A Cup of Autumn – Silver Falls Book 3 By Melissa McClone


A Cup of Autumn
Silver Falls Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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He thought he had the perfect plan…

When elite university professor Keaton Andrews walks into a meeting with the dean, he expects to hear that his tenure application is on track. Instead, his beloved department is cut. Regrouping in Silver Falls with family seems like his best option. One morning, he takes a risk and orders a pumpkin spice latte from the beautiful barista at the local coffee shop. Too bad she doesn’t seem to find him nearly as intriguing as he finds her…

Raine Hanover is no longer swayed by a charming smile, especially by a nerdy—and distractingly handsome—academic. She’s taking a break from romance and focusing on running her increasingly busy coffee shop. But when Raine is involuntarily put in charge of organizing the town’s Halloween bash, Keaton jumps in to help, and it’s not long before sparks, and kisses, fly.

As the leaves begin to fall, Raine wonders if she should risk taking another chance on happily ever after, especially with a man who has dreams and goals so far away from Silver Falls and her.

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Raine Hanover having staffing issues at Tea Leaves and Coffee Beans. Timmy, her best employee has started full time at college and Heather seems to think the schedule is a suggestion and calls out whenever she wants. Missing the First Avenue Business Owner’s Association Meeting has consequences she can’t get out of, planning the Boo Bash. Raine had been in charge of the Valentine’s Sweetheart Dance, she should have been exempt. They were only required to do one event a year. Raine is tired, exhausted in fact, she’s got to solve this and fast.

An overachiever Professor Keaton Andrews is close to his goal, tenure at the elite university would be announced at the end of the Fall semester. He was sure everything was on track, until it wasn’t. With admissions down and budget cuts his department was being cut, all contracts of those not tenured cancelled. He was out of a job.

Heather is the reason no one has been showing up for interviews and when Raine hears her admit what she’s been doing, she fires her. No one undermines her business without consequences. Fortunately, in line at the time is Robin Baxter. Robin is soon to be divorced and wants a job, she’s eager to learn and ready to start as soon as possible.

Quilt shop owner and self-proclaimed matchmaker, Margot Winslow, rules the First Avenue Business Owner’s Association. Although she won’t relent with regard to Boo Bash, she does make sure Raine has help. Keaton has the time although his experience with events is more on a professional level rather than community.

Dating wasn’t on Raine’s mind especially when she gets a text from her ex, she isn’t sure she’ll be ready anytime soon. Keaton suggests a practice date, and they go out after the shop closed for dessert at the bakery.

This is a favorite scene.

Keaton hadn’t laughed so much in… He couldn’t remember the last time. Raine told him one story after another about incidents that happened at the various coffee shops that she’d worked at over the years. “What you’re saying is Silver Falls is relatively normal compared to Seattle?”

“When it comes to funny customer stories, yes. But this town has its own quirks.”

“Like a resident matchmaker?”

“Be careful, or she’ll have you married off before you leave town.”

Only a few crumbs remained on their plates. “I’m not interested in a relationship. Not when my life is so in flux.”

“I told Margot something similar. The question is if she listens.”

“No one is forced to play along. Though I don’t hear Callie or Garrett complaining.”

“Callie wasn’t happy about it before she fell for Brandt. Now, she’s thrilled how everything turned out.”

“Hey.” Brecken approached them. He carried an empty tray at his side. “Hate to kick you out, but it’s closing time.”

“Oh.” Raine folded her napkin and placed it on the table. “I had no idea it had gotten so late.”

“Me, either.” Keaton hadn’t glanced at his phone once. “Sorry to keep you.”

“No worries.” Brecken grinned. “We still have to clean and prep for tomorrow, but Taryn prefers customers to be gone by then even from the patio. She’s a good boss, but a stickler for rules.”

Keaton laughed. “That’s exactly what Garrett needs.”

“Ready to go?” Raine asked.

No. He wasn’t ready for the evening to end, but he didn’t want Brecken and Carl to get in trouble. “Yes.”

Keaton stood, pulled out a five-dollar bill from his wallet, and tossed it on the table.

“Thanks, dude.” Brecken cleared the table. Raine headed toward the rear door, and Keaton followed her into the bakery.

Behind the counter, Carl cleaned the display cabinet. “Thanks for coming in. Have a good evening.”

She waved. “Everything was delicious.”

“Loved the pie.” Keaton opened the front door for Raine. “After you.”

“Thanks.”

Outside, the temperature was ten or twenty degrees colder than on the patio with the heaters nearby. Raine wore a sweater, but it wasn’t that thick.

“Cold?” he asked.

“No.”

A streetlamp illuminated the sidewalk. The light cast shadows on them.

She glanced through the bakery’s front window. “I can’t believe we closed down the bakery.”

“Practice date for the win.”

Raine laughed. “They do close earlier on weekdays.” A closed sign hung on the door. “But I can’t believe Brecken kicked us out. I’ll make him work extra hard during our next tutoring session for that.”

“He was just doing his job.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll go easy on Timmy.”

“Thank you. I don’t know what I’d do without him.”

A part of Keaton wished she’d say the same thing about him. Maybe by the time the Boo Bash was over she would. He rocked back on his heels. “So how do you think it went?”

“If it means dessert and getting to know each other, then well. We know each other’s favorite colors, food, TV shows, books, and movies.”

“If we put everything that we discussed into a Venn diagram there wouldn’t be much overlap.”

“Except for food,” they said in unison.

“The practice date was a success. How did I do?” she asked.

“A-plus.”

Raine did a shuffle step as if dancing. “Yay!”

“You did great.” More than once he’d forgotten they weren’t on a real date. “When the door opens, you’ll be ready.”

“You made it easy.”

His chest puffed out. He couldn’t help it. “You’re a great date. I’ve gone out at times and wondered why my date said yes when all she did was stay on her phone the entire time.”

“That’s how Emmett and I had gotten toward the end, but the first few dates are the honeymoon time. A phone can’t compete with that.”

“Unless it’s not meant to be.”

She nodded. “It’s getting late.”

“You have to be at the coffee shop early.”

Raine nodded. “Thanks for dessert.”

“I had a great time.” Dates usually ended with a kiss, but this was just for practice. He doubted suggesting a practice kiss would go over well.

“Me, too.” She shifted her weight between her feet. “I’m glad you suggested doing this.”

“Me, too.”

Keaton wanted to ask her out again. That was how much he’d enjoyed himself. But she didn’t want to date, and he was leaving town— soon, he hoped.

“We might have to come for dessert again. To celebrate our work on the Boo Bash.”

“There’s going to be a lot of it.”

“Teamwork will get it done.”

“You sound more like a coach than a professor.”

“I assign group projects.”

“The bane of students everywhere. Timmy always got stuck with classmates who didn’t want to do any work.”

“That happens sometimes, but it’s a good lesson in adulting.”

“Recently experienced that with a former employee.”

He’d heard about a barista getting fired from Margot. “If this was a real date, I’d kiss you good night. But since this is only for practice…” He kissed her forehead. “Did you walk?”

“Drove. The hatchback right in front of us. You?”

“Walked.” “Want a ride to Margot’s?”

He shoved his fingers in his pockets. “I’m good. Good night.”

“See you around.”

Tomorrow. Keaton planned on working at her coffee shop. He couldn’t wait to see her again.
Melissa McClone. A Cup of Autumn (Kindle Locations 1713-1765). The Tule Publishing Group, LLC.

There’s an attraction between Raine and Keaton that neither of them want to acknowledge. Their closeness while planning and executing Boo Bash is a definite catalyst for a relationship. Only thing is what Keaton wants can’t be found in Silver Falls.

I love the way this story unfolds, a slow build love story with lots of romance, good friends, and supportive family.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

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

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

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

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


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Dangerous Renegade – 82nd Street Vandals Book 6 By Heather Long


Dangerous Renegade
82nd Street Vandals Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long

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The mute twin.
The strange brother.
The broken one.

I’d been called so many names over the years. None of them mattered. My mirror cared more than I did. But he never treated me as less. None of them did. My brothers were the Vandals. They didn’t always understand, but they never judged and they always had my back.

I would always have theirs.

They were my life until Starling came to us. Quiet. Hurt. Broken. Those words were tossed around along with stubborn, fierce, impossible, and beautiful. I’d studied her from afar for years, but to have her close changed everything.

Trust. Acceptance. Understanding.

She colored in all my missing pieces. My other half needed her too. We all did. She fought her way back to us, continues to fight to stay, and more she fights for us.

She belongs.

My name is Rome Cleary. Starling is ours. She has always been a part of us, even when she didn’t know our names. We will always come for our own.

NOTE:
DANGEROUS RENEGADE is a full length mature dark, new adult romance with enemies-to-lovers/love-hate themes. The dark romance aspects of this tale continue. Please be aware some situations may be uncomfortable for readers. Trigger warnings can be found in the foreword should you require them. This is a reverse harem novel, meaning the main character has more than one love interest. This is book six in the series.

If you haven’t read the previous books in this series, STOP, go back and read them. This book starts where the last one left off.

Rome and Emersyn are gone, vanished, not a clue left behind. Their phones and weapons left behind prove this was efficiently done. But by who?

They had been surrounded and to keep Rome from being hurt Emersyn agrees to wear a shock collar. They demonstrate it once and Rome is very compliant. The thing is they think they have Liam. Now Rome is very effective playing Liam, they are twins after all. They are being treated well, but they are given no clue as to what they want or who is giving the orders.

Kellen is drawing Adam in to help with the operation Noel Warrick had headed up. Instead of continuing with Adam at a location few know about, he brings him to the clubhouse since finding Rome and Emersyn takes priority.

Ironically, it’s Adam who finds the key to locating them and with Lainey’s help getting them back becomes reality. But not without cost.

This is just a part of my favorite scene.

Liam was here. The bruises on his face weren’t as pronounced, but he distracted from a lot of that by stripping off his hoodie and his shirt.

When Adam entered my line of sight, my attempt at no reaction failed. Wasn’t he supposed to be lying low? Now he was here too? I started to stand, but the guy to my left— they didn’t offer names today and I hadn’t asked— gripped my arm.

“Let go of my fiancée,” Adam told him in a cold voice. “Or I’ll break that hand off.” He didn’t appear armed with anything more than attitude and disdain. Both added a depthless layer of threat. Not once in my life had I ever been afraid of Adam. Not even at his most caustic with Lainey.

Right now? I didn’t envy the men standing on either side of me. Death stood in front of me and Hell was right behind him.

Brixton approached, his gaze traveling from me to Adam and then to Liam. “Mr. O’Connell, you have a fight. I suggest you get to it.”

The look Liam sent to Brixton seemed to unsettle him more than anything else had since he’d taken us. The guard gripping my arm had loosened his hand, but it was still there.

Adam apparently, had no patience for the conversation either. He struck like an adder, his fist snapping forward. At first, I expected the blow to land on the guy’s face and for bones to crunch. Instead, Adam struck the man’s throat, leaving him gagging as he released me and doubled-over, trying to catch his breath.

“Better,” Adam stated coolly as he held that same hand out to me. He dipped his gaze like he gave me a once over. The gagging guard dropped back, but Brixton and the second guard both stood their ground.

I really hoped Adam knew what he was doing. Grasping his hand, I let him pull me to my feet as the buzzer sounded on the fight.

Shifting his posture, Adam wrapped an arm around me, but didn’t move us away. I glanced from our audience to the ring. Liam moved like a lethal predator, not even slowing as he struck the guy. A fist to his face, a kick to the guy’s knee, then around him and down, he rolled into him and slammed him against the far side of the cage.

There was definitely an audible crunching sound before the audience roared and the music blared. The bout was over.

“I hope he’s not that fast in bed,” Adam commented, and I swung my head to look at him. “Cheating on me with a three-second wonder can’t be that much fun.”

“Maybe it’s what he does in those three seconds that would blow your mind.”

The corners of his mouth twitched. “I’ll take your word for it.”

Brixton cleared his throat. “Mr. Reed, I don’t recall inviting you to this negotiation.”

“When you took my fiancée, you absolutely invited me. You’re going to release her now…”

“I’m afraid that’s not open for discussion. Mr. O’Connell—”

“— can’t do a fucking thing for you.” Adam gave him a thin smile, sharper than a knife’s blade. “He’s always been kept at arm’s length from the king because of his ties to the 82nd Street Vandals. You can pull a rat out of the gutter, but you certainly can’t dress it up or take it out into polite society.”

What the hell was he doing…?

“My fiancée might enjoy slumming it up with the vermin, but I assure you, they will never give her what she truly craves or needs.” His gaze seemed fixed on Brixton. Raw anger ripped through me. I wanted to trust him, but this was…

Then I saw Lainey. With Milo.

Her lips were flattened into a thin line, and her eyes blazed. All the sounds around us seemed to fade. The roar of the crowd, the music, the slapping of skin— both the couples fucking away in some of the corners and the fresh fight in the arena.

“O’Connell is a pretender. You want access, you need an actual Bishop.”

Brixton quirked an eyebrow. “That would be you?”

“For more than five years. I know far more than the king would probably like to admit.”

“And you’re just going to help us? Just like that?” The scoff in Brixton’s voice didn’t have to be imagined. I wanted to move away from Adam, but he kept his arm firmly around me.

“No, not just like that.” Adam paused for a beat then glanced down at me. “For her. The one decent light in all of this. She doesn’t come from a family of whores, thieves, or murderers. She certainly doesn’t belong here… not getting this filth on her.”

“Subtle, Mr. Reed,” Brixton said in a clipped tone. “But bargaining for your fiancée—” He managed to make the word sound like slut, impressive. “That doesn’t lend much weight to your offer.”

“No?” Adam traced his fingers against my bare arm. “I owe the king very little and O’Connell a small amount, and like I said… my fiancée here.”

If he said my fiancée one more time…

“Reed,” Liam said in a harsh voice.

“Hush, O’Connell, the grownups are talking.” He didn’t even look at Liam. “Be grateful I’m not castrating you for putting your dick in her. She seems happy enough with it… for now.”

I was so utterly fucking lost.

Brixton’s frown deepened.

“As I was saying,” Adam continued, every word enunciated with a kind of flawless execution of those who were trained from birth to monitor every syllable that passed through their lips. It was both arrogant, unyielding, and a raw challenge. “You need a Bishop. You need someone with access and a personal stake. The king wanted me dead. So I owe him no loyalties.”

What was happening right now?

“This involves O’Connell?”

Adam gave a shrug. “He could have killed me. He didn’t. That buys him forgiveness for a lot.”

“And apparently her bed.” Distrust and dismissiveness were combined in Brixton’s tone.

“Not your concern.” Adam gave me a squeeze. “Here is what I’m prepared to offer you. Release her and O’Connell— I’ll stay in her place.”

I snapped my head to look at him. “Adam—”

He dropped a kiss on my lips that startled me enough to shut me up. “Behave,” he instructed. “You can take your lover and go. That’s all you need to do right now. Be glad I’m letting you have him.”

The automatic urge to slap him warred with the need to shake him, and I could barely do either with my wrists in cuffs.

Without taking his gaze off me or relaxing his grip, Adam said, “Do we have an agreement?”

Brixton hummed a sound. “This is very convenient.”

“Not really,” Adam stated as he lifted his head. “At this point, there are a half-dozen weapons fixed on you. It will be messy, cost quite a bit to clean it up, but you can agree— perhaps even get something out of the deal.”

“Or?” Their captor asked in an inquiring tone that suggested he didn’t quite believe him.

“Or you can die… like your man there.” He nodded, and I turned to look almost as swiftly as Brixton did.

The guard who’d been choking was lying on the ground, not moving. Blood trickled from the corner of his mouth, and more… was spreading on the floor beneath him.

How…?

“Decision? I’d really like to get my fiancée home.” The possessiveness every single time he said that seemed to be delivered home on the point of a blade. I swore he was inflicting it on Lainey.

It made me hate him a little, even if the reason for it seemed unrelated.

Maybe.

Brixton’s phone rang, and it solidified what Rome and I had thought. He wasn’t the one in charge. Answering it, he spared me a look, then past us to Liam. Noise from around us rushed in, shouts from the gaming tables, more sounds of fights in the ring.

The conversation wasn’t a long one. “Very well. Uncuff her. You will take her place, which means you get the shock collar as well. If anyone tries to interfere with us leaving, she will be the first target to go down. You are not the only one with resources here.”

That was it?

“So we understand, all of you will die if so much as a hair on her head is disturbed.” They sounded like they were discussing the weather and it was insane. Adam couldn’t be—

“Ow,” I snapped as the guy trying to take off the handcuffs gripped my arm to turn me to him. A second later, he was on the ground screaming, following a sickening crunch of his arm bending at an unnatural angle.

Keys in hand, Liam faced us and unlocked the handcuffs. “The collar now,” he ordered with a glare at Brixton.

“Mr. O’Connell,” Brixton said. “I haven’t agreed to let you go.”

“I haven’t agreed to not kill you either,” Liam countered.
Heather Long. Dangerous Renegade (Kindle Locations 1819-1890).

With Emersyn and Rome back in the fold, the renovation of the clubhouse resumes in full force. Doc continues PT with her and now Jasper.

Liam continues trying to get information on this new entity. The thing is they really knew nothing about Liam or Emersyn for that matter. There’s also the ‘Rats’ that need to be dealt with.

There is so much going on and so much information without substance, leading to a very surprising ending. I truly didn’t see any of this coming.

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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Ship Happens – Love at Sea Book 1 by Kate Stacy



Ship Happens: A Friends with Benefits Romance
Love at Sea Book 1
By
Kate Stacy

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Tate

Macy Carmichael has been my friend with mind-blowing benefits for a long time now. But, I’ve been craving more from her. More than she’s ready to give.

When my siblings book me on an all-inclusive cruise, I jump at the idea of a free vacation and a chance to get away for a while. Unfortunately, my meddling older sister left out a few important details—like the name of the cruise. Love at Sea. Is she for real?

If that’s not bad enough, she signed me up for a variety of activities and makes me promise that I’ll take part in every single one. She also failed to mention that she convinced Macy to book the same cruise.

Imagine my surprise when she sits down across the table from me during the speed dating event I didn’t even want to attend. All bets are off. I’ll be damned if some other man is getting close to what’s mine.

Macy

Desperate for a vacation and break from everyday life, I take the suggestion of one aclose friends and book myself a week-long cruise. I even go along with her recommendation.

The Love at Sea cruise aboard the Heart of the Deep. It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, even if the whole cruise is based around the finding and celebrating love.

But when my best friend with toe-curling benefits, Tate Thorne, shows up during the speed dating event, I know I’m in trouble. No matter what I do, it always comes back to him.

Maybe away from the hustle and bustle of our small town, we can finally explore something more. That is, if I can finally let go of all the “rules” of our previous arrangement.

Tate is really looking forward to this week long cruise. It’s his first vacation in too many years and it;s a gift from his siblings. At the moment he only regrets not having the time to explore New Orleans before boarding the ship. His sister Taryn took care of everything from online check-in to activities and excursions. It’s as he completes check and is welcomed by crew that he realizes what those siblings have done. It’s the Love at Sea cruise, he wasn’t going to thank Taryn now he’s going to kill her for this. Even though all his siblings were in on it, Taryn is obviously the ringleader and will face his wrath. The thing is Tate doesn’t want to find someone new, he wants to change his relationship with Macy, his longtime friend with benefits.

Macy drove to New Orleans and getting stuck in traffic has brought her really close to her scheduled arrival time. Fortunately, she’s able to check her bags so running to check-in isn’t too bad. She’s now hot, sweaty, annoyed and in need of a drink. So that’s where she heads first. As she wanders around the deck she falls in love with the ambiance. She really has to thank her friend Taryn for telling her about this cruise. It’s just what she needs, starting with pampering all day the first day at sea.

Tate discovers he’s signed up for Speed Dating at dinner that first night and since he promised to do all the activities Taryn signed him up for, he resigns himself to going.
Macy, on the other hand, is looking forward to it. She’s sure she’s not going to find that perfect someone, but she can enjoy herself in the process.

Ah, the speed dating, I laughed out loud even before Macy and Tate meet up.

This is a favorite scene.

Jenna signals for the women to change tables, and it occurs to me that he has no date this round.

“Sorry, man. I pissed off your date for this round.”

“I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.” I don’t have time to respond because my next date has joined me.

This one goes better than the first. Her name is Jill, and we actually have a few things in common. If I were serious about this whole speed dating thing, I’d probably check her box. I don’t know if she feels the same about me, but it doesn’t matter.

After a few more dates with women who leave me desperate to escape, a familiar face takes the seat across the table.

“I recognize you,” I tell her.

“Do you?” she asks, tilting her head.

“I saw you at check-in before we boarded the ship.”

“Oh, my god.” She covers her face with her hands and laughs. “I’m so embarrassed.”

“Don’t be. I promised myself if I saw you again, I’d introduce myself so we could commiserate together. You weren’t the only one who had no idea this was a love-themed cruise.”

“Seriously?”

“Unfortunately,” I admit. Holding out my hand, I fulfill my self-promise. “Hi, I’m Tate. My meddling older sister booked me on this cruise for reasons she doesn’t feel compelled to share but promises they’re good and swears I won’t be mad at her by the time it’s over.”

She laughs again. “I’m Courtney. That’s quite a story. Tell me more.”

Five minutes isn’t long enough when you’re talking to someone you actually want to have a conversation with. Courtney is beautiful and she has a great personality, but I’m not attracted to her. She’s not Macy. From my brief interaction with her, I can tell she’s gonna make some guy extremely happy, but I’m not that guy.

When our time is up, I wish her well before she moves to the next table. Curiosity strikes again when I see her narrow her eyes at the guy when she sits down. I can’t spend the entire night getting my kicks from this guy’s struggles with the women, so I turn to introduce myself to my next date.

“Don’t bother. You’re not my type,” she says, crossing her arms over her chest as she obnoxiously smacks her chewing gum.

I blink, unsure of how to respond.

Easy. I won’t.

Ignoring her, I watch the next table from the corner of my eye. The conversation between Courtney and the guy seems more serious than the one she had with me. I don’t try too hard to listen to what they’re saying. I’m mainly trying to avoid the uninterested woman across from me. The one who’s still smacking the damn gum in her mouth.

“Okay ladies,” Jenna calls out. “Time to move one. Blow your goodbye kisses and slip on over to the next table and the next lucky dater.”

I breathe out a sigh of relief.

I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.

I watch as Courtney stands, looks at the guy she’s supposed to “date” next and heads for the bar instead of his table. I almost follow her lead, dreading the knowledge that another woman is about to fill the empty seat across the table.

Will she be sweet like Courtney? A talker like Serena? Or will she have some weird shit hanging from her face that I have to try to politely ignore?

I’m almost afraid to find out.

Until I hear a voice as familiar as my own.

“Tate?”

I whip my head around and my gaze locks with her warm brown eyes.

“Macy?” I ask, not quite believing what I’m seeing right in front of me. This wouldn’t be the first time I imagined seeing her on the ship.

She drops into the chair, lips still parted with surprise.

“What—How—I mean—” Snapping her mouth shut, she closes her eyes and breathes in deep through her nose.

I’ve watched her center herself like this a million times before. Macy hates being flustered. I wait patiently rather than try to pepper her with questions. I have several, though I’m pretty sure I know the answer to most of them. Call it a hunch.

When she releases the breath she was holding, her eyes open slowly. She studies me for several seconds before attempting to speak again.

“How are we both here?” she asks.

“I might have an idea, but before I share, let me ask you a question.”

“Okay…”

“How’d you hear about this cruise?”

Her brows furrow. “Taryn told me about it. Why?”

Shaking my head, I chuckle. “I can’t believe her, but it makes a lot of sense now,” I say, more to myself than Macy.

“Care to share with the rest of the class?” she asks, crossing her arms over her chest.

“We’re both here because my meddling sister is trying to play matchmaker.”

“Why would she do that?”

“She’s been trying to set me up for years.”

“I know that,” she says, which is news to me. “But why me?”

“I don’t have an answer for that one.”

I could venture a guess or two, but I’d probably be wrong. One thing I do know is that I need to have another conversation with sister dearest. Either she’s running out of people to set me up with, or she knows way more about my private life than she lets on. She was right, though. It’s hard to be mad at her knowing she played puppet master to get both me and Macy on this cruise. The knowledge improves my mood considerably.

That is until I remember that Macy and I are both at a speed dating event.

Did Taryn sign her up for this too?

Or is she here because she wants to be?

Macy’s event card is lying face down on the table in front of her, taunting me.

How many boxes has she checked?

I shouldn’t care.

We’re friends.

We have rules.

Our situtionship doesn’t allow for the way my heart pounds in my chest, my body practically vibrating with jealousy when I think about her meeting some guy on this ship. Hooking up with him. Wanting more.

Damn it.

It was hard enough stepping back when things started getting serious between her and Zane. I’ve been pushing my feelings for her down for years now. I don’t want to do it anymore.

“Ready for your next date?” Jenna asks from the front of the room.

No.

Hell no.

Macy stands, ready to move on to the next guy.

When I also rise to my feet, her brows furrow, making the little spot above the bridge of her nose wrinkle. She’s cute as fuck.

I blame the alcohol for encouraging what I’m about to do.

“What are you doing, Tate?” she asks.

“Getting us out of here,” I tell her as I grab hold of her wrist and start walking toward the nearest exit.

There won’t be another guy.

Not unless it’s me.
Kate Stacy. Ship Happens (Kindle Locations 556-620). anonymous. Kindle Edition.

Now Tate does get away with pulling her out of speed dating and to a club. There they both start drinking and talking. Unfortunately for him, Macy insists on sleeping alone.

Tate’s consolation is that he’s pretty sure Taryn has him signed up for all the activities Macy is doing. It’s the Salsa lessons that will be a turning point and hopefully Tate can figure out how to let Macy know what he really wants.

I loved every activity and excursion we get to see these two on. They not only make new friends but their whole relationship begins to shift. The chemistry between Tate and Macy is off the charts and they truly sizzle off the pages.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Kate!

Coming Soon!

Kate Stacy

Author of emotionally-gripping, contemporary romance, Kate Stacy’s novels feature sassy heroines, swoony heroes, life, love, friendship, and all the angst. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family and friends in small-town North Carolina, Kate can most likely be found nose deep in her Kindle. She stays up too late, swears too much, and loves too hard.

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About The Love at Sea Series

Get ready to set sail through the Caribbean on Festival Cruises’ most alluring voyage with eight of your favorite authors – happily ever after guaranteed!

Experience everything the Love at Sea series has to offer. From speed dating to masquerades, guests are sure to enjoy the hot days and steamy nights. Explore hidden waterfalls, swim with dolphins, and watch as eight couples find their forever on the open ocean.

Each story features a brand new couple and a fun trope from our amazing line up of authors including: Kate Stacy, HM Thomas, Mari Sol, S.A. Clayton, T.L. Anderson, Karigan Hale, Susan Renee, and A.M. Williams.

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Forbidden Girl Next Door – Forbidden Book 12 by Carmen Falcone


Forbidden Girl Next Door
Forbidden Series Book 9
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Carmen Falcone

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Alyssa Conner never had the white picket fence life. When she gets the opportunity to housesit a super fancy house, she takes it—what better way to spend the summer? What she didn’t count on was being next door neighbor to her best friend’s dad. The hot, intriguing man who awakened her libido.

Knox Barret wants to enjoy summer on his own. He needs to find the inspiration before writing his next box office hit. But, when his daughter’s friend comes asking for help because of a lost dog, he realizes this summer, writer’s block isn’t his biggest problem. He has to thwart the advances of a sexy, enticing young woman who’s ready to hand him her V-card and show him what she’s made of. But will he be ready to let her go when the time comes?

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Hired to house sit and take care of a pampered pet Mr. Fluffers, Alyssa Conner has already lost said pet. He must have slipped out while she took out the trash. Now she’s wandering the neighborhood looking for him. Realizing she’s getting nowhere fast she decides to knock on doors. The first one she approaches is the closest neighbor, her best friend’s father Knox Bennet.

This is a favorite scene.

She sighed, and finger combed her curly hair, then smoothed her hand over the white, spaghetti-string cotton dress she had on. In the rush to find Mr. Fluffers, she’d forgotten to put on a bra. The dress she wore, a cheap piece of fabric from TJ Maxx, could pass for a flimsy beach cover-up.

Right now, all she needed was to find Mr. Fluffers. Modesty be damned.

She rang the bell, and after the third ping, Mr. Barret opened the door.

Air evaporated from her brain, and she did a double take. Damn.

The man was an accomplished screenwriter, but he could just as well be a body builder. Tall and broad, his muscles stretched the cotton black shirt he had on. Even with the casual gym shorts, she couldn’t help noticing his long muscular legs. “Alyssa,” he said, his deep baritone causing her gaze to travel up. “Everything okay?”

His deep blue eyes greeted her, and she thought she’d pass out.

Why was this man so fucking hot? She’d always been a bit too aware of his hotness, in the five years she’d been friends with Madison. But she played it off, after all, he was much older than her, and married. She’d never cause any hurt to anyone, and it wasn’t like he ever gave her the slightest hint that he was interested in her.

Still… didn’t change how bothered she felt when he was around. In the last couple of years especially, his presence unsettled her, but she tried her best not to show it.

“No… Mr. Fluffers ran out, and I’ve been looking for him for the past hour,” she blurted. “I’m worried he’ll be run over by a car or will have an anxiety attack.” Like the one I’m having, she added internally. Mr. Fluffers was on anxiety medication because he was so quickly triggered. Cars triggered him, which was why she usually walked him in the evening after most neighbors were home. Flashing lights triggered him. He was the equivalent of an insecure character from The Big Bang Theory in dog form. “Have you seen him?”

“No,” he said. “I’ll help you look.”

“Thanks, Mr. Barret, but you don’t have to—”

“I insist,” he said, with that take-charge attitude that only enhanced her libido and put all her naughty bits on high alert.

“Where have you looked?”

“Up and down this street and the next one down.”

“I’ll grab my car and we can drive around. This way it’ll go faster.”

“S-sure.”

Moments later, she sat in his tricked-out Range Rover, while he drove around. She scanned the area, searching for Mr. Fluffers, but every so often her gaze strayed to the incredible man behind the wheel, and she found herself cataloging his features, his strong nose, clefted chin. The thick cords on his neck.

Her internal temperature rose, her nipples making a stand under the insubstantial fabric of her dress. She’d never been this responsive to the guys she dated… most of them not half as attractive, or half as… she swallowed. Mr. Barret was Madison’s dad. Her sweet friend who she met in high school when her then foster family pulled some strings and found a scholarship for her at an exclusive private school.

Madison had been the only classmate who had treated her like an equal.

“Is that him?” Knox asked, pointing at a tall, beige colored fur ball with four legs.

She squinted her eyes, turning her head to look.

Mr. Fluffers wandered the street with his tail between his rear legs, probably second guessing his decision to go on a solo walk.

Her pulse skittered a bit, relief pouring over her. “Yes,” she said, happy. “That’s Mr. Fluffers.”

He stopped the car by the curb, and she slipped out of the seat and left, knowing she should be the one to coax him to return home. Though the moment she stepped on the sidewalk and called his name, making that kissing sound she did to get his attention, he quickly wagged his tail and ran to her, nearly knocking her over with excitement.

Yes, turned out Mr. Fluffers knew a good thing when he had it, and was done for the night.

Knox drove them back and they small talked about the dog, and he told her why he enjoyed the Smiths. They had been the ones who told him about the house next door to theirs to buy even before it hit the market, soon after his divorce.

“There you go,” he said, when he parked the car in front of the house she was staying. He could have simply parked it in his garage, but ever the gentleman, he made sure she was dropped off first.

She grabbed Mr. Fluffers by the collar on the back seat. “Thank you so much. I was nervous, and it was nice having company.”

“My pleasure,” he said, his gaze traveling down from her face to her neck.

She followed it, then she looked down her dress, realizing she was leaning over the middle console, and he was having a good view of her braless tits. A thread of sexual awareness worked its way beneath her skin, desire shooting down between her legs. When she eyed him again, he shuffled in his seat, uncomfortable, and cleared his throat.

“I guess we’re done for the night. Be safe,” he said, looking away.

“Thank you for the ride,” she said, and slid out of his car with the dog whose nighttime adventure just made her realize one thing—Knox was attracted to her. That had to be it, right? He was looking at her breasts, then felt guilty and avoided further eye contact.

A thrill swept over her, the discovery empowering her. No, there was no way in hell that she was done for the night…and their ride was just starting.
Carmen Falcone. Forbidden Girl Next Door (Kindle Locations 64-111). Kindle Edition.

Knox can no more deny his attraction to Alyssa than she can help pursuing him. These two sizzle off the pages as the relationship becomes something more than just a fling.

I can’t wait to see what Carmen comes up with for the next Forbidden adventure.

5 Contented Purrs for Carmen!

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Contains Bonus: Forbidden Marriage

Contains Bonus: Forbidden Christmas

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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Rhys – The K9 Files Book 17 by Dale Mayer


Rhys
The K9 Files Boo 17
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Rhys hadn’t expected a trip to Cottage Grove, Oregon to start with a house being shot up with bullets. If it had stopped there it would have been manageable. A drive by shooting that the cops should be able to chase down. But nothing was easy in his world. And this case went to hell right from the beginning…

Taylor, an army vet herself was struggling to regain a normal life after she was injured by friendly fire in Iraq. Taking on a war dog appealed as it gave her a connection that they could both relate too, but she had to pass some kind of interview before she could keep Tallahassee. An interview with someone with a prosthetic just like hers. Only he was far more capable than she was.

Still that was the least of her worries as things go from bad to worse and she realizes these attacks were very personal… and very close to home…

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Rhys Gorman had some reservations about going after a War Dog, but the lure of a new prosthetic made by Kate makes it hard to resist. What he doesn’t expect to see as he pulls up across from the residence is a drive-by shooting.

Taylor more heard the shots but wasn’t sure they were shots. Her PTSD kicked in and now she isn’t at all sure what she heard. Her dog scratching at the door to come it snaps her out of it and when she lets him in, he does a search of the house before returning to her. Taylor doesn’t quite understand it, but she appreciates what the dog has done. She’s managed to fix a cup of tea and make her way to sit outside on the porch with the dog when Rhys pulls up in front of her house.

This is just one of many favorite scenes.

She wanted to be healthy and whole; she wanted to see her way through all this, and yet all she saw was more nightmares, more pain, more intolerances that she struggled with, and how the hell was she supposed to find anything that made her happy about that? If only there was another answer, if only … she hadn’t gone to the military police to turn him in.

Was it his fault where she was at now? Not likely. But he was ultimately the start of all this. And that was something that she found almost impossible to deal with. As she sat here on the porch, a truck pulled up to the front of the house. Immediately the dog stood up and studied the approaching vehicle. When it parked, and the engine turned off, she wondered idly which neighbor was visiting her.

When the man stepped out, making absolutely no attempt to hide the prosthetic on his leg, she stared. And then her heart sank.

“Better not be coming here,” she muttered to herself.

Almost immediately the dog beside her growled.

She looked over at him. “Is that because of me or because of him?” she muttered to the dog.

The dog didn’t say anything but watched with a hawk’s eyes. As the man approached the small gate and unlocked it, stepping forward, he looked around carefully, catching sight of her. And then, with a nod, he called out, “Good afternoon.”

She shook her head. “There’s nothing good about it. I don’t know what you’re doing here or what business you think you have, but you’re not welcome.”

He stopped, stared, and then nodded. “And maybe that dog beside you has a different greeting for me.”

And, sure enough, she looked down to see the dog, his tail going like crazy, a whine starting to come out of the back of his throat.

The stranger entered the gate and slowly approached. “I mean you no harm.”

She looked from him to the dog, who was straining at his leash. Immediately the man held up his hand in some sort of a command, and the dog’s butt hit the porch floor, but it couldn’t stop wiggling with joy. And, with that reaction, she unhooked the leash. “Well, isn’t that just something?” Her heart sank, as she realized that this man had a claim to this dog that she could never hope to have.

The dog barreled toward him, jumping up on him, knocking him backward against the fence. Instead of being upset, the man just laughed, wrapped his arms around the dog, and held him close. At least as close as anybody could during such a wiggling embrace. When the dog finally got free again, he jumped down, doing zoomies all over the front yard.

She’d never seen him act like this before. Didn’t think it would ever happen again. It was such normal dog behavior that she was happy for him, but, at the same time, she was sad because she hadn’t given him that sense of confidence, that sense of freedom, to be who he needed to be. And yet here this stranger walked up, opened the gate, and there he was, giving her dog what he needed.

He looked at her slowly, took a couple steps forward, and asked, “May I come up?”

She stared at him resentfully and then shrugged. “You’re already in, so you might as well.”

He nodded and walked a few steps closer. “Thank you.”

“What for?” she asked suspiciously.

“For looking after Tallahassee here,” he replied.

“He’s your dog?” she asked.

Immediately he looked at her and shook his head. “No, but he was part of … a training unit that I worked with when I was in the navy.”

“Navy?” She frowned.

“I was part of a special unit that worked with dogs,” he added. “Tallahassee was one of them.”

“And how do you know his name? I’ve been calling him Fred.”

“Fred?” He shook his head, whistled, and called out, “Tallahassee, come.”

The dog immediately raced over and jumped up again.

At Rhys’s command, Tallahassee stopped jumping. Rhys turned toward her. “His name’s Tallahassee,” he repeated. “As you can see, he responds to it quite well.”

“Did you know he was here? Is that why you’ve come?” she asked suspiciously.

He immediately took a slow step back, as if realizing something in her world was flipping, and he understood that he was causing it.

She shook her head at the stranger’s retreat and his lack of an answer. “Why are you here?” she repeated, her heart in her throat at the thought of losing the dog. She could only take so many losses in life— although she’d been prepared to lose this dog if it didn’t work out for her, which was selfish on her part. She hadn’t in any way expected somebody else to show up with a prior claim. But, after what she’d seen, it was obvious this man definitely had a prior claim.

The man looked at her gently and said, “Before we discuss any of that, can you tell me if you’re okay?”

She looked at him. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“What I mean,” he stated, “is about whoever shot into your house. Did they hit anything? Are you hurt?”

She stared at him. “Shot?” Her voice was faint, her heart slamming against her chest.

The stranger’s eyes narrowed, and he nodded slowly. “You didn’t hear it?”

“I, … I did,” she confirmed, reaching a hand to her temple. She closed her eyes. “I just wasn’t sure if it was real or not.”

“You didn’t imagine it,” he declared, his voice harsh. “Somebody drove by and shot into your house multiple times.”
Dale Mayer. Rhys (Kindle Locations 183-228). Valley Publishing Ltd..

The realization that someone was shooting at her house, forces Taylor to focus on things she’d rather forget. Rhys isn’t going to leave until he’s sure she’s safe.

There’s much to uncover and evaluate as this tale unfolds and the relationship between Taylor and Rhys becomes more than just friendship.

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!

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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Marked for Mayhem – Crashed and Claimed Book 2 By Susan Hayes


Marked for Mayhem
Crashed and Claimed Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Hayes

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Her last shot at love just crashed and burned… literally.

Bella signed up for the interplanetary matchmaking cruise hoping for travel, adventure, and maybe a chance at romance. Now she’s crash landed on a strange planet with no one around but a horned, alien hottie who showed up and laid claim to her gear, her ship… and her.

He’s too brash, too pushy, and much too young for her. He’s also not taking no for an answer…
This wasn’t the adventure she imagined, but it might just be the romance of a lifetime, if she can stay alive long enough to enjoy it.

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If you haven’t read the first book in this series, I recommend you go back and read it first. It sets up the scenario for the rest of these books.

At the end of Marked for Rage we learned that the plan to free his brothers has gone totally awry. They are now trapped on a planet with no one allowed in or out of the space around it. They are not free but still prisoners.

Bella signed up for this Interplanetary Courtship Cruise looking for adventure and maybe some romance. Now there’s alarms going off and the abandon ship command from the captain. Bella had raced to the escape pod and crashed to the planet’s surface. Now covered in suspension gel that saved her life she tries to figure out what supplies she has and what she needs to do to stay alive until rescue comes.

It’s been a year and Mayhem and his brothers along with Bysshe the android have made this planet more of a home. They have been attacked more than once by mercenaries hired by the verexi or ‘scrawnies’ as they called them. Now it appears another attack is happening. Mayhem, Menace and Strife were working on the roof of Mayhem’s home when the alarms go off. They discover small vessels would land in each of their territories, but the main ship was much further away. The immediate problem would be those close to their homes so that’s where they would head to first.

It didn’t take Mayhem long to find the intruder, He didn’t know what kind of mercenary would come here unarmed but he was going to find out.

This is just one of many favorite scenes.

She stayed where she was, hands raised in what she hoped he understood was a signal of surrender. “I give up. Surrender. Whatever. I’m kinda hoping you don’t kill me, though. Swift or otherwise. If I’d wanted to die, I could have stayed on the Bountiful Harvest. She’s probably at the bottom of a smoking crater by now.”

Big, gold, and grumpy snarled, one side of his mouth curling up to show more fang. He held a bladed weapon in one hand. It was long enough her brain wanted to call it a sword, but who the hells carried a sword these days?

In fact, his entire outfit was like something out of a historical vid. Straps of leather crisscrossed over his chest, and a kilt-like garment made up of thick, overlapping strips of dark leather hung from his hips to the midpoint of his tree-sized thighs.

“How many were aboard? Were other ships involved in this attack? What was the plan this time?” he demanded.

“Attack? No, no. I was a passenger on a matchmaking cruise. You know, one of those ‘see the galaxy, find your soulmate,’ type things. I’m not a soldier. Even if I wanted to fight, what military would want someone my age?”

“Matchmaking cruise?” His expression was one of utter bafflement. Not a surprise. The way he looked, he clearly didn’t need any help finding romantic partners. In fact, he probably had a waiting list.

She racked her brain to try to come up with an explanation that didn’t sound pathetic and quickly realized there wasn’t one. “Single women pay to travel together and visit other worlds. At every stop we’d have a few days to meet and mingle with prospective males looking for mates. That’s it. So, unless you’re afraid of being invaded by a bunch of single women, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

He didn’t look convinced. “Why are you here?”

“Honestly? I have no idea. One second, everything was fine, the next… Boom. Our ship’s star-drive failed or exploded or something and we fell back into normal space. The next thing I knew, we were all told to abandon ship.” She jerked with her thumb toward the banged up remains of her escape pod. “I’m alone. I don’t know if any of the others made it. There were other passengers and a small crew.”

Reality finally dawned on her, or more accurately, reality came crashing through the bubble of denial she was living in and shattered it. Her ship had crashed. Everyone else might be dead or injured. And unless someone managed to get off a distress call, no one knew she was here.

Her knees threatened to buckle, and she decided to sit down before she fell over. She took a careful step backward and then another, keeping her eyes on her demon the whole time.

“I need to sit down. I’m not armed. I just… they’re gone. That hadn’t sunk in until now.”

Something that might have been concern flickered across the male’s features. The black lines that marked his forehead from mid-brow to his hairline made it hard to be certain, but he didn’t tell her to stop moving.

Good enough.

She went back to the same mossy rock she’d been on before and sat down with a sigh. “Thank you.”

“For not killing you? I haven’t yet, but I still might.”

She barked with laughter and lowered her hands to her lap. “Sure thing. Until then, thanks for letting me sit down.”

“You have no weapons? At all?” He was moving again, prowling around the crash site with a smooth, gliding motion that reminded her of old vids she’d seen about long-extinct hunting cats back from Earth. Everything he wore was rustic and looked handmade. The kilt, the sword, the spear she could see strapped to his back. No shirt, only a few leather cross-straps and a couple of bands of leather tied around his biceps, holding two daggers in place.

He had sections of hardened leather bound to his lower legs, too. Greaves? She had no idea where she’d read the word, but it felt like the right one. Whoever he was, he’d come here dressed for combat not conversation. Though at least he had a translator. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be conversing at all.

“No weapons. No shelter either.” She gestured to the punctured emergency shelter. “I do have some food and things. Hungry?”

She didn’t have anything else to offer him. Whoever he’d come here expecting to find, she wasn’t it. She couldn’t give him answers, so she’d have to hope he was open to bribery.

“You hunted already?” He cocked his head to one side, his amber eyes narrowing. “I thought you said you had no weapons. Or did you throw your shoe at something else before I got here?”

Was that a note of humor she heard? She hoped so. “I never said anything about hunting. I was talking about rations. There should be some in that container over there. Shall I check?”

She knew his answer before she’d voiced the question. He didn’t trust her enough to let her do anything of the sort.

“No. I will look. You stay where you are.” He sheathed his blade and went over to the container, keeping one eye on her as he bent to unlock the top and sort through the contents.

With him distracted, Bella took the time to get a better look at him. His hair was dark at the roots but faded to a tawny blond by the time it reached his shoulders. The cut was shaggy and uneven, as if his barber had been into the booze between clients. Or maybe he’d done it himself. He had a short beard not much longer than the fur that covered the rest of his body. It was thick, but she could still make out the high cut of his cheekbones and the hard line of his jaw beneath. His eyes were incredible. They were slightly rounder than a human’s would be with no visible whites. Only the deep amber color of the iris around a jet-black pupil, all of it marked with a line of pure black fur that would have made a make-up artist jealous.

While she admired the view, the big alien went through the supplies. Food packets, water canteens, a first-aid kit and more were pulled from the container. He briefly examined and sniffed each item and then dropped it onto the pile growing at his feet.

He took a little more care with the flare gun and what looked like a fire starter, but after that she didn’t recognize much. It wasn’t surprising she didn’t know what half the stuff was. Most of her adult life had been spent as the kept woman of a dangerous and very wealthy man. What she knew about survival gear could be written on the back of a cocktail napkin and still have room for a game or two of hangman.

“This has many useful things,” her demon announced as he lifted the last item out and held it in his hand. “This is a transponder. Yes? An emergency beacon?”

“It is. Once we activate it, someone will come looking for me.”

“No.” He threw it against a large rock with enough force to crack the casing. Before she could say anything, he had his spear in hand and used the butt end to smash the transponder repeatedly. In less than a minute it was nothing but scrap.

“That was my only way off this planet!” she yelled at him. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but dammit, he’d destroyed her best chance of rescue. Unless the escape pod had its own beacon…

She looked that way before she could stop herself, and demon-guy followed her gaze.

“The ship has a tracker too?” “No. I mean. I don’t know. It’s an escape pod. I don’t know how it works.” Her words came out too rushed to be believable. She needed to get her shit together right the hells now, or she was going to end up dead out here. She took a swift breath, squared her shoulders, and got to her feet.

“Look. Can we start again? My name is Bella, and I’d be grateful if you stopped breaking my stuff.”
Hayes, Susan. Marked For Mayhem: An Alien Fated Mates Romance (Crashed And Claimed Book 1) (Kindle Locations 272-331). Black Scroll Publications Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Going through Bella’s emergency pack, Mayhem destroys the portable transponder, and demands to know how to disable the one on her ship. It’s when she almost falls that Mayhem realizes something else. Bella is his.

There are many tense moments in this book, a scary planet for Bella and Mayhem only intrigues her more as things rapidly heat up between them.

This is a fun, sexy, page turning read, I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Coming Soon!

Susan Hayes

Susan lives on Vancouver Island, off the Canadian west coast where the waters are patrolled by orcas, and the sighting of snowflakes leads to citywide panic. She’s jumped out of perfectly good airplanes on purpose and accidentally swum with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef.

If the world ends, she plans to survive as the spunky, comedic sidekick to the heroes of the new world, because she’s too short and out of shape to make it on her own for long.

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Her Uniform Cowboy – Harland County Book 3 By Donna Michaels


Her Uniform Cowboy
Harland County Book 3
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Donna Michaels

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Desperate for change after a verbally abusive relationship, Brandi Wyne leaves a symphony career, her family, and the Poconos to fall back on a designing degree and a chance to renovate a restaurant/pub in Texas. Even though part of a National Guard family, she’d sworn off military men when the last one proved less than supportive of her thyroid condition and subsequent weight gain. Too bad her body seems to forget that fact whenever she’s near the very hot, very military local sheriff.

Texas Army National Guard First Sergeant Kade Dalton never planned on becoming Harland County Sheriff or the attraction to a curvy, military-hating designer from Pennsylvania. Heavy with guilt from the death of a soldier under his command during a recent deployment, and dealing with his co-owned horse ranch and a bungling young deputy, it’s hard most days just to keep his sanity. But it’s the Yankee bombshell who threatens not only his sanity, but tempts his body…and his heart.

Fighting their attraction becomes a losing battle, and Kade soon finds sanctuary in the arms of the beautiful designer. But their changing relationship only brings more pressure to his guilt-ridden life…does he really have the right to saddle Brandi with his stress issues? And if so, can he take a chance on the town’s newest resident not abandoning him like others in his past?

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Kade Dalton has good nights and bad, this one had been bad. The man he lost in his last deployment had dependents, a fiancé and child. The guilt is almost overbearing for him. Rationally he knows it wasn’t his fault, but still that feeling persists. He finds solace with the abused horses they bring to Shadow Rock Ranch. He’s about to check on the malnourished mare when he sees Brandi is with her. She’s angry and full of accusations.

Seeking change after an emotionally abusive relationship, Brandi Wyne comes to Harland County to revive her designing degree. She has good days and bad but today is one of the worst after she mistakenly accuses Kade Dalton Sheriff and Guard First Sargeant, of animal abuse. She knew better but her brain saw the unthinkable and he was there.

Bypassing his truck, he headed for the stable on the far right. The quiet stable. The one which housed the abused and abandoned horses. Currently, there was only one. Thank God. That meant most of his fellow Texans were taking their ownership responsibilities of the magnificent creatures seriously. Horses weren’t toys you could ride whenever you fancied. They weren’t pets you paid attention to occasionally. They required work, maintenance, human touch and…

Son-of-a-bitch, he was edgy again. Nothing pissed him off more than a neglected or abused animal.

Stepping inside, he sucked in air heavy with the smell of more dirt and manure, but this time laced with the sweet scent of hay. The combination instantly calmed, took off some of that damn edge, and he headed to the first stall.

For several years now, he enjoyed working with the local vet to nurse the horses in this stable back to health. He’d made it Shadow Rock’s practice to volunteer the stable to the Humane Society. It was a project of his, one he hoped to expand in the future. Now that he was more than likely home permanently, he needed to draw up plans to—

Sweet mother of Texas…

He stopped dead at the entrance.

… that is a beautiful sight to behold.

Bent over, lightly rubbing down one of the horse’s legs was a local designer. A beautiful transplant from Pennsylvania. God, she was curvy and hot, and he wondered if she felt as soft as she looked. Something he would’ve discovered within the three months he’d known the woman if it weren’t for two things. One, Brandi Wyne was not a one-night stand, and two… she had an aversion to the military.

The fact she was the only woman to spark part of him to life with just her mere presence didn’t sit well with Kade. Hell no. So you’d think he’d be able to order his legs to slowly back out of the stall before being seen by the sexy woman whose big brown eyes, full of warmth and understanding, sucked him into a false vortex of hope. But no. Instead of retreating, he stepped forward like a complete idiot.

Seems his legs took orders from a body part due south of his brain.

Without his permission, his gaze ran down to her battered boots then back up, noting strategic creases in her well-worn jeans where they hugged her long, lean legs and mouthwatering ass.

What he wouldn’t give to be those jeans…

About the same time that thought flashed through his fogged mind, the designer stiffened and slowly straightened. Awareness zinged around them, overloading the air with so much energy the poor horse shifted her stance in agitation.

Damn. The last thing he wanted was to spook the abused mare.

Intending to ask the woman to step away from the horse, he got as far as opening his mouth, but not a damn sound came out when she turned and glared at him, gaze full of pure venom.

He was the one to take a step… backward.

“You,” she snapped, jabbing a finger at him while she marched forward, hair bouncing around her shoulders in a flurry of sun-streaked caramel waves. “How could you? I would expect this kind of behavior from someone irresponsible. Not you. Wow. This… this is unforgivable.”

Stopping in front of him, she inhaled, her rant obviously not over. And damn, he wished he knew when he’d lost contact with his tongue because it was not taking orders from his brain at the moment. No, the only part of his foolish body responding was still in the southern region.

“You know what? I’m calling the police.” She shoved a hand in her pocket and came out with her phone. “Oh, wait…” Snorting, she turned in a circle, arms flailing. “Can’t do that. They’d only send me you!”

He watched as the phone made its way back into her pocket with an angry thrust before the designer advanced closer. Kade backed up, leading the crazy woman out of the stall and away from the nervous horse. Half of him wanted to set the beauty straight, the other half wanted to set her against the wall, press into her luscious curves and put her delectable lips to better use.

He did neither.

“Well?” she asked, hands jammed on her hips, head tipped back, chest heaving.

His gut took an invisible blow. Damn… the woman was gorgeous.

Well?” she asked again. “What do you have to say for yourself? This is inexcusable. How could you? Did it make you feel like a big boy, treating such a beautiful creature that way? Huh? Did it? Seriously, who do you think you are?” the banshee continued, not giving him a chance to speak. “You think because you’re in the Guard or because you’re the sheriff you can do what you please? Well, you can’t. You’re not going to get away with this. You hear me? You’re accountable for your actions just like everyone else, mister.” She pressed closer, her heaving chest now brushing his in tantalizing bursts with each indrawn breath. “Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”

He cleared his throat and managed to get his tongue to cooperate. “She’s not mine.”

Okay, not the best of explanations, but hell, he didn’t owe any.

“Of course, you’d try… wait… what?”

Brown eyes blinked up at him, confusion clouding the fire.

“The horse isn’t mine,” he repeated. “The Humane Society brought her in yesterday.”

More blinking.

“Oh.” Her shoulders relaxed. “You’re housing her?”

He nodded, anger starting to heat his blood. “She’ll be here until she’s healthy again, and the vet releases her.”

“That’s so sweet.”

Tears filled the woman’s eyes before she flung herself at him and crushed his body with her curves. The beauty’s about-face made his head spin.

On any normal day, he would’ve been pleased, damn pleased to have her fulfill a fantasy that had been running through his brain for months.

Him.

Her.

No air between their bodies.

But this morning was far from normal, and he was far from pleased.

Grasping her shoulders, he set her away from him. “Yeah, imagine that, a National Guardsman and sheriff who’s sweet. You must be mistaken.” He released her, fished the reflective sunglasses out of his shirt pocket and shoved them on his face. “Good day, ma’am.”

Warm fingers curled around his bicep and pulled hard.

“Kade, wait. Look, I’m sorry. I really am.”

He halted and turned to face the clinging designer. “Fine. Duly noted.”

“No.” She frowned. “It’s not fine. I accused you of something horrible, and I was wrong. I’m sorry.”

Shit. Tears were filling her eyes again.

“I think it’s wonderful that you help out the Humane Society.”

He did more than that, but he wasn’t about to enlighten the crazy woman. “Thanks.” His tone gave away his less than sincere thoughts, but he didn’t care. He was ticked off. Damn high-n-mighty Pennsylvanian.

“Why are you so sensitive? I said I was sorry.”

“Why indeed.” He stepped closer then stalked the frustrating Yankee when she backed up. “Tell me, Ms. Wyne.” He didn’t stop until her back hit the front of a stall. “There are several other people who live on this ranch, did any of them cross your mind as being the culprit?”

Eyes round, she swallowed and slowly shook her head.

Kade bit back a curse. “Figures.”

He stepped away, and then changed his mind. Grasping the spokes on either side of her head, he pulled himself in and stared into her widening brown eyes. “Just what the hell is your problem with me, lady?”

She drew in a breath, her luscious mouth opening as if to respond; the action brought their bodies in contact in a hell of a delectable way. And son-of-a-bitch, if his body didn’t overrule his mind and take over the interrogation. Tightening his grasp on the bars, he pressed closer, rejoicing in her hitched breath and the way she trembled against him.

“Well?”

“I…” She swallowed, blinked a few times, then asked, “Wh-what was the question again?”

Damned if he knew. Christ, he was lucky to remember his own name with her soft curves brushing him, pulling him out of himself, busting his restraint, making his need a number one priority. And he never put himself first. Ever.

But when her hungry gaze dropped to his mouth, all bets were off. He had to know. Had to taste her.

With a curse on his lips, he bent lower, his attention pulled to the mouthwatering cleavage peeking out from the rounded neck of her brown T-shirt. Absently noting how the color matched her darkening gaze, he was about to finally get a taste of her sweet lips…

The loud snorting of a horse broke through his fogged brain.

Glancing through the bars, he caught sight of the skinny mare shifting its weight on sadly neglected hoofs. The same horse the woman melting into him accused him of abusing not ten minutes earlier.

Shit. With a jerk, he released the stall and stepped back.

What the hell was wrong with him? His lack of self-respect was disturbing. The designer, although sexy as sin, was off limits. A no-touch zone. Her opinion of him was too poor to ignore.

Setting his shoulders, he stared down at the blinking woman. “I have work to do.”

Not waiting for a reply, Kade stepped around her and into the stall with the female that needed him, and away from the one his body mistakenly thought it needed.
Donna Michaels. Her Uniform Cowboy (Harland County Series, #3) (Kindle Locations 170-244). Donna Michaels.

There is quite the chemistry between these two and somehow there has to be a way around their differences.

The beginning is an escaped horse and a drowning puppy. Brandi’s car is hit by the first and has her careening into a tree, then she’s scratched by barbed wire trying to get to the distressed puppy.

Kade rescuing her, the puppy and the horse, start them on the right track. However, Brandi has some secrets she’s not sharing.

Now both Brandi and Kade really need to work on their issues, but while Brandi has been, Kade is repeatedly rejecting the notion of help.

There is laughter, tears, romance, sizzle and so much more in this page-turning read. I think I need to go back and read this series from the beginning.

5 Contented Purrs for Donna!

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Donna Michaels Donna Michaels

It’s all my mother’s fault.

She read to me before I could read and opened up that magical world where I still reside today. Then came television and movies. Now I had three avenues that fed my imagination…and boy could I eat! As you no doubt figured out, this lead to my writing career. I’m a NY Times, USA Today, and Amazon Bestselling Award winng author. Phew, that was a mouthful! Multi-published in e-book and print with several publishers, I certainly have a ton of voices in my head.

I’m happily married to a military man for 28 years. We have four children and several rescued cats. Michael’s been in the Army National Guard since before he graduated. The Guard has been a part of our lives right from the start. It was only natural for the military to spill into my writing. God bless the military and their families. Thank you all for your sacrifices. ♥

You already know my mom inspired my love of reading, but it was my dad who got me hooked on movies. Even now, if I had the time, I could happily go from one movie to another all day long. They are the reason I love mixed genre and why I can’t just stick to just one in my writing, although, as you can tell, I have a soft spot for cowboys and the military.

Well, that’s about it. Thanks for getting to know me a little better. Remember, keep reading to your children. The journey you’re igniting is precious. And the next time you’re at the movies, turn around. I just might be the person sitting behind you. No, not the one throwing popcorn (it’s too expensive to waste). I’m the one already imagining the sequel.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!


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The Mix-Up – Meet Cute Book Club Book 6 by Rebecca Wilder


The Mix-Up
Meet Cute Book Club Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Rebecca Wilder

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Arlowe

“I think that there’s been some kind of mix up.”

That’s my first clue that my stay in Lilac Harbor isn’t going to go according to plan. There’s been a mistake with my rental booking and now instead of having the charming little bungalow on the shore all to myself, I’ve got a not so charming roommate.

Yates Warner. He’s a grump in every sense of the word, but there’s something about the guarded translator that tugs at my heartstrings. I’m determined to make the best of this situation, and who knows? Maybe my grumpy giant and I can even be friends.

Yates

Yeah, we’re definitely never going to be friends. Arlowe Mitchell is too sweet for a grouchy loner like me. She’s too friendly, too generous, and way too optimistic. Also, way too tempting.

The more time I spend with her, the more I want her. When she tells me about the newest book her book club is reading and says how she always wanted to have a summer fling like the characters, I finally get my opening.

A four-week fling. No strings attached and we part at the end of the month to go our separate ways. The only rule we have is to not get attached. I thought it would be a piece of cake to follow but the more time I spend around my new roomie, the more I realize that I’m in real trouble of breaking our one and only rule.

When Arlowe Mitchell arrives in Lilac Harbor, the last thing she expects is a problem with her rental. She’s opening a new location of Clay Fire and with the renovations still going on she needs to be on site for about six weeks.

Yates Warner is the new owner of the rental property. He was supposed to cancel the rental but in the chaos of moving in he forgot. Now he has to figure out what to do about it. Apparently, the hotel has no vacancies so that’s out.

The house has plenty of bedrooms and baths, so he offers Arlowe a room until the hotel has vacancies. He doesn’t expect to have much interaction with her, she’ll be busy outside the house only coming home to sleep, or so he hopes.

Arlowe really doesn’t want to stay at the hotel, and she immediately agrees to Yates’ offer of a room. Insisting she won’t be a bother.

In spite of what he’s said, Yates finds himself intrigued by Arlowe. She’s managed to get him out to dinner and now their at the Maple Fair in neighboring Maple Bend.

This is a favorite scene.

“Are you going to win me a stuffed animal?” I tease when I see him eyeing one of the games that we’re walking past.

“I doubt it. I’m terrible at all of those games,” he says and I laugh.

“I’m pretty sure everyone is.”

We head into the vendor section and Yates waits patiently as I look around each booth. We get to one that’s selling cake pops and I grab two, passing one to Yates. He huffs out a laugh when he sees the mermaid one that I bought him.

“Did you want the unicorn one instead?” I ask, offering him the one in my hand, and he shakes his head.

“No, this one is fine.”

He takes a bite, finishing the whole thing in about two bites as we continue to browse through all of the craft stands. I debate buying a beaded wallet and a little water painting but put both of them back. I don’t want to carry either of them around for the rest of our afternoon.

I stop by one of the maple booths and grab Hartley’s maple candy. I get another bag for me and then one for Yates and his new candy dish. They have maple everything and I debate sending my mom a bottle of maple syrup, but I’m worried it would break before it got to her.

“Ready for some rides?” I ask as I tuck the candy in my purse. He nods his head but he doesn’t look so sure.

“Do you think that your stomach can handle it?” I ask and he side eyes me.

“I’ll be fine,” he promises, and I roll my eyes at his tough guy routine.

My phone dings as we get in line for the tilt-a-whirl, and I pull it out to see a text from my book club friend, Jaime.

Jaime: Are you ready for next Thursday?

Arlowe: Of course!

Jaime: Can’t wait!

“Who was that?” Yates asks as we move up in line.

“My friend Jaime. We’re in a book club together and she was just reminding me about our meeting this coming Thursday.”

“What book are you reading? A romance one?” he asks.

“Why? You want to translate it?”

He rolls his eyes and I grin as we show the ride operator our wrist bands and climb onto the ride.

“It is a romance book, actually. The main characters have this sexy vacation fling on this island off the coast of South Carolina and they end up falling in love. It was so good,” I gush and he nods as the operator closes the bar.

“Sounds cool,” he says, and I grin at his bored monotone.

“It is! You should read it.”

“Maybe,” he hedges as the operator turns and goes back to the ride box and pushes a few levers.

“I’ve always wanted to have a super steamy vacation romance. Something where you can just get what you need without being worried about the rest of the relationship. Something strictly physical. It’s been on my bucket list for ages,” I say with a dreamy sigh.

“Are you coming onto me?” he asks and I blink at him, my head whipping to the side as I gape at him.

And then I burst out laughing.

I didn’t mean to be. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I mean, I’ve been trying to hide my crush from him since I got to town and the one time I was just saying something innocently, he asks me that.

I laugh harder and that seems to surprise Yates. He wasn’t expecting that reaction and he frowns at me, looking insulted, and I try to backtrack.

“I mean, you’re gorgeous. I’d love to have sex with you.”

I freeze.

I can’t believe I just said that.

I can see a few people giving us weird looks but I ignore them. All of my attention is locked on Yates.

We both just stare at each other, neither one of us knowing what to do. The ride starts and we both look away from each other and grab hold of the bar as the ride starts to spin.
Rebecca Wilder. The Mix Up (Kindle Locations 862-895).

These two have so much chemistry it pretty much sizzles off the pages. Yates spends so much time alone working at home on translating books that Arlowe’s influence has him getting out and actually enjoying himself and her company.

Lots of fun, laughter, romance and sizzle with a twist I didn’t see coming.

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!

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Coming Soon!

USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Wilder writes contemporary and new adult romance. She loves writing about opposites attracting and finding their happily ever afters.

When she’s not spending time with her family or friends, she’s reading romance books, watching stand up comedies or crime TV shows. She’s also a total Pinterest addict, dog lover, tea snob, and a wannabe yogi.

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About The Meet Cute Book Club Series

Escape with the Meet Cute Book Club where meet-cutes don’t only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever afters.

Eight single women bound by their love of books take a monthly break from real life to lose themselves in the chapters of romantic fiction. From friends to lovers to fake relationships and more, each story features a brand new couple and their journey to find love from an amazing lineup of authors including Louise Lennox, Tracy Broemmer, A.M. Williams, Mel Walker, RJ Gray, Rebecca Wilder, Julie Archer, and Kate Stacy.

These eight standalone romances are packed with meet-cutes, heat, and of course a happily ever after!

This promotional event is brought to you by The Indie Pen PR

Marked for Rage – Crashed and Claimed Book 1 by Susan Hayes


Marked For Rage
Crashed and Claimed Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Hayes

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

It was supposed to be a delivery run…
How did it turn into a prison break?

All Mercy had to do was deliver her cargo and go. Now she’s got a bunch of irate aliens on her tail and a hot-as-Helios escaped prisoner in her cargo bay who insists she is his. She’s too old for this crap, and she keeps telling herself she’s too old for him, too. But his arguments and his… assets are very convincing.

If they’re going to survive this intergalactic crisis, she’s going to need a plan… and her hot, horned and handsome alien passenger is going to need some clothes.

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As this book opens Rage a fa’rel has once again tried to escape. He’s thrown into isolation beaten and in pain but won’t give the guards the satisfaction of seeing that. An Android named Bysshe was an ally of sorts and he was trusted by Rage and his brothers. When Bysshe shows up a bit later, he informs Rage he is scheduled for termination. It seems the verexi, the race that created the fa’rel are tired of his antics. However, Bysshe has a plan and tells Rage to be ready.

The verexi are not physically powerful, so they created the fa’rel in their labs to be their army. Unfortunately, the fa’rel aren’t very obliging when it comes to blindly taking orders. Rage has three brothers also imprisoned here, he goal has always been to escape and free them. Now it seems his time has run out.

Captain Mercy Johnson has a contract to deliver cargo to this moon, she couldn’t call it a planet, and considers it a visual of what hell would look like. When she lands, she’s met by Bysshe and oversees the delivery. He also informs her that her contract may soon be over although he doesn’t know how soon. He does make her another offer, one that would end her contract now, but the payment would make it very worth her while to take on this cargo.

When her cargo arrives, she understands why the payment was so generous. This is a prison break. She needs to get out of here and fast. Her ‘cargo’ is injured on his way to the ship and after a brief message telling him to hold on, Mercy takes off.

Once they are out of immediate danger, Mercy confronts the alien she willingly brought aboard her ship. That encounter doesn’t go quite how she expects and is quite a page melter as she discovers the true nature of her passenger.

This is a favorite scene.

He lifted his head to speak but stopped when a new sensation blazed into his awareness. The skin on his chest tingled and then burned. His lips curled back into a snarl, but before he could do anything else the pain faded away.

He looked down at his chest, expecting to see blood or a wound of some kind. All he saw were black marks across his fur that hadn’t been there until now.

“Scars?” Mercy asked, her voice almost as soft as her touch when she traced the lines. “Like claw marks?”

She was right. He leaned back, giving himself enough room to move. He raised a hand, extended his claws, and held them over the new markings. They were a perfect match.

Mercy placed one hand over his, splaying her fingers widely enough to match the strange new lines. She drew her fingers down the lines, starting at his shoulders and crossing over his chest in an X. “What did this? Why?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugged. “I stopped asking that question a long time ago. The verexi never gave us any answers.”

“Us?” The little female’s tone had lost its sultry softness. “More of you are back there?”

“My brothers.” Her lips thinned, and she gave him a tight nod. “That’s why you wanted to go back.”

“Yes. Can we go back now?”

She shook her head. “We got lucky last time. We were nearly out of range before they got their guns primed to fire. If we go back, they’ll blow us to the nine hells long before we can land. This is a freighter, not a warship.”

He scowled and uttered a low growl of frustration. “Where can I find warships?”

Mercy snorted. “A sane person wouldn’t ask that question. Most of us try to avoid them at all costs.”

He slammed his fist into the floor, denting it. “Then how do I free my clan?”

He didn’t recognize the look in her eyes at first. He’d never seen it on another being, except in the videos the verexi allowed them to view sometimes. It was pity.

That wasn’t acceptable.

“No.” He lifted her up and set her down beside him on the chill floor. “We have to free them. I am the eldest. I swore…”

She raised a hand and pressed a finger to his lips. “Shush. You won’t save anyone if you’re dead. I understand promises. Made a few myself. Kept them, too. Mostly. Take it from someone older and theoretically wiser than you. Some promises take longer to keep.” She quirked a dark brow. “And that is the last time I will ever admit to being older than you. Bring it up again and I’ll make you pay for it.”

“I don’t know how much time they have.” Frustration still had him in a stranglehold, but he recognized her attempt to calm him with jokes. Her age didn’t matter. She was his Mercy. That was the only truth he cared about. She had to help him free the others.

“Bysshe knew. He told me that my contract would end soon because that place, whatever it is, was shutting down.”

He chewed on each word before spitting it out. “It’s a verexi laboratory. They made us. Experimented on us. If they are shutting down that place, the others…” The dent in the floor deepened as he slammed his fist down several more times. They’d kill them. Or move them so he’d never find them again. He wouldn’t let that happen. He would not lose them. They were all he had.

Mercy caught his fist in her hands. “Beating up my deck isn’t going to change anything. We’ll figure this out. Whatever they’re planning can’t happen right away. There are no ships in the area. We have a little time.”

We. No one besides his brothers had ever used that word. “You will help?”

She shot him a frustrated look. “Of course I’ll help. Bysshe paid me very well to get you off that planet. More than he promised me, in fact. I assume that’s because the job isn’t done yet. He knew you’d need the money. That is one sneaky android.”

He reared back, stung. “You think of this as a job?” This time, he didn’t just hit the deck plate. He punched his claws through it.

Her brows scrunched together, creasing her dark skin around her stormy eyes. Then the storm cleared and she shook her head softly. “Honestly? I have no idea what this is. You… this… this is as weird for me as it is for you.

I don’t normally sleep with my passengers. Hell, I don’t normally have passengers, period. But… she raised her arms. Black marks, smaller versions of the ones on his chest had appeared on her forearms. They started at her palms and wrapped around to cross over the top of her wrists.

“Whatever the fuck is happening, it appears we’re in it together.”

“What is that? What does it mean?” he asked.

Mercy laughed. “Fuck if I know. Humans don’t spontaneously manifest random markings. So whatever this is, I’m blaming you for it.”
Susan Hayes. Marked For Rage (Kindle Locations 479-517).

It’s a good thing Mercy has knowledge of how things work with the Galatic Legion although humans aren’t part of it. Her strategy is genius.

Rage and Mercy sizzle off the pages and hopefully the odds will be in their favor as they work to free Rage’s family.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Coming Soon!

Susan Hayes

Susan lives on Vancouver Island, off the Canadian west coast where the waters are patrolled by orcas, and the sighting of snowflakes leads to citywide panic. She’s jumped out of perfectly good airplanes on purpose and accidentally swum with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef.

If the world ends, she plans to survive as the spunky, comedic sidekick to the heroes of the new world, because she’s too short and out of shape to make it on her own for long.

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Shielding Tallulah – Special Forces: Operation Alpha; Delta Forces Generation Next Book 4 by Jen Talty


Shielding Tallulah
Special Forces: Operation Alpha; Delta Forces Generation Next Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Sometimes love is right around the corner.
You just have to fight for it.

Pediatrician Talullah Rossi has dedicated her life to her practice. Her patients are her world. However, she’d like to have a family of her own one day, but her dating life lately reads like a who’s who of men not to become involved with.

That is until a blind date turns her world upside down.

Darren “Scout” Finch would love to settle down. All he needs to do is find the right woman. When his buddy’s wife, Gillian Romano offers to set him up with their twin’s doctor, he’s not about to say no. Sparks fly and Scout even though Scout is out of his league, he knows he might have found “the one”. Unfortunately, Talullah has a stalker, and this man isn’t going to stop until he either makes Talullah his.

Or she’s dead.

Well, Scout isn’t about to let that happen. Not on his watch.

When Trigger and Gillian take their twins for a check-up and shots, they also have another agenda. They want to set up a date with their pediatrician Tallulah Rossi and Darren ‘Scout’ Finch.

It takes a bit of convincing, but Tallulah agrees giving Trigger her number for Scout to call to arrange the date. By the time she’s said good-bye them and gotten rid of the persistent Kyle, whom she never should have gone on a date with, she has a missed call and message from Scout. She returns the call, and they agree to meet at Oscar’s a restaurant close to her office. She was hesitant at first because Kyle wanted her to meet him there for a drink and she told him she had plans.

For a Friday night, Oscar’s wasn’t too packed. He’d put his name in at the hostess station, and he was told it would be about a forty-minute wait. He glanced at his watch. He’d been sitting on this stool for at best, ten minutes.

The front door opened and in walked a little piece of heaven.

His heart dropped to his gut. He couldn’t take a deep breath. He pounded his chest and tried again. Nope.

Damn. Talullah was so much prettier in person. She had this funky haircut where it was longer in the front and shorter in the back. The color was hard to explain because it wasn’t just one shade, but maybe five different blends of blond and brunette swirled together with a hint of black tucked underneath.

And her eyes.

Holy shit.

He’d never seen anything so blue. They were deep and rich and he wanted to dive right in and swim around. He swallowed. Hard.

Setting his beverage on the bar, he pushed from the stool, but before he could get her attention, another man raced to her side like a dog in heat. Scout stood there for a moment, contemplating what to do.

He wasn’t typically a jealous man, but he found himself puffing out his chest.

She made eye contact, then smiled and waved. But it was a little awkward as the man continued to block her entrance into the bar area, while it appeared she tried to excuse herself.

Well, he wasn’t about to be cock-blocked on his first date. If they didn’t hit it off, then that would be a different story entirely. He asked the couple next to him to hold the two seats while he strolled across the room.

“Hey, Talullah,” he said.

“Scout. So sorry to have kept you waiting.” She squeezed his biceps, leaning in and kissing his cheek. Her warm lips lingered.

He inhaled sharply, enjoying the fresh watermelon scent of her shampoo.

“It’s so good to see you,” she said.

“You too.” That, he did not expect, but he wasn’t about to complain about a beautiful woman giving him a gentle peck. “Our table won’t be ready for about a half hour.”

“That’s okay. I need a drink after the day I’ve had anyway.” She looped her hand into his elbow, her body touching his with a bit more intimacy than one would expect from a blind date. She hung on to him, caressing his arm as if they’d been together for some time.

“I’m sorry. Who are you?” the man asked, giving him the once-over.

“I told you that I had plans,” Talullah said. “This is my date—”

“You never mentioned anything about a date,” the man said with some disdain. “May I speak to you alone?”

“I’m sorry,” she said. “Now is not a good time.” She glanced up at Scout and smiled.

All the oxygen in his lungs flew out of his mouth like a pigeon on a mission to return a message.

“It will only take a minute,” the man said. “It’s important. It’s about my daughter.”

She squeezed Scout’s arm tighter. “I’m not working. So, any medical questions, please call the office tomorrow and speak to the nurse. Unless it’s an emergency, which it’s not, but if it was, you should call 9-1-1.”

“Talullah,” the man said in a hushed voice. “It’s personal and I only trust you.”

“You can call and schedule an appointment in the morning,” Talullah said. “Now, if you’ll excuse me. Scout and I are on a date. I’ll see you later.” Talullah practically dragged Scout toward the bar. “Is that where you’re sitting?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She chuckled. “Please don’t call me that.”

“Okay,” he said, pulling out the stool and waving down the bartender. “What’s your poison?”

“I’ll take a glass of their house Chardonnay.”

Scout ordered her drink along with an appetizer, since he hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast.

She glanced over her shoulder. When she turned, her jaw was tight and her brow furrowed. She lifted her hand and rested it on his shoulder. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “That had to have been awkward for you.”

“I take it he’s been bothering you?” He leaned closer, putting his arm around the back of her chair, hoping he wasn’t reading the situation wrong. If he was, he might get slapped.

“I went out on one date with him and I knew I shouldn’t. Long story short, he doesn’t take hints well, and I suck at being mean, though my sister would have been proud of me tonight between the way I handled him at the office and just now. That said, I worry about whatever might be going on with his kid. But if it were a major medical issue, I think his ex-wife would be calling me.”

Scout peered over her shoulder. The bar was a complete square in the middle of the room. Kyle sat kitty-corner to them at the far end with another gentleman. He appeared to be engrossed in a conversation, but every few seconds, he shifted his gaze, yet he always kept his focus lower, as if to avoid eye contact.

However, Scout knew when he was being watched.

“I don’t have kids, but I have a lot of friends who do and I know if they had any real concerns about them, they would address them immediately.”

“I think he’s using that because he told me he’d be here— asked me to meet him— and when he saw me, he thought maybe I changed my mind,” she said as she lifted her wineglass to her plump rosy lips. She took a long sip and sighed. “I’m so sorry. This is a shitty way to start an evening.”

“Is this why you told me we could go somewhere else if I preferred something that I didn’t go to on a regular basis?” Scout had suggested Oscar’s for many reasons, but one of them was because it was one of his favorite places.

She nodded. “I knew he’d be here, but I didn’t think he’d be so aggressive. Sorry, I went right in and acted like we’ve known each other for a while, but I thought it might drive the point home and get him to leave me alone.”

“You do know he’s staring at us.” Scout tucked her hair behind her ear. It was a bold move, but he told himself he had a part to play and he was going to enjoy every single minute. “I can think of one thing that might make him listen.”

She rested her hand on his thigh. “Yeah? What’s that?”

He took her chin with his thumb and his forefinger. He needed to remind himself that this was a game with the intention of making sure that Kyle let her be and it wasn’t about him making a move. “Do you promise not to get mad at me and hit me or worse?”

The corner of her mouth turned upward into a sexy smile. “Yes. However, kissing me might be over the top, childish, and slightly rude.”

“Do you want him to go away?”

Her tongue peeked out and stroked her bottom lip.

He swallowed a groan. He should not be having this much fun at another man’s expense. But from the sound of it, Kyle kind of deserved to be put in his place.

“I won’t do it if you don’t want me to.” He glided his hand to the back of her neck. “It’s your call, but for the record, I wouldn’t mind it.”

Her eyelids lowered. “Aren’t we supposed to get to know each other a little better before our first kiss?”

“Growing up I had a boat named Bass Awkward because if you take the B off bass and put it in front of Awkward you have ass backward and my dad always said I tended to do things that way.”

“That’s cute,” she whispered, leaning closer, her breath hot on his skin.

“Tell me to stop.”

She said nothing.
Jen Talty. Shielding Talullah (Kindle Locations 293-356). Jupiter Press.

They enjoyed their dinner and conversation with neither of them really wanting it to end. However, Scout persuades her to go on another date the next day before they leave the restaurant.

Unfortunately, Tallulah’s car has a flat tire, and when Scout doesn’t leave her, a car takes off from the parking lot with high beams on. Tallulah thinks it looks like Kyle’s car. Scout arranges for a tow, and they continue their evening with conversation about their homes which leads to his ex and how things were with that relationship.

Scout also decides to learn more about Kyle thorough his own connections, the flat tire after the confrontation in the restaurant was just too much of a coincidence.

Not only does Kyle become more of a problem, but also Scout’s ex Crystal puts her two cents in as well. Although Crystal is easier to get rid of.

Things escalate from here in an unusual way, Kyle uses his daughter to get to Tallulah, but also to get to his ex-wife. Let me say things get messy really fast.

I couldn’t put this book down, the chemistry between Tallulah and Scout is off the charts and they couldn’t be more perfect for each other.

I really can’t wait to read the next book in this crossover world.

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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