Rory – Hope City Book 7 By Maryann Jordan


Rory
Hope City Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

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One city… Countless stories.

Rory McBride was a protector, but went his own way…
his brothers were detectives but he found his calling as a paramedic.
Saving lives was second nature to him…
Now if he could only save the one woman who held his interest.

Sandy Carmichael hid her secrets behind a brilliant smile and flirting…
But never let anyone close. Especially not the handsome rescuer who filled her dreams.

When secrets are exposed and danger lurks… sparks fly.

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Discharged from the Army, Rory was easily able to get his EMT license, now he’s studying for the Paramedic exam while working as an EMT/Firefighter. The favorite hangout for police and firefighters is The Celtic Cock Pub it’s here that Rory meets someone who manages to captivate him.

Sandy is Harper’s best friend, she’s soft-spoken but not shy in flirting with Rory. She’s a bit intrigued by him and surprised by her reactions.

This is a favorite scene.

Bill lifted his hand and waved toward the other end of the bar. Turning, Rory glanced toward the door, seeing two women enter, one waving back toward Bill. Both women were attractive, but only one snagged his complete attention. Her hair was pale blonde and thick as it waved over her shoulders. She was petite, on the verge of being tiny, and as the two women pushed their way through the crowd toward them, he lost sight of her.

Craning around, he finally caught sight of her blonde hair as she popped between two people, leading her friend to the bar. Up close, he realized just how petite she was. He and his siblings gained their height from their dad. The boys were all over six feet tall, and his three sisters were tall as well. Their mom was known as the short one in the family even though she was five and a half feet tall. But looking at this woman, even in her heels, she’d be much shorter than his mom.

The blonde moved directly to the bar, and he could see her hair was even longer and thicker than he imagined, pulled back away from her face and held with a clip with waves cascading far down her back. Big blue eyes, heart-shaped face, and pink-slicked lips. A fitted blue, silky blouse set off her eyes as well as showcased her breasts. It tucked into a tight black skirt that clutched her narrow waist, perfect ass, and thighs. It came to just above her knees, and while he had little knowledge of women’s clothing, he had no doubt hers was expensive. Small diamond stud earrings graced her ears, and the only other jewelry she wore was a thin gold-and-diamond bracelet around her small wrist.

He and Blay immediately slid from their stools, offering them to the women. She placed one hand on the top of the bar and a heeled shoe on the rung of the bar stool. He threw out his hand to assist. She was still looking down as she reached out, placed her hand in his, and he gave her a little boost into the seat. She crossed her shapely legs at her ankles then looked toward Torin and ordered a Lemon Drop Martini. As soon as her friend ordered a non-alcoholic drink, the blonde turned toward him. She wore makeup, but instead of looking like warpaint or attention-grabbing, it seemed to make her eyes pop and give her whole face a glow.

Her gaze held his and her eyes widened as a smile spread across her face. Not a little, polite smile, but a wide grin that beamed toward him. If ever there was a cheerleader smile, he was faced with it right now. And yet it was slightly crooked. And he loved that… a tiny imperfection in an absolutely perfect face made her all the more interesting.

Hating to stare, he forced his gaze to shift to her friend, noting her wrist was in a splint. She was beautiful as well, and yet there was something about her that gave off a sisterly vibe. Looking toward the blonde again, he knew his immediate reaction to her was anything but sisterly.

Before he had a chance to speak, she said, “Obviously, I know Bill and Blay, but you’re new.”

Her voice was soft, which struck him as incongruent. He expected a louder, more rambunctious tone or perhaps a cat-like purr. She stared straight into his eyes, something else that caught his attention. No downcast or side glances. Just straight-up interest. Strangely thrilled that she recognized he was new, he flashed his version of a white-toothed grin. “I’m Rory. Blay and I grew up together.”

“So, why am I just now meeting you?” Her blue eyes seemed to light with what he hoped was interest.

“I just got out of the Army.”

She nodded, her lips still curved. “It’s nice to meet you, Rory. I’m Sandy. And this beautiful woman with her arm in a cast is Harper.”

After greeting both women, Bill stepped in, leaning closer to Harper, giving Rory a chance to focus on Sandy. He nodded toward her drink and said, “Does that actually taste like Lemon Drop candy?”

“You’ve never had a Lemon Drop Martini?”

A chuckle erupted, and he shook his head. “’ Fraid martinis are not exactly my style, but I remember my grandmother used to keep Lemon Drop candies in a bowl on her coffee table. Probably drove my mom crazy since that bowl was within easy reach of all us kids.”

“Let me guess… you just couldn’t resist the sweet and tart, could you?”

Her eyes sparkled, and she leaned in ever so slightly. Even sitting on the barstool, she had to look up to hold his gaze. Her glossy lips were close, and his brain short-circuited as he thought about closing the distance and seeing if they tasted as good as they looked. Sucking in a deep breath, he forced his mind back to the flirting and off the kissing. “Sweet and tart… best combination. I can’t help but ask— are you anything like your drink?”

She threw her head back and laughed, and just like her smile, it caught him off guard. Her belly laugh was real, coming from deep inside. Holding his gaze again as her mirth slowed, she nodded. “I would have to say that most people who know me say I’m exactly like this drink.”
MaryAnn Jordan. Rory – ARC Copy – nor for sale or distribution: Hope City (Kindle Locations 158-195).

While they definitely have attraction, Rory has commitments and doesn’t hang around long. He does however look forward to seeing Sandy again.

The second time they meet is so much fun, trading crazy pick-up lines and getting to know each other. This night ends with a steamy kiss in the parking lot that doesn’t go unobserved. That’s when Rory makes a really big mistake, believing what others say, instead of listening to his inner conscience.

Sandy owns a somewhat successful interior decorating business. Working with corporate accounts she designs custom offices along with her team. The account they are working on could be the one to have her business soaring to new heights. However something is off and what she discovers could ruin everything.

I love meeting up with all the McBride and King family members and it was fun meeting Shania, Rory’s partner as well.

A fast-paced fun, flirty, suspenseful and scary tale with romance and eventually heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Coming Soon!

Maryann Jordan

I have always been an avid reader. My early memories were of my mother taking me to the library and allowing me to check out as many books as I could carry. My favorite books were checked out numerous times and read over and over. I would use my Barbie dolls to play out the scenes in books (such as Nancy Drew!).

I have written as a hobby for many years (probably since childhood). I have written devotionals, autobiographical writings about having a severely handicapped, medically fragile child, about my mother’s Alzheimer’s, and other subjects that interest me.

I joke that I “cut my romance teeth” on the old historical romance books. In 2013, I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers. In 2014, I finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and was involved in education for the past 30 years, until retiring in 2015. I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 35 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters. When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!


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Forbidden Sugar – Forbidden Book 8 By Carmen Falcone


Forbidden Sugar
Forbidden Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Carmen Falcone

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Sam Matthews wants to convince his recently divorced best friend Michael to enjoy his new life as a single man. After all, at forty-five, Sam is at his prime—incredibly successful, fit and a lady’s man through and through. Who needs to mope over being single? To help Michael to get over his divorce, Sam secretly hires an escort from a known sugar daddy agency. When he goes to meet the woman he picked, he’s disturbingly surprised—the woman is Michael’s daughter Ella!

Ella Curtis always lusted over her father’s best friend. When her roommate is about to go on a date with him via a website, Ella makes a bold move and goes in her place. Sam would never in a million of years look at her that way, but she has looked at him that way for quite a few years. And now, at twenty-two, it’s the time to act on it. They’ll be great together… whether he knows it or not.

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Sam thinks his best friend Michael needs to start dating, he decides to arrange drinks and a bit more. His intent is to introduce him to a young woman from Sugar Pie, a daddy agency app. The intent of the app is companionship not sex, but the outcome of a date up to the woman.

When Ella’s roommate shows her the man who shows up in her feed for Sugar Pie, she knows right away she’s going to substitute. She’s been half in love with her father’s bestfriend Sam forever and she’s not missing her chance.

Of course Sam has no idea when he sees her, she’s pretty much the exact opposite of her roommate. I have to say it was a pretty funny and interesting encounter especially once Ella’s father shows up. Her plan squelched she goes for plan b. Finagling an interview with him at one of his gyms for her business class would work just fine.

It’s at that interview that things heat up and then becomes sort of a quid pro quo. Ella and Sam will surely have your kindle smoldering with their mutual attraction. Definitely forbidden, fun and sizzling hot!

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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Cain’s Cross – Bullard’s Battle Book 2 By Dale Mayer


Cain’s Cross
Bullard’s Battle Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Cain—hearing a killer’s last words, “You’re next,”—knows his time is running out, not only for him but for his entire team. As members of his team search for the still missing Bullard in the ocean, Cain has focused on tracking the killer’s history, hopefully to lead to the madman after them all. A trip to Sicily brings more information to light but also more puzzles to sort out. And an unexpected light in Cain’s life.

When Petra picks up the two men at the airport, she has no idea how fast her personal life is about to unravel. Not only do these men bring up old terrible memories but they also shine a light on an ugly corner of town. People she avoids at all costs.

Still she can’t afford to dwell on the past, as her present blows up. With Cain and Eton at her side, they’re all trying to stay alive, as the bodies drop around them.

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Bullard is still missing and his whole team plus Ice and Levi are still looking. From the last events at the museum, the information found on one of the goons with Green leads to Sicily so that’s where Cain and Eton go.

Instead of being met by Pedro, they are met by Petra. She informs them that she is the niece of the proprietors of the B&B where they will be staying.

Since they arrived late they are invited to join the family for dinner. There’s quite a bit of hostility here especially with Petra’s aunt. They gain some information at that time, but decide to take a walk around town before dark.

This is a favorite scene.

Getting out of her car, Petra grabbed her purse and her sweater and headed to her door. Her neighbor’s dog greeted her. Chico often waited for her to come home so he could get extra cuddles. After sharing a big hug and a kiss, she walked over and checked to make sure the dog had food and fresh water on his porch.

“You’ve got both. Now it’s my turn. I’m going inside and getting food and a hot cup of tea.” She gave him an extra cuddle then walked inside her place. Next she put on the teakettle and opened the back door, so she could sit outside with her tea.

“It was a crazy day and a crazy evening,” she muttered to herself. Going through everything she had in the cupboards, she pulled out a cookie from a package, and, with a fresh cup of tea, walked outside to the backyard.

She sat for a long moment, enjoying the sunshine. When she heard a “Hello,” she immediately recognized the voice and knew it was Cain, the one who sat in the front passenger seat in her car on the ride from the airport.

“Hello,” she called back.

Cain and Eton appeared in her backyard. Cain explained, “We have a few questions.”

“Why ask me?” she asked. “What information could I possibly have for you?”

“Well, I guess it depends on your relationship with the family. But we wanted to take a look at the house you were telling us about. The big fancy one, whose father lost the one son and has two others, but one was missing.”

She laughed. “Missing? Is that what you call it?” she said. “That no-good son of a bitch probably ran off.”

“You feel rather strongly about that. Why?” Cain asked.

“Because he more or less ruined my sister before he left,” she said tiredly. “Well, he or his brother Tristan anyway. Both of them for all I know. But she got pregnant, possibly had an abortion, which got ugly between us. She was acting pretty irresponsibly and was always a little standoffish afterward. One day I came home to find she’d packed up and left. There was a note, saying she needed time. She just took off, and I haven’t seen her since.”

“Ouch,” he said. Eton nodded solemnly. “How long ago was that?”

“About eighteen months, I think,” she said. “It’s hard to pin it down. It was around the same time as my father’s accident. I wondered if it all didn’t happen at the same time.”

“Meaning?”

“When he had the accident, there was no reason for him to be driving. There was no reason for him to be out anywhere, unless he was taking my sister somewhere,” she said. “So I’ve always wondered about it.”

“That would be tough,” he said, “losing them both at the same time. I’m sorry. That just makes it even worse.”

“No need for it to be worse,” she said, fatigue heavy in her voice. “As you can tell, it’s not a great scenario at my aunt and uncle’s either.”

“No,” he said. “It sounds like everybody’s having a rough go of it.”

“Absolutely,” she said. “It is what it is, but I don’t understand why you’re so interested in all this.” She looked from Cain, who was doing all the talking, to Eton, who remained silent this whole time but fully aware.

“Because it’s an oddity,” Cain said cheerfully. “Just blatant curiosity really. Chalk it up to ignorant Americans.”

She laughed. “I highly doubt that,” she said. “I don’t think you do anything without good reason.”

He looked at her in surprise.

She shook her head. “No, don’t look at me like that,” she said. “You guys are guys on a mission.”

At that, they both stopped and studied her. “And why do you say that?”

“You’re not tourists,” she said. “Not even part-time. You obviously came here for a reason, but I just haven’t figured out what it is yet.”

Cain gave her a half smile and said, “Well, maybe we’ll check out the father’s house, and we’ll see for ourselves.”

She hesitated, then said, “I’ll come with you.” She walked down the front pathway, opened the small gate, and let herself out.

“Is there a reason why you’d join us?”

“Because his father has always been a crazy-ass son of a bitch,” she said. “After losing the one son, he got even worse. Drinking more and more.”

“Of course,” Cain said, “but how crazy?”

“Gun-shooting crazy,” she said briefly. “And, if he doesn’t know who you are, he’ll probably shoot you without asking questions.”

“Nice town,” Cain said.

She looked at him, shook her head, and said, “No, it’s not. Not at all.”

“Why do you stay?”

She shot him a hard look. “So that my sister has someone to come home to. Besides, I can’t just walk away from my father.”

“You’d make better money elsewhere.”

“No doubt,” she said, “I would. And I’ll get there one day. But, in the meantime, my father is like a living ghost, and my sister has left home for God-knows-where. The only family I have left are my aunt and uncle.”

“And they’d be lost, if you didn’t continue to pay for your father’s care.”

“Exactly,” she said. “So I’m kind of stuck, just waiting for somebody to crack open this stalemate that my life has become.”

“Careful what you wish for,” Cain muttered. “Sometimes what we think we want isn’t really so, and we don’t figure that out until after the fact.”

She looked at him, gave a hard laugh, and said, “What I can tell you is that something has been going on in this town for a long time, and that means I’m a big part of it, whether I want to be or not.”

He stared at her for a moment, gave a clipped nod, and said, “Good. I want to see him then.”

She shook her head at him, in shock. “Didn’t you just hear me?”

“Oh, I heard you,” he said, “but it could be exactly what we’re looking for.”
Dale Mayer. Cain’s Cross (Kindle Locations 388-437). Valley Publishing.

Things get more intense with every page, starting with a body and progressing to more, bodies that is.

Petra is smack in the middle of all of this as are her aunt and uncle. In what capacity she and the guys aren’t sure yet. The verbal sparring between Petra and Cain is fun, informative and leads to all sorts of interesting conclusions.

Cain and Petra have quite the chemistry but it takes a while for them to figure it out.

Suspense, intrigue, surprises and some sizzle as Cain and Eton get just a bit closer to who is after them all.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Winter Blog About Author

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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Show-Off in Spurs – Crossroads Book 5 by Em Petrova


Show-Off In Spurs
Crossroads Book 5
By
Em Petrova

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Sometimes attraction isn’t enough…
but it might be a start.

Ranch hand Theo Sutton is a disappointment to his family for dropping out of college, but he’s determined not to let down his bosses on the Bellamy Ranch. That’s why he covers for the runaway kid who keeps making trouble for him. Proving himself never seemed so important, especially when it comes to the beautiful newcomer to their small town. She only wants Theo to warm her bed once in a while, but every encounter with her leaves him wanting more.

A young widow like Sadie James can’t be too careful with her heart. The last thing she needs is another daredevil man who ends up leaving her. Besides, she’s too focused on getting a fresh start in Crossroads and building her fixer upper consulting business. But she can’t seem to stay away from Theo—or out of the back of his truck or the nearest hay bale.

To Theo’s mind, three people who need love are already a family, but the runaway boy is too stubborn and he’s starting to think Sadie is irreparably damaged. When love overrides loss and they all face a crossroads in life, decisions must be made that could leave them all devastated…or give them the happily ever after they all deserve.

Sadie James is the widow of a champion bull rider. She’s come to Crossroads to start a new life away from all the memories. She has friends here that will support her if she needs it. After a day of checking out properties she’s ready to relax a bit, and stops at a winery to grab a bottle or two of local wine. She’s leaving when a cowboy catches more than just her eye.

When Theo Sutton comes out of the winery, the beautiful woman is still there.

This is a favorite scene.

“Howdy,” he drawled out, closing the distance between them with his long, sure strides. He looked straight at her as he lowered his tailgate and placed the box in the bed of his truck. “Anything I can do for you?”

“Uh…” She knew how women came on to men. Enough buckle bunnies in the rodeo threw themselves at her husband. But personally, she never had to do it, because she and Jackson had been together since she was fifteen.

She waved to her truck hood. “I started the engine and I think I heard a sound. You wouldn’t be willing to have a look, would you?” She tipped her head back to meet his stare and offered him a smile.

“Sure thing. You wanna pop the hood for me?”

She eyed him up. Whatever madness had come over her to make her gawk at the cowboy, wait for him by her truck and then tell a fib about an engine problem took total hold of her.
She wanted to pop more than a hood for him. Maybe a few buttons too?

If she didn’t know better, she’d say the country air was more polluted than the smog in Dallas where she’d come from, and it was affecting her mind after only hours in Crossroads.

She strolled around her truck, opened the driver’s door and popped the hood. When she straightened, she noted the cowboy hadn’t moved from the spot and he quickly flicked his gaze up her body, away from her ass to her face.

Heart pulsating faster, she followed him to the front of the truck. He propped up the hood and peered inside. Wiggling a few hoses and checking connections drew her attention to how big his hands were. Rough too.

A shiver of desire rolled through her body, leaving her breathing faster and feeling a bit damper—everywhere.

He threw her a look from under the brim of his hat. “Can you start the engine for me?”

Oh it’s already started.

“Sure.” She pushed off the front and walked around the side. She swore she felt his eyes tracking her and asked herself what in the world had come over her. After she started the engine, she joined him under the hood again.

He cocked his head, listening to the purring engine. Of course she knew there wasn’t a thing wrong with her truck—she’d gotten it a good tune-up and check before driving it across country. The last thing a woman needed on a solo road trip was to be broken down alongside the road in the middle of nowhere.

The cowboy’s gaze settled on hers. “You from out of town? Haven’t seen you before, and it’s a small town. I know everybody.”

“Not from out of town anymore. I just rolled in today. I was out house hunting when I came across the winery.”

He gave her a full-lipped, toe-curling smile that accompanied a twinkle of interest in those warm brown eyes. “Is that so? What’s your name?”

“Sadie.”

“Well, Sadie, welcome to Crossroads. I’m Theo.”

The syllables tumbled through her on his deep, rumbling, country drawl.

She extended a hand, which he clasped in his, his long fingers folding around hers and making her feel perfectly dainty and feminine—something it’d been too long since she felt, since her vibrator didn’t offer it.

The engine continued to trundle along without a hitch, but Theo didn’t seem all that interested in her truck.

He released her hand and turned back to the engine. “I don’t hear anything odd. Did you say it was a knocking noise?”

She hadn’t said, but she nodded anyway. Going on tiptoe, she edged closer to him as she leaned over the hood as far as she could. When she glanced over her shoulder at Theo, she found his stare riveted firmly on her ass. An ass she had great pride in, as she ran every day and did a Brazilian butt workout the other ones. Jackson had loved her ass, and so had a lot of other men in her life.

“Hmm,” she said, dropping back to her heels. “I don’t hear it anymore.”

He smiled again, causing her stomach to flutter. “Sure you didn’t drink that wine already, Sadie?”

She smiled back. “I’m sure. I got the Crossroads Peach Pie. Have you ever had it?”

He looked her over again as if she was the peach pie and he wanted to dive in and lick her off his lips. God, the thought made her insides shudder with desire. A low, constant hum in her core told her that she hadn’t really reawakened her sexual side since her husband’s death—she’d only turned on the low beams.

Her nipples pinched hard, throwing on the floodlights and cracking a dam inside her.

“I’ve never tried that wine.” His voice roughened, exactly the way she preferred her man’s hands.

She cocked a brow at him. “You single? I mean…maybe you want to share the bottle with me.”

The corners of his lips inched up farther. “I’m single, and I’d love to.” He closed the hood and faced her. “Turn off the engine and grab the bottle. There’s a good view of the sunset a little ways from here.”

She loved his country drawl, his accent and all the country talk a woman like her missed in her life.
Em Petrova. Show-Off in Spurs (Kindle Locations 142-185). Kindle Edition.

To say things get hot and heavy quickly is an understatement as these two could definitely melt a kindle.

There is a lot more to both their stories though, the first being Theo is harboring a runaway on the ranch where he works. Jordy is managing to get Theo in plenty of hot water, since Theo isn’t about to turn the kid in.

What Sadie thought would be a one time thing, is actually going to be more. Turns out Theo is also friends with Dom and Jada and she runs into him at what she thought was just a dinner party.

Things don’t really heat up again until Sadie finds an old schoolhouse to convert into her home. Theo is one of the people recommended by Jada to help with things Sadie can’t do herself. Sadie also has some doubts since Theo is a real cowboy and works with dangerous animals. She’s really not sure she can handle that again.

Lots of trouble from Jordy, fun with Jada and her sister Joss, a new business plan and plenty of romance and sizzle. I can’t wait for another book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Em!

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Em Petrova Em Petrova

Em Petrova was raised by hippies in the wilds of Pennsylvania but told her parents at the age of four she wanted to be a gypsy when she grew up. She has a soft spot for babies, puppies and 90s Grunge music and believes in Bigfoot and aliens. She started writing at the age of twelve and prides herself on making her characters larger than life and her sex scenes hotter than hot.

She burst into the world of publishing in 2010 after having five beautiful bambinos and figuring they were old enough to get their own snacks while she pounds away at the keys. In her not-so-spare time, she is fur-mommy to a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff and works as editor with USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors.


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The Heartbreaker – The Chandler Brothers Book 3 By Carly Phillips


The Heartbreaker
Chandler Brothers Book 3
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips

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As the eldest of three rebel-rousing brothers, Chase Chandler has waited a long time to leave his small-town roots behind. All bets are off when the single journalist meets a redhead who arouses a lot more than lust. Yet Sloane Carlisle isn’t just any woman. She’s a senator’s daughter who is about to thrust him into the eye of a breaking political scandal-and a shot at a story that’s already making headlines. All Chase has to do for an exclusive is keep her out of harm’s way. A woman who refuses to play the Washington game, Sloane has just been hit with a bombshell that calls her entire identity into question. Feeling vulnerable, she does something completely out of character: She spends an incredible, passionate night with a handsome stranger. The last thing she expects is to ever see him again. But when she goes to the Chandlers’ hometown of Yorkshire Falls to uncover the truth about her family, there he is! Not only that, her sometime amour Chase Chandler is sticking closer than a Capitol Hill groupie and igniting more sparks than the Fourth of July. Suddenly a guy who has always steered clear of marriage is falling for a serious-minded woman with a family secret that could land them both in danger. If they survive the fallout, what will it take to get Sloane to say the two words that could turn the town’s most eligible bachelor into the world’s sexiest spouse?

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As this book opens Chase Chandler lands at Dulles Airport, finally having the opportunity to step away from the Yorkshire Falls Gazette and maybe make his mark in journalism. His brother Roman, an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post, meets him. It really is about time the oldest Chandler brother spread his wings a bit. The link that makes this trip plausible is that Senator Michael Carlisle’s deceased wife was from Yorkshire Falls and the man is now a top pick to run for vice president. Roman also drops some hints about Sloan Carlisle, totally not related to her father’s announcement.

Sloan Carlisle is about to have dinner with her father and step-mother. It’s the eve of his announcement to run as Vice President. As she approaches their hotel suite she overhears her father’s manager, Franklin Page, arguing with his aid Robert. The subject is her paternity and what they say turns her life upside down. As she tries to come to terms with what she’s learned she heads to a bar away from where she might be recognized. A bar that Chase just happened to be having a night cap at.

This is a favorite scene.

He ordered a beer on tap and took in the scenery, which consisted of a pool table, a small, scarred dance floor, varied beer signs hanging on old paneled walls, and not much else. Until the door opened and she walked inside, a vision in a dress so pink, so short, so bare, it ought to be illegal.

No matter what his brother thought, Chase wasn’t a monk. He’d just kept his social life discreet in deference to his fatherlike status, and over the years, the habit stuck. Most recently he’d hooked up with Cindy Dixon, who lived in Hampshire, the next town over. They were friends who’d begun sleeping together when the whim struck, neither wanting to be indiscriminate in this day and age. The arrangement satisfied Chase physically, but no longer inspired him, so he wasn’t surprised when this sexy siren captured his attention.

Russet-colored hair cascaded past her shoulders in thick waves, making him itch to run his fingers through the unruly strands. Chase tightened his grip around the bottle and let out a slow groan. One glance and he wanted to know her. All of her.

“She’s a hot number, all right.” The bartender swiped the counter down with his rag. “Don’t think I’ve seen her in here before. I’d remember if I had.”

Chase wouldn’t be forgetting her anytime soon. The combination of sultry sexiness in her appearance and the inherent vulnerability in her expression as she settled in beside him made one heck of an impression.

“What can I get you?” the bartender asked, leaning across the expanse of the bar, too close in Chase’s biased opinion.

“Hmm.” She pursed her lips as she thought. “Scotch straight up.”

Chase cocked an eyebrow, surprised. He’d have voted for a cosmopolitan or a white-wine spritzer.

“You sure about that?” the bartender asked. “A big drink like that doesn’t mix well with a little thing like you.”

She squared her shoulders, clearly offended. “Last I heard, the customer was always right,” she said in a haughty tone more due a blue blood or politician than the sprite she appeared to be.

Chase grinned. Obviously, he could add gumption to her list of attributes.

“It’s your choice,” the bartender replied. “Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when I have to confiscate your car keys.”

“Then it’s a good thing I took the Metro,” she shot back.

“Point, to the lady.” Chase laughed.

“Thank you,” she said without bothering to look his way.

The bartender placed the glass filled with amber liquid in front of her. “Remember, I warned you.” He headed for a new round of customers at the end of the bar.

She stared at the contents a moment before lifting the glass for an experimental sniff and wrinkled her nose. “Still smells as vile as the last time I tasted it,” she said to herself.

Chase laughed. Again. Twice in a matter of minutes. A record for him. A testament to the staid life he lived and a tribute to this woman’s effect on him. He was beyond intrigued. “Then why order it?” he asked her.

“Heavy-duty stuff for a heavy-duty night.” She shrugged but didn’t lift her stare from the glass.

Chase wasn’t insulted. Her preoccupation was obvious and from her words, so was her pain.

“Bartender? Give me the same,” Chase said when the other man glanced over.

“What are you doing?” she asked, surprised.

“Joining you. It’s unhealthy to drink alone.” She looked his way at last and a burst of raw sexual energy exploded inside him, knocking him off balance.

Apparently, he wasn’t alone because gratitude and a hell of a lot more flickered in her golden gaze. He thought he’d been prepared, but it had been too damn long since he’d felt anything beyond the ordinary for any woman or any thing. Since stepping off the plane in D.C. a few short hours ago, the world had opened up for him, offering myriad possibilities. He wanted her to be one of them.

“Here you go, buddy.” The bartender slid the glass Chase’s way. “She just became your responsibility,” he said, and walked off to help the thickening crowd.

She flicked a long strand of copper hair back off her shoulder. “I can take care of myself.”

“I’m sure you can.” He raised his glass, waiting while she did the same. “Cheers.”

She inclined her head. “Cheers. Wait. It’s proper to toast before drinking, and I always do the proper thing. To …” She paused, nibbling on her full lower lip.

His mouth watered, since he wanted nothing more than to suck that luscious, full pout into his mouth and taste her. “To?” he prompted.

“Life’s dirty secrets.” She clinked her glass against his.

The sound echoed inside him as did the raw anguish he sensed inside her. “I’m a good listener,” he said, then mentally kicked himself. He wasn’t looking to be her friend, when he’d rather be her lover.

Instant attraction, instant lust. He’d never experienced the surge quite so strongly before. He wasn’t about to walk away from it now. Not on the night that represented the beginning of his new life. To hell with his usual sense of caution. It was time to leave the noble Chase Chandler behind and act on his desires.

“Thanks, but … I’d rather not talk.” The flickering in her gaze told him she desired something more. Something from him.

Something he was all too willing to give.
Carly Phillips. The Heartbreaker (Kindle Locations 172-216). CP Publishing.

An interesting and seriously hot night ensues but Chase is left alone by morning. Sloan figures she’ll never see him again and had given him only her middle name when she finds he’s a journalist.

Roman has arranged for Chase to have an exclusive one on one with Madeline Carlisle, what she requests of him is a bit unusual but he is willing to keep an eye on her daughter Sloan in his hometown. It’s the picture she shows him of Sloan that shocks him though. The beautiful woman he just spent the night with is Sloan Carlisle.

Things get pretty interesting once Sloan hits Yorkshire Falls, the small town is quite the gossip mill and Sloan does manage to get an address for the man believed to be her father. That home exploding just as Chase arrives behind her is just the beginning of the suspense and intrigue that now surrounds her life.

Chase manages with the help of Rick to convince her to stay with him for her protection. Not an easy task, and the chemistry between these two is off the charts.

A page-turning read with fun, intrigue and sizzle. Plus all the secrets revealed as this trilogy comes to a satisfying end.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Carly Phillips

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

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


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It’s a Dog’s Life – A Romantic Comedy Ghost Novella By Dale Mayer


It’s a Dog’s Life
A Romantic Comedy Ghost Novella
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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It’s the first day of Ninna’s job in the local animal shelter…and a dog is talking to her. Not just any dog…a fat, old, smart-alecky Basset Hound who says his name is Mosey.

She can’t quit, she needs this job. And then there’s the yummy vet. Who turns out to live across the street from her in a much bigger house than her tiny house. Big enough to hold a few animals – including the mouthy Mosey. With all this going on, she doesn’t have time to worry about the rash of break-ins and the sense of being watched. She’s too busy worrying that she’s nuts.

When Ninna agrees to dog sit for the cute vet from work, she sees it as a trial at being a pet owner and a way to build on her budding relationship with the vet. For Mosey, this weekend means time to get to know each other.

For the stalker who’s tracking Ninna’s movements, it means…opportunity.

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The first person we see in this one is Tory, he’s a thief and he just decided he’s interested in a woman who resides in the neighborhood he’s been robbing.

Ninna is blissfully unaware that someone is watching her as she starts her new job. Although she’s almost panicking with the chaos she sees in front of her. This is obviously more than just an animal shelter. While she waits to fill out paperwork, she hears a voice in her head. Not something she wants and she’s finally stopped seeing the psychiatrist. To discover it’s a dog, well is just the icing. She needs this job to pay the bills.

Stuart is one of the veterinarians and he’s the one who gets her past the front door and a bit settled before starting his day. However it’s when he shows up on her doorstep looking for a kitten that things get interesting.

She recruits her best friend Jane into helping her find and return the kitten.

This is a favorite scene.

They rounded the corner to enter the side street, leading them back onto the front of the same block. Ninna nodded toward the vet’s huge house. “There’s his place.”

At the front door, Jane pressed on the doorbell. It pealed loudly and set off a cacophony of barking and yipping. Jane and Ninna looked at each other wide-eyed. “Holy crap. How many dogs does he have?” Jane’s shocked voice was barely audible over the noise.

They could hear sounds of someone yelling at the dogs to be quiet. “Stop it. Move out of the way. How am I supposed to answer the door if you’re all standing there?”

The door opened, and Stuart stood in front of them. He raised his eyebrows in surprise, but the surprise quickly morphed into pleasure. “Ninna?”

She couldn’t help but feel an answering spark inside.

Then his gaze landed on the kitten, which was using Ninna’s throat and collarbone as a monkey bar.

“Oh, you found him. That’s wonderful.” He opened the door wide. “Come in, please. Where was he?”

Stuart reached out to take the kitten from her, however the kitten had other plans and immediately dug in his claws.

Ninna winced. Her throat was going to look like she’d been the victim of a slasher attack. Eventually, with a little coaxing, the kitten let go and Ninna was able to swallow again. She said, “He was in the back alley, caught behind a pile of rubble in the yard of that deserted house almost at the end of the block.” She glanced over at Jane then back to Stuart. “This is my friend, Jane. She helped me find him.”

Stuart smiled at Jane. “Hi, I’m Stuart. Thanks for helping out.”

Jane beamed, obviously happy to discard the stalker scenario she’d suggested earlier.

“Please come in. Let me check him over quickly.” He shut the front door and headed toward the back of the house. “Come back here. I have a room set up for the animals.”

Ninna followed, amazed at the dogs bouncing around them. One had only three legs but it didn’t appear to notice. A big Doberman was missing an ear, had a stumpy tail and his muzzle was scarred.

Ninna also noticed, but ignored, the basset hound.

She avoided touching any of them, period. “You take in animals no one else wants, don’t you?” she asked.

He glanced back, as if surprised by her question. Then noticed the dogs. “Occasionally. If they aren’t going to be adopted out elsewhere, well… sometimes they need a break from the Center and I bring them home for a while.”

“But once you do, it has to be hard to take them back?” she said, knowing it would be hard on her.

Jane piped up. “I’m surprised you’re allowed this many in a private home.”

“I’m not, really. My brother is building me a house on some acreage outside of town. But it’ll be another month or two before I can move in. There will be lots of space for the animals there.”

He entered a room that looked identical to a modified examining room at the Center. Walking around a large table, he carefully lowered the kitten onto it. It took only a few minutes to check the little furry body over. “Good. I’ll give him some food and take him to his bed. He’ll be just fine.”

Stuart looked directly at Ninna, his gaze warming as he studied her. “Thank you. I wouldn’t have wanted to lose him here, not when the new house is almost ready.”

“He’s going to love that.”

Stuart grinned, his gaze taking in both women. “I don’t know about him, but I sure will.” He carried the kitten into the kitchen. Ninna, not sure what to do, followed. After he’d fed the kitten, he straightened. “Would you ladies like coffee? I’m sorry, I tend to focus on my four-legged friends and forget about the two-legged ones.” He said it in such a boyish way Ninna couldn’t help but be charmed.

“Thanks, I’d love one,” Jane said.

Ninna glanced at Jane in surprise. She never drank coffee, but the look she flashed back at Ninna warned her not to say anything. Ninna’s glance went from Jane to Stuart and back again. Jane was giving him her best look-at-me-because-I’m-cute look. If it worked, fine. Any guy who fell for that kind of stupid stunt wasn’t someone Ninna wanted for herself anyway.

Stuart didn’t appear to notice Jane’s attention-getting attempts. Bonus point in his favor. He turned and puttered around the gourmet kitchen. He seemed quite at home there.

“This is a great kitchen.” Ninna studied the huge white oak cabinets. “Do you cook?”

“Sometimes. Being a bachelor, it is either learn to cook or live on take-out food.” He shrugged. “So I learned.” He flashed that shy grin Ninna’s way and damned if her heart didn’t go bump. “How about you?” he asked her.

Jane jumped in. “This kitchen is a dream. I love to cook, but I don’t have anything as nice as this to cook in.”

Ninna rolled her eyes. Talk about a misleading statement. Jane lived in a classy penthouse with the most beautiful gourmet kitchen Ninna had ever seen. Jane also couldn’t cook worth a damn.

Ninna, on the other hand, loved to bake. Not that she should be doing any of that with her diet plans. She was a fair cook, but simple stuff, nothing fancy.

Several of the dogs moved through the kitchen. Ninna stiffened as the floppy basset hound entered. He looked just like the one from the Center. She eyed him carefully, but he ignored her to sniff the little kitten. The other dogs didn’t appear to care. There was no fighting between the animals. All were well mannered.

“What about you, Ninna? Do you cook?”

She flushed, having been sidelined by the arrival of the basset hound. “I love to bake,” she offered shyly.

–Cookies? I love cookies.

Ninna’s gaze widened at the same damn voice. She glanced at the talking dog, realized it was staring at her, and hurriedly looked away. “I love to bake breads, actually. I don’t bake many cakes or cookies.”

–Pity. “Not likely,” she muttered softly.

–Hah, there you are. So glad you’ve decided to get over your snit and talk to me.

Against her better judgement, Ninna turned to look at the dog. His tongue lolled off to one side, as he panted deeply.

–I love cookies.

“You look it,” she snapped, glaring at his rotund body. She turned her back on him. Both Stuart and Jane looked at her in astonishment. Oh, shit.

Embarrassed, she weakly tried to explain her outburst using old excuses she’d practiced years ago, “Sorry, I was replaying a conversation in my mind that hadn’t gone so well yesterday. I guess I wish I’d said more than I did.” Knowing her face was probably shining like a kid’s hot pink glow stick, she mumbled, “It’s time to head home. No time for coffee, sorry. Glad the kitten is going to be fine.” She turned and raced to the front door.

God, how could she have done that?

She was such a loser.
Dale Mayer. It’s a Dog’s Life (Kindle Locations 346-402). Valley Publishing.

Stuart doesn’t seem to mind and when her co-workers bring their pets for a check-up day, Ninna debates whether or not she wants a pet. This leads to an interest development between her and Stuart.

A short fun read with a touch of suspense, a surprise or two and some heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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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The Playboy – The Chandler Brothers Book 2 by Carly Phillips


The Playboy
Chandler Brothers Book 2
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips

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There isn’t a woman in town who’s immune to the legendary Chandler charm. Yet so far single cop Rick Chandler has managed to fend off the marriage-minded advances of Yorkshire Falls’ entire female population. A past mistake has taught him never to put his heart on the line . . . until he answers the SOS of a real-life runaway bride. In spite of her pearly gown and tiara, Kendall Sutton vows to never wed — which makes her the ideal pretend lover who can ward off Rick’s legion of admirers. When their passionate charade flames into the real thing, Rick is suddenly thinking about two words that spell forever after. But will Kendall ever say “I do?” Can a woman who’s had it with weddings tie the knot with the town’s most popular playboy?

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With his brother Roman now married, their mother has set her matchmaking skills on Rick. Rick one of law enforcements finest in this small town, isn’t interested in settling down. He’s dated most of the eligible woman in town and frankly none of them have that long term feel. Although some of those women think otherwise, case in point, Lisa Burton a school teacher, she just doesn’t seem to take no for an answer and she’s crossing some lines she shouldn’t.

His brother Chase is waiting for him back at the station so they could head to their mother’s for dinner, but a call comes in that Rick needs to handle first. A woman stuck on the highway.

I think I started giggling from the moment he realizes she’s wearing a wedding dress. The conversation that ensues is full of innuendo and snark. All of which have nothing to do with his mother or her matchmaking.

Kendall came here to figure out what to do with her aunt’s property, not start anything. But the rumors are going to fly since said property is where Elton and Pearl live.

This is a favorite scene.

A woman fresh from a broken engagement, one who affected him this strongly, was dangerous. She also was fun, something he just now realized he hadn’t had in a long while. Life had become routine. It was a sad commentary if he could consider his mother and her small female army of recruits routine. But Kendall wasn’t one of his mother’s women and he liked her more for it.

He strode up the walk, leaving the luggage behind and even managed the steps leading to the house with her in his arms. Without warning, the door opened wide. Pearl Robinson, the female renter of her aunt’s house and one half of an elderly couple living in sin, as Pearl was so fond of telling everyone in town, stood before them.

“Eldin, we have company,” Pearl called over her shoulder. She’d been with Eldin Wingate forever. She smoothed her gray hair back in a bun. “I was expecting Crystal’s niece, but not two of you.” Her gaze traveled over both Rick and the woman in his arms. “You’ve been holding out on us, Rick. And you’ve been holding out on your mother too. Why just this morning, she was lamenting her grandchildless fate.”

He rolled his eyes. “I’m not surprised.”

Pearl glanced over her shoulder. “Eldin, get your lazy behind out here,” she yelled, since Eldin hadn’t arrived quick enough to suit her. “And hurry up before he drops her.”

“There’s no chance of that,” Rick whispered in Kendall’s ear, not so much to reassure her as to allow himself another heavenly whiff of her fragrant hair.

“But you won’t mind if I don’t take any chances. Just in case.” She gripped her small, soft hands tighter around his neck.

He liked the feeling.

“I’m coming, woman.” Pearl’s other half came up beside her, a tall man with white hair and all his own teeth. Or so he claimed. “What’s so important you couldn’t bring our guests inside—” He took one look at Rick and his words came to an abrupt halt.

“Hey, Eldin.” Rick resigned himself to the inevitable questions.

“Hot damn, Officer.”

“Didn’t I tell you?” Pearl asked, looking at her significant other. “That’s the reason I won’t be marrying you anytime soon.” She turned to Rick and Kendall. “We’re living in sin,” she said, lowering her voice, not that there was anyone else around to hear.

“Damn woman won’t marry me for the most asinine reason.”

“Eldin has a bad back and I refuse to marry a man who can’t carry me over the threshold. Did I tell you we’re living in sin?” She dropped her voice again.

As Kendall laughed, her breasts brushed against Rick’s chest and his body completely overheated. “Can we come in before I drop her?” he asked.

“Excuse my manners.” Pearl pushed Eldin back and they cleared a path. “You go on now, Rick, carry your bride over the threshold.”

He’d never live this down. Rick paced the inside of the stifling hot guest house behind Crystal Sutton’s main house. Eldin had brought them over so they could “get settled,” while Pearl had insisted she needed to go to town for some groceries.

“Groceries, my ass,” Rick muttered. She wanted to tell the world that she’d seen Rick Chandler carry his bride over the threshold. Never mind that there’d never been a ceremony or that the bride and supposed groom had just met. Pearl hadn’t been listening.

The tightness in Rick’s shoulders increased. All he could do was hope that when his mother heard the gossip, she’d put an end to the foolishness. Raina would know that Rick hadn’t married or eloped again. She knew better than to buy into unfounded stories.

But the news would spread, everyone in town speculating about Rick Chandler and the lady in the wedding dress he’d carried over the threshold.

He groaned and for the first time considered moving to a huge city where he could be anonymous in a large crowd. He shook his head, knowing it would never happen. Despite the memories here, he loved his family, friends, and the small-town feel of Yorkshire Falls too much to leave. But a man could dream, couldn’t he?

He glanced at the closed bathroom door where Kendall had gone to change. His bride. He rolled his eyes at the absurdity and swiped a hand over his damp forehead. Damn but it was like a sauna in here. He’d have to make sure Kendall got over to the General Store and picked up an A.C. unit.

Where was she, anyway? She said she’d needed to change out of the gown but that had been over ten minutes ago. He strode to the bathroom door and rapped twice. “You okay in there?”

“Sort of,” came the muffled reply.

He jiggled the handle and found the door locked. He knocked once more. “Open up for me or I’m kicking the door down.” He hoped it wouldn’t come to that. His back and shoulder muscles remained sore from the dive onto the driveway.

The door creaked open wide. He stepped inside in time to see her lower herself back onto the closed toilet seat and hang her head low between her knees. “I am sooo dizzy.”

He glanced at her, concerned. “It’s no wonder with that damn dress cutting off your circulation. I thought you were going to get out of it.”

“I tried, but it’s hot in here and I couldn’t unbutton the dress on my own, so I sat down for a minute. Then I got to thinking about my aunt and all the years she spent here. I stood up, got dizzy again . . .” She managed a shrug.

She liked to ramble, something he’d learned from talking to her by the side of the road. Her thoughts jumped from topic to topic, but one thing stuck with him. Her pain. Rick had lost his father when he was fifteen. He’d been young, but not young enough so he didn’t remember the man. He’d been a hands-on father, attended all his boys’ baseball games and back-to-school nights.

“I lost my father a while back. I can understand what you’re going through now,” he said, compelled to open up to this woman for reasons he didn’t understand. Reasons that made him wary. But he didn’t censor himself. “It was twenty years ago. I was fifteen,” he said, remembering. “But sometimes the pain is as fresh as if it were yesterday.”

Rick met Kendall’s moist gaze and his heart twisted with understanding. He hadn’t expected to connect with her on any level, especially not on the emotional one he normally walled off. He was surprised he understood this stranger, this woman, so well. “I’m sorry about your aunt.” He hadn’t said so earlier and meant to.

“Thanks.” Her voice held a rough timbre. “Same with your dad.”

He nodded. She and Crystal had obviously shared a special relationship. Family bonding was something else Rick could relate to. The Chandlers were closer than most, bonded by shared memories, both good and bad. With Kendall’s pain both new and raw, he found himself wanting to be the one to ease her anguish— and not because to serve and protect was in his job description.

He swallowed a groan. He’d been down this road once before and received a punch in the gut for his efforts. “Once you got light-headed, didn’t it dawn on you to call for help?” He directed them back to the problem at hand.

She tipped her head to the side. “Such a simple solution. Gee, why hadn’t I thought of that?”

He chuckled. “Too weak, huh?”

“Something like that. Help me?”
Carly Phillips. The Playboy (Kindle Locations 332-389). CP Publishing.

Not able to help himself, Rick offers to help her with getting the property ready to sell, if she in turn would agree to pretend to be dating him. You all know that’s a mistake, right?

Kendall has more of a problem than just what to do with Crystal’s property when her sister walks out of her boarding school in Vermont. Then there’s her instinct to run when the going gets tough, something that isn’t going to go over well with her teenage sister.

There’s plenty of fun, some entertaining pranks, lots of love and a simmer to sizzle relationship.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Carly Phillips

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

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


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Securing Jane – 1001 Dark Nights/SEAL of Protection Legacy Book 6.5 by Susan Stoker


Securing Jane
1001 Dark Nights
SEAL of Protection Legacy Book 6.5
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker

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Over the years, Storm North has witnessed two teams of Navy SEALs under his command find true love. He doesn’t expect the same for himself. He’s too old. Too jaded. Too set in his ways. Until a woman who’s been right in front of him for years manages to impress Storm in a way very few women—or men—ever have.

Jane Hamilton knows it’s ridiculous to have a crush on the charismatic and handsome admiral. She’s the divorced mother of a twenty-six-year-old daughter. Too old for crushes. Too old for a lot of things. There’s no chance she’ll ever catch the eye of a man like Storm North.

Until someone delivers a bomb to the base.

As the civilian contractor in charge of the mail room, Jane finds herself in the direct line of fire, enduring a series of events that leads to a budding relationship with the very man she’s been longing for. She couldn’t be happier, and Storm feels the same.

The only one unhappy, in fact, is the thwarted bomber. Unhappy enough to do something drastic. Now Storm and Jane have to work together to save innocent sailors—and themselves—from an explosive situation threatening their happily ever after.

NOTES:
**Securing Jane is the 7th and final book in the SEAL of Protection: Legacy Series and a part of the 1001 Dark Nights collection. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Admiral Storm North has always been heads down and on top of everything his SEAL teams are doing or going to be doing. The thing is he hasn’t really done anything for himself. Today however he’s about to wake up and notice someone he should have long ago.

Jane has been working in the mail room on base since her Navy husband left her and her child twenty years ago. She’s worked her way up to manager but still delivers mail in the building herself. She’s been crushing on Storm since his office moved into her building and delivering his mail is always a bright spot in her day. She doesn’t delude herself that he’ll ever notice her, but that doesn’t stop the fantasy.

This is a favorite scene.

In the near decade that she’d been living on her own, Jane had felt as if she’d been learning who she was as a woman.

At first she’d been Jake’s girlfriend. Then his Navy wife. Then she was the woman who’d been dumped and a single mother. She’d struggled for so long and so hard that she still felt as if she was finding herself. Which was somewhat silly after half a century, but there it was. And she wanted to find love again. Find a man who would support her as much as she supported him. Wanted someone to laugh with…and do all the naughty things she’d been fantasizing about for years and years.

But Storm North wasn’t that man.

Jane knew it, but that didn’t mean she could stop fantasizing about him.

Pushing the mail cart down the hallway, Jane felt her heart rate increase as she got closer to Storm’s office. It was silly. Ridiculous. But she felt as if she was in middle school again, about to see the boy she had a massive crush on.

But Storm was no boy, that was for sure.

She entered his administrative assistant’s office and smiled at the man sitting behind the desk.

“Good morning,” she said cheerily.

“Hi, Jane,” the young man replied with a smile.

“Go on in. He’s not in a meeting.”

“Thanks,” Jane told him, hoping she didn’t look as excited as she felt. She didn’t get to see Storm every day, since he was a very busy man, and whenever she did, it made her morning.

She picked up the small packet and three letters that had arrived for him and headed into his office. She knocked briefly and when she heard him call, “Come in,” pushed open the door.

Storm was sitting behind his desk in his digitized blue battle dress uniform. She could see a bit of gray at his temples, but otherwise she’d have no idea he was in his late forties. He looked as if he could take on the young Navy SEALs he commanded any day of the week…and win.

“Good morning,” Jane said softly.

Storm looked up. “Hi, Jane. How are you today?”

“I’m good. You?”

“Not so bad, now that the Admiral’s Mast for one of my best SEALs is over and done with.”

Jane knew what he was referring to. They might work on a huge naval base, but people talked, and word got around quickly. A SEAL named Phantom had disobeyed orders to go on leave and instead had gone to Timor-Leste to rescue a young woman. She wasn’t completely sure of all the details, but what she did know made her romantic heart go pitter-patter.

“I’m sure that was difficult,” she said diplomatically.

Storm smiled, and Jane’s knees went a little weak.

“That’s one word for it. So…are you doing okay? I didn’t see you yesterday.”

She wanted to read into that statement, feeling giddy that he’d even noticed that she wasn’t there but instead shrugged nonchalantly. “I’m fine. I woke up with a migraine and took a sick day. I’ve got a ton of time saved up and figured I might as well use it.”

“Good for you,” Storm said. “I mean, being a hard worker is one thing, but never taking leave, sick, or vacation isn’t healthy.”

“When’s the last time you took leave?” The question popped out before Jane could call it back.

“Touché,” Storm said with an even wider smile. “I swear anytime I think about taking some time off, the shit hits the fan around here… Oh, sorry. I sometimes forget how to talk in polite company.”

Jane chuckled. “Nothing you can say will surprise or offend me,” she told him. “I’ve worked around here long enough to hear just about every swear word invented. Not to mention hearing them from my daughter when she was a teenager.”

“You have a daughter?” Storm asked with a tilt of his head. “You don’t look old enough to be the mother of a teenager.”

Jane rolled her eyes. “Oh, please. I’m plenty old. She’s twenty-six, and she gave me every one of these wrinkles on my face.”

“Seriously…you look amazing. Your husband’s a lucky man.”

Was Storm flirting with her? Trying to figure out if she was married or not? Jane barely stopped herself from doing a stupid little girly dance right there in front of him. “He was lucky,” she told him. Then added, “But he decided twenty years ago to throw me away for some young flunky. His mistake.”

Storm’s hazel eyes were fixed on her face, and Jane suddenly felt flustered. She’d dreamed of having his undivided attention for years, but now that she had it, she wasn’t sure what to do.

“How long have you been working here?” he asked.

“Twenty years. I got the job right after he walked out.”

Storm nodded. “I, for one, am grateful. I appreciate what you do. I’ve never had to worry about my mail getting lost, and anytime I’ve had an issue, it’s been resolved quickly. You’ve trained your employees well.”

That was one of the best compliments Jane had ever gotten. She wished he’d complimented her on something more personal, but she’d settle for him noticing that she was a good employee. She took great pride in running a tight ship. A lot of people didn’t realize how intricate and complicated dealing with the mail could be. From packages with incomplete addresses that they had to figure out, misdelivered items, postage due…and then there was all the internal correspondence that went back and forth across the base. She and her employees were kept very busy. “Thanks,” she replied with a small smile.

“That all for me this morning?” he asked with a nod toward the mail in her hand.

“Oh! Yes, sorry,” Jane said, stepping forward and putting the envelopes and packet on his desk.

“No problem,” Storm said. “So your head’s feeling better today?” he asked.

For a second, Jane was so flustered she had no idea what he was talking about, then remembered. “Oh, yeah. Thanks. I don’t get migraines a lot, but when I do, they tend to knock me off my feet. But other than a slight twinge today, I feel fine.”

“Good. Then I’ll see you tomorrow, right?”

Beaming, Jane nodded. “Right. Have a good day, Sir, and try not to scare newbie sailors too badly.”

“It’s Storm…and I’m making no promises.”

Jane knew she probably looked like a big dork with the huge smile on her face, but she couldn’t help it.

She gave him a little finger wave and backed out of his office. When she’d cleared his door, she spun, said goodbye to his admin, and pushed her mail cart out into the hallway. She stopped outside the door and leaned against the wall, closing her eyes and sighing in contentment.

Every time she talked to Storm, she felt happy, but today was markedly different. He’d seemed more…engaged. He’d asked her about her personal life, asked for her to call him by his first name…and when he’d smiled at her, she’d gone weak in the knees.

Taking a deep breath, she continued down the hall to the next office, feeling happier than she’d felt in a very long time.
Stoker, Susan. Securing Jane: A SEAL of Protection: Legacy Series Novella (Kindle Locations 307-357). 1001 Dark Nights Press. Kindle Edition.

For the first time Jane and Storm had a conversation and he’s now decided to get to know her more everyday and then ask her out. Of course that’s when all hell breaks lose with a code black in the mail room.

Storm wasn’t about to leave the building without knowing if Jane was okay. Finding out she was locked in waiting decontamination, he wasn’t waiting. Pulling rank he entered the room determining the ‘bomb’ contained CS gas aka tear gas/pepper spray. This is where I fell in love with Storm.

While NCIS and Admiral Creasy work to determine who would send him the package, Storm and Jane’s relationship takes a leap forward. Through the suspense, intrigue, and danger, Storm and Jane manage to date and they start heating up the pages quickly. Although Jane isn’t going to be spared any of Susan’s antics when it comes to her heroines. I also love the fact they’re an older couple and it truly is a wonderful love story.

A perfect, page-turning end to the SEAL of Protection Legacy Series.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Tennessee where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, Indiana, and Tennessee. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.


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20th Anniversary Edition! The Bachelor – The Chandler Brothers Book 1 By Carly Phillips


The Bachelor
Chandler Brothers Book 1
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

He’s got wanderlust and no intention of settling down.

She’s home to stay and has put
her bad boy ex in her rearview mirror.

After spending his life abroad, embracing his freedom at every turn as a foreign correspondent, Roman Chandler finds himself the brother nominated to deal with his ailing mother’s matchmaking shenanigans. Thanks to a coin toss, he needs to find someone to marry and fast. It shouldn’t be that hard in sleepy Yorkshire Falls where women fall over themselves to hook a Chandler man.

But Roman only wants the one woman who got away.

Charlotte Bronson is back home to put down roots and get her lingerie business off the ground. She’s not interested in her past or a man that chose to chase breaking news stories to the far corners of the earth over her. No matter how good they used to be or how combustible their chemistry still burns.

It’s up to Roman to convince Charlotte he’s a changed man and here to stay.

NOTE:
In honor of THE BACHELOR’s 20th Anniversary all three books have been updated and will be reissued with gorgeous NEW covers with the same content but modernized for your reading pleasure. The BACHELOR was the first book that Kelly Ripa chose for her Reading with Ripa Bookclub.

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When their mother is rushed to the hospital, the Chandler brothers rush to her side. When her diagnosis isn’t what she feared Raina decides to use the more dire one to, let’s say persuade, her sons to consider marriage and children.

The Chandler brothers are all devastatingly handsome, considerate and honorable. Every woman in town would love to marry one of them. Chase the oldest runs the local paper, The Gazette. He gave up going to college to take over the family business and become the man of the house when his father died. Rick the middle son, is a police officer here in town, he wasn’t into the whole journalism thing like his father and brothers. Finally there’s Roman, he works for AP traveling around the world reporting on all kinds of injustices, uprising and the like.

With Roman’s arrival they’ve come to the decision that they need to keep their mother stress free and also give her one of her heart’s desires, a grandchild. Of course that means marriage first. Right off the bat they exclude Chase from their chosen method of a coin toss. Chase has already given up much for the family it’s better this be between Rick and Roman.

Roman accepts his fate rather gracefully, all he needs is an independent woman, one who can manage without him being around. Marry her, get her pregnant and continue his travels for AP.

Charlotte Bronson is back in town, with a now popular lingerie business. She’s the only woman who dated Roman who, walked away from him and any possibilities. Her parents have a long distance marriage and it hurts Charlotte to see her mother so alone and miserable when her father is Los Angeles following his dreams. No way would she get involved with Roman, it was just asking for the same thing to happen to her.

In an effort to cheer her mother up, she takes her out for a girls day. Hoping to convince her mother to attend the St Patrick’s Day dance and have some fun for a change.

This is a favorite scene.

Charlotte hung a BACK SOON sign on the front door and turned to her mother and friend. “Fashion show, anyone? Come on, Mom. You can pick out anything you want. Release the inner you to go with the new outer you. What do you say?”

“I’m too old to go parading around in my skivvies.” Annie laughed, though, and the sound warmed Charlotte’s insides. “But I’ll watch you two.”

“And promise to take home at least one pair?” Her mother nodded. The afternoon proceeded like a pajama party, with Charlotte and Beth trying on the most seductive bras and panties. Even Annie seemed to enjoy not just the show, but the idea of treating herself right for once.

Progress came in various forms, but Charlotte believed she’d made some more today. “Last one,” she called out to her mother and Beth, who waited in the private showing area right outside the individual dressing rooms.

“Okay. I’m dressed and your Mom’s still waiting in the chairs enjoying the show, right, Annie?” Beth asked.

“Right. You girls make me envious for my youth.”

Which she’d wasted on a man who didn’t deserve it, Charlotte thought, but she knew better than to speak aloud and ruin what had been a perfect day. Instead she slipped on the panty set she’d saved for last, one from her handmade, crocheted line. She’d never told her mother she’d been using her talent for work, never thought Annie would come out of her shell long enough to care. But Annie had today.

A loud knock sounded at the shop door. “I’ll get it,” Beth called out. “We’ve been closed long enough to have the townsfolk curious.”

“Whoever it is, get rid of them for another few minutes, okay?” Charlotte didn’t care as much about business as she did about the bonding time she’d shared with her mother. This last part of their day could bring them even closer.

“Will do.”

Charlotte heard the two women go up front to see who was knocking. In the meantime, she fastened the matching bra, a new addition to her line. These garments weren’t meant for anything other than intimate seduction.

She glanced in the mirror. She hadn’t counted on the arousing effect of wearing these garments. Her nipples puckered, peeking through the insubstantial fabric, while an empty, aching feeling settled in the pit of her stomach.

And once aroused, her thoughts drifted to Roman. She smoothed her hands over her hips and turned to the side, taking in her profile, her long legs and flat stomach. She had to admit, she filled out the bra well. If only she possessed the same nerve she tried to impart to clients, she’d … what? Charlotte asked herself and forced her mind to play out the answer.

She’d reach out to Roman Chandler. She’d indulge in the feelings she’d possessed since high school. What had started out as a childhood crush had metamorphosed into adult curiosity and longing. What was he like now? What kind of man had he become? She had his devotion to his mother to begin the sketch, but there were many more depths she’d like to plumb.

The only way to indulge that curiosity was to give in to her feelings. Accept whatever he offered, for as long as he offered it— and then have the courage to go on with her life once he was gone. Unlike her mother, who had never taken the steps to move forward, Charlotte would indulge her deepest passion, then walk away.

But while Roman was here, she thought, continuing with the fantasy, while he was hers, she would go for it all. She’d model her handmade creations in front of him and watch as his eyes dilated with longing and need. As if she were enacting reality, her body shook in reaction to her brazen thoughts. Refocusing on the here and now, Charlotte wondered if she had the nerve to act out her fantasies. She could certainly justify the need. After ten years, she obviously wasn’t going to get Roman out of her system by pretending he didn’t exist or she wasn’t attracted to him.

She hadn’t gotten over him by ignoring the feelings. Why not try to get over him by acting on those feelings instead? She wasn’t doomed to repeat her mother’s mistakes if she learned from them.

Her heart picked up rhythm as she contemplated the idea of allowing herself to indulge. In Roman. With Roman.

“Okay, we’re set.” Beth’s voice rang out from the front of the store and the jangling of the store bells jolted Charlotte back into reality. Unfortunately, arousal didn’t dissipate as quickly.

Charlotte shook her head. Time to concentrate on her reasons for wearing these undergarments. To show off her crocheting skills to her mother and perhaps get Annie to use these same garments to break out of her own private prison. Both mother and daughter had huge steps to take in their lives, Charlotte thought.

Footsteps, obviously Beth’s, traveled to the back room.

“Ready or not, here I come,” Charlotte called and stepped out of the small, enclosed room and into the open area with the Queen Anne chairs. But instead of her mother and Beth, she had an audience of one.

One incredibly sexy, virile male named Roman Chandler.
Carly Phillips. The Bachelor (Kindle Locations 1072-1112). CP Publishing.

While modeling for her mother was one thing it took a lot of effort to go with the flow when she sees Roman.

This is where things really start to get interesting as Roman turns her down. Not because he wants to but because he can’t doom her to the same fate as her mother.

Plenty of family drama, fun interactions and a romance that starts to sizzle before it even makes it to the bedroom.

I hadn’t read this series when it first came out and now I can’t wait to read the next book.

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

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Carly Phillips

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

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


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Baylor – SEALs of Honor Book 26 By Dale Mayer


Baylor
SEALs of Honor Book 26
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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When a yacht crashes into a tanker out in the ocean, it seems to be an unfortunate accident. Yet a gunman is spotted on the yacht just before the crash. What adds to the problem is that the yacht is owned by a US governor out on a holiday with his wife and daughter—and that no bodies were found at the crash site.

Gizella wakes up from the pirate attack on the yacht to find her father injured and her mother in equally bad shape. They are prisoners with no escape in sight. What was supposed to be a trip of joy and hope has ended in devastation. Even worse, an argument is brewing between her kidnappers, with her as the prize.

Baylor manages to whisk her away in the middle of the night, but she’s not out of danger yet. And if he can’t find the kidnappers, maybe never …

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I always get a kick out of Mason and his uncanny senses, but with this one the coincidences are rampant. Especially as Mason is challenged by Baylor. They couldn’t know their next mission would be someone Baylor had met before.

It’s Baylor who finds the notebook with the surprising sketch of one of the attackers and a the notation Help Baylor. I think I might have giggled at that. Since Baylor does remember when he met Gizella and also that she never called, but then neither did he.

This is a favorite scene.

“Something else is going on here. I just don’t know what. And I don’t like anything that doesn’t follow normal logic,” she said.

“Wouldn’t the military come after us?” Gizella asked her dad.

“Absolutely, and I’m wondering if that’s why the kidnappers are doing all these evasive tactics, in order to avoid getting caught.”

“Well, of course they’ll do something to evade their own capture,” she said, “but surely the US can find their way through all those little tricks, can’t they?”

“Well, we’ll have to believe that they can,” he said. Then he looked at his daughter with a smile. “Just look at you, Gizella. It’s so good to have you here with us.” Then he stopped, closing his eyes and shaking his head, as if wondering at his words. “Man,” he said, “I’m so sorry I said that.”

“It’s all right, Dad,” she said, recognizing the politician smarminess and the words that fell glibly off his lips but didn’t reflect the inner person. “I know you would rather I was somewhere else just now.”

“I really would,” he said. “This could get rough.”

She wanted to point out that, if that were so, it would contradict what he had just been saying, but there was no point in mentioning that because he didn’t know what would happen any more than the rest of them did. All she could do was hope that somebody was coming for them. “It should be Navy SEALs,” she said suddenly.

“And they will be called,” he said. “But?”

“No buts,” she said, nodding slowly. “I did know one,” she mentioned. “His name was Baylor. I met him at a port one day.” Her mother looked at her askance. Gizella just smiled and laughed. “Nothing happened,” she said. “He was just a really nice guy, and we enjoyed the evening together.”

“Well, maybe it’ll be him,” her mother said.

“Not likely,” her father answered. “There are thousands of Navy SEALs.”

“I only know that much from the guys in the group he was hanging out with. They were all SEALs, and somebody was blabbing about it, even though the others were trying to shut him down.”

“Yeah, they don’t tend to advertise the fact.”

“No, I don’t imagine they do,” she said, remembering the guy with a laugh. “I haven’t thought of him in years. It was in Coronado. Remember when I went down there with Julie, one of my college friends?”

“Of course Julie took you down there,” her mother said in exasperation. “That’s such a Julie place.”

“Julie did like to have a lot of fun,” Gizella admitted. “But she was harmless in her fun, and she never did heavy drugs or got all crazy. She did like her guys though.” But that was hardly a crime in this day and age.

Just then came a shout from up above. Men came scrambling down; two of them with guns stood at each side of the door, guarding them.

She looked at her parents. “Well, this sounds like progress,” she said.

“How do you figure that?” her dad asked.

“Anything that hurts them,” she said, “is bound to be good for us.”

He looked at her, then smiled and said, “You’re right. This could be a good development.”

“Or it could be the end,” her mom said fearfully.

“Not likely,” he said, in a reassuring tone of voice. “Just give it a few minutes.” At that, they all settled back again and waited.

Gizella studied the two gunmen, committing their faces to memory. Then she smiled and said, “Did the Navy SEALs get here?”

One of their guards looked at her in surprise, then shook his head and said, “No, of course not. They don’t care.”

“Don’t care or don’t know?”

“Either way,” he said, “they’re not coming after you.”

“Why not?” she asked.

“Because nobody knows where you are,” he said, with a bright smile. But no maliciousness was behind it.

She nodded. “You mean, you hope they don’t know where we are.”

At that, shots rang out on board, and then it went silent. The guard stared fearfully up above.

She whispered, “You should go find out what’s going on, before you get pinned down here, and they sink us.” He looked at her in surprise, but she saw his fear growing in his expression. She nodded encouragingly. “Go check it out at least.”

Casually he rounded the corner of the doorway, and just then a shot rang out. She watched in horror as the back of his head exploded, and he collapsed. Soon enough, two men hopped down, both of them with face masks, dressed in black, their weapons at the ready. They completely searched the area before coming back to them. One of them looked at her and frowned. “Gizella?”

She nodded, then quickly stood.

“Seriously, it’s you, isn’t it?”

She looked at his profile and said, “Hey, Baylor. Am I ever glad to see you!”

“Glad to see me?” he said in a dry low whisper. “You never called.”

She gave him a wry smile. “Believe me, I regret that right now.” It would be him standing right here in front of her. She sagged a bit and said, “My parents need help.”

“No problem,” he said. “I’ve got somebody here who’ll give you a hand. Just hang on a minute. We’ve still got to make sure the boat is secured.”

She turned to her father. “Looks like the SEALs came after all.”

He stared at her in shock, then looked after the man who just disappeared and asked, “Seriously? You know him?”

“It’s Baylor.”

“How can you tell?” her mother asked. “You can’t see anything for all the gear they’re wearing.”

“I just can,” she said, without saying anything further, because how did you explain about how that profile, that stance, that tilt of his shoulders was so recognizable? It was more than just her artistic nature at work. She’d been so damn attracted to him back then. He’d been pushing for more, but she hadn’t been ready. Afterward she had been afraid he’d gone on a mission, and she had no clue what had happened after that.
Dale Mayer. Baylor (Kindle Locations 439-489). Valley Publishing.

Things get really crazy during this rescue as her father is shot. Now with her father in the hospital her mother at his side, Baylor is assigned to keep Gizella safe.

I loved the interactions between him and Gizella, and truly began to wonder if they would actually get together. Hudson, the other bachelor on this team is one of the first to notice the chemistry between them.

This one will keep you on your toes as the Team looks for the kidnappers and the reason behind it all. I truly didn’t see any of this stuff coming.

Action, suspense, interesting revelations and that simmer to sizzle relationship Dale does so well.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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