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.

Winter Princess – Daughter of Winter Book 1 by Skye MacKinnon


Winter Princess
Daughter of Winter Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Skye MacKinnon

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One sassy demi-goddess.
Four hot Guardians.
And a few evil people.

As a demi-goddess, Wyn has always stood out from the human crowd. And now, on her 22nd birthday, her magic finally surfaces with a bang. A Big bang. She’ll need the help of not one, but four (sexy) guardians to control her destructive powers. If only they weren’t so distracting…

Her mother, the Winter Queen, waits for Wyn in the Realms of Gods, but there are enemies who will try and prevent her from ever reaching the Realms, even if that means going to war.

Will Wyn be able to survive the journey? And if she does, can she resist falling for her Guardians?

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Nobody warned Wyn that her powers could come on line suddenly and erratically. She knew there would be changes but this seriously sucked. Lacking any control it is a wild and painful start to her birthday.

As things are literally burning around her she meets her guardians and finds out that her ‘human’ mother had a letter from her birth mother. This leads to anger and another flare.

This is a favorite scene.

“How many flares has she been through?” A man’s voice, unfamiliar.

“Flares?” my father asks.

“The ice was one, the fire another. Did anything else happen before that?”

“Oh yes, she destroyed her kitchen. Made things fly.”

“Air, fire, ice. Shouldn’t be many more then.”

What? More of this stuff is going to happen to me? I can’t go through this, not again. I’m exhausted and fainting once was enough. I just want to go back to bed, forget about all this and be normal. Not human normal, I’ll never be that. Demi-god normal.

When I’m all warm again, the mild air around me disappears. I open my eyes. The four men are standing in a row, watching me. One of them, with long black hair and a black cloak – yes, a wizard kind of cloak – is lowering his arms. He’s looking exhausted. Tendrils of magic are slowly pulling back into his hands, taking the warmth of the air with them.

Not every mage can see magic; in fact, I only know of two others.

I give him a small smile. “Thank you.”

He nods and gives me a small bow. Not a smile though.

“Storm. At your service.” “Storm? Is that your name?” I ask, a little confused. “Yes, is something wrong with that? Your name is Wynter, isn’t it?” He gives me an annoyed look. Oops, I upset the guy who just helped me.

“Yeah,” I mutter. Don’t remind me. I know every Wynter-winter joke there is.

“Sorry.”

“He’s playing with you, lass,” the largest of them laughs. He must have giant blood in him. His hair is as ginger as it gets, and he is wearing – please believe me – a kilt. I mean, yes, I live in Scotland and people here wear kilts occasionally, but that’s at weddings or festivals, and not in everyday life. A beautiful white sporran is hanging right over where his – anyways, he looks like a Scottish caricature. Except better looking. A lot better looking.

“I’m Arc. And over there are Frost and Crispin.” He points to the other two guys who’ve been quiet so far. One of them is the blond man with the blue eyes. The other, Frost, is the spitting image of Storm: black hair that falls to his shoulders, dark brown eyes, tall. Kudos to the parents who named their twin sons Storm and Frost.

“Hello,” Frost says, smiling at me. While his brother is gorgeous and serious, he’s gorgeous and friendly. Dimples are adorning his cheeks. I shoot a quick glance at Storm. Nope, no dimples there. I guess this will be the way to tell them apart. And the fact that Frost is wearing normal clothes, not looking like someone straight out of Hogwarts.

My mother rips me out of my men-admiring thoughts. “Are you alright, sweetie? What happened?” She pushes past the four men and wraps me in her arms. She’s a slender woman, but her grip is strong. “When Beira wrote that you were going to—”

“What? She wrote to you?” I interrupt her.

“Yes, a few weeks ago. She—”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Anger is rising up in me and I clench my fists. She knew! She knew and she didn’t warn me. I could have prepared, I could have stayed away. I almost hurt her. I almost died. The house was burning. Anger is overtaking me, and suddenly I start shaking. And with me, the ground.

I can see the people around me fighting to stay upright, but I have no such problems. The ground is holding me up, stabilising me, giving me strength, while I do its bidding. It has wanted to move for so long and now it has finally found an outlet. I can feel the pain of the earth where houses are burrowing deep into its skin. They shouldn’t be there. It’s not right.

I raise my arms and gather as much of the earth’s power as I can hold. And then I let it free. The ground shakes violently and deep cuts open up in the tarmac. I only half notice the screaming around me. I am strong, and I need to make things right. I point to one house, and it crumbles like a giant just stepped on it. Its walls collapse and roof tiles cover the rubble like sprinkles on a cake. It feels good. I adjust my stance on the trembling ground and draw more energy into myself. There is so much magic in the earth, so much power. It’s been waiting for a long time for someone to use it. I point my arms to another house and it leans to one side, aching, shivering, until it collapses, burying half the garden under it. I laugh. It looks so pretty.

Something touches me and with a simple flick of my wrist, I repel them. I’m busy, no one will get in my way. Another touch, this time from the other side. Again, I move my hand to make them fly away, but before I can do so, my arms are captured and pressed to my side. The magic I had ready to flow to one side bursts out of me into the ground. This time, I don’t stay on my feet. I fall, hitting my knees on the broken asphalt. Magic is still flowing out of me, shaking the earth. It hurts. The gentle embrace of magic turns into a white-hot stream that uses my body as its conduit. I’m just a tool for it. A channel. It betrayed me. I scream and beat my hands against the ground. With everything I’ve got, I expel all the magic within me.

The ground shakes one last time, then it stills. My vision goes black and I sink backwards, into the warm waiting arms of my guardians.
Skye MacKinnon. Kilts and Kisses (Kindle Locations 335-376). Peryton Press.

The Guardians need to get her to her birth mother. This is no easy task what with magic flares. Traveling to the nearest gate to the realm, is fraught with challenges including an attempted kidnapping.

We meet lots of interesting characters in this book, including some reformed demons.

Lots of action, humor, tears and some sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Skye!

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Skye MacKinnon

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

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

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

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A SEAL’s Vow – The SEALs of Chance Creek Book 2 By Cora Seton


A SEAL’s Vow
The SEALs of Chance Creek Book 2
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Cora Seton

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Navy SEAL Clay Pickett needs a wife, fast, or he’ll lose the model sustainable community he and his friends came home to Chance Creek to build. He’s got just the woman for the job in mind: sexy, sensitive Nora Ridgeway. Too bad she’s not interested in rushing to the altar.

When Nora leaves her job as a school teacher to open a Jane Austen Bed and Breakfast with her friends—and finally get a chance to write her novel—she’s relieved to escape the escalating threats of violence from an unknown student stalker, and more than a little interested in the Navy SEAL who’s after her heart. But when trouble starts stalking her at Chance Creek, Nora begins to wonder if she’s left her past behind after all.

Can Clay and Nora find a way to be together when everything is trying to tear them apart?

We first met Clay in ‘A SEAL’s Oath’ when Boone picks him up at the airport. Clay also meets Nora at that time and convinces her not to leave. This book opens a little before Riley and Boone’s wedding.

Something woke Clay to alertness, yet when he looked for the source of the noise there was nothing. Clay begins his day with a jog and is surprised by Walker who insists he draws a straw. Clay is definitely not happy he draws the short one, he wanted lots of time for Nora to get to know him.

At almost the same time in the mansion Nora wakes with the sensation she’s being watched, after investigating a bit she decides it was the house settling and begins to dress for the day. Needing some inspiration she plans to sit by the creek for a while, it’s peaceful and quiet there. At least it was until Clay scares the living daylights out of her.

Nora sat on her flat stone gazing at the creek, her thoughts too tangled to get any writing done, although her notebook sat in her lap, a pen clipped to its pages.

She kept thinking of Riley’s upcoming marriage to Boone, which inevitably led to thoughts of Clay. It was hard not to wish their circumstances were different. Living so close together, they should have had lots of chances to meet up, talk and get to know one another. Without a deadline, they could have discovered their areas of common interest. Maybe they would have gone for long walks. Maybe they’d have swum in the creek in the summer. Eventually they might have dated, kissed and…more. The thought of a long, slow courtship with the SEAL made her veins sizzle. She couldn’t pretend she hadn’t dreamed of how it would go—how Clay would seduce her over time.

But Clay needed a wife far too soon for them to experience anything like that. She’d explained that to him. He’d said he didn’t have a choice. Someday soon he’d marry.

And she’d still be alone.

As much as she tried to enjoy the beautiful setting and the soft morning air, that thought kept intruding, along with memories of Baltimore. The last few years hadn’t been easy. After her mother’s death following a long illness, Nora had been lonely and vulnerable, an easy mark for a teenager with a grudge.

It had been several weeks since she’d really thought about her stalker, and she wished he wasn’t on her mind now. She had an unsettled feeling, the same one she always got when the wind shifted around to herald an oncoming storm. As she watched the creek roll past, she allowed memories of her stalker’s messages to seep through her defenses. She shut her eyes when his voice—his awful, mechanically distorted, gritty voice—filled her mind instantly with echoes of his violently sexual messages. He was always harping on the relationship between them. That she’d been the teacher, but now she’d be his student.

I’ll teach you so many things you don’t know. You’ll like it when I touch you. You’ll get wet for me. You’ll beg for more.

She hated the way his words had twisted her insides around with shame and fear.

I’ll tease you until you’re shaking, until you open for me, hoping I fill you full. I know you like it rough and it’ll get rough—I promise you that, Nora.

She hated the way he’d used her name over and over again until she’d thought about changing it legally when she left Baltimore. How unfair that someone could take something so personal and make it so ugly—as if he owned more of her than she did.

None of that was what kept her up at night, though. It was the violence in his later messages. The detailed descriptions of how he’d kill her. The way he’d twisted it together with sexual images until her flesh crawled with the dread of his hands on her skin.

I’ll fuck you long and hard. Until your screams leave your throat hoarse. Until you can’t scream anymore. And that’s when the real fun—

“Nora! There you are!”

Nora shrieked when someone hurtled at her out of the woods, scooped her up and swung her around in a circle. Adrenaline sliced through her as she kicked out her feet and pummeled her fists against her attacker. She screamed again, fought to shake him off, but he had her in such a tight hold she couldn’t move.

“Nora!”

She flailed and kicked and thrashed but she couldn’t get free. She couldn’t—

“Nora, it’s me! It’s Clay! Baby, you’re all right.” He set her back down on the stone and circled quickly around to crouch before her.

Nora couldn’t breathe. Hyperventilating, she scrambled to her knees to ward him off. “No…no!”

Clay backed away, his hands held out to appease her. “It’s just me. Calm down! I’m sorry I scared you.”

She sat down again on the rock with a thump, wrapped her arms around her stomach and bent over, trying to catch her breath. Her heart was racing, her pulse tripping and catching in her veins. Tears pricked her eyes but she refused to let them fall. Damn it, what had Clay been thinking, sneaking up on her like that?

“Are you okay?”

She straightened. “No… I’m not… okay.” She wasn’t, not even close. Her heart wouldn’t stop and she pressed a hand to her chest, willing it to slow down. It was hard to breathe, too. She tried to suck in air but somehow it wouldn’t reach her lungs. Clay’s expression changed from worry to outright concern.

“Nora, look at me.” She did so. “Count. One, two, three…” He led her up to ten, back down again and repeated the exercise. Nora did her best count with him. Was her heart slowing? Maybe.

They did it again. Bit by bit, the air reached her lungs.

Finally she was able to let her shoulders relax, and the world stopped spinning. She felt like she’d woken from a nightmare, shreds of the dream still flapping around her.

“I’m sorry.” Clay’s gaze searched hers. “I won’t do that again.”

Nora could only nod.

Clay sat down beside her. “So much for impressing you with my romantic fervor.”

Despite everything, she laughed, a funny little gulp that was almost a sob. “Yeah. So much for that.” She fought for composure. “I was thinking about Baltimore. About that kid…”

“The one who stalked you?” Clay raked a hand through his hair. “Shit, I didn’t even think…”

“It’s okay,” she assured him, embarrassed by her overreaction.

“Can we start over?”

“I guess so.” She couldn’t help but notice the way the sunlight brought out the color of his eyes. He was so close to her she could see faint traces of laugh lines radiating out from the corners of them. His concern was plain and she relaxed a little more. The SEAL was so damn handsome.

And such an ass for scaring her like that.

He took a deep breath. “Nora, there’s something I want to ask you. Something really important—” He cut off and frowned as if he’d changed his mind. “You know what? I’d probably better walk you back to camp. It’s getting late and we’ve got a lot to do to prepare for the wedding.”

She nodded, gathering herself together, but she wondered what he’d really wanted to say. Had he been about to ask her out?

No. She’d made it perfectly clear she wouldn’t date him.

He reached out to help her up, then snatched his hand back quickly, probably afraid she’d decline after his botched attempt to sweep her off her feet. What had he been thinking when he’d scooped her up like that? He’d said it was a romantic gesture, but they’d agreed he would leave her alone.

Had he changed his mind?
Seton, Cora. A SEAL’s Vow (SEALs of Chance Creek Book 2). One Acre Press. Kindle Locations (247-299). Kindle Edition.

This is just the beginning of some awkwardness as Clay’s father also shows up at Base Camp.

More little things happen to make Nora even more uneasy and her thoughts go to the stalker she thought she left in Baltimore. The people involved with the show don’t know about it and she wasn’t going to enlighten them either.

When it’s revealed Clay is to be the next to wed, Nora is certain she just can’t marry him. There’s not enough time to get to know him well enough for that.

Very unsure of the outcome of courting Nora, Clay approaches Boone and asks him for a month to convince Nora, but to find a backup bride just in case.

Things escalate very quickly in this book with many disturbing things happening.

I laughed, cried, and held my breath more than once as this story unfolds. I loved every interaction Clay has with Nora. These two are so right for each other.

I am already reading the next in this series. I can’t seem to stop.

5 Contented Purrs for Cora!

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Cora Seton

USA Today and NYT Times bestselling author Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.

Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini.


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Out Today! Raising Lucy – Surrender Book 1 By Becca Jameson


Raising Lucy
Surrender Book 1
By
Becca Jameson

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Roman
I’m demanding. I’m strict. I get what I want.
And I want Lucy Neill.
She is mine.
She is my girl.
My little.
My life.
My world.
She just doesn’t know it yet.

Lucy
I lost my job.
I have no idea what I’m going to do next.
I should not be spending Friday night at a club.
I can’t help myself.
The club calls to me.
The owner calls to me.
I crave the forbidden.
I never realized how much I needed a daddy.

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Raising Lucy is the first book in the new series Surrender. Surrender is a BDSM club owned by Master Roman and managed by Master Julian. We meet both in this book. We also get a glimpse of several role playing aspects of this lifestyle that I found informative and well written.

I have read many books based on BDSM relationships, but this is the first one that deals with the Daddy Dom/Little relationship. Now before you freak out, this is role play, it is consensual, and the players are all adults.

Lucy has been visiting Master Roman’s Club Surrender, she hasn’t played but has been observing and learning. As this book opens Lucy has lost her job, and instead of wallowing she decides to go to Surrender, one last hurrah. She has a visitors pass but without a job she won’t be able to afford membership.

Master Roman is a very dominant, very controlling, alpha male. I have to say I didn’t like the extremes he was going to in order to have Lucy near him, it seemed close to obsession.

Lucy on the other hand is curious about the lifestyle and seems to particularly enjoy watching scenes with age play.  With the opportunity to become Master Roman’s assistant at hand she applies then enjoys her last night at Surrender. She really never expected to get the job, but she does.

Master Roman controls his home the same as everything else in his life. He is a Dom 24/7. From her meals and transportation to and from the mansion, he is slowly dominating Lucy. She is reveling in the attention and as Roman learns more about her he realizes she never really had a childhood.

Lucy wants to please, and even though she shouldn’t she has interesting fantasies about her employer. Of course she doesn’t have a clue how he feels or that he’s planned all of this out.

This is a favorite scene.

The bus makes me nervous. Since I was dressed and ready to go earlier than necessary, I left my apartment and made my way to the bus stop. I’m going to stress about the bus every day, so I tell myself this way is better. If I get on the earlier bus each morning, I won’t have to worry about it being late or not coming at all.

This plan has a problem though. It’s dark outside. And probably not safe. In fact, a man drives by me slowly at one point, his window down, calling out to me. He laughs when I ignore him and pick up my pace.

There is no reason for me to wait for the bus I took yesterday, and as soon as I board an earlier one, I know I will prefer it. There are far fewer passengers. I don’t have to share my bench with a stranger.

I’m not nervous when I arrive at my stop. Even though it’s still dark, I’m in a better neighborhood. I walk as slowly as I can toward Master Roman’s home.

Nevertheless, I arrive at the ridiculous hour of six fifteen. I wait until six thirty to ring the bell, and am immediately buzzed in.

When I reach the rear entrance, Evelyn opens the door before I can reach for it. “Goodness gracious, girl. The sun is just peeking over the horizon. You don’t need to arrive this early every day.” She ushers me inside, and I close the door behind me.

“I couldn’t sleep, ma’am, and the bus makes me nervous. I don’t want to arrive late.” I have no idea why I’ve shared so much information with Evelyn, but she doesn’t seem annoyed.

She shoots me a smile as she returns to the kitchen island where she is already hard at work herself. I wonder if she lives here. Probably.

“Master Roman won’t like the idea of you wandering around outside in the dark. He’ll have a fit.”

I freeze in my spot. My face heats up as a flush rises. The last thing I want is for Master Roman to get involved in my transportation issues. I don’t want him to think for a moment that it’s a problem. I need this job. If he feels I don’t have adequate transportation, he might fire me.

I consider asking Evelyn to please not mention my problem to Master Roman but decide against it. It’s probably better to hope she lets it go or forgets. Tomorrow I’ll waste more time before I come into the house. After all, Master Roman’s mansion is not in a dangerous location. I could bring a book and sit outside the gate reading in the mornings before seven. I’m confident the streetlight will be sufficient to see the pages.

Of course this plan will only work during the summer. As soon as winter falls, I’m going to have an entirely new problem on my hands. But I’ll deal with that in the future. Hell, if I really manage to keep this job and make as much money as my contract implies, I will be able to take an Uber here instead of the bus. That will save me hours of stress and worry.

Taking a deep breath, I quietly shuffle down the hallway and enter Master Roman’s office. Like yesterday, the door is open.

Master Roman is standing behind his desk, looking for all the world as if he’s already been hard at work for hours. His brow is furrowed when he meets my gaze. “Did you take the bus to get here, Lucy?”

I swallow. How has he already learned of my situation? There is no way Evelyn could have informed him of my problem during my short walk from her kitchen to his office. “Yes, Sir. I don’t have a car.”

He crosses his arms and stares at me, lips pursed before he finally parts them again. “Don’t do it again. It’s not safe. It’s dark. You must have left practically in the middle of the night, and then you spent fifteen minutes pacing outside my gate before ringing in.”

I flinch. I lift my hand and nearly slap my own forehead as I realize there must be a camera outside. Of course there is. I stop myself from reacting just in time and lower my hand to my side.

Master Roman rounds the desk and then leans his butt against the front, arms still crossed. “Weston monitors my camera.”

“I see, Sir. I’m sorry to have bothered him. I didn’t want to come inside too early.” My voice is too low. I know I’m frustrating him. But he doesn’t realize his order to stop taking the bus would mean total disaster for me. I don’t have the means to afford other transportation, especially not until after I’m paid.

I knew this would be a problem as soon as it got cold or snowed, but I hadn’t anticipated facing the issue so soon. I can’t pay an Uber tomorrow. I don’t have even five dollars in cash until I get paid.

My hands are shaking, and I’m fighting against the flush and rising emotions. Part of me is about to cry. The last thing I want to do is tell my new boss that I can’t afford an Uber. He might think I’m wasteful if I don’t have enough money saved up for such things.

Master Roman narrows his gaze. “From now on Weston will pick you up in the morning and bring you home at night.”

My mouth falls open. I’m speechless.

Master Roman rounds his desk and lowers onto the seat.

I force myself to speak. “That’s not necessary, Sir. I don’t want to put him out.”

“You’re not. He’s my employee. He does what I instruct him to do.” Master Roman doesn’t look at me as he speaks. He has already grabbed his mouse. His attention is on his computer screen. “This discussion is over, Lucy. Go to your office. I left you plenty to do.”

I stare at him for a moment, uncertain about how I feel. Part of me is grateful. Most of me is unnerved. I need this job. If Master Roman decides the burden of getting me to his home isn’t worth it, he will fire me.

Finally, I shuffle across the room toward my office. The door is standing open. I leave it that way. Master Roman has never insinuated that I should close it. In fact, I’m confident he prefers to be able to keep an eye on me, and he likes to be able to call out to me easily.
Becca Jameson. Raising Lucy: Surrender, Book One (Kindle Locations 1186-1232). Becca Jameson Publishing.

In spite of his obsession, Master Roman clearly cares for Lucy and his friends are watchful.

The experimentation with different ages and the intensity of the attraction is evident on every page.

Even though age-play isn’t a favorite of mine, I enjoyed the insight and the journey the book take us on.

I look forward to seeing where Becca will take us next in this series.

4 Contented Purrs for Becca!

Coming Soon!
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Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

Becca Jameson currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and the various pets that wander through.

After editing for about five years she recently started writing. She is loving the journey, dabbling in various genres.

When not writing or editing she can usually be found taxiing kids to and from their activities, scrapbooking, and reading!

Late at night she can usually be found sequestered in her office creating fantasy with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate.


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Releasing Tomorrow! Jax – Mavericks Book 3 By Dale Mayer


What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:

The Mavericks
A covert black ops team that steps up
and breaks all the rules …
but gets the job done.

Welcome to a new military romance series by USA Today best-selling author Dale Mayer. A series where you meet new friends and just might get to meet old ones too in this raw and compelling look at the men who keep us safe every day from the darkness where they operate—and live—in the shadows … until someone special helps them step into the light.

Jax
The Mavericks Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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No time to rest.
The world is a mess …

He’d barely made it home from helping Griffin only to find himself called to rescue a doctor on a cruise ship overtaken by pirates in their search for Abigail Dalton. The pirates had no trouble killing passengers until they found the right woman. With one man at his side, Jax sneaks onto the ship to rescue her.

When she heard the gunfire, Abby hid in the venting on the ship. When a man susses out her hiding place, she’s sure her world is about to end. Only Jax is on her side; yet he came with just one man to help. Stunned, she stays close as Jax frees the ship and keeps her safe—until they find out the real reason for this nightmare, when she’s forced to England to face the two-legged monster of her nightmares …

The safest place is at Jax’s side, but Abby knows all too well how slippery this monster really is and how easily he steps from the shadows to grab his victims …

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Jax had just finished the mission with Griffin and landed in California when he got the call. It was Griffin on the other end, with Jax’s mission. Pirates have taken over a cruise ship and Jax with the help of Beau were to go in ahead of the military. The Pirates want someone specific, one Abigail Eleanor. She’s a doctor a supposed colleague needs to fix something he can’t.

Now Abby has been working her way through duct work to get closer to topside. Her fear that the pirates would sink the ship motivating her. Instead of getting there she runs into Jax.

This is a favorite scene.

Jax stared at Abby. “As in Abigail Eleanor?”

She nodded slowly, but the look on her face was one of terror.

He grabbed her before she had a chance to run, his fingers wrapping snugly around her upper arm. He pulled her close against him. “Well, I’m Jax, from the US government,” he said. “Apparently the pirates are looking for you. Do you know why?”

She stared at him in disbelief.

“Answer me,” he said. “Do you know why?”

Finally she shook her head.

“Social media says your methods don’t work. They need you to help somebody in their family.”

“So it is connected to my work,” she said in a daze.

“Only because their doctor botched it,” he whispered.

She shook her head. “That makes no sense. I have pioneered a way of collecting stem cells. Lots of doctors are doing it around the world now. It’s not something you can really botch.”

“Well, maybe it’s more a case of,” he said, “it didn’t work.”

“Meaning, it didn’t make the person well?” she said with a shrug. “Of course not. It’s only one technique in a long line of medical arsenals.”

“Right,” he said. “Well, apparently the pirates want to kidnap you and take you back to wherever this family member is, so you can fix him.”

She stared at him. “But I don’t even know what the problem is.”

“Well, I don’t think they’re too interested in waiting around and asking questions,” he said gently.

She nodded slowly. “So you’ll turn me in then?”

“No,” he said, frowning. “Why would I do that? I’ll take you back to one of our ships and then come in and take out the rest of the pirates.”

He saw the relief on her face, but then she frowned. “What about all the other people here?”

“What about them?” he asked. “I can’t have them hurt because of me.”

“Understood,” he said. And then he smiled. “But what will you do about it?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “I’ve been hiding in the ductwork, figuring out exactly what to do. I was thinking that, if the pirates sink the ship, I should at least make my way up a few more decks, but I was trying to avoid contact with anybody.”

“Well, guess what?” he asked. “You screwed that up.” But he let humor rest in his voice. He studied her; she couldn’t be more than five foot tall. She looked like she was eighteen. He hardly believed that she was even a doctor. Suspicious all of a sudden, he asked, “Do you have any ID on you?”

Her eyebrows shot up. “No, I wasn’t trying to save anything but me when I heard that pirates were taking over the ship.”

“Surprisingly,”— he stepped back—“ it’s the first thing every woman normally does. They grab their purses.”

“Maybe, but I’m not every woman,” she said coolly.

Just then a noise came from the left. He pulled her beside him, up against the door, and held his fingers to his lips.

She rolled her eyes at him. “Like I don’t know to stay quiet.”

He tilted his head at her but didn’t say anything. Jax waited and waited and waited, but no more of the same noise came. He frowned at that. He wanted to poke his head through to the other side but knew it was almost a guarantee of getting his head shot off. He studied his options and then said, “We need to change levels.”

“Better to go down a level,” she whispered. “It was deserted.”

“Well, that works in some cases,” he said, “but it won’t get the rest of the people off this ship.”

“I thought you only wanted me off,” she said.

He looked at her, smiled, and said, “Good point. Let’s go.”

And he led her back into the stairway, forcing her down the stairs again and again.

She protested the whole way. “Don’t take me off the ship. We must do something to save everybody else.”

“I hear you, but I can’t take the chance.”

“It’s me the pirates want. You’re not making any sense. If they kill the others to get to me, that’s just a numbers game, and obviously we’ll all lose that one.”

A loud voice snapped orders close by.
Dale Mayer. Jax (Kindle Locations 257-292). Valley Publishing Ltd.

Between Beau, himself and even Abby, they take back the ship before the other teams arrive. Now they have to figure out who the patient is and how to help without Abby being taken.

I love the snark in this one and Jax realizes rather quickly he’s falling for the lovely doctor.

Again there’s lots of action, suspense, some sizzle and even some jealousy in this page turning read.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series, I pretty much inhaled the first three.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Amazon Author Page

Releasing Tuesday! Griffin – Mavericks Book 2 By Dale Mayer


What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:

The Mavericks
A covert black ops team that steps up
and breaks all the rules …
but gets the job done.

Welcome to a new military romance series by USA Today best-selling author Dale Mayer. A series where you meet new friends and just might get to meet old ones too in this raw and compelling look at the men who keep us safe every day from the darkness where they operate—and live—in the shadows … until someone special helps them step into the light.

Griffin
The Mavericks Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Helping Kerrick was one thing,
getting tagged for a mission of his own quite another …

His heart ached to hear a young girl had been kidnapped while at a hotel in Thailand, waiting for her father to arrive. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this case isn’t even close to simple.

Lorelai spent the last seven years enjoying her young charge, Amelia Rose. Tutoring the daughter of a wealthy business owner added perks to the job, like holidays around the world. In all these years Lorelai had never once seen the downside to having big money–until the holiday in Thailand where Amelia Rose is targeted, and they were both kidnapped.

Griffin managed to rescue the kidnapped victims, but tracing the kidnappers was a whole different story and brought the group a little too close to home …

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We met Griffin in the first book of this series. He was Kerrick’s back-up, now he will get his own one and done mission. It comes fast on the tail of the last mission but time is critical. This time he’s given a choice of who he’ll have as backup, he chooses Jax. Kerrick will be working with him behind the scenes as well. Getting to Thailand is going to be interesting and very speedy.

What was to be a family holiday in Thailand has turned into a nightmare for Amelia Rose, her tutor Lorelei and her nurse Mary. They managed to escape once, but as a punishment they killed Mary in front of them. Now they had to hope the message Lorelei gave to a maid reaches someone to help.

Help in the form of Griffin and Jax comes and intercepts them at a most fortuitous time. An accident blocks the road and they sneak the girls into their vehicle and leave.

This is a favorite scene.

Griffin kept a warning hand on the girls’ heads, whispering, “Stay low. Stay low.”

Jax was at the wheel. He’d slowly backed up, turned around their car, and drove away, trying not to make it look like he was escaping, but, in truth, they were not only escaping but doing it as fast as possible but inconspicuously. As Griffin turned to look behind them, the two men returned to their car, only to stop and scream and yell at each other as they realized the girls had vanished.

“Now they know they’re missing,” Griffin said. “Pick up the speed a bit but not to draw any real attention.”

Jax already had goosed his gas pedal, waiting for Griffin to give him the all clear to get this vehicle in high gear.

As Griffin watched, the other vehicles now joining in this traffic jam had pulled up behind the kidnapper’s vehicle, effectively boxing them in, filling in the void their leaving had opened. Another one pulled out of the row and turned around, doing what Jax and Griffin were doing, rather than waiting for the vehicles in the accident to clear off. It effectively jammed in the kidnappers’ car.

“They’re on their phones, calling for help,” Griffin said, “since they can’t get out of the traffic jam.”

“Good,” Lorelei snapped from behind the front seat. “They deserved that.”

When they rounded a bend in the road that cut them off from the kidnappers’ sights, Griffin told Jax to floor it.

Jax put the pedal to the metal, but then he coaxed it up another gear. “Let’s hope we have enough of a head start.”

Griffin leaned over his seat and looked down at the two girls. Lorelei’s eyes were brown and wide, filled with a bit of temper and a little bit of uncertainty. But Amelia Rose’s eyes broke his heart. She was clearly terrified. He smiled at her and whispered, “It’s okay. We’re the good guys.” But it didn’t look like his words had any effect. He looked at Lorelei. “Do you know what they wanted from you?”

She pointed toward Amelia Rose. “They want her.”

“We heard from your dad,” Griffin said gruffly. “So, Amelia Rose, you’ll be okay. We just have to get you to safety.”

At the mention of her father, her eyebrows rose, and her eyes widened. “Did Poppy send you?”

“In a roundabout way, he did,” Griffin said, not having a clue who was behind his orders. “The bottom line is, we were sent to rescue you and to get you out of here safely.”

“I’m not going without Lorelei,” Amelia Rose said, her tone stubborn.

Griffin chuckled. “We’re taking both of you.” He kept an eye on the road behind him. “Looks like we’ve lost them for the moment, but I’m sure they’ve radioed ahead. We have to switch vehicles.”

Just then his phone buzzed. He glanced down to read an address, punched in for the map, and held it up for Jax.

Jax looked at it and nodded.

Griffin typed in the address into the car’s GPS. As soon as Jax understood where the address was, Griffin wiped the GPS from their car and from his phone. Griffin then forwarded the image he’d taken of the kidnappers’ license plate to his Mavericks contact. They should be able to track the car and, with any luck, the drivers.

“Can they really track your car, your phone, see your recent activity?” Lorelei asked in confusion, having seen what Griffin had done.

“We don’t want to take the chance that they can,” he said. “Worse than that is if they’re tracking us via satellite.”

She stared at him in horror and then cried out, “We have to ditch this vehicle.”

“Like I said,” he said, “we have to switch vehicles.”

Just then they went through a series of turns as Jax took the vehicle on a roundabout trip and pulled into a parking lot. There wasn’t much in the way of decent vehicles here, but Jax obviously had a plan. He headed to the far side where two vehicles had pulled up beside each other. The men stood off to one side, arguing something fierce, and they didn’t notice Jax slide into the driver’s side and take off with one their vehicles toward Griffin and the girls.

“Move,” Griffin said, “now.” He was out and opening the door to assist Amelia Rose. Lorelei was already out on Jax’s side. She had yet to notice that there was no sign of Jax. She came racing around to Griffin’s side of the vehicle and held out her arms. Amelia Rose ran into them.

Their new transport pulled up; they dashed inside and hit the road. Griffin watched behind them again, but neither man, still intent on their argument, had yet to notice that one of their cars had been stolen. A few blocks later he smiled and said, “Clear.” He turned to face the girls in the back seat. “Now”— Griffin pulled the armband he’d been carrying in his pocket for just this moment—“ Amelia Rose, lift your right arm please.”

Shocked, she slowly lifted it to rest on his seat in front of her. “Why?”

He smiled, reached around, and placed the band in the middle of her upper arm. “You have a tracking chip in your arm. This will block the signal.”

She twisted her new accessory. “It should come in better colors.”

He laughed. “No such luck. Black is all I’ve got. Don’t take it off, unless you become separated from us. And then we’ll use that signal to track you two down again.

But blocking it now should stop the kidnappers from tracking you again.”

“That’s how they knew where we were after we escaped.” Lorelei cried out, studying the new arm band. “We never had a chance.”

Jax took another rough corner, sending the girls sliding along the back seat.

“Wow,” Amelia Rose said. “He doesn’t drive very well, does he?”

Jax snorted from the front seat. “I drive better than you think,” he said. “I just have to make sure that we’re not being followed.”

At that, Amelia Rose stayed quiet.

Griffin looked at her and said, “My name is Griffin, and that’s Jax.”

She looked up at Griffin and said, “You’re a winged horse?”

“Winged lion,” he corrected with a big smile. “And you’re Amelia Rose, and you’re Lorelei, right?” When both nodded, he could feel their relief settling inside. “Now that we got that straight, I need to know if either of you are hurt.” His gaze was searching as he studied the child and then the woman. He didn’t want to ask if they’d been assaulted in any way, but it happened so often that he knew he had to be sure.

Immediately Lorelei shook her head and whispered, “We’re both okay. I don’t know for how long that would’ve lasted though.”

“Any idea why you were being moved?” Jax interrupted.

“No, not really.”

“They had to move us. To get us away from what they’d done to Nurse. She’s in heaven,” Amelia Rose said tearfully. “They killed her so we’d behave.”
Dale Mayer. Griffin (Kindle Locations 695-750). Valley Publishing Ltd.

Getting the girls to safety once again utilizes some unconventional means. The investigation into the who and why though, that becomes even more intriguing and scary.

I’m loving this new series, it has lots of intrigue, suspense, action, love and some heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Amazon Author Page

Coming Tuesday January 21 – Kerrick – The Mavericks Book 1 By Dale Mayer


What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:

The Mavericks
A covert black ops team that steps up
and breaks all the rules …
but gets the job done.

Welcome to a new military romance series by USA Today best-selling author Dale Mayer. A series where you meet new friends and just might get to meet old ones too in this raw and compelling look at the men who keep us safe every day from the darkness where they operate—and live—in the shadows … until someone special helps them step into the light.

Kerrick
The Mavericks Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

On the precipice of change …
Just not the way he’d expected …

Kerrick is tagged to join a new elite group, where he’d have more say and less rules on missions. Working mostly alone, he’s to track down a kidnapped victim suspected of being in England, and likely she’s not the only one. This is his kind of job; finding out a longtime friend is his backup makes this mission a go.

Amanda is snatched at the end of her workday while walking to her vehicle. Days later she wakes to find she’s imprisoned, alone in a small cement cell. One rotting meal a day is provided, and that is it. Once she realizes someone else is here–a young boy—she’s even more determined to escape. And to take him with her. Running into Kerrick wasn’t the plan …

Escaping is only one part of the puzzle as the truth drags them to Europe and beyond as they sort out how the two kidnappings are related, who’s behind it all and why … Before they are run aground and imprisoned all over again …

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This is the start of a new series, a black ops group just starting out but with plenty of resources. Kerrick is approached by a friend as he is counting down to leaving the SEALs. The mission would be a one and done, with only one other person for backup.

This mission is to find and rescue kidnapped scientist Amanda Berg, she’s been in the news lately for her discoveries in cancer research. Not an easy task since apparently whoever was watching over her lost her trail.

Amanda had woken in a small cell, without a watch she couldn’t determine how much time had past exactly, but she figured about a day. She knew someone would be looking for her, she just hoped they’d hurry. She also heard crying so she wasn’t totally alone in captivity.

As Kerrick methodically follows the steps from the ferry where she was last sighted, Amanda hears morse code, and discovers there’s a young boy being held on the floor above her. Now she’s even more determined to escape and take the boy with her.

Finding what he was looking for, Kerrick makes plans to get in and get Amanda. His backup is a pleasant surprise, Griffin is a former SEAL as well. They’d get this job done. However Amanda has a surprise for both of them.

This is a favorite scene.

Kerrick opened the door and flashed his light in the man’s face. Eyes bright and deep emerald green stared back at him. They were twinkling. Kerrick reached out a hand, and Griffin caught it and squeezed hard. Kerrick didn’t have time for explanations or questions, but he pulled his buddy in and shut the door tight. In a low whisper, Kerrick asked, “Are you up to speed?”

Griffin nodded. “Have checked out the grounds. All clear. But doubt it will stay that way.”

Kerrick nodded and stepped through to the stairwell and said, “Down here first.”

But Griffin pulled him back and pointed down.

Kerrick couldn’t see anything.

By his ear, Griffin whispered, “Somebody’s on the landing below us.”

“Got it.”

He stepped off to the side to peer down the stairwell, seeing two bodies pressed tight against the stairwell below. So, they heard him coming? That was just too damn bad. If they got in his way, he would take them out. But … one was small, in baggy coveralls. The other smaller. He held up a warning hand to Griffin, who joined him at his side, and they studied the two in shock. They looked at each other, and then, in a sudden move, Kerrick, using the railings, jumped up to the landing below in two moves, his weapon up tight against the taller of the two people frozen in front of him. And damn if that same clear and directed gaze from one of his photos didn’t shine back at him.

“Who are you?” she snarled. Even with his gun poking her in the ribs, she raised her fists as if to clock him.

He quickly grabbed her hand, twisted it around her back, and pulled her tight against him, so she couldn’t hit him. The child beside her immediately punched and kicked at Kerrick, but Griffin grabbed him and wrapped him up tight.

Kerrick whispered in the woman’s ear, “Amanda?”

She froze, then slowly nodded.

“Good,” he said. “You’re the one we came for.”

“But Brandon comes too,” she was quick to demand.

With her in his arms, Kerrick raced back to the door where Griffin had entered. With both captives safely in their custody, they stepped outside into the cool night air. Kerrick whispered, “Don’t make a sound. Don’t make a move. Not until we tell you.”

“How do I know whose side you’re on?” she asked in an angry whisper.

He could see the fear in her gaze and also her determination to not let that stop her. But, as she stared into his eyes, she seemed to relax a bit. He smiled and said, “Well, I have a code word for you. Would that make you feel better?”

She frowned and said, “I don’t know any code word.”

“And why is it that you do cancer research?”

She stared at him, shook her head, and he whispered, “Because of your friend Alice.”

She sagged against him, and he picked her up and carried her off into the night.
Dale Mayer. Kerrick (Kindle Locations 924-948). Valley Publishing Ltd.

Now getting rescued appears to be the easy part, the getting totally away is another story entirely. Very interesting thought processes involved all of them including Brandon who has a very useful photographic memory.

Fast paced, action packed, with lots of mysterious connections, plenty of suspense and I fell in love with Kerrick just as much as Amanda does.

I love that Dale is releasing the first three books in this series on the same day, it just confirms that am already hooked on this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Quinn Valley Ranch: 2 Book Set – Carter’s Cowgirl and Summer Serenade by Melissa McClone


Quinn Valley Ranch Two Book Set
Contains
Carter’s Cowgirl
Summer Serenade
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Second chances, forgiveness,
and dreams coming true.
Nothing is impossible at Quinn Valley Ranch…

This collection includes two emotional, sweet, and heartwarming standalone Quinn sibling stories, three new scenes, and a recipe list. The boxed set features:

Carter’s Cowgirl:
Romance isn’t even on Carter Quinn’s radar. Which is why he’s shocked to find himself falling for Avery Scott, the lovely consultant he hired to help take his organic farm to the next level. But can he convince the commitment-shy Avery to let down the walls around her heart and take a chance on love?

Summer Serenade:
Ivy Quinn wanted to be a star—until country superstar Nash Bennett crushed her dreams on national television. She was sure she’d never see him again. So imagine her surprise when he shows up years later, hoping to make amends, rekindle her musical dreams, and ultimately win her heart. But she could never open herself up to that kind of potential heartbreak…or could she?

Fall in love and live happily every after in Quinn Valley. It just might become your new favorite small town!


These books are Melissa McClone’s contributions to a multi-author series set in Quinn Valley, Nevada. These books are sweet simmering romance and there are new scenes and recipes too.

Carter has hired a consultant to help him take his Organic Farm to the next level. For the last couple of years it’s just been status quo and he now feels he’s at the point he can do more. He has the bunkhouse set up for her since there are no hands on the property in the winter.

Avery is the consultant, she travels from farm to farm with her horse Mercury, he is her only family.

Now when Carter brings her to the bunkhouse, they discover the heat is out, and after an initial check, he’d have to call in an expert. This is when Avery freaks out a bit when Carter offers her a room in the main house.

This is a favorite scene.

That was her fault. Carter Quinn might be attractive, paid her a compliment by calling her pretty, and offered her a room in his house, but that didn’t mean she’d had to overreact.

Except that was exactly what she’d done in the bunkhouse.

He motioned to the door on the right.

When she crossed the threshold, she felt instantly at home. Granted, the bunkhouse had been freezing, but this bedroom went beyond the warm temperature to cozy and welcoming.

As Carter placed her suitcase onto the queen-sized bed, Avery willed her pulse to slow. Her breathing, too.

She’d jumped all over him for mentioning her looks and then treated him like he was an axe murderer who would feed her body to the pigs. Not that he had any on the farm.

Only cattle and chickens.

Horses and a dog, too.

Talk about freaking out.

And embarrassing herself.

“Will this room do?” he asked.

“Yes.” She placed her backpack on the floor. “Thank you.”

Complimenting her wasn’t a crime, but she preferred to be acknowledged for anything other than her looks. He didn’t know that, however, and she shouldn’t take her frustrations from past interactions out on him.

Nothing he’d done suggested he would flirt or make a pass. He hadn’t followed what he’d said with any innuendos. A glance or two, but that could mean anything or… nothing.

Pathetic.

She’d stayed in other clients’ houses so many times she’d been surprised when he’d offered her the use of the bunkhouse. Yet, when he’d brought up sleeping in his home, she’d snapped.

The bitter taste of regret coated her mouth.

She glanced over her shoulder, expecting to be alone, but Carter was still there. He moved toward the door with quick steps as if trying to get out of her way. Which proved yet again that he was a decent guy. One with sisters, brothers, and a lot of other relatives who might drop by unexpectedly and enter without knocking. Knowing that made her feel more comfortable. Now to let Carter in on that.

“There are clean towels hanging in the bathroom,” he explained in a low voice, sounding as if he didn’t want to upset her more. “If you need extra washcloths or hand towels, they’re in the cabinet below the sink.”

“Thank you.” She needed to say more, but expressing her appreciation for his hospitality was a start.

Carter had been nothing but polite. He’d apologized after she’d taken his words the wrong way. Albeit, her being hair-triggered was due to what she’d dealt with in the past from bosses, coworkers, and plain jerks, but painting all men with the same wide brushstroke wasn’t right.

Or fair.

She hadn’t spoken up for years, but now standing up for herself was second nature. She’d become her own advocate because no one else would, but she still needed to think before she spoke.

He backed up farther. “If there’s anything you need, please let me know.”

“I will.” She surveyed the room. Much better than the freezing cold bunkhouse. A green-and-blue plaid comforter and coordinating pillows gave the space a slightly masculine feel. Mismatched nightstands with matching lamps sat on either side of the bed. A dresser graced one wall, while an oversized oak armoire seemed to be the only closet. “This is a lovely room.”

“It used to be mine before Ben followed Frannie to heaven.”

The affection for those two people shone on Carter’s face, the same as it had when he talked about his family. He was fortunate to have earned such love.

At least she had Mercury.

Avery would forever be grateful to her stepfather for that. She took a breath before releasing it slowly.

“Staying here is much better than spending the night in a freezing bunkhouse.” Time for her mea culpa. “I’m sorry for my reaction— or rather, my overreaction— earlier.”

“No problem.” He spoke without missing a beat. The words could have been said flippantly, but his were full of sincerity. “You traveled a long distance today only to have things not be what you expected when you arrived.”

Her mouth dropped. She closed it. That was exactly it, but how had he figured that out about her? “The drive wasn’t bad, but the other…”

Avery needed a minute before continuing.

“You don’t have to tell me,” Carter said.

“I do.” She’d expected him to press for the reason, not back off, but that didn’t change anything. He deserved an explanation for her behavior. “There are a few things that upset me. Push me over the edge. Being called pretty is one of them. I’ve been judged because of my looks with not-so-pleasant outcomes. I also don’t respond well when plans change suddenly, even if the result turns out in my favor. Like staying in this guest room instead of the bunkhouse.”

Too many times, her life had been thrown into upheaval. From being kicked out of the home she’d grown up in to losing jobs, she’d had security ripped away when she’d least expected.

“I’m also not a big fan of surprises,” she continued. “But I shouldn’t have freaked out over staying in your house. My behavior was uncalled for. I hope you’ll forgive me and allow us to start over.”

The corners of his mouth curled up. He didn’t sigh, but she caught a slight exhale.
Melissa McClone. Quinn Valley Ranch Two Book Set (Kindle Locations 489-542). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Now while these two are definitely attracted to each other, there are some outside forces as well. There are Quinn’s everywhere and Carter’s grandmother would definitely like to see him at least dating.

I love the slow build of friendship that grows steadily to a love that can’t be denied.

Lots of fun, laughter, and animal chats.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Ivy Quinn writes music and occasionally performs at her siblings bar and grill. Even though they keep telling her to pursue her music she is perfectly happy waitressing and performing once in a while here.

Nash Bennett is in Quinn Valley for R&R and physical therapy after falling off the stage during a performance in Seattle. Everyone involved with him had signed a non-disclosure agreement. This is to prevent the paparazzi from finding him and hindering his recovery.

Things were going just fine, until he hears Ivy sing.

This is a favorite scene.

The crowd’s reaction overwhelmed Ivy. She bowed and headed toward the kitchen, needing space.

Halfway there, a bearded man stepped in her path.

He wore faded blue jeans, a blue T-shirt with the name of the hottest new video game on the front, a beanie pulled low on his forehead, and sunglasses.

Who wore a beanie in the summer and sunglasses inside at night? Must be a hipster. Probably from Portland or Seattle given his lumberjack-worthy beard, but she shouldn’t judge. Quinn’s was known for their friendly customer service. She wouldn’t disappoint. “May I help you?”

“Your set was great.” His lips curved into a charming smile. “You have a fantastic voice, and I won’t be forgetting that last song anytime soon.”

The compliment made her stand taller. “Thanks. I’m happy you enjoyed the show.”

“I did. I…” His voice trailed off. “Could I buy you a drink?”

She forced her shoulders not to sag and her smile not to falter. He was still a customer, but she hated that the guy couldn’t have just said his two cents before returning to his table. She hated being hit on at work.

“No, thanks.” She clutched her guitar like a lifeline. “I can’t. I’m busy.”

“Are you performing again?” he asked.

He must not be from around here, which meant he didn’t know she was on the staff. “No.”

The man opened his mouth as if to speak but then pressed his lips together. “Thanks for the music. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.”

“You, too.”

She barely had the words out before he turned, wove his way around tables, and left the pub.

Melissa McClone. Quinn Valley Ranch Two Book Set (Kindle Locations 2458-2472). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Nash of course couldn’t let things be, and then the fireworks start when he reveals himself to her. She knows him and she wants nothing to do with him.

I love the way this story plays out, it is emotional and satisfying. There is humor, romance and also betrayal and redemption.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

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!