Gavin – The Mavericks Book 11 By Dale Mayer


What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:

The Mavericks
A covert black ops team that steps up
and breaks all the rules …
but gets the job done.

Welcome to a new military romance series by USA Today best-selling author Dale Mayer. A series where you meet new friends and just might get to meet old ones too in this raw and compelling look at the men who keep us safe every day from the darkness where they operate—and live—in the shadows … until someone special helps them step into the light.

Gavin
The Mavericks Book 11
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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When four members of one family-owned corporation are kidnapped off the streets in Honolulu, Gavin’s intel says this is a corporate espionage case … but is it?

There’s not much to like about this case. Too many people are involved, … including an old friend of Gavin’s. But, as Gavin digs deeper into the motives of the suspect pool, events get uglier, and bodies start to fall.

Rosalina has no idea how she ended up in this nightmare, but all she cares about is her ailing parents who have been separated from her and her sister. Even when she and her sister are freed, Rosalina finds no sign of their mother or father. Trying to rescue them means deciphering friend from foe …

It comes down to the wire as this close family corporation falls apart, revealing the core of darkness inside, … and leaves Gavin and Rosalina struggling to stay safe as enemies work to take out them both.

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As is usual Gavin doesn’t get much time between help with an assignment and getting his own. Lennox is vague as he gives Gavin an envelope with his assignment, and hints at a friend joining him. Shane actually joins him right as he’s settling in on the destroyer that is the first leg of his journey. A business man his wife and their two adult daughters have disappeared. Now Gavin and Shane have to find them and figure who and why. When they arrive in Honolulu they are met by Steve Arbrey, Gavin know him from his service but he is also the older daughter, Melinda’s fiancé.

In an interesting turn of events, Rosalina and Melinda escape and are able to contact Steve through the gracious use of a man’s cell phone. The man and his friend wait with them until Steve arrives with Gavin and Shane. Steve takes Melinda back to the hotel and Rosalina shows Gavin and Shane where they were held before returning to the hotel. Gavin questions her about the family business on the way. Trident was created because Melinda was born without a leg.

Rosalina is much younger and she is considered the product of contraceptive failure, an ‘accident’. Although she works for the company she is all about research and development and has no patience for the politics of the other side of the business. She’s very intense and in some ways naïve in the ways of the world. Gavin finds her intriguing as she insists on helping while Melinda is being pampered by Steve.

Gavin is furious when Shane returns to the hotel room without having questioned Melinda and he leaves to do just that. The results of that conversation leave him both frustrated and suspicious.

They finally get information on vehicles in the area where they picked up the girls and are going to follow where they lead. Of course Rosalina isn’t going to stay behind.

This is a favorite scene.

“Somebody must have seen something,” Gavin said. He shoved the last piece of steak into his mouth and hopped up. “Time to find out exactly who and what.”

She shoveled her food down as fast as she could, hating that such a great meal was not getting treated as such. But she would not be left behind. As they walked toward the door, she grabbed several of the muffins and croissants, put them in a bag before placing them in her purse, and raced after them.

At the door Gavin turned, stopped, and shook his head. “Hell no.”

“Hell yes,” she said. “Nonnegotiable.”

“And what benefit is there,” he said, putting his hands on his hips, “to having you with me?”

“I don’t know,” she said, “but there will be one. I promise.”

He snorted at that. “No, you’ll be in the way.”

“I will not,” she said defiantly.

He glared, but Shane laughed and said, “Come on. Let’s go, or I’m leaving you both. We don’t have time to debate it.” And, by then, she’d locked her door and moved quickly behind them. “Do we tell the others?”

Gavin looked at her and said, “Steve picked us up. In a government vehicle.”

Immediately her lips pinched together. “Do you think he’s involved?”

“I have no idea,” he said. “I sure hope not. I’ve known him for a long time.”

She nodded. “I’ve known him for a couple years at least. He doesn’t seem like the type.”

“No, but you also don’t know who and what might have yanked his chain.”

“I don’t think people yank his chain much,” she said cautiously.

“Really?” he asked. “How do you see the relationship between Steve and Melinda? Because, from what I saw today, he’s a man who’s had his chain yanked pretty damn hard.”

That shut her up. She hated to even think that Steve was involved, but the innuendo in Gavin’s words meant that he also wondered if her sister was involved. Rosalina tried to be dispassionate as she thought about her sister, and Melinda’s potential involvement in something like this. It was just so not her. Her sister wasn’t into this level of drama or pain, but she was very much into glory. So could Melinda have twisted this into something to put her face back on the front page again? “I don’t know why she would have had anything to do with this.”

“She?”

Shane asked, as they took the elevator down to the lower floor. She glared at him. “If Steve is involved, then I’m automatically thinking that potentially Melinda is too.”

“Oh, interesting that you would bring that up,” Gavin said, “because, yeah, I did wonder.”

“Of course you did,” she said. “I don’t know why you would have even gotten to that though. What does she get out of it?”

“That is my question to you,” he said.

“I can’t see that she gets anything out of it,” she replied. “She’s already high up in the company. She’s already the apple of their eye.”

“Would that have changed?”

“I don’t know what you mean.” She was led to a small car and given the back seat. She took it eagerly, happy to be in the background and to watch everything going on. When Gavin failed to explain, she asked him, “What do you mean by that?”

Gavin drove, but he looked at her in the rearview mirror. “Do you think there was a falling-out between your parents and your sister? Was there any reason for them to be changing Melinda’s role within the company? Were they setting up a trust or something similar, and potentially she would not be getting as much as she thought she should?”

“I don’t know why,” she said in bewilderment. “And, if something like that were going on, I don’t know anything about it.”

“Are you privy to family discussions of that nature?”

“Only if they involve me,” she said. “Just because I’m not the favorite doesn’t mean that I’m despised or hated or not wanted.”

At the men’s silence, she hoped they at least understood the point she was trying to make.

“But maybe there was some recognition of an imbalance in the relationship,” Shane said slowly, as he twisted around to look at her. “What are the chances that your sister wouldn’t have liked that?”

“Hell no, she wouldn’t have liked it,” Rosalina said. “But that doesn’t mean she would do something this serious about it.”

“What would it take for your sister to do something serious?”

“Something like kidnap my parents?” she cried out in horror. “I can’t imagine.”

“Well, spend the next few minutes while we drive,” Gavin invited, “and just think about it. What would be a worst-case scenario that would cause your sister to do something so drastic?”

Rosalina sat back, hating to even contemplate it. But, of course, the answer was obvious— if her parents were cutting her off. If they kicked her out of the company, and she was demoted out of the family for whatever reason. But Rosalina couldn’t imagine that ever happening.

“I know what you’re trying to say,” she said, “but I just can’t see how something like this would even be possible.”

“Well, you haven’t told us what we’re talking about yet,” Gavin said. “So what are you saying?”

“I can’t imagine,” she said, “that she would ever get kicked out of the family or the company.”

“Interesting, but is that really what it would take?”

“Absolutely,” she said, “that is what it would take.”

“Okay, something to understand then.”

“No,” she said, “not at all. There’s nothing to understand because that scenario would never happen.”

They just nodded silently, sharing a quick look.

She couldn’t stop shaking her head. “I don’t think you understand what I’m trying to say.”

“Maybe not,” Gavin said, “but potentially something is there.”

She shook her head harder. “What’s her relationship like with her children?”

“She loves them,” Rosalina said, glad that she could at least reinforce that relationship. “She’s a good mom.”

“Okay,” he said. “So she’s a devoted mother.”

“Good,” Shane said. “What about as a wife?”

“No,” she said, “not so much there. But I don’t know all the details. I don’t have the kind of relationship with her that we would talk about something like that.”

“Right,” he said, “but every detail, no matter how small, is important.”

“I wish you would look at other suspects though.”

“But your sister makes such a good one,” Gavin said drily. “She’s so positive and so helpful and so worried about your parents.”

She winced. “When you talked to her, she was really bad, wasn’t she?”

“Yes, she was. Actually she gave me a much deeper insight into what your life would have been like in the family.”

“You only saw her in this mood,” she said. “You haven’t seen her when she’s all sweet and sunshine.”

“I can’t even fathom that side of her. If so, she’s very much a split personality, isn’t she?”

“Not clinically though,” she said. “I hate to say it, but there is a bit of a manipulative person inside.”

Gavin snorted, and she sank back, realizing that he already understood her sister a whole lot more than most people ever did. She wondered at that. It wasn’t just that her sister managed to keep the ugliness inside; her parents knew of this but never saw it. They had only ever seen the bright sunshiny child who they loved and raised. They were doting parents, receiving all that sweet sunshine that Melinda had to give.

And Rosalina understood that, since she had been deemed the interloper, she hadn’t seen the same sweetness from Melinda that her parents had seen. So it made for a very confusing childhood as Rosalina tried to figure out what was wrong with her. And no way to get an answer now or back then. When she realized the men were exchanging hard glances, yet nobody was talking, she leaned forward and whispered, “What’s the matter?” Shane, his voice intentionally against her ear, whispered, “Looks like we’re being followed.”

Before she could turn and look, he anticipated the move and grabbed her face. “Don’t turn around. Listen. Stay crouched down a bit, just in case.”

“Just in case, what?” she asked.

And, in that moment, the window behind her shattered.
Dale Mayer. Gavin (Kindle Locations 949-1020). Valley Publishing Ltd.

Things start heating up quickly from the moment they are being followed to the end of the book. Each page offers more clues as to what’s going on and when everything comes to a head it’s truly mind-blowing.

I love the way the relationship between Gavin and Rosalina slowly gathers steam. These two are so very perfect for each other.

I can’t wait to read Shane’s story!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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Tuesday’s Child – Psychic Visions Book 1 By Dale Mayer


Tuesday’s Child
Psychic Visions Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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What she doesn’t want…
is exactly what he needs.

Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can’t control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she’s tapped into a killer–or rather, his victims. Each woman’s murder, blow-by-blow, ravages her mind until their death releases her back to her body. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her?

Detective Brandt Sutherland only trusts hard evidence, yet Sam’s visions offer clues he needs to catch a killer. The more he learns about her incredible abilities, however, the clearer it becomes that Sam’s visions have put her in the killer’s line of fire. Now Brandt must save her from something he cannot see or understand…and risk losing his heart in the process.

As danger and desire collide, passion raises the stakes in a game Sam and Brandt don’t dare lose.

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This book was a special on the author’s website a while ago and I couldn’t resist. I had started this series at the end instead of the beginning, so now I am starting the first three books in a bundle.

Samantha Blair has unusual vision, she actually manifests the injuries of the victim. This book opens with one such vision and I truly felt sorry for her. In the thrall of the vision she sees a ring, one she has seen before and now does her best to commit the details of it to memory. In spite of previous interactions with the police being very stressful and frightening she was determined to bring this information. The ring was important and although not admissible the energy of the assailant was the same. She really isn’t surprised when the outcome of her meeting was much the same, doubt and suspicion. In a rush to leave she runs into a man, apologizes and continues on her way.

Brandt Sutherland is the detective she ran into. A visiting detective trying to find the evidence to create a serial killer task force. He has several murders he’s convinced are the same killer and would like to put these cases to rest. When he inquires about her identity from Kevin Bresson he isn’t surprised that Kevin has dismissed her as crazy. He doesn’t judge so quickly being friends with a renowned psychic Stefan Kronos. It’s when Kevin mentions a ring, he knows this woman is a valid psychic and she’s witnessed his nemesis kill again. After reading Kevin’s notes and then the scene that was reported, Brandt goes to see Samantha with questions of his own.

Samantha has another vision, and in spite of the fact it’s a car crash she senses the presence of the same energy as the murders. Now since I’ve read the later Psychic Vision books I knew right away who the man she saw in her vision was, however, she believes it was a loved one come to escort her to the other side. She documents the vision and after much consideration calls Brandt.

After Brandt validates her information about the crash and visits her again.

This is a favorite scene.

“Do you want a cup of tea?”

He’d rather have a coffee, yet with no coffeemaker in sight, there didn’t appear to be much choice. And her offer could be deemed a definite step forward in the social game. Even for a prickly female like her.

“Thank you. I’d appreciate that.”

He watched as she pulled out a teapot and teabags from the cupboard. She never made idle chitchat or unnecessary movements. Economical all the way. She fascinated him. He couldn’t think of another person like her. He walked over and sat on the same sofa as last time. “This is a nice place.”

“I like it.”

“Have you been here long?”

She shot him a suspicious look. “You mean you don’t know already?”

His lips quirked. “I’d like you to tell me.”

Samantha shrugged. “I’ve been here close to six months now.”

“And before that.”

She rolled her eyes. “Before that, I was somewhere else.”

“Of course you were,” he murmured. Her full history had been on his desk half an hour after he’d learned the details of the car accident she’d ‘seen.’ It hadn’t taken long as there’d been little to add to what he already knew. Today’s accident had opened doors for him. He wanted to learn the extent she was willing to fill in the missing details.

“Did you sabotage her car?”

She froze in the act of pouring water into the teapot. Her back went rigid. Fury visibly radiated through her bunched shoulders, rage-like waves he could almost touch. Ever so slowly, she finished filling the pot and replaced the kettle on the stove. Just as slowly, she turned around.

Brandt prepared to be blasted and found himself stunned at the pain evident in her eyes. Anger, yes, but he’d also hurt her. He grimaced. Damn, he’d judged that badly. He couldn’t figure her out and had automatically tried to shock her out of her silence. Instead, it appeared he’d locked her deeper inside.

“I’m sorry. I had to ask.”

She stared down at the kitchen floor, the muscles in her jaw twitching. She walked to the small fridge and pulled out a carton of milk. After a long moment, she shuddered once before answering, “When I have these visions, I’m not on the outside looking in. I’m inside these people staring out.” She shot him a look. “Believe me, it would be much easier if it were the other way around.”

That was understandable. If what she said were true, she must experience what they experience. He didn’t think that included the pain – no one could stand that. Still, being inside must forge a personal connection. And how hard would that be given the eventual outcome?

He waited until she’d brought his tea. “Can you do this at will?”

“No.” Did that make it better or worse? Brandt stayed silent. She didn’t offer any more information. “What about controlling it?”

“I wish.”

“So, what can you do?”

“Endure.” She bit her lip afterward, but it was too late. The word had slipped out.

God. Brandt paused, cup midway to the table. So softly spoken, the word said so much. He stared at her. She didn’t like her gift. She hadn’t learned to live with it yet. Or to control it. It controlled her. A rush of sympathy washed through him. Gifts like these, if real, were very unforgiving.

Few people had strong psychic abilities. Of those, some went insane. Some survived – barely, and a select few learned to control them and lived quite well. From what he’d seen, she could be one of the stronger ones. Except without the control, she was dangerous. Very dangerous.

Stefan had often extolled the dangers of psychic power without training. Brandt narrowed his eyes. Maybe Stefan could help her. If she’d accept any help. He stared at her in consideration.

Uncontrollable power was a disaster waiting to happen.

He should get the hell out and not come back. Even as he thought it, he knew he wouldn’t. He couldn’t. He needed to learn more about her. To understand her. After confirming the details of this morning’s accident, he was willing to buy into her story as a psychic. But his personal interest bothered him. Especially when his better judgment told him to leave her alone.

She sipped her tea, apparently comfortable under the intensity of his gaze. She didn’t fidget, move around, or make artificial conversation.

“Well,” she asked. “Did you make up your mind?”

He lowered his cup. “About what?”

“Whether to believe me or not.”

“I’m willing to believe up to this point. Your information checked out on the car accident and until I find out otherwise, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.”

“Gee, thanks.” She peered over the rim of her teacup, derision in her voice.

Exasperated, he said, “You can’t expect me to jump for joy over all of this. I’m a cop. I like things to be cut, dried, and clear. I also know that it rarely happens. So if there is information that can help, then I will listen and say thank you.”

She stared at him, a frown between her brows.

He had no idea what she was thinking. Samantha had the odd distinction of being the only person to throw him off balance every one last question. “Is there any particular trigger for the visions?”

That caught her off guard. She stared at him, her eyes flat. “Yes.”

“And that is?” he asked.

“Violence.”
Dale Mayer. Psychic Visions Books 1–3 (Kindle Locations 904-956). Dale Mayer.

With that visit he leaves her with Stefan’s phone number, hoping she’ll contact him. The uncontrolled visions could be dangerous to her. He doesn’t know why he can’t get her out of his mind, knowing he should distance himself.

A lot happens in this book as we follow Samantha, as she travels through her days. Her work at the veternarian’s office is soothing to her as is her dog Moses and home in the middle of nowhere. She acquires a second dog the vet considers dangerous, but she has managed to build a bit of a rapport with him. The vet wanted to put him down, but she wasn’t going to give up on him. The visions keep happening and are changing. This frightens her but also gives her hope of this killer being caught.

Brandt in spite of being a bit skeptical, is drawn to her and arranges a meeting with her and Stefan. He’s definitely worried about her. There’s also some stuff going on at the police station that is causing chaos within.

I couldn’t put this book down, every page has clues and I love the way this relationship develops. Quite the unusual relationship but one that really makes perfect sense.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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Captive to the Kiss of the Wicked Duke: A Historical Regency Romance by Scarlett Osborne


Captive to the Kiss of the Wicked Duke
A Historical Regency Romance
By
Scarlett Osborne

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Lady Meredith Cluett hides a dark secret.

Blamed for her own mother’s murder, she has lived her life in misery and isolation. When she’s forced to attend a social event, accusing whispers follow her wherever she goes. Fleeing in panic, she comes across her passionate demise; the same Duke that has haunted her dreams for years.

Heath Fillion, the Duke of Catlemore, hates nobles with a passion. So much so that he steals and terrorizes them in hopes of erasing his childhood pain. Until a fateful night leads him straight in the path of the one lady he can’t help but wish to protect. And make her his.

Brought together by a thirst for revenge, the red string of fate binds them together in secrets and in love. Forced to shoulder the punishment for sins they never committed, they race to escape the shadow hunting them: a wolf in sheep’s clothing that holds the key to their past. And their deaths.

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There is a gang of bandits tormenting the upper class, robbing them in places where they normally feel safe. One of these men is very different than the rest. Heath Fillion, the Duke of Catlemore is one of this crew, his reasons are many, but mostly he enjoys it. He mostly partners with Phillip Gale whom he considers a dear friend, in spite of their class differences.

Lady Meredith, is the daughter of Lord William Cluett, the Earl of Pebblebrook. Her father wishes her to attend a ball, to perhaps maybe find a husband. She doesn’t want to, the whispers of the Ton can be cruel and she prefers the life of a recluse. It’s her maid who convinces her to go, forcing her to acknowledge that many years have passed so perhaps it has been forgotten. Unfortunately that is not the case and Meredith flees the ball.

She is discovered by the gang that includes Heath. When he sees her he can’t figure out why she would be in that warehouse, dressed for a ball. He also knows he must protect her, they had been very close once. Not knowing what else to do he brings her to his home. What ensues whether or not he realizes it, is courtship.

Meredith also begins to heal from her anxiety as he causes her temper to rise as it once did. She remembers the boy he once was and sometimes she even got a glimpse of that personality. She is still haunted by nightmares from her mother’s death though and that is why she tends to seek cold rather than warm.

When Heath leaves one evening before dinner she waits up for him but falls asleep in front of an open window. Heath finds her there and puts her to bed. The following morning at breakfast was quite surprising to her.

This is a favorite scene.

“Rather, she was sent to make you feel comfortable. It would not do to give you more reason to run away from this place.”

Meredith frowned. As they continued down the hallways, the sunlight bathed the left side of his face and casted the other side in its shadow. She saw a hint of his neck, and the lump bobbing in his throat. “You seem to be in a very pleasant mood today.”

“That I am. Would you like to know why, Doe Eyes?”

The name made her flush. “I am almost afraid to ask,” she confessed.

“But I will tell you, nonetheless. I wish to go for a walk through the gardens. Once we have had our fill of breakfast, we shall do so.”

Meredith came to a stop, her jaw hanging open. Heath turned to look at her. “We shall?” she echoed.

“Is that not what you wanted to do?” he asked her with a slightly confused frown.

“I did, but you were very adamant that you would not. What brought on this change? Did something happen?”

Heath only shook his head, waving her off. “Do not worry. Nothing happened. I have only decided to grant your simple request since you are a guest in my home.”

“Am I so much a guest as a prisoner?” she asked.

Heath looked down at her, but his steps didn’t slow, even as they began to descend the staircase. “Do not forget you were as willing to come here as I was to bring you, Doe Eyes.”

She nodded. Excitement was already thrumming through her and it was a struggle to keep it contained. She didn’t want to risk him taking back his words.

Just as they were about to turn in the direction of the drawing room, Meredith stopped him with a hand on his arm. He looked down at her hand and she jerked away, as if his skin had burned her. Suddenly, she was stumbling over her next words. “I would like to have my breakfast outside, please.”

Heath cocked his head to the side. She loved when he did that, she was beginning to realize. “My, you are a filled with requests lately, aren’t you?”

“Will you still have it with me?”

“I am a man of my word. And it will certainly make things easier.” It took short work for Heath to call for Francis, who set about ordering the maids to have the food be carried to the gardens.

Meredith chewed on her bottom lip as she made her way to the gardens, Heath by her side. She remembered playing with him in this garden as much as she remembered doing so in her own. She glanced up at him, wondering if he was remembering the same thing.

They made their way to the gazebo where their breakfast had been laid out. Meredith instantly felt a bit calmer. Now, there was a bit more distance between them and she could breathe in the brisk breeze.

Then, bracing herself, she asked, “Where did you go last night?”

Heath looked at her, pausing in the process of lifting his teacup to his lips. “How is that any of your business?” he asked.

She tampered down the urge to back off, forcing herself to say, “It is not. I am merely curious and I hope you comfortable enough with me to tell me.”

Heath narrowed his eyes slightly, then sighed. “You believe I was out stealing, don’t you? You need not worry. I merely had a meeting with a long-time business partner which ran later than I thought it would.”

Relief flooded her at his words. “Oh.”

“Were you waiting up for me?” he asked.

Meredith’s heart thudded at the question. She stared at him, watched as he casually plucked up a slice of toast and proceeded to spread jam on top. How did he know?

She contemplated lying, to save herself the embarrassment. But for some reason, that didn’t sit very well with her. So, she nodded, avoiding his eyes. “I was worried. It took you so long to return that I wondered if something might have happened. Or if you might have gotten up to something that you shouldn’t have.”

“Is that so?” She couldn’t ascertain what he was thinking. “So, that is the reason why you were sleeping in the drawing room.”

Meredith snapped her head up. “You spotted me?”

“I brought you to your bedchamber,” he announced with no remorse. He didn’t smile, but his eyes shone. “Do you not remember the things you said, Meredith?”

Meredith suddenly wished she could simply melt into the earth. “The things I said,” she whispered, even though there was no one close by. “What could I have possibly said?”

“My, you truly do not remember?” He shook his head sadly. “How indecent of you, Doe Eyes.”

“Oh, heavens, Heath, please do not beat around the bush and tell me what it is I said to you!”

Heath lifted his brows at her outburst. Meredith raised her hand to her lips. That was the second time now. The second time in years since she’d shown such strong emotions.

Then Heath grinned and she no longer felt so odd. “I am only jesting, Meredith. You said nothing of concern. You were simply mumbling that you were cold.”

Meredith sighed. That was fine. That, to him, meant nothing.

She finally found the strength to eat, and so she mimicked him, spreading preservatives on the tip of her toast. “I suppose it is a waste of my time to say this to you, Heath, but you cannot pick up a sleeping lady and carry her to her bedchamber in such an uncouth manner.”

“Yes, I should have left you be to fall ill,” he said idly.

Meredith flushed. “Thank you,” she murmured.

“You need not thank me. You were kind enough to stay there waiting for my return, so it is only right that I return your kindness.”

She felt a smile tug at her lips. “Then, there is something I would like to ask of you.”

“The answer is no,” he said so easily that she gasped.

“You have not even heard it.”

“I am certain I will say no to it, whatever it is.”

She folded her lips back, trying to think of the best way she could ask this. It was an unusual request coming from anyone, and would sound even odder from her. After a while, she decided it was best to simply say it. “I would like to accompany you when next you leave the manor.”

Heath looked genuinely taken aback by her words. “I am certain my answer to that will remain but I cannot help but wonder what would possess you to ask such a thing.”

“I do not plan to return to my father,” Meredith assured him. “There are still a few things I would like to do before then. I also do not intend to run away and reveal what I overheard at that abandoned building.”

“Then?”

“I simply wish to be amongst others.”

His frown deepened. “You have quite a knack for confusing me, it seems.”

“I… cannot explain it.” Or, at least, she couldn’t explain it well. “But now that I have met you again, I feel… different. I would like to see if that difference will appear amongst other people.”

Meredith pleaded with her eyes, praying he would take pity on her. To be able to talk to him like this, without being riddled with crippling anxiety, was enough to give her hope. She clung to that hope, wanted it to lift her above the dark cloud constantly hanging over her head. Heath was the only person who would be able to let that happen.
Scarlett Osborne. Captive to the Kiss of a Wicked Duke: A Steamy Regency Romance (Kindle Locations 1361-1424). Scarlett Osborne.

Heath refuses to take her with him, especially since he’s going with Phillip to do a job. Unfortunately she follows him. This becomes a turning point in this tale.

Plenty of suspense and intrigue as they discover each other’s inner secrets. Yet at some point she will have to return to her father.

This is a very interesting twist on a sort of kidnapping. I thoroughly enjoyed the growth of this relationship to the passionate one it becomes.

5 Contented Purrs for Scarlett!

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Born in the Sunshine State of Florida, but of both British and Nordic descent, Scarlett Osborne grew up reading historical romances from the land of her ancestors. Fascinated with the British society of the 1800s and armed with a wild imagination, she obtained a degree in Creative Writing and immediately started her career as a Regency romance author.

A daydreamer extraordinaire, Scarlett likes to jump in the shoes of her heroines, immersing herself in her own stories, living the adventures that she wished she had experienced as a child. An avid reader and fan of the outdoors, Scarlett spends her free time either reading or going on long horseback rides along with her two sons.

Get lost in a land of enchantment, where adventure and love await around every corner…Scarlett hopes that through her heroes, you too will get to live a whirlwind romance in the Regency era, when fairytales were real and all dreams possible!

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Desperately Inn Love with the Duchess: A Historical Regency Romance Novel by Patricia Haverton


Desperately Inn Love with the Duchess
A Historical Regency Romance Novel
By
Patricia Haverton

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She didn’t need him to save her, only to love her…

After losing her husband in the Napoleonic wars, Melody Balfour is left alone to run the Gentle Rose Inn. In a world built for men, she fights tooth and nail to stay afloat and love is the last thing on her mind. Until the day a dashing Duke strolls in…

A Duke that believes in women’s rights is rare, even more so one that advocates for them. Tired of the vapid girls he meets in high society, Zachariah Livingston, the Duke of Sandorne, is looking for more. And he finds her in the form of a strong-willed innkeeper.

When Zachariah goes missing, a ransom note is the only thing that maintains Melody’s hope of finding him. A hope, however, that seems futile when his family find themselves unable to pay. Desperate, Melody employs help that comes with strings attached. Strings that come in the form of the chain of a broken locket…

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Zachariah Livingston, the Duke of Sandorne has a problem with his mother the dowager Duchess. She wants him to marry, and produce an heir quickly. Now Zachariah doesn’t want just any bride, he wants someone he can converse with and not about frippery. One particular young lady has high hopes, but poor Zachariah can’t stand her vapid conversation.

Since his mother has started all this he has agreed to go to some balls, and at least make an effort to find a suitable young lady to wed. Zachariah and his steward Caleb Ridlington left the Dukes’s estate late in the day and decided to stop for the night a the Golden Rose Inn. The Duke is intrigued to find the proprietor to be a woman. They invite both the innkeeper Melody Balfour and her chef Betsy Lovell to join them for dinner and conversation. Caleb is quite charmed by Betsy as Zachariah and Betsy speak about her running the Inn. Although they leave early the next day in order to attend on of the ball’s they promise to return.

The Duke’s fascination and Caleb’s infatuation have them stopping once again at the Inn instead of traveling the full way back to the Duke’s estate. They enjoy lunch then retire to their room until dinner. As they are enjoying a before dinner drink some chaos ensues.

This just one of many favorite scenes.

“You need dinner first, Obadiah,” Melody had pleaded with the drunk.

“I am sick of you women trying to manage my every move,” he slurred.

“You have been in here all day, drinking away all of our sherry without more than a few mouthfuls of food,” Melody protested, shaking her head.

“Do you not know your place?” he huffed.

Obadiah gave her a challenging look before a disgusting grin dominated his old face. Melody took a deep breath and once more, tried to reason with him. “I know my place, Obadiah. I am the innkeeper of this establishment—”

A firm hand gripped her bottom, a gasp escaping her and those at the surrounding tables. “You may be parading as an innkeeper, but you are nothing more than a sweet piece of—”

Melody pinched his ear and raised him from the table, “I will not be disrespected in my own inn. You have clearly had too much sherry to use your senses.”

Obadiah’s grin only grew, “You cannot keep your hands off me, can you, Melody?”

“It is Miss Balfour to the likes of you,” she hissed.

Before she could say more, Obadiah bravely pressed his hands to her chest with a hungry, ravenous look in his eye. She gasped and reared back a hand, slapping him across the face.

“How dare you! I have been nothing but kind to you, Obadiah. You must leave at once,” she ordered, pushing him to the door. “You do not come back again. You need to sober up and return to your senses before you find yourself in anymore trouble. I have never been more offended than I have in this moment! You have embarrassed me in front of a dining room full of paying customers.”

“You act so coy,” he grumbled, fumbling to fight against her pushing. “You know you want me, Melody. Do you want me to slither into your room tonight? Warm those sheets in ways they have not been in years?”

“You are a sick old man,” she spat, pushing him to the door. “I once again say, do not return! I have had enough of your antics, Obadiah. You have now gone too far. You have caused me enough embarrassment for one day. One lifetime!”

Two footmen sitting nearby jumped to her assistance, grabbing the arms of Obadiah and dragging him through the door and carrying him out to the street. When they returned, Melody expressed her thanks and ordered a maid, “Bring these good men a drink of their choice.”

Melody turned on a heel and headed back into the dining room, cheeks reddened by the display which her lovely patrons had borne witness to. Never, in all her years of being an innkeeper, had she faced such horrible embarrassment than Obadiah had just forced her to endure. She headed for the kitchen, needing to voice her frustrations and humiliation to Betsy. As she headed on her path, she witnessed the Duke staring in her direction, wide-eyed as he scrambled to his feet.

In her confused haze, Melody turned around. She gasped at the sight of Obadiah rushing toward her with a vase in hand. Her hands raised to block her face as he closed the distance. Then, in a dizzying fashion, she witnessed Zachariah grab the vase from Obadiah and push him back with a single shove on his chest.

“I suggest you leave at once before I have you arrested for public indecency and harassment,” the Duke stated to the man, more evenly than Melody would have been able to vocalize in such a calm manner.

Obadiah eyed Zachariah, huffing in disbelief. He began toward Melody once more, and the Duke put a hand on his chest to stop him.

“Leave. At once!”

Stumbling back, Obadiah eyed both of them before hurrying out of the building. Melody smoothed her skirt, her eyes fixated on Zachariah as his stance relaxed slowly and his gaze fell to her. “Thank you, Your Grace.”

“As I said, call me Zachariah,” he muttered. He sniffed and straightened his shoulders, clearly trying to shake the unsavory scene from his body. “Would you and Betsy join us for dinner?”

“Of course,” she nodded. “Drinks shall be on the house.”

“That is not necessary—”

“It is after what you have just done,” Melody insisted. “I will not take no for an answer.”

“Very well,” Zachariah muttered. “We shall await your company.”
Patricia Haverton. Desperately Inn Love with the Duchess: A Historical Regency Romance Novel (Kindle Locations 684-716). Patricia Haverton.

While they make stopping at the inn a habit, Zachariah’s mother enlists the aid of a matchmaker, this leads to many amusing scenes. Zachariah learns much about both the inn and innkeeper and help her out in small ways. Things change however when the duke is abducted.

A delightful read with suspense, intrigue and a Duke who is very much ahead of his time.

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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Color Me Smart – The Monroes Book 2 by Jen Talty


Color Me Smart
The Monroes Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

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When Jackie Monroe finds out the man she’s been seeing for the last three months has been leading a double life and is married, it nearly destroys her world. Giving up on men, love, and any chance of having a relationship or a family, Jackie dives into her career as a child psychologist. One of her specialties is forensics child custody evaluations and she’s appointed a case where a man is fighting to have full custody of his one-year-old daughter.

At first glance, the case appears to be a simple one, but soon, Jackie learns nothing is at it seems and she finds herself not only putting her job on the line, but her heart.

Alston Walsh never wanted to be a father. Hell, until six months ago, he didn’t even know he was a father. But when me meets his little girl for the first time, he falls instantly in love. And when he sees first-hand how his ex-girlfriend is living and raising his daughter, he takes matter into his own hands. He will do whatever it takes to make sure little Coralie is removed from her mother’s home and placed, permanently, with him, including retiring from the Military and taking a job that will keep him stateside.

But what he doesn’t anticipate is falling in love with the woman who has the power to crush his heart and take away everything he holds dear.

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One of the things I really love about these books is the camaraderie between the siblings. In the prologue of this book we get a glimpse of Hawk and Kennedy, now married and expecting a child. This is where Jackie finds out the man she’s dating is still married and living with his wife. Seems these women have pretty bad instincts when it comes to men. I base this on Kennedy’s relationship prior to Hawk.

Now Jackie has sworn off men for at least another six months. While waiting in line with her sister Rose, the subject of her brother Fitz’s latest instagram post comes up. Not half naked this time but it’s a picture of him licking a jello shot off a woman. They get their order just in time to witness the cute guy who had been in line before them slam his coffee down and make a mess, muttering an apology before storming out. This becomes important later.

Jackie’s boss hands her a new case, as a child psychologist she would be looking out for the child’s best interest in a custody case. The mother had made some serious accusations regarding the father, however she couldn’t back them up with any evidence. The child has also had several hospital admissions that seemed a bit mysterious.

Jackie is surprised when she meets Alston Walsh, it appears the angry man in the coffee shop is her client’s father. The initial visit goes well and there is a supervised visit scheduled for the next day.

This is a favorite scene.

“My role is to make a recommendation to the judge about what is best for your daughter. If I were you, I’d stop trying to insert your opinions into my process. I’m very good at my job. You need to trust the system,” Jackie said. “Now, I’d rather you and Alston not cross paths this morning. He’s scheduled to be here in twenty minutes. His visit is for two hours. You can come twenty minutes after that to pick her up.”

“I don’t like this one bit.” Kari set a diaper bag down on the ground. “I left a detailed note inside. Please don’t give her anything other than the food that is in the bag.”

“We’ll be just fine, won’t we?” Jackie bent over and lifted Coralie into her arms, resting her on her hip.

Coralie immediately started twisting at her hair. “Baba.”

Kari handed the little girl her bottle. “You be a good girl.” She kissed Coralie on the forehead. “I will be on time, if not a few minutes early.”

“Let’s get you all settled.”

Coralie fussed a little bit as her mother disappeared, but not too bad, especially when Jackie set up a blanket filled with all her toys and a plate of cherries along with a sippy cup of juice.

Jackie made herself comfortable on the floor, leaving the door open. She held out a book for Coralie, who crawled over and plopped herself on Jackie’s lap. Jackie laughed. “I guess you want me to read this one.”

The sound of knuckles tapping on the door startled her. She glanced over her shoulder. “Look, Coralie, it’s your daddy.”

“Hi, baby,” he said, immediately getting down to her level. “How are you?”

Coralie shied away a little, grabbing ahold of Jackie’s arm and almost hiding her face behind it.

“Remember me?” He pulled out his phone, tapping on the screen. He held up a picture of him and his daughter.

Coralie reached for the phone and giggled.

Jackie made a mental note that Coralie seemed to be more timid around men than woman. Not necessarily abnormal, just an observation. “How are you this morning?”

He swiped at his face. “Better now.” He reached out and tapped on Coralie’s thigh. “Guess what Daddy brought?” He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small pocketbook. “Grandma sent this. It’s pictures of our entire family that she had made into a baby book.”

Quickly, Jackie glanced at it, noting that each page had an image or two with names. “That’s very sweet.”

“That’s my mom.”

“And what a great idea to help a child remember or get to know family.”

Jackie knew what she was going to make for her niece as a gift for her first birthday, when it came around.

As gracefully as she could, she rose and made her way to her desk. “I know this is awkward but try to pretend I’m not here.”

“Okay,” he said as he stretched out on the floor, resting his head on his hand. He fiddled with a puzzle that Coralie had been playing with.

Jackie sat in her leather chair and focused on paperwork while observing father and daughter. It was a refreshing sight to behold. Most fathers in this situation were uncomfortable and often looked to her for guidance on how to interact with their kids.

Or they felt self-conscious with her in the room and it showed in the behavior.

Alston was able to truly ignore her presence and enjoy his daughter to the fullest, right up to the point where she laid her head on his lap and fell fast asleep.

“Well, at least the visit is almost over,” Jackie whispered, helping him put the sleeping child in the stroller.

“I wouldn’t mind sitting and watching her sleep for hours if that meant I could be with her longer.”

“Well, the good news is, I’ve got a nice schedule for you. The judge just sent it over this morning. I’ve sent it to yours and Kari’s attorneys while you and Coralie were playing.”

“Can I ask what it looks like?”

“Of course,” Jackie said, waving her hand at the sofa and chairs. She made herself comfortable on the couch. “You will have your daughter two nights a week and every Saturday. I have to tell you that you will need to tell me what you plan on doing and where you plan on going, and I can show up at any time.”

His jaw slacked open. “Are you serious?”

“Do you have a problem with that?”

He shook his head, running his hand over his face. “God, no. Absolutely not. I mean, I’d like more, but it’s a start.”

“One more thing. For now, I’ve recommended that I be the one to be the go-between. So I’ll pick up Coralie and bring her to you.”

He narrowed his eyes. “Is that normal?”

“No. Not always.”

“Then why?”

“Because I think it’s best for all parties considered.” She glanced at her watch. “Unfortunately, Kari will be here in about ten minutes. I think it’s best if you leave now. I’ll be in touch tomorrow, okay?”

He nodded. “I’m at your mercy.”

She stood and stretched out her hand. “I wish you wouldn’t think that way.”

“What the hell is he still doing here?” Kari’s voice bounced off the walls, startling Coralie who jolted from her nap.

Alston bolted into action. He reached into the stroller and lifted a screaming Coralie into his arms. “Shhhhh, it’s okay,” he whispered, patting her back, and she immediately calmed down.

“Give her to me,” Kari demanded.

As gracefully as possible, Jackie stepped between Kari and Alston. “Kari, please, let’s not upset everyone.”

“His visit is over. I want him away from my daughter.” Kari held up her phone. “Give her to me now, or I’ll call the police.”

“There’s no reason for that.” Not only was there no logical explanation to bring in a third party, Jackie couldn’t understand why Kari would go to such a drastic measure for a non-issue. “We were just finishing up.”

“I was about to leave.” Alston kissed Coralie. “Daddy loves you. Don’t you ever forget that.” He handed her to Jackie. “Thank you for today. I can see myself out.” He strolled right past Kari without even giving her a second glance.

She, on the other hand, glared at him as if her eyes were machine guns waiting for someone to pull the trigger. “If something like this ever happens again, I’ll have you fired.” Kari snagged the stroller and stomped out of the office with Coralie waving frantically over her shoulder.

“Well, that was weird,” Jackie mumbled. Nothing that happened today that warranted that kind of response. And Jackie hadn’t found anything in the short three-week fling that Coralie’s parents had that would warrant that kind of bitterness.

Something else was going on here, and Jackie was determined to find out what.
Talty, Jen. Color Me Smart (The Monroes Book 2) Kindle Locations (622-678). Jupiter Press. Kindle Edition.

Now things are going to get interesting, as Jackie keeps running into Alston. Her ex showing up doesn’t help either. Jackie is attracted to Alston and he to her, but she really shouldn’t do anything about it until the case is settled. The fates, however, have other ideas and their attraction sparks into some sizzling heat.

Plenty of suspense and intrigue as this story unfolds and Jackie and Alston find their Happily Ever After with Coralie.

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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My Everyday Hero – Ledger: A Bale Family Novel – Hot Hunks Steamy Romance Collection Book 4 by Jen Talty


My Everyday Hero – Ledger
Hot Hunks Steamy Romance Collection Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

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Army Counter Intelligence Agent, Ledger Bale traded in the adrenaline of deployments and special operations for a desk job so he could not only be closer to his family but so he could find a family and enjoy life’s finer points.

Only the objection of his affection wouldn’t give him the time of day.

The last thing Temperance Malone needs is another high strung, a thrill-seeking junkie for a boyfriend. But when she finds herself with a flat tire on the most important day of her life, she lets her super sexy neighbor give her hand, but no way in hell will she allow him to steal her heart.

An athletic director, a doctor, a construction worker, a CI Army agent, a rancher, an engineer, and a military pilot are all leading a somewhat normal life. So what do these seven men have in common? They are your average man going about their day until something out of the ordinary happens in front of them. To the victims, the strangers, and their loved ones, they went from an everyday man to an everyday hero!

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Temperance Malone is recently divorced and has moved into a the same neighborhood as Ledger Bale and his sister Serenity. All efforts to get to know her have fallen through until she gets a flat tire on the way to her new job. That’s when she finds out her ex had canceled her road side service. It’s Ledger comes to her rescue as she is trying to get her ex to help.

This is a favorite scene.

“I couldn’t leave you stranded on the side of the road, now could I?” He pointed to the trunk. “Can you pop that so I can get at your spare?”

“Sure thing.” She dug into her purse and found her keys. If she’d learned anything in the last year it would be to never be in debt to anyone. That meant she’d have to repay Ledger and she’d have to do it quickly. They lived two doors down from one another and she couldn’t deal with him constantly coming around, so she’d have to come up with something good.

He was always smiling and waving and being overly nice as it was. Of course, everyone on the block was that way.

“My sister said you haven’t responded yet about her party. Will you be coming?” Ledger’s biceps flexed as he yanked the tire from the trunk. He pulled out all the tools that went with it and lit the flares, setting them on the pavement around the vehicle.

Shit. She’d forgotten all about the spring into summer party one of the other neighbors was throwing this weekend. “Sister? You and Serenity are related?” Temperance’s heartstrings tugged. All she’d ever wanted had been a family to call her own and Mathis had been her Prince Charming. They had the perfect plan and she thought they’d been happy.

Then he took a job in his hometown without even really discussing it with her, leaving her world turned upside down.

“Yup,” Ledger said with a grunt.

Temperance folded one arm across her middle and chewed on her thumbnail all while staring at one hell of a specimen for a man jacking up her convertible.

When she’d been fourteen, her father had died suddenly, and her mother had no life skills to take care of herself. Worse, she’d found out her father had another family. Wife. Kids. A second house. Even a fucking dog.

Six months later, Temperance found her mother in the bathtub filled with more blood than water.

With no other family, Temperance landed herself in the foster care system where she found an entire world she had no idea existed. She learned very quickly not to trust or allow anyone to know what she thought or felt. And she never judged a book by its cover.

However, it took her until last year to learn that just because a man dressed up nice, appeared to be nothing like her father, or foster father, and had the means to give her everything she dreamed of, didn’t mean he would love her the way she deserved.

“This party means a lot to my sister. She’s not the Susie Homemaker type so she’s really stepping out of her comfort zone, and ever since she and Cove moved into the neighborhood, about a month before you did, she’s been trying to play cruise director.”

“What does your sister do for a living?” Temperance had always been attracted to men like Ledger. Men with a rough-looking exterior, much like her father, which is why she always avoided them as if they were the plague. Her father had a toughness about him. Of course, being in the Marines had hardened her father in a way she’d never understand. Her mother would constantly make excuses for his occasional drunken outbursts or the way he’d often sit by himself and sulk.

Today, Temperance knew two things about her dad. He’d suffered from PTSD as well as massive guilt over having two families, only she believed he loved his other family more than Temperance and her mother since he left them what little money he had along with the house he owned.

It had come as quite a shock to Temperance and her mother that they’d actually been the second family.

More like the afterthought.

“She’s a federal agent.”

Temperance’s jaw slacked open. She quickly shut it and cleared her throat. “Really? That’s a cool job.”

“According to her it’s boring most days and I think my job is better.”

“Oh yeah. What’s that?”

“I’m a counterintelligence officer for the Army.”

“Now that is interesting.” Temperance didn’t know if she should be excited or terrified. Could these people be there to spy on her because of her husband? Or could she use them to help put her ex where he belonged? “How long have you lived on the block?” Temperance asked, not wanting to be alone in her thoughts anymore.

“About six months.” Ledger twisted the lug nuts and pulled the tire off the vehicle with ease. “A buddy of mine owns the house, so I’m just renting. I was glad Cove and Serenity were able to buy so close to me though. I’m going to enjoy watching them attempt this parenting thing. They were both pretty much destined to be single forever when they met.”

Temperance had spent about five minutes with Serenity and her husband since she moved in a few weeks ago. Everyone in the neighborhood had been super nice, and that had made Temperance want to join in and get to know everyone, but being Mathis Browne’s ex-wife made her take a step back.

“They seem like a sweet couple,” she said.

“They are.” Ledger wiped the sweat off his brow before shoving the new tire onto the wheelbase. “So, are you going to go to the party? I’d be happy to give your RSVP to Serenity.”

“I don’t know. I’ve still got a lot of unpacking and things to do to my place.” Temperance had struggled to make friends while in foster care and it continued after she’d aged out of the system and she fumbled her way into the job world. She thought meeting her ex-husband was the one thing in her life that would change everything.

Well, it did, just not for the better.

“It’s just a couple of hours.” Ledger tightened the bolts as if he were the strongest man on the earth. “And only the neighbors. It will be casual and stress-free.”

“You don’t understand. I bought that place at a really low price because it needs a lot of work.”

Ledger lowered the jack. “Oh. I get it. We all walked through it during the open house. I know what you have to work with and if you’re looking to hire a handyman, look no more.” He pointed to himself and grinned. “I’m your guy.”

“What are you, some everyday kind of hero or something?”

Ledger chuckled. “I wouldn’t go that far, but I’m happy to help. Now, please, let me escort you to my sister’s backyard barbecue. That is, unless you have a boyfriend or something?”

“I don’t.” She jerked her head back. “Is this a date now?”

“I wouldn’t say no to the concept, but that’s up to you.” He wiped his hands on his jeans before picking up the rest of the tools and meticulously putting them away in the trunk of her car.

She’d bought this house with her ex’s blood money because she felt like she deserved to use that as her foundation after everything she’d been through with Mathis. It’s not like he’d given her millions, which he and his family had. She’d chosen to stay in New York City to spite her ex as well as to show the world she wasn’t either a prostitute or a gold digger.

Although one reporter had declared they were basically the same thing.

But mostly, she needed to prove to herself she could do what her mother couldn’t.

Turn lemons into lemonade.

Perhaps that meant making friends.

That had been her plan until she’d uncovered more ugly truths about Mathis. Her heart hurt thinking about the devastation and destruction his family had caused innocent people.

If only she knew what to do with the proof. If only she thought the proof wouldn’t destroy her as well as others.

“You can tell your sister I’ll be there.” She held out her hand. “And you can tell her brother that I’m sorry, but it’s not a date. However, how can I repay you for helping me with this?”

He smiled. “I’d say go on a date with me, but I’ve already crashed and burned.” He pushed his shades up on his nose and snagged his helmet. “No need to repay me. I’m happy to help. I look forward to seeing you at my sister’s.” He switched a key and flicked his wrist.

The engine revved.

Her heart hammered and her skin heated.

As he drove away, she fanned herself. If he ever turned up the charm, she’d be in a heap of trouble.
Jen Talty. Everyday Hero Ledger: A Bale Family Novel (Kindle Locations 242-302). Jupiter Press.

In spite of the fact that she first thought Serenity and Ledger might be investigating her, she accepts the invitation to Serenity’s party. It’s after that Ledger turns on the charm and Temperance finds herself falling for him.

In fact Serenity is investigating Temperance’s ex-husband and his father, there’s just some things that aren’t quite coming together. Ledger is also involved in the investigation but from a slightly different angle.

Plenty of intrigue and suspense as the relationship between Ledger and Temperance heats up and so does the investigation.

I think I need to read Cove and Serenity’s story next (link below) and then check out the other authors who write in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

More of Jen’s Books in Hot Hunks
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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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Color Me Yours – The Monroes Book 1 by Jen Talty


Color Me Yours
The Monroes Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Kennedy Monroe lost her boyfriend to her best friend. Or maybe her best friend to her boyfriend. It didn’t matter. All she had left was her job, and she’d be damned if she was going to lose that too. So when her boss asks her for a favor, she’s not about to say no.

Except, she didn’t know the favor included pretending to be his girlfriend in front of his parents.

Hawk Jefferson was tired of his parents constantly trying to marry him off to their rich friends’ daughters. He was nearly forty years old, and he was more than happy to spend the rest of his life as a bachelor. The last thing he wanted was a wife and a bunch of babies. In order to keep them off his back, he told them he’d been dating his assistant for the last six months. So, when they decided to take a last-minute trip to spend the weekend with him and his girlfriend, Hawk had to take drastic measures.

Except, he never anticipated he’d fall in love, much less want to settle down and give his parents the grandchild they’ve always wanted.

Only, getting Kennedy on board with that plan seems to be harder than anticipated.

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This book opens with Kennedy Monroe finding her boyfriend John in bed with her bestfriend Tallulah. This after she’s sublet her apartment as they were planning on her moving in with him. Angry is not the word for her feelings at the moment.

Deciding she could use a drink as she gets drenched walking in the rain, she stumbles on Thirsty’s a small piano bar. Perfect since she didn’t think she’d know anyone and could drown her sorrows and take an Uber home.

Hawk Jefferson has been frequenting Thirsty’s since he started representing the rich and famous. It was a place he could relax and not worry about being seen and annoyed by up and coming wannabees. The last person he expected to see wander in is his assistant Kennedy.

They talk about her breakup and his as she gets very drunk. Hawk gets her home safe and sound but that’s just the beginning. You see he sort of told his parents he was dating his assistant and now they’re coming to town. He convinces Kennedy to play along, but things get a bit out of hand before that comes to pass.

Another ex, Heather comes out with a damning accusation against him and damage control is needed, all this as he runs into an old college buddy Rusty and his wife Lilly at Thirsty’s. Little does he know that Rusty, while helping, is going to cause quite the uproar for both him and Kennedy.

A story breaks about him and Kennedy with a picture of them leaving Thirsty’s the next morning. Rusty who’s now on that show wants them to come on the show and help stop the gossip mill before things get worse.

This is a favorite scene.

Rusty said, glancing over his shoulder and nodding at someone. “We’ve only got a few more minutes, and I need to warn you, Cindy is a huge Heather fan, and she’ll go off script and go low.”

“I’m used to Cindy and her antics, but Kennedy isn’t.” Rusty rubbed his temples. While Kennedy helped him write great press conference speeches, could craft a killer email, and had a sharp tongue, she’d never had to do so on the fly or in front of the cameras. Nor did she have to tell a whopper of a lie in front of the world.

This was a bad idea, and he needed to put an end to it.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Kennedy round the corner. Her dark hair bounced over her shoulders, and she took long, confident strides wearing a blue sleeveless dress that hugged her curves, showing off her sexy figure, but in a conservative way. He blinked.

She rested her hand on the inside of his elbow. “I’ve never had anyone do my makeup or hair before. I have to say that was kind of fun.”

“Let’s get you two all mic’ed up and on the sofa,” Rusty said.

“I’m willing to put an end to this right now,” Hawk leaned in and whispered.

“Nope. I’m committed,” Kennedy said. “However, my insides are shaking like the start of a massive earthquake.”

“Well, you’d never know by looking at you.”

He made himself comfortable on the sofa as close to Kennedy as he could without putting her on his lap. After shifting three times, he decided to lean back in a relaxed position with his arm around Kennedy, resting it on her lower waist, while she leaned into him, and her hand was strategically placed on his thigh.

“Thirty seconds out,” the producer called.

Some chick came out and primped Cindy, who sat in a single chair next to Hawk, while Rusty had positioned himself directly across from him.

“And in five, four…”

“Welcome back to The Morning Dose,” Rusty said. “Cindy and I are here with an old friend of mine from college, but you know him as the manager and agent to some of the most famous stars of today. Let’s give a warm welcome to Hawk Jefferson and his assistant Kennedy Monroe.” Rusty turned his attention from the camera to the sofa. “Thanks for coming today on such short notice.”

“We appreciate the invitation,” Hawk said. He kept his hand firmly planted on Kennedy’s hip, rubbing a gentle circle with his thumb. While she looked completely poised, her fingernail dug into his thigh.

“Why don’t we cut to the chase and get right to the heart of why you’re here.” Rusty turned his gaze to a screen on the far side of the studio. “And since there is more than one topic, why don’t we start with some of the more unpleasant ones.”

Hawk nodded, holding his breath, waiting for the first question.

“Heather Sinclair is currently in the hospital, and at first, she accused you, Hawk, of putting her there,” Cindy said.

“I’ve proved without a shadow of a doubt I had nothing to do with Heather’s accident. We hope she recovers quickly and wish her well,” Hawk said. He kept his tone level but made sure he laced his words with a touch of emotion.

“What about you, Kennedy? It’s must be hard to know that your boyfriend is the father of her twins,” Cindy said. “I’ve been told by a reliable source that the police are looking into your possible role in Heather’s fall.”

“Stop right there, Cindy,” Hawk said behind a clenched jaw. “That’s not true, and I don’t appreciate you twisting this situation and making defaming accusations.”

“Nor do I,” Kennedy said, sitting up a little taller. “For the record, I was with my sisters, which is the statement I’ve given, as did my sisters. And as to paternity, well, Hawk agreed to a paternity test which will prove he is not the father.”

“Are you sure about that?” Cindy asked. “He has quite the reputation.”

“I’m absolutely positive,” Kennedy said. “If we want to talk about reputations, we could talk about yours and how you twist things during interviews, going off your producer’s script. As a matter of fact, I heard just this morning that your polling is way down, and it’s possible the network is looking for a replacement.”

Cindy gasped. “That is called slander and how dare you say that on my show.”

“Welcome to Hawk’s world. It happens every time he steps outside his house. Someone is reporting on half-truths, rumors, and all-out lies. Which is what you are doing right now, and we don’t appreciate it.” Kennedy twisted her back and pulled out a piece of paper. “And for the record, here is the entertainment magazine where I got my information about your job. It came out this morning, so you might not have seen it yet. So, it’s not slander. I’m simply repeating what your colleagues are reporting.”

Hawk bit down on the inside of his cheek to keep from bursting out laughing.

Cindy sat there with her jaw slacked open, looking like a doe in headlights.

The Morning Dose music started softly in the background.

“We’re going to take a short break, and we’ll be right back with Hawk and Kennedy,” Rusty said.

As soon as the producer said they were off air, Cindy bolted upright. “Who the fuck do you think you are repeating this crap on my show?” Cindy tossed the paper at Kennedy.

Hawk went to stand, but Kennedy squeezed his thigh.

“I’ve got this, babe.” Kennedy stood, smoothing down the front of her dress. “I wouldn’t have used it had you not gone low. Keep it up, and I’ve got more where that came from. In my career, I might be the girl behind the man, but trust me when I say, I’m not someone you want to fuck with.”

Hawk couldn’t contain his laughter anymore. “That’s my girl.”

“I warned you, Cindy,” Rusty said between chuckles.

“You’re on thin ice. This is my show, and I can and will have you fired,” Cindy ground out.

“No, you won’t,” the producer said as he stepped up on the stage. “I apologize for the way Cindy handled that segment. It won’t happen again, will it?” He glared at her.

She narrowed her eyes and shook her head.

Hawk cleared his throat, trying not to enjoy this too much, but he loved watching Kennedy put Cindy in her place, and nothing would make him happier than to see her get the boot. She always tried to make him look bad, and no one liked her anyway.

“But I’d also appreciate it if you didn’t put down my anchors,” the producer said. “I wish I didn’t feel as though I had been left no choice,” Kennedy said. “To imply that I—”

The producer raised his hand. “Yes. It was. And it will be addressed. Now, let’s get through this next part of the interview without incident, okay?”
Talty, Jen. Color Me Yours (The Monroes Book 1) (pp. 727-775). Jupiter Press. Kindle Edition.

Kennedy proved in that interview she could handle anything the press throws at her and had me laughing as much as Hawk and Rusty did at the way she turned things around.

In spite of the fact this was supposed to be pretend, things heat up for Hawk and Kennedy in more than one way. I really loved this romantic journey. The fact that Kennedy’s family has the Monroe name wrapped up with several JFK versions is hysterical and so much fun.

Now I need to read the second book to finish catching up.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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author-links-fall-cornucopia

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Amazon Author Page

It’s Here!!! Roar – Catnip Assassins Book 7 By Skye MacKinnon


Roar
Catnip Assassins Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Sky MacKinnon

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

It’s time for the last meow.
Her whole life, Kat has been fighting for survival.
For her freedom.

Now she’s done. She wants peace.
Even if that means having to risk everything she loves.

NOTE:
The final book in this purrfectly exciting urban fantasy series full of action, suspense and cat puns. A slow burn reverse harem where Kat won’t have to choose.

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When we last saw Kat she was in labor with a battle going on around her. This book begins right there as the guys win the battle and Kat gives birth to four very unusual babies.

She’s also not doing well, still bleeding and they need to get back home, it’s a long and arduous journey. Once there she finds the Mayor, Lady Lara has a surgeon waiting with ultrasound to see why Kat’s still bleeding. Healing is going to take a while, and Kat also finds the reasons human mothers switch to bottle feeding.

While still reconnecting with her mates, she is already plotting revenge on Lord Delaney. She owes him a painful death for all he’s done to her. Meanwhile there have been murders around the area of Lady Lara’s offices. Unusual in the fact that a Fang coin has been left with the bodies. Lady Lara realizes it’s a threat and she wants Kat to investigate.

One of the things that amused me are the nicknames being used for her children, Tailie the only male, who just happens to have a tail, Biter and Vamp, they have very sharp teeth and like to bite while nursing and Furrie who sports fur in human form. They need real names and a naming ceremony is planned and carried out.

This is a favorite scene.

Gryphon clears his throat, looking extremely serious. “Please, everyone not holding a baby, sit down.”

As soon as they’re all seated, the room feels immediately less crowded. I breathe in deep, then focus on Gryphon as he looks at the babies one at a time.

“We welcome you to the world. Know you were loved from the moment we heard your tiny hearts beat for the very first time and that you will be loved until the day they beat no more. Our life together has only just begun, but from now on we will be part of your lives every second of the day. You are loved, you are cherished, you are treasured. May you know happiness, friendship and health. May you know right from wrong, your own true worth and peace throughout your lives. May you sing and laugh and play with only joy and never fear. Children, we welcome you to the world.”

“We welcome you to the world,” we all repeat solemnly. I’m tempted to laugh at seeing everyone behaving so seriously, especially Bethany and Lily. In combination with Benjamin wearing a suit, it’s kind of comical. Still, I resist the temptation by focusing my gaze on my children.

“Do you want to start, Kat?” he asks me quietly after a moment’s silence.

I kind of wish he went first, but I get why he wants me to be the one to begin. I’m the mother, the woman who carried these four tiny people inside of me. Not for as long as mothers usually do, but I think the pain towards the end made up for that.

I take a deep breath and press Tailie closer against my chest. “I promise to make you the happiest children in the world,” I say quietly, barely more than a whisper. “I will protect you with my life. I will steal you the stars and kill anyone wishing you harm. You will never want for anything. You will be raised with love and care. You will never lack for catnip.”

“Kat!” Lily hisses. “That’s not appropriate.”

I flash my teeth at her and continue. “I name you Liat Feln. May your name serve you well.” I gently kiss his forehead. Tailie – no, Liat – giggles and grins up at me. I don’t think he understood any of it, but I’m glad he’s not crying.

“Liat Feln,” everyone echoes. I can almost hear Lily roll her eyes at my name choice, but she doesn’t comment on it.

I step back and let Ryker take centre stage. He’s cradling Biter who’s fast asleep. Her brown hair seems to be growing with every day, much faster than that of her twin. We may have to give her a first haircut soon if this doesn’t slow down.

“Little one,” Ryker begins, lovingly smiling down at his daughter. “We’ve been calling you Biter because you’ve been sinking your teeth into life from the moment you were born. You’re a fighter, a warrior, and that’s why I’ve chosen this name for you. Biter, I name you Bella after the belladonna plant. It may be one of the deadliest plants, but its flowers are as beautiful as its leaves are toxic. May you be as strong and deadly as the flower you’re named after.”

“Bella Feln,” we all say solemnly before I meet his eyes and smile. He chose a good name.

To my surprise, Gryphon joins Ryker with little Vamp. Unlike her twin sister, she’s wide awake and is taking in everything with rapt attention. “Let’s make this short,” he says while tickling his daughter under the chin. “You shall be Donna, the other part of belladonna. Together, you and Bella will be unstoppable.”

My heart melts. Ryker and Gryphon must have agreed on this, which means they talked about names while I wasn’t with them. They’re behaving like true loving fathers. Which they are, I know that, but it’s good to see yet more proof of it. My right eye itches. In other people, that might be a tear trying to squeeze through, but in my case, I’m sure it’s just a speck of dust.

“Donna Feln,” Gryphon says and we echo him.

Together, they step back and Lennox takes their place, holding Furrie.

“I’m not a poetic man,” Lennox says with a shrug. “So I shall call you Shade. You may not blend in with humans, but once the sun sets, you will become one with the night. You’ll move unseen unless you want to be noticed. You’re something new, something beautiful, and I will make sure you’ll never feel different within this family. And outside of this family, I’ll kill anyone who hurts you with words or weapons.” He grins down at her, a complete contrast to his words. “I love you, little Shade, just like I love your siblings. Welcome to the world.”

Liat, Bella, Donna and Shade. I look at my babies and realise how well their names fit.

The guys have done a great job. It won’t be hard to let go of the nicknames and call them by their real names from now on.

Gryphon clears his throat again, getting everyone’s attention. “The next part of the ceremony has been modified by Kat.” He rolls his eyes with much drama before holding up a small bag. “Usually, we’d sprinkle flower petals over the babies, but Kat insisted that we use catnip instead. Help yourselves, just make sure they don’t get any into their eyes.”

Lily snorts. “Kat, you’re incorrigible. Don’t you dare pass on your addiction to my nieces.”

“They’re not your nieces.” “They sure are. If you tell them otherwise, I’ll tell them of the time you played with a ball of string and almost licked your-“

“Alright,” I interrupt her. Gryphon must not have heard that story yet for his eyes are wide open and he looks like he’s about to combust with laughter. “They’re your nieces. Now go cover them in catnip like you’re supposed to. It’s for good luck or something like that.”

“It’s a symbol of us promising to provide for them,” Bethany corrects in a surprisingly sombre voice. “And I intend to keep that promise.”

She takes the bag from Gryphon and pulls out a handful of dried catnip leaves. They’re of the best quality, nice and big, not those tiny, shredded pieces you sometimes get with cat toys. Not that I’ve ever bought those.

Bethany gently lays a few leaves on each of the babies’ foreheads, then hands the bag to Benjamin while shooting me a stern look. What happened to the fun-loving, never-serious Bethany? She’s been spending a lot of time with the litter, maybe too much time.

One by one, my friends rub some catnip on the babies, until they smell so delicious that I want them all in my arms. Sadly, I’m not large enough – or maybe they’re not small enough anymore. Instead, I breathe in deep, smelling the sweet aroma of my babies mixed with the addictive aroma of catnip.

I stand there with Liat on my arms, feeling a little out of sorts. Like this isn’t quite real. I should be out there, running over the rooftops, assassinating people, doing what I was trained to do. Instead, I’m in a cosy, suburban living room with my family and friends, cooing over babies.

My life is unravelling and I’m not sure what to think of it. I both hate and love it. But once this ceremony is over, I need to get out of here for a moment and be Kat, the assassin again.
Skye MacKinnon. Roar: Catnip Assassins Book 7 (Kindle Locations 1123-1177). Peryton Press.

I think the naming ceremony is the most peaceful scene in the whole book and it involves all of Kat’s mates as well as her friends.

Things heat up even quicker after that, with plenty of action and so much more, as this book and this series reaches it’s conclusion.

With plenty of love, intrigue, action, laughter, tears and sizzle this is the purrrrfect ending!

5 Contented Purrs for Skye!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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