Cowboy Ely – Cooper’s Hawke Landing Book 7 by Rhonda Lee Carver

Cowboy Ely
Cooper’s Hawke Landing Book 7
Rhonda Lee Carver


To really move forward,
sometimes it takes going back to the very beginning.

Trying to escape a bad relationship, and desperate to find a safe place for her daughter, Megan Nash returns to Cooper’s Hawk. Down-on-her-luck, she has no other choice but to ask her estranged father-in-law for help. He still blames her for the accident that killed his son, but learning that he has a granddaughter, he offers them a roof over their heads…just until Megan can get back on her feet. Yet, being civil isn’t part of the bargain.

Her patience will be tested.

Ely Dutton has physically healed from a mortar blast that left him injured and scarred, but he’s still on the mend mentally. Realizing hiding away in an isolated cabin on a mountain isn’t helping, he decided to go back to his childhood home. He accepts the position as Sheriff, because a man has to live. He likes things simple, so when an old connection is sparked with Megan, he attempts to ignore his attraction.

A relationship,
especially with a single mother,
isn’t part of his five-year plan.

Further complicating what should have been an easy job as Sheriff, he must shed light on a mysterious death that is connected to Megan. As new clues are exposed, so are the secret layers of her past.
In a quest to navigate their new lives and old demons, Megan and Ely will learn to trust, love with all their hearts, and let go of hurtful ties.

Ely had isolated himself with his dog Finn after retiring from the military. He finally feels ready to move forward with his life, accepting the position of Sheriff, Ely Dutton has returned home to Cooper’s Hawk. Things weren’t quite the way they were since his father had sold the family ranch and moved away. His sister Penny is still there and that’s where he’s staying until the place he’s renting is ready for occupancy.

Megan Nash had to leave Texas, opening her heart only betrayed her. Now she’s doing what’s best for her daughter, even though it means facing her father-in-law. Returning to Cooper’s Hawk is hard, many blamed her for her husband’s death including his father. She can only hope the man will let them stay so she can get her life together. Noah doesn’t make it easy but finally allows her to stay in the furthest guest cottage from the main house. The work he lays out for her is more than she expected but she wouldn’t shy away from it.

Megan and Ely’s first encounter is less than friendly as he’s distracted and spills coffee all over her shirt. He almost looses his patience with her too, but manages to stay civil.

Little did they know that wouldn’t be the only time they see each other that day. Megan has an envelope to deliver to the Sheriff, who is attempting to make coffee when she enters his office.

This is a favorite scene.

Ignoring the fluttering of butterflies in her belly, she clutched the envelope so tight in her grip that she heard paper crumpling.

“Hi again,” he said so casually, as if they hadn’t exchanged heated words less than twenty minutes ago.

“You’re not Sheriff Conley.” She didn’t bother hiding the hint of annoyance in her tone.

“No, I’m not. Is that who you’re looking for?”

“I think so. Is he around?” Why was Ely Dutton hanging out in the Sheriff’s office?

He planted his wide hands on his slender hips, his gaze narrowing. “If you’re looking for Conley, I’m afraid you’re too late. He’s already gone.”


“Gone as in took a job as a Ranger. I took over his job.”

Things started making sense. “You’re the Sheriff?”

He grinned and stepped over to his desk, picked up a shiny badge and hooked it on his belt. “I need to stop forgetting to put this on. The name hasn’t been changed on the door yet.” He didn’t seem the least bit disgruntled about it either. “I was a bit occupied when you walked in.”

“Looks like you were having some difficulty.”

“What happened to simple coffee makers with one power switch?” he groaned. “Anyway, how can I help you?”

“I guess I’m here to see you. Noah asked me to give you this envelope.” She crossed the rug and laid it on the desk, noticing how wrinkled it was now.

“Great.” He ripped opened the flap, turned the envelope upside down and emptied the contents. A key and a piece of paper fell out. “Finally. The cabin’s ready.”

Sheesh. Not only did she have to face him again, but she’d be seeing him every day since they’d be living less than two hundred feet apart from each other. Back in her teens she would have done flips at the idea of living this close to her crush. She wasn’t a teen any longer though and she’d promised herself to stay far away from men like Ely Dutton with their charming smiles and killer bodies.

Clearing the air might make things easier. “About what happened on the street—”

“You don’t have to apologize.” That lopsided grin deepened. “We all have bad days and near breakdowns.”

“Excuse me?” She blinked, some of the irritation returning. “I didn’t plan on apologizing.”

“Oh? I guess I just assumed.” He shrugged, stretching the fabric to its capacity.

Her bad day suddenly turned into hell. “Look, Sheriff Dutton, we’ve established that your ego is still as insanely big as ever, but I have no desire to deal with the likes of you today.”

“You—wait, how do you know my name? Do we know each other?”

Megan laughed. Of course, he wouldn’t remember her. “I’m Megan Nash—err, it used to be Hart.”

“Megan? Little Megan?” His eyes widened slightly. “I haven’t seen you, wow…how long has it been?”

“Long enough that I prefer not to be called little,” she muttered.

“Damn, you don’t wear glasses any longer, or braces. You said Nash. You and Bray? Really? You two married?”

“Penny didn’t mention it?”

“She doesn’t tell me anything.”

“Yes, Bray and I married.”

“I’m sorry about the accident.”

“Apparently Penny does tell you some things.”

“I felt like an ass not making the funeral.”

“It’s okay. Bray wouldn’t hold it against you.”


She wanted to leave. “I’d better go, you’re probably busy doing Sheriff stuff.” She backed up.

He dropped the envelope on his desk and hooked his thumbs in his front pockets. “You look different, Meg.”

“You do too, Sheriff.” But better than ever.

“Call me Ely.” The signature Ely Dutton grin parted his lips and her knees wobbled.

She refused to get sucked into his allure again. Nope. Hell no. No way. She’d been so crazy over him that she’d lost sleep.

A familiar tightness developed in her throat. “Sure, Ely. We’re adults now. We’ve changed.” And I will no longer follow you around like a lovesick puppy. Humiliation washed over her. Had she really hung a picture of him on her closet wall at sixteen? She’d torn the photo of him receiving some sports award out of the school paper, where she’d been a writer, and taped it up where she could look at it every day.

“That’s the truth.” Something flickered over his expression. He pushed his fingers through his hair and waves came alive.

“How is Penny?” Penny had been Megan’s best friend all through school. She didn’t have one single memory that didn’t include them hanging out together.

“Same as ever. I’ve been staying with her since I got back to Cooper’s Hawk. She’ll be glad to get me out of her house, even if she says she isn’t.” He picked up the key and pushed it into his front pocket. “You living out at the farm too?”

“Yes. For now. I’m helping Noah out.”

He nodded. “Looks like we’ll be neighbors. Don’t worry. Coffee is strictly in cups only.” His teasing smile lit his eyes.

She needed to get going and fast. “I should go.”

“Okay. I guess I’ll see you later then.”

She took a detour to the coffee maker, pressed a button and the machine whirred to life.

“How’d you do that?” He seemed genuinely shocked.

“It’s very simple. Press the blue button one, two, or three times depending on the strength you want your coffee then hit the red button to start.”

“Damn. I never would have figured that out.”

His laughter lifted the soft hairs on her nape.

“I need to get back to the farm.” How many times would she threaten the act before she finally left? She finally made it to the door, hand on the knob.

“I’ll see you around. Thanks for dropping off the key.”

“Bye then.”

She hurried from the office and closed the door behind her. In such a hurry to get to the exit, she didn’t see the man standing in her path until she almost bulldozed him over. She lifted her chin and made an attempt to apologize, but her words stuck on her tongue. The man was the same one she saw in the alley with the angry woman. “Sorry,” she finally found her voice.

“Deputy Richards, you remember Megan?” Lorraine asked.

“It was Hart. Megan Hart,” Megan said. Sam had been quiet as a kid. Probably because he’d been in Ely’s shadow, who’d been a star player in every sport. Sam had been up and coming in baseball until he’d injured himself and couldn’t play his senior year. Megan knew this because she’d written the story in the school paper.

“Sure. It’s nice to see you again, ma’am.” His smile slipped some and he walked around her toward Ely’s closed door.

“Did you get your business taken care of?” Loraine asked.

Megan nodded. “Yes. I did.”

“Tell Noah I said ‘hello’.” Did she blush?

Once outside, Megan filled her lungs with a deep breath. So…Ely Dutton was sheriff? And the new tenant?

Holy cow.

Getting in her car, she drove out of town toward Nash Farm. She hadn’t accomplished much that morning outside of learning that her old crush could still make her feel like she couldn’t quite get her sea legs.
Rhonda Lee Carver. Cowboy Ely (Kindle Locations 930-1006). Kindle Edition.

Things are far more complicated than they appear, as this story unfolds. Ely doesn’t realize he wants a relationship and Megan only wants what’s best for her daughter.

As threats come in choices are made and surprises happen. I didn’t see that coming.

Fun and entertaining with some action and some sizzle!

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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

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

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

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

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Tomas’s Trials – Heroes for Hire Book 27 by Dale Mayer

Tomas’s Trials
Heroes for Hire Book 27
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Tomas is excited about this new direction in his life. Working for Levi allows him to use his vast array of skills in new and varied ways. He doesn’t expect to be sent undercover in a supremacy group, loaded with weapons. Yet what he finds is much more complicated than that.

Amber had joined the group to help get her friend away from the members, only to find out her friend is dead, and no one will talk about it. The group is in the middle of a coup from within, as the leader barely maintains control. It’s a dangerous place to be, but she is not leaving without answers. Needing help, she contacts an old friend. Tomas isn’t what she expects.

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Tomas has been on Levi’s hiring list for a long time, at first it wasn’t possible because of Tomas’s injuries, now he’s healed and Levi has need of him. With Kai pregnant and now in charge of their Arsenal they are down an operative and there’s a mission pending that Tomas is uniquely qualified for. A militia type group is in the area and a friend is on the inside who wants to get out.

Amber is stuck, she won’t leave without her friend Peaches but needs help. She also wants to get all the women out they don’t have a good life there. She’s friend with Saul’s wife and with Levi’s help they’ve planned out this op carefully.

Tomas’s brother had been part of a similar group and died when thing went bad. He knows how thing work and hopefully between him and Dezi they can get the evidence to shut them down.

Amber’s impatient but knows they have to be careful. Too many lives are on the line here. Her friend Annette had paid the ultimate price and she doesn’t know why or how she died.

Tomas and Dezi show up and Amber plays like Tomas is the boyfriend she’s been talking about to keep the men away. Dezi has already been in as a member from another band and Tomas is going in as his friend and Amber’s boyfriend. They arrived at dinner time the evening after the meet.

Brutus who has interest in Amber wasn’t at dinner but hears about it afterwards and pays them a visit.

This is a favorite scene.

Amber barged up to the front door, now open, and plastered a smile on her face when she saw Brutus, clearly angry and red in the face. “Hey, Brutus. What’s the matter?”

“He’s the matter,” Brutus snapped, looking at Tomas. “What the hell happened?”

She looked at him in surprise. “What?” she asked, with what sounded like genuine shock. At least she hoped it sounded genuine. “What are you talking about? You know how long I’ve been waiting to see him. Why are you even bothering us right now?” she asked, stepping closer to Tomas.

Brutus looked at her in disgust. “I figured you were just lying.”

“Lying about what?” she asked, staring at him in shock. “About his existence?”

“Yeah,” Brutus said. “And I didn’t know until just now. I had dinner at my place tonight, so I didn’t meet your mystery man.”

“Believe me. They were all bugging me about Tomas. I’m sorry if his appearance was a surprise,” she noted. “Obviously it was a surprise for me too and a welcome one at that,” she said, with a smile. “I’ve been waiting for him for months.”

“I just didn’t believe that boyfriend line,” Brutus repeated, growing impatient.

Amber tried to calm her nerves. “Let me introduce you two now.” She then quickly made the introductions.

Tomas nodded and reached out to shake his hand. Brutus looked at him in disgust. “Office type, huh?”

“Definitely not the office type. And, hey, sorry to arrive unannounced.”

“Yeah, sure you are,” he said, with a hard look at Tomas. Then, without another word, he turned and walked away.

She wasn’t even sure what to say about that, but, as soon as she shut the door, she turned to Tomas.

“Now that’s not normal,” she murmured. “In fact, this makes me even more worried.”

“He obviously thinks that you should be his,” Tomas stated.

“I never gave him any reason to think I would be in favor of that. In fact, he’s not been one of the grabby ones,” she muttered in a low voice. “He’s always given me the creeps because I never really knew where he stood on that issue. Honestly, I thought he might be gay, which, in this group, is not something he’d want outed. But he’s the one who took me to town. So maybe that was part of his motivation.”

“Understood, but, judging by the way he looked at you just now, he considered you his,” Tomas murmured. “So that’ll be a problem.”

“I don’t want it to be a problem,” she muttered. “I don’t want any of this to be a problem. I’ll try again to calm him down. We sure don’t need his ugly self on our asses all the time.”

“Maybe not, but you’ve stepped into something that’s ugly regardless.”

“What you’re saying is that I stepped into something that’s uglier than I had any idea of before,” she corrected. “I don’t think that Annette and the guy Peaches was with are the only two people these guys have killed.”

“Probably not,” Tomas agreed. “Once they get a taste for that kind of thing, it’s pretty hard for them to stop.”

She nodded slowly. “At the same time, it’s just pretty unnerving.”

He smiled, then wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Hold on tight,” he said. “The ride could get a little rough, but we’ll make it to the other side, okay?”

She looked over at him, smiled. “I wish I knew that for sure.”

He nodded. “You came here for a reason, so, if you want me to get you out now,” he stated, “I’ll get you out. Just say the word. I have no idea what excuse I’ll give them, but I’ll come up with something.”

She immediately shook her head. “No, we can’t leave Peaches behind. That woman’s been through enough.”

“You want to elaborate?”

“No, I don’t,” she replied. “I just know that her husband was very abusive, and everybody here knows it. She’s pretty damn sure that, if she hooks up with any of these men, it will be more of the same, and that’s the last thing she wants.”

“When you’ve already experienced being a punching bag, you don’t want to go back for round two,” he murmured.

“Exactly,” she agreed, looking at him in surprise. “You do understand.”

“Of course I do,” he stated, looking at her. “I’ve never quite understood why women stay in the first place, but I know that they do. Maybe getting her out of here will her set up with enough of a life that she can live in peace beyond this.”

“That’s my hope,” she agreed quietly. “But I know she’s also terrified. I don’t think she sleeps at night.”

“Anybody bothering her?” “No, that’s outside the code,” she replied. “I mean, if she were to complain, then I’m sure somebody would step in and say something.”

“Maybe, but who would she complain to?”

“That’s part of the problem,” she murmured. “Mary is always watching, but I’m not sure exactly what side Mary is on anymore.”

“I think Mary will be on Mary’s side, and, if she’s partnered with the big boss, then you can bet that she’s providing information to him constantly, letting him know exactly how things are down here,” he murmured. “It’s just interesting that he keeps himself apart. And, like I said earlier, I just think that’s part of the mystery. The mystique that is required to keep people believing in him and this place.”

“So how would you do it?”

“Stay out of sight, have my various spies watch for any dissent in the group, and, when there’s a problem, come down on them, raise complete hell. Then clean it up, lay down the law, and fade back into the shadows.”

She smiled. “Exactly. You know how they think.”

“Oh, I do,” he agreed. “The question is whether Baxter himself understands just how badly things will go to hell down here.”

“I think he’s also getting older, and he may be unwell. I don’t know if …” She hesitated. “I would say cranky, but I don’t know. I think he’s not … I mean, I don’t know if he’s as bad as the rest of them.” She fumbled on the last sentence, lost in her racing thoughts.

“He might be the one making the rules,” Tomas noted calmly. “He could be the one who’s running it all from the shadows, and maybe there is a chance that he gave the order to kill Peaches’s husband. He might even have pulled the trigger himself,” Tomas added, looking at her calmly. “You cannot trust anybody in a scenario like this.”

“Got it,” she replied, then relaxed ever-so-slightly. “You know what? I’m really glad you’re here.”
Dale Mayer. Tomas’s Trials (Kindle Locations 558-611). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Things start heating up shortly, with links to Amber’s friend Peaches. Peaches is being coerced to marry another member of this cult and she wants no part of it. This results in a scenario where Tomas takes her off the compound for medical care, only to get himself banned.

Escalating quickly, Dezi, Tomas and Saul go in to get Amber out, the problem is a visit from Mary has her sneaking out of her basement apartment.

Somehow, they have to bring this place down and keep the innocent save in the process.

I couldn’t put this book down, there is something going on within each page.

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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Carson – Lighthouse Security Investigations West Coast Book 1 by Maryann Jordan

Lighthouse Security Investigations
The security and investigation company is filled with handpicked men and women from the SEALs, Rangers, Special Forces, Deltas, and Air Force Special Ops. All trained in CIA Special Operations, the Keepers were the best of the best and ready to take on any mission.

Lighthouse Security Investigations West Coast Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan


Only one thing mattered…

making his security and investigation business a success. Lighthouse Security Investigation West Coast.

Carson Dyer spent years creating his business, partnering with a former Special Forces leader who owns the original LSI. Determined to make it as successful as possible, he gives one hundred percent to the effort.

No distractions. No way. Not him. Until her.

Jeannie Carnes. Former military nurse. Burned-out ER nurse. Volunteer Red Cross nurse. And she lands in the middle of an LSI- WC investigation of a cartel drug lord.

She wants answers. He wants her safe. Will either of them get what they want? Only if they give in to what they need… each other.

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In this first book of the West Coast Keepers, we get to know Carson Dyer. He’s the head of LSI-WC and is out to prove his company can handle the special operations required by the FBI and DEA. He’s assembled an eight-man team of former spec ops, Richard Rankin, Lionel Parker, Jeb Torres, Adam Calvin, Frederick Poole, Terrance Bennett, Jonathan Dolby and Hop, call sign for Frank Hopkins, is their pilot. At his lighthouse he has Rachel Moore their administrative assistant and Theodore ‘Teddy’ Bearski their weapons and equipment manager. We’ll get to see all of these folks in this book and I’m sure the rest of the series as well.

This first mission is to set up surveillance on the Garza Wineries in Mexico. It’s while on this mission that Carson first sees Jeanne Carnes. She’s been hired as a nurse to one of the Garza’s mother-in-law.

Carson is of a single mind set to make LSI-WC successful in all ways, he’s obsessed with perfection. He’s having difficulty coming to terms with the fact he can’t get Jeanne out of his mind, even though they’ve never actually met.

Burned out at her ER job, Jeanne had taken a six month Red cross tour in Mexico to figure out where she wants her life and career to go. It’s there that Garza’s asked for her to be the nurse for Maggie Collins while she’s recuperating from a fall. The Red Cross administrator, Dr. Cortez encourages her to take the position and consider it a vacation.

Maggie is also an American and her niece, Cheryl is married to Vincent Garza who runs the winery in California. The winery here in Mexico is run by Vincent’s brother Alonzo. With all the opulence Maggie also wonders if all their money comes from the vineyards, it seems like they never have the issues other wineries do.

Once back in the states, Jeanne visits Maggie at the vineyard where she’s staying until she’s able to move to her condo. Fortunately, that would be soon, but Vincent’s son Juan had learned of Maggie and Jeanne’s conversation about the winery’s finances and wants to keep an eye on Maggie. He plans to drug her a bit to make her feel ill so she stays on. This occurrence is what has Carter and Jeanne meeting.

Carter and his team are doing some additional surveillance at the California Winery, having to do with the trucks coming and going. Then a car shows up and the intruder turns out to be Jeanne.

This is a favorite scene.

Staring at his features, she searched her memory but came up blank. This man knew her name. This man, who wore military-grade tactical gear, tackled her and immobilized her with ease, then appeared to rescue her from either an unknown threat or her own folly, knew her name. And she had no idea who he was.

Clearing her throat, she continued to hold his gaze as she said, “Before I give you any answers, I want to know who you are and how you know me.”

He sat immobile, and just when she thought he wasn’t going to answer, he shifted his tall body and slid his hand into his front pants pocket, no easy feat considering his legs were long and her car was tiny. Pulling out identification, he held it out to her. “Carson Dyer. Private investigator. Owner of a security and investigations firm.” His words were clipped, continuing to expose his irritation.

In the dim light, she reached out and took his identification, studying it as she looked back up at his face. Licking her lips, she nodded. “Okay, Mr. Dyer. How do you know my name?”

Once again, he sat immobile, and she wasn’t sure he was going to give up the information. Finally, he said, “You came across my radar during an investigation.”

She gasped, stunned at his response. “You’re investigating me?”

Carson’s jaw tightened. “I wasn’t investigating you.”

It appeared he wasn’t going to say anything else, but as her fear ebbed, she began sorting through what little information was given to her and understanding dawned. “Oh…” The air slipped from her lungs in a long whoosh. “You’re investigating the Garza winery.” His face gave nothing away, not even the slightest twitch or hint that her words hit home. But she knew she was right. It was the only explanation that made sense. “You’re looking to see if anything is going on there that shouldn’t be. I’m right, aren’t I?”

“We’re not sitting here because of what I’m doing. We’re sitting here because of your foolishness,” he bit out, throwing out another searing glare. “Why were you there tonight, sneaking around?”

She wanted to deny she was sneaking around, but to do so would only make her look more foolish than he already thought. Not that I care what he thinks about me. She started to speak, but her voice failed her. Clearing her throat, she began again. “I wanted to go visit somebody.”

He barked out a laugh. “Visit somebody? In the dark? Sneaking across the lawn? Is that normally how you check in on people?” Before she had a chance to respond, his eyes widened slightly, and he nodded slowly. “Maggie Collins. You went to visit Maggie Collins.” He cocked his head to the side. “She’s still there.”

His statement almost sounded like a question. Licking her lips, she said, “It seems as though you’re surprised. I’ll bet that’s something that doesn’t happen often.” The air inside her small car grew thicker and yet electrified as though bolts of lightning were ready to shoot between heavy clouds. No longer afraid of him, she knew her tone was just as snippy as his had been.

“Maggie Collins is not my concern,” he conceded.

Their gazes still had not wavered, and she felt a tingling of interest at their sparring. “Since you weren’t investigating Maggie, she wouldn’t be on your radar. But the Garzas are.”

“What were you doing there at night? And don’t give me any bullshit about visiting Maggie.”

Now it was her turn to pinch her lips together. “I’m concerned about her.”

His head cocked slightly to the side. “Why?”

“I… I’m not sure. She was fine. I was supposed to visit today, but then she called and told me that she wasn’t well. It just felt… wrong.”


She shot a glare toward him through narrowed eyes. “Don’t mock my intuition.”

The corner of his lips quirked upward ever so slightly. If she hadn’t been so focused on his face, she would have missed the expression.

He nodded slowly. “I’m not mocking your intuition. Former Army. ER nurse at a major inner-city hospital. Red Cross nurse. Believe me, I have no doubt that your intuition is finely honed.”

The air rushed from her lungs as incredulity warred with the realization that he’d given her a compliment. Deciding to go with incredulity, she said, “I didn’t think that you were investigating me, but it sounds suspiciously like you looked into me. You really have done your homework, haven’t you? And more importantly, why?”

“In my line of work, doing my homework is what sometimes keeps me alive.”

“Before I tell you what I know, answer this,” she pressed, feeling more bold. “Did I get caught up in whatever you’re looking into because I was with the Garzas in Mexico?”

He held her gaze for a long moment, and she wasn’t sure he was going to reply. Finally, he nodded slowly. “Yes.”

She wanted more from him, but he’d answered her question, and she wasn’t going to go back on her word. “I was here yesterday to visit Maggie. She was fine, and we had plans to get together today. I received a message from her that said that she couldn’t meet with me and that she didn’t feel well. As a nurse, I was shocked that something had happened that caused her health to be such that she needed to continue to stay with her niece, especially since she’d been so anxious to return to her own home. The housemaid got on the phone to tell me not to come over and I haven’t had a good feeling about that woman since meeting her. As Maggie’s friend, I was curious as to why a housemaid got on her phone and wouldn’t let me speak to her, essentially telling me that I needed to leave her alone.”

“And your intelligence told you that none of that made sense.”

She realized he hadn’t asked the question, but instead, had simply made a statement confirming his acceptance of her intelligence. She nodded, saying, “Yes.”

“So, what made a woman of your experience and intelligence do something so foolhardy as to try to sneak onto the estate?”

She sighed, her shoulders slumping. “I didn’t have a plan other than I wanted to just come and see if I could talk my way past the guard into letting someone give me access to see her. By the time I got here, it was already dark and I was confused as to what guardhouse I should go to. I got lost on the estate the other day and that was in the daylight. Then, I thought it might be easier if I could park and sneak over to the guesthouse to see for myself that she was okay.”

He opened his mouth, but she snapped her hand up, palm forward. “I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me. It was not well-thought-out. I was just… worried about her.”

His gaze was still intense, but she could have sworn something warm moved through his eyes. Suddenly, he shifted forward in his seat again and restarted her car’s engine. Tapping his radio, he said, “Intruder identified. Jeannie Carnes. We’re in her vehicle. Taking her home. Complete mission and pick me up.”

Without speaking to her, he pulled back onto the road, heading south toward Los Angeles. “I was going to ask how you knew where I lived, but I suppose that question would be ridiculous.” He gave no reaction nor spoke. Swallowing down her irritation, she knew he’d been right. If she’d been caught by Garza’s men, they might not have given her a chance to ask to speak to the Garzas or plead her case to see Maggie. A sigh escaped her lips as she looked out the window. “I feel certain that taking me to my apartment is going out of your way, Mr. Dyer. There’s no reason for that. We can stop somewhere convenient and let your coworkers pick you up. I’m perfectly fine to drive back to my place by myself.”

He kept driving.

“I’m not going back to their place if that’s what you’re concerned about.”

His gaze cut toward her before returning to the highway in front of them. “I know you’re not.”

“You do? If so, then why are you insisting on taking me home?”

“I know you’re not going back because you’ve already analyzed what you were doing and realized it wasn’t the smart play. You’re not the kind of person to repeat a mistake.”

Her chin jerked slightly, and she twisted while still buckled to face him more fully. “You have the strangest way of offering a compliment wrapped in a rather incredulous statement!”

His lips quirked upward again. At least, she thought they did. The movement occurred so quickly, and his face was only illuminated by the lights from the dashboard or oncoming cars. She felt certain he’d almost smiled and couldn’t explain why that simple action gave her pleasure.

As it seemed he was not going to suddenly become chatty, she leaned her head against the headrest and closed her eyes, allowing the lulling movement of the car and her exhaustion to pull her under.
Maryann Jordan. Carson (Kindle Locations 872-941).

From this point on things heat up quickly in more ways than one.

Poor Carson has no idea what’s come over him but all his co-workers do. Rachel in particular has plenty to say to him. Jeanne is just as confused but she also needs to make decisions about her future employment.

I loved all the action and suspense as Jeanne and Carson figure out their relationship.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Coming Soon!

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Maryann Jordan

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

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

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

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

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Just About Perfect – Welcome to Derryville Book 1 by Leslie Kelly

Just About Perfect
Welcome to Derryville Book 1
NY Times Bestselling Author
Leslie Kelly


She’s living a secret life

Sophie Winchester is the all-American small-town girl–except for her secret life creating mayhem as horror writer R. J. Colt. Nobody in her small town suspects she’s anything except the nice church administrator. And she desperately wants to keep her secret!

He’s a Cop Who’s Sworn to Protect

Chief of Police Daniel Fletcher thought his new job in a small town would be a nice change from his big city past. But when notes about a murder land on his desk, and the target appears to be Sophie, he has to go right into protective mode. Fortunately, stcking close to a woman he’s wildly attracted to–both day and night–isn’t exactly a tough assignment.

But if Daniel learns the truth, can Sophie trust him to love the real her and not the sweet girl he thinks he’s getting to know?

This is an updated, modernized and expanded edition of the Harlequin story Thrill Me.

Sophie Winfield is a quiet, sweet small town girl, at least that’s what everyone thinks. My night she’s a best-selling horror fiction writer going by the name RF Colt. Nobody in this small town knows that fact, not even her family. Her day job is the administrative assistant in the office of the United Church of Derryville. Pastor Bob and his sister Miss Hester who acts as his hostess when required would be horrified if they knew where her thoughts wandered during the day.

Sophie carries a small notebook with her as she plans her next novel, this one is just beginning so it’s nearly empty except for her thoughts on the actual killing and body disposal and the person who finds it. She’ll need to do some research on some of her planned methods though.

Daniel Fletcher is the new Chief of Police in Derryville. He moved here from Detroit, tired of the crowded, crime ridden city. Now he’s trying to adjust to small town living. It’s not really a hardship. He’s having breakfast at Al’s diner when he sees Sophie pull into the church lot and wonders why she’s just sitting there.

When she does leave the car her steps are careful as she’s carrying a large box. The box is why she doesn’t see the dog heading for a collision. This is when she meets Daniel for the first time in person.

This is a favorite scene,

Then the chief really surprised her. “I’ve seen you before. Outside the drugstore, two days before Christmas.”

“It was Christmas Eve,” she replied. She cursed her tongue for the admission.

He looked pleased by it. “You remember.”

“Um…sure,” she said. Then she hurried into a reasonable explanation, which was nowhere near the truth. “I remember because of the Grady twins. They got arrested for shoplifting. But the store owner dropped the charges when he found out they’d been trying to get a present for their baby sister since their mother couldn’t afford anything.”

He nodded, looking slightly disappointed that she’d remembered for no other reason. She didn’t correct his assumption. Truthfully, she’d never forgotten her first glimpse at the man every woman in town had been talking about. He was one fine looking specimen.

“Is his name really Cujo?”

She tilted her head in confusion, not sure what he was talking about.

“The dog. You called him Cujo.”

Uh-oh. He’d heard her less than sweet-natured mutterings to the big mutt. “No. I was kidding.”

“Oh. Because, I mean, probably a lot of St. Bernards are named Cujo because of the Stephen King book.”

She raised a brow, trying to look artless and innocent. “Book? I wouldn’t know about that, but I saw part of the movie once, on cable.” She shivered delicately. “Scary.”

He nodded. “Yeah. Probably not your thing.”

If only you knew.

The chief finally rose to his feet, almost slipping again on the ice before planting his feet in the snow instead. “They ought to salt this sidewalk.”

She frowned. “Miss Hester slashed the budget for salt. It’s only spread on the front sidewalk used by the parishioners.” She shook her head in disgust. “And, of course, the one between the residence and the church. Heaven forbid she slip and fall.”

At his raised brow, Sophie cursed her own tongue and gritted her back teeth. “Oh, that wasn’t nice, I’m sorry. Miss Hester’s a dear old thing. She just worries so much about keeping the church money to help the poor.”

He gave her a quizzical look, as if confused by her sudden change in tone, but didn’t press her. He extended his hand. “Let me help you.”

She stared at it for a minute, that big, masculine hand. He wore no gloves for protection against the cold. Nibbling her lip, she slipped her gloved fingers into his and let him pull her to her feet. Once standing, she was about to extend her thanks when her shoes skidded again. She reached out for the closest thing to grab. And because fate had a cruel sense of humor, immediately found something.

His shoulders.

Crashing into him, until they were chest to chest, separated only by the padding of her thick parka and his leather jacket, she found herself staring up into those chocolate-brown eyes of his. She caught a whiff of spicy aftershave from his smoothly shaven cheek. She was also close enough to notice the most incredibly kissable lips she’d ever seen on a man.

“Thank you,” she whispered, “I’m awfully clumsy today.”

He gave her a slight smile. “My pleasure.”

She didn’t pull away. Not because she couldn’t easily stand on her own, but rather, because it felt so very nice to lean against his long, hard body. They stood there, right outside the church, in broad daylight. Two strangers, practically wrapped in each other’s arms, just staring at each other.

It had been a long time since she’d been in a man’s arms. A long time since a lot of things. And she’d missed those things. Particularly missed being kissed with deep, wet intimacy. Right now, she suspected she wanted that from this stranger more than she wanted to hit number one on the Times list.

She licked her lips. “I’m not usually this clumsy.”

“It’s slippery,” he replied in a low voice.

“Slippery,” she repeated, wondering why her body felt so weak all of a sudden. Now she leaned against him out of necessity because her legs felt too weak to support her.

“The ice,” he clarified. “It’s slippery.”

She swallowed. “Yes, slippery. Dangerously slick.”

He tightened his grip on her hips. His fingers curved around her with gentle possession that confirmed they were both playing a sensual word game having nothing to do with the ice.

Some devil made her add, “And hard.”

Sophie heard a soft sound that might have been a groan from deep in his throat. His jaw tightened and he closed his eyes briefly, as if needing to regain control of himself. He finally said, “Do you need me to carry you inside?”

She felt hot blood rise in her cheeks as she ordered her feet to move. Stepping back, she said, “No. I, uh…needed to take a second.” Struggling to find a reason for clinging to the man like a helpless, twitty female, she mumbled, “I just hurt my, I mean, I fell on my butt.” Oh, God, shut up, Sophie! “I mean, I’m fine now.” Fine, hell. She was a babbling idiot.

Though it didn’t spill from his lips, she saw the laughter in his eyes. He kept a hand on her elbow. “Think you can walk?”

She nodded, clenching her teeth to keep any more stupid words from coming out of her stupid mouth.

“My name’s Daniel Fletcher.”

“I know who you are.” Then, grudgingly, she added, “I’m Sophie Winchester.”


“Yes. That family.” Her family was very well known in Derryville, having lived here for more than a century. Her grandfather had been the chief of police for years.

“There are pictures all over the walls of the station of your grandfather doing good deeds.”

She nodded. “And my uncle, too, I’d imagine.” Her uncle had followed her grandfather in the role of chief.

They’d fully expected one of the members of the current generation to follow in their footsteps. Her cousin, Jared, had gone into law enforcement for a while—working with the FBI—but had left to become a writer. Not fiction, like Sophie, but true crime novels.

Carefully bending down, she began to gather up the pieces of clothing that had fallen out of the box she’d been carrying from the car. “For the rummage sale,” she explained when he bent to help her. “I cleaned out my closets.”

She spied a glittery pile of red fabric and reached out to grab it, but he beat her to it. Sophie scrunched her eyes shut, hoping he wasn’t paying attention to the clothing he picked up.

No such luck. “Hmm. This doesn’t look quite like the typical Derryville church social dress.”


She couldn’t believe she’d been foolish enough to leave the sequined red halter dress in the box.
Leslie Kelly. Just About Perfect (Kindle Locations 198-258). Kindle Edition.

Now that he’s helped her and knows she works at the church, Daniel is even more curious about Sophie.

They meet up outside of town, and she seems to be a different person altogether. A mystery for him to solve. However, another mystery pops up first when a notebook seemingly targets Sophies to be killed. Not on his watch, not at all.

A fun comedy of errors ensues as Daniel tries to find the non-existant killer before Sophie comes to harm. Sophie tries to tell him but things keep getting in the way.

Laughter, fun, romance and a bit of sizzle as these two work their way into a relationship neither thought they wanted.

5 Contented Purrs for Leslie!

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Leslie Kelly

When I’m not chained to my keyboard writing, I’m enjoying my life with my husband of 25 years and our three daughters. Let me tell you, raising three girls has been way more challenging than publishing fiction!I write sexy novels for Harlequin, and also write dark romantic thrillers as Leslie A. Kelly.

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First Chorus – Cardinal Sins Book 2 by Heather Long & Blake Blessing

First Chorus
Cardinal Sins Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long
Blake Blessing


Protect her at all costs…

The last thing I was looking for when I left the facility was a new woman, a new relationship, and a new cause. I found all three in a dark alley. Saving her life was the best choice I’ve ever made.

Now, Vienna is the center of my world. I’ve never met anyone so perfect for me and for whom I am perfect. Where others see flaws, she finds strength. When my demands and needs drove others away, she drew boundaries. In protecting her, I’ve found my purpose in life and I won’t let anything come between us.

That goal required me to deal with flirty Fletcher with his irritating concepts and desire to live dangerously. The past he was on the run from could come for him. That would make them her problem. Not acceptable. Yet as long as she wants him with us, then I’ll protect him and protect her from him. Keeping them safe will take everything I know how to do and the things I’m still learning.

Never has it been more important than now.

Because we have a new problem. I don’t know what we’re supposed to do with him. Vienna’s work demands that she hunt monsters. But when one hunts monsters, don’t those same monsters begin to hunt or at least haunt you? What does that make this latest interloper? Is he a man? Or a monster? I’m personally hoping for a monster. I know exactly what to do with those.

At least Fletcher seems to agree with me. Hopefully our first chorus won’t be our last.

FIRST CHORUS is a full length dark adult romance and psychological thriller with suspenseful themes. Any trigger warnings will be included in the foreword. Some situations may be uncomfortable for readers. This is a reverse harem novel, meaning the main character has more than one love interest. This is book two in the series.

If you haven’t read the first book in this series, STOP! GO BACK and READ IT FIRST! This book begins where that one ended.

The prologue shows us how Rick is handling being left at home while Vienna and Fletcher take care of some business. He’s not the most patient person, but also follows directions and has done some of the research he was asked to do as he watches a report on TV that will mean something later on.

First, we find out how Cash happened upon this particular warehouse. It’s sort of a twofer for him as he approaches Vienna applauding her work.

Fortunately, Fletcher had observed him entering the building and followed. Knocking the intruder out before he got any closer to Vienna. Now there’s a body and a car to dispose of and a captive FBI agent they needed to do more research on.

This is a favorite scene when they arrive at home.

“Welcome home,” I greeted her. The tawny golden brown of her eyes seemed so much darker under the yellow light of the garage, like shadows shifted in them. “What’s wrong?”

The ease in her presence seemed strained. Fletcher approached slowly, like he’d done something wrong or— no, not wrong, he looked pale and washed out.

That only confirmed my opinion that something had happened. The banging from the trunk escalated just as she opened her mouth. A faint frown tightened her brow and she glanced at the trunk. I slammed my fist against it. “Be quiet and don’t interrupt again.”

“Holy shit,” Fletcher said with a chuckle. I met his gaze and his humor only seemed to ramp up, even as his cocky grin widened. “Gonna welcome me home with a kiss? Cause if you’re worried about it, I can assure you, I’m good.”

Before I could shut that down, Vienna let out a breathless little laugh. Like falling into a gravity well, my whole being focused on her. “Fletcher, don’t tease Rick, it’s not nice.” Though her own humor seemed to betray that sentiment, it didn’t bother me in the slightest. If it made her smile, I was all for it. “And yes, we’re home, very busy day.”

At the offer of another kiss, I let out a sigh. “What can I do?”

“You two should probably go inside while I deal with…”

“No,” I told her firmly. “You’ve had a long day, if you need me to put him in one of the basement cells, I can take care of that. The wine is chilled and it’s been opened to breathe for you. You could even go take a shower if you’d like.”

Surprise flickered over her expression. “The basement?”

“Cells?” Fletcher’s shock echoed in that one word.

I gave a little shrug. I’d found the dungeon set up during one of my first days cleaning. It appeared to be in use and useful. Since Vienna hadn’t given me permission to be down there, I’d left it as I found it and didn’t open the door again.

“Fletcher,” Vienna said without glancing away from me. “Go inside, shower, and change. Then come down for dinner.”

“Yes ma’am,” Fletcher said, some of his cockiness fading away.

I sympathized with that feeling. I couldn’t read Vienna’s expression at all. She’d gone so still and neutral, worry exploded to life within me.

Then Fletcher paused to press a kiss to her cheek. “Thank you,” he said softly before he darted around me and through the open door to the house, leaving us alone.

A thump from the trunk interrupted. Again.

Well, almost alone.

Still, I waited. If I’d fucked up, then I’d take my lumps. I still wasn’t leaving her to carry that person downstairs. Not conscious. Not when I was right here.

Vienna rested her hand on the trunk as she studied me. My heart pounded against my ribcage. She’d never been upset with me before, and I couldn’t say I enjoyed the feeling. That was, if she was upset. There was no way to tell under the dim lights in the garage.

Maybe under the bright light of day, where I could see every nuance of her expression, but not right here, right now.

“How did you know about the basement?”

I released a slow breath. Her question hadn’t been accusatory, more like curious.

“One of the first times you left, when I’d been cleaning. I thought there might be supplies stocked up down there when I ran out of wipes. After I realized there weren’t any, I never went down there again.”

She stepped forward, and I cupped my hands on her hips. Soft amusement flashed in her eyes. “Hmm. No wipes down there. What did you see?”

“I saw one of the cells was occupied. I didn’t talk to him though, even when he tried to yell at me.” Tried, because his voice was reed thin from either overuse or dehydration. Maybe both. He, like the basement, wasn’t any of my business. If he was down there, then he must have done something very bad. Vienna didn’t hurt innocents. She kept them safe from the monsters.

“He never said,” she mused, then shook her head. “It doesn’t matter now. He’s no longer down there.”

“Do you want me to take this person down? I’m happy to. Then you can relax and enjoy dinner. I’ve got chocolate chip cookies in the oven too.” Luckily, I’d just put them in. We had time for me to drop him downstairs.

Pulling her hand from the trunk, she slid it up my chest to rest on the side of my neck. “You’re so sweet, Rick. I’m glad you came into my life.” She glanced down where the offender waited and sighed. “We better get this done. If Fletcher makes it down before we get him secured, he might lose it again.”

“Again?” I hid the bit of glee that roused in my chest. Not that I wanted him sick, per se. I did have some guilt from when I’d gotten him drunk. But if he couldn’t handle her work, then maybe she’d take me next time.

She shook her head and motioned me to step away from the trunk. “It was a very intense situation. I’ll tell you about it later, but I’m proud of him. He surprised me, but more than that, I think he surprised himself. We still have this problem to take care of.” She motioned to the hidden person. “I need Fletcher to do some research before I figure out how we’re going to handle him.”

With a press of the key fob, the trunk popped open. Inside, a large man was crammed in the small space, his legs tied to one wrist. How must have worked one hand out because that arm wasn’t tied to anything. His pale eyes nearly glowed in the shadows as he glared at us.

That wouldn’t do at all. He needed to be fully restrained.

Moving Vienna back gently with a hand to her stomach, I cocked back and then slammed my fist into his face. I watched for a few seconds to make sure he was truly knocked out, then I unknotted the rope connecting his hand to his ankles. I tied his free hand up again. Just in case he was pretending to be knocked out, I didn’t want to inadvertently give him any advantages.

From the looks of it, he was similar in height to me, if not a little taller, but I had more weight on him. I grunted as I pulled him out and threw him over my shoulder. He was silent during the whole thing. Good. He really was unconscious. Otherwise, he would have grunted or made some noise from the force of his stomach hitting my shoulder.

“I’ll grab the door,” Vienna said as she closed the trunk, then moved around me. We’d need to vacuum out the trunk, but I could do that after dinner. I didn’t want Vienna to have to worry about anything else tonight.

Following behind her, I made sure to keep a firm hold on this guy.

I didn’t ask her any questions because I trusted her completely. But he didn’t seem like her usual target. There wasn’t anything physical that I could place my finger on. He was dressed in slacks and a button down, which was on par with many of the men Vienna had me watching.

He just seemed different. I shrugged. It didn’t matter.

She went ahead of me and opened the second cell door. It was different from the first time I’d been down here. It smelled clean, like she’d soaked the entire room from the ceiling down in bleach. Maybe she had, because the man who had been in the other cell before was now gone. Beyond the cot, the cell also had a toilet and sink. The bare minimums. A thin plastic mat covered the cot. There were no sheets or blankets. I glanced at it but decided against laying him on it. Instead, I dropped him to the concrete floor. If Vienna wanted him in this cell, he deserved no kindness from me.

“Do you want me to undo the ropes?” I turned to Vienna as the man groaned at my feet. He wouldn’t be out for very much longer.

Tough bastard.

Granted, he couldn’t have been comfortable in the trunk. The red marks on his wrists suggested he’d been working to get himself free for a while.

Behind me, Vienna sighed. With the guy stirring, I didn’t dare turn, but I wished I hadn’t asked her the question. It meant she had to consider the options. I’d rather send her upstairs to relax. Today had apparently been far more difficult than she expected.

“Untie him,” she said with a kind of finality. “He might be down here for a while.”
Heather Long; Blake Blessing. First Chorus (Kindle Locations 495-565).

This is all just the beginning. There is much history to discover here. Cash is quite the enigma as he is questioned by her. Revealing some but keeping much secret. There’s also an attraction here that will be interesting to see play out.

Interactions between Fletcher and Cash are interesting and informative while those with Rick are just routine.

Then there’s her Uncle David, an interesting character we finally see in person. His request to take care of an investigative reporter has me wondering about him more. He’s very persistent in wanting done quickly.

The research into the Vanisher still reveals nothing of use. However, Fletcher is finding more ways to search.

Plenty of intrigue, more targets and plenty of sizzle throughout this book. Although I find myself with more questions than answers as I came to the conclusion of this book.

Holy crap, what an ending it is!

5 Contented Purrs for Heather and Blake!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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Blake Blessing is no longer new on the Indie scene, but she’s still ecstatic about this chapter in life. She is a mom, wife, art enthusiast, and author.

She attended ten different schools growing up, so books became her constant friend. Escaping into books of all different genres made life fun and exciting. Blake was also raised on music and still blasts it through the house and car at every opportunity.

She has a weird sense of humor and a penchant for chocolate milk. It only makes sense she would one day go on to write her own stories.

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Suddenly Married – Suddenly Love Book 1 by Carmen Falcone

Suddenly Married
Suddenly Love Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Carmen Falcone


Kira Jones is determined to make a new life for herself in the Big Apple. The catch? Babysitting a hot French bad boy zillionaire and keeping tabs on him in exchange for enough cash to open her own business. Easy, right? But after a paparazzo exposes her in a very compromising position with her new boss, the tables are turned—and she ends up agreeing to marry him!

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Luc Beauford had arrived in New York from France just a week ago and already he has a stream of women coming and going. His father, Charles Montague is fed up and hires Kira Jones to be his assistant and get him in line.

Having to wake him up certainly wasn’t in her job description, but she had no choice. They had a meeting to attend, and she also finds she needs to get her libido in control. He certainly isn’t what she expected.

They needed to do damage control since he managed to sleep with an American sweetheart who happened to be married. Little did she know the damage control would be her.

A marriage of convenience, a year, one in which Luc would learn his father’s business and for Kira it would put her in a better place to start her life over here in New York.

It also provides a way to level the playing field with her family, especially her sister.

This is a fun and sensuous read, with plenty of twists and secrets.

5 Contented Purrs for Carmen!

Carmen Falcone

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

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

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

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Gage’s Goal – Terkel’s Team Book 3 by Dale Mayer

Gage’s Goal
Terkel’s Team Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Gage hadn’t told the rest of his team, but he’d planned to meet up with Lorelei after their team disbanded. A little one-on-one time was needed to see if all the sparks they’d felt over the last few years were the real thing. He’d deliberately avoided getting involved with anyone he worked with, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Until all the team is decimated …

Lorelei was in Manchester, hoping to run into Gage, but after a car accident that sent her to hospital with an injured leg, she had no idea what had happened to the others, until Terk contacted her. Once he realized what had befallen her, he figured out that her accident was likely no accident and probably the same potential annihilation that his team had experienced. Terk coaxes Lorelei to live in their temporary new headquarters, where she finds out Gage hadn’t contacted her by choice but because he couldn’t.

Now on the mend, Gage is determined to keep her safe, only that’s much easier said than done, as the attacks turn on her and just … won’t … stop.

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If you haven’t read the other books in this series, STOP, go back and read them first. This book starts where the last one left off. Gage is now awake although he’s still not at full power. He’s just spoken with Damon, Tasha and they introduced him to Sophia, who is Wade’s partner. Terkel has just joined them when he gets a text, from a Lorilei. The name doesn’t click until Gage says they all do, she worked with them through the government. As soon as Terk texts her back his phone rings and he’s given a series of numbers to type in. Then they are connected on a secure line.

Lorilei doesn’t know exactly what’s going on, but she arrived in Manchester the day the team went down and the following day she was in an accident that put her in the hospital until now. Now her hotel room is bugged and she’s not safe. She still has all her government clearances though so that’s a plus.

Although Gage doesn’t want her put in more danger, the only option for her is to stay with them. They don’t have resources to guard her otherwise. Plus they could always use the extra help especially with her access.

Gage and Terk went to meet up with Merk and end up in an attempted ambush. Fortunately they get a prisoner out of it. The information they gather isn’t unexpected but it’s even more concerning because of Lorilei.

This is a favorite scene.

He nodded. “You’re in danger.”

“I know that,” she replied. “That’s why we moved me here. Remember? So, what’s changed?”

He winced. “It’s not that anything has changed, but our prisoner has been talking.”

“That’s good, isn’t it? So what was he talking about that has you so wound up?”

“He just told us that, since the attack on your life failed, the original contract killer— who happens to be our most recent dead guy from the park earlier today— had already hired a friend to finish the job on you because he was taking on this other job to finish us.”

“Good Lord,” Lorelei said, “so I do have a killer after me.” She stared at Gage in disbelief. “Why? How is that even a thing?”

“I don’t know, but apparently it is,” he murmured, as he sank down on the bed beside her. “So … I got scared and just had that moment of ‘Oh my God, they might have already got her,’ you know?”

“Well, I’m not against the greeting just now”— she smiled—“ and the reasoning behind it is a little unnerving at first, but I’m fine. And, as long as I’m here, I’ll be safe.”

He shook his head. “No way, you can’t stay here,” he murmured. “Anything can happen at any time.”

“Maybe so,” she noted, refusing to be pulled into his worry. “But you’ll take care of me, and I know you can do that.”

He frowned. “And what if I fail?”

“Sadly you will have to live with that regret for the rest of your life,” she replied, “but I won’t care because I won’t be here.” He stared at her as she shrugged. “I tend to get a bit fatalistic about the whole thing,” she explained. “I mean, even when I worked for the government, it was something that I always knew could happen, but it wasn’t something that I ever focused on. And I’m certainly not focusing on it now because honestly, it doesn’t seem like something I want to waste my time and energy on.”

“It’s hardly a waste to reevaluate your life and to try to be safe,” he murmured.

“But how does any of this help me?” she asked. “It only really came home to me when I realized that the hit-and-run could have been somebody intentionally trying to take me out. It’s an odd thought, but I’ve never mattered to anybody enough to be worth killing.” As he stared at her, horrified, her lips twitched. “Yes, I’m making light of it,” she teased. “Obviously I’ll take this very seriously, and it is a little disconcerting.”

“Of course it is,” Gage agreed. Then he picked up her fingers, sliding his between them. “It is also something that I need you to take very seriously because anybody could be the next contract killer.”

“Well, I’m sure you’re online, tracking that guy you have in custody already, trying to find out who on his list of associates is connected and who else in this wonderful world of contract killers is involved,” she noted. “So I’m in good hands. I mean, look at us. Between all of us here, we ran huge departments. We set up all kinds of missions and investigative cases and intel-gathering ops,” she added. “I mean, this is hardly new for us. What’s new is that we are the ones with targets on our backs, and we’re trying to save ourselves this time, but we have all the skills we could possibly ever need. So we can do this.”

He smiled, leaned over, and kissed her very gently this time. “How very true.” Lifting her laptop off her lap, he asked, “Now, are you ready for bed?”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” she protested. “No, I’m not.”

He looked at her, and then he waggled his eyebrows.

“Oh, no, you don’t.” She laughed. “You don’t get to just waltz in here and sweep me off my feet, thinking that’ll be enough.”

“Why not?” he asked. “It isn’t enough?”

She was still laughing. “But, now that you are here, you can help me to the bathroom.”

When he had completely cleared off her bed, he flipped back the covers and helped her to her feet, taking her to the bathroom door. “Call out if you need me. I’ll be within hearing distance. Then I’ll go have a shower.”

She nodded, feeling some of the fatigue from earlier settle in now that he was back again. She hated to admit it but figured she had probably been waiting for him all along. She closed the bathroom door and quickly brushed her teeth, thankful she could bring her things from the hotel. She smiled at the thought and wondered at the events of the day. But then she knew she was in the best possible hands. So, whatever happened, it’s all good. By the time she was done and headed back out, she felt shaky again.

He took a critical look at her, then nodded. “Yeah, it’s definitely bedtime for you.”

She rolled her eyes. “Stop being quite so protective.”

“No can do,” he replied, with a bright smile. “On the other hand, maybe being protective will keep you safe this time.”

“Maybe,” she murmured, then she slipped back into bed, wincing.

He asked, “Did they give you some painkillers?”

She hesitated, then spoke. “Yes, but I don’t like taking them.”

He shook his head, grimacing. “I think it probably would help you get a good night’s sleep.”

“But they make me so groggy in the morning,” she murmured.

“You’ll be fine,” he said. “You’ll be absolutely fine.” He looked in her things and brought out the medication for her.

She took half the dosage required, then snuggled into the bed. “Go have a shower,” she mumbled, already feeling the fatigue hitting her. He disappeared into the bathroom. She laid here for a long moment, wondering what his plan was when he returned. But, as injured as she was, chances were he wouldn’t do anything.

He also wasn’t talking about the trouble with his own leg, which had seemed to get worse as the day progressed. Had he been injured in a way that he hadn’t told her about? Thoughts like that stopped her from falling asleep. When he entered the bedroom with just a towel around his waist, she murmured, “How badly injured were you?”

“If you mean the leg,” he replied, “that appears to be more of an energy glitch.”

She pondered that for a moment. “Does that make sense to you?”

“Meaning that you don’t know what an energy glitch is, right? Well, hey, welcome to our world. And, no, it doesn’t make any sense to me, but it seems to be what we’re talking about.”

“Wow. Okay, so how do you fix an energy glitch?”

“Now Terk would say, Time, energy, and healing abilities,” Gage explained, “but, in my case, I don’t really know what’s required. I keep trying to give it time to heal, but he would say it’s probably connected to my own energy drain.”

“And is that something you can heal?” she asked.

He looked at her, then nodded. “It is, indeed. It just may take a little longer than I thought.”

She smiled. “In my opinion, we always think injuries take longer to heal than we thought.”

He nodded, then walked over and shut down the light in the bedroom. “Can you sleep now?”

“I think so,” she replied. “I presume you’re sleeping in here with me.”

“Yep,” he confirmed. “We’ll be short on space as more guys get back, so I figured we might as well get used to it.”

“Fine,” she said, “and at least I know that nobody will slip in and slice my throat in the night.”

“That is very true.” Gage slid into the bed beside her. He shuffled gently, trying to get comfortable, and then he tugged her ever closer. “Now sleep,” he murmured. “I promise that nobody will attack you in the night.”

She wondered about that for a long moment and then realized, at least if they did attack, it wouldn’t happen quietly, not with him around. She closed her eyes and slept.
Dale Mayer. Gage’s Goal (Kindle Locations 1000-1063). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Gage is slowly admitting he’s in love with Lorilei. They’ve been sort of working toward it for a while but while Gage was working with the team he thought more to protect her.

The threats to her lead to some very interesting encounters, and a premonition from Terk.

I found myself holding my breath a lot as this story continues. They really need answers but until they get ahold of someone higher up that’s not happening.

So much happens in this book, I really love Gage and Lorilei they are perfect together. I really can’t wait for the next book in this series. The lead in at the end just has me wanting more.

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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Baby Magnet: A Billionaire Secret Baby Romance – Titans of Tech Book 3 by TS Layne

Baby Magnet
Titans of Tech Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
TS Layne



Corporate Raider, Ruthless, Devil in a Three-Piece Suit. As CFO of Steele Conglomerate, I’m all this and worse. My only salvation is a nightly confessional at the altar of Lisa Liu’s bar. So when some d-bag leaves her high and dry, facing single motherhood – I step in—find my absolution. But Lisa doesn’t need rescuing and doesn’t want a Knight in Shining Armor. She wants all the things I can never give her – commitment, marriage, a family. But the more time I spend with Lisa and her daughter Polly, the more I want a shot at heaven.


They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that road runs right through Owen Donahue – my biggest mistake I’ll never regret. He wasn’t supposed to be anything more than my favorite regular. But now that he’s pursuing me with the same relentless determination he reserves for corporate takeovers and offering me the moon, I keep saying yes when I should be saying no.

I can never tell Owen what happened the night our drinking game went too far – because the best thing that ever happened to me is the one thing that will make him walk away.

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As this book opens we’re taken to the past when Lisa first started working at Danny’s private club, the Whiskey Bar. It’s where Owen, Harrison aka Steele and Stockton hang out and sometimes play a few hands of poker. Owen doesn’t stay out late, he’s still responsible for his underage siblings.

Lisa isn’t taking anything from customers, no matter who they think they are. She does however present his drink to him with a cartoon sketched on it. These are a source of many giggles throughout the book.

This is a favorite scene, before things get spicy.

Oscar is one of the few people I know taller than me, and he’s twice as wide. No one’s getting past him. I hand over my embossed leather medallion with the Whiskey Den logo on it. It’s like this every single time, even though Oscar sees a core group of us nearly every day. Danny doesn’t play favorites, even though he should. My friends and I bought his first still.

Oscar pushes the door wide with a smile. “Good to see you, O. Danny’s got a surprise for you today.”

“Yeah?” My curiosity is piqued. Danny hates surprises, including giving them, but I’ll play along.

“Behind the bar,” Oscar says with a lift of his brows and a nod of his head past the antique boiler that dominates the space. “I think you’ll appreciate it.”

I enter and scan the bottles on either side of the antique mirror centered over the bar, searching for a new bottle of rare vintage of Scotch. But I don’t see anything out of place until my eyes land on a shapely, highly squeezable ass in red leather pants and a black tank top. “Oh, holy shit, what’s this?” I murmur, taking my fill of the view in front of me. “What happened to Maurice?” I ask Danny as he pulls me in for a bro hug.

“Happy Birthday, man. Had a good day?”

It should be the best damn day of my life. Instead, my day has been absolute shit. There’s nothing like having to cancel the biggest acquisition meeting of my career because my baby sister got suspended for telling her chemistry teacher to “Go royally fuck yourself.” She’s only one month into high school and I’m seriously questioning my ability to survive the next four years before I can finally punch my freedom card.

“It just got a helluva lot better.” I lift my chin to the beauty behind the bar, watching avidly as she stands and turns our direction. My mouth dries as I take in her heart-shaped face, full cherry lips and wide dark eyes. Her legs seem to stretch for days which is fine with me, because at 6’7″ I’ve always gravitated toward taller women. She doesn’t look old enough to serve more than Shirley Temples and fuck me for being a full-on perv, but my balls tighten at the thought of tapping that. Especially when I read the white glitter script that says “Bite Me” across her ample chest.

I would bite and lick every inch of those curves. I’d lose my hands in the silky black hair that hangs in a long braid over her shoulder, and when her body was languid from the orgasms I’ve given her, I’d bury myself so deep we both see stars. The image of us with limbs tangled comes so fast and sharp, my throat burns. “Where in the hell did you find her?” I murmur under my breath.


Of course. Danny may make the best whiskey I’ve ever tried, but his superpower is dealing in information. Somehow, he has minions in the brightest and darkest corners of the city, not unlike his notorious great-grandfather.

Danny’s voice turns dark. “But don’t get any ideas.”

“Why? You tapping that?” I say with more aggression than I intend, embarrassed that my thoughts seem so transparent. I’m already short-tempered thanks to the emotional drama with my little sister and missing out on personally firing the CEO of Air-Nautilus.

“Hey, asshole,” the young woman barks, before Danny can answer. “I don’t care how hot you look in a suit, or how many zeroes you have in your bank account, these” – she points to her tits – “are called breasts and you’ve just used up your free pass to take a look. Eyes up here.”

My eyes jerk to hers and the electric current that runs between us shocks me out of any response. She feels it too, because the contempt in her eyes is replaced with a smolder so hot my skin burns.

Beside me, Danny chuckles.

But I don’t look away. I refuse. I need a win someplace today, and Little Miss Bite Me is sure as hell not going to win the showdown she initiated. I don’t back down in the boardroom, and I sure as hell don’t back down in the bedroom. My payoff comes in the form of delicate pink, kissing the tops of her high-boned cheeks. With a press of her lips she breaks our connection by turning her back.

“And while we’re discussing my breasts,” she calls over her shoulder with a throaty burr in her voice that wasn’t there a moment before. “Let’s get a couple of things straight.”

She grabs the bottle of Macallan 25 and pours a measure into a rocks glass. “I don’t clean house, give massages, play Barbie, call people ‘Daddy’ or engage in other weird fetishes you might have.” Her eyes flash with challenge, daring me to protest. “I don’t like K-pop, my vagina’s no tighter than any other woman’s, and I’m never gonna ‘cure your yellow fever.'” She throws up air quotes. “Understand, pretty boy?” She shoots the glass across the bar with a raised eyebrow.

Pretty boy? I’ve been called a lot of things in my young life but never pretty boy. Ruthless? Check. Devil in a suit? Check. Formidable? Check. Asshole? Overbearing? Three checks, compliments of my sisters. It takes a full second for my tongue to reconnect with my brain. “Don’t worry, princess,” I retort. “The only fetishes I indulge in are the ones my partners request, and I give no shits about the size of your tits. I’m an ass-man. Got it, honey?”

Don’t get me wrong, I love tits, but grabbing a handful of ass while I’m driving into a woman who’s begging me to give her everything? Much more satisfying.

Danny clears his throat with a dry chuckle. “Owen, meet Lisa Liu, my new bar manager and second in command. Lisa, this is Owen Donahue, CFO of Steele Conglomerate and a buddy of mine from Stanford. Go easy on him, it’s his birthday today,” he says with a smirk. “He’s spent the better part of the afternoon trying to keep the headmaster of St. Anne’s from expelling his kid sister.”

Danny of course, finds my family troubles endlessly amusing. Lisa, however, does not. Her eyes condemn me. “Let me guess. Justice was served with a wink and a five-figure check?”

Heat rises through me because that’s pretty much how it went down, and the judgment in her eyes makes my skin tight.

I glare at Danny. “Is she this way with all your members?” I grit, scanning the space until I find my best friends and colleagues. Steele, Stockton, and Mac salute me from the wingbacks in the corner, grinning shamelessly. They’ve heard every word.

Danny’s hand lands on my shoulder in a firm grip and a flinty gaze. “You earned that. And Lisa knows she has my full trust.” Meaning, no amount of snark or insolence that spews from her lips will be disciplined by him.

The initial urge to bite and lick her is replaced by a stronger urge to turn her over my knee and spank her until the sounds coming from her smart mouth turn to moans. I’m spoiling for a fight tonight, and if she wants to bring it, game on. Danny be damned.

I brace my hands on the antique mahogany bar and smile grimly. “Let’s just say the right heads always roll for the right price,” I snap, ready to be done with this day and the disturbing level of attraction her snark has generated.

I’m equal parts frustrated and aroused that she still doesn’t back down. She places her hands on the bar, opposite mine, and leans in, eyes like glowing coals. “Hmm. Funny, I’ve found that a well-placed kick in the balls is much more effective than money at getting the right heads to roll.”

She says it sweetly, with a saccharine smile, but her eyes are still sharp as obsidian. Behind me, I hear Mac chortle. Still holding my gaze, she gently pushes my scotch until the cool crystal bumps my hand. “Enjoy your birthday beverage… Mr. Donahue.” She turns way, dismissing me.

Once again, I’m shocked silent by a bolt of arousal driving straight to my balls at the way the word “mister” rolled off her tongue. I wrap my hand around the glass, holding it so tightly that the edge of the bevels press uncomfortably into my skin. The momentary pain distracts me from the inferno rushing through me. I take a healthy gulp of my scotch and seek out my friends.

“Well?” Steele leans forward, a light in his eyes as I drop into the wingback across from him. “Is there birthday pussy in your future?”
TS Layne. Baby Magnet: A Titans of Tech Novel (Kindle Locations 144-208). Shady Layne Media.

When Lisa finds herself pregnant, she refuses to say who the father is. Danny, Owen, Steele and Stockton take on the role of helping her out. Her child would want for nothing.

As this tale unfolds there are hints as to who the father is, but the father himself is clueless. This is all made worse since Lisa remembers the night, but he doesn’t.

I laughed, cried and sighed a bit too as everything unravels.

5 Contented Purrs for TS!

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Tessa Layne

Tessa Layne writes smokin’ hot contemporary cowboy and military romances filled with tenderhearted tough guys and sassy strong women who capture their hearts.She grew up in Colorado in the mountains at the edge of the Great Plains. There, she met her own smokin’ hot Cowboy and they had a whirlwind romance to rival any novel. She believes in Happily Ever Afters, loves fireflies, horses, and breathing clean country air. Her favorite thing to do is to sit on the porch swing with a glass of Rose, listening to her Cowboy pluck his guitar!

Feel free to drop her a line (links below) – She loves to hear from her readers!

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Code Name: Diesel – K19 Shadow Operations Book 2 by Heather Slade

Code Name: Diesel
K19 Shadow Operations Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade


Code name: Caleb “Diesel” Jacks
Target: Bryar Davies
Mission: Use intelligence to ignite the fire
of the sexiest FBI agent I’ve ever met.

As a Cornell grad and former CIA operative, I’ve got the wits and thirst for danger to go deep into the shadows. Seeing my fair share of death and destruction, I never flinch when my life is on the line. But when I meet her, I know she’s the only one who can truly destroy me.

This damn serial killer investigation is going to be the death of me—literally. And now, Diesel won’t let up, protecting me like I’m some damsel in distress. He knows I’m far from it. My FBI badge and education matches him wit for wit and danger for danger. But let’s be completely honest, Diesel has all the right fuel to ignite my fire. I just hope this doesn’t all go up in flames.

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If you are reading this series, I’m sure you noticed Diesel’s reaction when he heard of the ambush on the prisoner escort in the first book. Especially when it comes to FBI agent Bryar Davies.

He knows exactly how long she was in surgery. When she calls him to tell him she’s being released, he rushes to the hospital regardless that her boss Ryan Fitzsimmons want him at headquarters. He works for Onyx not the FBI.

We do have another kidnapping to worry about in this search for the serial killer. Patricia Fasano the psychologist who was working with Maisie. Even before that takes off into full swing, she’s found and brought to the ER at the same hospital where Bryer is still a patient.

Diesel is going to question her if she’s able, but first he goes to Bryar. It seems Pershing ‘Admiral’ Kane, her boss over Ryan was on his way here, presumably to escort her back to DC. Diesel has another idea though, one that gets a bit of twist when he discovers Bryar thinks he slept with Patricia Fasano. Something that never happened.

Things are about to get a whole lot worse for Bryar, beginning with an attempt on her life.

This is a favorite scene.

Someone groaning startled me awake. I opened my eyes and realized it was Diesel, who was clearly in the midst of a nightmare. I knew the signs well enough from experiencing my own.

When I said his name and he didn’t wake up, I leaned over as far as I could and put my hand on his arm.

His eyes sprung open, and he looked around. “Fuck, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay.” My words came out as a whisper, and even that took energy I didn’t feel I had. “What happened?”

“Nightmare. Sorry.”

I shook my head. “With me.” I feel like he’d already told me, but I couldn’t remember.

“Cardiac arrest… resuscitated… stable.” He said more, but those were the only words that registered.

I nodded my head and closed my eyes. The bizarre dreams I’d had made more sense now. Maybe what I thought were nightmares were bits and pieces of what had actually happened. I didn’t see a white light or anything like that. Instead, I just remembered feeling horribly alone.

“Hey,” Diesel said, brushing the tears away that had rolled down my cheeks. “You’re okay now. You’re on the road to recovery, and soon, you’ll be out of here.”

I knew he was only trying to make me feel better, but it wasn’t working.

So I’d recover, then what? I’d still be just as alone as I felt earlier. The sole thing in my life was work. In fact, before I’d been assigned to this case, when I was off, the only people I interacted with were strangers I saw at the market or the restaurants where I’d get takeout. I could go an entire weekend without seeing or hearing from another person.

It hadn’t been much different in college. Unlike Diesel and Agent Kane, I hadn’t become friends with my roommates. They were just people who lived in the same dorm I did.

I’d had friends in high school, but no one I’d kept in touch with after we graduated.

What kind of life was I living? A horribly lonely one. As much as I hated it, I had no idea how to make it any different. I’d never been outgoing.

“Bryar, look at me.”

I shook my head when I felt his fingers touch my face.

“Don’t,” I managed to whisper. If it didn’t take so much damn energy to talk, I’d tell him to leave. Why was he here anyway? I knew why. Because I had no one else.

I tried rolling to my side so my back was to him but must’ve disconnected a wire since machines started beeping. A few seconds later, the door flew open, and three people rushed in.

“You’ll need to wait outside, sir,” I heard one of them tell Diesel. Maybe I’d get my wish, and he’d leave. The thought made me cry even harder.

“Ms. Davies, you need to settle down.”

I nodded and took as deep a breath as I could without it hurting.

“She disconnected the EKG.” I heard a disapproving voice announce.

“Be more careful. We still need to monitor your condition,” the first voice scolded after the others left.

I wanted to tell her to shut up. Why did nurses have to be so fucking mean?

“Ms. Davies needs to rest. You can come back in the morning,” I heard the same woman say.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“I can call security.”

“And I’ll call your boss.”

She huffed and walked out.

“I don’t think she’ll do it, do you?”

I shrugged and smiled. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“She’s right. You don’t have to stay,” I whispered.

“I’m not leaving you here alone with Nurse Hatchet.”

I smiled again. “Ratched.”

“Nurse Ratched Hatchet.”

“Don’t make me laugh.”

“I’m sure crying hurts just as bad.”

It did, but not in the way he meant.

He held my hand in his, stroking it with his thumb. “Get some sleep.”
Heather Slade. Code Name: Diesel (Kindle Locations 671-704). K19 Shadow Operations Book Two.

Now you’d think that would be enough, but dang it gets worse.

Aside from finding a leak in the FBI, the serial killer and kidnapper, there’s now the plot to frame Bryar.

There’s plenty of action, suspense, romance, and just a touch of sizzle as this next chapter of this new arm of K19 continues. I can’t wait to read the next one!!!

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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Forget Me Not Bombshell – Mafia Wars Book 5 by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

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.

Forget Me Not Bombshell
Mafia Wars Book 5
Caroline Peckham
Susanne Valenti


I was sold to my enemies.

The Butchers of the London mob who run an empire built on sin and greed. The stories I’ve heard about the way they rule their underworld are enough to make my heart race. But those rumours have nothing on the truth.

Danny, Church, Frank. The three men who own me now. The head of this so-called kingdom and the two savages who enforce his wrath.

They made a peace deal with my family which came at a cost – me. A mafia princess gifted to them as a bride.

So here I am in my white dress with a gun to my head and a knife in my garter.

I won’t become their plaything. I won’t become their prize.

The war between our families might have ended with this union, but I’m starting a battle of my own. And I’ll trade my body for a chance to leave this wedded bliss behind.

The only question left is whether they’ll be the ones bleeding out, or if I’ll end up with my heart torn from my chest and fed to these hungry British dogs.

The Butcher brothers Benny and Danny are twins. Their father had just died when this meeting of the families needed to be attended. After arriving late at that meeting long ago, it was Benny who vowed with blood to look after the woman whose name he pulled. It would be ten years before the weddings take place because the youngest daughter at that time was only eight years old.

Anya Volkov is traveling with her bodyguard Adrik to London, England to be wed to Danny Butcher of the Firm. The thing is she thought her brothers had a plan to get her out of this, but the truth of the matter is neither her bodyguard nor her brothers have any plan. An American from Las Vegas, who loves her freedom has been told this is her fate.

She’s met by Church, one of Danny’s men and taken not to Danny or a hotel but to Church’s apartment. She discovers quickly that there are no comforts here, she’s cold and tired deciding to sleep on the floor. That doesn’t last long as she needs warmth and joins him in the bed. Although nothing happens between them, she is more than a little put out at the situation.

I was wondering why Danny and that was made clear pretty quickly. Apparently, Benny is in jail, about to be released on what was to be the wedding day. He’d taken great pains to become the exact duplicate of his brother. All his tattoos are Danny’s except for one, the forget me nots. He was getting out and people were being paid extremely well not to let anyone know he’s out. He had a bride to claim as his own and a brother to punish.

Anya hates the dress she is to wear for this wedding but the first thing she rebels against is the collar she’s to wear, although it’s diamond it also locks around her throat. Danny arrives during that protest, and this is not a pleasant encounter. He practically drowns her in the toilet then proceeds to brand the name Butcher on her rear. Done to humiliate and claim ownership, he also sets his right-hand man Frank as her bodyguard.

It’s fortunate for her that Benny gets Danny secured before the wedding. Now pretending to be his brother, he marries Anya. Things don’t get better though, there are many things Benny needs to sort out, not the least of which is their construction business. Danny has let things run down while he’s been in jail. Now their financial security stems on a single deal.

Anya finds herself mostly in the care of Church and Frank, but Benny isn’t an absent husband either. She finds herself confused at the change between the man she met before the wedding and the one she’s with now. She also doesn’t know why Frank seems to hate her, that’s an interesting revelation.

This is a long and detailed book, with many twists and turns. So many things to be sorted, including the situation with Danny. The relationship between Anya and Benny changes in many ways, especially once she sets her sights on not only Church, but Frank as well.

I couldn’t put this book down, there is a new clue or dilemma on almost every page and sizzling heat throughout as well.

5 Contented Purrs for Caroline and Susanne!

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Caroline Peckham

Me and my sister Susanne Valenti now write books together and we’ve built the most amazing, fun, crazy reader group on Facebook which we would LOVE you to join. Be the first to get teasers of upcoming books, plus interact with us daily, asks us questions, make friends with other book junkies and find your reader home.

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Susanne Valenti
I’m Susanne Valenti and I co-write books with my sister Caroline Peckham. We love dark romance and characters who will break your heart, stomp on it and laugh over the pieces before putting them all back together in the end.

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