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.

My Review of Just One More Chance – Baytown Boys Book 2 By Maryann Jordan

Just One More Chance
BayTown Boys Book 2
Maryann Jordan


Military duty called them away to war zones, but after tours overseas, the group of friends found their way back home as men, seeking the peaceful little seaside town. Now, the band of brothers, together once more, work to provide a place for less fortunate veterans to call home.

Grant Wilder, one of the original Baytown Boys, came back from the war a changed man, walking away from his hometown and the girl he left behind.

Jillian Evans worked for years to hide her broken heart, especially when Grant moved back home to become one of Baytown’s police officers. He wanted friendship only and that’s what she’d give him. Focusing on her own career, she expanded her coffee shop into a local art galleria.

Grant and the Baytown police fight against drugs running through the small, coastal town, but when Jillian is threatened, Grant has to fight his wartime demons to save her…and finally declare his love.

**Author Note**
Due to scenes of an explicit sexual nature and language that some consider crude, please be warned – for 18+ only! If you do not like alphas with heart who fall instantly in love with strong female characters while dealing with real life issues…again be warned!!


After leaving the service, Grant had avoided coming home but the call of the closeness of friends and family won out. Now on the police force in Baytown, he has to face Jillian.

Jillian promised to wait for him and she did. Even when he determined to put her in the ‘friend zone’ she was still waiting. Now after seeing him with so many hook-ups she’s decided to try moving forward.

That didn’t seem to go over very well with Grant, he apparently doesn’t get that what’s good for the gander is good for the goose.

This is a favorite scene as Jillian discusses the confrontation with Grant the night of Tori’s engagement party.

Shrugging once more, Jillian said, “It was time to move on, Katelyn. Maybe for both of us.”

“I take it Grant wasn’t happy to see you with someone else?” Tori prodded.

“Well, it’s not like I haven’t had to watch him with others ever since he came back! He’s flirted with just about everyone and while I have no idea how many he has actually slept with, he’s certainly earned a reputation!” Jillian replied, her chin trembling before she shook her head slightly, steeling her resolve.

“But I show up with someone else, and proceed to watch Grant drink too much and get angrier as he does. Ben went to talk to some of his friends and Grant took the opportunity to get me alone. He ragged on me about going out with some young jock, which pissed me off. Then accused me of being a tease.”

At that statement, both Katelyn and Tori’s eyes bugged wide. “What the hell?” Katelyn sputtered.

“Oh, he was letting the alcohol talk,” Jillian said, her heart squeezing at the memory.

“Maybe the alcohol was letting him speak the truth, in a way,” Tori surmised. “Maybe it was his convoluted way of letting you know he’s still interested in you and not as just a friend.”

“Well, it was a dumbass way to do it,” Katelyn huffed.

Nodding, Jillian agreed, “Yep, that’s what I thought. Anyway, Ben came back over, Grant shoved into his shoulder on his way past us, and then grabbed one of the young, new teachers that came to the party. Jesus, she must have only been about twenty-one years old and had a god-awful giggle that set my teeth on edge. I think she works at the high school with Ben… he seemed to know her.”

Katelyn raised her eyebrow in surprise. “With that high-pitched giggle and that rack, she’ll have the teenage boys’ attention!”

“Yeah, well, she had Grant’s attention last night,” Jillian admitted, her voice now low as her shoulders drooped with the familiar ache in her heart.

Katelyn and Tori shared a glance over Jillian’s bowed head, both sighing in unison. “Maybe he didn’t—”

“Doesn’t really matter if he took her home and banged her silly or not, does it?” Jillian interrupted, eyes glaring out the window, staring at nothing. “The fact is, he could have either told me that he liked me and wanted to be with me, or he could have left me alone to be with my date. But instead, he confused me then stalked out with a pick-up right in front of me. If that’s not a royal kiss-off, I don’t know what is!” Her voice took on the sadness in her heart as she added, “I just don’t think I have any more chances left in me to give.”
Maryann Jordan. Just One More Chance: Baytown Boys Series – ARC Copy (Kindle Locations 318-339).

Now Jillian has some new plans for the Gallery above the Coffee Shop and as Artists contribute their work there are other forces working against the small town.

Drug runners are shortcutting through their peaceful little town and the Police department is following up one lead after another. So many trails, leading only part of the way to where they want them.

As busy as he is Grant and the others returned from the service make time for their new VFW Post through which the group is making many more connections including counselling for PTSD.

Now Grant realizes that if he is going to have anything build with Jillian he’s going to have to face his demons, demons that come to the surface every time he looks at her. The chance he wants isn’t going to come easily, she isn’t sure she has another one to give.

Full of suspense, action, misunderstanding, interesting drama, smoldering scenes, laughter and scenes that brought tears to my eyes.

I fall more and more in love with this series with every book I read.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Maryann Jordan

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.

Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.

My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!

I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.

When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!
I love to hear from readers, so please email me!

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Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Protecting Pilar – Special Forces & Brotherhood Protectors Book Series 4 by Heather Long

Protecting Pilar
Special Forces: Operation Alpha
Special Forces & Brotherhood Protectors Book Series 4
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long


Love doesn’t come with an instruction manual…

Ben “Cannon” Stone had been called many things—pretty boy, rich kid, and heir-apparent. The one title he earned and made him proud was that of Navy SEAL. Though he wore his scars on the inside, it didn’t make him any less screwed up. He just deflected with a grin and a smart ass comment. At least until a pouty princess collided with his car…

War isn’t always fought abroad…

Born a Napolitano, but raised as a Petrucci, Pilar knew all about blood feuds and the family business. But maintaining a personal policy of non-involvement falters the day she overhears her grandfather order an assassination. Worse, the killing promises to launch of a war of retribution with Pilar in the sites of a killer. The last thing she needs is a car accident and some pretty boy offering to help her…

Hell is a road we make…

Cannon doesn’t know where she came from or who is after her, but he isn’t letting anyone hurt her. Isolated. On the run. And unfamiliar with the enemy, this SEAL will use every skill he has to protect the woman who just might be his Mrs. Right.

You know you’re addicted to a Kindle World when you keep checking your kindle for the books. This one arrived just before bedtime last night and I finished it before I closed my eyes.

Heather Long’s contributions to this kindle world are some of my favorites. She’s introduced so many awesome characters and this one, well…Cannon!

Pilar is on the run from her grandfather, and Ben ‘Cannon’ Stone is heading home for a visit. That is until they meet literally by accident.

This is a favorite scene right after the accident.

“I’ll live,” she managed to grind out. “Back off…I told them I wasn’t going back and sending a pretty boy isn’t likely to change my mind.”

He’d taken a hit, but not enough for a concussion.

“Sweetheart, I think you’ve got me confused with…”

“I’m not your sweetheart.”


Okay, he could work with that. “I hear you, lovely lady. You’re hurt. Let’s get you out of the car then check your injuries.”

She grimaced then glared at him. The blood from her lip slowed, so maybe she just split the inside of her cheek. Minor injury. The force had to be tremendous, as it shook him and she’d appeared unconscious when he got to her.

The sound of an engine approaching reached him. His cell was in the truck, but backup might not be a bad thing if he couldn’t calm her down.

“Back. Off.” She pushed the two words out with effort.

His gaze dipped to her chest. Short, shallow breaths.

“I have a knife, and you’re having trouble taking a deep breath. Can you free your seatbelt?” He set the extinguisher down.

Her focus sharpened on him as disbelief rippled across her face. “Are you stupid or something? I’m pointing a gun at you.”

“Is that a problem?” Covering the gun with his free hand, he removed it from hers, leaving her blinking rapidly. “There, all taken care of. Need help getting the seatbelt off?”

The engine continued to draw closer, but the winding roads of West Virginia weren’t crowded. He’d been taking the back way on purpose to delay returning home to visit his parents after helping Flint clean up a mess in Virginia. Where the hell had she been going so fast? He hadn’t even seen the Jag before it plowed into him.

“How did you…?” She couldn’t finish the statement as her breath wheezed. Enough of an answer for him—he sliced through the seatbelt holding her rigid and she sagged with a whoosh. Folding the knife closed, he tucked it back into his pocket then set the gun next to the fire extinguisher.

Only idiots tucked a weapon into their pants. He liked his junk right where it was.

The doorframe was pretty shot, but he let her get some needed oxygen while he worked on wrenching it open.

The acrid smell increased, and a faint trail of smoke rose from beneath the crunched hood. Time to go. Putting his back into it, he managed to get the door open then wedged wider. More glass fell, but he ignored the shards. They were falling outside, not into the car on her.

“All right, pretty lady, my name’s Ben—friends call me Cannon. I’m going to pull you out of there. Try not to bite me.” He waited until her shock-eyed gaze collided with his to wink. “I might like it.”

“Who are you?” She found her voice and speaking revealed her white teeth. Only one showed stains from the blood, which was a good sign. After sliding an arm beneath her legs, he eased one behind her back. He was used to dealing with pain—it was just weakness leaving the body. Didn’t mean he wanted to hurt her more than she already was.

Her hiss told him he’d definitely ticked something aching on her. Lifting her out, he balanced her easily. Until he had a better grasp on her injuries, he wanted to avoid the bump and jerk. Once clear of her car, he circled the truck to the driver’s side. He got the back door open and lifted her up into the rear passenger seat.

“My bag…” She groaned. “I need it.”

“Stay,” he told her before jogging back to the damaged vehicle. The smoke intensified, so he grabbed the fire extinguisher and sprayed it over the cracked engine. The smoke vanished, but he wasn’t taking any chances. Collecting her gun, he reached across the seat and lifted her purse by the straps. It was one of those huge duffle-bag-wannabe looking jobs and weighed as much as a training ruck. What the hell was she carrying?

Though he could still hear an engine, no vehicles put on an appearance. Clocking the noise, he returned to the injured woman and handed her the purse sans the gun. Her fingers closed over it, giving him a good look at the bruises on her fingers, and the barely scabbed over knuckles which were cracked and raw.

“I need to move the truck back. You good?”

Not waiting for an answer, he closed the door and climbed back into the driver’s seat. The engine running was his, but it wasn’t the sound he’d heard. Instinct told him to move, so he moved. In the field, he trusted his gut and that hadn’t changed since he’d gotten home. The damage to his truck might be negligible, but it was annoying.

He’d just picked this bad boy up after totaling the last one in a barn.

Story for another day.

He put the truck into reverse. Somewhere after the crash, he’d managed to put the gear into park. Whatever, auto-pilot worked, and he didn’t want waste another second. Metal dragged with him as he retreated from the smashed Jag. At three hundred feet back, he slowed and pulled over onto the shoulder. Well, what there was of it.

The stop she’d blown past was visible just beyond her car, and there were trees all around the road he’d been following. Touching a finger to his nose, he checked to make sure it wasn’t broken. Adrenaline waning, the feeling of his pulse thudding in what was sure to be a bruise ached. Nothing he couldn’t live with though.

Putting the truck in park, he twisted to look at his passenger. She stared back at him, blinking slowly. Ignoring the throb on his cheek, he grinned. “Okay, that went well, all things considered.”

The truck’s engine rumbled, but there was another engine noise—and it increased as it drew closer. His passenger’s eyes widened, and Cannon whipped around in time to see another car bearing down on them. This one had a man hanging out of the side, and he opened fire.

“Put the seatbelt on and get down,” Cannon ordered. The Glock 26 was a nice gun, but he preferred his own. Freeing it from the lockbox between the seats, he put the truck in drive and floored it. It was like playing chicken with a semi-automatic. Fortunately, their bullets sprayed wide. The peppering of pops mostly hit the blacktop, but one found its mark on his truck.

“Dammit,” he muttered. Brand new truck. Another pop and he was pretty sure it caught a tire. Fortunately, he was rolling on eight, not just four. He didn’t bother to shoot at the oncoming car. He could shoot with his left hand, but he was a hell of a lot better with his right.

Whipping around her damaged car, he hit the control to lower the window on the right, then fired at the car as he accelerated.

“Sorry,” he called back to his passenger.

“For what?” came her muffled reply. More words. Great. More words was always good.

The second bullet he fired hit the leaking gas on the ground. The spark jumped, then there was a whoosh and he lowered the gun and dropped the accelerator all the way to the floor. In his rearview, the car racing toward them disappeared as the fire roared over the Jag and then there was a very loud boom as metal sheared off metal.

Cannon grinned. “For that.” It wasn’t funny, not really. Her car just went up in flames and someone was shooting at them.

A tire bounced off the hood of his truck leaving an unholy dent.


His grin faltered but returned.

“Why are you smiling?” Disbelief and horror twined in his passenger’s voice, and it still sounded like she was lying down on the seat. Their would-be pursuers hadn’t gotten around the burning Jag.

“Because it went boom. Boom’s pretty funny when you’re not the one going boom and no one you know or like is going boom.” Then it occurred to him. “They weren’t friends of yours, were they?”

Crap. What if he’d blown her people up? That would not be funny.

“No,” she exhaled. “Definitely not…”

“Good.” Free to enjoy it, he checked his rearview then ahead. He had no idea what road he was on, or who the hell she was, or what had just happened.

The only thing he knew was he didn’t have to go back home and that was all right. “So,” he called over his shoulder. “Let’s try this again. I’m Ben Stone, friends call me Cannon. And you are?”
Long, Heather. Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Protecting Pilar (Kindle Worlds Novella) (Special Forces & Brotherhood Protectors Book Series 4) (Kindle Locations 59-129). Kindle Worlds. Kindle Edition.

Yep, Cannon loves making things go BOOM! It’s part of his appeal. Now Pilar has to figure out if she can trust him as they play a deadly game of hide and seek against her grandfathers crew.

These two have a chemistry that is sure to be explosive and things definitely heat up in more ways than one. There’s some giggles, references to Deadpool, as well as some things that will raise your eyebrows.

I loved seeing the men and woman from Heather’s previous Kindle world books (links below) and Tex from Susan Stoker’s world. We also meet a couple of new players that I really hope become new books.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links

Heather Long Heather Long

USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.

From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.

When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

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Must Read! Sight Lines – The Arsenal Book 2 by Cara Carnes

Sight Lines
The Arsenal Book 2
Cara Carnes


Winter Blog Blurb

They took her best friend.

Now she’s taking them down.

Viviana “Quillery” Chambers has one mission: find the people behind Hive’s betrayal and take them down. She and her best friend are the most sought after back office operatives around. She’ll stop at nothing to keep her new team and family at The Arsenal safe. But someone’s put a six million dollar hit on her and ghosts from the past have returned. She’s facing her toughest challenge ever. Now she has a mysterious assassin shadowing her every move. He’s vowed to keep her safe, but she’s part of the Quillery Edge.

They never quit. They never surrender. They never let anyone stand between them and their quarry.

He had one rule: Don’t mess with his family.

Judson Jensen’s lived a solitary life taking down targets no one else dared touch. The bastards he’s wasted twenty years working for took his brother. The choice was supposed to be simple—neutralize the Quillery Edge or your brother dies. Unfortunately for them he had another choice—take them down. All he needs is to earn the brilliant, fiercely sassy Viviana’s trust and keep her alive.

The two must work together to do the impossible: take Judson’s employer down.

This isn’t business…it’s personal.

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Winter Blog Review

The Quillery (Vi) Edge (Mary) has gone through a lot now someone has put out a contract on them. The payout 2 Million for them dead with a bonus of an additional 6 Million if they get HERA, the computer defense system they developed, as well.

Judson is livid when he’s offered the contract, his family owes Quillery Edge big time. No matter that he works as an assassin for the Collective, those two women were off limits. Now he has to convince them that he is on their side and keep anyone from collecting on the contract.

This is a favorite scene when Jud shows up at the Arsenal.

Dallas was unlike Dylan in many ways. Though he was younger, he had a darker edge to him, one she and Mary had analyzed the whys of ad nauseam. He wore the requisite dark Mason hair longer than his brothers. It hid his upper ears. The eyes set Dallas apart, a lush blue instead of green.

“I’ve never seen one of those,” Vi commented.

“Probably because it’s my and Jesse’s favorite.” He looked down at the chips and motioned.

“Sea salt and vinegar, please.”

“Where you headed?”

“Up front. Someone has the nerve to show up and ask to see me,” she grumbled. “It’s almost nine in the evening. This isn’t a freaking twenty-four hotel. And now I’m schlepping my tired ass to reception rather than waiting on the call saying the NYPD has Adil Al-Abadi in custody.”

She blew stray hairs out of her face and noted the surprised expression on his face. “Interesting, I got a call from the guards saying someone was on their way who used my name. I’ll carry the chips, escort you up there.”

“I’m good.”

“Yeah, but you’ll be better if you let me walk you up there,” he replied. “It’s been a rough day on us all.”

Vi learned to pick her battles a long time ago. Sometimes you just had to let a bad ass be a bad ass, even if it was unnecessary.

“Fine,” she added into the silence as she flip-flopped through the cafeteria and out the door. Down the walk toward the main visitor area in the other building. “We need golf carts.”

“I’ll mention it to Nolan,” he commented dryly.

Vi was serious about the golf carts, but didn’t figure operatives thought much about having something with an engine cart them between buildings. By the time they entered the visitor’s building and spilled into the lobby, she’d worked up a full head of steam. She didn’t appreciate appreciate her name being bandied about without permission. The nerve.

Dallas tightened beside her. He settled the chips atop her sandwich. “Stay here. Call Marshall and Nolan.”


She tracked his progression across the lobby. The scent of freshly installed carpet filled her nostrils. Pale beige melded with soft blues along the walls. The massive man looming just inside the door commanded her attention. Riley was right. He was nuclear.

Thick waves of light brown hair tumbled around a strong jawline that hadn’t seen a razor in a couple days. He exuded control. His gaze trekked the room like a hunter seeking prey. Her pulse quickened when he pinned her with a look. His eyes flared. Lips set in a grim expression, his attention settled on Dallas, who stepped into the man’s personal space.

Vi set her food down and snagged the reception phone.

“Yeah, what’s wrong now, Riley? I know it’s boring, but it’s your shift.” Marshall’s exhausted voice filled the line.

“Dallas and I are up here. He’s in some guy’s face. Not sure who, but it’s intense and he said to call you and Nolan.”

“Fuck.” The line went dead.

Vi powered forward, closing the distance between her and Dallas, who was pointing at the man.

“You have a hell of a lot of nerve showing up here.” Dallas clenched his teeth.

“Not here for you, man. Used your name at the gate, though.” The man shrugged off any apology.

He didn’t strike Vi as the sort who apologized for anything. She swallowed as his gaze settled on her again.

“Viviana,” he greeted. “I’m sorry for the late arrival. It took longer than I expected.”

“Erm, I don’t know you,” she responded.

His attention swept behind her a brief second, but returned. He offered a smile. “I’m Jud. Or, The Judge.”

“The Judge, as in ‘go after the Quillery Edge and I’ll go after you’. That Judge?” She air quoted the message and studied his face, his bone structure. A lot of operatives were masters at disguise, but there was only so much they could do to hide bone structure. Still nothing memorable. “I’ve never met you.”

“What’s this about?” Dallas asked.

The security panel on the wall chimed as the door coming from the rear hallway opened. Reinforcements had arrived. She kept her gaze locked with the stranger’s as he smirked and crossed his arms in front of his body.

“There’s a hit on Viviana and Mary,” Jud replied. “A two-million-dollar one with a four-million-dollar rider that guarantees anyone with half a shot will come after them. I’m here to make sure they don’t succeed.”
Carnes, Cara. Sight Lines (The Arsenal Book 2) (Kindle Locations 465-505). Heartscape Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.

From here this book takes on a rapid fire momentum that will have you turning page after page as time slips by you.

Non-stop strategizing, and action both in the field and behind the scenes, as Jud comes to the realization that Vi is the one for him.

Family drama and more top off the beginning of a very hot and sexy relationship.

There’s plenty of laughs, some tears and downright sizzle.

I do recommend you read the first book, Jagged Edge before this one. You will definitely get more out of it that way, the buy link is below.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series, a little bird told me it’s Dallas’ story!

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

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Winter Blog About Author

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

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Release Blitz! Bearing It All – TSU Book 3 By TL Reeve and Michele Ryan

Bearing It All
TSU Book 3
TL Reeve and Michele Ryan


Emma Monte has three really big secrets. One, she’s the guardian of her little sister Cassidy. Two, she loves everything 80’s inspired and three, she’s throwing the biggest wedding she can for her friends—okay, so maybe the second isn’t really a secret. When she’s invited to spend spring break with Hayden and her family in Window Rock, Arizona, all of her secrets will be revealed.

Bodhi Raferty has been biding his time. He knows the little bear is his mate, but he’s willing to wait—if it means spending more time with her. When the opportunity arises to go home, he ready to take that final step and claim Emma for his own. However, his mate is hiding something huge. The only question is, can he help her pull it off?

Bodhi and Emma aren’t the only ones in for a surprise. As the week’s events unfold, there is a pair of Rafertys ready to be introduced, and they have the ability to upstage them all.

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TSU (Turnskin University)

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TL Reeve a multi-published author with Cobblestone Press, Decadent Publishing, Evernight Publishing, and Loose-Id, was born out of a love of family and a bond that became unbreakable. Living in Alabama, TL misses Los Angeles, and will one day return to the beaches of Southern California to ride the waves at Huntington Beach. When not writing something hot and sexy, TL can be found curled up with a good book, or working on homework with a cute little pixie.

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Michele Ryan is an author with Decadent and After Glows Publishing. She embraced her creative passion and co-authored several books with fellow author TL Reeve. Michele has also published two solo novellas. Michele is a lifelong resident of the state of New Jersey, along with her husband and three children, whom she refers to as her hobbits. When Michele is not plotting or writing, she can be found either volunteering at her children’s school or reading.

TL Reeve’s Links:

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Michele Ryan’s Links:

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Combined Links:

Website | TSU | Combined Newsletter


Review and Excerpt! Justice for Milena – Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 10 By Susan Stoker

Justice for Milena
Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 10
New York Times Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker


Winter Blog Blurb

It’s been years since Milena Reinhardt has seen TJ “Rock” Rockwell. The last time, he was nearly a shell of a man…but he was her man…and he tore her heart out of her chest. Circumstances unbeknownst to TJ have ensured Milena’s never fully recovered.

TJ left his sniper days behind—for the most part—when he left the Army and become a respected Texas Highway Patrolman. He also left behind Milena. He’s convinced it was the right thing to do at the time, but that doesn’t mean he’s ever forgotten the woman who loved him in his greatest time of need…or has stopped thinking of her since.

Neither thought they’d see each other again, until a pedophile’s operation is taken down and the evil man sets his vengeful sights on Milena. This could be their second chance, even though TJ and Milena have enough secrets and trust issues to end any relationship before it starts. But when the bad guy closes in, they’ll have to set aside their fears and trust in each other, to save the one thing that means the world to them both.

** Justice for Milena is the 10th book in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

**Author Note **
TJ and Milena face a truly nasty foe. While his sins are never described on the page, certain basic information is included for the characters to grasp the full breadth of the villain’s evilness. For my more delicate readers, please remember…good always triumphs over evil.

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Winter Blog Review

Once again Susan Stoker has incorporated a difficult subject into a spellbinding book.

TJ left Milena so he wouldn’t bring her down. He needed to figure out his life and getting angry at her for his problems would do just that. He totally went about leaving the wrong way, but he left.

Milena was heartbroken when he left without an explanation, just disappeared in the night.

Milena has moved back home and one of her jobs was caring for unwed pregnant girls at Bexar County School and Orphanage for Girls. No one was more surprised than she when the FBI stormed the place. She had no idea of the horrors that occurred within those buildings.

TJ had been watching and reporting activities because of a request by a friend. He even watched her interrogation, knowing she held no knowledge of anything other than her responsibilities.

Filled with emotion and revelations, this book kept me at the edge of my seat. More than once I was holding my breath, but there were laughs, and some sizzle as TJ and Milena find the romance again.

If I had to select one word to describe this book it would have to be Powerful.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

Keep reading for an excerpt, a favorite scene.

The years had been good to him. When they’d been together three years ago, he was still healing from the wounds he’d gotten overseas. But since then, he’d healed completely and had filled out. His arms were thick and muscular, and she had a feeling if she ever saw him without a shirt, she’d see that he was even more chiseled than he’d been in the past. His brown hair was shorter than when they’d been together before, and he seemed to have a perpetual five o’clock shadow now, which was sexy as all get out.

But it wasn’t just his looks that were slightly different. He seemed even more intense than he’d been back then…if that was possible. His brown eyes were penetrating. Whereas before, he frequently looked away from her when he was talking, as if he felt guilty about something, now he had no problem holding eye contact. All that attention on her made Milena feel as if whatever she was saying was the most important thing he’d ever heard. It was a little discomfiting, but also made her feel all squishy inside.

“And did you?” Sadie asked.

“Did I what?” Milena repeated, not sure what they were talking about as she’d gotten lost in memories of TJ.

“Fall at his feet?”

“Of course not!” Milena said quickly—maybe a bit too quickly.

“But you want to.” It wasn’t a question.

“No, I don’t.” The look of skepticism was easy to read on Sadie’s face.

“Look, he’s just here because he feels guilty or something. And he might be assigned to look after me until Jeremiah and Jonathan are found.”

Sadie shook her head. “I’m sure he does feel some guilt, and he should. He was a dick. But, Milena, he doesn’t have to protect you. The Feds can assign someone else to you. There are thousands of law enforcement officers in this city. Any one of them can protect you.”

Milena blocked out the common sense her friend was using. “He’s arrogant to the nth degree. He strode into the house and practically told me I was his…like a caveman or something. He thinks that throwing money at me and putting me on his insurance will fix everything.”

Sadie shifted until she was lying on her side and her head was propped up by a hand. She was about as different from Milena as she could get. Her dark auburn hair fell messily around her shoulders and her green eyes were piercing in their intensity. She was almost five inches taller than Milena, and slender in a way Milena would never be.

“Let me tell you something about dominant men…once they decide they want something, they’re gonna get it one way or another.”

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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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Reviewing The Sleeper SEALs! Michael’s Mercy – Sleeper SEALs Book 3 – Heroes For Hire Book 10 By Dale Mayer

The Sleeper SEALs, are former U.S. Navy SEALs recruited by a new CIA counter-terror division to handle solo dark ops missions to combat terrorism on U.S. soil.

Each book in this multi-author branded series is a standalone novel, and the series does not have to be read in order. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

Michael’s Mercy
Sleeper SEALs Book 3
Heroes For Hire Book 10
USA TODAY Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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When things go bad, in Michael’s world things go horribly, terrifyingly bad.

It’s been a year since hardened Navy SEAL Michael Stanton walked away from his career. He never thought to go back, but then his former commander calls with the news that an old friend was murdered while undercover – and he needs Michael’s help.

Knowing the next dead body might be his, Michael takes his friend’s place at the home of a terrorist. His official mission is to find all he can to bring the man’s operation down. His personal mission is to find out who murdered his friend.

Mercy got the job as a maid that her sister had last held – just before she disappeared. With the police lacking leads and interest, Mercy decides it’s up to her to find out what happened. Inside the huge home, she meets Michael and becomes immediately suspicious … and immediately attracted.

When they collide in the worst way possible, she realizes he’s not who he seems either.

Can they each find the truth about their objectives and about themselves? Or will the terrorist get wind of the traitors in his midst and take care of them before they can take care of him?

Each story in this multi-author branded series is a standalone novel and the series can be read in any order.

Author Note:
Welcome to Michael’s Mercy, book 10 in Heroes for Hire (and Sleeper SEALs #3) reconnecting readers with the unforgettable men from SEALs of Honor in a new series of action packed, page turning romantic suspense that fans have come to expect from USA TODAY Bestselling author Dale Mayer. This book is part of the continuity series SLEEPER SEALS.

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Two people with primarily the same objective, to find who killed someone they cared about. In Michael’s case it’s his former teammate, in Mercy’s it’s her sister. The thing they have in common is the employer’s home.

Mercy with some misguided logic thinks that getting the job her sister had would give her answers the police haven’t.

For Michael it’s finding the reason who executed Sammy, and why the maid was involved.

This is a favorite scene when Mercy and Michael meet up in the rain, and he tries to warn her off.

“Do you want a ride back?”

She shook her head instinctively.

He gave a disgusted snort. “Yes, you do. You’re soaked to the skin. If you want to keep your job, you can’t afford to get sick.”

For a brief moment she thought about that being a lovely way to get out of her job. Obviously they wouldn’t keep her if she was sick. Not these people. A person who worked for them was just a number, and more numbers were easily found. She put a hand on the door handle and opened it, then hesitated.

He shook his head and said, “I’m not worried about the seats getting wet. Hop in, and let’s get you back to dry off.”

Without making a comment, she scrambled into the front seat and closed the door. Reaching for the seat belt, she buckled in. He pulled back onto the pavement of the deserted road.

“What are you doing out here anyway?”

“Getting some fresh air and leaving the oppression behind,” she said quietly. He shot her a curious glance.

“Is it that bad?” She nodded. “Yes, it is.”

“Time for a new job?” She stared at the gray skies, the rain now running heavily down the window, and muttered, “I don’t know.”

“Why did you take your sister’s place?”

She gasped. “What are you talking about?”

The look in his eyes made her realize he was no fool. She didn’t know what his role in this business was, but it was obvious he wouldn’t take any excuses.

She stared at her fingers for a long moment, then said, “My sister was murdered. I was hoping I could find out something about her last days. They don’t even have her belongings anymore.”

“Besides the utmost stupidity of your actions, did you ask the police for her belongings?”

She nodded and explained, “The detective said they hadn’t received anything of hers, but they did have Sammy’s belongings delivered by the estate. The detective did say he’d contact me if they found out anything new, but I haven’t heard from him yet.”

On that thought, she pulled out her phone from her pocket and checked for messages, but again there were none. But then, who else would contact her? Her mother was gone, now her sister too. Mercy only wanted to hear from the detective. Of course she wasn’t even on his priority list.

“And, if your sister was murdered, what makes you think you’d find any information here?” “It’s where she lived, where she worked. And maybe where she had a boyfriend, but I don’t know about that yet.” She looked at him. “You’re replacing a man who was murdered too.”

He nodded. “I know. But I didn’t have anything to do with either of the murders.”

“Neither did I.”

They came up to the gates of the estate, which were still open. He drove through and around to the back entrance to let her out. “Make sure you watch your back.”

She had the door open when she understood the gist of his words. She turned back to him. “Meaning?”

“Meaning, with two dead, a third won’t make any difference.”

With his cryptic words ringing in her ears, she hopped out and slammed the truck door. She didn’t know who he was, but he certainly didn’t appear to fit the role of whatever he’d taken on here.
Mayer, Dale. Michael’s Mercy (Sleeper Seals Book 3) (pp. 40-42). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Edge of your seat suspense with a romance that slowly blooms in spite of the dangers.

Sexy with some interesting twists.

I am totally intrigued and have to start reading the Heroes For Hire Series.

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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Arc Review of Zander – Heroes At Heart Book 1 by Maryann Jordan

Heroes At Heart Book 1
Maryann Jordan


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The true measure of a man is not in the mistakes he makes…but in how he handles those mistakes.

After leaving the Army, Zander King wants nothing more to do with being a hero. His life plan is to keep his nose clean, work hard to make his bar successful and avoid damsels in distress. Old habits died hard, though, so when a beautiful stranger walks into the bar to drink alone, his protective instincts kicked into high gear. It was a good thing too, because his was not the only eye she caught in his rough-side-of-town establishment.

When a man won’t take no for an answer from her, Zander kicks him out, but he sends the woman, who doesn’t belong there, packing too. Too late, he realizes his mistake in releasing the petite, vulnerable woman out into the neighborhood alone, when he finds her near death outside the bar at closing time.

Racked with guilt, Zander’s conscience won’t let him abandon her until he knows she’ll be okay. At the hospital days later, his sleeping beauty, Jane Doe, finally wakes up, but she doesn’t remember who she is or how she got there.

Zander vows to help her put the pieces of her memory back together, but would regaining her memory only put her in more danger?

A Heroes at Heart novel based loosely on the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty.

Themes, language, and adult situations are similar to an R-rated movie. For 18+ years.

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This book is a modern beautiful twist on the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.

Zander feels incredible guilt after finding the beautiful woman he sent away, beaten and barely alive in the alley behind his bar.

No one knows who she is or where she came from and now in a coma she can’t tell them. At the suggestion of the nurse he visits and reads to her every day from a collection of condensed classics. The book is a favorite, he’d read from it to all his foster brothers. He’d even brought it overseas with him when he was in the service.

This is a favorite scene from the first day he reads to her.

His gaze slid to the whiteboard on the wall, seeing her name listed as Jane Doe. His heart hurt as he viewed the evidence that no one knew who she was. Waiting until they were alone, he scooted the plastic chair across the tile floor to rest next to her bed. But, before he sat down, he reached over and placed his hand on her palm. His gaze moved over her swollen face, noting the reddened area where the dark stitches had pierced her skin. The bruises around her eyes had darkened even more, black and angry. The hospital gown was open at the neck, exposing the upper part of her chest and shoulders, those bruises deepening as well.

Bending low, he stared at her dry, cracked lips. Seeing a tube of lip balm on the tray, he squirted some on his forefinger, hesitating to touch her injuries before rubbing it lightly on her mouth. The flesh was pliant, warm, and his breath hitched as he realized how vulnerable she was.

Blowing out a breath, he whispered, “Hey, princess. It’s Zander… uh… I’m Zander. I’m so sorry… so sorry. But, I want you… well, need you to get well.”

He stared, hoping she might twitch, or blink, or indicate she could hear him. But she continued to sleep.

Sitting down in the chair, he said, “I brought a book to read. I don’t know what you like to read, but this book was given to me years ago.” His fingers moved along the worn cover, remembering when Miss Ethel gave it to him.

“Alexander, don’t you let no one tell you you’re too dumb to learn. You’ve got more intelligence than most and I know it’s locked inside of you. Your teachers are going to go over the basics of reading, but that won’t teach you to love the written word. You and me, son, are going to read through this book. It’s got everything in it… classics… fairy tales… stories of bravery and strength. Stories of love. Stories of life.” Then she opened the book, flipping through the pages until she pressed her hand flat on a page, and I sat at her feet, listening as she opened my world.

As he continued to read, he glanced up occasionally, giving her hand a little squeeze. His voice, soft at first, grew stronger as he hoped she would be able to hear him. Not wanting to go too fast, he enunciated each word carefully. After a few minutes, he came to the description of the princess.

“ ‘The maiden grew up, adorned with all the gifts of the wise women; and she was so lovely, modest, sweet, and kind and clever, that no one who saw her could help loving her.’ ”

As soon as the words left his mouth, his gaze jerked up to hers. The truth was he had very little to go on as to her personality, but remembering her at the bar, he thought about the way she tried to be polite, first to the asshole bothering her and then to him… even when he was being a different kind of an asshole. He remembered the way she tucked her hair behind her ear, her head ducking slightly, having no idea how beautiful she was. Her voice had been soft, even when angry.

“This sounds a lot like you, princess.” Giving her hand another squeeze, he continued the story. After another few minutes, he came to the line,

“ ‘… the beautiful sleeping Rosamond, for so was the Princess called…’ ”

Sucking in a quick breath, his gaze shot back to her. “Rosamond. I know that’s not your name, but I hate like hell for you to keep being called a Jane Doe. So, if you don’t mind, can I call you Rosamond?” Shaking his head, he knew it was foolish to expect a sign from her. Looking down at her hand, he rubbed his calloused finger over her skin. Her arm was covered in abrasions from the gravel drive behind the bar. Grimacing, he forced the thoughts of her attack from his mind, focusing instead on the story. As he came to the climax, he read,

“ ‘And when he saw her looking so lovely in her sleep, he could not turn away his eyes; and presently he stooped and kissed her, and she awaked, and opened her eyes, and looked very kindly on him.’ ”

“Is that what you’ll do with me, Rosamond? Look upon me kindly?”
Maryann Jordan. Zander (ARC copy – not for Sale): Heroes at Heart (A Modern Day Fairy Tale) (Kindle Locations 700-744).

We journey with them as he reads to her, waiting for her to awaken. Passages from the book are shared and bring back many memories for me as well.

A heartrending story as the beauty awakens with no memory and with Zander’s help they piece together her life before she found her way to his town.

A page turner that had me laughing, crying and holding my breath as it makes it’s way to a HEA.

I look forward to reading the fairy tales Maryann pairs with Zander’s foster brothers.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Maryann Jordan

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.

Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.

My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!

I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.

When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!

I love to hear from readers, so please email me!

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