Hot SEAL, Best Man – SEALs in Paradise: Wedding Edition Book 5 by Parker Kincade


Hot SEAL, Best Man
SEALs in Paradise: Wedding Edition Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Parker Kincade

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As a Navy SEAL, Evan Lancaster was prepared to handle any task, any disaster.

He was not prepared for this.

He was not prepared for HER.

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Evan’s best friend John is getting married, but there have been many glitches and rescheduling due to his fiancé Chloe’s job. Now they’ve lost the venue and have to start over again. The first step is enlisting Evan’s help. Now it’s not only Evan who will be working on this, Chloe’s friend and florist Presley will also be helping John pull off this surprise wedding. What John doesn’t know is that Presley and Evan have a past. It was many years ago but it doesn’t make the initial meeting any less awkward.

This is just one of my favorite scenes.

She did not need this today. Not the day after Brad—her boyfriend of five months—had dumped her. At her favorite restaurant, no less. The jerk.

Her emotions were all over the place, which was the only explanation for why she reacted to Evan’s perusal. What woman wouldn’t enjoy the appreciation of a gorgeous man?

One who was in love with her boyfriend…?

She would examine that thought another time. For now, Presley brushed invisible lint from the bright red fabric of her dress with an internal huff. She’d chosen the dress because it was her favorite.

Because it made her feel confident and pretty. Not so it could be mentally removed by a guy who had a history of deserting her.

Presley took a steadying breath and willed her pulse to slow. She wasn’t sixteen. Evan wasn’t eighteen. They were adults now. He’d moved on, and so had she. She was in no mood to relive the past.

Evan’s gaze finally met hers. Presley knew the moment he recognized her. It was comical, really, how fast his interest morphed into a less desirable expression. Shock mixed with a dash of surprise, then his full lips thinned into a scowl, as if he’d just decided the years between them hadn’t been nearly long enough.

His reaction set her defenses on edge. He had a lot of nerve acting as if he had any right to be upset. She hadn’t done anything to him. If there was any anger to be had, it belonged to her.

“Hey, Presley,” John called, waving her over.

Presley took a deep breath, fighting to calm the nerves eating away at her stomach.

The past is dead and gone. I’m here for John and Chloe.

Pasting a smile on her face, Presley closed the distance between them.

“John,” she greeted warmly. Presley reached for him as she approached the table. John took her hands in his, giving them a light squeeze.

“You’re a lifesaver. Thank you for coming.” John released her hands and motioned toward his companion. “This is my friend and best man, Evan—”

“Lancaster,” she finished. “Yes, I know.” She kept her expression passive. “Hello, Evan.”

John’s best man. What were the odds?

“You know each other?” John appeared dumbfounded. “Not really.” The desire to return a blow made the words tumble from her mouth. “We were…acquaintances, once. A long time ago, right Evan?”

Evan’s frown was fierce, but he remained silent.

Apparently, she’d hit her mark. She should be happy, but cheapening what he’d meant to her didn’t feel great, regardless of how they’d ended.

“Dude.” John shoved at Evan’s shoulder.

Evan’s sigh was loud enough for the entire coffee shop to hear as he lumbered to his feet to join them.

If it weren’t for her budding friendship with Chloe, Presley would’ve turned around and left. It was clear Evan wished she would go. Well, Evan Lancaster could get over himself. Presley was the best person to help plan this wedding. She knew what Chloe wanted. They’d discussed the details at length while picking out the flowers at Presley’s nursery. John needed her help, and Presley wouldn’t let Evan ruin Chloe and John’s big day.

“Don’t mind him, Presley,” John said. “He was raised in a barn.”

How could she forget? She’d had her first kiss in that barn.

“You can take the cowboy off the ranch…” Presley let her words trail off. She had no idea if Evan worked the ranch, or if his family was still in the horse business.

“Oh, Evan isn’t a cow— Ow!”

Evan slapped a beefy hand on John’s shoulder, cutting off whatever John had been about to say as Evan pulled him away from her.

“What the hell, man?”

Evan ignored his friend.

“Presley.” Evan didn’t attempt to hug her. “Been a long time.”

She shivered as the unexpected rumble of his voice cascaded down her spine, resonating through her middle. Presley shifted on her heels. A knowing arrogance flashed in those intense jade eyes as he followed her movement. The muscles in his arms flexed, as if he were fighting the urge to move.

“Yes, it has.” She swallowed hard. “You, um, you look well.” An understatement, to be sure.
Kincade, Parker. Hot SEAL, Best Man (SEALs in Paradise) (pp. 16-18). Parker Kincade. Kindle Edition.

Now the one thing to take note of is in the introduction, Evan prevents John from revealing he’s not a cowboy, but a SEAL. You know that’s gonna come back and bite him, right?

I got quite the kick out of this book as John gets a new deadline and can’t help with any of the planning.

Interesting family interaction as Evan gets permission from his father to use the barn for the wedding. Presley’s sister Emilia is a hoot, she’s holding more of a grudge against Evan then Presley is.

Between Evan’s family dynamics and Emilia’s barbs, there is plenty of simmer to sizzle romance and the secret Evan is withholding could very well destroy everything they’ve built during the wedding planning.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Parker!

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Coming Soon!

 


Parker Kincade

USA Today Bestselling Author, Parker Kincade, writes edge-of-your-seat-sexy romantic suspense, hot and steamy sports romance, and contemporary western romance. Her first novel, One Night Stand, won the 2013 Reader’s Crown Award for Best First Book, the category of Best Erotic Romance in the Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Golden Claddagh contest, and was named finalist in the Romance Writers of America/Passionate Ink Stroke of Midnight contest.

Parker lives in the Southern United States. She loves to read, play golf, spend time with her family and friends, snuggle with her beloved boxer, ice cream from the ice cream truck, and watching old musicals.


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Dare to Tempt – Dare Nation Book 2 By Carly Phillips


Dare to Tempt
Dare Nation Book 2
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips

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He’s a smooth talking jock in trouble
She’s the solution to his problems.
Love is the last thing they expected to find.

Damon Prescott had it all. Star quarterback. Money. Fame. Now? He’s being accused of taking performance enhancing drugs and banned from the sport and team he loves.

Determined to prove he’s innocent, he hires tough as nails private investigator, Evie Wolfe. She’s able to bring a man to his knees with a glare, yet sensual in ways that take him off guard – and she’s everything Damon didn’t know he needed.

Evie’s used to men dismissing her, especially playboys like Damon Prescott so she’s not buying the sexual lines he’s trying to sell. She’s with him to do a job, nothing more. But you know what they say about the best laid plans? Sometimes you end up between the sheets with an arrogant football player anyway.

But when the case is over, can Damon convince Evie she’s the only woman for him or will she leave him tied up in love?

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Damon Prescott has been accused of taking performance enhancing drugs. He’s never done that and out with an injury he has to find out how he tested positive. His brother Austin who is also his agent and his sister Bri his publicist have a plan. They aren’t going to use their usual PI they’re going with someone far more qualified for this task.

Evie just opened her own agency, a licensed PI, she is the perfect person to figure out who has it in for Damon. The thing is she’s most comfortable in jeans, boots and her leather jacket than in the attire attributed to most of the teams girlfriends. At least this is the excuse Damon gives for not believing she can pull off being his girlfriend.

The real reason is Damon is worried, he’s been attracted to Evie since he first met her. He can’t seem to get her out of his head and that frightens him. He’s not the settling down type, at least that’s what he tells himself.

Evie loves a challenge and meeting Austin, his girlfriend Quinn and Damon at Allstars for a drink will be interesting to say the least. Damon can’t hang with his teammates, but if he happens to run into them at a bar, those things happen.

This is a favorite scene.

Damon turned from his amusement for the night and glanced at the entrance to the bar. A couple stood at the hostess stand, where they were led to an empty table. He watched them be seated, waiting for Evie, growing annoyed that she couldn’t make it on time like everyone else.

From behind him, James let out a low whistle. “Now she’s fucking hot.”

Damon turned to look. A brunette, her hair hanging in long, spiral curls, stood at the hostess stand, looking down. A short black dress with one sleeve clung to a rocking body. Her legs were long, her heels high, and if his head weren’t still throbbing, he could imagine them wrapped around his waist as he pounded into her, hard and deep.

She lifted her head and immediately met his gaze. He found himself looking at a bombshell with pouty bright red lips, cat-like liner around her brown eyes, and a knowing smirk on that familiar mouth. “Holy shit.”

“I think this is what they call Damon eating his words,” Austin said, sounding amused.

“You didn’t think she could do it, did you?” Quinn met his gaze, judgment in her expression, and she was right.

“No, I did not.”

Before he could say more, Evie sashayed across the room, every male eye on her as she strode directly toward him. Her stare locked on his, she stopped in front of him.

“Hi, honey. Sorry I’m late.” And with that pronouncement, she sat down in his lap, wrapped her arms around his neck, and settled her mouth against his.

He stiffened in surprise and she slid her tongue over his bottom lip, causing his cock to rise and his mouth to part. Next thing he knew, he’d gripped her neck, pulled her tight against him, and was kissing the hell out of her in public.

Damon had made out with many females, but he’d never wanted to get lost inside a woman the way he did with Evie. Evie. Jesus. Sanity threatened to return, but she ran her fingers through his hair and he forgot he’d been about to pull back. He slid his tongue over her lips and speared inside once more.

A whistle broke the moment, and Damon jerked his head back, taking the pain as his due. What had he been thinking, devouring Evie in a place he frequented? It was one thing to test the theory of them being plausible as a couple, another to stake a claim on her.

“You didn’t tell us you had yourself a hot woman,” James said. “Keeping her to yourself?”

Damon drew in a calming breath. His dick wasn’t cooperating and he was certain Evie felt it against her thigh, but he needed to sell them and now was the beginning.

“We were keeping our relationship quiet, but after Damon’s injury, we decided life’s short, why hide our feelings?” Evie spoke before Damon could jump in with an explanation. “Right, honey bear?”

He caught himself before he glared her way. He cupped his hand on her thigh. “Right, snookums.”

From beside him, he heard his siblings stifling laughter. But he had to admit, he’d underestimated Evie Wolfe. She could definitely pass as an NFL player’s girlfriend and he didn’t mind having her acting as his.

“Okay, let’s discuss things,” Austin said in a low voice. “Now that we know you two can act as a couple, Evie, what’s your plan?”

“I’d like to talk to my boyfriend alone and in private. Get a recounting of what happened, find out who he thinks could have it in for him on the team.” She shifted on his lap, leaning back to look into his eyes, and though he didn’t know if her thigh movement was deliberate, his body liked the feeling of her rubbing against his cock.

He cleared his throat. “Why don’t you come by my house tomorrow morning and we can discuss things.”

She nodded. “That works.”

Austin stared at them, taking in her arm wrapped around his neck. “You two also need to learn about each other and get your stories straight on how you met, how long you’ve been together under the radar, things like that.”

They both nodded.

As the family dispersed, Damon met Evie’s gaze. “I think you can get your own seat now. Or even better, it’s time to go home. I don’t think my head can take much more. I need to lie down.”

Concern etched her pretty features. “I didn’t realize you were still in pain. You didn’t drive here, did you?”

He knew better than to shake his head. “No. I took a service.”

“I’ll bring you home. My car’s a little small but you can squeeze in.”

He noted she remained on his lap, her thighs on his still-hard cock. “That’s okay. I don’t want you to go out of your way.”

She tilted her head, causing those gorgeous curls to spiral over her shoulder. “And leave my boyfriend to go home alone? Nope. Let’s hit the road, honey bear.”

Finally, she stood up, but that left him in an awkwardly hard situation.
Carly Phillips. Dare to Tempt (Kindle Locations 203-241). CP Publishing.

To follow the logical premise of who has the most to gain puts Damon’s back-up quarterback at the forefront. However after meeting him Evie doesn’t get the sense that he would do anything to damage Damon’s reputation.

While his team is stunned that Damon has a girlfriend, the sparks flying between these two can’t be denied. As the puzzle pieces start coming together, so do Evie and Damon.

A delightful read with some intrigue and just the right amount of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

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Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.


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Riley’s Rescue – Last Chance Book 6 by Lexi Post


Riley’s Rescue
Last Chance Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Lexi Post

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Riley O’Hare just takes it one day at a time, the horses at Last Chance giving more meaning to her life than anything since she returned from the Middle East with no injuries…at least to her body. Alone in the world, she’s now part of a bigger unit again, and she’s not too sure that’s a good thing.

He’s the new driver for delivering the rescue horses to Last Chance Ranch. There’s a lot more to him than just being a polite cowboy. He used to be a Hot Shot, one of the firefighters who fought wildfires, and there is a very good reason why he isn’t anymore.

Can two people, wounded by their past occupations, rescue each other, or will their scars run too deep?

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Riley O’Hare is the only full time hand at the Last Chance Ranch. She really likes working alone, prefers it actually. Now while she likes working for Cole he’s been so busy as Chief of the fire department that he’s been forgetting to pass on messages regarding the ranch. One of the things he didn’t pass on to Riley was the arrival of a rescue, another that it would be a new driver.

Garrett is a former firefighter, and needing something to do, accepted Cole’s offer to transport rescues to the Ranch. When he pulls up with the horse trailer, Riley is trying to get Cyclone to calm down. The Clydesdale is hyperactive if he doesn’t get work to do every couple of days. Of course seeing Riley in a position that with any other horse would be a major problem, he jumped in to save her.

This is a favorite scene.

Looking over her shoulder, she scanned the area in front of the house. Only her pick-up truck sat there of the more than four that usually graced the yard. In her peripheral vision, she noticed dust on the dirt road to the ranch, but didn’t have time to focus.

It better be Cole. He was supposed to take Cyclone to the abandoned copper mine to pull out some fallen timbers. She’d flatly refused to go anywhere near the decrepit mine, so he’d agreed to do it. It was the perfect chore for Cyclone. If the big horse wasn’t given work to do at least every third day, he started breaking things. And she was the one who had to fix them.

Jumping onto the lower rail of the fencing, she waved her arm. “Cyclone! Come here, boy!” She just needed to break up his windup. From what she’d learned, he’d been well-named. The running in circles behavior was the precursor to major damage.

She tried again. “Cyclone!” Putting two fingers to her mouth, she let out a shrill whistle.

The Clydesdale slowed, bouncing his head once and looking at her.

“Come here, boy. I’ve got work for you.”

As if he knew she lied, he started to pick up the pace.

“Well, crap.” Jumping off the rail, she made a beeline beeline for the barn. There had to be something in there for Cyclone to pull. Rounding the corner of the open barn doors, she grinned. “Perfect.” Jumping onto the four-wheeler, she turned the key they always left in it and drove out of the barn and straight for the corral.

A truck with a horse trailer pulled to a stop in front of the house. Hoping Manuel could handle the new horse and whatever its issues were until she could get Cyclone settled, she stopped the ATV and jumped off.

Unfortunately, Cyclone had stopped, too.

“No, Cyclone!” She brought her fingers to her lips once again, but she was too late. The big horse’s back legs lifted and he smashed the top rail of the corral. Wood flew everywhere, and she ducked. Then before the horse could gear-up for another kick, she climbed up on the fence post closest to him and jumped.

Grasping his mane, she cooed as he walked sideways. “Come on boy, I’ve got some work for—”

A strong arm grabbed her around the waist from behind and pulled her off to the side.

Not expecting that, she lost her grip on Cyclone and her full weight fell onto the person beneath her. They both went toppling to the ground inside the enclosure.

She rolled out of his grasp and jumped to her feet, more worried about the horse than the stranger lying on the ground inside the corral. Spotting Cyclone starting his circle run again, she brushed off her jeans before glaring at the cowboy now rising to his feet. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Striding past him, she climbed over the corral fence and hopped back on the four-wheeler.

“What am I doing? I’m saving your neck.”

She barely spared him a glance as he picked up his cowboy hat and ran for the fence himself as Cyclone headed directly for him.

“If you want to help go get the collar harness hanging on the hook inside the barn while I keep him from jumping the fence.”

Not caring if the dark-haired stranger bothered to listen to her or not, she turned the machine on and drove it parallel to the broken fence to fill the gap. The last thing she needed was a runaway Cyclone.

Not sure what the horse would do next, she jumped off and watched as he approached. He trotted by as if the four-wheeler was another part of the corral.

Figuring she had about thirty seconds before Cyclone came around again, she turned her attention to the cowboy who approached, harness in hand. She pointed to the horse trailer. “Is the horse in there okay for a few more minutes?”

At his nod, she waved toward the ATV. “Good. Do you think you can hook that up to the ATV?”

His brow furrowed. “I just saw you drive it. Why would you need to tow it?”

Cyclone was coming around again. Either she needed to get back on his back or let him out. Otherwise, there’d be two fence rails to repair. “Just tell me, can you do it?” Irritation colored her tone, but she didn’t have time for pleasantries. Where the hell was Manny anyway?

The cowboy threw her a scowl before moving to the ATV.

She climbed on the fence. Maybe if she could interrupt the big horse’s stride, it might take him a bit to build up steam again. Jumping to the ground, she ran out in front of him, waving her arms. “Whoa, Cyclone!”

The Clydesdale swerved in midstride, cutting short his circle.

Just great. Turning back to the cowboy, she found him staring at her his eyes appearing almost silver. For shit’s sake. “Is it hooked?”

“Are you trying to get yourself killed?” He dropped the harness and stalked to the fence.

She met him there. “No, I’m trying to keep this big boy from destroying the corral.” She climbed over the fence and picked up the harness then dropped it on the handle bars of the machine. “Open the gate.” She didn’t wait to see if he would help. She just put the ATV in gear.

Come on, Cyclone, skip the break in the fence and get to work.

The cowboy opened the gate, so she drove the machine into the corral. Turning off the engine, she jumped to the ground and rattled the harness just as Cyclone approached the opening with the broken rail.

His ears perked up as he slowed, coming to a stop next to her. “Good boy. You ready to work?”

The Clydesdale’s big brown eyes followed her as she started to lift the heavy harness onto him. When the weight was lessened, she nodded to the cowboy who lifted the other half onto the big brute. Once she had Cyclone hitched, she strode to the ATV and sat in the seat, hoping the harness would hold. Leaving the engine off, she shifted the machine into neutral. “Okay, Cyclone. Let’s bring this baby to Cole’s house.” Clicking her tongue, she grabbed the handles wrapped in reins and the horse started to walk.

When the horse exited the corral, towing the ATV with her on it, she finally gave the cowboy her attention as he closed the gate behind her. Nice ass, not uncommon among the cowboys she’d worked with. He was clean shaven, broad at the shoulders and slender at the hips. He wore a long sleeve shirt, which she’d find stifling in the dry heat, though many landscapers did that. She assumed it was to avoid burning from the brutal Arizona sun.

He came up next to her as Cyclone plodded along. “So, what’s this? Some kind of therapy?”

His eyes were actually a blue-grey and at the moment filled with curiosity as opposed to censure, which is what she would have expected from a stranger watching her over the last twenty minutes. Now that she had a good look at him, he reminded her of some of her military buddies before they’d all headed to the Middle East and changed. He had less swagger than the typical cowboy and a more commanding presence, but he was just as handsome as the rest at Last Chance. What was it, a prerequisite to work there?

She forced her attention back to his question. “Not exactly therapy. Cyclone likes to work, which means he likes to pull heavy objects. If he’s left to his own devices for more than three days, he lives up to his name.” She hooked her thumb over her shoulder. “And I’m the one left with the repairs.”

He glanced back toward the broken fence of the corral before facing forward again. “Cole told me when he offered me the job that there would be some odd personalities.” He chuckled. “I thought he meant the ranch hands.”

She smothered a smirk. There were definitely some interesting human personalities on Last Chance, but the horses beat them out.
Post, Lexi. Riley’s Rescue (Last Chance Book 6) (pp. 7-10). Lexi Post. Kindle Edition.

Now along with a horse, a new driver and the trip to the mine with Cyclone, there are other things Cole is forgetting to do. His responsibilities as Fire Chief takes priority and so much time.

As is it turns out everyone is leaving the area for the weekend leaving Riley alone to run everything. The last thing she expects is for Whisper to drop off a dog. She and Trent are heading for Las Vegas and found him abandoned on the side of the road. Dr. Jenna is also away for the weekend and she didn’t want the dog caged after being left like that.

It’s this dog that starts a series of events that will not only trigger memories for her but also bring her and Garrett closer than she ever thought possible.

Plenty of hold your breath moments along with tears, laughter and sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Lexi!

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Lexi Post Lexi Post

Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of erotic romance. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides an erotic experience with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

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Jewels in the Juniper – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 10 By Dale Mayer


Jewels in the Juniper
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 10
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Riches to rags …
Chaos is still present …
Memories are fading …
But not for everyone!

The problem with notoriety is unfair expectations. When Mack’s mother, Millicent Moreau, requests Doreen’s help with a small problem she’s kept hidden for decades, Doreen feels obligated to help. And what harm could it do, after all? Worst-case scenario? It’ll annoy Mack, but that’s something she does on a regular basis anyway.

But when Millicent’s “small problem” turns out to involve a failed marriage, a bag of jewels from a jewelry store that mysteriously burned down decades ago, possible insurance fraud, and maybe even a case of murder, … Doreen will admit that she’s in way over her head.

With her trusty trio of furry and feathered cohorts, she brings an old case into the present—and finds it’s more current than ever …

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If you’ve been following this series you know that Doreen takes care of Mack’s mother Millicent’s garden. It’s Millicent who remembers the jewels she found years ago but no one could find the owner. So instead of Doreen finding the jewels in the juniper, it was Millicent and not recently at all.

Doreen does some research on the bag the jewels were in and visits her Nan for more information. During this process she finds herself thinking about her own jewels. Ones that were gifts from her ex over the course of their marriage. She wasn’t able to take them with her because he kept them locked up. She texts Mack to ask about her rights with them and he adds that to the questions for his brother the lawyer.

A trip to the Chinese restaurant with Thaddeus, Goliath, and Mugs solves her dinner for the night but she wasn’t expecting an angry Mack. He’s obviously spoken with his mother, and some important points were left out.

This is a favorite scene.

Just when she wondered if the Chinese food had to be grown before it was cooked for her, she heard a call from behind them. She turned to see Mr. Wu waving at her. She walked back inside and said, “Is it ready?”

He nodded and smiled, handing her a plastic bag. The smell was especially good. She grinned at him and said, “Thanks.”

“You come again,” he said.

“What if I only have ten dollars?” she asked wryly.

“You come with no money,” he said, “we still feed you.”

Surprised at that and touched, she said, “Thank you. That is very generous.”

He shook his head. “You good people,” he said. “We feed you.” Then he disappeared into the back.

She could see all the slips of orders lined up by a kitchen pass-through window and realized he was in for a very busy Friday night. With the animals in tow again, she headed to the riverside this time and walked down Mission Creek. Then she had to cross over and come up around the corner. She headed up the back path to her property. She sighed happily as she reached home. She put the food on the little table outside on her deck, went into her kitchen to grab a knife and fork and a dinner plate, and poured herself a glass of water. Just as she sat down, she heard a voice call out.

“In the back,” she yelled. Good thing she’d disarmed the security; otherwise no way Mack could come in. She scooped almost half of the Chinese food onto her plate, realizing it really was a huge portion, and she would have enough for tomorrow too. Except, with Mack here now, there was a good chance she wouldn’t get any leftovers. He came storming through, but the fury on his face had her freezing in place.

“What on earth is the matter?” she cried out.

He stopped, took several deep breaths, and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m trying to calm down, but—”

“With you, it’s never an easy process,” Doreen said with a smile. “I’d offer you some of my Chinese food, but it’s all I’ve got.”

“And I’ll say, Thank you, and take it,” he said, marching back inside, grabbing a plate and fork.

She watched almost sadly as he scooped the rest of the Chinese food onto his plate. “If I’d known you were coming, I could have ordered twice as much.”

“I’m kind of surprised you had time to pick up Chinese food, since you’ve been so busy getting into my family’s affairs,” he said.

She stared at him in surprise, and then she knew. “Ah,” she said. “I guess you talked to your mother, didn’t you?”

He put down his fork very precisely, then glared at her. “What on earth did you say to her?”

“Nothing, why?”

“Well, she has suddenly decided you’re the answer to everything, and you’ll find out exactly who those jewels belong to.” And then he stopped, leaning forward. “But what the hell are the jewels? Where did they come from, and what’s this got to do with my mother?”

“Didn’t she tell you?” Doreen couldn’t imagine her only telling Mack a little of the story.

Mack shook his head. “Only that she had put you on to your next mystery and that you would solve something that had worried her for a long time.”

“Wow,” Doreen said, sitting back in surprise. “I think she just threw me to the wolves.”

At that, Mack sat back and laughed. “You know what? She just may have done exactly that.”
Dale Mayer. Jewels in the Juniper (Kindle Location 446-473). Valley Publishing.

I love Doreen and Mack’s relationship, the flirting is there but it’s more of a valued friendship. That is until she gives him and his men more work to do. Many of his friends on the force are donating supplies for her deck and the case she’s working on has her gaining plants for her own garden.

Plenty of suspense, a lot of fun with Nan and the animals and another unforgettable ending!

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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Hostile Ground – The Arsenal Book 7 by Cara Carnes


Hostile Ground
The Arsenal Book 7
By
Cara Carnes

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Do whatever it takes to survive…

Addy Rugers survived a treacherous, brutal upbringing after her parents died. Trained for death and seduction and forced to work for her brother’s covert ops organization, she learned to rely only on herself and chameleon her way through every mission. With him dead and his organization dismantled, she now has a new life at The Arsenal—one where she can shed her personas and be herself. Now, she must immerse herself in the nightmarish world she fled and trust the one man with the power to destroy her.

To slay a monster, you must become one…

Kristof Lavrov sank into the criminal underworld two decades ago with one objective—revenge. The sacrifices made are only outnumbered by the atrocities he’s committed under the banner of vengeance. What little of his humanity remains is now under fire when he agrees to help the one woman that he’d sacrifice anything to protect. Their lives have intersected more than once, and he’s always had the strength to walk away.

Until now.

They must work together to save those they love, but the real war is one neither of them is prepared to wage.

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In this book we learn all about Addy’s past and her relationship with Kristof. A relationship that goes back to childhood and she never discusses. Her cover is Iriana, Kristof’s Enforcer. This is backed up by her underground fighting which really doesn’t make her team happy.

As her team complains she reminds them that the auction where they will acquire the missiles is only a couple of days away. Of course those days are going to be filled with other things that will surprise everyone. Kristof is sort of an unknown at least to the team, for Addy she still remembers the boy he once was and how they met.

Things get even more complicated as human trafficking gets into the mix. Even thought she’s horrified and pissed Addy keeps her cool as she realizes there’s a lot more going on. The conversation between Kristof and Gavriil has some undercurrents they need to unveil.

Then all hell breaks loose.

This is a favorite scene.

“It was less of a gift than you were going to receive. Don’t let it happen again.”

“It won’t.” Gavriil picked up his drink and took a sip. The brunette offered him a pull of the joint she held up. “I trust you’ll handle the cargo without my involvement.”

“I will, like always.”

“Always? How many times have they handled ‘cargo’? Jesus they make me sick,” Zoey said. “Marshall, you’ll likely have visitors soon.”

“They just pulled up,” someone said.

“Tag that vehicle,” Marshall ordered.

“On it,” someone replied.

Addy shifted in her seat and sipped the drink she held. Conversation on the com continued in her ear. The women were being moved. Then what? Would they be returned to whoever they’d been stolen from? What was Kristof’s definition of handling the situation?

“New targets have a tail,” someone said. “Quarter klick back, south.”

“Roger. Drone has the vehicle,” Zoey said.

A tail? Addy narrowed her gaze. As if sensing her concern, Kristof’s eyebrows rose. Addy pulled out her phone and tapped out a message.

Tail on your cargo crew.

Kristof chuckled and pulled out his cell. He cursed and tapped out a message to someone. Addy would kill to know who, but they’d been unsuccessful in cloning his phone so far— much to Zoey’s chagrin.

“Forgive me. We have an issue with the pickup.”

“Oh?” Gavriil asked.

“It seems I wasn’t trusted to handle the situation,” Kristof said. He slid his cell back into his pocket. “Thank you, Iriana. Your attention to detail is appreciated, as always.”

Interesting. He trusted Gavriil with details she’d expected him to keep quiet. Why?

“Brilliant and beautiful. Careful, friend. Those are the dangerous ones,” Gavriil said with a grin.

“You have no idea,” Kristof muttered.

Addy chuckled. Awareness beaded along her skin as she peered into his intense gaze. Although the scantily clad blonde writhed against him, Kristof ignored the woman altogether and kept his attention fully on Addy.

Her pulse quickened as she severed eye contact and took a long pull from the cocktail. She didn’t know what it was, but it was good and filled with more Vodka than mixer. The alcohol burned the back of her throat with just enough sting to snap her out of the hormonally-charged thoughts.

Amusement glimmered on Kristof’s face as he raised his drink and took a sip. “As much as I’m sure you’re enjoying these beautiful women’s company, we have business to discuss.”

“Of course. Give us a moment, ladies,” Gavriil said to the two women at his sides. Addy and Kristof both stood. Silence descended as the two women shimmied out of the booth and disappeared into the club. “Do we have a problem?”

“My men will take them to your safe house,” Kristof said as he and Addy both sat back down. “They’ll remain there and keep them secure until you can have someone take over.”

“That wasn’t our agreement.” Gavriil leaned forward. “I was under the impression all was forgiven with this transaction.”

“It is.”

“Perhaps I’m not the only one with rebel employees.”

“Sounds like there’s trouble brewing,” Zoey said in the com.

No shit. Addy fought the urge to reposition herself between Kristof and Gavriil. Although Kristof was likely just as good a fighter as her, Iriana was his protector.

“You’ll be compensated,” Kristof said.

“You can’t continue bleeding for this endeavor. It’s an impossible task.”

“No more so than yours was.”

“Perhaps.” Gavriil sighed heavily and leaned back in the booth. “I tire of the cat and mouse game. Who is the cat and who is the mouse and why do I feel like the bait?”

“You aren’t the bait. You’re the trap,” Kristof said. “Or the mouse.”

Gavriil laughed. “That doesn’t ease my concern.”

“It should.” Kristof finished his drink and set the glass on the table. “I’m the dog. The cat stands no chance.”

He stood and motioned for Addy to do the same. Surprised, she complied. They were leaving? Where was the money? And what the heck did the cat and mouse and dog and trap bullshit mean?

“He’s hiding something,” Zoey said.

Yes. And Addy would find out exactly what once they were alone. Bastard.

“Take care, comrade. The cat you hunt is a feral tiger.” Gavriil smiled at Iriana. “I hope we meet again.”

Not likely. Addy coiled her arm around Kristof’s waist and settled at his side as they fell in step toward the exit. Chairs scraped when they passed Ivan’s table. The brute took point and the other three fanned out around Addy and Kristof.

Her gaze swept the exterior of the club as they stepped onto the sidewalk. Situated within a busy nightclub district, people milled about nearby. Laughter filled the area. Music drifted from a street performer down the road.

Ivan moved from his position in front of Kristof and stepped off the curb. The vehicle was parked on a neighboring street. The man fell, his head struck the curb. Addy took a step toward him, but voices shouted in the com.

“Sniper! Get down, Red!” Johnny shouted.

“Shit!” Zoey said at the same time.

Addy took Kristof down with a kick to the back of his legs. He grunted with the impact as she covered him with her body. Her heart thudded wildly in her chest as she drew out her gun from her purse.

Blood coated her hand.

What the fuck? She lifted up, peered into Kristof’s shocked gaze.

“Afraid I zigged and should’ve zagged,” he said.

“Lavrov’s hit,” Addy said.

No. No. No. She tugged his suit jacket open. The Kevlar-like lining had stopped the bulk of the damage, but the bullet had still hit. Blood poured from a wound near his left shoulder. “Shoulder wound. Applying pressure. Someone get me a fucking vehicle!”

She screamed the latter at the idiots that’d been with Ivan. One hid behind a trashcan while the other two tried to save Ivan. Since there was very little left of his face, she suspected it was too late.

“Get the car!” she screamed again.

“Where is he, Z?” Johnny asked. “Bullet came from my direction.”

“Across the street, in the same building you’re in Johnny,” Zoey said.

“Sixteenth, maybe fifteenth floor based on the trajectory HERA drones got,” Jesse said. “Cracker and Beast, close off the exits to that building. Shep, cover Addy and Kristof. Stay out of sight. Repeat, stay out of sight.”

“Stay with me,” Addy said as she pressed down on the bullet wound harder.

A group of men surged from the strip club. Gavriil’s angered shouts boomed through the area as he ordered them to fan out and provide cover. He crouched on Kristof’s other side.

“Let’s get him inside,” the man said.

“No.” Addy shook her head. “The car. Someone went to get it.”

“He’s safer inside with me until more of his men can come.” Anger filled the man’s face. “I won’t argue this with you, Iriana.”

“How the fuck do I know this wasn’t you?” She aimed her weapon at him. “Who else knew he was here?”

“That’s what we’ll find out after we tend to his injury.”
Cara Carnes. Hostile Ground (Kindle Locations 777-839). Heartscape Publishing, Inc.

Everything gets far more complicated with Kristof injured. The auction is almost upon them and now there’s even more to the puzzle.

Addy and Kristof have a lot to resolve, not only business wise but also personally. These two are explosive together and secrets that are revealed just bring them closer.

Plenty of suspense and action, with laughter, tears, interesting twists and a kindle melting relationship.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

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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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