Future Be Damned – Last Hope Book 5 by Rebecca Royce



Future Be Damned
Last Hope Book 5
By
Rebecca Royce

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The final book in the Last Hope Series…

It is the end of days…

Aspen has fought, borrowed, and stolen to help the Sisterhood. Though she never forgot where she came from, she never saw where she was going…until now. Now she’s one of them and her guys are with her again. Finally on the right path, they still have to forgive each other if they want to take the fight right to the Darkness.

They lost her once…

Reed, Alexander, Stone, Jamie and Gage suffered for a split-second lapse in judgment, and a momentary loss of faith. They’ve paid for that choice a thousand times over, and together they found a way back to their Sister—their Aspen. Now they will do whatever they have to earn her forgiveness, save the world, and her life—and not necessarily in that order. The fate of the world rests upon her shoulders, and their hearts.

Aspen is the Warrior, she is the one who has to defeat the Darkness if this world is to survive.

The Ravens aren’t anymore, they came together for the first time in years when Aspen got her powers back. Now they have to get Aspen to Anne and figure out what needs to be done.

This is a favorite scene.

Maybe none of the powers that be were helping me at all. I was dressed in the same clothes I’d been in before, and they were stuck to my body. If this place, wherever we were, had a shower, I was going to try to use it and see about washing my clothes while I was at it. I hated being wet, but I detested damp clothes even more.

Amazing how two seconds in a house suddenly made me wimpy. Outside I always managed to pull myself together and handle whatever was thrown at me. Indoors? I turned so prissy I could hardly recognize myself.

Not that I knew many people.

My human family hadn’t wanted that much to do with me. Even then, I’d pretty much lived between two worlds. I padded across the room and out the door in search of a bathroom. Gage didn’t say anything so he either didn’t wake or didn’t mind my leaving. I looked over my shoulder. The first it was. He was really, really out of it.

Voices carried down the hall. I followed them to the source.

“You’re lucky the five of us aren’t throwing you out the window and I’m including Aspen in that. She should want you tossed, too. You did this to us. Now you want to give orders? I’ve got news for you, Reed, you’re not One anymore.”

Alexander’s angry tone was the first I could clearly make out as I quietly approached.

Reed snorted. They were in a kitchen, and I could see him leaning against a counter through the partially open doorway. “As if you could throw me out a window. And I’m Aspen’s One. Get over yourself. I didn’t cause this. Sister Superior and her pompous know it all bullshit when she only half understands the universe did by making Aspen lie to us. I tried to save her. I’ve lived in hell ever since. You want to make this about me? Fine. Do so. The only person I’ll give my apology to is Aspen. She deserves it. I blew it. But the rest of you? You didn’t have to abandon ship.”

So things were not as hunky dory as they were pretending earlier. They were pulling it together for me. Sadness swept through me. No one had been closer than the five of them, and I hated thinking of Reed on the outside. He’d been the glue to hold everyone together.

Before entering the room, I cleared my throat to stop them from talking. Alexander’s eyes widened. “You’re up. Where is Gage?”

“Out cold.” I pointed at Jamie’s glass. “Tell me there is something warm in there.”

His grin came fast. “There is, indeed. Here, I’ll get you some coffee. We arrived in time to see the owner of this house fleeing for her life. The hordes of dead are scaring people away. We told her you were a Sister and she offered us the house for our use, food included. It’s been so long since I have eaten anything. I haven’t needed to as a raven. I didn’t feel any hunger. Did any of you?”

The three of them shook their heads. That was so weird. I’d not stopped to think about that at all. They were never hungry? Not even in the way birds were? “How is it eating now?”

He grinned broader. “She had pie. This is a rich person’s house. What do people in this area do to earn? Are there nobles this far out?”

“I don’t know where we are to answer that.”

Reed sighed. “This is the house of a mid-level noble. They are still ranchers here, and this far from the Deadlands they are still able to survive without having to destroy the peasants too badly. You’re forty five minutes by foot from home, Aspen.”

“Oh.” I swung around. “I actually know this place. I passed here many times.” The yellow curtains tipped me off. I could see them from the street because the windows were often open.

“There’s a huge lake nearby. We’re not far from the train station.”

Gage nodded. “Right. We need to get on one of those trains. We think the best thing to do is get you to Anne. She’ll know how to help you if anyone will.”

I supposed that made sense, except for one giant problem. “Can we just abandon these people? The horde is here.”

Alexander answered. “What we know is that the final battle will come with Anne involved. That tells us you have to be with her. I hate to leave them unprotected, too. We’ll come back when it’s over. We’ll come back and help.”
Royce, Rebecca. Future Be Damned: A Reverse Harem Paranormal Romance Series (Last Hope Book 5) . Rebecca Royce. Kindle Locations (484-516). Kindle Edition.

Aspen finds her powers are different but she has no real training since the decision Reed made so many years ago had her growing up human.

Alexander and Gage had conspired to change the outcome of so many things for so many people. The path they saw that led to this moment went no further. The outcome of the battle with the Darkness not foretold.

So many things happen in this book, I spent quite a bit of time sniffling as I realized what was going on. Everyone plays a part in this, but the focus becomes Aspen and her guards. They hold the key to the future, whatever that may be.

Plenty of sizzle as the guys bond with Aspen and this story becomes more complex.

Don’t miss this stunning conclusion of the Last Hope Series!

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!

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Rebecca Royce Rebecca Royce

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!


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Mason’s Wish – SEALs of Honor Book 9 by Dale Mayer



Mason’s Wish
SEALs of Honor Book 9
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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This is a Christmas Novella continuing the story between Mason and Tesla!

Mason loves his life with Tesla, but living together isn’t enough. He wants more. He wants it all. He wants forever.

All set to make this a memorable Christmas for the two of them, he calls her at home and hears her cry out as she fights off an attacker. Racing to her rescue, he finds her missing – again.

Determined to put the horrific memories behind her, Tesla is looking forward to a bright and happy future. But someone nursing a grudge has decided it’s payback time.

Their lives change in a flash as Mason races to save Tesla before they lose their future – and each other.

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Yes I know this is a Christmas book and it’s May, but that’s where this book fell in my reading and in the series order.

I’m not sure who I feel worse for, Tesla or Mason. I swear every time this woman turns around she’s being grabbed by the bad guys, much to Mason’s dismay and panic.

“You’re getting your name and face out in some high profile cases. Shadow and I, we’re there but always in the background, which is the way we like it. But you…”

Mason stared at the oil, his mind trying to figure out what the deal was. “It must be the oil filter gasket.”

“Maybe.” Only Shadow’s voice was bland, neutral. Too neutral. “But I doubt it.”

“I’ll call a tow truck. Maybe one of you can give me a lift home?” Mason asked. “I’ll try to put a rush on getting this repaired.”

“I will,” Swede said as Mason made the necessary call. “And I’ll stay here and wait for the tow truck,” Shadow muttered as he peered under the truck. “I want a closer look at the damage.”

Torn, Mason stood undecided. He needed to know if this had been done deliberately. They saw too much in their lives to let anything go by chance.

“Have you heard from Tesla in the last couple of hours?” Swede asked in a low voice.

Shit. Mason pulled out his phone and called her. Swede was right, if anyone had done this it was more likely to get at her than at him. Why hadn’t he thought of that?

“Mason?” Her sweet voice filled his ear. “I thought you’d be home by now.”

Relieved, he quickly filled her in on the truck.

“Oh no, that’s terrible.” A soft gasp sounded. Then silence.

“Tesla?” Mason asked, his voice rising. “What happened Tesla? Talk to me…”

No answer.

He spun to stare at his men and said in a dark voice, “She stopped talking mid-sentence.”

“Like she was hit? Or…”

He didn’t answer. Mason was already sprinting to Swede’s truck. As they raced out of the parking lot, he could see Shadow back on his feet, his phone out in his hand calling more men in. Mason lost sight of him as Swede drove his truck out of the parking lot. They weren’t far from his house, but it seemed like hours. Longer. The truck finally ripped into his driveway at the same time Cooper and Evan drove up from the opposite direction.

The front door was closed…and locked. Frowning, Mason unlocked it and barreled inside.

“Tesla? Are you here?” he yelled as he ran into the kitchen then on to her office at the back of the house. She’d been working on a problem with one of her programs and wanted to do the troubleshooting here in private even though she had a secure office on the base. But she hated interruptions and worked better in her own surroundings. She’d promised that nothing she was working on would be helpful to anyone in any way and that she’d be in no more danger working from here than from the office. As nothing untoward had happened since their first initial meeting, he’d believed her. Now as he stared in horror at the upturned chair and loose papers strewn across the floor, he realized he shouldn’t have.
Mayer, Dale. SEALs of Honor: Books 7-10 . Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (5014-5035). Kindle Edition.

Now Tesla is become a bit of a pro at this stuff and she still has her phone although it’s dying. I love this woman!

We see all the team and there are lots of surprises that are happy mixed in with all the bad.

A fast paced, kind of scary and intriguing tale as Mason and the team go after the people involved.

I am just inhaling these books, I love them so much.

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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Trouble in Tallahassee – Familiar Legacy Book 3 by Claire Matturro



Trouble in Tallahassee
Familiar Legacy Book 3
By
Claire Matturro

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THE LAW CAN’T PROTECT HER–

Young attorney Abby Coleridge opens her home to a troubled law student after a fire destroys the woman’s apartment. When the student disappears, leaving behind a blood-splattered note and a stash of cryptic flash-drives, Abby sets out to find her. Soon, a murderous arsonist threatens them both.

Law student Victor Rutledge, a former Navy officer, knows more than he’s telling. So much so that his offers to help Abby seem suspicious. When police reveal his scandalous past, Abby doesn’t know who to trust.

Trouble, the black cat detective, lands in Tallahassee, Florida in the nick of time. Can he sniff out the salient clues and push Abby and Victor in the right direction and into each other’s arms? Can he save them—and himself—from a fiery end?

I am loving this multi-author series featuring Trouble the Cat. Trouble fancies himself a detective, and has a penchant for all things British.

In this tale, Trouble has found himself snatched from his owner Tammy Lynn and taken to Tallahassee. There he escapes his captor and attaches himself to a lawyer and a law student. Of course he also ends up in the middle of some excitement and mystery as well.

Abby invited Layla to stay with her after a fire in her apartment necessitated renovations. Now these two aren’t close friends they are co-workers in the firm Abby has joined. Layla is a third year law student and on track to become the only associate added to this firm upon passing her bar exam. As such she has been diligently working on her final paper as well as her other duties.

Victor is also a law student and he is struggling with his latest assignment. He needs some help from Layla but she is still angry with him over something he stuck his nose into.

This is a favorite scene as he approaches to apologize.

Victor eased into Abby’s house, keenly aware no one had invited him inside and no one seemed to want him there except maybe the cat. But Layla had been attacked and he wanted to be sure she was all right. And maybe he’d like to try to make a better impression on the redhead.

As he pushed an irritating lock of his shaggy hair out of his face, he gazed around the house. Might as well take a good look since no one was talking to him. The redhead and Layla had marched into the kitchen, where they were busy warming up some left-over baked cod for the cat.

Neat, clean, and well-organized. That was his initial impression of the house, though as he walked further into the living room, he reassessed. It was like a jungle. Potted plants everywhere, some on the floor, some on stands, some hanging from brackets on the wall. Interesting groupings of flowering scrubs and tropical-looking things in one corner with what he assumed was a grow light pointed at them. Then he saw the aquarium.

“Wow.” Victor said it aloud, though no one was listening. The aquarium was twenty-five gallons and filled with brightly colored neon tetras, dashing about in their seemingly frantic way, well balanced by a few calm black mollies. The water was sparkling, and a high-tech pump hummed on the side. Snails, aquatic plants, a couple of bottom feeding catfish—a perfectly balanced and healthy aquarium. He should know. He had one too. Only smaller. After all those years in the Navy, where a potted Christmas cactus was about all he could handle as he moved about, he’d been hungry for a tank of fish, a cat, and a dog. So far, he had an aquarium.

The redhead came out of the kitchen and gave him a curious look.

“I’m sorry I barged in, but I want to be sure Layla is really okay.” He brushed his hair back again and admired her shiny red mane. Thick, shoulder-length, kind of a chestnutty red. “I’m Victor,” he added, though he’d already said that.

“Abby,” she said.

“I love the fish. I’ve got a tank too. Someday I’d like to try a saltwater aquarium.” “Oh, me too. I’ve been studying about it for years.” Abby’s voice lifted and there was no mistaking her sudden enthusiasm. “I want sea horses. Did you know the male raises the young and—”

“Okay, so you two are bonding over fish. Trouble the cat is gorging on fish, and I’m ready to take a shower and go count fish to see if I can sleep.” Layla stood in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room, casting her gaze back and forth between Victor, Abby, and the aquarium.

Victor refrained from mentioning one counted sheep to encourage sleep. If Layla wanted to count fish, or toads, or whatever, that was fine with him.

“Layla,” Victor said, his voice soft and mellow. “I’ve—”

“I’m not—”

The cat sauntered out of the kitchen, licking his mouth, and let out a plaintive meow. They all stared at him. He scampered to the door and scratched on it.

“Litter box,” Abby said. “I don’t have one.”

“Let him outside,” Layla said.

“What if he runs away?” Abby knelt and petted the cat.

Victor glanced at the clock on Abby’s mantel. After nine, but the Publix on Thomasville Road would still be open. “Give me half an hour, I’ll be back with a litter box.”

Nobody objected and he hurried to his car. As he drove to the store, he thought about Abby. What a lovely young woman. He couldn’t help but be attracted to her slim, petite figure and her big eyes. But besides being cute, she obviously had a green thumb and a nurturing spirit. And taking in both a stray cat and a temporarily homeless Layla—that told Victor that Abby was generous and kind-hearted.

Even so, he might as well forget her. He was so damn busy studying and trying to stay afloat in law school, there was no way he had time to date. Besides, his forced resignation from the Navy was sure to come up. He didn’t want to face accusations and rejection, especially from a woman who seemed so fundamentally decent and sweet.

As he hurried into the store, thoughts of Abby drifted to his concern for Layla. Her kitchen caught fire—even though she wasn’t home at the time and the landlord had the fire out before too much damage. She was mugged—though it appeared to be a random act and nothing personal.

Was it just a run of bad luck? Or was there more to it?

Maybe she was mixed up in something worse than he’d first suspected.

Or maybe she really had left a greasy skillet on a hot stove like the fire inspector claimed. Maybe it was just coincidence a homeless person grabbed her backpack at the law firm.

But as he picked up a large bag of cat litter and a litter pan, he couldn’t shake the growing unease he felt.
Claire Matturro. Trouble in Tallahassee (Kindle Locations 338-376). KaliOka Press. Kindle Edition.

Lots of suspense, and it just builds when Layla is snatched while she and Abby are working in the basement of the Law Library with old cases.

Trouble of course has his nose everywhere and trying to get the humans to understand him can sometimes be difficult. Although he does somehow manage in the most clever ways.

Totally enthralling, with twists and turns abounding. I can’t wait to read more of this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Claire!

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  Claire Matturro

Claire Hamner Matturro, a former lawyer and college teacher, is the author of four legal mysteries with a sense of humor. Her books are: Skinny-Dipping (2004) (a BookSense pick, Romantic Times’Best First Mystery, and nominated for a Barry Award); Wildcat Wine (2005) (nominated for a Georgia Writer of the Year Award); Bone Valley(2006) and Sweetheart Deal (2007) (winner of Romantic Times’ Toby Bromberg Award for Most Humorous Mystery), all published by William Morrow.

Her newest book, Trouble in Tallahassee , was published this September by KaliOka Press. And look for an exciting announcement regarding Wayward Girls, her joint-writing adventure with Penny Koepsel.

Claire remains active in writers’ groups, teaches creative writing in adult education, and write reviews for Southern Literary Review.

Compassion Be Damned – Last Hope Book 4 by Rebecca Royce



Compassion Be Damned
Last Hope Book 4
By
Rebecca Royce

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It is the end of days…

Krystal has spent years locked in isolation, enduring torture day after day. It might drive a lesser woman mad. Her sudden freedom leads to a journey across the forbidding landscape. Unexpected allies appear, and new challenges block their path. Embracing every opportunity as a chance, Krystal must trust these five lost souls, her wild ability to heal, and most of all—herself.

They owe a debt they cannot pay…

Titus, Paden, Zeke, Ryland, and Jett spent years in bespelled servitude. Slaves to the unforgivable, they seek to atone for misdeeds beyond their power. Discovering a Sister alone in the woods, they pledge themselves to her service. Saving Krystal is more than a means to an end, though, as one by one she restores their hope, love, and faith. They will need all of their strength and hers. Loving her saved them, but losing her may save the world.

Krystal has been isolated by Katrina so the darkness can attempt to possess her. Krystal has been successful in keeping him out, but she isn’t sure how much longer she can hold out.

We’ve learned some about the Ravens and Aspen in the previous books in this one we learn even more. It’s Aspen that sets Krystal free and sets her on a course other than what the divinities had seen for her.

The five guards that should be Krystal’s are also the ones that kidnapped Mika. Having broken free from Katrina’s hold on them they are heading to the new Sisterhood to apologize and ask her forgiveness.

They find Krystal on her way to the train and help her in spite of her protests.

This is a favorite scene.

The train blew its whistle, and I stepped back. “She’ll be okay now.”

The mother grabbed onto my arm. “Thank you, Sister. You’re a miracle.”

“I’m not that. Just glad I was here.”

I’d managed to get a crowd of interested bystanders around me and that wouldn’t do. I had to get on that train before I was overwhelmed. Everyone knew someone who needed help with a demon, and I couldn’t do a thing about those. The populace would never believe me. How could anyone expect them to not want saving? It would be a nightmare.

The train was here. I’d not been aware while I was lost in the healing. It was a good thing I hadn’t taken too long. I strode toward it. If I hurried, I could manage to be alone in my compartment when the pain hit.

Titus grabbed my arm, not tightly, but halting me. “What do you need?”

I pointed to the train. “To be on there fast. Thank you. For all that you did. Go find your Sister.”

Distress crossed over his gaze, and he let go of my arm. “That’s not possible.”

I wanted to know why, but we didn’t have time. I pulled my arm from his. “Thank you for everything. Goodbye.”

I rushed onto the train, handing my ticket to the man waiting by the door, and he pointed me to a compartment a distance down the hall. My eyes must still have been glowing, which meant lots of staring and pointing. I didn’t care. The aches threaded through my muscles. I found the room the man had indicated, and I rushed inside, shutting the door behind me. I had nothing with me, so after I kicked my shoes off, I climbed into bed.

Aspen had said to stay put, and I intended to do just that.

I closed my eyes.

Sometime later, I roused to the knock on the door with the splitting headache that came with healings. Maybe the train people needed something from me. I managed to get to the door and swung it open. The five guys from earlier were there. I rubbed my eyes. Was I still dreaming?

“Hi, Sister, are you okay?” Paden scooted by me into the room, the others followed, Titus going last. He shut the door behind him.

“Ah, no. This is the rebound time. I have to recover from the healing. What are you doing here? This is the train.” I was suddenly aware of movement beneath my feet. I’d never been on one before. I grabbed the side of the bed, suddenly not sure I had my feet under me. Maybe I was not made for travel.

Zeke took my arm. “Here.” He led me over to the bed. “Sit down.”

I took the suggestion and felt marginally better, less likely to hit my head on something. “How are you here? This is a train.”

Paden sat next to me. “I bought us tickets. Even before we realized what you were, we weren’t going to leave you alone.”

“That’s very nice of you, but it might be best if you got off at the next stop. I’m surrounded by danger. This could be a risk for you.”

“Well then,” Ryland spoke from where he stood by the window, “you need guards.”

I took what I hoped was a steadying breath. “I’m afraid there isn’t a thing you can do. This might be shocking, but Sister Katrina is possessed by a Darkness that now wants me. For whatever reason, she’s fine with that thing holding her and desiring me. Not sure exactly why. But for three years she’s held me prisoner, and every night the Darkness visits and tries to take me. So far, he hasn’t managed to break through, but he truly believes he can. He’ll never stop trying.” I sagged backward to lie on the bed, my head nearly hitting the wall. Placing my arm over my eyes, I tried to shut out existence. “It’s almost time for him to try. You should go.”

A hand touched my knee, and I moved my arm to see who wanted my attention. It was Titus. “We know Katrina is possessed. We know more than most. We were her guards for a while. She kept us under control with a spell. But we broke free. She kept you locked up for three years? Did any of you know?” He looked at the others who each shook their head.

I held up my hand. “I didn’t ever see you guys. The same five always came. It wasn’t you.”

Paden sighed. “We couldn’t have helped even if we did know. She had us fully under control. We did horrible things. I’m just glad we didn’t hurt you.”

“Well, the Darkness is coming and…”

Like I’d called it to me, the shadow on the wall behind Jett moved. I gasped. It was here. They had to get out. “Jett, I need you to move now. He will hurt you. Kill you. Please, move.” I jumped to my feet, forgetting the horrific train, and I tugged him to me. He in turn shoved me behind him.

“Damn,” he whispered. “That shadow is moving.”

“That’s the Darkness. You all need to leave. I can fend him off, or at least I have been until now. You have no chance against him.”

When Titus spoke, it was through clenched teeth. “We are sworn to protect the Sisters. We have failed thus far. Don’t ask us to do less than our best for you.”
Royce, Rebecca. Compassion Be Damned: A Reverse Harem Paranormal Romance (Last Hope Book 4) (pp. 21-24). Rebecca Royce. Kindle Edition.

Their journey is fraught with danger and the darkness is relentless in it’s pursuit.

Krystal learns more things that are puzzling to her even as she falls for the men who have assigned themselves to be her guards.

So much happens in this book, and so much more is explained. I really can’t wait to read the next in this series, this world needs redemption.

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!

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Rebecca Royce Rebecca Royce

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!


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Evidence in the Echinacea – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 5 By Dale Mayer



Evidence in the Echinacea
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Riches to rags … Controlling to chaos …
But murder … well maybe …

Doreen’s success at solving murders has hit the newswires across the country, but all Doreen wants is to be left alone. She has antiques to get to the auction house and a relationship with Corporal Mack Moreau to work out, not to mention a new friendship to nurture with Penny, Doreen’s first friend in Kelowna, and Doreen doesn’t want to ruin things.

But when a surprise accusation won’t leave Doreen alone—about Penny’s late husband George’s death and made by one of the men Doreen helped put away—she thinks that maybe it can’t hurt to just take a quick look into her new friend’s past.

Before Doreen knows it, she’s juggling a cold case, a closed case, and a possible mercy killing … along with cultivating her relationships with Penny, Mack, and Doreen’s pets: Mugs, the basset hound; Goliath, the Maine coon cat, and Thaddeus, the far-too-talkative African gray parrot. And while Mack should be used to Doreen’s antics by now, when she dives into yet another of his cases it’s becoming increasingly hard to take …

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I absolutely love this series. It’s fun, adventurous and full of laughter and surprises.

Doreen made a friend in the last book, Penny. Unfortunately the bad guy from that one has cast suspicion onto her with an accusation that Doreen can’t get out of her head. But with other things going on she hasn’t spent too much time thinking about it.

One of my favorite things in these books is the relationship between her and Mack, the detective is handsome and honorable. He’s helping Doreen in many ways but the best is teaching her to cook.

This is a favorite scene.

Sunday Late Afternoon …

Back at her place, Mack drove up as she stood on the front step. Corporal Mack Moreau, the most interesting man in town and the most infuriating. He followed the legal line, even when she wanted him to bend it just an itsy-bitsy bit. Still, she had to admire him for that stance.

He did know right from wrong, and that was more than her devious ex had understood. As Mack walked toward her house, he lifted the small bag he carried.

“Did you bring everything we need? Because I’m starving.”

“You’re always starving,” he said, striding forward to the kitchen. “I’ll get started. You can make coffee.”

Obligingly, she was happy to do that as she finally had confidence in her ability to make a good cup of coffee. As she watched Mack, he first washed his hands, and then he took the cold pasta from the fridge. “What’s in the bag?”

“Artichokes,” he said with a smirk. “As ordered.”

She gasped in delight and watched as he popped the top off the jar and pulled out four of the oddest-looking things she’d ever seen. Her smile fell away. “I don’t know what those are.”

He stopped, looked at her in surprise. “Artichokes?”

She shook her head. “I’m not sure if we’re talking about the same thing here,” she said delicately. “Because the artichokes I know look like a pine cone.”

He chuckled. “Absolutely, whole artichokes do look like that. These are artichoke hearts.” He said, “Surely they didn’t put the artichoke leaves into your pasta.”

She frowned and said, “I don’t know. What do the leaves look like?”

“Pine cone petals,” he said bluntly. “Could you eat them? Or did you scrape them through your teeth?”

She shook her head. “No, I ate them as part of the dish.”

“Then what they gave you were the artichoke hearts.”

“Oh,” she said, and, then in a small voice, she asked, “Why do pine cones have hearts?”

He looked at her, and she watched his mouth work as he tried to hold back his mirth. She glared at him, her hands on her hips, and warned, “Don’t you dare.”

But it was too much. He sagged into the nearby chair, his arms wrapped on his chest, and then, like a balloon that had been blown up too tight, he howled with laughter. She stomped toward him and swung her arm back, but he leveled a look at her and said, “Don’t you even think about it.”

She snorted and stepped back and said, “How did you know?”

When he saw the glass of water in her hand, he just stared at it. “You wouldn’t really have dumped that on me, would you?”

She just watched him with the same level look, and he chuckled again. “I don’t know if pine cones have hearts or not. Artichokes do,” he said. “Next time, if I think about it, I will bring a whole artichoke, and we will dissect it.”

“Okay,” she said, happy with that. “You’d have made a good teacher, you know that?”

“It was my second career choice,” he said, “so thank you.”

“The public school system lost out when you went into the legal side of things.”

“Let’s hope I’ve caused more damage to the criminal world,” he said, “than I would have caused to those young vulnerable minds.”

She thought she knew what he meant but wouldn’t worry about it. Because, all of a sudden, she saw a piece of artichoke that looked almost like what she was used to. She picked it up and delicately put it between her lips, tasting it. And then she beamed. “Oh, my goodness, this is it.” And she ate the whole thing. He cut several more and moved them off to the side. She picked up one that had more leaves than the soft-heart part. She asked, “Can you eat all of this?”

He nodded. But she could see which part was the soft heart and which was the start of the inside leaves. She ate that one too, and, after it was all gone, she said happily, “That’s divine.”
Dale Mayer. Evidence in the Echinacea (Kindle Locations 259-292). Valley Publishing.

In spite of having the appraiser from Christie’s preparing to transport some of the antiques in her home, she does find a way to start investigating Penny.

The clincher is finding a journal in Penny’s garage as she helps make the front of Penny’s house ready for the relator’s pictures.

Lots of fun with Thaddeus, the parrot, he starts calling her by name in this one! Mugs and Goliath are hoot as well. Her grandmother Nan also manages to be a bit of trouble too as the folks in the home start betting on Doreen and Mack having a relationship.

Plenty of suspense, laughs and so much more. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

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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Destiny Be Damned – Last Hope Book 3 by Rebecca Royce



Destiny Be Damned
Last Hope Book 3
By
Rebecca Royce

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It is the end of days…

With no memory of how she left one existence for another, Mika spends her days serving those who need her without the benefit of guards. Unlike her fellow Sisters she was never in love with any of those who ever worked with her. Until five contractors show up to fix the Sisterhood.

They are not battle ready…

Neil, Wayne, Gordon, Ren, and Lennon are not trained guards. They have no idea that their destiny is to be with Mika, far away from the island paradise where they were raised. But when she needs them, they will discover what they were born to do and awaken a destiny in Mika that will change the world forever.

Mika has no guards, they have yet to find her. When five contractors come to work on the new sisterhood she entertains thoughts of them being her guard, but she knows it isn’t so, they have no training and come from a place that has no demons.

This is a favorite scene as Neil describes the island where they grew up.

“Mika is fine. We don’t hold to formality here. Part of leaving the place we used to live was trying to start anew. I know people get hung up on the Sister part, but I’m fine with Mika.” I’d never said that before. I didn’t realize I meant it until I spoke the words.

“All right, Mika then. I can’t accept your umbrella. If I take it with me, and you need to go out, you’ll get wet.”

This was like a math problem they’d given us in early schooling. I knew how to solve this problem. “Come with me. I’ll walk you over with the umbrella and then walk myself back.”

“I can’t have you walking back out there alone. It’s storming.”

I stiffened my back. “I fight demons and things that crawl through the dark. A little weather is not something I need to concern myself with. Come on.”

I was lying, of course. Demons scared me a great deal less than thunder and lightning. I had never been able to make sense of it, but fear was a nonsensical thing. He ran after me, catching my arm. “At least let me carry the umbrella while we walk together.”

Since he was taller, I supposed that made sense. Neil smelled clean, as though he’d recently washed up with soap, and I liked the scent for the few seconds I could before the musk of the rain soaked world overpowered me.

Neil held the umbrella over both our heads, tugging my shirt a little to draw me closer to him. We were both still getting a little wet. He shouted above the pounding rain, “I should never have agreed to this. You have no business being out here. A little water doesn’t cause me any trouble. Why did I say yes?”

“I didn’t really give you a choice.” That was how I dealt with people. It was easier to get what I wanted done rather than spend a lot of time obsessing and questioning it. “What did you mean you don’t have experience with demons?”

Everyone did. It was the world we lived in… the end of days. We’d been taught there wasn’t a family alive who hadn’t lost someone to possession. The nobility hid their possessed relatives better, while the poor suffered in greater numbers publicly.

“We’re from a little island no one around here has ever heard of. It’s off the Western Coast, called Peter’s Isle. We don’t have demons there.”

Now, that was just not possible. “Can’t be.”

He shouted to be heard, but after a few seconds it was like I could only hear him, as though all other sound stopped. “I know it sounds like I’m making it up. But I’m not. We’re a small but steady population of people. Craftsmen. Carpenters. Plumbers. Farmers. Just about everything you really need to survive. And we don’t have demons. We’re very protective of the place. It’s hard to get to. My mother used to say we didn’t have demons because of this giant oak tree in the center of the square in the main part of town. That somehow the oak protected us. Now, I know that’s ridiculous, and I can’t really explain it. But there it is. No demons. No possessions. Three times a year we go onto the mainland and sell our wares. There is a shuttle that goes back and forth daily so if there are small things that have to get done, they can get done. People never try to come who aren’t already there. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it is real. We’re not the only ones either, we know of three other places that are demon-free. They just are. Little enclaves, I guess.”

I listened to him speak as though he’d just informed me the planet was flat and gravity didn’t exist. I knew better than to believe this, yet I was also absolutely sure he was being honest. Above our heads, in the storm, the ravens cawed. I gritted my teeth. They needed to go find Guards. I couldn’t understand them, and cawing at me was useless. The spirits danced around—Neil would not be able to see them—and yet they said nothing, always watching me and never telling me what I was supposed to be doing.

I stopped moving. We were under the awning of the guesthouse. Neil lowered the umbrella. “Neil.” I had to know the answer to a very simple question. It seemed the most important thing in the world for me to find out. “Why are you here then? If you had this beautiful place with none of the filth, none of the evil, none of the things that are destroying us all day by day, what are you doing here?”

I couldn’t believe how easily the words flowed off my tongue. It was nighttime. I didn’t know him, and it was raining. Somehow, I was still able to talk to this man despite all of those factors that should have made it impossible.

“The five of us have always known each other. It would have been impossible not to; the island isn’t that big. We all went to school together. We just all felt one day that it was time to see the world. See what else there was. Meet people.” He cocked his head to the side, looking at the sky for a second then back to me. “My mother called it wanderlust. I don’t know how else to explain. We just had to leave. We’ll go home, eventually. I know we will. For now, we’ve been able to help a lot of people who just don’t have the skills we do.”

That was lovely. I hoped they didn’t live to regret that decision. If I had somewhere safe to stay, I’d never have left it. I’d been born to battle, even chosen it—or so Teagan, Daniella, and Anne told me. “Goodnight.”

He handed me the umbrella. “I’m going to stand here and watch you walk back.”

They really raised men to be kind on his Peter’s Isle. If there were no demons there, then I would never see it. Still, I liked thinking such a place existed.
Royce, Rebecca. Destiny Be Damned (Last Hope Book 3) (pp. 14-18). Kindle Edition.

There is much going on in this book as Mika discovers what she has been denying is true. She is the Oracle. She will go through her dark time to come to the light.

Tense and action-packed, Romantic and Sizzling, Emotional and Satisfying, don’t miss this installment of The Last Hope Series.

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!

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Rebecca Royce Rebecca Royce

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!


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Evan – SEALs of Honor Book 8 By Dale Mayer


Evan
SEALs of Honor Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


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Evan is known for being unpredictably mysterious and untamed. Even his old lover Megan believed in his camouflage. When she transfers to the West Coast to join the new helicopter division, their lives collide once again. Finding out he carries a torch for her is a massive shock–and a rush she’s not sure how to handle.

With another SEAL unit under attack needing their help, Megan gets too close and the bad guys turn on her. Evan is her only safety, but this enemy is gunning for both of them now, and they need to find out what happened to their friends–fast, before they become the next MIA.

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I love stong heroines and Dale Mayer definitely delivers. In this book we get a closer look at Ice and meet her new partner Megan. The book starts as Ice and Megan pick Levi’s team out of a mission gone wrong. An ambush that will change all their lives.

Evan was part of the team that went in to get them out, he and Megan have a bit of history and now he wants to see if there is more for them. Megan is a bit more skeptical, although she does have feelings for him as well.

As this investigation opens, things are really tense on base, and Megan thinks she may have seen something.

He led the way back to where he knew he’d find Mason.

At the big meeting room where Mason was prepping for a large presentation, Evan stopped and cleared his throat.

Mason turned and frowned. “What’s wrong?”

Evan could feel the hesitation in Megan’s movements. “Megan is worried that she saw something yesterday. It’s easily corroborated but I wanted to run it by you first. You might know.”

He put the chalk down and turned to look at Megan. “What did you see?”

Evan listened as she explained. “I’m probably making too big a deal of it. It’s just it seemed odd to me,” she said with a shrug.

“Anything else?” Mason asked, his probing gaze locked on her but there was curiosity there. As in he heard her and expected more.

She winced and slid him a sidelong glance.

“What haven’t you shared?”

“It’s nothing major and honestly I don’t want to make a mistake based on race.”

Mason studied her. “They were another ethnic group?”

“Yes, they were all Mexican looking. They spoke Spanish. But I don’t want to make a snap judgment based on something like that.”

“We don’t do that.” Mason called down to security. Even listening into the one half of the conversation, it was easy to understand the information.

When he replaced the phone, Mason turned to stare at her. “A van did come through to fix the vac system in the hangar you were in, but they say only two men were clocked in and out.”

“So,” Evan said. “They just met up with other men while here? That’s certainly not unheard of.”

“Neither would it be unheard of if they were hiding in the back of the van,” Megan said, her voice tart. “I’m not saying anything other than there were four men at the same place at the same time.”

“Thanks for letting me know,” Mason said in low slow tone. “I’ll check it out further.”

“Or we could,” Evan jumped in. “Asking questions won’t seem untoward if she’s bothered by something.”

“And you, what’s your excuse for being there?” Mason asked slowly.

Evan glanced over at Mason. “I’ll be able to think up something.”

“Stone is missing his lucky cross,” Mason said. “Please check the helicopter for it and ask the crew if anyone has seen it.”

Evan flashed a smile and nudged Megan back out of the room. “Let’s go.”

“I don’t need you to go with me,” she said, tugging her arm free. “It’s probably nothing.”

“And now it is something even if only an item to knock off our list of things to check out.” He wasn’t going to brook any argument. “Besides, I’ll get to spend a little more time with you this way.”

She laughed, a bitter note weaving through her tone. “And why the hell would you want to do that?”
Mayer, Dale. SEALs of Honor: Books 7-10 . Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (2998-3020). Kindle Edition.

Things heat up rapidly in more way than one as Megan finds herself in the middle of an investigation she really wants nothing to do with.

Plenty of hold your breath action, tears, some laughter and simmering to sizzling heat as Evan works to convince Megan he’s the one for her.

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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Amazon Author Page

Trouble in Dixie – Familiar Legacy Book 2 by Rebecca Barrett



Trouble in Dixie
Familiar Legacy Book 2
By
Rebecca Barrett

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OLD MONEY AND FRESH MURDER —

Trouble, a savvy black cat with a penchant for sleuthing, has landed in the cream of Savannah society. So has a murderer and art thief. Julia Hampton comes from old family, old money, and old society, but her job as an art insurance investigator puts her at odds with her background–and with the killer. Julia is determined to stop him. U. S. Deputy Marshal Mitch Lawson knows more than he’s willing to let on. One thing is clear: Julia is in danger–because of secrets he won’t share.

But have no fear, Trouble the black cat detective is on the job and while Julia and Mitch are distracted by their attraction to each other, he is about to get his man.

I love this detective cat! In this one Tammy Lynn is off canvasing libraries and Trouble is in Savannah, Georgia with a Private Investigator friend Julia.

We jump right into suspense with Julia’s office being broken into. Her parents having a fit and being coerced into attending a formal affair to appease her father.

Followed by not being able to reach her contact at the Insurance Agency she is contracted to, but meeting an intriguing fellow, Doug Heinz, who has been pranked by two of his co-workers. Then meeting a US Marshall Mitch Lawson.

This is a favorite scene after Mitch shows up at her office.

Julia picked up the card and read it. Then she moved to the window and watched as Mitch Lawson stood on the sidewalk outside her house, unmoving, staring into the darkness.

She hated to think she was so fickle but from the moment he had stepped into her office she had forgotten all about Doug Heinz. That is, until Lawson brought him up. What was it between those two? She had sensed the tension in Doug on the street earlier in the day when Mitch arrived in response to her 911 call. At the time she brushed it aside as anger over the vandalism. Now she wasn’t so sure. It now seemed more than a little suspicious that Mitch would have shown up at the scene, and so quickly at that. And now he was asking questions about her relationship with Doug.

He had come to her in search of information on the theft, or so he said. Why did she feel there was more to it than that? She sighed. Her father’s concern over her safety was beginning to take its toll. All these unanswered questions didn’t help matters. She had brushed off the break-in to everyone but now she could admit to herself a little niggle of fear. After the break-in, Peter Ryder had disappeared, a U. S. Deputy Marshal had arrived on the scene, tight lipped and watchful. What was really going on?

She placed the card on her desk and started to tidy up the files on the table in the corner of her office. Trouble dropped to the floor from the sofa and padded across to her desk. He jumped to the chair then the desktop.

“What have I told you about my desk, Trouble?” Julia stopped what she was doing, a stack of files in her hand.

“Yeow.” Trouble batted at the card with his paw, moving it around on the desktop. Then he sat on his haunches and blinked slowly three times. “Yeow.”

Julia placed the files on the table and crossed the room to stand looking down at Trouble. She picked up the card. “Okay. So, what’s the message? Friend or foe?”

Trouble began to purr, his eyelids drooping to half mast.

Julia started scratching him under his chin. His eyes closed and the purring grew to the sound of a small cement mixer. “I think you like him.”

Trouble’s eyes opened to green slits, then closed again. A final judgment, Julia thought, on the merits of one Mitchell Lawson, U. S. Deputy Marshal.

Julia tapped Mitch’s card against her chin. The key, she thought, was Peter Ryder. As soon as the claim was assigned to her, he disappeared. True, it had been only a little over forty-eight hours since anyone had last seen him, but the timing was suspicious.
Rebecca Barrett. Trouble in Dixie (Kindle Locations 475-498). KaliOka Press. Kindle Edition.

Fast-paced, lots of fun and danger. Twists and turns abound in this tale.

Julia’s family is a hoot and Mitch is delightful. Trouble is in fact always in the middle of things and I adore this cat.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Rebecca Barrett

Rebecca Barrett writes historical fiction, romantic mysteries, post-apocalyptic fiction (writing as Campbell O’Neal), children’s stories, and short stories of life in the South. An avid reader all her life and a product of “front porch” socializing, she became a story-teller at an early age.

Her current novel, Trouble in Paradise, features that handsome, sleek, black cat detective, Trouble. The game is afoot in Key West, Florida and there’s a dead body in the Toucan Suite of the Paradise B&B. This is Rebecca Barrett’s second book in this series written by multiple authors (The Mad Catters) who follow the antics of super-sleuth Trouble as he lands in first one crime scene then another. Of course, the humans help a little. These romantic mysteries are fun and light hearted and just perfect for a beach read or a rainy day.

Kade – Butler Ranch Book 5 By Heather Slade



Kade
Butler Ranch Book 5
By
Heather Slade

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AN ALTERED MISSION.

Her mission was clear: go undercover to infiltrate a Russian organization. But when the MI6 agent discovers that two former CIA operatives are being held captive, rescuing them becomes paramount for her.

A PERSONAL VENDETTA.

Grateful for the rescue, he has one goal: kill the enemy who threatens his family. Obtaining the confidential files people are dying for is secondary.

A JOINT ENDEAVOR.

With both the CIA and MI6 after the hidden documents, the two must team up to uncover the truth. While working together, desire ignites and danger intensifies. Suddenly, they are torn between passion and duty. Each with a mission to complete and a heart to protect, will they be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice for their careers?

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At the end of Mercer the ultimate surprise comes in the form of Kade. He’s not dead and he has a lot of explaining to do. Especially to his daughter.

Finally understanding the ‘Kade’ sightings in the previous books, to the explanation of Lena’s involvement beyond being Kade’s ex-wife and Quinn’s mother.

Now the goal is to keep his family safe and resolve the issue of the missing documents. Merrigan ‘Fatale’ has joined them here in the US to assist in that goal.

Of course there’s going to be issues before the rest can be accomplished. The first happens even before Lena arrives.

This is a favorite scene.

When she heard the knock on the door, Merrigan knew Kade stood on the opposite side of it. She squared her shoulders and yanked it open, ready to give him a piece of her mind.

He crossed the threshold and lifted her in his arms before she was able to say as much as hello. His mouth came down hard on hers, as his tongue demanded entry. When he put his hands on her bottom and lifted her body, she clung to him.

This is what she’d fantasized about since they parted ways in Moscow, after the scorching kiss they’d shared.

When he carried her over to the bed and was about to trap her body under his, Merrigan came to her senses and rolled out from under him.

“What in the hell do you think you’re doing?” she spat at him, wiping his taste from her lips with the back of her hand.

Kade followed her until he had her cornered in the room. “Picking up where we left off,” he murmured, and then covered her lips with his again.

“Stop this,” she said, pushing against him.

Instead of letting her go, Kade barricaded her between the wall and his body. He dipped his head until he found his target and kissed her again. It wasn’t just her lips he kissed either. His tongue trailed down her neck, as his left hand sneaked under her sweater and his fingers toyed with her nipple.

It was as though her body had a mind of its own and refused to listen to her brain telling it to get away from him. Finally, she found the single word she knew would bring this seduction to a screeching halt.

“Barbie,” she murmured when he took a breath.

“She won’t be here until tomorrow.”

Merrigan pushed at Kade with all her might, catching him off guard long enough to slip under his arm. “You bastard,” she screeched at him. “How dare you?”

Kade held up his hands but stalked toward her. She didn’t have much space to get away from him in the small room, but if she could maneuver herself closer to the door, maybe she could run out, get in her car, and leave before he realized what was happening.

Unfortunately, he was as quick or quicker than she was. He scooped her up and set her on the edge of the bed, pinning her with his body.

“Explain,” he bellowed. “Right now.”

“I’m not sure what kind of women you’re used to, Doc, but I am not one of them.”

“Are you telling me you don’t want this?”

His lips were close enough that he could easily kiss her again, and if he did, she doubted she’d be able to maintain her resolve.

“That’s exactly what I’m telling you,” she said, refusing to look at him.

His grip loosened but not enough that she could slip away from him again. “What does this have to do with Barbie?”

Oh. My. God,” she roared. “It has everything to do with her. Kade, have you no respect for her, or me, or any other woman? How could I have misjudged you so completely?”

He let go and stood, walking over to the table by the window. He pulled out one of the chairs and turned it so he was facing her. “Let’s start over,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. “Do you even know who Barbie is?”

“Of course I do.”

“Tell me.”

“Don’t be daft. I’m in no mood for games.”

“Neither am I. Now, tell me who Barbie is.”

“For Christ’s sake. She’s your bloody wife.”

His face softened, and Merrigan thought maybe she’d even seen him smile. “She’s my bloody ex-wife. We’ve been divorced for almost fifteen years.”

“But…”

Kade raised an eyebrow and waited for her to continue; when she didn’t, he spoke. “Where did you get the idea she was still my wife?”

She thought hard about Paps’ words earlier. Had she somehow misheard him? Had he said ex-wife, but instead she’d heard wife? “I must’ve misunderstood,” she murmured, meeting his eyes.

When she stood, so did he.

“Come here,” he said, even though she was close enough that he could’ve easily pulled her into his arms.

letting him see how much thinking he was married had affected her. They’d shared one kiss before today. Just one. It didn’t matter that it had curled her toes and set her body aflame. One kiss, no matter how incendiary, did not give her license to be jealous.

His gaze rested on her still unopened suitcase, and instead of moving closer to her, he picked it up and turned in the direction of the door.

“Where do you think you’re going with that?”

“There’s somewhere I want to take you.”

“If it requires a different attire, I can change here. We don’t need my entire trunk.”

“I’m taking you to my family’s ranch. You can stay there.”

She folded her arms. “I’m perfectly comfortable here.”

Kade looked about the small room and shook his head. “I’m not.” He walked out the door, carrying her bag with him. “Let’s go,” he said behind him.

“Kade, I—”

He dropped her trunk where he stood and stalked back over to her, grasping her neck with one hand and her waist with the other as his lips came crashing down on hers. His tongue wound its way through her parted lips, and his fingers dug into the flesh of her hip. She whimpered when he pressed his body to hers and she felt his hardness.

He pulled back enough that he could look into her eyes, but his body remained flush with hers.

“I haven’t seen my family for two years. Most of them believed I was dead. I’ve seen my daughter, actually held her, looked into her eyes, and spoke to her for the first time in fourteen years, and yet, you are all I can think about. My mother is hosting a family dinner tonight, and if I have any hope of being present with the people who mean more to me than anything else in this world, I need you by my side. Do you understand, Merrigan? Don’t make me beg you to come with me. Come with me because you want to.”

She took a deep breath and studied him. “Okay.”

He sighed. “Thank you.”
Slade, Heather. Kade (Butler Ranch Book 5) (pp. 34-39). Sparrow Publishing. Kindle Edition.

As the family reunites, Leech, Lina’s father and Quinn’s grandfather takes a turn for the worse. Kade has to convince Merrigan to join them at the hospital in Germany, something she isn’t sure she wants to do. Meeting Kade’s ex-wife is not in her plans and it is definitely a complex situation.

So many complications, so much intricately woven suspense, lots of sizzling heat and much more!

I loved the way Heather took this series from the sabotage of the vineyards to a complicated tale of international suspense. All leading into to her K19 series, which I am already reading.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.

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The Captive – A Savage Mountain Men Novel – A Reverse Harem Romance by Mika Lane


The Captive
A Savage Mountain Men Novel
A Reverse Harem Romance
By
Mika Lane

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Injured in the woods.
Taken in by 4 hunky mountain men.
They had one simple rule.
I broke it anyway.

Why’d I do it? Because I’m a nosy brat. I had to know what they were doing on Savage Mountain. Why were they hiding there?

And when I found, out, I was sorry I’d snooped. Because these weren’t the nicest of people. Although they sure freaked nice. That made it hard to leave. Well, their tying me to the bed made it hard to leave, too.

Sharing a cabin with 4 brawny mountain men? Yeah, it was as about as hot and dirty as you’d expect it to be.

This naughty, over-the-top romance includes 4 hulking mountain men with checkered pasts and doubtful futures, claiming the one woman they can’t live without. If you love outrageous reverse harem stories with a bit of spanking, tying up, voyeurism, and tough-as-nails military dudes, this might be the book for you.

Joelle aka ‘Jo’ and her friend Pippa are planning camping trip when Pippa gets hurt, encouraged to go on her own is where we find her on Strong Mountain. Her first camping experience is going quite well until she is visited by two men hiking. In an effort to impress them with her outdoor skills she makes them coffee, unfortunately she slips in the mud and manages to severely sprain her ankle.

I got a real kick out of the guys berating her for wearing flip flops, I mean seriously why would you wear those in mud?

With no other recourse the men, Pierce and Jax, decide they need to take her to the cabin they share with 2 others. Reid and Blaze.

This is a favorite scene.

And a woman camping alone? Now, that was ballsy, the likes of which I’d never seen. It made her even sexier, in my opinion.

And just as our new friend Jo was handing Jax another cup of her terrible instant coffee— seriously, I had no idea people still drank that freeze-dried swill— which we were suffering through only to extend our visit, she slipped in mud thanks to the stupid flip-flops she was wearing. Wiped the hell out and landed flat on her ass. She legit dumped hot coffee all over poor Jax who jumped up and started shaking the scorching liquid off his arms and legs.

What a mess.

To be honest, I almost laughed, it looked so slapstick-y, but thank god I didn’t. It took about five seconds to realize Jo was hurt and in pain, not to mention filthy from having fallen on the rain-soaked ground.

“Oh, shit, shit, shit,” she yelled, trying to get some purchase on the slippery ground in order to pull herself back up. I reached a hand to help, and it was only when she tried to maneuver to her feet that we noticed one of her ankles bent at a slightly strange angle. But the true extent of the injury didn’t become clear until she tried to put weight on the foot. The pain must have been immense because her previously healthy color turned dead white, and she let out a screech that most likely frightened animals for miles around.

“Fuuuuuuuuuck!”

“Hey, easy there, take it easy,” I said, grabbing her arm for support as she followed up with a string of expletives that would make a Marine Corps drill instructor blush. Here, lean on me, keep your weight off of it.”

Jax took her other arm to lower her to a seat on the log where he’d just been. “You know, you should really wear hiking boots at all times. They protect your ankles.”

The look Jo gave Jax was deadly enough to kill a small animal at fifty feet. “Yeah, thanks. It’s a little late for that now, though,” she snapped.

I was sorry she was hurt, of course, but the fact that she could still manage to essentially tell Jax to shove his observation up his ass intrigued me even more.

“Goddammit,” she yelled, picking up the closest rock and throwing it against the side of her tent hard enough that I’m surprised it didn’t leave a tear in the nylon.

“I twisted my ankle and it hurts like a motherfucker. Probably no ice for miles. Shit,” she said, putting her hands to her face as if she could wish her way out of the predicament.

Her shoulders shook, and I knew she was trying not to cry, but twisting your ankle like that hurts… bad. No shame in crying, then, I wanted to tell her. But I didn’t know her well enough to offer my opinion. Yet.

“I tell ya what,” I said, kneeling down and putting a hand on her shoulders. “How about Jax and I help you down to the water? It’s not ice, but it’s cool and might help prevent some swelling.”

I knew damn well her ankle was going to swell like a motherfucker, but hoped the water would provide a modicum of relief. It might have sucked as a first step in terms of treatment, but it was better than nothing.

“Y… yeah,” Jo said, looking up and smiling wanly, tears still floating in the corners of her eyes. “Thanks.”

She was light as a feather as we half-carried her to the water’s edge and settled her on a smooth rock that allowed her foot to hang in the water. If it hadn’t been for the very mud she’d slipped in, I could have handled her all by myself. The feel of her warm skin against my arms shot tendrils of sensation between my legs, bringing my dick to some serious attention.

When we got her settled, I stepped back reluctantly, and I think Jax did too. Jo sighed in relief before her face pinched.

“Okay. That feels nice,” she said, mostly to herself before turning those doe eyes on us. “Would you guys mind getting me my backpack? I think I have some Advil or something.”

“Um, sure. I’ll get you some water, too.” Jax and I headed back to her site.

When we were out of earshot, Jax spoke in a low voice. “Christ, what is she going to do now?” he asked. “She can’t freaking walk.”

I watched her swirl her leg in the water, like a little mermaid trying to decide whether or not to go in. Her blonde hair spilled around her shoulders, half pinned up in some sort of crazy sexy confection, and I had to control the urge to adjust myself in my jeans, which were feeling very tight at that moment.

“No shit.” I asked in a low voice. The real question, however, was what the hell we were going to do. We couldn’t very well leave her there.

Could we?

We could help her back to her car and load it up with all her crap, but how would she drive? She’d hurt her right ankle. You can drive a car with a hurt left leg, but right? No way.

And we sure as hell couldn’t bring her back to our cabin… for a multitude of reasons.

“Dude, she’s basically an invalid. We can’t leave her here,” Jax said. “She can’t even walk the ten feet back to her tent.”

I took a deep breath and looked at Jax.

I could tell he was thinking the same thing I was.

“If we bring her back to the cabin, Blaze will fucking lose his mind. There’s just no way we could do that.” I was half-hoping Jax agreed with me so I didn’t have to be a fucker all by myself.

But Jax was never a fucker.

“Well, we’ll deal with that when we have to. But for now, bringing her back is our only option. Aside from leaving her, which I could not do,” he said.

Shit. Why had I gone out for a hike with the nice guy of our group? He was forever bringing back hurt animals. Now, a hurt human.
Mika Lane. The Captive: A Contemporary Reverse Harem Romance (Savage Mountain Men) (Kindle Locations 243-288).

While Pierce and Jax are the ones who bring her home, Reid and Blaze are not very happy about the situation.

There was slow build with Pierce and Jax but I felt the interactions with Reid was rushed. With Blaze, he didn’t even seem to like her and the circumstances surrounding them getting together just didn’t feel right to me.

All in all an enjoyable book, containing white hot heat and some interesting secrets that eventually get shared.

4 Contented Purrs for Mika!

  Mika Lane

Writing has been a passion of Mika’s since a young age (her first book was “The Day I Ate the Milkyway”), but erotic romance is now what gives purpose to her days and nights. She lives in magical Northern California with her own handsome alpha dude, sometimes known as Mr. Mika Lane, and an evil cat named Bill. A devotee of the intelligent and beautiful, and lover of shiny things, she’s a yogi, hiker, traveler, thinker, observer, and book worm. She has been known to drink cheap champagne and has way too many shoes.

A National Reader’s Choice Awards finalist, Mika always deliver a hot, sexy romp, often with imperfect characters, and a promised happily ever after (or at least happy for now).