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.

Song of Blood – The Lost Siren Book 1 By Skye MacKinnon & Liza Street


Song Of Blood
The Lost Siren Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Skye MacKinnon
&
Liza Street

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Vampire apocalypse? Check.
Three mysterious hotties? Check.
Prophecy about being the ‘chosen one’? That, too.

Avery is more interested in keeping herself fed – and supplied with toilet paper – during the vampire apocalypse than she is in saving the world. But when three mysterious hotties show up and proclaim her to be the long lost descendent of a famous siren, Avery is thrust into the very adventure she didn’t know she needed.

She didn’t want a quest. She didn’t want an entourage of preternatural being – a vampire, a werewolf, and a faerie lord. And she certainly didn’t want to fall in love.

It’s the end of the world…but what if the end of this one heralds the beginning of something new?

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All Avery wanted was toilet paper…what she gets is a Vampire, Lysander and an Elf/Siren hybrid, Charles. Well at first anyway.

She’s just about to get some answers when they have to run.

This is a favorite scene.

Charles rolled his eyes, not intimidated in the slightest, but he said, “I beg your forgiveness, mademoiselle, for my uncouth behaviour.” Posh and hot. I’d stepped into a Jane Austen novel. Quickly, I buttoned up my blouse and willed my cheeks to cool. “Would you guys please tell me what’s going on?” I asked. Now that I wasn’t flooded with desire, I felt embarrassed and vulnerable. Lysander was next to me in an instant. He drew me against him in a sideways hug that should have put me off, but felt comforting and right.

“I know this is strange for you, Avery,” he said, “but Charles and I are going to take care of you while we navigate the next phase of your Awakening.”

“My Awakening?” I felt like a damned parrot.

“Your transition to your true self has been thrown off course due to the Vandemic,” Charles explained. “As a result, you’re in danger of being left behind by your people as they journey to the Evermist. We’re going to help you reach them. It’s our duty and bond.”

I could only stare at him. Desire began to stir within me again. At the same time, I was starting to think I was surrounded by psychos.

“Cut that shit out,” I said.

“He’s not doing anything,” Lysander said with a chuckle. “That’s all you, love.”

“I’m not doing anything,” I protested. “And I had my period two weeks ago, so I shouldn’t feel like—”

I stopped before I could say anything even more embarrassing. The attraction wasn’t as strong this time, but still intense enough to make me squeeze my thighs together.

“It’s your siren nature responding to me,” Charles said with a smirk. “And judging from your reaction, you’re a strong siren indeed.”

“I’m not a siren,” I protested weakly. “I’m as human as they come. You’ve had your entertainment, now let me go.”

“We can’t,” Lysander said with something like regret swinging in his voice. “You’d be in danger out there now.”

“I’m in no more danger than I was this morning. The world is dangerous, full of vampires, and generally sucks. I’m used to that.”

“You don’t understand. You’re changing. I could sense it and so can others. Your Awakening is close and we need to make sure you’re safe.”

My head was beginning to hurt. “If this turns out to be a prank, I’m going to kill you. Slowly.”

Charles laughed. “I like her. She’ll fit right in.”

“Into what?”

The guys exchanged a look.

“Later,” Lysander said, not meeting my eyes. “For now, let’s sit down and talk about your siren heritage.”

The sound of breaking glass reached my ears at the same time both men stood up straight.

“Fuck,” Charles said. “They’re already here.”

I looked from him to Lysander. “Who? Who’s here?”

“Hunters. Come on, Avery.” Charles gathered me to him. “It’s time to run.”
Skye MacKinnon; Liza Street. Song Of Blood: The Lost Siren Book 1 (Kindle Locations 246-272).

She meets Tarin, a werewolf when they arrive at his home, she also meets Tasha another siren. Avery still hasn’t accepted that she’s something other than human, that will come though.

Avery finally finds out who she is supposed to be. A Lorelei siren, one of the most powerful beings out there. More importantly they need to travel to the Evermist. However Avery must be Awakened in order to make the journey and they need to protect Avery until they get the necklace she needs to accomplish it.

Plenty of action in this one, and the sensuous flirting is seriously hot. I also got a real kick out of the computer Avery accesses while in a safe room.

Dang the ending has me wanting more, right now.

5 Contented Purrs for Skye and Liza!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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   Liza Street

Liza got her start in romance by sneak-reading her grandma’s paperbacks. Now she divides her time between freelance editing and writing books about shifters with fierce and savage hearts.

FREE BOOKS–Book 1 in Liza’s Sierra Pride series is free to anyone! Join Liza’s mailing list and get Book 2, Fierce Heartbreaker, FREE, as well as an exclusive Sierra Pride prequel story! Start by clicking here to sign up and receive Fierce Heartbreaker and the prequel story.

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Doctor Desirable – A Cocky Hero Club Novel by Anjelica Grace



Doctor Desirable
A Cocky Hero Club Novel
By
Anjelica Grace

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Leaving Colorado wasn’t my first choice.
It wasn’t even my second.

But when the job of a lifetime in Rhode Island presented itself, who could say no? I could fulfill my two years and then move back home. It was the perfect plan.

What I didn’t count on, however, was him…
Doctor Desirable.

Beautiful, smart, arrogant, and such a prick.

Staying away from him should be easy.
It should be a no brainer.
Never date coworkers. Period.

Especially one who could get me fired with the snap of his talented fingers.

The consequences to giving into temptation could be dire.
Everything I’ve worked for could vanish.
Getting closer to him could prove to be catastrophic…
Or it could be just what the doctor ordered.

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I so loved every interaction between Cassidee ‘Dee’ Parker and Dr. Nathan Alexander.

Dee, is new at the hospital having recently earned her PhD in Physical Therapy. She’s moved to Rhode Island from Colorado to take this position and have a new beginning, both with her career and her life.

Nathan Alexander is one of the top Orthopedic Surgeons in the country. Although he is far from family and friends he likes his quiet life here in Rhode Island. He doesn’t date co-workers, at all. It’s a hard and fast rule. He’s been hurt by a relationship that went bad in the worst possible way. He stays professional, but is often rude and overbearing.

When he challenges Dee’s abilities she gets more than a little angry and stands up to him. This is a surprise to him as no one here has ever done that.

Dee challenges Nathan at every turn even as she gets to know the real person behind the professional persona. He totally deserves her nicknames Dr. Desirable or Dr. Undesirable depending on his mood. Nate also realizes he’s falling in love with her, but trust doesn’t come easy for him. Of course someone has to throw a monkey wrench or three into the mix.

A thoroughly enjoyable read with romance, fun, intrigue and plenty of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Anjelica!

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Cocky Hero Club

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Anjelica Grace

Yes, that’s Anjelica with a ‘J’ not a ‘G’. You can thank her parents for the birth certificate spelling mix up, but it makes for a unique and fun story.

Anyway, Anjelica Grace is a twentysomething Denver native living in the same suburb north of the Mile High City that she grew up in. She’s an avid reader, and blogger, turned Contemporary Romance author that has an affinity for crazy socks, Minions, and candy. But not chocolate.

Family and friends are the most important things in Anjelica’s life, but when she’s not with them, you can find her with a book in hand, writing, or studying hard while she pursues her other career dream of becoming a Child Life Specialist.

Still new to the publishing side of things, Anjelica started her journey off in late 2018 by publishing a short story as a part of a Christmas anthology with a group of amazing authors that helped and encouraged her along the way. Once she dipped her toe into the writing waters, that was it, she knew she couldn’t stop or look back again.

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Killer In The Kiwis – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 11 By Dale Mayer


Killer in the Kiwis
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 12
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Riches to rags. …
Chaos again. …
Winning is important,
… at least for some!

Doreen is overwhelmed with joy when she sees all the volunteers who show up to help get her deck addition built. Most of the men are cops, friends of Corporal Mack Moreau’s, and are happy to help Mack’s special friend and the lady who has helped solve so many crimes for them with a spot of home renovation.

But before the deck improvement can be finished, duty calls, and the cops are called away on a case. Another gray-haired lady has dropped dead. Yet another heart attack victim is added to the long line of previous ones. And, of course, neither of these recently deceased women had a heart condition that would explain their sudden demise.

With her animals at her side, Doreen is determined to figure out what the ladies had in common, plus why and how kiwis keep popping up in this case. As she digs into the ladies’ lives, the things Doreen discover are shocking, … but not as shocking as the answer is to this riddle …

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I started laughing almost from the start of this book when Doreen challenges Mack to figure out his case in forty eight hours before she sticks her nose into it. Of course she’s going to need a cold case to tie into it.

The deck becomes a project in this one and Doreen realizes she’s got a lot of supporters, not only in Mack’s co-workers and friends but also in others that would be supplying things for the deck.

This is a favorite scene.

“Oh my,” she said. There was a bit of a ping, but the roof itself didn’t budge. She shook her head. “I wouldn’t even have thought of that.”

“Maybe not. None of this is salvageable. The wood’s done,” he said, showing her the cracks in the wood.

She nodded. “So, does all this railing and stuff go?”

“It all has to go,” he said. “I thought we’d make a pile on the far side by the fence where the other materials are, but separate, so we can haul it out later.”

She frowned as she thought about it and then pointed over by the shed. “But won’t it have nails and stuff? If so, then let’s put it over there, away from the driveway and the people traffic.”

He nodded and said, “Good enough.” And then he started grabbing wood and moving the old stuff over.

She stood and stared. “Am I supposed to knock this down then?” she asked.

“Sure.” He came back with a sledgehammer in his hand and with two very light taps, the entire railing appeared to disintegrate. “Let’s move this first,” he said. “Then we’ll start taking off the floorboards.”

She quickly jumped in to grab little bits of railing, some of it still attached to the top of the railing, and the others basically dangling, and got it all carried over to the side. All three of the animals were outside with them, sitting close by and watching. When they returned to her deck, he said, “Now the steps.”

She groaned and said, “I was hoping we could leave that to get in and out.”

“Nope, not happening,” he said. And, in two swipes, the steps were gone.

he stared and gasped. “Wow,” she said. “What was holding all this together?”

“A prayer,” he said jokingly. “It’s a damn good thing we’re doing it this weekend, as the bottom of the boards are all completely rotten.”

“I could have fallen through at any time.”

“Absolutely,” he said. And, within half an hour, the entire deck structure and steps had all been hauled off to the side of her shed. She stood at the open space from the ground to her open kitchen door and smiled. “I can’t quite jump up there,” she said.

“You shouldn’t try either,” he said. He brought over three of the cinder blocks and plunked them down, one single one on its long side, then two atop each other behind that first one, so she could use those as temporary steps.

She smiled and said, “I can almost make that.”

Just then a shout came from the front.

“Is that for me or for you?”

“Well, in this instance, I’d say both,” he said with a big grin.

She raised her eyebrows. “What are you up to you?”

He shook his head and said, “You’ll see.”

She waited, and, all of a sudden, a group of men came around the corner. Arnold and Chester, Dan, Tommy, and even the captain. She stared at Mack in surprise. “Hey,” she said. “Are you guys here to help?” she asked hopefully.

They all had big grins on their faces. “We figured we might owe you a little bit of assistance,” the captain said, rubbing his hands together. “So, what are we building?”

After that, the entire group became this big happy family, but she hated to say it, with her on the outside. Still. Since she didn’t know how to build a deck or what the procedure was or how to start, she kept finding herself in the way. Finally Mack, at one point in time, picked her up and plunked her on the cinder blocks at the doorstep and said, “Sit.” She dropped her butt onto the kitchen threshold and glared at him. He smiled and said, “Let us figure this out first.”

And, sure enough, all the other cinder blocks were set down in the backyard. They were having lots of discussions about how to measure and lay them, with Mack even changing a few of his plans, with the other guys making suggestions about how to maximize the boards if they made the deck a little bit longer and wider. And then not all the boards would have to be cut. She loved that idea, and they had ten-footers and eight-footers and, if they just rotated them, then maybe they wouldn’t waste any of the wood.

But what surprised her was the time frame required to get those cinder blocks down into the ground and then level. They had all kinds of stuff, from shovels to rakes, but nobody had mentioned the tarps.

“Mack?” she called out.

Distracted, he looked up to her and asked, “What?”

“Remember the tarps?” she asked anxiously.

He looked at her, down on the ground, and then nodded. “Where are they?”

She scrambled to her feet, then dashed inside to the kitchen and headed through to the garage. She returned a moment later with the two big tarps and handed them off. Mack grabbed them and opened them up, then gave her the packaging. And, with the men’s help, they opened the tarps, spread them down, and used the corners of the cinder blocks to keep the edges anchored.

The guys heartily approved. “What’s the matter? Don’t you weed down here?” one of them teased.

“Not really,” she said drily. “This will help slow them down a little bit.”

“But you also have to consider,” the captain said in that deep voice of his, “that these tarps will stop the rain from going into the ground.”

She frowned at that. “So I’m not sure what’s the best thing to do then,” she said.

“Well, the tarp is great if you had a way for the water to go through it. But, if you don’t, we’ll need to punch some holes because you don’t want the water sitting here and getting stagnant,” he said.

“Agreed,” she said, still frowning. “So let’s figure this out.”

“We could if we had some coffee,” Mack said.

She glared at him. “Is that your way of telling me to leave you alone?”

He chuckled, his laughter infectious, bright, and loud. Everybody stopped and stared at him.

Doreen figured it was to see how she took being laughed at. Mack was always teasing her. It was just not evident to these guys yet.

Mack shook his head. “If I thought getting you to make coffee would keep you out of trouble,” he said, “we would have cheerfully delivered you coffee every day to have you butt out of our lives.”

She promptly put her hands on her hips, then glared at him and said, “Mack Moreau. You behave yourself. I’ve been a big help.”

“You have, indeed,” he said. “You’ve also been a big pain in the butt.”

At that, all the men laughed. She nodded and said, “Okay, you’ve got me there. Because of that, I’ll go put on coffee.”
Dale Mayer. Killer in the Kiwis (Kindle Locations 567-620). Valley Publishing.

It’s her Nan who manages to get Doreen involved in Mack’s current case. Mainly because the victim is her friend. Although conflicted Doreen and her pets find their way to where the guys are investigating.

Not quite as many pet antics in this one although they are most definitely present and accounted for. Mugs, Goliath, and Thaddeus are a lot of fun. I really loved when Doreen calls Mack to task when Thaddeus starts swearing a blue streak.

In spite of the mystery Doreen takes on, this book is full of laughter, tears, friends and that ever growing relationship with Mack.

I really can’t wait for the next book in this series, the lead in left me speechless.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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A Guide to the Bed of Her Lord By Scarlett Osborne


A Guide to the Bed of Her Lord
By
Scarlett Osborne

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

She is held captive by his kisses.
And she never wants to be free…

For as long as she can remember, Lady Georgiana Spencer has been living in her sister’s shadow.
With her betrothed’s abandonment serving as the final nail in the coffin of her social life, her cries of despair go unheard. Until a chance meeting with a stranger at a masquerade ball opens the floodgates of desire inside her.

Having spent five years in the Far East to overcome his mother’s passing, Hamish Shaw, the Viscount of Newenham, struggles to belong. That changes the moment his eyes fall on Lady Georgiana, he realizes his place is at her side, with her skin touching his.

When Hamish makes a wager that involves Georgiana, he is forced to learn a harsh lesson. In his determination to win, he makes an oversight that might cost her life: the terms in fine lettering. And Georgiana is the fist of them.

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Lady Georgiana was greatly embarrassed at the alter when her groom, the Marquess of Wernbrook’s very pregnant mistress interrupts the ceremony just before it begins. She left the church in tears and has stayed at her family home in the country rather than going to the usual hubbub of the London Seasons. This year will be different, she is going to have to face the whispers and gossips. Her sister Ester is making her social debut this year, and Georgiana is expected at all the events as well.

Hamish Shaw, Viscount of Newenham, traveled to India after his mother’s death, seeking to tame his grief by visiting with her family there. In the process of his travels he has also increased his wealth and made valuable business contacts. With his father ill, he is returning to London to begin taking over the family businesses.

His first encounter with Lady Georgiana was definitely not a proper one. He literally runs into her on the street, becoming captivated by her auburn hair and jade green eyes. He almost forgets the reason he left his carriage to begin with.

Georgiana is just as enamored of this interesting and as of yet unknown gentleman. He’s not known to her and that was unusual in her circle. Georgiana’s mother is pushing for her to commit to Jack Huxley the Marquess of Dargue’s courtship. However, she finds him to be obnoxiously arrogant with his devil may care attitude and is refusing to acknowledge he interest.

Hamish enters into a wager of sorts in order to possibly begin a coffee venture with the Marquess of Dargue. His point of contact being the Marquess of Wernbrook. He has no idea that this is the man who embarrassed the beautiful woman he endeavors to know better.

While the encounters between Hamish and Georgiana are fun, it’s the one at her sister’s ball that is most interesting.

This is a favorite scene.

Georgiana was bored. She felt as if she’d been at hundreds of balls where the talk was always the same, and everyone was playing a role. Even as she smiled and put herself out to be charming, she realized she was tired of all of it.

I just want to escape!

She had been watching Lord Newenham from the moment they entered the ballroom, hoping he would come and talk to her. He seemed more interested in chatting with her father much to her chagrin.

What would it take for me to be a man’s first choice?

She chased that errant thought away by filching a glass of wine from a passing server and swallowing it down. In her peripheral vision, she saw two ladies making their way toward her, eyes bright and just knew they wanted to ask her something inane like how it felt like to be abandoned at the altar.

Placing her glass in a potted plant by the door, she slipped out and hurried off to the garden where she could hide among the azaleas and enjoy the cool night. If she was lucky, nobody would notice she was gone for a while.

The servants, having anticipated that guests might need fresh air, had strategically placed benches beneath the trees. She walked to the large oak near the north fence and took a seat, enjoying the slight breeze and the stars twinkling up above.

She sighed happily, relieved to be out of the press of bodies and away from judging eyes. A footfall had her turning from her examination of the constellations to squint into the darkness. She did not even know how she’d heard it with the music from the orchestra pouring out the French doors to overpower the night.

“May I join you on your bench?” she jumped, turning to see that it was the Viscount standing above her, his hands crossed behind his back. She took a deep breath and nodded. His shoulders, lovingly outlined in his dark evening coat seemed to block out the sky with their breadth. She was hard put not to stare.

Slowly, he lowered himself onto the bench, leaving a suitable amount of distance between them. They sat in silence for a while, Georgiana tense, waiting for him to say something. When he did not, she gradually relaxed until she was breathing easily as she turned back to the stars.

“Do you know the story of Orion’s Belt?” his voice startled her as he broke the silence.

“Oh, um, yes I do. I attended a Ladies’ Seminary School in Bath and they had a class on Astronomy.”

He turned to look at her, eyebrows raised in surprise. “Is that so? I did not imagine you as a bluestocking.”

Georgiana snorted. “Oh? And what did you imagine me as, exactly?”

His brow furrowed as he frowned. “Forgive me. That came out extremely poorly. Rude as well. It was exceeding rude. What I meant to say was that it is a delight to discover new depths to you.”

Georgiana blinked at him in surprise, caught quite left footed at his apology rapidly followed by a compliment. Nobody had ever praised her interest in books before. “Well… thank you, I suppose.”

“Tell me more about your education. Are you interested in astronomy as a hobby or would that you were not a lady so that you could dabble in science and discover new stars?”

To her consternation, Georgiana found herself giggling. “Well, I do not think I know enough about stars to make discoveries, but I do enjoy watching them on clear nights. They are rather…” she looked up again, searching for the right word, “peaceful.”

Lord Newenham looked up as well. “I suppose you’re right. They do soothe one’s troubled breast.”

Georgiana turned to look at him, extremely taken aback by his easy acceptance of her words, his compliments, his demeanor. They might be two friends discussing matters of interest rather than a lord and a lady, bound by societal mores in an eternal dance of expectation.

“Tell me something about you that nobody else knows.” Georgiana did not know where the words came from. They just poured forth from her mouth without her permission. He cleared his throat and shifted about in his seat as if uncomfortable.

“That is a tall order,” he murmured, “but I shall try.”

He beetled his brow, seeming to think quite hard about it. The hanging lanterns illuminated the lines of his face and she stared unabashedly.

“Well, when I was three years old, I decided to follow my Father’s carriage as he left the house, unbeknownst to anyone. I wanted to see where he went all the time and why he took so long there.” He turned to her, eyes twinkling, “You know how inquisitive little boys are.”

Georgiana nodded, “Little girls too.”

“Yes, well, I walked as fast as my stubby little legs could manage but soon the carriage left me far behind and worse yet, I did not know how to get home.”

Georgiana lifted her hand to her mouth as she uttered a shocked sound. “How ghastly. What did you do?”

“Well, I did what all three-year-old brats would do in such a situation. I sat down on the road and cried.”

Georgiana was surprised into laughing quite loudly.

“Yes, yes, it was mortifying. There I was still trailing my leading strings, no shoes on and with aching feet from running after the carriage. I was at my wit’s end for what to do.”

“Well then? How did you get home?”

“Oh, well… three women came along eventually, just when I thought my stomach would eat itself. They plucked me up as if I was a package and cooed over me. I think they might have been gypsies although at the time I had no idea of such things.” He gave her a sidelong glance and a smile.

“Go on.” Georgiana leaned toward him, completely taken with the story.

“Well, lucky for me, I had on a gold bracelet that had a brooch with the family crest. The women brought me to the gate of my house and because I did not fancy the trouble I would be in with my Mother, I begged them to leave me there at the gate.”

“Did they do it?”

Lord Newenham inclined his head in a so-so gesture. “They insisted on taking me to the back door. Luckily Cook’s back was turned and so they left me there. I crept into the house and pretended I’d fallen asleep in the pantry when my governess asked me where I’d been.”

“My word, you must have been quite the terror growing up.”

The Viscount smiled. “My Mother always said I’d make her old before her time.” The smile dropped from his face as grief suffused him, “I suppose she was right.”

Georgiana reached out and gripped his arm, shuffling closer to him so she could look him in the eye. “She would not want you to feel responsible for her death,” she said quietly.

His eyes met hers and he stared bleakly, “I suppose you are right. But I cannot make myself stop.”

Her hand tightened on his arm and she was filled with an overwhelming need to comfort him. “Oh, My Lord,” she sighed helplessly.

Suddenly he sucked in a harsh breath and then his face blotted out the moon as his lips pressed down upon hers. She stiffened in surprise and he pulled away at once.

“I apologize. I… forgot myself for a moment.”

She shook her head, “No need to apologize,” she whispered, “it was a very pleasant kiss.”
Scarlett Osborne. A Guide to the Bed of her Lord: A Steamy Regency Romance (Kindle Locations 1023-1084). Scarlett Osborne.

A conversation and a kiss in the gardens, is just the beginning of this relationship. Her mother wants a higher ranking suitor for her, but the heart won’t be denied.

This is a fun romp through the London Season, as Hamish and Georgiana fall in love and Ester surprises her sister with her intuition and support. Ester also finds a gentleman she’s interested in.

The intrigue becomes a plot of betrayal and all sorts of consequences occur.

This is a fun, flirty read with a simmer to sizzle romance that fits the era.

5 Contented Purrs for Scarlett!

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about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

Born in the Sunshine State of Florida, but of both British and Nordic descent, Scarlett Osborne grew up reading historical romances from the land of her ancestors. Fascinated with the British society of the 1800s and armed with a wild imagination, she obtained a degree in Creative Writing and immediately started her career as a Regency romance author.

A daydreamer extraordinaire, Scarlett likes to jump in the shoes of her heroines, immersing herself in her own stories, living the adventures that she wished she had experienced as a child. An avid reader and fan of the outdoors, Scarlett spends her free time either reading or going on long horseback rides along with her two sons.

Get lost in a land of enchantment, where adventure and love await around every corner…Scarlett hopes that through her heroes, you too will get to live a whirlwind romance in the Regency era, when fairytales were real and all dreams possible!

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Sweet Yuletide – Indigo Bay Christmas Romances Book 4 By Melissa McClone


Sweet Yuletide
Indigo Bay Christmas Romances Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

One beach cottage,
two strangers,
and a secret that could ruin everything…

Sheridan DeMarco would rather be anywhere than home for the holidays. Housesitting in South Carolina, far away from her new and chaotic blended family, sounds like the perfect way to spend Christmas. Until she arrives and realizes she isn’t as blissfully alone as she thought she would be…

Michael “Mikey” Patterson has a secret, one that requires him to stay out of sight until his attorney gives him the all clear. He finds the anonymity he needs in a small coastal town, but there’s a problem. Mikey isn’t the only one at the charming beach cottage, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful roommate named Sheridan who pushes all of his buttons.

All it takes is a sprig of mistletoe and one memorable kiss to make Sheridan and Mikey forget their plans to stay away from each other. But when his secret is revealed, can their newfound bond outlive the holiday season? Or will their happily ever after get tossed out with the discarded wrapping paper, ribbons, and tinsel?

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In spite of the seriousness of the situation I almost had to laugh as Michael ‘Mikey’ Patterson faces off with his family. Thinking he needs an intervention because he now has two phones, he’s jobless, crashing on friends couches, being very secretive and now he wants to spend Christmas alone. Michael’s secret is a big one, he’s won a huge lottery and is going through a process to both help and protect his family. His state allows him to claim the prize anonymously and that’s how he’s handling this. However a video of people buying tickets has surfaced and his team recommends leaving town for a while.

Sheridan manages the only gallery in her hometown for her father, she also lives in the apartment above it. After a disastrous Thanksgiving dinner where she up and left in the middle, she’s waiting for the confrontation with her father. This confrontation occurs on the Saturday after, and what he does totally shocks her. He not only fires her, he informs her that Remy, his stepdaughter would be taking her job and her apartment. He’s giving her three days to vacate and has the audacity to tell her she has to train Remy. I have to say I was glad she quit on the spot, handing him the gallery keys and refusing to train anyone.

When Hope calls and asks Sheridan to housesit in Indigo Bay over the Christmas holiday, she jumps at the chance. She can use the time to regroup and be far away from the pity and rumors of Berry Creek. In exchange Sheridan would be cataloging Hope’s artwork and delivering a painting to be auctioned at a fundraiser.

Van who is marrying Michael’s sister, offers him the house in exchange for preparing stuff for the family New Year’s celebration. The location is perfect for Michael to be away and not have to constantly lie about things.

I really got a kick out of their first meeting in the cottage and the subsequent making of rules. However it’s as Sheridan finds she can’t transport the painting to the venue in her rental that begins a shift in the rules.

This is a favorite scene.

Sheridan headed to the framed seascape of Indigo Bay, hanging on the far wall where Hope told her the oil painting would be. The view appeared to be from the back deck. The sun’s position suggested morning. The picture captured the beach grass blowing in the breeze so realistically, she almost felt the wind against her skin. Two dogs ran across the sand near the waves rolling to shore.

Beautiful.

The piece should raise a lot of money for the animal rescue.

In the closet, she found the carton and materials she needed. A few minutes later, she carried the box outside, but unlike the SUV crossover she drove in Berry Lake, the four-door rental car’s interior and trunk were both too small for the painting to fit.

What should I do?

Sheridan noticed Michael’s much bigger SUV. It was older, in need of a wash, but big enough to fit the painting. Yes, they’d agreed to keep their distance, but this was— not an emergency— but a way to help a person who was helping her. If he said no, she would see which ride app was cheapest in Indigo Bay.

She returned inside and placed the box against the wall near the entryway. A glance down the hallway showed Michael’s closed door, but music played. Not Christmas carols, but what sounded like classic rock. He must be awake because no one could sleep through that.

She knocked.

“Come in,” he called out.

Sheridan did and froze.

He was in bed. A blue-plaid comforter covered part of his bare chest. Okay, this was his room, not common space, but this was the third time she’d seen him, and twice he’d been shirtless.

He yawned. “Hey.”

His voice sounded sleepy, matching his bed hair that made him look even hotter.

What was wrong with her? She couldn’t blame thinking of him this way on jet lag. “Sorry if I woke you. I heard the music, so I thought you were up.”

“I’ve been hitting the snooze button for a while.” He sat, sending the comforter onto his lap. “What’s up?”

Oh, no. She stared at him as if she were seeing a man’s bare chest for the first time. She’d seen this view yesterday, too. But she had to admit his broad, muscular shoulders appealed to her more than those of the men who hung out at Berry Lake’s public beach.

Not helping.

She glanced around the room, trying to focus on anything except him. Her gaze landed on a Charleston RiverDogs bobblehead.

“Sheridan?” he asked.

“I need you.” As soon as the words left her mouth, she cringed. She hadn’t meant to say that. “Your help. I need your help. With Hope’s painting. The box won’t fit in my rental car. Your SUV looks big enough.”

Ugh. She was rambling. Time to try again. “Would you mind driving me to the B and B this morning? It isn’t far.”

If only she’d started with that.

No biggie. In less than two weeks, she would never see him again.

“Do you want to go now?”

“Yes.” The word shot out of her mouth. “I mean, sometime today. I’d like to get it dropped off sooner rather than later, but there’s no rush.”

As she pressed her lips together, she wondered about the odds of a hole opening and her falling inside. That might be a less painful way to go than facing Michael’s scrutiny. Something about him disarmed her. That wasn’t like her.

“Sure.” He dragged his hand through his hair. “Let me take a quick shower first.”

“Great. I’ll wait in the living room, but don’t rush.” She hated bothering him and asking for his help, so she didn’t want him to feel pressured. “We can go whenever you’re ready.”

Wicked laughter lit his eyes.

Her muscles bunched in anticipation of being teased or cut down. Deena and her minions had done that ever since the wedding. Sheridan had wanted to escape from that in Indigo Bay, but she would put up with anything Michael threw at her so she wouldn’t disappoint Hope.

“I won’t be long,” he said. “I’ll just need two sips of coffee before we leave.”

Wait. That was… it?

She waited for the punchline— him saying negative stuff about her.

His forehead creased. “Is there something you want to say?”

“Thanks.” As the word tumbled out of her mouth, the tension evaporated from her body.

“You’re welcome.”

Sheridan remained frozen in place, but she didn’t know why.

“Anything else?” he asked.

“Enjoy your shower.” No, that wasn’t right. She would try again. “How do you like your coffee?”
Melissa McClone. Sweet Yuletide (Kindle Locations 700-738). Cardinal Press, LLC.

From the venue, to breakfast and shopping these two start to get to know each other.

As they plan a real Christmas the fun begins and Mistletoe plays a part in getting them together. Of course nothing is going to go as planned and they both face a challenge to their beliefs. All on top of Michael’s BIG Secret!

I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful Christmas story.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

The Indigo Bay Christmas Romances
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Melissa’s Books In Indigo Bay
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Melissa McClone

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

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

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

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

Dare To Play – Dare Nation Book 3 by Carly Phillips


Dare to Play
Dare Nation Book 3
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips

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He’s the bad boy of baseball who’s about to lose everything.
She needs a husband to get custody of her teenage sister.
Suddenly a marriage of convenience doesn’t look so bad.

Pitcher, Jaxon Prescott has a lot on his plate. Major league baseball. Reputation as a Player. And as of this morning? He’s on the verge of losing it all. He didn’t mean to sleep with his general manager’s daughter. Sometimes the paparazzi finds out who’s in your bed before you do. But a sizzling moment went viral and now everything he’s worked for is at risk.

What’s a bad boy to do? Marry his little sister’s best friend to save his image, even if it’s the opposite of everything he wants and believes in.

Macy Walker is the sole guardian of her step-sister until the girl’s mother returns and wants her daughter back. In order to win custody, Macy needs to provide stability and marrying someone would do the trick. Luckily for her, her best friend’s brother needs a wife.

They’re this close to getting exactly what they want — as long as they don’t fall in love.

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It’s a Prescott wedding and Macy is determined to have fun in spite of her stepmother showing up and threatening a custody battle. When Jaxson once again finds himself in trouble, this time for supporting a teammate, Macy sympathizes with him and they start talking outside away from the others.

Jaxson is more than a little attracted to Macy, he was hesitant because of her friendship with his sister Bri, now he’s going to take a chance. Never expecting Macy to agree, but she does. A one night event turns to a media frenzy and to top it off, Macy’s step-mother files for custody of her sister.

Jaxson comes up with an idea to salvage them both, they get married. Macy wasn’t sure about that but circumstances lead her to accept that proposal.

This is a favorite scene.

“Macy, what in the world? What is Jaxon Prescott doing here?” the woman asked.

Jaxon lifted their entwined hands, then let go and pulled Macy against him, liking the feel of her soft body against his. “We’re engaged.”

“What?” Hannah shrieked. “I thought that picture meant it was a one-night hookup. Oh, my God!”

Macy leaned into him, playing the role. “It all happened so fast, but that’s what happens with…” She hesitated then said, “Love at first sight.”

Lifting Macy’s hand, he kissed her knuckles. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Hannah. I’ve heard a lot about you. And you must be Hannah’s mother.” He turned to the woman with calculation in her eyes.

“Yes, I’m Lilah.” She extended her hand for a dainty shake.

“Obviously you know all about us. But we know nothing about you. Macy, how could you spring this on your sister?”

“I was planning on sitting Hannah down and introducing them this weekend, but you’re here, and you said you were taking Hannah for the night, so I called Jaxon to come over now,” Macy explained, not missing a beat.

Lilah glanced between Macy and Jaxon, the wheels obviously turning. She was looking for any angle to help herself or figure out Macy’s plan.

“I want to go with Mom.”

Macy was unable to hide the full-body flinch her sister’s words caused.

“And you can’t stop me from taking Hannah.” Lilah pulled her daughter closer to her.

“Actually, I can prevent you from leaving. I have custody.” She glanced at Hannah, her gaze softening. “But I won’t as long as you’re home in time for dinner tomorrow.”

“But–”

“It’s called compromise,” Macy informed her sister, but Jaxon knew she was communicating with Lilah.

“Fine,” the other woman said through clenched teeth.

“Em, finish packing. Lilah, a word?” Macy tipped her head toward the door, and Lilah dutifully headed into the hall.

Macy shut the door behind her before either of them spoke.

“Lilah, what is it you want? Responsibility for a teenager can’t really be it.”

The other woman paused, and for a moment, Jaxon thought she was going to admit to something beyond wanting her daughter back. But he could see the minute she changed her mind and decided to continue her charade, whatever it was.

“I want my child. And I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but marrying a partying baseball player isn’t going to win you custody.”

“Oh, no? A stable family who can afford to take care of her?”

“Not to mention a safe home with two adults who have her best interests at heart,” Jaxon picked up where Macy left off. “We’ll be meeting with a lawyer and you can expect a fight.”

Ice formed in Lilah’s gaze. “A quickie courthouse wedding isn’t going to convince a judge you’re the right place for Hannah.”

Pulling Macy close, he savored her floral scent before he grinned at Lilah. “Who said anything about a quickie courthouse wedding? My bride deserves the best, and that’s what she’s going to get.”

Beside him, he felt Macy stiffen in shock.

He was pretty surprised himself, but something about this woman pushed his buttons and annoyed him to the point where he was all in on this wedding and everything it entailed.

He hated to use his wealth to pull strings, but money bought anything, including the ability to throw a last-minute show that would convince a judge this wasn’t a quickie, just-for-custody marriage. With Bri’s help and a few phone calls, he could have his entire huge family and all his friends in his house by next weekend, a caterer hired, flowers delivered, and a convincing wedding would happen. It might not be as big as his brother’s last weekend, but it would have every appearance of reality and true love.

Jesus. Who was he? Go big or go home, he guessed.

“Nobody is going to doubt what we have is real.” He’d do whatever he needed to in order to get Macy custody of her sister. Not only did he owe her, she was right. Lilah was a schemer, and he didn’t like her trying to take advantage of Macy and her younger sister. The woman wanted something. What, they’d have to figure out together.

Macy rested her hands on his shoulders and leaned in close, surprising him with a kiss on his cheek before glancing at Lilah. “Watch it, Lilah. Jaxon doesn’t like to lose. And neither do I.”

With a huff, Lilah called out for Hannah, and a few minutes later, they gathered at the door, ready to go.

“Call, text, whatever,” Macy said to her sister.

The teenager rolled her eyes and they walked out the door.
Carly Phillips. Dare To Play (Kindle Locations 738-776). CP Publishing.

Things escalate rather quickly and the whole family is in disbelief. However only a few people know that Macy and Jaxon’s marriage would be a temporary one.

Even Jaxson and Macy believe that, but it remains to be seen if their hearts going to be able to stay out of this arrangement.

Plenty of twists and turns in this delightful and sensuous read.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I love this convoluted sibling series.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

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Carly Phillips

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

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


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Choosing Kellen – Surrender Book 4 Becca Jameson


Choosing Kellen
Surrender Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson

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Sabine

I came to Seattle for the summer to visit Abby.
I came to experiment. To dabble in her lifestyle.
I came because she’s so happy, and I’m jealous.
I’ve tried lots of things at Surrender, except one.
When Kellen proposes I spend two weeks with him, I can’t turn him down.
Now, I’m in his home. I’m his little.
It’s unnerving, and I’m very naughty. What difference does it make?
It’s only for two weeks. It’s not like he would ever invite me to stay.

Kellen

I’m not ready to move on after losing my wife.
Plus, Sabine is too green for me.
But I have the time, and I need to put myself back out there.
Now she’s in my home, learning the ropes.
She’s challenging. Why does she defy me so often?
I’m not sure I’m the right Daddy for her.
She needs boundaries. She’s testing me.
And then she takes things one step too far…

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Abby invites her friend Sabine to visit and explore the BDSM lifestyle. Sabine has always been curious about the lifestyle but knows she couldn’t possibly explore at home. Even with the privacy surrounding clubs she’s sure her parents would find out somehow.

There’s one aspect Sabine hasn’t experienced and the thing is all the Doms we’ve met agree it’s the one she is suited for.

Kellen hasn’t had a Little since his wife passed away. They were perfect together and when it’s suggested he train Sabine as a part of her research he balks a bit. However, ever since he first saw Sabine, he’s been attracted. He decides to give it a try after seeing her with Lucy. It’s only two weeks after all.

This is a favorite scene as they are discussing the rules.

“You won’t be free to come and go as you please in my home, little one. Not for a second. If you want to experiment as my little, you’ll follow my rules. I know you’re not shocked. You’ve seen Lucy in action. Master Roman is a strict Daddy, but he’s fair, and you’ll find me to be fair also.”

She opens her mouth and then closes it.

“Please, speak your mind, little one.”

She clears her throat. “Lucy told me that she didn’t really have a childhood and that’s what appeals to her. She gets to be the little girl she never was. I’m not like that.”

I smile again, hoping that my calm exterior is putting her at ease. “That’s one type of little. There are so many reasons why women prefer to live as young girls. Sometimes it’s the opposite. For example, some women really enjoyed their childhood and want to relive it.”

Her eyes widen again. “That might be more like me.”

“Perhaps.” I’m holding back. She’ll figure out for herself what her reasons are in time.

Sabine tucks a lock of hair behind her ear, and I watch it spring right back, trying not to chuckle at her effort. I wonder how many times in her life she’s wasted her energy trying to tame her hair back.

Her auburn curls are loose today. She doesn’t even have a clip. I love her hair. It’s gorgeous. I also can’t wait to restrain it.

“Tell me more about you, little one.” I hold my position, still slowly stroking my chin, not moving more than necessary so she won’t spook.

She tugs her hands out from under her thighs and folds them in her lap. “The truth is that I have everything I could ever want. I have a sizable trust fund, which is why I haven’t been in a hurry to find a job.” She cringes. “That’s rather embarrassing and pitiful isn’t it?”

I shake my head. “Not at all. You just graduated a month ago. You’re still trying to find yourself. If you have the means to do so, you’re entitled to take the time.”

She draws in a breath. “Anyway, that’s how I ended up here. I’ve been thinking about writing a book. The idea is probably far-fetched, but I thought if I researched various aspects of Abby’s life, I might get inspired and learn enough to write a story.”

I unfold my legs and lean forward, putting my elbows on my knees. “So you’re planning to write about the BDSM community? That’s what all the research is for?”

She shrugs. “Maybe.”

“Admirable. Have you been taking notes?”

“Yes. I have a journal. I’ve been writing in it every day. Rambling mostly. But I’ve noted everything I’ve learned so far each day.”

“Good for you. I’ll expect you to continue that process then. Daily.” I lift a brow.

She nods. “Yes, Sir.”

I pause a moment and then continue questioning her. “How many boyfriends have you had?”

She shrugs. “A few, Sir.”

“Anyone serious?”

“I thought so. Apparently, they didn’t.” I can hear the frustration and rejection in her voice. Interesting.

“They broke up with you?”

She nods. “Ironically, I’m bossy and domineering.”

I chuckle. “Maybe you weren’t meant to be bossy and domineering,” I suggest. “You won’t be that way under my roof. I’ll be bossy in this relationship. You’ll be demure and obedient.”

She lifts her hand and chews absently on her thumbnail again. It must be a nervous habit. When combined with her wiggling, she looks very young. I don’t think she realizes it.

I stare at her for a few moments, rubbing my chin with two fingers, letting my last words sink in. “Is this going to be a problem?”

She lowers her hand. “I don’t know, Sir. I can try?” It’s comical how her voice lilts like she’s asking me a question.

“I suggest you do more than simply try. If you’re going to immerse yourself in the lifestyle of a little, you’ll miss out on all the fun parts if you end up spending all your time being disciplined.”

She nods, but that thumbnail comes to her lips again.

“Stop biting your nail, Sabine,” I reprimand, mostly to gauge her reaction. I’m setting a bar though. Now that I’ve made this decision, I’ll need to stick to it.

She jerks her hand away from her mouth, probably unaware she’d even been biting her thumbnail to begin with. “Yes, Sir.”

“Would you like to get started?”

She draws in a sharp breath but nods. “Yes, Sir.”

“How about if I show you your room? You can change and come back downstairs.”

She nods again. “Okay, Sir.” Her voice is wobbly. It’s expected.

I rise and reach out a hand to her. She grabs it and lets me help her to her feet. I find I like the feel of her smaller palm in mine. It’s warm from her sitting on it. Soft. I instinctively lift it to my face and rub her knuckles against my cheek.

It’s been so long since I’ve let myself experience this kind of intimacy, and I probably shouldn’t be doing so with Sabine, but I can’t help myself. I’m drawn to her. If I wasn’t, she wouldn’t be here. I need to watch myself, though. This woman is far too inexperienced for the likes of me. Even if she realizes she enjoys the life of a little, that doesn’t mean that I’d keep her.

I’m doing this experiment for two reasons. One is to get my friends off my back because they’re right. I need to put myself out there again. Two is because Sabine intrigues me. She’s cute and sexy at the same time. I want to know what makes her tick. I’m curious enough that I’ve made this commitment.

But it can’t go beyond this trial. She’s far younger than me and has her entire life ahead of her. She should find a man who’s closer to her age with his entire life ahead of him.
Becca Jameson. Choosing Kellen: Surrender, Book Four (Kindle Locations 522-569). Becca Jameson Publishing.

I can’t help but think ‘famous last words’ as Kellen muses on his way to show Sabine her room.

This book was is informative about the Little lifestyle, this training is far different from what we read with Lucy. It was interesting to watch Sabine select the age for the day and fall into the role. Even more interesting is Kellen’s reaction to her.

Of course there’s going to be some snags in this relationship, especially since Kellen is falling hard for Sabine in spite of telling himself he won’t.

I love the way Becca helps us immerse into the training, the caring, and love that just pours off the pages. There’s laughter, tears, romance and some sizzling heat as Sabine finds that Kellen is the man and the Dom for her.

I can’t wait to see what’s next in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

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Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

Becca Jameson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 90 books. She is most well-known for her Wolf Masters series and her Fight Club series. She currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and Goldendoodle. Two grown kids pop in every once in a while too! She is loving this journey and has dabbled in a variety of genres, including paranormal, sports romance, military, and BDSM.

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

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


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Through The Eyes of a Blind Duchess by Patricia Haverton


Through The Eyes of a Blind Duchess
By
Patricia Haverton

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She was the light
that guided him out of his darkness…

Locked away in her family’s estate for more than two decades, Aurelia Blackmore has resigned herself to a life of exile.

Blinded in the same fire that killed her mother when she was young, marriage is not even a thought for her. Until the day her father announces her engagement to a man she has never met.

Donovan Harding, the Duke of Oakhampton, has suffered many losses, with his wife and his fortune sacrificed on the altar of an illness. With no good options left, he must marry again. But his new bride’s secret might be more than he can handle.

Tied together by the strings of his son’s violin, their marriage is a precarious one. When a fire claims her childhood home and a constable brings news of a murder, the strings begin to unravel. A familiar voice, awakening memories of her past, threatens to tear away all that she loves, just as it had the fateful night she lost her vision and her mother.

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Aurelia had been confined to her father’s estate since she was blinded in the fire that took her mother’s life. Her father had since remarried and has an heir but rarely visits. To say she doesn’t get along with her stepmother is kind and her step-brother doesn’t even pretend to be related. This visit was to be about replacing the retiring housekeeper, but instead brings the unwanted news that she has been promised in marriage.

Donovan Harding, the Duke of Oakhampton has no choice, the dowry for the Duke of Greenfair’s daughter would solve all his financial worries. Encouraged by his brother Issac and his Steward and friend Ezra, he signs the papers accepting the woman’s hand in marriage.

Unfortunately Aurelia’s father had left out one very important detail. Donovan had no idea she was blind, and he has no idea how to interact with her. She has a companion and her ladies maid to tend to her and he distances himself.

Aurelia has finally decided she needs to get to know her new home and with her companion Bridget finds the source of the music she’s been hearing. Finally she is going to meet her stepson, Timothy.

The two of them get along famously right from the start, and while she’s not sure about her husband, this relationship with his son is right.

This is a favorite scene, after her first encounter with the Duke with Timmy at her side.

The afternoon faded away as he mused over what had happened over the last couple of weeks and how he was supposed to go on with the rest of his life.

“Sir? Supper is nearly prepared. Charlie has your change of clothes waiting for you,” Ezra added when he peeked his head in the door.

Donovan glanced up wearily. “What? Oh. Right. All right, then. Thank you, Ezra.” He stood up and went to his chambers to change. Leaving his study, he took a deep breath as he tried to convince himself that he didn’t have to be miserable.

Perhaps we could learn to be happy. Not quite a family, of course. I’ve already had the only woman I would ever want. But we could all become friends within time. I meant it when I told Ezra that was a possibility.

He changed and headed down the stairs toward the dining room. With his mind focused elsewhere, Donovan nearly missed the faint sound of his son’s wobbly voice.

Stopping by the drawing room, his blood ran cold at the sight of his son in tears.

The door was open just a crack. Before he could move, blonde hair appeared from the corner of his eye. Right next to Timothy sat Aurelia as she wrapped a comforting arm around the boy. Her movements were slow as she carefully scooted closer on the large chair where his son sat, feeling her way around. She had a handkerchief in hand for him as she found his chin and dabbed away at his tears.

This was such a motherly action that Donovan’s throat tightened.

“I miss her,” Timothy was saying as he sniffled loudly. “She smelled really good, too. I remember that. Like flowers. She was nice. Really nice. She could always help me to feel better if I was sad or ill. But then I couldn’t make her feel better when she was sick.”

“I’m sure you did all that you could, sweetling,” Aurelia assured him in a hushed tone. “Do not blame yourself. Your mother loved you very much and I am certain she did all that she could to have every minute with you. Remember those good things about her. It’s good to speak of those you love so that you remember them. She sounds like a wonderful mother.”

She was.

Donovan realized instantly they were talking about Lacy. He watched the two of them interact for several minutes as Timothy cried the last of his tears. Though he meant to rush in to wrap his son in his arms, something had stilled him.

He watched Aurelia interact with Timothy. She was slow but deliberate in her movements, nearly graceful. Her words were tender and kind as she cared for his son, treating him as though he were her own. Being blind has not stopped her from being a good person.

A pang of guilt hit him as he thought back to how he had treated Aurelia since they had met. He had avoided her, ignored her, and disrespected her.

For a minute, he fought with himself. He didn’t want to think he had done anything wrong. Yet he could have been better. She was treating his son much better than he had treated her. The woman had no reason to be kind to anyone after her cold welcome to his home, and yet she was right there, doing everything she could to console his son.

The Duke took a deep breath and forced himself to enter the room. He had been watching from the shadows for long enough. The pit in his stomach remained, but he couldn’t let it win every time.

“Your mother is not gone in spirit,” Aurelia was telling Timothy.

“And she never will be, so long as there are those who remember her,” Donovan added. He swallowed as he watched Aurelia flinch slightly before freezing. Though she stayed where she was beside Timothy where they both fit with plenty of space in the large seat, her eyes searched for him. But even if she could look him in the eye, Donovan wasn’t sure he would be able to return her gaze.

As for his son, the boy sniffled and quickly wiped away his tears. “I remember her. And Aurelia said that because she knows now, that’s like a story for her that she can remember. Is it true?” he asked eagerly.

He hadn’t been there to hear that part of the conversation. Donovan inhaled, curious if Aurelia was truly this kind or was merely pretending. From the little he knew, most second marriages wanted to ignore the past; but Aurelia was ensuring it wasn’t necessary.

I would have never thought to offer something so comforting to a child.

Donovan knelt by Timothy as Aurelia sat on his other side. Putting a hand on his son’s hand, he offered a nod. “It is true. I remember, you remember, and the household remembers. We can share her story and that will keep her alive. You’ll never forget your mother, Timothy. Never.”

“The pain may never fade,” Aurelia nodded slowly, “but it grows easier. I lost my own mother, remember? But she is alive in my heart. I like to remember my favorite times with her until I’m happy again.”

He hadn’t known that. There had been a Duchess of Greenfair at the wedding. She had worn a dark dress and had talked loudly the entire time to anyone who would listen to her. No one had mentioned she was the second wife.

But Donovan shook his head and focused on his son. “Any time you feel sad about her, Timmy, you can talk to anyone about her until you’re smiling again.”

“I can smile,” Timothy offered. Then he inhaled deeply and after concentrating hard, he managed a smile with dried tears on his cheeks. “See?” The boy turned to the woman beside him. “I promise I’m smiling, Aurelia.”

Nodding, she took his chin in one hand and gently patted his cheeks dry one more time before balling the handkerchief in her lap. Straightening up, she put her hands down. “I can hear it in your voice. Now, I think I smell supper in the next room. Timmy, I think it’s time that you went and ate with your father.”

The boy scrambled out of the big chair before Donovan could say anything. He stood up from kneeling and fixed his jacket. Clearing his throat, he found himself questioning all of his thoughts and beliefs directed toward Aurelia.

Although the two of them had hardly said a word to one another, he had learned more than he had expected in the last few moments about the woman. The hesitation and unease he directed toward her seemed to fade away as he opened his mouth to speak. The day was filled with surprises coming from even himself.

“Why don’t you join us?”

His son’s eyes widened as he grinned over at Aurelia. “Can she join us? You must. You’re my stepmama now.”

As for her, she remained still, her eyes shifting in the space nearby him as though she wasn’t certain if she wanted to try to look up at him or not. He could practically see her mind working quickly as she tried to understand what he was saying. Except he hardly knew for himself.

“Are you certain?” she asked finally.

“Yes.” Then he put out his hand to her. “Please.”

She didn’t move. He was just remembering she couldn’t see his hand when Timothy took her hand from her lap and put it in his. It brought Donovan back to the moment when Harold Blackstone had put her hand in his at their wedding. He had no idea what he was getting himself into then. Just like I don’t know what I’m getting myself into now.

But at least this time, he had an idea of what to expect.

Timothy clambered up beside him just as Aurelia tightened her grasp on Donovan’s hand. She pulled herself up and nodded. “That would be lovely. Would you be so kind as to lead the way?” 
Patricia Haverton. Through the Eyes of a Blind Duchess: A Historical Regency Romance Novel (Kindle Locations 1351-1412). Patricia Haverton.

The meal they share as a family is the beginning of Donovan’s understanding of his new wife.

I love the way this relationship begins to grow from that first meal together. Lots of laughter, tears, a bit of suspense and a harrowing experience, in this page-turning read.

5 Contented Purrs for Patricia!

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Born the oldest of three children, Patricia Haverton grew up believing that she’d follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue a career in science. However, her worldview changed when she decided to explore her British mother’s roots. The trip to her ancestral lands solidified her conviction that she had found her true calling in the romanticism of the Era of Kings and Queens.

A hopeless romantic and a firm believer in the idea of soulmates, Patricia changed the course of her life and decided to get her degree in Creative Writing and Psychology. As she jokingly says ever so often, “she lives in the past now, where love shows the way and Dukes save the day!”

When she’s not weaving tales of love that prevails, Patricia enjoys spending time with her husband, roaming the British countryside, where they have been living in for the past decade.

Now would be the time to let yourself go and experience the true magic of the Regency Era! Let your imagination run wild, live amazing adventures through the eyes of brave heroes! Like the legendary wise wizard, Patricia will be your guide!

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Vampire in Conflict – Family Blood Ties Book 6 By Dale Mayer


Vampire in Conflict
Family Blood Ties Book6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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With the blood farm an Old World faction of vampires had been developing to enslave the human race as a perpetual feeding source destroyed and those behind the evil plot either dead, caught or on the run, life returns to normal for teenage vampire Tessa.

After the war she and her family and friends narrowly intercepted, getting back into the groove of daily life proves to be impossible. She’s different, as are all the people around her. Even the world itself feels off to her. If she ever really knew where she fit in, she’s lost that sense of belonging after so much has happened to make existence in this place a little darker, a little colder.

Her only source of light is Cody, a vampire who’s become more than her boyfriend. Cody is her soul-mate and the connection they share makes life – one lived together – more precious than it’s ever been before.

Healing isn’t any easier for the human Jared, who’d fought the war beside Tessa and Cody. Everywhere he goes, he seems to trip over dead bodies and people who can’t seem to recover. Ian and Jewel are a mess, and David wants to help Jewel more than anything…even if it means undertaking something even he knows will violently shatter this newfound peace that’s barely begun to settle.

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After the collapse of Moltere’s Mountain destroying the blood farm, there was brief celebration before ambulances take both vampires and humans to their respective hospitals. Among those, vampires Ian and Jewel and Tessa’s humans friends Catherine and Jill.

For Tessa, her family and friends, the duties vary, the ancients and council members have much work to do to prevent any rebuild. Plus there is the fact we know their are other blood farms.

Tessa returns to the human school, although with many doubts running through her head. Cody speaks up in her mind and makes her smile, even before she sees Jared. With no sign of her friends at school and no one at home at Catherine’s house, Tessa heads to the human hospital. She’s sitting with Catherine when she’s hit from behind.

Cody is with his father and Tessa’s parents when that pain brings him to his knees letting him know something is wrong with Tessa.

This is a favorite scene.

Serus walked into hospital and almost threw up. The smell. Rot. Antiseptic. Pain. Anger. Grief. Dominating all the rest was that insidious aroma of fear. He hated even being in the vicinity of it no matter what the reason. It was only when he saw the features on the first human that he realized with Rhia at his side and Goran and Cody behind him, they must have looked a fierce sight.

The mass of humans took one look, cried out, and the sea of people parted. Actually, they pretty near ran in the opposite direction screaming. He rolled his eyes. “We’re not going to get much help from anyone here.”

“We need to find Taz,” Rhia said as she slowly turned around, trying to find someone recognizable in the shifting wall of humans.

“Taz,” Goran bellowed. “You here?”

Serus shook his head at his friend’s bullish but effective methods.

“Yes. Hello.” Taz rushed through the crowd toward them. “Goran, you’re looking better.”

Taz grinned at Cody. “I bet you’re not flying yet, are you?”

Cody shook his head. “Need to heal a little longer. Tomorrow I should be good to go.”

“Taz,” Rhia said anxiously. “Any sign of Tessa?”

His worried gaze shifted back to Rhia. “No, not yet.”

He motioned toward a wall of elevators behind him. “I can take you to where she said she’d be going, but I checked the area over and she wasn’t there.”

Serus said, “We’ll be checking for ourselves.”

Taz nodded. “And I’ll be going with you. Some of those people have been traumatized. I don’t want your presence to set them off even more.” He waved a hand at the crowd standing in clusters, watching from what they hoped was a safe distance.

“Good. Let’s go. The sooner we find her, the sooner we’ll be gone.”

Taz pushed a button and they waited for the elevator to reach them. The one on the left opened first. Serus was stepping toward it when Tessa, blood dripping down the side of her face, stumbled out.

Rhia cried.

Serus growled.

Goran howled.

Cody moved. And caught her before she hit the floor.
Mayer, Dale. Family Blood Ties: Books 4-6: A Family Blood Ties collection (pp. 549-551). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

From Tessa being attacked at the hospital, to Jared tripping over bodies and overhearing conversations, this book takes us on another journey into relationships, fear, chaos, and of course plenty of action.

Now I have to start the next one, the bundles are a great way to read these books!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Prequel

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Vampire in Defiance – Family Blood Ties Book 5 By Dale Mayer


Vampire in Defiance
Family Blood Ties Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Moltere’s Mountain is on the verse of collapse with teenage vampire Tessa, her friends and family still inside. Tessa vows not to go down without a fight, nor to leave anyone behind. In a race to save everyone, time runs out…

Grounded with an injured wing, Cody wants the girl he loves to flee with him while they still can. But, in order to do that, they would need to abandon friends and family who are missing. Even as he fears the worst, the decision he doesn’t want to be the one to make is taken from him.

Human teenager Jared has led an army into the mountain only to realize that the allies he’s enlisted to help him against Old World vampires intent on enslaving the human race as a feeding source view the annihilation of all vampires – not just the bad ones – as the only recourse to put an end to the war. Fearing Tessa and Cody and their family and friends will be destroyed by the unstoppable army he’s gathered, Jared isn’t sure how to keep the land- mine he inadvertently created from blowing up in his face and taking out everyone he cares about in the process.

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I know this is later than I usually post but I sort of had to binge read a bit. Posting his one now and the next book later today.

When we left Tessa and Cody they had gotten buried, whether from an earthquake or a bomb is yet unknown. Goran and Serus dig them out, they’re injured and like everyone else, exhausted.

Jared had come back to the mines with soldiers, however once he realizes they are out to kill all the vampires he knows he has to save Tessa, her family and friends regardless of the cost to himself.

In the meantime, Rhia and Wendy have come back to the mines to find the others. Only they run into the other half of the soldiers. The soldiers aren’t happy to see them and a phone call to the human council ensues.

When Jared finds Tessa and the gang, they had already evaded the soldiers who thought they were already dead and found more disturbing evidence of the cloning.

This is a favorite scene.

“You can’t keep doing this,” Cody growled behind her. “You have to eat.”

She knew that. She’d come back here to look for clean blood and had found nothing clean about this place. Just more evidence of the nastiness of some vampires. In the background, she could hear Goran and Serus talking. Cody’s name popped up several times. She looked over at him, but he seemed oblivious.

It wasn’t her business, but it was impossible to avoid hearing parts of the conversation. Something about Cody needing Goran. Needed his father. Not this broken man. Goran had lost one son and he didn’t need to lose them both to this nightmare.

She gasped. This had been hard on Cody, but she didn’t think it was that bad.

I’m not. Your father is using that line to make my father calm down, see sense. I’m fine, he comforted her silently.

Thank God. She squeezed his hand. He had me wondering there for a moment.

No worries. I’m fine. No, I don’t like what Tyson did, and I’m scared for my father. Cody pulled her closer into his embrace, dropping a kiss on the top of her head. He didn’t deserve this. He’s really strong, but inside he’s more puppy dog than you might believe.

She spun around to stare at him in shock. No one would ever call Goran a puppy dog. An injured wolf, maybe. But he never gets out of that predator status. He makes the council members cringe, she muttered.

Cody laughed. True. But it stopped you from worrying.

She laughed, loving the lightness voice. Maybe he really was okay.

I said I was, didn’t I?

She flushed. I wonder if I’m ever going to get used to this.

You and me both.

She cast another glance back at the men still talking, only this time her father had his arm around Goran’s shoulders and was leading him back toward them.

“Looks like they are finished.”

“And here I thought you were finished.”

The shockingly familiar voice sounded behind her, startling her. She spun around to stare dumbfounded at David. And standing beside him was…Jared.

“Oh my God, Jared.” She raced over to him and threw herself into his arms. She’d been so worried that he hadn’t made it out of the blood farm.

He hugged her tight and laughed. “It’s so good to see you. I was so afraid you’d died when that blast went off.” He pulled back to stare down at her, a sloppy grin on his face.

She beamed up at him as she stepped back, his arms falling away. “We survived. And you did too, obviously. What are you doing back here. I sent you out with all the techs and Taz to keep you safe.” She frowned and looked behind him. “And speaking of Taz, is he here?”

Jared shook his head. “No, he’s not. He’s supposed to be coming with another medical team to see if anyone can be saved from the warehouse.” His face sagged. “I’m afraid they are all dead.”

“Oh no,” she cried.

“But we don’t know that,” cautioned David. “So let’s not jump to conclusions.”

Tessa studied Jared’s face. Worry and fatigue had given him a worn haggard appearance. How horrible to have just found his father and now to lose him all over again. Although in truth, his father was barely a step up on the ladder of the life.

And that’s something we also don’t know. So no panicking yet please.

She snorted. Who’s panicking?

At Jared’s odd look and the flashes of amusement in David’s gaze, she realized what she must look like talking to Cody in her head. She linked arms with him. “Sorry. Have you come with help?”

Jared winced. “I thought I did. But honestly, I’m not sure the term ‘help’ is correct.” He started to explain, but David stopped him.

“Hang on. We need to get the elders over here to hear this.”

David walked toward the busted window that separated the two rooms and called out. The elders were already on their way, but once they saw Jared they came running.

By the time Jared finished explaining, they were stone faced.

“We saw the group you’re talking about.” Serus said. “They came into the other room while everyone was passed out. They assumed the group was dead and left.”

“But they left wishing they had come upon us earlier so they could kill us,” growled Goran, his gaze hard and

It was that look that bothered Tessa the most. He appeared to have crossed some sort of invisible line. She just didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

She desperately wanted to get out of this place but knew they had other people they had to be wary of. And how did that work?

Her stomach growled loudly. Aggressively. Cody glared at her. She sighed and looked away, catching sight of Jared’s concerned face. She flushed. “Sorry. I haven’t eaten since…well…forever.”

“Tessa?” Jared scrounged in his pockets and drew out several granola bars. He held them out. “Do you want these?”

Her eyes lit up and she snatched them out of his hands. “Yes,” she said gleefully. “I do.” She ripped opened the first one and downed it in a few bites. She opened the second one and ate it more slowly.

“Lucky save,” David said jokingly.
Mayer, Dale. Family Blood Ties: Books 4-6: A Family Blood Ties collection (pp. 327-330). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Jared explains what he heard from the soldiers as well as giving Tessa granola bars. I still think it’s hysterical that a vampire can’t stand blood.

Now instead of just getting out they continue to look for Seth and Tessa’s friends from school. They find more than that and things get a bit crazy.

Rhia has her own challenges to get through as she searches with Wendy for her family and friends.

Lots of surprises in this one. I love how the relationships in the book develop and the link Cody and Tessa share is a hoot at times. The ending however is just WOW! This is one of those times I am very glad I bought bundles and had to finish the next book before I wrote this.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Prequel

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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