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Fall For Me – Cowboys of Crested Butte Book 1 By Heather Slade


Fall For Me
Cowboys of Crested Butte Book 1
By
Heather Slade

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A guitar player looking for redemption.
A widow needing a second chance at love.
Fall hard for the rock star and the cowgirl…

OLIVIA

Barrel racing competitively was my dream, but my heart took me elsewhere, into the arms of a F15 pilot, forever—or so I thought. Fate had other plans, leaving me alone, raising our daughter, widowed and broken. Now, years later, back on the ranch, cranky and bored, I need more, want more. And when Ben Rice’s music reignites my fire, he’s all I can think about, all I want. But why would a rock star fall for a cowgirl like me?

BEN

Hard work, dedication, and talent, got me where I am, climbing the Billboard music charts, following my dreams. But when Olivia Fairchild shows up in my life, my dreams, my fantasies, my desires, start to shift. I can’t give her what she wants, what she deserves, now I need to make sure, she doesn’t FALL FOR ME.

Ben Rice lead singer/guitarist of the band CB Rice met Olivia after their performance at Red Rocks. He spotted her in the audience and sang to her.

Olivia ‘Liv’ Fairchild was at the concert at Red Rocks with her daughter Renie, her best friend Paige and Paige’s daughter Blythe. Much teasing occurred as Ben crooned his songs to her. It’s after the band left the stage that things got more interesting.

The seats the friends had scored for the concert were next to the VIP section and that’s where Ben and his band settled after their set to watch the rest. For Ben though he only had eyes for Olivia.

When he introduces himself after the concert we see just how clueless Liv is about flirting.

This is a favorite scene.

The second band began to play, and soon everyone in the ten-thousand-person audience was on their feet, dancing and singing along.

“Look.” Renie pointed to Liv’s left.

She looked up at the large rock formation, expecting to see something projected on it. “What?”

“Not up there. There.” Renie pointed again to the VIP area, where CB and his band were seated.

When Liv looked over, CB was looking right at her, just like he had been while onstage. Warmth traveled up her cheeks, and she looked away. A few minutes later, she looked back. His eyes still rested on her; this time he smiled and winked.

“Hey, you.” Paige smiled when Liv scooted closer, putting Renie and Blythe between her and the ropes.

“Mom’s hiding from CB Rice.”

Paige leaned back.

“Don’t look,” Liv gasped.

“Why not?”

“He’s been staring at her all night,” Blythe groaned.

“Shh…” the people behind them whispered again, which only made Liv and Paige giggle.

When the second band’s set ended, Liv sneaked a peek at the VIP area, disappointed that she didn’t see any members of CB Rice.

“You were ignoring him, so he went home,” Renie smirked.

Liv rolled her eyes.

Soon, the third band took the stage, and the audience went wild. Liv forgot all about CB and his band as she danced and sang along for the rest of the two-hour show.

Too soon it seemed, the band played their encore, and the audience slowly began making their way to the exits.

“Wait,” Liv heard someone yell.

“Mom, stop.”

When Liv turned around, CB was standing right behind her.

He smiled. “Hi.”

“Uh, hi.”

“What’s your name?”

Liv looked around. “Me?”

CB laughed. “Yeah, you.”

“Liv,” she answered, and then turned back around. “And this is my friend, Paige, my daughter, Renie, and Paige’s daughter, Blythe.”

He bent to see around Liv. “I’m Ben Rice. Nice to meet you.” He waved, and then rested his gaze back on her. “Thanks for coming to the show tonight, Liv.”

“You’re welcome. Um…well…nice to meet you, um…Ben” Liv pushed past Paige. “Come on, let’s go.”

“Nice to meet you.” Paige waved and followed Liv, who was already beyond the end of the row, near the exit.

“What has gotten into you?” Paige asked when they got in the car.

“Nothing. Why?”

“You weren’t very polite to him, Mom.”

“What are you talking about?”

“He was flirting with you.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Liv murmured and turned up the volume on the stereo.
Slade, Heather. Cowboys of Crested Butte Boxed Set Volume 1. Kindle Locations (183-208). Sparrow Publishing. Kindle Edition.

This isn’t the only time Ben is going to run into Liv and that becomes the catalyst for a interesting relationship.

Liv’s daughter Renie is heading to college, and every moment she can spend with her is special. Skiing they run into Ben again with his sons, and then Ben once more in Las Vegas for a Charity Concert. While Ben takes this as an omen, Liv decides she has to find herself as Liv before she can even think about a relationship.

Lots of Laughter, Tears and Some Sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Collection Books 1-5!

Individually!

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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Stone Cold Queen – Sick Boys Book 2 By Lucy Smoke


Stone Cold Queen
Sick Boys Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Lucy Smoke

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Rule No. 2: Show no fear.

They’re vile and twisted.

The only thing more fucked up than the Sick Boys is me, and I’m ready to show them.

The Sick Boys are hiding something from me. They want to pretend like I didn’t kill my rapist and they didn’t help. But we’re not ordinary college students, that much has become clear to me, and I’m growing tired of all of the lies and secrets.

Their masks are cracking and finally, I’m starting to see the grotesque reality underneath. It’s far darker than I ever expected, and it’s not enough. They know everything about me, so now it’s my turn. I fear nothing. Not them. Not the man that I killed or the people who set me up.

Fear is for the weak and I, Avalon Manning, am anything but.

Once again the prologue to this book is from a chapter later in this book. Reading as fast as you can is the only option here.

We start this book with a look back at Dean at the age of 12. Followed by Ava at the fight club again, much to Dean’s dismay. She’s not going to let him rule her life and she will find out who was behind the attack on her.

They’re all back at school and Ava is still rooming with Rylie. Both of them are program students who are expected to eventually work for the Eastpoint founders. She wants nothing to do with Dean and the others, they however have other plans. Rylie shows a sensitivity unusual for her and there appears to be the beginning of a friendship.

Dean never seems to take no for an answer and their first class is no exception.

This is a favorite scene.

I see them the second I enter class. They’re already there, as if they’ve been waiting for me. Dean lifts his hand and crooks a single finger my way. With the shittiest smile I can muster, I lift my own hand and present him with my middle finger—right there in front of all his subjects and his best friends—and then proceed to stomp towards one of the front rows, as far from him as possible. I should’ve known it wouldn’t work to keep him away.

Less than a minute after I’ve taken my seat, a bag drops down in the seat next to me, and Dean slides in. I stand, only to stop when Braxton rounds the other side of the long, narrow table and takes a seat next to me. I don’t have to look back to know that Abel’s behind me.

“Haven’t we done this before?” I snap.

“And what happened that time?” Dean asks, but it’s a rhetorical question.

It’s almost a routine now. They’ve been giving me space since we got back, but I guess after last night, that little reprieve is over. My ass slumps back into the seat and if the professor, Dr. Douglas, notices how close they’re all sitting or the fact that all of the other students avoid the front rows like the plague, she doesn’t say anything. None of them ever will.

The class drags by, the teacher droning on. Today’s not even a real class day. As finals grow nearer, every class seems to be in the review phase as we prep for the real test. Halfway through the class period, Dean leans over and glances at my open notebook.

“When do your exams end?” he asks.

Tapping the ballpoint of my pen against the paper and imagining it as a knife I’m stabbing into his neck over and over again, I ignore him. His arm falls across the back of my seat, and I stiffen as he moves closer—close enough that I can feel the heat of his breath on my cheek. That doesn’t bother me nearly so much as his lips when they press to the outline of my jaw and slide up to my ear.

“Keep ignoring me if it makes you feel better, baby,” he whispers hotly, and before I can drum up a response or the energy to punch him in the face, he takes the lobe of my ear and bites down hard. An unintentional gasp slips out, and Dr. Douglas stumbles in her words, her eyes growing wide as she sees what he’s doing. Instead of scolding him, though, she simply turns back to the rest of the class and keeps going. I press my thighs together as Dean releases my lobe and laves the hurt he caused with his tongue. The feel of the little barbell pierced through the center of his tongue scrapes against my skin, making me close my eyes. “But you should know that I will do any number of deliciously wicked things to get you to notice me.”

My hand clenches around my pen so desperately and so hard, I feel the plastic cracking under my grip. “Stop,” I order.

He laughs quietly, a soft puff of air against my ear, but he’s made his point. I acknowledged him and that’s what he wanted. Still, he leaves his arm over the back of my seat as I try, in vain, to focus on anything other than his nearness. Flashes of that one time I’d given into him scroll across my brain. Hot sweat-slicked skin brushing against one another. His mouth, open and trailing down my chest to my nipples, to my stomach, and then farther until…

“That’ll be all, students,” Dr. Douglas announces the end of class, and as soon as the words reach me, I’m up and out of my seat, shoving my shit into my bag and shouldering past Brax towards the door.

“Hold up there, lil’ savage,” Braxton calls out, and before I can even reach the safety of the hallway, his arm is over my shoulders, and he’s dragging me back.

I let out an animalistic growl, and he pulls back, holding his hands up in defense. It’s too fucking late, though. Eyes follow my every movement and theirs. Everyone sees it—how I act with them and how they act with me. Anyone else might be nervous. They know the worst sins I’ve ever committed. They know every fucked-up detail of what happened to me two weeks ago, and were they ever to tell anyone … I’d be well and truly fucked. And not in the fun way.

Then again … I eye the three of them as I adjust my bag over my shoulder. I’m not stupid. There’s a good fucking reason why I’m not nervous and it’s because I know they won’t tell anyone. Even if they hadn’t meant to, what I’d seen when I’d woken up had revealed to me more than the months I’d spent at this godforsaken school ever had. They may be rich. They may be powerful. They may be the All-American jocks who are already set for life, but I know better.

They tortured Roger Murphy before I killed him. They did it like they had done the same thing a thousand times before. Easily. Without remorse. And if I was reading the three of them right, they liked it.

“What do you want now?” I demand after the rest of the students and Dr. Douglas have left the classroom.

“We’re throwing a party this weekend,” Dean says. “You’re coming.”

I laugh in his face. “No,” I say, turning away from them, “I’m not.”

“It’s either you show up on your own, princess,” Abel says. “Or we’ll come pick you up and make you.”

I stop at the door and glance over my shoulder with a nasty grin. “I remember the last time you made me come to one of your dumb parties, Frontman,” I reply, letting my eyes drift down to the front of his jeans. “You really want to repeat that experience?”

He scowls at me, and my grin widens. Dean steps forward, interrupting our silent battle. One of his hands slams against the wooden frame of the exit, and he leans close until I can smell him—every annoying masculine inch of him that I don’t want to admit turns me on. “You want to know more about me, baby?” he asks. I blink, confused and suspicious. I tilt my head up as I stare at him with narrowed eyes. “Then come to the party. Get me drunk enough, and I’ll tell you anything you wanna know.” His other hand touches my side, making me jump slightly and then scowl at my own reaction as his fingers slip under my top and rub against my skin. “Anything, baby.”

I open my mouth to tell him to fuck off, but he silences me with a hard kiss. His lips slam against mine, so goddamn hot it’s like they’re searing into me. It’s the first kiss since … and for some odd reason, I don’t hate it. No. I hate him, but I don’t hate this. I bite down on his lower lip when I’ve had enough, and he backs away with a low groan.

“Don’t push your luck, D-man,” I snap, turning and slamming out of the classroom without a second glance.
Smoke , Lucy . Stone Cold Queen (Sick Boys Book 2). Kindle Locations (481-533). Kindle Edition.

We meet Dean’s father at his office on campus in this book. Nicholas Carter is a formidable man and a lot colder than Dean. He’s also got a lot of secrets.

Ava gets Rylie to attend the party under protest. That’s going to be a theme with these two. Dean also has some plans of his own and he goes about it in a devious way.

There is so much going on here, Ava’s mother Patricia shows up in this one, there’s more with Kate, Corina, and Luc.

With an unlikely friendship is forming between Ava, Abel and Brax, the kindle melting heat between Ava and Dean, plus OMG moments that made me glad the next book had just come out.

5 Contented Purrs for Lucy!

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Coming Soon!

  Lucy Smoke

Lucy Smoke, also known as Lucinda Dark for her fantasy works, has a master’s degree in English and is a self-proclaimed creative chihuahua. She enjoys feeding her wanderlust, cover addiction, as well as her face, and truly hopes people will stop giving her bath bombs as gifts. Bath’s get cold too fast and it’s just not as wonderful as the commercials make it out to be when the tub isn’t a jacuzzi.

When she’s not on a never-ending quest to find the perfect milkshake, she lives and works in the southern United States with her beloved fur-baby, Hiro, and her family and friends.

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Wild Hearts – Lady Boss Press Navy SEAL Collection by Cala Riley


Wild Hearts
Lady Boss Press Navy SEAL Collection
By
Cala Riley

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Shane

Shane wants it all. She wants marriage, kids, and the white picket fence.

The problem?

She can’t seem to find a guy to accept her for who she is. Instead of make-up and fake eyelashes, she is all about the adventure of skydiving, whitewater rafting, and anything between. Then she meets Mick. He’s different from the rest. He isn’t looking for a barbie to mold. Could he be the fairytale ending she has always looked for?

Mick

As a seal, Mick is always on the move. In and out of war zones, seeing the worst in the world. He promised himself that he would always say yes to the adventure. Always answer that call.

When his seal brother needs help at home, he goes to offer a hand. What he didn’t expect was the feisty little thing running the family adventure business. Or the feelings she seems to invoke within him. Is he truly ready to slow down or are they destined for heartache?

Note:
Wild Hearts is part of Kristen Proby’s With Me in Seattle Universe.

This book opens with Aiden ‘Mick’ McKenzie and Josh ‘Striker’ Pierson on a training mission. They are about to jump and Striker is not himself. He’s restless and thinking hard.

Apparently his sister Shane who runs the family ranch and adventure business is having trouble finding help for the summer months. Things on the ranch are getting behind including repairs. Striker is going to take a month leave to help her and immediately Mick offers to come give a hand.

Mick is also getting ready to leave the teams, he hasn’t given a whole lot of thought to what he’s going to do once he’s out. He figures he can figure it out later.

When they touch down in Rifle, Colorado Striker’s best friend Luke meets them at the airport and Mick gets an amusing string of texts from his family. When Mick first walks into Striker’s family home he feels a kind of rightness not only of the place but also within himself.

Of course Striker didn’t tell Shane he was coming home so the first glimpse Mick gets of her is all messy and sweaty from a day of hiking with a gun in her hand.

Shane is struck by how good looking Mick is and really wants to get to know him better. She’s also friends with his mother. Mick’s mom Nina found Shane’s number in Striker’s room during one of her cleaning and stocking the fridge visits to their apartment.

I love the way this story progresses, from Striker’s reaction to Shane and Mick beginning a relationship. To all the amusing interactions with Mick’s family.

Of course not everything is going to run smoothly, but SEALs never give up.

5 Contented Purrs for Cala & Riley!


Cala Riley, better known as Cala and Riley, are a pair of friends with a deep seated love of books and writing. Both Cala and Riley are happily married and each have children, Cala with the four-legged kind while Riley has a mixture of both two-legged and four. While they live apart, that does not affect their connection. They are the true definition of family. What started as an idea that quickly turned into a full-length book and a bond that will never end.

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Building Family – SEAL Team Heartbreakers Book 10 by Teresa Reasor


Building Family
SEAL Team Heartbreakers Book 10
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Teresa Reasor

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After nine years of marriage to a Navy SEAL Zoe Yazzie knows about sacrifice. Because of numerous periods of separation from her husband she’s put her dream of having another child on the back burner. But now her biological clock is ticking and she needs Hawk’s cooperation.

Lieutenant Commander Adam “Hawk” Yazzie is stunned when his wife springs the idea of having a baby on him. Their son will soon be ten and Hawk believes their baby days are over. He’s faced with a dilemma, if he says no and crushes Zoe’s dream, will it cause long term harm to their marriage?

When Zoe is injured in a terrible car accident, the decision is put on hold while they wait for her to wake up. Hawk is faced with the possibility that his wife might not survive. But when she finally opens her eyes, he’s dealt an unthinkable blow. Zoe doesn’t remember him or their life together.

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There are a number of things happening in this book. First we have Lieutenant Commander Hawk Yazzie who has a problem with Seaman Owen Morgan. Owen seems to be on a self destructive path since he returned from deployment to find his best friend died on a mission and to top it off his wife left him.

Then there’s Hawk’s wife Zoe, she’s thinking about possibly having another baby, their son A.J. is ten and really doesn’t need her as much anymore. She doesn’t have much time to consider this but she does have to discuss it with Hawk and get his feelings on another child at this stage of their lives. After all he was deployed through most of raising A.J. and only with this new promotion is he going to be stateside.

We have Lt. Sam Harding and his fiancé Moira planning their wedding. He’s keeping the fact that one of his team died on their last mission from her not wanting to take away from the joy of the occasion.

Everything starts falling apart from the moment Zoe heads out to get drinks and snacks for A.J.’s ball team. It’s last minute and her car has a flat so she takes Hawk’s SUV. A crash Zoe tried so hard to avoid leads to her having head trauma with memory loss. She remembers nothing of her life with Hawk, not even A.J. her son.

This is a favorite scene when Zoe comes home from the hospital.

Hawk poured a glass of cold, sweet tea from the pitcher in the refrigerator, added two fingers of bourbon to the mixture and squeezed in the juice of a lemon wedge. Drinking had rarely been his thing, other than a cold beer after a mission, but the stress of the day had brought on a craving. Now that A. J. was in bed and the house was quiet, he was just grateful to settle into the glider on the sunporch to unwind.

Ten days ago he would have talked to Zoe about the accident. But now, with everything she was going through, he wasn’t certain she was strong enough to hear the things the detectives told him. Someone had deliberately shoved the car out into traffic so she’d be hit. Did they know who she was? Had they believed he was at the wheel? Surely they could see it was a woman driving even from behind.

Who would have a motive to do this? He needed to work the problem.

Half an hour later he was still doing that when he heard a sound in the kitchen and got up to look in.

Zoe stuck the plate her mother had covered for her in the microwave and turn it on. When she noticed him standing in the doorway, she offered him a small smile. “Hey.”

Sleep pants hung low on her hips, emphasizing how much weight she’d lost in the past ten days. Her T-shirt had a cartoon on the front of a television remote that read, your remote does not qualify as an exercise machine.

“Wake up hungry?” he asked.

“Yeah.” “You slept for nearly three hours.”

“They don’t let anyone rest in the hospital. They woke me up at midnight, three, and six to take my blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. Then just when I finally went back to sleep, they’d come in to do something else. Then there’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in between the vampires— sorry, lab techs— drawing blood, and the cleaning crew taking care of the room, and respiratory therapy wanting you to breathe into a machine to make sure you don’t develop pneumonia because you’re lying around too much…” She shrugged one shoulder “You get the picture.”

The microwave dinged, and she went to a drawer, got a potholder, and reached in for the plate. She set it on the island and stared at the potholder like it was something totally foreign.

“What is it?”

“Russell says that muscle memory is why I know where things are in the kitchen.”

He looked from her to the potholder. “Could be. Don’t push yourself, Zoe. Your body’s telling you, you need to rest to heal.”

She set aside the potholder and looked up. “I suppose so. I’m not used to waiting to do anything anymore.”

Hawk leaned against the door facing and sipped his drink. “No, but you’re really good at explaining to other people why they need to be patient.”

“Am I?” She took a bite of her Chinese.

“Yeah, you are. The people you work with at Balboa told me that.”

She chewed, then swallowed. “I want to see them. Talk to them. Maybe it will jar a memory since I spend significant time there. Russell said something about muscle memory triggering other things. And my work is a kind of repetitive muscle memory.”

“We’ll call and talk to your boss. It might be overwhelming for you to talk to too many people at once.” And embarrassing and upsetting if she couldn’t remember them.

“Can we do it tomorrow?”

“Zoe, I’d like for you to do it at a time when I can go with you, and I can’t make it tomorrow.”

“When?” She took another bite and chewed slowly.

“Maybe next week.”

She ate in silence for a time, then wiped her mouth with a napkin and carried her empty plate to the sink, rinsed it, and loaded it into the dishwasher.

Her silence wasn’t encouraging, but as much as he wanted to protect her, he needed to tell her about the detectives’ visit. “There’s something else I need to talk to you about.”

“What is it?”

“Two detectives have been assigned to investigate the accident.”

“Detectives? Aren’t accidents usually investigated by a special accident recreation expert?”

“Usually, but the truck that hit you had been stolen during a carjacking, and the man who owned the truck was killed.” He wouldn’t tell her that she’d been pursued for several minutes before the accident. “It was determined that the person driving the truck purposely pushed your SUV out into the middle of traffic.”

“Pushed me out into traffic?”

“Yes.”

“Why would anyone do that?”

“They don’t know yet. They asked if there were any neighbors we’ve had a falling-out with, or if there was any reason for someone to follow or attack either of us. We’ve never had issues with anyone in the neighborhood since we’ve lived here. The police will be questioning the people you work with at the hospital to find out if they’re aware of any issues. NCIS will be asking the personnel who’ve had issues with me some questions as well.

“Since you were driving my car instead of your own, they’ll probably be following through with some of the guys on post.”

“Why was I driving your car?”

“You ran over a six-inch piece of metal and had a flat. We’d all slept in and were running late, so you took my car to go to the grocery. I was changing the flat to the temporary tire when the hospital called.”

“The police detectives brought your purse to me at the office. I’ve put your cell phone, sunglasses and the purse on the dresser in our bedroom. I think the charger for your phone is in the nightstand.”

“Thanks.”

He was used to doing things for her without the barrier a thank-you threw up between them. It made them seem like strangers.

He’d shared a bed with her for ten years, and the loss of that closeness set off an ache every time he touched it, like a bruise that wouldn’t heal. The distance he read in her eyes…

He jerked his thoughts away from that and moved to the refrigerator, poured more sweet tea in his glass, then added a splash of bourbon, and a lemon wedge.

“Do you drink often?”

“No. A beer now and then. An occasional glass of wine with you at dinner when it’s just the two of us. We don’t usually drink anything but tea around A. J.” He turned to look at her. “I’m not likely to get drunk on two cocktails with barely an ounce of bourbon in each.”

“Can I have a sip?”

Surprised he studied her. “Only a sip. You just got out of the hospital today.” He extended the glass.

Zoe took a sip, held it in her mouth, swallowed, then grimaced. “That is— terrible.”

Hawk laughed.

“Want to sit out on the glider for a little while?”

“Sure.”
Teresa J. Reasor. Building Family (Kindle Locations 1486-1541). Teresa J. Reasor.

While Zoe has much to remember, she’s also trying to rebuild her life. Her body remembers Hawk, but her mind doesn’t and it’s frustrating for her.

There’s also the arrest of Sam’s father for embezzlement and murder, although the don’t have much evidence on the murder part.

As if there wasn’t enough going on, the money from the fundraiser Moira did for her school is gone and several people are suspected.

This is an edge of your seat read as everything starts to intertwine. With suspense, intrigue, laughter, tears and some sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Teresa!

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Teresa J. Reasor

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Teresa Reasor was born in Southeastern Kentucky, but grew up a Marine Corps brat. The love of reading instilled in her in Kindergarten at Parris Island, South Carolina made books her friends during the many transfers her father’s military career entailed. The transition from reader to writer came easily and she was a closet novelist for many years until 2007 when her first book was published.

After twenty-one years as an Art Teacher and ten years as a part time College Instructor, she’s now retired and living her dream as a full time Writer.

Her body of work includes both full-length novels and shorter pieces in many different genres, Military Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Children’s Books.

Irished – The Invincibles Book 7 by Heather Slade


Irished
The Invincibles Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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He’s an undercover double agent.
She’s his partner’s younger sister.
Together, they’re INVINCIBLE.

IRISH

Undercover for years, I learned one thing: be careful who you trust. Now, I need to know who’s killing our best operatives. Back on the ranch, I can uncover the secrets, while proving myself to everyone who doubts the truth. But Flynn Wheaton knows more, feels more, than meets the eye. She’s the first truth I’m going to conquer..

FLYNN

Pain hidden by kindness. He’s the perfect mystery, the rugged and inked man with secrets to unfold. He may be my brother’s partner, but I plan to know more, uncover it all. When my life is threatened, there’s only one thing I want to know, Will I finally get IRISHED?

When Paxton ‘Irish’ Warrick meets Flynn he is almost struck dumb with her beauty. All he wants to do is touch her, he stops himself from making a fool of himself by remembering how much younger she is than him. However, she doesn’t seem to care.

In this book we get two parts in the first we have Irish’s whole story of being undercover. From the beginning of his CIA career, Cope has been his handler. We get to see how that occurred and how Irish really didn’t want to work with him at first.

All that is interspersed with Flynn’s story and the bullying she endured growing up. Her father dressed her like her brothers, no frills, no women’s jeans, just standard ranch wear.

Page by page we follow Irish’s career mission to mission, to following the leads on the murdered agents. The number of which had increased exponentially over the last few years. Suspicious at the very least.

The books in this series seriously overlap, as we see how Irish really played a part as we review each case to reach the present. What did they miss…

While I loved getting to know both Flynn and Irish in Part 1, Part is where things really get going. Irish is now an asset and Buck’s family ranch is his safe house.

Flynn’s brother’s band is playing at a neighboring ranch and everyone has been invited. Because of the location security is not an issue.

This is a favorite scene.

I met Stella and Rock outside when it was time to leave, somewhat surprised Buck wasn’t with them. I offered to sit in the back, like I would’ve anyway, pleased when Rock said we had one more to pick up, hoping it would be Flynn.

When she got in the truck, beside me, she sighed and fidgeted enough that it led me to believe she was uncomfortable. She hadn’t been that way with me before, so I wondered what was causing it.

When she twirled her hair with her finger, I reached out and touched her hand.

“You look very pretty.”

Instead of smiling or even blushing, Flynn looked perplexed.

“What?” I asked.

“You don’t have to say that,” she mumbled.

I moved my hand to her chin and turned her head so I could look into her eyes. “Flynn, you look very pretty.”

“Thank you,” she said, trying to turn away, but I wasn’t ready to release her gaze. Her eyes darted toward the front seat, making me realize this wasn’t the time or place to have this conversation. Flynn was already uncomfortable enough.

When we arrived at the other ranch, I realized we’d been traveling as a caravan. “Wait there,” I said to Flynn, jumping out and coming around to open her door. She smiled and took my hand when I offered it.

The band was already playing when we walked into the barn. I was surprised to see so many people dancing.

“What first?” I asked. “Drink or a dance?”

“Do you really want to dance?”

I pointed in the direction of the couples. “I don’t know how to do fancy stuff like that, but I would like to dance with you.”

We were headed in that direction when another man approached us.

“Flynn?” he said, looking her up and down.

Her eyes scrunched, and she shook her head as though she didn’t want him to say anything else.

“Where did you get that dress—”

“Porter, have you met Paxon Warrick? He’s a guest at the Roaring Fork. Paxon, this is my brother Porter.”

“Nice to meet you,” I said, holding my hand out.

“Nice to meet you too.” Porter looked at his sister and then back at me.

“We were headed out to the dance floor, if you’ll excuse us.”

I put my hand on the small of Flynn’s back, and she flinched. When we were far enough away from her brother, I asked her about it. “If you’d rather not dance, it’s okay.”

“Would you rather not?”

I looked into her eyes and smiled. “I asked you to, which means I’d very much like to.”

Flynn was stiff as a board in my arms, but that wouldn’t stop me from holding her. I kept my grip loose and as she relaxed, gradually pulled her closer to me. We didn’t do much more than step from side to side, even when the song went from slow to fast.

“Did you want to get a drink?” she asked when we were on our third song.

“Not as much as I want to keep dancing.”

“Oh. Uh. Okay.”

I chuckled, took her hand in mine, and led her over to the bar.

We were getting close when another man— based on how much he resembled the first one, I guessed he was another brother— approached us. “Flynn?”

“Yes, it’s me. God, do you really have to make such a big deal out of how I’m dressed? Cord, this is Paxon Warrick. Paxon, this is my brother Cord.” She pointed toward the stage. “The guy with the red shirt is my brother Holt. I’m sure if the band takes a break, he’ll be equally shocked by my attire as Cord and Porter were. Oh, and Buck will be too.” She spun on her heel and stalked off, but I was right behind her.

“Hey, what about our drink?”

“I’m sorry. I think it would be best if I just went home. This was a terrible idea.”

I took Flynn’s hand in mine and led her outside. I waited until I was sure we didn’t have an audience before speaking.

“I don’t know what the deal is with your brothers being surprised by your attire, but as I said earlier, I think you look really pretty.”

“I don’t usually wear stuff like this.” Flynn waved her hand in front of her dress. “In fact, I never do.”

“I never would’ve guessed it.” I took her hand and twirled her in a circle. The dress she wore looked like any I’d expect to see on a girl who was also wearing cowboy boots.

She played with one of the ringlets in her hair. “I don’t ever do anything with my hair either.”

“Now you’re just teasing me.”

Flynn shook her head. “I’m not. I’m the least girly-girl you’ll ever meet.”

I raised my eyebrows and shook my head. “I work for the CIA, sweetheart. I can guarantee you I’ve met plenty of women less ‘girly’ than you.”

She looked away. “I had to go buy this dress today. I didn’t have one.”

“Flynn?”

“Yeah?”

“Let’s go back in, get something to drink, and dance some more.”

“I should just go back to the Roaring Fork. I have to get up really early to start breakfast.”

“One more dance. Please.”
Heather Slade. Irished (Kindle Locations 1536-1583). The Invincibles Book Seven.

Flynn and Irish have an attraction that goes far beyond just chemistry. He’s determined not only to finish his case but also break through Flynn’s barriers.

Flynn’s walls are high, she has no clue how beautiful she really is. Her self esteem is non-existent, but her new friends are helping.

Everyone is involved in this, and I do mean everyone. Burns, Sorcha, K19 and the Invincibles all join forces to end this mission once and for all.

Lots of action suspense and intrigue with plenty of romance and some sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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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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Desert Alpha – Lady Boss Press Navy SEAL Collection – Bethany Lopez


Desert Alpha
Lady Boss Press Navy SEAL Collection
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Bethany Lopez

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

A forbidden, short-lived military romance could lead to lifelong happiness…or unbearable heartbreak.

Air Force Sergeant Cass Miles is all too familiar with the pitfalls of on-base romances—to the tune of one failed marriage and a bitter ex. Even if it wasn’t against regs to get involved with her fellow Airmen, she wouldn’t have any interest in that kind of relationship.

Until she sees Rip.

As a Navy SEAL, Rip is used to getting plenty of attention when he and his teammates step on base, especially from the ladies. It happens so often that the attention from the opposite sex doesn’t even register anymore.

Until he sees Cass.

With only days together and the threat of discovery looming, can this unlikely couple find their way to true love?

NOTE:
Desert Alpha is part of Kristen Proby’s With Me in Seattle Universe.

As this book opens Air Force Sergeant Cass Miles is heading to breakfast. She runs into her friend Lori from Public Affairs, who is also on line for food. It’s Lori who informs her some SEALs were stopping by for some R&R, in fact they’re already on base. Cass hadn’t been contacted but since she’s the Lodging Manager in charge of temporary housing she leaves the line to get to her office. Her desk sergeant was hurrying toward her as she left the dining facility. He has the information she needs and offers to grab her breakfast as she rushes to see what’s available for their guests. Something close to the workout area and gym would be good since they like to keep active even while relaxing.

As the guys were waiting for their Master Chief to let them know where they were going to bunk, Rip, Hummer, Scotty and King were extoling the virtues of hot meals, mattresses and running water.

Rip caught his first glimpse of Cass at the dining facility, but couldn’t approach her. There were rules for deployed locations including the no fraternization policy. It was the same everywhere but a perk of being a SEAL was mostly the rules didn’t matter. The question would be if he could convince her.

Cass and her friend Lori got their first close look at the SEALs during their nightly walk. They were playing volleyball, shirtless. Shirtless was against the rules, but the SEALs apparently could get away with it.

A fun night at the Cantina leads to a meet at the pool and another night at the Cantina with Lori and Cass hanging with the SEALs and a very steamy forbidden rendezvous for Cass and RIP.

Lots of fun with a touch of angst and plenty of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Bethany!

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Bethany Lopez

Bethany Lopez is a USA Today Bestselling author of more than thirty books and has been published since 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance, which she incorporates into the books she writes, no matter the genre.

When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with family and traveling whenever possible.

Bethany can usually be found with a cup of coffee or glass of wine at hand, and will never turn down a cupcake!

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Fractured – The Fragile Minds Duet Book 1 by Blake Blessing


Fractured
Fragile Minds Duet Book 1
By
Blake Blessing

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

I’m not crazy.

I’m the product of a schizophrenic mother who seemed more evil than human, and a bipolar father who didn’t love me enough to stay.

But I’m not crazy.

Now I’m struggling with life and question myself and my decisions every single day. Are these signs? Red flags? I won’t let myself look too close.

I refuse to be crazy.

Then four men swoop in just when I need them. They’re protective, supportive, and everything I never had even though we’re unconventional. I want to be the person they need me to be. I need it.

But I’m afraid…that I’m crazy.


Lilith is fighting what she believes is inevitable, she’s going to go crazy just like her mother and father before her. She regularly visits her mother in a high security psychiatric hospital. These visits are not always pleasant as her mother has good and bad days. Lilith uses these visits to ground her in the here and now.

Her therapist Harper, is also her best friend, perhaps not the best choice but one she feels she can trust. They often meet for a girls night sometimes preceded by a session.

As I read this book I felt Lilith’s fears of ‘going crazy’ and her struggle to stay sane. Her playing the cello her salvation of sorts as she can get lost in the music. We meet Randolf the conductor and Annie another musician during rehearsals. We get to hear conversations with her mother’s lawyer Autumn, regarding Drake Daniels’ desire to meet with her to talk about what happened to his brother Eli.

I fell in love with each of the very different men who become hers. The first one she meets on her way in to see Harper, he openly admits to his phobia, a fear of small pets and looks scholarly. We don’t learn his name is Atticus until a bit later though when she asks Harper.

The second she meets when Harper takes her to meet her boyfriend Brett. Kenzo is tending bar when she initially meets him but they get together later on in this story.

The third she meets in a park while have lunch between rehearsals and practicing. She and Ambrose have a scintillating conversation as they eat and relax under a tree. He introduces himself as an author and researcher.

The forth is a pharmacy tech at the grocery where she picks up her birth control prescription. His name badge told her his name is Saint, he was kind before they met outside of the store. He suggested a lavender and vanilla bubble bath from a shelf she was perusing.

It’s a rather complicated story as she doesn’t gossip with Harper about her new boyfriends. Yet there is a lot of turmoil in Lilith’s life.

I was truly enthralled by this story. It is powerful, scary and the ending took me by surprise.

I really can’t wait for the second book of this duet.

5 Contented Purrs for Blake!


Coming Soon!
Click the Cover to Pre-order

Blake Blessing is no longer new on the Indie scene, but she’s still ecstatic about this chapter in life. She is a mom, wife, art enthusiast, and author.

She attended ten different schools growing up, so books became her constant friend. Escaping into books of all different genres made life fun and exciting. Blake was also raised on music and still blasts it through the house and car at every opportunity.

She has a weird sense of humor and a penchant for chocolate milk. It only makes sense she would one day go on to write her own stories.

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A SEALs Honor – Lady Boss Press Navy SEAL Collection – By Jen Talty


A SEALs Honor
Lady Boss Press Navy SEAL Collection
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

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Navy SEAL Dante Fallon spent the last year of his enlistment haunted by his best friend’s murder. He swore that once his time in the service was up, he’d get his revenge. However, he didn’t anticipate finding the only woman he’s ever had real feelings for working for the enemy.

When Kaia George buried her brother, she swore she’d seek revenge for his death. For the last twelve months, she’s developed a relationship with the crime family that killed him. The last thing she needs is Dante walking back into her life, trying to fix things. No way will she take his help—until bullets fly, and she’s left with two choices:

Work with Dante to take down the crime family.
Or meet her brother on the other side.

NOTE:
A SEAL’s Honor is part of Kristen Proby’s With Me in Seattle Universe.

Dante and his team are headed to Jupiter, Florida for a fishing trip. At least that’s what their telling everyone. In reality they have a plan to get their former teammate, Beck, out of a very sticky and dangerous problem. Just to add some additional problems, Dante and Beck’s sister Kaia have had a thing for a couple of years, but haven’t shared that information with anyone.

As Dante and Caleb drive to Beck’s trailer near the marina, Caleb infers he knows exactly what’s going on between Dante and Kaia. They also need to be sure she doesn’t know of their plans with her brother. They don’t want her involved.

This is a favorite scene.

Dante wasn’t exactly sure how he felt about Kaia, other than he couldn’t stop thinking about her when he wasn’t with her, and he worried about her brother pulling her down into his shit. On the one hand, Dante wished Beck would be more upfront with Kaia about the problems her father had faced before he died, and how much their dad had owed the Russells. However, Dante’s instincts were to protect Kaia, which meant keeping her in the dark about her father’s financial troubles and her brother’s involvement.

But when her father died, Dante had made a promise to Beck to never breathe a word to Kaia about how bad it had gotten. And Dante was nothing without his SEALs’ honor.

“She’s not the kind of person anyone messes with. I mean, she looks like a lady, all sweet and gorgeous, but watch out, she’ll eat you for dinner.”

“I’m married. You don’t have to warn me off. Now, Walli, he’s the one you need to worry about. Or maybe Morty. We know he’s got no shame.”

“When do they get in?” Dante decided to redirect the conversation.

“Around midnight,” Caleb said. “They will meet us at the docks before this shit goes down.”

Dante stared out the window. Having grown up in Seattle, he wasn’t accustomed to the bright sunshine pelting his eyes, but he loved how the warm rays heated his skin. There was nothing but tall palm trees stretching toward the blue sky. A few white, puffy clouds floated over the ocean as they got off Interstate 95 and headed toward the sleepy little seaside town. In the distance, Dante could see the Jupiter Lighthouse.

It almost felt as though he’d returned home.

“Does Kaia have any idea?” Caleb asked.

“I promised Beck we wouldn’t tell her anything, and he thinks she’s oblivious, but she knows more than she lets on.”

“She’s never talked to you about it?”

“Only that she’s worried about Beck, and I’ve shared the same concerns.” It’s hard not to when he shared a bed with Kaia. And he hated lying to her about what he thought was at the root of Beck’s troubled soul, though he did tie it to their father’s father’s financial problems and then his sudden death last year.

“I can’t believe how bad things got for Beck,” Caleb said. “He made it look like he had it all taken care of.”

“He got stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Beck said. “I’m just glad he finally called for backup.”

Caleb punched the gas, heading north on A1A past the Juno Pier. Beck lived in a trailer right on the Intracoastal a few miles up the road, walking distance from the marina where he kept his charter boats.

He’d also managed to purchase a surf shop, and Dante wondered where Beck had gotten the money for the third charter boat and the new shop. Things just seemed too good to be true, and Beck didn’t appear to be the happy-go-lucky man he’d been before he left the military.

Now, Dante knew why. H

is pulse got caught in his throat the second they pulled into the driveway.

The beautiful Kaia, her long hair pulled into a ponytail at the nape of her neck, sat on the front porch of the modular home. She’d twisted the tail over her shoulder and ran her fingers through the strands, her nose in a book. She glanced up and smiled, then set her reading material to the side and stood. Her toned legs went on forever. Her white T-shirt with a picture of a turtle on the front didn’t cover her stomach, showing off a taut midriff and a silver belly button ring.

“Seriously. Don’t say a single word to her about our plan. She’ll either want in on it, or she’ll be up my ass all night about it, and I’ll never be able to sneak out,” Dante whispered. “And I promised Beck she would be kept in the dark.”

“Understood.”

Dante did his best not to let his gaze linger on her voluptuous breasts, but he couldn’t help himself. He opened his mouth to say something, anything.

But all he did was grunt.

He’d been all over the world and had had his share of beautiful women, but no one could hold a candle to Kaia— and she was way out of his league.

She lifted her sunglasses to the top of her head. “Look at what the cat dragged in,” she said.

“It’s been a while,” Dante finally managed, keeping up the ruse that he and Kaia hadn’t seen each other only a few months ago. “I hear you’ve never met Caleb.”

“I’ve heard a lot about the man— the legend. And I’ve had the pleasure of a phone call or two. But, no. Can’t say we’ve been in the same space.” She stretched out her hand and shook Caleb’s before kissing Dante on the cheek. Her hot lips scorched his skin. She squeezed his biceps.

“So, what’re the sleeping arrangements?” Dante asked, keeping up the ruse for her sake.

“Unfortunately, Beck only has two guest rooms. Caleb, you get the bigger one with the queen bed. Walli and either Andrew or Riker get the one with two beds. The other one gets the couch here, or the couch at my place. Dante, you get my guest room.”

“You are a lifesaver.” He smiled, dropping his rucksack onto the porch. He pulled his cell out of his back pocket and quickly sent Beck a text, letting him know that they had arrived and would head over to the docks shortly.

Beck responded immediately with a thumbs-up emoji.

“He’s done.” Dante waved his cell. “Why don’t you head over? I’ll drop my stuff at Kaia’s and meet you there.”

Caleb arched a brow. “Seriously?”

“I’ll be fifteen minutes behind you.”

“You better be.” Caleb slapped Dante on the back. “We wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea.”

Dante waited until Caleb was out of sight before pulling Kaia into his arms. “I guess we haven’t been as discreet as I thought because it seems Caleb and the guys are onto us.”

“My brother acts like he doesn’t know.” She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and wasted no time slipping her tongue between his lips. “But I suspect he might.”

When it came to sex, Kaia was certainly the best he’d ever had. He couldn’t imagine it getting any better. And if he were honest, he didn’t want it to get any better— at least not with anyone else. If he never experienced anyone else, he would actually be fine with that.

A reality he struggled to accept.

He ran his hands up and down her back, letting his fingers dance over her soft skin. Whether she knew it or not, she’d helped him get through a few tough nights during his last deployment. “Does it bother you that I don’t want—?”

“I don’t want my brother to know. He gets weird when I have flings with his friends, so it’s best if we just keep things under the radar.”

Dante leaned against the railing, resting his hands on her hips. “Have you dated anyone while I was gone?”

Kaia shook her head. “A few friends have tried to fix me up, but I wasn’t feeling it.”

“You are allowed to do whatever you want when I leave. We don’t have exclusive rights or anything.” The second the words left Dante’s lips, he regretted them, but being in a full-time relationship wasn’t something he’d ever done before.

Not just because of his job, but because his heart started pounding at the mere thought of being with a woman for more than a few months.

Except for Kaia. All bets were off where she was concerned. If he could say he had any real feelings for a woman, it would be Kaia.

“That sounds like you’re having second thoughts.”

“No. I’m actually jealous of the idea of you being with another man. But I don’t have the right to tell you that you can’t.” Jesus, he sounded like a fucking lovesick idiot. “But I’m only in town for a few days, and I’ll be deployed again for months. I don’t think it’s fair to ask you to sit around and wait for me when I don’t even know if I’m…” He glanced at the sky. “I’m not very good at this.”

“No. You’re not.” She cupped his cheek. “Are you saying you want more?”

“Do you?”

“I asked first.” He groaned. “Kaia, I want more, but I don’t know what that looks like.”

She smiled. “I like the idea of more.”
Jen Talty. A SEAL’s Honor: A Lady Boss Press Navy SEAL Novella (Kindle Locations 109-175). Lady Boss Press, Inc..

This mission of theirs goes FUBAR before it even really gets started. Beck knew he’d been targeted and in spite of their efforts to thwart the inevitable Beck ends up dead.

When Kaia realizes that it was their plan to put an end to Beck’s involvement with the Russell boys drug running business, she flips out. She blames them for her brother’s death and wants nothing more to do with Dante and his friends.

Plenty of ups and downs in this intriguing tale as Dante works his way back into her life.

I have two more from this multi author collection and I intend to read and review them all. Some new to me authors in this group.

5 Contented Purrs for Jenn!

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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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Murder in the Marigolds – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 13 By Dale Mayer


Murder in the Marigolds
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 13
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Riches to rags …
Chaos has never been so supreme …
Now a suspect herself …
No calm in sight …

Being a suspect in the murder of her ex-lawyer is not the fun Doreen thought it would be. And, of course, she’s been ordered to stay away from the case, … but she can’t help being interested. So she enlists Mack’s brother, Nick— her new lawyer— to help.

Mack’s first priority is to clear Doreen as a suspect. No one in their right mind would seriously believe she’d done the deed, of course. … But, the fact is, she had both motive and opportunity, so clearing her of suspicion isn’t the walk in the park that Mack would like it to be. Especially not when she insists on sticking her nose into his case, where it doesn’t belong.

And just when Doreen is certain things can’t get any worse, answering her doorbell shows her that this nightmare has just started. Who just walked into her life? None other than her soon-to-be-ex-husband, … Mathew …

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As this book opens Doreen is still recovering from being shot. Her shoulder is still sore and she can’t lift it much, but it’s improving. She’s enjoying her morning coffee when Mac arrives bearing gifts, a patio table and chairs. He’s also acting weird.

When he starts asking her questions it only gets worse and the victim clarifies things a bit. Her former lawyer Robin. However it’s when she notices Arnold and Chester behind him that she starts to worry. While she is a suspect they are still waiting on forensics, and her shoulder injury could be her saving grace.

Mack had barely left when his brother, Nick her new attorney calls. It’s on his radar since he initialized accusations that put Robin in a position to be disbarred. All of this because of the treatment Doreen was put through with her divorce.

Nan is her rock, and supports her no matter what. A visit with her and the animals brightened her up a bit, but even that was short-lived. He ex wants to meet with her, something she has no real desire to do especially now that Robin is dead and they’re both suspects.

Of course Doreen is not going to stay out of the investigation and she starts by following Robin’s trail. Knowing Robin’s love of Chinese food, that’s where she starts and actually hits pay dirt. You know Mac isn’t going to be pleased.

This is a favorite scene.

When the bell rang, the waitress disappeared into the back again and returned with her bag of food.

Doreen smiled. “Thanks.” And left quickly. After she got in her car and drove toward home— the heady smell of Chinese food filling the interior of her car, making her even hungrier— she called Mack. Only she got a busy signal. She left a message, as she was almost at home.

He called her back immediately, even as she parked at her house. And before he had a chance to say anything, she said, “Okay, okay,” as they continued their conversation a bit later. “I just figured, if we could follow her tracks, we might have a better idea where she was that night. By the way, she absolutely adored Chinese food, and, everywhere she went, she would get some. I picked up a dish to try myself.”

He stopped and said, “What are you doing? I specifically told you to stay out of this!”

“I know, but I can’t,” she commented quietly. “You don’t understand. It’s driving me nuts.”

“I do understand,” he said, “but you’re making things worse.”

“By trying to find who did this? No,” she said, “I’m not making things worse at all. It’s what I do, Mack. I have no choice.”

“No choice, my foo—”

“And besides,” she interrupted, “I’ve got the bag.”

“Don’t you move,” he growled. “I’m already in the truck on my way.”

“Oh, good,” she said. “Are you trying to get here before I have a chance to open it up?”

“Don’t you dare,” he said, his voice soft.

She winced, as she recognized how serious he was. “Fine,” she said. “I won’t look inside.” She slammed her phone down, but then her gaze caught sight of the Chinese food in the take-out bag, and she grinned.

“Food,” she crowed. She grabbed a plate and served herself half of it. She was just hungry enough to eat the whole thing but didn’t want to scarf it all in one shot, only to feel bad afterward. But she was really hungry. Maybe that was a good sign because, as the day wore on, she was coming out of the dumps. As she sat outside with her food at the new table and chairs set, Mugs was parked right beside her, his gaze on every forkful, just in case. Goliath was on the footstool of the nearby rocker, not caring, and Thaddeus was intently studying a piece of celery on the side of her plate, as she heard Mack’s truck drive up. She groaned and looked down at her plate.

“Why is it that I didn’t connect the fact that he was coming now to the reality that I left him half of the food? He’s just going to eat it, and I won’t have leftovers.”

He came through the kitchen superfast, took one look at her, and nodded in approval. “You actually bought yourself some food?”

“I felt bad,” she said. “The woman gave me the blue bag and told me about the lawyer, so I felt like I should at least put in an order to give her something back for her trouble.”

“Well, that’s not a bad thing,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be nice if you’d give me that consideration, like maybe give me the information before you picked up the bag?”

“Well, I didn’t know about the bag until I spoke with her. And I couldn’t leave it with her,” she said. “That would be foolish.”

“That is true, but you could have pursued other avenues. However,” he said, “at least you’re here, and you have it now.”

“Yeah,” she said. “I do want to see what’s in there, you know?”

He groaned, realizing why she’d left it for him to pick up directly from her. “You know that I can’t do that. As evidence goes, it’s already tainted enough, thank you.”

“You can too,” she said, ignoring the scolding. “Just open it and pull it out the contents, and let’s take a look to see if anything of importance is in there.”

“If it’s of importance, it won’t be for here. It will be for my office.” But he was already back in the kitchen, rummaging through things.

She smiled, as she watched him. “See? It can’t be that bad,” she said.

“Sure, it is,” he muttered. “Right here, in the appointment book, it says that she was meeting you.”

“And she did. She came here, but then she was meeting somebody else at the Chinese restaurant, and I don’t know who that was.”

“Well, maybe it was you,” he said.

“After she barged in and blasted me so rudely? No way. Besides, it’s not like she invited me. So it was someone else.”

“Maybe,” he muttered. “Some initials are here.”

“See? There’s always something.” She watched, standing up with her plate and coming around into the kitchen, so she could take a look at what he found: a stack of loose papers, a notepad, and a laptop. But he still studied her little diary. “It doesn’t say anything else?”

He shook his head. “No. It doesn’t. Just that she had a meeting for dinner.”

“I wonder who?” She frowned at that. “I really wonder.”

“Who do you think it would be?” he asked curiously.

She shook her head. “I have no idea. It obviously wasn’t me. She never invited me, though I have no proof of that,” she muttered. “What are the initials?”

“It’s just an S.”

She threw up her hand. “That’s not helpful,” she said. “That could be anybody then.”

He laughed. “Or it could denote the place like the Starbucks close to where her car was. However, when people are murdered, rarely do the victims have a chance to set up the evidence, linking their murderer ahead of time, so that it’s obvious who did it.”

“Yeah, we should all have a little bit of warning,” she muttered. “But that stabbing …” She shook her head. “Was she killed in the vehicle?”

“We don’t think so,” he said. Then he stopped, glared at her, and said, “Stop asking me questions.”

“Well, I can hardly stop asking questions when it relates to me.” “Well, it doesn’t,” he said. “Remember that.”
Dale Mayer. Murder in the Marigolds (Kindle Locations 553-602). Valley Publishing.

Lots of twists and turns in this one. Doreen’s ex is a jerk and the folks that work for him are as well.

I love Goliath, Thaddeus and Mugs, they are so often her saviors as well as her much loved pets. While I know Doreen isn’t ready for a relationship, she still doesn’t get that Mack is just patiently waiting until she is.

I really can’t wait for the next book in this series, each one makes laugh and bite my nails a bit.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Tiaras & Teacups – Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 2 by Melissa McClone


Tiaras & Teacups
Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Sometimes the sweetest beginnings
come from bitter endings…

Juliet Monroe’s comfortable world has been turned upside down. She’s struggling to leave her trophy wife identity behind and make ends meet as a full-time event planner. When her handsome new neighbor needs to throw the perfect birthday party for his niece, Juliet offers her services. If she pulls this off, maybe she can get her life back on track. But to do so, she’ll need the help of the Cupcake Posse. Too bad her friends are grappling with problems of their own:

Missy’s recovering from injuries; Nell’s trying to thwart her mother’s matchmaking efforts; Selena’s husband wants her to work less when she needs to do more; and Bria’s facing obstacles she never anticipated trying to save her late aunt’s bakery.

Join the Cupcake Posse as they work together to navigate the difficulties of life, loss, and love. They continue to rely on each other, never losing sight of the importance of friendship and family, but will that be enough to save the Berry Lake Cupcake Shop?

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When we left Juliet in Cupcakes and Crumbs she had just come home from her first Tea Party event. She was surprised to find her husband Ezra was home even more so with the bombshell he dropped.

From the moment Ezra was introduced I didn’t like him at all, he’s a pompous jerk after all. As this book opens he just proves my point. He not only informs Juliet that Remy is pregnant and he would be marrying her, but has the audacity to expect her to stay as nanny and housekeeper. While Juliet is stunned, she certainly isn’t going to stay, she’s got friends here in Berry Lake, she’d get through whatever Ezra throws at her.

Bria and Selena had returned to their respective homes, Missy is getting closer to being discharged from the hospital and trying to bribe Nell with cupcakes that won’t hasten the process.

Big changes await Bria as she returns to her life in San Diego and she finds herself in a position to make some decisions she might have put off.

Selena is as always a rock, with her hockey star husband Logan Trembley and their routines.

Juliet needs to get out of the house quickly and start her life without Ezra but first she needs to contact her friends.

This is a favorite scene.

She opened her eyes, blinking until her vision adjusted to the sunlight streaming in the room through the open blinds.

Not alone.

Two critical words, but ones she wouldn’t forget. She grabbed her phone from the nightstand and typed a message for the Cupcake Posse group chat, set up a week ago to help them stay connected. They’d needed something with Bria and Selena living elsewhere. But who knew in less than twenty-four hours after saying goodbye Juliet’s life would implode? She wanted to believe their vow to be there for each other was true, but Ezra hadn’t honored his vows. Why should her friends?

Here goes nothing.

She took a breath before hitting send.

Juliet: Ezra told me yesterday Remy is pregnant. He’s the father. I needed time to process last night. Now, I need to figure out what to do. I have to visit my grandmother and ask if I can move into the Huckleberry Inn. I want out of here ASAP.

Juliet exhaled. No matter how Grandma reacted, her friends would have her back. At least, she hoped so.

Doubts, however, surfaced, ready to take her out like a rogue wave on the coast. After nearly fifteen years apart, the five of them had reunited last week. Sure, they picked up right where they left off as if they still worked at the Berry Lake Cupcake Shop and Elise Landon was alive. But what did that mean today and tomorrow and every day after that?

A vow was only words. The intention behind it was what mattered.

She waited, staring at her cell phone as if she could wish a reply into existence. But people might be busy or not have their phones with them.

Dots formed on the screen.

Someone was replying.

Her hands trembled, so she tightened her grip on the phone.

Nell: I’m so sorry. But I don’t think you want to move out of the house voluntarily. Not sure why, but I remember hearing that. I can call the Carpenters. They handle all kinds of cases.

Juliet: Thanks, but you don’t have to ask him. I signed a prenup, and even if I hadn’t, I couldn’t afford to keep this house. Ezra wants me to move into the room above the garage and be his and Remy’s maid and nanny. I need to get away from him. Today!

Nell: You’re welcome to stay with me. I’m fostering a cat. Not sure if you’re allergic.

Missy: Hugs. My place is small, and Mario and Peach are there, but we can all fit.

Bria: Those are great offers, but stay at Aunt Elise’s house. The spare key is under the painted rock near the front porch. You’ll need food. I got rid of everything in the kitchen before I left.

Selena: Move into Elise’s place. I’ll call a top divorce attorney I know. She’ll get the prenup tossed out.

Not alone.

Juliet’s breath hitched, and tears— relieved ones this time— welled in her eyes.

Her hands shook, but she typed and sent another message.

Juliet: I appreciate the offers Missy and Nell, but Elise’s house is within walking distance to work and my grandmother’s. I’m not sure if the car is in my name or not, but knowing Ezra, it isn’t.

Bria: Elise signed over her car to me when she stopped driving. The insurance is up to date. Use it. The keys are in the top drawer in the kitchen.

Juliet: Thanks.

And thank you, Elise.

The woman, who’d been her former boss fifteen years ago, had a lightning-fast temper, but she loved as fiercely whether family, friend, or customer.

More dots appeared on Juliet’s screen.

Missy: I’ll be out of the hospital this afternoon, but I can’t do much to help now.

Selena: Your job is to recover, Missy. We’ll pick up the slack until you’re better.

Nell: Yes, we will, so hang up, Missy. You’re not supposed to be staring at screens with a concussion.

Nell: I’m at work, but I’ll grab groceries when I get off and bring them to Elise’s.

Selena: I’ll come to Berry Lake this weekend. If Ezra cleaned out your bank account, text me, and I’ll send money ASAP.

Uh-oh. Juliet hadn’t considered their money. She opened the banking app on her phone and did a double-take at the balances in the two accounts. Only $ 150 remained in their checking account and $ 25 in their savings.

As her heart sank, her shoulders drooped. “Why, Ezra?”

On Saturday, there’d been over ten thousand dollars in each account when she’d taken out her weekly allowance for groceries.

Her muscles bunched. All she wanted to do was scream. Instead, she dropped the phone onto the bed.

Okay, until this past week, he’d been the only one earning a paycheck. She kept him fed, clothed, and the house clean, which made her… his glorified maid and nanny.

Ugh. Juliet buried her face against her hands before straightening.

She needed to stop pretending life was a fairytale. That storybook had ended years ago.

Why wouldn’t Ezra drain their accounts?

The man had cheated and gotten another woman pregnant.

A rat, remember?

At least she had a withdrawal slip with the amounts that had been in both. After three deep breaths, she picked up her phone and typed.

Juliet: I need a good divorce attorney, Selena, so please pass on my number to your friend or give me hers. Ezra cleaned out the bank accounts, but I have some cash to tide me over.

Juliet: Feel better, Missy. You can help me later. And Nell, milk, eggs, cheese, butter, and bread would be great. I want to lie low for a few days.

Bria: If you have questions about the house or car, text or call me.

Juliet: You guys are the best friends ever. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Last night was a nightmare, but I don’t feel so lost anymore.

Selena: You aren’t.

Bria: We promised to be there for each other.

Nell: We sure did.

Missy: Cupcake Posse forever!

Nell: Off the phone, Missy, or I’ll talk to your doctor again.

Laughter bubbled over. Something Juliet never expected to experience this morning. But wasn’t that why she texted her friends? So she wouldn’t have to face this by herself?

Their offers, however, left her stunned but oh so grateful for their friendship and them.
Melissa McClone. Tiaras & Teacups (Kindle Locations 685-773). Cardinal Press, LLC.

With the wheels in motion for her divorce Juliet with help from Charlene, Sabine, her husband Max, and Sheridan with her husband, Michael helping getting Juliet moved into Elise’s house goes quickly and efficiently. There was of course a confrontation with Ezra but that was to be expected.

There’s a lot that happens in this book, a new neighbor for Juliet, Roman the new veterinarian and his daughter, more Nell and Gage with the addition of the paramedic Welles, more of Brie and Dalton too. Some never ending drama with Ezra, Remy and even Juliet’s grandmother Penelope Jones gets in the act.

Juliet also gets a couple of housemates, Charlene brings Butterscotch, Elise’s cat to Juliet thinking the cat would much rather be in his own home than her condo. Then Mrs. Vernon a friend of her grandmother’s brings her dog Lulu. She’s going into assisted living and the dog can’t come with her. An interesting development that includes Roman.

I loved this book so very much. There is so much growth with each of these characters. I really can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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!