The Portrait of His Winter Marchioness – A Historical Regency Romance By Patricia Haverston


The Portrait of His Winter Marchioness
A Historical Regency Romance
By
Patricia Haverton

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People usually fall in love.
But some people were born in love.
Already. And always…

Miss Annabelle Fernside’s dreams of one day becoming a famous painter turn to ashes when her father pressures her to marry. Watching everything she has worked for crumble before her eyes, she is determined to make this courtship fail at all costs.

Phillip Caney, the Marquess of Cottenhorn, has been drowning in sorrow ever since he lost his wife and son at childbirth two years ago. The sole heir to his father’s title, his parents arrange his marriage to force him to take on his responsibilities. However, his resolve to undermine the deal crumbles the moment he meets his intended.

Like an ominous storm cloud, anonymous letters tear through Annabelle and Phillip’s budding love. When Annabelle disappears a wet trail is the only thing she leaves behind, and Phillip must watch his life turn to ashes in order to get to her in time. For the past didn’t have a choice then, and it wears hatred like a cruel second skin.

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Phillip Caney the Marquess of Cottenhorn faced a devastating loss when his wife and child died during the birthing. He has never truly recovered and while he doesn’t wish to marry again he knows it’s his duty to produce an Heir. He’s just really not in any hurry to do so.

Annabelle Fernside is a talented artist who dreams of having her work displayed in a Gallery. She realizes this may be a dream out of her reach since women of this time are expected to marry, give birth and run the household. Her father a retired General is pressuring her to marry. She is enduring the courtships of a couple of gentlemen found by a matchmaker. They don’t have an interest in the arts and she really wants a match she can discuss such things with.

When Phillip’s father has a heart attack, the time has come for Phillip to marry. He can’t promise his heart to anyone, he buried that with his wife and child. Any woman chosen will have to accept the union will be one of convenience only.

Annabelle’s parents are friends with the Duke and Duchess of Weavington, General Fernside served in several battles with the Duke in the Napoleonic Wars forming an unbreakable bond. As such they are aware of the Duke’s condition and receive updates from the Duchess regularly. This latest missive contains a surprise, the Duke and Duchess are proposing a match between Annabelle and Phillip. Such a match would not be proposed by their matchmaker, and it is one that they can’t help but think is perfect.

As their courtship begins, Phillip sets a stage of challenges to Annabelle to show her what she’s getting into. Their first outing is a prime example where he insists on her riding next to him as he drives the barouche. Their destination is also designed to shock or dismay. The ruins of a ‘haunted’ priory, which most would find off-putting Annabelle instead finds delight, as she sees it through an artist’s eye.

This is a favorite scene.

The carriage turned once more and they made their way through a bumpy side road at the end of which was a clearing. When they exited on the other side, Annabelle gasped. Before her stood the ruin of what once must have been a truly impressive building. A tower still stood, but a part of it had crumbled away. A window remained intact and the glass within reflected the late morning sun.

Around the tower was what remained of a wall, partially overgrown with weeds. The structure was both eerie and magical at once.

“What a treasure!” She exclaimed, evidentially to the surprise of her companion, for he looked at her with amazement.

“Do you really think so?”

She smiled. “Of course. What is it? Or, I should say, what was it?”

He cleared his throat as the horses came to a stop. “It was a priory once upon a time. Built in the 12th century by William de Cuniac, I believe. After the Dissolution, it fell into the hands of my ancestor, the first Duke of Weavington. I’m sorry to say it was allowed to fall into disrepair and then caught on fire during the War of the Roses. Fiery arrows did most of the damage, and nature did the rest. At some point my ancestor allowed the citizens of the village to use the stones and wood to build their houses.”

“What a shame,” Annabelle sighed. “But what remains is beautiful. Don’t you agree, Mama?”

Her mother shook her head. “I think it rather ghastly. And fear-inducing. I shan’t sleep after laying eyes on it, I declare.”

Annabelle looked at the Marquess and grinned. Leaning in she whispered. “She is a little dramatic, my dear Mama.”

This caused him to chuckle. “As is mine. She refused to eat dinner the one time I brought her out here. Claimed it had upset her stomach so much not a bite would go down.”

“I suppose that is why they are such good friends. An equal tendency toward over-exaggeration.”

The two exchanged a look and something odd happened to Annabelle. Suddenly, she saw him as something other than an obstacle to her dreams. Something more than the cause of this sudden divergence in her life’s path. She saw him as a person, one she’d once called a friend. And one she was supposed to one day soon call husband.
Patricia Haverton. The Portrait of His Winter Marchioness: A Historical Regency Romance Novel (Kindle Locations 1091-1109). Patricia Haverton.

This will not be the only time Annabelle surprises Phillip with her reactions. Phillip becomes a bit disconcerted by his reactions to this lovely woman he is to marry. He finds himself feeling guilty for enjoying her company and the repartee between them.

There is someone who isn’t so pleased with this match as becomes apparent with letters showing up in the manor.

A bit of mystery and intrigue in a delightful tale of rediscovering love.

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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His Minx of a Countess – A Steamy Historical Regency Romance By Scarlett Osborne


His Minx of a Countess
A Steamy Historical Regency Romance
By
Scarlett Osborne

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“Wanting him was never part of my plan.
But he woke a fire of desire inside me…”

Forced to travel to the Far East to escape the mistakes of his teenagehood, Charles Dowding, Earl of Wintervale, is ready to reclaim his old life back. A plan that backfires when he stumbles across the one part of his past he still hasn’t come to terms with: Lady Lydia and her devilish ways.

The biggest scandal of the Season was the last place Lady Lydia Agar ever wanted to find herself in the middle of. With her marriage options dwindling, she is forced to accept a most unlikely courtship: a man she loves and hates in equal measure.

Forced together out of pure misfortune, a fire they thought extinguished is reignited from its ashes. A flame that threatens to burn them and everything they have worked for when Lydia goes missing, leaving behind nothing but a letter. For the lion does not apologize to the sheep for being at the top of the food chain. They accept their role and have a feast.

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Charles Dowding, Earl of Wintervale has finally returned from the far east. He had been sent there by his father to grow up and to take responsibility seriously. He’s attending a ball at Whitehall manor when he runs into his childhood friend Lady Lydia Agar, the daughter of the Duke of Tidewell. He is delighted and dismayed when he finds she has been promised to someone she has no desire to wed.

In a rather amusing turn of events, a fall places Charles and Lydia in a compromising position that is discovered almost immediately. To save both their reputations and hopefully cheer Lydia he declares he will marry her. He still loves her and would be most pleased to have her as his bride. That is until a friend gives him a missive written by Lydia regarding her upcoming nuptial’s.

Lydia on the other hand worries that Charles is only marrying her to save their reputations. She loves him but doesn’t want him forced into marriage. Her worries amplify as she joins him at the alter. He seems distant and a bit cold.

Charles makes reference to the letter without saying anything of where he gets these impressions. Lydia is more than a little confused and confronts him asking for the truth.

This is a favorite scene.

“You find me intolerable. Your eyes tell the tale.”

“I just despair of you. What would make you think such a silly thing?” she said, growing impatient.

“Hmmm,” he mumbled.

“Fine. Play your games. I will not meet you upon this imaginary chess board,” Lydia teased, trying to milk the fun from the conversation and avoid it turning sour.

“You really mean to deny it?”

“I do!”

“Humbug! That wouldn’t be the first time you’ve said that and not meant it.”

“Pardon? Charles, I am at a loss. Please just tell me what you mean. You can be honest with me. Are we not childhood friends?” Lydia shook her head, clearly aghast by his unexplainable change in demeanor.

“Fine…” Charles agreed in a huff and arose from the settee, making his way out of the sitting room door with haste.

“You mean to abandon me once again?” Lydia shouted at him. He walked back into the room, seeming most offended. His brow was deeply furrowed and his broad shoulders seemed tense as they met the curled tips of his brown hair that stopped short of his shoulders.

“You think I abandoned you by choice?” he asked, drawing close and looking deeply into her eyes with an intensity that she had not seen before; he was so close that she could feel his warm breath against her face. His lips parted slightly as he waited for her answer. They looked so kissable that Lydia stuttered.

“N… No… Charles,” she whispered, looking up into his dark, earthy eyes that were only inches away from hers as he loomed over her like a dark spell. Lydia could smell the most bewitching scent coming from him; he smelt of sweet, earthy spices and perfume that she had never smelt before. “You smell amazing,” she said with a chuckle.

“Oh… It is a perfume I fell in love with from the East,” he replied with surprise. “I will be back in a moment.” His deep, serious voice returned as he reminded himself of his objective and left the room. She could hear his boots as he trotted up the stairs.

Lydia sighed and stared into the amber glow of the hearth, feeling irked by his cryptic displays and unsure about what or whom he was going to retrieve. He had always been so honest and upfront as a youth, but now was behaving like a child. It infuriated her.

As she waited for Charles to cease with his strangeness, she gazed around the prettily decorated sitting room that boasted many fine and alien ornaments and books. She was as charmed as ever by the house that reminded her of the good old days of childhood frivolity and carelessness, but Charles still vexed her with his uneven ways. It was as though he had something to say but refused to speak.

Charles’s face suddenly returned under the doorway; he looked weighed down with a regretful mourning and clutched a piece of familiar-looking parchment.

“What is that?” Lydia enquired calmly, feeling intrigued and slightly apprehensive about the strange item.

“I am ashamed to discuss it, but I should be fully honest with you,” Charles replied with a dark earnest that set Lydia’s teeth on edge. His mysterious eyes studying the parchment that lay in his palm. Lydia’s heart sank; she was suddenly burdened by a deep and unsure sense of foreboding that made her stomach churn under her tight corset.

“You must…” she started, addressing him with wide and waiting eyes as the sheepish Earl returned to his seat.

“I was given this letter. It is by your own hand, discussing how beastly you think me, how terrible it would be to marry me. It confused me and upset me, for I thought I was doing the right thing by marrying you. I did not suspect that I was making things worse and ‘breaking’ you, as you state here.” He pointed to the inky words.

“Well, Charles… That ink is certainly by my hand,” Lydia went on.

“So, that is how you feel… Admit it, to my face.”

“It is not. That letter does not contain a discussion of you, but of Lord Bainbridge. You have made a mistake and jumped too quickly to your conclusions. If you read further up the letter you will see his name.”

“I have only a section of it, there is nothing before it, and of course, I would have seen that,” Charles replied, feeling slightly embarrassed and turning a little flushed in the cheeks as he slicked his hair back with his right hand.

“You mean to tell me that somebody has given you a portion of a letter, that addresses nobody by name, and you have assumed that it discusses you? How egoistical and self-indulgent, Charles!”

“He told–” Charles stopped mid-sentence.

“Who told you what?” Lydia frowned. “Clearly someone is trying to turn you against me, and you lapped it up like a foolish imp!” Lydia said with a cheeky half smile; she was serious, yet approachable.

“I…. Erm… Yes, it would seem so.” With difficulty he swallowed the hefty lump that was his pride and reached frantically into his breast pocket for a much-needed cigar.

“That will kill you,” Lydia said tauntingly, her blues eyes glinting like lively sapphires; they enticed Charles.

You will kill me,” he laughed, and was shortly joined by Lydia in hearty laughter that soon turned to a joint guffaw, reducing the pair once again to their former selves.

The pair gradually recovered from their fit of gaiety and found the room once again warmed by each other’s company.
Scarlett Osborne. His Minx of a Countess: A Steamy Regency Romance (Kindle Locations 1215-1260). Scarlett Osborne.

Once that mystery is resolved Lydia reveals her sense of unease and been watched. An ominous sort of feeling.

While they are walking in the gardens Charles sees the mysterious figure, and goes on a mission of sorts to solve who is torturing them in such a way.

A very enjoyable read with many twists and turns, suspense and the love between Charles and Lydia that is both enduring and sizzling.

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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Into the Abyss – Psychic Visions Book 10 by Dale Mayer


Into the Abyss
Psychic Visions Book 10
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Life is never easy but when her family is killed by a serial killer — one who is never caught — it becomes almost impossible.

As she grows up, Tavi works to appear normal while hiding in law enforcement, determined to get answers and if she can — extract revenge.

Jericho is a hunter. Now he’s caught the scent of an old prey, a serial killer he’s been one step behind the whole way. Then Jericho catches wind of the killer’s next victim… Which is none other than a detective with a little too impressive track record for getting her man.

Only she wants nothing to do with him. Or his protection. And he can’t leave her alone…

Sparks fly from the first meet — in more ways than one.

But when energy flares it also attracts. And the killer realizes he can kill two enemies in one swoop. He’s cleaning up. Turning a new leaf.

And wants no one left alive who can stop him…

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Jericho is a psychic hunter, he has been after this particular serial killer for years to no avail. The Ghost was pretty much just that, devastation with no evidence.

Tavika, Tavi, is a detective, she went into this field because her family was killed by the serial killer known as the Ghost. When Jericho asks to see her, he isn’t exactly subtle. He lets her know in no uncertain terms that she going to be next and she is psychic and she’s more than a little attracted to him.

That in itself reins Tavika’s imagination in, as she denies the whole psychic part venomously. She won’t have her reputation sullied by even the hint she is anything like her family. She has buried that part of her and intends to keep it that way. That doesn’t mean she has no talent, she’s just not obvious about using it.

Jericho is more than a little persistent when it comes to Tavi, he’s seen a bit of both of them together just as he’s seen she could be the next victim. The Ghost must be stopped and she is the one who can do it. He pretty much decides to move in after getting a food delivery from her neighborhood he didn’t order.

Now Tavi isn’t pleased at all with this turn of events, and I really enjoyed the interaction between them, especially when her cat Solomon enters the scene.

This is a favorite scene.

Very gently she set her cup down on the table. She really wanted to throw it against the wall and scream and kick something. Preferably Jericho. “You’re telling me he was actually in your hotel, yet you didn’t see him? And you didn’t go after him?”

“No, he was at the reception desk of the hotel while I was in my room. I did not see him. And it would be very nice to go after him, but there’s a reason why he’s called the Ghost, remember?”

Of course she remembered. It was because he left no tracks and used multiple disguises. The end result was law enforcement had nothing to go on. Even if they confiscated the video cameras, if there were any, the Ghost would no longer look the way he had in the video.

“He’s been watching you.”

Her gaze flew back up to his in shock. Slowly she shook her head.

He nodded. When she shook her head again he jumped to his feet and paced the small room.

“Why is it you insist on being thickheaded and stubborn?”

“I’m thickheaded and stubborn?” she asked. “You storm into my life today with a bogus story and a crazy attitude. I have never seen you before. I don’t know you. I don’t trust you. And now you come back tonight telling me a serial killer who people have been hunting for close to twenty years is now watching me.” She snorted. “Why don’t you just crawl back into whatever hole you crawled out from and go find yourself a different hobby? Because you really suck at this one.”

He glared at her. Then smiled.

One that made her spine shiver. She studied him warily. “I don’t like the look of that smile.”

“Too bad. If you won’t listen to me, and my duty is to keep you safe, then I’m going to stay here tonight. I need a place anyway.” He walked over to the couch, bounced on it a couple of times, nodded and stretched out. “This will do just fine.”

She gasped in outrage. “Get out of my apartment.”

“No.” He laughed. “What will you do about it? Call the police?” He reached forward, grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. “I could use a good game.”

She stood fuming at the end of the couch. He was right. What was she going to do? Call the cops? Hell no. Besides, he’d just tell them a story like he told her. It would be all over the precinct tomorrow. That was the last thing she needed.

“Okay fine, I believe you. I’ll take care. Make sure I’m not being followed.” She added the last in a sarcastic tone of voice. But he wasn’t even looking at her. “Hey, did you hear me?”

“I heard you.” He flicked through the channels. Just when she was ready to scream in frustration or pick up something to toss at him Solomon strolled off her bed and walked over between them. He sat down in front of Jericho and leveled back that golden gaze at him. Jericho immediately sat up. “Holy shit.”

Interesting reaction. She watched carefully as the two made eye contact. She’d never seen Solomon act this way. Then again she didn’t bring visitors home. She had the occasional relationship, a hot and heavy weekend that never made it past the tangled sheet stage. And that was definitely not the relationship she had in mind for Jericho. No, ruthlessly she shoved the energy back down. Dear God, he was potent.

“His name is Solomon,” she said grudgingly. Jericho’s mouth opened and then snapped shut. She wasn’t sure if he was shocked at the size of Solomon or if there was something else going on. She walked around the two of them to check out Jericho’s energy. He kept a tight rein on it, holding it close against his body, like so many other psychics she knew. Hers was no different. It was dangerous to be open and friendly. She kept hers locked down tighter than most.

Solomon’s energy was exactly the same. But there was a crackle in the air, as if Solomon and Jericho were actually having a conversation.

Curious and a little mystified she sat down at the end of the couch.

“Solomon?”

The cat broke the intense connection and turned his golden eyes on her. Then he walked closer and landed in her lap, put his head up on her chest and his engine kicked in. She could do nothing else but wrap her arms around him and hold on tight.

Jericho looked at her and then his gaze slipped to Solomon and back up to her.

“How long have you had him?”

“Why?” She refused to answer his question. “Now that you know Solomon lives here, would you please just leave?”

That look in his eyes softened. “I wish I could. I really do. But now that I know the Ghost has found where you live and has studied your habits, where you shop, where you eat…” He shook his head. “There’s no way I can do that.”

“You think you’re guarding me? Protecting me?”

His grin flashed, sending little electric shots into her nerve endings. “I know you’re tough, sweetheart, but I can still beat you after three rounds.”

Immediately her feistiness surged to the surface. “You’re on.”

He laughed. “You’re so easy to manipulate.”

“No I’m not.” Inside she was ashamed. He was right. He hadn’t had to do very much, and she was already jumping at him.

Her cell phone went off then. She stood up, still holding Solomon in her arms, and walked across to pick it up from the table.

Dispatch answered, “Detective Bantrell. A second body has been found at the same house you were at earlier today.”

The dispatcher rattled off the same address. She slowly hung up the phone, questions running through her mind in an endless loop. “What the hell?” she whispered.
Mayer, Dale. Into the Abyss: A Psychic Visions Novel. Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (620-665). Kindle Edition.

As the clues trickle in Tavi finds herself questioning the things she knows, and the things she has buried. Jericho of course is pushing but he’s doing it because she has to figure out the why of her past to capture the killer.

We get glimpse of what the killer is thinking throughout, it entices me to guess at the who. Of course I’m wrong.

We get to ‘see’ quite a bit of Stefan in this one too, he tries to temper Jericho’s pushiness while also providing some insight.

Plenty of suspense and intrigue as we get to see Tavi’s talents emerge. The interactions between her and Jericho are both amusing and eventually rather sizzling.

I can’t wait to see who we meet next in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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The Princess and the Rogue – Bow Street Bachelors Book 3 by Kate Bateman


The Princess and the Rogue
Bow Street Bachelors Book 3
By
Kate Bateman

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A princess in disguise is forced to live with a rogue in order to protect her from danger in this fun, sexy regency romance.

Bow Street agent Sebastien Wolff, Earl of Mowbray, doesn’t believe in love―until a passionate kiss with a beautiful stranger in a brothel forces him to reconsider. When the mysterious woman is linked to an intrigue involving a missing Russian princess, however, Seb realizes her air of innocence was too good to be true.

Princess Anastasia Denisova has been hiding in London as plain ‘Anna Brown’. With a dangerous traitor hot on her trail, her best option is to accept Wolff’s offer of protection―and accommodation―at his gambling hell. But living in such close quarters, and aiding Wolff in his Bow Street cases, fans the flames of their mutual attraction. If Anya’s true identity is revealed, does their romance stand a chance? Could a princess ever marry a rogue?

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Waiting in Paris for her brother to return from war, Anastasia Denisova is notified of his death. She is then accosted by Vasili Petrov who wants to marry her for the prestige of having a princess for a wife and also to buy her silence. Vasili believes her brother sent her proof he was a traitor and a wife couldn’t testify against her husband.

In a desparate act, Anya destroys a family tiara to fund the way to England for herself and her best friend Elizaveta. There they could start a new life away from those who could recognize her.

Unfortunately Vasili turns up in London, and once again Anya is in danger. Her benefactor and employer the Dowager Duchess of Winwick is quick to aid her. Sending her to stay with her great-nephew Sebastien Wolff, one of the owners of a prestigious gaming hall The Tricorn. Sebastien is the Earl of Mowbray having been granted the title following the war, and after meeting Anya under dubious conditions is more than a little curious.

It’s when she aids him in spying on some Russian visitors to the Tricorn that things get even more interesting. Although Petrov doesn’t recognize her at that time, she is more than a little spooked by his attention. Sebastien finds a way to distract her in a most intimate manor. Of course he still has no idea who she really is.

I love the way this tale twists and turns, the intrigue ramping up as does the attraction between Anya and Sebastien.

5 Contented Purrs for Kate!

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Kate Bateman

Kate Bateman (also writing as K. C. Bateman) wrote her first historical romance in response to a $1 bet with her husband who rashly claimed she’d ‘never finish the thing.’ She gleefully proved him wrong. Her Regency and Renaissance-era romances all feature her trademark feisty, intelligent heroines, wickedly inappropriate banter, and heroes you want to both strangle and kiss.

When not traveling to exotic locations ‘for research,’ Kate leads a double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK, each of which has up to 2.5 million viewers. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England and writes despite three inexhaustible children and a number-loving husband who still owes her that dollar.

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Caught in the Flames – First Responders Book 5 by Jen Talty


Caught in the Flames
First Responders Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

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Morgan Farren, a ranger in the Adirondacks, hasn’t thought much about settling down. He likes his nice quiet life in the mountains where most of his interaction with people limited to those who enjoy the great outdoors as much as he does. However, when his sister shows up with her friend Izzy not only does he find himself questioning life away from civilization, he questions why he chose this path in the first place.

Senior Firefighter, Lizzy Cohen is the kind of woman who likes to party. If she’s not out at a nightclub, she’s not having a good time. And spending time in the great outdoors isn’t her idea of blowing off steam. But when a sexy park ranger starts pointing out the constellations, she finds herself realizing there’s more to life than Tequila.

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After a large and traumatic crash, Lizzy is approached by her Captain Cade, to be sure she speaks with the psychiatrist before leaving the station. He knows that this incident could be a trigger for her with all the death and trauma. He also sends her co-worker and friend Emma to be sure of it. Emma invites her to get drinks and dinner with her and her brother Spencer and his wife Echo. While Lizzy could turn down Emma, she couldn’t ignore the text from Echo also inviting her. She and Echo had been friends years ago when Lizzy was known as Eliza. She didn’t know if Echo recognized her or not, it had been years and the circumstance surrounding her leaving were not pleasant.

Apparently Morgan, Echo’s brother was in town. Morgan is a forest ranger and preferred to spend his time on the mountain, he even had his home up there away from everything. This of course makes him a very desirable catch to the female population of Lake George. Even Lizzy has fantasized about a fling with him, but after more than one effort for a match-up between them has shown they aren’t really compatible.

This is a favorite scene.

Spencer held up his phone. “It’s the babysitter. We need to take this.”

“We should go out to the parking lot,” Echo said.

“It takes both of you to answer a call?” Lizzy twisted her hair. She was more girly-girl than the other firefighters that worked at the station and that surprised Morgan. Not that it was a problem, because he could do high heels and a skirt, but Lizzy was badass, so it just seemed like a bit of a contradiction.

But Lizzy was a walking contradiction to begin with.

“If you don’t have a child, you don’t have an opinion,” his sister said as she followed her husband out the front door. “I might join you in a shot,” Morgan said as he offered his arm. “I have a feeling this is going to be one of those nights.”

“You mean like that last time your sister tried to fix us up?”

“No. I mean more like the time my mom got in on the action.” He nodded in the direction of his folks, who were chatting with Spencer’s mother. “I have no idea why they think we’re a good fit. We’re worse than oil and water.”

“Actually, we have no idea. We’ve never taken each other out for a test drive.” Lizzy gave him a little hip check as they headed into the one of the side rooms where, thankfully, it would be quieter than the main room, but that could end up working against him if Spencer’s mother got in on the whole Morgan needs a good woman discussion.

Morgan’s father, in this particular scenario, would have his back for about five minutes. His brothers would absolutely stand up for him, and he suspected Lizzy would tell them all how she wasn’t even remotely attracted to him, but other than that, he was on his own.

“Are you suggesting we give all these people something to talk about?” he said with a short laugh.

“Abso-fucking-lutely-not. That would be like me buying anything generic. Not going to happen.”

“Ouch. That hurt.” He pulled out one of the chairs at their table.

“Oh. And I’m your style?”

“Can you go more than a day without taking a shower?”

“I can, but why would I want to? Besides, I generally smell like a fire, so I like to get rid of that smell.”

“You know, the smell of a campfire is pretty sexy,” he said.

“You’re not weird. You’re bizarre.” Lizzy leaned back. She always came off as strong and independent, but Morgan could see a darkness and perhaps a bit of sadness in her eyes. Of course, Morgan was a shitty reader of people and their inner secrets. He never trusted his first instincts, and his first of hers had been pretty bad.

But Lizzy had grown on him.

Though not as much as his mother would have liked.

“Are you serious about doing a shot with me? Because here comes our waiter.” Izzy pointed to a young man heading in their direction.

“Sure. Why not.” He wasn’t much of a drinker, so he would need to make sure his next round was water or he might be crawling home.

“Look at you taking a walk on the wild side.” Lizzy ordered a round of shots, for the entire table, along with a plate of appetizers, which he was insanely appreciative of since he hadn’t anything to eat since breakfast.

“So, what have you been up to these days? I think it’s been a couple of months since I’ve seen you last.”

Morgan wasn’t much of a conversationalist, but he’d mastered the art of small talk, which came in handy in situations like these.

“I’m looking to move.”

He arched a brow. “Really. Why?”

She shrugged. “It’s time for a change. New York is boring. I’m thinking about the Carolinas.”

“Have you already quit your job?”

“Nope.” She shook her head. “I’ve asked Cade to keep it quiet until I can find something and I’m going to have to do some recertification, so I want to be able to do that on my time off. I won’t be leaving for a few months. Unless Cade forces me to leave sooner.”

“He won’t do that. If he didn’t want you to stick around, he would have told you to consider the conversation your two-week notice.”

The Nash family and the Farrens were intertwined and while Cade was older than Morgan, he’d gotten to know the man since his brothers started working at Station 29. Cade was the kind of guy you wanted in your corner, but don’t cross him if you want to survive long term.

“He’s already asked me not to leave and told me he’d give me a glowing recommendation,” she said.

The waiter returned with their drinks.

He lifted the shot. “Here’s to you staying for the summer.”

She cocked her head. “Why?”

“I think you should come up to my neck of the woods and get away from all this noise. Let me show you how beautiful nature can be.”

“Are you propositioning me?”

He tossed his head back and laughed. “Lizzy. Trust me. I know better.”

“Good.” She raised her glass. “But I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll go to your mountain if you come dancing one night with me.” She wiggled her finger. “One night. And I know you’ll be back for the birth of your friend’s babies.”

“You’ve got to come to me first.”

“Deal.”

He tapped the shot glass on the table before bringing it to his lips. He downed the clear liquid and pounded his chest. “Jesus. I forgot how harsh that shit was.”

“Are you kidding? It’s as smooth as butter.”

Before he could respond, the waiter set down a platter with a plethora of pre-game food for them to enjoy.

“Do you think your sister and Spencer are coming back? Or is it part of some bigger plan to get the two of us alone?”

“They’re in the building.” Morgan raised his water glass toward the front of the restaurant. “But they seem to be stalling.”

“In that case, I’m drinking your sister’s shot.” Lizzy reached across the table, snagged one of the shot glasses, and downed it in less than five seconds.

It amazed Morgan that she didn’t even make a face or need a chaser.

“I might as well follow suit since I’m staying across the street and don’t have to worry about driving home.” He downed the horrible liquid in one swallow, but he needed to chug his water after, and he knew he made the worst face known to man. He didn’t do shots well when he was younger, and it didn’t get better with age. “The last time I drank tequila, I had the worst hangover, and I hate to admit it, but I was throwing up all day.”

“You’re a lightweight.” Lizzy laughed.

“That is a truth I won’t try to deny.” He leaned to the side, eyeing his sister. “Damn it. She’s prepping to leave.”

“Seriously?”

Morgan nodded. “I can’t tell if maybe Spencer is staying or not.” He took out his cell.

Morgan: What the hell is going on?

Spencer: Our babysitter’s dad just went to the hospital. And that’s no bullshit.

Morgan: Shit. Sorry. What can I do?

Spencer: Not give your sister shit for leaving and I’m going to go with her even though she wants me to stay.

Morgan: Just go. Tell Echo I’ll stop by for breakfast.

Spencer: Thanks. She’ll like that.

“So, are you going to fill me in?” Lizzy leaned forward, taking a potato skin and stuffing half of it in her mouth.

He waved to the waiter. “Can we get the bill and a couple of to-go boxes?”

“What the fuck?” Lizzy dropped the tasty appetizer on the table. “You’re going to leave me here with all these people?”

“That’s up to you.” While he loved his family and he enjoyed all the Bryants, this was not how he wanted to spend his evening. “I’m going to take these fun foods and go hang out on my parents’ dock and watch the moon and stars dance over the lake. You are welcome to join me.” He leaned forward. “I know my dad has some good tequila, though I will stick with beer.”

“Suit yourself.” She pushed back and stood. “I’ll see you in the parking lot.”

He laughed. Now, all he had to do was sneak out without anyone noticing.
Jen Talty. Caught in the Flames: the FIRST RESPONDERS series book 5 (Kindle Locations 357-360). Jupiter Press.

This time there really is some heat between Morgan and Lizzy, as they talk and get to know each other.

While Lizzy is contemplation leaving Lake George, a complication arises. Her past is about to bite her as her parents are coming up for parole. The fire they set years ago, killed her best friend Karen and almost took her life as well.

There are more questions about that time and Lizzy has to face her past. Fortunately she has Morgan beside her this time.

Plenty of intrigue as this story unfolds and Morgan and Lizzy heat up the pages in their own inferno.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

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Winter Blog About Author

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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Merry Christmas! A Change of Season – Change Series Book 11 By Melanie Jayne


Wishing a Very Merry Christmas
to all the Authors who support my Blog
and all the wonderful folks who follow it!
Thank you so Very Much!

A Change of Season
Change Series Book 11
By
Melanie Jayne

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Life is full of Changes…

Our friends are family by choice. We’ve been through victories and broken hearts, illness, and accidents, smiles, and tears.

I promised Billie when she married me that I would give her everything. We are spending the holidays in our new house, filled with decorations, joy, and love. Hopefully, in the years to come, we will fill the house with many memories and a baby or two.

The couples tied to Forde Limited are ready are ready for whatever life will bring.

We’ll get through it together.

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I confess I haven’t read the rest of this series and Melanie Jayne is a new to me author, this book was perfect for Christmas.

This book is primarily about Tyler and Billie from the first book of the series. They have built their home and are in the process of completing it and the move. Billie is supposed to host Thanksgiving but it’s putting a lot more stress on her. Her sister in law Layla has offered to do it for her to take off the pressure. While Billie is grateful she won’t give in unless Layla gives her Christmas.

I got a kick out of her husband Tyler and his calm, regroup, reprioritize.

This is a favorite scene.

Although my calendar had been cleared for this week, that didn’t mean my office didn’t call for additional instructions or information. I ended the latest call and tossed my cell on the bed. “Sorry about that.”

“They want to do their best work.” Billie shrugged and continued pulling clothes out of the special moving boxes designed with a hanging rack. “I didn’t know what order you wanted your suits hung, so you might want to take a look in there.” She motioned with her head toward my walk-in closet.

Yeah, we each had our own closets. Neither were room-sized like you see on reality TV, but mine had built-in drawers and a special space for my shoes. One side was devoted to office wear, the other to casual. I wandered into the closet. “Thank God we’re friends with Ramsay; otherwise, I’d be a little embarrassed by all this.”

She stood at the entrance of my closet with ties draped over her arm. “You should be. You have more clothes than I do.”

I stayed silent because she was correct. I started grouping my suits by color. “Where are my shirts?” I looked at the empty space where they would hang.

“I decided that, since they didn’t travel well, I’d drop them off at the dry cleaners to be washed and pressed.”

“Now, who’s spending our money freely?”

She froze then turned toward me. “It was only an idea.” She was chewing on her bottom lip.

I’d upset her with my teasing. “Honey, you know I love it that you take care of me.” I walked out of the closet and pulled her into my arms. “In the beginning, I was shocked, in a good way, when you would empty my gym bag. I never intended for you to do that, but you did.”

“Well,” one side of her mouth tipped upward, “it made sense since your clothes stunk, and it’s the responsible thing to do, running full loads of laundry—so two birds, one stone.”

“I don’t tell you enough, but I notice the little things you do. I should make a bigger effort to mention it.” I kissed the tip of her nose.

“I’m not looking for compliments. I do what I do because it needs doing.” She shrugged.

“Still, I should do better.”

“You’re a good husband, Tye. I don’t want you to think I have any issues with you. I’m…I think I’m tired, and that makes me touchy. There’s a lot to be done, and for everything we knock off the list, I find five more items to add.”

“Everything doesn’t need to be done this week.” I appreciated her devotion to her lists, but they went on forever. “When we get done with this box, let’s sit down and prioritize.”

“You mean, reprioritize.”

“Regroup and progress—that’s the plan.” That was how I operated. In a legal case, things changed. To be successful, you had to be ready to move items around.

“Okay.” She gave my waist a squeeze.
Jayne, Melanie. A Change of Season (Change Series Book 11). Big Dog Publishing. Kindle Locations (503-523). Kindle Edition.

The holiday fun with family and friends, a look back on all the couples and how they are doing now was informative and for me a tease.

I now need to go to the beginning of this series to discover all the things that brought these couples together.

5 Contented Purrs for Melanie!

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Melanie Jayne

Melanie Jayne doesn’t know what she wants to be when and if she ever grows up. She’s worked retail, recorded hearings in a Federal Courtroom, worked behind the scenes with security at a casino and currently she is living her dream writing Romance.

She plots and plans from her farm in central Indiana that she shares with her husband and two mastiffs, Ginger and Duncan Keith. When she isn’t creating she can be found watching sports, searching for the perfect mascara and reading. She also loves questionable TV- Any Real Housewives, The Steve Wilkos Show and Live PD. Plus she is addicted to the TMZ app on her phone.

Melanie loves to meet readers. She attends many conferences and signings. Please take a moment and introduce yourself and tell her what you are reading.

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Christmas Night Bear – Silvertip Shifters Book 4 by J.K. Harper


Christmas Night Bear
Silvertip Shifters Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
J.K. Harper

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A reindeer shifter fleeing her past…

Brynna Darby can’t help that she’s a reindeer shifter. But she sure can do her darned best to ignore that part of her life, and has done so for years. Until she abruptly lands back in her tiny shifter hometown. Expectations there are suffocating her—but one sexy bear shifter might open up her guarded heart and show her how to find joy again.

A bear shifter searching for home…

Wyatt Webber returned to his hometown of Deep Hollow right before Christmas, his favorite time of year. Then he runs into the onetime love of his life, Brynna, and everything threatens to turn into a lump of coal. She’s the mate who broke his heart…but she also might be the only one who can put it back together again.

NOTE:
A previous version of this story, then titled The Reindeer Shifter’s Christmas Gift, originally appeared in a group box set. The story has been lengthened, re-written, and re-edited.

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Brynna has been home in Deep Hollow for six months, she’s itching to leave the closer to Christmas it gets. She is running with her soon to be brother-in-law and Physical Therapist, Thor and is celebrating how good she feels, when Wyatt, one of the town’s deputies almost runs into them. When he stops he pretty much attacks Thor. His reasoning is that Brynna is his mate, even if she won’t accept it, and no other male should be touching her.

That Christmas is almost here, is a sore spot for Wyatt, even though he loves the holiday, Five years ago he had accepted a job in Montana and he was going to propose to Brynna and take her with him. Instead Brynna broke up with him and moved to Florida to take a job as an international tour guide.

Brynna stops him from doing too much damage to Thor and in spite of her longing to be with him, tells him she’s leaving.

This is a favorite scene.

So he’d left for Snowhaven all by his lonesome, made himself lose touch with her, and didn’t keep up on news about her from her family and friends still in Deep Hollow. He just sucked it up like the big bear shifter he was and forced himself to focus on his new life. He’d worked damn hard over the past several years to forget Brynna, and he’d practically succeeded, even though his bear had never been quite the same.

But then the other night happened. Oh, yeah. The other night.

Sexy, sexy little Brynna that night. Running into her all unexpectedly had brought back every single memory he had of all the time they’d ever spent together, which was basically their entire lives. Then the kiss. Hell, yeah. His whole body tingled right now just remembering it. It was just a kiss, but it had lit something between them again. And that was saying a lot, considering how many times he’d been privileged enough to kiss Brynna in the past. But hell. He couldn’t focus on that too much right now, or he’d get a freaking boner for sure. Just like damned teenager again.

Quickly, before the moment could get any more stupid awkward, Wyatt went in the other direction. Caveman style, all the way. He looked square at Brynna and said, “So what do you say, Bryn? Dinner? Tonight.” He shoved as much bold assurance into his voice as he could. He was still pushing her buttons a bit, yeah. But he also meant it. He’d pissed her off the other night, and again now. He honestly wanted a chance to make it good between them again. The holiday season was giving him confidence.

Brynna stayed quiet for a moment, then dragged her eyes to his. Her irritation was gone, and something else flared in her expression.

After she paused too long, Thor nudged her. “Come on, Bryn, tell him what’s up.” The guy flashed a quick glance at Wyatt before he looked away. An almost sympathetic glance.

Shit.

Taking a breath, the sexiest little reindeer shifter in the world opened her mouth and once again rocked Wyatt’s world. Badly. “I’m sorry, Wyatt, I can’t have dinner with you. I’m all healed up as of today. So I’m ready to go back to where I live now. In Florida,” she added, as if he might have forgotten. “I’m packing my stuff tonight and hitting the road soon. I’m leaving Deep Hollow, Wyatt,” she finished in what was almost a whisper.

Another fucking awkward silence landed like a dirty bomb. Wyatt could sense both Thor and Slade itching to just turn and bolt away.

He looked right at Brynna. “It’s almost Christmas, Bryn.” His voice was soft, but there was a sharp edge under it that he couldn’t quite control.

She swallowed hard, nodding. “Yes.” A very faint wobble stuttered through her voice. But her gaze stayed firm.

The world narrowed in on Wyatt. Brynna kept her gaze locked on his. Something flickered in her pretty eyes that he couldn’t quite read, but she didn’t say anything more. She didn’t need to.

Right. The other night with her, brief as it had been, had given him hope again. Stupid, idiotic hope. Because Wyatt’s burning, nearly unstoppable desire to protect this woman, and his bear’s fierce, nearly overwhelming urge to claim her, told him something he couldn’t deny.

Sexy, fiery, amazing Brynna was still his mate. Always had been, and always would be.

But even so, even though he knew it and she knew it and everyone in town probably knew it, that still didn’t seem to matter to her. She was still leaving both Deep Hollow and him. Again.

Fuck his life, and fuck Christmas.
Harper, J.K.. Christmas Night Bear (Silvertip Shifters Book 7). Kindle Locations (329-351). Sable Moon Books. Kindle Edition.

As Brynna is packing, she realizes a lot of things from the past. She wanted Wyatt to stop her, to follow her. To maybe ask her to stay with him, he did none of those things. Her parents and sister would be disappointed if she didn’t stay for Christmas Eve. It was a special and fun time for the reindeer shifters although Brynna never really enjoyed it. She didn’t ask to be a reindeer shifter, they were very rare. She did like flying though, it was a perk.

When Wyatt realizes she hasn’t left town, it makes it his business to win her over again.

This is a fun Christmas read with laughter, tears and some heat.

5 Contented Purrs for J.K.!

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jk-harper J.K. Harper

J.K. Harper writes about paranormal romance because despite a lifetime of wishing, all the cool supernatural book characters of her childhood just don’t seem to be real. Besides, it’s just really fun to make stuff up and play around in her imagination. She lives in the Southwest, which is a great place to let her imagination run wild. If you are interested in finding out more about J.K. Harper, including news on future books in the Black Mesa Wolves series, please surf around her online homes.

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2020 Christmas Countdown: A Triple C Ranch Christmas Wedding – Brotherhood Protectors World by Debra Parmley


A Triple C Ranch Christmas Wedding
Brotherhood Protectors World
By
Debra Parmley

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Lucy Woods has dreamed of her perfect wedding since she was a young girl. A designer of jewelry and dresses, she designs her own dress and will marry the man of her dreams in a Christmas wedding at the Triple C Ranch. She worries something will go wrong to ruin the wedding.

Jack Barr will marry the woman he loves in just two days. The rehearsal dinner is tonight. But after the ranch foreman is hospitalized with a stroke, horse thieves have stolen all ten horses from the ranch and he’s the one man close enough to chase them.

With the help of the Brotherhood Protectors and the state police, will they catch the thieves? Will Jack make it to the rehearsal dinner on time? Will Lucy’s fear that something will go wrong and ruin the wedding come true?

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Lucy’s perfect wedding can’t take place at the ranch where they met, but Jack is able to persuade the Triple C Ranch to host the wedding. There are a lot of rules to follow by Lucy and Jack are more than happy to follow them.

With all the plans for the wedding the Triple C is jumping with activity and then their foreman, Buck, has a stroke and is hospitalized. The good news is it hasn’t affected any of the wedding preparations. Just threw a minor wrench into the day to day operations.

The day before the rehearsal dinner, Jack and Lucy drive to the ranch to check on the decorations and find a serious problem. The barn is open and so are the pasture gates. There are cows everywhere except where they belong. But that’s not all.

This is a favorite scene.

Outside the barn, Jack saw only cows in the paddock, wandering about, no horses. He started to look for horse tracks.

As he searched, he got a strong gut feeling about this. His gut had never steered him wrong.

When he found their tracks and followed them, the tracks bore out what he’d been thinking. Someone had taken the horses.

Horse thieves. Do they still hang them here in Montana? Montana had a long history of horse thieving.

It looked to Jack like that history was alive and well today.

The tracks indicated that someone had led the horses out, single file, all the way to the open gate and beyond. The gate now stood open, just like the stalls inside the barn.

Whoever had taken them had been in a hurry, not bothering to close the gates or doors.

He headed back to the barn to tell the others.

As he stepped inside the barn, he saw that George had joined Leah and Lucy.

“The horses are gone,” Jack said, as he walked back in. “They’re not in the paddock. Just cows. Best look around the barn, see if anything else is missing.”

George went directly to the tack room and came right back out, moving faster than Lucy would have guessed the older man could move. “Somebody broke into the tack room last night. Three saddles are missing.”

“Oh no,” Leah said, her eyes widening. “What can we do?”

“Nothing you can do,” George said. “Except put the cows back right now.”

“I’ll help you with the cows,” Lucy said quietly. “I’m sorry about the horses.”

“Thanks,” Leah said and sent her a sad smile. “Two of the horses are ready to foal in just three more weeks.”

“Get the cattle out of the paddock. Put them back in the pasture,” George said to the women. Then he turned to Jack. “Show me where they took them,” he growled, containing his anger, even as it radiated off his wiry body.

“Tracks are back here,” Jack said and gestured for George to follow him.

“Take me to where the tracks are. Then I’m calling the sheriff. I’d better check Buck’s apartment when we get back, too, to see if they got into it. He’s got a land line. I can call the sheriff from up there.”

He followed Jack outside to where the horse’s tracks were.

They both looked down at the ground.

“Looks like the horses were led out.” Jack said. “Single file. Probably on a lead.”

The women were trying to move the stubborn cows out of the paddock, into the pasture on the other side.

Jack watched his bride out of the corner of his eye as he talked to George.

Seeing her trying to move a big cow was sort of comical, as she began by waving her arms and shouting, “Shoo, move on, cow.”

It even caught George’s attention. “Got yourself a city gal, I see.” He shook his head. “She’s not dressed for this. Don’t let her stay out in this cold too long. You can leave her with Leah, but Leah is a hard worker, raised on a reservation, and used to being outdoors in all kinds of weather. She’ll outwork and outstay your bride.”

“Honey, why don’t you go on into the house,” Jack called out. “Tell them what’s happened and send Dan out here. Get Cecelia to find the number for the sheriff and call them.”

Lucy waved and went back inside to get warm and to tell the others.

She was too worried about Jack, and about the horses to enjoy all the beautiful red and white flowers and the decorated Christmas tree. But the scent as she came in the door was wonderful. She closed her eyes and breathed in.

It smells like the magic of Christmas.

They needed some Christmas magic right about now. Too many bad things had started to happen. Lucy stood breathing the scent in and wishing that when she opened her eyes everything would be better and there would be nothing to do but enjoy the beautiful decorations and look forward to their wedding day.

Parmley, Debra; Protectors World, Brotherhood. A Triple C
Ranch Christmas Wedding: Brotherhood Protectors World. Kindle Locations (819-846). Twisted Page Press LLC. Kindle Edition.

With the horses gone, time is of the essence to get them back. As soon as Buck hears, he knows immediately who has taken them and why.

Jack is the one following closest much to Lucy’s dismay. There’s a storm in the mountains to the north and that’s where they’re headed. Lucy doesn’t want him to miss the rehearsal or the wedding because of the horses, but she also knows he’ll find them and get them home safe.

This is a fun, read with some excitement and plenty of friendship and love.

5 Contented Purrs for Debra!

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Coming Soon!

Debra Parmley

Fascinated by fairy tales and folktales ever since she was young, Debra Parmley has always ended her stories with a happy ever after. Every story she writes has an element of romance. She started out writing gritty western historical romance and damsel in distress stories. Her first book, A Desperate Journey, was traditionally published in 2008, after competing in the American Title II contest. A hybrid author, she went on to write for five publishers before branching out with her own Indie press, Belo Dia Publishing Inc. Belo Dia is Portuguese for Beautiful Day.

Debra writes historical romance, contemporary romance and romantic suspense. An Air Force veteran’s wife, she writes military heroes in the present and in the future. Debra’s work as a travel consultant gave her the opportunity to visit many countries. Her luggage often carried home folk tales from the countries visited.

Her three favorite things are dark chocolate, visiting the beach and ocean, and hearing from her readers. Each card, letter and email is a treasured gift, like finding a perfect shell upon the beach. For more information about Debra, please visit her website, links below.

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Trials and Tiaras – Untouchable Book 7 By Heather Long


Trials and Tiaras
Untouchable Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long

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Winter Blog Blurb

It’s not true.

It can’t be.

Four DNA tests.

Only one positive.

The man claiming to be my father is quite literally the worst option imaginable. This isn’t happening to me. For the first time in my life, I know who I am and where I want to be and, in the blink of an eye, everything is spinning so utterly out of control.

I thought the fight with Maddy was the worst thing I faced.

It’s not. I’ve grown up in a house of lies and it’s all crashing down on the five of us, and I have no idea how to protect the ones I love best from the fallout. They’ve all made it clear, they’re not going anywhere.

Worse, I don’t know how to keep them from wading into this fight. I can’t imagine my life without all four of them. I don’t want to.

We can survive this, right?

NOTE:
This is a reverse harem and the author suggests you always read the forward in her books. Contains some bullying elements, mature situations, and is recommended for 17+. This is the seventh in a series and the story will continue through future books.

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Winter Blog Review

When I started reading this book, I was wait, what? This isn’t where the last book ended. Then I realized what was going on as the next chapter flashed back to Valentine’s Day.

Archie was on a mission and Jake was with him. Hopefully to keep Archie from ending up in jail. The first visit was to Muriel, his mother in New York. She wasn’t pleased with the visit or the questions Archie had for her. At least she didn’t seem to know that Edward believes Frankie is his daughter. I love the way he managed that one without saying it.

Have I mentioned that Jeremy is the best! He’s been described as butler, cook, house manager, and general good guy, but seriously he is Archie’s family. A parental substitute so much better than the actual parents.

Jeremy has the arrangements made for DNA testing for Archie and Frankie to put this whole thing to rest before their plane touched down.

The second visit Archie and Jake make is to the country club to confront Edward on the golf course. Oh that was so much fun. Just how Edward didn’t know Archie and Frankie were dating just shows how self indulged he is with what he wants.

I love how supportive Coop, Ian and Jake are of Archie and Frankie during this. The love just flows off the pages.

With so much going on in this book as Graduation nears, there’s also the emancipation hearing. The morning of has some surprises for Frankie that had me laughing out loud.

This is a favorite scene.

He didn’t even slip out while I dried my hair. Instead, he parked himself behind me and took over the back, combing it.

“Up or down?” Fair question since I had court.

“Half up, half down,” I said, meeting his gaze in the mirror.

“Braid?”

I hadn’t considered that, but now that he mentioned it, I liked the idea. He tapped my fingers out of the way and braided the single long strand in the center so it pulled my hair back from my face but left the rest to fall in neat lines. The blowing drying it straight helped. Though, if it got rained on, it was going to be unruly as hell when it dried.

When we finally left the bathroom so I could get dressed, the scent of coffee and something far sweeter assaulted my senses. My mouth was watering by the time I scooted into panties and a bra, then pulled on a pair of nice slacks and a button-down shirt. I even had a blazer to go with it. The dark green looked great on me, and though I didn’t wear it often, it definitely fell in the professional category.

Jake dressed silently while I did, and then he attached the clasp on my bracelet before sliding the class ring on my finger.

“How do I look?” I still had to put on shoes, but I was starving. Thankfully, the top was black and I had a jacket to wear with it.

“Like a million bucks,” Jake told me. “Come on. We have a surprise for you.”

“That is French toast I smell,” I said with a little squeal and then hurried around him and down the hall, tugging him with me. Sure enough, the guys were all crammed into my kitchen with Jeremy.

I paused on the threshold at the sight. Jeremy had been in here cooking while Jake had been getting me off in the shower and I’d been screaming.

Ian watched me from across the room as he sipped his coffee. His bright blue eyes were warm and full of humor. Coop practically smirked next to him, but it was Archie who said, “Come and eat, babe.

Jeremy wouldn’t let us have a damn thing until you got yours first. No matter how much we yelled at him.”

Relief swarmed through me, and when Jake chuckled next to me, I jabbed my elbow into his stomach hard enough to make him ‘oof.’ “Just be glad I don’t have my shoes on,” I warned him, and he grunted.

“Duly noted.” Even if he rubbed his stomach, I doubted I hit him that hard. He was carved out of stone.

“Good morning, Jeremy,” I greeted him as I moved past, and he smiled at me.

“Good morning, Miss Frankie. I’ve prepared your favorite, as well as bacon. Do you want fruit with your French toast, or powdered sugar and syrup?”

“Hmm… yes please?”

He chuckled. “The works it is.”

On impulse, I went up on my tiptoes and kissed his cheek. “You’re the best, Jeremy. Thank you.”

The indulgent smile he gave me made the action seem a lot less awkward, thank God. “My pleasure, truly. You sit, and Mr. Archie will get your coffee. The boys will finish making a space.”

“On it,” Ian said as they shifted the chairs around. Jake was still laughing as he followed me over.

“Can Mr. Archie get my coffee as well?”

“Considering you took your job to an extreme?” Archie told him with a bland look. “You can wait for the next pot.”

I laughed but took the chair next to Coop, who leaned over to nuzzle a kiss and then sighed when I gave him a real one. “Good morning,” he murmured.

“Hi.”

“Good shower?”

“All out of hot water I think,” I told him without an ounce of apology.

“Good thing we used the other one.” He winked, and I laughed.

It wasn’t long before we had stacked plates in front of us. Despite his teasing, Jeremy had most of it ready, so I had three thick pieces of the perfectly cooked French toast, dusted with powdered sugar and a lovely dollop of butter, as well as a plate of strawberries with bacon. Yeah, I’d pretty much died and gone to heaven.

There was coffee and juice and even eggs for the guys. Far more food than had been in our fridge, because we’d skipped shopping this weekend while I indulged Archie’s ordering in fetish, and the five of us had dug in and just made the most of our alone time.

Across the table, Archie smiled at me and I shook my head, but I couldn’t hide my own smile. This right here was the way to kick off our day.
Heather Long. Trials and Tiaras: Untouchable Book Seven (Kindle Locations 2368-2396).

One of the biggest things to stand out is how much everyone has matured. Each book shows some degree of this but this in this one it’s more than obvious. Especially in Frankie’s demeanor and the way she’s standing up for herself and Archie.

The interactions with her guys just sizzles and is sprinkled with giggles and experimentation.

I truly loved all the scenes with Rachel, she has issues she’s not sharing, but Frankie won’t give up or stop asking.

Frankie and Ian have decisions to make, their College has been chosen and Graduation looms.

Friendship, love, family of choice and the heat that radiates off the pages with Frankie and the guys will have you turning the pages to see what happens next. At least I didn’t want to throw my kindle at the end of this one.

I think this book is my favorite so far!

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!


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Winter Blog About Author

Heather Long Heather Long

USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.

From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.

When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.


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2020 Christmas Countdown: Santa’s Wayward Elf by Paige Tyler


Santa’s Wayward Elf
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Paige Tyler

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Being one of Santa’s elves isn’t all sugar plums and candy canes.

At least not for Sosie. Taller than the other elves, she’ has a problem fitting in at the North Pole, so when the transport sled breaks down in New York City on Christmas Eve, she can’t resist slipping away to explore the world of the “big people,” unaware that it takes off without her, leaving the naïve elf stranded.

Fortunately, handsome police detective Derek Clayton comes to her rescue, offering to let her stay at his apartment. Having heard horror stories about the big people, Sosie is both surprised and relieved to meet such a kind, sweet man. Not to mention one so gorgeous and well-built.

She falls hard for Derek and desperately wants to tell him she’s an elf, but knows he’ll never believe her. When the lies and omissions start to pile up, Derek can draw only one conclusion—Sosie must be working for the mob boss he’s been after for years.

Just when things seem like they can’t get any worse, the chief of elfin security shows up to drag Sosie back to the North Pole. How is a runaway elf supposed to overcome a determined security elf, dangerous mobsters and a suspicious boyfriend all while keeping her pointed ears a secret?

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Santa’s Elf Sosie, had finally gotten her wish for a transfer to the South Pole, not an ideal place but she desperately needed a change. The last thing she needed was for her transport to have mechanical problems. While they were working on the problem, Sosie left the confines of the cloaking and looked out over the city. There was music blaring from a building across the way and she really wanted to investigate.

Leaving the safety of the roof, she made her way to the club, only to find herself in trouble when a man convinces her to follow him. In the men’s room he was met by friends with only one thing on their mind.

Fortunately for Sosie, Derek an off duty detective moonlighting a security at the club, saw what went down and came to her rescue. When she left the club she looked for the ripple of the cloaking on the roof across the way only to find it was gone. She was stranded with the Big People (BP) and had no idea what to do.

Derek wasn’t about to let a young woman be stranded alone on the streets of NY, so he brings her to his apartment for the night. The next day being Christmas he also brings her to the apartment’s holiday gathering. Totally enjoying her reactions to things she’s never seen being from Snow City north of Canada.

This is a favorite scene.

The dark-haired woman nodded. “I always like to keep an extra gift on hand in case someone brings a guest.”

Sosie gazed down at the package. The gesture was so sweet, it almost brought tears to her eyes. She lifted her head to see everyone regarding her expectantly. “But I didn’t get any of you anything.”

Connie waved her hand. “Having you here is present enough for all of us.” She grinned. “Now, go ahead and open your gift.”

Sosie didn’t need any more encouragement. She tore into the paper, eager to see what Connie had given her, and was thrilled to find out it was a bottle of perfume. She read the name on the box, but didn’t recognize it, of course. Wondering if it smelled like the scent she wore at home, she took it out of the box and sprayed some on, then inhaled deeply. Soft and delicate, the fragrance was more tantalizing than the usual cinnamon and sugar scent she wore.

She gave Connie a smile. “It smells beautiful. Thank you.”

Beside Sosie, Derek leaned in closer. A moment later he lifted his head to grin down at her. “Mmm, that is nice.”

Sosie’s pulse skipped a beat. She’d heard perfume could have a very desirous effect on members of the opposite sex, but hadn’t believed it since she’d never experienced its power herself. Then again, maybe it didn’t work on elf guys. Maybe it only worked on BP men. Right then, she didn’t care. She liked the way Derek was looking at her.

She opened her mouth to thank him only to be interrupted by a child crying. She turned to see tears running down Jimmy’s face as he stared down at the remote-control car in his hands. Figgy, she hoped he hadn’t gotten into trouble for playing too wildly.

His father kneeled in front of him. “It’s all right, buddy. We’ll take it back to the store tomorrow and get you a new one.”

The boy sniffed. “B-but I want this one.”

The man put his arm around his son. “I know, but this one doesn’t work anymore.”

Sosie chewed on her lower lip. While she hadn’t worked on that model of toy, she might be able to fix it if she had the right tools.

Setting the bottle of perfume down on a table, she walked over to kneel beside Jimmy and his father.

“I have a knack with toys,” she said. “Want me to look at your car and see if I can fix it for you?”

Hope filled Jimmy’s tear-filled eyes. “Do you think you can?”

“All I need are a few common hand tools.”

“I’ve got those,” Ben said, coming over to stand beside her. “What do you need?”

“Some screwdrivers and a small pair of pliers,” she told him. “Oh, and a soldering iron, if you’ve got it.”

“As a matter of fact, I do. I’ll go get them for you.”

Behind Jimmy, his mother frowned in concern. “I don’t know about this. Are you sure you can fix it without breaking it? I don’t want to void the warrantee.”

“She can fix it, Mommy,” Jimmy said confidently. “I know it.”

Sosie gave her a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry. It’ll be good as new. I promise.”

The woman still looked unsure, but didn’t say anything. A moment later, Ben came back, tools in hand. Turning the remote-control car over, Sosie unscrewed the cover on the underside and took it off. She immediately saw the problem and was relieved she could indeed fix it. She would have felt awful if she’d had to disappoint Jimmy. But luckily, a few wires had broken loose from the circuit board. She had them soldered back on in no time flat, then tweaked the settings on the main PCU so the car would move faster.

She popped the cover back on, then held it out to Jimmy. “Why don’t you go take it for a spin and see what you think?”

He eagerly obeyed, giggling like crazy as the car spun in a tight circle, then sped across the floor.

“Thank you,” Jimmy’s mother said. “Both for fixing it and for saving me from having to go back to the toy store and stand in that line of people who are going to be returning things tomorrow.”

Sosie blushed. “No problem. I’ve always been very handy with anything electrical.”

“Is that so?” Ben regarded her thoughtfully. “How are you with central air units?”

Her brow furrowed. “Central air units?”

“Yeah. I can never get the AC to work.”

She didn’t know what AC was, either, but she didn’t want to look stupid in front of everyone. Fortunately, Derek came to her rescue.

“Sosie is from way up north, Ben,” he reminded the older man. “I don’t think they have a big call for AC there.”

“Oh, that’s right. I didn’t think about that.” Ben shook his head. “I wish we didn’t need it here because the unit they installed in this building is a piece of crap. It breaks down all the time. Do you think you could look at it before you leave?”

“I can try.”

Sosie and Derek stood watching Jimmy playing with his car for a while before he suggested they grab some eggnog.

“That was nice of you to fix Jimmy’s toy,” Derek said as he handed her a plastic cup. “And to offer to help Ben with the air conditioning. I think he gets overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything around here.” His mouth twitched. “I’d help him with it myself, but I probably couldn’t figure out how to get the cover off unless I used a crowbar.”

She laughed. “It’s the least I could do. Everyone’s been so nice to me.”

Most especially Derek. Sosie wished she could think of some way to pay him back for everything he’d done for her.

“You two do realize where you’re standing, don’t you?”

Sosie turned at the sound of Tracee’s voice to find that she and Linda had come over to join them. For some reason, both women were regarding them with amusement. Sosie glanced at Derek and saw he looked as confused by the question as she was.

Tracee gave them an impatient look. “Look up.”

Sosie obeyed and blinked when she saw the sprig of mistletoe hanging from the doorjamb above their heads. Elves might not celebrate Christmas with roast turkey and presents, but they did put up mistletoe, so she knew what standing underneath it meant. Wondering if Derek did, too, she looked up to find him gazing down at her with that same sexy glint he’d had in his eye when he leaned in to smell her perfume before. Her pulse quickened, and she wet her lips in anticipation.

But to her dismay, Derek didn’t move to kiss her. Maybe he didn’t know the tradition, after all.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” Tracee said impatiently. “Go ahead and kiss her already.”

He chuckled. “They’re not going to be satisfied unless I kiss you, you know.”

She smiled. “Then I suppose you’d better kiss me.”

Giving her a lopsided grin, Derek bent and lightly touched his lips to hers.
Tyler, Paige. Santa’s Wayward Elf. Kindle Locations (708-754). Kindle Edition.

That kiss leads to more later, and Sosie finds herself falling for Derek. She also starts learning about where she is and helps Ben around the apartment building. By the time she runs into Mendike from Santa’s security service she doesn’t want to return to the North Pole.

Things get even more complicated as Sosie sort of interferes in Derek’s investigation.

Lots of fun with laughter, intrigue, action and quite a bit of sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for  Paige!

Paige Tyler

Paige is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy romantic suspense and paranormal romance. She graduated from The University of West Florida with a degree in education in 2000, but decided to pursue a full-time career as a writer in 2004. Since then, she’s written over fifty books in several genres, including paranormal, contemporary, western, sci-fi and erotica. She loves writing about strong, sexy, alpha males and the feisty, independent women who fall for them. From verbal foreplay to sexual heat, her stories of romance, adventure, suspense, passion and true love will leave you breathlessly panting for more.

She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines who fall in love with them.

When not working on her latest book, Paige enjoys reading, jogging, P90X, Yoga, Pilates, going to the beach, watching NFL football, watching movies and hanging out with her husband (not necessarily in that order!)


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