All posts by carolkittie

I am a retired software developer, avid reader and reviewer. While I read all genres, I love romance and erotic romance. I am devoting this blog to the Authors of Romance, for now. I occasionally review books for Bea's Book Nook where you can catch my reviews for books that do not qualify under the Romance genre.

Wicked Healing – Healing Hands, Healing Hearts Book 2 by J.M. Madden



Wicked Healing
Healing Hands, Healing Hearts Book 2
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
J.M. Madden

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Erin Knox has never dealt with a dog as difficult as Wicked, an injured Military War dog, but then, she’s never had a dog with the kind of experience that he’s had. Since being blown up in an IED, the dog has traveled around the world and been separated from his long-time handler, who was also wounded in the blast. It’s going to take a lot of work to foster him. The dog is broken in more ways than one.

Luca Carmichael was told his best friend had died in the explosion in Afghanistan, so it’s a shock when he receives a letter from the woman fostering Wicked back to health. A desolate future suddenly takes on fresh hope and he waits impatiently for every email. As they both heal, he and Erica share more and more of themselves. Before long he’s waiting to hear from her, but not just for a report on Wicked. Would she be willing to take two wounded soldiers into her heart?

Erin won my heart from the first page of this book, and Wicked shortly thereafter. She didn’t have to find Wicked’s handler but she did and the results, well, tears.

Luca wasn’t doing well, mentally anyway. His guilt over losing his canine partner was overwhelming. When he read the first email from Erin, his world tipped and he found a new balance.

Erin and Luca maintain a correspondence with pictures and updates. They even planned a visit once Wicked was fitted with prosthetic.

This is a favorite scene as Erin Facetimes Luca as they leave the vet’s office.

Wicked was not wild about having people mess with his leg again, and he definitely didn’t like the thing mounted to his foot and Velcro-ed, but once he realized he could move around like he used to he forgot about it. Within two minutes he was walking like he’d always worn a prosthetic. Erin went up and down the hallway of the vet’s office, watching his mobility. One of the vet techs took a walking video and they looked at it on loop several times.

“I’m very happy with this,” Dr. Lang told her. “It’s a small prosthetic and I think he’ll be completely fine with it. If it was further up the hock the process would be a little more difficult, but I think he’s going to adapt like he should. You saw how easy it was to add the piece.”

Erin nodded. Literally it had taken two straps of Velcro and five seconds to put on. It was only two shaped bars of plastic, with a cushion pad on the bottom and a strip of rubber on the sole. If anything he might need heavier Velcro to attach to the leg if he was going to be doing a lot of jumping. But that was an issue for later down the road.

They walked out of the vet’s office side by side, and Wicked only had the most minor of bobbles. He jogged beside her as they went through the parking lot and even seemed excited to jump up into the back without using the old man ramp. Laughing, Erin drew her phone from her pocket and dialed Luca, then hit the FaceTime button. It rang and rang, and that was when she realized that maybe he didn’t want to see her, or for her to see him. She was just about to hang up when he answered.

Her first view of him was a shock. Damn. Luca Carmichael looked to be a handsome dark devil, with dark hair and eyes. His curly hair was a little mussed, like he’d been running his hands through it, but there was an alertness in his expression that so reminded her of Wicked. She grinned into the camera. “I thought you would like to see your dog in action.”

Turning the camera she scanned the view over his body and down to the prosthetic.

“Oh, Boss.”

Wicked jerked to alertness, focusing in on the phone, and she realized he hadn’t even heard his handler’s voice for weeks. “Luca,” she said, turning the phone back to herself, “I think he just recognized your voice.”

She turned the phone back to the dog. “Hey, Boss, look at you, buddy!” Luca called.

Wicked went nuts, whining and shoving his nose toward the phone, as if he was sniffing for Luca, and it actually brought tears to her eyes. It was obvious the dog recognized and missed his partner. He danced in the back of the car as Luca talked to him.

“Erin,” he said.

She turned the phone around, wiping her eyes. He seemed to be a little emotional too. “It seems like I’m always telling you thank you. He looks amazing.”

Wicked bumped her hand, as if telling her he wasn’t done. Turning, she sat on the back end of the SUV, with the dog directly behind her so that Luca could see them both. “It was too big of a deal not to celebrate. I’m sorry if I caught you at a bad time.”

Luca laughed, shaking his head. “Don’t worry about it. There is no bad time for you to call. It was so worth it.”

Erin related the conversation with the vet, along with her own observations. She wasn’t sure if Wicked could actually see Luca on the other end of the line, but he definitely recognized his voice. At one point the dog rested his head on her shoulder, as if in thanks for everything, and she teared up again. For a dog as reserved as Wicked, this was like a parade with confetti to Erin.
J.M. Madden. Wicked Healing (Kindle Locations 572-574). Kindle Edition.

This book triggers so many emotions, I was sniffling almost all the way through. Not in a bad way though.

Luca’s mother left much to be desired, she really had no right to do the things she did. The only thing she got right was hiring Healing Hands, Healing Hearts to care for Wicked. At least his father was supportive.

The journey for both the man and the dog was priceless and Erin’s role inspiring and romantic.

This is a wonderful, feel good book, with a simmer to sizzle romance but you’ll definitely need lots of tissues.

5 Contented Purrs for J.M.!

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Coming Soon!

J.M. Madden

J.M. Madden writes compelling romances between ‘combat modified’ military men and the women who love them. J.M. Madden loves any and all good love stories, most particularly her own. She has two beautiful children and a husband who always keeps her on her toes.

J.M. was a Deputy Sheriff in Ohio for nine years, until hubby moved the clan to Kentucky. When not chasing the family around, she’s at the computer, reading and writing, perfecting her craft. She occasionally takes breaks to feed her animal horde and is trying to control her office-supply addiction, but both tasks are uphill battles. Happily, she is writing full-time and always has several projects in the works.

She also dearly loves to hear from readers! So, drop her a line. She’ll respond.


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Kanen – SEALs of Honor Book 20 by Dale Mayer



Kanen
SEALs of Honor Book 20
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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His best friend’s wife is in trouble…

A panicked phone call sends Kanan flying across the ocean to find that she’s been held captive in her apartment, tortured for something her dead husband supposedly hid.

Only she knows nothing about it and her husband is, well, dead…

Dead men don’t talk – or do they? As they unravel the mystery Kanan has to delve into his friend’s life to see what he’d done that put his wife in jeopardy. And find her captor, before he decides to kill her.

Laysa doesn’t know what this man wants, but after seeing Kanan again after so long she knows what she wants. But is it a betrayal of her husband? Then why was her husband hiding things?

And why did her captor want them? Even worse, if he got them in his possession, what was he planning to do with them?

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I have been frantically buying this series, trying to catch up before this book came out. Unfortunately I am only half way through and this book is here.

Laysa has a really big problem she didn’t know she had. Her late husband had something somebody desperately wants.

Kanen was best friends with both Laysa and Blake since grade school. While Blake hadn’t been a SEAL he had been a Naval Officer, so that his wife was in trouble meant Kanen was going to do his best to get her out of it.

With Mason’s help, Kanen along with his teammates Taylor and Nelson, are able to leave their current training mission to go to Laysa’s aid.

Their first meeting doesn’t go quite as planned though, as the guys check out her apartment.

This is a favorite scene.

Standing before her apartment door, she used her key and entered. She found no sign of any security— a guard or a camera— or even crime-scene tape. Nothing here let her know if the police were done or if they would return. The place still looked as she’d last seen it, with the drawers dumped all over the place.

With her heart pounding, she took the first step back into her apartment, worried that maybe her captor could have come back around for her. It was a terrifying thought, but there was no reason for it.

Just her fear talking in her mind. At least that’s what she told herself.

She headed toward her bedroom and turned on the light. She quickly grabbed an overnight bag and a couple changes of clothes. She didn’t know how long she would be upstairs. Part of her wanted to stay among her own familiar surroundings and another part never wanted to return. All she needed was enough to get through the next day or two. She added a light sweater, and, as she zipped up her carry bag, she thought she heard something in the living room. She froze, rushed to the wall and turned off the light.

There she waited, her breath caught in her throat, just to hear the sound again. She tried to calm down and to convince herself that it was probably something outside. But, in her heart, she knew somebody was in her apartment. And then she couldn’t stop cursing herself for being such a fool.

Maybe her captor had been watching. Hell, maybe he had never left the building, and the police had somehow missed him.

Maybe he’d been waiting for somebody to return to the apartment, and, once he’d seen the light, he’d come in. Just the thought sent chills down her spine. She didn’t know what to do. Her arms shook, and her stomach churned. She didn’t dare get caught by that madman again. She didn’t know if she should go in the bathroom, locking the door behind her, and wait, or could she exit the apartment without being seen?

The trouble was, she’d already given herself away by turning on the light.

Her only option was to make a run for it. Counting down in her mind— three, two, one— she bolted for the front door, swinging the bag behind her. She made no attempt to be quiet. Then she heard a mumbled shout behind her.

But that brought added speed to her heels. She hit the front door, her fingers scrabbling to grab the knob and to turn it in time to get out. As she was about to cross the threshold, arms grabbed her. She could hear someone calling to her, but she was too panicked to register anything, to understand who it was. Once she was grabbed, her mouth opened, and a hand clasped over her lips. She was dragged back inside.

Strong arms held her firmly. But he didn’t move her toward the living room. He just held her tight. Somewhere through the dim panic in her mind, she thought she recognized his smell. She froze and then twisted her head and mumbled, “Kanen?”

He nodded, grinned and eased his grip.

She fully turned within his hold, threw her arms around his neck and clung to him. “Oh, my God! I thought it was him back again,” She reared back and slugged him in the chest. “Why would you terrify me like that?” Tears welled up. “Do you have any idea how scared I was?”

There was only silence afterward.

Then she flung herself into his arms, her arms tightly around his neck a second time, and whispered, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

He just held her close. Then she heard his deep voice, whispering against her ear, “It’s all right. I shocked you. I’m sorry.”

She sagged against him and knew it would be okay. She pulled back, the tears burning in the corners of her eyes. “I overreacted,” she whispered.

He smiled. “It’s my fault for scaring you.”

She grinned up at him. “And I’m delighted to see you and not that asshole.”

He stepped back slightly, studying her a little more intently. “I can see the asshole’s handiwork turning purple already on your chin. … What the hell are you doing here?”

Two men stepped out from the living room. She froze. They weren’t alone.

“They’re with me,” Kanen said quietly.

She sagged against him in relief. “Thank God for that.”

He introduced her to Taylor and Nelson.

She smiled, reached out a hand and shook both men’s hands, saying, “Thank you for coming to help.”

“Speaking of which,” Kanen said, closing the front door and leading her into the living room. “Tell us why you’re down here.”
Dale Mayer. Kanen (Kindle Locations 477-513). Valley Publishing.

Plenty of questions and not a lot of answers. The answers they do find don’t make a lot of sense either.

Layla’s not one to be left out so they end up doing a lot of behind the scenes investigating and the results are intriguing.

It also seems Blake was more than he appeared to be, and Layla is struck with blow after blow of revelations.

Kanen was beside her for comfort all the way, as they slowly work themselves into a relationship. One that surprises the two of them.

I love the way these guys fight the concept of ‘keepers’ only to fall for one themselves.

There’s lots of fun mixed with the suspense in this one and I loved the simmer to sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Torn By Vengence – Love Thrives in Emma Springs Book 2 by Sally Brandle



Torn by Vengeance
Love Thrives in Emma Springs Book 2
By
Sally Brandle

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A Seattle lawyer must trust a hunky Montana doctor for help when a secret from her past threatens his town and her career.

Look over your shoulder, he’s watching…

Corrin Patten is solidly on a path to make partner in a prestigious Seattle law firm when an ominous threat from her past turns deadly. She can handle circumstances necessitating a temporary move to the backwater town of Emma Springs, but its charming physician is another matter, as she’s issued a permanent moratorium on men.

Dr. Kyle Werner revels in trust from patients he regularly treats in a community he’s never wished to leave. Yet Emma Springs lacks one thing, a woman to share his perfectly bucolic life. He’s read about pheromone attraction, but never experienced desire until meeting Corrin. They make an unbeatable team, but convincing her that his interest is sincere while they dissect layers of deceit requires the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. Can they defeat the wealthy stalker bent on mistaken revenge against Corrin and destruction of the peaceful Montana setting?

If you thrive on tenacious heroines, sizzling attraction, and a shadowy villain with a grudge, you’ll love this prescription for thrills.

This book continues the saga started in The Hitman’s Mistake. Corrin is a lawyer working long hours to make her way to partner. Unbeknownst to her the past that haunts her is about to surface in a very unpleasant way.

Her friend Miranda’s testimony is eminent and Corrin decides to visit her in Emma Springs to give her moral support. What she doesn’t realize is that Grant and Miranda are on their way to Seattle. She is fortunate that Kyle Werner has to swap out vehicles at their home since the taxi she took from the airport left her there, in the middle of nowhere.

After a light meal, some getting to know you, a glimpse at predatory females, and a paunchy guy she keeps seeing. Kyle takes her to his father’s home.

This is a favorite scene.

The Jeep topped a hill. At the bottom sat a placid lake. A small inlet held cattails and a dead tree poked out of the water. A tiny house sat close to the shoreline with a large one further down.

Kyle pointed. “My folks gained their first essence of Emma Springs while living in that little cottage.” He slowed to almost a stop.

She craned her neck. Not a single barn in sight. Corrin smiled. “The lake’s charming. Straight out of a storybook featuring a tiny enchanted cottage on its shore.”

“Nice description. Sorry, no fairies in residence, or humans either.”

Enchanted cottage? She blinked. “No renters? What do people do for a living besides farm and guide hunters?”

“Sunrise Lake’s a summer draw to tourists, being one of the cleanest and warmest swimming lakes in Montana. Hot springs flow into the north side. My folks bought the cabin first, and once Dad’s legal practice took off, they also purchased the bigger home across the street. He has room for his practice in the lower level.”

Inviting lights glowed from the front windows of his dad’s two-story house. Stone pillars framed the wide front porch.

She’d grown up dreaming of being loved by sober, functioning parents in a stately home. “Aunt Iris lived next door to a similar Craftsman in Seattle. I used to imagine having a bedroom there all decorated in peach tones.”

Kyle’s eyes searched her face. “My folks welcomed newcomers to Emma Springs into their home.”

“And you carry on the tradition.”

“I try to. In recognition of attaining my medical license, my parents provided the down payment for my place.”

Contrasted to her family. “I got a graduation card from my parents.” She turned to the window, a hollowness forming in her chest. “You’re lucky to own a home.”

Kyle Werner, MD was printed on a sign out front of a white clapboard rambler sitting in the middle of a big lawn.

“Until I get loans paid off, the bank and I are co-owners. The townspeople were excited to have a doctor and helped remodel it to hold my office.”

“Couldn’t you have converted the tiny house next door?”

“Not really. Your enchanted cottage accommodated guests, barbecues, and birthday parties while Mom was alive. It holds too many memories for Dad to make any changes.”

“The cottage deserves an occupant who appreciates the charm.”

He gave her an appraising look. “It does.” He pushed the button on a remote and drove into a three-car cement walled garage. Interior lights flicked on and the door slid shut.

“Your dad’s not a mob lawyer is he?” Corrin blurted, surprised at the volume of her own voice inside the garage. “The steel door leading to the house should hold off marauding Vikings.” She slid off the seat and stood beside Kyle, watching him press his thumb into a sensor pad.

“Dad and I were both Boy Scouts. Be prepared.” He held up two fingers in the bunny ear pose.

“You probably surmised I wasn’t a Girl Scout.” She pointed to her shoes.

A green light blinked on the pad.

“Hadn’t crossed my mind.” Kyle twisted the door handle. “My dad collects valuable clocks and secured the house according to his comfort level.” Clunks reverberated as bolts retreated from their holes.

“Solid gold, diamond encrusted clocks?” Corrin asked.

“I wish.” He rolled his eyes. “Rare antiques. Dad came from a tough town and also wanted Mom to feel protected if he traveled overnight.”

Vines decorated the windows of the enclosed walkway from the garage to the house. The winding tendrils climbed heavy, wrought iron scrollwork, resembling the covered entrance to a Spanish fortress.

Kyle spoke into his cell. “Hey Dad, the mystery guest’s arrived.”

Corrin peered through the greenery to the road. Her eyes widened. The silver car slowed at their driveway, then sped off. “Kyle—”

A thick wooden door to the house swung open.

“Enough mystery. I want an introduction.” An older man stepped out. Lines creased the edges of his friendly blue eyes, the same shade of blue as Kyle’s.

Welcoming eyes. Precisely what she needed after seeing the damn car again.
Sally Brandle; Unknown. Torn By Vengeance (Kindle Locations 905-941). Soul Mate. Kindle Edition.

Actually having dinner with Kyle’s dad is put on hold as a child fallen into an old mine shaft.

Corrin makes a name for herself, and uncovers some disturbing things. Compounded with her unease after seeing a ring she never wanted to see again.

We see Miranda, Grant and Red ‘the mule’ in this one too.

Suspense and intrigue abound as Corrin has to make some decisions and begins what could be a long term relationship with Kyle.

I can’t wait to see where this series goes from here.

5 Contented Purrs for Sally!

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Sally Brandle

Dodging male offspring and her functionally adept engineer husband, Sally steals away to her office to free non-princess types residing in her brain. Her trusty Australian Shepherd rescue pup, Tallulah, gives her input as the adventures unfold.

Childhood in rural Michigan, family, friends, critters and travel stateside and abroad feed the speed of her fingers to the keys. When stalling occurs, she heads to Lance, her trusty steed stabled close to miles of wooded trails. Off they go for a head-clearing ride in fresh air, or a note session while the big gelding grazes.

Sally is a member of Romance Writers of America, Greater Seattle Romance Writers, Eastside Romance Writers and She Writes.

In 2014 she won the ECO Romantic Suspense category, and in 2015 finaled in Pages from The Heart, Hot Prospects and the Heart to Heart contests.
She invites you to sit back, get comfy and prepare to drop into her stories.


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Securing Sidney – SEAL of Protection: Legacy Book 2 by Susan Stoker



Securing Sidney
SEAL of Protection: Legacy Book 2
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker

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For Sidney Hale, rescuing dogs is more than a hobby. It’s a calling. A deep-seated need. An unstoppable compulsion. For reasons so unsettling, she shares them with no one…until she meets Decker. After coming to her rescue while Sidney battled to save a dog—literally—the gorgeous SEAL proves he can be trusted with her secrets, her safety…maybe even her heart.

Saving an abused pit bull from a suspected dog fighter brings Decker “Gumby” Kincade not only the dog he’s always wanted, but the first woman in ages to catch his interest. Sidney’s reason for rescuing Hannah, and animals like her, is shocking…but it makes Gumby want her even more. Her harrowing past has made her the strong, brave, compassionate woman she is today. She could be The One…if Gumby can help curb her habit of putting herself squarely in danger’s path.

But he may be too late. Hannah’s previous owner is enraged over her loss…and looking for revenge.

** Securing Sidney is the 2nd book in the SEAL of Protection: Legacy Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

** This story examines the stark reality of dogfighting and other animal abuse, and includes brief descriptions that may be unpleasant for some readers. .

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This is a very emotional and scary book as Susan delves into the world of dog-fighting. It’s not only the abuse the dogs are put through, but also the depravity of the people involved.

It opens after our heroine Sidney is involved in a fight over a severely abused dog. Gumby drives the dog to the vet and Sidney follows him. On that drive he not only decides to keep the dog, but also names her Hannah. Hannah’s reactions to him are absolutely priceless.

This is a favorite scene.

“We’ve got an injured dog here. We need to see a doctor immediately!”

The receptionist stood and gestured for them to follow her. Gumby was surprised when he felt Sidney’s hand land on the small of his back, and she practically glued herself to his side as they entered the small treatment room.

“A technician will be here momentarily to get your information and triage your pet.”

“Oh, but she’s—”

“Thank you,” Gumby said, interrupting Sidney.

When the lady had left, Sidney turned to him and frowned. “Why’d you cut me off?”

“The last thing I want is for them to think Hannah is a stray, or unwanted, because she’s not.”

Sidney opened her mouth to say something else, but a technician burst into the room before she could say a word.

“I heard we have an emergency. What’s— Oh my!”

Gumby very gently placed Hannah on the raised table in the room and kept his hand on her head. “Yeah. It’s bad.”

“What happened?” the vet tech breathed.

“She was taken out of my yard,” Gumby lied. “And we think the guy who took her was training her to be a bait dog or something for illegal dogfighting. He poured something caustic on her back, and it looks like she was dragged behind a car. Maybe he was trying to condition her and get her to run, but she couldn’t keep up.”

“Poor baby,” the tech crooned, leaning over to pet Hannah.

The hackles on the back of the dog’s neck rose and she growled low in her throat.

“Hannah,” Gumby said in a low, hard tone. The dog immediately stopped and whimpered instead. “Sorry about that,” he told the technician. “She’s usually very docile, but we don’t know what was done to her between when she was taken and when we got her back just now.”

“Of course,” the woman said. “It’ll take her some time to trust again.” She handed over a couple sheets of paper to Sidney. “I’ll need you to fill those out and the doctor should be in here in a few minutes.” She turned to Hannah. “Hang on, girl. We’ll have you fixed up in a jiffy.”

The second the woman left the room, Sidney turned to Gumby and whisper-yelled, “Why’d you tell them she was stolen out of your yard? That was stupid.”

Gumby ran his hand over Hannah’s head and didn’t miss the way the dog sighed in contentment and tried to crawl closer to him.

“What should I have said? That I just met the dog thirty minutes ago when you were in a fistfight with the asshole who had abused her? That you stole her from him? You think that would’ve gotten her treated any faster?” He went on before she could answer his rhetorical questions. “No. They would’ve wanted to know more details, and when we admitted that we know nothing about Hannah’s history, they might’ve been reluctant to treat her at all. This way, she’ll get the medical care she needs as soon as possible. Besides, I’m keeping her.”

Gumby had been thinking about getting a dog for a while now. Ever since he’d almost died in Bahrain on his last mission. He’d always regretted not having one, and Hannah seemed to have been dropped in his lap. It was a sign—and Gumby was a big believer in them.

“We should go through the coordinator at the local rescue group I work with. I was going to bring her there. They get medical attention for the dogs that need it, and they do extensive background checks on potential adopters,” Sidney told him.

“You do this a lot?” he asked.

“Do what?”

“Track down people you think are up to no good on social media? Then spy on them and, when they cross the line, take on men twice your size in order to rescue the animals they’re abusing?”

Without blinking, Sidney said, “Yes.”

It was Gumby’s turn to be surprised. “Seriously?”

She nodded. “The animals are innocent. They didn’t ask to be thrown into a pit to fight another dog. Or to be starved. Or to be chained up in a backyard for their entire lives. I’ll take on whoever I have to in order to save a helpless, innocent animal.”

“You ever gotten in trouble because of it?”

She grinned. “You mean do the low-life, abusive bastards turn me in? No. They’re all too busy trying to protect themselves and stay under the radar of the cops to file complaints against me.”

Gumby thought she looked a little too pleased with herself. But there was something in her eyes as she explained how she championed animals—guilt. And now he wanted to know why. Wanted to know her story.

His attention was diverted when the veterinarian entered the room. She was all business, and the next ten minutes were taken up with her examining poor Hannah and getting as much information as she could from Gumby…which wasn’t much. He told her to do a full blood panel on Hannah, as he wasn’t sure what had been done to her since she’d been taken. He wasn’t proud of his lies, but if they helped get Hannah the care she needed and deserved, so be it.

The vet agreed that it looked like some sort of acid had been poured onto her back and that she’d been dragged. The dog had no toenails left and the pads of her feet had been worn off. It was the vet’s opinion that her back looked worse than it probably was. She didn’t think the hair would grow back, but she thought the wound should heal up pretty well.

When they went to take Hannah to the back to treat her, however, the mild-mannered dog disappeared, and she began growling at the vet and her assistant.

Stepping back, the vet said, “Maybe you should come back with us. Just until we manage to get her sedated.”

“Sedated?” Gumby asked.

“Yeah. Cleaning these wounds is gonna hurt, and I’d rather not harm her any more than I have to.”

Gumby immediately nodded. “Right. Okay, we can come with you.”

“I think just you,” the vet said, giving her assistant a look Gumby couldn’t interpret. “Your…friend can stay and fill out the paperwork.”

“That okay, Sid?” Gumby asked, the nickname just coming out naturally.

Sidney nodded. “Of course.”

“You think she’ll let you pick her up again?” the vet asked.

“Only one way to see.” Gumby leaned down and whispered to Hannah, “What do ya say? These nice people are gonna get you all fixed up. Let’s not growl at them, okay?”

In response, Hannah lifted her head and licked Gumby’s face with a loud slurp.

Everyone chuckled.

“Guess that means she’s okay with it.” And with that, Gumby once again picked up the large dog and followed the vet into the back area of the animal hospital.
injured
Susan Stoker. Securing Sidney: SEAL of Protection: Legacy, Book 2 (Kindle Locations 67-121). Stoker Aces Production, LLC.

As Decker and Sidney get to know each other, there is more than one bomb shell dropping relating to her past. Her compulsion to save these poor animals is startling and heartbreaking.

Her neighbor Nora is a hoot, and Caite becomes her friend in an unusual way.

Hannah becomes attached not only to Decker but also Sidney as she heals from her horrific wounds.

We get to see Carolyn in this one as well as Rocco and the rest of this team.

I couldn’t put this book down, as I cried, laughed and held my breath. It was disturbing, scary, romantic, loving and sexy as all get out.

Susan once again proves that any topic can be turned into a book, and this one definitely brought out the horror of dog-fighting and the difficulties of taking it down.

I can’t wait to see what the next book in this series will bring.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.


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Love Beyond Lies – The Outsiders Book 8 By Rebecca Royce



Love Beyond Lies
The Outsiders Book 8
By
Rebecca Royce

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With the fate of the universe on the line, the Outsiders have reached the final battles.

Colin loves Gia beyond reason–she is his soul mate–but he has never understood her. Misunderstandings have lasted for thousands of years. Can he show her that he is the man she needs him to be?

Gia has never cared what anyone thought about her, except for Colin. Lies have torn what should be their solid bond apart. Can she make him see what they have is eternal before everything that is good in the universe disappears?

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I love the complexity of this story. It’s not just about Sebastian, it’s also his parents and siblings that are a problem. Sebastian himself is a very selfish demon and thinks he can win it all by helping the outsiders. Well sort of anyway.

There are still problems with Alexa and Leonardo but that’s another book.

In this one Colin finally catches up to Gia. Only to find out that she has been avoiding him. It seems something happened in one of the previous lives that has followed her to the present. Colin also has some issues regarding his feelings that are totally messed up.

This is a favorite scene.

He was sick of the lies. Sick of the unsaid. Sick of the destruction he left in his wake everywhere. “I always mean to do the right thing.” She rocked back on her heels. “Of course you do.”

“And I love you. I’ve always loved you. I know…” He cleared his throat. There was a reason he’d gone millennia without speaking these words. “I know that you don’t love me. I know I started us out by forcing this on us and that we’re both living with the result of that. If we can manage to live through this, you can have a break from me on the other side.”

She shook her head. “What in the universe are you talking about?”

“Don’t make me say it again.” It was hard enough the first time.

“I don’t love you?” She took a step toward him. “Colin, for the sake of all things, what are you talking about?” By the time she got to the end of her sentence, she was shouting again.

He sighed. “We both know why we were paired as soul mates. It wasn’t because you had some grand feeling about me, or that you suddenly felt as though we were supposed to be together. I shoved you over. And not only that, but I…”

She blinked. “Are you talking about when you saved me from the evil intrusion in our earliest days as souls? Are you talking about then?”

He sunk to the ground. Sometimes things were just… hard. “Yep. Then. I can fight anything. I can battle even Sebastian in his non-corporeal form, it would seem. Only I can’t battle the truth. Things don’t go the same with us as everyone else, because we weren’t supposed to be together. Oh, we have some stuff in common for sure. We both wanted to battle evil when we volunteered for this. I’ll always be glad we did this. But let’s face it—”

Gia slapped him so hard across the cheek he jerked off-balance and landed on the floor, flat on his back. She stood over him and pointed her finger at him a second later. “How dare you? How dare you take everything we’ve been through together—the thousands and thousands and thousands of years together and reduce it to nothing? To a mistake? Are you out of your mind? Of course, you’re my soul mate. Of course you are. You belong to me. We don’t do things the way others do because we’ve always had a little bit of a different path. It is not because I have someone else I’m supposed to be with.”

She very rarely cried, yet right then big tears streamed down her face in a way he’d never seen before. His cheek stung, but he didn’t care. He’d felt worse. She’d never hit him before either. “Gia—”

“Colin…” She didn’t let him finish. “Have you been carrying this bullshit around in our relationship this entire time?”

“I…” He really had no idea what he should say to her in this moment. “Maybe you love me. Maybe you have grown to love me, but not the way that you would if we had been fated for each other. I’m not even sure I should be here. I think something went wrong in the process of making Christophe.”

She rubbed her eyes. “You are my soul mate, Colin, and I love you so completely that it is like you are stabbing me in the gut right now. All of this time I have tried so hard to figure out why you sometimes look at me the way that you do.”

He really had no idea what she meant. “What?”

“Like you’re sad. Like I’m causing you so much pain. I’ve tried to figure out over and over again why you don’t trust me.”

Now there she was wrong. “I do trust you.”

“You don’t because if you did you would know that I mean the things that I say to you. I knew you were my soul mate that day. I’d known it from the second you walked past me. That’s why I was standing there. You hadn’t said a word to me. I didn’t know what was happening. I kept following you around, waiting. I figured you would get around to it whenever you got over the shock of finding me and then there you were—saving my life. Why would I have said you were my soul mate if you weren’t?”

His heart pounded so hard he could hear it in his ears. “So you wouldn’t be sent away to stop existing?”

“I’ve got news for you, darling, no one was sending me anywhere. I’d like to see that crotchety old soul try to take on either one of us. And as for that ridiculous statement about Christophe, I don’t even know where to go with that. I love your brother but he is not some better version of you. You’re mine. How dare you not know it after all this time?
Rebecca Royce. Love Beyond Lies (Kindle Locations 737-768). Kindle Edition.

Colin and Gia have much to reconcile but so do all the others. This book is as enlightening as it is dark in the face of the beginning of the end.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!

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Coming Soon

Rebecca Royce Rebecca Royce

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!

Cheers!!

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Sweet Do-Over – Indigo Bay Second Chance Romances Book 2 By Melissa McClone



Sweet Do-Over
Indigo Bay Second Chance Romances Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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A marriage proposal gone wrong—
a second chance to get it right.

When architect Marley Patterson goes out with Von Ryan, she never expects her practical, cautious life to be turned upside down by the handsome contractor. Von is the definition of fun, until his proposal sends her into a panic. Marriage is too serious a commitment to make after dating for only six months. Even though she cares for Von, they are too different, so she breaks up with him.

Being rejected hurts, but Von blames himself for not reading the signs or Marley better. He finds solace in work; however, his construction company’s success isn’t enough. He wants to share his life with a woman who’ll love him as much as he loves her. She’s out there. All he has to do is find her and, this time, be patient for the relationship to develop on its own.

After Marley is assigned to Von’s new project in Indigo Bay, he treats her the same as everyone else—professionally and with respect—though neither can deny a strong mutual attraction still exists. Soon Marley realizes she may have been the problem with their relationship, not just Von’s proposal. She wants a second chance, but after breaking his heart once, will he give her a do-over?

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This is a multi-author series, I am looking forward to reading some new to me authors with stories centered around Indigo Bay.

Marley is an architect and she’s assigned to a project after a co-worker quits the firm. She had strict instructions to make a good impression in order to win a second bid for a large and very profitable project.Von is the builder on this project and this could be uncomfortable. Von had very publicly proposed to Marley and she turned him down. The video is still making the rounds and is quite embarrassing.In spite of all that, Von agrees to the project even taking her on a tour of the property. That leads to a dinner and a bit more.This is a favorite scene.

“You are. Were.” She stumbled over her words. “But you and I are—”

“Opposites.”

She nodded. “We share common interests, but our personalities aren’t alike at all.”

“I didn’t listen to you enough.”

“You’re not to blame. Based on what Madison said, you did exactly what a person in love would do.”

Which meant Marley hadn’t been in love with him. Not in the same way.

His silence suggested he had similar thoughts.

“I am sorry,” she said. “I never wanted things to end the way they did, but what we wanted was so different.”

He cupped her face. “Yet here we are.”

She rested her cheek against his hand. “It’s confusing because I want…”

“Tell me.”

Marley closed her eyes as if that would make admitting the truth easier. “I want to kiss you.”

“I want that, too.” His mouth was on hers. He tasted like chocolate and something uniquely him. Soaking up his warmth, she pressed her lips against his. Pleasurable sensations skittered over her skin.

Von’s arm slipped around her, pulling her closer. She arched against him, resting a palm over his chest. The pounding of his heart matched her own. She didn’t know how long they kissed, but it wasn’t long enough.

He slowly drew away.

Her lips throbbed and tingled. She forced herself not to touch them. Her breathing came in spurts, and she tried to catch her breath. “That was…”

He ran the side of his fingertip along her jawline. “Better than I remember.”

“Much better.”

“There’s still chemistry between us.”

“This isn’t just physical.” The words poured from her. “There’s something special.”

“You feel it, too?”

As she nodded, relief flooded her. He felt it, too.

Marley waited for him to say more, but he didn’t. Okay, it would be up to her. “I know I said one date, but I don’t think that will be enough for me.”

His brows furrowed. “What do you want?”

“A second chance.” The words surprised her as much as him.

Von pressed his lips together.

“I don’t deserve one after how badly I hurt you,” she added, afraid this might be the only shot she got. “But we both admit there’s something between us. I want to find out what that is.”

“I want that, too, but I… Can I think about it?”

Her heart went splat on the wood floor of the gazebo. That hadn’t been the reply she expected.

Or wanted.

But she understood. “Take the time you need to decide. I’m not going anywhere.”
Melissa McClone. Sweet Do-Over (Kindle Locations 1422-1442). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Of course nothing is going to go totally smooth and there are many people who dislike her for what she did to Von, including his twin sister.

Marley is going to have prove herself to them and get over a lot of internal issues for this relationship to work at all.

A few twists and turns professionally, a leap of faith and plenty of romance make this a must read.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

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Melissa McClone

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

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

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

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

Brett – SEALs of Honor Book 11 by Dale Mayer


Brett
SEALs of Honor Book 11
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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High seas terror, international intrigue… homegrown problems…

Rescuing hostages on a yacht is a fairly normal mission for Brett, one of the elite SEALs, but having one of those hostages be an ex-girlfriend and her kids — well that changes everything.

Particularly now that he knows she’s single again.

Ceci had walked away from Brett and into another relationship as a way to heal. Only to end up as a widow raising two kids. She planned to stay single and secure, avoid all the heartbreak that relationships bring until she comes face to face with her rescuer…and realizes she’s been fooling herself for years.

Unfortunately safe doesn’t mean safe anymore as the situation goes from bad to worse and she realizes she might never get a chance to fix her mistake…

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This book opens with a rescue, pirates had taken a private yacht off the coast of Africa.

It’s during this rescue Brett gets a shock. The woman who broke his heart years ago is huddled with her two young children.

This is a favorite scene.

Using the blueprints he’d memorized, Brett moved quickly through the decks. As he cleared each floor he updated his team. He was set to meet Chase in four minutes, one deck up. As he arrived on the third floor he realized realized these smaller rooms were likely the crew’s living quarters. He did a quick sweep through the bedrooms. The first three were empty and as he approached the fourth he heard a sound that made his heart freeze.

A child’s cries of distress.

He went to open the door but found it locked from the inside. He tapped once and then tapped two more times. The door cracked opened and a terrified woman’s face peered out. He brushed her backwards and slipped into the room out of sight. And he choked back a shocked gasp.

Two little children were wrapped around the woman’s legs. He knew of them, but hadn’t met either yet. And he knew exactly how old they were. The boy, Jimmy, was four and the girl, Jennifer, was almost two.

Their mother, Ceci, was on the outside edge of that huge extended family his mother had married into. And the only woman he’d ever loved.

In his night gear he knew she couldn’t recognize him. And she had to be terrified of his weapons.

He held a finger up to his mouth and whispered, “It’s okay, Ceci. It’s me, Brett. You need to remain here with the children, and stay as quiet as you can be.”

She gasped in shock then her face lit up in relief and joy.

He squatted down to the boy and said in a low voice, “Jimmy, you have to be very, very quiet until I come back here and help you, and your mom, and sister off the boat, okay?”

The little boy sniffled, his eyes huge, lower lip trembling. But he straightened up and nodded. Good. At a single rap on the door, Brett moved quickly and without another word, he slipped into the hallway where Chase waited for him. As they moved away Chase said, “Twelve hostiles are on the top floor above us. All hostages are with them.”

“Weapons?”

“Machine guns and grenades, a few handguns. Nothing major.”

Brett snorted. It said much about the type of work they did that those weapons weren’t considered major.
Mayer, Dale. SEALs of Honor: Books 11-13 (p. 5). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Now you’d think that would be enough excitement. However, it’s only the beginning.

Once the yacht is secured, Ceci refuses to get back on. Because her purse was taken by the pirates she had no idea where her passports are. Waiting in the US Embassy in Somalia for the paperwork to go through is comfortable, but Ceci wants to be home.

Then all hell breaks loose as Brett is visiting. This is fortuitous since he’s able to get Ceci and her children to safety. That safety is in the form of Bullock.

With there history, Brett is a bit leery but is undeniably still in love with her. Ceci on the other hand is confused yet she knows a confession is in order if they are going to be able to start again.

I love the way Dale incorporates the people from the different series into her stories. I love Dave and Bullock, and the rest of Brett’s unit.

There is plenty of action, twists and turns and sizzle in this book as Brett and Ceci reconnect.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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