Secret Confessions of the Enticing Duchess: A Steamy Historical Regency Romance by Olivia Bennet

Secret Confessions of the Enticing Duchess
A Steamy Historical Regency Romance
Olivia Bennet



Because the most dangerous lies
are the ones you tell your own self…

Oblivious of her true identity since birth, Abigail Thorne lives a quiet life working in her mother’s dressmaking shop. When a stunning nobleman enters the shop with his obnoxious fiancé, she is immediately enticed.

Suffering his parents’ sudden loss at a young age, Percival Montagu, Duke of Northcott, becomes enamored with the ravishing dressmaker and craves to make her his mistress. But he has made a lucrative deal and too much is at stake should he breaks it.

When a stolen jewel and a series of well-crafted events throw Abigail in gaol, her life is in peril. Percival is the only one who can save her from a terrible fate.

However, he doesn’t know that their pasts are sickeningly intertwined and something darker is connecting them…a shattering secret that should have been kept hidden, forever.



Percival Montagu, Duke of Northcott knows it’s time he takes a wife and produces an heir. His aunt Lady Martha Stanley has been very vocal about the subject and has a perfect candidate for him, Lady Rosaline Hoskins. The daughter of the Earl of Huntington, is well suited to become a Duchess, she has been raised to the role. Unwilling to face the Balls of the London season, Percival has his aunt invite the family to dinner to discuss the possible match.

Lady Rosaline was most excited and asks the Duke to accompany her to help pick fabric and style for her engagement ball gown. Less than enthused he agrees all the while thinking of ways to escape quickly. It’s during this outing that Percival first sees Abigail. She is the one who will be making Lady Roseline’s gown.

Percival couldn’t get Abigail Thorne out of his mind, and was beginning to re-think his upcoming engagement announcement. On the pretense of purchasing wraps and a redingote for his aunt he visits the shop alone. This visit results in an invitation to nuncheon as a walk in Hyde Park was out of the question for her.

This is a favorite scene.

At the stroke of noon, The Duke of Northcott darkened her doorway and she stared at him as if she had never seen him before.

She gestured for him to enter. “We-welcome, Your Grace.”

He took one step into the shop and then another, taking off his hat and making a leg to her, “Thank you, Miss Thorne.”

She led him, blushing, to the back room and he followed her with no demur, sitting where she directed him and watching as she plated some food for him. She smiled until her dimples showed, unable to help herself. It was exceedingly strange, sitting here with a Duke, having nuncheon and yet, being here with this man felt…fated.

“Here you are, Your Grace,” she said, handing him the plate.

“Please, call me Percival,” he replied softly and she could not help but color further.

“All right, Percival,” she took her seat, her own plate in front of her, “And you may call me Abigail.”

“Thank you,” he replied as if she were some high-born lady condescending to him. She took a deep shaky breath and picked up a piece of cheese, chewing thoughtfully as she regarded him—allowing herself to really examine him.

His height was obvious even when he was sitting and the breadth of his shoulders took her breath away. His elaborately tied azure cravat lightened the dark of his eyes while his white shirt provided just the right contrast to his golden waistcoat visible beneath his unbuttoned coat. Both sat on his broad shoulders and impressive chest as if molded to it and Abigail had the odd thought that she would like to just lay her palm flat on his chest and breathe in his sandalwood scent.

Perhaps do more than breathe…She shivered at the thought.

It was a ridiculous notion, of course, one which she would never act on. She cast about desperately for something else to say, to take her wayward mind away from its scandalous thoughts but he beat her to it.

“Tell me something, Abigail?”

She placed her cheese back on her plate and swallowed. “What would you like to know?”

“How did you come to be here?”

She raised an eyebrow, surprised at the question. Even though he was interested in her as evidenced by his presence in her backroom, she had not expected him to show curiosity about anything except, perhaps, a potential liaison between them. She held no illusions as to the direction of his interest. Her own quandary centered around the question of whether she would grant his wishes or not.

She reflected seriously on what his question might mean; whether he was speaking of here in the sense that she was sitting alone in a backroom with a man and no chaperone or else he meant here, in this shop, working as a modiste.

Perhaps it was both.

“I only mean to get to know you better, if you don’t mind,” he provided the clarification after studying her face closely. Perhaps he could see her confusion.

“I appreciate that. It is difficult to know where to start.”

He tilted his head becomingly to the side and smiled, “Start at the beginning,” he said.

She huffed, perfectly aware that he knew not the irony of his words, “Wish I knew what the beginning was,” she murmured, mostly to herself.

“Take your time, there is no hurry,” he encouraged, and she narrowed her eyes at him doubtfully.

“Isn’t there? I shall need to return to work and you probably have some duties that need doing.”

He gave her a smile, “Ah, but we can always continue the discourse at a later date,” he assured her and his words were more than a commentary on their conversation. He was saying that he wanted to see her again. Abigail did not know what to think about that.
T. Bennet, Olivia; Fairy, Cobalt. Secret Confessions of the Enticing Duchess: A Steamy Historical Regency Romance Novel (Kindle Locations 519-556). Olivia Bennet. Kindle Edition.

From this point things become more and more difficult as Lady Rosaline discovers her soon to be betrothed’s interest in her dressmaker. It seems Lady Rosaline has no intention of giving up her Duke and accused Abigail of theft. Not once but twice, the second far more serious than the first with Abigail ending up in Newgate prisonand that came after the Duke broke the engagement with Rosaline.

Abigail’s parentage comes into play, as she has never known much about him or the circumstances under which she came to be in London with her mother and her beau Phillip.

Plenty of intrigue as the Duke and her family do their very best to prove her innocence and find ways to keep her from hanging.

A fun read that takes us from the very beginning of the relationship, with lots of information on friendships and family. Theirs also some serious heat that flows between the Duke and Abigail, even before it hits the bedroom.

5 Contented Purrs for Olivia!

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Having obtained a degree in Journalism, but with an affinity for literature and creative writing, Olivia Bennet knew from a young age that her future lay in the romantic ideals of the past. With a fascination for the Regency era and a good romance, she started her career as a historical romance author the old-fashioned way: with pen and paper.

Born in rural Devon, Olivia draws inspiration from the vast farmlands of the British countryside and the people living in the surrounding villages. An avid artist, she takes her sketchbook everywhere with her and captures the beauty of nature, which she then incorporates into her books.

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Color Me Ice – The Monroes Book 5 By Jen Talty

Color Me Ice
The Monroes Book 5
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty



Fitzgerald Monroe had a two-track mind. Woman and Ice Hockey and not necessarily in that order.

After a little too much partying, Fitz finds himself having to serve his community by acting as the coach for a local travel team. The last thing Fitz wants to do is deal with a bunch of pre-pubescent youngsters with attitudes and their parents who all think they are going to the NHL.

Emery Anderson had been doing it alone her entire life and she wasn’t sure she could do it anymore. The bills were mounting, and she was at the breaking point with her son and his entitled behavior. However, when her ex-husband’s business is investigated for shady dealings, she and Maverick find themselves relying on a perfect stranger. And in more ways than one.

Will Fitz be like every other hockey playing idiot that walked in and out of her life, or will he be the won who scores where mama hides the cookies?



I have to laugh every time I read the names, all the Kennedy names linked with the last name of Monroe.

This book opens with Hockey Star Fitz Monroe in the hot seat. He never should have gone to his ex’s wedding, he was set up but good. Now the judge has to decide his fate, jail or fines and community service. The jury had found him guilty of aggravated assault a crime with a penalty of up to 5 years in prison. Thanks to a video not seen by the jury of the incident, the judge comes to the conclusion that bringing the case to trial was a personal vendetta and sentences Fitz to three years probation, a five-thousand-dollar fine, and three hundred hours community service which the judge himself would assign.

I love what the judge decides for community service. Apparently the judge’s grandson’s travel hockey team lost their coach and Fitz is his choice to fill that spot. Emery Anderson is the judge’s daughter, her son Maverick is a talented hockey player. She is also the team manager and also works at the rink. A possible problem would be her ex Kace. He’s Maverick’s father and there has always been friction between Kace and Fitz. Kace blames Fitz for his short-lived hockey career in the NHL.

Fitz’a first meeting with Emery amusing and filled with some interesting facts about their past. All that before practice, but it’s the events after that truly upped the bar. Once the parents had the packet Fitz had prepared in advance of the parent meeting, Kace shows up giving us a taste of things to come.

This is a favorite scene.

He quickly untied his skates, whipped the ice off them, and slipped on his sneakers.

Across the rink, the parents had gathered in the stands, huddled on the lower level, and a couple of them waved the packets in the air.

This was going to be amusing, to say the least.

Fitz was glad he wasn’t ever going to be a parent.

As he rounded the corner, he skidded to a stop before he ran right into Kace.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Kace asked.

“Coaching a hockey team; what does it look like?” Fitz said. “And it’s good to see you again too.” He stretched out his hand and smiled.

“I’m lucky I was in the area when one of the parents called with this bullshit.” He waved the parent packet in his face. “And what is this crap about kicking me off the bench? You can’t do that.”

“I can. And I did,” Fitz said. “I don’t want a part-time coach.”

“Right. Like this is a full-time gig for you.”

“I have this time through August. That’s four months I will be dedicated to the boys on this team, and only this team.”

“The only reason you are here is because you can’t keep that temper of yours in check.” Kace inched closer. His eyes narrowed.

He was baiting Fitz and Fitz wasn’t going to be reeled in like an idiot fish on a hook.

“It doesn’t matter how I got here; I’m not leaving, and I’m going to ask you respectfully to follow my rules. They aren’t that much different than what our parents had to follow when we were kids.”

“These are bullshit and you know it. Besides, why the hell would you keep Steve on the bench and not me? He barely played juniors. I played pro for a couple of years. I know a hell of a lot more than he does.”

“Do you really want me to answer that question?”

“Yes,” Kace said.

“Because he shows up.” This was the last thing Fitz wanted to do, but he needed to put Kace in his place from the get-go. If he didn’t set the tone from the start, the other parents wouldn’t have any respect for him and that meant the parents wouldn’t do shit. “I looked at the regular season and how many practices you logged and games you showed up at and that isn’t what these kids need. They need consistency, especially at this—”

Kace poked Fitz in the chest. “Don’t you dare tell me what my son, or any of these young boys need. Do you have any kids?”

“Not the point.”

“I think it’s exactly the point. Now either put me on the bench, or I’ll take my son off this team.”

“You will do nothing of the sort,” Emery’s voice tickled Fitz’s ears. She stood next to him and planted her hands on her hips. “And I saw you assault Fitz.”

“I did not,” Kace said.

“Technically, you did.” Fitz shouldn’t be enjoying himself, but he was, just a little. “I hope you won’t remove your son. He’s a damn good player and a nice kid. Now, please join me for the team meeting.”

“This conversation isn’t over,” Kace said under his breath as he stomped off toward the bleachers.

“Sorry. I didn’t expect him to come back.” Emery tucked her long blond hair behind her ears. “He’s going to give you a lot of problems.”

“I can handle your ex-husband,” Fitz said. Though he wasn’t so sure he’d be able to deal all that well with her kid. He might be talented, but he had a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas and he wasn’t a team player and he sure as hell had a big fucking problem with Fitz. “I noticed the ice before my clinic tomorrow is free. I’d like to book it.”

“Sure, but for what, if you don’t mind me asking.”

“Not at all. I was hoping to have Maverick with a couple of the other boys for a private lesson. I’m actually planning on doing this at some point with all the kids.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t afford any extra lessons or ice time.”

“Well, that’s the beauty of it. My lessons are free, and before you go jumping to conclusions, this isn’t part of my community service. Your father wouldn’t allow it.”

“Then why do it?”

“Because I don’t do anything half-assed and I don’t like to lose. I plan on taking this team to the spring playoffs and being the last team standing.” That was a true statement.

“The ice is yours, as soon as you pay me for it, and I’ll have Maverick here. Who are the other boys that he’ll be working with?”

“Does it matter?” he asked with an arched brow.

“Not to me, but it will to his father.”

“Well, Kace doesn’t have say in the matter, and I’d prefer it if neither of you sat in the stands and watched, but I can’t prevent you from doing so.”

“It’s Sunday, so Kace will be at his other son’s practice and then church, so he won’t be here, and I generally don’t watch practice, so no worries.”

“All right. Now let’s go piss off some more parents.”
Jen Talty. Color Me Ice: The Monores Book 5 (Kindle Locations 415-456). Jupiter Press.

Aside from being an opinionated arse regarding hockey, Kace is also behind on child support and other things he’s supposed to be paying for his son, all while driving a hundred thousand dollar car.

Fitz overhears some stuff and now he’s even more determined to help Emery and maybe break down the wall she has when it comes to dating hockey players.

Maverick in gets conflicted between what Fitz wants from him as his coach, and what his dad expects from him. I loved the scenes with the team both on and off the ice.

Fitz’s siblings show up in this one too, I do love seeing them. Bobby and Navy play an important role in this one. Now I really have to go read the first two books in this series.

I loved Fitz and Emery’s story, a simmer to sizzle relationship, with plenty of ups and downs caused by Kace.

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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A Game of Chess with the Marquess: A Historical Regency Romance by Patricia Haverton

A Game of Chess with the Marquess
A Historical Regency Romance
Patricia Haverton



They met and his love roared louder
than the beasts haunting her…

For half-blind maid Lenora Foster, life in the service of the Duke of Brackhill is everything she’s ever known. Having experienced the mocking glances of the ton due to her disability, she keeps herself isolated in the darkest corners of the manor.

Pressured by his family to produce an heir, Adrian Sullivan, Marquess of Galdhor, finds himself attending a lackluster ball at Brackhill Manor. That is until he bumps into a peculiar maid with an eyepatch spying on the attendees.

With his heartbeat whispering Lenora’s name, Adrian fails to realize that someone knows. And someone who knows always tells.

Life in the service of the Duke of Brackhill is everything Lenora Foster has ever known. And within a few days, she is pronounced dead…



Adrian the Marquess of Galdhor knows he needs to marry, he’s getting older and he really should think about an heir. His mother has begun pushing him to that end and he attends a ball for Lady Katherine, the Duke of Brackhill’s daughter. While she is attractive, Adrian doesn’t find anything about her that would make her a match for him. However someone else at the ball does catch his eye.

Lenora is a chambermaid on the Brackhill estate, and in spite of how much the Duchess and Lady seem to despise her, she loves her job and always gives her best effort in everything. Born blind in one eye, she covers the milky white eye with a patch, she does however love her other eye which is a lovely green.

On the night of the ball she sees a very attractive man dancing with Lady Katherine. She knows immediately that no other man in the room has a chance with her lady. She has made her choice. Lenora hoping for another glimpse of the man is peering into the dining room when her lady spots her. Drawing back quickly she bumps into Adrian as he returned from the gardens where he was escaping the crowd. He was quite late for dinner but running into this striking little maid was a pleasant surprise. Even though she won’t give her name and flees from him.

Adrian wasn’t surprised to get the invitation to visit Brackhill with the intent of getting to know Lady Katherine better as a possible match. Conflicted he decides to go but not before he sets his friend and bar keep Samuel on an investigation. An investigation into the maid with the eye-patch, he desires to know more about her and couldn’t possibly ask the Duke.

Adrian keeps his eye out for the mysterious maid from the moment he arrives at Brackhill. He finally gets his chance while reading in the library. Lenora comes in to dust and is startled by his presence and persistence to know her name. Now that he knows it he finds it even more difficult to endure the simpering Lady Katherine and seeks out Lenora when he can.

One of the more extensive conversations takes place in the parlor, where they learn about each others lives.

“I live here,” she said. “I live in Brackhill Manor, one of the most beautiful homes in the city. Every day I walk through these beautiful rooms, even if I am only here to clean them. Every day I eat food prepared by one of the finest cooks money can buy, even if all I get is soup and bread.”

“That’s a good outlook,” he said.

“It’s just the truth,” she said. “What are the good things in your life? Fine clothing and servants to tend to your needs?”

He laughed. “Do you think so little of me?”

“I don’t think anything of you,” she protested. “I don’t even know you.”

“The good things in my life,” he said. “I suppose the best thing is the free time that having money affords me. I don’t have to work, and that gives me time to study. To read. Time to spend with my mother.”

“Are you close with your mother?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said. “It’s for her sake, really, that I’m here. She’s the one who is concerned with marriage, and with ensuring that I have an heir.”

“So you don’t want to marry?”

“I’m not anxious to marry,” he said. “I suppose I’d like to someday, if the right lady came along. But I’m not sure I’ve met her just yet.”

Lenora said nothing.

He shook his head. “I’ve done it again, haven’t I? I’ve put you in an awkward position by speaking ill of Lady Katherine.”

“It’s all right,” she said, surprising herself. “I wouldn’t say you actually said anything unkind about her this time.”

He nodded. “I don’t mean to disparage her. She’s a fine young lady. I feel sure she’ll make some man a wonderful wife. And if I was in a hurry to marry, if I felt as my mother does about it, I might well choose her. She’s lovely, and she has good social graces.”

“Then what’s the problem?” Lenora asked.

“You know I can’t answer that without breaking one of your rules.”

She hesitated. “I’ll allow it this time.” She shouldn’t be encouraging him to criticize Lady Katherine, she knew, but she had to admit, she was curious about what he had to say.

“All right,” Lord Galdhor agreed. “The problem with Lady Katherine is that she’s just too different from me. It’s not a flaw in her character, really. But she doesn’t seem interested in learning, or thinking, or understanding the world around her. Her interests lie in parties and pretty dresses.”

“I see.” Lenora had to admit that Lord Galdhor had taken the measure of Lady Katherine well.

“And parties and pretty dresses are certainly fine interests to have,” he hastened to add. “I don’t mean to criticize, truly. But the two of us would have nothing to talk about. Already it’s become a struggle, and I’ve only been here for a few days.”

“Not everyone has a wife he can talk to,” Lenora pointed out. “Many men marry for other reasons.”

“I know,” Lord Galdhor said. “And if I were looking for a lady I could bring to social events, one who would catch the eye and charm the ton, Lady Katherine would be a perfect fit. But I want someone I can enjoy conversation with as well.”

“You aim high, My Lord.”

“And yourself?” he asked. “What do you hope for when you marry?”

“Me!” Lenora laughed. “I’m unlikely to marry, My Lord.”

“Why do you say so?”

“Look at me.”

“I am. You’re lovely.”

“You’re kind. But—” her fingers wandered up to her eyepatch. “Not many men will overlook such a flaw as this.”

“I see no flaw.”

She was at a loss for words. Of course, he must see the eyepatch that dominated her face. What could he mean by that?

“Besides,” he went on, “even if you were not as lovely as you are, homely people marry all the time.”

“But I’m a maid,” she said. “In order to take a husband, I would require the blessing of those I serve. And Lady Katherine will never give me her blessing to wed.”

“You could leave your position,” he suggested.

Lenora laughed. How little he knew about the struggles of her life. How little he understood.

She couldn’t just leave her position. Nothing in the world would justify such a reckless decision.

“Do you truly believe that you’ll never marry?” he asked.

“Marriage isn’t for me,” she said. “Marriage is for nobility. It’s for ladies who have the time to make themselves lovely and dance attention on their husbands. It’s not meant for a working girl.”

He shook his head in wonder. “And yet you still describe your life as full of good and bad just like any other.”

“And so it is,” she insisted. “Just look at you. You’re here because you’ve been pressured to marry, to take a lady you don’t want as your wife. I can assure you, no one will ever put me in that position. There is freedom in my life, Lord Galdhor, freedom I wouldn’t enjoy if I was noble.”

“I suppose you’re right,” he said.

She nodded. “And now I should go. I must prepare Lady Katherine’s room before she retires for the evening.”

“Very well,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed talking to you, Lenora. It’s interesting to learn more about someone so different from myself.”

“Yes, My Lord.” She retreated from the room before he could see that she was blushing.

She took the stairs up to Lady Katherine’s room at a run, half afraid that he would call after her. If he did, she knew, she would not be able to restrain herself from turning back.
Haverton, Patricia; Fairy, Cobalt. A Game of Chess with the Marquess: A Historical Regency Romance Novel (Kindle Locations. 1657-1721). Patricia Haverton. Kindle Edition.

Lenora knows she shouldn’t fantasize about the Marquess, but she really couldn’t help herself. She enjoys their conversations as much as he appears to. However she can’t allow things to get out of hand. He was meant for Lady Katherine, not her.

In a startling turn of events we see another side of the housekeeper and Lady Katherine. One that completely changes things, not only for the Marquess but also the Duke.

A fun read with an unusual courtship and a touch of suspense and intrigue.

5 Contented Purrs for Patricia!

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Born the oldest of three children, Patricia Haverton grew up believing that she’d follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue a career in science. However, her worldview changed when she decided to explore her British mother’s roots. The trip to her ancestral lands solidified her conviction that she had found her true calling in the romanticism of the Era of Kings and Queens.

A hopeless romantic and a firm believer in the idea of soulmates, Patricia changed the course of her life and decided to get her degree in Creative Writing and Psychology. As she jokingly says ever so often, “she lives in the past now, where love shows the way and Dukes save the day!”

When she’s not weaving tales of love that prevails, Patricia enjoys spending time with her husband, roaming the British countryside, where they have been living in for the past decade.

Now would be the time to let yourself go and experience the true magic of the Regency Era! Let your imagination run wild, live amazing adventures through the eyes of brave heroes! Like the legendary wise wizard, Patricia will be your guide!


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Lance – Hathaway House Book 12 By Dale Mayer

Hathaway House Book 11
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer



Welcome to Hathaway House.
Rehab Center. Safe Haven.
Second chance at life and love.

Lance Mayfair sought out Hathaway House at the recommendation of a friend, who told him it was an answer to prayer. Lance knows more about prayers than answers, but, if he can see progress in one particular area of his life and health, it will be worth the effort and the pain. He’ll do anything he can to play music again. It’s all he has left now that his days as a Navy SEAL are over and, with them, any chance of a happy, productive life.

However, the shoulder injury that ended his career pretty much guarantees he’ll never play his beloved instruments ever again.

Unless Hathaway House and Jessica can work a miracle.

Jessica has worked with many patients at Hathaway House, but she connects with Lance in a way she didn’t with any of the others. She can see the need inside him—his desire to create again, to heal through music. And his goal becomes her goal: to see him play music in his soul again.

Only his music isn’t all he wants or needs, and making him happy goes a long way to making her happy, but it’s not enough. Both want and need so much more.


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When Ian sends Lance pictures of his recovery, Lance was sure they had been photoshopped. He couldn’t believe the difference between the man he knew here and the one in the photos. Even Jaden was encouraging hm to go to Hathaway House, both man swore it would make all the difference in the world.

The journey definitely took a toll on him, as has been the case with every one we’ve met in these books so far. It seems to me that Lance is perhaps a little more aware of the things that could hold him back.

His set back comes in the form of anemia and an infection, not a mental one as we’ve seen before. Jessica his nurse has been very watchful of him. She’s drawn to him on a level she doesn’t quite understand. In one of their conversations he mentioned music was a hobby, one he made money from before he went into the service. He also mentioned the guitar as one of the instruments he played.

On one of her trips into town Jessica spots an old guitar, it wasn’t expensive and she has it tuned and leaves it for him while he’s sleeping.

This is a favorite scene.

“Well, that’s hard to believe,” he said. In his wheelchair, he stopped at the coffee station and tried to put some on his tray, but it was already pretty full.

“Not to worry,” Dennis said. “I’ll come behind you and bring you a fresh cup.”

“Only if you’ve got time,” he said, looking back at him.

“I’ll make time,” he said. “It’s coffee after all, and we all need it in the morning.”

Lance smiled and said, “Well, I sure do. I’m definitely a coffee drinker,” he said.

And he slowly pushed his wheelchair outside in the sun. If nothing else he needed the sunshine and some vitamin D. Jessica was right about that. In the morning he wouldn’t burn. He knew it would still take a few days for the antibiotics to kick in fully, but he had to admit to feeling a little bit better. When Dennis arrived with a cup of coffee and a glass of juice, Lance smiled and thanked him.

But Dennis just laughed. “Be prepared for company,” he said, as he turned to leave, seeing Jessica coming with her own plate of food.

“One of the benefits of living and working here,” Lance said, motioning at the food, “is that you get to have the same food that we do.”

“And that’s a huge benefit,” she said. “This is actually fresh orange juice,” she said, picking it up and taking a sip. She studied Lance over the rim of the glass, and he smiled back at her.

“Yes, I feel much better,” he said. “I think I just overdid it yesterday.”

Her gaze still watchful, she nodded. “And who knows if that iron is starting to kick in or not.”

“I doubt if it’s that fast,” he said, “but I did make sure I had lots of dark greens and beef for dinner last night.”

“Good,” she said. “We’ll get you there eventually.”

“I just hadn’t really expected the eventually to start off so dismally,” he said.

“Everybody is different,” she said. “Everybody has to heal on their own.”

“I know,” he said with a smile. “I’m just so grateful everybody came in and out last night, keeping me awake,” he said, rolling his eyes. “But you guys were checking up on me, so I can’t really complain. Speaking of which,” he said, lifting his fork and pointing it at her, “I presume it’s you I have to thank for the guitar.”

Her face beamed into a beautiful smile.

He stared at her, fascinated, because she was one of those people who showed every expression on her face. Whereas he didn’t seem to show any, she was like this open book. “Yes, indeed,” she said. “I remembered what you said, and I was at a secondhand store, so it didn’t cost very much,” she said. “Honestly, getting it tuned cost more than buying the guitar itself.”

“Well, I did run my fingers across the strings,” he confessed. “And it was nice to hear that it was tuned and in good order.”

“Good,” she said. “I never really know if people are doing what they said they’ll do,” she said. “And it’s certainly not my field.”

“Not a problem,” he said, chuckling. “When I go back after breakfast, maybe I’ll try it out.” He flexed his fingers. “I’m not sure I’ll be able to play.”

“It’s worth a try. Do you have sessions today?”

“No, not for a couple days,” he said. “Shane has put me on minor stuff, no heavy-duty workouts until I’m back on my feet again.”

“That’s probably best,” she said. “Much better to take it slow and steady instead of going too far, too fast, only to end up going backward.”

“Exactly,” he said. Just then somebody called her, so she excused herself, and he could see that she would not likely be back.

So, finishing his coffee, he rolled his way back over and filled it up again, tucked it into a little cupholder on the wheelchair, which he thought was one of the best little add-ons to a wheelchair that he’d seen. He slowly made his way back to his room. Once there, he put the coffee cup down, so it was out of the way, then picked up the guitar, trying to adjust his position. He shifted awkwardly up onto the bed, then shifted again so the bed was in a better sitting position, where he could sit with his legs stretched out.

Gently at first, he strummed the guitar. Soon soft gentle musical notes filled the room. He leaned back, closing his eyes, and let the pleasure of hearing the music float through him again, soaking it into his bones. It was such a healing sound for him, and he wondered why he’d never thought to have some musical instrument with him. Mostly because music had been out of the realm of possibility, so he’d just stopped letting it be part of his world. He gently let his fingers play, going from a love song to a country song and back to a ballad. By the time he opened his eyes, several people were in the doorway. He looked at them in surprise, his fingers coming down over the strings to silence them.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I never gave it a thought, but I shouldn’t be playing inside, should I?”

Dani stepped through the crowd to say, “Maybe not at certain times,” she said, “but, during the day like this, something like that is absolutely beautiful,” she said. “You are very talented.”

He smiled at her. “Thank you,” he said. “And I promise I’ll try not to fill the halls with music all day long.”

“You’re definitely welcome to play inside during the day,” she said. “But, when you want to take it outside, just let us know,” she said. “I’m sure you’ll have quite an audience who will enjoy the music with you.”

He loved that. He loved the freedom to be a part of this. And he really loved the acceptance from those around him.
Dale Mayer. Lance (Kindle Locations 980-986). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Music brings Jessica and Lance closer, but not all the current residents are happy about it. Dani reaches a compromise and sets a schedule for him to play. Shane notices that work would need to be done to enable Lance to continue playing the various instruments he obviously loves and takes on that challenge.

We get to see Stan and Robin from the Vet clinic and the puppies that need to be bottle fed as well as the horses and of course Max the cat that seems to think he owns the place.

There was quite the surprise in this book, for both Hathaway House as a whole and Jessica. One that really shows how very different each and every journey is.

This is another beautiful story of recovery, romance and new beginnings. I truly can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

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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A New Series! Layover – Open Skies Book 1 By Becca Jameson

Open Skies Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson




It was supposed to be a one-night stand with a buff Delta.
A chance to experience the forbidden.
Her parents would never approve. Her mother’s heart is set on her marrying a Guatemalan.
But he rocked her world, and she can’t get him out of her mind months later.
The chemistry… The way he made her feel… The control…
When he steps into her path again, she can’t resist the temptation. She won’t.


No way was he going after a woman who snuck out on him.
No matter how good the sex was or how well they connected.
He needed to focus on his last few months in the Army.
But she was never far from his mind, and now he’s moved to her town.
He’s not about to let her slip through his hands a second time, but is she using him?
He’s been screwed over before. He won’t make the same mistake twice.


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I really got a kick out of the beginning of this book. Libby decides at the rehearsal dinner to have a one-night stand with one of the groom’s hot Delta friends. The one that caught her eye is Jason and the feeling is mutual. However when he wakes up and she’s gone, you’d think she committed a cardinal sin. I laughed so hard at his perceived affront.

Yet when they meet up again, both with others, the chemistry they shared that one night is still very much there. Jason is also very much a Dom in the bedroom and while she may deny it because of her usual personality, Libby is submissive.

When she accepts his invitation to come to his home for dinner she wasn’t quite expecting what happens.

This is a favorite scene.

Libby picked up her slice of pizza and took a dramatic bite, finding it to be unexpectedly delicious. “Who said anything about skipping dinner?” she asked. “Damn, this is good.” She took another bite.

He laughed and took a large bite of his slice before speaking again. “Talk to me. And please tell me you don’t have a boyfriend or something. I assume you don’t or you wouldn’t have been on a blind date last night.”

She shook her head. “No. No boyfriend. What I have is a crazy Guatemalan extended family.”

He snickered at that. “We all have crazy families.”

She swallowed another bite, took a sip of soda, and then faced him. “Does your mother tell you who you can and can’t date?”

His eyes widened. “Shit. Seriously?”

“Yes. It’s been drilled into me my entire life. Guatemalans are meant to marry other Guatemalans. No one else is acceptable.”

He froze for a moment. “That’s… I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone whose parents were quite so rigid. She doesn’t like you dating white guys?”

Libby shuddered. “That’s putting it mildly. I once dated a Mexican guy and I didn’t even tell her. If she thought I was keeping company with a white military man, I think she’d stroke out.”

He paused again, his mouth full, before slowly chewing and swallowing. “Okay. Wow. So, I’m the first white guy you’ve gone out with?”

“Have I gone out with you exactly?” she asked, pointing out her line of thinking. She’d hooked up with him. Once. Run into him at a bar. That didn’t count. And here she was, doing what exactly this time? Scratching an itch?

Jason fell into thought while he finished eating, and then he pushed his plate away and faced her again. “This is a date, Libby. The very definition of one. I assume you’re attracted to me or you wouldn’t have so blatantly flirted with me the night of the rehearsal and then had sex with me the next night.”

He was right, but he didn’t give her a chance to respond.

He set one hand on the island and the other on the back of her stool, and leaned in closer. “Sex is actually a pretty mild word for what we did and how I felt with you. It was explosive, and you know it. I didn’t plan it. It just happened. I’ve dated vanilla women. Not every woman I meet is interested in my kind of kink. It’s not a requirement. But when it works out, it’s a bonus.”

She didn’t move an inch.

He continued. “When I was holding you on the dance floor at the reception, I had a suspicion you were submissive and took a chance. The moment my demand left my lips, I knew I’d been right. You can’t deny the chemistry.”

She nodded. He was right.

“No woman has ever left me in the middle of the night, however. I was shocked. I thought we’d had an amazing time together. And then you were gone.”

She took a breath when he stopped talking, knowing she needed to buck up and be a grownup about this. “I assumed it was a one-night one-night stand. I was trying to avoid the awkward morning dance. The embarrassing part where we can’t make eye contact and we both make lame excuses and then part ways.”

Jason spun her chair so that she fully faced him. “Did I give you any indication at any point that I wanted you to leave or that I had no intention of seeing you again?”


“So, really, the one-night stand was more on you than me. You planned it. I went along with it. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t broken up about the idea. Not at first. Who turns down a sexy woman at a wedding? No one. I didn’t realize we would have a connection that surpassed the sex any more than you did, but I didn’t sneak out in the dead of night.”

“It was your room,” she half-joked. How did this evening get off on such a serious note?

“Libby…” She sighed.

“You’re right. I admit it. I went into that weekend fully hoping to have sex with a buff man in uniform. Sexy military guys have always been my fantasy.”

“I’m not sure if I’m flattered or I should spank you.”

She flinched and then noticed his slight grin. He was joking. Sort of. Maybe.
Becca Jameson. Layover: Open Skies, Book One (Kindle Locations 746-780). Becca Jameson Publishing.

While this book is full of extremely sensuous and sizzling scenes, there is also some intrigue. That intrigue begins with roses she has been getting that she assumed were from Jason. They weren’t.

Then there is her mother, always pushing with a man in the wings for her to date. Although with Eddie the woman goes overboard inviting him to a family dinner without informing Libby.

Libby will have to stand up to her family at some point or Jason wouldn’t hang around, the memories of a previous relationship wouldn’t allow him to be used.

I couldn’t put this book down. I kept waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. Plenty of twists and surprises with a nice peek at the next book ‘Red Eye’

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

Coming Soon!


Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

Becca Jameson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 100 books. She is most well-known for her Wolf Masters Series, her Fight Club series, and her Club Zodiac series. She currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and Goldendoodle. Two grown kids pop in every once in a while too! She is loving this journey and has dabbled in a variety of genres, including paranormal, sports romance, military, and BDSM.A total night owl, Becca writes late at night, sequestering herself in her office with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate, her fingers flying across the keyboard as her characters weave their own stories.

During the day–which never starts before ten in the morning!–she can be found jogging, running errands, or reading in her favorite hammock chair!

…where Alphas dominate…

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Beneath the Earth – Seven Wardens Book 3 By Skye MacKinnon & Laura Greenwood

Beneath the Earth
Seven Wardens Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Skye MacKinnon
Laura Greenwood



Who knows what waits underground…

The Staran has been healed, but that doesn’t mean that the world is safe yet. There are new problems to overcome, and Luch won’t be able to hold Mahoun back forever.

The Seven Wardens’ time has come, but will they be able to fulfill their destiny without breaking under the pressure?


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The Staran is now healed and the Wardens are resting from their battle. Macey makes the decision to return home explaining to Amber and Izban that the house grew to accommodate as many as it needs too. Macey also looked forward to the pool, she needed to get into the water for a while to recharge.

This is a favorite scene.

When she reached the swimming pool, she breathed in deeply, then smiled. No chlorine. Just fresh, beautiful sea water.

“Thank you, house,” she whispered, feeling a little silly about talking to the tiled walls around her.

She took off her clothes as fast as she could and jumped into the cool water, shifting almost as soon as she hit the surface. It was the fastest she’d ever shifted. One second, she was human, the next, a large, scaled kelpie.

She breathed in a large gulp of water and expelled it back through her gills. Oh, it was the most amazing feeling.

She whinnied loudly and began to swim back and forth, occasionally jumping out of the water to enjoy the splash of tiny droplets against her smooth scales.

This was her element. Her home.

With a happy swirl of her tail, she extended her magic, letting it soak up the water’s energy.

She felt as if she hadn’t been in water for years. As if she’d been dying of thirst. It was strange, but she didn’t care, as long as she was able to stay in the pool. Maybe the guys could bring her waffles. Things tasted different when she was in her kelpie form, but waffles surely had to be good no matter what, right?

A change in the energy around her made her resurface and look around the room. Rónán was standing by the edge of the pool, looking at her with a smile.

“Can I join you?”

Did that mean that he was going to change into a seal? Macey didn’t know much about selkies, except that they took off their seal skins when they came onto land. But where was his skin? Or was that all just a legend and he was a regular shifter like her? Selkies were strange.

She whinnied in agreement and he began to take off his clothes. Pointedly, she turned around, not wanting to see his selkie bits. She had her own three men, thank you very much. As sexy as he was… no, she didn’t just think that. He wasn’t sexy. Well, he was, but not in that way. Weren’t three men enough? There was only so much testosterone a kelpie could cope with.

A splash alerted her to his presence in the pool. Curiously, she turned, expecting a seal swimming in the water. But no, he wasn’t a seal at all. He was just as human as he’d been moments before, except that he was now naked.

The disadvantage of being the only kelpie here was that nobody could understand her. She tried looking at him questioningly, but her eyes kept wandering beneath the surface, and that was plain rude.

“Why aren’t you a seal?” she asked in her kelpie click language, but he just looked at her in confusion.

She whinnied in frustration. Maybe they should have this conversation later on, when she was human again.

“Can I touch you?” he suddenly asked, stunning her. What was he on about? That wasn’t really a polite question to ask a lady. She wasn’t a horse to be stroked. He’d never ask that if she’d been human…

She flicked her tail and swam away from him, hoping he’d get the message.

“Sorry, that was impolite!” he called. “It’s just that it’s supposed to be good luck to touch a kelpie, and I think we could all use a bit of good luck at the moment.”

She’d never heard that before. If it was true, kelpies themselves had to be the luckiest creatures ever. Definitely just a legend, but obviously, Rónán believed in it. Or he was just using it as an excuse. Either way, Macey was intrigued. Flattered, almost.

Forgoing her pride, she approached him again. When she was in touching distance, she stopped, using her tail and webbed hooves to stay in position. Kelpies may not be the prettiest beings, but they were adapted perfectly to life underwater.

Rónán stretched out a hand and gently touched her muzzle. No human – or selkie – had ever touched her there before. And not in the gently, admiring way Rónán was. When kelpies met, they rubbed their cheeks together, but this was different. His hand was small on her forehead, running over her smooth scales.

“You’re beautiful,” he muttered. “Thank you.”

With one final stroke, he retracted his hand, leaving her bereft of his touch. Maybe she should ask her men to do the same to her the next time she was swimming. She’d never realised how good human touch could feel.

“We should go back, Cam was busy burning the kitchen when I left,” Rónán said with a wink. “I’ll let you change in peace.”

He climbed out of the water, showing Macey his perfectly formed arse. Despite her reservations, she was more and more tempted to add him to her men. One more couldn’t hurt, right? Even if he wasn’t a Warden.
Greenwood, Laura; MacKinnon, Skye. Seven Wardens Omnibus: Books 1-4 (Seven Wardens Collections) (pp. 441-444). Peryton Press. Kindle Edition.

Some pretty humorous things take place what with Cam cooking, but also comes the realization they still need to know more about what they have to accomplish. A visit to Malan gives some insight and sends them on their way but not before warning Macey to get control of her powers.

The earth is being poisoned and an evil portrayal of an Orca is threating the sea creatures. Several interesting ways to travel and curious creatures are met even as they seek to stop the evil from destroying everything.

I am truly enjoying theses books filled with magic, surprises, battles and of course sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Laura and Skye!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!


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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Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)

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Smoked – The Invincibles Book 5 By Heather Slade

The Invincibles Book 5
Heather Slade



Where there’s SMOKE, there’s fire…
My partner,
My confidante,
My friend,
And my lover.

At least that’s what she thinks.
After all, she’s been through,
I’ll keep up the charade.
It’s the least I can do
For the beautiful, feisty, smart woman
Who stole my heart.

After the truth comes out,
She leaves without a trace.

But when she’s in danger,
I’ll move mountains to get her back.

He lied.
He played me.
He broke me.

I refuse to stick around
And be his fool.
He may be strong, rugged, and perfect,
But this SIREN waits for no man’s call.
He may have lit my fire,
But no amount of SMOKE can rekindle this smolder.


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Siobhan ‘Siren’ Gallagher was injured during Konstantine’s hospital escape. She now has amnesia but remembers an interlude she had with Smoke on an Island. She thinks they are in love when in actuality they are anything but. Her condition is such that they can’t let the IMI (Irish Military Intelligence) know. She would lose her job even before they know if she will be capable again. Smoke takes a while to decide what to do, but he knows he has to take care of Siren.

To do that he brings her to his ranch, high in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, it’s a beautiful working ranch where he will eventually retire. It’s also close to Ashville where they will be consulting with experts to determine if Siren’s amnesia will be permanent. Fortunately after all the tests and scans are done they believe it’s temporary but it will take time. Smoke also realizes he will have to keep playing the contented lover at least until she remembers she hates him.

With problems of cattle rustlers Smoke has called Decker to set up security like they have on the King/Alexander ranch. When rustlers do the unthinkable, Decker is able to come out sooner to get him set up. It’s toward the end of this installation that Smoke and Decker have a conversation about Siren. One that she only hears part of and runs.

This is a favorite scene.

Zeke and I had spent the morning with Decker while he reviewed what was currently operational and what they still needed to complete.

“Any changes to the original quote?” I asked when he finished the review of the first phase.

“You got an answer for Rile?”

I shook my head.

“Then, it’s double.” We both laughed.

Zeke stood. “If you fellas don’t need me, I’ll get back to work.”

“We haven’t had much of a chance to talk about Siren,” said Deck, leaning against one of the desks after Zeke left.

“There hasn’t been a lot of change. She’s due to head back to Asheville this afternoon. I’m hoping she comes back with more answers.”

“If there’s anything the rest of the team or I can do, don’t hesitate to ask.”

I shook my head and looked down at the floor. “Be on standby to sweep up the broken pieces when Siren learns the truth.”

“Was it really that bad?”

“You saw us together. The other night, she told me that she had a dream and woke up feeling like we hated each other. She asked me about it.”

“What did you say?”

“I told her I never hated her.”

“Was that the truth?”

“At this point, I can’t say. There were times I sure as hell felt like I did. More times that I almost called Rile and told him that either he partner me with someone else, or I was walking off the mission. Something I had never considered doing at any other time in my career.”

“Damn. I didn’t realize it was that bad.”

“It was worse. There was no question she hated me just as much. More, in fact.”

“What I don’t get is why Siren thinks the two of you were an item.”

“Me either. I mean, there was one night when we were in the Seychelles. We had too much to drink, and one thing led to another.”

Decker’s eyes opened wide.

“The next morning, I told her that nothing like that could or would ever happen between us again. She was sure to inform me that she’d rather die first. That’s how it was between us.”

“Damn, Smoke, I’m real sorry.”

“Me too. I’ve wanted to tell her the truth since before we left London. I didn’t, and then when we got here, the psychiatrist told me not to. That her already fragile emotional state could get a lot worse.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Not much I can, except wait until her memory comes back and, when it does, try to keep her from cutting my balls off and feeding them to me. Then I’m sure she’ll go back to IMI and I’ll go back to freelancing, only this time, with the caveat that no one ever teams me up with Siren again.”

I heard something outside the office, but when I looked all I saw were the barn cats.

“It seems like you really care for her, Smoke.”

“It’s more than that, Deck. I think I love her.”

“Fuck, man. I don’t know what to say.”

“Me either. What I said earlier, about sweeping up broken pieces. I was referring to what’s left of me.”
Heather Slade. Smoked (Kindle Locations 1338-1365). The Invincibles Book Five.

Siren makes sure she can’t be traced when she heads back home. Even after she talks with her boss at IMI she remains on medical leave until she’s fit for duty. When boredom hits, he suggests she look for the Irish Crown Jewels. Even though it was really just busy work, she actually does the research and starts looking.

In the meantime Smoke hooks back up with the ‘Invincibles’ to take down the rest of the folks involved in the espionage responsible for the death of many agents. They’ve brought down the head of the CIA in the US, but there are others involved. They need the proof and the names.

Little did they know that these two very different investigations were going to cross paths. Siren also finds out more about her own family during her search.

From hot and heavy to cold as ice and back again, Smoke and Siren are made for each other. They just need to realize it themselves.

There is plenty of suspense and intrigue, Kindle melting heat and so many twists right up to the end. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!


Heather Slade

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

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

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

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Shielding Aspen – Delta Team Two Book 3 by Susan Stoker

Shielding Aspen
Delta Team Two Book 3
NY Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker



Desperate to ditch her ex once and for all, when Aspen Mesmer asks a complete stranger to kiss her, she never expects to feel an immediate connection. Despite already dealing with one soldier she can’t shake, Aspen would be a fool to ignore the intense chemistry she shares with the Delta Force operative. Even better, he shows her the respect few others offer in her male-dominated profession. It’s clear she’ll never have the camaraderie she craves with her own platoon, but maybe…just maybe…she’ll find it with Kane and his team.

Kane “Brain” Temple isn’t the kind of man most women look at twice, so when Aspen makes her interest clear after their impulsive, explosive kiss, he’s thrilled. As a combat medic attached to a Ranger team, Aspen is pretty impressive in her own right. She might be one of the few women who can not only handle Brain’s frequent deployments, but understand exactly how dangerous his missions can be. Bonus: she’s not turned off by his nerdy tendencies. It’s as if Aspen was made just for him.

Her ex disagrees. He’s not handling Aspen’s rejection well, or her deepening relationship with Brain. Being thrown over for a Delta is humiliating, and he’ll do anything to make her regret it.



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Aspen is dealing with her ex Derek when Brain walks into the bar to meet up with his teammates. She totally surprises him by throwing her arms around him and in a whisper offers him twenty bucks to kiss her. He does but in a way that surprises them both, and totally pisses off Derek. Brain brings her over to his team as Derek leaves, and then to his delight she fits right in. A combat medic she can identify with not only the women in this group but also the men. The men were considerably impressed with her, knowing the kind of training she’s gone through all while taking care of her team and herself.

A favorite scene is at the end of this evening.

“Grover’s not exactly subtle,” Brain told her.

Aspen chuckled. “No, he’s not. But he means well.”

“He does.” Brain mentally smacked himself in the forehead. This wasn’t exactly how he’d wanted their first one-on-one conversation to go. No matter what Grover had said, Brain wasn’t a “ladies’ man.” He wasn’t “cool.” He was the brain. The smart guy. The one everyone turned to when they had a mystery that needed solving.

He was thirty years old, and he hadn’t even lost his virginity until he was twenty-four. He’d been out of his depth, socially; going to college so young meant most of the women avoided him like the plague. It wasn’t until he’d joined the Army and had gotten some independence that he’d managed to figure out how to fit in with men his own age a little better.

“I’m embarrassed that I didn’t ask earlier, but you and your friends…you aren’t Rangers, are you? Because if you are, I totally put my foot in my mouth earlier.”

Brain quickly shook his head. “No, we aren’t Rangers.”

“Thank God,” she breathed.

Brain continued before thinking. “We’re Delta.”

Aspen went completely still and stared at him with wide eyes. “Please tell me you’re kidding.”

“Nope. And I know you know this, but please don’t share that with anyone.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t. No way. And…oh, shit, I’m such a dork.”

“No, you aren’t,” Brain told her immediately. She was anything but a dork.

“I am! You were going on and on about how hard Ranger training is, and I know you guys have been through much worse.”

“It’s not a competition,” Brain told her.

She tilted her head as she studied him.

“What?” Brain asked.

“You aren’t like most men in special forces I’ve met. Neither are your friends, for that matter.”

“In what way?”

Aspen shrugged. “It’s just that…you’re so down-to-earth.”

“You’ve been hanging around those asshole Rangers too long,” Brain retorted.

She grinned. “They’re not all assholes.”

“Derek is,” Brain told her.

Her grin widened. “True. Thank you for helping me earlier. I’m usually not so forward, but—”

“But he was being a dick, and you were desperate,” Brain finished for her.

“Maybe not desperate,” Aspen countered. Then she dipped her head and raised her eyes shyly. “Maybe I took one look at you and liked what I saw, and figured I could kill two birds with one stone.”

It took a minute for her words to sink in, and when they did, Brain was shocked.
Stoker, Susan. Shielding Aspen (Delta Team Two Book 3) (Kindle Locations. 178-203). Stoker Aces Production, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Aspen and Brain continue to start a relationship as both of them have training that is ramping up for possible deployment.

Brain gets to see her at her worst when it appears her team’s lead enters a bit of competition with Derek’s team. Pushing harder and harder and ignoring basic health and safety of their teams. Only made worse when her team doesn’t have her back.

It’s quite the shift when Aspen is the one who has to leave a get together because she is being deployed. It gives Brain and his team a startling and personal example of how it is for wives and girlfriends. He also understands how Trigger and Lefty must feel when their team gets deployed.

Things don’t improve in Aspen’s deployment if anything they get worse. Derek doesn’t take the news that the Delta’s would be coming in to assist in finding the threat he’s looking for. His actions once the Delta team arrives put things in a whole new light as things go a bit FUBAR. It becomes quite the turning point for this book.

I loved the interaction with Annie and Ghost’s team at a base family event. Aspen definitely gets a look at how a team is supposed to work and it helps Annie understand some things as well.

All the things that Aspen goes through makes this book a bit different from the others in Susan’s series. Having Aspen not only in the military but attached to Rangers puts her in a unique position. One that enables Susan to put the spotlight on how misogynic the Army and Special forces can be. Mind you not everyone is that way but it is still an issue.

There’s fun, laughter and tears as well as some ups and downs for Brain and Aspen and there’s also hints at the future books in this series. I truly can’t wait for the next one!

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Coming Soon!


Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

Susan Stoker is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her series include Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, Delta Force Heroes, and Mountain Mercenaries. Married to a retired Army non-commissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri and California to Colorado and Texas—and currently lives under the big skies of Tennessee. A true believer in happily ever after, Stoker enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love. To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website, or find her on Facebook. Links below.

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Vampire in Charge – Family Bloods Ties Book 10 By Dale Mayer

Vampire in Charge
Family Blood Ties Book 10
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer



Teenage vampires Tessa and Cody and human Jared believed they’d stopped the war Old World vampires had waged on humans, intent on setting up underground blood farms to provide them with a never-ending feeding source.

Tessa and Cody looked forward to seeing their love come to fruition and sharing a long, uneventful life together. But, as the hard work the peaceful vampire clans and their allies had undertaken unravels all over again, another startling secret to top all previous secrets comes to light.

How can the three of them know who to trust when literally everyone seems to have something to hide?


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At the end of the last book we saw the epic battle Tessa has with Deanna in her mind. Tessa is not going to tolerate Deanna taking her over, not at all. Now Tessa thinks she has everything figured out, but does she?

Rhia has found Seth, but he’s unconscious. With Ian and Wendy at her side and Jared keeping an eye on Seth the battles begin. They have one more thing to accomplish, find the new batch of humans, specifically Clarissa. Jared won’t leave until he finds her and knows she’s going to be safe. In another part of this unholy place, Goran has entered with the human army. In their hurry to be heroes, they rushed into a trap and they are all out cold. Well all but Goran, he’s fighting the attackers and Serus is on his way to help.

Cody and Tessa find they need to get the current Council members up and functioning in order to vote out the retired members who had been woken. Those elders coming back into power is not an option, they need to be stopped. That’s when the discover an anomaly. Terry claims to be a deceased Councilman’s son, but Tessa senses something wrong with him. Something too innocent for his age, too unaware, very likely a clone. Leaving Terry with Jameson they step outside for some air only to discover the attack they were waiting for was coming.

This is a favorite scene.

Tessa stood in the open doorway, watching as the wave of vamps approached. They were minutes out. She knew everyone was scurrying to safety below. It was like a bad movie. She should be slamming the doors shut, but all she could think about was that there had to be a better way.

Sure, David had gone to get the gas and that was a great idea – if the gas gave a shit who got caught up in its spray.

No, there were rumblings in the back of her head that were not clear enough to understand. She thought it might be both Deanna and Hortran screaming at her to run. If she died – they died. And that wasn’t what they wanted either.

Back inside, she shut down the double doors and raced up to the apartment at the top. Beast stayed with her. She’d lost Cody, who was helping to search the upstairs and make sure everyone was down safe below.

Everyone but her.

And why is that, Cody asked in her head. Why is it that everyone is going below and you’re going up.

I can’t help but think that if everyone is below and they blow up the building up, everyone dies.

What? He cried out in alarm. We’re deliberately sending them below to safety.

Then someone, Sian maybe, needs to lead everyone through to the tunnels. In case the building does go down.

She could hear his thoughts spin.

Okay, I’ll send everyone forward. If this is going in that direction, it is better to be safe. We do have a lot of injured here though that can’t be moved.

I know she said softly. And that’s maybe what they are counting on.

Motre is searching the various floors and sending everyone below. David has the gas hooked up, but he needs me here so you can tell me when they get into the building.

I can do that.

Are they close?

One hundred meters, less.

Give me the countdown as I’m now standing right beside him.

She watched, knowing the timing was everything. The ground was black as they ran toward the Hall.

Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five.

Several men started to scramble up the stairs, a feral look of hate on their faces. She lifted her gaze to the horizon.


Dozens of flyers.

What? Cody roared. Damn it, Tessa, get out of there. It’s not safe.

I’m as safe as anyone at this moment, she said.

No, you’re not. His voice roared through her head.

Three. Men started to pour into the Hall.

Two. She could see the back end of the black wave. They were almost all inside.

As the last tumbled through the double doors, she dropped down to the front entrance and shut the doors then screamed, One!

And she jumped to the windowsill on the first floor and climbed her way up to where Beast waited for her. Did it work? She watched from the apartment deck, knowing the flyers were approaching. She had already chosen a hiding spot out on the deck, up between the rafters. She moved into position. She didn’t know how fast the gas would take effect or if it was even the killing kind.

She hoped so.

Having to skewer all those men would be horrific and emotionally deadly.

But there were dozens of flyers landing around her now. So far, no one had seen her. Beast was inside the apartment and the doors were wide open.

They should see him as one of them.

He was, after all, their creation.

But not all creations were thankful for the master’s handiwork. Beast wanted to rip their heads off – he was just waiting for the chance.

She’d happily give it to him, but on her terms. Not a wild bite fest.

Beast snarled.

The vamp closest to him snorted. “They made some really ugly specimens, didn’t they?”

As if understanding, the tempo of Beast’s snarl deepened. The vamp snorted and walked past. “Good thing they are on our side.”

“Still, don’t trust them,” another flyer said. “They creep me out.”

“Not to worry. The specimens die after a few days. They’re a weapon with a short life term.”

Tessa sucked back her breath. Beast was going to die? On his own? No, her mind screamed. That wasn’t fair.

She’d come to love that dog…wolf…whatever it was. He had heart. And he was different. She could relate to both of those. And she’d do her damnedest to save him. If possible.

But it would have to wait until they got through this mess. If they got through.

She took a deep breath and locked her arms, making them stronger to keep her in position above the men.

She slipped into her mind and powered up all that energy that she’d accessed before. She could sense Hortran’s approval and Deanna’s frustration.

They were both waiting for her to do something, but she knew she had to be in the right space mentally to make this natural and…easy.

She’d been running hot when she’d walked through the hallway and wiped out all the enemy. Then it had happened naturally. But right now she hadn’t been fighting, wasn’t on alert, and…was more tired than she remembered being in a long time.

Therein lay the problem.

Digging deep, she spread her energy outward, thin yet vibrant. She stretched far and wide, connecting to the ceiling, the walls. Where she connected physically, she blended on an energetic level. Then spread out more. Inside the wood, inside the metals, through the air to each of the men below. As she reached for them, she released a deep sigh and released her breath, then flicked each of the flyers in the heart.

One by one, they fell.

Like dominos.

“Whoa, Jake?” One man on the rooftop raced inside. “What’s wrong?”

Tessa continued to stretch, to float through the air, intent on sprawling to the skies, feeling a weightlessness in her inner being. She was connected, to nature, to the inanimate objects, the animate objects. Beast lay down on the floor below her. She was careful to connect in a loving way. When he rolled over onto his back, she caressed his belly. His tongue lolled to the side. She pulled down and gave him a warm hug then carried on to the other side where a half dozen flyers were staring down over the rooftop, oblivious to the silent attack behind them. She swept out a long strand of energy and sent bolts into their hearts. One by one, silent and lethal, they dropped to the rooftop. Dead.

From her hiding position, she searched for signs of life. And found her rooftop empty. She started to lower herself down when something stopped her. She froze, her senses tingling.

Cody was approaching.

Where are you? he asked.

Can you see me?

I can…I see something. It’s me.

I’m here, there, and everywhere.

I see a rooftop littered with bodies. Are you hurt? he asked in a sharp voice.

No, she said softly. I’m fine.

He landed. She could feel his arrival like a ripple into her energy field as he was absorbed into them, one of her. Part of her. One with her. As always.

She slowly unhooked herself from the roof and stretched, feeling herself, soul, heart moving outward.

Calm. Controlled. Endless.

“Hey,” Cody stood in front of her. “You sure you’re okay?”

She gave him a sweet smile. “I feel great. Do you know how everyone is down below?”

“I doubt anyone is left alive,” he admitted. “I just hope our people are safe.”

“They feel like they are. I can sense life way below us,” she said in a low tone as she walked to the edge of the roof. She felt odd. Spacey. Not bad, but light. Connected to the universe around her. And it was so damn special.

“We need to go to the source of where they came from. Are you up for that?”

She closed her eyes and turned in the direction the wave of vampires had come from. The energy was thick and dark but very easy to track.

“Let’s go,” And she dropped over the roof to the ground several stories below.

“Wait,” Cody roared. “You can’t fly.”

Cody flew over the edge to the vast space below, his heart hammering in shock. She’d just jumped over. For a glider, that was a crazy ass distance. For anyone else, it was suicide.


Her laughter floated toward him. He shook his head. His own knees were crying out at the landing she had coming up.

He flew lower, faster, intent on swooping down and grabbing her before she hit hard, only to find she was floating down gently. She landed softly then called up to Beast, “Jump.”

And in shock, Cody watched as Beast jumped off the rooftop apartment with a complete lack of fear. Cody flew up, snagged him mid-fall, and lowered the massive animal to the ground.

“You didn’t expect him to land softly, did you?” Cody asked, turning to study Tessa. She had a distant look in her eye. “Or did you learn to fly in a way that not even I can? And then have the dog fly with you.”

“I don’t know what I expected. I just know that it was all going to be fine. And it was.” She smiled. “He might have landed okay, I might have saved him, but neither instance had a chance to happen as you stepped in and changed it.”
Mayer, Dale. Vampire in Charge (Family Blood Ties Series Book 10) (Kindle Locations 1218-1289). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

That wasn’t the end though, Tessa and Cody follow the energy from the army they just destroyed to the source.

Meeting up again with her family, Ian, Wendy, Goran and Jared, they reiterate the need for them to return to Council Hall before the elders take back control. Goran and Jared find Clarissa, attached to machines and unconscious like all the other humans they found there. Jared won’t leave her side, not this time.

It’s at Council Hall that things get even more tense and intriguing as this book begins to wrap everything up. Deanna and Hortran leave a very interesting legacy for the council to discover as well.

Another action-paced, suspenseful read with a touch of romance. The perfect ending to this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!



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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Vampire In Control – Family Blood Ties Book 9 by Dale Mayer

Vampire in Control
Family Blood Ties Book 9
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer



Could life get any worse? Teenage vampire Tessa isn’t so sure it can. She’s caught in a web of Deanna’s cruel making, forced into an alternate reality she isn’t sure where she fits into or how to escape.

The love of her life Cody sees their lives deteriorating as he struggles to save her from secrets that, like poison, have festered. When the truth comes to light, there will be hell to pay, and he knows only that he has to be there when it does.

In a maze of lies and deceit, the path to a safe haven is shrouded, how close they are to the door is impossible to see from any distance. Survival may depend on newly awakened powers Tessa isn’t sure she possesses and, if she does, can even control.


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A the end of the last book we finally learn Bart’s secrets and see his true self. That’s also when Cody and Tessa realize Deanna is a bigger problem than they thought. Jared, Ian and Wendy get attacked in the Council Hall basement, you know that’s not good.

Tessa needs to take total control back, but she’s not exactly sure how to do that and be sure Deanna can never her take over again. The whole Deanna thing is messing with Cody, he loves Tessa but he’s having a lot of trouble with that whole takeover thing.

Rhea discovers she hadn’t yet sent Seth away, and when she’s about to hide out to hitch a ride to the blood farm, she discovers Ian, Wendy and Jared in the back of the van. Jared does manage to send a text out before he can’t move anymore. Rhia knows has to somehow protect them and find Seth.

Serus is recovering from being stabbed by Bart, that he lived at all was all Tessa and her new ability to manipulate energy. Of course he isn’t going to stay down, Rhia’s his wife, Seth is his son, one way or another he wants to get to them both.

David finally finds Jewel and when he hears about the ambush where Jared’s phone led Tessa, Cody and Motre, he believes it’s an attempt to get everyone away from Council Hall.

Sending their father’s back to the Council Hall, Cody and Tessa with Motre decide to go the long way there. Through the tunnel from the hospital to the Hall. Traveling through the tunnel they make a startling discovery of yet another form of experiments the blood farms have been doing. Dogs or wolf-dog hybrids trained to attack, they die with silver too. In largest of these animals Tessa saw enough light to cure him.

This is a favorite scene.

And Cody realized something else. This strong beautiful woman in front of him was still the gentle, caring Tessa that had gone after her own people to save a friend. And now that she’d come up against a dog that had been abused by the enemy and turned against her, she was still trying to save it.

“You can’t save it,” Motre cried out in frustration. “We just killed the rest of these evil bastards.”

“I can see its energy. It was bigger than the others. They gave him the same amount of drugs as the others instead of basing it on body weight.”

Cody shook his head, trying to understand. “So he’s not turned?”

“He’s been turned into this, but the original dog is still in there.”

“Dog or wolf?” Motre snapped. “Even if you could fix him, he’s still going to be dangerous as hell.”

“Maybe and maybe not,” Tessa said quietly. “What if I could heal him?”

And she lay down on the cement floor in front of the dog.

Both Motre and Cody jumped forward to protect her, but she held up her hand. The dog stopped bristling and snarling. He walked over slowly to stand over her.

With his breath caught in the back of his throat, Cody could barely stand still when the dog, calmer, not so killerish looking, whimpered whimpered and lay down beside her.

And laid its head on her ribs.

“Holy crap,” Motre whispered.

Cody watched as she gently reached out a hand and stroked the dog’s fur and seemed to continue the stroke out into the air. And he understood. She was moving the darkness away from the animal. Cleaning it of the damaging poison that had turned it into a killer. The dog slowly turned less black and more silvery gray as Tessa worked. The animal whimpered several times while she worked.

Just when Cody figured that Motre was going to say something about being short on time, Tessa laid a hand on the back of the dog’s neck and slowly sat up. The dog’s head slid down to her lap, but he made no move to stand up and leave. Or to stop her. Sitting, Tessa checked out the dog’s energy a little further. “I think he’ll be okay now.”

“Think?” Motre scoffed. “The penalty is high if you’re wrong.”

“Not really. Just a bite. And I’ll heal.”

Talking quietly to the dog, she carefully stood up. The dog stood up with her, apparently not willing to be separated. Cody stared down at the huge dog and wondered what had happened to it. “What could they have done that turned these dogs into killers? And surely there would have been easier weapons. Although it is hard to imagine one with greater shock value.”

“It’s the genetic experiments and drugs,” she said quietly. “They are growing some, snatching others off the streets, and perverting them into this. But this guy appears to be slowly recovering. I wonder if he wasn’t as badly treated or hadn’t been under their control for very long that I could still see the essence of who he was.”

“Well, how about you shoo him away and let’s get moving?”

The dog slowly turned his massive head to stare at Motre, a horrific growl sliding out the back of his throat.


Motre hastily shifted back several steps. Tessa casually reached down one hand and placed it on the dog’s head. He subsided instantly.

Cody stared at Tess. “Did you just tell it to stop that?”

“Sure. He’s well-trained.”

Motre snorted. “That’s what you call it?”

She smiled. “He’s less certain of you because he can feel your fear.”

“And can you feel his fear?” Cody asked curiously. “He’s huge and dangerous if you can’t control him.”

“I don’t know that I can control him, but I can communicate with him somewhat.”

“If he goes after me, I will kill him,” Motre snapped.

“If he goes after you, it will be because he’s afraid that you’ll go after him and he’s only defending himself.”

This was an interesting twist. “What are you going to do with him?” Cody asked. “I’m not sure you can keep him as a pet. He’s hardly pet material. Look at the size of him. His head is almost at your waist. The jaws on that thing…” He left the sentence unfinished. The other dogs hadn’t been quite so big or so bad-looking or as mean-looking. But they’d been deadly. And they’d been killed. He had no idea what to do with the dog now. And would it even die the same way as the others had? “Why did the dogs die by silver? That makes no sense.”

“It’s the genetic material they injected into the dogs,” she said. “Vampire blood. Makes them hungry for more, and yet is affected by silver and sunlight the same as we are. They are trying to make these animals perfect so they can replicate them. I’d say these were the first ones tested, so they don’t know how the injections work on them yet.”

“The spikes should have made them bleed out as any normal injury would to a dog, not explode like vampires though.”

“I’m wondering if they didn’t switch the blood in their veins with vampire blood,” she said quietly, staring down at the massive dog beside her. He seemed content to wait for her to make the next move. He wasn’t exactly sure yet, but he suspected she had gained a pet.

“Can we go now?” Motre strode in the direction the dogs had come from. “I’d like to make sure there are no more of those psycho animals to scare the bejesus out of everyone at the Council Hall.”

“Good point.” Tessa walked to the door. The dog remained sitting where she’d left him. Cody watched and wondered. Tessa got to the door, turned back to the dog, and raised an eyebrow. She looked at him and said, “Well?”

And the dog loped toward her like an obedient puppy—only ten times the size.

Jesus. Could this day get any weirder?
Mayer, Dale. Family Blood Ties: Books 7-9 (pp. 589-592). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Serus takes command unwilling at Council Hall while Goran leads the human army to where they believe the entrance to the blood farm is.

A tower room holds some interesting clues and Tessa gets an idea of who might be in charge. The elders who were council members are called in by Jameson causing quite the uproar. Fearing a vote that could take them all back to the dark ages Sian and the others work to find all the council members still alive.

It’s become a battle of not only the enhanced vampires, but also time as this book springs surprise after surprise on us.

I’m starting the final book in this series. I am so very thankful this is a completed series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!



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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Amazon Author Page