Just A Taste From: Eat Your Heart Out 2 – A Charity Anthology For The Hunger Project and Unicef’s Ukraine Appeal.

Eat Your Heart Out 2


Arizona Tape
Calista Jayne
Danika Bloom
Demelza Carlton
Erin Bedford
Gwyn McNamee & Christy Anderson
Jade Waltz
Jessalyn Jameson
K. R. Max
Lacey Carter Andersen
Laura Greenwood
Lexie Miers
Linzi Basset
Margo Bond Collins
Mia Harlan
Rachel Everly
Skye MacKinnon
TB Mann
Zoey Indiana


Are you ready for seconds?

Eat Your Heart Out is back for 2022 with 19 brand new standalone stories from bestselling romance authors.

Pull up your chair and dig into a variety of drool-worthy stories! Whether you want to dip into something steamy, or nibble on something sweet, you’ll find your perfect match amongst the pages. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer your treats paranormal, contemporary or with a side of aliens, we have a dish for everyone.

All net proceeds from Eat Your Heart Out 2 will be donated to The Hunger Project and Unicef’s Ukraine appeal.

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My Big Sweet Waffle Monster
Starlight Monsters Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Skye MacKinnon

Penny is smelling waffles, just like her nan used to make with all the sweetness of honey and maple syrup. She has to find where this delightful aroma is coming from. Now while that sounds easy to do for Penny it is not. She’s somewhere in the galaxy not anywhere near Earth and the prospects of going home are less than none. She waits until the guards are at their meal before attempting to find the source of the waffles. Her only way into the area is through the very small vents.

Qong is a prisoner on this ship, he’d been rudely wakened from cryosleep and put into this cell. He’d been traveling to Kev-4 a place for his people to start over with better lives. Now he has no idea where he is his only happiness is in sensing his mate. She appears to be closer now, over his head in fact.

This is one of my favorite scenes.

The alien stared at me with confusion and something like disgust. I’d become pretty good at reading aliens’ expressions, no matter where they were from. It wasn’t all about facial features, but also about stance and body language, plus a large dose of intuition. This particular alien male was confused, which confused me in return. Why was he looking at me as if I wasn’t what he’d expected? He shouldn’t have expected me at all. I was only here because of the sweet scent, the same scent that was so strong now that I could taste waffles in my mouth. I had to fight the urge to chew.  

Up close, he was even bigger than he’d seemed from above. His hexagonal scales formed thick layers, reminding me of medieval plate armour, but far more delicate. They were adorned with a honeycomb pattern, which combined with their golden colour made them look like tiny, crispy waffles. Or maybe not. It was entirely possible that I was only making that connection because of the scent.  

“Do you have any food in here?” I heard myself say.

“Is that what I smell?”

His confusion became even more obvious as he looked down at me with a frown. The scales on his face were only about the size of my fingernails, giving him the flexibility to have an expressive mimic. Even his eyelids and lips were covered in scales, so small that they appeared like gold dust on his skin. His eyes weren’t all that different from a human’s, with dark irises ringed with shimmering gold, although his eyelids closed from the sides like in reptiles.  

“I don’t have food. Are you hungry? What are you?” He clasped a hand over his mouth. “Sorry. That was rude.”

I found him strangely adorable. He was huge and could squeeze me like an insect, but there was a vulnerability in his beautiful golden eyes that made me look past his intimidating strength.  

“I’m human, although it seems most beings call us Peritans,” I explained. “Turns out we’re pretty rare. We’ve only just developed space travel, so only a few of us have left our planet.”

“Peritan,” he repeated thoughtfully. “I’ve never heard of that before. What is your planet called?”

“Earth in my native language, Peritus in Intergalactic Standard.”

“Is your planet close to Aggo?”

“I’m sorry, I have no idea. I don’t know much intergalactic geography. I didn’t exactly leave my home by choice. But anyway, maybe we should start with names?” I smiled at him. “I’m Penny.”

Back on Earth, I would have held out a hand, but I’d learned quickly that most aliens weren’t familiar with that gesture. One had actually taken my hand into his mouth. The memory of his enormous tongue swirling around my fingers still gave me the shivers.  

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, ma… Penny. I am Qong, son of Qing, third enforcer in the Macwuel Clan.”

He said the words with pride, but of course, it meant nothing to me. I just nodded and smiled as if I knew exactly what an enforcer was or how important his clan was.  

The sweet scent of waffles drifted into my nostrils once more and I couldn’t help but ask, “Why does it smell like waffles? Where is it coming from?”

“I don’t know what waffles are. And I only smell the sweet scent of my m… you.”

I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or creepy. “Are you saying that I smell?”

His eyes widened and he raised his scaled hands as if to erase his words. “No, of course not! I simply mean that your scent is the most delicious fragrance I have ever smelled. So sweet, so delicate, so strong. I…” He shook his head and stopped talking before he could dig himself a bigger hole.  

I ignored him and walked around the cell, sniffing every few steps. The scent was coming from in here, that much was certain. I avoided the toilet column, hoping very much that it wasn’t his shit that was smelling this delicious. That would throw up all sorts of new problems – quite literally.

“What are you doing?” he asked after watching me circle his cell twice.

“Finding waffles. Or maple syrup. Or whatever else it is that is driving me crazy by smelling so good.”

“Describe waffles for me.”

I gave him a quick look to check if he was serious, then shrugged and continued pacing. “They’re baked flat cakes, kind of like pancakes, but I suppose you probably don’t know what those are, either. They can be sweet or savoury, although my favourite ones are sweet drizzled with maple syrup. Some people make them in a square shape, but I have a heart-shaped waffle iron. I know it’s silly, but I always feel like they taste better when they look like a heart.”

I realised I was rambling – and drooling at the memory of my nan’s waffles – and stopped.  

“Are they your favourite food?” Qong asked curiously, still not taking his eyes off me. His confusion had abated slightly, but he still didn’t seem sure what to think of me.  

“My favourite sweet food, yes.”

“Then I’m honoured.”

That sentence didn’t make sense at all, so I stopped once again to look at him. “What do you mean?”

“Your kind, your… Peritans… Do you have a mate bond?” he asked instead of answering my question.

“No. We have relationships and fall in love, but we don’t have bonds like I’ve seen in other species.” One of my roommates, a young Ferven woman named Dra-Lia, had explained all about mate bonds to me once. They seemed common and most aliens living on the station were either mated to a partner or looking for their mate. Humans were strange in that regard. I’d tried to explain to Dra-Lia that I didn’t want a fated mate because I wanted to decide who to love, but she’d just shaken her head and given me a pitiful look. For her, finding the mate destined to her by the stars, was the fulfilment of all her dreams. For me, it sounded like a chore.  

“Oh.” Qong looked disappointed, his hairless brows furrowing. “That is strange.”

“Not strange, just different,” I said automatically. It had become my mantra, something I told myself several times a day, especially when confronted with particularly weird aliens and their even weirder habits. Like the species that communicated by farting. I doubted I’d ever get used to that.  

He didn’t seem to know what to say to that. I finally stopped my exploration of his cell, conceding that there were no waffles hidden away anywhere. I’d known that from the start, really, but the intensity of the scent was pushing away all rational thought. I needed to find the source of the smell so I could think clearly once more.  

Qong breathed in deep, a smile curving his lips as he sighed in contentment. “I don’t smell what you call waffles. For me, it’s the sweet fragrance of the yumii flower mixed with a hint of coradomn, a spice we use a lot in confectionery. It is the most beautiful scent I could imagine. Nobody ever knows what they will smell until the time comes. It could be your favourite flower, dish or even animal, but quite often, it’s a combination of scents, made even better by their union.”

“Sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about. You have to be clearer. Why are we smelling different things? What is causing it?”

“There is no easy way to say this,” he muttered. “So I shall be blunt. You are my mate.”

I froze, unsure how to react to that. Hysterical laughter was one option, denial another. Or maybe should I scream and run?  

Mate. I looked at him, the golden scaly alien, and tried to imagine him as my partner. I didn’t know him, he was a complete stranger, yet it didn’t feel that way. Our gaze met. His eyes were kind and full of hope. He was watching me closely, waiting for my reaction. I liked that he gave me time to process what he’d said.  

Skye MacKinnon. My Big Sweet Waffle Monster (Kindle Locations 150-213). Peryton Press.

Knowing Qong is her mate, she needed the answer to one question, did he volunteer for Kalumbu or are the trials his punishment.

That he is neither is not a surprise to her, she’d seen much over the course of her stay here. Volunteers often weren’t but the trials are harsh and most often deadly. She would need to get him off the ship and get both of them off the station without being caught.

This book is both fun and exciting as they make plans and execute them. I can’t wait for the next book in this brand-new series.

5 Contented Purrs for Skye!

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Skye MacKinnon

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

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

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

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Percy – Hathaway House Book 16 by Dale Mayer

Hathaway House Book 16
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


It was Aaron who convinced Percy to take a chance on Hathaway House. Yet, when he arrives, Aaron is back at school, and Percy’s alone after all. The place is everything Aaron said it was, but the trip getting here set his progress back, from slow to nonexistent.

Giada has worked at the center for several years and always went home happily to her brother at the end of the day. Only now her brother is engaged and planning to marry in six months. Change is happening, whether she likes it or not. And, in this case, it brings up a lot of turbulence in the family dynamic. Dani offers Giada a place of her own here at Hathaway’s staff quarters, but the path forward is not so easy. Thankfully Percy is there as both a comfort and a friend.

Now if only he could find the progress he’s looking for, and she could find the new beginning of her own …

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Aaron recommended Percy for Hathaway House, unfortunately there was an infection to clear before he could be ready for the move. The trip to Hathaway House took a lot out of him more than he expected and to top it off Aaron had returned to school before he got there.

Meetings with Dani and Shane leave him wondering about the miracles that could be accomplished here. A text to Aaron just confirms what he’s already been told. Much to ponder.

Giada is the purchaser for Hathaway House, she’s helping out a bit by bring towels and blankets for the new patient. As they talk, she finds he hasn’t eaten and sets out to get him coffee and maybe food from Dennis. Now Giada has some things to think about since she lives with her brother and he’s getting married in six months. Dani has offered to save an apartment on site for her and she’s thinking about it but has time.

On Percy’s second day, Dani asks Giada to give him a tour of the property. This leads to an interesting conversation as they get to know one another. A lot of insight into Giada’s relationship with her brother. The end the tour at the Vet Clinic and Stan joins them to go to lunch.

This is a favorite scene.

“Oh, good, the line’s not too bad yet,” she stated, but then she looked out at the deck with so many of the tables full, “or maybe we’re just a little bit late.”

She pushed the wheelchair into the buffet line, knowing that, by Percy’s silence, he must be getting more and more uncomfortable around all the other people. She grabbed a tray, put it in his lap, and said, “You hang on to that one. I’ll hang on to this one.”

Stan grabbed one as well. He stepped before them and said, “We’ll go as a team.”

As soon as Dennis saw Stan, Dennis’s face lit up. Then he realized that Percy was here too, in his wheelchair. He leaned over and said, “Percy, my man. What can I get ya?”

“What have you got?” Percy asked. “I can’t even see everything yet.”

“We’ve got fried chicken, grits, biscuits and gravy,” he replied. “Plus we’ve got veggies and even some fried fish over here.” Dennis pointed farther down the buffet line. “So, what appeals?”

“All of it?” Percy asked hesitantly. “But I need dense nutrition.”

“Good,” Dennis noted. “So fish or chicken?”

“Chicken. I had it before, and it’s great.”

“Do you want a biscuit on the side?”

Percy nodded.

“And then we’ll fill the plate up with lots of veggies,” Dennis added, and that’s what he did.

Stan took one look at the size of the plate and said, “It’s a good thing that you guys get a good work out here because, my gosh, you’d be all heavyweights if you didn’t.” He looked back at Dennis and stated, “I’ll take half of what you just gave Percy.”

“Half!” Dennis replied in outrage. “That’s hardly worth shoveling onto a plate.” But he followed suit, handed it off, and then turned to look at Giada. “And you, missy, what would you like?”

“How about half of what you gave Stan?” she replied, with a big grin.

“Nope, nope, nope,” he argued. “You rarely eat here, so take advantage of this wonderful food. Do you want green veggies or a salad?”

“Salad,” she said instantly and watched as Dennis made a fresh salad right in front of her, then asked her if she wanted dark meat or white meat from the fried chicken. By the time her plate was full, she was just as amazed at the aroma. “It smells delicious,” she told Dennis, as she accepted her plate from him.

“It is. Let me come around and give you a hand.” He walked over, pushing Percy forward. “Up here we’ve got desserts and a big drink center,” he added, “so everything you could want, plus coffee and tea. What can I get you?”

Percy hesitated, then looked up at Dennis. “How about just water for now? Maybe a cup of tea and a dessert after I have plowed through this.”

“Good call,” Dennis noted.

Giada watched as Dennis maneuvered Percy right out onto the deck, where already a good thirty or forty other people were already seated. “Do you want sunshine or shade?”

“Sunshine, if it isn’t too-too bright,” Percy replied. At that, Dennis moved him to a large umbrella-covered table. “You pick whereabouts you want to sit at the table. You can get a little sun or a lot here.” And then he set down the tray Percy carried and said, “I’ll be back with water.”

She pulled up beside Percy and sat down next to him. “See? It’s quite the place.” He looked at her, and she saw Percy’s stunned amusement.

“No wonder Aaron doesn’t want to leave. This place is very special.”

“Yeah, they do like to take exceptional care of their patients and their staff,” she noted, with a grin. “And we do argue about budgets all the time.”

“No wonder,” he said. “I can’t imagine keeping it running at this level of quality is easy.”

“Not easy,” she agreed, “but important. Food is to feed and to help nurture and to heal. If you don’t have good quality food,” she says, “it won’t help you guys get back on your feet.”

The look on his face when he bit into the fried chicken moved her in a way she hadn’t expected, with such a sense of peaceful joy, as he sat here and just slowly worked his way through the chicken leg in his hand. She stopped eating to watch.

Finally Stan nudged her gently. “You should be eating your own food.”

She looked down at her chicken. She took a bite, and it was wonderful, no doubt about it. But to see somebody enjoy it in the same way that Percy had was just incredible. When he sat back and stared at the second piece of chicken still on his plate, he looked over at her and said, “I haven’t had anything this good in so very long,” he whispered.

“Enjoy it,” she replied gently. “It won’t disappear off your plate, but we don’t offer fried chicken every day. The menu changes on a regular basis.” He was such a sensual man that it really surprised her and made her feel odd, as if it were a private experience to watch as he thoroughly enjoyed his food. She was done in half the time, and it reminded her that she’d gotten into the habit of just eating because food was in front of her, yet not taking the time to slow down and to enjoy it.

Percy looked over at her plate. “You must have been hungry.”

“I was,” she admitted. “But you’re a good reminder that I need to slow down and to enjoy my food more.”

He nodded enthusiastically. “Good God, if you’ve eaten the swill that I’ve eaten for the last year, you would not be rushing through this. This is almost like a …” He didn’t even know what to say. “But it’s, … it’s almost like an intimate experience. And I know that sounds weird, but it’s just so nice to enjoy good food again.”

“I get it. You keep enjoying. I’ll go grab a coffee.” She got up, needing to put a little time and distance between him and her. She rushed over to get drinks. Stan waited until she got back, and then he excused himself. She put a cup of coffee down in front of Percy. “It might be a bit too early for you,” she noted, “but I was already there.” She sat down beside him. “Wow. You’re almost done.”

“Well, I sped it up a little bit,” he admitted. “I just seemed to be taking too long.”

“No,” she replied, “don’t ever feel that way. The good thing is that you’re taking the time to enjoy your food. Whereas I just rush through mine too often.”

“Nothing quite like having terrible food for a long time to make you appreciate it when you get something so much better.”

She laughed. “And I don’t spend enough time here to get to appreciate the food here very much. I go home and look after my brother.” Percy didn’t say anything, but she felt almost a sense of him withdrawing again. She smiled. “And you made some really good points about my brother. I’ll consider them.”

He looked at her in surprise. “You need to do you,” he replied, “not what I say.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t do it because of that,” she murmured. “But you did make some valid points that I should consider, and it is something that I will consider,” she murmured. “If nothing else, I have to also consider him.”

“Good point.” Percy pushed away his tray. “My God, I need to go sleep for an hour,” he murmured.

“You know something? That’s one of the advantages here. You can do that,” she said, with a gentle smile. “You get to go back, relax, and digest everything that you just put into your stomach.”

“Yeah, but, at one point in time,” he noted, “I’m supposed to start work. Aaron’s warned me that it won’t be easy to get where I want to go.”

“Maybe not,” she agreed. “But”— as she stood up and removed his tray, so that the mess wasn’t in front of him anymore—“ it will be worth it.”
Dale Mayer. Percy (Kindle Locations 746-807). Valley Publishing Ltd..

We see a lot of Shane in this book, Giada gets him involved when a severe muscle spasm has her concerned. I loved the interactions between Shane, Dennis and Giada with regard to her relationship with Percy.

Giada also faces some hard truths when it comes to her brother. She’s going to move out before he gets married and he’s not happy about it at all. His mindset is something she hadn’t considered before that announcement.

This book is truly a journey for both Percy and Giada, very emotional and at times stressful. There is growth that takes time and patience on both sides of this story. I truly love the way things move forward.

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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Rules For Engaging The Earl – The Widow Rules Book 2 by Janna MacGregor

Rules for Engaging the Earl
The Widow Rules Book 2
Janna MacGregor


Get ready for lost wills,
broody dukes,
and scorching hot kissing all over London.

Constance Lysander needs a husband. Or, so society says. She’s about to give birth to her late husband’s child―a man who left her with zero money, and two other wives she didn’t know about. Thankfully, she has her Aunt by her side, and the two other wives have become close friends. But still―with a baby on the way, her shipping business to run, and an enemy skulking about, she has no time to find the perfect match.

Enter Jonathan, Earl of Sykeston. Returned war hero and Constance’s childhood best friend, his reentry into society has been harsh. Maligned for an injury he received in the line of duty, Jonathan prefers to stay out of sight. It’s the only way to keep his heart from completely crumbling. But when a missive from Constance requests his presence―to their marriage ceremony―Jonathan is on board. His feelings for Constance run deep, and he’ll do anything to make her happy, though it means risking his already bruised heart.

With Constance, Jonathan, and the new baby all together, it’s clear the wounds―both on the surface and in their relationship―run deep. But when the nights come, their wounds begin to heal, and both come to realize that their marriage of convenience is so much more than just a bargain.

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Although this book can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the prequel and the first book before diving into this one.

I’ve loved the bravery of Constance from the first. She’s stood up to everyone and fought for what is rightfully hers. Unfortunately, there were many complications, one of which was the question of who is the legal wife of the deceased Lord Meriwether Varek?

While that investigation was going on, a pregnant Constance sends for her best friend Jonathan Eaton, Earl of Sykeston. She’s found he was injured in the war and returned home. He is still unmarried and she requests that he marry her to give her child legitimacy.

Jonathan could never turn down any request made by Constance and while he never planned to marry, he would marry her. He doesn’t consider himself to be good husband material and there is also a threat of court martial hanging over his head, that could ruin them all.

Before Jonathan arrives, Constance discovers she is in fact Lady Meriwether and her child will have no stigma of illegitimacy. However, she is still of the opinion they should marry.

Jonathan also informed her he had things to do before she traveled to his home in Portsmouth, although he didn’t mention what those things were. Constance didn’t hear from him at first and then she started getting letters regularly. It’s now been a year and she’s going to join him in Portsmouth. She’ll be closer to her business, and she can finally be with Jonathan.

Now Jonathan had a rather disastrous meeting with Harold Evert, Marquess of Faladen, his former commander. He left under the threat of blackmail, and an unsubstantiated hint at a letter from the last man he was charged with targeting. He didn’t kill Jean Davout and he was trying to locate the man to clear things up. The man wasn’t armed and Jonathan couldn’t shoot due to the rules of engagement.

Constance also has a problem with Faladen involving her the business left to her by her father.

I find it interesting that while these two are getting to know each other and adjust to being in the same house, they also neglect to tell each other the whole truth about things.

From Jonathan’s depression to Constance’s independence, this book will have you on your toes. I loved seeing the friends from the other two books and they are also instrumental in keeping these two together.

Ups and downs, some sizzle, and plenty of flirting as we work our way to the perfect resolution to their problems.

5 Contented Purrs for Janna!

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Janna Mac Gregor

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.

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Monsters of Air – Of Wings and War Book 1 by Rebecca Ethington

Monsters of Air
Of Wings and War Book 1
Rebecca Ethington


A dragon is nothing without their rider.

Without them the powerful beats cannot breathe fire and protect us from the Fae scourge that continually invades our lands.

The morning I woke up with all color drained from my hair I knew I was in trouble.
I was a rider.

A rider with a whole land of Fae infested forests between me and the training grounds where my dragon would be waiting for me.

My father and I may never make it to the capital, but we were going to try.

So, when we were attacked by Fae on the first night of our journey, I wasn’t surprised. I was surprised when three dragons showed up and saved me.

They are on their way to the capital too, and are willing to take me with them… as long as I choose one of them to mate with.

Easy. Except that something deep inside of me wants all of them.

This was not how I planned to find my dragon.

As this book opens Rayna is fantasizing about being a dragon rider. It was most prestigious to be chosen by the goddess to be one, it’s also a dangerous thing. Dragons and their riders were the line of defense between the humans and the Fae. An ongoing war that is moving ever closer to where Rayna and her family live. Every day Rayna checks her hair to see if it’s changed to the silvery color of a rider, this was the only sign she would get. So far nothing and her disappointment is evident. She doesn’t want to stay on the farm, marry a farmer and have his children, she wants more. She’s thinking of all this as she stokes the fire to life to begin the day.

Her father is the first one up and she starts the coffee as her mother joins them before waking her little sister. There are chores to be done and it’s still bitterly cold out.

With the news of the Fae nearly destroying the village to the north of them, Rayna again expresses her wish to be a rider. Being one would protect her family and village, wouldn’t it? Well apparently, not. Her father choses this moment to tell her that the Fae hunt the riders and kidnap them. He also reminds her that when a dragon comes to be it’s often tragic as they explode into being taking out anyone and anything around them. A dragon is nothing without its rider and that’s the reason the Fae hunt riders, no rider the dragons are nothing.

Still these thoughts are in her mind as she works through the chores, stopping about halfway and falling asleep. When she is woken by her father, her dream has come true. Her hair is Silver, she is a rider and now must travel to the capital Fyre to be trained and meet her dragon.

It’s at the Dragon Fang Inn in Xrotte that Rayna sees her first dragons. Little does she know how important they will be to her.

While she is very attracted to them, her father is keeping her close and away from them, going so far as to leave the Inn before first light. The journey to Fyre would be fraught with danger especially since the Fae live so close.

Unfortunately, the Fae caught up with them before they made it to the forest surrounding the mountain. He father was no match for them but the dragon she met the night before is the first to arrive to help.

This is a favorite scene.

He snapped at air, as the Fae jumped out of reach, sending their arrows flying. Landers spun, but then he stumbled.

While he was massive, he was clearly not used to being a dragon. His movements were stiff, confused, uncontrolled.

So when his tail whacked the Fae, it wasn’t exactly on purpose. He only had his size keeping him safe.

“He’s a whelp,” the leader said with a bark. “Take her away, we’ll keep him busy.”

“You better hurry. There are two more on the horizon, coming in fast,” someone else called.

“They’re all whelps. Kill them, that will be three less monstrous abominations to worry about.”

Kill the dragons? Yeah, I wasn’t going to let that happen. I had already lost Da…

“No!” I ran at them, arms swinging like paddles as I clawed and slapped and punched.

I might as well have been fighting a brick wall.

A brick wall that pushed me back with just as much force.

I grunted as I hit the ground. Then I rolled away and jumped to my feet, sprinting toward the dragon.

I couldn’t fight the Fae, but I could sure as hell run away from them.

“Grab her now, you imbeciles!”

I had never run faster in my life, but I already knew it wasn’t enough.

Whooshing filled the air, mixing with the screams and the roars as the ground shook. The other dragons had arrived.

They were as same and as different as Landers was, their colors specks in the sky that were an exact replica of the dreams that had filled my mind.

“By the goddess.” They were so damn beautiful.

I ran as one of the blue dragon roared and charged forward, bloodthirsty for the Fae. He was bigger than the red dragon, his body larger, his wings longer. I dove out of his way, taking in the shimmering blue scales, almost dark enough to be black. Watching him handle the Fae screamed experience, even as a new dragon.

My heart pounded in my chest, my stomach a tight knot as the blue dragon pushed the Fae back, giving me time to get further away from them. The air smelled of blood, my ears rang with screams and the sound of iron against scales. I wanted to move forward, part of me needing to fight. I took one step when a dragon with green scales landed at my side, his wings wide and protective as he turned and stared me down with eyes brighter than the sun.

“Run.” I repeated the word that filled my mind, and turned, pulling myself from the screams and roars of battle as the dragon’s formed a barricade behind me.

Screams and roars rattled the dawn, but the Fae did not give up. Two slipped through the wall of scales and teeth. In seconds, they were in front of me, trying to yank me with them.

Man, these buggers were persistent.

“Come with us! Let us save you!” Did they really think that I was just going to believe them?

“No thank you, the dragons seem to be doing that just fine!” I pulled back, shrieked, and swung my fist wide. It hit one of them square in the jaw, his purple eyes flashing blue as he staggered. “Get back!”

I put both fists up in warning as the green dragon landed right beside me. The vibrations of his landing nearly knocked me off my feet. He was huge, easily the biggest of the three. The two Fae were thrown back by one swipe of a claw, red blossoming over their fancy clothes.

Two more Fae rushed us, air whooshing around me as the dragon swung, his claws so close to hitting me that the dragon stepped back in a panic.

Bad move..

One of the Fae wrapped his arm around my waist, lifting me up. I had gotten my first taste of victory, so like hell if I was going to let that happen.

I kicked hard, pointing the toe of my leather boot right at his crotch. The Fae screamed and promptly dropped me.

“Serves you right!” I yelled, and tried to kick again.

“You don’t know what you are doing,” he gasped as he dodged my foot, hands over his junk.

A dragon roared behind me, the ground shaking. I turned around, right to the screaming green dragon as he bounded over me.

“Get her!”

Would these fuckers ever give up?

I wobbled on my feet as the dragon landed, everything shaking and sending the battle into further disarray. Fae surrounded the dragons, staves up as they stabbed at scales and air. Some didn’t even seem to be aiming at all.

They were distracting.

One Fae stood further back, his hands slipping through air a wave of what looked like water followed behind them. The wind whirled, sharpened, prickled against my skin.


“Watch–!” My warning was swallowed by a loud boom that nearly burst my eardrums.

The blue dragon let out a screech, reeling back, and falling onto its side. The green dragon at my side surged forward and slammed into the Fae, fighting furiously. The red dragon joined, the two of them snapping and slicing at Fae with teeth and claws.

I held my breath, feeling a chasm open in me when I stared at the blue dragon. He didn’t move for a long moment, and for one painful stab, I thought I was looking at Da again. Then he turned, got to his feet, and ran into the battle, just as vicious, if not more so than the others.

This wasn’t over yet!

I spotted a small weapon sheathed at the side of the Fae who had been trying to pull me away and now lay lifeless in the tall grass. Grabbing the weapon, I turned, holding a small gold knife between the three Fae that were rushing me. For a moment, my hand felt it was burning, but I didn’t let go. I just held on tighter.

“Leave me alone.” I sliced the air.

There was a growl between them in a language that should have been beautiful. Probably would have been if we weren’t all covered in blood. Then one of the Fae was gone, tossed through the air with a flash of claws and teeth. The other Fae quickly backed off, disappearing before my eyes.

Then, there was nothing. No Fae. Just me, standing before three heaving dragons.

I still held onto the weapon, my hand slick with blood as I gripped it. I didn’t know whose blood it was, not that it mattered. Blood was everywhere, it stained my soul in a gaping hole that I had almost forgotten about.


“Da,” the word was a sob as I fell to my knees. I had hardly hit the ground when the green dragon was there, a low whimpering sound rattling in his throat.

“I’m okay,” I whispered as though I understood him. My voice was hoarse, words shaky. I wasn’t fine. Nothing about this was fine.

It never would be again.
Rebecca Ethington. Monsters of Air: Of Wings & War | Book One (Kindle Locations 844-903). Kindle Edition.

Three dragons, all different, and she was attracted to all of them. They had to get to safety quickly grabbing her bags and taking off for the treeline. Once there the fun begins as they begin to argue.

Landers admits to meeting her at the Inn, and gets a punch from the blue dragon, Philit. The green dragon Zilon is a bit more rational but no less angry. Riders can’t be with a dragon or ride them before they are at training. There’s a lot of mystery there.

Philit is the most knowledgeable about riders and their journey, so the others defer to him to lead. The only way Rayna is going to complete this journey in one piece is if they go with her. Since he’s also injured and unable to fly it just makes sense.

This is a heck of a journey, they do meet up with the Fae again. Rayna also does the unthinkable with her dragon companions. She falls in love and bonds. Not with one but with all.

This a definite twist to dragon lore, and there is so much more to come. There’s action, flirting, and definite sizzle as Rayna and her dragons make their way to Fyre.

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!

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Rebecca Ethington

Rebecca Ethington has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then on stage with years of theatrical performances. The Imdalind Series is her first stint into the world of literary writing. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. She was born and raised in the mountains of Salt Lake City, and hasn’t found the desire to leave yet. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her amazing family.

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Finding Peace – Blossom Ridge Book 2 By Becca Jameson

Finding Peace
Blossom Ridge Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson



I’m finally free from the constraints of my large family.
I have a great job at the most amazing resort.
I’m finding myself and I’m learning so much from the other employees.
I’ve never known about this lifestyle before, but I think I’m Little.
And the man who has come to work on the basement might be my Daddy.
But his lifestyle is so different from mine. I could never fit into his world.


I’ve retired from pro football and run a philanthropy in Seattle.
My sneaky friend has asked me to do some construction at Blossom Ridge.
He knows I have a soft spot for broken souls.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Little of my own.
My heart seizes when I meet her. I already know she’s mine.
I just have to convince her she’s become my world.

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Brea never really had a childhood, her parents had her helping with her siblings as soon as she was able. Now at the age of twenty-four she has her first job at Stella’s Café. It’s Stella who recommends her to Leah and Craig for the position of head housekeeper at Blossom Ridge. For Brea this is a huge move, it will give her the freedom she’s never had. There’s no way she can turn this opportunity down.

Niko is a retired football player and longtime friend of Foster’s. He’s come to Blossom Ridge to help with work on the basement. He starts falling for Brea the minute he sees her putting more towels by the pool.

Their first real interaction is at dinner that night.

This is a favorite scene.

Leah assigns me to a seat next to Niko. I’m not surprised. After all, we are the two unattached people at this dinner. But I’m nervous. What if Niko wants to engage me in conversation? I’m about to run out of words. I’ll surely verbally trip over myself and look foolish.

It’s Niko who pulls out my chair and pushes it in as I sit. “Can I get you a drink?” he asks.

I nod and mutter, “Thank you.” I’m not used to being served. I’ve never been served. Ever? It’s possible. It’s strange.

“Water? Tea? Milk?”

I tip my head back to meet his gaze. “Water, please.”

“Do you prefer a glass or a sippy cup?”

My entire body responds to his question. I’m trembling now. “A glass is fine, sir,” I murmur.

He nods and heads for the island. It’s hard for me to focus on the rest of the room. Most of the Littles are seated, and their Daddies— we don’t have any Mommies here this week— are preparing them drinks.

I’m not a Little of course. I mean I don’t think I am. But every Little in the room is handed a sippy cup, including Leah and Amy. Most of them have been served milk. I feel kind of strange when Niko sets a glass of water before me, which is silly since I’d feel a lot weirder if he gave me a sippy cup.

All the men are still standing. They grab bowls and lean over the table to fill them with stew. I’m used to being the odd man— or woman I suppose— out at the Ridge. I’m female and I don’t have a Daddy. Foster and Craig go out of their way to make sure I have what I need, but they’re careful not to treat me like a Little.

I suddenly worry that Niko feels forced to take care of me simply by virtue of being a man while I’m clearly without a partner. The thought makes my stomach hurt. I don’t want him to feel obligated. I’m not a charity case.

“You don’t have to serve me,” I point out as he sets a bowl in front of me.

He winks. “Humor me, Little one. I may be a bit rusty as a Daddy, but I would never let a Little girl serve herself even if she weren’t mine.”

My mouth opens. I need to tell him I’m not a Little. But the moment passes as he puts a slice of bread in front of me and adds a pat of butter to my plate.

I can’t relax until he finally sits next to me, his own food now also in front of him. “Go ahead, kitten. Eat.”

My heart. I think it stops. Kitten?

“What?” he asks, his brow furrowed. “You don’t like that nickname?”

I can’t help but smile. “I like it,” I murmur. “Why kitten?”

He taps my nose. “Your little button nose, I guess. And the way you’re so quiet and kind of bashful. Like a kitten. Seems fitting. Yeah?”

My cheeks heat as my smile grows.

Niko reaches for my ponytail and strokes his fingers through it before giving it a playful tug. “I once had a kitten almost the same auburn color as your hair too. Though I’m not sure his fur was as soft as your pretty locks.” He strokes it again and then releases it and leans back. “Sorry. I’m being too familiar. We hardly know each other.”

We don’t know each other at all. Not even a tiny bit. We met ten minutes ago, and yet both times he touched me sparks went through my system as if he’d shocked me. It’s irrational, but I wish he was still stroking my hair. “It’s okay,” I inform him. “I’ve never had a kitten. I’ve never had any pet.”

I have no idea why I share this information. I’ve never thought much about it, but I bet it would be nice if I had a kitten. I wouldn’t feel as lonely if I had something to pet, a cat who would crawl up into my lap. An animal who would look at me like I hang the moon, reliant on me.

“Ah. Well, you’ve been missing out. Pets are great.” He winks.

I flush. It’s odd having him pay so much attention to me.

He finally turns toward his meal and takes a bite of the stew, moaning around it. “That’s amazing.”

As I lift my own fork, wondering how I’m going to chew and swallow with him so close to me, his hand suddenly wraps around my wrist over the bowl. “Be careful. Blow on it. It’s very hot.”

I flush deeper. So many things about this situation are jarring. First of all, no one has ever cared if I got burned by food. Second of all, I’ve never once had hot food before arriving here, so I wouldn’t know what it might feel like to burn my mouth. Thirdly, Niko’s huge hand is still gripping my arm. Not unwanted. His palm is so large it nearly spans from my wrist to my elbow. His hands are rough from years of hard work. Since he’s come here to help Foster finish part of the basement, I assume he’s a carpenter.

The most shocking thing is that I like his touch. It’s warm and caring and I don’t want him to let go. That’s absurd of course, and even though his fingers linger longer than necessary, he does eventually release me.

I glance back at him, swallowing back my nerves.

He winces. “Sorry again. I’m overstepping. Way overstepping. Something about you brings out the dormant Daddy in me. I can’t help myself. I hope I’m not making you feel uncomfortable.”

Oddly he’s not. He’s making me wonder about myself though.

“You are Little, right?” he asks.

I release my fork, afraid I might drop it if I don’t. “Uh, I don’t think so. I don’t know.” That’s as true as it gets. I’ve watched and learned for the last three weeks, but that doesn’t make me Little.

Niko’s fingers come to my cheek next. “Okay.” He smiles warmly. “As long as I’m not upsetting you, that’s all that matters.” He winks.

“You’re not, sir.”

“Good.” He points at my food. “I don’t think it will burn you anymore.”

I hesitate, afraid I will seriously dribble the stew down the front of me if I try to eat. Eventually, I manage to lift the fork again and take a bite. I moan around the flavor.

Niko chuckles, a deep belly laugh that brings goosebumps to my skin. “It’s good, isn’t it?”

I nod, still chewing, not wanting to talk with my mouth full.

I’m relieved when Craig speaks from across the table, interrupting us. We’ve been in a bubble over here as if no one else exists. “What did you think of the unfinished rooms in the basement, Niko?” Craig asks.
Becca Jameson. Finding Peace (Kindle Locations 263-269). Becca Jameson Publishing.

While Brea may not know if she’s a little, she definitely has set off the Daddy in Niko.

Niko is very intuitive, and it takes no time at all to figure out some of the issues Brea is having. From not sleeping to her not having a clue about a lot of the real world because of her upbringing.

I love the gradual way these two come together, even with the issue of his actual residence being in Seattle proper.

While I’m not usually a fan of this BDSM dynamic, the way Becca writes these characters draws me in every single time.

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

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Coming Soom!

Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

Becca Jameson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 100 books. She is most well-known for her Wolf Masters Series, her Fight Club series, and her Club Zodiac series. She currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and Goldendoodle. Two grown kids pop in every once in a while too! She is loving this journey and has dabbled in a variety of genres, including paranormal, sports romance, military, and BDSM.

A total night owl, Becca writes late at night, sequestering herself in her office with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate, her fingers flying across the keyboard as her characters weave their own stories.

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

…where Alphas dominate…

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Just One Dare – Kingston Family Book 5 by Carly Phillips

Just One Dare
Kingston Family Book 5
NY Times Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips


A one night stand with no names exchanged.

Four years later, she comes face to face with her baby’s father again.

Aurora Michaels isn’t the same girl she was that spring night. No longer homeless and living in the back room of a diner where she worked, she’s now a member of the wealthy Kingston family. She has her daughter, a career and has adjusted to her new normal.

Billionaire Nick Dare is a man who takes charge. He runs the hotel arm of the family empire and his life revolves around business and travel. A quick stop at his brother’s movie premier has him doing a double take.

The woman who haunts his dreams is there. He’s been given a second chance and is determined to make the most of it.

When he learns about their daughter, Nick becomes a man on a mission. Aurora and their child are his. Even if he has to knock down Aurora’s emotional walls to prove it.

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This book opens as Aurora is getting ready to attend the premiere of the film acquired by K-Talent Productions starring Sasha Keaton her sister-in-law, and Harrison Dare. Her sister-in-law Cassidy Kingston is the director. There’s already Oscar buzz about it.

This is fun to watch as her daughter Leah tries to get involved. She’s such an active little girl and dress-up is lots of fun.

As she’s waiting to head to the seats with her family, she spots Harrison Dare with his brothers. Harrison calls them ‘The Dirty Dares’. When one of them turns and looks at her, she loses it and runs to the ladies room. Her one-night stand with no last names is Nick Dare, he’s Leah’s father.

When Nick sees Aurora he’s not letting her get away again. Unfortunately they don’t have time to talk and there’s a lot to talk about. Beginning with how she’s related to the Kingston’s. Was everything she told him years ago a lie?

Things get a bit crazy since Cassidy goes into labor, but the family stays for the film and took off quickly to the hospital afterwards. Not to be distracted from his goal, Nick gets Aurora’s address from Harrison via Xander.

When Nick shows up the next morning, he gets a couple of surprises. One is welcome, the other is not.

This is a favorite scene.

A little while later, dressed in a pair of oversized sweatpants she’d stolen from Dash, rolled down at the waist, and a top she hadn’t realized had shrunk in the wash, she made her way downstairs. If Leah hadn’t already been calling “Mommy,” Aurora would have changed shirts but her munchkin was hungry, and that always took precedence…unless she wanted to hear, I’m starving, over and over again.

Aurora set all the ingredients on the counter. Leah was mixing the batter, doing her best to slop the mix over the sides, or at least that was the way it looked. Aurora resigned herself to a good, long cleaning of the counters.

“That looks finished. Come wash your hands.”

Leah bounced over to the sink and stood on the stool that let her reach the faucet more easily. Once her hands were washed and dried, Aurora grabbed her mug, and poured herself a cup of coffee. A little caffeine always helped her get the day started.

As Aurora went to take a sip of her coffee, Leah asked, “Did you meet the prince last night, mommy?”

At the question, Aurora all but spat the liquid out of her mouth. Before she could answer—not that she had a reply, because what could she call Nick—the doorbell rang.

“I’ve got it!” Leah yelled and disappeared through the kitchen entryway.

“Leah do not open that door!” Aurora yelled, just as the beep beep from the unset alarm signaled her daughter had done just that. The beeps were meant to let Aurora know if anyone entered or exited the house without her knowledge.

She ran, skidding to a halt at the open door where Leah stood facing Nick. “Hi, Mister. You’re a stranger. I’m not allowed to talk to you,” she said, then shut the door in his face.

NICK STARED AT the shut door in shock. A little girl had answered. He pulled out his phone and checked the text from Harrison again, comparing the number on the house to the address on the screen. It matched.

He was still confused as shit when the door opened again, only this time Aurora stood in the entrance. Her cheeks were flushed and her hair was tousled. After-sex hair, as if a man’s fingers had spent hours messing up the long strands. Nick’s stomach churned at the possibility that there might be a guy inside—a father to that adorable girl, and maybe even a husband to Aurora.

“Nick, what are you doing here?” she asked, her voice strained.

“I asked Harrison to get your address from Xander.”

She closed her eyes and shook her head but didn’t say a word. The little girl had disappeared.

“I thought we could talk,” he told her.

She narrowed her gaze, her hand still on the door. “You said you’d call.”

“I couldn’t wait. And to be honest, I didn’t trust you not to blow me off. Not after the way you ran from me last night.” He decided to go for honesty, because she looked ready to follow her daughter’s lead and slam the door in his face. “I didn’t want to lose touch with you again.”

“Mommy, you said you’d make pancakes!” The voice who’d called him a stranger shouted, this time much louder.

“Come in,” Aurora said, obviously resigned.

What the hell? Was it that bad to see him again? He followed her inside and she closed and locked the door behind him. “Leah has a bad habit of answering the door without me being there. I’m trying to break it, but she’s strong-willed.”

“Like her mother?” He really wanted to know about the little girl’s father but couldn’t figure out how to ask.

Aurora stared at him, a wealth of emotion in her eyes. He had no idea what was going on.

Footsteps stomped towards them and the child stopped next to Aurora, tugging on her too-large sweatpants. Men’s sweat pants, Nick thought, and his stomach cramped even harder.

Her top, however, was another story. It was short and tight, allowing a strip of skin to show above the drawstring of the pants.

“Mommy, pancakes please!”

Nick got his first real look at her daughter. Blonde hair like Aurora’s, a little curlier and more out of control, framed her tiny face. Her features were delicate and she was adorable. And her eyes—

His breath left him in a rush as he took in those indigo orbs so common in every branch of the Dare family. “How…how old is she?” he managed to ask.

Aurora had gone pale. “She’s five,” she whispered.

Nick didn’t need to do the math. No wonder Harrison had asked him how long it had been since that summer in Miami Beach. His brother worked with the Kingstons. No doubt he’d met Aurora and her daughter. But without the knowledge that she’d been with Nick, the color of the little girl’s eyes could be chalked up to coincidence. Until Nick’s reveal last night.

“Why’d you let the stranger inside, mommy? Didn’t you tell me about stranger danger?” Leah asked.

Nick bit the inside of his cheek. The kid was a spitfire.

“He’s not a stranger, honey. Mommy knows him from when I used to live in Florida.” Aurora held his gaze as she spoke, until he felt the child staring at him and he dropped his eyes to look at her.

“What’s your name?” she asked him.

“I’m Nick. What’s yours?” He was surprised he could speak, considering how dry his mouth had become.

“I’m Leah. Do you want pancakes? Mommy, please, you promised and the batter’s ready.”

He glanced over and Aurora gave him a little nod.

“I’d love to have pancakes,” Nick said to his daughter.

His daughter. Holy shit.
Carly Phillips. Just One Dare (Kindle Locations 388-437). CP Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Nick knows beyond the shadow of a doubt Leah’s his daughter. Now he just has to win over her mother and make them a family.

There is a little problem with Aurora’s neighbor though. He’s a single father that seems to have his eye on Aurora.

Plenty of ups and downs, with fun and sensuous moments as well.

I can’t wait for the next book, but first I need to go back and get Just One Wish!

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

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Coming Soon!

Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Lachlan – SEALs of Honor Book 28 by Dale Mayer

SEALs of Honor Book 28
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Lachlan is delighted to be picked by Tesla to help her friend out in Germany on a sensitive joint operation. Yet, when he finds out what’s involved, he’s shocked and intrigued. He’s not so overjoyed at the several references to how this “friend” would be perfect for him.

Leah is relatively new to her job as a military analyst based in Germany. When her department is asked to help in a joint task force, she’s afraid she’s in over her head. She’s worked with several of these people before, but this case is an international banking scandal, which everyone is anxious to keep out of the media. But that’s pretty hard to do when the kidnapped victims survive, and a loved one doesn’t.

As the bodies pile up, Lachlan realizes this is more about keeping Leah safe and less about helping Tesla out. It doesn’t take long for him to agree, and she becomes his priority too.

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Lachlan is recruited to go to Germany to help out one of Tesla’s team, Leah. There have been a series of kidnappings from bank personnel with the bank CEO’s being killed and the kidnap victim released with no knowledge of what went down.

To say the welcome Lachlan, Marcus, Axel and Jonah receive is messed up is an understatement. Although Leah meets them at the base, the drive to where they were staying was fraught with evading a tail. Instead of where Leah thought they were going, they are now at a safe house.

I really got a kick out of the interactions with Jonah, being MI6 he’s sort of the outsider here but in the thick of things because all this started in England. There’s even a bit of a rivalry happening for Leah’s attention.

One thing that is very puzzling is that the target of the attack on them seems to point to Leah. The question is why. When one of Leah’s co-workers goes missing a whole new avenue opens up.

This is a favorite scene.

Lachlan sounded so utterly confident that she shook her head. “Tesla would never have said anything about my temper.”

But there was just enough doubt in her voice that he had to laugh.

“Fine,” she added, “of course she would have.”

“Don’t worry. I’m used to people with tempers.”

“Yeah, well, how come? Do you have one?” She hadn’t stopped typing.

“Not really. I’m one of those fairly laid-back types.”

“And that just pisses me off even more,” she stated. “Nobody likes someone who’s perfect.”

At that, Lachlan laughed again.

“Go away,” Leah repeated. “You’re distracting me.”

“Oh, that’s interesting. In what way do I distract you?”

“Oh no, you don’t,” she replied. “Go away.”

And, with that, he agreed. “Okay, I’ll be quiet for a while. But tell me if anything comes up.” And there was a sharpness to his tone, as if he feared she would go off on her own.

“Don’t worry,” she replied. “I don’t have a death wish.”

“Good. I don’t want to have to explain to Tesla that I didn’t look after you.”

That made her stop. “She didn’t send you over to look after me, did she?” She lifted her gaze from the laptop to stare into space, while she considered that.

“No. More to just keep an eye on things,” he replied, laughter in his voice.

“Ha! Knowing her, there was probably an ulterior motive.”

There was silence on the other end, and, with his tone a little too neutral, he asked, “What kind of ulterior motive?”

“She’s been trying to get me married off for a long time,” she explained. “I just don’t bite.”

“Why not?” Lachlan asked. “Or maybe you bite too much?”

“Ouch,” she muttered, typing harder now.

“Not trying to be mean,” he replied, “but, if she’s putting all these great guys in front of you, how come you don’t like any of them?”

“Maybe I’m just not ready to be married or to be married off to just anybody,” she snapped, then paused. “But everybody who’s happily married always wants everybody else in the world to be in the exact same stage, which I find especially irritating.”

He burst out laughing. “You know what? I get that a lot too,” he confirmed. “I have friends who are happily married, and they keep telling me that I should do the same. I’ve heard it over and over again that life will never be the same if I find the right person.”

“Right. Everybody who is married always has this impression that it’s so easy to find the right person.”

“Yeah, because they found that happiness, so they think if they can, anybody can.”

“That’s bullshit too,” she snapped. “It’s not like the right person is just tripping over my life to get to me.” He chuckled, and then she stated bitterly, “You are supposed to be quiet.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied immediately.

Leah groaned. “I think … I like you,” she murmured, “but sometimes you’re very, very irritating.”

“Yep,” he agreed. “That’s quite all right, and I don’t imagine you’re much better.”

She gasped at that, but then he went silent. She wondered why and then started to worry. “You still there?” she asked cautiously.

“I am,” he said, his voice low. “Stay quiet.” She didn’t know what the hell was going on until suddenly he whispered, “You have company.”

“Great,” she muttered, “I can’t see anything on the video cameras.”

“You said earlier that somebody who hacked in can possibly control them.”

“Well, if they are, … they’re doing a damn good job,” she muttered, as she clicked away on her computer.

“The elevator is moving,” he shared.

“How do you know?” she asked, bolting to her feet. “Shit, of course it’s moving.”

“Can you hear it?”

“No, I can’t hear anything,” she muttered. “But that shouldn’t be happening. Somebody hacking the elevators, I should find. … Unless they are using a completely different route.”

“I’m sure they are,” he agreed quietly.

“It’s also one of those cases of somebody else’s ideas working better than mine.”

“What would yours do?” he asked softly.

“I was trying to shut down the elevator, and then the only person who could get up here would need permission.” She kept clicking away, feeling the pressure build. “I think I shut down the elevator now.” As she watched her computer screen, another series of clicks came. “Shit, they just brought it up again.”

“So somebody is online and hacking it right now?” he asked in a sharp tone.

“Yes,” she said. “I’ll need a hand here.”

“Yeah, I’m already here,” he confirmed. “Stay put.”

“Yeah, I’m staying put all right,” she muttered. “But I’ll find this asshole. I really don’t like when somebody tries to take over control of my computer.”

And, with a laughing tone in his voice, Lachlan noted, “Understood.”

“Yeah, you can laugh,” she replied, “but I really don’t like the position I’m in.”

“And, like I said, I’m right here,” he said.

As she looked up, there he was. She frowned at him. “What the hell? Where did you … How the bloody hell did you get back inside without me seeing you?”

“I stayed out of camera range at the second-floor landing,” he explained. “I was up and down the hallway where you couldn’t see me because I knew we had somebody coming in.”

It took her a moment to even begin to process that. She shook her head at the audacity of whoever was out there. “Okay, that won’t happen again,” she declared, as she worked away on the keyboard.

“But now we don’t have any eyes or ears on the outside.”

“What about the other two?”

“They’ve gone hunting.”

“Good, as long as nobody knows they’re out hunting, maybe they’ll actually get somewhere.”

“But that means you have to trust me to handle whatever is coming through that door.”

“I trust you,” she stated, “and I also know that there’s no guarantee that whatever’s coming through the door is actually something you can handle.” She looked up at him. “So be careful.”

He nodded. “Always.”

And, with that, she had to be satisfied, as he slipped back down the hallway. Just then an explosion sounded.

Everything on her laptop went blank.
Dale Mayer. Lachlan (Kindle Locations 1476-1535). Valley Publishing.

Things get even more intense and the chemistry between Leah and Lachlan is undeniable.

Plenty of suspense, action, flirting and a touch of sizzle.

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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Laura Kaye’s Blasphemy Series Tour

Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…
12 Masters. 12 Desires.
12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

Laura Kaye is returning to her
BDSM BLASPHEMY Series this summer!
Now is the perfect time to start the series
with a free series starter!

Bound to Submit
Blasphemy Book 1
NY Times, Wall St Journal &
USA Today Bestselling Author

Laura Kaye


He thinks he caused her pain, but she knows he’s the only one who can heal her…

Kenna Sloane lost her career and her arm in the Marines, and now she feels like she’s losing herself. Submission is the only thing that ever freed her from pain and made her feel secure, and Kenna needs to serve again. Bad. The only problem is the Dom she wants once refused her submission and broke her heart, but, scarred on the inside and out, she’s not looking for love this time. She’s not even sure she’s capable.

Griffin Hudson is haunted by the mistakes that cost him the only woman he ever loved. Now she’s back at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, and more beautiful than ever, and she’s asking for his help with the pain he knows he caused. Even though he’s scared to hurt her again, he can’t refuse her, because he’d give anything to earn a second chance. And this time, he’ll hold on forever.

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I knew this book was going to be something extra special from the moment I finished the novella Hard to Serve. Blasphemy is the perfect name for a BDSM club raised from an abandoned church.

In this book we meet Master Griffin who is bemoaning the loss of someone who could have been his ever after. Lost because he thought he didn’t need or want a relationship. Now seeing two of his partners happily married he feels that loss even more.

Kenna has grown since she walked away from Griffin. Grown and changed as she served in the Marines and has now been medically discharged. She is looking for something to help with the phantom pain and the guilt she feels over her injury. This is a favorite scene near the beginning as Kenna is trying to relax but is having phantom pain.

On a sigh, Kenna sat up and turned on the light. Her gaze went right to her prosthesis, laying on her nightstand and plugged into the charging unit. She had to find a way to become more than what’d happened to her, more than what she’d lost. If she could just get out of her head, maybe she could get free of the pain, of the grief, of the guilt.

Get out of your head, Kenna. Stop thinking. Just feel what I’m doing to you.

Where had that voice and those words come from? Heat ran over her skin, a phantom sensation of another kind. A sensation from a distant, lust-drenched moment, and caused by a man to whom she hadn’t spoken in years.

Griffin Hudson.

Her lover. Her Dominant. But never her Master. He hadn’t wanted to claim her for keeps.
Kaye, Laura. Bound to Submit. Kindle Locations (179-185). Kindle Edition.

Kenna has hope that by returning to Blasphemy she might find the escape she needs by being tied in the intricate play of Shibari and submitting to Master Griffin.

Kenna is welcomed back warmly first by Master Quinton at the bar and directed when she asked to the demonstration.

Oh, the chemistry between these two. Immediate, necessary and hotter than hell itself. You can feel the intensity from the moment their eyes meet, and it just becomes more and more. I laughed, cried and panted throughout this emotional tale.

I believe this is the most sensual, inspirational, heartfelt book Laura has written to date. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us as this series progresses.

5 Contented Purrs for Laura!

Want More?

Hard to Serve
Blasphemy Book 0.5

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Laura has once again painted a picture with her words. While we do get to see the guys at Hard Ink, this story centers on the aftermath of the series. Detective Kyler Vance, you will remember, helped the Ripley’s when they discovered the police were corrupted. He was injured at the Cemetery when Jeremy was beaten.Mia is the Commissioner’s daughter, only Kyler doesn’t know this. She is into some kink that could be dangerous without the right Dom. When they play, they fit very well, maybe too well.

With a relationship blooming in spite of his declarations of not wanting one, his friends more or less tell him to go for it or move on.

This is one of my favorite scenes.

Kyler had tried to stay away from her. When he’d seen her across the club, he’d walked away and stayed away. Despite the fact that her dress made him want to unwrap her, that the updo of her lovely brown hair bared that beautiful throat, that his body was making demands of him that his brain didn’t want to answer.And then she’d made it worse. First, by walking away from the Dom who was clearly interested in her. Second, by waiting at the bar—for him—Kyler had no doubt that’s what she’d been doing. And third by not only giving up on Kyler, but finding a possible replacement in Master Quinton.

And when Quinton had taken her hand—had touched what Kyler’s body screamed was his—Kyler hadn’t been able to stay away anymore. And now, here they were. Kyler in a dark mood. And Mia seemingly all the more turned on for it. It was almost like she knew what he needed her to be, or do, to ease him. And that felt like a really fucking dangerous thing.

That danger didn’t have him walking out of the room though, did it?

No, instead, he was tying her to the cot-style bed in the basement-themed room. She was kneeling with her legs spread wide, which allowed Kyler to secure her hands and ankles behind her using rope tied to the iron. She could only lean so far forward before the rope would catch her. He tied another rope around her waist, with loops around each of her upper thighs, and attached that one to the almost equally high footboard—this rope would not only keep her from leaning back, but it would keep her from being able to sag down onto her calves. The two sets of ropes largely immobilized her so that she had to take whatever he did. After he arranged everything else he needed, he turned to her.

“What are your safewords?” he asked. She gave him the right answers. “And if you’re gagged?”

Mia shook her head three times while humming, “Mmm, mmm, mmm.”

“Very good, Mia. Are there any words or names you don’t like to be called while role-playing?”

“No, Sir,” she said, her voice so aroused that he could’ve thrown her down and skipped all the build up.

But she deserved better than that. He nailed her with a long look, giving her—and himself—one last chance. But they were doing this. “Scene.” Grabbing the medical scissors and a strap, he approached her, his persona shifting to fit the dark role he had in mind. “Well, what do we have here?”
Kaye, Laura. Hard to Serve: A Hard Ink/Blasphemy Crossover Novella . Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated. Kindle Edition. Kindle Locations (1038-1052).

While I have read many books with BDSM this one was by far one of the most intense. The scenes were described in such detail that you can believe you are an observer at Blasphemy. I loved the peek we get of each of the 12 Doms that jointly own the club. I can’t wait to see who’s story comes next in this extremely hot series.

5 Contented Purrs for Laura!

How About Another?

Mastering Her Senses
Blasphemy Book 2

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Master Quinton was tending bar when the alarm flashed for the dark room. It was a room he used often as he’s into playing with the sensual deprivation. He’s met on his way there by Master Wolf and the two of them take over the scene. A young woman was on the floor having difficulty breathing, yet refusing an ambulance.

He wrapped her in a blanket and settled on a couch with her in his lap making it very clear if they didn’t control her breathing, he was calling the ambulance.
As he’s calming her, he notices her eyes hazel with specks of gold. That doesn’t immediately set off recognition but something about a scar on her forehead cause him to look back at those eyes and he knows exactly who is in his arms.

Cassia had stood him up two years ago and never returned to Blasphemy. Now she’s here in his arms struggling to get ahold of herself.

Once her breathing settles, Quinton wants answers, the first one is why isn’t she wearing a phobia band with the others on her wrist? Her answer doesn’t make him happy and he wants the whole truth not just part of it.

This is a favorite scene.

His eyes absolutely blazed down at her. After being wrapped in the blanket—and in him—the air felt cool against all the skin her little dress bared. She nearly vibrated in anticipation. “Do you understand that BDSM is based on trust, and that without complete honesty and full disclosure, that trust cannot be had?”

“Yes, Sir,” she said. Oh, damn. She hadn’t meant to lie, exactly, she’d just been determined to beat this thing. And how could she do that if no one would help her try? Still, guilt slinked through her belly at the thought of how her behavior might’ve affected the Dom she’d gone in the dark room with. She hadn’t meant to deceive or put anyone else in a bad situation, but she also hadn’t been fair to him, had she?

“And do you understand that when there isn’t trust, people get hurt, physically, emotionally, or both?” He nearly glared, and it was kinda intimidating, but also strangely hot. This wasn’t a side of Master Quinton she’d seen before, but it was clear by the hardening of her nipples and goosebumps racing over her skin that she didn’t dislike it.

“Yes, Sir, I do.”

He crossed his arms, and the muscles of his biceps, bared by the black tank top he wore, bulged deliciously.

That man gave some seriously good arm porn. Focus, Cass. Right.

“And do you realize that in failing to request a phobia ribbon and in entering the dark room when you knew you had a fear of the darkness, you represented yourself as being willing to do something which you, in fact, are not willing to do?”

“Yet,” she said without thinking.

“What did you say?” He crouched in front of her, those eyes darker now. Dark and intense. It was the kind of look a Dom gave you when you deserved to be punished.

Cassia almost wished he would. Emotion whipped up inside her. Frustration. Despair. And fear, too, which stirred up some anger, for good measure. “Yet, Sir,” she bit out, her voice trembling from the sudden whirlwind inside her. “I understand I didn’t handle this right. I thought…I just thought about it all wrong. But I wasn’t trying to deceive, I was trying to force my brain to give up this fucking ridiculous and irrational fear because…because I hate it! I hate being such a damn coward all the time! I’m…I’m stuck, and I just want to…get unstuck…and live again!” She hadn’t meant to raise her voice, nor had she intended to cry. But she felt tears swimming in her eyes, threatening to fall.

Master Quinton caught a bit of the wetness with his big thumbs, and then he cupped her face in one hand. “Dude. You’re kind of a badass, and you don’t even know it.”

She rolled her eyes. “More like a dumbass.”

He bit back a smile, even as he arched a brow. “Did you just roll your eyes at me?”


“There’s only one right answer, little one.”

“Yes, Sir.” Cass’s shoulders fell.

He nodded. “Do it again and I will find fun and varied ways to punish you. Fun for me. Got it?”

Now she was the one biting back a smile, because that almost tempted her to do it. All of which was amazing before. “Yes, Sir.”

“Good. Now, I have to ask. Why didn’t you come to me with all this? Or one of the other Masters?”

“Oh, uh…” She swallowed as her thoughts raced. “Well, first, because I figured you were maybe pissed at me for not showing up that night. And second, because if you’re still into the sensory deprivation scenes you used to be into, I’m the last person you’d want to play with. Now.”

His eyes narrowed. “You deciding for me what I want?”

Cassia gasped. She couldn’t stop screwing up tonight, could she? “No, Sir. It’s just that. You like to play with senses, or at least you used to, and I’m terrified of one of mine. So, I just thought—”

“That’s part of your problem. You’re thinking too much.” Rising again, he turned away. And then he paced.

She had about a million questions on the tip of her tongue, but she held them, because he’d put her on her knees to prove a point. There were rules to follow. And right now, that included her keeping her mouth shut. It was one of the things she loved about being a submissive—surrendering to another person’s will could be so damn…freeing. And she needed some freedom from her own mind just then.

Finally, Master Quinton came to sit on the couch in front of her, his elbows resting on his knees and his hands laced in front of him. “Maybe I could help you.”

“You…want to help me?” Cassia asked, hope and fear and anticipation and excitement flooding through her.

“Yeah. I mean, I have some thoughts. And I’d need to know a lot more to come up with a plan,” he said. “And, of course, it’d all be no-strings-attached—”

“No strings attached?” Cassia asked, trying out the words and deciding they made a lot of sense. After everything she’d been through, she needed to get comfortable with herself. And the last thing she needed was the complication of trying to build something with someone else when she was still trying to rebuild herself—and not even sure it was possible.

“I just mean, I wouldn’t expect anything more from you outside of our arrangement. And vice versa. Though, obviously, if you don’t want me—”

“I do. Want you. Your help, I mean. I want it. Sir.” Cass slammed her lips together to cut off the stream of nonsense she couldn’t help. She was just so stunned.

Master Quinton chuckled. “Uh huh.”

She chuckled, too. “And no strings attached…I think that makes the most sense for me. I’m not looking for a relationship right now. Not with all of this going on.”

“Okay, good,” he said. “I’m not either. So we’re on the same page. But there’s one more thing I need to know.”

“Anything,” Cassia said. Never in a million years had she thought this would happen. She’d just assumed playing with Master Quinton wasn’t even a possibility, not after everything.

“Why’d you stand me up the last time we made plans to play? And why didn’t you ever get in touch after?” Master Quinton’s expression was neutral, carefully neutral, she thought, but she could’ve sworn something flashed behind his eyes. Hurt? Anger? Cass hated that he might’ve felt either. In truth, she’d thought about letting him know what’d happened, but she’d been messed up for a long time, and by the time she was more herself, she’d been sure Master Quinton had written her off.

“I’m truly sorry about all that,” Cassia said, willing him to believe her. “I never meant to flake on you. I’d made that date with you as my own personal celebration from returning from the research trip.”

His eyes went wide. “Wait. Are you saying…”

“Yes, Sir. The day I was finally rescued from the cave was the day I was supposed to be here. With you.”
Kaye, Laura. Mastering Her Senses (Blasphemy Book 2) Kindle Locations (244-309). Laura Kaye. Kindle Edition.

From her explanation, Quinton is even more determined to help her overcome her fear of the dark. He does some very thorough research and comes up with a plan.

That plan didn’t cover falling for Cassia, or her falling for him. However, that is exactly where thing head.

I loved this book so much!

5 Contented Purrs for Laura!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Laura Kaye

Laura Kaye is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 books in contemporary romance and romantic suspense and has sold more than one million books in the U.S. alone.Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural.

A former college history professor, Laura also writes bestselling historical women’s fiction as Laura Kamoie. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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The Apocalypse Wow Collection – Magic and Mayhem Universe by Virginia Nelson

The Apocalypse Wow Collection
Magic and Mayhem Universe – Volume 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Virginia Nelson


It’s time to save the world, witchy style!

The Witch Element

Savannah Snickersnee swaps places with her twin and becomes tangled with the two men her sister left behind. Before she can deal with the romantic snarl, she needs to figure out why her sister went back to Assjacket—and fast. A catastrophic cluster$%&* is shaking the entire western seaboard, spilling magic throughout Seattle and causing no end of mystical chaos.

Any Witch Way but West

Sadie Snickersnee is stalked by a wraith who drains her soul and magic. When her landlady suggests she mend an amulet to destroy the wraith, Sadie’s more than willing to try just about anything to escape—even if she has to swap places with her sister and head back to her hometown. When her longtime crush shows up, she needs to not only break the enchantment, but also protect him. What’s a magical twin to do but call her sister in for help? Luckily for the universe… Snickersnees come in twos.

Love And Other Calamities

Bobsy Blatherskite saved the world—twice—but she’s alone and not sure what to do next. Love? Seems like a mundane goal, but it is what everyone else is doing, so Bobsy begins going on a series of first dates. After all, how hard can dating be? Enter Ambrose Foster—the perfect man. Or is he? She couldn’t have swiped right on the one witch hunter on the whole dating site, right?

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In this book Savannah is asked by her twin sister Sadie to switch places for a bit. This is something they haven’t done in years and they also live on opposite sides of the country. Sadie’s reasoning is a romantic dilemma that she needs some time to figure out. Apparently there are two men in love with her but she’s not sure who she loves. For Savannah that also means monitoring magical things on the west coast as her sister is supposed to do, and also follow Sadie’s schedule. Packing up she takes her time and brings only a tiny kitten that needs special care with her. Although she worries about Sadie’s owl familiar Max’s reaction to that. It bothers her most that with this switch they also have to switch familiars and Savannah’s familiar Larry, an otter was most vocal about it.

Savannah has barely gotten any information from Sadie and switched out hair and clothing before Sadie pops out, leaving her alone with Max. She doesn’t even get to unpack her suitcase when an earthquake hits and the two men Sadie is involved with show up on her doorstep.

This is a favorite scene.

Max flapped his wings again, feathers ruffled in irritation, while Savannah tried to soothe the kitten in her arms. A knock from the front door had Max’s head swiveling almost backwards to consider the interruption.

“Someone is here,” he pointed out unhelpfully.

“So can it,” Savannah replied, tugging the beret back on her head with one hand. It landed askew, but she decided it was good enough. “Owls can’t talk, remember?”

He swiveled his head back to glare at her, but she simply headed to the door to answer it.

A man stood outside Sadie’s apartment. His suit looked nice, but the shirt beneath it was rumpled and wrinkled, as if he hadn’t pressed it before yanking it on that morning. His hair hung in equal disarray, with dark curls mussed in a way that suggested he’d run his fingers through it more than once since leaving his home. His eyes really caught Savannah’s attention, though. A catlike yellow, they peered at her from under his bushy brows and expressed genuine concern.

“Sadie,” he said, jarring Savannah out of her bemused staring. The single word reminded her of the role she intended to play and that she was, for all intents and purpose, currently Sadie rather than Savannah. “Are you okay?”

“Yes?” Savannah replied, realizing perhaps too late that she didn’t know any of Sadie’s acquaintances or friends and how awkward exchanges would be until she figured out who all the people were without introductions. “Are you okay?”

His warm smile did funny things to Savannah’s belly, heating her skin until she wondered if she blushed.

“Just like you to worry about others rather than yourself,” he replied, his smile growing. “I’m fine, but that was a decent sized earthquake, and I knew you were likely here all by yourself…”

He trailed off, peering behind her while seeming to try to be less than obvious about it.

“I’m not alone,” Savannah admitted.

The man appeared crestfallen at the news. Before Savannah could say that Max and the kitten were with her, footsteps thundered up the stairs leading to the hall of apartments. “Sadie!” came a cry before another man, this one considerably slimmer and more casually dressed, appeared in the hall. “Are you okay?” he shouted.

Savannah nodded, petting the kitten in her hands. Great, another stranger. “I’m good.”

“Oh, you.” The newcomer derisively sneered at the first guy.

“Good afternoon, Maverick,” the first man said. He cut off the ‘k’ in Maverick as if the name itself tasted bad in his mouth.

“Louie,” the casually dressed guy replied. He wore a plaid button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and tucked into khaki pants. On his feet? Sandals. His well-groomed beard appeared to be the exact shade of brown as the hair he’d pulled back into a bun on top of his head. “I’d say it is good to see you, but I don’t like to lie.”

Savannah smiled brilliantly at both men. Since they’d been kind enough to identify themselves, these were at least two of Sadie’s acquaintances she could address by name, furthering the illusion. “Nice to mee—”

She cut herself off before finishing the sentence. Caught off guard, she almost said nice to meet you when Sadie clearly knew them both— well, if she thought she loved them both.

“See!” she nearly shouted. “Nice to see you both!”

Both men blinked at her as if she’d gone mad, so Savannah went back to petting the kitten— a far safer pastime than talking to them.

“Did anything break? Are you okay?” Maverick asked, practically shoving past Louie to catch Savannah by the elbows. Up close, she noticed he had very nice brown eyes and smelled a bit of peppermint.

“Fine,” she managed to warble out. He stood too close to her, and she wasn’t used to people crowding into her space.

His brow furrowed, and he seemed to search her face for something. He squinted his eyes a bit, considering her carefully, for long silent moments while Savannah panicked that he’d see through her and say outright that she wasn’t Sadie. That would be just perfect, wouldn’t it? A whole lifetime of swapping places with no problems and then, whammo-kablammo, I get busted within seconds of taking over the role again.

“Don’t crowd her,” Louie said from his place in Sadie’s doorway. “Give her some space.”

Maverick backed up slowly but not before running his hands down her glittery mesh covered arms one last time as if to assure himself she was indeed intact. “Sorry,” he muttered. “I just got really worried because I know the earthquakes lately have scared you.”

Savannah’s brow crumpled as she considered his words. Was Sadie afraid of earthquakes? Should she be playing up her terror more, if she wanted them to believe she was Sadie?

Savannah honestly didn’t know.

“I’m fine,” she said, ushering both men back into the hallway. “Barely felt it. Thanks for checking on me.”

“Did you get a kitten?” Louie asked, noticing finally the creature in Savannah’s right hand. “Please don’t tell me that’s food for your owl.”

The horror on the man’s face would’ve been hilarious if not for the fact that something about his gaze made Savannah’s stomach flop in a way she wasn’t sure was good. “Yes,” she replied. “New pet. No name yet, just trying to rescue it for now.”

“A kitten?” Maverick asked, eying the creature with something like disgust. “Since when have you been into kittens?”

“Since yesterday,” Savannah lied. “Trying something new. You know me, always trying new things.”

Maverick’s brow furrowed, actual confusion obvious on his chic but handsome face. “Yeah, but a kitten?”

“I think it is adorable,” Louie said, stepping closer to Savannah to inspect the baby animal. “Hi there, little guy.”

“Girl,” Savannah managed, but it was a struggle to get the single word out. Unlike the other man, who’d crowded her in a way that left her uncomfortable, Louie didn’t reach out and grab her. Instead, he took a single fingertip and bumped it across the tiny square head of the kitten in her hand. The animal lifted its nose to sniff at the offered digit before rattling into a purr that shook its whole body. Savannah understood the cat’s response as just the smell of the man and his nearness practically made her want to purr, and he hadn’t even touched her.

“She’s lovely,” Louie said, but his eyes locked with Savannah’s when he said it.

Savannah swallowed hard.

Get it together, girl. These are the men your twin is supposedly in love with. This means no touchie.

“Thanks for checking in on me,” she quickly said. “As you can see, I’m fine and the animals are fine, so have a great day.”

She tried to close the door on them, but Maverick stuck out a foot, causing the door to jam on the extended appendage. “We planned to go to lunch today, remember? We can leave now, instead, if you have the time?”

Savannah sighed, glancing back at Max for help. The bird didn’t respond, closing his eyes lazily as if to say, “Good luck, witch. We warned you not to trade places.” Getting no help from him, her gaze tracked to the bullet journal, which she still hadn’t gotten to inspect thoroughly to verify her schedule for the day.

“Um, now is fine I guess,” she answered, but even she could hear the defeat in her tone.

For real, get it together. You’re not Savannah, you’re Sadie. How would she respond to this?

Her mind offered nothing, as helpful as the stupid owl.

“I’ll just… get my shoes,” she managed, trying again to close the door. Perhaps if they gave her a moment, she could glance at the journal and pry Max for more information about the two men.

“You’re wearing shoes,” Louie pointed out, gesturing to her sneaker-clad feet.

“Erm, yes. Other shoes.”

With that, she snapped the door closed finally and leaned against it with her eyes closed. “What have I gotten myself into?” she whispered to the kitten.

“A date, apparently,” Max hooted from across the room. “Not to mention the magical bursts your sister was supposed to be investigating. They’re what is causing the earthquakes, you know.”
Virginia Nelson. The Apocalypse Wow Collection: Magic and Mayhem Universe (Kindle Locations 282-338). Virginia Nelson.

Now Savannah has to investigate the magical bursts and hopefully do something about them. Then there’s Maverick who apparently has already figured out she’s not Sadie as he reveals over lunch. That still doesn’t help with the earthquakes that seem to be occurring far more often than usual.

Then there’s Louie, he’s very different from Maverick and she finds herself attracted to him. This could be a real problem if Sadie really loves him and not Maverick.

This is a fun and flirty read with an interesting magical problem to solve, an interesting proclamation from Baba Yaga and a couple of surprises from Sadie.

5 Contented Purrs for Virginia!

At the end of ‘The Witch Element’, Sadie is about to reveal something important but to do that she has to start with when they switched places.

Sadie has had a wraith attached to her for years, it’s why she’s afraid of the dark. Her landlord Mrs. Dankworth knows she has the wraith, and she tells Sadie to get rid of it. She also has an idea of how to do that. She will have to complete three tasks, three being a divine number. The object she has to fix is the broken amulet her mother has. Apparently, her mother saved it because it was her failed attempt at a fertility charm. The way to get rid of the wraith is to fix that amulet, but first she had to get her hands on it.

We meet Maverick right after her visit with Mrs. Dankworth, and he has some questions for her regarding a possible other man in her life. It’s at this point she decides to switch with Savannah and things are familiar if you’ve read the first book. Sadie now has to get her hands on the amulet.

This is a favorite scene with Savannah’s familiar.

“Savannah!” her mother chirped. “So nice of you to stop by. Honey? Savannah is here. Sweetheart, are you staying for dinner?”

It was so normal, so Mom of Mom, that Sadie found herself struggling to hold back tears. She’d missed their parents more than she’d realized, apparently. “Hi, Mom,” was all she said, then hugged her mother for far too long.

Her mother brushed the hair back from her face when she emerged from the woman’s shoulder, then she said, “Is everything okay? I just saw you yesterday and usually you’re not that big of a hug fan.”

“Everything is fine, Mom. It is just really good to see you.” Their father joined them and Sadie hugged him, too, probably also for too long for a Savannah hug, but she needed the hugs.

“Are you staying for dinner, pumpkin?” their father asked.

“Yes,” Sadie replied quickly. If she stayed for dinner, she would have more time to hopefully sneak into her parent’s room, swipe the amulet, then begin to fix the enchantment.

A pop of sound next to her followed by a wash of pineapple scent warned her moments before the river otter appeared by her side.

“Hiya, Frank,” said their mother as she swept into the kitchen past him.

“Hiya, Mom,” said the otter, but it simply stared at Sadie with its beady black eyes.

“Hiya, Frank,” Sadie said to the creature. She should’ve stopped off at Sadie’s house and collected him, probably, but she was sure her sister filled in her familiar on the situation and she wouldn’t have to worry about him telling on them.

“Hello…” The creature tilted its head at her curiously. “And what are we doing here?”

“We’re going to have dinner,” Sadie replied, passing the small animal to follow her mom to the kitchen. “You should just go home. I’ll be there shortly.”

“Uh huh,” said the otter as he followed behind her closely. “Something feels sketchy.”

“Ignore him,” Sadie said simply when her mother looked at the animal in curiosity.

“So, we’re having lasagna tonight,” her mother said with a shrug. “I didn’t feel like cooking, so it is just one of those frozen ones. I didn’t know you were coming by, or I would’ve at least thrown together some dessert.”

“Lasagna is fine,” she said, even as her stomach rebelled at the thought of eating. The guilt and panic over stealing something from her parents stacked up by the second, and Sadie wasn’t sure she’d manage to eat more than a bite regardless of what her mother served.

The house looked just as it had when they’d grown up there. The same curtains blowing in the breeze, the same faded but ridiculously comfortable couch, the same smells… for a moment or two, Sadie could pretend her life was normal and she was just home for a visit.

But when her parents suggested they go out to the porch for after dinner tea, she excused herself to the restroom to have the house to herself.

She stood with her hands braced on the sink and listened as her parents brewed hot water, prepared the tea tray and headed onto the deck. It was part of their daily routine— her dad got home from work right around when her mother did. They cooked dinner side-by-side, unless one of them had some work to finish up, and then retired to the porch to watch the deer or birds in their mountain home’s backyard.

Savannah came by her love of animals honestly, as they’d been raised by parents who enjoyed the wildlife of the area, both natural and magical.

Once she was sure they were outside— she heard the sliding glass door close behind them— she crept out of the bathroom to face off with the otter waiting for her in the hallway.

“Whatcha dooin?” Frank asked with a cock of his bean shaped head.

“None of your business,” Sadie responded, striding down the hallway to their parent’s bedroom.

“You told Savannah you were here because of romantic problems, right?”

Sadie ignored him for the moment, focused on her goal. There, on the dresser where it always sat, was their mother’s black jewelry box. Inlaid with seashells and designed with a gorgeous swan on the top, the box was their mother’s prized possession. In it, she kept her mother and grandmother’s pins, broaches, necklaces and earrings as well as a few family rings.

If she hadn’t changed from when they were kids, the bottom drawer was where she kept the fertility amulet, so Sadie ignored the rest and went for that.

It was there, laying on the red velvet lined bottom of the drawer where it had always been. Sadie grabbed it, tried to ignore the shock of liquid fire that shot down her arm at touching the thing, and then stuffed it in her pocket.

She spun on her heel to find Frank, the otter familiar of her sister, staring with his mouth hanging open in horror. “Are you stealing from your parents? While pretending to be Savannah, so they’ll think she stole from them? Like, you were never my favorite, but—”

“I’m not stealing, rodent,” she muttered in annoyance. “Come with me.”

She escorted the familiar back to the bathroom, but he hesitated in the doorway. “You’re not going to hurt me for seeing you steal, are you?”

“What? No! Why on earth would I hurt my sister’s familiar?”

The otter shuffled inside but she could hear him muttering under his breath, “I never thought I’d see you steal from your parents, did I? But today is full of shocking revelations.”

Once the door was closed behind him, Sadie cast a quick privacy bubble so her parents wouldn’t overhear her talking to the otter. They’d smell the magical residue from her casting, but hopefully they’d think it was just something cosmetic as it was in the bathroom. “Look, I’m going to be honest with you.”

The otter rubbed his nose with one of his adorable paws. “You just stole but you want me to believe you’re being honest. Okay.”

She scowled at him. “I didn’t steal it. I’m borrowing it, and I’m going to fix it.”

“Why?” The otter came a bit closer to her. “Isn’t that thing a fertility charm? You want to get knocked up?”

“No!” Sadie yelped. “Why would I want that?”

For some reason, though, the image of Maverick holding a baby popped in her head unbidden, but she quickly shook it off. How scattered were her thoughts that she’d imagine him with a kid?

“It is a fertility charm, isn’t it?” Frank insisted.

“Yes, and look…” She pulled the amulet out of her pocket, gritting her teeth against the dissonant almost whine that rattled up her arm at touching the thing with bare skin. “It is broken. When I put it back soon, it will be fixed. So, you see? Not stealing. Fixing.”

“Does Savannah know you swapped places with her with the intention of stealing from your parents to ‘fix’ their fertility amulet?” the otter asked, head tilted comically.

“She’s helping with—” For a second, Sadie was at a loss, trying to remember the lie she’d told her sister. “My love life.”

“I should tell her the truth.”

“You should do nothing of the kind.” Sadie bent low to stare the little familiar right in the beady eyes. “I’m doing this to protect her and myself and my family, so you’ll keep your little gob closed, got it?”

“See, you said you wouldn’t hurt me, but I feel very threatened,” Frank replied.

“I can’t with you,” Sadie muttered, dropping the privacy bubble and stomping out of the bathroom. She joined her parents on the deck, taking a seat and a cup of tea while cricket song lit up the night air around them.

Once enough time had passed, and Sadie felt confident her parents wouldn’t think her leaving was mighty suspicious, she headed back to Savannah’s little house in a huff. It seemed like no matter what she did, she ended up being seen as the bad guy. Now that she had the amulet, though, she needed to figure out how to fix the thing.
Virginia Nelson. The Apocalypse Wow Collection: Magic and Mayhem Universe (Kindle Locations 1829-1836). Virginia Nelson.

I love that Maverick shows up and that he confesses to a secret.

Sadie has to succeed in fixing the amulet but she also needs help. More from Baba Yaga and lots of secrets divulged.

5 Contented Purrs for Virginia!

Bobsy Blatherskite is a powerful witch, she’s saved the world a couple of times but now her thoughts are turning to love. First though she has to save the world again. Tabby, a child with lots of power is grieving and a wraith is telling her to destroy everything. Once that’s under control, Bobsy turns back to her love life and she signs up for a dating site. Her mother tries to discourage her from that path, but she already has some dates lined up.

The fun begins as she goes to the first one, lunch in the park. She meets an older grumpy gentleman first. They are interrupted by a very good-looking man who knows her name, she assumes from the website. Although when she asks if he’s Andrew365, he says his name is Ambrose. This is where things get a bit strange as they share her sandwich and then walk by the duck pond. He asks her some weird questions then shoves her in the pond and disappears.

The next date she has is not going well when Ambrose shows up again. This is a favorite scene.

Might as well enjoy the view, since she’d already hiked all the way out here and he was no longer causing a cacophony, she decided as she leaned on the railing.

The day was cool, so she’d worn a comfortable sweater which she pulled closer around herself. She’d put on makeup and, damn the bad luck, shaved for this date. It wasn’t like she’d intended to boink him on the first date, but in books, people met the love of their lives and things just happened sometimes.

She didn’t want to face the possibility of true love’s first boink without at least making sure her bits were ready for action. So shave, makeup, blow dry and flat iron the hair… the works.

Instead, she found Kevin the Caterwauler… who ironically had turned out to be a better date than Andrew365. Maybe she wasn’t cut out for online dating.

Maybe she wasn’t meant for dating at all.

She’d saved the world, after all, and fulfilled her purpose in life. Some were meant for happy ever afters, but perhaps her lot in life was to be satisfied with the lives she’d saved and nothing more?

It sounded like a terribly lonely fate, and she’d been lonely for so long already.

Morose thoughts heavy on her mind and heart— she was the savior, meant to protect the world from ending… shouldn’t she be knee deep in her happy ever after by now? Didn’t she earn it a few hundred thousand times over?— she didn’t even hear him approach her on the little platform.

“Hey,” he said, and she spun to face the guy who’d pushed her in the duck pond.

“You have a lot of balls, just meandering up to me to chat,” she said, then she wondered if he could’ve guessed she was the same woman he’d dunked from behind.

“I followed you here,” the guy said with a shrug. “Seemed rude to follow you all the way here and not even say hello.”

He was hot but weird, so she decided to return to marinating in her unhappiness. She did keep an eye on him, though. And her legs braced evenly apart, so that if he tried to shove her into the falls, she had a better chance of staying on her feet.

The weird thing was, just as the first time she’d met the stranger, she felt drawn to him. Like she knew him, or should know him, or something else vague. Her magic didn’t lean toward prognostication, though, so she didn’t give her gut reaction to him much credence.

“Who are you, anyway?” Bobsy asked. “I seem to recall you knew my name, so it seems you’re at an unfair advantage, because I can’t remember yours.”

He had been looking at her when she began speaking, but his head dropped as soon as she asked for his name. Perhaps he was shy? She’d guessed some sort of anxiety disorder the last time they’d spoken, but she hadn’t really thought about it too deeply since he’d plunged her in to swim with the fishes… or at least the duck poo.

“Do I?” he asked.

“Do you what?” she replied, confused because it wasn’t an answer to her question about his name.

“Do I have you at an advantage? Because I’m starting to think I don’t.”

Bobsy sighed, in no mood for mysterious hot men who had a history of dunking her. “Look, I’m trying to enjoy the serene view after what might have been the worst date in history—”

“Date?” Duckboy asked.

“Yes, date. You probably passed him on your way along the path to the falls.” She answered before she thought better of it, then realized he hadn’t answered any of her questions, and therefore didn’t deserve her responses to his.

She pinched her lips closed, determined not to say another peep to Duckboy, not even to cast a spell on him.

“The guy with the cartoon character tattooed in the middle of his forehead?” Duckboy responded, looking just appalled enough to earn back a half… no, a quarter of a point toward her good graces.

“His name was Kevin,” she answered, despite her plan to remain silent.

Duckboy glanced down the path then back at her. For long moments, his gaze wandered over her body in a way that was less creepy than it was considering. “He doesn’t strike me as your type, if you don’t mind me saying that.”

“What if I did?” she replied, giving up on silence since she seemed utterly incapable of not responding to this strange man for whatever reason.

“Did what?” he asked, brow furrowing.

“Mind you saying it,” she replied with a smirk of her own. She didn’t know why, but it felt as if she’d scored a point against him.

“Ambrose Foster,” he said abruptly, and his gaze locked on hers.

She couldn’t explain it, couldn’t understand the whys or wherefores of it, but her heartbeat sped a bit when she held his gaze. He had gorgeous lashes, lovely eyes, and a body built for sin.

Too bad he is an asshat.

“Is that your name?” she managed in a voice that came out a smidge breathier than she might have hoped. Why did she react to this man this way?

“Yeah,” he answered. “Not that it matters.”

Her head cocked and eyes narrowed as the confusion set back in. “What does that even mean?”

“Look, sorry about this,” he said, then he lurched across the distance separating them.

Her hands came up automatically to block him if he intended to shove her into the water again. She braced herself and planted her hands on his shoulders to grip him. If he tried to hurl her over the edge into the waterfalls, he was coming with her.

But he didn’t shove her. No, instead he pressed what felt suspiciously like a rock against her forehead firmly.

That close, she could smell him— he smelled wonderful, like bourbon and vanilla blended into one heady scent. His fierce expression did lovely things to her body, but she still wasn’t sure what he was doing.

“So… what part are you sorry about— lunging at me like you were gonna try to throw me over the edge or shoving a rock against my forehead?” Bobsy asked in what she thought was a reasonable tone, considering.

“Shh, give it a sec,” he replied, staring at her forehead aggressively.

“Okay,” she said with a shrug. He wasn’t hurting her, and although she had no clue what he was trying to accomplish, it was still the most action she’d seen in ages. He was attractive, smelled nice, and seemed intelligent enough.

Too bad he is weird.

After a few more long moments of him pressing a rock against her forehead, he sagged in defeat. “I thought for sure that would work.”

“What exactly were you doin?” she asked, reaching for his rock. He gave it to her with a disgruntled little huff of sound. It was a smooth stone, rounded on all corners like it had been found near water. The center was gone, and she remembered reading something about rocks with holes somewhere… “Nice rock, though.”

He reached for his rock again, but she dodged his grab easily. “Give it back,” he said.

Holding it up toward the falls, she looked through the hole. “Oh, I remember what these are for.”

“Yeah?” he asked. “Well, that one is a dud.”

“You didn’t even try to look through it,” she explained. “I seem to recall these being used to look into the unknown, or into fairy worlds or something.”

“That one is powerless,” he replied with a shrug. “Dud.”

“Wait!” she said, a devious smile curling her lips. If he could be an utter weirdo, she could hold her own. “Can’t you see it?”

“See what?” he asked leaning closer to try to peer through the rock she still held out toward the water.

“If you look through the hole… I see it! Isn’t it magical?”

He stepped even closer; his gaze fixed on the rock in her hand. “Do you really see something through there? Wait… maybe I do, too…”

She snorted and chucked it over the edge, watching as it vanished in the falls below. “No, you didn’t, because people don’t look through rocks as it does literally nothing. Later, Ambrose.”

With that, she considered the day won, and she walked away.
Virginia Nelson. The Apocalypse Wow Collection: Magic and Mayhem Universe (Kindle Locations 2954-3018). Virginia Nelson.

The strangeness continues with Ambrose showing up and we get a peek at who he is.

Bobsy is confused but seriously who wouldn’t be with the crazy. There’s a really big surprise in store for these two.

I laughed and cried a bit in this one, it’s truly a delightful tale.

5 Contented Purrs for Virginia!

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Virginia Nelson Virginia Nelson

Virginia Nelson believed them when they said, “Write what you know.” Small town girl writing small town romance, her characters are as full of flaws, misunderstandings, and flat out mistakes as Virginia herself.

When she’s not writing or plotting to take over the world, she likes to hang out with the greatest kids in history, play in the mud, drive far too fast, and scream at inanimate objects.

Virginia likes knights in rusted and dinged up armor, heroes that snarl instead of croon, and heroines who can’t remember to say the right thing even with an author writing their dialogue.

Her books are full of snark, sex, and random acts of ineptitude—not always in that order.

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Just Killing Time – Welcome to Derryville Book 2 by Leslie Kelly

Just Killing Time
Welcome to Derryville Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Leslie Kelly


Is This Player Ready for a New Game?

KILLING TIME IN A SMALL TOWN is the name of a new TV show, but it also describes how bad boy Mick Winchester has been feeling about his life. He supposes he deserves his reputation as the Big Bad Wolf, considering his infamous tattoo, but he’s a little tired of his wicked lifestyle. Maybe it’s time to stop trying to heal a broken heart in the arms of so many women and find just one.

But then a TV show crew rolls into his hometown. The producer is none other than Caroline Lamb…Mick’s college lover. Caroline has changed. Gone is the nice southern girl with big-city dreams. This Caroline is a Hollywood hotshot all wrapped up in a thousand-dollar power suit and killer spike heels. And Mick wants her more than ever.

She’s Desperate for a Hit

Caroline–Caro–Lamb isn’t the barracuda she pretends to be. She’s just desperate to make her murder-mystery show a hit. She can afford no distractions…and her former lover, playboy extraordinaire Mick Winchester, is one huuuuuge distraction.

Then there’s the little problem of a real corpse turning up on the set.


The network bosses are ecstatic. Think of the ratings! But actual murder is way too much reality, even for Caroline. Especially when all clues point to someone very close to Mick Winchester.

With her career on the line, her heart completely vulnerable, and a murder to solve, Caro can’t possibly get involved with the sexiest man she’s ever known–again! And no way would the consummate ladies’ man fall for a woman whose whole lifestyle means she’ll be leaving his world very soon.

Love is out of the question.
If only their hearts remembered that.

This is an updated/modernized/expanded reissue of the original book Killing Time published by Harlequin.**

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While this is a standalone book, I do recommend you read the first book of the series ‘Just About Perfect’ first. There’s a lot of crossover especially with the Winchester family.

This book opens with realtor Mick Winchester being threatened by an old friend Louise Flanagan at gunpoint. She wants him to be naked and her rumbled when her father shows up. She would save Mick’s reputation by forcing him to marry her. Ironically it while this interaction is occurring that his morning appointment shows up.

Caroline ‘Caro’ Lamb is the producer of the reality show ‘Just Killing Time in a Small Town’ that will be filmed here. She needs to rent a room, since the rest of the cast and crew will be filling up the Bohemie Inn and she wants to distance herself from them a bit. She’s not sure what she just walked in on as she approaches Mick’s office, but she does put an end to the scene. Just not in a graceful way.

We also get to see Sophie quit her job at the church in a confrontation with Miss Hester. Unfortunately, more than couple other people hear it at the same time. We also learn at this time Miss Hester has a secret.

Sophie’s house is one of the places Mick shows Caro, unfortunately for Mick she can’t live there, due to her severe allergy to cats. It’s the next place she decides is perfect and Mick doesn’t enlighten her on who owns the home. The bedroom suite is perfect as is the rest of the house. She thinks a lovely older woman is the homeowner when in reality it was just Mick’s mother stopping by his place to bake.

Mick and Caro have history and they are both fighting the attraction. Caro is avoiding Mick as things get under way with the show.

This is a favorite scene.

SURPRISINGLY, NO ONE in the cast—or the crew—was killed on the set of the reality show the first day. Even more surprisingly, Mick wasn’t either.

He’d expected Caroline to come after him with both barrels—or a meat cleaver—after his parting shot in her trailer that morning. He still didn’t know what impulse had made him give her that salacious look as he’d left her so-called office.

Because she thought the worst.

Yeah, that was probably it. Because just like in the past she’d accused and found him guilty in one snap judgment. He’d let her think his comment about the couch was a come-on. It hadn’t been. At least, he didn’t think it had been. Considering his brain had been pretty mushy since Caroline’s surprise return to his life, he couldn’t be entirely sure. Could be the big bad wolf on his ass had been in control of that conversation.

Tonight, when Caroline had returned from the Little Bohemie Inn a few hours earlier than she had all week, he was prepared for fireworks. But she seemed to have forgotten all about what had happened this morning. One glimpse of her pinched, weary-looking face, and he knew the arrival of the cast had been less than auspicious.

“Beer,” she said the minute she closed the front door and dropped her briefcase on the floor in the foyer.

“Porch,” he replied, just as succinctly.

She turned right around, and yanked the door open again. Somehow, she managed to kick off both her high-heeled shoes midstep as she walked onto the porch. He heard the fridge open and close, then the hiss of a bottle being uncapped. She was pulling a deep draught of it by the time she walked back into the house. “Ahh,” she said, wiping off her lips with the back of her hand.

Totally non-Caroline. Somebody had had a bad day.

“I wasn’t expecting you so early.” He didn’t approach her, never leaving the kitchen counter where he’d been chopping up some veggies for dinner. He’d planned a dinner for one, since she had never returned from the set before 9:00 p.m. this week. Without asking, he grabbed another handful of mixed vegetables and tossed them in the colander.

She walked toward him down the narrow hallway, then through the archway into the kitchen. “Food.”

Amused by her one-word grunts, he replied, “Ugh. Hunting not good today, Captain Caveman.”

She didn’t even react to the joke.

“I’d give my Vera Wang gown—the one I bought for last year’s Emmy’s by taking out a second mortgage on my condo—to be sitting in a mud bath at the Casa de Helena spa in San Diego.”

He glanced toward the back door. “It hasn’t rained for a few days, but the garden might still be a little muddy.”

“Oh, don’t I know that it hasn’t rained,” she said, taking a seat at the kitchen table. She sipped again from her bottle. “Renauld was cursing Mother Nature all afternoon.”

Without being asked, he scooped up a big bowlful of tossed salad and walked it over to her.

“Bless you.”

Remembering it was her favorite, he grabbed a bottle of French dressing from the fridge and put it beside her salad. Then he returned to chopping vegetables. “Why did he want it to rain?”

“Atmosphere. He wanted a rainy, gray day when the contestants arrived. Forecast called for it today, which is why he brought them in instead of waiting until tomorrow, when they were supposed to come. Everything was thrown off to take advantage of the rain.”

Mick tossed the vegetables into a pan to stir-fry them, distributing them over the hot surface. “But the rain didn’t show?”


Remembering the leaf-painting issue, Mick asked, “Tell me he didn’t try to create rain.”

“Okay, I won’t tell you.”

“Is this guy a fool or what? How does he keep his job?”

Caroline shoved a big mouthful of salad in her mouth, cooed a little, then dug in again before answering. “He’s been around forever. I think he must have something on the head of the studio. They keep him busy, but always away from L.A. where they don’t have to deal with him.”

“How’d he make rain?”

She ate a few more bites before answering. Then, with a roll of the eyes, she explained, “He had the crew pull a tight shot of each person getting out of the limo and doused them with a sprinkler.”

He grinned, picturing the scene.

“Only, he didn’t know the hose was hooked to a well.”

Mick knew where this was going. “Oooh, Derryville well water always smells like rotten eggs.”

She nodded. “Yep. The first woman who got out, a redhead in a white dress, started shrieking first about her clothes, then about the smell of the water.”

Mick wondered where Jared had been during this whole fiasco. Or Gwen’s Aunt Hildy. The old woman had been front row center, he’d lay money on that. If there was excitement to be found anywhere near the inn, she was sure to be part of it.

“He had one of the sound guys flipping a big piece of flat aluminum to make storm sounds, but the aluminum got slippery from the sprinkler, flew out of the sound guy’s hands, and nearly decapitated another contestant.”

This time Mick snickered out loud. She shot him a look that said she didn’t appreciate his laughter.

“Come on, Caroline, you gotta admit it sounds pretty funny.”

She shook her head. “Yeah, so funny that one of the other contestants burst into laughter. Which made the nearly decapitated one shove him. And, since the ground was wet…”

Trying to keep a straight face, Mick said, “He fell?”

“Oh, he completely wiped out. We’re talking Three Stooges stuff here.”

Mick bit the inside of his cheek this time.

“He took-out four other people along with him, until nearly a carful of our enthusiastic, energetic contestants were throwing mud into each other’s faces.” She finished off her beer in one long pull. “My God, if they’d been naked we could have charged money and sold drinks.”
Leslie Kelly. Just Killing Time (Kindle Locations 1577-1621). Kindle Edition.

The show takes center stage and there is plenty going on. A side romance with one of the contestants and the lead camera person is just one.

Then there’s a real murder that comes into play.

Suspense and laughter abound in this delightful simmer to sizzle romance.

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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