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.

Elite – Elite Doms of Washington Book 1 by Elizabeth SaFleur

Elite Doms of Washington Book 1
Elizabeth SaFleur



Everyone knows Jonathan Brond
as the playboy congressman.
They don’t know he’s hiding a second life–
one he only shares with select women.

Christiana is tired of trying to stay afloat at work, at home, and with her socialite best friend. She’s desperate for something new, something different.

But she and Jonathan shouldn’t be together. They shouldn’t have ever met.

He’d be crazy to give in to his desire for her. She’d be crazy to accept his indecent offer–a proposition her best friend would kill for.

They are one step away from a scandal that could bring both their worlds down, but some temptations are too great to refuse.

Stand-alone and part of an interconnected series. Not a cliff-hanger. This book was formerly titled Lovely..


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Christiana works hard, waitressing at the Oak brings excellent tips and every once in a while she delivers room service. Her best friend Ashley, on the other hand is part of all the drama and fund-raising that goes on in Washington, often recruiting Christiana to attend with her to fight off boredom.

When Christiana literally runs into Congressman Jonathan Brond at one such event, she doesn’t realize until later that his is the voice she heard while delivering room service. A voice that had her wanting the domination the woman in that room was getting.

Unfortunately she restrains from pursuing any action on this because Ashley has set her sights on him. Ashley is a far more suitable companion for him, she has the money and the upbringing that would be required of a Congressman’s companion or wife.

Jonathan on the other hand, only has eyes for Chris at least until he discovers her age. As a thirty year old congressman he really shouldn’t be dallying with a nineteen year old.

This is a favorite scene.

Christiana’s moment of swagger dissolved three steps later, and she slowed, entering the main reception room. She realized the low to which the night’s potential had plummeted. Well, hell

Her focus snapped to a point just behind her back. She sensed him.

Christiana turned to face Congressman Brond. No more than a foot separated them. His eyes showed his self-assurance hadn’t wavered in the two minutes they were apart. Neither had her sense of being out of her element diminished. She didn’t know where to look—his radiant green eyes smiling down at her, his hair catching the light, or his broad shoulders.

He took her elbow before she had a chance to choose.

“Shall we?” He pulled her toward the whirling mass of color on the dance floor.

When her foot hit the parquet, the up-tempo music changed. People melted into one another, stilling to a slower beat. He snaked an arm around her waist and pulled her into him with an unyielding strength. She’d been unmistakably seized.

They started off slowly, his eyes never leaving her face.

The band played a bluesy number. It wasn’t an easy rhythm, but he had no trouble finding it. He turned sharply, and her pearl necklace swung out.

“You can dance,” he said.

She swallowed. “My father taught me.”

“Ah, yes. The gregarious Peter Snow.”

“You know my Dad?”

“Only by reputation.” His face held practiced neutrality. Not good.

The congressman twirled her through the swaying crowd. On tiptoes, she tried to stay loose for his lead. Her father could have taken lessons from this man. The congressman had woven them through the crowded floor to an almost deserted corner in seconds. His grace sent her heartbeat into a strange cadence.

“So, you are friends with the Churchills,” he said.

“Yes. Avery is my best friend.”

“I see.” He sounded pleased.

Of course. He wanted more information about Avery. But he mustn’t know Avery very well. Holding Christiana this close would only bring out her legendary temper. Of course, if she could extricate herself, Avery could move in.

“I’m sure Avery would love to dance with you,” Christiana said.

“I’d rather talk about you. Tell me about yourself.”

“What do you want to know?”

“How about a little bit of everything? At least for now.”

Christiana couldn’t help but smile. “What would be after everything, then?”

“Oh, that’s good.” He twirled her in a tight circle. “So, you’re a model,” he said, definitively.

“No, I’m in school.” She was a little thrilled he would think such a thing after the long day she’d had.

“Well, you’re quite lovely, Christiana.”

She flushed more at the stunning richness of his voice than the compliment. “Thank you.”

“No, thank you.” He swung her in a big arc, and her skirt swirled out. His warm breath ran through her hair.

Christiana inhaled deeply, taking in his scent. It reminded her of an exclusive men’s store, with hints of linen, wool and a trace of leather.

“How do you find the event?” His voice broke her trance.

“Oh, good, I guess. It’s an important event.” There. That’s something Avery would say.

“The cause, yes. But the party seems a little over-the-top, don’t you think?” He winked.

Her shoulders dropped a little under his warmth. He honestly seemed interested. Well, he is a politician. Yet despite his obvious charm, he seemed so normal—but not ordinary.

She exhaled heavily. “To be honest, I never understood why they spend so much money just to raise money. Why not just funnel it all to the charity?”

He laughed. “You should run for office.”

Christiana dipped her eyes to his lapel. She hoped the scar on her forehead wasn’t at his eye level. She tried to concentrate on the music, but the vibrations between her legs threatened to pull her off rhythm. As if reading her mind, he pulled her closer. Her nipples hardened as the bodice of her dress grazed his suit jacket. She should say something, make polite conversation. She could have used the distraction herself.


She peeked up at him under her lashes.

His face held a resolve, like a man used to wielding power. “Are you here alone?”

“Sort of.”

He smiled. “Have someone on standby?”

“No, sir. Nothing like that.”

“A date, then?”

She shook her head.

“Then I’m glad you agreed to dance with me, Christiana.”

Had she agreed? It didn’t matter. Christiana followed his steps . . . and his scent. Her arm lay heavy against his chest as his height allowed only her hand to reach his shoulder. Underneath his tuxedo, his muscles felt tight and hard. His strong thighs brushed hers. God, what he must look like under that suit.

He twirled her in a double spin that made her gasp. He smiled down at her, bemused. The music had changed to a Frank Sinatra song. He didn’t let her go. Don’t let me go. Not yet.

A steady craving warred with her nerves—and her good sense. One more dance, she told herself. Then you’ll leave.

His hand moved farther down her back, and a strange desire spiked, winning winning the battle. She wanted him to drop his hand lower, cup the curve of her bottom and draw her closer. Without thinking, she leaned into his body.

He loosened his hold as if he’d heard her inappropriate thoughts and meant to rectify the situation.
SaFleur, Elizabeth. Elite (Elite Doms of Washington Book 1) (pp. 24-28). Elizabeth SaFleur LLC. Kindle Edition.

A very interesting relationship develops behind the scenes of the normal Washington kerfuffle. Secrets and half truths, become a daily part of Chris’ life.

Unexpected twists, kindle melting heat and a very interesting outcome.

5 Contented Purrs for Elizabeth!

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  Elizabeth SaFleur

Writing romance that dares to “go there” is the most fun I’ve ever had. (Well, except for the research.)

I write, tweet and post under my pseudonym, Elizabeth SaFleur, since my clients might be (WOULD BE) a little shocked at how their counselor spends her free time (the delicate flowers). Then again, perhaps they fear they provide inspiration. (I’ll never tell.)

Today, I share a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains with my husband and furry child, a Westie – who is the real Dom in the family. We do what he says.

In my free time, you can find me dancing as part of a burlesque and aerial arts dance troupe and visiting wineries and hiking trails with friends. If our house ever caught fire, I’d grab my dog, laptop and five foot-long, regulation, Sally Rand-inspired, ostrich feather fans — in that order. (Hubby knows the way out.) Word to the wise: It’s never too late to start playing with feather boas and fans.

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Cole – Hathaway House Book 3 By Dale Mayer

Hathaway House Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Welcome to Hathaway House.
Rehab Center.
Safe Haven.
Second chance at life and love.

When Navy SEAL Cole Chamberlain entered Hathaway House weeks ago, he was doing well. His meds were under control; his recovery was progressing at a safe rate, and he was getting better every day. But, left to his own devices, Cole pushed himself too hard and took himself off his medication—and ended up causing himself harm and earned himself time in a hospital. Now he’s returned, hoping that Hathaway House can get him back on track one more time.

RN Sandra Denver feels responsible for what happened to Cole. She was his nurse and should have realized that he wasn’t ready to leave Hathaway House. His setback was her fault, or at least she could have prevented it, if she’d made sure he was taking those meds she gave him daily. Now that he’s back, she’s finding it hard to trust not just him but herself. And she understands, when Cole has a hard time trusting himself too, it won’t make his recovery any easier.

For Cole’s sake, Sandra must help him overcome his stumbling blocks as well as her own. With any luck, they’ll find a second chance at recovery, for both of them, at Hathaway House.

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We got our first glimpse of Cole in ‘Brock’ and then he did something really dumb. He decided he knew better than the doctor and stopped taking his meds. Of course he didn’t discuss it with anyone and ended up back in the hospital. Now he realizes he needs to listen to what his team says and not push himself so fast.

Sandra was his nurse and will be again, she was reprimanded for not knowing he wasn’t taking the pills left for him. Now she watches everyone take their pills. A change in routine that is necessary to ensure what happened with Cole doesn’t happen again.

Sandra also lets him know things have to be different this time around.

This is a favorite scene.

Sandra approached Cole’s bedroom slowly. The door was open, which was a good sign. She knocked and stuck her head in. “Hey, Cole.”

Cole turned to look at her. He smiled. “Hey, Sandra.”

“You’re looking better.”

He grimaced. “Be hard not to, considering the shape I left this place in the last time.”

“Not taking your medicine will do that to you.” She couldn’t resist saying that. His shamefaced look made her realize she’d been hanging on to something he probably wasn’t. Everyone always thought they knew better. It was something she dealt with daily. “I met Dani in the hallway. She asked if I’d make sure you meet up with Brock for lunch.”

He straightened, almost as if insulted. “I’m sure I can get there on my own.”

“I’m sure you could too. But not today. It’s very important you start off as slow as you can.” She waited.

“So is that a yes or a no?”

He nodded. She guided the wheelchair to his bedside and watched as he slid to the floor on his good leg, grabbed the wheelchair arms and shifted his body into the seat. She walked around to the front and adjusted the footrest for his leg.

“You may want this,” she said, grabbing his lap blanket and throwing it onto his lap.

He tossed the blanket back to the bed. “I hate the blanket. It always makes me feel like an invalid.”

She sighed. “In that case, the blanket can stay here, but if you get cold …” She let her voice trail off in warning. “Remember, no lack of communication of any kind this time, please.” She pushed him toward the door.

Normally he’d be strong enough to wheel himself to the buffet, but they would all be watching him closely for the next couple weeks. It was incredibly easy to overexert, particularly when accommodating the loss of his lower leg. Plus, his body was still dealing with the surgical aftermath from his most recent time in the hospital. His medications had also been increased, and he tired easily.

She didn’t want him to be so exhausted he couldn’t get back to his room. He was stubborn enough that he wouldn’t ask for help and would do it alone anyway. She’d seen pigheadedness in all its forms here, and it usually came from the men. Something about the male ego didn’t like asking for help. She could understand that, but sometimes egos had to be put in check.

“I’m ready for lunch myself,” she said. “I hear it’s Greek today.”

“I didn’t have a chance to try the food that much last time. My visit was so damn quick.”

“That’s too bad, because the food is great around here. They never skimp.”

“And for you guys too, right?” Cole craned his neck to look up at her. “The staff eats here also, don’t they?”

“Oh, absolutely, we do. It’s one of the perks of working here.”

“I imagine there are a lot of those. Brock told me about the pool, but I never made it there.”

“There’s the pool, the food, the horses and living accommodations for those of us who might need them. Yes, there are a lot of advantages to working here.”

He nodded. “I thought so. Is the environment always so happy? Everyone seems so upbeat all the time. That’s very unusual.”

“That’s because it’s a good place to be.” She pushed him through the entrance of the large dining area. “Did Brock tell you where he would meet you?”

“I never thought to ask. I forgot how big this room was.”

“I’ll take you to the deck so you can sit in the sunlight, and we’ll look for him as we go.” She pushed him out to the deck where the sun was high enough to produce some good heat, but not be unbearable quite yet.

There was no sign of Brock as they made their way to the far end of the deck. “Maybe you’re early.”

“Maybe.” He kept twisting and turning in his seat to look for his buddy. “He said noon. He should be here by now.”

Sandra understood how Cole felt.

“Once he shows up, I can either fix a plate for you or you may want to see all the offerings on the buffet line. Let me know.” As she settled Cole at his chosen table, she heard someone call out.


There was Brock, making his way over—smooth, agile, and stronger than Sandra had ever seen him before. She caught Cole’s reaction—the whisper of envy on his face—and felt a rush of sympathy for the man. She patted his shoulder. “Don’t forget. He’s been here for a few months now. You’ll get there.”
Mayer, Dale. Cole: A Hathaway House Heartwarming Romance (pp. 9-12). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Sandra finds she really likes Cole and starts to build a friendship with him. However Cole’s guilt and mood swings aren’t good for his recovery and he hasn’t opened up to his Psychologist or Therapist. There’s also concern that his friendship with Brock could be hindering his progress, but Brock does manage to turn the table on that.

Lots of ups and downs, fun at the pool and a beautiful beginning romance.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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Tactical Strike – Bagram Special Ops Book 2 by Kaylea Cross

Tactical Strike

Bagram Special Ops Book 2
NY Times Bestselling Author
Kaylea Cross


Gunship pilot Captain Candace Bradford has worked long and hard to earn her rank and position within the male-dominated world of Air Force Special Operations. She’s not about to let anything or anyone jeopardize that, let alone one sinfully tempting man who seems determined to cause her nothing but trouble. Even if she’s starting to fall for him.

As an elite Combat Controller, Staff Sergeant Ryan Wentworth is used to overcoming adversity in order to complete a mission. Breaking through Candace’s prickly exterior and into her heart is a challenge he can’t let go. But just when he’s begun to gain her trust, they’re thrown together in the field facing an overwhelming enemy force.

Candace and Ryan find themselves on the run, searching the skies for an emergency extraction. But one dangerous enemy has an agenda in mind and he’ll use whatever means necessary to achieve it, including using American forces to do his dirty work.

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We met Candace and Ryan in Deadly Descent the first book in this series. Ryan can be most annoying and that seems to come to the forefront in his conversations with Candace. One of the biggest issues is rank, she’s a Captain and he’s a Staff Sergeant. Fraternizing is a definite no-no, but the attraction between these two is off the charts.

Candace battles her emotions when it comes to Ryan, keeping him at arms length is difficult since he’s very determined.

A new tactic for the enemy comes to the fore in this book, an attack on the base. This is when Ryan finally gets through to Candace.

This is a favorite scene.

He was still stewing when the door finally opened and the doctor emerged. Ryan straightened, but the door shut again and Candace didn’t come out. After a minute he got concerned and walked over to push it open. He stopped in the threshold, one hand still on the door. Candace sat on a hard plastic chair with her elbows on her knees and her hands in her disheveled hair. She looked up when he entered, and with one glimpse at her weary face the riot act he’d been prepared to deliver died in his throat. The raw misery in her eyes slashed him.

Ryan stepped inside and shut the door quietly. “Hi.”

She recovered fast, the lines of strain disappearing under a calm mask as she sat up. “Hey.” Was it his imagination, or did she look relieved to see him?

He ran his gaze over her to check for injuries, but other than a few bloody scrapes on her hands and elbows from when he’d tackled her, she seemed unhurt. Physically, anyway. “You okay?”


She didn’t look okay, despite the brave front she was putting on. He shifted his weight and stuffed his hands into his pockets. It’d been one hell of a shitty day for everybody so far. “How’s your crew member doing?”

She looked down at the worn beige carpet. “They couldn’t save his foot. Had to amputate halfway down his lower leg.”

Ryan covered a wince. “Sorry to hear that.” After an awkward beat, he crossed the room and sat in the seat beside her. She was obviously upset, but he wasn’t sure what to say and talking to her usually had disastrous results anyway. He laid a comforting hand on her shoulder instead and rubbed gently.

Anyone who came in and had a problem with him touching an officer could go fuck himself. He needed to comfort her. Her muscles were strung tight.

Candace bit her lip and stared at the floor for another moment, and though she didn’t shrug off his hand, he kept waiting for her to speak. He wracked his brain for something to say, but he’d never been good with the touchy-feely stuff and didn’t want to upset her further so he kept his mouth shut. So he kept rubbing her shoulder in what he hoped were soothing little circles, the whole time expecting her to knock his hand away and put distance between them. Instead she shocked the hell out of him by turning her body into him and throwing her arms around his neck.

“Whoa.” He caught her around the waist and immediately leaned closer to wrap her up in a firm hug. In answer she let out a deep sigh and burrowed even harder into him, tightening her arms. Needing comfort so much that she’d let her guard down completely in front of him and anyone else who might walk in. The knowledge made something painful twist in his chest. Ah, hell, Ace. Don’t do this to me.
Cross, Kaylea. Tactical Strike (Bagram Special Ops Series). Carina Press. Kindle Locations (1115-1132). Kindle Edition.

Ryan is one of those assigned to go find and take out the perpetrators. When they end up ambushed he’s the one calling in the airstrikes but they have severely wounded men.

Candace is a pilot on the aircraft called in to retrieve them. Unfortunately the enemy gets lucky, and they all end up stranded, with a storm approaching and more wounded.

Let me warn you now, this book has intense battle scenes the descriptions will put you right in the middle of the firefights. I was holding my breath and doing my share of crying as the two groups fight for survival.

Many tears, lots of action, very emotional and scary, and a love that won’t quit.

5 Contented Purrs for Kaylea!

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Kaylea Cross

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards and has been nominated for both the Daphne du Maurier and the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.

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Four Book Bundle! One Night To Forever – Books 1 – 4 By Melissa McClone

Experience love when it’s least expected
with four full-length,
heartwarming sweet romances
in the One Night to Forever box set!


One Night to Forever
One Night to Forever Books 1-4
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone


With fake engagements, a surprise pregnancy, friendship to love, and hate to love storylines, these four novels will take you from San Francisco to Portland to Sun Valley. Treat yourself and find out how one night can lead to forever…

Fiancé for the Night

When a fake engagement spirals out of control, Cassandra fears losing her heart. Will she end the fake engagement, or could Troy be her perfect husband for life?

The Wedding Lullaby

After an impromptu wedding that was just for fun, Laurel discovers she’s pregnant. Will she get the marriage and family she dreams of having with Brett?

A Little Bit Engaged

A PR nightmare drags Cara into a fake engagement with A-list actor—and former crush—Brody. What will it take for her to survive the ruse with her heart intact

Love on the Slopes

The one person who can help her is the last person she’d ever trust…again. Can Ryland and Brynn overcome their painful pasts and make their dreams come true—together?

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Fiancé for the Night

This book is a tale of things spinning totally out of control.

It begins innocently enough, Cassandra wants to stop her parents from setting her up with their idea of the perfect husband for her. She decides to select one man from a local hangout that fits the bill and have him be her fiancé for the night.

Troy isn’t quite sure what to make of the free spirited Cassandra as he considers her proposal. He decides to go for it, a free meal and a lovely companion for the evening beats going home to an empty apartment and working.

Cassandra gets quite the surprise when she finds out what Troy does for a living and things start hurtling out of control.

This is a favorite scene.

Cassandra’s cheeks warmed. Thank goodness he wasn’t her type, or she could imagine falling for Mr. Troy McKnight.

“Enough honeymoon talk.” Her father straightened in his chair.

“Why don’t we discuss the wedding?” her mother suggested. “Have you set a date?”

“No,” Cassandra said. “We aren’t sure if we want a traditional wedding or not.”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Emily muttered. “I see you don’t have a ring yet.”

“We’re using my grandmother’s engagement ring,” Troy said. The man kept saying the unexpected, and she appreciated his fast thinking. “I haven’t had time to fly home and get it from my parents’ house.”

“Your grandmother’s ring.” Her mother clapped her hands together. “A family heirloom. How wonderful.”

Troy smiled at Cassandra. Her mother’s reaction seemed to please him.

Eric glanced at the rock on Emily’s ring finger. “That works out well financially. Troy has a ring to use, and Cassandra has a dress to wear.”

Jerk. Cassandra balled her hands into fists.

Emily’s parted lips matched her wide eyes. She exchanged a glance with Eric.

“She can’t wear that dress,” Emily said with uncharacteristic understanding. “She bought it for… for… another wedding.”

“But the dress has never been worn,” Eric explained as if he were talking about a pair of jeans, not a beautiful white dress that had made Cassandra feel like a princess. “Letting an expensive wedding gown hang in the closet forever because I married you would be a total waste.”

Cassandra stiffened. She couldn’t believe she’d told that moron she loved him or said yes when he’d asked her to marry him. Temporary insanity. That was the only explanation.

Troy placed his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. His warm breath teased her neck.

“Are you okay?” he whispered.

She nodded. At least someone cared, or pretended to care, about her feelings. “I sold the dress.”

“Well, then. That means you’ll need a new one. This time…” Her mother picked up her glass of Chardonnay. “I want to go shopping with you.”

“Of course, Mother.” That day would never happen.

“There’s plenty of time to talk about the wedding,” her father said. “All I know is my little girl looks happy, and that makes me happy.”

“My job is to make her happy.” Troy caressed Cassandra’s cheek with his fingertips.

A tingle ran up her spine. “You do an excellent job.”

Did he ever.

He was playing the devoted fiancé role better than she expected. She would have to be careful given the sparks that could easily erupt into fireworks if he kept touching her.

“What do you do, Troy?” Emily asked.

Leave it to her sister to get to the bottom line— income potential. An interrogation of Troy was bound to happen at some point. Cassandra had hoped they could get through appetizers and their salads first.

No biggie.

She assumed Troy was an attorney. He had that overpaid, on-a-retainer, stick-up-his-bottom lawyer look about him. “Go ahead, honey. Tell them what you do.”

Troy cleared his throat. “Venture capital.”

Oh, no. Not V.C. Cassandra clenched her teeth to keep her mouth from gaping open. Her stomach somersaulted.

This couldn’t be happening.

Not again.

Her dad beamed. Of course this news would make him ecstatic.

Dixon Daniels was one of the long-reigning kings of venture capitalists— financiers who invested in startup companies in hopes of making huge profits. He’d made a fortune at the height of the tech bubble, but money had continued to pour in after the dot-com collapse and now.

Her father leaned forward. “I thought you looked familiar, Troy. Who do you work for, Sand Hill? No, it’s Scorpio Partners. I remember now. You handled the MagiWare deal.”

Troy nodded.

“Impressive.” Her dad wasn’t a man who gave praise often. “Why didn’t you tell me your fiancé was in the business, honey?”

Cassandra struggled for words to say. Troy had caught her off-guard. He looked like an attorney. He was supposed to be an attorney.

How could she have been so stupid? Why hadn’t she asked what he did?

Daniels Venture Group was a respected firm, and Dixon Daniels was known as the master. Up-and-comers would kill to learn from him. Marrying the boss’s daughter was an easy way in. Just ask Eric Wainwright.

Not sure how to answer, she swallowed. “Well, Dad…”

“We wanted to tell you in person,” Troy finished for her, much to Cassandra’s relief. “I didn’t want you to think I was marrying your daughter for the wrong reasons.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 427-475). Cardinal Press, LLC.

From a one night dinner, the ‘engagement’ proceeds to a week-end and then more.

All of sudden it’s not just solving Cassie’s problem, it becomes an issue for Troy and his employment.

Lots of twists, turns and fun as these two become more than just pretend.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

The Wedding Lullaby

Henry Davenport’s birthday extravaganzas are legendary among his friends. Those in attendance all have something in common other than their extreme wealth, they all have holiday birthdays. The preface of this book supplies the cause of the effects that are in this story. A fake wedding is the theme and the ‘lucky’ dice rollers are Brett Matthews and Laurel Worthington.

At the time of the party, no one knew the dire circumstances facing Laurel and her mother. Now broke and pregnant, Laurel has to approach Brett for a job. She won’t force him to accept the child, in fact, she won’t be a trophy wife forced on him because of pregnancy. She wants love and respect.

Of course Brett already knows everything, and is more than ready to accept the responsibility of both her and the child. He just wasn’t going to make it easy on her. She would never have dated him before that party, his was new money, not the old her family preferred.

Brett had also convinced himself she would take the easy way and marry him over getting a job. Boy was he wrong.

This is a favorite scene.

Brett was only trying to do the right thing. Why wasn’t that good enough for Laurel? His family may not have crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower or been listed on the pages of the social registry, but she was the one with no money, no home, and no job. What would he have to do to convince her to marry him?

On the drive to the restaurant, the atmosphere in his car was as chilly as a February morning, and the cold wasn’t blasting from the air-conditioning.
Recognizing the scent of her perfume didn’t help matters. The light floral fragrance suited her perfectly, and the smell transported him back to watching her dress the morning after their so-called wedding night. She’d dabbed the perfume behind her earlobes, on her wrists, and in the hollow between her breasts.

She’d thought he was asleep and was sneaking out before he awakened. She hadn’t known he’d been up since dawn wondering what to do and say to her. Laurel had taken care of that for him by leaving a note on the pillow next to him.

He’d read the letter so many times he had it memorized….

Every little girl dreams of her wedding day, complete with her own Prince Charming. The ceremony at the Love Dove Wedding Nest Chapel might not have met those expectations, but last night exceeded them. Thank you for making my dreams come true, even if it was for only one night. I wish I could stay longer, but family obligations require me to return to Chicago.

P.S. Thanks for the “wedding” gift. I love the snow globe.

Sure, she did.

Brett knew better than to believe anything she said, then or now. In Reno, he’d thought she would be the perfect wife. So much for perfection.

Yet, he couldn’t deny his attraction for her. An attraction growing by the minute, as crazy as it was to believe.

After parking at the restaurant, he helped her out of the car. She stiffened at his touch, but he wasn’t deterred. As he led her inside, his hand resting on the small of her back, she stayed tensed.

He swore under his breath.

The ice-maiden routine had to stop.

Once they were seated and ordered dinner, the tension between them didn’t improve. The din of voices from the other diners, along with music from the piano in the lounge, kept their lack of conversation from being overly awkward.

A brush of her leg against his sent sparks flying, but she merely apologized, dismissing him without a thought, and sipped her water.

Water wouldn’t cut it for Brett. Three fingers of whiskey sounded about right. He wasn’t a big drinker, but Laurel could make a man do things he normally didn’t do. He settled for beer, a local brewery’s award-winning summer ale, and tried to figure out his strategy.

He hadn’t gotten this far in life by taking no for an answer.

Things weren’t going as he expected— or rather, maybe they were. He’d deluded himself into thinking Laurel could see beyond her upbringing and former station in life. Both in Reno and now.

Truth was she’d hurt him by leaving without saying goodbye, and by not contacting him after she returned to Chicago. That had nothing to do with the baby and everything to do with him.

He shouldn’t care. Not now.

The situation had changed. This wasn’t about her or him. The baby was the bottom line. His ego might be bruised by her rejection, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him.

She had to marry him.

His baby needed a family. He would do whatever it took to make that happen. Even lower his standards to marry her.

“Now about us getting married,” he said finally.

She massaged her temples. “Let’s not repeat that mistake.”

He flinched. “Mistake or not, I’m concerned how you intend to care for our baby.”

“I told you.” She sighed. “Some women choose to stay at home. Others choose to work. I’m going to work.”

“You’re pregnant. You shouldn’t be working.”

Laurel frowned. “Pregnancy is not an illness, although some misinformed people think it is. That’s one reason I came to you.”

She didn’t have a clue. About life. About him.

“Don’t roll your eyes at me, Brett Matthews.” She pursed her lips. “I didn’t travel this far on a whim. Do you think leaving my hometown for a city I’ve never been to was easy? Do you think I wanted to spend three days riding on a bus?”

Everything she did surprised him. “Why didn’t you find a job in Chicago?”

She toyed with her napkin. “I had a job, but it didn’t work out.”

According to the PI’s report, she’d been fired from her position at an exclusive department store, but no reason for her dismissal had been given.

“I searched for another job, but due to my father’s stellar reputation preceding me, I couldn’t find anything that paid more than minimum wage. I thought you would be able to look past my current condition, so I could start over and make a new life here in Portland.”

“You really want to work?”

“I really want to work.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 3967-4017). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Brett finally agrees to give her a job as assistant to his assistant. He also makes a plan to go with her to look at apartments, even though he has no intention of letting her live anywhere but with him.

This is a fun read with plenty of ups and downs a Laurel not only finds her way as a working women but also finds herself in the process. Even Brett grows in his mindset as this tale unfolds.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

A Little Bit Engaged

This story is painful in the sense that throughout Cait aka Caitlyn seems oblivious to the hurt and embarrassment she is causing Brody and her sister.

Brody springs a surprise visit on Cara and also an almost unbelievable proposition. A temporary engagement.

Now Cara has been a little more than in love with Brody since their school days, but this is almost more than she can handle. Then Brody shows her the video that has caused Cait to force their hands.

This is a favorite scene.

“We’re not getting married,” Caitlin hiccupped between sobs. Streams of mascara-stained tears flowed down her cheeks. “Brody and I… We aren’t engaged. We broke up.”

Cara’s lips parted, her eyes widened, and then she blinked several times. Her face tightened into a pained expression that made him feel like a jerk. “Why did you break up? Is Caitlin okay? Did you hurt her?”

“Keep watching.”

Auntie Shark patted Caitlin’s arm. “I’m so sorry.”

Caitlin swiped her hand across her face. The move made a bigger mess of her makeup. She appeared oh-so-human, not the perfectly put together actress that girls and teens idolized.

Auntie Shark extended a tissue. “Take your time, dear.”

“Thank you.” Caitlin dabbed her face slowly as if trying to think of what to say next. If only she hadn’t rushed… “I didn’t want our fans to find out this way, but I suppose there isn’t a good time to tell them.”

“Tell them what?” Auntie Shark sounded giddy.

Caitlin stared straight at the camera. Her vulnerability clawed at him. “About Brody.”

“What about him?”

“He’s… He’s getting married.”

“Huh?” Cara muttered.

“What?” Auntie Shark’s mouth gaped. “Who is he marrying?”

Caitlin’s slight pause told Brody she was making this up as she went. “My twin sister.”

“No!” Auntie Shark and Cara shouted at the same time.

The horror in that one word twisted his heart. He’d experienced the same shock, disbelief, and… hurt. He knew the question— Why, Caitlin?— was echoing in Cara’s head the way it had resounded in his. He patted her hand. Not much support, but this was all he could give her. They were in this together, or they would be if she agreed to be his temporary fiancée.

“You can’t be serious.” Auntie Shark appeared shocked.

“I’m afraid so.” Caitlin sniffled. “They’ve been secretly dating. I don’t know how long this has been going on, but they attended the Academy Awards together last year when I was sick. Maybe it started then. I’m trying to be happy for them. I was at the bridal salon to try on bridesmaid dresses, but it’s… hard. The two people I love most in this world betrayed me in the worst possible way.” She wiped her eyes with a tissue before she straightened. “And you know, it’s so bizarre how life is imitating art.”

“What do you mean?” Auntie Shark’s tone was sympathetic, but her eyes gleamed with dollar signs. No doubt this exclusive, juicy morsel had thrilled her.

“My new film Trouble in Tulle is about a jilted bride whose groom runs off with her best friend. Everyone should see the movie when it opens this weekend.” Caitlin perked up for a moment, but then, as if on cue, more tears flooded her cheeks. “My sister is… was… my best friend.”

“Oh, no. No. No. No.” Cara’s voice trembled. Her lower lip quivered. “Please tell me this is a sick joke. An early April Fool’s prank. Payback for me making fun of your movie franchise.”

Brody wanted to wipe away her worry. Instead, he shut off the video. “I wish I could.”

Cara stared at his phone. “I don’t know what to say.”

“I know the feeling. It’s like I’m on a roller coaster that won’t stop— only, this ride hasn’t been any fun.” He placed his phone on the old, beat-up trunk that doubled as a coffee table. “I just want it to end.”

“Why would Caitlin do this to me? To us?” The pain in Cara’s voice hurt Brody. “I’ve stayed out of the public eye on purpose. Now she’s pushing me into the spotlight. Can you stop this?”

The hope in Cara’s gaze made him want to say yes, but he couldn’t tell her another lie. “I thought about going to my lawyer, but Caitlin talked me out of it. She said the real-life parallel with the movie is too perfect not to exploit. The show was taped this morning. It’s set to air on Thursday. That gives us time.”

“Time for what?” The lines on Cara’s forehead deepened. “My sister has lost it.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 6967-7005). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Everything gets totally out of control as they make like they are planning their wedding. Every time they turn around there are cameras as Cait does the unthinkable and tips off the paparazzi.

I absolutely love the way this romance plays out. Brody and Cara are truly made for each other. The question is will they realize it too.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Love on the Slopes

There are many factors in this one, the first being their past. Brynn did Ryland a favor he thought was something altogether different and bragged about it, causing her embarrassment. Then he was injured and has been off the circuit and reevaluating his life choices.

Brynn has lost her focus, the issues she has can’t be discussed with anyone associated with the team. The coaches have asked Ryland to work with Brynn to get her back on track. To say she’s not happy is an understatement.

This is a favorite scene.

Guyer pushed one of the two coffee cups on the table toward her. “For you. Two sugars and a dash of cream.”

That was how she drank hers. Her mouth watered, but she squinted. “Never saw you as the stalker type.”

“I’m usually being stalked,” he admitted. “But you can learn almost anything in less than five minutes on the internet. Your favorite color is orange?”

“Yes, the brighter the better.” Brynn sipped her coffee. The liquid was hot and sweet, the way she liked it. “Why did you go to the trouble to do a search on me?”

“If we’re going to work together—”

“Stop.” She raised her left hand, palm facing him. “Neither of us wants to work together, so let’s not pretend otherwise.”

He didn’t contradict her. Brynn wasn’t surprised, but she didn’t appreciate the sting of disappointment that came out of the blue. “Give me some advice now, and we’ll call it good.”

“That’s not what Coach has in mind.”

“He’ll never know.”

“Yes, he will.”

Guyer tapped his fingers on the table. His nails were clean and in better shape than hers. Then again, he’d been modeling, according to her roommate, Lila Raines, so maybe manicures were part of his photo shoot prep.

“Coach knows everything,” Guyer added.

Far from it. Frederick might know skiing, but he was clueless about other stuff. But no one else knew that except Brynn.

She wrapped her hand around the coffee cup. The warmth didn’t take away the chill. “The coaches want to say they did everything they could before I’m cut from the team. Everyone knows I don’t meet the selection criteria for a nomination. My only hope is a coach’s discretion spot.”

She expected Guyer to show a sign of relief— he’d avoided her over the years the way she had him— but his expression didn’t change.

He picked up his coffee. “I didn’t know until this morning.”

“You haven’t been around.”

“I’m here now.” He raised his coffee. “Don’t make this a wasted trip for me. My dad let me take the company jet so I could fly direct and bypass the drive from Boise.”

“Rough life.”

“Doesn’t suck.” Ry took a sip. “So Coach said you’re not injured. That means something’s going on in your head. Have any idea what?”

“Everyone who’s tried to help me has come up empty.” Of course, she hadn’t told them the reason she’d lost her focus. She’d promised her mother not to tell anyone and hadn’t. Couldn’t. “We’re talking sports psychologists, counselors, coaches. The best around.”

A part of Brynn wished someone could help her, but telling the truth might get her kicked off the team faster than having poor race results. She didn’t dare.

“Why do you think you can do better?” she asked.

“Don’t know if I can, but Coach wants me to try. If you’re not interested, that’s fine, but I won’t lie to him about what we’re doing.”

“Why not? You used to lie all the time.” His lies had been infamous and used in a drinking game. Something to joke and laugh about until he’d spread lies about the two of them having sex. Suddenly, people viewed her differently. And not in a good way.

Denying the rumors had made her appear guilty and heartbroken over Ry-Guy. Granted, only the younger guys had expected her to put out, but she hadn’t appreciated the curious looks she’d received from others, including the team staff.

Guyer’s mouth tightened. “I don’t do a lot of things I used to do.”

Her curiosity piqued, she drank more coffee to keep from asking him questions.

“What happened in Åre?” he asked.

His question about the race in Sweden was unexpected. Unwelcome, too.

Memories careened through her head like a possessed jackhammer, the noise more deafening than the cheering crowds at the finish line. “I had a bad run.”

“More than one. You were DQ’d in multiple events.”

She stared into her cup. “Everyone has a bad competition.”

“You’ve had an off season.”

Her muscles tensed, knotting themselves like the tangled fringe on her old scarf. She’d had a chance to finish on the podium at Lake Louise the week before Åre but hadn’t. Her loss caused “Dad” to go off on her. She’d tried her entire life to prove herself to Sully, to earn his love, to make him as proud of her as he was of her hockey-playing brothers. At least she’d discovered why pleasing him had been an impossible task. Sully wasn’t her biological father.

“I’m doing the best I can,” she said finally.

“You believe that?”

“No.” She might be withholding the truth, but she wasn’t a liar. “Or I wouldn’t be here with you.”

A smile spread across Guyer’s face. “A sense of humor is good, but so is being focused. I watched a few clips of your recent races. You’ve lost your focus.”

“Yes.” But she couldn’t say why. Brynn gnawed on her lower lip.

“Do you want to stay on the team?” he asked.

“Yes.” The word catapulted from her mouth. “More than anything.”

Doubt filled his gaze.

“It’s true.” She sounded defensive and on guard, exactly how she felt. “I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“Does that include working with me?”

Brynn didn’t reply. Instead, she sipped her coffee.
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 10041-10094). Cardinal Press, LLC.

As the days pass, the attraction between them grows. Brynn has to come to terms with her emotions and future on the team, difficult as it may be.

Fun, intriguing, emotional, and romantic. You won’t want to put this one down.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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!

Sweet Rose – Baytown Boys Book 10 by Maryann Jordan

Sweet Rose
Baytown Boys Book 10
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan


Jason Boswell had moved to Baytown at the invitation of his Navy buddy to open a garage and tattoo parlor. He never meant to start off on the wrong foot with the beautiful Rose.

Rose Parker wanted to open an ice-cream parlor in Baytown, but life kept handing her one setback after another. And for Jason? It appeared that he managed to get everything he wanted. She hated to be envious, but frustration had her lashing out.

But their attraction could not be denied.

When Rose finally managed to get the space for her Sweet Rose Ice Cream Shop and upstairs apartment…right across the street from Jason’s shops, she made several discoveries…letters from the a former resident and a skeleton in the cellar.

Thrown into a mystery from years ago, it appears someone in town wants to keep secrets buried.

As Jason and Rose’s love blooms, can he keep her safe while she works to discover the truth?

Note: Language and scenes similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie.

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Rose wanted the building Jason won the bid on, it was perfect for her ice cream shop and had the bonus of an apartment above it. It was also the only one in the area she could afford without struggling to be a success.

Jason, bought the entire building for his Garage and Tattoo Studio. Having the two businesses next door to each other and the apartment above was perfect for him. He had no idea Rose wanted the shop and while he felt bad, he had won the bid. On a practical note fumes from the garage would definitely be a downside to ice cream preparation and enjoyment.

Rose is angry and frustrated when she confronts Jason in the space and that quickly leads to a totally different kind of heat. A night neither of them will forget, that ends with Rose leaving before Jason wakes, with only a note in her wake.

Now three years later, Rose is returning to Baytown with the same goal of opening an ice cream shop. This time she is a bit more prepared thanks to the events that occurred during the previous years. She is a bit nervous about seeing Jason again, after all she did disappear. The perfect property is directly across from Jason’s garage, she’d have to see him sooner or later.

It was Jason who initiated that first meeting after totally misunderstanding a situation.

This is a favorite scene.

Rounding the corner at the intersection where his garage was across the street, he headed directly to Rose’s shop. With the paper covering the windows, he could not see in but could tell there was a light on inside. He knocked on the door then pressed his ear to the glass. He could hear music in the distance and wondered if she was working toward the back of the shop. Knocking loudly, he still received no response.

Shoving his hands in his pockets, he hesitated before walking away, the strong urge to see her overshadowing everything else. He walked to the end of the short block, down a side street, to the back alley. It only took him a moment to come to her door, surprised to find it standing open.

Knocking again, he called out, but with the music louder now, he knew she would not be able to hear him. He stepped through the door, passing an office and small bathroom. The music was coming from the main room, but a slight noise had him turn and peek inside a large storage closet, just as he called out, “Rose!”

Rose had one flip-flop covered foot standing on the top of a small stepladder and the other foot on one of the shelves in the room as she leaned precariously far to the side, a wet rag in her hand. At the sound of his voice, she startled, her foot kicking the ladder over before scrambling to find purchase on the shelving.

Rushing forward, he snagged her body as she started to fall, catching her in mid-squeak as a dirty, wet rag slapped up against the side of his head.

She started to flail about, but he held her easily, saying, “Rose, Rose. It’s me.”

She stilled, and he shifted her body so that she was now facing him, his arms banded about her middle, and her feet dangled off the floor. Her eyes widened, and she gasped. “Jason? Oh, my God, you scared me to death. What are you doing here?”

He knew he should set her feet on the ground, but the feel of her in his arms was so nice, he held on to her for another moment. Of course, the wet rag near his face cut into the pleasure of the moment. Glancing to the side, he said, “Uh, do you mind getting rid of that?”

The rag landed on the floor with a splat, and she gushed, “I’m so sorry.” As if just realizing that her feet were dangling off the floor, she wiggled and added, “You can put me down now. I’ll get a paper towel for you.”

He set her down slowly, and as soon as his arms left her body, she rushed from the closet and into the small bathroom. She returned with a roll of paper towels, ripping off several, and immediately began wiping off the side of his face, hair, and beard.

She stepped back, the wad of paper towels in her hand, and her face scrunched before her eyes landed back on his. “Oh, Jason. I’m not sure I made it any better. I am so sorry.”

He stared at her carefully, noting she was no longer wearing the pink bandanna on her hair, but her blonde locks were still pulled up in a messy bun. She was still wearing the large overalls, a light blue T-shirt underneath. Flip-flops were on her feet, her pink-painted toenails visible. Her hands were dirty. Her feet were dirty. And her face was completely smudged with dirt as well. His assessment from earlier still stood. Completely ridiculous and utterly adorable.

He realized he had not said anything when she was staring up at him with a scrunched nose and questioning gaze. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. Shrugging, he chuckled. “Most days I’m either buried in grease or ink, so a little dirt isn’t going to hurt me.”

His heart lightened as her smile widened, thrilled to discover that she did not appear to be upset at seeing him again.

“So… um… what are you doing here?” she asked.

“I’ve wanted to come by, but… well, I wasn’t sure when would be a good time,” he lied.

“I kept thinking I would see you around town sometime during the last couple of weeks, but except for glances at a distance, I didn’t.”

Jamming his fingers into his front pockets, he shrugged and said, “I’ve been pretty busy, I guess.”

Her hands fiddled with the clutched paper towels as she stared up at him. “I should have come by, but after the last time we were together, I wasn’t sure how you felt about me just popping around to say hello.” He remembered how guileless she was, and his hands slid from his pockets as he reached toward her shoulders, the desire to touch her as well as comfort her overwhelming. “Oh, Rose, you never have to worry about that.” He shook his head and winced slightly, saying, “I admit it was a little hit to my ego when you were gone the next day, but we both agreed it was just for the—”

Her hand flew up, landing over his mouth, halting his words. “No!” she all but shouted, her eyes wide as she shook her head back and forth.

Not daring to speak considering the hand over his mouth still held a damp paper towel, he lifted his brows in surprise.

“Oh, my goodness! I’m so sorry!” Her hand jerked back down, and he watched as pink blush infused her cheeks. Sighing heavily, she shook her head and admitted, “Sometimes I think I’m such a disaster.” Her gaze shifted to somewhere behind him, out into the open area, and she stepped back. Sucking in a deep breath, she lifted her gaze back to his and said, “Would you like to see my store?”

Chagrined that he had brought up the night they spent together, he understood her desire to change the subject. For a few seconds, he wondered if her offer to show him around was sincere, but as he gazed down at her, he saw a spark of excitement in her eyes again and wanted to keep that expression on her face. “Absolutely,” he confirmed. “I’d love to see what you’re going to do here.”
Maryann Jordan. Sweet Rose – ARC copy: Baytown Boys (Kindle Locations 783-826).

While the chemistry is definitely there, they don’t jump in quite as fast. Well they do but there is a lot more conversation first.

A startling discovery almost messes up Rose’s plans, but since it only involves the cellar and an event from years ago, she’s allowed to continue with the renovations and opening plans.

I love the way these two begin the romance that will be more than a one-night thing. The interactions with her mother bring sniffles and all the Baytown Boys and their wives and girlfriends lend helping hands.

Plenty of suspense, many surprises, a lot of love and some sizzling heat. I laughed, sniffled, held my breath and sighed as this book unfolds.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Maryann Jordan

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

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

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

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

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Lucas – K9 Files Book 5 By Dale Mayer

K9 Files Book 5
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


The world of dogfighting is an ugly place …

When Tophat, a missing K9 dog, is accidentally sent to Canada as part of a group of rescued dogs looking for adoption, Lucas knows he’s the natural pick for this job. Plus he has another reason to be in the country. His sister lives there, and … so does his ex-fiancée.

But when he arrives, Lucas finds Tophat was handed over to a trainer who deals with aggressive dogs. The news isn’t good, especially after Lucas arrives at the trainer’s property and is thrown into the dark underworld of dogfighting.

Tanya used to share her home with her two best friends, until one was killed in a hit-and-run and the other badly injured. Now living alone in a small apartment, Tanya realizes how much she’s lost—including Lucas. Unexpectedly seeing him flips her world once more …

As Lucas digs deeper into Tophat’s disappearance, the dogfighting ring rises up to protect their own …

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If you’ve read the SEALs of Steel series you’ll recognize the guys doing the match ups for the K9s. Geir, Badger and Jager discuss who they’re going to ask to find TopHat in the prologue, and actually compare themselves to Levi and Mason from the Heroes from Hire and SEALs of Honor Series respectively and their matchmaking skills. That had me giggling.

Lucas Scott is the one they bring in and he agrees right away. He decides that at the very least he’d have a good visit with his sister and maybe even get some sort of closure on his relationship with his ex Tanya.

Now Tanya has gone through a lot recently, she lost her job over something that she didn’t do and was exonerated. One of her best friends was kidnapped and murdered and Alice the other part of the ‘Three Muscateers’ was in an accident resulting in her being in a coma. She’s been thinking about Jake and how they broke up and when she hears from his sister Meg he’s coming home for a visit and to find a dog, she wants to see him.

She wasn’t sure he’d even talk to her, but when he does, she volunteers to go with him to the shelter that has Top Hat. A rather long round trip, with some interesting conversation.

This is a favorite scene.

She hopped in. “Thank you for letting me come.” She feasted her eyes on him, loving the way that one wayward front lock of hair resisted going with the flow and always hung slightly off center. With a little curl to the rich brown color, it had always looked perfect.

He gave a clipped nod.

She looked for an opening to break the ice. Taking a deep breath, she said in a bright voice, “So … why is this dog important?”

He gave a brief explanation. When he was done, he glanced at her before asking, “After all this time why did you want to come with me?”

“I wanted to see you,” she said bluntly. “You’ve been out twice before and avoided me.”

“I came up to visit family before,” he said equally as blunt. “And I wasn’t ready to see you.”

She sighed heavily. “Why didn’t you take my calls?”

“What calls?” he asked, frowning, glancing at her again.

He really didn’t remember? She shook her head. “I called— twice— while you were in the hospital. As soon as I heard from Meg what had happened to you, I just needed to hear to your voice.” She glanced at him, gauging his reaction. His face was one big grimace. That couldn’t be good. “Why didn’t you take my calls?”

Lucas gave his own heavy sigh. Then seemed to be counting to ten. Finally he spoke. “You know how I get when I’m sick. That hasn’t changed.” He stared at her to say the next few words. “I haven’t changed.” He shook his head, watching the road again. “I just want to sleep, give my body a couple days to focus solely on healing. Like a bear hibernating, I just need to be left alone. And I’m a grumpy bear if anybody interrupts my hibernation.”

She wondered if this was such a good idea after all to be trapped in an all-day road trip with Lucas.

“But, Lucas,” she said, getting his attention, at least briefly, “this wasn’t two days to get over the flu. You were attacked. It took months of surgeries and rehab.”

He frowned at her, seemed surprised that she knew.

“Meg and I have always been close. She keeps me up-to-date on what’s going on in your life.”

Lucas immediately turned away and stared out the side window, then faced the roadway, but … not her.

“Does that bother you?”

His shoulders visibly relaxed. Then he shook his head, but it was such a minute movement that she almost missed it. “I’m glad you and Meg are close.”

He wasn’t normally so blunt, nor so uncaring of her feelings. But she needed the honesty. She knew he’d taken the breakup hard.

“Sorry,” he said. “I don’t mean to be mean.”

“You never mean to be,” she said. “Sometimes we have to be mean to those we love to get them to understand.” He didn’t say anything. She smiled. “Anyway, thank you for letting me come. Otherwise, I’d be sitting at home doing nothing and hating my life.”

“Why?” he asked. “What’s been going on?”

“You sure you want to hear?” she asked with a broken laugh. “Remember Alice and Claire?”

He nodded. “Of course. The three of you were The Three Musketeers.

“Well, Claire is dead. Alice is in the hospital in a coma.” She wrapped her arms around herself, as if trying hard to hide her grief. “Claire was murdered.”

“Jesus,” he said softly. “Seriously?”

She nodded. “The RCMP have some leads but haven’t found out who killed her yet.”

“Any idea how she was killed?”

“She was kidnapped on her way home from work one day. She decided she should walk home. Then that was her. She loved to jog and walk— she was very much the outdoor girl. She never made it home. Her body was found two days later.”

“How did she die?”

Tanya sighed. “It’s horrible.”

“Stabbed? Shot? Strangled?”

“Looked like a dog attack,” she said, her voice breaking up despite her best efforts to control it. “Her throat was ripped out, and she had bite marks all over her body.”

The cab of the truck was eerily quiet. She shouldn’t have been so graphic, but it was an image she couldn’t get out of her mind.

“Dogs?” he asked quietly. “Are we talking about dogfights?”

“The police are looking at that angle because we have had some problems recently with underground dogfighting rings. The police rescued dozens of dogs. At least two of them had to be put down because they couldn’t be saved.”

“Did Claire have anything to do with any of the people involved in those cases?”

“Who knows?” she said. “She was one of the dispatchers for the RCMP, so it’s possible.”

“That’s rough,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

“I am too. It’s been a rough few months.”

“How long ago did this happen?” “One hundred and twenty-six days ago.” The number fell off her tongue because she’d been counting every day.

“What happened to Alice?” he asked, looking at her.

She glanced at him and then out the front windshield. He had the softest gray eyes. They still had the same impact on her.

She sighed. “She was hit by a car crossing the road, and the driver fled the scene.”

“And let me guess. The police never caught who did it?” he asked drily.

“No. But then I’m not sure I can blame them. It was nighttime. She left a bar, at night, dressed in black … At least she’s alive, and she will recover, but she’ll be in the hospital for a while.”

“Do you get to see her?”

“I go a lot. Unfortunately that has also become a bit of a crutch as I’m either sitting at Claire’s graveside or sitting at Alice’s bedside. A lot of people think it’s not very healthy. I can’t walk away though. I’m just so angry, and I feel shitty that I’m the only one left.”

“Being a survivor can be a terrible guilt trip.”

She stared at him, her lips parting in surprise. But what he said made an odd kind of sense. “Oh. … Survivor’s guilt? Yes. … You’re right. I hadn’t thought of it that way. But that’s what it is. I feel guilty because I’m okay, and they aren’t.”
Dale Mayer. Lucas (Kindle Locations 292-343). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Of course it couldn’t be as simple as getting to the shelter and picking up the dog, apparently they moved him to a trainer who could handle him better without notifying Lucas. Where he had escaped from his cage.What happens next puts Tanya and Lucas in the middle of the horrible sport of dog fighting and trying to stop the rings.

Hold your breath scenes as things come together and they find Top Hat. A rekindling of romance, a loving protective dog, family and mysteries solved.

I love this series, the avenues to find these ‘misplaced’ Military Dogs have been exciting, dangerous, romantic and suspenseful. I can’t wait to read the next book!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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Releases Tomorrow! SEAL at Sunrise – Silver SEALs Book 12 By Caitlyn O’Leary

Welcome to Silver SEALs!
The New Wave From The Suspense Sisters!

Retired silver fox US Navy SEAL Commanders who sign on with the Department of Homeland Security to lead missions to protect the homeland.

SEAL at Sunrise
Silver SEALs Book 12
USA Today Bestselling Author
Caitlyn O’Leary


This Time, More Than Their Love Is On The Line

Former Navy SEAL Commander, Liam McAllister, was neck deep in the Mexican jungle on a contract assignment for a highly classified sub-set of Department of Homeland Security. When Liam discovers a conspiracy that goes deep and spans decades it makes him sick. He asks his mentor at the DHS to provide him an intelligence liaison with Naval experience to help him ensure justice is served.

Liam was stunned when Addison Sanders walked through the door. She was a blast from the past and a punch to gut, a woman he’d loved and lost. But this buttoned up Addison was a shadow of her former self. He’d hardly recognized her but nothing could disguise her intelligence and heart, and Liam quickly finds old flames reignited.

With her help, Liam and his team start to close in on the dirty forces who are intent on covering up decades of crimes. They soon realized the corruption reached farther than anyone could’ve imagined and it isn’t over. Now Addison is a target. When the clock starts ticking, Liam risks everything to make sure that Addison is protected. Will they finally have a chance on the future they lost out on before?

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When Si Branson contacts Liam to help out with some stolen guns and find the men who are running them, Liam categorically turns him down. Then his friend Laird Campbell approaches him, the daughter of a close friend has been abducted and he needs Liam’s help.

Interestingly enough the two cases entwine. Not only do they find the girl, they find the guns and the person in charge, at least in charge in Mexico. Most disturbing is another find they make, two bodies and eighteen Navy dog tags.

Liam puts together a team using his nephew Declan’s company, Shadow Alliance. However there’s an addition to that team that is more than just a surprise to Liam.

Addison Sanders is CIA but she was Navy and her an Liam have history.

This is a favorite scene.


His Addison.

He was really seeing her. How was that even possible, and what was she doing here? He was slower than all the other men in the room to stand up as she walked in behind the blond receptionist. Vaguely he heard the girl ask Addison if she would like coffee or water. When she said ‘No’ her voice reverberated through Liam’s brain like a clanging bell.

Addison Sanders.

eyes met his, but then she looked around the room until they landed on Conroy’s.

Was he talking?

“You must be Addison Sanders,” Conroy was saying. “C.I.A. by way of the Navy, currently working as a mid-level intelligence analyst. You could be in a higher position if you’d have stayed in the Navy and got a promotion and then transferred over to the C.I.A. Seems like a poor career move on your part.”

Time sped up and his gaze jerked away from a woman who had haunted him for fifteen long years, and he scowled at Conn. The man was an asshole, there was no getting around it.

“You must be Conroy Lake. Do you mind if we introduce ourselves before you make suggestions on how I wear my hair, too?” Addison asked.

Laird let out a huge laugh. “I like you. Give him hell.”

Her voice had that Southwest twang that he remembered.

Liam was happy to see Conn flush as he sat back down. Brannon whispered something into his ear and Conroy’s fists clenched. Hudson came around from the other side of the table and held out his hand to Addison.

“Don’t mind them. Brannon’s just telling him that he needs to get a girlfriend. Conn hasn’t been at his best these days, so don’t take the chair next to him. There’s one available between Coop and me.”

“She needs to sit next to me,” Laird bellowed. “Anyone who can hold her own against Conroy Lake is on team Campbell.”

“She’s sitting next to me.”

Shit, had he just said that?

Addison gave him an assessing look and that’s when Liam realized that she’d known he’d be there. His presence hadn’t come as a surprise to her.

“Thanks, Liam. It’s good to see you again. I have a question for you,” her eyes had that hint of a grin that he remembered so well. He waited for it.

He nodded.

“Did I just return to high school?” Ah, shit, she still had that little dimple on the side of her mouth. How was it he’d been stupid enough to chase her away?
Caitlyn O’Leary; Suspense Sisters. SEAL at Sunrise: Silver SEALs Series Book 12 (Kindle Locations 240-261).

As they’re researching into the tags, another woman goes missing. CPO Caroline Jakes. They have to find her before she ends up like the others.

Plenty of giggles in the interactions of this team, even as they go about the serious business. Business made more complicated by a leak somewhere. Since they suspect someone in the Navy is taking these women, the leak can either be there or in Si’s group at DHS.

Intriguing, fast-paced and romantic with some sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Caitlyn!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Caitlyn O’Leary

Caitlyn O’Leary is an avid reader, and considers herself a fan first and an author second. She reads a wide variety of genres, but finds herself going back to happily-ever-afters. Getting a chance to write, after years in corporate America is a dream come true. She hopes that her stories provide the kind of entertainment and escape that she has found from some of her favorite authors.

Her Series Include:
It’s a bit Paranormal, a bit Sci-Fi and 100% Action/Adventure. The characters have special abilities, that make them targets.

This is focused on a group of Navy Seals. What makes them special is their bond to one another, and the women they come to love.

This is the series that started her career, it is a Menage Series that takes place in Fate Harbor Washington. It focuses on a tight knit community who live and love and care for one another.

She loves to hear from her readers.

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