Kyron – The K9 Files Book 15 by Dale Mayer

The K9 Files Book 15
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Kyron swore he wouldn’t work with dogs anymore, but, when Badger asks him to go home to Aspen and to track a missing War Dog, who is missing her left leg—as he is—Kyron can’t refuse. Even if it means seeing his brother and his wife again. Not that he had anything against them. Kyron just couldn’t deal with his parents. Finding the dog seems like the easiest part of returning to Aspen, until Kyron realizes a rescue run by a fascinating woman is the one that’s spotted the missing dog, … only the dog isn’t alone …

Miranda spends every waking moment working to keep her animals safe. Two jobs keeps them in food and shelter but not much more. Considering her miserable neighbor is always making complaints about her, she has considered moving, but it is too expensive to make that happen. She has seen a three-legged canine hanging around the back perimeter of her property and had been feeding it, quietly knowing it resembled the dog the neighbor had brought home, until it ran away.

She had no intention of letting her neighbor or anyone else know about the dog, hoping to coax it onto her property, where she could look after it properly. However, then Kyron showed up, searching for the animal, and things got really ugly …

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Once again Badger has to convince someone to go look for a missing war dog. This one disappeared a couple of months ago, the adoptive family said the dog was becoming aggressive as well. They didn’t report it either.

Kyron’s the perfect person for this job, he has family in Aspen, Colorado where the dog was last seen. He had left the K9 unit before he was injured, he couldn’t handle the death. Badger had just the right thing to lure him in though, the dog, Beth, is missing a leg, just like Kyron.

Kyron knew he was going to look for Beth, even though the chances of finding any signs of her were slim. It also meant seeing his brother Allen and his wife Sandra, hopefully that would go well. He wasn’t close to his family, he always hung out with his grandfather, and since his parents were angry with the man, Kyron was considered a traitor of sorts. This was made even worse when he went into the military instead of law enforcement like his father.

Miranda Galloway works two jobs to support her unofficial animal shelter. She has a good size property and one of her neighbors lets her use a pasture and barn for the larger animals that were left with her. Her other neighbor, old man Brant Macintyre wasn’t as nice. At some point the man had found a dog with a missing leg. When the dog ran away, he told her in no uncertain terms not to feed it. Of course, she wasn’t going to listen to that nonsense and was actively trying to coax the dog to her. He also made a habit of calling the city on her since she really wasn’t a licensed animal rescue or shelter.

Her grandmother is a big supporter where the rest of her family isn’t. She even has a great uncle out there somewhere who her grandmother has encouraged to help her as well. He’s cut her a large donation and wants to visit as well.

When a pallet of dog food arrives from one of the vendors of the clinic, things start to get interesting. Kyron’s investigation leads him to her as she’s moving the food to her garage. They strike up a conversation about her animals as Kyron helps her with securing the food. He finds Miranda has been looking for the dog and leaving food out for her and they learn much about each other as they share coffee after the work is done.

This is a favorite scene.

“Hey, Beth,” he whispered. “Beth,” he called out softly, “come here, girl.” Her tail wagged, and he smiled gently. “I know. It’s been tough, hasn’t it?”

The other dog stuck very close to Beth, almost leaning into her. Kyron studied it for a moment. A shepherd, larger, and, yet in a way, maybe more dependent. He wasn’t sure what the scenario was. He reached out a hand and called again, “Come here, Beth. Come over here, girl.” He didn’t want to use too many commands that would set her back, in case whatever had been there before had been part of her problem. He just kept talking to her in a calm, quiet voice. “It’s all right, girl. It’s okay.”

In the distance, a series of shots were fired, and both dogs took off immediately, yet still so close together.

Kyron straightened up, his heart in his throat, as he watched Beth take off again. But they had made contact, so, as far as he was concerned, this was just about needing more time now. Yet something about the other dog shook him. He wasn’t sure what was going on or in any way had an explanation or even a theory, but he continued to think about it, as he slowly trudged his way back to the house.

He didn’t know how Miranda would feel if he camped out here several times over the next few days, trying to establish trust with the dog, but that immediately brought up something else.

Having now made contact with Beth, if he did get a hold of her, what was Kyron supposed to do? As he walked across the lawn, he phoned Badger.

“Well, I’ve found the dog,” he stated. “She’s definitely been on the loose for some time, but she’s hooked up with what looks like a German shepherd. The other dog is quite a bit bigger than her, yet dependent somehow, and I’m not sure what the scenario is. I was just making progress when somebody fired some shots in the distance, and they both bolted.” He paused, turned around to look in the direction the two dogs had gone, but he saw nothing. “Yet she was responding, and I know with a little bit of time, I can get her to trust me.” He added, “But that brings up the larger question.”

At that, Badger, his voice excited, replied, “Absolutely, it does. But this is huge, if you’ve actually found her. What kind of condition was she in?”

“Skinny,” he said instantly, “but holding. I’m at the house of a woman who has been feeding her, well, putting out dog food, unsure if it was for this dog or for coyotes, but the food was disappearing. She’d gotten a glimpse of the dog a couple times but never got close enough to get a look at her,” he explained quietly. “This woman is spending every penny she’s got, trying to run a rescue here. She’s got over forty animals, and it appears that she’s the only one suffering for lack of food or at least nutrients.”

“Ouch. So somebody else who’s operating more on heart than head?” Badger noted.

“Well, let’s just say that I’m sure she gets a lot of pushback from family and friends because she’s working two jobs, and everything goes to the animals.”

“Of course,” he replied, “and you can understand that too.”

“Absolutely,” he muttered. “But I’m not too sure what we’re supposed to do with this situation now. What if I get Beth back? I mean, I get that she needs to have a good set of choices and a good life from here on out, but do you have somebody here who can take her, somebody who’ll properly look after her?”

Badger was quiet for a moment. “In that location, no,” he stated finally. “Can you take her to your brother’s place?”

“No, I don’t think I can,” he answered quietly. “I’ll mention it to him, but his wife is not a big fan of dogs, and she’s well along in a high-risk pregnancy, so I don’t want to cause any trouble. In fact, I’m not sure I should even be there myself.”

“Right,” he agreed thoughtfully. “Let me talk to the rest of the team about it and see what we can come up with.”

“Will do,” Kyron said. “I just don’t want to see Beth go to another scenario where she ends up struggling, you know? Plus, she’s broken out of two different places here, so we’ll have to keep that in mind as well. And she seems strangely bonded to this other dog.”

“Right,” Badger noted quietly. “We’ve got to find the right placement. That’s why we took on this K9 project, to make sure all these animals ended up in homes that are safe and sound. We might find a rescue that can take her there or maybe adopt her somewhere within the city itself.”

“And it’s possible,” Kyron admitted. “Certainly decent people are here, but we’ve seen some lately who haven’t been all that easy to deal with. Like the people who got Beth originally.”

“Right, and I can contact the war department and see what can be done about that.”

“Haven’t you come across this problem before?”

“No, not yet,” he said.

“Well, what happened with all the other dogs you found?”

Badger laughed. “You may not want to hear this.”

“What?” Kyron asked. “Every one of them was adopted by the man we sent out to find them.”

Kyron froze, as he thought about it. “Damn.”

“Why damn?” Badger asked.

“Because, I have to admit, it already crossed my mind. She is a dog I can handle because it’s work that I’ve done in the past,” he noted, “but that doesn’t mean that I’m ready to settle down.”

“No, and I’m not saying you have to,” Badger answered carefully. “This isn’t a trick. We’re not trying to get you to sign up for something like that, particularly if you’re not ready to put down roots. The dog needs a home where she can stay for good, where she doesn’t have to be rehomed yet again,” he explained quietly.

“More than that, she needs a place where she feels safe, and it’s very obvious, based on her current mannerisms, that she hasn’t felt safe in a long time,” he noted. “I did get a tail wag out of her eventually, but she’s wary, very wary.”

“Do you think she’s been hurt?”

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised, though I don’t have any evidence or any other reason to say that,” Kyron admitted. “Obviously something went on at her placement home that wasn’t at all what we’d hoped for.”

“Of course, and, if she’s been on her own for any time it makes more sense too. It makes me damn angry with the ass who didn’t let anybody know she was in trouble. They were only thinking about themselves and how much trouble they would be in,” Badger snapped. “Believe me. It’s not the first time we’ve seen something like that.”

“It’s still wrong, no matter how many times it happens though,” Kyron muttered.

“Sure it is, and being wrong is just one aspect of how these poor dogs ended up slipping through the cracks,” he replied, “but we’re doing what we can. As is the war department.”

“I know. I hear you,” Kyron said. “Let me think about it. I might have some solutions here.”

“Do you know people who are solid and serious in their commitment to handle Beth?”

“Maybe.” Kyron turned to stare at the house. “I don’t know. I’ll have to give it some thought. Talk to you later.” And, with that, Kyron hung up the phone and walked toward Miranda’s house. He knocked on the back door, and she opened it almost immediately.

“You got close to her,” she exclaimed.

“I did, but then some shots were fired or a truck backfired or something. I’m not sure what I even heard,” he explained. “Her reaction does make me wonder if she has PTSD though.”

Miranda winced immediately. “Oh, the poor baby.”

“Exactly.” Hesitating a moment, he began, “Look.

I don’t want to impose, but I’ll need to come back and forth over the next few days to see if I can gain her trust. Also a second dog is with her.”

“I saw that, at least I thought I did,” she added. “I could just see you from my bedroom window. I was up there stripping the bedding to get it in the laundry, to rid it of all the dog and cat hair,” she said, with an eye roll. “I heard you whistle, then looked out, and later saw that you got somewhere.”

“I got somewhere. I’m just not sure where yet,” he admitted. “And honestly, a lot of progress is necessary in order to get her to the point where I can take her home— or to a home.” He hesitated. “I’m not too sure how long that will take.”

“And what about the second dog she’s with?” she asked anxiously.

“That’s the next problem. I wasn’t expecting a second dog, and they seem to be bonded.”

“What about your brother? Would he take it?”


“Well, you need to spend whatever time you can give her,” she stated. “Come on back in again and get warmed up.”

He stepped inside, happy to feel the warmth. “Thank you, and I sincerely mean that. It helps that you’re an animal lover, so I can take time getting Beth’s trust, without pressuring her.”

“As long as you’ll look after the second one as well,” she stated immediately.

He winced at that. “I know. I need to. I called my boss to see what they want to do about this.”

“Well, I can’t have you taking them out of here to a worse situation,” she stated.

“Worse?” he asked, with a wry look.

“Yes, worse,” she confirmed, nodding. “At the moment, now that we’ve found her, we have to move into the second stage, which is gradually gain her trust and get a leash on her, then see what we can do from there.”

She nodded. “And your brother?”

He shook his head. “My brother would probably be okay with it temporarily, as he’s an animal lover, or at least he used to be. But my sister-in-law is not.” She frowned at him. He frowned right back.

“I really can’t condone letting the dogs go into an unhealthy scenario,” she stated, crossing her arms over her chest.

He hated that he immediately noticed how plump and firm her breasts appeared over her arms. He gave himself a mental shake. “I get it. Let’s get all our options together, and I can come back tomorrow.” He looked out the kitchen window at the darkening sky. “Would you mind putting out more dog food for Beth today?”

“I can do that.” She smirked. “As you saw, I have plenty, and thankfully you helped me unload.”

“Right.” He nodded, still in his own thoughts. “I’ll bring a harness, some leashes, and dog food for Beth and her friend tomorrow morning. And see what I can do over the course of the day to hopefully gain her trust.” And, with that, he smiled at her. “Thank you for the coffee too.”

“Thank you for the help moving the dog food.”

“I’m just so glad you found Beth in the first place.”

She gave him a big grin. “Hey, any animal in need.”

“I get it, and I’ll see you in the morning.” And, with that, he headed back to his vehicle.
Dale Mayer. Kyron (Kindle Locations 1210-1299). Valley Publishing Ltd..

For Kyron the family stuff gets worse, for Miranda her neighbor gets more dangerous, for the dogs their lives improve.

After shots are fired, injuring one of the dogs, Kyron is faced with a dilemma. He can’t bring the dogs to his brother’s. Miranda is more than willing but the neighbor is escalating. She’s looking for a larger property and a quick sale to get away from the dangers to herself and the animals. It’s then that Kyron remembers the property his grandfather left him.

For Kyron the family stuff gets worse, for Miranda her neighbor gets more dangerous, for the dogs and the other animals their lives improve.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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Heartbreak Lover – Broken Hearts Academy Book 2 by C.R. Jane

Heartbreak Lover
Broken Hearts Academy Book 2
C.R. Jane


“I’ll ruin us,” Jackson whispered to me in the dark.

Monsters exist. I’d seen that firsthand. Beautiful faces could hide the most tainted souls, that much I knew for sure.

I’d said goodbye to Jackson Parker, desperate to save myself once and for all, but old habits die hard. Every kiss, every touch, every word he’d given me felt imprinted on my skin.

But when a monster from the past comes back, I’ll have no choice but to reveal the secrets from our shared history.

I need Jackson to be my hero, but he has his own scars, and I don’t know if we can conquer the past.

Heartbreak Prince or lover? There’s a fine line between the two.

I once said I would love him forever, but at what price does forever cost?

Maybe my very soul…

If you haven’t read Heartbreak Prince, STOP, go read it first!

At the end of the last book, we learn that Caiden has awoken from the two-year coma. He appears to have no memory of the havoc and pain he caused. Not only with the accident itself but in the aftermath with Jackson. This book starts with a look back, with Caiden telling Jackson his version of what happened in the car before the accident.

In the previous book we learned what happened to Everly that night, so right now I’m so very angry at Caiden. The fact remains that he ended up in a coma after so maybe a bit of slack.

Jackson is determined to win Everly back, but she has distanced herself from him. She hasn’t seen him in three months and has started dating hockey player Landry Evans. However, the moment she sees Jackson all thoughts of distance disappear.

Her first encounter with Caiden appears to leave him confused and remorseful, but Everly will have none of it, or him. She ends up having dreams about not only the accident itself but of the confrontation with Jackson afterward.

As Landry’s girlfriend, his thought not hers, she had to go to the Championship after party. Unfortunately, while staying away from the football players hanging with Jackson and Caiden, she gets pushed down the stairs.

This is just one of my favorite scenes.

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” he muttered to himself.

I traced his features with my gaze, memorizing everything just in case this was the last time I ever got this close to him again. His hair looked more silver than gold in the moonlight, casting him more as the dark, mournful prince than the golden king he was by the light of day.

He turned to me all of a sudden. “Why were you so scared tonight?” he demanded.

“What do you mean?”

“Why was Caiden the first person you thought would push you down the stairs? Why were you so scared?”

I gaped at him, my mouth opening and closing, no words coming out. Not once in all these years had he ever come even close to asking me for my version of what happened. Not once had he ever asked me about Caiden.

“Did you feel like he would do something to get back at you because of that summer? Because Caiden’s not like that. He was asking about you as soon as he could. He misses the hell out of you.”

That feeling that had begun to wind its way through my veins, the one that felt suspiciously like hope…it evaporated in an instant, leaving nothing but ash and disappointment.

We looked at each other for a moment, and I registered the confusion in his gaze as he saw what must look like utter devastation in mine.

I fixed my clothes and then turned over so I could get away from that stare of his.

He didn’t say another word.

Despite what had just happened, the pain medicine and how heavy my head felt made it easy to fall back asleep.

The next time I woke up, it was to heat, a veritable inferno that covered every one of my limbs. Jackson surrounded me, his large legs and arms enclosing me tightly. I didn’t know how it was possible for me to feel so sheltered, so secure…even after everything…but I did.

“You didn’t think he would push you to get back at you, did you? You were just scared,” he said hollowly, and somehow, I knew that he hadn’t slept at all. I stiffened, and he pulled me against him so that I was lying against his chest, his steady heartbeat keeping me grounded in the moment.

“Because I’ve been thinking about it, going over the night of the accident and tonight over and over again these last few hours…and I can’t get that look you had out of my head. It was like you’d experienced evil. You were scared down to your soul.” He idly traced down my spine.

He sat us up abruptly, making me look at him as he held my face with both hands. “What haven’t you told me?” His tone was harsh and demanding. And it pissed me off.

How. Dare. He.

How dare he demand answers when he wouldn’t let me have even one answer all those years ago? How dare he demand answers when I had to recover from my injuries all alone? Memories of how excruciating PT was, how I had to relearn how to walk…how painful my surgeries were barreled through my mind. My head hurt so fucking bad right now, and once again, it was the Jackson show. It was all about what he wanted.

This night was giving me whiplash with how soft he was in the beginning. But this…this was the Jackson I knew.

I tried to lash out and slap his face, but the pain of moving was too much. Jackson was holding me in place anyway. He pulled me back against his chest, and it was a testament to how in pain I was that I didn’t even bother struggling.

His body was shaking as he held me tighter, as if he was having an internal debate.

This time, I didn’t fall back asleep.

By the time daylight cracked through the window, I felt even more like shit than I had the night before. And Jackson didn’t look any better. He had held me the rest of the night, not letting me move an inch. The intensity of his thoughts barreled against me. It was like he was trying to see inside my head and uncover my secrets.

Strangely, the urge to blurt everything out wasn’t there. There had been a time for Jackson to believe me.

And it had passed.

In the light of day, it was easy to remember why I’d said goodbye in the library stacks. Because there had been a time for Jackson to be my hero. And he had failed, a million times over.

I didn’t think it was possible for him to make that up to me.

“I need to get back,” I told him hoarsely when he still hadn’t let go, and I could tell by the light that was coming in from the window that it was getting later and later in the day. I didn’t have any intention of going to class, but I at least could get a little bit of sleep while Melanie was in class.

“Fine,” he said stiffly as he got out of bed. I carefully averted my eyes from his too beautiful form as he disappeared into the bathroom.

I grabbed my crutches that Jackson had brought in while I was asleep, and hobbled into the hallway, looking for another bathroom, found one, and then promptly gasped when I saw myself in the mirror. My eyes looked like a raccoon’s, and my hair looked like squirrels had taken up residence in it.

I can’t believe Jackson actually kissed me looking like this…

I felt around the back of my head and neck to see how it was faring, and winced when I happened upon a particularly sensitive area.

I felt pretty pathetic in that moment. The woman staring back at me in the mirror looked haunted, exhausted…hopeless.

Is this how it would be forever?

My thoughts drifted to that feeling of terror as I’d begun to fall down the stairs. In the light of day, it didn’t seem as clear that someone had pushed me on purpose as it had last night. Was I just being paranoid? The house had been crowded after all.

And what did it mean for me if it had been on purpose? Who was targeting me?

“Everly?!” Jackson’s voice sounded down the hallway. It was a little panicked.

I took a deep breath and crutched my way out of the bathroom. “I’m right here,” I called out, and he appeared around the corner, looking relieved to see me.

“You shouldn’t have gotten up without me,” he scolded me. I just rolled my eyes. I’d had to do a lot of hard things without him. This was easy compared to those things.

Jackson helped me back down the hallway, and I actually paid attention to his place this time. Everything was decorated in muted greys and blacks. It was austere…perfectly neat. Everything looked like it had been placed there on purpose.

It looked more like a museum than a home. Although saying that…what did I know about a home?

“Nice place,” I commented as he opened the garage door for us to leave.

“Yeah,” he grunted, evidently back to responding to me in monosyllables, even after what we’d shared last night.

He helped me into his truck, and then we were off, heading back to campus.

We went through a coffee shop drive-through, and before I could give him my order, he told the barista my exact drink.

It was so bad how happy it made me that he still remembered that detail. So bad.

The barista handed him our drinks, and he gave me mine nonchalantly, as if I wasn’t having a freak-out in the passenger seat next to him.

We continued to drive quietly.

“Do you still journal?” he suddenly asked.

It was a really random thing for him to say. “Um yeah, every day, just like always,” I responded quietly, thinking about the spot under my bed where I’d moved them to after keeping them in my car for the first part of the semester.

He nodded, evidently not having anything for follow-up.

We pulled to the front of my dorm, and he shut off the truck and proceeded to open his door.

“What are you doing?” I asked, panicking for some reason.

“Helping you inside of course.”

“I don’t need your help,” I spat at him, irrationally angry, even as I hung on to the coffee he’d just purchased for me so perfectly.

“Why are you fighting me so hard?” he snarled, turning towards me.

I gaped at him. “What part of ‘we’re done’ did you not hear?”

“We’re never going to be done. It doesn’t matter what you say. You’re poison, but even if I have to die to taste you, that’s what I’ll do.”

I laughed bitterly, even as his words did something crazy to my insides.
Jane, C.R.. Heartbreak Lover: A Bully Romance (Broken Hearts Academy Book 2) (Kindle Locations 945-1009). Kindle Edition.

While Jackson does take her journals, he is foiled in his attempt to read them. Caiden was at his home when he returned, and they spent the day playing video games and eating junk food.

The more Jackson thought about it the more things didn’t add up. Throw Landry into this mess and well things do get very interesting. Even more so with Everly’s roommate Melanie upping the stakes with her pranks.

This book is even darker than the first and I found myself wondering how anything could possibly resolve.

An emotional rollercoaster, filled with anxiety, darkness, romance and so much more!

5 Contented Purrs for C.R.!

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I’m a wife, mother, and author! Writing has always been a passion for me and publishing my first series is a dream come true. I drink too much caffeine, never sleep, and my imagination is always churning out ideas. Eva and her men have been in my head for a while, and I’m so glad to finally take you with me on this journey!

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Heartbreak Prince – Broken Hearts Academy Book 1 by C.R. Jane

Heartbreak Prince
Broken Hearts Academy Book 1
C.R. Jane


Soulmates. I believe in them. I was lucky enough to have two of them at one point.

The only problem. My soulmates happened to be twin brothers.
Caiden was the light to Jackson’s dark. And after all that I had been through, the light was what I thought I needed.

When I chose Caiden, I lost Jackson.

Feeling like half a person after Jackson left, I barely survived when tragedy struck and I lost Caiden too.

It took me years to admit to myself that I had chosen wrong from the beginning. I’m ready to admit it to Jackson…only problem, he hates me.

I’m ready to fight for my happily ever after.

But there’s a reason they call him the Heartbreak Prince.

Everly James was best friends with twins Caiden and Jackson since she eight years old. An accident has left Caiden in a coma, Everly with guilt, internal injuries and an injured leg and Jackson with love/hate for her he can’t overcome.

They all planned to attend the prestigious Rutherford Academy together, although the twins were a year ahead of her. She had gone on the tour of the school with them, and they had all been accepted to attend from junior year on. As a result of her injuries, Everly deferred her entry until senior year, having done her junior year remotely. Although she regularly heard of Jackson’s exploits since he started attending right after the accident.

Her first day she meets Landry Evans as she literally bumps into him outside the admissions office. Unfortunately, that encounter makes her late. She also meets Lane, who would be her guide that first day. Of course, the inevitable happens and she sees Jackson, but he ignores her, well mostly.

Her roommate Melanie is a piece of work and walking in on her with a guy wasn’t the best introduction. That resulted in a bed soaked with water and a not so good night’s sleep.

The next of her trials was something very few folks know about, her fear of snakes. Someone let a snake loose in her shower stall while most everyone was at a party. Jackson knew about snakes, but he used to save her from them, he wouldn’t do that would he?

Now in spite of seeming to run into him everywhere she turns, she also finds she has a class with him. She had to submit a writing sample to get into the Creative Writing class and she wasn’t going to let him chase her out of it.

Although that first assignment was something she didn’t want to relive, her first kiss. That was with Caiden after she found out Jackson had kissed someone else.

This is a favorite scene later that night.

A loud banging on the door had me bolting upright, my heart beating a million miles a minute.

“Who the fuck is that?” groaned Melanie as she pulled her pillow over her head. I’d been sleeping with one eye open the whole night since she was in the room tonight, and the rude awakening was not welcome.

“Everrrrrrrly,” Jackson called through the door, and I didn’t know it was possible, but my heart started racing even faster, until I was sure that I was going to have a heart attack.

“Open up,” he sang. He was drunk.

The old Jackson was never drunk. He loathed losing control too much to have more than a few beers at a time.

He sounded trashed right now. I glanced at my phone, it was two in the morning.

I hurried to the door and opened it just a few inches.

“Little angel, let me in,” he whispered loudly and my traitorous heart clenched at the nickname I hadn’t heard since before the accident.

“Jackson, it’s two in the morning,” I said before reluctantly opening the door and letting him in.

“Is that Jackson Parker?” Melanie almost squealed as she sat up in bed looking far more alert than she had a second earlier. She immediately started to run her fingers through her hair like she had a chance of impressing him. I growled internally at the thought.

“Out, Loose Lips,” he snarled drunkenly at her as soon as he noticed her, and she gasped, affronted. The derogatory way he said it made me think that he wasn’t talking about the lips on her face when he called her that.

“Fuck you, Parker,” she said halfheartedly, since we all knew she would fuck him in an instant if she could. She grabbed a sweatshirt and pulled it over her as she darted past us. Melanie gave me an appraising look as she walked out, a look that spelled trouble for me. She pounded on the door two doors down, and a girl I’d seen her walking with sleepily opened the door and let her in.

“That wasn’t nice, Jackson,” I said quietly as he walked in and immediately made himself at home on my bed. He had an adorable look on his face as he sighed against my pillow. I closed the door and locked it behind me before staring again at the intruder who’d taken over my bed.

“Come here, little angel,” he said seductively as he moved over to give me space on the bed.

Yes, he was drunk. Maybe drunk wasn’t the right word. Wasted was probably a more apt description. But I couldn’t stop myself from getting into that bed with him.

It was like a missing piece of myself slid into place as he pulled my back towards his chest and wrapped his arms around me. His chin fit perfectly tucked against the top of my head, and I had to take a deep breath to ward off the tears that were threatening from the familiar move.

“Why are you here, Jackson?” I finally asked quietly, and he groaned.

“Have you been thinking about that kiss since class too?” he slurred. And my heart stuttered.

“What kiss?” I pressed him, a terrible suspicion coming over me.

“When I kissed you at my birthday party. Your first kiss. It was the best kiss,” he commented in a singsong voice.

Fuck, my heart hurt. Had he really thought this whole time that he’d been my first kiss?

“Tell me it was the best kiss, Everly,” he ordered as his voice shifted into an almost dream-like state. His hands caressed my throat, and it was like I’d forgotten how to breathe.

“It was the best kiss, Jackson,” I answered softly.

But he was already snoring. So he couldn’t hear how badly he had broken my heart once again.

In a better world, he would have been my first kiss.

In a better world, I would have answered that text of his and never met Caiden under the bleachers.

In my dreams, that kiss at his sixteenth birthday party had been my first kiss.

I fell into a deep sleep despite my best efforts to stay awake.

And when I woke up, Jackson was gone.

And I’d never felt more alone.
Jane, C.R.. Heartbreak Prince: A Bully Romance (Broken Hearts Academy Book 1) (Kindle Locations 1151-1190). Kindle Edition.

From here we get to know more of what happened in the past and let me say it wasn’t quite what I expected.

Everly is subjected to more torture scenarios, and wonders if Jackson is behind them all, since he knows all her secrets. Still, she is drawn to Jackson like a moth to a flame.

There is so much emotion in this book, some misplaced but there just the same. So many ups and downs and I’m so glad Everly has a friend in Lake.

I really can’t wait to read the conclusion of this duet.

5 Contented Purrs for C.R.

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I’m a wife, mother, and author! Writing has always been a passion for me and publishing my first series is a dream come true. I drink too much caffeine, never sleep, and my imagination is always churning out ideas. Eva and her men have been in my head for a while, and I’m so glad to finally take you with me on this journey!

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Hammered – The Invincibles Book 9 by Heather Slade

The Invincibles Book 9
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade


He’s a ruthless attorney.
She’s a determined bar owner.
Together, they’re INVINCIBLE.


Bottom line, I put the hammer down. That’s the truth and nothing but the truth. But when the CIA director calls in a favor, I’m forced to comply. Keeping an eye on his feisty, reckless sister goes way beyond my retainer. The relentless bar owner doesn’t know when to throw in the towel, which is why I can’t get enough of her.


On my own, doing it my way, that’s all I want. Maybe the bar wasn’t the greatest idea. Punks are stealing from me, quitting on the spot, and worst of all, I’m breaking up bar brawls nightly. Now, I’ve got a rabid lawyer breathing down my neck. Granted, he’s hot as Fireball on a Friday. But I have a job to do; the last thing I need is to get HAMMERED.

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Sterling “Hammer’ Anderson has just landed in Texas after attending Saint and Harper’s wedding in London. He was a bit surprised to see a text from Kellen “Money” McTiernan since they had been on the same flight to DC. Apparently, something urgent has come up and even though he really wanted sleep he made the call.

Money’s half-sister Maeve is in trouble and needs a lawyer in a hurry. She’s a lot younger than Money, is beautiful, smart and wealthy to boot. All things that can complicate things for her.

When Hammer calls Mac MacIver, the sheriff, he finds the charge to be attempted murder, but Maeve also has bench warrants and other things outstanding. Not helping is the victim is the sheriff’s brother, Bobby. All of this stems from Maeve making an offer to buy the bar. Now why she wants a bar in Texas is anyone’s guess and Money has tried to discourage the purchase. Money also told him she has an aversion to the words no and don’t. If you use them with her, she will do the opposite every time.

Hammer manages to get Maeve out of jail on a writ bond, which means both his money and reputation are on the line if she flees.

His ranch manger, Zane “Rip” Kailor also works for the Invincibles but on a part-time basis, Hammer lets him know about Maeve’s situation since it’s possible to be called away for something else and she can’t be left alone.

There’s also the attraction between them that hovers close in all their scenes together. There’s also a lot more to Maeve buying that bar than meets the eye.

First the attempted murder charge needs to be resolved as does the other older charges against her. The judge while not lenient appears fair, although the community service hours seem a bit much. The judgement that the writ stays in place is something neither of them expected.

This is a favorite scene following that judgement.

She laughed, but not because she thought it was funny. The angry look on her face intensified. “Which part don’t you believe? The part where I’m a princess or that I have a blatant disrespect for the laws of the country I am so privileged to be permitted to reside in. I am a US citizen, and I pay taxes, Hammer. A great amount of them, actually.”

I let go of her arm, but rather than getting up, Maeve sat on her bottom.

“I’m sorry, okay?” she repeated, looking everywhere but at me. “I’m obviously less pleased about this than you are, but I don’t know what’s to be done about it.”

“Maeve?” She turned her head more, so I was looking at the back of it. “Dublin?”

“What?” she snapped.

“I’m not angry with you. I’m not even angry with the judge. If you want to know the truth, I wasn’t ready for you to leave.”

She spun around. “Did you ask him to do this?”

I laughed at the look of horror on her face. “No. I didn’t. But the idea that we’d both be returning to our normal lives already, well… I knew I’d miss you.”

She scoffed.

“It’s true. It isn’t every day a man gets to have such a beautiful woman sleeping in his bed, even if he isn’t sleeping there with her.”

“Hammer, I… I’m not…”

“Look, don’t think I’m trying to pull the same thing Bobby did. For one, I’m too old for you. Two, I’m your attorney. Three, if I were going to try to seduce you, this wouldn’t be how I’d go about it.”

She studied me. “How would you go about it?”

I stared at her a long time before I responded. “I’m your attorney,” I repeated.

“If you weren’t?” her voice was breathy, her tone deeper.

“That would be an entirely different story.”

“You said we needed to talk.”

“Yeah, we do. Let’s go back to the house.” It took a bit of effort, but I was able to stand. Tomorrow, though, I’d be sore as hell.

On our return, I thought through exactly what I wanted to say to Maeve. Should I tell her what I’d overheard when she was behind the closed doors of my bedroom and that it was the reason I’d left earlier? She’d probably be mortified, and that was my reason for not being honest earlier.

We’d just gotten to the house when my cell phone rang. I motioned to the Adirondack chairs and took a seat when she did.

“Hey, Mac. What’s up?”

“Sorry to be calling again, but this is important.”

I almost groaned. What now? “Go on.”

“When we left your place earlier, I realized how serious my brother’s drinking has gotten. That he drove drunk was a wake up call for both of us. I decided it’s time I stepped in.”

“I’m sorry, Mac,” I added.

“Appreciate it, Hammer. Listen, there’s something I want to run by Maeve and you.”

“She’s right here. I can put the phone on speaker unless you want to talk with her privately.” Although, as her attorney, I really shouldn’t have made that offer.

“Speaker’s good, Counselor.” Mac obviously thought the same thing I had.

“Go ahead.”

“Hey, Dublin.” Maeve smiled, and so did I.

“Hey, Mac,” she responded.

“As I just told Hammer, my brother’s behavior of late has made me realize he needs more help than I can give him.”

“If you’re thinking rehab, it’s the best thing for him,” I said.

“Yeah, something like that. Anyway, it means, without him at the helm at the Long Branch, my inclination is to close the place down for a while at least.”

“No!” Maeve gasped. “I mean, sorry, but that will be very detrimental to it as a business.”

“I agree, and that’s the reason for my call. Maeve, if you’re still interested in buying the place, I have a proposal for you.”

“Go ahead,” I said when she nodded.

“It’ll take some time for you to make arrangements to get the liquor license. Hammer, this is where you come in. Until her various charges get dismissed, the liquor board isn’t going to look at the application too favorably.”

“I agree.”

“My proposal is this. The two of you go under contract on the Branch. Once Maeve has completed the terms of her sentencing, she should be able to get a license on her own. After that, it’s a simple ownership transfer.”

Maeve’s eyes opened wide.

“You’ve given this a lot of thought,” I said.

“The last thing my brother needs now is an assault charge. I’ve got a bargain to uphold.”

I wanted to tell him neither Maeve nor I would hold him to it, but it wasn’t my place to without conferring with her first.

“How does going under contract keep it open?” she asked.

“If you’re interested in moving forward with the sale, we can structure the purchase so it doesn’t finalize until the liquor board approves the license. In the meantime, you manage it.”

“Can you give us some time to talk this over?” I asked.

“Of course. But the clock is ticking, Hammer. I’m sure as hell not opening the place up tonight myself.”

“Got it.” I ended the call. There was a lot more to this than Maeve agreeing to Mac’s proposal. I had to as well.

“Taking myself out of the equation, my first question before we discuss some of the other things Mac presented is do you still want to buy the Long Branch?”

“I do.”


“I can’t answer that.”

“I gotta ask. Do you have any idea what goes into running a place that size?”

“You’re assuming I’ve no experience, is that it?”

“If you did, you wouldn’t want a place like the Branch.”

“I suppose you haven’t heard of Mary Donoghue’s, then.”

“Of course I have.” It was one of the most well-known pubs in Ireland, although it was far more than that. It was said a few of the world’s most successful bands got their start at their location in Dublin. I’d also heard they’d expanded throughout the UK. “Did you work at one of them?”

Maeve laughed. “My mother was Mary as was her mother before her and her mother before that, reaching as far back as ten generations.”

“Are you saying your mother was Mary Donoghue?”


“If they were all named Mary, how come your name is Maeve?”

She shook her head. “As with each of them, Maeve is my middle name.”

“Then, you know it isn’t an easy business.”

“What about you? You’re part of this, at least initially. Have you ever worked in a bar?”

I nodded. “All through college.”

“I know the business, Hammer. Better than most. The Long Branch is already successful. I can make it more so.”

“You also know your brother isn’t in favor of you doing this. With good reason.”

“Does that mean you’re saying no?”

“If I were saying no, that’s what I would’ve said.”

“I’m aware of my brother’s opinion; what’s yours?”

“You’re going to have to assemble a crew you trust. Since you intended to buy it on your own, do you have people in mind?”

“I’ve gotten to know key personnel quite well. I wouldn’t disrupt the staff, particularly with Bobby going… away.” She leaned forward and wrapped her arms around her bent legs. “What about you, Hammer? You said to take you out of the equation, but Mac’s proposal hinges on you.”
Heather Slade. Hammered (Kindle Locations 968-1033). The Invincibles Book Nine.

It takes a while but once Maeve opens up about the true reason she wants the bar. That reason is downright scary and dangerous. Although she doesn’t say exactly what the person stole from her, his affiliation with the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas makes things complicated.

All through this, the attraction between Maeve and Hammer accelerates. There’s also an interesting twist in all this as an Invicibles case intertwines with it.

I couldn’t put this book down, there are twists, turns, romance, and so much more jumping off the pages.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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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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Starting Over – Blossom Ridge Book 1 by Becca Jameson

Starting Over
Blossom Ridge Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson



This is my dream job. Head chef at a mountain resort.
Sure, it’s a resort for a very specific group of patrons.
I belong to Surrender, so I know the owners and I’m familiar with the lifestyle.
I’m not little myself. Or at least I don’t think so.
And then I meet Foster, and he makes me doubt everything I know to be true.


I’ve worked alone at Blossom Ridge for five years.
Now, Roman has turned it into a resort, and I’m good with that.
Until Amelia shows up with her excitement and adorableness.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a little, but I’m drawn to her.
I just have to convince her it’s the life for her and that she’s mine.

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Roman and Lucy are turning his family home into the Blossom Ridge Resort. An exclusive retreat for Daddy Doms and their Littles. Leah and Craig are going to manage the resort and hiring is a bit of a challenge because of the lifestyle.

Amelia, a Surrender member, has been working at a café not far from the new resort. The owner Stella encouraged her to apply for the job of head chef and to Amelia’s surprise and pleasure she got the job. This is a lifetime goal of hers and she wasn’t about to mess it up.

Of course, the first thing Foster notices is the horrible smell coming from the kitchen. Amelia is cleaning the ovens which seem to have been neglected for a long time. It’s not the best first impression as he bellows at her about the smell.

A bit later though after baking a few of her specialty muffins, Foster returns to the kitchen. This time he doesn’t startle her.

This is just one of my favorite scenes.

Several hours later, I’m covered in flour and cinnamon with multiple batches of muffins scattered around the giant island when I feel a presence at the back door again.

This time I don’t lose one of my nine lives as I meet Foster’s gaze.

He’s standing in the doorway, same as last time, hands on his hips again. He takes in a deep breath and closes his eyes. “Much better.”

I smile, deciding to brush off our odd interaction from this morning. I’m going to have to work with this man. We need to get along. “The smell? Yes. The oven is officially clean. Would you mind trying my muffins? I’m going to need a few opinions before I settle on a recipe.”

“Not a chance.” He shakes his head firmly.

My stomach drops. What the hell?

He steps closer, but now I’m trembling. He’s so damn huge. His frame seems to eat up the entire room, and it’s a gigantic room. His shadow looms over my workspace.

“I’ll take a muffin, Amelia, but there’s not a chance I’m going to critique them.”

“Amy,” I inform him, surprised he even knows my name.

He lifts a brow. “People call you Amy?”

“Yes.” Why is this shocking? It’s a nickname.

He stares at me, his gaze roaming up and down my frame several times until I’m no longer trembling but shaking and a bit unnerved. “Nope.” He shakes his head. “I don’t see it.”

“You don’t see what?” I’m confused. My brain is scattered.

“You’re an Amelia. That’s your name. It’s pretty. It suits you. I’ll be calling you Amelia.”

My brows shoot up. I don’t think I’m breathing. There’s something so very… dominant… about this man. That’s it. He’s overbearing, and I can feel my instinct to submit to him pulling hard.

I can be submissive. I know this. But I usually keep that side of me to the hours at the club. I don’t submit to anyone outside of Surrender. I’ve never even felt the urge before.

This man has me tongue-tied and close to kneeling at his feet, which is also aggravating because he’s so… surly. That really is the best word for him.

“Umm…” That’s all I manage to murmur.

Foster glances at the various batches of muffins. “Cinnamon is my favorite. Which one would you like me to sample?”


He meets my gaze. “Amelia?” When he says my name this time, my nipples stiffen and my panties grow wet. No one has called me Amelia besides my mother when I was very young. I insisted on being called Amy after my first day of kindergarten when the cute boy next to me misunderstood and called me that by accident.

I clear my throat and jerk my gaze from his, as if I might get sucked into another vortex if I don’t. I glance at the muffins. “You’re supposed to try all three,” I murmur. Why is this concept so difficult? I only have three people to use as a test group: Foster, Leah, and Craig. There isn’t anyone else staying at Blossom Ridge yet. We don’t open for another week.

When Foster makes no move closer nor speaks, I finally glance up at him again.

He searches my face and runs a hand through his hair. “Look, I owe you an apology for earlier. I was snippy for no reason. You caught me off guard.

I…” He shakes his head. “Never mind. The point is I’ve already insulted you one too many times. It won’t happen again. So, no, I won’t critique your muffins. I’ll eat any or all of them, but I’ll tell you they are fabulous no matter what.”

I flinch. “Oh.”

He gives me a slow smile, the first one he’s graced me with. He looks even sexier when he smiles. It’s much better than the brow-furrowed, brooding look.

“Just out of curiosity…” He tips his head to the side. “Did you really move here alone? Leah and Craig said you’ll be staying in one of the one-bedroom employee cabins. You don’t have a Master or a Daddy?” He looks stern again as if this detail annoys him greatly.

I’ve never been more confused by the signals from a man in my life. I lick my lips. “I don’t have or need either.”

His brows shoot up.

I narrow my gaze and cock my hip to one side. “Why is this so surprising? Just because I’ll be the chef here doesn’t mean I’m in the lifestyle full-time. It just means I’m not judgmental.”

Another long stare. “You’re a member of Surrender, right? I’m sure Leah told me that.”

“Yes.” I shrug, trying to keep from reacting to this infuriating man.

“You’re obviously submissive,” he points out.

My face heats. I want to shove him out the door so I can think and breathe. He’s sucking all the oxygen out of the room with his imposing inquisition.

I also want to submit to him. So badly I’m wringing my hands in front of me.

He’s waiting for me to respond. Annoying man.

“I can be submissive if you must know. It’s very personal. I don’t submit to anyone outside of the club. Ever,” I add to make my point. “I’m independent and perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I don’t need a Master or a Daddy. When I choose to go to Surrender and submit to someone for the evening, I do so on my terms.”

I don’t know why I’m going to such extremes to explain myself to this man. He’s a coworker.

Is he smiling again? It’s hard to be sure. Maybe the corners of his lips are lifted slightly. More like a cocky smirk. “Hmm.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I blurt out before I can stop myself.

“Nothing. It’s just that you’re a conundrum.”
Becca Jameson. Starting Over (Kindle Locations 143-189). Becca Jameson Publishing.

Foster hasn’t had a little in a very long time, and he’s more than a little confused by his reaction to Amelia.

This makes for a fun pursuit as some familiar couples join them for a weekend, and Amelia agrees to give being little a try outside of the privacy of her rooms.

I love the way this relationship develops, it’s fun, flirty and sensuous. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

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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Hatch – The Mavericks Book 16 by Dale Mayer

What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:

The Mavericks
A covert black ops team that steps up
and breaks all the rules …
but gets the job done.

The Mavericks Book 16
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Hatch is more than happy to step up and to rescue the missing father-and-daughter archeological duo. Now if only it were that easy. They’d been questioned by the Egyptian government and released, with a warning to not leave Cairo. But, when their hotel room is found empty, most believe they took off ahead of punishment—but not Hatch’s team.

When the father’s foreman turns up dead, Hatch investigates the body-dump location and finds the daughter, weaving through the sand, ready to collapse.

Milly is shaken and grieving. During her captivity, her father dies, and she escapes, only to find herself lost in the sand dunes. She may be safe, but her father will never come home. Millie is determined to find the man responsible for her father’s death and for the information that’s changed her entire life.

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Marcus Bragner and his daughter Millicent aka Millie are archaeologists on a dig in Egypt with a US grant. Her father frequently clashes with the Egyptian government and is quite outspoken. This particular habit had them arrested and questioned about something that went missing, but they were released. They hadn’t been in their hotel long when they disappeared.

Killian contacts Hatch who is the next one to be in charge of a mission. He is pleasantly surprised to find his partner is one he’s worked with many times before, Corbin Wallace. They arrive in Egypt and find there is no new information for them. They need to go out and track down Millicent’s local friends. Hopefully one of them has some lead they can follow up on.

Millicent can’t remember much more than opening the hotel room door for room service. They are now being held in some sort of updated cave. When her father returns beaten from questioning, he tells Millie they want the location of a tomb that was being discussed in a pub. He doesn’t know where that is but they want him to find it and let them know first. They are an organized group of grave robbers, dangerous and asking the impossible. When her father dies thing just get worse, she is left in the desert with no supplies and no idea where she is.

Hatch and Corbin are investigating where the body of Marcus’ foreman was found, then chasing after the person who was watching them, when they hear a woman calling for help.

This is a favorite scene.

Ultimately she could do really nothing but wait and hope that somebody would take pity on her and let her out. Finally, after what felt like another hour of dozing and sitting here, realizing her bladder situation was rather desperate, she got up, went to the door, and beat on it with her fists. When no answer came, in frustration, she reached for the door handle and pulled. And damned if the thing didn’t open under her hands.

Swearing softly to herself, she pulled it open and stepped out. Judging by the faint light in the hallway, it was still night, probably a couple hours before dawn. The instinct to bolt was strong, but her need to go to the bathroom was even stronger. She quickly stepped out into the night, squatted, hating again that she had no toilet paper or anything, but she would make do because obviously any rescue of her wasn’t an option at this point. She just needed to escape as quickly as she could.

Stumbling forward, she raced down the hill, hoping nobody was watching her. Out here, if somebody decided to shoot her, she could do absolutely nothing about it. Hell, even the thought of getting away free and clear wasn’t much of an option at this point either.

She had no idea where she was, no idea if anybody was even out here looking for her or if she would have enough luck to stumble across somebody outside at this hour of the night or the wee morning maybe. She had no phone and no way to contact anybody. All she could do was resolutely put one foot in front of the other and keep going, hoping that she would find something.

After another ten minutes of slipping and sliding her way down the steep embankment, she heard a noise in the distance. Something like a bike. She stopped, trying to hear it again, torn between two minds, wondering whether she should call out for help, even though it could end up landing her with her kidnappers again.

Realizing she didn’t have a whole lot of choice if she wanted to survive, she waited until what appeared to be the sound of the bike slowing down and then coming to a stop, and she yelled for help. She yelled over and over again, until she had to stop because her throat was too dry to keep it up.

She kept walking, feeling so tired— more than that really, … utterly exhausted, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Just as she was about to give up, she heard a sound that brought tears to her eyes. It sounded like somebody shouting for her by name. She hollered as loud as she could, but her throat was so parched that her hoarse voice cracked.

She sagged to her knees, hoping that her efforts had been enough. But, when she heard nothing, tears formed in her eyes, and she started to scream again and again. Suddenly she was picked up in somebody’s arms. Immediately she fought hard, assuming it was her kidnappers. She was screaming, although it was more of a raspy shout than anything.

Finally she sagged against the strong arms in defeat. Only then she heard his voice.

“It’s okay. Hey, take it easy, Millie. You need to calm down. We’re here to rescue you. Easy, Millie. You’re safe now. It’s Hatch. Easy now.”

Held against his chest, she looked up, but, in the darkness, she could barely see, but the name? … “You’re here to rescue me?” she whispered. “Do I know you?”

He nodded. “Yes,” he replied, as if understanding that she couldn’t see much in the night. “Where’s your father?”

“He’s dead,” she said, sobbing. “They killed him.”

With his arms tightening around her, Hatch quickly led her somewhere nearby, but she couldn’t even tell where that was, except for the light that suddenly flashed in her face. Caught off guard and still stunned, she finally realized that a flashlight shone into her face, and she stopped wincing against the bright light.

“We’re just checking you over,” the man explained. “Do you need medical attention?”

She slowly shook her head and gasped hoarsely, “Water.” A bottle of water was placed in her hands, and she tilted it up and drank thirstily.

When he tried to take it away from her, she glared at him. He just smiled. “It’s yours. Don’t worry. You get to keep it, but remember. Too much, too fast won’t be good either.”

Reluctantly she slowed down on the chugging and nodded. “I know, but you don’t understand how desperate you can be when you don’t have water.”

He still held her in his arms, and she realized that she hadn’t been put down. “I can walk, you know,” she stated.

He slowly lowered her until her boots touched the sand, but almost immediately she collapsed.

She looked up at him again. “Well, I will walk. Just give me a moment.”

He shook his head. “It’s not necessary.” Picking her up again, he asked, “Do you think you can ride on my bike?”

She looked at him and nodded. “I think so.”

“Can you hold on to me?” he asked. “That’s all you have to do.”

She realized that he wanted to find out if she was strong enough to do that. “I can hang on,” she replied, and he immediately parked her on the back of his bike. It was just a small dirt bike, and it would be a hard ride on this desert. But, as he sat down in front of her and had barely taken any of the seat, she wrapped her arms around his waist and clung to him.

If nothing else, she would hang on long enough to get out of here, hopefully back to civilization. If she was lucky, maybe she’d even get out of this nightmare. She whispered against his ear, “I don’t know where my kidnappers are.”

He nodded. “Hang on. Let’s get the hell out of here first.”
Dale Mayer. Hatch (Kindle Locations 1220-1264). Valley Publishing Ltd.

Now that they’ve found her and learned of her father’s death, Millie shares what she learned from her capture. That her mother was murdered for one and that her father was involved in something illegal. She has no knowledge of that, but she can’t help but wonder.

There’s quite a bit of intrigue and suspense as Millie, with the help of Hatch and Corbin, looks for answers. The connection between her and Hatch is obvious and leads to a bit of sizzle.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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Wilted Orchid: A Dark Mafia Romance by Loxley Savage

Since the dawn of time, waging war on those who have wronged us has been embedded in the very fiber of mankind’s true nature. The thirst for vengeance and retribution has always prevailed overturning the other cheek to one’s enemies. Creating chaos and bloodshed is preferable to being subjected to vapid dialogues of peaceful negotiation.

None hold this way of life more sacred than made men.


These are the codes of conduct of every mafia family.

However, the same cannot be said when dealing with their enemies.

Throughout recent decades, in the midst of civil evolution, an ancient war was being fought. From both sides of the globe, blood was spilled in the name of honor, while the brutal carnage each family bestowed upon the other was anything but noble. Soldiers, kin, and innocent lives were lost on all sides, and the inevitable extinction of the mafioso way of life was fast approaching.

In the most unlikely scenarios, six families came together in an undisclosed location to negotiate a peace treaty. As the leaders of the most influential crime families in the world, they recognized that a ceasefire was the only way to guarantee their endurance. Should this attempt fail, then their annihilation was all but imminent.

The treaty was effectively simple.

Each family would offer up one of their daughters as a sacrifice to their enemies. Marriage was the only way to ensure that the families wouldn’t retaliate against one another. It would also guarantee that the following successor’s bloodline would be forever changed, creating an alliance that would continue throughout generations to come.

Not all in attendance were happy with the arrangement.

The deep scars gained from years of plight and hatred can’t be so easily healed or erased. However, even the cynical and leery knew that this pact was their best chance of survival. Although the uncertainty of the treaty’s success was felt by every mob boss there, one by one, the families swore an oath that would bind them to it forever.

And as the words spilled from their lips and the scent of blood hung in the air, they made sure innocent lives would yet again be deemed collateral damage to their mafia wars—one last time.

Their daughters would have to pay the price of peace.

Whether they wanted to or not.

Wilted Orchid
Mafia Wars Book 4
Loxley Savage


I was sold to my enemies…

The rivalry between the Italians of the Outfit and the Cosa Nostra has been ongoing for decades. So imagine my terror when I find myself, the daughter of the Cosa Nostra’s boss, at the bitter end of a raw deal with the heirs of the Outfit.

Now I’m a casualty of a so-called ‘peace treaty,’ forced into the calloused, blood-stained hands of the Moretti brothers.

Salvatore, Armani, and Fausto.

The handsome faces of the Outfit bosses don’t hide the monsters that lurk beneath. They claim I’m theirs, that my life was forfeited to them in a pact sealed with my dead father’s blood. But they’re not the only ones who want to own me.

When someone from my past lurks in the dark corners of my new existence, things turn from bad to worse. My cries for help are lost, buried among the chaos of the Moretti’s dark world.

My life was never mine. And now, if I don’t figure a way out of this, I’ll become the next victim of the Mafia Wars.

This is a dark, contemporary, reverse harem mafia romance intended for readers above the age of 18. Within these pages are scenes of graphic violence, explicit sex, group scenes, kidnapping, kink exploration, discipline, foul language, and more which may be difficult to read. If such material triggers or offends you, please do not read this book.

If you’re brave, enter the dark and fucked up world of the Mafia Wars.

I think this is the darkest of all the books so far. It’s made that way because while Salvatore has always hated Carlo Rossi, it becomes worse after Carlo devastates him in the first pages of this book.

Now Carlo Rossi started the discussion to end the wars between the family and it looks like he’s ignoring it at a family wedding when he allows Valentina to dance with his friend’s son Marco Capelli. He struck me as a bit of a creep during that dance and even more so later on.

We see the Moretti brothers at their sister Lily’s wedding in Mexico as brief as that is.

The way Valentina is brought to Chicago also differs from the other books. She’s escorted by security from the grounds of her school after she sees her car being towed away.

Her first encounter with the Moretti’s is with the twins, Armani and Fausto. It’s not the most pleasant of meetings, as they pretty much tell her to do as they say, when they say it with no arguments. It’s Salvatore who bursts all the bubbles as he’s the one to inform her of the treaty. The one that promised her to them once she turned eighteen. The betrayal by her family is just the tip of this iceburg, as she realizes she is indeed their possession.

Now Salvatore is trying to figure out why Alfonzo Capelli is stealing his shipments and he isn’t very pleasant about it. He intends to get more information from Val. It does quite work the way he thinks, and he leaves her alone for the rest of the night.

The next morning, Armani tries to initiate a conversation without intimidating her. Unfortunately, Fausto joins them and jumps right into the subject.

This is a favorite scene.

The kitchen doors swing open again, and in walks Matilda, our morning help and a woman of many talents. “Good morning, sirs, ma’am,” she greets before getting started in the kitchen. Matilda is Joseph’s wife, an older woman with gray and white hair, which she always wears pinned to the top of her head. She wears— completely by choice— a long black maid’s dress, complete with a white apron. She bustles about, pulling out pans and ingredients, and soon the smell of bacon fills the kitchen.

Valentina watches Matilda like a lion stalking its prey, her little pink tongue darting out to lick her lips.

“So,” Fausto starts, spinning in his seat to face her while simultaneously blocking her from leaving the table. She’s stuck between us. “Tell me about Alfonzo Capelli.”

This was not a conversation we previously discussed having, but one that’s important nonetheless. I’ve been so caught up in her closeness this morning that I forgot about the bigger picture— who she is and what she means for our future.

She runs her fingers through her hair then holds her cup tightly, her hands shaking. “Umm. He’s my dad’s friend.”

Fausto slides his hand over her shoulder and around the back of her neck, gripping her tightly. The gesture makes me jealous, because he’s touching her and I’m not. “I’m sure there’s more to it than that, isn’t there, kitten?”


That’s what I fucking call her.

She winces as his fingers tighten, and her shoulders scrunch up. “I don’t know what you want me to say. I only just met him for the first time a few months ago at my cousin’s wedding.”

Fausto releases her neck and strokes her hair. “Very good. Did anything about his personality jump out at you as strange or unusual?”

“No. We didn’t even talk. He was sitting by my dad, and I was sitting by… by…”

“Yes? Fausto prompts, urging her to continue.

“My brothers,” she finishes, but the tone in her voice sounds like a lie. “He never said a word to me, too busy drinking whiskey and smoking cigars with my dad.”

Fausto wraps his arm around her shoulders and pulls her into his side. “Was anyone else from his family there that night?”

I see her shutting down minute by minute. I had her relaxed and talking until he came in. “Just drop it for now, Fausto. Let the girl have something to eat, you can interrogate her later.”

Fausto purses his lips. “Fine. I’m hungry anyway.”

Matilda brings over a tray filled with crispy bacon, a bowl of strawberries, syrup, whipped cream, and a pile of waffles. “Breakfast, sirs, ma’am.”

I take a heated plate with an oversized waffle. “Thanks, Matilda. You’re dismissed.”

Matilda offers us a small curtsy as Fausto grabs a waffle as well. “You need to eat,” he says, sliding the plate in front of Val.

“I’m not hungry.”

“You have to be,” I argue. “I know you haven’t eaten since yesterday.”

“Yeah, thanks for dinner,” she mumbles, then claps her hands to her mouth, realizing she said that out loud.

Fausto, ignoring her outburst, coats her waffle with syrup and strawberries, and adds a squirt of whipped cream. “If you had behaved earlier, you would have been fed. I told you to be a good girl and you didn’t listen.” He cuts her a bite of waffle and holds it up to her lips. “Open.”

She moves to take the fork. “I can feed myself.”

“But you’re not,” he counters. “I gave you a chance to feed yourself and you made the decision to fucking starve. Since you clearly are incapable of doing something as simple as feeding yourself, it’s now up to us to see that you eat. We have plans for you, so we can’t have you withering away. You’re small enough as it is.”

“But I—”

Fausto cuts her off. “It’s not up for discussion. Open your fucking mouth or I’ll open it for you.”

Valentina parts her pink lips, and my brother slips the bite of waffle inside. I have visions of her mouth opening for something larger before she sucks my cock down her throat as I tangle my fingers in her long hair.

She chews, and Fausto cuts off another bite. She tries to take it, but he swats her hand away and bumps the bite into her lips.

“You should listen to Fausto,” I urge, finishing my first waffle and grabbing a second. “He just wants to make sure you eat.”

She glares and accepts the bite. He grins back, then cuts off a bite and eats it himself. She looks at him incredulously for using her fork.

Before he can cut her another bite, she picks up the dripping waffle with her fingers and takes a bite as if it were a big, juicy burger.

I can’t help but laugh. “Well, that’s one way to beat the system.”

“I’ll be damned,” Fausto says with a hint of humor while grabbing his own plate of food.
Loxley Savage. Wilted Orchid – ARC Copy (Kindle Locations 2100-2140). ARC COPY.

The big problem here is she doesn’t mention Marco and all the trouble he’s causing her. She does eventually but in the process, Sal humiliates her, quite the opposite of her reaction to the twins.

There is a lot going on in this book, Violence as well as many secrets, and a bit of betrayal as well. Val wins over the twins long before Salvatore, and there are many seriously sizzling scenes with them.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Loxley!

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Coming Soon!

Loxley lives in a small town in northeast Ohio. In her down time, she loves to play with daughters and have date nights with her husband. During the summer she loves to spend her days on Lake Erie. Loxley loves to read, watch reality tv, play video games, and anything Harry Potter.

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Dirty Devil – 82nd Street Vandals Book 4 by Heather Long

Dirty Devil
82nd Street Vandals Book 4
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long


Why do our secrets keep hurting us?

Why do our secrets keep coming back?

Why can’t our secrets just die?

Emersyn Sharpe was nothing like I expected and everything I could have ever dreamed of. She stayed and she changed everything. She put the guys in their place. She had fire and spunk, a ferociousness I wished I possessed.

Her darkness called to mine in a way that felt like home.

But hiding secrets is hard work and even the people who think they already know the worst, can’t be fully trusted. No matter how desperately you want it.

The truth may set you free, but the lies? They keep you bound so tight, you don’t even realize you’re trapped.

Milo coming home brought Liam back to us and Boo-boo fit right in. Everything was supposed to get better. So how did it get worse?

Why, why did she leave? Why couldn’t she have waited?

My name is Freddie Dunlap and I’m going to find her.

DIRTY DEVIL is a full-length mature college/new adult romance with enemies-to-lovers/love-hate themes. The dark romance aspects of this tale continue. Please be aware some situations may be uncomfortable for readers. Trigger warnings can be found in the foreword should you require them. This is a reverse harem novel, meaning the main character has more than one love interest. This is book four in the series.

If you haven’t read the first 3 books in this series, STOP! This series must be read in order as each book begins where the previous one ends.

At the end of the last book, after beating up security guards and the person who drove her to the airport, Liam watches helplessly as Emersyn boards a private plane. Now they have to figure out, exactly what happened and where exactly she is. They find out little from the driver, who had been hired to not only take her to the airport but also had watched all of them for months.

Freddie was the only one she called. She didn’t want them to talk her out of leaving. Now they have to find her before they can bring her back. Milo thinks they should leave her be since she appears to have left of her own accord. Freddie is adamant that she didn’t want to go.

The horrors Emersyn goes through on her return had me wanting to jump into the book and do something, anything to get her away from her uncle and his goons.

We get to see another side of Doc in this one, the one who once was a Vandal. It’s not a subtle difference.

It takes a while, but Rome is the one who finds the reason Emersyn left, pictures of them all with targets on them, she was protecting them. There’s also her phone and that’s when things get interesting.

When Freddie sees the message on it from Lainey, he immediately texts her back. He has to prove to her he really is a friend but then arranges a meet. We get a flashback here of Lainey and Emersyn in Florida. This time we get to know that Milo was there and what happened between him, Adam and Ezra.

Lainey is no pushover, and she won’t tell them anything unless they take her home with them. The arrival at the clubhouse offers a surprise as Lainey recognizes Milo. Then Liam shows up and asks why Elaine Benedict is there, obviously he knows her. She still won’t say anything until everyone is there, so she doesn’t have to repeat herself. There are many amusing conversations as they wait for Doc to get there.

This is just one of many favorite scenes.

Freddie had made sandwiches. A whole stack of them, and he passed them to Rome and Elaine when they came back. She eyed the sandwiches then Freddie before she’d taken a bite from one. I couldn’t quite pin down what it was about her. The clothes and the mannerisms screamed money, wealth, and privilege. But the attitude? The attitude was all fight me and control. She hadn’t said a word about the living room, the cheap furniture or the concrete walls.

She looked more out of place here than Emersyn ever had, but not in a bad way. I couldn’t put my finger on it and I stopped trying to figure it out. The moment Doc walked in, Liam pinned her with a look and said, “Talk.”

“Charming, I’d know you two were brothers without the looks.” Vaughn chuckled, even Jasper shook his head.

The humor, no matter how needed, was far too fleeting. I didn’t want to be entertained. I wanted information.

Thankfully, Elaine didn’t waste anymore time. “Everyone here is trustworthy?” Of all people, she directed that question to Freddie.

“Yes,” he said without equivocation.

“Good, because I’m going to need all of you to help.” She rose from her seat and moved to stand in front of the dark television. It shifted the power in the room, which I assumed was her intention. It also left her standing alone and directly opposite Milo. “Emersyn’s in trouble.”

“And you know this—”

She cut off Milo with a slice of her hand. “Pretty boy, this will go a lot faster if you let me talk and save the questions until after the presentation.”

My eyebrows weren’t the only ones who shot up.

Holy shit. She didn’t miss a beat either.

“So, a little more this,” she continued, holding her thumb and fingers together like a closed mouth. “Instead of this.” She mimed yapping with her hand. After a beat, she nodded. “Good. Emersyn contacted me a few days ago because of a reward that was put out by my family and friends of ours. I knew she was okay, but my grandfather offered the reward at my request. We were hoping someone would try to collect from us before the Sharpes, and that would let me know if anyone had found her before they could sell her out.”

Some of her confidence wavered, but all she did was fold her arms. “I promised her I would help in any way. I would also warn her if we heard anything. That was our last conversation. Then I heard she’d been found and was coming home.”

A shudder raced through her.

“That was the last thing she wanted.”

“Told you,” Freddie said, though his tone was far from smug.

“You sound certain,” Milo said.

“That’s because I am, I’ve known Emersyn since we were five. Granted— we haven’t always been in the same places, and we had a hard time keeping in touch sometimes, but we never gave up on each other and I’m not giving up on her now. As much as I hated not knowing exactly where she was, I was happy knowing she was safe.”

The emphasis she gave to that last word slayed what reservations that might have still lingered over our choices in taking her.

“She never told me why you took her and I don’t care right now, I’m just glad you did. Her going back was never the plan.”

“The false IDs,” Liam said. “You got them for her.”

“Yes, a new identity, cash, anything she needed to not be Emersyn Sharpe anymore, and disappear.”

I frowned. The ferociousness in her eyes glinted with no small amount of danger. She was the real deal. She’d fight for Emersyn. Fight for her the way we would fight for each other.

Freddie and Rome were right to bring her here. “Where is she now?” I asked. “Where is she that you’re so damn worried about?”

As desperate as I was to see her, I wanted the answer to be something like a beach in Mexico or the Caribbean or anywhere. I wanted this to be overkill. I wanted our concerns to be unfounded.

“If he’s done what I think he has and if the rumors are true, he’s sent her back to Pinetree.”

“What the hell is Pinetree?” It was the first time Doc had said a word since he arrived.

“It’s a psychiatric facility,” Liam answered, a muscle ticking in his jaw. “A very exclusive one.”

“You’ve heard of it?” The question seemed rhetorical because she didn’t wait for his response. “All I know is that if she’s there, we need to get her out. I have the money and the connections, but I have no way to get in and I don’t think I could anyway— the last two times he sent her to that place— she was different when she came out.”

“Different how?” Milo took two steps toward her. “There was never anything about her being in a facility.”

“Of course not, it wouldn’t reflect well on the family. But I knew. Some of us knew, because we saw what happened after. The only reason they sent her there was to control her— to take away who she is, and I couldn’t stop it before. I can do something now.”

“That’s where we come in,” Vaughn said, like Doc, he’d said almost nothing. But real fury had replaced the agony in his voice. If they were caging her, we would damn well shatter those bars.

“Exactly. I just— I just don’t know how to make it happen and I need help to get her out.”

“We’d need to know if she was there for sure,” Doc said. “HIPPA would prevent them from admitting it, but medical requests…”

Medical requests?

Milo cut a look at him.

Right. No one wanted to admit this. No one wanted to say she was in trouble, even if it was what we’d all, been saying.

“Tell them,” Rome said and that got all of our attention. But he wasn’t talking to Elaine. He was looking at Liam. “It’s time. Tell them.”

“He’s right,” Freddie said. “Tell them and then we figure out how to get me committed. It’s not like anyone needs to tell me how to be crazy. They’ve been wanting to lock me up for years.”
Heather Long. Dirty Devil (Kindle Locations 1993-2041).

Freddie is my hero, I love him so much. The way he reconnects to Emersyn, and the new friend they make in Bodhi are some of the best scenes ever!

There’s some very interesting intertwining in this book with Liam’s relationship with the Royals that also seem to connect to Lainey.

This book is an emotional rollercoaster, one I couldn’t put down. I laughed, cried, screamed and OMG the ending! The next book can’t get here soon enough!

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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Wade’s War – Terkel’s Team Book 2 by Dale Mayer

Wade’s War
Terkel’s Team Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Sophia met Wade a few years back, and the last she heard from him was he’d be back to take her out to dinner—and never saw him again. Having spent several years in the meantime working with Merk and his team in Texas, when Terk called for her help, Sophia jumped at the opportunity to go. Even if Wade didn’t get it, she knew a connection worth trying for when she felt it.

Wade is weak, helpless, his abilities damaged, after the attack on Terk’s team. Seeing Sophia, the woman he fell in love with at first sight, is a sock to his gut. His defenses are already down, and he knows it will be impossible to keep her at arm’s length a second time.

Wade must bring her closer, protect her, especially after their team was shattered from the initial attack, and subsequent attacks haven’t eased—not with the world slowly realizing that not just Terk survived the attack but so did a few of his team …

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At the end of the last book, Damon and Terk got Wade out of a dangerous situation. In the process Wade’s brother, who was on the wrong side was killed. Now Wade is at their new headquarters, still weak and recovering.

Since they needed more help especially on the computer end, Terk invites Sophia from Levi’s team to join them. Merk brings her in, and Wade is very surprised to see her. They have a bit of a history stemming from a conference they both attended about a year ago. They were supposed to meet for dinner, but Wade was called for a mission and never contacted her again.

There’s a computer-based attack, and Sophia gets a glimpse at just what this team can do. Tasha explains that the reason they had to stop is that Wade was in there chasing and blocking the intruder.

There’s a definite connection between Sophia and Wade and Sophia is determined to see where it can go. To that end when they collect her bags, she puts them in Wade’s room while he’s sleeping.

This is a favorite scene.

When he opened his eyes the next time, he wasn’t alone. Sitting in his room, whether he wanted her there or not, was Sophia.

She walked closer and sat down on his bed and picked up his hand. She whispered, “How are you?”

“Ask me later.”

“I got it. Tasha said you were in the computer?”

He opened his eyes and then nodded. “Yeah, it was me.”

“That was freaking amazing, but how?” she asked. “And since you did whatever you did, nobody has been back.”

“Which is why I did it,” he explained, “but it tired me out.” He didn’t explain what he did, why, or even how, and he could only hope that she would let it slide. Some things were just too complicated to explain. And the stuff his team did? Well, it needed to be parsed out in bits, or it could overload a person.

She patted his hand gently, and he relaxed, shifting on the bed. “You’re still in a lot of pain?”

“Not so much. I was in a coma for a few days. Since I came out of it,” he added, “everything has just been really taxing. Not the same. Senses, nerves on overload, that type of thing.”

She hesitated before speaking. “I don’t know anything about this stuff, but did they do something to you while you were in that coma?”

His eyes flew open, and he stared at her. “Like what?”

She winced. “I really don’t know because I have no clue what we’re talking about here,” she admitted. “It just seems plausible to me that, while you were in such a vulnerable state, they might have done something.”

“No … and the reason I can say that with any degree of certainty is because I know that Terk kept up security around us the whole time.”

She stared at him and blinked. “Like the whole time? Guards and everything?”

“Well, not quite the security that you would imagine”— Wade grinned—“ but someone was watching over me. Terk is pretty amazing.”

“I know. I’ve heard … things from your team,” she shared, “but nobody ever really explains anything.”

“That’s because you’re on a need-to-know basis. Terk doesn’t involve himself very much with each of these scenarios, unless there’s actually a problem, in which case he jumps in and warns the appropriate people. The team doesn’t discuss our particular skills much, so a very limited number of personnel has access to substantial information.”

“I can sorta understand that. The compartmentalization cuts down on who can find out what— not among us. In case we’re caught. Okay. That rings true and makes sense now,” she agreed.

“When I was at Levi’s place, one time Terk said something to Ice that worried her. She didn’t go out that day, but I don’t really know what was behind it all.”

“You don’t argue with Terk when he shares insights like that. He’s just way too right too damn often.”

“And that’s kind of scary too,” Sophia murmured.

“Very, but when you have somebody who can give you an inside scoop, you take it, and you make it work for you.”

“Got it.” Sophia nodded. “Do you want something to eat or drink?”

“As much as I want to say no, I probably should,” he admitted.

“Well, feel like getting up? Or I can bring you something to eat. Any preferences for what you want me to get for you?”

He rolled his eyes at that. “I’m not an invalid.”

“No, but you’re exhausted, and, if there’s anything I can do to help, I’m more than happy to.”

And she had said it in such an honest way that he nodded. “Sorry, not trying to be a prick here,” he apologized, “I’m just tired.”

“And I understand that part.” She sighed. “I might not understand a whole lot about this, but I’m getting there. What I do see is an exhausted man whose reserves have been spent doing something that I couldn’t help with, even if I wanted to. So, if getting you some food is in any way a help,” she explained, “I’m happy to do it.”

“Good luck with that. You’ll probably have to fight Tasha for food.”

Sophia chuckled. “Oh my God, does she still eat like a horse?”

“Two horses,” he replied instantly. “Honestly I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“She’s beautiful inside and out,” Sophia noted, with a smile. “We’ve been friends for a long time, and that is a friendship I value.”

“It’s a good thing,” he noted, “because, when it comes to things like that, around here, our relationships are about all any of us have.”

She nodded. “I really do understand that.”

“Good,” he agreed, “because it’ll be tested. Everything you have ever believed will be tested. Then, when you finally think you’ve got it, it’ll all get thrown up in the air, come back down as something completely different, which you may no longer recognize.”

She stared at him, considering his words. “You know something? Life was getting boring before anyway. I’ll go get you some food, and I’ll come back as soon as I can.” She stood and walked out.

Wade remained in bed for a moment, only to look over his room and see her bags. She really had brought them over, apparently waiting for him to say yes or no. He frowned at that, wondering if they could get past everything that had gone on before. Was there any reason not to go in that direction?

She was already here; she was already in danger, and, if he were honest, he didn’t want her to be anywhere but here. With that, he got up and made his way to the bathroom. When he returned, he tossed her bag on the spare bed and laid back down again.

When she walked in a little bit later, she smiled at him. “Good news! Tasha didn’t eat all the food, so I guess it’s your lucky day after all.”
Dale Mayer. Wade’s War (Kindle Locations 530-577). Valley Publishing Ltd.

One of the problems they are having is getting someone alive to question. That appears to be getting worse as they actually talk to kids hired to harass Sophia when she was bringing back groceries.

Implants and drones are the weapons being used against the team, they have to find the source and shut it all down.

Lots of action, suspense and I really love the way the relationship between Sophia and Wade progresses.

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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Montana SEAL Protector – Brotherhood Protectors/Triple C Ranch Book 4 by Debra Parmley

Montana SEAL Protector
Brotherhood Protectors/Triple C Ranch Book 4
USA Today Bestselling Author
Debra Parmley


Kindergarten teacher Ellen Young has a stalker with a love obsession who has followed her since college. When he attacks her in the school parking lot, she struggles to get away. He is winning when a man sees them and yells, the distraction just enough for her to break free. Now she is at the Three C’s Ranch in Eagle Rock Montana learning self-defense.

Travis “Ballistic” Bannerman, SEAL vet, widower, and father of a five-year-old son, leaves the teams to come home to take care of his son when Hank Patterson offers him a job with the Brotherhood Protectors. He’s more than happy to teach Ellen to get over her fear of guns and would like to date her. But there’s a no fraternizing rule and he’s focused on taking care of his son.

When Ellen graduates from the program and takes a job teaching Kindergarten in Eagle Rock, his son is one of her students. She’d love to date the handsome SEAL, but that would be conflict of interest and she doesn’t want to lose her job.

He makes her want to break all the rules to be with him. They’re dating when her stalker finds her and succeeds in kidnapping her. He doesn’t realize he’s become the enemy of a Navy SEAL determined to hunt him down, retrieve his woman, and exact vengeance.

Ellen Young has come to the Triple C Ranch to learn self-defense. She would also get a new identity and life to keep her hidden from her stalker who got away. She really didn’t want to start over but hopefully things will work out.

Travis “Ballistic” Bannerman has joined the Brotherhood Protectors after leaving the SEALs. His ex-wife died and his son, Scotty, needs his attention now more than ever. He’s only doing day assignments so he can spend quality time with Scotty. One of these assignments is the gun training at the Triple C Ranch.

When Ellen sees Travis at that first session, she’s immediately attracted to him. Of course, she knows the rules don’t allow for any fraternizing, but she could look. Travis notices her as well and the fact she really is afraid of the guns. He wants to help her get over that, so he arranges a private lesson.

This is just one of many favorite scenes.

She watched him take the bullets out. He laid them on a plastic tray on the table. The range had a white plastic bucket on the ground for “used rounds” as Hank had explained. She supposed that made less work for George, the maintenance man.

And people should pick up after themselves. Even in kindergarten she tried to teach the children to put their things away.

Some children would just drop things when they were done playing with them, or anything they were done using. She would tell them, “We don’t have any school elves or house elves from your home to clean up after us, so we must each put our own things away.”

Travis was taking the gun apart now, naming each part and explaining what it did and how they worked together to fire the gun. Then he stopped. “Pick them up, handle them,” he said. “they’re just parts.”

She reached for one and lifted it, feeling the weight of it in her hand. Then she did this with each part.

This isn’t so bad. I like to know how things work and their history.

“The 1911 has been around a long time,” he said. “Though modern guns have improved upon it, a lot of guys still carry one. It’s still one of the favored guns to carry. Some of us carry more than one gun.”

Ellen’s eyes widened in surprise. “More than one?”

Why would anyone ever need more than one gun on their person at a time?

“Guns are machines,” Travis explained, “made by man, and anything on Earth made by man is flawed, somehow. There’s no such thing as mechanical perfection. Someday, somewhere, no matter how much attention to detail, cleaning, or sweet nothings I whisper to it at night, some part of this gun is going to break.”

Travis shrugged as Ellen wrestled with the distraction of the thought of Travis whispering sweet nothings in her ear late at night.

The idea of listening to his voice all night, as he whispered into her ears, was whispering into her mind in a deliciously enticing way which made it hard to pay attention.

Focus. On. The gun.

She forced her gaze to the gun, away from his eyes. As if that would help.

“Of course, when it does happen, it’ll probably be on the practice range,” he said. “At least, I hope that’s where it’ll be, but if it isn’t, I might like to have another weapon on me. Or heck, there have been times when I’m out with a buddy who isn’t carrying, and I like to offer him his own weapon for the night or something.”

“Do guns break often?” Ellen asked, forcing herself to focus on the lesson.

Travis waved a hand. “Nah, not the good ones. Most quality guns will outlast our grandchildren, especially when properly cared for.”

Ellen’s breath caught at the mention of grandchildren, particularly his use of “our.”

Had he meant it intentionally?

The thought of having grandchildren with him dove deep as his voice and his words went swirling into her ears, and then her thoughts, before reaching down to her deepest longing for a family of her own complete with children and grandchildren.

Travis picked up the re-assembled 1911 bringing her back to reality with a crash.

She blinked.

Gun. Right.

“Now, one of the hallmarks of a 1911 is its weight,” he said. “This gun is much heavier than these other two here.”

“Is that a good thing?” She tilted her head, watching him and the gun. There were so many kinds of guns, and she had no idea what was good.

Travis nodded. “It can be. I like a heavy gun. The heavier a gun is, the more recoil it absorbs. Let me see you shoot it. See how you like it.”

Ellen put on her eye and ear protection, and then followed Travis’s instructions on how to load the gun before getting both hands on it so that she could shoot it.

It felt so heavy in her hand, but he’d warned her it would be heavy, so that was less shocking than the first time she’d shot guns yesterday.

Travis smiled at her. “I tell you what, ain’t nothin’ like a girl with a gun in her hands! But let me make a suggestion.”

Ellen was in the act of grinning herself, at his sudden southern like speech, when Travis stepped up behind her, his chest against her back.

Oh my.

She hadn’t expected this, and he’d moved fast.

His chest was strong and warm. His hands went out to hers on the gun, gently guiding them into different spots so that she could have better control of the gun.

As she let him guide her hands, she relished the way his fingers felt upon her hands, and the way his arms around her made her feel protected and warm.

“There now. Feel better?” his voice came, very near to her ear.

Goosebumps raced down the back of her neck even though his body was warm around hers, and she almost shivered. But she didn’t, couldn’t let him know the reaction being this near to him did to her.

“Mm-hmm!” She nodded quickly, not trusting herself to say more. His scent also came to her with him being so close. She could have closed her eyes just to breathe his scent in, but she didn’t close them, wouldn’t let herself. She couldn’t let him know how she was reacting to him.

“Good! Take a shot or two,” he said.

Ellen laughed. “At what? There’s no target!”

“Don’t worry about that just yet,” he replied. “Just concentrate on how the gun feels when you shoot it. We’ll get to accuracy later.”

Now this was different. Without a paper target in front of her, Ellen had no choice but to put her thought into what she and the gun were doing, instead of where bullets were going.

It also forced her mind away from the direction all her senses were currently racing while he was so near. A good thing because she was struggling to do that on her own. Never in her life had she been so distracted during a lesson. She was a good student, loved learning, and always focused on her lessons.

Now her mind was directed exactly where he’d pointed it.

On the one hand, it was frustrating not to know whether she was doing things correctly, but then, she supposed that if she wasn’t, Travis would’ve said something. On the other hand, if she hadn’t been shooting well on paper, her competitive drive would have taken over, and the whole lesson could have been compromised.

She didn’t know whether to feel frustrated or thankful, though with Travis standing so close behind her, his hands now resting gently on her hips, it was slightly easier to concentrate on the good things, rather than the bad. And his hands felt good upon her hips, grounding her, and reminding her to keep her hips still.

After the 1911, they shot the Smith and Wesson Shield. Oddly, though this gun shot a smaller bullet, the recoil on it felt a lot like the 1911, since it was so much lighter.

Ellen pouted. “This one felt so much better than the 1911 before I shot it! It seems so much easier to carry.”

“Honestly, carry comfort depends much more on the holster and belt combination than anything else,” Travis said, always upbeat. “You’d be really surprised to learn how big a gun you can carry and conceal.”

Travis picked up the last gun on the table, the Glock, and smiled. “I think you’ll find that this one combines the best of both worlds. Same small caliber as the Shield, but heavier, like the 1911.”

After she gave it a try, she agreed with him. Shooting the Glock was much more comfortable than the other two had been.

Their thirty minutes together went so fast, her private lesson was over before she realized it. The others had started coming onto the range for their class.
Debra Parmley. Montana SEAL Protector: Brotherhood Protectors World (Kindle Locations 677-741). Twisted Page Press, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Now the lesson went well and Ellen learns to be proficient through the rest of the course. With only a few days left Ellen needs to decide on a career, but she loves teaching Kindergarten and doesn’t want to do anything else. That’s when the opportunity of a lifetime comes up. Eagle Falls needs a Kindergarten teacher and moving quickly Ellen gets the position.

This is where things will get interesting, as Travis’ son Scotty will be in her class.

This story is so much fun and mostly lighthearted. Of course, there is still the issue of the stalker who’s on the loose to be dealt with.

I loved the slow and steady growth of this relationship and the circumstances that brought them together.

5 Contented Purrs for Debra!

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Debra Parmley

Debra Parmley writes military romantic suspense, contemporary romance, western historical romance, holiday romance, fairy tale romance, and 1920’s romance. She has 28 romance books out. She also writes fantasy, young adult, and children’s books as Debra Bishop. A Gemini, she thrives on writing more than one genre.

She lives in a motorhome full-time with her husband as they travel the U.S. and shares her adventures on her Beautiful Day Traveler blog. Debra has sold travel, walked the plank of a pirate ship off the coast of Grand Cayman, swum with dolphins in Moorea, and set foot in 13 countries. Debra is the founder of Shimmy Mob Memphis which raises funds for the local domestic abuse shelter. She was the host of Book Lights on Blog Talk Radio and interviews cover models on Cover Model Corner. Debra believes that “Every day we are alive is a beautiful day. “

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