Simon Says…Jump – Kate Morgan Book 2 By Dale Mayer

Simon Says…Jump
Kate Morgan Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer



Detective Kate Morgan has settled into her position and, although straining under her new caseload, is working hard. Simon is still a big question mark in her world—and his “gift” even more so. Dealing with a frustrating series of drive-by shootings has brought a three-year-old drive-by case to the forefront …

Simon had hoped that his visions would have stopped, especially now that the police had solved the pedophile murders. No such luck. But these new visions are confusing, chaotic, and nonsensical. Unwilling to share yet more disjointed and meaningless information with Kate, he keeps it to himself. Until he sees a pattern and connects to a woman, … one who is suicidal.

While Kate understands his physical and mental torment, she’s underwhelmed by the lack of detail in his latest visions—until she looks into another issue and finds out that the number of suicides are higher than normal, as in way higher …


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This book opens with Kate at the scene of a suicide, a jumper off the Lion’s Gate Bridge. She notices a pair of heels neatly placed where the woman had jumped and wonders why. Speaking with the officer in charge of the scene they both note that suicides have been much higher this year. With nothing really to be done there she heads out to get coffee in the False Creek area. She’s sitting watching the sunrise when she’s joined by Simon.

While Kate doesn’t understand his psychic gift, and seriously he doesn’t either, there is an undeniable attraction there. They just really need to get to know each other.

This is a favorite scene.

She looked over at this man, someone she was struggling to keep at arm’s length. But the more she tried to do that, the less it worked. After all, she’d found her way to his corner of the world, hadn’t she? As if her body had a mind of its own. She sipped her coffee and studied him over the rim of her cup. “Why are you up so early?”

“Couldn’t sleep,” he said. He spread his arms along the back of the bench, studying her. “Why are you?”

She shrugged. “I was awake already and heard news on the scanner about a jumper.”

He winced. “That’s always tough, isn’t it?” Then his gaze sharpened. “But you’re a homicide detective,” he said. “So surely suicides don’t come under your domain.”

“All unattended deaths are investigated.”

“So you just follow police scanners for fun? Don’t have enough cases now, so you have to go find new ones?”

She laughed.

“You’re just not ready to tell me.” She shrugged. “It’s probably nothing. I guess I’m wondering if there’s anything to be done for the mental health problems we have in town,” she murmured, giving him a partial answer.

He looked over at her, then reached a hand across to cover one of hers. “You know that you can’t help everyone, right?”

“Wasn’t planning on it. Yet I care about a lot of things,” she said, “and kids are number one.”

“Missing kids, you mean.”

She glared at him. She still couldn’t believe she had opened up enough to tell him about Timmy. Then, given Simon’s history, it had seemed like a good idea at the time.

“That’s better,” he said, with a nod. “I was wondering what was going on that made you look so maudlin.”

“I wasn’t,” she protested.

“Were too.”

“Was not,” she snapped back. He left it at that. After a moment, her shoulders eased. He was right. “I guess just seeing another jumper …” she said. “I mean, it’s like there’s one every day right now.”

He looked startled at that. “Is it really that high?”

“Not quite. If I were to count all the bridges on the Lower Mainland, it’s especially bad,” she said. “It seems much higher than normal.”

“Well, last year was bad overall, and this year has been a pretty ugly one so far too.”

“I know,” she said, “and I get that people are losing their loved ones, their businesses, their homes, plus their families are breaking up. We didn’t even need the pandemic for all that to happen, yet just so much else is going on all the time. The pressures of today’s world are immense, and handling it all seems to be a special skill set that a lot of people don’t have. And, all too often, I think drugs and other enabling issues help bring it all down too.”

He shrugged. “And again, there’s only so much you can do.”

“I know,” she said. “A whim sent me down there. I hadn’t been there at that wee hour of the morning in a long time.”

“Why would you ever be in that area at that hour?” he asked in surprise.

“When I was a teenager,” she said, “sometimes I would go sit on the bridge.” He sat back and stared. It wasn’t hard to understand what he was thinking … She shrugged. “I never really considered suicide,” she said, “but I did know several people who had completed the job, and it always shook me to realize that death was the best answer they saw. I’d sit there and ponder what the attraction was. That water is cold, dark, and often rough. What a way to go.”

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t know.”

“You didn’t know because I haven’t told you. I haven’t told you much,” she said, with a shrug. “It’s not like we know each other.” He snorted at that. “Knowing each other requires taking time to be with each other.”

“You mean, not just screwing like minks when we’re together?”

“Well, okay, that’s pretty damn nice too,” he said. “But getting to know each other, that’s a process that takes time.”

“Well,” she said, “it’s also a process that requires I open up a little bit— and you too.”

At that, his lips turned down, and she nodded. “Right,” she said, “not exactly your style either.”

He frowned. “Maybe,” he said, then turned the subject away from him. “Was there anything different about this suicide scenario?”

“No, not really,” Kate said. “She was pretty close to the shore and got caught up in some driftwood. So, instead of floating past or sinking, she was held right there for the divers.”

“At least her family will get some closure and can lay her to rest,” he said.

“True, yet it still makes me angry.”

“Except anger isn’t the emotion I’m seeing on you right now,” he said. “It’s more what I would call defeated. As in, already too emotionally involved.”

She shook her head. “I’m definitely not,” she said, with half a smile. “But maybe weary. I just turned in which was a long and difficult case.”

“You solved it pretty damn fast, considering.”

“It should have been solved a long time ago,” she said, staring off into the distance. “So many more victims because it wasn’t.”

“And again, not your fault. You weren’t even a detective then. What’s it been? Four months now?”

She nodded slowly. “Four and a half.”

“Well, you’ve already shaken things up in the department and earned a commendation for having done so well.”

“Yeah, and I appreciate that,” she said, “but I wish instead that the kids had been helped.”

“Don’t we all,” he said heavily.

She smiled at him. “See? You’re no better.”

“Hey, you’re the one who’s making me depressed this morning.”

She laughed. “Well, I’m heading off to work anyway.”

“Did you get any sleep last night?”

“I did,” she said, “but it was a …” She shrugged. “It was a rough night.”

He frowned, as she got up and walked away. “You could say goodbye, you know.”

She reached up a hand and, without turning around, called out, “Bye.”
Dale Mayer. Simon Says… Jump (Kindle Locations 105-157). Valley Publishing.

Arriving at the office she gets a strange e-mail. A picture of her on the bridge looking at the shoes. It’s strange and disturbing. Her boss has her open a case file with it just in case it turns out to be relevant.

The other case they are working on is a drive-by that possibly connects to another a few years earlier.

Simon’s first involvement is when the number 13 pops into his head. He has no other reference so he just sends it to Kate. The next thing connects him to the suicides, one of his long time friends has jumped, it both surprises and saddens him.

In this journey we feel both the frustration and intensity of the investigations. Needing to find answers and following every lead regardless of how thin.

I love the way these stories develop and the relationship with Kate and Simon, well, it’s certainly sizzling but Kate really has to come to terms with his visions as she gets a close up look at what’s begun to happen with him.

I couldn’t put this book down and I can’t wait for the next one in this series.

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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Malachi’s Mystic Assignment – Mystic – Hot Hunks Steamy Romance Collection Book 3 by Jen Talty

Malachi’s Mystic Assignment
Mystic – Hot Hunks Steamy Romance Collection Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty



Malachi Bale, a Liaison Army Intelligence Officer for Homeland Security is sent to the scenic town of Mystic, Connecticut on a temporary assignment with the Defense Investigative Service to gather and analyze intel on a possible terrorist attack. Malachi is looking forward to the trip. Not just because he’s excited about the task at hand, but because growing up, his family vacation every summer in Mystic. It’s been a good ten years since he spent a summer eating the best pizza on the planet and taking a late-night stroll on the sandy beach with the cutest girl in town. He’d never forgotten Winona, but he never expected to see her again, or that she’d land herself right smack dab in the middle of his investigation.

Winona Lambert lost her father six months ago to a freak boating accident. She knew deep down that her dad had been murdered, but she couldn’t prove it. And now whoever killed him was threatening her if she didn’t hand over the documents. Only, she had no idea what they were talking about. When Malachi strolled into her ice cream shop asking strange questions about her father, and possible connections to terrorists, she realizes she has two choices. She can take her chances with a bunch of criminals. Or she can put her trust in a blast from the past and hope he’s as good at his job as he was at charming her into her first kiss all those years ago.



Winona Lambert is being threatened. Men who had at one time worked with her father at the CIA want something they believe is in her possession since her father died in a boating accident. The latest threat comes as she’s opening her ice cream shop

Malachi Bale is currently an Army intelligence liaison to Homeland Security, they sent him to investigate intel that could possibly be a terrorist attack in his hometown of Mystic. The link is his ex-girlfriend Winona. However Malachi’s suspects he hasn’t been given all the information. He’s afraid for Winona and her father’s fiancé so he’s going to stay with them while he helps her look for the paperwork or whatever it really is they want from her.

Of course that also leads to a rekindling of their attraction so along with all the intrigue and suspense there’s some sizzle.

I can’t wait to read more of this multi author series.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

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Jen Talty

Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.

I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.

I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.

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Cyle – Starlight Highlanders Book 3 By Skye MacKinnon

Starlight Highlanders Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Skye Mac Kinnon



An alien scientist desperate for answers

Cyle is the only Albyan alive who knows who was responsible for their females succumbing to the Sleep: his father. Ever since he discovered the truth, he’s been trying to find a way to wake the females.

He vowed to himself that he’d never accept a mate until he succeeded. But that’s easier said than done when he meets the female of his dreams and his mating instincts kick in.

The only way to stop himself from getting distracted is to push her away – but she has no intentions of leaving.

A human woman strong enough to match him

Before her accident, Beth had everything she’d ever wanted: a doting husband, the house of her dreams, a promising career. Now she’s a widow scarred inside and out, jobless and on the verge of being kicked out of her home.

She only registered at a dating agency because her therapist thought it was a good idea. She didn’t expect to be matched to a kilt-wearing Highlander – especially not an alien. He embodies the chance of a new life, but he doesn’t seem to be interested in her.

It’s time to cheat fate and take her life into her own hands. He will become her mate – even if she has to resort to unusual measures.


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In the last book we saw Eron meet his mate June and all that entailed. We also saw more of Thorrn’s brother the lead scientist Cyle and Thorrn’s mate Jenny.

While that meet and greet was going on Cyle was working, as he always is, looking for more matches. His assistant Vhom didn’t want to even observe that meeting, not wanted to be jealous of those fortunate enough to get mates through the process. Instead he checks on the control sample of females in the sleep. No one expects any change but they must be monitored for any detrimental changes.

Beth has met her supposed mate Obi. She feels no attraction to him, even a kiss was extremely distasteful to her. He gets arrogant and demands she go home with him, but she’s not having any of that. She gets escorted to the hotel reserved for those who want more time to get to know their mate. One thing she’s sure of, Obi is not her mate.

Cyle is dedicated to not only finding mates from the Peritan data provided but also finding a cure for the sleep. Before his father died he told him something that shaped his path, he can’t fail in this and he won’t mate until he accomplishes his goal. He takes Jenny with him to do some scans on Eron and June had as they too had such a strong reaction to each other. It’s while they’re doing that that Jenny gets a message that Beth has runaway. After reviewing the tapes of her and Obi meeting there is concern that he has taken her against her will.

While the authorities are looking for her, a couple of things happen. First he finds there is a second marker in all the successful mate pairs, and when compared to Albyan mates only the male has it. Second Beth and Obi are not mates, which is an overall relief.

When Cyle adds that second marker to the process to find mates, he is matched to Beth. Now he has to explain to her why he can’t mate with her, at least not yet.

This is a favorite scene.

It was the stuff of dreams. Beth was a miracle. Holding her in my arms, kissing her, was more than I could have asked for.

Her slender body fit mine perfectly. We were made for each other. Mates.

But the longer we kissed, the faster my conscience returned. It had been dimmed by the uisge beatha and Beth’s touch, but now it was back, screaming at me to stop.

I’d made a vow. I couldn’t have Beth. Not yet.

The thought of not having her by my side broke my heart. My eyes stung at the same time as my antennae started burning with fury. A single tear escaped, falling onto Beth’s cheek.

She stilled. Our lips were still fused together, but she’d stopped moving, even stopped breathing.

How such a miniscule group of hydrogen and oxygen molecules could destroy everything.

The tear was the signal to stop. This had gone far enough.

“You said forever,” Beth whispered. “And now you’re already changing your mind?”

I groaned. I wanted her so much it hurt. But I had to stay in control.  

“I meant it,” I said, my voice hoarse and dry. “But not yet. Not now. I have to find the cure. Then I can be the mate you deserve.”

She moved backwards, but I didn’t let go of her. I couldn’t.

“And how long will that be? Months? Years? Will we both die before you even find a cure? This doesn’t make sense, Cyle, and you know it.”

She’d said my name. For the first time. I liked how it sounded in her Peritan accent. A little harsher, but I could listen to her saying my name all day long. And all night.  

Not helping. I wanted to push her away and at the same time keep her pressed against me. Now I knew why Thorrn kept carrying his mate around. It was hard not to touch her.  

“I can’t.” I had to force the words out. “If I give in, if I claim you, I won’t be able to focus. You’ll be all that’s on my mind. I want to give you all my attention. I want to spend every click with you. But I have to think of more than just my needs. Our species is dying and I can’t rest until I find the cure.” I sighed deeply. “Until now, I’ve never considered giving up my mission. Know that you make me want to throw it all away. You’re so close to breaking my conviction.”  

Her eyes shone with tears. “I can’t go. I won’t leave you. I only just found you.”

There was no way around it. I’d have to break the delicate thread spun between us.

“You don’t know me,” I said and finally let go of her. I stepped back fast as if touching her would burn me. “This is an illusion, nothing more. We’re more than our genes. We can control this temptation.”

“We,” she scoffed, her smile fading. “You mean you. I have no desire to resist. When I met Obi, I felt nothing for him, but I saw all the other women react to their matches. Their bodies leant towards each other without them even realising. And now that’s exactly how it is with you. I won’t give this up. I won’t.”

“You have to,” I said as gently as I could. “I can’t give you what you need.”

She looked close to punching me. It would be in her right. I deserved it.

Every single male in Albya would be grateful to get a mate. Me? I refused the match. I was an absolute idiot. When my brother found out, he’d have a few choice words to say. And Jenny, his mate… I was scared of her fury. She was a bundle of feminine energy ready to strike whoever went against her and the other Peritan females. She wouldn’t understand. Neither would Thorrn. They didn’t know what our father had done. They didn’t feel the guilt I’d been carrying around ever since I discovered the truth.

My father had been selfish. When he’d burned the lab, himself in it, he’d destroyed all his research. Any data that could have helped me find a cure was gone. I still didn’t understand why he’d done it. End his life, yes. I got it. He’d sentenced our species to extinction. But why destroy the lab? He could have found other ways to kill himself. And he must have known that my mother would die the instant he did. In all the years since that horrible moment, I’d still not found an answer. He’d loved her. I’d expected him to fight for her, not give up on both of them.

“I give you a month,” Beth suddenly said, ripping me from my thoughts. “One month to find a cure. After that, I’m organising the handfasting ceremony and you’re mine.”

“One month?” I echoed. “That’s not enough. It could take years. The data is promising, there might be a cure hidden within you Peritans, but I need more time.”

“One month. Twenty-seven Albyan days. Or wait, I’ll be generous. You get an Earth month. Thirty days. And I’m not saying you have to stop your research after. Not at all. But I won’t wait longer than that to officially become your mate.”

The burning heat in my antennae lessened to a warm tingle. They approved. Was I really going to let these two tiny appendages dictate my life?

I looked down at Beth and decided that yes, I would. Her deal gave me a goal, an ultimatum. A month was different now than it had been a rotation ago. Back then, we’d not discovered Peritus. We didn’t know that there were compatible females across the stars. Now, everything was different.

Maybe I could do this.

Beth was encouragement enough.

“One month,” I agreed. “And we will meet once a day for lunch.”

A smile spread across her face. “Will there be kissing?”

“Are you trying to kill me, lass?”

The smile turned into a wicked grin. “It’s you who’s making me wait. The least you could do is sweeten the deal.”

And I did. I pushed away all doubts and worries and kissed her like she deserved it.
Skye MacKinnon. Cyle: Starlight Highlander Mail Order Brides 3 (Kindle Locations 862-911). Peryton Press.

With that ultimatum Cyle knows he has to find the cure, and Beth gets the other Peritan women to help.

It’s Vhom who brings some information to Cyle after having checked the data on the control group, there had been a change to their brain waves. This is a major break through.

Beth is supportive and being with Cyle isn’t difficult as she makes sure he eats and rests. Oh and the attraction here is not a simmer, it’s sizzling.

I truly love this book and I really want to see more of the Albyan’s we’ve met get their mates.

5 Contented Purrs for Skye!

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Skye MacKinnon

Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.

She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.

When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.

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Ruthless Traitor – 82nd Street Vandals Book 3 by Heather Long

Ruthless Traitor
82nd Street Vandals Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long



At the heart of it all was a secret and a lie.

A secret we didn’t tell her.

A lie we told ourselves.

Emersyn Sharpe is more than just the girl we watched over. She’s very much the woman who fits us.

The last thing we should have done was take her and the worst thing we did was keep her, but she needs us. I think, more than one of us—myself included—needs her.

The secret wasn’t ours to share and the lie?

I bought into the lie that keeping her was saving her. The lie that persuading her to trust us was needed. The lie that falling in love with her was as natural as breathing.

It didn’t matter if I wasn’t alone in falling into this trap. It mattered that when the trap closed, it put her on one side and us on the other.

Damn and we were so close too…

My name is Vaughn Westbrook and I’ll be damned if I give up now.

RUTHLESS TRAITOR is a full length mature college/new adult romance with enemies-to-lovers/love-hate themes. This is a reverse harem novel, meaning the main character has more than one love interest. This is book three in the series.



The first thing I have to say here is if you haven’t read the first two books STOP and go read them first!

This books does start where Vicious Rebel ended, but not right away. You see we need to know about Milo (Raptor) and Ivy (Emersyn), the guys and how they came to be such a unit, and Emersyn’s past as well.

All these things are interspersed perfectly with the present and make this book full of so much emotion. Emersyn is not only dealing with the possibility of a brother but Milo separates her from the others by sending her to Liam’s.

I love Miss Stephanie, she was instrumental in these boys staying together as they went through the system. That she’s also Doc’s sister was an interesting twist.

We meet Emersyn’s best friend Elaine ‘Lainey’ Benedict in flashbacks and in current texts. She’s pretty much the only one Emersyn trusts without reservation.

Two other people we meet are Lainey’s step-brother Adam Reed and his friend/sidekick Ezra Graham. These two are very important in that they are part of the reason Liam is not ‘with’ the Vandals.

There’s just so much going on with the guys and Liam that Emersyn gets isolated again, something she hates. Getting to see them really becomes something to fight for.

My favorite scene doesn’t have Emersyn in it but it is about her.

Squaring his shoulders, Freddie put his hands on his hips. While he was probably the leanest of all of us and a good two inches shorter than Milo, he lifted his chin and stared at him.

“Let’s start with how you’re treating Boo-Boo.”

Oh. Fuck.

Instead of blowing up, like he’d done just about any other time Emersyn had been mentioned, Milo just stared at him as he sipped his coffee and waited.

“She belongs here, not at Liam’s. She belongs with people who care about her— not saying Liam doesn’t—” Right on cue, Jasper let out an exasperated growl and Vaughn ground his teeth. Rome snorted again and when he caught me looking at him, he just gave a shrug. “The point is,” Freddie pressed on, ignoring the responses he’d gotten so far. “Boo-Boo is one of us. You may not like it, but that doesn’t change facts. You didn’t want me to be one of us either, but look how delightful I make life.”

Milo held up a single finger and Freddie paused. “I’ve never said you weren’t one of us. The only thing I ever wanted for you was for you to be safe and to make safe choices.”

The silence grew taut for a moment, then Freddie relaxed a fraction and spread his hands.

“Fine, I’ll accept that. But there were plenty of times when it felt like you didn’t want me.” That was news to me and apparently to Milo, but not Jasper, who just pulled out a cigarette and lit it. The flame illuminated his bruised face. Fuck that made me hurt for him. He and Raptor had fought every single fucking day, until the last two.

If nothing else, having someone to torture seemed to be bonding them again. Maybe we should pick up a spare, in case we needed it after this one expired.

“Boo-Boo has been alone for way too long and fuck knows Liam is not the most entertaining guy. No offense, Rome,” he said over his shoulder and Rome just shrugged.

“None taken.”

I couldn’t help it a chuckle escaped me. “See,” Freddie said, pointing at me. “I’m entertaining. Vaughn is entertaining. Even Jasper, when he’s not being a grumpy puss, is entertaining. Liam’s just a dick. No offense, Rome.”

The twin in question just flipped him off, but there was a hint of a smile around his mouth. A door creaked open on the far side of the warehouse and Doc stepped in out of the sunshine.

“The point is, here, Boo-Boo is with more of us. She’s not stuck locked up all by herself, which for your information she hates. She hated it here. She’s going to hate it there. For a second thing, we were getting her up to speed on movies. Do you have any idea of how many movies she hasn’t seen? Dude, she didn’t even know what Lord of the Rings was until we watched it. She doesn’t like horror movies, but she will watch them if we warn her about the bloody parts.” Freddie made a face then grinned. “Though, I don’t think it bothers her as much as she says it does.”

“No,” Vaughn said, agreeing with Freddie. “She always peeks between her fingers or hides behind one of us and watches over our shoulder.”

Jasper huffed a laugh. “Or uses one of our hands to hide her eyes and then peeks around it.”

“Exactly,” Freddie said. “And when she’s here, there’s real food and she’s trying to learn to cook. She’s absolutely horrible at it.”

Hey… “She is not,” I argued. “She’s never had anyone show her how before. She grew up with servants. What the hell do we expect?”

“A really prissy bitch who couldn’t be bothered to do dishes,” Freddie countered and he faced me instead of Milo when he said that, and it was a good thing. Cause at the words ‘prissy bitch’ Milo’s face turned to the thunder. “But she’s not. She likes trying to figure things out.”

“Yeah,” I admitted with a sigh. “She does. She almost had scrambled eggs down.” Which had been kind of cool. I liked that she listened when I showed her how to do things. She didn’t argue that there had to be another way. “It was the same when she came to the shop. She’s never seen the inside of engine before.”

Her excitement had been a delight.

“She likes painting,” Rome admitted and that pulled everyone’s attention. “Not doing it. She liked watching me do it. She doesn’t ask a lot of questions, even when she wants to. She adjusts to the people around her. Like she doesn’t need me to tell her I prefer it quiet when I work, she’s just peaceful.”

Milo frowned.

“She is curious when she has questions though,” I said. “If she thinks we’ll answer, she’ll ask.”

“And she’s fun,” Freddie pointed out. “Boo-Boo works hard even here, she trained in the studio every day after her bruises and broken bones healed. She watches what she eats. A little too much, but she’s not fussy if we don’t have what she wants. I mean, we’d get her anything, but she doesn’t ask.”

“Except when there are too many carbs,” Vaughn grumbled and Jasper snorted, then even he nodded.

“I swear to fuck— if it has too many carbs, and she adds an hour to her workout or more. It makes me fucking tired watching her.”

“Liar,” Freddie said, calling Jasper out. “You’re a greedy fuck about watching her dance. You don’t want to let the rest of us, but you went in there all the time.”

That was true.

“Do you blame me?” Jasper retorted.

“Nope,” Freddie said. “Just like I loved the fact she read to me.”

I hid a smile, because not everyone knew about that.

“While I was detoxing and in hell, she sat outside that door on that cold floor and read me books through the door. Crazy series, chick ends up with all these guys, who form their own gang.”

Milo made a sound and Freddie spun to face him.

“I didn’t buy her the book, I don’t even know where she got it. But it’s a cool story. We’re not done with it yet, Aaron’s missing and we haven’t gotten him back.”

“Who the fuck is Aaron?” Doc asked.

“Guy in a book,” Jasper said, before Freddie could go off on a tear.

“Exactly.” As if that summed it all up, Freddie faced Milo. “We know Boo-Boo. We care about her. She belongs here, with us. So why won’t you bring her back?”

“Because she doesn’t belong here, Freddie,” Milo answered him in a soft voice. “She belongs to a better world.”

“Well, the one she was in wasn’t better,” Doc said before any of us could interject. “If it had been, they wouldn’t have brought her to me all busted up and broken.”

I held my breath, and I had a feeling I wasn’t the only one.

“You can tell yourself all you like that world is better for her, Milo. But she didn’t want to go back to it. She had the chance. She asked me to help her and I said I would, but she got out of here on her own.”

That was news to a few people, Jasper’s entire demeanor changed and he glared at Doc, but didn’t move.

“I found her walking, in the cold, just away, and I picked her up. Took her all the way back to her hotel… and at the last minute, she walked away from there, too. So, I brought her back to my clinic so she could think.”

Doc had everyone’s attention. I got it. I knew she’d left, she’d admitted as much. She’d also told me she chose to come back and if we were where she wanted to be, then I wouldn’t fight her on it. Even if I wanted her somewhere safer. Her choice.

“She chose to come back here. To these fuckers.” He gestured to all of us, and Rome wasn’t the only one who flipped Doc off at that statement. Not that he gave a damn. “If she wants to be here, Kid. You gotta stop pushing her away and punishing her.”
Heather Long. Ruthless Traitor ARC: 82nd Street Vandals (Kindle Locations 2493-2555).

We learn a lot more about Liam, who up until now has only been on the periphery of the story. Now he’s becoming an integral part.

Pretty much anything I could say about this book is a spoiler, so let me say there are some close calls, action, mistakes, OMG sizzle and holy moly, that ending!

I really need the next book, sooner rather than later…

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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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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The Commoner and the Correspondent – The Royal Agents of MI6 Book 3by Heather Slade

The Commoner and the Correspondent
The Royal Agents of MI6 Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade



What could be sexier than British-accented spy?
Put him in a tuxedo and hand him a brandy.

A commoner buried in his work.
A correspondent in over her head.
Fiery and furious, they dig deep into the throes of passion.


Reporters need to back off. I’ve got a job to do. Being overworked, overwhelmed, and underappreciated, the last thing this M15 agent needs is a sexy and incredibly persuasive journalist knocking me off my game. But the terror in her eyes tells me she needs me—in more ways than one.


The byline of a lifetime. Every reporter wants to unearth the biggest news story to hit the globe. And I’m close—so close. But when a body is left on my floor with a note, “You’re next!” I know I’m in over my head. Can this correspondent let down her guard and let the commoner take over?

While each book in the Royal Agents of MI6 series is a standalone with its own HEA, they may be more enjoyable read in order.
Previously released as Pinch.



Pinch and Darrow always had an on and off relationship. Now it’s truly over and they are both moving on. However the way Darrow is moving on is just a little bit different since at the moment no one knows where she is. Well that isn’t exactly true, some folks know, just not Esland.

Esland is Darrow’s best friend and she’s concerned about her, but she also has a problem. Darrow told her if she ever needed help she should go to Pinch. When she does, well lets say the first encounter doesn’t go well. The second one, gets his attention.

This is a favorite scene.

My father and grandfather before him were the head groundskeepers at the abbey. As a child, the three Whittaker siblings and I had explored every nook and cranny of the vast estate. While my father lived in a modest cottage rather than in the abbey itself or in one of the other manor houses, I’d always considered the estate my home in the same way the Whittakers did.

“I thought that’s where you were taking me.”

“No.” I didn’t tell her about Wilder’s offer, or that I preferred being farther away from London.

“You understand that your life was threatened, Esland?”

She looked out the window even though it was too dark to see anything.

“You’re not surprised.”

“I’m a journalist. Many of us are threatened or even killed for the injustices we expose.”

“This is personal. Whoever is issuing the threat knows you as Ezzie.”

She wouldn’t look at me, which was to be expected. Her hand went to her throat, indicating her subconscious was in protective mode.

“There will be an investigation into the murder. MI5 will take over and can keep it out of the media. However, if there’s anything I need to know before we’re involved in an official capacity, this is your opportunity to tell me.”

“Are you going back to London tonight?”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

That surprised her enough that she turned and looked at me. “Tomorrow?”

I shook my head. “You are, for all intents and purposes, under protective custody.”

“I’m in custody?”

“Listen to what I say, Esland. Under, not in. It means I’m keeping you safe.”

“There must be others who could do that.”

Right. There were presently three others on Kingham grounds who could very well do the job. However, until I was able to gain clarity on why my gut was insisting I be the one to protect her, I’d listen to instinct alone.

“You don’t even like me.”

True statement, although it was more the job she did and how it impacted my investigations that I didn’t care for.

“Why did you say you were at the pub to see me earlier?” I asked. “Were you already aware of the dead man in your flat?”


“So why?”

She shrugged.

“You’re not a child, Esland. I’ll ask again. Why were you at the pub to see me?”

“I wanted to talk to you about Darrow. And then you dumped me in the street. Nice move, by the way.”

“First, sarcasm has no place in our conversations. Second, you’re lying to me. Lastly, as I said before, I didn’t dump you anywhere.”

“Why did you do it?” she asked. “Am I really that horrible of a person, or that much of a nuisance?”

I honestly couldn’t tell her why I’d picked her up and carried her out of the pub. Even I had to admit it was a wanker’s move.

“I’m sorry I did that.”

“Are you refusing to answer my question?”

“To be honest with you, I don’t know why.”

I saw a slight nod of understanding.

“Thank you for the apology.”

She did rub on my nerves, but was it her job or was it something else entirely? When Pique offered to take over Esland’s detail, my reaction had been inexplicable as well. I’d immediately felt an overwhelming need to protect her, even from my colleague. When she asked if I was returning to London, a feeling settled in my chest like a heavy stone. The idea of entrusting her safety to anyone else was unacceptable. Why? I couldn’t explain it.

“Tell me about your parents.”

She sighed, taking a long time to answer. “I miss them so much.”

“I’m sure you do. What were they like?”

“I never doubted they loved me.”


“They were a unit unto themselves. I was the third to two who didn’t need one.”

I didn’t hear hurt in her voice; I heard acceptance.

“They were on their way home from visiting you when the accident happened.”

“Yes. I was at university.”

“Must’ve been rough. You said earlier that you have no other family.”

“Both my parents were only children. I don’t think they ever tried to have another child.”

So no aunts, uncles, or cousins, also like she’d said earlier.

“Why journalism?”

“My mother was a reporter, albeit a very different one than I am.”

“How so?”

“She was more of a social reporter.”

“How would you describe yourself?”


“As I well know.”

When I saw a slight smile from her, I smiled too.

“I never told a soul about Wren’s true identity.”

I nodded.

“I told you earlier that I found out from Darrow.”

“Yes.” I shook my head. One would’ve thought Darrow, of all people, would’ve known better.

Esland stood. “Where am I sleeping?”


“I can sleep on a sofa somewhere. I don’t need to take the only bed.”

“Not up for discussion.”

“You’re very intransigent, aren’t you? Your way or no way?”


“Right. Only sometimes. I wonder if Darrow would agree?”

I watched Esland walk away, knowing her estimation was dead-on. Darrow would say that I consistently refused to compromise, that I wouldn’t apologize, or even try to see things her way. I could hear her voice in my head, saying all of those things. Not that she was any less stubborn than I was.
Heather Slade. The Commoner and the Corresondent (Kindle Locations 346-401). The Royal Agents of MI6 Book Three.

I have to say getting information out of Esland was much like pulling teeth for Pinch. It doesn’t help that he’s falling hard and fast for her. She on the other hand has loved him for a very long time and her friendship with Darrow is holding her back.

Plenty of suspense and intrigue as we find out why the body and threat turned up in Esland’s apartment. We finally find out where Darrow is, we see some folks from K19 as well, I love that by the way.

Not an easy relationship but one that makes so much sense. Lots of memories, with a few twists and turns that may surprise you.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!


Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.

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A Taste of Holiday Fake-Out: 22 Fake Holiday Dates to Heat Up the Season

Holiday Fake-Out


Bad Santa by Carmen Falcone
The Holidare by Laurel Greer & Dee Holmes
Marry Christmas by Kat Baxter
Mr. Right Under The Mistletoe by Kara Kendrick
The Billionaires Naughty Thief by Cara Carnes
And Many More!


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Bad Santa

Carmen Falcone

Julie Campbell needs to get Mr. McCarthy’s attention to pitch her business plan. But the man is not only busy, but an old fashioned, archaic oaf. She does everything for her job as the manager of an exclusive mall—she’s even dressed like an elf to help out one night. Her altruistic act leads her to the hot Santa… who she sees talking to Mr. McCarthy like they’re good friends. So, she comes over and pretends to be with Santa to get Mr. McCarthy’s attention—which ends up leading to a fake date.

All that Paxton Thurman wants is a holiday season without his family worrying about him since his breakup. When he’s disguised as Santa because of losing a bet, he meets a sexy blonde who summons him to go to a party with her, without knowing he’s a moneyed tech guru and nephew of the man Julie is trying to impress. She likes him for him, and he’ll take that any day. But a little lie snowballs into her mistrusting him on a much bigger issue. When he realizes she’s the one for him, he needs to show her where his loyalty lies—before he loses her for good.

Seeing the mall Santa speaking with the Mall owner, Julie Campbell makes a move that will mean some fast talking on her part.

Paxton doesn’t call her out on it, but thinks of a way to make it work for him as well. First he needs to know exactly what she wants to pitch to Alan McCarthy.

This is a favorite scene.

He straightened his shoulders, leaning closer, regarding her with interest. “Why does this mean so much to you? I can feel it in your voice.”

She bit back a smile. “I’m an only child, and my mom worked a lot growing up. I used to hang out with my cousins. They’re a few years younger than me, really sweet girls. Amy is on the spectrum and Carly has severe ADHD and some learning disabilities,” she said, affection softening her tone.

“We used to go to the parks, but whenever we went to the malls or stores, they’d feel overstimulated by the large number of toys stacking the shelves, the bright colors, the endless noise of an overcrowded space.”

“And they inspired you to build their own place?” he asked, a pang of admiration in his expression.

“Yes.” She knew she couldn’t do much for their cousin’s childhood now, as they were older—one of them attending college. But she could help the other kids and their parents who wanted a safe place to hang out. A place where their kids wouldn’t be judged or bullied.

The waiter returned, bringing him his drink and a couple of appetizers. She hadn’t paid attention when he’d ordered them. When the waiter took their orders and left, Paxton shifted his attention to her.

“Sounds like a good idea. Why do you need him? Can’t you find another investor?”

“Because Mr. McCarthy is a guru in the toy department,” she said, reminding him how Mr. McCarthy had amassed his wealth—by not only investing in toys, but creating a few very successful ones. Then, he’d branched out to malls and other assets. “He’s well respected not only in the community, but in the country. He’d be a phenomenal endorsement. Besides, I want to show him I’m intelligent and capable, and one day tell him how I had to ask a guy to accompany me to a pitch and make him regret he didn’t hear me out sooner,” she said. The latter was a selfish motivation, she knew, but she’d enjoy it just the same.

He raised his tumbler to his lips. “That’s ambitious. I like it.”

A surge of excitement traveled through her. She’d shared her dream with former boyfriends before, but she never felt like they listened or really believed in her. Something about Paxton encouraged her. “Good. Have you worked with him before? I forgot to ask where you know him from.”

He shrugged. “We kind of know the same people.”

“Ah. I get it.” She didn’t, but she got the sense he didn’t want to tell more. She also doubted that Mall Santa was the average mall Santa. He had a good knowledge about business and had picked this expensive restaurant. “Do you have any tips for me?”

“Look him in the eye. And don’t dim your light when you’re talking to him because you’ve heard he’s sexist.”

Good advice. She would have been more aggressive before but, also as a general manager of one of Mr. McCarthy’s properties, would hate for him to think of her as pushy and avoid her altogether in the future. But if she didn’t make herself heard, she’d never come through to him. “I’ve heard? He is sexist.”

“Yes, but you’re here to welcome him to the twenty-first century.”

She tilted her head to give him a good look. “What’s your day job? Motivational speaker?”

He chuckled. “Hardly. What do you think I am?”

“You’re one of those digital influencers. You post pictures about health and fitness and get paid for ads. But it’s not steady income, the reason why you take second jobs here and there.”

Amusement glinted in his eyes. An energy bounced between them, and she shuddered, like every part of her became super aware of him. Her breasts constrained against her bra, her breath caught in her throat.

“Not close. Software developer.”

Hmm… beauty and brains. She sank her teeth on her lower lip, to keep from voicing that thought. But when she glanced at him, his gaze dropped to her lips and she drew in a long breath. “Nice. How did you get the Santa gig?” Besides a few employees who had volunteered for overtime money, most of the Santas were hired by Bruce, the HR director, who usually used a local talent agency.

“I know Bruce. We went out drinking and had a bet. I lost and had to be Santa for one day. Though he did that so he wouldn’t have to find cover.”

As a general manager, she made a mental note to talk to Bruce about randomly recruiting people without previous experience to work on mall events. Though still… well played. “What would you have gotten if you had won?” she asked, taking a piece of bruschetta to her mouth.

“He’d have to dress as a clown while running some errands for me.”

A chuckle floated up her throat, and she almost spewed the bruschetta. “That I’d like to see.”

Paxton’s eyes searched for hers, and he curled his lip at the corner of his mouth. A silent exchange took place between them, and she hoped her body was signaling the right message. Because the way he stared at her twisted her insides, then melted them for good measure. “Meeting you makes me glad I lost the bet. And I hate losing,” he said, his voice dropping an octave.

A hot stir unraveled in her body, warming parts of her that usually didn’t feel hot. The area behind her ears, her neck… She swallowed. The sensation arrowed lower, at the pit of her stomach, then on her sex. Get ahold of yourself.

If she gave in, she’d be distracted. She wanted to be taken seriously and needed no extra drama. One thing was for Alan to believe she was dating someone to get her a leg up and an opportunity to pitch. Another thing, quite different, would be to indulge in the searing attraction to Paxton and lose sight of what was important.

Other dates would come. None like this, but they’d come.

Another opportunity to get in Alan McCarthy’s good graces? Hardly.

She placed her hands on her laps, her fingers fidgeting with the napkin. Then she pulled what she hoped was her most serious expression. “I’m flattered, but while I appreciate your help, I’m not interested in dating. I’m laser focused on this pitch, and I don’t want to get distracted.”

“Understood,” he said. “Tell me more about the project…”
Holiday Fake-Out: Bad Santa – Carmen Falcone Kindle Locations (803-848).

His reaction to her plan is more than positive and he tells her what he wants in return for getting Alan to listen. Julie will be his pretend date at his family Christmas in Tahoe.

A few ups and downs, tears, giggles and a quite a bit of sizzle!

5 Contented Purrs for Carmen!

The Holidare

Laurel Greer & Dee Holmes

Pro-hockey star Noel Beckett is determined to avoid his family’s holiday chaos and anything remotely festive. Enter his sister’s roommate Gwen Darling, a curvy artist with a heart of gold who lives for the season. Wanting to sprinkle some glitter over Noel’s Grinchiness, she dares him to be her holiday plus-one.

Noel’s not one to back away from a dare, and he expects his grumpy ways to be validated. But Yule shenanigans and flirty Christmas games with Gwen break through the hot athlete’s commitment to all things Scroogy. Why does she feel like the dash of magic he’s been missing? Is this a Holidare they both can win?

Hockey Star Noel ‘Beck’ Beckett hates the holiday season, he grumps through the whole time. However, he’s not one to turn down a bet especially if winning means he gets his sister Autumn and her best friend Gwen into a more secure apartment in his building.

It’s up to Gwen to convince him the holidays are fun and she’s more than up to the task.

The first event on the list is a corporate charity event run by the Renagades, Noel’s team. Gwen surprises him right off the bat and the rest of the evening goes off without a hitch and he has to admit he ended up having fun. Gwen does too, and realizes that it was really because of each other. She also recognizes she’s falling for Beck.

Next up is Gwen’s family’s Yule celebration, that one is so much fun, lots of laughter and more!

“Would you all just stop?” Gwen snaps. She’s rigid, stiff underneath all the soft layers of her clothes. “We are getting settled, then we’re finishing our decorations. That’s it. Nothing to see here.”

This is it.

The moment to take this mostly enjoyable gathering and make sure she absolutely doesn’t enjoy herself. I shouldn’t do it, not when this family has been nothing but kind since the moment I climbed out of the car.

But I play to win.

“Hey.” I cup her cheek. “They’re just teasing.” Granted, the Darlings are teasing in a ribald, interfering way, but there’s love under the jokes and gestures. A comfort with each other that makes me miss the days when things were easier between my sister, Mom, and me. We might not have had much—and Mom and I had to work hard to create something special for Autumn—but we made it happen.

Now I have lots, and I wish they’d still let me try.

Gwen’s cheek warms my palm.

“I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable,” she murmurs, gaze luminous and earnest, not resisting my thumb idly stroking her soft skin.

“My team spent many a season learning about inclusive locker-room conduct, but let’s be honest—it’s still eighty percent twig-and-berries related.”

Speaking of berries.

I glance pointedly up at the mistletoe. She grips my arm. “Don’t get any ideas, Beck. I was not kidding about the family legend thing.”

“You don’t want to kiss me?” Her lips part. “I didn’t say that, but—”

I lean down, taking her lips with mine.

Her small gasp is worth the gentle harassment her family dishes out behind us. She tastes like sage, tastes like more. With a hitching breath, she surrenders, rising on her tiptoes, melting into my embrace. I splay my hands on her hips, holding her to me, soaking in the pleasure rippling through my limbs. Building in all the places her soft body is pressing into mine. And I don’t give a shit that we have an audience and we’re just doing this because of silly holiday tradition. All I need to do right now is kiss this woman until it’s time to get back on the ferry and return to the city.

Wind teases my hair and curls around the back of my neck.

She jolts away from me, hands flying to hold down her skirt against the back of her thighs. “Beck. What are you thinking?

Shit, did she think I was going to start groping her or something?

I rock back on my heels, off kilter. I touch my fingers to my tingling lips and lift and eyebrow in what I hope comes across as that was fun and keeps the oh, and it also blew my mind part under wraps. Swallowing hard, I do my best to pretend it was no big thing. “You wanted to show me the magic of the season.”

“Not that kind of magic.” Color spills into her kiss-flushed cheeks. “My skirt flipped up.”

“It was just a draft.” Swiveling my gaze, I check for an open window or door that could have been at fault. But everything seems secure, and it isn’t windy outside, so a sudden breeze makes no sense.

“No such thing as just a draft, Noel,” Rhiannon calls over her shoulder, and I notice she’s ushering the watching family members back outside. “Life and love don’t come with dress rehearsals.”

“Nope.” Stone gives me a clap on the shoulder. “You’re done, son.”

Another inexplicable breeze rushes through the closed window, as if to punctuate the statement. I stare at Gwen, at those perfect lips I’ve just kissed.

All the skepticism in the world doesn’t stop me from wondering if Stone is right. I’ve happily avoided relationships for the past few years.

But I have no idea how to walk away from Gwen.
Holiday Fake-Out: The Holidare – Laurel Greer & Dee Holmes, Kindle Locations (22033-22064).

With everything that is happening between them a hockey game before his family’s Christmas provides even more fun and games.

A fun read with laughter, a few tears and sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Laurel and Dee!

Marry Christmas

Kat Baxter

She’s the one who got away. The one I’ve never been able to forget. The one who can never forgive me for the mistakes I’ve made. Now, it’s my grandmother’s dying wish to see Maggie and I married. If we can stay married for year, there’s a fortune on the line. But first we have to spend Christmas with my family and convince them we’re in love. For me, that part is easy, because I’ve never gotten over Maggie. But I broke her heart once. Can I convince her that, for me, this isn’t about the money and that I don’t want her for just one year. I want her forever.

Years ago Maggie and Brooks were best friends on the way to becoming more. Brooks’ father put a stop to that and in the process two hearts were broken.

Now Brooks’ grandmother has asked Maggie to visit, she has something to discuss with her. Maggie loves Gran almost as much as her own Nana, the two of them had been best friends. She always meant to visit more often but since her Nana died it’s been difficult. One big surprise Brooks is there as well, and really Maggie doesn’t want to stay, but she does to hear out Gran. Of course she wants the impossible, for her and Brooks to marry. She doesn’t agree right away, having to think this whole thing through.

Not wanting to disappoint Gran, Maggie finally agrees.

This is a favorite scene.

I got the text from Maggie last night shortly before midnight.

Maggie: courthouse tomorrow at noon.

That was all she said, but I, of course, knew what it meant. It’s ten right now and I’m sitting in the conference room at the Sol-Com offices I share with my two partners, Jackson and Cooper. Jackson and his wife, Kaitlyn, who also works here look at me like I’ve grown a second head when I explain my afternoon plans. Cooper, the lucky bastard is home with a sick kiddo.

Jackson shakes his head. “You’re going to have to explain that again.”

“The bottom line is, I’m going to the courthouse at noon and getting married,” I say.

“Have you been dating someone and keeping it a secret?” Kaitlyn asks.

“No. It’s complicated.”

Kaitlyn gives me a side eye, waggling her pointer finger back and forth between Jackson and her. “We’re pretty smart. I think you’ll be able to explain it.”

So much for keeping this on the down low.

I sigh, trying to decide exactly how little information I can dole out. Because I do not want this to be a big thing.

“My grandmother isn’t doing well. It’s her dying wish to see me married.”

Kaitlyn leans forward, her eyes gleaming with mischief. “Oh, this is all very soap-opera-drama-y. Tell me more. Did you hire a stranger on the internet to pretend to be your wife? Because that could end very badly. I think I’ve seen a Dateline with that plot and the guy ended up dead in a ditch.”

“No, Jesus. I’m not marrying a stranger. It’s someone I know.”

“Oh, even better!” She rubs her hands together with Machiavellian glee.

“Better than Brooks ending up dead in a ditch?” Jackson asks, looking at his wife with amusement.

“Obviously.” She leans back in her chair, angling her body towards his so their shoulders brush with easy familiarity and she looks over at him. “They could end up realizing they’re perfect for each other and falling in l—.”

I cut her off with a slice of my hand. “No one is going to fall in love here. It’s not that kind of situation. We’re not you two.” I point at both of them, because they ended up getting together when he went with her to her parent’s house for Thanksgiving one year. I never heard the whole story behind that, and I don’t want to know. “This is just to appease my grandmother. She wants to include Maggie in her will, but she’s afraid my dad will throw a fit and hold everything up in probate. If Maggie and I are married, it simplifies things. That’s it. Now can we get back to—”

“Wait a second.” Jackson sits forward. “Maggie? The Maggie.”


“Yes, her name is Maggie. Maggie Prince.”

“But this is your Maggie?”

Fuck my life.

“No. She’s not my Maggie. She’s just Maggie.”

Kaitlyn, who’s been looking back and forth between us like she’s watching a damn tennis match, gestures wildly. “Will someone please tell me who Maggie is? I’m dying of curiosity over here!”

“Maggie is The One. His one that got away.”

“No, she’s not. I don’t have a one.”

Kaitlyn gives me a shrewd look. “Well, apparently, you do have a one.”

“I really don’t,” I say dryly.

Is Maggie special? Yes. Unforgettable? Yep. But it’s not like she’s the only woman for me.

Just because I haven’t found anyone better in the last twelve years, does not mean she’s The One.

“I think I need more details,” Kaitlyn says. Before I can protest, she shakes her finger at me. “Because I’m not sure I trust you to know whether or not she’s The One.”

Kaitlyn is feisty and tenacious and it’s pretty obvious I’m not getting out of this. So, I stifle a groan and start talking.

“Basically, she’s my childhood best friend. We grew up together and our grandmothers always wanted us to be together. But it wasn’t meant to be. End of story.”

“Obviously, that’s not the end of the story.” Kaitlyn makes a keep-it-coming gesture. “Were you ever together together? How is she the one that got away? Why did you let her go? I need more details.”

“No, we weren’t ever together.”

“Hmmm…” Kaitlyn makes a grumble of obvious suspicion. “So where did it all go wrong?”

“Basically, my dad is an ass and so I never pursued anything with Maggie because I didn’t want him to be horrible to her. And frankly, when I was nineteen, I wasn’t exactly sure that I wasn’t going to grow up and become him. I didn’t want that for her. So I walked away.”
Holiday Fake-Out: Marry Christmas – Kat Baxter, Kindle Locations (26879-26917).

Quite the tangled web here and lots of family drama. The thing is these two really do belong together.

A fun read with laughter, some tears, some anger and some sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Kat!

Mr. Right Under The Mistletoe

Kara Kendrick

I’ve always been a player. A football player, that is. In the dating game, though, I only have eyes for one girl. Sydney Porter, team publicist MVP, all-around hottie…and my ex-girlfriend. Christmas comes early for me and I’m traded back to my home team mid-season. Of course, I run straight into Sydney—and a big problem. See, I never actually told my family we broke up. Now my mom wants the happy couple home for the holidays.

After saving Sydney from a work snafu, she owes me. I sweet talk her into going along with my fake dating plan, but I only have until Christmas. Can I convince her we belong together or will the magic between us disappear forever once the mistletoe comes down?

Nick Milton and Sidney Porter had once been a thing. When he was traded to Arizona, Sidney broke up with him and took a PR job with the team he left.

Sidney was in a meeting with the team’s CMO and her boss when she hears Nick’s voice. She doesn’t want to see him or talk to him. Her feelings really are still raw. Yet when her boss asks about the Gala Nick gets her out of it.

Now he asks the favor he needs in order to survive Christmas with his family.

This is a favorite scene.

“You can’t be serious,” Sydney said, shaking her head as she pushed past me into the bright hallway. “This isn’t anywhere close to a fair deal. The Copley Gala is one night; you’re asking me to go home with you for a week!”

I tagged along beside her down the hall, keeping pace and grinning, pissing her off even more. “Yeah, I hope you can negotiate a better deal with the shoe company.”

She punched my bicep and I pretended to flinch.

“Watch it—these guns are worth a lot to this team.”

“Right, how could I forget? Can’t go injuring the talent.”

“Exactly. C’mon, Syd, please? I know you always stay in the city for Christmas. It would mean a lot to me if you’d do this.” I gave her my best puppy dog eyes, praying she’d agree to the deal.

Sydney rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe I’m even considering doing this with you. We work together now; it’s a huge HR no-no.”

“No one has to know and besides, it’ll be fun. Way better than the Gala.”

She paused, tipping her head to the side before answering. “Fine. Since you just rescued me from a solid twenty-four hours’ worth of work, I’ll go. But it has to be on the DL. I need this job.”

“I get it. I do, too. This is going to be fantastic, though.” I grinned at her, a quick blast of relief flooding through me. “I’ll pick you up tomorrow morning around nine. That way we can avoid rush hour. Be sure to pack something to wear for Christmas Eve service and the neighborhood party we go to every year.”

“Ugh. I hate you.”

“That’s the Christmas spirit,” I teased.

“One week, Nick. That’s it.” She waved her index finger in my direction as a reminder.

“I hear you. That’s the deal.”

She thrust her hand out and we shook on it.

“See you tomorrow morning,” I said, thrilled I’d actually convinced her to go with me.

Sydney rolled her eyes one more time for dramatic effect, then flounced away. My eyes followed her perfect ass until she stepped into the elevator. I shot her a quick wave as the doors slid shut; she just shook her head at me.

Christmas was coming early for me this year and I intended to make the most of our time together.
Holiday Fake-Out: Mr. Right Under The Mistletoe – Kara Kendrick, Kindle Locations (27799-27814).

Now Sidney has to play the girlfriend he never left and he’s out to win her back.

Another fun read, with laughter some confusion, and just the right amount of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Kara!

The Billionaire’s Naughty Thief

Cara Carnes

King, aka the King Maker, was destined to rule a secret empire since childhood. He’s terrified world leaders and lorded over the world’s financial and political sectors from the shadows for years. No opportunity is too risky if it’s for Probus’ objective: to balance world power to protect humanity. The centuries old moral code was all that mattered. Until now. In order to save his one childhood friend, he must undertake a dangerous mission—one only one woman can accomplish. He was strong enough to walk away from temptation once. Surely he can do so again.

Joy “Diamond” Winniford was raised in a family of thieves committed to a cause: save humanity from the shadows by stealing whatever intel or asset Probus needs. Few know about her secret life. Only one man has the power to upturn her carefully constructed world. When he reenters her life with a job, she knows turning him down is the safest play. But she’s never played it safe and spending weeks pretending to be the infamous King Maker’s girlfriend is a temptation she can’t refuse. He may have escaped her once, but she’s not about to let him get away again.

As this novella opens we find Probus has a problem, some of their branches are getting out of control. It’s Joy ‘Diamond’ Winniford who brings this to King’s attention. That initial problem has now escalated a bit and it’s time to bring in some outside help, especially since they’re involved.

Joy isn’t happy and doesn’t think anyone could possibly be better than her hacker, Maze. She does agree to work with the King and the outsiders, but only if Maze verifies they are better.

This is a favorite scene for many reasons.

King had faced down presidents and world leaders his entire life, but nothing could have prepared him for this moment. The video image came to life on the screen. His adrenaline surged as an ache radiated in his chest. He rubbed the area and willed his mind to focus.


The young man he’d last seen wasn’t anywhere in the man’s face, nor his stance. He stood behind a blonde woman seated at a conference table. Emotion rushed across Ramon’s face for a second, then vanished beneath a hardness he’d never wanted to see on the only friend he’d ever had.

King’s eyes burned as his breathing quickened.

“I’m Bree,” the blonde said. “This is my friend Zoey, or Zero D. Beside her is Edge. Then Quillery. And I’m sure you know Ramon.” She paused. “And you are?”

“I’m Diamond,” Joy said. “To my left is Bridge. To my right is the King Maker, or King.” She squeezed his shoulder and pushed him into a chair. “We’ve conferenced in a friend of mine, Maze. I’m not sure what King shared with you, but he seems to think you’d be better help for what we need than Maze. I doubt that, but we’re here anyway.”

“Holy shit,” Maze whispered. Her eyes widened as she appeared on a split screen. “Diamond, I’m going to kick your ass when this is over.”

“Maze. What’s wrong?”

“Th-that’s…” The fuchsia-haired woman blinked a couple times. “Fuck. They’re still there. Okay, this is happening. Ease off on the attitude, friend. I can’t do a tenth of what they can.”

Joy didn’t comment. Her hand continued running down King’s back, moving in circles that calmed the shock rolling through him. Seeing Ramon after so long…

He ran a hand down his face and leaned back.

“Why don’t you tell us what you need,” Edge suggested as she leaned forward. “I’m not sure why you think we’d help you with anything, King. We were pretty clear in our last conversation that we didn’t want another.”

King’s gaze cut to Ramon once again. His heart thudded hard in his chest. He had so many questions. None of them involved the job.

“We have roughly three weeks to establish a cover for me as King’s lover so that I can get into a secured Knightwind location and procure intel and anything else they have about your tech. Since it’s my ass on the line here, I think that puts the ball in our court on deciding what we require to help you.” Joy leaned back in her chair. “You’ll be talking with me. King is here as a formality until he decides otherwise.”

Thank fuck. Concern flashed on Bridge’s face when he looked at King.

“This is what you meant with that vague message about a threat you’d handle,” Bree said. “What sort of intel could they possibly have we’d care about?”

“Great question. Given what little we know about your tech, most of what we’re working on are assumptions, but I’ll give you what I can prove.” Joy held up a finger. “First, we came into possession of a destroyed drone several of our U.S. based assets were very interested in. Rather than allow them the access they wanted, King took it upon himself to secure the tech by having me steal it from Cuban authorities who found it in the destroyed wreckage of a facility. Does that sound familiar?”

Joy didn’t give them a chance to answer. She held up a second finger and continued. “A seven-figure contract was put out to secure that asset from King’s possession. Few would dare attempt that job given who we are, yet many have attempted to force my hand.”

“They don’t know you’re Probus,” Quillery said.

“They don’t. My name within the underground is the Queen of Diamonds. There’s no procurement I can’t handle if the pay is good.” She paused once again and glanced over at King. “He has decided to share what happened next.”

He hadn’t, but he wasn’t going to stop her now. She’d taken the initiative for the conversation to cover his freak out.

“Maze helped me look into the job. It took a few not-so-fun intel gathering sessions, but we tracked the source as being someone from within Knightwind,” Joy said. “There was more, which we’ve since cleaned up on our end.”

“You had assets working with them,” Edge said.

“We did,” King said, finding his voice for the first time. “Several of our stateside assets became greedy and wanted to acquire power outside of our arena. Power that went against our Probus mission. As Diamond said, we’ve cleaned house. The drone we have will be returned to you if you wish. I locked it up and no one in Probus has looked at it, other than myself and Bridge.”

“It’s probably not even ours,” Bree said with a shrug. “Carlisle Industries stole old designs of mine and attempted to replicate our tech. Very poorly.”

King grunted. Interesting.

“Let’s assume the intel Knightwind has is worth obtaining,” Quillery said. “What do you want from us?”

“The new leader of Knightwind has invited me to a holiday dinner. Diamond will accompany me as my date. They will vet her thoroughly beforehand, which we will need assistance for.”

“You need a cover, one that will pass their investigation without appearing fake,” Zoey said. She nodded and tapped on her laptop a few moments. “Okay, Joy. Here’s the situation.”

Joy tensed beside him. He’d warned her they were good.

“Yes, we know who you are,” Zoey said. “Just like we know who Maze and Bridge are as well. Congrats, King. You’re the first person HERA can’t trace at all.”

He glared at the women. Keeping his gaze from Ramon made it simpler to focus on what mattered. “Can you help?”

King was used to world leaders cowering before him. He didn’t expect the women to ignore his question as the four chatted amongst themselves as though he wasn’t on the video call. Amused, he listened as they rattled off their thoughts like drunken squirrels. He understood very little of what they said.

“She needs a semi-dirty cover, one that would fit the presumed Probus mold of a lower-level employee,” Maze said amidst their conversation. “They clearly know King is the King Maker. I don’t even understand why they’d invite him, but this isn’t my world, nor do I want it to be. But that’s what I’d do. Make her fit the mold they expect, but not be who she is or what she does.”

“So not a thief, but still Probus.” Zoey nodded. “Smart.”

“We dug into Probus,” Edge said.

King tensed. He’d expected as much from The Arsenal. They weren’t the best in the private paramilitary arena without going the distance.

Those gits he’d taken care of had put Probus on The Arsenal’s radar—a fact he didn’t like.

“And?” King asked.

“Handlers are the lone known position within your organization,” Edge replied. “No one seems to question how you obtain your information or control assets. They should, but they don’t. Which means the safest cover for Diamond would be a handler.”

“Okay,” Joy said.

“Mimicking a known handler’s background would strengthen her cover,” Quillery said. “Is there a woman known to be a handler, yet not recognized when seen?”

“There are several,” King admitted. He glanced over at Bridge. “Who’s known by Knightwind?”

Probus rarely kept people on staff once they were exposed, but a few were necessary. That fell within Bridge’s territory more than King’s, though.

“Seven of Hearts,” Bridge said quickly. “We exposed her three months ago to handle the last of our internal intel issues. She’s still in play and known, but in the shadows.”

“Which means Knightwind knows there is a Seven of Hearts, but not who she is specifically,” King clarified. “Send her record to them.”

Bridge nodded and opened his laptop. Silence descended as he forwarded the asset’s record to The Arsenal.

“I trust what we share will be contained within this specific operation and not used for other reasons,” King said.

“Of course,” Quillery said. “We have no desire to cross your path as long as you stay out of ours.”

“Understood. Maze and Bridge can assist with whatever you need. What is the timetable for having the cover secured?” King asked.

“Two hours,” Zoey said. “Probably less, but I want to build deep enough so Knightwind can crawl all the way down and get lost.”

“She’s very good at what she does,” Edge said. “By the time she’s done, Joy’s cover will be good enough to truly exist.”

Excellent. King’s gaze moved to Ramon once again. “It’s good to see you in a good place, Ramon.”

“Life outside that world is worth living.” He touched Bree’s hair. “Hopefully we can have that ice cream very soon. It’s been too long.”

He remembered. Emotion clogged King’s throat as he blinked back the burning sensation in his eyes. “It has.”

“We’ll be in touch before the dinner,” Edge said. “We can assist from here.”
Holiday Fake-Out: The Billionaire’s Naughty Thief – Cara Carnes, Kindle Locations (25620-25693).

A very interesting relationship that further develops as this story progresses.

This is a fun and suspenseful read with action, family, a reunion, romance and some sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!


Carmen Falcone’s Bio and Links

Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters beat doing math homework any day. Brazilian by birth and traveler by nature, she moved to Central Texas after college and met her broody Swiss husband–living proof that opposites attract.

She found in writing her deepest passion and the best excuse to avoid the healthy lifestyle everyone keeps talking about. When she’s not lost in the world of romance, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, being walked by her three crazy pugs, reading, catching up with friends, and chatting with random people in the checkout line.

She loves to procrastinate, so please indulge her and drop her a line. For more info, visit her website.

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Laura Greer’s Bio and Links

Raised in a small town on Vancouver Island, Laurel grew up skiing and boating by day and reading romances under the covers by flashlight at night. Ever committed to the proper placement of the Canadian “eh,” she loves to write books with snapping sexual tension and second chances. She lives outside Vancouver with her law-talking husband and two daughters, and fills her creative well by continuing to stay up way too late reading, chugging vats of tea, and falling down Pinterest rabbit holes.

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Dee Holmes’ Bio and Links

A Canadian author obsessed with unlikely loves, Dee enjoys creating rich worlds and finding humor in unexpected places. In her other writing life, she explores monsters and their love lives in paranormal romance and urban fantasy—and might have a penchant for zombies. The characters she enjoys don’t sit in some narrow box and do what they’re told. Whether battling an office party or facing fantastical terrain on distant planets, her characters are defying expectations and finding true love.

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Kat Baxter’s Bio and Links
Kat Baxter is the pseudonym for a bestselling historical romance author. She lives in Texas with
her family and a menagerie of animals.

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Kara Kendrick’s Bio and Links

Kara Kendrick writes fun and flirty Contemporary Romance destined to give you all the feels. A reformed English major, she also has a master’s in counseling and was an elementary school counselor in her pre-mom life. She loves the beach, wine, and rock-hard abs, not necessarily in that order. When she’s not dreaming up Happily Ever After’s, you can find her chasing after her boy-girl twins, working out semi-hardish, or walking her adorable Shiba pups with her husband, who’s not too bad himself.

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Cara Carnes’ Bio and Links

Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.

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Secret Legacy – Legacy Book 3 by Jen Talty

Secret Legacy
Legacy Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty



She wanted to protect her brother…but she failed.
He’ll do whatever it takes to protect Vivian,
even if it means taking a bullet…
But will it be enough?

Vivian Rose thought she burned her family’s dirty little secret the day she laid her father to rest. Only, years later, when her brother is found murdered, it seems that secret might have been the very thing that got her brother killed. Now, Vivian finds herself in the middle of an internet game that she doesn’t understand and the target of a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to make her his.

Agent Cameron Thatcher has had his eyes on the sexy Vivian Rose for months. However, when his current case includes a sex club and her brother gets involved, he finds himself in a precarious situation. The more he digs, the more he uncovers, and the more he realizes that Vivian’s in danger. He’ll do whatever is necessary to protect her—including taking a bullet.


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Cameron Thatcher is working a case that has a very thin connection to some suicides. The investigation has brought him home to Lake George and he’s connecting with friends while he’s here.

Vivian Rose has been trying for days to reach her brother Oliver. It’s unlike him not to answer her calls or texts, but he’s been acting weird since he started seeing someone named Emma. She first runs into Cameron at the restaurant where she’s meeting friends for dinner. Her best friend Lily and her husband Ethan sort of lay into her about letting go of the past and taking a chance by going out with Cameron the next time he asks her.

At Cameron’s surprise birthday party another suspected suicide comes up, one that hits home for many people. Oliver Rose, from all accounts wouldn’t do that, not after his father.

For Vivian and her mother this is a huge blow. Vivian knows better but when she finds out Cameron had wanted to talk to Oliver things take quite the turn.

Even as these two get closer, the case ramps up and Vivian finds herself involved with things she believed well hidden.

There are so many twists and turns in this book as several things intertwine. Plenty of suspense, intrigue, nail-biting, all combine with a simmer to sizzle romance that you won’t be able to put down.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

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Jen Talty

Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.

I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.

I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.

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Hudson – SEALs of Honor Book 27 by Dale Mayer

SEALs of Honor Book 27
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer



Due a few days of R&R, Hudson heads to visit his best friend in Vail, Colorado. The first day, an explosion in his hotel sends the city into chaos. He’s doing what he can to keep Avery safe, as this was no accident. He’s not allowed to join the investigation, but being on the spot and having the training he has are huge benefits. No way will he sit by and do nothing. Especially if Avery is in trouble.

Avery has been looking forward to Hudson’s visit. They are best friends, and she’d love to spend more time with him. Hell, she’d loved him since forever but didn’t want to risk their special friendship by taking the relationship further. Now she regrets it, as the explosion in town is only the tip of the problem—for the terrorist realizes that Hudson caught a glimpse of him.

Now the game of cat and mouse is on, with Avery caught in the middle …


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On R&R Hudson goes to Vail to meet up with Avery. Their friendship is a long one, her sister Delilah had been his high school sweetheart and when she died, she took a part of Hudson’s heart. Avery remained close to him throughout the years but they never looked further than friendship. This time he’s going to take Mason’s advice and re-evaluate the relationship.

Avery is thrilled Hudson is coming to Vale. It’s been a long time since she’s seen him although they communicate often. She’s anticipated his call and is actually waiting for him to come meet her for coffee.

Then things go BOOM!

This is a favorite scene.

He sighted two men getting on one of the elevators beside him, as he stepped into an empty one, and moved up to the fourth floor, where his hotel room was located. He pondered the two men dressed all in black military-style clothing but not in actual US-grade uniforms. It was casual gear, but they carried themselves differently— like on the job. Not the bulky gym-buff type but more of a heavily trained military look, including the short-cut hair. One had a faint tattoo on the back of his hand, and Hudson could barely see a ring on the same hand.

With his mind consumed with what was going on with those two, Hudson stepped out of the elevator and noted they were just ahead of him, heading down the same hallway in the opposite direction. He checked his room number, walked to it, and, with one last look at the two men, Hudson stepped inside. He had no sooner dropped his bag on the bed, when his phone rang. He smiled when he saw it was Avery. “I’m here,” he said. “I just got to my room.”

“I’m downstairs, just waiting for you to get some coffee,” she said, her bright laughter shining through the phone.

He grinned and said, “I’ll be there in two.”

He quickly used the facilities, then washed up, gave his face a good scrub, and, after looking at the mirror for a long moment, dried off and headed out. He saw no sign of the two men, but he’d noted which direction they’d gone, and only a few hotel rooms were down there. So, as choices went, not too many rooms to consider. Still, depending on what they were up to, Hudson had a hell of a lot of options.

Trying to put them out of his mind, Hudson headed to the reception area. The moment he stepped into the main lobby, he was almost tackled by a five-foot-two redhead. He laughed out loud in joy, as he picked her up and swung her around. She squealed in delight. “Good Lord,” he said, “it’s like you’ve shrunk.”

“I have not.” She glared at him in delight.

“Are you sure?” He pressed his hand on the top of her head and said, “I am absolutely certain you are way shorter now.”

“I am not,” she said and lightly punched him in the belly.

“Ooph,” he said in mock distress.
“Ha!” she said. “Damn, Hudson, it’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you too,” he said, studying her intently. It was even better to see her than he had expected. Reaching out an arm, he pulled her against him and just held her close. “It’s been a long time.”

She smiled. “Too long.” She looked around and asked, “Do you want to stay here? We can go into the hotel’s coffee shop, or we can head out to the strip.”

“Is Enzo’s open?”

“Sure,” she said. “Are you ready for some of the best pizza in Colorado?”

“And he has those divine coffees,” he said.

“Still one of my favorite places,” she said, with a nod. “Come on. Let’s go.”

As they turned and walked through the lobby toward the front door, they heard a shout. Hudson turned to look, and one of the hotel staff was trying to stop somebody in the hallway, yelling at him. Then a huge explosion rocked the building.

Hudson grabbed Avery in his arms and slammed up tight against one of the great big columns just feet away from the front door. He turned, looked around, and, with her still in his arms, dashed out the front door and across the street. She cried out as he made his move. When he put her down on the far side of the street, sections of the hotel exterior crashed down. Not where his room was, but still, the whole place would be off-limits by the time the building settled. He swore. “I knew I shouldn’t have left my bag in there.”

“Oh my God,” she said. “What just happened?”

“I’m not sure.” He frowned. “But my bag is in there.”

“I don’t think you’ll be allowed to go in and get it,” she said.

“Unless I don’t tell anybody, and I just go. Besides, people up there could need help.”

She looked up at him in surprise, then shrugged and said, “I don’t think you can go up the stairs.”

He studied the building. “Yeah, I think I can on the opposite side,” he said. “You stay put here. I’ll be right back.”

“Hudson, don’t,” she cried out. “It’s not safe.”

But he could barely hear her because he was already inside the hotel, just as everybody came screaming out. He would also check for any casualties and not just for his bag while he was there. Easier to do it all. By the time he raced up the stairs on the far side of the building, a message came over the PA, asking everybody to exit the building in an orderly fashion.

He raced into his room, grabbed his bag, then turned around, checked all the rooms on that floor. Done with these rooms, he turned to go downstairs, checking each floor as he went. He hadn’t gone very far on the second floor when he caught sight of an older woman, struggling to make her way. He stepped around and gave her a hand. She looked up at him gratefully.

“Thank you,” she said. “My heart is pounding. I’m afraid I’ll have a heart attack. I’m so frightened over all this.”

“The building’s in rough shape, after that explosion,” he said.

“Oh dear,” she said. “What about all those people?”

He nodded grimly. “Well, let’s just hope the hotel wasn’t fully booked.”

“I know they had a convention planned, maybe a lot of people coming in this afternoon,” she said. “I was trying to get out beforehand, so I didn’t have to deal with all the people.”

“Well, nobody’ll be dealing with the people now,” he said quietly. He got her to the main floor and brought her slowly out to the front steps. The fire department and cops were everywhere at this point. As soon as they were seen, they were quickly rushed outside and told to stay out. He just nodded, waved the older woman to one of the EMTs, and Hudson searched the shadows for Avery. He found her standing off to the side, looking for him. He walked over and grabbed her in his arms again.

She threw her arms around his neck and just held him close. “My God,” she said, “that was so scary.”

He looked up at the building, noting it wasn’t quite as bad as he had thought. It looked like several floors on the right-hand side had taken a blast of some kind.

“Do you know what happened?” she asked in a low whisper.

He shook his head. “I have no clue.” But inside he did. That was far too much like a bomb blast, and he wouldn’t be at all surprised if this had been some sort of terrorist attack. “Some convention is scheduled for this afternoon too,” he said. “There could be a lot of people looking for new housing.”

“Oh my,” she said. “Well, nothing we can do here. Let’s go.”

Instinctively he wanted to stay and help, but he didn’t know anybody here in local law enforcement, and nobody knew him. He hadn’t been called in to help, and, at the moment, he would just be in the way. With a last look to make sure the older woman he had helped out would be okay, he quickly retreated with Avery at his side, with his duffel over one shoulder, and they walked down the street.

With so many cops and fire engines, Hudson knew it would just be chaos for the next several hours. They would probably put the call out for anybody who had seen or heard anything. He just didn’t know if he’d seen or heard anything important.

Immediately the two men came to mind.
Dale Mayer. Hudson (Kindle Locations 115-174). Valley Publishing.

Before the chaos of official vehicles Hudson runs back into the hotel and grabs his bag. On his way back down he runs into a very shaken older woman. He escorts her down and to EMTs before rejoining Avery and heading to Enzo’s for coffee. Mason contacts him to be sure he’s safe and starts him thinking about what just happened. Mason also tells him that the convention coming in is law enforcement computer security experts. Which makes the event even more suspicious.

They get seats by a window to observe the hotel scene while they have coffee and pizza. Still talking about what happened they are interrupted by an old friend Dennis. Dennis is now a detective and tells Hudson officials would listen if he had any information to give them.

Needless to say, this isn’t quite what Avery and Hudson planned for their time together but danger is going to follow them.

Lots of suspense, action, romance and just the right amount of sizzle in this latest adventure of Mason’s Team.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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Sanctuary – The Wanderers Book 1 by Becca Jameson

The world is no longer a safe place,
especially for women.
For several decades, the birth rate of females has been declining.
Militants, the government,
and private citizens alike will do anything
to find young women and force them
into unthinkable arrangements.

The Wanderers are a secret
underground society, born to provide
sanctuary for anyone who believes in
free will and democratic notions.
They have grown in numbers for many years
and have several compounds where
their citizens live in safety.

The Wanderers Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson



After living off the grid for all of her twenty-one years, Layla’s life has been uprooted after the murder of her parents. On the run with her nineteen-year-old sister, she’s hungry, scared, and running out of time. At her lowest moment of despair, she finally finds someone who can take them to The Wanderers.

Layla knows how to take care of herself. She can fight. She can forage for food. She has bad-ass survival skills. But she has never been this close to anyone outside of her immediate family, especially men. So many men. She’s aware of society’s inclination towards living with multiple partners, but is she ready to enter into a polyamorous relationship herself?

Jay, Gatlin, Ledger, and Nile have been living as a family unit with The Wanderers for years. When Layla shows up, they practically trip over one another in an effort to woo her. She’s young and sweet and kind and all that is good in the world. Pressuring her to choose them is strictly forbidden of course. They must be patient.

When Layla goes missing, her men will do anything to find her before she falls into the wrong hands. Losing her is not an option. They just got her. But is she really theirs?


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This book opens in a not very pleasant present, as Layla and Ariel are running to avoid detection. Twenty years ago their parents Greg and Abby had been urged off the grid by their beat friend and midwife Julie Imes. At the time Abby was pregnant with Layla and in spite of her initial fears, she knew her best friend and her husband were right. They needed to leave without a trace. As botanists they could survive anywhere, they owned property way off the grid and had sort of planned for this. They raised their girls to be self-sufficient, they could protect and feed themselves and that’s what they’ve been doing since they were forced to leave their home. They’ve never been to a city and all they know is that they have to avoid capture and find their mother’s friend Julie. It’s Maya who find them and brings them to an outpost to wait for transport to the compound where they’d find Julie.

This is where Layla becomes very aware of the man protecting them until that time, Jay. After showering and getting her sister settled to rest, Layla goes back up to the cabin to explore a bit and get to know the man who has awakened something more than just curiosity.

This is just one of my favorite scenes.

Jay’s thumb stroked her hip, and she wondered if he realized it as he kept speaking. “The militant groups are worse than the Republic. They snatch women right off the streets, hold them against their will, and treat them worse than second-class citizens.”

Layla swallowed. “I suspect my parents chose to tone down their descriptions a bit, but I’ve always understood the gist. Are there other groups in this fight too?”

“Yes. Religious zealots, outlaws, and even the wealthy. In the end, it’s best to avoid all of them. Other people are living under the radar, other groups like ours who would like to preserve equal rights, but they don’t have the numbers we have, and they tend to eventually get caught.”

“What happens to them?”

Jay stared at her. “You really want to hear all this?”

“Yes. Don’t pamper me. Information is power. I may have holes in my knowledge, but if I don’t fill them, I’ll just be in more danger.”

He surprised her when he leaned closer and set his lips on her forehead, holding them there for several seconds before drawing back with a sigh. “You’re right. I hate it, hate that there’s a pure innocence about you that’s about to get destroyed, but you need to know everything.”

She nodded, breathing rapidly. The feel of his lips on her forehead lingered. “I know I seem innocent, and in many ways I am, but I’m capable of taking care of myself. I’m trained in self-defense, I know every single plant that can be eaten, and I could survive off the land for the rest of my life if I needed to. Please, Jay, fill in the holes.”

He smiled at her, staring into her eyes as if he could see things even she was unaware of. “Okay,” he whispered. He drew in a breath. “I won’t sugarcoat it. The Wanderers are very careful to remain hidden. We do everything we can to protect the women in our society. We have strength in numbers. Some other groups do not. When a group is found, the males are usually killed on the spot, and the women are brought to wherever the militants’ headquarters are.”

Layla winced, but she’d suspected as much.

“No matter who captures them, they’re considered in defiance of the law— be that the actual law under the Republic or the complete lawlessness of the militants. Either way, women are a commodity. Sold. Traded. Raped. Bred against their will. There is no easy way to say it.”

Layla fought hard to avoid reacting to the hard reality. He hadn’t said anything she hadn’t already suspected, but hearing it out loud from someone who had more up-to-date information than her parents was hard to swallow.

She cleared her throat. “So The Wanderers are a society that maintains equal rights…”


“But there are still far too many men and not enough women.” “Yes.” He bit into his bottom lip as he watched her as if waiting for her to draw her own conclusions.

She wanted verbal confirmation though. “Do your men… share?”

He inhaled slowly and tipped his head back to stare at the overhang as if it pained him to answer her. When he lowered his gaze to hers, he nodded. “Usually. Not mandatory. Nothing is mandatory among my people. We have free will, but it is growing increasingly customary for polyamorous relationships to form. Family units with several men and one woman.”

She searched his gaze again, wondering what he was thinking and why he’d hesitated. “Do you belong to a family unit like that?”

He shook his head, seeming to pull himself together. “Not at the moment.” He drew in a breath. “Let me rephrase that. I do live in a family unit with three other men. We do not have a woman living with us.”

She stared at him. “Because you don’t want one?”

He licked his lips. “We just haven’t met the right woman yet.”

“Oh.” For some reason, she was relieved to know that. She wasn’t even sure what part. That he wasn’t married? That he didn’t currently have a woman? That he’d made a point of telling her?

She most definitely shouldn’t care one way or the other. He lived with three other men. That meant any relationship with him would not be one-on-one. She wasn’t sure how long it might be before she would be ready to enter into any kind of relationship even with one man. But four?

She reached for his face, cupping his cheek, feeling the warmth of his skin against her palm. “You’re a good man, aren’t you?”

He chuckled. “How many men have you met?” She scrunched up her nose before answering. “Just one.”


“Uh-huh,” she admitted.

He groaned as he pulled her closer, flattening her against his chest again. His huge hand splayed on her back. “I should make you go inside, head down to the bunker,” he murmured with no conviction.

“But you won’t,” she pointed out as she flattened her hand on his abs. She tipped her head back again. “Please. Let me stay. I like being in your arms.” She was playing with fire.

“The guys are going to kill me when they get here,” he muttered under his breath.

“The ones you mentioned to Maya? Why?”

Jay slid a hand to her hair and stroked through the locks, tucking it behind her ear. “Every inch of you is soft, even your hair,” he whispered.

She enjoyed the way he threaded his fingers in her drying locks, but she tipped her head back again anyway. “You didn’t answer my question.”

Jay sighed. “The three men coming tonight are my partners. Mile, Ledger, and Gatlin.” He stopped talking.

“Why will they be mad?”

“Perhaps mad isn’t the right word. Jealous might be more accurate. Jealous that I got to spend the day with a beautiful woman who didn’t mind being held while they were traveling.”

She slowly grinned. “I think I’m flattered.” She shrugged. “So, you usually share women and they aren’t here.”

“Yeah. That must sound ridiculous to you.”

She shook her head. “No. I may not know much about the current norms, but I’m not a prude. I’m not judgmental. My parents ensured the two of us were open-minded.”

“That may be, but if they left society over two decades ago, I’m sure they hadn’t seen many polyamorous arrangements yet.”

“True, but we weren’t so isolated that I had no clue. It doesn’t take a botanist to figure out that women would eventually live in multiple arrangements.”

He chuckled. “A botanist?”

She shrugged. “My parents used to say that. They told us the original phrase was rocket scientist.”

Jay continued to laugh.

Bold and curious and very attracted to Jay, Layla decided to take a huge leap. “How mad would your partners be if I also kissed you?”

He stiffened, his eyes going wide.

She winced, shoving away from him to put some space between them, her gaze jerking to a spot on the porch, mortified to have said that out loud. “Sorry. That was…”

He grabbed her before she could pull out of reach, hauling her back closer and tipping her chin up with one of his fingers. “Don’t be sorry. You just caught me off-guard.”
Becca Jameson. Sanctuary: The Wanderers, Book One (Kindle Locations 427-485). Becca Jameson Publishing.

Jay and his partners, Mile, Ledger, and Gatlin are the ones to escort them to the compound. For Layla though it was getting to know the rest of Jay’s family unit.

There are many things for Layla and Ariel to adjust to and learn, but they rise to the task.

So many dangers in the world around them, there is action, suspense, romance and sizzle in this first of series. I hope there isn’t much of a wait for the next one.

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

Coming Soon!
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Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

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

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

…where Alphas dominate…

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The Aliens Zookeeper – Aliens and Animals Book 1 by Arizona Tape & Skye MacKinnon

The Alien’s Zookeeper
Aliens and Animals Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Arizona Tape
Skye MacKinnon



The stars gave her a mate…
and a rhino.

Tilly doesn’t believe in aliens. At least, she didn’t, until she gets abducted along with half the animals of her zoo. When you and your rhino are stuck in a cage on a spaceship, it’s hard not to believe. One of them, an elf-eared female, seems ready to help her find a way back to Earth, but is that really what Tilly wants?

Bavalla’s messed up big time. She wasn’t supposed to abduct a sentient being, but now that she’s face to face with a female who’s not only intelligent but also very attractive, she has to figure out what to do. Telling the Captain would result in severe punishment, but how do you hide a human who’s very intent on saving not just herself, but all her animals as well?

A fast-paced f/f romance with a strong human woman and a swoon-worthy alien female willing to give up everything for her mate.



Everything was going according to plan, or so Bavalla thought. The animals on the list were now all in the cargo hold of their ship. Then she notices an extra something in one of the containers. A sentient being, if the captain found out it would mean her death.

Tilly wakes in a strange place with Brie, her favorite Rhino in the zoo where she worked. She’s about to learn some very interesting things about where she and many of the animal she cares for are.

This is a favorite scene.

The two creatures on the other side of the glass were clearly studying me too, but it was easier to pretend that I was the examiner. “There seem to be slight openings in the neck of the right one. I count… three on either side. They look like nostrils. I wonder if they also breathe oxygen or if the air in this cell is specially made for Brie and me,” I wondered out loud.

I pressed my hands against the wall. One of the two beings, the one that looked female, did the same. Her hands had six fingers, slender and delicate, but our palms were almost the same size. She cocked her head, her large eyes examining me closely. Maybe she wasn’t female.

Maybe I was simply applying my human concepts to an alien species. For all I knew, these beings reproduced in an entirely different way, having no need for genders. I pushed that thought away. I shouldn’t be focusing on things like that. Far more important was how to get out of here, back to Earth. Maybe we were still there, cloaked so that my fellow humans couldn’t see it. But the slight vibration in the walls and floor told a different story. We were flying. We might be far away from home by now. I didn’t know how long I’d slept for.

Brie snorted and got to her feet. She stared at the beings with all the curiosity a rhino could muster. Which wasn’t a lot. Brie was lovely, but not the brightest rhino out there. I put a hand on her thick skin, stroking her.

“Easy, girl. Don’t worry, I’ll get you home.”

My voice shook slightly, but I hoped she wouldn’t pick up on that.

“Eeeeezzzzyyyyyyy.” The female alien parroted my words, although it barely resembled the original sound. “Guuuuuuuuurrrrrl.”

I swallowed a laugh. I wouldn’t give in to hysteria. Not yet.

The alien said something else in her own clicking language, then looked at me questioningly. Did she want me to repeat that?

I tried to replicate her clicks, but without success. It sounded like I had a cough.

The slits in her neck flared and her full lips turned upwards. Was it too much to hope that a smile was the same for her species? I knew that in apes, what looked like a smile was actually a threatening gesture. I very much hoped it wasn’t the same for her.

The other alien, who I thought was male, didn’t smile or change his blank expression. He simply stared at Brie, who returned his intense gaze with all the nonchalance of a two-tonne rhino. Brie knew she was the strongest animal in the room. I was glad to have her on my side, even with the danger of being squashed by accident.

The two aliens started talking again. I hoped they weren’t discussing how to get rid of me. Or how best to cook me. Their conversation turned into something of an argument, with both of them gesticulating widely. Secretly, I rooted for the female. Us women had to stick together, right?

After what seemed like a small eternity, the female pulled out a shimmering device the size of her hand. The way she held it reminded me of a phone, but there was no display that I could see. Again, I chided myself for assuming my understanding of the universe would be the same here. Of course, they didn’t use the same technology as us. It would have been strange if she’d been handling a smartphone. Whatever it was, a hiss sounded when she rubbed the glittering device and lines appeared on the wall. I stepped back, bumping against Brie. She huffed but didn’t move. The lines turned into a rectangle, just big enough for me and the aliens, but way too small for Brie.

The wall inside the lines disappeared, yes, it disappeared. What had looked like solid matter turned into thin air. Wow. That was technology way beyond my understanding. I would have called it magic if I hadn’t known otherwise.

The male kept clicking at the female, seemingly unhappy with her decision to let me out. Before he could decide otherwise, I stepped through the doorway, half expecting to bump into an invisible wall. But no, it really was nothing but air. So weird.

The female smiled at me again and reached out, her fingertips brushing against my throat. She gently stroked my neck in the places where she had slits, gills maybe. Her touch was ever so soft. Tingles spread from where her fingers met my skin and a pleasant shudder ran down my back. What on Earth was happening?

She said something to me and pulled back.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Don’t you have some kind of translation device? They always have those in films. And books. Not that I’ve read any alien romance novels, not at all.”

I stopped babbling and shot a look at the male behind her. He was staring at me with a frown. The tips of his long ears were bent to the sides, which they hadn’t done earlier. Some kind of gesture that I couldn’t interpret. I hoped it wasn’t a sign of aggression.

The female muttered something that seemed to be directed at the male, then turned and beckoned me to follow her. Hesitantly, I walked behind her through a narrow corridor. On both sides, large containers were piled on top of each other. Muffled sounds told me I’d find several of my zoo animals inside. There was no mistaking Terry the tiger’s agitated roar. He was a sweetheart when you scratched him behind the ears, but he could be fearsome if he was afraid or angry.

“What are you doing with my animals?” I asked, not expecting an answer. “Why did you abduct them? Why did you abduct me? What are you planning to do with us?”

She didn’t turn and kept walking. The male was following at a distance behind me, not giving me a choice but to stay with the alien. We passed at least twenty containers before reaching a door. It slid open as soon as the female approached, giving way to a brightly lit room full of screens. No, they weren’t screens as such. The images and data were shown on the walls themselves, either projected onto them or as if they were the screens. Two comfy looking chairs sat in the centre of the room. Weird, they looked so ordinary. Four legs, a backrest. Even though it was made from a strange material that looked like purple wood, it wouldn’t have stood out in a fancy designer furniture store on Earth.

The female sat on the left one and gestured to the other chair. Carefully, I sat down, hoping this wasn’t meant to electrocute me or something. That would be a nasty way to go.

The purple wood was much softer than expected and slightly rubbery. The cushions were warm and moulded to fit my bum. How surprisingly comfortable. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The alien used her glittery device again, and a loud noise sounded above me. I looked up just in time to see a chandelier-crown-helmet contraption descend from the ceiling. It lowered itself on my head and tightened against my temples.

This better not kill me.
Skye MacKinnon; Arizona Tape. The Alien’s Zookeeper: Aliens and Animals 1 (Kindle Locations 163-216). Peryton Press.

Aside from trying to avoid the captain, Valla also needs a plan to keep Tilly and her animals safe. Tilly doesn’t want to leave the animals anywhere so it’s not going to be easy.

A fun romp in space, with some angst, laughter, a romance and some very interesting characters.

5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Skye!

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A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

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Skye MacKinnon

Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.

She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.

When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.

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