Tactical Strike – Bagram Special Ops Book 2 by Kaylea Cross


Tactical Strike

Bagram Special Ops Book 2
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Kaylea Cross

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Gunship pilot Captain Candace Bradford has worked long and hard to earn her rank and position within the male-dominated world of Air Force Special Operations. She’s not about to let anything or anyone jeopardize that, let alone one sinfully tempting man who seems determined to cause her nothing but trouble. Even if she’s starting to fall for him.

As an elite Combat Controller, Staff Sergeant Ryan Wentworth is used to overcoming adversity in order to complete a mission. Breaking through Candace’s prickly exterior and into her heart is a challenge he can’t let go. But just when he’s begun to gain her trust, they’re thrown together in the field facing an overwhelming enemy force.

Candace and Ryan find themselves on the run, searching the skies for an emergency extraction. But one dangerous enemy has an agenda in mind and he’ll use whatever means necessary to achieve it, including using American forces to do his dirty work.

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We met Candace and Ryan in Deadly Descent the first book in this series. Ryan can be most annoying and that seems to come to the forefront in his conversations with Candace. One of the biggest issues is rank, she’s a Captain and he’s a Staff Sergeant. Fraternizing is a definite no-no, but the attraction between these two is off the charts.

Candace battles her emotions when it comes to Ryan, keeping him at arms length is difficult since he’s very determined.

A new tactic for the enemy comes to the fore in this book, an attack on the base. This is when Ryan finally gets through to Candace.

This is a favorite scene.

He was still stewing when the door finally opened and the doctor emerged. Ryan straightened, but the door shut again and Candace didn’t come out. After a minute he got concerned and walked over to push it open. He stopped in the threshold, one hand still on the door. Candace sat on a hard plastic chair with her elbows on her knees and her hands in her disheveled hair. She looked up when he entered, and with one glimpse at her weary face the riot act he’d been prepared to deliver died in his throat. The raw misery in her eyes slashed him.

Ryan stepped inside and shut the door quietly. “Hi.”

She recovered fast, the lines of strain disappearing under a calm mask as she sat up. “Hey.” Was it his imagination, or did she look relieved to see him?

He ran his gaze over her to check for injuries, but other than a few bloody scrapes on her hands and elbows from when he’d tackled her, she seemed unhurt. Physically, anyway. “You okay?”

“Yeah.”

She didn’t look okay, despite the brave front she was putting on. He shifted his weight and stuffed his hands into his pockets. It’d been one hell of a shitty day for everybody so far. “How’s your crew member doing?”

She looked down at the worn beige carpet. “They couldn’t save his foot. Had to amputate halfway down his lower leg.”

Ryan covered a wince. “Sorry to hear that.” After an awkward beat, he crossed the room and sat in the seat beside her. She was obviously upset, but he wasn’t sure what to say and talking to her usually had disastrous results anyway. He laid a comforting hand on her shoulder instead and rubbed gently.

Anyone who came in and had a problem with him touching an officer could go fuck himself. He needed to comfort her. Her muscles were strung tight.

Candace bit her lip and stared at the floor for another moment, and though she didn’t shrug off his hand, he kept waiting for her to speak. He wracked his brain for something to say, but he’d never been good with the touchy-feely stuff and didn’t want to upset her further so he kept his mouth shut. So he kept rubbing her shoulder in what he hoped were soothing little circles, the whole time expecting her to knock his hand away and put distance between them. Instead she shocked the hell out of him by turning her body into him and throwing her arms around his neck.

“Whoa.” He caught her around the waist and immediately leaned closer to wrap her up in a firm hug. In answer she let out a deep sigh and burrowed even harder into him, tightening her arms. Needing comfort so much that she’d let her guard down completely in front of him and anyone else who might walk in. The knowledge made something painful twist in his chest. Ah, hell, Ace. Don’t do this to me.
Cross, Kaylea. Tactical Strike (Bagram Special Ops Series). Carina Press. Kindle Locations (1115-1132). Kindle Edition.

Ryan is one of those assigned to go find and take out the perpetrators. When they end up ambushed he’s the one calling in the airstrikes but they have severely wounded men.

Candace is a pilot on the aircraft called in to retrieve them. Unfortunately the enemy gets lucky, and they all end up stranded, with a storm approaching and more wounded.

Let me warn you now, this book has intense battle scenes the descriptions will put you right in the middle of the firefights. I was holding my breath and doing my share of crying as the two groups fight for survival.

Many tears, lots of action, very emotional and scary, and a love that won’t quit.

5 Contented Purrs for Kaylea!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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Four Book Bundle! One Night To Forever – Books 1 – 4 By Melissa McClone


Experience love when it’s least expected
with four full-length,
heartwarming sweet romances
in the One Night to Forever box set!

Includes

One Night to Forever
One Night to Forever Books 1-4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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With fake engagements, a surprise pregnancy, friendship to love, and hate to love storylines, these four novels will take you from San Francisco to Portland to Sun Valley. Treat yourself and find out how one night can lead to forever…

Fiancé for the Night

When a fake engagement spirals out of control, Cassandra fears losing her heart. Will she end the fake engagement, or could Troy be her perfect husband for life?

The Wedding Lullaby

After an impromptu wedding that was just for fun, Laurel discovers she’s pregnant. Will she get the marriage and family she dreams of having with Brett?

A Little Bit Engaged

A PR nightmare drags Cara into a fake engagement with A-list actor—and former crush—Brody. What will it take for her to survive the ruse with her heart intact

Love on the Slopes

The one person who can help her is the last person she’d ever trust…again. Can Ryland and Brynn overcome their painful pasts and make their dreams come true—together?

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Fiancé for the Night

This book is a tale of things spinning totally out of control.

It begins innocently enough, Cassandra wants to stop her parents from setting her up with their idea of the perfect husband for her. She decides to select one man from a local hangout that fits the bill and have him be her fiancé for the night.

Troy isn’t quite sure what to make of the free spirited Cassandra as he considers her proposal. He decides to go for it, a free meal and a lovely companion for the evening beats going home to an empty apartment and working.

Cassandra gets quite the surprise when she finds out what Troy does for a living and things start hurtling out of control.

This is a favorite scene.

Cassandra’s cheeks warmed. Thank goodness he wasn’t her type, or she could imagine falling for Mr. Troy McKnight.

“Enough honeymoon talk.” Her father straightened in his chair.

“Why don’t we discuss the wedding?” her mother suggested. “Have you set a date?”

“No,” Cassandra said. “We aren’t sure if we want a traditional wedding or not.”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Emily muttered. “I see you don’t have a ring yet.”

“We’re using my grandmother’s engagement ring,” Troy said. The man kept saying the unexpected, and she appreciated his fast thinking. “I haven’t had time to fly home and get it from my parents’ house.”

“Your grandmother’s ring.” Her mother clapped her hands together. “A family heirloom. How wonderful.”

Troy smiled at Cassandra. Her mother’s reaction seemed to please him.

Eric glanced at the rock on Emily’s ring finger. “That works out well financially. Troy has a ring to use, and Cassandra has a dress to wear.”

Jerk. Cassandra balled her hands into fists.

Emily’s parted lips matched her wide eyes. She exchanged a glance with Eric.

“She can’t wear that dress,” Emily said with uncharacteristic understanding. “She bought it for… for… another wedding.”

“But the dress has never been worn,” Eric explained as if he were talking about a pair of jeans, not a beautiful white dress that had made Cassandra feel like a princess. “Letting an expensive wedding gown hang in the closet forever because I married you would be a total waste.”

Cassandra stiffened. She couldn’t believe she’d told that moron she loved him or said yes when he’d asked her to marry him. Temporary insanity. That was the only explanation.

Troy placed his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. His warm breath teased her neck.

“Are you okay?” he whispered.

She nodded. At least someone cared, or pretended to care, about her feelings. “I sold the dress.”

“Well, then. That means you’ll need a new one. This time…” Her mother picked up her glass of Chardonnay. “I want to go shopping with you.”

“Of course, Mother.” That day would never happen.

“There’s plenty of time to talk about the wedding,” her father said. “All I know is my little girl looks happy, and that makes me happy.”

“My job is to make her happy.” Troy caressed Cassandra’s cheek with his fingertips.

A tingle ran up her spine. “You do an excellent job.”

Did he ever.

He was playing the devoted fiancé role better than she expected. She would have to be careful given the sparks that could easily erupt into fireworks if he kept touching her.

“What do you do, Troy?” Emily asked.

Leave it to her sister to get to the bottom line— income potential. An interrogation of Troy was bound to happen at some point. Cassandra had hoped they could get through appetizers and their salads first.

No biggie.

She assumed Troy was an attorney. He had that overpaid, on-a-retainer, stick-up-his-bottom lawyer look about him. “Go ahead, honey. Tell them what you do.”

Troy cleared his throat. “Venture capital.”

Oh, no. Not V.C. Cassandra clenched her teeth to keep her mouth from gaping open. Her stomach somersaulted.

This couldn’t be happening.

Not again.

Her dad beamed. Of course this news would make him ecstatic.

Dixon Daniels was one of the long-reigning kings of venture capitalists— financiers who invested in startup companies in hopes of making huge profits. He’d made a fortune at the height of the tech bubble, but money had continued to pour in after the dot-com collapse and now.

Her father leaned forward. “I thought you looked familiar, Troy. Who do you work for, Sand Hill? No, it’s Scorpio Partners. I remember now. You handled the MagiWare deal.”

Troy nodded.

“Impressive.” Her dad wasn’t a man who gave praise often. “Why didn’t you tell me your fiancé was in the business, honey?”

Cassandra struggled for words to say. Troy had caught her off-guard. He looked like an attorney. He was supposed to be an attorney.

How could she have been so stupid? Why hadn’t she asked what he did?

Daniels Venture Group was a respected firm, and Dixon Daniels was known as the master. Up-and-comers would kill to learn from him. Marrying the boss’s daughter was an easy way in. Just ask Eric Wainwright.

Not sure how to answer, she swallowed. “Well, Dad…”

“We wanted to tell you in person,” Troy finished for her, much to Cassandra’s relief. “I didn’t want you to think I was marrying your daughter for the wrong reasons.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 427-475). Cardinal Press, LLC.

From a one night dinner, the ‘engagement’ proceeds to a week-end and then more.

All of sudden it’s not just solving Cassie’s problem, it becomes an issue for Troy and his employment.

Lots of twists, turns and fun as these two become more than just pretend.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

The Wedding Lullaby

Henry Davenport’s birthday extravaganzas are legendary among his friends. Those in attendance all have something in common other than their extreme wealth, they all have holiday birthdays. The preface of this book supplies the cause of the effects that are in this story. A fake wedding is the theme and the ‘lucky’ dice rollers are Brett Matthews and Laurel Worthington.

At the time of the party, no one knew the dire circumstances facing Laurel and her mother. Now broke and pregnant, Laurel has to approach Brett for a job. She won’t force him to accept the child, in fact, she won’t be a trophy wife forced on him because of pregnancy. She wants love and respect.

Of course Brett already knows everything, and is more than ready to accept the responsibility of both her and the child. He just wasn’t going to make it easy on her. She would never have dated him before that party, his was new money, not the old her family preferred.

Brett had also convinced himself she would take the easy way and marry him over getting a job. Boy was he wrong.

This is a favorite scene.

Brett was only trying to do the right thing. Why wasn’t that good enough for Laurel? His family may not have crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower or been listed on the pages of the social registry, but she was the one with no money, no home, and no job. What would he have to do to convince her to marry him?

On the drive to the restaurant, the atmosphere in his car was as chilly as a February morning, and the cold wasn’t blasting from the air-conditioning.
Recognizing the scent of her perfume didn’t help matters. The light floral fragrance suited her perfectly, and the smell transported him back to watching her dress the morning after their so-called wedding night. She’d dabbed the perfume behind her earlobes, on her wrists, and in the hollow between her breasts.

She’d thought he was asleep and was sneaking out before he awakened. She hadn’t known he’d been up since dawn wondering what to do and say to her. Laurel had taken care of that for him by leaving a note on the pillow next to him.

He’d read the letter so many times he had it memorized….

Every little girl dreams of her wedding day, complete with her own Prince Charming. The ceremony at the Love Dove Wedding Nest Chapel might not have met those expectations, but last night exceeded them. Thank you for making my dreams come true, even if it was for only one night. I wish I could stay longer, but family obligations require me to return to Chicago.

P.S. Thanks for the “wedding” gift. I love the snow globe.

Sure, she did.

Brett knew better than to believe anything she said, then or now. In Reno, he’d thought she would be the perfect wife. So much for perfection.

Yet, he couldn’t deny his attraction for her. An attraction growing by the minute, as crazy as it was to believe.

After parking at the restaurant, he helped her out of the car. She stiffened at his touch, but he wasn’t deterred. As he led her inside, his hand resting on the small of her back, she stayed tensed.

He swore under his breath.

The ice-maiden routine had to stop.

Once they were seated and ordered dinner, the tension between them didn’t improve. The din of voices from the other diners, along with music from the piano in the lounge, kept their lack of conversation from being overly awkward.

A brush of her leg against his sent sparks flying, but she merely apologized, dismissing him without a thought, and sipped her water.

Water wouldn’t cut it for Brett. Three fingers of whiskey sounded about right. He wasn’t a big drinker, but Laurel could make a man do things he normally didn’t do. He settled for beer, a local brewery’s award-winning summer ale, and tried to figure out his strategy.

He hadn’t gotten this far in life by taking no for an answer.

Things weren’t going as he expected— or rather, maybe they were. He’d deluded himself into thinking Laurel could see beyond her upbringing and former station in life. Both in Reno and now.

Truth was she’d hurt him by leaving without saying goodbye, and by not contacting him after she returned to Chicago. That had nothing to do with the baby and everything to do with him.

He shouldn’t care. Not now.

The situation had changed. This wasn’t about her or him. The baby was the bottom line. His ego might be bruised by her rejection, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him.

She had to marry him.

His baby needed a family. He would do whatever it took to make that happen. Even lower his standards to marry her.

“Now about us getting married,” he said finally.

She massaged her temples. “Let’s not repeat that mistake.”

He flinched. “Mistake or not, I’m concerned how you intend to care for our baby.”

“I told you.” She sighed. “Some women choose to stay at home. Others choose to work. I’m going to work.”

“You’re pregnant. You shouldn’t be working.”

Laurel frowned. “Pregnancy is not an illness, although some misinformed people think it is. That’s one reason I came to you.”

She didn’t have a clue. About life. About him.

“Don’t roll your eyes at me, Brett Matthews.” She pursed her lips. “I didn’t travel this far on a whim. Do you think leaving my hometown for a city I’ve never been to was easy? Do you think I wanted to spend three days riding on a bus?”

Everything she did surprised him. “Why didn’t you find a job in Chicago?”

She toyed with her napkin. “I had a job, but it didn’t work out.”

According to the PI’s report, she’d been fired from her position at an exclusive department store, but no reason for her dismissal had been given.

“I searched for another job, but due to my father’s stellar reputation preceding me, I couldn’t find anything that paid more than minimum wage. I thought you would be able to look past my current condition, so I could start over and make a new life here in Portland.”

“You really want to work?”

“I really want to work.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 3967-4017). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Brett finally agrees to give her a job as assistant to his assistant. He also makes a plan to go with her to look at apartments, even though he has no intention of letting her live anywhere but with him.

This is a fun read with plenty of ups and downs a Laurel not only finds her way as a working women but also finds herself in the process. Even Brett grows in his mindset as this tale unfolds.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

A Little Bit Engaged

This story is painful in the sense that throughout Cait aka Caitlyn seems oblivious to the hurt and embarrassment she is causing Brody and her sister.

Brody springs a surprise visit on Cara and also an almost unbelievable proposition. A temporary engagement.

Now Cara has been a little more than in love with Brody since their school days, but this is almost more than she can handle. Then Brody shows her the video that has caused Cait to force their hands.

This is a favorite scene.

“We’re not getting married,” Caitlin hiccupped between sobs. Streams of mascara-stained tears flowed down her cheeks. “Brody and I… We aren’t engaged. We broke up.”

Cara’s lips parted, her eyes widened, and then she blinked several times. Her face tightened into a pained expression that made him feel like a jerk. “Why did you break up? Is Caitlin okay? Did you hurt her?”

“Keep watching.”

Auntie Shark patted Caitlin’s arm. “I’m so sorry.”

Caitlin swiped her hand across her face. The move made a bigger mess of her makeup. She appeared oh-so-human, not the perfectly put together actress that girls and teens idolized.

Auntie Shark extended a tissue. “Take your time, dear.”

“Thank you.” Caitlin dabbed her face slowly as if trying to think of what to say next. If only she hadn’t rushed… “I didn’t want our fans to find out this way, but I suppose there isn’t a good time to tell them.”

“Tell them what?” Auntie Shark sounded giddy.

Caitlin stared straight at the camera. Her vulnerability clawed at him. “About Brody.”

“What about him?”

“He’s… He’s getting married.”

“Huh?” Cara muttered.

“What?” Auntie Shark’s mouth gaped. “Who is he marrying?”

Caitlin’s slight pause told Brody she was making this up as she went. “My twin sister.”

“No!” Auntie Shark and Cara shouted at the same time.

The horror in that one word twisted his heart. He’d experienced the same shock, disbelief, and… hurt. He knew the question— Why, Caitlin?— was echoing in Cara’s head the way it had resounded in his. He patted her hand. Not much support, but this was all he could give her. They were in this together, or they would be if she agreed to be his temporary fiancée.

“You can’t be serious.” Auntie Shark appeared shocked.

“I’m afraid so.” Caitlin sniffled. “They’ve been secretly dating. I don’t know how long this has been going on, but they attended the Academy Awards together last year when I was sick. Maybe it started then. I’m trying to be happy for them. I was at the bridal salon to try on bridesmaid dresses, but it’s… hard. The two people I love most in this world betrayed me in the worst possible way.” She wiped her eyes with a tissue before she straightened. “And you know, it’s so bizarre how life is imitating art.”

“What do you mean?” Auntie Shark’s tone was sympathetic, but her eyes gleamed with dollar signs. No doubt this exclusive, juicy morsel had thrilled her.

“My new film Trouble in Tulle is about a jilted bride whose groom runs off with her best friend. Everyone should see the movie when it opens this weekend.” Caitlin perked up for a moment, but then, as if on cue, more tears flooded her cheeks. “My sister is… was… my best friend.”

“Oh, no. No. No. No.” Cara’s voice trembled. Her lower lip quivered. “Please tell me this is a sick joke. An early April Fool’s prank. Payback for me making fun of your movie franchise.”

Brody wanted to wipe away her worry. Instead, he shut off the video. “I wish I could.”

Cara stared at his phone. “I don’t know what to say.”

“I know the feeling. It’s like I’m on a roller coaster that won’t stop— only, this ride hasn’t been any fun.” He placed his phone on the old, beat-up trunk that doubled as a coffee table. “I just want it to end.”

“Why would Caitlin do this to me? To us?” The pain in Cara’s voice hurt Brody. “I’ve stayed out of the public eye on purpose. Now she’s pushing me into the spotlight. Can you stop this?”

The hope in Cara’s gaze made him want to say yes, but he couldn’t tell her another lie. “I thought about going to my lawyer, but Caitlin talked me out of it. She said the real-life parallel with the movie is too perfect not to exploit. The show was taped this morning. It’s set to air on Thursday. That gives us time.”

“Time for what?” The lines on Cara’s forehead deepened. “My sister has lost it.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 6967-7005). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Everything gets totally out of control as they make like they are planning their wedding. Every time they turn around there are cameras as Cait does the unthinkable and tips off the paparazzi.

I absolutely love the way this romance plays out. Brody and Cara are truly made for each other. The question is will they realize it too.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Love on the Slopes

There are many factors in this one, the first being their past. Brynn did Ryland a favor he thought was something altogether different and bragged about it, causing her embarrassment. Then he was injured and has been off the circuit and reevaluating his life choices.

Brynn has lost her focus, the issues she has can’t be discussed with anyone associated with the team. The coaches have asked Ryland to work with Brynn to get her back on track. To say she’s not happy is an understatement.

This is a favorite scene.

Guyer pushed one of the two coffee cups on the table toward her. “For you. Two sugars and a dash of cream.”

That was how she drank hers. Her mouth watered, but she squinted. “Never saw you as the stalker type.”

“I’m usually being stalked,” he admitted. “But you can learn almost anything in less than five minutes on the internet. Your favorite color is orange?”

“Yes, the brighter the better.” Brynn sipped her coffee. The liquid was hot and sweet, the way she liked it. “Why did you go to the trouble to do a search on me?”

“If we’re going to work together—”

“Stop.” She raised her left hand, palm facing him. “Neither of us wants to work together, so let’s not pretend otherwise.”

He didn’t contradict her. Brynn wasn’t surprised, but she didn’t appreciate the sting of disappointment that came out of the blue. “Give me some advice now, and we’ll call it good.”

“That’s not what Coach has in mind.”

“He’ll never know.”

“Yes, he will.”

Guyer tapped his fingers on the table. His nails were clean and in better shape than hers. Then again, he’d been modeling, according to her roommate, Lila Raines, so maybe manicures were part of his photo shoot prep.

“Coach knows everything,” Guyer added.

Far from it. Frederick might know skiing, but he was clueless about other stuff. But no one else knew that except Brynn.

She wrapped her hand around the coffee cup. The warmth didn’t take away the chill. “The coaches want to say they did everything they could before I’m cut from the team. Everyone knows I don’t meet the selection criteria for a nomination. My only hope is a coach’s discretion spot.”

She expected Guyer to show a sign of relief— he’d avoided her over the years the way she had him— but his expression didn’t change.

He picked up his coffee. “I didn’t know until this morning.”

“You haven’t been around.”

“I’m here now.” He raised his coffee. “Don’t make this a wasted trip for me. My dad let me take the company jet so I could fly direct and bypass the drive from Boise.”

“Rough life.”

“Doesn’t suck.” Ry took a sip. “So Coach said you’re not injured. That means something’s going on in your head. Have any idea what?”

“Everyone who’s tried to help me has come up empty.” Of course, she hadn’t told them the reason she’d lost her focus. She’d promised her mother not to tell anyone and hadn’t. Couldn’t. “We’re talking sports psychologists, counselors, coaches. The best around.”

A part of Brynn wished someone could help her, but telling the truth might get her kicked off the team faster than having poor race results. She didn’t dare.

“Why do you think you can do better?” she asked.

“Don’t know if I can, but Coach wants me to try. If you’re not interested, that’s fine, but I won’t lie to him about what we’re doing.”

“Why not? You used to lie all the time.” His lies had been infamous and used in a drinking game. Something to joke and laugh about until he’d spread lies about the two of them having sex. Suddenly, people viewed her differently. And not in a good way.

Denying the rumors had made her appear guilty and heartbroken over Ry-Guy. Granted, only the younger guys had expected her to put out, but she hadn’t appreciated the curious looks she’d received from others, including the team staff.

Guyer’s mouth tightened. “I don’t do a lot of things I used to do.”

Her curiosity piqued, she drank more coffee to keep from asking him questions.

“What happened in Åre?” he asked.

His question about the race in Sweden was unexpected. Unwelcome, too.

Memories careened through her head like a possessed jackhammer, the noise more deafening than the cheering crowds at the finish line. “I had a bad run.”

“More than one. You were DQ’d in multiple events.”

She stared into her cup. “Everyone has a bad competition.”

“You’ve had an off season.”

Her muscles tensed, knotting themselves like the tangled fringe on her old scarf. She’d had a chance to finish on the podium at Lake Louise the week before Åre but hadn’t. Her loss caused “Dad” to go off on her. She’d tried her entire life to prove herself to Sully, to earn his love, to make him as proud of her as he was of her hockey-playing brothers. At least she’d discovered why pleasing him had been an impossible task. Sully wasn’t her biological father.

“I’m doing the best I can,” she said finally.

“You believe that?”

“No.” She might be withholding the truth, but she wasn’t a liar. “Or I wouldn’t be here with you.”

A smile spread across Guyer’s face. “A sense of humor is good, but so is being focused. I watched a few clips of your recent races. You’ve lost your focus.”

“Yes.” But she couldn’t say why. Brynn gnawed on her lower lip.

“Do you want to stay on the team?” he asked.

“Yes.” The word catapulted from her mouth. “More than anything.”

Doubt filled his gaze.

“It’s true.” She sounded defensive and on guard, exactly how she felt. “I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“Does that include working with me?”

Brynn didn’t reply. Instead, she sipped her coffee.
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 10041-10094). Cardinal Press, LLC.

As the days pass, the attraction between them grows. Brynn has to come to terms with her emotions and future on the team, difficult as it may be.

Fun, intriguing, emotional, and romantic. You won’t want to put this one down.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!


Individually
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Sweet Rose – Baytown Boys Book 10 by Maryann Jordan


Sweet Rose
Baytown Boys Book 10
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Jason Boswell had moved to Baytown at the invitation of his Navy buddy to open a garage and tattoo parlor. He never meant to start off on the wrong foot with the beautiful Rose.

Rose Parker wanted to open an ice-cream parlor in Baytown, but life kept handing her one setback after another. And for Jason? It appeared that he managed to get everything he wanted. She hated to be envious, but frustration had her lashing out.

But their attraction could not be denied.

When Rose finally managed to get the space for her Sweet Rose Ice Cream Shop and upstairs apartment…right across the street from Jason’s shops, she made several discoveries…letters from the a former resident and a skeleton in the cellar.

Thrown into a mystery from years ago, it appears someone in town wants to keep secrets buried.

As Jason and Rose’s love blooms, can he keep her safe while she works to discover the truth?

Note: Language and scenes similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie.

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Rose wanted the building Jason won the bid on, it was perfect for her ice cream shop and had the bonus of an apartment above it. It was also the only one in the area she could afford without struggling to be a success.

Jason, bought the entire building for his Garage and Tattoo Studio. Having the two businesses next door to each other and the apartment above was perfect for him. He had no idea Rose wanted the shop and while he felt bad, he had won the bid. On a practical note fumes from the garage would definitely be a downside to ice cream preparation and enjoyment.

Rose is angry and frustrated when she confronts Jason in the space and that quickly leads to a totally different kind of heat. A night neither of them will forget, that ends with Rose leaving before Jason wakes, with only a note in her wake.

Now three years later, Rose is returning to Baytown with the same goal of opening an ice cream shop. This time she is a bit more prepared thanks to the events that occurred during the previous years. She is a bit nervous about seeing Jason again, after all she did disappear. The perfect property is directly across from Jason’s garage, she’d have to see him sooner or later.

It was Jason who initiated that first meeting after totally misunderstanding a situation.

This is a favorite scene.

Rounding the corner at the intersection where his garage was across the street, he headed directly to Rose’s shop. With the paper covering the windows, he could not see in but could tell there was a light on inside. He knocked on the door then pressed his ear to the glass. He could hear music in the distance and wondered if she was working toward the back of the shop. Knocking loudly, he still received no response.

Shoving his hands in his pockets, he hesitated before walking away, the strong urge to see her overshadowing everything else. He walked to the end of the short block, down a side street, to the back alley. It only took him a moment to come to her door, surprised to find it standing open.

Knocking again, he called out, but with the music louder now, he knew she would not be able to hear him. He stepped through the door, passing an office and small bathroom. The music was coming from the main room, but a slight noise had him turn and peek inside a large storage closet, just as he called out, “Rose!”

Rose had one flip-flop covered foot standing on the top of a small stepladder and the other foot on one of the shelves in the room as she leaned precariously far to the side, a wet rag in her hand. At the sound of his voice, she startled, her foot kicking the ladder over before scrambling to find purchase on the shelving.

Rushing forward, he snagged her body as she started to fall, catching her in mid-squeak as a dirty, wet rag slapped up against the side of his head.

She started to flail about, but he held her easily, saying, “Rose, Rose. It’s me.”

She stilled, and he shifted her body so that she was now facing him, his arms banded about her middle, and her feet dangled off the floor. Her eyes widened, and she gasped. “Jason? Oh, my God, you scared me to death. What are you doing here?”

He knew he should set her feet on the ground, but the feel of her in his arms was so nice, he held on to her for another moment. Of course, the wet rag near his face cut into the pleasure of the moment. Glancing to the side, he said, “Uh, do you mind getting rid of that?”

The rag landed on the floor with a splat, and she gushed, “I’m so sorry.” As if just realizing that her feet were dangling off the floor, she wiggled and added, “You can put me down now. I’ll get a paper towel for you.”

He set her down slowly, and as soon as his arms left her body, she rushed from the closet and into the small bathroom. She returned with a roll of paper towels, ripping off several, and immediately began wiping off the side of his face, hair, and beard.

She stepped back, the wad of paper towels in her hand, and her face scrunched before her eyes landed back on his. “Oh, Jason. I’m not sure I made it any better. I am so sorry.”

He stared at her carefully, noting she was no longer wearing the pink bandanna on her hair, but her blonde locks were still pulled up in a messy bun. She was still wearing the large overalls, a light blue T-shirt underneath. Flip-flops were on her feet, her pink-painted toenails visible. Her hands were dirty. Her feet were dirty. And her face was completely smudged with dirt as well. His assessment from earlier still stood. Completely ridiculous and utterly adorable.

He realized he had not said anything when she was staring up at him with a scrunched nose and questioning gaze. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. Shrugging, he chuckled. “Most days I’m either buried in grease or ink, so a little dirt isn’t going to hurt me.”

His heart lightened as her smile widened, thrilled to discover that she did not appear to be upset at seeing him again.

“So… um… what are you doing here?” she asked.

“I’ve wanted to come by, but… well, I wasn’t sure when would be a good time,” he lied.

“I kept thinking I would see you around town sometime during the last couple of weeks, but except for glances at a distance, I didn’t.”

Jamming his fingers into his front pockets, he shrugged and said, “I’ve been pretty busy, I guess.”

Her hands fiddled with the clutched paper towels as she stared up at him. “I should have come by, but after the last time we were together, I wasn’t sure how you felt about me just popping around to say hello.” He remembered how guileless she was, and his hands slid from his pockets as he reached toward her shoulders, the desire to touch her as well as comfort her overwhelming. “Oh, Rose, you never have to worry about that.” He shook his head and winced slightly, saying, “I admit it was a little hit to my ego when you were gone the next day, but we both agreed it was just for the—”

Her hand flew up, landing over his mouth, halting his words. “No!” she all but shouted, her eyes wide as she shook her head back and forth.

Not daring to speak considering the hand over his mouth still held a damp paper towel, he lifted his brows in surprise.

“Oh, my goodness! I’m so sorry!” Her hand jerked back down, and he watched as pink blush infused her cheeks. Sighing heavily, she shook her head and admitted, “Sometimes I think I’m such a disaster.” Her gaze shifted to somewhere behind him, out into the open area, and she stepped back. Sucking in a deep breath, she lifted her gaze back to his and said, “Would you like to see my store?”

Chagrined that he had brought up the night they spent together, he understood her desire to change the subject. For a few seconds, he wondered if her offer to show him around was sincere, but as he gazed down at her, he saw a spark of excitement in her eyes again and wanted to keep that expression on her face. “Absolutely,” he confirmed. “I’d love to see what you’re going to do here.”
Maryann Jordan. Sweet Rose – ARC copy: Baytown Boys (Kindle Locations 783-826).

While the chemistry is definitely there, they don’t jump in quite as fast. Well they do but there is a lot more conversation first.

A startling discovery almost messes up Rose’s plans, but since it only involves the cellar and an event from years ago, she’s allowed to continue with the renovations and opening plans.

I love the way these two begin the romance that will be more than a one-night thing. The interactions with her mother bring sniffles and all the Baytown Boys and their wives and girlfriends lend helping hands.

Plenty of suspense, many surprises, a lot of love and some sizzling heat. I laughed, sniffled, held my breath and sighed as this book unfolds.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Maryann Jordan

I have always been an avid reader. My early memories were of my mother taking me to the library and allowing me to check out as many books as I could carry. My favorite books were checked out numerous times and read over and over. I would use my Barbie dolls to play out the scenes in books (such as Nancy Drew!).

I have written as a hobby for many years (probably since childhood). I have written devotionals, autobiographical writings about having a severely handicapped, medically fragile child, about my mother’s Alzheimer’s, and other subjects that interest me.

I joke that I “cut my romance teeth” on the old historical romance books. In 2013, I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers. In 2014, I finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and was involved in education for the past 30 years, until retiring in 2015. I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 35 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters. When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!


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Lucas – K9 Files Book 5 By Dale Mayer


Lucas
K9 Files Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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The world of dogfighting is an ugly place …

When Tophat, a missing K9 dog, is accidentally sent to Canada as part of a group of rescued dogs looking for adoption, Lucas knows he’s the natural pick for this job. Plus he has another reason to be in the country. His sister lives there, and … so does his ex-fiancée.

But when he arrives, Lucas finds Tophat was handed over to a trainer who deals with aggressive dogs. The news isn’t good, especially after Lucas arrives at the trainer’s property and is thrown into the dark underworld of dogfighting.

Tanya used to share her home with her two best friends, until one was killed in a hit-and-run and the other badly injured. Now living alone in a small apartment, Tanya realizes how much she’s lost—including Lucas. Unexpectedly seeing him flips her world once more …

As Lucas digs deeper into Tophat’s disappearance, the dogfighting ring rises up to protect their own …

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If you’ve read the SEALs of Steel series you’ll recognize the guys doing the match ups for the K9s. Geir, Badger and Jager discuss who they’re going to ask to find TopHat in the prologue, and actually compare themselves to Levi and Mason from the Heroes from Hire and SEALs of Honor Series respectively and their matchmaking skills. That had me giggling.

Lucas Scott is the one they bring in and he agrees right away. He decides that at the very least he’d have a good visit with his sister and maybe even get some sort of closure on his relationship with his ex Tanya.

Now Tanya has gone through a lot recently, she lost her job over something that she didn’t do and was exonerated. One of her best friends was kidnapped and murdered and Alice the other part of the ‘Three Muscateers’ was in an accident resulting in her being in a coma. She’s been thinking about Jake and how they broke up and when she hears from his sister Meg he’s coming home for a visit and to find a dog, she wants to see him.

She wasn’t sure he’d even talk to her, but when he does, she volunteers to go with him to the shelter that has Top Hat. A rather long round trip, with some interesting conversation.

This is a favorite scene.

She hopped in. “Thank you for letting me come.” She feasted her eyes on him, loving the way that one wayward front lock of hair resisted going with the flow and always hung slightly off center. With a little curl to the rich brown color, it had always looked perfect.

He gave a clipped nod.

She looked for an opening to break the ice. Taking a deep breath, she said in a bright voice, “So … why is this dog important?”

He gave a brief explanation. When he was done, he glanced at her before asking, “After all this time why did you want to come with me?”

“I wanted to see you,” she said bluntly. “You’ve been out twice before and avoided me.”

“I came up to visit family before,” he said equally as blunt. “And I wasn’t ready to see you.”

She sighed heavily. “Why didn’t you take my calls?”

“What calls?” he asked, frowning, glancing at her again.

He really didn’t remember? She shook her head. “I called— twice— while you were in the hospital. As soon as I heard from Meg what had happened to you, I just needed to hear to your voice.” She glanced at him, gauging his reaction. His face was one big grimace. That couldn’t be good. “Why didn’t you take my calls?”

Lucas gave his own heavy sigh. Then seemed to be counting to ten. Finally he spoke. “You know how I get when I’m sick. That hasn’t changed.” He stared at her to say the next few words. “I haven’t changed.” He shook his head, watching the road again. “I just want to sleep, give my body a couple days to focus solely on healing. Like a bear hibernating, I just need to be left alone. And I’m a grumpy bear if anybody interrupts my hibernation.”

She wondered if this was such a good idea after all to be trapped in an all-day road trip with Lucas.

“But, Lucas,” she said, getting his attention, at least briefly, “this wasn’t two days to get over the flu. You were attacked. It took months of surgeries and rehab.”

He frowned at her, seemed surprised that she knew.

“Meg and I have always been close. She keeps me up-to-date on what’s going on in your life.”

Lucas immediately turned away and stared out the side window, then faced the roadway, but … not her.

“Does that bother you?”

His shoulders visibly relaxed. Then he shook his head, but it was such a minute movement that she almost missed it. “I’m glad you and Meg are close.”

He wasn’t normally so blunt, nor so uncaring of her feelings. But she needed the honesty. She knew he’d taken the breakup hard.

“Sorry,” he said. “I don’t mean to be mean.”

“You never mean to be,” she said. “Sometimes we have to be mean to those we love to get them to understand.” He didn’t say anything. She smiled. “Anyway, thank you for letting me come. Otherwise, I’d be sitting at home doing nothing and hating my life.”

“Why?” he asked. “What’s been going on?”

“You sure you want to hear?” she asked with a broken laugh. “Remember Alice and Claire?”

He nodded. “Of course. The three of you were The Three Musketeers.

“Well, Claire is dead. Alice is in the hospital in a coma.” She wrapped her arms around herself, as if trying hard to hide her grief. “Claire was murdered.”

“Jesus,” he said softly. “Seriously?”

She nodded. “The RCMP have some leads but haven’t found out who killed her yet.”

“Any idea how she was killed?”

“She was kidnapped on her way home from work one day. She decided she should walk home. Then that was her. She loved to jog and walk— she was very much the outdoor girl. She never made it home. Her body was found two days later.”

“How did she die?”

Tanya sighed. “It’s horrible.”

“Stabbed? Shot? Strangled?”

“Looked like a dog attack,” she said, her voice breaking up despite her best efforts to control it. “Her throat was ripped out, and she had bite marks all over her body.”

The cab of the truck was eerily quiet. She shouldn’t have been so graphic, but it was an image she couldn’t get out of her mind.

“Dogs?” he asked quietly. “Are we talking about dogfights?”

“The police are looking at that angle because we have had some problems recently with underground dogfighting rings. The police rescued dozens of dogs. At least two of them had to be put down because they couldn’t be saved.”

“Did Claire have anything to do with any of the people involved in those cases?”

“Who knows?” she said. “She was one of the dispatchers for the RCMP, so it’s possible.”

“That’s rough,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

“I am too. It’s been a rough few months.”

“How long ago did this happen?” “One hundred and twenty-six days ago.” The number fell off her tongue because she’d been counting every day.

“What happened to Alice?” he asked, looking at her.

She glanced at him and then out the front windshield. He had the softest gray eyes. They still had the same impact on her.

She sighed. “She was hit by a car crossing the road, and the driver fled the scene.”

“And let me guess. The police never caught who did it?” he asked drily.

“No. But then I’m not sure I can blame them. It was nighttime. She left a bar, at night, dressed in black … At least she’s alive, and she will recover, but she’ll be in the hospital for a while.”

“Do you get to see her?”

“I go a lot. Unfortunately that has also become a bit of a crutch as I’m either sitting at Claire’s graveside or sitting at Alice’s bedside. A lot of people think it’s not very healthy. I can’t walk away though. I’m just so angry, and I feel shitty that I’m the only one left.”

“Being a survivor can be a terrible guilt trip.”

She stared at him, her lips parting in surprise. But what he said made an odd kind of sense. “Oh. … Survivor’s guilt? Yes. … You’re right. I hadn’t thought of it that way. But that’s what it is. I feel guilty because I’m okay, and they aren’t.”
Dale Mayer. Lucas (Kindle Locations 292-343). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Of course it couldn’t be as simple as getting to the shelter and picking up the dog, apparently they moved him to a trainer who could handle him better without notifying Lucas. Where he had escaped from his cage.What happens next puts Tanya and Lucas in the middle of the horrible sport of dog fighting and trying to stop the rings.

Hold your breath scenes as things come together and they find Top Hat. A rekindling of romance, a loving protective dog, family and mysteries solved.

I love this series, the avenues to find these ‘misplaced’ Military Dogs have been exciting, dangerous, romantic and suspenseful. I can’t wait to read 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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Releases Tomorrow! SEAL at Sunrise – Silver SEALs Book 12 By Caitlyn O’Leary



Welcome to Silver SEALs!
The New Wave From The Suspense Sisters!

Retired silver fox US Navy SEAL Commanders who sign on with the Department of Homeland Security to lead missions to protect the homeland.

SEAL at Sunrise
Silver SEALs Book 12
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Caitlyn O’Leary

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This Time, More Than Their Love Is On The Line

Former Navy SEAL Commander, Liam McAllister, was neck deep in the Mexican jungle on a contract assignment for a highly classified sub-set of Department of Homeland Security. When Liam discovers a conspiracy that goes deep and spans decades it makes him sick. He asks his mentor at the DHS to provide him an intelligence liaison with Naval experience to help him ensure justice is served.

Liam was stunned when Addison Sanders walked through the door. She was a blast from the past and a punch to gut, a woman he’d loved and lost. But this buttoned up Addison was a shadow of her former self. He’d hardly recognized her but nothing could disguise her intelligence and heart, and Liam quickly finds old flames reignited.

With her help, Liam and his team start to close in on the dirty forces who are intent on covering up decades of crimes. They soon realized the corruption reached farther than anyone could’ve imagined and it isn’t over. Now Addison is a target. When the clock starts ticking, Liam risks everything to make sure that Addison is protected. Will they finally have a chance on the future they lost out on before?

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When Si Branson contacts Liam to help out with some stolen guns and find the men who are running them, Liam categorically turns him down. Then his friend Laird Campbell approaches him, the daughter of a close friend has been abducted and he needs Liam’s help.

Interestingly enough the two cases entwine. Not only do they find the girl, they find the guns and the person in charge, at least in charge in Mexico. Most disturbing is another find they make, two bodies and eighteen Navy dog tags.

Liam puts together a team using his nephew Declan’s company, Shadow Alliance. However there’s an addition to that team that is more than just a surprise to Liam.

Addison Sanders is CIA but she was Navy and her an Liam have history.

This is a favorite scene.

Addison.

His Addison.

He was really seeing her. How was that even possible, and what was she doing here? He was slower than all the other men in the room to stand up as she walked in behind the blond receptionist. Vaguely he heard the girl ask Addison if she would like coffee or water. When she said ‘No’ her voice reverberated through Liam’s brain like a clanging bell.

Addison Sanders.

eyes met his, but then she looked around the room until they landed on Conroy’s.

Was he talking?

“You must be Addison Sanders,” Conroy was saying. “C.I.A. by way of the Navy, currently working as a mid-level intelligence analyst. You could be in a higher position if you’d have stayed in the Navy and got a promotion and then transferred over to the C.I.A. Seems like a poor career move on your part.”

Time sped up and his gaze jerked away from a woman who had haunted him for fifteen long years, and he scowled at Conn. The man was an asshole, there was no getting around it.

“You must be Conroy Lake. Do you mind if we introduce ourselves before you make suggestions on how I wear my hair, too?” Addison asked.

Laird let out a huge laugh. “I like you. Give him hell.”

Her voice had that Southwest twang that he remembered.

Liam was happy to see Conn flush as he sat back down. Brannon whispered something into his ear and Conroy’s fists clenched. Hudson came around from the other side of the table and held out his hand to Addison.

“Don’t mind them. Brannon’s just telling him that he needs to get a girlfriend. Conn hasn’t been at his best these days, so don’t take the chair next to him. There’s one available between Coop and me.”

“She needs to sit next to me,” Laird bellowed. “Anyone who can hold her own against Conroy Lake is on team Campbell.”

“She’s sitting next to me.”

Shit, had he just said that?

Addison gave him an assessing look and that’s when Liam realized that she’d known he’d be there. His presence hadn’t come as a surprise to her.

“Thanks, Liam. It’s good to see you again. I have a question for you,” her eyes had that hint of a grin that he remembered so well. He waited for it.

He nodded.

“Did I just return to high school?” Ah, shit, she still had that little dimple on the side of her mouth. How was it he’d been stupid enough to chase her away?
Caitlyn O’Leary; Suspense Sisters. SEAL at Sunrise: Silver SEALs Series Book 12 (Kindle Locations 240-261).

As they’re researching into the tags, another woman goes missing. CPO Caroline Jakes. They have to find her before she ends up like the others.

Plenty of giggles in the interactions of this team, even as they go about the serious business. Business made more complicated by a leak somewhere. Since they suspect someone in the Navy is taking these women, the leak can either be there or in Si’s group at DHS.

Intriguing, fast-paced and romantic with some sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Caitlyn!

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Caitlyn O’Leary

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

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

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

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

She loves to hear from her readers. caitlyn@caitlynoleary.com


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Brooklyn – Corked and Tapped Book 3 by Becca Jameson


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

Brooklyn
Corked and Tapped Book 3
By
Becca Jameson

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“I am officially divorced.” She had never been so elated as she slapped the final papers on the bar and slid onto the stool. Did the bartender’s eyebrows lift higher than usual? She hoped so, because she’d been waiting a year to make her move on him. From the look on his face, she wasn’t the only one who’d been waiting.

I am loving these Novellas, they are fun, amusing, sexy and kindle melting.

Brooklyn’s divorce is finalized after a year of agonizing negotiations. She’s looking forward to flirting with Owen, the bartender at Corked and Tapped. Owen has become a friend, listening to her ups and downs over the past year.

Little does she know, Owen has been waiting for this day as well. He doesn’t flirt with married women, not even separated ones. Now that she’s free, Owen definitely brings his A game.

This is a favorite scene.

She watched his arm as he poured, admiring his thick hair, groomed beard, and the tattoo sleeve that swirled around his forearm. It extended up under his short-sleeved, black T-shirt with the Corked and Tapped logo. She had never seen the rest of his tattoo, nor did she have any idea how many he had, but she had spent the better part of the last year wishing she could.

Too bad her flirting game was pretty rusty; Owen probably had no idea she was attracted to him. Besides, she couldn’t be sure he would care. Just because he was nice to her didn’t mean he wanted to sleep with her. After all, he was nice to everyone who came into Corked and Tapped. Tips would suck otherwise.

When she lifted her gaze to his, she found him smirking again. And she got bold. Today was the first day of the rest of her life. It was time to put herself out there. “When are you going to show me the rest of your tat?”

He glanced over his shoulder at the old-fashioned clock hanging above the bar and turned back to her. “Mike frowns on naked chests behind the bar, but I’m taking a break in about half an hour,” he responded, shocking her speechless.

Owen laughed as he turned away from her and moved down to the other end of the bar.

Holy shit. Was he serious? Could she be so lucky?

She squirmed in her seat, watching his profile as he worked, wondering if there was any chance he was serious.
Becca Jameson. Brooklyn: Corked and Tapped, Book Three (Kindle Locations 76-87). Becca Jameson Publishing.

Every one notices the heavy duty flirting going on, and Mike, the owner, warns Brooklyn that Owen is not an interim type boyfriend. Even Jade notices the intense heat and makes some comments.

I laughed, gasped and almost cried as this sexy little tale unfolds. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

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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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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

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

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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