The Targeted Pawn – Love Thrives In Emma Springs Book 3 by Sally Brandle


The Targeted Pawn
Love Thrives In Emma Springs Book 3
By
Sally Brandle

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Threats forced her to flee Seattle.
Honor binds him to Montana.
A second chance at love tethers them together.

Elon Hardy’s romance skills are rusty after a loveless marriage ends, but upon meeting hunky rancher, Rane Calderon, sparks blaze hotter than her welding torch. To support her collegiate sons, she’s determined to acquiesce to the bullheaded, female-phobic boss until her divorce finalizes from her deceitful husband.

A woman Rane trusted ruined his life, and at forty, he won’t be fooled again. Blisteringly mad he’s hired a female bearing a man’s name, he fights attraction for the curvy, determined brunette while thwarting efforts to build a private prison atop his Blackfeet ancestors’ burial ground.

Can Elon and Rane realize love doesn’t have a “best used before date”? If you enjoy smoldering romance, mercenary villains, and rescued animals, you’ll love escaping again to Emma Springs, Montana.

Once again Sally Brandle takes us through a swirling range of emotions surrounded by mystery and suspense.

Even as Elon is traveling to her new job, her almost ex is causing her problems. The man is as evil as they come and she hasn’t been able to prove anything against him.

In order to keep her children in college she needs this job that comes with room and board. She just hopes she remembers enough about welding to pass the muster.

As she nears her destination, she witnesses a dog thrown out of a truck and immediately rescues the pretty pup. Now she has a pet and still has start her job.

This is a bit longer than my usual favorite scene, but I needed to share all of it.

Elon’s Mercedes crested another rise in lord-only-knew-where Montana. She adjusted the sun visor to view the first sign of human existence in over an hour. The shiny red pickup ahead slowed to a crawl in the valley below.

A silver silhouette of a reclining nude woman decorated one black mud flap; the other side advertised BABE TRADER written in shiny chrome. The truck’s passenger door opened. A bald guy leaned out and tossed a live animal as if it were trash.

Elon gasped. A dog with its legs braced for impact landed on scraggly tufts of grass.

Tires squealed, and the truck sped off.

“Scumbags!” Her pulse spiked, every impulse screaming to give chase and ram decency into the creeps. Instead, she stomped on the clutch and brake while her hand shifted.

Her focus moved to the poor dog. The hollow place in her heart knew exactly how the animal felt—chucked out after tolerating disrespect for too long.

The black and white ball of matted fur hunkered near the ragged edge of the road.

Border collie? She steered to the shoulder and parked. Her fingers shook while she shifted her suitcase in the trunk to locate the emergency blanket and a granola bar. Sweet aromas wafted in the clean air from the unwrapped peanut butter snack.

The cringing dog raised its nose. A silver choke chain jingled on its shaking body.

“It’s going to be all right,” Elon whispered. “I got thrown out, too.” She scowled, picturing Tim waving his single-owner deed to the house in her face. “Come on, pup.”

The dog took a tentative step, stopped, and tucked her tail, as if expecting a kick.

“You’re safe with me.” She pitched the snack bar between the dog’s front paws. “The way you flew out of that truck brought to mind a furry, fallen angel.”

Chocolatey brown eyes studied Elon’s face before it snatched the granola bar and swallowed it in a single gulp.

She took slow steps to within a couple feet of the quivering animal. “If you’re hurt, I’ll find a vet.” Beyond the dog stretched a horizon dotted by pine trees and sloping foothills shaded by fluffy, cotton shaped clouds. Brown fall grassland stretched endlessly ahead, blemished only by snaking blacktop. Too bad life’s circumstances wouldn’t allow pooch or savior to enjoy the beauty.

“I’m going to carry you to the car and pray you’re not injured.” Elon gradually approached, draped the blanket over the dog’s back, and lifted her. “Easy now, little Angel.” The animal quieted in her arms. “You don’t weigh much for your size. Didn’t those thugs feed you?”

Inside the car, the dog slunk against the bucket seat, one speckled paw gripping the leather cushion.

“May I call you Angel?” she asked quietly and patted the seat. “You can lie down, Angel.”

The dog dropped to a tense crouch.

Curses on the men who’d do this to an innocent animal, and curses on Tim! She grabbed her phone from the console, bent a paperclip, and removed the tiny SIM card, as Jeremy had instructed. Her pulse quickened as she gently shut the door and stepped to the back bumper. She raised her hand over her head and chucked the cell to the ground.

The case crashed against gravel. Field crickets stopped chirping.

“Trace that, Tim Hardy,” she announced, and stomped her heel onto the screen, cracking the glass. Sun glared off the shiny pieces. She pulled a tissue from her pocket, collected the shards, and dropped it in the corner of the trunk. Her eyes caught sight of her wedding band. Should she pitch the meaningless symbol?

She slid the plain silver ring to her knuckle, then stopped and moved it back in place. As much as she despised Tim, she’d decided to keep it on to prove to the boys she took vows seriously, even though his view of marriage equaled access to her parent’s money. Also, wearing it might continue to ward off unwanted advances. Once burned, twice wary.

Angel raised her head when she climbed inside. “Probably should’ve waited until we found the ranch. Ah well, service is spotty here, and severing another connection to Tim felt great. Not like he’d ever care where I went.”

A niggling suspicion told her he did.

She placed her hand next to the dog’s grubby outstretched foot and stroked until no toenails dug into the seat. “We’ll be at our new home soon.”

Angel’s warm doggy tongue licked the top of Elon’s hand, easing nerves rattled to brittle by events of the last weeks. Her teary eyes met the pup’s timid dark ones, and a bond of undeserved humiliation passed between them.

“We’re both due for a fresh start on a farm.” The Mercedes’ engine hummed to life after she twisted her key.

Not a pickup or hay-hauler appeared on the two-lane highway.

Quick glances in the review mirror helped her fight the creepy sensation she wasn’t alone while the car covered the last fifty miles. Still, fine hairs rose on her forearms.

“I see our landmark,” her hand trembled, down shifting.

Angel tilted her head, one black ear cocked and the other flopped at an angle. “It’s an old stove my employer described in his letter. Those two ‘C’s’ welded side by side on the warming shelf stand for Calderon Cattle.”

The skills she’d learned to create metal sculptures in high school were rusty at best. And basic. And lifting broken machinery took strength. “Saints preserve us.”

Her hands stuck to the wheel as she turned onto the dusty lane, passing a mailbox welded to one end of the boxy cast iron antique.

Baking and cooking might save her. Years ago, her grandma used a similar wood burning stove at their cabin to bake the best bread on earth. Elon had first learned cooking secrets at her side. Memories of her loving parents and grandparents had forged to steel in her brain. Thoughts of their harmonious marriages had kept her trying to please Tim after she’d discovered his infidelity.

Nothing had dazzled him, but fresh makeup never hurt during a first impression. Throwing the car in neutral, and stepping on the brake, she fished out blush and lipstick and applied a liberal dose.

Her hand hesitated before she shifted into first. Quit stalling, she scolded herself, and stepped on the gas. At a curve, she veered left in time to dodge a branch hanging from the last tree on the hill.

Below sat a rambling log house, a sizable barn, and a square building attached to a carport capable of holding a couple of tall RV’s. The structures sat adjacent to an open field. Cattle grazed in the background.

Her decades old car, engineered for the autobahn, bumped on rutted gravel leading down a gentle slope. She parked at the edge of a large corral, beside a shiny white truck. Edward Bell, DVM stood out in black letters on the cab door. Her fingers relaxed.

“Stay here, Angel.” She patted the dog and lowered the windows. Dust surrounded her feet as she approached an assortment of men outside a wooden corral, standing with their backs to her. Not a Stetson or baseball cap swiveled her way. All heads faced the activity in the corral.

She stood on tip toes. On the other side of the split rail fence, a mountain-sized bull lay flopped on the ground, a wide canvas sling around his belly. Its dusty head was cradled by a broad-shouldered man. His cowboy hat topped jet-black hair and a rugged, handsome face, right down to the square jaw and chiseled cheeks.

It was a scene straight out of a Levi’s ad—the boot cut style. She blinked and noticed a gray-haired man wearing a dark blue jumpsuit crouched over the animal’s hind leg. A stethoscope dangled from his chest pocket. He held a needled syringe in one hand, balanced a probe in the other, and used his pinky to adjust settings on a portable machine sitting near his feet.

Elon glanced at the blurry screen image, wiped her palms on her jeans, and stepped closer to the onlookers. “I may be able to help adjust the image for clarity,” she offered quietly.

The guy ahead of her flinched and turned to face her. “Hey, there’s a gal here who says she can help,” he shouted.

Grubby male faces jerked around. A ruddy-faced younger man looked owl-eyed surprised.

“Might be able to help,” she corrected in a shaky voice. “I’ve only assisted with ultrasound images of babies.”

The man in the jumpsuit raised his head. “Bones are bones, Miss. To a doctor or a veterinarian.” He waved the probe and threw her a relieved smile. “Come on in. I’d appreciate an extra pair of experienced hands.”

Pungent diesel and manure scents radiated from nearby blue jeans and Carhartt’s.

“Excuse me,” she said, then turned sideways and shuffled between two men.

A stocky guy in greasy, blue-striped bib overalls swiveled his barrel chest and gave her the once over. A low wolf-whistle pierced the air. “Nice ass…istant, Doc.”

Snickers came from the group until the cowboy holding the bull’s head shot them a glare fierce enough to send a sane person running for cover.

The foul-mouthed brute in bibs kept staring. Heat rose to her face. She’d had it up to her hairline with men—doctors, lawyers, and creeps in red pickups.

“Clear a path, boys.” Beads of perspiration lined the vet’s wrinkled brow. “A doctor’s office you say?”

“Correct. I know an ultrasound from ultra-crude.” She tugged the back of her wrinkled, crimson-colored blouse over her butt and wiggled through the gap in the wooden fence rails. Barely.

“I appreciate you already.” The vet raised the syringe. “Serum I’m injecting needs to flow precisely into the fracture above the bull’s fetlock.”

“Not familiar with a fetlock. Let’s see if we can clarify the picture.” She bent over the machine and adjusted two dials until a clear image appeared.

“Yes, that’s it. Perfect.” The vet nodded.

His eyes remained on the monitor while he moved the probe. “Now, I can administer the BoneGlu.” He poked into the cow’s hide and pushed the plunger of the fist-sized syringe. The screen displayed liquid oozing into a bone break.

The doctor removed the long needle and wiped the patch of shaved hide. “You had excellent timing, Miss. Next, I’ll splint and wrap the area.” He threw a two-fingered salute to the cowboy kneeling at the front end of the animal. “Rane, you can relax.”

Rane, as in Rane Calderon? No way! Elon swallowed a groan. Tall, dark, and deadly described her new boss. And he had to be within a couple years of her age.

Rane gently patted the sleeping bull’s head. “Thanks, Ed. Tomo deserves a fighting chance. Glad the BoneGlu inventor sourced and overnighted enough. I’ll tell him how it works on a two-thousand-pound patient.”

The veterinarian tipped the control pad of the machine and snapped it shut. “Good idea. And a huge thanks to your guest. Watch for signs Tomo’s waking from the sedative in twenty minutes.”

“Got it.” Rane’s attention shifted to Elon. “To whom do I owe gratitude?” Narrowed eyes pierced into her—cold, confident, and demanding an answer.

She’d saved the day, so why’d his glare mimic Tim’s perennial disdain? “I’m Elon, the welder and cook you hired last week.”
Sally Brandle. The Targeted Pawn by Sally Brandle 3.3.20 to ARC (Kindle Locations 277-365). Soul Mate Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Now aside from the shock Rane gets at Elon being a woman, he also has reservations about her abilities as a welder.

Then there’s the mystery factor when someone starts taking pot shots at folks.

Plenty of suspense and the romance between Rane and Elon grows slowly but surely into something so much more. Even as her ex is making her life miserable financially.

We get to see the folks from the other books as well as Red the donkey. I love them all so much!

I hope this series continues, I love all the characters I’ve met so far, well except for the bad guys.

5 Contented Purrs for Sally!

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Sally Brandle

Dodging male offspring and her functionally adept engineer husband, Sally steals away to her office to free non-princess types residing in her brain. Her trusty Australian Shepherd rescue pup, Tallulah, gives her input as the adventures unfold.

Childhood in rural Michigan, family, friends, critters and travel stateside and abroad feed the speed of her fingers to the keys. When stalling occurs, she heads to Lance, her trusty steed stabled close to miles of wooded trails. Off they go for a head-clearing ride in fresh air, or a note session while the big gelding grazes.

Sally is a member of Romance Writers of America, Greater Seattle Romance Writers, Eastside Romance Writers and She Writes.

In 2014 she won the ECO Romantic Suspense category, and in 2015 finaled in Pages from The Heart, Hot Prospects and the Heart to Heart contests.
She invites you to sit back, get comfy and prepare to drop into her stories.


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A SEAL’s Desire – SEALs of Chance Creek Book 8 By Cora Seton


A SEAL’s Desire
SEALs of Chance Creek Book 8
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Cora Seton

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Ten years ago, in the middle of a natural disaster, Navy SEAL Greg Devon lost his heart to a young documentary film director, and when he found out she’d been put in charge of Base Camp, a reality television show, he jumped at the chance to participate. Now he’s in big trouble. If he doesn’t marry in forty days, the sustainable community he’s helping to build will be bulldozed. And Renata Ludlow still barely knows he exists.

Renata was fresh out of film school, directing her first film in the Andes, when a mudslide destroyed her subjects’ village and she took on financial responsibility for a school full of girls. When billionaire Martin Fulsom made her an offer, she took it and exchanged her dream career for a steady paycheck. With two years to go before the last of her girls graduates, she’s got no choice but to keep Fulsom happy—even if it means joining the cast of Base Camp for forty days. She can’t marry Greg until she’s fulfilled her promise, though. Even if she’s beginning to realize he’s the man she’s always wanted.

With his deadline looming, Greg keeps gambling he can convince Renata to be his bride—and Renata keeps gambling on everything in sight, determined to pay what she owes.

Can Greg convince Renata to take a chance on him? Or will she push her luck too far and lose everything?

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Renata and Greg have a history, one she doesn’t realize. She gets the feeling she knows him from somewhere but can’t place him.

Greg has been a little in love with Renata since he met her long ago in Peru, The efforts she made when the children she brought home for a surprise reunion instead found death and destruction of their homes was an inspiration to him. He found himself caring for her then, and she was the main reason he signed up for the show.

This book also opens with the birth of Jericho and Savannah’s baby. This is a favorite scene.

“Renata! Greg! The baby’s here!”

Avery’s voice cut through the silence, jolting Renata out of her shock. Still facing Greg—staring at him—Renata shook herself back into the present. Took a step back. She didn’t think Avery had seen what they were doing—thank goodness.

“Renata.” Greg’s low, rich baritone stopped her. “We should talk about this.”

“Come on!” Avery cried. “They’re letting us in a few at a time. You have to cover this, Renata. Don’t let Clem win.”

That snapped her out of her shock. She was never going to let Clem win.

“Renata,” Greg called after her as she strode toward the hospital.

“Later. I’ve got work to do.” She was tingling all over, though, and Renata wasn’t sure she’d ever get over the shock of that kiss. She supposed it made sense he’d make a pass at her—the way he’d been watching her—but it had still taken her by surprise. Somehow she’d supposed that her absolute unavailability would be as clear to the men of Base Camp as it was to her. She’d never given a single one of them so much as a flirtatious glance, least of all Greg, because he was the one to whom she was the most attracted.

Inside, she made her way down the corridor to where the members of Base Camp had clustered around Savannah’s room. She’d have to sort out Greg later. Right now she had a job to do—one that would keep paying for the girls of Colina Blanca.

“Out of my way,” she ordered, marching through the gathered people, grabbing Byron’s arm as she went. She’d need a cameraman.

“Three at a time,” Riley said apologetically.

“That doesn’t apply to me.”

“Or me,” Greg said, hurrying after her.

“Like hell it doesn’t,” Clem said. “If I have to wait, so do you!”

Renata barged past him into the hospital room, still dragging Byron along, followed by Greg, who shut the door behind him. Hope and Curtis Lloyd, spotting them, straightened from where they’d been bent over mother and child.

“We’ll see you again tomorrow when you’ve gotten some rest,” Hope told Savannah. “You have a beautiful baby.”

“I’ll go, too,” Nora Pickett said. “I’m so happy for you, Savannah.”

“You next,” Savannah told her.

Nora patted her slightly rounded belly. “Can’t wait.”

As they left, Renata edged closer to the bed upon which Savannah lay, supported by pillows, her baby in her arms. Jericho sat close by, beaming at wife and child as if he couldn’t be prouder.

“It’s a boy?” Renata asked, hardly daring to breathe. The baby was asleep, a tiny bundle with a sweet, puckered face. What she would give to have a baby like that. The thought should have surprised her, career woman as she was, but she felt the same longing every time she saw a little one. It was just part of being a woman, she supposed. Or maybe her history was to blame. She’d grown up around other lost, lonely children in the foster care system, all of them craving care and love. She’d done her best to give it to them—while she was there. It seemed to her the foster care system was simply a series of goodbyes.

“Yes. Jacob Boone Cook.”

“That must have made Boone happy.” Renata drew nearer, taken by the baby’s tiny hands among the nest of blankets Savannah held him in. This baby would never know the kind of sorrow and loneliness she’d felt and seen during her childhood years. He would grow up surrounded by love—as a baby should.

“I think he cried a little when we told him,” Savannah admitted.

“Boone was bawling like a newborn himself,” Jericho put in. “But he’s been a good friend for a long time.”

“Jacob is so sweet.” Renata bent even closer. “What a perfect baby.”

“Do you want to hold him?”

Renata nodded. Her arms were aching to hold him. How had Savannah known?

She sat down on the edge of the bed, and Savannah transferred the little mite, swathed in his blankets, into her arms.

“There.”

The small weight felt wonderful, and Renata drew in a shaking breath. She couldn’t even place the feeling filling her heart. It went so far beyond longing—eclipsed even her commitment to the girls she was supporting in Peru, something she’d dedicated her whole life to these past ten years. When she allowed herself to think of the future, she focused on work—on the films she’d promised herself she’d one day produce. She wanted to provide an escape from reality to all the people who had suffered like she had.

But—

Jacob shifted, his tiny fingers straightening, then curling into fists again.

A baby. She wanted a baby, too. A house. A real home. Somewhere she never had to leave again. Roots. A family. One that would last forever. Maybe a husband—

A noise escaped her, and shame washed through Renata at having exposed herself like that. It was a noise someone like Savannah would recognize. And maybe Greg might, too. Not to mention Clem if he were in the room.

Renata’s back stiffened even as Savannah reached out to pat her arm.

“It’s all right,” Savannah said. “Everyone loves new babies.”

Renata blinked back the tears that were threatening to slip down her cheeks.

“It’s that they’re so new,” Savannah said. “It reminds us we were new once, too. Innocent. Before the world got to us.”

In a flash, Renata was back in England—the small town outside London where she was born. She had a sense of a living room. A soft couch. A fireplace. Snow falling.

Hot chocolate.

Her mother singing. Her father in the easy chair with a book.

Another sound escaped her, and she swayed forward to deposit Jacob back into his mother’s arms. She stood up and scraped a hand across her cheek. What was wrong with her?

Greg caught her when she stumbled over her own feet and put his arm around her waist to steady her, but when she moved toward the door, it swung open, and Clem stepped in her way. He looked her up and down scornfully. “What’s wrong with you, Ludlow? Are you crying?” He glanced at Savannah in the bed, baby Jacob in her arms, and sneered. “No wonder Fulsom gave me your job. You’re on the mommy track. Not a serious director at all. Just killing time until a husband comes along, huh?”

Renata didn’t know what she’d have done if the door hadn’t swung open a second time—and ushered in Fulsom.

She sucked in a breath, completely taken aback. Dashed her hand quickly over her cheeks again, grateful she hadn’t had time to put on makeup before rushing to the hospital. She didn’t think she could face her boss with mascara running everywhere.

“How’d you get here?” Greg asked him.

“The same way I always get here,” Fulsom said calmly. He brushed past them to pay homage at Savannah’s bedside. “Beautiful as ever, my dear,” he told Savannah. “I don’t know how you always manage to look like a painting by Raphael, but you do. And look at this little man. Jacob Boone, right? He’ll be the spitting image of his father. Good job, you two.” He turned to Clem. “You getting the footage you need?”

Fury filled Renata. What about her? She wasn’t getting any of the footage she needed. And she’d exposed Clem days ago for the criminal he was. This situation was intolerable. Two directors were one too many—

“I’m getting everything,” Clem assured him. “Unlike some people, I don’t have anything to distract me.”

“Good. As for you, Renata…”

Here it came. Renata swallowed in a dry throat, her pulse tripping along like a toddler on hot sand. Fulsom was going to fire her. She was going to let everyone down. Her students—

“I’m not sure you’re needed at Base Camp anymore,” he began, confirming her worst suspicions.

“Yes, she is!” Greg blurted behind her. “She damn well is!”

“Clem here is perfectly capable of directing—”

“She’s the one.” Greg cut off Fulsom again. “She’s the woman I’m going to marry. She has to stay because she’s going to be my wife!”

Clem’s laughter filled the room.
Seton, Cora. A SEAL’s Desire (SEALs of Chance Creek Book 8). One Acre Press. Kindle Locations (396-462). Kindle Edition.

After Greg announces she’s the one he’s going to marry, chaos ensues. She can’t marry him, she needs to finish paying for the last few girls education. She’d promised them and wouldn’t let them down.

There are several interesting twists in this book and I think my favorite is the way Renata gets to Clem challenging him and making some pretty crazy bets.

While Greg gets worried about what seems to be a compulsion with her, he and the others also enjoy her getting Clems goat.

I laughed a lot in this book and cried too. This series is winding to its finish and I really don’t think I want it to end.

5 Contented Purrs for Cora!

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Coming Soon!

  Cora Seton

USA Today and NYT Times bestselling author Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.

Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini.


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Logan’s Light – Heroes for Hire Book 6 by Dale Mayer


Logan’s Light
Heroes for Hire Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Welcome to Logan’s Light, book 6 in Heroes for Hire, reconnecting readers with the unforgettable men from SEALs of Honor in a new series of action-packed, page turning romantic suspense that fans have come to expect from USA TODAY Bestselling author Dale Mayer.

Logan heads to Boston on an intel mission. His investigation plunges him and his partner into the deep dark world of human trafficking.

The last thing Alina remembers is having coffee at the cafe in the hospital where she works. She awakes tied up in a strange apartment. Her world as she knew it gone…possibly forever.

Now they’re on the run together. Time is against them. There’s a quota to be made, and the traffickers aren’t going to let Alina go if they can help it.

Unfortunately, she’s not the only victim. The hunt is on…for the traffickers and their other victims…before it’s too late.

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I’m trying to catch up on this series, and I have bought the available bundles, I just keep getting waylaid by the new books. I am going to really make the effort now to finish this whole series.

Levi and Ice are pulled into a possible trafficking case by Jackson, his friend the detective who was assigned to the case was pulled supposedly for budgetary reasons. The detective thinks there’s something very wrong going on but can’t find the proof.

Logan and Harrison set out to Boston armed with four addresses of suspected Human Traffickers. At the first one they check they find a woman but no suspect. Alina had been taken as she was leaving work by a man who was stalking her.

This is a favorite scene.

The first man shot her a hard glance and asked, “How do you know we broke in?”

She was about to answer, but her hands were freed then, and her arms fell to the bed. She cried out as pain screamed up them to her shoulders. The man grabbed her arms and gave them a good shake before massaging them.

“Take it easy,” he said. “If your arms have been like this for a long time, it’ll hurt like crazy to move them.”

She gasped, unable to stop the tears in her eyes. “You’re not kidding. I’ve been like this since this morning when he left. But he’s kept me tied up off and on for two days now.”

“Any idea where he’s gone?”

“To meet his friends. The ones he keeps threatening me with.”

The second man at her feet finally released her legs. He worked the bottom of her calves and the soles of her feet and ankles, massaging them as he slowly moved her legs up and down, bending her knees.

The pain coursing through her made it impossible to speak. When she could, she said, “Colin told me he knew men who would buy women like me.”

“Like you?” the man nearest her asked.

She shot him a confused look. “I presumed he meant any women that crossed him because I wasn’t giving him what he wanted.”

The man stopped and stared down at her. “Did he rape you?”

She shook her head. “I’ve been out of it most of the time. I don’t think so, but he gave me an ultimatum. He said if I didn’t agree to submit, he’d sell me to these men.”

“Still rape. No matter which way you cut it.” He bent down and picked her up in his arms, carrying her out to the living room. “And he likely planned to sell you regardless. He would get something for himself and terrorize you even more.”

She didn’t know if she should clutch him or try to run away. Once he placed her in a chair, she realized how rubbery her legs were, as well as her arms.

He continued massaging her legs and feet, getting the blood moving once again.

She gave him a wobbly smile and said, “Thank you.” She glanced at the door. “We really need to get the hell out of here.”

“Tell us more about Colin,” the first man said. “We can’t let him do this again.”

She shook her head, as if clearing it. “I’m a nurse. He said he worked part-time as an orderly. He kept asking me out, and I refused. After that it was just a nightmare, as if I was already his girlfriend and just being difficult. He kept stalking me. He finally caught me in the cafeteria, and I sat and had coffee with him.”

“Did you call the police, report the stalking?” the second man asked.

She nodded and wrapped her arms around her shoulders. “I was hoping he’d stop then. But I don’t remember anything after having coffee.” She stared at the strangers. “Who the hell are you guys anyway? Not that I’m not grateful. I really want to get out of here.” She glanced around, not even giving them a chance to answer and asked, “Is my purse here?”

“I’ll look,” the second man said.

The first man stopped massaging and gently put her foot on the floor.

“Thank you. I’m Alina Chambers,” she whispered. “Who are you?”

“I’m Logan, and my buddy is Harrison. We work for a Texas private security company.” He gave her a lopsided grin. “You’re lucky we showed up to check out this apartment for a potential problem.”

She stared at him blankly. “I’m sure this makes sense to you, but it doesn’t to me.” She pushed her hands down on the chair and struggled to her feet. “I have to leave before he gets back. Where are my shoes and purse? I can call the cops, but I’m afraid he’ll get bail and be out on the streets after me in no time.”

She took a couple steps and had to hang on to the wall for support. “How can I be so weak?”

“Did he give you any drugs?” Logan asked at her side, putting an arm around her shoulders to support her. He helped her to the front door and pointed to a set of women’s boots on the floor. “Those yours?”

“Yes,” she cried gratefully. He bent down and lifted first one foot and then the other. Using his back for support, she stepped into her boots.

She felt better already. What was it about having boots that gave her a little more security and self-confidence?

“Logan?” Harrison’s voice came from the other room. “You need to see what I found.”

Logan straightened and patted her on the shoulder. “Stay here at the door. Let me see what he discovered.”

She leaned against the wall next to the front door, wondering if she could go outside. Surely it was a whole lot safer than being inside. But she really wanted her purse. She waited a long moment, then struggled toward where the men had disappeared. She found them in the kitchen.

At her arrival, Logan turned and asked, “Are any of these yours?” On the table was an assortment of purses.

Shocked, she could feel herself swaying. She clung to the counter as she studied the neat rows and counted fifteen of them. Her bones turned to rubber, and all the heat drained from her body. She whispered, “How many women has he done this to?” She took a deep breath and nodded to the purse on the far end. Even her joy at seeing it didn’t begin to wipe out the enormity of what they’d found. “The burgundy leather one at the far end looks like mine.”

Logan picked it up, opened it and gave it to her. “Your wallet is still in there.”

“Where did you find these?” she cried out, going through her wallet and purse in relief.

Harrison pointed to cupboard above the fridge. “They were up there in a box.”

Leaning against the kitchen counter, she quickly went through hers. “My apartment and car keys, wallet, money, and even credit cards are all still in here.” She reached up a hand to wipe her forehead. “That’s a relief. What do we do about all those?” She pointed to the remaining ones. “If a woman has gone missing for every purse here …”

The two men exchanged hard glances. “We have to call the police,” she said reluctantly. “He has to be stopped.”

Logan glanced at her and asked, “Do you live in Boston?”

Her eyes grew wild. “Boston? I’m in Boston?” She shook her head. “No, I live in Somerville and work at the university hospital there.”

“That’s, what? A half hour from here?”

She gave a quick nod, then covered her mouth with her hands.

Logan lifted her arm.

She glanced down to see the swelling at the top of her arm. “So he did drug me.” She watched his face as he nodded.

“Looks like it. And it doesn’t look like your system appreciated it either.” He glanced at Harrison. “She needs a hospital.”

“And we should contact Levi.”

“Who’s Levi?” Alina asked, now suspicious about any newcomers in her life. “Our boss,” Logan told her.

“They were right about the trafficking trafficking ring,” Harrison said.

“Crap,” Alina said. “I thought he was just using that as a threat.”

Logan pointed at the line of purses. “I highly doubt this is a purse-snatching problem.”

She started to shake, and then tears sprang to her eyes. She turned and leaned on the counter, feeling her breath whooshing out of her body. “Oh, my God! How close did I come to ending up like these poor women?”

“Damn close I’d say.” Logan stayed at her side, gently rubbing her shoulders and back. He turned to Harrison. “Want to call Levi from the other room?” He turned to her, bending down to study her face.

She gave him a wan smile and said, “I’m okay. Honest, I’ll be fine.”

He nodded. “You are now. Do you have any idea how long ago Colin left and when he’s supposed to be back?”

“He said a couple hours.” She closed her eyes, trying to think. Time seemed so unreal. “I’m not sure how long ago that was. I was lying there, figuring out how to get free. This is the first time he’s ever left me alone.”

“You sure he didn’t touch you?”

She stared at him with tears growing in her eyes. “How am I supposed to know? If he drugged me, how would I even…” And she started to cry.

He turned her into his arms and held her close. “Take it easy. You’ve been through a huge ordeal, but you’re safe now.”

She shook her head, her tears dripping onto his shirt, and mumbled, “How can you say that? We’re still in this place where I was held captive. You haven’t caught the bad guy yet. And I highly doubt you’ll do so now. But I can’t let him go free.”
Mayer, Dale. Heroes for Hire: Books 4-6 (pp. 419-424). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

With the discovery of purses, the guys are ordered to wait and apprehend Colin,the man who kidnapped Alina. This proves to be informative but not enough.

As they track down leads, Logan keeps Alina close. She’s been through a lot and even her apartment really isn’t safe anymore.

I love the way this story develops with plenty of suspense and leads from interesting places.

Of course there’s the blossoming relationship between Logan and Alina with the hope she’ll decide to move to Texas.

I’m going to start the next group of three books now.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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Winter Goddess – Daughter of Winter Book 4 By Skye MacKinnon


Winter Goddess
Daughter of Winter Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Skye MacKinnon

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Just because Wyn has changed doesn’t mean that the war is over. Not at all.

Angus and the Morrigan are ready for battle, but so are Wyn and her allies. It’s time to fight for the Winter Realm and the balance that keeps the magic alive.

NOTE:
***This is the fourth and final book in the Daughter of Winter series. 18+***

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As this book opens Wyn is now a goddess having died and visited the Library of Lives again. It also gets very steamy with Frost.

As Wyn is about to open the Council session, she is interrupted with news of a vistor, one she wasn’t sure she’d ever see again, the unicorn Blaze.

He comes bearing news of of the missing Guard Ada and the guardians under her. They appear to be in the Dragon Realm, and the Dragons want to meet. They have shaken the hold Morrigan had on them and want to support Wyn in the upcoming battle.

This is a favorite scene.

It’s just like old times. My men and I, on a quest to find allies and defeat demons. Except that I’m now a Goddess and can teleport us, saving the need for portable thrones, Gates and flying. My advisors have told me that it’s polite to teleport to a Gate in the Dragon Realm rather than into one of their settlements. Not that I have any idea about their Realm. It’s shrouded in mystery and few people have ever seen it. Dragons are reclusive by nature and prefer to send their ambassadors to other Realms rather than allowing envoys into their lands.

Algonquin gave me a book about dragons and I touched it, so now I have the entire contents of it swirling in my brain. They’re not quite settled yet and a light headache is pulsating behind my temples.

I laugh softly.

“What?” Frost asks immediately.

“I have a book in my head.” I giggle at the absurdness of the situation. “I touched a book and now it’s in my head. Goddess powers are weird.”

He laughs as well. “Are you saying you weren’t weird before?”

I put my hands on my hips in mock outrage. “I’ve never been weird. I’m normal, it’s just that the rest of the world isn’t.”

“Ooookay then,” Crispin says from behind, arriving with the other two.
“Let’s just pretend I didn’t hear that, otherwise I’ll take that as an insult. I’m not weird. I’m Crispin.”

“Ye say that as if that’s a special category,” Arc mutters.

“Well, it is,” Crispin replies cheerfully. “There’s Wyns, Crispins and weirdos.”

Storm sighs. “Could we all be a bit more serious? We’re about to journey into an unfamiliar Realm and we have no idea what awaits us there. Maybe we should be preparing for that rather than behaving like children.”

“Are you accusing the Princess of this Realm to be childish?” I protest with a grin. “I could have you punished for treason.”

Storm bends down and whispers in my ear, “If anyone’s going to do punishing, it will be me.”

I shiver at the sweet promise in his tone. I love his dominant side, even though he’s not had much of a chance to show it recently. Once all this is over, I’m going to lock my guys into a bedroom and not let them out until we’ve spent some quality time with each other. Naked, preferably.

I take a deep breath. I’d better behave like Royalty from now on. According to the book in my head, dragons are fiercely proud and keen on following tradition. Even though I have no idea about what their traditions are exactly, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of pomp and ceremony. That’s why I’m wearing a dress. Urgh. It seemed more appropriate than the jeans and blouse I was wearing to the Council meeting. People here have kind of got used to my ungodly dress sense, but the dragons haven’t met me yet. Dress it is.

“Ready?” I ask the guys and I can feel their ascent through our bond. “Hold onto me.”

Arc hugs me from behind, his broad chest tight against my back. I wish I had time to enjoy his touch, but that’s wishful thinking. The others take hold of my arms and off we go.

There’s no way to describe teleporting. It’s instinctive, a raw power that is far too slippery to put into words. I think of the place I want to go, and then we’re there, even though it’s a lot more complicated than that.

It takes less time than the blink of an eye.
MacKinnon, Skye. Winter Goddess (Daughter of Winter Book 4) (pp. 27- 29). Peryton Press. Kindle Edition.

I love seeing Wyn with all her men, Frost, Storm, Arc and Crispin. This particular journey could be dangerous and also could be the turning point in her favor against Angus and Morrigan.

Another fake Crispin kidnaps Flora, the Spring Goddess, and the startling discovery of the Autumn Goddess.

I hate seeing a series end, especially when I love the world and all the characters. This book was the perfect ending, with plenty of action, suspense, laughter, love and of course the undeniable sizzle the guys are so very good at.

I’m not sure which of Skye’s series I will go to next, but I am pretty sure whichever one it is I will love it!

5 contented Purrs for Skye!

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Skye MacKinnon

Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.

She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.

When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.

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Stolen Song by Autumn Reed and Ripley Proserpina


The Paranormal Prison Series is a Multi-Author experience within the same prison, Nightmare Penitentiary aka NP. The characters are different but the venue is the same. A wonderful way to discover new Authors.

Stolen Song
Paranormal Prison
By
Autumn Reed
&
Ripley Proserpina

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My voice doesn’t charm forest animals…

It predicts death.

That’s right—I’m a banshee. And I’m locked up in Nightmare Penitentiary with no hope of escape. I don’t expect to be rescued by handsome Fae princes, either, since the last ones I had a crush on put me here.

Now, the princes are here to rattle my cage, and they’re just as handsome and judgmental as I remember. I’d tell them exactly what I think about them, but in addition to stealing my freedom, they’ve taken my voice.

**Stolen Song is a paranormal prison reverse harem romance.

Imogen is a Banshee, they sing laments for someone who is or is about to be dead. In Imogen’s case one such lament made her look guilty of a crime she didn’t commit, the death of the King.

As a resident of Nightmare Penitentiary, Imogen has a collar around her neck that prevents her from speaking. Well it doesn’t actually stop her she has to do that herself, should she even utter a word the collar subjects her to excruciating pain. Since she’s been imprisoned she hasn’t lamented, so it’s not known if she can stop a lament from happening or if the magic of the collar can.

Killian is the Crown Prince and he and his brother’s Flynn and Ronan have come to Nightmare Penitentiary to see her. They’ve being having some doubts about Imogen’s guilt caused by Killian developing the same symptoms as his father. Realizing she won’t speak because of the collar, the princes visit her in her cell after the librarian delivers a spelled book to her. With the book’s magic they can hear her thoughts as they ask their questions.

That doesn’t go very well either and they start watching her in her cell, what they see is her first lament since her imprisonment and the after effects.

This is a favorite scene the second time Imogen wakes in the infirmary.

The next time I woke up, I immediately knew something was different. A new scent lingered in the air; one I was as familiar with as my own shampoo. Well, the shampoo I’d used back home. Here, I was lucky to get hosed down once a week.

Still weaker than I would have liked, I pushed myself up, surprised to find that I was alone. I inhaled deeply, and no, I hadn’t imagined it. Fresh water, musty earth, and wild daisies filled my senses, practically taking me back to my favorite loch in Tuatha.

But, how?

A faint scratching sound reached me, and I glanced down to find a mouse sitting at my feet. I watched in amazement as he worked to release one and then the other of my ankle shackles. When he was done, he sat back and looked up at me.

“Thank you…” I didn’t know his name, but I was sorely tempted to call him Gus Gus. Not that he resembled the chubby mouse from Cinderella in any way. “My little hero,” I finally finished as I shook out my legs, trying to return feeling to them.

I glanced around, expecting Brina to show up at any moment. “You should probably get out of here, though. I’d hate for you to get caught.”

He scurried off the bed and toward the back corner of the room. But instead of disappearing behind a wall, he started running in a small circle, stopping a few times to look at me.

“What is it?” On shaky legs, I stood and slowly made my way toward him.

My gaze caught on a subtle purpleish shimmer near the mouse, and I paused, knowing it had to be the result of magic. Were the princes going to show up again?

As I approached, the shimmer grew, morphing and stretching into a distorted oval. Inside, I saw a familiar shoreline and blue water before a backdrop of green.

I gasped. It was a portal. And not just any portal— a portal to home.

Stretching my hand out, I walked forward, as though in a trance. Was this a trick?

It had to be. Portals didn’t just appear in Nightmare Penitentiary. In fact, I would have thought it was impossible to perform any magic inside the prison, but the princes had proved me wrong with their fairy tale book ploy. Still, only someone with godlike magic could pull something like this off.

I sensed movement at my feet and halted when I saw the mouse scurrying around, like he was trying to stop me. He was probably right. My gut told me this was a bad idea, especially when I got a whiff of that same bad magic that seemed to be following me.

But my heart yearned for home.

It was so close— a mere step or two away.

The scents of Tuatha Dé Danann were stronger now, and they drew me in like a siren calling a sailor into her snare. I could practically feel the sunlight on my face and the water lapping at my feet.

Home.

Right there was a place I’d never expected to see again. Behind me, a door slammed, and my decision was made. Before I had a chance to second guess myself, I took that step through the portal.

My bare feet sank into dew-covered grass, and I gulped in the sweet, fresh air. Turning back, I got only a glimpse of Brina’s enraged face before the portal shattered into thousands of glittery, magical pieces that fell harmlessly to the ground.

I stood there for a moment, taking in my surroundings. I was in the woods near the loch, and I could see the city spread out behind it. The amphitheater— one of the Fair Folks’ favorite spots to watch challenges and competitions— towered nearby. And the castle perched proudly on the top of a hill, separate but still a part of the beloved landscape.

If this was another dream, I didn’t want to wake up.

Suddenly weary, I sat under a hawthorn and leaned against its trunk. Other than the low murmur of nature around me, the woods were silent. There were no angry villagers with pitchforks and torches. No prison or castle guards creeping forward to take me back into custody. And no princes.

I didn’t understand what was going on. Someone had sprung me from NP, but instead of coming forward, he or she was remaining in the shadows.

It didn’t make sense. Who would want me free? More importantly, who had the power needed to make it happen?

A sinking feeling settled in the pit of my stomach. There was something very off about this entire situation. I’d known it as soon as I’d spotted the portal.

But I hadn’t been able to resist— not with the lure of home before me.
Autumn Reed; Ripley Proserpina. Stolen Song – ARC Version: A Paranormal Prison Novel (Kindle Locations 659-694)

Now that she’s home there really was no safe place for her, but with the Kings Tournament soon to begin, the Princes secret her into the castle.

There is so much emotion in this book, for each of the Princes still love her and she them. Someone was framing her, and they need to discover who before Killian is dead and someone other than one of the princes sits on the throne as king.

Plenty of suspense, some very scary moments, a few giggles and a slow building relationship between Imogen and all three of her princes.

I really have to read every book in this new series. I can’t wait to see what other authors come up with.

5 Contented Purrs for Autumn and Ripley!

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Autumn is a lifelong bookworm with a penchant for sarcasm. She loves cloudy days, fluffy dogs, and murdering succulents. When she isn’t bringing daydreams to life on the page, she can be found behind the lens of a digital camera or binge-watching Veronica Mars.

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Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.


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Coming April 7! Johan’s Joy – Heroes For Hire Book 22 by Dale Mayer


Johan’s Joy
Heroes For Hire Book 22
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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A SEALs of Honor World Novel

After helping out Vince, Johan hadn’t planned on staying at Levi and Ice’s compound for long. However, Johan realizes how much plans can change when Galen comes over from Africa to join Johan, and the two are sent into town on a job that’s close and up-front personal to another member of Legendary Security.

Joyce, otherwise called Joy, sought a career position but accepted something out of her normal skill set in order to pay the rent. But when her inventory lists show missing drugs, she knows something ugly is going on. With no one at the company willing to listen, she turns to her old friend Kai for advice.

Johan wasn’t the answer Joy was looking for, but, when she finds out the previous employee to hold her position is in the morgue, she’s damn happy to have him.

Her job might be safe … but her life? Well, that’s on the line …

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When Kai gets a call from her friend Joy about a missing case of Ketamine, she didn’t hesitate to bring it to the attention of Ice and Levi.

Ice sets things in motion for an investigation since she knows a member of the company’s board.

For this she sends Johan and Galen, they’re working with them on a sort of exchange program with Bullard.

This is a favorite scene as things get underway.

The three of them stood in the hallway and watched until James turned the corner. Then the men looked at her. This time she saw real smiles.

Johan said, “Kai says hi.”

Immediately she felt relief wash through her. She rushed into the small room, waiting until the men closed the door. As she went to open her mouth, one of them held up a hand, pulled something from his pocket, and proceeded to check the room for something. It took her a few minutes to realize he was looking for listening devices.

“Seriously?” she asked.

When Galen had searched the room and found nothing, he nodded and stowed away the small box in his pocket. “Absolutely.”

She sagged and sat down at one of the desks. “Kai really thought this was serious?”

“Didn’t you?” Johan asked.

“I did,” she said. “I just didn’t know how bad it potentially was.”

“Exactly,” Johan said. “So do you want to fill us in on what’s going on?”

She snorted. “I was about to ask you that same question.”

“Too bad,” Galen said, “we got it in first.”

She glared at him, but he just responded with a grin. She shook her head. “First, before I forget, when I signed in this morning, my computer didn’t go to a log-in screen. As if I didn’t sign out on Friday evening.”

The guys exchanged knowing looks but didn’t say anything.

Frustrated at their silence, she asked, “Do you have laptops? Are you doing anything here?”

“Oh, we’ll do something,” Johan said. “Kai went to Ice, and Ice went to Bruce who then included Edward.”

She knew about Ice because Kai had been full of admiration for her. In fact, she’d raved constantly about Ice. Kai obviously really liked the woman. It took a lot for Kai to respect anybody. “And Ice just picked up the phone and called Bruce?” Joy asked.

“That’s Ice, for you,” Johan said with a big cheerful rumble. “Bruce was horrified and brought Edward in to handle this, and both, by the way, were horrified.”

She sagged in place and closed her eyes briefly. “Well, I’m glad to hear that,” she said. “Is there any regulation coming down the pipeline that we must be in compliance with?”

“No clue,” Galen said cheerfully. “We’re not concerned about what’s coming down the pipeline. We are more concerned about what may have gone out of here through that pipeline.”

She frowned at that, thinking about it, and then realized he meant other medications, drugs, and anything else that may have left the building. “I hadn’t considered that,” she said. “I was just so stunned at my boss— James, whom you just met— considering it to be some clerical error.”

“Is it possible?” Johan asked.

“Well, I guess,” she said, “but I’m not sure. When you think about it, I suppose it’s possible.”

“Not only possible,” he said, “it’s very probable. And is this just the tip of the iceberg? Or else, somebody has just gotten started.”

“Or it’s a clerical error,” she said drily.

He looked at her, and even Galen stared at her steadily.

She raised both hands in frustration, wondering what those shared looks meant. “Or not,” she said. “I presume you guys will find out one way or the other.”

They beamed. “We certainly will,” Johan said. “Now, we’ll need the password to get into the network, or I guess we can just hack our way in.”

She gasped. “Don’t do that,” she said, turning to leave. “I’ll get IT to come and give you a hand.”

When they looked at her, she froze.

“Isn’t it better if you do it legally, at least initially?” she asked, her voice rising. The two looked at each other, shrugged, then nodded. “Good,” she said. “I’ll go to my desk and give him a call. I’ll have him come down as soon as he can.”

“And then we’ll go over your databases,” Johan said.

“Fine. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” And, with that, she turned and left.
Dale Mayer. Johan’s Joy (Kindle Locations 280-314). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Even before they really get started they have disturbing news regarding the person who previously held her job. After IT gets them set up on the company network, they start the process of tracking Joy and her boss with some added tweeks to be sure no one tracks them.

As they finish the inital stuff, Johan is a little surprised as Galen asks if he’s interested in Joy. While his initial reaction is a no, Galen definitely read between the lines to see otherwise.

When bodies start piling up, so does the danger to Joy. The attraction is another thing altogether, it begins with a kiss that neither Joy or Johan see coming and builds slowly from there.

Fast-paced with plenty of intrigue, action and simmer to sizzle romance.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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A SEALs Devotion – SEALs of Chance Creek Book 7 By Cora Seton


Title
Series
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Author

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He’s got a secret.
She’s telling lies.

Anders Olsen has a big problem. When he joined forces with nine other Navy SEALs to build a model sustainable community, he didn’t know he’d be filmed—or that the resulting television show would become a nationwide sensation. Now everyone’s watching Base Camp, which means everyone’s watching him. The show’s rules dictate it’s his turn to marry. Can he find a bride before someone exposes who he really is?

Evelyn Wright believes she’ll change the world until an accident sends her home to Virginia. Now instead of an adventurous life as an aid worker in foreign lands, she’s stuck in a dead-end job, facing a dead-end future. So when an image crosses her desk that could bring a major oil corporation to its knees, Eve decides to find a way to share it with the widest audience she can. Base Camp has got great ratings. Can she find a way to get on the show?

When Eve turns up at Base Camp, will she be the answers to Anders’ prayers, or the end to everything he most cares about?

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In every one of these books there has been a struggle for the two main characters to overcome before they marry.

In this book there is far more than just a struggle, it’s a matter of secrets, lies and another twist by Fulsom, the addition of another director, Clem…who’s without a sense of anything but the sensational.

Anders is the one who needs to find a bride, and the prospects aren’t all that good. Plus Clem and Fulsom want a spectacular courtship and wedding.

Now Eve has to find a way to get the word out about Hansen Oil’s environmental problems. There are some interesting discussions as her friend Melissa helps plot to get her on Base Camp. What better venue to expose the major oil company.

It’s risky but sure to work, walking in the bitter cold without a coat or adequate shoes, she’s lucky she didn’t get frostbite before Anders sees her.

This is a favorite scene.

Now she faced the men and women of Base Camp. She’d have to tell a lot more lies before she was done.

“Eve, did your boyfriend hurt you?” Anders pressed.

“No.” His concern nearly undid her. Up close, she could see the laugh lines at the corners of his eyes. The stubble on his jaw. She wanted to touch him—to confirm he was real. “He just gets so angry.” She allowed her voice to break on the last syllable. “He was driving fast—to scare me. He said—” she broke off. “He said he hated it when I argued with him.” Thank goodness Melissa had helped her come up with a backstory about “James,” her fake boyfriend. Eve had dated some losers in her time but never anyone who scared her.

“What were you arguing about?” Avery asked.

“His parents. We’re supposed to be visiting them—so they can meet me,” she explained. “The whole time I’ve known James he’s told me stories about how controlling his dad is. How he’ll lose his temper and break things or punch holes in the walls. I was already pretty nervous about going, and James kept picking on me.” She took a breath.It was a lot harder to lie to these people than she’d thought it would be. Before they’d just been participants on a show. Now they were flesh and blood. “He said I should have worn a dress, but it’s so cold out! He said it’s disrespectful I wore pants. That I’m always disrespectful. I said, ‘What is this? The sixties?’ James really lost it. He said he hates it when I make fun of him. Suddenly I knew what was going to happen. He was taking me to meet his parents because he’s planning to propose. He’s been hinting about it for months, and it’s nearly Christmas. He was going to make that his present to me.”

“He must love you,” Anders ventured.

“No,” Eve told him. This was the genius part. Melissa had come up with it, basing it on a movie she’d seen. Eve made sure to hold Anders’s gaze as she spoke. “No, he doesn’t love me. He only wants to control me. He’s exactly like his father—I don’t know why I never saw that before.”

Anders winced. She wondered why. Had someone tried to control him?

“I had to get out of there,” she said.

Anders nodded. “Of course you did.”

“How did you get here?” Greg asked suddenly. A good question, Anders thought. He’d gotten so caught up in Eve’s story, he wasn’t thinking about any of the details.

“Walked. I… I made him stop the car. I got out and started walking. I thought…” She hung her head again, as if too ashamed to go on. “I thought he’d pull over and park. Follow me and apologize. It all happened so fast I didn’t have a plan. Then I heard the engine. He—took off.”

“And he didn’t come back?” Anders was outraged. You didn’t leave a person miles from anywhere alone at night—

“Where’s your coat?” Greg pressed.

“I—I’d taken it off. It was hot in the car. I put it in the back seat to make room. I didn’t think he’d just leave me there,” she added. She wouldn’t meet any of their eyes, and Anders couldn’t blame her. She’d been through a humiliating ordeal.

“We need to get you out of those wet clothes,” Avery said, making an end to the conversation. “Sounds to me like you were lucky to get away from a guy like that.”

Eve nodded, but she looked unhappy. Anders hoped she wasn’t regretting what she’d done. Avery was right; any man who treated his girlfriend like that wasn’t going to treat his wife any better. If this… James was here, he’d have a few things to say to the guy.

He wondered if James was looking for Eve right now. He might have driven off to prove a point, but most men wouldn’t walk away from a woman like Eve. She was pretty. Athletically built but feminine, too. When she got to her feet with Avery’s help, her damp jeans and sweater clung to her figure in a distracting way, and Anders felt a tug of desire low in his gut.

James was an idiot to leave her behind.

“Avery’s right. You should get changed,” he said. Eve was shivering. She was lucky she hadn’t gotten hypothermia.

“Curtis, can you make Eve some tea? Eve, I’ll let you borrow some clothing of mine,” Avery said. “Can you walk?”

“I think so.” Eve limped after Avery, following her first to where Avery stored her clothes and then to the bathroom. When the door closed behind them, Anders exchanged a look with the other men in the room, struggling to tamp down his libido. It wasn’t surprising to find himself attracted to Eve. He was looking for a wife, after all, and she was the right age range—and apparently single now.

Bad joke, he told himself. It wasn’t appropriate to consider her for the part. She was scared. She’d just been left unceremoniously by a man with whom she’d been in a long-term relationship. She must have been afraid she might come to harm out there in the dark and cold.

“What do we do with her?” Greg asked quietly.

“Send her home, I guess,” Anders said reluctantly. He didn’t like the idea at all. What if this James guy came at her again?

“Send her home?” Curtis, on his way to the kitchen, came right back. “Are you kidding?” When Anders shrugged at him, he lifted his hands skyward. “The Universe—it heard you. You need a wife—there she is!”

“We know nothing about her,” Greg pointed out.

“We know she’s been dumped, she’s freezing and she needs help,” Curtis countered. “She’s the perfect candidate for a quick wedding.”
Seton, Cora . A SEAL’s Devotion (SEALs of Chance Creek Book 7) (pp. 54-58). One Acre Press. Kindle Edition.

Now one of the biggest secrets comes to light as Johannes Hansen pays a visit to Base Camp.

Plenty of suspense as Anders and Eve fall for each other in spite of all the things they’re hiding. Top it off with family drama on both sides and some sizzle to boot.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Cora!

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Coming Soon!

  Cora Seton

USA Today and NYT Times bestselling author Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.

Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini.


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Tee Time – A Family Affair Book 4 By Jenn Talty


Tee Time
A Family Affair Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jenn Talty

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Jack Hollister had been at the top of his golf game, not to mention the money list. That is until he makes the wrong decision and marries the wrong woman sending his life into one nasty slice. Five years later, Jack is back and he’s ready to not only take back his career but make amends to his mentor and the young woman whom he crushed all those years ago.

Five years ago, Courtney Wade, in a desperate attempt to keep Jack from making the biggest mistake of his career, threw herself at him. She declared her undying love for a man who wanted power, money and the limelight. Not something Courtney and her father couldn’t give him back then. Hurt by Jack’s decision to marry someone else, Courtney ends up in bed with his archrival, making her own mistake. One she’s still paying for.

Now, living with her father, Courtney is trying to put the pieces of her life back together. The last thing Courtney needs is the man of her dreams to walk into her and her daughter’s life, but that is exactly what happens.

Will she be able to forgive him for the way he left and will he be able to keep the past where it belongs?

Jack Hollister has made many mistakes in his life, some very public. Having lost everything he is working his way back, trying to being a better person. He starts by going to the one person who can possibly help and not only with getting his career going again.

Rudy and his daughter Courtney are the two people who were hurt the most by him. When he married for the prestige and money a stipulation was that he fire Rudy as his coach. Now Jack needs Rudy but isn’t sure that he will be willing to talk to him, let alone work with him.

Courtney is another story all together, she’s made her own mistakes and is still paying for them in some ways. Her only bright spots her daughter Brianna and her dad. She also loves playing golf but never played competitively. She’d been in love with Jack but he thought her too young and his marriage set her on a path she regretted.

Rudy has challenged Jack to win a match against Courtney and then he’ll be his coach. Courtney is not pleased. Jack’s rejection and her own choices all those years ago, left her more than a little angry. Plus her ex-husband had been Jack’s rival. Nothing good could come out of this, at least not in her eyes.

This is a favorite scene.

“You want me to do what!” Courtney Wade stared at her father with wide eyes. She wiggled her finger in her ear. She couldn’t have heard him correctly.

“It’s one round of golf,” her father said.

“With Jack Hollister, a man we both swore if we never saw again it would be too soon. Why the hell would I play golf with him?”

“Um. I’m in the room,” Jack said. She blew out a big puff of air and continued to ignore the man she’d been trying desperately to forget for the last five years. “I’m not speaking to you, nor will I ever.” She shook out her hands. “I won’t do it, Dad.”

“You’ll do it because I asked you to,” her father said with a stern tone as if she were still a teenager.

Well, she was a grown-ass adult, with a kid of her own. Just because she was living with her father while she got her life back on track didn’t mean he got to tell her what to do.

“Are you crazy, Dad! Like hell I’ll play him. Now if you want to smack him over the head with my driver, like he did to my ex-husband, that I might be able to do.” Courtney stared Jack down, daring him to justify his actions. No matter how much he despised her ex-husband, there was no way Jack could come up with a valid reason for knocking a man unconscious.

“My days of clubbing people are over,” Jack said. “And I’m surprised you’re not jumping at the chance to play me again.”

She tossed her head back and laughed. “Are you forgetting I beat you by two strokes?”

“Nope. I’m not.” He inched a little too close for comfort. “But I was also under the influence back then. I haven’t touched cocaine in a year. You’d be playing me completely drug free. Hell, I haven’t even had a drink yet, but if I win, I’ll buy us drinks before dinner.”

“And if you do happen to beat Courtney, you will do things my way, all the way, or no deal,” Rudy said.

She stood between the two men, glaring at both of them. “This is the most insane thing I’ve ever heard.”

Her father gave her a sideways glance. The one he used to get her to do stuff all the time. “Dad. I won’t play him.” She waved her hand at the redhead standing so close she could feel the heat coming off his skin. The last time she’d seen Jack, he’d made her feel like she wasn’t even a whole person. “He’s an arrogant jerk who lies, steals, and cheats, and I don’t want him around us or our golf course. This won’t be good for business. The second the media catches wind of this, they will be all over us like pigs in shit. We don’t need that crap. Not again. Not because of that jerk-off.”

“Hello! I’m in the room,” Jack said with a chuckle. He’d missed Courtney’s fiery personality.

“No one cares,” she said behind a clenched jaw, keeping her eyes on her father. Her insides were shaking like a volcano about to erupt.

“Nice to see you too.” He leaned in front of her and smiled.

Frustrated, she pushed him aside. “Your charm doesn’t work on me.” Then she turned her attention back to her father. “How dare you offer a match for me. And with him.” She turned to see him smiling at her. Jerk! Why the hell did he come back? She’d started to get her life back to where she wanted. The last thing she needed was a sexy, tall, muscular, red-haired wrecking ball crashing in.

“Him has a name.” Jack tipped his new hat.

“You don’t want to know the name we have for you,” she said. “Dad, I can’t believe you would even consider taking this”— if she used the word ‘drunk or drug addict’ she’d be a hypocrite—“ thing back after everything he did to us.”

“Thing?” Jack arched a brow.

“Want me to say what I’m really thinking?” She glared at him. Finally, that smug smile of his disappeared, and his eyes shifted. She’d gotten him right where it counted. Good, he deserved it.

“You should thank him for putting that ex-husband of yours in his place.”

Her mouth opened, and a horrible gasp came from the pit of her stomach. “He wasn’t my ex at the time,” she said under her breath, rubbing her hands against her golf pants. “And he’s still the father of your granddaughter.”

“A fact we’d both like to forget,” her father mumbled. “But Tom doesn’t have anything to do with this.”

“I just want a chance,” Jack said. “I know how badly I’ve fucked up. I haven’t two pennies to rub together, and I don’t even know if I have what it takes to even make the cut.”

She blinked. Not only did his voice send a warm shiver down her spine, but he looked damned good with his freshly shaved face, slender dark-blue golf slacks and white-and-blue shirt tucked neatly into his pants. “You have a lot of nerve to come waltzing in here after all these years. Do you have any idea what you did to my father?”

“I know what I did,” he said. “I also know saying I’m sorry isn’t enough, but it’s a start. I plan on sticking around so I can show both of you just how sorry I really am.”

“I’ve heard enough, and Courtney and I have work to do.”

Her father held Jack’s arm. “Tomorrow morning. Six forty-five. Game on.” Her father gave her a pointed look.
Jen Talty. Tee Time (Kindle Locations 149-190). Kindle Edition.

A game won, as they both seem to get in each other’s head. A new start to training and plenty of snark as Jack slowly moves forward.

For Courtney there is more than just her attraction to Jack, there is dealing with her ex and his threats.

This was an interesting journey with revelations about their pasts. Suspicions about her ex and a love that has survived the years.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

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Jen Talty

Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.

I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.

I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.


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The Final Episode: Beautiful Vengeance – Vengeance Book 5 By Kaylea Cross


Beautiful Vengeance
Vengeance Book 5
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Kaylea Cross

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They made her into the perfect weapon.

Kiyomi Tanaka is the final piece needed to unlock the deadly threat stalking the remaining Valkyries. After years of sacrifice as the ultimate femme fatale, she’s prepared to give up everything to find justice. But suddenly that’s not such an easy choice anymore, because now she has more to lose than she ever thought possible: her freedom, the family she’s always longed for…and the wounded warrior who’s stolen her heart.

Now she’s coming after them.

Marcus Laidlaw survived captivity, torture and certain death because of a Valkyrie. Now his solitary existence has been turned upside down by a team of them determined to hunt down the corrupt government officials who stole their lives. He’ll do whatever he can to protect them, but there’s one Valkyrie he’d do anything for—a brave, beautiful survivor who showed him what it means to live again. And when the unknown threat hovering over them is finally revealed, Marcus will be forced to do the unthinkable to save the woman he loves.


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It’s always a bit hard to read the final book in series I love, to say good bye to the characters that touched me.

Marcus Laidlaw has been key to the successes so far. The Valkyries have an ally in him and his home has been the perfect headquarters while they find each other and begin to unravel the mystery of who wants them all dead.

Kiyomi believes that the man who captured her holds the key to the identity of the Architect. She also thinks she needs to be the one to kill him in order to find peace.

The Valkyries are preparing to move out of Laidlaw manor, it’s become dangerous for everyone after teens cause a ruckus with fireworks and someone taught them a lesson.

Kiyoma doesn’t really want to leave she’s grown close to Marcus and would really like to explore the feelings she has for him. Marcus feels the same but is reluctant to make a move given Kiyoma’s mental state.

A wild ride from beginning to end, with all the loose ends tied up beautifully.

Plenty of action, laughter, tears and the perfect amount of sizzle as we say good-bye to Megan, Amber, Chloe, Trinity, Eden, Briar, Georgia and the men who love them.

5 Contented Purrs for Kaylea!



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Kaylea Cross

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

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The Billionaire Rocks – Sutton Billionaires Book 4 by Lori Ryan


The Billionaire’s Rock Star
Sutton Billionaires Book 4
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan

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With her secrets about to come out and her career on the brink of disaster, she turns to the one man who might understand.

Pop star PJ Cantrell’s life and career are threatened when an angry blackmailer uncovers the truth about her hidden past. PJ knows it has to be someone close, someone she trusts. That makes the betrayal hurt all the more.

She turns to long-time friend Gabe Sawyer for help but finds more than she bargained for. As she quickly discovers she wants more from him than friendship and support, she has to wonder what he’ll think of her when he finally learns the truth about her past.

Gabe Sawyer is ready for a change. He’s built an empire in the hotel industry, but it’s time for him to find something to bring back the passion he once felt for his work. He’s tired of living in hotel suites, no matter how swanky the surroundings might be.

When PJ Cantrell shows up on his doorstep, she brings the wrong kind of passion his way. He’s left trying to bury the attraction he’s long felt for her because giving in to that is the last thing PJ needs.

NOTE:
Steamy romance meets heart-stopping suspense in the Sutton Billionaires Series. This is the fourth book in the series but it can be read as a standalone story with no cliffhangers. If you’d rather start at book one, grab The Billionaire Deal by Lori Ryan. A shorter version of this book was previously released as part of the Sutton Capital Series.

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PJ Cantrell has a very successful singing career, and has been touring since she was no more than a child. Now much older and she thought wiser, she is devastated to find her journal has been leaked to the press. As she leaves her car at the hotel she is swarmed by the press.

Gabe Sawyer has decided he’s done with his hotel chain and tells his friend Jack Sutton to put out feelers for a buyer. He’s not sure what he’s going to do next but he plans on going home for a while first. It’s not a coincidence that he’s at the hotel P.J. Cantrell is staying in when all hell breaks loose with Paparazzi. Gabe just happened to look down at the entrance from his terrace when it all starts to go down.

This is a favorite scene.

Gabe looked down on the front entrance of the hotel. The paparazzi were hawking the door. It was expected tonight with PJ arriving, but he hadn’t thought they’d see quite the number jockeying for position on the sidewalk outside the hotel.

What the hell? Three more of the vulture-like paps had just walked up.

Gabe grabbed his iPhone and punched PJ’s name into a search engine then scanned the top headlines…. He bit back a curse when the news flashed on the small screen and didn’t have to watch much of the video to know why the scumbags waited at the hotel entrance to get at her tonight.

Gabe couldn’t imagine why a man would be willing to walk away from PJ Cantrell. An asshat like Kurt Tolleson had never deserved her in the first place.

When Gabe asked PJ about it shortly after the breakup appeared in the news, she’d been good and ticked off. But this? Having the public see her humiliation…. She had to be reeling from this.

Movement on the street below pulled Gabe’s attention back to the front entrance and he watched as PJ’s car pulled up to the curb. The driver stayed in the car while one bodyguard stepped from the front of the car and opened the back door. Where the hell was her other bodyguard?

Gabe hoped to see him appear from the back, but no. Only PJ stepped out.

He couldn’t make out her face, but he knew it was her. Her coppery red mane of hair and petite body would register with him anywhere. Register and make him hard as a rock in an instant, though he’d learned how to control that reaction around her. They were friends and nothing more.

Gabe growled and went back inside, picking up the hotel phone that sat on a side table near the balcony doors. Whenever he stayed in one of his suites, his line was directly routed to the general manager of that location or to the manager-on-duty when the GM was out. He didn’t know who picked up and at the moment, he didn’t care.

“Get more security out front. PJ just arrived and she only has one bodyguard with her. Get our guys out there now,” he ordered before hanging up and going back outside.

He wanted to run down to her himself and stand between her and the world, but he wouldn’t make it down there in time.

As he watched, someone with a camera reached right past the useless man in a suit trying to block access to PJ. The camera man yanked PJ around as he held his camera up in her face, snapping off shots the whole time. It took her bodyguard too damn long to get the guy off her.

Gabe watched as his staff poured out the front doors and surrounded PJ, whisking her into the lobby and away from the crowd.

In only minutes PJ would step into the elevator. He hoped she remembered his invitation and headed to his tower instead of going up to her suite.

Two years ago, he’d told her if she was looking for privacy or a friend to talk to, she could come up to his penthouse when he was at the hotel at the same time she was—which was often. Over time, they talked more and more frequently because they were both night owls.

He hoped on a night like this, when she had to be feeling angry and hurt by the betrayal of her privacy, she’d come to him.

Shoving his keycard in his back pocket, he drew a shirt over his head before stepping out to the private elevator entrance. He knew within minutes she was on her way up. Only he, his secretary, and PJ had the key fob that would allow them to enter the penthouse elevator.

Gabe paced until the elevator chimed her arrival, and smiled slightly when PJ’s gaze fell on him immediately.

“Pru,” he breathed out, using her first name rather than the initials the world used to address her. She always laughed at him for that, but he liked her full name. Prudence Jane. No one other than her family used it any longer. When she’d been ‘discovered’ she had been using the nickname PJ and that was part of her branding to the world.

She blinked those long, sexy eyelashes his way and he saw she was fighting back tears.

“You saw?” she asked. He didn’t know if she was asking about the video or what had happened with the photographers down below, but he nodded.

“You holding up?” he asked, but he wanted to kick himself. He knew she’d say yes, even when it was clear she wasn’t okay.

“I’m okay,” she said but her teeth caught her bottom lip and he knew she was anything but okay.

He wanted to reach out and hold her, comfort her. But they’d never had that kind of relationship, though at times he felt so close to her it stunned him.

They had spent hours talking on the rooftops of his hotels, and it hadn’t been that long ago that Gabe had started to feel a lot more than friendship toward her. But Pru, so much younger than him, had never indicated she wanted more from him.

For whatever reason, Gabe Sawyer—a man who routinely dated models and actresses and other people in the spotlight—froze up a little when he got around Pru Cantrell. He was sure he came across as some stiff CEO, and he didn’t blame her for thinking that.

He was ten years older than her and was usually wearing a suit or a tux when he saw her. He glanced down at his jeans and bare feet and cringed. Well…until today.

“I just wasn’t really up to going to bed,” she said with a little laugh, and Gabe’s mind immediately filled with images of her in his bed. He pushed them aside as he always did when he was with her.

“Come inside?” Gabe asked, gesturing over his shoulder to the stairs that led to his suite. He’d never invited her in before. Would she think he was trying to take advantage? Or would she understand he just wanted to be there for her after the night she’d had? Gabe felt his heart kick as she nodded yes and followed him up the stairs.
Lori Ryan. ARC The Billionaire Rocks (Kindle Locations 155-203). Kindle Edition.

There is a slow build to this relationship as Gabe invites her to his home in Connecticut and enlists the help of the Sutton’s Security Team to solve the issue of the missing journal.

A very emotional tale unfolds as the heat builds in more ways than one. There is laughter and tears, leading to some sizzling romance.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

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Coming Soon!

Lori Ryan

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

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

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


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