know you a little better.”

“What do you want to know?”

Mission accepted.

Long, Heather. Lest Old Marines Be Forgot (Always a Marine Book 21) (Kindle Locations 455-478). Decadent Publishing Company, LLC. Kindle Edition.

A short inspiring story with enough heat and compassion to melt your heart.

Also a reminder that no matter how old you are, there is still someone out there if you bother to take a look.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Heather Long Heather Long

National 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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Releasing Tomorrow! Her Captivated Hero – Black Dawn Book 6 by Caitlyn O’Leary

Her Captivated Hero
Black Dawn Book 6
USA Today Bestselling Author
Caitlyn O’Leary


Winter Blog Blurb


The fate of thousands comes down to one woman. A critical mission in the Middle East demands more than just the skills of the Black Dawn Navy SEAL team, it requires a scientist who can crack the code on a deadly virus.

Navy SEAL, Lieutenant Gray Tyler is fiercely protective of those he loves. When Gray finds out it is his woman who is assigned to one of the most dangerous missions his team has ever undertaken, his protective instincts roar to life, and his inner caveman hits the roof.

Riya Patel is one of the most brilliant scientists on the planet. She’s too smart not to be scared, but that’s not going to stop her from doing her duty. Demolishing this lethal virus is more important than her life. But as the terrorists close in, will Gray be able to save both the cure and Riya?

Her Captivated Hero packs a punch and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Don’t miss out, get your copy today.

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This book opens with a bit of a bang, as Gray, Dex and Griff intercept a drunk guy with a gun and prevent him from actually shooting anyone. From there things get even more interesting as Dex’s wife Kenna faces off with a guy on the dance floor and Riya stuns him. This is when Gray finally meets Riya, the woman he has been captivated by all evening.

A dance, a drink away from the party, and a kiss that ends up with an invitation to be her date for the wedding.

This is a favorite scene when he picks her up for the wedding.

Einstein jumped down off the bathroom counter when the doorbell rang.

“Bad Kitty!”

Einstein meowed back at her with haughty disdain. He hated being called ‘Kitty’. He stalked toward the bathroom door and Riya looked at the makeup, brushes and spilled lotion on the floor.

“I should have capped that properly,” she said.

She heard another meow. The damned cat was agreeing with her. She turned and glared at him, and then he turned around and walked out of the bathroom. She grabbed some tissue and wiped up the mess and the doorbell rang again.

What an auspicious start to the day. Riya tore down the stairs with Einstein trailing behind her.

When she got to the door, she took a deep breath and smoothed down the silk of her blue dress that fell to just above her knee. Opening the door, she was met with miles and miles of chest covered by a blue pinstripe suit and silver tie. Her knees weakened. Riya had to look at least a foot into the air to briefly meet Gray’s clear blue eyes. They matched her dress. Thank God she wasn’t wearing her shoes, or she really would topple over.

The only thing that kept his smile from looking like a toothpaste ad was that he had a little scar that bisected his upper lip. She wanted to lick it. Oh yeah, she had it bad.

Heat suffused her body as the memory of that amazing kiss overloaded her senses.

“If you keep looking at me like that, we’re not going to the wedding.” His voice rumbled like thunder.

Arggh. If she wasn’t careful she’d get drool on her dress. Everything she’d practiced saying to him totally flew out of her mind. She needed to get a handle on this, like yesterday. Still, he was good to look at.

“No can do, sailor. I’m a bridesmaid, I have commitments. Why don’t you come on in and sit down. I still have to get their package wrapped.”

Riya turned and waved him in and shut the door. When she turned back she saw him standing in the middle of her living room with his left eyebrow reaching for his hairline.

“Having trouble making up your mind?” he asked.

She let out a long sigh. “Laugh. Just get it over with. It’s not like I haven’t heard it before.”

“Do you own a craft shop? Does someone in your family own stock in Hallmark?” Gray asked as he bent down and picked up two rolls of wrapping paper and compared them.

“I want to make sure that it’s pretty and conveys the right message,” Riya said as she snatched the rolls from his hand. Gray simply bent down and picked up two more rolls.

“Honey, I’ve seen people with a variety of Christmas wrap, but how many different patterns of wedding wrap do you have here?”

Riya looked at her six large Tupperware bins, five that contained wrap and one that contained ribbon and bows. “Can I say that I don’t know?”

Gray tapped one of the bins with the toe of his high polished shoe. “You’d be lying. I bet you know the entire inventory of your house. How many rolls?”

“Fifteen wedding, seven baby shower, five Hanukkah, thirty-seven Christmas, two Easter, five Valentines, twenty-seven birthday rolls of wrapping paper and one St. Patrick’s day,” she reluctantly admitted.

Gray took a moment, then he gave her a sympathetic smile. “It must kill you to be one roll shy of one hundred.”

Dammit, he was right. It was killing her. She was down a roll since Ethan’s birthday. Gray must have seen he’d been on target because he laughed.

“How can I help?” he asked.

“I just have to get the present wrapped and find my shoes, then we’re good to go.”

“I don’t believe that you can’t find your shoes.”

Neither did she. They were supposed to be right by the couch. She had precisely placed them perpendicular to the sofa right before she brought out the Tupperware containers.

“And if I offered to wrap the present while you found your shoes?” Gray asked. His eyes were sparkling. Again, he knew the answer to his question.

“Ahhhh,” she tried to come up with an answer.

“How about if I pick out a wrapping paper or a ribbon?”

“You’re totally getting a kick out of my obsessive compulsive nature, aren’t you?”

Gray put the rolls of paper back down into the plastic bin and stepped toward her. “I just get a kick out of you. Full stop. The fact that you can laugh at yourself, is just the cherry on top of the sundae.”

Riya tilted her chin up so she could look at him. “Don’t you mean the sprinkle of nuts on the sundae?”

Gray chuckled. “See what I mean?”

That laugh. Those eyes.

Get a grip, girl.

She grabbed at his wrist so she could see his watch.

“The wedding starts in two hours and ten minutes,” he said. “You have fifteen minutes to get your sexy tush in gear and out the door. That way we will be at the church exactly one hour before the ceremony is due to start. According to Griff that’s when the bridesmaids are due to arrive.”

“I can do this. Here’s the deal. I just need to prioritize and delegate.”

“Oh, I get to do something? I’m honored.”

“You’re a SEAL so you get to go on a rescue mission. Find my shoes. Last time I saw them they were exactly by the couch. I was walking around down here making sure I got used to them, since I’d never worn them before. After I made sure I wouldn’t slip, I put them there.” She pointed to where she had last seen them.

“Aye, aye.” He tapped her on the nose and turned to gaze around the first floor of her townhome.

Riya bent down and pulled out the silver wrapping paper with rings and doves on it. She had some great sparkly silver ribbon to go with it, but didn’t have time to mess with it, so it was time to use the big elegant bows that she’d been saving for a time crunch.

She ran to her kitchen, to the drawer that housed her scissors, and then skidded back into the living room in her stockings. Gray was standing there with her white patent leather pumps in his hands. “Are these what you were looking for?”

“Where’d you find those?”

“Your cat helped me find them. They were underneath the loveseat.”

Riya crouched down and saw two shining blue eyes looking at her from beneath the sofa. “He didn’t try to scratch you, did he?”

“Nope, we came to an understanding. What’s his name?” Gray asked.

“Einstein. He’s more temperamental than his namesake.”

“Intelligent though. He saw me looking around and pushed one of the shoes out from under the sofa. It was the damndest thing.”

“He was also the one who shoved them under there in the first place. He loves playing hide ‘n seek.”

Riya knelt down and pulled the first box off of the coffee table.

Gray peered over her shoulder and whispered. “I didn’t see those knives on the gift registry. They’re high-end.”

“Susan loves to cook. My mom swears by this brand. She’s constantly saying that having the right tool for the job makes the meal.”

“That’s right for any mission.” Gray picked up the second box and turned it over. “You also got grilling tools and utensils, another thing not on the wedding registry.”

“I take it you shopped on the registry and had it sent to their house.”

“I don’t have ninety-nine rolls of wrapping paper to choose from.” Gray turned over the corner of the paper she had chosen. “Are you sure this is the right one to use? It might be too much silver.”

Riya blew her bangs out of her face and looked over her shoulder. “I got the impression you wanted to possibly see sunrise. Was I wrong about that?”

Gray held up his hands. “Note to self, no pithy comments on the lady’s taste.”

“Not if you want to live,” she agreed.

“It’s nice you got something for both of them. At least I’m assuming Mike grills.”

“Does a bear poop in the woods?” Riya asked as she measured and cut the paper.

It’s the prettiest paper, isn’t it?

She folded the paper over and went to grab the tape. Gray had already torn pieces of tape and had them ready for her to grab. “You’re prepared.”

“Part of the job, ma’am.”

She quickly had the knives and grill set wrapped with the bows on.

“How much more time?”

“You’ve got enough time to get your shoes on,” Gray smiled.

Caitlyn O’Leary. Her Captivated Hero (Kindle Locations 401-472). Kindle Edition.

From the wedding, these two take it slow, getting to know each other and dating.

Riya gets to know the wives a bit more at a barbeque and that helps a bit when the guys are called up. As does her being called to DC to consult on a viral compound.

Her and Gray’s interactions with Einstein are some typical cat moves and had me giggling.

I loved the teasing the team gives Gray before the first mission. But there is an even bigger mission to come. That’s the one that will make or break Riya and Gray’s relationship, since she’s the one with the knowledge and expertise to create an antidote if needed.

Sweet, romantic, emotional, scary, and plenty of action will have you turning the pages until the book is done.

5 Contented Purrs for Caitlyn!

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Caitlyn O’Leary

Caitlyn O’Leary is an avid reader, and considers herself a fan first and an author second. She reads a wide variety of genres, but finds herself going back to happily-ever-afters. Getting a chance to write, after years in corporate America is a dream come true. She hopes that her stories provide the kind of entertainment and escape that she has found from some of her favorite authors.

Her Series Include:
It’s a bit Paranormal, a bit Sci-Fi and 100% Action/Adventure. The characters have special abilities, that make them targets.

This is focused on a group of Navy Seals. What makes them special is their bond to one another, and the women they come to love.

This is the series that started her career, it is a Menage Series that takes place in Fate Harbor Washington. It focuses on a tight knit community who live and love and care for one another.

She loves to hear from her readers.

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Destiny Disgraced – Talon Pack Book 6 By Carrie Ann Ryan

Destiny Disgraced
Talon Pack Book 6
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Carrie Ann Ryan


Winter Blog Blurb

The Talon Pack continues with a new twist to the Packs and a revelation no one was prepared for.

Mitchell Brentwood is aware that others think he’s the harsh taskmaster Beta trying to keep his Pack alive, but they only see what he wants them to know. He’d once thought he had his path laid out before him, but when his future was violently ripped away, he vowed he’d never let anyone close again—especially not a young wolf from a traitorous Pack.

Dawn Levin may be younger than the war that destroyed her people, but she knows she must still pay for their sins. She’s ready to find her way in this new world where wolves and humans blend as one, but first, she needs to fight her attraction to the dark wolf that stands in her way.

While the two struggle with their feelings and burning attraction for each other, they can’t ignore the world that shakes beneath their feet. There is a new enemy on the horizon, one with revenge and the unknown on their minds. An adversary that might be closer than they realize.

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Anticipating the release of the final book in this series, I realized there were a few I hadn’t read. I need to catch up and this is where I left off.

Change is coming to what’s left of the old Central pack. Everyone feels it, Dawn’s brother Cole is set to become Alpha of the new pack once the Goddess blesses them. The Talon’s and Redwood’s are doing all they can to help prepare him and support him. Blade, the Alpha of the Aspen’s isn’t as supportive and in some respects is downright hostile although his beta manages to help keep the peace.

Mitchell the growly Beta of the Talon pack has a lot he holds inside, nightmares of blood and loss color his nights. But interactions with Dawn, the sister of the soon to be Alpha of the new Central pack have him wondering about the future he doesn’t deserve and his wolf doesn’t really want.

Dawn works as a barista at the coffee shop, and volunteers at a daycare. She needs the contact with children because she’s a maternal wolf. Dominant, strong with a need to protect. Because of that she isn’t one of the wolves that is ‘out’. When Mitchell comes into the coffee shop first acknowledges her as he gets coffee beans for his Alpha’s mate Brie. Dawn’s human friends are there and they don’t know she’s a wolf. Unlike some she isn’t out since she also volunteers at a daycare. That was all about to change.

This is a favorite scene.

“Get over yourself,” she muttered and rolled her shoulders back. She was going out with her friends to be a normal person for a bit before she went back to her den and dealt with everything else going on. She was strong enough to do it all, she just had to remember to not wallow and dwell on the things she couldn’t change.

The girls were standing by the front door when she walked out of the restroom, and she waved as she made her way to them. “All ready,” she said with a smile.

“Are we walking or driving?”

“We can walk,” Aimee said, and Dawn studied her friend. Aimee looked skinnier than she had before, but when Dawn inhaled, her friend didn’t smell sick. She had no idea what was going on.

“Are you sure?” Dawn asked softly.

Aimee raised her chin. “Of course. Now, let’s go before we miss out on all the super expensive things that we can’t afford.”

Dhani snorted. “We don’t know they’ll be too expensive.”

“Honey, unless it’s an outlet or department store with a huge sale, it’s going to be too expensive,” Cheyenne added dryly.

“Truth,” Dawn muttered. “Why are we doing this, then? I mean, it might just make us feel broke and depressed.”

Aimee shrugged as they made their way down one of the alleys between the major cross streets where the businesses were. “Because window-shopping can be fun if you’re looking for new ideas.”

“That is true.” Dhani was pretty crafty when it came to making accessories and other things to make an outfit pop.

Dawn was about to say something but closed her mouth, the hairs on the back of her neck rising as her wolf rose to the surface. She tilted her head, trying to understand why she suddenly felt on edge when the scent hit her.

“Run,” Dawn growled out low.

Her friends froze and looked at her. “What?” Cheyenne asked. She looked around the alleyway, confusion on her face. “Run?”

“Go,” Dawn ordered. “There’s something coming.”

“What are you talking about?” Dhani asked, her hand going in her bag to lift out a can of pepper spray.

“Just go!”

But it was too late.

A shifter in wolf form pounced on Dawn’s back, and she hit the ground face first. The others screamed but didn’t run away, as if they didn’t want to leave a friend behind. In any other circumstance, she’d have admired that they wanted to fight for her, but this was a very large rogue wolf, and they were only humans.

Dawn’s claws slashed out as she rolled over. The others gasped, taking steps back as she slashed at the wolf on top of her. She wasn’t as strong as he was, and from the look in his eyes, his wolf was out of control. That meant unless she found a way to maneuver around him, there was no way she’d beat him. She might be strong, and had been trained to fight, but she wasn’t the best at it.

“Get away from her!” Dhani yelled. “Dawn! Close your eyes!”

Dawn rolled and closed her eyes instinctively as Dhani sprayed the wolf in the face with her pepper spray. While it might have given Dawn a few moments to collect herself to fight back, she knew that it also could have been a mistake. The others started throwing things they found in the alleyway near the dumpster at the wolf, and Dawn shook her head, awed at the fearlessness she saw in her friend’s actions—though each of them had stark fear stamped on their faces.

She pulled herself up, her claws out—as well as her secret—and she growled. For some reason, the wolf only wanted her, not her friends. It must have gotten her scent and would only stop or move on once she was injured or dead. That was fine with her, because her friends were human and wouldn’t survive this. Dawn wasn’t sure she would survive this.

The wolf took that moment of hesitation and pounced again. Dawn darted to the side and slashed her claws down its side. It let out a pained howl, and she did it again.

“Get behind me,” Dawn yelled, her fangs descending. She was just dominant enough that she could partially shift, but she didn’t have time to do a full shift, nor the inclination to be so vulnerable.

“We’re not leaving you,” Cheyenne yelled. “I’m calling 911.”

“Don’t, we will handle this on our own,” a deep voice growled, and Dawn nearly spun around, startled. Mitchell came to her side, also partially shifted, and she almost let out a relieved breath.

Though she hated being the damsel in distress, she was no match for this wolf, and they all knew it. She’d be able to fight and probably hurt the rogue, but not when she was trying to keep her friends safe and wasn’t able to shift to full wolf form. She was at a disadvantage, but if she fought alongside Mitchell, she had more of a chance. “Get your friends out of here, Dawn.”

“I’m not letting you fight alone,” she said quickly. “There’s something off with this wolf.”

Mitchell spared her a glance, and then things moved quickly. The rogue leapt at them, teeth bared, and she and Mitchell ducked out of the way. While she’d seen Mitchell train with some of the wolves in her den, she’d never seen him move like this before. One moment, he stood next to her, claws out. The next, he was like smoke, drifting from one side of the wolf to the other, tearing through the wolf’s fur. The rogue kept coming at her, snapping it’s drooling jaws, so she couldn’t just run away and leave Mitchell to fight even if she wanted to. It would only follow her, and someone else would get hurt in the process.

She rolled to the side again, aware that her friends hadn’t left the alley but were far enough away now to be relatively safe. The rogue came at her again, and this time, she and Mitchell somehow worked as a team, taking the wolf down to the ground. From the manic look in its eyes, she knew there would be no saving it. Somehow, whoever this was had let their wolf take control to the point they’d lost whatever made them sane. They were no longer wolf or human, just pure rogue. Mitchell met her eyes quickly before snapping the wolf’s neck in a clean break.

Her hands shook as her claws and fangs receded, and she met Mitchell’s gaze once more. He’d saved her and her friends, and she didn’t know how to thank him, wasn’t sure that he’d accept her thanks anyway. All she knew was that she never wanted to be put in this situation again. She’d train harder, fight harder, and find a way to protect herself so no one would have to come to her rescue.

“You fought well,” Mitchell growled, his wolf in his voice. “He was so far gone, and a whole lot bigger than you. There was nothing else you could have done. I’ll take care of the body, and my team is on the way to clean up. Meet me in your den this afternoon. We need to talk.” He paused and gestured over her shoulder, and she turned to see her friends starting at her with wide, hurt eyes. “And I think you need to talk to them, as well.”

Dawn swallowed hard as she nodded. She had no idea what she was going to say to them, wasn’t sure there was anything to say. Blood covered her hands and arms, and she had a few nicks and scrapes on her cheek and neck. She didn’t look like herself, didn’t look like a simple barista.

No, she looked like the monster she’d fought to hide.

And now she’d have to explain to her friends why she’d lied to them.
Ryan, Carrie Ann. Destiny Disgraced (Talon Pack Book 6) . Carrie Ann Ryan. Kindle Locations (890-947). Kindle Edition.

Fortunately Dawn’s friends weren’t upset with her in the least, if anything they became more supportive.

But her reaction to Mitchell, and his to her, becomes more of a puzzle. These two just can’t seem to stay away from each other, and their internal battles are both frustrating and emotionally charged.

Some interesting interactions between Walker and Dawn’s friend Aimee left me wondering about them too.

There’s plenty of excitement, lots of surprises and enough heat to melt your kindle in this page turning read.

5 Contented Purrs for Carrie Ann!

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Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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More Christmas! The Grinch of Starlight Bend – Starlight Bend Book 5 By Jennifer Probst

The Grinch of Starlight Bend
Starlight Bend Book 5
NY Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal
Bestselling Author

Jennifer Probst


Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

Noah Elliott used to be a beloved member of the Starlight Bend community, until a tragedy turns to an ultimate betrayal and he is driven into solitude. His face horribly scarred, he retreats to his mountain top mansion–until a stubborn social worker is brave enough to face the beast, and ask for a special Christmas wish to help a sick child. When Noah agrees to help, he never considers he might fall for the spitfire, do-gooder. But when she offers love as the solution, will he be able to let go of the past?

Josephine Whitman has one shot at making a holiday wish come true–and it all hinges on Noah Elliott. She gets him to agree to host a Winter Carnival, and finds herself intrigued by the gruff, fascinating man hiding a bruised heart. But will her love be enough for him to take a chance on a brand new future?

This novella was originally released in Holiday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend.

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Christmas 2015 Blog Review

I think this is my favorite of the Starlight Bend books. This one grabs you by the heartstrings and doesn’t let go.

Josephine ‘Joey’ Whitman is a social worker and she loves the holidays. When she takes a star from the Wishing Tree she knows she’ll do everything she can to make this child’s wish come true. Even confront Noah Elliot.

Noah Elliot had done everything to help this town flourish, now he’s a recluse in his mansion towering over the town. The town he once loved turned on him, so he did the same. He considers himself to be a monster anyway with the scars he received on that fateful day so very long ago.

The child’s wish is for a carnival like the town once had, full of rides, games and excitement for everyone to enjoy. There is only one way Josephine can make this happen, and she’s going to see Noah Elliot even if it kills her.

This is a favorite scene.

Joey was going to die.

Hysterical laughter bubbled up from her numb lips and escaped into the biting air. Her face hurt. Her fingers throbbed with a combination of heat and cold that nearly made her weep. Her feet had long been numb in her boots. She feared if she tried to move them, a toe might literally snap off.

This had been a stupid plan, but what man lets a woman freeze to death? Noah Elliott had refused to speak with her when she’d called. He refused to respond to her email messages. And now, he refused to let her in from a sure death.

There was no way she could get past the gates, and the police had threatened her with trespassing if she stepped foot on his property. With precious time ticking away, she’d figured she’d set up a beach chair in front of his security gates and not move. In her bag, she packed protein bars and water. She’d layered up with double socks and long underwear but after hours sitting unmoving in the cold, mother nature had definitely won this competition.

Along with Noah Elliott.

The man honestly didn’t care if she got frostbite and died. Unfortunately, this only made her so damn mad, she’d decided to play a ridiculous game of chicken to make her point.

Now she was going to die right in front of his house and Owen wouldn’t get his wish.

Her foster mother had warned her about her stubbornness. She only wished it generated more body heat.

Joey reached for her phone to call emergency services to save her since she couldn’t move, not even the scant few feet to actually get arrested.

As she fumbled for the phone, a loud squeaking noise interrupted her thoughts, followed by the mountain shaking. The gates were opening.

Her frozen mouth gaped. Like in a movie, the massive gates slowly parted, inch by inch. She forced her numb limbs to move before he changed his mind. Leaving the chair and her car, she gripped her bag and began making the slow ascent toward the mansion. Blinking against the furious hammering of snow, she stretched out one foot in front of the other, climbing higher and higher, in what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was less than a ten minute walk, until she was finally on a walkway.

Joey had no time to take in the stunning landscape bathed in pure white as she kept her head down, fighting the wind working against her. As she arrived at the mansion, the heavy wooden double doors opened, and a tall, white haired man dressed in an impeccable black suit stood before her. “Good evening, Madame,” he said in a deep, cultured voice. “Please come in. Let me take your coat. I’ve made tea and coffee, so you can warm yourself by the fire.”

She tried to speak, but her teeth chattered so rapidly it was impossible. He helped her remove her coat, hat, and gloves, and quickly placed a thick afghan around her shoulders. Joey buried herself in the blessed warmth, beginning to shake harder. “Th-th-th-thank you.”

“Your boots too, Madame.” She pulled them off, and he deftly gathered up her pile of wet gear and her purse. Joey tried to ask why he was taking her purse, but she was still unable to form words. “I’ll be with you shortly. Please make your way into the sitting room and sit by the fire.” He motioned toward the room on the right, and then disappeared.

Still shaking, she pulled the afghan tighter around her body and stepped into the sitting room.


High backed velvet red chairs lay in a perfect half moon around a massive brick fireplace. Her bare-feet padded over a richly detailed Oriental carpet in burgundy and royal blue. The glittering crystal chandelier hung from an arched ceiling in clear glass. Joey tilted her head up, and it was as if stars floated down from the sky. Gold and taupe textured wallpaper cloaked the room in pure royalty.

She sat gingerly on the winged back chair, stretching out her hands and feet to the crackling flames of the fire. The numbness had finally began to melt away. A burning sensation rushed to her limbs, causing her to wince a bit, but it didn’t bother her one bit. She’d done it. She’d entered the mansion and she hadn’t died.

Joey figured that was enough of a victory for now.

She sat, content, though a tad frightened, noticing the gorgeous gold candlesticks and matching mantel clock.

Suddenly, her skin tingled as she sensed another presence in the room. She turned around, and came face to face with a beautiful black lab, poised in the doorway. Tail wagging, head cocked, the dog studied her in perfect silence, assessing her presence, but obviously not a dog to be feared. A smile curved her lips. “Hey boy,” she said softly. She turned her palm upwards. “Maybe you can help me finally meet the mysterious Noah Elliott. Tell him I’m not here to make any trouble. I’d just like to talk to him about something very important.”

“I’ve known you for a few seconds and you’ve already lied to me. You’re nothing but trouble, lady.”

She sucked in her breath. The dog responded to the dark, timbre of the masculine voice with a more vigorous wagging tail and his paws pranced with excitement. Her body responded to the voice in a similar fashion. As if waking from a long slumber, her tummy slid and tumbled, and her entire being stilled, then sighed in exquisite pleasure. A voice like that could be bottled and sold to women like the genie’s lamp. It was a voice meant to whisper naughty, dirty things to a woman in the deep of the night, and then follow up with some naughty, dirty actions.

Heart beating with anticipation, she waited to see the man attached to the voice.
Probst, Jennifer. The Grinch of Starlight Bend. Holiday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend. Kindle Locations (6148-6187). Bella Media Management. Kindle Edition.

Sheer determination had gotten her into the mansion, but convincing Noah to help was going to take a lot more.

A convoluted tale, of past pain, emotional and physical for both of them. A relationship neither can avoid, surprises at every turn and plenty of tears along with some heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Jennifer!

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Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She is the NYT, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012, and spent 26 weeks on the NY Times. Her work has been translated in over a dozen countries, sold over a million copies, and was dubbed a “romance phenom” by Kirkus Reviews. She loves hearing from readers.

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More Christmas! Ropin’ the Lone Cowboy of Starlight Bend – Starlight Bend Book 4 by

Ropin’ the Lone Cowboy of Starlight Bend
Starlight Bend Book 4
USA Today Bestselling Author
Mary Leo


Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

“Your wish has been granted,” Santa said, but neither Jolie nor Red had made a wish . . . or had they?

Jolie Shepherd didn’t want to spend Christmas alone. So when she accepts an open invitation to visit Starlight Bend, Montana from her best friend, Jolie expects to pass most of the holiday season holed up inside a rustic cabin, not playing cowgirl with quite possibly the most adorable cowboy in the entire state.

Red Weisman is a man who prefers to ride alone . . . that is until he meets Jolie Shepherd. She doesn’t know the first thing about ranching, and she certainly can’t ride a horse, but once they team up to grant a Christmas wish for a needy child, something magical happens between them. Has Santa truly granted their most secret wish, or is this simply a temporary Christmas enchantment?

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Christmas 2015 Blog Review

This book was read as part of the Holiday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend.

Jolie Shepherd has finally had the opportunity to visit her friend Riley in Starlight Bend. Unfortunately she really had no clue as to how cold it would be. Being from Los Vegas she could only imagine, and her imagination didn’t come close.

When Riley takes her to get warmer gear, she catches the eye of Red Weisman, Starlight’s most eligible bachelor. Red finally found out what to get his Mom and Aunt for Christmas, unfortunately Jolie has claimed the coat he needs to get for his Mom.

This is a favorite scene as he wins the coat and loses the Wishing Star he wanted.

“Your mother wants this coat for Christmas?”

“That very one, but I wouldn’t dream of trying to talk you out of it even though my mama had her heart set on it.”

“There must another one.”

He shook his head. “Nope. That’s it.”

“In another store?”

“This is the only sporting goods store for a hundred miles.”

She pulled the coat in tighter and held onto it with both arms a sure sign he was losing the battle.

“And I suppose your mama is a tiny slip of a woman who’s always cold.”

“Something like that, yes, but I’m sure she’ll be fine with a different coat, one not as warm, and in a different color . . . even though that particular shade of white is her favorite.”

“And what about the wish? You probably want that as well, being the stand-up kind of cowboy and all.”

He’d forgotten all about the wish. He was having too much fun playing the bungling distortion of a cowboy with the fragile, always-cold mom.

“Well I . . . ”

She thrust the coat at him. “Here, take it, but you can’t have the wish. That’s mine.”

He took the coat, grateful for her generosity.

“Sure. Thanks. Whatever you want to do.”

Jolie once again reached for the wish, but it was a little too high for her. She couldn’t have been more than five-feet-five inches tall even in those high-heeled citified boots of hers.

“Let me get that for you,” he told her as he easily reached for it. At six-foot-two he towered over her.

As he plucked the wish from the tree, he reread it: For Holly: Western horseback riding lessons for a special needs child.

“That’s some kind of wish. Are you sure you want this one?”

“Yes, that one.”

“You know this child is asking for horseback riding lessons, right?”

“Yes. Why? Do you have some reason you think I can’t grant that wish?”

“Me? No. It’s just that riding lessons can be pricey, and difficult for the child if they aren’t special needs, but if they are it can be even more tough to find the right trainer and a suitable horse.”

She swiped the wish from his hand. “Then I’ll have to find a trainer who knows how to teach special needs children.”

“You’re looking at him.” He tried to look as sincere as possible, knowing full well that the wish couldn’t have been more perfect for him to grant. And despite it taking a monetary hit to his bank account, he figured he could make it up by boarding a couple more horses this winter. “I’ve worked with several special needs kids before. Even kids who are terrified to get up on a horse. It’s what I do.”

The bungling cowboy routine had to be pushed aside. Now he had to convince her that he was the only cowboy for the job.

She looked him over with a skeptical grin. “So you’re a teacher. I never would have guessed it.”

“Why?” He gazed down at himself. Everything looked in order. His duster had been newly cleaned, his jeans were a bit dusty, and worn, but they were decent. And his boots needed polishing, but his boots always needed polishing. It was part of the cowboy creed to have scuffed, and grimy boots. “What is a teacher supposed to look like?”

Her gaze dropped over him again. “Neat. Clean. Tidy.”

He couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped from the back of his throat. “I work on a ranch, not in a schoolhouse.”

She turned away from him for a moment, as if she had to reconsider her assumptions. “Good point.” A full minute later she swung back around to face him. “ Fine, but I’m not giving this up. I want to grant the wish. I want to pay for it.”

“You can, and I’ll teach her how to ride.”

“How much do you charge?”

“A lot, but I’m worth it.”

He caught the little eye roll. “You’re full of yourself, aren’t you?”

“Only because it’s the truth.”

“And who else better to judge?”

“You wanted the best, and I’m telling you it’s me. I already offered to do it for free. You’re the one who wants to pay for the lessons.”

“I do, but . . .” He saw the hesitation in her sweet eyes. “I’m kind of strapped for cash right now.”

He had a hard time believing that from the way she was dressed, plus her desire to buy a relatively expensive coat. He wasn’t completely out of touch about women’s clothing and shoes. His ex-fiancée would order two-hundred-dollar designer shoes, and expensive designer clothes and purses online. Of course, her buying habits should have been a clue that ranch life didn’t exactly match up with her heels and high-end tastes, but denial was a powerful drug.

For the sake of the kid who asked for the Christmas wish, he decided to go along with what had to be a lie. “Then how ‘bout if I give you a discount?”

She thought about it for a moment. “That will help, but I want to pay for this by myself. It’s important to me. The thing is, I don’t have any money.”

He didn’t believe her. “Then how were you going to buy this coat?”

“I have my mom’s charge card.”

Everything became clear. He figured she’d been raised by helicopter parents who’d doted on her every desire, she’d been coddled her entire life, and made use of those ‘safe zones’ in college where the real world wasn’t welcome.

He wanted to walk away, but something kept him talking. Maybe it was her desire to actually do something on her own.

“Must be nice.”

“Actually, it’s not.” She held out the wish card to give it to him. “Here, you take it.”

But Red couldn’t take it. He’d never seen a more pathetic look on anyone’s face before. If she really had a desire to reach out and do something good for someone else, who was he to stop her?

“How about if you work for me to pay for the lessons?”

“Doing what? Cleaning out stalls? Slopping the pigs? Milking the cows?”

He could tell this woman knew nothing about a horse ranch. “Do you know how to do any of those things? Hog slopping can be grueling work.”

Not that he owned even one pig.

Her eyes went wide. “Sure I do,” she said, but he knew she was lying to save face. He thought he’d have some fun with this.

“Okay then. It’s a deal.” He stuck out his hand, and they shook on it. “You can work off the cost of the lessons.” Her hand fit perfectly into his, warm and petite. He liked the feel of her skin against his.

“The deal is for the discounted lessons.”

“Yes, the discounted lessons,” he said as she slipped her hand from his. As soon as she did, he once again felt the jolt of electricity shoot between them. And if he wasn’t mistaken, he could swear it sparked a bright blue again.

“What is that?” she asked, shaking out her hand. The spark had stung. Nothing bad, but enough so he’d noticed, and apparently she had, too.

“Kismet,” he told her, smiling, wondering what the heck was going on.

She grinned. “I don’t believe in all that magical stuff.”

He hadn’t made up his mind yet. “Maybe so, but Starlight Bend is known for being a magical city, especially around Christmas.”
Leo, Mary. Ropin’ the Lone Cowboy of Starlight Bend.Starlight Bend Book 4. Holiday Heat Kindle Locations (4976-5032). Bella Media Management. Kindle Edition.

The deal to give Holly riding lessons has Jolie at the ranch bright and early, and Red’s Mom has breakfast waiting.

It’s a fun time as we watch Jolie discover the truths of a horse ranch, and her reactions to Red are sizzling.

A birth, a song, a snow storm and so much more make this a perfect holiday read.

5 Contented Purrs for Mary!

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

Mary Leo

USA Today bestselling author, Mary Leo, spent several years working in the mysterious world of computer chip design in Silicon Valley before breaking into fiction writing. Her first contemporary romance, Stick Shift, was published in 2004 and was nominated for a RT Best First Book Award.

Since then her Briggs, Idaho cowboy romance series has been published in several different languages throughout the world. That series begins with Falling For The Cowboy, where a city girl mixes it up with a rugged cowboy.

Her latest romance, Cowboy Undone, is available now! Mary also writes magical romance, featuring Jackie Cupid, granddaughter to Eros, the God of Love. You can learn more about Mary, and enter her monthly giveaway on her Website.

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Merry Christmas! The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride – Cowboys of Chance Creek Book 9 by Cora Seton

The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride
Cowboys of Chance Creek Book 9
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Cora Seton


Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

After traveling around the globe for over a year, Cole Linden is more than ready to return home to Montana, so when his fiancée, Sunshine, suddenly cuts their trip short and books them flights back to Chance Creek, Cole feels like the holidays have come early this year. He hopes she’ll love the present he bought her: a restaurant space downtown. If only he can transform it into the sleek, modern style she likes before Christmas, maybe she’ll finally agree to set a date for their wedding.

Sunshine can’t believe she’s pregnant, but she is, which means it’s high time to get back home. It also means she needs to re-think her career goals. She can’t run a world-class restaurant in tiny Chance Creek—especially not with a baby. So Cole will have to be the breadwinner of the family. Which means he needs a ranch. Luckily she’s found one. Three hundred acres of prime ranch land and a wonderful—if dilapidated—house. With Christmas looming, she’ll need to race to turn it into the comfortable family home they’ll need as soon as they get married.

But when a delayed flight results in the loss of their hotel room, Cole and Sunshine realize they’ll have to couch surf through the holidays. Staying with each of their friends in turn leads to a series of revelations that might undermine their relationship for good. Can Cole and Sunshine make it until Christmas?

Or will this be the holiday that ends it all?

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Christmas 2015 Blog Review

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Once again I am starting a series at the end not the beginning but that is certainly okay. Chance Creek has several series set within it and I wanted a Christmas story. This one is definitely what I wanted.

Cole and Sunshine have been traveling the globe, getting to know each other better and enjoying learning about world cuisine and cultures. Now after years of travel they are heading home to Chance Creek, hopefully to stay.

While they are both excited to return, they are both keeping secrets. In an unexpected twist, they run into one of Cole’s old girlfriends at the airport, Fran is anything but subtle as she describes that relationship. Although Sunshine knows her relationship is secure, doubts creep in.

Once in Chance Creek, their reserved hotel room has been given away, this is a favorite scene.

She opened her eyes, took in the drab facade of the motel and nodded. Without a word she undid her seatbelt, gathered her purse and stepped out. Cole joined her, taking in her ridiculous but beautiful high-heeled leather boots. She’d likely break her neck on the ice before they reached the front entrance. When he went to take her arm, Sunshine smiled at him, but that didn’t dispel the tiredness that etched her face. He needed to get her to their room, fast.

They walked in silence to the lobby where a woman greeted them with a frown. “Sorry, folks. We’re full up, just like the sign says.”

“We have a reservation,” Cole said. “Under the name Linden.”

The woman was already shaking her head. “Like I said, we’re full up. Everyone’s already checked in.”

“We have a reservation.” He couldn’t keep the steel from his tone. “Look it up.”

“Okay, Mr. Linden.” She typed into her computer and shrugged. “I’m sorry. Just like I said.”

Cole braced his hands on the counter. “We have to be in there. We’re a little late, but—”

She pursed her lips and typed some more. “You’re more than a little late, Mr. Linden. Your reservation started last night.”

“We got held up at the airport.”

“It’s a shame you didn’t let us know. We could have held your room. Instead we gave it to someone else.”

Anger boiled up inside Cole. “Like hell. I reserved that room for two weeks!”

“And you didn’t show up or notify us of your change in plans. We didn’t charge you.” The woman shrugged again.

“I don’t care if you didn’t! I need a room—now!”

“Cole.” Sunshine’s voice held a warning.

The woman folded her arms over her chest. “We’re fully booked, Mr. Linden. I think you’ll find most places are. You might try Billings—”

“I’m not driving two hours to find a motel.”

“Cole,” Sunshine said again. “You’re not helping.”

He clamped down on the urge to swear. She was right. Guilt swamped him again at the unhappy expression on his fiancée’s face.

“Isn’t there someone you know?” she asked.

He’d never seen her so pale and drained, even in the deepest jungle or on the most forbidding mountain. Maybe Sunshine was getting ill. If so, he couldn’t waste time arguing. “Take a seat,” he told her and waved at the armchairs positioned by the window. “I’ll find us somewhere to go.”
Seton, Cora. The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride (Cowboys of Chance Creek Book 9).Kindle Locations (231-248). One Acre Press. Kindle Edition.

From the moment Cole finds a room for them at Ethan and Autumn’s Bed and Breakfast you know this is going to be an interesting couple of weeks. They will only have this room for one night, then other friends step up and offer a room a night, right up to Christmas.

The thing is, Cole has bought a restaurant for Sunshine. It needs a lot of work before Christmas and his friends offer assistance in the project. He wants her to have what she wants, he also has to find a home for them. He isn’t kicking Scott Preston out of the apartment attached to his rifle range. He’d done so much while Cole and Sunshine were traveling.

Sunshine’s surprise is twofold, she is pregnant and she’s bought a ranch for Cole sight unseen. A ranch that Carl Whitfield wants to buy so badly he’s offering double the amount paid in cash. This has Sunshine questioning herself and Cole even as she and the other women start making the house livable.

Much hilarity as they make up excuses for not being where they said they were. That leads to a rock band and the guys taking dance lessons.

A fun read, with renewed friendships, new goals, and lots of love. I now have to go back and read the other books to see how all these friends became couples.

5 Contented Purrs for Cora!

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Cora Seton

USA Today and NYT Times bestselling author Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.

Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini.

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Christmas Countdown! His Angel of Starlight Bend – Starlight Bend Book 3 by Calista Fox

His Angel of Starlight Bend
Starlight Bend Book 3
Bestselling Author
Calista Fox


Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

Anna Voss and Nick Hoffman are Starlight Bend’s star-crossed lovers. They were inseparable growing up, but destined for different paths—Nick following in his father’s footsteps as a renowned neurosurgeon in New York City and Anna building her own legacy on the Montana ranch she inherited from her mother. They haven’t seen each other in over a decade, but this Christmas, Nick returns home—with some startling surprises that turn Anna’s world upside down.

Love and desire have always burned bright between these two, but they’re both haunted by the past. Yet there’s a mystical entity working in their favor this time around that offers a more permanent love connection—if they can open their hearts and minds to a destiny rewritten, with the help of family and friends…

Originally in Holiday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend boxed set!

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Christmas 2015 Blog Review

I read this book as part of Holiday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend.Star-crossed lovers, indeed. I loved the opening of this book so much.

Veterinarian Anna Voss takes a star from the Wishing tree, and the mysterious Santa tells her ‘Your wish has been granted’. However Anna doesn’t believe in wishes and the name on her star gives her pause.

She is greeted at her home/clinic by a boy who had been waiting for her. A boy who had disappeared while his father was in a meeting in town.

It is the father who becomes of real interest when he comes to collect his son. Nick Hoffman III is a successful neurosurgeon having followed in his father’s footsteps. Those footsteps had taken him away from Anna many years ago.

This is a favorite scene.

Nick shoved his iPhone into the pocket of his overcoat and continued to battle the magnetic pull he’d been experiencing since the moment he’d arrived in Montana, having flown into Kalispell early this morning in his Gulfstream, it being the closest airport to Starlight Bend.

Under normal circumstances, his first order of business would have been to come straight to the ranch. To see Anna. But these weren’t normal circumstances—by any stretch of the imagination.

He rounded the SUV and tugged on the door handle. Popped his head inside and asked his son, “Are you okay?”

“Sure. I got to see a lot of animals. And…” Jake looked contrite. “I know you’re mad.”

“I’m not mad,” Nick said. “I was deeply concerned. You can’t just run off like that. I had no idea where you were and that’s a horrific feeling, Jake.”

“I know. I just—”

“Jake.” Nick’s jaw clenched as he tried to balance all the things that were currently spiraling out of his control. His son’s disappearance, his grandmother’s health issues—which was what had brought him back to Starlight Bend—and the woman who owned his heart being the one Jake had somehow found. “We’ll talk in a few minutes. There’s something I have to do first.”


Nick closed the door and crossed the drive to where Anna stood off of the walkway in calf-deep snow that her tall, stylish gray suede and fur-trimmed boots protected her against. She wore jeans that hugged her toned thighs and shapely hips, and a white North Face jacket and matching turtleneck with a pale-pink scarf knotted at her throat.

Her long blond hair was pulled up in sexy disarray that left curls tumbling to her nape and loose, silky tendrils at her temples and neck. Her grayish-hazel irises were enhanced by smoky eyeshadow. She had perfectly sculpted brows and high cheekbones that usually held a bronze glow but which had flushed from the brisk weather—or the sight of him.

Nick’s gaze fell to her mouth. To the glossy lips he’d give his entire fortune to kiss again.

Anna Voss was the most beautiful woman he’d ever known. Would ever know.

Standing mere inches from her did crazy-wicked things to him. Gut-clenching, groin-tightening things. So, too, did her feisty nature. She folded her arms over her chest. In the velvety voice that had haunted him for more than a decade and a half, she quietly demanded, “Speak, Nick.”

He said, “Give me a minute to catch my breath, honey.”

Anna gaped.

“What did you expect?” he asked in a low, intimate tone that had excitement flaring in her eyes.

So, he wasn’t the only one instantly revved.

He should have known. The last time they’d been together was still burned on his brain—and he suspected the same held true for her.

“I take one look at you and you knock the wind right out of me.” He stepped closer to her as he yanked off one of his black leather gloves and swept his fingers along her jaw. “You are so damn pretty.”

Her eyes misted. “Nick.”

“I didn’t think you could possibly be more sensational than in my memory.
Fox, Calista. Holiday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend. (Kindle Locations 3360-3384). Bella Media Management. Kindle Edition.

An attraction that never waned, not for either of them. So many memories from a lifetime ago.

This book takes you on journey through time to merge with the present and then the future.

Delightful, Fun, Plenty of sizzle with a blend of family and friends. A perfect holiday read.

5 Contented Purrs for Calista!

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

Calista Fox

Calista is a former PR professional, now writing fast-paced, steamy books to set your pulse racing! Her publishing houses include St. Martin’s Press, Grand Central Publishing and Harlequin. She is an Amazon bestseller and has won many Reviewer’s and Reader’s Choice Awards, as well as Best Book Awards.

Calista is a college graduate and teaches online writing classes. She is also a Past President/Advisor of the Phoenix chapter of the Romance Writers of America national organization.

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Christmas Countdown! Cole In Her Stocking – Crossing Forces Book 2.5 by C.A. Szarek

Cole In Her Stocking
Crossing Forces Book 2.5
USA Today Bestselling Author
C.A. Szarek


Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

It’s Christmas in Antioch, Texas.

Detective Cole Lucas and his wife, fellow detective Andi are taking it easy for the holiday—time off from the police department.

Andi’s plans for Christmas are shattered when her family cancels. They’re not coming home to Texas. She’s crushed, sure Christmas will be ruined. But Cole is fine with an intimate affair—just them for the holiday, forging new traditions.

Can Cole show Andi she can rely on him and prove he’s all she needs for Christmas?

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Christmas 2015 Blog Review

I found this book while looking to add to my Christmas Countdown. I haven’t read the others in this series but I can tell you I definitely will be.

This is Cole and Andi’s first Christmas together as a family. They have two children and the baby Micah is teething leaving Andi tired and distraught.

As this story opens, Cole has taken their four year old son Ethan shopping, in an effort to give Andi a break. A break she doesn’t get because Micah won’t be consoled.

When Cole returns, as usually happens with cranky babies, Micah responds to him and quiets. A protesting Andi agrees to nap.

This is a favorite scene.

Cole took one look at them and froze under the archway leading into living room. “Awww, babe. The whole time?”

Her lip wobbled as she nodded, her vision blurring again.

Micah turned toward his father’s voice and stopped crying, taking big gulps of air and sucking in his bottom lip.

“Mama.” Ethan smiled, but his big blue eyes were concerned. “Baby Micah okay?” her four-year-old asked.

“He’s fine.” Andi’s voice shook.

Your mother, on the other hand, is touch and go.

Her husband set his many shopping bags down by the Christmas tree and was at her side in seconds. “Give him here.”

She relinquished the squalling baby and sighed.

Micah looked up at Cole and whimpered, but as his father whispered to him and bounced him a bit, the little traitor quieted.

Andi frowned. “I tried that!”

He chuckled, but when his gray eyes met hers, his expression sobered. “It’s okay. I got him. Why don’t you go catch a few?” Cole pulled her into his chest with his free arm and pressed a kiss to her lips.

Ethan grabbed one of her hands as she rested her head against her husband’s chest.

Andi let her eyes slip closed and inhaled his aftershave, mixed with Micah’s clean baby scent.

Cole rubbed her back and she pulled their older son to her side, his slender shoulders against her thigh.

She patted his little chest and he pressed a kiss to the back of her hand. Andi smiled. “Thanks, baby. I needed that.”

Ethan grinned, then pulled away, dashing to the shopping bags. “Mama, we got ornaments and presents!”

“Buddy, you’re not supposed to tell her that,” Cole admonished, but he laughed.

Unrepentant, the little boy started to dig in the bags.

Micah sniffled but his dad bounced him, and once again, their baby quieted, sucking on his small fist.

She yawned and shook her head, but kissed his soft cheek and caressed his downy hair. “Go ahead and nap, babe,” Cole whispered. “I got the boys.”

“You sure?”

“Yes ma’am.” He kissed her. “I’ll change and feed him. You need a break.”

“I do not.” Andi harrumphed.

Her husband smirked and she couldn’t bite back a wry smile. “My stubborn wife. It’s okay to let me help you. Thought you would’ve learned that by now. My kids, too.”

“I don’t want to admit defeat. I should be able to handle him.”

Micah gave a loud yawn that made both his parents smile. “Looks like you wore each other out,” Cole said.

“Yeah yeah. See you in a few, then.” She made a dismissive gesture. “Ethan, come give me a kiss.”
Szarek, C.A.. Cole in Her Stocking (pp. 2-4). Paper Dragon Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Andi’s parents call to cancel their trip to join them for Christmas because of illness and this is the last straw for the tired Andi. She was looking forward having her Mom helping with Micah over the holidays.

Now Cole has to show Andi they can have a wonderful Christmas with just their little family.

I sense a lot of unease between these two in spite of their obvious love for each other. Andi seems not to truly trust everything Cole says.

I give Cole a lot of credit, he is patient and understanding and full of heartrending surprises.

A wonderful Christmas Story that has me wondering what happened with these two that this is their first Christmas together as a family.

5 Contented Purrs for C.A.!

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

C.A. Szarek

USA Today Bestselling, award winning author of romantic suspense, epic and historical fantasy romance, C.A. loves to dabble in different genres. If it’s a good story, she’ll write it, no matter where it seems to fit!

She’s a hopeless romantic and always will be. Risking it all for Happily Ever After is what she lives by!

C.A. is originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She’s happily married and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

She works with kids when she’s not writing.

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Christmas Countdown! A Smokejumpers Christmas – Smoke Jumpers Book 2.5 By Elle Boon


A SmokeJumpers Christmas
SmokeJumpers 2.5
USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle Boon


Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

A snowstorm, a baby, a fire elemental, and a shifter. Can Keanu save them all when the forces of nature rock their world, or will the elements destroy their happily ever after.

A pregnant Cammie will do anything to protect her unborn child, while Mother Nature has her own set of plans.

A father willing to risk life and limb for his family, Keanu will set the countryside on fire to rescue his wife and unborn child.

Reality isn’t always what it seems, but a fire elemental, and a shifter will make sure this is a perfect SmokeJumpers Christmas.

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Christmas 2015 Blog Review

A very pregnant Cammie decides not to sit at home while Keanu is at the firehouse. Really not the best move as she goes into labor while driving down the mountain and ends up off the road. This is a favorite scene as LeeLee her pet wolf protects her as they are approached by a wolf shifter.

LeeLee growled at the new wolf, who growled back, and then, the red wolf slowly became a large man. A large, naked man standing in the falling snow.

Holding out the blanket, Cammie tried not to stare. “I’m assuming my father sent you?”

The man smiled, his white teeth flashed almost wolf-like. “I am Slater, ma’am. I came to see Keanu and just happened to hear your friend’s howl.” He looked at LeeLee.

Thankful he happened by when he did and the fact he knew her husband’s name, Cammie wanted to ask more questions but another contraction hit, this one lasting longer than the others.

“Why doesn’t she shift and help you?” He asked.

Confused by his question, it was all she could do to pant through the next round of pain. “I’m in labor, Slater. Can you look for my phone in my car? During the crash it was lost.” She couldn’t continue speaking as she felt pressure and the need to push was bearing down on her.

“Hold it in, woman. I’m not cut out to be a… a midwife.” The horror on his face made her smile.

“Sorry, cowboy. I don’t think the little guy is listening to us.” She grunted.
Boon, Elle. A SmokeJumpers Christmas (Kindle Locations 199-208). Elle Boon. Kindle Edition.

Keanu does get to them and summons help before the baby makes his appearance. The firestarter keeps them all warm while waiting for the rest of his squad to arrive.

A tense but beautiful story, birth exposed on a mountain is not all that warm and fuzzy. A family gathering and lots of love blend to make a holiday win. Plus, Slater’s appearance and LeeLee’s reaction to him led me to buy their book.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

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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New Release! Taken By The Lawman – Lawmen of Wyoming Book 6 Book by Rhonda Lee Carver

Taken by the Lawman
Lawmen of Wyoming Book 6
Rhonda Lee Carver


Winter Blog Blurb

She’s his boss. Can he handle her?

Kiersten Cade has always been skilled at catching criminals, bur finding Mr. Right not so much. Lately she’s been feeling a void that work no longer fills. Not getting any younger, she decides to steer her trajectory toward motherhood. She’s ready to take the next step into single parenthood, until a dashing, green-eyed Lawman sends her life compass all out of whack.

Agent Deegan Bronx is known for his cool-hand and polished skills, but why is it that every time he gets around Kiersten he’s a blubbering idiot? Not only is she his boss, but she thinks he’s incompetent. When they are partnered to find the monster wreaking havoc in Wyoming he’s hell-bent on proving his capabilities. He finds outs she wants a baby and he sees the perfect opportunity to show her he’s the best man for the job.

Together they’ll face peril and deceit, but what neither of them expect is the danger brewing inside their hearts.

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When Deegan Bronx gets escorted to his friend Senator Max Kline’s office, he wasn’t really sure what Max expected him to do for him. He had an affair with his aide and now she was dead. Apparently Max doesn’t believe she killed herself and wants his FBI friend to find who killed her.

Deegan really doesn’t want to get involved, but he agrees to see what he can find out. He also knew he wanted the help of his boss Kiersten, she has great profiling skills and he really wants her insight.

There’s just one little problem, Deegan and Kiersten had one night together, and it seems neither one of them have forgotten. Well Kiersten has tried to put it behind her by avoiding him.

Deegan manages to get her curiosity up and she agrees to go with him to find the aide’s roommate.

This is a favorite scene, as they avoid their attraction.

“Don’t be too cocky, Bronx. I’m just curious, that’s all.” She closed the door and dropped her shoulder bag at her feet on the floor. “This better not be a waste of my time.”

He steered the vehicle out of the garage. The sun was shining brightly although it was a bit cool out and she wished she’d grabbed a jacket.


“Some.” She watched him flip on a switch. Warm air flowed from the vent and, within several minutes, she was no longer chilled. Sitting next to Deegan contributed to warming her blood.

“I won’t make any promises, but I have a feeling the roommate will tell us something useful.”

“Like what? How Annie liked her toast and if she was a messy roommate?”

He gave her a side glance across the bucket seat. “You really do enjoy busting my balls, don’t you?”

“I’m not a ball-buster. Just a realist. We have a few suspicions, but nothing concrete— especially nothing that should have us traipsing all over Wyoming.”

“Then why come along? I can drop you off at the corner here and you can be back in the office in fifteen minutes.”

Kiersten shifted in the leather seat to look at his profile. “I can’t tell you why I’m doing this because I have no clue.”

“Admit it, you sense the suspense in this case. You feel it in your bones.” He stopped at the red light and turned his chin to look at her.

She swallowed hard. Deegan Bronx might be her subordinate and that meant he was off limits, but he did something to her that she couldn’t quite understand. She wouldn’t fall for it, not this time. Her moment of weakness had passed and now he just infuriated her. He might be able to kill a man ten different ways, have the tracking skills of a human GPS, and look like a bad ass warrior, all things she admired, but he also had an ego the size of Mt. Rushmore. Nope. She wasn’t interested. “Do you have the video of the girl? The one you said proved she didn’t kill herself?”

He reached for his phone in the console, clicked a couple of buttons, then he handed her the cell. Kiersten watched the video, then replaced the phone in the cup holder. “Okay, I admit she said she was going to bed, but—.”

“Yeah, I know that there are holes.”

They crossed the city limits and everything became greener and spread further apart. She turned to look at the passing scenery as she cleared her mind. “Fill me in on where we’re going and what you know about the roommate.”

“Folklore is a small town about two hours from here. From what I can gather, RayAnn Mont grew up there and went back when she moved out of the apartment she shared with Annie.”

“Did she and Annie have a falling out?”

He shrugged and the arm of the T-shirt tightened on his bicep. Her eyes naturally fell to the toned, thick muscle and she quickly removed her gaze. “Could have been a falling out or could have been that Annie wanted her privacy.”

“This is ridiculous, you do know that, right?” Feeling a little unsettled, she reached into her bag for a stick of gum. The peppermint eased her queasiness. The doctor said the fertility drug could make her feel this way.

Deegan gave her what she gathered was his face of displeasure. His eyes were narrowed and his lips slanted. “It’s not and that’s why you came along. Have a little faith.”

“I was referring to it being ridiculous that both of us have other cases that need our attention, but here we are on a Monday morning heading away from the office and toward some town called Folklore. Let’s face it, you’re not doing this to find out if Annie overdosed. You’re doing this to help your friend.”

“Pfft. You don’t know me very well.”

She turned slightly to look at him. “Well, isn’t it?”

“Helping a friend out is offering him a place to stay or loaning him money. If I didn’t feel like this girl was murdered, I wouldn’t be investigating this case, and I certainly wouldn’t be searching for some roommate who probably won’t be the star witness to anything.”

“Sure, but Kline should be very grateful. From what I hear, he has his fans squirming.” Bracing her foot on the edge of the seat and propping her chin on her knee, she watched his profile. He had a nice face with high cheekbones, but the layer of whiskers that covered his jaw wasn’t regulatory, but a man like him didn’t follow rules.
Rhonda Carver. Taken by the Lawman with TOC (Kindle Locations 544-584).

The restraint on both their parts as they fight this crazy attraction is fun to watch. Especially since Kiersten is sort of set on having a baby via invitro fertilization and Deegan has no clue about that.

There’s plenty of suspense as these two piece together the girl’s life and more bodies start turning up. Which just adds to their suspect list.

A page turning read with twists and turns, sizzle and surprises.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

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Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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

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

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

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

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