Hot SEAL, Labor Day – SEALs in Paradise: Holiday Edition Book 8 by Cynthia D’Alba

Hot SEAL, Labor Day
SEALs In Paradise
Holiday Edition Book 8
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Cynthia D’Alba


She seeks an escape.
He’s allergic to settling down.
Can a marriage of convenience
blossom into everlasting love?

Ana Zeller Cristiano feels locked inside a life of keys. World-renowned since she was five, the thirty-year-old piano prodigy is desperate for release from her high-stakes existence of overbearing expectations. But running away to figure out who she is hits a serious snag when her car gets a flat… until a sexy military man comes to her rescue.

Sawyer “Nomad” Beckett doesn’t put down roots. Floating between squads when deployed and living in a motorhome when he’s stateside, an offer to permanently join the premier SEAL team gives the former Army brat pause. But when he helps a stranded woman only to discover she’s in the cabin next door at his resort, the wandering warrior is shocked when sparks fly.

Swept up in the passionate weekend and tired of the pressure to marry her manager’s son, Ana presents her new flame with a wild plan and an impromptu marriage proposal. And feeling something fall into place he’s never felt before, Beckett agrees to say “I do” despite being set to ship out to the dangerous battlegrounds of Africa.

Will this insane scheme catapult two lonely hearts into unexpected harmony?

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Sawyer ‘Nomad’ Beckett is a SEAL floater. He fills in on teams until an empty position is filled. He’s just returned from deployment with SEAL team Romeo and after joining them for a drink he heads out to a favorite vacation spot. He was supposed to be meeting his parents there but his dad, an army general was sent to Belgium at the last minute.

Ana Zeller Cristiano is a classical concert pianist, she’s been touring for what seems like forever and really needs a break. With the help of an acquaintance she buys a used car, makes reservations and takes off without a work to her family or her manager.

It’s a bit of a coincidence that Sawyer is following her on the last stretch to Lake Kincade as he’s able to assist her when the front tire on her car blows out. He even leads her to a reputable place to get new tires so the car is safe to be on the road, before he heads to his cabin.

It turns out that with her last minute reservation she is in the cabin that had been reserved for Sawyer’s parents and that’s where the attraction begins. Sawyer approaches her as she’s saying hello to the resident dog.

This is a favorite scene the morning after their arrival.

What had Sawyer asked her? Oh yes. Her family.

“No, they won’t be joining me. Yours?”

He shook his head. “Dad got called to Belgium for a meeting and Mom always goes where Dad goes.”

She frowned in confusion. “Belgium?”

“Yeah, Dad’s an Army general. Mom’s a faithful military wife.” He tapped his chest. “I am the ungrateful military brat who joined the wrong military branch— and I enlisted.”

She chuckled. “Let me guess. You were supposed to be in the Army.”

He tapped the end of his nose. “Only following in his footprints to West Point wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

“Didn’t you have other siblings who could have picked up the mantle?”

“Nope. Only child. You?”

“Only child.”

“I just realized I don’t know your name. You must be C. Kirk or A. Cristiano.” When her brows wrinkled, he said, “The other two envelopes taped to the office door.”

She laughed lightly. “Ana Cristiano.”

She waited for the name recognition that usually occurred when she said her name. This time, nothing. No reaction at all.

This was excellent. He had no idea who she was.

“Nice to meet you, Ana Cristiano. Do people ever pronounce your name as Anna?”

“Not if they want to live.”

He laughed, a full belly howl of amusement.

“Have you had breakfast?” he asked when he finished chuckling.

She picked up her coffee cup from the porch. “Just the elixir of the gods.”

“There’s a great place just up the road. Pancakes. Belgian waffles. Eggs. Whatever you could want. Want to join me?”

She considered his offer, and then thought about her car. Surely the tires could go that far. Besides, they were going to a public place. No safety risk.

All her life she’d been warned about strangers and safety. Initially, because of her family’s money, but now it was because of her own notoriety. Of course, in this small community, the odds of there being a fan of classical piano were slim. Hadn’t she picked this place because of those odds?

“Um, can I see your ID?”

He grinned. “Smart lady.” He pulled a wallet from his front pocket and flipped out his military identification.

“Thanks,” she replied.

“Don’t blame you a bit,” he said, slipping the wallet back into his pocket. “Lots of fake SEALs running around claiming things that aren’t true.”

“How infuriating that must be.”

“It is. So, breakfast?”

She smiled. “Yes, that sounds lovely. We can take my car.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, no. And I’m not riding in that death mobile until you get tires with some treads. You ever been on a Harley?”

Her eyes widened at the thought. Ride a motorcycle? Her mother would swoon. Her grandmother would have a case of the vapors. Randall would tell her the odds of an accident that could break all her fingers and put her career at risk.

“I haven’t. It sounds exciting. Can I go like this?”

He studied her linen shorts and matching blouse.

“You can if you’re comfortable. Nothing in this town is what I would call classy, so anything casual is fine. Just put on shoes. You might want to change into jeans for safety, if you have some.”

She glanced down at her toes and giggled. “Yeah, barefoot is a little too out there, even for me. I have a pair of sneakers and jeans. What about a helmet?” She might be mad at her agent and family, but she wasn’t nuts.

“I have an extra one. Let’s go.”

“Give me a second to change.”

She didn’t want to admit how nervous she was climbing on his Harley. She’d never been on a motorcycle in all her thirty years. Her heart was pounding like a kettle drum. She was almost embarrassed by a grin so wide her cheeks hurt. Thankfully, he had the kind of Harley with an actual seat for a second rider. Sawyer handed her a purple helmet that matched his bike.

“Helmet. It’s the law.”

She shoved it on. “You know this is going to ruin my coiffure and yours.” Her long hair was limp and stringy this morning since she’d done nothing besides drying it last night before going to bed.

He chuckled. “I’ll risk it,” he said as he pulled down the foot pegs for the her. “Come over to the left side. Now, swing your leg over like you’re going to drive.” He laughed at her wide eyes. “No, Ana, you can’t drive my bike today.”

She climbed on and sat in the main seat.

“Now, scoot back until you’re on the back.”

Once she did, he swung his leg over, righted the bike and fired up the engine.

“Ready?” he asked. “Hold on to me tight.”

She nodded, tapping the front of her helmet into the back of his. Excitement raced through her veins along with a spark of nerves.

This reminded her of the first piano recital she’d given. She’d been seven at the time. Even at that age, she’d known she was good, so she hadn’t been scared of the audience. She’d been excited and nervous to show what she could do. Plus, she’d been in Germany on a military base playing for military families, so if she’d messed up, no one would know. Her piano teacher at the time had said it was the ideal place to get her some playing experience. She hadn’t messed up, and all the children had been given a whole day off from practice.

Sawyer revved the engine, which made the bike vibrate between her legs. That produced a very interesting tingle that bounced around her gut.

“Hang on,” he shouted over his shoulder. “And don’t wiggle around.”

She lightly clasped hold of his T-shirt.

He shook his head. “Like this.” He took her right hand and pulled it to his stomach and then did the same with her left. “And when I lean, you follow my body.”

While her hands were resting on his T-shirt material, she had no difficulty feeling the firm muscles underneath. Her fingers flexed, not making an indent in the hard surface, but able to discern the groves in his abdomen. Six-pack? Eight-pack? Lord. Musicians were the only men she was around these days, and they definitely didn’t sport anything like this.

She squeezed her arms a little tighter and nodded, accidentally clunking her helmet against his again. If she kept doing that, both of them would get a headache. “Sorry,” she shouted. “I’m ready.”

And then they were moving. She squealed with delight.
Cynthia D’Alba. Hot SEAL, Labor Day: SEALs in Paradise (Kindle Locations 276-329). Riante, Inc.

Ana has some thinking to do with regard to her schedule and the pressure her mother and her manager are putting on her to marry Randall, her manager’s son. She’s already told him no but they won’t let up.

One of the first things Sawyer realizes is that Ana doesn’t have much worldly knowledge. She’s been very sheltered and hasn’t done many of the things others take for granted.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book, with every new experience Ana’s reactions are delightful as are Sawyer’s.

There’s plenty of laughter, some tears, and a simmer to sizzle romance that will have you turning the pages for more.

5 Contented Purrs for Cynthia!

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Cynthia d'Alba Cynthia D’Alba

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia D’Alba started writing on a challenge from her husband in 2006 and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun.

She was born and raised in a small Arkansas town. After being gone for a number of years, she’s thrilled to be making her home back in Arkansas living in a vine-covered cottage on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake. When she’s not reading or writing or plotting, she’s doorman for her two dogs, cook, housekeeper and chief bottle washer for her husband and slave to a noisy, messy parrot. She loves to chat online with friends and fans.

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Broken Halo – Undercover Silvers Book 1 by Rhonda Lee Carver

Broken Halo
Undercover Silvers Book 1
Rhonda Lee Carver


Will he risk everything, even his life,
for trouble in stilettos?

As Savage Halo Royalty, Brick is a revered MC member, but because he isn’t “blood” some Royalty members don’t trust him, including Vice President King. Royalty has been breathing down Brick’s neck to marry an ol’ lady of their choice to prove his loyalty to the club.

For three years, Brick has been undercover. He’s spent every minute carefully planning his next move, watching his back, and building trust within the club to do one thing. Bring down criminal Max King. Brick’s so close he can almost taste it.

Then in walks trouble from the past.

Ireland Atlas is an ex-member and deserter of Savage Halo, which puts her on a “list” with Royalty. She’s looking for her sister who was last seen near the Broken Halo Club that Brick runs. When Ireland gets him caught up in a situation that puts her life in danger, and risks exposing him as an agent, he vows to save her. But first, she must do something for him.

They must marry.

They will have to fight to stay alive. But can they fight the feelings erupting between them?

Undercover Silvers are part of an undercover unit with the DEA. They focus on bringing down MC criminals. Each agent has a story to tell of tours of duty, war wounds, heartbreak, resilience, and most importantly, skill. And they’re all SILVER FOXES.

Ireland Atlas has to find her sister, the only way she can think of to find her is through Brick. The last she heard he’s now Savage Royalty which means if Meg is back with King he’d know or he could get her a conversation with King.

Brick does get her that conversation but it has some very interesting consequences.

This is a favorite scene.

Blinking rapidly, Ireland tried to focus on the ceiling that looked strange to her.

She wasn’t at home. Where was she?

Turning her head on the hard pillow, a dull ache ripped through her temples.

Ten seconds later she could finally lift herself up on her elbow and better survey her surroundings. She was back in the red room.

Pressing her fingers to her forehead, she tried to focus on her memories flooding back in frightening detail. King. The brunette at the dinner table. The red dress that belonged to Meg.

The same one she was still wearing.

Wine. A dizzy spell. King wanting retribution.

He’d slipped something in her wine. What had he given her?

A combination of anger, fear, and concern scurried through her, seizing her muscles in an invisible clamp. She had to get out of this room, and far away from King and his insanity.

Why wouldn’t her body move?

She heard a soft clicking sound across the room. The doorknob turned. Someone was coming in. The question became was it King, or one of his goons?

Forcing her legs to move, she fell off the side of the bed with a thud. She’d think of the pain later but right now she needed to get away. Crawling across the rug, she huddled in the corner, covering her hand over her mouth to stifle a scream.

Holding her breath, she saw a flash of black.

Then she saw Brick.

Was she seeing things? She blinked wildly, but he was still there.


He didn’t say a word but came around to sit on the floor beside her. She fell into his comforting arms, holding back tears. She hoped she wasn’t dreaming because this felt too good to be true.

“It’s okay, Ireland. I’m here. You’re safe,” he said next to her ear, his fingers tangling in her hair.

His muted words sounded like they were being piped through speakers, or maybe it was because her blood thrummed through her veins sounding like a waterfall. Either way, she didn’t want him to ever let her go so when he pulled back, she moaned in regret. She met his concerned gaze. “Wh-what are you doing here?”

“What the hell happened?”

“King. He drugged me. I can barely move. How-how did you get in here?” Her chest rose and fell as she placed her hand on his muscled thigh, leaning into him for strength.

“I can explain that later, but right now I’m afraid we don’t have much time for chit-chat.” His growl echoed through the room. “Can you walk?”

“I can try.” Her muscles clenched as she moved, forcing them to function. He helped her to her feet and her legs wobbled but she didn’t care if she had to suddenly grow wings she would get out of the room. Brick encircled her waist with his arm to help her.

“I think you’ll need the help.”

“How will we get out?” She eased against him, inhaling his leather scent.

“That’s an interesting story.”

“You’re worrying me. Can we get out?” Some of her fear returned.

He looked tormented by something. “You told King we were getting married,” he said in a whisper.

Oh shit! Would he be mad at her? “I couldn’t let that snake touch me. It was the only thing I could think of.”

“Yeah, I understand,” he pushed through thin lips. “We have a slight problem though.”

“Slight? I’d say being here is a big problem.”

“Agreed, but what I’m about to tell you will make things even worse. King doesn’t believe that we’re engaged. He thinks you lied to him.”

The drug was starting to wear off and her mind started to work with more precision. “Why does he care?”

“You know him well enough to not need to ask that question. He wants to save face possibly, or this is just another power trip, but whatever it is we need to agree to his terms.”

“Why should we agree to his terms? I bet he knows where my sister is. We should be the one making demands.” Her anger returned full force.

“Things work differently in the Halo, Ireland. The only way we’re safe is if we follow through.”

The gravity of the situation made her tremble. “Follow through? As in get married?”

He nodded.

She almost lost her balance. “You can’t be serious?”

“Ireland…” He stood, driving his fingers through his hair.

“Brick? We’re not his puppets.”

When she swayed, he caught her.

“Whoa. Let’s sit back down.” He led her to the bed.

“How can you be so calm?” She met his gaze.

“I came back to get you and that’s my mission. To get you out safe.”

“Call someone. Use your gun.”

“They took my weapon and my phone.”

“There has to be another way.” She slumped her shoulders, feeling sick.

“It’s not the end of the world. We can go through with this and get it annulled. If it means we make it out of this shit show with our lives, then so be it.”

What the hell had she gotten them into? “I want to know where Meg is. I need to know.”

He rubbed the tension from his jaw. “She isn’t with King.”

“How do you know? Is that what he told you? He lies!”

“Yeah, he lies, but not this time. That’s something else I’ll explain later. For now, let’s stay focused on leaving through the front door alive and well.”

“As husband and wife?” Her throat clenched as the world fell off of her lips.

“Don’t look so offended, sweetheart. After all, this was your hoax.” He put some distance between them. “I bet you never thought you’d be wearing red for your wedding, yet it seems more fitting than white.”

Seeing the twinkle in his eyes, she realized he was trying to make the situation lighter. He was right, she’d put them in this terrible position. All for nothing. “I’m sorry, Brick. I did this to us.” How many men would leave her high and dry? Not him. He came to get her and he cared for her safety.
Carver, Rhonda Lee. Broken Halo (Undercover Silvers Series MC Book 1). Kindle Locations (1349-1412). Kindle Edition.

Ireland was never very good at following orders and Brick is trying very hard to keep from revealing his true identity. He’s so close to taking King and the rest of the folks involved in trafficking down he can’t let anything prevent it.

There’s a lot of intrigue and suspense as Brick and Ireland look for Meg. There’s also the sizzling rekindling of their relationship.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I hope it’s not too long a wait.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

Rhonda Lee Carver is a published book writer with a collection of print and eBooks under her wing. She is also a freelance editor. Her first book was published with Wild Rose Press in 2010.

She writes everything from contemporary to steamy to paranormal to suspense…you name it, she’s written it. Her specialty is writing men who love to get their hands dirty—hardworking, blue collar, heroes in everyday life.

When Rhonda isn’t crafting edge-of-your-seat, sizzling novels, you’ll find her with her children and husband watching soccer, watching a breathtaking movie, traveling to exotic places (with Bora Bora on her bucket list), doing (or trying) yoga, saving cats and dogs, and finding new ways to keep life interesting.

Rhonda thrives on making her readers happy. She believes life can be a challenge, but reading is a place where fantasy comes to life. Her motto: “Everyone deserves romance—one page at a time.“

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Tucker – The K9 Files Book 13 By Dale Mayer

The K9 Files Book 13
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Tucker is always ready to fight for the underdog. So when he’s offered a mission to save the life of a dog unfairly judged and slated for termination, he can’t let her go down without a fight. Plus the dog is in Miami, where his sister lives, and … no way he can refuse to attend her upcoming wedding.

Addie knows her sister lied about being attacked by the dog, but Addie isn’t sure to what extent or how far her sister will go for revenge against an animal she hates. Yet Addie is determined to help the dog who she loves, even if no one else does. Finding a hero to champion her cause isn’t part of her plan, but she is quick to realize Tucker’s value when she meets him.

Now if only he didn’t have a nightmare scenario of his own … one that threatens to take them all down, including the dog.

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Right from the start we get to know that saving the war dog Bernie wasn’t going to be an easy task. She’s due to be euthanized for biting a woman, but there’s a lack of evidence and cooperation that makes it all very suspicious.

Tucker is ready to go home to Florida and when Badger tells him about Bernie he’s all for saving her. The question is how to go about it. His soon to be brother-in-law also has a problem on his construction site with a firebug and that just might be the answer.

The first thing Tucker has to do is see the dog and verify it is the war dog he’s looking for. What he finds disturbs him, the condition of the shelter and the manager’s attitude do nothing to ease his concerns. Bernie is immediately wary of the manager, but dismisses him as a threat. That’s more telling than anything else. There’s also the problem of no documentation on the incident. He also needs to interview the women who was bitten, she’s been uncooperative with the efforts made.

We meet Addie, the sister of the woman bitten. She’s trying to find a way to prove her sister is lying. Ironically the dog and her sister share the same name, Bernie. Apparently Bernie pressured her parents to adopt the K9 for that reason and she always gets her way. Addie has mostly gotten away from Bernie’s manipulation and only checks on her when their parents are away like they are now. She’s been visiting Bernie at the shelter as she tries to find a way to save her. This time she meets Tucker.

This is a favorite scene.

As she stepped in, Bernie’s tail wagged madly. Addie smiled, crouched in front of her, and said, “Hey, girl.”

And Bernie immediately bounced to her feet and gave her a huge welcome.

“That’s good to see,” he said. “I was worried after all the reports I’d heard that she had bitten somebody.”

“I’m not worried about getting bit,” she said. “It’s the euthanasia that’s supposed to happen on Friday that worries me.”

“I know,” he admitted. “I was hoping to find a way to stop it.”

“You and me both,” she said. The dog licked her face and then calmed down slightly, and Addie looked at the man. I didn’t introduce myself,” she said. “I’m Addie.”

He reached out a hand and shook hers. “And I’m Tucker,” he said. “I came on behalf of the War Dog Division to see what’s going on here.”

She brightened. “Oh, I’m really glad to hear that,” she cried out. “Can you rescue her?”

“Well, that’s what we’re trying to figure out. It seems the dog is being railroaded, and nobody appears to care that she’s a War Dog. At the moment it’s likely she’ll be put down before I have a chance to make a case for her.”

“That’s something I was trying to avoid.” She frowned. “And I don’t know what kind of pull my sister had to make this all happen, but I hate it,” she murmured, burrowing her face in Bernie’s ruff. “Because this dog deserves better.”

“But when we’re up against the court cases, it’s a hard thing to do,” he murmured. “They get on this pathway, and to get a stay of an order is much harder.”

“And yet this dog didn’t deserve any of it,” she said.

“Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t, but I’m glad to hear that you think she doesn’t.”

“No way,” she said. “It’s just so damn sad.”

“It is at that,” he said, “but we’re not out of hope, as it hasn’t happened yet.” She looked at him with a smile on her face. “If you need any help, count me in.”

He looked at her a moment and then nodded. “Any idea what we can do?”

“No, I was hoping you did.” Her hopes fell, as she realized he didn’t know how to save Bernie either. “If you don’t have any legal pull from the War Dog Division or the government,” she said, “then I don’t think anybody can do anything about her.” She looked around and said honestly, “Sometimes I think, each time I’m here, that I should just steal her and run.”

“If that was the answer,” he said, “I’d do it too.”

She nodded and frowned. “But we’d be seen,” she said. “I don’t know how many cameras they have on this place, but there’s no way to do it without being seen.”

“I hear you,” he said quietly, gently stroking the dog’s ears, as she stretched out on her side, her legs kicked out in front of her and her head on his thigh.

“She accepted you so fast,” she murmured, studying him.

His smile was deep, gentle. “She knows I’m no threat. I’m still trying to figure out your sister’s motivations,” he said, “because that might be the easiest way to get this fixed.”

“I think it’s probably too far gone for that,” she said. “And then my sister …” Addie stopped.

“Your sister what?”

She winced. “I …” Then she stopped again. “You know I’ll hear it all anyway, so it’s probably easier if I hear it from you.”

She shook her head. “There’s no easy about it,” she said. “I don’t know quite what happened, but my sister and this dog did not get along right from the beginning. Bernie— the dog— didn’t like Bernie, my sister, at all.”

“Well, I happen to trust this dog’s instincts more than I do people’s,” he said. “So what’s wrong with your sister?”

She gave a bitter laugh. “So much,” she said, “but one of the biggest issues is she’s just very selfish and very self-centered. And I know that’s a terrible thing to say about my own sister, but it just seems like everything she’s ever done was more about her. She’s very high maintenance.”

“A lot of women are,” he said. “That doesn’t make them bad people.”

“No.” Addie blew out a long hard sigh. “And I sound like I’m a jealous sister, and that’s not what I mean at all,” she said. And, of course, he didn’t understand. Why would he? Besides, he was male, and she gave a bitter laugh, as he had yet to even meet her sister. Bernie was a stunner. Men fell for her all the time. It just blew Addie away that they could bypass all her personality issues and become enamored with what they thought they saw instead of what was really there.

“Do you think she held it against her that the dog didn’t like her?”

“I know so, and she got to really hate her because everybody else loved her.”

“So this was personal?”

“How can it be personal?” she asked in wonderment. “It’s a dog.”

“Was it a competition though?”

She stared at him, her brows crinkled. “Maybe,” she said, “I guess if you want to look at it that way.”

“Well, how else do you look at it?” he asked curiously.

She shrugged. “I don’t know. It just seems a strange thing to say.”

“Maybe,” he said, “but it seems like we have a bite, supposedly a second and third bite, the injury bad enough that we have a doctor’s report somewhere that we have to deal with. And because the owners themselves surrendered the dog and said that she’s too dangerous for them to handle and that they want to put her down, there’s nothing to stop this.”

“Which is why I’ve been fighting so hard. My parents aren’t even in town.”

“And where are they?”

She winced because, of course, this would make her parents look stupid too. “They went on holiday.”

He stared at her.

“I know,” she said. “They don’t handle this kind of stress very well.”

“They applied for and adopted, after quite a process, a War Dog. This War Dog.”

“I know,” she said, “and, when it got here, they thought it would be a solution, but instead it became a problem.”

“Did they get along with the dog?”

“Yes, actually they did. My dad likes her.”

“And yet he was okay for her to be put down?”

“I don’t think that was it as much as the fact that, once my sister got badly hurt, they were horrified and immediately wanted to be clear of the problem. And my dad is a strong proponent of animals, but only if they’re kept properly. And, in this case, he believes that the War Dog was defective from the beginning, and it was a bad deal, so they needed to just get rid of it.”

“Defective?” he asked in an ominous tone.

She shrugged. “I think he thought that it was injured in some way, and that’s why it was being retired, and nobody told them the full facts, and they ended up with a dog that has a screw loose.”

“Right,” he said. He looked down at Bernie. “Does she look like she has a screw loose?”

“I never thought that,” she said quietly.

“It’s too bad you couldn’t have looked after the dog,” he said, eyeing her.

“Wouldn’t that have been nice,” she said, “but I wasn’t given that option.”

“And why is that?” She shook her head.

“Wouldn’t you have been a better answer than killing her?”

“No, because in my parents’ world, they probably thought that I would just get bit too.”

“I wonder though,” he said. “It’s possible, but, as I don’t know what set it off in the first place, I don’t know how to explain whether it would happen again or not.”

“I don’t think it would happen again,” she said. “By the time my parents went for a holiday, my sister thoroughly hated the dog, and the poor thing’s life was not great. I didn’t know who I was supposed to complain to. I kept interfering, but I don’t live at home, and my parents just had enough, and they left Bernie with Bernie. I don’t know what happened after that.”

“So there was a bad situation, which they couldn’t handle, and they just walked?” he asked incredulously.

She looked at him, and then, not knowing what else to do, she answered with the truth. “Yes.”
Dale Mayer. Tucker (Kindle Locations 379-451). Valley Publishing Ltd..

This is a nail-biter of a book as Tucker and Addie race the clock to prevent Bernie from being euthanized. They also find themselves very attracted to each other.

There’s also the firebug to solve and a wedding to attend.

Dale writes these psychological intrigues to keep you at the edge of your seat the entire time and the romance between Tucker and Addie just adds to it all.

This is now my favorite of the series and I can’t wait for the next one!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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Her Sanctuary – Texas Vampires Book 1 by Delilah Devlin

Her Sanctuary
Texas Vampires Book 1
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Delilah Devlin


A woman surviving on the edge of a dark frontier
strikes a sensual bargain with
a handsome stranger
hiding a dangerous secret…

In a post-apocalyptic future, creatures who’ve hidden in the shadows for millennia are freed to roam in a world shrouded in darkness. Rancher Kate McKinnon runs Sanctuary Ranch—a last refuge on the western frontier. While running herd over her cowhands and integrating refugees into their self-sufficient refuge, she escapes her responsibilities the only way she has left—via radio to pockets of other survivors. One man, Ty Bennett, is her confidante, and she thinks she might be falling in love with his deep, rasping voice. Although they’ve never met, he seems to know her heart.

On a patrol to scavenge supplies, Kate and her cowboys are surrounded by a gang of renegades intent on claiming her. Rescue comes unexpectedly by a militaristic band led by the man she’s spent so many hours talking to through the dark nights. She brings him home only to discover she’s brought vampires inside the refuge.

Already half in love with the human woman, Ty offers added muscle to her defenses and promises to move her people to safety. Fighting his own nature and appetites, he seeks redemption for his many sins but can’t control his hunger to possess Kate. Getting past her prejudice and choking responsibilities tests his seductive powers.

This story was previously released under the title Undeniable. It has since been revised and expanded.

I haven’t read too many vampire stories lately so when I saw this one it intrigued me.

In this post-apocalyptic future their are many new and different dangers. One that plagues Kate McKinnon regularly is werewolves. They come in their wolf form and go after her cattle. Cattle she needs if she has any hope of feeding the people who have come to her for sanctuary.

Sam and Danny are her two ranch hands who have been with her since before her father died. Then there’s Ty Bennett, who she’s only communicated with on the short wave radio. He’s been trying to get her to evacuate the ranch to his location where they would be better protected.

Kate is stubborn and the ranch is all she has. After a difficult encounter with one of the wolves, she gets on the radio, wanting, no needing to hear Ty’s voice.

Once again holding him off as far as relocating, she prepares to do a run for supplies the next day. That run will change many things.

This is a favorite scene.

Kate jerked at the familiar deep tones of his voice. Her startled glance found Shep’s.

His eyes were narrowed in his lined face, and he shook his head. “You know him?” he whispered harshly. “Might be some kind a trick.”

“This is Ty Bennett,” the man outside said.

Kate closed her eyes and sank against the wall, feeling like her entire world was spinning out of control. In fact, the room did tilt beneath her boots, How could this be?

“Kate,” the man outside said, “the cavalry’s here, sweetheart.”

Ty held his breath as the slender figure descended the church steps. Although garbed in a long duster and wearing a cowboy hat that cast shadows over her face, he could tell a lot about the woman he’d come half the state away to rescue. Her slender shoulders were square, her chin held high.

The smart-mouthed woman he’d talked to endless nights looked brave—and brittle as glass.

The closer she came, the more his body tightened.

“She’s prettier than I expected,” Diego murmured as he stepped behind him.

Ty didn’t bother to say he’d noticed, too. He’d already been fighting an unexplainable attraction to the sassy voice on the radio, but he thought she’d be older. The woman walking toward him was shaping up to be a delicious surprise.

When Kate stopped several feet away, he noted the edge of her jacket tucked behind her holster and the suspicion glinting in her eyes. A shotgun barrel poked out a window of the church behind her.

A smile curved one corner of his mouth. Good girl. Someone was watching her back.

Kate stood motionless but swept his men with a quick glance as they dismounted their vehicles and waited beside them for direction. When her glance came back to him, her expression was stony. “You might have mentioned you were coming for a visit,” she said, her voice tight.

Her husky inflection tugged at his cock. The game had begun.

Knowing she was easily riled, he decided to bait her. He didn’t like her scared—angry, he could handle. He lifted one brow. “And I thought I told you to stay put.”

She narrowed her eyes. “I don’t follow orders very well,” she said, her tone dead level.

Diego snorted behind him, and Ty knew his buddy was laughing his ass off.

Kate lifted her chin toward the convoy. “Now, a person might wonder how men such as you came into possession of military vehicles.”

“A person? You wondering how, Kate?” he drawled.

“Maybe I’m just a resourceful kind of guy.”

Her nostrils flared, and her lips tightened. “And I’m just wondering what else you might be, Ty Bennett.”

That’s when he saw the hint of vulnerability in her gaze—and a glint of hope. This woman had lived a nightmare and needed what he offered worse than she knew. “Kate, we’re ex-military living at old Fort Davis in the Davis Mountains. Before things went to hell, we were part of a border patrol outfit—light infantry.” Some of it was true. What he left out would have to wait until she knew him better.

Kate’s lips relaxed a fraction. “Why no uniforms?”

“We were mustered out of the service when the post closed.”

“They left behind functioning equipment?”

“They were in a hurry. Everything was abandoned. We’ve taken over the camp.”

“Is this everyone? All your people?”

“I left men behind to guard the post.”

Her breath gasped softly. “Only men?”

He read her panic and decided to sidestep the issue for now. Concentrate on the pluses. “There’s a sturdy fence, a mess hall, food in storage to last a large unit months, an artesian well, and plenty of land to cultivate…everything a community needs to survive. We have room for you and yours, if you’ll come.”

“There are only half a dozen women at the ranch—three are married,” she said faintly.

“We won’t take what’s not offered.” The quiet, firm tone of his voice was meant to reassure her, but he knew she’d seen too much to trust blindly.

Her jaw flexed, and she looked away. “So, how’d you know it was me in there?”

“I sent out scouts in advance of the convoy. They saw you enter town, hit the grocery store like kamikazes, and then steal gas at the station. I don’t believe another female in this area would be so brazen. We got here as quick as we could when those bastards chased you here.”

She shot him a pointed glance. “Your timing was amazing.” Again, suspicion colored her tone.

He forced himself to keep his tone even. He didn’t like how skittish she was, how untrusting. It damn near broke his heart. “Remember, I didn’t expect to find you here. You were supposed to sit tight,” he said, baiting her again.

Kate snorted. “Like I said—”

His lips twitched. “Yeah, I know. You don’t follow orders well. That’s gonna change.”

Her dark eyebrows shot up.

Before she could answer the challenge he’d thrown down, he continued, “Katie, you can’t stay on Sanctuary Ranch any longer. You know it. Those men inside know it. You’re living on borrowed time until the werebeasts take down your fence.”

“It’s my ranch, my home,” she said through stiff lips.

“Maybe someday you can come back to it. For now, you need to get yourself and all those people depending on you somewhere safe. I’ve brought the trucks and the men—we can get you out of here.”

She drew a deep breath, and her hands clenched into fists. “Why, Ty? Why would you do this? You don’t even know me.”

He formed his lips into a lop-sided smile. “You won’t just let me be the Lone Ranger riding to the rescue?”

“I don’t believe in heroes anymore,” she said, her voice thickening. She blinked against the moisture filling her eyes, her sorrow and disillusionment etched in her strained features.

Ty gave her time to get herself under control but didn’t look away to give her any privacy. Every tear, every worry, every delight she held inside would be his. From this moment onward, he’d never let her hide.
Devlin, Delilah. Her Sanctuary (Texas Vampires Book 1). Kindle Locations (299-349). Kindle Edition.

Things heat up very quickly between Ty and Kate and I really love the verbal sparring they do.

I really can’t say much more about this without giving away too much of the story. I will say that Ty’s secret is a game changer.

Action, intrigue and a sizzling relationship. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Delilah!

Coming Soon!
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DelilahDevlin Delilah Devlin

Up until recently, award-winning author Delilah Devlin lived in South Texas at the intersection of two dry creeks, surrounded by sexy cowboys in Wranglers. These days, she’s missing the wide-open skies and starry nights, but loving her dark forest in central Arkansas with its eccentric characters and isolation–the better to feed her hungry muse! To Delilah, the greatest sin is driving between the lines because it’s comfortable and safe. Her personal journey has taken her through one war, many countries, cultures, jobs and relationships to bring her to the place she travels now–writing sexy novels that hold more than a kernel of autobiography and often share a common thread of self-discovery and transformation.

Delilah Devlin is a prolific and award-winning author of erotica and erotic romance with a rapidly expanding reputation for writing deliciously edgy stories with complex characters. Whether creating dark, erotically-charged paranormal worlds or richly descriptive historical stories that ring with authenticity, Delilah Devlin “pens in uncharted territory that will leave the readers breathless and hungering for more…” (Paranormal Reviews) Ms. Devlin has published over 140 erotic stories in multiple genres and lengths.

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Rocky Mountain Rescue – Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 2 by Elle James

Rocky Mountain Rescue
Brotherhood Protectors Colorado
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


Former Green Beret Max Thornton’s career ended when he fell two hundred and fifty feet during a training exercise and broke nearly every bone in his body. Left with a permanent limp and in need of a job, he is recruited by Brotherhood Protectors where he can use his combat training and skills to protect, guard and rescue others. He didn’t expect his first assignment to be the resident mechanic. Nor did he expect the mechanic to be a spitfire of a female with a whole lot of anger.

Josephina Angelica Barrera-Ramirez or JoJo, as her friends call her, prefers to be left alone with the work she does on the machinery and vehicles of the Lost Valley Ranch. Suffering from situational amnesia brought on by an attack she sustained during a deployment to Afghanistan, she’s touchy about being touched and doesn’t take any flack from ranch guests or the Brotherhood Protectors operating out of the lodge. When she becomes the target of a shadowy figure in the night, a former Green Beret is assigned as her bodyguard until the attacker can be found and neutralized. Forced to have the Green Beret around, her distrust of men is challenged and the wall around her heart crumbles.

When danger threatens all they come to mean to each other, Max and JoJo must fight their own fears to defeat evil while losing the battle of their hearts to win a future together.

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In the prologue of this book we get to see the rescue part of the traumatic event that sends JoJo home to Colorado. She had a choice there but when you don’t know who you can trust to have your back, it really isn’t much of one. She doesn’t remember her attack or her attacker and that’s dangerous in many ways. She helps out on the Ranch with any and all things mechanical and also lends a hand at the Watering Hole.

Max Thornton is the latest member of the Brotherhood Protectors, a former Green Beret he has fought to find a new normal following multiple injuries. This job is the next step in that recovery. Until they have more men and assignments Jake and Max are also helping out on the Ranch and the bar. Max gets a bit of a surprise when he startles JoJo. Although she doesn’t explain her reaction, it makes him aware she has an issue as they go to help Gunny at the bar.

This is a favorite scene, as Max comes to her rescue.

Max scooped up the plates of sandwiches and carried them out to the dining room, almost bumping into JoJo who was heading into the kitchen.

“Oh good,” she said. “I was looking for those.” When she took the sandwiches from his hands, their fingers touched.

A jolt of electricity shot up his arms and spread warmth throughout his chest.

JoJo’s eyes widened, and her pupils flared. If Max hadn’t still been holding onto the plates, she would’ve dropped them. Her hands fell to her sides.

“Are you okay?” Max asked.

She looked down at her hands, and then back up at him. “I—I’m fine.” Then she carefully took the plates from his hands without touching his fingers, turned and hurried away without another word.

“Max,” RJ called out, “can you carry this tray of drinks over to table five?”

“Are you sure you want me to?” he asked.

RJ grinned. “It takes practice.”

He shook his head. “It’ll be your loss if it all ends up on the floor.”

“I’ll take my chances,” she said. “You’ve got this.”

He lifted the heavy tray off the counter and limped across the room to table five, proud of himself when he delivered the drinks without spilling the contents, dropping the tray or making an idiot of himself.

JoJo collected empties off a table with five rowdy men seated around it. Just when she laid the last bottle on the tray and was about to pick it up, a big, booted foot swept out and clipped her ankle. JoJo toppled onto one of the men’s laps.

“Hey, JoJo, didn’t know you cared,” the man with the big foot said. “Come give ol’ Roy some sugar.”

Max stiffened as JoJo’s eyes widened, and her face blanched white. “Let me up,” she said. “Let me up.” She struggled against the meaty hands holding her down.

Roy wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly. “Hey, sweetheart, all I want’s a little sugar.”

Max flew across the room, yanked the man’s hands away from JoJo and pulled her off his lap. He let go of her immediately, and she ran past the bar through the swinging door and into the kitchen. And from the way a door slammed in the kitchen, she was headed out the back exit.

Max pointed to the man seated in the chair. “Out.”

Roy’s eyebrows rose. “What? I didn’t do nothin’. She fell into my lap.”

“The hell she did.” Max glared at the man. “You tripped her and made her fall into your lap. Get out.”

The man pushed to his feet. He must have been at least six-feet-seven. He towered over Max’s six-feet-three inches and weighed at least twice as much as Max.

Max didn’t give a rat’s ass how big the guy was. The man had been an asshole to JoJo. Max pushed his shoulders back and squared off with Roy. He wasn’t backing down.

Roy’s lip curled up on one corner. “You gonna make me leave?”

Max’s eyes narrowed. “If I have to.”

“You and what army?” he sneered.

“I don’t need anybody else. I am the Army.”

“And if he needs any more help, he has the Marines with him,” Gunny said beside him. “Get out, Roy.”

“And I’m the Marines’ back-up.” RJ appeared beside Gunny, carrying a shotgun.

Roy eyed the shotgun. “I’ll bet you don’t even know how to shoot that.”

Gunny’s bark of laughter made all the heads turn in the dining room. “Then you don’t know my daughter. She’s a better shot than I ever dreamed of being. And I was a sniper. A damn good one. You telling me you want to test her skills?”

Roy stood for another second or two, and then shook his head. “I don’t have to take this crap from anybody, and the food wasn’t that great either. I ain’t payin’ for it.” He turned and pushed past Gunny and stalked out the front door of the bar. The men sitting at the table all looked away, their cheeks red.

“Sorry about that, Gunny. Didn’t know he was going to be such a jerk,” one of them said. He threw a couple of twenties on the table. “That should cover his and ours. Don’t worry. We won’t bring him back again.”

“Good, because he’s not welcome here. Thank you for understanding.” Gunny smiled. “Stay for a while. Have a drink on the house.”

The man grinned. “Thanks, Gunny.”

Gunny turned to RJ, meeting her gaze.

RJ nodded. “I’ll go check on her.”

Max wanted to go with RJ to find JoJo. He was worried about her. He suspected whatever had happened to her had to do with men, and that would explain why she’d flipped him in the barn and lost it when Roy grabbed her.

“Think you could handle making sandwiches?” Gunny asked.

Max nodded. “I think I can figure that out.”
James, Elle. Rocky Mountain Rescue (Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 2). Kindle Locations (369-404). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Now Gunny has stet up a campaign start with an aspiring politician and he doesn’t give the gang much time to prepare. With a bit of a briefing and quick decisions on activities they’re ready.

After a late night, Max follows JoJo to her apartment to be sure she’s safe, especially after the altercation at the Watering Hole. He notices a car with someone in it that raises his hackles, so he hangs around for a bit until the car leaves.

In the morning JoJo notices someone had tried to get past the deadbolt. At the ranch, no one is happy about that and JoJo decides to stay at the ranch but she needs to get some clothes from her apartment. Max goes with her and it’s a good thing, the smell of gas has them both running, narrowly escaping the brunt of the explosion.

Now Max has his first case, protecting JoJo while they entertain the rather smarmy politician, his aide and campaign people.

There’s lots of suspense and intrigue as Max and the team work through the limited clues.

I’m in catch-up mode with this series, reading the next one now.

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.

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The Chocolate Touch – Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 3 By Melissa McClone

The Chocolate Touch
Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone


Chocolate expert Chantelle Cummings arrives in Marietta, Montana with two goals—sign copies of her new book and research a quaint local chocolate shop. When she meets a gorgeous guy passing out chocolate samples, her visit turns sweeter than she ever imagined. The man melts her heart, but her dream of working in France with her family makes her hesitant to pursue a romance.

Former Air Force captain York Parker has one month before embarking upon a consulting career. He never expected to be selling chocolates, but he’s happy to help his sister and her boss. He also likes spending time with sassy, pretty Chantelle. His new co-worker may have the chocolate touch, but he’d rather taste her decadent kisses… That is, until he learns the real reason she’s in town.

Will the truth harden his heart, or will love pave the way to a sweet future?

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York has just come back from the wonderful vacation in Fiji that Dustin won in ‘The Valentine Quest’. Before he moves on to the next phase of his life as a consultant he’s spending time with his sisters Dakota and Nevada. Always willing to lend a hand, he’s helping Dakota with chocolate samples and serving the signature hot chocolate at a book signing.

The author of the book, Chantelle is signing her latest book ‘The Chocolate Touch’ and she plans on visiting and sampling Sage’s chocolates at Copper Mountain Chocolates.

She’s getting some of those treats at her signing, but she needs to check it out closely if she’s going to recommend her Uncle Laurent pursue obtaining the recipes to add to their line. She’s also hoping that her Uncle will finally put her in the position of Chocolatier at her family’s business Delacroix Chocolates. Little does she know that relationship will threaten everything she’s worked for.

What starts as simply helping out becomes more when Portia goes into labor and the chocolate shop is short handed. York steps in along with Chantelle to take care of the customers while Sage and Dakota take care of Portia.

This is a favorite scene.

Standing next to the display case, Chantelle watched York clear the table without a wasted motion or word. He seemed…stressed. Not only that, but he scrubbed as if a contagion on the tabletop could wipe out mankind if he didn’t eradicate it first.

Worried, trying to keep busy, or a combination of the two?

She understood why he needed to keep himself busy because she couldn’t stop thinking about Portia, either. Chantelle hoped the young woman and her baby were okay. Like York, Chantelle needed to do something other than stand here.

“York,” she said finally. He stopped wiping and glanced her way.

He seemed to have forgotten she was there. “Chantelle. Sorry. I…wasn’t expecting this to happen. Dakota seemed worried, Portia looked scared, and I’m not sure what I should be doing.”

His honest words matched how Chantelle was feeling. The urge to reach out to him was strong, but the distance between them kept her from doing that. “Same here.”

“It’s my first day.”

“One you won’t forget.”

“That’s for sure.”

His smile returned full force and hit her like an unexpected gale. She took a step back. Swallowed. Might have been better for her if he continued to be wigged out, but she really liked that smile of his.

“I’m happy you’re here,” he added.

“Me, too.” And she was. Because of him.

Helping was something her parents had taught her to do. She’d grown up being taught the importance of lending a hand if she could. Yet, more was at play here. York Parker intrigued her, even if she knew better than to feel that way.

And she did know better.

But some things—like a second piece of chocolate—weren’t that bad for a person. She hoped that was the case with York.

“Should I put on an apron and stand behind the counter?” she asked.

“Oh, yeah. That would be good.”

He wiped the table again. If he kept that up, his next job would be to refinish the wood.

“Where are the aprons?” she asked.

He straightened. “In the back. Sorry. I keep thinking about…”

“Me, too.”

His gaze met hers, and he straightened. “There are clean aprons hanging by the cubbies. You can leave your purse and jacket inside one of them.”

“Will do.”

“The restroom is back there, too. Wouldn’t want you to have to wander around to find it.”

The amusement in his voice reminded her of two nights ago. He’d remembered what had happened at the bookstore. She hadn’t forgotten one second of their encounter.

She walked toward a door she assumed led to the back as it was where Sage and Dakota had disappeared into during the tasting last night.

Chantelle stepped into a small chocolate factory complete with an industrial-grade stove and roaster.

This was where the magic happened…

A rush of excitement flowed through her.

When she was younger, her mother had told her chocolate makers were magicians who used magic to create the most wonderful things to eat. After touring the Delacroix chocolate laboratory in Bayonne with her uncle, she knew her mother was correct. Seeing all the people working together, and the traditions created by her grandfather, had made the factory feel like home and the employees extended family.

Definitely magic.

But it wasn’t as simple as waving a magic wand, saying abracadabra, and pulling a piece of chocolate out of a hat. Each chocolatier had their own process, but the steps were similar. Cacao beans had to be roasted, cracked, and the nibs heated to remove the husk. But those were only a few of the steps. The process took days for chocolatiers like Sage to complete, but the results were worth the time and effort.

Quality over quantity.

The smells were sharper than out in the retail section. No doubt because the ingredients were stored here.

Inhaling, Chantelle captured the scents of cinnamon and vanilla bean. A hint of chili powder, too.

A potpourri of chocolatey goodness.

Excitement shot to her fingertips.

Her dad had once joked that chocolate ran through Delacroix veins. That seemed to be the case with her mother and uncle. Would it be true for her and her cousin?

The cubbies York had mentioned were against a wall. She placed her jacket and purse inside one. A wallet and phone filled another. It had to be York’s stuff. The rest were empty. As he’d said, the aprons were hanging right there, so she grabbed one.

After another glance around the mini-factory, she grinned. A satisfied feeling settled over her. The urge to take a photo or two for her report was strong, but she couldn’t without permission. Chocolatiers guarded their processes and recipes like state secrets.

Nothing in Chantelle’s reports would be considered confidential. Much of her research was done online prior to her visit. She then formed opinions based on what she saw, tasted, and the answers given to her questions. Once she decided, she gave a buy-or-pass recommendation to her uncle.

Still, she couldn’t believe her luck. Not only did she get to see a different side of Copper Mountain Chocolates, but she also had the chance to view the retail side of a chocolate shop from the other side of the counter. Getting customer-service experience was one of the steps on her uncle’s list.

She couldn’t wait. One afternoon helping in a shop wouldn’t count as enough experience, but it was a start.
McClone, Melissa. The Parker Family Trilogy : Love at the Chocolate Shop. Kindle Locations (6754-6793). Tule Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Now while I’m pretty sure Chantelle isn’t doing anything underhanded, it is very close to the line.

Then there’s also the sleuthing York’s doing to discover the anonymous benefactor.

There’s ups, downs, twists and turns as this story unfolds and romance blooms.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

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Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Valentine’s Quest – Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 2 by Melissa McClone

The Valentine’s Quest
Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone


Keep your competition close…and your heart even closer.

When Nevada Parker travels to Marietta, Montana, she anticipates enough peace and quiet to finish her PhD dissertation. Cupidville turns out to be anything but quiet. In fact, it looks like Valentine’s Day—her least favorite holiday—exploded all over the small town.

Among the sea of red hearts, “Be Mine” signs, and pink, pink, pink, Nevada spots a flyer for a multi-day race called The Valentine Quest. The grand prize—a luxury tropical vacation—would be the perfect welcome-home gift for her brother who’s leaving the military.

Dustin Decker sure could use a break from giving city slickers sleigh rides—and from the now ex-girlfriend who issued an ultimatum. Even with a bum knee from his bull riding days, the race’s grand prize is as good as his—until he realizes he needs a partner for some of the more complicated tasks.

He makes a strategic pact with the prim, bookish Nevada. But with a kiss, their unlikely alliance turns into something more…and soon racing isn’t the only thing on their minds. As the finish line nears, they must decide if the grand prize is worth more than what they’ve found together…or if one of them will walk away empty handed—and broken hearted.

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I purchased this as the Parker Family Trilogy and I’m reviewing them individually.

I realize these are holiday based but I was in the mood for sweet. In this one Nevada Parker has come to Marietta, Montana for the quiet of her sister Dakota’s home and town to finish her dissertation. She’s also teaching three days a week in Boseman. She’s bringing Dakota her boots, since the weather report was wrong again, when she manages to slip. A man helps her up but her glasses are smeared and she can’t see him. He hands her a handkerchief to dry them, tells her to keep it and leaves after ascertaining she’s okay.

You’ll recall Dakota works at Copper Mountain Chocolates and as Nevada drinks her hot chocolate, a man enters. Now he recognizes her, but she doesn’t him, because her glasses were so smeared. Dustin introduces himself and the conversation turns to the upcoming Valentine’s Quest. A surprise all inclusive vacation to Fiji is the new grand prize and the quest has been getting more interest.

Dustin is entering the Quest, he wants the vacation and is determined to win it. Nevada decides the vacation would be perfect for her brother York, as he leaves the Air Force and transitions to civilian life. What Dustin and Nevada don’t expect is that the other contestants are couples which puts them as individuals at a disadvantage. It’s then Dustin comes with the idea to partner up until the last challenge.

This is a favorite scene.

Dustin glanced around.

“Sizing up the competition?” she asked.

“Nice spot for doing that.” His gaze sharpened with what looked like respect. “But you already knew that.”

She shrugged, even though he was correct about why she’d picked this table. Although she preferred the term observing—a more pleasant word to her.

He scanned the crowd again. “These couples and pairs put individual competitors at a disadvantage.”

“Having a teammate isn’t against the rules.”

“No,” he said. “But we need to level the playing field.”


“By helping each other out.”

It was her turn to stare at him. “I thought you had this won.”

“Yes, but it’s called hedging one’s bets.” The way his gaze hardened told her how serious he was. “We stand a better chance if we work together against the other pairs.”

She considered his words. “You mean form an alliance like they do on those reality TV shows?”

“You watch those?” He sounded surprised.

“I have. On occasion,” she clarified.

Shows like that were a guilty pleasure. One few knew about, not even Dakota or York.

“A strategic alliance is exactly what I’m talking about,” he said. “We bring different strengths to the quest.”

That was true. Physical versus cerebral. “There’s only one prize.”

“We work together until we near the finish line, and it’s down to you and me. Then we’re on our own.”

His plan had merit. She might do better with a partner. Especially one who was physically stronger than her.

The corners of his mouth curved upward in a charming—dare she say alluring?—grin.

Her heart thudded.

Not the reaction she expected, nor wanted, to have.

“What do you say?” he asked.

No! Her gut instinct wanted her to scream that. If for no other reason than the way his smile made her feel warm all over. Except…

For York. For York. For York.

Her original goal was to win for her brother. Competing on her own would be harder, and maybe, a little of Dustin’s confidence would rub off on her. She could use some.

Amusement filled his gaze. “You want to say yes.”

The man was so darn cocky, but a part of her did want to say that. Which made the other part of her want to say no.


She had to be logical about this, which was all Dustin was being, and not let emotion get the best of her.

One deep breath followed another. “Okay.”

His smile spread. “Great.”

She hoped she didn’t regret this.

Sage Carrigan O’Dell, the owner of the chocolate shop, and three men—Tim and two who were older—stood in the front of the standing-room only crowd. More people had arrived, and the shop was jam-packed. Still, Nevada had trouble concentrating on anyone except Dustin.

Forming an alliance meant they were using each other to win the quest.

Nothing more.

All she had to do was ignore the way her gaze kept being drawn to his face. How hard could that be?

The crowd quieted.

Nevada forced her attention on the four sponsors standing in front.

“Welcome to the Valentine Quest.” Sage had long, red hair and a welcoming smile. Dakota spoke highly of working for the lovely woman. “The race will begin after this kickoff meeting and continues through this Saturday and Sunday, and next Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The final event will be held in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day, so you’ll have plenty of time for romance afterward.”

Competitors laughed, but not Nevada. That Tuesday would be just another day.

“On each of the seven days, you’ll perform tasks that earn you points,” Sage continued. “Those points will be tallied on Valentine’s Day to determine who wins the grand prize—a luxury, all-inclusive vacation package to Fiji.”

The participants clapped and cheered.

Nevada sipped her hot cocoa. This wasn’t a summer camp activity. She wanted that vacation, but she also didn’t want to embarrass herself.

“Good move not to get caught up in the rah-rah atmosphere,” Dustin said in a quiet voice. “We can’t allow ourselves to be distracted.”

Then she’d better not stare into his blue eyes. Those distracted her, but he was correct.

Someone here—hopefully her, not him—would walk away with the prize. Everyone else would end up with nothing.

“The quest will be full of different kinds of challenges,” Sage said. “The most important thing is to have fun.”

“No,” Dustin whispered. “The most important thing is to win.”

Nevada found herself nodding. Teaming with him would be good for her.
McClone, Melissa. The Parker Family Trilogy : Love at the Chocolate Shop. Kindle Locations (3552-3592). Tule Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Now these two are very different and as partners that does work. Neither of them has any intention of falling in love. But you know how that goes.

Lots of fun, with laughter, tears, both happy and sad, plus the romance.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

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Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Defiance and Dedication – Untouchable Book 9 by Heather Long

Defiance and Dedication
Untouchable Book 9
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long


Autumn in New York promises a turn in the seasons as we kick off the next stage of our lives. Colorful leaves falling, dropping temperatures, and the first days of classes loom even as the lingering summer heat and humidity make the city stifling.

Summer was a time to get away, to just be us, and what a magical time it was, but we can only run away from our lives for so long. We have family, careers, friends—new and old—as well as commitments waiting for us. With a new place to call our own in a new city I’m already half-in-love with, we’re not afraid of the challenges ahead.

Of course, not everyone is rooting for us, not everyone wants us to succeed, and some choices may come back to haunt us. But don’t come for those I love and expect me to do nothing. They might want to surround me in a layer of protection, but they’re mine and I’m more than willing to fight to keep them.

Feel free to test me, I’ve never failed one yet.

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

As I started reading this book my mind went in so many directions with every word, my heart was pounding, my brain saying oh no, she wouldn’t would she? Evil author, very evil author. I’m not saying anything more about that you’ll have to read it yourself.

Now as the book continues Frankie has to assert herself with the guys to get them to back off. That always works, but she finds herself getting lonely. Then there’s a tension she doesn’t notice at first but Coop and Ian are both trying to help with that before she does.

Rachel provides a haven and an ear, as Frankie steps in to find answers to the accident. With the help of Whittaker she now has a New York firm to represent her Dominic Walsh is young but capable and Rachel likes to verbally spar with him. She also gives both the lawyer and the police a direction they definitely didn’t expect.

Jeremy is a favorite of mine always, he’s got the best advice without seeming to give it.

Frankie finally realizes she has to tell all of them what she’s been doing and her fears after an ice cream stop with Jake.

This is a favorite scene.

“Hey,” Ian said, having circled the sofa to where I was seated. He held out a hand and I took it then he settled back into my spot and pulled me into his lap. Arms tight around me, he kissed my temple. “It’s going to be all right, Angel. Five heads are better than one. Let’s start with the most basic questions, have you spoken to your grandparents?”

I shook my head. “No. I’m terrified of what their answer will be and before you ask, no I haven’t told Hank about the accident. I don’t want her to decide to take this out on him. He’s got a family and little kids…”

“Your family,” Coop interrupted.

“And he’s your father,” Jake tacked on. “A job he really seemed enthusiastic about.”

“Babe, we can’t protect you when we don’t know that there is a threat. He needs to know.” Archie groaned as he perched on the coffee table not far from me and Ian. Jake shifted to sitting on the other side of Ian, the four of them boxing me in neatly. “Babe— I love you for wanting to protect me, but not when it risks you. Nothing is worth risking you.”

“Nothing is worth risking any of you,” I argued. Ian’s arms tightened around me, and I leaned into him. I needed the strength more than he realized or maybe he did realize it and that was why he moved. “I get to protect you, too.”

Jake let out an aggravated sigh, Coop swept in. “Yes, you do. But I think the not sharing of potential problems should end now.”

Archie and Jake both glared at Coop who met their expressions with a bland one of his own.

“Secrets have a habit of coming back to bite us all in the ass. If Maddy really has had a break with reality enough to actively try and hurt both of you, then we don’t need issues chewing on us behind the scenes and breaking down the trust we’ve built.” He was still staring at Jake and Archie.

“Coop’s right.” Ian rubbed his chin against my shoulder. “As aggravating as it is that Frankie took this on herself, she had the forethought to involve Rachel and the attorneys. Then she came and told us. It might not be the kind of news any of us wanted to hear, but Frankie faced all of us. You two just have to face her.”

I shifted in his lap then focused on Archie and Jake. Neither looked happy. With Coop and Ian or with each other.

“Fine, fuck it. I’ll go first,” Jake said and he locked his gaze on me. “I told you I changed my schedule because it would be better for my focus. I let you think it was because I’d shifted my discipline, but the truth was I needed a break from Archie.”

My stomach bottomed out.

“Right, wrong, or indifferent,” Jake continued. “He should never have left you alone at your grandparents’ to drive back. I’m not saying I wanted him hurt in the accident, but you shouldn’t have been alone. His car. He should have been there.”

“I was trying to settle this between us,” Archie said after a long pause. “But even boxing didn’t help.”

All those bruises. I frowned.

“He’s not wrong, Babe, I should have been there, that said, he doesn’t get to decide who stays or who goes.”

“And you could learn to give a guy some space,” Jake bit out each word as though he were literally holding back his anger. To be honest, the two of them were closer right now than they’d been in the last few weeks. “But no, you have to be right there all the fucking time.”

“Did it occur to you that we’re always all here?” Archie retaliated, only his tone iced. “You got a problem, you deal with it. But we’re not punishing Frankie with some metaphorical tug of war.”

“Metaphorical my ass, you just have to do everything your way and the consequences be damned.”

So much of what Jeremy had gracefully danced around became clear. I’d gotten that there was tension. But this was more than that.

“Enough.” I pushed out of Ian’s lap as Archie and Jake both hit their feet. I was right between them and I’d be damned if they were going to keep this up. “Seriously, that’s enough.”

I glanced from one to the other. Pivoting, I faced Archie and I swore he damn near smirked and my blood heated. Not the time, Archie. Not the time. “You should know better than to keep shoving at Jake when he’s already dug his heels in. It just makes him angrier and more bull-headed. You can’t force people to like you and forgive you just because you wear them down and talk them into it.”


“Don’t you babe me.”

“You tell him, Baby Girl.” 

At that, I whirled and poked a finger into Jake’s chest. “Don’t you start. You are not without fault here. Archie didn’t cause the accident. And I’m all right. You need someone to blame because it scared you. It scared all of you. Blaming Archie isn’t helping anyone right now. Add to all of that you changed your entire schedule so now we barely see each other and you thought that was the way to handle it?”

Jake’s expression fell and I threw up my hands before retreating from all of them and folding my arms.

“You’re all right, I should have told you about the Maddy thing right up front. But I get a say in protecting you as much as you get a say in protecting me. You hover, you make decisions, and you surround me like I’m fragile and I’ll break. But the one thing all of you forget is that I lived with Maddy my whole life. I know her better than all of you and I’m not wearing my willful blinders anymore.”

Ian frowned. “Then what do you think she’s doing?”

“Blaming Archie for losing me or maybe for losing Edward. Maybe both. She’s going to lash out. Archie is an easy target.”

“Excuse you.” Archie almost sounded offended, but Coop swatted him on the shoulder.

“She means you’re an easy target for Maddy’s rage.”

“I know what she meant,” Archie threw back at Coop. “But I’ll be fine. Frankie’s the one she’s always hurt.”

“But I’m also the one she wants.” Me and Edward apparently. Not something I’d ever think I’d have in common with Archie’s father.

“If she really is the narcissistic personality she seems to be, with psychopathic tendencies— then yeah. She won’t stand for being supplanted in your life. Archie’s the one who has been standing up to her the most.” Coop slid his hands into his pockets, and I swore my stomach dropped again.
Heather Long. Defiance and Dedication: Untouchable Book Nine (Kindle Locations 2108-2160).

The guys and Frankie do a lot of growing in this book. It’s a totally different world from high school and the stress is almost overwhelming.

There’s more than a little suspense with the whole Maddy thing, and then there’s a lot of fun too, with birthdays with not only the guys but also with Hank’s family.

So much to love, so much to want resolved, surprises that brought tears to my eyes and so much more that I couldn’t put this book down.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Coming Soon!

Heather Long Heather Long

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

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

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

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Winning Wyoming – Boot Knockers Ranch Book 11 by Em Petrova

Winning Wyoming
Boot Knockers Ranch Book 11
Em Petrova


An old flame and a strong-willed cowgirl
have their sights on one man—Wyoming.

Sex therapist Wyoming is a betting man, but even he wouldn’t lay money on these odds. Running into his old lover one time is coincidence. Twice is bad luck. But six times in a year? Fate is gunning for him—and it’s brought the hot man who haunts Wyoming’s dreams…and a high-spirited cowgirl to further tempt him?

Sportscaster Rome Ramiro lives the celebrity existence of sports events and parties, and his new relationship with the stunning and sassy philanthropist Cecily is scorching. But when he keeps crossing paths with Wyoming, the cowboy stud from the sex ranch Rome used to frequent, he realizes something is missing in his life.

After Rome and Cecily bump into Wyoming, she proposes that the only way to mend bridges is with a bottle of tequila and a game of strip poker. Trouble is, one night may not be enough.

Rome and Cecily set their sights on the same man, but with three hearts on the line, there’s a lot more at stake. One thing’s for sure, though—it’s bound to be a wild ride on the way.

This series has always been a go to for ‘almost every page sizzles’ and this book is no exception.

Wyoming is a Boot Knocker Therapist and he’s got a problem. He’s not sure if he’s burned out or the unthinkable has happened. Taking some time off, and even starting a new business inspired by a lamb with a deformed leg, doesn’t help when the person haunting his dreams keeps showing up in person. There’s anger and lies between Wyoming and Rome.

Rome Romiro fell in love with Wyoming, but he couldn’t follow through. Now he’s proposing to his girlfriend Cecily. She’s madly in love with him but she sees something in his eyes that is holding her back from saying yes. Rome isn’t rushing her answer so she’s hoping he’ll eventually tell her his secret.

Cecily sees the video of the lamb with her prosthetic and knows she has to try to get one for her foal Flint.

Wyoming and Rome keep running into each other, the first was on purpose as Rome arranges for a visit to the dugout. Unfortunately this backfires on him. Fate however has them running into each other over and over. The most unexpected one was on Cecily’s family ranch for a banquet, and Rome was definitely trying to hide.

This is a favorite scene.

“Why are we dancing in the potted plants?” Cecily let her palm slip from Rome’s broad shoulder down to his chest.

The corner of his lips quirked. “Because they provide cover. When does the guy come to make the leg for Flint?”

She issued a laugh made husky by the desire he brought out in her and a glass of wine too many. “Don’t change the subject on me. He says he’ll text in a week or so and give me a firmer date. Now again, I ask…why are we dancing in the potted plants?”

“Can I convince you I’m interested in local flora and fauna?”

She laughed. “I prefer the floor.” She grabbed his elbow and towed him out just as the music changed.

He cocked his head to listen to the song. The lines were already being formed, and to her total shock, he joined one. She stood back, hands over her mouth, watching in complete astonishment as Rome kicked up his boots in a line dance.

He waved for her to join him, but she couldn’t do that in her formal shoes, and she laughed, gesturing for him to keep going.

When the line of dancers completed complicated footwork, Rome followed it to the very cross on the top of the T. As they twirled on the toes of their boots, he did too.

Then he ground his hips like he worked in a male revue.

Holy crap—was this her boyfriend? It wasn’t the Rome she knew. This man was loose and killing it on the dance floor. Women were gaping at his sexy moves and Cecily’s insides quivered with brand-new desire.

The stomp of boots on the floor vibrated up through the soles of her strappy high heels, and she squeezed her thighs together in her bodycon dress each time Rome tossed a look her direction.

Where did he learn how to line dance—and when? It must be left over from his college days. She couldn’t picture Rome taking the time to learn these intricate steps, but he knew them as if he’d danced them a hundred times.

She latched her attention on to his hips grinding, rotating. Women wolf-whistled to him, but he only grinned and fixed his stare on Cecily.

The final strains of the song faded, and applause took its place, a thunder that rivaled the dancers’ boots on the floor a minute before.

Cecily rushed forward, and Rome sauntered across the room, crushed her hand in his and continued walking, hauling her outside. The night whirled past her vision as he put her into the luxury car he’d rented for the occasion and drove her back to their hotel.

The minute they were in their room and the deadbolt in place, he turned to her.

“Where did you learn to—” Her question was cut off by Rome’s lips slamming down on hers.
Petrova, Em. Winning Wyoming (Kindle Locations 811-833). Kindle Edition.

Rome knows he has to tell Cecily his feelings for Wyoming and he also desperately needs to reconcile with him. That will happen in an most unexpected way.

A fun read with lots of sizzle and a few surprises too.

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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Tiger Queen – Saber Woods Academy Book 3 by Laura Greenwood

Tiger Queen
Saber Woods Academy Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Laura Greenwood


The Shifter Court is a mess, and there’s only one way I can fix it.

The more time passes, the more obvious it becomes that I need to take the throne and become the Shifter Queen, even if it means unseating my mother.

But with Magnus and my friends by my side, it might be possible.

I hope it isn’t too late to make a difference to the shifters the crown has failed.

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At the end of the last book Kayla realizes she has to get her mother out of the position of Queen. The problem is she has no idea how to do it. First she’s going to need support. She does have that from Magnus, Demi and Jeremy but she needs a larger support group if she’s going to pull this off.

Richard Forrest is her best bet, but she has to convince him. Magnus accompanies her to this very important meeting.

This is a favorite scene.

“What I want to discuss with you can’t leave this room,” I say with as much authority as I can muster. Which isn’t much. It’s hard to feel like I’m an authority when I’m sitting across from a distinguished businessman. Unlike some of Mother’s advisers, I don’t feel like I’m better than him just because I was born as a tiger and not something else. I had no choice in that, and neither did he. It’s not possible for me to be superior because of it.

“You have my interest,” Forrest admits.

It isn’t new information. He wouldn’t have given me the appointment if he didn’t think I had something worthwhile to say, “I believe the two of us share a cause.”

“You’re the Shifter Heir.”


“I hardly think you’re going to share a cause with someone campaigning to abolish the institution you’re a part of,” he points out, voicing what I’ve already been considering as part of the problem.

He isn’t wrong about it.

“Just because we don’t agree on the method, doesn’t mean we can’t agree on the desired outcome. You want equality and a place where all shifters can have their say in the way our community is run. I want that too.”

“But?” he prompts.

“I don’t think abolishing the monarchy is the way to do it.”

He leans back in his chair and presses his fingers together. “I see.”

I press my nails into the palm of my hand in an attempt to centre myself. He may not be sounding very convinced right now, but that’s because I’m barely getting started.

“I know that it may seem contrary to what you want, but I think we can make it work. By keeping the monarchy, it’ll ensure that there isn’t too much change at once and we’ll be able to roll things out in the most successful way possible, ensuring we reach as many shifters as possible and change things quickly.”

“I can see some advantages in doing it that way,” he admits slowly. “But a lot of my support has been gained from such a drastic stance.”

“I understand that. But presumably, most of the shifters have specific problems with the monarchy, rather than a dislike of the association as a whole?”

“I believe that’s the case,” Forrest agrees. “But without talking to them, it would be impossible to be sure.”

“Which is why I’d want you to do just that. If I have a clear list of the concerns that face the shifter population, especially those who aren’t part of the unofficial elite, then I can figure out a plan of action to deal with them. It will take time, and we’ll have to prioritise, which is where you’d come in by guiding me towards the most important issues.”

“Hmm. It’s tempting,” Forrest admits. “But I can see several issues.”

“The Queen being one of them?” I guess.

He raises an eyebrow, probably not having expected me to say something that implies Mother isn’t doing a good job as the current ruler of the shifters.

He clearly doesn’t know her very well if he thinks that.

“If I may be blunt, she isn’t going to approve any of the changes we propose.”

“No, she won’t.”

His surprise is even more visible this time. I suppose I can understand that. I’m not just saying these things as the Shifter Heir, but as the daughter of the current Shifter Queen.

“That’s the other thing I need from you and your movement,” I start. “I need you to support me in deposing the Queen.”

Silence falls between us as my words sink in.

“You want to remove her from her position?”

“As you said yourself, she isn’t going to approve any of the changes you want. Nor is she going to approve anything I suggest.” And if she’s to be believed, she’s going to do everything possible in order to remove me from the little power I do have. Part of what I’m planning is self-preservation, but that’s not something I’m going to tell Richard Forrest.

“I don’t doubt that. She’s not a fan of me already.”

“Didn’t she give you a title?” Magnus asks, speaking for the first time since the conversation started.

Forrest chuckles. “I don’t think I’d be out of line to say that I think my title was given to me as a bribe.”

“You’d be exactly right,” I mutter. “I was in the meeting where they arranged it. I did try to stop it…”

Forrest raises an eyebrow. “That’s an interesting thing for you to admit to.”

“Your receptionist referred to you as Mr Forrest, and you don’t seem particularly enamoured with your new position. I think it’s safe to admit the truth about the situation.”

“Astute observations,” he responds. “I don’t see any advantage of using the title, so haven’t adapted it in my work life. It costs more to replace all of the business cards and listings than is worth it.”

I nod, completely understanding where he’s coming from. I’d be annoyed at something that ended up costing me instead of actually being an advantage.

Forrest leans back in his chair and studies me, an interesting expression on his face, almost as if he’s impressed by me. “So, how do you plan on removing the Queen?”

“That part of the plan is none of your concern.” Mostly because I haven’t come up with it yet, but that isn’t something he needs to know.

“What do you need from me, then? I can’t imagine you’d reveal what you’re planning without good reason.”

I take a deep breath. “I need to know that you’ll support my bid for Queen once the situation is dealt with.”

“Interesting. And in exchange, you’ll allow me and my faction to have an input into policy?”


“Mmhmm.” He nods, but I can’t tell whether or not he’s going to agree to help me or not. “How can I know you’re going to hold up your end of the deal?”

Perhaps I should have suggested he recorded this meeting after all. But it would be dangerous to have all of our voices on tape, even if I don’t want to fully admit it.

“We can make a verbal agreement,” I suggest, but even as I say the words, I realise they don’t quite cut it.

From Forrest’s face, he doesn’t think so either.

This is going to be a problem if we’re not careful. I need Forrest on my side if I’m going to make this work, none of the advisers are going to support me over Mother as it stands, not when she’s the one who gave them power in the first place. And why would they trust an eighteen-year-old who has only been in politics for a few months over the person who has been in power for most of their life? If I was in their position, I’d be the same.

“What if there was a contract?” Magnus suggests. “Between the two of you and outlining the details of your agreement.”

I nod, despite my reservations. It’s dangerous to put that much information onto paper, but I suspect this is going to be the only way Forrest will agree. It’ll be easy enough to tell people that my signature is forged if it’s discovered before everything happens. And I have no intention intention of going back on my end of the deal when I’m in a position to uphold it otherwise.

“That could be arranged,” Forrest says. “But I would need time to put feelers out to see how the people relying on me are going to respond to this. I’ll be in touch when I’ve had the necessary conversations.”

“Thank you.” I rise to my feet, sensing the meeting is over. I suspect we’ve gotten as much out of this as we’re able to.

But that’s fine. We got what we came for. I didn’t expect Forrest to suddenly start giving me everything I want straight away. Just the fact he’s thinking about it is good enough for now.
Greenwood, Laura. Tiger Queen (Sabre Woods Academy Book 3). Kindle Locations (325-387). Drowlgon Press. Kindle Edition.

While that’s fine and dandy, Kayla still needs a valid reason to dispose of her mother. That reason comes in a very interesting way at a formal banquet.

Serena, her mother’s favorite, isn’t happy with the queen’s latest request of her. Now Kayla has to figure out if it’s enough to turn her.

A short satisfying read, with intrigue and romance.

5 Contented Purrs for Laura!

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

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