Savage in a Stetson – Crossroads Book 4 by Em Petrova


Savage in a Stetson
Crossroads Book 4
By
Em Petrova

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They were friends. Now they’re business rivals. Is there room for being lovers too?

Jada Ellis is ready to make some big life changes. When she leaves her job as caregiver in the Crossroads, Georgia nursing home and buys the local BBQ joint on a whim, everyone thinks she’s lost her mind, including her. Just as she starts to feel she’s found the perfect happy trail, she sees another kind of happy trail, leading across the road to her very buff and smoking-hot ex who’s fresh off the rodeo circuit and back in town.

Dominick Cole’s grandpa advised him to stay in the small town, settle down and raise a family here. But he didn’t listen and ran off to chase a golden buckle as a big-time rodeo star. But when “Savage” Cole returns to start up a barbecue restaurant, he couldn’t find a better—or sexier—rival in Jada. The town isn’t big enough for both of them—but a bed might be.

Smoldering friends to enemies to rivals to lovers romance never went down so good. Grab a sweet tea—or something harder—and binge on the latest book in the Crossroads series!

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Jada Ellis is burned out, being a caregiver in a nursing home has rewards and downfalls. Some of her favorite patients have died and she desperately needs a change. A change she finds quite by accident as she drives through town. Mortimer’s Barbeque is for sale and on impulse Jada makes an offer.

Dominick ‘Savage’ Cole has decided to leave the Rodeo behind after burying his best friend. He hadn’t been able to save Jackson from the bull that killed him. He’s decided he can be a success at barbeque, the guys all loved it. With his grandfather’s blessing and investment he rents the building across from Mortimer’s.

Now Dominick doesn’t know Jada bought Mortimer’s, he just wanted a building that would suit his business model. The girl he left behind for the rodeo, hadn’t entered his mind at the time.

This is a favorite scene.

Theo vanished into the building, leaving Dom to watch the woman approach him. Goddamn, she was beautiful. From her thick blonde hair twined into a braid dangling over one shoulder to the way her hips twitched in jeans slung low enough to flash a peek at her tanned midriff. Her baby blue T-shirt had been knotted at the side of her stomach, and everything in Dom’s stomach gripped hard.

What a fool he’d been to break things off with her. The only reason he hadn’t suggested a long-distance relationship was knowing how terrible they always turned out. He didn’t want her hating him—but the sparks shooting from her brown eyes said that she hated him anyway.

She got close enough he could see the whites of her eyes. Why did he feel as if he was about to be challenged to a shootout? She stopped ten paces away and settled a fist on her hip.

“What is that?” she demanded.

Her clear voice carried all the power it once had over him, when they’d spent hours chatting over coffee. He’d managed to forget what he knew back then—that Jada Ellis moved him—she moved mountains of stubbornness and made him want to be a better man.

But he’d walked away from it all to follow his dreams. If he hadn’t left Crossroads, and he ended up marrying her, he would have always wondered how far he could go on the rodeo circuit. Eventually, years of marriage and children would result in him resenting her holding him back. What should he have done?

At least he didn’t resent her—he only felt disgust with himself for figuring this all out a few months too late.

“Well?” She nodded toward his new sign.

He lifted a hand to rub at the scar on his jaw, barely hidden by the stubble growing there. “I admit the sign could use some work. But the people associate the blue letters of Savage with me. I’m hoping that goes the distance until I can order a real sign.” He looked over the long plank of wood painted white with blue lettering.

Her faint eyebrow shot up. “I mean,” she said in a slow and even manner as if his cylinders weren’t all firing, “what does the sign mean?”

He pointed. “Says right here—barbecue.”

“I can read.” The sparks shooting from her eyes amplified until they had laser force. “I mean why are you opening a barbecue restaurant across from a barbecue restaurant?” Each word she spoke dipped lower in volume until the deadly tone became a whisper.

“Oh that. It’s the only building I could lease that fits my vision.”

“Your vision.” Her teeth landed on her plump lower lip, and her brows pulled together.

He stared at her. “What am I missing?”

“You’re missing the fact that my barbecue restaurant is directly across from the one you’re planning to put in!”

“Your—” He broke off and shook his head in confusion. “Your restaurant?”

“Yes, I just bought the business, and having competition two hundred steps from my front doors does not make me happy!”

“About that—” He grew distracted by her shifting her weight to a rounded hip and folding her arms, which boosted her breasts an inch higher.

A finger of desire slipped down the length of his cock.

“I figured this town’s big enough for both barbecue restaurants. Besides, Mortimers always did chicken and wings. I’m serving other things.”

“What kind of other things?”

“Pulled pork. Brisket.”

Her eyes rolled back in her head, and she slammed the lids down over them. For several heartbeats, she didn’t open her eyes or say a word, giving him ample time to study her beautiful face. God, he’d missed her.

When she popped her eyes open and fixed her brown gaze on him, he found it hard to draw air again.

“You can’t stay, Savage. You have to move your restaurant.”

“Sorry to upset you, but I signed a lease.”

“Un-sign it. Or better yet, move to the next town. You’re good at picking up and moving on.”

Ouch. That blow hit below the belt, but he deserved it after what he’d done to her, getting so close during the months he spent visiting his grandpa and then finally asking her to date, only to dump her and leave town.

“Jada, I know this must be a surprise. I’m just as surprised to find you’re my competition.”

“Uh-huh.” Her flat tone cut through several layers of his heart like a whip.

“I didn’t know you bought Mortimer’s.”

“Why are you opening a restaurant? Did you get kicked out of the rodeo again?”

He prickled with irritation and his guts churned at the real reason for leaving it. “I realized I’m better suited to other ventures.”

“Which is killing off women’s dreams. Gotcha.” She spun to go.

God, what he wouldn’t give to grab her up, kiss the hell out of her and then bend her over the nearest picnic table.

He curled his fingers into fists. “Jada!”

She glanced over her shoulder at him. “We’ll see if this town’s too small for two barbecue joints.”

“Guess so.”
Em Petrova. Savage in a Stetson (Kindle Locations 394-439). Kindle Edition.

From opening day there is competition from both sides, but there is also an undeniable attraction between these two.

Jada never really got over him, and Dom has discovered he wants another chance with her.

As Jada and Dom compete to be the best barbeque in town, they also find they can’t stay away from each other.

Plenty of snark, competition and these two just sizzle off the pages.

5 Contented Purrs for Em!

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Em Petrova Em Petrova

Em Petrova was raised by hippies in the wilds of Pennsylvania but told her parents at the age of four she wanted to be a gypsy when she grew up. She has a soft spot for babies, puppies and 90s Grunge music and believes in Bigfoot and aliens. She started writing at the age of twelve and prides herself on making her characters larger than life and her sex scenes hotter than hot.

She burst into the world of publishing in 2010 after having five beautiful bambinos and figuring they were old enough to get their own snacks while she pounds away at the keys. In her not-so-spare time, she is fur-mommy to a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff and works as editor with USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors.


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2020 Christmas Countdown: Holiday for a Hero – Heroes at Heart Book 9 by Maryann Jordan


Holiday for a Hero
Heroes at Heart Book 9
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

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Behind every hero is someone who offered them timeless love.

Ethel fell for the handsome George Wiseman when she was only sixteen. She found the love of her life only to lose him too early. Determined to live her life with purpose, she became a foster mother. And discovered a new kind of love as she offered her home, her heart, and her wisdom to the heroes she raised, through a lifetime of Christmases.

The sweet companion novella of Miss Ethel, the character that many have called their favorite character of all time. You’ve read about her boys… now discover the holidays of Miss Ethel as she learns about love, loss, and the renewing spirit of everlasting love again.

Note:
This novella can be read first, last, or anytime in the middle of the series!

Loosely based on the fairy tale, The Little Girl and the Winter Whirlwinds.

Throughout this series, I was always wondering about Miss Ethel. She is the boy’s, well now men’s hero.

Her husband George was the love of her life, and he was now he is gone. Their love however lives on in this story, as we see when Miss Ethel fell for him right to the day he died. The two of them were always doing for others in some way or another. They just tried to fill a need.

The decision to take in foster children came easy once she realized the need. It was her friend Julia who made her aware and Miss Ethel has so much love to give and a now empty house.

This is a favorite scene.

Ethel accompanied Judith onto her front porch, offering her a hug. As Judith made her way down the front walk, she turned and glanced back at the house and smiled up at Ethel.

“This house is so big for you, Ethel. I hate to think of you all alone here. Have you ever thought about moving?”

Ethel lifted her gaze lovingly over the house that George had chosen for them. Smiling, she shook her head. “This is home. This is where I feel George every day.” With a wave, Judith made it to her car, and Ethel turned and walked back through the wreath-covered door. There was no tree in the living room, but she’d placed some of her favorite decorations on display. It was easier to decorate this year as grief had moved through the stages toward acceptance.

Sinking into the deep cushions of her favorite chair, she picked up her knitting, the clicking of the needles familiar and comforting. It was easy to allow her thoughts to wander as her fingers worked, and Judith’s words sounded out in the silence. Needy. No home. No one to care for them. She was not surprised when anticipated anger filled her as she thought of abandoned, abused, or neglected children. Dropping her knitting onto her lap, her gaze found the picture of George resting on the table nearby. “You would have given anything for children, and here some people have what we never had, and they throw it away!”

The cruel twist of fate had her toss the knitting back into the basket and taking to her feet. Pacing the floor, she continued to rant about the injustices in the world, shaking her fist and crying loudly. Finally exhausted, she moved to the chair that George had always sat in, now looking around the room from what had been his perspective. The multitude of books they’d collected over the years filled the shelves. The upstairs held empty bedrooms and her dining room table held empty chairs.

“You have gifts far beyond anyone I’ve ever known, sweetheart. You’ll find those who need your gifts. You will seek out those who can only be saved by you.”

His words resounded loudly in the room, words spoken near the end. “What are you trying to tell me, George? That I’m supposed to open our home to children that were never ours?”

“You will seek out those who can only be saved by you.”

His words were so clear to her but only served to squeeze her heart more. “What can I do by myself, George? Maybe this is something we could have done together, but me? Alone? What on earth could I offer these children?”

“A soft bed. A warm home. A listening ear. Hardy food. A sense of stability. Someone to love them.”

“What do I know about being a mother? If it was not God’s will for me to be a mother, how would I even know what to do?” she asked, throwing her hands up into the air.

“God never intended for you not to share your love. You have so much to offer.”

The room once again grew silent, but Ethel didn’t move. She sat in the chair that allowed her to still catch a whiff of George’s aftershave, tears rolling down her cheeks. Minutes turned into hours, and for the first time in her life, she did not seek her bed.

Instead, she was still sitting in the chair as the morning light filtered through the curtains.

Dragging in a deep, cleansing breath, she let it out slowly. Pushing herself to stand, her body felt stiff, but she moved toward her bedroom. An hour later, she stood in front of the mirror and stared at her reflection. A light dusting of powder covered her face. Her graying hair was pulled back into a bun. She had chosen a pale blue shirtwaist dress with a thin belt around her waist. Whispering to her reflection, she said, “Okay, George, I’m going to do this. But I’ve got to know that I’m not in this alone.”

“I’ll be in every breath you take and every beat of your heart.”

Hearing that promise once again and knowing that her beloved husband had never made a promise he didn’t keep, she squared her shoulders as she picked up her purse and walked out the door. It was not long before she sat in the head social worker’s office in the Department of Social Services.

“And how may I help you, Mrs. Wiseman?” the woman with the kind eyes asked.

“I’d like information on how to become a foster mother.” She held her breath, uncertain what the social worker’s response would be. When the woman’s lips curved into a wide smile, Ethel breathed a sigh of relief. She glanced down, almost certain that George had reached out to hold her hand. Thank you, my sweet husband. Looking back up, she met the social worker’s smile with one of her own.
Maryann Jordan. Holiday for a Hero: A Sweet Heroes at Heart Companion Novella (Kindle Locations 401-436).

We get to see each of the boys as they come to Miss Ethel and learn her method of showing them how to love and respect themselves and others. The stories they read, the quotes and so much more as they grow into men under her loving care.

So much laughter, love and even some tears in this wonderful holiday tale. Don’t miss this wonderful series!

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Maryann Jordan

I have always been an avid reader. My early memories were of my mother taking me to the library and allowing me to check out as many books as I could carry. My favorite books were checked out numerous times and read over and over. I would use my Barbie dolls to play out the scenes in books (such as Nancy Drew!).

I have written as a hobby for many years (probably since childhood). I have written devotionals, autobiographical writings about having a severely handicapped, medically fragile child, about my mother’s Alzheimer’s, and other subjects that interest me.

I joke that I “cut my romance teeth” on the old historical romance books. In 2013, I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers. In 2014, I finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and was involved in education for the past 30 years, until retiring in 2015. I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 35 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters. When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!


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2020 Christmas Countdown: A Very Montgomery Christmas – Montgomery Ink: Boulder Book 4.9 by Carrie Ann Ryan


A Very Montgomery Christmas
Montgomery Ink: Boulder Book 4.9
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Carrie Ann Ryan

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It’s holiday time with the Boulder Montgomerys and there are more than a few changes coming. Between family dinners, various cheese boards, late nights, and dramatic announcements, the family that has stayed together no matter the cost proves just what makes them special this holiday season.

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This book opens with Liam, Arden and their adopted daughter Lake getting ready to go to the elder Mongomery’s home to celebrate Christmas. There was one more gift for Lake to open and it was hysterical the way Liam couldn’t get to the point.

Next up are Holland and Ethan as they are trying to get ready. With Kingston being a colicky baby, sleep is but a memory and they really don’t get a reprieve from the crying until Lincoln finally arrives. Oh the memories…Lincoln has the magic touch on this particular day although Kingston seems to alternate favorite soother. Of course things are forgotten with regards to a side dish they were going to bring. The joys of parenthood.

A very pregnant and overdue Bristol, and her husband Marcus have already arrived at the Montgomery home. Other friends that are now considered family have arrived as well Zia and Meredith, and Julia and her husbands Ronin and Kincaid.

The new grandparents Francine and Timothy, are ready and waiting for everyone to arrive. It’s Francine, Aaron’s mom who answers the door when he arrives with his wife Madison.

This is a favorite scene.

The door opened, and my mother stood there, clapping her hands. She had on her Christmas best, the pearls around her neck shining under the light, and a wide smile on her face. The pearls had been a gift from Dad for their twenty-fifth anniversary, and she only broke them out for special occasions. “You’re here. You’re here.”

“Oh yeah?” I asked. “I’m not late, am I?” I leaned in, kissed my mother on the cheek, and moved back so Madison could hug her. I was still holding two casserole dishes, as well as presents on one arm, and Madison had two sets of gifts in her arms, but we were good at juggling.

“Come in, and you’re not late. You’re always on time. Bristol and Marcus are here, as are Zia and Meredith, and Julia, Ronin, and Kincaid are here as well.”

I blinked, trying to put names to faces even though Bristol was my sister, and the rest were practically family, even if they weren’t Montgomerys.

“Wait, so there are only two sets of siblings here?” My mother waved off my words as she took the casserole from my hands. She immediately handed them over to my dad, who rolled his eyes and smiled.

Dad leaned forward. “Arden, Liam, Lake, and Jasper will be here any minute. They had a slow start because they had a couple more presents to open. And the new parents will be here soon. They had an even later start. But things tend to get that way when you have a new bundle of joy demanding all of your time.”

I looked at Madison, who blushed and shook her head.

Okay, soon then.

“But you know you would think with three of them that they’d be able to handle the timing better,” I joked, and my mom narrowed her eyes at me.

“Be nice, or I’m going to have to slap you upside the head. And don’t think I won’t. Because I will, young man.”

My dad just laughed. “You know she will.”

“Yes, but I didn’t think she’d be so blatant about it,” I laughed.

“Of course I will, Aaron. Be kind. You never know when it will be your turn to be the new parents that are never sleeping.”

“You never know,” I agreed causally. I handed Mom one set of presents and then took the rest from Madison to empty her hands. “Okay, I think we got everything that we needed for everyone.”

Mom looked at us, her eyes wide. “I thought we said we were only doing presents for the family. As in, Secret Santa.”

I rolled my eyes. “You know that this is the first year that we have grandkids and nieces and nephews in the family. Of course we’re going to splurge.”

Madison laughed. “And, we got something for everyone, but it’s the same thing, so I hope that’s okay.”

My mom’s eyes filled with tears, and I knew today was going to be a long day of happiness and crying. But I didn’t mind. It was what we wanted.

“Oh, that’s so sweet. So this is all for us?”

“Yes, at least for each household, and we do not expect presents from everyone. We just saw something and knew it would fit perfectly even though it was going against the rules.”

“My little rule-breaker.”

I rolled my eyes. “I’m not that bad, Mom.”

“You are, but it’s why I love you—at least one of the many reasons.”
Ryan, Carrie Ann. A Very Montgomery Christmas: A Montgomery Ink: Boulder Novella. Kindle Locations (327-355). Carrie Ann Ryan. Kindle Edition.

I got a real kick out of Bristol’s grumbling and wanting the baby to born, being overdue is no fun at all. There’s a big surprise from Aaron and Madison and not just the gift they brought for everyone. Some discussion of no privacy in the Montgomery family brought me to giggles.

A fun and emotional Christmas story!

I really have to catch up on this series before the next book comes out in January.

5 Contented Purrs for Carrie Ann!

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Coming Soon!

Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, paranormal, and young adult romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Talon Pack, Promise Me, and Elements of Five series, which have sold millions of books worldwide. She’s the winner of a RT Book of the Year and a Prism Award in her genres. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over seventy-five novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not losing herself in her emotional and action-packed worlds, she’s reading as much as she can while wrangling her clowder of cats who have more followers than she does.

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2020 Christmas Countdown: Dog Tags for Christmas – Brotherhood Protectors Book 16 By Elle James


Dog Tags for Christmas
Brotherhood Protectors Book 16
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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A former Army Ranger and the love of his life, strengthen their bond with each other when their furry friend and retired Military Working Dog goes missing.

Kujo and Molly want to further their relationship with a baby, but they’re having no luck. With Christmas fast approaching, they opt to relieve their stress over missed-conception and head into the Crazy Mountains for a winter escape. When Six, Kujo’s retired Military Working Dog, disappears into the wilderness, Kujo and Molly realize their love for each other is their strength, and the life of their best furry friend takes precedence. They call on the Brotherhood Protectors to help them search for the missing canine. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Six.

NOTE:
A shorter version of this story was included in the Dog Tags Anthology and has since been expanded with new content.

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This book opens with the birth of Hank and Sadie Patterson’s son. Kujo and Molly are very happy for them but at the same time sad. They’ve been trying for so long and the frustration is taking it’s toll. It’s Hank’s idea for them to relax and get away for a bit. The cabin in the mountains could be the perfect place to relax and unwind. They’ve also noticed some unusual behavior with Six.

This is a favorite scene.

Molly turned to Kujo. “What do you think about Hank’s offer?”
“What offer?” Kujo asked.“Weren’t you listening?” Molly shook her head. “He offered to let us use the hunting cabin in the mountains as a getaway. I have the next three weeks off for vacation from my job, and you don’t have another assignment with the Brotherhood until the middle of January. Why don’t we do it?”He glanced her way. “Just going up to relax?”She nodded.“Not going to be monitoring your ovulation cycle?” he asked.

She shook her head. “Not once.”

Kujo raised his eyebrows. “We’re not going to obsess over getting pregnant the entire time we’re up there?”

Molly sighed. “No. I’m kind of tired of the whole process.”

“Although I’m a stud,” Kujo puffed out his chest, “sometimes, it’s hard to perform on demand.”

She laughed out loud. “Like it’s ever hard for you to perform on demand.”

“True,” he said with a grin. “But it does take some of the fun out of it.”

She laid her hand on his arm. “I’m sorry.”

He shook his head. “Sweetheart, don’t be. I want this baby as much as you do. But if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be all right. I’m just worried about you.”

“Well, if we can’t get pregnant,” Molly smiled brightly, “we can always adopt more retired working military dogs like Six.”

“He does seem a little bit restless lately,” Kujo remarked.

“Did you notice that his limp has practically gone away?”

Kujo smiled. “Yes, I have, and I’m happy for him.”

Molly glanced at him. “So, we’re doing it?”

Kujo grinned. “Looks like we’re going to the mountain cabin.”

Smiling broadly, Molly clapped her hands. “Good. I’m looking forward to it.” Maybe at the cabin, they could get some rest, and maybe get back some of their lusty mojo that had gone by the wayside with the push to make a baby.

When they arrived at their home, Kujo helped Molly down from the truck. She hurried inside to pack clothing and blankets for their stay in the cabin. She might be overpacking, but they needed enough supplies to stay a week in the mountains. In a basket, she packed sheets, down-filled comforters, towels and washcloths and a couple of candles for ambiance and light.

The cabin had no electricity or running water. For baths, they bathed in a nearby stream in the summer.

In the winter, they’d have to heat water from melting snow. It would take a lot of time to heat enough water over the open fireplace to fill the large metal washtub. For the most part, spit baths would have to do.

Six greeted them at the door, tail wagging in a somewhat subdued manner.

“Is it me, or is Six depressed?” Molly asked.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with him,” Kujo said. “But maybe we need to take him to a veterinarian before we go out to the mountain.”

Molly tilted her head. “Or maybe the mountain is just what he needs. If he gets worse, we can bring him back down.”

“He definitely hasn’t been himself lately.”

“Do you think he’s lonely?” Molly asked.

“He used to be in a kennel with dozens of other military working dogs.” His eyes narrowed.

Molly’s brows knit. “Do you think he’s missing other dogs?”

“He’s been with me for over a year,” Kujo said.

Molly’s lips tightened. “And with me almost as long.”

“We’re his pack now.”

“Well, I think he’s sad.”

He glanced sideways at her. “You think we need to get another dog to keep him company?”

Molly’s lips turned up on the corners. “Is that what you’d like me to get you for Christmas? A playmate for Six?”

Kujo shook his head. “I’m not much into Christmas. If a playmate is what will make Six happy, I don’t see a need to attach it to Christmas.” He glanced at Molly. “Don’t get me wrong. I want Six to be happy. But why wait until Christmas?” He went back inside and came out with a bag of dog food, Six’s dog bed and several chew toys.

Molly smiled. “I feel like those couples with small children. They pack everything and the kitchen sink.”

“For now, Six is our baby,” Kujo said.

“And he’ll always be,” Molly said. “He means as much to me as he does to you.” Maybe they didn’t need a baby to be happy…
James, Elle. Dog Days of Christmas. Kindle Locations (136-170). Twisted Page Ince. Kindle Edition.

The cabin seems to be the perfect escape even with a wolf howling out there. Six had answered that howl with one of his own and when he takes off I think my heart broke.

This is a very emotional story and I teared up more than once. I read both versions of this and I still have a problem with the situation with Six. It’s most disappointing because simple facts weren’t held to with regard to Military War Dogs.

3 Purrs for Elle.

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(Books 1-3)


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Crossovers!

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Elle James

Award-winning author Elle James grew up as an air force military brat. She received her work ethic from her rock-solid father, her creative streak from her artistic mother and inspiration from her writing partner and sister, Delilah Devlin.

As a former member of the army reserves and a current member of the air force reserves, she’s traveled across the United States and to Germany, managed a full-time job, and raised three wonderful children. She and her husband have even tried their hands at ranching exotic birds (ostriches, emus and rheas) in the Texas hill country. Ask her, and she’ll tell you what it’s like to go toe-to-toe with an angry three-hundred-and-fifty-pound bird and live to tell about it!

Her adventures in the army and air force reserves, and the wild antics of her life on a small ranch in Texas give her fodder for mystery, suspense and humor in her writing. Elle writes gothic, paranormal mystery for the Harlequin Intrigue line and paranormal romantic comedy for Dorchester Publishing. A former manager of computer programming and project management professionals, Elle is happy she now has the opportunity to pursue her writing full time.

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2020 Christmas Countdown: When Love Chimes – Broken Valor Book 1 By Lexi Post


When Love Chimes
Broken Valor Book 1
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lexi Post

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He’s the right man at the wrong time
with an unwanted Christmas proposal.

As if cocktail waitress and horse trainer Lynzie Mullins didn’t have enough problems, she discovers she’s pregnant just as her high school crush rides back into town in time for Christmas. He’s a constant reminder of the happily ever after she’d always dreamed of instead of the mess she’s in now.

Cowboy veteran Ryan Crawford reluctantly returns to Lucasville to help his grandfather sell his place. The town has changed and so has Lynzie—from an awkward teenager to an attractive young woman with a caring heart.

Despite his best efforts, Lynzie is not interested in leaving Lucasville, so Ryan offers her what she wants—his heart. Unfortunately, that proves not to be enough. Now he has a decision to make. Give up his dream farm or his dream girl.

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As this book opens Lynzie finds out she’s pregnant, the father Andrew, is someone she just passes time with, not someone she would want to marry. Her bestfriend Coco is with her and convinces her to wait until seeing a doctor before saying anything to anyone.

From Coco she also learns that her high school crush, Ryan Crawford, is back in town. This information comes just before he shows up on her doorstep. Ryan has changed a lot since his mother moved with him to Florida. He’s definitely not a kid anymore and he served his country honorably until he was injured and discharged. The unannounced visit, while a surprise also proves to Lynzie she’s still more than a little in love with him. The short visit ends with Ryan asking her to lunch the next day and her accepting.

Now that lunch has a couple of twists as they catch up, one of which is Andrew stopping at their table. Something that annoys Ryan and Lynzie both.

This is a favorite scene.

Ryan looked toward the corner and his brow furrowed. “Ex-boyfriend.”

She chuckled. “Not exactly that, either. We go out sometimes.” And stay in sometimes. “As you can see, it is nothing serious.”

“He’s not good enough for you.”

Her heart lurched at his words. She hadn’t heard a sincere compliment like that in years, at least not from a man. “Thank you, but I think I’m the one who’s not quite good enough, or should I say of the proper class.”

Ryan studied her before he spoke and when he did, it was as if he chose his words carefully. “A man is more than his ability to provide financially. The value of man is based on character.” He nodded toward the corner. “He lacks character.”

Something in Ryan’s tone had her believing he’d learned that in the Army. She shrugged. She didn’t want to talk about Andrew. “How’s your mom? Last time I saw her, her eyes were red from crying and she was packing boxes.”

“That’s right.” He gave her a lopsided grin. “Luckily, she stopped crying soon after that and got angry instead. She divorced my dad. He couldn’t seem to remember he was married when around other women.”

“Oh, I thought it was just the one woman.”

“No. I can’t say my dad was as great as yours.” He grimaced. “We moved in with my mother’s parents who owned a horse farm in Florida. It’s a beautiful spread. But when Mom remarried, my grandparents sold it. I was in the Army at the time, so I never had a chance to buy it.”

Energy surged through her as she realized he must still love horses. Maybe she could work for him. “Were you thinking of buying Gramps’ farm?”

In less than a second, he burst her dreams when he shook his head.

“No. I already bought one in Florida.” He smirked. “There’s no horses or staff there yet, but at least I own it.”

She squashed her disappointment, something she did on a daily basis, and focused on him. “Are you going to breed horses? Or were you thinking of training them?”

“Neither.”

She chuckled. “Are you just going to put them out to pasture?”

Ryan’s eyes lit up. “Not that either. I’m going to start a Veteran’s therapy program.”

She’d never heard of such a thing. Then again, her dad was a policeman and was killed in the line of fire. No one she knew had served in the military and been overseas. “I’m not sure I understand. Does that mean you will use the farm like a summer camp, only with psychologists and physical therapists?”

“No, not exactly. It’s more like a dude ranch. We will be using the horses for therapy and the quiet of the farm will help those with PTSD feel more comfortable. However, not every man or woman who comes back from combat has PTSD. There’s about twenty percent who truly have it, but if you take into account the depression, guilt, anxiety, sleep disorders and readjustment to civilian life, there are a ton of ways my horses will be able to help.”

She smiled, loving his enthusiasm. “Your horses? I thought you said you don’t own any.”

He nodded. “I don’t, but that’s where Gramps comes in. He offered me twenty-five percent of the final take on selling his farm if I’d help him sell it.”

“Oh wow. That should be substantial, especially if you sell to a horse breeder or even a developer.”

His smile was wide. “That’s my hope. I would like to start with five horses and a couple staff. Believe it or not I already have two friends who are helping just to have lodging. They are on disability pay and just want a safe, quiet place to hang their hat, so to speak. But while they both know their way around an M4, they don’t have much horse experience.”

Ryan’s excitement was catchy. “Are your friends veterans too?”

“Yes, Jesse and Cooper. They are at the farm right now. I’d trust them with my life.” He chuckled. “Actually, I had to a few times.”

She couldn’t imagine what it had been like for him. His upbeat excitement to help his fellow comrades was such a breath of fresh air. “How did you come up with this idea? Or was it that you wanted to help your friends using what you know?”

He shook his head. “I’d like to take credit for that, but I can’t. I actually was told about a place that exists like this in Virginia and I went there myself. I admit, it wasn’t for research.” He lowered his voice and leaned forward, his smile gone. “I went because I needed help with my leg, but it was really an escape from having to fully readjust to civilian life again.” He sat back. “I didn’t have many expectations, but by time I was done, I knew what I wanted to do with my life savings.”

Her heart swelled with pride in him at the same time she felt inferior. His sense of purpose, his caring, his life experience showed her exactly how small her own world had been.

Luckily, the waitress came by with their lunch and he started asking her about Lucasville. She was far more comfortable talking about a place she knew backwards and forwards.

By time they finished their meal, she was in complete awe of him.

After he paid, he walked with her outside. “I better get over to the garage. Antony wants me to do a couple hours work today. He still doesn’t trust me. I never expected that.”

She put her hand on his arm. “It’s not his fault. All of us who have been here while Lucasville suddenly exploded have been burned a time or two. But to be fair, others have done very well like Renee Reese. Just give him a little time.”

He looked at her. “What about you? Do you need time to trust me?”

She smiled. “No. You are still the boy I liked in high school, just better.”

His grin was back. “That’s good enough for me. So would you like to come over this weekend and give me a few pointers on Midnight and Toby?”

“I can come by Sunday. I don’t work Sunday night.”

“Perfect. You can stay for dinner.”

What was she doing? “Sounds good.”

“It will be. I’m cooking. You don’t want to eat anything Gramps cooks. I found that out the hard way.”

She rarely ran into Ryan’s grandfather, but she’d heard he was forgetting things. “You know how to cook?”

He shrugged. “I’ve picked up a couple tips here and there. My specialty is smoked ribs. Do you like those?”

Oh, God could the man get any better? “I love smoked ribs.”

“How about twelve hundred hours? I’d like your opinion on a few things, but I know you work late.”

Her opinion? She ignored his use of military time. “Noon is fine.”

He gazed into her eyes, a smile still on his face. “I’m really glad I came back here.”

Before she could react to the thrill that buzzed through her chest, Ryan cupped her neck and kissed her.

The second his lips touched hers, her whole body came alive. At first the kiss was just a brush of a touch, but as he lifted away, he hesitated then came back and really kissed her, his tongue seeking entrance to her mouth, which she allowed.

As teenagers, they had been awkward at best in their kissing, but Ryan knew what he was about now as he commandeered her mouth with his tongue. She moaned as she kissed him back, loving his new taste.

“Excuse me.”

At the sound of the strange voice, she pulled away and looked at the person who wanted to go into the restaurant. She didn’t recognize the man, but still her cheeks heated.

“I’m sorry.” Ryan spoke to the man then stepped away from the doorway, taking her with him, his hand at the small of her back, possessive.

Once they had walked a few steps away, he turned and faced her. “I know I should apologize for kissing you on the sidewalk in front of everyone, but I can’t because I’m not sorry. I hope you’re not offended.”

She shook her head, not quite able to form words yet.

“Good.” He looked at his watch. “I better get going. See you Sunday?”

She nodded.
Post, Lexi. When Love Chimes (Broken Valor Book 1). Kindle Locations (283-345). Lexi Post. Kindle Edition.

With Ryan working part-time to finance repairs at his grandfather’s farm prior to sale, he makes time to see more of Lynzie. Even finding out she’s pregnant won’t deter him from wanting more with her.

Andrew proves he’s even more of a jerk after finding out about the baby, giving Lynzie several options. None of which include marriage.

The friendship between Lynzie and Coco is one of laughter and love. Their shopping trip had me giggling as they looked for gowns to wear on New Year’s Eve.

Love, laughter and tears surround the characters as Lynzie finds love with Ryan.

I confess I’ve never read the Dicken’s story this tale was based on, I do know I will be reading it now.

5 Contented Purrs for Lexi!

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Lexi Post Lexi Post

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

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

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

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Redeye – Open Skies Book 2 by Becca Jameson


Redeye
Open Skies Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson

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Christa

A harmless blind date with a buff Alpha formerly with Delta Force.
But then he kissed her, and rocked her foundation.
A week later when her apartment lease falls through, she’s in his home. In his life.
But she’s not the only woman who has her eye on him, and her competition doesn’t play fair.
Plus, the man throws mixed signals every time she’s in his arms.
No matter how hard she’s fallen for him, she’s not sure she can tolerate much more.
Meanwhile, her airline has put all flight attendants on alert for human trafficking.
When a suspicious group of teen girls catches Christa’s attention, she must act fast.
The last thing she expects is to end up as a hostage in a tense situation.

Mack

He agreed to take her out because she was smoking hot.
He hadn’t meant to fall for her.
She’s far too innocent for someone like him. The very definition of vanilla.
It takes every ounce of restraint to keep himself from taking things too fast.
How long can he deny his Alpha tendencies? What if he tamps them down and never tells her?
When it all blows up in his face, he’s not sure she will ever speak to him again.
Before he has a chance to beg her forgiveness, she falls hostage to a madman on her flight.
Rescuing her is his first priority.
Convincing her to give him another chance is second on the list.

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What started out as almost a joke, has us seeing yet another of Destiny’s friends going on a blind date with one of Trent’s now retired teammates. Libby and Jason started it all in ‘Layover’, now it’s Christa’s turn. Mack ‘Kraft’ Carter had danced with the blonde beauty at Trent and Destiny’s wedding, now he’s going on a date with her. He’s also going to make a whole lot of assumptions about her during this date. Ones that had me laughing and wondering if he’d ever admit to his thoughts.

They have an awesome first date getting to know one another, I could feel the chemistry clicking in.

This is a favorite scene at the end of the date.

For the first time since she could remember, Christa was actually disappointed when Mack pulled up back at her condo. She’d had a great time. He was funny and friendly and so very gorgeous. She’d had trouble keeping her eyes off him. Plus, she thought he’d enjoyed her, too.

He walked her to the door, and even took her keys from her and opened her front door. It was quiet inside. The only light came from a small end table lamp Libby had left on before she’d gone to Jason’s where she slept most nights these days. Thus the reason she was moving in with him, and Christa was moving to a smaller apartment she could afford on her own.

Mack stepped inside with her without saying anything, which pleased her and made her wonder if he might stay a while.

“Can I get you something to drink?” she asked as she tossed her purse onto the couch.

“No, thank you. I won’t stay. I know you have to work the next three nights.” He approached her slowly, holding out a hand to grab hers when he got closer. His voice was deeper as he pulled her against him and cupped her face with his other hand, threading his fingers in her hair. “I only came inside because I didn’t want to kiss you on the porch.”

She drew in a breath as he lowered his face, parting her lips before his landed on hers. The kiss was sweet and soft and warm and gentle and so very nice. And then he stepped even closer, releasing her hand to slide his to her lower back. He hauled her against him and deepened the kiss, angling her head so that he could dip his tongue inside and stroke hers.

She grabbed his waist and held on, afraid if she didn’t, she might sway too far to one side and fall. Damn, he could kiss. Her breasts felt heavy and tight in her bra as he dragged his thumb back and forth against her cheek.

When he slid his hand down to cup her butt, she smoothed hers up to his shoulder blades. Best kiss ever, hands down. She never wanted it to end. And for a long time, it didn’t.

By the time he eased back and released her lips, they were both gasping for oxygen. He held her gaze, slowly smiling before he asked, “Panty-melting?”

Her cheeks heated several degrees as she returned his smile. “Definitely.” She was surprised and impressed that he’d remembered that comment from earlier.

“Good. Wouldn’t be worth going out with me a second time if I didn’t meet that criterion.”

Damn, he was blunt. She had told him she wouldn’t marry a man who didn’t make her panties melt. It shocked her he would bring that up again. No one ever discussed such a thing on the first date. Was he just slick and toying with her? Or was he seriously into her?

“I should go,” he stated without moving an inch.

She licked her lips, considering telling him he most certainly shouldn’t. But her stupid brain and common sense stepped in and reminded her that inviting him to her bed on the first date could spell disaster. It seemed like most women rarely went out a second time with a guy they gave it all up for the first night. She didn’t want to be that woman. She wanted to see him again.

He winked at her and finally eased back. “I’ll see you Saturday for the move.”

She nodded. Saturday seemed so far away. He would be there first thing that morning, as well as several other guys to help with the move. She could wait that long. She had no choice. She needed to work all three nights between now and then, and she still had packing to do.

He slid his hand into hers and pulled her behind him as he walked toward the door. When he spun around, he cupped the back of her head and kissed her again. Hard. Fast. Heated. “Saturday,” he repeated, his voice husky.

“Saturday,” she mimicked yet again.

He turned around, opened the door, and stepped outside. “Lock your door behind me, Christa.”

She smiled. Why did that one statement make her all kinds of hot? “I will,” she murmured. She watched him walk back toward his SUV and waved as he ducked inside. Finally, she shut and locked the door.

For a long time, she simply leaned against it, smiling from ear to ear.

“Holy shit, that was hot,” she whispered to the empty room.
Becca Jameson. Redeye: Open Skies, Book Two (Kindle Locations 233-265). Becca Jameson Publishing.

Moving day for Libby and Christa brings a startling surprise for Christa. Apparently the apartment she was supposed to rent wasn’t vacated and the tenant signed a new lease. This leaves her without a place to stay. Now of course Mack isn’t going to let her get a hotel or anything, he has a guest room. Although he’d like her in his bed, he wasn’t going to rush into this and scare her away.

Christa on the other hand doesn’t want to impose, but agrees. She gets more and more frustrated with Mack as he holds off taking her to his bed.

Mack also gives her some advice when she gets an email from the airline about possible human trafficking and signs to look for. She never really expects anything to come of it since the airline is aware and watching.

Plenty of laughs before the the sizzle kicks in, followed by some tension, scares and action.

I really can’t wait to read what comes next, there is a hint of the next book ‘Nonstop’ that has me a bit impatient.

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

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Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

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

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

…where Alphas dominate…


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Don’t Look Back – Texas Justice Book 3 By Christie Craig


Don’t Look Back
Texas Justice Book 3
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Christie Craig

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FBI agent Brie Ryan’s latest mission is personal. She’s posing as a waitress at the Black Diamond strip club, the same club where her estranged half sister worked until she turned up dead. When Brie’s undercover assignment is compromised, she turns to the only man she knows who can help her: Connor Pierce, a too-sexy-for-his-own-good, rule-breaking cop with a knack for solving cold cases.

When someone breaks into Brie’s apartment, Connor’s detective skills aren’t the only things that kick into overdrive. Although his job demands he remain detached, now he finds himself tempted not only by Brie’s beauty but also her intelligence and bravery. As the investigation—and their attraction—grows more intense, lives are in jeopardy, and Connor finds the most important rule he must break is his own. But can he put his heart on the line?

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In the prologue of this book we learn of Detective Connor Pierce’s demons. The ones he can’t let go. We jump three and half years ahead to today as Brie Ryan is following a Porsche driven by one Dillon Armand. Of course she’s speeding and ends up being pulled over. It doesn’t help that the car she’s driving was ‘borrowed’ from the parking lot of the Black Diamond Strip Club. She almost gets away with it, but the cop gets the word the car was stolen. What happens next was just plain fun, for for her and humiliating for the cop. It also lets us know she is acquainted with Detective Pierce.

Brie had just returned to her car when her cell rang. Caller ID said it was Carlos, her partner. Only it wasn’t him on the other end of the call. A police officer looking for information as to the owner of the phone. What she tells him is not something he wanted to hear. The critically injured man now in surgery, Carlos Olvera, is FBI.

It’s Carlos’ husband Tory who tells her what Carlos hadn’t had a chance to, one of their team is a mole and leaked information on a big case. One that may be connected to the one Brie is looking in to, albeit unofficially since the victim was her sister and the FBI refused to look into it.

Connor and his team Juan Acosta and Mark Sutton work cold cases, but their boss pulls them into Carlos’ attack. He wants answers and an arrest quickly. He knows Connor’s team will do that.

Brie and Connor both know they shouldn’t get involved, but the inevitable happens and then Connor screws it all up. The thing is neither one of them understand that there are more than just a impulse happening.

There are many twists and turns as this story unfolds and several cases intertwine and new ones open.

I truly didn’t see everything wrapping up, but it happened an in a most surprising and interesting way.

5 Contented Purrs for Christie!

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Christie Craig

New York Times bestselling author Christie Craig is an award-winning writer, photojournalist, motivational speaker, writing teacher, and author of thirty-four books.

An Alabama native, she is a NEW YORK TIMES Best-Selling author of more than 30 books and thousands of magazine articles. During her 25 year career, she has gained a well-deserved reputation for writing romance fiction that has both witty humor and a suspenseful, sexy tone.

Also writing young adult books as C.C. Hunter, her complete New York Times bestselling young adult paranormal series, Shadow Falls and Shadow Falls: After Dark, are available now from St. Martin’s Griffin. Her new young adult series, The Mortician’s Daughter, is now available and her contemporary young adult debut, This Heart of Mine, will release from Wednesday Books in February 2018. She also has a new romantic suspense series coming from Forever Books in 2018.

She currently resides in Texas.

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Axel – SEALs of Honor Book 25 By Dale Mayer


Axel
SEALs of Honor Book 25
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Life was never boring, but, for Axel, things kick up a notch when he helps in an underwater rescue of a downed submarine that’s low on oxygen. What they find is nothing like what they expected. All the crew but one was dead—as in shot to death. The last remaining crew member was alive but in rough shape. What the hell happened here?

Allee woke up in the hospital and barely remembers how she got here. But a fuzzy memory only compounds the horror when the investigation ranks her as their number one suspect in the nightmare that won’t quit.

As the investigation takes a darker turn, so does her life, as someone decides a dead patsy is better than one who can talk …

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A downed sub is the focus at the beginning of this book, an SOS had gone out, then nothing. Mason and his team along with others are sent to get the twelve crew members safely off. What they find is not what they expected. Every single member of the crew is dead, shot. What they almost overlooked was the single female of the crew was not among the dead. They find her in the HVAC vent, injured. It’s Axel who goes in to get her out and unfortunately it was painful for her. Allee was a very lucky woman.

At the hospital following surgery, Axel questions her and she is adamant that there was someone else on board. Not a crew member and he had a limp. Axel does find evidence of someone boarding the sub and not leaving. However the powers that be have already decided Allee is the traitor. It’s up to Axel, Baylor and Mason to prove her innocence.

Bits and pieces are what they are getting they need more. Then Allee has a visitor that scares her.

This is a favorite scene.

Axel decided a few hospital sandwiches were in order, so he got up, found the lunchroom, and was just about to get a cup of coffee, when his phone rang. “Hello?”

“He was here,” she said, her voice tense, sounding thin and high.

“Who was here?” He could hear her gasping in the background, realizing that, even though she hadn’t stated who she was, he had no trouble recognizing Ally’s voice. “Ally, what’s the matter?”

But her breaths were raspy and harsh. “Come on. Talk to me.

You’re okay. Talk to me.”

She gave a high-pitched laugh. “What do you mean, I’m okay?” she said. “I just told you that he was here.” And the phone went dead. Having heard the emphasis on he, Axel snatched his laptop and his phone and was out the cafeteria door in seconds. As he barreled up the steps, then through the hallway to her room, one of the nurses stepped forward from the nurses’ station and said, “Sorry, sir. She can’t have visitors right now.”

“Oh, she’s having a visitor,” he said, his voice hard. “She sent out a call for help. I need to know what the hell is going on.”

The nurse looked at him in shock. “What are you talking about?” she asked. “She had her checkup not even forty minutes ago.”

“And lunch?”

“Yes. Her lunch was delivered probably about five to ten minutes ago,” she said, checking her watch. But he still walked rapidly down the hallway, the nurse racing to catch up. When he finally got to Ally’s door, he pushed it open and stepped in. He didn’t care about knocking. She sat there with her arms wrapped tight around her chest, curled up into a tiny ball at the headboard, as much as she could with a cast. At least her leg wasn’t in traction at the moment. He raced forward and, without even thinking about it, scooped her into his arms, turned to sit down with her in his lap and wrapped a blanket around her.

The nurse caught up with him and immediately looked at her. “Dear God,” she said. “What happened?”

“She’s in shock.”

The nurse quickly checked her vitals, but Axel wasn’t really concerned about that. He just held her close and spoke softly to Ally. “It’s okay. I’ve got you. You’re safe now.”

She started to shake her head, and she couldn’t seem to stop.

And he knew exactly what that was— shock. And that it would take a lot for her to calm down. Looking at the nurse, he said, “I’m just holding her for now. Give us a few minutes.”

She frowned, nodded, and said, “I’ll have to report this though.”

“That’s fine,” he said. “You and me both.”

She gave him a startled look, then left the two of them alone.
Dale Mayer. Axel (Kindle Locations 529-551). Valley Publishing.

Axel is working diligently to find the answers and when things go haywire, he also discovers he’s falling for Allee. This of course amuses Baylor.

Plenty of twists, turns and action as this tale unfolds along with that simmer to sizzle romance I love.

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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In Unfair War with Love, My Marquess: A Historical Regency Romance by Patricia Haverton


In Unfair War with Love, My Marquess
A Historical Regency Romance
By
Patricia Haverton

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How much ever they hated each other,
fate ties them together….

Daisy and Jonathan would rather jump off a cliff than get along.

After years of enduring his and her brother’s merciless teasing, Lady Daisy Pearson, daughter of the Duke of Ellingholm, has finally had enough.

Jonathan Henderson, the Marquess of Banroy, never thought he’d see the day Franklin Pearson would marry. Or the day he’d start looking at his sister Daisy as anything else other than an annoyance. Especially since she’s set to wed someone else.

As their resistances crumble, Jonathan’s inexplicable illness jars them back into reality. With physicians unable to find a cure, Daisy is desperate to save his life from the invisible foe ravaging his body. But there’s one problem with that: hiding right in the heart of their house, the devil is here to stay…

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There’s much animosity between the Duke of Ellingholm’s children. While they are adults, they certainly don’t act like it. Well his son Franklin doesn’t and his daughter Daisy would rather gather herbs and roots for her mother than sit around doing nothing. In spite of that, she is well educated and enjoys learning the crafting and healing her mother the Duchess can teach her. The taunting she puts up with especially when Franklin’s friend Jonathan, the Marquess of Banroy is around, is truly disturbing.

It’s Jonathan who is getting tired of all the taunting as he realizes Daisy is an intelligent and beautiful woman. It was one thing when they were just lads, but now they should be pursuing other more pleasant endeavors.

Franklin persuades Jonathan to accompany the family to their beach estate. Franklin is expected to get to know his betrothed better prior to their upcoming nuptials. It’s a bit of a surprise to both of them as Jonathan is sent to travel with Daisy and her maid, while Jonathan and his betrothed share a carriage with his parents.

It’s when the carriage is in an accident that Jonathan realizes what an affect the teasing has had on Daisy.

This is a favorite scene.

“All right then, Lady Daisy,” Jonathan said, attempting to sound encouraging, “it’s your turn next.”

Daisy nodded and shuffled her feet until she stood on the edge as Beatrice had done. She, too, made the grave mistake of looking down and judging the distance, then took a deep breath.

“Shall you count, or should I?” Jonathan asked merrily when Daisy did not move. “Do not tell me that the fearless rebel Queen Daisy is suddenly afraid after handling everything so succinctly up until now.”

“No, that’s not it,” Daisy confessed quietly, still looking down.

“Then what is it?” Jonathan asked, still smiling.

“I’m afraid you won’t catch me,” she replied, her voice shaking a little.

The driver cast a glance at Jonathan, his arms frozen in midair. Jonathan only frowned, uncertain of the other man’s intention.

“But of course we will. We just caught your maid without any trouble at all. It will be fine, you’ll see,” he answered.

“No, I mean only… that you might find it amusing to let me fall into the water and ruin my gown,” Daisy said quietly, a threat of tears choking her words.

Jonathan stood stunned. He could feel the waves of accusation emanating from the driver’s scowling face, but he was gutted by Daisy’s fear that he might intentionally let her fall.

“Lady Daisy,” he began in the most serious voice he could muster, “you have my promise as a gentleman that I would not do such a thing. I cannot imagine why you’d even think—”

He stopped, letting the rest of his sentence drift in the open space between them before being carried off on the rising water that now filled the carriage. He knew perfectly well why she thought it, and it unleashed a great shame in him.

“You’re right,” Daisy finally said, nodding briefly. “I’m sorry I accused you of such a vile thing. Here I go.”

She counted quickly and jumped, and Jonathan couldn’t help but notice that for all her bravery and gumption he’d seen over the years, this frail-looking girl still closed her eyes as her feet left the carriage, permitting whatever injury may come her way to do so unseen.

Instead of merely grabbing hold of her arms as she came down, Jonathan darted forward and caught Daisy fully in his arms. He pulled her close to him before her feet could reach the ground. He held her close and stared at her eyes, seeing the sky reflected there in a way that made them shimmer.

“Are you all right, My Lady?” Jonathan whispered urgently. Daisy nodded, but then he added, “Are you sure?”

“I think so,” Daisy answered softly, fitting perfectly in his arms. “But I don’t…”

Behind him, Beatrice coughed politely. Jonathan remembered himself, suddenly flustered that he was still cradling Daisy in such an inappropriate manner. He implored her with a look to forgive him, but her eyes seemed to lose focus for only a moment. It was enough that Jonathan turned in a slow circle and looked for a place to set her down, then carefully placed her on a swath of moss beneath a large willow tree that grew along the bank.

“My Lady!” Beatrice cried out. “You’re bleeding!”

“What?” Daisy asked, reaching for a place on the side of her head that evidently smarted at her touch. She withdrew her hand to find her fingertips dotted with blood.

“Here, My Lady, permit me,” Jonathan said, retrieving his handkerchief from his coat pocket and pressing it against the cut just inside Daisy’s hairline. “You there, sir, would you be so kind as to go after the horses? They’re wandering away after their harnesses snapped.”

The driver hurried through the water and climbed the opposite bank, moving with determination but without haste so as not to frighten the poor creatures any further. When he’d managed to tie one of them to a tree on the other side, he called back across the water.

“My Lord, there’s a village only a few miles from here. I’ll ride this one and return with help at once,” he called out.

“Very good, make haste, if you please,” Jonathan replied loudly before turning his attention to Daisy once again. “If you will permit me, My Lady…”

Jonathan gently brushed back a feathering of curls to inspect the wound. He smiled with relief.

“It looks clean enough, and I think the bleeding is already on the verge of subsiding,” he said, still looking at it from different angles. “You might have cut it on the window as it broke, but I don’t see any glass. At the risk of my injuring you, perhaps you should feel for any pieces?”

Daisy reached her hand up and pressed her fingertips to the wound, dabbing at it delicately in different places. She shook her head slightly, but then looked as though she regretted even that slight movement.

“I think it’s all right, but how is Beatrice? Where did you go, Bea?” Daisy asked.

Her lady’s maid hurried to her side and smiled reassuringly. “I’m here, and I’m fine, thanks to you. There’s a small bit of a cut on my finger, but no harm done. Leave it to Lady Daisy to think only of the terrible injury to my smallest finger instead of a gash on her head!”

“I would never forgive myself if you were injured because of my journey,” Daisy said. She closed her eyes briefly, then opened them. “So, what are we to do now?”

Jonathan looked around. “This is quite a predicament. But the driver has already gone for help, I’m sure it will be only a matter of time before he returns and we can be on our way again. At least we have the good fortune of a sunny day and not a cloud in sight!”

“I would not be so quick to count our blessings, My Lord, in case your utterance gives the weather any ideas on how to torment us,” Daisy teased, trying to smile.

Jonathan was silent as he watched the lady’s maid tend to Daisy, awestruck by the young lady’s ability to remain cheerful despite a great accident and an injury. More than the awe he felt at Daisy’s resilience and demeanor, another unmistakable feeling coursed through him— a terrible, relentless guilt. She was right, after all. Every horrible thing he had ever said to her came rushing back to him, causing him to wonder what sort of monster he truly was.
Patricia Haverton. In Unfair War with Love, My Marquess: A Historical Regency Romance Novel (Kindle Locations 710-761). Patricia Haverton.

Once arriving at their destination, Jonathan takes further note of his behavior and moves to rectify the damage he’s done. He becomes even more intent on courting Lady Daisy as well as he realizes he has fallen in love with her.

Another accident has Jonathan fighting for his life. Daisy and her mother are right there fighting with him in spite of the fact the Duke has invited a suitable match for Daisy to stay with them as well.

Plenty of suspense and intrigue in this tale, and an unlikely romance as well.

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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A New Series! Trusting Skylar – Silverstone Book 1 By Susan Stoker


From bestselling author Susan Stoker
comes a sizzling new series
about four former military operatives
who rid the world of the worst of humanity
while fighting to protect
the best part of their lives:
the women they love.

Trusting Skylar
Silverstone Book 1
By
NY Times, Wall Street Journal &
USA Today Bestselling Author

Susan Stoker

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Winter Blog Blurb

From bestselling author Susan Stoker comes a sizzling new series about four former military operatives who rid the world of the worst of humanity while fighting to protect the best part of their lives: the women they love.

Former military operative Carson “Bull” Rhodes hasn’t dated seriously since he and his teammates left the army. Since then he’s opened Silverstone Towing—which is a front for his other job: hired killer. When kindergarten teacher Skylar Reid calls for help while stranded on the side of the interstate, the attraction is instant. The problem is Bull’s career has jaded him. Skylar’s innocent, and he wants to keep her that way.

Cautious by nature, Skylar never expected to fall in love with her tow truck driver. Even so, once Bull reveals what he really does for a living, she’s not sure she can handle it. When Skylar faces threats that have nothing to do with Bull’s job but are just as deadly, the stakes are higher than ever.

With the help of the Silverstone team, Bull will use everything he’s learned over the years to bring the woman he loves home—because the alternative is unthinkable.

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Winter Blog Review

Four Delta’s essentially forced out because of a judgement made on the scene of an assignment, given the opportunity to continue what they’re good at, serving their country. Under the now very profitable guise of a towing company, Silverstone Towing, these men continue to take out the top most wanted.

Now there’s an interesting twist for one of the guys, Carson ‘Bull’ Rhodes meets a woman on a tow call. He immediately goes into protective mode, from helping her select the right place to take her car to seeing she gets home okay.

A kindergarten teacher, Skylar Reid is a little flustered by the situation with her car. She seems a little naïve to Bull and for some reason Bull can’t help but educate her just a bit. There’s a definite attraction between them that puzzles both of them.

He talks her out of taking her car to a place known to cheat people and take it to Stanley’s Automotive instead. That way she’ll have a car while hers is being fixed. On the drive he talks to her about the children in her class and if she has favorites. One in particular he takes notes of asking the father’s name. Before she can’t ask him more about his curiosity they arrive at Stan’s.

This is a favorite scene.

After ten minutes of paperwork and teasing from Stan, Skylar followed him back outside to see her car sitting in a parking spot in front of the garage. She’d left her keys in the ignition and assumed Carson had moved it.

“I said I was gonna give you a choice as to the loaner you wanted, but I changed my mind,” Stan said, holding out a key ring to her. “You’re takin’ the Volvo.”

Skylar didn’t much care which car she drove as long as it got her to school and home in one piece. But when she saw the car in question, she couldn’t help but wince. The white older-model car looked like it had seen better days. The paint was peeling, and there was rust around the edges. It looked like a hunk of junk, but she’d never tell Stan that.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” Carson told her, obviously seeing her dismay. “It looks like a piece of shit, but I can guarantee she purrs like a kitten. If any of his loaners broke down, Stan would take it personally.”

“I’m sure it’s fine,” Skylar said politely.

Both Stan and Carson chuckled.

“She just got a new engine a few months ago,” Stan reassured her. “She was a complete overhaul. You’ll never drive anything as smooth as her, I promise. But considering you live at Southpoint, you couldn’t exactly pull in there with a Mercedes. It would draw too much attention. Nobody’ll take a second look at this piece of crap. They won’t try to steal it, because they’ll assume it won’t run well. Go on, get in and start ’er up. You’ll see.”

Skylar conceded his point, though she wasn’t exactly convinced the car wouldn’t fall apart around her. But when Carson held out his hand for the bouquet of flowers, she didn’t have much of a choice. Smiling at Stan, she climbed behind the wheel and put the key in the ignition. When the engine turned over, she looked up in surprise.

Once again, both men chuckled.

“Told ya,” Stan said.

“It’s so quiet!” Skylar exclaimed.

“Yup. She’ll get you where you need to go safely. She’s got no flash, but you don’t need any more attention on you than you’ve got already.”

Frowning, Skylar asked, “What does that mean?”

Instead of answering her, Stan turned to Carson. “She serious?”

Carson nodded. “Yup.”

“Damn. All right, I’ve got your digits. I’ll give you a call after I get under the hood of your car tomorrow,” Stan told her.

Skylar saw a look pass between the men that she couldn’t interpret. She had a feeling there were a lot of things going over her head, but she wasn’t about to ask. She’d always been kind of clueless when it came to innuendos, so she let it go.

“Sounds good,” she told Stan. “And I really appreciate you coming out tonight to meet us.”

“Of course. Bull’s a good man. One of the best. If you see Terrell, tell him you saw me and I said to be good,” Stan said. Then he turned and headed back for his shop. He locked the front door and went around the corner, probably to where he’d parked his own vehicle.

“You good?” Carson asked as he handed her the flowers he’d been carrying around. He’d also grabbed her messenger bag and gave that to her too.

Skylar looked up at him after putting the bouquet and bag on the seat next to her, feeling at a disadvantage since he was so tall and she was sitting in the car.

As if he could read her mind, Carson squatted beside her door so they were more or less eye to eye.

“I’m good,” she told him. “Thank you for coming.”

“Of course.” He paused, then said, “I’m going to follow you home. Not because I’m being creepy, but because I want to make sure you get there all right.”

“Stan’s loaner car isn’t as good as he claimed?” she asked.

“No, it’s not that. That car would get you all the way to California and back without any issues whatsoever. I just want to make sure you get home all right. It’s getting late and . . .”

“And you don’t like where I live,” Skylar finished for him.

He merely shrugged.

“It’s not that late,” she protested. “It’s only like nine.”

“Even so,” Carson said. “Nothing I say is going to change your mind, is it?” she asked.

Carson didn’t even break a smile. “If you told me it honestly made you uncomfortable and you didn’t want me to follow you, I’d respect that. But I swear that I only have your best interests in mind.”

“It’s okay if you follow me,” Skylar told him.

His lips twitched.

“But I’ve made it a rule not to let strays stay if they follow me home,” she joked.

The twitch turned into a real smile, and her heart swelled.

“What would you say if I asked if you’d like to go out for coffee or lunch sometime?” he asked.

Skylar stilled. She couldn’t believe this beautiful man was asking her out. Some people might assume he asked out every woman he picked up for a tow, but she had a feeling he was acting out of character. And when she paused a bit too long before answering, she knew for sure that he didn’t do this kind of thing all the time. A mask seemed to fall over his face, as if he wasn’t feeling anything at all. As if her answer wouldn’t faze him one way or another.

Hating that blank mask more than she wanted to admit, especially after making him smile and laugh several times that night, her hand landed on his forearm. He’d braced it on his knee, and it tightened at her touch.

“I’d like that. But I’m not free until the weekend . . . because, you know . . . teacher.”

“You don’t get time off for lunch at school?”

“I do, but I usually eat with the kids. It gives me time to catch up with former students, or if any of my kids needs some extra affection, that’s a great time to give it without being distracted by lessons or other classroom stuff that takes my attention during regular class time.”

He didn’t say anything for a long moment.

“Carson?” she asked tentatively. “Is that okay? I’m not blowing you off.”

“I know you aren’t,” he told her. “I bet you’re an amazing teacher. Your students are extremely lucky to have you.”

Skylar knew she was blushing once more. “I don’t know about that.”

“I do,” he said firmly. “And if you’re free this Saturday, I’d love to take you to lunch.”

Saturday. That was three days from now. Skylar wasn’t sure she could wait that long. But she forced herself to smile sedately. “Sounds good.”
Stoker, Susan. Trusting Skylar (Silverstone). Kindle Locations (856-905). Montlake. Kindle Edition.

This is the beginning of a relationship that Bull is so afraid isn’t going to last once she knows everything about him. After all, he along with his partners are essentially assassins for hire. What woman could possibly put up with that?

I fell in love with all the Silverstone men and the way they interact with Skylar and her students is priceless. Bull’s doubts and hesitation and that simmer to sizzle I love between him and Skylar.

There’s a lot that Susan covers in this book including the lack of funds that cause teachers to buy extra thing to augment their classrooms. While I am familiar with some Susan’s writing tactic’s, the twist in this story surprised me.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

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


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