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Mine to Keep – Save Harbor Book 1 by Jen Talty


Mine to Keep
Safe Harbor Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

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All Brynleigh “Bryn” Tinsley wanted was to find a safe harbor and put the past behind her so she could raise her little girl in a peaceful, loving environment.

Now, three identities later and two thousand miles away, she finds herself in the small, seaside town of Lighthouse Cove, Florida.

The last thing she needs is a pesky firefighter who keeps showing up at every turn, doing his best to become her handyman—and more.

But when her daughter’s life is on the line, she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her from the hell that is her past.

Jamison Kirby can understand not wanting to speak to your family. He’s barely spoken to his mother or brothers in almost two years—much to his father’s dismay. So, he doesn’t think much of Bryn not wanting anything to do with her daughter’s extended family.

However, he does take being lied to personally. So, when he finds out that Bryn isn’t even her real name, he goes digging into her past. And doesn’t like what he finds.

Worse, he pokes a hornet’s nest, putting Bryn and her daughter in the line of fire, and forcing Jamison to do the one thing he swore he’d never do.

Call his cop mother and brothers for help.

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After a long and stressful journey, Bryn has just arrived in Lighthouse Cove. This is the place she plans on raising her child, away from her late husband’s family. The house she’s rented and negotiated a lower rent in exchange for cleaning is buried in dust. She’s on the way to get cleaning supplies when she goes into labor.

Jamison is off duty when he spots her, she hasn’t been able to move since before the light changed. His actions save the day as Bryn gives birth in the back seat of her car.

Bryn was worried about social media after giving birth so publicly. Fortunately, nothing showed her face. She’s also surprised when Jamison shows up at the hospital and offers her more help since she has no one she can call. She protests but Jamison doesn’t back down offering her a friendship she can’t really refuse.

Now Jamison has his own family issues, but along with his friend Chip who owns the house Bryn’s renting they get it ready for her to come home with the baby. Jamison picks her up from the hospital and takes her home where many surprises await her.

This is just one of many favorite scenes.

Her pulse raced as she stepped through the threshold. Holding her breath, she covered her mouth. Tears burned the corners of her eyes. Everything looked different.

It wasn’t just clean. There was a white cover over the sofa, and a new rocking chair in the corner with a blanket tossed over the back. He’d hung a picture over the couch and a television above the fireplace.

And the best part was, there wasn’t a speck of dust anywhere.

“I didn’t unpack your suitcases. I thought that might be weird.” Jamison set the car seat on the coffee table.

“Because the rest of this is all completely normal.”

He seemed to ignore her sarcasm. “They are on your mattress in the bigger bedroom. I did, however, put away the few things I bought for Zadie. Though, I suspect you’re going to need a lot more.”

Zadie fussed. Her legs wiggled, and she stretched out her arms.

Bryn rocked the seat back and forth as she contained her frustration by taking one cleansing breath through her nose. Anger was not the appropriate response in this situation. “While I appreciate all of this, I really do, you can’t keep randomly doing things for me without my knowledge or without asking.”

“I know,” he said. “I never would have gone this far if you had family or friends here. But you don’t, and you needed the bare necessities.” He raised his hand when she opened her mouth to protest. “You have my word that this is the end of it.”

“Thank you.” She bent over and unbuckled Zadie, lifting her into her arms, cradling her against her chest and taking a deep breath of new-baby smell. It was a hundred percent better than new-car smell— one of the only things she’d learned to appreciate when married to Timothy.

Back then, becoming a mother had been all Bryn wanted, but she’d put it on pause after the first time Timothy had put hands on her. Lucky for her, he had wanted to wait a couple of years. She’d thought maybe the stress of joining the family business had gotten the best of her new husband, but she’d soon learned that Timothy had a temper, and the longer they stayed married, the worse it got.

Jamison smiled like a giant kid. “However, you do need to go and see Zadie’s room. And before you go and get mad at me, most of it was Chip’s idea, and he footed the bill for it. He also left you a note.”

“He mentioned something about the baby and a housewarming gift.” She pressed her cheek against Zadie’s forehead. She wasn’t used to this kind of generosity. Not unless it was attached to a condition that came in the form of a bruise. Her husband might have lavished her with expensive presents. However, everything he’d ever given her was either out of guilt for something he’d done or as a way to control her. And it’d worked. For years.

“Chip can be a little bit on the cheap side, but he wanted to do something nice when he heard about what’d happened.”

She followed Jamison down the short hallway, which had a fresh coat of paint. She gasped the second she stepped into Zadie’s room, which now had decals of all the Disney princesses plastered across the walls. Her crib had been set up by the window, and matching princess sheets covered the mattress. On the other wall was a brand-new changing station, and across from that, a dresser.

Everything she and her daughter could possibly need was in this room.

Tears filled her eyes. “I can’t accept all of this.”

“Yes, you can.” He looped his arm around her shoulders and gave her a firm squeeze. “Every fresh start in life deserves new, fun things.”

“You don’t understand what it’s like to be alone,” she managed between sniffles. Thus far, she’d told him as little as possible about her past, but she had mentioned her sister and how hard it was not to have her in her life. That was a true statement. When her best friend Hatti had suggested that Bryn not only disappear but also find a way to fake her death, Bryn had thought she was nuts. But Hatti had been right when she mentioned that it wouldn’t be a good idea to have the world turning over every rock searching for a missing person. Especially because the Perish family had unlimited funds, and if they knew about the baby or had any inclination that Bryn was still alive, they wouldn’t stop until they found her.

It was best if everyone believed that Brenda Thompson Perish had died the same way her husband had— in a tragic car crash.

“I have no one. And while when it comes to my mother-in-law and sister, that’s by choice. I’m starting my life over and—”

“You don’t have to explain anything to me.” He smiled as if he totally understood, which made her a little uneasy. How could he have any understanding of her situation. “My entire family lives close by, but I’m not on good speaking terms with most of them.” He gave her shoulder a friendly squeeze, the gesture there and gone so fast she almost missed it. “Are you hungry? Like I said, I only got you the basics, but I can order you a nice burger and fries or maybe a fish fry from the restaurant in town.”

“Are you talking that same burger you brought me yesterday.” Her stomach growled. “Would you like to stay for lunch?”

“A man’s got to eat,” he said with that huge grin of his that reminded her that she was, indeed, a woman.

She bounced up and down while Zadie’s faint cries turned louder and louder.

“Sounds like someone else is hungry,” he said. “How about I order our food. Is there a place you’re going to set up your jewelry-making shop? Will you at least let me help with that while we wait for lunch?”

“Thank you for asking instead of just doing.” She set Zadie on the changing table and fumbled like a clumsy first-time mom with the dirty diaper. Thankfully, Jamison seemed unfazed by the entire situation. “First, we order. But I insist on paying, so do it from my phone. And I think that a fish fry sounds perfect. It’s in my back pocket.” Her hands were currently occupied with a wiggly baby. She glanced over her shoulder.

He stared at her with wide eyes, and his hands went up as if she were holding a gun to his head.

“I’m starving. And so is this kid.” Zadie let out a blood-curdling scream.

“Just do it,” Bryn said.

“Don’t slap me.”

She felt a slight tug on her backside.

Thud.

“Crap. Sorry,” Jamison said as he bent over to pick up her phone that had landed at her feet.

She couldn’t help it, she giggled. She really shouldn’t find a man getting so flustered by putting his hands on her butt funny, but she did. Maybe because it wasn’t just any man, it was Jamison. However, she cleared her throat and opted to pretend that it hadn’t happened and move on, going about the business at hand. “All of my tools and finished products are in the smaller suitcase and duffle bag. I was thinking that alcove in my bedroom would be a good place to set up a table, but I don’t have one yet.”

“Actually, you do.” She tossed the dirty mess her daughter had created into the diaper pail and sent a nasty look Jamison’s direction.

He lifted his hands in the air as if she were holding a loaded shotgun to his chest. “Chip had an old desk in the attic, which we cleaned out while you were in the hospital. I thought maybe you might want that and a chair. It cost nothing but my time to wipe off the eight inches of dust, and the chair is my old one because I wanted a new one.”

“I’m going to get tired of saying ‘thank you.’” She finished dressing Zadie, who was now screaming her precious little lungs out.

“Is the chair in my room?”

“It is. And it’s quite comfortable. I just wanted something a little bigger.”

“All right. I’m going to sit in it and feed this little monster while I tell you where to put my tools.”
Jen Talty. Mine to Keep (Kindle Locations 853-915). Lady Boss Press, Inc..

As Bryn settles in and starts her jewelry business, she also sets up a website Jamison’s handyman side job and takes calls for him.

The attraction between these two is undeniable, but Bryn is living a lie and Jamison is having trouble adjusting to the life changing lies his family told him all his life.

I love the way this relationship develops and how there are so many twists that could destroy their friendship but don’t.

I can’t wait to see who’s next to find their HEA in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

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Jen Talty

Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.

I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.

I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.


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The Alien’s Farmer – Aliens and Animals Book 3 by Skye MacKinnon and Arizona Tape


The Alien’s Farmer
Aliens and Animals Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Skye MacKinnon
and
Arizona Tape

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Rachel thought it couldn’t get worse than losing her farm. But when a hot stranger turns out to be an alien, her life is about to change forever.

Tamsia’s sisters both have human mates, but she can’t quite understand the appeal herself. Until she meets Rachel, the owner of an adorable yet intimidating Highland cow. Will Tamsia be able to persuade her to move to Kyven?

An out-of-this-world f/f alien romance with a headstrong human woman and an alien female used to getting what she wants. This is a standalone sapphic love story with a guaranteed happy end. If you love lesbian romance, cute animals, and humorous science fiction, this series will make you laugh, swoon, and wish you had your own fluffy Highland cow.

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Rachel meets Tamsia, at a Halloween party, totally unaware that she’s an alien. They have a few too many drinks and Rachel takes Tamsia to her hotel where they both fall asleep rather quickly.

Back on her home planet, Kyven, Tamsia is in charge of financials at their Animal Park while her sister Valla and her mate Tilly are podding. Their planet enables couples of the same gender to give birth in a process called podding, it is sacred and the couple stays together throughout the process. They are running out of money and they have to do something. There just isn’t enough income, even with their main attraction of the hybrid katzpard cubs. Disturbing Valla and Tilly wasn’t a good idea so Tamsia approaches Sahra and Abby. Sahra decides they need cows so they can sell earth products like clotted cream.

Tamsia is sent back to earth to buy the cows, only instead of going where Abby wanted her to she heads to the farm owned by the woman she met eight months ago, Rachel.

Rachel’s surprised to see Tamsia and even more so when she discovers Tamsia wants to buy cows. Since her cousin Heather owns the farm so Tamsia would have to talk to her about that and Heather was in town. It was starting to get late so Rachel offers their guest room to Tamsia for the night.

Heather arrives with disturbing news they were going to lose the farm. Tamsia decides to buy all the animals on the farm and then convinces both Rachel and Heather to go with them.

This is a favorite scene.

Humans and their drinks. They were certainly fascinating in their own way, not that I was in a hurry to admit that to my sisters. I didn’t want to put up with Bavalla’s gloating that she’d been right.

“What are your sisters like?” Heather asked, hiccuping once.

“Sahra is annoying and wishes she was the eldest. Valla does whatever Valla wants and gets us in trouble. It’s her fault we ended up with an animal park,” I said, surprised at how easy it was to talk to them. I wasn’t a very chatty person but in the moment, I was feeling bubbly and glowy and warm. I blamed the wine.

So to remedy it, I drank some more.

A couple of bottles later, the spirits in the kitchen were high and I couldn’t stop laughing at all the things they were saying. Most of it didn’t make sense but that made it so funny.

“I’m hungry,” Heather announced abruptly, rising from the table and wobbling over to their oven-stove. “I want greasy food. Oh, let’s order a munchy box with thick chips. And kebab.”

“And eggs?” I asked hopefully, hungrily licking my lips. I loved eggs.

“Eggs?” Heather echoed, gripping the counter so she didn’t fall. “We have eggs. I’ll make you the best scramble you’ve ever had. Sit tight, I’m going to get some fresh ones.” She stumbled out of the house, leaving the door wide open.

“What are you doing? Come back!” Rachel cackled, howling with laughter. “I don’t know what Heather’s doing. Why is she collecting eggs in the middle of the night?”

“I don’t know.” I laughed even though I didn’t really understand what was so funny but her amusement was contagious.

My controlband chimed to alert me to an incoming call from Amison and excited to hear an update, I accepted. A little holographic version of the spotted pink alien appeared in the air.

“Oh my god, that’s so cool!” Rachel screamed, tilting my wrist towards her. “Wow, that’s some advanced technology you got.”

Oops. I forgot I shouldn’t show her this stuff. At least she didn’t seem freaked out or anything.

She waved at Amison. “Hello! Cool outfit!”

The smuggler seemed confused and ignored her, speaking in the common intergalactic language instead. “I’m approaching Planet #47283’ s orbit. Are you ready?”

Rachel hiccuped and rubbed her temple. “Woah, I can’t understand him at all. I must be drunker than I thought. Or wait, is this how you sound in Kyven?”

She was so adorable.

Wait, what was Amison saying? He was already here? But it wasn’t morning yet. Or was it?

“Almost ready,” I told Amison. My tongue was strangely heavy and didn’t behave as it should.

“Good. Get everyone in one spot and send me the coordinates.”

I wasn’t in the mood for springing into action. I wanted to drink some more wine and enjoy the fuzzy warmth it was giving me. But somewhere deep within my mind, rational-Tamsia bounced up and down in annoyance, trying to get me to hurry.

Heather stumbled into the room, clutching one egg. “Only found this one. The hens haven’t laid yet.”

“No surprise there,” Rachel giggled. “I could have told you that before you went on a wild egg chase.”

Heather handed me the egg and I took it gingerly, not wanting to break the delicate pod.

“Thank you,” I said. “Our transport is here. Do you want to come with us?”

“Pleeeeeaaaase,” Rachel chirped and threw an arm around her cousin. “It won’t be the same without you.”

“Now?” Heather asked, looking around the messy kitchen. “But we need to pack and clean and-“

“Or we could just disappear,” Rachel whispered conspiratorially. “And not do the dishes for once. How naughty would that be?”

“Very naughty. And for some reason I really want to say yes.”

Rachel grinned. “Then say it.”

“Alright. I know I shouldn’t because I’m drunk, but let’s do it. Let’s throw all caution in the wind and go to Kyven. You did pack all the supplies for the animals, right? Even my alcohol-addled brain knows that’s important.”

“We did,” I reassured her. “Got everything for journey.”

I joined the two humans as we hurried outside, leaving the kitchen in its messy state. I realised I was still clutching the egg. No time to cook it now. And I’d never find out what a kebab was.

We kept laughing while we somehow got the chickens in their carriers. The cows stood in a huddle in their stable, the hay bales and other supplies next to them, but we still had to get the sheep and pigs which were housed in another building. It was all so very funny. My mouth hurt from grinning. This was so much fun.

The sky was starting to turn orange and red hues by the time we’d shepherded the pigs into the cow stable. While the two humans tried to get the pigs to behave, I returned to the sheep. They were funny-looking animals that looked like fluffy clouds with four legs. We didn’t have anything similar on Kyven.

“Bavoosh,” I muttered, the Kyven word for cloudling. “I will call you Bavoosh. Better than sheep.” One of them bleated in response. At the same time, my controlband vibrated.

“Are you ready?” Amison asked.

“Almost. Are you close enough for the A-Beam?”

“Yes and I’ve already got it locked on your signal and all other life forms within a one hundred intergalactic feet radius.”

I did a quick calculation. That would include Heather, Rachel and the animals in the other barn, but not the road leading to the farm. I didn’t want to abduct an innocent passerby. I wasn’t Valla.

“I guess we’re ready then. When you say life forms, does that include bugs and plants?”

Amison laughed. “No, just over a certain size. I’ll beam down a set of markers now that you can stick on anything non-living.”

He’d thought of everything. I wasn’t sure if he did this regularly or if we were his first farm relocation.

With a bright flash, a heap of little blue stickers materialised next to my feet. I gathered them all up and hurried back to the human females who were still busy chasing pigs.

I quickly slapped the stickers on the feed bags and our other supplies, then turned to Heather and Rachel.

“Are you ready?” They exchanged a look. “I didn’t hear a truck,” Heather said, sounding confused.

I smiled at her, then pressed my controlband. Bright light encompassed us as our bodies dematerialised.
Skye MacKinnon; Arizona Tape. The Alien’s Farmer: Aliens and Animals 3 (Kindle Locations 873-927).

Of course, Tamsia left out one important detail. Kyven isn’t a place on Earth.

There’s a lot of fun and challenges in this book, but Tamsia and Rachel do seem to be meant for each other.

I loved seeing how happy Tilly and Sahra are with their Alien mates and I know Rachel will be happy with Tamsia. Now Heather needs to find a mate too.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Skye!

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Coming Soon!

A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

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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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Building Trust – Blossom Ridge Book 3 by Becca Jameson


Building Trust
Blossom Ridge Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson

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Stella

For the first time in my life, I’m dating a man who rocks my world.
He gives me exactly what I need at the club.
And he’s amazing in bed.
The only problem is this can’t last. We’re too different.
He’s a Daddy. I’m not a Little.
I haven’t even told my friends who he is.
No one knows about us.
I like it that way so when it ends, it won’t be as hard.

Walker

For three months I’ve been dating the perfect woman.
I know she thinks we’re not compatible, but she’s wrong.
I give her what she needs when we’re at Surrender.
She gives me what I need when we’re at home.
It’s just that she hasn’t realized it.
At some point I’m going to have to tell her.
I know she’ll panic, but she’s got a Little side.
She can’t see it yet, but she’s mine. Forever.

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Stella has her successful cafe, and she has recommended a couple of her employees to Blossom Ridge. One her former Chef Amy is now head chef and the other Brea who was head housekeeper there. Both of these women found their perfect relationship with Daddy Doms. The thing is Stella isn’t a little she knows and respects that relationship but she’s more into impact play. She’s even kept this relationship secret from her best friend Amy, that changes in a surprising way on a phone call. A call that has Stella rethinking everything.

A few months ago she started dating Walker, he’s a Daddy Dom and she knows it really can’t go further since she’s convinced she’s not a little. The problem is she really doesn’t want this relationship to end. They seem to fit perfectly except for that one undeniable truth.

Walker wants forever with Stella, he sees a side of her she doesn’t. He’s been ‘Daddying’ her from the beginning and maybe it’s time to renegotiate their relationship.

They have a dinner date and dinner ends a bit early as the discussion turns into a deeper conversation. They go to Walker’s home and continue the revelations there.

This is part of that conversation and a favorite scene.

I need to force myself to take this discussion in another direction while we’re renegotiating. “I’m holding you back,” I point out.

He narrows his gaze. “How are you holding me back?”

“Because you haven’t dominated anyone the way you prefer since you started seeing me.” I wince. “At least I assume you haven’t. Maybe I’m wrong.”

Both brows lift high on his head. “I’m not seeing anyone else, if that’s what you’re insinuating. I know we didn’t specifically discuss exclusivity, but I just assumed… Are you dating other people?”

I shake my head. “No. Of course not. I wouldn’t be sleeping with you if I were also dating other men.”

“Me neither.” He grins. “Or women.” I appreciate the way he can keep things light during this intense discussion.

I cup his face. “Let’s not ignore the obvious. You’re a Daddy. I’m not a Little. We can’t keep this up forever. That’s half the reason why I don’t like to talk about us with Amy or any of my other friends. It feels like we live in an odd box that’s made of very thin paper. One of these days there will be a tear and it will all fall apart.”

Walker’s expression is serious, but I continue. “I guess I feel like we’re just playing. It’s not real. As long as I don’t speak of it, I can keep playing in this pretend world where I’m dating this amazingly hot guy who checks off all my boxes and rocks my world in bed. I do all of that while ignoring the fact that you go out of your way to meet my needs and I do nothing to meet yours.”

He shakes his head. “That’s not true.”

“Isn’t it though? You’re not the kind of sadist you force yourself to be so that I get my masochist needs fulfilled about once a week. Do you see me bending over backward to return the favor and submit to you in the way you need?” Now that I’ve said it out loud, it seems even more obvious this isn’t going to work.

“Have I complained?”

I sigh. “No, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t frustrated and close to the breaking point.” I meet his gaze head-on again. “At first I worried you thought you could change me, but it’s been three months, and you’ve never once insinuated you could turn me into someone I’m not.”

He grabs my hand again, pulls it away from his face, and squeezes. “Being a Daddy Dom can look like a whole lot of different things. It’s not always what you picture from watching your friends. Lucy, Leah, Amy, Brea… they have a very specific arrangement with their Daddies. They live in a more permanent role in which their every move is submissive.”

I nod. He’s not telling me something I don’t know.

“Some people have a Daddy/ Little relationship without ever using the words Daddy or Little. Lots of couples do. A lot of D/ s relationships could easily be more Daddy/ Little with a slight tweak of the vocabulary.”

I tip my head to one side. “And?”

He leans forward and kisses me gently before speaking. “I get what I need from our relationship just fine. We just don’t use the terminology that makes you uncomfortable.”

It’s my turn to lift both brows. “How’s that?” I’m almost afraid to hear his answer.

“You’re exhausted after work sometimes, Stella. Emotionally and physically. You often let me take over when I pick you up. Did you not realize it?”

I guess not. I shake my head slowly.

“About half the time we go out, you defer to me. When we stay home at either your place or mine, you nearly always submit to me.”

“I do?”

He chuckles. “Yes, sweetheart. You do. I make suggestions and gently guide you and you follow. Remember last week after your main refrigerator at work broke down and you spent the entire day stressing until it was fixed?”

I nod.

“I picked you up, brought you back here, settled you right here in the corner of the sectional. I took off your shoes, massaged your feet, cooked you comfort food, and held you while we watched some cheesy rom-com before carrying you to my bed and tucking you in.” He lifts his brow.

I wince. All of that happened.

“If you don’t think I got my Daddy fix, you’re sadly mistaken.”

“Wow.”

He grins.

“I never looked at it that way. I just thought you were kind.”

He chuckles. “I am kind, sweetie. It’s all part of my Daddy persona. I love when you let me pamper you. I jump at the chance to see you on the nights when you’re the most frazzled and exhausted because then I get to take care of you and you get to rest.”

I stare at him. Shit. He does Daddy me. How did I never notice?

“You look like you’re about to panic.”

I shake my head. “I’m just thinking back on all the times you came to my rescue. I feel like I took advantage of you.”

He shakes his head. “Never. Taking care of you fills my soul. It’s my favorite thing to do.
Becca Jameson. Building Trust (Kindle Locations 381-422). Becca Jameson Publishing.

This is just the beginning as Stella realizes she really does have Little tendancies. She’s questioning a lot and getting answers becomes a priority. It also means open and honest conversation with not only Walker but also Amy.

Walker consults with his best friend Nico who is Brea’s Daddy Dom. From this point it’s all about testing the waters.

I loved the growth of both Walker and Stella, they had lots of obstacles to overcome and it’s both challenging and satisfying for both.

We see characters from the other books in this series so far as well as Roman and Lucy who are the owners of Blossom Ridge. It’s good to see all of them still in love and thriving in their relationships.

There are ups and downs and plenty of kindle melting heat as this relationship blossoms into something that is defined by them and fits their lives.

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

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Coming Soom!

Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

Becca Jameson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 100 books. She is most well-known for her Wolf Masters Series, her Fight Club series, and her Club Zodiac 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!

…where Alphas dominate…


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Wicked Bachelors: Brix – The Wicked Winemaker’s Ball Book 1 by Heather Slade


Wicked Bachelor: Brix
The Wicked Winemaker’s Ball Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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A smooth billionaire winemaker.
A compassionate bidder with a loving heart.
With just one sip, it all gets a little WICKED.

BRIX

As head winemaker of the Los Caballeros winery, I like to keep it cool, collected, and smooth. Knowing my weakness, my sister sends in a secret weapon—Addison Reagan—to convince me to be in the bachelor auction. There’s no way I can turn her down.

After all, she’s everything I’ve been missing. With her unassuming and kind nature, I am bowing down to her every need, and measuring every moment.

ADDISON

I have one mission: get Brix into the bachelor auction. Easier said than done. Brix is stubborn and distant. I’m beyond shocked when he agrees. Of course there’s a catch. There always is with a man like him. I have to be the winning bidder. Not a problem. After all, he’s sexy, charming, and irresistible. He sets me on fire.

With Brix, things are about to heat up. And just when it does, my demons come barreling back. But can I count on a WICKED WINEMAKER to save me from the past?

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Brix finds himself often driving to Stave when he knows Addison will be working. He hasn’t asked her out but does find himself spending as much time as he can around her. Including having breakfast at her mother and stepfather’s diner, where she waitressed in the mornings.

Addison has a bit of a crush on Brix but she doesn’t delude herself that the head winemaker and owner of Los Caballeros Vineyards would be interested in her. She lives in an apartment over the garage at her mother and stepfather’s house and works two jobs to make ends meet. Not exactly a catch.

Things are about to change though as she rushes to the hospital to be with her mother. She has no idea of the extent of the abuse her mother has been going through, it’s far more than the arguments she’s heard. What she find shocks her and has her feeling guilty for not knowing, although her mother still insists she just fell down the stairs. The fact that this is not the first visit to the ER has Addison more than a little concerned.

She’s more than a little surprised to find Brix parked by the house when she returns with her mother. Her co-worker Samantha drove her to the hospital and then helped get her mother home. Brix upon hearing Addison would be opening the diner by herself, steps up to say he’d see her there when she opened.

In the meantime Brix has his friend Press dig into Peg’s husband, Dennis, what he finds isn’t good and raises even more concerns over Addison and Peg’s safety.

Many people showed up to help with the diner including Brix’s mother and later his sister Alex, Addison’s other boss. Alex had another agenda though and wants Addison to ask Brix to be in the Bachelor Auction.

This is a favorite scene.

While I’d never call her out on it more directly than I had, the bullshit Alex was spewing about how Brix and I were perfect for each other pissed me off. Did she really think I was that much of an idiot that I’d buy into what she was trying to manipulate me into doing? There was no way in hell I’d ask Brix to be in the auction. Given how many times he’d turned his own sister down, it was obvious it wasn’t something he wanted to do.

“Addison? Are you okay?” When Brix walked into the cooler, I pretended to be counting the sheets of pastries we had left to bake tomorrow. It was something I had to do anyway; I just hadn’t thought of it until that moment.

“I’m good. How are you? You must be exhausted. You can take off, you know. I mean, we’re closed.” I vomited all those words and managed not to look at him. Bravo, Addy.

“Hey.” He stepped closer. Too close. “What was that between you and Alex?”

“Nothing.”

“Had to have been something for you to hide out in a giant freezer.”

“I’m not hiding out. I’m doing inventory.”

“Yeah? You could’ve counted everything in here ten times by now. Come on, you’re freezing.”

Brix took my hand, and it felt so warm. Hot actually. Scorchingly hot. The heat spread throughout my body. He didn’t let go, even after we were outside, at what was becoming our meeting place.

“Tell me what Alex said to you.”

I tried to pull my hand away, but he wouldn’t let go. In fact, he grabbed the other one and stepped so close our bodies were almost touching.

“Tell me what Alex did to upset you.”

“She didn’t upset me.”

“Yes, she did. Now tell me why.”

“It isn’t worth talking about. She asked me to do something, and I said I couldn’t.”

“Something to do with me.”

He didn’t say it as a question, so I didn’t feel the need to respond.

“What?”

I tried again to shake my hands free, but he held tight.

“There are a whole lot of people inside, waiting to talk to both of us, but I have no intention of letting you go until you tell me what Alex asked you to do.”

“It isn’t that big of a deal,” I said, this time jerking my hands from his. “She wanted me to ask you to be in the Wicked Winemakers’ Bachelor Auction, and I told her I wouldn’t.”

He smirked. “Why not?”

My eyes opened wide, and I put my hands on my hips. “Are you serious right now? Why not? Because she’s asked you a million times, and you’ve always refused. She was trying to manipulate me into asking, and I didn’t want any part of it.”

I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw more people walking into the diner; they’d obviously heard my outburst.

“Great.” I shook my head and looked at the ground. “Now everyone will think I’m a crazy person.”

“Yes.”

“Right! Batshit crazy.”

“No. I mean, yes, I’ll be in the auction. However, I have a few stipulations.”

I stared at him, mouth hanging open. I snapped it closed and spun around so my back was to him. “You know who really is batshit crazy? You and Alex. You two can sort this crap out on your own.”

I was headed inside when I heard him speak again.

“One stipulation involves you, Addison.”

I wanted to pull my hair out, crawl into a hole, and never come out. “No. Whatever it is, the answer is no.”

“We’ll talk about it later,” he said as he joined me at the door. “Come on, let’s go.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me with him.

“You’re infuriating,” I mumbled.

What did he do? He laughed.
Heather Slade. Wicked Bachelors:: Brix (Kindle Locations 733-767). The Wicked Winemakers’ Ball Book One. Kindle Edition.

All this occurs before someone burns down the diner and a large insurance policy on Peg’s life comes to light.

Things take quite a twist when Brix gets the Los Caballeros involved and his relationship with Addison heats up as well.

I love the way everything comes together especially with all the twists and turns.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Coming Soon!
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Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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Farewells and Forever – Untouchable Book 12 by Heather Long


Farewells and Forever
Untouchable Book 12
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long

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Beautiful, I love you. No ands, ifs, or buts. No beating around the bush. Will you marry me?

From the first proposal on the playground when we were five to the one two weeks ago, Coop has always been there for me.

Baby Girl, the only thing I’ve ever wanted is you. Forever.

Protector. Best friend. Lover. Jake’s a part of me in a way I can’t define. Even when we were apart, I knew we would find each other.

This is my love song for you, Angel.

Music is Ian’s love language. He doesn’t just wrap me up to keep me safe from the world, he pulled me into his. He shared his love and the knots that bind our hearts are beyond anything I could have imagined.

From the day I met you—you were the one, Babe. The only one.

Archie’s my hero in some ways, he pushes and he demands. At the same time, he savors and teases. He’s a builder and a fixer. I had no idea that the day he arrived was the day the last piece missing in my world would lock into place.

Marry us.

My name is Frankie Curtis, the four men I love more than anything else in this world want me to marry them. They want forever.

They want me.

If you haven’t read the other books in this series. STOP! Go back and read them, they are so very important to the progression of this relationship.

I knew this day was coming, I was anticipating it and wanted it. Now it’s here and I find myself sniffling. This is the final Untouchable book. This is Frankie, Coop, Archie, Ian and Jake getting their HEA. I am sobbing…and smiling.

I loved the opening to this book with them sky-diving. Mind you I would never jump out of a perfectly good airplane, but with them it was just another fun adventure. They do a lot of crazy things but they do it together and that’s what has made this series so perfect.

There’s a lot to be done, graduating, where to live after, planning the wedding and making sure everything is legally perfect.

I loved their family meeting to decide some of these issues, it is one of many favorites.

Here’s a peek at it.

We finished eating and then moved upstairs to our living room. Frankie curled up on one corner of the sofa, fresh wine glass in hand.

“New York,” she said finally, then glanced at us. “We stay here? Whether we live in the city or the Hamptons or Archie gets to build us a house in Westchester.”

Jake laughed and I grinned. Archie didn’t even look remotely humbled by the declaration. “I like it. And I love the idea of building us a house. We don’t need to move yet. We’re good here. But eventually, we’ll want a place to expand.”

“Agreed,” Bubba said. “Which means Coop can work on his master’s here, and we can discuss where we want to have the wedding.”

“I still say we elope,” Archie kicked back on one of the chairs and put his feet up. Jake was scrolling through movies, more to just do something than looking for real. However, we would end up watching one. “Tell no one, go get married, then come back and plan a huge party and make it a commitment ceremony or a reveal party, you know?”

“As much as I kind of like that idea,” Frankie said. “We still have three problems with that.”

“Give them to us, Babe. We can’t fix the problems without the parameters.”

A smile flashed across her face, alleviating some of the earlier melancholy. “There’s the legal issue of five people getting married.”

“We’re working on that,” Archie said. “Legal we can handle. The ceremony itself is for us, and it’s our emotional commitment.”

“Goddamn,” Jake said, then gave a low whistle of appreciation. “You’ve really grown.”

“Yeah, fuck you too,” Archie said with a smirk. Everyone laughed, even Frankie. Bubba slid over and picked her right up before settling her in his lap. When the tension drained out of her, I nodded. That was what she needed and Bubba must have felt it as she curled into him.

“Back to the wedding,” Bubba said. “We need to pick a date, a place, and who we want to officiate. Then we need to decide how formal we want to be. Do we want to say our own vows?” Bubba focused on her. “Do you want to walk down an aisle, or should you be the one at the front while the four of us walk to you?”

Oh… hey. “That’s not a bad idea,” I said. “When it comes down to it, we are the ones who pursued you.”

Frankie chuckled. “You also made me untouchable.”

“Hell yeah, we did,” Jake said with more than a little pride. “I’m still sorry that hurt your feelings, but I’m not sorry we kept the schmucks away.”

“While I’m certain she has long since forgiven us,” I jumped in. “Let’s not pick at old wounds, shall we? What were the other problems, Beautiful? You said the legal issue is one.”

“The name issue,” Frankie said. “Do we want to change any names? I mean— Frankie Curtis Brennen Benton Rhys Standish is a bit of a mouthful.”

“You can handle it,” I teased. “You handle all of us just fine, and I speak from experience.”

She flushed, but she also laughed.

“Lose the Curtis,” Archie suggested. “Then you’re Frankie Brennen Benton Rhys Standish— Mrs. Standish for short.”

There it was, the wild smile on his face and the gleam in his eyes. I got it. The idea of her being Mrs. Brennen was definitely appealing, but Archie wasn’t wrong. If we went with all the names…

“Okay, legal issues, name issues,” Jake said, ticking them off. “What’s our third problem?”

Lifting her head, Frankie studied all of us. I braced for it, because whatever it was, we’d fix it or tackle it together.

“Kids,” she said slowly. “We’ve really not talked about it since… the new year. Do we want them?”

“Hell yes,” Archie said. “Eventually. When you’re ready.”

“Agreed,” Bubba and Jake said almost in the same breath. But I caught the look she sent me. The one that said help.

“Beautiful, we’re not in a rush. Bubba’s twenty-two, we’re twenty-one, almost twenty-two. We’re not graduating for another few months, and then I’m going after my master’s degree while you take over the world, and Bubba writes the soundtrack for two evil geniuses who will be creating all the neat new tech. We have time. We want kids— when the time is right for it. What do you want?”

She sighed as Bubba rubbed her back. “Being a mom scares the hell out of me.”

“Frankie,” Jake leaned in to catch her free hand, “you are not your mother. You have never been your mother. You have that big ass heart, and you have all four of us. We’re going to love every single child we make, no matter whose sperm wins the race…”

I rolled my eyes. Really? Making sperm into a competition.

“… you’re going to be an amazing mother. Your kids are gonna be so fucking lucky to have you. That said, nothing happens until you’re ready. If that day doesn’t come, well, there’s nothing wrong with having the freedom to be naked any time of day and fuck like rabbits on the sofa if we want to.”

It was Frankie who rolled her eyes. “You guys will do that anyway.”

“Yes,” Bubba agreed. “We will. The point is that we make the decision together. No one is doing this alone. Whether it’s you taking on a more pivotal role at Standish or Coop getting licensed— those two trying to build the next best thing without blowing anything up.”

“Hey,” Archie said. “We haven’t blown anything up in months.”

“We’re also not done with the test engine,” Jake said drily. “Yet.”

Laughter spilled out of Frankie, and she tucked her head against Bubba’s shoulder. He kept rubbing her back while Jake rubbed his thumb over her palm.

“I love our family,” she said softly. “I don’t want to lose this—”

“Then we don’t,” I promised. “We keep talking, we keep working together, we build the future we want. We do it together. That doesn’t mean we won’t have hiccups or stumbles. But we pick each other up, we steady each other, we pick up the slack when someone else needs it.”

“What he said,” Jake agreed. “I love our family too. Fuck it, if names are an issue, I say we all change our names to something so we match and the only mouthful you have to deal with is us.”

That set her off laughing even as Archie groaned.
Heather Long. Farewells and Forever (Kindle Locations 363-414).

Watching Frankie, Cooper, Jake, Ian and Archie grow into maturity has been quite the journey and as I turned each page, I saw that growth become so much more.

Hank, has really become her father even after all those years of not knowing. Kelly, Chloe, Craig and Alec have just added more to the idea family. I loved the scenes with Frankie and her siblings especially the talk with Alec.

Even Eugene and Patience had to grow in these books, as grandparents they certainly messed up early on.

Eddie, well I think he’s the one who really changed the most. I got a kick out of him and Hank.

Rachel, oh how I love her!! She’s the ultimate best friend.

Jeremy and his friend Ann are cute as can be, and I loved Archie’s meeting with them.

Then there’s the guy’s families, oh how much they’ve come to understand with their son’s unconventional relationship.

There are new places, new adventures, a return to a favorite place and of course there’s scenes that practically melted my kindle.

It’s hard saying good-bye to this series, but these characters live on. In my heart, in some books Heather has planned, and in the Epilogue and bonus scenes at the end of this book.

Bravo, Heather! This series will always be a favorite.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Heather Long Heather Long

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

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

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


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The Wine Down – The Meet Cute Book Club Book 1 by Louise Lennox


The Wine Down
The Meet Cute Book Club Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Louise Lennox

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Brandi…

Fearless
Southern
Broken
I’m the heroine saving farms from financial ruin and racism.
Who will save me from my loneliness?
I’m Too Busy.
I’m Too Hurt.
But it’s homecoming weekend and I really want to WINE Down.
Except now, my family’s farm is on the chopping block.
My best friend Riddick vows to fix it.
Because…
I’m the object of his affection.
And money is no object.
He wants me. But I don’t want anyone.
I’m too fractured to put the pieces back together again.
But it’s fun to feel Riddick try…

Riddick.

Dominating
South African
Billionaire
I’m the wealthy Restauranteur all the ladies love…
But I’m in love with my best friend.
Brandi doesn’t want my love, but she does need my help.
She will get more than she asks for.
I’ll destroy the past that’s haunting her.
I’ll own the present by pleasuring her.
I’ll design our future; healing her.
She will be mine, and her heart will no longer hide…

Will Brandi Wine Down long enough to let love rule?
Can Riddick save Brandi’s farm without killing their friendship?
Find out in this hot friends-to-lovers romance from Louise Lennox!

NOTE:
The Wine Down is a standalone, Friend to Lovers romance that is part of the multi-author series, Meet Cute Book Club series. Escape with this swoon-worthy collection of romances where meet-cutes don’t only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever after.


I fell in love with this story from the first page. Young love can feel so real and when it blows up it can be devastating. For Brandi, it changed the way she felt about dating and love in general.

Brandi grew from that experience, becoming a powerful attorney working to save black farm owners from being pushed off their property. Her inspiration to do this work comes from her grandparents struggle through so many difficult times. Her best friend Riddick has been her support from the moment they met in college.

Riddick has been Brandi’s best friend since college, their meet cute involves kittens. They’ve done a lot of things together and have their own traditions. One of those is New Year’s Eve, this past one Riddick didn’t kiss her, he wants more. He promises the next time he kisses her it will be the start of something.

Brandi has been fighting her own attraction to Riddick, she doesn’t want to lose her best friend if things go further. This becomes even more apparent as she’s preparing for the Meet Cute Book Club’s annual retreat that occurs during Homecoming at Abbott Ridge College, her Alma Mater. Seems everyone sees them together as a couple, well everyone but her.

Riddick on the other hand is having a meeting with his frat brother Byron at which he learns two things that throw him for a loop. First is that Byron was the man Brandi was getting over when they met and the second, is Brandi’s grandfather’s farm is in danger of falling to the man’s schemes.

The conversation he has with Brandi, is what changes his mind about coming to homecoming.

This is a favorite scene, but only part of that conversation.

My day just got better.

I slide into the driver’s seat and Riddick’s name flashes across my electric Audi Q5’ s LCD Dash. It’s crazy. Daphne and I were just talking about him and now he’s calling. I answer and slowly back out of the Ministry of Ink’s parking lot.

“And to what do I owe this honor, Mr. Kruger? I haven’t heard from you in over a week! You must need something.”

He laughs and my insides melt. No one laughs like Riddick Kruger. His sexy chuckle is a deep baritone filled rumble, and it holds a hint of danger and lust. The latter has a lot to do with his South African Accent. He sounds like a mix of Liam Hemsworth, Prince Harry, and Idris Elba. It’s the hottest sound on earth, “I always need you, Kitten. Did you miss me?”

I always miss you.

Riddick has called me kitten for as long as I’ve known him. It started as a joke. When we met, I kept two illegal kittens in my dorm room and the Resident Hall Director tried to make me get rid of them. But I lived with animals my entire life and I would not stop because of some stupid college dorm rules. I was coming out of my disaster of a relationship with Byron, and the kittens were my emotional support animals.    

Riddick stuck up for me at the dorm council meeting. He was on the housing panel because he was an RA. Just when I thought I’d lost my case, this man with a delicious accent stood up and defended me like I was his. He went on about the right to mental health support and mentioned that he ran my floor and has had no complaints.

After the meeting, I went to thank him, and he gave me tips on how to continue to keep the kittens unheard and unseen. He’s called me kitten ever since. How he’s turned such a simple word into the sexiest one on earth, I’ll never know. He pulls me apart piece by piece whenever he uses it.

“No! I didn’t miss you.” I answer too quickly.

Get it together Brandi!

“Hmmm,” Riddick hums. “It sounds like you did.”

I search for a witty comeback. “How can I miss a bugaboo that only calls when he needs something?”

Riddick laughs. “I see, well if you’re going to call me names, I will not tell you the information I have on your favorite foe, Byron Logan.”

Bastard. My douchebag of an ex is my sworn enemy and Riddick doesn’t even know the half of why, but I’d rather die than tell him about that stupid chapter of my life.

“OK Kruger, spill it.” I hear his sardonic smile over the phone. “Of course, he came into the restaurant talking big shit like he always does about our newest potential venture. You know Byron.”

I do know Byron. That’s why I take great pleasure whenever I knock him down a peg or two in court. He’s the most dishonorable real estate lawyer to walk the earth. But he is also Riddick’s line brother. Byron has helped Riddick secure most of the properties his six restaurants sit on. I try to respect the fact they’re friends on some level. But that doesn’t mean I have to like him. He’s a cheating creep that broke my heart. I’ve never told Riddick how we’re connected because I never wanted to expose him to my drama. It’s embarrassing. What happened between Byron, and I was the lowest point of my life. I was weak and out of control. Riddick doesn’t want to know that part of me. I knew Byron would never tell him because he was the villain in that story. Byron Logan isn’t talking about himself unless he’s bragging or showing himself in the best light. What he did to my family, and I was unforgivable.

Riddick continues, “He has his eyes on Edenton Shores. He offered me first dibs on the property, since I want to open an Abbott Ridge location. Of course, I declined, but he says your family is ready to sell.”

“The fuck they are,” I seethe. “My grandfather would never sell our land to someone as sleazy as Byron Logan. I know shit can’t be that bad on the farm.”

Can it? Work has kept me busy. I haven’t visited the farm in a while. If anything was truly wrong, I know my grandfather would call me. He’d rather die than sell to Byron. He hates him and the Logans as much as I do.

Riddick’s long pause rattles me. He always delivers bad news like I’m made of glass. One minor nervous breakdown my sophomore year and I’m forever “fragile” in his eyes.

“Kitten, he didn’t speak to your grandfather.” He sighs and pauses again. I provide the wait time he needs, trusting he’ll get there.  

“He’s been speaking with your cousin Mae.”

Fuckity, fuck, fuck!

“What!” I yell into the car. This time she’s gone too far. “Is she crazy?”  

She’s always up to some sneaky backhanded shit.  

“Riddick, you know as well as I do that she’s been financially draining the farm dry for the past ten years. I don’t know what the hell her problem is, but this time, we’re gonna fight!”

She’s due for a meeting with my foot up her ass.

Riddick produces another sexy chuckle and for a moment, I forget why I’m mad. “Calm down Kitten. I’m sure Mae has an explanation. Plus, how do we even know what Byron said about Mae is true? He could attempt to squeeze your family on his own. There’s no need for violence.”

I want to rage at him for being so stupid and trusting. Then I remember he has no clue how low Mae really can go. Hopefully, he’ll never find out.

“Pfft. The hell there isn’t. She’s going to tell me exactly what’s going on and what she’s up to, or I’m going to beat it out of her treacherous behind. She’s not selling our family’s legacy up from under us. And if she doesn’t listen to me, I’ll send Ciara. And we both know Mae doesn’t want that drama.”

Ciara’s crazy as hell. I may have a temper. But she goes nuclear with Mae. She’s been a thorn in our side for years.

I make a U-turn in the middle of the road; knowing it’s reckless, but I don’t care. Plus, nothing handles like an Audi. Anger rips through my body like a five-alarm fire.

“I’m heading over there right now.”

“Wait… What?” Riddick barks. His sexy chuckle is gone and replaced by his high-handed friend-the bark. “Brandilyn Julene Armstrong, you can’t go over there half-cocked. It’s just going to make things worse. Look, it’s Byron you’re mad at, not Mae.”

I snort. If only he knew. “Nope, I promise you, it’s Mae. I expect Byron to be an idiot. She should know better.”

Riddick Sighs. “Brandi, she’s your grandfather’s legal and financial representative. He trusts her. She practically runs that farm. If what Byron says is true, you need her on your side. Why don’t you pause and try to see what’s going on at Edenton Shores from her point of view? Maybe the farm is having some trouble. Better yet, just wait until I can come into town and I’ll go with you. You should approach this with a level head.”

I roll my eyes. Riddick is always talking that cooler heads prevail bullshit. I haven’t seen him in person for the better part of a year, and now he wants to volunteer to come down here to keep me in line? Fuck. That. Sometimes you need to fight.
Louise Lennox. The Wine Down (Kindle Locations 504-561). AfroChant Media LLC.

From the moment Riddick sees Brandi in person their relationship is on track to more and heats up quickly.

I loved the way all of these things get twisted and tangled in half-truths and misunderstandings and then slowly work out.

5 Contented Purrs for Louise!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Louise Lennox is a writer, rabble rouser, hopeful romantic, wife, and mother of the cutest dragons ever to walk the earth. A poet and a storyteller, she writes to give Black women a diverse presence on romance novel pages. As a voracious reader of contemporary romance, she often bemoans the lack of opportunities to see women like herself on the page. She’s here to fix that!

Her female characters are highly educated influencers always seeking to change the world around them. Her male characters are alphas committed to the responsibility of leading their homes and communities.

In a Louise Lennox novel sparks will fly; the sex will be amazing; and the characters will always leave the world better than they found it through their love. Her characters live by the lyrics: “I’m a movement by myself, But I’m a force when we’re together.”

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Rick’s Road – Terkel’s Team Book 5 by Dale Mayer


Rick’s Road
Terkel’s Team Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Stubborn was something Rick had been called a lot. Independent. A loner. All true but, once a powerful healer connects to bring him back from the brink of death, Rick is in danger of losing that control and that privacy he so values.

Cara understands Rick’s need to be alone, but it’s not likely possible any longer, and that isn’t something she’s ready to tell him. That and the value of the connection they now share is something he has to find out for himself.

And the sooner, the better, as the attacks on the team continue, their temporary headquarters under surveillance, and their much-vaulted skills nowhere in sight …

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If you haven’t read the other books in this series, go back and read them. These books are intricately entwined, and things only make sense if you follow the path from the beginning.

Rick was one of those hit hardest by the attack on Terkel’s team. It was so bad that Terk had to recruit some help. That help came in the form of a very special nurse, Cara.

As Rick comes out of his coma, he’s disoriented and doesn’t quite understand how badly he was injured or how much Cara has done to get him to this point.

The goal is to get him to the others, but he needs to get his strength back. Unfortunately, that plan gets changed quickly when their location is compromised. Cara wasn’t supposed to go with him, she was not supposed to be in danger.

The pick-up by the guys was a bit hairy and whether she wants to be a part of all this she kind of is.

This is a favorite scene.

“We’ll get you back safe and sound as soon as we can. I promise.”

She stared at him. “But you can’t really promise that, can you? Not honestly. That attack at the apartment was no fluke, and they were looking for you.”

“I think they were looking for any activity that would confirm that I was still alive. And, as each of us comes out of the coma,” he shared, “they’re hunting for the others even harder.”

She considered him for a moment, seeing and hearing some truth to his words. “It also explains why Terk is trying to bring people closer together geographically, so he can keep his energy focused on one area and not split apart,” she murmured.

“Yeah, that makes perfect sense,” Rick agreed. “Look. I don’t even know how much of this latest hunt by the bad guys had you as a target, but we don’t want anything to happen to you. Especially not after you were such a huge help to me.”

“Ah, so you’re really keeping me alive out of gratitude, huh?” she asked, with a cheeky grin.

He seemed startled by her comment; then he shook his head and froze. “I don’t even know how to take that. I mean, obviously I’m delighted that you’re not overwrought and crying like many women would be in this situation, but I certainly don’t want you to think that we’re taking any of this lightly.”

“No, I know that,” she said. “But, while I’m here, is there anything I can do? I need to be busy, and I’ll go stir crazy if I’m not.”

“A couple of us are putting together a meal right now.”

“Why you? Why are you not resting?” she asked, giving him a hard look.

“Because, like you, I felt like I needed to do something. Everybody else has already been living a life for the last few weeks, while I was under whatever coma you guys deemed safe for me,” he noted, with an eye roll. “I feel like I’m late to the mission, and now it feels like I have a lot to make up for.”

“I get it,” she stated, “but that doesn’t mean you need to do it all at once.”

He looked at her. “I know. Really I do, but, at the same time, it seems odd to be back in the land of the living and not doing anything. I was always a doer. I was always busy. I was involved pretty heavily. So to find the guys here are ahead of me in this, whatever the hell happened,” he explained, “it feels like I need to play catch up.”

She nodded. “So you go from being a coma patient to cooking dinner in what, two days?”

He smiled. “I did warn you that I heal fast.”

“There’s healing fast, and then there’s healing fast.”

“We’ll chalk it up to your skills then,” he teased, with a bright smile.

“You mean, to the energy work?”

“You and I will have to talk about that”—he gave her a hard look—“because I had no idea that you were doing anything.”

“So what difference does it make?” she asked.

With that, he shrugged, then attempted to turn and leave.

She hopped up, coffee in hand. “Let me help with dinner at least.”

“You could try just relaxing for once,” he suggested. “You worked hard looking after me.”

She smiled. “I don’t know how much hard work that was,” she murmured, “but I like to be busy.” He frowned, but she walked past him and out of the room. “If you guys are done with your private discussion,” Cara said, “then no reason why I can’t come out and join you, is there?”

Rick asked, “What private discussion?” But a note of humor was in his voice.

She looked at him and smiled. “Exactly.”

He laughed and walked her into the main computer room. “She doesn’t want to stay in her room,” he announced. “She wants to help.”

At that, one of the other women—Tasha, she thought—looked up and smiled. “Welcome back,” she said.

Cara smiled. “I figured if I gave you guys enough private time to have your secret talks, then maybe I would be welcome afterward.”

After that came a moment of silence, then Terk started laughing. “As if it’ll do any good with you.”

She smiled. “But at least it gives you the semblance of privacy.”

At that, Damon frowned. “I’m sorry, but we need to be filled in on exactly what’s going on here.”

Terk shrugged. “I asked her to look after Rick because of his particular state. She has energetic and healing abilities that he needed most desperately.”

“When you say that”—Rick stared, his gaze going from Cara to Terk—“was I in worse shape than the others?”

“No, not necessarily worse, but you were rattled in a different way. Each of you needed very different things. In your case, it was all about energy, and that’s what we were trying to preserve.”

“My senses?” he asked.

Terk nodded. “Yes, exactly. I’m not sure if that would have mattered to you that you still had your senses when you woke up, but I was pretty sure that it would impact your life forever to lose them permanently.”

“I never thought about it like that,” Rick admitted. “I just assumed we were all in the same boat.” He turned to look at Cara, as she sat nearby, studying the curious faces around her. “You told me that you owed Terk a favor.”

“He’d been a big help at one point in time in my life,” she stated. “So, when he called, I didn’t have any reason to turn him down, and it gave me the opportunity to pay him back.”

“And you do know that no payback was required,” Terk murmured.

She shrugged. “Not everybody sees a debt as a requirement to be paid,” she noted, “but, when somebody calls for help, it’s part of my nature to respond.”

“And that”—Terk nodded—“is quite accurate. She is a nurse and has a history of working with people in long-term comas.”

At that, Rick faced Cara. “You did mention something about that. When you looked after a patient, it could go either way.”

“Sure,” she agreed. “It all entirely depends on how much of their cord is still functioning and how much they actually are still invested.”

“And you can tell that?” Sophia asked, astonished.

She nodded. “In Rick’s case, his cord was already partially severed.”

Silence swept the room.
Dale Mayer. Rick’s Road (Kindle Locations 919-975). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

There’s more than a little attraction between Cara and Rick, but neither of them know if it’s real or a side-effect of the energy work she’d done on him.

Once again we run into more problems than fixes and the revelation that at least two others from the team have been calling out in the ethers adds a bit more complication.

Slowly these pieces start to come together as the group already awake heals more. For Rick and Cara, there is lots to overcome. Unfortunately, Cara has the key and Rick has to figure it all out.

I really can’t wait for the next book in 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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Jenner – The K9 Files Book 16 by Dale Mayer


Jenner
The K9 Files Book 16
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Heading to Ashland, Kentucky, where his ex-wife’s family lives, is not in Jenner’s plans anytime soon. But, given a War Dog is potentially in trouble, well, Jenner will even face his past. Arriving at a small bed-and-breakfast, he meets a woman more interesting than anyone he’d met in a long time. His job to find this missing dog seems like a long shot, until he learns about the B&B neighbor’s son and his pack of dogs, who have been scaring Kellie …

Kellie loves her bed-and-breakfast establishment, as much as she loves meeting new people, particularly when she doesn’t have a great relationship with many of the locals, who judged her harshly for a past mistake. Determined to enjoy life regardless, she tries to move on but finds it hard to leave her past behind. And now there’s her neighbor …

Having Jenner around makes Kellie feel more secure and gives her hope that maybe good people still exist in this world. Yet, before they can truly move forward, there is a canine issue, … and a neighbor with something else on his mind …

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Sisco, the War Dog Jenner is sent to find is also where his ex-wife lives in Ashland, Kentucky. He thought to maybe touch base with her, not so much for closure but maybe to take a look at the past and move forward.

He made a reservation at a bed and breakfast close to where the dog was last homed. Kellie the owner of the B&B, knows of the couple but they had died in a car accident. She recently had a scary encounter with the son’s dogs but didn’t report it not wanting issues with her new neighbor. She didn’t like the son and found him to be creepy and had on one occasion rang her bell late at night drunk.

Before dinner that first night, Jenner took a short walk to survey the place, but it just looked empty. In a bit of a twist, while he’s gone, his ex-wife shows up at the B&B looking to reserve rooms for her family when she gives birth. Kellie considers her a sort of friend, in that recommendations are good for business. She didn’t reveal that her current guest was Laura’s ex-husband though.

Jenner returned for dinner and they enjoyed each other’s company over the meal and spoke of both the B&B and his ex-wife, his family and the Navy. Then he called to give Badger an update on the situation with the War dog. After that conversation he decides to take another look at the house.

This is a favorite scene.

He lifted a hand and waved. “I’ll just head back down to take another look.”

She nodded. “Good enough, but remember I lock up at ten.”

“And if I’m later?”

She winced. “Well, hopefully you won’t be too much later, but it’s a typical bed-and-breakfast. I lock up for last time at eleven, but I prefer to lock up at ten.”

“Got it. I’ll try to be back by ten. If not, how about I call you?”

“Do that, please.” She gave him a grateful nod. “I hate locking up if everybody isn’t tucked up in their beds.”

He grinned at her. “I bet you’d make a great Santa Claus.” With that, he walked out and down to the house in question. As he wandered along the roadside, he saw nothing but lots of barns.

The house he wanted to check was blanketed in darkness; no vehicles were parked out front. The residence showed some disrepair, and yet, if the family hadn’t been gone for more than two months, it shouldn’t be showing this much, unless they’d had been living here under pretty rough conditions already.

He walked up to the front door and knocked. When no answer came, he called out, “Hello, hello.”

Still, there was no answer. Frowning, he walked down the full length of the big long veranda and looked in the windows. He saw absolutely no furniture, nothing. Frowning at that, he headed around to the back of the house, wondering if the guy had just gotten up in the middle of the night and had disappeared.

As Jenner walked around to the side of the house, he heard a faint cry. He followed the sound, calling out, “Hello,” and then came another faint cry. He followed it farther into the field and found a man crumpled on his back, down in a ditch. Jenner immediately raced to his side. “Hey.”

“Oh thank God,” the man cried out.

“Jesus. Are you okay?”

“No, I’m not okay.” He groaned. “I hate to say it, but I need an ambulance.”

Jenner noted that one leg was bent underneath him at an odd angle, but, even more so, he was missing the other leg. “Hang on,” he told him. “I’ll get you an ambulance. I would pick you up and move you, but I’m afraid about that leg.”

“I’ve been through so much already,” the other man said, gasping in pain. “Just get the ambulance. I don’t want to lose the other leg.”

“Got it,” he said. “I’ve got a prosthetic myself, so I understand.”

The guy looked at Jenner and then groaned again. “Jesus, the pain.”

“Can you tell me what happened?” Jenner asked, as he quickly put through the phone call. With that done, he looked at the other man. When he didn’t answer his question, Jenner asked again quite forcefully. “Can you tell me what happened?”

“I came over here to look at my parents’ place,” he replied. “I hadn’t been here for a while. I was in surgery, trying to get the leg fixed, but it’s been a rough couple months since my parents died.” He gasped at the pain again. “There was … some guy here, with a whole pile of dogs. I was supposed to come here and look after and take care of the place, but the surgeries held me back.”

“You are the son?” Jenner asked.

The guy looked at him and said, “Yeah. My parents owned this place since forever. I was raised in this house. But some asshole was living here, and, when I confronted him about it, we ended up in a hell of a fight, which I, of course, completely lost. It was stupid. Emotions got the better of me, but he knocked me out. What I should have done was to just bring in the cops and have him arrested.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Jenner muttered. “I’m staying at the B&B up the road. She thought the other guy was the son though.”

“I haven’t been here in years,” he explained. “I don’t really have a whole lot to do with this place, since I went into the military and got injured. Now I was hoping to come home and to look after it and to have a place for me that maybe, if I could get it wheelchair accessible, … I could actually live here again. It is mine, but this squatter took over the place, and then he dumped me in the back here.”

“And it looks like he’s buggered off too.”

“Good,” he muttered, “although I would sure as hell like to know what the heck he was doing here.”

“I gather he’s been here for quite a few weeks too.”

The guy stared at him in shock. “Jesus. I sure as hell hope he didn’t cause any damage, and, if he’s gone now, that’s great.”

“I looked in the living room window, and it looks like all the big pieces have been cleaned out. Saw some papers on the floor. Don’t know whether that was wrapping paper to move the stuff or some documents. How long have you been here in the ditch?”

He shook his head. “I don’t know. Overnight for sure.”

“Jesus, well, I’m glad I found you now.”

“I tried to drag myself forward,” he noted, “then I kind of slid into the ditch. The damn leg.”

“Hey, don’t worry about it. You’ll be fine now,” Jenner told him.

“The squatter might have been moving out already,” he guessed. “I don’t know. When I saw him, he had a big truck here.”

Jenner nodded. “It looks to be cleaned out right now. Let’s get you fixed up, and then we can sort it out.” He asked him gently, “So your parents?”

The guy nodded. “Yeah”—gasping in agony—“what about them?”

“I understand that they died in a car accident.”

“Yes,” he confirmed, “that’s what I just said.”

“Right, and they had a War Dog, didn’t they?”

The guy looked at Jenner and then nodded slowly. “Yeah, they did. Why?”

“Because I’m here on behalf of the war department, wondering what happened to the dog. Somebody did a welfare check, and there was a problem.”

“Yeah, my parents died,” he snapped, “but I’m not even sure what happened to the dog.”

“Apparently the bed-and-breakfast owner, Kellie, didn’t see one like it around.”

“It may have taken off on its own, without my parents here. Maybe one of the neighbors stole it. I don’t know what happened, but I’ll find out. I am so sorry. I didn’t realize that they had any animals left to even look after, and I was caught up in the hospital, so I wasn’t exactly doing much about it. The sheriff did say that he didn’t see any animals on the premises.”

“Interesting,” Jenner murmured.

“Right,” the son noted. “Honestly, I have no clue. One more thing to get to the bottom of, while wondering if I can get back on my feet.”

In the distance Jenner heard the sirens. “Or first off, you need to look after you. Once I point the EMTs in your direction, I’ll take a look around, see if the War Dog’s here, if you don’t mind.”

“Yeah, please do.” He hesitated and then added, “I don’t know if you’ve got a few minutes, but could you do an inventory, let me know if there’s anything to come home to?”

“Sure will. At least I’ll go in and take some photos.” He quickly got the guy’s phone number, so he could tag him later. “Let’s get you taken care of first.” With that, he raced to the driveway, directed the ambulance to the back, where they came and found him. Jenner asked the son, “What’s your name?”

“Jim. Call the sheriff too, will you?”

“Will do,” Jenner replied. “Where’s your phone?”

“No clue. I think I lost it on the ground, where I started dragging myself, and I didn’t have the energy to get back there.”

“I’ll go take a look.” Following Jim’s rough directions, even as the ambulance drove closer to Jim, Jenner found the phone by ringing it with his own. It had been left out in the elements, but it was still here. He raced back to the ambulance and handed it to him. “At least now you have a phone.”

“Great, I’ll call the sheriff myself.”

“You do that, and I’ll contact you after I’ve been through the house.”
Dale Mayer. Jenner (Kindle Locations 504-570). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Finding the real owner of the house in a ditch adds a real big twist to this tale. The Sheriff is also a piece of work as he confirms he hadn’t seen the dog when he checked on the house after Jim’s parents died.

More of a concern is when Jenner does locate the dog, and it appears he’s attached to a pack. He’s protective of one of the dogs but seems to be very watchful of the leader.

There are more than a few twists in this book and I love the way things turn out for everyone involved.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

covers

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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Suddenly Hired – Suddenly Love Book 2 by Carmen Falcone


Suddenly Hired
Suddenly Love Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Carmen Falcone

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When Poppy storms into Ethan’s office, she has a clear goal in mind: she’ll convince him to sponsor her podcast in exchange for advertising his upcoming entertainment complex. But, she didn’t count on the super-hot yet calculating man to be so stubborn, or his surprising and unexpected offer. If she babysits his unruly kids for two months, he’ll give her what she wants. After raising her two brothers, she doesn’t want any commitment—but this isn’t an offer she can refuse if she wants a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a name for herself.

Single dad Ethan needs a reliable nanny, if he wants to earn a bonus that’ll be his ticket to opening his own consulting firm and finally be able to spend time with his emotionally neglected family. But no one in New York City sticks with taking care of his kids. When an impulsive red-haired woman schemes her way into his office, he’s surprised at how resourceful she is. Not to mention gorgeous. She’s desperate for a chance, and he’s willing to give it to her—if she helps him out.

The fiery attraction pulsing between them boils over and they have to choose—when the two months are up, will she finally fulfill long awaited dreams in the big city or embark on an instant family lifelong adventure?

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The one thing Poppy Jones isn’t is subtle. She is determined to get her chance launching her podcast in this new entertainment venue. To do that she spills her drink on the assistant guarding his door.

Ethan Sterling, on the other hand, already has a situation he’s trying to handle before a big meeting with his boss. His nanny quit right after picking up his children at school and his driver brought them to his office. He can’t afford to mess this up, the bonus for getting this project completed on time would mean more time for his children.

In a twist of fate, Poppy is going to get her chance, the hook, be his nanny until the end of this project. He’d build her a booth in the venue and she’d get her dream.

This is a favorite scene.

“Poppy Jones,” she said, glancing behind her shoulder, then closing the door of his office and at last, looking at him. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve been meaning to talk to you for a while.

He picked his brain, trying to place her name. He usually remembered the ones important to him. To his career as a regional director in Kyle Entertainment. But hers didn’t ring any bells. “I’m sorry. Where do we know each other from? I don’t see anything on my calendar,” he said smoothly, hiding his impatience. She could be working for Kyle and he just didn’t know. Why would she just barge into his office? She had to have a fucking good reason.

She worried her lower lip. A deliciously plump lip. “Oh. We haven’t met yet. I’ve tried. You’re hard to get.”

“You can say that again,” Willow said under her breath, rolling her eyes.

“I like your hair,” Archie said, stepping toward Poppy.

“Thank you,” Poppy said, touching the bouncing waves, and flashing him a smile. “I’m sorry for barging in, but I’ve been trying to get hold of you for months, and I’m not backing away now. Mr. Sterling, I have the perfect marketing opportunity for you. I’m an up-and-coming podcaster, and—”

He waved her off, impatience getting under his skin. Was she seriously cold calling him on the most important day of his career? “Contact Marketing.”

“I’ve tried, for a couple months.”

Not my problem, he wanted to say. He glanced at his son, who still seemed entranced by the stranger. “How did you get in here?”

“I, hmm, accidentally spilled coffee on your assistant and she rushed to the restroom to clean up. So I thought, hey why not be time conscious and take advantage of this opportunity? I promise I’ll be quick. And even if I take a long time, it’ll sound like a breeze to you.”

More like a thunderstorm. He shook his head. Who the hell was this person? “Accidentally?”

She tossed her hair to the side. “It was iced coffee, in my defense. I apologized profusely,” she said, gesturing with her hands. “Anyway, please listen—”

“Get out,” he said, pointing at the door. Out of all the things he didn’t need today, dealing with this woman was definitely one of them. How did she get past security in the lobby? He narrowed his eyes at her. She probably had a way to get things done.

“Jeez, Dad, kicking her out isn’t very nice,” his daughter said, choosing a bad time to be polite. A part of him knew Willow only intervened because she’d sensed he didn’t want to waste his time with Poppy.

“Neither is soliciting without permission.”

“You always tell us we should listen more,” Archie said. “And be polite.”

“See? Listen to these adorable kids. They’re the future, right?” Poppy chimed in, smiling like he’d given her the go-ahead. “Once I tell you my idea, I guarantee you’ll change your mind.”

Jesus. “Listen, door-to-door person, I give you—”

“Ethan,” said the voice belonging to the one person he wanted more time before he had to meet. Branson Kyle. The man walked into his office, his icy gaze taking in his children and the red-haired woman. “Am I interrupting you?”

Fuck. Ethan fell into the smooth talker role again, feeling his features soften, willing the frustration away from his expression. “Not at all, Mr. Kyle. I was expecting to meet you soon, and—”

“I prefer to surprise and show up earlier sometimes. To see what you’ve all been up to,” he said. “I see your children are still a lively presence in the office,” he said, with a tone of sarcasm. “I thought the last screw-up had taught you a lesson.”

Fuck. He had to take the kids out of sight as soon as possible, otherwise the cranky old fool would assume that Ethan’s life was still drowned in personal chaos. He needed the bonus money at the end of this project—the only way to finally recover control over his life again, and bury the past once and for all. Of course he’d miss the company perks, including the company driver, five-star vacations and help with the children’s snooty school tuition. They’d invested in him. But he could no longer lack control of his own life. His children needed him, and with his own firm, he’d set his own hours. He’d spend more time with his kids, and once this opening was over, he’d need no more nannies. “Not at all. They came in to say hello,” Ethan blurted. “The nanny showed up, but they’re on their way out.”

Willow and Archie exchanged a look, but didn’t say anything.

The annoying, pushy woman didn’t either, and thankfully she’d been quiet at the right time. He didn’t need Branson to know that his life was still messy, that the reason why he’d dropped a few balls in the past months still existed.

If he didn’t turn things around, he’d be toast.

He wouldn’t be able to open his own firm, and he’d still live in the crazy loop of disappointment his life had become.

He’d get to spend even less time with his kids, much less enjoy them. Then again, when was the last time he enjoyed anything? He’d been an endless pit of resentment and guilt.

“Dad, I’m hungry,” Archie said.

“I’ll take the kids to the cafeteria downstairs,” Poppy said. “C’mon kiddos.”

He walked up closer to her, and whispered in her ear, “Don’t let them out of your sight. My assistant Laurel will take them from you when she’s back.”

“Deal.”

He hoped he knew what he was doing… because he’d just trusted a complete stranger.
Carmen Falcone. Suddenly Hired: Suddenly Love, Book 2 (Kindle Locations 101-147). Kindle Edition.

Once Poppy agrees to his terms, she has to move into his place in order to keep up with the children’s schedules.

It’s right before they all go on a company retreat that things really heat up in more ways than one.

I love the interactions with Poppy, Willow and Archie. They are definitely a handful. Ethan recognizes that and doesn’t want them to be disappointed when Poppy leaves them.

This is a fun, romantic and kindle melting read!

5 Contented Purrs for Carmen!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Carmen Falcone

Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters beat doing math homework any day. Brazilian by birth and traveler by nature, she moved to Central Texas after college and met her broody Swiss husband–living proof that opposites attract.

She found in writing her deepest passion and the best excuse to avoid the healthy lifestyle everyone keeps talking about. When she’s not lost in the world of romance, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, being walked by her three crazy pugs, reading, catching up with friends, and chatting with random people in the checkout line.

She loves to procrastinate, so please indulge her and drop her a line. For more info, visit her website.


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Kittens & Kisses – Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 3 by Melissa McClone


Kittens & Kisses
Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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Can a chance meeting
open a grieving heart to love?

Widow Missy Hanford buried her heart with her Marine husband. She spends her time baking cupcakes, rescuing animals, and staying out of jail. When abandoned kittens bring a handsome sheriff’s deputy into her life, Missy’s friends tell her to give love a second chance. But she’d rather help the four women deal with their issues:

Nell’s dating the wrong guy to keep her mom from meddling; Selena’s dividing her time between friends in her hometown and her husband in Seattle; Bria’s piecing together the secrets she’s uncovered, and Juliet’s trying to forge a life on her own.

Now, more than ever, the Cupcake Posse will need to rely on their friendship to support each other. As answers only bring more questions, they must face hard truths about life, family, and love as they work to save their beloved small-town bakery.

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If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, STOP, go back and read them. This book begins where the last one ended.

Bria and Declan have traveled up the coast to find the evidence that her father says will clear him of the arson charge against him. What they find is quite the shock for Bria. This discovery also impacts Declan although he doesn’t know that at the time.

Juliet is worrying about Lulu who has to stay at the vet at least overnight, now with Bria staying in Wishing Bay she’s alone and worrying more. When her neighbor and vet Roman shows up with his daughter Katie and a pumpkin, she’s grateful for the task and the company.

Missy is struggling and really missing her late husband. Even though it’s been nine years, it still hits her hard now and again. The cupcake shop fire which injured her has also left her with limited ways to combat her loss and anxiety. The creation of new recipes and baking has always been her go to way to cope. The other was working at the animal rescue, but even that is on hold as her foot heals from the burns. She’s more than happy with her foster cats Mario and Peach to keep her company, even though her friends and sister-in-law think she should expand her horizons.

When Sabina calls about possible kittens she jumps at the opportunity to do something. Unfortunately, she doesn’t think things through all the way and ends up trapped in a dumpster without her phone in pouring rain.

Then there’s Nell’s brilliant plan to keep her mother off her back about marriage is sort of dating Gage. However, she’s also keeping him at a bit of a distance by having Welles the paramedic who is her neighbor and has a crush on her join them on their adrenaline filled adventures.

When Sam Cooper gets the call that there’s an emergency at the closed market he didn’t expect what he finds. Missy’s car is there with the headlights on, but no sign of Missy. That is until he hears her call out.

This is a favorite scene.

He turned into the Berry Lake Market’s parking lot. The place appeared deserted, but he made a slow pass in front of the entrance— no flashes of light or movement inside.

Better check the other side.

He rounded the corner and slammed on the brake.

A car parked haphazardly, which might count as an emergency. The doors were closed, but the headlights shone toward the recycle and garbage bins.

Not a raccoon.

A thief wouldn’t announce their presence, unless they weren’t very smart, so dumpster diving, perhaps. But that didn’t count as an emergency. And he saw no one around the bins.

Sam typed the vehicle’s plates into the mobile data computer and waited.

Information popped onto the MDC’s screen.

He did a double take. Rubbed his neck.

Missy Hanford’s car.

What was it doing here? And where was she?

His pulse kicked up a notch. Sam surveyed the area but saw no movement. Sure, the headlights didn’t illuminate everything, but nothing moved.

A band around his chest tightened. He closed his eyes and counted to ten. That loosened the pressure.

Sam opened his eyes.

He hadn’t seen Missy in years. Nine, if he were counting, which he wasn’t. But he’d avoided her whenever he returned home for the holidays and later to watch Josh during his first year of sobriety. Sam never went into the cupcake shop.

It wasn’t Missy’s fault.

His silly schoolboy crush on her was to blame.

Not that she even noticed him.

Nope.

Her heart belonged to Rob Hanford, Sam’s teammate on the wrestling team. Great guy, but Sam used to tease Rob endlessly about being crazy in love with Missy. The guy never denied it, which sucked then. Man, jealousy had burned badly. Sam would have traded places with Rob in an instant.

And then an IED killed Rob.

Instantaneously, according to Charlene Culpepper, who knew most things that happened in town.

Sam’s first thought hadn’t been about the loss of his friend. Nope. He’d wondered how long to let Missy grieve before he made his move.

Pathetic.

No, disgusting.

One thing had been clear to Sam.

He didn’t deserve Missy.

Which was why he hadn’t stepped foot in the cupcake shop. He’d never sought her out. He hadn’t even sent her a condolence card. And now…

Had her vehicle been stolen? If so, he wouldn’t have to see her. Though Berry Lake was small, so he might not be able to put that off forever.

“On location, Unit Three?”

The radio sprang to life, the dispatcher’s voice shaking Sam out of his head and the past.

“On site,” he called in. “Missy Hanford’s car is here. But no sign of her.”

“Sabine Culpepper called it in. She lost contact with Missy, who’s on a rescue mission.”

“Repeat that?”

“Sabine asked Missy to go to the market for an animal rescue. Someone dumped kittens.”

“Knowing that would have helped.”

“Sabine’s first call dropped after she said there was an emergency at the market. Got more information after she bought a phone charger, but you beat us there.”

Life in a small town.

That didn’t keep him from touching his revolver. Sam never wanted to have to draw a gun on anyone again.

He swallowed.

“Copy that.” Sam parked his patrol car and shrugged on his rain jacket. “Exiting the vehicle now.” He slid out of the car. Rain poured off the brim of his hat.

“Someone out there?” a shaky voice asked from either the recycle bin or the garbage can.

Not any voice.

Missy’s.

He’d recognize it anywhere.

Sam ran. Three milk crates sat in front of the recycle bin. A phone lay in a puddle. “Missy?”

“Help.” Her voice sharpened, cracked.

His heart slammed against his rib cage. “It’s Sam Cooper. Deputy Cooper. I’ll get you out.”

He peered over the edge. Rain had soaked Missy from head to toe. Shivering, she leaned the upper part of her body over the top of a cardboard box she clutched.

“I-I found kittens. T-They’re wet.” Her teeth chattered. “Need to get them to the animal clinic fast.”

“You’re freezing.” Sam removed his raincoat and covered Missy with it. Raindrops pelted him, but his vest would keep him from getting drenched. “We need to get you to the hospital.”

“The animal clinic.”

They would discuss where Missy would go after she was out of the rain. He rearranged the milk cartons and stacked them to be sturdier. “Are you injured?”

“No. Not really. The kittens…”

Not really didn’t tell him much. Climbing into the bin in the dark was dangerous.

He stepped onto the crates and peered down.

Missy covered the box, he assumed full of kittens, with his coat.

Of course, she did. She’d loved animals in high school and volunteered for Sabine then.

She lifted the box toward him. “Put them in your car.”

“I need to get you out first.”

“They’re only hours old. Fragile.”

Her pleading tone blanked him, tugging at his heart as if trying to wake the organ after a winter hibernation.

What is going on?

After all these years, he should be over her.

Wait. He was over her.

“Please,” she added.

Grrrr. Sam took the box, ran to his car, and put the cats in the back seat. He turned the heater on full blast, grabbed the raincoat, and sprinted to the recycle bin.

He was back at the dumpster in a split second, and he wasn’t even winded. His brother might be the famous jock in the family, but Sam held his own, which had helped him graduate second in his class at the police academy.

He scooped up the phone from the puddle and tucked it into his pocket. “The kittens are in the car where it’s warmer.”

“Thanks.” The same green eyes that had haunted his dreams since he was fourteen met his. His heart thudded.

Hold it together, Cooper. You still have a job to do.

Training kicked in. Her face was scratched, covered in blood and water unless she’d been crying.

His gut twisted. He covered her shoulders with his coat. It would keep her from getting wetter. “Let’s get you out of here.”

She shivered again. “T-Thank you for coming. I didn’t think anybody would hear me.”
Melissa McClone. Kittens & Kisses (Kindle Locations 1167-1247). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Sam does so much more than just rescue her and the kittens. These two have a spark but they both ignore it.

As this tale unfolds, so does the romance. A couple on rocky ground and one just beginning. There are lots of twists here and not a lot of resolutions.

With an OMG ending, I can’t wait for the next book!

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

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Coming Soon!

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!