Shadow Assassin – Shadow SEALs Book 2 by Elle James

Shadow Assassin
Shadow SEALs Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


After completing a difficult and secret task to eliminate the leader of a Russian terrorist organization, former Navy SEAL and expert sniper, Dane “Striker” Ryan, is booted from his SEAL team, destroying his reputation as a trusted servant to his country. Burned, angry and out of work, he agrees to take an assignment from a shadowy organization recruiting this Navy SEAL for a special project. For a sizable sum of money, he is to eliminate a dangerous assassin by any means necessary. Unemployed, and with no means to make his next rent payment, he accepts the lucrative work.

Alex Sokolov, self-trained assassin, is on a mission of revenge for her parents’ deaths, a mission that has spanned a decade. As she nears her ultimate target, the hunter becomes the hunted.

Tasked to kill each other, Striker and Alex join forces in this international intrigue to discover the kingpin orchestrating the murders of secret agents, including Alex’s own parents.

Barnes and Noble logo_150 KoboLogo google_play_logo_002_002

Dane ‘Striker’ Ryan was made the scapegoat for a mission that got more notice than it should have. With no job and no way to pay his rent he gets a call from Charley a mysterious woman who offers him a lot of money and resources to do a covert mission. He accepts and finds himself with a fake name posing as an escort at a high profile energy summit in France. He would be escorting one of the translators, Natalya Zotin to the reception and his mission is to prevent an assassination.

It’s when Anatoly Petrov heads to the gardens with a young woman who had caught Dane’s eye earlier that things start heating up.

Natalya notices not only Petrov leaving but also Sergei Baranovsky so she decides to call it a night, freeing up Dane to investigate the gardens.

This is a favorite scene.

On Striker’s initial inspection of the reception hall, he had followed different hallways and corridors to determine where they led. The one the woman in silver was headed down led out to a tropical garden. The beautiful woman could be going with Petrov for a private assignation surrounded by lush, flowering bushes and palm trees. Or she could be carrying a knife beneath her dress with the intention of assassinating the Russian in the darkness.

“If you’ll excuse me, ma’am,” Striker said. “I need to visit the water closet.”

“By all means,” Natalya said. “I need to powder my nose, as well.”

He indicated the direction in which the ladies’ room was located.

Fortunately, the men’s room was on the opposite side of the hall, conveniently positioned along the same corridor that led to the hotel garden.

“One moment, please.” Natalya tipped her head toward the taller of the two Russians. “It appears Sergei might be leaving the reception hall and Anatoly already has.”

All the more reason for Daniel to hurry and catch up with Petrov and the woman in the silver dress. However, he stood steady and gave Natalya his attention.

“Since they’re leaving the reception, there is no need for me to stay to translate. I find myself fatigued. I too shall retire.” She patted his cheek with the palm of her hand. “Your services are no longer required.”

He captured her hand in his and touched the backs of her knuckles with his lips. “The evening has been my pleasure.”

“Mine, too,” she said with a smile. “And you’re quite good at the waltz. The escort service did well in sending you.”

“You’ll have to look into country western dancing to learn the two-step for next time.” He smiled and waited for her to turn away. Once she did, he headed out across the floor toward the corridor leading into the garden. With no other doorways leading off the corridor, he didn’t wait or check to see if they’d stopped along the way.

When he stepped out into the hotel garden, he waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. His ears perked as he listened for sounds at the other end of the dimly lit area.

Once his night vision adjusted, he eased away from the chateau and followed a pathway, walking as lightly as he could in his patent leather shoes. He followed the sound of voices.

Before he’d gone more than twenty yards, he saw the two silhouetted against the stone wall at the rear of the garden.

Striker stopped within twenty feet of them. He could reach them quickly, if needed. Instead of rushing the couple, he paused and watched. For all he knew, it could be a lovers’ assignation. A tryst in the garden, away from prying eyes.

Petrov turned and gripped the woman’s arms.

She reached up in an attempt to pry his hands loose from her arms. Her voice turned from a conversational tone to a higher pitched, strained nature.

Nyet,” she said and rattled off something in Russian. She tried to break free of the man’s grip on her arms.

When Petrov still hadn’t released her, her tone dropped low, the intensity increasing. A flash of movement brought her hands up through the middle of his arms, breaking free of his grasp. She grabbed his head, turned her back and flipped him over.

Petrov landed flat on his back.

In the next second, the woman had a knife pulled, the blade glinting in the moonlight.

Striker raced forward.

The silver-clad woman said something fast and furious in Russian as she held the knife over the man lying splayed out on his back.

Striker reached the woman before she could plunge the knife into the Russian’s neck. He grabbed her wrist and yanked it up behind her back.

“Damn it, let go of me,” she muttered.

Striker put his lips near her ear. “Ah, my dear, I found you finally. I believe they’re playing our song. Shouldn’t we be dancing?” He pretended to just take notice of the man on the ground. “What’s this?” He frowned down at the Russian. “Sir, have you fallen?”

The Russian grunted and struggled to get to his feet.

With his free hand, Striker reached down and gave the man a hand up.

The woman he held with the arm up behind her back stood straight, unmoving, her chin tipped upward in defiance.

As the Russian stood, he brushed leaves from his suit and glared at the woman in silver.

“Are you okay?” Striker asked. “Do I need to call for medical assistance?”

The Russian shook his head. “Nyet, I am quite fine,” he said in his stilted English. “Is this your woman?” He jerked his hand toward the woman in silver.

“Why, yes,” Striker said. “I came to get her because I’m ready to leave. Are you ready to depart, my dear?”

She gave him a narrow-eyed glance out of the corner of her eye.

Using her body as a visual barrier, Striker removed the knife from her hand, folded the blade and slid it into his pocket. He lowered lowered her arm to her side and slipped a hand around her waist, his grip firm. “Please, sir, allow us to see you back to the reception hall.”

The Russian adjusted his suit. “I do not need assistance to find my way back.” He turned and walked back toward the building.

Striker guided the woman in silver behind the Russian, giving him several yards of distance between them. Once the Russian reached the reception hall, Striker came to a halt, stopping just short of the building. He turned the woman around and lightly gripped her arms. He stared down into eyes as black as the night, the only light in their dark depths that of moonlight reflected off their liquid surface. “Who are you and why were you trying to kill the Russian?”

She spoke in Russian.

He shook his head. “English.”

Again, she spoke in Russian.

“I heard you curse in English. Talk, before I turn you over to the security guards.”

She stared up at him through narrowed eyes. “He attacked me. I was only defending myself.”

“Sure, and you always carry a knife to diplomatic receptions?

How did you get that past the security guards and metal detectors?”

She lifted a narrow shoulder. “A woman has to defend herself.”

Her English held no trace of an English accent; it was American.

“You speak American English. Are you American?”

The woman crossed her arms over her chest, tipped back her head and stared down her nose at the man. “What’s it to you?”

“Let’s just say that I like to know my enemies.”

“Am I one of your enemies?” She arched a black wing of a brow.

“I don’t know. Are you?”

Her eyebrows dipped. “Only if you’ve done something to hurt me or my family.”

“And is that what Petrov has done to you?”

Her mouth firmed into a thin line. “Perhaps.”

“Do you make it a habit of trying to kill those who hurt you or your family?”

“No, but if he hurts me again, I will defend myself.”

“In this case I will give you the benefit of doubt. In what capacity are you here?”

“I could ask the same of you.”

“I’m here as a paid escort. And you?” He waited for her response.

“Translation services.”

“Your name?”

She lifted a narrow shoulder and let it fall. “Alexa Sokoloff.”

The name didn’t ring a bell. None of the people who were attending the reception that were in the news had gone by that name. He’d have to put Charley to work discovering all there was to know about the raven-haired beauty. In the meantime, he’d do well to watch his back lest she plunge a knife in it.
James, Elle ; Sisters, Shadow. Shadow Assassin: Shadow SEALs. Kindle Locations (210-277). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Now preventing any problems with Petrov and the young lady only opens another can of worms. As they are reentering the reception room, Petrov is stabbed. Now with Alexa’s knife in his pocket he has to pass it off to some unsuspecting soul or they’d never get out of there.

Between that incident, a break-in of Alexa’s room, and rumors of the Russians skimming off the existing gas line things heat up really fast. Alexa has loads of secrets and Dane is determined to figure them out.

Of course having her stay with him for protection has his thoughts wandering in other directions as well.

Lots of suspense, intrigue, and action with a simmer to sizzle romance.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

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.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Tiger Crown – Sabre Woods Academy Book1 by Laura Greenwood

Tiger Crown
Sabre Woods Academy Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Laura Greenwood


I’ve spent my entire life being passed over by the Shifter Queen. Which wouldn’t be a big deal, except she’s my mother.

Now she’s finally let me come to the foremost academy for big cat shifters, Sabre Woods, I’m hoping to find some independence. If only I wasn’t plagued by my rival for the title of Shifter Heir.

All I need to do is get through the first few weeks without accidentally challenging someone to the Shifter Trials. That should be easy…right?

Tiger Crown is book one of the Sabre Woods Academy series. It is a paranormal academy with shifters and a slow burn m/f romance.

Barnes and Noble logo_150 KoboLogo google_play_logo_002_002

Kayra Herrity is finally attending Sabre Woods Academy. She’s the Shifter Queen’s daughter and up until her mother refused permission. Kayra isn’t sure why her mother changed her mind but she’s very glad to finally have the opportunity to learn at the prestigious Academy. In spite of being an only child, Kayra hasn’t been named heir. The leadership of the shifters is not a hereditary post and the reigning monarch can choose someone outside the family as heir.

It’s while she’s waiting for orientation to begin that she’s joined by Demi. Demi recognizes her and senses the two of them could be good friends. Then Serena enters the room, her mother’s favorite ladies maid’s daughter and rumored choice for heir. While Kayra really isn’t sure she wants the job, she doesn’t want Serena to have it either. Before reaching that decision she has to manage to get an education without initiating the Shifter Trials.

Physical Education hadn’t been high on Kayra’s to do list and as a result she had no experience with archery, the first of her PE classes. At least she hasn’t had to shift, her mother always disliked when she shifted because her fur is white as opposed to the more prominent orange. As she’s struggling to figure out the gear, she’s approached by a male tiger student.

This is a favorite scene.

I’m going to remind myself that at least I know what one is. Some people in my situation wouldn’t, but I’ve read enough books to be certain of that much.

“All right, class,” a middle-aged woman with her hair in a bun and a no-nonsense outfit which makes her look like all of the stereotypical PE teachers in TV shows. “First, let’s see what we’re working with. Even if you’ve never fired a bow before, I want to see how far you get with gearing up. After that, we’ll split into groups.”

I grimace. That’s not a good sign. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to get everything on right, never mind get as far as firing. Which is probably for the best given my lack of talent.

The three lions in class bounce off in the direction of the lists first, leaving the rest of us to trail behind. A couple of the others appear to be as frustrated as I am about the situation, except for a handsome dark-haired boy who saunters along with the natural grace we’re all born with.

Something about him is vaguely familiar, but I can’t place why.

Equipment lies out on a long table through the middle of the small armoury, with enough bows and quivers hanging on the walls for each of us. I hang back for a moment. If I watch what the others do, then I may be able to get far enough through this that I don’t make a complete fool of myself in the process.

There seem to be a few guard pieces, particularly for my arms and fingers. That makes sense when there are weapons involved, and they seem easy enough to get on.

Frustration wells up within me as others disappear to take a shot at the targets. How am I supposed to copy what they’re doing if they’re so far ahead of me?

I take a deep breath, but it’s not enough to completely steady my nerves. I shouldn’t be surprised. My anxiousness is something I carry around with myself every day. It won’t go away for something like this. In fact, it normally gets worse when I have to perform in front of people.

Why did I think coming here was a good idea? I’m already out of my depth and I’m not even a week in.

“You don’t know what you’re doing, do you?” a male voice asks.

I jump and turn to face the handsome guy I saw outside. He’s my age as far as I can tell, but he’s got the confidence of someone who has left the gangly awkward stage of growing behind him.

If I was into dating for fun, I think he’d be my type. But I’ve never felt the need to. My fated mate is out there, and I don’t want to waste time with someone who isn’t my one true match.

It crosses my mind that he may not even be flirting with me anyway, but I push the thought aside. That’s probably nerves getting to me and not an accurate representation of what’s happening here.

“Is it that obvious?” I ask, realising I’ve probably waited too long before responding.

“You have this on backwards.” He reaches out and touches my armguard. “And on the wrong hand.”

“I could be left-handed,” I mutter.

“But you’re not.”

I sigh. “I’ve never done anything like this,” I admit. It feels risky to do so, but he’s not mocking me and seems interested in helping me fix it.

“I can help, if you want?” He shrugs as if it’s of little importance.

“I’d appreciate that.” I’m not going to turn down help just because I’m worried that I’m imposing on someone if I accept it.


“Thank you. I’m Kayra.” I should have introduced myself first.

A curious expression crosses his face, as if he’s already aware of who I am. That shouldn’t surprise me. Almost everyone at Sabre Woods knows of me. But this seems different.

“Magnus,” he responds. “May I?” He indicates back to the armguard.

I nod.

He reaches out and unbuckles it, pulling it from my arm slowly. My breathing hitches as his fingers brush against my skin. Why does this suddenly feel like an oddly intimate situation?

Despite that, I still don’t feel any kind of mating pull towards him, so I need to shut this down and make it clear we can never be anything more than friends. It might be hard.

A commotion sounds from the door to the armoury and one of the lionesses stumbles back in.

“Aww, the poor little Shifter Princess is struggling,” she spits as soon as she sees me.

I bite my lip, wanting to correct her on my position in society, but I don’t. I’m too worried about her starting a fight that I’m sure she’ll win.

I hate being like this, but no matter how many times I try to change things, it never seems to actually happen. I just have to face the fact that I’m going to go through the rest of my life like this.

“Are you good at everything Mikela?” Magnus retorts.

The lioness blushes. Apparently she didn’t expect to be called out on her cruelty.

“I suggest you go back outside,” Magnus says.

She opens her mouth as if to argue, but chooses better of it and disappears to join the others.

“Thank you.”

He raises an eyebrow. “You’re not going to tell me you could have dealt with it yourself?”

“Did it look like that was an option?”

“I don’t know. I wouldn’t have thought many people would like it if someone speaks for them.”

I shrug. “I’m new here, I don’t know who I need to watch out for and who I don’t,” I point out.

“Ah, that’s true. The lions are mostly all talk and nothing else. You don’t have to worry about them so long as you can avoid taking a vicious insult to heart.”

I grimace. “I’m not great at that.”

“Then stay away from them.”

“Thanks. Anything else I should know?”

“Not that you can’t guess. Avoid daring any of the cheetahs to do anything, they won’t even question whether it’s a good idea or not before doing it.”

“Isn’t that a bit of a generalisation? I doubt all cheetahs are the same.”

“They’re not,” he assures me. “But most of them here are. I think they egg one another on a lot so they all tend to stick to the same kind of faults.”

“Let’s guess, that logic also applies to the lions?”

“To everyone,” he counters. “We’ll all grow out of it once we leave here, but for now we just have to live with it.”

I sigh dramatically. “Why doesn’t that surprise me?”

He chuckles. “Peer pressure is alive and well. Now, are you ready to show me what you’re working with in terms of firing the bow?”

I grimace. “You’re not going to like it.”

“I’ll be fine so long as you don’t shoot me in the foot or something.”

“But the stomach would be okay?”

He lets out a loud and genuine laugh. “How about we start off with not shooting me anywhere?”

“If you’re willing to help me, getting shot is just one of the risks you’re going to have to take.”

He shakes his head in bemusement. “I do like a challenge.”
Greenwood, Laura. Tiger Crown (Sabre Woods Academy Book 1). Kindle Locations (159-212). Drowlgon Press. Kindle Edition.

Marcus becomes another friend Kayra can depend on like Demi. Demi also gifts Kayra with a wishing bracelet, it’s when she’s putting it on that she realizes she truly does want to be the heir. She really wants to make a difference for the shifters of the world. She also finds some of her teachers are more in favor of her than Serena which is refreshing.

Before an assembly Serena approaches her with taunts and then twists Kayra’s words to make it appear as a Shifter Trial challenge.

There’s plenty of underhanded sneaky stuff with Serena, friendships and a possible romance as this book progresses.

This is a fun read with an interesting ending. I am already reading the next book to see what happens next.

5 Contented Purrs for Laura!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Scars – Broken But Mending Book 2 By Dale Mayer

Broken But Mending Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Some scars are visible.
Some scars are hidden.
But the worst scars are buried within…

Existing in their own private worlds, Robin and Sean are not really living. With a need to move forward, Robin attends a workshop geared to help her do just that. At his sister’s request, Sean struggles to heal the darkness in his soul by attending a workshop to help him find balance with his life and let go of a painful history.

But at what cost?

As they confront their pain, Robin and Sean evolve, healing the scars of their past.

Can a story of sorrow, loss, and betrayal turn to success, joy, and love?

Barnes and Noble logo_150 KoboLogo google_play_logo_002_002

Dr. Jenna Komack does some very unique workshops with select patients. The goal is for each of them to make a breakthrough while paired as a team on a project devised specifically for each team.

This book runs in tandem with the previous book and that’s where we first met Robin. Although she would have rather been paired with her friend Tania, Jenna had other ideas.

Sean is there having been encouraged by his sister Paris. They both have problems stemming from the same event in their lives. Jenna didn’t feel Paris was quite ready for the seminar, however when Sean applied he fit the bill.

Robin has always hidden her scars, she’s refused any more surgeries wanting to just get on with her life. She was done with the pain and recovery required there.

Seth on the other hand has his own internal demons, and while he’s checking this out for his sister he also hopes to come to terms with his own anger.

Their assignment is to visit with children at the Children’s Hospital here, and Robin is more than a little panicked over that. Her scars scare children.

This is a favorite scene as Robin and Sean get to know one another.

She better not. Brooding, he sat across from one of the biggest mixed-up females he’d met in a long time. Of course he’d also seen more of her than he had anyone else in a long time. She’d had a breakdown at the thought of the children’s hospital, ran away, came back, then chose a seat at the furthest corner in the restaurant to watch everyone like a hawk. She might be studying him, and damn, she seemed to be doing a good job of understanding him too, but she didn’t know him.

If she really knew him, she’d have run screaming out the door already.

Like everyone else had.

He wasn’t the most popular guy. That was okay. He had his sister. Paris was softer, gentler than he was. She’d taken the path of least resistance and had suffered more for it then. He’d taken the full frontal aggressive route, but he was suffering more now.

At least that’s what Paris said he was doing. He thought it was all psychobabble. Still, he loved her. She loved him. They had each other, and there’d never been anyone else in their lives for more than a night or two. Neither had a partner in any real sense of the word – only each other. Through the tough times, that had been enough.

Except Paris wanted more in her life. Children. A husband. To be loved in every sense of the word. Sean wasn’t sure that she could ever have such a thing. And he knew he couldn’t. So it was not something he’d ever brought into his psyche as a wish or a want. Why yearn for what he couldn’t have? But Paris did, and by God, he’d do what he could to see her get it.

One of them deserved to know what happiness was.

“What is it?”

The voice penetrated the black cloud in his mind. He started, realizing he’d been glaring out the window. With considerable effort, he pulled himself out of the place he always ended up in – regardless of his best efforts to not go there.

Moodily, he played with the fork on the table. Pivoting it over end to end. He didn’t know what to say.

“Never mind. It’s obvious that the subject is painful.”

He raised his gaze to stare at her, marveling that her hairstyle completely hid the one half of her face. Why? Was she blind in that one eye to the extent that it didn’t bother her to only see with half her normal vision?

“It’s not painful,” he said abruptly. Then frowned. Why the hell had he said that?

“Well, it can’t be pleasant. You looked like you wanted to kill someone.”

He smiled darkly, remembering his thoughts. “Can’t. That’s already been done.”

She raised her eyebrows and narrowed her gaze at him.

Let her think he was a killer. Let her think the worst of him. That would keep her away.

“Well, if that’s the case, you didn’t kill them.”

Damn. Was she for real? “Who are you, Pollyanna?”

It was her turn to frown. “I don’t know the reference.”

He waved his hand. “Really? Loosely, it means you have a positive-look-only-on-the-bright-side-of-life attitude.”

“I don’t,” she protested. “I’m nothing like that.”

“So you decided I haven’t killed anyone? Are you nuts? I’m perfectly capable of killing.”

“Oh, absolutely.” She grinned. “But only in the right circumstances.”

He stopped in the act of picking up his coffee cup, stared, then shook his head. “You aren’t making any sense.” Trust him to get paired with a lightweight in the brain department.

“You are capable, but you haven’t done it yet. That’s probably part of the anger. You wanted to be able to do something like that, but you couldn’t…”

Just as he was about to lash out at her again, she added, “…someone beat you to it.”

Holy crap. She was dangerous. How the hell had she figured that out? And what was he going to do about it?

Just as he was about to open his mouth and Lord only knew what was about to pour forth – because he had no idea – the waitress arrived and placed full steaming plates down. He had a massive amount of fries in front of him. On cue, his stomach grumbled. The waitress was rattling off something about enjoying their meal, but he was already reaching for one long particularly good-looking fry on his plate – when it was snatched out from under him.

Astonished, he could only follow its trail where it disappeared into Robin’s mouth.

She caught his look and grinned. Then she laughed and laughed.

When she could, she said, “Sorry, that fry had my name on it.” She giggled again. “And the look on your face was so worth it.”

Stunned, but at her huge face-splitting smile that completely transformed her features, he picked up another fry and studied her. When she’d laughed, her hair had moved slightly. Now that she was eating, the hair was brushed out of her way with a quick movement of her hand. And he realized that the hair was more than a style. It was a front. Behind which hid scars. And from what he could see, they were long and ugly.

Hence the comment about what Jenna might be subjecting the children to.

He ate slowly, thinking about all the things her and Jenna had said…and not said, and realized that this was likely one of the core issues why Robin was here. The one side of her face was stunning with pure white skin and huge green eyes that could cloud with emotion or twinkle with laughter. Her hairstyle was dramatic and eye-catching. But she kept to herself and avoided letting anyone see the other side of her face. And now he understood why.

What impact it was going to have, he didn’t know. But as they had a lot of work to get done, maybe honesty was the best policy.

Deciding to be upfront, he asked, “What happened to your face? House fire or car accident?”

She stilled, then choked on her food. She swallowed hard, her gaze flickering in his direction then back at her burger. He kept his gaze steady, figuring he already knew the answer.

Finally, she reached for the glass of water and took a long drink. Her voice was cool and controlled as she said, “Why?”

“Considering what we have ahead of us, I’d appreciate knowing how your face became scarred.”

She stared at him, belligerent but direct. God, he loved that about her. She never seemed to back down. Maybe it would get irritating if she turned out to be one of those women who needed to pick fights to clear the air or one who just liked to cause trouble – create a little drama. Yet it was refreshing to see someone with enough backbone to stand up to him.

“I’ll tell you if you tell me how you got your scars.”

Ouch. He hadn’t seen that one coming. He settled back slightly. “What scars?”

She used her fork to point at the open collar of his shirt, then moved it to the side of his neck by his ear before it finally dropped to his hand. Scarred areas visible to the eye of anyone looking. He’d given up trying to hide the scars a long time ago. They were small and not unsightly. The biggest scars were inside. Of course it was a different story once he took his shirt off. But that rarely happened in daylight and as he wasn’t physically self-conscious – who gave a damn?

But she was right. They both had scars. If he wanted answers, then she had the right to ask for answers as well. His usual lie well-prepared, he opened his mouth and out came the truth instead. “I was abused as a child.”

His own gaze widened in shock as the truth came out. A truth he never shared. Jenna knew. Paris knew of course. She’d been there. But that was it. Except for the odd doctor and social worker or case worker. People without faces. Where he was a number only. A statistic to help fill in the dots on their data graphs.

Her eyes widened first in shock then softened in sympathy.

That part he didn’t like. He said brusquely, “Your turn.”

“It was a car accident.” She winced. “My father was driving my mother, brother, and me to a special event. I’m the only one that survived.”

And damn if she didn’t chip away at another stone on the defensive wall he’d built to keep others out. A wall he’d never been in danger of having any breach before.

But this woman…she had weapons he had no defenses against.

One of them was her forthright honesty.
Dale Mayer. Broken but Mending: Books 1-3 (Kindle Locations 2514-2581). Valley Publishing. Kindle Edition.

What seems slow and painful progress also has Sean and Robin beginning a relationship. I truly loved the way this seminar helps them to work their way through the things holding them back.

I’m glad I have the bundle so I can just move right into Paris’ experience with this type of seminar.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Books 1-3


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.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Chasing the Fire – First Responders Book 6 by Jen Talty

Chasing the Fire
First Responders Book 6
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty


Dr. Eloise Porter has worked hard to become an emergency medical doctor. She has no time or inclination for romance. Not even for Rick “Edge” Honor, the sexy firefighter/paramedic who has an uncanny ability to make her smile, even on the darkest of days.

Edge doesn’t take no for an answer very often and he doesn’t give up easily. He’s determined to get the sexy Eloise Porter to go out on a date if its the last thing he does. It takes some doing, but he finally wears her down. While their budding romance heats up, so does a series of suspicious fires, all targeting urgent care facilities, doctors’ offices, and emergency rooms.

Determined to keep his doctor friend safe, Edge puts himself in the line of fire only to create a perfect storm that will put his life, and hers, in grave danger. He’ll be able to save Eloise, but will he be able to save himself?

This book opens with Edge making his way to join his crew at the Boardwalk, a popular bar with good bar food and live music. He is stopped by Dr. Tamara Blossom, she’d like to have a drink while waiting for a friend but Edge wants no part of it. He’s tired of her flirting and having to reject her over and over. There’s only one doctor that interests him and it’s not her.

Dr. Eloise Porter works the emergency room and at Tamara’s clinic. Student loans are rough for young doctors and Eloise is trying to pay them off as quickly as she can. While Edge is socializing, Eloise is working at the clinic. Her last patient was Tamara’s brother, once again looking for pain-killers. His injury doesn’t need them an over the counter anti-inflammatory will work fine. There’s no way Eloise would jeopardize her career falling for his ploy.

Eloise keeps telling Edge she doesn’t have time to get involved so he’s kind of in the friend zone. That is until a bomb comes too close for comfort.

Edge and Eloise get closer even as it becomes apparent she’s the target. She just can’t figure out why.

Lots of suspense and intrigue in this perfect length for the beach read.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

Click the Cover for Buy Links

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.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Snap, Crackle … – Psychic Visions Book 19 By Dale Mayer

Snap, Crackle …
Psychic Visions Book 19
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


The haunting refrain torments Bethany, almost as much as the horrors of what she’s forgotten. Chased, terrified, and injured, she races away from a gunman into the woods, determined to once again escape those after her.

Hunter’s first meeting with Bethany reveals an injured, exhausted, and possibly dangerous psychic. Plus she uncooperative, barely civil, keeping everyone at arm’s length. Only she needs help, … and he is the one available. Time for the hunted to turn hunter, and that is his domain. Especially if he gets to champion the underdog, which, in this case, is a prickly and way-to beautiful woman, who he doesn’t want to let out of his sight.

Not only is she being tracked but they want her back as a captive. A captive to do their bidding. And they’ve enlisted another of their group, her ex-best friend Lizzy, to hunt down Bethany.

They want, no need, her to remember who she really is …

With Hunter at her side, Bethany fights for survival, racing toward an explosive reveal that leaves them all gasping, as their world turns upside down.

Barnes and Noble logo_150 KoboLogo google_play_logo_002_002

On the run wounded and drained of energy Beth Metlomar with her trusty Maine coon cat Nocturne stumble to Stefan’s door. Her arrival was preceded by an unusual event that puzzles both Stefan and his guest Hunter Brill.

Stefan doesn’t recognize her at first, her energy is not one he knows, but when she awakens she is able to show him something he won’t forget. She’s the one he went back for and couldn’t find. She wasn’t there at least he thought she wasn’t.

Beth is resistant to help but knows she needs to heal and recharge, she’s also very afraid of Hunter since he is indeed a hunter of psychics. Her energy is very different thanks to the myriad of experiments over the years. She finally managed to escape and was trying to start a relatively normal life when they found her.

Hunter hadn’t known why he needed to be at Stefan’s be now he’s sure it’s because of Beth. He knows he has to help her, protect her.

As soon as Beth wakes she knows she has to leave her being there endangers Stefan and Celina. She tries to get away without anyone following but Hunter is good at what he does and he finds her. It takes a lot but he does convince her he has a safe place for her to rest and heal.

This is a favorite scene as they settle in.

“Sure, but you can’t just give in to it. You still have to live.”

Her lips quirked. “I tried that, and then one morning I got up, went outside into the sunshine, and stretched, wondering how it could be such a beautiful morning, and I took a bullet in the side.”

Stated so simply, it had more impact, and, although she didn’t mean for it to come across that way, she heard him suck in his breath. Turning to face him, she said, “I didn’t mean to bring that up again. It’s just hard to forget that’s how I got to be here.”

“I get that,” he said quietly, “and obviously you’ll still deal with a lot of memories and issues on a daily basis.”

“It happened just when I thought I was doing so well,” she said.

She turned to study the area around her. “I can stay here for a little bit,” she said. “Maybe long enough to heal.”

“On a scale of one to ten, where are you?”

“I’d say five. The stress affects me in an ugly way,” she said, with a nod.

“So you need to make sure your time here is as stress-free as possible.”

“So, how will we do that?” she asked, with a laugh, looking at him.

“Have you ever been fishing?”

She shook her head. “I’m not even sure what it involves,” she murmured, as she looked out at the lake. It called to her in a way she’d never felt before. “Does it mean going out there?”

“It does, indeed. I have a boat down at the dock.” He pointed off to the side at a small rowboat.

“Is that thing safe in the water?” she asked doubtfully.

At that, he burst out laughing. “Absolutely,” he said, with a bright smile. “But we’ll get to that later.”

“Maybe,” she said, “but how do you protect yourself when you’re out there?”

He took a deep breath. “Well, you make sure that you’re not being followed, before you get out there,” he said, trying for a logical answer. “And then you just have to trust.”

She winced at that. “Back to that trust thing again.”

“I know it’s hard for you.”

“Very,” she said, “but, if you think it’s safe, I could consider it. You should have better instincts than I do.”

“Oh, I doubt it,” he said. “Your instincts should be phenomenal, after being hunted all this time. Nothing makes you more in tune to what’s going on around you than that.”

“Maybe,” she said, “but it would be nice to get out for a bit.”

“And we will,” he said, “after we get some dinner and after you get a good night’s rest.”

She nodded slowly. “I won’t let down my guard,” she said, “so don’t ask me to.”

“I would never ask anybody to do that,” he said. “That guard is what kept you alive all these years. Don’t let it down on my say-so.”

She smiled and said, “Okay, good.”

And, with that, he asked, “How do you feel about pasta?”

“I like it if it’s cooked,” she said, “but the raw stuff is hard to get down.” He looked at her sideways, unsure what to say. She shrugged. “I didn’t know how to cook when I first came out,” she explained, with a smile. “It took a bit and watching lots of videos to understand that some stuff you had to cook, and other stuff was ready to eat out of the package.”

He grinned at that. “That’s a hard lesson to learn,” he said, “but I’m sure you learned it fast.”

“Yeah, I got it right the first time after that,” she said, chuckling.

“What else have you learned to cook?”

“Lots,” she said. “I have an affinity for it, I think.”

“Good,” he said. “I’ll cook dinner tonight, since I’m rested up, and maybe you can cook dinner tomorrow.”

“I can do that,” she said, “as long as we have something that I know how to cook.”

“That’s always the caveat, isn’t it?” he said. While she watched, he quickly put together a simple pasta with fresh tomatoes, canned olives, and parmesan.

“That looks good,” she said. “I would never have thought to combine them like that.”

“I like simple meals,” he said, “especially if I don’t have a ton of time. And, right now, getting a meal on the table quickly seemed like the best idea.”

“I won’t argue,” she said. “Seems like a long time since whatever I ate at Stefan’s.”

“And that was nothing but a couple muffins and sandwiches,” he said, “and nowhere near enough for your body to heal.”

“My body heals all the time and from sources that you have no idea of.”

“Should we have bought pet food then?”

At that, she froze and turned slowly to stare at him. “Why would you ask that?”

“Well, you didn’t knock on Stefan’s door,” he said. “You told us that at Stefan’s, and you haven’t explained who did. You also weren’t alone, but the companion energy is very different. I don’t have a ton of experience with animal energy, but,” he said, his gaze studying her, “you’ve also never mentioned anybody else being here. Not to me anyway.”

“So,” she said, “why would you mention it then?”

“Because I sense another energy with us. And I thought one spoke to me at Stefan’s.”

She frowned.

He groaned and said, “You can just tell me if you have a pet, you know.”

“Do you think I would leave a pet behind?” Interesting he could sense but not see Nocturne. She waited until Hunter was focused on setting the table, then turned and winked at her cat. He swished his tail at her but stayed quiet. Was that in case Hunter heard Nocturne again?

Hunter shook his head. “No, I don’t think you would have. The question is whether you managed to get him in the vehicle while I wasn’t watching.”

She just gave him an openmouthed look and shrugged. Then she picked up a spoonful of pasta and ate it. And just as he went to do the same, a huge black cat jumped up on the table in front of him and meowed. She laughed. “Nocturne, your timing is impeccable.”

The big cat stared at her, then turned those massive golden orbs to Hunter.

Hunter stared at him in shock. “Where did he come from?” he demanded.

“And you’re the one who had it all worked out,” she said casually.

“He was in the vehicle?”

She nodded. “Of course. I brought him with me.”

“What about at Stefan’s?”

“He was outside, but I opened the window, and he came in and spent the night with me. But he always leaves before anybody else is around.”

“So he knocked on Stefan’s door, when you were unable to.” She avoided his gaze. Hunter turned to Nocturne. “Thank you for watching out for her.” He studied the cat, who stared right back, measuring him. “Yet he appears here now, before me and you,” Hunter said, still staring at the massive feline. “Why is he visible now?”

“Because he chooses to be,” she said, facing Hunter. “He’s obviously checked over your energy and made a decision about you. Honestly I’m surprised. He’s often been very difficult about making those kinds of decisions.”


“Yeah, he doesn’t like people,” she said bluntly. “Especially men.” Her gaze narrowed, as she studied the look on Hunter’s face. “Particularly young men.”

He looked at her, eyebrows up. “What difference does age make? Isn’t it just about character?”

She shrugged. “Let’s just say, he has his preferences.”

“So, do I pass muster?”

“You’re still alive,” she said succinctly. “So, I would say, yes, you do.”
Dale Mayer. Snap, Crackle… (Kindle Locations 891-958). Valley Publishing.

Of course there’s a lot more going on than just what we see on the surface.

I couldn’t put this book down as we learn more about Beth’s fears. Especially those concerning her ex best-friend Lizzy.

The relationship between Hunter and Beth is a very interesting one and things do heat up a bit, but everything needs to resolve first.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming January 2022!

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.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Her Faithful Protector – Night Storm Book 6 by Caitlyn O’Leary

Her Faithful Protector
Night Storm Book 6
USA Today Bestselling Author
Caitlyn O’Leary


Will Nic Get His Second Chance At Love?

Navy SEAL, Nic Hale, is happy. Just ask him. As the youngest member of the team he has the world by the tail, and a date every night of the week. Leaving him wide open to the team’s ribbing. No one would ever know it’s a role he plays to try to forget the woman who stole his heart years ago.

When Night Storm is called in to rescue a busload of kidnapped university students in the Mexican jungle, a mission Nic can sink his teeth into. That is until he finds out his high school sweetheart, the love who was ripped from him, is one of the hostages and all bets are off.

Will he be able to save her before they finally have a shot at happiness?

This is the sixth book in the Night Storm Navy SEAL series. It is an Action Adventure Romance that can be read as a stand-alone.

Barnes and Noble logo_150 KoboLogo

This book opens with Camilla Ross and a group of students on a tour bus being taken hostage in Mexico. Interestingly their tour guide, Lisa, is an American as well and she is able to translate the leader’s demands. Of course their are always those couple who try the patience of everyone. Trent, a football player is one and Roxanne a socialite is another. Not surprising the female of the perpetrators is the harshest.

We first see Nic and his team doing an obstacle course with all the ribbing that goes along with it. Including the hits on Nic’s bachelor status. Little do they know he’s not womanizing, he’s taking care of his cousin and her child. It’s not until the next day that the team gets a heads up on the situation in Mexico. When they finally get the go they still don’t have much information other than the location where the group was taken.

We get to see the tour group as things slowly escalate there, starting with the bus rolling. An almost attempt by the football players to get rid of El Jefe leads to deaths as an example and then they’re walking.

When the team reaches the overturned bus, the details start coming in about the group.

This is just one of my favorite scenes.

Shit. Three shot and two dead due to injuries from the bus crash. No identification. By the looks of the clothes, one looked to be one of the kidnappers. The other four were American students who were in the bus. The dead kidnapper was already missing some body parts, likely due to a jaguar since he’d been outside of the bus.

“Par for the course, the kidnappers gathered all of their belongings so they could figure out who they had and make ransom demands,” Kane said.

“Any luck on a passenger manifest?” Nic asked. He thought about some of the younger kids he knew before graduating who might have gone to William and Mary College. Were they on this bus?

Kane looked down at his tablet. “Not yet. The ETA is an hour. Not that it really matters, we just need to get to them before any more end up dead.”

“Wrong,” Max inserted.

“If we could get the backgrounds of some of these kids, maybe we could find out if some of them have any hope of helping themselves or helping us. So far, the only one who seemed to be on their game was the tour guide.”

“Point taken,” Kane nodded.

Nic still wanted to know who was on the bus. He didn’t recognize the two women or the one man who was shot in the chest. The second man, there was no hope of recognizing him, since half of his head was missing.

“What’s wrong?” Raiden asked as he sidled up to Nic. Nic stared at the girl at the back of the bus, her neck clearly broken.

“She looks so young.”

Raiden sighed. “She’s a baby. After what we’ve seen and done, I can’t ever remember being so young.”

“I know. Even when I was that young, I felt older.”

“We’ve got to go,” Raiden said as he motioned with his chin.

Nic nodded.

They stepped easily along the sides of the bus seats and hoisted themselves up and out of the bus door. They closed it up tight behind them. Kane and Leo were almost done burying the remains of the kidnapper. They didn’t need his carcass attracting more predators to the other bodies in the bus.

“The Mexican authorities should be here in two or three days to recover the bodies,” Max told the team. “The first two ransom demands have been made. Not surprisingly it was two of the girls. According to the manifest, there were fourteen passengers, as well as the bus driver and the tour guide.”

“Do we have names?” Nic asked.

Max gave him an odd look, then answered. “Just the two who’ve called their parents. Their names are Phyllis Agar and Camilla Ross.”

Time stood still and Nic went icy cold in the middle of the hot jungle. His vision narrowed so that he could only see Max. He couldn’t hear anything, just watch as his Lieutenant’s mouth moved.

He swayed and someone grabbed him. “What the fuck, Hale? I hit you in the shoulder and you’re down for the count? Did you get injured on the jump?” Cullen demanded to know.


“Are you okay?” Cullen waved his hands in front of Nic’s face as he spoke slowly and loudly.

“We lost him. It was bound to happen eventually. All those women finally drained him of his manly fluids and he’s of no use.”

Nic’s fist shot out and glanced off Cullen’s jaw. If the man hadn’t stepped backward in time, he’d be down for the count.

Max twirled Nic around and grabbed both of his shoulders. “Hale! Look at me. What the fuck is going on?” he roared.

Nic shook his head, trying to clear it, trying to focus on his boss. “What were those two names again?”

“Ross and Agar,” Max clipped out. “Which one do you know?”

“Camilla Ross, sir.” Nic’s voice was just as unemotional as Max’s.

“Is this going to be a problem?”

Nic swallowed.

“Fuck. It’s going to be a problem,” Max growled. He looked over at his second in command. Kane immediately came over. “Watch him.”

“It’s not going to be a problem. I can do my job,” Nic said. He kept his voice level and unemotional, but inside, his mind was swirling. How was it fucking possible that Cami was out here in this jungle? He jerked his head back to the bus, thinking of the young girl with the broken neck.

“Kane, you and Nic are twins on this job. Got it?”

Kane nodded.

Nic jerked his head in his boss’ direction. Kane grabbed his arm. “We’ll take the rear,” Kane said to Max.

Max studied them both for a moment, then nodded.

Zed came up to Max. “I followed the tracks for a bit. Looks like three Jeeps. I counted eight sets of distinct footprints that weren’t combat boots walking in between the vehicles. Three men, five women. There could be more.”

“There are more,” Kane said as he looked up from his tablet. “There were fourteen passengers on the bus, all from universities and colleges on the east coast. With four dead on the bus, they’re down to ten, plus the tour guide.”

“Kane, what else you got?” Max asked as the others gathered around.

“Camilla Ross is supposed to be some kind of teacher or leader on this expedition. The rest are mostly undergrads. Some of them come from really wealthy families, the bios are coming in slowly.”

“What’s the four-one-one on the tour guide, do we have anything more on her?” Max asked.

“She’s led wilderness tours in Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming. She just started doing tours down here in Mexico this year. It’s strange because they don’t pay as well.”

“Are you thinking she’s in on it?” Asher asked.

Kane shrugged.

“Doesn’t make sense if she’s the one who made the S.O.S. call. I say we look at her as a friendly who can actually be of use,” Max said grimly. He turned to Nic. “What about Camilla, she’s a teacher. Does she have any skills that would help?”

“Last time I saw her was six years ago. I don’t know.”

“Okay.” Max nodded. “Zed, you take point. Everyone else spread out. These tracks are too easy to follow; I want everyone on alert to make sure there are no booby-traps, or any unfriendlies left behind.” Everyone gave Max an answer in the affirmative.
Caitlyn O’Leary. Her Faithful Protector, Night Storm Book Six: ARC – Advanced Reader Copy – Not For Sale Or Distribution (Kindle Locations 778-829).

The rescue is tense and Camilla and Lisa are pretty severely wounded. Nic is allowed to escort the group to the hospital and wait for parents to show up.

The dynamic between Camilla and Nic is very interesting since Camilla thinks Nic ghosted her and Nic thinks Camilla got married. I do have to say Camilla’s mother is a real piece of work.

I love the way Nic and Camilla slowly build a new relationship a stronger one than they once had.

5 Contented Purrs for Caitlyn!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Caitlyn O’Leary

Caitlyn O’Leary is an avid reader, and considers herself a fan first and an author second. She reads a wide variety of genres, but finds herself going back to happily-ever-afters. Getting a chance to write, after years in corporate America is a dream come true. She hopes that her stories provide the kind of entertainment and escape that she has found from some of her favorite authors.

Her Series Include:
It’s a bit Paranormal, a bit Sci-Fi and 100% Action/Adventure. The characters have special abilities, that make them targets.

This is focused on a group of Navy Seals. What makes them special is their bond to one another, and the women they come to love.

This is the series that started her career, it is a Menage Series that takes place in Fate Harbor Washington. It focuses on a tight knit community who live and love and care for one another.

She loves to hear from her readers.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Color Me Home – The Monroes Book 6 by Jen Talty

Color Me Home
The Monroes Book 6
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty


Rose Monroe has always prided herself on being fiercely independent. She lives her life on her terms and doesn’t need, or want, a man telling her what to do, or how to do it. She views being in a committed relationship as a life sentence in losing not only her freedom, but a one way ticket to stifling her free spirit. However, when a close friend asks her to help him pick out the perfect engagement ring, she finds herself in unchartered waters and she’s drowning.

Kadon Anders has been in love with Rose since the first grade, but she’s kept him in the friend zone their entire lives. For years, he’s tried everything he can think of to get her attention, but nothing worked and he’s tired of waiting. When Rose finally starts noticing him, it’s too late. He’s with someone else. However, has he really moved on Rose, or is he simply trying to protect his heart from shattering into a million pieces. Again.

Rose Monroe has just been dumped and she wants nothing more than to talk to her best friend about what happened. Unfortunately he’s in the process of getting to know Stacey a lot better than Rose would like.

Kaden Anders has always been Rose’s best friend. No matter how hard he tries to take that friendship to the next level it never happens. That is until the one night he was going to try to move on with Stacey. Instead of talking in the parking lot of the bar, Kaden takes the almost tipsy Rose to his place. What happens is explosive and Kaden declares his love for her, only to be friend zoned once again. This time Kaden levels some ground rules not to be broken if he is ever going to move on.

Kaden starts dating Stacey and things move forward quickly but there’s such a jealousy with regard to Rose. Kaden won’t compromise on his friendship and work relationship with Rose. She’s the best investigator his firm has and that isn’t going to change for Stacey.

Plenty of ups and downs, arguments, and the realization that love shouldn’t be so difficult.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Falling for the Delta – A Duet by Susan Stoker and Riley Edwards

Falling for the Delta
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker
USA Today Bestselling Author
Riley Edwards


When Delta operatives Dash and Magic officially meet Holly and Stella—the women they’ve had their eyes on—it’s hardly a conventional moment, but the fireworks are undeniable. Both men fall hard, fast, and deep, each planning a Valentine’s Day their women will never forget. And they don’t…but for reasons no one saw coming.

These interconnected but separate stories were originally published in a Valentine’s Day Anthology. They have been expanded and now include an epilogue for each story as well as extra content!

Barnes and Noble logo_150 KoboLogo google_play_logo_002_002

This is my favorite scene. It’s in both books and had me laughing out loud so I’m putting it first.

“Stella!” Holly snapped, trying to get her best friend’s attention. But Stella was far too focused on climbing the stupid tree next to her neighbor’s balcony.

Stella and Holly had clicked the first time they’d met at their job on Fort Hood Army base in Texas. They’d both just been hired and had been going through new employee orientation. One of the presenters had said something stupid, Holly couldn’t remember what it was now, but when Stella had turned to her and opened both eyes wide as if to say, “Oh my God, was that a stupid thing to say,” Holly knew she was someone she wanted to get to know better.

And now, five years later, they were closer than ever—even if at first glance they seemed to be complete opposites. Holly was short whereas Stella was tall. Holly had dark hair, Stella light. Holly was more reserved, while Stella was outgoing and not afraid to try new things…like climb a tree to get onto her neighbor’s balcony so she could climb over the railing and break into her own apartment.

And not just any neighbor either. The hot-as-hell Delta force operative she’d been crushing on for ages. The day he’d moved in, Stella had texted Holly and given her a blow by blow of what was happening. As hard as Stella had worked to try to finagle a way to run into him by “accident,” their schedules just seemed too different to have a more casual passing-in-the-parking-lot kind of interaction.

It figured that today of all days, when Stella had locked herself out, Stella’s apartment manager was out of town and her friend had already borrowed the extra key she’d given to Holly for situations exactly like this one. A key that was currently locked inside her apartment, along with the one Stella had forgotten.

But like usual, Stella wasn’t going to let a little thing like not having a key slow her down. Stella swore the door to her balcony was unlocked and all it would take to get inside was her getting up there.

On one hand, they were both thrilled it was an unseasonably warm day for Texas in January. Stella had on shorts, as it was a weekend and she took every opportunity to wear casual clothes when they didn’t have to work. But on the other hand, shorts weren’t exactly great for tree-climbing.

“We have a problem,” Holly told Stella as she stood under her, attempting to balance with her friend on her shoulders. Holly had no idea what Stella thought she was going to do if she actually fell. There was no way she could actually catch her, but just staring up at her felt wrong. So after Stella actually got hold of the branch, Holly hovered under her like a nervous mother.

But they definitely had another problem at the moment. More than Stella’s shirt getting snagged on a branch and her flashing the entire neighborhood when she’d first attempted to shimmy up the tree.

“We don’t have a problem,” Stella grunted as she did her best to reach upward toward the thicker branch above her head. She had her legs and arms wrapped around the lower branch like a monkey. She hung there for a moment, then exclaimed, “I almost have it!”

“I told you to give me your spare key back,” Holly complained.

“Whoop-whoop, I got it!” Stella crowed.

Deep laughter sounded from behind Holly, and she turned to look again at the two men she’d seen approaching. She’d tried to warn Stella that they were no longer alone, but as usual, her friend was completely focused on the task at hand and oblivious to what was going on around her.

“Girl, you need a throat lozenge,” Stella said, apparently thinking the men’s laughter came from Holly, as she began to shimmy hand over hand across the branch that led right to her neighbor’s balcony.

“Abort mission!” Holly said.

“Are you crazy? I’m almost there!”

Holly gave up trying to warn her friend. How Holly always seemed to find herself in embarrassing situations like this when she was around Stella, she didn’t know.

When the two men laughed again, Stella finally turned to look down. She froze mid-swing and hung from the tree branch halfway to her goal. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she hissed.

“I told you we had a problem,” Holly insisted.

Stella began to mumble under her breath, something about the scrapes she’d gotten on her knees and tearing her shirt, but all of Holly’s attention was on the two men.

Figured it was none other than the sexy neighbor and his equally gorgeous friend. Why couldn’t it have been the maintenance man—the guy with the huge paunch and who smelled like bacon all the time?

Holly hadn’t really admitted to Stella that she was interested in her neighbor’s friend. If she had, her friend would’ve been relentless in trying to set them up. For some reason, Stella felt it was her goal in life to get Holly a boyfriend.

So Holly had admired the other man from afar. It seemed as if she saw him all over post too. They apparently liked to eat lunch at the same place in the PX, a small sub kiosk inside the lobby of the post exchange building. She’d smiled at him a few times but had never worked up the nerve to actually talk to him.

And now, here he was, laughing at them.

“Are you open to suggestions?” Stella’s neighbor asked, but Holly couldn’t take her eyes off his friend. He was tall, but not too tall. Muscular, of course. Had brown hair that was longer than most soldiers were allowed, most likely because he was a special forces operative. His hazel eyes were locked on hers, which made Holly’s heart speed up until she was afraid she was going to have a heart attack.

Her attention was jerked back to Stella when she screeched. But her neighbor stepped forward and caught her friend before she hit the ground. It was like a scene from one of the romance books she loved to read.

“Gotcha,” he said in a deep, rumbly voice. “You’re bleeding,” he added.

“Yeah, that happened when she said she knew how to climb a tree. Obviously, she’s not very good at it,” Holly explained helpfully. It felt better when she concentrated on her friend and tried to ignore the handsome man now standing next to her.

“Let’s get you upstairs and get your knees cleaned up,” Stella’s neighbor said.

“She’s locked out,” Holly blurted. Stella turned and gave her a shut-up face. In return, Holly widened her eyes and gave her a small headshake.

Both men chuckled once more.

“Come on, Lucy and Ethel, we’ll go to my place then and get you cleaned up.”
Stoker, Susan; Edwards, Riley. Falling for the Delta. Kindle Locations (59-110). Kindle Edition.

From this point the books go off to the individual and intertwining stories.

Dash & Holly
Susan Stoker

Instead Dash leads Holly off, and assures her Stella is in good hands and safe. Then proceeds to inform her she’s safe as well and she could a text of his license plate to Stella for good measure.

As these two start getting to know each other, they stay in the car in the parking lot of her apartment complex. This leads to an interesting encounter with law enforcement.

However, they find they have much in common. Holly is not only beautiful, she’s intelligent and has almost as high a security clearance as he has, maybe even higher.

Meeting for lunch at the PX becomes a staple as these two get closer. Then one of these lunches isn’t calm and fun at all.

Plenty of romance, a bit of action and a touch of heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

Magic & Stella
Riley Edwards

Magic was more than a little amused at Stella’s antics in the tree outside his apartment. He takes Stella to his apartment, more than a little curious as to how she was planning on getting into her locked apartment from his balcony. He has a lot to say on the subject as he’s cleaning her scrapes.

He wasn’t quite prepared for her to identify him as Delta, and even more surprised to learn she’d been in on OPSEC briefings. He’s also very relieved to find she’s a civilian contractor and not military. It makes life easier.

They too enjoy the ritual of lunch at the PX together, until that one fateful day.

Lot’s of laughter, romance, some action and a touch of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Riley!

Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Tennessee where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, Indiana, and Tennessee. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Riley Edwards is a bestselling multi-genre author, wife, and military mom. Riley was born and raised in Los Angeles but now resides on the east coast with her fantastic husband and children.

Riley writes heart-stopping romance with sexy alpha heroes and even stronger heroines. Riley’s favorite genres to write are romantic suspense and military romance.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and never miss another release, sale, or exclusive bonus material.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page