Claiming Sarah – Ace Security Book 5 by Susan Stoker


Claiming Sarah
Ace Security Book 5
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker

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All defenses are down in the fifth Ace Security novel from New York Times bestselling author Susan Stoker.

Sarah Butler isn’t flattered. She’s angry and unnerved. She’s been getting intimate gifts from a man she barely knows. Nothing threatening yet, but there’s just a weird vibe she can’t ignore. Her recourse is Ace Security. Their solution: self-defense lessons at Rock Hard Gym with a personal, hands-on instructor. One look at the bearded, tattooed, green-eyed alpha is enough to take Sarah’s breath away.

Cole Johnson is definitely the man for the job. He’s eager to train her. Eager to get closer. And when it comes to Sarah’s instincts, Cole knows she’s not imagining things. He’s also not imagining the intense attraction between them—and his desire to protect her is growing. But so are Sarah’s fears, the worst of which come true when she disappears.

Enlisting the help of Ace Security, Cole will stop at nothing to find the love of his life…before she vanishes forever.

Sarah has a problem and folks think she’s just overreacting. A former patient’s son is sending her gifts and ‘love’ letters, even though she’s told him to stop. The police just told her to be careful, but there’s nothing they could do as there were no obvious threats.

Frustrated she went to Ace Security, only to find they are very expensive. they did however recommend getting self-defense classes at Rock Hard Gym.

Cole almost blows this first meeting thanks to the receptionist not closing his office door, but he manages to salvage the relationship.

This is a favorite scene.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter if an ex-husband or boyfriend was harassing her, or a perfect stranger. She could end up just as dead no matter who was making her life hell.

Sarah swallowed hard. “I just . . . I need to be able to protect myself . . .just in case.”

Cole waited for her to go on, but when she simply sat on his couch, silent, he realized she was done talking. That was all she was going to give him. If it had been anyone else, he probably would’ve been relieved and finished up quickly by scheduling a time for their first lesson.

But this time, Cole pushed for more. “Who’s harassing you, Sarah?”

She stared at him for a long moment, and Cole did his best to try to make himself look as nonthreatening as possible, which was kind of a joke, considering his tattoos and muscles.

Finally, she took a deep breath. “It’s stupid.”

“If someone has done something to make you feel like you need to take self-defense classes, it’s not stupid.”

“You aren’t going to think it’s anything to be nervous about.”

“Why don’t you let me be the judge of that,” Cole told her, even more worried now. He had a feeling if she was downplaying the threat against her, it was probably way worse than he’d imagined.

“It’s just that . . . I’ve been to the cops, and the guy I talked to flat out told me there was nothing he could do, and that I was likely imagining danger where there wasn’t any. Even my coworkers think I’m crazy.”

Cole leaned forward. He wanted to cover her hands with his own in comfort, but settled for doing what he could to reassure her with words. “If that little voice in your head is telling you that you’re in danger, then you are. There’ve been plenty of times in my life when I’ve sensed something was off or wrong, and have been proven right. But regardless, whether you’re imagining things or not, that’s not my place to say. If you want to learn how to protect yourself to feel less vulnerable, then I can teach you the skills to do just that. It’s not a matter of me believing you or not. But with that said . . . you can trust me, Sarah. If you tell me you’re in danger, then I’ll one hundred percent believe you.”

“Why?”

Her question was blunt and to the point, and she looked right into his eyes as she asked. “Because my best friend was stalked for over a decade by a man who others thought was perfectly normal. Because I’ve seen case after case Ace Security has taken on where men have sworn up and down that their ex-wives or girlfriends were batshit crazy, and the police didn’t believe them . . . and in the end, they were proven correct when they were attacked by the same women authorities deemed ‘normal’ and ‘docile.’

“Because most importantly, when I look at you, I can tell you’re at the end of your rope and you need help. Let me help you, Sarah.”

She didn’t cry. Didn’t wring her hands. She simply began to talk.

“I met Owen Montrone six months ago. His mother was in the hospital where I work and was very sick. I was nice to them both, as I am to everyone. Owen is . . . slow.”

“What do you mean? Mentally handicapped?” Cole asked.

“Not really. I mean, I’m not sure. I think he just has a really low IQ. His mom told me he was in special classes throughout his school years, and he’s lived with her for his entire life. Anyway, he seemed lonely in the hospital. A little lost. I went to lunch in the cafeteria with him once, after his mom pleaded with me to spend some time with him. A few weeks later, I heard his mother died. Not long after that, I started getting letters from Owen.

“I wasn’t sure how he got my address, until I mentioned it at work. The receptionist said she’d given it to him when he’d called one day. He’d told her he wanted to thank me for all the help I’d given his mom, and she thought it was sweet. She was reprimanded, but by then it was too late. After the letters, the gifts started arriving. And I’ve sometimes seen him around . . . in the same places I shop and eat out. I’ve asked him to please stop, but he hasn’t.”

“What kind of gifts?” Cole asked.

“Flowers. Candy. Stuffed animals. You name it.”

Cole’s brow wrinkled. “Anything blatantly threatening?”

“No.”

The word was said with a hint of hostility, and Cole understood why the police had basically patted her on the head and sent her on her way.“And the letters?”

“They’re rambling, but there’s nothing sexual or otherwise hostile in them. Nothing that the police decided was in any way a threat. He just talks about his day and how I make him smile and stuff like that. The cops told me it sounds like he has a crush on me and is probably harmless.” Her knuckles turned white as she clenched her hands together in her lap. “But they’re wrong,” she said quietly. “Don’t ask me how I know. It’s a weird vibe I get when I see he’s sent something, but I know they’re wrong.”

“I believe you,” Cole said.

Her eyes met his, and he couldn’t miss the hope he saw there.

“Even though all he’s done is give me presents and notes?”

“You asked him to stop, and he didn’t. He sounds like he’s obsessed,” Cole told her. “He can go from being nice to enraged that you haven’t returned his affections in a heartbeat.”

Sarah nodded.

“No means no. That goes for someone asking for a date, not just for sex. It doesn’t matter if it’s a guy or a girl saying no. You told him that you weren’t interested in dating. That you wanted him to stop with the gifts, and he hasn’t. I’d be more concerned if you weren’t worried about this guy.”

Her shoulders sagged in relief. “So you’ll help me figure out what to do if he ever decides the notes and gifts aren’t enough?”

“Absolutely. I’ll do everything I can to help you, and that includes getting Ace Security involved if it comes to that.”

“I hadn’t realized the costs involved,” Sarah said. “I think that’s why Logan contacted you in the first place.”

Cole leaned even closer, and satisfaction crept through him when she didn’t back away. “I know Logan and his brothers, and believe me when I tell you that, once they hear what the cops told you and the facts of your case, money won’t be a factor.”

“Thank you,” she said.

Cole nodded, then stood and walked to his desk. He rummaged around for a minute before pulling out his appointment book and holding it up triumphantly.

“You know, there are these new things that came out a few years ago called computers. You can even keep your schedule on them so you don’t get overbooked.”

Cole blinked at her teasing, then beamed. He much preferred this side of her to the scared, defeated woman he’d first met. “Really? Maybe you can walk me through how they work sometime.”

Still smiling, Sarah just shook her head at him.

“My partner should be back next week, so I’ll have a lot more free time. How does next Monday sound to start your lessons?”

“Good. I work until five, though.”

“That’s fine. Maybe six thirty, to give you time to grab dinner before you get here?”

Sarah shook her head. “If it’s okay, I’d rather do it right after work. Before it gets dark.”

Cole didn’t like the implications, but kept his mouth shut . . . for now.

“Okay, I’ll pencil you in for five thirty. If you’re early, that’s cool, and if work runs over and you get here a little after, it’s okay too. Sarah?”

“Yeah?”

“Thank you for giving me a second chance. I’m usually not so harsh.”

“It’s okay,” she said quietly. “You aren’t nearly as mean as most people I come into contact with.”

With that bombshell, Sarah stood. “I’ll see you next week.”

“Next week,” Cole echoed. He followed her out of his office and watched as she smiled and nodded at Carrie and disappeared out the front door.

His mind already wandered over the things he wanted to know about her. Which hospital she worked at and what she did there, why people were mean to her . . . why she felt the need to always be so nice.

By the time he realized he should’ve walked her to her car, it was too late.

Shaking his head at his stupidity, Cole vowed to do better.
Stoker, Susan. Claiming Sarah (Ace Security) (pp. 10-14). Kindle Edition.

As Owen’s gifts continue and get weirder, Ace Security tries to find him to no avail.

Talk about edge of your seat, the building tension was incredible. Cole and Sarah get to know each other and things heat up in more ways than one.

I couldn’t put this book down, the story wouldn’t allow it.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

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

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

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Shelter For Koren – Badge Of Honor Book 14 by Susan Stoker


Shelter for Koren
Badge of Honor Book 14
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker

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Discovering your ex is a serial-killing religious zealot would put anyone off dating for a good long while. That’s where Hudson “Taco” Vines’s head is at when he meets Koren, a woman who looks a little too much like his ex for comfort. But he can’t deny their attraction, and the more he gets to know her, the more Taco realizes how different Koren is from his ex, in all the best ways. It’s not long before he’s feeling things for her that he’s never felt for anyone, ever. After the drama of his last relationship, maybe this is his reward…a supportive, comfortable life with a woman he’s coming to love.

Koren Garner is no fan of drama, and it certainly seems Taco and his friends have all seen more than their share. So you’d think meeting him for the second time at the scene of her own car accident would be enough to warn her away. But Koren can’t resist the sexy firefighter. A little drama might be worth the risk…even when an unknown threat starts targeting Taco’s friends. Someone’s setting fires, and the danger’s escalating with each blaze. Koren and Taco can only pray the culprit is caught before their relationship—and their lives—go up in smoke.

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Taco first met Koren at the grocery store where Quinn introduced them. He really doesn’t want to be fixed up with anyone and Koren had a resemblance to his serial killer ex. The next time he sees Koren, he’s on the job.

A horrific accident one where the outcome usually isn’t good, but there were definitely angels in play here.

This is a favorite scene.

“Oh, sorry…did you say anything other than getting me out?” she replied.

“Nope. All you have to do is relax. Let me and Mick do all the work. We won’t drop you and we’ll do our best to make this as painless as possible. But you need to let me know if anything hurts while we’re moving you. I mean it. If you feel any pinching or shooting pains—or if you feel nothing at all—tell me immediately, and we’ll stop and reassess.”

“Okay. I can do this. Can I ask something first?”

“Sure.”

“What’s your name? I know Mick will be hanging on to my hips, but I didn’t get your name.”

Taco mentally smacked himself in the forehead. That was one of the first things he usually did. Introduced himself.

“I’m Taco. I’m with San Antonio Fire Station number seven.”

“Taco?”

“Yeah, it’s a nickname. What’s your name?”

“Koren Garner. And I’m pretty sure we’ve already met.”

Taco momentarily froze at hearing the name.

Yeah—he wasn’t about to forget the name Koren anytime soon.

His sense of urgency, already high, kicked up a notch. And it didn’t help when he heard raised voices from nearby talking about a ruptured gasoline tank on the semi.

“We have,” he agreed. “Although if you were trying to get my attention, this probably wasn’t the best way to go about it,” Taco joked.

“Right, because when the semi appeared out of nowhere in front of me, I thought to myself, maybe if I go under this thing and get stuck, Quinn’s handsome firefighter friend will be the one to respond and I can flirt with him during my rescue. Never mind the fact I smell like gas and might’ve decapitated myself. Any chance to snag a hot firefighter. Yup, that’s what I was thinking all right.”

Mick chuckled in front of him, and Taco shook his head with a grin. “All right, Koren, Mick is gonna do his thing. Remember, just relax. Let us move you.”

He nodded at Mick and the other firefighter pushed the button to recline the seat.

As Mick eased her up slightly, turning her slowly, Taco held Koren’s head in his hands, supporting her. He and Mick gently eased her back until she was lying flat, looking up at Taco.

She had glass in her blonde hair and there was a scrape on her cheek, but otherwise she looked remarkably good for almost dying. Her blue eyes locked onto his…

And Taco swore he felt a bolt of lightning go through his body.

“Hi,” she said softly. “We meet again.”

He smiled, holding her head tightly. “Hi.”

Now that she was lying down, there was a little more room between her hips and the steering wheel. Taco looked up at Mick. “I think we can scoot her out without messing with the wheel. The last thing we want to do is have to cut and risk a stray spark.”

Mick nodded. “That’s what I was thinking.”

Koren blinked in surprise and tried to look down at Mick.

Taco held her head so she couldn’t move. “What?”

“He’s Australian,” she said.

“I am,” Mick said. “Hence the nickname. You know, Mick Dundee from that movie Crocodile Dundee.”

“You’re way too young to know that movie,” she said.

“Like you aren’t?” Taco retorted.

“It came out a year after I was born,” Koren said.

“Which means nothing to me, really, as I can’t say I have even the slightest clue when that thing first aired,” Taco responded.

She winked. “I’m thirty-three. And if you wanted to know my age, all you had to do was ask. Like this…how old are you?”

“Older than you.” Taco grinned. Then he turned when he heard someone at his side. Two more firefighters were standing there with a backboard. His attention went back to Koren. “All right, all kidding aside, it’s time to get you out of there.”

“Okay,” she said, not taking her eyes from his.

“I’m going to lift you a bit and my buddies are gonna slip the backboard under you on the seat. Again, just relax, don’t try to lift yourself in any way. Mick and I will get you on the board. Then it’s just a matter of slipping you out the door. Got it?”

She tried to nod, but Taco still had too tight a grip on her head for her to move.

“Don’t move your head, Koren.”

“Sorry. Okay. I’m ready.”

A shout went up from somewhere beyond the truck.

“Smoke!”

“Easy, Kor,” Taco said when he felt her pulse leap under his fingers. “We got this. Ready, Mick?”

“Ready, mate.”

“Okay, guys, bring in the backboard.” It took some maneuvering in the small, cramped space, but within just a minute and a half, Taco was kneeling on the ground next to Koren, fifteen feet away from her crumpled car and the tractor trailer. They were waiting for the mobile gurney to be brought over so they could transfer her onto it and take her to the hospital.

“You okay?” Taco asked.

“Yeah,” she breathed. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Here’s her purse,” Mick said from nearby.

Taco turned and took it from the big, burly firefighter. “Thanks.”

Mick winked and rushed off to help someone else.

Taco looked back down at Koren, at a loss for words now that the rush of the rescue was already wearing off. He could tell she was well aware of how close she’d come to dying.

His thoughts were proven right when she took a deep breath and said, “I know this isn’t the place or the time, but…wanna go out sometime? I never ask guys out but, you know, since I almost died, I’m giving myself a pass this once.”

Taco hesitated. He wasn’t ready. And he really wasn’t ready to go out with someone who had a lot of the same features as his psycho ex.

He obviously hesitated too long, because for the first time, she looked away, her words tumbling out fast.

“Never mind. Forget I asked. Just blame it on adrenaline. I’m sure you’re already taken. I mean, why wouldn’t you be? You’re beautiful.” Then her eyes slammed shut. “And now I’m mortified.”

“It’s not you, Koren, I just—”

He was interrupted by two paramedics pushing a gurney. “Hey! Your ride to the hospital is here!” one of them said lightly.
Stoker, Susan. Shelter for Koren (Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 14) (pp. 8-13). Stoker Aces Production, LLC. Kindle Edition.

This isn’t the last time he sees Koren, feeling bad for not answering her, he goes to the hospital to see her and accept the date. He’s more than a little surprised to find she’s already being discharged.

This is the start of something, but when Koren doesn’t hear from him she decides to bring cookies as a thank you to the firehouse and let him off the hook.

A great meeting with all the ladies of the crew, who decide they like her a lot. But when things start heating up they do in a big way and in more ways than one.

We also get to see some more of what Penelope is going through and Smoky and Coco play a role as well.

So much going on, a lot of suspense and scary coincidences will have you turning the pages to the very end.

I can’t wait for Penelope’s book, even though it looks to be the last of this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Coming Up in this Series
Click for Pre-order and More!

Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

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

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


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Brock – Hathaway House Book 2 By Dale Mayer


Brock
Hathaway House Book 2
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 Brock Gorman has been at Hathaway House for more than a month with minimal improvement to either his physical or mental health. An vehicle accident on base two months ago caused major hip, back, and shoulder injuries that and took away any chance he had of ever going on a mission again. Making it through BUD/S training and into the SEALs teams was the crowning glory of Brock’s life. Now it’s gone. Why try to get better when he has nothing left to live for?

Physiotherapist Sidney Morning has been away from Hathaway House for nine months of specialized training. When she returns, there’s Brock. And, while she loves the tough cases, he might be more than she can handle. He’s big. He’s strong. He’s stubborn. He’s gorgeous. And he’s not making the efforts needed to get better. But, if Sidney can get under his skin and force him to jumping hurdles he’s not interested in jumping, she can help him see that there are things which still make life worth living.

Sparks fly as Sidney and Brock fight their own emotions and each other, pushing Brock where he needs to go. … If they are lucky, he might find both healing and love at Hathaway House.

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Brock isn’t making progress, he’s plateaued with his therapy and he really needs to get out of his own head.

Sidney has been away doing some specialized training. It’s been nine months and she’s glad to be back. She loves tough cases, so Dani has given her Brock. She’s also assigned her Andrew who is scheduled to be discharged soon.

Now tact isn’t one of Sidney’s strong points and she pretty much lets Brock have it right from the start. Ultimatums and cursing are the theme of the day.

This is a favorite scene.

Sidney was not at all what he had expected. She’d come off as such a hard-ass this morning. Some of what she’d said burned. And some rang with truth. He didn’t want to transfer away, so here he was. And here she was, capable of seeing what he wanted out of this and trying to help him get it. He wasn’t concerned about appearances, but he knew damned well that having a strong back was going to make a difference in his work life. That was what he wanted. He wanted to feel like he could do everyday tasks and chores with at least a certain amount of ability.

It meant a hell of a lot of muscle repair. He was up for it as long as the end result was the same goal he wanted. He wasn’t even sure why he hadn’t been able to work with the others. It wasn’t that they hadn’t wanted to help him because they had. Nor had they not seen that he needed help because they certainly had, and they were definitely professionals. But there’d been just something about doing the endless number of exercises, listening to them drone on and on about the body’s muscle groups and the injuries that made him want to throw the weights across the room.

One thing he did know. He didn’t want to leave Hathaway. So far, this seemed like it was the best place for him. He just needed somebody to help him get where he needed to be. Maybe his luck had finally changed—maybe she was going to be the one.

Two hours later, he was cursing her out—and she was cursing right back at him.

“Come on. Push your sorry ass into that move. Don’t you start wussing out on me, you little weasel.” She danced in front of him as he pushed and tugged and pulled—moving the muscles, building the muscles, toning the injuries and forcing them to heal.

He glared at her and swore. “Don’t take your frustrations out on me, you bitch.”

She grinned. “Call me any name in the book. I don’t care. You’re not going to send me running. Besides, it just shows your lack of control.”

“Goddammit,” he roared and did one more set.

She laughed. “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”

“I’m so not happy with you right now.” Sweat dripped, burning into his eyes. His body bowed over the weights and his back … Jesus! He hurt.

“No, but you can put that big mouth of yours into the job and make the next move.”

And on it went. By the time he was done, he was afraid he really was done. He’d never been so goddamned sore in all his life. All those knots of the last six months, and the months of lying in bed, the workouts up until now—all of it had been nothing. He sat down with a sigh, realizing his whole body was trembling.

With any luck this torture was over—at least for the moment. However, he was quietly amazed. He had no idea that was inside of him. After completing BUD/s training, he’d felt invincible. The best of the best. He’d had a sense of personal accomplishment that had been the highlight of his life.

Now, all he wanted to do was make his way back to bed and stay there, pampering himself with room service and forgetting about getting out of bed again—ever.

Sidney had different ideas. With a sneer, she said, “Look at you, you’re already finished. Down to the pool! Twenty laps, and then we’ll consider a massage.”

Shit. He glared at her in outrage. Had she read his chart? Did she know what he used to do? That swimming was a major part of a Navy SEALs career? Did she even care? “Twenty laps? Maybe I can’t even swim,” he challenged her. “Did you even think about that?”

She shoved her face in his and said, “Then it should be an easy walk on the pool bottom, Tank.”

He stared at her for a few minutes, and then he howled. Not at just being called a tank, but at the image of him walking on the floor of the pool. He’d actually been really good at that when he was a kid.

Spirits high, and too tired to walk, he sat himself down in the wheelchair and headed for the elevator.

This might just work out after all.
Mayer, Dale. Brock: A Hathaway House Heartwarming Romance (pp. 21-24). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

With Brock on the right path again, Sidney does an evaluation on Andrew. What she finds is disturbing, his core muscles haven’t been worked enough to support the bigger ones. Now Marsha, a fellow physiotherapist, is angry with her and that’s going to be uncomfortable for everyone.

I love the dynamic here, the interactions with the animals in the vet clinic and Dani’s horses are so healing for both staff and patients.

As Brock interacts more and his friend Cole gets admitted, things also evolve with his relationship with Sidney. Although that too is tempered by Marsha’s gossiping.

A heartwarming, emotional, a bit frustrating, fun and romantic read.

I’m off to read Cole, then I’ll be caught up on this series and have to wait impatiently for the next book.

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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Protecting Amy – Special Forces: Operation Alpha by Desiree Holt


The characters you have come to love
in the SEAL of Protection
and Delta Force Heroes Series
are showcased in their very own
Fan Fiction World!
Special Forces: Operation Alpha
is an amazing world where
you can read about Wolf, Abe, Cookie,
Mozart, Dude, Benny & Tex, (SEALS)
and Ghost, Fletch, Coach, Hollywood,
Fish, Beatle, Blade & Truck (Deltas)
in OTHER authors’ books.

Protecting Amy
Special Forces: Operation Alpha
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Desiree Holt

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She thought her past was firmly behind her…

Amy Ressler was a vivacious, outgoing person, looking forward to her first job after graduating college. Until the night her stepbrother slaughtered her entire family, and thought she was dead, too. For ten years she’d been living under an assumed name in a house in Tampa with security guards and a security system. Her agoraphobia keeps her a prisoner in the house where she designs sought after video games.

Quinn McCoy couldn’t seem to find a place for himself when he left the SEALS…

Quinn McCoy has been part of the teams for eighteen years and suddenly an injury left him with no place to go, except to visit his friends Melody and Tex Keenan. Where they introduce him online to KitCat, Amy in her online disguise, a terrified woman who needs a bodyguard.

The killer is loose…

When Matthew Baker escapes from jail the hunt is on, led by the US Marshals. But with Amy helpless in her self-imposed prison, Quinn accepts the job as her personal bodyguard, and they discover that what starts online can explode n the bedroom. As long as he can keep her alive.

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Amy has been through a lot in her young life. Almost killed by her step-brother, she was given a new identity as they buried her old identity in an empty casket, for her protection. Fortunately for her, the attorney in charge of the estate was a friend of her mother’s and has helped her find a level of security. Amy designs video games and is quite successful, but she also doesn’t leave her home.

Quinn was a SEAL medically discharged, now facing the challenge of what to do with his life now that he’s not military. He still had nightmares of the incident that caused his injuries and took the lives of two of his team. Tex and Melody have opened their home to him, giving him a place to ‘get his head together’ and not be totally alone.

If anyone gets that it’s Tex. It’s quite the coincidence that Amy has communicated with Tex on the dark web. She frequently finds answers to coding problems she’s having there. Tex has become a friend and Melody has chatted with her as well. With the new game she’s developing she has questions about SEALs and while Tex could answer them, he thinks Quinn would be the perfect person to do so.

This is a favorite scene as Quinn and Amy ‘chat’ for the first time.

KitCat: Very nice to “talk” to you again, Melody. I want to tell you again what a great guy Tex is. He’s helped me so much with my coding.

So she was just going to ignore the subject, Quinn thought. He could relate to that. But suddenly he had an urge to know exactly what was fucking up her life and if they could help. If he could help. And that shocked the hell out of him. What happened to his vow to be a hermit and stay the hell out of other people’s lives?

While he was thinking, Melody pulled her keyboard closer to herself and began to type.

Melody: There was a time he felt a lot more comfortable with strangers than anyone he knew. Don’t tell him I said so, but you’re right about him being a good guy. *wink* And here’s another good guy we want you to meet. The one we told you about. Our friend, Quinn Molloy, was a SEAL, just like Tex. They don’t come any better, take it from me.

KitCat: I guess I have to take you at your word.

Melody: I promise you my word is good. She stopped typing and gnawed at her bottom lip. My husband says you have a lot of questions about SEALs for the game you’re designing. Quinn can answer them for you. He can give you the information Tex says you’re looking for.

Pause. Everyone waited for KitCat to make her next move. If she signed off, that was that. Then another message popped up.

KitCat: Okay. I guess I can give it a try.

Tex: Trust me. I wouldn’t put anyone online with you that I didn’t vet myself. He’s definitely solid.

“Just answering questions,” Quinn told them. “No personal shit.”

He watched Tex and Melody smile at each other, and again he was tempted to call the whole thing off. He didn’t want anyone thinking they could fix him. But KitCat’s next message popped right up.

KitCat: Is he there now?

Tex began typing again.

Tex: He sure is. Say hey, Quinn.

okay. Maybe it would be better than wrestling with the dark thoughts that plagued him every night. He flexed his fingers and began to type.

Quinn: Hey, KitCat. This Quinn.

Now it was his turn to wait, wondering if she’d actually answer or just sign out. It was crazy, but he had this weird thought he could actually feel her through the Internet. Not her so much but her fear. Quinn knew about fear, but as a SEAL he was trained to face it and deal with it. He had a sense that with KitCat this went way beyond that. He was about to hand the extra keyboard back to Tex and forget the whole thing when words scrolled across the screen.

KitCat: Hey, Quinn. Nice to meet you.

Quinn let out a slow breath.

Quinn: Hi there, KitCat. I’d love to chat with you awhile. You good with that?

Another long pause.

KitCat: Sure. If Tex trusts you, I guess I can.

Tex pushed back his chair and stood, grinned at Quinn. “You’re good here. I think I’ll go have a drink with my wife. Come on, Mel. Let’s get some grown-up time while the kids play.

Despite his teasing tone of voice, he squeezed Quinn’s shoulder, a gesture that told his friend he was there if needed.

Quinn slid into the chair where Tex had been sitting, shifted his keyboard, and flexed his fingers. Okay, then.

Quinn: So what is it you do all day? Or night?

KitCat: Didn’t Tex tell you? I design video games.

Although he had basic knowledge of computers, Quinn had never used them as a way of socializing. Truth be told, lately he rarely even used his laptop. He almost never sent email anymore, to the dismay of his friends and what little family he kept in touch with. Mostly he texted, and he did that from his phone. Short texts. Very short. He’d never been a touchy-feely kind of person and, with his life taking a sudden, abrupt turn, he was even less so. But now, odd as it was, at this moment, he found himself relaxing as he and KitCat rolled into their cyber conversation.

Maybe that’s what his life was about to become, totally lived in cyberspace. Safer that way.

But don’t forget. That’s how Tex and Melody got together.
Desiree Holt. Protecting Amy (Special Forces: Operation Alpha) (Kindle Locations 369-405). Ace Press, LLC.

As this online relationship develops so do concerns for Amy’s safety. Quinn suspects that the job he’s been asked to consider is actually protecting the woman he knows as KitCat.

Suspenseful, Intriguing, and Romantic with just the right amount of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Desiree!

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Desiree Holt

USA Today Bestselling and award winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and paranormal to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author.

She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee.

She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.

“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)


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Grace – Corked and Tapped Book 2 by Becca Jameson


Corked and Tapped:
Because the best stories never start
with someone eating a salad.

Grace
Corked and Tapped Book 2
By
Becca Jameson

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

“Is this seat taken?” Her breath caught and her heart skipped a beat when he turned to face her. This night was looking up. Almost before she settled on the bar stool, he took the reins, promising her a night she would not forget.

A normally straight-laced lawyer, Grace has given herself permission to let loose. She deserves to unwind and relax. She really works too hard, all the time. She decides on a neighborhood bar she’s never been to and is delightfully surprised at the environment.

There’s only one seat available, in the corner next to a gorgeous man.
After introductions, things start to heat up.

This is a favorite scene.

She took another sip of her martini, the stress of the day loosening. It didn’t hurt that she managed to snag not only a seat at the bar but it was next to a friendly man who wasn’t going to annoy her for the evening. She liked him. In fact, she liked him enough to flirt. It had been a while since she flirted. She shrugged. “I’m not sure it’s necessary to be on your best behavior.” She winked at him.

His smile broadened. “Okay, then.” He loosened his tie and unbuttoned the top button of his crisp white shirt. His tie was a swirl of colors. It gave the impression he had a sense of humor and wasn’t the stuffy sort. That and the wry smile that never left his face.

Yeah, she definitely felt flirty tonight. Why not? It was the weekend. Maybe if she continued to talk to Jack and he didn’t turn out to be a moron, she could spice up her evening. Deciding to put herself out there, she crossed one leg over the other and turned slightly to more fully face him.

“Have you been here before?” Jack asked.

She shook her head. “Nope. First time.” Another fortifying sip of her drink helped her relax further. “What are you drinking?” she asked, pointing at his beer.

He tipped it to the side a bit as he lifted it. “Local draft. I’m a microbrew kind of guy.”

“Excellent choice.”

“You drink beer?”

“Sometimes. Tonight I was in the mood for something stronger.”

“Rough day in court?” “

No more than usual. Just long. Occasionally, I have a client who makes me wish I’d never taken the case.”

“Ah, I can imagine. You must meet some interesting people.”

“Definitely.” She took another sip of her martini. “I’m sure you do too. Some people can be outrageous in a restaurant.”

He nodded. “Today I had to rescue one of my waitresses from an irate customer who insisted she used to have dinner at my place all the time and wanted to know why we stopped serving dinner.”

Grace laughed. “Have you ever been open for dinner?”

“Not one single day in eight years.” He chuckled. “Even though I told her I was Jack, the owner, and explained that she was mistaken, she did not back down. She finally left in a huff saying I was lying to her so my employee wouldn’t look stupid.”

“Lordy. I think that’s worse than what I put up with today.”

Jack turned fully sideways, his knee bumping hers as he set his elbow on the bar. “I’m sure you can’t go into specifics. Attorney-client privilege and all.”

“Right. Let’s just say if you’re going to cheat on your husband with multiple other men, maybe don’t take selfies.”

Jack laughed, a deep sound reaching into her and making her wish she had a hand on his chest while he made it. It would vibrate through her body and probably bring her close to orgasm.

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been excited enough to bring her sexy bits to life. It had been too long, that was for sure. She should get out more often. Life always got in the way.

She glanced away for a second, trying to find a brain cell or two. Since when do you pick up men in bars and blatantly flirt with them, let alone get aroused from their laughter?

“Is it warm in here?” she murmured as she removed her jacket and hung it over the back of the chair. When she returned her gaze to Jack, she found him staring at her chest.

She flushed under his blatant admiration. “Nice blouse.”

She glanced down and back up. Yeah, it was a bit too revealing. And it didn’t help she’d chosen one of her sexiest lingerie sets that morning. The delicate lace and tiny roses lining the edge of her bra were not concealed in the least.

“If you took your jacket off in court today, I assume you won your case,” he teased lightly.

She flushed further, thinking perhaps she should put the jacket back on. Maybe her blouse was a bit more revealing than socially acceptable. As she reached for the blazer, he grabbed her hand. “Don’t. I didn’t mean to imply it was too much. I was complimenting you.”

She met his gaze, assessing him. “For the record, I never take my jacket off in court. Not even if it’s two hundred degrees.”

He smiled warmly. “See? Then you’re fine. We aren’t in court now.” He leaned closer, his voice dipping. “You’re fucking hot. Don’t be embarrassed. There are twenty-one-year-old girls in here wearing far more revealing clothes than you.”

She glanced around, licking her lips. He was right.
Becca Jameson. Grace: Corked and Tapped, Book Two (Kindle Locations 70-106). Becca Jameson Publishing.

I loved the conversation as it gets hotter and hotter. The hemming and hawing that leads to decisions that Grace might not normally make.

While I expected some of the outcome, I definitely got surprised. Plenty of build-up and extremely sensuous with sizzling heat.

I can’t wait to see what Becca has planned for the next book!

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

Becca Jameson currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and the various pets that wander through.

After editing for about five years she recently started writing. She is loving the journey, dabbling in various genres.

When not writing or editing she can usually be found taxiing kids to and from their activities, scrapbooking, and reading!

Late at night she can usually be found sequestered in her office creating fantasy with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate.


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Corked and Tapped – A New Series! Aria Book 1 by Becca Jameson


Corked and Tapped:
Because the best stories never start
with someone eating a salad.

Aria
Corked and Tapped Book 1
By
Becca Jameson

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

“I can be Mike.” Those words, combined with his wry grin, sent a shiver down her spine. Her blind date was a no-show, but this man… Damn. If he was willing to step in, there was no way she was going to turn him down.

Nothing like signing up for dating sites and not finding a match. Giving a new site a chance, this one is different. No pictures on the premise that just maybe you could find someone based on what you really want in a partner.

Aria has played it safe this time too, she didn’t jump into a date, they emailed and then texted for a couple of weeks before she agreed to meet him. The bar they are meeting at is called Corked and Tapped, a smallish but nice place. Aria is a bit early and when the waitress tells her to sit anywhere mentions she’s meeting someone and told she could wait at the bar should she desire.

Looking around she waits for a bit, then decides to approach the one single man at the bar who could possibly be her date Mike.

His response to her inquiry is in the blurb and had me giggling.

However this is MY favorite scene.

“Mike” spoke to her again. “So, how much do you know about this Mike? These dating sites intrigue me. Do you really meet decent people through them?”

Aria ran a finger along the condensation on the side of her glass and then met his gaze. “So far, no. I have high hopes for Mike, though.” She glanced over her shoulder. “Or maybe I was wrong.” A few more people had wandered into the bar, but none of them fit the description she had of Mike.

It was seven fifteen now. Apparently he was a no-show. Gah.

“How many men have you gone on blind dates with?”

“This would have been my third.”

“And the first two?” He spun his body to more fully face her, giving her the opportunity to really take him in. She figured he was about forty. His five o’clock shadow caught her attention, making her wonder what it might feel like against her skin. His fingers were wrapped around his glass, his thumb absently stroking the condensation on the side. She couldn’t stop herself from wishing that hand were cupping her breast, that thumb gliding over her nipple.

Jeez, Aria. Stop it. You came here to meet another man. Even though he hadn’t shown up, she felt slightly guilty to be shifting her interest to the man next to her. A total stranger. Mike. She giggled inside.

Why not have a little fun? This guy was at least nice, an improvement over Thing One and Thing Two. She sighed. “The first guy was too quiet. I mean, I’m not overly shy myself or anything, but I do need a bit more help than he provided holding the conversation. He answered me with one-word responses most of the night, and by the end, I was having more of a conversation with the waiter about boxing up my leftovers than I’d had with him.”

Mike cringed. “Bummer. And the second one?”

“He talked nonstop about himself. I wanted to run from the room within about five minutes.”

“Yikes. Which brings us to Mike. I can’t imagine meeting up with a woman I’ve never even seen a picture of. You’re brave.”

She sat up straighter and smoothed the hem of her skirt over her thighs, thinking she needed to say something to make herself seem less pitiful. “It’s not like I know nothing about him. We exchanged messages through the site for a few weeks and then phone numbers. We’ve been texting for a while.”

“You haven’t spoken to him out loud?”

“Nope.” She winced. “I decided if I’m going all-in with the app, I would treat the whole thing more like a blind date. I sound desperate, don’t I?”

Her stand-in Mike shook his head. “Not at all. I think it’s incredibly courageous to put yourself out there like that.” He glanced down at her legs and back up. “Though I’m not sure why you need to. Why don’t you have a line of men waiting to date you?”

She flushed as she lifted her glass to sip her sparkling water. Then she glanced around dramatically and returned her attention to him. “I don’t see you on a date this Friday night. Where is your line of women?” she teased.

He laughed, his voice deep and sexy. “Touché.”

She lifted a brow. “It’s early, though. Maybe you were waiting on someone or you have plans later.” She found she would be disappointed if he did. It was obvious Mike had stood her up, but this guy was friendly and fun and sexy. Flirting with him was not going to be a hardship. Though she wondered if it made her look too easy or desperate. What kind of woman meets up with another man the moment her date is a no-show?

He shook his head. “Nope. No date tonight. I was just going to sit here and have a few beers and call it an early evening.” His huge smile made her heart race again. “Or…”

She swallowed.

“We could actually for real pretend I’m Mike. You’ll get the blind date you were expecting, and I won’t have to go home to an empty apartment and reruns on television.”

She searched his face. Was he into her? He didn’t have to do this. He could have blown her off at any moment if he weren’t interested. The way he looked at her made her believe he at least found her attractive. “Hmm. Sounds like a plan I can get on board with.”

He held her gaze for a moment, and then he reached up, smoothed a finger down her cheek, and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear.

She shivered at the gentle contact as his hand trailed down the length of her long brown curls until he finally released the end. After picking up his draft beer and taking a drink, he set the glass back on the counter and met her gaze. “So, if the Mike guy you were going to meet was intriguing enough to go on a real date, tell me what I’m up against.”

“What do you mean?” she asked, fighting a grin. He was fun— sexy and fun.

“I’ll role play. Fill his shoes. What sorts of things did he say to you in his messages and texts? Obviously you were interested. So, I’ll pretend to be him.”
Becca Jameson. Aria: Corked and Tapped, Book One (Kindle Locations 95-133). Becca Jameson Publishing.

This ‘date’ rapidly heats up from here. The conversation alone is worthy of a prolonged encounter.

Kindle melting heat, with witty repartee and some interesting surprises!

Off to read Grace which is the second book in this series and releases the same day!

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

Becca Jameson currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and the various pets that wander through.

After editing for about five years she recently started writing. She is loving the journey, dabbling in various genres.

When not writing or editing she can usually be found taxiing kids to and from their activities, scrapbooking, and reading!

Late at night she can usually be found sequestered in her office creating fantasy with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate.


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Amazon Author Page

 

Monk – K19 Security Solutions Book 5 by Heather Slade


Monk
K19 Security Solutions Book 5
By
Heather Slade

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

His lips are sealed, but she’s screaming for more . . .
Silence is his most dangerous weapon…

K19 Security Solutions partner, Rhys “Monk” Perrin works hard and keeps his mouth shut. Doing what he’s told, when he’s told, Monk’s missions are the most perilous and extreme. After all, he’s riddled with guilt from years ago that’s left him numb and dangerous. But when he meets his partner’s older sister, Saylor Sharp-Davis, Monk realizes there’s more to fight for.

She talks the talk, but fears the walk…

Saylor is no stranger to the life of private intelligence operatives, growing up with one of K19’s senior partners for a brother. The majority of the danger she’s faced was at the hands of her ex-husband. And when she encounters Monk and his gentle touch, she craves it again and again. But she’s not about to let down her guard.

The enemy is closer than they realized…

When Saylor’s life is threatened, Monk is hellbent on protecting her—refusing to lose another person he loves. But circumstances are tearing them apart, and time is running out. Will the strong, silent savior finally say what he wants?

While each book in the K19 Security Solutions Series is a standalone with its own HEA, they may be more enjoyable read in order.

Barnes and Noble logo_150 ibooks-logo-150x150KoboLogo

Monk and Saylor have been featured a bit in all the books to date. In this one we get to see how their relationship develops.

Now it hasn’t been an easy path at all, Saylor is a single mom and her daughters are everything to her. Her ex is in prison and her brother, Razor, does his darnedest to keep him there.

Monk doesn’t talk very much, hence the nickname. I have to tell you he gets downright chatty around Saylor though.

This is a favorite scene in Part 1 of the book, it’s the first interaction with Saylor and the girls.

“I am seriously outnumbered,” Razor said, walking over to the picnic table where Ava was still chatting with the girls and their grandmother.

“You could invite Monk to join us,” Saylor suggested. “He already did,” said Monk, walking out of the woods and startling her.

“I told him we needed a cook,” Razor explained when Saylor looked back at him.

“Chef.”

“Right. Mom, meet Monk. He’s a chef, and Saylor has a mad crush on him.”

“Monk, this is my mom, Sally.” Razor introduced them.

After shaking her mother’s hand, Monk turned toward Saylor and winked. “I already know who you are,” he said, repeating his words from their phone call.

Saylor put her hand on her heart and smiled.

“Oh my God,” she mouthed at her brother, not really trying to hide it from anyone, including Monk.

—:—

“You’re pretty,” Monk said to Razor’s sister as he took a drink from his insulated water bottle.

“So are you.”

He smiled and looked over at the two girls. “Razor says they’re yours.”

“That’s right.”

He turned his head back toward her. “They don’t look anything like you.”

“I used to have blonde hair just like theirs.”

“Really?”

She laughed. “Hell no. Do I look like I used to have blonde hair?”

He shook his head; she was smirking. She’d caught him off guard, and not many people did. He liked it.

“Heard their dad’s in prison.”

“That’s good to hear,” said Saylor as she reached over, took the water bottle from his hand, and brought it to her lips. “I don’t keep track.”

He looked into her dark brown eyes. She had smile lines at the corners. He liked that too. He looked down the length of her, not hiding that he was, and then took his water bottle back and had a drink himself.

When he felt his cell vibrate, he handed the water back to her and pulled out his phone. He read what was on the screen and then looked over at Razor.

“I hate to cut the party short, but we need to leave,” the man said, without Monk needing to say a word.

Saylor stood, as did her mother. “Time to go, girls,” she said, hustling her daughters toward Ava. Monk watched Saylor hug the woman that he and Razor were keeping safe. After she did, Sally and the two little girls hugged Ava too.
Heather Slade. Monk (Kindle Locations 274-296). K19 Security Solutions Book 7.

What starts out as a no strings relationship, quickly begins to be more. The problem is both Monk and Saylor are afraid of commitment.

Many twists and turns in this relationship, primarily caused by Monk’s job. Plus the fact that in spite of all the talking they do they aren’t totally communicating.

With Saylor keeping quiet about something she’s doing and Monk finding out from Doc and Merrigan instead of her, just adds more difficulty.

As Monk holds vigil over Onyx, who’s in a coma from the plane crash, Saylor’s ex manages to get parole. Then even more fun begins.

There’s fun, romance, suspense, sizzling heat and so much more!

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

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming in 2020!


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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