Grace – Corked and Tapped Book 2 by Becca Jameson

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

Corked and Tapped Book 2
Becca Jameson


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

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

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

This is a favorite scene.

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

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

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

“Have you been here before?” Jack asked.

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

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

“Excellent choice.”

“You drink beer?”

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

“Rough day in court?” “

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

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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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Amazon Author Page


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

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

Corked and Tapped Book 1
Becca Jameson


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

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

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

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

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

However this is MY favorite scene.

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

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

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

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

“This would have been my third.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You haven’t spoken to him out loud?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

She swallowed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

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

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

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

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

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Amazon Author Page


Monk – K19 Security Solutions Book 7 by Heather Slade

K19 Security Solutions Book 7
Heather Slade


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

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

She talks the talk, but fears the walk…

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

The enemy is closer than they realized…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Saylor put her hand on her heart and smiled.

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


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

“So are you.”

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

“That’s right.”

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

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


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

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

“Heard their dad’s in prison.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming in 2020!

Heather Slade

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

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

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

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Tanner – SEALs of Honor Book 18 By Dale Mayer

SEALs Of Honor Book 18
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Tanner Kosta is the newest member of the team. Active in sports, particularly aerial types, he’s training with a new military harness used in paragliding. The design was developed by Wynn Rider and her brother. As they run two SEAL teams through rigid training, Wynn’s glider fails mid-flight, sending her plummeting toward the ground. Only Tanner’s quick thinking saves her life-though it doesn’t save her from losing her job.

Wynn used to compete professionally in the cutthroat paragliding industry before she walked away from it, but this accident is by far the worst she’s ever had. Separating her gratitude from the growing attraction is nearly impossible.

Tanner has heard the old adage that saving a life makes you responsible for it. Having admired Wynn’s career when she was a professional paraglider, he’s more than a little interested in keeping a close eye on the fascinating lovely who almost literally fell in his lap.

When Wynn realizes her equipment had been sabotaged, she’s worried her past has come back to haunt her. Tanner may be the only one who can help her against someone who’s determined to put her and her brother out of business…permanently.

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The excitement starts right at the beginning of this book. While Warren and Penny start their new adventure. Tanner decides he may be ready for a relationship, that is if can ever find someone. Mason’s advice is the best. Let fate handle it.

Fate has something in mind of course and it’s hair-raising. While two of the teams are out Paragliding to test out some new harnesses. Their instructor is Wynn Ryder, a renowned Paraglider. The harnesses are of her design. On the last run of the day, Wynn’s glider breaks.

In a harrowing rescue, Tanner with some hints from Wynn, gets the two of them into the river, and proceeds to get her out of the tangle of silk and lines.

This is a favorite scene.

Wynn couldn’t stop the shaking. She hoped Tanner hadn’t noticed. It was hardly a sign of confidence if the instructor went to pieces in front of her students. Yet, these SEALs were probably better prepared for this kind of emergency than she was. Like she’d told him, ten years. Sure there’d been a couple mishaps over the life of her career—and now a few minor things of late, mostly concerning her personal life—but nothing while paragliding that was anything like today. What she hadn’t told Tanner was how the parachute she always wore hadn’t opened earlier. Whoever had intended for her to go down had planned for her to go down and to stay down. That was a sobering thought.

Her legs were still wobbly as she made her way to the school’s truck she’d driven out here. In her heart she knew today had been no accident—it had been sabotage. But she’d have to go over the glider in order to prove it. This was her personal paraglider, her own specially designed harness. This had to be a personal attack.

She hadn’t gotten more than twenty feet when her arm was grabbed roughly. She spun, surprised to see Tanner glaring at her. She raised an eyebrow. “What’s the matter?”

“What do you mean, incidences? Explain.” He spoke slowly, enunciating each word carefully. “And do you realize what you’re saying?”

She shot him a hard look. “I know what I suspect, yes. Three incidences before this are three too many. And this one almost killed me.” She glanced around. “I could have died several times over on this flight. If it wasn’t for you, I probably would have,” she said boldly. “But I did survive, and that won’t make somebody very happy, will it?”


His tone was harsh. As if he were still coming to terms with the fact that somebody evidently was trying to kill her. “I’m not sure,” she said honestly.

In the back of her mind—what with the road rage incident and the break-in at home and the falling pillar narrowly missing her at work—she’d wondered, so she’d fully checked her equipment today with extra care. Then Trish had wanted to try Wynn’s personal rig, so Wynn had let her do one flight. When Trish had worried that something was wrong, Wynn checked it over again quickly, then decided the best way to figure out the problem was to take it for a flight.

“I work with a lot of people. I wouldn’t have said I had any enemies.” She shrugged. “I have a lot of friends, but of course nobody is perfect.”

“You have no idea who could be trying to kill you?”

Kanen stopped the truck close to them. “Do you guys want a lift?”

Wynn shook her head, pointing. “That’s my ride there.” The school’s logo was on both sides of that truck.

“Good enough.” And he drove off.

Tanner walked, his boots wet, his clothing completely soaked, and yet he didn’t seem to notice, whereas she could already feel her thighs chafing, her ankles blistering inside her shoes. She wanted nothing more than to go home and to have a hot bath, curl up in bed and think about what just happened. No, actually she’d rather go to sleep and forget about what just happened. But it was well past the point of pushing this off as being her imagination. Today, whoever had tried to kill her had almost succeeded.
Mayer, Dale. SEALs of Honor: Tanner (pp. 16-18). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

When Wynn gets fired, her brother Todd gets the police involved and then things start heating up even more. Tanner starts spending more and more time with the siblings and even manages a date or two with Wynn.

An edge of your seat suspense with a slow build relationship between Tanner and Wynn. I couldn’t put this book down.

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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Love and Let Die – Masters and Mercenaries Book 5 by Lexi Blake

Love and Let Die
Masters and Mercenaries Book 5
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lexi Blake


A Tragic Love Story

Charlotte Dennis’s mission was clear: distract and misdirect CIA operative Ian Taggart by any means necessary. If she failed, she would never see her sister again. With her training, it should have been simple, but after one night in Ian’s arms, she knew that saving her sister would mean losing the man of her dreams.

Ian was tracking a terrorist when he met the beautiful American daughter of a Russian mobster. His instincts told him Charlotte was trouble, but his body craved her like a drug and his heart would not be denied. She took his ring and his collar. For once he was truly happy. But as he closed in on his target, her betrayal cost him his mission while her sacrifice saved his life. As she died in his arms, Ian vowed he would never love again.

A Dangerous Reunion

For six years, Charlotte has thought of nothing but returning to her husband, her Master. Working in the shadows, she has devoted herself to earning a chance to reclaim her place in Ian’s life. But forgiveness isn’t a part of Ian’s vocabulary.

Nothing is more important to Ian Taggart than his new mission. But the information he needs is firmly in the hands of the woman who betrayed him. To catch his most dangerous prey, Ian will have to let Charlotte back into his life. As the hunt takes them to some of the world’s most exotic locations, the danger grows and their passion reignites.

Will Ian forgive his wayward submissive…or lose her again?

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I have this book as part of ‘The Early Ops’ which contains the first five books of the series. It’s nice moving from one book to the next this way.

Now we learn all about Ian’s wife and the circumstances surrounding her ‘death’. With Charlotte very much alive, Ian is conflicted in more ways than one. His reaction to her was not unexpected at least to my mind.

Even though Ian is somewhat resistant to her overtures, Charlotte isn’t one to give up easily. She’s spent the last five years doing things to be worthy of Ian’s love.

After their initial encounter, Ian has drunk himself into a stupor. Charlotte called Sean to be with him and made her plans to get the team together to discuss taking down Nelson.

When Ian finds out, hungover and all he goes to take care of business.

This is a favorite scene.

“You’re not going anywhere.” Ian was standing in the doorframe, his big body in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. His hair was still damp, as though he’d run from his shower to the office. He looked big and dangerous and completely sexy. He made her mouth water just looking at him.

He even looked good with a black eye. Maybe she shouldn’t have hit him so hard. Well, there was only one way to get through this and that was to be brazen.

“Hello, Ian. I brought your favorite donuts. Lemon cream. Would you like some coffee? Did Sean give you ibuprofen? I told him he should get you some.”

He simply walked in, reached down, and hauled her up. Without a word from him, he slung her over his broad shoulder and started carrying her out.

“All right, then, Adam, you know what to do,” Charlie said, trying to hold her head up. Unlike her husband, she wasn’t willing to have it out in front of his employees and friends.

“God, I wish I had a video camera. Someone make sure security doesn’t erase these tapes,” Adam said.

“Adam!” He could be so damn obnoxious. She had to keep him in line.

He straightened up immediately. “Yes, ma’am. I’ll check into it.”

A hard hand slapped at her ass, making her skin tingle. “He’s not going to check into anything except getting new locks for our fucking doors.”

“Mommy and Daddy are fighting, Jake. What should I do?” Adam asked.

From what she could see, they were all following her and Ian out of the conference room, snacks in hand.

Jake was watching the scene with an amused expression. “I think we figure out who’s scarier.”

“I’m writing this into a book,” Serena said, taking notes on a small pad of paper.

“Is the meeting over?” Grace asked. “Should I clean up?”

Charlie knew exactly what was going to happen. “He’s going to say he doesn’t want a donut, but he totally does. Save him three. He’ll eat them before lunch and then pretend he didn’t. Oh, and he likes his coffee really black, like almost espresso like.”

Grace stopped. “Seriously? I’ve been making it medium.”

“He likes really dark roast.”

Another swat hit her ass. “I hate everything.”

He was so annoying. “You can toss me out on my ass. I’ll be back in ten minutes.”

He walked out the glass doors, allowing them to slam shut behind them. “Not if I kill you you won’t.”

Like that was a real threat. “Sure, Superman, slay me hard, buddy.”

He talked such a good game. He talked like he was the biggest badass to ever walk the face of the earth and, in some ways, he was. He could eviscerate a man who did evil and never think twice about it. He was perfectly capable of taking someone’s head off.

But only if they deserved it.

She’d figured him out long ago. He would take apart the bad guys—and no one else. He would have a hard time taking out a woman, even if she did deserve it. He had his code, and he stuck to it rigidly.

Ian Taggart would undoubtedly tell her it made him vomit, but he was a hero. A real live walking and talking American hero. He was her hero.

And damn, his ass looked fine in a pair of jeans. She thought seriously about cupping those strong muscles with her palms, but decided against it. She could only push him so far before he did something he would regret.

“Or I could send you to the street, where you belong.” The elevator dinged open and he strode inside.

She took a breath, steeling herself against the close quarters.

“Ian, come on.” Ian ignored her, looking toward his crew. “You guys stay the fuck in the office or you’re fired.”

“I won’t fire anyone,” she shot back. The elevator was large and elegantly appointed and empty. She’d handled it on her way up. She could take a trip down. “Except Jesse. He nearly killed me.”

She heard a sad sigh. “But I got an apartment last week.”

“You’re not fucking fired, Jesse,” Ian said, frustration evident in his tone. “This is still my company. I wanted to fire you but now I won’t because I know she doesn’t want you here. But if you try to follow us down, I’ll kill you.”

He turned so she couldn’t see anything except the back of the elevator and how fine his ass was. She concentrated on that and not the fact that they were in a small, enclosed space. “He’s a drama queen. He’s not going to kill anyone. He’s definitely not going to kill Eli Nelson because he won’t find the fucker without me.”

A hard smack. Yes, he was definitely coming to the end of his rope.

He slapped a hand at the buttons and the door closed. He made not a single move to let her down.

“I’m not going anywhere, Ian.”

“I’ll bar you from the building.”

“That’s going to be hard since I own half of the top floor.”

A small pause. “No, you fucking don’t.”

It was time to point out a few irrefutable truths of his situation. “We didn’t have a prenup, babe. Even if we did, this is property you bought after our nuptials. Texas is a community property state. What’s yours is mine. On the happy side, I have a ten million dollar condo I’ll share with you. I even bought thousand thread count sheets. I know you have sensitive skin.”
Blake, Lexi. Masters and Mercenaries Bundle: The Early Ops (Books 1-5) . DLZ Entertainment, LLC. Kindle Locations (20450-20490). Kindle Edition.

Lots of suspense, action, snark, fun and sizzling heat in this book.

I’m going to start the next book and catch up to the latest release.

5 Contented Purrs for Lexi!

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Books 1 – 5

Or Individually

Lexi Blake

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Warrick – SEALs of Honor Book 17 By Dale Mayer

SEALs of Honor Book 17
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Warrick Canton works with Mason’s Navy SEAL team and he’s going stir-crazy on the sidelines while he heals from an ankle injury. He longs for a relationship like the ones his buddies have, but, after his girlfriend of three years dumps him just when he thinks they’re solid, he struggles to believe it’s possible. He’s invited to a backyard barbecue at Mason’s house, where he meets up with the spitfire he’s met before and knows won’t give an inch. Warrick is intrigued, even though the she-devil won’t stop arguing long enough to get to know her.

Penny Magnus loves her job as a clerk in the medical insurance offices, but trying to get stubborn men to fill out a few forms properly isn’t her idea of a good time. With a fiery personality, Penny’s open to starting a new romance but absolutely not with a difficult man, even if he is gorgeous. Her best friend got herself in an ugly relationship and had to ask Penny for help in escaping him.

Now, just when Penny and Warrick are calming down enough to actually connect, her friend’s boyfriend contacts her. He blames Penny for the mess she created when she tore the love of his life from him. He goes on a rampage, targeting Penny–only he’s thwarted by one big, badass warrior standing firmly in his way, protecting her. All he needs is for Warrick to make one tiny mistake…

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Warrick is frustrated. Not only with his injury but also with the paperwork he keeps getting wrong. Everyone says how nice and how helpful Penny is but she seems just the opposite to him.

After having another bout of this is wrong, he heads to Mason’s with Tanner for one of their great Friday barbeques. There he’s about to get a surprise, in the form of a red-headed spit fire named Penny.

This is a favorite scene.

Warrick didn’t understand it, but he was damn glad to be a part of it. He made his way to the two loungers Mason had set up by the barbecue grills and plunked his butt down in the closest one. Mason grabbed a cold beer and handed it to him. Warrick popped the top and chugged down one-third of the can, then sat back with a sigh of relief and said, “Now that is a hell of an improvement on my day.”

“You were supposed to finish that paperwork.”

“I tried,” he said in an aggrieved tone. “I really did try.” Then he told Mason his trouble from start to finish.

By the time he was done, Mason was laughing, his shoulders shaking so hard that the tongs in his hands were in danger of falling from his grip.

“It’s not that funny,” Warrick muttered.

“No, it’s not,” said a woman, her familiar voice coming from behind them.

He stared at Mason, his gaze going wide, and he shook his head. “Oh no, no, please no.”

At this point, Mason gave up the ghost and howled.

Warrick slunk farther in the chair, picked up the rest of his beer, looked at it and thought, What the hell. He threw it back in one big slug.

He would need a half dozen more before he could turn around. But he didn’t have to. He turned slightly to see somebody had stepped around into full view—somebody tiny, somebody with a fiery temper, somebody standing in front of him, her hands on her hips, glaring at him.

“Hi, Penny,” he said in exaggerated politeness. “How nice to see you.”

She leaned over and said, “Not so much.”

He glared right back, shoving his jaw forward until their noses were almost touching. “You could have helped me,” he roared.

“You could have asked for help,” she roared back so the two had everyone’s attention, but neither noticed they were so locked on to each other.

And suddenly Warrick could see the humor in the situation, and his lips twitched.

She shook her head. “Oh, no you don’t. No laughing.”

Too late. As soon as he lost control, he couldn’t get it back.

Now she just got madder by the second. She looked at her beer, looked at him and reached out, as if to pour it over his head. But he caught her hand, twisted her around and pulled her into his arms, so she was seated in front of him in between his legs on the lounger. Then he snatched the can out of her hand and poured it into his mouth.

She struggled to get away, but there was no use. His arm was an iron grip around her tiny frame. Instead, all she did was get madder.

But, at this point, he was laughing so loud it was a struggle to regain control. Finally he calmed down. “Thank you. I needed that.”

She glared at him, spun in his arms and punched him on the shoulder.

He looked at her and, in an injured voice, said, “Mason, you’ve got mosquitoes here.”

She gasped and hit him again.

And Warrick chuckled again. He said, “If you do that a third time, I’ll have to retaliate.”

She leaned forward, her chin jutted out again. “Yeah? What are you gonna do? Hit me back?”

He dropped his voice to a serious tone. “Try it.” He didn’t mean to make it a challenge, but, at the same time, he couldn’t resist.

She balled up her fist, swung back and hit him hard.

“Mason, definitely mosquitos.” He grabbed her jaw, pulled her toward him and kissed her hard.
Mayer, Dale. SEALs of Honor: Warrick (pp. 15-17). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Oh the giggles as Warrick apparently stakes his claim with Penny. These two are a hoot.

As these two start a relationship, Penny’s efforts to help her friend and co-worker Nina, results in some unexpected and scary consequences.

Warrick is determined to keep Penny safe and help the police with this, in spite of his injury.

Fast-paced and scarily realistic, with fun, laughter, romance and some sizzle blended in.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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Securing Piper – SEAL of Protection: Legacy Book 3 by Susan Stoker

Securing Piper
SEALs of Protection: Legacy Book 3
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker


What started as an adventure, soon became hell. Piper Johnson’s thrilled to spend time in Timor-Leste with her best friend, a Peace Corps volunteer…until civil unrest erupts throughout the countryside, including an attack at the orphanage the women were visiting. With the aid of a SEAL team sent to extract the government employee, Piper flees with the only other known survivors—three young orphan girls. Piper wasn’t able to save her friend, but she’ll be damned if she leaves the girls to the mercy of child traffickers in the country’s impoverished capital. However, taking them with her to the States requires something drastic, something crazy…something she can’t do alone.

What started as a mission, soon becomes fate. Since nearly dying on a previous op, Beckett “Ace” Morgan has no time for regrets. Life is far too short. So when he learns the brave, beautiful, selfless woman he’s rescued has a better chance of getting three orphans out of the country if she’s married, he doesn’t hesitate. Ace marries her then and there, instantly gaining the family he’s always wanted. With time, he knows his respect for Piper can grow into love, and meanwhile, he’s saved both her and their new daughters from a fast-spreading rebel incursion.

Protecting his girls on foreign soil turns out to be the easy part of the team’s mission. Protecting them from a threat waiting at home may be the biggest fight of Ace’s life.

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From the very first page this book had me on the edge of my seat.

Piper’s friend Kaylee is serving with the Peace Corp in Timor-Leste, a small island country near Australia. Needing to do something out of the ordinary for her, Piper agrees to visit.

With the threat of rebellion, Piper is nervous but Kaylee eases her fears and they are at an orphanage a few miles from Kaylee’s home when the rebels decide the time is right to strike.

Hidden in a crawl space with three of the orphans, Piper is scared yet determined to keep the girls safe. Filled with uncertainty she’s trying to formulate a plan to get away from the orphanage when American voices signal the answer to her prayers.

For Ace and his team the discovery of Piper with the three orphan girls definitely throws a wrench into the plans. Expecting to only rescue Piper and Kaylee now they have the children as well, but no Kaylee.

Phantom finds Kaylee, but it’s to late for her and they are forced by the approach of the rebels to leave without her body.

Not a usual extraction as they have to traverse the mountain and get to the capital on foot.

This is a favorite scene when they stop the first night.

Bubba’s grin faded and he stepped toward her. He didn’t stand quite as close to her as Ace had, but he definitely definitely entered her personal space.

“You’re doing great, Piper. I know Ace already told you that, but he wasn’t kidding. The best thing you could have done was keep yourself safe and alive. You and those girls. And you haven’t panicked. We’ve seen so many people who have died in situations much like yours, simply because they couldn’t keep themselves calm. So thank you. Thank you for letting us find you alive. All of us will do whatever it takes to keep you that way.”

Then he nodded at both her and Ace, and turned to walk back toward the others.

Piper glanced at Ace in confusion. “He was thanking me for being alive?”

Ace nodded. “We’ve had our fair share of missions where we weren’t successful in getting the targets home alive.”

“Like Kalee.”

“Like Kalee,” Ace confirmed.

“Is that the only reason Phantom’s so upset?” she asked.

Ace shrugged. “I think so, yes. The thought of leaving someone behind, even if they aren’t alive, is abhorrent to us. Kalee’s not a SEAL, but she’s an American. And…” His voice trailed off.

“And?” Piper asked, putting her hand on Ace’s sleeve.

“And Phantom doesn’t like to fail. He’s extremely hard on himself, probably because his dad expected perfection from him when he was growing up.”

“Oh. Yeah, I can imagine how frustrating it would be to not be able to do the job you were assigned.”

Ace’s finger went under her chin, and he brought her eyes back up to his own. “Phantom doesn’t hate you, Piper. He’s just frustrated. He knows as well as the rest of us that it’s more important to get you and the girls to safety than to bring Kalee’s body back to the States.”

“It’s not fair,” Piper said quietly.

“It’s not,” Ace agreed.

Licking her dry lips, Piper said, “We should probably help get things set up for the night.”

“Nah, the guys have things under control.”

Piper gave him a small smile. “Still. It’s not a good example to show the girls.”

“True,” Ace agreed. Then he did something that completely flustered Piper. He ran a hand over her filthy, mussed hair and murmured, “Beautiful. Even covered in dirt, tired, and out of your element, you’re beautiful.” He dropped his hand slowly, and then turned to gesture to the group. “After you.”

Knowing she was probably blushing again, Piper walked ahead of him toward the others.

Two hours later, the sun had fallen below the horizon and the jungle around them was pitch dark. Piper and the girls had crawled into a space between two large tree trunks to try to get some sleep before they got started toward the capital again in the morning. The SEALs all huddled together nearby for about fifteen minutes or so, leaving Piper to talk to the girls.

“Rani, are you okay?” she asked.

The little girl nodded. She was curled up against Piper’s side and had her head resting on her shoulder.


“I’m okay,” the seven-year-old told her. She was on the other side of Rani, curled up in the dirt as if it was just another night for her. Piper didn’t like that the girls were way more comfortable sleeping out in the open jungle on the ground than she felt they should be.

Turning her head, Piper said, “Kemala? Are you good?”

A faint mumble was the only answer to her question.

Sighing, Piper said, “I know this isn’t what you expected when you crawled under the floor with me. I’m sorry Kalee’s not here and it’s me instead. I’m doing my best to keep you all safe…and I know you’re upset with me for some reason. Talk to me, Kemala. I’ll do whatever I can to make you feel better.”

In response, she felt the teenager turn over, giving Piper her back.

Frustrated and depressed, she sighed again. “I don’t mind that you won’t talk to me. I’m still going to do whatever I can to make sure you’re safe,” she told Kemala.

A small light came toward them, and Piper turned her attention to the men approaching.

“It’s us,” Ace said softly. “Me and Bubba.”

“Hi,” Piper said inanely. She knew it would be the two of them because after they’d eaten dinner—more MREs—Ace had informed her of the sleeping arrangements and how the men would be taking shifts, staying awake to make sure no one was able to sneak up on them in the middle of the night. It made her feel better knowing they wouldn’t be ambushed.

He’d told her that he and Bubba would be sleeping near her and the girls, just as an extra layer of protection. It had hit her in that moment how the SEALs were truly putting their lives in danger to make sure they got to the capital safe and sound. It humbled and awed her. Piper wasn’t sure she was worth the effort they were putting into her rescue, but the little girls certainly were. They hadn’t had a chance to live yet, and nothing that had happened had been their fault. They were all caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Scoot over, Piper,” Ace said as he carefully stepped closer.

She did as he asked, and moved herself and Rani to the right. Sinta scooted as well, until her back was up against the tree on one side of them. Kemala had turned over and was watching Ace closely.

He sat next to Piper and immediately lay down. He reached over and effortlessly pulled Piper up and over his body, until she was lying full length on top of him. Then he held out an arm and gestured to Rani. “Come here, little one.” Rani immediately snuggled up against his side. Sinta curled up behind Rani again, one arm around the little girl, her hand touching Ace’s side.

Then Ace turned to Kemala and put his other arm out. “You too, Kemala. I know you’re too old to need snuggles, but it’s been a long time since I’ve slept in the jungle, and I could use some reassurance.”

Piper had no idea if Kemala understood all of what Ace had said, but surprisingly, she giggled slightly and moved closer to him.

Piper pushed her chest up and off Ace, propping herself up on her hands, and whispered, “What are you doing?”

“I promised to try to keep the creepies away from you,” Ace said matter-of-factly.

She simply stared at him. She could only see the outline of his head, and not much else because of the darkness, but she was stunned. “I’m okay,” she told him.

“I know you are. Now come down here and relax,” he ordered.

Slowly, Piper lowered herself onto his chest and put her cheek over his heart. Ace as a makeshift bed wasn’t exactly comfortable, as the hard armor and the lumps and bumps from whatever he had in all the pockets on his uniform poked into her, but she’d choose to sleep on top of him any day of the week if it meant she wasn’t on the jungle floor.
Stoker, Susan. Securing Piper (SEAL of Protection: Legacy Book 3) (pp. 63-68). Stoker Aces Production, LLC. Kindle Edition.

There are several trials and tribulations as they make their way to the capital.

Once there, so many issues come up and the solutions will surprise and delight you.

More than one interesting turn of events and the lead in to the next books will have you begging for more!

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Coming Soon!

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 Tennessee where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, Indiana, and Tennessee. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

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The Long Call – Two Rivers Book 1 by Ann Cleeves

The Long Call
Two Rivers Book 1
Bestselling Author
Ann Cleeves


In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his estranged father’s funeral takes place. On the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back to the people and places of his past, as deadly secrets hidden at their hearts are revealed, and his new life is forced into a collision course with the world he thought he’d left behind.

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I love a good mystery and this one has so much more than just a murder to solve. Set in North Devon, England the descriptions of the area transported me across the pond, to marshes, sands and churning seas. Quaint villages are the setting and the community is strong.

The victim is a bit unusual in that he has purported mental issues in the form of alcohol and survivor guilt. Being a  tenant in his therapist’s home was a bit unusual and a cause for raised eyebrows. There’s also a connection to Woodyard a community center with a variety of activities including a Day center for the learning disabled. He volunteers there in the Café and has also befriended a young woman who has Down’s Syndrome.

The investigator in charge Matthew Venn is hands on and looking into every nook and cranny to find clues to the murderer. He’s afraid at some point he may have to step away since his husband runs the Woodyard Center.

Matthew’s team is an interesting pair, Jen a single mother with a lot of experience and Ross who is the DCI’s ‘pet’ often sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. Ross doesn’t even realize he rubs everyone the wrong way.

A very intricate tale, with many twists and turns as Matthew and his team travel through the last days of the victim. I couldn’t put this book down in spite of the fact it has no romance.

I can’t wait to see where Ann takes us in the next book.

5 Contented Purrs for Ann!

Ann Cleeves

Ann is the author of the books behind ITV’s VERA, now in it’s third series, and the BBC’s SHETLAND, which will be aired in December 2012. Ann’s DI Vera Stanhope series of books is set in Northumberland and features the well loved detective along with her partner Joe Ashworth. Ann’s Shetland series bring us DI Jimmy Perez, investigating in the mysterious, dark, and beautiful Shetland Islands…Ann grew up in the country, first in Herefordshire, then in North Devon. Her father was a village school teacher. After dropping out of university she took a number of temporary jobs – child care officer, women’s refuge leader, bird observatory cook, auxiliary coastguard – before going back to college and training to be a probation officer.

While she was cooking in the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle, she met her husband Tim, a visiting ornithologist. She was attracted less by the ornithology than the bottle of malt whisky she saw in his rucksack when she showed him his room. Soon after they married, Tim was appointed as warden of Hilbre, a tiny tidal island nature reserve in the Dee Estuary. They were the only residents, there was no mains electricity or water and access to the mainland was at low tide across the shore. If a person’s not heavily into birds – and Ann isn’t – there’s not much to do on Hilbre and that was when she started writing. Her first series of crime novels features the elderly naturalist, George Palmer-Jones. A couple of these books are seriously dreadful.

In 1987 Tim, Ann and their two daughters moved to Northumberland and the north east provides the inspiration for many of her subsequent titles. The girls have both taken up with Geordie lads. In the autumn of 2006, Ann and Tim finally achieved their ambition of moving back to the North East.

For the National Year of Reading, Ann was made reader-in-residence for three library authorities. It came as a revelation that it was possible to get paid for talking to readers about books! She went on to set up reading groups in prisons as part of the Inside Books project, became Cheltenham Literature Festival’s first reader-in-residence and still enjoys working with libraries.
Ann Cleeves on stage at the Duncan Lawrie Dagger awards ceremony

Ann’s short film for Border TV, Catching Birds, won a Royal Television Society Award. She has twice been short listed for a CWA Dagger Award – once for her short story The Plater, and the following year for the Dagger in the Library award.

In 2006 Ann Cleeves was the first winner of the prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award of the Crime Writers’ Association for Raven Black, the first volume of her Shetland Quartet. The Duncan Lawrie Dagger replaces the CWA’s Gold Dagger award, and the winner receives £20,000, making it the world’s largest award for crime fiction.

Ann’s success was announced at the 2006 Dagger Awards ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton, in London’s Aldwych, on Thursday 29 June 2006. She said: “I have never won anything before in my life, so it was a complete shock – but lovely of course.. The evening was relatively relaxing because I’d lost my voice and knew that even if the unexpected happened there was physically no way I could utter a word. So I wouldn’t have to give a speech. My editor was deputed to do it!”

The judging panel consisted of Geoff Bradley (non-voting Chair), Lyn Brown MP (a committee member on the London Libraries service), Frances Gray (an academic who writes about and teaches courses on modern crime fiction), Heather O’Donoghue (academic, linguist, crime fiction reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement, and keen reader of all crime fiction) and Barry Forshaw (reviewer and editor of Crime Time magazine).

Ann’s books have been translated into sixteen languages. She’s a bestseller in Scandinavia and Germany. Her novels sell widely and to critical acclaim in the United States. Raven Black was shortlisted for the Martin Beck award for best translated crime novel in Sweden in 200.

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Corey – SEALs of Honor Book 16 By Dale Mayer

SEALs of Honor Book 16
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


A voice from the past cries out for help and Corey finds himself reunited with the only woman who’d ever rocked his world straight off the axis. But twelve years is a long time apart. Both of them have moved on, but, tragically, Angela is no longer the lighthearted woman he once knew and loved.

Caught in a nasty divorce and custody battle, Angela will do anything to keep her son with her. After seven years of a rocky marriage, she’s only just beginning to figure out what kind of a man her husband truly is.

Angela makes it clear to Corey she doesn’t want or need his help. She’s got her own insurance to secure her case. But Corey is determined to shield his old flame anyway because she doesn’t seem to realize her “insurance” is more than likely to get her dead sooner rather than later. Given that Corey’s up against a man with no intention of letting his son go, it’s a race to see who ends up in a casket first.

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No one is more surprised than Corey when he gets a call from his high school girlfriend. She asks to meet for lunch and Corey agrees. Once they settled in and ordered she decides she’s made a mistake and leaves, in spite of Corey’s efforts to get her to stay and talk.

Angela thinks she’s made a mistake going to Corey, they have a lot of history between them and with her current problem it didn’t seem right.

Now Corey’s interest is peaked and he finally gets in touch with his sister who informs him Angela is missing.

It wasn’t hard to get Mason to help and he agreed Warrick could join him as back up. Finding Angela becomes a priority when they find her apartment had been broken into and trashed.

Not surprising, Corey’s sister had the answers he needed to find her and some revelations about Angela’s situation. Corey had no idea she had married and had a child, and her circumstances now stem from her soon to be ex.

Angela has somewhat settled in her Aunt’s lakeside cabin. Forewarned that Corey and Warren were coming to help her, she isn’t surprised when they show up although she wasn’t sure what they could do for her.

This is a favorite scene.

Almost as instantly as her temper had flared, it just as quickly dropped off. “Okay, so I haven’t done all that well on my own,” she said in frustration. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t walk around a little.”

He held out an elbow. “Hook your arm through mine, and we’ll walk together.”

She did so, feeling strange. It was how they always used to walk together. During class, after class, the two of them, alone against the world. She shook her head, trying to shrug off the memories.

“You feel it too, don’t you?”

“I don’t feel anything,” she said quietly. “It was a long time ago.”

“It was. And we’ve both grown up. I’m delighted you’ve gone on to have a family. Never happened for me. And for that I was always very sad.”

“You’re still young. It’s not like you can’t have that family.”

“True enough. But I haven’t met the right woman yet.”

They wandered around the property as if searching for whatever she’d heard. But she’d long ago given up worrying about it. She could see his gaze going from tree to tree, searching, peering, looking for whatever it was that might have disturbed her. Finally she came to a stop, looked around and said, “It couldn’t have been this far away, I wouldn’t have heard it.”

“Maybe not.” He turned and led her back toward the cabin. “But I don’t want you going anywhere alone anymore.”

“And yet you let me go down to the dock on my own,”

“Not really. You went, but I was on the deck watching you.”

“You didn’t see anything?”

“No, I didn’t. I did hear a couple things, but one was a rabbit moving in the underbrush, and the other was a doe at the edge of the clearing.” “As long as it’s not armed two-legged animals, I don’t care.”

He squeezed her arm a little closer against his body and nodded. “At least the four-legged ones have a reason for doing what they’re doing. The two-legged ones, sometimes they’re just hard to understand.”

Silence stood between them for a time.

Out of the blue he asked, “Were you at least happy for some of those years you were with him?”

“Yes. At the beginning. But apparently I didn’t really understand who I was back then. I would never have thought I was naive or ignorant. It’s almost like he took who and what I was and shaped me the way he wanted me to be.”

“Was he unhappy with the result?”

She winced. “Ouch.” He glanced at her sideways.

“It’s not a criticism of you. But if he made you the way he wanted you, and then was happy to discard you …”

“Still, it’s an ouch when you put it that way. Nobody wants to think of themselves as being discarded.”

“No. In this case, set free might be a better phrase. You’re obviously not living life to the fullest, so this is a perfect opportunity to make some major changes.”

She nodded. “Doesn’t mean I was ready for that change though.”

“See? That’s the thing. Changes like that, those we don’t have a choice about as to when or how, it’s all about adapting.”

Back at the cabin he took her into the living room. Warrick was on the phone. Too bad. They should have stayed out a little longer. She hated knowing everyone was making arrangements and gathering information but not necessarily sharing.

However, as soon as they stepped in, Warrick stopped the conversation. He smiled up at Angela and said, “Do you feel better now?” He studied her face. “You look better. A little calmer, a little more at ease.”

“Not sure why I should be. I kept hearing sounds outside. Every time I did, I was thinking there was an intruder following me.”

“And you should keep that thought foremost in your mind. It will help keep you safer.”

“How does that work? I was down there at the end of the dock. I don’t have any weapons or self-defense skills. I’m coming to realize I was more of a trophy wife than anything, I have few useful skills and even less life skills,” she said with the hint of bitterness entering her voice.

“I wouldn’t worry about it. You have the rest of your life to be whoever and whatever you want to be. Having made some decisions, you’re less unhappy with who you are now as you see yourself a little clearer. You’ll make better decisions from now on. But you still need to go easy on yourself. This transition will take time.”

“Are you always so optimistic?” she asked, sitting down beside Warrick.

“No, not always. But it’s part of my nature.”
Mayer, Dale. SEALs of Honor: Books 14-16 . Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (5829-5864). Kindle Edition.

There is a lot going on in this book, between the photos Angela copied, the fight to get her son back, and of course the attraction she has with Corey.

Warren was a steady force in this one as well. Even though he was dealing with his recent break-up. He’s the one who recognized the ‘Keeper’ aspect of the interactions between Corey and Angela.

I loved the slow build to the relationship in the middle of the emotions and angst of the investigation. The love and support of Corey truly helps her keep it together as her almost ex turns up the heat.

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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Commando Christmas – The Arsenal Book 4.5 by Cara Carnes

Commando Christmas
The Arsenal Book 4.5
Cara Carnes


This is a short, free read to help bridge events between Zero Trace and the continuing story arc Battle Scars.

This book covers the span between Zero Trace and Battle Scars. It’s a delightful free read. As the crew prepares for Thanksgiving and Mama Mason’s homecoming, everyone has a job to do. Bree had assigned Kamren to get the turkeys to feed the gang.

This is a favorite scene.

Bree’s phone chimed. “Hey. You here?” The blonde paused a moment. “Yeah. There’s plenty of folks around to help. Just pull up by the double doors leading to the mess hall. We’ll meet you there.”

Dallas perked up. He’d returned from taking the boys to their doctor’s appointment in Nomad to find Kamren gone. That was several hours ago.

“Sure, he’s right here.” Bree held out her phone with a shrug. “She wants to talk to you.”

“Hey, sweetheart,” he said into the phone.

“I think I messed up,” Kamren whispered. “Promise not to laugh?”

Dallas tensed. The worry and agitation reflected in her voice. Stepping away from the huddled crowd, he lowered his voice. “What’s up?”

“She said to pull up by the mess hall to unload,” Kamren said. “I think I messed up.”

“Unload what?”


Dallas squeezed his eyes shut and rocked back on his heels as the weight of the lone word filled him. The beautiful and amazing woman he’d kill for had been sent to pick up turkeys. Someone as resourceful as her— used to fending for herself and living off the land— wouldn’t buy turkeys.


He caught Marshall’s gaze across the mess hall and signaled for support. “We’ll meet you by the barn, sweetheart. You did good.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah.” Dallas looked around at his brothers, who’d all arrived at his side. “We’ll meet you outside.”

He clicked off as DJ and TJ wrapped their arms around his legs and looked up. Worry reflected in their gazes. They’d carried far too much concern in their eyes the past few weeks. Their grandma’s car accident had rocked the foundation of their new life in a big way.

Hell. It’d rocked everyone’s foundation.

“There’s a problem,” Marshall surmised.

“Misunderstanding,” Dallas answered as he glared at Bree, who held the clipboard in her arms. “You sent Kamren to get turkeys.”

“Well, yeah. Someone had to go. She was the only one without assigned tasks,” Bree said. When everyone started laughing or cursing, she looked around. Eyes wide. “What?”

“Thinking a woman like Kamren wouldn’t go to a store and buy turkeys,” Ramon said as he approached.
Cara Carnes. Commando Christmas (Kindle Locations 82-101). Heartscape Publishing, LLC.

Thanksgiving is a success and there are many little things that tie up loose ends as Christmas approaches. Doubts about motherhood for Mary and Vi, meeting Gage’s family for Zoey, and so much more.

I am really looking forward to the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

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Check Out These Free Reads on Cara’s Website!

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

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