Covert Vengeance – Vengeance Book 2 by Kaylea Cross




Covert Vengeance
Vengeance Book 2
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Kaylea Cross

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Revenge came at a heavy price.

Valkyrie hacker Amber Brown is deadly in her own right, but her preferred weapon is a keyboard. So after her teammates left her for dead, she took her revenge the way she was trained to—swiftly and brutally. Except one of her targets might be innocent. To right that wrong, Amber vows to rescue the at-risk Valkyrie no matter the cost, and this time she’s working alone. So when a sexy stranger shows up in the middle of a firefight and announces he’s been sent by her sister, it’s going to take a whole lot more than his word to make her trust him.

Chasing redemption may prove deadly.

Elite gun for hire Jesse Cordova lives on the edge of the law. When a new job offer sets off warning bells, he digs deeper and finds the startling truth. The woman he’s been tasked with capturing is a secret government assassin, and Amber Brown is unlike any target he’s gone after before. But bringing her in opens them up to a whole new level of danger, pitting them against one of the most ruthless assassins in the world. Now that the sexy Valkyrie has stolen his heart, Jesse will risk everything to see their mission through—knowing that the only way this ends is with one of them dying.

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At the end of the last book, Amber had discovered the possible location of Hannah a Valkyrie that she had turned information over to enemies in retaliation for being ambushed. At the time she believed Hannah to be a traitor and she felt justified in what she did. Now with other Valkyries she finds that may not have been the truth. She’s determined to rescue Hannah so the truth about that last mission can be discovered.

Jesse is an assassin, he’s found a job on the dark web that would set him up to retire. However there is something off about the deal, so he contacts an old friend, Bautista. It happens that Bautista is married to Georgia, one of the original Valkyries and Jesse’s plan change from doing the job to backing up Amber and then capturing the one who put out the hit.

Fast paced and intriguing as Jesse gets Amber out of more than one hot spot, and in the process rescue another Valkyrie. Without doing much of anything Amber has snuck her way into Jesse’s heart and he knows he wants a relationship with her. Amber on the other hand is confused. She has feelings for the assassin, but she’s never been able to commit to anything because of her job.

We see all the other Valkyries, Rycroft and Marcus in this one, as plans go forward. We also get to see more of Megan and Tyler’s relationship as her sister Amber gets more involved with Jesse. For Amber the success of this mission will decide her fate in more ways than one.

I love the way this story is unfolding, the Valkyries are awesome women, and the men that have so far won their hearts are no less spectacular.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Kaylea!

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Kaylea Cross

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards and has been nominated for both the Daphne du Maurier and the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.

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Aaron – Hathaway House Book 1 by Dale Mayer


Welcome to Hathaway House,
a heartwarming military romance series
from USA TODAY best-selling author
Dale Mayer.
Here you’ll meet
a whole new group of friends,
along with a few favorite characters from
Heroes for Hire.
Instead of action, you’ll find emotion.
Instead of suspense, you’ll find healing.
Instead of romance, … oh, wait …
There is romance—of course!

Aaron
Hathaway House Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Welcome to Hathaway House.
Rehab Center. Safe Haven.
Second chance at life and love.

Former Navy SEAL Aaron Hammond has no idea how he wound up at Hathaway House, Texas. Nor does he particularly care. All he can see is his anger. Anger at the betrayal that destroyed his physical body and at the loss of the future he wanted but that he’ll never have now. He’s a cripple, less than half a man, and all he can look forward to is a half life, alone with himself and his pain.

Dani Hathaway runs Hathaway House with her father, an ex-military man nicknamed the Major, and she knew Aaron and his brother SEAL Levi in another life. Levi was a good friend to her through her difficult teen years, but it was Aaron who caught her eye more than a decade ago. When she heard what happened to him, she moved heaven and earth to get him to Hathaway House, where she could help him regain his health and return him to the man he used to be.

Old feelings resurface as Dani continues to push Aaron to acknowledge that his life is not over, and that, if he chooses, he can find both love and a future at Hathaway House.

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This book became a favorite from the very first chapter. It contains all of my favorite things. We have animals, and not just any animals, rescued ones as well as family owned. Then we have Aaron, an injured Navy SEAL one who would not be returning to duty. The administrator of Hathaway House, Dani, knows Aaron, on a personal level from a very long time ago, so that gives us the possibility of a second chance at love.

Now Aaron is angry, not only because his career is done, but because of the way it ended. No one believed him and he has been blamed for the ‘accident’ that caused his injuries, injury to two others the death of two of his team, and other person there considered MIA. All this anger and the depression has stalled his healing. He needs to find peace of some sort to move forward.

Dani has to keep some secrets from him, the most important who is funding his stay. The focus has to be on getting Aaron’s emotional and physical injuries back on the healing path.

The path here isn’t much different than other places with the exception of the animals. There’s medical treatments, physical therapy and of course the therapist. For Aaron a big thing would be the animals.

This is a favorite scene.

Once they reached the common room, she could see still a good dozen people sitting with Helga. Dani stood beside Aaron in his wheelchair and said, “Helga, somebody else is here to see you.” The Newfoundland lolled on her back, twisting to look at her. She gave a small snuffling bark, seeming to say, “Good. You come here then.”

Dani laughed. She’d seen the same behavior in animals and humans alike. They could do whatever the hell they wanted to when nobody was looking, but the minute somebody was there, it was all about getting more attention. She crouched down and clapped her hands lightly. “Come on, Helga. Not everybody has to come to you. You need to get up and work that leg a little bit.”

Helga woofed quietly, her big bushy tail wagging in a full sweep across the floor. But Dani refused to move. Instead she sat cross-legged on the cement floor and called Helga again. Then, in a surprise move, Aaron snapped his fingers beside her and said, “Helga, come.”

Helga looked over at him and gave a deep woof. She got slowly to her feet. She was quite able to walk, but now, without the prosthetic leg on, her gait was rather awkward as she made her way to him.

“Nice touch,” Dani murmured to Aaron. “Why did you think that would work?”

“Big dogs are usually well-trained. They have to be, otherwise they’d hurt somebody,” he said. “But often, when the animal gets injured like that …” He shrugged. “They get lazy.”

Exactly the same for people, Dani thought to herself. But, by then, Helga had already laid her great big head in Aaron’s lap, accepting his strokes of attention.

Dani let the two of them enjoy meeting each other, and before long, it was a full-blown cuddle session. Helga crawled into the wheelchair alongside Aaron. He laughed as Helga’s big head snuggled up against his face. In another move that half-surprised Dani— she’d seen so many miracles between animals and humans before— she watched as Aaron wrapped his arms around Helga’s great big chest and hugged her tight.

Helga didn’t mind in the least. She didn’t make any move to get away, and indeed, she looked like she was just cuddling closer. She was a big weight to support though. Dani gave them a few minutes, and then she worried it would be too much for Aaron, and he wouldn’t know when to stop. She stood and went to grab Helga’s collar to pull her back, but Aaron said, “Don’t.”

At the choked emotion in Aaron’s voice, she let her hand drop. If he needed a few minutes longer, then she would give him a few minutes longer. She let her gaze drift to the others in the room, but nobody was interested in what was happening with Helga. In fact, several card games were going on at the far side of the room. She laughed. So this was where her father was. Judging by the stack of busted toothpicks used as betting chips in front of him, he was taking his friends to the cleaners again. “Hey, Dad, how you doing?”

He glanced over at her and smiled. “Doing well. King of the toothpicks.”

Her grin widened as the others grumbled. She wasn’t sure if they were having a friendly game or if somebody was cheating, but with the particular men involved, she wouldn’t be at all surprised either way. At one point, they’d deliberately played games where they would cheat to see how far they could go before the others noticed. All in good fun.

She dropped her gaze to the big man and the big dog next to her. Amazing how Helga wasn’t even moving. She was tucked right up against Aaron’s chest, all settled in. Dani stroked her silky ears. Finally Aaron straightened and released his hold on the large animal. Helga slipped back slightly, at least enough so she could wash his face with a great big lick. With a chuckle, Dani walked over to the sink and grabbed some paper towels. She dampened them and brought them back for him. “Here. This will help clean up some of that slobber.”

“It doesn’t matter. She’s a beautiful dog.”

In fact, she was more than a beautiful dog. She’d make an awesome therapy dog. But Dani’d have to think that concept over. A dog like Helga required a lot of space. Here she would certainly have room for Helga, but Dani couldn’t keep taking on every injured animal out there. There were months when she couldn’t cover the bills as it were. Still, it was something to consider if Helga had the same effect on patients as she just had on Aaron. With a gentle woof, Helga got down and then sprawled to the floor, stretching out at their feet.

“Do you want to stay down here for a bit longer, or do you want to go back upstairs?” she asked Aaron.

He turned the wheelchair around with a last look at Helga and said, “Let’s go back upstairs.”

As he maneuvered to the doors leading to the elevator, she said, “You’re welcome to return and visit anytime. Just be aware that, on certain days, the place can be frenzied, depending on what surgeries are scheduled.”

“I’d like to come back down.”

“Have you worked with animals before?”

“I wanted to be a veterinarian, before I went into the military.”

“Oh, wow.” She felt a jolt at that news but couldn’t exactly say why. Levi hadn’t mentioned it. Then again he might not know. “I think the animals missed out on something then, during all the years you were in the military.”

He shrugged. “Only so many things one person can do with his life.”

“Only so many things one person can do with his life at one time,” she corrected. “You have a whole new future ahead of you. You get to choose what to do now.”

She hadn’t meant the last line to come out sounding a bit too blunt, but running a place like this made it hard for her to not interfere.

Still her words had an effect, and he was silent all the way back to his room.
Dale Mayer. Aaron (Kindle Locations 418-463). Valley Publishing Ltd.

When Aaron inadvertently mentions the events of the day he was injured, Dani knows the only one who can help is Levi but she can’t actually tell him. I loved that Levi called at that moment of indecision for her. Yes you read this right, apparently Levi is Aaron’s brother, and who better to investigate and clear Aaron’s reputation.

I teared up when Levi shows up with Ice and Slade. He wants clarification of some rumors he’s heard. This also keeps Dani in the clear for sort of telling Levi.

I loved every single page of this book as Aaron works toward healing, and the long ago crush takes on new life, as he and Dani get to know each other as adults. The animals stole my heart, dogs, cats, horses they are all in here too.

So much emotion, with laughter, tears and lots of family and romantic love.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Coming Soon!
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Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Battle Scars – The Arsenal Book 5 By Cara Carnes



Battle Scars
The Arsenal Book 5
By
Cara Carnes

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Scars don’t always heal…

Jesse Mason chose duty over love and endured the hell of captivity comforted only with thoughts of the woman he left behind. Though the physical damage has healed, the emotional battle continues now that he’s home. He fakes happy and whole until Ellie is thrust back into his life. She’s everything he ever wanted but can never have. Getting wrapped up in her problems is not an option, but neither is leaving her in danger.

Without her he’d be nothing.

Scars aren’t always visible…

Ellie Travers salvaged her scarred heart and landed headfirst in a horrible marriage. Now divorced, broke, and desperate to care for her ailing mother, she accepts the only job offered — Office Manager at The Arsenal. Working for the man who broke her heart should be simple compared to escaping a hellacious marriage. But only she can help Jesse win the final war for his soul, and she’ll do anything to save him—even at the risk of losing herself.

The battle lines have been drawn. Together they must navigate the minefields of love and sacrifice because failure is not an option.

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Cara Carnes has done it again, this book tells us about Jesse’s capture and confinement. The unspeakable things done to him and how the thoughts of Ellie and home kept him alive when mostly he wanted to die.

We also get to understand a bit more about Levi, the man who has Jesse’s back 24/7. He’s  there when the nightmares take Jesse back into the hole.

Ellie’s got more than one problem, the biggest is her ex-husband, the man who stole everything from her and her Mom. The man holds threats over her and is abusive even now.

I adore the Arsenal crew, they pull together for their own and nothing is considered to be unimportant if it affects one of them. The first thing they have to do is get Ellie and her Mom safe, then they can take care of her ex.

This is a favorite scene.

“Mom?”

Rustling from the small bedroom off to the left of the living room drew Ellie’s attention. Her mom shuffled into the living room with more spunk and speed than she normally had, which meant she was still having a good day so far.

Ellie hated to darken a good day with her mess, but if Jesse thought she’d be safer at The Arsenal, she wouldn’t argue. Phil terrified her.

Her mom froze. Her widened gaze settled on Riley first, then Jesse. “What are you doing bringing them here?”

“We need to go and stay at The Arsenal a few days.”

“No.” Her mom’s lips thinned. “You wanna abandon me and go live out there, just say so, Ellie-belly. Don’t drag me into it. I’m perfectly fine here.”

She should’ve called Brant first. The doctor had a way of getting her mom to cooperate when no one else could because he was kind. Patient.

“Someone shot my tire out. Phil showed up, dragged me out of the truck, and threatened me.” Speak straight and leave nothing out. It was the best way to handle Mom on most days. Her mom halted her progression toward the recliner across the small room.

“Phil.” She spat his name like a curse. “You never had any sense when it came to men. Worst taste. I thank God everyday your daddy didn’t live long enough to see the mistakes you’ve made.”

Jesse growled. Riley gasped. Ellie squeezed her eyes closed and willed patience. She and her mom had always had a somewhat strained relationship, but the cancer had made it worse the past few years.

Since the marriage. Then the divorce.

“What’s he want with you now?” The woman sat in her recliner. “I’m not hiding out with those damn Masons ’cause you hooked up with that yellow-bellied weasel.”

“You’ll have a place to yourself. None of us will enter or bother you,” Jesse promised.

“You after my girl again?”

“No, ma’am, but she needs to be protected. We can do that easier at our place.”

The quick reply pained Ellie. She glanced away and gave Jesse the lead because dread cemented her tongue and filled her throat. It’d been years since Jesse and her mom fought. He wasn’t a kid or a young man any longer. He was a battle-hardened warrior. She was a cancer-ravaged woman.

Ellie loved them both.

“It’ll be easier on Ellie having you out there. She’ll be on the road less and out of danger,” Riley said. “She really is in danger, Ms. Travers.”

“Why’s he messing with you? What’d you do this time?” Her mom glared.

“I have no idea, but we’ll find out and get it sorted. Then we can come back here. Please, Mom. I don’t want him coming here while I’m gone and messing with you.”

“I suppose it couldn’t hurt to be closer. Lord knows she spends enough time out there and flitting back and forth,” her mom said. “You’ll keep my girl safe?”

“I will,” Jesse promised.

“I’ve never had much count for you Masons and I’m not gonna turn into one of those Mason-loving locals. But I’ll go.” Concern rushed across her mom’s face as they locked gazes. “Are you okay, Ellie-belly?”

“Yeah, Mom. I’m good.”

“I’ll help you pack,” Riley whispered.

Ellie replied as the woman was already pushing her into the small bedroom.

“We can hear them from here. You have a suitcase?”

Ellie nodded and grabbed it from her closet, along with a duffel. Her mom’s supplies alone would take a lot of room. She ran her hands down her jeans and looked around at the shambled mess of a life— one she’d kept closed off from anyone seeing. Sometimes Brant came into the bedroom to look at Mom, but in typical doctor mode, he never saw anything past his patient.

Or pretended not to.

She couldn’t pack everything up and haul it to The Arsenal compound. Whittling it down was… impossible. Where did she even start? The weariness she battled every day struck hard. Her mind blanked, refusing to process an action plan.

Someone had shot her tire.

Phil threatened her.

“You two should go,” Ellie said. “I’ll get packed. Send someone back for us.”

“We aren’t in any hurry.” Riley touched her arm. “It’s okay, Ellie. Let me help you.”

“There’s too much to pack. I don’t even have enough suitcases. Mom needs her supplies and lots of clothes. Then there’s the other stuff.”

The bedside toilet her mom peed in. The bed, which was more of a cot than a medical bed was against the wall. Boards raised the head of the cot because they couldn’t afford anything expensive but needed something more positionable than a standard bed. Embarrassment crawled through her as she glanced at Riley.

“It’s okay,” the woman said as she studied the bookshelf of supplies. “You have everything so organized.”

“It helps keep Mom…” Ellie halted the excuse. In truth, the carefully placed items were more for her sanity than her mom’s. “It’s the one thing I can control with Mom’s illness.”

“I’ve got an idea.” Riley pulled out her cell and punched a button. “Hey, Logan. It’s Riley. I’m over here at Ellie’s picking up her mom. Could you call Brant and coordinate equipment and supplies with him? I’m thinking we already have most of what we need on hand. I know we have the bed and a few other things.”

The woman listened a minute and smiled, as if the doctor on the other end could see her. “Thanks.”

Ellie blinked. Logan Callister was The Arsenal’s doctor. He was a nice man she’d chatted with a few times, but he tended to keep to himself in the medical ward. “He’s too busy to deal with this.”

“None of us are too busy.” Riley locked gazes with her. “Remember the night of Mom’s first surgery? The day of the accident? Remember when you went into our home and started bossing everyone around? You moved the table out of the dining room and called Burton Construction to alter Mom’s home?”

“I didn’t mean to overstep. I was just helping.”

“Now it’s our turn.” Riley touched Ellie’s shoulder. “You’ve been doing this alone?”

Ellie nodded. “There’s a nurse. Connie. She works a few hours a week.”

“Then you come to work and handle my six brothers, all their team leads, and operatives. The geek squad. The visitors and demanding idiots on the phone. Then you took on teaching DJ and TJ.

“You do all that and then come home to this.” Riley squeezed her shoulder. “You should’ve told us. We could’ve helped.”

“Mom’s private.”

Riley’s lips thinned.

“She’s been hurting a long time. Pain does things to people, makes them meaner than they intend to be.” Ellie slid the defense out from the recesses of her mind where it lived. How many times had she muttered it? Hundreds? Thousands?

“They aren’t going to let her stubbornness put you at risk.”

“It’ll blow over. Phil will move on. He always does.”

“One way or another you need help with her. What if she fell while you were at work? What if she got into her medicines and took too much?” Riley’s gaze softened. “I have a friend whose aunt was really sick. I know it’s hard.”

Ellie nodded. She’d spent many restless nights worrying about her mom. The what-if trail was endless with ten thousand forking paths to even more what-if scenarios. Affordable elder care was impossible to find in Marville. Palliative care? Pft. Impossible times a thousand. Add in her mom’s surly attitude toward everyone in general and it’d been a vicious rollercoaster Ellie couldn’t get off.

“I promise we won’t interfere too much, but you need help. Let us be there for you the way you were for us.”
Cara Carnes. Battle Scars (Kindle Locations 539-603). HeartScape Publishing, LLC.

There is a big can of worms the CD Ellie has opens. Far more reaching and dangerous than Ellie could ever imagine. The unimaginable from the past that extends to the present. All leading to the take down of more than just Ellie’s ex.

More about Dani, her brothers, and so many more. Something to grab you on every page.

A lot of emotion as the Arsenal crew sorts through everything. Jesse and Ellie begin to understand more about the people they have become as they deal with both their pasts.

I had to stop reading a few times to let my eyes clear of the tears that filled them. Love, family, friendship and simmer to sizzle heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

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Check Out These Free Reads on Cara’s Website!

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


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Shadow – Military Intelligence Section 6 Book 4 By Heather Slade



Shadow
Military Intelligence Section 6 Book 4
By
Heather Slade

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Will the cowboy’s love for the secret agent
become a shadow of a memory
or will fate bring them back together?

Darrow Whittaker has always felt irrelevant in her family of dukes, duchesses, and MI6 agents. She found the aristocracy a bore, but being a part of Her Majesty’s Secret Service was something she’d dreamed of since she was a child. When she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime—to begin MI6 training in England—she knows she has to leave behind the rugged cowboy in Texas who took her breath away. Why does following her dreams also mean shattering her heart?

Quint Alexander knows his way around the ranch. After all, it’s all the cowboy has ever known. He’s content and fulfilled, until he meets the fiery and driven Darrow, and everything changes. Suddenly he finds himself daydreaming of another kind of life—one in which he allows his own aspirations out from where he’s kept them buried. For the first time, Quint is thinking about forever, but can he find it with a woman whose life is based on the other side of world?

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This book follows Darrow’s role in every book to date as it takes us through her story.

I really enjoyed reading about her time in Texas, where she gets the nickname Shadow from Quint. A full day spent with him when Wren is sick, turns into a fun night at the Long Branch. One that doesn’t quite end the way Darrow would have liked.

A turning point for them is going to the rodeo where Quint is competing.

This is a favorite scene.

Darrow checked her watch for the fourth time in as many minutes. It was a little after seven. Quint had said they’d leave at eight. Maybe she should wheel her trunk out to the porch and wait there. Or would that make her look too anxious? Thank God Wren had suggested she wear jeans. She probably wouldn’t have and what message might that have sent?

“Argh,” she growled again. Why was she doing this to herself? If only she hadn’t had dinner with Quint that night, she wouldn’t be so nervous now.

“Everything okay in here?”

Darrow sprung off the bed when she saw Quint standing in the doorway. “Fine. Everything is fine. Are we ready to go? Sorry, I should’ve wheeled my trunk out. I don’t know what I was thinking. You know, maybe I should—”

As she talked, Quint walked over until he was close enough to put a finger on her lips. “I will take care of your, uh… trunk. No, you shouldn’t have wheeled it out. We aren’t leaving for another half hour, and breakfast is ready and waiting in the kitchen. Before you say anything on that subject, I want you to know that Tee-Tee brought over some of her breakfast burritos earlier, and they’re being kept warm in the oven. Okay?”

His finger was still on her lips, so Darrow nodded.

“Finally, I want you to know how glad I am that you’re going along this weekend. The other thing I want you to know is that I’m sorry the stupid way I acted has resulted in you being so nervous around me.”

“I’ve always been nervous around you,” she whispered when he moved his fingers away.

“I’m even sorrier for that.”

“Quint? What happened that night?”

For a minute, Darrow thought he was leaving when he walked over to the bedroom door. Instead, he closed it and then came back to stand in front of her.

“I had an amazing time with you that night. Better than any other night I can remember. You yourself told me that you were here in part because your previous relationship ended. If I hadn’t backed off, I might’ve done something neither of us were ready for.”

“I wanted you to.”

He reached up and cupped her cheek. “I know you did, and while I didn’t handle it right, we’re both better off now because nothing happened between us then.”

She took a step back. “I’m worried it’s going to happen again.”

He reached out and took her hand in his. “I promise it won’t.”

“What is this, exactly? Am I going to the rodeo to help with the team? Or am I going with you?”

Instead of answering, Quint brought his other hand to her cheek and looked into her eyes before bringing his lips to hers. What started off as a soft, sweet kiss, quickly became harder, more heated when Darrow put her arms around Quint’s neck and kissed him back.

He didn’t pull away until they both heard Wren’s footsteps in the hallway.

“Does that answer your question?” he asked, resting his forehead against hers.

“Pretty much. Can we go eat now?”
Heather Slade. Shadow (Kindle Locations 1032-1034). Military Intelligence Section 6 Book Four.

So much happens in this book, it is emotional and fun with suspense and their simmer to sizzle relationship will have you sniffling.

Darrow is funny, loving and intelligent. Qualities that for some reason most of the males in her life don’t seem to see. She has also been influenced by a comment made by one of her professors at Oxford and that becomes pivotal in this book.

It’s her relationship with Quint that actually leads to some life changing events for her. I loved seeing her brothers Thornton ‘Shiver’ and his wife Orina ‘Losha’, and Sutton ‘Wilder’ with Wren in this book, Axel ‘Pinch’ is also very involved in this story along with Esland ‘True’ Darrow’s best friend. There is also Doc and Merrigan from K19 in this one and mentions of Burns and Leech. Oh, I can’t forget Ranger and Diesel, they’re around for a bit too.

If you haven’t read the other books, this one will make you want to go read them too. I have so much love for this series and the K19 series, the characters have wormed their way into my heart and I can’t wait for the next books.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!


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Coming Soon!



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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Bronx’s Wounded Wolf – Mystic Wolves Book 4 by Elle Boon



Bronx’s Wounded Wolf
Mystic Wolves Book 4 By Elle Boon
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle Boon

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A WOUNDED WOLF…
A FIERCE PROTECTOR…
AN UNSHAKABLE BOND…

Will Bronx and Taya be able to create that mystical bond without her inner wolf, or will their love be enough?

A WOUNDED WOLF…

Having suffered at the hands of a rogue pack, Taya’s wolf retreat’s deep inside her. She learns to rely on her humanity as she seeks sanctuary from the pack she’d been taken from as a child.

A FIERCE PROTECTOR…

Bronx feels an instant connection to Taya the moment he set eyes on her, even though he couldn’t sense her wolf. Her pain and wariness stop him from claiming her right then and there, keeping him and his wolf on edge.

AN UNSHAKEABLE BOND…

Neither Taya nor Bronx can deny their feelings for one another, and as the weeks go by, they both give into their desires. Bronx’s wolf is ready to claim Taya, wolf or not. Taya misses her wolf, but when her past catches up to them, she’ll need more than her humanity and Bronx to save her. They’ll need the strength of the pack and help from the Fey if they hope to come out of the battle alive and whole.

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Taya is struggling, her wolf has receded and no amount of coaxing will get her to come out. Her wolf had allowed her human side to retreat and took all the abuse the kidnappers inflicted on her. Kellen and the Iron Wolves rescued her but now she’s come to the Mystic Pack. Hoping that maybe she can heal.

Niall has asked Jenna to help and Bronx isn’t sure what to make of that development.

This is a favorite scene.

Bronx listened to his mate scream, her words breaking his heart. He didn’t know what to do for her and wanted to kill the men who’d hurt her, taking her wolf from her. Fuck, they may not have raped her body, but her mind was almost just as bad. He sat just at the edge of the woods near her cabin; watching as she went inside, listening as she went through her nightly routine. Yeah, he was a fucking stalker of epic proportions. Every night she did the same damn thing. She washed up, and then the sound of her tears mixing with the shower ate at him until he couldn’t stand it any longer. He wanted to burst through the door and hold her, tell her everything would be fine. He wanted to claim her, make her wolf come back to her. Yet, he didn’t know how to do that. Hell, he’d never heard of a wolf receding the way hers had except for Slater’s mate, but magic was involved there, not so with Taya.

“You gonna sit out here all night, again?” Niall asked.

He’d heard his alpha moving through the woods, they were connected as a pack should be and shifted so they could talk. “Yep.” The one word answer came out clipped.

“I spoke to her alpha about what happened. I know she calls to your wolf, but man, if she can’t shift, you can’t turn a full blood who’s suppressed her instincts back into a shifter,” he sighed. “I don’t know what to tell you. You would be living a half-life with her.”

Bronx growled, the sound low and deep. Niall was his alpha but he wouldn’t let anyone tell him who he and his wolf called theirs.

“Don’t growl at me, boy.” Niall got in his face.

“I’m not your boy, Niall. You may be alpha, but I’m not a pussy and I won’t back down on this. You want to take me on over my mate?” His muscles bunched, bones ached to shift. He could feel Niall forcing his will on him, but with the thought of his mate being taken from him, the fucks he gave went out the proverbial window.

“Goddamn stubborn ass wolf. Stand down. I am not fighting you over your mate.” Niall’s eyes glowed bright blue in the darkness. The sound of rustling broke through the quiet of the night.

“So, whose dick is bigger?” Alaina moved into view.

Niall tossed his head back, looking up at the canopy of trees. “Goddess save me.”

“I’m pretty sure my dick is bigger,” Bronx offered, then held out his hand.
“Hey, she asked.”

“Yoohoo, did someone call me?”

Bronx spun to face a tiny creature he was sure wasn’t real. Holy shite, she oozed more magic than Payton and that was saying a lot.

“What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue? Well, not cat, but,” she stopped and waved her hand. “Oh, you know what I mean. My name is Jennaveve, but you will call me Jenna or I will kick you in the shin, or between the legs. Hard. Now, you called the Goddess, but you get me. You’re welcome.” She tilted her head to the side and then waited.

Alaina walked toward the ethereal creature, but was pulled up short by Niall. Bronx watched as his alpha and Alaina did a little scuffle. In a blink, the female named Jenna was in front of him. “I will not hurt you, unless you try to hurt me or mine. By the way, you are me and mine, so we are good. Now, you are Bronx, which is a total kickass name. Those two are Niall and Alaina, and they clearly like to play slap and tickle.” She shook her head. “Save it for the bedroom children, there are others present…unless you’re into that thing, then get a room at the right place.”

Niall froze with Alaina at his side. “Thank you for coming, Jenna. It’s been too long since we’ve seen you.” Niall’s tone was smooth and even. “Bronx, this is the Fey Queen.”

Jenna shrugged. “Fey, or Fey Queen. It’s potato or tomato. Depending on who you speak with.”

Bronx was pretty sure that wasn’t how the saying went, but again, he wasn’t sure the woman in front of him was completely sane, so kept his lips sealed. Having never met her, he waited for her to speak.

“Such a smart wolfie, yes you are. Who’s a good boy,” she cooed.

He narrowed his eyes, but kept his hands locked into fists at his sides. “You are seriously trying my very last nerve, Fey.”

Niall looked up at the sky, then back at him. “Bronx, watch your tone. This woman is more than meets the eye. She’s…just more and someone we will show respect to.” His tone brooked no argument.

Jenna waved her hand, then stared at Bronx. “Oh, I know you wolfies tend to be a wee uptight, but I like trying your last nerves. I’ll give you a direct line to my bestie. His name is Kellen, and he’ll tell you how awesome I am at doing just that.” She spun and faced the cabin, all signs of cheer evaporated. “My goddess, she is killing me.” Jenna’s feet left the ground. “I will speak with her, and let you know what we’re going to do.”

Before he could stop himself, he reached out, putting his body between the floating woman and the cabin. “You’re not going to hurt her.” He’d not allow anyone; woman or man, human or other, to lay one finger on Taya.

The Fey’s feet touched the ground her eyes met his. “You sure are a big fella, aren’t you?”

He shrugged, used to people saying those words. Right that instant he would use whatever he had at his disposal to protect what was his, and by all that he believed in, Taya was his.

A sigh that sounded put upon left the little woman’s lips. “I do so love you wolves, which is why you will land quite softly. You’re welcome by the way.”

Bronx was having a hard time following what the female was saying until he found himself being physically moved without anyone touching him. If she thought he wouldn’t fight the invisible bonds, she was crazier than he thought. His wolf burst out of him quicker than he’d ever done before, racing in front of the cabin door just as Taya was opening it. He growled, the sound had Jenna taking a step back.

“Down doggie. Bad doggie. Taya, be a good girl and get him a treat.” Jenna wagged her finger at him.

He bristled, but didn’t move an inch, even as he felt her magic rolling over him. He fought the bonds, growling as it tried to make him do what he wasn’t willing to do; leave his mate’s side. Hell to the no was he leaving Taya unprotected.

“I don’t think he’s housetrained yet. Um, who are you?” Taya’s hand landed on the top of Bronx’s head, making his wolf purr.

Holy hell, he was making the sounds of a contented cat, dammit. He clamped his jaws together enjoying the feel of Taya’s fingers on his wolven body. She didn’t seem to notice, or care as long as he wasn’t in human form.

“My name is Jenna, and I’m here to help you. Again, you’re welcome.” Jenna tried to step around Bronx who growled at her.

“Stop growling or you can’t come inside.” Taya tugged on a handful of his fur.

He was ready to roll over and show her his belly, or if he shifted, she’d get an eyeful of something else. Nope, better to stay wolf than man.
Boon, Elle. Bronx’s Wounded Wolf, Mystic Wolves 4. Kindle Locations (117-170). Elle Boon. Kindle Edition.

Lots of humor, much evil and kindle melting heat, entwine with interesting developments and surprises in this page turning read!

I love all the relationships in this series and seeing them as they grow deeper. The characters are rich in personality and I love seeing the different series blend and visit.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

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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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Game Changer – Triple Play Curse Book 1 by Lori Ryan



Game Changer
Triple Play Curse Book 1
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan


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Shortstop Rafe Wilson has his routines down to a science. How he ties his shoes, what shirt to wear under his jersey, which foot touches the field first, and how to enter the batter’s box. It works for him. The proof is in his stats. No question; the routine works. Until it doesn’t. When Rafe is left scrambling to figure out what went wrong, he quickly finds the newest addition to his pregame routine. A kiss. And, not just any kiss. Ashlyn Daniels’ kiss to be exact. But, can he convince Ashlyn to be part of his arsenal of “superstitions” that keep his game going? Or will the pregame kiss trigger an even worse superstition?

The Triple Play Curse

Every member of the Strikers, San Francisco’s professional baseball team, knows about the Triple Play Curse. When one Striker falls in love and gets either married or engaged during the season, two more will fall for a total of three. And, whenever the curse is in play, the team suffers for it. More errors and injuries, lost pennant runs, you name it. No one wants to trigger the curse.

Each book in the series is a standalone plot with no cliffhangers. The series can be read in any order but readers may enjoy it best read from book one through three. These books were previously published under the same title as part of Bella Andre’s Game for Love World.

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Rafe is attending a barbeque at his friend Kade’s home after having a really bad game. It’s here he comes across Ashley as he’s looking to say good-bye to his hostess Elise. She’s different than anyone he’s encountered since becoming a pro player. Not a groupie even though she does like the sport according to Kade’s wife.

Not exactly knowing why he has to, he kisses her. Then everything changes. His next game is perfect. Now he has to convince Ashley to kiss him before every game. He fails at this miserably.

Ashley confronts Elise the next day and then comes up with a plan of her own. If he messes up his game without the kiss, she’d agree but to her own terms.

This is a favorite scene.

Ashlyn twisted her fingers together, trying to decide how to explain that she wanted more than a pregame kiss from him. That she wanted pregame sex. That she wanted to experience the kind of sexual freedom she read about in her romance novels. Without any conscious thought, her eyes flitted to the bookshelves lining her living room wall.

Rafe’s eyes followed hers to the shelf and she felt the flush of red creep over her neck, her cheeks. Oh no. Before she could stop him, he was on his feet, glancing at the spines, all of which contained the names of nothing but romance novels. No textbooks left over from her time in college, no travel books or biographies of famous people.

Rafe grinned at her over one of those gorgeously tempting shoulders of his, and then turned silently back to the shelf before pulling out a book. Oh, he didn’t. Of course he did. He pulled a ménage book. On the cover, a woman was ravished by three men, one burying his head in her chest, another holding her from behind as a third knelt in front of her, hands on her thighs.

Rafe turned and raised a brow at her.

“Fantasy of yours?”

She held her chin high and looked at him with eyes that dared him to continue mocking her.

“Some things are only a fantasy, Rafe.”

He nodded slowly, as if he was thinking something through before turning and swapping that book out for another one. This one was a bit more tame. One book in a series from one of her favorite authors. It was steamy and hot and racy, but a lot more sedate than the ménage book he’d first chosen. Rafe silently flipped through the pages, stopping to read a passage here and there.

“Now this I can help with,” he said, turning back to her, that wicked gaze seeming to melt her a little each time he turned it on her.

“Excuse me?”

“This,” Rafe gestured with the book and crossed back over to where she sat on the couch, “I can help you live out some of the dreams you’ve clearly been having.” He nodded to the shelf and then grinned at her. “I’m good at it. Very good.”

Laughter burst out again. “Well, you certainly don’t lack confidence, that’s for sure.”

Part of her was relieved he’d guessed about what she wanted without her having to broach the subject. Another part was just humiliated that he’d read her so easily, that he’d seen what she wanted so badly and hadn’t been able to explain. She was a grown woman, after all. Shouldn’t she be able to discuss her needs like an adult?

“Nope, confidence isn’t one of my issues,” he said with a small shake of his head. He turned the book toward her and pointed to a passage for her to read. “I can give you this, Ash. I can give you everything you’ve been wanting. If you help me before my games.”

Ashlyn forced her eyes to drop from his, down to the book, skimming the scene quickly. She was mortified to hear a small moan escape her lips before she bit down on them. Rafe had chosen a scene that involved blindfolds and silk ties on a four poster bed. Ashlyn was a confident woman in many ways. When she was teaching, she was confident. Dealing with her students’ parents? Confident. With friends? Confident.

But, she’d never felt comfortable asking any of the men she dated to experiment with her in the bedroom in this way. In fact, she hadn’t been comfortable simply expressing her most basic needs or wants in that department. And, she wasn’t stupid. She knew that was one of the reasons she was often left unsatisfied, but when it came to speaking up in bed, she just clammed up.

Talking about this kind of thing seemed to come a lot more easily to Rafe. Could she just let herself go with him? Just pretend she was someone she wasn’t? That she was someone brave and confident in bed? Could she let herself do this with him? For however long he wanted her to be a part of his ‘pregame routine’?

She glanced up to find Rafe watching her intently and the look in his eyes was shocking. It held wanting, lust, need— directed at her. Things she never thought she’d see in his eyes. Something she’d thought she would only find between the pages of her books. Of course, the wanting in her books eventually led to love, and she knew that wouldn’t happen here. But, maybe that was all right. Maybe Rafe could teach her how to get what she wanted in the bedroom. Maybe, before this ended and he walked away from her, she’d have found the confidence to tell her next lover what she wanted and needed. Then someday down the road, she could find love with the right man, someone who wanted the white picket fence and wanted her, passionately and intently.

“What if this messes with the pregame kiss?” she asked. “I mean the thing that worked was a kiss, not— you know.”

“Not sex?” he asked and she saw a hint of amusement in his eyes at her inability to even voice the word. She wanted to kick herself as the flush of heat hit her cheeks again. Why couldn’t she just say the word?

“I mean it’s always the same socks, or the same shirt, or whatever you have to do before each game. Won’t messing with what we did screw things up for your games?”

Rafe looked at her and she could tell he was analyzing what she said, and then he shook his head. “It won’t mess with anything. If a kiss is good, sex should be better. More is always better, right?” His grin was back and with it, the heat in his gaze.

She didn’t point out that his argument was flawed.
Lori Ryan. Game Changer: A Triple Play Curse Novella, Book 1 (Kindle Locations 368-409).

Lots of heat, plenty of giggles and just plan fun as this story plays out.

I can’t wait to read the other two books in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

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Lori Ryan

Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and ​has fallen in love with writing.

​She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.

She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.


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The Guardian Agents Books 1 -3 by Ursula Sinclair



The Guardian Angels Books 1-3
White Wedding Book 1
Something Blue Book 2
Wine & Roses Book 3
By
Ursula Sinclair

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White Wedding

Shanna Stiles hasn’t been a virgin for years, but it’s still her dream to have a white wedding. Her dream becomes a nightmare when, just before she walks down the aisle, her fiancé is seen kissing his best man.

She runs away from her life, and a chance encounter with the gorgeous, successful Ross Marshall leads to a week of passion and a connection neither of them expected.

Ross is determined to have a future with Shanna, but someone out there won’t let it happen and the man she left at the altar isn’t giving her up without a fight. And Ross isn’t giving her up period.

Something Blue

Shanna Stiles hasn’t been a virgin for years, but it’s still her dream to have a white wedding. Her dream becomes a nightmare when, just before she walks down the aisle, her fiancé is seen kissing his best man.

She runs away from her life, and a chance encounter with the gorgeous, successful Ross Marshall leads to a week of passion and a connection neither of them expected.

Ross is determined to have a future with Shanna, but someone out there won’t let it happen and the man she left at the altar isn’t giving her up without a fight. And Ross isn’t giving her up period.

Wine & Roses

Eboni Stiles thought Simon Blackcat was a walking, talking mass of perfectly packaged testosterone trouble. She made it a point to stay as far away from him as possible. Especially after that one night, she lost her mind and slept with him.

One night with Eboni was not enough for Simon, not even close. So when Eboni’s life was in danger, he was the only man he trusted to protect her. Because those chasing her would have to kill him to get to her, and Blackcat did not die easily.

Guardian Agency Novels can be read as a stand-alones.
These works have been previously published but have been re-edited and updated.

White Wedding

A slightly different take on a runaway bride, the groom is caught kissing the best man, but there is no confrontation she just leaves.Ross Mitchell was walking back to his office after a meeting close by when he witnesses this fleeing bride, he also opens her limo door for her to depart. Now one would think this would be the end of it but as fate would have it they are destined to meet again.

Ross lands on the island of Margarita the day before his meeting with a client looking for updated security. What surprises him, in a very pleasant way, is seeing the runaway bride at the pool on his way to the bar.

She took one hop off the diving board and executed a perfect dive into the pool, barely causing a splash. She swam underwater for half the length of the pool before surfacing and swimming above to the other end. Walking up the inlayed steps, she got out and headed over to a lounge chair.

Drawn to her, he retraced his steps. As she toweled off her hair, he observed her. Her back seemed to be a study in curves, and he grinned at the two dimples peeking at him above her bikini line. They sat in the middle of the handles of a scissors tattoo. Ross wanted to dip his tongue into each indentation and trace the tattoo lines. His grin widened in appreciation of a rear as perfectly proportioned and enticing as the front.

She turned and, glancing up, spotted him staring at her. Her eyes widened an instant before he recognized her. “Do I know you?” Her voice sounded husky, sexy and sweet at the same time. Her lips were wet from the pool, cranberry-colored and puckered like she was already preparing for his kiss.

His balls tightened just thinking about her whispering his name like that into his ear. He stifled a groan. “We met last night,” he said, holding out his hand. “But weren’t introduced. My name’s Ross Marshall.”

“Oh, yes.” Her dark chocolate-colored eyes closed briefly, as if blotting out a bad memory, but then reopened to look right at him. “Yes, I remember. Are you following me?”

“I could be, but I’m not—not yet.”

She smiled, showing no fear of him, and took his hand.

The neurons in every cell of his body fired on contact, right down to the ones in his toes. Her beautiful eyes widened, and the touch of sadness he’d read in them disappeared for a moment. Meanwhile, his heart thudded against his ribcage in a bid for release. Damn, she was lovely. He silently swore to himself he would do whatever he could to continue to banish that look of sadness from her eyes. For some reason, she pulled at emotions in him no other woman ever had. She had from the first time he saw her running out of the church. Hell, he’d had his share of relationships, but his heart never beat like this for a woman, and he would find out why. He took the end of the towel she held in front of her. “May I?” he asked.

She released it and sat down on the side of the lounge chair, turning her back to him so he could finish drying her hair.

He sat beside her and rubbed the towel from her scalp to the ends of her hair until it was as dry as he could get it. When he finished, he ran his fingers through her tresses to get the tangles out. Her hair felt soft and curled around his thumb. He gathered it all together and pulled it back to make a short ponytail resting at her nape.

He lifted the wet tip to his nose. “I can smell the chlorine in your hair.” His dick twitched. Damn. Chlorine, of all things, could turn him on, who knew? Hell, everything about her led him to one thought. Staking a claim…one without an expiration date. Her ex-fiancé was a fool.

He wasn’t.

“I know,” she replied, unaware of his thoughts. “I think they dump the stuff in there by the boat-load.”

She twisted around and he reluctantly released her hair, dropping his hand to rest on the lounge chair near her waist. Her thigh brushed up against his, but he didn’t move or stand up to give her room. They were so close—if he leaned forward, even a little, his shirt-covered chest would rub against her bare arm.

He captured her gaze instead, silently willing her to give him a chance. At what, he wasn’t sure. But he had to try. “You still haven’t told me your name.”

“Shanna Stiles.”

“Would you like me to help you wash it off, Shanna?”

Her eyes flickered wider in surprise. Not giving her an opportunity to respond, he stood up and offered his hand.

Without taking her gaze from his, she wrapped the damp towel around her waist and placed her hand in his.

He liked the color of the nail polish painted on the tips of her nails. Instead of the white he’d seen before, it was frosted orange to match her bathing suit. He curled his lips up into a smile, he felt light and free inside. Closing his hand around hers, he expelled the breath caught in his lungs, and realized she did the same. Whatever was going on between them, she must have felt something, too. He tugged her hand gently pulling her up. She didn’t rise immediately, but bent down and stood up with a matching beach bag.

The top of her head reached his chin. He liked that.

“Come on, let’s go,” Shanna said.

He liked her words even better.
Ursula Sinclair. Guardian_Agents (Kindle Locations 98-141). Kindle Edition.

The attraction between these two is off the charts, and there are plenty of sizzling scenes right from the start. An island fling for a runaway bride isn’t unheard of, but those aren’t meant to last.

Things get very interesting once Shanna returns home and lets her ex-fiancé know in very definite terms they are done. He doesn’t get the hint right away though.Ross respects her wishes and stays away, at least until she calls needing his help.

An intriguing tale that develops from mysterious phone calls, but I could have done with a fewer bedroom scenes.

Lots of sizzle, suspense and intrigue as these two start a real relationship.

4 Contented Purrs for Ursula!

Something Blue

Noah is another of the partners in the Guardian Agency but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t take on cases. He’s been more than aggravated with one client, River is a rock star and quite the diva. They also have a history, which makes this all the more difficult for both of them.

This book opens with a glimpse at the person stalking River. She is at the rehearsal for Ross and Shanna’s wedding, a surprise, River is going to sing at the wedding and the reception. Something Noah knew nothing about and should have.

Now things went a little differently than planned when instead of going to the dinner, Noah takes her home. There’s some unanswered questions but more than that there is still undeniable chemistry between these two.

This is a favorite scene.

River didn’t know if being alone with Noah was the right thing to do, but she felt long past caring. She wanted one night with him. Just one, being his River again, before she went back to being the person everyone expected her to be. The female rock star of the ages. She read the tabloids.

The place he called home surprised her, but then she really didn’t know this Noah. Whatever she expected, it wasn’t anything like the very modern, very California, Spanish style rambler. Noah was a country boy, like her, comfortable in the mountains. This was California. A far cry from the blue-tipped mountains back home, but maybe not so different after all. There was the outline of hills in the distance.

“Not what you’re accustomed to, I’m sure.” He pulled into a short driveway and cut off the engine. “But still a far cry from the Shenandoah Valley.”

They got out of the car, and she heard the crash of waves against the shore. They were near the ocean. Noah loved water almost as much as the mountains. He opened his front door. Waving before him, he indicated she should go in first.

She stepped into a wide, gray ceramic tiled foyer and walked down two steps the width of the room. One continuous great room encompassed a living, dining, and kitchen area, done in shades of sea blue and gray. The sickle shape of the room created various focal points from any location. The shuttered windows taking up most of the room, to the huge stone fireplace with a painting above it of those very mountains they hailed from.

She walked directly over to the door in-between the windows, unlocked, and opened it. Moving out onto the wooden deck, she stood at the railing. “Mmm, I think I understand why you bought this place.”

Noah came to stand beside her, resting his arms on the wooden railing and looking out over the Pacific Ocean.

A fine mist obscured the scenery, so she couldn’t see much. “I bet when the sun is up, this is a spectacular view.”

“Yeah, it is.”

She twisted so she could lean her elbow on the rail while facing him. “You’ve done well for yourself.” Her hand rose to rest on his forearm. “Your dad would be proud of you.”

His father died just right before Noah joined the military, and they had been close.

“Yeah.” He stared at her hand resting on his arm before gazing into her eyes. “I know.”

“I’m proud of you.”

He straightened, but before she could move away, he covered her fingers with his. “Are you really?”

“Of course, I am.”

“Funny. Since you haven’t spoken to me in years, I thought you hated me.”

“For a long time, I thought I did.” She didn’t have the courage to ask him if he still hated her. He’d cared about her, and she’d hurt him. Hurt them both. Still, it was years ago. The were adults now.

“What happened?” he asked.

“I grew up.” She turned to gaze out at the dark water. “Do you still play?” She wondered if he’d recognized the song she sang at the rehearsal. Not the words—those were new. She wrote them the night he walked back into her life, lyrics for the music he’d created for her when they were both mere teens.

“Sometimes.”

She turned to face him. “But still not in front of an audience.” From the way his body tensed, she knew she’d guessed right. “Your friends don’t know, do they?”

He shook his head. “No. It’s…too personal.”

“I understand. Will you play for me?” She wanted to know if that bond still existed between them. For a moment, she thought he would refuse.

Then he moved away from her, back into the house. He returned a moment later, with his case. The same one he’d had ten years ago. She’d sent it to him after he’d left. Her way of making sure he had no reason to come back and at the same time, never forget her. He placed it on the small table and removed the violin.

She sat down on the lounge chair and watched him, his movements so familiar because she’d watched him do this countless times in their shared past.

Then he played.

River didn’t know how long she sat there, unable to take her eyes off him. The clouds shifted, revealing a strip of moonlight that framed his left side, and the music surrounded the night. Bringing light to the darkness. He played their song, and she sang. Her voice blended perfectly with the melody. They made beautiful music together. They always did.

Finally, he stopped and placed the violin back in its case.

She got off the lounge and came over to him. When he straightened up, she stood in front of him and did what she’d wanted to do for years. She put her free hand around his neck and brought his face down to hers.

He didn’t resist. His mouth covered hers, and his tongue didn’t bother to ask for permission or hesitate before its entrance.

This time, no boy kissed her—an experienced male in his prime led their kiss.
Ursula Sinclair. Guardian_Agents (Kindle Locations 2758-2806). Kindle Edition.

However acting on that chemistry would have to wait when River’s assistant and best friend is attacked at the hotel. At the time she was acting as decoy to keep the paparazzi from following River.

A much better balance in this one, between the story and the bedroom. There’s lots of suspense, some tears, and plenty of heat. I really enjoyed this book.

5 Contented Purrs for Ursula!

Wine & Roses

In White Wedding we met Eboni, she is Shanna’s sister and maid of honor she had missed the rehearsal because she was sick.

In this book the wedding continues and Eboni is still sick. She leaves the reception early and then things take a major twist as she witnesses a murder.

After the police the first person she thinks to call is Simon, even though they only had one night together, he is a partner in the Guardian Agency and would know what she should to do next.

Simon hasn’t been able to forget her since the night they spent together. When she calls he doesn’t hesitate, he jumps in his car to reach her side. Finding himself blocked by the officer at the door, he gets a reprieve when Detective Jackson arrives.

While the investigation is important, Eboni’s illness is as well and Simon is very concerned.

This is a favorite scene.

He then knelt beside her. “Have you taken anything for the fever?” She’d been hot to the touch, very hot.

“No….” She moaned. “Never got the chance.”

“Shhh, it’s okay. We’ll get you to a hospital. It’ll all be okay.” He watched her.

Eboni’s eyes drifted shut, and her breathing came in shallow pants. Just like that, she’d fallen asleep.

“The ambulance is on its way,” Jackson stated from behind him“Thanks. I’m gonna be staying with her, too. And you might not be able to question her tonight. Morning is soon enough, and a good night’s sleep should do her good.”

A short balding, ruddy-looking man came in with the second ambulance emergency personal. Jackson introduced the person as his partner, Calvin Smith.

After, Simon left to follow the ambulance to the hospital; a police car led the way, and an officer sat in the back of the ambulance with her. Jackson or his partner must have called ahead to let them know what they would need.

As soon as they got there, a nurse took them straight upstairs to a private room. Eboni never woke up. Simon paced the hallway outside her room while the doctor examined her. Waiting to hear the verdict before he decided if to call Ross and Shanna or not. Then he quickly realized he needed to call them regardless. He would wait until he’d spoken to the doctor, at least he would have information to give them. Shanna would kill him if he didn’t inform her that her sister was in the hospital. He grinned thinking of Ross’s wife and Ross—one lucky SOB. Shanna was perfect for him. If anyone could pull off the forever crap, he would lay odds on those two.

The doctor came out of the room.

Simon stepped in front of him. “Doctor, how is she?”

Detective Jackson joined them and before the doctor answered, he asked, “Can I talk to her tonight?”

The doctor glanced at both men.

Detective Jackson flashed his badge. “Ms. Stiles is a material witness to a murder investigation, and I need to talk to her about what she saw.”

“I’m sorry, gentlemen, but Ms. Stiles won’t be able to talk to anyone tonight. She’s got a bad case of the flu. I’ve ordered chest X-rays to make sure she doesn’t have pneumonia. Are you a relative?” he asked Simon.

“No, just a close family friend.”

“As soon as I get the results of the X-ray, then I’ll know how to further proceed. Ah, here they are now to take her to imaging.” A male and female nurse wheeled a bed down the hall and stepped past them to get into the room. “You may want to call her family,” the doctor continued. “Her temperature is very high, and we need to get it down.”

From the doorway, Simon watched as the nurses placed Eboni on the gurney. She never once woke up or indicated an awareness of her surroundings, and he turned to follow them to imaging. “I’ll go with her,” he said over his shoulder to Jackson already moving to leave also.

“I’ll check in on you both in the morning to see how she’s doing,” Jackson replied.

Simon paused. “Did you identify the guy who got shot?”

“No, so far my partner hasn’t been able to track down the identity of the vic. He had no ID on him. We’re trying to see if we get a fingerprint or facial recognition match in our database.”

“Can you text me the info?”

“Now Simon….”

“She’s my best friend’s sister. Besides, you know I have access to a database you all don’t or won’t be able to get into for days. I’ll share whatever I find out.”

“I’ll see what I can do. I’ll be back in the morning.”

“I’ll be here.”
Ursula Sinclair. Guardian_Agents (Kindle Locations 5114-5149). Kindle Edition.

Simon doesn’t leave her side and when Eboni wakes she gives the police what they need, a description of the shooter. Unfortunately it’s someone both Jackson and Simon can identify as well. Now it’s all about keeping Eboni safe.

I love the way this relationship develops amid the tension of being hunted by the killer. Simon’s life and secrets are heartrending and his walls are almost impenetrable.

Plenty of heat, action and suspense topped by tears and surprises.

5 Contented Purrs for Ursula!

Ursula Sinclair

Ursula Sinclair is the alter ego of LaVerne Thompson a USA Today Bestselling Author and an award winning multi-published author.

Ursula’s work will fall more under the new adult and romantic suspense/intrigue realm whereas LaVerne writes contemporary, fantasy and sci/fi romances that at times also have a touch of suspense.

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